Cold War News

Başlatan Karabasan, Şub 07, 2018, 07:40 ÖS

« önceki - sonraki »


Trump's Pentagon Plans to Challenge Chinese Claims in South China Sea

President Trump approved a Pentagon plan this year that will require regular challenges to China's excessive maritime claims in the South China Sea, Breitbart News has learned. Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


China Sea crisis: Japan to bolster military base on island idyll that could become front line in event of war

If war is to break out, then Ishigaki would be the front line. This is the island where Japan feels the most under threat from China and the place it will be installing missiles and troops amid clashes at sea, accusations and recriminations.

While international attention is on whether Games diplomacy in South Korea, with the presence of Kim Jong-un's sister and henchmen present for the Winter Olympics, will lead to peace breaking out, tension between China and its neighbours have continued to grow.

Throughout last year, while Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un traded public insults, Beijing has been quietly bolstering its presence on the extraordinary chain of artificial isles it has been building in waters near and far taking advantage of what it calls "the strategic window of opportunity."

Three airfields have been put into its seven bases in the disputed Spratley chain. There, and elsewhere, aerial photographs from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington reveal facilities awash with fortified shelters for warships, hangers for aircraft and radar, underground bunkers and missile emplacement positions.

The Chinese calls a series of archipelagos the "first island chain of defence" stretching in an arc from the South China Seas to Russia's Kurils. For Japan the most vulnerable point is the Senkaku, to which Beijing has laid claims with surrounding isles, in particular Ishikagi 90 nautical miles away seen as the obvious targets.

Hundreds of fishing boats from China, escorted by coastguard ships, or, at times, warships have been in the seas leading, at times, driving back Japanese fishermen leading to clashes with Japanese coast guards. There has been a recent spate of incursions into airspace by Chinese warplanes and the appearance for the first time, a few weeks ago, of a nuclear attack submarine in these waters.
The Japanese government are now finalising the deployment of missiles batteries, anti-aircraft and anti-ship, radar installations and around 600 troops to Ishigaki. 
Final details are likely to emerge next month. The Independent understands the surface to air missiles are likely include American made MIM-104 Patriots capable of taking down Chinese ballistic missiles with enemy vessels being targeted by SSM-1s which carry up to 500lbs of high-explosives and have range of over a hundred miles. There are future plans for a joint missile system involving Japan and Western Europe to be installed in a project involving the British, French and Italian MBDA and Mitsubishi Electrics.

The issue is of China's supposed attempt at ocean hegemony has led to international reaction.

The US Defence Secretary General James Mattis stressed during a visit to Tokyo that the Washington is fully committed to backing Japan over the Senkakus. On a broader basis, the US has been sending warships through the China Seas to underline the right to freedom of navigation. The British Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has announced that HMS Sutherland, an anti-submarine ship, will be sailing through the South China Seas. The navies of America, India, Japan and Australia, will be holding naval manoeuvres.

The tiny Senkakus were used in the past by a small Japanese community scratching a living out of bonito fishing and collecting albatross feathers. But they were then abandoned had been lying unpopulated for 78 years with basically scientific and geographical exploration groups the only visitors.

That these five islets and three barren rocks, with a total area of just seven kilometres, has become a potential flashpoint for a conflict between two modern industrialised states may be reminiscent of the Jorge Luis Borges's view that Britain and Argentina going to war over the Falklands was "like two bald men fighting over a comb".

In fact, there was little interest in the islands, apart from its fishing grounds, until an international survey in 1969 concluded large undersea deposits of oil and natural gas. The following year both China - which calls the islands Diaoyu - and Taiwan began their claims of ownership.

The steady growth of Chinese presence in the seas, say the Japanese, has damaged the country's fishing industry. Many of Beijing's coast guard vessels are rebranded warships and some of the crews of Chinese fishing boats, it is claimed, are not fishermen at all, but peoples' militia in disguise out to provoke. The confrontation means that Ishigaki fishermen like Yukihidi Higa can no longer catch the red snappers and groupers they used to off the Senkakus.

"Of course it has affected my earnings, I can no longer go there because of the Chinese and their big ships" he stated. " But they are not just taking the fish, most of the coral from the sea has been stripped over the years, this is not good for marine life."

The missile deployment comes at a time of great controversy in Japan as premier Shinzo Abe seeks to revise Japan's post-Second World War pacifist constitution mandated, he holds, by a strong election victory. Last month, his cabinet approved an increase of 1.3 per cent in the annual military budget raising it to a record $ 45.8 billion for the year.

The military deployment is also going to be a key factor in Ishigaki's municipal election next month. "This is certainly going to be part of my campaign. It is of course a very important topic and it needs to be discussed fully and the city will have to agree on providing the land " said Yoshitaka Nakayama, the mayor.

"I am in favour of the deployment  by our Self Defence Forces (SDF). We have seen the Chinese behave very aggressively, they are coming into our territorial waters, our fishermen have been prevented from fishing, our coastguards are having lots of problems, we have seen their planes fly into our airspace. Putting the missile systems here will act as a warning, it may stop Chinese aggression and a conflict in the future."

