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Author: TriSec    Date: 02/11/2020 10:52:17

Good Morning!

We're back in our humble offices in Boston, so let's dive right in!

I've got some snippets of things today. All very interesting.

Remember that impeachment thing? Well, politicians wouldn't act, but maybe a private company will. Amazon is of course run by liberal concerns, so guess what? They've just lost a significant military contract. It's worth ten billion dollars, and Amazon is now making the claim that Trump interfered with the process and discredited Amazon. They're really not happy.

WASHINGTON — Amazon wants to depose President Donald Trump over the tech company's losing bid for a $10 billion military contract.

The Pentagon awarded the cloud computing project to Microsoft in October. Amazon later sued, arguing that Trump's interference and bias against the company harmed Amazon's chances of winning.

The Pentagon was preparing to make its final decision when Trump publicly waded into the fray in July, saying he had heard complaints about the process and that the administration would “take a very long look.” He said other companies told him that the contract “wasn’t competitively bid.”

Amazon is looking for more information about what happened before and after that review, including an alleged comment that surfaced in a book last year that said Trump privately told then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to "screw Amazon" out of the contract.

The company said in a federal court filing in Washington on Monday that Trump has a “well-documented personal animus towards” Amazon, its CEO Jeff Bezos and The Washington Post, which Bezos owns. Amazon says that Trump is the only who can testify about the “totality of his conversations and the overall message he conveyed” about the bidding process.

Amazon is also asking to depose Mattis, current Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other government officials in its filing Monday with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The White House and the Pentagon didn't immediately return requests for comment Monday.

George Washington University procurement law expert Steve Schooner said a deposition of Trump would be “clearly relevant to the primary allegations underlying their lawsuit,” but that doesn't mean it will happen.

“I can't imagine this president sitting for that deposition,” Schooner said in an email Monday.

But speaking of money, there's some interesting stuff going on with the Navy right now. There's a new class of warship called a "Littoral Combat Ship". It's designed to fight in shallow coastal waters instead of out in the mid-ocean. (Combat scenarios are different). In any case, there was a lengthy development, and the first one was deployed in just 2008. So guess what? The Navy is ready to send it off to the reserve fleet already.

The Navy is forging ahead with a plan to build a 355-ship fleet, but its construction budget for new warships is set to fall significantly in 2021.

The Navy will spend $16.4 billion on two new subs, a pair of destroyers, a next-generation frigate, an amphibious transport dock, and two towing, salvage and rescue vessels next year. The submarine builds will include plans for the first of the new Columbia-class subs along with one Virginia-class.

That's according to its $161 billion budget request, including base and overseas contingency funds, that was unveiled on Monday. The Navy Department's overall budget total, which includes the Marine Corps' request, dropped by $2.9 billion in comparison with last year's request.

The Navy's shipbuilding budget would fall to $16.4 billion to buy eight vessels in 2021, down from $22 billion last year for 12 new ships. The decrease raises questions about how the service will get to its planned fleet size of 355 if it's building fewer ships than last year.


The Navy also plans to send several "less-capable" platforms into early retirement. That includes the first four littoral combat ships, which the Navy turned into non-deploying test ships in 2016, according to a Navy official familiar with the plan. Budget documents state a dock-landing ship will also be sent into early retirement.

At least it's not without precedent. A nearby museum ship, the USS Salem, was only on active duty for ten years back in the 1950s.

Finally today, I'm still really glad that no troops were injured in that Iranian missile attack a few weeks back, aren't you?

The number of troops diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following Iran's ballistic missile attack on Al Asad airbase, Iraq has now risen to 109, the Pentagon said Monday.

The latest figures represent a dramatic increase from the last Pentagon injury report published in late January, which listed 74 TBI victims. They also mean that at least 5% of the estimated 2,000 U.S. troops at Al Asad suffered from the concussive effects of about 15 Iranian missiles fired at the airbase.

All 109 cases of TBI have been diagnosed as "mild traumatic brain injury," the Pentagon said in a statement, but the injuries were deemed serious enough to send 48 of those troops to medical facilities in Landstuhl, Germany, or the U.S. for further evaluation.

The numbers could go up again, the Pentagon said, but added that about 70% of the total of 109 troops diagnosed thus far with TBI have already returned to duty in Iraq.


13 comments (Latest Comment: 02/11/2020 22:29:34 by Raine)
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