Must-Reads

November 19, 2013  

Three-Island War | Preserve naval capacity first | Hey, big spenders

Alex Calvo argues that the Marines’ Three-Block War has a seagoing analogue: the Three-Island War. “[At] sea we are clearly observing how China employs a mixture of naval, coastguard / quasi-military, and civilian (fishermen and activists) assets in pushing forward her maritime claims. Thus, Japanese forces may find themselves having to deal with very different realities in islands a few miles apart.” (Small Wars Journal)

Bryan McGrath argues for preserving naval capability during a downturn: “In my view, what the Navy and Marine Corps do to underwrite American prosperity is far and away more strategically important than the warfighting depth offered by the combat power of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force in a time of relative peace. This direct, unchanging, and transcendent truth leads me to believe that American Seapower should be privileged at the expense of land and air power, especially during a time of economic malaise.” (War On The Rocks)

Businessweek reports that the world’s overall defense spending fell in 2012 for the first time in 15 years; As the Dubai Air Show rolls on, Defense News describes the priorities in a region of continued growth: the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Mark Thompson reports that a new draft U.S.-Afghan agreement means “America’s Longest War…Likely to Get Longer.” (Time)

Dept. of Filling In: big thanks to Zach Fryer-Biggs, Stephen Losey (@StephenLosey), and Marcus Weisgerber (@MarcusReports) for manning AFJ’s Must-Reads desk during my recent leave. Follow them!

Warlord’s Quote

“I stand for a nationalism of duty, to oneself and to others; and therefore, for a nationalism which is a means to internationalism law.… The nation that in actual practice fears God is the nation which does not wrong its neighbors, which does so far as possible help its neighbors, and which never promises what it cannot or will not or ought not to perform.” — President Theodore Roosevelt, “Fear God and Take Your Own Part.”

Contributed by Pauletta Otis, formerly a professor of International Strategic Studies at the Joint Military Intelligence College, now a Security Studies professor at the USMC Command and Staff College. From a list compiled by the Warlord Loop, a private email forum for national security experts.

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