The military was a key issue in the election in Nago, the capital of the Okinawa prefecture, last week in the defeat of the incumbent Mayor Susumu Inamine, by Taketoyo Toguchi, a candidate backed by Mr Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

The Mayor had been an opponent of a US Marines base remaining in Okinawa. Mr Toguchi wanted them to stay and backed a plan by Washington and Tokyo to relocate it from a central urban area to one less populated.

For Yoshiyuki Toita, the secretary general of the Yaeyama Defence Association the result showed  "that attitudes are changing: people are beginning to see the dangers posed by China, which is following an expansionist policy. If the Japanese government and the SDF do nothing it will send the wrong message and the Chinese will feel even bolder."

The defence associations across Japan are private groups which claim to be independent of government. Mr Toita, however, is a member of Mayor Nakayama's campaign and will be spreading his message in support of the military deployment." This is about security. We have achieved good things here in Ishigaki and we must protect this community and Japan."

Many are apprehensive, however, that the achievements may be put at risk by militarisation. Subtropical Ishigaki, with its mountains and mangrove forests, beaches and birdlife, has, somewhat surprisingly for a place not widely known, topped TripAdvisor's "Destinations on the Rise" in the Travellers' Choice awards.

"We have definitely seen a steady rise in tourism and this growth has taken place despite this place being so remote. The new airport has been a great plus factor" said Hiro Uehara, the owner of a bar and restaurant.

"We are getting Japanese, Australians and people from the West now. But would the foreigners want to come if this place turns into a place with missiles and soldiers and so a target for the Chinese government if there is trouble? We are also getting lots of Chinese tourists, would they come in the future? What about the safety of our children?  No, there are too many military bases in Okinawa. We don't want another one."

Around a dozen coast guard ships are the current line of defence. Captain Kenichi Kikuchi, in command of the Taketomi, wanted to stress that they do their utmost to avoid confrontations. "We are careful , we are careful because we do not want to escalate matters and also have to mind  that the Chinese Navy ships as well their coastguard vessels tend to be large" he said. " But we also do our duty and deal with problems when they arise and make sure we are not outnumbered by the Chinese."

It is not all confrontation; there is also cooperation, he pointed out, describing how  the coast guard  helped rescued six Chinese fishermen two years ago after their boat had capsized following a collision with a Greek ship. What will happen when the missiles and troops are deployed?  "That is a decision for the Japanese government and the Self Defence Forces. They will decide what is right. But it could become very interesting." Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


US strategic drone conducts reconnaissance flight over Donbas

On Friday, February 16, a RQ-4 Global Hawk strategic drone from the US Air Force conducted a reconnaissance flight along the line of demarcation in the Donbas, Interfax-Ukraine reported with reference to web sites tracking the air traffic of military aircraft.

 The US long-distance drone with tail number 10-2043, which took off from Sigonella airbase in Sicily, flew from north to south along the line of demarcation separating Ukraine from self-proclaimed LPR (Luhansk People's Republic) and the DPR (Donetsk People's Republic), without crossing it.

The flight was carried out at an altitude of about 16 thousand meters and with a speed of 600 km per hour. At about 8pm the drone left the airspace above the Donbas.
During the reconnaissance, the aircraft flew several times at a distance of approximately 40 to 60 km to the Belgorod, Voronezh and Rostov regions of Russia bordering the Luhansk region.

Recently the US Air Force has increased the number of such reconnaissance flights. Since the beginning of this year, at least twelve reconnaissance operations have been recorded near the line of demarcation in the Donbas.
Earlier, it was reported that on February 11, an American strategic drone conducted reconnaissance flight along the line of demarcation in the Donbas, near the coast of the Crimea and the Krasnodar Krai of the Russian Federation. Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


Chinese plane enters S. Korea's air defense zone: JCS

China flew a military aircraft into South Korea's air defense identification zone (KADIZ) for over four hours Tuesday without giving prior notification, defense authorities here said.

The plane came close to South Korean territory, prompting the Air Force to scramble fighter jets to monitor its activity, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). More than 10 planes, including F-15ks and KF-16s, were dispatched.

The Chinese jet entered the KADIZ at around 9:34 a.m. and approached some 30 nautical miles, or 55.5 kilometers, northwest of Ulleung Island in the East Sea before flying out of the zone at around 2:01 p.m. at the military's warning message, the JCS added.

It described the flight route as "unusual," given China's previous dispatch of warplanes just into the KADIZ south of the peninsula.

"Our military warned it to stop the act of raising tensions that can trigger an accidental conflict through the South Korea-China (military) hotline and (pilot's) radio communication," it said.

A JCS official told reporters that the jet is believed to be a reconnaissance plane, adding the government plans to lodge a strong protest with China over the act via various channels, including the military and the foreign ministry.

It was unprecedented for China's military aircraft to fly so close to South Korea's eastern airspace without Seoul's authorization, which Beijing claimed was part of a "routine exercise," he said.

On China's intention, he said it seems to be aimed at testing the South Korean military's response.

A Chinese military plane entered the KADIZ late last month following two similar cases in 2017.

An ADIZ is airspace over land or water declared by a state for the early identification and location of a foreign plane approaching its territory. It's not defined in any international law or treaty.

