6 November 2015

Microsoft picks Varanasi for experimental Internet pilot

November 6, 2015

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s plans for the ambitious Digital India programme include an experimental technology pilot in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency of Varanasi.

The software giant has chosen the pilgrim town in Uttar Pradesh as the venue for a project to fund local entrepreneurs aiming to build devices that can overcome India’s bandwidth crunch, according to Mr. Nadella.

Idle spectrum

Mr. Nadella, who was in Mumbai to introduce Microsoft’s Future Unleashed business partnership programme, said on Thursday that his company would use idle television broadcasting spectrum to operate devices developed by the local entrepreneurs.

Varanasi is among Microsoft’s two pilot projects in India to provide low-cost Internet to villages, the first being a government school in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.

Who is tolerant? Ask Kashmiri Pandits whose only eleven families survived after the onslaught

By Col Tej Kumar Tikoo
05 Nov , 2015

In the year 1990, half a million Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee the Kashmir Valley. The orgy of violence perpetrated on them had left them with no choice. The choice was clearly being conveyed on ‘public address system’ to leave Valley or get killed. Threats were being issued to leave women behind for the consumption of Muslim majority. It was in this level of intimidation and violence that the Kashmiri Pandits had to leave their ancestral lands.

Sadly, the perpetrators were not only Pakistanis but the Muslims in the Valley, who at various points of history were co-religionists.

This phenomenon was not a sign of new kind of intolerance. In fact, Valley has nurtured the same level of intolerance for thousands of years with very brief interludes. 800 years ago, the story was the same.

Col Tej K Tikoo, in his much acclaimed book “Kashmir: Its Aborigines and their Exodus” has written about the decimation of Kashmiri Hindus at the hands of one Sultan Sikandar (Butshikan). This is worst than what Jews went through at the hands of Hitler. Here is the excerpts:

Women in Combat

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch
05 Nov , 2015

It is but natural that post the decision to induct women officers in the IAF, the debate would ensue whether the Army and Navy would induct women into combat. One wonders if the said decision of inducting women as fighter pilots was of IAF’s own volition alone and is it linked to the report by the Standing Committee on Defence submitted to Parliament this April wherein it was brought out that the IAF’s current fighter aircraft to pilot ratio is 1:0.8 – sanctioned strength less than that of our adversaries (Pakistan Air Force fighter to pilot ratio is 1:2.5). This is far less than the authorized figure of 1:1.25 and was responsible for depreciating the force’s operational capabilities.

Afghanistan After The US-Iran Nuclear Deal – Analysis

By Ashraf Haidari*
NOVEMBER 4, 2015

Since the beginning of the nuclear negotiations between P5+1 and Iran, there has been much debate about the deal’s potential impact on the Greater Middle East, including Afghanistan. The Afghan government had been supporting the multilateral negotiations process, and now welcomes its win-win outcome, as outlined in the recently adopted Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The success of the nuclear deal demonstrated the triumph of patient, resolute diplomacy over application of hard power, which has sometimes proven counter-productive. Thus, the key lesson to be learned from the nuclear deal is that all other protracted problems facing the Greater Middle East could be resolved through results-oriented multilateral diplomacy, so long as the stakeholders commit to a strategic, win-win vision backed by adequate political will to overcome their increasingly common security problems.

Afghanistan Echoes Vietnam Again, as the "Credibility Gap" Looms

November 5, 2015

Recent reports make it clear that the U.S. military knew that the Doctors Without Borders facility in Kunduz, Afghanistan was, in fact, a functioning hospital but thought that it was under Taliban control. What is not clear is the extent to which the U.S. military has covered up the truth in this case.

General John F. Campbell, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, has finally called for a high-level investigation into the tragedy. That is a positive step, but it comes only after the military has been forced to change its story multiple times. Even worse, this episode is not an isolated incident. It unfolds just as President Obama is refusing to admit U.S. ground troops are again engaged in combat in Iraq, in the wake of complaints that U.S. intelligence from Syria has been cooked, and in the shadows of a steady drumbeat of transparently exaggerated claims of progress in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is time to start worrying about the reemergence of the “credibility gap.”

