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Geo Cell: ‘We Track ’Em, You Whack ’Em.’

"The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people." - Scahill and Greenwald @ The Intercept [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Feb 10, 2014 - 77 comments

Monitoring the raindrops that keep falling on your head from space

The successor to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the NASA/JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) spacecraft is preparing for launch at the Japanese Tanegashima Space Center. GPM will be the newest international Precipitation Measurement Mission and will be the core observatory of the GPM Constellation. The two sensors on-board GPM are the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR). The GPM/DPR team has produced a fantastic anime about the DPR instrument. [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets on Jan 8, 2014 - 6 comments

"appointed to his spot by every single president since Nixon."

In 1973, a small think-tank with the mandate of anticipating and preparing for future threats was formed inside the DoD, called the Office of Net Assessment. A RAND corp strategist named Andrew Marshall was placed at its head. Forty years later, he's still at it and has survived the latest round of budget cuts - for now. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 9, 2013 - 18 comments

What’s worse there, the sex or the pretending to be dead?

The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure [PDF, there is a Word file direct from the DoD] is 167 pages of stories of elaborate frauds, scams, and abuses of power in the US government. Interestingly, the sarcasm-filled document is also published by the US government, to help illustrate how government workers get in trouble. Freakonomics radio has a amusing and interesting discussion with the Encyclopedia's editor and founding editor [link goes to transcript]. [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah on Jul 18, 2013 - 12 comments

“I’m dismantling the Death Star to build solar ovens for the Ewoks.”

The Merry Pranksters Who Hacked the Afghan War [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 1, 2013 - 14 comments

"The basic problem is that no one gets fired."

Your Favorite Army General Actually Sucks. Tom Rick's new book The Generals focuses on professional shortcomings of high-ranking Army officers, and offers a new (old) solution: fire them. "But as far as I can tell, no general has been fired for incompetence in combat since Maj. Gen. James Baldwin was fired as commander of the Americal Division in 1971." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 18, 2013 - 35 comments

Coming to a medium-sized city near you

DARPA has developed a 1800 megapixel sensor array for use on UAVs. It is capable of spotting something as small as 6-inches while covering an area half the size of Manhattan. [more inside]
posted by dubusadus on Feb 3, 2013 - 84 comments

Firing on Air Force Kind of a Drag on Navy Career

The U.S. Senate has declined to promote Captain Timothy W. Dorsey to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Dorsey, currently serving as Navy Reserve inspector general, was involved in one of the more bizarre friendly fire incidents in U.S. Military History, intentionally shooting down a U.S. Air Force jet during military exercises some 25 years ago. [more inside]
posted by kjars on Jan 8, 2013 - 75 comments

'consider the Geneva Conventions against protecting civilians in wartime “no longer relevant.”'

Last year, Wired reported that 'The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”' (previously) The FBI pledged reform, but the materials appeared to be deeply embedded. After the President ordered a review, the FBI 'purged' the documents from training materials. Earlier this year Wired reported that 'U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 25, 2012 - 42 comments

Christmas in June

The United States Department of Defense has generously "decided to give NASA two telescopes as big as, and even more powerful than, the Hubble Space Telescope." They apparently had some antiquated spy satellite hardware sitting around unused and unwanted. NASA still needs to find money to outfit them with recording instruments and pay a team to manage them, which may take 8 years
posted by crayz on Jun 4, 2012 - 69 comments

Who Watches The Robots?

Wired Magazine: Mystery virus hits U.S drone fleet
posted by The Whelk on Oct 8, 2011 - 68 comments

What the Galactic Empire knows about defense budgets

Don’t Come to the Dark Side: Acquisition Lessons from a Galaxy Far, Far Away [PDF] would seem like ordinary Star Wars fanfic, if it wasn't published in the military's usually sober journal for defense aquisitions. The lessons for the Department of Defense seem quite real, however, especially given the $31 septillion cost of the Death Star, compared to the much cheaper x-wing.
posted by blahblahblah on Sep 12, 2011 - 66 comments

Clearance is denied

In accordance with Executive Order 10865 of 1960 & DoD Directive 5220.6 of 1992 (original PDF), the Department of Defense has published the reasons for granting or turning down applications for Clearance by 444 Defense contractor personnel in 2010 (so far).
posted by scalefree on Jul 2, 2010 - 34 comments

"...to pursue the day when these weapons do not exist..."

"There is no conventional or chemical or biological threat out there that we cannot counter with our overwhelming conventional forces." ~ US President Barack Obama
The US 2010 Nuclear Posture Review Report (NPR) has been announced. (pdf) For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons except in "extreme circumstances", pledging not to develop new ones and limiting the use of those in storage -- even for self defense. Nuclear weapons will not be used against non-nuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even in response to a hypothetical biological or chemical weapons attack, or a crippling cyberattack. The new focus will be deterrence. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 6, 2010 - 82 comments

An Inconvenient Audit

The Pentagon's $1 Trillion Problem. Even as the Defense Department prepares to send Congress its $481.4B FY2008 budget request, it also prepares to admit -- for the 18th year in a row -- that its finances are in such poor shape that it is effectively impossible to audit or account for over a trillion dollars in past expenses. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Apr 16, 2008 - 38 comments

Sticker Shock and Awe

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.
posted by digaman on Feb 3, 2006 - 112 comments

Pentagon bribery scandal -- Iraqi journalists bought out.

