2019年2月14日 星期四

MORNING RECON: F-35Bs Drop Smart Bombs Over Philippine and East China Seas; Army's Urgent Need: New Long-Range Strike Aircraft; Army Strykers Hacked

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Morning Recon

Good Thursday morning and welcome to MORNING RECON.  On this day in 1962, President John F. Kennedy authorizes U.S. military advisors in Vietnam to return fire if fired upon. At a news conference, he said, "The training missions we have [in South Vietnam] have been instructed that if they are fired upon, they are of course to fire back, but we have not sent combat troops in [the] generally understood sense of the word." In effect, Kennedy was acknowledging that U.S. forces were involved in the fighting, but he wished to downplay any appearance of increased American involvement in the war.
Today's Top Stories


Trump Disregards Congressionally Mandated Yemen Certification
By Jack Detsch, Al-Monitor: "The Donald Trump administration won't certify to Congress that the Saudi-led force fighting in Yemen is attempting to reduce civilian deaths in the conflict, Al-Monitor has learned, a move that would bar the Pentagon from resuming refueling to the coalition."

Artificial Intelligence: Are We Losing the Race?
By Colin Clark, Breaking Defense: "A few hours before the Pentagon released its first Artificial Intelligence strategy, I asked SASC Chair James Inhofe why the US military — and the U.S. generally — appeared to be doing so relatively little about it, while China has made AI the centerpiece of an outright societal realignment, complete with a master plan and huge amounts of targeted money."

2019: Army's Urgent Need for New Long-Range Strike Aircraft
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: "The Army can't reasonably expect to keep up with emerging threats if it continues to rely on Reagan-era rotorcraft to accomplish most of the airborne tasks required on a modern battlefield."

Navy Awards Boeing $43 Million to Build Four Orca XLUUVs
By Ben Werner, USNI News: "The Navy awarded Boeing a $43-million contract to build four Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUVs) that will become multi-mission for the service, according to a Wednesday Pentagon contract announcement."

Army's Next-Gen Squad Weapon to Feature Deadly Accurate Fire Control
By Matthew Cox, DefenseTech: "The U.S. Army may be close to a breakthrough in lethality with its Next Generation Squad Weapon program, but what will make it truly deadly is the new sighting system that guides the 6.8mm round on target."

The Army's New Online NCO Education System Is Live
By Meghann Myers, Army Times: "DLC is replacing Structured Self-Development as the online complement to the Army's in-house noncommissioned officer professional military education program, with six levels corresponding to each of the NCO ranks. It will be rolled out in stages through 2020."

Army's New Up-Gunned Strykers Have Been Hacked
By Joseph Trevithick, The WarZone: "It's been more than a year since the first up-gunned Stryker Dragoon armored vehicles arrived in Europe, giving elements of the U.S. Army's forward-deployed 2nd Cavalry Regiment a much-needed boost in firepower against potential threats. Since then, unfortunately, unspecified "adversaries" – a term the U.S. military has used in the past to describe the Russians, but that could also mean surrogate opponents during an exercise – have also been able to disrupt certain systems on the vehicles with a cyber attack on at least one occasion."

Why the Corps Might Adopt the Royal Marines' Fitness Tests
By Shawn Snow, Marine Corps Times: ""Formidable opponent." That was the phrase used recently by Royal Marines describing a training evolution aboard Twentynine Palms, California — where British and American Marines were pitted against each other in a mock fight."

Former Air Force Counter-Intel Agent Charged with Spying for Iran
By Patrick Tucker, Defenss One: "DLC is replacing Structured Self-Development as the online complement to the Army's in-house noncommissioned officer professional military education program, with six levels corresponding to each of the NCO ranks. It will be rolled out in stages through 2020."

Army Responds to Shocking Report on Private Military Housing
By Cortney O'Brien, Townhall: "The Pentagon's revitalized privatization program to upgrade their military bases has not produced quality results, according to many military families who live on them. Military spouses continue to speak out about the poor living conditions they've experienced in their private base housing. Some even described it as "slum-like.""


U.S. Revives Secret Program to Sabotage Iranian Missiles and Rockets
By David E. Sanger & William J. Broad, The National Interest: "The Trump White House has accelerated a secret American program to sabotage Iran's missiles and rockets, according to current and former administration officials, who described it as part of an expanding campaign by the United States to undercut Tehran's military and isolate its economy."

F-35Bs Drop Smart Bombs Over Philippine and East China Seas in Drill

By Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat: "The aircraft, armed with CATM-9X air-to-air missiles, dropped laser-guided Guided Bomb Units (GBU)-12 Paveway IIs and satellite-guided GBU-32s."

New Hot Spot Boils in the South China Sea

By Richard Javad Heydarian, Asia Times: "According to The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), a unit of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, "a handful of Chinese vessels" have swarmed Thitu Island since last July to block the Philippines' repair operations. The number of Chinese ship has increased to around 100 in recent months, the ATMI report said."


U.S. Military's Maintenance and Modernization Problem
By Brendan Stickles, War on the Rocks: "On Jan. 24, Gen. Maryanne Miller, head of Air Mobility Command, took the stage in Seattle and accepted the ceremonial keys to a new KC-46 airplane. She begrudgingly acknowledged to the assembled Boeing employees that she was really just the understudy. The scheduled headliner — Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson — had a hiccup in travel plans and would miss the festivities."

The Navy Needs More Original Thinking, Not More Ships
By Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner: "An interesting debate in conservative defense circles is whether the U.S. Navy needs a dramatically increased fleet size. I don't believe it does. While the Navy needs more than its present, approximate strength of 280 ships, it does not need the 355 ships it currently seeks."

Cutting Through the AI Hype
By Steven Fino, Strategy Bridge: "There is no shortage of opinions about artificial intelligence (AI). Scour the blogs, and you're bound to find references to both its promises and its perils. Frequently, the predictions are Janus-faced. Artificial intelligence will eliminate human jobs, and artificial intelligence will create human jobs. It heralds a new industrial revolution, and its impact will be constrained by its significant limitations. Such conflicting rhetoric appears in the military sphere, too."

Afghan's Perspective: Why the U.S. Shouldn't Withdraw from Afghanistan
By Mohammad Shafiq Hamdam, Small Wars Journal: "Continued presence and withdrawal from Afghanistan should not be limited to a personal opinion or an election campaign promise. This has to be analyzed and debated as a matter of national security."

New Perspectives for the Revived Quad
By Huong Le Thu, The Strategist (ASPI): "A key to the success of the Quad is its relationship with the Indo-Pacific concept. Quad 2.0 coincides with the promotion of the theme of a 'free and open Indo-Pacific' (FOIP), also articulated (although not without differences) by the four partners, which adds to the general confusion."

Europe's NATO problem
By David M. Herszenhorn, Politico EU "With U.S. President Donald Trump raising previously unthinkable doubts about America's willingness to defend its traditional NATO allies, some European leaders, officials and military experts insist the Continent must do more to defend itself."

Special Report: Inside Building the F-35
By Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven: "Flynn explained that the stealth engineering contributing to the F-35 has some origins as far back as the Gulf War-era F-117 NightHawk."

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