Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

Early Bird Brief (Oct 12, 2015)

| 0 Comentarios

Good morning and welcome to the Early Bird Brief. Please send news tips and suggestions to Early Bird Editor Oriana Pawlyk: And follow her on Twitter: @Oriana0214

Subscribe to the Early Bird Brief e-newsletter and have the defense industry’s most comprehensive news and information delivered to your inbox each morning.

Today’s Top 5
1. Did U.S. weapons supplied to Syrian rebels draw Russia into the conflict?
(Washington Post) American antitank missiles supplied to Syrian rebels are playing an unexpectedly prominent role in shaping the Syrian battlefield, giving the conflict the semblance of a proxy war between the United States and Russia, despite President Obama’s express desire to avoid one.
2. NATO: Helicopter crash at Kabul base kills 5
(Associated Press) A military helicopter crashed in a non-hostile incident Sunday at the NATO base in the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing five coalition members and injuring five others, authorities said.
3. U.S. Patrols to Test China’s Pledge on South China Sea Islands
(Wall Street Journal) The U.S. determination to challenge China with patrols near Chinese-built islands in the South China Sea will test Xi Jinping’s recent pledge that Beijing doesn’t intend to “militarize” the islands, an announcement that took U.S. officials by surprise.
4. Syrian troops gain as Putin defends strikes
(Associated Press) Syrian troops backed by Russian airstrikes advanced against insurgents in the center of the country as President Vladimir Putin defended Moscow’s intervention in the conflict, saying it would aid efforts to reach a political settlement.
5. After 15 years, USS Cole crew reflects on terror attack
(Navy Times) To the crew that deployed with Cole in the fall of 2000, the war started on Oct. 12, 2000. For many, the fight to heal — while still remembering their shipmates who passed — continues today.
Islamic State
US Begins Removing Patriot Missiles from Turkey
(Defense News) The United States has started pulling its Patriot missiles stationed on Turkish soil, Turkish officials said.
DoD lowers vetting standards for Syrian rebel training program
(Military Times) The Pentagon’s new strategy for training and equipping Syrian rebels will markedly scale back the rigorous screening and vetting process designed to ensure the rebels do not have links to terrorists or extremist groups, top defense officials said Friday.
Turkish PM blames Ankara bombing on Islamic State
(BBC News) The Islamic State (IS) group is the prime suspect in the Ankara bombings that killed nearly 100 on Saturday, Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu has said.
Islamic State figures killed in air strike; Baghdadi not believed among them
(Reuters) Eight senior figures from Islamic State were killed in an air strike while meeting in a town in western Iraq, but the group’s reclusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not appear to be among them, residents of the town and hospital sources said.
Putin: Russia Will Not Conduct Ground Operation In Syria
(Agence France-Presse) President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that Russia would not deploy ground troops to Syria, where it has been conducting airstrikes against what it says are Islamic State targets.
Fighting ISIS: Is Pentagon Using Air Power’s Full Potential?
(Defense News) It’s been one year since the United States and partner nations began airstrikes to degrade and destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and the fight is far from over.
Turkey Launches Air Strikes On PKK
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) The Turkish Air Force has pounded Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in both Turkey and Iraq, after the rebel group ordered its fighters to halt attacks on Turkish soil.
Russia transfers Ukraine war doctrine to Syria
(USA Today) If its role in fomenting conflict in eastern Ukraine is a guide, Russia has some new tricks in store for Syrian rebels and their allies.
Isis seizes ground from Aleppo rebels under cover of Russian airstrikes
(The Guardian) Islamic State makes more gains as Putin’s aircraft continue to hit opposition to Assad regime in west of province and key areas.
Iraqi military targets Islamic State emir’s convoy in Anbar
(Long War Journal) The Iraqi military claimed it targeted Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the emir of the Islamic State, as he was traveling to meet with other commanders of his organization at a location on the border with Syria. The fate of Baghdadi, who has been reported killed or wounded several times in the past, is unknown.
Shiites in Iraq Hailing Putin for Syria Push
(New York Times) The leadership of “Sheikh Putin» is being applauded by residents of this Shiite power center.
Are Russia and U.S. on a collision course in Syria?
(CNN with Poppy Harlow) Early Bird Brief Editor Oriana Pawlyk and Ret. Air Force Lt Col. Rick Francona talk to Poppy Harlow about Russia’s campaign in Syria and Eastern Europe.
Afghan president orders investigation into fall of Kunduz
(Associated Press) Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has appointed a team of investigators to look into the circumstances leading to the Taliban’s brief capture of the northern city of Kunduz as well as a U.S. airstrike that destroyed a hospital and killed at least 22 people there, his office said Saturday.
