Miscalculation: China Building More Nuclear Subs Than Pentagon Estimated, Report

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Some of America’s most influential think tanks and the Pentagon have likely underestimated the number of Chinese nuclear submarines under construction, a new report suggests. 

Satellite imagery of the Bohai Shipyard and Longpo Naval Facility taken by Planet Labs shows that “China does not yet have a credible sea-based deterrent,” Catherine Dill of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey told Defense One. Two of China’s four Jin-class submarines “appear to not be in operation and are undergoing maintenance or repairs at the Bohai shipyard, suggesting to us that credibility is still in question.” Continue reading

Chinese influence in New Zealand threatens intelligence-sharing, says Canadian report

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The report, entitled China and the Age of Strategic Rivalry, was authored by experts at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). It contains a summary of views expressed by participants at an academic outreach workshop that was organized in Canada by the CSIS. In a section focusing on Chinese “interference in democratic systems”, the report suggests that, despite its small size, New Zealand is “valuable to China […] as a soft underbelly through which to access Five Eyes intelligence”. In recent years, claims the report, Beijing has adopted “an aggressive strategy” that has sought to co-opt political and economic elites in New Zealand as a means of influencing political decision making in the country. As part of that process, China seeks to gain advantages in trade and business negotiations, suppress negative views of China, facilitate espionage and control the views of the Chinese expatriate community in New Zealand, according to the report. Ultimately, Beijing seeks to “extricate New Zealand from […] its traditional [military and intelligence] partners]” as a means of asserting its regional and —eventually— global influence, the report concludes. Continue reading

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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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

China Could Control the Global Internet After Oct. 1

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ICANN Chairman Steve Crocker speaks during the opening of the ICANN meeting in Singapore on Feb. 9, 2015. The U.S. plan to relinquish control of ICANN opens the door for China to have greater influence over the global internet. (Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The handover of ICANN, the body that governs domain name registration, fits into a strategy by the Chinese regime to determine how the Internet is run

In November 2014, Li Yuxiao, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Cyberspace, stated, according to the state-run China Daily, “Now is the time for China to realize its responsibilities. If the United States is willing to give up its running of the internet sphere, the question comes as to who will take the baton and how it would be run?”

“We have to first set our goal in cyberspace, and then think about the strategy to take, before moving on to refining our laws,” he said.

Li’s comments were in response to news, also in 2014, that the United States would relinquish its remaining federal government control of the internet by ending its contract between the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is scheduled for Oct. 1. Continue reading

‘NATO HAS NO CHANCE’ Russia’s secret super submarine fleet could be unstoppable in World War III scenario, expert warns

A report by naval experts warns that Russia already has a small but sophisticated army of subs which are capable of launching missile strikes across the globe.

The deadly group of stealthy underwater weapons are currently patrolling the world and have already reportedly breached UK waters having approached the Royal Navy’s base in Faslane, Scotland. Continue reading

U.S. Should Prepare for ‘Higher-Intensity’ Cyber Attacks From North Korea

New report criticizes U.S. response to cyber attacks

The United States should prepare for “higher-intensity” cyber attacks from North Korea by developing stronger policy to respond to attacks, according to a new report.

Current U.S. policy is insufficient to respond to cyber attacks from North Korea and discourage future attacks, according to the report from the Center for Strategic International Studies on North Korea’s cyber operations. As a result, current policy puts the United States “in the position of being repeatedly assailed by [low-intensity] attacks without concrete mechanisms to effectively respond.” Continue reading

Canada and the Emerging Terror Threat From the North

Our placid neighbor has a large and growing problem with radical Islam

This week an article in The Daily Beast ruffled feathers by noting that Canada, our placid neighbor to the north, has a large and growing problem with radical Islam. It went so far as to suggest that, despite much Trumpian commotion about a wall facing south, it’s not just the Mexican border that needs watching by American security agencies: the threat from the Great White North may be just as serious.

