Upgraded U.S. military

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Upgraded U.S. military

ตั้งหัวข้อ  satan_baby on Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:29 pm

The Aegis Weapon System includes the SPY-1 radar, the Navy's most advanced radar system. When paired with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, it is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare.

The U.S. Navy, supported by Lockheed Martin has completed Combat System Ship Qualification Trials for upgraded Aegis Combat Systems installed aboard two Navy ships.

The Navy determined that the Aegis Combat Systems aboard the cruisers USS Mobile Bay and USS Philippine Sea are fully operational.

As part of the cruiser modernization program, the computer suites on these ships were upgraded with enhanced technical data collection capability and radar data display systems, as well as a new digital fire control interface between the anti-submarine warfare control system and the vertical launch system.

During the trials, the ships' Aegis Combat Systems were evaluated for combat-readiness through comprehensive surface, subsurface and anti-air warfare exercises.

These included manned raids and electronic attack scenarios, as well as thorough testing of the systems' tactical data link and air defense capabilities.

"Lockheed Martin continues its legacy of working with the Navy to evolve the Aegis system," said Jeff Bantle, Lockheed Martin's vice president of Surface-Sea Based Missile Defense Systems.

"We take great pride in our partnership as the Aegis Platform System Engineering Agent and look forward to using our experience to increase program affordability."

The Aegis Weapon System includes the SPY-1 radar, the Navy's most advanced radar system. When paired with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, it is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare.

The Aegis Weapon System is deployed on 93 ships around the globe. Aegis is the weapon system of choice for Australia, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea and Spain.

Aegis-equipped ships have more than 1,200 years of at-sea operational experience and have launched more than 3,800 missiles in tests and actual operations.

The USS Mobile Bay and the USS Philippine Sea are both Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers.

Space Daily


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ตั้งหัวข้อ  hacksecrets on Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:48 pm

Nine European countries start military exercises in Austria

The "European Advance 2010" military exercises involving 6,700 troops from nine European countries started Monday in northern Austria.

The Austrian Broadcasting (ORF) reported that the 10-day operation in the military area in Allentsteig of Lower Austria also involved 780 militia and 90 military students, as well as more than 1,600 military vehicles and 50 airplanes, including the Eurofighter and the Black Hawk.

The nine countries are Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro.

The "European Advance 2010" was the continent's biggest military training operation this year, aiming to strengthen international cooperation in anti-terror, disaster protection, combats against international organized crimes and fights against weapons of mass destruction.

"Since the end of the Cold War, the scenario has changed," Gunter Hofler, commandant of the Austrian Armed Forces Commando, said, adding: "threats have crossed boundaries and can't be overcome by a single state any longer."

The military exercises would cost about 4.5 million euros (about 5.77 million U.S. dollars).

Source: Xinhua

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Re: Upgraded U.S. military

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:14 pm

Military policy on gays is criticized

The government's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is based on mistaken assumptions and probably is making a difficult situation worse, a leading expert in cognitive psychology said Tuesday in Maj. Margaret Witt's lawsuit against the Air Force.

By Rob Carson
The News Tribune

Testifying in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, University of Washington professor Anthony Greenwald said that, based on academic studies, dire predictions about how troops would react to open homosexuality in their ranks almost certainly are wrong.

Chances are, soldiers would get over the stress, if any, of serving with gays and lesbians far more quickly than Congress imagined when it passed the don't ask, don't tell law, Greenwald said.

Keeping homosexuality a secret in the military probably increases fears, he said, and tends to reinforce the attitude that they are unwanted.

"When people are restricted from saying anything, their leader is free to assume there are no gays or lesbians serving and that people prefer it that way," he said.

Greenwald, social psychologist and professor of psychology at the UW, is widely known in the field of social psychology for innovations he's made in the study of prejudice and observing unconscious attitudes.

His painstaking testimony and cross examination took most of the day in court Tuesday.

"Don't ask, don't tell," is the shorthand term for the federal law that defines how homosexuality should be handled in the U.S. military.

People who are openly gay are barred from military service. However, as long as gay service members don't talk openly about their sexual orientation or display openly gay behavior, their supervisors are restricted from initiating investigations.

Witt, a popular and much decorated flight nurse, was discharged from her unit at McChord for engaging in homosexual conduct. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, she sued the Air Force in 2006, contending the Air Force had not proved her sexual orientation had interfered with her work.

Her case initially was dismissed, but in 2008 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sent it back to U.S. District Court in Tacoma, saying the Air Force should have to establish an important government interest — such as the preservation of unit morale, discipline and order — in making the decision to force someone from the military because of openly homosexual conduct.

Greenwald's careful, technical testimony in court Tuesday did not lend itself to easy conclusions.

"It's something like building the foundation of a house with Jell-O," U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton told Greenwald of his analysis. "There are not very many concrete elements."

