February 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
As part of the U.S. National Defense Strategy, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is calling for investments in C4ISR to field capabilities that will “gain and exploit information, deny competitors those same advantages and enable us to provide attribution while defending against and holding accountable state or non-state actors during cyber attacks.”

No longer can the U.S. military bank on ensured victories. The battlefield is more lethal and disruptive, is conducted at breakneck speeds and reaches further around the globe. And although fighting terrorism has gripped the military’s focus for the last 16 years, it is the rise of so-called inter-state strategic competition against nations such as China and Russia that will now be the primary concern for U.S. national security.

September 29, 2017
By David E. Meadows

No longer the wave of the future, quantum communications are here today. China recently launched Micius, the world’s first-ever quantum communications satellite capable of securing transmitted data within a high-dimensional quantum encryption.

This development is a “Wow!” There is no known capability to decrypt quantum encryption. This means no one can hack it until quantum technology reaches a point where technology gurus can think of it as another element within the Internet of Things (IoT).

February 21, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Harry Harris, USN, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, delivers a keynote address at West 2017 in San Diego. Photo by Michael Carpenter

It is imperative that the United States—government and private companies alike—begin using its inherent innovative spirit to think exponentially and develop technologies that will save time, dollars and lives while defeating the nation's adversaries, said Adm. Harry Harris, USN, commander of U.S. Pacific Command. 

December 20, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A U.S. Navy buoyancy glider, similar to one that was seized December 15, 2016, by the Chinese navy. The vessel was returned to the U.S. Navy December 20.

Chinese naval forces returned a U.S. Navy underwater, unmanned research vessel on Tuesday, near the location where it was unlawfully seized late last week, according to a U.S. Defense Department statement.

December 16, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
USNS Bowditch

A Chinese military ship seized a U.S. underwater, unmanned research vessel, prompting the U.S. Defense Department to launch “appropriate government-to-government channels” with the Chinese government to immediately return the vessel. On Thursday, China unlawfully seized the unclassified ocean glider while sailing in the South China Sea, according to a Defense Department news release. 

The USNS Bowditch and the unmanned underwater vessel (UUV) are used to gather military oceanographic data such as salinity, water temperature and sound speed, the release states. 

October 1, 2016
By Paul A. Strassmann
U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles flying for the U.S. Pacific Command taxi near a runway at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. North Korean hackers stole wing designs for the F-15 from a South Korean company in a series of cyber attacks over a two-year period.

The vaunted technology edge enjoyed by Western nations risks fading into history because of espionage by nation-states. National competitors and potential adversaries are saving years of research and development and billions of dollars in related expenses by extricating secrets through cyberspace. Both military and commercial organizations are suffering what could amount to devastating losses from opportunistic enemies, and communications and information technologies top the list of desirable targets.

October 1, 2016
By Paul A. Strassmann

The 80-page summary of China’s recently published five-year plan (5YP) establishes information and communications technology (ICT) as the country’s highest priority. China presents a well-thought-out plan to close the technology gap with the United States and ultimately surpass it. The published text also conveys a sense of urgency. In view of rapid developments in China, attention to its 5YP is well-warranted.

September 29, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Chinese Aeronautical Establishment (CAE) and NASA have signed a formal memorandum of understanding to cooperate on advanced air traffic automation. The five-year agreement calls for both groups to share research into realizing more efficient and timely air traffic.

According to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who met with CAE officials on a trip to China in August, China faces a “substantial increase” in air travel in the near future. The joint research will acquire and analyze data from Chinese airports as they deal with increasing traffic. This will help identify potential improved air traffic management practices that would allow air carriers to plan departures better to increase efficiencies.

August 4, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Gen. Dennis Via, USA, commander, Army Materiel Command, discusses the worldwide threat and the need for cybersecurity at TechNet Augusta.

The Army Materiel Command (AMC) is modernizing and deploying pre-positioned stocks in Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific to ensure the service can rapidly and effectively respond to threats as they occur. Those so-called activity sets include the latest in communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) equipment.

