Pentagon Can’t Count, Commodifies Contracts
Pentagon: Creative Accounting; Commodity Buying; Program Crunch; Reform Pilgrimage
- DoD is infamous for being unable to pass an audit, a situation they’re supposed to remedy by 2017, though whether they will meet that deadline is doubtful. So how do they balance their books with the Treasury in the meantime? According to Reuters, with bogus entries in the books, known internally under a couple euphemisms such as “plugs”, that’s how.
Unfurloughing the Shutdown?
- Congresswoman Eleanor Norton [D-DC, i.e. a nonvoting delegate] introduced a bill with 11 cosponsors (all from her party) that would grant back pay to federally contracted retail, food, custodial and security service workers furloughed during last month’s federal government shutdown.
US Set to Export FMS Model
- The UK is considering adopting an American-inspired foreign military sales program, though it looks like France will beat them to it.
- The US State Department would like to allow Russia to build monitor stations for its Glonass GNSS on American soil, while the CIA and DOD think it’s a bad idea. NYT.
Another Invisibility Experiment
- Researchers from the University of Toronto have demonstrated a cloaking device using antennas surrounding an aluminum cylinder to radiate an electromagnetic field, which interfered with the waves bouncing off the cloaked object. Unlike another recent experiment involving a cat and a goldfish, this was done at radio wavelengths and with a tiny object, though it was big enough relative to the incident wavelength. According to George Eleftheriades, the lead researcher, with better antennas this same principle could be applied to light waves, in order to change an object’s perceived size or location, or just hide it from sight. Press release | Paper in Physical Review X.
Afghanistan: All Eyes on 2014 Election
- Major General Jörg Vollmer, the German officer who leads the ISAF presence in northern Afghanistan, sounds genuinely hopeful about the country’s prospects in the video below: