- President Obama will attend today’s Pentagon briefing on strategic adjustments that will lead to a 10+% reduction in the number of ground troops (presumably from peak levels): NYT | Reuters | C-Span stream (to start live at 10:50am ET).
- The UK’s defence secretary Philip Hammond will meet his American counterpart Leon Panetta later today. Hammond’s take: “today the debt crisis should be considered the greatest strategic threat to the future security of our nations. The fact is, in this era of austerity… not even the United States can afford the astronomical resource commitment required to deal with every threat from every source.”
- Boeing confirmed it’s going to close its Wichita plant in Kansas by the end of 2013. Some of the 2,000+ jobs will be moved to sites in the states of California, Oklahoma and Washington; others will be cut. Congressman Mike Pompeo is fuming while Tom Cole and Rick Larsen are obviously more upbeat.
- Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) chief Marion Blakey: “At this point we see all of the oxygen in the room being absorbed by the presidential debates. We want to be part of that oxygen, if you will.” (WSJ)
- The British MoD is using balls of rubber strengthened with Kevlar to deliver fuel by helicopter or transport aircraft. Known as the Mk 5 Air Portable Fuel Containers and manufactured by GKN Aerospace, they weight 2 tonnes (4,400 pounds) when full. See a short video at the bottom of this entry. Now, wouldn’t this make sense slung under a K-Max?
- Vincent Manzo, a research analyst at the National Defense University asks [PDF]: where do space and cyberspace fit in questions of deterrence and escalation in cross-domain operations?
- DARPA scientists have found that using an antibiotic and a protein together is more effective to fight radiation than when used separately. Well, at least for mice, but the potential for human application seems promising.
- Gunther Krauter, the general secretary of Austria’s (left wing) Social Democrats (SPO), said the country should sell its Eurofighter jets. Though they belong to the same political party that’s currently leading the government, such as sale is not on the agenda of defence Minister Norbert Darabos, so he was not thrilled by Krauter’s unexpected suggestion: Austrian Independent | Austrian Times. Austria does plan to sell many of its tanks; another contentious issue is Darabos’ support for ending conscription (Germany did so last year, France too in the late 90’s/early 00’s). The right wing People’s Party (OVP), the junior member in an obviously uneasy coalition, had its spokesman call the SPO (in German) the Unsicherheitspartei (the “non-security party”). Surely there must be a 19-letter word for “ouch” in German.
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