Not new by any means…but still as relevant today as it was when it was released…
Not new by any means…but still as relevant today as it was when it was released…
I’ve said before that I generally have little use for most of what comes out of Hollywood but there are rare exceptions and “Wag The Dog” is one of those exceptions & for the same reason that allows “Idiocracy” to make the cut…it is some of the best fictional “truth” that’s out there. As I’ve been feeling the rumble of the War Pigs’ drums getting steadily louder and louder lately, this movie has come to mind more than once. Ordinarily it is easy to tell where the spark will ignite but right now, there is too much noise in the wind to look just in one direction.
I ask myself over and over…is any of it even REAL? Does N. Korea really want to blast us into oblivion? If so…why…and I mean, really WHY, not the Faux or CoNN news scare versions of why, thanks. If they don’t really want to attack us, how would ‘We The Peons’ know that? Or…maybe it’s Syria that wants to take us out..? Oh but wait…I saw mention about how going to war with China would be a bad thing…so maybe it’s them we should fear?? And of course, we cannot forget those scary folks down in Mali who…well, I don’t know what their beef is exactly, but by gawd…America will be there, standing strong!!!
I know I did not list all of the places our government is currently chest-thumping with but it still makes the point…there is too much being thrown out too quickly – and without full background, details or key information so that the average citizen has no damned idea what is going on and what, if any, real threats there are. So much of what I’ve been seeing reads like propaganda and rhetoric…but is it? How can I be certain? Are we intentionally being spun about in all directions so that when something does finally trigger even more massive scale war, we will be so confused as to believe anything our ‘protectors’ tell us?
This is…well…unnerving…and chilling.
(May 2012) Military assault demonstrations at the ISOF 2012 conference in Tampa bay, Florida. The participating SOF teams came from 10 allied nations: Australia, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Jordan, Norway, Poland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and included American SEALs, Green Berets, Air Force Combat Controllers, and US Marines. This year ISOF’s theme is “Building the Global SOF Partnership.” This is composed of mutually supporting partners working to identify and preemptively address problems, and helping to defeat the appeal of violent extremism.
Am I the only one that finds this just a tad…erm…unnerving…?
Do we seriously not have enough going on around the world right now?
1 war, 2 wars…3 wars….MORE..!
Oh wait that’s right, we’re not at war in Latin America… we’re just down there meddling in their sovereign affairs and pissing away money like there’s no tomorrow…
From Department of Defense:
(Emphasis mine) WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2013 – Despite dwindling resources and a national defense focus on the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, the commander of Special Operations Command South is committed to not only maintaining, but increasing engagements in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Army Brig. Gen. Sean P. Mulholland, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command South, right, chats with Colombians whom his special operators are mentoring at the Tolemaida national training base in Colombia, Nov. 4, 2012. U.S. Army photo by Maj. Edward Lauer
Regular, sustained engagement is key to SOC South’s core mission: building partner capacity so regional nations can address their own challenges, Army Brig. Gen. Sean P. Mulholland told American Forces Press Service while here for an annual Special Operations and Low-intensity Conflict Symposium and Exhibition.
“On any given day, I have over 300 people deployed downrange to Central and South America, including members of every service’s special operations force and their civil affairs and military information support teams,” he said. “SOC South is engaged 365 [days a year], 24/7.”
A Green Beret who has served most of his career within Latin America, Mulholland said he’s convinced that persistent engagement establishes a level of credibility and trust simply not possible through traditional training and exercise programs. “Building partner capacity is planting seeds” that require nurturing over time, he said.
“It’s really not rocket science. It’s about personal relationships and what we do as we build partner capacity,” he said. “It is always letting your partners know that you are there, inside their country, helping them out — whether it is one guy or 50 guys and gals. It is all about contact.”
Since assuming command in October, Mulholland has made a concerted effort to promote these contacts, all governed by the host nation’s requests, in collaboration with the U.S. embassy country team and at the direction of U.S. Southern Command.
