Rapid Fire June 20, 2013: British Afghan Withdrawal Well Underway
“Program risk is accepting the variability in potential outcome of trying new things to create products that are innovative, affordable, and timely. Regulation, overabundance of requirements, and oversight committees do not provide the flexibility required for a truly responsible program manager to make rapid decisions while creating innovative solutions.”
- Since October last year, the UK has closed 28 forward operating bases (FOBs) in Afghanistan, down from a peak of 137 bases, and will soon reduce their footprint to just 4 patrol bases plus Camp Bastion. They sent back 625 vehicles (300 left to go), and 1,815 containers have either been shipped back or disposed of locally. 90% of land convoys will travel through Pakistan while most vehicles are flown to the al Minhad base in Dubai. The Royal Air Force ramped up its presence there at the beginning of the year. More in the first video below.
- Kyrgyzstan’s parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of ending the USA’s lease at the Manas air base in July next year. They were apparently not swayed by the US State Department’s negotiation attempts, and this confirms the country’s pro-Russian posture as Russia secured a long-term agreement for its own base, putting big debt writedowns in the balance.
- It is probably overstating the relative scale of China’s investments in Central Asia to say they are “pivoting” to that region, but the Chinese are indeed spending serious money beyond just Pakistan. Then again, where is China not investing these days? They seem omnipresent from Argentina to the US to Greenland to Europe and Africa.
- Paris-based Parrot is gathering gawkers at Le Bourget with its quad-copters dancing in sync. They’re not spying on or shooting at anyone yet, but who doubts that one day they will? See 2nd video: