Today’s Links

  • At Fort Sill, the Army holds a meeting to discuss Anti-UAS measures:

U.S. ground forces detect an enemy unmanned aircraft performing reconnaissance  over their forward operating base. Now the soldiers must determine how to  neutralize the Unmanned Aerial System threat: whether to jam the electronic  signal from its ground controller, kill the ground controller or shoot down the  Unmanned Aerial System, or UAS.

  • The Afghan Army is not retaining its soldiers too well these days, but at least they’re not joining the Taliban:

Far from home, poorly paid and discriminated against, Mushtaq and Sefadullah are  among thousands of Afghans who are deserting the army in a worrying trend two years before NATO troops leave….It is not that they have joined the Taliban. Like many, they simply got fed up  with life in the army, fighting a war.

  • The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was supposed to be the pride of NATO. Everyone pitches in, and everyone benefits. But Canada, one of the founding members of the alliance, has had second thoughts:

Those rising costs is the reason Canada will likely walk away from [the F-35]. Canadian leaders had expected to the spend about $16 billion on the F-35 program. When word leaked that it had nearly tripled to $45 billion, many speculated the Canadians would halt the program….The panel will consider purchasing a version of the Boeing Super Hornet or maintain their plans to buy the F-35.

  • The drama surrounding the possible appointment of former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel continues. One would expect that Hagel, chairman of the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, would coast through this process as a Republican and as a proponent of mainstream foreign and defense policies. Though he served in Vietnam and voted in favor of the Iraq War in 2003, Hagel has been described as “like Ron Paul separated at birth” and possibly a pacifist. This seems a bit overwrought, but the Washington Post piled on:

Former senator Chuck Hagel, whom President Obama is reportedly considering for defense secretary, is a Republican who would offer a veneer of bipartisanship to the national security team. He would not, however, move it toward the center, which is the usual role of such opposite-party nominees. On the contrary: Mr. Hagel’s stated positions on critical issues, ranging from defense spending to Iran, fall well to the left of those pursued by Mr. Obama during his first term—and place him near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm him.

  • Last night’s Congressional conference committee on the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act was a compromise festival: biofuels OK, but with refinery construction caveats; East Coast missile site to be studied, not constructed; harsher sanctions on Iran, though with an extended timeline; and so on. The committee agreed on $633 billion bill.