Mid Week Defense Brief

Defense

Defense officials have begun “serious planning” for automatic spending cuts that could force the Pentagon to lay off hundreds of thousands of civilian workers as it reduces its budget by $500 billion over the next 10 years. – Washington Times

An unarmed target drone found in central Philippine waters was launched from a U.S. Navy ship during a combat exercise off Guam last year and may have been washed by ocean currents to the country, officials said Tuesday. – Associated Press

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was vague Jan. 8 about just when President Barack Obama will launch talks with lawmakers about avoiding deep cuts to planned Pentagon spending. – Defense News

The U.S. Navy should be ready to deploy its first-of-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1) USS Freedom in early March, says Vice Adm. Thomas Copeman, commander of the Naval Surface Force and the U.S. Pacific Fleet. – Aviation Week

The success of U.S. drones in Iraq and Afghanistan has triggered a global arms race, raising concerns the remotely piloted aircraft could fall into unfriendly hands, military experts say. – USA Today

Missile Defense

A consortium led by Lockheed Martin Corp is continuing to work toward a fourth quarter 2013 flight test to prove its MEADS missile defense system can intercept a ballistic missile, although some U.S. lawmakers have sought to cut off funding for the three-nation program. – Reuters

If a much-reduced U.S. force level is announced, Afghans will say that the Americans have abandoned their country. They will be right. With a drastically reduced U.S. presence, the Afghan government and army will fracture, warlords will begin fighting each other and the insurgents and terrorists in ungoverned spaces. The conditions will be ideal for al Qaeda’s return. That’s failure. And it will matter. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Weeks after the Pentagon was reportedly drafting contingency plans to take out Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, recent intelligence shows the country is backing off its efforts to use such weapons in its ongoing civil war. – DEFCON Hill

The Air Force delivered about half of the troops and equipment for two Patriot anti-missile batteries being set up in Turkey to protect the allied states and U.S. interests from instability in neighboring Syria. – Military Times

The War

The State Department on Tuesday added two Sudanese militants to the U.S. terrorist watch list. – Washington Times

Foreign Armies East

The Japanese Foreign Ministry summoned China’s ambassador on Tuesday after Chinese ships entered Japanese-controlled waters for 13 hours, a prolonged incursion that seemed to escalate a standoff over a group of disputed islands. – New York Times

China’s purchase of a United States high-technology battery maker will boost Beijing’s military forces and satellites and threaten the security of U.S. electrical power and communications grids, according former national security officials. – Washington Free Beacon

India on Wednesday summoned Islamabad’s envoy in New Delhi to address claims that Pakistan’s military killed two Indian soldiers and decapitated one of the corpses after a firefight in the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir. – Wall Street Journal

A British soldier who was helping to build new quarters for the Afghan National Army at a small base in southern Afghanistan was fatally shot by an Afghan soldier in the first insider attack of 2013, military officials said Tuesday. – New York Times

Battles between Turkish troops and Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey left more than a dozen people dead on Tuesday, as opposition lawmakers sought to influence new talks aimed at ending the 28-year-old conflict, underlining the fragility of renewed efforts to broker a peaceful solution. – 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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