Tuesday Defense Brief

Defense

The U.S. military announced on Monday an anti-mine exercise in “the Middle East’s international waterways” in May with more than 20 nations participating, the latest show of global will to keep waterways open as tensions with Iran simmer. – Reuters

In a three-minute House floor speech, Speaker John A. Boehner repeatedly tried to pin the looming sequester cuts on 44 and said he is seeking to replace the cuts with “responsible reforms.” – Roll Call

The Aerospace Industries Association, which has waged a two-year campaign to fight automatic defense cuts imposed by Congress, plans to add staff to its lobbying and communications divisions and is ramping up its messaging with fewer than four weeks before the ax is set to fall. – Roll Call

A new breed of conservatives in the House cares so much about cutting spending they’re willing to extend that to the budget for bullets and bombs, too — in this case, by letting $500 billion in across-the-board automatic budget cuts over 10 years take effect, alongside a similar number for domestic agencies. – Politico

Whatever standards the military establishes for its most elite units, women will most likely meet them, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta predicts. – USA Today

Gen. Ray Odierno (USA) writes: We must be able to rapidly adjust our units and capabilities to meet the unique requirements of any situation, delivering precision results through the most capable, discriminate weapon system ever fielded — the American soldier. At the same time, we must make thoughtful and forward-looking investments in our leaders and institutions to grow the Army from the operational force of today to a force of unparalleled tactical, operational, and strategic excellence — the nation’s premier strategic force of tomorrow. – Foreign Policy

Michele Flournoy writes: Although the Senate Armed Services Committee missed an opportunity to address these critical issues during defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing last week, the choice is clear: Either the government cuts costs by fundamentally transforming how DOD does business, or the U.S. risks cutting capabilities critical to national defense and global leadership. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

The War

After examining the alternatives, it is clear that drones remain the best option available to minimize the negative effects of the conflict on civilians while continuing to disrupt the Taliban and deny it control of territory in the tribal areas. – Los Angeles Times

Admin lawyers have asserted that it would be lawful to kill a United States citizen if “an informed, high-level official” of the government decided that the target was a ranking figure in Al Qaeda who posed “an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States” and if his capture was not feasible, according to a 16-page document made public on Monday. – New York Times

Eleven senators sent a letter to 44 on Monday demanding access to secret legal memos outlining the administration’s case for the targeted killing of U.S. citizens in counterterrorism operations overseas. – Washington Post

Some 54 countries helped facilitate the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret detention, rendition and interrogation program in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a new human rights report that documents broad international involvement in the American campaign against Al Qaeda. – New York Times

Foreign Armies East

A Chinese vessel pointed a type of radar normally used to help guide missiles at a Japanese navy ship near disputed East China Sea islets, prompting the Japanese government to lodge a protest with China, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said on Tuesday. – 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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