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Rapid Fire Dec. 21, 2012: New US Senate Appropriations Chair

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* David Cameron’s Middle East November 2012 Tour paid off with a deal with Oman for 20 aircraft including 12 Typhoons. Details to follow in our own coverage. As Britain and France compete for several fighter export contracts, Cameron’s personal involvement may remind of former French president Sarkozy’s hands-on approach, in contrast to François Hollande’s more distant involvement – if any – in such deals. * On the other hand BAE Systems is having a setback in Australia and is withdrawing from the JP2072 Phase 2B tender process a C4ISR land project. Australian Defence | The Australian. * Senator Barbara Mikulski [D-MD-3] has been confirmed by the Democratic Caucus as the Chairwoman of the US Senate’s Appropriations Committee, after senator Leahy turned down the opportunity. Mikulski, 76, was already a member of the SAC and its defense subcommittee, which still needs a new chairman to replace Daniel Inouye. * US SecDef Leon Panetta issued a memo [PDF] on the potential impact of sequestration. Don’t expect to see anything drastic such as furloughs in January just yet. And there’s always Plan B. Oh, wait… * The Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOTE) really wants to be kept in the […]

* David Cameron’s Middle East November 2012 Tour paid off with a deal with Oman for 20 aircraft including 12 Typhoons. Details to follow in our own coverage. As Britain and France compete for several fighter export contracts, Cameron’s personal involvement may remind of former French president Sarkozy’s hands-on approach, in contrast to François Hollande’s more distant involvement – if any – in such deals.

* On the other hand BAE Systems is having a setback in Australia and is withdrawing from the JP2072 Phase 2B tender process a C4ISR land project. Australian Defence | The Australian.

* Senator Barbara Mikulski [D-MD-3] has been confirmed by the Democratic Caucus as the Chairwoman of the US Senate’s Appropriations Committee, after senator Leahy turned down the opportunity. Mikulski, 76, was already a member of the SAC and its defense subcommittee, which still needs a new chairman to replace Daniel Inouye.

* US SecDef Leon Panetta issued a memo [PDF] on the potential impact of sequestration. Don’t expect to see anything drastic such as furloughs in January just yet. And there’s always Plan B. Oh, wait…

* The Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOTE) really wants to be kept in the loop in case test events are not going to be executed according to the approved plan. Memo [PDF].

* DID’s Editor-in-Chief Joe Katzman discusses Brazil’s strategic and defense industry opportunities and challenges with the International Security Network in Switzerland (Podcast on page, 23:43).

* The CDA Institute has a quick primer on the continued crisis in Mali. The UN Security Council just voted to approve sending African troops against Islamist extremists in the country’s north, but that is easier said than done.

* The GAO found that more than half high-ranking officials who left the US Coast Guard in the 2006-2010 period were compensated at some point through 2006-2011 by contractors doing business with the Coast Guard. 12 of the 39 officers were in that case in 2011 alone, mostly to grow new business.

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