International Military Discussion

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Philip » 11 Aug 2008 14:02

Science fiction becoming a reality. ... erial.html

Invisibility cloak dreams could become reality with light-bending material

The invention of an invisibility cloak could be moving closer to reality with the discovery of a material that can bend light the wrong way.

By Aislinn Simpson
Last Updated: 6:07AM BST 11 Aug 2008

The creation of the magical technology has been the subject of intense research ever since Victorian author HG Wells captivated readers with his tales of a scientist who becomes invisible after consuming a cocktail of drugs.

Now scientists at the University of California in Berkeley have developed a material that can bend light around three dimensional objects making them "disappear", according to an article on Nature magazine's website.

The research, funded by the American military, paves the way for stealth tanks, aircraft and even warships that can disappear from enemy soldiers' sights.

The technology works like water flowing around a rock. Since light is not absorbed or reflected by the object, the viewer only sees the light from behind it - rendering it invisible.

Scientists engineered "fishnet" materials that had "negative refractive" properties enabling them to mould and harness light.

The materials do not occur naturally but have to be created at the atomic or nano level.

Lead scientist Xiang Zhang said: "In the case of invisibility cloaks or shields, the material would need to curve light waves completely around the object like a river around a rock."

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Singha » 11 Aug 2008 19:54

read this in a book on ASW:
The history of early anti-submarine warfare (ASW)
is cluttered with a few hoary myths, but balanced by
some bizarre ideas which were subsequently adopted.
It has been said many times that the Royal Navy's
solution was to send out steam picket boats with a
Left: The helicopter is vital in modern anti-submarine
warfare, with its lightweight torpedoes, depth-charges,
dipping sonar, magnetic anomaly detectors and sonobuoys.
brawny matelot armed with a canvas bag and a
sledgehammer. The matelot would slip the bag over
the U-boat's periscope, blinding it while he swung the
sledgehammer and smashed the upper lens.
Thereafter, so the story goes, the hapless U-boat
would come to the surface and be captured, presumably
by a cutlass-wielding boarding party. It is hardly
necessary to add that no evidence has been found for
this amusing countermeasure.

After the dramatic sinkings of warships in the early
months of the war the Admiralty was pestered by a
number of cranks peddling theories and inventions.
We can dismiss the lady spiritualist who offered to
indicate U-boats' positions with a needle and thread,
but Admiralty records confirm that the use of seals
was taken seriously. In the hope that these intelligent
mammals could be trained to swim after U-boats, a
number of seals were obtained from a circus, and
trained to pursue a dummy periscope spewing out bits
of fish. The scheme was abandoned because the seals
became lazy and overfed, or exuberantly chased any
noise-source in the hope of getting a free meal.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Singha » 11 Aug 2008 20:26

one thing I learnt is it needed to double the onboard reactor power from previous Sturgeon SSNs onto
688 SSNs to increase the top submerged speed from 25knots to 35 knots.

the reason for high top speed was need to escort CVBGs steaming at 30knots sustained
and the escorting SSN(s) would use sprint-n-drift tactics to survey and catch up repeatedly...

LA class S6G reactor (~7000t submerged) - 35000 shp
Sturgeon class S5G (~7000t submerged) - 20000hp

as our ATV role is not to escort fast SAGs, and our reactor design is our first cut,
imo the ATV reactor would be in 15-20000hp range and attain a top speed of
around 22-25knots submerged which is similar to SSKs.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Rahul M » 11 Aug 2008 22:04

unlike the SSKs, that speed can be sustained for much longer periods, right ?

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Singha » 12 Aug 2008 08:09

yes ofcourse.

secondly the UK has always gone for sacrificing speed in favour of stealth per
the book, again perhaps because their subs had no CVNs to sprint with. they
pioneered the use of pumpjet propulsor.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Drevin » 12 Aug 2008 10:58

New Aircraft Carrier Class from US. Nice Read. ... ft_carrier

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Gerard » 15 Aug 2008 06:35

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Avinash R » 16 Aug 2008 21:42

American Military funds mind-reading science
Aug 15, 9:11 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - Here's a mind-bending idea: The U.S. military is paying scientists to study ways to read people's thoughts. The hope is that the research could someday lead to a gadget capable of translating the thoughts of soldiers who suffered brain injuries in combat or even stroke patients in hospitals.

But the research also raises concerns that such mind-reading technology could be used to interrogate the enemy.

Armed with a $4 million grant from the Army, scientists are studying brain signals to try to decipher what a person is thinking and to whom the person wants to direct the message.

The project is a collaboration among researchers at the University of California, Irvine; Carnegie Mellon University; and the University of Maryland.

The scientists use brain wave-reading technology known as electroencephalography, or EEG, which measures the brain's electrical activity through electrodes placed on the scalp.

It works like this: Volunteers wear an electrode cap and are asked to think of a word chosen by the researchers, who then analyze the brain activity.

In the future, scientists hope to develop thought-recognition software that would allow a computer to speak or type out a person's thought.

"To have a person think in a free manner and then figure out what that is, we're years away from that," said lead researcher Michael D'Zmura, who heads UC Irvine's cognitive sciences department.

D'Zmura said such a system would require extensive training by people trying to send a message and dismisses the notion that thoughts can be forced out.

"This will never be used in a way without somebody's real, active cooperation," he said.

John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity. org, a Virginia-based defense research firm, said the technology is still too nascent to be of practical use for the military.

"They're still in the proof of principle stage," Pike said.

A message left with the Army was not immediately returned Friday.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby NRao » 17 Aug 2008 06:47

Attack on Georgia Gives Boost To Big U.S. Weapons Programs

(Login required)

Conflict With Russia
Bolsters the Case
For More Funding
August 16, 2008; Page A6

Russia's attack on Georgia has become an unexpected source of support for big U.S. weapons programs, including flashy fighter jets and high-tech destroyers, that have had to battle for funding this year because they appear obsolete for today's conflicts with insurgent opponents.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has spent much of the year attempting to rein in some of the military's most expensive and ambitious weapons systems -- like the $143 million F-22 Raptor jet -- because he thinks they are unsuitable for the lightly armed and hard-to-find militias, warlords and terrorist groups the U.S. faces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been opposed by an array of political interests and defense companies that want to preserve these multibillion-dollar programs and the jobs they create.

U.S. Navy (2)
The Zumwalt class destroyer (right) and the F-22 Raptor.

When Russia's invading forces choked roads into Georgia with columns of armored vehicles and struck targets from the air, it instantly bolstered the case being made by some that the Defense Department isn't taking the threat from Russia and China seriously enough. If the conflict in Georgia continues and intensifies, it could make it easier for defense companies to ensure the long-term funding of their big-ticket items.

For example, the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. John Murtha, quickly seized on the Russia situation this week, saying that it indicates the Russians see the toll that operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are taking on the U.S. military.

"We've spent so many resources and so much attention on Iraq that we've lost sight of future threats down the road. The current conflict between Russia and Georgia is a perfect example," said Rep. Murtha during a recent visit to his district.

Some Wall Street stock analysts early on saw the invasion as reason to make bullish calls on the defense sector. A report from JSA Research in Newport, R.I., earlier in the week called the invasion "a bell-ringer for defense stocks."

Mr. Gates himself said this week that the new conflict will cause the U.S. to rethink its strategic relationship with Russia. At a briefing on Thursday, Mr. Gates said the U.S. has no intention of using force in Georgia, nor does it seek a reprise of the Cold War. He did make clear, however, that Russia appears to be punishing Georgia, which has flirted with North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership, for aligning itself with the West and is warning other former Soviet states.

Until now, Mr. Gates has been the central focus of a pitched battle over where the U.S. should spend its defense funds: on conventional weapons needed for traditional opponents or preparing to fight insurgent groups and terrorists.

At an event in Colorado earlier this year, Mr. Gates complained that the military services have "too much of a tendency towards what might be called "Next-War-itis" -- the propensity of the defense establishment to be in favor of what might be needed in a future conflict." In response, he has led an effort to seek or consider reductions to a long list of prominent programs that seemed geared toward the wars of the past.

High on Mr. Gates's list of less-relevant programs has been the F-22 Raptor, made by Lockheed Martin Corp. with help from Boeing Co. and others. The F-22 is considered the Air Force's best fighter jet, but Mr. Gates rebuked the Air Force earlier this year for doggedly pursuing it at a time when it hasn't flown missions over Iraq and Afghanistan.

Another program under attack has been Future Combat Systems, a futuristic $160 billion effort to modernize the Army with new hardware and electronic gizmos. Lead contractors Boeing and SAIC Inc. have repeatedly retooled the program, hoping to avoid being accused by Mr. Gates of having "Next-War-itis."

At the same time, the Navy is backing off from building its most expensive destroyers in favor of a less technically risky, and cheaper, existing design. Changing course, the Navy wants two, not seven, futuristic DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers that the Congressional Budget Office estimates could cost as much as $5 billion apiece. Instead of those destroyers, it wants cheaper vessels better suited to missile defense and antisubmarine missions in the open ocean.

Amid uncertainty about how the next administration will view any of these programs, defense-industry officials have been fighting hard to keep them moving forward -- hoping they will at some point be so far along that they can't be killed or seriously curtailed. A common refrain has been that the next administration will realize how dangerous the world is once the commander in chief gets briefed on the myriad threats to U.S. interests.

The change in administration comes at a time of record profits and sales in the industry, reflecting historic highs in defense spending. Yet budget pressure is already undeniable. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan require laying out almost $12 billion a month and the Pentagon faces a massive tab for repairing and overhauling equipment when troops start coming home.

Now, the Russian situation makes the debate over the equipping of the U.S. military a front-burner issue. "The threat always drives procurement," said a defense-industry official. "It doesn't matter what party is in office."

Mr. Gates's approach was recently codified in a Defense Department strategy document emphasizing a balance between developing capabilities to carry out unconventional warfare missions while fielding forces capable of handily defeating adversaries like Russia's or China's militaries.

It rankles Michael Dunn, president and chief executive of the Air Force Association, who said that Mr. Gates's "Next-War-itis" criticism can be countered with the argument that his strategy's focus on fighting insurgents at the expense of another big military is "This-War-itis."

Mr. Dunn, a retired Air Force lieutenant general, said that if U.S. F-16 and F-18 fighters were carrying out combat missions over Georgia, they would be in grave danger from highly advanced Russian surface-to-air missiles on the border that a newer plane like the F-22 can evade. "The debate has got to shift as a result of this war," said Mr. Dunn.

Even before Russia's invasion, there were signs the Air Force's arguments haven't been lost on lawmakers. Just before Congress recessed, Mr. Murtha's subcommittee said it would fund an additional $523 million toward the purchase of 20 more F-22 fighters beyond what the White House asked for.

