Monday Defense Brief

Defense

U.S. House leaders on Jan. 18 unveiled a strategy that would divorce pending cuts to Pentagon spending from a coming fight over the nation’s borrowing limit, a plan that would give lawmakers time to focus on averting those cuts and passing a measure to keep the government running. – Defense News

As the tentacles of a fiscal calamity tighten, U.S. military leaders last week directed their staffs to begin cutbacks immediately and stand by for deeper cuts should the worst come to pass. – Defense News

The DoD office in charge of the Joint Strike Fighter suspended flight operations on the F-35B (STOVL) variant Friday for precautionary reasons after a problem was discovered with the fueldraulic system in the jet, officials confirmed for Defense News. – Defense News

The Pentagon on Thursday restructured the U.S. Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle program, saying budget pressures and technical issues had prompted it to delay the multibillion-dollar program by six months and scrap plans to develop prototype vehicles. – Reuters

The chiefs had largely signed on to the many defense-budget cuts to date, saying the force could absorb more risk, and the strategy had meant troops will do less. The fact that they’re sounding the five-alarm bell now should worry our elected officials. Reality across the force is surely even worse. – Time’s Battleland

The War

A U.S. drone killed four suspected al Qaeda militants on Monday in a strike in central Yemen, tribal sources said, in the third such attack in three days. – Reuters

The  administration is nearing completion of a detailed counterterrorism manual that is designed to establish clear rules for targeted-killing operations but leaves open a major exemption for the CIA’s campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan, U.S. officials said. – Washington Post

In the latest twist in a high-level debate that has divided national security officials in the administration, the Pentagon announced Friday that the top official overseeing the military commissions system would not drop the charge of conspiracy against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and the four other defendants in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. – New York Times

Missile Defense

It will be no easy task to preserve missile defense amid a budgetary environment with strong pressures for at times indiscriminate fiscal austerity. But given the growing missile threats faced by the United States and its partners, supporters of missile defense must face this calling. – American Foreign Policy Council’s Defense Dossier

Foreign Armies East

Taiwan’s military is developing an offensive surface-to-surface missile with a 1,200-kilometer range that could cover China’s central and southern regions, including Shanghai. – Defense News

United States is set to sell 30 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to Taiwan this year, along with 60 Blackhawk helicopters next year and additional Patriot PAC-3 anti-missile systems in 2015, according to Sen. James M. Inhofe – Washington Times’ Inside China

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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