Pacific

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UPDATE: Exclusive McCain Comment; Senate Staffer Chides White House For Inaction WASHINGTON: In a dramatic example of the increasing friction in the Spratly Islands between China, the United States and most of China’s neighbors, the US Navy today released a video of a P-8 surveillance plane crew as the PLA Navy challenges it while the plane… Keep reading →

Missile Defense Agency photo

WASHINGTON: North Korea can’t nuke the US, not yet. But boy dictator Kim Jong-un already has about a thousand ballistic missiles capable of reaching South Korea and, in some cases, Japan. Most are Scud-like weapons with conventional explosives but a few might be nuclear-tipped. Against a large-scale launch, former Pentagon strategist Van Jackson said this morning, the missile… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: The seas are shrinking. As missiles grow longer-ranged and more precise, as sensors grow ever sharper, there are ever fewer places for a ship to hide. “A ship’s a fool to fight a fort,” goes an old naval adage, because a land base can carry more ammunition and armor than anything that floats. Admirals… Keep reading →

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 →

A US Navy attack submarine enters Apra Harbor in Guam.

THE FUTURE: Imagine you’re a Chinese high commander, taking stock at the outbreak of the next great war. All your aides and computer displays tell you the same thing: For hundreds of miles out into the Western Pacific, the sea and sky are yours. They are covered by the overlapping threat zones of your long-range land-based missiles, your… 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 raising concerns about the network’s resiliency against a… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED with Congressional comment] Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reassured the Army today that its role is not “eroding” or “diminishing,” despite shrinking budgets, the rebalance to the watery Pacific theater, and the Obama administration’s commitment to “no boots on the ground” against self-proclaimed Islamic State. Instead, echoing comments by the Army’s own leaders, Hagel said… Keep reading →

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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 →

Bio Photo

WASHINGTON: We’ve got bus-sized satellites that can probably see any blemishes on Chairman Mao’s badly rebuilt face from space (didn’t know about that, did you?). We’ve got U-2s with their superb sensors watching the Chinese coast (for now). We’ve got P-8s scanning the seas for Chinese submarines and testing their radar. Our subs — hopefully — cruise… Keep reading →

Navy officers from the US (left) and China (right) meet in Qingdao on Monday.

We write a lot on this site on tactics and technologies for a war with China. But it’s worth remembering there’s another way. The US Navy in particular spends as much effort engaging Chinese leaders as it does deterring them. It’s a balancing act so delicate that the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert,… Keep reading →

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