Japan

IMCMEX 2013

This is the second in our exclusive series on the crucial but neglected question of sea mines and how well — or not — the United States manages this very real global threat. Only 4.7 percent of the US Navy’s 275 warships are dedicated to mine warfare. Those small numbers face Iran’s several thousand naval mines, North Korea’s 50,000, China 100,000 or… Keep reading →

US soldiers exercising in Japan as part of "Pacific Pathways"

PENTAGON: From hunting jungle animals to communicating across the ocean, US Army soldiers learned much in the first Pacific Pathways wargames that Iraq and Afghanistan never taught them. Those exercises are part of the service’s effort to reinvent itself as it shrinks, heading from a wartime peak of 570,000 to 450,000 or below. Instead of prolonged, large-scale… Keep reading →

US Army photo

PENTAGON: As the US Army deploys more troops to the Pacific, it’s running into the limits of its long-range communications systems. The shortfall in comms capacity is not only becoming an issue as the service ramps up its “Pacific Pathways” exercises with Asian partners: It is also raisibng concerns about the network’s resiliency against a… Keep reading →

Israeli pilots check out V-22

Reports that Israel’s plan to buy a dozen V-22 Osprey tiltrotor troop transports is dead are — as Mark Twain said after reading his own incorrect obituary — greatly exaggerated. A U.S. Letter of Agreement offering a bargain price and early delivery of the first six of 12 Ospreys requested by Israel formally expired on Wednesday amid… Keep reading →

f-35cproduction

WASHINGTON: Lockheed and the government made it official today, signing the $4.7 billion eighth Low Rate Initial Production contract for the F-35. Here’s the full price and the official language: “Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $4,123,746,486 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive firm-target contract (N00019-13-C-0008) for… 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 →

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping

WASHINGTON: New agreements between the US and China will reduce the risks of accidental war in the western Pacific. That’s good news — but don’t imagine for a minute that it changes the fundamentals of the competition. Chinese president Xi Jinping’s summit deals with President Obama and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe represent Xi’s tactical… Keep reading →

Anzac Day 2012 at Gallipoli, Turkey

SYDNEY: In World War II, this country served the allied cause as a giant aircraft carrier and port, providing planes, men and materiel to deploy throughout the Pacific. Allied aircraft flew from the northeastern town of Cairns during the Battle of the Coral Sea — known by some as the “battle that saved Australia.” The… Keep reading →

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin sign $400 billion gas deal

WASHINGTON: The careful diplomatic stagecraft behind President Barack Obama’s recent European visit to celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and to rally the Western alliance against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine was all but swept aside by strong new currents in geopolitics. While Obama talked tough in Poland to reassure NATO’s vulnerable eastern members, Russian President… Keep reading →

A North Korean Taepodong missile launcher on parade.

WASHINGTON: Missile defense is notoriously technically challenging, but sometimes the biggest problem isn’t tech, but trust. Even the most advanced systems can’t stop Iranian or North Korean missiles if America’s allies can’t cooperate to integrate those systems into a regional defense, because ballistic missiles can move too fast and far for a single country to… Keep reading →

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