In the News

The perhaps inaptly-named Global Force 2012/2013 reports on the operational readiness of a Royal Navy that has been rapidly shedding key elements of its expeditionary capability for several years. Nevertheless, for anyone interested in the state of key Royal Navy capital programs, this is an essential and fairly comprehensive source.

Russia’s massive Eastern exercise concluded last week, the final numbers are out, and a number of key problems ranging from technical difficulties to marksmanship have emerged. Just what the exercise was preparing for remains a mystery.

Indian Think Tank IDSA writes with understandable concern about the rise of both Chinese and Japanese nationalism and its implications for the region.

The US Air Force is diversifying its basing options and increasing its presence around China’s periphery. Given that a RAND Corporation report (later disavowed by the company despite being impeccably reasoned) several years ago showed that the US would lose an air war with China over Taiwan even in perfect conditions, partly due to limited basing options, this is a reasonable move. Japan may also be feeling the heat from a PLAAF that is approaching parity in quality of equipment and already outnumbers the Air Self Defense Force by a considerable margin. On the other hand, the risk of provoking an arms race in a region that has so far avoided anything that could justifiably use that label should be taken seriously.

A prison break in Pakistan frees 248 Taliban– bad news for a country in which some regions are at the mercy of jihadist groups, and a further bad sign for Afghanistan, which waits for the final withdrawals of Western forces with understandable apprehension.

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