Friday Defense Briefing

Defense

Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the last U.S. commander in Iraq, has been tapped to lead the U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East and the Afghan war, the Pentagon announced Thursday. – Washington Post

In a harshly worded letter, the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee are asking the Pentagon to explain its handling of a botched $1 billion Air Force logistics management program. – Military Times

While the Air Force and the Marines stake their future on a great leap forward to the stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Navy is taking what one officer called “baby steps” into the future: a careful, incremental upgrade of electronic warfare systems to jam enemy radar instead of just hiding from it. – AOL Defense

Despite a tight budget, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp emphasized the need to continue with the service’s recapitalization plan. – Military Times

The commander of American military forces in the Pacific region said Thursday that warships equipped with advanced radar and other ballistic-missile defense systems were being relocated to monitor a potential rocket launching by North Korea. – New York Times
The War

The U.S. Air Force launched 114 November strikes in Afghanistan from remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), according to Air Force statistics, representing roughly a quarter of the 447 strikes launched for the year. – Defense News

Military counterterrorism officials are seeking more capability to pursue extremist groups in Africa and elsewhere that they believe threaten the U.S., and the Obama administration is considering asking Congress to approve expanded authority to do it. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

The military’s Special Operations Command has become an emerging player in the Pentagon’s propaganda efforts to confront violent extremists around the world, according to documents and a new report from a non-partisan think tank. – USA Today

44’s presidency has already seen two lucky escapes from failed terror plots on American soil—once on a Detroit-bound airplane in 2009, and again in Times Square in 2010. By continuing to ignore the potent threat that al Qaeda still poses to national security, the administration is risking another Benghazi-like attack, or worse. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Foreign Armies East

Cairo’s military link to Washington has remained intact, meaning the U.S. will continue to modernize the biggest military in Africa – even as President Mohammed Morsi has decreed near-absolute power for himself and his supporters and opponents battle outside his palace. – Washington Times

A hundred miles from Baghdad, tanks are facing off across a frontline defined not by an international border but by ethnic enmity, fueled by past bloodshed and future oil wealth, that risks tearing Iraq apart. – Reuters

Japan on Dec. 6 dispatched three destroyers to waters over which North Korea says its satellite-bearing rocket will travel. – AFP

The name of the satellite that North Korea will attempt to put into orbit as early as next week helps explain why the country’s impoverished regime wanted its own satellite project. Kwangmyongsong, or Shining Star, was also a title for Kim Jong-il — the late father of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and the man whose legacy of nuclear and missile programs his son must consolidate to justify his own hereditary rule. – 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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