Write to August Cole at

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Y. Kanan » 17 Aug 2008 14:03

From everything I've been reading about the Georgia-Russia conflict, it seems this battle wasn't quite what it's been portrayed as. This was hardly the David-vs-Goliath contest described in the western press. Some random observations:

-Russia didn't have a large advantage in troop numbers - both sides were roughly equal in that regard
-Russian tanks, aircraft, technologically inferior to their Georgian opponents. Georgians had built up an impressive night-fighting capability; Russians can only operate effectively in daylight
-Russian artillery\rockets could not be targeted effectively while Georgia used UAV's heavily, enabling Georgian arty to do pinpoint targetting even at night
-Russia got around its technical\tactical inferiority by using blitzkrieg tactics. If you charge headlong into your enemy's rear areas and disrupt his logistics, comms, airfields, and threaten important cities, you can rout his army without a fight. Georgian troops, who with their US anti-tank missiles could've inflicted painful losses on Russian armor in a head-on fight, found themselves panicked and fleeing at the news of Russian tanks in their rear areas and threatening key civilian centers. Even a disorganized mad dash into enemy territory can give your enemy the impression of being hopelessly overwhelmed. The Georgian army was routed without being defeated in battle, leaving behind tons of high-tech US and Isreali military gear in their panicked retreat - weapons that would have killed a lot of Russian troops and eqpt had they been used.
-Russia's much-vaunted and hyped military modernization is still vaporware. Equipment-wise, this was essentially the same old Russian army that rolled into Chechnya back in 1994. The Russians won this campaign by being very aggressive, with their blitzkrieg-style advance. Lucky for them, as a protracted battle would have been terribly costly given the inferior junk they had to fight with. Maybe they're selling all their best gear to India, China, Malaysia, etc -- leaving nothing for the poor Russian conscripts who still have to make do with 1970's era garbage!

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby shetty » 18 Aug 2008 18:24

Upgrade for older Mirages.

SA aerospace firm takes offer to upgrade old jet fighters global

By: Keith Campbell
Published: 15 Aug 08 - 0:00
South Africa's Midrand-based private-sector defence company Advanced Technologies & Engineering (ATE), which is an integrator of mission systems, has revealed that it has developed a further upgrade for the venerable French Dassault Mirage III, Mirage V, and Mirage F1, fighters, which were orginally designed in the 1960s and 1970s but which remain in service in a number of countries around the world.

At least two overseas air forces are interested in the new upgrade, which is intended to allow these aircraft to remain operationally credible in the 21st century, by giving them beyond-visual range (BVR) air combat capability.

Until now, these fighters have been able to employ only short-range weapons - guns, infrared (IR)-homing air to air missiles (AAMs).

The only radar-guided AAMs they could use were also, by today's standards, short-ranged and, anyway, have long been totally obsolete.

The idea is to permit countries to achieve a modern interception and attack capability for a fraction of the price of buying new fighters.

ATE has designed a new Avionics and Weapons System (AWS) for these aircraft, which would equip them with a modern avionics, including fire control radar, allowing them to use radar-guided and/or IR-homing BVR AAMs, as well as modern IR-homing short-range AAMs.

In particular, the new AWS is compatible with European missile giant MBDA's Mica BVR AAM, which was originally developed in France and which comes in both radar-guided and IR-homing versions.

ATE has also designed the AWS to be able to use key systems, such as radars, from alternative suppliers.

The brain of the AWS is ATE's own Mission and Weapons Computer (MWC), while the backbone is provided by two MIL-STD (this is North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - Nato - terminology) data buses, namely a MIL-STD 1553 data bus for the stores management system (known as the weapons bus) and a MIL-STD 1553B data bus, which acts as the mission bus.

ATE designs and manufactures the mission computers that are the brains and backbones of the systems the company integrates. ATE produces both the computer hardware and the software.

The radar, the head-up display, and the multifunction display can come from either Galileo Avionica of Italy, or Thales of France.

The electronic warfare equipment, including the radar warning receiver, will come from Saab Avitronics of South Africa.

This new ATE upgrade will equip these fighters with modern, dual-function (air-to-air, air-to-ground) radars, modern man/machine interfaces (including hands-on-throttle-and-stick controls, head-up displays, multi-function displays, and up-front control panels) and modern navigation systems (including ring laser gyro inertial reference system hybridised with a Nato-standard global positioning system).

Upgrading older fighters is not ATE's only area of business.

It integrates mission systems in three areas - in addition to putting new mission systems on old platforms, it also puts new mission systems on new platforms, and it is also the original equipment manufacturer of complete mission systems, such as the Vulture unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

ATE's experience with avionics and associated software dates back to 1992, when the company was involved in Project Neckwar, a "glass cockpit" avionics demonstration project involving the South African aeronautical industry and using a Mirage F1 fighter as the platform. (A glass cockpit, now the modern standard, uses digital video screens to display information to the pilot, and not analogue mechanically operated dials.) In 1994, the company was selected to develop the glass cockpit avionics system for the SAAF's then new Pilatus PC-7 Mk II Astra trainers. As a result of this experience, ATE was able to partner with Thomson-CSF, now Thales, and be selected by Spain to upgrade the navigation and weapons systems for that country's Mirage F1s.

The company thereafter undertook a weapons and avionics systems upgrade on Russian Mil Mi-24 attack helicopters, for a North African country.

Most recently, ATE developed the navigation and weapons system for the SAAF's new BAE Systems Hawk Mk 120 lead-in fighter-trainers. The mission computers for the SAAF Hawks each contain one million lines of ATE-written, BAE Systems-certified, software.

ATE also upgrades armoured vehicles and the company is divided into four business units - fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, and land vehicles.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby PaulJI » 18 Aug 2008 20:04

The article is not quite correct to say that -
Until now, these fighters have been able to employ only short-range weapons - guns, infrared (IR)-homing air to air missiles (AAMs).

The only radar-guided AAMs they could use were also, by today's standards, short-ranged and, anyway, have long been totally obsolete

There's already an upgrade to the Mirage F.1 available from Dassault which permits the use of the Mica missile. Morocco has bought it, with the RC.400 radar, Mica, & other weapons.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Avinash R » 19 Aug 2008 13:22

Costs up for National Guard training overhaul
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer 10 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Revamping the Army National Guard training program so soldiers can spend more time at home will cost at least $128 million this year, and officials say they need nearly double that amount next year to properly train and equip their forces, The Associated Press has learned.

After struggling for more than a year and a half to condense the training process, Guard leaders have managed to chop months off the time citizen soldiers must spend away from their jobs and families due to deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Until early 2007, Guard combat brigades were training for up to six months — much of it away from home — and then would spend 12 months to 15 months in the war zone. The average time has been slashed to a bit more than 13 months, including about a month of training at home, another 40 to 70 days at the formal Army training center and roughly 10 months on the battlefront.

Spurred on by the Pentagon's promise that Guard deployments would be limited to one year, military leaders pledged to spread some of the required pre-deployment war preparation into the soldiers' routine weekend and weeklong training exercises each year.

That would allow soldiers to train, get required medical tests and do some paperwork while at home for much of the 12 months prior to heading to one of 10 mobilization centers for their final prewar training and equipment.

Depending on the size and type of unit, soldiers now are spending anywhere from two weeks to more than two months at the mobilization center, where they get their final, most up-to-date training. The last weeks could include the latest data on counterinsurgency efforts and methods to find and defeat roadside bombs, as well as instruction on new weapons or the latest mine-resistant vehicles.

The spike in spending will fund the hiring of roughly 2,000 trainers for the Guard who will be needed to ensure that the Guard members get as much training as they can during that one-year period before they mobilize. Already, according to Col. Rob Moore, chief of training for the Army National Guard, nearly 1,500 of those slots have been filled.

Moore said it will cost at least $128 million this year to hire the additional trainers and set up a small command unit in each state and U.S. territory. All those units, which comprise a small number of people who are in charge of the trainers, already have been created.

As of now, he said, many of the trainers are in place. But because the active duty Army also has units constantly training to go to war, there is a huge demand for trainers and the services have been competing for them.

In addition, the Guard has spent about $5 million to buy cell phones, laptop computers and other supplies for each state.

"We're really doing this on the cheap," said Moore, who added that the current funding only allows units to begin training for their deployment a year before they are scheduled to go. It would be better, he said, if they could begin two years before deployment.

To do the full training required, he said, would nearly double the cost to about $250 million.

Early last year, military leaders warned that making the new training program work would require time, money and much more coordination among beleaguered states that already desperately swap equipment to handle hurricanes and other disasters.

"It took a little while to get the plans out and just how we were going to do this," Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn, the Director of the Army National Guard, said in an interview. Now, he said, the changes are moving forward well, and states "are gathering confidence in the program."

According to Brig. Gen. C. Stewart Rodeheaver, 75 days is about the longest training session needed at the mobilization centers, and that would involve either high-tech or full combat operations instruction for a brigade or aviation unit going to either Iraq or Afghanistan.

Rodeheaver, who as deputy commander at First Army oversees the training and mobilization of Guard forces, said the average training time is 40 to 45 days. And some smaller, specialized units — such as a postal company — may require even less.

One of the biggest changes, Rodeheaver said, has been to improve coordination with the states to schedule training when the unit is all together and the equipment is ready.

In previous years, training had to be delayed or repeated at times because all the equipment or personnel slots were not filled.

"A year ago, we didn't even have the equipment to move to the units," Vaughn said in an interview in his Pentagon office. "Modern equipment was in such short supply." Now, while there is still not enough to fully equip every unit, there is enough for the training, he said.

Even now, there may be some variations in the states, as Guard units begin preparing to go to Iraq and Afghanistan in the next year.

In some states, said Vaughn, the adjutant generals want to spread the training throughout the year, adding a few days to the regular weekend stints and extending the annual two-week session to three weeks.

In other cases, however, he said employers have urged the military to consolidate the training and do one longer session just before the soldiers leave for the mobilization centers.

"Some employers want a clean break," said Vaughn, adding that they don't want to have their employees keep leaving and returning for chunks of time over a 12-month period.

As of Aug. 12, First Army, which has more than 8,800 trainers working at the 10 mobilization centers, has trained nearly 79,000 troops, of which nearly 60,000 are Army Guard and Reserve soldiers. The others include Air Force, Navy and Marine forces, as well as some 1,500 Canadian troops.

Officials said they expect to train another 23,000 by the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30. The mobilization centers are located across the country, including heavily used sites at Camp Shelby, Miss., and Fort McCoy, Wis. The trainers can provide between three to 10 weeks of training depending on the size and type of unit heading to the war front.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Nitesh » 19 Aug 2008 23:08 ... lout4.html

Fourth F-35 Lightning II Rolls Out As Production Line Fills Up At Lockheed Martin
United States - 18 August 2008

FORT WORTH, Texas: With one F-35 Lightning II aircraft in structural testing, two in flight test, six in final assembly and another 14 in various stages of production, Lockheed Martin added to the program's momentum on Saturday by finishing assembly of the fourth F-35 aircraft, a short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B.

"The completion of our fourth F-35 -- and the growing line of aircraft now forming behind it -- shows an emerging rhythm in our production line," said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager. "In just a few days we will have all three Lightning II variants in final assembly when we take delivery of the first F-35C carrier variant center fuselage. From the very first F-35, assembly quality has been unprecedented, and each successive aircraft is measurably better than the one that preceded it."

The new aircraft was moved immediately to the flight line, where it will undergo an extensive battery of ground tests before its first flight in early 2009. The first F-35B made its inaugural flight on June 11 and has completed nine missions. The first F-35A, a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, has flown 45 times.

The U.S. Marine Corps is expected to operate about 340 F-35Bs. The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and the Italian Air Force and Navy also will operate the STOVL variant, which will be the world's first STOVL aircraft to combine stealth with supersonic speed.

The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.

Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Sid » 21 Aug 2008 13:10

this is the new armor that i tried to discuss briefly in "Artillery and Armour" thread. This is radical new approach towards new protection system and increases the protection level of even light skinned vehicles without any significant weight increase.

Lockheed Martin UK has been awarded a contract by Atkins, the FRES Systems House, for an 18 month Electric Armour Technology Demonstrator Programme. This programme will enhance the maturity of this technology, define and assess constraints and determine the principles for integration of Electric Armour into all FRES type chassis, should it be proven to be sufficiently mature.

Electric Armour has shown the potential to significantly reduce the effectiveness of enemy weapon systems. An incoming threat has to pass through electrified layers producing powerful electromagnetic fields. This severely disrupts the threat and any residual debris is absorbed by the vehicle's existing armoured hull.

