Japan Puts V-22, Global Hawk on Official Program Roadmap
Japan’s Mid-Term Defense Program
- The US Department of State released updated guidelines [PDF] for reporting political contributions under part 130.10 of ITAR regulations.
Pondering Procurement Problems
- Former Pentagon and Senate staffer William Greenwalt offers Five factors plaguing Pentagon procurement. All 5 of his indictments are true. At the same time, programs like the US Army’s Future Combat System and US Coast Guard’s Deepwater, which adopted large chunks of Greenwalt’s implicit prescriptions, failed badly. There is more to the procurement dilemma than is dreamt of in this article.
- USCYBERCOM and the NSA will remain under the same command. Gen. Keith Alexander will retire next spring.
- DARPA is seeking whitepapers about ways to detect Low Inclined Low Earth Orbit Objects (LILO).
Germany’s New Coalition, Cabinet
- Members of the Social Democrat party (SPD) overwhelmingly agreed to again join a “big coalition” with Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU. Ursula von der Leyen, a former Labor Minister, is appointed defense minister while Thomas de Maizière moves back to the Interior (i.e. homeland security). The Economist (on coalition dynamics) | Deutche Welle (on de Maizière surviving a firestorm over Euro Hawk) | The Guardian (on der Leyen).
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Google Does Boston
- Google bought robot maker Boston Dynamics for an undisclosed sum, making it their 8th robotics acquisition in less than a year. They will honor current military robot contracts, but the company says they don’t intend to become a defense contractor per se. NYT.
Afghan Rotation, Security Agreement
- The Pentagon announced the units to deploy next to Afghanistan.
- James Dobbins, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, testified on the US-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington last week, in the video below. The Obama administration first talked of hopefully signing the BSA by the end of October, then told President Karzai to sign it by the end of the year or else, and when that didn’t work, has been wobbling on the date and firmness of a new deadline. This conjures a comment made by the former intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia: “We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president, which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white.”