“We don’t do anything [the host nation] doesn’t ask for. And we don’t do anything the embassy hasn’t approved that we do,” he explained. “There is nothing spooky or under-the-table about what we do. It is all above-board, and it is all about building partner capacity.”
That capacity is vital to stemming the challenges in the region: drug traffickers and other transnational criminals and terrorist elements seeking footholds in ungoverned spaces, among them. These groups use these areas to flow drugs and other illicit shipments through Central America and Mexico and, ultimately, to the United States.
“The best way to go after a threat is to have that partner nation develop a security capacity and diminish that threat,” Mulholland said. “I can affect this bridge coming up north through Mexico to the United States. I can do that by helping build partner capacity with [host nation] units that are actually going to go out there and do something about it. And that is happening.”
Mulholland cited Colombia as the shining example of what capacity building can achieve.
Historically, the FARC — Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia — ran rampant in Colombia, terrorizing citizens with a spate of murders, kidnapping and other activities associated with narcotics trafficking. But 25 years ago, the Colombian police force was corrupt and the military forces were in disarray.
Today, thanks to strong Colombian leadership and persistent U.S. support and engagement, Colombia has capable, highly respected security forces. In addition to securing their own country, they are now training other regional militaries.
“They have become exporters of [force integration training],” Mulholland said, taking what they have learned and sharing it with their neighbors. “This is Latins training Latins, and that is a beautiful story,” Mulholland said. “It’s poetry.”
As if the original version of DARPA’s “Big Dog” was not big or bad…or terrifying enough, it seems as though they have decided to release their *new & improved* LS3.
For anyone thinking they might want to bail out of society and hide in the hills should shit ever hit the fan…well, this machine would make hiding anywhere damn near impossible.
Interesting to know that the Department of Defense routinely gives weapons and assorted tactical gear to small or local law enforcement agencies ‘for cheap or free’ (free for them maybe because I am sure we taxpayers were originally billed far above top dollar for the equipment!). We’re not talking a token gift here and there, we’re talking about a program that operates to the tune of over $2 billion last year. If rumors are true and some agencies like the Penal County Sheriff’s Office has been stockpiling the weapons to sell for profit then I have to wonder why on earth the DoD just didn’t sell the equipment themselves and apply the ‘profit’ towards their own budget?
They supply free or cheap toilet paper to LEO agencies…why? Is there an abundance of TP at the Pentagon…and if for some bizarre reason there really does happen to be an excess of toilet paper…why not then at least donate it some slightly more worthy cause like say…a homeless shelter?
Aside from the money-burning aspect of the program, I have to wonder why small law enforcement agencies have need for Humvees and super-duper high-tech tactical equipment. How many of the 800+ agencies in Illinois actually have cause and use for civilian tanks? Why the need to provide military equipment for patrolling Small Town America, I wonder? Are they gearing up on a rash of children’s lemonade stands…? Or could they be gearing up to combat them packs of wild-eyed stoners who uh…sit at home and read, create or just mind their own business?
It’s senseless on every level…
“The Defense Department has stopped issuing weapons to thousands of law enforcement agencies until it is satisfied that state officials can account for all the surplus guns, aircraft, Humvees and armored personnel carriers it has given police under a $2.6 billion program, The Associated Press has learned.
The department’s Defense Logistics Agency ordered state-appointed coordinators in 49 states to certify the whereabouts of that equipment that has already been distributed through the long-running arrangement overseen by the agency’s Law Enforcement Support Office. The temporary halt on transferring weapons applies to all states, agency officials said Thursday.
The program provides police departments and other law enforcement agencies with military equipment ranging from guns and helicopters to computers and air conditioners and even toilet paper. The equipment is cheap or free for law enforcement agencies to acquire, but much of it comes with strict rules that prohibit it from being sold and dictate how it must be tracked…
…The Arizona Republic reported last month that the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has stockpiled millions of dollars’ worth of equipment through the program, distributing some of the gear to non-police agencies, and intended to sell other property, which would violate the program’s rules.
“I don’t have any info on if something triggered” the Defense Department’s recent order, Matt Van Camp, a police detective in Payson, Ariz., who coordinates that state’s program, told the AP in an email. “All I know is Arizona is 100 percent compliant on weapons inventory.”