Dare To Light A Short Flame

Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons might just be a ploy to cadge US favour, but India has to be on its guard

To deploy TNWs to deter India from engaging in any future armed conflict with it 
Get the US to mediate to restart stalled Indo-Pak dialogue and resolve Kashmir issue 

To get a civil nuclear deal from US, as had been granted to India in 2008 

For doomsday seekers, an India-­Pakistan confrontation deteriorating into a possible nuclear conflagration has always been a terrible final scene since the two countries went nuclear in May 1998. When a face-off came next year, India relied solely on its conventional weapons and some hard-nosed diplomacy to evict Pakistani intruders from Kargil. Though fears of a nucl­ear armageddon faded somewhat, they never quite went away.

Bangladesh’s Terrorist Problem

November 05, 2015

A string of recent attacks against liberal writers demonstrate that the country is also struggling with an extremist fringe. 

Terrorism has claimed one more life in Bangladesh. The brutal killing of the publisher Faisal Abedin Deepan last Saturday is a shocking reminder to the people Bangladesh that the country is still at war against the Islamic extremist forces after forty five years of independence.

Deepan was the publisher for the expatriate Bangladeshi blogger, Avijit Roy, who was killed in February 2015 on the campus of Dhaka University while on a visit to Bangladesh in order to launch his latest book . Two more publishers were also targeted on Saturday, but both of them survived the attack. In total, four bloggers and one publisher have lost their lives so far in 2015.

The recent killing has caused a backlash throughout the country. People have been pouring onto the streets to protest against the government unwillingness to act. They also burned copies of the book to decry the violence against the writers. Since Saturday, protests have been going on in different parts of the country by people from all parts of Bangladeshi society.

The Ma-Xi Meeting: What We Know So Far

November 05, 2015

After the bombshell revelation yesterday that the presidents of China and Taiwan would meet for the first time in history, there were a lot of unanswered questions about how the meeting would work. Finagling a meeting between two leaders who both claim to govern the same territory – according to the 1992 consensus, at least – is difficult in terms of logistics and protocol. After press conference by the bodies responsible for handling cross strait relations (the Taiwan Affairs Office in mainland China, and the Mainland Affairs Council in Taiwan), we have a clearer picture of how the meeting will work – and what it means for cross-strait relations.

The meeting will take place at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore on November 7. Presidents Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou will be meeting as “leaders” of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, and will address each other as “mister.” That allows China to avoid acknowledging Ma as a “president” (thus legitimizing the Republic of China government on Taiwan) while allowing Taiwan to avoid the embarrassment of having Ma only acknowledged in his personal capacity. TAO chief Zhang Zhijun said the two sides had made practical preparations “according to the one China principle.”

Why the US Navy's First South China Sea FONOP Wasn't a FONOP

By Timothy Choi
November 04, 2015

The eagerly-anticipated freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) by the United States Navy (USN) in the South China Sea was initially viewed as a strong demonstration of the United States’ resolve that the waters surrounding China’s artificial islands and claimed reefs are high seas. China’s attempt to establish a de facto12 nautical mile territorial sea around these features is, as most readers of CIMSEC will know, in direct contravention of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS clearly specifies that man-made islands and underwater features like reefs are not eligible for the 12 nm zone granted to more robust geographic features, such as rocks or naturally-formed islands capable of sustaining human habitation or economic life; the latter of these are also eligible for the prized 200 nm Exclusive Economic Zone.

What China's 'Militarization' of the South China Sea Would Actually Look Like

By John Chen and Bonnie Glaser
November 05, 2015

Much has been said about the legal and geopolitical aspects of Chinese land reclamation in the South China Sea, but U.S. PACOM Commander Admiral Harry Harris’s Congressional testimony last month gave a closer look at specific U.S. military concerns posed by China’s artificial islands. Harris detailed the military utility of deep water port facilities and 3,000 meter runways on three newly built Chinese islands, while Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear noted the threat that “higher end military upgrades, such as permanent basing of combat aviation regiments or placement of surface-to-air, anti-ship, and ballistic missile systems on reclaimed features” might pose.

