Tuesday Defense Briefing

A visibly frustrated chief of staff and secretary of the US Army today warned that many key programs will have to be canceled, curtailed or delayed in upcoming years due to budget uncertainty, and units will be unready to perform operations. – Defense News

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said his greatest fear is to receive an order to deploy thousands of troops. And with good reason. The Army has only two combat-ready brigades right now, he said. Even the ones headed to Afghanistan are qualified for the trainer and adviser mission, not combat. – Defense News

Army Secretary John McHugh did not paint a rosy picture as he described the way ahead. “I wish I could promise that better days lie ahead,” he said. “Sadly, I just can’t.” – Defense News

The U.S. Army due to budget cuts is considering scaling back, delaying or even canceling major modernization programs, from the Ground Combat Vehicle to the Armed Aerial Scout helicopter to the battlefield communications network, officials said. – DOD Buzz

In the face of tightening budgets and uncertainty, the Army is committed to making sure deploying soldiers are properly trained and equipped, senior leaders said Monday. – Defense News

Saudi Arabia has purchased two Lockheed Martin KC-130J tanker aircraft, a deal worth $180 million for the company. – Defense News

The new commander of the U.S. Army Pacific said the service will continue conducting Army-Navy maritime training exercises in the Pacific theater with Navy ships and U.S. Army aviation assets. – DOD Buzz

The US Army is keeping about 3,000 of the 9,000 Navistar-made MaxxPro MRAPs it purchased between 2007 and 2011 while it divests thousands more MRAPs for which it no longer has a need. – Defense News

Over the next 18 months, the US Army, DARPA and Alcoa Defense are getting together to work on producing single-piece aluminum hulls for ground combat vehicles which, the thinking goes, would improve crew protection against buried roadside bombs. – Defense News

The Navy’s newest warships are hard to detect on radar, heavily armed with super-accurate guns and missiles … and gigantic. Six hundred feet long and displacing 15,000 tons of water, the DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class ships are designated as destroyers but are actually as big as some World War I battleships. – Foreign Policy’s Killer Apps

The littoral combat ship (LCS) Freedom suffered minor flooding Oct. 20 when about three feet of water was discovered in the bilge, the lowest part of the ship. – Defense News

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, USN writes: Unmatched capability in the undersea domain is among our most important military advantages. However, what was once an open territory is becoming the domain of choice for industry, academia and potential adversaries. To retain and exploit our superiority we must sustain our investments in emerging technology and the training that keeps our Sailors proficient. This will remain a priority of our Navy as we address our budget challenges so we can assure access and maintain freedom of the seas. – Defense One

As Congress steps back from the brink yet again and prepares to enter the next round of budget talks, policymakers should be clear-eyed that sequestration is no victory for budget hawks. Indeed, the sequester fails to address the true driver of the national debt while needlessly sacrificing America’s national security. Sequestration is bad for the economy, for the men and women of our military, and for the nation’s long-term fiscal health. – US News and World Report’s World Report

The War

Two influential human rights groups say they have freshly documented dozens of civilian deaths in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, contradicting assertions by the administration that such casualties are rare. – Washington Post

The memory of 9/11 has receded from our minds. A dangerous false moralism has risen in its place. We obsess about the NSA, but we ignore the threat of international terrorism, especially Salafi jihadism, at our peril. This is not hyperbole — just consider what happened this weekend at a café in Iraq and at a wedding in Egypt and on a road in Nigeria. If we care about protecting innocent lives, the U.S. drone program must continue. – National Review Online

Foreign Armies East

North Korea on Monday warned of “merciless firing” against the South if it goes ahead with a reported plan to develop shells to carry anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border. – AFP

Japan plans to review its self-imposed ban on weapons exports as it seeks to play a more active role in maintaining global peace, according to a draft of the country’s new security strategy, a proposal that could unnerve China and South Korea. – Reuters

The Iranian military has given the Russian army a copy of a downed U.S. drone that was captured and disassembled by Iranian authorities in 2012, Iran’s state-run media reported on Monday. – Washington Free Beacon

The head of Russia’s air force, Gen. Viktor Bondarev, met his Iranian counterparts in Tehran to discuss boosting military cooperation between the countries, local media reported Monday. – AFP

NATO said Monday it is sending advisers to Libya to help Tripoli strengthen its security set-up amid chaos two years after the killing of Moammar Gadhafi. – AFP

NATO intends to refine its ambitious plan to train a fully functional Afghan air force and focus only on the most critical military capabilities after the combat mission ends by December 2014, according to the head of the Afghan air training command for the Western alliance. – Washington Times

Senior Defense Department officials have been accelerating a dialogue with China, carried out through personal visits with Chinese counterparts to establish and strengthen military-to-military relationships. – NYT’s At War

China’s military is using covert political warfare operations to influence U.S. policies and opinions toward Beijing while working to defeat perceived enemies like the United States and Taiwan, according to a report on the sub-rosa activities. – Washington Free Beacon


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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