A report in March by California Watch, which was founded by the Center for Investigative Reporting, found that California police accumulated more equipment during 2011 than any other year in the program’s two-decade history. That follows the overall trend in the program, which last year doled out almost $500 million in gear, up by more than double from the year before…
…The surplus program has grown exponentially in recent years, with a record $498 million worth of property distributed in fiscal year 2011. That includes $191 million in aircraft alone and more than 15,000 weapons worth nearly $4.8 million. Military officials said the program has become more popular as law enforcement agencies sustain deep budget cuts…”
Read Full Story Here On Officer.Com
Nice to see that Craig Venter is still raking in the big bucks (you know, the ones that come from our tax dollars) to keep providing nifty tools and assistance to corporations and our government alike. For those who aren’t already familiar with the good works of Doc Venter, you can read more about the man Here.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Department of Defense is pumping $15.6 million into synthetic biology research at several universities and institutes with the aim of speeding up bioengineering production.
There are eight projects being funded through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under this new initiative, called the Living Foundries Program. Research conducted under the program will seek to create the basic production methods and tools that will be required to make bio-engineering swifter and more accurate, and to design the blueprints for synthetic biology factories, according to DARPA.
The first grants awarded under this program include $4 million to the J. Craig Venter Institute; $3.7 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; $3.2 million to Stanford University; $2.2 million to the California Institute of Technology; $1 million to the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution; $910,000 to Harvard University; and $690,000 to the University of Texas at Austin. Full Story Here
Learn more about the Living Foundries Program
Well, well, well…what a complete and total shocker, eh? It seems there has been some underhanded & financial misdeeds going on in the Afghan National Police (ANP) contract; according to a report by the Department of Defense Inspector General a neat little contract was not awarded in accordance with DoD guidelines – and millions of dollars seem to have been wasted with no accountability or repercussions for those involved in this mess. It has been ‘recommended’ that no further expense or money-costing changes be made to the contract without approval…
Uh-huh. I see. A contract is illegally awarded to a private security firm, upgrades and additional changes are made just 2 months later resulting in millions of dollars being spent above and beyond what was in the initial contract…and the only recommendation being made is that various department heads of military and foreign coalitions just please ask next time before they pull more money from taxpayers? Suhweet deal, isn’t it? I do hope you appreciate a nice screwing without the foreplay or lube because that is exactly what we’ve gotten out of this latest fiasco in our effort to ‘rebuild’ Afghanistan.
Oh! That the name DynCorp is involved in the contract and ended up pulling quite a tidy profit from the job should come as no real surprise, should it? Just business as usual folks, nothing to see here a’tall…(Emphasis throughout the report excerpts is mine.)
Full Report on PDF Available Here – “Army contracting officials at Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG) did not appropriately award and administer the ANP contract in accordance with Federal and DoD guidance. Combined Security Transition CommandAfghanistan (CSTC-A) personnel made substantial changes to the statement of work immediately after contract award and the contractor more than doubled the size and cost of its program management office. CSTC-A, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, and Army contracting officials did not adequately define contract requirements or identify that the contractor omitted key program office positions from its proposal during the source selection process. As a result, the cost of the ANP contract increased by $145.3 million in the first 4 months of the contractor’s performance and contractor officials still had not reached the staffing levels required in the contract at the time of our review…”
The report goes on to state -
“The increased costs of $16.1 million for additional program management personnel may have resulted in the Government not receiving the best value. Several offerors were found to be technically capable of filling the ANP contract requirements, and as a result, the contract was awarded based on the lowest proposed cost. In modification 005 to the contract, the contractor added 44 personnel to their Continue reading
Published on Monday, May 21, 2012 by Common Dreams “As part of NATO’s planned multi-year and multi-billion dollar investment in an increased global surveillance capability, building what it calls an ‘Allied Ground Surveillance (AGS)’ system, the 28-nation military alliance penned a deal with defense contractor Northrop Grumman on Sunday for a fleet of unmanned aerial drones along with the requisite command and control base stations needed to operate them…
The signing of the deal took place between Northrup executives and NATO officials in a quiet room away from the boisterous street protests taking place outside the NATO summit on the streets of Chicago, where citizens voiced their opposition to NATO’s continued military presence in Afghanistan and it’s increasingly violent role in world affairs in recent years.
