Pentagon Eyes New Information Operations Capabilities Strategy, Implementation Plan


The Pentagon is poised to release a new information operations capabilities strategy and accompanying implementation plan, according to a recent report signed by a senior defense official.


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This GoPro video will bring you the closest as you can get to the flight deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier during catapult launches


Flight Deck launch

Fantastic footage of a modern U.S. aircraft carrier during blue water operations.

The following footage will bring aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) nuclear-powered aircraft carrier during routine flight operations.

The video was recorded with a GoPro camera attached to the helmet of a Catapult Topside Petty Officer, whose job is to ensure the proper hook-up of the aircraft to the catapult while ensuring the safety of all personnel on the flight deck during launching operations.

It starts about one minute until launch, with the first launch taking place at around 1:14.

You can see several aircraft belonging to the CVW-7 including F/A-18C Legacy Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornets (Rhinos) and the EA-6B Prowler.

The video was filmed in 2013: the “Ike” is currently undertaking a 14-month Drydocking Planned Incremental Availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth.

 

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Saudi King Abdullah admitted to hospital for tests


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – Saudi Arabia’s 90-year-old King Abdullah was admitted to a hospital on Wednesday for medical tests, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The news agency, citing a royal statement, said the king was undergoing tests at the National Guard’s King Abdulaziz Medical City hospital …


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NSA spying in Vienna detailed at Chaos meet


Austrian journalist Erich Möchel delivered a presentation in Hamburg at the annual meeting of the Chaos Computer Club on Monday December 29, detailing the various locations where the US NSA has been actively collecting and processing electronic intelligence in Vienna.


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Vladimir Putin to Obama: Our shared mission is ‘international stability’


Russian President Vladimir Putin sent some New Year’s well-wishes President Obama’s way, reminding the U.S. leader of the two nations’ forged pact during World War II times and chiding that “world peace and stability” should be their shared goal.

The upcoming 70th anniversary of the allied victory in World War …


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US criticises Cuba’s treatment of dissidents


The United States on Wednesday condemned what it called Cuba’s practice of repression following the detention of several activists, in what is the first major test of the two countries’ decision to normalise relations.


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Putin’s 15 Years in Power – in 90 Seconds


A 90-second look back at some key events in Vladimir Putin’s 15 years at the top of Russian politics.




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Counteroffensive Against Islamic State Planned for 2015


The battle against Islamic State, defined so far by a U.S.-led air campaign, will turn this year to a counteroffensive on the ground by a coalition of Iraqi forces.


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Spanish Eurofighters arrived in Estonia


Four Eurofighters from the Spanish Air Force have arrived in Estonia to take over the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission from their Dutch counterparts.


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Resolutions 2015: Foreign and defense policy


For a sneak peek at the entire Resolutions 2015 blog series, download AEI Essentials to your mobile device.

With the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham, a North Korean cyberattack, President Barack Obama’s diplomatic opening with Cuba, and Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula as its newest territory, the world looks a lot different today than it did just one year ago. What’s in store for next year? Here are some things the scholars in AEI’s Foreign and Defense Policy Department will be watching most closely in 2015.

Leon Aron: I will be doing an in-depth analysis of the Putin Kremlin’s key political, economic, and social problems, which the Ukrainian crisis temporarily obscured. Be on the lookout later this spring for an edited volume on the stability and vulnerability of the Putin regime, for which I’ve solicited the expertise of nine top Russian political sociologists and economists. Additionally, I will be focusing on one increasingly real danger facing the Kremlin: religious fundamentalism and militancy outside of Russia’s North Caucasus, especially in the Volga region. I will address the coming of the Russian Jihad in a series of essays.

Dan Blumenthal: I resolve to finish writing a book on Sino-American relations. It describes how difficult and threatening it is for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to rise back to power and prominence in a liberal world order created by the British and the Americans. For almost two centuries China has struggled to define what it means to be a nation-state rather than a civilizational-empire in a world shaped by liberal laws, rules, and ideas and dominated by first the British and now the American militaries. The PRC has been shaped by this evolving world order, it now has a post-modern identity when it comes to business and economics, and a modern nation-state identity when it comes to security and diplomacy. Yet it still holds on to its civilizational-imperial ways as well.

Sadanand Dhume: My primary focus in 2015 will be on researching and writing a book titled “India Rebooted: What the Rise of the Right Means for the World’s Largest Democracy.” This year’s election of a new right-of-center Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government under Narendra Modi, with the strongest mandate of any leader in three decades, could dramatically alter India’s trajectory and the state of US-India relations. But this will depend on how the new ruling elite — and the larger social and political forces it represents — answers some big questions facing India. For instance, will the country deepen its embrace of market economics, or move away from a nonaligned foreign policy? The future of US policy toward India — deeper support for it or greater skepticism toward it — will depend largely on how Delhi evolves. I believe my book’s research and conclusions will be helpful in tracing this path.

