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Dec 22, 2017
noticed Pentagon official promises impactful nuclear, missile defense strategies
source is NavyTimes
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and Major US defense strategy review coming Jan. 19
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The Pentagon will unveil its National Defense Strategy on Jan. 19, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced Friday.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Mattis said a significant part of the strategy will remain classified, but promised to make at least part of the document open to the public.

“There will be a classified one that is relatively thick; there will be a shorter one that will basically lay it out unclassified, and we’ll get those copies to you,” Mattis said.

The National Defense Strategy is the second in a series of major reviews coming from the Trump administration. On Dec. 18, President Donald Trump
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, which spoke in broad terms. For the Pentagon, the NDS represents a chance to get into specifics.

Following the NDS, the Pentagon will also unveil the Ballistic Missile Defense Review and Nuclear Posture Reviews in February.

Last month, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters that he believes the National Defense Strategy will make a lasting impact on the Pentagon over the coming year, as it will drive where resources are allocated for the department.

“We will probably talk about the National Defense Strategy probably a hundred thousand times” in 2018, Shanahan predicted. “Because if we don’t talk about it a hundred thousand times, it will just become a document that lives on a shelf ― and the difference between strategy and real outcomes if you marshal resources.”

As a result, the fiscal 2020 budget will be a “
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,” Shanahan said, with the strategy “firmly planted on the hill in front of our brains.”
 
May 24, 2017
...
Stayin’ alive: No retirement in sight for the A-10 and U-2
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now, With U-2 safe, operators vie for greater investment
Now that the U.S. Air Force has decided to keep its venerable U-2 spy planes into the foreseeable future, the U-2 operational community wants to see the service invest in technologies that can help the aircraft maintain its edge.

In its 2018 budget request announced last year, the Air Force indefinitely postponed the retirement of the U-2. However, the uncertainty surrounding the fate of the platform has meant that U-2 pilots and maintainers focused on sustaining the aircraft rather than improving it, said Col. A.J. Werner, commander of the 9th Operations Group at Beale Air Force Base, California.

“The general challenges with the U-2 — as with a couple programs with the Air Force — has been the on-again, off-again nature of it. It’s just hard programmatically at this level to have any sort of progress and growth because in the previous cycle [there was a] decision to make the platform go away,” he told Defense News during a December interview.

“Where we want to get to is what we always have had great airmen thinking about, and that is sensor dominance — that advantage that the U-2 enjoyed for multiple intelligence disciplines for decades.”

When Werner began flying the U-2, “we had a 20-year gap on near peers,” he said. “And that’s shrunk.”

The U.S. Air Force has 26 U-2s deployed at home station or in various stages of maintenance, said Maj. Ken, who has flown the U-2 for five years. (Defense News agreed not to publish the last names of U-2 pilots due to security concerns.) Another six aircraft are designated for training and test.

Pilots spend about half of the year deployed, rotating between two-month deployments across the globe and two-month stints doing training at Beale AFB. When deployed, pilots fly twice a week, spending anywhere from eight to 10 hours in the air at a time, he said. At home, pilots get enough cockpit time to maintain their currency — around three flights a month.

Most U-2s in the service’s inventory were built in the 1980s and have since been modernized with a glass cockpit and new engines, Ken said.

“They’re really not that old,” he noted. “The sensors are still state-of-the-art, they do exactly what we need them to do both in a typical strategic reconnaissance role or in combat.”

According to Lockheed Martin, the latest cockpit upgrades wrapped up in 2013, but Ken said there is still room for growth.

“There are technologies that the F-35 and F-22 are using that we could put into the U-2 through the acquisitions process. Not so much like touch screens, but more the way that a person interacts with the cockpit. Instead of just a normal yoke and a normal throttle, we’re looking at better switchology, better human-factors engineering,” he said.

There’s also ample opportunity to incorporate technologies that could enable multidomain command and control. That ability to connect to U.S. military assets in land, sea, air or space to send and quickly process data is one of of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein’s top priorities.

The U-2 has intrinsic size, weight, power and altitude advantages that could give it a unique value as the Air Force works toward its multidomain C2 goals, Werner said. It can fly at altitudes of 70,000 feet — 10,000 feet more than the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial system — and can carry 5,000 pounds, which is a 2,000-pound increase over that UAS.

The U-2 relies on three primary sensors (and other classified payloads): The optical bar camera, which captures panoramic imagery on film; the Senior Year Electro-optical Reconnaissance System, a multispectral electro-optical infrared camera; and the advanced synthetic aperture radar system, known as ASARS-2.

Those sensors are still “phenomenal,” Ken said, but the 9th Operations Group is looking for new, low-cost technologies that can meet near-term gaps, especially those that can increase the platform’s connectivity to ground forces or others that could benefit from real-time communication with the U-2.

