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The problem with the Pentagon’s ‘lethality’ branding

The word “lethality” has attached itself to a stream of press releases coming out of the Pentagon.

A former secretary of Defense created a whole task force to examine ways to boost lethality of our armed forces. The Army’s new AI program, the so-called Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System, or ATLAS, would allow ground combat vehicles the ability “to acquire, identify, and engage targets at least 3X faster than the current manual process.”

Few would question the need for our armed forces to maintain their competitive edge. A key component of that may be boosting the lethality of certain platforms, whether to protect our forces or deter an adversary from going to war in the first place, especially as the country shifts from fighting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan toward addressing larger threats like Russia or China.

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The Pentagon?s 2020 Budget Asks for Nearly 380 Aircraft, But One Buy Is Raising Eyebrows

The Trump Administration?s 2020 Budget is out, and the Pentagon is asking for 17 more aircraft than it received in 2019. A quick tally of the aircraft shows the number of fighter jets and unmanned aerial vehicles the services are asking for is down slightly, while the number of helicopters is up. Also, the Air Force is purchasing eight new F-15s in a deal that smells fishy, given the Acting Secretary of Defense?s work career.

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DoD is rethinking what defines a major aviation accident

The Pentagon is considering revisions to the dollar amounts and damage levels that qualify an aircraft accident as a major mishap to better reflect the expense of repairing advanced jets. But such changes could lead to less visibility into the actual state of aviation safety, government watchdogs cautioned.

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