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:04 am

U.S., Partners Prepare New Posture on North Korea

The United States, South Korea and Japan are working to develop a new strategy for engaging with North Korea amid worries that the present program of strong military posturing and economic pressure could result in military conflict with the aspiring nuclear power, the Washington Post reported today (see GSN, Sept. 16).

Washington and its allies are concerned that a policy of "strategic patience" -- waiting for heightened international sanctions to force the North to return to multilateral nuclear negotiations -- could lead to fresh attacks on South Korea or the ratcheting up of Pyongyang's efforts to spread weapons of mass destruction.

U.S. and Asian officials said the basic aspects of a new posture toward the North were coming together with Washington, Seoul and Tokyo in agreement on wanting Pyongyang to issue condolences over the deaths of 46 sailors killed in a March sinking of a South Korean warship. The South had originally demanded that North Korea admit it was behind the sinking of the Cheonan and apologize for the attack.

"This has to be done in a way that addresses the grievances of the South Koreans," a high-level Obama administration official said.

Less certain is whether there will be an allied demand that North Korea take concrete steps to disable its nuclear program prior to returning to the six-party talks which also include China and Russia.

"There are two legs of the stool so far," an informed source said. "Sanctions and military exercises. But [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] views talking with the North as the indispensable third. If you just continue sanctions and exercises, that's a road to war."

Pyongyang has demanded that U.N. Security Council sanctions be eased as a precondition to returning to nuclear negotiations. U.S. Assistant Defense Secretary Wallace Gregson, however, told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday that economic penalties against the North would be maintained and that the Obama administration is looking for "meaningful actions" by the Stalinist state prior to resumption of negotiations.

During a late-August visit to China, reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Il reportedly reaffirmed his country's commitment to denuclearization. Engagement between the two Koreas has also increased in recent weeks, with the South providing the North badly needed aid in the wake of flooding. Still, there is much that is unknown about Pyongyang's motives, U.S. officials have said.

"In fundamental ways, North Korea is still a black box," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said at yesterday's Senate hearing. "It's a very, very hard target, probably the hardest target we face in the global arena" (John Pomfret, Washington Post, Sept. 17).

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) noted at the hearing that the Defense Department's 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review determined that North Korea "could soon have the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon not only to its neighbors but to the United States," the Christian Science Monitor reported.

His efforts to elicit a definitive answer from Obama officials on whether the North has a "reliable nuclear capability"were not successful, with Gregson responding, "Not to our knowledge" and "they have demonstrated the ability to detonate nuclear devices" in two tests.

North Korea is thought to have enough processed plutonium for several warheads. Efforts to develop a weapons platform to deliver those bombs are believed to be less advanced.

Responding to a question by McCain on whether North Korea could use one of its submarines to attack a U.S. warship as it was widely presumed to have done with the Cheonan, Gregson said "Certainly the ability to attack from ambush, to conduct a surprise attack is a threat. Yes, it could have been attempted" (Anna Mulrine, Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 16).

Gregson indicated that North Korea is believed to be sending technology to Iran, but that details could not be offered in a public hearing, Agence France-Presse reported.

"North Korea has demonstrated frequently their intent to violate a number of international norms, sanctions and resolutions to transfer forbidden military technology to more than one other party," the defense official said (Agence France-Presse/Spacewar.com, Sept. 16).

Campbell reaffirmed that Washington's stance on North Korea's nuclear ambitions has not changed, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

"We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons power," he said during the hearing.

"The United States has underscored numerous times that North Korea can only achieve the security and international respect it seeks by ceasing its provocative behavior, improving its relations with its neighbors, complying with international law, and taking irreversible steps toward fulfilling its denuclearization commitments under the September 2005 Joint Statement," he said (Hwang Doo-hyong, Yonhap News Agency I, Sept. 16).

Meanwhile, a fifth round of working-level talks yesterday between the U.N. Command that oversees the 1953 Korean War armistice agreement and the North Korean military on the Cheonan incident did not lead to any breakthroughs, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The two sides agreed to "conduct another colonel-level meeting at a date to be determined," a release from the U.S.-led command stated. Yesterday's three hour meeting in a border zone village was intended to pave the way for general-level talks on the warship sinking (Xinhua News Agency, Sept. 16).

Elsewhere, in another indication of North Korea's desire for re-engagement, Pyongyang has suggested holding military discussions with Seoul on border disagreements, the New York Times reported.

If they take place, the joint talks would be the first in nearly two years. The South, however, is considering the offer carefully in light of Pyongyang's pattern of following hostile acts with proposals for talks so as to gain concessions.

"Taking into consideration that North Korea has not admitted to or apologized for sinking the Cheonan, the government is reviewing the North’s proposal cautiously," the South Korean Defense Ministry said in released remarks.

A high-ranking South Korean presidential adviser on Wednesday confirmed the Lee administration would continue to prohibit significant foreign aid until Pyongyang issued an apology (Choe Sang-hun, New York Times I, Sept. 16).

