guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto and Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Chebanenko

WASHINGTON: “We are observing the manifestation of a more aggressive, more capable Russian navy,” the US Navy’s top commander in Europe said today. And if that fleet is Putin’s seagoing hammer, missile bases ashore are his land-based anvil. Complementing Russian naval modernization, Adm. Mark Ferguson said, we have seen “the construction of an arc of… Keep reading →

Syria Airstrike map Sept 24

WASHINGTON: In keeping with its increasingly aggressive behavior over the past two years, Russia is deploying lethal and long-ranged anti-aircraft defenses to keep Western forces out of three key regions: the Baltics, the Black Sea, and, now, the Levant. From where NATO’s top commander Gen. Philip Breedlove sits, the Russian forces flowing into Syria don’t look… Keep reading →

A B-1 bomber test-fires a LRASM missile, the anti-ship variant of Lockheed's JASSM

[Updated with Bryan Clark analysis] Lockheed Martin doesn’t like to say it, but their best salesman isn’t getting a bonus this year. That’s because his name is Vladimir Putin. An increasingly aggressive and well-armed Russia is clearly driving its neighbors to build up their own arsenals, and in highly specific ways. Thus the international success of… Keep reading →

NATO photo

RESTON, VA: US command and control networks take too long to link to allies and respond to Russia’s rapid-fire aggression. In Ukraine, “we’ve had at least two, maybe three of these cycles [already, where] they’ll back off, and there’ll be a long kind of quiet period, and then they’ll spike back up,” Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges… Keep reading →

A Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber being escorted away from US airspace by an F-22 in a 2007 incident.

AFA CONFERENCE: “The alarming thing,” said the commander of US Air Forces in Europe, is that the Russians are catching up. “They’ve closed the gap.” “The advantage that we had from the air I can honestly say is shrinking,” Gen. Frank Gorenc said, “not only with respect to the aircraft that they’re producing, but the… Keep reading →


At last night’s debate for those with a real shot at the nomination, there was an inverse proportion between the putative Republican presidential candidates’ places in the polls and the detail of information they offered about the US military. Most of the jaw-jaw — for that’s all it is at this stage in the race… Keep reading →

An American JSF AF-4 from the 461 FLTS, Edwards AFB, CA, piloted by Maj. Charles "FLAK" Trickey performs the first contact and fuel transfer from a KC-767 foreign partner Italian Tanker.

This is one of those intriguing benchmarks that illustrates several things about both the F-35 program — it means a lot to allies — and to the Italian tanker program — it works. Irritatingly, I knew this was supposed to happen but it’s hard to write about something that may happen until it does. We have… Keep reading →

A computer-generated image of a Royal Navy F-35B taking off vertically from the new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will be commissioned July 4th.

WASHINGTON: Prompted by the recent increase in aggressive actions by Russia, Britain’s head of defense procurement says his country is shifting its strategy in reaction. “We are refreshing our national risk assessment, which is influencing our national security strategy,” said Philip Dunne. It is the first time since 2010 that the U.K. has reviewed its strategy,… Keep reading →

  WASHINGTON: The US Army is deploying extra stocks of heavy weapons to Europe to deter Russia’s increasingly naked aggression. These are the most advanced ground weapons America can field — but the tanks and other heavy fighting vehicles in this buildup are the same ones we had the last time the Russians were a danger, back… Keep reading →

Thirty days with space and cyber Airmen

PENTAGON: If a spy satellite is attacked, who will command America’s response — the head of Strategic Command or the Director of National Intelligence? If an Air Force satellite is attacked first, who would command America’s response? These questions are being hotly — but very quietly –debated at the highest reaches of the U.S. government. Since an… Keep reading →

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