Understanding Japan’s Shifting Defense Policy

USNI News – The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed major changes in Japan’s defense policy, with strong implications for the United States and U.S. armed forces in the Pacific. The changes, designed to shift Japan away from an isolated, pacifistic defense posture to a more dynamic one based on bilateral and even multilateral relationships, are controversial but not uncommon to most nations.

How the Philippines Plans to Revive a Former US Naval Base

The Diplomat – Amidst the tensions generated by China’s development of artificial islands in the South China Sea, Philippine Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin reiterated the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) plan to rehabilitate the air and naval facilities in Subic Bay Freeport in the central part of the mainland island of Luzon.

U.S. Navy Seeks Better Sub-Hunting Technology to Counter Putin

Bloomberg – The U.S. Navy wants to upgrade its ability to detect Russian submarines in response to assertive naval moves by President Vladimir Putin.
The Navy is seeking to deploy a sophisticated surveillance device made by Lockheed Martin Corp. in the Atlantic Ocean. The device, towed by a ship, already is in use in the Pacific. As soon as mid-2016, the service also wants to send to the Atlantic a prototype networked “undersea sensor system” that “addresses emergent real-world threats.”

No, Russia Isn’t Building a Giant New Aircraft Carrier

War is Boring – Russian media reported in early 2015 that the Kremlin is preparing blueprints for a huge new aircraft carrier to replace the Russian navy’s current flattop, the relatively small and aged Admiral Kuznetsov. But Moscow’s new carrier is likely to remain a paper concept. A quarter-century after the Soviet Union’s collapse, Russia lacks the money, expertise and industrial capacity to build aircraft carriers.

Capability-Based Planning and the Death of Military Strategy

USNI – In the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review, released days before the September 11 attacks, the Department of Defense announced a shift in approach—one that had been trickling through DOD since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Billed as “a new defense strategy and an associated risk management framework,” the emerging addition to the defense planning lexicon was a “capabilities-based approach.”

USS Ashland Returns To Saipan With Supplies To Restore Water, Power To Island

USNI News – Marines and sailors from the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD-48) returned to Saipan in the Northern Marianas with heavy equipment to restore power and water purifiers to provide as much as 40,000 gallons of drinking water after the island was devastated by a typhoon last week..

Cutting Weight on Littoral Combat Ship ASW Mission Package Not a New Problem

USNI News – The Navy’s quest to cut weight from the planned Littoral Combat Ship anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission package is neither the result of weight gain in the planned systems nor a new requirement of the program. The need to reduce at least 15 percent of the weight of the systems is born instead of the service’s decision to use proven systems and always has long held plans to mount a weight reduction.

Japan Looks South: China’s Rise Drives New Strategy

Breaking Defense – You’d expect the top admiral in the Japan Self-Defense Force to talk about defending Japan. But Adm. Tomohisa Takei surprised me on his latest visit to Washington — his third in 10 months — with a speech that clearly demonstrates how Japan is broadening its strategic perspective. The new view from Tokyo takes in the Indian Ocean and, especially, the disputed South China Sea. Driving this change, of course, is an alarmingly assertive China.