A top-level official in South Korea said yesterday that Seoul, Tokyo and Washington think bilateral North-South discussions ought to be the beginning point for relaunching the six-party process. Beijing, which hosts the nuclear talks, does not object to the notion, Yonhap reported (Yonhap News Agency II, Sept. 16).

For the first time in almost three years, South Korea today dispatched a truck shipment of food aid to the North today in another sign of easing tensions between the two Koreas, the Times reported (Choe Sang-hun, New York Times II, Sept. 17).

Separately, Pyongyang intends to dispatch Vice Foreign Minister Pak Kil Yon to New York for this month's U.N. General Assembly meeting. The former ambassador to the international body is anticipated to give a speech and to have a face-to-face with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, a high-ranking U.N. official told the Korea Herald (Shin Hae-in, Korea Herald, Sept. 16).

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Re: Upgraded U.S. military

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:05 am

U.S. to Boost Radiation Detection Aid to South Korea

An agreement signed yesterday calls for increased U.S. support for South Korea's efforts to combat the illegal trafficking of nuclear materials, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced.

Under the new memorandum of understanding, the U.S. nuclear agency would collaborate with Korean Customs on fielding radiation detection technology and "associated infrastructure" at additional terminals at the Port of Busan, according to a press release.

The agreement builds on earlier cargo security efforts begun by the U.S. Energy and Homeland Security departments with Korean Customs. The latest project would be carried out under the NNSA Second Line of Defense program's Megaports Initiative, which supports foreign governments' efforts to prevent and catch smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive substances through seaports.

"The Megaports Agreement signed today strengthens the United States' and the Republic of Korea’s joint commitment to the safety and security of our nations," U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman said in a statement. "The Megaports Initiative is a critical part of NNSA's efforts ... to secure vulnerable nuclear material and keep it out of the hands of terrorists, smugglers and proliferators. The success of this program is due in no small part to the continued and future cooperation and support from partners such as the Republic of Korea" (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release, Sept. 16).

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ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:13 am

As "New START" Goes to Senate Floor, Panel Strikes Compromise on Missile Defense
By Elaine M. Grossman

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday passed a Republican-drafted ratification resolution in favor of the "New START" nuclear arms control agreement on a 14-4 vote, but only after lawmakers hammered out a fresh compromise on missile defense.

(Sep. 17) - U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), shown last year, yesterday successfully proposed an amendment to the "New START" nuclear arms control treaty ratification measure that would seek additional protection from ballistic missile attack. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the amended ratification text (Mark Wilson/Getty Images).

"We hope this can get to the full Senate as rapidly as possible," committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) said after the panel approved the U.S.-Russian pact. "It's our hope that can happen quickly, before the end of the year, and we will work to try to make that happen."

With a Democratic majority sitting on the 19-member panel, its approval of New START was never in doubt. Kerry won backing for the treaty from all 10 other Democrats and also garnered support from three committee Republicans: Senators Richard Lugar (Ind.), Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Johnny Isakson (Ga.).

Republicans voting "no" on the ratification resolution were: Senators Jim Risch (Idaho); John Barrasso (Wyo.); Roger Wicker (Miss.); and James Inhofe (Okla.).

The White House has teamed with Kerry to cultivate as many Republican votes on the Senate floor as possible, with the aim of assuring the two-thirds majority required for ratification.

That effort last month prompted Kerry to delay the committee vote, allowing additional time for undeclared members to further review the treaty text and supporting documents (see GSN, Aug. 4). The Obama administration answered hundreds of questions from lawmakers and sent more than 20 officials to testify at a dozen hearings to make the case for the agreement.

Under New START, signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April, the two sides agree to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to a level of 1,550. Under a prior treaty, Washington and Moscow had previously moved to cap warheads at 2,200 by the end of 2012.

The New START agreement also would limit strategic delivery vehicles to 700, with an additional 100 allowed in reserve. The accord replaces the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expired Dec. 5 of last year.

The Democratic effort to sway fence-sitters -- buoyed by months of New START support from Lugar, the panel's ranking member -- continued even as what was billed as a one-hour committee session yesterday stretched into its third hour, punctuated by brief recesses for unrelated votes on the Senate floor.

Senators yesterday offered more than a dozen amendments to Lugar's draft of the resolution, which the committee opted to use in place of an earlier version authored by Kerry. Of the amendments submitted, just two passed committee and the remainder were either voted down or withdrawn.

DeMint on Missile Defense

Missile defense has become a hot-button issue associated with the New START agreement, with Republicans pushing to ensure the treaty does not limit U.S. defenses in any meaningful way and the Obama administration insisting that it simply does not. Meanwhile, Russia has issued a unilateral statement saying that any substantial expansion of Washington's missile shield could trigger Moscow's withdrawal from the accord.

Midway through yesterday's deliberations, an amendment sponsored by Senator Jim DeMint drew some spirited debate. The South Carolina Republican wanted the resolution -- which already asserted that the New START agreement would pose no significant limitations on U.S. missile defense plans -- to include additional text assuring that even a more ambitious defensive shield would be allowable under the pact.

His draft wording stated that the U.S. government has "a paramount obligation" to protect its citizens against nuclear attack, and that "policies based on 'mutually assured destruction' or intentional vulnerability are contrary to this obligation and therefore unacceptable over the long term."

DeMint was referring to the virtual standoff between nuclear adversaries, such as the United States and Russia, in which each of the atomic arsenals counters the other in a deterrence posture. His proposed amendment went on to "commit" the United States to constructing a "layered missile defense system capable of countering missiles of all ranges."

The wording ran counter to U.S. policy -- embraced by Democratic and Republican presidents over more than a decade -- to limit national missile defense to a system capable of absorbing an attack from just a small number of missiles, such as an accidental launch from Russia or a limited strike from North Korea.

DeMint insisted that anything short of a nearly impenetrable shield that could protect the nation from an all-out Russian attack is ultimately unacceptable, and he objected to the New START agreement's formula for offensive-missile parity between Washington and Moscow.

"I think what this amendment says is what all of us are saying, that this treaty does not limit our ability and that we will develop a defense system, as we [build] capability over time, to defend our people against Russian attacks," DeMint said.

Kerry said it has become a widely accepted expert view that a full-scale U.S. defensive shield would not only be cost-prohibitive, but also could prompt Russia to build more offensive missiles to overwhelm and break through Washington's system. DeMint would hear nothing of it, though.

"This is a clarifying moment here," he said. "The strategy of this administration and this majority is apparently a continuation of mutual assured destruction, which in my mind is a direct violation to our constitutional oath of office to protect and defend the people of the United States.

Though GOP treaty-supporters Corker and Isakson praised DeMint's amendment, committee Democrats unleashed a biting rejoinder to the South Carolina senator's apparent doubts about their national security bona fides.

"Moving forward with this treaty is paramount in order to protect and defend the people of this nation," said Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.). "I think the DeMint amendment is not helpful and I'm going to vote against it."

"No president of either party has advocated a massive missile defense system that would provoke Russia since before the Cold War [ended]," said Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

"I just want to ask you, Senator DeMint," she said. "Are you suggesting that if we vote against your amendment, that we in some way are not defending this country, and don't believe that we should defend this country against our enemies? Because if that's what you're suggesting, senator, then I personally resent that."

"It's not my intent to offend anyone," DeMint responded, "but to try to make sure that there is an understanding that this START agreement does not defend the people of the United States."

Despite the acrimony, committee members agreed to seek consensus on the DeMint amendment. However, that was only after Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) defected from party unity in supporting of the proposed missile defense text. He noted that he had been a Reagan administration defense leader who endorsed building a robust shield.

Kerry asked DeMint whether he would be willing to vote in favor of New START if the committee could agree on some wording changes to his amendment, a question that elicited laughter from the audience.

"I very well could," said DeMint, surprising many in the room. "It's a fair question."

A recess in the hearing quickly followed, allowing senators to confer across the aisle. A number of senior administration officials joined them behind closed doors, including chief treaty negotiator Rose Gottemoeller, Defense Department policy deputy James Miller, and Ted Warner, the defense secretary's representative at the New START talks.

Upon re-emerging, Kerry announced they had worked out a bipartisan deal with DeMint. However, when it came time to vote on his amendment, the South Carolina Republican was notably absent from the room.

"Anybody have any idea where Senator DeMint is?" asked Kerry, who was then assured by colleagues that the vote could proceed without him.

The committee went on to accept the missile defense amendment in a unanimous voice vote. DeMint also failed to return before the New START won final committee passage, leaving in question whether he will throw his support behind the treaty.

What allowed for the Democrats' dramatic shift on the DeMint amendment?

Though the new wording was not released, "essentially [the amendment] is no longer taking the form of an understanding, but it is a declaration," Kerry told reporters after the committee adjourned. "There were [also] some key language changes that we think better frames the transformation that we're all looking for, away from mutual assured destruction [and] towards something that doesn't rely on the destruction of our population to protect us."

Additionally, "the linkages of strategic defense to strategic offense [were] clarified in a way that I think satisfies that we're not threatening anybody with what we may or may not do," explained the panel chairman, noting that the amended resolution text would be distributed soon.

The new wording "commits us to continue to develop the ability to be able to protect our people and to have a robust missile defense system," Kerry said. "Most of us feel that Senator Lugar's language that he offered did that sufficiently. We wanted to make sure that this was in keeping with that language, and I think we came up with a compromise where everybody was comfortable that it didn't do violence to that, but it did express the views that Senator DeMint hoped to express."