The ISQ Team, comprising Lockheed Martin UK INSYS as prime, with teammates SAIC and QinetiQ, has a proven background in project management and systems engineering expertise, access to world-class Electric Armour technology – including unique Electric Armour modeling tools – and the use of world-class test and evaluation facilities. These capabilities will be concentrated on the task of advancing Technology and System Readiness Levels prior to the next key FRES milestone.

Stephen Ball, Combat Systems Director of Lockheed Martin UK INSYS said “ We have a top rate team and world-class expertise in this area. We will make a major contribution to the application of this new technology that will provide essential enhanced crew protection across the widest possible range of FRES vehicles.”

Lockheed Martin UK, a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, is a leader in systems integration working on major programmes spanning the aerospace, defence, civil and commercial sectors. In the UK, Lockheed Martin has annual sales in the range of £400-600 million working with more than 100 business partners. Lockheed Martin employs over 1500 people at 15 sites across the UK.

Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby shetty » 30 Aug 2008 01:31

Sikorsky’s X2 TECHNOLOGY™ Demonstrator Achieves First Flight

Among the innovative technologies the X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator employs are:

* Fly-by-wire flight controls
* Counter-rotating, all-composite rigid rotor blades
* Hub drag reduction
* Active vibration control
* Integrated auxiliary propulsion system

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Avinash R » 05 Sep 2008 13:29

US Army: soldier suicide rate may set record again
By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 46 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Soldier suicides this year could surpass the record rate of last year, Army officials said Thursday, urging military leaders at all levels to redouble prevention efforts for a force strained by two wars.

As of the end of August, there were 62 confirmed suicides among active duty soldiers and Guard and Reserve troops called to active duty, officials said. Another 31 deaths appear to be suicides but are still being investigated.

If all are confirmed, that means that the number for 2008 could eclipse the 115 of last year — and the rate per 100,000 could surpass that of the civilian population, Col. Eddie Stephens, deputy director of human resources policy, said at a Pentagon news conference.

"Army leaders are fully aware that repeated deployments have led to increased distress and anxiety for both soldiers and their families," Army Secretary Pete Geren said.

"The Army is committed to ensuring that all soldiers and their families receive the behavioral health care they need," he said in a statement distributed at the press conference on National Suicide Prevention Week starting Sunday.

"Installations and units across the Army have been directed to redouble their efforts in awareness and prevention training and soldier care and support services," Stephens said.

To try to stem the continually growing number of suicides, the Army already has been increasing the number of staff psychiatrists and other mental health staff as well as chaplains and bolstering programs both at home and at the battlefronts. Officials also are about to issue a new interactive video for troops and will be adding a new program on resilience to basic training starting in January, said Brig. Gen. Rhonda L. Cornum, an assistant Army surgeon general.

"There are no simple problems and there are no simple solutions," Cornum said. "There is no program that has been shown to be truly effective at preventing suicides ... Success will be the sum of a number of smaller steps."

As officials have said before, Cornum said the main factors in soldier suicides continues to be problems with their personal relationships, legal and financial issues, work problems and the repeated deployments and longer tour lengths prompted by an Afghan war entering its eighth year and Iraq campaign in its sixth.

The Army has come under unprecedented stress as the main force in the two largely ground wars

Of the confirmed deaths so far this year, three soldiers were in the Army Reserves and four in the Army National Guard.

If the overall numbers continue through December as they have been, Stephens said, they would eclipse the 115 of 2007, 102 in 2006, 87 in 2005 and 67 in 2004.

The rate per 100,000 soldiers also has been rising and could be surpassed. It was 18.1 per 100,000 last year — the highest since the Army started keeping record in 1980. That compared to a rate of 17.5 in 2006 and 9.8 in 2002 — the first full year after the start of the war in Afghanistan.

The rate for 2008 has not been calculated, officials said, but if the trend holds, it would surpass the demographically adjusted rate of 19.5 per 100,00 for the civilian population, Stephens said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the suicide rate for U.S. society overall was about 11 per 100,000 in 2004, the latest year for which the agency has figures. But the Army says that when civilian rates are adjusted to cover the same age and gender mix that exists in the Army — a younger and largely male population — the civilian rate is more like 19.5 per 100,000.

The Army has come under unprecedented stress as the main force in the two largely ground wars.

The Marine Corps, the second biggest force in Iraq — and even younger and more male than the Army — had a rate of 16.5 per 100,000 in 1007, the last year readily available. The Air Force and Navy had rates of a little over 10 per 100,000, according to defense records.

Col. Carl Castro, director of military operational medical research for the Army, said that in addition to the many programs officials are trying, there needs to be a cultural shift in the military to get people to focus more on mental health and fitness.

"It takes some time ... to get a cultural shift," he said "Sometimes they take decades."

In addition to suicide prevention programs, the Pentagon also has been working to encourage troops to seek mental health care by reducing the stigma associated with getting help. Officials believe many who need help don't get it because they fear it will hurt their careers.

Officials last year also budgeted $25 million for the "Strong Bonds" program, run by chaplains and aimed at strengthening personal relationships strained by long and repeated separations as well as other stresses.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby NRao » 08 Sep 2008 19:19

There is an ongoing series of article - by Bob Woodward - in the Wash Post. This one seem to be the most interesting since the topic of surge is resurected, and could impact the presidential elections:



Monday, September 8, 2008; A08

This series of articles is drawn from Bob Woodward's "The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-2008." Woodward, an associate editor of The Washington Post, interviewed more than 150 people, including the president's national security team, senior deputies and key players responsible for the intelligence, diplomatic and military operations in the Iraq war. Other officials with firsthand knowledge of meetings, documents and events, employed at various levels of the White House, the departments of Defense and State and the intelligence community, also served as primary sources.

Woodward interviewed President Bush in the Oval Office for nearly three hours May 20 and 21, 2008. A small selection of audio clips from these interviews can be heard at

Since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Woodward has had six on-the-record interviews with Bush for a total of nearly 11 hours.

Many of the interviews for "The War Within" were conducted on background, meaning that the information obtained could be used but the sources would not be identified by name. Nearly all participants consented to having the interviews recorded, allowing their accounts to be told more fully. The book attempts to preserve their style of speech as much as possible, even when their exact words are not quoted.

In cases where thoughts, conclusions or feelings are attributed to a participant, that point of view has been obtained from that person directly, from the written record or from a colleague whom the person told.

Almost all of the Bush administration's internal deliberations on the Iraq war have been classified. At Woodward's request, the White House agreed to declassify a dozen documents, and Woodward independently reviewed dozens more. In addition, critical information came from an array of memos, letters, official notes, personal notes, briefing summaries, PowerPoint slides, e-mails, journals, calendars and meeting agendas.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby NRao » 08 Sep 2008 19:31

Doubt, Distrust, Delay

Signin required:

The Inside Story of How Bush's Team Dealt With Its Failing Iraq Strategy

By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 7, 2008; A01

During the summer of 2006, from her office adjacent to the White House, deputy national security adviser Meghan O'Sullivan sent President Bush a daily top secret report cataloging the escalating bloodshed and chaos in Iraq. "Violence has acquired a momentum of its own and is now self-sustaining," she wrote July 20, quoting from an intelligence assessment.

Her dire evaluation contradicted the upbeat assurances that President Bush was hearing from Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the U.S. commander in Iraq. Casey and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were pushing to draw down American forces and speed the transfer of responsibility to the Iraqis. Despite months of skyrocketing violence, Casey insisted that within a year, Iraq would be mostly stable, with the bulk of American combat troops headed home.

Publicly, the president claimed the United States was winning the war, and he expressed unwavering faith in Casey, saying, "It's his judgment that I rely upon." Privately, he was losing confidence in the drawdown strategy. He questioned O'Sullivan that summer with increasing urgency: "What are you hearing from people in Baghdad? What are people's daily lives like?"

"It's hell, Mr. President," she answered, determined not to mislead or lie to him.

O'Sullivan was 36, with a PhD from Oxford and a year's experience in Iraq. As the violence had escalated, she began to feel that the strategy of drawing down had become indefensible. For months, she had urged her boss, national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, to begin a full strategy review.

That summer, with U.S. casualties eclipsing 2,500 deaths and nearly 20,000 wounded, Bush acknowledged to himself what he was not saying publicly: The war had taken a perilous turn for the worse, with 1,000 attacks a week, the equivalent of six an hour. "Underneath my hope was a sense of anxiety," Bush recalled in a May 2008 interview. The strategy was one "that everybody hoped would work. And it did not. And therefore the question is, when you're in my position: If it's not working, what do you do?"

This is the untold history of how the Bush administration wrestled with that question. Compiled from classified documents and interviews with more than 150 participants, it reveals that the administration's efforts to develop a new Iraq strategy were crippled by dissension among the president's advisers, delayed by political calculations and undermined by a widening and sometimes bitter rift in civilian-military relations.

No administration willingly puts its disagreements on display, but what happened in Washington during 2006 went beyond the usual give-and-take of government. The level of distrust became so severe that Bush eventually activated a back channel to Casey's replacement in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, circumventing the established chain of command. While the violence in Iraq skyrocketed to unnerving levels, a second front in the war raged at home, fought at the highest levels of the White House, the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the State Depart ment.

* * *

By mid-2006, Casey, a stout four-star general with wire-rim glasses, had been the commander in Iraq for two years. As American military units rotated in and out, Casey remained the one constant.

He had concluded that one big problem with the war was the president himself. Since the beginning, Casey felt, the president had viewed the war in conventional terms, repeatedly asking how many of the various enemies had been captured or killed. Casey later confided to a colleague that he had the impression that Bush reflected the "radical wing of the Republican Party that kept saying, 'Kill the ********! Kill the ********! And you'll succeed.' "

Casey was troubled by the thought that the president didn't understand the nature of the fight they were in. The large, heavily armed Western force was on borrowed time, he believed. The president often paid lip service to winning over the Iraqi people, but then he would lean in with greater interest and ask about raids and military operations, grilling Casey about killings and captures.

Months earlier, during a secure video conference with top military and civilian leaders looking on, he told Casey that it seemed the general wasn't doing enough. "George, we're not playing for a tie," Bush had said. "I want to make sure we all understand this, don't we?" Later in the video conference, Bush emphasized it again: "I want everybody to know we're not playing for a tie. Is that right?"

In Baghdad, Casey's knuckles whitened on the table. The very suggestion was an affront to his dignity that he would long remember, a statement just short of an outright provocation.

"Mr. President," Casey had said bluntly, "we are not playing for a tie."

Asked later about Casey's perceptions, Bush insisted in an interview that he understood the nature of the war, whatever Casey might have thought. "I mean, of all people to understand that, it's me," he said. But several of his on-the-record comments lend credence to Casey's concern that the president was overly focused on the number of enemy killed.

"I asked that on occasion to find out whether or not we were fighting back," he said during the May interview. "Because the perception is, is that our guys are dying and they're not. Because we don't put out numbers. We don't have a tally." He said his overall question to his military commanders was, "Are we making progress in defeating them?"

"What frustrated me is that from my perspective," he said at another point, "it looked like we were taking casualties without fighting back because our commanders are loath to talk about our battlefield victories."

* * *

Casey also found himself at odds with others in the administration. Once, when he had called the number of civilian personnel who had volunteered to serve in Iraq "paltry," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had chided him. General, she had said, you're out of line.

On another occasion, in late 2005, he butted heads with Rice after her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which she offered a succinct description of the U.S. military strategy in Iraq -- "clear, hold and build: to clear areas from insurgent control, to hold them securely and then build durable Iraqi institutions."

