Friday defense and security links:
Russia will honor its contract to sell Syria S-300 advanced air and missile defense systems, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday. Iran is still having no such luck getting Russia to sell it the same system.
China has likely stolen data on the U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. That’s at least the conclusion most observers are drawing from Defense Department’s Acquisition Chief Frank Kendall testimony to Congress this week.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
Breaking Defense reports that Kendall told Senators, “I’m confident the classified material is well protected, but I’m not at all confident that our unclassified information is as well-protected. It’s a major problem for us…. What it does is reduce the costs and lead time of our adversaries to doing their own designs, so it gives away a substantial advantage.”
As Sydney Freedberg points out, the stolen data also gives U.S. adversaries unique insight into devising systems to counter the weapons systems.
Georgetown’s Matthew Kroneig argues in Foreign Policy that the U.S. should not reduce its nuclear weapons stockpile because, based on his recent research, nations with greater numbers of atomic weapons prevail in nuclear crises. Russia says it cannot “take seriously” Obama’s proposal to reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals unless other nuclear powers participate and America makes concessions on its missile defense systems. China is in favor of Obama’s nuclear arms reductions, so long as it doesn’t have to participate.
The Navy Times reports that Kyrgyzstan has voted to end the United States’ lease on an airbase that is key to Washington’s operations in Afghanistan. The lease will now expire in July 2014, ahead of NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan which is scheduled to end at the end of that year. This is bad news to say the least as the Washington Post reported earlier this week that the U.S. military is in the process of destroying over US$7 billion in equipment in order to meet the tight withdrawal timetable.
The U.S. and the Philippines will hold a joint CARAT naval drill near the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea next week, Xinhua reports. Xinhua is also reporting that Russian and Chinese special forces just wrapped a 10-day joint training exercise in Beijing. “Forty-six personnel from a special force of the Chinese People's Armed Police Force (PAPF), and 29 from a special task force unit of Russia's domestic security force, took part in the exercise,” the report said.
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