Photo: USS Lake Erie fires a SM-3 interceptor in February. MDA Photo MDA Destroys Missile in Successful BMD Test — USNI The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Navy intercepted a simulated ballistic missile in the third successful test of the Navy’s next generation Aegis ballistic missile defense system, MDA officials told USNI News on Thursday. The target missile – fired from a test range in Hawaii at 5:25 p.m. local time on Wednesday – was detected by the SPY-1 radar aboard USS Lake Erie (CG-70). The ship launched a SM-3 Block IB equipped with a BMD kill vehicle that successfully destroyed the simulated threat missile in low Earth orbit. Read more …. MILITARY AND INTELLIGENCE NEWS BRIEFS Missile Defense: SM-3 Interceptor Makes A High-Altitude Hat Trick — Breaking Defense CIA chief John Brennan in Israel on mystery stop — Washington Times US fears after Chinese missile test — The Telegraph Russia Sends More Advanced Missiles to Aid Assad in Syria — New York Times Russia to Deliver 12 More Mi-17 Helicopters to Afghanistan — RIA Novosti Military Robots Will Patrol World Cup — Mashable Budget Cuts Are So Bad, Even The Swiss Air Force’s Yellow Sock Puppet Is About To Be Unemployed — Business Insider/The Aviationist Australia heaps praise on F-35, says rivals years behind — Reuters Ultra-Orthodox Jews in mass protest against Israel army draft — BBC China Air Traffic Congestion Worsened by Military Control — Bloomberg Russian, American spies square off — AP Double-Secret Training For America’s Feuding Asian Allies — Battleland/Time Navy Sub Chief Rebuts Critics Claims On SSBN-X; Don’t Cut our Boats — Breaking Defense Carrier-based unmanned jet launch set to open new markets — Space Daily/UPI Lawmakers blast Air Force moves on cancelled Northrop drone — Reuters Policy on drone strike authorization doesn’t need to change, Defense official says — Washington Post F-35A Completes High Angle Of Attack Testing — Space Daily C-27J Reemerges Despite AF’s Boneyard Plans — DoD Buzz Next Gen Body Armor, ISR sensors, Nigh Vision Make SOCOM’s Wish List — Defense Tech Missiles to meet the new threat curve — Washington Times Army Defends Battlefield Intel System — DoD Buzz Fort Bliss gets on the microgrid, an energy first for DOD — Stars and Stripes Rep. Forbes Pledges Tougher Oversight; Carrier Costs, LCS Mission, Size of Fleet — Breaking Defense Marine crisis-response force for CENTCOM under consideration — Marine Times US Senate hears debate on revising 2001 war authorization — Stars and Stripes US Sens: Pentagon Attempting to ‘Rewrite the Constitution’ — Defense News Pentagon Said to Seek $80 Billion for War Amid Withdrawal — Bloomberg Multiple concussions may be causing increase in military suicides, study finds — FOX News Soldier who killed fellow U.S. troops in Iraq gets life sentence — Reuters Afghans tell of US soldier’s killing rampage — AP Male rape survivors tackle military assault in tough-guy culture — NBC How to End Sexual Abuse in the Military — Joseph Grenny, Time Fixing the VA-DOD health system fiasco — Peter Levin, Politico Sequestration effects will last years — Kathleen Curthoys, Army Times
NATO soldiers with at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on May 16, 2013. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters) How T he Afghan Conflict Will Be Decided — Michael Hirsh, The Atlantic A horrific week for U.S. casualties reaffirms President Obama’s rush to rely on the Afghan army. But can they handle it? KABUL, Afghanistan – Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi thumbs excitedly through a brochure prepared for him by Textron, the U.S. defense contractor. “This is what I want!” the Afghan army chief of staff says, pointing to a picture of the latest technology in armored troop carriers. Outside Karimi’s window, the giant, $92 million new defense headquarters that Washington is building for him is nearly finished; Karimi moves in in September. “Pentagon No. 1. This no. 2,” Karimi’s adjutant, Col. Mohammed Shah, says proudly in broken English. What Shah means is that the vast domed structure atop a hill–which resembles nothing so much as the Temple Mount–is expected to be the second-largest defense headquarters in the world, a distinct oddity in one of the poorest countries in the world. The Pentagon is also spending about a billion dollars on Karimi’s pride and joy, a new Mobile Strike Force. That includes $58 million on brand-new armored vehicles designed especially for the Afghan army by Textron (and which are deemed so state of the art that Canada just bought some for itself). Read more …. Update: Embassy Row: After Afghanistan for NATO — Washington Times My Comment: In the end …. Afghanistan’s future will be decided by the Afghan’s themselves …. which should have been the case starting a few years ago.
