Monday Defense Briefing

The CIA’s top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops. – Washington Post

The Pentagon announced plans Friday to vacate 21 “minor, non-operational” military facilities in Europe and return them to their host countries, a move that officials say will have no impact on force posture and military capabilities in Europe. – Military Times

The Navy is in the early phases of considering new sensors, aircraft and weapons it could add to its beyond-the-horizon strike and cruise missile intercept system, service officials said. – DOD Buzz

The task force working to come up with ideas for the US Navy’s small surface combatant (SSC) got a major data download Thursday, as industry submitted their proposals for modified or entirely new designs. – Defense News

United States Special Operations troops are forming elite counterterrorism units in four countries in North and West Africa that American officials say are pivotal in the widening war against Al Qaeda’s affiliates and associates on the continent, even as they acknowledge the difficulties of working with weak allies. – New York Times

The Senate Armed Services Committee agreed to preserve funding next year for the Air Force’s A-10 gunship, the Navy’s EA-18G Growler electronic attack jet and other equipment the Pentagon didn’t want to pay for. – DOD Buzz

The Pentagon is distancing itself from the US Justice Department’s charging of five Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officers with 31 criminal counts of hacking and cyber espionage against six US companies. – Defense News

The War

The U.S. Justice Department is deepening its monitoring of Americans fighting in Syria due to fears about the potential domestic terrorism threat they pose. – Global Security Newswire

Pressure is mounting on 44 to keep at least 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan for years to come. Some top intelligence and military officers now fighting that war say the number of troops under consideration by the White House should be just enough to prevent al Qaeda from re-establishing a safe haven. Others aren’t so sure that even the 10,000 can keep the terror group and its allies at bay. – The Daily Beast

A suicide bombing Sunday in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar claimed the life of a prominent police commander who had been accused by local residents of involvement in serious human-rights violations. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Yemen said Sunday that it killed one of the country’s most wanted al-Qaida militants, hours after military officials said anti-terrorism units supported by army troops and U.S. drones launched an attack against hideouts of the group in the mountainous Arhab region north of Sanaa, leaving five militants and six soldiers killed. – Associated Press

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, in an annual address claiming credit for ending Israel’s 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon, vowed to retain his organization’s vast military arsenal in defense of Lebanon, Arabism and Islam. – Defense News

Lebanese security forces on Sunday arrested a radical Islamic cleric who was long prominent in Britain and was wanted here under a new security plan to curb violence in the northern city of Tripoli that has been exacerbated by the war in neighboring Syria. – New York Times

A top Nigerian military official said Monday that the government knows the whereabouts of several hundred kidnapped girls but cannot reveal their location and cannot use force to rescue them, according to the Web site of the Ogun state television service. – Washington Post

Militants attacked Somalia’s Parliament building on Saturday, with a bomber detonating a car filled with explosives at the building’s entrance followed by several other explosions and an assault by gunmen, witnesses and Somali officials said. – New York Times

An American doctor volunteering at a hospital in eastern Pakistan was shot to death on Monday in front of his wife and 3-year-old son in the latest attack on a follower of the minority Ahmadi faith at a time of rising intolerance across the country. – New York Times

Foreign Armies East

The Royal Navy is struggling to keep itself on a war-ready footing while “attempting to match budgets to aspirations”, a serving admiral has warned. –

French defense officials are exploring ideas to avoid delivering a second helicopter carrier to Russia, including looking for an alternative client for the Sevastopol, analysts and an industry executive said. – Defense News

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has written to Prime Minister Manuel Valls expressing deep concerns over an expected cut in the defense budget, while the chief of staff and the Air Force, Army and Navy chiefs have offered to resign, daily Le Figaro reported on Thursday. – Defense News

With a planned investment of 2 trillion rubles (US $55 billion), Russia is buying new weapons and aims to modernize its Aerospace Defense Forces (VKO) by 2020, said Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov. – Defense News

Taiwan is building a $100 million port next to an airstrip on the lone island it occupies in the disputed South China Sea, a move that is drawing hardly any flak from the most assertive player in the bitterly contested waters – China. – Reuters

Thailand’s military junta said Monday that it would stay in power “indefinitely” and that its rule had been endorsed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the monarch for nearly seven decades who has semi-divine status in the country. – New York Times

In an ominous display of growing territorial tensions between China and Japan, the Japanese Defense Ministry said Sunday that Chinese jet fighters had flown dangerously close to two of its reconnaissance planes in overlapping air defense zones claimed by both nations. – New York Times

Indian military officers and defense analysts are pinning their hopes on the newly elected National Democratic Alliance government to speed stalled weapons and equipment buys. – Defense News

Due to budget cuts, Israel is postponing the fielding of a new missile defense system designed to counter mid-range ballistic threats, Reuters reports. – Global Security Newswire



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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