Weekend Defense Briefing

Defense

U.S. defense officials and their allies in Congress did their best on Wednesday to create a sense of crisis about steep impending budget cuts, but their warnings failed to produce any visible result. – Aviation Week

Today is the deadline for the services to submit their sequestration and continuing resolution (CR) implementation plans to the secretary of Defense, and according to an internal Army document obtained by Defense News, the service has identified more potential operational impacts if Congress and the White House don’t get the nation’s fiscal house in order by March 1 (sequestration deadline) and March 27 (the end of the current CR) – Defense News

“It is utterly unconscionable — utterly unconscionable — that Congress will allow sequestration to go on.” Those are the words of Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s head of acquisition, speaking to an audience of several hundred New York financial types. – AOL Defense

The military’s top officer said canceling a naval carrier strike group’s deployment to the Middle East will limit U.S. capability to some degree, but mounting pressures on the Pentagon’s budget are making it necessary. – Military Times

The War

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shifted uncomfortably in his Senate Armed Services Committee witness chair alongside Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as Republicans one after another challenged them over the Pentagon’s assertion that it was unable to scramble troops or aircraft to Benghazi, Libya, in time to save American lives before the September 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. compound there had ended. – The E-Ring

In a tumultuous start to the confirmation hearing for John O. Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency on Thursday, protesters briefly disrupted his testimony and Mr. Brennan came under unexpectedly intense questioning from both Democrats and Republicans about drone strikes, leaks of classified information and his knowledge of the agency’s former interrogation program. – New York Times

Rather than capture terrorists—which produces the most valuable intelligence on al Qaeda—44 has relied almost exclusively on drone attacks, and he has thereby been able to dodge difficult questions over detention. But those deaths from the sky violate personal liberty far more than the waterboarding of three al Qaeda leaders ever did. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Cybersecurity

There has been an enormous rush in the United States and abroad to create an army of cyberwarriors. Nations would be wise to consider a new cadre of cyber-diplomats, too. – Washington Post

Foreign Armies East

Scores of Turkish air force officers have quit since the start of the year, according to opposition lawmakers and media reports, a further sign of weak morale after a top naval commander quit over the jailing of hundreds of his colleagues. – Reuters

India expects to sign a fighter-jet deal with Dassault Aviation SA by the middle of the fiscal year starting April 1, the chief of the Indian Air Force said. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Japan said Russian fighter jets intruded on its airspace for the first time in five years, raising tensions between the two countries at the same time that Tokyo is engaged in a similar high-stakes tangle with China. – Wall Street Journal

Fighter jets from the U.S. and two key allies roared into western Pacific skies Thursday in the combat phase of annual exercises that have gained importance as the region responds to the rise of China and other potential threats. – Associated Press
The German government wants to extend its support for international and French operations in West African Mali, possibly including A310 MRTT-type tanker aircraft, military trainers and medical personnel. – Defense News

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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