Rod Nordland in the NYT has your Monday must-read article out on Afghanistan. He gives a great view of the state of play as we enter the ending weeks
Those are not simple sand bars China is building
What was at one time little more than sandbars with a shack and a spotty pier, are now a series of scaled down Diego Garcias.
Via the UK Daily Mail;
The dramatic military build-up is shown in pictures taken from a height of 1,500m (4,920 feet) in the last six months of 2017, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
One of the fortresses is situated on Panganiban, a reef which a United Nations-backed court has previously ruled belongs to the Philippines, it is reported.
On the three largest reefs, Kagitingan, Panganiban and Zamora, runways appeared to be ready to receive military aircraft.
As an old TLAM guy, I fully recognize a nice target set when I see one - but there is a lot more to coercive power in peace than what might happen in full war;
China had in December defended its construction on disputed islands as 'normal' after a US think tank released new satellite images showing the deployment of radar and other equipment.
The military expansion also ties into a broader Chinese initiative, called One Belt One Road.
The vast infrastructure project, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is set to build a 'new Silk Road' of ports, railways and roads to expand trade across an arc of countries through Asia, Africa and Europe.
Hat tip BB.