Presdient Obama calls Vladimir Putin

When James Kitfield contacted us last year about writing for us, we were pleased because few writers have such a gift for spotting major strategic issues and writing about them first and writing about them with grace and clarity. The following piece in which he asks the seminal question — is America in global retreat… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: Australia used both black and white and multispectral satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe satellites shot on March 16 to search for the purported wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. A source familiar with the issues said DigitalGlobe supplied several types of imagery other than the black and white satellite photos. The Australians used multispectral but… Keep reading →

Gen. Hawk Carlisle2

 After a week of discussions with Pacific Air Forces staff, Robbin Laird sat down in Hawaii with Hawk Carlisle, their commander. The conversation took place just after the North Koreans had fired missiles into South Korean waters during an allied exercise for the defense of South Korea. Laird, a member of our Board of Contributors, is… Keep reading →

(FILES) This file photo taken on Septemb

WASHINGTON: The Navy’s in a carrier crunch. US commanders around the world keep asking for carriers to cover trouble spots from Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan to the Western Pacific and the South China Sea, but the Navy doesn’t have enough to go around. And they may well lose another. In recent years, amazingly, the Navy has managed to increase the number of aircraft… Keep reading →

Gen. Hawk Carlisle

We interviewed Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the commander of Pacific Air Forces, at the Air Force Association’s Pacific Forum in Los Angeles, about the challenges facing the U.S. and its allies in shaping a 21st century Pacific defense strategy. The general emphasized the central role engaging our allies is playing for the Air Force in the Pacific. “The chief… Keep reading →

A Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier like those that jettisoned live bombs near Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

[updated Wednesday 11:15 am] Yes, it is a bad idea to drop bombs on a World Heritage site, even when they aren’t armed to explode. But it’s arguably better than dropping the bombs on people. Australians are understandably upset after US Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers, participating in a joint US-Australian exercise called Talisman Saber, jettisoned… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: The US presence in the remote northern Australian port of Darwin will soar from its current 250 troops to 1,000 next year and ultimately to 2,200, granting a full Marine Expeditionary Unit an effective base of operations. Although the general agreement had been made in 2011, the renewed commitment is likely to elicit a… Keep reading →

Australian Security Intelligence Organization ASIO

UPDATED: ManTech Cyber Expert Comment Added WASHINGTON: One day after reports that China has launched powerful and persistent cyber espionage attacks on a wide array of US and allied weapons systems, including stealing blueprints for a new building to house Australia’s top counterintelligence organization, the Pentagon spokesman says this has not led to an “erosion… Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: Singapore is expected to announce sometime in the next 10 days that it plans to buy its first squadron –12 planes — of some 75 of Lockheed Martin’s F-35Bs, further bolstering what had been the flagging fortunes of the world’s most expensive conventional weapon system.

The fact that American allies in the Pacific are the ones committing to the controversial and over-budget aircraft is telling. If you want to understand the calculus driving these choices, first look at China, which to countries such as Singapore, Japan, Australia, and South Korea is the primary long-term threat. Keep reading →

If the US fails to innovate in its re-shaping of its forces in the Pacific, it cannot effectively play the crucial role which is essential to a strategy focused on our allies. Without innovation, the US cannot protect its interests in the Pacific, ranging from the Arctic to Australia, and will lose the significant economic benefits which presence and protection of our interests provide.

The protection of the US and its allies is valuable in and of itself. But it is inextricably intertwined with the economic viability of the United States in the Pacific and beyond. As the Commandant of the USMC, Gen. James Amos, has underscored: “From our allies’ perspective, virtual presence is actual absence.” Keep reading →

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