By Genevieve Feely & Rhys De Wilde, The Strategist (ASPI): "China has dominated the world’s supply of rare-earth elements for decades. Over the past year, however, there has been a growing recognition among the U.S. and its allies (including Australia, South Korea, Japan and India) that sources of critical minerals outside of China need to be secured and that solutions need to be driven by governments rather than market forces, particularly since demand for these materials will skyrocket in the near future."
Can the U.S. Save Its Sealift Fleet?
By Alec Blivas, The Diplomat: "The U.S. sealift fleet is rapidly becoming obsolete, and both the Army and Navy have warned Congress that U.S. sealift capacity is in danger of collapsing."
Naval Warfare 2010–2020: A Comparative Analysis
By Jimmy Drennan, CIMSEC: “An analysis of warfighting trends over a decade could be performed by considering the major crises, conflicts, and tensions that took place, or by tracking the evolving force structure and operating concepts of global competitors."
By Pavel Felgenhauer, Eurasia Daily Monitor: "President Vladimir Putin used the July 26, 2020, Navy Day and the Main Navy Parade in St. Petersburg to once again promote Russia’s “superweapons,” which will ostensibly give the Russian Military-Maritime Fleet (Voyenno-Morskoy Flot—VMF) “a unique advantage” over its Western counterparts. According to Putin, “The deployment of advanced technologies that have no equals in the world, including hypersonic strike systems and underwater drones, will increase naval combat capabilities.”"
The U.S. Military Has Options Against China
By James Holmes, The Hill: “Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) is worried — worried about the U.S. Navy’s prospects during a war against Communist China in the Western Pacific. Last week, Sen. Gardner, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, told the Washington Examiner that Chinese ballistic missiles could compel “all of our planning, all of our equipment, all of our systems” to “basically vacate” the region at outset of fighting. Both large bases and ships riding the waves, he noted, are vulnerable to missile attack."
By Matthew F. Smith, Divergent Options: “U.S. policymakers are deciding how to compete with the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and counteract their objectives. Given fiscal realities, the opportunity exists to rebalance current militaristic policy tendencies and force institutional reforms."
By Jen Judson, Defense News: “Raytheon and Israeli-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have formed a joint venture to build the Iron Dome missile defense system in the United States, the companies announced August 3.”
By Francis P. Sempa, RealClearDefense: “In the midst of President Harry Truman’s controversial firing of General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War, Air Force General George Kenny, who brilliantly led MacArthur’s air force in the Southwest Pacific in World War II, wrote that when the histories of the Korean War are written, they will "add still more to the luster of MacArthur's reputation as a military leader.""
By Frank Hoffman, War on the Rocks: "I am certain of one thing: Colin Gray would be exasperated with claims that “Grand strategy is dead.” What he would have called a “banality” is commonplace these days."
By David Maxwell, Military Times: “The Senate Armed Service Committee report on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) expresses the committee’s persistent concern with U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) and the need for stronger civilian oversight."
Sending Special Operations Forces into the Great-Power Competition
By Tim Nichols, Small Wars Journal: “What caused the strategic defeat of U.S. efforts in Syria? Was it the U.S. special operations forces overseeing the military effort? Certainly not."
By T.S. Allen, Modern War Institute: "One of the best noncommissioned officers I know was recently selected to join the Close Combat Lethality Task Force, an organization established by former Secretary of Defense James Mattis in 2018 to “improve the combat, lethality, survivability, resiliency and readiness of U.S. infantry squads.” No infantry squad ever won a skirmish by reading a book, but books certainly are handy when you’re trying to figure out how to improve institutions."
Chinese Nuclear Advancements Stoke Pentagon Fears of New 'Peer' Threat
By Yasmin Tadjdeh, National Defense Magazine: ““China is on a trajectory to be a strategic peer to us by the end of the decade,” said Adm. Charles Richard. “For the first time ever, the U.S. is going to face two peer capable nuclear competitors … who you have to deter differently," he said referring to China and Russia. "We have never faced that situation before.""
By Mallory Shelbourne, USNI News: "As the Marines reshape their force to take on the Chinese in the Western Pacific, some experts worry the new emphasis could leave the Marines fewer tools to operate in other parts of the world and fight different types of adversaries."
By Timothy A. Walton & Bryan Clark, Defense News: "The head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said last week his top priority is establishing an Aegis Ashore system on Guam by 2026. New air defenses will help protect U.S. citizens and forces in Guam; but as Japan’s government found, Aegis Ashore may not be the best option to protect military and civilian targets from growing and improving Chinese and North Korean missile threats."
By Aaron Bateman, War on the Rocks: “In 1978, Adm. Stansfield Turner, then the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, said that the “Russians can kill us in space.” Turner was referring to the Soviet Union’s kinetic anti-satellite weapons program."
By Anja Manuel & Kathleen Hicks, Foreign Affairs: “Washington does need a strategy to strengthen its national security technology and industrial base, but it should be one that is centered on collaborative disruption that generates the right incentives for innovators, scientists, engineers, venture capitalists, and others."
By Gina Harkins, Military.com: "The Marine Corps is moving ahead with plans to test a wearable robotic exoskeleton that conjures up images of that power-loader suit Ellen Ripley wore to take down a space monster in the movie "Aliens.""
Iran Launches Underground Ballistic Missiles During Exercise
By Amir Vahdat & Jon Gambrell, The National Interest: “The world is steadily confronting the prospect of full-fledged Chinese domination in the world’s most important waterway, the South China Sea.”
By Elina Driscoll, Small Wars Journal: "When Russian troops entered the rebellious Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in December 1994, the Yeltsin regime was confident that the Russo-Chechen conflict would end with Russia’s quick victory and territorial restoration of the Russian Federation. However, the war, which later became known as the First Chechen War, lasted for nearly two years, ended with the victory of Chechen militants, and led to the deaths of roughly 50,000 Chechens and about 6,000 Russian soldiers."
Oh God, Not the Peloponnesian War Again
By James Palmer, Foreign Policy: “Even when strategists move beyond Athens, they're still writing about Europe. In all the takes on the U.S.-China relationship, the history of Chinese warfare itself—and the vast span of Asian conflict, warfare, and political contention over the last 3,000 years—goes virtually unmentioned.”
Deglobalization and International Security
By Sarah Tenney, Strategy Bridge: "At the beginning of the last century, Theodore Roosevelt led the United States to great power status, leveled the playing field between business and labor, and called for the conservation of natural resources. He noted: "The one characteristic more essential than any other is foresight... It should be the growing nation with a future which takes the long look ahead.""
Tracing a Problematic Discussion from the 1940s to the Present
By Ali Wyne, Modern War Institute: “Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Coming just a month after the Soviet Union had tested an atomic bomb—roughly four years before the Central Intelligence Agency had forecast that Moscow would have the ability to produce one—that outcome seemed to reinforce that the supposed hegemony Washington had inherited with the conclusion of World War II was dubious, if not illusory."