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JDN
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« Reply #200 on: December 20, 2011, 09:10:14 AM »

http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/15/tech/innovation/darpa-future-war/index.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #201 on: December 22, 2011, 08:21:36 AM »

Pasting here BBG's post for purposes of future reference:

First time I've encountered this source; his CV is certainly interesting. I'm no slouch when it comes to making a desktop computer do my bidding, but my kids multitask digitally in manners that amaze me: they keep a lot of different balls in the air while still working on a primary task, often gaming. This gent thinks they might have what it takes to be a next generation war fighter:

The Future of Drone Warfare

Over half of Air Force UPT (undergraduate pilot training) grads are now assigned to pilot drones rather than a real aircraft.*  The big question is why are drone pilots, guys that fly robots remotely from a computer terminal, going to a very expensive year of pilot training?  I can understand why the Air Force has chosen to send drone jockeys to pilot training: 

A shift to piloting drones rather than real aircraft is an assault on organizational culture of the Air Force.  In the Air Force, pilots do the fighting and as a result take most of the leadership positions. 

A transition to robotics upends that arrangement, and is why the USAF has strenuously resisted taking control of the drone mission until recently. 
In this light, sending these drone jockeys to a very expensive year of UPT is an attempt to ease the cultural transition. 
However, culture aside, is it the best training? 

Drone Pilots Today

I suspect it isn't.  Here's why.  The assumption that combat with drones is going to be the same as combat without them is flawed.  It's going to be VERY different.  So far, it's hard to see that.  Most engagements today involve:

a drone flying leisurely over a village in Pakistan controlled by a pilot at a terminal in Las Vegas/Nellis,
waiting for five or more armed men to assemble in a single house (which is a terrorist "signature" that green lights authorization to eliminate the threat), and
then pushing a button and holding a cursor over the house until it disappears. 

That's not going to last long. 

Drone Combat

How does the addition of drones change the nature of combat/conflict?  Why?  The tech is moving too fast.  Here are some of the characteristics we'll see in the near future:

Swarms.  The cost and size of drones will shrink.  Nearly everyone will have access to drone tech (autopilots already cost less than $30).  Further, the software to enable drones to employ swarm behavior will improve.  So, don't think in terms of a single drone. Think in terms of a single person controlling hundreds and thousands.

Intelligence.  Drones will be smarter than they are today.  The average commercial chip passed the level of insect intelligence a little less than a decade ago (which "magically" resulted in an explosion of drone/bot tech).  Chips will cross rat intelligence in 2018 or so.  Think in terms of each drone being smart enough to follow tactical instructions. 
Dynamism.  The combination of massive swarms with individual elements being highly intelligent puts combat on an entirely new level.  It requires a warrior that can provide tactical guidance and situational awareness in real time at a level that is beyond current training paradigms.

Training Drone Bonjwas

Based on the above requirements, the best training for drones (in the air and on land) isn't real world training, it's tactical games (not first person shooters).  Think in terms of the classic military scifi book, "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. Of the games currently on the market, the best example of the type of expertise required is Blizzard's StarCraft, a scifi tactical management game that has amazing multiplayer tactical balance/dynamism.  The game is extremely popular worldwide, but in South Korea, it has reached cult status.  The best players, called Bonjwas, are treated like rock stars, and for good reason:

Training of hand/eye/mind.  Speeds of up to 400 keyboard mouse (macro/micro) tactical commands per minute have been attained.  Think about that for a second.  That's nearly 7 commands a second.

Fight multi-player combat simulations  for 10-12 hours a day.  They live the game for a decade and then burn out.   Mind vs. mind competition continously.

To become a bonjwa, you have to defeat millions of opponents to reach the tournament rank, and then dominate the tournament rank for many years.  The ranking system/ladder that farms new talent is global (Korea, China, SEA, North America, and Europe), huge (millions of players), and continuous (24x7x365).
Currently, the best Starcraft bonjwa in the world is Flash. Here's his ELO rating. 


Nearly all of the above would likely apply to cyber warfare too. 

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2011/12/drone-bonjwas.html
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #202 on: December 24, 2011, 03:25:19 AM »

Russia test-fires two new nuclear missiles
Reuters – 12 hrs ago

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia successfully tested on Friday its two new Bulava intercontinental missiles, which experienced several failures in the past.
The Defence Ministry said the 12-meter-long Bulava, or Mace, which Moscow aims to make the cornerstone of its nuclear arsenal, was fired from a submarine in the Arctic White Sea and hit the target, a designated polygon, on Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's far east.
"The launch was carried out from (the submarine in) submerged position in the White Sea," ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov was quoted by state-run RIA news agency as saying. "Its warheads reached the polygon (target) on time."
The missiles carry dummies rather than nuclear warheads as Russia is a signatory of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) which bans all nuclear explosions.
The Bulava had failed half of its previous trials, calling into question the expensive missile program. The previous launch in June from the same submarine was a success though.
A Bulava missile weighs 36.8 tonnes and can travel a distance of 8,000 km (5,000) miles carrying 6-10 nuclear warheads, which would deliver an impact of up to 100 times the atomic blast that devastated Hiroshima in 1945.
(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Matthew Jones)

                                      P.C.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #203 on: December 24, 2011, 04:42:47 AM »

Report: Russian spy chief joins nuclear missile firm
General ran secretive military intelligence service which boasts agents across the globe

By Guy Faulconbridge
 
MOSCOW — Russia's military intelligence chief has left his post at the helm of the country's biggest spying agency to join a company that develops nuclear missiles, Kommersant newspaper reported on Saturday.

Citing sources, Kommersant said General Alexander Shlyakhturov, who was appointed by President Dmitry Medvedev in April 2009, had left his role as head of GRU military intelligence service to head the board of OAO Korporatsiya MIT.
Known by its Russian acronym GRU, the military intelligence service has agents spread across the globe. It is so secretive that it does not have a spokesman or website. The Defense Ministry declined to comment.

Story: Who owns 69 Patriot missiles seized in Finland?

Kommersant did not give a reason for Shlyakhturov's departure from GRU and it was not immediately clear if he had resigned or was merely being moved to keep a closer eye on the development of Russia's nuclear missiles, the cornerstone of Russia's defense capability.

Quality concerns

The failed launch of a military satellite which crashed into Siberia on Friday and a host of failures with a new generation, submarine-launched Bulava missile, has stoked concerns within the military about the quality of Russia's strategic missiles.
OAO Korporatsiya MIT develops missiles including the Bulava, which Russia test-fired successfully on Friday . Half of previous trials have failed.

The top brass of GRU has opposed Kremlin-backed military reforms in the past, leading to the dismissal of Shlyakhturov's predecessor, General Valentin Korabelnikov.  However, Shlyakhturov is seen as an ally of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who has cut servicemen and reorganized the command structure of the armed forces.  The spy service, created in 1918 under revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky, answers to the chief of the general staff, one of the three people who control Russia's portable nuclear arsenal.  Unlike the Soviet-era KGB secret police, GRU was not split up when the Soviet Union collapsed.

                                             P.C.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 07:20:27 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged

Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #204 on: December 28, 2011, 09:16:12 AM »

By JOSHUA FLYNN-BROWN
AND KYNDRA MILLER ROTUNDA
During the holiday season, Americans especially remember our servicemen and women deployed to faraway lands, serving in harm's way. We send packages abroad, light candles in their honor, and donate toys for military tots. However, what really matters is how we treat them when they come home. Sadly, we don't always treat them well.

A case in point: This holiday season, the Air Force has "separated" (that is, fired) 157 officers on the eve of their retirement, including pilots flying dangerous missions, to avoid paying their pensions. According to Department of Defense Instructions, those within six years of their 20-year retirement (with no disciplinary blemishes on their record) have the option to remain in service. Nevertheless, the Air Force is committing terminations of airmen a few years away from retirement en masse, citing budget constraints.

While budget constraints affect the entire Department of Defense, the other services have found other ways to pinch pennies. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley stands alone on this one. We represent many of these airmen, all of them with stellar records.

Maj. Kale Mosley is one example. He is an Air Force Academy graduate and a pilot who has flown more than 250 combat missions. He deployed to Libya this summer with 30 hours notice. When he returned, the military immediately sent him to Iraq. Just as he was boarding the plane for Iraq, the Air Force gave him his walking papers, effective Nov. 30. Maj. Mosley will not receive a pension or long-term health-care benefits for his family. He is the father of a toddler and a newborn.

In a speech before Congress urging it to pass his American Jobs Act, President Obama spoke of tax credits for companies to hire America's veterans, saying, "We ask these men and women to leave their careers, leave their families, risk their lives to fight for our country. The last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home."

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently testified before Congress about potential changes to the Military Retirement System. He said: "We've made a promise to people who are on duty that we're going to provide a certain level of retirement. . . . These people have been deployed time and time again. They've put their lives on the line on the battlefield. And we're not going to pull the rug out from under them. We're going to stand by the promise that was made for them."

But the Air Force is pulling the rug out from under these airmen.

In fairness, the blame for this unjust situation partially rests with Congress. In the 1990s, when the military was drawing down, Congress authorized an early retirement program that allowed service members to retire with a prorated pension and benefits. But it allowed the law to expire in 2001.

Congress has proposed reinstating a similar early-retirement program within the National Defense Authorization Act, and the authorization bill is on Mr. Obama's desk. But even if the president signs the bill, it will do nothing to resolve the problem of the 157 officers who were terminated on Nov. 30.

The Air Force should reinstate the 157 airmen so that they can finish their military careers. Or Congress should simply enact a law to cover these 157 airmen.

America's heroes have our backs. Who has theirs?

Mr. Flynn-Brown is a clinical fellow in the Chapman University AMVETS Legal Clinic. Ms. Rotunda is a professor at Chapman and executive director of the university's Military Law Institute, which represents, pro bono, several of the 157 terminated airmen.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #205 on: December 30, 2011, 09:49:13 AM »

U.S. Navy SEAL Teams from Establishment through Operation Urgent Fury: 1962-1983
 
To augment present naval capabilities in restricted waters and rivers with particular reference to the conduct and support of paramilitary operations, it is desirable to establish Special Operations teams as a separate component within Underwater Demolition Units One and Two. An appropriate cover name for such units is ‘SEAL’ being a contraction of SEA, AIR, LAND.” – Vice Adm. Wallace M. Beakley, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, June 5, 1961
In January 1962, a new chapter in the history of special operations opened with the establishment of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Teams ONE and TWO. The 21-year stretch from 1962 to 1983 was a profound one for the new force, one that would see it created from the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs) and grow to a point where, in 1983, the parent organization would be folded into that of its offspring.

Throughout this period, SEALs suffered repeated crises of perception by outsiders who controlled their institutional fate. The force labored under the contradiction of being a specialized elite force with “. an all-around universal capability.” This phrase, an excerpt from the U.S. Director, Strategic Plans Division memo dated March 13, 1961, was necessary because, as part of the U.S. Navy, SEALs had to work closely with the Navy’s surface, aviation, and submarine forces. A further complication was the fact that the SEAL program itself was caught squarely in the philosophical cross fire between naval traditionalists and advocates of change during the post-Vietnam War drawdown of the military, with all the budgetary consequences thereof. During their formative years, the Navy leadership seemed perplexed by the SEALs and/or didn’t know what to do with them, a situation that would not change until the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 that reorganized the military and put the U.S. Special Operations Command at the same level as the other unified and specified commands at the time.

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy, addressing a joint session of Congress, delivered a speech that most people remember as his challenge to the country to put an American on the moon before the end of the decade. Since forgotten by the public at large was the president’s mandate to the military: “I am directing the secretary of defense to expand rapidly and substantially . the orientation of existing forces for the conduct of . unconventional wars. . In addition, our special forces and unconventional warfare units will be increased and reoriented. .”  Read more...

Written by: Dwight Jon Zimmerman on December 28, 2011
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #206 on: December 31, 2011, 09:05:55 AM »

By JULIAN E. BARNES
WASHINGTON—The U.S. military left Iraq in December with new technologies that are likely to change the shape of future wars. But some of the skills developed alongside are in danger of falling away, several people throughout the ranks worry.