Pentagon to make ‘condolence payments’ to families of victims in Kunduz attack
(Los Angeles Times) The Pentagon said Saturday it will issue payments to the families of the civilians killed and injured during last week’s deadly U.S. strike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
Russia Announces Helicopter Reinforcements For Tajik Base Amid Afghan Unrest
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) Russia has announced that it will deploy attack and military-transport helicopters to beef up its military presence in Tajikistan amid rising insecurity in northern Afghanistan.
Afghan UN staff member killed in southern Afghanistan
(Associated Press) An Afghan official says that a female U.N. worker was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in the city of Kandahar.
Investigators Scour Secret Tapes of the Afghan Hospital Attack
(Daily Beast) While U.S. pilots carried out airstrikes that killed 22, video and audio recorders were capturing the tragedy from inside the cockpit.
Taliban claims control of district in Kandahar
(Long War Journal) As the Taliban continues to press its offensive in northern Afghanistan, the jihadist group remains active in the south as well. Today, the Taliban claimed it took control of the district of Ghorak in the northwestern part of Kandahar province. From Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s official propaganda outlet.
Afghan Taliban’s Reach Is Widest Since 2001, U.N. Says
(New York Times) The Taliban insurgency has spread through more of Afghanistan than at any point since 2001, according to data compiled by the United Nations as well as interviews with numerous local officials in areas under threat.
Defense News TV
Russia’s Military Capabilities
(Defense News) Adm. Mark Ferguson, the commander of US Naval Forces in Europe and Africa and commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command, discusses Russia’s military modernization, improving naval training and reassuring allies.
The Future of Land Warfare
(Defense News) Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution discusses his new book «The Future of Land Warfare.»
AUSA 2015 Preview
(Defense News) Lt. Gen. Roger Thompson USA (Ret.), the vice president for membership and meetings at the Association of the United States Army, previews AUSA’s annual meeting.
Vago’s Notebook: Russia’s Dangerous Game
(Defense News) Vago discusses Russia’s growing military modernization and how to deter Moscow.
Defense News TV Money Minute: Credit Reports
(Defense News) What to look out for when checking your credit report for inaccuracies.
Defense Industry
Rolls Royce to Open Tech Center in Turkey
(Defense News) Rolls Royce has signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkey’s state scientific research institute to open an «advanced manufacturing technology center in» Turkey.
Saab Pitches Collins Submarine Upgrade
(Defense News) Although it is no longer in the race to supply Australia’s future submarine, Saab Kockums is proposing an upgrade to a number of the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class boats, based on Sweden’s Gotland-class midlife upgrade.
UK Army To Extend Life of Challenger 2; New Tank Too Costly
(Defense News) Deciding that purchasing a new main battle tank would be too expensive, the British Army will likely stick with what has long been its plan A and proceed with a Challenger 2 life extension project (LEP) starting early next year, the Ministry of Defence said.
APS-Equipped MRAP To Debut at AUSA
(Defense News) An Israel-US team will debut at this week’s AUSA exhibition a demonstrator all-terrain vehicle featuring a version of the Trophy active protection system.
Drone Project Lacks Pentagon Orders Needed to Stay Aloft
(Wall Street Journal) A Virginia contractor is waging a difficult campaign to provide the Pentagon a different type of surveillance drone, featuring propellers on the wings and unmatched endurance.
(Popular Science) The United Kingdom is ready for robot-on-robot warfare. A new anti-drone weapon system called the “Anti UAV Defense System,» which was developed by Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics, and Enterprise Control Systems Ltd, is a combination radar, camera, and jamming system all built into device.
Pratt, GE Battle for Future of Military Engines
(Defense News) The US Air Force and the Army are moving full speed ahead toward next-generation engines the services hope will significantly increase fuel efficiency and power.
Mideast Conflicts Fuel Land Force Developments
(Defense News) Transnational threats and the conflict in Yemen have spurred land force developments across the Middle East, especially in the last nine months.
Lockheed Martin’s modular ATHENA laser weapon is headed to production
(Fox News) The US military already has a few high-powered laser weapons at its disposal, but it’s about to get a hell of a lot more. Earlier this week, defense contractor Lockheed Martin began production of its modular, Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) laser system for the US Army — a weapon that’s expected to roll out on the battlefield sometime next year.
An Up-Close Look at the U.S. Navy’s Latest MH-60S Helicopter
(DoDBuzz) Military?.com checked out the U.S. Navy’s MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter while taking a tour of the amphibious ship USS Somerset here during Fleet Week. The Navy has purchased a few hundred of the machines and is gearing up to finish the contract.
