Wednesday Defense Briefing

Defense

The U.S. Senate on Dec. 4 unanimously authorized the Pentagon to spend $650 billion in fiscal 2013, slightly less than requested by the Obama administration in February. – Defense News

Michael Mullen, a former chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs, says the U.S. defense budget can be trimmed and more focus should be placed on Washington’s non-military national security tools. – Defense News

The Pentagon wants Gen. David Rodriguez to get his confirmation hearing and full Senate approval to be the next Africa Command commander by the close of the lame duck Congress, sources tell the E-Ring. – The E-Ring

Just weeks after the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate and CIA station in Benghazi, Libya, the head of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was for the first time given operational control over a dedicated special operations company that could be tasked with handling similar incidents in the future. – Defense News

U.S. Air Force Gen. Christopher Bogdan will officially be named as head of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Joint Program Office on Dec. 6, Defense News has learned. – Defense News

The War

Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, tapped by President Obama to become his fifth commander of the war in Afghanistan, will take charge in Kabul early next year, Pentagon officials said Tuesday. – Washington Post

A former close aide to Osama bin Laden who became a crucial witness for the United States government after he defected from Al Qaeda more than 15 years ago has asked to be sentenced without further delay, an act that could breach his cooperation agreement with prosecutors. – New York Times

The U.S military has been unable to move any new supply convoys through Pakistan despite a diplomatic breakthrough announced in July that officially reopened border crossings into Afghanistan, a defense official said. – Military Times

The number of terrorist attacks has steadily increased worldwide over the past decade but the number of fatalities is down 25 percent since peaking in 2007, according to a new report ranking countries according to terrorism impact. – The Hill’s Global Affairs

NATO

NATO told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday that any use of chemical weapons in his fight against encroaching rebel forces would be met by an immediate international response. – Reuters

NATO’s decision to supply Turkey with a slew of ballistic missile interceptors to defend its shared border with Syria will not result in a no-fly zone within the country, according to a top defense lawmaker. – DEFCON Hill

Serbia’s ambassador to NATO jumped to his death from a multi-storey carpark at Brussels airport in an apparent suicide – NY Daily News

Foreign Armies East

A Chinese fighter jet crashed in a southern Chinese city Dec. 4, sparking a fire that injured at least four people, the defense ministry announced. – AFP

After nearly two years of fighting, Syria’s vaunted war machine is showing serious cracks as emboldened rebels snap up more bases and airfields and force army units to retrench behind defensive lines in major cities, Western officials and military analysts say. – Washington Post

Iran has obtained data from a U.S. intelligence drone that shows it was spying on the country’s military sites and oil terminals, Iranian media reported its armed forces as saying on Wednesday. – Reuters

Missile Defense

Within the defense aerospace community, the intense choreography involved in guiding one missile to intercept another is widely viewed as one of the toughest tasks in the business. Figuring out how to test, and ultimately fix problems in such a system is therefore one of the more extreme challenges facing Boeing as it works to restart tests of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system in the wake of intercept failures in 2010. – Aviation Week

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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