2019年2月12日 星期二

MORNING RECON: F-35 Will Cost Less to Operate Than Older Fighters; Russia Reset Redux?; Britain Calls for Hard Power in the Pacific; 'Super' Bradley?

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Morning Recon

Good Tuesday morning and welcome to MORNING RECON.  On this day in 1999, President Clinton was acquitted by the Senate 55-45 on a perjury charge and 50-50 on an obstruction of justice charge. He once again apologized for burdening the nation with his conduct. Clinton told Americans he was "profoundly sorry" for what he had said and done in the Monica Lewinsky affair that triggered the impeachment drama.

RealClearDefense Today's Exclusive:
Today's Top Stories


Pentagon Seeks Massive Increase for 'Slush Fund' War Account
By Lara Seligman, Foreign Policy: "Four sources—both a U.S. government official and outside sources close to the discussions—said the Pentagon in its fiscal year 2020 budget request is planning to ask lawmakers to more than double the size of the Overseas Contingency Operations account, as it is formally called, to a level not seen since the height of the Iraq surge in the late 2000s."

Army Up-Gunned, Drone-Killing Strykers to Europe
By Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven: "The U.S. Army is arming its Stryker vehicle with attack drones, lasers, up-gunned cannons and anti-aircraft missiles in anticipation of scheduled 2020 Stryker-unit deployments to Europe -- intended to fortify a broader and much-discussed strategy to counter Russian "aggression" in the region."

Army's Plan for a 'Super' Bradley Fighting Vehicle are Dead
By Sebastien Roblin, The National Interest: "An annual report makes clear that M2A5 Bradley concept has been canceled in favor of procuring an even more heavily-armed successor sooner—though the Pentagon is moving ahead with plans for a more agile M2A4 model carrying an Active Protection System."

F-35 Will Cost Less to Operate Than Older Fighters:
Here's Why Some Policymakers Don't Get That

By Loren Thompson, Forbes: " By the end of this year, nearly 500 F-35 fighters will have been delivered to three U.S. military services and various allies. The plane is meeting all of its performance requirements, and the cost of each fighter is steadily declining. In fact, the most common variant of the fighter now costs no more to build than the latest version of the Cold War fighters it is replacing."

After Years of T-6 Hypoxia Scares, USAF Thinks It Has Fix
By Stephen Losey, Air Force Times: "For instructor pilot Maj. Kinsley "Trigger" Jordan, the first clue that something had gone seriously wrong was when he suddenly tasted something metallic."

Air Force Claims Active-Duty Maintainer Shortage Is FIxed
By Oriana Pawlyk, Military.com: "As the service works to restore readiness, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said there is no longer a gap in the active-duty maintainer career field.In 2016, the Air Force said it was short about 4,000 maintainers across its ranks."

The Long, Bizarre History of Using Strobe Weapons
By David Hambling, Popular Mechanics: "An odyssey from vomit flashlights to paralysis rays to amnesia beams."

DoD Flying More Drone Missions Along U.S. Border
By Kelsey Atherton, Defense News: "The Department of Homeland Security flies the most missions along the border, but the DoD is joining in."

DeWine Takes Steps to Position Ohio As Military Powerhouse
By Kara Driscoll, Dayton Daily News: "With the creation of a new military cabinet position, Gov. Mike DeWine is strategically positioning Ohio as a military and aerospace powerhouse to attract defense-related jobs and to protect the state's military installations like Wright-Patterson Air Force Base."


China's Space Debris Cleanup: Dual Use Weapons?

By Anthony Capaccio, Bloomberg: " China is developing sophisticated space capabilities such as "satellite inspection and repair" and debris cleanup -- "at least some of which could also function" as weapons against U.S. satellites, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency."

Britain Calls for Hard Power in the Pacific

By Liu Zhen, South China Morning Post: " Speaking in London at the Royal United Services Institute, a British think tank, Williamson said Western allies must be prepared to "use hard power to support our interests", and failing to intervene against aggressive foreign powers "risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger". The U.S. military's top officer in the Pacific urged Indian officials Wednesday to pursue even closer military ties with the United States.""

Carrier Liaoning May Become Test Bed for Chinese EMALS

By Minnie Chan, South China Morning Post: "China is considering equipping its only serving aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, with a hi-tech launch system that will render its ski-jump flight deck obsolete and create a platform for training pilots in the latest naval aviation skills."


Russia Reset Redux Not the Answer to Increased Chinese-Russian Cooperation
By Bradley Bowman & Andrew Gabel, RealClearDefense: "The Director of National Intelligence warned in his annual Worldwide Threat Assessment last month that China and Russia are "more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s" and are expected to further deepen their relationship in 2019."

Focus Littoral Combat Ships on Antisurface Warfare
By Tom Lohr, Proceedings Magazine: "The Navy's littoral combat ships (LCSs) have been a disappointment and a thorn in strategists' sides—this is no secret. They are unable to fit in with carrier strike groups, and, as built, barely able to defend themselves, so finding a niche for them has been a challenge."

The F-35B Won't Solve Australia's Defence Dilemmas
By Ewen Levick, The Strategist (ASPI): "If the F-35B is on the agenda to improve our force-projection capabilities in the Indo-Pacific, then the agenda must also include an organisational structure that can better compete left of launch."

Arms Control With China?
From The Washington Times: "Former Secretary of State James Baker has long believed we should talk directly to our enemies as well as our friends. Before that, President Richard Nixon thought it made sense to be talking directly to the Soviet Union about limiting the most dangerous kinds of weapons — and this resulted in the laborious negotiation of intricate nuclear arms control agreements and their implementing protocols. Even President Reagan became something of an arms-control believer during his second term with the conclusion of the INF Treaty with the Soviet Union in 1987." 

China's Limited Role in the Indian Ocean
By David Brewster, the interpreter: "The geographical fact of (a potentially hostile) India, sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean would make this an extraordinary challenge for China."

Where is the U.S.-Thailand Alliance Amid 2019 Cobra Gold Exercises?
By Prashanth Parameswaran, The Diplomat: "While the exercise may first and foremost be a showcase of the growing multilateralization of a defense engagement, it will also be watched for what it says about the state of the U.S.-Thailand alliance amid broader domestic and foreign policy developments for both sides."

What Do Cognitive Biases Mean for Deterrence?
By Iain King, Strategy Bridge: "Humans make poor decisions—not just sometimes, but systematically—and new insights into these cognitive biases have implications for deterrence. To illustrate just how important these can be, consider the curious case of Abraham Wald, a respected Columbia academic who, in 1943, was selected by the U.S. War Department for an important task."

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