Today's Top 5
1. ISIS expected to revamp operations in Syria, grow ability to target the West, says Pentagon watchdog
(Military Times) The Islamic State is expected to revamp its operations in Syria and is predicted to grow its capability to attack the West — now that U.S. and allied-Syrian Democratic Forces’ operations to combat ISIS in Syria have been curtailed, according to a new report.
2. Lt. Col. Vindman's military uniform becomes flashpoint at Trump impeachment hearing
(Politico) Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s military service was front and center at Tuesday’s impeachment hearing, with Democratic members of Congress trumpeting their witness’ patriotism and Republican lawmakers praising his heroic acts on the battlefield.
3. Did the Navy’s top SEAL show contempt for Trump?
(Navy Times) His pay grade restored by President Donald J. Trump on Friday, Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher has filed an inspector general’s complaint against the Navy’s top SEAL, accusing him of uttering contemptuous statements about the commander in chief.
4. Rising costs, dwindling recruit numbers, increasing demands may bring back the military draft
(Military Times) Over the past five years, retired Army Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich and Col. Larry Wilkerson along with members of the All-Volunteer Force Forum have traversed the country in an effort to address what they see as a looming crisis in the military — dwindling numbers of qualified and interested recruits for a military straining at the seams.
5. Trump blows off Congress inquiry on Lebanon aid freeze
(Al-Monitor) The White House blew through a Friday deadline to justify its decision to freeze $105 million in US military aid for Lebanon to Congress, two congressional aides told Al-Monitor. The administration of President Donald Trump has not explained the controversial move to Congress in repeated meetings.
Defense intel report says Iran will seek new fighter jets, tanks as 2020 embargo lifts
(The Associated Press) Iran will likely buy new advanced fighter jets and tanks next year when a U.N. Security Council arms embargo is scheduled to be lifted, a senior U.S. intelligence official said Tuesday as the Defense Intelligence Agency released a new assessment of Iran’s military capabilities.
US military, Montenegro plot strategy against cyberattacks ahead of 2020 elections
(The Associated Press) Deployed inside the sprawling communist-era army command headquarters in Montenegro’s capital, an elite team of U.S. military cyber experts are plotting strategy in a fight against potential Russian and other cyberattacks ahead of the 2020 American and Montenegrin elections.
Iran’s military expeditionary capabilities are ‘limited’ but it’s heeding valuable lessons learned
(Military Times) Iran has shown its ability to deploy forces and air assets beyond its borders in support of allies across the Middle East in the wake of civil wars that have destabilized the region, according to a defense intelligence report on Iran’s military capabilities.
US, South Korea cut short meeting over sharing defense costs
(The Associated Press) U.S. and South Korean officials on Tuesday publicly acknowledged the allies remain far apart in negotiations for increasing South Korea’s contributions to the costs for maintaining the American military presence on its soil.
Two US servicemembers killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash
(The Associated Press) Two U.S. service members were killed on Wednesday when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan, the U.S. military said.
Dubai Air Show
Rostec exec: American sanctions create unfair advantage for weapons sales
(Defense News) While sanctions have blocked Russian aircraft from appearing at high-profile European air shows like those in Paris and Farnborough in recent years, the Dubai Airshow has revealed itself as more laissez-faire, with both Russian and NATO jets parked on the ramp.
UAE announces informal agreement for two more Saab GlobalEye planes
(Defense News) The Emirati Ministry of Defence will buy two more GlobalEye airborne early warning planes from Swedish aerospace firm Saab, bringing the country’s total number of aircraft to five, officials announced on Tuesday at Dubai Airshow.
75 years after his last mission, WWII bomber pilot recounts ‘sheer terror’ of bombing runs over Nazi Germany
(Military Times) John Luckadoo was just a wide-eyed 21-year-old lieutenant assigned to the Eighth Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group when he manned the controls and took to the sky for his first bombing mission as co-pilot of a famed B-17 Flying Fortress.
Trump issued pardons in soldiers' war crimes cases. What now?
(Military.com) President Trump's recent decision to intervene in the high-profile cases against three U.S. military personnel has "blown a hole" in the military justice system and will make it harder to prosecute future war crimes, military law experts say.
Jury awards $58M in lawsuit against body donation firm that sold cadavers for military testing
(The Associated Press) A civil jury has awarded $58 million Tuesday to 10 people who alleged a now-closed body donation facility mishandled the donated remains of their relatives and deceived them about how the body parts would be used.
Military families get access to hundreds more child care centers in pilot program
(Military.com) Military families struggling to find child care could get help if the Defense Department has success with a new two-year pilot program.
DPAA is underfunded, say organizations that help it recover and ID remains of POW/MIA troops
(Stars & Stripes) “Land of the free, home of the brave, yet 81,864 missing Americans are buried in unmarked graves,” said Mark Noah, the chief executive officer of History Flight, an organization that works hand-in-hand with Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency to recover missing remains of Americans.
