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Breaking Defense

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Patrick Cronin

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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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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McCain, Forbes Praise New Navy Challenge To China In Paracel Islands

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDATED with experts’ analysis; “innocent passage” confirmed] WASHINGTON: Just two days after the head of US Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, pledged to push harder on Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, the destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur sailed within the 12 nautical mile limit around Triton Island. Situated in the Paracels, which are claimed… Keep reading →

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The Price of Delay: US Navy To Challenge Chinese Claims

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED 9:45 am Tuesday with details of operation & Chinese response WASHINGTON: After five months of hints, declarations, mixed messages, and dithering, the US is reportedly set to challenge Chinese claims in the South China Sea. But the months of signaling will cost us. What might have been a low-key “freedom of navigation operation” — sailing,… Keep reading →

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Trust, Not Tech, Big Problem Building Missile Defenses Vs. Iran, North Korea

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Missile defense is notoriously technically challenging, but sometimes the biggest problem isn’t tech, but trust. Even the most advanced systems can’t stop Iranian or North Korean missiles if America’s allies can’t cooperate to integrate those systems into a regional defense, because ballistic missiles can move too fast and far for a single country to… Keep reading →

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US, Japan Korea Defy New China Air Defense Zone, Biden To Rebuke Beijing; PRC Move Drives Korea, Japan Together

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED: US Flies B-52 Bombers Through Chinese Zone; Japanese & South Koreans Follow; VP Biden To Ask Beijing For “Clarity” On Their Intentions China escalated tensions with Japan literally sky-high last weekend. After years of shadowboxing at sea around the Senkaku Islands, China’s Ministry of Defense announced a new “Air Defense Identification Zone” with authority… Keep reading →

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Navy Lags, Coast Guard Leads, In Building Ties With China

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


NATIONAL HARBOR: China bullies its neighbors, hacks computers around the world, and tests a missile designed to sink American aircraft carriers. The US Navy reallocates its newest and most combat-capable warships to the Pacific. The retired Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the sinophilic Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, says the Air Force and Navy’s… Keep reading →

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