Rapid Fire 2011-02-15: PB FY12

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* Obama administration’s fiscal year 2012 budget [PDF] boosts defense spending by $22 billion over FY 2010 appropriations, to $671 billion, while projecting $78 billion in “savings” through 2016. [Update: 2013 request.] * Russia’s armed forces rely on aging equipment, lack transport capability, and suffer from manpower shortages, according to a NATO report cited in a leaked US diplomatic cable. * Which is true now, and even Russian analysts agree. But Moscow is increasing spending, and roughly doubled annual arms exports from 2005-2010. Meanwhile, Germany’s Rheinmetall is about to build an Army training center in the Nizhny Novgorod region. * Ceradyne’s new Enhanced Combat Helmet may be twice the price, but it looks like a 70% plus increase in head protection over the current American ACH design, with a new ability to stop close rifle shots. The USA plans to buy 200,000 ECH helmets, beginning in the fall of 2011. * Canada’s DND freezes benefits for deployed soldiers and next-of-kin, but isn’t moving to end double-dipping by senior officers. Not exactly leadership. * You can find it in those deployed ranks, though. Kudos to Canadian Master Corporal Shawn Grove, who taught himself Pashto and became a big asset to the […]

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