Archive of Sep 2007

30.09.07
Release the Gunships! Part One

The tech-heavy, increasingly irrelevant Air Force is finally making a half-hearted effort to actually contribute to low-tech counter-insurgency fights. But it could do a lot more, according to Major Robert Seifert in a recent piece for Joint Forces Quarterly. First up, the service needs to reconceptualize the enemy, Seifert writes: Strategists yearn for a center of gravity to attack in order [...]

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30.09.07
War Is Boring #21: Suicide Bombing

Related: War Is Boring #20  Comics archives Killing children on a day of prayer Taliban are jerks

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28.09.07
Sats Spot Burma Human Rights Abuses (Updated)

Hot on the heels of geek-driven efforts to spot missing adventurer Steve Fossett using commercial satellite imagery, human rights groups have harnessed space-based imagery to track abuses in violence-wracked Burma. It’s all part of what American Association for the Advancement of Science spokesman Lars Bromley describes as a sort of non-government strategy for conflict monitoring [...]

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27.09.07
Coastie Cutters Got Leaky Networks (Updated Twice)

The Coast Guard’s 5,000-ton, 400-foot National Security Cutters, a centerpiece of the troubled $25-billion Deepwater modernization program, are having serious problems with their secure networks, according to leaked documents. The networks, which must adhere to the National Security Agency’s TEMPEST standard, are 70% likely to fail to meet that standard — and on a scale [...]

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27.09.07
Somalia Better Off under Islamists?

“Somalia was named and shamed Tuesday as the worst-governed country in sub-Saharan Africa in a survey of political performance across the continent,” AFP reports: The inaugural annual Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, ranks 48 countries against 58 individual measures. The foundation uses those measures to rank countries on five [...]

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27.09.07
Sea Critters Trump Tech

“It took six months to get permission, involving the Royal Navy, the U.K. embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Pentagon, but photojournalist Louise Murray was eventually granted rare access to the formerly top-secret U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program.” Thus Warships magazine introduces its sweet photo feature on the dolphins and sea lions the Navy uses [...]

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26.09.07
A.F. Eyes Small Gunship

In a rare fit of good sense, the Air Force is considering adapting its forthcoming “Joint Cargo Aircraft” — basically a souped-up C-27 — into a gunship armed with a 30-millimeter cannon, the Air Force Association newsletter reports. “The aircraft might be just the right size for Air Force Special Operations Command, which might need [...]

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25.09.07
Ten Million Clams for a Temporary Amputee Ward

This month the Army opened a new $10-million wing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., in order to consolidate all its amputee care under one roof. Existing facilities, including rehabilitation clinics for upper- and lower-body amputees as well as workshops for the technicians who build prostheses, are currently scattered throughout the main hospital. [...]

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25.09.07
Raven Drones Get Wired

AeroVironment is testing a new digital datalink for its family of small UAVs including Wasp, Raven and Puma. In addition to improving the performance and security of traditional line-of-sight control, the datalink will serve as a sort “Ethernet hub in the sky,” according to marketing director Steven Gitlin. The datalink’s hub capability will allow an [...]

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23.09.07
Post-Surge Strategy: Mega-Bases?

While U.S. forces in Iraq have “surged” and dispersed into urban outposts, British forces in the southern part of the country have steadily cut their numbers and retreated from outlying bases: “Removing the irritant,” is how one officer explained it to me last year. Now there’s just one major British base, at the former international [...]

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21.09.07
Air Force “Going Out of Business”

Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne made an appearance at a D.C. think-tank on Wednesday to do some A.F.-style scaremongering. Noting that the the average age of the service’s airplanes is at 24 years and climbing (the highest ever), Wynne said that every attempt to free up cash for more new planes had failed, according to [...]

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21.09.07
Hungarians “Shoot Down” Typhoon

Back in July I relayed reports of the first-ever “shoot-down” of an F-22 Raptor fighter, during a mock dogfight with a U.S. Air Force F-16. Our European friends — Brits, Italians, Germans and Spaniards — might have had a couple chuckles at the news, for their new fighter, the Typhoon, had never suffered a similar [...]

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