July 1, 2016
By Bryan W. Bowlsbey
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel stand in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Long-standing traditions, beliefs and doctrine underpin many PLA activities in cyberspace.

China likely will be one of the United States’ main adversaries—or perhaps more accurately, competitors—in the cyber realm for the foreseeable future. U.S. business leaders may not understand the extent to which attacks against their own corporate networks actually are coordinated efforts by Chinese hackers, Chinese business interests and elements of the Chinese government. Many of the tactics and schemes the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is employing in cyberspace have their basis in history, and some of them are anchored in Chinese philosophy.

November 1, 2015
By James C. Bussert
Satellite imagery of a land-based mock-up of China’s new 055 warship shows advanced radar on a bridge structure positioned for electromagnetic interference testing. The 055 is being designed to serve as a key escort for a People’s Liberation Army Navy aircraft carrier task force.

China is determined to project power globally by developing homegrown aircraft carriers. After purchasing a surplus Soviet-era aircraft carrier from Russia, China now is striving to establish an indigenous assembly line for carriers and the ships that would constitute a carrier task group.

September 25, 2015
By George I. Seffers
President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China hold a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, last year. Today, the two announced a historic agreement designed to curb cyber aggression.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed that neither country will “support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors,” according to a White House announcement released today.

July 1, 2015
By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

China is flexing its muscles and expanding its reach, particularly in the maritime domain. As the United States tries to consolidate the so-called pivot to Asia by bringing 60 percent of the U.S. fleet to bear, leaders need to be thinking through all their other options to deal with the growing ambition of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

June 1, 2015
By James C. Bussert
A new Chinese littoral combat ship, or C-LCS, bears a striking resemblance to the U.S. Navy’s USS Independence, LCS-2, shown in the next photo. China has introduced new classes of catamarans and trimarans for coastal operations./ Photo courtesy

China is introducing designs for catamarans—and even trimarans—that seem destined to serve as the country’s littoral combat ships. Some of the trimarans closely resemble their U.S. counterparts, although differences—some quite interesting—do exist.

February 1, 2015
By James C. Bussert

While infocentric nations and military forces focus on the threat to their systems from malware-wielding cyber attackers, a significant danger to cyberspace may come from outer space in the form of kinetic weapons that attack vital satellites. A great number of the tactical and strategic military systems that all major, and many minor, powers use 24 hours a day rely on satellites for vital input data. Also, nearly all satellites have dual civilian and military modes, and all nations and businesses would be impacted by any loss of the vital satellites.

September 22, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Many of the lines that have defined defense intelligence are blurring to the point where divisions may actually disappear. These distinctions range from areas of operation to types of intelligence products, and this trend offers profound implications for the future of intelligence.

Rear Adm. Paul Becker, USN, director for intelligence (J-2), the Joint Staff, described these changes redefining defense intelligence at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Adm. Becker stated that the linkage between domestic intelligence and foreign intelligence is withering.

September 19, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Among the many perils faced by the United States, space and cyberspace pose some of the greatest challenges. And, there is no public wave of awareness or demand for action looming on the horizon, to the detriment of the nation.


Brig. Gen. Mark W. Gillette, USA, has been assigned defense attaché-China, U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, China.

January 31, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

As the People’s Republic of China grows in economic and military stature, it is generating ill will among neighbors who increasingly fear an expansionist budding superpower. Ironically, the greatest effect this is having on the Asia-Pacific region is that it is driving many nations into the arms of the United States.

This was just one of many observations offered by a panel on China at AFCEA/USNI West 2013 in San Diego. A mix of academics and military officers offered different perspectives on where China might be headed in the coming years.

January 31, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is serving as the primary vehicle to extend China’s influence deeper away from its borders. New and improved capabilities have transformed the navy into a force that can take on increasingly complex and distant military roles.

“The PLAN is at the tip of the Chinese spear,” said Dr. David M. Finkelstein, vice president and director, China studies, Center for Naval Analyses. Finkelstein was moderating a panel on the Chinese navy at AFCEA/USNI West 2013 in San Diego. Other panelists offered their own assessments of the PLAN and its role in Chinese foreign affairs.