Thursday Defense Briefing

The Early Bird, the Defense Department’s widely read summary of daily news reports, has been suspended pending an internal review. – Military Times

The Army will have to move into an “extreme tiered readiness model” as it struggles to train and equip soldiers amid the ongoing fiscal crisis, the service’s top officer said Wednesday. – Defense News

Soldier’s training will change significantly as the Army’s focus shifts from more than a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to creating a regionally aligned force. – Defense News

Sequestration could cause the US Air Force to delay purchasing “four to five” F-35A joint strike fighters in fiscal 2014, according to top Air Force acquisition officials. – Defense News

Cuts to the defense budget under sequestration threaten to kill at least a half-dozen F-35 fighters in 2014 across the services, Pentagon officials said Wednesday. – DEFCON Hill

Now, the Army’s funding to develop and buy weapons — everything from missiles to trucks to helicopters — is under increased pressure. And as resources shrink, the Army is resetting its sights. In an interview with POLITICO, the Army’s head of acquisition, Heidi Shyu, ticked off the new priorities. – Politico

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program is just one indicator in that depressing scenario facing the Army. The service still plans to buy 49,000 of the armored tactical vehicles designed to replace the Humvee and the Marines plan to buy at least 5,500, But that commitment is under intense pressure, program officials made clear here. – Breaking Defense

Rickey Smith has a cool job: he gets to guess what the future holds and try to determine what the Army needs to meet whatever comes its way. Smith is director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, an outfit of Training and Doctrine Command that peers into a crystal ball and conceptualizes everything from the equipment on a soldiers’ back, to the formations they use in battle, to the locations of the battles to come – Defense One

US Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed Oct. 15 that it had successfully tested the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) earlier this year on fixed-wing aircraft and that it had wrapped up the Joint Capability Technology Demonstration on the system. – Defense News

To keep pace with rapid changes in the cyber domain, the Army should re-evaluate the size of its cyber force at least every two years and adopt more agile processes for hiring and procuring security capabilities, the head of U.S. Army Cyber Command said Wednesday. – Defense News

The Pentagon has no plans to scrap the US military’s Africa Command despite growing pressures on the defense budget, the general who leads the headquarters said Wednesday. – AFP

The War

At least two of the key suspects in the Benghazi terror attack were at one point working with Al Qaeda senior leadership, sources familiar with the investigation tell Fox News. – FoxNews.com

Former defense secretary Robert M. Gates warned Wednesday that the seductive power and precision of armed drones had led many in the White House and Congress to view war as a “bloodless, painless and odorless” affair. – Washington Post

Attorneys for the accused 9/11 co-conspirators are telling lawmakers they may demand access to classified information on the CIA’s “black sites.” – DEFCON Hill

The top Marine Corps general said Wednesday that the deadly Beirut barracks bombing 30 years ago helped define the start of America’s war against terrorists. – Associated Press

Missile Defense

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday sought to soothe Moscow’s concerns over a new European missile defense shield, days before U.S. officials break ground on the first shield site in Poland. – DEFCON Hill

The Jericho, Vt., facility, known as the Ethan Allen Firing Range, is one of five sites being considered as part of a congressional mandate, although agency officials say they don’t need an additional site. The agency will select at least three sites by the end of this year for a formal environmental impact study that will take up to two years to complete. – Gannett Washington Bureau

It should not take an actual attack by missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction before our leaders in the White House and on Capitol Hill decide to provide Americans with the protection they deserve. – Roll Call

Foreign Armies East

The Israeli air force in recent days might have carried out another strike on a convoy of Syrian missiles purportedly intended for Hezbollah, the Times of Israel reported on Wednesday, citing a report by a Kuwaiti newspaper. – Global Security Newswire

China is preparing its military to conduct warfare with offensive and defensive spying and attack drones, according to a Chinese colonel. – Washington Times’ Inside the Ring

South Korea is nearing a decision to buy some Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, but may keep its options open for a limited purchase of Boeing Co’s F-15, sources familiar with the country’s fighter competition said on Wednesday. – Reuters

The United States has reportedly cancelled the delivery of 10 unmanned Predator drones to Turkey following Ankara’s disclosure of several Israeli intelligence officials operating in Iran, according to Turkish press reports. – Washington Free Beacon

Russia’s latest flight of a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile this month appears to be another circumvention of a 1987 nuclear missile accord, U.S. officials and private arms specialists said. – Washington Free Beacon

NATO

North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense ministers meeting in Brussels received optimistic assessments that agreements with Afghanistan would be in place in time for the U.S. and other foreign forces to maintain their presence in the country after 2014. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

NATO has agreed the outline of a military force it intends to keep in Afghanistan after its combat mission there ends next year, but troop numbers remain uncertain due to ongoing talks between Washington and Kabul. – Reuters

NATO and Russia said Wednesday they had made no progress in settling sharp differences over a planned missile defense system for Europe but pledged to continue efforts to resolve the row. – AFP

NATO defense ministers meeting here Oct. 21-22 agreed to hold regular major training exercises with a broader scope under what it calls its “connected forces initiative” beginning in 2016; announced progress with plans for its post-2014 support mission in Afghanistan; and discussed cyberdefense and missile defense. – 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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