Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. has written for Breaking Defense since 2011 and served as deputy editor for the site's first decade, covering technology, strategy, and policy with a particular focus on the US Army. He’s now a contributing editor focused on cyber, robotics, AI, and other critical technologies and policies that will shape the future of warfare. Sydney began covering defense at National Journal magazine in 1997 and holds degrees from Harvard, Cambridge, and Georgetown.

Posts by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

“We’re long past the point of doing more with less,” said the blunt-spoken Under Secretary of the Navy, Robert Work. “We are going to be doing less with less in the future.”

But with a continuing resolution, sequestration in three weeks, and to-be-determined defense cuts a likely part of any “grand bargain” to avert the fiscal cliff, how much less is maddeningly unclear. So it’s impossible to make intelligent plans or choices. Keep reading →

While Army forces in Afghanistan have more bandwidth and gadgetry than ever, bases back home still make do with archaic copper-wire telephone switches. As the war winds down and units increasingly operate out of the US, the challenge for the Army’s CIO is to move the whole service to a single set of compatible, cloud-based systems.

How do we get the network right?” Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, the Army’s Chief Information Officer, aka the G-6, asked at an Association of the US Army breakfast. “We’re going to propose that [cloud-based] strategy to [Chief of Staff] Gen. [Ray] Odierno on Saturday the 17th.” Keep reading →

Hey, you want Special Forces? The Army’s got your back. Want air defense? Missile defense? Communications? Intelligence? Logistical support? Joint Task Force headquarters? Go Army!

Just – just please, don’t cut our budget any more, okay? Keep reading →

This November, the Defense Logistics Agency will require companies selling microcircuits to the military to stamp their products with an unlikely seal of authenticity: plant DNA.

It’s an innovative initiative in the fight against counterfeit computer chips, which has been a major concern in the Senate, but it’s only one piece of the answer. DLA plans to put out a formal Request For Information sometime this month to ask industry to offer other, complementary authenticity-checking technologies, and Congress is watching closely. Keep reading →

Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House intelligence committee, slammed the administration’s cybersecurity approach Thursday but expressed guarded optimism that his own stalled legislation — which the White House has threatened to veto — might be revived when Congress reconvenes after the election.

“There was a very good meeting with some members of the Senate,” Rogers told the audience at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s cybersecurity conference this afternoon, speaking immediately after NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander. (The Chamber has campaigned, successfully, against some cybersecurity legislation but endorsed Roger’s Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, CISPA). Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: NSA director and Cyber Command chief Gen. Keith Alexander stepped into the lion’s den Thursday to address the Chamber of Commerce, which helped kill cybersecurity legislation Alexander had strongly backed.

Over and over, Alexander reassured the business-dominated audience at the Chamber’s cybersecurity conference Thursday that the government sought to work together with industry as a “team” through “discussion” to secure the nation’s networks “in a way that is acceptable, and perhaps more importantly fiscally acceptable, to industry.” Over and over, he emphasized that “we don’t need the government in our networks to do this.” In other words: don’t fret about us; don’t fight against us; we won’t push a cybersecurity solution that business (read the chamber) finds intrusive or unaffordable. Keep reading →

The stalemate over sequestration just got deeper with horribly predictable political posturing over the tardy release Friday of the Office of Management and Budget’s congressionally-mandated report on how the drastic automatic cuts would be implemented.

The 394-page report set the stage for the mutual denunciations in its preamble, declaring House Republican proposals to avert the sequester as “particularly irresponsible.” Keep reading →

Sequestration would force the Defense Department and other federal agencies to lay off workers long before the defense industry had to, said a report released today by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Though big defense contractors, led by Lockheed Martin, have warned that the threat of sequestration might require them to send layoff notices to tens of thousands of employees just before the November elections, CSBA’s Todd Harrison said the effects of sequestration on defense companies would be delayed for months or years. Keep reading →

As the Senate reconvenes to debate the Lieberman-Collins cybersecurity bill, President Obama himself has set the stakes in terms of preventing a future catastrophic attack. But some say the real and present danger is what’s happening under our noses right now, in an online theft of intellectual property that Cyber Command chief Gen. Keith Alexander called “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.” Keep reading →

PENTAGON: The Army showed off an impressive array of battlefield wi-fi gadgetry today in the Pentagon courtyard, exhibiting new-found realism about what gadgets it might not need.

Consider the hardware to connect the individual foot soldier to the brigade-wide command network, which has been stripped down from a 14-pound prototype to a militarized smartphone plugged into a handheld radio. Keep reading →

Page 1 of 212