Clashes Intensify in Eastern Ukraine
- Pro-Russia forces shot down 2 Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopters and damaged 1 Mi-8 earlier today in the Donetsk Oblast, killing 2 servicemen in the process, according to Ukraine’s ministry of defense. There are also clashes in Odessa. Beyond that, there’s a certain degree of confusion about what is really going on.
- Russia’s alternate reality portrayal: Ukrainian special forces have started a punitive operation in the city of Sloviansk.
- To be fair, even the pro-government / pro-Western KyivPost acknowledges that there are genuine grassroots protesters in eastern Ukraine, not just pro-Russian operatives. For Ukraine, it looks like death by a thousand cuts.
- Tit for tat between Russia, Ukraine and NATO European countries prominently features gas supplies to and through Ukraine. One tool Europe can use is the reversal of pipeline flows to send some of their Russian-procured gas back to Ukraine, but Russia is threatening legal action against such measures.
- President Obama and Chancellor Merkel are responding with a united show of resolute weakness.
Should Service Chiefs Have More Say in Weapon Programs?
- The GAO reviewed the literature and concludes that other factors are probably a better subject of focus for acquisition improvement: “unrealistic requirements, lack of disciplined systems engineering, overly optimistic cost and schedule estimates, insufficient acquisition workforce, and frequent program manager turnover.”
US Army’s TARDEC Interested in Future Track
- Among Ground Robotics projects discussed by the US Army as far back as January 2008, they anticipate to pursue with a Request for Project Proposal the High Capacity Lightweight Track (HCLwT / XT-169LT) for a future 74-ton vehicle class. Note that there is no RFP yet, just a market survey.
Beyond Iraq’s Elections
- Defense One: Iraq’s Elections Setting Up “Worst Case Scenario”. Lack of upkeep leading to useless equipment, and lack of combined arms operations, may well prevent Iraqi Security Forces from holding the country together.
UK – Japan
- The London-based IISS think tank hosted a discussion with Minoru Kihara, Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense, on further defense cooperation between the UK and Japan in the video below: