Easter Defense Briefing

A group of senior Army officers in December appeared before reporters at the Pentagon to rebut charges from a congressman that the bureaucracy was sabotaging requests from war fighters for an off-the-shelf intelligence processor… This week, the complaining congressman — Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican — accused the Army brass of maintaining a bureaucratic sabotage on Palantir requests. – Washington Times

The United States and China appear locked in a cybersecurity war — of mostly words — that’s beginning to escalate. – Politico

U.S. officials are taking seriously a string of provocative threats from the North Korean government, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday, hours after the U.S. military dispatched stealth planes capable of dropping nuclear-armed missiles for a training exercise in South Korea. – Washington Post

The final sections of a U.S. Navy ship that has been stuck on a U.N. World Heritage-listed coral reef in the Philippines for more than 10 weeks are set to be removed within days, an official said Thursday. – AFP

The situation has Washington defense analysts in agreement on a couple of things: the military is in the midst of a cyclical downturn in defense spending, and the outlook for navigating it well is grim. – Aviation Week

The Pentagon wants to spend about $8.4 billion in the next fiscal year to continue developing and purchasing Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35, the fighter that is seven years behind schedule and 70 percent over initial cost estimates. – Bloomberg News

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday announced the Pentagon’s 800,000 civilian employees will be furlouged for 14 days through September. – DEFCON Hill

Pentagon officials on Thursday said they could not rule out more worker furloughs in 2014. – DEFCON Hill

Now that Congress has given the Pentagon a full-year appropriations bill for 2013, a group of House lawmakers wants assurances that the Navy won’t cancel ship maintenance for the remainder of the fiscal year. – DEFCON Hill

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has formally announced Gen. Philip Breedlove is the president’s nominee to become the next head of U.S. European Command. – Military Times

From their perspective, Africanists working in the Pentagon have always found Africa interesting. It’s the rest of the Defense Department that’s just realizing how interesting, it seems. – The E-Ring

Lt. Gen. Frederick Hodges writes: While I respect his service and perspective on today’s military strategy and issues, I was astonished and disappointed after reading retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. David Barno’s column “Military Brain Drain.” His premise was that current and former Army general officers are either dismissive or indignant at the notion that the best and brightest junior and mid-level officers are choosing to end their service. In fact, this sentiment is not at all a reflection of what I see or hear in my dealings with senior Army leaders or my peers. Furthermore, the evidence does not support his claims that the best are leaving. – Foreign Policy

The War

The U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost taxpayers between $4 trillion to $6 trillion, taking into account the medical care of wounded veterans and expensive repairs to a force depleted by more than a decade fighting, according to a new study by a Harvard researcher. – Washington Post
A U.S. Army veteran was charged with conspiracy Thursday for fighting alongside a Syrian rebel group linked to al-Qaeda. – Washington Post
Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay already on a hunger strike have found a new issue to protest: Guards aren’t giving them bottled water, but rather forcing them to drink from the tap. – Washington Times

A group of rabbis, reverends and priests has a message for 44: stop the drone war. – CNN

Missile Defense

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey said their decision to commit $1 billion for additional ballistic missile defenses in Alaska is an appropriate response to North Korea’s nuclear threats and the regime’s potential long-range missile capabilities in the future. – The E-Ring

The White House’s reversal on missile defense architecture plans reestablishes Boeing’s position as producer of interceptors for stateside defenses against potential ICBM attacks from North Korea and Iran. It also scraps hopes for what would have been the first large interceptor booster in more than a decade and opens the door to an advanced kill-vehicle capability. – Aviation Week


This month the National Security Agency (NSA) declassified 23 years’ worth of issues of “Cryptolog,” the newsletter written by and for the code-breakers, linguists, and computer scientists at the U.S. government’s most secretive intelligence organization. The issues span from 1974 to 1997. – The Daily Beast

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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