The KADIZ near Ieo Island, south of the peninsula, overlaps with the air defense zones designated by China and Japan, a source of potential territorial tensions among the regional powers. Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


Baltic Region Agenda

Director of the Norwegian Intelligence Service discloses information about Russian offensive exercises against targets in northern Norway.

«Less than a year ago, on March 24th, Russian bombers were flying tactical flights towards the intelligence service's installations in Vardø. The bombers were conducting offensive profiles before they returned to bases on Kola. A total of nine aircraft participated in the operation,» said Lieutenant General Morten Haga Lunde in his annual speech at Oslo Military Society on Monday.

The Globus 2 in Vardø is an American-funded radar operated by the Norwegian military intelligence. Vardø is a town on a small island as near the strategically important coastline of the Kola Peninsula as you can get in Norway. This is the water where Russia's nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines are sailing out from their bases, and also a perfect spot for Norway to keep an eye on possible launching of missiles.

The radars are highly visible above the town centre, but what's going on inside the intelligence station on up the rock is highly secret.

On clear days, it is possible to see across the Varanger fjord to Russian territory from the town of Vardø, originally a fishermen's settlement. Logically, the radar has never been very popular among Russian military officials. Now, a new more modern radar is under construction at the site. Moscow fears it could be used as a component in a future American anti-ballistic missile defense program.

Lieutenant General Morten Haga Lunde is Director of the Norwegian Intelligence Service. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Norwegian Armed Forces

Targeted NATO vessels

Two months later, Russian bombers were again simulating an attack against targets even further west in Northern Norway, the intelligence director could tell.

«Also, on the 22nd of May last year were Russian aircraft again flying tactical flights towards a fleet of NATO vessels exercising in the Norwegian Ocean. They conducted offensive operations before they returned to different bases on the Kola Peninsula,» Morten Haga Lunde explained.

«A total of 12 aircraft participated in this operation, including MiG-31, Fencer [Su-24], Fullback [Su-34] and Backfire [Tu-22M].»

Haga Lunde did not specify which exercise the Russian aircrafts were targeting, but as previously reported by the Barents Observer were submarines and surface vessels from Norway, the United States and Germany participating in the exercise EASTLANT 17 in May. The exercise took place outside the island of Senja in northern Norway, not far from Tromsø. EASTLANT is NATO term for Eastern Atlantic Area.

Norwegian navy vessels at port in Oslo. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Simulated attack on Bodø

Russia's simulated offensive operations against Northern Norway did not stop with that, the intelligence director told.

«Less than a week later, on May 27 was a similar mission directed towards our military installations in the Bodø area. This happened in connection with a larger allied air force exercise led by Norway in cooperation with Sweden and Finland. Nine [Russian] aircraft participated in the operation.»

The air force exercise in question was the two week long Arctic Challenge, the largest in Western Europe last year with more than 100 aircrafts from 12 nations. The Barents Observer reported at the time about F-16 fighter jets from Bodø main air base being scrambled to meet Russian military aircraft off the coast of Northern Norway.

Iskander in Pechenga valley

Talking about Russia's largest military exercise last autumn, the Zapad-2017, Haga Lunde said Iskander missile systems were moved to an area close to the Norwegian border.

«Another significant element in connection with Zapad it that the missile system Iskander was transferred to the high north, specifically to the Pechenga valley, less than 40 kilometers from Storskog, approx. 15 kilometers from Korpfjell, not far from the border to Norway.»

Iskander is a modern shore-range ballistic missile. It is deployed with conventional warheads, but is also nuclear-capable. When Russia deployed the Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad in 2016, it caused strong concern among the Baltic states and Poland.

«By moving this missile system with a range of around 500 kilometers, targets in larger parts of Northern Norway are in the range of this missiles,» the director of Norway's intelligence service said in his speech in Oslo Monday evening.

An audio-recording of Haga Lunde's speech is posted at the portal of Oslo Military Society [his speech is in Norwegian].

Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


Mar 18, 2018, 10:08 ÖÖ Last Edit: Mar 18, 2018, 10:11 ÖÖ by Alkyone

Arctic Edge 2018 is a biennial, large-scale, joint-training exercise that prepares and tests the U.S. military's ability to operate tactically in the extreme cold-weather conditions found in Arctic environments. ( Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Banfield/Navy).

Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines -- and Coasties, too -- test arctic war-fighting skills in Alaska exercise

Marines and soldiers trucked and stomped through snow drifts, practicing basic patrolling and survival skills, while sailors, Coast Guardsmen and airmen planned air and maritime defense for the nation's northernmost state during an exercise this month.

Arctic Edge included 1,500 service members from 20 units, and it aimed to get service members from each branch working in the cold, demanding arctic environment across more than 1.5 million available acres, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Ken Wilsbach, head of U.S. Northern Command's Alaskan Command.

The exercise is conducted every other year. This year, training began on March 12, and the entire exercise is planned to conclude next week. The last time it was held, the focus was on responding to natural disasters, said Army Lt. Col. Joshua Gaspard, chief of joint training and readiness for Alaskan Command.

