Trump’s NSA puts Iran on notice over missile test and other “provocations”

President Donald Trump’s National security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday condemned Iran’s recent ballistic missile test and said the administration is putting the country “officially on notice.” Continue reading

China’s spies gain valuable US defense technology: report

US intelligence agencies have determined that China stole secrets relating to the F-35 jet fighter from a US contractor. Photo: Reuters

US intelligence agencies have determined that China stole secrets relating to the F-35 jet fighter from a US contractor. Photo: Reuters

 

According to the annual report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Chinese cyber espionage is a “major problem” for America

China has gained military benefits in recent years from stealing defense secrets through industrial and cyber espionage carried out by its intelligence services, according to a US congressional report.

“In recent years, Chinese agents have extracted data on some of the most advanced weapons and weapons systems in the US arsenal, such as jet fighters and unmanned submersible vehicles,” states the annual report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, released on November 16.

“The loss of these and other sensitive defense technologies undermines US military superiority by accelerating China’s military modernization and giving China insight into the capabilities and operation of US weapons and weapons systems,” the report adds. Continue reading

China-backed AIIB ‘on track to meet 2016 lending targets’

The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is “on track” to meet its big first-year targets, including lending US$1.2 billion by the end of 2016, bank president Jin Liqun said on Friday.

After bringing many US allies on board and a high-profile launch in January, the multilateral lender moved onto the business of raising funds, gaining expertise, and recruiting experienced executives.

The bank, part of Beijing’s push to expand its regional clout, has lent US$829 million to six projects in Pakistan, Tajikistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Continue reading

Canada applies to join China-backed AIIB, latest US ally to apply

BEIJING: Canada will apply to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB, Canadian and bank officials said on Wednesday, making it the latest ally of the United States to join the new international development bank.

The multilateral institution, seen as a rival to the Western-dominated World Bank and Asian Development Bank, was initially opposed by the United States but attracted many U.S. allies including Britain, Germany, Australia and South Korea as founding members. Continue reading

Russia is building network of ties with disgruntled US allies in Asia

As predicted in 2012, and as shown in the previous two posts, the U.S. is slowly being kicked out of Asia (See also HERE and HERE). A new Asian bloc will form under the umbrella protectorate of China and likely, as the article indicates here, Russia will be involved too. Japan will drift to the new Asian bloc and abandon the alliance with America which is backing down from China and allowing it to capture the Asian Pacific. It’s better to join the team you can’t beat instead of getting decimated in war, especially when your team has defectors.

The world is changing rapidly with events that happen only once every 1000 years. Get ready for a world dominated by Europe and Asia. The SCO will be a major player and likely be the military arm, with the largest military the world has ever seen.

 

Imperceptibly though, Russia is certainly on course to building a chain of positive relations, if not strategic alliances, in the region surrounding it.

While the West and its strong allies in the region see the move as part of Russia’s “expansionism”, others view it as the Russian way of counterbalancing the U.S. position in the region.

Moscow is providing a number of erstwhile U.S. allies the much needed alternative to diversify their foreign policies. This diversification is visible across the region.

For instance, countries including India and Afghanistan have started supporting China’s stance on South China Sea. Continue reading

U.S. can’t afford to leave Asia

This article is a perfect example of a writer who doesn’t understand it was the Obama administration that has endangered Asian allies and allowed China to solidify its claim on the South China Sea. It was the Obama administration who allowed, and continues to allow, North Korean belligerency and nuclear threats against its neighbors to continue without consequence.

There’s nothing wrong with plans of having an ally pay their fair share monetarily or militarily. The author is simply complaining they’re not getting a free ride in a hypothetical President Trump scenario.

Japan is more than capable of defending itself if it wished. Japan is more than capable of going nuclear in months if it wished.

 

One hopes that Park Geun-hye and Shinzo Abe enjoyed their recent meeting with Barack Obama, because the show of unity that the South Korean, Japanese, and U.S. leaders displayed in opposition to North Korea’s nuclear defiance would simply not be possible in a hypothetical Trump administration.

