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Navy's Move To Growler 70% Complete; Build-Up Reflects Stealth Doubts


Navy's Move To Growler 70% Complete; Build-Up Reflects Stealth Doubts
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Published: November 15, 2012

WHIDBEY ISLAND, WASHINGTON: "Every two weeks, we get another Growler," Cmdr. Christopher Middleton said at the Navy's electronic warfare hub here. The Navy target is to buy 114 EA-18G Growler aircraft. And it's those Growler aircraft that will be the cutting edge of future Naval strikes against future "anti-access area denial" defenses like those being built by China.

To break through such defenses, the Navy is very publicly working on a joint "AirSea Battle" concept with the Air Force, but the two services have taken starkly different approaches to defeating enemy radar.

The Air Force retired its last radar-jamming aircraft in 1998 and placed its bets on radar-evading stealth aircraft: the twin-engine F-22 Raptor and its single-engine cousin the F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter, both built by Lockheed Martin. The Navy has taken the exactly opposite path. While it will eventually (and somewhat reluctantly) acquire its version of the F-35, the Navy continues to buy both non-stealthy attack planes and powerful jamming aircraft to blind enemy radars: the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and its electronic warfare variant the EA-18G Growler, both built by Boeing.

Navy leaders have long been skeptical of stealth, and for good reason. Stealth certainly shrinks an aircraft's radar return, but it cannot eliminate it. And because Moore's Law doubles available computing power every 18 months, radar systems just keep getting ever better at detecting the subtle clues of a stealth plane's presence. From a Navy perspective, the only sure way to keep a radar from seeing you is to jam it -- and then, ideally, to blow it up.

In case you are not familiar with Moore's Law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law
Posted by unhappycamper | Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:24 AM (2 replies)

Will Stealth Survive As Sensors Improve? F-35, Jammers At Stake


Will Stealth Survive As Sensors Improve? F-35, Jammers At Stake
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Published: November 27, 2012

Is stealth still America's silver bullet? Or are potential adversaries' radars getting too smart for US aircraft to keep hiding from them?

That's literally the trillion-dollar question, because the US military is investing massively in new stealth aircraft. At stake in this debate are not just budgets but America's continued ability to project power around the world.

With the B-2 bomber, the F-22 Raptor, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and a future bomber system known as Long Range Strike, the Air Force has bet its future on an all-stealth combat fleet. After the Navy's troubled A-12 stealth plane program was cancelled in 1991, by contrast, the sea service kept buying conventional aircraft, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

Now the Navy is gingerly getting back in the game with its experimental X-47 UCAS attack drone and the carrier-borne version of the F-35 -- but it still harbors doubts about stealth. Meanwhile the Air Force worries its non-stealthy Navy partners will get shot down on day one of the next big war. So while the two services are ostensibly joined at the hip in an emerging combat doctrine known as AirSea Battle, they have radically different approaches to a fundamental question of how their airplanes can survive.
Posted by unhappycamper | Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:19 AM (2 replies)

No Absence of Malice: Whitewashing the White House Murder Program


No Absence of Malice: Whitewashing the White House Murder Program
by Chris Floyd | November 26, 2012 - 9:27am

On Sunday, the New York Times -- the paper of record, the bellwether by which all "serious" American media sets its compass -- published a story about the Obama administration's efforts to codify its "extrajudicial killing program" before the election. The aim, we were told, was to make sure there were "clear standards and procedures" in place to keep the death squads going, even if the president lost the election.

The story was yet another in a series of White House-directed pieces about the killing program, in which anonymous, high-level administration officials leak top-secret information and insider gossip designed to paint the president and his aides as moral paragons struggling nobly to find the most effective and ethical way to use the killing programs and keep Americans safe. That is not only the underlying assumption of the story; it is the only assumption allowed in the story. There are three paragraphs in which duly accredited establishment figures voice what could be taken as mild criticisms about certain tactical aspects of the White House killing program.

But even these muted voices end with Shuja Nawaz -- an Establishment worthy from the Atlantic Council who is "Pakistani-born," the New York Times takes pains to tell us (without telling us that he once worked for the New York Times) -- calling on the Obama administration not to end the murderous drone campaign in his native land but to be more proud of it, more open about it, to detail every death it causes, including any "collateral deaths." This transparency will evidently assuage the anger of those who've watched their innocent loved ones -- including their children -- blown to bits by American drones, and they will no longer listen to "propaganda" from "jihadist groups."

