Author Vago Muradian

VAGO'S NOTEBOOK
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As the United States seek to avert war with China, it’s vital to remember the lessons of the Falklands War. The 1981 defense cuts by the Thatcher government, including retirement of the guard ship for the South Atlantic, HMS Endurance, convinced the Argentine junta that London were no longer committed to the Falklands and their defense. As deterring war is cheaper than fighting one, Washington must avoid sending Beijing the wrong signals that could lead to miscalculation that results in conflict.

VAGO'S NOTEBOOK
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So it’s time to do more and do it increasingly quietly. Transparency has its place, but so does secrecy. Detailing what’s going to Ukraine only helps Russia better prepare for what’s coming their way, or how depleted NATO’s own stocks are becoming.

AUSA 2021
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Joe Bogosian, president & CEO of Safran Optics 1, showcases the company’s new Ultralight Sensor that weighs less than 4.5 grams and has color day and thermal cameras for micro unmanned aircraft applications at the Association of the United States Army’s 2021 conference and tradeshow in Washington, DC.

AUSA 2021
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John Shade, the executive vice president for business development and future programs at Rolls-Royce Defense, with a walk-around of the company’s AE 1107F engine for Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor at the Association of the United States Army’s 2021 conference and tradeshow in Washington, DC. The V-280 is competing for the US Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft competition.

AUSA 2021
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Henrik Knape, product manager and head of sales for the ARCHER mobile 155mm howitzer at BAE Systems Bofors, with a walk around of the company’s novel artillery system at the Association of the United States Army’s 2021 conference and tradeshow in Washington, DC. ARCHER, which is now in service with the Swedish Army, can be ready for action, fire at its target, and get back on the move in less than a 90 seconds. Using smart munitions such as the Excalibur, ARCHER is capable of hitting targets 60 kilometers away and is competing for the US Army contract to replace the service’s towed 155mm artillery pieces.

VAGO'S NOTEBOOK
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For many around the world, however, the events of the last week have reinforced the perception that the United States is simply not ready for prime time, whether in launching — and dragging allies into — costly, destabilizing and ultimately pointless wars, embracing questionable financial practices that plunged the world into an economic crisis, or proving unable fight a devastating pandemic that’s killed more 620,000 Americans. The world, rightly, expects the United States to do big things well, whether in crafting strategy, meaningful capabilities, starting wars or ending them.

VAGO'S NOTEBOOK
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A nation where leaders and a large chunk of the population either can’t tell fact from fiction — or deliberately won’t — can be exploited, whether internally by opportunists or externally by adversaries. This was the weakness Russia manipulated to tip the 2016 election in Trump’s favor with a disinformation campaign that cost about $100 million, the price of a single F-35 stealth fighter.

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