Instead, Donald Trump, the front-runner to serve as the Republican candidate in this fall’s presidential election, asserts that U.S. alliances with Japan and South Korea will end if the country continues on “its current path of weakness.” He then doubles down on U.S. weakness by pledging to dismantle those alliances, which have provided an essential post-World War II foundation upon which the United States has been able to project its strength. Continue reading

Russian Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces: What They Mean for the United States

Abstract

The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was one of the most significant arms-reduction accomplishments of the Cold War. The INF Treaty led to the elimination of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges from 300 miles to 3,400 miles, their launchers, and associated support structures and support equipment. In 2014, the U.S. State Department officially accused Russia of violating the treaty. The allegation sparked renewed interest in the utility of the agreement for the United States, and in the implications of Russia’s violations for U.S. allies in Europe. Russia’s aggressive and illegal behavior and the inability of the United States to bring Russia back into compliance with the INF Treaty indicate that the treaty has outlived its utility and is no longer in the U.S. interest.

The 1987 Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles—known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty—was one of the most significant arms-reduction accomplishments of the Cold War era. The INF Treaty led to the elimination of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges from 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers (about 300 miles to 3,400 miles), their launchers, and associated support structures and support equipment.[1] In July 2014, the U.S. State Department officially accused Russia of violating the treaty.[2] The allegation sparked renewed interest in the utility of the agreement for the United States, and in the implications of Russia’s violations for U.S. allies in Europe. Russia’s aggressive and illegal behavior and the inability of the United States to bring Russia back into compliance with the INF Treaty indicate that the treaty has outlived its utility and is no longer in the U.S. interest. Continue reading

Russia poses ‘greatest threat’ to US national security: Dunford

Russia now poses the greatest threat to US national security and its behavior is “nothing short of alarming,” Marine General Joseph Dunford, the nominee to be the US military’s top officer, said Thursday.

Dunford, currently the commandant of the US Marine Corps, told senators at his confirmation hearing it would be “reasonable” to provide lethal weapons to Ukrainian forces battling pro-Russian rebels. Continue reading

America’s crucial credibility abroad declines with the loss of trust — and respect

The retrenchment of U.S. foreign policy under Barack Obama is triggering major changes in relations with formerly stout allies around the globe.

In Europe, Asia and the Middle East, trust in the Obama administration among U.S. allies is at an all-time low and reflected in numerous policy decisions, undermining one the America’s most important foreign policy assets.

For the United States, relationships with the United Kingdom, Japan and Israel have plummeted. The result is the pursuit by these nations of policies that are much less supportive than in the past of U.S. leadership and foreign policy priorities.

In the United Kingdom, David Cameron and his Conservative Party have just won re-election by a surprisingly large margin. The prime minister’s relationship with President Obama is best described as “proper” but there are no close personal ties like those that marked relationships between past U.S. presidents and UK counterparts. Continue reading

The AIIB: China’s Just Getting Started

The AIIB’s success doesn’t mean that China has deposed the US — but the game has only just begun.

As more U.S. traditional allies such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy decide to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), people may start to wonder: Is this a sign that the U.S. is in irreversible decline?

Continue reading

Is Germany Still in the Race for Australia’s Biggest Arms Deal of the Century?

Angela Merkel is aggressively pushing for Germany to win a contract to build 12 submarines.

Tomorrow’s issue of Der Spiegelfeatures a story on Angela Merkel’s efforts to secure one of the largest arms deals in Germany’s history. The article discusses the, according to a German government source, “outstanding” opportunity for the German arms industry should the German manufacturer ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) be awarded the contract to build up to twelve new submarines for the Australian Royal Navy.  TKMS’s offer, the 4,000 tons HDW class 216 is a submarine, specifically designed to meet Canberra’s needs, which is looking to replace its aging Collins-class submarine fleet. Continue reading