* After a 1-year test, the US’s 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) stationed in South Korea does not intend to use MRAPs that were previously used in Iraq or Afghanistan. This reduces the options for a shift of these vehicles from CENTCOM to PACOM, which is likely to affect retrograde scenarios and costs. Instead 2ID is getting Assault Breacher Vehicles (ABVs).
* Prior to meeting his Iraqi counterpart, US Department of State John Kerry acknowledged how the situation in Iraq has been unraveling in recent months:
“Iraq sits at the intersection of regional currents of increasingly turbulent, violent, and unpredictable actions. Sunni and Shia extremists on both sides of the sectarian divide throughout the region have an ability to be able to threaten Iraq’s stability if they’re not checked. And al-Qaida, as we have seen, has launched a horrific series of assaults on innocent Iraqis. […] We hope also to discuss this morning the issue of weapons flowing from the Syrian conflict into Iraq for use against Iraqis or weapons flowing through Iraq and going into Syria. It’s a two-way street and it’s a dangerous street.”
* Jordan is interested in acquiring ISR aircraft from the US.
* Should the US suspend its $1.3B/year in military aid to Egypt, following the deaths of more than 600 civilians (NYT, Bloomberg)? Isobel Coleman from the center-left Council on Foreign Relations thinks so, while Khairi Abaza from the neo-conservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies disagrees (though his article predates the latest events).
* The bodies of 4 deceased crewmen in the burned wreckage of India’s INS Sindhurakshak have been recovered. Divers are still searching for the 14 other people who were aboard the submarine when it exploded, but they are very likely all dead.
* Indian “hawks” have no love lost for their government, as this New Delhi: Mice can’t roar! op-ed shows, among other similar columns published recently to decry what their authors see as a very meek posture after repeated Chinese and Pakistani provocations.
* Taylor Fravel, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, parsed statements from China’s ruler Xi Jinping and finds reasons to believe Xi may want to ease territorial tensions in the South China Sea. It mostly hangs on a 12-character guideline earlier used by Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s and repeated by Xi, so don’t blink.
* SAIC’s protest of the issuance of a task order to SRA International by the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command was denied by the GAO.
* The Pentagon’s Product Support Manager (PSM) award winners [PDF] this year are Cynthia A. Flertenstein, PSM for Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and Brian Sharkey, PSM, Lightweight Mortars.
* Area 51: it does exist! That is one of the facts revealed in declassified CIA documents, which also show that back in 1955 Lockheed Martin built 20 U2s… for a total of $19 million.
* We had transient issues with our printing and outline article tools on the DID website. Sorry for the lapse in functionality, these problems have been resolved.
* The video below provides an update on how British forces clear their inventory in Afghanistan. That includes surplus sales: