Defense Brief Monday

Defense

Permanently avoiding massive Pentagon budget cuts could prove difficult as Washington enters a fight over the nation’s borrowing limit, a coming political battle that will bring big federal spending cuts to the forefront. – Defense News

The climate on Capitol Hill continued on Jan. 4 to shift toward big federal spending reductions, a potentially unnerving shift for the Pentagon and U.S. defense sector as lawmakers begin the search for an accord on cuts to pare the deficit. – Defense News

The defense industry is worried last week’s budget deal on taxes could damage its negotiating position for the next “fiscal cliff” deadline two months from now, when across-the-board spending cuts would take effect. – DEFCON Hill

Failure of the transfer bill means the Navy will now need to spend millions of dollars, U.S. ship repairers won’t get a hefty dose of foreign work, and allied countries won’t have the chance — at least for now — to avail themselves of surplus U.S. Navy warships. – Defense News

The Defense Department inspector general this month is expected to release its independent review of an Air Force investigation into the November 2010 fatal F-22 crash in Alaska. – Military Times

Interviews with a dozen female soldiers and Marines showed little interest in the toughest fighting jobs. They believe they’d be unable to do them, even as the Defense Department inches toward changing its rules to allow women in direct ground combat jobs. – Associated Press

The U.S. military must consider both conventional and nuclear capabilities to “neutralize” China’s underground nuclear weapons storage facilities, according to a Pentagon authorization signed into law. – Defense News

The War

Suspected American drones fired several missiles into three militant hideouts near the Afghan border on Sunday, killing nine Pakistani Taliban fighters, intelligence officials said. – Associated Press

In a memoir, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the former American commander in Afghanistan, writes that tensions between the White House and the Pentagon were evident in 44’s administration from its opening months in office. – New York Times

44 is finding that the cheerleading he did then against the supposedly Imperial 43 is infringing on his ability to pursue his own national security policies. 43 must be smiling. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Cybersecurity

Security analysts are predicting that 2013 is when nation-sponsored cyberwarfare goes mainstream — and some think such attacks will lead to actual deaths. – CNN

Iran is continuing aggressive cyber attacks against U.S. financial institutions and officials say the U.S. government has failed to take steps to halt the electronic strikes. – Washington Free Beacon

NATO

It was not that long ago that every German military action brought with it mass demonstrations, public hand-wringing and probing questions about the country’s militarist past. But the shadow of history continues to recede here and Germany is, for better or worse, quietly approaching a normal relationship with its armed forces. – New York Times

Foreign Armies East

China’s military is set to conduct a strategic anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test sometime this month, according to a report reaching the United States from China. – Washington Free Beacon

Japan is considering introducing U.S. spy drones to boost surveillance of its territorial waters near islands in the East China Sea at the centre of a bitter dispute with Beijing, Kyodo News said Dec. 31. – AFP

Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged gunfire across the disputed Kashmir border early Sunday, leaving one Pakistani soldier dead in a relatively rare fatal confrontation between the two neighbors. – New York Times

The U.S. deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey began Jan. 5 to help the country defend itself against any threat from neighboring Syria which is in the throes of a deadly 21-month civil war. – AFP

Syrian military has fired at least four short-range Iranian-made ballistic missiles at rebel positions in recent days, raising alarms in Washington that the Assad regime may be turning to deadlier weapons to hold on to power. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

 

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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