Army looking into whether Golsteyn will get his Special Forces tab and Silver Star back, despite Trump’s pardon
(Army Times) The president’s pardon of Maj. Matt Golsteyn may not ultimately reinstate his Special Forces tab and Silver Star, both of which were stripped from him in 2015 by a U.S. Army Special Operations Command administrative board.
Here’s how this general is working to fix mold and other housing problems
(Military Times) Army Gen. Gus Perna has been digging deep into details of privatized housing operations, working to fix problems like mold and rodent infestation that have plagued some families living in the houses.
Republicans assail Army officer who reported Trump phone call
(The Associated Press) A career Army officer on Donald Trump’s National Security Council testified Tuesday he was duty-bound to object to the president’s clearly “improper” phone call seeking Ukrainian investigations of U.S. Democrats. Republicans answered him with doubts about his loyalty to the United States.
Butterfly on a bomb range: Endangered Species Act at work
(The Associated Press) In the unlikely setting of the world’s most populated military installation, amid all the regimented chaos, you’ll find the Endangered Species Act at work.
Another submarine officer busted for drugs
(Navy Times) A Navy officer pleaded guilty Friday to using cocaine, the stimulant Adderall and the mood-altering drug MDMA, the latest commissioned submariner to be convicted in the Seattle area.
Navy recruits are now using their fingerprints to sign enlistment documents
(Military.com) The Navy has successfully processed more than 700,000 new recruit forms using fingerprints, the service announced last week.
After Trump intervenes, Navy launches review of SEAL's fitness to serve in elite force
(CNN) The review could lead to Gallagher's expulsion from the elite warfare community, according to an administration official directly familiar with the matter.
Command chief at Shaw’s 20th Fighter Wing fired after investigation
(Air Force Times) The former top enlisted leader at Shaw Air Force Base’s 20th Fighter Wing was quietly relieved of his position last month after an investigation confirmed allegations of unprofessional and disrespectful leadership.
Military dedicates new headquarters for Strategic Command’s nuclear control unit at Offutt
(The Associated Press) The new, $1.3 billion headquarters for the command unit that controls the nation’s nuclear-armed forces has been dedicated at an Air Force Base south of Omaha.
AFSOC looking at future CV-22 replacement
(Air Force Magazine) Air Force Special Operations Command is looking forward to a future replacement for the CV-22 Osprey, a revolutionary capability that is still new to the command, AFSOC’s head of requirements said.
A really momentous day': StratCom welcomes new leader, dedicates new HQ
(Omaha World-Herald) Charles Lodge and his family slipped royal blue cloths from a portrait and a plaque honoring the memory of his grandfather, Gen. Curtis LeMay, opening a new chapter in nuclear deterrence under the roof of Offutt Air Force Base’s newest — and priciest — weapons facility ever Monday morning.
Mass arrest ‘unlawful’: Case against Marines charged in human smuggling probe takes hits as proceedings start
(Marine Corps Times) The first hearings have started for the Marines charged with various offenses related to to an alleged human smuggling ring at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Marine Corps has confirmed.
Corps issues new IED detectors more capable of identifying buried command wires
(Marine Corps Times) During the nearly two decades of war in Iraq and Afghanistan improvised explosive devices have been one of the main threats U.S. troops have faced.
On eve of funeral, Marine's widow remains in limbo
(Military.com) Jennifer Crowley became a widow on the same day she married Marine Master Sgt. Jeffrey Briar. Nearly two months later, she still has not been recognized as Briar's official spouse -- no covered travel to funeral and memorial events, no guarantee of Tricare insurance and other survivor benefits, no authority to make the final arrangements she says her husband wanted.
Coast Guard seizes shocking $69 million worth of cocaine from drug-running sub
(Military.com) The U.S. Coast Guard seized about $69 million worth of cocaine last month from a submarine-like craft in the Pacific Ocean, the service announced last week.
GI Bill repayments for tens of thousands of student veterans will wait until next summer
(Military Times) Tens of thousands of student veterans shortchanged in their housing stipends last year will have to wait until summer 2020 before they start seeing that money paid back, Veterans Affairs officials acknowledged on Tuesday.
Man charged in $300M Ponzi scheme involving veterans, investors
(The Associated Press) South Carolina authorities have charged a man from Southern California with conspiracy to engage in mail and wire fraud after prosecutors say he defrauded about 2,600 people, including many veterans.
Lockheed wins $3.3 billion contract for anti-jamming support
(C4ISRNET) The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin $3.3 billion contract to support a suite of secure satellite communications systems over the next decade
British government signals support for Cobham takeover by private equity firm Advent
(Defense News) The British government has signaled it will give the green light to a £4 billion (U.S. $5 billion) takeover that would see local defense contractor Cobham acquired by a U.S.-based private equity company.
BAE nabs $104.7M for support on Navy, Coast Guard vessels
(UPI) BAE Systems Technology has landed a $104.7 million contract with the U.S. Navy to provide engineering and technical services aboard Navy and Coast Guard vessels, the Pentagon announced Monday.
