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Now As Always: If You Want Peace, Prepare for War

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Peace in Our Time: Mid East Edition * The UAE & Saudi Arabia are both reportedly looking at submarines, with the UAE focused on a smaller design (300t – 1,000t) to patrol the shallow Gulf waters. Fincantieri’s UAE JV Eithad Ship Building could have an interesting role, and gain a new global market niche. For […]
Peace in Our Time: Mid East Edition

* The UAE & Saudi Arabia are both reportedly looking at submarines, with the UAE focused on a smaller design (300t – 1,000t) to patrol the shallow Gulf waters. Fincantieri’s UAE JV Eithad Ship Building could have an interesting role, and gain a new global market niche. For the buyers, the real challenge comes in crewing, maintaining, and operating submarines after they’re delivered.

* A few days ago Iran’s state TV broadcast the Nightmare of Vultures, a documentary simulating attacks on an American aircraft carrier and Israeli cities. President Rouhani complained on Twitter that his public address was being delayed by state TV authorities, and that speech was not openly hostile to the West or Israel, unlike similar addresses from his predecessor. But one should not forget who’s really in charge as Iran’s Islamic Republic commemorates its 35th anniversary today.

Peace in Our Time: Chinese Edition

* China, Taiwan hold first direct talks since 1949 split: WaPo | Xinhua | South China Morning Post.

* USPACOM commander Herbert Carlisle plainly recognizes that resources have not been lined up with the Administration’s Asian pivot, or even the watered-down “rebalance” follow-up version. He also thinks de-escalation in the region is not China’s burden alone, pointing to Japan in particular.

* Financial Times: tensions in Asia help keep defence sales buoyant.

JLTV’s Got A Pulse

* The GCV program seems all but dead, whereas there’s still activity on the JLTV front: the program’s joint office released draft source selection criteria [PDF] for the low rate and full production phase.

Of Afghanistan, and Habits Formed from Fighting Less than Peers

* US Army Lt. Col. Daniel Davis made a splash 2 years ago by denouncing “the absence of success on virtually every level” in Afghanistan. Some went on to laud him as a whistleblower, others violently disagreed. He’s now arguing convincingly that Army leaders may have been lulled into a false sense of inevitable tactical supremacy after decades of fighting second-rate foes.

* In his testimony [PDF] at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this morning, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn acknowledged that Afghan Security Forces are struggling to hold areas once they have cleared them of insurgents.

* With Afghan elections scheduled in 2 months, the US is now considering pursuing the signature of a security agreement with Afghanistan’s next president since Karzai is not interested.

* Meanwhile, as the Pentagon video below shows, the drawdown continues:

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