"What the hell is that?" Casey asked his boss at U.S. Central Command, Gen. John P. Abizaid.

"I don't know," Abizaid said.

"Did you agree to that?"

"No, I didn't agree to that."

When Rice next came to Iraq, Casey asked for a private meeting with her and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.

"Excuse me, ma'am, what's 'clear, hold, build'?"

Rice looked a little surprised. "George, that's your strategy."

"Ma'am, if it's my strategy, don't you think someone should have had the courtesy to talk to me about it before you went public with it?"

"Oh," she said. "Well, we told Gen. [Raymond] Odierno," who served as the liaison between the military and the State Department.

"Look, ma'am," Casey said, "as hard as I've worked to support the State Department in this thing, the fact that that went forward without anybody talking to me, I consider a foul."

Rice later apologized to Casey.

* * *

O'Sullivan and Hadley tried for months in the summer of 2006 to get an Iraq strategy review underway. But they encountered resistance, as well as the inevitable crush of daily presidential obligations.

They realized that conducting a review was risky, even under the greatest secrecy. A leak that the White House was questioning its strategy could be devastating. The midterm congressional elections were barely four months away. Iraq was likely to be the main issue, and the Republicans' thin margins in both the Senate and the House were in jeopardy.

In mid-July 2006, Hadley told the president that he wanted to plant the seed for a full strategy review by asking Rumsfeld, Casey and Khalilzad a series of tough, detailed questions. Because Casey and Khalilzad were in Baghdad, they would have the session in a secure video conference. O'Sullivan hoped that in answering the questions, the three men would wake up and realize, "Hey, this picture has changed."

Bush gave his blessing, and Hadley scheduled the session for Saturday, July 22, which happened to be Casey's 58th birthday.

The general was flabbergasted. Just two weeks earlier, the president had been effusive in praising Casey during an exchange with reporters in Chicago. Now Casey had 14 major questions from Hadley, each with a series of sub-questions. Casey counted a total of 50. It didn't take much to see the list was a direct assault on the current strategy. One question was simply: "What is the strategy for Baghdad?" Casey found it demeaning.

When the video conference was convened, Casey and Khalilzad hoped to put off the questions by giving a routine update. But Hadley was not to be deterred.

"Is sectarian violence now self-sustaining and thus beyond the capacity of the political process meaningfully to influence?" Hadley asked.

What the f---? Casey thought. If the answer was yes, then they might as well give up. "No," he said, and wrote "No" on his page of questions.

Afterward, Rumsfeld made it clear he was not happy with the session, but Hadley and O'Sullivan believed they had at least sparked a strategy debate. Still, it would be almost a month before the president would be fully engaged in a strategy review again, as usual carefully shielded from the public.

Hadley had kept Rice informed of his efforts to get an internal strategy review going, and she was familiar with the 50-question grilling that Hadley had meted out to Khalilzad and Casey. Rice also favored a reevaluation of the strategy but didn't want "to do anything that would be above the radar screen in the heavy political breathing of the November elections." The administration did not need what she called "a hothouse story" that acknowledged Iraq had gotten so bad that they were considering a new approach. That would play into the hands of critics and antiwar Democrats.

* * *

On Thursday, Aug. 17, 2006, the president gathered his war council in the windowless Roosevelt Room of the White House to address the Iraq problem head-on. The temperature outside was headed toward 90 degrees, humid and muggy -- vacation time for most anyone who could escape the summer doldrums of the nation's capital.

Two weeks earlier, during a visit to the president's ranch, Rice had warned him that the very fabric of Iraqi society was "rending." Picking up on that theme, the president said, "The situation seems to be deteriorating," acknowledging to his closest advisers a rebuttal of his public optimism. He said he was searching for a way to go. "I want to be able to say that I have a plan to punch back," he said. "We need a clear way forward coming out of Labor Day." They had nothing close to a clear way forward that day, with less than three weeks to go. "We have to fight off the impression that this is not winnable," the president said. Support for the war had plummeted. In a recent Gallup poll, 56 percent of Americans said the war was a mistake. Bush's latest approval ratings hovered around 37 percent.

"Can America succeed?" he asked, one of the few times he seemed to entertain the possibility that it might not. "If so, how? How do our commanders answer that?"

Abizaid and Casey had joined the meeting through a secure video link. Before they could answer, the president recounted his conversation with a widow of a soldier. The woman had said, according to the president: "Look, I trust you. But can you win?"

Bush then recited his goals: a free society that could defend, sustain and govern itself while becoming a reliable ally in the global war on terrorism. He added a dreary assessment, saying, "It seems Iraq is incapable of achieving that."

For two years, Casey's strategy had rested on the premise that he was preparing the Iraqis to take control. In June 2006, he told Bush, "To win, we have to draw down." Rumsfeld was fond of using a bicycle seat analogy to describe the goal: Train the Iraqi forces to assume responsibility for security, and then "take the hand off the Iraqi bicycle seat," to let them get the hang of riding solo.

The problem during the Vietnam War, Bush told me in 2002, was that "the government micromanaged the war" -- both the White House and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. Micromanaging the Iraq war from the White House had been a red line for Bush. The generals' words almost always were unchallenged gospel. He did not want to second-guess them.

That was about to change.

"We must succeed," Bush said. "We will commit the resources to succeed. If they" -- the Iraqis -- "can't do it, we will."

In a direct challenge to Rumsfeld, the president declared: "If the bicycle teeters, we're going to put the hand back on. We have to make damn sure we cannot fail. If they stumble, we have to have enough manpower to cope with that."

"I've got it," Casey said. "I understand your intent."

What he didn't quite understand was just how much his world was about to change.

Bush later told me that he was intentionally sending a message to Rumsfeld and Casey: "If it's not working, let's do something different. . . . I presume they took it as a message."

But the drumbeat of optimism continued from Casey.

* * *

Hadley told Rice and others that he had come to disdain Rumsfeld's bicycle metaphor, in part because it triggered an unpleasant but relevant personal memory. In Hadley's telling, during the early 1950s, when he was in kindergarten in Toledo, Ohio, his father decided to teach him to ride a bike. Dutifully holding the bicycle seat, the father got his son going down the street at a fast clip.

"Great job!" his father yelled, and the young Hadley, wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, pumped away at the pedals. But as his father's voice grew more distant, the boy realized he was on his own. He turned to look back and spilled right over, tearing up his knees and elbows. It would be 2 1/2 years before he got back on a bicycle again.

Now, when Rumsfeld said it was time to take the hand off the Iraqi bicycle seat, Hadley thought, "Well, there are costs and consequences of taking the hand off the bicycle if the lad falls over."

* * *

Despite the 50 questions from Hadley that zeroed in on the essence of the strategy, the tough session with the president and the increasing violence on the ground in Iraq, Casey held firmly to his leave-to-win strategy. He continued to report that within the next 12 to 18 months, Iraqi forces could take over the security responsibilities for the country with very little coalition support.

Casey saw his mandate as accelerating a transfer to the Iraqis. But the president and others had begun to head in the opposite direction.

"We've got to pull this together now," Hadley told Rice in October 2006. "We've got to do it under the radar screen because the electoral season is so hot, but we've got to pull this together now and start to give the president some options." Rice agreed both that a more coherent review was warranted and that secrecy was key.

In mid-October, after months of inaction, Hadley told the president, "I want to start an informal internal review."

A small group of NSC staff members and Rice's Iraq coordinator, David Satterfield, would operate under the radar. They could decide later to formalize it.

"Do it," Bush said.

On Oct. 17, Hadley summoned O'Sullivan to his office. He asked her to start the review quietly. Rumsfeld, Abizaid and Casey -- the man the president said he trusted on strategy -- wouldn't be involved. Soon, the review was underway in O'Sullivan's office. No one from the Defense Department and no one from the military was included.

Brady Dennis and Evelyn Duffy contributed to this report.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby NRao » 08 Sep 2008 19:33

Outmaneuvered And Outranked, Military Chiefs Became Outsiders

By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 8, 2008; A01

At the Joint Chiefs of Staff in late November 2006, Gen. Peter Pace was facing every chairman's nightmare: a potential revolt of the other chiefs. Two months earlier, the JCS had convened a special team of colonels to recommend options for reversing the deteriorating situation in Iraq. Now, it appeared that the chiefs' and colonels' advice was being marginalized, if not ignored, by the White House.

During a JCS meeting with the colonels Nov. 20, Chairman Pace dropped a bomb: The White House was considering a "surge" of additional troops to quell the violence in Iraq. "Would it be a good idea?" Pace asked the group. "If so, what would you do with five more brigades?" That amounted to 20,000 to 30,000 more troops, depending on the number of support personnel.

Pace's question caught the chiefs and colonels off guard. The JCS hadn't recommended a surge, and Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Iraq commander, was opposed to one of that magnitude. Where had this come from? Was it a serious option? Was it already a done deal?

Pace said he had another White House meeting in two days. "I want to be able to give the president a recommendation on what's doable," he said.

A rift had been growing between the country's military and civilian leadership, and in several JCS meetings that November, the chiefs' frustrations burst into the open. They had all but dismissed the surge option, worried that the armed forces were already stretched to the breaking point. They favored a renewed effort to train and build up the Iraqi security forces so that U.S. troops could begin to leave.

"Why isn't this getting any traction over there, Pete?" Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief, asked at one session inside the "tank," the military's secure conference room for candid and secret debates. Was the president being briefed?

"I can only get part of it before him," Pace said, "and I'm not getting any feedback."

Pace, Schoomaker and Casey found themselves badly out of sync with the White House in the fall of 2006, finally losing control of the war strategy altogether after the midterm elections. Schoomaker was outraged when he saw news coverage that retired Gen. Jack Keane, the former Army vice chief of staff, had briefed the president Dec. 11 about a new Iraq strategy being proposed by the American Enterprise Institute, the conservative think tank.

"When does AEI start trumping the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this stuff?" Schoomaker asked at the next chiefs' meeting.

Pace, normally given to concealing his opinions, let down the veil slightly and gave a little sigh. But he didn't answer. Schoomaker thought Pace was too much of a gentleman to be effective in a business where forcefulness and a willingness to get in people's faces were survival skills. "They weren't listening to what Pete [Pace] was saying," Schoomaker said later in private. "Or Pete wasn't carrying the mail, or he was carrying it incompletely."

In several tank meetings, Adm. Michael Mullen, chief of naval operations, voiced concern that the politicians were going to find a way to place the blame for Iraq on the military. "They're orchestrating this to dump in our laps," Mullen said. He raised the point so many times that Schoomaker thought the Navy leader sounded "almost paranoid."

* * *

The atmosphere in the tank was tense Monday, Nov. 27, 2006, as Pace briefed the chiefs and the colonels on a White House meeting about Iraq the day before. J.D. Crouch, a deputy to national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, had presented the results of a secret strategy review on how to respond to the escalating violence. "I walked out happy because I got my views on the table," Pace said, making it clear that this was not always the case.

The president, Pace told the group, is "leaning into announcing a new phase in the war that will help us achieve our original end state. . . . By April 1, 2007, we would have five more brigades in Iraq."

Schoomaker was dismayed. Suppose the surge didn't work? "What is our fallback plan?" he asked.

There was no fallback, Pace replied.

"Are people engaged on this," Schoomaker asked almost defiantly of the surge proponents, "or is this politics?"

"They are engaged," Pace replied. But if progress is still lacking "after we surge five brigades," Pace said, "then you are forced to conscription, which no one wants to talk about." To mention a draft was to invite the ghosts of Vietnam into the tank.