Ten years ago, the U.S. military was firmly under the control of the generals. It was steeply hierarchical, slow to evolve and squarely focused on "big wars" between armies of opposing nations.

A decade of painstaking, often painful lessons resulted in a military that is in many ways fleeter and more adaptable. It is also flatter: The generals are still in charge, but Iraq and Afghanistan showed that independent thinking by low-level captains and lieutenants is also critical to success.

In any inventory of changes, the most obvious may be equipment. To protect soldiers from roadside bombs, the Pentagon built $45 billion worth of mine-resistant, armor-protected vehicles, the V-hulled trucks known as MRAPs. Military officials say MRAPs have saved hundreds of lives, though the hulking vehicles' utility remains unclear for future arenas.

The Pentagon also built sophisticated jammers to foil radio-detonated roadside bombs, which are likely to become standard issue against improvised explosive devices, a probable the weapon of choice in future land wars. The unmanned drones it acquired to battle insurgents have transformed how the U.S. fights wars and now is also used extensively by the Central Intelligence Agency.

View Interactive
.But the two wars have also helped push the military strategy from a playbook of offense and defense, to one that includes a third class of operations—strategies that include so-called counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, aimed at maintaining stability for populations in often-hostile zones and turning potential allies into enemies.

"It is not good enough to be proficient on the traditional military tasks we have tended to focus on in the post-Vietnam era," Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in 2007 and 2008 and now the CIA director, said in an interview earlier this month. "Very likely, conflict in the future will include a requirement for stability tasks."

Stability operations aren't popular in parts of the White House. Some administration officials see them as overly costly missions that threaten to tie down the U.S. military in long-term occupations that do little to improve American security.

Such hostility in some quarters has caused some officers to fear some of the counterinsurgency skills honed in Iraq will be lost—including running detainee operations, conducting interrogations and collecting intelligence with aerial drones, areas of high expertise that support efforts to cripple insurgent networks and head off spectacular attacks.

Others worry that the skills learned through hard years of fighting—how to react quickly to ambushes and spot IEDs before they explode—will fade. The military remade its training centers to teach such skills, but instilling the knowledge into the next generation of soldiers will require retaining senior non-commissioned officers who spent the most time hunting insurgents in Iraq.

"Those wars are going to be lost arts," said Staff Sgt. Maxwell Davis, who spent 62 months in Iraq across five tours. "The people who stay in try to teach it. But guys are getting out. So it is going to be a battle to teach what you need to do in combat to keep yourself safe."

Historians may ultimately conclude the Iraq war—some 4,500 lives lost, upwards of 30,000 wounded, more than $800 billion spent—was unacceptably costly.

With the end of the Iraq war, and beginning of the end in Afghanistan, the Pentagon has entered an era of cost cutting. The Defense Department is currently trimming some $450 billion in planned spending over the next decades with many in the military predicting more cuts to come.

Officers say they understand the need for some cuts, and to reduce the size of the military. But they say spending can be trimmed even as skills are preserved.

These people say the broader question is what sort of war the military's masters in Washington want to prepare for. They point to the years following the unconventional, anti-insurgency-style war in Vietnam. Then, the military began preparing for the kind of war it wanted to fight: a big one, possibly in Europe, with bombers, tanks and artillery.

"We came out of Vietnam and vowed never to do that again," said Marine Lt. Gen. John Kelly, who served three tours in Iraq and is now the senior military assistant to the defense secretary. "We re-armed to fight the kind of wars we liked to fight, the kind of wars we were good at—conventional, high tech. And now, here we are, with 10 years of a Vietnam-like war."

Also enticing to Washington is the other skill honed by the military in Iraq: lean, special-operations commands capable of hunting militant networks, such as the hunter-killer operation that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan earlier this year.

But there is a danger in relying only on commando raids, current and former special-operation officers say. In Iraq, it wasn't until Gen. Petraeus overhauled U.S. strategy that special-operations raids began to have a significant impact.

"We had taken an awful lot of insurgent leaders off the battlefield, but it was not enough," Gen. Petraeus said in the interview. "It was not until we also focused on securing the population by living with them, conducting major clear-hold-and-build operations and then also pursued reconciliation, that security improved."

The Petraeus strategy pushed soldiers like Sgt. Davis off the big bases and in to tiny outposts inside Iraq neighborhoods, which slowly improved security enough that Iraqi citizens began to turn their back on militias and insurgent groups. But it required large numbers of personnel, outlays of cash for development projects, and skilled troops whose first instinct when fired upon was not, necessarily, to shoot back.

It also took lower-ranking officers who were creative and adaptable. In 2003, it hardly seemed like traditional military work when Gen. Petraeus ordered the military to restart industrial sites in the city of Mosul. Maj. Gen. Ben Hodges was a colonel when he approved that plan, sending three lieutenants to restart an asphalt plant, a sulfur works and a concrete plant. He said he figures the three officers won't likely be asked to restart a factory again, but such problem-solving will serve the Army into the future.

"The war showed the need for leaders at all levels who can adapt," Gen. Hodges said.

The latest turn away from counterinsurgency already may have started. The Pentagon is focusing its attention on Asia, where any war is likely to rely on the Air Force and Navy. The Libyan war showed that airpower can be used in combination with ill-trained local forces to topple a dictator.

Current and former officers say it doesn't take a great leap of imagination to think the U.S. could get involved in another conflict requiring a large number of troops to keep the peace and warn that the U.S. can't turn its back on counter-insurgency. To some extent, that may influence the decisions that lie ahead.

"We, as a nation," said Gen. Kelly, "have to be ready to fight every kind of war."

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #207 on: January 04, 2012, 06:56:52 AM »



By JULIAN E. BARNES in Washington, NATHAN HODGE in Newport News, Va., and JEREMY PAGE in Beijing

The USS Gerald R. Ford was supposed to help secure another half century of American naval supremacy. The hulking aircraft carrier taking shape in a dry dock in Newport News, Va., is designed to carry a crew of 4,660 and a formidable arsenal of aircraft and weapons.

But an unforeseen problem cropped up between blueprint and expected delivery in 2015: China is building a new class of ballistic missiles designed to arc through the stratosphere and explode onto the deck of a U.S. carrier, killing sailors and crippling its flight deck.

Since 1945, the U.S. has ruled the waters of the western Pacific, thanks in large part to a fleet of 97,000-ton carriers—each one "4.5 acres of mobile, sovereign U.S. territory," as the Navy puts it. For nearly all of those years, China had little choice but to watch American vessels ply the waters off its coast with impunity.

Now China is engaged in a major military buildup. Part of its plan is to force U.S. carriers to stay farther away from its shores, Chinese military analysts say. So the U.S. is adjusting its own game plan. Without either nation saying so, both are quietly engaged in a tit-for-tat military-technology race. At stake is the balance of power in a corner of the seas that its growing rapidly in importance.

Pentagon officials are reluctant to talk publicly about potential conflict with China. Unlike the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Beijing isn't an explicit enemy. During a visit to China last month, Michele Flournoy, the U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, told a top general in the People's Liberation Army that "the U.S. does not seek to contain China," and that "we do not view China as an adversary," she recalled in a later briefing.

Nevertheless, U.S. military officials often talk about preparing for a conflict in the Pacific—without mentioning who they might be fighting. The situation resembles a Harry Potter novel in which the characters refuse to utter the name of their adversary, says Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a think tank with close ties to the Pentagon. "You can't say China's a threat," he says. "You can't say China's a competitor."

China's state media has said its new missile, called the DF-21D, was built to strike a moving ship up to about 1,700 miles away. U.S. defense analysts say the missile is designed to come in at an angle too high for U.S. defenses against sea-skimming cruise missiles and too low for defenses against other ballistic missiles.

Even if U.S. systems were able to shoot down one or two, some experts say, China could overwhelm the defenses by targeting a carrier with several missiles at the same time.

Enlarge Image

Close.As such, the new missile—China says it isn't currently deployed—could push U.S. carriers farther from Chinese shores, making it more difficult for American fighter jets to penetrate its airspace or to establish air superiority in a conflict near China's borders.

In response, the Navy is developing pilotless, long-range drone aircraft that could take off from aircraft carriers far out at sea and remain aloft longer than a human pilot could do safely. In addition, the Air Force wants a fleet of pilotless bombers capable of cruising over vast stretches of the Pacific.

The gamesmanship extends into cyberspace. U.S. officials worry that, in the event of a conflict, China would try to attack the satellite networks that control drones, as well as military networks within the U.S. The outcome of any conflict, they believe, could turn in part on who can jam the other's electronics or hack their computer networks more quickly and effectively.

Throughout history, control of the seas has been a prerequisite for any country that wants to be considered a world power. China's military buildup has included a significant naval expansion. China now has 29 submarines armed with antiship cruise missiles, compared with just eight in 2002, according to Rand Corp., another think tank with ties to the military. In August, China conducted a sea trial of its first aircraft carrier—a vessel that isn't yet fully operational.

Opinion
Michael Auslin: Defense Boost Ends Tokyo Drift
.At one time, military planners saw Taiwan as the main point of potential friction between China and the U.S. Today, there are more possible flash points. Tensions have grown between Japan and China over islands each nation claims in the East China Sea. Large quantities of oil and gas are believed to lie under the South China Sea, and China, Vietnam, the Philippines and other nations have been asserting conflicting territorial claims on it. Last year, Vietnam claimed China had harassed one of its research vessels, and China demanded that Vietnam halt oil-exploration activities in disputed waters.

A few years ago, the U.S. military might have responded to any flare-up by sending one or more of its 11 aircraft carriers to calm allies and deter Beijing. Now, the People's Liberation Army, in additional to the missiles it has under development, has submarines capable of attacking the most visible instrument of U.S. military power.

"This is a rapidly emerging development," says Eric Heginbotham, who specializes in East Asian security at Rand. "As late as 1995 or 2000, the threat to carriers was really minimal. Now, it is fairly significant. There is a whole complex of new threats emerging."

Beijing's interest in developing anticarrier missiles is believed to date to the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1996. The Chinese government, hoping to dissuade voters in Taiwan from re-electing a president considered pro-independence, conducted a series of missile tests, firing weapons into the waters off the island. President Bill Clinton sent two carrier battle groups, signaling that Washington was ready to defend Taiwan—a strategic setback for China.

The Chinese military embarked on a military modernization effort designed to blunt U.S. power in the Pacific by developing what U.S. military strategists dubbed "anti-access, area denial" technologies.

"Warfare is about anti-access," said Adm. Gary Roughead, the recently retired U.S. chief of naval operations, last year. "You could go back and look at the Pacific campaigns in World War II, [when] the Japanese were trying to deny us access into the western Pacific."

In 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao unveiled a new military doctrine calling for the armed forces to undertake "new historic missions" to safeguard China's "national interests." Chinese military officers and experts said those interests included securing international shipping lanes and access to foreign oil and safeguarding Chinese citizens working overseas.

At first, China's buildup was slow. Then some headline-grabbing advances set off alarms in Washington. In a 2007 test, China shot down one of its older weather satellites, demonstrating its ability to potentially destroy U.S. military satellites that enable warships and aircraft to communicate and to target bases on the Chinese mainland.

The Pentagon responded with a largely classified effort to protect U.S. satellites from weapons such as missiles or lasers. A year after China's antisatellite test, the U.S. demonstrated its own capabilities by blowing up a dead spy satellite with a modified ballistic-missile interceptor.

Enlarge Image

Close.Last year, the arms race accelerated. In January, just hours before then U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates sat down with Chinese President Hu to mend frayed relations, China conducted the first test flight of a new, radar-evading fighter jet. The plane, called the J-20, might allow China to launch air attacks much farther afield—possibly as far as U.S. military bases in Japan and Guam.

The aircraft carrier China launched in August was built from a hull bought from Ukraine. The Pentagon expects China to begin working on its own version, which could become operational after 2015—not long after the USS Gerald R. Ford enters service.

American military planners are even more worried about the modernization of China's submarine fleet. The newer vessels can stay submerged longer and operate more quietly than China's earlier versions. In 2006, a Chinese sub appeared in the midst of a group of American ships, undetected until it rose to the surface.

