As Washington gears up for the visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, right on the heels of the Pontiff, there is a growing urgency for the United States to make clear to Beijing that its behavior is leading to increased tension at both the bilateral and regional level. But, there appears little appetite for… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Ash Carter — for now — is resisting congressional calls to uninvite China from the biggest naval exercise in the world, known as RIMPAC. In a July 16 letter to Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain, Carter goes to some lengths to avoid offending China, on the one hand, and, on the… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: What’s the strategy for coping with what everyone on Capitol Hill and inside the Obama administration agrees is an increasingly assertive China? The White House can’t answer, Rep. Randy Forbes says, “because they don’t have it.” So, it’s fair to ask: what is Forbes’s strategy, then? The House seapower chairman’s outline for a “winning strategy” boils down… Keep reading →
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 →
WASHINGTON: The Justice Department’s indictment of five People’s Liberation Army officers on charges of cyber-espionage may prove to be a double-edged sword for the US military. The Department of Justice announced the indictments for cyber espionage on Monday. While the Justice Department accused the five of stealing things, the Chinese have a very different view.… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: As the administration courts New Zealand’s support for its new Pacific strategy, at least some submariners are uneasy that the US might make too many concessions at the expense of the nuclear navy.
“The SecDef for some reason became fascinated with New Zealand,” said Rear Adm. Robert Thomas, noting the country’s contributions in Afghanistan and its strategic location in the South Pacific. “So the SecDef [Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta] kind of threw ’em a bone recently with respect to maybe some policy changes down the road.” Keep reading →
PENTAGON: With a new military strategy emphasizing Asia and alliance-building, the U.S. Pacific Fleet today kicked off its largest international exercise in years, known as “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC).
Some 42 ships are representing 22 countries, including India, which the US has been wooing as a counterweight to China, and Russia, once the presumed enemy in the annual “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC) exercise. The Chief of Naval Operations told reporters today that, heck yeah, the Chinese would be welcome too: “The more the better,” he said. Keep reading →