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Breaking Defense

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Gregory Poling

China Seizes US Underwater Drone, Fortifies Disputed Islets

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATE: China agrees to return drone WASHINGTON: The same day the US Navy made its case for a much larger fleet of 355 ships, the Chinese navy seized an American underwater drone 50 nautical miles off the Philippines. Just two days earlier, the independent Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative reported China had fortified the artificial islands it… Keep reading →

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UN Ruling Won’t End South China Sea Dispute: Navy Studies Next Clash

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


A UN tribunal ruling could trigger the next round of brinksmanship in the South China Sea as early as next week. But don’t expect the ruling to end the dispute, especially since the Chinese have already vowed to ignore an adverse ruling. “It’s…not likely to be resolved this year or by one international ruling, no matter how brilliant… Keep reading →

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Vietnam Pivots To US With Wary Eye On China: Arms Ban Ends

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


ABOARD SECDEF CARTER’S PLANE: In many ways, today marks the final exorcism of the Vietnam War as America turns to the much greater challenge of a rising, militarizing China — and as Hanoi seeks just enough US help to balance Beijing without provoking it. President Obama is in Hanoi and Defense Secretary Ash Carter in New Haven. Yesterday,… Keep reading →

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Carter: ‘Yes’ To Arms Sales To Vietnam; DoD Won’t Elaborate

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: One word from Defense Secretary Ash Carter yesterday opened the door to US arms sales to Vietnam, a former enemy turned potential ally against a rising China. The administration has tiptoed towards easing the ban on lethal weapons sales ever since Vietnamese president Truong Tan Sang met with Obama in 2013, but Carter’s statement… Keep reading →

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Chinese Scarborough Shoal Base Would Threaten Manila

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED with Sen. McCain & Dean Cheng comments WASHINGTON: If China builds an artificial island on the disputed Scarborough Shoal, Sen. Dan Sullivan warned today, it will complete a “strategic triangle” of bases that can dominate the South China Sea. At this morning’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Sullivan displayed a map (above) of the region… Keep reading →

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Carter Evasive On South China Sea While China Targets Philippines

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


In its eagerness to avoid offending the Chinese, is the administration giving them a green light in the disputed South China Sea? This afternoon, on the eve of his departure for the Philippines and India, Defense Secretary Ash Carter carefully tiptoed around ongoing Chinese national security provocations. Several experts I spoke to were not reassured. Carter… Keep reading →

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