Friday Defense Briefing

Go ahead and cut our budget across the board if you really have to. But please, then give us authority to move money around to save our top priorities — and give it to us soon. That’s the message, in a nutshell, from the Navy’s top officer. – Breaking Defense

The Senate Armed Services Committee cleared nearly 400 Pentagon nominations on Thursday, including Michael Lumpkin as assistant secretary for special operations and Jo Ann Rooney as undersecretary of the Navy. – DEFCON Hill

The Army is refining a deliberate strategy of incremental development to address the uncertain fiscal environment of budget cutbacks, sequestration and the possibility of more continuing resolutions, service leaders said. – DOD Buzz

Sometime in the next few months, the Defense Department is expected to decide whether the nation needs a new nuclear-armed cruise missile. This decision is worth about $30 billion, and is a key test of whether U.S. military planners have finally moved beyond Cold War thinking. – Defense One

For 14 years, the military has struggled for an answer to a seemingly simple question: Develop a jeep-like vehicle that will fit onboard the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey and then drive off the plane and into battle. – USA Today

When Marines landed an MV-22B Osprey in an open field at the Dare County Bombing Range in North Carolina in June, it looked like a routine mission. But a gaffe was made: The Osprey sparked a grassfire and was left parked on it. Initially, Marine Corps officials said the damage was minor. Not quite: the fire burnt the fuselage, leaving it a $79.3 million total loss, according to data released by the Naval Safety Center. – Foreign Policy’s Killer Apps

BAE Systems got some good news on Oct. 21 when the US Army announced it was awarding a low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract for upgrades to the Paladin PIM self-propelled howitzer program, which service leadership has praised for actually staying on budget and on schedule. – Defense News

Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C extended-endurance Fire Scout unmanned aircraft, based on the Bell 407 light commercial helicopter, made its first flights Oct. 31 at NAS Point Mugu, Calif. The aircraft flew twice to validate the autonomous control systems. – Aviation Week

[T]he Navy’s newest, stealthy, most radical ship, the USS Zumwalt, will be commanded by the fabulously named Capt. James A. Kirk. The Navy couldn’t make something like this up, could they? – Breaking Defense

Interview: The Army is headed from a force of 570,000 soldiers, just a few years ago, down to 490,000…Odierno spoke at length about the budget situation in an interview with Defense News – Defense News

Missile Defense

Russian President Vladimir Putin has nullified a 2011 order that created an interagency working group inside the Kremlin that focused on fostering missile defense collaboration with NATO, the Voice of Russia reported on Thursday. – Global Security Newswire

Intelligence

American spy agencies were awarded $52.7 billion by the federal government in fiscal year 2013, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). – Washington Free Beacon

Foreign Armies East

Moscow’s deliveries of advanced weaponry to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime continue unabated, adding fuel to the violent civil war that has engulfed the country for the past three years. – DEFCON Hill

Israeli warplanes attacked a shipment of Russian missiles inside a Syrian government stronghold, officials said Thursday, a development that threatened to add another volatile layer to regional tensions from the Syrian civil war. – Associated Press

Russia’s military intelligence chief reportedly arrived in Cairo earlier this week for high level talks with Egyptian officials, prompting some observers to warn that Moscow is seeking to replace the United States as Egypt’s top regional ally. – Washington Free Beacon

When Mr. Maliki meets with 44 on Friday he will be appealing for military aid — Apache helicopter gunships, more American intelligence and other forms of counterterrorism support. And to win over a Congress and American public reluctant to revisit the past in Iraq, he will be helped by a prominent Washington lobbying firm: the Podesta Group, which the Iraqi government is paying $960,000 a year – New York Times

A gunfight and an Israeli airstrike left four Palestinian militants dead on the Gaza Strip early Friday, according to Palestinian reports. – LA Times’ World Now

The Pentagon plans to fast track the sale of six Bell-Boeing V-22 Ospreys to Israel, allowing the nation to begin receiving tilt-rotor aircraft in two years, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. – Defense News

Japan on Friday denied interfering with Chinese military exercises in the western Pacific after Beijing lodged a formal diplomatic protest, saying China’s objections were unacceptable and it had acted in line with international law. – Reuters

Taiwan Thursday displayed its first long-range submarine-hunting aircraft, days after Beijing showed off its nuclear-powered submarine fleet in yet another sign of China’s fast expanding military might. – AFP

Australia’s F-35A program is on track despite recent delays to flight tests caused by budget sequestration in the United States, according to the country’s head of New Air Combat Capability (NACC). – Defense News

France said Thursday it was closing down a 1,000-strong infantry regiment based in Germany that is part of a highly symbolic Franco-German brigade, a move Berlin reacted to with “regret.” – AFP

The United States has been throwing money thoughtlessly at security for far too long. But NATO has also been pretending for far too long that “security” means tank warfare. We failed to update our alliance when the Cold War ended, and we failed again after 9/11. This scandal, the worst crisis in German-American relations in decades, is one of the results. – Washington Post

When NATO forces start a major exercise in Latvia and Poland this weekend, they will be rehearsing how to oust an anonymous invading enemy from a fictional region. For some, however, exercise “Steadfast Jazz” will test how the Western alliance could deploy rapid reaction forces to its eastern flank – which borders Russia. – Reuters

It would be a “big mistake” for Colombia to reduce troop numbers or cut its security budget if a peace agreement is signed with Marxist FARC rebels to end a half century of war, the defense minister said on Thursday. – Reuters

The Kenyan military said its warplanes bombed targets held by al Qaeda-linked Islamists in Somalia on Thursday, in retaliation for an attack on a Nairobi mall that killed at least 67 people. – Reuters

Recent military advances by U.N.-backed Congolese troops in crushing a 20-month rebellion in the east are a major step, but it is too soon to say if the M23 rebels are on the brink of defeat, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday. – Reuters

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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