Archive of Jul 2008

U.S. Intel Takes On Climate Change

U.S. intelligence is finally turning its attention to what is potentially one of the biggest threats to global security: climate change. The intel community just completed the “first National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the implications of global climate change for U.S. security,” World Politics Review reports. The report is classified, but WPR has some details: [...]


Chavez to U.S. Navy: “Back Off!”

Two weeks ago the U.S. Navy reactivated the long-defunct 4th Fleet to oversea American warships in South American waters. It was part of the Navy’s new emphasis on the world’s former backwaters, Africa included. The idea? To use a little gunboat diplomacy, plus humanitarian missions and international exercises, to shore up security in developing countries [...]


Army’s Virtual Training World

Last week I broke the story of the Army’s attempt to design a “first-person thinker” video game for training future generals. Now one senior Army game-designer tells me that the ground combat service wants to go one step further … and build a “Massive Multiplayer Online Game” (MMOG) where a wide range of Army training [...]


Coasties Save the Day

I give the Coast Guard Hell for their sledgehammer approach to media relations and their inability to manage high technology. But when push comes to shove, America’s fifth and smallest military service still delivers. Case in point: last week a Coastie ship and chopper team prevented a potential international incident with Mexico. (Thanks to Unofficial [...]


Congress to Navy: We Want Our Super-Destroyers!

Some members of Congress aren’t happy about the Navy’s desire to kill off the $5-billion-a-copy DDG-1000 warship program and buy cheaper Arleigh Burke-class ships instead, The Boston Globe reports: Led by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the dozen senators from Massachusetts, Maine, and elsewhere threatened to hold up other shipbuilding funds if the Navy doesn’t provide more [...]

1 Comment

China’s Secret Navy Bunker = Wrong Thinking?

In April media buzzed with news of a recently-discovered underground naval base (pictured) that China was building on the island of Hainan. “It could hold up to 20 submarines, including a new type of nuclear ballistic missile submarine, and future Chinese aircraft carrier battle groups, posing a challenge to longstanding US military dominance in Asia,” [...]

Leave a comment

Army Wants “First-Person Thinker” Game

Video games are all the rage in the U.S. Army. America’s Army, a first-person shooter, is used as a recruiting tool to lure in kids weaned on Xbox. For simulating convoy-protection operations, the Army has Ambush!, another shooter. And Tactical Iraqi simulates encounters between soldiers and Iraqis to teach basic language and cultural skills. Dr. [...]


World Politics Review: Recruiting of Child Soldiers for Chad Army, Rebel Groups Remains Routine

They usually come at night, to the sprawling refugee camps in eastern Chad along the border with Sudan. Recruiters for Chad-based rebel groups, which are locked in bloody combat with Khartoum and its militia proxies in Sudan’s Darfur region, sometimes simply show up at the camps and new recruits, many of them still boys, come [...]

Leave a comment

Qik and Nokia in Chad

When Web 2.0 startup Qik offered me a free Nokia N95 camera phone plus their new video-streaming software for my trip to Chad, I jumped. Here was a chance to try out the latest technology in one of the world’s most remote war-zones. The Qik-N95 combo promised to condense the basic capabilities of bulky and [...]


Inter Press Service: “With the right methods, you can be self-sufficient.”

The U.N. High Commission for Refugees says that in the five years since camps were established in Southern Chad for Central African refugees, U.N.-administered agriculture programs have reduced external food assistance to a minimum. Since 2006, Boubacar Amadou, a 62-year-old Chad native, has overseen a portfolio of food self-sufficiency programs for more than 20,000 Central [...]

Leave a comment

World Politics Review: U.N. Refugee Agency Expands Chad Aid to Local Population

The U.N.’s main refugee agency is expanding its work in southern Chad, adding programs for impoverished local villagers in order to head off conflict between locals and a growing population of Central African refugees. The programs, administered by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and partner aid groups, include aid to farmers and herders. The [...]

1 Comment

Dutch Swimming Vehicles Take On Chad’s Rainy Season

“There’s a small Royal Netherlands Marine Corps detachment over there [in Chad] which does recce ops for the Irish battalion,” my friend Hans de Vriej, a reporter for Radio Netherlands Worldwide, writes in: They brought their own “Viking,” a.k.a. the “Armoured All Terrain Vehicle Protected BsV10.” Pic attached. Made in Sweden. They made an interesting [...]