Rapid Fire August 9, 2013: Al Qaeda Didn’t Get Obama Memo on Its Defeat
- Al Qaeda’s resurgence in Iraq has contributed to a serious increase in casualties, with more than 1,000 deaths – most of them civilian – last month alone.
- The Economist, on AQ:
“In May Mr Obama spoke of the ‘war on terror’ coming to an end. It is true that al-Qaeda’s focus is now mostly on local struggles rather than the ‘far’ enemy in the West. But, compared with 12 years ago, it has many more fighters and holds much more territory [emphasis DID]. Its priorities could easily and at any moment shift once more. If a conversation between Mr Zawahiri and Mr Wuhayshi can be the cause of so much bother and trouble, Mr Obama may have to think again.”
- The NYT profiled John F. Sopko, the US’ abrasive special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction.
- Border shootings heighten India-Pakistan tension. There’s no shortage of advice and criticism for the government in the Indian press.
- After a joint naval exercise last month, China and Russia are now conducting a anti-terrorism drill on land. The Russians play the bad guys.
- Germany’s Rheinmetall joins the list of defense contractors not quite big enough, or American enough, to weather sequestration as easily as the top US primes which are involved in the largest programs. The UK’s Cobham is concerned that a significant downturn is coming.
- The NSA is not going to offer any relief to the drop in DoD service and IT contracts: they plan to cut the number of system administrators working for them by 90%.
- BAE is considering producing hybrid CV90 infantry fighting vehicles in order to achieve 10%-30% fuel use reduction.
- The US Army War College looks at how USAFRICOM has matured [PDF] since its creation in 2007.
- The US Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) will host an industry daybriefing briefing for the Joint Enterprise Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, High Yield Explosives (CBRNE) Logistics (JECL) on August 28 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.
- Mine and bomb clearing devices, big and small: the first video below shows Russia’s remote-controlled Listva, based on a personnel carrier chassis. The 2nd video features the much smaller but more agile Talon, used for explosive ordnance disposal.