Russia

Sir Peter Westmacott, the British Ambassador to the United States.

THE WATERGATE: United we stand, Great Britain’s ambassador to the US insisted today. Despite all the strains on the Atlantic alliance — post-Snowden backlash against American spying, rising anti-EU sentiment in Britain, German dependence on Russian energy — the US, the UK, and their continental European allies stand together against what he called Russian “hybrid… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED 2:10 pm with comment from President Obama & Pentagon spokesman Kirby] Western media are hardly going easy on Russia. But in all the often-excellent coverage I’ve read so far of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 disaster – which claimed 295 lives – no one* is pointing out two basic facts that point towards Russia and… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →

FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: The trains ran a wee late this morning but the weather was glorious, a perfect English summer day that would have suited the F-35 to a tee for its foreign debut. Perhaps the most arresting fact of this show is that while the American military was absent from the last Paris Air… Keep reading →

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The F-35 Lightning II European debut in July will be welcome, but it remains the Punch and Judy program of the defense aerospace sector, with boosters and detractors taking turns to bash each other’s argument as to the project’s value — or lack thereof. The debate, though sometime not worthy of the word, has risked… 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 →

Observer, Mentor, Liaison Team members, Maj. Jim Hickman and Latvian army Maj. Juris Abolins, patrols through the village of Nishagam, in Konar province, Afghanistan alongside members of the Afghan national army, March 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Moeller) http://www.nationalguard.mil/news/archives/2009/03/033009-Afghanistan.aspx

LATVIAN EMBASSY, WASHINGTON: “We are neighbors of Russia and we have always been realists,” Ambassador Andris Razans told me. “Sometimes we might be characterized as alarmists, troublemakers, etc., but I think we are realists.” Even as President Obama exchanges tense words with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of today’s D-Day anniversary ceremony, many Americans and… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: If you want to understand why President Obama spoke so much about terrorism in his widely panned West Point speech, the head of Pentagon intelligence explained it pretty well today. Terrorism is and remains the top threat to the United States, Defense Undersecretary for Intelligence Mike Vickers said this morning at the Center for… Keep reading →

North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong-un.

WASHINGTON: The US, Russia, and China — despite all their other differences — can agree on a basic approach to how to deal with North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. The bad news? That approach can’t work. Despite disputes ranging from the Crimean peninsula to the Senkaku Islands, the US and its allies can still form a united front with Russia and… Keep reading →

F-35 Japan concept

WASHINGTON: It is a story that tells a great deal about the sophistication of Chinese military leaders, as well as why air shows happen. Steve O’Bryan, one of Lockheed Martin’s top executives for the F-35 program, was seated across the table from the chief of China’s air force almost two years ago at the gala… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle, who has come to serve as a key Pentagon spokesman on Chinese issues, told several hundred insiders that China may be considering creation of two new Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ) and warned the rising power against any such move. “You also have potential for either a… Keep reading →

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