"Folks keep talking about the readiness of U.S. forces. Ready to do what?" Schoomaker growled. "We need to look at our strategic depth for handling other threats. How do we get bigger? And how do we make what we have today more ready? This is not just about Iraq!"

Part of the chiefs' job was to figure out how to accelerate the military's overall global readiness and capacity, Schoomaker said. "I sometimes feel like it is hope against hope," he said. "I feel like Nero did when Rome was burning. It just worries the hell out of me."

Several colonels wanted to applaud. It worried them, too. Others disagreed, feeling it was more important to focus on the current war. But they all maintained their poker faces.

"Look, no one is whistling 'Dixie' here," Pace told the group. "The president and the White House understand the resource constraints."

It was not clear that anyone believed what the chairman was saying, or whether even Pace believed it.

"We need to position ourselves properly for the decision likely to come," Pace said. "The sense of urgency is over Iraq, but not over the other issues."

Mullen said the all-volunteer force might break under the strain of extended and repeated deployments. "I am still searching for the grand strategy here," Mullen said. "How does a five-brigade surge over the next few months fit into the larger picture? We have so many other issues and challenges: Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea and places we are not even thinking about today."

* * *

In Baghdad, Gen. Casey realized that he had lost a basic, necessary ingredient for a commanding general in wartime. He had lost the confidence of the president, a stunning and devastating realization.

He wasn't alone. The president was not listening to Casey's boss, Gen. John P. Abizaid at Central Command, anymore, either.

"Yeah, I know," the president said to Abizaid at a National Security Council session in December, "you're going to tell me you're against the surge."

Yes, Abizaid replied, and then presented his argument that U.S. forces needed to get out of Iraq in order to win.

"The U.S. presence helps to keep a lid on," Bush responded. There were other benefits. A surge would "also help here at home, since for many the measure of success is reduction in violence," Bush said. "And it'll help [Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki to get control of the situation. A heavier presence will buy time for his government."

The rest of Iraq wasn't as tenuous as Baghdad, Abizaid said. "But it's the capital city that looks chaotic," Bush said. "And when your capital city looks chaotic, it's hard to sustain your position, whether at home or abroad."

* * *

The chiefs' frustration grew so intense that Pace told Bush, "You need to sit down with them, Mr. President, and hear from them directly."

Hadley saw it as an opportunity. He arranged for Bush and Vice President Cheney to visit the JCS in the tank Dec. 13, 2006. The president would come armed with what Hadley called "sweeteners" -- more budget money and a promise to increase the size of the active-duty Army and Marine Corps. It would also be a symbolic visit, important to the chiefs because the president would be on their territory.

"Mr. President," Schoomaker began, "you know that five brigades is really 15."

Schoomaker was in charge of generating the force for the Army. Sending five new brigades to Iraq meant another five would have to take their place in line, and to sustain the surge, another five behind them. This could not be done, Schoomaker said, without either calling up the National Guard and Reserves or extending the 12-month tours in Iraq. The Army had hoped to go in the other direction and cut tours to nine months.

Would a surge transform the situation? Schoomaker asked. If not, why do it? "I don't think that you have the time to surge and generate enough forces for this thing to continue to go," he said.

"Pete, I'm the president," Bush said. "And I've got the time."

"Fine, Mr. President," Schoomaker said. "You're the president."

Several of the chiefs noted that the five brigades were effectively the strategic reserve of the U.S. military, the forces on hand in case of flare-ups elsewhere in the world. Surprise was a way of international life, the chiefs were saying. For years, Bush had been making the point that it was a dangerous world. Did he want to leave the United States in the position of not being able to deal with the next manifestation of that danger?

Bush told the chiefs that they had to win the war at hand. He turned again to Schoomaker. "Pete, you don't agree with me, do you?"

"No," Schoomaker said. "I just don't see it. I just don't. But I know right now that it's going to be 15 brigades. And how we're going to get those 15 brigades, I don't know. This is going to require more than we can generate. You're stressing the force, Mr. President, and these kids just see deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan for the indefinite future."

* * *

"The tank meeting was a very important meeting," Bush told me during a May 2008 interview. "In my own mind, I'm sure I didn't want to walk in with my mind made up and not give these military leaders the benefit of a discussion about a big decision."

The president said that if he were just pretending to be open-minded, "you get sniffed out. . . . I might have been leaning, but my mind was open enough to be able to absorb their advice."

I told him that, based on my reporting, some of the chiefs thought he had already decided, that they had sniffed him out.

"They may have thought I was leaning, and I probably was," Bush said, noting that the chiefs had felt free to express themselves. "But the door wasn't shut."

Still, Bush fully understood the power of his office.

"Generally," he said, "when the commander-in-chief walks in and says, done deal, they say, 'Yes sir, Mr. President.' "

* * *

Just after Christmas, while in the United States, Casey got an e-mail from one of his contacts. "Hey, you need to know that the White House is throwing you under the bus," it read.

A couple of days later, Abizaid phoned Casey with a warning. "Look," Abizaid said, "the surge is coming. Get out of the way." Casey was soon offered a promotion to Army chief of staff, and in February 2007, he left Iraq, replaced by Gen. David H. Petraeus.

The president said later in an interview, "The military, I can remember well, said, 'Okay, fine. More troops. Two brigades.' And I turned to Steve [Hadley] and said, 'Steve, from your analysis, what do you think?' He, being the cautious and thorough man he is, went back, checked, came back to me and said, 'Mr. President, I would recommend that you consider five. Not two.' And I said, 'Why?' He said, 'Because it is the considered judgment of people who I trust and you trust that we need five in order to be able to clear, hold and build.' "

The views of those trusted people came largely through back channels, rather than through the president's established set of military advisers -- Casey's deputy saying that a surge wouldn't work with fewer than five brigades and Jack Keane making the same case to Hadley and Vice President Cheney.

Hadley maintained that the number "comes out of my discussions with Pete Pace."

"Okay, I don't know this," Bush said, interrupting. "I'm not in these meetings, you'll be happy to hear, because I got other things to do."

So the president did not know what his principal military adviser, Gen. Pace, had recommended. Pace, however, had told the chiefs Nov. 20, 2006, that the White House had asked what could be done with five extra brigades.

* * *

The president announced the surge decision Jan. 10, 2007. Five more brigades would go to Baghdad; 4,000 Marines would head to Anbar province.

The next morning, he went to Fort Benning, Ga., to address military personnel and their families. His decision had been opposed by Casey and Abizaid, his military commanders in Iraq. Pace and the Joint Chiefs, his top military advisers, had suggested a smaller increase, if any at all. Schoomaker, the Army chief, had made it clear that the five brigades didn't really exist under the Army's current policy of 12-month rotations. But on this morning, the president delivered his own version of history.

"The commanders on the ground in Iraq, people who I listen to -- by the way, that's what you want your commander-in-chief to do. You don't want decisions being made based upon politics or focus groups or political polls. You want your military decisions being made by military experts. They analyzed the plan, and they said to me and to the Iraqi government: 'This won't work unless we help them. There needs to be a bigger presence.' "

Bush went on, "And so our commanders looked at the plan and said, 'Mr. President, it's not going to work until -- unless we support -- provide more troops.' "

Brady Dennis and Evelyn Duffy contributed to this report.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby NRao » 08 Sep 2008 19:35

Why Did Violence Plummet? It Wasn't Just the Surge

By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 8, 2008; A09

Throughout the summer of 2007, as the troop surge in Iraq reached full strength, Gen. David H. Petraeus kept waiting for the tide to turn. By summer's end, the U.S. commander in Iraq got his wish. The high of 1,550 attacks a week fell below 800 -- nearly a 50 percent reduction. It has continued to fall over the past year.

Why did the violence drop so dramatically?

On one level, the surge was beginning to have its intended effect. Doubling the U.S. forces in and around Baghdad from 17,000 to nearly 40,000, coupled with Petraeus's counterinsurgency game plan, had helped quell some of the sectarian and other violence that had defined the previous year and a half. About 30 joint security stations had been established around Baghdad; security along the borders with Iran and Syria had improved; and the Iraqi army was performing better.

In Washington, conventional wisdom translated these events into a simple view: The surge had worked. But the full story was more complicated. At least three other factors were as important as, or even more important than, the surge. These factors either have not been reported publicly or have received less attention than the influx of troops.

Beginning in the late spring of 2007, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies launched a series of top-secret operations that enabled them to locate, target and kill key individuals in groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni insurgency and renegade Shia militias, or so-called special groups. The operations incorporated some of the most highly classified techniques and information in the U.S. government.

Senior military officers and officials at the White House urged against publishing details or code names associated with the groundbreaking programs, arguing that publication of the names alone might harm the operations that have been so beneficial in Iraq. As a result, specific operational details have been omitted in this report and in "The War Within."

But a number of authoritative sources say the covert activities had a far-reaching effect on the violence and were very possibly the biggest factor in reducing it. Several said that 85 to 90 percent of the successful operations and "actionable intelligence" had come from the new sources, methods and operations. Several others said that figure was exaggerated but acknowledged their significance.

Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) responsible for hunting al-Qaeda in Iraq, employed what he called "collaborative warfare," using every tool available simultaneously, from signal intercepts to human intelligence and other methods, that allowed lightning-quick and sometimes concurrent operations.

Asked in an interview about the intelligence breakthroughs in Iraq, President Bush offered a simple answer: "JSOC is awesome."

A second important factor in the lessening of violence was the so-called Anbar Awakening, in which tens of thousands of Sunnis turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq and signed up with U.S. forces. Al-Qaeda in Iraq had made a strategic mistake in the province, overplaying its hand. Its members had performed forced marriages with women from local tribes, taken over hospitals, used mosques for beheading operations, mortared playgrounds and executed citizens, leaving headless bodies with signs that read, "Don't remove this body or the same thing will happen to you." The sheer brutality eroded much of the local support for al-Qaeda in Iraq.

For months, U.S. forces worked with tribal leaders, who had once fought the Americans, to build local security forces throughout Anbar. "We are the ones who saved our country," Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha, whose slain younger brother first allied himself with U.S. forces and who now serves as president of the Iraqi Awakening Council, said in an interview. "We were able to fight al-Qaeda."

The U.S. military also began setting up groups of thousands of what Petraeus called "Concerned Local Citizens" (later known as "Sons of Iraq") -- essentially armed neighborhood watch groups that would patrol their communities and provide intelligence to U.S. and Iraqi forces.

A third significant break came Aug. 29, when militant Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his powerful Mahdi Army to suspend operations, including attacks against U.S. troops. Petraeus and others knew it was not an act of charity. The order followed a gunfight between the Mahdi Army and Iraqi forces in the holy city of Karbala, during which more than 50 Shia pilgrims gathering for an annual festival had been killed and another 275 wounded. Sadr's order marked an unexpected stroke of good luck, another in a series for the Americans.

[On Thursday, a Washington Post news story on "The War Within" reported the existence of the covert operations and stated that it was the most important of four factors in reducing the violence in Iraq.]

[On Friday, Stephen J. Hadley, the president's national security adviser, issued a statement about the news report, asserting that the surge of troops was the most important because it "enabled" the other three. Hadley wrote, "It was the surge that provided more resources and a security context to support newly developed techniques and operations."]

[On Saturday, a Washington Post report by Joby Warrick and Robin Wright provided a more detailed look at U.S. counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq. They reported that "fusion cells" of special forces and intelligence officers, using spycraft with sensors and cameras that can track targets, have captured or killed hundreds of suspected terrorists and their supporters in recent months.]

