National Defense Briefs - February 7, 2015

by W. THOMAS SMITH, JR. February 8, 2015

National Defense Briefs

National Defense Briefs is a series aimed at informing readers with timely military and homeland-security news updates, trends, definitions, and short commentaries. FSM highlights the "National Defense Briefs" that matter.

  • The U.S. Marine Corps will "pause" its 2016 force reduction temporarily so that it may "assess the impact the policy has had on small unit leaders following years of high operational tempo," according to the Marine Corps Times. "Pentagon officials plan to keep the Marine Corps at 184,000 strong through the next fiscal year, according to the 2016 defense budget request, released Monday. Barring another round of across the board spending cuts, the service will not drop below 182,000 Marines."
  • The report adds, "The budget, which deals the Corps with $24 billion - plus another $1.3 billion for overseas contingency funding - sets aside enough money to keep 184,000 Marines on payroll through September 2016. It'll then drop down to 182,000 in fiscal 2017. [see http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/2015/02/02/marine-corps-budget-increases/22774269/]

  • Despite the drawdown, "thousands of Marines" will be deployed to both Kuwait and Spain going forward as part of a special expeditionary force "poised to respond to crises in the Middle East and Africa." A special Marine air-ground task force will also be positioned in Central America in order to respond to emergencies in the Western Hemisphere during hurricane season. Marine expeditionary units will be "heading to sea for seven to nine-month deployments." And the Marine embassy security program will be "standing up new Marine security guard detachments in some of the most dangerous cities in the world."
  • Secretary of Defense nominee Ashton B. Carter says he "would consider recommending changes to the current pace and size of the [Afghanistan] drawdown plan to address security concerns," according to the Associated Press, adding, that he "is aware of reports" that ISIS may "try to expand into Afghanistan."
  • As we have reported, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (also ISIS), the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the Islamic State (IS). Many Arab-speaking people refer to ISIS as Daesh, an acronym for Al Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham (the Arabic translation of the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham).

W. Thomas Smith Jr. - a former U.S. Marine rifleman - is a military analyst and partner with NATIONAL DEFENSE CONSULTANTS, LLC. Visit him at http://uswriter.com.



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