Thursday Defense Briefing


The administration’s decision to grant retirement to the top general of U.S. Africa Command is part of the internal jockeying that goes on among the military branches to win top war-fighting assignments and was not related to the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, a well-placed military source told The Washington Times. – Washington Times

The Senate Armed Services Committee is considering bypassing the Senate floor and taking the Defense authorization bill straight to conference committee, sources tell The Hill. – DEFCON Hill

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opened the bidding Wednesday for a deal on Pentagon spending with the coming lameduck session of Congress and beyond that would clear the decks for President Obama to pick a successor from a growing list of potential candidates. – DoD Buzz

The administration’s Pentagon team is far from stable, starting at the top. You can’t find a single person from the E-Ring to the food court Popeye’s who thinks that Obama’s defense secretary, Leon Panetta, will still be at his desk next summer. When Panetta goes, likely so does much of his staff, including his right-hand man and chief of staff, Jeremy Bash. – The E-Ring

With 44’s win on Tuesday, here is a list of officials seen as likely candidates for his second term national security team should a vacancy occur – CNN’s Security Clearance

The head of Air Force Space Command worries that tightening defense budgets and looming force structure cuts could reduce his critical space and cyber capabilities – AOL Defense

Missile Defense

Russia expects 44 to show more flexibility in a dispute over US missile defence plans following his re-election, the country’s deputy prime minister said on Thursday. – Associated Press

The War

The Taliban advised 44 to use his second term to focus on America’s domestic problems instead of “policing the world” and urged the U.S. to speed up the withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Interviews with commanders and soldiers in Kandahar provided graphic details of several so-called insider attacks and illustrated how deeply they are dividing U.S. forces from the Afghan army and police units the Americans have promised to mentor, train and fight with for at least two more years. – Los Angeles Times

Foreign Armies East

A sober analysis assessing the possible threat of a military confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program and highlighting the benefits of negotiations to avert a deeper crisis has been published by a surprising source: Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. – Washington Post

China appears to be within two years of deploying submarine-launched nuclear weapons, adding a new leg to its nuclear arsenal that should lead to arms-reduction talks, a draft report by a congressionally mandated U.S. commission says. – Reuters

The 10-minute maiden test flight of China’s newest stealth fighter jet, the J-31, sparked intense debate among the world’s weapons and intelligence communities. That’s because little is known about the aircraft, which China boasts is the only other fifth-generation stealth light combat aircraft in the world after the U.S. Air Force F-35. – Washington Times’ Inside China

U.N. Security Council extended an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia for four months on Wednesday as it mulls lifting an arms embargo and Uganda threatens to pull out troops over claims it is aiding rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo. – Reuters



The vulnerability of our critical infrastructure is what permits a third-rate power like Iran to play jujitsu with a superpower. Let’s not wait for a disaster to happen. A nation that permits this vulnerability to continue is a nation that has lost the will to defend itself. – Foreign Policy

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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