philippines

IMCMEX 2013

This is the second in our exclusive series on the crucial but neglected question of sea mines and how well — or not — the United States manages this very real global threat. Only 4.7 percent of the US Navy’s 275 warships are dedicated to mine warfare. Those small numbers face Iran’s several thousand naval mines, North Korea’s 50,000, China 100,000 or… Keep reading →

Chinese artificial island landing strip

WASHINGTON: What began with a tiny artificial island built by China to stake a concrete claim in the South China Sea is fast on its way to becoming 600 acres of at least seven islands spread across the South China Sea. One of the most impressive is so-called Fiery Cross Island, the permanent structure above complete with… Keep reading →

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin sign $400 billion gas deal

WASHINGTON: The careful diplomatic stagecraft behind President Barack Obama’s recent European visit to celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and to rally the Western alliance against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine was all but swept aside by strong new currents in geopolitics. While Obama talked tough in Poland to reassure NATO’s vulnerable eastern members, Russian President… Keep reading →

sof-in-afghanistan

The commander of US Special Operations Command, Adm. William McRaven, will deliver the keynote speech this morning at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict conference. One of the most respected analysts of special forces, Linda Robinson of the RAND Corp., wants to send a message to the admiral’s bosses and to Congress: special operations… Keep reading →

The US Navy cruiser Cowpens, which nearly collided Dec. 5 with a Chinese navy vessel trying to force it away from China's new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

WASHINGTON: China is hurtling headlong towards a major conflict in the Pacific – but that course can change, one of America’s most creative strategists says. Just four years ago, Beijing welcomed a delegation of 600 Japanese lawmakers and other influentials led by political kingmaker Ichiro Ozawa, and China-Japan relations were warming up so fast that some… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

Last week, almost unnoticed amidst the coverage of Typhoon Haiyan, House Armed Services Committee leaders met quietly with the ambassadors of six Pacific nations — including the Philippines — an unprecedented gathering of top diplomats on Capitol Hill. HASC Seapower subcommittee chairman and occasional BreakingDefense contributor Randy Forbes (R-Va.) made clear in an interview that… Keep reading →

Typhoon haiyan satellite imagery NASA

UPDATED: Navy Activates Hospital Ship USNS Mercy WASHINGTON: The US military’s relief effort for the typhoon-ravaged Philippines is ramping up, with four more V-22s on the way from Japan, the USS George Washington carrier group due any time, the amphibious ships Germantown and Ashland en route, and the intelligence community providing highly detailed geolocation data —… Keep reading →

V-22 operates at Subic Bay, Philippines, during exercise Freedom Banner 2013.

PENTAGON: If there were ever any doubts about the strength of the American commitment to the Philippines, they can be laid to rest by the substantial and growing military rescue forces heading into that beleaguered island state. “The Philippines is a treaty ally and the United States stands by its friends and allies in time… Keep reading →

The US hospital ship Mercy gets resupplied at sea.

UPDATE: Aircraft carrier USS George Washington underway to disaster zone. It is more than a little ghoulish to look at a tragedy that may have killed 10,000 people and see a strategic opportunity. But that’s how strategists have to think. After all, what is war itself but human tragedy exploited for strategic advantage?  And that’s… Keep reading →

A People's Liberation Army soldier during a demonstration for visiting US officers.

WASHINGTON: From this city’s perspective, China looks like a rising giant, liable to dominate its smaller neighbors unless America stands firm. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will likely carry soothing words of reassurance on this very subject to Seoul and Tokyo when he travels there next week. From Beijing’s point of view, however, it is China… Keep reading →

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