Defense Briefing Friday

U.S. military leaders have extended the deployments of two American warships in the coastal waters near Syria, as the Pentagon awaits word from the White House to begin military strikes in the country. – DEFCON Hill

China, Russia, and Iran pose regional and strategic submarine threats and are building up undersea warfare capabilities as the Navy is cutting its submarine force by 30 percent, the admiral in charge of Pentagon submarine programs told Congress on Thursday. – Washington Free Beacon

The United States Navy is negotiating to buy 10 nuclear submarines that it probably can’t pay for. But the service is going ahead regardless, counting on the Pentagon and Congress to make up the money as long as the budget cuts known as sequestration continue. – Breaking Defense

The idea of a supplemental was frequently raised in recent years, but died off in mid-2012 as the Pentagon instructed the service to incorporate the program into its 30-year shipbuilding plan. But the staggering cost of the ORP would, the Navy says, mean eliminating 32 other ships. A Navy flag officer now has renewed the call for a supplemental funding stream. –  Defense News

The Pentagon is stepping up efforts to sustain and preserve the health of the U.S. industrial base in the event  sequestration continues into 2014 by assessing vendor capabilities, watching for mergers and acquisitions, and analyzing the supply chain as it relates to producing critical capabilities. – DOD Buzz

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford (USMC) writes: The cost of continued engagement in Afghanistan will not be small and must be balanced with our many other commitments. As we found out on 9/11, however, the cost of neglect can be far larger. – USA Today

The Pentagon’s top officer overseeing the F-35 program put Lockheed Martin, the lead contractor, on notice last year with some unexpected straight talk about his views of the program saying the relationship between Lockheed and the Pentagon’s Joint Program Office is the “worst I’ve ever seen.” – DOD Buzz

44 wants to consider sweeping changes to the military’s retirement and compensation system, but he also said that all current troops should be grandfathered under the current retirement plan if they choose. – Military Times

Budget cuts are taking a toll on deployed forces, with both service members and civilians “very worried about what’s going on in Washington,” says a senior member of Veterans of Foreign Wars. – Military Times

Foreign Armies East

A secretive Syrian military unit at the center of the Assad regime’s chemical weapons program has been moving stocks of poison gases and munitions to as many as 50 sites to make them harder for the U.S. to track, according to American and Middle Eastern officials. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

China’s military told the United States this week not to support Japan, nor let it do as it pleased, over a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea, the Chinese Defense Ministry said on Friday. – Reuters

The Chinese navy is using its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, for training and testing and will decide on an operational carrier for the fleet after a few years of evaluation, Admiral Wu Shengli said on Thursday. – Reuters

Despite the ongoing development of a $2 billion Indo-Israeli Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) project, the Indian Air Force is looking to domestic firms to buy an additional unspecific number of MRSAM systems as it looks to replace its aging Russian-made Pechora surface-to-air missiles. – Defense News

An arms race in South Asia and Pakistan’s development of tactical “battlefield” nuclear weapons are increasing the risk of any conflict there becoming a nuclear war, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said on Thursday. – Reuters

Up to 8,000 Libyan soldiers are expected to train at two joint US-Bulgarian military bases in Bulgaria as part of post-war efforts to rebuild Libya, Defence Minister Angel Naydenov said Thursday. – AFP

Yemen’s president has ordered the reinstatement of hundreds of senior army and intelligence officers sacked after a 1994 civil war, to hasten reconciliation talks aimed at ending years of political turmoil in the U.S.-allied country. – Reuters

After a decade of relative quiet, Indian and Pakistani troops are shelling each other with vigor again along their disputed border, raising tension between the nuclear-armed nations and forcing hundreds of villagers to flee. – Washington Post

The War

In an audio speech a day after the 12th anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda, called on Muslims to launch a “a few disparate attacks” on American soil and to “bleed America economically,” according to a translation on the American SITE monitoring service on Friday. – New York Times

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has described the army-installed government’s crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a “brutal crime” and urged Egyptians to resist what he called a campaign against Islam in their country. – Reuters

An insurgent attack on the United States Consulate in the western city of Herat on Friday morning killed at least two security guards and wounded six others, the latest sign of instability in a city often viewed as one of the safest in the country. – New York Times

The failure to identify the true scope of the al Qaeda network is threatening America’s interests abroad and at home, according to a report released Tuesday that concludes the United States cannot win a war against an enemy it doesn’t understand. – Washington Free

Missile Defense

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is looking at five potential locations to house a controversial third domestic ground-based interceptor (GBI) site, which would guard the continental United States against ballistic missile attack. – Defense News

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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