• Unmanned Warfare

    Remote (far and near) monitoring advances

    Looking for some remote monitoring? Two really cool options: the Mini Unattended Ground Imager (MUGI) and Eye Ball R1. First, the MUGI from Defense Tech: Buried Cameras for Hidden Foes. This neat device includes such hot features as a laser marker to "close the sensor-to-shooter cycle", the ability to leave physically unattended for long cycles, and of course, remote control. The notion of this forward air traffic controller is slick, but the in-place knowledge is still lacking, for those considering peppering the operational theatres with these. However, what if next to the fake rock hiding the camera in say an urban environment, there was a Batman-style cave garage for an…

  • Public Diplomacy

    Guides to Britain, Iraq (for WWII GIs but also for today)

    Before returning from a term at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, a friend gave me a book a great little book: Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain 1942. This was issued to American GIs headed for the to-be-UK and is full of great little bits. Here are but a few of them: "The British have theatres and movies (which they call "cinemas") as we do. But the great place of recreation is the "pub". The English language didn’t spread across the oceans and over the mountains and jungles and swamps of the world because these people were panty-waists. [The] British [are] reserved, not unfriendly. It is always impolite to criticize…

  • War

    Foreign Affairs – Pitch Imperfect – Sanford J. Ungar

    In an era when public opinion and perceptionmatter, when social networks are more important than military networks, and the resulting interconnections can form terrible insurgencies, why are we not acknowledging the power of media? The demise — or cutbacks if you’re an optimist — of the VOA inspite of a proven track record is short sighted. A full frontal cultural and media attack, sublte and not sublte, is necessary to counter perceptions and understandings of the West. Link: Foreign Affairs – Pitch Imperfect – Sanford J. Ungar. Summary: The Voice of America — the United States’ best tool of public diplomacy — is being subjected to systematic cutbacks, even as…

  • War

    No more rear areas

    Besides the obvious issue ofimproperly preparing troops for duty, the trend of the forced war on the military — the military you go to war with not the military you want to go to war with — is simply going to hurt the US in the mid run (i.e. not even so far out as the long run). Moral will be hurt, national guard enlistments ("I didn’t sign up for this") have been hit hard, what does the government not see that we don’t? Not addressed but certainly just as important is the impact of private contractors filling roles previously held by military personnel: cooks, drivers, etc. The old news…