What exactly is the nature of the potential Chinese military threat, and what implications does it have for the region?

China Can’t Derail the U.S.-UK Special Relationship

November 4, 2015

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s successful state visit to Britain has led to speculation about the sustainability of America’s special relationship with the United Kingdom. Such fears are overblown. The UK’s current high level of security cooperation and common concerns with the United States are simply not present in its relationship with China. More important, trade ties are manifestly not the same as security ties. Policymakers shouldn’t worry that the United Kingdom will drift away simply because its leaders choose to pursue a closer economic relationship with China.

Xi’s visit to Britain last week is the latest demonstration of growing Anglo-Chinese economic ties. According to one recent report, China has dramatically and rapidly increased its investment in Britain from just $100 million in 2005–06 to $8.46 billion in 2014–15, while China is now Britain’s sixth-largest export market.

New Study Reveals Dramatic Shift in U.S.-China Military Balance

November 4, 2015 

The so-called 'Taiwan Scenario', in which the U.S. and China would come to blows over the democratic island-state that China still views as sovereign territory, is making a bit of a comeback among analysts. This is mostly due to Taiwan's national elections in January next year, where it looks highly likely that the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party will win the office of president.

In dueling op-eds last week in The Age, Hugh White and Michael J Cole clashed over the strategic consequences for China and the U.S. (and Australia) of such a result. One aspect of the argument rests on whether the U.S. would be willing to eventually risk nuclear war with China over Taiwan. As Hugh says:

“For most Americans, their commitment to defend Taiwan is close to sacrosanct, especially as Taiwan is now a vibrant democracy whose people clearly do not want to live under Beijing. And failing to stand up to China over Taiwan would do huge damage to US strategic leadership in Asia and beyond, while immensely strengthening China's regional sway . . . But the harsh reality is that supporting Taiwan against Chinese pressure over coming years might cost the U.S. more than it is willing or able to pay. U.S. leaders might have to ask themselves whether they are willing to risk a nuclear attack on the continental US in order to defend Taiwan from China. If the answer is no, then Taiwan's status quo might become harder and harder to sustain.”

U.S. Cut Cash to Iraq on Iran, ISIS Fears

Nov. 3, 2015 

Fed and Treasury officials were concerned that dollars were ending up in wrong hands

The Federal Reserve and Treasury department temporarily shut off the flow of money to Iraq’s central bank on fears that the money was ending up in Iran and ISIS hands. WSJ’s Emily Glazer joins Lunch Break With Tanya Rivero to discuss. Photo: Getty

The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department temporarily shut off the flow of billions of dollars to Iraq’s central bank this summer as concerns mounted that the currency was ending up at Iranian banks and possibly being funneled to Islamic State militants, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials and other people familiar with the matter.

The previously unreported move to stop the cash shipments pushed the Iraqi financial system to the brink of crisis and marked a climactic moment in efforts to avert the flow of dollars to U.S. foes.

The situation sheds light on an important facet of the long-running U.S. battle against terror: Just as military officials worry about U.S. weapons getting to enemies, finance officials are on a global hunt to keep dollars from getting into the hands of adversaries who could use it to finance their activities.

New U.S.-Backed Alliance to Counter ISIS in Syria Falters

NOV. 2, 2015

A Kurdish militia fighter rested last week on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River. Islamic State militants fire on Kurdish bases from across the river. CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times
EIN EISSA, Syria — Weeks after the Obama administration canceled afailed Pentagon program to train and arm Syrian rebels to combat the Islamic State, American officials announced a new effort to equip ground forces in Syria to fight the jihadists.

