2018年4月20日 星期五

MORNING RECON: The F-35s, F-15s and F/A-18s New Bomb; Army Stops Accepting AH-64E Apaches; De Oppresso Liber – To Free the Oppressed; Naval Readiness

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Morning Recon

Good Friday morning and welcome to MORNING RECON.  On this day in 2003, U.S. Army forces took control of Baghdad from the Marines in a changing of the guard that thinned the military presence in the capital. 

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Pentagon Says Cloud Contest Winner Only Guaranteed Two-Year Job
By Anthony Capaccio, Bloomberg: "Companies that win defense competitions with options usually are awarded the extensions. "Not for this, not for this," White said in an interview, adding that "there needs to be some clarification" because of the "drama" over the cloud contract."

The AAV Is Not Dead Yet
By Shawn Snow, Marine Corps Times: "While the Corps is nearing a contract award date for the new amphibious combat vehicle, or ACV, don't expect the assault amphibious vehicle to be sent to the scrap pile anytime soon: The Corps is looking for new tracks to prolong the life of the vehicle into 2035."

Army Stops Accepting AH-64E Helos From Boeing 
By Jen Judson, Defense News: "The U.S. Army has stopped taking deliveries of AH-64E Apache attack helicopters from Boeing because the service is not confident in the durability of what it deems a "critical safety" item, Defense News has learned."

Navy to Restore Readiness Levels by 2022 
By Megan Eckstein, USNI News: "The Navy anticipates returning to a ready state by 2022, top leadership said today, after being gutted by nearly a decade of continuing resolutions and budget caps."

Is the Army Paying Too Much for Its New Ultra-light Vehicle?
By Matthew Cox, Kit Up!: "Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-California, wanted the Army to explain why the Army is paying more than $270,000 each for its new Ground Mobility Vehicles, "which are fairly-small, unarmored, jeep-like trucks.""

The F-35s, F-15s and F/A-18s New Bomb
By Dave Majumdar, The National Interest: "The new glide bomb, which incorporates a tri-modal seeker, will now have to complete government "confidence testing" before it enters into its operational test phase before being fielded onboard the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The weapon is crucial to enabling the F-35 to perform the close air support mission effectively.."

Dead Drop: April 20
By Anonymous, The Cipher Brief: "CUTTING ROOM FLOOR COMEY: You may have heard that former FBI Director James Comey has a book out. Titled "A Higher Loyalty," Comey makes no effort to hide the minimal regard in which he holds the current president. He could have called his book, "Fired and Furious.""


Israeli Firms Scramble As Trump Administration Restricts Military Aid

By Sydney Freedberg, Breaking Defense: "After years of subsidizing the Israeli defense industry, the U.S. is now insisting Tel Aviv spend all the military aid it gets from America on American companies."


Pompeo Is Ready to Lead
By William G. "Jerry" Boykin, RealClearDefense: "In pure operational terms, the missile and air attacks on three Syrian chemical weapons facilities—a research laboratory in the greater Damascus area and two buildings on the outskirts of Homs—were successful."

De Oppresso Liber – To Free the Oppressed – What's in a Motto?
By David Lewton, Small Wars Journal: "U.S. Army Special Forces was created in 1952 under the auspices of the Army Psychological Warfare office as a discreet response to contain Soviet expansionism and counter communist inspired insurgencies in eastern Europe and Asia."​

U.S.-Led Strikes in Syria—What Was the Point?
By Daniel DePetris, RealClearDefense: "In pure operational terms, the missile and air attacks on three Syrian chemical weapons facilities—a research laboratory in the greater Damascus area and two buildings on the outskirts of Homs—were successful."

Drones Level the Battlefield for Extremists
By Alexander Harper, the interpreter: "As recent events in Syria have shown, weaponized commercial drones are now a regular feature in a range of conflicts, notably involving non-state actors."

Falling Into Old Habits at the 38th Parallel
By Ian Morris, Stratfor: "Dividing Korea along the 38th parallel ended a millennium of unity but was in a sense just the latest version of the geostrategic balance that emerged as early as 1400."

Inside the Competitive, Corrupt World of Russian Intelligence
By Levi Maxey, The Cipher Brief: "The Kremlin employs an array of often overlapping and competitive security and intelligence services to create multiple sources of intelligence, encourage risk-taking and keep a wary eye on each other. This has enabled Russian President Vladimir Putin to consolidate power by playing agencies off of each other to avoid uninvited power grabs. But these redundancies can also create inefficiencies that Russia can't afford as its economy continues to falter."​

Russia's Shipbuilding Program: Postponed Blue-Water Ambitions
By Ihor Kabanenko, Eurasia Daily Monitor: "Russia's shipbuilding program for 2011–2020, under which the country plans to build over 100 new warships, is reportedly causing "a very bad feeling" among some Russian naval experts. They describe the current status of the Russian Navy as a "ceremonial fleet" and have suggested that one third of the shipbuilding program has resulted in little more than a "donut hole.""

Australian Warships Challenged in the South China Sea
By Euan Graham, the interpreter: "Was this the much-anticipated will-they, won't-they Australian FONOP in the South China Sea? Probably not. Canberra's standard refrain is that it doesn't do FONOPs, at least not in the way the U.S. Navy does."

Australia's New Military Leadership: A View From America
By Nathan Finney, The Strategist (ASPI): "While seconded to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute last year, one of the most engaging topics for discussion around Canberra was who would become the new chief and vice chief of the ADF, and of the services."

Middle East Missions to Accomplish
By Clifford D. May, The Washington Times: "Can we at least agree that President Trump's decision to strike three chemical weapons facilities owned and operated by Bashar Assad — vassal of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia — was consistent with American values?"

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