Thursday Defense Brief

The Pentagon would need to furlough “virtually all” of its nearly 800,000 civilian employees for one month between March and September if mandatory federal spending cuts go into effect in March, according to a prominent defense budget analyst. – Defense News

The U.S. Air Force will have spent about $5.8 billion on F-15 programs between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2017, with F-15E Strike Eagles accounting for about $3.2 billion of that total, according to an Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN) analysis of data provided by Avascent050, an online market analysis toolkit for global defense programs. – Aviation Week

A total of nine active-duty and Air National Guard bases are on the list of contenders to host the first KC-46A tankers starting in fiscal 2016. – Military News

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley writes: Today’s Air Force has very few options for further reductions in force structure without incurring significant risk to the capabilities we provide to joint and coalition forces. – AOL Defense

In the past 35 years, the Air Force has been called upon more than 150 times to conduct combat or humanitarian operations in more than 50 countries around the world. Combat sorties in the CENTCOM area have continued uninterrupted since 1991. The completion of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are important milestones that should provide an opportunity to reset the force, but other international security challenges remain and, in some cases, are growing. America will need a ready Air Force. – AOL Defense

The War

Acknowledging a legal flaw, the Defense Department moved Wednesday to drop conspiracy charges against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-defendants facing trial over the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

The administration, after a high-level debate among its legal team, told a federal appeals court on Wednesday that the conviction of a Guantánamo Bay prisoner by a military commission in 2008 was valid even though the charges against him — including “conspiracy” and “material support for terrorism” — were not recognized as war crimes in international law. – New York Times

A federal appeals court on Thursday will consider whether the public has a right to view postmortem images of bin Laden. The lawsuit, filed by a conservative-leaning watchdog group, seeks the release of 52 photos that followed the operation in May 2011. – Washington Post

Cybersecurity

When corporate managements fail to plan ahead for cybersecurity, they are making a bad bet. When they do, they are taking an essential step to protect the interests of the company, its customers and its shareholders. – 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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