By Gregory Hellman | 10/10/2017 10:00 AM EDT

With Eli Okun, Connor O'Brien, Jacqueline Klimas and Wesley Morgan

MATTIS: 'BE READY' WITH NORTH KOREA MILITARY OPTIONS, via our colleague Wesley Morgan: "Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday urged military leaders 'to be ready' with military options for President Donald Trump to deal with North Korea should diplomacy fail -- after Trump reprimanded his top brass last week for not providing him contingency plans quickly enough.

"'Right now, it is a diplomatically led, economic sanctions-buttressed effort to try to turn North Korea off this path,' Mattis said following a speech at the annual convention of the Association of the United States Army in Washington. 'Now, what does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say, so there's one thing the U.S. Army can do, and that is we have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ if needed.'

"On Thursday, Trump told Mattis and his top generals in a White House meeting that he wanted military options at a 'much faster pace.' The president subsequently suggested to reporters that 'maybe it's the calm before the storm,' sparking widespread speculation that the cryptic reference was to Korea war plans."

And on Saturday, Trump lamented that decades of "failed" foreign policy with North Korea, saying "only one thing" will work, POLITICO's Brent D. Griffiths adds.

Meanwhile, U.S. pressure to isolate North Korea around the world is bearing fruit, writes The Wall Street Journal.

- KIM JONG UN HAILS 'POWERFUL DETERRENT,' via The New York Times: "The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has vowed to build up his country's nuclear arsenal as a 'powerful deterrent' to the United States, state media reported, hours after President Trump said that 'only one thing will work' in dealing with the isolated country.

"Mr. Kim made his comments on Saturday at a meeting of the Central Committee of his ruling Workers' Party, the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Sunday. He also reconfirmed his policy of simultaneously seeking progress in his nuclear weapons program and pushing for economic growth in the face of expanding international sanctions.

"The remarks indicated that Mr. Kim had no intention of retreating under American pressure even as South Korean officials and analysts worry that the North will conduct a major weapons test to observe the anniversary on Tuesday of the founding of the Workers' Party."

And Kim promotes his sister to the Politburo, North Korea's decision-making body, in a rare show of public confidence for a family member, the NYT adds.

- CORKER DOUBLES DOWN ON HIS TRUMP CRITIQUE, via POLITICO's Rebecca Morin: "Sen. Bob Corker said President Donald Trump is leading the United States 'on the path to World War III' with threats the president makes toward other countries. In an interview with The New York Times Sunday, Corker said Trump is treating his office like 'a reality show,' adding that he is concerned the president is acting 'like he's doing 'The Apprentice' or something.'

"'He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation,' Corker said in the interview."

Meanwhile, House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) says the U.S. would win in a war against North Korea, but the end result would be "ugly," via the Washington Examiner.

And the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee rejects a request from the Pentagon to reprogram funding into developing small commercial satellites to monitor adversaries such as North Korea, adds Bloomberg.

HAPPY TUESDAY AND WELCOME TO MORNING DEFENSE, where we're still basking in Green Bay's come-from-behind win over the Cowboys on Sunday. Go Pack Go! Email us at, and follow on Twitter @greg_hellman, @morningdefense and @politicopro.

MD TRIVIA: Reid Smith was the first to correctly recount that Saudi Arabia was one of three Arab countries to receive military assistance under the lend-lease program.

Tune in Friday for this week's question.

HAPPENING TODAY - MCMASTER TALKS 'NSC AT 70' AT CSIS: White House National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster joins other former national security advisers for a discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on "The National Security Council at 70."

Meanwhile, back at the White House, the president lunches with Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

- MCCARTHY AND MILLEY AT AUSA: Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley host a town hall at the Association of U.S. Army's annual meeting at the Washington Convention Center.

ARMY SHAKES UP ACQUISITIONS, Wesley reports: "The Army leadership [Monday] announced a major restructuring of the service's acquisition system that aims to place 'modernization under one roof,' acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said.

"The plan, described by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley as one of the most significant changes in 'the last 40 years or so,' is intended to streamline acquisition organizations spread across the service and centrally manage programs 'from idea to delivery.'"

The Army also releases a new operations manual warning of adversary "overmatch," via our colleague Bryan Bender.

The Army wants missiles, rockets and artillery that fire farther and deliver more punch, reports Defense News.

And multi-domain battle will fundamentally change how the Army and other services fight, Gen. David Perkins, the commanding officer of Army Training and Doctrine Command, says via the Military Times.

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SAUDI ARABIA THAAD SALE APPROVED, reports your Morning D correspondent: The Pentagon notified Congress Friday of the $15 billion sale of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system to Saudi Arabia. The sale, approved by the State Department, includes 44 launchers and 360 missile interceptors and is part of the $110 billion arms deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia agreed to in May.

AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORT - NICHOLSON VOWS 'TIDAL WAVE OF AIR POWER,' via The Washington Post: "With a just-delivered Black Hawk helicopter sitting on a military runway behind him, Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, vowed Saturday that 'a tidal wave of air power is on the horizon' in the war against Taliban insurgents and that 'this is the beginning of the end for the Taliban.'

"Moments later, a second new Black Hawk descended and hovered over the runway as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani praised the nation's air force pilots as 'the real champions' of the 16-year conflict. Now that a new Afghan-U. S. military effort will triple the country's air force capacity and double its special operations forces, he declared, 'terrorists will not triumph here.'"

Meanwhile, airstrikes are already at their highest point in seven years, writes the Military Times.

The Red Cross reduces its presence in Afghanistan after a series of attacks on its staff, reports the NYT.

And the U.S. says Pakistan must work with Afghanistan on terrorism, but that won't be easy, The Washington Post adds.

IRAN THREATENS U.S. AHEAD OF KEY DEADLINE, via Reuters: "Iran promised on Monday to give a 'crushing' response if the United States designated its elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group.

"The pledge came a week before President Donald Trump announces a final decision on how he wants to contain the Islamic Republic. He is expected on Oct. 15 to 'decertify' a landmark 2015 international deal to curb Iran's nuclear program, a step that by itself stops short of pulling out of the agreement but gives Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions.

"Trump is also expected to designate Iran's most powerful security force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, as he rolls out a broader, more hawkish U.S. strategy on Iran."

The IAEA chief confirms Iran is complying with nuclear deal, via Agence France-Presse.

And Thornberry says the U.S. should not "completely" pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, via the Washington Examiner.

INDUSTRY INTEL - BOEING TO BUILD MORE SMART-BOMBS, Bloomberg reports: "Boeing Co. is getting a $153 million increase in Pentagon funding to boost production of its top smart bomb by 25 percent, with the money shifted from other purposes including counterterrorism aid to Pakistan.

"The four congressional defense committees have given their required approval to provide the added $153 million to Boeing in a 'reprogramming' of unused fiscal 2017 funding. Of that, $100 million will be taken from reimbursements to Pakistan, which President Donald Trump criticized in August for providing a 'safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror.'"


- The defense secretary again urges Congress to increase combat readiness: Stars and Stripes

- Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to the Defense: POLITICO Magazine

- The U.S. and Turkey suspend each other's visa processing as anger mounts: NYT

- Inside the CIA's black site torture room: The Guardian

- "I now hate my ship": Surveys reveal disastrous morale on the cruiser Shiloh: Navy Times

- Syrian fighters gird for battle with the Islamic State in Raqqa: The Associated Press

- Civilian casualties escalate under Syrian bombing raids: The Washington Post

- Kurdish-Iraqi tensions grow: WSJ

- Searching for the dead amid Mosul's devastation: NYT

- One Iraq War vet seeks post-Islamic State information on a village he knew: Stars and Stripes

- Children become soldiers and brides in Yemen's war: NYT

- Nigeria begins secret mass trials of thousands of alleged Boko Haram militants: The Guardian

- The Pentagon recovers the body of the fourth American recovered from the Niger ambush: POLITICO Pro

- Separatist movements gather steam in Cameroon and Nigeria: NYT

- Japan's new satellite to help keep self-driving cars, and North Korea, in line: WSJ

- NATO launches a new contra-Russia force in Romania: Reuters

- NATO chief: "We don't want a new Cold War" with Russia: AP

- The Army stands up a formal unit for advisory foreign training: Washington Examiner

- The Army wants better robot interoperability: Defense News

- The Army's newest Abrams tank is rolling off the assembly line: Task & Purpose

- Envisioning the Army's rifle of the future: Military Times

- Some Navy surface combatants will start getting decommissioned in 2020: Defense News

- Military medical personnel use U.S. gun violence as a training ground: The Wall Street Journal

- Vice President Mike Pence's military ties: The Indianapolis Star

- Blackwater founder Erik Prince is reported to be considering a run for Senate in Wyoming: AP

- What just happened with Northrop and Marvel Comics?: Defense News

** A message from BAE Systems: At BAE Systems, we work relentlessly to stay ahead of any challenge our customers may face. Our passion and dedication shows in everything we do-from advanced electronic systems to cyber operations and intelligence analysis, from combat vehicles to naval weapons, and from ship maintenance and modernization to vehicle upgrades and services. Knowing that our work makes a difference inspires us to push ourselves and the technologies we create to new levels. Learn more about our technologies, systems and services: **

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