President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping

  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 →

Rep. Randy Forbes

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 →


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 →

Navy photo

O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae mony a blunder free us…. — Robert Burns, “To A Louse” WASHINGTON: A tag-team of Chinese reporters pressed the normally soft-spoken Chief of Naval Operations into making some fairly blunt statements on US-China relations this morning. It was an… Keep reading →

Chinese J-31 stealth fighter

WASHINGTON: The People’s Liberation Army has practiced jamming GPS signals, according to a Pentagon report today. The Chinese are testing those and other electronic warfare weapons and they have “proven effective.” China plans to launch 100 satellites through 2015, including “imaging, remote sensing, navigation, communication, and scientific satellites, as well as manned spacecraft,” says a… Keep reading →

Chinese J-31 stealth fighter

Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted. WASHINGTON: Because China believes it is much weaker than the United States, they are more likely to launch… Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: Wars have started over less. Even as the administration “rebalances” to Asia, it is scrambling to stay out of the region’s escalating territorial disputes. None is more baffling to outsiders than the three-sided conflict over the tiny, uninhabited islands known in Japanese as the Senkakus and in Chinese as the Diaoyus or the Tiaoyutai.

And that dispute keeps escalating. Just this morning, China’s Xinhua news service announced four warships of the rapidly growing PLA Navy had “patrolled” the waters off the Japanese-controlled isles, just the latest in a series of naval probes. On the U.S. side, the Senate passed an annual defense bill that included a (non-binding) “Sense of the Senate” amendment from Virginia’s James Webb pledging the US will stand by its treaty commitments to defend “territories under the administration of Japan,” explicitly including the Senkakus, against “armed attack.” Keep reading →

There’s very little to say about this video, beyond the fact that is funny and enjoyable. The company that produced it is, according to the email I received, a Taiwanese company called Next Media Animation.

The politics of a Taiwanese media company criticizing U.S. Navy spending are delightful. What other country depends more on the deterrent force of U.S. aircraft carriers, their aircraft and accompanying escort ships and submarines? Keep reading →

Washington: Defense giant Boeing is wasting no time pushing its newest attack helicopter onto the international market.

Boeing is already fielding informal solicitations from a number of foreign militaries about the newest version of the Army’s AH-64 Apache. Representatives from several foreign militaries visited Boeing’s facility in Mesa, Arizona to commemorate the delivery of the first Block III Apache to the Army, Mike Burke, director of business development for the company’s attack helicopter division, said yesterday. Keep reading →

Over the last few days, Chinese foreign policy seems to have undergone a 180-degree change. Only a month ago, the Chinese had published a white paper on its policy of “peaceful development,” underscoring that China’s approach to foreign policy was oriented towards peaceful, friendly relations with all states. Yet, in the past week, the message from Beijing has not been one of peace, but one of increasing bellicosity, especially towards its neighbors.

The first crack in the façade arose as the Chinese warned India not to cooperate with Vietnam in oil exploration in the South China Sea. Such exploration was “illegal and invalid,” according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman. A subsequent article from the state-run press agency Xinhua accused the Indians of aggressive moves, while noting that efforts by Vietnam to draw in India, and the Philippines to draw in Japan, would have little impact since all of these states together “can hardly match China in the regional strength and influence, let alone counterbalance and contain China as they expected.” Keep reading →

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