Election Will Determine Canadian Role in F-35 Program
(Defense News) Whether Canada withdraws from the F-35 program will be decided next week as Canadians select a new political party to form the country’s next government.
Pakistan, China Finalize 8-Sub Construction Plan
(Defense News) Pakistan has finalized its long-negotiated submarine deal with China, with four to be built in China and four in Pakistan. Analysts believe the submarines will go a long way toward maintaining a credible conventional deterrent against India, and also largely secure the sea-based arm of Pakistan’s nuclear triad.
Getting to the bottom of Booz Allen’s secretive $937M ‘global threat mitigation’ contract
(FedBiz) Both the feds and Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. (NYSE: BAH) were enthusiastic about a $937 million task order award for a so-called «global threat mitigation program» — but have been much less enthusiastic about sharing details beyond that.
Royal Australian Navy Bullish on New MH-60R Helos
(USNI News) The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has hailed the integration of the Lockheed-Martin/Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk into the service’s Fleet Air Arm as the multirole naval helicopter achieves initial operating capability there.
Latvia overhauls radar capabilities
(IHS Jane’s 360) Latvia has ordered a series of new air surveillance radars from the United States, in a major overhaul of its air-defence network.
How ‘Turkish’ Will Turkey’s Planned TRJet Program Be?
(Defense News) Campaigning before June’s parliamentary elections, Turkey’s government leaders portrayed TRJet, a planned dual-use future regional jet, as a “100 percent Turkish aircraft.” The program now faces a debate over exactly how “Turkish” the aircraft should be — even before a contract for the deal has been signed.
Challenges Await Completion of Indian AF Net-centric System
(Defense News) The $1.3 billion contract the Indian Air Force awarded to state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) to complete a homegrown network-centric warfare system could face integration challenges with the other services and will not compensate for a shrinking air fleet, analysts said.
Congress and Politics
In Budget Talks, Defense Watchers Look to Boehner
(Defense News) Budget talks have begun between the White House and leaders in Congress, but the big question is who will sit at the negotiating table for Republicans.
House Republicans Push for Paul Ryan as Speaker
(Associated Press) If rebel conservatives and establishment Republicans in the House can agree on anything, it’s likely supporting Paul Ryan for speaker.
Suit Over Firing Exposes Strife Within Benghazi Panel
(New York Times) The Republican leaders of a House committee who have been in a bitter partisan battle with Democrats are enmeshed in a new fight with one of the committee’s former staff members.
Benghazi chairman: Staffer fired for classified info breach
(Associated Press) The chairman of the House panel investigating the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, says he fired a staffer for mishandling classified information, among other causes.
Congressman calls for release of Marines’ gender integration study
(Marine Corps Times) A veteran Marine infantry officer in Congress has called for the Defense Department to release the Marine Corps’ full 900-page report on its months-long study on integrating women into ground combat jobs.
5 Wyoming veterans sue company over toxic burn pits in Iraq
(Associated Press) They filed a federal lawsuit Friday contending they were exposed to toxic fumes when a Houston-based corporation improperly burned waste during the war in Iraq.
Savings plan aims to get servicemembers thinking about their finances
(Tampa Tribune) The fiscal 2016 defense spending bill, approved by Congress last week and now awaiting action by the president, includes a provision to help men and women like Robinson in the future.
VA chief to hill: Those health reforms you seek are here
(Military Update) Why, for example, does VA take three times as long as the private sector to hire clinical staff? Why is VA two to three times slower than the private sector to build or lease new facilities?
Researchers develop method of detecting most violent behavior in soldiers
(Los Angeles Times) Analyzing the records of nearly 1 million U.S. soldiers, researchers have developed a computer program that they believe can identify soldiers most likely to commit severe, violent crimes.
National Security & Intelligence
Iran Says Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian Convicted
(Associated Press) Iran’s state TV is reporting that Jason Rezaian, a jailed Washington Post reporter, has been convicted.
Obama Says U.S. Knew Russian Military Planned to Intervene in Syria
(NBC News) The United States had “pretty good intelligence” that Russia intended to intervene militarily in Syria before President Barack Obama met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday.
Spying Case Against U.S. Envoy Is Falling Apart, and Following a Pattern
(New York Times) Last fall, federal agents raided the home and office of Robin L. Raphel in search of proof that she, a seasoned member of America’s diplomatic corps, was spying for Pakistan. But officials now say the spying investigation has all but fizzled, leaving the Justice Department to decide whether to prosecute Ms. Raphel for the far less serious charge of keeping classified information in her home.