Arctic Edge 18 is a biennial, large-scale, joint-training exercise that prepares and tests the U.S. military's ability to operate tactically in the extreme cold-weather conditions found in Arctic environments with more than 1,500 participants from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy in Alaska. (Cpl. Sean Evans/Marine Corps)

This year's focus was on homeland defense of the "Last Frontier State," Gaspard said.

Much of the work included live fires, and survival and maneuver training, the lieutenant colonel said. A Navy and Coast Guard team focused on mine warfare planning for maritime defense in the southern section near Juneau, Alaska. Much of the training has been held at the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex and the Long-Range Radar System sites in Alaska. Gaspard did not discuss adversaries nor scenarios, but in recent congressional testimony, senators quizzed the top NATO commander, U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti about Russian efforts in the arctic.

The Russian military is refitting bases in the Arctic Circle and continues work on advanced ice-breaking ships, leading strategists to argue that the region is becoming militarized. An unidentified Navy captain with Special Operations Command, who spoke along with Gaspard to media about the exercise, said that Colorado-based SOCOM units participated, working on special operations forces and conventional forces integration. They also tested communications and survival gear in the arctic climate, which hadn't yet been done with that gear, the captain said. He declined to disclose specifics about the equipment.
Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


Germany proposes Ulm as NATO logistics hub against Russia

Germany has put forward the city of Ulm as a potential candidate for a logistics base to counter potential Russian aggression on NATO's eastern flank. An alternative would be the US city of Norfolk, Virginia. Germany has put forward the southern city of Ulm as the site of a new logistics command to be built in response to Russian actions in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.

If chosen, the city would be a base in any crisis operation to speed troops and equipment across Europe to NATO's eastern flank.
Ulm is already home to Germany's Multinational Joint Headquarters, which exercises command and control of operations for the United Nations, NATO and the European Union. The Defense Ministry also considered sites near the western cities of Bonn and Cologne.
Even without the base, Germany would be a hub in any military deployment on NATO's eastern fringes. Forces from the US and Canada would likely pass through Germany's North Sea ports such as Bremerhaven, while most ground troops from western European members would pass through German territory.

Plan to be ready for April

The US has also offered to host the proposed NATO command at Norfolk, Virginia.
Germany's Defense Ministry said a broad plan for the new Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC) would be ready by mid-April. A formal decision by NATO is expected at a meeting of defense ministers from June 7-8.
"As a framework nation for the JSEC, we can make a significant contribution to burden-sharing in the alliance," the Reuters news agency cited Peter Tauber, state secretary in the Defense Ministry, as telling German lawmakers on Tuesday.
A second command -- a North Atlantic planning and strategy hub -- is also planned to protect shipping lanes from enemy submarines. It is thought that each command would have about 1,500 employees. Proposed cities  for that include the US's Norfolk and Germany's Cologne. Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


South China Sea: China Deploys Jamming Equipment

According to U.S. military officials, China has deployed communications and radar jamming equipment to Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly group in the South China Sea. The deployment took place during the last 90 days, according to U.S. intelligence.

First reported by the Wall Street Journal( ), the deployment marks a significant capability improvement for the Chinese military in the South China Sea. Fiery Cross Reef is the site of one of China's seven artificial island facilities in the Spratlys.

The U.S. military commissioned commercial satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe to point out the deployment to reporters with the Journal. "China has deployed military jamming equipment to its Spratly Island outposts," one Pentagon official told the reporters.

One of the images, which the Journal has featured on its website, appears to show jamming equipment with an erected antenna mast.

It's unclear if the U.S. assessment is backed by other forms of intelligence or imagery alone; the resolution of the commercial imagery is insufficient to definitively substantiate the nature of the equipment, but the U.S. military added an inset showing the kind of equipment it expects has been deployed.

The deployment of electronic warfare assets to the Spratlys would be in line with recent trends in Chinese behavior in the South China Sea.

China has slowly and steadily militarized its seven artificial island facilities, adding everything from over-the-horizon radar sites to close-in weapon systems and hangars for future fighter deployments.

From 2014, when the artificial islands first became known, to around late 2016, China mostly developed dual-use infrastructure on these islands with some degree of plausible deniability about their potential military applications.

Since late 2016, however, Beijing has deployed assets that only have military applications; the new jamming equipment is in line with this trend.

Three of the artificial islands -- Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef, and Mischief Reef -- feature airstrips thought to be capable of accommodating any aircraft in the inventory of both the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) or the People's Liberation Army Navy's Air Force (PLANAF).

China regularly rotates J-11B fighters to Woody Island in the Paracel group, several hundred miles northwest of the Spratly group.

Electronic warfare assets could play an important role in a future conflict between China and other claimant states in the South China Sea and even the United States. Though the lone site on Fiery Cross Reef would be insufficient to confer a decisive advantage to China, a constellation of multiple such sites could multiply the benefits these facilities for Beijing.

China claims most of the South China Sea under its capacious nine-dash line claim. Five other countries -- Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, and Taiwan -- also claim portions of the South China Sea. Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


A Southern Pacific Base for the Chinese Navy in Vanuatu?

