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The D Brief: US to add troops in Germany; Taliban decline peace talks; Domestic terror spikes; Russia’s robot unit; And a bit more...
By Bradley Peniston
Deputy Editor
April 13, 2021 11:25 AM ET


U.S. to add 500 troops to German rotation. The troops will provide “additional capabilities in space and cyber, and some other issues,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Tuesday after a meeting with German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

Subtext: The move begins to fulfill President Biden’s February promise to reverse his predecessor’s planned drawdown of some 9,500 troops from Germany, “a move that had stunned European and North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and generated bipartisan protest in the U.S. Congress,” Bloomberg reports.

Context: “The Biden administration has sought to distance itself from Trump’s ‘America first’ foreign policy which urged U.S. allies to fend for themselves and pay more toward collective defense. It has repeatedly stated that the support of allies is central to accomplishing its foreign policy goals from competing with China to containing climate change, and managing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.” Read on, here.
04/13/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

Tue, 04/13/2021 - 9:27am

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell.  Edited and Published by Daniel Riggs

1. Statement From Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby on 4-Star Reviewer Appointment on Manda Bay Investigation

2. After War Zone Scandals, Special Operators Are Curbing Deployments and Investing in Ethics Training

3. Special Ops and CIA sabotage missions may shape future wars

4. Exploring Chinese Military Thinking on Social Media Manipulation Against Taiwan

5. A 35-year CIA veteran explains what China's up to around Taiwan and what the US should do about it

6. In a dramatic turnaround, China has started to lose the Covid Cold War

7. No Release for Ex-Officer Guilty in 'Fatal Vision' Murders

8. Georgetown Law Professor Decries ‘Maoist Takeover’ of Academia
US Military Transport Aircraft C-130J Spotted in Kiev
Aircraft Trackers Show Two US Air Force Transport Planes Arriving in Kiev, Contents Unknown
Military & Intelligence
19:03 GMT 12.04.2021(updated 21:20 GMT 13.04.2021) Get short URL

The reported aerial activity comes amid the continued escalation of tensions in the civil war-torn country as well as growing fears that the authorities in Kiev may try to take back the breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine by force.

Two US Air Force C-130 J Hercules military transports– one flying out of Riga, Latvia, and the other out of Stuttgart Army Airfield in Germany, have arrived in Kiev over the past twenty-four hours, data from flight tracking services harvested by open-source intelligence observers indicates.

Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill exposes America’s weak defenses, experts say
by Abraham Mahshie, Defense Reporter |
 | April 12, 2021 06:00 AM

President Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan includes a laundry list of things that push the limits of the word, worrying defense and critical infrastructure experts who are concerned the plan will highlight America's soft points to potential foes.

For decades, the United States has neglected investments in roads, bridges, and ports. Critical infrastructure such as power plants and electrical grids are now targeted by adversaries who have demonstrated elsewhere their capacity to shut off the lights. Where private industry has not invested in the cybersecurity to keep adversaries out, security experts say the government must inject investment for the sake of U.S. national interest. But with just 5% to 7% of the Biden plan reportedly going to traditional and future infrastructure, national security experts worry politics and patronage will surpass national security.

“We consider infrastructure like ports and airports and things like that versus the bigger, broader definition that President Biden is using,” retired Lt. Gen. Tom Spoehr of the Heritage Foundation told the Washington Examiner.
I've got sleep apnea but I'm sure it had nothing to do with a berthing area right under the number 3 arresting wire on an aircraft carrier.  It was no problem trying to sleep with 20 ton planes landing a just a few feet above your head every few minutes.  Very relaxing!  :silly:

Sleep Disorders Are Skyrocketing Among US Military Personnel, Study Finds
12 Apr 2021 | By Patricia Kime

A new study has found that serious sleep disorders are on the rise in the U.S. military -- conditions that can affect readiness and cause short- and long-term physical and mental health problems for troops and veterans.

According to research from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, insomnia diagnoses increased 45-fold, and obstructive sleep apnea rose 30-fold, among U.S. service members from 2005 to 2019.

The increases should concern military leaders and doctors as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides medical treatment for veterans with service-related conditions, said retired Army Col. (Dr.) Vincent Mysliwiec, a sleep expert and one of the study's authors.

The Army’s faster way to field tactical network gear gets its first big test
Mark Pomerleau
April 12 at 3:33 PM

FORT POLK, La. — Paratroopers testing the Army’s latest communications equipment jumped into a sprawling field surrounded by dense woods and moved north upon landing in an effort to secure the area.

Significant equipment improvements allowed the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division to communicate clearly across greater distances than in the past — up to about 28 miles, said Lt. Col. Andy Harris, commander of the brigade’s 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

Mapping on hardened cell phones, another new capability, showed teammates’ locations in near real time across the training environment’s miles of fields and forests. The devices gave team leaders new options to text if needed or follow the mission route on their screens instead of using paper maps alone.
This seems like something that could have been anticipated BEFORE they were actually built. :shrug:

High operating costs cloud the future of littoral combat ships, budget data reveals
By: David B. Larter   1 day ago

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship program battles reliability problems, it is also wrestling another and potentially just as fearsome bear: operating costs.

The service’s top officer said the original concept for a minimal crewing model — where as few as 32 sailors and eight officers manned the ship, and much of the maintenance burden fell to contractors — has driven up costs.

The answer? Put sailors back in charge of more maintenance, which means the Navy might need to add even more sailors to the crew.
No Injuries After C-17 Catches Fire at JB Charleston
April 12, 2021 | By Brian W. Everstine

No one was hurt when a C-17 caught fire after landing April 9 at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

Seven crew members and one passenger were returning from an overseas mission when the C-17 landed at the base and caught fire, causing substantial damage to the Globemaster III. Videos and photographs posted online showed flames burning on the aircraft’s landing gear and black smoke rising from under its left wing.

“Base personnel quickly extinguished the fire, preventing further damage to the aircraft,” Joint Base Charleston public affairs said in a statement.

The video shows the C-17 parked next to more aircraft, but the fire did not spread. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.
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