Archive of Jan 2008

31.01.08
Afghanistan in Trouble

“Afghanistan risks sliding into a failed state and becoming the “forgotten war” because of deteriorating international support and a growing violent insurgency, according to an independent study:” The assessment, co-chaired by retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones and former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, serves as a warning to the Bush administration at a time military [...]

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30.01.08
LockMart Whistleblower: Vindicated!

Two years ago ex-Lockheed Martin engineer Michael DeKort, in a bout of frustration, posted a video on Youtube accusing his former employer of cutting corners on the electronics suites for 123-foot patrol boats for the Coast Guard — allegations that have since been proved by leaked Coast Guard documents. Today DeKort continues to hound the defense industry and the Coast Guard for wasting billions [...]

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29.01.08
Ugandan Peacekeepers Attacked

“Two more Ugandan peacekeepers were injured … as a mortar hit their base at Mogadishu International Airport,” New Vision Online reports: “A mortar was thrown at our defence at around 1:00pm,” said A.U. spokesman, Maj. Ba-Hoku Barigye. “It came from some two kilometers away. Three soldiers, two Ugandans and one Burundian, sustained injuries from shrapnel.” [...]

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28.01.08
Navy Nabs Hovering Drone

The Navy was a late-comer to the whole Unmanned Aerial Vehicle craze. But lately they’ve made up for lost time, with plans for a sea-scanning network of high-flying drones, and as the only service to embrace fast, fighter-like drones for the future. Now the Navy has placed a huge order for hovering “ducted-fan” UAVs originally [...]

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28.01.08
Wheedling More Raptors

For years the Air Force has been saying it needs 381 Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors, despite the type’s current $200-million pricetag, including development costs. But former SecDef Donald Rumsfeld and, these days, his deputy Gordon England, opposed the fighter in favor of ostensibly cheaper F-35 fighter-bombers. (Which themselves now cost around $120 million apiece.) They [...]

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25.01.08
Name the Tanker!

“The Air Force intends to designate its next aerial refueling aircraft the KC-45, regardless of whether Boeing’s KC-767 or Northrop Grumman’s KC-30 wins the KC-X tanker replacement contest,” the Air Force Association reports. But what about a popular name? The last tanker, the 1980s’ KC-10, got stuck with the pornographic-sounding “Extender.” The earlier KC-135′s space-age [...]

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24.01.08
Indian F-16 Goes Fast

With every improvement Lockheed Martin makes to its proven, affordable F-16 fighter, the rationale for the U.S. spending $110 million per copy on stealthy F-35 fighters takes a hit. Still, the Air Force continues to mortgage its future on its obsession with buying a huge fleet of those new F-35s. Hot on the heels of [...]

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23.01.08
World Politics Review: Somali Peacekeeping Video

This week the last of a thousand-strong Burundian battlegroup joined the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, signalling the growing strength of A.U. efforts to bring stability to Mogadishu. Check out my video at World Politics Review by clicking the photo:   Related: Somali aid crisis video “We need more troops” Somalia Journal Day Six: ”We’re [...]

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22.01.08
“Butt Naked” Mass Killer Comes Home

“One of Liberia’s most notorious rebel commanders, known as Gen. Butt Naked for charging into battle wearing only boots, has returned to confess his role in terrorizing the nation, saying he is responsible for 20,000 deaths,” the Associated Press reports: Joshua Milton Blahyi, who now lives in Ghana, returned last week to face his homeland’s [...]

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21.01.08
The Washington Times: Iraqis Take Over Reconstruction

[British forces trained Iraqi soldiers in urban operations in Shaiba last month. If security gains hold, London hopes to reduce its forces in Iraq to 2,500 by spring. (David Axe/The Washington Times)] BASRA, Iraq — Iraqi authorities have taken charge of reconstruction projects along with military operations in southern Iraq, establishing a major test of [...]

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18.01.08
Gates Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot

Last week Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that some NATO forces in southern Afghanistan weren’t sufficiently trained for counter-insurgency warfare. “I’m worried we have some military forces that don’t know how to do counter-insurgency operations,” were his exact words. NATO members with troops in the region were, of course, peeved — especially The Netherlands, [...]

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17.01.08
Air Force’s Big Tease

F-22s in California, Oregon, Montana and New Jersey. Next-generation bombers in Texas and South Dakota. New tankers at 27 bases spread across the country. These are some of the prospective “bed-downs” Air Force officials outlined yesterday in their “Future Roadmap” for U.S.-based airplanes.   The document is “designed to meet one of the Nation’s most [...]

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