Thursday Defense Briefing

The first launch of an anti-ballistic missile from a new shore-based version of the classic Aegis missile system was successfully carried out Tuesday night in Hawaii. – Defense News

The United States is sending another warship to the Black Sea to reassure its allies over Russia’s actions in Ukraine, where the country holds a crucial presidential election at the weekend. – AFP

Navy chief Adm. Jonathan Greenert says the Navy needs 11 aircraft carriers to meet security demands despite the Pentagon’s plan to retire one and bring the count down to 10 to meet caps on defense spending. – The Hill

The Navy has launched a new pilot program to save money and streamline the acquisition process by increasing commonality of parts, technologies and processes, service officials said. – DOD Buzz

In August, the top US special operations officer, Adm. William McRaven, will mark the third anniversary of his taking the helm of the Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base here, the traditional amount of time a SOCOM leader serves. – Defense News

The undersecretary of the US Air Force wants to see alternatives to a Russian-made engine, but that doesn’t mean the service should immediately begin developing its own. – Defense News

Aerojet Rocketdyne has studied what it would take to replace the Russian-built RD-180 and AJ-26 rocket engines used in the Atlas V and Antares launch vehicles. The answer is at least four years, with enough money, said Julie Van Kleeck, Aerojet Rocketdyne vice president for Advanced Space & Launch Systems – Aviation Week

The War

The United States has deployed 80 troops to Chad to augment efforts to find the Nigerian schoolgirls recently taken hostage, the White House announced Wednesday, a significant escalation of Washington’s contribution to a crisis that has created global consternation. – Washington Post

A year after 44 announced a major new counterterrorism strategy to take the country beyond the threats that flowed directly from the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, much of the agenda he outlined remains unfinished or not even begun. – Washington Post

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the government to turn over 34 videotapes showing the repeated removals of a detainee from his cell at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and his subsequent force-feedings. – Washington Post

44 will veto this year’s Defense Authorization bill if it includes restrictions preventing the transfer of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. – The Hill’s Briefing Room

An F.B.I. investigation into a member of a defense team for a Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detainee accused of aiding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has been closed, a Justice Department official told a war-crimes court on Wednesday. – New York Times

Former top national security officials warned that the U.S. is not “as safe as it could and should be” because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is forced to report to too many congressional committees. – The Hill

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) on Wednesday urged for adoption of his amendment to the defense authorization that would create a framework to close the Guantanamo Bay prison by 2016. – The Hill’s Floor Action

The Senate gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a contentious federal appeals court nominee who helped develop the government’s legal rationale for using drones to kill American terrorist suspects abroad. – Associated Press

State Department’s principle deputy legal adviser said 44 could continue to conduct counter-terrorism operations today even if the AUMF was repealed. – The Daily Beast

Tunisia on Wednesday arrested eight Islamists arriving from its troubled neighbor Libya and said they were planning attacks in Tunisia. – Reuters

Taliban insurgents captured 27 of 40 police officers and officials who had taken refuge in a bunker, the government and the insurgents said Thursday, as they continued to besiege a district government complex in a remote corner of northern Afghanistan that until last year was considered one of the safest parts of the country. – New York Times

Suspected Nigerian Islamist militants killed 17 people in a remote northeastern village on Tuesday night, hours after a bomb killed 118 people in the central city of Jos, police said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Foreign Armies East

The Pakistani military said it killed at least 60 militants, and injured at least 30, in aerial raids on terrorist hide-outs across the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border early Wednesday. Local residents, however, said the dead also included women and children. – New York Times

Syrian troops have broken a year-long rebel siege on Aleppo’s main prison after heavy fighting with al Qaeda fighters and other Islamist brigades, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Thursday. – Reuters

Russia and China launched large-scale naval war games that U.S. officials say is a sign of Moscow shifting its geopolitical alignment with an increasingly isolated China, following sanctions and chastisement from the United States and Europe after Russia’s military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea. – Washington Free Beacon

Russia conducted a flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile Tuesday that state media in Moscow said included the test of an advanced warhead. – Washington Times’ Inside the Ring

France, which is going ahead with a €1.2bn sale of two warships to Moscow , will be represented by the biggest contingent of foreign business leaders at Russia’s Davos this week. But the top echelon of US companies has mostly pulled out. – Financial Times


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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