Thursday Defense Brief

Defense

U.S. House leaders headed straight for the microphones after closed-door meetings Nov. 28 about the nation’s dire fiscal condition, but neither Republicans nor Democrats indicated they would oppose new Pentagon cuts. – Defense News

Defense has fallen further out of the sequestration and fiscal cliff conversation on Capitol Hill since lawmakers and the White House rush to beat the Dec. 31 deadline to avoid massive cuts across the federal budget. – DoD Buzz

“I am fully expecting to see sequestration in some form beginning in January,” Rep. Randy Forbes told AOL Defense in an exclusive interview. And those automatic cuts — or even the more targeted cuts likely in any deal to avoid a sequester — would undermine the nation’s new Pacific-focused strategy and the military’s AirSea Battle concept to win future ocean wars, said Forbes, who chairs the readiness panel of the House Armed Services Committee. – AOL Defense

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno is mostly comfortable knowing the Army will have to shed 80,000 soldiers from its 551,000-strong ranks as the force restructures after more than a decade of war. But during a roundtable discussion with Defense News and the Army Times, the chief also said that some troops will have to leave the service against their will. – Defense News

The failure of so-called “fifth-generation” fighters, the F-22 and F-35, to arrive on time and on cost is having cascading effects throughout U.S. and allied fighter forces, ranging from fundamental changes in U.S. Air Force F-22 pilot training to accelerated upgrade and life-extension efforts for F-16s. – Aviation Week

Lockheed Martin and the Defense Department are nearing agreement on a long-delayed contract for a fifth batch of F-35 fighter jets, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer told Reuters on Wednesday. – Reuters

A report released by a Washington think tank on Tuesday challenged that assumption, concluding that a short-term cut in readiness funding could free up cash to develop weapons and equipment needed to be ready in the future. – Reuters

China has showcased its first aircraft carrier landings while maintenance woes have reduced the United States to a single carrier in the Gulf, pointing to the beginnings of a subtle shift in the balance of naval power. – Reuters

NATO

A NATO team assessing possible sites for Patriot missiles to protect Turkey’s border with Syria inspected military installations Wednesday in southeast Turkey. – Associated Press

NATO countries assured Russia on Wednesday that the planned deployment of Patriot missiles to Turkey was a defensive measure as the alliance and Moscow resumed ambassador-level meetings after a gap of nearly a year. – Reuters

Germany is privately pressing Turkey to scale back the scope of its request for Patriot missile-defense batteries to defend the country’s borders with war-torn Syria, according to a person familiar with negotiations. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

The War

Editorial: If the Senators have evidence that the terrorist detainee process has been abused to the detriment of American citizens, perhaps they could provide some examples. On the available evidence, the safeguards in place have protected both U.S. liberties and the public from terror attack. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

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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