Rapid Fire 2011-22-11: Supercommittee’s Kryptonite | Amphibious Warfare Ships
- It’s confirmed: the Super Committee might have come close, but ultimately failed to reach an agreement. SecDef Panetta declared that “Congress cannot simply turn off the sequester mechanism” but also hinted that the nation deserves better than the outcome of the sequester. Predictably, HASC Chairman McKeon (R-CA) announced he’ll soon introduce a bill to roll back the sequestration mechanism before it kicks in. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) plan to do the same in the upper chamber. President Obama preemptively threatened to veto any such legislation. The Administration will have to show its cards by February when it submits the FY13 President budget. Will it assume sequestration takes place or not? And since sequestration doesn’t kick in until 2013, this might have to wait until after the 2012 election, for the new Congress to expedite in December ’12. Expect to hear about it in tonight’s Republican primary debate, and as an ongoing campaign issue.
- The US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the Navy’s amphibious warfare ships, reckons the Navy will fall short of its “unconstrained demand” as stated last year.
- The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission released its annual report to Congress [PDF] last week, reviewing among other topics China’s military developments and its “Area Control Strategy.” The report states: “In order to defeat a superior opponent, the Area Control Strategy emphasizes degrading an opponent’s technological advantages; striking first in a conflict; and establishing military control over China’s periphery, especially the maritime region off of China’s eastern coast.”
- US Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is pressuring the Obama administration on F-16 sales to Taiwan: his letter | Taipei Times.
- Military cooperation between the US and Australia may lead to the development of joint military facilities on Cocos Islands in the Indian ocean.
- The transfer of dock landing ship Foudre from France to Chile is confirmed [in French] and will happen next month, as well as training of Chilean personnel. Defense ministers Gerard Longuet (FR) and Andres Allamand (CL) discussed increasing their naval cooperation in the Pacific ocean.
- Poland’s defense spending looks set to increase more than in most other European countries in the next few years.
- In the UK a fleet of 38 Merlin helicopters has been grounded earlier this month because of problems with their computerized recording systems.