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the full extent of the criticism of the killing program permitted in the paper of record in its front-page Sunday story. The only possible problem with the president of the United States and his deputized subordinates killing people all over the world outside any legal procedure or standards of evidence or, in many cases, without knowing anything at all about who they are killing -- is that the program might not be as open and efficient as it could be.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:41 PM (2 replies)

Everyday 18-22 American Veterans Commit Suicide and The Department of Veteran's Affairs Still Shows


Everyday 18-22 American Veterans Commit Suicide and The Department of Veteran's Affairs Still Shows Veterans to the Door
By Jennifer McClendon
OpEdNews Op Eds 11/26/2012 at 00:43:45

The point of this Op Ed is to illustrate significant flaws in the system that is set up to treat our veterans. If we continuously operate with a longstanding maladaptive treatment system for our veterans we might want to ask ourselves as a nation what their sacrifice was worth to this nation. We may want to ask ourselves whether we can do better on their behalf.

The Politics of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment is a moral atrocity at the Department of Veteran's Affairs and in military medicine. There is a national discussion between veterans about the treatment of traumatized at the Department of Veteran's Affairs specialized trauma departments.

PTSD can be described as a set of symptoms that are normal reactions to abnormal and tragic stimuli such as war, natural disaster, or sexual assault. Another approach to defining PTSD is to define PTSD as a set of maladaptive traits that developed as a result of a trauma. The latter definition presents the traumatized veteran as flawed or defective. The conditions that cause PTSD are so horrific that referring to the person that suffers, as "Disordered" is a misnomer at best and victim blaming at worst.


The term "Disordered" is not the worst part of PTSD diagnosis and treatment. There is a politics that accompany PTSD diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms of PTSD can overlap with several other conditions such as "Bipolar II" and "Borderline Personality Disorder." According to a 2004 Article that was written by pioneer Military Sexual Trauma Advocate Susan Avila Smith:

unhappycamper comment: The VA is trying to help vets but they have neither the people or money resources to do so. Weapons programs are much more needed.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:45 AM (9 replies)

Army Sticks ‘War on Islam’ Teacher in Bureaucratic Depths


Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, above, who taught a course on “total war” on Islam, was recently assigned to the Army Capabilities Integration Center at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

Army Sticks ‘War on Islam’ Teacher in Bureaucratic Depths
By Spencer Ackerman

Once, Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley’s superiors wrote that he was a “must-select” for command and promotion to full colonel. Then Dooley taught a class to senior U.S. officers musing about a “total war” on Islam, which the chairman of the Joint Chiefs shut down. Now, Dooley has his next assignment — deep in the bowels of the Army bureaucracy, far from command.

Dooley’s Army career has been in jeopardy after he received an administrative reprimand for his elective course at the Joint Forces Staff College, which discussed using “Hiroshima”-style tactics against Islam’s holiest cities as part of a “total war.” But the Army didn’t fire Dooley. It sent him to bureaucratic limbo instead.

On Nov. 1, Dooley was assigned to Fort Eustis, Virginia at the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC), Danger Room has confirmed, one of the warren of offices where the Army thinks about the future of land warfare. Specifically, Dooley works in the Lethality Branch of the Maneuver, Aviation & Soldier Division. Dooley doesn’t actually use any experimental weaponry: He pushes paper on the development of ground robots, new sensors and other stuff to other Army offices. It took several ARCIC public-affairs officers three days to substantively describe what it is Dooley does.

Dooley’s supporters feared the Army would stick him in precisely such a bureaucratic backwater. In October, Rep. Duncan Hunter and Rep. Thomas Rooney warned that the Army’s reprimand endangered Dooley’s “reputation and his future in the service.”
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:32 AM (1 replies)

Socks and Congress

If an ad in a local newspaper said i could buy socks this weekend for $2.00, I'd head down to the store. When I pick up the socks and go to the register they ring up as $5.84. What should I do?

The very next day another ad in another local newspaper said i could buy these very same socks this weekend for $2.00. I pick up the socks and go to the register and they ring up as $7.04. What should I do?

I would cease buying socks from these assholes; $12.88 is not $4.00, even using Republican math.

Congress, in it's infinite wisdom, said "damn, that's expensive" and promptly ordered another dozen or so socks for $5.00 dollars each. (From this day forward socks now cost $5.00.)

Here's the thing about socks: they serve their intended purpose when you put them on your feet. I don't need to buy additional things to make the socks work; they just do.

In this fable, socks are littoral combat ships. Multiply the numbers by one million. Instead of paying $200 million dollars for each of these 'wonders' we are now paying $500 million dollars (half a billion dollars) each.

And the best part about littoral combat ships is the mission modules are not completed AND the crew size is too small.

NOTE: LCS 1 cost $584 million dollars delivered with no mission modules. LCS 2 cost $704 million dollars delivered with no mission modules.

Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:53 AM (1 replies)

Canada Examines More Economic Options than F-35


Canada Examines More Economic Options than F-35

Ottawa, Nov 25 (Prensa Latina) Prime Minister Stephen Harper's administration is looking for alternatives to the US F-35 war plane, after receiving an avalanche of criticism to the costly intentions of the Canadian conservative Executive.
Experts and official delegates met over the last weeks with other US and European companies to seek lower prices and compare expenditures, like Boeing which manufactures the Superhornet and the European group maker of bomber Eurofighter Typhoon, publishes the National Post.

