US Military Could Not Handle One Major Theater Operation If Sequester Sticks

“You gentlemen make life and death decisions in the Tank almost every day,” a somber Cooper said at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, looking straight at Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Air Force Gen. Mark Welsh and Marine Gen. James Amos. “We are unwilling to even come up with a budget for America.”

Even the usually partisan HASC Chairman Buck McKeon, after offering a very short defense of the House and GOP’s actions on sequestration, spoke the truth to the Joint Chiefs and the packed hearing room: ”It’s not your fault. It is us.”

How bad will it get if the United States Congress does not reverse the Budget Control Act, the foundation of sequestration?

Three of the four Joint Chiefs told the HASC that they would not be able to execute the most basic strategic requirement of the US military: defeating an enemy in a single major theater operation. Only Gen. Amos, Marine Commandant, said his self-sufficient force could handle one MTO, but could not handle more than that. Continue reading

Open Secrets — Pentagon plans to share missile secrets with Russia opposed by Republicans

The Pentagon held internal talks on declassifying sensitive missile defense technology that it plans to share with Russia as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to assuage Moscow’s opposition to European defenses.

Republicans in both the House and Senate plan to block any technology declassification for missile defense technology in the current defense authorization bill and other legislation. Legislative mark up on the authorization bill begins this week. Continue reading

Obama brushes off Congress on Russian helicopters for Afghan military

WASHINGTON — The administration of President Barack Obama has
dismissed congressional objections to purchase military helicopters from Russia.

The Defense Department said it would proceed with the procurement of Mi-17 utility helicopters from Russia. The Pentagon said the helicopters would be transferred to the Afghanistan military. Continue reading

US: Sarin bombs ready for Assad’s “go” order. Israel’s odd silence

It’s been said that the only element left keeping the Assad regime propped up is the Syrian air force. Therefore, we now know a possible key indicator of when Assad will escalate the situation into a regional-wide war: When it’s on its last leg.

American officials said Wednesday, Dec. 4, that they believed bombs had been made ready with sarin gas, but not yet loaded onto fighter planes and Assad had not issued the “go” order. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned President Assad once again that he would be crossing “a red line” if he used nerve gas against the country’s rebels. But “there’s little the outside world can do to stop it.” Continue reading

Iran claims it captured U.S. drone

Drone number two.

Should this prove to be true, then these are either gifts, or every electronic component of US drones is compromised. Take your pick.

TEHRAN, Iran Iran claimed Tuesday it had captured a U.S. drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf — even showing an image of a purportedly downed craft on state TV — but the U.S. Navy said all its unmanned aircraft in the region were “fully accounted for.”

“The U.S. Navy has fully accounted for all unmanned air vehicles operating in the Middle East region,” Cmdr. Jason Salata, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain, told CBS News. “Our operations in the Gulf are confined to internationally recognized waters and airspace.” Continue reading

China building large amphibious assault ships similar to U.S. Navy’s

For the first time, a PLA Navy official has confirmed that China is building large amphibious assault ships similar to those currently operated by the U.S. Navy.

“With the amphibious assault ships in our hands, our Navy will be capable of delivering power to any nation within the three island chains in the Pacific,” Rear Adm. Yin Zhuo told the state-run CCTV on Nov. 13. The three island chains means the U.S. and Australia. Continue reading

Iran’s navy aims to sail off US shores soon

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The head of Iran’s navy says the country aims to put its warships in international waters off the U.S. coast “in the next few years.”

The comments Tuesday from Admiral Habibollah Sayyari on state TV are part of Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

Full article: Iran’s navy aims to sail off US shores soon (AP)

U.S. preparing F-35s modified to Israel’s specifications

In a statement on Aug. 28, the Pentagon did not specify the development for Israel’s JSF. But the statement provided the first indication that the aircraft ordered by Israel could contain features not found in the off-the-shelf model of the fifth generation aircraft.

In July, Israel and the United States were said to have agreed on the integration of Israeli-origin subsystems in JSF. The agreement envisioned the installation of Israeli electronic warfare and communications systems in a configuration that would eventually be made available to other JSF clients.

Full article: U.S. preparing F-35s modified to Israel’s specifications (World Tribune)

Russia to join military drills with Canada

MOSCOW — A group of Russian armed forces will take part in the military drills with Canada to be held next Monday in North America, a military official said Saturday.

The Watchful Eagle-2012 anti-terrorism exercise, slated for August 27 to August 29, will take place in the United States and Canada.

The First Group of Russian forces, including air force officials from the Eastern Military District, have left Moscow and would join works at the Colorado headquarters in the US, military spokesman Alexander Gordeyev told Interfax news agency.

The second delegation would engage in works at the backup headquarters in Alaska, according to Gordeyev.

The Russian delegation would also visit the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs at the invitation of US officials, Gordeyev said.

Full article: Russia to join military drills with Canada (China Daily)

US weighs limited military action against Assad. Turkey may join

Convinced that the Syrian ruler would never allow himself to be pushed into accepting UN intervention, the Americans continue to keep limited military intervention on the table.

They will let it simmer there until the Six-Power nuclear talks with Iran beginning Saturday, April 14, in Istanbul are well under way, so as not to give Tehran pretexts for toughening its bargaining position or pulling out of the negotiations.

Turkey too is moving closer than ever before to real military action, not just empty words. Armed Turkish assault helicopters flew Tuesday over the Syrian border. They were there to warn Damascus that if Syrian soldiers again fired across the border into Syrian refugee camps as they did Monday, April 9, they would be targeted by the Turkish gunships.

Sources in Ankara reminded local and Arab media of the existence of the mutual defense cooperation pact known as the “Adana agreement” which Turkey and Syria concluded in 1998.

Article 1 states that “Syria, on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, will not permit any activity that emanates from its territory aimed at jeopardizing the security and stability of Turkey.”

Under this article, Ankara feels Turkish military intervention in Syria is legitimate. This reminder was offered the media, our military sources confirm, to provide the legal grounding for a potential Turkish military move across its border into Syria.

Full article: US weighs limited military action against Assad. Turkey may join (DEBKAfile)