Rapid Fire: 2010-08-26

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* Flash Dance: A flash drive that uploaded malicious code into the US Central Command network in 2008 provided an unidentified foreign intelligence service with undetected access to classified US information, admits a US Pentagon official in a Foreign Affairs article. * Russian Buffer: Russia is beefing up its military presence in the Caucasus and the Black Sea region in an effort to create a security buffer zone, a Turkish analyst says. * Low Tech Jarheads: Forget night vision goggles, laptop computers, GPS devices, and robots, US Marines are training to fight in the mountains of Afghanistan using compasses, ropes, pack animals, and communication equipment made out of plastic spoons, string and wire. * Trimming Sails: Northrop Grumman says it plans to lay off 642 workers at its Pascagoula, MS shipyard by the end of the year, in addition to 400 layoffs undertaken in May, despite plans to move construction of 2 LPD-17 San Antonio amphibious assault ships there. * Shutting down of contractor-heavy DoD agencies and commands is a blow to the IT industry, writes National Defense magazine. * Pentagon comptroller Hale expects a 1% growth in the DoD budget in FY 2012.

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