MORNING RECON: The 5 Best Aircraft Carriers in Naval History; China: U.S-China War Increasingly a “Reality"; MV-22 Osprey Crash Lands in Yemen

1/30/2017 Visit RealClearDefense ( today for more defense new and insight. ** Morning Recon ———————————————————— Good Monday morning and welcome to MORNING RECON. On this day in 1942, the last pre-war automobiles produced by Chevrolet and DeSoto rolled off the assembly lines today. Wartime restrictions had shut down the commercial automobile industry almost completely, and auto manufacturers were racing to retool their factories for production of military gear. ** Morning Mission Brief Podcast The Untold Story Behind the President’s Daily Brief ( The Cipher Brief 15 Minutes with David Priess ———————————————————— Today’s Top Stories NATIONAL Analyzing Trump’s Immigration Ban: A Lesson Plan ( From Michael Gonchar & Katherine Schulten, New York Times: “On Jan. 29, Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, appeared to reverse a key part of Mr. Trump’s immigration order, saying that people from the affected countries who hold green cards would not be prevented from returning to the United States. But Mr. Priebus also said that border agents had “discretionary authority” to detain and question suspect travelers from certain countries. That statement seemed to add to the uncertainty over how the executive order would be interpreted and enforced in the days ahead.” Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees — Separating Fact from Hysteria ( From David French, National Review: “To read the online commentary, one would think that President Trump just fundamentally corrupted the American character. You would think that the executive order on refugees he signed Friday betrayed America’s Founding ideals. You might even think he banned people from an entire faith from American shores.” Trump Calls for More Submarines — for Less Money ( From Julia Bergman, The Day: “"We’re lacking submarines, and we’re going to build new submarines, but the price is too high, so I’m cutting the prices way down," Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.” 5 Deadly Alternatives to the Army’s New Pistol ( From Francis Horton, Task & Purpose: “Well it finally happened, the Army has settled on a brand new pistol from Sig Sauer to replace the 1980s-era Beretta 9mm. You know, the pistol that carried by every officer without ever leaving the holster because God knows when the thing last got a cleaning. So where does that leave us? The same place troops always wind up following a major change in something unimportant: Fighting about it on the internet!" Fabrication Begins on Destroyer Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee ( From Seapower Magazine: “The ship is named in honor of Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee, the first woman to receive the Navy Cross. Higbee joined the U.S. Navy in October 1908 as part of the newly established Navy Nurse Corps, a group of women who would become known as “The Sacred Twenty,” and became the second superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in January 1911.” The Curious Case of the U.S. Army’s M551 Sheridan Light Tank ( From Sebastien Roblin, The National Interest: “The M551 Sheridan light tank is largely remembered as a curiosity, an innovative weapon system that proved an overcomplicated failure in action. However, several hundred Sheridans provided useful service in three wars, and left behind a small but noticeable gap in the force structure since being withdrawn in the 1990s that the Army has struggled to fill. That’s because the Sheridan was easily transported by air and could even be dropped by parachute.” First-Known Combat Death Since Trump in Office ( From Jill Colvin & Ahmed al-Haj, AP: “Just days into his young presidency, a U.S. service member has died in military action authorized by Donald Trump. It’s the first known combat death of a member of the U.S. military since Trump took the oath of office on Jan. 20 and underscores the gravity of the decisions he now makes.” MV-22 Osprey Crash Lands in Yemen During Al Qaeda Raid ( From David Cenciotti, Aviationist: “A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft called in to evacuate the wounded American soldiers crash landed, injuring 2 service members (1 according to other sources). The tilt-rotor aircraft was intentionally destroyed in place by a U.S. raid once it was determined that it could not leave the crash landing site.” INTERNATIONAL U.S., SOUTH KOREA: Trump Tells South Korea That Alliance With U.S. Is “Ironclad" ( From Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times: “President Trump assured South Korea’s acting president on Monday of the United States’ “ironclad” commitment to defend the country, agreeing with Seoul to strengthen joint defense capabilities against North Korea.” U.S., PHILIPPINES: Duterte Accuses U.S. Of Building “Permanent" Arsenal in ( Philippines ( From Martin Petty, Reuters: “Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte accused the United States on Sunday of risking regional stability by building permanent arms depots in his country, and threatened to respond by scrapping a security treaty between them.” U.S., CHINA, RUSSIA: U.S. Orders Review of China, Russia Nuclear Strike Survival ( From Anthony Capaccio, Bloomberg: “U.S. intelligence agencies and the Pentagon’s Strategic Command are working on a new evaluation of whether the Russian and Chinese leadership could survive a nuclear strike and keep operating, even as President Donald Trump seeks to reshape relations with both nations..” U.S., CHINA: China: U.S-China War Increasingly a “Reality" ( From Evelyn Cheng, CNBC: “"The possibility of war increases" as tensions around North Korea and the South China Sea heat up, Liu Guoshun, a member of the national defense mobilization unit of China’s Central Military Commission, wrote on Jan. 20—the same day as President Donald Trump’s inauguration. “‘A war within the president’s term’, ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, but the reality," Liu said in the Chinese commentary piece.” U.S., RUSSIA: Russian Rockets Sold to U.S. May Blow up Due to Faulty Metal ( From Andrew Follett, The Daily Caller: “NASA and the U.S. military could be affected by a major Russian scandal in which rockets were made out of cheap