Tuesday Defense Brief

Defense

The top U.S. military officer on Monday said he shares his predecessor’s fear that a low-level clash with Iranian vessels or aircraft could unintentionally give way to a wider armed conflict. – Global Security Newswire

United States is flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers on training missions over South Korea to highlight Washington’s commitment to defend an ally amid rising tensions with North Korea, Pentagon officials said Monday. – Associated Press

Even as the U.S. Army’s contingent in Europe continues to shrink — losing 10,000 more soldiers to reach a postwar low of 30,000 by 2015 — service leaders say they actually plan to expand the force’s mission set. – Defense News

Outgoing Senate Armed Services chief Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) broke ranks with the White House on Monday, suggesting the Pentagon should take a more aggressive role in the ongoing civil war in Syria. – DEFCON Hill

Kill this bill and it might be the last appropriations bill the Senate votes on for a very long time. That was the warning issued Monday evening by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby, R-Ala. — and it worked. – Defense News

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Monday that “risk is on the rise” in the world at the same time that the U.S. military is facing deep cutbacks. – DEFCON Hill

Lockheed Martin is replacing its top aeronautics executive, the company announced Monday, continuing the top-level turnover that has occurred under new CEO Marillyn Hewson. – Defense News

In response to the budget cuts that took effect March 1, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a re-evaluation of the underpinnings of the defense strategy that President Obama announced 14 months ago. – Associated Press

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John Campbell said Monday that senior leaders implementing federal budget cuts will remain focused on soldiers and units that are still in Afghanistan. – Associated Press

The Navy’s commitment to repairing a nuclear submarine severely damaged by an arsonist last spring is wavering under the realities of mandatory budget cuts, officials say. – Associated Press

Interview: Under the overall aegis of U.S. Central Command, a major regional reset is taking place as the U.S., having withdrawn from Iraq and in the midst of a drawdown from Afghanistan, repositions itself for a longer-running standoff across the maritime frontier with Iran and regional terrorists. – Defense News

Missile Defense

Diplomatic gabfests can’t replace serious national defense. Now, it’s time to “grow up,” as 44 intoned in his first inaugural address, and do the serious business of preparing the future defense of our country and its allies. – National Review Online

China said Monday that the United States’ decision to strengthen antimissile defenses in response to threats from North Korea risked deepening regional tensions, underscoring Beijing’s caution on further pressuring the North despite its third nuclear test. – New York Times

Taiwan is set to produce 50 medium-range missiles next year that will target military bases in southeast China, a media report said Monday. – AFP

The War

The former top lawyer at the Pentagon during 44’s first term warned on Monday that the secrecy surrounding the government’s use of “targeted killings” by drone strikes and other means is breeding mistrust, but he voiced skepticism about proposals for court review of decisions about which terrorism suspects the executive branch decides to assassinate. – NYT’s At War

A hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay prison has grown and now involves at least 21 men, a U.S. military official said Monday while denying reports trickling out from prisoners through lawyers that there is a more widespread protest and lives are in danger. – Associated Press

In essence, the means of combating terrorist threats may have changed, but the end for preserving international security remains the same. We need strategies, not just tactics — and a necessary part of that equation is creating a durable legal structure for remote-control warfare that will secure buy-in from a global audience. – International Herald Tribune

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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