Friday Defense Brief

Moving at rocket speed after the U.S. Senate on Wednesday afternoon sent over a $982 billion continuing spending resolution with a full-year Pentagon spending bill, the House passed it Thursday morning. – Defense News

The Pentagon is delaying furlough notices to nearly 800,000 employees for two weeks while it considers how the newly passed continuing resolution will affect its planned sequester budget cuts. – Defense News

The U.S. military will have more money for training flights and field exercises under a stop-gap funding measure that does little to address the bigger challenge of automatic spending cuts, analysts said. – DoD Buzz

Pentagon officials must acknowledge the reality of sequestration and take advantage of the drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan to tackle long-term spending problems, a group of defense experts said Thursday. – Medill News Service

The U.S. Air Force has reduced its fuel consumption by 12 percent since 2006, three years ahead of schedule, the service announced Thursday. – Defense News

The head of U.S. Southern Command on Wednesday said Iran is opening new diplomatic outposts in Latin American countries with the possible intent of forging partnerships to deter further U.N. economic penalties. – Global Security Newswire

The War

The harsh terrain of North and West Africa is rapidly emerging as yet another front in the United States’ long-running war against terrorist networks, a conflict that has fueled a revolution in drone warfare. – Washington Post

Under growing pressure to bring greater transparency and accountability to its use of targeted killing, the administration is struggling to transform a program that was conceived under pressure, has operated in a secretive and often haphazard manner and has left the United States increasingly isolated even from its allies. – New York Times

The U.S. Navy has ordered commercial flights to the military base at Guantanamo, Cuba canceled because of a regulation that had been overlooked for years, outraging lawyers who use the flights to visit their clients at the detention facility. – CNN’s Security Clearance

No Americans are currently marked for death on the U.S. government’s terrorist strike list, according to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. – National Journal

Nuclear Weapons/Missile Defense

Days before North Korea’s latest missile threat that specifically mentioned Andersen Air Force Base as a target, Pentagon officials assured that Guam and other areas outside the U.S. mainland are covered by a national missile defense system. – Pacific Daily News

Russian and American officials on Thursday reported progress in discussions about nuclear weapons reductions, in a sign that renewed cooperation may be under way just days after the United States canceled part of a Europe-based missile defense program that had infuriated the Kremlin. – New York Times

Missile defense advocates are trying to build momentum for a new missile site inside the United States, a goal tied up as much with the conservative mantle of 40 as it is with national security or the influence of the defense industry. – Politico

Russia signaled on Thursday that a change in U.S. plans for a European anti-missile shield could help the two sides make progress towards resolving a dispute that has frayed their relations. – Reuters

Former Sen. Jon Kyl writes: Thirty years ago, we had a very robust nuclear deterrent to make up for the lack of missile defense. 44’s antipathy to both missile defense and our nuclear deterrent risks leaving the U.S. and its allies vulnerable not just to attack, but also to nuclear blackmail and proliferation. How much will it cost in the future to make up for the folly of today? – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Cybersecurty

Hackers who carry out cyberattacks as part of a coordinated military campaign can be targeted as legitimate combatants, even if those individuals are civilian, according to a new NATO cyber warfare handbook. – DEFCON Hill

Foreign Armies East

Chad warned France and its African allies on Thursday against crying victory too soon in the fight against Islamist rebels in northern Mali, saying only 70 percent of the battle was won in the country’s desolate far north. – Reuters

South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s nominee for defense chief withdrew his candidacy on Friday, the latest humiliation for her month-old administration as the country faces daily threats of nuclear annihilation from the North. – Reuters

Initial U.S. intelligence suggests Syria did not use chemical weapons in a strike earlier this week, CNN has been told by U.S. officials. – CNN’s Security Clearance

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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