China

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 →

People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers

WASHINGTON: “We have found that the PLA suffers from potentially serious weaknesses.” That is the simple and powerful declaration of a new study of China’s military by the RAND Corp., done at the behest of the congressionally-mandated U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. What are those Chinese weaknesses? The report, again, is admirably clear. “The first is… Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: There’s no one thing that keeps the Pentagon’s chief of intelligence up at night. There’s half-a-dozen things — terrorism, cybersecurity, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China — but Mike Vickers has a six-point plan to counter them. “The big challenge we face is really in the aggregation of challenges,” the under secretary for intelligence… Keep reading →

Aegis cruisers and destroyers.

CRYSTAL CITY: “If it floats, it fights,” Rear Adm. Peter Fanta says. “That’s ‘distributed lethality'[:] Make every cruiser, destroyer, amphib, LCS [Littoral Combat Ship], a thorn in somebody else’s side.” “It just takes arming everything,” says Fanta, the director of surface warfare (section N96) on the Navy staff. “Lethality” simply means more and better weapons. “Distributed” means… Keep reading →

USS Washington

Smooth sailing is not in the Navy’s forecast for the next year.The service faces big decisions on major programs, and we can expect clashes between Navy plans, congressional politics and budgetary realities on three of the biggest: the upgunned Littoral Combat Ship, the UCLASS armed drone, and the jewel in the Navy’s crown, the nuclear aircraft carrier. The… Keep reading →

US Army photo

CAPITOL HILL: Where do ground forces fit in the Pentagon’s new offset strategy? The answer may be an intriguing mix of old-fashioned armored forces, mobile missile launchers, and lasers on trucks. While Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s remarks formally launching “offset” were frustratingly vague, we’ve heard plenty from other officials and outside thinkers about how the… Keep reading →

space-debris-aerosapce-corps-1326921318

UPDATED: Heritage’s Dean Cheng Says US May Gain Insight Into PRC Space Organizations WASHINGTON: China has taken the unprecedented step of asking Air Force Space Command to share information about possible satellite and satellite debris collisions. The United States had been sharing so-called conjunction warnings with China through the State Department, but no one knew… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: Someone shoots a cruise missile at you. How far away would you like to stop it: over 200 miles out or less than 35? If you answered “over 200,” congratulations, you’re thinking like the US Navy, which has spent billions of dollars over decades to develop ever more sophisticated anti-missile defenses. According to Bryan… Keep reading →

Bob Work2

WASHINGTON: The “third offset strategy” is officially just four days old, but the man in charge is already lowering expectations for what it will produce. Yes, the Pentagon is absolutely seeking “the key technologies we think will give us a particular operational advantage,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work. Yes, the quest is inspired by… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

ABOARD THE USS ARLINGTON: 17 warships and two submarines. Thousands of personnel from 19 countries. Billions of dollars of high-tech hardware. Months of planning. But sometimes you still have to improvise. When US and Dutch warships and marines united in an international task force for the 2014 Bold Alligator wargames off Virginia, the two countries could… Keep reading →

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