The Best Defense

The Best Defense

When the Chinese look at the US X-37B, they see the future of space-based attack

By Dean Cheng

Best Defense bureau of Sino-space affairs

The return of the unmanned X-37B space plane last week after nearly two years in space has aroused some curiosity from space observers. It marks the completion of the third mission for the orbital test vehicle (OTV) system, the longest mission, with nearly 22 months of orbital time, and the first reuse of one of the two OTVs. Resembling a miniature space shuttle, the X-37B program has been publicly described by the U.S. Air Force as testing a variety of technologies, including "advanced guidance, navigation, and control; thermal protection systems; avionics; high temperature structures and seals; conformal reusable insulation; lightweight electromechanical flight systems; and autonomous orbital flight, reentry, and landing."

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The Best Defense

Do Iraq and Syria no longer really exist? And if so, should that be the basis of revising U.S. policy? A roundup (1): Yes

Yes, on Syria; not clear on Iraq

Joel Rayburn, author of Iraq after America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance:

"Syria no longer exists, certainly not in the way that we have known it, and I think the Syrian state can never be reconstituted within its old borders. In other words, some new political arrangement is going to emerge in Syria, and in my opinion it is highly unlikely to be a unitary state.

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The Best Defense

CO of USS Vandegrift gets the old heave-ho after grabbing butt of sailor’s wife

No joke.

It has been 2 years since the last time a skipper of the Vandegrift, a frigate, was fired, the Navy Times notes drily. Maybe it can form a squadron with the Cowpens.

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The Best Defense

Rebecca’s War Dog of the Week: Portrait of a Confederate Soldier and His Dog

By Rebecca Frankel Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent

The Library of Congress has an expansive and truly mesmerizing collection of online archives -- most captivating, I find, are the photographs. I came across this photo titled: "Unidentified soldier in Confederate uniform with shotgun sitting next to dog."

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