“For this platform to be the most effective in the future, what we’re doing needs to grow,” he said. “Whether the sensors grow — and they will, just by the nature of how technology expands — but the way that we use the sensors and have them integrate with everybody — coalition forces, home forces, ground forces in every stage of a fight or defense that we can do — that’s the vision of the way forward with the U-2.”

The 9th Operations Group has tested multiple developmental and off-the-shelf payloads for the U-2 at Beale AFB. While many of those payloads are classified, Ken mentioned that the 9th had done some work testing future and existing radios, including systems that equip some versions of the Global Hawk.

Another critical requirement is the ability to retain the U-2’s resilience in a contested environment, Werner said.

“Let’s say you’re deaf, your links don’t work. The bad guys turned things off. I’ve got to be able to project and create a mesh there,” he said.
source is DefenseNews
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related:
Will Pakistan Close NATO’s Supply Routes into Afghanistan? Mattis Plays Down Possibility
January 5, 2018
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‘I’m not concerned,’ the defense secretary tells reporters after the White House announced an intention to suspend military aid to Islamabad.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis played down the prospect that Pakistan might close NATO’s supply routes into Afghanistan after the Trump administration said it would suspend military aid to Islamabad.

Alliance forces rely on Pakistani roads to haul supplies to landlocked Afghanistan. Pakistan closed them once before, after a 2011 U.S.
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.

“No, I’m not concerned,” Mattis told reporters on Friday at the Pentagon when asked about the prospect of Pakistan shutting down what the military calls Ground Lines of Communication, or GLOCs.

The Trump administration on Thursday
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its intention to suspend an estimated $1 billion in military aid to Pakistan due to years of “lies & deceit.” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif
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that the U.S. was “a friend who always betrays.”

Mattis said Friday he has not seen any indication from Islamabad that it would shut military supply routes. Military leaders from the U.S. and Pakistan are still talking to one another, he said, citing a Thursday conversation between Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command, and Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, chief of the Pakistan Army staff.

“Obviously, we’ll continue talking with one another as we are at all times,” Mattis said. “We’ll continue to coordinate this…this is going to take time.”

If the overland routes are closed, the U.S. would need to haul supplies in by cargo plane, a much more costly method. In 2008, NATO established a mix of ground and sea routes called the
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, which ran through Russia and other countries.

U.S. officials have previously
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that the United States pays Pakistan between $1,500 to $1,800 for each truck that travels between the port in Karachi and Afghanistan. In 2012, when there were far more NATO forces in Afghanistan, that totaled about $1 million per day.
also this:
Pakistan Likely to Keep Open Supply Routes to Afghanistan
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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday that Pakistan was likely to keep open supply routes to U.S. troops in Afghanistan despite the Trump administration’s cutoff of military aid.

“No, I’m not concerned about them,” Mattis said of what the military calls the G-LOCS, or ground lines of communication, and the A-LOCS, or air lines of communication through Pakistani airspace.

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In previous disputes with Washington, Pakistan has occasionally squeezed the G-LOCS running from the port of Karachi up through the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, but Mattis, who was in Pakistan last month, said he had received no indications from his Pakistani counterparts of any response that would affect the supply routes.

“I don't have any at this time, no,” he said. Mattis also noted that
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Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, had spoken Thursday with Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, to discuss the potential impact of the aid cutoff.

In a New Year’s Day Tweet, President Donald Trump said: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

Since he took office, Trump has been viewed with suspicion in Islamabad because of his courting of India, Pakistan’s traditional enemy.

In his address to the nation in August on the new Afghanistan strategy, Trump said "We appreciate India's important contributions to stability in Afghanistan. We want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development."

The U.S. has repeatedly accused Pakistan of harboring terrorists from the Haqqani network, a charge Pakistan denies, and of maintaining relations with the Afghan Taliban and providing them with safe havens in Quetta and Peshawar.

On Thursday, the Trump administration announced that nearly all military aid to Pakistan, about $2 billion annually, would be frozen.

On Friday, a senior administration official, speaking to reporters on background, said that steps in addition to the military aid cutoff were under consideration.

“The U.S. does have a range of tools that we're looking at beyond just the security assistance issue to deal with Pakistan and to try to convince it to crack down on the Taliban and Haqqani network," the official said.

“Certainly, no one should doubt the U.S. resolve to address this threat and all options, I would say, will be on the table," the official said.

The aid cutoff announcement triggered a furious response from Pakistan. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif called the United States "a friend who always betrays.”

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi charged that the U.S. was grossly overestimating the amount of aid provided. “The aid in the last five years at least has been less than $10 million a year. It is a very, very insignificant amount,” he said.

Abbassi also said that the U.S. was promoting a “fallacy” in charging that Pakistan was soft on terrorism. “We are today fighting the largest war on terror in the world. We are fighting the world’s war on terror with our own resources. That is something the world has to appreciate,” he said.

