Defense Brief Wednesday

Defense

The Pentagon should continue to invest in special operations forces, offensive and defensive cyber capabilities, new manned and unmanned long-range strike aircraft and undersea vessels even as defense spending declines in the coming decade, according to a new think tank report. – Defense News

Is stealth still America’s silver bullet? Or are potential adversaries’ radars getting too smart for US aircraft to keep hiding from them? That’s literally the trillion-dollar question, because the US military is investing massively in new stealth aircraft. At stake in this debate are not just budgets but America’s continued ability to project power around the world. – AOL Defense

Old combat pilots warn young ones about “target fixation,” when you get so focused on what you want to bomb that you lose track of everything and fly into the ground. That’s the danger facing US strategy in Asia as the heavily hyped Pacific pivot gets boiled down to “contain China,” warned a panel of top diplomats from Australia, India, and the Philippines. – AOL Defense

Four female service members filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the Pentagon’s ban on women serving in combat, hoping the move will add pressure to drop the policy just as officials are gauging the effect that lifting the prohibition will have on morale. – Associated Press

Two and a half weeks after Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced an inquiry into e-mail exchanges between Gen. John R. Allen of the Marines and a socialite in Tampa, Fla., some 15 investigators working seven days a week in the Pentagon inspector general’s office have narrowed their focus to 60 to 70 e-mails that “bear a fair amount of scrutiny,” a defense official said. – New York Times

Foreign Armies East

China has begun landing J-15 fighters on its first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, following an earlier announcement that pilots had taken off from the ship. – Aviation Week

China’s defense minister and the U.S. Navy secretary on Tuesday discussed security at sea and plans to bolster the U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region that have been sharply criticized by Beijing. – Associated Press
The Taliban terrorists who pulled off one of the most damaging attacks of the Afghanistan War were probably trained for the plot in Pakistan, illustrating how the U.S. ally threatens to jeopardize a successful withdrawal, military experts say. – USA Today

Rebel strikes against military bases across Syria have exposed President Bashar al-Assad’s weakening grip in the north and east of the country and left his power base in Damascus vulnerable to the increasingly potent opposition forces. – Reuters

Missile Defense

A confidential, high-level drill drew attention last December to shortcomings in U.S. preparations to counter ballistic missile threats in certain areas, Inside the Air Force reported on Friday. – Global Security Newswire

Illegal shipments of missile technology and weapons from North Korea have flowed unabated under the leadership of Kim Jong Eun, dashing Western hopes that Pyongyang’s new leader might moderate his country’s aggressive proliferation activities. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Cybersecurity

The Pentagon may be slashing its wartime budget as all of official Washington works to avoid the fiscal cliff, but there’s a growing sense that cybersecurity spending might be spared — and some major companies are fighting for the lucrative contracts. – Politico

The White House is bringing in key players for meetings now — getting early input that the feds hope will make any new rules easier to enforce and voluntary pieces more likely to produce results. – 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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