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President Obama

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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The Pope Boasts Many (Unarmed) Divisions, Great Intel

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The Vatican remains one of the world’s great powers. Pope Francis can’t deploy divisions, so Stalin might dismiss him and his organization. However, I’ve never forgotten a comment by Doug Simon, one of my Drew University political science professors at a semester I spent studying the United Nations. “Who do you think has the best intelligence organization in… Keep reading →

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Thoughts For Obama On His Walk In China; A New Pacific Strategy

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will spend most of Tuesday together, even going for one of those famous walks to be followed by dinner. I’m hoping that Obama’s aides have read a new book by my colleague Robert Haddick, formerly of Small Wars Journal, on what strategy we should adopt for the… Keep reading →

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First Woman To Head Intel Agency Passes Torch; Cardillo Takes NGA Reins

Posted by Colin Clark on


NGA HEADQUARTERS: It’s not often defense reporters listen to a beautifully restrained brass quintet while working. But Tish Long, the outgoing director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, brought that kind of glamor to the increasingly crucial NGA, so we did get to listen to a unique and pleasing rendition of God Bless America, among other… Keep reading →

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Syrian Air Strikes ‘A Watershed Moment’ In Terrorism Struggle: Sen. Levin

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The allied air strikes against ISIL that brought together the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Jordan “are a watershed moment” in the fight to solve terrorism, “the major security issue of our time,” one of the most rational defense lawmakers in Congress said today. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the strikes offered… Keep reading →

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Gates on Gates: Can We Overcome His Legacy?

Posted by Robbin Laird on


Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has done the nation a service by writing his memoirs, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” providing useful insights into his thinking and approach, as well as giving us a unique look at the working styles of two very different presidents. The book demonstrates why and how Gates has navigated… Keep reading →

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A ‘Limited Strike’ On Syria? Considerations For Congressional Debate

Posted by Robbin Laird on


President Obama has made it clear that Syria crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons against its own people. The proposed remedy is to execute a limited strike to change the behavior of the Assad government, but without putting troops on the ground, without regime change or without an international stamp of approval. Congress… Keep reading →

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Sen. McCain: DoD Budget Woes Worsened By Hill ‘Neo-Isolationists,’ Out Of Touch Members

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Sequestration and other Pentagon budget woes have been complicated by “neo-isolationists on the far left and far right, and members who are out of touch with what is going on in the world,” Sen. John McCain told several hundred journalists and defense industry officials today. America needs lawmakers “who understand we live in a… Keep reading →

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New Romney ‘Panders To Center’ On National Security; Which ‘Opportunist’ Will You Support?

Posted by Winslow Wheeler on


Mitt Romney’s “major” foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) last Monday appears to have thrown the American national security pundit class into confusion. Some, both from the right and the left, interpret the speech as proof, yet again, of Romney’s neo-conservatism-as reflected by the character of the vast majority of his own… Keep reading →

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Obama Drops Two MRCs; Invests In ISR, Counter-Terror and Pacific

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON: The United States will police the globe, respond to disasters and shape the international environment much as it has –though our sharpest focus will be on China and the western Pacific — but it will do all that with a significantly smaller land force than it currently has. That was the essential message offered… Keep reading →

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