The Navy took center stage this week as changes to ship counting rules and a rather strange op-ed sparked a debate about the size and composition of the fleet. That and other topics present plenty of fodder for your weekend defense reading pleasure:

– Jerry Hendrix of the Center of the New American Security weighed in to the debate over the size of the Navy firmly on the side of expanding the fleet. Hendrix, however, argues that increasing the number of ships should be done under the current limits on defense spending and in a manner that moves away from destroyers and aircraft carriers in favor of more frigates and guided missile submarines.

– Writing in Foreign Policy, Gordon Adams of American University provides a “bedtime story” explaining the difference between the “sequestration bogeyman” and the budget caps established in the Budget Control Act.

– The recently-retired Winslow Wheeler spent much of the last several years railing against the many problems with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. His replacement at the Project on Government Oversight’s Straus Military Reform Project, Mandy Smithberger, has picked up right were he left off with a thorough summary of the latest report by the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test & Evaluation showing that supposed improvements in the program’s performance are far less than advertised.