Beyond Offsets: Are Tech and Industrial Partnerships the Path to Self-Inflicted Peer Competition?
Questions Without Easy Answers
- To grow exports, should US manufacturers stick with offsets or consider genuine work shares? The fear is to eventually spawn competitors rather than partners.
- Have restrictive US Rules of Engagement contributed to a long-standing rise in Afghan battlefield deaths that exceeds increases in troop numbers? It’s a serious question, which has been discussed for several years by veterans in theater. The Washington Times reviews the pro and con arguments.
- EADS CEO Tom Enders has telegraphed that job cuts where coming to his group for the last couple of months. It is about to be officially confirmed, but several news reports already talk of about 5,800 jobs, and the closure of the Paris HQ: FT | Le Figaro [in French].
On the Innovation Front
- Telling vacuous hype apart from substantial news requires a fair amount of healthy skepticism, especially when the Silicon Valley self-promotion machine is involved. But Uber, a mobile application that connects car drivers with people who need a ride – Zipcar meets Airbnb, if you will – seems worth watching for anyone interested in supply chains and yield management. It’s all about minimizing idle time for capital goods.
- Yet another team of scientists publishes research on invisibility cloaks. This time researchers from China worked on transformation optics and electrostatic devices that work on only part of an object. After all, seminal work in this field is already almost 8 years old. China seems to be really interested in this topic.
- South Korea announced yesterday that it was expanding its air defense identification zone (ADIZ – see map), which was greeted with “regret” by China.
- South Korea’s Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin is meeting his counterpart in the UAE to discuss further defense industry cooperation. In October the two countries signed a 3-year currency swap for up to $5.8B (in won-dirham) in bilateral trade. The Koreans are working on several large energy projects in the Emirates, as well as training their special forces.
- Sri Lanka’s The Island looks at the past and future of their Navy, which will soon be receiving 2 second-hand patrol vessels from Australia. The Navy’s role in the Tamil wars is under-appreciated, but crucial. Note especially the threat LTTE submersibles would have posed to key government supply lines, had the war continued much longer.
- France is increasing its troops commitment to disarm militias in the Central African Republic. They will ramp up to 1,600 soldiers from paratrooper and other Army regiments: BBC | Jean-Marc Tanguy [in French].