But 10 days of interviews and front-line visits across northern Syria with many of the forces in the alliance, called the Syrian Democratic Forces, made clear that so far it exists in name only, and that the political and logistical challenges it faces are daunting.

One Arab commander, sitting near the earthen wall that separates this deserted town in Syria from the Islamic State’s front line, bitterly recalled being chased from his Syrian hometown by the jihadists and said he would do anything to reclaim that territory. But then he detailed a list of things his forces needed: ammunition, radios, heavy weapons and more American airstrikes.

Ahmad Chalabi, The Man Who Gave Us ISIS

If not for the man named Ahmad Chalabi, the United States probably would not have invaded Iraq in 2003. If not for the Iraq War, as a senior CIA official flatly told BuzzFeed News earlier this year, there would be no ISIS. Indeed, the life of the charismatic and obsessive Chalabi, who died Tuesday of heart failure at 71, led to devastating and unpredicted results that will reverberate for decades.

Before he changed American and Middle East history, Chalabi was a failed Iraqi banker accused of massive international financial fraud in the 1980s. But through guile and grit, he managed to transform himself into Saddam Hussein’s most implacable and effective foe. The CIA, in cable traffic, called him Pulsar 1. His followers called him “the Boss” or “the Doctor.”

Is There a Sunni Solution to ISIS?

NOV 3, 2015 

David Ignatius is right to recognize the importance of historical legacy to the rise of ISIS. He is also right to criticize the embrace of an “80-percent solution” to the reconstruction of Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, whereby, as he puts it in his recent Atlantic essay on the roots of the Islamic State, “Kurds and Shiites would build the new state regardless of opposition from the 20 percent of the population that was Sunni.” Exclusion probably did encourage some Sunnis to first support the Islamic State of Iraq and then its successor, ISIS.

Vienna Conference On Syria – Analysis

The conference at Vienna’s magnificent Hotel Imperial on October 30, bringing together 17 states (China, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and lasting almost eight hours, ended with a nine-point joint communiqué. The United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) were also represented at the conference. This is the third such attempt to hold talks to find a way to bring to an end Syria’s seemingly endless agony. This one is a more serious and sensible attempt than the previous ones.

The previous two attempts, Geneva 1 (June 2012) and Geneva 2 (February 2014), can be correctly characterised as insincere and cynical theatre, tantamount to a charade, for four reasons. First, Iran, an important stakeholder, willing and able to frustrate any search for a political solution that excludes it, was not invited. Second, with the US-supported rebels given undue weightage, not all the opposition parties in Syria were invited. Third, the principal initiators, the US and Russia, were not really seeking a solution. They were more intent on scoring points over each other. Fourth, by inviting the warring Syrian parties, including the Bashar al-Assad regime, their external supporters found it difficult to talk frankly among themselves. The exclusion of Syria this time in Vienna is a wise step.

The AKP’s Worldview: Why Turkey Won’t Change Its Foreign Policy

November 5, 2015

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) defied the polls in last Sunday’s election, winning 49.4 percent of the total votes, totaling some 317 seats in parliament. The election came amid considerable unrest in Turkey. In the past six months, a two-year-old ceasefire with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) broke down and the Islamic State has carried out five attacks inside Turkey. In neighboring Syria, Ankara remains mired in a proxy war with Iran and Russia, the two major supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In other parts of the Middle East, Turkey’s once-promising effort to decrease tensions with regional states has failed, and Ankara now finds itself at odds with a sizeable number of Arab governments.

The U.S. Army Is the World's Most Lethal, For Now

November 5, 2015

How good are U.S. Army weapons compared to their overseas counterparts? Quite good in many areas, but foreign weapons have some capabilities that American weapons don't, according to a new study.

The study, prepared by think-tank RAND Corp. on behalf of the U.S. Army, examined major ground combat systems. Note that it is mostly based on open-source data rather than classified information. Nonetheless, here are some areas where American weapons shined – or didn't:

Tanks and Infantry Fighting Vehicles:

"The U.S. Army’s armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) compare well with their foreign counterparts, particularly the M1A2's Abrams main battle tank, which is widely regarded as the world’s best tank in terms of protection and anti-armor firepower," RAND concludes. Russians, Israelis, and others may disagree with that assessment, but after comparing the Abrams with Russia's T-90, Germany's Leopard and Israel's Merkava, the study praised the Abrams' depleted-uranium armor and antitank ammunition. What the Abrams does lack is a high-explosive fragmentation round, which is found in foreign tanks (though the U.S. Marine Corps uses German-made HE shells).

Fact Check: Sputnik Says US is Pivoting to Central Asia

November 05, 2015

A recent Sputnik article titled “Washington’s Pivot to Central Asia Aimed at Damaging Russian Interests” is a perfect example of how Moscow’s pet publications twist reality into a simplified narrative that plays into regional fears.

As Casey Michel wrote in April, “the Kremlin’s ability to broadcast its slant – to weaponize information, as the phrase goes – has been well covered over the past year.” And the messaging has largely worked in Central Asia, where suspicion of U.S. motives is high and question of Moscow’s wisdom low. But as attractive as the messaging is, and though it contains some tethers to reality, Sputnik’s narrative draws conclusions that simply aren’t supported by facts.

Without further ado, fact checking Sputnik:

It seems like just yesterday the U.S. practically left Central Asia, closed its bases and ended all missions there. Now, it seems like Washington is back in the game due to political reasons.

Europe's Refugee Crisis Isn't about Economics—It's about Culture

November 4, 2015

The New York Times featured a piece on November 3 by foreign correspondent Adam Nossiter, writing from Béziers, France. Béziers, Nossiter informs us, is the country’s “largest city under far-right control,” and he is intrigued by its mayor, Robert Ménard, once a “fearless defender of freedom of the press on four continents and a hero to free-speech advocates.” But now Ménard has turned against the influx of foreign immigrants flooding his city. He says he doesn’t want Béziers to become majority-Muslim, doesn’t want it to adopt a Muslim identity and doesn’t want it to lose its French heritage and sensibility. “This is a problem of numbers,” he says.

Given these sentiments, writes Nossiter, Ménard has become “a symbol of right-wing extremism in France.”

America's Real Foreign Policy Test: Moving Past the Crisis of the Day (And to Asia)

November 4, 2015

Now that a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer has sailed within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef, an artificial Chinese feature within the Spratly Islands, U.S.-China relations and America’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region are once again above the fold. The Department of Defense had long been mulling whether to stage freedom-of-navigation maneuvers in response to Chinese land reclamation, and now that it has initiated that challenge—and, predictably, elicited a sharp Chinese rebuke—the U.S. press is expressing renewed concern about the prospect of armed confrontation between the world’s leading power and its principal competitor.

If the past is indicative, however, the press will soon turn its gaze back toward more vivid developments, in the Baltic region and especially in the Middle East. This likelihood, in turn, reveals a paradox that is among the central challenges facing U.S. foreign policy: surveying the three theaters that presently consume most of its bandwidth, there is roughly an inverse relationship between degree of chaos and likely long-term significance—both for the United States and the evolution of world order. This discrepancy pits the imperatives of strategy against the demands of public opinion and social media.

What Brought Down the Russian Plane?

Russian families have begun identifying the victims of Saturday’s plane crash in Egypt, which killed all 224 people on board.

Egypt’s aviation minister said Tuesday that Egyptian and Russian investigators are starting to examine the black boxes—devices that record flight data and audio from inside the pilot’s cockpit—recovered from the downed commercial jet. But officials from both countries, as well as aviation experts, say it’s too soon to know what caused the crash.

There is no consensus over the events preceding the crash, either. On Sunday, a Russian aviation official said that because debris was spread over a large area, the plane must have broken apart in midair. On Tuesday, Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said there was no evidence to back up that claim.