Sizing up China's electronic-warfare capabilities is more difficult. China has invested heavily in cybertechnologies, and U.S. defense officials have said Chinese hackers, potentially working with some state support, have attacked American defense networks. China has repeatedly denied any state involvement.

China's technological advances have been accompanied by a shift in rhetoric by parts of its military. Hawkish Chinese military officers and analysts have long accused the U.S. of trying to contain China within the "first island chain" that includes Japan and the Philippines, both of which have mutual defense treaties with the U.S., and Taiwan, which the U.S. is bound by law to help defend. They now talk about pushing the U.S. back as far as Hawaii and enabling China's navy to operate freely in the western Pacific, the Indian Ocean and beyond.

"The U.S. has four major allies within the first island chain, and is trying to starve the Chinese dragon into a Chinese worm," Maj. Gen. Luo Yuan, one of China's most outspoken military commentators, told a conference in September.

China's beefed up military still is a long way from having the muscle to defeat the U.S. Navy head-to-head. For now, U.S. officials say, the Chinese strategy is to delay the arrival of U.S. military forces long enough to take control of contested islands or waters.

Publicly, Pentagon leaders such as Mr. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have said the U.S. would like to cultivate closer military-to-military ties with China.

Privately, China has been the focus of planning. In 2008, the U.S. military held a series of war games, called Pacific Vision, which tested its ability to counter a "near-peer competitor" in the Pacific. That phrase is widely understood within the military to be shorthand for China.

"My whole impetus was to look at the whole western Pacific," says retired Air Force Gen. Carrol "Howie" Chandler, who helped conduct the war games. "And it was no secret that the Chinese were making investments to overcome our advantages in the Pacific."

Those games tested the ability of the U.S. to exercise air power in the region, both from land bases and from aircraft carriers. People familiar with the exercises say they informed strategic thinking about potential conflict with China. A formal game plan, called AirSea Battle, now is in the works to develop better ways to fight in the Pacific and to counter China's new weapons, Pentagon officials say.

The Navy is developing new weapons for its aircraft carriers and new aircraft to fly off them. On the new Ford carrier, the catapult that launches jets off the deck will be electromagnetic, not steam-powered, allowing for quicker takeoffs.

The carrier-capable drones under development, which will allow U.S. carriers to be effective when farther offshore, are considered a breakthrough. Rear Adm. William Shannon, who heads the Navy's office for unmanned aircraft and strike weapons, compared the drone's debut flight last year to a pioneering flight by Eugene Ely, who made the first successful landing on a naval vessel in 1911. "I look at this demonstration flight…as ushering us into the second 100 years of naval aviation," he said.

The Air Force wants a longer-range bomber for use over the Pacific. Navy and Air Force fighter jets have relatively short ranges. Without midair refueling, today's carrier planes have an effective range of about 575 miles.

China's subs, fighter planes and guided missiles will likely force carriers to stay farther than that from its coast, U.S. military strategists say.

"The ability to operate from long distances will be fundamental to our future strategy in the Pacific," says Andrew Hoehn, a vice president at Rand. "You have to have a long-range bomber. In terms of Air Force priorities, I cannot think of a larger one."

Enlarge Image

CloseRicky Thompson
 
The USS Gerald R. Ford, designed to serve for the next 50 years, under construction in Newport News, Va.
.The U.S. also is considering new land bases to disperse its forces throughout the region. President Barack Obama recently announced the U.S. would use new bases in Australia, including a major port in Darwin. Many of the bases aren't expected to have a permanent American presence, but in the event of a conflict, the U.S. would be able to base aircraft there.

In light of China's military advances and shrinking U.S. defense budgets, some U.S. military officers have begun wondering whether the time has come to rethink the nation's strategic reliance on aircraft carriers like the USS Ford. A successful attack on a carrier could jeopardize the lives of as many as 5,000 sailors—more than all the troops killed in action in Iraq.

"The Gerald R. Ford is just the first of her class," wrote Navy Captain Henry Hendrix and retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Noel Williams in an article in the naval journal Proceedings last year. "She should also be the last."

Write to Jeremy Page at jeremy.page@wsj.com and Nathan Hodge at Nathan.Hodge@wsj.com and Julian E. Barnes at Julian.Barnes@wsj.com

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ccp
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« Reply #208 on: January 04, 2012, 12:45:14 PM »

"U.S. defense analysts say the missile is designed to come in at an angle too high for U.S. defenses against sea-skimming cruise missiles and too low for defenses against other ballistic missiles."

Sound like Sun Tzu to me.

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bigdog
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« Reply #209 on: January 05, 2012, 06:34:11 AM »

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/202465-obama-to-unveil-defense-strategy-review-at-pentagon 
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« Reply #210 on: January 05, 2012, 07:25:29 AM »

 cry

This needs to be seen in the context of the recent posts here http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=2123.0
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« Reply #211 on: January 08, 2012, 09:25:42 AM »

By MACKUBIN THOMAS OWENS
The president has now outlined a strategy to guide the substantial cuts to the defense budget that will occur over the next decade. Those cuts are significant: at least $487 billion over the next decade, and twice that amount if the automatic spending reduction triggered by the failure of the deficit reduction super committee to reach an agreement goes into effect.

The new strategy envisions a regional focus on the Asia-Pacific and a shift from a two-war capability to a "win-spoil" plan that maintains the capability to fight and win one regional war while spoiling the military aspirations of another adversary in a different theater. The Army will be reduced to 490,000 troops from 570,000 and the Marines to 175,000 from 202,000 over the next few years while air and naval assets will be maintained in order to optimize operations in Asia-Pacific, primarily a maritime theater.

Critics argue that the budget cuts undermine the ability of the United States to defend itself. That's not altogether true. The cuts are necessary for economic reasons and the U.S. will still spend a great deal of money on defense. The real danger is that the administration's new strategy to guide the cuts undermines strategic flexibility, leading the country down a dangerous path it has traversed before: a primary reliance on a single military capability or a focus on a single region.

The administration's focus on Asia-Pacific and reduction of ground forces in favor of air and naval forces are both manifestations of what the late political scientist Samuel P. Huntington called "strategic monism," the domination of defense policy by a single strategic concept or regional focus. This approach presupposes an ability to predict and control the actions of possible enemies, discounting the commonsense view that the world is dynamic and characterized by uncertainty. Instead it seeks to impose a single vision on the U.S. defense establishment. If this vision is correct, things will be fine. If not, the U.S. may lack the ability to respond adequately to an unexpected event.

There is an old saying that "any war plan that depends on the cooperation of the enemy is likely to fail." This is the fatal flaw of strategic monism. The record reveals that defense planners have not been particularly successful in predicting the future. The U.S. has suffered a significant strategic surprise once a decade since 1940: Pearl Harbor, the North Korean invasion of South Korea, the Soviet H-bomb test, the Soviet reaction to the Arab-Israeli War of 1973, the fall of the Shah of Iran, the collapse of the Soviet Union and, most recently, 9/11.

The risks of the administration's new strategy are illustrated by the "New Look" strategy pursued by the Eisenhower administration of the 1950s. Its focus on long-range strategic air power resulted in strategic inflexibility: The U.S. largely lacked the ability to respond to threats at the lower end of the spectrum of conflict. Realizing this, our adversaries responded by moving away from conventional confrontation toward insurgencies and "peoples' wars." This deficiency led to the replacement of the New Look by the strategy of Flexible Response in the 1960s.

Ironically, after the Gulf War of 1991, some defense analysts resurrected the idea that a nearly exclusive reliance on air power could solve the defense dilemmas the U.S. faced. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan disabused us of this notion.

The administration's new strategy stands in contrast to "strategic pluralism," an approach that calls for a wide variety of military forces and weapons to meet a diversity of potential threats. Given the geopolitical position of the U.S. requiring that it plan to respond to threats around the globe, strategic pluralism seems more appropriate.

This more balanced approach presupposes an uncertain security environment. Despite our desires, there is much in this world that we do not and cannot know in advance, and threats to our interests are not necessarily predictable.

For instance, an assumption underlying the reduction of ground forces is the expectation that the U.S. will not be undertaking expensive, troop-intensive counterinsurgency campaigns such as those waged in Afghanistan and Iraq. Force planners made a similar assumption after Vietnam. The assumption was wrong then and most likely is wrong now.

A more balanced approach would hedge against uncertainty by maintaining a force capable of responding across the entire spectrum of conflict, building on the existing capabilities of a variety of forces—air, space, naval, land and cyber—to meet challenges to U.S. interests that may arise across the globe.

At the same time, retaining multiple capabilities complicates planning by potential adversaries. The smaller the number of options a force structure can generate, the easier it is for an enemy to develop a low-cost counter. That is what our enemies have done in the past, and it is what they will do in the future, especially if we make it easy for them.

Mr. Owens is professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College, editor of Orbis, the quarterly journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and author of "US Civil-Military Relations After 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain" (Continuum, 2011).

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« Reply #212 on: January 12, 2012, 07:13:26 AM »

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/budget-approriations/203729-lawmakers-geared-up-for-battle-over-military-spending-strategy
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« Reply #213 on: January 12, 2012, 02:21:45 PM »

One of the most iconic images of the American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- as well as global U.S. counterterrorism efforts -- has been the armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), specifically the MQ-1 "Predator" and the MQ-9 "Reaper." Unarmed RQ-1 Predators (which first flew in 1994) were flying over Afghanistan well before the 9/11 attacks. Less than a month after the attacks, an armed variant already in development was deployed for the first time.

In the decade since, the Predator has clocked more than a million flight hours. And while U.S. Air Force procurement ceased in early 2011 -- with more than 250 airframes purchased -- the follow-on MQ-9 Reaper has already been procured in numbers and production continues. Predators and Reapers continue to be employed in a broad spectrum of roles, including close air support (CAS), when forward air controllers communicate with UAV operators to release ordnance with friendly troops in the vicinity (CAS is one of the more challenging missions even for manned aircraft because of the heightened risk of friendly casualties). Officially designated "armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long endurance, remotely piloted aircraft," the second to last distinction is the Predator and Reaper's principal value: the ability to loiter for extended periods, in some cases for more than 24 hours.

This ability affords unprecedented situational awareness and physical presence over the battlefield. The implications of this are still being understood, but it is clear that it allows, for example, the sustained and constant monitoring of main supply routes for attempts to emplace improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or the ability to establish a more sophisticated understanding of high-value targets' living patterns. In addition, live, full-motion video for ground controllers is available to lower and lower echelons to an unprecedented degree.

As the procurement of Predators and Reapers and the training of operators accelerated -- particularly under the tenure of former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, beginning in 2006 -- the number of UAV "orbits" skyrocketed (an orbit is a single, continuous presence requiring more than one UAV airframe per orbit). There are now more than 50 such orbits in the U.S. Central Command area of operations alone (counting several maintained by the larger, unarmed RQ-4 "Global Hawk"). The U.S. Air Force expects to be capable of maintaining 65 orbits globally by 2013, with the combined total of flight hours for Predator and Reaper operations reaching about 2 million around the same time. In 2005, UAVs made up about 5 percent of the military aircraft fleet. They have since grown to 30 percent, though most are small, hand-launched and unarmed tactical UAVs.

The Counterterrorism Value
One of the most notable uses of the Predator and Reaper has been in the counterterrorism role, both as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform and as an on-call strike platform. These armed UAVs are operated both by the U.S. Air Force and, in some cases (as with operations conducted over Pakistan), the CIA. Even before the 9/11 attacks, the armed Predator then in development was being considered as a means not only of keeping tabs on Osama bin Laden but also of killing him. Since then, armed UAVs have proved their worth both in the offensive strike role against specific targets and as a means of maintaining a constant level of threat.

The value of the counterterrorism ISR that can be collected by large UAVs alone is limited since so much depends on how and where they are deployed and what they are looking for. This mission requires not only sophisticated signals but also actionable human intelligence. But as a front-line element of a larger, integrated collection strategy, the armed UAV has proved to be a viable and enduring element of the U.S. counterterrorism strategy worldwide.

The ability to loiter is central and has a value far beyond the physical capabilities of a single airframe in a specific orbit. Operating higher than helicopters and with a lower signature than manned, jet-powered fighter aircraft, the UAV is neither visibly or audibly obvious (though the degree of inconspicuousness depends on, among other things, weather and altitude). Because UAVs are so discreet, potential targets must work under the assumption that an armed UAV is orbiting within striking distance at all times.

Such a constant threat can place considerable psychological pressure on the prey, even when the predator is large and loud. During the two battles of Fallujah, Iraq, in April and November of 2004, AC-130 gunships proved particularly devastating for insurgents pinned in certain quadrants of the city, but AC-130s were limited in number and availability. When it was not possible to keep an AC-130 on station at night (in order to keep the insurgents' heads down), unarmed C-130 transports were flown in the same orbits at altitudes where the distinctive sound of a C-130 could be clearly discerned on the ground, thus maintaining the perception of a possible AC-130 reprisal against any insurgent offensive.

Indeed, it is difficult to overstate the psychological and operational impact of this tactic on a group that experiences successful strikes on its members, even if the strikes are conducted only rarely. Counterterrorism targets in areas where UAVs are known to operate must work under tight communications discipline and constraints, since having their cellular or satellite phone conversations tapped risks not only penetration of communications but immediate and potentially lethal attacks.

The UAV threat was hardly the only factor, but consider how Osama bin Laden's communiques declined from comparatively regular and timely videos to rare audiotapes. In 2001, bin Laden was operating with immense freedom of maneuver and impunity despite the manhunt already under way for him. That situation changed even as he fled to Pakistan, and the combination of aggressive signals as well as UAV- and space-based ISR efforts further constrained his operational bandwidth and relevance as he was forced to focus more and more on his own personal survival.

The UAV threat affects not only the targeted individuals themselves but also their entire organizations. When the failure to adhere to security protocols can immediately yield lethal results, the natural response is to constrict communications and cease contact with untrusted allies, affiliates and subordinates. When the minutiae of security protocols start to matter, the standard for having full faith, trust and confidence among those belonging to or connected with a terrorist organization become much higher. And the more that organization's survival is at stake, the more it must focus on survival, thereby reducing its capacity to engage in ambitious operations. On a deeper level, there is also the value of sowing distrust and paranoia within an organization. This has the same ultimate effect of increasing internal distrust and thereby undermining the spare capacity for the pursuit of larger, external objectives.

The Evolving Geography
While armed Predators first operated in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater, it was the darkest days of the Iraq War, at the height of the violence there from 2005 to 2007, that saw the strongest demand for them. As the main effort shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan, UAV operations began to shift with them. While UAVs will remain in high demand in Afghanistan even as the drawdown of forces continues there in 2012, the end of armed UAV operations in Iraq and the continued expansion of the U.S. Air Force's Reaper fleet mean that considerable bandwidth is being freed up for operations in other parts of the world. (In Iraq, some UAVs may continue to be operated over northern Kurdish areas in coordination with Turkey, and some private security contractors are operating a small fleet of unarmed UAVs as part of protection efforts in coordination with the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Security Service.)

There are obvious diplomatic and operational limitations to the employment of armed UAVs. Diplomatically, however, they also have demonstrated some value as an intermediate step between purely clandestine operations run by the CIA and the overt deployment of uniformed personnel and manned aircraft. Operationally, while Predators and Reapers lack the sort of low-observability profile of the RQ-170 (one of which was lost over Iran in 2011), UAVs lack pilots and pose no risk of human personnel being taken captive. A UAV that crashes in Iran has far fewer political ramifications than a piloted aircraft, making its deployment an easier decision for political leaders.

Indeed, the last decade has seen the maturation of the armed UAV, including its underlying architecture and doctrines. And while more than 50 Predators and Reapers have been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan and in training over the past decade, the aircraft are now essentially as safe and reliable as a manned F-16C/D but far cheaper to procure, maintain and operate. And over the next 10 years, the Pentagon plans to grow its UAV fleet about 35 percent. The U.S. Air Force plans to buy 288 more Reapers -- 48 per year from now through 2016 -- and money for UAVs has remained largely untouched even as budget cuts intensify at the Pentagon.

So while armed UAVs are merely one tool of a much broader and more sophisticated counterterrorism strategy, they can be expected to be valuable for the foreseeable future, and employed in areas of the world beyond Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen (even along the U.S.-Mexico border in an unarmed role for border patrol and counternarcotics missions). And despite an enormous breach in U.S.-Pakistani relations following the deaths of two dozen Pakistani military personnel in a cross-border incident in November and the consequent ejection of the CIA from Shamsi airfield in Pakistan (from which it had operated armed UAVs since October 2001), existing UAV orbits have been largely maintained. On Jan. 10, the first strike on Pakistani territory since November took place in North Waziristan agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

.
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« Reply #214 on: January 23, 2012, 12:58:14 AM »

*****Nationwide Warning*****

 
 
A friend sent this to me.....It goes right along with pediatricians
asking children if there are guns in their home.

Concealed Carry - IMPORTANT

I didn't have this happen, but then I wasn't at a V.A. doctors office.
A friend did run into a little of this when he had to visit a doctor
other than his regular doctor when his doctor was on vacation. One of
the questions on the form he had to fill out was: Do you have any guns
in your house?? His answer was "None of your damn business!!" So it is
out there! It is either an insurance issue or government intervention.
Either way, it is out there and the second the government gets into
your medical records (as they want to under Obama care) it will become
a major issue and will ultimately result in lock and load!!

Please pass this on to all the other retired guys and gun owners...Thanks
From a Vietnam Vet and retired Police Officer:

I had a doctor’s appointment at the local V.A. clinic yesterday and
found out something very interesting that I would like to pass along.

While going through triage before seeing the doctor, I was asked at
the end of the exam, three questions:
1. Did I feel stressed?
2. Did I feel threatened?
3. Did I feel like doing harm to someone?

The nurse then informed me, that if I had answered yes to any of the
questions, I would have lost my concealed carry permit as it would
have gone into my medical records and the VA would have reported it to
Homeland Security.

Looks like they are going after the vets first. Other gun people like
retired law enforcement will probably be next. Then when they go after
the civilians, what argument will they have? Be forewarned and be
aware.

The Obama administration has gone on record as considering veterans
and gun owners potential terrorists. Whether you are a gun owner
veteran or not, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED !

If you know veterans and gun owners, please pass this on to them.
Be very cautious about what you say and to whom.

 
I already have concern for those that have followed legal procedure and are now on
record with a permit.

as for me and mine and most I know around south central Texas...what permits?  and
everyone knows someone set up to selfload ammo.

 
 
Please!!! When Sending This Vital Information To Friends and Family DO NOT Use The
"To: Address Line!!! It Shows Every Name and The Email Associated With Each Name In
The Body of Any Email Sent Using This Line!

 Instead Enter The Email Address of Those You Are Sending This Important Warning To
on The "Bcc: Line"!! This Will Show Only Names and Not Email Addresses!!!

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« Reply #215 on: January 23, 2012, 10:01:38 AM »

it's my understanding, maybe I'm wrong, but nearly all concealed weapons permits are issued on the state/local level.
For example if I want one I need to apply with the Chief of Police; LAPD.

So how can Homeland Security take away my CCW?  For that matter, what do I care if Homeland Security is
aware that I have a gun?  I have nothing to hide.

And finally, if some answers YES to the question, "Did I feel like doing harm to someone?", on a medical questionnaire,
well maybe they shouldn't have a Concealed Weapon Permit.

And what's wrong with a Pediatrician asking his patient (children) if there is a gun in their home?  He's
worried about their safety - that's his job.  I presume if the  gun is locked up and out of reach, that would
be the end of it.

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« Reply #216 on: January 25, 2012, 12:46:32 PM »



By MACKENZIE EAGLEN
On Thursday, the Pentagon will begin detailing its plans to cut $500 billion from the military's budget over the next decade. The reason, insists President Barack Obama, is that "since 9/11, our defense budget grew at an extraordinary pace." That's true in top-line numbers—but it's anything but true when examined strategically.

Between budget cuts, cost overruns, overweight bureaucracy, ever-growing red tape, and changing requirements, the arsenal of democracy has become a bureaucratic nightmare. In spite of itself, our military cannot build new programs anymore. Old programs might win wars, but with much higher human and financial costs.

After 9/11, defense budgets grew because they had to. The U.S. military's budget, size and force structure had been too deeply cut in the 1990s, after the anticipated post-Soviet "peace dividend" failed to materialize. So the Pentagon began quickly and inefficiently dumping dollars into the military to fund the missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This made budgets grow steadily, but the money did little to increase cutting-edge capabilities for the future. Our war-related investments came at the expense of tomorrow's military capabilities. As a new American Enterprise Institute study concludes, the military over the past decade didn't modernize but rather embraced the equivalent of buying new apps for its old, clunky cellphone.

Enlarge Image

CloseAssociated Press
 
The Air Force wanted 750 F-22s to replace the F15, above, but they ultimately only received 187.
.From 2000-2010, the Air Force spent $38 billion on 220 fighters—as compared to $68 billion for 2,063 fighters from 1981-1990. Air Force leaders wanted 750 F-22s to replace their F-15s, but successive administrations cut that number—to 648, then 438, 339, 270 and finally 187—before President Obama terminated production. That wasn't a coherent acquisition strategy but budget-driven politics, plain and simple.

The Navy fared little better than the Air Force in terms of true modernization over the past decade. Sure, there are three Navy programs touted as "new"—the Virginia-class attack submarine, the DDG-51 destroyer and the F/A-18 Hornet. Problem is, those programs are already the Pentagon's "Plan B."

The Virginia-class sub was designed as a cheaper alternative to the truly dominant Seawolf-class attack submarine (and the Navy has bought less than half of the Virginia class, with the majority of funding still to come). The DDG-51 destroyer was a fall-back alternative to the now-canceled DDG-1000. And the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornets are only stopgap purchases until the Navy can put the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter on its carrier decks. Thus the Navy's recent spending has gone to programs that are increasingly out of date and ill-prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The Marine Corps and Army fared better on modernization over the last decade. Though the Marine Corps saw its Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle canceled under President Obama, it successfully completed most of its ambitious amphibious docking platform.

The Army, meanwhile, completed several programs over the past decade, buying older platforms like the Abrams tank and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, as well as the newer Stryker and even the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles. The problem is that all these vehicles are effective in land-based operations but would probably sit out during any conflict in the Western Pacific. And few of them have so-called next-generation capabilities—meaning brand-new platforms and technologies, not simply upgrades to existing tools. Almost every truly next-generation Army program has been canceled.

The common denominator among the services since 2001 is that their investment choices were geared toward lower-end conflict. Weapons systems designed for high-end future warfare suffered as a result (notwithstanding the evolving capabilities of drones over the past decade).

Compounding the problem is the reality that the services seem to be getting worse at acquiring high-tech systems and have used upgraded legacy programs as temporary band-aids. While it's often important to get weapons out the door during a war, the unmistakable reality is that the momentum for innovative research and development seems nonexistent across the U.S. military.

What the Obama Pentagon will lay out this week is the final nail in the coffin of our national contract with our all-volunteer military—that if they fight, they'll have the very best to win. It marks the beginning of the end of America's unquestioned international military dominance. Our soldiers will increasingly go into combat with aged equipment, lacking assurance that they'll prevail against any enemy.

Ms. Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has worked on defense issues at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill.

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« Reply #217 on: January 26, 2012, 10:14:55 AM »

The Pentagon plans to expand its global network of drones and special-operations bases in a fundamental realignment meant to project U.S. power even as it cuts back conventional forces.

The plan, to be unveiled by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday and in budget documents next month, calls for a 30% increase in the U.S. fleet of armed unmanned aircraft in the coming years, defense officials said. It also foresees the deployment of more special-operations teams at a growing number of small "lily pad" bases across the globe where they can mentor local allies and launch missions.

The utility of such tools was evident on Wednesday after an elite team—including members of Navy SEAL Team Six, the unit that killed Osama bin Laden—parachuted into Somalia and freed an American woman and Danish man held hostage for months.

