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UPDATED: Adds House Letter To White House CAPITOL HILL: Defense officials acknowledged today that the US has not directly challenged the sovereignty of China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea for at least three years. US aircraft have not flown over the artificial islets. Nor have US ships sailed within 12 nautical miles of one… Keep reading →


When Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work unveiled what we are now, unfortunately, calling the JICSPOC, there were many many questions and few answers. Among the most important questions was: if spy and military satellites are being flown and monitored from the same place and a satellite appears to be under attack, who will command — the Intelligence… Keep reading →

PLA Navy destroyer Qinqdao

WASHINGTON: In an intriguing and potentially significant declaration, the Chinese military declares: “Regardless of what corner of the earth, so long as it is blue there we will be on guard.” The declaration comes in an impressive recruiting video for the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). “It’s beautifully done; really tugs at the heartstrings,” says Dean Cheng, the… Keep reading →

US Navy photo

WASHINGTON: You’d expect the top admiral in the Japan Self-Defense Force to talk about defending Japan. But Adm. Tomohisa Takei surprised me on his latest visit to Washington — his third in 10 months — with a speech that clearly demonstrates how Japan is broadening its strategic perspective. The new view from Tokyo takes in the Indian… Keep reading →

Chinese artificial island landing strip

CAPITOL HILL: Adm. John Richardson sailed through his Senate confirmation hearing this morning. But two ominous issues breached the surface, hinting at growing conflict between the administration and Hill Republicans over how to handle China. Richardson, an experienced submariner nominated for Chief of Naval Operations, deftly dodged the difficult questions from Senate Armed Services Committee: Does US-China… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

WASHINGTON: Randy Forbes pretty much looks like a hawk. The House seapower subcommittee chairman has fought for a bigger battle fleet with long-range drone bombers, called for China to be kicked out of the international RIMPAC wargames and blasted the Obama administration for its lack of a tough Pacific strategy. But does that mean China… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

WASHINGTON: What’s the strategy for coping with what everyone on Capitol Hill and inside the Obama administration agrees is an increasingly assertive China? The White House can’t answer, Rep. Randy Forbes says, “because they don’t have it.” So, it’s fair to ask: what is Forbes’s strategy, then? The House seapower chairman’s outline for a “winning strategy” boils down… Keep reading →

Army photo

UPDATED: Russia is No. 1 threat, Milley tells Senate; give “defensive” arms to Ukraine CAPITOL HILL: The world has changed, and not for the better. That’s the message Gen. Mark Milley brings to the Senate this morning. The current Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno, has often said the Army cannot execute the national… Keep reading →

Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces soldier.

WASHINGTON: How can we deter — or, in the last resort, defeat — a more assertive China? Air and naval forces may not be enough. While the US Army is ambivalent, the Japanese army may have some lessons for their ground force counterparts in America. “They’re not standing around waiting for us to do something,” Andrew… Keep reading →

Army photo

PENTAGON: What would World War III look like? Ask a Ukrainian. In their war against Russia, Ukrainian troops have endured artillery bombardments like nothing Americans have seen since World War II. Russian electronic attacks against radio communications are like nothing the US has seen — ever. So even as Washington debates further training — and perhaps arming — the… Keep reading →

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