Monday Defense Briefing


The administration is putting attention-getting Pentagon projects on the chopping block in a bid to pressure Congress into making a deal that avoids $46 billion in military budget cuts March 1, analysts and congressional officials say. – Washington Times

Even without sequestration, the U.S. Army may be forced to cut its end strength further than the already planned-for 80,000 troops over the next several years, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said on Feb. 15. – Defense News

For all the budget hawks and foreign policy doves out there who think that the automatic cuts called sequestration might actually be a good way to reduce our military spending, Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno has a message: We already gave at the office. – AOL Defense

Impending defense cuts would cause the United States Air Force to furlough nearly 180,000 civilian employees across the globe, costing critical personnel nearly $8,000 each, or $1.4 billion in total, according to Air Force projections. – Washington Free Beacon

The powerful chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Friday he sees no way to avoid the across-the-board cuts of sequestration. – Defense News

The defense industry is no longer fighting to stop sequestration before March 1. Recognizing that no one in Congress expects a deal before the across-the-board cuts hit in March, industry groups are now strategizing to get them reversed as soon as possible after they take effect, keeping the damage to a minimum. – DEFCON Hill

The War

The new commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan said Sunday he would comply with an intended order by President Hamid Karzai that prohibits Afghan forces from calling in NATO airstrikes on residential areas. – Washington Post

Exactly how often the White House — and self-declared noninterventionist Chuck Hagel — will call on Rodriguez, instead of the FBI or the CIA, to stop the spread of terrorism in Africa is becoming one of the biggest questions the administration faces in the next four years. – The E-Ring

Foreign Armies East

The highest-ranking U.S. military commander in Japan expressed concern about Tokyo’s intensifying territorial dispute with China, calling it “a very bad situation,” and blamed the Chinese navy for what he termed “a provocative act that can become dangerous.” – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Two Russian nuclear-armed bombers circled the western Pacific island of Guam [last] week in the latest sign of Moscow’s growing strategic assertiveness toward the United States. – Washington Free Beacon

Now in its eighth year, Iron Fist exercise is designed to enhance the Navy and Marine Corps’ interoperability with Japan. Yet unlike years past, this iteration featured Japanese troops much more willing to publicly display some of their tactical might. – Defense News

Indian troops have shot and killed another Pakistani soldier at the de facto border between the two countries in Kashmir, adding to an unusually tense period in the disputed region. – New York Times

A top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, who was killed in Syria and buried in Iran on Friday, actually died in Israel’s attack on a Syrian military compound in late January, according to a faction of Syrian rebels. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)


Defense Secretary Leon Panetta may have one foot out the door at the Pentagon, but he’s headed to Europe next week for a NATO meeting of defense ministers. – DEFCON Hill

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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