War Zone – The reported attack on an Israeli commercial vessel in the Gulf of Oman follows attacks on an Iranian nuclear site and covert mothership.
Defense News – As the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship program battles reliability problems, it is also wrestling another and potentially just as fearsome bear: operating costs. The service’s top officer said the original concept for a minimal crewing model — where as few as 32 sailors and eight officers manned the ship, and much of the maintenance burden fell to contractors — has driven up costs.
Defense News – As it gears up for its 2022 budget battle, the Navy has signaled it is time to move on and phase out the cruisers to make room for the next-generation Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, even if it means shrinking the fleet in the near term. The Flight III doesn’t solve the Navy’s missile problem, but it does have enough space onboard (it’s about 400 tons heavier than its Flight IIA counterparts) to house the air warfare command role that currently belongs to the cruisers.
USNI News – Chinese maritime militia vessels remained berthed at the Whitsun Reef, which is located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, lending credence to what Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana described as China’s plot to permanently occupy the feature.
USNI News – The sea service envisions a new way of doing business where it can field software fixes and entirely new software-based capabilities piecemeal, as soon as they’re developed by a small business or research team, instead of waiting for a large package of updates to all be ready to go in a more traditional update approach.
CIMSEC – Worldwide “Ocean Governance” asks the important question: “How can navies and coast guards better coordinate with local governments and international agencies in countering violence at sea? What lessons can be learned from instances of good onshore/offshore collaboration? How are governments working together across jurisdictions and in international waters to counter this threat?”
1945 – James Holmes writes that even seemingly objective imagery such as cartography can convey political messages as well as facts.
China Aerospace Studies Institute – A comprehensive look at the ‘software’ of the PLAAF across its full history.
CNN – They’ve been dubbed China’s “Little Blue Men,” an allegedly Beijing-controlled maritime militia that analysts say could be hundreds of boats and thousands of crew members strong. China doesn’t acknowledge their existence and when questioned, refers to them as a “so-called maritime militia.”
War on the Rocks – Could Japan see an increase in the presence of U.S. military capabilities and personnel in the years ahead? It’s looking possible.
Defense and Aerospace Report – Chris Cavas writes that when it comes to big things the U. S. Navy has no problem with commitment…But when it comes to the small stuff, forget it. While there are passing fancies, the passion soon flames out and Big Navy is on to the next Big Thing.
War on the Rocks – In trying to understand America’s “great power competition” with China, observers have offered a range of historical analogies. Graham Allison invoked the “Thucydides Trap,” referring to Athens and its war with Sparta, while a recent compilation asked, in reference to World War I, if a U.S.-Chinese clash could be the next great war. But perhaps the Napoleonic Wars offer a better analogy.
USNI Proceedings – China took lessons from Operation Desert Storm and remade itself with foreign technology to build a formidable joint military force with expeditionary ambitions.
WarZone – Two U.S. Navy destroyers will enter the Black Sea as a Russian military buildup around eastern Ukraine continues to grow.
USNI News – A U.S. carrier strike group and amphibious ready group are in the South China Sea as tensions increase between Manilla and Beijing over a Chinese maritime militia incursion into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
StrategyPage – In southern Spain (Malaga province, just east of the Straits of Gibraltar), a March 2021 police raid on a drug gang coastal warehouse found a ten-meter (31 foot) narco-sub (drug smuggling submersible vessel) under construction and nearly completed.
War Zone – The deployment of additional naval assets to the Black Sea comes as other signs, including a spike in GPS jamming, point to a new looming crisis.
Naval News – The delivery of Kirov-class nuclear powered cruiser (project 11442M) Admiral Nakhimov to the Russian Navy won’t be possible until 2023, a defense industry source told TASS. The vessel, which is being upgraded by Sevmash Shipyard, was supposed to be handed over in late 2022.
War Zone – The appearance of the Chinese catamaran fast-attack missile craft adds a significant new player to these disputed waters.
CIMSEC – Deterrence represents one form of coercive diplomacy, which the DoD defines as the “prevention of action by the existence of a credible threat of unacceptable counteraction and/or belief that the cost of action outweighs the perceived benefits.” Compellence constitutes a different form of coercive diplomacy, representing the “use of threatened force, including the limited use of actual force to back up the threat, to induce an adversary to behave differently than it otherwise would.” States can employ these coercive approaches through various instruments of power in their pursuit of national interests.
CIMSEC – The Naval Academy must return to the warfighting mentality of its past. In 2007, the Naval Academy not only removed its only tactics and strategy course from the Midshipmen core curriculum, it stopped offering it altogether. Until recently, this decision signaled the end of a rich history of wargaming at USNA, which included Academy-wide games held at varying levels of classification. VTEs offer the Naval Academy an opportunity to reprioritize warfighting by providing the “ready, relevant learning” future naval officers will need to conduct 21st century warfare.
USNI News – The Navy continues to learn more about a pair of directed energy weapons, as the service installs the fourth and fifth dazzler system this year and begins land-based testing of a high-energy laser weapon.
1945 – A common refrain in these pixels is that strategic competition is an armed debate in which debaters—great powers, usually—flourish implements of war in an impressive way to mold opinion among audiences that matter. Positioning oneself as the stronger contender in the minds of influential observers helps cow opponents give heart to allies and partners, win new allies to the cause, and rally the faithful back home.
Naval News – Few corners of the submarine world are seen as sneakier than covert operations against undersea communications cables. It is estimated that 97% of global communications are transmitted by undersea cables. This includes trillions of dollars of financial transactions. These cables have been described as ‘Indispensable but insecure’. They are thought to be particularly vulnerable to the Russian Navy’s seabed warfare platforms. And it is not just internet traffic which could be under threat, but energy infrastructure, military communications and sensor networks.