The compromise might prove pivotal in landing the floor votes of some conservative Republicans -- who have hammered the administration for months on their missile defense concerns -- or at least that is the Democratic hope.

"I think we can find common ground in that, and we did," Kerry said.

The other approved amendment, sponsored by Risch, addresses delivery system modernization in text negotiated by senators from both parties. Kerry urged committee members to vote for the measure, and it passed in a unanimous voice vote.

The legislation now moves to the Senate floor, though it remains unclear when the chamber will agree to allot time for debate and a tally. The ratification language must pass the Senate by at least 67 votes, as well as win approval by the Russian legislature, before entering into force.

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Re: Upgraded U.S. military

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:18 am

Republican Support

"I personally believe we will have the votes to ratify this," Kerry told reporters yesterday. He called the 14-4 bipartisan tally "a very significant vote" and said "it augurs very well for the Senate debate as a whole."

All eyes are now on Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who said in a July 8 essay that most of his colleagues would find the agreement "relatively benign." However, he also raised questions about the treaty's verification provisions; implications for missile defense and conventional "prompt global strike" systems; and prospects for Obama administration funding for nuclear-weapon maintenance and facilities.

A spokesman for Kyl told the "PBS NewsHour" this week that the senator -- a minority whip who is widely seen as carving out a national security leadership role in the chamber apart from Lugar's more moderate stance -- would not reveal his position on New START ratification until after the committee vote.

Early rancor over the Lugar version and the amendments subsequently adopted by committee could actually help the prospects for treaty ratification, according to one issue expert.

"If Kerry is not totally happy with the Lugar resolution, if the administration is uncomfortable with parts of the Lugar resolution, and if the arms control community is unhappy with parts of the Lugar resolution as well, it makes it easier for Republications to say they have their pound of flesh," said John Isaacs, executive director of the Council for a Livable World. "Anything reasonable that encourages Republicans to vote for ratification is a positive step forward."

Once it goes to debate on the Senate floor, lawmakers might propose attaching additional text changes to the resolution.

"As far as I'm concerned, what will get us 67 votes that does not the constrain the ability for us to have the treaty to go forward -- and doesn't cause problems for the Russians as they ratify it -- I assume is something we could go along with," Ellen Tauscher, the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said at a Sept. 10 roundtable discussion with reporters.

In a White House conference call with journalists on Tuesday, administration officials said they hope the chamber keeps any new language in the resolution to a minimum.

"What we would clearly prefer is that we have a relatively clean resolution of support for the treaty," said Miller, the Pentagon's principal deputy undersecretary for policy. "We understand the Senate's issues and concerns with respect to missile defense and conventional prompt global strike, and investment as well."

Some Republicans have questioned whether the agreement limits the Defense Department's ability to deploy conventionally armed strategic delivery systems that could quickly strike targets anywhere around the world, but the Pentagon has said the accord does not tie its hands.

Speaking Tuesday, Tauscher said any such language attached to a ratification resolution should remain consistent with treaty provisions so that the pact does not have to be renegotiated with Moscow.

An important factor in ultimately bringing the treaty into force is "how the Russians react" to any new language the Senate adds to the ratification legislation, she said during the telephone press conference. "It's very important that we have a clean resolution so that there are no ramifications for how the Russians manage their ratification process," Tauscher said.

Intelligence Issue

Republican panel member Risch revealed yesterday that the Obama administration had just briefed lawmakers on a classified intelligence matter that he found disturbing enough to inhibit his vote in favor of New START.

"Yesterday the intelligence community brought to us some very serious information that directly affects what we're doing here, not only the actual details of this but actually whether or not we should debate going forward with this," Risch said.

Kerry called it "inappropriate" to discuss the sensitive matter in public, and none of the senators disclosed the nature or topic of the particular intelligence. Obama administration officials similarly refused to discuss the matter, though some played down the relevance of the intelligence to the debate over New START.

"The conclusion of the intelligence community is that it in no way alters their judgment, already submitted to this committee, with respect to the START treaty and the impact of the START treaty," Kerry said. "It has no impact, in their judgment."

Had Kerry believed the information was relevant to New START, "we would not have proceeded today," he said. However, the Massachusetts senator did say the issue would be "thoroughly further vetted" before the accord goes to the Senate floor for debate.

Risch remained dissatisfied.

"I find the information particularly troubling ... as it affects the details of what we're doing here today," he said, differing with Kerry's description of the intelligence community view of the matter's relevance to New START.

Kerry later told reporters there was "no need to" divulge any details of the intelligence issue, with officials refusing to say even whether it pertained to Moscow.

"I am absolutely convinced it will not alter our sense of direction with respect to this treaty," he said.

Modernization Funding

The head of the Energy Department's nuclear weapons agency, Thomas D'Agostino, insisted during the telephone Q&A this week that an Obama administration pledge this year to spend an additional $10 billion on warhead upgrades over the next 10 years should meet his needs well. He said he is committed to "not throw more money at this" but spend "in a way that is fiscally prudent and is executable."

