President Obama will announce today that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is submitting his resignation. According to the New York Times, "The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ." [more inside]
This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org[more inside]
Al Jazeera: 'US admits ops in Yemen and Somalia: White House formally acknowledges "direct action", believed to mean drone strikes, against al-Qaeda and its affiliates.' [more inside]
Despite continuing inaction and perverse subsidies from the US Federal Government, one of their largest entities, the US Department of Defense, has done the analysis and considers both peak oil and climate change to be a significant threat. In partial response, they're pushing heavily into alternative fuels, with the Air Force aiming to get fully half of its domestic jet fuel from alternative sources by 2016.
Employed as a Counterterrorism Analyst, But Think Your Bosses Are Misunderstanding the Problem? Quit your DoD post and write a book! Offer it for free, on the Web. Oh, and do it anonymously. Reddit AMA here.
Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military is a podcast put out by the US Department of Defense. Each week, they interview scientists and other personnel about R & D in the military. Topics include nutrition, portable fuel cells, virtual online worlds, substance abuse, and the effects of sounds on whale behavior. [more inside]
Are you a Gulf War veteran still suffering from mysterious symptoms or post-combat trauma? The Veteran's Administration has just the prescription for you: "Obecalp," otherwise known as placebo. (p.s. -- They'd better start working on an Extra-Strength version for Iraq War vets.)
Then: Q - Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq? Rumsfeld - Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question. And now: The estimated cost to US taxpayers of the Iraq war to date is $250 billion and rising, or $100,000 per minute. Total cost of the Bush doctrine of spreading "democracy" since September 11th -- half a trillion dollars, or nearly the cost of the 13 years of the Vietnam War, adjusted for inflation. What else could we have done with that kind of money? Also see here.
GAO: Pentagon sold biolab gear "The Defense Department sold equipment to the public that can be used for making biological warfare agents, according to a draft report by the General Accounting Office. " Next: Anthrax on EBay?
Is the Pentagon using the Bible Code to hunt for Osama bin Laden? According to the book's author, Michael Drosnin, both America and Israel are doing just that. According to columnist Bill Keller's Pentagon source, however, Drosnin was interviewed for only an hour and dismissed. But the question remains - how did a nut like Drosnin manage to bend the ears of top DoD brass? MoJo-ers, care to take a whack at this one? [links via Tom Tomorrow; more inside]
US Army Introduces "America's Army" PC Game Developed by the U.S. Army and Department of Defense experts in simulations and virtual environments, America's Army blends two simulations: Soldiers, a role-playing portion, and a first-person action game, called Operations. The Army will distribute America’s Army for free through distribution partners that include leading computer game magazines, Army events, recruiting stations, and through internet download.
Defense Department's Anthrax Site. Wierd. Wierd. Wierd. Click on FLASH version.
FLASH: Iridium Saved. I don't get to write too many two word flashes... The DoD, specifically DISA, signed an 11th inning 2 year $72 million contract with Iridium LLC, saving them from splashing the constellation. [more...]