Royal Navy – Reverse thrust

The Economist – “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” asked John Maynard Keynes. David Cameron might feel like quoting the great economist when he tells Parliament, as now seems almost certain, that the government is reversing its decision to buy the aircraft-carrier version of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C, rather than the F-35B variant originally ordered by Labour in the 1990s.

Chinese Navy – Chinese Navy Employs UAV Assets

Signal – China’s navy has begun using unmanned aerial vehicles as part of its blue-water operations. At least one type has been photographed by foreign reconnaissance aircraft, and other variants have been reported. Not only has China been displaying an assortment of models at air shows, it also is incorporating advanced U.S. unmanned vehicle technology into current and future systems.

Geopolitics / Asia – America's Pacific Logic

Stratfor – Robert D. Kaplan writes that the Obama administration “pivot” to the Pacific, formally announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last November and reiterated more recently by the president himself, might appear like a reassertion of America’s imperial tendencies just at the time when Washington should be concentrating on the domestic economy. But in fact, the pivot was almost inevitable.

Information Warfare – The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

Wired – James Bamford writes that under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.