Abbassi said that Pakistan had lost 6,500 of its troops and 37,000 civilians in combating terrorism. In addition, “We have suffered a loss of over $120 billion in our economy,” he said. “We just want the world to know that Pakistan is on the forefront on the war on this terror.”

In his informal session with Pentagon reporters Friday, Mattis agreed that terrorists had inflicted huge losses on Pakistan.

“I think many of you are aware that Pakistan has lost more troops total than all of NATO, coalition, combined in the fight against them,” Mattis said. “But we've had disagreements, strong disagreements on some issues, and we're working those.”

The dialogue with Pakistan was continuing despite the aid cutoff, Mattis said. He said that “we're still working with Pakistan, and we would restore the aid if we see decisive movements against the terrorists, who are as much of a threat against Pakistan as they are against us.”
 

Equation

Lieutenant General
related:
Will Pakistan Close NATO’s Supply Routes into Afghanistan? Mattis Plays Down Possibility
January 5, 2018
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also this:
Pakistan Likely to Keep Open Supply Routes to Afghanistan
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NO but Pakistan can sure make it a lot more costly and difficult for NATO to supply routes into Afghanistan. The toll road cost had just gone up significantly without noticed.o_O
 

timepass

Brigadier
related:
Will Pakistan Close NATO’s Supply Routes into Afghanistan? Mattis Plays Down Possibility
January 5, 2018
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also this:
Pakistan Likely to Keep Open Supply Routes to Afghanistan
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IMO, this just dirty politics to make India happy nothing else.....

Now people are start asking questions on US/Coalition forces 16 years role in Afghanistan while still effectively > 60 - 70% Afghanistan is still in the hands of the either land lords/Tribal leaders or Taliban, no border management, no/few check posts, cant access Majority of the country ...

And other hand Pakistan made most actions on WoT & suffered the most in human lives lost (70,000) economy impacted (lost of estimated $100 billion). Despite of all sufferings, Pakistan cleared all their Tribal belt affected areas, fencing the border, around 1000 check posts being constructed, all areas are accessible.
 
NO but Pakistan can sure make it a lot more costly and difficult for NATO to supply routes into Afghanistan. The toll road cost had just gone up significantly without noticed.o_O
it'd be tough if they closed their airspace to the USN aircraft:
Tuesday at 7:42 PM

inside
USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Jan. 2, 2018
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:

"The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group
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. The U.S. airstrikes are also meant to maintain pressure on the
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."

I would've thought they had sailed closer to 'stan
 

timepass

Brigadier
Pakistanis To Donald Trump: Here’s A Cheque For That $33 Billion In Aid
January 5, 2018 4:15 pm by
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U.S. President Donald Trump
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most types of security aid to Pakistan on Thursday, complaining that the U.S. has given Islamabad $33 billion in aid toward the war against terror since 2002. Now Pakistanis are uniting to send a message right back at Trump by posting images of cheques made out to Trump for that $33 billion in aid.

In other words, it looks like Pakistanis are telling Donald Trump, “Here, you can have your money back.”



Donald Trump cuts aid to Pakistan
Trump claims that
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has given nothing but “lies and deceit” in exchange for the aid while Islamabad allegedly provides “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan.” He wants to see Islamabad take “decisive action” against the Taliban in Afghanistan, reports ABC. A Trump administration official reportedly said there’s nearly $2 billion in aid at risk.

Of the at-risk funds, $1 billion comes in the form of planned military assistance, while another $900 million is in Coalition Support Funds, which are meant to pay reimburse Islamabad for its counterterrorism operations. According to ABC, the administration official said that the U.S. isn’t shifting those funds elsewhere, so Pakistan could change course and still get the funds.

Although Trump’s move seems drastic, it’s a continuation of a policy that was started during the Obama administration.
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peaked in 2007 at$3.5 billion, according to The Los Angeles Times, but the Obama administration slashed it to approximately $1 billion annually over frustration with the situation in Afghanistan.



Pakistanis send Donald Trump messages
However, one thing that makes the current administration’s treatment of Pakistan different than the Obama administration’s treatment has to do with President Donald Trump’s use of social media. He uses Twitter frequently to sound off on various topics, sometimes in what can seem to some like a petulant manner. Such use of social media makes it easy for anyone in the world to troll the U.S. president, or to simply let him know how angry they are with something he said or did.

President Donald Trump’s
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is well-known around the world, so Pakistanis used the social network he seems to like the most against him by posting images of cheques made out to him for $33 billion, as if to send a message that he can have that $33 billion in aid he complained about back.

In addition to the images of the cheques posted on social media, Pakistanis also burned images of Donald Trump and the U.S. flag in Lahore on Friday to protest U.S. aid cuts. Demonstrators also waved images of the U.S. president and flag with red X’s across them during the rally.

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