Tuesday Defense Briefing

Defense

Gen. Joseph Dunford was confirmed by the Senate Monday evening to replace Gen. John Allen as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
 It’s still unclear, however, when Dunford will succeed Allen in Kabul. –DEFCON Hill

The Senate voted to end debate on the defense bill Monday evening with a 93-0 vote. Senators will continue work Tuesday on amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 3254, which funds the U.S. military and its operations. – The Hill’s Floor Action Blog

The Senate passed an amendment package of nearly 20 more amendments once the hold was lifted. – The Hill’s Floor Action Blog

U.S. House Republicans sent 44 their first plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” one that is very different from his opening offer but alike in one way: It also excludes new Defense Department spending cuts. – Defense News

Leading defense-industry executives are bearing down on Republicans to accept tax increases as part of a “fiscal cliff” deal to prevent sequestration. – DEFCON Hill

As negotiations continue on potential sources of revenue for the U.S. government, and Congress seeks to avoid the combination of tax increases and budget cuts set to take effect next year, one subtle change could alter investment in defense companies. – Defense News

The head of U.S. special operations forces wants more control over his operators once they are deployed, according to two senior spec ops officials. – Defense News

The Air Force has not completely backed down from the cuts to the Reserve and Guard proposed in the 2013 defense budget  that Congress firmly rejected. – DoD Buzz

Twenty-one months into the program, Boeing plans to deliver the first 18 combat-ready KC-46s to replace KC-135s in mid-2017. In the meantime, the government estimates that Boeing will spend $400 million of its own money to design the tanker. While it is too early to tell whether Boeing’s business decision will pay off, it appears that the structure of the contract is inducing the kind of behavior the Air Force hoped for. – Aviation Week

On Thursday, we published a story about potential problems with the long-delayed move of Marine forces from Okinawa to Guam and elsewhere in the Pacific outlined in a draft GAO report obtained exclusively by AOL Defense…After the article came out, a Defense Department spokesperson, Maj. Cathy Wilkinson, contacted us and then provided the following written rebuttal to the article. – AOL Defense

The War

A military appeals court has removed the judge who had been overseeing accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan’s court-martial, saying the judge was biased. – CNN’s Security Clearance

The number of terrorist attacks each year has more than quadrupled in the decade since September 11, 2001, a study released on Tuesday said, with Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan the most affected. – Reuters

While Pentagon lawyers claim al Qaeda’s tipping into defeat, in fact we are seeing the emergence of the third generation of the terrorist movement. – The Daily Beast

Al Qaeda’s affiliate in North Africa is operating terrorist training camps in northern Mali and providing arms, explosives and financing to a militant Islamist organization in northern Nigeria, the top American military commander in Africa said on Monday. – New York Times

The top U.S. military commander in Africa warned Monday against any premature military action in Mali, even as he said that al-Qaida linked extremists have strengthened their hold on the northern part of the country. – Associated Press

Foreign Armies East

Iran said its Revolutionary Guards Corps naval forces captured an American drone that it said entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf, state television reported on Tuesday. The claim was quickly denied by the United States. – New York Times

Syrian forces began combining chemicals that would be used to make deadly sarin gas for use in weapons to attack rebel and civilian populations, a U.S. official tells CNN. – CNN’s Security Clearance

A Turkish move to deploy NATO’s Patriot ground-to-air missiles on its southern border with Syria has antagonized regional rivals Iran and Russia. And defense industry sources say it could obviate the need for the country’s $4 billion competition to build its own anti-missile and air defense architecture. – Defense News

The Indian navy is prepared to deploy vessels to the South China Sea to protect India’s oil interests there, the navy chief said on Monday amid growing international fears over the potential for naval clashes in the disputed region. – Reuters

China last week carried out a second flight test of a new long-range mobile missile that is capable of hitting United States cities with a nuclear warhead. The test took place days before North Korea is set to fire its long-range missile, according to U.S. intelligence officials. – Washington Free Beacon

Despite the official announcement that the Nov. 28 Pakistani test of the Ghauri/Hatf V (Vengeance V) ballistic missile was successful, reports in the local media indicate the missile in fact disintegrated. – Defense News

Nonproliferation

44 called on Russia on Monday to renew a two-decade-old nuclear disarmament program that Moscow has threatened to cancel as the two sides try to figure out the future of a rocky relationship now that elections in both countries are behind them. – New York Times

The United States will continue to invest in programs to reduce and secure dangerous material that could be used to build weapons on mass destruction despite planned declines in defense spending, 44 said. – Defense News

A number of initiatives under a U.S. State Department nonproliferation program remained officially active for years after their operations concluded, and Foggy Bottom has failed to prepare standards for deciding when to halt dormant initiatives and free up their assets, the Government Accountability Office said in a report published on Friday. – Global Security Newswire

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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