The Intersect
June. 15, 2010

Gates: Progress in Afghan war must come this year
The Associated Press via Google
Public support for the war in Afghanistan will evaporate unless the nations leading the fight against insurgents can show by the end of this year that the 8-year war is not locked in stalemate, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. "All of us, for our publics, are going to have to show by the end of the year that our strategy is on the right track, making some headway," Gates said ahead of meetings with NATO allies long weary of the war.More

NATO: Developments now favor alliance war effort
The Associated Press via Google News
NATO leaders declared that the alliance had regained the initiative in the Afghan war, promising that the gains could result in a handover of security responsibilities in some parts of the country to local authorities by year's end. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged his alliance counterparts to seize the moment and to provide the resources needed to accelerate efforts to bolster Afghan security forces. NATO wants Afghan troops to replace its forces in the war against the Taliban, thus providing the linchpin of the alliance's exit strategy.More

Saudis may let Israeli jets fly over for Iran raids
Agence France-Presse via Defense News
Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defenses to allow Israeli warplanes to use its airspace in any bombing raid on Iran's nuclear facilities, The Times of London reported. "The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way," a U.S. defense source in the region told the paper.More

Panel makes suggestions to cut defense spending
Air Force Times
How about retiring 57 ships from the Navy? And cutting 200,000 troops from the military? And ending costly programs like the V-22 Osprey, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, even the new refueling tanker? How about curtailing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter? Those are just a few of the recommendations offered by a task force that was asked by several members of Congress to come up with ways to cut defense spending — without diminishing national security.More

Pentagon sees no big change in weapons spending
Frank Kendall, principal deputy undersecretary for acquisition and technology, said the Defense Department was keenly focused on reforming its acquisition process and making it more efficient, getting more for the money it spends, increasing oversight and reducing risk on new programs.More

Top officer says military takes brain injuries 'Extremely Seriously'
Pro Publica
Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army's vice chief of staff, defended the military's handling of soldiers who suffered brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We are taking this extremely seriously," Chiarelli said in response to an investigation by National Public Radio and ProPublica which found the military is failing to identify and treat soldiers with so-called mild traumatic brain injuries. "There's no reason for us not to try to diagnose it."More

Reservists talk to Congress about aerial spray mission
U.S. Air Force Reserve Command
Six Air Force reservists fresh from the fight to save the Gulf coast from one of the worst oil spills in American history briefed congressional members and staffers from the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. As part of the U.S. military's only fixed-wing aerial spray team, the Airmen flew specially configured C-130 aircraft only 100 feet above the water and sprayed an oil dispersant to break the oil slick into smaller droplets. Then, the detergent-like dispersant pushed the droplets down into the depths to the microorganisms that eat the oil.More

Amos expected to be named Marine Corps commandant
Defense News
Gen. James Amos is expected to be named the 35th commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, sources told Defense News. If nominated, Amos could become the first Marine jet aviator named to the top post, and he would alter recent custom by becoming the first assistant commandant in several decades to succeed his immediate boss.More

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of June 8, 2010
The United States Department of Defense
This week the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Navy and Coast Guard announced an increase. The net collective result is 664 fewer reservists activated than last week. At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease.More