The Tribe That Won’t Stop Killing ISIS
(Daily Beast) It’s members have been massacred on several occasions, but “The Family of the Tiger” fights on.
CyberCon 2015
How agencies can improve their cyber posture
(C4ISR & Networks/Federal Times) Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and DISA Director LTG Alan Lynn will appear as keynote speakers at C4ISR & Networks and Federal Times’ CyberCon 2015, held Nov. 18 at the Ritz Carlton-Pentagon City in Arlington, Virginia. Register here.
Cybersecurity, Space
Cyberwar Ignites a New Arms Race
(Wall Street Journal) A series of successful computer attacks carried out by the U.S. and others has kicked off a frantic and destabilizing digital arms race, with dozens of countries amassing stockpiles of malicious code. The programs range from the most elementary, such as typo-ridden emails asking for a password, to software that takes orders from a rotating list of Twitter handles.
Official: US Takes A ‘Whole-Of-Government Approach’ To Cyberattacks
(Defense News) As the US faces an increasingly volatile cyber landscape, with threats and attacks coming from state and non-state actors, responsibilities and responses will increasingly be governmentwide, a top US cyber official said Friday.
In a first, Chinese hackers are arrested at the behest of the U.S. government
(Washington Post) The Chinese government has quietly arrested a handful of hackers at the urging of the U.S. government — an unprecedented step to defuse tensions with Washington at a time when the Obama administration has threatened economic sanctions.
U.S. more closely monitoring cyberspace after Russian bombings in Syria, general says
(Air Force Times) The U.S. is monitoring the cyber landscape for potential threats that could emerge due to the conflict in Syria, Air Force Lt. Gen. James McLaughlin said Oct. 9, but he declined to comment on what sorts of cyber threats Russian involvement in the war could create.
‘Trail Boss’ Prioritizes Cyber Situational Awareness
(Defense News) Col. Joseph Dupont is the US Army’s first cyber «trail boss» and he equates his job to “wrapping my arms around water and holding on tight.”
Defense Department
Size of lump-sum retirement payouts still undecided
(Military Times) Career troops will have an extraordinary new choice to make under the new retirement system approved by Congress: Take the traditional pension checks or opt to receive up to half the promised pension benefit in the form of a one-time, lump-sum cash payment.
Is Caspian Sea Fleet a Game-Changer?
(Defense News) Few naval strategists would count Russia’s Caspian Sea flotilla among significant units in an order of battle. The inland sea features naval forces from the four bordering countries — Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan in addition to Russia — but most vessels are small missile-armed or patrol craft, nearly all well under 1,000 tons. The forces have been viewed purely as local craft.
Resilience, risk management play big role in military suicide prevention
(Military Times) Military suicide prevention programs must continue to teach troops to recognize the risk factors and signs of suicide in their peers, but also should incorporate a wider emphasis on resilience and mental wellness, military leaders told lawmakers Thursday.
Pentagon hits University of Phoenix with probation
(Military Times) The Defense Department has taken action against the University of Phoenix, a for-profit school that is one of the most popular destinations for military and veteran students nationwide, restricting the school’s access to military bases and preventing it from accepting new students using military tuition assistance.
Military tech is helping fight wildfires
(Associated Press) Military technology used to track terrorists and insurgents while keeping American troops safe is making its way to the blazing battlefields of wildfires.
Bio-engineering skin to treat severe burns
(Military Times) Military researchers are putting the final touches on a study of a «skin substitute» grown from a patient’s own cells to treat complex burns and soft tissue injuries.
Carter: Threats Arising on NATO’s Southern Flank
(Defense News) US Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s visit to Europe last week inevitably focused on Russian bombing in Syria, but he also stressed the growing danger of instability in North Africa after making stops in Spain and Italy.
Pentagon seeks to expand war-court compound at Guantanamo
(Miami Herald) Pentagon officials are proposing a $3 million expansion of the war-court compound at Guantanamo, Camp Justice, and are preparing to handle more than the current seven active prosecutions by adding a wheelchair ramp at the airstrip and housing for a new case prosecutor, the Miami Herald has learned.
Is there a Pentagon tug-of-war over buying power?
(C4ISR & Networks) With the National Defense Authorization Act through Congress and on the President’s desk, attention is shifting toward certain acquisition authorities the legislation may grant.
Lawyer: Officer recommends no jail for Bergdahl
(Army Times) The officer in charge of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s Article 32 hearing has recommended that the soldier accused of desertion avoid jail time for his actions, according to Bergdahl’s civil defense attorney.
Last remaining woman in Ranger School, 37, likely to graduate
(Washington Post) On Friday, a 37-year-old Army major with two children is likely to become the third woman ever to graduate from the Army’s grueling Ranger School, according to three people with knowledge of her status, including a senior official.
