What to look for at the NATO Summit

NATO members are gathering for their 2014 summit in Wales this week, and tensions are higher than usual. Topics are expected to include Russia’s destabilization of Ukraine, the Syrian Civil War, Islamic militants, and even aggressive territorial claims by China. Just in time for the summit, Vago gathered an expert roundtable to preview the discussions on Defense News…

Chinese UCAV Takes Maiden Flight

Photographs have appeared on Chinese military blogs purportedly showing the maiden flight of the Lijian (Sharp Sword) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV). The photographs first appeared on Chinese language military websites: lt.cjdby.net and huanqiu.com on Nov. 21, supposedly the same day the flight occurred. According to lt.cjdby, the Lijian was designed by Shenyang Aircraft Design…

Are Things About To Get Awkward At Major Pacific Military Exercise?

Could war ships from China and Taiwan soon simultaneously participate in a major Pacific military exercise? If one US senator has his way, it might happen. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., has introduced an amendment to the upper chamber’s version of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that, if approved, would put the entire Senate…

Why John McCain Sees Barack Obama’s Middle East Policy As Elephant Dung

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is known for speaking his mind. After all, he is the Senate’s modern-day “Maverick,” and once rode a presidential campaign tour bus called the “Straight Talk Express.” So leave it to McCain to compare his old political foe’s Middle East policy to the, well, droppings of an elephant — and that…

New Arms Are Popping Up All Over The Pacific. HASC Told That’s ‘Worrisome.’

Lawmakers and analysts on Wednesday described the Obama administration’s Asia-Pacific “pivot” as still unclear and a bit contradictory. But the most attention-grabbing portion of a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the pivot focused on what several analysts told the panel: New combat hardware is popping up all over the Asia-Pacific realm. Patrick Cronin, senior…

US Intelligence Report a Cut-Paste on Chinese Missiles

College students can be flunked for cut-and-paste reports, think tankers can be embarrassed, Defense News staff writers can be fired, but not, apparently, members of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC). Most of its so-called “updated” report, 2013 Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat, which contains contributions from the Defense Intelligence Agency Missile and…

Rep. Forbes: What Did China Launch? When Did Obama Admin. Know It?

What did China really launch into space, and when did Obama administration officials know it? That’s what GOP House Armed Services Committee member Randy Forbes of Virginia wants to know. And he’s pressing President Obama’s hand-picked defense secretary for some answers. The early May Chinese “launch of a missile ‘nearly to geosynchronous orbit’ requires additional answers…