Friday Defense Briefing


With the Senate knee-deep in the second of an expected three days of debate on the 2013 defense authorization bill, the White House has threatened to veto the measure unless some significant changes are made. – Military Times

Top Pentagon and Lockheed Martin leaders have confirmed the two sides are close to reaching a deal for the fifth, and possibly the sixth, production lots for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. – DoD Buzz

Sloppy number-crunching at the Department of Defense means that the official price tag to move 9,000 Marines off Okinawa to Guam, Hawaii, and Australia – already estimated at a whopping $10.6 billion – is probably short of the real cost, according to a draft Government Accountability Office (GAO) report obtained by AOL Defense. – AOL Defense

The U.S. Navy is preparing to wage cyber warfare attacks against enemies during conflicts and must avoid strategic surprise from a future cyber attack on its networks, according to a strategy report made public Wednesday night. – Washington Free Beacon

The U.S. Senate has voted to put in place wartime contract practices to correct problems that occurred during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. – Defense News

The War

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) is trying to reach a compromise with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on her amendment limiting the military detention of U.S. citizens. – DEFCON Hill

In a rare public interview, Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon’s top lawyer, argued that the U.S. is able to target terrorists “with great precision,” in a defense of drone strikes. – The E-Ring

In a rare move, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon on Wednesday publicly defended the United States’ use of armed drones in the counter-terrorism fight, calling it a “targeted effort.” – CNN’s Security Clearance

For months, the Pentagon has been trying to put in place a new contract to support a “vital” program that gathers intelligence on high-value terror targets and on terrorist finance, according to contracting records released Wednesday. – Defense News

After a decade of war in which they played a key role and were rewarded with a doubling of their forces and budget, Special Operations leaders want still more — more people, more money and more authority to decide where their troops go and what they do. – AOL Defense

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is looking to attach his version of contentious nuclear terrorism legislation to the defense authorization bill currently being debated on the Senate floor. – Global Security Newswire

Reports of al Qaeda’s demise are both true and overstated. For as the President and his advisors contend, the core organization now led by Ayman al Zawahiri is on its heels, with key senior leaders dead and many others on the run or in hiding. But as jihadist attacks in Benghazi, Yemen, and elsewhere indicate, the broader movement is alive and in some places prospering. – The New Republic

Foreign Armies East

Recent satellite photos show continued activity at a controversial Iranian military site that international weapons inspectors have repeatedly been denied access to. – CNN’s Security Clearance

The U.S. ambassador to Syria on Thursday confirmed reports that the Obama administration is considering whether to provide arms to the rebels in that country, but suggested that no decision has been made. – LA Times’ World Now

Missile Defense

The U.S. Senate will not vote on building a new missile defense system on the East Coast of the United States, meaning its fate will be decided behind closed doors. – Defense News

The success cited by Israel for its Iron Dome antimissile system in its confrontation with Hamas has re-energized American missile defense advocates and generated new interest in the global arms bazaar from nations like South Korea that face short-range rocket threats from hostile neighbors. – New York Times

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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