Presented by USAA – MORNING RECON: Wars Are Won With Influence; President Pence?; Study Battleships to Save the Carrier; The Age of Total War

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Morning Recon
Presented by USAA

Good Tuesday morning and welcome to MORNING RECON.  On this day in 1943, the USS New Jersey, Admiral “Bull" Halsey’s flagship during WWII and the only Battleship to provide gunfire support during the Vietnam War, is commissioned in Philadelphia, PA for service in WWII.  BB62 was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and launched December 7, 1942- just a year after the Pearl Harbor Attack brought America into WWII.   The USS New Jersey (BB62) was actually the second ship to be called “New Jersey", the first being BB16, a turn of the century (19th century) battleship. 

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Today’s Top Stories

NATIONAL Trump’s Big Boost to DoD Evaporates in 2018 Budget
By Marc Cancian, Breaking Defense: “Campaign promises of a larger, more ready and fully modernized military have slammed into budget realities as the Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 budget for the Pentagon shows only modest growth above what the Obama administration had projected." What Would a President Pence Mean for America’s Military?
By Loren Thompson, RealClearDefense: “Would a President Pence share President Trump’s view that it is more important to rebuild the military than to control the deficit?"

What General Milley Wants You to Know​
By David Barno & Nora Bensahel, War on the Rocks: “Milley is calling on his Army to prepare for a much different future battlefield — one that will be totally unlike the battlefronts of Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria. The next war, in Milley’s view, will be all but unrecognizable to the veterans of the current wars, and will deeply challenge their hard-won combat experiences. That battlefield could well erupt tonight, not years or decades into the future."

74% of the Marine Corps’ Strike Fighter Fleet Can’t Fight​
By Dave Majumdar, The National Interest: “The DON is taking steps to resolve the problem, which is the cumulative result of years of overuse and funding disruptions that stem from the 2011 Budget Control Act. Additionally, in the case of the Marine Corps, the service made some very poor decisions on aircraft procurement—betting its future on the on-time arrival of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter."

Boeing Wins Redesigned Kill Vehicle Development Contract
From Reuters: “Boeing  was awarded a $1.09 billion undefinitized modification to a previously awarded contract for the procurement of Redesigned Kill Vehicle development Monday."

SOCOM’s “Iron Man" Suit On Track for 2018
By Vivienne Machi, National Defense Magazine: “A full body armor suit designed to protect commandos knocking down doors is coming closer to reality, as Special Operations Command anticipates revealing a fully functional prototype by the end of 2018, officials said."

Future Helicopters Will Be Lighter, Tablet Operated and Unmanned
By Katherine Owens, Defense Systems: “Lockheed Martin and its Sikorsky Innovations research unit are working to implement the tablet control system in the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, giving it autonomous capabilities and enhanced safety mechanisms, according a presentation by Chris Van Buiten, Vice President of Sikorsky Innovations, at a demonstration last week."

Air Force’s Squadron Revitalization and Pilot Retention​
By Scott Maucione, Federal News Radio: “The Air Force is getting a substantial return on its crowdsourcing effort to revitalize its squadrons."

INTERNATIONAL U.S., JAPAN: U.S., Japanese Firms Collaborating on New Missile Defense Radars
By Tim Kelly & Nobuhiro Kubo, Reuters: “As nuclear-armed Pyongyang builds ever more advanced missiles with the ability to strike anywhere in Japan, Tokyo is likely to fund a ground version of the ship-based Aegis defense system deployed on warships in the Sea of Japan, other sources had said earlier." 

GERMANY: Germany Quietly Building a European Army Under Its Command
By Elisabeth Braw, Foreign Policy: “Every few years, the idea of an EU army finds its way back into the news, causing a kerfuffle. The concept is both fantasy and bogeyman: For every federalist in Brussels who thinks a common defense force is what Europe needs to boost its standing in the world, there are those in London and elsewhere who recoil at the notion of a potential NATO rival." 

Turkey & Qatar’s Support for Extremist Groups
By Lawrence Stutzriem & Svante Cornell, RealClearDefense: “President Trump made clear in Sunday’s Riyadh speech that America stands by countries willing to fight Islamist extremism. A welcome opportunity to revisit our relationship with two ostensible allies, Turkey and Qatar."   