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday that China has formally approached the government of Vanuatu about possibly establishing a permanent military base on its territory.

So far, no one from either the Chinese or Vanuatu governments has gone on record as confirming that talks are underway. (Vanuatu's ambassador to Australia said he wasn't aware of any such talks to the Herald.) But the idea of a Chinese naval installation in the southern Pacific is far from implausible. Beijing has set up its first overseas installation in Djibouti and uses the site to keep up anti-piracy operations for the People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean. The base in Djibouti was a direct follow-on from China's 2015 national military strategy, which emphasized that the PLAN would move from its historic near-seas defense role to a that of a global expeditionary navy.

Vanuatu, in particular, has strategic salience for the PLAN, where strategists have, for more than two decades, considered China's options in moving past the so-called first island chain. China's North, East, and South Sea Fleets are boxed in by a chain of nations friendly or allied with the United States--from Japan down to Taiwan and the Philippines, China's access to the western Pacific Ocean could be limited in wartime.

Chinese strategists such as Admiral Liu Huaqing, a commander of the PLAN in the 1980s, was a proponent of China moving past the first island chain and emerging as a full-fledged blue-water naval power in the Pacific, off the back of a major carrier force. Today, China's carrier force is in development, with one carrier, the Liaoning, already operational and others under construction. Analysts expect that China will end up with a carrier force comprising six carriers--three of which may use nuclear propulsion.

A robust naval installation in Vanuatu would serve as an important logistics, replenishment, and maintenance node for a blue-water Chinese fleet. In this regard, it would not only align with longstanding PLAN objectives for the western Pacific, but directly support the PLAN's new expeditionary identity.

Before any of this can be done, however, Vanuatu, a sovereign state, must agree to host China. The Herald notes that "Beijing has been showering Vanuatu, which has a population of about 270,000, with hundreds of millions of dollars in development money and last week committed to building a new official residence for Prime Minister Charlot Salwai as well as other government buildings.

That lines up with China's checkbook diplomacy elsewhere, but it'll take more than that to lead to a naval installation. Vanuatu is unlike Djibouti, which already hosted a range of foreign militaries on its soil, fully leveraging its strategic position. Vanuatu maintains close ties with Australia, New Zealand, and Western European states.

Acquiescing to a Chinese naval installation on its territory, while well within its sovereign right, may carry costs elsewhere. These costs could be borne by China, which might be willing to significantly increase its support for Vanuatu's development should the government acquiesce to a base, but the decision won't be easy. Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


USS Farragut (DDG-99) transits the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 2018 in territory that will soon be overseen by a reestablished U.S. 2nd Fleet. US Navy Photo

Navy Reestablishes U.S. 2nd Fleet to Face Russian Threat; Plan Calls for 250 Person Command in Norfolk

Faced with a more active Russian fleet and increasing military competition across the world, the Navy has elected to reestablish U.S. 2nd Fleet to manage assets closer to the homeland, according to a memo announcing the command obtained by USNI News.

The memo, signed by Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer earlier this week, approved reestablishing the command in Norfolk, Va., based on a recommendation of outgoing U.S. Fleet Forces Command commander Adm. Phil Davidson and endorsed by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.

"As previously briefed to you by the CNO, the re-establishment of SECOND Fleet was directed to better respond to the changing security environment," reads the memo.
"Commander, SECOND Fleet will exercise training and operational authorities over assigned ships, aircraft, and landing forces in conducting maritime, joint and combined operations in support of designated Unified and Allied Commanders."

The command will stand up July 1 and will have an initial manning of 11 officers and four enlisted personnel. The staff will eventually grow to 85 officers, 164 enlisted and seven civilians.

"Our national defense strategy makes clear that we're back in an era of great power competition as the security environment continues to grow more challenging and complex," Richardson said Friday during the Fleet Forces change of command ceremony in Norfolk.
"That's why today, we're standing up 2nd Fleet to address these changes, particularly in the North Atlantic."

While the command now exists on paper, the service still needs to work through specifics such as the rank of the commander and how the command and control relationships will work with the joint combatant commands. In its last iteration, a three-star oversaw 2nd Fleet before the command merged with U.S. Fleet Forces in 2011.

USNI News understands specifics of the plan will be worked through Fleet Forces and its new commander Adm. Christopher Grady, with details to be finalized this summer.

While a change in the command and control relationships for warships throughout the Navy was included in the recommendations in the two Navy reviews conducted after a series of fatal collisions in the Western Pacific, the move to stand the fleet back up is rooted in increasing threats in the Atlantic from Russia, several officials familiar with the decision told USNI News.

Before the 2014 seizure of Crimea by Russian forces, the role of U.S. warships operating on the American side of the Atlantic was largely in support of humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions (HA/DR) missions and drug interdiction work in U.S. Southern Command's U.S. 4th Fleet. 2nd Fleet was shuttered alongside U.S. Joint Forces Command in 2011, and just years later the Navy and Congress began a push to reestablish 2nd Fleet as Russia grew more aggressive over, on and under the Atlantic.

In 2016, now-Naval Forces Europe commander Adm. James Foggo III put the conflict in stark terms when he declared the U.S. and Russia were engaged in the "Fourth Battle of the Atlantic."

