Monday Defense Brief


The investigations have become an embarrassment for the Army, raising questions about how thoroughly the military has screened senior leaders before putting them in crucial assignments. – Washington Post

After nearly a year of planning and preparation, the U.S. Army is on the cusp of a major strategic shift that will likely redefine the way America’s largest land-based fighting force will wage war in the years and decades to come. – DEFCON Hill

Undeterred by 44’s debate zinger that the military has evolved beyond “horses and bayonets,” Gov Romney on Saturday argued that voters shouldn’t simply brush off the GOP candidate’s argument that the Navy needs more ships. – National Journal

U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin said on Thursday it faced a potential termination liability of $1.1 billion on the F-35 fighter program unless it received additional funding for production of a sixth batch of airplanes by year end. – Reuters

Whenever China becomes confident of the maturation of its naval weapons systems, it can surge production and leave us as far behind as once we left the Axis and Japan…This will demand a president who, like Reagan, will damn the political torpedoes and back a secretary of the Navy who, like John Lehman, will unashamedly and with every power of rhetoric and persistence rebuild the fleets. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

If the Navy’s shipbuilding budget is maintained at its projected (non-sequester) figure of $11.9 billion dollars per year, and if the current average price of a naval combatant were to remain fixed at its current level of $2 billion dollars per ship for the next 30 years, the Navy would build 178 ships. This would decrease our current fleet by nearly a third.  Numbers matter, and the suggestion that they do not is wrong and dangerous. – TWS

The War

White House counterterrorism chief John O. Brennan said Friday that European failure to join the United States in designating the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah a terrorist organization is undermining international counterterrorism efforts. – Washington Post

The leader of al Qaeda has urged Muslims to kidnap Westerners to exchange for imprisoned jihadists, including a blind cleric serving a life sentence in the United States for a 1993 plot to blow up New York City landmarks. – Associated Press

Most of the newer jihadist groups have local agendas, and very few aspire to strike directly at the United States as Osama bin Laden’s core network did. – New York Times

Analysis of satellite imagery of a Sudanese munitions factory that Khartoum accused Israel of bombing earlier this week suggests the site may have been hit with aerial bombardment as Sudan claims, a monitoring group said on Saturday. – Reuters

The 2008 FISA amendments sought a compromise between two essential goals: preserving American liberty and robustly defending Americans’ lives and property. We favored the law and believe that it should be extended. A key plank of that balancing was enhanced congressional monitoring of executive-branch surveillance. Both in their review this year and going forward, lawmakers need not be — and should not be — toothless in their oversight. – Washington Post

We must be careful not to adopt rote formulas for restricting drone use. But we also must avoid writing blank checks. Applying the general considerations used in launching military operations should be the start of a new doctrine guiding drone warfare as well. – Washington Post


The accidental release of a Danish Defense Forces’ (DDF) report critical of NATO’s command structures and inability to direct bombing missions in Libya in 2011 has provoked political controversy, after it emerged the Danish Air Force bought munitions from Israel. – Defense News


A right-wing shift in Japanese politics could hinder efforts to cool tensions between the two nations and could contribute to regional instability, a senior official with China’s foreign ministry warned Friday. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)


What does an act of war look like in cyberspace? And perhaps more important, what does the U.S. government do when cyberattacks fall short of that — assuming it can identify the perpetrators in the first place? – Washington Post

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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