NATO has relied heavily on the use of drones owned and operated by the United States in its recent military operations in Afghanistan and in Libya, but this acquisition will allow it to have a vast capability all its own. The system will cost close to $1.7 billion dollars, with billions more needed to maintain and operate the system over the next two decades.” Read Full Story Here
“War Pigs” came up on my playlist and fit my mood (as it usually does) for reading and posting about most of our military ‘actions’ and non-wars in far flung places for only the most murky & self-serving reasons known only to congressional – and corporational – kind of people.
Generals gathered in their masses,
just like witches at black masses…
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of death’s construction…
Excerpts from Bloomberg article, “U.S. Reviews Military Options for Syria as Clinton Urges Russia to Shift“
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. is reviewing military action to ease the crisis in Syria even as he cautioned that the opposition and international support aren’t unified enough to intervene now.
The Obama administration is consulting with other nations and considering “an array of non-lethal assistance,” Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington yesterday…
He also cited U.S. concerns over Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, which he said is “100 times worse than what we dealt with in Libya.”
In the fields the bodies burning,
as the war machine keeps turning…
So long as we ‘know what the mission is’ it’s okay to put our uniformed sons and daughters in harm’s way; remember that, folks. Just s’long as we know that we’re there to topple another regime and promote our own interests in the mid-east, it’s all just A-okay…
“What doesn’t make sense is to take unilateral action right now,” Panetta said. “Before I recommend that we put our sons and daughters in uniform in harm’s way, I’ve got to make very sure that we know what the mission is, I’ve got to be very sure that we know whether we can achieve that mission and at what price.”
Death and hatred to mankind,
poisoning their brainwashed minds…
Something about this next paragraph seems a bit repetitive to me…I feel like I’ve already watched this scene before but I just can’t place the movie…Oh YEAH! Wasn’t this the intro to, “The Hunt for Bin Laden and The Ever Expanding War (On Terror)”..? Gosh, no one told me that we were making a sequel..! Or would it be more like a tri-quel?
“I declare that I am joining the revolution,” Hussameldin said in the video from an undisclosed location. Hussameldin, seated in an armchair dressed in a black suit and tie, accused the government of atrocities and “of driving the country to the brink of the abyss.”
Politicians hide themselves away.
They only started the war…
“Americans should lead in this,” said Arizona Senator John McCain, the top Republican on the panel.
“Mass atrocities are going on.”
After McCain called March 5 for U.S.-led airstrikes to create civilian safe havens, other lawmakers disagreed. House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, described U.S. intervention as premature “until there’s a clear direction as to what’s happening there.”
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor, yeah…
Senator Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, was among committee members who cited the potential “strategic benefit” to the U.S. of toppling the Assad regime because of its links to Iran. American intervention would help unify the international community and the opposition, he said.
Time will tell on their power minds,
making war just for fun…
“The clock is running,” Lieberman said. Failure to act may lead to regret that “not only we didn’t do the right thing morally to stop innocents from being killed, we missed an extraordinary strategic opportunity to strengthen our position” in the Middle East, he said.
And, if you’re in the mood for it, an excellent rendition of War Pigs -
Apparently it goes where ever the hell DoD decides it should…
Who are we mere debt mules to question the great & wise (corporate owned) congressional budget committees?
What kind of legacy are we living future generations if we continue to spend beyond our means in both dollars and human lives in order & continue to feed the profiteering war mongers?
“We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together…”
Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961
In January 2011 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates stated: “This department simply cannot risk continuing down the same path – where our investment priorities, bureaucratic habits and lax attitude towards costs are increasingly divorced from the real threats of today, the growing perils of tomorrow and the nation’s grim financial outlook.”
