Midweek Defense Briefing

Defense

On Tuesday 44 called on lawmakers to quickly pass a new package of limited spending cuts and tax changes that can head off the automatic, across-the-board reductions set to begin March 1. – New York Times

Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, said he would like to see Marines training in Vietnam. His remarks came while speaking to local reporters at a conference in San Diego last week. – The E-Ring

The Pentagon’s lifting its ban on women in combat does not necessarily mean that female troops will ever fill the front-line roles held by men, according to analysts, advocates and veterans. – Washington Times

Two new female Marine Corps officers have signed up to try their luck at the fabled infantry officer school (IOC) this March, just weeks after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the military to open combat positions to women. – The E-Ring

44’s proposal to delay sequestration appeared dead on arrival in the House — even before he announced it. – Politico

House Republicans have no plans to vote again this month on their bill to replace automatic spending cuts scheduled to be implemented in just over three weeks. – DEFCON Hill

Documents released by the U.S. Army this week begin to spell out, in often gruesome detail, the $18 billion in fiscal year 2013 cuts that the service would have to endure if sequestration hits on March 1, and Congress funds the Pentagon with a continuing resolution (CR) for the remainder of 2013. – Defense News

The Navy’s recruitment slogan may not be sitting well with its target audience — the American public. Only 20 percent of Americans support the Navy’s message of, “America’s Navy: A Global Force for Good,” a new national poll reports. – Military Times

Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, has finalized a contract with the Pentagon for 32 engines to power a fifth batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. – Reuters

Rather than decrying Congress as irresponsible, Panetta should produce a budget consistent with sequestration’s $489 billion topline cut and ask Congress for authorization and appropriation to set priorities that will dampen the effect of cuts. Congress should agree, since such legislation will also pin responsibility for whether cuts are a disaster where it properly belongs — with the President and his defense leadership. – Shadow Government

The War

Individual strikes by the Predator and Reaper drones are almost never discussed publicly by Obama administration officials. But the clandestine war will receive a rare moment of public scrutiny on Thursday, when its chief architect, John O. Brennan, the White House counterterrorism adviser, faces a Senate confirmation hearing as 44’s nominee for C.I.A. director. – New York Times

CIA drone strikes in Pakistan are “a clear violation of our sovereignty and a violation of international law” that threaten stable relations between the two governments, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States said Tuesday. – Washington Post

Uncomfortable with the Admin’s use of deadly drones, a growing number in Congress is looking to limit America’s authority to kill suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens. – Associated Press

The memo reveals 44 wrestling with these problems and coming to conclusions strikingly similar to those of the Bush Administration. Will Team 44 will be more successful than the Bush Administration was in arguing the merits and logic of the preemption doctrine? – Shadow Government

A new legal and political foundation for stealth warfare cannot succeed without the initiative and support of the president. The chances of such support, however, are dim. The  administration prefers to act based on old authorities and not to engage Congress in establishing new authorities for new wartime challenges. This is unfortunate for U.S. constitutional traditions and for the stability of our long-term counterterrorism strategy. – Washington Post

Goldsmith and Jeffrey Rosen also debate the President’s policy at The New Republic.

The region under the purview of Centcom has always been riddled with political violence that has posed formidable challenges to military operations. But in plotting a course over the horizon, the political and military obstacles for American military surges into the region are poised to grow even larger. As a result, theater contingency planners will have fewer good options for projecting American military power into the region — and they’ll have to do more with the bad and the ugly. – Foreign Policy

Missile Defense

After two years on the ground for technical problems, an upgraded version of the system designed to protect the U.S. from ballistic missile attack is finally flying again. But the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has significant challenges not only to employing the modernized Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system but also incrementally improving other systems that protect areas abroad. – Aviation Week

Arms Control/Nonproliferation

Senior  administration officials in the last week have launched a series of trips to foreign capitals in what experts described as a push to reinvigorate 44′s nuclear arms control agenda as he begins his second term in office. – Global Security Newswire

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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