Not to be outdone, Russia has responded to this news by announcing that it's at work on a new generation of missiles designed to slip through American defenses. Russia's Tassnews agency reports that Russia’s Strategic Missile Force chief Colonel General Sergey Karakayev had said the country will develop a new intercontinental ballistic missile with the U.S. missile shield in mind. Karakayev said the new missiles will evade any defenses with a "shorter acceleration phase" and "a hard-to-predict flight trajectory."
Seth Cropsey writes: Restoring proper funding to missile defense will not solve all of America’s strategic problems. However, the next president will be well advised to pay more attention both to details of the military budget and the overall state of our defenses. Just as small steps in the wrong direction undermine good policy, small steps in the right direction reinforce it. – Real Clear Defense
The system, based at a rural air base in Deveselu, Romania, is the first of two sites, with construction on a second site in Poland to commence later this week. Taken together, the two missile defense installations will give NATO a 24-hour early warning and defense system against Iranian missiles. “The system is not aimed against Russia," Robert Bell, a U.S. official, told reporters.
Air Force magazine drops that the U.S. Air Force A-10 Warthogs recently deployed to the Philippines have concluded their mission there after flying just four missions over international waters and carrying out two dozen training missions. During a visit to the Philippines in April, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that the Warthogs would hang around for a little while after exercising with Philippine forces. The mag also reports that the Air Force is planning follow up the hogs' visit with the arrival of an "advanced fighter jet," which may just be the F-22 Raptor. Washington recently reached a basing agreement for U.S. forces as the island nation grows wary of Chinese territorial claims in its backyard.
Playing the game. In response to the U.S. Navy’s USS William P. Lawrence passing near Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea on Tuesday, China’s Defense Ministry said it was Washington’s fault that it was deploying more military hardware to the disputed islands in the waterway. In a statement, the ministry said, “the provocative actions by American military ships and planes lay bare the U.S. designs to seek gain by creating chaos in the region and again testify to the total correctness and utter necessity of China's construction of defensive facilities on relevant islands.”
Beijing also promised to “increase the scope of sea and air patrols based on need, boost all categories of military capacity building, resolutely defend national sovereignty and security, and resolutely safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.”
Weapons watchers have caught sight of various models of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) in Syria since the civil war began, from the ubiquitous Cold War vintage Russian SA-7 to the less often seen Chinese FN-6. Now the open source geeks at Bellingcat report that three MANPADS seen in a March video by Islamist rebel group Liwa al-Tawheed in Aleppo appear to be QW-1 or Misagh-1 missiles. The QW-1, made by China and used by Iran under the designation "Misagh-1," has made only brief appearances on the battlefield in Iraq, where it was used by Iranian-backed militias against U.S. forces during the American operation. A fighter from Liwa al-Tawheed contacted by Bellingcat said the missiles were captured from Assad regime forces.