Today's Top 5
1. Hacks Raise Fear Over N.S.A.’s Hold on Cyberweapons
(New York Times) Twice in the past month, National Security Agency cyberweapons stolen from its arsenal have been turned against two very different partners of the United States — Britain and Ukraine.
2. Jihadists Are Seeking Beachheads in Asia, U.S. Admiral Warns
(Wall Street Journal) If the current conflict in the Philippines is any indication, Southeast Asia may be the next major battlefront for Islamic State-supporting jihadists, according to a story by The Wall Street Journal.
3. Muddled messaging on Syria could pull the US into a greater conflict
(Military Times) The White House released a statement Monday night claiming the U.S. had “identified potential preparation for another chemical weapons attack,” and warning the Syrian regime that it would “pay a heavy price” should it unleash such weapons in the ongoing civil war.
4. Lawmakers reject new plan to make women register for military drafts
(Military Times) House lawmakers on Wednesday turned aside a new attempt to require women to register with the Selective Service, arguing that any changes should wait on a review of the entire draft system.
5. Senate Panel Votes to Allow Navy to Call at Taiwanese Ports
(Wall Street Journal) Proposal in armed services committee’s bill would roll back nearly 40 years of U.S. deference to China under “One China” policy
US special operations forces dispatched to Tal Abyad in northern Syria
(Military Times) According to Kurdish activists in northern Syria, U.S. special operations forces were recently dispatched to the Kurdish-controlled city of Tal Abyad, near the Syria-Turkey border, as tensions flare in the fight against ISIS.
Mattis says Syria's government taking US threat seriously
(Associated Press) Syria's government is taking seriously the U.S. warning against launching another chemical weapons attack, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday.
South Korean leader vows to stand with Trump on North Korea
(Associated Press) South Korea's new leader vowed Wednesday to stand firmly with President Donald Trump against North Korea, playing down his past advocacy of a softer approach toward the nuclear-armed nation as he made his first visit as president to Washington.
Sniper's record kill shot in Iraq 'should be celebrated', Trudeau says
(Gaurdian) A record-shattering lethal shot fired by a Canadian sniper in Iraq has reignited a longstanding debate over Canada’s role in the region, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telling reporters it was “entirely consistent” with the country’s non-combat mission and should be celebrated.
Syria war: At least 173 civilians dead in Raqqa coalition operations against Islamic State, UN says
(ABC (Australia)) At least 173 civilians have been killed so far this month in the Syrian city of Raqqa, in air and ground operations against the Islamic State group, the UN's top human rights chief says.
Islamic State turned on dissenters as Raqqa assault neared
(Reuters) Islamic State's leaders used spies to root out suspected enemies in their ranks in the countdown to this month's U.S.-led attack on their de-facto capital Raqqa, the wives of three Tunisian fighters who fled the Syrian town said.
Intel report: Kremlin sees US urging regime change in Russia
(Associated Press) Kremlin leaders are convinced America is intent on regime change in Russia, a fear that is feeding rising tension and military competition between the former Cold War foes, the Pentagon's intelligence arm has assessed.
Senate committee approves Trump's deputy defense secretary pick
(Washington Examiner) The Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday approved President Trump's pick for deputy defense secretary, moving the nomination to the full chamber.
With new stolen valor law, Pennsylvania is the latest state to target military fakers
(Military Times) Military fakers in Pennsylvania may want to consider a change of station.
1,000 foreign-born military recruits facing deportation under proposed Pentagon plan
(Military Times) One thousand foreign-born military recruits are facing deportation under a proposed Pentagon plan to cancel enlistment contracts for those without legal immigration status, reports The Washington Post.
Admiral: Southeast Asia could be next front for war against ISIS
(Military Times) If the current conflict in the Philippines is any indication, Southeast Asia may be the next major battlefront for Islamic State-supporting jihadists, according to a story by The Wall Street Journal.
Army National Guard soldier accused of sexual misconduct
(Army Times) A sergeant in the Massachusetts Army National Guard has been accused of inappropriately touching a fellow soldier, according to a press release from the Vermont State Police.
