AFA 2015: Russia has closed air power gap with NATO, US warns

  • Russia’s military modernisation has diminished NATO’s air superiority in Europe
  • The Pentagon is most alarmed by Russia’s ability to create A2/AD challenges

Russia’s military modernisation has diminished NATO’s air superiority in Europe, US Air Force (USAF) General Frank Gorenc, the commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa, said during the Air Force Association’s annual symposium on 14 September.

“They have closed the gap,” Gen Gorenc, also the chief of Allied Air Command, told reporters during a briefing. Continue reading

Pentagon Urged to Focus on ‘Great Power Conflict’ to Save Budget

Forget terrorism. The Pentagon’s best chance to field the best military with the smaller budget imposed by sequestration may just lie in preparing for nuclear war with Russia and China.

According to a new study, United States defense leaders should focus more on a “great power conflict” reflective of a newly aggressive Russia and rapidly modernizing China. Doing so would force the Defense Department to modernize its existing force and invest significantly in maintaining technological advantages at the expense of unlikely-to-be used ships, aircraft and soldiers. Among the arsenal the U.S. should keep: the full triad of bombers, submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles meant to deter or carry out nuclear warfare.

While the space between Syria and Iraq commands headlines this month, it’s Moscow and Beijing that leads researchers to offer an unexpectedly “go big or go home” proposition for the U.S. military. The route offered on Wednesday by budget experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, or CSIS, calls for moving $10 billion from the procurement budget and “force structure,” (military jargon for the number of people in the military and all that is required to support them, roughly) and giving those funds to investments. The CSIS plan would increase the number of attack submarines at sea, significantly ramp-up surveillance in both air and space, and emphasize select ground troops like special operations forces and heavy infantry. The costs would be absorbed by a reduction in aircraft carriers, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and the Air Force’s shorter-range aircraft. Continue reading

Report: China, Russia missile tech threatens U.S. interests in Mideast

This is a prime example of what makes regional war so dangerous this time around. You may sink their ships. You might bomb their tanks. You might even take out quite a number of their military installations and facilities… But what about those that are buried deep in the ground and unreachable to the current weapons the US and Israel may have and use? Or better yet, what about the sites we don’t know about? Both Syria and Iran have tens of thousands of missiles, and they’re advanced. We could lose quite a few bases and ships, resulting in tens of thousands of lives lost on the Allied side.

WASHINGTON — Middle East adversaries could threaten U.S. military bases with advanced ballistic missiles, a think tank said.

The Lexington Institute asserted that Middle East allies of China and Russia were receiving missile technology that threaten U.S. bases in the
region.

The institute, regarded as being close to the Defense Department, said Iran and Syria were developing ballistic missiles that could target U.S. and Western facilities. Continue reading

Moody’s Cuts Europe Sovereigns Including Italy, Spain

Moody’s Investors Service cut the debt ratings of six European countries including Italy, Spain and Portugal and revised its outlook on the U.K.’s and France’s top Aaa ratings to “negative,” citing Europe’s debt crisis.

Spain was downgraded to A3 from A1 with a negative outlook, Italy was downgraded to A3 from A2 with a negative outlook and Portugal was downgraded to Ba3 from Ba2 with a negative outlook, Moody’s said. It also reduced the ratings of Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta.

Full article: Moody’s Cuts Europe Sovereigns Including Italy, Spain (Bloomberg)