Cyber defences and global rules should be Canada’s focus, The Rideau Institute
The shift from defensive to offensive cyber development is a slippery slope, and one that Canada would do well to avoid. Besides the risk of spreading the very weapons we seek to defend against, the international community seems to be regressing into a new kind of arms race that is undermining international and domestic security.
Countering propaganda and disinformation: bring back the active measures working group? US Army College War Room
“Without counterpropaganda, we’ve unilaterally disarmed.” Consequently, the U.S. presently lacks the capability to counter active measures and sustain trust in media sources. The dissolution of the Soviet Union did not mean the end of active measures. Allegations of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election should serve as a wake-up call.
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at a Tipping Point, RealClearDefense
If international buyers stick with their plans and the Pentagon funds long-term buys, “our analysis shows that they can get down to $80 million per aircraft.” The Pentagon has said it intends to sign an agreement for a “block buy” for 452 aircraft “in order to lock in pricing for itself as well as international buyers for the next three years, enabling suppliers to purchase in bulk.”
Can a charm offensive buy the Canadian navy support? Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun
For most Canadians — women in particular — the military isn’t a priority. So, even against the backdrop of rising tensions among Canada, its NATO allies and U.S. President Donald Trump’s lukewarm commitment to the alliance, rising concerns over North Korea’s increasingly frequent missile tests, conflicts in the Middle East and terrorism threats, the massive, proposed spending increase is a risk for the Liberals.
What in the World is Vladimir Putin Up To? Atlantic Council
“Putin would ultimately like to make the big deal with the United States which allows him freedom of action in the former Soviet Union and the former East Bloc. What he would like is a return to the nineteenth century sphere of influence where Russia is again a dominant power in Eastern Europe and Central Asia,” said Farkas.
Nuclear versus diesel-electric: the case for conventional submarines for the RAN, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Securing sea lines of communication and the nation’s seaboard remains paramount in Australia’s national defence strategy. Diesel-electric submarines (SSK) excel in littoral or coastal waters, as is the case for the continent’s northern and northwestern approaches. And Australia’s strategic alliance interests are well served by providing the US Navy with an operational submarine capability it needs but doesn’t have. The US values RAN submarines for their littoral capabilities that form a natural extension to United States Navy (USN) nuclear submarine operations.
Navy Releases Details of New FFG(X) Guided-Missile Frigate Program in Request to Industry, US Naval Institute News
“This platform will employ unmanned systems to penetrate and dwell in contested environments, operating at greater risk to gain sensor and weapons advantages over the adversary,” according to the RFI.
“The FFG(X) will be capable of establishing a local sensor network using passive onboard sensors, embarked aircraft and elevated/tethered systems and unmanned vehicles to gather information and then act as a gateway to the fleet tactical grid using resilient communications systems and networks.”
There’s Only One Way to End the War in Afghanistan, The Nation
And the surge Donald Trump is poised to authorize is not it. We don’t need to waste more lives and resources in Afghanistan. We don’t need a comprehensive strategy for more war in Afghanistan. We need a simple decision to get out.
Trump and Saudi Arabia Against the World, The Nation
an overarching picture emerges: that the impulsive Donald Trump has met his younger counterpart, Prince Muhammad bin Salman, equally impulsive and blind to even the medium-term consequences of his aggressive initiatives. In addition, in an autocratic monarchy without free speech, elections, or representative government (and with an abominable record on human rights violations), he lacks all checks and balances. The shared obsession of the prince and the president with Iran, which neither of them is able to comprehend in its complexity, has the potential for creating a true global crisis. If anything, the pressure on Trump in his imagined new world order is only increasing to do the Saudis one better and push a regime-change agenda in a big way when it comes to Iran. It’s a formula for disaster on a breathtaking scale.
Time to lose your illusions on North Korea, War on the Rocks
To its credit, the Trump administration seems to have finally abandoned the notion that Beijing will pressure Pyongyang into denuclearization. China’s trade with North Korea in the first quarter this year went up rather than down, and even its highly-touted suspension of coal imports proved less than meets the eye. Expect Beijing in coming days to embrace U.S. criticism of North Korea and possibly even formal responses, such as U.N. sanctions, that leave the underlying realities unchanged. China simply will not apply the kind of severe economic pressure to North Korea that might compel significant de-nuclearization or the dismantling of its missile programs.
