2:06 PM, Oct 22, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Chinese want a modern and formidable blue-water Navy. Hard to be a serious global player without one. Equally difficult, it seems, to create one. Especially the aviation component, where the United State has no equals and, in fact, no other nation even comes close.
China’s navy, as Robert Beckhusen of Real Clear Defense reports, is having its problems with the carrier Liaoning:
… 53,000-ton, 999-foot-long carrier [that] could be dangerous to her crew and prone to engine failures. If so, that makes the vessel as much of a liability as an asset to Beijing.
… on at least one occasion during recent sea trials, Liaoning appeared to suffer a steam explosion which temporarily knocked out the carrier’s electrical power system. The failure, reported by Chinese media site Sina.com, resulting from a leak in “the machine oven compartment to the water pipes.”
The ship was actually built by the Soviet Union, back when it had dreams of ruling the waves, and the ship’s construction is evidence of its origins. It is a piece of nautical junk, like the :
The 50,000-ton Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov [which] goes nowhere without a tug escort in case her engines break down while underway.
Liaoning is more alike to its ex-Soviet cousins than different—confined to home ports and restricted from challenging rivals like India.
The United States Navy scraps better aircraft carriers (e.g. the Enterprise) than any other nation builds or sails.
3:20 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Satellite photographs released yesterday show that the explosion Monday at an Iranian military base at Parchin, where the clerical regime is believed to be working on its nuclear weapons program, did significant damage. The images obtained by Israeli media outlet Israel Defense and “analyzed by specialist Ronen Solomon clearly show damage consistent with an attack against bunkers in a central locality within the military research complex at the Parchin military compound.”
11:55 AM, Oct 9, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The U.S. is running up against a shortage of surveillance drones to conduct reconnaissance of the various battlefields where it is engaged. Right now, the theater where its combat troops are directly engaged is getting priority … as it most certainly should be.
11:21 AM, Sep 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In deciding how to destroy ISIS, President Obama has rejected the "best military advice." The advice was recently given to the commander in chief from his military leaders.
2:23 PM, Sep 2, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
With the president attending this week's NATO summit in Wales, and the heightened concerns among the organization’s members – especially the newer ones with experience of hand’s-on Russian domination and rule – it might be profitable for our “allies” to consider some facts reported by Gideon Rachman in the
What good does it do to needlessly publicize the failures of American military operations? 12:54 PM, Aug 21, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Yesterday, in response to the news that jihadi savages had killed an American journalist on YouTube, the Obama administration revealed that there had been a special forces operation that attempted and failed to rescue James Foley. For the life of me, I can't figure out why this was necessary information to reveal, beyond the fact that it was a cheap way of convincing the American people that Obama had been concerned about Foley's plight.
8:07 AM, Aug 15, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Western nations should intervene militarily in Iraq to stop ISIS, argues Max Boot in a new article for the Spectator (UK). Boot cautions against the "wrong-headed" belief that intervention, not the retreat of Western forces, is the cause of the current problems in Iraq:
10:03 AM, Aug 11, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Can the United States maintain a "limited" military force in Iraq to stop the Islamist militants targeting ethnic minorities in that country? At Politico, Philip Ewing notes how difficult that strategy may be for President Barack Obama:
2:19 PM, Aug 4, 2014 • By ADAM J. WHITE
Back in the day when it was fashionable for the press to criticize the president and senior military officials for mismanaging a war--that is, from 2003 to 2009--such stories often focused on the colonels, majors, and captains who saw firsthand the practical problems with their superiors' approach and who pushed hard to change policy based on that hard-fought experience.
1:45 PM, Jul 16, 2014 • By ROGER ZAKHEIM
This week senior officials from the Pentagon will testify before Congress on their request for emergency appropriations, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations funding (OCO in military speak). A decision to maintain troop presence in Afghanistan, a resurgence of radical Sunni terrorism across the Middle east, and Russian expansionism in Europe all seem like good reasons for the administration to request the emergency funding. These events, however, haven’t prevented some proponents of defense cuts to question the validity of the request.
12:11 PM, Jun 23, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Most Republicans say the United States should doing something about the violence in Iraq, according to a poll from CBS News and the New York Times. The poll found 52 percent of Republican adults say the U.S. has a "responsibility" to act in Iraq over the recent wave of terrorism there, and 53 percent say the country should be doing more there. Just 43 percent of Democrats and only 37 percent of independents said the U.S. has a responsibility in Iraq.
A reformist prime minister vs. a dysfunctional defense ministry.Jun 30, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 40 • By GARY SCHMITT and SADANAND DHUME
American strategists are taken with the idea of India’s strategic potential: a large democracy with a blue-water navy and the world’s third-largest armed forces that happens to be jammed between an imploding Pakistan and an expansionist China. But a deeply dysfunctional Indian defense community has frustrated efforts to turn that potential into reality. Will the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month with the strongest mandate of any Indian leader in 30 years jumpstart much-needed reforms?