Authorities search for Fort Campbell soldier missing since last week
(Army Times) Authorities are looking for Pvt. Trevor Solomon, a soldier from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, who has been missing since last week, according to local TV station WKRN.
Officials: Shooter scare at Redstone Arsenal was false alarm
(Associated Press) A security scare that shut down an Alabama Army base and sparked fears of a shooting was a false alarm, the military said Wednesday.
Hiding Shiloh sailor Mims transferred from brig
(Navy Times) The sailor who went missing on the cruiser Shiloh this month, sparking a massive at-sea search before he was allegedly found hiding on board, has been transferred from the brig at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Navy officials said Wednesday.
Aircraft carrier to celebrate Canada Day in Halifax
(Navy Times) With the Fourth of July less than a week away, a titan of the U.S. Navy is heading north to take part in this weekend’s Canada Day festivities in Halifax, Nova Scotia, according to a story from The National Press.
Senate Armed Services Bill Directs Navy to Start a Preliminary Design Effort for a Light Carrier, Pluses Up Shipbuilding Totals Over Trump Budget
(USNI News) The Senate Armed Services Committee version of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act piles on more ships and aircraft over the Pentagon’s request in a plan that spends more than $20 billion above the Trump administration’s request, according to an executive summary of the legislation that the SASC issued on Wednesday night.
Navy wants secure, 'trusted' apps for sailors
(C4ISRNET) A search for “U.S. Navy” on the Google Play store turns up dozens of mobile apps, everything from training simulators to hospital corpsman qualifications to fitness guides. Which of these are official Navy releases? It's anyone's guess.
Lawmakers Slam U.S. Navy For ‘Insufficient’ Hypoxia Response
(Aviation Week) House defense authorizers highlighted a spate of hypoxia-like cockpit incidents in U.S. Navy aircraft during a markup of the defense policy bill, with one lawmaker slamming the service for its “insufficient” response.
Huntington Ingalls Industries Awarded First Flight III Arleigh Burke Destroyer
(USNI News) Huntington Ingalls Industries won an award to build the first of a new configuration of Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers, according to a Tuesday Pentagon contract announcement.
Australian forces could soon join US to fight against ISIS in Asia
(Marine Corps Times) The commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific expects Australian forces to join American troops in fighting Islamic extremists in Asia, reports Australian Broadcasting Company.
Wounded Air Force TACP and paralympian to receive ESPN's Pat Tillman Award
(Air Force Times) Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro, a tactical air control party airman who miraculously returned to service after a roadside bomb in Afghanistan left him with severe burns, will receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service, ESPN announced Wednesday.
Airman found dead in dorm room at Fairchild Air Force Base, officials say
(Air Force Times) An airman was found dead in a dorm room Tuesday at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington, according to KXLY, which cited Air Force officials.
Space Corps, opposed by Air Force, survives House debate
(Washington Examiner) A House proposal to create a Space Corps in the Air Force moved forward Wednesday despite an effort by some members of the Armed Services Committee to study the issue instead.
The A-10 Warthog Lives
(The Weekly Standard) On Monday, the House Armed Services Committee released a draft of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. It included $103 million to keep the second-most controversial plane in the Air Force’s fleet, the A-10, flying.
Leadership lessons from 40 years in the Coast Guard
(The Washington Post) Admiral Paul Zukunft has been the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard since May 30, 2014, leading 41,700 men and women on active duty, 7,800 reserves, 8,300 civilians and 31,000 volunteer Auxiliarists.
US Army on fast track to get Mobile Protected Firepower into force
(Defense News) The U.S. Army’s plan to procure effective Mobile Protected Firepower for infantry brigade combat teams will enter a high-speed track in 2018 as it skips the technology development phase in favor of commercial off-the-shelf options, according to the Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Vehicles.
Saab snags $120M Swiss contract for its next-gen anti-tank weapon
(Defense News) Switzerland has become the latest customer for the Anglo-Swedish developed next generation light anti-tank weapon in a deal announced by Saab on Wednesday.
