Chinese artificial island landing strip

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech billed as all about a new personnel approach for the Pentagon, laid out a clear line in the sand of the temporary islands the Chinese have been building. He reiterated his “deep concern” about  “China’s pace and scope of land reclamation in the South China Sea.” Then he let… Keep reading →

Ash Carter measuring!

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Ash Carter — for now — is resisting congressional calls to uninvite China from the biggest naval exercise in the world, known as RIMPAC. In a July 16 letter to Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain, Carter goes to some lengths to avoid offending China, on the one hand, and, on 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

UPDATE: CSIS’ Mira Rapp-Hooper Praises Move CAPITOL HILL: The Pentagon wants to help our friends in the Pacific. It’s a core mission given America’s pivot back to the Pacific. But it’s hard to do. You can help their forces train with Foreign Military Financing, but it takes two years or so to get something going, and who gets what is really decided by the State… 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 →

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 →


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 →

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