• Marine Corps being pressured to lower standards for women

    Two years ago, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the nation’s top military officer, laid down an edict on the Obama administration’s plan to open direct land combat jobs to women: If women cannot meet a standard, senior commanders better have a good reason why it should not be lowered. Today, the “Dempsey rule” appears to have its first test case. – The Washington Times

  • Dalai Lama calls for dialogue with ISIS

    The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) harms Islam through its intolerance, but “dialogue” with the militants is vital, the Dalai Lama said in an interview reported on Monday by the Italian daily La Stampa. “Islam is a religion of peace. Those who are intolerant harm their own faith and their own brothers,” the Tibetan spiritual leader was quoted as saying in Bangalore, southern India, where he took part in a seminar on peace and the economy. – Al Arabiya

  • New US/Singapore agreement helps combat Chinese aggression

    WASHINGTON, December 7, 2015 — Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen met today in the Pentagon to sign an enhanced defense cooperation agreement, or DCA, that will provide a new framework for an expanded defense relationship between the two nations, according to a readout provided to the media. “During their meeting, Carter and Ng reaffirmed the excellent and long-standing bilateral defense relationship between the United States and Singapore,” the readout said. Ng expressed appreciation for U.S. support of the Singapore air force’s training detachments in the United States. – Defense.Gov

  • ISIS nation building?

    Politicians, media, and readers from New York to Damascus have debated what, exactly, to call Islamic State, a radical Islamist group that controls a vast stretch of Syria and Iraq while inspiring terror around the globe. IS. ISIL. ISIS. Daesh. But to its affiliates, a single name now suffices, according to The Economist: the State. The dawning realization that Islamic State is actually intent on establishing a “caliphate” for the world’s Muslims is underscored by a 24-page state-building manual leaked to The Guardian, which experts say should carefully guide Western nations’ response to an increasingly global fight against the group’s terror both at “home” and abroad. – CS Monitor

  • Piracy in South East Asia

    The waters of Southeast Asia have more incidents of piracy than any other part of the world. The region overtook Somalia as the main piracy hub in 2014. The Malacca Strait is one of the most strategic sea lanes in the world and it’s also one of the most dangerous. Since 2010, attacks on ships have more than doubled every year. In the first 10 months of this year, there were 174 reported incidents of piracy, including 12 attempts. That’s more than the number for all of 2013. Most of the targets have been oil and palm oil tankers. – MarSec Review

[Featured image: A female member of the U.S. armed forces. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)]