Leadership Changes at Delicate Time for Army
(Defense News) Since coming to office in January, Defense Secretary Ash Carter has been given a nearly unprecedented opportunity to remake the entirety of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But no one service may feel Carter’s influence as much as the Army, with both the uniformed and civilian leadership changing over as the service faces fundamental questions of size and mission.
Military med school training saves student’s life, livelihood
(Army Times) Army 2nd Lt. Michael Polmear had just decided to call it a day amid wet conditions on a climb in Wyoming’s Grand Tetons in July when light dust and gravel began to shower down from above.
Army Pressured to Boost Transition Programs for Separating Soldiers
( With many soldiers expected to leave the ranks in coming years amid the continued downsizing of the Army will only add to the pressure on programs to ease the transition to civilian life, according to Army Human Resources officials.
Sweeping uniform changes emphasize gender neutrality
(Navy Times) It’s official — the visibly gender-neutral Navy has arrived.
Study: Carrier strike group best meets future threats
(Navy Times) For all its cost and vulnerabilities, the aircraft carrier and its strike group are the best option for the threats facing the U.S., according to a Hudson Institute study released on Monday.
Air Force
Incirlik dependents have until Nov. 2 to depart
(Air Force Times) The Pentagon has extended until Nov. 2 the deadline for military and civilian personnel stationed in Adana, Turkey to voluntarily send their dependents home.
Use this special email address to send ‘Get Well’ wishes to Spencer Stone
(Air Force Times) Travis Air Force Base in California has created a special email address for people who want to wish Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone a speedy recovery.
US Air Force Logo Violates School Dress Code, School Says
(NBC DFW) Two students in the Aubrey Independent School District, whose parents are Air Force veterans, could face discipline for wearing Air Force sweatshirts to school that administrators say violate school dress code policy.
Air Force selects 356 for supplemental promotion
(Air Force Times) The Air Force selected 356 enlisted airmen for supplemental promotion, the Air Force Personnel Center said Thursday.
Marine Corps
Survey: Marines unhappy with post-war missions, pay
(Marine Corps Times) More Marines are growing unhappy with their work and their compensation, driving «re-enlistment intent» to a three-year low and leaving the service scrambling to retain top talent.
A grim log from the Iraq war goes to a future wing of the Marine museum
(Washington Post) The museum, in Triangle, Va., is scheduled to close temporarily from January through March as the project gets underway. It will reopen after that, but the work is set to continue through 2020. For the most part, the expansion aims to tell the story of the Marines from the Vietnam War through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What you need to know about new commendation medal rules
(Marine Corps Times) Marine officials hope to speed the awards process for the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal by giving commanders more leeway to recognize heroism, valor or outstanding achievement in their ranks.
Marine base in Hawaii to keep ‘God bless’ sign
(Associated Press) A Marine base on Oahu is keeping its «God bless the military» sign despite pressure from a religious freedom group.
National Guard
More than 500 in North Carolina’s Guard help in flood relief
(Associated Press) One of the latest waves of North Carolina National Guard members has headed out to help with flood recovery in South Carolina.
Refugee Crisis
Tighter security in French port breeds growing defiance among refugees
(Washington Post) Calais, separated from Britain’s White Cliffs of Dover by a mere 21?miles, has been the reluctant host of a multinational migrant colony for well over a decade. But ever since Britain and France enacted much tougher security measures at the end of August, it has become a pressure cooker with no release valve.
Refugees, Stuck in Grinding U.S. Process, Wait and Hope
(New York Times) A hushed room of diplomats listened intently as a man who called himself Adnan described his escape from Mosul, Iraq, when the Islamic State laid siege to the city in 2014: As a gay man, he told them via videolink from Lebanon, he knew he would be killed, and that even members of his family would not be sorry.
Middle East
Gulf Divides Threaten Anti-Assad Coalition
(Defense News) While Gulf Arab countries are united in the fight against the Islamic State group, the addition of Russia’s military to the region is threatening to divide the coalition — and potentially kill any chance of a political solution to the crisis in Syria.
Iran Tests Long-Range Missile, Possibly Violating Nuclear Accord
(New York Times) Iran tested a new guided long-range ballistic missile on Sunday, hours before Parliament, in a rowdy session, approved the generalities of the nuclear agreement reached in July between Iran and world powers, the state news agency IRNA reported.
3 Palestinians Killed and 4 Israelis Injured in Latest Unrest
(Associated Press) A wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence showed no signs of abating Sunday, as three Palestinians, including a 2-year-old and a 13-year-old, were killed by Israeli forces, and four Israelis were wounded in an evening stabbing attack.