(Wiki) The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) was unable to provide an audit opinion on the 2010 (and 2011) financial statements of the US Government because of ‘widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations’. The GAO cited as the principal obstacle to its provision of an audit opinion ‘serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense that made its financial statements unauditable’.
Chief Financial Officer and Under Secretary of Defense Robert F. Hale acknowledged enterprise-wide problems with systems and processes, while the DoD’s Inspector General reported ‘material internal control weaknesses … that affect the safeguarding of assets, proper use of funds, and impair the prevention and identification of fraud, waste, and abuse‘. Further management discussion in the FY 2010 DoD Financial Report states ‘it is not feasible to deploy a vast number of accountants to manually reconcile our books’ and concludes that ‘although the financial statements are not auditable for FY 2010, the Department’s financial managers are meeting warfighter needs’.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta Speaking about meeting of NATO defense minsters in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 2, 2012:
”It was important to make clear to our European allies that even as our posture there evolves, we remain committed to NATO – the most successful military alliance in history – and we’ll continue to maintain an innovative, robust, and visible presence in Europe. As part of that robust presence, I told our allies that we will soon begin rotating a battalion-sized task force to Germany for exercises and training, as part of the rapidly deployable NATO Response Force, and we will also establish an aviation detachment in Poland to provide better training opportunities. We are also moving ahead with European missile defense – establishing land-based SM-3 missile sites in Romania and Poland, deploying Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships to Spain, and a radar in Turkey.”
Now is a time for every NATO nation to make the most of the fiscal and security challenges we face to become more united as an Alliance and to strengthen our collective capabilities through such initiatives as Smart Defense. We took a big step forward on this front with an agreement to fund the Alliance Ground Surveillance system – consisting of five Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles and a ground control station. AGS has been in the works for many years, and is the first ISR capability NATO has ever purchased as a pooled resource.
A Unified Combatant Command is a single force composed of personnel and equipment
from at least two Military Departments, which has a broad and continuing mission.
The United States currently has 9 Combatant Commands:
U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM)
U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM)
U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM)
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM)
U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM)
U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM)
U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM)
U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)
U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM)
U.S. Africa command received $274 million in Fiscal Year 2010.
The Obama administration has requested $298 million for the command for Fiscal Year 2011.
AFRICOM Mission: Africa Command protects and defends the national security interests of the United States by strengthening the defense capabilities of African states and regional organizations and, when directed, conducts military operations, in order to deter and defeat transnational threats and to provide a security environment conducive to good governance and development.
Washington Times 2-6-2012 - “They train host nation’s forces, and include units from each service, such as the Green Berets, who specialize in irregular warfare and work in small teams no larger than 12. The Green Berets also build roads, schools, provide health care and live among locals, speaking their language.”
Why is it that at a time when America can barely keep her own economy afloat, we have officials who are continuing to make costly promises of a long-term international nature? I don’t see how or why it is our job to, “build a Europe” as Mrs. Clinton recently stated or why we should be looking towards spending more and more money on ‘important conflicts’ in every far-flung corner of the earth.
It will not matter what type of ‘global agenda’ we choose to ‘vigorously promote’ if we fail as a country and fall to an even lower level of financial recession or depression. Our leaders seem to be hell-bent on digging us into a (global) hole that we are going to end up burying ourselves in – and We The People seem content to just allow them to do it.
After reading the speeches given by Leon Panetta and Hilary Clinton at the Munich Security Conference, I couldn’t help but wonder how many more of our young men and women are they planning on sending off to die in the name of ‘common interest’ with our global allies? If our leaders really wanted to cut defense spending, not to mention save lives, would they really be using phrases like, “innovative rotational deployments”..?
February 04, 2012
Remarks by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
& Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
48th Munich Security Conference, Bayerischer Hof, Munich, Germany
Excerpts- Leon Panetta:
“There is still a war in Afghanistan. We confront the threat of terrorism, nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran, turmoil in the Middle East, rising powers, cyber attacks. We designed a strategy to deal with these threats.
