Tuesday Defense Briefing

Defense

America’s involvement in Afghanistan may be winding down, but wartime programs aimed at speeding new equipment into combat zones will remain in operation well beyond the end of the war, according to U.S. defense officials. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

House and Senate lawmakers are looking to close the book on the Defense Department’s fiscal 2012 budget, with both chambers expected to begin selecting conferees this week to hammer out a final version of the Pentagon spending bill. – DEFCON Hill

For all the apocalyptic rhetoric, the hours upon hours of hearings, the threats and counterthreats and the dread that built with each tick of the countdown, the defense establishment has little progress to show as it enters the final days before it faces a decade of $500 billion in automatic, across-the-board budget restrictions. – Politico

A group of 22 House lawmakers — 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans — sent a letter Monday to President Obama and House and Senate leaders calling for cuts to defense spending to be part of a deal to replace scheduled spending cuts and tax hikes set for January. – DEFCON Hill

A U.S. Navy move to decommission nine warships and save more than $4 billion over the next five years remained in abeyance as Congress wraps up its defense work for 2012, leaving service leaders to ponder how they’ll proceed should lawmakers keep most of the ships in service. – Defense News

The U.S. Navy is making strides in achieving its lofty objective of fielding up to six unmanned aerial vehicles on an aircraft carrier deck in 2020, though the path is fraught with technology and funding challenges. – Aviation Week

Barrett Tillman writes: The Big E’s reputation is assured. Heir to the fightingest reputation in the U.S. Navy, owner of records that will forever belong to her alone, she exits her service as a unique player on the global stage of the world’s great oceans and the air above them. – The Weekly Standard

Intelligence

A new intelligence assessment of global trends projects that China will outstrip the United States as the leading economic power before 2030, but that America will remain an indispensable world leader, bolstered in part by an era of energy independence. – New York Times

The Senate has moved to block a Pentagon plan to send hundreds of additional spies overseas, citing cost concerns and management failures that have hampered the Defense Department’s existing espionage efforts. – Washington Post

She was a real-life heroine of the CIA hunt for Osama bin Laden, a headstrong young operative whose work tracking the al-Qaeda leader serves as the dramatic core of a Hollywood film set to premiere next week. Her CIA career has followed a more problematic script, however, since bin Laden was killed. – Washington Post

The War

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday is expected to approve its long-awaited report on the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” under former President George W. Bush. – The Hill

A United States-based Internet company is currently hosting a propaganda website operated by the terror group Hezbollah, potentially in violation of a law meant to prevent Americans from providing material support to U.S.-designated terror groups. – Washington Free Beacon

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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