China launches its most advanced homegrown class of guided-missile destroyers
(Defense News) China has launched the first of a new class of guided missile destroyer, the largest and most advanced of its type to be designed and built in the country.
Raytheon awarded LCS sonar contract
(C4ISRNET) Raytheon has been awarded a Navy contract for variable-depth sonar for the littoral combat ship.
Northrop Grumman to develop next-gen GPS
(C4ISRNET) Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $49 million Air Force contract to develop next-generation navigation technology.
Leonardo, BAE team on guided munitions with US market in their sights
(Defense News) BAE Systems and Leonardo have teamed to offer Leonardo’s Vulcano guided munitions to the U.S. Navy, the firms said on Wednesday.
Elbit, Harris to replace panoramic display in F-35 cockpit
(FlightGlobal) Elbit Systems and Harris will replace the head-down panoramic display system for the Lockheed Martin F-35 after 2019, the companies have announced.
Veterans Helped By Obamacare Worry About Republican Repeal Efforts
(NPR) There are about 22 million veterans in the U.S. But less than half get their health care through the Veterans Affairs system; some don't qualify for various reasons, or may live too far from a VA facility to easily get primary health care there.
Congress & Politics
Senate unveils $700 billion defense authorization plan
(Military Times) Senate lawmakers introduced a $700 billion defense authorization bill on Wednesday that sets the stage for another financial showdown with House budget planners and White House officials over the right target for national defense planning.
2 Arizona Democrats want Pentagon to give breakdown of Trump's travel costs
(Associated Press) Two House Democrats want to compel the Air Force to detail how much has been spent on trips that President Donald Trump has made to his Florida estate and other properties that he and his family own.
Veteran lawmaker accuses colleague of labeling him a 'rapist'
(Military Times) Retired Army Lt. Col. Steve Russell accused a fellow House colleague of labeling him “a rapist” for opposing sweeping changes to the Uniformed Code of Military Justice during a tense legislative mark-up on Wednesday.
H.R. McMaster: Omission of Article 5 commitment from Trump speech a 'manufactured controversy'
(Washington Examiner) National security adviser H.R. McMaster said Wednesday criticism of President Trump's failure to affirm the United States' commitment to NATO's Article 5 in a speech last month was a "manufactured controversy."
US demands more security on international flights to US
(Associated Press) The Homeland Security Department is demanding that airlines around the world step up security measures for international flights bound for the United States or face the possibility of a total electronics ban for planes.
US not seeking death for Guantanamo detainee in Bali bombing
(Associated Press) Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty against a Guantanamo Bay detainee accused of orchestrating the deadly 2002 Bali nightclub bombings in Indonesia and other attacks, a U.S. military official said Wednesday.
Cyber, Space & Surveillance
Mossad launches fund to invest in firms developing spy tech
(Associated Press) Israel's Mossad is launching an investment fund for start-ups developing "groundbreaking" technologies that could be used by the spy agency.
What is needed to split NSA and Cyber Command?
(C4ISRNET) With the impending split of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, the focus will shift from personnel and staffing to infrastructure and tools. Under current law, one of the requirements set forth in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act calls for – among other things prior to a split – the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense to certify that the capabilities of Cyber Command and the NSA won’t be degraded if they split off.
Bill Would Bar Pentagon From Business With Russian Cyber Firm Kaspersky
(NBC News) A provision in a Senate spending bill that is likely to become law would bar the Defense Department from doing business with Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cyber-security company whose employees were interviewed at their homes this week by FBI agents.
New computer virus spreads from Ukraine to disrupt world business
(Reuters) A computer virus wreaked havoc on firms around the globe on Wednesday as it spread to more than 60 countries, disrupting ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles and halting work at a chocolate factory in Australia.
Report: Russian Navy To Build Nuclear Powered Destroyer and New Aircraft Carrier
(The National Interest) The Russian Navy will design the new Lider-class destroyer with nuclear propulsion, but analysts and defense industry sources are skeptical that the new warship will ever be built.
