A Brief History of Conflict in Ukraine

A Brief History of Conflict in Ukraine

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Russian troops in the Crimea region of Ukraine. Reuters Photo

Russian troops in the Crimea region of Ukraine. Reuters Photo

This is the first of two articles on the current crisis in Ukraine and on the history of conflict in the region. The second will outline possible policy options for the international community.

The events of the last three weeks have catapulted Ukraine to the forefront of the U.S. policy agenda, sparking an intense crisis of confidence between the United States and Russia—the worst since 1979. Read More

U.S. Navy Pays Austal, Lockheed $1.38 Billion for Four More Littoral Combat Ships

U.S. Navy Pays Austal, Lockheed $1.38 Billion for Four More Littoral Combat Ships

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The first of class littoral combat ships USS Freedom (LCS 1), rear, and USS Independence (LCS 2) maneuver together during an exercise off the coast of Southern California on May, 2 2012. US Navy Photo.

The first of class littoral combat ships USS Freedom (LCS 1), rear, and USS Independence (LCS 2) maneuver together during an exercise off the coast of Southern California on May, 2 2012.
US Navy Photo.

The Navy has issued $1.38 billion in contract modifications for four Littoral Combat Ships split between shipbuilders Lockheed Martin and Austal USA, according to a Monday Pentagon contract announcement. Read More

Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea: Oil Soaked Pirates

Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea: Oil Soaked Pirates

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Undated photo of MT Kerala

Undated photo of MT Kerala

This is the first of a two-part series on piracy in West Africa.
In the early hours of 18 January 2014 a 75,000-ton tanker, the MT Kerala, vanished off the coast of Angola. A sophisticated pirate gang hijacked the Greek-owned vessel, disabling its identifications system and communication equipment, and painting over its identifying markers.

More than a week later and 1,300 miles away, the hijackers released Kerala off the coast of Nigeria, after offloading 12,270 tons of its diesel cargo to other ships. Read More

Hagel Defends Littoral Combat Ship Cap

Hagel Defends Littoral Combat Ship Cap

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Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Department of Defense Comptroller Robert Hale testify before the House Armed Service Committee on March 6, 2014. Department of Defense Photo.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Department of Defense Comptroller Robert Hale testify before the House Armed Service Committee on March 6, 2014. Department of Defense Photo.

Defending the decision to cap the littoral combat ship (LCS) buy at 32, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday “it was a big, big question whether we want a sixth of our Navy” in those vessels. Read More

Document: Report to Congress on North Korea's Military Development

Document: Report to Congress on North Korea’s Military Development

korean_sailorsThe following is the recently released report to Congress from the Pentagon: Military and Security Developments Involving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 2013.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) remains one of the United States’ most critical security challenges for many reasons. These include North Korea’s willingness to undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior, including attacks on the Republic of Korea (ROK), its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and its willingness to proliferate weapons in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Read More

U.S. Pacific Commander Defends 11 Carrier Navy

U.S. Pacific Commander Defends 11 Carrier Navy

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USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), left, and the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) transit the Strait of Gibraltar. US Navy Photo

USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), left, and the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) transit the Strait of Gibraltar. US Navy Photo

In a protracted discussion about how many aircraft carriers the United States needs, the top commander in the Pacific said the Navy already can’t meet the demands that Central and Pacific Commands are putting upon it with the 11 carriers now in the fleet. Read More

Navy Zeroes Out Fire Scout Buy, Future of Program Unclear

Navy Zeroes Out Fire Scout Buy, Future of Program Unclear

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An MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle takes off from Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu on Oct. 31, 2013. US Navy Photo

An MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle takes off from Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu on Oct. 31, 2013. US Navy Photo

The Navy has abandoned its plans to buy 17 additional Northrop Grumman Fire Scout rotary wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the next five years as part of its Fiscal Year 2015 budget submission. Read More

Document: Congressional Report on China Naval Modernization and Implications for U.S. Naval Forces

Document: Congressional Report on China Naval Modernization and Implications for U.S. Naval Forces

People's Liberation Army Navy carrier Liaoning.

People’s Liberation Army Navy carrier Liaoning.

The following is a from Feb. 28, 2014 report from the Congressional Research Service, China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities.
China is building a modern and regionally powerful Navy with a modest but growing capability for conducting operations beyond China’s near-seas region. The question of how the United States should respond to China’s military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, has emerged as a key issue in U.S. defense planning. The question is of particular importance to the U.S. Navy, because many U.S. military programs for countering improved Chinese military forces would fall within the Navy’s budget. Read More