China Adds Advanced Missiles to South China Sea Islands

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Pentagon plans major response to Chinese hegemony

China’s military has stepped up militarizing disputed islands in the South China Sea by deploying advanced missile systems on the Spratly islands, according to the Pentagon.

Defense officials disclosed to the Washington Free Beacon that the militarization has raised alarm bells about China’s creeping takeover of the strategic waterway used for some $5 trillion annually in international trade. Continue reading

China hacked a Navy contractor and secured a trove of highly sensitive data on submarine warfare

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China’s sole operating aircraft carrier leaves Dalian in northeast China for sea trials last month. (Li Gang/Xinhua/AP)

 

Chinese government hackers have compromised the computers of a Navy contractor, stealing massive amounts of highly sensitive data related to undersea warfare — including secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines by 2020, according to American officials.

The breaches occurred in January and February, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. The hackers targeted a contractor who works for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, a military organization headquartered in Newport, R.I., that conducts research and development for submarines and underwater weaponry.

The officials did not identify the contractor. Continue reading

U.S. military seeks to be more lethal, including in space: Mattis

The U.S. military is seeking to be more lethal in all domains, including space, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said yesterday.

In a briefing with reporters in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Mattis said U.S. Northern Command will have to change to meet the challenges of the future, to include space-related security challenges.

Continue reading

Major data breach at Marine Forces Reserve impacts thousands

A U.S. Marine assigned to the cyber security technician course, Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School, work on an assignment at Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms, California, March 15, 2017. (Lance Cpl. Jose Villalobosrocha/Marine Corps)

 

The personal information of thousands of Marines, sailors and civilians, including bank account numbers, was compromised in a major data spillage emanating from U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve.

Roughly 21,426 people were impacted when an unencrypted email with an attachment containing personal confidential information was sent to the wrong email distribution list Monday morning.

Continue reading

Report: Drones ‘Buzzing’ U.S. Military Installations

 

According to a new Defense Department study conducted by the drone surveillance startup Dedrone, drones are increasingly flying over military installations in the U.S. without authorization.

The contractor conducted a 56-day drone-detection pilot test demonstration at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, located just four miles away from the White House in Washington, D.C, as part of an Army effort to develop counter-drone security measures. The test revealed 95 instances of “previously undetectable” drone activity above the installation. Continue reading

Amazon Web Services can Now Host the Defense Department’s Most Sensitive Data

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This week, the Defense Department granted the cloud computing giant a provisional authorization to host Impact Level 5 workloads, which are the military and Pentagon’s most sensitive, unclassified information.  Continue reading

How Russia and others use cybercriminals as proxies

Employees watch electronic boards monitoring possible ransomware cyberattacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul. (Yun Dong-jin/Yonhap/AP)

 

US adversaries are offering cyber criminals a bargain: Use your talents for spy agencies, in exchange for legal immunity. One such cybercriminal was involved in the 2016 US election interference.

JUNE 28, 2017 It had taken American prosecutors a long time to hand down the indictment, but finally they had their man. In 2013, authorities had tracked down Alexsey Belan, a notorious Russia-linked cyber criminal, and were getting ready to extradite him to the United States.

But Mr. Belan, a Latvian-born hacker wanted by the FBI for launching assaults on US networks using thousands of hacked computers, slipped from the clutches of European law-enforcement agents. Continue reading

China Tests Missile With 10 Warheads

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Multi-warhead weapon tested amid growing tensions with the United States

China flight tested a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads in what defense officials say represents a dramatic shift in Beijing’s strategic nuclear posture.

The flight test of the DF-5C missile was carried out earlier this month using 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs. The test of the inert warheads was monitored closely by U.S. intelligence agencies, said two officials familiar with reports of the missile test.

The missile was fired from the Taiyuan Space Launch Center in central China and flew to an impact range in the western Chinese desert.