and potentially faulty metal.” NORTH KOREA: North Korea Restarts Nuclear Processing ( From Jack Liu and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., 38 North: “New commercial satellite imagery indicates that operations at the 5 MWe plutonium production reactor located at North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center has likely resumed. Analysis from January 18 showed signs that Pyongyang was preparing to restart the reactor after spent fuel rods had previously been unloaded for a reprocessing campaign that produced additional plutonium for its nuclear weapons stockpile. Imagery from January 22 shows a water plume (most probably warm) originating from the cooling water outlet of the reactor, an indication that the reactor is very likely operating.” COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS Nuclear Balancing and the Curse of the Heavy ICBM ( From Rod Lyon, The Strategist (ASPI): “Stable nuclear balances are those in which neither side feels pressure to fire first. And that typically goes to the shape of an arsenal, not simply its size. Take the case of an arms control agreement between two superpowers to limit their countable nuclear warheads to 1,000. (I use the adjective ‘countable’, because warhead numbers typically depend upon agreed counting rules for specific delivery vehicles.) Country A chooses to deploy 300 single-warhead ICBMs in fixed silos, 600 warheads on multiple-warhead (MIRVed) missiles at sea, and 100 warheads on its long-range strategic bombers. Country B chooses to build 100 ICBMs, each with 10 warheads, in fixed silos.” F-35 Review: A Fresh Look at the Industrial Base ( From Sandra I. Erwin, National Defense Magazine: “A fresh look at the program could serve as an opportunity to revisit the idea that the military should have more than one viable manufacturer of fighter aircraft over the long run. In the Navy, especially, concerns about the fighter industrial base have existed for many years, and bringing in an alternative to the F-35C might ease apprehension, said Lou Crenshaw, a retired vice admiral and naval aviator who served as deputy chief of naval operations for resources, requirements and assessments. The 5 Best Aircraft Carriers in Naval History ( From James Holmes, The National Interest: “Anyone who’s tried to compare one piece of kit—ships, aircraft, weaponry of various types—to another will testify to how hard this chore is. Ranking aircraft carriers is no exception. Consulting the pages of Jane’s Fighting Ships or Combat Fleets of the World sheds some light on the problem. For instance, a flattop whose innards house a nuclear propulsion plant boasts virtually unlimited cruising range, whereas a carrier powered by fossil fuels is tethered to its fuel source. As Alfred Thayer Mahan puts it, a conventional warship bereft of bases or a coterie of logistics ships is a “land bird" unable to fly far from home.” Why China and Russia Fear U.S. Navy’s New Ford-Class Carriers ( From Kyle Mizokami, The National Interest: “In 2009, the U.S. Navy finally began construction of the first new type of aircraft carrier in nearly thirty-five years. Named after former president and naval aviator Gerald R. Ford, the USS Ford fully takes the nuclear supercarrier into the twenty-first century. The technological innovations built into the new ship, while causing the inevitable delays involved in building a first-in-class vessel, will keep the Navy’s unique fleet of super flattops the largest and most advanced in the world for the foreseeable future." The Judge Advocate as Strategist ( From Dan Maurer, Small Wars Journal: ““Everything in war” Clausewitz wrote, “is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult.” The same is true of military criminal justice: prosecute the “bad guys,” protect the innocent and the victims, and move on to the next case, thereby remedying an injustice and helping commanders fight their battles more effectively and efficiently.” The Valley ( From Marc Milligan, Strategy Bridge: “I have always enjoyed listening to—even when not participating directly in the conversations – the patois of military life. The varied accents, the joking camaraderie, the “taking the piss out of one another” in order to test friendships as well as thickness of skins. The stilted conversations between senior officers or enlisted while talking down in rank to those who do the grunt-level, day-to-day work of a military at war. Renehan, a lawyer in his life before the Army, was commissioned as a 32-year-old lieutenant and spent 6 years in the Army. His knack for representing how soldiers talk to one another makes it seem as if he spent a full career amongst soldiers. His advantage in this case is that he has but one officer to speak for in the vast majority of the book, and that officer is one who is drawn as holding a barely disguised resentment of other officers while at the same time representing professionalism, a sense of duty, and, most importantly for the story, his moral obligations—both to the soldiers and the Army.” Water and U.S. National Security ( From Joshua Busby, Council on Foreign Relations: “With timely and cost-effective interventions now, the United States can minimize the risks for the future. As the incoming administration shapes its national security team, it should ensure that water has an appropriately prominent place in its planning. Improved data sources and methods, including satellite data collected by U.S. government assets, now make it possible to identify fragile states and river basins where water problems are most likely. The administration should seek more support for data collection, analysis, and early warning efforts." The Middle East’s Virtual Frontline ( From Levi Maxey, The Cipher Brief: “The Middle East, particularly the Gulf states, are quickly recognizing the urgent need for better cybersecurity, while regional adversaries such as Iran have begun weaponizing code as an extension of broader strategic goals within the region. What, though, is the Gulf’s current cybersecurity atmosphere, and how does Iran’s emerging use of offensive cyber capabilities fit into its broader strategy in the Middle East?" SEND RCD YOUR INPUT: Please send your tips, suggestions and feedback to ( and follow us on Twitter @RCDefense ( . 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