Phi Beta Iota: US military has been slow but more attentive than in the past. They still lack Peace Jumpers, rapid-response peace flights, and multinational intelligence and logistics coordination “in a box.” Afterthought: PSYOP facilities, personnel, budget, and air leaflet capabilities could all be beneficially transfered to the Army Civil Affairs Brigade–drop peace instead of propaganda…
Phi Beta Iota: Google is slinking out of town under false pretenses. Baidu and related Chinese offerings are not only better than Google, including voice to text and text to voice better than Google per Jim Fallows of the Atlantic Monthly now resident in China, they have been less arrogant about respecting China's concerns. Look for Baidu to expand into Africa, South America, and Central Asia. The Google Wave has crested.
What Happens When They Change Targets? (Richard Forno in CounterPunch)
…given the erratic and schizophrenic security responses to terrorism involving aircraft since 9/11, what will be our national response when our adversaries shift their focus towards other non-aviation targets? Here, I refer to things closer to our homes and families, such as schools, movie theaters, and shopping malls.
Phi Beta Iota: The US “government” at the political and policy level still thinks it owns the big stick and has not figured out that legitimacy and morality are what keep 90% of the potential “threat” neutral so that the last 10% can be dealt with using repressive measures Dr. Col Max Manwaring of the U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute has it figured out, see his 21st Century Security Trilogy.
Lawmaker Challenges Gates' 80-Percent Solution Effort (Full Text Below the Fold)
Phi Beta Iota: Gates is right, this is a US Navy go-around, time to fire the CNO for two reasons: 1) insubordination; and 2) too ignorant or obstinant to create a 450 ship Navy within the existing gold-plated budget. This is the same CNO that interpreted “Irregular Warfare” as a life-best for SSBN's and focused all money on creating new things to throw out of the five-foot wide tubes, instead of trolling for pirates the way CENTCOM J-2P suggested in 2005.
House Republican Rob Wittman (Va.) is challenging Defense Secretary Robert Gates' premise that a platform or weapon need not be perfect before being fielded to combat personnel.
Gates has said that an 80-percent solution to a wartime requirement is good enough as long as the capability reaches troops quickly. Wittman, speaking to the Surface Navy Association symposium near Washington on Jan. 13, said, “To say we're going to seek the average has never been historically where we've been.”
The nation, he said, must “excel in ensuring we're putting together the highest quality systems to meet the threats.”
But Wittman acknowledged that so-called perfect systems are expensive. “We need to measure up to both those standards [quality and quantity] or we won't have that capability going forward.”
Wittman is a member of the House Armed Services seapower and expeditionary forces subcommittee and co-chairs the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus along with seapower Chairman Gene Taylor (D-Miss.). Wittman represents Virginia's 1st District, home to Norfolk and the Navy's Atlantic headquarters among other maritime forces.
“Both [Taylor] and I are committed to putting forth the effort” to raise the Navy's shipbuilding funding to $20 billion per year, he said. “I realize that's a big leap in a competitive budget structure. We've got to get there somehow.” The current Navy shipbuilding budget is $14 billion per year.
The Congressional Budget Office has warned for years that the Navy's so-called 313 ship plan has been underfunded by about half on an annual basis (Aerospace DAILY, June 13, 2008).
— Bettina H. Chavanne