U.K. Aircraft Carrier, Italian Navy Carrier Cross-Deck F-35Bs in Mediterranean

USNI News – The United Kingdom Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) and Italian carrier ITS Cavour (CVH550) on Monday performed a cross-decking and integration exercise of their embarked F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters south east of Sicily in the Mediterranean, making Italy the second nation after the United States to operate the aircraft off the U.K. warship.

Japan’s Revolution on Taiwan Affairs

War on the Rocks – The most important development for Taiwan’s security might be unfolding right now in Japan. Tokyo’s strategy toward Taiwan is dramatically shifting. Once reluctant to join all but the most anodyne of pro-Taiwan statements with the United States, Japanese officials now increasingly state their desire to “protect Taiwan as a democratic country.” While no formal changes in security policy or diplomatic legalities are likely, Tokyo is signaling that it is willing to support Taiwan’s sovereignty, up to and including joining a military defense of the island against Chinese attack. This is likely giving Chinese Communist Party leaders and military planners much more short-term heartburn than the recently announced submarine and technology sharing deal between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Strategic geographical points in outer space

The Space Review – Geography has long been a critical factor influencing national strategy, playing a vital role in both international politics and military planning. Captured in history’s stories are countless examples of how geography shaped everything from economics and trade to military conflict. While space can appear both abstract and intimidating, traditional studies of strategy and geography can be successfully applied to the space domain.

Resilient Aerial Refueling: Safeguarding the US Military’s Global Reach

Hudson Institute – The US military’s aerial refueling enterprise is a critical component of its ability to project power globally in defense of American interests. As the US military adopts new concepts to enhance its lethality and gain decision advantage, aerial refueling is increasingly necessary to enable a more distributed and dynamic force. However, with an aging inventory of tanker aircraft and stiff budgetary headwinds, it is an open question whether the US Air Force is capable of fielding the aerial refueling force that the nation needs. This study assesses the current and programmed US aerial refueling enterprise and has found that it likely would be unable to support US strategy and operational concepts at scale against peer adversaries such as the People’s Republic of China. However, the US military could address these shortfalls and improve the operational resilience of its aerial refueling enterprise by adopting new concepts, capabilities, capacities, and posture.