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(FILES) This file photo taken on Septemb

WASHINGTON: The Navy’s in a carrier crunch. US commanders around the world keep asking for carriers to cover trouble spots from Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan to the Western Pacific and the South China Sea, but the Navy doesn’t have enough to go around. And they may well lose another. In recent years, amazingly, the Navy has managed to increase the number of aircraft… Keep reading →

A Navy cruiser launches a Harpoon anti-ship missile, a 1977 design unsuited for long-range war in the Pacific.

CRYSTAL CITY: “I’ve never wanted to enter any tactical scenario where all I had is a defensive capability. It’s a losing proposition,” said the chief of Pacific Command, Adm. Samuel Locklear. “You will defend yourself until you’re dead.” That was the PACOM commander’s blunt and public response when I asked him about the chronic imbalance between… Keep reading →

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The Army announced new assignments for ten generals this afternoon, but two in particular stand out as signs of the times. They’re sending a battle-hardened artilleryman from the 82nd Airborne Division to the No. 2 job in South Korea and a veteran acquisition officer to Afghanistan. Moving Maj. Gen. Harold Greene from the Army’s acquisition… 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 →

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WASHINGTON: As the crisis over China’s self-declared “air defense identification zone” hits its tenth day with no signs of de-escalation, leading Republican lawmaker Rep. Randy Forbes questioned an apparent concession by the administration over commercial flights. Meanwhile, South Korea is contemplating expanding its own long-standing ADIZ to challenge China’s — but it might do so in a… Keep reading →

A US Air Force B-52 flies over the Pacific on a flight out of Guam. Bombers like this one challenged the Chinese air defense one earlier today.

UPDATED: US Flies B-52 Bombers Through Chinese Zone; Japanese & South Koreans Follow; VP Biden To Ask Beijing For “Clarity” On Their Intentions China escalated tensions with Japan literally sky-high last weekend. After years of shadowboxing at sea around the Senkaku Islands, China’s Ministry of Defense announced a new “Air Defense Identification Zone” with authority… Keep reading →

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REAGAN LIBRARY, SIMI VALLEY, CA: Sometimes you have to listen closely to the soft-spoken Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sometimes the Commandant of the Marine Corps says “hey, Sydney!” and hands you his message on a plate. But this Saturday, both Army Gen. Martin Dempsey and Marine Gen. James Amos were talking about… Keep reading →

HASC Seapower chairman Randy Forbes (R-VA), one of the chief architects of the meeting.

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 →

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 →

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