Defense Brief Monday

Defense

Behind the rhetorical war over who is to blame for the sequester, Senate Democrats and Republicans are putting forward proposals that could be the foundation of a future deal to replace the automatic spending cuts likely to take effect Friday. – Roll Call

The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer has given program managers the OK to begin discussions with contractors about how billions of dollars in spending cuts could impact acquisition programs. – Defense News

Experts say that budget uncertainty combined with a refocused military strategy could further play a role in the prioritization of regional combatant commands’ (COCOMs’) operational requirements and lead to more constraints when senior military leaders make these requests, experts say. – Defense News

The U.S. Army has completed a modernization strategy based on the effects of sequestration over the next decade, a top service official said on Feb. 22. – Defense News

More than 30 former U.S. Air Force officials have joined forces to send congressional leadership a strongly worded letter asking them to spare the Defense Department from the “foolish” impacts of sequestration. – Defense News

The sequester is about to take a big bite out of the Pentagon, putting the military’s dire warnings about a “hollowed out” force to the ultimate test. – DEFCON Hill

The head of U.S. Air Force Mobility Command acknowledged that the Air Force may have to renegotiate its KC-46 contract due to sequestration, but he said the service would try desperately to avoid that move. – Defense News

The Pentagon has suspended all test flights for the entire Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet due to engine problems. – Defense News

Both sides have identified a beast they want to starve. Because of the prevailing atmosphere, we shouldn’t be surprised if and when the result is a repeat of the mid-1990s: a disinvestment in national defense that ends up costing more than it saved. – The American

So we have a yes-man/hatchet-man as the likely next secretary of defense whose job is to do his worst at the Defense Department. And the firing of a general who did what he is supposed to do: provide advice forcefully. And women in the infantry, which undermines military effectiveness but pleases the diversity crowd…The combined effect of these three events will degrade the readiness and effectiveness of the U.S. military far more than sequestration will. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Cybersecurity

The mandatory budget cuts looming over Washington threaten to forestall work on cybersecurity just as the president’s new executive order gets off the ground. – Politico

Analysis: The issue illustrates how different the worsening cyber-cold war between the world’s two largest economies is from the more familiar superpower conflicts of past decades — in some ways less dangerous, in others more complex and pernicious. – New York Times

John Stephenson and Karla Jones writes: As Congress and the administration debate cybersecurity mandates and incentives, they would do well to look to the collaborative models for cybersecurity that the states have to offer. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Nuclear Weapons

A group of 18 former military and national security officials wrote to 44 on Friday urging the administration to cancel plans for further cuts in United States nuclear warheads, warning that new arms reductions would undermine U.S. security. – Washington Free Beacon

Foreign Aid

Of 19 options for cutting government spending, only one — reducing foreign aid — was supported by more than 40 percent of Americans, according to a poll released Friday. – Politico

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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