- China is officially announcing that its 2012 budget is increasing by 11.2% to about $106B. It is broadly agreed that this significantly understates total military spending. After about 25 years of double-digit growth China is now clearly the second biggest defense spender behind the US, with a budget that more than doubled in the last 5 years alone. There is more to it than just new kit though: some of that money is spent on improving quality of life for sailors to ease recruitment and retention, as China is facing serious demographic constraints and deep socioeconomic shifts. Associated Press | Bloomberg.
- The US DoD Inspector General is reviewing the F-35’s quality assurance system, while the Air Force is looking at where to locate its training site. Meanwhile the UK is reportedly researching whether they should stick to F-35Cs or switch to F-35Bs.
- Deputy Secretary of State William Burns told Brazilians last week, about the LAS travails:
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