"Russian submarines are prowling the Atlantic, testing our defenses, confronting our command of the seas, and preparing the complex underwater battlespace to give them an edge in any future conflict," Foggo wrote in U.S. Naval Institute's Proceedings.
"Not only have Russia's actions and capabilities increased in alarming and confrontational ways, its national-security policy is aimed at challenging the United States and its NATO allies and partners."

Moving ahead, it's unclear what the future will be for U.S. 4th Fleet, the naval arm of Southern Command that was established by the George W. Bush administration in 2008. The role of warships 4th Fleet was largely to play host to Coast Guard law enforcement detachments that had the legal authority to interdict traffickers on the high seas and in countries with law enforcement agreements with the U.S. The role for the Navy was diminished in the last several years, however, as the last of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates retired from service in 2015 and as the Pentagon has oriented its efforts towards high-end warfighting.

Before the establishment of 4th Fleet, the commander of 2nd Fleet was responsible for the central and South American operations.

In addition to standing up 2nd Fleet, the Pentagon announced it had offered Norfolk as a potential location for the proposed NATO Joint Force Command for the Atlantic.

"The new JFC-Norfolk will ensure that NATO can successfully conduct operations across the full spectrum of Alliance missions in the trans-Atlantic region in the northern Atlantic," read the statement.
"The future Atlantic-oriented JFC represents part of the ongoing NATO effort to adapt its command structure to ensure that the Alliance can meet the challenges in today's security environment. It will strengthen NATO's deterrence and defense posture, and its ability to project stability beyond its borders."

The decision for the final location of the command will be made this summer.

The following is the complete May 4, 2018 statement on the proposed NATO command.

DoD Offers to Host New NATO Command

The U.S. Department of Defense announced today that it has officially offered to host the proposed NATO Joint Force Command for the Atlantic at its naval facilities in Norfolk, Virginia. The new JFC-Norfolk will ensure that NATO can successfully conduct operations across the full spectrum of Alliance missions in the trans-Atlantic region in the northern Atlantic.

The future Atlantic-oriented JFC represents part of the ongoing NATO effort to adapt its command structure to ensure that the Alliance can meet the challenges in today's security environment. It will strengthen NATO's deterrence and defense posture, and its ability to project stability beyond its borders. The North Atlantic Council is expected to make a final determination on the location of the new JFC this summer.
Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


China has put missiles on islands in the South China Sea

AN AMERICAN admiral slipped a startling admission into testimony submitted to the Senate last month. After almost five years of dredging and fortifying reefs in the disputed Spratly Islands, lying between the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, "China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States," reported the officer, Philip Davidson, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump to lead America's armed forces in the Pacific.

Admiral Davidson described how once-obscure rocks controlled by China now bristle with radar arrays and electronic warfare kit and are studded with aeroplane hangars and bunkers. He said the only things lacking on them were "deployed forces", and noted a contradiction between building these bases and an assurance given by President Xi Jinping in 2015 that China had no intention of militarising the South China Sea. Once occupied, said Admiral Davidson, China's outposts would be able to challenge America's presence in the region and "easily overwhelm" rival Asian claimants in those waters.

In early May leaked American intelligence added some fine detail to the admiral's picture. CNBC, an American television channel, reported the apparent deployment of missiles on three Chinese-occupied features--Fiery Cross Reef, Mischief Reef and Subi Reef. It identified the weapons as YJ-12B anti-ship cruise missiles with a range of 295 nautical miles (545km), and HQ-9B surface-to-air missiles which could hit projectiles, planes and drones within 160 nautical miles. Asked about this, the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said the Trump administration was "well aware of China's militarisation of the South China Sea" and promised "consequences". A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said that "necessary national defence facilities" on reclaimed islands were within China's rights and did not amount to militarisation.

Time for a rethink

Until the final years of Barack Obama's presidency, many military officers and White House officials had dismissed China's reclamation of disputed reefs and rocks as mostly an irritant. The new bases were sitting ducks, American planners sniffed, and could be taken out quickly in an actual conflict. They are still highly vulnerable, says Andrew Erickson of the US Naval War College. But China has no intention of starting a war with America, he says. Instead China wants the upper hand in peacetime, or in crises that fall in the grey zone between peace and war. It wants to make clear to smaller, less powerful neighbours that they will "pay a terrible price if they try to oppose China in the South China Sea", says Mr Erickson.

China also wants to raise the costs of future American interventions--hence its show of strength last month which it described as the country's biggest naval parade since the Communist Party came to power in 1949. The first such review in the South China Sea, it involved more than 75 fighter planes, helicopters and bombers as well as nearly 50 submarines and ships. "The task of building up the strength of the people's navy has never been so urgent," Mr Xi (pictured at the scene) told 10,000 or so participating troops.

The South China Sea is not yet lost, says Mr Erickson. America has to date deterred China from developing the Scarborough Shoal, a disputed reef off the Philippines, the fortification of which would be a "last piece of the puzzle". Nor has the Trump era seen blatant Chinese harassment of American ships legally in the area.