Russia: US sent 'invitation' for terrorists to stage gas attack in Syria
(Washington Examiner) Russian officials accused President Trump's team of issuing an "invitation" for terrorists in Syria to stage a chemical weapons attack that would be blamed on embattled President Bashar Assad.
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Hong Kong as mass protests expected
(CNN) China's President Xi Jinping underlined his commitment to "one country, two systems" as he arrived in Hong Kong to mark two decades of Chinese rule in the former British territory.
Gunmen fire on U.N. convoy west of Libyan capital
(Reuters) A member of parliament for Zawiya, Abdallah Alafi, said five male U.N. staff and two female staff had been held briefly and then released and would be transferred to Tripoli.
Philippines says beheaded civilians found in Isis-held town
(Guardian) Five decapitated civilians were found in a Philippine city occupied by Islamist rebels on Wednesday, the military said, warning the number of residents killed by rebel “atrocities” could rise sharply as troops retake more ground.
Peru launches investigation as fire kills workers 'locked inside container'
(Guardian) Peru’s president condemns conditions of ‘slave workers’ as four young people die in blaze in Lima, at least two of whom were reportedly imprisoned inside
Commentary & Analysis
New realities require better decisions in missile defense [Commentary]
(Defense News) Over the past several decades, missile defense has been one of the military’s greatest technological challenges. The Pentagon is working on the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, or IBCS. According to the maker of the IBCS, it was created to provide a “single, unambiguous view of the battle space” and “significantly enhance aircraft and missile tracking … and the ability of combatant commanders and air defenders to make critical decisions within seconds.” IBCS was intended to replace the current Patriot command and control system.
Iraq and Syria face further instability as Isis influence wanes
(David Gardner, Financial Times) Federalism may have failed in the Middle East, but peace depends on co-operation
Is a New China-Vietnam Maritime Crisis Brewing in the South China Sea?
(Carl Thayer, The Diplomat) This year’s long-scheduled Vietnam-China 4th Border Defense Friendly Exchange was unexpectedly canceled, reportedly due to Chinese displeasure at Vietnam’s resumption of oil exploration activities in the South China Sea. Neither side officially has confirmed this development. This article reviews public and private information made available to The Diplomat.
How A Forward-Looking Approach To Gender Will Make The Marines Stronger
(Lt. Cols. Jeannette Haynie & Edward Powers, Task & Purpose) Adopting a gender-relational perspective on warfighting is essential to the Marine Corps’ primary mission: winning the nation’s battles. This perspective involves more than just considering the capabilities women do and don’t bring to a fighting organization. Rather, it means developing an understanding of how identity contributes to organizational capacity, capability, process, and narrative, and recognizing that warfighters need a wide range of skills beyond mere physical ability.
Germans Should Accept What a Military is For, or Get Used to Dissappointment
(Mario Schulz, War On The Rocks) There are German troops operating in active combat zones like Afghanistan and Mali. In January, the German parliament voted to expand Germany’s military presence in the West African country. As long as Germany’s political leaders send the military to potentially deadly missions – including, apart from active combat operations, air-policing above the Baltic states or training missions in Northern Iraq – German military personnel may lose their lives. Readiness to make such sacrifices is an expression of values such as bravery and heroism. Without these values, there is no military.
Republicans are risking becoming the party of Putin
(Evan McMullin, Washington Post) Whether its leaders and members realize it, the Republican Party is at risk of becoming the Vladimir Putin-aligned party in the United States. It can be convincingly argued that it’s already similar to Putin-supported parties in Europe, given Donald Trump’s presidency, the Republican base’s increasingly favorable views of Moscow and the House GOP leadership’s disinterest in investigating and preventing Russian interference.
Judging Al Qaeda’s Record, Part II: Why Has Al Qaeda Declined?
(Daniel Byman, Lawfare ) No single factor explains Al Qaeda’s problems since the September 11th attacks, but I believe the most consequential reasons for this decline include its underestimation of the U.S.-led counterterrorism campaign and the associated loss of its haven and global infrastructure; its killing of Muslim civilians; and the lack of a strong base among the people it claims to represent.