When Chairman Randy Frelinghuysen of New Jersey open's Thursday's hearing of the Subcommittee on Defense of the House Committee on Appropriations, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will very much be in the room.
The Russian president has invaded a neighboring country and seized a huge chunk of it --for the second time in six years. The Chinese president is presiding over a massive arms build-up --a 12.2% increase in the PRC's already substantial public budget was announced las week-- and the PRC is taking increasingly hostile actions in the South China Sea. (Robert Kaplan's Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific which arrived this week could not be more timely.)
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