Team Trump's talk of consequences for Chinese actions may be vague. But it is in line with a growing consensus among American generals, Republicans and Democrats in Congress, and a swelling number of business leaders. Every week seems to bring hearings on Capitol Hill or think-tank conferences to debate how--not whether--America should push back against China. Sometimes their topic is China's hard power as displayed by its fast-growing military capability. At other times it is China's surreptitious hostile acts, such as the theft or forced transfer of American technology and the Communist Party's alleged influence operations in America.

The breadth of American concerns about a rising China helps explain the lack of progress when a government delegation led by the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, visited Beijing on May 3rd and 4th. The officials' demands reportedly ranged from calls for China to reduce the bilateral trade deficit by $200bn a year by 2020, to an insistence that Chinese leaders curb forced technology transfers and stop handing subsidies to the high-tech businesses that they have chosen to favour in their "Made in China 2025" industrial plan.

The sheer variety of American complaints will complicate a visit in mid-May to Washington, announced this week, by Mr Xi's chief adviser on economic affairs, Liu He. In China Team Trump is accused of incoherence and not knowing what its own side wants. But seen from Washington, China is attacking or challenging on several fronts, making a "whole of government" pushback a necessity. American policymakers do not need an admiral to tell them that storms may lie ahead. Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


U.S. eyes testing antiballistic missile against ICBM

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency plans to test an antiballistic missile, jointly developed with Japan, on its ability to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile, a senior defense official said Wednesday. Rear Adm. Jon Hill, deputy director of the agency, did not provide details, such as timing, on the planned test of the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA, citing the protection of intelligence.
"I hate making things easy on our adversaries, so I'm not going to say when we're going to do it or how we're going to do it," Hill said at an event in Washington. "But we're going to do it."

With the missile threat posed by North Korea in sight, the SM-3 Block IIA is designed to intercept short to medium-range ballistic missiles. Experts have referred to the possibility of extending its range to take down ICBM targets.
Hill said conducting a test against an ICBM target is part of the path toward putting the SM-3 Block IIA on a production phase.
"It's been legislated. We have the plan," he said. "It is in our test plan that we're going to execute."
The experts say the test is expected to take place by the end of 2020.
The SM-3 Block IIA, which Japan plans to introduce in fiscal 2021, would provide a new and more advanced interceptor for Aegis-equipped destroyers and the Aegis Ashore system, a land-based variant of the Aegis ballistic missile defense system which Japan decided last December to deploy.
On Jan. 31, an SM-3 Block IIA was launched from Hawaii using Aegis Ashore technology, but failed to intercept an incoming dummy medium-range missile.
However, senior Missile Defense Agency officials brushed aside concern about the capability of the SM-3 Block IIA, saying it is an "extremely capable interceptor."

Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


China and US play the Great Game in South Asia

In the Great Game being played across the Indian Ocean, the U.S. Navy has its eye on Sri Lanka's northeastern port of Trincomalee to serve as a logistics hub for South Asian waters churned by India, Japan and China.

Western diplomats in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, noted an upping of the stakes when a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier from the U.S. 7th Fleet dropped anchor early this month at Trincomalee, the world's second deepest natural harbor with great strategic value. The visit of USS John C. Stennis followed a Trincomalee port call in August by another 7th Fleet vessel and a unit of marines to assess logistical support for visiting U.S. ships.

"Trinco is a logical choice because it is the most important piece of strategic real estate in Sri Lanka," a diplomat told the Nikkei Asian Review. "These are signs of new thinking in Washington regarding this part of South Asia, where over the past six years the Chinese presence has become so obvious and widespread."

Veteran Sri Lankan foreign policy observers link the U.S. Navy's new interest in India's backyard to China's growing economic interests around the Indian Ocean. "The U.S. is quite belatedly trying to understand the importance of the Indian Ocean, and this change is because of China," Bernard Goonetilleke, chairman of the Pathfinder Foundation, a Sri Lankan international affairs think tank, told Nikkei.

The Sri Lankan government is still seeking clarity on the proposed hub relationship. Its purpose would be to secure "mission-critical supplies and services to U.S. Navy ships transiting through and operating in the Indian Ocean," according to a statement from the 7th Fleet about the call at Trincomalee, where "no enduring U.S. Navy logistics footprint exists."

Washington's interest in Sri Lanka comes after a 10-year bilateral naval agreement ended. Under the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, Sri Lanka opened its ports to U.S. naval vessels for refuelling and other resupplying from March 2007 onwards. At that time, Colombo was looking for international allies, including the U.S., as its forces battled Tamil Tiger separatists in a bitter ethnic conflict that finally ended in May 2009.

Security analysts say the latest turn in naval relations complement Washington's efforts to court Colombo through military exercises. In August this year, the Sri Lankan navy made its debut at the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, which is the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise and led by the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet. In 2017, Sri Lanka hosted the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercise with U.S. Pacific Fleet at Trincomalee for the first time.

Nilanthi Samaranayake, a South Asian affairs analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, describes Sri Lanka's location in the Indian Ocean as a "natural stopping point" for passing ships. "The U.S. logistics hub concept makes sense in Sri Lanka due to geography," she told Nikkei.

