A Half Century of Half Aircraft Carriers

- War is Boring – Starting in the 1960s, the world’s leading navies experimented with a new kind of warship. Heavily-armed and sporting huge flight decks for helicopters, the vessels were hybrids—not quite cruisers, not quite aircraft carriers. Ungainly and in many cases conceptually flawed, the helicopter cruisers nevertheless represented an important leap forward for naval technology. Today’s assault ships—arguably the most useful warships afloat—owe much to the helicopter cruisers that preceded them.

Ten Reasons Why China Will Have Trouble Fighting A Modern War

- War on the Rocks – The introduction of new weapons and platforms into the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has captured the attention of much of the world for well over a decade. However, new equipment is only one element of the PLA’s long-term, multi-dimensional modernization process. There is much to be done and no one understands this better than the Chinese themselves. Based on what PLA commanders and staff officers write in their internal newspapers and journals, the force faces a multitude of challenges in order to close the perceived gaps between its capabilities and those of advanced militaries.

LCS Versus the Danish Strawman

- CIMSEC – Many critics have assailed the Littoral Combatant Ship (LCS) program for its high cost in comparison with foreign, supposedly better armed and equipped equivalents. The Danish Iver Huitfeldt and Absalon class frigates are often cited as examples of cheaper, more capable small combatants in comparison with LCS. These claims are not well researched and are based on isolated points of data rather than any systemic analysis.

Iran Stages Giant Attack on Mock Aircraft Carrier

- War is Boring – Iran has carried out a massive attack on a mock version of an American Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Tehran wanted everyone to know about it—state TV broadcasted the military exercise live. It’s a revealing look at Iranian naval assault tactics, involving several waves of ships backed by helicopters and shore-launched missiles. The timing isn’t a coincidence. The United States and Iran are deadlocked over a deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.

For Marine who urinated on dead Taliban, a hero’s burial at Arlington

- Washington Post – His three combat tours in Afghanistan had been boiled down to a 38-second video clip, played and replayed on YouTube more than a million times. In it, Rob Richards and three other Marine Corps snipers are seen urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters they had just killed. “Total dismay” were the words then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton used to describe the video when it surfaced on the Internet in January 2012. “Utterly deplorable,” agreed then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Richards’s career in the military was finished. More than two years later — long after the rest of the country had moved on to other scandals — Richards, 28, died at home and alone from an accidental painkiller overdose.

Are Submarines About to Become Obsolete?

- National Interest – What would happen if U.S. nuclear attack submarines—some of the most sophisticated and expensive American weapons of war—suddenly became obsolete? Imagine a scenario where these important systems became the hunted instead of the hunter, or just as technologically backward as the massive battleships of years past. Think that sounds completely insane? If advances in big data and new detection methods fuse with the anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) ambitions of nations like China and Russia, naval planners around the world might have to go back to the drawing board.