Inside the Ring - Bill Gertz, Pentagon News - Washington Times
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Inside the Ring

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Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan, flanked by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford (left) and acting Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist, warned a House Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday about China's aggressive military buildup. (Associated Press)

Shanahan outlines China threat

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan told a House hearing on Wednesday that countering the threat posed by China is one of the Pentagon's highest priorities.

The Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg is funded by Yevgeniy Prigozhin, who is said to be a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Associated Press/File)

Mueller on Russian influence op

The investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Moscow's election influence operation revealed that one of the key players involved in the scheme began the initial stages as early as 2014.

In addition to submarines, the Chinese are developing underwater aircraft carrier systems, underwater robotics and deep-sea troops as part of a buildup in waters down to 13,000 feet, military researchers said. (Associated Press/File)

China militarizing deep sea

Space and cyberspace are not the sole domains for China's growing asymmetric warfare programs. The Chinese military has another development program only recently disclosed that is part of the decadeslong buildup of weapons and forces: deep sea.

"China is in my view the greatest long-term geopolitical risk to the United States," Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, told a conference of China watchers. He suggested fighting back by exposing Beijing's abuses. (Associated Press/File)

Cruz on China threat

Ted Cruz warned this week that the United States is facing "perilous times" due to the growing threat from communist China.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has received a scathing indictment of poor cybersecurity in Navy computer networks. (Associated Press/File)

Navy cybersecurity faulted

An internal Navy study has faulted the sea service's failure to prevent the leaking of secrets and technology to foreign adversaries, including China and Russia.

U.S. infrastructure is vulnerable to devastating electromagnetic pulse attacks. (Associated Press/File)

Trump orders feds to prep for EMP attack

President Trump has ordered federal government agencies to harden the nation's infrastructure against potentially devastating attacks by a nuclear-bomb-produced electromagnetic pulse, or EMP.

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2009 file photo, security workers guard at construction site of the U.S. Consulate compound in Guangzhou in southern China's Guangdong province. The State Department said an email notice Wednesday, May 23, 2018, that a U.S. government employee in southern China reported abnormal sensations of sound and pressure, recalling similar experiences among American diplomats in Cuba who later fell ill. (Chinatopix via AP, File)

China's acoustic cannon

U.S. intelligence and security agencies investigating the mysterious sonic attacks against American diplomatic personnel in China need to look no further than China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Former Google executive and billionaire Eric Schmidt, who was a major donor and informal presidential adviser to Barack Obama, is heading a the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, a new panel led by Democrats. (Associated Press/File)

Democrats dominate artificial intelligence commission

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (AI), a federally appointed commission, held its first meeting Monday chaired by former Google executive and billionaire Eric Schmidt, a major donor and informal adviser to former President Barack Obama.

Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, who is also commander of the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Command (NORAD), said Russia "only recently developed and deployed capabilities to threaten us below the nuclear threshold." (Associated Press/File)

New Russian missile threat to homeland

The commander of the military's Northern Command warned this week that Moscow is deploying conventionally armed missiles that for the first time are capable of striking targets deep inside the United States.

U.S. Navy Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Timothy Bussey scans for contacts aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance in the Indian Ocean, on Feb. 4. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy)

U.S. destroyers in disputed waters

Two U.S. destroyers sailed into waters of some of China's militarized islands in the South China Sea this week in a challenge Beijing's expansive maritime claims, the Pacific Fleet said.

F-35 missile defenses can strike long-range missiles shortly after launch, when they are more vulnerable and before countermeasures can be deployed. (U.S. Air Force) ** FILE **

F-35 to get missile defense mission

The Pentagon's new missile defense strategy unveiled last week reveals plans to deploy an advanced anti-missile interceptor on the new F-35 jet that can be used to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Adm. John Richardson (left), chief of naval operations, met this week with senior officials of China's People's Liberation Army to continue dialogue and to specifically address risk reduction and operational safety measures during encounters at sea. (U.S. Navy)

Navy chief in China

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson visited China this week amid heightened tensions over naval operations in the South China Sea, trade differences and the prosecution of a senior executive from a Chinese telecommunications company.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement, "We have deep respect for Secretary Mattis' lifetime of service, and it has been a privilege to serve as his deputy secretary." (Associated Press/File)

Shanahan in charge

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is now in charge at the Pentagon, taking over as acting defense secretary Monday from outgoing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer linked Zhang Shoucheng's Silicon Valley venture capital firm Danhua Capital to China's "Made in China 2025" technology dominance program days before Zhang's apparent suicide. (Associated Press/File)

Physicist linked to China program

A noted Chinese-born physicist and Stanford University quantum scientist who died Dec. 1 was linked to Beijing's major program to corner the world market in key advanced technologies.

America's adversaries recognize that U.S. command and control systems are major targets in a conflict. If the military's ability to communicate is disrupted, then military effectiveness will be severely limited. (Associated Press/File)

Air Force study on EMP threat

U.S. military facilities involved in command and control of forces face a growing risk of disruption by an electromagnetic pulse attack or solar superstorm that could knock out all electronics at the strategic bases, according to a report.