Monday Defense Briefing

Congress is seeking to boost the U.S. military presence in the Gulf region in order to deter Iran from taking hostile military action and ensure that U.S. allies are in a position to defend themselves should Tehran become hostile. – Washington Free Beacon

In a quiet escalation of its mission, US Army’s Africa is preparing to send soldiers and special operations forces to Nigeria to train that nation’s forces for combat operations, a first for the command that traditionally has trained local forces for only peacekeeping missions. – Defense News

The Air Force’s plan to retire the A-10 and U-2 fleets has hit major congressional opposition that could ripple across the service and put other aircraft fleets at risk of being eliminated or downsized. – Military Times

U.S. Special Operations Forces are shifting their strategic posture to the Pacific and regions where Al Qaeda affiliates are seeking safe haven as the Afghanistan war winds down, Pentagon leaders said. – DOD Buzz

Scores of U.S. and Filipino marines launched mock assaults on a South China Sea beach in the Philippines on Friday, as a row escalates between Beijing and its smaller neighbors over the strategic waters. – Defense News

Almost nothing is certain when it comes to the Pentagon’s procurement and operations and maintenance accounts these days, and service leaders appear to have reached the point where they’ve given up trying to put on a good face for industry. – Defense News

House lawmakers want the Pentagon to provide details about its plans to defend against hypersonic weapons developed by China and others. – Global Security Newswire

Editorial: In defense spending, as in other areas of the federal budget, these are times of hard but necessary choices. Given the House’s apparent direction, it appears that if anyone is going to make those choices, it will have to be the Senate. – Washington Post

Former Senator Jim Talent and Lindsey Neas write: In 1982, a memorial to Task Force Smith was erected on the Osan battlefield.  The memorial is a standing rebuke to the folly of political leaders who, weary of past wars, refuse to prepare for future ones.  It is not the politicians who pay the price for such decisions.  It’s the men and women of America’s military who defend their country whenever and wherever called.  They deserve to be prepared before they have to fight.  They’re not getting what they deserve now. – The Hill’s Congress Blog

The War

A United States Special Operations commando and a Central Intelligence Agency officer in Yemen shot and killed two armed Yemeni civilians who tried to kidnap them while the Americans were in a barbershop in the country’s capital two weeks ago, American officials said on Friday. – New York Times

The head of Boko Haram in Nigeria released a video on Monday in which he suggested the group would let go 200 kidnapped school girls, in exchange for the release of an unnamed number of imprisoned militants. – Washington Times

[T]he Yemen attack has become fodder in a growing debate about the White House proposal for the CIA to eventually turn over its armed drones and targeted killing program to the military. – Los Angeles Times

An al Qaeda splinter group has wrested control of key parts of the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zor from other rebel groups, activists said on Sunday, worsening infighting that has handicapped the insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad. – Reuters

Egypt’s public prosecutor charged 200 suspected Islamist militants on Saturday with “founding, leading and joining a terrorist organization” and launching bomb and rocket attacks across the country. – Reuters

The Saudi government alleged that Saudi recruits of a radical Islamist group in Syria plotted with others inside the kingdom to assassinate leading religious figures and security officials. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Militants in Iraq attacked a military barracks in a remote area in the north and killed 20 soldiers overnight, including some who had been bound and shot at close range, the authorities said on Sunday. – Associated Press

The lawyer for the Pakistani doctor who helped the U.S. find Osama bin Laden said Sunday he wouldn’t represent him any longer after facing threats from militants, even as America pushes for the man to be freed. – Associated Press

Suspected Muslim separatists in southern Thailand launched a wave of more than 30 attacks on Monday including shootings, bombings and arson, police said, killing one person and injuring more than 10. – Reuters

After a string of ­brazen attacks attributed to Islamist extremists, Chinese ­authorities have ratcheted up surveillance of and restrictions on Muslim Uighurs as their relations with the large minority population continue to deteriorate. – Washington Post

Some members of Congress want to build a new secret prison for the alleged 9/11 mastermind and other former CIA captives at Guantanamo, a project once proposed by the U.S. Southern Command but then dropped because of a lack of support from the  administration. – Miami Herald

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) writes: The rule of law exists to protect those who are minorities by virtue of their skin color or their beliefs. That is why I am fighting this nomination. And I will do so until Mr. Barron frankly discusses his opinions on executing Americans without trial, and until the American people are able to participate in one of the most consequential debates in our history. – New York Times

Missile Defense

Simply put: SDI was the straw that broke the Communist camel’s back. – Politico

NATO

NATO is in the midst of an exercise to train and evaluate the ability of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Spain and Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFOR NATO) to respond to crises anywhere in the world at short notice. The exercise, called Jaguar 2014, is being carried out from May 6 to 16 in Menorca, Spain. – Defense News

Interview: In an emailed response to questions from Military Times, Breedlove elaborated on what steps NATO is taking amid ongoing tensions with Russia, and how he responds to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that NATO promised the Soviet Union that it would not expand into Eastern Europe. – Military Times

Foreign Armies East

North Korea renewed a threat on Saturday to conduct a nuclear test amid heightened concern that the reclusive state with a stockpile of missiles may set off an atomic device for the fourth time on the path to building a nuclear arsenal. – Reuters

Two separate groups control the coastal radar perimeter along China’s coast: the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and the PLA Air Force (PLAAF), said Mark Stokes, a China military specialist at the Project 2049 Institute. The weakest link in China’s air defense network is where these two meet — PLAN’s Second Radar Brigade in Zhejiang province’s Cangnan City, and PLAAF’s Fourth Radar Brigade in Fujian province’s Fuding City, along the border of Zhejiang province. – 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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