The Lugar version of the ratification resolution "clearly commits the Senate and the administration to support the plan the administration put forward, which is a substantial increase in budgets for the weapons complex and warhead refurbishment," said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

The projected $80 billion over the next decade exceeds "the levels put forward by the Bush administration, which Senator Corker and Senator Kyl seemed perfectly happy with at the time," Kimball added in a Wednesday interview. "The resolution and this Congress simply cannot bind future Congresses to spend even more, especially if there is no basis in fact to justify more spending."

Still, some Republicans have complained that much of the projected budget for nuclear modernization over the next decade appears in the later years, and they have called for higher expenditures on the front end.

D'Agostino laid the groundwork for a possible nod to these concerns, as he would not to rule out the notion that funding plans might change in coming years. However, he said last week that any future budget boosts would materialize only as a better understanding of warhead overhaul and maintenance projects is developed, and not because of any political deals made on Capitol Hill.

"Any change that is made is made based on the needs of the program," he said at the media roundtable last week. "That always takes into consideration the latest [programmatic] information -- not what I would call information on, 'well, if you give us this, we'll give you that' -- but information based on what does the program need to do its job."

"He's saying, look, we've put in more money and if we need more, we'll request it," Isaacs told Global Security Newswire. "He's not saying, if you [in Congress] put in more money, we won't take it."

Kimball said that even if the Obama administration wanted to win Republican votes by committing to higher expenditures for nuclear modernization and infrastructure, it would be more of a gesture than a guarantee, simply because of how U.S. government spending works.

"There isn't any choice. You can't appropriate fiscal year 2013 dollars in fiscal year 2011," he said. "If there are adjustments in the future up or down, future administrations will request those budgets and Congress will decide."

Floor Vote Timing

Kerry said yesterday that he had discussed with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) the possibility of holding a floor debate and vote on New START prior to the Nov. 2 elections. Such timing might "conceivably" work out, according to Kerry.

"The better chance is that it will happen in the very near term as we get beyond the election, in the lame-duck session," the chairman said.

The lame-duck session is tentatively slated for Nov. 15-19.

Kerry told Foreign Policy earlier this week there would not be enough time to vote on the New START agreement before the chamber recesses in early October, in the run-up to the midterm elections. He noted that a Senate floor debate during a lame-duck session before year's end might help avoid "any election atmospherics."

The debate and vote would require just three days or less, according to Kerry, but ratification might yet be further delayed into a new Congress early next year if the resolution becomes complicated by disagreements over language.

"We're very worried about that," said Isaacs, noting widespread concern among Democrats that ratification might be imperiled if the Republicans pick up more votes in the Senate, as widely expected, and the vote is pushed to 2011.

The Senate committee chairman's remarks offered earlier this week prompted some immediate pushback from administration officials, who have been trying to generate a sense of growing urgency to get the pact approved. Tauscher and others have said they are eager to see the agreement enter into force soon because its verification provisions would allow renewed insight into Russian strategic weapon development and deployment activities.

The accord includes provisions for on-site inspections of deployed weapons and the exchange of data about missile tests, among other measures.

"Every day that we don't have the START treaty ratified is a day that we do not have any strategic view into the Russian forces," Tauscher told reporters on Tuesday. "So I think that once again, the Senate has to do their will in order for this to be ratified."

Miller struck a similar tack.

"Earlier is clearly better," he said, noting "it's been since Dec. 5" that U.S. and Russian verification provisions were suspended when the prior START agreement lapsed. "But we understand that the Senate has to act according to its own time lines and needs to have all its questions answered and other issues dealt with."

Behind the scenes, Kerry is likely to be working with Lugar, Kyl, Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to hash out a unanimous consent agreement about when the treaty can be brought to the floor, said Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center.

To Isaacs, the "only way around" delaying a vote until the new Congress goes into session in 2011 is "finding time between now and December, working out a unanimous consent agreement for floor time with McConnell and Kyl."

Sokolski expressed surprise that the administration did not work earlier to ensure smoother political sailing for the treaty, given that the anticipated reductions are relatively modest and the terms of the pact are similar to prior agreements.

"The handling of congressional relations has been a hiccup from the start," he said in an interview. "This thing should have passed 100-0 back in December, just on verification," Sokolski said, adding that the new wording has given Obama's political opposition an opening for criticism.

