Pentagon: U.S. Lacks ‘Adequate’ Defense Against Hypersonic Weapons

Pentagon

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DOD will request more funding to develop lasers, other weapons

The United States is not equipped to combat Chinese or Russian hypersonic weapons that have the capacity to overwhelm American missile-defense systems, according to a senior Pentagon official.

Michael Griffin, the under secretary of defense for research and engineering, said Tuesday the Pentagon has not deployed “adequate” defenses against the highly maneuverable and difficult-to-detect weapons being aggressively pursued by U.S. adversaries. Continue reading

Russia hypersonic weapon likely ready for war by 2020: US intel

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In this video grab provided by RU-RTR Russian television via AP television on Thursday, March 1, 2018, a computer simulation shows the Avangard hypersonic vehicle en route to target. (RU-RTR Russian Television via AP)

 

  • Russia has successfully tested a hypersonic weapon the United States is currently unable to defend against, according to sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports.
  • The Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is expected to enter Russia’s arsenal by 2020.
  • The weapon could be outfitted with a nuclear warhead but would be able to create destruction even without explosives.

A Russian weapon the U.S. is currently unable to defend against will be ready for war by 2020, according to sources with direct knowledge of American intelligence reports.

The sources, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity, said Russia successfully tested the weapon, which could carry a nuclear warhead, twice in 2016. The third known test of the device, called a hypersonic glide vehicle, was carried out in October 2017 and resulted in a failure when the platform crashed seconds before striking its target.

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China ‘crosses threshold’ with missiles at South China Sea outposts

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PLA soldiers march near a sign on the Spratly Islands. China lays claim to almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea, through which about US$5 trillion worth of trade passes each year. Photo: Reuters

 

Anti-ship missiles reportedly allow China to strike vessels within a 295 nautical mile radius of man-made islands

The news comes less than a month after The Wall Street Journal reported that “military jamming equipment” had been installed on the Spratly Islands, one of the locations also identified in the report this week.

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Russia Steadily Cultivating Electronic Warfare While U.S., NATO Lag Behind

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin / Getty Images

 

U.S. deprioritized investment in electronic warfare capabilities in past two decades

Russia has steadily improved its electronic warfare capabilities to prepare for potential conflict with the West, while the United States and its NATO partners have suffered a lapse in training for battle against regional powers amid ongoing counterterrorism operations, according to a leading analyst of Moscow’s military developments. Continue reading

While world watches North Korea, China builds in the South China Sea

Airstrips and military facilities on China’s Subi Reef as seen from a Philippine military transport plane on April 21, 2017. China has renewed its militarization efforts in the South China Sea while attention has been focused on North Korea. (Bullit Marquez/AP/File)

 

While the world has turned its focus to North Korea, satellite images show new Chinese high-frequency radar facilities on its controversial man-made outposts in the Spratly and Parcel Islands. China has been pressured to halt its militarization of the contested land.

While attention in Asia has been distracted by the North Korean nuclear crisis in the past year, China has continued to install high-frequency radar and other facilities that can be used for military purposes on its man-made islands in the South China Sea, a US think-tank said on Thursday. Continue reading

U.S. Navy Investigating If Destroyer Crash Was Caused by Cyberattack

 

The military is examining whether compromised computer systems were responsible for one of two U.S. Navy destroyer collisions with merchant vessels that occurred in recent months, Vice Admiral Jan Tighe, the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, said on Thursday.

Naval investigators are scrambling to determine the causes of the mishaps, including whether hackers infiltrated the computer systems of the USS John S. McCain ahead of the collision on Aug. 21, Tighe said during an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.   Continue reading

Russia, China Playing Major Role in Keeping Venezuela Afloat

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro / Getty Images

 

The countries ‘have provided capital, goods, services, and political backing’

Russia and China have played a major role in keeping the dictatorial Maduro regime in Venezuela afloat, according to expert testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday.

Evan Ellis, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a professor at the U.S. Army War College, appeared before the Western Hemisphere subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee for a hearing on the malicious influence of state and criminal actors in the Latin American nation’s ongoing breakdown.

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China Sends Warships, Fighter Jets to Intercept U.S. Destroyer in South China Sea

 

Just days before Trump’s meeting with the Chinese president in Hamburg later this week for the G-20 summit, the Trump administration sent a guided-missile destroyer near Triton Island in the South China Sea, Bloomberg reported, a move “which may cause concern ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart.”

