Russia sends spy ship as US prepares for possible Syria strike

Priazovye sails from Black Sea naval base as Vladmir Putin says deployment necessary to protect Russian security interest

Russia is sending a reconnaissance ship to the eastern Mediterranean as the US prepares for a possible military strike in Syria, it was reported on Monday.

The Priazovye left Russia’s naval base in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol late on Sunday on a mission “to gather current information in the area of the escalating conflict”, said an unidentified military source quoted by the Interfax news agency. The defence ministry declined to comment. Continue reading

Obama officials concede his new defense strategy increases war risk

The Pentagon unveiled a new defense strategy last week that calls for sharp cuts in the armed forces, a move that increases the risk that enemies will exploit U.S. military shortcomings by launching wars while U.S. forces are engaged in another regional conflict.

President Obama hailed the strategy as a “smart, strategic set of priorities” that were formulated based on the need to renew American fiscal strength with smaller conventional ground forces and an overall leaner military.

However, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the new strategy unquestionably increases risks to U.S. national security interests.

“There’s no question that we have to make some trade-offs and that we will be taking, as a result of that, some level of additional but acceptable risk in the budget plan that we release next month. These are not easy choices,” Panetta said.

Continue reading article: Obama officials concede his new defense strategy increases war risk (World Tribune)