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Under Pressure, Ukraine Leader to Seek Aid on U.S. Visit

Seeking elusive military and economic aid from the United States, President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine headed to North America on Tuesday, while also facing increasingly skeptical questions both here and abroad about the slow pace of change. A White House meeting with President Obama and an address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday are likely to generate ... Read More »

Ukraine Moves Reflect Moscow’s Long Shadow

Ukraine sought to draw a line under its confrontation with Moscow by ratifying a landmark trade-and-political deal with the European Union and approving limited autonomy for territories now controlled by Russia-backed separatists. But with full implementation of the EU deal postponed under Russian pressure, and the rebels insisting on independence, the developments illustrated Kiev’s weakened position—almost a year after Moscow ... Read More »

Germany May Support OSCE Mission in Ukraine

Germany sent a military fact-finding mission to eastern Ukraine on Tuesday to determine whether the Bundeswehr can support an observer mission there by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with a reconnaissance UAV, the Defense Ministry in Berlin said. The 14-member unarmed German team will travel to an area of the Luhansk region that so far has ... Read More »

UK may retain C-130J Hercules for special forces duties

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) may retain in service a number of its Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft for special forces use, a senior service official disclosed on 16 September. Speaking at the IQPC Military Airlift 2014 conference in London, Group Captain Simon Edwards, Officer Commanding RAF Brize Norton, said that there may be a continued need for ... Read More »

China sees jihadi inspiration coming from abroad by way of the Web

On a rocky hilltop close to the city of Urumqi in China’s troubled Xinjiang region, five men don black bandanas decorated with Arabic writing. A black flag used by jihadi groups across the world flutters behind them as they press their hands together in a circle and pledge their allegiance to holy war. In another video, the bearded leader of ... Read More »

Defense ministry mulls introducing ground-based SM-3 interceptor missiles

The Defense Ministry is considering introducing a new ground-based type of interceptor missile that the United States is developing, in an effort to bolster Japan’s ballistic missile defense system, ministry sources said. The ministry intends to introduce new ground-based SM-3 missiles, in addition to the sea-based SM-3s that the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) already possesses, to enhance Tokyo’s readiness to ... Read More »

Setback for India’s Ruling Party

The Bharatiya Janata Party, coming off a huge victory in May’s parliamentary elections, suffered a political setback on Tuesday with a poor showing in state legislative by-elections in three northern Indian states, including one that was swept by Hindu-Muslim tensions in the weeks leading up to the vote. The party has hoped to sustain electoral momentum and win control of ... Read More »

Images of an Uzbek First Daughter Under House Arrest

A British public relations firm released images on Tuesday showing Gulnara Karimova, the flamboyant eldest daughter of President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, under house arrest. As my colleague Andrew Kramer reported last year, Ms. Karimova apparently fell out of favor with her father during a family feud against the backdrop of a succession struggle. Mr. Karimov, 76, has led one ... Read More »

12 Nigerian troops sentenced to death for mutiny

Twelve soldiers fighting an Islamic insurgency in northeast Nigeria have been sentenced to death by firing squad for mutiny and attempted murder of their commanding officer. In a decision read early Tuesday by Brig. Gen. Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, the military tribunal found 12 soldiers guilty and five others innocent. One was sentenced to 28 days in jail with hard labor. All ... Read More »

B-2 Pilot’s Lessons For LRSB, America’s New Bomber

The Air Force very quietly released a Request for Proposal (RFP) this summer for the new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B). With a purported fly away cost of $550 million per aircraft — but with estimates up to $810 million — the LRS-B will be one of the largest acquisition programs in history with broad strategic implications to the end ... Read More »

How to Shoot Down a Drone

The U.S. Navy has embraced unmanned aircraft (“drones”) as a way of expanding the reconnaissance and strike capabilities of its fleet. Two of these programs — the land-based MQ-4C Triton and the vertical-ascent MQ-8B Fire Scout — look like winners. But the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system, usually referred to by its acronym UCLASS, appears less promising. One ... Read More »

JSF & The Path of DOOM « Breaking Defense

In February of 2014, Lt. Gen. Charles Davis, the Air Force’s top uniformed acquisition official, said big, audacious programs like the Joint Strike Fighter were “doomed the day the contract was signed.” As the former Program Executive Officer for the JSF, he brings a pretty credible perspective to the situation. Given his first-hand experience and the F-35’s track record of ... Read More »

“War-Weary” Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong

Conventional wisdom holds that most Americans, wary after more than a decade at war, now favor the United States playing a less significant role on the world stage. But the conventional wisdom may be wrong, if not more complicated, according to a new report from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “While weary of large-scale military interventions, [Americans] support the ... Read More »