The Buzz

One of America's Top Allies Has Lots to Say About the F-35

Within days, Australians will get to see the first of the RAAF’s new Joint Strike Fighters—just months after the jet’s noisiest critics told an inquiry it was a ‘jackass of all trades and masterful of none’. Two members of the Air Power Australia group went on to tell the Senate committee the aircraft was ‘a broken and obsolete design, unsuitable for modern combat’. The reality, say Australian fighter pilots and senior members of the ADF with intimate knowledge of the JSF’s capability, is vastly different.

The 2 Percent NATO Benchmark Is a Red Herring

The usefulness of America’s allies was severely questioned during Donald Trump’s election campaign. Allies were presented as costing America a considerable amount and giving little in return. The title of an article in Foreign Affairs summed up this perception: “Ripped Off: What Donald Trump gets Right about U.S. Alliances.”

Is the Age of the Submarine Over?

How can the silent service stay in tune with the times? First and foremost, by acknowledging the danger posed by foreign navies toting gee-whiz gadgetry. Clark hints at how hard adapting to more transparent seas could prove: “unless U.S. forces adapt to and lead the new competition, the era of unrivaled U.S. undersea dominance could draw to a surprisingly abrupt close.” That’s a grim prognosis in itself. Abrupt change begets major traumas in big institutions like navies. It’s hard to get ahead of the process.

What North Korea Calls the U.S. “Hostile Policy” Could Mean Anything

Washington, DC has yet to decide on its policy toward Pyongyang. The Trump administration launched an internal-policy review only a few weeks ago, so that decision could take some time. Against the current backdrop of swirling uncertainty, an increasing number of scholars and analysts are actively discussing ways for the United States to deal with a more dangerous, nuclear-capable North Korea.

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