Monday Defense Brief

Defense

A drastic cutback in the number of strike group deployments. Aircraft flying hours in the Middle East cut by more than half. Naval operations stopped around Latin America and reduced in the Pacific. Four of the fleet’s nine air wings shut down starting in March. Two carrier strike group deployments “extended indefinitely.” Only partial training for two more strike groups. That’s what the U.S. Navy is planning should the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration go into effect beginning in March – Defense News

The U.S. Navy is looking at building an alternative deckhouse for DDG-1002, the final proposed Zumwalt-class destroyer. – Aviation Week

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Lloyd Austin has officially been named the new top officer at Central Command, replacing outgoing chief Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, according to a Pentagon release. – DEFCON Hill

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal predicted Sunday that women will eventually become part of special operations units like the Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, saying that including female servicemembers could improve the elite groups’ operations. – Hill Tube

Nuclear Weapons

Woven into Sen. John Kerry’s confirmation hearing was a conservative yarn likely to reappear next week when Chuck Hagel faces his own hearing to take the Pentagon helm: Is the Kerry-Hagel tandem committed to maintaining America’s nuclear weapons? – The E-Ring

Cybersecurity

The Pentagon is moving toward a major expansion of its cybersecurity force to counter increasing attacks on the nation’s computer networks, as well as to expand offensive computer operations on foreign adversaries, defense officials said Sunday. – New York Times

The War

A civilian appeals court has now reversed the verdicts of the only two Guantanamo Bay prisoners convicted in trials by military tribunal, casting a shadow over proceedings set to resume this week at the U.S. base in Cuba for the men accused in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. – Associated Press

Foreign Armies East

Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, has ordered his top military and party officials to take “substantial and high-profile important state measures” to retaliate against American-led United Nations sanctions on the country, the North’s official media reported Sunday. – New York Times

Japan launched two satellites on Jan. 27 to strengthen its surveillance capabilities, including keeping a closer eye on North Korea which has vowed to stage another nuclear test. – AFP

China freaked out Monday after Japan unveiled plans to boost the number of its military personnel, as a bitter territorial dispute between the two countries drags on. – Reuters

Taiwan’s military demonstrated its preparedness for any contingencies in the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays during a two-day tri-service drill Jan. 22-23. – Defense News

Yemeni troops backed by tanks attacked an al Qaeda stronghold on Monday after talks to free three Western hostages collapsed, an official and residents said, leading to a retaliatory militant raid that killed three soldiers. – Reuters

Six batteries of Patriot anti-missile missiles (two Dutch, two German and two American) to protect Turkey from attack by Syria are set to be fully operational by early February. – Associated Press

Spy Wars

Iran has denied media reports of a major explosion at one of its most sensitive uranium enrichment sites, describing them as Western propaganda designed to influence upcoming nuclear negotiations. – Reuters

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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