2019年2月8日 星期五

MORNING RECON: F-35C Redesign?; SWO Training Improvements Not Enough; Military on Standby for Venezuela; Army Delays JLTV; China's First Use Policy

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Morning Recon

Good Thursday morning and welcome to MORNING RECON.  On this day in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America are chartered in Washington, D.C., by William D. Boyce, who gets the idea from the English Boy Scouts established by Sir Robert Baden-Powell. In 1909, Boyce, a Chicago publisher, lost his way in a dense London fog. A boy came to his aid and, after guiding the man, refused a tip, explaining that as a Scout he would not take a tip for doing a Good Turn.
Today's Top Stories


Pentagon Labels Late F-35s as 'On-Time'
By Anthony Capaccio, Bloomberg: "Lockheed Martin Corp. delivered 91 of its F-35 jets in 2018 as promised, but only 54 were "on-time" based on monthly contract targets -- and 19 of those were reclassified from "late" in a settlement of production issues with the Pentagon."

3 Ways the Pentagon Could Improve Cyber Intelligence
By Justin Lynch, Fifth Domain: "The United States needs to expand its cyber intelligence authorities and capabilities to meet the Trump administration's new cybersecurity strategy, according to top current and former government officials and academics."

Air Force: Hypersonics Capability Less Than Two Years Away
By John A. Tirpak, Air Force Magazine: "The Air Force is slated to have an operational capability with the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon by late 2020, and with a separate and more advanced capability six months after that, according to service acquisition chief Will Roper."

Syrian Battlefield Preparing the Corps for a Fight With Russia or China
By Shawn Snow, Marine Corps Times: "While much of the conflicts across the Middle East tend toward low tech and low intensity, the fight in Syria is providing Marine commanders with a wealth of knowledge and experience for a future fight with near peer rivals like Russia and China."

U.S. Army Delays JLTV Production Decision
By Ashley Roque, IHS Jane's 360: "As the U.S. Army weighs possible Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) requirement changes before making a full-rate production decision, Oshkosh Defense has said it has already addressed several technical challenges raised in a recent Pentagon test and evaluation report."

U.S. Military Chopping Up Its Iron Man Suit For Parts
By Patrick Tucker, Defense One: "On Wednesday, James Smith, SOCOM's acquisition executive, announced that the final product would not match the sales pitch. In fact, the bits and pieces of the project would not come together to form a comic-book-like super suit."

U.S. Army Grenade Packed With Net Ensnares Drones
By Talal Husseini, Army-Technology: "The U.S. Army has developed a new weapon to ensnare enemy drones – a net packed into a 40mm grenade."

USPS Honoring Military Dogs With 2019 Stamp Collection
By Lauren M. Johnson, CNN: "USPS announced in a statement that one of their 2019 forever stamp collections will honor the "nation's brave and loyal military working dogs.""

Read more Top Stories at RealClearDefense.com including


Southcom Says Venezuelan Military 'Center of Gravity' in Crisis

By Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon: "Admiral warns military force could be used to protect Americans."

U.S. Military Aims to Withdraw From Syria by April: WSJ

From Reuters: " The U.S. military is preparing to withdraw American forces from Syria by the end of April and a significant portion of them will be out by the middle of March, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing current and former U.S. officials."

Russia Attacks Targets Held by Iranian Militia in Syria

From The Jerusalem Post: "Russian forces blew up bridges on the Euphrates river held by Iranian militias several days ago, according to a report. This is the first time the Russians attacked Iranian targets in Syria."

China About to Drop 'No First Use' Nuclear Weapons Policy?

By Minnie Chan & Kristin Huang, South China Morning Post: "China might come under pressure to reconsider its long-standing "no first use" nuclear policy as it engages in a maritime arms race with the United States, analysts have warned."

ISIS Leader Believed to Have Fled Coup Attempt

By Martin Chulov, The Guardian: "The ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, survived a coup attempt last month launched by foreign fighters in his eastern Syrian hideout, intelligence officials believe, and the terrorist group has since placed a bounty on the main plotter's head."

Turkey Faces Serious Odds in Manbij and Idlib

By Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor: "Turkey finds itself in an increasingly difficult situation on two fronts in Syria. Its key priorities have boiled down to trying to keep Russian and Syrian regime forces out of Idlib on the one hand and securing the departure of U.S. forces from Manbij and territories east of the Euphrates River on the other."


The United States and World Order
By Colin S. Gray, National Institute for Public Policy: "With very few exceptions the United States plays a dominant leadership role just about everywhere. This condition warrants the description hegemonic (from the Greek) so considerable is the country's lead internationally in most of the true foundations of power. With few exceptions, this American dominance has been a source of enormous net benefit to the world at large. In common with many other powers, even the United States has a few notable weaknesses, some of them, when regarded ironically, being largely a consequence of its relative greatness." 

CSBA Analyst Calls For F-35C Redesign
By Steve Trimble, Aviation Week: "A U.S. defense expert says the U.S. Navy should redesign the Lockheed Martin F-35C to perform a future role as a fleet defense fighter and long-range bomber escort."

Investing in Vertical Lift Modernization
By Gabriel Coll & Andrew Hunter, CSIS: "The U.S. military's vertical lift fleet of helicopters and tiltrotors is aging. With the exception of V-22 Osprey, no completely new aircraft designs have been introduced since the 1980s." 

Blame Russian Cheating, Not America, for Killing the INF Treaty
The Economist: "When it turned 30 in 2017, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (inf) treaty was ailing. Russia had proposed ripping up the pact in 2005. When it was rebuffed it tested an illegal cruise missile, the 9m729."

Is China's 'Guam Killer' Missile Too Hyped Up?
By Emanuele Scimia, Asia Times: "Chinese military experts cited by China Military, the People's Liberation Army's official English-language website, have emphasized that a recent live-fire test by the country's rocket force has demonstrated the projectile's capability to change direction in mid-flight and hit a moving warship. In their words, this is a response to Western doubts about its ability to strike an aircraft carrier or another type of vessel."

Nine Months Later, Trump's Iran-Deal Withdrawal Is a Clear Success
By Fred Fleitz, National Review: "Europe is coming to acknowledge and act on the nuclear threat posed by Tehran."

Recent Improvements to SWO Training Are Not Enough
By Paul Kenney, Proceedings Magazine: "Surface warfare officers (SWOs) tasked with safely and effectively operating U.S. Navy ships are no longer expert mariners."
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