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The South China Sea

Why a little-known waterway is so important to the world’s two strongest powers and how nationalism could lock them into a spiral of aggression. Guests include Robert Kaplan and Toshi Yoshihara.

In the News

Is Trump Giving Putin a Pass on a Missile Deployment?

In a report on keeping Europe “whole and free” for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, former ambassador Eric Edelman and Whitney M. McNamara advise (p. 47) that “NATO should consider . . . bringing back a version of the submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) and a new ALCM. The United States, for example, might consider developing a lighter, shorter-range version of its Long-Range Standoff (LRSO) missile to replace its aging ALCM. These weapons could become part of the NATO inventory delivered by dual-capable aircraft.” They continue, “The United States could also re-field tactical nuclear weapons in existing 155-mm howitzer battalions in the Baltics that are unable to hit deep Russian targets, enabling NATO forces to occupy a key position on a lower rung on the escalatory ladder. In addition, the United States should start the research and development of a new Pershing-3 ballistic missile.” Their bottom line: “In light of existing Russian breaks from the [INF] agreement, the United States should consider eventually withdrawing from the INF Treaty.”

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Panel: Navy Must Invest In Counter-C4ISR, Unmanned Boats, Railgun To Prepare For Future Fight

During a House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, ranking member Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) asked the panelists – representing the studies conducted by a Navy team, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and the MITRE Corporation – what the first investments ought to be to achieve the teams’ visions of a future Navy fleet... Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at CSBA, piggybacked Werchado’s comments and said his priority would be “to invest in the unmanned vehicles that are going to be the things that carry around these payloads of counter-C4ISR systems.” “Buying new Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUVs); buying new large unmanned surface vehicles, the Common USV; and also the Extra Large USV, which is a variant of the DARPA Sea Hunter program. Those would be the platforms that carry around some of these sensor packages and some of the jammers and decoys that we need to deploy in order to keep platforms inside these highly contested environments,” Clark said.

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China as a Superpower – An Interview with Prof. Toshi Yoshihara

One way to gauge China’s longer term intentions is to assess what Chinese leaders are saying today. President Xi Jinping has articulated a vision for China over the next few decades. This vision has been termed the “Chinese Dream” or the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” These slogans capture goals, milestones, and timelines. 

In the News

The Nuances of the Distributed Fleet

The implementation of the distributed fleet will require regaining the advantage in the electromagnetic spectrum. Otherwise, unmanned systems and dispersed assets may be more of a liability than benefit. The U.S. military does not have a great track record in developing distributed systems. The Army’s Distributed Common Ground System has long been criticized as a very expensive yet ineffective system. In 2015, a report released by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments argued that the Navy did not have the operational guidance to use its newest electromagnetic technologies to the greatest effect.