U.S. competitive warfighting edge has slipped, says Mattis
Countering China’s rapidly expanding military and an increasingly aggressive Russia are now the U.S. military’s top national security priorities. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says they are even outpacing the threat of terrorism. He said Friday that competition with those adversaries has threatened America’s military advantage around the world.
Mattis is laying out a broad new strategy for the Defense Department. And he warns that all aspects of the military’s competitive warfighting edge have eroded.
He said building a force that can deter war with established and emerging military powers in Moscow and Beijing, and U.S. enemies such as North Korea and Iran will require increased investment to make the military more lethal, agile and ready to fight. AP
Southern Californians charged with Chinese export scheme
Two Southern California men have been arrested on federal charges that they illegally exported computer chips with military applications to China.
The U.S. attorney’s office says part-time Los Angeles resident Yi-Chi Shih and Kiet Ahn Mai of Pasadena were arrested Jan. 19. It’s unclear whether they have attorneys.
Federal prosecutors say the men conspired to have a U.S. company make special high-speed computer chips that were illegally exported to a Chinese company connected to Shih.
Authorities say the chips have a number of commercial and military uses, including radar and electronic warfare applications.
If they are convicted, the two men could face years in federal prison. AP
Damaged Navy ship arrives in Mississippi for repairs
A damaged U.S. Navy destroyer is arriving for repairs in Mississippi.
The transport vessel Transshelf sailed up the Pascagoula River Jan. 19 with the USS Fitzgerald aboard. That ship was damaged in a June collision off Japan that killed seven sailors.
The ship will be unloaded from the transport vessel and overhauled at Ingalls Shipbuilding, a naval shipyard run by Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls Industries.
The Fitzgerald’s 58-member crew will be based in Pascagoula for the next two years as the ship is repaired and modernized.
Cmdr. Garrett Miller, the Fitzgerald’s commanding officer, says the crew will help oversee the work.
The Navy announced Tuesday that it’s seeking negligent homicide charges against four officers of the Fitzgerald at the time of the collision, including the then-commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson. AP