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China & Russia In The Arctic: Axis Of Ambivalence

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


So are Chinese ambitions racing ahead of Arctic realities? “It seems the chickens are being counted before the eggs are hatched,” Sun admitted, “but the Chinese position is, ‘if the eggs are going to hatch, we want to make sure we’re there to collect the chickens.'”

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US Must Help Curb Illegal Fishing,Terrorism, Piracy, Drug Sales

Posted by Amanda Shaver on


Illegal fishing. Yes, Fishing. This growing international problem is a key factor in geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea, piracy off the Horn of Africa, and the deadly narco-trade across Latin America. Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, an illicit business which generates annual profits of $15.5 billion to $36.4 billion, poses a significant… Keep reading →

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How To Strengthen Alliances On President Trump’s Watch

Posted by Michael Krepon on


America’s Asian allies have been unnerved by President Donald Trump’s dismissive rhetoric about alliances based on cost/benefit grounds, and his decision to dump the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. That’s part of the reason Defense Secretary Jim Mattis traveled in Asia to calm nerves in Tokyo and Seoul. America’s European allies are also deeply unsettled by Trump’s… Keep reading →

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China Revels In Philippines’ About-Face, But Will It Last?

Posted by Yun Sun on


An international tribunal ruled emphatically in July against Chinese claims to large portions of the South China Sea, acting on a case brought to it by the Philippines. China was furious and threatened many of its neighbors, while also trying to convince them to work with the PRC to resolve the conflicting claims. Then came the new President of… Keep reading →

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Halfway To Transparency On Drone Strikes

Posted by Rachel Stohl on


As Pentagon enthusiasm grows for robotic weapons, and drones proliferate to militaries and terrorists around the world, it’s worth remembering some basic questions of ethics, law, and strategy remain unsettled. For insight, we turn to Rachel Stohl, the director of the Conventional Defense program at the Stimson Center and the primary author of the recently… Keep reading →

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Nukes Or Conventional Weapons? Buy The Ones We Use

Posted by Lacie Heeley on


As the House and Senate gear up for votes in the coming days to fund the Defense Department, lawmakers are set to support a bow wave of costly nuclear weapons programs increasingly at odds with the needs of U.S. troops and the future threats that dominate their agenda. Notably for a president who famously championed… Keep reading →

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SecDef Carter: Do Missile Defense Review Urged By Greenert, Odierno

Posted by Matthew Leatherman on


Tight budgets have a way of encouraging critical thinking and forcing a willingness to make painful but well-grounded tradeoffs. The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, and the Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond Odierno, wrote a November letter about the weaknesses of our current missile defense approach to then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. This letter, recently leaked… Keep reading →

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What Obama’s Drone Export Policy Really Means

Posted by Peter Lichtenbaum on


Air Force photo

It seems like drones are everywhere in Washington. A drone landed on the White House lawn, the Federal Aviation Administration released regulations for small commercial drones in U.S. airspace, and, most recently, the State Department finally unveiled a long-awaited policy on the export of U.S.-origin military and commercial Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), colloquially referred to as… Keep reading →

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Cut Pay? Trim COCOMs: How To Act Wisely On Military Pay

Posted by Matthew Leatherman on


Imagine a business that’s restructuring costs. The idea is to restrain employee compensation and free up money for operations and investment, thus allowing the company to grow. Everyone’s familiar with the surrounding debate: leaders spotlight the need for efficiency, and workers insist that the company not break faith with them.  It’s a classic dispute between… Keep reading →

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Army Takes On Requirements: ‘Everybody’s Got To Change’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: “Everybody’s got to change.” That’s the message from Army Gen. David Perkins, about everything from concepts to training to weapons programs. “A couple of weeks ago, we had a meeting with the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff,” he said. “They said, ‘look, this is not business as usual.” “Everybody is going to have to… Keep reading →

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