Gates without Gatekeepers: Just Read His Book!

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What Else Would You Expect * Former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ memoir has been the talk of the town this week. John Dickerson argues in Slate that the Washington commentariat has been guilty of selective quoting and spin, whereas Gates’ actual message was measured and subtle. Maybe people should stop and read the book itself, rather than snippets from third parties promoting their own agendas? Update: Gates hasn’t been surprised but is disappointed by this hijacking. German Politics * Ursula von der Leyen’s recent nomination as Germany’s first female defense minister was all about politics. As a parting gift, her predecessor and competitor Thomas de Maiziere gave France and the UK a piece of his mind. * Germany is no longer publishing statistics about the security situation in Afghanistan. This rings a bell. Difficult Aftermaths * Voice of America: Libya chaos worsens. * 25% of 300 businesses recently surveyed in the UK and Canada said they will move their corporate data outside of the US in reaction to NSA surveillance. * Machinist union members filed unfair-labor charges against Boeing and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). There seems to be a significant disconnect between the union […]
What Else Would You Expect

* Former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ memoir has been the talk of the town this week. John Dickerson argues in Slate that the Washington commentariat has been guilty of selective quoting and spin, whereas Gates’ actual message was measured and subtle. Maybe people should stop and read the book itself, rather than snippets from third parties promoting their own agendas? Update: Gates hasn’t been surprised but is disappointed by this hijacking.

German Politics

* Ursula von der Leyen’s recent nomination as Germany’s first female defense minister was all about politics. As a parting gift, her predecessor and competitor Thomas de Maiziere gave France and the UK a piece of his mind.

* Germany is no longer publishing statistics about the security situation in Afghanistan. This rings a bell.

Difficult Aftermaths

* Voice of America: Libya chaos worsens.

* 25% of 300 businesses recently surveyed in the UK and Canada said they will move their corporate data outside of the US in reaction to NSA surveillance.

* Machinist union members filed unfair-labor charges against Boeing and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). There seems to be a significant disconnect between the union leadership and the base.

Dept of This Is a Problem, Who’s Handing It?

* As militaries rely more and more heavily on embedded systems to power devices or perform onboard processing, management, upgrades, and security become big issues. The bad news according to security expert Bruce Schneier: “We’re at a crisis point now with regard to the security of embedded systems.” The way the embedded market works explains why this is so, as well as technical reasons and human factors.

* It will get worse, as everything and the kitchen sink become internet-connected devices, before it gets better. The automotive industry has a leg up on this issue, but this is also a internal security problem for many companies as routers and other networking devices are targeted vulnerabilities.

* The latest issue of CrossTalk [PDF] discusses the Non-Functional Requirements (NFR) approach to assess gaps in trustworthiness in legacy software systems which were not engineered with that critical concern in mind. The authors reviewed a piece of US Air Force middleware which they found “highly untrustworthy.”

* The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) issued a report on the US’ massive projected spending on nuclear weapons, which the think tank says should be much more closely managed by the White House and Congress.

* US Army Major Matthew Cavanaugh complains about the intellectual decay among the officer corps because of laziness and bureaucracy. He argues that the American military excels operationally but doesn’t foster enough debate and thinking about strategy.

F/A-18 Hornet 35 Year Anniversary

* Today’s video looks back at the creation of the F/A-18 and what the airplane brought vs. its predecessors, with quotes from many people involved in the program:

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