Rapid Fire May 17, 2012: Afghan Exit Costs, Timing
- France’s new defense minister is Jean-Yves Le Drian, a member of President Hollande’s Parti Socialiste like most ministers in the newly-formed cabinet. This was widely expected since Le Drian advised François Hollande (an Army reserve officer himself) during his presidential campaign. Like Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Le Drian has limited executive experience, but as member of the lower chamber of parliament he used to be on the defense committee. Hollande will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron tomorrow, who like Germany’s Angela Merkel, will ask the French President to reconsider his promise to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.
- If South Sudan’s army receives its planned air defense missiles soon, and if the missiles are tolerably modern, and if it has troops on its soil with the training to maintain and use them, it could change the strategic calculus vs. Sudan. As wonderful as that would be, those are a lot of “ifs”.
- The USAF can expect a lot of state lobbying for its initial KC-46A aerial tanker bases, which will anchor the long-term futures of their chosen sites. It expects to begin making decisions by the end of 2012.
- Israel Aerospace Industries sees strong opportunities in Brazil and Chile for its special-mission manned surveillance planes. Brazil already operates local EMB-145 counterparts to high-end IAI offerings like the G550 CAEW, but IAI’s ELI-3120 King Air 350 turboprop conversions are selling abroad, and have no Embraer counterpart.
- A 140 km/ 87 mile shot? That’s exceptional for a torpedo. Atlas Elektronik chalks it up to the SeaHake MOD4′s “unique propulsion and battery technology.”
- South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin is postponing a trip to Japan “in consideration of public sentiment” opposed to military cooperation with Korea’s former colonial ruler. The intent of the now-stalled cooperation was to share intelligence and establish joint sea search and rescue operations.
- USAF Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert were at the Brookings Institution to discuss the Air-Sea Battle doctrine.