Nigeria Launches Air Strikes Against Militant Camps — Voice of America Nigerian forces have launched air strikes against suspected Islamist militant camps in the country’s northeast. A government spokesman said several camps were targeted and the attacks killed an undetermined number of insurgents. Some of the attacks took place in the Sambisa Game Reserve in Borno state, a known hideout of the radical sect Boko Haram. Witnesses reported the deployment of troops and jet fighters in Borno on Wednesday, a day after President Goodluck Jonathan said Boko Haram had taken over parts of the state. Read more …. More News On Nigeria’s War Against Boko Haram Nigeria begins offensive against Islamist sect — France24/AFP Nigerian forces bombard Islamist militant camps from the air — Reuters Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria air raids ‘kill militants’ — BBC Nigerian forces ‘shell fighters’ camps’ — Al Jazeera Nigerian troops shell Boko Haram hideout as jets join renewed offensive — The Guardian Official: Nigeria military shells suspected Islamic extremist camps in northeast, killing 21 — Washington Post/AP Nigeria military: Insurgents killed in raid on militant camps — CNN Nigerian army starts offensive against Islamists — Deutsche Welle Nigerian military strikes insurgent targets in northeast — Deutsche Welle Nigeria Military Begins Anti-Islamist Operations In Northeast — RTT News Nigeria: Security Forces Raid Boko Haram Camps in Borno — allAfrica.com Nigerian forces target Islamist strongholds — Reuters Nigerian army strikes out at Boko Haram in northeast — Euronews Nigerian military raids Boko Haram camps — UPI Gunmen Storm Nigeria Police Station — Voice of America Christian leader gunned down by Islamic militants in Nigeria — FOX News Nigeria: You’ve Declared War On Northern Nigeria, NEF Tells Jonathan — allAfrica.com Nigeria Rethinks Insurgency Battle — Wall Street Journal Nigerians Debate Amnesty for Boko Haram — Voice of America Nigeria: UN Chief ‘Very Concerned’ About Deteriorating Security in Northeast Nigeria — allAfrica.com
Russia Raises Stakes in Syria — Wall Street Journal Assad Ally Bolsters Warships in Region; U.S. Sees Warning. Russia has sent a dozen or more warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Syria, a buildup that U.S. and European officials see as a newly aggressive stance meant partly to warn the West and Israel not to intervene in Syria’s bloody civil war. Russia’s expanded presence in the eastern Mediterranean, which began attracting U.S. officials’ notice three months ago, represents one of its largest sustained naval deployments since the Cold War. While Western officials say they don’t fear an impending conflict with Russia’s aged fleet, the presence adds a new source of potential danger for miscalculation in an increasingly combustible region. “It is a show of force. It’s muscle flexing,” a senior U.S. defense official said of the Russian deployments. “It is about demonstrating their commitment to their interests.” Read more …. My Comment: Sending ship-killing missiles to the Syrian regime and deploying Russian warships off the coast of Syria is Russia’s signal to the Syrian rebels and to the international community that Moscow has made the strategic decision to protect the Assad regime at all costs. The rebels are denouncing these moves …. but from the West and (more specifically from Washington) …. the response has been muted.
Fighters from the Free Syrian Army. Khalil Ashawi/Reuters Syria Begins to Break Apart Under Pressure From War — New York Times CAIRO — The black flag of jihad flies over much of northern Syria. In the center of the country, pro-government militias and Hezbollah fighters battle those who threaten their communities. In the northeast, the Kurds have effectively carved out an autonomous zone. After more than two years of conflict, Syria is breaking up. A constellation of armed groups battling to advance their own agendas are effectively creating the outlines of separate armed fiefs. As the war expands in scope and brutality, its biggest casualty appears to be the integrity of the Syrian state. On Thursday, President Obama met in Washington with the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and once again pressed the idea of a top-down diplomatic solution. That approach depends on the rebels and the government agreeing to meet at a peace conference that was announced last week by the United States and Russia. Read more …. My Comment: This is an excellent analysis from The New York Times. Key paragraph is the following …. …. Three Syrias are emerging: one loyal to the government, to Iran and to Hezbollah; one dominated by Kurds with links to Kurdish separatists in Turkey and Iraq; and one with a Sunni majority that is heavily influenced by Islamists and jihadis. Indeed.