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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 11:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

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'Hey, It Will Only Cost $7 Billion To Build A Storm Surge Barrier For New York - Whaddya Say?'


'Hey, It Will Only Cost $7 Billion To Build A Storm Surge Barrier For New York - Whaddya Say?'
Mon 8:14 am

'Hey, It Will Only Cost $7 Billion To Build A Storm Surge Barrier For New York - Whaddya Say?' - My thanks to a reader for this topical article by Henry Blodget (would you believe?) and Rob Wile for Business Insider. Here is the opening, written in New Yorkese:

One of the tragedies of our budget crisis is that the amount we spend on on stuff that helps everyone - infrastructure - continues to decline to make room for our ballooning entitlement spending.

And the deficit has become so politicized that any time anyone proposes spending a bit more on infrastructure - and putting more Americans back to work in the process - members of one of our two political teams freak out.


To put that $7 billion in perspective, its significantly less than the $12 billion price tag on one of our new aircraft carriers, the U.S.S. Gerald Ford.

unhappycamper comment: Just cancel one Virginia-class submarine (~$7 billion) and that Storm Surge Barrier is paid for. Cancel the USS Gerald R. Ford and you will not incur $30 ~ $40 billion dollars on the credit card. Get out of Afghanistan and you will not incur $100 billion dollars a year on the credit card. Cancel the F-35 program and you will not incur $1.5 trillion dollars of debt.

There's plenty of money out there; it's just being spent in all the wrong places.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:07 PM (1 replies)

What Can't These Guys Keep Their Dicks in Their Pants?


Petraeus Resigns As DCI: USDI Vickers Rumored As Replacement
By Colin Clark
Published: November 9, 2012

WASHINGTON: It is a classic -- and sad -- Washington story. The most storied general since the Vietnam War, David Petraeus, resigns as director of the CIA late on a Friday afternoon because of an extramarital affair.


When he first took up his post at CIA there was considerable grumping about a military officer taking over the relentlessly civilian agency. A CIA official I spoke with a few days after he started work at Langley told me she was very uneasy about having a "uniform" working at the spy agency. She worried about his style and whether he would suppress bad news or try to trim analysts' conclusions to fit what the White House or the Pentagon might want to hear.

Petraeus went to the White House on Thursday to tender his resignation "for personal reasons," he said in a note sent to CIA staff. "After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours."

Petraeus' current deputy, Mike Morrell, will step into his shoes as acting director. Morrell may become the next CIA director -- if there's nothing that could derail him during a Senate confirmation. But two former senior intelligence officials mentioned other candidates.



General's defense team works to discredit accuser
Posted Thursday, Nov. 08, 2012
Associated Press

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Defense lawyers representing an Army general facing sexual misconduct charges aimed Thursday to paint his primary accuser as a liar prone to jealousy and emotional overreactions.

The female captain at the heart of the government's case against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair admits she carried on a 3-year sexual relationship with her married commander. Adultery is a crime under military law and the admission could end her career.


"Gen. Sinclair has engaged in deliberate, degrading course of conduct where he targets his subordinates to satisfy his abhorrent desires," said Lt. Col. William Helixon, the lead prosecutor.

A 27-year Army veteran who served five combat tours, Sinclair faces a long list of charges including forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, violating orders, engaging in inappropriate relationships and adultery. The allegations involve Sinclair's conduct with five women who are not his wife, though the female captain is the only one who says he used physical force. Two female officers who had served with Sinclair testified Wednesday that had given the general nude photos at his request.


Previously posted on DU: http://www.democraticunderground.com/11791207

unhappycamper comment: 40 years ago sexual assault would put you in the brig for a looooong time. All of these 'gentlemen' would be out on the streets after serving some time in the slammer.

Here's a bet: None of these people will be demoted; none of these people will go to jail; 99% of them will be lobbying for defense contractors after their 'honorable' discharge..
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:35 AM (3 replies)

Lockheed Martin gets additional $11.9 million for F-22 fixes


Lockheed Martin gets additional $11.9 million for F-22 fixes
By RANDAL YAKEY / The News Herald
Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 22:08 PM.

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE — Lockheed Martin Corp. has been allocated nearly $12 million in additional funding to continue work on the F-22 Raptor’s automatic backup oxygen supply system (ABOS).

The work, which is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2014, will be done on 70 aircraft.

The $11,902,915 contract is for an additional ABOS supply kits.

“We’ll receive funding on the Air Force’s schedule,” said BJ Boling, spokesman for Lockheed Martin.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:39 AM (2 replies)

The Future Role of Drones in Latin America


The Future Role of Drones in Latin America
Thursday, 08 November 2012 15:56
By Patricio Barnuevo, Council on Hemispheric Affairs | News Analysis

From surveillance missions at altitudes exceeding 35,000 feet to long-range targeted attacks, the U.S. military’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), often referred to as a drone, is designed to overcome any obstacle. American military commanders are envisioning endless possibilities for drones and are now seeking to expand their areas of operation. Currently, a majority of the United States’ 7,500 drones are operated by Central Command in the Middle East, leaving other command centers without UAV capabilities.(1) However, it is expected that the U.S. military’s Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) will see an extreme increase in its active military UAV fleets in Latin America. Latin American countries throughout the region have also begun to expand their own drone capabilities. The use of drones in Latin America is still in early stages of execution, yet despite these shortcomings, drones are expected to play an increasingly important role in Latin America in the coming years.

Currently, U.S. military drone capabilities are very limited in the Western hemisphere. One of the few areas where military drones are being actively used is along the U.S.-Mexican border in drug and illegal migrant interdictory operations. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has nine drones in operation along the border, which is not sufficient surveillance given the expansive boundary. With the consent of the Mexican government, the United States has also been launching drones in Mexico since 2009.(2_ In 2011, the Mexican National Security Council stated that they “have been particularly useful in achieving various objectives of combating crime.” However, at the present time, UAVs can only be used for surveillance in the Western Hemisphere, which has proven to be a limiting factor.

The UAVs currently operating over the U.S.-Mexican border have been inadequate. To date the drones have had an insignificant impact on border security. In 2011, UAVs assisted in the arrest of less than two percent of the undocumented immigrants detained on the U.S. southwestern border. In that same year, drones operated by the DHS helped find 7,600 pounds of marijuana valued at $19.3 million USD, compared to the 4.5 million pounds intercepted in 2011.[3]

Outside of Mexico, which falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), there are no other active U.S. drone sites in Latin America. However, this may soon change as the DHS and SOUTHCOM hope to use the devices to help locate the narco-submarines that drug cartels widely use to smuggle illegal narcotics through the Caribbean. In preparation for the usage of UAVs in the region, SOUTHCOM has been quietly testing them in the Bahamas for the past 18 months, but to the military’s chagrin, the UAVs have produced disappointing results.(4) During 1,260 hours of work in the Caribbean, drones only helped in a handful of prominent drug busts. These results are far less impressive when the operational costs are taken into account. Drones require hours of maintenance, cost $3,000 USD per flight hour, and demand dozens of staff to function properly. Moreover, alternative surveillance methods have produced more tangible, and cheaper, results
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:03 AM (0 replies)

Beyond Bayonets and Battleships: Space Warfare and the Future of US Global Power


Artist's conception, circa 2008, of the U.S. Falcon Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle, an unmanned aircraft that will fly at an altitude of twenty miles and destroy targets almost anywhere in the world within an hour.

Beyond Bayonets and Battleships: Space Warfare and the Future of US Global Power
Thursday, 08 November 2012 13:13 By Alfred McCoy, Tom Dispatch | News Analysis

It’s 2025 and an American “triple canopy” of advanced surveillance and armed drones fills the heavens from the lower- to the exo-atmosphere. A wonder of the modern age, it can deliver its weaponry anywhere on the planet with staggering speed, knock out an enemy’s satellite communications system, or follow individuals biometrically for great distances. Along with the country’s advanced cyberwar capacity, it’s also the most sophisticated militarized information system ever created and an insurance policy for U.S. global dominion deep into the twenty-first century. It’s the future as the Pentagon imagines it; it’s under development; and Americans know nothing about it.


Obama later offered just a hint of what those capabilities might be: “What I did was work with our joint chiefs of staff to think about, what are we going to need in the future to make sure that we are safe?... We need to be thinking about cyber security. We need to be talking about space.”


Amid all the post-debate media chatter, however, not a single commentator seemed to have a clue when it came to the profound strategic changes encoded in the president’s sparse words. Yet for the past four years, working in silence and secrecy, the Obama administration has presided over a technological revolution in defense planning, moving the nation far beyond bayonets and battleships to cyberwarfare and the full-scale weaponization of space. In the face of waning economic influence, this bold new breakthrough in what’s called “information warfare” may prove significantly responsible should U.S. global dominion somehow continue far into the twenty-first century.

While the technological changes involved are nothing less than revolutionary, they have deep historical roots in a distinctive style of American global power. It’s been evident from the moment this nation first stepped onto the world stage with its conquest of the Philippines in 1898. Over the span of a century, plunged into three Asian crucibles of counterinsurgency -- in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Afghanistan -- the U.S. military has repeatedly been pushed to the breaking point. It has repeatedly responded by fusing the nation’s most advanced technologies into new information infrastructures of unprecedented power.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:59 AM (0 replies)

BAE, Boeing, Raytheon Lose Congressional Champions; EMP Loses A Friend


BAE, Boeing, Raytheon Lose Congressional Champions; EMP Loses A Friend
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Published: November 7, 2012

WASHINGTON: The overall balance of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees will shift little in the 113th Congress, but individual causes and companies have lost important advocates as individual legislators went down to defeat.