This claim was met with some skepticism and even derision. Canada? That’s a very nice country that most Americans think kindly of but little about. The notion that Canada—which, frankly, is a tad boring—is the source of any sort of threat to the United States sounds a bit, well, out there to most people. Continue reading

China’s PLA seeks to bring cyberwarfare units under one roof

Unified command would allow military to create specialised forces as well as give leaders greater control over cyberspies who may be acting on their own, experts say

China’s military chiefs are seeking to unify the country’s cyberwarfare capabilities as they build a modern fighting force that relies less on ground troops.

The plan is part of a broader shift towards a unified military command similar to that of the US to meet President Xi Jinping’s goal of transforming the People’s Liberation Army into a force that can “fight and win modern wars”.

Continue reading

Consistencies in Western Hegemonic Policy

DAMASCUS/MOSCOW/WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin has sharply criticized Russian bombing raids in Syria. In a joint declaration with governments of several allied countries, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the German government claims the Russian Air Force did not target the “Islamic State” (IS) but the “Syrian opposition and civilians,” and calls on Moscow to “immediately cease” these attacks. Russian bombers, however, have not only hit bases of the IS and other jihadi militias, but also the facilities of western-armed combatants, participating in the al-Nusra Front’s offensive. Al-Nusra is the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, the primary target in the West’s post 9/11 “War on Terror.” The Russian air raids highlight a significant increase of Moscow’s influence in the Middle East and the growing influence of non-Western powers in world affairs. They are another blow to western global hegemony.

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China needs 3rd runway in Spratly Islands to break US grip in South China Sea if tensions escalate, experts say

Comments come after US think tank says satellite imagery indicates preparatory work on third airstrip in Spratly Islands, on Mischief Reef

Beijing needs to build a third airstrip in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands to meet its long-term strategic goal of being a true blue-water navy, Chinese military experts say.

Their remarks came after the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank in the United States said satellite imagery taken on September 8 showed China appeared to be carrying out preparatory work for a third runway, this time on Mischief Reef. Continue reading

China Building Third Airstrip on Disputed South China Sea Islets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China appears to be building a third airstrip in contested territory in the South China Sea, a U.S. expert said on Monday, citing satellite photographs taken last week.

The photographs taken for Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank on Sept. 8 show construction on Mischief Reef, one of several artificial islands China has created in the Spratly archipelago. Continue reading

Report: U.S. Must Modernize, Update Nuclear Strategy for New Century

Threats from China, nuclear proliferation, will dominate future

America must change its policies regarding its nuclear weapons arsenal if it wishes to remain safe in the coming century, according to a new study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Clark Murdock, an expert in strategic planning and defense at CSIS, writes in the study, ‘Project Atom,’ that the effects of global nuclear proliferation will dominate American foreign policy between 2025-2050 if the United States does not revamp its policies today, including modernizing its nuclear weapons and seeking enhanced tactical nuclear capabilities. Continue reading

Satellite photos show China reclaiming land around disputed Mischief Reef

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Newly published satellite images show that China is quickly reclaiming land around a submerged reef within what the Philippines says is its exclusive economic zone, with several dredgers in operation and seawalls built.

The work on Mischief Reef is China’s most recent reclamation in the disputed Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea. Reclamation is well advanced on six other reefs in the Spratlys, Reuters reported in February, activities that have alarmed other claimants and drawn criticism from Washington. Continue reading

Russia Deploying Tactical Nuclear Arms in Crimea

Who cares. The MLB playoffs are on, right? Shop ’til you drop while your adversaries sharpen their swords and ready their arrows.

 

Russia is moving tactical nuclear weapons systems into recently-annexed Crimea while the Obama administration is backing informal talks aimed at cutting U.S. tactical nuclear deployments in Europe.

Three senior House Republican leaders wrote to President Obama two weeks ago warning that Moscow will deploy nuclear missiles and bombers armed with long-range air launched cruise missiles into occupied Ukrainian territory.

“Locating nuclear weapons on the sovereign territory of another state without its permission is a devious and cynical action,” states the letter signed by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R., Calif.) and two subcommittee chairmen.

“It further positions Russian nuclear weapons closer to the heart of NATO, and it allows Russia to gain a military benefit from its seizure of Crimea, allowing Russia to profit from its action.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent months “has escalated his use of nuclear threats to a level not seen since the Cold War,” they wrote. Continue reading