– USNI News – The following is the first public Chinese Military Strategy white paper outlining a new policy of “active defense,” released by the Chinese Ministry of National Defense on May 26, 2015.
– Defense News – It’s no secret that China has embarked on a major modernization and expansion plan for its Navy, and its aggressive building program, coupled with the placing in service of more modern submarines, an aircraft carrier, destroyers with ever-sophisticated sensors and a large number of long-range surface-to-surface missiles, is altering politics and strategies throughout the Asian theater. What is not so clear is what sort of fleet the Chinese are building toward, and how far their industrial capability can take them.
– Real Clear Defense – My entreaty to American diplomats and naval leaders is this: yield nothing to China in the South China Sea. Do not compromise on surveillance flights, underwater surveys, or any other part of the law of the sea for the sake of amity with Beijing. Freedom of the sea is indivisible. Let some of it go and the rest is apt to follow. By contrast, exercising high-seas freedoms to the maximum extent lawful represents a statement—backed by steel—that no coastal state may annul or modify basic principles underlying the liberal maritime order.
– Real Clear Defense – On Monday EU foreign and defense ministers resolved to use naval power to go after human trafficking at its sources in North Africa. A tidal wave of refugees has crashed on European shores in recent years as tens of thousands of people flee armed strife and economic upheaval in Africa and the Middle East. The Mediterranean Sea has become a conduit for what Germans call a Völkerwanderung, a mass migration across the frontiers of civilization. Large-scale movements of Germanic tribesmen brought havoc to the Roman Empire in its dying days, giving rise to the term. European leaders hope deploying a forward maritime strategy will spare the European Union a Roman fate.
– USNI News – India’s long-delayed carrier is set to enter the water next week while the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has approved more money for development of the second indigenous carrier.
– Breaking Defense – Since early November, three Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys and 26 marines have been on alert at Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait, on 30-minute alert to fly in and rescue a U.S. or coalition pilot downed while bombing or shooting at the Islamic State in Iraq or Syria. On 29 occasions between Nov. 1 and April 24, two Ospreys and a KC-130J aerial refueling tanker assigned to this Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) mission have spent 145 hours loitering in the air as large coalition airstrikes were underway, “ready to swoop in if required,” their former commander says.
– FoxtrotAlpha – Japan is looking to further militarize Ishigaki-Jima with both surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles. Ishigaki Island is just 100 miles east of Taiwan and about 100 miles south of the highly disputed Senkaku Islands, putting it in a volatile yet strategic geographic position.
– BBC – EU foreign and defence ministers are expected to approve a mission to destroy the boats used by people-smugglers operating in war-torn Libya.
– Reuters – The Pentagon said on Tuesday that two Iranian warships have “linked up” with a cargo ship that Iran has said is carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen, as activists on board the vessel said it was due to arrive at the Yemeni port of Hodaida on Thursday.
USNI Blog – “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” – Rahm Emanuel
– USNI News – Targeted investments in improving weapons and decoys could propel the U.S. submarine fleet to be the underwater answer to anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) threats.
– BBC – A Royal Navy submariner has defended his criticism of safety procedures around the Trident nuclear submarines and revealed he will hand himself over to the authorities within days.
– USNI News – For China, the broader Mediterranean region is of real interest in terms of both energy security and trade.
– BBC – In the North Sea, off the coast of Norway, Nato has been conducting its largest ever anti-submarine warfare exercise.
– Reuters – The U.S. Marine Corps is bringing together foreign commanders from amphibious forces deployed mostly in the Asia-Pacific for a conference aimed at taking steps to integrate operations, with China excluded from the event.
– New York Times Magazine – Carlotta Gall, who reported from Pakistan for the New York Times for the last decade, on Seymour Hersh’s recent Bin Laden story.
– Reuters – Iranian naval vessels fired shots at a Singapore-flagged tanker in the Gulf on Thursday, in what appeared to be Iran’s latest attempt to settle a legal dispute by force with passing commercial vessels.
– USNI News – Had Labour emerged with the most seats in the House of Commons, its hopes of forming a viable government would have required the support of the fiercely anti-nuclear Scottish National Party. This was a worrisome prospect for advocates of strategic nuclear deterrence, who feared that a weak Labour leadership would inevitably cave in to SNP demands and scrap plans to renew the U.K.’s submarine-based Trident ballistic missile force.
– USNI News – Iran’s recent seizure and release of the Marshall Islands flagged M/V Maersk Tigris could be what Iran claims it is, a reaction to a decade-long dispute over shipping containers that were diverted to the UAE and never delivered to Iran. More likely however, it is a thinly veiled attempt at brinkmanship to remind the United States of the kind of trouble that Iran can stir up in the Strait of Hormuz. – See more at: http://news.usni.org/2015/05/11/analysis-irans-latest-round-of-maritime-brinksmanship#sthash.Ladh4PjJ.dpuf
– Reuters – The Pentagon is considering sending U.S. military aircraft and ships to assert freedom of navigation around rapidly growing Chinese-made artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea.
– Reuters – Iranian warships will accompany a cargo ship bound for the Yemeni port of Hodaida, which is held by Iran-allied Houthi fighters. The Iran-flagged Iran Shahed cargo ship set sail on Monday and could be intercepted by Saudi-led coalition forces.
– London Review of Books – Seymour Hersh has a different tale behind the killen of Osama bin Laden.
– USNI News – The three-ship Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) will deploy today from Naval Station San Diego, Calif. for a deployment to the Western Pacific and the Middle East.
– USNI News – Congress has received notification of a potential $3 billon sale of 17 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and support equipment to Japan.
– Real Clear Defense – It’s tough to winnow the U.S. Navy’s priorities list down to five weapon systems. However, I applied a secret method to come up with the definitive, incontrovertible list of the Top 5 Weapons the U.S. Navy Needs Now. The list employs such metrics as a system’s national-level importance, its capacity to multiply the fleet’s offensive and defensive fighting power, and its ability to exploit enduring enemy weaknesses at manageable cost to the United States.