How Russia’s Kilo-Class Submarines Are a Huge Threat to American Aircraft Carriers

Key point: Kilo-class subs are powerful and cheaper than nuclear-powered vessels to produce. Moscow has them train for a wide variety of missions in case Russia ever fought NATO. Unlike the United States Navy, which went all-in on nuclear power, Russia maintains fleets of both diesel and nuclear-powered submarines. A land power encompassing much of Eurasia, Russian submarines are based much closer to “the action” than American submarines are. While Russia maintains nuclear submarines for distant ocean patrols, its fleet of diesel submarines is more than adequate for conflicts in Europe,…

Filipinos ‘most worried’ of China’s power in SEA

China’s growing political and economic influence in Southeast Asia (SEA) has become a major concern in the region, but nowhere is that unease stronger than in the Philippines, according to a recent survey of officials, academics and other professionals in SEA. The survey, titled “The State of Southeast Asia’’ and conducted by the Singaporean think-tank ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute’s Asean Studies Center, sought to understand the perceptions of Southeast Asians on regional affairs, as well as on the engagements of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) with its dialogue partners.…

Is America On the Decline And Ceding Its Position to China in Asia?

“American Sunset?” was the title of a panel I was recently asked to join at a prominent international conference. The organizers were interested in exploring the implications of America’s “decline,” and specifically its impact on the security order in the Indo-Pacific. It’s a theme I’ve grown accustomed to hearing in recent years. There’s a powerful, stubborn perception percolating through the Indo-Pacific, and the world at large, that American power and influence is one the wane. For many, the story of 21st Century geopolitics is being written by the spectacular rise…

Needed, a cohesive Indo-Pacific framework

Last year at the IISS Shangri-La dialogue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined India’s conceptualisation of the Indo-Pacific as a geographic continuum stretching from the east coast of Africa to the shores of America. India didn’t adopt Indo-Pacific at the behest of the US. As is the case with regions that are imagined spaces, there exist competing conceptualisations regarding its geographical expanse; depending upon the actor(s) imagining it. India’s definition includes the western Indian Ocean (and “for something, not against somebody,” according to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar), while the US…

Navy Will Commission All Expeditionary Sea Bases as USS Warships

Miguel Keith (ESB-5) departs General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. shipyard in San Diego, Calif. During the weeklong acceptance trials, the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey conducted comprehensive tests to demonstrate and evaluate the performance of all of the ship’s major systems in 2019. NASSCO photo ARLINGTON, Va. – The Navy will now commission all of its Expeditionary Sea Base ships to allow them to conduct a broader and more lethal mission set, compared to original plans for them as Military Sealift Command ships with a USNS designation.…

South China Sea: Chinese ships force their way into Indonesian waters

Their mission was to assert Chinese ownership over the nearby Spratly Islands. The islands are in a territorial dispute between China, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Shuang said China would welcome “bilateral dialogue” with Jakarta to manage the dispute, reports The Independent. But Indonesia says negotiation is not part of its plan. “There is no negotiation when it comes to our sovereignty,” Indonesian president Joko Widodo told reporters. Indonesia’s chief security minister for political, legal and security affairs Mahfud MD also rejected the idea of talks, telling media…

Trump’s meager haul from economic coercion

When Iraqi leaders this month said they wanted U.S. troops to leave their country, the president said he would impose “very big sanctions” on Baghdad in response. And after tensions with Iran recently escalated to the point of potential war, his administration privately threatened large automobile tariffs on European countries if they didn’t call out Tehran for alleged violations of the 2015 nuclear deal that Trump has sought to dismantle. Trump’s maximalist approach to diplomacy has become a hallmark of his administration’s foreign policy, one that has scored him some…

Tu Linh boat race – a unique festival of Ly Son island district

The festival, which is a folk cultural feature imbued with the traditional identities of people on the island, aims to pay homage to natives’ ancestors who formed the island and soldiers who have fought for the country’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes. The event is also an opportunity for the local people to pray for prosperity, peace and smooth voyages for the fishermen. From Sa Ky seaport (Quang Ngai Province), it takes about one hour for visitors to get to Dao Lon (Big Island)…

Japan, Vietnam share concerns on S.China Sea

The foreign ministers of Japan and Vietnam have shared their concerns about China’s increasing activity in the disputed South China Sea and agreed to cooperate closely on maritime security. Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi met with his counterpart Pham Binh Minh in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on Monday. Motegi is on a tour of four Southeast Asian countries. Motegi told Minh that Tokyo sees Vietnam as an important international partner. Vietnam chairs ASEAN meetings this year and is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Minh responded that his…