Britain’s Strong Call for Common Defense Weakly Supported by Its Own Policy
BREAKING: Fly Dubai charter from Bagram with ~100 Americans on board forced to land in Iran [Washington Post], escorted by fighter jets, for “incorrect” flight plan. Reports say that Iran offered to have the plane return to Bagram, but there wasn’t enough fuel for that. Unsurprising given that it was forced down at Bandar Abbas, just across the Gulf from the UAE.
- Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said at the NATO 2014 summit that he’s ready to commit 3,500 personnel to a “reformed NATO Response Force with headquarters in Poland” if the alliance agrees to set it up.
- Cameron also urged other European members to meet NATO’s goal of spending 2% of GDP on defense. But a briefing [PDF] by the Royal United Services Institute expects the UK’s own spending to dip below that level starting next year, based on current spending plans and growth projections.
- And Britain’s House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee published a report damning the Ministry of Defence’s Army 2020 plans for its failure to consult third parties and assess the plan’s feasability.
- F-35 engine maker Pratt & Whitney is suing A&P Alloys, accusing its titanium supplier of fraud and breach of contract. Reuters.
- The CSIS think tank hosted a panel this morning on the challenges of complex acquisition efforts and what lessons could be applied to the Future Vertical Lift program. An Italian officer in the audience aptly noted that international co-development was absent so far from FVL discussions despite DoD’s exhortations for more burden sharing with European partners.
- And at the same time sneaker manufacturer New Balance is lobbying [Defense Industrialist] for US troops to be equipped with US-made sports shoes. Preposterous.
Food for Thought
- How to tell apart good from bad software engineers?
- Is there a creativity deficit in science because of how funding incentives are structured?
Middle East & Africa
- The US is joined by Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark in a “core coalition” to attack ISIL [The Guardian]. How they will do so beyond the current American air strikes remains to be determined.
- The Nigeria Security Network warns [PDF] that their country is “on the verge of being split in two as Boko Haram makes lightning territorial gains in the north-east.”
- Ukraine reached a cease fire agreement with Russia and the rebels it’s backing. Specific terms are not known yet, and neither is Russia’s actual intent to stick to the spirit of such an agreement. Kyiv Post.
- Today’s video from the Atlantic Council discusses the implication of the Ukraine crisis with H.E. Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia, and Gen. Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe: