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Weekend wrap: Expeditionary links

As the fuse on a congressional debt deal burned ever shorter, there was a lot of stuff we didn't get a chance to write about this week. Here were just a few of those stories:

• Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin reportedly planned to say Friday night that he thinks U.S. bases in Europe and the nuclear arsenal should be among the first places to look for DoD budget reductions.

• The prospects for the super committee are looking grim, reports AP's David Espo. People are really hoping that Congress just gives a wave of its hand and makes this whole thing go away -- at very least for defense spending. It might be preferable to look back and laugh at these months of budget "hysteria," as they've been called, than to get caught up in an August, 1914-style crisis of process and spring a trap we could've escaped, the thinking goes.

• The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. plans to sell, among other things, advanced "bunker-busting" bombs to the United Arab Emirates. The decision to do so, like the leak announcing it, is designed to send an unambiguous message to Iran -- get too close to the nuclear toe line and unpleasant stuff may happen. The question is, after all these years of bluster by both sides, who will call whose bluff?

• Navy Secretary Ray Mabus plans to christen and launch the Navy's newest dry cargo and ammunition ship, the USNS Medgar Evars, on Saturday in San Diego.

• Secretary Panetta dedicated the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Thursday.

• Also this week: Thursday was the birthday of the United States Marine Corps and Friday was Veterans Day. As such, pictured above are Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos; Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett enjoying a motivational run from the Pentagon to the Marine Corps War Memorial.

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