2019年2月4日 星期一

MORNING RECON: Does the Navy Really Need to Worry About Fleet Size?; China's Naval Expansion; Battlefield AI; ‘Most Modern Sub in the World’

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Morning Recon

Good Monday morning and welcome to MORNING RECON.  On this day in 1779, John Paul Jones takes command of Bonhomme Richard. Bonhomme Richard, formerly Duc de Duras, was a warship in the Continental Navy. She was originally an East Indiaman, a merchant ship built in France for the French East India Company in 1765, for service between France and the Orient. She was placed at the disposal of John Paul Jones, who renamed the vessel in honor of Benjamin Franklin.

RealClearDefense Today's Exclusive:
Today's Top Stories


Trump Calls for Keeping Troops in Iraq to Watch Iran
By Eric Schmitt & Alissa J. Rubin, The New York Times: ""I want to be able to watch Iran," Mr. Trump said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation." "We're going to keep watching and we're going to keep seeing and if there's trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we're going to know it before they do."

Trump Says He Has 'No Plans' to Withdraw U.S. Troops From S. Korea
By Kim Gamel, Stars and Stripes: "President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he has "no plans" to withdraw U.S. forces from South Korea as he prepares for another summit with North Korea's leader."

Pentagon Sending Another 3,750 Troops to Southwest Border
From AP: " The Pentagon said Sunday it will send 3,750 more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to put up another 150 miles of concertina wire and provide other support for Customs and Border Protection."

Pentagon Studies Post-INF Weapons
By Sydney Freedberg, Breaking Defense: "The Pentagon has almost completed a study of how to shoot down hypersonic missiles. It's also developing new offensive weapons -- conventional, not nuclear -- whose deployment will become legal with the end of the INF Treaty."

Pentagon Releases RFP for 'Optionally Manned' Bradley Replacement
From Defence Blog: "Since its inception, the NGCV-OMFV program has represented an innovative approach to Army acquisition by focusing on delivering an essentially new capability to the Armor Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs) while under a significantly reduced timeline."

Special Op Suicides Almost Tripled This Year
By Barbara Starr, CNN: ""I want to be able to watch Iran," Mr. Trump said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation." "We're going to keep watching and we're going to keep seeing and if there's trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we're going to know it before they do."

International Market: Opportunities Abound for U.S. Military Vehicles
By Yasmin Tadjdeh, National Defense Magazine: " Experts see opportunities from South America to Asia as countries face new and enduring security threats coupled with a need to replace aging fleets of vehicles. U.S. companies — which offer specialized and advanced systems — will likely reap the benefits."

Navy Arms Unmanned Attack Drone Boats With Weapons, Guns & Missiles
By Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven: "The concept is to call upon newer levels of autonomy enabling weapons systems to search for enemies, track their movements and then target them -- all while humans perform command and control as safter ranges."

Marine Corps M16 and M4 and Squad Automatic Weapon Replacements
By Todd South, Marine Corps Times: "The Next Generation Squad Weapon program has evolved in recent years, honing down to two variants, the NGSW-Automatic Rifle, or SAW replacement, and the rifle/carbine replacement, NGSW-Rifle."

10 Pieces of Cold-weather Gear Troops Love to Love
By Chad Garland, Stars and Stripes: "Stars and Stripes reporter Chad Garland took to Twitter for a highly unscientific poll of servicemembers and veterans on their favorite "snivel gear" — that would be military slang for cold-weather equipment."

U.S. Navy Commissions 'Most Modern Sub in the World'
By Julia Bergman, The Day: "South Dakota's stealth will allow the submarine to travel the world's oceans undetected, "collecting information, preparing for battle and, if necessary, striking from the deep swiftly and without warning, to answer the nation's call," Richard said."


China Developing Battlefield AI

By Bill Gertz, The Washington Times: "A Chinese military newspaper has outlined how the People's Liberation Army plans to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) for its forces in future high-technology warfare."

Russian Unmanned Strike Aircraft

By Steve Trimble, Aviation Week: "A grainy picture that surfaced Jan. 23 on a Russian web site for aviation enthusiasts purportedly reveals the Sukhoi Okhotnik-B, a new, stealthy unmanned strike aircraft now undergoing runway testing in Novosibirsk."


South China Sea: China Breaks From a Century of Humiliation
By Christian Heller, RealClearDefense: "The expansion of the Chinese navy in numbers, mission, and aggression is directly fueled by China's previous weakness and exploitation at the hands of western nations."

Does the U.S. Navy Really Need to Worry About the Size of the Fleet?
By James Holmes, The National Interest: "Tallying up ship numbers makes poor shorthand for U.S. naval power. Bean counting yields one datapoint, albeit an important one. There is some bare minimum of assets needed to concentrate strength at scenes of battle. But bean counting not only disregards the enemy, the surroundings, and the goals set by the navy's overseers, it doesn't differentiate among ship types." 

The Way Forward for the U.S. in a Post-INF World
By Thomas Callender, The Heritage Foundation: "While the U.S. should continue to encourage the Russian government to return to compliance with the INF Treaty, in parallel, it should develop and field new low-yield nuclear weapons as well as improved conventional ground-based cruise missile systems and cruise missile defenses. These actions would better deter Russian use of low-yield nuclear weapons and better defend America's NATO allies from Russian cruise missile threats."

Welcome to the New Age of Nuclear Instability
By Rachel Bronson, The New York Times: "Major nuclear powers are now investing heavily in their arsenals. Pakistan has the fastest-growing arsenal on the planet; the United States plans to spend more than $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years on weapons that increase the targeting and kill capability of strategic nuclear weapons; China, too, continues to modernize its nuclear forces, seemingly intent on creating a second-strike nuclear capability with investments in platforms based on land, air and sea."

New Pentagon Report Says Climate Factors Are a National Security Concern
By Editorial Staff, Omaha World-Herald: "More than two-thirds of the U.S. military's operationally critical installations are vulnerable to climate-related concerns, a new Department of Defense report says. The findings underscore the Pentagon's general conclusion from several years ago that U.S. national security concerns must include climate-related ones." 

U.S., Taliban, Afghanistan Peace Talks: Timing Is Critical
By Mohib Iqbal, the interpreter: "Today, Afghanistan remains extremely fragile and once again prone to become a safe haven for global terrorism."

Assessing Military Thought in Post-Soviet Russia
By Jonathan Hall, Divergent Options: "While the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century is characteristically different than it was during the time of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Russia's underlying political interests remain largely unchanged."

End the War in Afghanistan
By The Editorial Board, The New York Times: "On Sept. 14, 2001, Congress wrote what would prove to be one of the largest blank checks in the country's history. The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists gave President George W. Bush authority to attack the Taliban, the Sunni fundamentalist force then dominating Afghanistan that refused to turn over the mastermind of the attacks perpetrated three days earlier, Osama bin Laden."

Trump's North Korean Road to Nowhere
By Kent Harrington & John Walcott, The Strategist (ASPI): "Kim will pledge to abandon his nuclear weapons someday, while coquettishly concealing any details about the program that produces them, and Trump will promise to shower wealth on the Kim dynasty if he does."
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