Tuesday Defense Briefing


Several high-profile defense think tanks from across the political spectrum are on relatively the same page, in terms of what kind of financial hit the Pentagon should take in the coming decade, according to a recently released report. – DEFCON Hill

The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have finally agreed on a 4% decrease in the target cost for the next production lot of stealthy F-35s after more than a year of antagonistic negotiations. – Aviation Week

After more than a year-long delay, the U.S. Air Force has begun training its F-35 instructor pilots at Eglin AFB, Fla. – Aviation Week

As part of its ongoing strategic “pivot” towards the Pacific, early this year the Defense Department announced it would design a new missile able to quickly cross long distances and penetrate sophisticated air defenses, of the kind rapidly proliferating across Asia…But 11 months later, the Pentagon has yet to take meaningful, practical steps towards developing the prompt strike option, casting into doubt the department’s ability to solve the kind of anti-access, area-denial problem posed by, for example, China’s fast-modernizing navy and air force. – AOL Defense

Gen. Martin Dempsey put to rest Monday any talk that U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) headquarters could move out of Germany and onto the continent, at least for the near future. – DEFCON Hill

A new era is dawning for NATO — though no one knows quite what it means. Now Allied Command Transformation, the only NATO organization headquartered on US soil, is driving an overhaul of how the alliance trains, strategizes, and shares the burden among its increasingly cash-strapped members in a post-Afghanistan, post-“Pacific pivot” world. – AOL Defense

The end of the line for the F-16 jet fighter is set to go on receding, the top executive of manufacturer Lockheed Martin said Dec. 13. – Reuters

Pentagon quietly notified Congress this month that it would reimburse Pakistan nearly $700 million for the cost of stationing 140,000 troops on the border with Afghanistan, an effort to normalize support for the Pakistani military after nearly two years of crises and mutual retaliation. – New York Times

In an exclusive interview in advance of Wednesday’s new US-Canadian agreement on Artic cooperation, Gen. Charles Jacoby — the Army four-star who leads both the US-Canadian NORAD and US Northern Command — spoke to AOL regulars Robbin Laird and Ed Timperlake about the national security aspects of US policy at the top of the world, where global climate change is creating new opportunities for trade, for energy exploration, and for conflict. – AOL Defense

The War

The administration has failed to re-evaluate the threat posed by dozens of prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, putting it at increasing odds with political allies who are angry with the president’s lack of action on the U.S. terrorism-detention system. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Al-Shabaab, the Somali branch of al Qaeda, booted Abu Mansour al-Amriki out of the group after he posted video messages contrary to the terrorist organization’s teachings. – CNN’s Security Clearance

The number two in the militant Islamist organization Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has been arrested in northern Algeria, an Algerian news website reported on Monday. – Reuters

Missile Defense

Conferees working toward agreement on the fiscal 2013 defense policy bill are locked in negotiations that most likely will lead to the inclusion of language requiring the Defense Department to conduct a study outlining a plan for building an East Coast missile defense site. – Roll Call


The intelligence community is developing a single cloud computing network to allow all its analysts to access and rapidly sift through massive volumes of data. When fully complete, this effort will create a pan-agency cloud, with organizations sharing many of the same computing resources and information. More importantly, the hope is the system will break down existing boundaries between agencies and change their insular cultures. – AOL Defense


NATO’s secretary-general on Monday rejected charges by Iran’s armed forces chief that the Western alliance was risking a world war with plans to put Patriot anti-missile systems near Turkey’s border with Syria, saying the move was purely defensive. – Reuters


The progress in adding information to a network begins a new chapter in cyberwarfare, and the U.S. Army is looking to test the scientists’ handiwork. This new chapter also shows how longstanding research on the physical science of electromagnetic fields and radio frequencies is coming into play in the realm of cyberwarfare, an area typically focused on software. – Defense News

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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