* The state-owned Voice of America decries the rising use of sophisticated European dual-use technology making it into Chinese weapon systems, including diesel engines that can be used in submarines.
* The US is reportedly furious at Israel military equipment transfers to China. The latest case involved micro-refrigeration systems from Ricor which also have civilian uses, alongside obvious military applications. As the USA gets weaker internationally, it’s going to have more and more trouble with this.
US Nuclear Forces
* The Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost of US nuclear forces over the 2014-2023 decade will amount to a towering $355 billion. Some of that money is found in the Department of Energy’s budget, on top of DoD’s contribution.
* That the security company RSA had a relationship with the NSA was already known, but the fact the firm received a $10M contract from the agency is news.
* US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus explained why Glenn Defense Marine Asia continued to receive contracts from the service while it was already under investigation:
“[T]he information about the investigation was restricted primarily to law enforcement personnel with a few exceptions to prevent leaks […] even that precaution was not enough for a time, because an NCIS agent was actively obstructing the investigation by helping Leonard Francis avoid detection. [C]ontracting officers certainly were not told because that could have compromised the investigation. And finally, if the Navy suspends a company’s ability to compete for contracts or refuses to award a contract to a low bidder, we are required by federal law to give that contractor a reason. In this case, a notification would have tipped off GDMA that something was wrong.”
* Mabus also announced plans to redesign elements of the female service dress uniform for officers and enlisted. The purpose is “greater uniformity”, which sounds like the point of uniforms in the first place. Constant tinkering with uniforms appears to be a compulsive urge in the US military.
* The European Union followed through a UN Security Council resolution with a ban on weapon exports to Central African Republic.
* The US is evacuating American citizens from South Sudan, as clashes between rebels and government forces led to 500 deaths within a week.
* British Army Reservists are training Ugandan troops before their deployment to Somalia. Uganda provides the largest contingent within the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia, which started in 2007. The Ugandan army recently suspended 20 of its officers over accusations of selling on the black market supplies meant for the troops. Video below, on the British effort: