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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
"Blindsided" is the word that Va. Senator Jim Webb used when he addressed Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn. Lynn was one of three Pentagon officials who appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to discuss spending cuts at the Pentagon. The focal point for Webb and other members of the Virginia Congressional delegation is the Joint Forces Command, in Norfolk and Suffolk. It's an area with a huge military presence, including the world's largest naval base. It's slated to be closed.
The U.S. is watching North Korea very carefully today. North Korean dictator Kim Jong il, just promoted his 27 year old son, Kim Jong-un, to four star general. Why? Kim Jong-il, 68, is widely believed to have suffered a stroke in the summer of 2008. Since then he's tried to make his third son the successor in what could be the communist world's first back-to-back father-to-son power transfer. Kim took over the regime when his father and North Korean founder Kim Il-sung died in 1994.
The Army may soon begin distributing Apple's iphone to new recruits. The goal appears to be giving young people effective training tools and tools that are fun. Defense Tech reports Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, the top officer in charge of Army basic training says the service is making a radical shift away from Power Points and into iPhone apps. Several hundred iphones have been isued as a part of a preliminary study to see if smart phone delivery of training material works better with this generation of recruits.
The nation's top homeland security and counter-terrorism officials were on Capitol Hill talking yesterday about new terrorism trends. "Recent events in intelligence show a trend toward smaller faster developing plots rather than larger longer term plots like 9-11," said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said homegrown plots disrupted in New York, North Carolina, Arkansas, Alaska, Texas and Illinois in the past year demonstrate the urgency of the problem.
A week from today --the Senate Armed Services Committee is going to have a hearing about Pentagon's plans to close the Joint Forces Command headquarters in Norfolk to save money. Va. Sen. Jim Webb, who is a former Navy Secretary has pushed to get the hearing because they are concerned that the JFCOM closure will hit Virginia and the Tidewater region hard from an economic perspective. Webb and the rest of the Va. Congressional delegations are said to be exploring options to stop the shutdown.
Rallies are scheduled in 18 cities across the U.S., Australia and Canada this weekend to decry the arrest of Army Private Bradley Manning. The protests were organized by supporters of Manning, who is accused of leaking classified military documents. The documents were posted on the Wikileaks web site and reveal what military officials say is very damaging information about U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. Manning is also charged with leaking a video that shows the killing of a U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed 2 journalists.
The uproar over a Florida pastor's threat to burn the Koran is not going away. Sixty people were injured in Kabul, Afghanistan during a rally against the idea Wednesday. The crowd in the western part of the city shot at police and threw stones --35 of those injured were police. The Koran has been at the heart of a number of violent struggles in Europe, Central Asia and the middle east in recent days. The concern is not just for locations outside of the U.S.. Authorities here are on alert for violence that may grow out of similar protests.
An elite Canadian military unit is under investigation. The Canadian Defense Department has launched two probes into possible misconduct by its elite commando force, officials said Tuesday. Reuters reports the investigations began after a member of the commando group, Joint Task Force 2, raised serious allegations against another member of the force, as well as against JTF2 in general, a Defense Department spokesman said. Captain David Scanlon, who declined to give precise details, said the affair could concern Afghan prisoners taken by Canadian troops.
As a plan to offset Iran's alleged nuclear program, the Pentagon is pressing ahead with a plan to send 60 billion dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia. The Associated Press says the plan has been in the works for months and the U.S. is actually shifting it defense policies in the region to send a message to Iran. U.S. and foreign sources say Iran could soon have enough enriched uranium to build at least one nuclear weapon. Iran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
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.