– BBC – An Iranian naval task force has docked in Sudan, carrying with it a “message of peace and security to neighbouring countries.”
– Washington Post – Top Pentagon leaders, White House advisers and members of Congress from both parties have long regarded the rapid expansion of Afghanistan’s army and police as a crucial element of the U.S. exit strategy. For years, they reasoned that generating a force of 352,000 soldiers and policemen would enable the Afghan government to keep fighting Taliban insurgents after U.S. and NATO troops end their combat mission. The U.S. military has nearly met its growth target for the Afghan forces, but they are nowhere near ready to assume control of the country. No Afghan army battalion is capable of operating without U.S. advisers. Many policemen spend more time shaking down people for bribes than patrolling. Front-line units often do not receive the fuel, food and spare parts they need to function. Intelligence, aviation and medical services remain embryonic. And perhaps most alarming, an increasing number of Afghan soldiers and policemen are turning their weapons on their U.S. and NATO partners. As a consequence, several U.S. officers and civilian specialists who have worked with those forces have started to question the wisdom of the 352,000 goal. To them, the obsession with size has been at the root of much that has gone wrong with the Afghan security services.
– San Diego Union Tribune – Hey, sailor, what’s your job on the ship? If the vessel is the Fort Worth, the U.S. Navy’s third and newest littoral combat ship, the answer may be: Which job?
– Aviation Week – Yesterday’s engagement between a suspect dhow and the Royal Netherlands Navy landing ship dock Hr.Ms. Rotterdam was an uneven fight, despite sustained fire by suspected pirates.
– San Diego Union Tribune – Third in littoral combat line represents lessons learned from 2 prototypes.
– Wired – The precision killing of the three pirates by six members of SEAL Team Six, the same unit that would later kill Osama bin Laden in his Pakistan hideout, has rarely been described in detail. Retired Rear Adm. Terry McKnight, who commanded U.S. naval forces off Somalia during the Maersk Alabama standoff, devotes 45 pages of his new book Pirate Alley to the people, methods, equipment and even politics behind Phillips’ daring rescue.
– Los Angeles Times – Formerly ice-clogged Arctic waters are now navigable, opening a rush for oil and mineral resources — and raising heretofore unknown security concerns in the U.S. Far North.
– Washington Post – Mark Bowden debunks 5 myths about the raid on Osama bin Laden.
– The Diplomat – A return to a familiar port of call serves as another reminder of the United States continued “rebalance” towards Asia.
– AOL Defense – Right now, the Navy is designing the ballistic missile submarine that will provide 70 percent of the nation’s nuclear deterrent until 2080. Yet even as the service prepares to award research and development contracts this December, the submarine community is deeply worried that the rest of the military is neglecting the program — which has already had to make some painful trade-offs on schedule, numbers, and capability. And the service has not even started work on whatever nuclear missile the new sub will end up carrying for the latter half of its life.
– Associated Press – A U.S. aircraft carrier group cruised through the disputed South China Sea on Saturday in a show of American power in waters that are fast becoming a focal point of Washington’s strategic rivalry with Beijing.
– Aviation Week – Unmanned systems at sea offer advantages and face challenges that are often different from those associated with airborne and ground-based systems. For example, in a patrol mission that calls for long endurance at low speed, the size of a manned ship is largely driven by the need to provide tolerable accommodation and stability for the crew—a limit that does not apply to an unmanned surface vessel (USV).
– BBC – China is conducting naval exercises in the East China Sea, state media report, amid heightened tensions with Japan over islands both claim.
– Wall Street Journal – Less than a month after China officially commissioned the Liaoning, its first aircraft carrier, photos appearing to show aircraft operating over the carrier have raised a host of questions, including how long it might take for China to make the carrier fully operational.
– PBS NewsHour – A major international naval exercise last month in and around the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, led by the U.S. Navy with more than 30 other nations participating, located fewer than half of the practice mines laid at sea.
– Associated Press – Japanese military officials said they were keeping a close eye on seven Chinese warships spotted in waters off a southern island Tuesday. It was unclear whether the ship movements were related to a territorial dispute that has prompted both countries to show off their maritime muscles.
– Vanity Fair – President Obama saw it as a “50–50” proposition. Admiral Bill McRaven, mission commander, knew something would go wrong. So how did the raid that killed bin Laden get green-lighted? In an adaptation from his new book, Mark Bowden weaves together accounts from Obama and top decision-makers for the full story behind the daring operation.
– Time – A US Navy Admiral tries to set the record straight on the Littoral Combat Ship.
– Barents Observer – Russia’s first stealth technology frigate «Admiral Gorshkov» is ready for sea trials in the Barents Sea before entering service in the Northern Fleet.
– Wired – One of the first tasks the Navy expects to assign its forthcoming arsenal of laser guns: shooting down drones that menace its ships.
– The Diplomat – An excellent overview of the forms such a conflict could take. This is Part 5 of a 5 part series. Use the links at the top of the page to read all 5 parts.
– Naval History – Norman Friedman writes that when it comes to warships, bigger is usually better, and the most successful vessels are often those that are adaptable to changing times and technologies.
– Defense News – The Philippines on Oct. 8 said a former U.S. naval base facing the South China Sea could play a key role as a hub for American ships as Washington moves to strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific.
– Time – The Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is not only staggeringly overpriced and chronically unreliable but — even if it were to work perfectly — cannot match the combat power of similar sized foreign warships costing only a fraction as much.
– AOL Defense – The Navy will christen its newest amphibious warfare ship in Pascagoula, Miss. on Oct. 20th. The boldly-named, $3 billion America is a major departure from past designs — and, quietly, the Navy has decided not to build many more like it in the future.