Standing there, head bowed, pausing to reflect on the 46 Republic of Korea (ROK) navy Sailors whose lives were lost when their ship was sunk by an alleged North Korean submarine torpedo, makes one realize how precarious peace remains in the dynamic theater that is the Asia Indo-Pacific. During what was a leadership symposium for other task force commanders, led by U.S. 7th Fleet commander, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, I had the solemn privilege to tour the memorial dedicated to those Sailors, which includes the salvaged stern of the ship, ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772). ROKS Cheonan was a Pohang-class corvette commissioned… Read the rest of this entry »
Please join us at 5pm (EDT) on 17 July 2016 for Midrats Episode 341 “Russia in 2016 with Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg From the sacking of the Baltic Fleet leadership, fighting in Syria, to developments from Central Asia to the Pacific – Russia in 2016 is on the move. To discuss the who, what, where, and why of Russia in 2016, our guest for the full hour will be Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg, Senior Analyst, CNA Strategic Studies, an Associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, an author, and host of the Russian Military Reform blog. Dr. Gorenburg focuses… Read the rest of this entry »
Not since having to give training in the early 1990s to people about the proper protocol involved with “Reply” vs “Reply All,” “cc” vs “bcc,” or explaining to a Chief of Staff that email do not have Date Time Groups, have I been more perplexed by a DoD movement involving internet based communications than what came out at the end of June. This time it is Social Media and politics. Open up the 29JUN2016 MEMORANDUM from OSD at this link (do I need to explain that you should ‘right-click’ and then select ‘open in new tab’ – I’m not sure… Read the rest of this entry »
The House of Representatives recently passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act sponsored by Representative Ken Buck (R-CO) that would “prohibit funds to implement Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 4715.21 on Climate Change Adaption and Resilience.” It is a short-sighted and ill-conceived action that will jeopardize U.S. military effectiveness. Successful, prudent planning requires considering all pertinent variables. For that reason, DoD needs the ability to factor climate change as a variable at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. If Congress wishes to limit the scope or cost of a specific program it should do so, but it must… Read the rest of this entry »
An excerpt of this article was published in the July issue of Proceedings. The full article is provided here for further context and explanation. This article does not reflect the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy or U.S. Cyber Command. China and the United States appear to be engaged in a long-term competition, and one area of particular concern is cyberspace. What used to be considered a significant, overwhelming advantage of U.S. military capabilities relative to the rest of the world, including China, has recently been called into question. Recent Chinese military writings confirm the centrality… Read the rest of this entry »
Please join us at 5pm EDT on 10 July 2016 for Midrats Episode 340: China’s Maritime Militia with Andrew Erickson As China continues to slowly use a variety of tools to claim portions of her maritime near-abroad in the South China Sea and elsewhere, part of their effort includes what can almost be considered naval irregular forces – a Maritime Militia. What is China doing with these assets, why are they being used, and what could we expect going forward as she taps in to a variety of assets to attempt to establish her authority? Our guest for the full… Read the rest of this entry »
When the path towards progress in a field becomes muddied, the best response may be to step away from all the technical specifics that make up day-to-day practice and begin pulling up the floorboards. In other words, rather than continuing to push on the science, it may be best to ask about the unspoken philosophies supporting that research effort. What could an article by Adam Frank at NPR, unrelated to anything involved directly to national defense, have to tell us about how we look to build the fleet for mid-century? Actually, quite a lot. One of the underpinnings of the critique… Read the rest of this entry »
President Obama has proclaimed 17-23 June the National Week of Making. The White House is championing the Maker Movement, a cause that respects creativity, inventiveness, and ingenuity. Makers have a passion for creating machines, tinkering with them, and making improvements. New technologies such as 3D-printers, easy-to-use design software, laser cutters, and open-source software are making it easier than ever for everyday Americans to design and prototype their ideas, as well as to solve problems. The Navy celebrated “Maker Week” on 21 June by sending a part to space. That day, members of Congress, senior military personnel, and members of the… Read the rest of this entry »
Why do nations historically have blue water navies? In broad terms, the primary driver is economics. From Vikings looking for new lands and plunder, to Columbus’s search for a more efficient way to spices of the East, to the mercantilist reliance of a global free flow of goods at market prices to support the hard empire of Britain, to the same for the soft empire of the United States – nations put to sea in force to support economic requirements at home. Of course, other reasons from pride to habit soon latch on to a growing fleet – but look… Read the rest of this entry »
It was history in the making on Sunday, 26 June, as an international contingent celebrated the opening of the expanded Panama Canal. I was proud to be there with the U.S. Presidential party, led by Dr. Jill Biden. For Panama, the expansion represents a potential for growth in the country’s maritime sectors and serves as a symbol of national prestige. In recognition of its strategic maritime significance, and the value U.S. Southern Command places on forward engagement with the region, the USS Oak Hill (LPD-51) sailed through the canal a few days earlier (using the older and narrower set of… Read the rest of this entry »
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