The Buzz

Russia’s Pacific Pivot: The Moscow-Beijing Shadow Boxing Continues

Squeezed in Europe by U.S-led sanctions and robust NATO reactions in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea, Russia is now finding itself in a prime position to exploit the unfolding geopolitical dramas stirred up by China in East and Southeast Asia. Moscow has proactively demonstrated its determination to play a leading role in shaping the outcome of the highly explosive regional conflicts, at the expense of Beijing and potentially Washington as well.

Russia: Turning Unpredictability into a Strategic Virtue

“Without international revolution, neither the Soviet Union nor any other [socialist] country can triumph... We have to increase the number of our friends,” Vyacheslav Molotov, the Soviet premier and wartime Minister of Foreign Affairs, once said. Such wisdom from the olden days of the Cold War should be held in high regard in todays’ Russia, given the increased official respect for Soviet legacy. But the Kremlin does not seem to follow cold-war blueprints.

Moving the U.S-Vietnam Relationship into the Future

With China looming large in the background, it is easy to characterize the recent warming in relations between the U.S and Vietnam, which culminated in President Obama's latest visit to Vietnam, as a marriage of convenience. While this is undoubtedly true to a certain extent, such characterization fails to capture the full essence of U.S-Vietnam relations and where this relationship is heading in the near future.

Watch Out, China: Taiwan and Japan Are Teaming Up

In office less than a week, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has already defused a potential conflictual situation in the East China Sea. Her administration has decided to leave the resolution of a dispute with Japan over the status of Okinotori as a rock or island to the discretion of the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

The U.S. Navy’s Underwater Robots Patrol the Arctic

The Navy is analyzing research findings from efforts to deploy underwater drones beneath the ice in the Arctic Ocean to assess how quickly the ice is melting and understand how soon the U.S. and Russia will be competing for new strategic waterways in the region.

The drones had been measuring the temperature and salt content to help scientists develop more accurate computer models with which to predict the anticipated future pace of melting ice, Martin Jeffries, science advisor to the Office of Naval Research, or ONR, told Scout Warrior.

Army Aviation: 100 Years of the Chinook

The Army plans to fly its Vietnam-era workhorse CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter for 100 years by continuously upgrading the platform through a series of ongoing technological adjustments designed to improve lift, weight, avionics and cargo handling, among other things.

The Army goal is to allow the helicopter, which was first produced in the early 1960s, to serve all the way into the 2060s – allowing the aircraft service life to span an entire century.