Review: The Internet in the Middle East

5 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Censorship & Denial of Access, Civil Society, Country/Regional, Democracy, Information Society, Information Technology
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Deborah Wheeler

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising and therefore valuable, February 11, 2015

This is a solid piece of work that might normally have been a 4 but it surprised me just enough to warrant taking it to a 4. I love unconventional wisdom and seeing solid proof that conventional wisdom — in this case, “The Internet changes everything for the better” questioned.

I read this book on the same flight as I read Richard Wolff’s Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism (City Lights Open Media) and this is the second reason I will place the book at five: while the Internet does NOT change everything for the better, especially in the case of women and youth in Kuwait, it IS “occupied,” is does blur the line between the user and the producer, and it does offer a model for new forms of social and economic organization. In a strange way I could not have anticipated, these two books complement each other.

Continue reading “Review: The Internet in the Middle East”

Winslow Wheeler: Pentagon’s budget realities mandate new Defense team

Corruption, Government, Idiocy, Ineptitude, Military
Winslow Wheeler
Winslow Wheeler

The tired old ideas in SecDef Hagel’s first defense budget make clear that he needs new thinking from his DOD team, or a new team.

Pentagon’s budget realities mandate new Defense team

By Winslow T. Wheeler – 04/16/13 07:25 PM ET

President Obama’s budget for the Department of Defense for 2014 is a strange document. As if to justify its disconnect from reality, someone in the administration advertised it to the press as basic to Obama’s overall negotiations with Republicans. If true, that does not augur well for needed change in the Pentagon.

What the Defense budget request really shows is that there is no new thinking in the Pentagon for putting defense spending on a constructive path. There is not even anything that promises a departure from the last-minute, hysterical decision making we observed in the denouement of the 2013 defense budget process.

As submitted, the new Defense plan simply wishes away the statutory reality of sequestration, and to pretend to save money, it trots out only tired old ideas.

Continue reading “Winslow Wheeler: Pentagon’s budget realities mandate new Defense team”

Winslow Wheeler: AF-IQ – $4 to $6 Trillion Cost — All Predictable

Corruption, Government, Military
Winslow Wheeler
Winslow Wheeler

Below find excerpts of Harvard Professor Linda Bilmes latest analysis of the costs of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Note that the costs are now estimated to lay somewhere between $4 trillion and $6 trillion.

Find this important study at the Harvard website:

Bilmes, Linda J. “The Financial Legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan: How Wartime Spending Decisions Will Constrain Future National Security Budgets.” HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP13-006, March 2013.

N.B. The final sentence: “In short, there will be no peace dividend, and the legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan wars will be costs that persist for decades.”

It’s not going to be a “peace dividend;” it is going to be a decades long and gigantic expense–in addition to the moral tragedy.

The excerpts from her cogent, well written text explain how she got to her conclusion.  (The relevant page numbers are noted in parentheses.)

EXTRACTS

Continue reading “Winslow Wheeler: AF-IQ – $4 to $6 Trillion Cost — All Predictable”

C-SPAN Hour on The Pentagon Labyrinth

Budgets & Funding, Corruption, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Military, Movies

The Pentagon Labyrinth on C-SPAN

Mar 11, 2011

Stewart R. Mott Charitable Trust | Mott House

Three former, high-level Pentagon insiders take a critical look at how the Defense Department operates and where the money it receives goes. The three- Thomas Christie, Franklin Spinney and Pierre Sprey – are contributors to the book, The Pentagon Labyrinth. Danielle Brian, executive director .. Read More

Three former, high-level Pentagon insiders take a critical look at how the Defense Department operates and where the money it receives goes. The three- Thomas Christie, Franklin Spinney and Pierre Sprey – are contributors to the book, The Pentagon Labyrinth. Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), acts as moderator for the discussion.

Watch Video: 1 hour, 2 minutes

See Also + Pierre Sprey’s “Seven Rules”:

Continue reading “C-SPAN Hour on The Pentagon Labyrinth”

Journal: Politics of Fear–Spending on National Insecurity

10 Security, Analysis, Budgets & Funding, Collective Intelligence, Military, Peace Intelligence, Reform, Threats
Chuck Spinney

Answer: It all depends on what you think should be included, but once this is clear — this spending will be be exempt from any cutbacks needed to reduce the deficit.

The Table prepared by Winslow Wheeler, Director, Straus Military Reform Project within the Center for Defense Information.

Chuck

Winslow Wheeler, Straus Military Reform Project.