Thursday Defense Brief

Defense

The Senate will try to take up the $630.8 billion defense authorization bill after Thanksgiving but there is no guarantee the measure will pass. – Military Times

There is “zero chance” of Democratic support on any sequestration deal that exempts massive military reductions, specifically in capabilities considered outdated on the modern battlefield, a top House lawmaker said Wednesday. – DEFCON Hill

A new congressional report says military compensation programs are ripe for budget cuts because the services are having little problem recruiting or retaining qualified service members at a time when personnel costs are soaring. – Military Times

The Pentagon wants Lockheed Martin to focus less on short-term business goals and more on successfully delivering the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the U.S. military, the Defense Department’s chief weapons buyer said on Tuesday. – Reuters

The United States military will station a powerful radar and a space telescope in Australia as part of its strategic shift toward Asia, the two countries announced Nov. 14. – Defense News

Adm. Jonathan Greenert (USN) writes: With our focus on partnerships and innovative approaches, including new ships, forward homeporting, and rotational crewing, the Navy can rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific while being judicious with the nation’s resources. We will grow our fleet in the Asia-Pacific, rebalance our basing, improve our capabilities, and focus intellectually on the region. This will sustain our credibility to deter aggression, preserve freedom of maritime access, and protect the economic livelihood of America and our friends. – Foreign Policy

The United States Navy is rushing more of the newest unmanned mine-clearing technology to the Persian Gulf while creating two new sets of crews to operate minesweepers in the region, Navy officials said Wednesday. The effort is intended to balance a renewed American emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region while sustaining a military presence in the Middle East to deter Iran. – New York Times

The War

An influential American fighter for Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked insurgents has been added to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, the bureau said on Wednesday. – Reuters

As the U.S. and NATO close out their mission in Afghanistan preparing for the final withdrawal of combat troops by the end of 2014, the worry looms large that fresh outbursts of ethnically motivated fighting would send the country into a spiral of chaos and violence that could give al-Qaida the toehold it needs to re-establish camps to plot attacks on Western targets and train wannabe jihadis. – Associated Press

Bill Gertz reports: The U.S. military made impressive gains on the battlefield and covertly in countering Islamist terrorists since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But the military and government at large so far have failed to strike the religiously motivated ideology behind al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists. – Washington Times’ Inside the Ring

Foreign Armies East

Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with artillery shells and about 20 airstrikes on Wednesday, killing Hamas’s top military commander and at least seven other people in the most violent assault on the coastal territory in four years. – Wall Street Journal

China is modernizing its military at a “remarkable rate,” including its own nuclear weapons capability, says a congressionally mandated panel exploring the relationship between the United States and China. – CNN’s Security Clearance

China announced over the weekend that it would go ahead with its long-planned launch of its Shenzhou 10 spacecraft in early June 2013, which in and of itself isn’t big news. But it serves to remind the U.S. and Russia and India and all of its neighbors that China continues to press ahead with its ambitious manned and military space program. – AOL Defense

An insider critique of corruption in China’s military, circulating just as new leadership is about to take over the armed forces, warns that graft and wide-scale abuses pose as much of a threat to the nation’s security as the United States. – New York Times

Cybersecurity

Lawmakers should investigate China’s cyber espionage of U.S. military, government and commercial targets, a congressional advisory panel urges in a new report released Wednesday. – The Hill’s Global Affairs

Three Republican senators are introducing a resolution to establish a Select Committee on the attack in Benghazi, Libya, which they say is the only way for the truth about what happened to emerge. – Washington Post

Once again the Senate failed to advance sweeping cybersecurity legislation on Wednesday, setting the stage for a White House executive order aimed at protecting American computer networks from attack. – National Journal

When cybersecurity legislation failed a key procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate this fall, experts said immediate widespread improvement of networks was unlikely. But a new public-private partnership is attempting to step in, providing a framework based on 20 security concepts designed to eliminate the vast majority of vulnerabilities and increase the cost of attack. – 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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