This Week’s Highlights:
- U.S. commanders are worried that if they had to head off a conflict with Russia, the most powerful military in the world could get stuck in a traffic jam, writes Michael Birnbaum for The Washington Post. The delays could enable Russia to seize NATO territory in the Baltics while U.S. Army planners were still filling out the 17 forms needed to cross Germany and into Poland.
- U.S. President Bill Clinton and his advisers naively challenged Russia’s security perimeter, not realizing that “each inch of eastward expansion was bound to increase Russian distrust of the West,” writes Professor Melvyn Leffler, quoting from Ben Steil’s new book. Steil, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that whereas the architects of the Marshall Plan and NATO “acknowledged that a line was being drawn, and were willing to bear the necessary costs to defend it,” the Clinton administration “was denying the line’s existence.” Continue reading
The Pentagon has billed the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as the most advanced multirole fighter in its arsenal, but the most expensive piece of military equipment ever made apparently has a weak spot that could make it visible to newest air defense systems developed in Russia and China.
“The F-35’s single Pratt & Whitey F135 engine – while immensely powerful, producing about 43,000 lbs of thrust – also runs extremely hot,” defense analyst Dave Majumdar wrote for the National Interest. “The Russians – who build excellent infrared sensors – could use the F-35’s thermal signature to develop a weapons quality track to engage the stealthy new jet.”
The U.S. Navy’s next generation air superiority fighter will not be “super-duper fast” or employ much in the way of stealth, a senior navy official announced on Wednesday.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the Navy’s top officer, divulged some details about the Navy’s so-called Next Generation Air Dominance F/A-XX fighter jet during a speech at an industry conference. Continue reading
China recently demonstrated its second fifth-generation stealth fighter, the J-31, for the 10th Zhuhai Airshow held in Guangdong from Nov. 11-16. Dave Majumdar, an American defense expert, thus suggests in Washington’s National Interest that the US must put the F-35 into service or develop new fighters to face this challenge. Continue reading