Vietnam

Adm Locklear @ Pentagon 140729-D-ZZ999-612

PENTAGON: Even as the latest Mideast war sucks in more US attention and resources — as well as wannabe jihadis from around the world — the outgoing chief of Pacific Command emphasized the much-derided “rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” is still going strong. Despite sequestration budget cuts the US is still strong enough to handle both theaters at… Keep reading →

A Chinese Navy J-11 fighter buzzes a US P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane off Hainan Island in August.

O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae mony a blunder free us…. — Robert Burns, “To A Louse” WASHINGTON: A tag-team of Chinese reporters pressed the normally soft-spoken Chief of Naval Operations into making some fairly blunt statements on US-China relations this morning. It was an… Keep reading →

A destroyed North Vietnamese Army tank. The NVA responded to US firepower by switching nimbly from conventional offensives to guerrilla tactics -- as the so-called Islamic State seems to be doing now.

US aircraft are flying “50 to 60″ sorties a day over Iraq, from food drops to airstrikes, but their impact is local and “very temporary,” the Pentagon’s director of operations told reporters this afternoon. While Lt. Gen. William Mayville didn’t say so outright, it’s clear the majority of missions are still “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance”… Keep reading →

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PENTAGON: Interspersed with strong declarations by Gen. Fang Fenghui,  head of the People’s Liberation Army’s general staff, that China is right in all of its territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, there were clear indications that the United States and China are grappling with how to craft a more stable and more intimate… Keep reading →

America counts heavily on a cordon of allies stretching from Japan to the north down to Thailand, and across to India, in the highly unlikely event of war with China. But these same allies could draw the U.S. into strictly local disputes in which America does not always have a clear security interest and which could destabilize the region.

Asian powers including India and Japan possess large, sophisticated navies and air arms which, combined with U.S. Pacific forces, could outgun the rapidly-modernizing People’s Liberation Army in wartime. And in peacetime, these same regional powers can help as counters to Beijing’s growing influence. Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: Nixon, Ford, and Carter aren’t anyone’s three favorite presidents. But defense policymakers today could learn something from how they handled the hard times of the 1970s: They shifted costly security burdens to foreign partners while pulling US forces out, and they cut defense budgets generally while protecting long-term investments in “seed corn” technologies that would pay off later, like stealth then or robotics now.

Those are some surprising conclusions of a report on “Strategy In Austerity” being released today by Andrew Krepinevich and his co-authors at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Looking at both US and British history, the report argues that current prophesies of American decline are overstated. We’ve been in dire geostrategic and economic straits before, Krepinevich and company write, but we still managed to strategize our way out — and it didn’t take Founding Father-class leadership to do it. Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: Just back from his trip to Asia, the jet-lagged Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff attended graduation ceremonies at the Pentagon’s National Defense University, where he singled out NDU’s first-ever Vietnamese graduate, a colonel in the People’s Army of Vietnam, as an example of the kind of relationship-building the US military must do around the world and especially in the Pacific.

“Practicing the science of human relationships,” said Gen. Martin Dempsey, “is crucial to the survival of civilization.” Keep reading →