Wednesday Defense Briefing


The Pentagon may have been instructed not to plan for sequestration, but that guidance may result in an inter-service showdown come next April, should the $1 trillion reduction in government spending take effect. – Aviation Week

The defense industry has $500 billion in pending Pentagon cuts at stake in the “fiscal cliff” talks, yet it finds itself largely sidelined in the heated debate. – DEFCON Hill

After shipment to Bath (Maine) Iron Works, the Zumwalt’s superstructure will be mated to and integrated with eight of nine “ultra units” making up the DDG-1000…Shortly thereafter, program proponents say, the power will come on, the engines will rev up and the Navy will have proof that its $3 billion-plus investment is not only worth all of the trouble of recent years, but is representative of a template for ship design and program management for fleets of vessels to come. – Aviation Week

The U.S. Air Force’s and Navy’s price estimates to bolster current fighter fleets in the wake of F-35 slips fail to capture all the costs likely involved, says a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. – Aviation Week

The Marine Corps, which always prides itself on being the leanest of the U.S. armed services and having the lowest officer-to-enlisted ratio, now has five four-star generals, the nation’s highest military rank. – AOL Defense

The War

In a sobering message for Americans to take to their Thanksgiving tables, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Tuesday said that despite the 11 years of fighting since 9/11, the U.S. still faces a long counterterrorism war against the spreading “cancer” of al Qaeda, and he warned there are “no shortcuts” to exiting Afghanistan before 2014. – The E-Ring

Our failure isn’t really one of understanding. It’s one of courage. We say the tide of war is ebbing as an excuse for not facing up to our duties. And so, as our allies in Israel fight their war, and as our soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan fight ours, we turn away, and wish it needn’t be so, and pretend it needn’t be so. – The Weekly Standard

Marine scout snipers deployed in Afghanistan since this summer are frustrated with their weapons and ammunition, and are urging the Marine Corps to upgrade. – Military Times

Gen. John Allen has returned to Kabul to resume his duties as the top U.S. and NATO commander of the war in Afghanistan, more than a week after the Pentagon announced it is investigating potentially “inappropriate” correspondence between the four-star general and a woman linked to the David Petraeus sex scandal. – Associated Press


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is poised to consider whether to begin requiring license applicants for emerging technologies to evaluate any associated proliferation risks, following the submission of a staff paper on the matter late last month, according to officials. – Global Security Newswire

Foreign Armies East

China should independently build its own aircraft carriers, the country’s largest shipbuilder said at a pivotal Communist Party meeting where Beijing announced plans to become a “maritime power.” – AFP

France on Tuesday ended its combat operations in Afghanistan, pulling hundreds of troops from a base in a volatile region northeast of Kabul and fulfilling promises to end its combat role on a faster track than other NATO allies. – Associated Press

Sudan has played a key role in arming Hamas militants with sophisticated Iranian-made rockets, experts said. – Washington Free Beacon

Syrian rebels have taken over a large military base in the country’s north, carting off tanks, armored vehicles and truck-loads of munitions their leaders say will give them a boost in their fight to topple President Bashar Assad. – Associated Press


The White House has drafted an executive order, a draft of which is currently circulating among federal agencies for approval, mirroring cyber legislation that recently failed to get through a Senate vote. Among other things, the order shunts much of the enforcement and management of cybersecurity issues to federal agencies. – AOL Defense

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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