F-35 software stolen?

April 21, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

ELP points out to an interesting story about the possible theft of software related to the F-35 JSF.

As Eric correctly points out, the JSF is unprecedented in the complexity of its software code (one may well call it the first software-configured fighter aircraft) as well as the breadth of foreign industrial partners involved.

Too many cooks… numerous potential security vulnerabilities. 

Stratfor: Torture and the U.S. Intelligence Failure

April 21, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Stratfor has a very interesting article that examines the context, aims and result of torture as practiced in recent years by US intelligence services.

On the scale of human cruelty, these actions do not rise anywhere near the top. At the same time, anyone who thinks that being placed without food in a freezing cell subject to random mild beatings — all while being told that your family might be joining you — isn’t agonizing clearly lacks imagination. The treatment of detainees could have been worse. It was terrible nonetheless.

But torture is meant to be terrible, and we must judge the torturer in the context of his own desperation. In the wake of 9/11, anyone who wasn’t terrified was not in touch with reality. We know several people who now are quite blasé about 9/11. Unfortunately for them, we knew them in the months after, and they were not nearly as composed then as they are now.

No matter where you stand on the issue of government-applied torture as a means of time-critical intelligence, you ought to give this one a read.

Top Gun: Sukhoi’s Revenge

April 20, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · 1 Comment 

Interesting video of Russian(?) origin that demonstrates two types of counter-air mission profiles: the usual defensive run (B-52s escorted by EF-Typhoons) and, more interestingly, a counter-ISR attack on an E-3 and its escorting Typhoons.



Granted, it’s a bit too easy for the Russkie jets but then again western commercials aren’t any less lopsided (JSF anyone?).

Now of course some people will inevitably argue “okay, replace the Typhoons with F-22/F-35s and the Sukhois are toast”. Well, maybe. As the (by now infamous) RAND report and the frequent updates by APA reminds us, stealth tech & tactics are neither omnipotent nor invincible, and in fact technologies and tactics to counter them exist and proliferate (our past readers know this already). So who knows…

(Kudos to Steve Trimble!)

Stratfor: The strategic significance of Cuba

April 13, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Stratfor has a nice piece on the strategic position of Cuba and the implications of this on its relations with the US and other foreign powers.

Cuba occupies an extraordinarily important geographic position for the United States. It sits astride the access points from the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic Ocean, and therefore is in a position to impact the export of U.S. agricultural products via the Mississippi River complex and New Orleans (not to mention the modern-day energy industrial centers along the Gulf Coast). If New Orleans is the key to the American Midwest’s access to the world, Cuba is the key to New Orleans.

If you’ve ever wondered why US (and Russian) politics frequently revolve around Cuba, be sure to give this a read.

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