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Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog

Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog

The Pentagon's New Generation of Secret Military Bases "Where in Africa?" I asked. He said he didn't know exactly, but generally from the Horn, often with critical injuries. Since the "Black Hawk Down" deaths in Somalia almost 20 years ago, we've heard little, if anything, about American military casualties in Africa (other than a strange report last week about three special operations commandos killed, along with three women identified by US military sources as "Moroccan prostitutes," in a mysterious car accident in Mali). These casualties are likely to be the vanguard of growing numbers of wounded troops coming from places far removed from Afghanistan or Iraq. Disappearing are the days when Ramstein was the signature US base, an American-town-sized behemoth filled with thousands or tens of thousands of Americans, PXs, Pizza Huts, and other amenities of home. As Mark Gillem, author of America Town: Building the Outposts of Empire, explains, "avoidance" of local populations, publicity, and potential opposition is the new aim.

U.S. Air Force looks to train pilots for hi-tech threats By Agence France-PresseSunday, July 29, 2012 10:15 EDT NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada — For over a decade US fighter pilots have become accustomed to “owning the sky” in wars against insurgents who have no air defenses, but now the air force is trying to get back to basics reminding pilots how to fly against a sophisticated enemy. In the desert outside Las Vegas, the US Air Force is reminding pilots how to fly against an enemy with fighter jets, surface-to-air missiles and satellite jammers. Traditional combat skills have gotten “a little rusty,” said Steve Imonti, a former fighter pilot who helps oversee simulated air battles out of Nellis Air Force Base. If a pilot goes three years or more without attending the “red flag” mock battles at Nellis, “then you see that rust really start to build up,” said Imonti, director of programs and evaluation for the 414th Combat Training Squadron. “So that when it actually happens in combat, you’re saying, ‘I’ve been there and done this,’” he said.

Hyper Velocity Projectile Program: Navy’s Electrically-fired 5,600 mph GPS-guided Bullet The Office of Naval Research – the same entity which runs the Naval Research Laboratory, developers of the unbelievable Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) – apparently was not satisfied with their already astounding Electromagnetic Rail Gun. A 5,600 mph electrically fired bullet apparently wasn’t enough, thus forcing the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to create one which also can be guided by Global Positioning System (GPS). To set the bar even higher, if such a thing is possible, the United States Navy also wants to make this technology compatible with all of the Navy’s current artillery guns. This technology apparently has so much promise that Admiral Gary Roughead, former top officer in the Navy, said of technology like this as well as lasers (which have already cost the taxpayer billions), “You’re beginning, maybe, to see the end of the dominance of the missile.” Elsewhere they refer to the “guided” aspect of the weapon as “potential in-flight retargeting.”

13 Weapons for Cubicle Warfare Staying sane while spending hours in a cubicle is difficult. You’re constantly at war with claustrophobia, aching kneecaps and, at times, the guy sitting next to you. Whether mean-spirited or not, an office war requires the right arsenal of weapons, and you don’t want to show up unprepared for any workplace shenanigans. Here are some devious little items to get you started. 1. Airzooka Air Gun – $13 2.

The Pentagon Pathology The allocation of money within the American military system is reflected in which weapons are chosen—and why. What is at stake are rivalries among military branches, which have influence and connections with arms producers, the Congress, and the entire complex matrix of factors that determine who wins and loses in the Pentagon budget process. The United States has, by far, the largest military budget of any nation on earth but it also loses wars, cannot procure everything the military services dream up, and ultimately it too must choose between weapons at the expense of the priorities and demands of other services. In plain English, if the Air Force gets an ultra-modern aircraft which may cost many billions, even trillions, and takes years to iron out the technology (and may ultimately even never operate) there will be less money for the Army and Navy to attain its dreams—or visa versa. Here some historical background is in order. In April 1950 the U. decentralized subsistence economies.

