Obama said it's possible Russia will try to sway U.S. elections. When WikiLeaks dumped tens of thousands of often embarrassing internal Democratic Party emails, it didn't take long for the finger to be pointed at Moscow. In many ways, that should hardly be surprising. The distinctly idiosyncratic dynamic between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin has long been a topic of fascination for pundits. Some of the Republican presidential candidate's approaches and statements - particularly questioning the U.S. commitment to NATO - are almost certainly appealing to Moscow. The Russian intelligence services have a largely deserved reputation for excellence when it comes to cyber-spying, not to mention dirty political tricks. And, perhaps most importantly of all, a growing number of Western officials and security experts are increasingly convinced that Russia is doing everything it can to politically destabilize the West. Getting through the smoke and mirrors to work out to what extent that is … [Read more...] about Is Vladimir Putin deliberately destabilizing U.S. politics?
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A F18 Super Hornet prepares to land on the deck of the USS Eisenhower. The Pentagon in a report released in May said China’s rapid military modernization "has the potential to reduce core U.S. military technological advantages." Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images China’s military is closing the technology gap with the U.S., though the experience of America’s pilots still gives them an "unbelievably huge" edge, according to the Pacific Air Forces chief. General Lori Robinson, in Singapore to attend the country’s air show, said she felt assured that Chinese pilots would act professionally in interactions with the U.S., citing a September agreement on rules of behavior. U.S. military pilots flying in the contested South China Sea have been warned over radio -- sometimes repeatedly -- by Chinese voices telling them to leave, while Japanese planes have been challenged in the neighboring East China Sea. Since coming to power President Xi Jinping has prioritized … [Read more...] about China army closing tech gap with U.S., Pacific Air Chief says
The United States is contemplating talks with its arch-enemy Iran to support the Iraqi government in its battle with Sunni Islamist insurgents who routed Baghdad's army and seized the north of the country in the past week. The stunning onslaught by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant threatens to dismember Iraq and unleash all-out sectarian warfare across a crescent of the Middle East, with no regard for national borders that the fighters reject. Joint action between the United States and Iran to help prop up the government of their mutual ally Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's Shi'ite prime minister, would be a major turn of events after hostility dating to Iran's 1979 revolution, and demonstrates the urgency of the alarm raised by the lightning insurgent advance. ISIL seeks a caliphate ruled on medieval Sunni Muslim precepts in Iraq and Syria, and is also fighting Syria's Iran-backed government. It considers all Shi'ites to be heretics deserving death and has … [Read more...] about U.S. considers action with Iran against Iraq insurgent onslaught
A U.S. nuclear submarine is making a port call in Singapore as the Navy showcases its ability to operate in shallow coastal waters after questions about the fitness of its Littoral Combat Ship for use in Asia. The Virginia-class USS North Carolina was designed with littoral combat in mind, particularly for special operations and anti-mine warfare, its commanding officer Richard Rhinehart told reporters yesterday. It is the submarine's second visit to the region since its commissioning ceremony in 2008. U.S. Navy officers in the Pacific fleet have raised concerns that the Littoral Combat Ship may lack the speed, range and electronic-warfare capabilities to operate in the vast Asian waters. President Barack Obama, in the region to shore up ties with key allies, has said the U.S. would protect East China Sea islands administered by Japan that are claimed by China and reaffirmed defense treaty obligations with the Philippines, embroiled in a dispute with China in the South China Sea. … [Read more...] about U.S. Navy submarine in Asia trip as Obama seeks to assure allies
WASHINGTON - The U.S. government has begun outfitting a ship in its reserve ready force with equipment to enable it to destroy some of Syria's chemical weapons at sea in the event Washington is asked to assist in the effort, a defense official said on Sunday. The Maritime Administration vessel MV Cape Ray is being equipped with the newly developed Field Deployable Hydrolysis System, which was designed by the Defense Department to neutralize components used in chemical weapons, a defense official said on condition of anonymity. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which supervising the disposal of Syria's chemical arms, said last week the United States had offered to destroy some of the components on a U.S. ship and was looking for a Mediterranean port where the work could be carried out. "The United States is committed to supporting the international community's efforts to destroy Syria's chemical weapons in the safest, most efficient and effective means … [Read more...] about U.S. ship Cape Ray readied for possible chemical arms destruction