Pacific

Missile Defense Agency photo

WASHINGTON: The US Army must play a larger role in the Pacific to deter China, one of DC’s leading defense experts is telling Congress today. That larger role requires politically and fiscally difficult decisions to build new kinds of units and base them in new places, Andrew Krepinevich told me in advance of his Capitol… Keep reading →

pentagonaerial

PENTAGON: After 25 years of war in the Middle East, the Pentagon’s 2017 budget is the first driven by Russia and China. “The program has been shifted to a more acute focus on the two high-end competitors, Russia and China,” a senior defense official told Sydney in an interview ahead of Secretary Ash Carter’s budget speech this… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee

[UPDATED with experts’ analysis; “innocent passage” confirmed] WASHINGTON: Just two days after the head of US Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, pledged to push harder on Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, the destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur sailed within the 12 nautical mile limit around Triton Island. Situated in the Paracels, which are claimed… Keep reading →

The USS Lassen, which sailed through Chinese-claimed waters in October 2015

UPDATE: USS Wilbur sails through Paracel Islands Friday WASHINGTON: The United States will keep challenging Chinese claims in the South China Sea, the head of Pacific Command said this afternoon. Such Freedom of Navigation operations will grow in frequency, complexity, and scope, said Adm. Harry Harris. And Harris defended the first such FON operation” since 2012, last October’s cruise of the… Keep reading →

Aegis cruisers and destroyers.

WASHINGTON: Think of international conflicts as earthquakes. Many little ones are better than one “Big One” — a global war. Social science suggests that the more often two rival powers interact, the more likely they are to resolve their differences through many small, manageable conflicts rather than one violent conflagration. That makes naval presence worldwide a very… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

CRYSTAL CITY: Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley offered insight this morning into how the leader of the largest service is racking and stacking the Four Horseman of Pentagon analysis. Miller didn’t explicitly rank them, other than repeating that Russia is Threat No. 1, but the order of danger was pretty clear: Russia, China, North Korea, and… Keep reading →

CSIS image

WASHINGTON: If the United States is serious about “rebalancing” to Asia, it needs to invest some serious cash. Strategic small change won’t deter China or reassure our increasingly anxious allies, says a new report from the influential Center for Strategic & International Studies. And that means the CSIS study’s sponsor — Congress — must get its… Keep reading →

Army photo

WASHINGTON: US and Chinese ships and aircraft are increasingly facing off in the disputed waters of the Pacific. On land, however, the US Army and its PLA counterparts are actually building a stronger relationship. “While it’s very clear we have a competitive relationship also, especially in the air and maritime services, we have a cooperative… Keep reading →

B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber

WASHINGTON: While I hear there are still difficult details to be ironed out, the United States and Australia appear close to agreeing to regularly fly strategic bombers and airborne tankers from Darwin and Tindal air base in Australia. Gen. Lori Robinson, the commander of Pacific Air Forces, told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast this morning that… Keep reading →

Navy photo

CAPITOL HILL: The Navy and Marines are deploying at a pace they can’t sustain, says a report released today.And no feasible defense budget can build a big enough force to solve the problem, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments says. Even the Navy’s famously optimistic 30-year shipbuilding plan — denounced by House seapower chairman Randy… Keep reading →

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