DOD Leaders Strongly Urge Congress to Preserve Budget Request By Karen Parrish American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, June 13, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta cautioned Congress today against dismantling the strategic framework that supports the 2013 defense budget request. Testifying along with Army Gen. “Some of the [congressional] committees have … made changes with regard to our recommendations that we're concerned about,” Panetta said. He listed three areas DOD leaders have targeted for cuts, and which some members of Congress have challenged during defense budget consideration. “Some of the bills seek to reverse the decisions to eliminate aging and lower-priority ships and aircraft,” the secretary noted. Keeping outdated equipment in service would rob needed funds from other areas, he said. “We've got to be able to retire what is aged and what we can achieve some savings on,” Panetta said. The third spending area he discussed involves military compensation and health care. “That's it.

America's Last Prisoner of War | Politics News In June 2012, fearless Rolling Stone contributing editor Michael Hastings wrote the definitive first account of Bowe Bergdahl — the young American soldier who was captured by the Taliban and became the last American prisoner of war. Hastings, the journalist who brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal in these pages, died in a car accident one year later. Bergdahl was freed this weekend. Hastings' incredible story is available in full here: The mother and father sit at the kitchen table in their Idaho farmhouse, watching their son on YouTube plead for his life. The Taliban captured 26-year-old Bowe Bergdahl almost three years ago, on June 30th, 2009, and since that day, his parents, Jani and Bob, have had no contact with him. The Rise of the Killer Drones: How America Goes to War in Secret In the video they're watching now, Bowe doesn't look good. "Release me, please!" My Decade of bin Laden, by Michael Hastings One day that spring, Bowe called his mother.

Super Secret Hypersonic Aircraft Flew Out of Its Skin Apr 23, 2012 11:22am It turns out that tearing through the atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound is bad for the skin, even if you’re a super high-tech aircraft developed by the government’s best engineers at its far-out research agency. DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, has made public its best guess about what might have caused its unmanned arrowhead-shaped Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2) to suddenly lose contact and crash in the Pacific just a few minutes after slicing through the sky at Mach 20 last August: it was going so fast its skin peeled off. After an eight-month investigation, DARPA concluded that even though the HTV-2 was expected to lose some of its skin mid-flight, “larger than anticipated portions of the vehicle’s skin peeled from the aerostructure,” the agency said in a statement Friday. While the test was very public, the details of the HTV-2′s design, stability system and potential purpose remain highly classified.

Battleship Earth - By Cara Parks and Joshua E. Keating As summer blockbuster season kicks into high gear, big-budget action movies like The Avengers, Battleship, and Prometheus remind us that there's one thing that unites Americans: Our shared fear of an alien attack. They also remind us that when the invading space fleet arrives, humanity is not going to surrender without a fight to our intergalactic invaders. Instead, we will band together to fight off their incredibly advanced weaponry with our ... well, with what, exactly? Are we really ready to battle our would-be alien overlords? Luckily, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, as well as some of the world's largest weapons manufacturers, are dreaming up the weapons of the future today. The official title sounds rather subdued, but don't be fooled -- this is an awesome laser beam. Darpa As students of the battle of Yavin can attest, sometimes the fate of the universe comes down to a few hotshot fliers. Amazing! Wikimedia Bae Flickr

At West Point, Asking if a War Doctrine Was Worth It Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times Members of the class of 2013 at the United States Military Academy practice for coming military maneuvers in the field. Now at another critical moment in American military history, the faculty here on the commanding bend in the Hudson River is deep in its own existential debate. Broadly, the question is what the United States gained after a decade in two wars. “Not much,” Col. Colonel Gentile, long a critic of counterinsurgency, represents one side of the divide at West Point. “Nobody should ever underestimate the costs and the risks involved with counterinsurgency, but neither should you take that off the table,” Colonel Meese said, also in an interview last week. The debate at West Point mirrors one under way in the armed forces as a whole as the United States withdraws without clear victory from Afghanistan and as the results in Iraq remain ambiguous at best.