No other details about the test could be learned. Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross suggested in a statement the test was monitored. Continue reading

F-35 Program Delayed Again, Costing At Least $500 Million

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program has been delayed again and will cost at least $500 million more, according to correspondence between the Pentagon and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) revealed Tuesday afternoon that the Defense Department had confirmed the seven-month delay in the F-35’s system development and demonstration phase, or SDD. McCain has long been a harsh critic of the F-35 program for its delays and accompanying cost overruns, and President-elect Donald Trump has more recently took aim at Lockheed Martin’s development of the fifth-generation stealth fighter jets for its “out of control” costs. Continue reading

White House tells the Pentagon to quit talking about ‘competition’ with China

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(Photo Credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

 

The White House has barred Pentagon leaders from a key talking point when it comes to publicly describing the military challenges posed by China.

In February, Defense Secretary Ash Carter cited the “return to great power of competition” in the Asia-Pacific, “where China is rising.”

Similarly, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson characterized China and Russia as rivals in this “great power competition” in his maritime strategy. Continue reading

US Air Force set to replace intercontinental nuke arsenal

While the last Minuteman II was deployed in the early 1990s, which still run off 1970’s floppy disc era technology (See also HERE), Russia and China have both developed and deployed their advanced nuclear weapons. To make matters worse, if the GBSD’s being developed will be “phased in” during the 2030 decade, that is at least a 15 year window of opportunity for China and Russia to strike an ancient America with its 40 year old nukes — if their shelf life is even that long.

 

Hidden underground in steel-and-concrete silos across rural America, more than 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles point to the skies, poised for launch — and ready to obliterate cities across the world.

First designed in the 1960s at the height of the Cold War, the Minuteman nuclear weapons are starting to show their age, and replacement parts are difficult to find for the weapons designed in an analog age.

Also aging are their silos, many built in the 1950s and now rusting as water seeps through the decaying concrete. Continue reading

Broken: America’s Latest Failed Supercarrier

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Caption: USS Gerald R. Ford (U.S. Navy)

 

The most expensive warship ever built can’t go to war.

America’s new, most expensive, most advanced aircraft carrier doesn’t work properly.

According to a June 28 memo obtained by Bloomberg News, the $12.9 billion uss Gerald R. Ford “may struggle to launch and recover aircraft, mount a defense, and move munitions.”

Continue reading

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn: Military fired me for calling our enemies ‘radical jihadis’

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Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. /AP

 

 

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was fired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2014, has detailed the backstory of his departure from the DIA.

Flynn, who is said to be on Donald Trump’s short list as a potential running mate, is author of the new book “The Field of Fight” in which he describes why he believes the U.S. is not getting any closer to winning the war on terrorism.

“Two years ago, I was called into a meeting with the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and the director of national intelligence, and after some ‘niceties,’ I was told by the USDI that I was being let go from DIA. It was definitely an uncomfortable moment (I suspect more for them than me). Continue reading

Nuclear Questions, Nuclear Answers

The next administration will face a number of important nuclear policy decisions. On May 13, I invited Franklin Miller, a Principal in the Scowcroft Group, and a former top White House defense official, to discuss these matters before an audience of Congressional staff, senior administration defense and security officials, top staff from defense and security public policy organizations, defense media, defense industry officials and a number of allied embassy colleagues. It was interestingly the 1400th seminar I have hosted on the Hill since 1983 on key defense and national security matters.

Franklin Miller in his prepared remarks extensively addressed the nature of the current debate on future nuclear modernization and whether the US force was obsolete, unaffordable, destabilizing or an obstacle to further arms control. Those remarks were posted recently by Family Security Matters. Continue reading

US auditor points out software problems with F-35

The U.S. government auditor has urged the Defense Department to fix software problems associated with the F-35 fighter jet, saying the problems could result in taking the entire F-35 fleet offline.

The Government Accountability Office said in a April 14 report that the Pentagon is aware of risks that could affect the F-25’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), but does not have a plan to remedy the problems in a “holistic” manner. Continue reading