Monday Defense Briefing


Instead of embracing change, some officers worry that the [Army] is reverting to a more comfortable, rigid and predictable past – Washington Post

Female Marine officers are unlikely to join the infantry anytime soon, in part because of a lack of volunteers for the Marine Corps‘ Infantry Officer Course, which was opened to women in September. – Washington Times

Senior U.S. military officials are considering increasing the American military presence in the Mediterranean because of what they see as growing instability in recent months, CNN has learned. – CNN’s Security Clearance

More than 100 civilian employees at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama are facing layoffs in January unless the U.S. Army decides before the start of the year to refurbish more than the 47 Stryker vehicles it has already contracted for as part of the upgrade program. – Defense News

The U.S. Navy is planning to relocate a specialized attack squadron currently stationed on the eastern seaboard, leaving Washington D.C. and other large American cities vulnerable to electronic warfare threats posed by China, Russia, Iran, and other rogue nations, sources said. – Washington Free Beacon

Federal agents are investigating whether former CIA Director David Petraeus directed members of his staff to share military documents and other sensitive records with his biographer, according to a report. – DEFCON Hill

The War

The United States can stabilize Afghanistan if it maintains around 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan into 2014, dropping to over 30,000 thereafter (about what we have in Korea). The idea that the war is inevitably lost is a convenient mask behind which decision-makers hide to deflect responsibility for pulling out troops who are making a real difference. – Washington Post

As 44 approaches a second term with an unexpected opening for CIA director, agency officials are watching to see whether the president’s pick signals even a modest adjustment in the main counterterrorism program he kept: the use of armed drones to kill suspected extremists. – Washington Post

Shielding troops on foot from buried bombs and killing fleeing insurgents continue to preoccupy Pentagon researchers charged with fielding new gadgets to Afghanistan even as the war there winds down. – USA Today

US wants to keep around 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan when formal combat ends in 2014, cementing a limited, long-term American military presence in the country if Kabul agrees, said senior U.S. officials. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

In a major shake-up of the U.S.-led combat mission in Afghanistan, up to eight newly designed units — dubbed security force assistance brigades (SFABs) — will replace an equal number of U.S. Army brigade combat teams (BCTs) across the east and south of the country by next spring, bringing a new focus to the training and advising mission while pushing Afghans to take the lead in security operations. – Defense News

Facing the possibility that 44 might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials. – New York Times

Internal military emails obtained by the Associated Press are providing additional details about Osama bin Laden’s burial at sea after the terrorist leader was killed by Navy SEALs in 2011. – DEFCON Hill

Missile Defense

U.S. and Israeli partners in the developmental David’s Sling program marked a major milestone Nov. 25 with their first hit-to-kill intercept of a target missile. – Defense News

The Israelis demonstrated with Iron Dome that with great motivation, effective management, and sound technology, rapid development of an effective missile-defense system is feasible. The United States would do well to relearn this lesson in advancing its current missile-defense programs and reviving some of the key programs that were killed 20 years ago. – National Review Online

Foreign Armies East

U.S. satellites have picked up signs that North Korea is preparing to launch a long-range missile, a Japanese newspaper reported Nov. 23. – AFP

The Chinese military has successfully landed a fighter jet on the Liaoning, China’s first seaworthy aircraft carrier, according to a report on Sunday by Xinhua, the state news agency. – New York Times

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army air force is feeling the heat from higher command for failing to produce enough qualified pilots and for spending too much on pilot training. – Washington Times’ Inside the Ring

Though not in the bag yet, defense industry analysts and sources in Moscow have confirmed that Beijing and Moscow are negotiating the first Russian export sale of the twin-engine Sukhoi Su-35 multi-role fighter. – Defense News


The Qatar incident highlights the reality of a new arms race — the worldwide push to develop offensive and defensive cyber-capabilities. Like many other countries, Qatar wanted to improve its computer defenses in the face of a growing network warfare threat. And like others, Qatar turned to the United States, where technology firms are acknowledged leaders in the field of cyberwarfare and cyberdefense. – Washington Post

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz) calls cybersecurity – a tech policy issue that has for years reached roadblocks on Capitol Hill – a “huge problem,”‘ linking it to the investigation that led to the resignation of David Petraeus as CIA director. – Politico

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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