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Re: Upgraded U.S. military

ตั้งหัวข้อ  hacksecrets on Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:35 am

"เลดี้ กาก้า"โดดขวางปลดเกย์พ้นกองทัพ

คมชัดลึก :"เลดี้ กาก้า"ออกคลิปเรียกร้องให้แฟนเพลงช่วยกดดันวุฒิสมาชิกสหรัฐ ไม่ให้ยกเลิกกฎหมายที่ปกป้องพวกรักร่วมเพศในกองทัพ

(18ก.ย.) เลดี้ กาก้า นักร้องสาวสุดฮอต ผู้ประกาศตัวอย่างเปิดเผยว่าเป็นพวกไบเซ็กซ์ช่วล ได้ออกคลิปวีดีโอขาว-ดำ กระตุ้นให้แฟนเพลงของเธอ ช่วยกันแสดงพลังต่อต้านการกีดกันพวกรักร่วมเพศในกองทัพสหรัฐ และเรียกร้องให้บรรดาวุฒิสมาชิกได้รับรู้ว่า ไม่มีชีวิตของชาวอเมริกันไหนมีค่ามากกว่าคนอื่น

เลดี้ กาก้า ซึ่งสวมสูท ใส่วิกผมบลอนด์ และมีธงชาติสหรัฐเป็นฉากหลัง กล่าวด้วยว่า เธอจงใจออกคลิปเพื่อเป็นการส่งสารไปถึงเหล่าวุฒิสมาชิกของพรรครีพับลีกัน จอห์น แม็คเคน แห่งรัฐอริโซน่า , มิทช์ แม็คคอนเนลล์ จากรัฐเคนตั๊กกี้ , เจมส์ อินโฮเฟ่ จากรัฐโอคลาโฮม่า และเจฟฟ์เซสชั่นส์ จากรัฐอลาบาม่า ที่ต่างก็ต่อต้านการยกเลิกกฎหมายที่กำหนดให้ทหารชายที่เป็นเกย์และทหารหญิงที่เป็นเลสเบียน เก็บปากเก็บคำในเรื่องรสนิยมทางเพศของพวกเขา หรือที่เรียกว่า Don't Ask , Don't Tell

เลดี้ กาก้า เคยพูดถึงเรื่องนี้มาแล้ว ตอนที่เธอไปร่วมงานประกาศผลรางวัลมิวสิค วีดีโอ 2010 ของเอ็มทีวี เมื่อสุดสัปดาห์ที่แล้ว ที่มีกลุ่มทหารที่มีรสนิยมรักร่วมเพศกลุ่มเล็ก ๆ ที่ถูกปลดภายใต้กฎหมาย Don't Ask , Don't Tell ไปร่วมงานด้วย และหลังจากนั้น เลดี้ กาก้า ได้เขียนลงในทวิตเตอร์ กระตุ้นให้สาวกของเธอ ช่วยกันเรียกร้องให้วุฒิสมาชิกแฮร์รี่ รี้ด ผู้นำเสียงข้างมากในวุฒิสภา ยกเลิกกำหนดการลงมติเกี่ยวกับกฎหมายฉบับนี้ ซึ่งวุฒิสมาชิกรี้ด ได้เขียนในทวิตเตอร์ของเขา แจ้งให้เลดี้ กาก้า ทราบว่า วุฒิสมาชิกจะพิจารณากฎหมายฉบับนี้ในสัปดาห์หน้า และย้ำว่า ใครก็ตามที่มีคุณสมบัติเหมาะสมต่อการรับใช้ชาติ ก็จะได้รับอนุญาตโดยเท่าเทียมกัน

ด้านวุฒิสมาชิกแม็คเคน ได้ให้สัมภาษณ์เมื่อวันศุกร์ว่า เขาหวังว่า เลดี้ กาก้า จะให้ความสนใจเรื่องนี้อย่างต่อเนื่อง รวมถึงดูการอภิปรายในวุฒิสภาด้วย จะได้เข้าใจเรื่องของการเมืองอย่างถ่องแท้ ในขณะที่วุฒิสมาชิกรี้ดและเหล่าสมาชิกพรรคเดโมแครต กำลังจะสูญเสียเสียงข้างมาก

ความระแวง และสงสัย ก่อให้เกิดการค้นคว้าหาความเป็นจริง


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Re: Upgraded U.S. military

ตั้งหัวข้อ  ฅนไท on Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:21 am

US development of super bomber to target China and Russia?

B-2 Bomber

The U.S. Air Force’s former top intelligence officer warned a roomful of generals this week that the U.S. has lost its air power advantages and is dangerously ill-prepared to stop the gap-closing efforts of China and Russia.

Lt. Gen. David Deptula, a former F-15 pilot , challenged Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ fundamental belief that U.S. air power vastly overmatches any foreign military.

“For the first time, our claim to air supremacy is in jeopardy,” Deptula told the Air Force Association’s national convention on Monday.

At the same forum last year, Gates defended ordering a halt to the production of the Air Force’s vaunted F-22, saying that by the time China produces a fighter comparable to the F-22, the U.S. will have more than 1,000 F-22s and F-35s.