Man without a plan: Palestinians don’t hate Abbas, but they’re tired of him.
(Washington Post) It is a tough time to be Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, a man without a country — or a popular mandate or much of a plan.
Violence spreads to Gaza, where Hamas leader calls for an uprising
(McClatchy) A surge of Palestinian unrest punctuated by multiple stabbing attacks across Israel and in the West Bank spread on Friday to the Gaza Strip, where Israeli soldiers fired on crowds of stone-throwing protesters across a border fence, killing six, local health officials said.
Iranian General Killed in Syria
(Wall Street Journal) A top Iranian military commander who played a crucial role in Tehran’s efforts to defend the Syrian regime was killed in the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, Iran said Friday.
Europe, Russia-Ukraine
Russian Modernization Puts Focus on Land Force Protection
(Defense News) Under Russia’s sweeping 2020 rearmament program, the Defence Ministry hopes to modernize about 70 percent of its military. While most of the attention is paid to flashy procurements such as nuclear submarines and stealth fighters, rejuvenation of the land forces is a significant priority.
Aleksandr Lukashenko of Belarus Wins Fifth Term as President
(New York Times) Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, the authoritarian president of Belarus, who suffered the indignity last week of seeing one of his sharpest critics win the Nobel Prize in Literature, won a prize of his own on Sunday: the presidency of Belarus, though that outcome had never been in doubt.
9.8% Budget Hike Set for Norwegian Armed Forces
(Defense News) Norway’s armed forces is set to gain a 9.8 percent real term increase in its budget for 2016. The rise, contained in the government’s newly released budget proposal, will result in defense spending climbing by US $526 million to $6 billion in 2016.
Eyeing Russia, E. European Allies Expand Armored Vehicle Fleets
(Defense News) Eastern European allies plan to acquire new armored vehicles and enhance their land forces’ capabilities as a response to a perceived increased land-based threat by Russia.
Georgia Seeks Ways To Avoid NATO Rejection
(Wall Street Journal) Georgia is asking the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to put off a decision on whether to invite the country to take a significant step toward membership of the alliance.
Latvia Mulls Return To Conscription, Hikes Defense Spending
(Defense News) Normunds Stafeckis, the spokesperson for Latvia’s Defence Ministry, said the country is mulling to reintroduce conscription as a result of the geopolitical tensions related to the conflict in Ukraine. Earlier this year, neighboring Lithuania announced it will reinstate conscription for the same reason.
Nordic Interest Soars in Simulation, Combat Training Tech
(Defense News) A push for improved simulated training and battlefield protection for troops is driving higher levels of research, development and investment among Nordic militaries.
Simplified Italian Future Soldier Program Ready for Production
(Defense News) The Italian Army’s long-running Future Soldier program, which aims to digitize and better connect the infantry, is ready to enter production after trials this year showed that too much tech was slowing soldiers down.
North Korea Parades Missiles, Says ‘Ready’ for Any War With U.S.
(Associated Press) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared Saturday that his country was ready to stand up to any threat posed by the United States as he addressed a lavish military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the ruling Communist party.
Japan’s Amphib Capabilities Stuggle With Rivalries, Budgets
(Defense News) Concerns are mounting among US Marine Corps observers and defense analysts that Japan’s commitment to developing an amphibious capability is being sidelined by senior Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) leadership who favor investments in submarines, ASW capabilities, aerial reconnaissance and ballistic missile defense.
China Challenges Army With Realistic Training Scenarios
(Defense News) China has greatly increased the realism of its Army training, attempting to improve readiness and interoperability, and unearth operational weaknesses.
Obama Puts the Asia Pivot on Pause
(The National Interest) U.S.-China relations may be entering something of a holding pattern for the next two years.
China warns U.S. it will not allow violations of its waters
(Reuters) China said on Friday it would not stand for violations of its territorial waters in the name of freedom of navigation, as the United States considers sailing warships close to China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea.
Boko Haram accused in Cameroon, Chad bombings
(Al Jazeera America) Nigeria’s Boko Haram armed group is blamed for using teens and women to carry out suicide bombings in neighboring Chad and Cameroon this weekend, killing more than 45 people as a multinational force prepares to deploy against them.
Chinese Company Builds Growing African Presence
(Defense News) A Chinese aviation company reported progress in its ambitious African expansion plans to set up an aviation training center, two regional marketing offices, two maintenance and support centers, and three spare-parts warehouses to promote sales and maintenance for Chinese-made aircraft.
