Thursday Defense Brief

An uprising against the Taliban that began last month in this southern Afghan village has now spread through dozens of others, according to residents and Afghan and American officials, in the most significant popular turning against the Islamist insurgents in recent years. – New York Times

The White House is preparing to submit a fiscal 2014 federal budget that would partially offset across-the-board sequestration cuts by reducing the Pentagon budget by $100 billion, but not until later this decade, according to a senior defense official and budget documents. – Defense News

The U.S. Senate, following a contentious week of bickering over amendments and procedure, approved its version of a $982 billion measure that would keep the Pentagon and other federal agencies open beyond next Wednesday. – Defense News

The U.S. Air Force and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization share a similar dilemma of seeking global leadership with fewer defense dollars, according to one of the service’s top strategists. – DoD Buzz

The first-of-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1), the USS Freedom, briefly lost and then regained power March 16 while en route to its first Asian deployment to Singapore, confirms Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, the director of Navy staff and the head of the special LCS Council of service admirals. – Aviation Week

A new-generation U.S. missile-warning satellite is climbing toward a top-secret location 22,300 miles above Earth after launching aboard a powerful Atlas V rocket on Tuesday. – Florida Today

The head of Lockheed Martin’s aeronautic unit announced Monday he will retire from the company on April 5. Within his portfolio is the most expensive weapons program in the history of the U.S. military — the Joint Strike Fighter. – DoD Buzz

Missile Defense

Poland said Wednesday it would spend 33.6 billion euros ($43.3 billion) to set up its own missile shield, days after the U.S. announced it was ready to abandon the final phase of the European missile defense system. – AFP

At a time when the danger to our homeland is growing, our nation’s leaders have little to gain from mindless defense cuts and everything to lose if our missile defense systems cannot defeat emerging threats. – RealClearDefense

The War

The White House is working to shift control of the Central Intelligence Agency’s lethal drone program to the military, U.S. officials say, a move that redefines the widely contested campaign that targets suspected terrorists. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

A battle-hardened al-Qaeda veteran who fought U.S. troops in Afghanistan and planned to bomb U.S. diplomatic facilities in Nigeria has been held in secret federal custody in New York since October, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday. – Washington Post

A previously secret document found at Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan sets out a detailed al Qaeda strategy for attacking targets in Europe and the United States. – CNN

The State Department has put a multimillion-dollar bounty on the heads of two Americans who the United States claims belong to an al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, CNN has learned. – CNN’s Security Clearance

As much as $170 million is needed to improve facilities for the troops stationed at the Guantanamo Bay detention center that 44 has marked for extinction, the top U.S. commander in South and Central America said Wednesday. – Associated Press

Josh Rogin reports: Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking Republican Bob Corker (R-TN) Wednesday added his name to the growing list of senators who want to change the law to boost congressional oversight of drone strikes and targeted killings by the U.S. government. – The Cable

Matthew Waxman writes: [T]he result of shifting control to the Pentagon will likely be a more sustainable, if perhaps more restrained and formalized, long-term policy of targeted killing. – Foreign Policy


A panel of White House advisers warned 44 in a secret report that U.S. spy agencies were paying inadequate attention to China, the Middle East and other national security flash points because they had become too focused on military operations and drone strikes, U.S. officials said. – Washington Post

Nuclear Weapons/Arms Control

Getting Congress to ratify the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty is a “top priority” for 44’s second term, the administration’s top arms control negotiator said Wednesday. – The Hill’s Global Affairs

The Defense Department can save $50 billion by reducing nuclear arms spending through the coming decade even without cutting the size of the arsenal beyond levels set by a U.S.-Russian arms control treaty, according to a new expert analysis. – Global Security Newswire


The Department of Defense’s Cyber Command reportedly wants to quintuple its workforce, but its leader, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, told a House Armed Services subcommittee last week that the threat of furloughs is going to hamstring his ability to recruit people to defend U.S. computer networks. – Roll Call

Foreign Aid

The U.S. Agency for International Development managed to cut out the middle man in $745 million of its projects last year – a 50 percent increase from 2012, administrator Rajiv Shah announced Wednesday. – The Hill’s Global Affairs

Foreign Armies East

Pentagon’s F-35 warplane is giving U.S. allies in Asia a headache as they look to replace ageing jets with a cutting edge aircraft now likely to be at least seven years late in offering a strategic deterrent to China. – Reuters

Taiwan has suspended an effort to convince the U.S. government to release a squadron of F-16C/D Block 50/52 fighter jets to cover the downtime of one F-16A/B squadron undergoing lengthy upgrades. – Defense News

Japan and the United States have started talks on operational plans in the case of armed conflict over a group of East China Sea islets claimed by Tokyo and Beijing, Japanese media said on Thursday, prompting China to complain of “outside pressure”. – Reuters

North Korea on Thursday threatened to attack U.S. military bases in Japan and the Pacific island of Guam in retaliation for training missions by American B-52 bombers over the Korean Peninsula, while state radio blared air-raid warnings to the North Korean people. – New York Times

U.S. and coalition forces are focusing their efforts on provinces in eastern Afghanistan, in what will likely be the final fighting season for American troops in the over decade-long conflict. – DEFCON Hill

An uprising against the Taliban that began last month in this southern Afghan village has now spread through dozens of others, according to residents and Afghan and American officials, in the most significant popular turning against the Islamist insurgents in recent years. – New York Times

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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