The U.S. interest in Trincomalee is indicative of the strategic importance of all Sri Lanka's deep sea ports. The South Asian island nation's three main harbors -- Trincomalee, Colombo, and Hambantota -- have seen more naval visits since the nearly 30-year civil war ended. An average of 20 warships visited each year until 2008, and in 2017 that figure was 65.

There have been 450 naval vessels from 28 different countries since 2008. "That was more than one war ship a week by 2017," Admiral Jayanath Colombage, a former Sri Lankan navy commander, told Nikkei. "This is a huge increase as the Indian Ocean gets more militarized."

Indian vessels top the list with 90 visits, followed by 65 by the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, and 30 from China, according to Colombage. In addition, Sri Lanka's naval assets have been expanded with assistance from India, Japan, and the U.S., which have delivered patrol boats and coastguard cutters. China has promised a frigate.

"Everyone wants to be here and not to be left out," said Colombage. "It is the pretty girl syndrome."

Consequently, Trincomalee is poised to become a rallying point for the U.S. and its key Asian allies -- Japan and India -- to mount a "balancing strategy" in response to China's growing presence in Sri Lanka. Japan has already singled out the northeastern port as one of three in the Indian Ocean to be developed as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "free and open Indo-Pacific strategy." The other two are Myanmar's Dawei and Bangladesh's Matarbari.

Japan underscored its stake in the sub-regional power game with the visit in August of Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera -- the first Japanese defense minister to visit Sri Lanka. Besides Trincomalee, Onodera also visited Hambantota in the south, a $1.5 billion harbor built by China that is now in the hands of a Chinese company as part of a debt-for-equity swap with the heavily indebted Sri Lankan government.

China's deepening economic engagement in Sri Lanka has unnerved India, which has lost the monopoly of political influence it once enjoyed over the island nation. Western diplomatic sources regard the growing interest of Japan and the U.S. in Sri Lanka as being intended to compensate for India's inability to contain China in its own backyard.

Trincomalee's current appeal is expected to breathe new life into the port so prized by the Allies during World War -- it became home to Britain's Eastern Fleet after Singapore fell to Japan in early 1942. Diplomats expect today's Trincomalee to emerge as a counterweight to China-controlled Hambantota, which sits on the edge of one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. "It will be about balance not containment of China," said one. Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...


The US military is dusting off this Cold War tactic in hopes of catching Russia off guard

  • The US Army recently deployed hundreds of soldiers to Europe with almost no notice, part of a strategy reminiscent of its Cold War approach to fighting, Stars and Stripes reported.
  • Rapid mobilization, critical when a clash with the Soviets was possible, is returning as part of the Pentagon's new Dynamic Force Employment strategy, meant to make the US military less predictable.
  • Unpredictability and the ability to quickly surge forces into the theater would allow the US and partners to catch Russia off guard in a conflict.

The US military is pulling a Cold War-era "zero notice" mobilization strategy out of mothballs in order to be faster, more unpredictable, and ultimately deadlier in any high-end conflict with Russia.
Earlier this month, hundreds of US soldiers were suddenly informed they were deploying to Europe. A week later, they were on their way to Poland for training.
"We got zero notice," Col. Chad Chalfont, commander of the 2nd Armored Brigade, 1st Armored Division, told Stars and Stripes.

During the Cold War, the US and its European allies maintained the ability to rapidly mobilize to deter Soviet aggression. After the fall of the Soviet Union, those warfighting muscles atrophied and readiness declined.
Russia's seizure of Crimea in 2014 was a major wake-up call for the US and its allies and partners, and it had military leaders scrambling to find their old Cold War playbooks.

The US military has brought back rapid mobilization as part of the Pentagon's new Dynamic Force Employment strategy, which is designed to make the US strategically predictable but operationally unpredictable. The ability to surge troops into Europe is essential to that goal. But that is easier said than done. US troops have at times found themselves stuck or separated from their equipment when moving between training exercises in Europe. The last thing anyone wants is armored units arriving without their armor.

"We have to be able to move as fast or faster than Russia in order to be an effective deterrent," Ben Hodges, formerly the US Army's top general in Europe, said last year, The Washington Post reported.

"Our ability to rapidly surge combat-ready forces into and across the theater is critical in projecting forces at a moment's notice to support the NATO alliance," US Army Europe said of the recent rapid deployment of Army armored units.

This approach is going to be the new norm as the Department of Defense prepares the armed services for a difficult fight in an era of renewed great power competition.
"We are going to see this on a regular basis," Maj. Gen. John Gronski, deputy commanding general for Army National Guard at US Army Europe, told Stars and Stripes. "For any of our adversaries anywhere, it is going to be unpredictable for them. And that is good for our national security. This is all about deterrence and readiness," Gronski said, adding that he believes the Army can still get faster. Mesajı Paylaş
Çoklar diye korkma
Azız diye çekinme...

Paylaş delicious Paylaş digg Paylaş facebook Paylaş furl Paylaş linkedin Paylaş myspace Paylaş reddit Paylaş stumble Paylaş technorati Paylaş twitter