Islamic State West Africa targets Nigerian army in new video
(Long War Journal) The Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWA–formerly known as Boko Haram) has released a short video showing its forces overrunning a Nigerian army position in the northeastern Nigerian province of Borno. The date of the incident is unknown, but attacks in Borno happen frequently.
In Libya, the Islamic State’s black banner rises by the Mediterranean
(Washington Post) At first, the Islamic State fighters confined themselves to charity work, holding contests for Koranic recitation and distributing money to help locals marry. In the initial months after they appeared in Sirte, the home town of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, early this year, the fighters were mostly seen directing traffic or settling local disputes. They even sold oil to residents below cost.
The Americas
U.S. officials are frustrated by lack of progress in trade with Cuba
(Washington Post) U.S. trade sanctions against Cuba have been in place for 54 years, but never before have the presidents of both countries said the same thing about them.
Commentary and Analysis
Seven Things Our Army Needs, Right Now
(GORDON SULLIVAN in DefenseOne) The Association of the U.S. Army opens its annual three-day symposium and exposition today with deep concerns about the future of America’s Army.
Commentary: Improved Army Acquisition Holds Lessons for Pentagon
(Mackenzie Eaglen and Rick Berger in Defense News) At the core of the US Army’s post-9/11 hollow buildup sits a significant procurement holiday created by wartime necessities and budgetary instability on top of the previous procurement holiday of the 1990s. Exigent funding priorities crowded out both expansion of the force and investments in the future such as the Comanche, Future Combat Systems and the Ground Combat Vehicle. By the time service leaders were ready to recapitalize again, sequestration knee-capped Army modernization.
To Save Iraq, Arm the Kurds
(ALIZA MARCUS and ANDREW APOSTOLOU in New York Times) If American policy wants to be truly effective, it should do more than just give a few weapons and limited training. Instead, the United States must help Kurdistan to organize, train and equip a nonpolitical Kurdish army.
Why Russia Needs an Exit Strategy in Syria
(The National Interest) Clearly, the decision to dispatch a Russian military contingent to Syria was a very risky step in military, foreign policy, and domestic policy terms.
CSI: Pentagon — Who Killed American Strategy?
(Adam Elkus in War On The Rocks) The shocking twist on tonight’s episode of CSI: Pentagon is that we — the defense analytical community — killed American strategy. While American strategy certainly lived a troubled life and the list of “usual suspects” is fairly long, it was nonetheless a victim of our own unrealistic expectations and inability to deal with the messy reality of what strategy is and what it can do.
Government and Industry Need to Work Together
(CONGRESSMAN MIKE ROGERS in Cipher Brief) Mike Rogers is a former Congressman who served as the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In a discussion with The Cipher Brief, Rogers said it is critical for the government and private sector to find a solution to the encryption dilemma that satisfies the needs of law enforcement.
Is Vladimir Putin Trying to Teach the West a Lesson in Syria?
(Ivan Krastev, New York Times) This notion of Russia as a “spoiling power” is a popular sentiment today in Washington. But what does this spoiling power actually want? Is Russia in Syria simply for the sport of watching a humiliated President Obama? Is damaging the value of American power the only purpose of Russia’s “spoiling”?
Gold Star Wives aren’t gold-diggers. This is how it works out these days, financially.
(Tracey Koehlmoos in Foreign Policy) The last bit I will add is widows want the SBP, they want the full amount from the DoD that was earned by the widow and her beloved, as a team. They want the connection to the service. It is financial, ofcourse, but also emotional. When your military spouse dies, you lose membership in your military community and are kicked out of your home. Whatever life you had is finished and you have to build a new life. It is gut wrenching. The SBP represents the commitment the DoD made to the soldier being continued to the family. Removing the DIC offset would add a life changing $1254.19 a month to these struggling households.
Op-ed: Should we promote Navy Reserve doctors?
(Richard Menger and John Neely in Navy Times) The fiscal 2016 promotion rate for lieutenant commander among Navy Reserve doctors has dropped substantially from its historical average. This new selection rate undercuts the potential value of Navy Reserve doctors to sailors and Marines.
Don’t Chase Putin Out of Syria — Let Him Fail On His Own
(DEREK CHOLLET in DefenseOne) Putin is no chess master. He overstretched and misstepped in Syria, and U.S. would be wiser to wait him out than chase him out.
Terrorist Tug-of-War
(Foreign Affairs) Without a doubt, the self-proclaimed Islamic State (also known as ISIS) is currently the most preeminent global jihadist group in the world. Yet al Qaeda is still fighting for influence, in both the Middle East and Africa. In recent months, the showdown between the two groups has been most apparent in East Africa, where ISIS has attempted, but thus far failed, to convince the al Qaeda–linked Somali militia al Shabab to switch allegiances.
