White House Relents on Sending Needed Military Aid to Ukraine

Body armor, night vision gear, radios approved after initial rejection
Ukrainian soldiers / AP

After initially denying Ukrainian military requests for key nonlethal aid, the White House on Wednesday approved urgently needed equipment for troops battling pro-Russian insurgents.

The new military assistance includes body armor, night vision goggles, and communications equipment requested by the Ukrainians, but initially rejected by the Obama administration as part of its efforts to avoid upsetting Moscow.

Congress Targets Chinese Telecom Threat

Legislation would block intel officials from working for Chinese-linked businesses

Current House intelligence and defense legislation now before Congress is seeking to block U.S. intelligence officials from working for Chinese-linked companies, and also is aimed at preventing a major Chinese telecommunications firm from conducting cyber attacks against defense and intelligence networks.

Collision Course

Russian jet nearly collides with U.S. surveillance aircraft in ‘reckless’ intercept in Asia
RC-135 / Air Force

A Russian Su-27 jet flew dangerously close to a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the Pacific northeast recently in an aerial clash not seen since the Cold War.

An Air Force RC-135 electronic intelligence jet was flying a surveillance run some 60 miles off the Russian Far East coast, north of Japan, on May 23 when the incident occurred, according to defense officials familiar with the incident.

NY Firearms Maker Kahr Breaks Ground in Pennsylvania for New Factory

Among several manufacturers leaving New York state over 2013 gun law
Kahr Firearms Group President Justin Moon (left) and Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley (second from left), break ground on a new factory.

One of several firearms companies upset with restrictions imposed under New York state’s latest anti-gun law broke ground last week on a new factory in central Pennsylvania as part of an exodus of gun manufacturers from the state.

Congress Funds Army’s Hypersonic Missile After Chinese Strike Vehicle Test

Defense budget crisis limits U.S. role in hypersonic arms race underway by China and Russia
An artistic rendering of a hypersonic aircraft / AP

Congress approved funding last week for the Pentagon’s advanced hypersonic missile program and expressed concerns over China’s recent test of an ultra high-speed strike vehicle designed to deliver nuclear warheads through U.S. missile defenses.

Three Chinese Nuclear Missile Submarines Photographed in South China Sea

China ups tensions after sinking Vietnam fishing boat
Three Chinese Type 094 nuclear missile submarines recently in the South China Sea

China has deployed three nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines to a naval base in the South China Sea, according to a recent photo of the vessels that appeared on the Internet.

The three Type 094 missile submarines were photographed at the Yalong Bay naval base on Hainan Island, located at the northern end of the South China Sea.

Russia Shifts to China After Ukraine Crisis

Joint war games most sophisticated to date and target U.S.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping / AP

Russia and China launched large-scale naval war games that U.S. officials say are a sign of Moscow shifting its geopolitical alignment with an increasingly isolated China, following sanctions and chastisement from the United States and Europe after Russia’s military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

Watching China Like a Hawk

Pentagon sending two long-range Global Hawk drones for operations from Japan
Global Hawk unmanned aircraft / AP

The Pentagon will deploy two long-range Global Hawk reconnaissance drones in Japan for operations to monitor Chinese naval activities and a possible fourth North Korean nuclear test, defense officials said.