The Air Force Association has openly opposed Gates’ stance and this year Deptula came armed with a 15-minute bombastic video titled “Threats to 2010 Air Supremacy.” His presentation attempted to reopen more than just the F-22 fight, warning that from surface-to-air defenses to air-to-air fighters, the U.S. was letting others catch up. These future threats, he said, are now current.

There is “a global revolution to modernize air defense systems,” the video’s narrator explained. Russia and China are deploying or building better surface-to-air missile, or SAM, systems that could one day prove too much for U.S. fighter aircraft.

Within the decade, it said, both nations could field fighter jets nearly comparable to the F-22.

“When taken in total, our potential adversaries can create a nearly impenetrable box that our legacy fighters cannot enter, thus denying us our air supremecy,” it said.

AdvertisementAfter showing the video, Deptula dismissed “the notion of overmatch in the realm of air dominance,” a reference to the Gates position.

It is unclear how much weight Deptula will be able to lend to those in the Air Force, or on Capitol Hill, clamoring to defend air power procurement programs. Gates frequently has said he wants the Pentagon to prioritize building a force and arsenal ready to meet the most current and plausible threats.

So far, Gates has been largly successful, and Deputla’s presentation was riddled with worst-case scenarios.

“The dominance we’ve enjoyed in the aerial domain is no longer ours for the taking,” Deptula said. (From Stripes)

U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley made the case September 13 for the service to buy its first new bomber in decades, calling a next-generation long-range strike jet a "critical national capability."

The secretary went on to say that any new bomber will be developed, at first, with a focus on the conventional long-range strike mission - where it is most likely to be needed - and will rely on existing technologies in order to help keep costs down.

He went on to hint that the airplane will likely be purchased in greater numbers that the roughly 20 B-2 stealth bombers bought in the 1990s and that the new jets will serve for 30 years or more.

Earlier this month, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said the service hopes to finalize what it wants to see in the new stealth plane in time for the 2012 budget submission. Schwartz said that it will likely be "optionally manned," and will likely be focused first on conventional strike with the option to be certified later for nuclear missions. (From Defense News)

According to Jane's, the U.S. Air Force has also started researching sixth-generation fighter requirements, opening a Sixth-Generation TACAIR Requirements Office at Air Combat Command in Virginia. The opportunity to build a sixth-generation fighter is important for Boeing, which lost the Joint Strike Fighter competition to Lockheed Martin. Mays said it is his understanding that the USAF and the USN are working together to co-ordinate their sixth-generation fighter requirements as they prepare to conduct an analysis of alternatives of fighter concepts.


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Re: Upgraded U.S. military

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:10 am

U.S. Awards $120M Missile Defense Contract

The U.S. Defense Department has awarded a $120 million contract to Northrop Grumman for further work on the Air and Missile Defense Radar system, United Press International reported.

The system is intended to provide comprehensive radar abilities , encompassing S-band and X-band technology, to analyze large amounts of aerial data to detect and track ballistic missile threats (United Press International, Sept. 30).

Defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon also received similar technology development deals for the Air and Missile Defense Radar, Signal magazine reported.

The contracts call for Lockheed to receive $119 million and Raytheon $112 million (George Seffers, Signal, Oct. 1).

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Re: Upgraded U.S. military

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:20 am

Air Force Nuclear Command Achieves Full Capability

The U.S. Air Force announced Friday that its new command for managing the service's nuclear force had achieved "full operational capability," marking the final milestone in the branch's organization.

Full establishment of the Air Force Global Strike Command involved completion of more than 700 tasks laid out last year by the service's uniformed and civilian leaders. The command's initial activation at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on Aug. 7, 2009, followed security lapses including the accidental 2007 transfer of nuclear-armed cruise missiles between two U.S. bases and the mistaken shipping of nuclear missile parts to Taiwan in 2008.

"Our successful stand up was possible because of the commitment, innovative spirit and sheer hard work of Global Strike Command airmen," Global Strike Command head Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz said in a press release.

"This talented team of professionals put in place all the functions of a major command while simultaneously executing those functions," Klotz said. "This unique challenge was a lot like building an aircraft while actually flying it."

The command is responsible for long-range nuclear deterrence and global strike planning, and its strategic master plan fits into the Air Force's broader strategy, according to a press release. The branch has created and staffed a center of operations, and it has assumed oversight of the 20th Air Force at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming and the 8th Air Force at Barksdale.

The command took control Friday of organizational and financial operations, and it is now set to preside over maintenance and refurbishment of the nation's Minuteman 3 ICBMs at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Further, the branch would care for and update nuclear-capable B-52 bombers at the Barksdale and Minot bases, nuclear-capable B-2 bombers at Whiteman Air Force in Missouri and UH-1N Huey helicopters.

In addition, the command would handle targeting assessment at the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska as well as ICBM test launches at the 576th Flight Test Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The Global Strike Command was the first fully new Air Force command established in more than 27 years, the service said (U.S. Air Force release, Oct. 1).

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