Russian, Israeli jets share Syrian skies ... for now

Author Ben Caspit
November 2, 2015

Israel and Russia are acting like two lions on the African savanna. One, the younger one, rules the territory. He is used to walking around freely and doing almost anything he pleases without disturbance. Suddenly another lion appears on the scene, more mature, stronger, far more powerful. The two lions warily eye one another. Neither wants to get involved in a squabble that might inflict harm. The territory is large enough for them both, and their interests are not necessarily incompatible. They decide on a “cold peace” kind of coexistence involving a certain amount of coordination in the joint territory. What we see now is how these two lions circle each other, checking out the other’s alertness and vigilance, sniffing, setting out boundaries, checking each other’s responses, trying to determine the rules of the game.

Russia's military involvement in Syria is testing its relations with Israel and the determination of both countries to avoid a conflict.

America's New LRS-B Stealth Bomber: The 'Target' Dilemma

November 4, 2015

What’s the most important role for the USAF’s planned Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B)? What could it do that fighter-bombers, cruise missiles, and drones couldn’t?

Arguably, a big manned bomber offers a unique combination of massive, repeatable, human-on-scene air power at a distance, which is valuable when targets are challenging but plentiful. Already today, hardened targets are plentiful and tough to find. But mobile targets, one of the LRS-B’s planned target sets, while perhaps more plentiful, are near impossible to find. That calculus leaves aside the political questions—even if the LRS-B’s likely targets could be attacked, should they? Policymakers should consider all these questions before endorsing the next bomber.

Money is tight, so could less-stealthy (and thus less expensive) aircraft attack the same targets as the LRS-B, just by standing off with cruise missiles? While this may work for some targets, it couldn’t work for all. Without nuclear explosives, some hardened targets require massive ordnance, and one thing bombers bring that missiles cannot is bunker busters. Against American bombers, to hunker in a bunker is to invite attack, and adversaries have experienced this firsthand throughout history, most notably in the first Gulf War against Saddam Hussein. But tunnel-boring machines are widely available and relatively affordable, and some adversaries have been digging for decades. Over the past few years, neither Israel nor the United States could bring itself to bomb Iran, to try to arrest a very undesirably nuclear weapons project, because there were simply too many bunkers to bomb. If a problem of that magnitude is not worth unloading a bunch of MOABs, what would merit it?

State of Emergency in the Maldives Ahead of Opposition Protests

November 05, 2015

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen has declared a state of emergency in his country ahead of scheduled protests by political opposition groups later this week. Yameen’s decree, citing threats to public safety and national security, will last for 30 days initially and suspend basic rights. Maldivian security forces will act under emergency powers and will be able to preemptively arrest opposition activists and protesters ahead of a major rally against the Yameen government later this week. The move was made on the suggestion of the country’s National Security Council, according to Maldivian Attorney General Mohamed Anil. The move marks another troubling counter-democratic development in the small Indian Ocean island nation.

“President Yameen has declared state of emergency to ensure the safety and security of every citizen,” Muaz Ali, the spokesperson for the presidential office, noted on Twitter. Ali later clarified that the state of emergency will not result in the enforcement of a curfew. The state of emergency is declared under Article 253 of the Maldivian constitution which allows the president to declare a state of emergency “in the event of natural disaster, dangerous epidemic disease, war, threat to national security, or threatened foreign aggression.” The constitution caps any declaration of a state of emergency to a duration of 30 days. The constitution also notes that the president is required to submit a declaration on the state of emergency to the People’s Majlis, the country’s legislature, which can then approve, extend, or revoke the declaration.

The US Still Doesn’t Know Who’s In Charge if Massive Cyber Attack Strikes Nation

NOVEMBER 3, 2015

Cyber physical attacks on infrastructure may be an unlikely sneak attack, but if it happens, the chain of command is far from clear.

The threat of a massive cyber attack on civilian infrastructure, leading to loss of life and perhaps billions in damages, has kept lawmakers on edge since before former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned of it back in 2012 (or the fourth Die Hard movie in 2007). Many experts believe that a sneak attack would be highly unlikely. But if one were to occur today, DHS and the Defense Department wouldn’t exactly know who is in charge.

Patrick Tucker is technology editor for Defense One. He’s also the author of The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (Current, 2014). Previously, Tucker was deputy editor for The Futurist for nine years. Tucker has written about emerging technology in Slate, The ...Full Bio

The Department of Homeland Security has the lead in responding to most cyber attacks. But the Department of Defense Cyber Strategy, published in April,carves out a clear role for the military and Cyber Command in responding to any sort of cyber attack of “significant consequence.”

Get Ready, Iran: This Is Israel's Master Plan to Upgrade Its Military

November 4, 2015

Israel is asking the United States for a squadron of advanced F-15 Strike Eagles and V-22 Osprey tilt-rotors as part of a “compensation package” for lifting American sanctions on Iran. The package would be worth more than $3.1 billion according to reports.

Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya'alon presented Tel Aviv’s “shopping list” to U.S. defense secretary Ashton Carter last week when he visited Washington D.C. if reports are accurate. The arms package would help maintain the Jewish state’s qualitative edge over its Arab neighbors.

According to Flight International’s Arie Egozi, the Israelis didn’t just ask for ordinary F-15s. Instead, the Middle Eastern nation is asking for Boeing’s privately funded F-15SE Silent Eagle derivative which includes a number of radar cross section (RCS) reduction features and internal weapons bays housed inside the jet’s conformal fuel tanks. In previous years, Boeing officials would claim that the F-15SE had a frontal RCS that is equivalent to an export configuration Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. However, other defense and industry sources dismissed such assertions.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: One of America's Worst Fighter Jets Ever?

November 4, 2015

The United States has built many great fighters over the years. The P-51 Mustang, the F4U Corsair, F-86 Sabre, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F-22 are among the best warplanes this country has ever produced. This article is not about those machines.

There have been plenty of times when American ingenuity has fallen flat on its face. This article is about the dregs of U.S. warplane designs—the worst of the worst. But from each of these failures, we can learn something and make sure it never happens again. It’s only a failure of you don’t learn something from it.

Bell P-59 Airacomet:

Bell’s P-59 Aircomet was America’s first attempt at building a jet fighter. However, compared to its British and German contemporaries—the Gloster Meteor and the Messerschmitt Me 262—the P-59 was an abysmal failure.

TRADOC lays groundwork for multimedia, mobile classrooms

Adam Stone
October 14, 2015 

Hand in hand with its drive to create enriched electronic versions of its core documents, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) also is moving ahead with efforts to make those documents available on mobile devices.

An ongoing wireless push will give students access to basic Army documents while also opening up access to multimedia, interactive classroom materials.

In recent months, TRADOC has built out wireless infrastructure at eight sites representing a total of 227 academic buildings. This encompasses 28 of 36 TRADOC schools. After a bit of further testing, TRADOC says, these wireless networks should go live by year’s end. (The remaining eight schools either have a wireless backbone already or have no programmatic need for wireless.)

The advent of wireless academics responds to changes in the way younger soldiers interact with study materials. “There is an expectation today that people will be able to access content when and where they need it, and there is an expectation that it is more than just textbooks, more than just the written word,” said LTC Joseph Harris, TRADOC Capability Manager (TCM)-Mobile, Fort Eustis, Virginia. “That is what we are trying to achieve.”

Defense One Summit 2015 - The Age of Everything

NOVEMBER 3, 2015

Thanks for joining us at the 3rd Annual Defense One Summit, featuring Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Tex., White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, and more.

If you missed anything you can review the videos below or sift through the Twitter feed from the event’s hashtag#DefOneSummit2015.

The Summit has become a must-attend event for U.S. national security leaders. This year’s theme was ”The Age of Everything,” a focus how commanders and security leaders are meeting the high demand for all types of missions and threats—from the battlefield to the homeland, Kabul to Chattanooga.