The Minister of Public Works, Rona Ambrose, informed the Lower Chamber in parliament that the Harper cabinet does not want to impose the expensive acquisition of the F-35 and explores other viable options.

The controversy over the F-35 of fifth generation has haunted the conservative government since 2010, when the acquisition of 65 of such planes to the Lockheed Martin group of the United States for 25 billion dollars.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:19 AM (1 replies)

Accused WikiLeaker Manning says he was punished before trial


Accused WikiLeaker Manning says he was punished before trial
By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun
4:30 p.m. EST, November 25, 2012

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is due back at Fort Meade this week, where lawyers for the alleged WikiLeaker plan to argue that he was punished at a military brig before his case had been heard — grounds, they say, to dismiss all charges against him.

By the time he arrived at the Marine Corps brig at Quantico, Va., Manning was world famous. The former intelligence analyst, who lived in Maryland before enlisting in the Army, had been accused of giving hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

While being held at Quantico pending trial, his lawyers contend, Manning was singled out for punishment, in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the U.S. Constitution. He has been charged with violating the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy.

Manning, 24, is the only suspect arrested in the largest leak in U.S. history. He is accused of sending raw field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies around the world and a video of a U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad to be published by WikiLeaks. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:05 AM (2 replies)

SF helps homeless veterans find housing


U.S. Army veteran Brett Smith, homeless in San Francisco for years, found a place in the Richmond District with his federal housing voucher.

SF helps homeless veterans find housing
Heather Knight
Updated 10:57 p.m., Sunday, November 25, 2012

In June, Mayor Ed Lee made a promise: His administration would house 50 homeless veterans who had federal vouchers for housing but no luck convincing a landlord to rent to them.

Politicians' pledges can be meaningless, but this one is panning out. So far, 54 veterans who had vouchers at the start of 2012 have been housed. The previous average wait time between receiving a voucher and finding housing was 270 days. Now, it's 83.

The Department of Veterans Affairs awarded the city $2.7 million in March to pay for an additional 200 vouchers. Sixty have been designated for residents of Veterans Commons, a new supportive housing complex for homeless veterans co-run by the nonprofit Swords to Plowshares.

An additional 75 vouchers are tied to veterans seeking housing through West Bay Housing, which tries to place low-income people in housing throughout the Bay Area. Sixty-five more veterans are working with case managers to find private apartments.

unhappycamper comment: Veterans in 2012 face the same problems I did after my two 'vacations' in Vietnam.

Veterans living on the streets? check

Veterans with brain injuries? check

Veterans in prison? check

Veterans committing suicide? check

Disabled veterans? check

Veterans cannot find jobs? check
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:56 AM (0 replies)

Pentagon Wants to Keep Running Its Afghan Drug War From Blackwater’s HQ


An Afghan soldier in Helmand Province prepares to burn a marijuana field as part of “Operation Crack Back,” 2011.

Pentagon Wants to Keep Running Its Afghan Drug War From Blackwater’s HQ
By Spencer Ackerman

The U.S. war in Afghanistan is supposed to be winding down. Its contractor-led drug war? Not so much.

Inside a compound in Kabul called Camp Integrity, the Pentagon stations a small group of officers to oversee the U.S. military’s various operations to curb the spread of Afghanistan’s cash crops of heroin and marijuana, which help line the Taliban’s pockets. Only Camp Integrity isn’t a U.S. military base at all. It’s the 10-acre Afghanistan headquarters of the private security company formerly known as Blackwater.

Those officers work for an obscure Pentagon agency called the Counter Narco-Terrorism Program Office, or CNTPO. Quietly, it’s grown into one of the biggest dispensers of cash for private security contractors in the entire U.S. government: One pile of contracts last year from CNTPO was worth more than $3 billion. And it sees a future for itself in Afghanistan over the long haul.

Earlier this month, a U.S. government solicitation sought to hire a security firm to help CNTPO “maintain a basic, operational support cell” in Kabul. Army Lt. Col. James Gregory, a Pentagon spokesman, explains that “cell” doesn’t kick in the doors of any Afghan narco-kingpins. It handles the more mundane tasks of overseeing the contracts of the Pentagon’s counter-narcotics programs, from “training and linguists, and [providing] supplies, such as vehicles and equipment.” The solicitation, however, indicates those services aren’t going anywhere: When all the options are exercised, the contract extends through September 29, 2015, over a year past the date when Afghan soldiers and cops are supposed to take over the war. And the “government preferred location” to base CNTPO? Camp Integrity.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:42 AM (0 replies)
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