Watch the F-35B, the Marines’ fighter of choice, execute a very cool maneuver in this video, taking off straight up into the sky. While very cool, this is not something the Joint Strike Fighter is actually expected to do very often. For one thing, it requires enormous amounts of fuel. Instead, the B model is… Keep reading →
By Robbin Laird and Ed Timperlake The Chinese, who have been shoving their neighbors around with considerable panache over the last year, upped the ante yesterday with a claim in the official People’s Daily — not yet disavowed by the government — that the PRC may have a claim to Okinawa and others of the… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace just released what a spokesman calls the “the first and only unclassified strategic net assessment of the future security dynamic between China, Japan, and the United States-including relative military capabilities and domestic and external variables.”
For those who don’t wallow deeply in the Pentagon’s unique world, a net assessment is a pretty rare bird. A net assessment is not based on a war game or derived from operations research. It includes those elements and more. One expert described it this way: “Scenarios, war games, trend analysis, and considered judgment are the methods most widely used in net assessment studies and analyses.” Keep reading →
I had the privilege to study and work with Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski as a student and for my first research job. With Brzezinski, one is always pushed towards the “Zbig” picture.
It was no different when I recently visited Brzezinski in his office and we settled down to discuss the current Korean crisis and the way ahead to deal with the crisis. One concern which I have had in watching both the discussions about and the policy reactions to the crisis is the implicit assumption that what is occurring now is simply a replay of what has happened earlier. 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 →
WASHINGTON: Transformation is back! Sort of.
The pursuit of transformation, affiliated with the concept known as a Revolution in Military Affairs, became associated with the failed tenure of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and was publicly dropped as a central organizing concept of the military for that reason. Keep reading →
How do you deter a nuclear power like North Korea when it looks as if they just won’t play by the rules of conventional deterrence?
What is the U.S. and allied nuclear and conventional responses to the threat of war on the Korean peninsula? In a world of dynamic learning, the North Koreans watched the NATO-Obama led operation in Libya. They concluded that nucs are very useful to keep the United States and its allies at bay. Keep reading →
[UPDATED 7pm with Sec. Hagel remarks] WASHINGTON: This afternoon, newly installed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave a nod to a high-tech radar, the AN/TPY-2 — improbably nicknamed “Tippy Two” — as a key component of America’s burgeoning missile defenses. Next week could bring more good news for the radar’s manufacturer, Raytheon: Not only will the company announce the delivery of the eighth TPY-2 system to the Army, but Congress is expected to add back a $163 million radar the administration had cut from the program — that is, if the Senate manages to pass the defense appropriations bill.
“It’s not done yet, no fat lady’s singing,” said Raytheon’s Jim Bedingfield in an interview with Breaking Defense this morning, literally knocking on wood at a coffee shop table. Bedingfield is a retired Army air and missile defense officer who works in Raytheon’s Missile Defense & Space Programs unit, which makes the TPY-2 radar. He’s not come down from his Massachusetts office to DC to meet with members of Congress, he said, but he couldn’t speak to what Raytheon’s lobbyists are doing in the last-minute scramble to protect — or insert — items in the defense spending bill. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: “Pure intimidation” is how one of America’s most respected analysts of the Chinese military characterized the act of a Peoples Liberation Army Navy skipper who “painted” a Japanese naval ship with his fire control radar.
The action raises the stakes in an already troubled dispute between the two Pacific powers as they maneuver for influence in the South China Sea, with the current focus being on the uninhabited Senkaku Islands. What’s particularly worrying is the involvement of warships, when previous confrontations were largely limited to Japanese Coast Guard and Chinese non-military “maritime surveillance” vessels. Keep reading →
The start of a new year and of a new administration is a good time to think about the future. A key challenge facing the new Obama administration and the Congress is to ensure that US military capabilities continue to innovate and evolve in challenging times.
Paul Bracken has underscored that we are in a Second Nuclear Age, and in this age deterrence is different, but remains as significant as the first. Bracken is concerned that we are ignoring the rebirth of nuclear weapons within the global dynamic at our peril. Keep reading →