Archive of Jan 2009

30.01.09
Flashback: Election-Day Bombs in Iraq

On Saturday, Iraqis will head to the polls for provincial elections amid “a nationwide security lock-down … with blanket measures not seen since the deadliest years of the insurgency,” according to the Associated Press. Exactly four years ago, during the country’s first national elections, I was with the U.S. Army in the town of Kanan, [...]

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30.01.09
Kyle’s Links 1/30/09

* Must-read on the British Army by The Economist * India to get first amphibious force soon, 91 Infantry Brigade * USAF drops plans to build coal-to-fuel plant * North Korea: I’m so lonely * Russian Army to start training professional sergeants

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30.01.09
Pentagon Violated Own Competition Principles

On Tuesday Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited the Senate to talk about his new approach to managing the out-of-control Pentagon budget under President Barack Obama. “I feel that many programs that cost more than anticipated are built on an inadequate initial foundation,” Gates’ written testimony said. “I believe the Department should seek increased competition.” Great [...]

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30.01.09
Snarky Best American Comics Review

Man, is Noah Berlatsky grumpy. He reviewed the 2008 Best American Comics anthology for Chicago Reader. In short, “wearyingly predictable,” he writes. Of my own contribution, he adds: [T]he team of David Axe and Steve Olexa criticize the Iraq war — just in case you were wondering where alternative comics artists stood on that conflict.  [...]

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29.01.09
That Noise You Hear? That’s Right: Freedom

For a state of fewer than five million people, my home of South Carolina’s got a Hell of a lot of combat power, and we like it that way. There’s the Army’s largest training post, a National Guard mechanized brigade and lots of Army odds and ends, a smattering of Navy and Coast Guard forces [...]

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29.01.09
Japan and Korea: Uneasy Friends Battling Pirates

Contributor Kyle Mizokami writes: If the situation off the coast of Somalia has any one positive outcome, it could be bringing together countries that otherwise would never cooperate. As French, German, and Russian forces cooperated during the Boxer Rebellion, common interests in the Indian Ocean are pushing South Korea and Japan to cooperate as well. [...]

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29.01.09
Offiziere.ch: African Union Rescues Somali Parliamentarians?

I’ve begun a bi-monthly gig guest-blogging at Offiziere.ch, the personal website of Captain Patrick Truffer of the Swiss Army. Here’s my first installment: Two years after U.S. and Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia and deposed the ruling Islamic Courts regime, Islamists now are back in control of the East African country. Islamists’ reconquest of Somalia represents [...]

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29.01.09
A Free-Market Solution to Peacekeeping Shortfalls?

Contributor Kevin Knodell writes: In 2006, mercenary firm Blackwater offered to send employees to Darfur to assist in peacekeeping efforts. This offer led to wide discussion about the potential of using Private Military Companies, pictured, to help play a role in protecting populations (rather than VIPs and corporate facilities) in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. [...]

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28.01.09
Top Navy Stories of 2008

Dr. Michael D’Alessandro compiles links to naval stories every day at his excellent website Naval Open-Source Intelligence. For the most important naval news stories of 2008, he nominated (among others): * The increasing amount of piracy off of Somalia, and the increasingly ad-hoc response from the world’s navies. It seems the law needs to catch [...]

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28.01.09
Establishing a Somali Coast Guard to Beat Pirates?

The Unofficial Coast Guard Blog made a great catch, pointing out a new study from the Council on Foreign Relations proposing an internationally funded coast guard for Somalia, aimed at deterring piracy, pictured: Chatham House’s [analyst Roger] Middleton recommends creating an internationally administered coast guard for Somalia, run by the African Union or the United [...]

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28.01.09
Kyle’s Links 1/28/09

* Make that the Next-Next Generation Bomber: 2018 aircraft may be shot down by economic downturn * Russia backing off plans to deploy Iskander missiles near US shield radar * Malaysia gets its very first submarine * AFRICOM, African Union hammer out peacekeeping communications * USAF Requires 2.5″ diamonds for directed energy gunships * French [...]

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28.01.09
Contract Nerds = Pentagon Secret Weapon

In the early months of the New Depression, the rest of the country is finally coming to terms with what military wonks long have known: that the key to saving billions of dollars on weapons buys is hiring sufficient numbers of experienced acquisitions professionals to oversee industrial competitions and the resulting contracts. It ain’t sexy [...]

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