Monday Defense Briefing

The U.S. Navy is being rocked by a bribery scandal that federal investigators say has reached high into the officer corps and exposed a massive overbilling scheme run by an Asian defense contractor that provided prostitutes and other kickbacks. – Washington Post

A stop-gap budget deal reached by Congress to reopen the government this week ends one problem, but puts the Pentagon back in the same difficult position it was about a year ago — operating at last year’s funding levels and juggling at least three potential futures. – Aviation Week

With a US debt default averted and a government shutdown ended on Oct. 16, focus on Capitol Hill quickly shifted to a high-level panel charged with crafting a budget plan within two months. – Defense News

Now that a bipartisan deal has ended the government shutdown, the resulting budget conference committee is the new best hope for turning off the cuts that have hit the Pentagon and defense industry hard and threaten to get even worse. – Politico

The Pentagon and defense industry are unconvinced the shutdown fight gives them any more leverage to get rid of the sequester, which is set to take a $20 billion hit to the Pentagon’s budget in January. – DEFCON Hill

Long expressing optimism about the prospects that the sequester would be replaced, defense executives seem to be coming to terms with the permanence of the cuts, and shaping their business models around them. – Defense News

Within US Army leadership, there are more questions than answers. The service seeks to project an image of itself as having learned the right lessons from the past decade, while remaining agile enough to meet whatever threats lurk in the future. – Defense News

The entire Defense Department faces a post-shutdown era of “uncertainty” on budgets, pay, force size, and modernization, but the coming changes are expected to hit hardest on the Army, defense officials said. – DOD Buzz

The Army remains committed to Europe even as the service cuts about 10,000 soldiers stationed there, the commanding general of U.S. Army Europe said. – Defense News

The Army Reserve is rethinking the way it plans, prepares and trains its soldiers in an era of shrinking budgets and transition after 12 years of war. – Defense News

BAE Systems’ decision to shutter its Sealy, Texas, production facility and lay off 325 workers surprised industry officials, but BAE said dwindling Army vehicle orders and the end of some wartime-related work forced its hand. – Defense News

Boeing’s decision to shut down C-17 production is, in part, a tangible example of the effect that pressures from sequestration and an uncertain budget future are having on the U.S. aerospace industry. – Aviation Week

The US Defense Department is fast-tracking deployment of an Israeli-designed, stair-climbing micro robot to support special operations and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) forces. – Defense News

After embarrassing troubles with its latest class of surface warships, the Navy is hoping for a winner from a new destroyer that’s ready to go into the water. – Associated Press

Interview: Every four years, the Pentagon conducts the congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), a large-scale look at strategic military objectives. Maj. Gen. Steven Kwast took over the Air Force’s portion of the QDR in January. Defense News sat down with Kwast Oct. 16 to talk about the review and the future of the service. – Defense News

The War

The approaching end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan could help President Obama move toward what he has said he wanted to do since his first day in office: close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. – Washington Post

A Long Island man who the authorities say tried to fly to Yemen to join a branch of Al Qaeda was charged on Friday with conspiring to commit murder overseas and other terrorism counts. – New York Times

Al Qaeda-aligned militants operating in Syria could already have access to “biological pathogens or weaponized agents,” according to terrorism and biological warfare experts studying the region. – Washington Free Beacon

A U.N. expert on Friday called on the United States to reveal the number of civilians it believes have been killed by American drone strikes targeting Islamic militants. – Associated Press

Now that Justice is fixing its disclosure rules, though, at least one open case is likely to result in an actionable constitutional claim against the government’s warrantless wiretapping authority. Even if you favored the warrantless wiretapping law in 2008, as we did, that’s a good thing. – Washington Post

The partnering approach may not be easy, and it does take years to produce results, but it is the most sustainable security solution around. The United States still needs to develop credible means of measuring the effectiveness of this approach, but don’t be surprised if it becomes the future of America’s fight against terrorism. – Washington Post

Nuclear Weapons

Well, it turns out the [ICBM] doors were sticking. The good news is that would not have affected our ability to launch. The bad news is that they are an important part of the system that protects the ICBM crews from the heat and force of a missile launch and thus are an important part of our nuclear response. – Breaking Defense

A new U.S.-Russian deal made public on Thursday paves the way for the former Cold War rivals to bring their nuclear-arms communications into the digital age. – Global Security Newswire

The central role of our nuclear deterrent triad is to keep any crisis from escalating to a nuclear conflict. That requires a credible, stable and effective deterrent triad. Each successive administration from Eisenhower to the present, through 70 years of nuclear history, has so concluded. – Defense One

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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