US Defense Analyst

The senior editorial advisor for SLDInfo.com, Dr. Robbin F. Laird is a a long-time analyst of global defense issues. He has worked in the U.S. government and several think tanks, including the Center for Naval Analysis and the Institute for Defense Analysis. He is a Columbia University alumnus, where he taught and worked for several years at the Research Institute of International Change, a think tank founded by Dr. Brzezinski. He is a frequent op-ed contributor to the defense press, and has written several books on international security issues.

Articles by this writer

July 2022  |  Magazine

It has been almost a year since Australia cancelled its diesel submarine contract with the French Naval Group, preparing to instead acquire nuclear powered attack submarines. The most significant aspect of that decision is that Australia had taken a path that has been quietly evolving for some time, launching its next phase of strategic development.

June 2021  |  Magazine

The North Atlantic is a core part of the global defence challenge. Under the leadership of U.S. Vice-Admiral Lewis and his Canadian as Vice Commander, the "new" U.S. 2nd fleet is breaking the mold to create a reconfigurable force that can seamlessly integrate with other fleets. This includes forging strong relationships, utilizing new technologies, and building innovative concepts of operations.

April 2021  |  Magazine

The focus on building resilience and enhanced sovereignty and security, made even more relevant by the pandemic, has led the current Australian government to invest $1B to fast-track the creation of a new Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise, intended to boost skilled jobs and help secure its sovereign defence capabilities.

February 2021  |  Opinion

The question of the direct defense in Europe today is broader than just the Russian challenge. More than ever before, global alliances allow nations to work together, and that achievement is key to creating multi-national coalitions of the willing and fortify real deterrents.

December 2020  |  Featured Article, Magazine

The shift from land wars to conflicts in contested air and sea spaces, means new concepts of operations and systems are developing, and this requires collaboration between the services. 

September 2020  |  Magazine

The Royal Australian Navy plays a big part in Australia’s extensive transformation process. The new procurement approach has been labelled a “continuous shipbuilding process,” and has the potential to impact defence procurement processes of its allies.

January 2019  |  Magazine

The evolution of the role of fighters is at the center of the shift to recraft combat capabilities and operations as operational contexts change.

September 2018  |  Magazine

The Nordic perspective on the importance of the cross-border training and how it affects allied relationships across NATO.

September 2018  |  Magazine

The Nordic perspective on the importance of the cross-border training and how it affects allied relationships across NATO.

May 2018  |  Magazine

Expanded tool sets used by adversaries to influence culture, actions and decisions of liberal democracies is the focus of a new Centre of Excellence in Europe.

November 2017  |  Magazine

Adapting to anti-submarine warfare (ASW) requires mastering new technologies that provide capabilities to leverage reachback systems, robust networks, and distributed strike options.

November 2017  |  Magazine

Danish government has released a new defence agreement covering the next six years of defense expenditure and planning. It also defines the top two threats to focus on in terms of priorities and spending.

September 2017  |  Magazine

The rebuilding of Russia’s Northern fleet and its defense bastion built around the Kola Peninsula creates a direct challenge to Norway, and is of strategic interest to all of the Arctic Council States.

April 2017  |  Magazine, Magazine

Norway is in an especially interesting and perhaps precarious situation or, put another way, is at the crossroads of 21st century history.

November 2016  |  Opinion

Several trends are underway at the same time, and they add up to a significant redefinition of the global scene, power and policy priorities.

October 2016  |  Magazine

DCNS will be working with Australia to ensure an evolving and integrated approach for the build and the sustainment of the submarine.

October 2016  |  Magazine

The Australian Navy will be acquiring new platforms and is looking closely at the “integrateability” of those new platforms with Army, Air Force – and space capabilities as well.

August 2016  |  Magazine

A look at Australia’s final choice to build a new class of advanced-­capability diesel/electric-powered submarines. Innovative collaboration is changing the way major procurements are benefitting both buyer and seller.

July 2016  |  Opinion, Industry News

It can be easy to overlook how revolutionary a vertical lift aircraft that can operate at supersonic speeds actually is.

May 2016  |  Magazine

U.S. Admiral Gortney talks of the need to widen the scope of the NORAD/NORTHCOM role.

April 2016  |  Opinion

Australia's Chief of the Army weighs in on the future of the joint environment. The core challenge is the co-evolution of ground, air and naval forces to deliver a timely capability.

March 2016  |  Magazine

To ­protect and exploit the valuable energy supplies on its continental shelf, Norway has established approaches and procedures for the future development of energy supplies in its key High North / Arctic region.

February 2016  |  Opinion

The Australian government has recently released a comprehensive new Defence White Paper, along with two accompanying documents, to create more than a platform shopping list.

