General Anthony Zinni (ret) on Missed Opportunities, Integrated Deterrence, and Ill-Advised Red Lines.

CIMSEC – This is Part IV of our conversation series with General Anthony Zinni, USMC (ret.) on leadership, strategy, learning, and the art and science of warfighting. In this iteration, we focus on how the decline in strategic thinking following the end of the Cold War, which we discussed in Part I, helped lead to the situation in Ukraine, how to construct credible red lines, and what integrated deterrence may mean.

‘Narco-drones’ are the newest form of drug trafficking. Our laws aren’t yet ready to combat them

The Conversation – Drugs are clandestinely shipped to Australia with traffickers attempting a variety of methods. It’s only a matter of time before Australian Border Force is confronted with these “maritime autonomous vehicles” being used to smuggle contraband into the country. These are ships or underwater vehicles that are remotely controlled or autonomous and don’t have humans on board. Both international and Australian laws need to catch up.

(Thanks to Alain)

Buy More Ships And Renovate The Culture: The Navy’s New Plan To Prepare For War

1945 – Today the chief of naval operations, Admiral Mike Gilday, released an updated “Navigation Plan” for 2022. In effect, the Navigation Plan represents Admiral Gilday’s instructions to the service on how to execute the Triservice Maritime Strategy (2020), along with higher-order directives such as the National Defense Strategy and the interim National Security Strategy. Several things are worthy of note in the Navigation Plan, some of them head-scratchers.

Chinese Military Actions Against Foreign Ships, Aircraft Are No Accidents — They’re Policy

USNI News – The increasingly frequent aggressive actions by the Peoples Liberation Army Air Force like “chaffing” an Australian patrol aircraft in international waters and causing a Canadian patrol aircraft to alter its course to avoid a collision off North Korea “look like a pattern and policy” dictated by Beijing rather than random acts by pilots, the Pentagon’s senior official on Indo-Pacific security said Tuesday.

You Go to War With the Watercraft You Have

War on the Rocks – The challenge of logistics in the Pacific theater is different than those associated with land movements across a shared border in Europe. Failure in the Indo-Pacific theater might not be represented by lines of stalled vehicles, but rather troops and equipment far removed from the battle and without adequate intra-theater lift to move them across the ocean. Though the Army and Marine Corps (via the Navy), each have plans to acquire intra-theater watercraft, without coordination and a significant increase in scale, U.S. forces could find themselves without adequate numbers of watercraft or a joint logistics concept that captures the dynamic changes of force design and modernization that each of the services has embarked upon.

Note From Nimitz: You Need Lots Of Ships To Take Risks In War

1945 – Niccolò Machiavelli, meet Chester Nimitz. In his Discourses on Roman history the Renaissance Florentine philosopher-statesman claimed that human beings do not relish change. In fact, he verges on saying people can’tchange as the times and surroundings change around them. They get stuck as events march on. Thankfully for World War II America, Fleet Admiral Nimitz was an exception to the Machiavellian rule.

China’s Nuclear Powered Super Long-Range Torpedo Concept Fits Concerning Pattern

War Zone – Imagine low-cost nuclear-powered torpedoes that can travel largely undetected in a swarm across the Pacific Ocean and strike U.S. targets in about a week. To a group of researchers in Beijing, that’s not just a fever dream, it’s a concept they believe they can turn into reality. And an ambition U.S. State Department officials have been warning about.

The Case for U.S. Coast Guard Cutters in American Samoa

CIMSEC – Compared to the marquee U.S. military installations at Diego Garcia, Yokosuka, or Guam, American Samoa is a U.S. territory that evokes images of idyllic island life rather than strategic competition. However, by considering American Samoa through the lens of strategic competition, a military installation manned by the U.S. Coast Guard is an easy step to demonstrate commitment in the region that makes imminent sense for several reasons. Due to the sheer distances involved in the Pacific — the closest Coast Guard installations are from Hawaii (2,260 nautical miles) and Guam (3,120 nautical miles) — current sustained operations in region are necessarily expeditionary.