Archive of Jun 2009

30.06.09
Oshkosh Wins Billion-Dollar, “Baby MRAP” Deal

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/_fHHtbv_-90" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] by DAVID AXE Two years ago, Wisconsin truck-maker Oshkosh washed out of the multi-billion-dollar program to build blast-resistant trucks (aka, Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected, or “MRAP” vehicles) for U.S. forces in Iraq. Oshkosh had teamed with Euro firm Thales, to propose the Bushmaster truck, which is used by the Dutch and [...]

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30.06.09
In Afghanistan, Germans Hamstrung by Strict Rules

by DAVID AXE Last week, Time asked if German troops were too soft to play a meaningful part in Afghanistan. More to the point: German rules of engagement, reflecting deep domestic opposition to a war role, are absurdly strict, and bode poorly for a bigger German contribution to the fighting. Milblog Bill and Bob’s Excellent [...]

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30.06.09
How to Spin a Spending Increase, as a Cut

by DAVID AXE The Pentagon’s 2010 budget, as penned by the Obama Administration, includes $534 billion in “base” spending, plus a war supplemental of $130 billion. The base budget represents a 4-percent increase over 2009, and the overall budget represents a roughly .5-percent rise. But to Obama’s political foes, this — plus future spending boosts [...]

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29.06.09
Kyle’s Far East Roundup, 6/29/09

by KYLE MIZOKAMI Noteworthy reading on events in Asia and the Pacific. CHINA “Planeman” at Militaryphotos.net has an excellent open-source overview of China’s air defense systems and their deployment at Beijing, Shanghai, the Taiwan Straits, and Hong Kong. Particularly interesting is the evolution of Bejing’s air defense grid as new systems come on-line. Planeman also [...]

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29.06.09
Did Israel Plan to Wipe Out the Iranian Air Force?

by DAVID AXE For Army Day on April 18, the Iranian air force planned a massive, ceremonial fly-over, involving 140 aircraft: fighters, bombers, transports and helicopters. All the planes were in place when, at the last minute, the event was canceled and the planes sent home. The official excuse was poor weather, but reports say [...]

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29.06.09
Kyle’s Links 6/29/09

by KYLE MIZOKAMI * Honduran president ousted in military coup * Despite talks, more Cambodian troops moved to Thai border * Russia begins military exercises near Georgia * U.K. government’s Cold War doomsday planning unveiled * Papua New Guinea, China, expand military ties

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29.06.09
U.S. Comes around to Dutch Way of Thinking, on Afghan Poppies

by DAVID AXE Afghan poppies — easy to grow and transport in the country’s harsh conditions — account for a majority of the world’s heroin. The poppy biz, concentrated in southern Afghanistan, pours more than $50 million into Taliban coffers, per year. The U.S. government has pursued an eradication policy, sending American drug-enforcement agents and [...]

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28.06.09
U.S. Sends Arms to Somali Gov’t

by DAVID AXE Somalia is a problem for the U.S., and for the world. It’s a nexus of piracy, famine and extremism. The Bush Administration chose to respond, with force, sponsoring an Ethiopian army during a bloody, two-year occupation that only emboldened Somalia’s bad guys and undermined the good guys. Now we have some evidence [...]

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28.06.09
German Army = Too Soft for Battle?

by DAVID AXE Germany has the third-largest army in Afghanistan — nearly 4,000 troops — but they are limited, by law, to non-combat roles. When that law expires, in December, will Berlin give its soldiers permission to start shooting? And, will they be ready to join more war-like nations, on the front lines? Or, are [...]

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27.06.09
Offiziere.ch: Armies Pursue Swarms, and Defenses against Them

by DAVID AXE In January 2008, five Iranian military speedboats swarmed three U.S. Navy warships passing through the Strait of Hormuz. There were some tense moments, as the Iranian boats sped around and through the American formation — and the Americans braced for a potential attack. “Unidentified surface craft, inbound,” a U.S. sailor announced. “Identify [...]

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26.06.09
Army Howitzer Design to Serve 100 Years

by DAVID AXE The U.S. Army was developing a new, semi-robotic, tracked howitzer, as part of the Future Combat Systems family of vehicles. But Secretary of Defense Robert Gates killed FCS, in April. The howitzer — the so-called Non Line-of-Sight Cannon — was funded separately from FCS, so wasn’t subject to the FCS termination. But [...]

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26.06.09
U.S., U.K. Struggle with Force Balance for “Hybrid War”

by DAVID AXE The American and British militaries tend to fight wars together, as in Iraq and Afghanistan. That means both organizations struggle with the same problems — and usually propose the same answers. The U.S. and the U.K. are both trying to balance today’s, surprisingly lethal, counter-insurgency fights with the distant prospect of major, [...]

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