According to an anonymous official cited by Bloomberg, the U.S. Navy sent the destroyer USS Stethem within 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) of Triton Island on Sunday, passing through the contested waters on the basis of “innocent passage.” Continue reading

Nuclear Defense Experts Urge Revitalization of U.S. Ballistic Missile Programs

In this handout from the U.S. Navy, Standard Missile-3 is launched in Kauai, Hawaii / Getty Images

 

Former senator Jon Kyl: Current non-proliferation treaties between Russia, U.S. ineffective for threat reduction

The report, “A New Nuclear Review for a New Age,” reassessed the United States’s relation with its primary nuclear adversaries—China, North Korea, and Russia—and urged lawmakers to increase defense spending on ballistic missile development and testing.

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U.S. Coast Guard Chief Warns of Russian ‘Checkmate’ in Arctic

One thing you can fault the article for is that it assumes Russia is going to let the United States, or any rival for that matter, into the area it now has on lockdown. The United States plays fair for the most part, Russia doesn’t. Playing by the rules puts you into the lesser of equals category. This is why Russia breaks treaties without conscience. This is strategy America has failed to understand in regards to its enemies such as Russia, China, Iran et al, over and over again.

If America were to start constructing new ice breakers to even reach the areas where Russia has, you’re looking at a five-to-ten year planning, not including deployment.

Having said this, one thing the article hit the nail on the head: Checkmate.

It’s too late for America. If it wants the Arctic bad enough, it now has to go to war.

 

Photo credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

 

The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard issued a stark warning on Wednesday that Russia was leagues ahead of Washington in the Arctic. And while the warming Arctic opens up, the United States could be caught flat-footed while other geopolitical rivals swiftly step in.

Paul Zukunft, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, warned Russia was building up a huge military and industrial presence in the region while the United States dawdled. Russia is showing “I’m here first, and everyone else, you’re going to be playing catch-up for a generation to catch up to me first,” said Zukunft in remarks before the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They’ve made a strategic statement,” he said. Continue reading

China fighter plane spotted on South China Sea island: think tank

A Chinese J-11 fighter jet is pictured on the airstrip at Woody Island in the South China Sea in this March 29, 2017 handout satellite photo. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS

A Chinese J-11 fighter jet is pictured on the airstrip at Woody Island in the South China Sea in this March 29, 2017 handout satellite photo. CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS

 

A Chinese fighter plane has been spotted on a Chinese-held island in the South China Sea, the first such sighting in a year and the first since U.S. President Trump took office, a U.S. think tank reported on Thursday.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), part of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the J-11 fighter was visible in a satellite image taken on March 29 of Woody Island in the Paracel island chain. Continue reading

China already moving to test Trump

Threatening to penalize US automaker, fortifying South China Sea islets

BEIJING — Eager to see how Donald Trump backs up his hard-line rhetoric, the Chinese government is taking steps to elicit responses from the U.S. president-elect on the economic and foreign policy fronts.

An official of the National Development and Reform Commission has revealed that an unnamed U.S. automaker is to be fined for instructing dealerships in China to fix prices, according to the English-language newspaper China Daily. Trump has responded by meeting with Wilbur Ross, his pick for commerce secretary. Continue reading

US, Allies ‘Unprepared’ to Face New Global Threats

The US and The NATO flag flie in front of two US Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter aircrafts at the Air Base of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Šiauliai, Lithuania, on April 27, 2016.

© AFP 2016/ Petras Malukas

 

Former Australian national-security adviser Andrew Shearer claims that the United States and its allies around the world remain unprepared to deal with a new era of emerging global threats.

Although the United States and its allies “face an unprecedented range of threats,” they are “neither psychologically nor materially prepared for these threats,” Shearer, who was an adviser to prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, said Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Continue reading

China Has a Plan to Beat the U.S. in Space

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Astronauts Chen Dong, left, and Jing Haipeng at a ceremony prior to the launch of the Shenzhou 11. (Photographer: Li Jin/VCG via Getty Images)

 

The launch of the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft in western China last month marked another great leap forward for the nation’s space program and its ambition to send manned missions to the moon and, eventually, Mars. Yet more than national prestige is at stake: China is counting on its space program to pay huge economic dividends.

China is NASA’s biggest rival in space exploration with plans to land “taikonauts” on the moon by 2036 and Mars thereafter. Along the way, President Xi Jinping hopes the space missions will spawn a wave of Chinese innovation in robotics, aviation and artificial intelligence, among other leading 21st-century technologies. Continue reading

North Korea May Provide It’s Own Election Day Bombshell

  • Military officials suggest that the North may attempt another launch one of its Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), a potential threat to U.S. forces in Guam.
  • The American strategic assets stationed in Guam could be used to back up U.S. and South Korean troops on the Korean peninsula were the North to attack its southern neighbor.
  • South Korea’s military noted that Pyongyang may want to present a show of force to demonstrate that it will continue its nuclear and ballistic missile programs despite pressure from the U.S. and the international community. Continue reading