amphibious warfare
Medium: This War Game is a Warning to China

Medium: This War Game is a Warning to China

My second article at Medium, “This War Game is a Warning to China“, is now up. Have at it. Apologies for the late posting, I was on vacation in the Midwest.

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Key Figures from the MoD FY2013 Budget Request

Key Figures from the MoD FY2013 Budget Request

The Ministry of Defense publishes its FY2013 budget appropriations request including several previously unreported figures.

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New Japan Self Defense Force Initiatives on Amphibious Warfare, Global Hawk, Cyber-Terrorism

New Japan Self Defense Force Initiatives on Amphibious Warfare, Global Hawk, Cyber-Terrorism

Japan has announced a series of initiatives to bolster the Self Defense Forces’ ability to respond to new and potential threats. The initiatives span from cyber to amphibious warfare and fill gaps in existing capability. TV Asahi has broken the news that the Self Defense Forces plan on buying four U.S.-made AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicles...

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CSIS Pacific Report Doesn't Put All Futenma Ideas On the Table

CSIS Pacific Report Doesn’t Put All Futenma Ideas On the Table

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has a new report out on the so-called American pivot to the Pacific, and aligning U.S. forces to support the pivot. It’s an interesting read, and spells out several strategic options for U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), including options that increase or decrease air, land, and sea power. (PDF here.)...

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SDF Considers Use of US Philippine Bases

SDF Considers Use of US Philippine Bases

While Japan participates in a Command Post Exercise in the Philippines, the US and Japanese governments consider future access and joint use of Philippines bases for training

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O'Hanlon and Mochizuki on the Okinawa Basing Issue

O'Hanlon and Mochizuki on the Okinawa Basing Issue

I have a strong interest in the U.S. Marine Corps Okinawa basing issue. I don’t post on it very often, mostly because what passes for news usually isn’t. It’s been clear since Hatoyama’s resignation that, barring somebody running out of money, the 2006 agreement is going forward and 8,000 of the roughly 18,000 U.S. Marines based on...

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Japan's Armed Force Levels, 2011-2015

Japan’s Armed Force Levels, 2011-2015

  The National Defense Program Guidelines are out in English (click image to enlarge; here for the PDF), reflecting desirable force levels for the 2011-2015 period. Highlights include: - An increase in the submarine fleet from 16 to 22, likely due to the retention of older submarines (Japan tends to retire submarines when they reach...

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Japan Times: Hospital Ships for Japan

Japan Times: Hospital Ships for Japan

C. W. Nicol: I propose that Japan build ships of around 30,000 gross tons (slightly bigger than the Asuka). This size would be effective, quick to respond, reasonably maneuverable and not as demanding on fuel as the 200,000-ton-plus cruise ship monsters.

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Second "Helicopter Destroyer" Commissioned into MSDF

Second “Helicopter Destroyer” Commissioned into MSDF

  JS Ise, the second and last of the Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers, has officially joined the fleet. Ise was commissioned into the Maritime Self Defense Forces on March 16th, 2011, five days after the Tohoku Earthquake. Ise was built by IHI at the Yokohama Shipyard and launched in August 2009. At 18,000 tons fully loaded, Hyuga...

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North Korean Submarine Drills

North Korean Submarine Drills

The Chosun Ilbo reported today that the South Korean military has been put on alert in response to increased submarine drills by the North: From: N.Korea Steps Up Submarine Drills “The North has been staging drills by mobilizing five or six subs including new Shark-class ones from naval bases on the east and west coasts,”...

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Iron Fist 2011: "How Good Are These Guys?" (Part 4 of 4)

Iron Fist 2011: “How Good Are These Guys?” (Part 4 of 4)

Fourth of a four part series. The Japan Self Defense Forces are a lot like subatomic particles. Everyone knows they exist, or rather believes in the larger order of things that says they should exist, but few people can really tell you what they’re really like. The SDF keeps a low profile, in large part due...

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Iron Fist 2011: Armies & Transparency (Part 3 of 4)

Iron Fist 2011: Armies & Transparency (Part 3 of 4)

Third of a four part series that will run through Friday. This was my second opportunity to cover troops in the field, and my first ever with the GSDF. How to divide my attention? Should I talk to the Americans, who were approachable and from whom information flowed freely? The Japanese, who were more difficult...

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