Archive of May 2008

The Washington Independent: Inside the Pentagon’s Internet “Civil War,” Part One

This winter, the Air Force, as the Pentagon’s point agency for Internet operations –“cyberwarfare,” in military jargon – banned access from official networks to many blogs, declaring that they weren’t “established, reputable media.” The Air Force didn’t seem concerned that America’s greatest enemies, international jihadists, had long ago latched onto websites as cheap, effective tools [...]


Weekend Eye Candy

My fav’ photographer Bryan William Jones was at Hill Air Force Base this week to do some glamor shots of old C-130s. More on that later. In the meantime, here’s some eye candy he snapped of one of Hill’s resident F-16s. Enjoy. (Photo: BW Jones)

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Army’s $200-billion Future: Symptom of “Next-war-itis”?

Recently Secretary of Defense Robert Gates took the military to task for investing hundreds of billions of dollars in imaginary future wars instead of focusing on the fights we’re already in. Today Army Lieutenant General Stephen Speakes, the top programs officer, spoke to bloggers about the service’s $200-billion Future Combat Systems family of networked robots [...]


Learning from Kursk. Or Not.

In August 2000, a leak in the torpedo room of the Russian submarine Kursk caused an explosion that sank the 13,000-ton nuclear boat 300 feet to the ocean floor. All 118 crew died, some after apparently waiting hours for a rescue that never came. Russian rescue vessels, including a class of specially designed rescue submarines, [...]

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Refugees Race the Rain

On its own, Chad is one of the poorest and most desperate countries in the world. Now, to make matters worse, Chad finds itself sandwiched between conflicts in Sudan and Central African Republic. Hundreds of thousands of refugees (pictured) from those countries have flooded into Chad in recent years. The U.N. is struggling to keep [...]

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Navy Bosses Losing Credibility

When U.S. Navy officials tell Congress they have confidence in their shipbuilding cost projections, lawmakers don’t believe them. When flag officers say they’ve got enough money for maintenance, fleet sailors (pictured) wonder why high-tech warships aren’t combat ready. When top admirals say they have a new maritime strategy, analysts struggle to match it with the [...]

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RAF Officer: “Shrink the RAF!”

Some of the most progressive thinking about future air power is happening inside one of the oldest air services, the British Royal Air Force. In a recent issue of Air Forces Monthly, Andrew Brookes, a former fighter pilot, attacked the RAF for preparing for the wrong war. The service’s planned future fleet of nearly 500 [...]


Flip Side of Coast Guard Tech Woes: Airplanes Doing Fine

Yes, the Coast Guard’s $25-billion Deepwater technology scheme is a mess, with late and over-budget ships, canceled contracts and one $500-million frigate that can’t talk to the outside world. But there’s a bright side: aviation, as I wrote in the latest Warships International Fleet Review: Aviation efforts have been fairly successful. EADS provided kits for [...]


Intel Mega Firm Splits

Booz Allen Hamilton, the Virginia-based intel contractor with $2.4 billion in annual revenue, is splitting in half, according to The Post: Booz Allen announced its split Friday, saying the District-based private-equity firm Carlyle Group would buy a majority stake in the government unit for $2.54 billion and the smaller commercial unit would be spun off. [...]

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War Watch 5/23/08

* Taliban puts squeeze on U.S. supply lines (deja vu) * Peacekeepers smuggling weapons in Somalia? * Israel fed jet tech to China * Mad genius Bill Sweetman on the trail of secret U.S. airplane * Burma lets in aid workers (did the naval threat work?)

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22.05.08 Send in the Marines (with Biometrics)!

A year ago Afghan tribesmen, with two months of NATO training and $70 bucks a month in NATO pay in their pockets, helped repel a major Taliban assault on the southern town of Chora. But in April NATO decided the tribesmen — Afghanistan’s version of the “Sons of Iraq” militias — were a security risk, [...]


Country Brief: Central America

Yes, I know Central America isn’t a “country.” Here’s Zach Rosenberg with our second set of briefs on places that I’ve otherwise neglected in my coverage: Central America is dominated economically, militarily and socially by the United States, which has historically used its leverage to great effect, having actually invaded many of these countries at [...]

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