Tuesday Defense Briefing

Defense

At the office of the Department of Defense Inspector General (DOD IG), a roster of 63 unfinished cases reveals how Pentagon offices have ignored or not completed, sometimes for several years, IG recommendations to take corrective “actions” for various degrees of Pentagon mismanagement, poor accounting and other legal concerns. – The E-Ring

The Air Force is canceling all nonessential travel, conferences and research, and is cutting in half its budget for base maintenance to deal with the threat of drastic, automatic spending cuts due to begin March 1, Air Force officials say. – Washington Times

Between the sequestration debates and the very real possibility of another CR — possibly for the rest of fiscal 2013 — the Pentagon and the individual military services are urgently concerned about the immediate and long-term effects of the continuing funding disruptions. – Defense News

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) wants to know why sequestration is suddenly stopping the Pentagon’s budget work in its tracks. – DEFCON Hill

Despite undergoing regular test flights, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, called the Lightning II, remains vulnerable to its namesake — lightning. Additionally, attempts to lighten the JSF by 11 pounds may have left the fifth-generation stealth fighter more vulnerable than the aircraft it will replace. – Defense News

Now, with former Sen. Chuck Hagel preparing for confirmation hearings for the top job at the Pentagon, the issue of personnel costs is getting new attention. That attention revolves around one of the major selling points for a Hagel candidacy: His personal military experience could provide him political cover to confront some of the more difficult budget challenges the agency faces, including personnel costs. – Defense News

In early March, those sailors will leave San Diego to begin Freedom’s biggest test yet — a planned 10-month cruise operating from Singapore. – Defense News

Gen. John Michael Loh (USAF, Ret.) writes: The Air Force is right in pursuing a new, long-range, penetrating bomber that can put any target in the world at risk and survive against tomorrow’s toughest defenses. But to fulfill its obligations for assured deterrence for the U.S. and our allies, the Air Force should reorder its priorities and make the nuclear mission priority No. 1. – Defense News

Intelligence

President Barack Obama’s nomination of his trusted counterterrorism aide, John Brennan, as CIA director may leave the impression the CIA director is the top spy, even though the director of national intelligence technically would be his boss. – CNN’s Security Clearance

Cybersecurity

Computer security researchers have uncovered malware that appears to have been used as part of a widespread cyber espionage campaign targeting European diplomatic and government agencies. – Washington Post

The War

The beginning of the new year has been marked by the presence of a new Marine Corps Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team in Yemen. – Military Times

Lawyers for a disabled Islamic preacher jailed in Manhattan said on Monday that the Federal Bureau of Prisons had recently imposed harsh new restrictions on their client, which have made it harder for him to prepare for his trial. – New York Times

Washington’s increasingly aggressive counterterrorism campaign to crack down on al Qaeda-affiliated terror cells in Africa may have set the stage for the group’s resurgence in northern Mali, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta admitted on Monday.  – DEFCON Hill

The U.S. is preparing to ferry hundreds of additional French troops to the North African country of Mali, bolstering a rapidly evolving military campaign in the latest conflict with Al Qaeda affiliates. – Los Angeles Times

NATO

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sees ways to expand military-to-military relations with some of Washington’s strongest European allies even though defense spending is projected to decline on both sides of the Atlantic. – Defense News

Fourteen years after North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops first entered Kosovo to end fighting between ethnic Serbs and ethnic Albanians, there is still no “Mission Accomplished” sign in sight. – WSJ’s Real Time Brussels

Foreign Armies East

Fighting in Myanmar between an armed ethnic rebel group and the country’s military threatened to spill into Chinese territory on Monday, the insurgents said, with reports that shelling had killed three people in the border town of Laiza. – New York Times

French warplanes were reported on Tuesday to have carried out airstrike overnight against Islamist fighters who overran a strategic village and military post in central Mali on Monday, offering an indication that the war against extremists who have carved out a jihadist state in the nation’s north could be a long and difficult one. – New York Times

France plans to send nearly 2,000 more soldiers to Mali to contain an Islamist rebellion until African troops are in place to assist the weak national army. – Financial Times

India and China discussed reviving military exercises Jan. 14, stalled since 2010, and increasing military exchanges during the Third India-China Annual Defence Dialogue in Beijing, said an Indian Defence Ministry official. – Defense News

Syrian warplanes have killed dozens of civilians, including more than 20 children, in an intensifying campaign of anti-insurgency airstrikes across the country over the past few days – New York Times

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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