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A new generation of defense industry leaders is using social media tools, leaner management structures and even shared sports activities to create a more collaborative and efficient workplace. Reuters reports, facing a downturn in defense spending and the Pentagon's aggressive cost-cutting drives, the industry is in a period of intense change. Companies are shifting gears to focus on new technologies like cybersecurity and unmanned planes as they try to become more efficient and in synch with rapidly evolving threats. Many companies have appointed new leaders who are changing the culture of an industry once dominated by strong personalities like Harry Stonecipher at Boeing Co and Tom Jones, the maverick who piloted Northrop Co's rise to become one of the hottest defense contractors of the 1980s.
The Army has a new track in Maryland to test safety for war-fighting vehicles. The Aberdeen Proving Ground north of Baltimore is the Pentagon's first contiguous, flat track for sustained high-speed vehicle testing. Convoys in warzones have to travel long distances at over 60 mph to counter enemy threats. But until now, the military has had no way to test all its vehicles at high speeds for extended periods.
A Marine two-star general says the Taliban is experiencing a serious cash flow problem after losing an estimated half of its annual revenue from the drug trade in southern Afghanistan. The Associated Press reported Maj. Gen. Richard Mills says intelligence reports suggest that last year's poppy blight and government eradication efforts are keeping the Taliban from buying weapons and other supplies. Mills said at a news conference at the Pentagon U.S. troops still have a tough fight on their hands in Marjah.
A U.S. official said yesterday, they notified the Dutch authorities early on that they had no derogatory information on two men, both of Yemeni origin, who had suspicious items in their luggage. Still the Dutch were not satisfied. A major concern was the fact that one of the men and his luggage with contained suspicious items were headed to separate locations. Analyst say that is a classic sign of either a system test or compartmentalized attempt to slip prohibited items aboard an airplane.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner says Virginia officials should keep up the fight against the closing of a defense command in Norfolk. According to the Associated Press, the Virginia Democrat also suggested a different tack during a stop in Portsmouth on Thursday. He said Virginia officials should convince the Pentagon that it makes military and economic sense to keep the Joint Forces Command in Hampton Roads. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced this month he wants to close the command, which employs some 6,000 military and civilian workers.
The former chief of U.N. nuclear inspections worldwide, told Le Monde newspaper that Iran has stockpiled enough low-enriched uranium for 1-2 nuclear weapons. But Olli Heinonen, said it would not make sense for it to "cross the bomb-making threshold with such a small amount". He also said Iran's uranium reserve still represented a "threat." Pentagon officials told Congress last spring Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a one nuclear weapon in as little as a year.
Canadian authorities say they've broken up an al Qaida terror plot. Two residents from Ottawa have been arrested after one of them was preparing to leave the country. Authorities are tight-lipped about the investigation, but they say the plot involved at least one suspect who had traveled to the tribal territories of Pakistan and Afghanistan. They also indicated the plot involved explosives. Canada is the only one of the major countries on Al Qaida's list that they have yet to successfully attack.
You may remember the story of a pregnant Marine who was murdered at Camp Lejune in December of 2007. A jury on Monday convicted a former Marine of first-degree murder in the death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, 20, of Vandalia, Ohio, in December 2007. Cesar Laurean, 23, of Las Vegas faces life in prison without parole. He was also convicted of theft and fraud charges.
The Pentagon is warning for the first time about the Chinese military's use of civilian computer experts in clandestine cyber attacks aimed at American companies and government agencies. DoD has issued a report says the People's Liberation Army, is using "information warfare units" to develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems and networks, and those units include civilian computer professionals.
The "height of irresponsibility". That what the Pentagon says about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's decision to release another 15-thousand documents related to the war in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says "there are very serious operational consequences. There are the names of a lot of Afghans who have worked with us and helped us in those documents." He added the documents contain a significant amount of information about U.S. tactics, techniques and procedures, including places where they are vulnerable.