Let me summarize the key elements of the new U.S. defense strategy. First, the United States military will be smaller and we will be leaner. That was something, frankly, that was going to happen under any circumstances by virtue of the drawdown that we were involved in. But what we wanted to stress was a force that would be agile, that would be flexible, that would be rapidly deployable, and that would be technologically advanced. It must be a cutting edge force for the future.
Second, we will enhance our presence in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, where we see the greatest challenges and the greatest opportunities in the 21st century. Third, we will maintain a robust presence in Europe and elsewhere in the world by investing in existing alliances, by helping to make them stronger, by developing new partnerships, and by developing new innovative rotational deployments that will give us the capability to have a presence not only in Europe, but in Africa and Latin America and elsewhere.
Fourth, we will ensure that we can quickly confront and defeat aggression from any adversary, any time, any place. It is essential that we have the capability to deal with more than one adversary at a time, and we believe we have shaped a force that will give us that capability.
And fifth, we will protect and prioritize key investments – key investments in technology and new capabilities from special operations forces to cyber and space and unmanned systems, as well as our capacity to surge, adapt and grow as needed…
…Let me lay out how we intend to strengthen transatlantic security cooperation by describing what European allies and partners can expect from the United States and our new defense strategy. First, we will focus on the most pressing security challenges by investing in ballistic missile defense capability for Europe in response to the emerging threats beyond Europe.
As part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach and NATO’s missile defense capability, we have established a radar system in Turkey. We will be stationing SM-3 missiles in Romania and Poland. And we will deploy four BMD – ballistic missile defense-capable ships, Aegis ships to Rota, Spain. President Obama has made clear that the United States is firmly committed to building a missile defense system in Europe. The new defense strategy and our budget priorities reflect that commitment.
Second, we will invest in shared capabilities that will ensure NATO remains the strongest and most capable military alliance on earth. To address intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance shortfalls, some of which the Libya operation exposed, NATO has agreed as of yesterday to fund the new Alliance Ground Surveillance system.
I want to thank the secretary general and all of my fellow defense ministers in NATO for having made that very important decision, that is in many ways the foundation of smart defense. For that reason, we in the United States have protected funding for AGS in our new defense budget.
Safeguarding critical capabilities was a core objective of our budget and strategy review of the United States, and it is important that we send a strong message that we remain committed to this system and bolstering NATO’s cutting edge capabilities…
…Today, I can announce that the United States will make a new commitment to the security of our NATO partners by reinvigorating our contribution to the NATO Response Force that we value so much. The NRF was designed to be an agile, rapidly deployable, multinational force that can respond to crises when and where necessary. The United States had endorsed the NRF but has not made a tangible contribution due to the demands of the wars – until now.
In the coming months, we will identify a U.S.-based brigade from which we will provide the United States land force contribution to the NATO Response Force, and we will rotate a battalion-sized task-force to Germany for exercises and training. Not only will this open up new opportunities for U.S. troops to train and exercise with our European counterparts, it will ensure NATO has the capability to conduct expeditionary operations in defense of our common interests…”
Second, what emerged from a series of meetings with my NATO counterparts this past week was a recommitment to finishing the job in Afghanistan. Our bottom line, as the foreign minister pointed out, is in together, out together. As an Alliance, we are fully committed to the Lisbon framework and transitioning to Afghan control by 2014.
Seems like these guys just can’t figure out who they are…or what they want to be when they grow up because they like to change names more often than a 15-year-old girl changes her hairstyle! Blackwater-Xe has morphed once again and has now been reborn as ACADEMI. Gosh, this must mean they’ve turned over a new leaf and will now be a kinder, gentler and uh…more academic(?) organization, right?
Contact: John Procter
Gibraltar Associates, LLC
+1 (202) 213-7233
December 12, 2011 – Arlington, Va. – USTC Holdings, LLC, the investor consortium that acquired Xe Services, LLC, including its main holding U.S. Training Center, Inc. (USTC) in December 2010, today announced ACADEMI as the new name and brand for Xe Services. The name ACADEMI (pronounced “academy”) was selected to better communicate the new company’s focus on future growth.