February 2016  |  Opinion

With Putin aggressively reshaping Russia's place in the world, it will be crucial to shape a real policy towards deterrence of Russia, and it is worthwhile to revisit the Reagan strategy.

February 2016  |  Magazine

Leaders think in terms of logistics, but the operational enablers often fall victim to pointy-end procurement programs.

February 2016  |  Magazine, Magazine

Air dominance needs to be established and ensured, rather than assumed.

December 2015  | 

How much more hybrid can you get than the current situation over Syria? Airpower needs to seamlessly operate in all airspace – uncontested, contestable and contested.

November 2015  |  Opinion

Recently, SLD published an article on the Turkish shoot-down of a Russian aircraft. A former USAF pilot commented.

November 2015  |  Opinion

When analysts and intelligence experts were highlighting the warming sun of the Arab Spring, there was much hope: democracy was in the air and many believed the gap between Islam and the West might be closing.

November 2015  |  Opinion

Training jumps the concept of interoperability and jumps straight into an unprecedented level of integration.

September 2015  | 

A strategy built around shaping innovative ways to integrate assets in support of air and joint operations.

September 2015  |  Opinion

The Aussies Shape a Path of Combat Innovation: Plan Jericho and the Way Ahead. I recently returned from Australia where the Royal Australian Air Force is put in motion what they call Plan Jericho. In effect, the RAAF is providing the Australian Defense Force with an approach to transform jointness, or how the various elements of the ADF can work together to enhance combat effect.

July 2015  |  Magazine

Using global lessons learned, the Brits are re-inventing the large deck carrier.

May 2015  |  Innovation

The case of the Airbus A400M. The tragic crash of an A400M during test flight, reminds us of how risky the introduction of new systems can be. An April tour of the Airbus facilities in Spain helps put risk and the drive to perfect into perspective.

March 2015  |  Magazine, Magazine

The current Chief of U.S. Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, has focused considerable attention on digital operations in the re-set of the U.S. Navy and its approach to 21st century operations. From electronic warfare, to digital interoperability, to integrated fire support and cyber security, the Admiral has underscored that mastering the digital domain is an essential warfighting competence.

January 2015  |  Magazine, Magazine

Unexpected new deployments to Iraq created some imperatives that helped pave the way for new RAAF efficiencies.

November 2014  |  Magazine

Pilots and maintainers of today’s and tomorrow’s fleets are handling more complex aircraft than ever before in history. For pilots, this requires significant proficiencies that go beyond simply being a competent “flyer” of an airplane.

September 2014  |  Magazine

Land wars of the past decade have led to a significant redirection of military forces, particularly in the United States. Will this new focus help thwart and destroy ISIS? Can supporting the Kurdish military win against the “Islamic State” jihadists?

July 2014  |  Innovation, Magazine

America-class amphibious assault ships incorporate a number of visionary innovations.

July 2014  |  Innovation, Magazine

Sustaining reach is a key operational objective for effective air power.

May 2014  |  Innovation, Magazine

The vastness of the Pacific region exemplifies the need for, and amplifies the challenges of cooperation.

March 2014  |  Innovation, Magazine, Magazine

A recent RAAF-sponsored Air Power conference examined the evolving Aussie air combat approach.

November 2013  |  Interviews, Magazine

Could the most significant post-Afghan development of unmanned vehicles be to shape cooperative relationships with indigenous forces in pursuit of shared counter-insurgency objective.

November 2013  |  Magazine

Canada could be in a pole position to shape allied efforts for an Arctic C2 and ISR grid to cover the High North.

September 2013  |  Innovation, Magazine

For JSF pilots, increased situational awareness brings new combat options.

September 2013  |  Magazine

For maximum leverage in future acquisitions, Canada should find key opportunities in global supply chains.

July 2013  |  Magazine

Thinking back on the B-17 and commemorating the combat sacrifices of WWII's Mighty 8th.

July 2013  |  Magazine

With major acquisitions slated for the years ahead, some challenges to the assumptions underlying the Jenkins Report on Canadian defence requirements and industrial capability.

March 2013  |  Magazine, Magazine

Airpower is ­central to 21st century security; but not by supporting aircraft with limited aviation tanking assets.

January 2013  |  Interviews, Magazine, Magazine

As the Arctic ice shrinks, the vulnerabilities grow. A conversation about Arctic strategy with Commander NORAD and NORTHCOM, U.S. General Charles Jacoby.

January 2013  |  Innovation, Magazine, Magazine

From troubled program to transformation reality, the Osprey has emerged to offer astoundingly flexible capabilities. Are new capabilities and proven frontline performance worth the price?