China-Russia alignment on North Korea raises eyebrows, The Hill Times
In a coordinated response to the launch, Beijing and Moscow issued a joint statement on Tuesday calling for a mutual freeze on Pyongyang’s nuclear program and U.S.-South Korean military maneuvers in the region. Chinese President Xi Jinping told Russian media that relations between the two countries were currently in their “best time in history” and that China and Russia were one another’s “most trustworthy strategic partners.”
Spartan – A contender for the Type 31 Frigate?, UK Defence Journal
Ensuring that the design remains attractive to the global export market will bring economic advantages to the Royal Navy through efficiencies of scale, and will result in wider benefits to UK plc.
House Appropriators Give SecDef Blank Check For $28.6B, Breaking Defense
“The secretary and the Joint Staff are expected to deliver a new defense strategy in September, a much-needed update to the last review conducted in 2014,” Granger said. “The Defense Restoration Fund will enable the Secretary to make necessary investments resulting from that review now, instead of having to wait until 2019.”
The secret to Kim’s success? Some experts see Russian echoes in North Korea’s missile advances, Washington Post
Many weapons experts say North Korea’s startling display of missile prowess is a reflection of the country’s growing mastery of weapons technology, as well as its leader’s fierce determination to take the country into the nuclear club. But others see continuing evidence of an outsize role by foreigners, including Russian scientists who provided designs and know-how years ago, and the Chinese vendors who supply the electronics needed for modern missile-guidance systems.
Israel’s Forthcoming Security Dilemma, War on the Rocks
Iran’s continued efforts to establish these weapons factories in Lebanon will increase the tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese front. For now, as this plan appears to be only in its early stages, and it seems that cool heads still prevail on both sides, there is still time to act diplomatically to avoid an escalatory scenario.
This is precisely the kind of changed circumstances that requires a full debate and discussion in Parliament, following a detailed review and assessment in the Standing Committee on National Defence, argues Mason.
The exercise in the Baltic may be seen as a subtle signal of Chinese support for Russia’s efforts to reshape the European security order; in a fashion not unlike the one being used by China in the South China Sea dispute.
It is foolish to expect China to pressure North Korea enough to willingly end its program. Even if provided enormous inducements, China will only provide lip service, and will not take actions that would destabilize the North and result in a flood of refugees and a democratic, U.S.-backed state on its border. Rather, China will pressure the United States to make its own concessions, such as ceasing exercises and reversing the deployment of the THAAD missile system, in exchange for a freeze on the North’s program. These actions must be non-starters.
If the international community wants to negotiate productively with the current North Korean regime, it has no choice but to modify the pre-condition it had imposed, and accept at the outset that the DPRK has nuclear capability. Otherwise, any new negotiations will be doomed to failure.
The goal must be to arrest the brinkmanship strategies employed by both Washington and Pyongyang. Such a process necessitates recalibrating expectations, strategies and engagements through the new lens of accepting North Korea’s nuclear capabilities: a process only Beijing can facilitate and lead.
We still have a shrinking window of time in which to try (again) the diplomatic and economic approaches. The only way things would end differently is if we could get China to finally agree to exert real leverage on Kim’s regime. The Chinese would want to extract a price for doing so — which could include a combination of more of a free hand in the South China Sea, reduced U.S. engagement with South Korea, fewer military exercises in the region, weakening U.S. security guarantees to Taiwan, favorable trade relations, no secondary sanctions on Chinese businesses, and guarantees that the Korean peninsula would remain divided.
Zhu Feng of Nanjing University, declaring himself “a little more pessimistic” than his fellow panelists, said the choices are coming down to the United States intervening militarily and China abandoning the regime of Kim Jong-un in order to put the brakes on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
China’s newest destroyer seen as challenge to Asia rivals
The Type 055 will weigh 13,000 tons when fully fitted out with its weapon systems and commissioned, making it the country’s largest destroyer, Li Jie, a researcher with the PLA Naval Military Academic Research Institute, said in a February article on the PLA’s website. The new warship will have more than 100 vertical launch tubes for missiles with the ability to strike targets 1,000 to 2,000 kilometers away, according to the PLA report.