Thursday Defense Briefing

U.S. Navy seemed headed for the best of times before it hit the budget and sequestration squalls signaling the worst of times, or at least the most challenging of them. – Aviation Week

Al Qaeda’s dangerous Western African cell is looking to gain a foothold in the Northern African country of Tunisia, in an attempt to expand on gains made by the terror cell in Mali and elsewhere on the continent, a top U.S. general said Tuesday. – DEFCON Hill

The Navy is moving ahead with its effort to field a stealthy, carrier-based attack drone. [Tuesday], the sea service announced that it plans to give Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Atomics contracts to flesh out their competing designs for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program. – Foreign Policy’s Killer Apps

Senior Air Force leaders are likely to test a new decision model proposed in a very interesting paper co-authored by an Air Force major general and a lieutenant colonel. The real power of the paper lies in the technical model it presents to help the Air Force (and presumably other services) better balance risk, capabilities, cost, and schedule across the service so senior leaders can make better decisions. – AOL Defense

The Pentagon could save considerable money over time by reducing military pay raises, but the downside is that enlisting and staying in the service could become a lot less attractive, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. – Military Times

The Pentagon will sharply cut the number of unpaid furlough days civilians will be forced to take over the next several months from 22 to 14, defense officials said Wednesday, reducing the impact of automatic budget cuts on as many as 700,000 workers. – Associated Press

The retiring chief of the trouble-plagued F-35 Joint Strike Fighter says he remains bullish about the hi-tech war plane, with costs soon to be further reduced as production takes off, and believes the program will transform the aerospace industry. – Reuters

The War

The narrative heard in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday was an increasingly common one: a defendant from a faraway land claimed he was not an anti-American terrorist but rather someone who had become involved in his own country’s wars. – New York Times

Prisoners taking part in expanding hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay leveled new complaints about their military jailers Wednesday as a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross made a fact-finding trip to the U.S. base in Cuba. – Associated Press

Arms Control/Missile Defense

The administration in its second term aims to see both U.S. ratification of a treaty to end atomic testing and new nuclear-weapon reductions with Russia, a senior State Department official said on Wednesday. – Global Security Newswire

If 44 borrows a page from 40’s playbook, Republicans in Washington who claim the 40th president’s mantle would be shocked. But the burden would be theirs to explain why deploying missile defenses that would make the U.S. and our allies safer from attacks by Iran and North Korea is not in America’s interest – Los Angeles Times

Intelligence

A C.I.A. officer directly involved in the 2005 decision to destroy interrogation videotapes and who once ran one of the agency’s secret prisons has ascended to the top position within the C.I.A.’s clandestine service, according to current and former intelligence officials. – New York Times

Following the arrest of a decorated retired U.S. Army officer on allegations of passing information to China, friends of the suspect are questioning whether the U.S. Justice Department is going after the wrong man. – Defense News

Cybersecurity

A cyberattack against an anti-spam email organization might be the most massive in the history of the Internet and has slowed Web traffic across the globe, technical specialists said Wednesday. – Washington Times

What is becoming clear is that the attack is an outgrowth of a little-known, but highly explosive war between two factions: on one side are the Internet service providers (ISPs) and Web hosts that don’t ask their clients too many questions about whether they are hosting spam and other kinds of malicious code; on the other are groups that try to name and shame the spammers, and stop them from infiltrating your inbox—or worse, your bank’s servers. – The Daily Beast

Cyberwarfare is the hot topic in military and intelligence circles at the Pentagon amid unrelenting cyberattacks from China, Russia, Iran and elsewhere. But for the super-secret National Security Agency, cyberwarfare is nothing new. – Washington Times’ Inside the Ring

Foreign Armies East

After a week of acrimonious accusations between China and Vietnam, the Chinese military has admitted that one of its ships fired at a Vietnamese fishing boat, although it insisted that only flares were shot and that Vietnam’s claims of fire damage to the fishing boat were a “sheer fabrication.” – Washington Post

China took navy exercises to the farthest reaches of its claims in disputed waters, with four heavily armed ships coming within 50 miles of the coast of Malaysia, a country that has made relatively little noise about Beijing’s recent assertiveness in the South China Sea. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Myanmar’s military asserted its role in the country’s politics at a ceremony on Wednesday that featured a prominent guest, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate, whose presence among the generals would have been unthinkable a few years ago. – New York Times

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighters are the best choice for Japan’s future operational needs, the nation’s highest-ranking uniformed officer said on Wednesday, in a vote of confidence for the state-of-the-art U.S. warplane. – Reuters

Taiwan is on track to take delivery of 12 anti-submarine aircraft from the United States by mid-2015 as it seeks to beef up its naval defenses against China, a report said Wednesday. – AFP

The U.S. military made a rare announcement that two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers ran a practice bombing sortie over South Korea on Thursday, underscoring Washington’s commitment to defend its ally amid rising tensions with North Korea – New York Times

Pakistan continues to transform its military into a network-enabled force but will remain reliant on China to provide the bandwidth. – Defense News

The refusal of international powers to provide Patriot missile support for rebel-held areas of northern Syria sends a message to President Bashar al-Assad to “do what you want”, Syrian opposition leader Moaz Alkhatib said on Wednesday – Reuters

 
 

 

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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