Clash in Karbala Hints of Complexity of Iraq’s Ongoing Internal Conflict
- Iraqi forces clashed with a militia following a local Shia cleric in Karbala, south of Baghdad. Prime Minister Maliki seems to be losing support even from his Shia backers.
- Meanwhile fighting against ISIL continued in the north in several contested areas of strategic significance.
- The sites for these clashes are familiar and echo fights that took place after the First Gulf War.
- Like Jordan, Saudi Arabia is deploying troops along its border with Iraq.
Euro, Australian JSFs
- Italian defense minister Roberta Pinotti is trying to finalize a deal with Lockheed Martin so that Finmeccanica’s Alenia Aermacchi takes the lead on JSF maintenance in Europe. Pinotti wants to keep the Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) industrial site in Cameri afloat. Bloomberg | La Repubblica [in Italian].
- Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) rolled out a full scale F-35 model to be used to study electromagnetic environmental effects.
DARPA Doesn’t Get the Schaft
- Google recently pulled its SCHAFT robot from a DARPA competition that it had previously led before Google’s acquisition of the robot maker. ExtremeTech argues that Google doesn’t want to be involved in DARPA research that will end up being used for lethal purposes. Earlier this year Google had renounced DARPA funding but had kept Schaft among self-funded competitors.
Start by Balancing Ends and Means
- The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) think tank released a report [PDF] offering options for an affordable US military by 2021 that would reconcile cost constraints with providing necessary military capabilities. The video below discusses the report: