Saturday, March 3, 2012

New and Noteworthy (China, F-35, STRATFOR)

In today's edition:

* From the Federation of American Scientists' Strategic Security Blog, a post by Hans M. Kristensen on China's modernization of its nuclear arsenal – which he characterizes (I think, correctly) as an arsenal so small as to "make comparison with U.S. nuclear force levels meaningless," being updated far more slowly than the alarmists have predicted. (Those particularly interested in the subject might also check out Kristensen's more recent piece examining Chinese deployment of its road-mobile DF-31 ICBMs, which is consistent with his overall analysis of the situation.)

* The F-35 fighter – the product of the most expensive military program in human history (and at the least, one of the most troubled of recent years) – is now officially scheduled to begin initial operations in the next months. (This is a significant step, of course, but as David Axe of the Wired Danger Room notes, its front-line service remains six years away.)

* And finally, WikiLeaks is getting together with the online group Anonymous to publish as much as five gigabytes' worth of STRATFOR's emails. STRATFOR, which Wikileaks editor-in-chief and spokesperson Julian Assange has described as a "shadow CIA," is the private intelligence corporation founded and run by George Friedman, the author of such books as The Future of War, The Next 100 Years and The Next Decade (all three of which have been reviewed at this web site; just click their respective links to check them out).

Those curious about the reaction of Dr. Friedman to these events can check out the video and written statement posted at STRATFOR's own website, which is temporarily making all of its content freely available (and well worth checking out).

A Sixth Generation Fighter: Artificial Intelligence?
A Sixth Generation Fighter: Flight Control Systems?
Keeping the Hype in Check IV: China's Sub Fleet
New Review: The Next Decade: Where We've Been . . . And Where We're Going, by George Friedman
Keeping the Hype in Check III: China as Global Military Power
Keeping the Hype in Check II: The ASBM
Keeping the Hype in Check I: The Chengdu J-20
A Sixth-Generation Fighter?
The Next 100 Years: Another View
The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, by George Friedman
The Future of War, by George and Meredith Friedman

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