2018年4月13日 星期五

MORNING RECON: Could the F-35 Go to War in Syria?; No Destroyer Left Behind; Chinese Spies Engaged in Massive Theft of U.S. Tech; Abrams Replacement?

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Morning Recon

Good Friday morning and welcome to MORNING RECON.  On this day in 1941, the USSR and Japan sign a five-year Neutrality Agreement. For Stalin this is an invaluable piece of diplomacy which, backed by secret information from Soviet spies in Tokyo, will allow him to transfer forces from Siberia to face a possible German attack.

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Pull Troops Out of Syria? Trump Has a Point
By James Jeffrey, The Cipher Brief: "President Donald Trump is considering launching air strikes on Syria, if his own tweets are to be believed – an action that could show the value of switching from U.S. ground troops to a mostly air-focused campaign that would check the already decimated ISIS but avoid the risks and costs of the pseudo nation-building some of his top officials are pushing for."

In Syria, Trump Must Collude With Russia
By Lydia Khalil, the interpreter: "Security, industry and government officials are increasingly warning that the U.S. electrical power grid faces potential widespread failure from broad-based, systemic threats such as a cyberattack or massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) disturbance."

Mattis: U.S. Wants Proof Before Striking Syria for Chemical Attack
By Richard Sisk, Military.com: "He cautioned that even if the inspectors get access to the attack sites, they are not permitted under their mandate to assign blame, but only to determine that chemical agents were used."

F-35 Test Paves the Way for Block 3F Implementation
By Lara Seligman, Aviation Week: "The developmental flight tests cleared the way for the JPO to deliver Block 3F capability to the warfighter this year."

The Navy's New Enterprise Business System Strategy
By Yasmin Tadjdeh, National Defense Magazine: ""In order to address emerging challenges — such as great power competitions with China and Russia — the Navy must embark on a critical self-assessment of how it operates as an organization.""

Will the Army Replace the Abrams Tank? 
By Sydney Freedberg, Breaking Defense: "Army Futures Command is just a means to an end: modernizing the Army for high-intensity war against Russia or China. That includes replacing the iconic but aging M1 Abrams main battle tank, as well as other war machines, with an all-new Next Generation Combat Vehicle optimized for urban warfare, Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee."

Are MARSOC Cyber Operators on the Horizon?
By Shawn Snow, Marine Corps Times: "Cyber operations may not be the first thing that come to mind when thinking of elite special operators on a high-speed mission ― but with rising tech threats across the globe, Marine Raiders are looking to put cyber sleuths near the front lines."

'No Destroyer Left Behind'
By Megan Eckstein, USNI News: "The Navy currently has DDGs in multiple configurations – Flight I, Flight II and Flight IIA. Keeping each hull in the fleet for a 45-year service life equates to an extension of five to 10 years each, depending on the flight design."

Could the F-35 Go to War in Syria?
By Dave Majumdar, The National Interest: "With the U.S. Marine Corps set to deploy its F-35B Joint Strike Fighter to U.S. Central Command's (CENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR), Lockheed Martin's stealthy new jump jet could make its combat debut over the Middle East as tensions ratchet up over Syria."

Pilot Error Caused Two Air Force A-10s to Collide in Midair
By Kyle Rempfer, Air Force Times: "The board's president found that the midair collision was caused by "an unintentional failure to adhere to established altitude deconfliction procedures.""

Dead Drop: April 13
By Anonymous, The Cipher Brief: "TEAM GINA: There has been a lot of buzz about the letter (first made public by The Cipher Brief) from 53 former high-ranking government officials supporting CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel's nomination to become CIA director. As to be expected, Russia's Sputnik News reported on the pro-Haspel letter but compared it to a previous anti-Haspel open letter signed by a smaller, a far lower ranking group self-described whistleblowers, and at least one felon."


U.S., SYRIA: U.S. Navy Ramps up Surveillance Off the Syrian Coast
By Tim Ripley, IHS Jane's 360: "U.S. Navy (USN) Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) have begun flying near-continuous surveillance missions off the coast of Syria as tension rises in the Eastern Mediterranean."

U.S., CHINA: Chinese Spies Engaged in Massive Theft of U.S. Technology
By Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon: "China also is infiltrating American universities by funding language and cultural centers called Confucius Institutes that are being used as cover for technology theft. About 100 of the institutes are operating on American campuses and use their funding as part of "soft power" efforts in the United States."

CHINA: China to Stage Surprise Live-fire Navy Drill to Warn Taiwan
By Minnie Chan, South China Morning Post: "Beijing announced on Thursday that it would hold live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait next week - something that is both a message to Taipei and a show of geopolitical support for Russia during its time of friction with the United States, military observers said."


Threats to Power Grid Demand More Vigorous Response
By J. Michael Barrett, RealClearDefense: "Security, industry and government officials are increasingly warning that the U.S. electrical power grid faces potential widespread failure from broad-based, systemic threats such as a cyberattack or massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) disturbance."

Understanding India and China's Evolving Indian Ocean Roles
By J. Michael Barrett, RealClearDefense: "Beijing claims the South China Sea as China's own. But it completely rejects any notion that the Indian Ocean should be treated either as India's ocean or as an Indian preserve. The implications of these inconsistent positions may become increasingly important in the China–India relationship, and have important consequences for other countries in the region."

Punishment or Provocation? Echoes From El Dorado Canyon
By Blake Herzinger, Strategy Bridge: "A product of years of deliberation and bitter inter-cabinet rivalry, Operation El Dorado Canyon was the beginning of the contemporary punitive strikes that have become routine with the advent of the Global War on Terror."

The NVA Easter Offensive of 1972: A Massacre Near the Rockpile?
By W. R. Baker, Small Wars Journal: "The Easter Offensive of 1972 caught not only the South Vietnamese military by surprise, but also the military commanders of the United States."
SEND RCD YOUR INPUT: Please send your tips, suggestions and feedback to dcraig@realcleardefense.com and follow us on Twitter @RCDefense. If you are receiving Morning Recon for the first time and would like to subscribe, sign up here.

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