Monday Defense Briefing

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) is rejecting personnel-reform plans proposed by the Pentagon, which already has directed expected savings to other things. And that means lawmakers could end up raiding procurement accounts to keep military personnel programs whole, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. – Defense News

Thousands of Philippine and U.S. soldiers began annual war games on Monday, the first under a new security pact with the United States, focusing on maritime security in the face of China’s growing naval presence in the disputed South China Sea. – Reuters

The Navy and Raytheon are looking at starting planned Tomahawk missile re-certification and modernization efforts at least one year ahead of the 2019 planned time frame in order to improve missile modernization and mitigate industrial base impacts from a production pause. – DOD Buzz

One look at the massive steel columns anchoring the CH-53K to the ground here at Sikorsky’s development test center makes clear the sheer power of this heavy-lift helicopter, which has more than three times the lifting capability of the aircraft it will replace. – Aviation Week

Navy officials told reporters Thursday the third Littoral Combat Ship recently completed a successful operational evaluation of its surface warfare technologies days after Congress slowed down the production rate for the vessel. – Defense Tech

Foreign Armies East

Within sight of one of the crowning engineering achievements of Queen Victoria’s reign, Britain’s naval shipbuilding industry is counting down to the launch of a new aircraft carrier for the Royal Navy named after the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth. – Defense News

North Korea has developed nuclear weapons capable of being launched on its ballistic missile forces, according to a new report by a defense analyst. – Washington Free Beacon

Saudi Arabia’s military for the first time displayed Chinese made intermediate-range missiles during a recent military parade in the kingdom. – Washington Free Beacon

The War

Fighting and airstrikes in an al-Qaida stronghold in southern Yemen killed six suspected militants and four soldiers Sunday, the military said, part of an ongoing military campaign that killed another 37 fighters overnight. – Associated Press

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has denied a claim by Yemen’s president that 70 percent of its fighters in Yemen are foreigners, according to SITE Intelligence Group which monitors radical websites. – Reuters

Transfers from the Guantanamo prison compound — sharply restricted since 2011 by lawmakers worried about detainees returning to the battlefield — have picked up again in recent years as Congress relaxed some mandates and 44 found ways to send some inmates home. But with another defense policy bill and November elections looming, there is little prospect of any more loosening of controls this year, analysts say. – Washington Times

The CIA is dismantling its frontline Afghan counterterrorist forces in south and east Afghanistan leaving a security vacuum that U.S. commanders fear the Taliban and al-Qaeda will fill—and leaving the Pakistan border open to a possible deluge of fighters and weapons. – The Daily Beast

Iraqi al Qaeda’s entry into Syria’s civil war caused “a political disaster” for Islamist militants there, the movement’s global leader Ayman al-Zawahri said in a video message, urging the faction to redouble its efforts in Iraq instead. – Reuters

A prominent rebel military commander in southern Syria has been kidnapped by a hard-line Islamist faction linked to Al Qaeda, pro-opposition activists said Sunday. – Los Angeles Times
Security forces on Saturday raided areas near the site of two bombings in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, and detained eight suspects, including foreigners, the Ministry of Defense announced as the city prepared to host a three-day international conference. – Associated Press

Smaller and less known internationally than the militant Islamic Hamas faction that has ruled since 2007, Islamic Jihad and its Al-Quds Brigades are having something of a renaissance. – New York Times

Intell

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) on Thursday voiced his opposition to a possible nominee to lead the Defense Intelligence Agency, saying her past work raised “significant concerns” about her qualifications. – The Hill

NATO

Russia may be able to annex parts of Eastern Ukraine without an overt invasion, the commander of all U.S. and NATO troops in Europe said on Friday. – Military Times

NATO members will be “judged harshly” if they do not increase defense spending in response to the challenge now posed by Russia, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told U.S. allies Friday. – Washington Post

With US defense budgets unlikely to rise and the startling reminder of the unpredictability of Russia as the situation in Ukraine vibrates, senior US officials made a point last week of highlighting lagging European defense spending and calling for allies to step up. – 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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