Brady Dennis and Evelyn Duffy contributed to this report.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Rahul M » 08 Sep 2008 21:57

moved from Indian Naval Discussion thread.
Philip wrote:New Chinese threat. ... enDocument

Tokyo, Sept 5 (PTI) China is developing an anti-satellite laser beam to destroy satellites and is in possession of a submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles with a range of about 8,000 kilometres, a Japanese government analysis said today.
In an annual defence review, which offers for the first time detailed references to China's growing military capabilities in space, "it has also been pointed out that China is developing an instrument that uses lasers to hamper the functions of satellites." The government review also mentions China's purported drill to cope with cyber attacks, saying Beijing "appears to have interest in cyber warfare as they seem to be currently organising and training a special cyber warfare unit." China had conducted an anti-satellite missile test on January 11, 2007. A Chinese weather satellite the FY-1C polar orbit satellite of the Fengyun series, at an altitude of 865 kilometres was destroyed by a kinetic kill vehicle, probably with a missile.

As an example of China's ambitious military modernisation, the latest report referred to its possession of a submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles with a range of about 8,000 kilometres.

In the review, Japan says it remains vigilant of China's growing military power, including its development of an anti-satellite laser beam, but uses milder expression than last year about Beijing's defence build-up. AKJ

PS:Meanwhile Malaysia is putting its new Scorpenes to Straits patrols. ... sec=nation

Scorpenes to watch over strait

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s two French-made Scorpene submarines are expected to be deployed to the narrow Straits of Malacca - one of the world’s busiest shipping routes and a favourite haunt of pirates.

This will be the first time Malaysia would use its newly-acquired submarines, named KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and KD Tun Abdul Razak, to protect the country’s important sea routes, given its geographical setting as a maritime nation.

Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) chief Laksamana Datuk Abdul Aziz Jaafar said the Scorpene is a strategic asset to help enhance the navy’s capabilities.

The submarine, which is equipped with various weapons such as torpedoes and mines, would be used to conduct maritime checks in the South China Sea including the disputed Spratly Islands and maritime borders between Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, he said.

Asked if the Scorpene could be used in the Straits of Malacca to ward off pirate attacks, Abdul Aziz said the Scorpene could play a vital role in providing stealth capabilities against naval opponents.

“The Scorpene can be used to transport a crack team of divers to carry out special duties such as sabotage on ships and it can also act as a discreet observation vehicle,” he said in an interview.

Defence analyst Dzirhan Mahadzir said the joint security patrols between countries which began a few years ago had dramatically reduced piracy attacks in the Straits.

Dzirhan noted that the submarine was primarily created for the purpose of pursuing enemy vessels during wartime although it should only be treated as a secondary measure to fight pirate attacks.

“To fight piracy, the submarine is more suitable as a surveillance vehicle, while other measures such as deploying surface attack vessels should be used if the number of enemy combatants on a seized ship is many,” the Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent said.

The straits is one of the world’s key strategic waterways, as more than 600,000 vessels ply it annually, ferrying 30% of the world’s trade and 80% of Japan’s oil.

The 800km-long strait is an important shipping lane in the global trade system, making it a favourite haunt of pirates.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby NRao » 10 Sep 2008 00:48

'You're Not Accountable, Jack'

'You're Not Accountable, Jack'
How a Retired Officer Gained Influence at the White House and in Baghdad

By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 9, 2008; A01

Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane came to the White House on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007, to deliver a strong and sober message. The military chain of command, he told Vice President Cheney, wasn't on the same page as the current U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus. The tension threatened to undermine Petraeus's chances of continued success, Keane said.

Keane, a former vice chief of the Army, was 63, 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, with a boxer's face framed by tightly cropped hair. As far as Cheney was concerned, Keane was outstanding -- an experienced soldier who had maintained great Pentagon contacts, had no ax to grind and had been a mentor to Petraeus. Keane was all meat and potatoes; he didn't inflate expectations or waste Cheney's time.

By the late summer of 2007, Keane had established an unusual back-channel relationship with the president and vice president, a kind of shadow general advising them on the Iraq war. This September visit was the fifth back-channel briefing that Keane had given the vice president that year.

As Keane was laying out his view, President Bush walked in.

"I know you're talking to Dave," Bush said to Keane. "I know that the Joint Chiefs and the Pentagon have some concerns." The JCS had not favored the surge of 30,000 troops that Bush had decided was essential to quell the escalating violence in Iraq; the chiefs were deeply worried that the surge left no strategic reserve for an unexpected crisis elsewhere.

Keane repeated what he had just told Cheney: The JCS and Adm. William J. Fallon, Petraeus's boss at Central Command, were insisting on studies and reports to justify even the smallest request for more resources for Iraq. Their persistent pressure, pushing Petraeus for a faster drawdown, was taking its toll.

"There is very little preparation," Keane said, "for somebody who grows up in a military culture to have an unsupportive chain of command above you and still be succeeding. You normally get fired." The result, he said, is that Petraeus "starts to look for ways to get rid of this pressure, which means some kind of accommodation."

Bush said he wanted Keane to deliver a personal message to Petraeus from his commander-in-chief. After Bush laid out his thoughts, Keane went to the large West Wing lobby, sat among the couches and chairs and wrote out the president's words.

Then he called Petraeus and said they had to meet.

* * *

On Saturday, Sept. 15, Keane went to Quarters 12-A at Fort Myer in Arlington, where Petraeus and his wife, Holly, maintained Army housing while he was stationed in Iraq. Ever since Petraeus had taken over as the Iraq commander, Keane had been making regular visits to Baghdad to see his protégé. Upon his return to Washington, Keane would come to the White House or the vice president's residence, establishing a line of communication -- Petraeus to Keane to Cheney and Bush -- around the official chain of command.

Earlier in the week, Petraeus had testified before Congress. After two days in the national spotlight -- cautiously reporting progress in the war but warning that conditions were "fragile and reversible" -- he was about to head back to Baghdad.

The two men sat alone. Keane took out the piece of paper and read the president's message, verbatim, aloud to Petraeus:

"I respect the chain of command. I know that the Joint Chiefs and the Pentagon have some concerns. One is about the Army and Marine Corps and the impact of the war on them. And the second is about other contingencies and the lack of strategic response to those contingencies.

"I want Dave to know that I want him to win. That's the mission. He will have as much force as he needs for as long as he needs it.

"When he feels he wants to make further reductions, he should only make those reductions based on the conditions in Iraq that he believes justify those reductions. These two concerns that we are discussing back here in Washington -- about contingency operations and the needs of the Army and the Marine Corps -- they are not your concerns. They are my concerns.

"I do not want to change the strategy until the strategy has succeeded. I waited over three years for a successful strategy. And I'm not giving up on it prematurely. I am not reducing further unless you are convinced that we should reduce further."

It was a message of total support. No ground commander could ask for more. That Bush had sent it through this back channel, or even at all, revealed the depth and intensity of disagreements between the president and the military establishment in Washington.

After hearing the president's message, Petraeus told Keane, "I wish he'd tell CentCom and the Pentagon that." These were the people he had to deal with every day, and they had a very different perspective.

National security adviser Steven J. Hadley and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates did not know of the president's back-channel contact with Petraeus. When I asked the president in May 2008 about his message, Bush explained why he had felt a need to send it.

"I just want Dave to know that I want to win," he said. "And whatever he needs, obviously within capabilities, he'll have. I don't want my commander to think that they're dealing with a president who's so overly concerned about the latest Gallup poll or politics that he is worried about making a decision or recommendation that will make me feel uncomfortable."

* * *

The senior military leadership in Washington, though unaware of the extent of Keane's role, was uncomfortable with his frequent visits to Iraq and his influence at the White House.

Gen. George W. Casey Jr. was one of them. After serving as Iraq commander for two years, he had handed over the job to Petraeus in early 2007. Casey was now Army chief of staff and a member of the Joint Chiefs. It was a promotion and a kind of soft landing, but he had left Iraq feeling he had lost Bush's confidence.

In the summer of 2007, Casey was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest Washington, waiting for a routine physical, when he spotted Keane standing in line at the radiology desk.

The two generals locked eyes for a moment, then Keane turned away, as if he hadn't recognized Casey.

"Hi Jack, how are you?" Casey said, extending his hand. He had been waiting for a moment like this. "Has the chairman called you yet?"

"No, why?" Keane asked.

"Because we feel -- the chiefs feel -- that you are way too out in front advocating a policy for which you're not accountable. We're accountable. You're not accountable, Jack. And that's a problem."

Keane said he had taken action as a member of the secretary of defense's policy board, whose members were supposed to offer their independent advice. All he was trying to do was help Petraeus, he said. "I supported this strategy for three years when a lot of other guys didn't," Keane said, referring to Casey's strategy to build up the Iraqi security forces in hopes of a speedier withdrawal of U.S. troops. "And at some point, I no longer could support it. I'm not operating as some kind of Lone Ranger."

"It's not appropriate for a retired general to be so far forward advocating a policy that he is not responsible or accountable for," Casey said again.

"I'll take your counsel," said Keane, but he didn't suggest he would act any differently.

* * *

The following month, Keane heard through the Pentagon grapevine that Adm. Michael Mullen, who had replaced Gen. Peter Pace as JCS chairman, had told colleagues that one of his first plans was to "get Keane back in the box."

Keane arranged an appointment with Mullen.

"This is a difficult session for me," Mullen said, "but I don't want you going to Iraq anymore and helping Petraeus."

"What the hell? What are you talking about?" Keane asked.

"You've diminished the office of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs," Mullen said. It wasn't clear to the American people who was actually in charge of the military, he said.

"C'mon, stop it," Keane said. "The American people don't even know who the hell I am. This is Washington, D.C., stuff. You can't be serious."

"Yeah, I am," Mullen said.

Keane tried to tell Mullen how his contacts with the White House had begun, how he had gone to Pace and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in late 2006 with his complaints about the Iraq war strategy and had wound up meeting with the president because Pace and the vice president had recommended that Bush hear from Keane directly.

Mullen, formerly chief of naval operations, had not favored the surge; Keane had, publicly and vocally. Mullen told Keane he had become acutely aware of the strains on the Army and the Marine Corps. Military families were shouldering the strain, and the military was losing quality officers.

"Mike, all of that's true," Keane said. "But this is true every time we fight a war of any consequence." Wars break armies, and they have to be put back together, he said. That's the price of war. But the price was worth it. "You've not talked one time about winning here, Mike. Not one time have you mentioned 'I want to win in Iraq.' I mean, do you?"

It was an insulting question to put to a fellow military man.

"Of course I want to win," Mullen said.

"I assume you do," Keane replied, "but to the degree that you're putting pressure on Petraeus to reduce forces, you're taking far too much risk, and that risk is in losing and not winning."

"Well," Mullen said, "we're just going to disagree."

"You really don't want me to help Petraeus?" Keane asked. "Dave Petraeus, no matter who he wants to talk to over there, no matter what size he is, shape he is, what his views are, given Petraeus's responsibility -- he's got the toughest job anybody in uniform has -- why wouldn't you let him have that?"

"No," Mullen said, "I don't want to take the chance. I don't want you to do it."

End of meeting.

Afterward, when Keane found that he couldn't get clearance to go to Iraq, he called John Hannah, Cheney's national security adviser, to report what had happened. Shortly afterward, Keane received a call from Army Lt. Gen. Skip Sharp on Mullen's staff.

"We have an unusual request," Sharp said. "We have a request from the White House to provide assurances that General Keane will be able to visit Iraq and assist General Petraeus as he has been doing in the past." Sharp was apparently doing some staff work before passing the request to Mullen. "This is really bizarre. Do you have any idea why this would be happening?"

"Yeah, of course," Keane said. "I've been told I can't go."

"Who told you that?"