The strategy reflects the Obama administration's increasing focus on small, secret operations in place of larger wars. The shift follows the U.S. troop pullout from Iraq in December, and comes alongside the gradual U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, where a troop-intensive strategy is giving way to an emphasis on training Afghan forces and on hunt-and-kill missions.

Defense officials said the U.S. Army plans to eliminate at least eight brigades while reducing the size of the active duty Army from 570,000 to 490,000, cuts that are likely to hit armored and heavy infantry units the hardest. But drone and special-operations deployments would continue to grow as they have in recent years.

At the same time, the Army aims to accentuate the importance of special operations by preserving light, rapidly deployable units such as the 82nd and the 101st Airborne divisions.

"What we really want is to see the Army adopt the mentality of special forces," said a military officer who advises Pentagon leaders.

The new strategy would assign specific U.S.-based Army brigades and Marine Expeditionary units to different regions of the world, where they would travel regularly for joint exercises and other missions, using permanent facilities and the forward-staging bases that some advisers call lily pads.

Marines, for example, will use a new base in Darwin, Australia, as a launch pad for Southeast Asia, while the U.S. is in talks to expand the U.S. presence in the Philippines—potential signals to China that the U.S. has quick-response capability in its backyard, defense officials said.

Yet many of the proposed bases will be secret and could temporarily house small commando teams, the officials said.

"There are going to be times when action is called upon, like Tuesday night, when it will be clearly advantageous to be forward deployed," a military official said, referring to the Somalia operation. "On the other hand, most of the time it will help you to be there to develop host nation or regional security."

Republican presidential contenders have seized on planned cuts to accuse President Barack Obama of weakening the U.S. military. While national-security issues aren't seen as a weakness for Mr. Obama in the coming presidential campaign, lawmakers could try to block his proposals on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Obama often emphasizes the value of special-operations raids like the one that killed bin Laden to fend off criticism.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, sees the bases and drones as part of an effort to offset cutbacks that some critics say will undercut the U.S.'s global dominance. The Pentagon says it will have more than enough force to fight at least one major troop-intensive ground war.

The Pentagon still will invest in some big-ticket items, including the F-35 stealth fighter, as a counterweight to rising powers, including China—although the department is poised to announce this week that it is going to slow procurement of the new plane, said defense officials.

Many Obama administration officials see last year's international military intervention in Libya as a model for future conflicts, with the U.S. using its air power up front while also relying on its allies, and on local forces to fight on the ground.

"You are looking at the military try to find new ways to stay globally engaged. When you are smaller, you have to be smarter," said a U.S. official.

Mr. Panetta alluded in a speech on Friday to plans to invest more heavily in drones and special forces, saying the U.S. wanted to develop an "innovative rotational presence" in Latin America, Africa and elsewhere.

Mr. Panetta is scheduled to outline elements of the department's $525 billion budget for fiscal 2013, including the first of $487 billion in cuts over 10 years, at the Pentagon Thursday.

The plan, however, envisions a 10% increase in special-operations forces over the next four years, from 63,750 this year to 70,000 by 2015, U.S. officials said. Mr. Panetta also will announce a buildup in the drone fleet in the coming years, U.S. officials said, following growth under predecessor Robert Gates.

The Air Force now operates 61 drone combat air patrols around the clock, with up to four drones in each patrol. Mr. Panetta's plan calls for the military to have enough drones to comfortably operate 65 combat air patrols constantly with the ability to temporarily surge to 85 combat air patrols, officials said.

The new emphasis represents a victory for Vice President Joe Biden and others in the White House who argued for reducing troops in Afghanistan and relying more on special-operations forces and local allies.

The strategy is similar to ideas that circulated through the military in the years before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and were championed by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Mr. Rumsfeld advocated building facilities in Eastern Europe and other locations as he pushed to remake the Army into a lighter, more expeditionary force. Mr. Rumsfeld declined a request for an interview.

The use of secretive commando teams and small, low-profile bases is appealing to the Obama administration because of the reduced costs, said a U.S. official briefed on the plans. They also risk less apprehension by host governments.

Military leaders are looking into the creation of new special-operations bases in Turkey and eastern Jordan, near the border with Iraq. U.S. officials said. Those will supplement a network of airstrips and other facilities in the region that house drones and operatives used for missions in Yemen, Somalia and beyond.

Write to Adam Entous at adam.entous@wsj.com and Siobhan Gorman at siobhan.gorman@wsj.com

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« Reply #218 on: January 26, 2012, 10:17:59 AM »

Obama, "We are going to be using fewer of you more often, so get your boots on, because you are going to be standing in a lot of blood."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #219 on: January 30, 2012, 08:02:26 AM »


President Obama plans to cut the Pentagon budget by half a trillion dollars or more in the next decade. He also wants the military to take on new missions, principally for the Navy to lead an American strategic "pivot" to the Asia-Pacific.

Something has to give. Care to guess what?

The Administration's record to date is undeniable. Defense was targeted from day one in office, and Mr. Obama disguised his latest, steepest retrenchment as part of a new "strategic review" earlier this month. The Pentagon on Thursday previewed the cuts, announcing that the 2013 defense budget due next month will decline for the first time since 1998. As spending on entitlements rises, budget cuts disproportionately hit the Pentagon, which accounts for a fifth of federal spending but over half the deficit reduction.

A closer look at the Navy reveals the damage. The Pentagon announced that seven cruisers will be decommissioned sooner than planned. Plans to purchase new Virginia-class submarines, a large-deck amphibious ship and smaller attack vessels will be delayed or reduced. Mr. Obama vetoed the Navy's offer to drop one of 11 aircraft carriers, but that decision may be revisited if he is re-elected. As Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert wrote last month, the service in 2025 "may be smaller than today."

Enlarge Image

Close...This is not good news. The Navy's fleet is already too small and its ships too old to perform its multiple missions. The fleet has shrunk by half in two decades and currently stands at 285. At the height of the Reagan Cold War buildup in 1987, the Navy had 568 carriers, destroyers, submarines and other ships.

Five years ago, the Navy pledged to get back to a floor of 313 ships sometime in the next decade. But even that shipbuilding plan was stingy in ambition and funding, favoring smaller, relatively inexpensive combat and supply ships. An update last year cut the number of ballistic missile submarines to 12 from 14. The Pentagon's latest budget plan makes it virtually impossible for the Navy to meet the 313 ship goal. And as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrote in a letter to Congress in November, if it cuts another $500 billion next January under "sequestration," the U.S. may be looking at a "fleet of fewer than 230 ships."

Administration officials have little choice but to talk down the usefulness of a larger fleet. "We have the 600-ship Navy [now]," in terms of overall capabilities, Navy Undersecretary Bob Work said at an industry conference this month. "The numbers don't [matter]. We span the globe."

He has a point that the weapons and technologies on today's ships have improved greatly since the Reagan era. The Pentagon has rightly focused as well on developing unmanned vessels and electronic warfare to ensure "access," in military speak, to any potential hot spot. "We will have a Navy that maintains a forward presence and is able to penetrate enemy defenses," says Mr. Panetta.

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A U.S. Navy serviceman on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson.
.But there's a catch: The planet isn't smaller. A ship can only be in one place at one time. So numbers do matter if the Navy is asked to chase pirates in Somalia, ferry humanitarian aid to Haiti, protect the Strait of Hormuz and keep a muscular presence in the South China Sea—to name a few of the recent and growing demands on the fleet. To cite another, the Obama Administration has also pivoted from ground- to sea-based missile defenses. This means that Aegis class cruisers must be parked in the Mediterranean to guard against an Iranian attack.

An independent bipartisan panel that went over the Pentagon's last Quadrennial Defense Review in 2010 said that the U.S. needed a larger Navy. It recommended 346 ships, including 11 aircraft carrier groups and 55 attack submarines (compared to only 48 in current plans), which it justified by invoking—as President Obama implicitly did earlier this month—the rise of China.

"To preserve our interests, the United States will need to retain the ability to transit freely the areas of the Western Pacific for security and economic reason," the panel wrote. A 313-or-fewer ship Navy doesn't look imposing from Beijing.

Doves these days say that the U.S. is in an arms race only with itself, and that it spends nearly half of the world's defense dollars, so why not cut spending to 2.7% of GDP, a level last reached before Pearl Harbor? Yet the Chinese certainly behave as if they are in an arms race. China is building dozens of new ships, plus cheap and quiet diesel-electric submarines and antiship missiles that pose a threat to U.S carriers.

China's strategic goal is to undercut America's naval preeminence in the Pacific. Analysts estimate that Beijing's defense budget, which isn't exactly transparent, may be as high as $300 billion in purchasing power parity terms due to the lower cost of running a military in China. The base Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2013, which doesn't include war costs, will be $525 billion, and future budgets will further narrow the gap with China.

The U.S. needs 11 aircraft carriers, even when no other country has more than one, because no other country does what it does. American military power has ensured global peace and prosperity since World War II. The Navy is the symbol and instrument of America's ability to project power. Its deterioration would hasten the end of the Pax Americana, carrying a high and dangerous price for the world.

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JDN
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« Reply #220 on: January 30, 2012, 08:53:16 AM »



China's strategic goal is to undercut America's naval preeminence in the Pacific. Analysts estimate that Beijing's defense budget, which isn't exactly transparent, may be as high as $300 billion in purchasing power parity terms due to the lower cost of running a military in China. The base Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2013, which doesn't include war costs, will be $525 billion, and future budgets will further narrow the gap with China.

Our defense budget is larger than the next 10 countries combined.  Trim the deficit seems to be our mantra; why not start with the bloated military?

The U.S. needs 11 aircraft carriers, even when no other country has more than one, because no other country does what it does.

  huh  Maybe it's time to re-evaluate....

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #221 on: January 30, 2012, 02:51:41 PM »

"Trim the deficit seems to be our mantra; why not start with the bloated military?"

1) As a % of GDP, military spending is rather low right now when measured against long term averages.  Furthermore even were we to wipe out the military completely, we would be still be in serious debt crisis mode.

2) The tremendous inefficiencies of the procurement process are in not insignificant part due to Congressional pork barreling as well as the inherent nature of the military way of doing things-- but it is more than a little worth noting that there have been A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN SERIOUSLY OVERWORKED SINCE 2001 AND WHO HAVE PERFORMED HEROICALLY.

3)  My political prediction should the military cuts envisioned by the Paulites and the Progressives be made, the support for  entitlements cuts will be nowhere to be found.


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« Reply #222 on: January 30, 2012, 07:42:22 PM »

By LEIF BABIN
America's premier Special Operations force is once again in the headlines after a team of Navy SEALs rescued two hostages from captivity in Somalia last week. Elite U.S. forces have carried out such operations periodically over the past decade, always with skill and bravery. The difference in recent months is that the details of their work haven't remained secret. On the contrary, government officials have revealed them for political gain—endangering our forces in the process.

The floodgates opened after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last May, and the Obama administration's lack of discretion was on display again at last week's State of the Union address. As President Obama entered the House chamber, in full view of the cameras, he pointed to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and exclaimed: "Good job tonight, good job tonight." Clearly something had happened that he wanted the world to know about.

After delivering his speech, which included multiple references to the bin Laden raid, the president again thanked Mr. Panetta. "That was a good thing tonight," he said as if to ensure that the viewing public, if they missed it initially, would get it a second time around.

Sure enough, shortly thereafter, the White House announced the successful rescue of the hostages in Somalia by U.S. Special Operations forces. Vice President Biden appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" to highlight the success the next morning, and Mr. Panetta also publicly praised it. Then came the "anonymous U.S. officials" to provide extensive details of who conducted the raid and how. As with the bin Laden operation, the top-secret unit that carried it out was again front-page news, as were its methods and tactics.

Our special operators do not welcome this publicity. In fact, from conversations I've had in recent days, it's clear they are dismayed by it.

Adm. William H. McRaven, America's top special-operations commander, wrote in his 1996 book "Spec Ops" that there are six key principles of success in special operations. Of paramount importance—especially given the risk and sensitivity of the missions and the small units involved—is what the military calls "operational security," or maintaining secrecy. If the enemy learns details and can anticipate the manner and timing of an attack, the likelihood of success is significantly reduced and the risk to our forces is significantly increased.