Thomas Donnelly: My research will focus on identifying the security interests of the United States and developing a coherent American national security agenda. Defining our longstanding interests, as practiced by both parties since World War II, will guide my understanding of the emerging threats currently facing the US, its allies, and the liberal international order. Finally, my work will focus on formulating the underlying force posture, defense program, and budget requirements needed to meet that broad range of challenges and begin to rebuild an American “peace through strength” consensus.

Mackenzie Eaglen: While advocates for a strong national defense have not had much to cheer about in recent years, a world marked by disorder — due in part to reduced American internationalism — means that momentum may again be on their side. In 2014, a bipartisan group of defense stalwarts called for an end to the Budget Control Act’s defense cuts and a return to more responsible budgets in light of current threats. Much of my 2015 work will look to build upon the efforts of the National Defense Panel to educate policymakers, along with prospective presidential candidates, about the armed forces America needs, what they should accomplish, and what they will cost. In particular, I will be working with the new Congress to elevate the importance of adequately keeping the military prepared, rebuilding capacity, and reinvesting in capability while smartly trimming bureaucracy in select areas in order to strengthen the overall defense enterprise.

Nicholas Eberstadt: My work will take me in quite a few directions this year. I will be looking at Chinese demographics, focusing on the implications that migration, urbanization, and shifts in family structure have on economic growth and social stability in China. Shifting to China’s neighbor in northeast Asia, I will use North Korea’s epic economic failure as a case study to look into the poisonous role of foreign aid in long-term economic decline. In the Middle East, I will examine the dramatic fertility decline in the global Muslim community and the flight from marriage in the Arab world. Back in the United States, I will dig in to one of the most troubling social and economic trends in modern America: the male flight from work.

Frederick W. Kagan: Iran and al Qaeda will be the top security themes this year, and the Critical Threats team will be all over both of them. We will be tracking the Iranian nuclear program and negotiations closely. Look for some assessments of the technical progress Iran has made on weaponization early in the new year. We will also be examining the ongoing expansion of Iranian conventional capabilities. And our major study of Iranian cyberactivity will come out in the spring. Our al Qaeda team, under Katherine Zimmerman, will produce a strategic plan for coping with al Qaeda in Yemen and then turn to developing similar plans for al Qaeda affiliates in Africa. We will continue to study the expansion of al Qaeda safe havens and the threats they pose to the US and its allies. We expect to be very busy.

Phillip Lohaus: In 2015, I’d like to further examine the role that the Defense Department plays in influencing key actors in highly contested, pre-conflict environments. Though the American people have become accustomed to the idea that our wars are winding down, other countries don’t necessarily feel the same way, and are working overtime to ensure that if and when conflicts do arise, they have established an environment that is advantageous to them. Ultimately, America’s ability to influence the environment outside of kinetic action will make the world safer for us and for our allies.

J. Matthew McInnis: Everyone knows about the challenge that Iran presents to the United States, but how much do we really understand Iran’s strategic thinking? We need to understand the intricate way historical perspectives, threat perceptions, political objectives, and ideological imperatives interact to shape Iran’s security behavior and leadership decision-making. Has the Iranian regime’s commitment to opposing the US and its allies changed in any way since President Rouhani’s election and the rise of the Islamic State? Will more economic and military pressure push Tehran towards an acceptable deal on the nuclear program or will that derail an agreement? My research next year aims to give US policymakers a better paradigm to understand Iran’s actions, thereby facilitating more effective responses.

Gary Schmitt: I plan to research the issue of deterrence when it comes to cyber warfare. The country—both the private sector and the government—faces continuing and seemingly increasingly destructive attacks in this realm. Although it is important to build defenses to secure information and infrastructure from threats to our nation, historically, a key step in addressing threats such as these has been to create sufficient capabilities to deter aggressors from employing certain high-end weapons. Can such a deterrent be created in this new realm of warfare? And, if so, what would be its components and the policies required to establish it?

Derek Scissors: In the coming year, my focus will center on three issue areas. First, I’ll continue looking into China’s outward investment, which our estimates will show topping $1 trillion of transactions by the end of 2014. Second, I’ll analyze the outcomes of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), whether nothing happens; they happen, but are underwhelming; or they are great. Last but not least, I’ll be watching for Indian economic reform at the 1-year anniversary of the Narendra Modi government in April. Will there be a breakthrough that inspires Delhi watchers to laud India’s rise? We’ll have to wait and see.

Jim Talent: What should America’s national security strategy be in the years ahead? How can we go about rebuilding the national security consensus needed to accomplish our plans for the armed forces? How can we best translate that plan and consensus into solid action by the Congress and the next President in support of our goals? My work in the coming year will focus on answering these important questions.
Katherine Zimmerman: The safety of Americans at home and abroad is at risk due to the terrorist threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) and the al Qaeda network. Both extremist groups have adapted to attempts to weaken them with such tactics as targeted airstrikes. It has become clear that America’s current counterterrorism strategy is not sufficient, and I will be focused on determining what the United States should be doing instead in places like Yemen and North Africa to combat the threat, as well as continuing to evaluate how al Qaeda groups operate on the ground and work together in the network.


 For a sneak peek at the entire Resolutions 2015 blog series, download AEI Essentials on your mobile device. 


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