The Buzz

This Is the Greatest Challenge Facing the Pentagon (Not China or Russia)

The Pentagon must reform its acquisition process to transition new technologies from the research and development phase into production more quickly. But while the Pentagon needs to restructure, the last thing the Defense Department needs is more bureaucracy.

“We have a problem perennially of connecting the research and development enterprise to the production,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told an audience at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, on May 25. “The lasting in the world we need is bureaucracy.  To me, there is way too much of that.”

Is Taiwan a Country?

In her recent inauguration speech, Tsai Ing-wen said very little of what Beijing wanted to hear from her. Instead she chose to assert Taiwan’s nationhood using language that is sure to aggravate China’s leaders. As a result, we are now likely to be standing on the verge of a new round of conflict across the Taiwan Strait.

The Illusion of Russian Military Might

Since President Vladimir Putin appointed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in November 2012, the official message from the top brass and leading defense officials presents the Russian military as advanced, reformed and undergoing modernization. Shoigu has introduced some departures from the course of reform set under his predecessor Anatoly Serdyukov (2007–2012). However, the representation of Russia’s Army as a new all-powerful tool at the Kremlin’s disposal is hyperbole.

Transforming German Königsberg into Soviet Kaliningrad

In continuation of our [Kennan Institute] alumni interview series, we talked with Title VIII-supported Research Scholar Nicole Eaton to hear her reflections on her fellowship. Dr. Eaton, Assistant Professor of History at Boston College, is writing a book on politics, everyday life, and the German-Soviet encounter in Königsberg-Kaliningrad. See the discussion below on the broader context of German and Soviet occupations, postwar urban rebuilding, nationalities policies, and forced migrations.

A Chinese ADIZ in the South China Sea: The Ultimate Bargaining Chip?

While the world wonders whether the People’s Republic of China is taking incremental steps towards establishing an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea, detailed analysis of Beijing’s already established ADIZ in the East China Sea seems to point to an interesting conclusion: it may not be actively enforcing the zone and it could be part of a sophisticated “bargaining” strategy.

New U.S. Navy Transport Osprey Will Reach an Insane 280 Miles Per Hour

The Navy is in the early stages of building its own variant of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to perform its critical Carrier-Onboard-Delivery mission to delivery forces, supplies and weapons to forward-stationed ships at sea.

The service plans to procure 44 new CMV-22B Ospreys for the COD mission, replacing the 1960’s era C-2 Greyhound aircraft. The C-2 Greyhound is a twin-engine, high-wing cargo aircraft first introduced in the 1960s. Since that time, 35 C-2s have been in the Navy inventory, service officials said.

Should Duterte Step Back on the South China Sea?

Some countries have become wary of China’s aspiration to become a maritime power because the means pursued by the Xi Jinping government — as seen in the disputed South China Sea — appear to ignore the legitimate interests of its smaller neighbors, flout existing international norms and pose risks to regional peace and stability.