Exporter: Russian foreign military sales on pace to hit $13.7B despite U.S. sanctions
(UPI) Despite U.S. sanctions, Russian arms sales are on pace to match 2018's export revenue of about $13.7 billion, the head of Russia's state-owned defense export company said Monday.
Congress & Politics
House votes to avert government shutdown through Dec. 20
(Defense News) The House passed a stopgap funding bill Tuesday to fund the government through Dec. 20, moving one step closer to averting a government shutdown and buying time for a possible resolution of partisan budget disputes that have dragged on for months.
Should veterans be able to train and adopt service dogs at the VA’s expense?
(Military Times) A bill introduced two months ago that would give veterans the opportunity to train service dogs to reduce the effects of mental health issues has yet to come to a vote, even though it should be a “no-brainer,” one of the Republican co-sponsors said Tuesday.
Supreme Court to weigh reversals of military rape convictions
(Military Times) The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the federal government’s case against a military court ruling that reversed several military rape convictions for crimes committed more than a decade or two ago.
Here’s some good news for the Pentagon’s cloud migrations
(Federal Times) Despite troubles at the Pentagon trying to procure two enterprise-level cloud solutions, the second-ever audit of the Department of Defense found significant gains in cloud migration in the department’s components.
Lt. Col. Vindman defends impeachment witnesses, describes concerns about Trump Ukraine call
(The Hill) A top White House expert on Ukraine testifying publicly in the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Tuesday described attacks on him and other witnesses as “reprehensible” and “cowardly,” recognizing career officials for their courage in coming forward to raise concerns about the administration’s policies toward Ukraine. In measured opening remarks, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman said that he believed President Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president to be “improper” and that he reported concerns about it to a National Security Council (NSC) lawyer out of a “sense of duty.”
Video: In surprise announcement, UAE prepared to buy more Saab GlobalEyes | Dubai Airshow 2019
(Defense News) Saab CEO Micael Johansson speaks to Defense News immediately after the surprise announcement that the United Arab Emira intends to buy more GlobalEye aircraft.
Video: Trump takes action in three war crimes cases
(Military Times) President Trump has restored the rank of a Navy SEAL acquitted of murder and pardoned two soldiers accused of murder, Military Times has learned.
U.S. to provide ship to Vietnam to boost South China Sea patrols
(Reuters) The United States announced on Wednesday it will provide Vietnam with another coast guard cutter for its growing fleet of ships, boosting Hanoi’s ability to patrol the South China Sea amid tensions with China.
Yemen's Houthis release captured South Korean, Saudi vessels
(Reuters) Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement released three vessels and 16 people it had seized, South Korea’s foreign ministry and a Houthi military source in Yemen said on Wednesday.
U.N. rights office urges Iran to rein in security forces at protests
(Reuters) The U.N. human rights office voiced deep concern on Tuesday at the Iranian security forces’ use of live ammunition against demonstrators and urged authorities to rein in its use of force to disperse protests sparked by a hike in fuel prices.
U.S. military aid bolsters Ukraine’s front lines, but the Trump drama makes Kyiv nervous
(Washington Post) The trenches, the dugouts, the duckboards, the wood-burning stoves, the cold and mud seem to hark back to the First World War. But not the equipment on Ukraine’s side of the front lines.
Cyber, Space & Surveillance
How far behind is the Pentagon in electronic warfare?
(C4ISRNET) The current trajectory of the military’s electronic warfare modernization is too incremental and insufficient to regain the upper hand against top competitors, a new EW plans and programs assessment mandated by the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act asserts.
Does the federal government need a 5G coordinator?
(C4ISRNET) A bipartisan group of senators called on the White House to name a 5G coordinator to tackle what lawmakers described as an “unprecedented security challenge” presented by the new technology.
Grenade launching drone will be part of Army exercise in 2020
(C4ISRNET) With a body like a scorpion, a drone named Cerberus flies.
Information sharing is critical. So will DHS fund it in 2020?
(Fifth Domain) Three Senate Democrats are concerned that the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber unit won’t provide adequate funding to an information sharing program with less than one year until the 2020 presidential election.
The top colleges at the Energy Department’s cyber competition
(Fifth Domain) The University of Maryland at Baltimore County and the University of Central Florida ranked as the top two teams during a competition hosted by the Department of Energy to help protect critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.
Commentary & Analysis
Here’s one reason the U.S. military can’t fix its own equipment
(New York Times) Manufacturers can prevent the Department of Defense from repairing certain equipment, which puts members of the military at risk.
StratCom sets great example of professionalism and dedication
(Omaha World-Herald) Our national security depends not only on our military’s fighting strength but also on our ability to deter hostile powers. The U.S. Strategic Command’s deterrence mission is vital — preventing foreign powers from resorting to nuclear weapons, the world’s deadliest devices.
Esper: ‘We’re not the ones looking for a Cold War’ with China
(Washington Post) The Chinese government is undermining the international system and trying to alter it through coercion and malign influence, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper told me during his four-nation tour of Asia this week.