The U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship: A Successful Catastrophe?

Is it time to admit the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ships are a failure? Yes. And no—maybe. In 2004 President George W. Bush pronounced the overthrow of Saddam Hussein a “catastrophic success,” implying the invasion was an operational triumph in the early going but gave off grave if not debilitating strategic and political fallout later on. It’s the other way around with the littoral combat ship (LCS), a program that has fulfilled little if any of its early promise yet could provide value in the future if put to creative…

Warning signs of a South China Sea clash

The spectre of China is looming ever larger over Asia. Now international relations experts are sounding alarms at the risks of an armed clash. There are always tensions between states, says the ANU’s Professor John Blaxland, “but there is a gnawing sense that this decade may see us get closer to the brink than in generations”. He, like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), has offered a new assessment on our region’s potential for conflict. Repeatedly featuring as a risk of “accidental or inadvertent” conflict is China. Specifically, China’s ambitions…

China: Warning signs of a South China Sea clash

The spectre of China is looming ever larger over Asia. Now international relations experts are sounding alarms at the risks of an armed clash. There are always tensions between states, says the ANU’s Professor John Blaxland, “but there is a gnawing sense that this decade may see us get closer to the brink than in generations”. He, like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), has offered a new assessment on our region’s potential for conflict. Repeatedly featuring as a risk of “accidental or inadvertent” conflict is China. Specifically, China’s ambitions…

The Fate of the China-Russia Alliance

Even as Democrats bash the Republicans for being too soft on the Kremlin, the Republicans are inclined to point out that the Obama administration was far too accommodating of China. After all, President Barack Obama prioritized the climate change issue that necessitated a high degree of cooperation with Beijing. Yet in today’s toxic partisan warfare, a winning electoral strategy will be to declare the political opponent as insufficiently xenophobic and thus lacking “true” patriotism. These days, many people in the Washington foreign policy establishment seem to agree that most of…

India plans 5,000-km range ballistic missile – india news

With the K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile completing the development stage and ready for induction, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has gone back to the drawing board to develop a 5,000km-range submarine-launched platform that matches the surface-to-surface Agni-V missile, according to senior officials. The 5,000km-range submarine-launched ballistic missile will carry the same K-series label and will cover all of Asia, parts of Africa, Europe and Indo-Pacific including South China Sea, the officials added. While the details remain classified and the DRDO tight-lipped, the officials said that after testing the…

United States is on the brink of losing our long time friend and ally to China and Russia unless we act very soon

WHY MANILA MATTERS On March 12, 2019, I wrote: The Philippines and the United States have a very special and unique long-term relationship. Current President Rodrigo Duterte who is from Davao on the island of Mindanao has had a very different experience from previous Philippine presidents. Many Philippine leaders, both civilian and military, have studied in the United States. Pres. Duterte has indicated that members of his own family are Muslim and he has developed an adversarial relationship with the predominant Catholic Church in his nation. He has courted closer…

Vietnam Explores Increasing Foreign Military Cooperation to Resist China | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Vietnam indicates in a recent defense white paper it will pursue stronger military ties abroad as China challenges its maritime sovereignty claims, and analysts expect that to mean more exercises with Western-leaning foreign powers and brisker purchases of foreign weapons. The Southeast Asian country will “promote defense cooperation” abroad to handle mutual security challenges, the Ministry of National Defense paper released in November says. As conditions are right, the English-language paper says, “Vietnam will consider developing necessary, appropriate defense and military relations with other countries … for…

‘Philippines-US relationship, truly special’ | Philstar.com

‘Philippines-US relationship, truly special’ THIS WEEK ON PEOPLEASIA – Babe Romualdez (The Philippine Star) – January 26, 2020 – 12:00am I can proudly say that Filipino-Americans estimated at 4.3 million are well appreciated all over the United States and in the communities where they live and work. The deep people-to-people ties that have grown stronger over the years make the relationship between the United States and the Philippines truly special.” This was the opening statement for my presentation titled “Philippines-US Relations in a Changing Indo-Pacific” at the lecture forum…

Race to exploit the world’s seabed set to wreak havoc on marine life | Environment

The scaly-foot snail is one of Earth’s strangest creatures. It lives more than 2,300 metres below the surface of the sea on a trio of deep-sea hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Here it has evolved a remarkable form of protection against the crushing, grim conditions found at these Stygian depths. It grows a shell made of iron. Discovered in 1999, the multi-layered iron sulphide armour of Chrysomallon squamiferum – which measures a few centimetres in diameter – has already attracted the interest of the US defence…