Secret Israeli-Arab Entente Blocking Peace?
By Paul D. Shinkman, U.S. News & World Report: “President Donald Trump’s goal of striking “the ultimate deal" between the Israelis and Palestinians faces steep challenges amid a new, clandestine security arrangement between the Jewish state and several of its Sunni Muslim neighbors, calling into question whether either side has the power or the incentive to follow through on negotiations." 
Battles Can Be Won With Kinetics, but Wars Are Won With Influence
By Ajit Maan, RealClearDefense: “Our tactics in the battles against Daesh in Raqqa and Mosul appear to be on the verge of success.  But tactical success in battle will not win the war without a strategy. And that strategy will not be successful if it depends solely upon kinetic force. " 
The Age of Total War
By John Q. Bolton, Strategy Bridge: “Clausewitz tells us war is inherently unknowable, and once released it becomes an entity unto itself, transforming and growing without regard to the circumstances particular to its creation. But analysis requires categories, and most military professionals accept that war occurs on a continuum, a spectrum of conflict ranging from small-scale guerrilla warfare, to limited war, to conventional combat (force on force) by states leveraging all the elements of national power in a bid to defeat each other. And the period roughly ranging from the American Civil War to the end of World War II is clearly delineated in the scale, scope, duration, and government control of conflict." 
By More Than Providence
By Bates Gill, Lowy Interpreter: " … Asia must be mediated through ‘five tensions in the American strategic approach toward Asia that reappear with striking predictability’. These are: prioritising American interests in Europe versus Asia; pursuing a continental versus maritime strategy (which Green further boils down to a question of China versus Japan); determining the line of forward defence in the Pacific; debating self-determination versus universal values in the ideational dimension of US foreign policy in the region; and striking the balance between protectionism and free trade." 

Unhappy Military Outcomes of the Post-Second World War Era
By G. Stephen Lauer, Strategy Bridge: ““Why do U.S. military outcomes after 1945 so often fail to achieve the policy objectives for which they are begun?" The chronicle of discontent is both powerful and pervasive in the American psyche today. The story of failure and lives lost with little meaning demonstrates the capacity, especially in the ongoing, and seemingly never-ending, Iraq-Afghanistan wars, to paralyze policy in regards to the threat of quasi-state organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), and indeed other existing nation states, in response attempts to overturn seventy years of the post-1945 peace settlement—the so-called Pax Americana. There are two fundamentally antagonistic matters at work here, the risk perceptions of the policy maker, and those of the military leaders given the task to achieve a limited aim with limited means." 

Why the U.S. Navy Needs to Study Battleships to Save the Aircraft Carrier
By James Holmes, The National Interest: “It is entirely possible that the technical challenges cataloged here are insoluble at any affordable cost, much as restoring the dreadnought’s supremacy was impossible in World War II. Accordingly, it behooves the U.S. Navy and friendly services to experiment with new technologies and concepts now, in case the sunset of the aircraft carrier approaches." ​

Key Issues Facing the NATO Alliance
By Daniel Kochis & Luke Coffey, The Heritage Foundation: “In Brussels next week, President Trump has an opportunity to lead on important issues facing NATO. The U.S. must renew its leadership role in NATO, including reinforcing and strengthening measures decided upon at the Warsaw Summit to bolster collective defense; press allies to commit to robust defense spending and proper investment in equipment; reaffirm commitment to NATO’s open-door policy in Brussels; and renew NATO’s commitment to support the ongoing Resolute Support mission." 

Guarding the Guards at the CIA
By George Friedman, Geopolitical Futures: “Forgoing foreign intelligence is not an option. A global power must know what is happening around the globe. A democratic global power must tolerate the discontents of deception, the risks it poses for a democracy notwithstanding. It’s an important if imperfect balance, and it’s thrown off when an intelligence organization enters public discourse." 

Countering China’s Submarine Operations in South Asia
By Abhijit Singh, Lowy Interpreter: “The expansion of PLA Navy submarine activity in South Asia is quite in keeping with a powerful navy’s need to familiarise itself with alien operating conditions. The pattern of Chinese submarine visits reveals that the PLA Navy has been incrementally raising the complexity of its deployments, sending both conventional and nuclear submarines to learn more about the Indian Ocean’s operating environment." 

America’s Afghanistan Problem
By Michael O’Hanlon, The National Interest: “President Trump made clear in Sunday’s Riyadh speech that America stands by countries willing to fight Islamist extremism. A welcome opportunity to revisit our relationship with two ostensible allies, Turkey and Qatar." 

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