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Alliances | Americas - Other | Daily Rapid Fire | India | Indonesia | Russia | Submarines | Tanks & Mechanized | Think Tanks | USA

Pro-Russian Rebels Pretend to Be Ready for Peace

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* The heads of separatist movements in Eastern Ukraine said [Deutsche Welle] they’d be ready to order a ceasefire if an agreement is reached during talks in Belarus [The Guardian], following somewhat conflicting statements from Kiev and Moscow. It’s hard no to think that the timing is meant to undermine [AP] the resolve of NATO […]

* The heads of separatist movements in Eastern Ukraine said [Deutsche Welle] they’d be ready to order a ceasefire if an agreement is reached during talks in Belarus [The Guardian], following somewhat conflicting statements from Kiev and Moscow. It’s hard no to think that the timing is meant to undermine [AP] the resolve of NATO members meeting at a summit in Wales, and prevent Ukraine from joining the alliance. Nothing really indicates that Russia and its local agents are suddenly acting in good faith.

The Back and Forth between Geostrategy and Major Programs

* Russia’s belligerence may be reviving the dormant tank market: Motley Fool | Bloomberg.

* India’s government is trying to export [Economic Times] BrahMos missiles, Tejas, air defense system to Vietnam, Indonesia and Venezuela. Tejas and Akash interest is notional only, but interest for BrahMos is real. It would be interesting to witness the US reaction to a proposed Indian sale of the Mach 3 anti-ship missile to Venezuela.

* Russia offers to help repair India’s Kilo class submarines [Russia & India Report]. Of the 10, INS Sindhurakshak blew up and sank, and INS Sindhukirti was basically ruined by an attempted refit at India’s HSL. Interesting that the Russians seem to believe they can fix the Sindhukirti.

* The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) looks at the competitive strategies at work in East Asia to modernize submarine fleets. It ends with a healthy reminder: submarines, in particular, are only as good as their crew selection and training. On background, from National Interest: A Strategy for Submarines.

* Also in National Interest, a balanced article that takes pains to look critically at arguments from proponents and detractors of the F-35:

“For advocates, history offers a powerful reason to pause before calling for the termination of the JSF program. The similarities between criticism of the F-14, F-15, F-16, and F-35 program are striking. In many cases, one aircraft’s name could be easily replaced by another’s and the criticism would sound the same. For critics, overcoming the tyranny of distance with a combat air force comprised largely of JSF’s flown from vulnerable bases is a valid concern that must be addressed.”

Gaps Between DoD’s Strategy and Its Budget

* The latest report [PDF] issued by the CSBA think tank on the FY15 budget, and the video below, summarize DoD’s quandary:

“The Department appears to be caught between two approaches for addressing its strategy-resource mismatch. It has not budgeted enough to fully resource the defense program called for by its strategy nor has it revised its strategy and defense program to fit within the budget constraints set by Congress.”

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