• Unmanned Warfare

    Camera Grenade and Other Thoughts

    From the unattended & remote warfare department is this tool: "The HUNTIR Round is a fixed-type cartridge designed to be fired from 40mm Grenade Launchers M79 and M203 (attached to the M16/M16A1 rifle) or a Milkor MK-1/[MGL-140] Grenade Launcher. The round consists of a cartridge case assembly, and a metal projectile body containing a first fire charge, a pyrotechnic delay column, an ejection charge, a CMOS Camera, and a parachute assembly. Upon firing, the projectile assembly is propelled to an average height of 700 feet, the first fire charge ignites the pyrotechnic delay element, which ignites an ejection charge that effectively ejects the CMOS Camera, which is attached to the…

  • Private Military Companies

    Kathryn Cramer: Top Cat Marine Security Has an Executive Level

    In an effort to keep information fresh, from Kathryn Cramer’s blog on TopCat Marine Security: We had our differences and I’m no longer associated with Peter Casini, TCMS, Cobra Boats, Topcat Design or any other Casini enterprise. It seems that "Bacehlor #3" in an earlier post by Kathryn is a man who now is making it clear he has nothing to do with TopCat. TCMS is an interesting org, but still more interesting: Did they hope to get in front of the coming action?

  • Uncategorized

    MOOTW or War Itself is coming

    There can be little doubt that the intersection of US and Chinese interests (i.e. oil, gas, etc) in Africa and the existence of failed or failing states will give ample opportunity for somebody to intervene. Between the stories of TopCat Marine Security trying to vie for a security contract (cease and desist? come on…), the UK adding to a substantial US presence, and front-companies (which could include TopCat?) the US could do a stellar job staying up-front, out front, and public with humanitarian and other helpful aid in the region in a real battle for hearts and minds. The Chinese are doing it, we need to do publically do it.…

  • Private Military Companies

    UK SAS-SBS poaching

    This is not about the highly respected UK SAS-SBS soldiers poaching but of the poaching OF THEM by private security companies: The SAS and SBS have fewer than 600 "shooters" between them and all have already served several times in Iraq and Afghanistan since the war on terror was launched in 2001. Part-time volunteer reservists from 21 and 23 Territorial regiments of the SAS have also been called up to ease the strain. Between 40 and 60 experienced regular troopers have abandoned their roles over the last year to earn up to �500 a day – about five or six times their army pay – as mercenaries with private security…

  • Uncategorized

    SAS-SBS joining US Forces in Africa

    Things are heating up in Africa. See this story from The Herald: THE UK’s special forces are being deployed to Djibouti, the impoverished state which dominates the entrance to the Red Sea, to join US Delta Force commandos in the hunt for al Qaeda training camps along the Horn of Africa. Some 2000 Marines are already there backing up US Special Forces.

  • Uncategorized

    The Cheetah Cubs

    The Cheetah Cubs According to the Department of State, "U.S. counterterrorism troops, carrying out humanitarian water improvement projects in the Horn of Africa region" found these two cubs and rescued them in Dec 05. It is good and expected our forces are in the region and there are no negatives to that from my perspective. The issue complicates when considering the "armed camps" protecting Chinese oil workers in the region.

  • Africa

    Rove Energy Corporation Limited

    The blogosphere is increasingly used to incite and investigate and this recent comment is a further example of this growing use of the new pamphleteers to influence events. The region in question has obvious links to other disucssions on this site (see the Somalia category and take your pick of readings). How does the South African Ophir Corporation has recently announced a 75% stake in the Rova Energy Corporation figure into all of this? The maritime diplomacy of the Chinese, Yemini fields accessed from Somalia, and the general lawlessness of the region certainly makes for some interesting reading. More investigation on this surely to come. Comments, leads?

  • Africa,  Public Diplomacy

    America’s “quiet diplomacy” in Somalia

    Interesting addition to the Somalia & USG story and at AllAfrica.com: Somalia is a priority for the U.S. State Department, which is engaged in "quiet diplomacy" to help buttress its fragile transitional government, a key state department leader said Wednesday night at the University of Minnesota. Also, Horn of Africa "security briefing" from a regional news source.

  • Private Military Companies

    Update: Has TopCat Marine Security Been Ordered to Cease & Desist? & Other Regional News

    Possibly so, according to Kathryn Cramer’s blog, Top Cat Marine Security Ordered to Cease & Desist. …the US Department of States Bureau of Arms Control has issued a Cease and Desist order to Top Cat Marine Security on their pirate-fighting contract with Somalia…. But so what? From the region are BBC reports of Eritrea ejecting UN peacekeepers monitoring the border with Ethiopia. This comes as a possible reaction to threatened UN sanctions resulting from a lack of compliance with a five year old peace agreement. Kofi Annan and the UN Security Council gave an unusually strong rebuke in response: "The Security Council unequivocally demands that Eritrea immediately reverse its decision…