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Showing posts from October 4, 2013

Australia's Natural Gas Resources

Though Australia has prodigious natural gas resources, the country's geology, remoteness and economy have put it in a difficult position in competing financially with other growing natural gas producers. However, timing has been on Canberra's side. The technological revolutions that led other producers such as the United States to increase natural gas production occurred after Australia had begun developing its own expensive resources, so Canberra had a few years' head start in getting large quantities of natural gas to the market. As a result, Australia's liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports will rival the size of Qatar's, allowing it to become the largest exporter to the Asian market by 2020. Yet Australia's continued growth in natural gas exports could cease after the first wave of LNG projects come online, because capital that could be spent on increasing Australia's export capacity now has other, more profitable destinations that did not exist when Aust…

Turkey's Controversial Air Defense Plans

Turkey agreed in principle Sept. 26 to purchase the HQ-9, a long-range air defense system made by Chinese defense contractor China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp. Turkish President Abdullah Gul has said that the deal is not yet final, and Ankara has since backed away amid pressure from its NATO allies and from Turkish interest groups, but the HQ-9 remains at the top of a very short list of air defense options. The HQ-9 presents several challenges to Ankara. The United States and NATO have warned Turkey repeatedly that because of security issues, the HQ-9 would be difficult to integrate with the rest of Turkey's NATO aligned air defense architecture -- specifically the NATO Air Defense Ground Environment.

More important, there are political and security concerns involved in integrating Chinese software and hardware into the network. Should the HQ-9 be excluded from the network, Turkey would have to build up its own independent air defense network. Military equipment must be …

U.S. Naval Update Map: Oct. 3, 2013

The Naval Update Map shows the approximate current locations of U.S. Carrier Strike Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups, based on available open-source information. No classified or operationally sensitive information is included in this weekly update. CSGs and ARGs are the keys to U.S. dominance of the world's oceans. A CSG is centered on an aircraft carrier, which projects U.S. naval and air power and supports a Carrier Air Wing, or CVW. The CSG includes significant offensive strike capability. An ARG is centered on three amphibious warfare ships, with a Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked. An MEU is built around a heavily reinforced and mobile battalion of Marines.
Carrier Strike Groups
The USS Nimitz CSG with Carrier Air Wing 11 embarked is conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR.
The USS Harry S Truman CSG with Carrier Air Wing 3 embarked is underway in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR supporting maritime security opera…