Pentagon bribery scandal -- Iraqi journalists bought out. Officials in Washington have admitted that the US military has bribed Iraqi journalists with under-the-table payoffs of up to $200 a month -- twice the average Iraqi monthly income -- for producing upbeat newspaper, radio and television reports about the war in Iraq. This follows a similar report yesterday that the military secretly paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of pro-American articles written by the US Information Operations Task Force in Baghdad. A Pentagon spokesman described the report as "troubling". "This article raises some questions as to whether or not some of the practices that are described in there are consistent with the principles of this department."
posted by insomnia_lj on Dec 1, 2005 - 62 comments

Liar, liar, pants on fire

"What's the matter sweetie? Can't sleep?"
"No, no. I was just going over my answers to the polygraph test your dad just gave me."
posted by Rothko on Nov 7, 2005 - 17 comments

Department of Defense plays games!

From Marine Doom to America's Army to...Starcraft? A community of military games and game developers. Eerie or excellent?
posted by sandking on Jul 21, 2005 - 17 comments

weapons on the loose

The Coalition's lack of preparation left 380 tons of high explosives unprotected in Iraq. Now it looks like the DoD tried to cover it up. Where is your surprise now? (first one is NYT)
posted by jmgorman on Oct 24, 2004 - 66 comments

The Pentagon—Spying in America

We have some questions for you The DoD, with the help of some friendly legislatures, is getting an exemption to restrictions put in place after the scandals of the early '70s against intelligence operations inside US borders. PATRIOT Act III?
posted by billsaysthis on Jun 13, 2004 - 5 comments

Iraq and Al-Queda Linked?

Iraq and Al-Queda Linked? The WeeklyStandard claims to have received a letter sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy to the chairmen of the Senate Intelligence Committee, outlining the connections between Iraq and Bin Laden. Shortly thereafter, the DOD criticizes the WeeklyStandard for mischaracterizing the memo. Story still developing...
posted by nads on Nov 15, 2003 - 16 comments

GAO: Pentagon sold biolab gear

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?
posted by Postroad on Oct 6, 2003 - 14 comments

802.11b wireless and the Department of Defense

The ever popular WiFi systems are the latest threat to National Security according to this story.
posted by thedailygrowl on Dec 17, 2002 - 5 comments

Surprise! The Pentagon's internal problems are worse than we thought...

Surprise! The Pentagon's internal problems are worse than we thought... And in other news, we still find ourselves fit to order the rest of the world around. That the Pentagon's internal management is a shambles is an understatement. Frank Spinney's testimony in June of this year demonstrates not only the complete failure of the Pentagon to manage itself, but also how the political system acts as a dangerous reinforcement, and vice versa. More important for the soldiers in the field, he also demonstrates how/why some of the tools being used are wholly inadequate and inappropriate. On a related note, does anyone else find it strange that our military planners feel a $350 billion/year budget is not sufficient to handle two "medieval countries" (Afghanistan/Iraq) simultaneously? Makes me glad we never had to take on the Soviets full bore...
posted by tgrundke on Sep 10, 2002 - 10 comments

US Army Introduces "America's Army" PC Game

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.
posted by Stuart_R on May 23, 2002 - 24 comments

In 1999, India and Pakistan were closer to nuclear war

In 1999, India and Pakistan were closer to nuclear war than was commonly known, according to Clinton's former chief adviser on South Asia. On Monday, the Defense Department's policy chief said that "there is a risk of war" that is "very large." On Tuesday, militants attacked an army camp in Indian Kashmir and killed 30 people, including 11 women and 10 children. All this makes me very nervous. Is it just me? And adding a touch of the bizarre, India is officially researching arcane, 2300 year-old military technology that it believes will give its military a greater advantage.
posted by homunculus on May 15, 2002 - 30 comments

Ozzy Gets His Dog Back

Ozzy Gets His Dog Back Pipi The Pomeranian, who wandered out of the Osbournes’ Beverly Hills mansion over a month ago, changed hands several times before reaching the Nettles. Woof!
posted by Iberaband on May 10, 2002 - 0 comments

Danny pearl, did the wall street journal endanger their own reporter.

Danny pearl, did the wall street journal endanger their own reporter. The handing over of a laptop to the C.I.A and the department of Defense may hve led to the singling out of a Journal employee.
posted by johnnyboy on Mar 5, 2002 - 2 comments

Solve Terrorism Quick

Solve Terrorism Quick in one to twelve pages. The Department of Defense wants quick solutions. Where are my crayons?
posted by SEWilco on Oct 26, 2001 - 5 comments

Defense Department's Anthrax Site.

Defense Department's Anthrax Site. Wierd. Wierd. Wierd. Click on FLASH version.
posted by xammerboy on Oct 8, 2001 - 23 comments

FLASH: Iridium Saved.

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...]
posted by baylink on Dec 7, 2000 - 21 comments

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