“We have had a year of extraordinary changes that have resulted in a new, better company,” President and CEO Ted Wright said in a statement. The ACADEMI name communicates both our legacy and where we are going as a company in the future. This is more than a simple name change,” Wright continued. “Rather it is a reflection of the changes we have made while retaining those elements that made us who we are today – the best in our industry.”
The announcement of ACADEMI is the culmination of a year of change as part of the company’s new chapter of growth. Upon acquiring Xe Services and its core operating subsidiaries in December 2010, USTC Holdings, LLC indicated that it would form a new Board of Directors, including independent unaffiliated directors, to manage the company and enhance its governance and oversight capabilities. Now complete and led by Chairman Red McCombs, the Board is made up of an exceptional team with diverse backgrounds, including former White House Counsel Jack Quinn and former Attorney General John Ashcroft, to help guide company decisions and operations.
A new senior leadership team led by President and CEO Ted Wright was put in place, comprising experts with both government and private sector experience to develop a culture of operational excellence, governance, accountability and strategic growth.
Central to the company’s new focus, Suzanne Folsom was named the company’s first chief regulatory and compliance officer with a core company mandate to create an industry-leading governance and compliance program.
In July, the company relocated its headquarters to Arlington, Va., in order to foster even stronger relationships and exchanges with customers in and around Washington.
Just one example of what our money is being spent on in the name of ‘defense’…
The Pentagon’s top researchers have rushed a classified and controversial intelligence program into Afghanistan. Known as “Nexus 7,” and previously undisclosed as a war-zone surveillance effort, it ties together everything from spy radars to fruit prices in order to glean clues about Afghan instability.
The program has been pushed hard by the leadership of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. They see Nexus 7 as both a breakthrough data-analysis tool and an opportunity to move beyond its traditional, long-range research role and into a more active wartime mission.
But those efforts are drawing fire from some frontline intel operators who see Nexus 7 as little more than a glorified grad-school project, wasting tens of millions on duplicative technology that has nothing to do with stopping the Taliban.
“There are no models and there are no algorithms,” says one person familiar with the program, echoing numerous others who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the program publicly. Just “200 lines of buggy Python code to do what imagery analysts do every day.”
During a decade of war, American forces have gathered exabytes of information on its enemies in Afghanistan. Nexus 7 aims to tap that data to find out more about the U.S.’ alleged friends: the people of Afghanistan, and how they interact with their government and with one another.
Not that you’d be able to figure that out, examining the one public reference to Nexus 7. Tucked away in the Pentagon’s gargantuan budget, it makes the program sound like an obscure computer-science project, using “cluster analysis” to find “social networks.” There’s no reference to its operational utility.
On the military’s classified network, however, Darpa technologists pitch Nexus 7 as far-reaching and revolutionary, culling “hundreds of existing data sources from multiple Agencies and Services” to produce “population-centric, cultural intelligence.”
They boast of Nexus 7’s ties to special operations and to America’s most secretive surveillance groups, and its sophisticated tools to “perform automated cross-correlation and analysis of massive, sparse datasets — recomputing stability indicators within minutes of new data updates.”
Love the world we may live on
And so being young and dipped in folly, I fell in love with melancholy.
by E.B. de Mas, reachable at: email@example.com
Trying to get to a better place.
The journey is the destination
Dreams, randomness, ramblings, and poetic imagery.
Artwork by J. E. Lattimer
Stories, poems, and the stuff of life - from a mom, a writer, an artist, and wife.
Where writing is a performance art and every post is a show.
Knowledge Is Power
Standing Up for Truth and Justice- In a violent and oppressive world where lies and injustices prevail.
Step One to Solving any Problem is Admitting a Problem Exists
Welcome to our international playground!-NO "elitist" claims or snobbish targets, it's NOT a Nobel prize race, it's a fun and a relaxing spot
a humble documentation of my twenties, feminism and mismatched socks.
A complete guide to natural organic ethical poultry keeping
Rebuilding a sustainable world.