Wednesday Defense Brief

Defense

House Republicans are beginning to discuss legislation that would prevent the Pentagon from lowering physical standards for women to ensure an ample number get accepted in the most arduous combat jobs in the infantry and special operations. – Washington Times

The U.S. Navy and Air Force of the next decade could be equipped with laser weaponry that’s small enough to outfit fighter jets, considerably bolstering U.S. defense capabilities, according to military reports from the Defense Department. – Washington Times

The potential budget hit produced by sequestration and the possibility that Congress uses another continuing resolution to fund the Pentagon for the rest of 2013 may hit the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) hard, the command’s leadership told an industry conference in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 29. – Defense News

Lawmakers have increasingly become open to the prospect that the cuts will, in fact, occur in 2013, after a two-month delay was included in the New Year’s Eve “fiscal-cliff” deal.  – DEFCON Hill

The Marine Corps is developing a new force to help combatant commanders handle a variety of crises, including reinforcement missions and humanitarian assistance, the commandant said. – Military Times

Caught between the jagged coral of an ocean reef and Filipino environmental and political concerns, the U.S. Navy says it will cut up the trapped USS Guardian and take it away piece by piece. – Defense News

In his first interview since the Pentagon opened ground combat jobs to women, the commandant of the Marine Corps said some occupations may ultimately remain closed if only a small number qualify. – USA Today

Leveraging distant fires, creating opportunities for fourth generation success in a fifth generation engagement will be central to mission success. The Air Force role in the future fight looks to be as air combat manager, recalling the mission to Fly, Fight and Win. This will be done through the fifth generation-led revolution, not by older systems such as AWACS. – AOL Defense

It is time we stopped tossing around big budget numbers like chips in a poker game or pretending that magical reforms in Pentagon operations can yield huge savings quickly and painlessly. Possible savings mean changes in American military capability and, quite possibly, changes to U.S. national security. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Missile Defense

44 has not shown the “flexibility” on missile defense issues with Russia that nearly a year ago he said would be possible were he to win re-election, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with CNN last week. – Global Security Newswire

The U.S. Army should retain management of the Patriot antimissile program and not hand it over to the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency as had been previously considered, Inside Defense reported on Monday, citing the findings of a new expert report by RAND. – Global Security Newswire

Defense secretary-designate Chuck Hagel favors amending the defeated Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) that was rejected by the Senate in 1999 as unverifiable and against United States security interests. – Washington Free Beacon

The War

Defense lawyers for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four others accused of being accomplices in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, asked a military tribunal judge in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Tuesday to let them stay in prison with their clients for 48-hour periods every six months. But military prosecutors called that request unreasonable, saying the defense should be allowed only a single two-hour visit. – New York Times

The military judge presiding over the trial of the five men accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks declined Tuesday to explain a mysterious episode in which the audio and video feeds of the proceedings were severed. – Washington Post

With prison officials already overburdened, Judge Magnus-Stinson’s ruling will likely allow Lindh and the others to continue expanding their privileges at the expense of everyone else. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Cybersecurity

Former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl has backed off his staunch objection to a presidential executive order aimed at beefing up the nation’s cyberdefenses — a prospect he only months ago asserted would be unconstitutional overreach. – Politico

Foreign Armies East

Three advanced Chinese warships left port on Wednesday for naval drills and war games in the Western Pacific, and the fleet will likely pass through disputed waters in the East and South China Sea, state media said. – Reuters

The top commander of U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan believes government security forces have improved faster than expected and will be ready to take the lead in the 11-year-old war against the Taliban when foreign combat forces take a back seat this spring, just in time for the fighting season to begin. – Associated Press

French troops took control overnight of the airport at the last major northern Mali town still in rebel hands, officials said on Wednesday, after Islamist militants abandoned two other principal settlements in the vast, desert region where residents’ relief and elation has given way to some measure of reprisal and frustration. – 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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