Latest DOD IG Report on body armor confirms “reality testing” has replaced Quality Assurance testing

The latest DOD IG report confirms — again — the scandalous lack of required testing for Interceptor Body Armor’s ballistic protective plates. A long-time industry insider has summarized the unstated and shocking meaning of the report: “What we have now is ‘reality testing’ where a failure is no longer a statistic, but a real live warrior.”

This simple statement strips away the Pentagon spin and exposes this ugly truth: All the crocodile tears Bob Gates can blubber while signing ...

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Military Budget Cuts: Does it make sense?

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates unveiled a new plan which calls for significant cuts in our military budget.   In a Washington Post article published today, Secretary Gates and the administration agreed to of less than 2.7% based on the 2012 military budget of $553 billion.

This represents a major victory for the Pentagon, military contractors, lobbyists and armaments manufacturers.  While the traditional beltway insiders continue to benefit from the Pentagon’s largess, the ultimate sacrifice will be paid for the the ...

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Military News Highlights: January 7, 2011

Gates Recommends Dempsey as Next Army Chief of Staff

Secretary of Defense Gates has recommended General Martin E. Dempsey to be the next Chief of Staff of the Army.

An armor officer General Dempsey previously served as commander of the 1st Armored Division in OIF, Commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq, acting commander of U.S. Central Command, and is currently serving as Commander, Training and Doctrine Command.

Highlights from the Gates-Mullens DoD efficiencies briefing

In summary, ...

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Military News Highlights: December 16 & 17

Uncertainty marks White House review on Afghanistan, Pakistan

In regards to the highly touted release of the administrations review of Afghanistan, one-step up and two-steps back. 

 One-step up, “strategy is showing progress”; two-steps back, no new information on how soon Afghan Security Forces will be able to assume responsibility for security and when the “rat-lines” coming out of Pakistan can be severed.

 One-step up, “we are on track to achieve our goals”; two-steps back, gains are still “fragile and reversible” and ...

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Military News Highlights: December 15, 2010

U.S. intelligence reports cast doubt on war progress in Afghanistan

National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) are authoritative assessments by the Director of National Intelligence related to a particular national security issue.  NIE’s are not written in a vacuum and express coordinated judgments of the entire US intelligence community.  Although these assessments are classified, summaries and excerpts are simultaneously provided to policy makers and/or leaked to the media when NIE’s are published. 

Commanders in Afghanistan argue that the most recent spate of ...

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Military News Highlights: December 9, 2010

Gates declares Afghan war strategy is working

 Now it’s all good in Afghanistan.  The strategy is working.  The  goal to hand over the keys to the Afghans in 2014 can be met.  The security climate is improving while Regional Command-East, South, and South-west remain in a constant kinetic posture.  And you can eat chicken in Marja!

Taliban Bombs Hit New High; 1500 in November Alone

Good data provided by the Danger Room on IED’s.  Sadly, a new record was set this ...

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Military News Highlights: December 3, 2010

COIN standards for Afghanistan approved

Secretary Gates has approved a COIN skills list (COIN Qualification Standards) for troops in Afghanistan.  It is rather extraordinary for top civilian officials to approve pre-deployment tactical and operational training tasks.  Perhaps this is an effort for General Petreaus to dictate that a certain level of COIN proficiency is required prior to deployment.  Sounds reasonable, right?  But, why does this kind of guidance have to be rubber-stamped by Secretary Gates?  Can’t the uniformed service ...

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Secretary Gates & Adm. Mullen Discuss Wikileaks

In a Department of Defense (“DoD”) News Briefing at the Pentagon, Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen discussed the latest release of classified documents on Wikileaks.

Secretary of Defense Gates’ answer to a Wiki-dump related question was in fact an artful dodge.  There were in fact significant differences on what the US public was informed of and what the stark reality of events in Iraq were and the same type of misinformation is bleeding out of Afghanistan.  Does it rise to the ...

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Military News: November 18, 2010

NATO official: Afghan leader affirms NATO mission  

Not sure how much arm-twisting went on to get Afghan President Karzai to change his mind, but yesterday NATO reported that he was actually on board with NATO’s military campaign and “reluctantly” in support of nighttime SOF raids.  President Karzai nor his staff could be reached for comment, but if the old adage of “the first report is a false report” holds true, we can expect some additional clarifying statements over the next ...

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