Archive of Feb 2008

29.02.08
Franz Gayl: One Man Reforming Machine

Franz Gayl is a retired Marine and current civilian science adviser to the Marine Corps. In recent years he has championed a wide range of potentially game-changing technologies: some quite simple, like non-lethal laser “dazzlers,” and others truly cutting edge, such as his proposed squad space transport. The one thing many of his favorite techs [...]

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28.02.08
Uh Oh: Coast Guard Refuses to Sign Dotted Line

A little birdie told me that the Coast Guard has refused to sign the DD-250 forms for the first of its flagship, $400-million National Security Cutters. DD-250s are for formal acceptance of defense items. If it’s true, why’d they decline to sign? Well, the Coast Guard’s official blog hints that, as I’ve reported all along, [...]

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27.02.08
McLeary in Iraq: Sons of Iraq “Unhappy”

Columbia Journalism Review reporter Paul McLeary files his latest Iraq dispatch: A slim, slightly weathered-looking man with flecks of gray in his hair, Colonel Ehssan — leader of the local Sons of Iraq group — sat behind his desk, looking unhappy. We had driven from COP Courage this morning to his “office”—a first floor room [...]

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27.02.08
FM 3-0: Army Gets It Right

Bravo, U.S. Army. Crunching lessons from more than 15 years of post-Cold War instability, the service’s top thinkers have prepared a revised manual for basic land warfare doctrine. Lieutenant General William Caldwell and a team at Fort Leavenworth were responsible for updating the 2001 edition (big pdf!) of FM 3-0 to reflect the Army’s experiences [...]

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26.02.08
Airliner World: Brits Rebuild Basra Airport

Three years ago Iraqis slaughtered a goat on the tarmac of Basra International Airport to celebrate the arrival of the first domestic passenger flight, an Iraqi Airways Boeing 727 from Baghdad. The June 4, 2005, event marked the airport’s slow return to normalcy following decades of war and sanctions that had all but grounded commercial [...]

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26.02.08
McLeary in Iraq: “Three-Block War”

In 1999, Marine General Charles C. Krulak wrote of the “three-block war” where soldiers in irregular conflicts “will be confronted by the entire spectrum of tactical challenges in the span of a few hours and, potentially, within the space of three contiguous city blocks.” Most importantly for regions like the area around COP Courage, where [...]

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26.02.08
C-SPAN: British Withdraw from Southern Iraq, Part Two

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/pyuOZz4UaQA" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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25.02.08
C-SPAN: British Withdraw from Southern Iraq, Part One

More on the staged withdrawal of British troops from Basra: [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/53ZvZOL4MuU" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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24.02.08
B-2 Crash Puts Guam in Spotlight

Robert Kaplan’s B-2-lovin’ story from September anticipated the hoopla surrounding Saturday’s first crash of the $2.5-billion bomber in Guam: Andersen Air Force Base has long had a squadron of heavy bombers, deployed there to be close to Taiwan and the Korean Peninsula. On one of my previous visits to the base, in the autumn of [...]

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23.02.08
B-2 Crashes on Guam

$1.2 billion down the drain. Thank God the pilots are okay. Some perspective: there were 21 B-2s. Now there are 20 — a roughly 5-percent reduction in an instant. In terms of airframes, that’s the equivalent of 30 F-15s crashing at the same time, or 60 F-16s, or 6 F-22s. In terms of money, that’s [...]

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22.02.08
Good New, Bad News and a Correction

Good: Moqtada Al Sadr extends Shia militia ceasfire. This means another six months of relative peace in Iraq. Bad: Canada to quit Afghanistan in 2011. On the other hand, a firm exit date allows for long-range planning. Correction: The Ares blog reports that the U.S. has deployed just 1 percent of its military to Afghanistan, [...]

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22.02.08
East Timor: Manhunt’s Back On

Last year East Timor presidential candidate Jose Ramos Horta promised to call off an Australian-led manhunt for charismatic rebel leader Alfredo Reinado. The move helped Horta win the election. Last week, Reinado shot and nearly killed Horta, and died in the process. Now the manhunt’s back on. Aussie, Kiwi and Timorese troops are in the [...]

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