– CIMSEC – An interview with Lieutenant Jack McCain on his new book Angola, Clausewitz, and the American Way of War.
– Congressional Research Service – Ronald O’Rourke’s latest report on the Chinese Maritime Militia.
– CIMSEC – Part I and II of this conclusion to our series on Hainan’s maritime militia discussed the Hainan Provincial Military District (MD) leadership’s approach to constructing maritime militia forces in response to national militia guidelines and how they address challenges during construction efforts. This final installment in our series offers a glimpse into what the Hainan MD’s efforts have yielded in force scale. It also examines the incentivizes motivating the builders of this force, such as political drivers and pressures confronting local officials. The conclusion also outlines issues meriting further observation and analysis, such as the significance of the Sansha Maritime Militia force for China’s third sea force more broadly, and the degree to which Chinese officials frame related efforts as part of a “People’s War.”
– The Diplomat – After a six-century hiatus, sea power development may once again find its center of gravity in the Asia-Pacific. While the Trump Administration plans a naval buildup, China is already well into a buildup of its own.
– BBC – China has launched a new aircraft carrier in the latest sign of its growing military strength.
– Congressional Research Service – The newest edition of Ronald O’Rourke’s report to Congress.
– Breaking Defense – President Trump and the US Navy want a 355-ship fleet, but even if you double shipbuilding budgets compared to historic levels, it can’t be done until 2032, at least 12 years after the end of Trump’s current term of office.
– Navy Times – In early April, officials at U.S. Pacific Command were developing plans to respond to a sharp rise in tensions with North Korea. Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered PACOM Commander Adm. Harry Harris to come up with “robust and sustainable” options for North Korea if President Trump ordered a strike on the rogue regime.
– Defense News – China’s second aircraft carrier, but its first locally built, has been floated off its dry dock, and its formal launch appears imminent, even as the country continues development work on other aspects of its carrier program.
– BBC – The USS Michigan has arrived in South Korea, amid worries of another North Korean missile or nuclear test.
– Breaking Defense – The Navy needs to delay a year before awarding the roughly $9 billion contract for the upgraded frigate version of the Littoral Combat Ship, because it needs more time to thrash out cost estimates and detailed designs, says congressional watchdog GAO.
– Defense News – Two Japanese destroyers joined up with the Carl Vinson carrier strike group in the Philippine Sea Sunday for renewed bilateral exercises, the Japan-based U.S. Seventh Fleet announced. The Vinson is headed north for the Sea of Japan in an expression of U.S. resolve as North Korea continues to develop offensive ballistic missiles with nuclear capability.
– US Naval War College Review – While the Australian Defense Force and New Zealand Defense Force maintain a relatively high level of interoperability, further enhancements in the area of amphibious capability could be achieved through greater integration, specifically through emulating the model adopted by the United Kingdom / Netherlands Amphibious Force (UKNLAF).
– US Naval War College Review – This article considers the options open to the Republic of Korea’s Navy, in the context of its maritime cooperation with the US Navy, to deal with the new intractable North Korean SLBM threat.
– US Naval War College Review – What is the role of coast guards in the realm of territorial disputes? Until ten years ago or so, few policy makers in East and Southeast Asia had to grapple with this question, because regional navies, not coast guards, were the central actors asserting sovereignty in disputed areas.
– CIMSEC – 2016 witnessed a marked increase in maritime security incidents over the previous year, irrespective of the counting standards. Denmark-based Risk Intelligence counted 119 verified attacks by criminals on all kinds of vessels in West Africa (Senegal to Angola) – compared with 82 in 2015. The vast majority of attacks in 2016 were perpetrated by Nigerian criminals, including all of the 84 that were concentrated in and around Nigerian waters.
– The Intercept – The Snowden documents reveal scope of secrets exposed to China in 2001’s EP-3 incident.
– Aviation Week – The North Korean submarine threat looked bad enough after the torpedoing of a South Korean corvette in 2010. It has looked a good deal more serious since, as North Korea has worked to deploy nuclear ballistic missiles in submarines. All of this is making a South Korean program to buy additional maritime patrollers a rising priority. The likely contenders are now the Boeing P-8 Poseiden and Saab’s proposed Swordfish, based on the Bombardier Global 6000. The navy has dropped a plan to buy and refurbish 16 Lockheed Martin S-3 Vikings, shifting its focus to the possible order for new aircraft.
– Warzone – Under the new administration the Navy could maximize a planned budget increase and tailor its force to 21st century demands.
– CIMSEC – General John Allen outlines the threats the US will face in the future.
– USNI News – The Navy is considering increasing its future frigate’s anti-air firepower and may open up the frigate design competition to hulls beyond the current two small surface combatants.
– Aviation Week – Singapore is likely to field at least five new maritime patrollers in the early 2020s, markedly raising its ability to deal with submarines at a distance while also bolstering ocean surveillance capacity. The aircraft will replace five Fokker 50 Enforcers acquired in the early 1990s, say sources with insight into the requirement. A supplementary force of unmanned aircraft for maritime patrol is also under consideration.
– The Drive – We talk with a P-8 pilot about how the jet is rapidly maturing into one of the Pentagon’s most versatile and in-demand assets—one that has now been deployed to most of the major hotspots around the globe.
– The Guardian – Japan is preparing to send several warships to join a US aircraft carrier strike group heading for the Korean peninsula, in a show of force designed to deter North Korea from conducting further missile and nuclear tests.
– CIMSEC – As it works to improve its maritime militia, Hainan Province is engaged in multiple lines of effort.