Efforts on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly last week to catalyze a swift return to talks on the Iran nuclear deal appeared to fizzle. Tehran rejected a group meeting of remaining participants to the 2015 accord and was vague about when it might resume the negotiations in Vienna that were suspended in June.
In its upcoming defense strategy, the Biden administration will attempt to balance challenges from an increasingly capable Chinese military against fiscal constraints imposed by other domestic spending and rising fears of inflation. Congressional authorizers are correct that defense budgets can be higher, but short of continuous wartime mobilization, the U.S. military may soon be unable to prevent Beijing from overpowering neighbors like Taiwan. Chinese leaders are also unlikely to believe the United States would launch nuclear weapons in response to conventional attacks against overseas U.S. territory or allies. The Pentagon’s strategy will therefore need a more sophisticated approach to deterring war than simply threatening denial or punishment.
Two high-resonance processes have been simultaneously unfolding in Europe in the last few weeks: the sharp increase in the prices on natural gas (see EDM, August 11) as well as the fierce contestation in the parliamentary elections in Germany. Each one is driven by a complex and unique interplay of economic and political forces, and Russia prefers to downplay its role in both, but it has tried to exploit the former to influence the latter. The political outcome of the German elections last Sunday (September 26) may remain undetermined for weeks, if not months, as parties jockey to create a workable coalition government, but Moscow may feel satisfied for two reasons. First, Russia largely avoided accusations of election interference; and second, its energy agenda apparently succeeded in constraining the rearrangement of politics in Berlin. Climate change was a major issue in the turbulent campaign season in Germany, but the proposition to reduce German dependency on the import of Russian gas voiced by some quarters (notably the Greens) was effectively reduced to irrelevance.
The contours of US Asia policy under the Biden administration have become clearer through the recent high-profile visits to the region by Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. While the tone is different from the bombast of the Trump presidency, these reveal much more continuity than change in Washington’s approach.
The Navy is organizing East Coast destroyers to better protect the homeland from Russian threats — specifically those undersea — as part of a new initiative called Task Group Greyhound.
The task group will have Atlantic fleet destroyers focused on training in theater undersea warfare — and, importantly, able to respond to threats at the drop of a hat — according to Rear Adm. Brendan McLane, commander of Naval Surface Force Atlantic.
The Space Force issued four awards worth a combined $88 million as an investment in next-generation rocket capabilities, Space Systems Command announced Sept. 24.
The U.S. Navy has reorganized its entire submarine acquisition and sustainment enterprise to address attack submarine readiness as well as potential future challenges building the Columbia class of ballistic missile subs as the service and its industrial base increase construction rates and crawl out of an attack submarine shortfall.
Lockheed Martin has won a second-round contract worth $9.6 million to continue work on the U.S. Army’s first integrated electronic warfare, signals intelligence and cyber platform, the service announced Monday.
The U.S. Navy this month accepted the first two Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet jets from Boeing, the company announced Sept. 27, kicking off a process that will create a better networked and more lethal fighter fleet.