The Lion and the Mouse: The Need for Greater U.S. Focus in The Pacific Islands

StrategyBridge – China is infusing support into the Pacific island countries via Belt and Road Initiatives, mainly infrastructure, revealing China’s desire to influence its security posture in the South Pacific. China, like the U.S., recognizes the strategic geographic value of the region and is actively investing in the region. This is a threat to the U.S. influence and values in the region.

The US Navy is combining diver teams as it readies for future wars

Defense News – A port of vital interest to the U.S. military is bombed and destroyed in a future great-power battle, with sunken ships and piers in the water blocking access for ships trying to resupply American forces. Navy Seabee divers and salvage divers are scattered across the theater conducting smaller missions, but the fight can’t continue until this major job is done — the underwater wreckage cleared and the port infrastructure rebuilt so resupply at this hub can resume. In this worst-case scenario for the U.S., the only way to get the port operating again may be to integrate the usually-separate divers — underwater construction and salvage — into a single unit unlike anything the Navy has fielded in the past.

War Studies Primer

We invite you to try War Studies Primer – an introductory course on the study of war and military history. Its purpose is to provide an introduction to the study of war.

War Studies Primer is presented as a lecture curriculum at the university level. It is a free, non-credit, self-study course that consists of 28 topics and over 1,900 slides and is updated on a yearly basis.

Look at slides 2 and 3 in the War Studies Primer for its Table of Contents, and then choose a lecture to read and enjoy.

Drones and Starlink: Combining Satellite Constellations With Unmanned Navy Ships

CIMSEC – It is these two emerging technologies, maritime drone vessels and large satellite communication constellations, that could allow for the Navy to solve some of its ongoing issues and permit the creation of a more nimble, lean, and modern force able to better confront the rising security threats facing the United States in the years and decades to come.

Gulf Sky: ‘Our ship was hijacked and taken to Iran’

BBC – In July 2020, the oil tanker Gulf Sky vanished from waters off the United Arab Emirates, along with its crew. Days later it turned up in Iran where it’s now suspected to be working as a “ghost ship” – helping the regime ferry oil in breach of sanctions. For the first time, eight former crew have spoken to the BBC about the ship’s disappearance, saying they were hijacked by a group of armed men. All but the captain have asked not to be named, out of fear for their safety and livelihoods.

DARPA Hopes A Plane-Boat Hybrid Can Solve The Pentagon’s Sealift Challenge

Breaking Defense – The Pentagon’s premiere research agency published a request for information earlier this month eyeing a new class of aircraft capable of utilizing the “wing-in-ground” effect. But analysts tell Breaking Defense the military’s request, on a relatively short turnaround time, will be a difficult for the industrial base to oblige — and worry that the system might not be viable for more than short trips.

The HMS Defender Incident: Lawfare, Optics, and a Changing European Strategic Direction

CIMSEC – Despite its limited immediate impact, the significance of this FONOP cannot be overstated. Since the end of the Cold War, very few European nations have taken initiatives to upend their strategic interests in the face of powerful adversaries and have instead been relying on the American security umbrella. A multitude of factors are at play to influence this return to geopolitics in Europe, from the specter of Trump’s alienating policies towards America’s allies and partners, to the advent of a multipolar world. Yet this FONOP and renewed European interest in the Indo-Pacific shows that even a strategically independent Europe will remain a natural partner to America for military cooperation and burden-sharing, not just due to shared economic interests, but also common values.