The Map is Not the Territory – But it Helps

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USA * Christine Fox will succeed Ashton Carter as the USA’s Deputy Defense Secretary. The acting DDS is a budget specialist who was part of a recent management review, and has served as president of the federally funded R&D Center for Naval Analyses. * After nearly 3 years of studies, etc., the F-35A’s initial bases will be Burlington ANGS, VT, and Hill AFB, UT. Construction work will begin, and Hill AFB should begin receiving planes in 2015. * It isn’t always the flashy things, though. Maps are a quietly vital item throughout the military, and some of DARPA’s most productive work in the last few years may have been their Transformative Apps efforts to give soldiers excellent Android map apps for the battlefield. * The USA’s National Guard wants a bigger role in cyber-defense. Makes sense. These people have civilian day jobs, so each state’s guard can recruit local civilians who already work in that field. * Mr. Butterfield, I Presume? National Defense Magazine: “Despite Fiscal Pressures, Demand for Virtual Training on the Rise“. * Meanwhile, former Naval War College department chair Joan Johnson-Freese pens an article in Foreign Policy magazine, about the need for more diversity in Professional Military […]
USA

* Christine Fox will succeed Ashton Carter as the USA’s Deputy Defense Secretary. The acting DDS is a budget specialist who was part of a recent management review, and has served as president of the federally funded R&D Center for Naval Analyses.

* After nearly 3 years of studies, etc., the F-35A’s initial bases will be Burlington ANGS, VT, and Hill AFB, UT. Construction work will begin, and Hill AFB should begin receiving planes in 2015.

* It isn’t always the flashy things, though. Maps are a quietly vital item throughout the military, and some of DARPA’s most productive work in the last few years may have been their Transformative Apps efforts to give soldiers excellent Android map apps for the battlefield.

* The USA’s National Guard wants a bigger role in cyber-defense. Makes sense. These people have civilian day jobs, so each state’s guard can recruit local civilians who already work in that field.

* Mr. Butterfield, I Presume? National Defense Magazine: “Despite Fiscal Pressures, Demand for Virtual Training on the Rise“.

* Meanwhile, former Naval War College department chair Joan Johnson-Freese pens an article in Foreign Policy magazine, about the need for more diversity in Professional Military Education. It does not contain a single sentence addressing diversity of military lines of thought, which is the aspect of diversity that helps determine how many of your people will die.

NSA: Never Stop Arguing

* The brainiacs behind Obamacare weren’t the only people for whom Thanksgiving is primarily an opportunity to deliver political talking points to your loved ones. Seems the NSA also got into that game. Wonder how many employees got response variations of “I’d tell you what I think, but you can just read the emails”?

* They’ll need more than talking points to win over the EU. “European Commission calls on the U.S. to restore trust in EU-U.S. data flows” is positive in the sense that its bias is toward cooperation, but the fine print shows a number of negotiating points that could be contentious.

Trans-Atlantic Defense Industry

* German SWP fellow Dr. Christian Molling just published “Europe, the Transatlantic Defense Industry, and How to Make the Right Choice?” He argues that prospect of transatlantic defense industry cooperation is fading away, then make the recommendation that the USA should help European defense industries integrate. Can’t see that being a popular position within the American defense industry.

Asia

* Second Line of Defense has an interesting article that covers the Pacific Theater from an interesting perspective, noting the geographic Strategic Triangle and Strategic Quadrangle that shape responses. The columnist has just written “Rebuilding American Military Power in the Pacific: A 21st-Century Strategy“, and the article notes the potential for an emerging regional aerial refueling pool based on the Airbus A330 MRTT. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that South Korea and Singapore could join Japan in choosing KC-767 solutions instead, and bifurcate the region’s native assets.

* Meanwhile, House Armed Services Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee chair, Randy Forces [R-VA-04] isn’t happy with the Us State Department and FAA urging US airlines to comply with China’s new “security zone” extension, right after Japan and South Korea gave their airlines the opposite recommendation.

Ad Astra, Per Lucror

* After a cautionary delay, SpaceX has succeeded with its SES-8 launch, and the Orbital Sciences satellite is headed to its targeted position 36,000 miles above the equator. A Geostationary Orbit launch is a commercial big deal for SpaceX, and it’s likely to help them compete for Israel’s coming program to launch about 15 small geostationary satellites.

Video

Today’s video involves Australia’s Minister for Defence Sen. David Johnston, speaking to the Australia Strategic Policy Institute. Biggest takeaway: Preparation is underway for a new replacement Defence White Paper, to be done within 18 months.

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