Trump Administration Moves Space Force Plans Forward

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Space Force logo designs were released by the Trump campaign to supporters for a vote. Source: Trump campaign

With a speech by Vice President Mike Pence, along with an interim report issued by the Pentagon, the U.S. government has begun laying out its plan to create a Space Force as a branch of the U.S. military. The plans will shake up an organization that has managed the launch of 116 satellites over the past eight years. Continue reading

President Trump Touts an Air Traffic Control System that Is Similar to Canada’s

by Greg Giaquinto, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Air Traffic Control Radar. Source: Pixnio

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to relinquish America’s air traffic control (ATC) system to a private, nonprofit entity with its own board comprising airlines, unions, airports, and federal officials, according to Wired.  In essence, Mr. Trump wants to privatize ATC to look something like a corporation.  This would be similar to Canada’s ATC system.  Continue reading

Andrés Manuel López Obrador Wins Presidency in Mexico

by Bill Ostrove, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

Andrés Manuel López Obrador won a resounding victory in Mexico’s presidential elections held on June 30.  With about two-thirds of the vote counted, López Obrador has over 20 million votes, or about 53.3 percent of the total. His next closest competitor, Ricardo Anaya Cortés, has only 22.5 percent, while José Antonio Meade Kuribreña of the ruling PRI Party has only 16 percent. Continue reading

Trump Calls for Space Force

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

In a move designed to disrupt the military space establishment, President Donald Trump called for the creation of the Space Force as a “separate but equal” branch of the U.S. military. While Trump has mentioned the creation of a Space Force previously, the June 18, 2018, announcement came as a surprise. The Department of Defense and the White House both opposed earlier congressional plans to separate space operations from the rest of the Air Force. Continue reading

Merkel’s Comments Bring Germany’s Defense Budget Clash Under the Microscope

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Following the move by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 8 to declare that the United States would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran nuclear deal, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated – for the second time in a year – that Europe can no longer count on the United States for its protection.  Continue reading

President Trump Nears Decision on Iran Nuclear Deal

by Derek Bisaccio, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

White House briefing on situation in Syria in April 2018, ahead of President Trump’s decision to conduct missile strikes on Syrian government positions. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead.

Toward the end of April, French President Emmanuel Macron made a three-day state visit to the United States to meet with his American counterpart, President Donald Trump, to discuss in particular the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal. The French president, who enjoys a productive relationship with President Trump, sought to urge his American counterpart to remain in the deal. Continue reading

EU Taking Steps to Bring Harmony to Its Discordant Defense Market

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

After years of talk with little to show for it, the governments of Europe are finally moving forward with long-held cooperative defense ambitions through the auspices of the European Union. The announcement by the EU on June 7 of a European Defense Industrial Program co-financed by members to the tune of EUR500-EUR590 million annually through 2020, thereafter growing to EUR1-EUR1.5 billion annually, marks the launch of an effort to bring commonality and unity to an otherwise fragmented market. Continue reading

NASA’s FY18 Budget Allotment Offers a Few Surprises, Though Agency is Largely Unscathed

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV)

President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 18 federal budget proposal – released on May 23 –  includes a few surprises for NASA.  While much has been made of the many cuts to social programs in the president’s budget, NASA’s funding remains largely unchanged – with a few notable exceptions. Continue reading

Homeland Missile Defenses Remain Too Limited ~ Report

Pamela Hurt, Forecast International.

GMD FTG-05 takes off in 2008 prior to a successful intercept test. Source: Missile Defense Agency

At an April 7th launch of a new report entitled, “Missile Defense 2020: Next Steps for Defending the Homeland,”[i] lead author Thomas Karako, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, offered four types of development likely to protect the U.S. homeland most effectively in the near term. Continue reading

Gulf Allies See Friend in Trump Administration

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud walk along the West Colonnade of the White House in March 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s first 100 days saw a flurry of activity on both the domestic and foreign fronts as the new president seeks to address what he sees as the policy shortcomings of his predecessor and enact the pledges he made on the campaign trail. These efforts have at times prompted bipartisan support while at other times drawn fierce condemnation from the opposition Democratic Party and even his own Republican Party. Continue reading