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President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta before the State of the Union address in Washington on Tuesday.
.This is why much of what our special-operators do is highly classified, and why military personnel cannot legally divulge it to the public. Yet virtually every detail of the bin Laden raid has appeared in news outlets across the globe—from the name of the highly classified unit to how the U.S. gathered intelligence, how many raiders were involved, how they entered the grounds, what aircraft they used, and how they moved through the compound. Such details were highly contained within the military and not shared even through classified channels. Yet now they are available to anyone with the click of a mouse.

It's difficult for military leaders to enforce strict standards of operational security on their personnel while the most senior political leadership is flooding the airwaves with secrets. The release of classified information has also opened a Pandora's box of former and retired SEALs, special operators, and military personnel who have chosen to violate their non-disclosure agreements and discuss intricate details of how such operations are planned and executed.

We've already begun seeing specific examples of strategic harm from the post-bin Laden leaks. In June, Pakistan arrested several individuals who allegedly provided information to the CIA in advance of the raid. One of those charged with treason was a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi. This Sunday, Mr. Panetta confirmed to "60 Minutes" that Dr. Afridi had provided "very helpful" intelligence to the CIA. That may have condemned Dr. Afridi to death or life imprisonment.

Such disclosures are catastrophic to U.S. intelligence networks, which often take years to develop. Recklessness not only puts lives at risk but could set U.S. intelligence-collection efforts back decades. Our ability to carry out future operations is significantly degraded—something not lost on Pakistan.

A week after the bin Laden raid, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressed dismay about Washington's loose lips, telling a town hall meeting of U.S. Marines at Camp Lejeune: "Frankly, a week ago Sunday, in the Situation Room, we all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden. That all fell apart on Monday—the next day."

Do the president and his top political advisers understand what's at stake for the special-operations forces who carry out these dangerous operations, or the long-term strategic consequences of divulging information about our most highly classified military assets and intelligence capabilities? It is infuriating to see political gain put above the safety and security of our brave warriors and our long-term strategic goals. Loose lips sink ships.

Mr. Babin is a former Navy SEAL officer who served three tours in Iraq, earning a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. He left active duty six months ago.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #223 on: February 13, 2012, 03:13:28 PM »

WASHINGTON — As the United States turns increasingly to Special Operations forces to confront developing threats scattered around the world, the nation’s top Special Operations officer, a member of the Navy Seals who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is seeking new authority to move his forces faster and outside of normal Pentagon deployment channels.
The officer, Adm. William H. McRaven, who leads the Special Operations Command, is pushing for a larger role for his elite units who have traditionally operated in the dark corners of American foreign policy. The plan would give him more autonomy to position his forces and their war-fighting equipment where intelligence and global events indicate they are most needed.
It would also allow the Special Operations forces to expand their presence in regions where they have not operated in large numbers for the past decade, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
While President Obama and his Pentagon’s leadership have increasingly made Special Operations forces their military tool of choice, similar plans in the past have foundered because of opposition from regional commanders and the State Department. The military’s regional combatant commanders have feared a decrease of their authority, and some ambassadors in crisis zones have voiced concerns that commandos may carry out missions that are perceived to tread on a host country’s sovereignty, like the rift in ties with Pakistan after the Bin Laden raid.
Administration, military and Congressional officials say that the Special Operations Command has embarked on a quiet lobbying campaign to push through the initiative. Pentagon and administration officials note that while the Special Operations Command is certain to see a growth in its budget and personnel when the new Defense Department spending plan is released Monday — in contrast to many other parts of the military that are being cut — no decisions have been made on whether to expand Admiral McRaven’s authorities.
The White House and State Department declined to comment on the proposal on Sunday.
The proposals are put forward as a new model for warfare in an age of diminishing Pentagon budgets, shrinking numbers of troops and declining public appetite for large wars of occupation, according to Pentagon officials, military officers and civilian contractors briefed on the plan. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because no decisions have been made.
Under the new concepts, a significant number of Special Operations forces — projected at 12,000 — would remain deployed around the world. While commando teams would be on call for striking terrorist targets and rescuing hostages, just as significant would be the increased number of these personnel deployed on training and liaison assignments and to gather information to help the command better predict approaching national security risks.
Officials stressed that in almost all cases, Special Operations forces would still only be ordered on specific missions by the regional four-star commander.
“It’s not really about Socom running the global war on terrorism,” Admiral McRaven said in a brief interview last week, referring to the Special Operations Command. “I don’t think we’re ready to do that. What it’s about is how do I better support” the regional combatant commanders.
For the past decade, more than 80 percent of the United States’ Special Operations forces have been deployed to the Middle East. With the military’s conventional forces coming home after the full withdrawal from Iraq, Admiral McRaven wants the authority to spread his commando teams into regions where they had been thinned out to provide forces for wars after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Even more, Admiral McRaven wants the authority to quickly move his units to potential hot spots without going through the standard Pentagon process governing overseas deployments. Historically, the deployment of American forces overseas began with a request from a global combatant commander that was processed through the military’s Joint Staff and placed before the defense secretary for approval, in a cautious and deliberate process.
Shifting national security threats may argue for Admiral McRaven’s plans. With Special Operations forces concentrated in the Middle East and Southwest Asia over the last decade, commanders in other regions are seeking more of these units in their areas.
State Department officials say they have not yet been briefed on the proposals. In the past, some ambassadors in crisis zones have opposed increased deployments of Special Operations teams, and they have demanded assurances that diplomatic chiefs of missions will be fully involved in their plans and missions.
Senior Special Operations commanders pledged that their efforts would be coordinated with the senior diplomatic representative in each country. These officers also describe how the new authorities would stress working with local security forces whenever possible. The exception would be when a local government was unable or unwilling to cooperate with an authorized American mission, or if there was no responsible government in power with whom to work.
Admiral McRaven’s plans have raised concerns even within the Special Operations community. Two Pentagon consultants said they have spoken with senior Special Operations officers who worry about their troops being stretched too thin. They are also concerned that Special Operations forces — still less than 2 percent of the entire military — will become so much the “go to” force of choice that they are asked to carry out missions beyond their capacity.
“Sure, we’re worried about that,” said one senior Special Operations officer with several command tours overseas. “But we also think we can manage that.”
The Special Operations Command now numbers just under 66,000 people — including both military personnel and Defense Department civilians — a doubling since 2001. Its budget has reached $10.5 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2001 (after adjusting for inflation).
Over the past decade, Special Operations Command personnel have been deployed for combat operations, exercises, training and other liaison missions in more than 70 countries. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Special Operations Command sustained overseas deployments of more than 12,000 troops a day, with four-fifths committed to the broader Middle East.
Even as the Pentagon trims its conventional force, with a refocus on the Asia-Pacific region and reductions in Europe, the Special Operations Command says it needs to permanently sustain that overseas force of 12,000 deployed around the world — with troops that came out of Iraq being distributed across regions that had not had many over the past decade.
Under Admiral McRaven’s evolving plans — what he calls the Global SOF Alliance — Special Operations forces would be moved around the globe at his direction, to bolster the forces available to the top Special Operations officer assigned to each theater of operation. Thickening the Special Operations deployments in these other regions would allow the United States to be ready to respond more rapidly to a broader range of threats.
Current guidelines allow the Special Operations Command to carry out missions on its own for very specific types of operations, although that has rarely been done and officials involved in the current debate say that would remain a rare event.
“He’s trying to provide global agility,” said one former military official who has been briefed on the planning. “If your network is not elastic, it’s not as agile as the enemy.”


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bigdog
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« Reply #224 on: February 15, 2012, 06:37:48 AM »

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/socom/factbook-2012.pdf 
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ccp
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« Reply #225 on: February 15, 2012, 03:42:26 PM »

BG interesting fact book.

It is ironic we now have the most liberal President in history, making the most of speical operation forces overseas.

I remember not too long ago every liberal from Hollywood to MSM decrying out loud the CIA and special ops (IranContra) as
an evil segment of the Unites States overseas policy.

Sort of like Reagan's space based anti ballistic initiative as being ridiculed as Star Wars.  Now I can guarantee you Brock wishes he had antiballistic weapons that could shoot down nuclear warheads.  It would make Iran seem like less of a threat.
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G M
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« Reply #226 on: February 15, 2012, 03:47:53 PM »

BG interesting fact book.

It is ironic we now have the most liberal President in history, making the most of speical operation forces overseas.

I remember not too long ago every liberal from Hollywood to MSM decrying out loud the CIA and special ops (IranContra) as
an evil segment of the Unites States overseas policy.


Just before the change in administrations, the military entity known as JSOC was blasted by the left as "Dick Cheyney's personal hit squad" until Obozo used them to kill Bin Laden. Of course, that was when the left screamed about how terrible Gitmo was and now it's fine by them.
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ccp
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« Reply #227 on: February 15, 2012, 03:51:28 PM »

Assasination is quite acceptable so long as it makes a liberal politician look good.

Question, who lies more Nixon or Obama?
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G M
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« Reply #228 on: February 15, 2012, 03:53:51 PM »

Assasination is quite acceptable so long as it makes a liberal politician look good.

Question, who lies more Nixon or Obama?

Well, no one died from Watergate, and we are still counting the hundreds, if not thousands of deaths from "Fast and Furious". By that standard, Obozo is way ahead of anyone.
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ccp
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« Reply #229 on: February 15, 2012, 04:04:47 PM »

Agreed. 
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #230 on: February 24, 2012, 09:31:24 PM »

  The United States Navy launched an advanced tactical satellite today (Feb. 24), lofting to orbit the first spacecraft in a new communications constellation that should provide a big upgrade for American troops.

The Mobile User Objective System-1 (MUOS-1) satellite blasted off at 5:15 p.m. EST (2215 GMT) today, riding an Atlas 5 rocket into the skies above Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station after an eight-day delay. The satellite was supposed to launch last week, but strong upper-level winds and thick clouds caused scrubs on both Feb. 16 and Feb. 17.

MUOS-1 will settle into a geostationary orbit above the Pacific Ocean, then undergo about six months of checkouts and tests before becoming operational, Navy officials have said.

The four-satellite MUOS constellation is designed to augment and eventually replace the current network that helps American warfighters around the globe communicate and coordinate. [Photos: Launch of Navy's MUOS-1 Satellite]

"MUOS will greatly enhance the capabilities of the warfighter to communicate on the move," said Mark Pasquale, vice president and MUOS program manager at Lockheed Martin, in a statement. Lockheed Martin is building the MUOS satellites for the U.S. military.

"The system will provide military users 16 times the communications capacity of existing satellites, including simultaneous voice, video and data capability enhancements, and we look forward to achieving mission success for our customer," Pasquale added.

Today's liftoff marked the 200th launch for the Centaur upper stage, which is part of the Atlas 5 rocket. The Centaur first lifted off the pad back in 1962; in the years since, it has helped launch many spacecraft, including NASA's Voyager and Viking probes in the 1970s and the Curiosity Mars rover this past November.


A big communications boost

The U.S. military currently relies on a constellation of satellites called UHF Follow-On, or UFO, for much of its communications needs. However, this network is aging, and two of the satellites stopped working several years ago, bringing the number of functional spacecraft down to eight.

Further, the military's demand for communications capacity is on the rise, due largely to a sharp increase in the use of unmanned aircraft. The MUOS network is an attempt to boost that capacity, and to shift the burden away from the deteriorating UFO system.

When it's complete, the MUOS constellation will consist of four active satellites, plus one orbiting spare. Each MUOS satellite will carry two payloads — one similar to the UFO payload (to provide links to currently deployed user terminals), and a new digital payload that will boost communications capacity significantly.

"Utilizing commercial 3G cell phone and satellite technology, MUOS will provide mobile warfighters point-to-point and netted communications services at enhanced data rates and priority-based access to on-demand voice, video and data transfers," Lockheed Martin officials wrote in a recent statement.

A few years away

It will be a few years before American warfighters can take full advantage of the MUOS network.

For starters, MUOS-1 has to undergo that six-month checkout period. And engineers still haven't finished the software that will allow users to communicate with MUOS-1's digital payload, so the satellite will likely use its UFO-like payload exclusively for a spell after coming online.

