Topic A: Defense
Report: China, Russia Agree on 'Countermeasures' to U.S. Defense Plan

CBS News reports that "Chinese state media say Beijing and Moscow have agreed to take 'further countermeasures' in response to plans for an advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea."

"The Xinhua News Agency says the agreement was reached during security talks between the two countries in Moscow on Thursday."

Mattis Testifies about World Order, Deterrence, More

Fox News reports that "Defense secretary nominee Gen. James Mattis issued a grave warning Thursday at his Senate confirmation hearing, saying the established world order is under its “biggest attack” since World War II as he called for boosting military readiness and America’s alliances."

"Under questioning from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., about Russia and other threats, Mattis said the U.S. should 'recognize the reality' of dealing with Vladimir Putin’s government and that he’s trying to 'break' the North Atlantic alliance."

Turkey Accuses U.S. Military over Syrian Kurds

Deutsche Welle reports that "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman accused the US military on Thursday of legitimizing a terrorist group after it re-tweeted a statement from a Kurdish-Arab alliance fighting against the self-styled 'Islamic State.'"

"The US backs the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a multi-ethnic force dominated by Kurdish fighters battling IS in northern Syria."

Kremlin Says U.S. Military in Poland Threatens Russia, Reduces Security in Europe

UPI reports that "the Kremlin said the United States' increased military presence in Poland as part of a larger NATO operation is a threat to Russian security that destabilizes Europe."

"Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the arrival of U.S. troops in Poland as part of the largest armed military brigade deployed in Europe since the end of the Cold War threatens Russia's 'interests and our security,' while Alexei Meshkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, said the NATO operation is a 'factor destabilizing European security.'"

J.P. Morgan's Dimon: U.S. Military Has Best Job Training in World

Yahoo Finance reports that "at a panel live-streamed on Yahoo Finance Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon cited the US military as doing the 'best job in the world' of training people who aren’t ready to enter the workforce."

“'You know who does the best job in the world of training kids who are probably not prepared to be part of a team and train and stuff like that, they probably don’t show up on time, and a lot of them didn’t finish high school? The United States military,' Dimon said at JPMorgan’s Forum on Career Education and Economic Opportunity."

Wilson to Head House Subcommittee on Military Readiness

The State (South Carolina) reports that "Congressional Republicans are making rebuilding the U.S. military a focal point of the coming session, and South Carolina’s Rep. Joe Wilson on Wednesday was put into the heart of that effort."

"Wilson, a member of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee since he arrived in Congress in 2002, was named the chairman of the subcommittee on military readiness."

U.S. Sends High-Tech Radar to Monitor North Korea

Reuters reports that "a high-tech sea-based U.S. military radar has left Hawaii to monitor for potential North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile test launches, a U.S. defense official said on Wednesday."

"Earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that the isolated, nuclear-capable country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)."

Congress Prepares for Mattis Confirmation Hearings

Military Times reports that "for the last six weeks, much of the military conversation on Capitol Hill has surrounded the nomination of former Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis to become the next Secretary of Defense."

"This week, Mattis will get his turn to talk."

Pentagon Seeks Japanese Commercial Technologies

Japan Times reports that "the U.S. Defense Department held a seminar in Tokyo in November for Japanese companies to study whether their technologies could be used to build U.S. military equipment."

"It was the Pentagon’s second such a seminar in Japan, Japanese and U.S. officials said Sunday. The first was held in 2014 when the Abe administration adopted new principles and guidelines for arms exports and had the Constitution reinterpreted to legalize the use of collective self-defense."

How New Generation of Drones Was Videotaped

60 Minutes reports that "a new generation of drones is coming. The U.S. military has used the remotely piloted vehicles for more than 15 years, but now the devices are capable of flying missions autonomously — and in a swarm."

Will Mattis Be 'Voice of Caution?'

The Washington Post reports: "The Iranian-supplied rockets were raining down on Gen. James N. Mattis’s troops throughout the spring and summer of 2011 with greater and greater intensity."

"Six American soldiers were killed by a volley in eastern Baghdad in early June. A few weeks later, three more Americans died in a similar strike, driving the monthly death toll to 15. It was the worst month for U.S. troops in Iraq in more than two years, and Iran’s proxies were vowing more rockets and more bloodshed."

U.S. Indicates Navy Ship Fired Warning Shots at Iranian Boats

Reuters reports that "a U.S. Navy destroyer fired three warning shots at four Iranian fast-attack vessels after they closed in at a high rate of speed near the Strait of Hormuz, two U.S. defense officials told Reuters on Monday."

"The incident, which occurred Sunday and was first reported by Reuters, comes as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office on Jan. 20. In September, Trump vowed that any Iranian vessels that harass the U.S. Navy in the Gulf would be 'shot out of the water.'"

Largest Group of U.S. Troops Since Cold War Lands in Germany

UPI reports that "the largest armed U.S. military brigade to be deployed to Europe since the end of the Cold War arrived Saturday at a port in northern Germany, military officials said."

"The U.S. Army's 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division arrived in the port of Bremerhaven on Friday and began a days-long process of deploying heavy equipment including tanks and armored vehicles. The deployment is the culmination of a promised heavier armed troop presence in eastern Europe since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014."

Two Senate Republicans Warn Trump on Russia

Stars and Stripes reports that "senior Republicans Sunday gave Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt that he’ll make Moscow pay for hacking the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, yet the president-elect could face a rift with members of his own party if policies against Russia don’t change."

"Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on NBC’s 'Meet the Press' that he and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., plan to introduce legislation for tougher sanctions against Russia, hitting the country in the financial and energy sectors 'where they’re the weakest.'”

Army Names Top 10 Modernization Efforts of 2016

Military.com reports that "the Army‘s “Top 10” modernization programs in 2016 range from a new hand grenade designed to be easier for lefthanders to throw to hydrogen-powered vehicles, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) said."

"The improvements soldiers can look forward to include:"