Monday Defense Briefing

Defense

The Pentagon did an about-face on sequestration this week, taking concrete steps — including a hiring freeze and a delay in awarding some contract awards — more than six weeks before the across-the-board spending cuts are scheduled to hit. – DEFCON Hill

New GOP Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska signaled congressional Republicans will seek to void all pending cuts to planned. Pentagon spending. – Defense News

Ashton Carter, the deputy secretary of defense, will stay in his position, Foreign Policy’s National Security channel has learned. – The E-Ring

As the U.S. Air Force begins to prepare for potential budget cuts in March, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said he remains “deeply concerned” about the impact of sequestration on the service – Defense News

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley writes: We need to stay focused on the right priorities and be careful about adding more programs than we can afford. Nonetheless, we must sustain forward momentum in modernization. The future success of the Air Force and the joint team will depend on it. – AOL Defense

Nuclear Weapons/Nonproliferation

When Chuck Hagel arrives at the Pentagon, pending Senate confirmation, near the top of his E-Ring inbox will be President Obama’s plans to reduce and upgrade America’s nuclear arsenal. – The E-Ring

U.S. envoys could seal as many as three important nuclear trade agreements with Asian nations this year, with at least one more key pact in the region on the diplomatic agenda for completion by 2015. – Global Security Newswire

Foreign Armies East

For six years, a group of independent arms-trafficking researchers worked to pin down the source of the mystery cartridges. Exchanging information from four continents, they concluded that someone had been quietly funneling rifle and machine-gun ammunition into regions of protracted conflict, and had managed to elude exposure for years…When the investigators’ breakthrough came, it carried a surprise. The manufacturer was not one of Africa’s usual suspects. It was Iran. – New York Times

The naval force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has held exercises to test new equipment and battle tactics in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, Iranian media reported on Sunday. – Reuters

Iran is working with southern secessionists in Yemen to expand its influence and destabilize the strategic region around the Straits of Hormuz, the U.S. envoy to Yemen was quoted as saying on Sunday. – Reuters

Turkey said Jan. 11 it has postponed an order to purchase its first two U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets due to technical problems and rising costs, but said it still intends to buy 100 more in the long run. – AFP

The Pakistani Taliban said on Saturday they would cease their occasional attacks on the Pakistani army in the Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan and concentrate attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan instead – an announcement possibly designed to head off divisions in the insurgency. – Reuters

The United States is concerned about China’s expanding ability to disrupt the most sensitive U.S. military and intelligence satellites, as Beijing pursues its expanded ambitions in space, according to multiple sources in the U.S. government and outside space experts. – Reuters

When a Japanese coast guard cutter spotted a small Chinese aircraft flying above disputed East China Sea islands in December, Japan’s air force scrambled eight F-15 fighter jets, but they reached the scene only after the intruder had left…The embarrassing incident underscores the need for Japan to beef up the defense of air, sea and land in its southwest, said Gen. Shigeru Iwasaki, the top uniformed official of Japan’s military, known as the Self-Defense Forces – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Beijing sent fighter jets to the East China Sea after Japanese aircraft followed a Chinese plane in a territorial dispute, the defense ministry said Jan. 11, according to state media. – AFP

Ethnic Kachin rebels battling Myanmar’s army in the country’s north said they shot down a government helicopter, but the army denied the claim, saying Saturday that engine failure caused the crash. – Associated Press

 

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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