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Boeing is looking at its 737-700 airframe as the Air Force's next-generation JSTARS

Defense Systems News

War on ISIS Not Likely to Reverse Downward Military Budgets

U.S. Air Force Scrimps On JSTARS Recap Program

Boeing Eyes 737-700 Solution for New JSTARS

Indonesia Muscles Up Its Military

JLTV Vendors: We are ready for production

GD wins $1.5 billion contract to support nuclear subs

First Flight for KC-46 Tanker Platform Slips Further

New Sanctions Target Russia's Energy and Finance Sectors; Defense Industry Also in Crosshairs

Engine Makers Pushing AM, Other Technologies For RD-180 Replacement

France to evaluate M-345 as possible Alpha Jet replacement

Israeli military inflates aerostat demand

Unmanned Aircraft Systems at a Crossroads

House Delays Vote on Continuing Resolution, passage expected week of 15 September


Inside the Beltway


 DSJ asked Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow and defense budget guru at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) what he thought the the increased international turmoil -- Ukraine, Israel, Iraq -- meant for U.S. defense spending and the prospects for overturning/postponing the Budget Control Act (BCA) and sequestration.  Here's what he offered:

"So far, I don’t see much movement on lifting the BCA budget caps, even given the increasingly unstable strategic environment around the world.  I think it’s important to remember how the BCA came into effect in the first place.  It was not intended to constrain U.S. foreign policy or reduce the size of the military—although that has happened.  The defense budget was the hostage taken by both sides in the showdown over the deficit.  Republicans thought Democrats would be unwilling to cut defense spending because they could look weak on defense.  Democrats thought Republicans wouldn’t let defense be cut because that’s the one area of the federal budget they want to see increased.  As one might expect, when both sides take the same hostage it doesn’t work out well for the hostage.

The reason we have the BCA budget caps has nothing to do with the security environment, so it should not be surprising that as the security environment worsens it doesn’t seem to affect the debate of defense spending.  There is also a convenient loophole written into the law–anything Congress appropriates as supplement “war-related” funding does not count against the budget caps.  So if more money is needed for operations in Iraq or elsewhere, Congress can fund that without changing the BCA."


Defense Systems Personnel

Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel, left, Adm. Bill Gortney, center, and Gen. John Campbell, right.

 Defense News notes that the Pentagon on recently announced a major change at the top of its training, counterterrorism and homeland security efforts, naming new heads US Special Operations and Northern Command, along with a new leader of the NATO force in Afghanistan:
-- Navy Adm. Bill Gortney, head of Fleet Forces Command, has been nominated to lead US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command. He would replace Army Gen. Charles Jacoby. 
-- Army Gen. John Campbell, vice chief of staff of the Army, has been nominated to lead the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. He would replace Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who has been nominated to be the next Marine Corps commandant.
-- Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel has been nominated to receive a fourth star and to take over US Special Operations Command. He is the head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He would replace Adm. William McRaven, who is retiring.


Defense Systems Conference


IDGA/IQPC's UAS Commercialization Industry Conference (UASCIC) will bring together a group of early adopters, government officials, industry partners and expert academia to discuss their current trials, future requirements, extensive capabilities, and forthcoming plans to leverage Unmanned Aerial Systems in commercial markets.  To be held 17-19 November 2014 in Washington DC, all of the details are here.