In the past four years, the Pentagon and State Department have forged a close, and largely unreported, alliance with the Ugandan military. A force of 120 American advisers based in Uganda provides training, weapons and supplies — $100 million worth since 2011 — and in exchange Ugandan soldiers bear the brunt of the close fighting in Somalia, a stronghold for Islamic militants.
Archive of Jun 2012
Matt Bors reviews THE ACCIDENTAL CANDIDATE.
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN This month, the Army planned to deploy to Afghanistan an unusual new drone: an unmanned eye-in-the-sky helicopter programmed to use high-tech cameras to monitor vast amounts of territory. But now the drone might be lucky to be deployed at all, as the Army has moved to shut down production — possibly ending [...]
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN In recent years, the US government has created research agencies for homeland security, intelligence, and energy — all modeled on the Pentagon’s mad-scientist arm, Darpa. Now Russia has gotten the bug, too. Russian industry and defense leaders announced plans last week to bankroll the Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects in the Defense [...]
A New Chinese Stealth Fighter?
Chinese warplane developers will surprise you. Just a few months ago, a Hong Kong magazine appeared to prove that the rumored Chinese J-16 stealth fighter was not a stealth fighter at all, rather a slightly-tweaked, and non-stealthy, Chinese copy of a Russian Sukhoi jet. But now photos are circulating of a partially assembled Chinese warplane that could be a version of the L-15 trainer … or it could be the rumored J-21 stealth fighter. If the latter, it would be China’s second stealth warplane, after the J-20 that debuted two years ago.
China has a brand-new jet fighter. Only it’s not really brand-new at all. The emergence of the much-touted Shenyang J-16, following years of speculation, represents a surprising twist in China’s more than decade-long effort to build a world-class air force — and a reminder to outsiders that even Beijing with its tight central control, extensive manufacturing base and apparent deep pockets cannot perform aerospace miracles.
Pete’s Africa Round-Up
The eastern Congo is about to enter a new cycle of violence. The rebels of the new organisation “M23” only control a limited area so far, but reportedly get stronger by the day. M23 is the result of the mutiny of several army units around Easter. These units were part of a former rebel group, the CNDP, which was officially disbanded and integrated into the army in 2009.
Axe on Stop Imperialism
Listen as I discuss Special Operations Forces in Africa and North Korea plus the Chinese space program with Eric Draitser at Stop Imperialism.
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Twitter is where you hang out with friends and meet new people. Now you can hang out with brutal pro-Kremlin warlord Ramzan Kadyrov. According to Russian news wire RIA Novosti, the Chechen president created a Twitter accountWednesday after meeting with Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s prime minister and former president. (Medvedev is an advocate of social media.) Kadyrov [...]
The head of an Air Force Osprey tiltrotor squadron has reportedly been fired following the near-fatal crash of one of the unit’s aircraft on June 13. “The commander of the 8th Special Operations Squadron was relieved because of a loss of confidence in his ability to effectively command the unit,” Col. James Slife, 1st Special Operations Wing chief, told Inside Defense (subscription required).
From the Palmetto Public Record.