"The chairman." There was a long silence. Finally, Keane said, "Skip, are you there?"

"I'm trying to figure out what the hell is going on," Sharp said.

Keane later spoke with Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, senior military assistant to Defense Secretary Gates.

"The secretary has received some notes," Chiarelli said, so now the secretary and his office were telling everyone, "General Keane, as in the past, as well as in the future, can go into Iraq to assist General Petraeus whenever they want it to happen. We have no problem with any of that."

Who sent the notes?

There were two, said Chiarelli -- one from the vice president and another from the president.

* * *

In early March 2008, Esquire magazine published a long article by Thomas P.M. Barnett, a former professor at the Naval War College who had traveled with Fallon to the Middle East. Headlined, "The Man Between War and Peace," the 7,500-word article was mostly laudatory but portrayed Fallon as "brazenly challenging" Bush and Cheney on Iran policy.

Fallon, who was in Baghdad, realized instantly the uproar it would cause. He called Gates.

"I think I need to be gone," Fallon said.

"Okay," Gates said.

Later that afternoon, Gates went before the television cameras. "I have approved Admiral Fallon's request to retire with reluctance and regret," he said. "Admiral Fallon reached this difficult decision entirely on his own. I believe it was the right thing to do even though I do not believe there are, in fact, significant differences between his views and administration policy."

* * *

Keane, in Baghdad for another visit, saw an opening. At 3:27 p.m. the next day, March 12, he sent an e-mail to Chiarelli.

"Subject: Food for Thought

"Pete, a way ahead after Fox Fallon: Announce Petraeus as replacement but do not assign till fall or early winter. . . . Assign Odierno, who will have had six months back in states, to replace Petraeus." Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, a towering Army officer, had previously been the corps commander in Baghdad. "Believe this provides the strongest team we have to the key vacancies. For what it's worth. Best, JK."

Chiarelli e-mailed back 20 minutes later.

"Sir -- do you want me to pass to the SD?" SD was shorthand for the secretary of defense.

By all means, Keane said.

* * *

While in Iraq, Keane talked to Petraeus about his future. Petraeus's next assignment -- commander of NATO -- seemed set.

NATO was important, Keane said, but its time had passed. The international center of gravity had moved to the Middle East. "We're going to be here for 50 years minimum, most of the time hopefully preventing wars, and on occasion having to fight one, dealing with radical Islam, our economic interests in the region and trying to achieve stability," Keane said.

This shift would have huge implications for how the U.S. military would be educated and trained. "We're going to do it anyway because we don't have a choice," Keane said. "So the issue is: Get over it. Come to grips with it." The Army didn't want that. "It wants to end a war and go home. But that's not going to happen."

Petraeus seemed to agree but waxed nostalgic about NATO.

The phone rang. It was Chiarelli.

"Three o'clock, okay, I've got it," Petraeus said into the phone. He hung up and turned to Keane. "Secretary of defense wants to talk to me at three o'clock."

"You know what this is, don't you?" Keane asked.

"I suspect I know."

"Hopefully, you'll give him the right answer."

* * *

On April 7, 2008, Gates invited Keane to brief him at the Pentagon.

"Assign Petraeus to CentCom," Keane urged. Delay the assignment until the fall. Make Odierno the new Iraq commander. Odierno was an unsung hero with intellect and moral courage, Keane said.

"Let's be frank about what's happening here," Keane told Gates. "We are going to have a new administration. Do we want these policies continued or not? Do we want the best guys in there who were involved in these policies, who were advocates for them? Let's assume we have a Democratic administration and they want to pull this thing out quickly, and now they have to deal with General Petraeus and General Odierno. There will be a price to be paid to override them."

* * *

Gates knew that Petraeus was the natural choice to replace Fallon. Two weeks later, on April 23, Gates called a news conference.

"With the concurrence of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," Gates said, "I have recommended and the president has approved and will nominate General David Petraeus as the new commander of Central Command." Odierno would be nominated to return to Baghdad as the new Iraq commander, replacing Petraeus sometime in the late summer or fall.

Asked by a reporter whether the move marked a "stay-the-course approach," Gates replied, "I think that the course, certainly, that General Petraeus has set has been a successful course. So frankly, I think staying that course is not a bad idea."

Brady Dennis and Evelyn Duffy contributed to this report.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Vick » 10 Sep 2008 06:37

ATK Unveils Sizzler Simulator
ATK was awarded a $97 million contract last week to develop the GQM-173 MSST, which will replicate the Russian Novator 34M-54E Klub two-stage anti-ship cruise missile (NATO codename SS-N-27 Sizzler).

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Philip » 10 Sep 2008 11:10

That the US poses a direct threat to Venezuela is no secret.The US has openly said that it wnts to get rid of Chavez.However,the speed with which Poland signed up for stationing US missiles on its territory so soon after the Georgian spat,in dicates that these missiles are really meant to threaten Russia and not as the BUsh-sh*t artist would have us,be used to deter Iran! With every move on the global chessboard that the US makes to encircle Russia,so will the equal and opposite reaction take place. ... 1017&cat=0

Russia to Send Naval Squadron and Anti-Submarine Patrol Planes to Venezuela for Military Exercise

Atlanta, Ga. 9/08/2008 05:42 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

Russia continued to test the patience of the international community on Monday after announcing it would send a naval squadron and anti-submarine patrol planes to Venezuela for military exercises with the Hugo Chavez led country.

According to Moscow the plan to hold the exercises was made long before the recent conflict with Georgia, a situation that has drawn strong condemnation from the West,

The shipment of a missile cruiser and three other navy ships along with the anti-submarine planes would arrive by year’s end. Many are seeing it as the response Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised after accusing the United States of shipping aid to Georgia recently.

Venezuela and Russia share close ties and Chavez has relied on Moscow for much of their military supplies. Chavez has long stated that the U.S. Navy poses a threat to Venezuela, a belief the U.S. has strongly denied.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby ranganathan » 10 Sep 2008 11:13

Ru has already sold Kh-59 and Kh-31 to venezuela. I wonder if air launched klub and yakhont are in the works? It might actually scare venezuelas neighbours a lot more.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Singha » 10 Sep 2008 13:30

now this is the kind of standoff jammer we all lust after and rant about. must be one
hell of a large pod if a B-52 is needed to carry it around.

July 28, 2004: U.S. Air Force officials are working to introduce an electronic-warfare (EW) version of the B-52 bomber as soon as possible. Service officials are reworking current budgets to accelerate the development and fielding of an under-wing electronics pod that can precisely jam enemy radars over long distances. An initial purchase of 12 pods, along with modifying 16 B-52s to carry them, would take place in the 2005 budget, with a follow-on request the following year to buy an additional 24 pods and modify another 60 aircraft.

Only the B-52 can carry a pod big enough to pack in the electronics gear necessary to complete the mission.
B-52s will have to be extensively modified to put out enough power through a wing pylon to do the job. A larger pod also has an advantage, since designers can build larger antennas to more effectively perform jamming and other tasks rather than trying to cram them into a smaller space for a pod designed to be carried by a fighter. Fighters don’t have excess electronic power to spare, either. With four crew positions, the B-52 also carries enough people to effectively manage electronic warfare attacks against advanced air defense missile systems being sold and deployed by Russia.

Since the B-52 presents one of the largest radar returns of any U.S. military aircraft in service, putting high-powered jamming equipment on the plane is a logical step. The B-1B and B-2 were designed from the ground up with lower radar cross-sections for enhanced survivability and they would be much larger targets with external EW pods.

The new EW pod would be able to deceive enemy radars in several ways, including altering radar return signals to change a penetrating aircraft’s speed, range, and location. It would be able to produce false targets and actively generate signals to partially or completely cancel out radar returns.

EB-52s would also be capable of carrying cruise missiles with high-power microwave (HPM) warheads to scramble surface to air missile system computers. Initially, the aircraft would use HPM versions of the newer, stealthy JASSM missile and the older, battle-tested Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile (CALCM). Later, the EB-52 would carry a number of smaller-sized MALD missiles carrying HPM warheads. The baseline MALD missile is roughly 90 inches long, 6 inches in diameter, with a wingspan of 25 inches and weighs in at 89 pounds at launch. Using a miniature turbojet engine, MALD can fly more than 460 kilometers and costs around $30,000 per missile. For comparison, the JASSM missile is 168 inches long, weighs in at 2250 pounds, and costs around $400,000 per unit. It was designed to carry a 1,000 lb warhead to a range of of at least 320 kilometers – Doug Mohney

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Singha » 10 Sep 2008 19:29


U.S. To Sell $7 Bln Missile - Defense System to UAE

Published: September 10, 2008

Filed at 9:57 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon has proposed the sale of an advanced U.S. missile defense system valued at up to $7 billion to the United Arab Emirates, the Pentagon said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The so-called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which is built by Lockheed Martin Corp with a system radar from Raytheon Co, could be used for possible defense against Iran.

The statement, dated September 9, was released on the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency website on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby NRao » 11 Sep 2008 13:01

Sept 10, 2008 :: Two Russian bombers land in Venezuela

The Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers landed at Venezuela's Libertador military airfield and "will spend several days carrying out training flights over neutral waters, after which they will return to the base," Interfax reported, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Philip » 11 Sep 2008 14:02

Pandayan,the contract was "too emotional",the reason for the cancellation!

Pentagon cancels Airbus contract David Robertson
The Pentagon has cancelled a defence contract that would have secured 11,000 British jobs, after fierce political lobbying by American companies.

Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer, won a contract to supply the United States Air Force (USAF) with refuelling tankers this year. The wings for all 179 aircraft would have been built in Britain in a deal worth more than £4 billion to the British economy.

Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, said yesterday that he was cancelling the contract because it had become too “emotional”.

Defence analysts said that the Pentagon seemed to be succumbing to political pressure to protect American jobs. Boeing, the giant US-based aerospace company, lost the contract to Airbus and is believed to have spent millions of dollars lobbying politicians in Washington to get it recompeted.

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Bernie Hamilton, the national officer for the Amicus union, which represents Airbus’s British workers, said: “Politics has overtaken the right thing to do and the British Government needs to reflect on that.”

The $35 billion (£20 billion) tanker contract is the largest defence project in the world and is the USAF’s highest priority. Its existing fleet of Stratotanker refuelling aircraft have an average age of 47 years and urgently need to be replaced.

Northrop Grumman, a US-based defence company, and EADS, which owns Airbus, won the contract with their A330 aircraft and the wings were due to be made at the Broughton factory in North Wales. This work would have provided Broughton with many years of additional work and helped to secure 11,000 jobs at one of Britain’s largest manufacturing sites.

The deal was so important to British industry that both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have promoted the Airbus aircraft in discussions with the White House.

When Airbus won the tanker contract this year, Boeing protested and the Pentagon was forced to recompete it. This was planned as a six-month process with a decision made before a new president took office.

Now the Pentagon has cancelled the contract and will delay recompeting it until after the presidential election.

The new competition will take place next year, which will give Boeing time to offer a newer, larger aircraft under the contract.

One defence industry insider said yesterday: “Just how many chances does Boeing get to win this contract? They lost it fair and square, but now they get to offer a new plane to see if they can win with that. This competition has become very dirty.”

British defence officials have said that if the Pentagon keeps blocking European companies from large projects, there could be retaliation.

Amicus said yesterday that it would take up the issue with Peter Mandleson, the European Trade Commissioner. Mr Hamilton said: “Is it fair for American companies to compete openly for defence contracts in this country when they are so protectionist in their own?”

Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, has questioned the decision to give the initial contract to Airbus and analysts believe that a President Obama would ensure that Boeing won the tanker deal.