This may have been a banner year for incumbents-- as most years are -- but the House Armed Services Committee still took a hit. Depending on the final tallies, as many as eight HASC members -- five Democrats and three Republicans, including prominent Tea Party favorite Allen West -- may have lost their seats yesterday.

An Army veteran of Afghanistan and both wars in Iraq, West was well-regarded among Republicans, but his fiery and often inflammatory rhetoric alienated many voters in his redrawn district. While the race has not been formally called, political novice Patrick Murphy has squeaked ahead of West with 50.4 percent of the vote to 49.6 -- a margin just big enough to avoid an automatic recount. West has called for a recount anyway, accusing Democrats of "disturbing irregularities."

On the Senate side, once up-and-coming Republican Todd Akin lost badly to Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, taking just 39 percent of the vote to her 55 percent. Akin, former chairman of the HASC seapower subcommittee and a sometime AOL Defense contributor, had been heavily favored until his remarks about "legitimate rape" dealt his campaign a blow from which it never recovered. That deprives Boeing and its St. Louis aircraft factory of one of their biggest advocates in Congress. McCaskill will almost certainly keep her spot as chair of the readiness panel of Senate Armed Services Committee, where she has pushed hard on "good government" issues.

unhappycamper comment: Alan's calling for a recount. It's probably all those nefarious things those notorious libruls do - LIKE VOTE you asshole.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:37 AM (0 replies)

'Careless Mark' Means Higher Costs For Space Program; Cut With Care, General Urges Hill


'Careless Mark' Means Higher Costs For Space Program; Cut With Care, General Urges Hill
By Otto Kreisher
Published: November 8, 2012

WASHINGTON: Congress sometimes has a strange way of rewarding the armed services when they actually manage to save some of the taxpayers' money. For example, when an Air Force program manager managed to reduce the expected cost of a program in half Congress cut half the funds allocated for his program.

That was the complaint yesterday of Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, who gently cautioned his "congressional teammates" about "the danger of careless marks" when crafting defense appropriations bills.

During a talk to a friendly audience (the Air Force Association), Shelton talked about the importance of teamwork with his command's partners, including Congress, which he said "has come to recognize the vital role" that the space and cyber capabilities fielded by AFSC.

But Congress, he added, needs to recognize that those "careless marks" may result in higher costs, program delays and greater risk.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:30 AM (0 replies)

Tighten Your Belts Thru 2020, Says Gen. Amos; 'I'm Already Taking Risks'


Tighten Your Belts Thru 2020, Says Gen. Amos; 'I'm Already Taking Risks'
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Published: November 8, 2012

WASHINGTON: The military is in for another eight years of tight budgets, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos predicted today. The good news is that the relationship between the four Joint Chiefs who craft their budgets and their chairman is "better than it ever has been."

In his public remarks, the commandant hammered home the point that the Joint Chiefs are confronting austerity shoulder-to-shoulder, without the usual interservice sniping over budget shares and that there is no daylight in particular between the two land forces, Army and the Marines.

"We're not in competition with our land brothers, we have fought side by side," Amos emphasized. "The last 11 years has developed relationships and trust between the two services that I don't think we ever had before," he said. "It's the same thing with the Air Force," as well as with the interservice Special Operations Command (in which Marines did not even participate until Marine Special Operations Command, MARSOC, was established in 2006).

In fact, said Amos, over his 52 months in and around the Pentagon as first assistant Commandant and then Commandant, "the relationshp between the Joint Chiefs has never been better -- and I think that's really healthy as we go into this period of austerity, because we are going to be making some hard choices."
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:27 AM (0 replies)

171,000 Retirees Likely To Lose Tricare Prime


171,000 Retirees Likely To Lose Tricare Prime
Tom Philpott | November 08, 2012

With the presidential election over, Defense officials are expected to announce soon that military retirees and their dependents living more than 40 miles from a military treatment facility or base closure site will lose access to TRICARE Prime, the military's managed care option.

unhappycamper comment: Sorry about your healthcare; the USS Gerald R. Ford and F-35 programs need the money more than you do.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:17 AM (2 replies)

Air Force cancels failed $1B logistics system


Air Force cancels failed $1B logistics system
By Sean Reilly - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Nov 8, 2012 18:39:12 EST


The ECSS program, underway since 2005, was supposed to save the Air Force billions of dollars by streamlining supply chain management and providing an integrated approach for buying, moving and managing equipment. But the service fired the lead contractor, Computer Sciences Corp., in March. The next month, Air Force Controller Jamie Morin told a Senate subcommittee that he was “personally appalled” by how little the Air Force had gotten for its investment. In an interview afterward, Morin described the system’s capability as “negligible.”
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Nov 9, 2012, 09:10 AM (0 replies)
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