The Taliban’s Siege of Kunduz Highlights a Worrying New Dynamic
(PETER STOREY in Cicero Magazine) What we are currently witnessing is arguably the first sustained urban warfare in the Afghan War.
When Other National Security Priorities Trumped Nuclear Nonproliferation
(Aki Peritz in Overt Action) The summer’s white-hot political debate over the Iran deal is more or less over. Now policymakers’ attentions are shifting elsewhere, leaving the monitoring, implementation, and associated grunt work mostly to the U.S. intelligence community and the State Department.
Russia’s New Mega-Missile Stuns the Globe
(David Axe, Daily Beast) Putin’s latest weapons were mostly unknown to the outside world—until they began slamming into Syria.
Marines Say Amphibious Combat Vehicle Is A Must-Have As Danger Of Going Ashore Grows
(Loren Thompson in Forbes) Relying on floating bases called amphibious ready groups — typically, groups of three warships specially equipped for launching air and surface assaults against land objectives – the Marines can sustain combat without needing to build up bases ashore or win the favor of local leaders.
Obama Administration Ignored Warnings On Failed Rebel Training Program
(Vocativ) Critics from both sides of the aisle said a year ago that insisting rebels pledge to fight only ISIS and not Assad would guarantee failure.
In Case You Missed It
U.S. suspending program to train and equip Syrian rebels
(CNN) The U.S. is going to suspend its faltering Syrian rebel training program, U.S. officials said Friday in a move they characterized as a «pause.»
Russia Launches New Airstrikes Against Syrian Rebels
(Voice of America) Russia launched a new aerial bombardment on Syrian rebels, helping President Bashar al-Assad’s government reclaim territory it had lost.
In Syria, hints of Soviet helicopter tactics from Afghanistan
(Washington Post) As a Syrian Army offensive, backed by Russian airpower and artillery continues into its second day in northern Syria, new video footage posted online shows what easily could be Russian Mi-24 Hind gunships engaging targets on the ground as well as one being potentially shot down.
As Russia Bombs Syria, U.S. Pulls Aircraft Carrier Out of Persian Gulf
(NBC News) As Russian warships rain down cruise missiles as part of its military strike in Syria, there’s now a glaring absence in the region: For the first time since 2007, the U.S. Navy has no aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.
German defence minister defends Stanford claims on CV
(Agence France-Presse) German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday defended claims on her CV of stints at Stanford University, after a report that the prestigious US institution had called them into question.
US Army’s New Chief Sets Three Goals
(DefenseOne) Readiness, modernizing the force, and taking care of soldiers — and that means more time practicing complex scenarios.
Pentagon Turns Lights Out on Rank and File
(Time) In honor of Energy Action Month, marked in October, President Obama has asked federal agencies and senior administration officials to lead the way in demonstrating the government’s own efforts to be sustainable. The Pentagon, one of the world’s largest office buildings, is happy to comply.
U.S., Philippines Forge Closer Military Ties Amid China Tensions
(Wall Street Journal) The U.S. and the Philippines are strengthening their military ties despite a Philippine legal challenge to a defense pact between the two allies, at a time of friction with Beijing over islands in the South China Sea.
House votes to end 40-year ban on sending American oil overseas
(McClatchy) The House of Representatives voted Friday to end the 40-year-old ban on exporting American oil to foreign nations, launching a showdown with the Senate and the president in the nation’s latest battle over energy and climate change.
Too Fat, Too Frail to Serve, Report Warns
(Corpus Christi Caller-Times) Retired Army Brigadier General Joe E. Ramirez Jr., also Commandant of Texas A&M University’s Corps of Cadets, said the leading reason behind ineligibility is applicants are overweight and generally unhealthy. In Texas, 73 percent of young adults can’t serve. The national average is about 30 percent.
U.S. Army Issues Call for Lighter Soldier Protection Ideas
(Kit Up, Army equipment officials are asking gear companies for new ideas to reduce the weight of soldier protective kit by as much as 40 percent.
Obama threatens to defund military unless Gitmo is closed
(The Examiner) The Obama White House just said they will veto ANY defense authorization bill from Congress unless Guantanamo Bay in Cuba is shut down.


 Our weekly brief is here! Read about the Nobel Prize for Tunisia, why Ukraine must privatize, and more:

See today’s top stories in the Early Bird Brief. Oct. 14, 2015, 7:41 a.m.


Deja una respuesta

Campos requeridos marcados con *.

Este sitio usa Akismet para reducir el spam. Aprende cómo se procesan los datos de tus comentarios.