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Uncertainties About F-35A Worry South Korea

17 Aug

S. Korea's $7.3B Fighter Contest Enters Final Phase

South Korea did the right thing, and eliminated Lockheed-Martin’s F-35A from its short list, to replace its aging fleet of F-15Ks.

The field of candidate models for the South Korean Air Force’s next fighter jet has been narrowed down to the Eurofighter Typhoon 3 and the F-15SE.

Defense Acquisition Program Administration spokesman Baek Yoon-hyung said on Aug. 16 that the bidders had come in below the total project budget of 8.3 trillion won (US$7.5 billion), with the next selection procedures now set to begin.

“The project is still ongoing, so I can’t say who the companies were,” Baek added.

But according to sources in the Ministry of National Defense and the companies in the bidding, the two companies were EADS, which makes the Eurofighter, and Boeing, which makes the F-15SE. Both reportedly made bids that were within the budget.

This means F-35A maker Lockheed Martin, which is subject to US regulations on foreign military sales (FMS), was unable to give a definite bid.

As a result, EADS and Boeing both emerged with candidate models, while the US government, selling on behalf of Lockheed Martin, effectively ruled itself out.

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The NKoreans Obama And Xi Abandoned

12 Jun

Obama-Xi SummitStephan Haggard does a standup job analyzing the results of the Sunnylands summit between Xi Jinping and Barack H. Obama.

The interesting feature of Xi Jinping’s response was the modified version of the “peaceful rise” foreign policy line, which emphasizes standard liberal arguments: that globalization and the pursuit of economic well-being and opening and reform will require cooperation on the international stage. Emphasis throughout Xi’s response was on the variety of channels to be tapped, including a specific mention of deepened mil-mil relations that Obama also sought to underline. Xi made reference to constructing a “model of major country relationship [sic],” the apparent new characterization. But also lurking was the reference to “the Chinese dream of the great national renewal” and the uncertain shape that Chinese nationalism would take during the Xi years.

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Donilon made it clear at the outset that the meetings should be seen in the context of the US rebalancing to Asia, now clearly the favored formulation over “pivot.” Although a changed relationship with China was a piece of the rebalance from the start, that piece sometimes got lost amidst the other actions the US felt it needed to take to counter a period of clumsy assertiveness in Chinese foreign policy over the last three years.  Donilon traced the process of getting to the summit, which included a sustained effort at high-level re-engagement through visits by Secretaries of Treasury and State Lew and Kerry and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Dempsey. (Chuck Hagel delivered the somewhat more forward, tough-cop messages at the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore).

On North Korea, the denuclearization message has been standard fare among major media outlets. But, it’s clear Beijing and Washington are agreeing to disagree, and that their clients, North Korea and South Korea, followed their protectors’ lead.

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Klayman Sues Security State

11 Jun

Compliments Between FriendsLarry Klayman, et al., has filed a suit against the president, Barack H. Obama, Eric H. Holder, Keith B. Alexander (DIRNSA), and Lowell C. McAdam (CEO, Verizon).

This is an action for violations of the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments to the U.S.Constitution. This is also an action for violations of privacy, including intrusion uponseclusion, freedom of expression and association, due process, and other illegal acts.Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated consumers,users, and U.S. citizens who are customers and users of Defendant Verizon Communications(“Verizon”).

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