China already is building its first domestic carrier at a shipyard near Shanghai and is expected to build at least two more, according to defense officials. “We expect China to build at least one indigenous carrier, probably two or more,” an official told Inside the Ring last year.
The Liaoning’s commander, Adm. Zhang Zheng, an English-speaking officer, told state television that pilots still need training for the ship and noted that the deck is short, thus requiring new safety procedures for aircraft.
Richard Fisher, a specialist on China’s military, said the only signs of aircraft operations are center-line skid marks that appear to have been made by rubber from jet tires, or possibly helicopters.
Other observers say the rubber marks could be a deception designed to fool intelligence agencies into thinking the carrier has tested or trained with jets.
“China is trying to compress what has been seven decades of aircraft carrier and carrier air wing development for the United States into one decade,” said Mr. Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center.
Iranian cyber attacks
Iran’s government is suspected of conducting covert cyberattacks against U.S. financial institutions, adding a new dimension to what defense officials say is a covert war against the West.
Among the reported targets of the cyberattack are Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc.
A recent Joint Staff J-2 intelligence report on the Iranian cyberattacks stated: “Iran’s cyber-aggression should be viewed as a component, alongside efforts like support for terrorism, to the larger covert war Tehran is waging against the West.”
U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports said the attacks were “denial of service” strikes that sought to disrupt the banks’ Internet sites and corporate networks through mass emails.
Some cybersecurity officials suspect the attacks were in response to increased economic sanctions against Iran.
One possible source for the attacks is said to be an Iranian cybergroup called the Iranian DataCoders Security Team. That group claimed credit for hitting nearly 400 Israeli Internet sites, including commercial businesses and government-related security and economic sites.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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