Rapid Fire Sept. 9, 2013: Opposition to Syrian Strikes Spans Across Parties
- National Journal notes how America has been taking a sharp turn inward. That isolationist streak was already apparent in the US House of Representatives during debates about Libya in 2011. This dynamic can lead to otherwise unlikely alliances across the aisle which make whip counts less reliable than usual. Members of Congress are coming back from summer recess and what they’ve heard from most of their constituents is that they oppose getting involved in Syria. In short, the Obama administration is facing an uphill battle this week as it tries to convince Congress and the public that strikes on Syria are in the United States’ national interest.
“[P]rotests and strikes by oil facility guards who work for the Defense Ministry have shut down major oil export terminals in the east. Some workers are demanding higher pay and better arms for protection against criminal gangs illicitly selling oil for their own profit to rogue buyers. Others have protested for a different boss in the Defense Ministry and are federalists demanding greater rights for the east.”
- Datapoints that don’t make the case for interventionism, #2. Former US Army Specialist Stephanie Charboneau pleaded guilty to bribery charges leading to fuel theft at FOB Fenty in Afghanistan in 2010. Two co-conspirators had already pleaded guilty in past months, as well as Charboneau’s successor. Court documents establish the resulting fuel theft at more than $1.5M.
- Should the US federal government reimburse the expenses incurred by a contractor sending their employees to a conference? Only if this is required training directly tied to a contract with cost reimbursement clauses. Otherwise, nice try.
- Last year the British government launched a partnership with industry dubbed the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP). They just released a report [PDF] explaining why they will focus on supporting exports primarily of air capabilities and electronics/software.
- Israel Military Industries looks set for privatization and the voluntary retirement of almost a third of its workforce of 3,000.
- China may ink its deal with Russia for Su-35s next year, according to the Moscow Times quoting a Rosoboronexport executive.
- USS Minnesota (SSN 783), the US’ 10th Virginia-class attack submarine, was commissioned yesterday. The 1st video below includes aerial footage, equipment inspection, and segments of life aboard of what was still PCU Minnesota, while the 2nd video shows the commissioning ceremony: