Thursday Defense Briefing

Defense

The House Armed Services Committee is working on an “incremental step” toward restoring defense spending, cut by last fall’s bipartisan budget agreement, with an $8 billion increase in the 2013 budget. – Military Times

House conservatives will be holding their noses as they vote for legislation to replace defense cuts slated for 2013 on Thursday, with one member denouncing the bill as a piece of “election-year grandstanding.” – DEFCON Hill

The House Armed Services Committee, which omitted the Pentagon’s request to authorize two more rounds of base closings, voted 44-18 on Wednesday to add a provision, proposed by Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., to the 2013 defense authorization bill that would specifically bar spending any money next year “to propose, plan for or execute” the base closing and realignment process. – Military Times

The U.S. House Armed Services Committee approved legislation that directs the Pentagon to provide battle-ready dates for all versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by the end of the year. – Defense News

The F-22 maintainers who reported dizziness, nausea and other signs of oxygen deprivation were working inside the cockpit while the plane was on the ground, Brig. Gen. Daniel Wyman, surgeon general of Air Combat Command, said Wednesday. – Military Times

Even as two Navy admirals praised the Littoral Combat Ship to reporters in a hastily convened conference call, the House Armed Services Committee ordered the Government Accountability Office to investigate the program. – AOL Defense

Boeing is looking ahead to a 2013 critical design review of the U.S. Air Force’s KC-46A refueler after wrapping up a monthlong preliminary design review (PDR) in April. – Aviation Week

Lawmakers say they have serious questions about whether the nation can afford the new intelligence agency being proposed by the Pentagon. – DEFCON Hill

With Iran likely to employ swarms of small water craft to attack U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, the Navy is looking for ways to get early warnings of surprise attacks. It’s turning to the same sort of behavioral-detection software that intelligence analysts use to scan video imagery for signs of suspicious behavior. – Defense News

Snipers have quietly emerged as one of the most effective but least understood weapons in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Advancements in technology and training have made them deadlier than in any previous generation. Their ability to deliver accurate shots minimizes collateral damage — a key factor in counterinsurgency — and they are often more effective than much ballyhooed drones at secretly collecting intelligence. – USA Today

The War

U.S. and Saudi intelligence services are sharing security information and surveillance technology in their covert operations against Yemen’s branch of al Qaeda, according to people familiar with this cooperation, describing operations on a scale unimagined in the years of mutual blame for security failures surrounding the attacks of Sept. 11, 2011. – Wall Street Journal

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said the Obama administration is releasing and leaking too much information about terror plots and intelligence operations, including details about the foiled underwear bomber who turned out to be a double agent working with the CIA. – Washington Times

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III on Wednesday urged the reauthorization of an act passed by Congress in 2008 — but slated to expire at the end of this year — that gives federal authorities the ability to conduct warrantless searches. – Washington Times

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars by allowing screening machines to languish in warehouses rather than deploying them at U.S. airports, congressional investigators said Wednesday. – Washington Times

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has urged Muslims to avenge the burning of copies of the Koran on a U.S. base in Afghanistan earlier this year, dismissing apologies for the incident as a “ridiculous farce”. – Reuters

Missile Defense

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday backed construction of a missile-defense site on the East Coast, rejecting Pentagon arguments that the facility is unnecessary and Democratic complaints that the nearly $5 billion project amounts to wasteful spending in a time of tight budgets. – Associated Press

Nuclear Weapons

In the first debate over nuclear issues at Wednesday’s House Armed Services Committee markup, Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) included two amendments to the Defense authorization bill, including one for $160 million to build a new nuclear facility. – DEFCON Hill

International Affairs

American influence in the Middle East will dwindle to Iran’s benefit if the United States responds to the Arab Spring upheaval by pulling government aid, the Obama administration’s top diplomat for the region told Congress Wednesday. – The Hill’s Global Affairs

Cybersecurity

Most Americans are more concerned about hacking and cyberattacks on the nation’s infrastructure than they are about terrorism, according to opinion research published Wednesday by the computer security firm Unisys. – Washington Times

Law of the Sea Treaty

The United States joining the Law of the Sea Treaty would help strengthen the U.S. Defense Department’s position in the Pacific, at a time when the Pentagon places more emphasis on that region, top DoD officials said. – Defense News

About Courtney Messerschmidt

Is a personae for the contact, co creator, poster girl and correspondent of GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD a collective of diplopolititary junkies. A real girl, she is an annoying, arrogant, audacious, bloodthirsty, conniving, cool, cruel, deceitfully sweet, discombobulated, flirtacious, jealous, hedonistic, lazy, machiavellian, manipulative, militaristic, self absorbed, self aggrandizing, self centered, semi charmed, semi retarded, shallow, spoiled, stuck up, high maintainance ne'er do well pixie with a penchant for immense libraries, depleting strategic cash reserves and wrecking cars every 10 months. Super saavy history and current events. My superior intellect and easy going smartassticness armed with a chaotic emotion meter gave me a formidable ability to be independently dependent. Currently exiled in Hillbillyland, I wield a vocabulary far above my tiny tiny weight class and have traveled widely including Europe, the Middle East and Alabama. I like Am Ex, Carte Blanche, Discover, Mastercard, Ray Bans, Visa and devouring American Dollars in alarming quantities.
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