Further, it will take a while to complete the MUOS constellation. MUOS-2 is scheduled for launch in July 2013, with MUOS-3, 4 and the spare perhaps following at roughly one-year intervals, officials have said.

Lockheed Martin won a $2.1 billion Navy contract to build MUOS-1, MUOS-2 and associated ground control architecture back in September 2004. The Navy later exercised an option to build three more MUOS spacecraft.

                                      P.C.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #231 on: February 24, 2012, 11:50:29 PM »

This sounds like very good news!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #232 on: March 07, 2012, 05:21:44 PM »



"An Israeli start up has developed a portable device that generates large amounts of water from desert air. The company says the system will offer troops in conflict zones a cheap and safe way to stay hydrated."

http://www.scientificamerican.com/video.cfm?id=israeli-device-takes-the-2012-03-07&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20120307
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G M
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« Reply #233 on: March 07, 2012, 10:53:48 PM »



"An Israeli start up has developed a portable device that generates large amounts of water from desert air. The company says the system will offer troops in conflict zones a cheap and safe way to stay hydrated."

http://www.scientificamerican.com/video.cfm?id=israeli-device-takes-the-2012-03-07&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20120307


Now if the "palestinians" get ahold of it, they'll figure out a way to make it into an IED, make it emit poison or break it into pieces and use the sharp ones to cut out clitorises.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #234 on: March 09, 2012, 11:40:41 AM »

The Geopolitics of Shifting Defense Expenditures
March 9, 2012



The shift in global defense spending associated with the global economic crisis is accompanied by a deeper and more fundamental geographic change. A market report published Thursday remarked upon the shift from defense spending in the developed world (particularly Europe) to the developing world as fiscal austerity in the West takes hold. Indeed, upon returning from a trip to China, Indonesia’s defense minister announced Wednesday that his country might soon begin domestic licensed production of modern Chinese anti-ship missiles, once the purview of much more developed military powers. This comes close on the heels of the publication Wednesday of the annual edition of the Military Balance by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, which suggests that cumulative defense spending by Europe may, for the first time, be overtaken by such spending in the Asia-Pacific region (it has already converged in recent years).

It is now commplace to refer to the Asia-Pacific as "the future." The value of trans-Pacific trade has outstripped trans-Atlantic trade for decades now. The only remaining global superpower is also -- not coincidentally -- uniquely native to both oceans compared with both traditional European and emerging Asian powers. Stratfor has long noted that the events of two decades ago marked not only the end of the Soviet Union and the Cold War but also the European era of nearly half a millennia in which Europe was the center of the global system.

This reflects a geographic shift and necessarily has military implications, but defense spending is merely a symptom.

War has always been expensive. But from the Peloponnesian Wars of antiquity to Afghanistan today, ground combat has found a way of returning again and again to infantry engagements. Taken as a whole, there is no argument that large-scale ground combat has proven devastatingly expensive. But the contrast is the expense of naval power from the Peloponnesian Wars to today; engaging in meaningful naval power has consistently represented an enormous expenditure of national resources.

European conflict in the last 500 years and conflict in the Asia Pacific since World War II have both been characterized largely by ground combat. Naval power was essential for the United States to maintain a credible capability to reinforce Europe in the event of the outbreak of hostilities during the Cold War. But at its heart, it was a conflict over territory fought on land. Similarly, China has long been the quintessential land power, struggling against itself to secure buffer territories along its long and often rugged land borders. The Korean and Vietnam Wars, despite the naval aspects required by those countries' long coastlines, were essentially land wars.

But recent history is deceptive. The Asian Pacific is a fundamentally maritime theater, as World War II teaches us. Today it includes the busiest maritime chokepoint in the world -- the Strait of Malacca -- and an increasing number of countries reliant on the import of energy and raw materials and their participation in the global economy through maritime shipping. Shipping lanes matter, and the Pacific is not simply a place for competition between the United States and China. Despite its pacifist constitution, Japan fields one of the most modern and capable militaries in the world. South Korea has unique challenges but is not far behind. But perhaps even more fascinating is the emergence of the other countries native to the South China Sea -- namely Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. Each country is strengthening itself militarily, not by bulking up existing land forces but investing in high-end, late-model naval hardware.

In contrast, Europe is not only spending less on defense, its military capability is becoming less important given its portfolio of national power and resources (save for the Russian periphery, which is perhaps underappreciated as a military domain of enduring relevance).

By comparison, military power is not only becoming more important in the Asian Pacific but many of these countries are shifting from communist-inspired massive land armies to building up capable naval and air forces. This represents not simply a diversion of resources from the army to the navy and air force but also requires considerable additional investment to establish and maintain forces capable of operating effectively in a more complex and high-end operational environment. The term "arms race" comes from the Cold War competition between the United States and the former Soviet Union to outmatch each other. Unlike that example of classic bipolarity, the Asian Pacific is much more multipolar than it is given credit for, given its focus on the U.S.-Chinese dynamic. Both the increasing multipolarity of and mounting investment in the region combine with the inherent expense of naval and air forces capable of competing there.

The result is not simply an environment where defense spending is rising and is likely to continue to do so. The Asian Pacific is a domain that demands investment in higher-end capabilities, and this is taking place within an increasingly broad spectrum of countries. For a world that has not fought major naval engagements on a World War II scale since that war and where aerial battles have become increasingly one-sided, the point about military competition in the Asian Pacific is not that it will be expensive. Instead, the cost reflects a long-term investment in high-end, expensive military resources that have increasingly limited operational experience to temper and check not just technology but also conceptual doctrinal development.
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bigdog
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« Reply #235 on: March 10, 2012, 11:15:05 AM »

OUTER space has become the next frontier for American national security and business. From space, we follow terrorists and intercept their communications, detect foreign military deployments, and monitor a proliferation of unconventional weapons. Our Global Positioning System gives us targeting and tactical advantages, spacecraft create image-rich maps, and satellites beam data around the world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/opinion/hands-off-the-heavens.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=john%20yoo&st=Search
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G M
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« Reply #236 on: March 10, 2012, 11:32:39 AM »

OUTER space has become the next frontier for American national security and business. From space, we follow terrorists and intercept their communications, detect foreign military deployments, and monitor a proliferation of unconventional weapons. Our Global Positioning System gives us targeting and tactical advantages, spacecraft create image-rich maps, and satellites beam data around the world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/opinion/hands-off-the-heavens.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=john%20yoo&st=Search

But abusing presidential prerogatives in order to abide by a European code of conduct that erodes American sovereignty eliminates the Senate’s important constitutional role. That does not make America safer; it weakens it.

That's a key element of the Obozo administration's conduct.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #237 on: March 10, 2012, 03:16:45 PM »

As noted in the Outer Space thread, thanks to Baraq, we now have to rent a ride from the Russians to get anyone up there.  The Chinese have correctly identified the importance of our present dominance in space as an Achilles heel for us and are working quite sedulously to change that.  The general imporession I have is that Baraq et al are asleep at the switch and this will have devastating consequences.
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G M
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« Reply #238 on: March 10, 2012, 08:21:28 PM »

The general imporession I have is that Baraq et al are asleep at the switch and this will have devastating consequences.

It's not a matter of being asleep. It's very deliberate. It's unfair for the US to have any technological/military advantages over other countries. Buraq is fixing that.
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bigdog
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« Reply #239 on: March 20, 2012, 10:11:57 AM »

http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-03-19/holly-petraeus-wife-protect-military/53657242/1

"When 18,000 members of the Army's 101st Airborne Division flew back to Fort Campbell, Ky., in 2004 after a year in Iraq, Holly Petraeus was there to meet them, no matter the hour, the weather or her other duties.

As wife of the division commander, Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, she had to attend some of the scores of arrivals. But she was almost always there — often in hat, scarf, and boots, stamping her feet against the cold and hugging the soldiers like they were her children."

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #240 on: March 20, 2012, 12:15:44 PM »

First I had heard this, but I can't say I'm surprised.  Character is what you do when no one is looking.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #241 on: March 21, 2012, 10:05:49 AM »

http://www.dickmorris.com/obama-tells-secrets-to-russia/

Published on TheHill.com on March 20, 2012

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are increasingly moving to strip America of vital defense capabilities through a web of international treaties and agreements. Already, Clinton is negotiating a code of conduct in outer space that would effectively ban our capacity to destroy satellites and put interceptor missiles in space.


Last week, the president announced that he was going to provide the Russians with detailed technical information about the anti-missile systems he plans to base in Eastern Europe, in the hopes of lessening Russian opposition to their deployment. He is exacting no reciprocal sharing of intelligence, nor can he be sure that Vladimir Putin will not just turn around and forward the gift package to North Korea or Iran.

Reuters noted that “the Obama administration is leaving open the possibility of giving Moscow certain secret data on U.S. interceptor missiles due to help protect Europe from any Iranian missile strike. A deal is being sought by Washington that could include classified data exchange because it is in the U.S. interest to enlist Russia and its radar stations in the missile-defense effort, a Pentagon spokeswoman said Tuesday.”

Defense advocates are especially fearful that these negotiations could lead to a side agreement to limit the velocity of our missile interceptors or place other limits on our anti-missile capability. In the 1990s, the Clinton administration agreed to limit velocity to 3 kilometers per second.

Hank Cooper, who was President Reagan’s ambassador in charge of defending the Strategic Defense Initiative in the Geneva Defense and Space Talks with the Soviet Union and later served as director of the SDI program, said he is worried that “these negotiations might turn into some ‘executive’ agreement that limits the velocity of future improvements to the SM-3 — or other missile defense interceptors.”

He said this would be a “very bad idea — as was demonstrated by the Clinton administration’s side agreement on the margins of the U.N. that limited the velocity of our theater missile defense interceptors. … We got rid of this [agreement] as a byproduct of withdrawing from the ABM Treaty in 2002 — it would be a very bad idea to bring it back in any form.”

Cooper and others argue that Russia already knows our missile velocity from having observed our tests, and that Moscow is seeking these negotiations to tie our hands by prohibiting improvements in our anti-missile technology.

Cooper said “the Russians are not likely to be interested in such an empty concession as sharing our current [velocity at burnout of our anti-missile]. On the other hand, there are other things they would be very interested in and I am not impressed that our current negotiating team can be trusted to keep them secret — or not to trade them away.”

He worries, in particular, that in its zest to “reset” relations with Russia, our negotiators will give away or agree to limit the ability of our interceptors to “track, discriminate and maneuver toward [their] targeted attacking weapon and associated decoys and other countermeasures. I would be very concerned about preserving the confidentiality of our capabilities in that area, and worry about possible ill-advised executive agreements on the associated so-called ‘transparency’ front — especially if they limit potential technological improvements in our defensive systems.”

It is these interceptors that the Obama administration has selected to cope with potential nuclear-armed missiles that might be launched by Iran in the near future to attack the United States or our overseas troops, friends and allies. The close nexus between the Kremlin and Tehran and Pyongyang raises the serious possibility that Russia could compromise our ability to stop their missiles.

Coming on the heels of his New START Treaty that cut our strategic forces while permitting Russia to deploy additional ones, and on top of his proposal to cut our nuclear arsenal by 80 percent with no reciprocity from any of our adversaries, Obama seems intent on disarming our nation.

Sometimes I wonder if Obama knows he is going to be defeated and is embarking on a “scorched-earth” policy to weaken our nation and to hogtie us through international agreements before he leaves office, thus fulfilling the fondest desires of his friends like former terrorist Bill Ayers.

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G M
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« Reply #242 on: March 21, 2012, 03:01:35 PM »

Yes. Next question.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #243 on: April 01, 2012, 07:48:40 AM »


Perhaps I am missing something, but this surprises me.  The Russians are squeezing Ukraine over gas, yet this is going on?  What of Baraq's "reset" with the Russians?  Is there leverage over us declining with our impending exit from Afpakia? (i.e. we won't need the Russkis for the northern supply route?)

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NATO and Ukraine are holding talks regarding Kiev's participation in the planned NATO missile defense system in Europe, the head of the NATO Liaison office in Ukraine said, RT News reported March 30, citing Rosbalt. NATO is considering Ukraine because of its ballistic missiles, technology and experience, the official said. Informal consultations are being held on political and technical levels, the official added.


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Read more: Ukraine: Kiev Could Participate In NATO Missile Defense System | Stratfor
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ccp
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« Reply #244 on: April 26, 2012, 06:07:24 PM »

From another thread - my thinking was suppose the military let them have a drone with phoney or misleading construction or hardware/software/codes etc.   Let Iran think they can crack our codes when in fact this will lead them off base.  Perhaps we are not that smart.......

Also I wondered if this was some sort of show for the Israeli's that "you see we are serious about watching your back we are actually sending drones over Iran....."

OTOH it could be a total screw up and we lost a drone to Iran because it was defective, they did hack into its control mechanism, or something like that.

I would like to think it is a brilliant feint.


  ******Drone "captured" intact?
« Reply #533 on: Today at 12:14:50 PM » 

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Just a thought.   Suppose the US military LET Iran have the drone?  For political and military reasons.

*****Iran capture US drone by hacking its GPS signal?
16:04 16 December 2011
AerospaceHackingPoliticsJeff Hecht, consultant

(Image: ABACA/Press Association Images)

How did Iran manage to capture a US robotic surveillance plane, which looks remarkably undamaged in an Iranian video? The US initially claimed the drone went astray over Afghanistan and blamed a malfunction, but Iran said it had brought the craft down 200 kilometres inside its border earlier this month.


Now the Christian Science Monitor reports that Iran jammed GPS signals and fooled the drone into landing at an Iranian base. "The GPS navigation is the weakest point," an unnamed Iranian engineer analysing the captured drone told a Monitor correspondent inside Iran. "By putting noise [jamming] on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain."

Once the drone lost its bearings, the engineer said, Iranians were able to reprogram its internal mapping system to think that its home base was an Iranian site at almost the same altitude. He added that the slight mismatch in altitude caused a rough landing that damaged the robot plane's landing gear and underside.

GPS signals are broadcast by satellites, so they are weak near the ground. That makes them vulnerable to interference from stronger nearby signals. Even military versions of GPS are vulnerable to electronic warfare, which usually seeks to disable key systems to bring down a plane. The Iranians claim to have taken that one step further by electronically capturing control of the remotely controlled robot craft.  A former Navy specialist told the Monitor that hostilely reprogramming a GPS to fly to a different home is "certainly possible".

Built by defense contractor Lockheed Martin, the RQ-170 Sentinel craft is a high-flying surveillance craft, which uses stealth technology to elude detection. Although details are classified, some information has leaked, including photos which match those shown by Iran.

At the time the US lost control, it was operated by the CIA. With no US controller operating it, the unmanned aircraft should have crashed - yet the one Iran displayed showed only a dent, although its landing gear was hidden.

If that's what happened to the CIA's Sentinel, it's going to prompt some serious rethinking of how to wage robotic warfare. You don't want the enemy to be able to capture and reprogram your robots so they fight you.*****


 
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« Reply #245 on: May 03, 2012, 12:37:40 PM »


By MARK GUNZINGER AND ANDREW KREPINEVICH
For 20 years, from the first Gulf War to the recent bombardment of Libya, the U.S. military has had few difficulties deploying and supplying its forces. Rivals and would-be enemies—from China to Hezbollah—have taken note, and they're moving to acquire long-range, precision-guided weapons that would threaten our forces by creating mass "kill zones" around airfields, ports and supply depots. This threat is far more formidable than the roadside bombs encountered by our forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Pentagon is aware of this threat, but its approach to addressing it is old-fashioned and expensive. Despite looming budget cuts, it continues emphasizing multimillion-dollar interceptors to shoot down missiles and rockets that enemies can field at a small fraction of that cost. This places our military at the wrong end of a cost competition that our enemies will be only too happy to continue.

There are ways for the U.S. military to defend itself more effectively from such attacks while imposing costs on our enemies. Part of the solution is to attack enemies' rocket and missile launchers on the ground, destroying their weapons before they can be used. Yet such "suppression" attacks require finding and destroying highly mobile missile launchers, artillery and mortar units, which is a difficult challenge.

A better, complementary approach would exploit technologies that can dramatically reduce the cost of this work—specifically, a new generation of high-power lasers.

Previous high-power laser weapon prototypes had insufficient power, were too bulky, or both. The recently cancelled Airborne Laser, a chemical laser carried on a Boeing 747 aircraft modified for military use, is but the most recent example of a laser weapon that failed to realize its promise.

Yet like submarines and torpedoes—which for decades in the late 19th century were considered little more than interesting toys, only to quickly emerge as powerful weapons in World War I—lasers may finally be coming into their own.

Recent dramatic advances in solid-state laser technology (meaning lasers that create a lethal beam of light using solids or fibers, not liquids or gases) have yielded impressive power levels at a very low cost-per-shot, especially when compared to traditional missile interceptors that can cost over $10 million each. Experts in the U.S. Navy state that within six years, using technologies already developed and demonstrated in test firings, they could field solid-state lasers on warships with sufficient power to counter anti-ship cruise missiles, unmanned aircraft, and fast-attack "swarm" craft like those of Iran. These lasers could reduce the need for warships to carry bulky—and expensive—defensive munitions, while freeing space for other weaponry.

Like solid-state lasers, new chemical lasers can generate much greater power outputs than their predecessors, enabling them to engage a wide range of air and missile threats, including long-range ballistic missiles. Also within six years, and using technologies developed for the Airborne Laser, the Air Force and the Army could field ground-based, megawatt-class chemical lasers to help protect key bases in the Persian Gulf and Western Pacific.

To be sure, laser weapons have limitations. Bad weather reduces their effectiveness (as it does many other weapons), and killing very hard targets such as ballistic missile warheads will require multiple megawatts of laser power. But combined with suppression attacks and traditional defenses, high-power lasers could provide a major boost to our military's defenses and at a reduced cost, while also complicating an enemy's planning.

Other states—especially Russia and China—see the game-changing potential of these weapons and are investing aggressively in them. Yet the Pentagon plans to cut research funding in this area, even though it currently invests a little over $500 million in it annually, compared to well over $10 billion in traditional air and missile defenses. This imbalance is particularly worrisome considering the need to impose costs on our competitors while reducing our own costs.

The Defense Department has said that it is serious about retaining its technological edge, declaring in its new strategic guidance the "imperative to sustain key streams of innovation that may provide significant long-term payoffs." Unfortunately, absent a push from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta or from Congress, it appears unlikely that high-power lasers will make the jump from the laboratory to the field anytime soon. If not, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, American forces will find themselves again reacting to a threat rather than anticipating it.

Mr. Gunzinger, a retired Air Force colonel and former deputy assistant secretary of defense, is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Mr. Krepinevich, the center's president, is a retired Army colonel.

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« Reply #246 on: May 12, 2012, 08:30:10 AM »

Robot Soldiers Will Be a Reality—and a Threat
Given the obvious dangers, fully autonomous offensive lethal weapons should never be permitted

By JONATHAN D. MORENO
Much controversy has surrounded the use of remote-controlled drone aircraft or "unmanned aerial vehicles" in the war on terror. But another, still more awe-inducing possibility has emerged: taking human beings out of the decision loop altogether. Emerging brain science could take us there.

Today drone pilots operate thousands of miles away from the battlefield. They must manage vast amounts of data and video images during exceptionally intense workdays. They are scrutinized by superiors for signs of stress, and to reduce such stress the Air Force is attempting shift changes, less physical isolation on the job, and more opportunities for rest.

Yet even as this remarkable new form of war fighting is becoming more widely recognized, there are at least two more possible technological transitions on the horizon that have garnered far less public attention. One is using brain-machine interface technologies to give the remote pilot instantaneous control of the drone through his or her thoughts alone. The technology is not science fiction: Brain-machine interface systems are already being used to help patients with paralytic conditions interact with their environments, like controlling a cursor on a computer screen.

In a military context, a well-trained operator, instead of using a joystick for very complicated equipment, may be able to process and transmit a command much more rapidly and accurately through a veritable mind-meld with the machine.

There are enormous technical challenges to overcome. For example, how sure can we be that the system is not interpreting a fantasy as an intention? Even if such an error were rare it could be deadly and not worth the risk.

Yet there is a way to avoid the errors of brain-machine interface that could change warfare in still more fundamental and unpredictable ways: autonomous weapons systems combining the qualities of human intelligence that neuroscience has helped us understand with burgeoning information and communications technologies.

Even now there are defensive weapons systems on U.S. naval ships that routinely operate on their own, but with human monitoring. A new automated weapons system has been deployed at the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. This robot sentry is said to be the first that has integrated systems for surveillance, tracking, firing and voice-recognition. Reportedly it has an "automatic" mode that would allow it to fire without a human command, but that mode is not being used.

Robot warriors, proponents argue, would not be subject to the fatigue, fear and fury that often accompany the chaos of combat—emotions can result in accidental injuries to friends or even barbaric cruelties motivated by a thirst for revenge and a sense of power. Others say the proponents of robot warriors are naive: What would inhibit dictators or nonstate actors from developing robotic programs that ignored the laws of war?

Moreover, some security analysts already worry that remote control unacceptably lowers the bar for a technologically superior force to engage in conflict. And will their adversaries, frustrated by their lack of opportunity to confront an enemy in person, be more likely employ robotic terror attacks on soft targets in that enemy's territory? Will this be the death knell of whatever ethos of honor remains in modern military conflict?

Another technology is even more radical. Neuroscientists and philosophers are exploring the parameters of "whole brain emulation," which would involve uploading a mind from a brain into a non-biological substrate. It might be that Moore's Law (the idea that computing capacity doubles about every two years) would have to persist for decades in order for a computer to be sufficiently powerful to receive an uploaded mind. Then again, the leap might come by means of the new science of quantum computing—machines that use atomic mechanical phenomena instead of transistors to manage vast amounts of information. Experiments with quantum computing are already being performed at a number of universities and national laboratories in the United States and elsewhere.

Robotic warriors whose computers are based on whole brain emulation raise a stark question: Would these devices even need human minders? Perhaps, if we're not careful, these creatures could indeed inherit the Earth.

National security planners and arms-control experts have already begun to have conversations about the ethical and legal implications of neurotechnologies and robotics in armed conflict. For it is inevitable that breakthroughs will be incorporated into security and intelligence assets.

The various international agreements about weapons and warfare do not cover the convergence of neuroscience and robotic engineering. Thus new treaties will have to be negotiated, specifying the conditions under which research and deployment may proceed, what kinds of programming rules must be in place, verification procedures, and how human beings will be part of the decision loop.

Given the obvious dangers to human society, fully autonomous offensive lethal weapons should never be permitted. And though the technical possibilities and operational practicalities may take decades to emerge, there is no excuse for not starting to develop new international conventions, which themselves require many years to craft and negotiate before they may be ratified by sovereign states. The next presidential administration should lead the world in taking up this complex but important task.

Mr. Moreno is a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania and a senior fellow of the Center for American Progress. He is the author of "Mind Wars: Brain Research and the Military in the 21st Century" (Bellevue, 2012).
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bigdog
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« Reply #247 on: May 13, 2012, 08:19:52 AM »

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/13/11683248-report-al-qaida-doctors-trained-to-implant-bombs-in-humans?lite

Western intelligence agencies believe that al-Qaida doctors have been trained to implant bombs inside the bodies of suicide bombers, Britain's Sunday Times reported.

The doctors, thought to have been trained by a man who worked with the top bomb-maker for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), have the ability to put explosive compounds in breasts and abdomens of suicide bombers, the newspaper reported without citing its sources.

The lead doctor was thought to have been killed in a drone attack earlier this year and likely worked with the master bomber-maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, according to the newspaper.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #248 on: May 13, 2012, 09:35:15 AM »

!!!

A scary development that goes beyond the case (in SA?) where the killer put the bomb up his butt.

What is the solution?  Rectal exams?  Patting down Muslim women's breasts? or maybe all women's breasts to prove that no profiling is involved , , ,  These seem , , , invasivie, impractical and politically unpalatable.
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« Reply #249 on: May 15, 2012, 02:07:10 PM »

#Invalid YouTube Link#

This is interesting, cool and scary all at the same time. 
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