John McCain, his Republican opponent, has said that he believes the Pentagon should make the best decision for taxpayers. He cancelled an earlier tanker deal for Boeing and subsequently it emerged that the company had offered a job to the Pentagon official who had the job of arranging the terms. The official and a Boeing executive were jailed over the affair.

Harry Nourse, of Bank of America Securities, said: “Given McCain’s history in regard to this programme, one might handicap a slight advantage to Northrop/EADS should he be elected.

“If Obama wins, you could see some implementation of the ‘Buy America’ philosophy, which might favour Boeing.”

Mr Gates said yesterday: “It is my judgment that in the time remaining to us, we can no longer complete a competition that would be viewed as fair and objective in this highly charged environment. The resulting cooling-off period will allow the next administration to review objectively the military requirements and craft a new acquisition strategy.”

Lost opportunity

$35bn Value to Airbus of US Air Force’s refuelling tanker contract

179 Number of aircraft that would have needed wings made in UK

11,000 Number of British jobs that would have been guaranteed by the contract

£4bn Value of the contract to the British economy

Source: Times Database

PS:Stupid Brits buying US Trident missiles for their SSBNs,not to mention the huge deals that Halliburton have got from the UK! Watch out for the counteractions from the Europeans.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby sum » 12 Sep 2008 08:53

Question to Amriki SF gurus:

How do the SOFCOM decide as to which amony their vast array of Special Forces conducts a foreign operation?

For Eg: In the recent Paki "violation/R***", it was reported that SEALS perfromed the act. Since unlike in India where the army SF(1,9-Para) are involved in land ops and Marcos only for water body related acts, isnt the same applicable for US? There are always reports of Navy SEALS operating deep in hinterland of A'tan/Iraq....How do they sort out the tasks for ther SEALS/Delta?Rangers etc?? :-?

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Singha » 12 Sep 2008 09:38

seals also worked with SAS in former yugoslav states to target 'war criminals'.

methinks seals and delta get the pick of hardest missions as the 'elite' of the SOCOM.
Eagle Claw (raid on iran from CVNs under carter admin) was a delta affair. seals
are said to be buffed up killing machines wearing bush hats and fielding SAW and
'predator' revolving machine guns :twisted: delta are more sdre and cunning,
blending into the woodwork if possible.

a run lower down are green berets , marine force recon .... they might get extended
missions like training militias and friendly muskrats sometimes.

another rung lower are the rangers who operate in much larger units than the above
but are fully para qualified. equiv of our parachute regiment but more air assets.

then there's the 82nd and 1st airborne who are also SF in a way due to their long
reach and massive helicopter assets to strike deep and hard behind the lines.
both have a very noteable combat history. a couple of divs like these or the old
soviet union para divisions would break the pakpanda lines like a rotten piece of wood.

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Re: Indian Research in Advanced Technology

Postby jamwal » 15 Sep 2008 10:56

I think this is the right place for this very interesting article.

The Hunt for the Kill Switch

Last September, Israeli jets bombed a suspected nuclear installation in northeastern Syria. Among the many mysteries still surrounding that strike was the failure of a Syrian radar—supposedly state-of-the-art—to warn the Syrian military of the incoming assault. It wasn't long before military and technology bloggers concluded that this was an incident of electronic warfare—and not just any kind.

Post after post speculated that the commercial off-the-shelf microprocessors in the Syrian radar might have been purposely fabricated with a hidden “backdoor” inside. By sending a preprogrammed code to those chips, an unknown antagonist had disrupted the chips' function and temporarily blocked the radar.

That same basic scenario is cropping up more frequently lately, and not just in the Middle East, where conspiracy theories abound. According to a U.S. defense contractor who spoke on condition of anonymity, a “European chip maker” recently built into its microprocessors a kill switch that could be accessed remotely. French defense contractors have used the chips in military equipment, the contractor told IEEE Spectrum. If in the future the equipment fell into hostile hands, “the French wanted a way to disable that circuit,” he said. Spectrum could not confirm this account independently, but spirited discussion about it among researchers and another defense contractor last summer at a military research conference reveals a lot about the fever dreams plaguing the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

At a January hearing, a U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs addressed Pakistan's ongoing refusal to let the United States help it secure its nuclear arsenal with American technology. Pakistan remains reluctant to allow such intervention, citing fears that the United States would use the opportunity to cripple its weapons with—what else?—a kill switch.

One more reason to support Indian arms industry over foreign

moved from tech forum.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby KiranM » 15 Sep 2008 17:31

Singha wrote:seals also worked with SAS in former yugoslav states to target 'war criminals'.

methinks seals and delta get the pick of hardest missions as the 'elite' of the SOCOM.
Eagle Claw (raid on iran from CVNs under carter admin) was a delta affair. seals
are said to be buffed up killing machines wearing bush hats and fielding SAW and
'predator' revolving machine guns :twisted: delta are more sdre and cunning,
blending into the woodwork if possible.

a run lower down are green berets , marine force recon .... they might get extended
missions like training militias and friendly muskrats sometimes.

another rung lower are the rangers who operate in much larger units than the above
but are fully para qualified. equiv of our parachute regiment but more air assets.

then there's the 82nd and 1st airborne who are also SF in a way due to their long
reach and massive helicopter assets to strike deep and hard behind the lines.
both have a very noteable combat history. a couple of divs like these or the old
soviet union para divisions would break the pakpanda lines like a rotten piece of wood.

Actually SEALs are further sub-divided into Seal Teams with each Seal Team having a theatre orientation (NOTE: not necessarily terrain oriented), with an exception of the Development Group (DevGRu for short). DevGru is like the best of the best from SEALs. They are responsible for foreign counter-terror ops and black ops from the Navy side just like Deltas from the Army (This was before SOCOM and JSOC came into being)

Deltas are picked from Green Berets and Rangers as well. So Deltas are like best of best from Army.

For short we can broadly divide US SF into;
1) Delta = Seal DevGru, for carrying out counter-terror, hostage rescue and black ops.
2) Green Berets = Rest of Seal Teams = Marine force recons, for carrying out battlefield ISTAR, raids and other unconventional missions in support of conventional ops.
3) Rangers = Marine Expeditionary Units= Army's 82nd and 1st Airborne, are more of Special operations capable (hence called Special Operations Force - SOF), to perform large scale raids deep inside enemy territory usually in company + size.
4) US Air Force have their own SOF for the niche role of rescue of downed pilots and directing capture of enemy airfields.

Hence, we can say 1) and 2) are Special Forces with 1) being the lean-mean ultra hush hush force and 2) for textbook small team special ops.
3) are Special Operations Force with a tough conventional/ semi-conventional mandate, 4) with a dedicated special mission mandate.

In Afghanistan/ Iraq, I have read, Deltas and SEAL DevGru operate in combined teams.

The above is in addition to the numerous black teams used by CIA and DIA.

My 2 cents.


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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby sum » 15 Sep 2008 19:33

Hence, we can say 1) and 2) are Special Forces with 1) being the lean-mean ultra hush hush force and 2) for textbook small team special ops.
3) are Special Operations Force with a tough conventional/ semi-conventional mandate, 4) with a dedicated special mission mandate.

In Afghanistan/ Iraq, I have read, Deltas and SEAL DevGru operate in combined teams.

The above is in addition to the numerous black teams used by CIA and DIA.

A Tribute to the SOFCOM that they are able to manage all these groups of assorted elite warriors without much of a turf war....

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Raja Bose » 16 Sep 2008 03:50

USSOCOM organization was created after the Eagle Claw screw up where multiple SF units got in each others way. It has definitely proved its worth.

Role of DEVGRU (former ST6) and Delta are different from your Green Berets so cannot say Green Berets are lower in the rung or something (even though Green Berets form a training pool for Delta). Green Berets are more tuned towards hearts and minds kind of ops (see Afghanistan and Vietnam) while the former 2 are mainly for combat assault roles and perhaps in some cases, intel gathering.

CIA has its own paramilitary force (includes lot of former special forces operators) which is independent of USSOCOM.

I think the biggest advantage US special forces have against other country's SF units (including India's) is their integrated comms and wideranging+robust air assets (like the 160th SOAR Nightstalkers). Personal equipment-wise they may have a slight edge with newer shinier kit but that may not be a great advantage. Training-wise, despite all the claims of 'worlds toughest best blah blah', they are equal to any other special forces of 'respectable' militaries (ones whose soldiers dont look like Rip-Van-Winkle's cousins and trip over their beards).

sum wrote:
Hence, we can say 1) and 2) are Special Forces with 1) being the lean-mean ultra hush hush force and 2) for textbook small team special ops.
3) are Special Operations Force with a tough conventional/ semi-conventional mandate, 4) with a dedicated special mission mandate.

In Afghanistan/ Iraq, I have read, Deltas and SEAL DevGru operate in combined teams.

The above is in addition to the numerous black teams used by CIA and DIA.

A Tribute to the SOFCOM that they are able to manage all these groups of assorted elite warriors without much of a turf war....

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby sum » 16 Sep 2008 09:13

Green Berets are more tuned towards hearts and minds kind of ops (see Afghanistan and Vietnam)

Was under the impression that the Green Berets were the Rambo style "shoot first,ask later" types....Thanks for clearing that misconception...Do they operate with regular uniforms and without the trademark green berets in A'tan/Eye-raq?

Also, you mentioned ST-6 being a ultra elite force...what about the other SEAL units?
CIA has its own paramilitary force (includes lot of former special forces operators) which is independent of USSOCOM.

Does any other country have such a arrangement of a Intel agency having its own un-uniformed paramilitary(even the SFF of RAW is listed with regular armed forces)? Knowing the "money is no issue" stance of Unkil, am assuming that this CIA "special branch" also has its own extensive air wing...
Training-wise, despite all the claims of 'worlds toughest best blah blah', they are equal to any other special forces of 'respectable' militaries (ones whose soldiers dont look like Rip-Van-Winkle's cousins and trip over their beards).

Wonder which was this SF(rip van winkle) that you were referring to? :wink: :lol:

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Rahul M » 16 Sep 2008 09:53

Does any other country have such a arrangement of a Intel agency having its own un-uniformed paramilitary(even the SFF of RAW is listed with regular armed forces)? Knowing the "money is no issue" stance of Unkil, am assuming that this CIA "special branch" also has its own extensive air wing...

KGB did. group alpha was raised during andropov at the helm. FSB has continued the practice.
and there was the ultra secretive vympel. incidentally the large 'border guards' force, equivalent to our BSF was also controlled by KGB, as was the kremlin guards.

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Re: International Military Discussion

Postby Singha » 16 Sep 2008 10:23

one area where the CIA black armies and/or contractors used is latin american drug wars.
needless to say numerous front cos and outfits would be used to placehold the logisitical
assets like aeroplanes. green berets are also active in latin/south america for training
'friendly forces'. I believe they operate in uniform and are not really of the true black ops type. US might lean on contractors for such work if possible - to reduce fallout if discovered.

in afghanistan, I think the danish, canadian, KSK, french paras, aussie SAS are also active
both on their own and on x-training deputations with delta, SAS and seals. they can of
best use if allowed to cross the border freely.

another country with a long history of black ops is south africa. they could if desired put
together some tough SOBs if the SF were revitalized but its a political issue because their
history is of use against neighbouring black nations.

iirc the russian CT groups are now OMON, Alpha and Vympel. training methods are brutal
as per russian test consists of boxing against two guys and every 2 mins
a fresh pair replaces them...this continues for some 5 cycles. you pass if you manage
to last the distance.

C4I gives US SF their key advantage. stuff like laptops which can see predator imagery
directly, annotate target maps for airborne assets to attack directly....

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