Canceling INF Treaty makes sense

The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear (INF) Treaty, agreed by US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, has been suspended by both the United States and Russia. Vladimir Putin says he will not negotiate the matter, and the treaty’s six-month notice clause means it will be canceled by summer. But the treaty was a product […]

Missing from the Singapore Summit: Iran

No matter what you think of the Singapore Summit – and opinion is deeply divided – one country was definitely missing and its absence is of deepest concern. That country is Iran. There isn’t much point in denuclearizing North Korea if the end-result is that the technology, know-how and key personnel are shipped off to […]

Never mind Vietnam, US should bolster naval defense of Taiwan

Instead of sending an aircraft carrier to Vietnam, the US should send a carrier task force to circle around Taiwan. This would send a message to China and President Xi Jinping that Washington understands Taiwan not only as a democratic friend, but as a crucial link in Western Pacific defense. Taiwan is in the center […]

US message for North Korea in strike on Syria

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un should pay attention to America’s shock attack on Syria’s chemical weapons depots and its related Damascus Scientific Research Center. All of them were allegedly knocked out on Saturday by cruise missiles fired by the United States, United Kingdom and France from ships, submarines and aircraft, including the B-1 bomber that […]

Congratulations or none, ostracizing Russia might be worse

According to news reports, US President Donald Trump was advised in a briefing paper “DO NOT CONGRATULATE PUTIN.”  Even so, Trump did so, tying his congratulatory remark to what President Trump says is an upcoming meeting with Putin to discuss the unfolding nuclear arms race. The Russians have been raising the ante on nuclear weapons […]

Narco submarines offer lessons for Pacific defense

One of the main problems facing Taiwan, Japan, Korea and the United States (among others) is how to protect themselves against invasion by a hostile power, most often defined as China. Most foresee an air battle,  starting with missile attacks against air bases, followed by a seaborne invasion force. By taking out as much of […]

Dissecting the ‘dusty agent’ used in UK attack

It is a foregone conclusion in Western capitals that the Russians were behind the use of an “exotic” nerve agent that critically injured Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the town of Salisbury, not far from Stonehenge, in England, earlier this month. Tissue and other samples of the agent, collected at different sites, were analyzed by […]

America’s Taiwan strategy badly needs rethinking, rebuilding

The time has come for the United States to rebuild and rethink its approach to Taiwan’s defense and security. China is becoming too provocative and aggressive, not only in the South China Sea, but also in the Taiwan straits, where it is starting to encroach on well-established red lines. It has also been carrying out military […]

A lesson for Kim Jong-un: tank warfare is changing fast

The modern battlefield is rapidly changing and old assumptions about the use of tanks and other armor are in doubt. This means that some adversaries who lack the latest up-to-date systems may find themselves in big trouble. Especially North Korea. In 1975, on the last leg of a Middle East trip, I visited the US Embassy […]

In any war with North Korea, the A-10 is a powerful weapon

The much-maligned A-10 Thunderbolt ground attack airplane could prove to be a savior if fighting breaks out with North Korea. However, the US Air Force wants to get rid of the plane, and is not asking for funds to fix the wings on some 100 A-10s, which therefore may end up in the scrap yard. […]

The risk bombing North Korea holds for US interests in Asia

There are two kinetic proposals currently being floated in Washington’s top policy circles about what to do with North Korea. The more extreme one, proposed independently by Ed Luttwak in Foreign Policy Magazine, is for the United States to “use well-aimed conventional weapons to deny nuclear weapons” to North Korea. The other proposal, supposedly under […]

Implications of Houthi capture of US Navy underwater drone

The Iran-backed Yemeni Houthis have captured a US Navy underwater drone. The navy says the drone was part of a “meteorological study,” a lame excuse for carrying out a secret operation along Yemen’s coast. So what was really going on? The drone is a Remus Model 600. It is manufactured by Hydroid in Pocasset, Massachusetts, […]

Kim Jong-un’s strategy for a unified Korea

North Korea’s strategy has always been to force the United States out of the Korean peninsula and push the South Koreans into a deal that leads to reunification of north and south. This strategy derives directly from North Korea’s founder, Russian-trained Kim Il-sung. And it is the strategy his grandson is following today. Remember that […]