Author Vago Muradian

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Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, says his biggest concern regarding US-North Korea relations are miscalculation and escalation, and also discusses Pyongyang’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile test, improving capabilities and more during an interview with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian. The interview was conducted on July 6, 2017, at the think tank’s Washington headquarters.

2017 Paris Air Show
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Eric Trappier, the chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation who is also serving as the chairman of the French aerospace industries association GIFAS and president of the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe, says that nations should protect their interests so it’s normal for the United States to have a Buy American act just as Europe should Buy European during an interview with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian. Trappier called for greater research, development and technology investment and also discussed France’s future role in developing a 6th generation European combat aircraft, Brexit as well as the outlook for Rafale fighters and the company’s Falcon business jets. The interview was conducted on June 22, 2017, at Paris-Le Bourget Airport outside the French capital. The Defense & Aerospace Report’s Paris Air Show coverage is sponsored by L3 Technologies & Leonardo DRS.

THINK TANK CENTRAL
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In a new report by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF Ret., the Institute’s dean, argues that 15 years of surging demand for remotely piloted aircraft for sensor and strike missions has “yielded a disjointed enterprise where effectiveness and efficiency are not what they could have been, or can be. With large wartime budgets dramatically shrinking, the military must make a host of important decisions regarding how best to meet valid requirements in a sustainable fashion.”

THINK TANK CENTRAL
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READ THE REPORT — In a new Atlantic Council report — “NATO and Trump: A Case for a New Transatlantic Bargain” — Amb. Alexander Vershbow, NATO’s former deputy secretary general, and Fabrice Pothier, NATO’s former head of policy planning, argue “that the Trump administration could be the catalyst for long overdue changes for the Alliance.” “The central recommendations are that firstly; European allies and Canada should commit to a concrete plan and a tighter timetable for increasing defense spending by the end of Trump’s term – through a NATO 2020 investment plan and an enforcement mechanism to hold allies accountable for their commitments. Secondly, the US and European allies should agree to a substantially enhanced operational role for the Alliance in the wider Middle East – including playing a greater role in training local forces in the Middle East, and agreeing on a common fund of up to one billion dollars to help support NATO’s contribution to the fight against terrorism,” the Atlantic Council wrote in a May 23, 2017, press release.

THINK TANK CENTRAL
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Hal Brands of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments writes “that although America’s alliances are a source of great geopolitical strength, the difficult reality is that shifts in global economic and military power have left many of America’s traditional allies with significantly diminished relative standing and capabilities. The monograph assesses the key trends that have marked this decline since the early post-Cold War era and discusses the increasingly severe strategic challenges this situation poses for American statecraft. It concludes with a series of practical recommendations for how the United States can manage its alliances amid ongoing changes in the global distribution of power, and how it can better position itself to compete in a global context in which its allies’ strengths-while still considerable-are not as great as they once were.”

VAGO'S NOTEBOOK
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Since 1909, the Paris Air Show has served as a showcase where the newest military-, commercial- and general-aviation aircraft make their international debuts.

And for years, organizers have been hungry to feature the F-35 Lighting II, a game-changing Lockheed Martin jet that promises to transform air combat with its stealth and sophisticated sensor and networking capabilities.

THINK TANK CENTRAL
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In “Costs of Building a 355-Ship Navy,” Dr. Eric Labs, the senior analyst for naval forces and weapons at the Congressional Budget Office, estimates that construction costs to build a fleet of 355 ships would average $26.6 billion (in 2017 dollars) per year over the next 30 years, which is 60 percent more than what the Navy has spent on average over the past 30 years.

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  Vice Adm. Andreas Krause, commander of the German Navy, discusses security challenges and international cooperation in the Baltic, the importance of US presence in the region, anti-access/area denial threats, deterring Russia, modernization priorities, innovation, recruiting top talent and the German military’s new cyber command with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian. The interview was conducted at the Atlantic Council think tank’s Washington headquarters on April 6, 2017.

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John “Jerry” McGinn, PhD, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for manufacturing and industrial base policy, discusses US defense industrial capabilities, Buy American, international defense cooperation, technology strategy, merger and acquisition policy and more with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian. The interview was conducted on March 22, 2017, at the annual conference sponsored by McAleese Associates and Credit Suisse.

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