Defense and National Security News

C17 bundle drop over a remote U.S. camp in Afghanistan. (Photo by Senior Airman Ricky J. Best, 2 Jan 2007).
C17 bundle drop over a remote U.S. camp in Afghanistan. (Photo by Senior Airman Ricky J. Best, 2 Jan 2007).

Recent articles about Defense and National Security – Army’s dependence on air power, equipping infantrymen, the ‘Third Offset Strategy’, Russian jihad approaching, MREs to change in 2017, China’s ‘Little Blue Sailors”, and more.

Airpower – Still Needed by the Army. Some commentary by an Air Force officer on the Army’s need for a strong Air Force in “No End in Sight to the Army’s Dependence on Airpower”War on the Rocks, December 13, 2016.

Skip the F-35; Equip Our Infantrymen. A lot of money is getting wasted on the Air Force’s fighter of the future yet the nation’s infantrymen are lacking good equipment. Read more in an article by General (ret) Robert H. Scales entitled “The Infantryman’s Christmas List: How to Equip Our Men for Ground Combat”National Review, December 15, 2016.

Russian Jihad? One writer, Leon Aron, writes of “The Coming of the Russian Jihad” in War on the Rocks, December 19, 2016. “While virtually all Russian and Central Asian Muslims are Sunnis, Putin has effectively allied himself with Shiites in Syria, Iran, and Iraq”.

Hybrid War Employed Offensively? Kaan Sahin, writing for The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) presents three reasons why liberal democracies cannot engage in hybrid warfare. See Liberal democracies and hybrid war, IISS, December 16, 2016.

MRE Menu Changes. 2017 will see a new list of Meals Ready to Eat (MRE). Read “Eat, Rat ****, Kill: Your Unofficial Guide to MREs in 2017”, Task & Purpose, December 12, 2017.

US Military in Next Decade? A columnist, Patrick Savage, writes that our military needs to retain its ability to fight conventional wars. Read more in “The United States Military’s Waning Supremacy”Georgetown Security Studies Review, December 18, 2016.

Third Offset Strategy. This concept-based strategy of looking at defense issues is “. . . the Department of Defense’s attempt to refocus on peacetime military competitions . . .” One observer (Benjamin M. Jensen) believes that the third offset strategy “. . . tends to overemphasize future capabilities and fails to address technology-enabled irregular threats, the role of civilian populations, or difficulties inherent in urban terrain”. The future character of war is most likely to be irregular threats (think Iraq and Syria) and information warfare (think social media and cyber). Read “Think Bigger: The Third Offset and Extending the Battlefield”War on the Rocks, December 12, 2016.

China’s ‘Little Blue Sailors’. Russia, extends its influence and power with it’s ‘Little Green Men’ through its ‘hybrid warfare’ campaign in Crimea, Ukraine, Syria, and who knows where else. China is feeling its oats now – with a lame duck President hesitant to act – and a President-Elect that . . . well . . . it’s too early to tell. At any rate, one observer projects the future and tells us that 2017 will see the appearance of China’s ‘Little Blue Sailors’. Read more in an article by Michael Peck entitled “Little Blue Sailors: Maritime Hybrid Warfare Is Coming (In the South China Sea and Beyond)”National Interest, December 18, 2016.

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