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Chetverikov
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To be fair, with the full context of the statement I don't think he's making the claim that redrawing borders at gunpoint is -impossible-, or does not/has not happened. He's instead claiming that a resolution that such things no longer be allowed to happen is a core principle of the modern "international system". Which is less idiotic and ignorant and more...well, just naive or selective. Kosovo and East Timor come to mind off the top of my head as border-redrawing events made under the umbrella of, if not made possible primarily by the military power of NATO and UN missions, and thus inarguably supported by that "International System". This seems of a piece with his rhetoric about how outdated and old-fashioned and isolating various states' hostile actions are. I think he genuinely believes that we live in an era where the use of military force to settle territorial/independence disputes is no longer accepted by the decision makers and elites of the world...so...yeah, not catastrophically ignorant of history. Just...painfully naive and blinkered.
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For those having trouble parsing the NOTAM, the times are GMT for noon today through tomorrow evening. If there were surface combatants in the area that could certainly be the source of the missile, and the fact that the Pentagon is still saying "Uh, we don't think it was us" would seem to indicate it wasn't a planned launch. I'd say the "Oooohhh, you meant NOTIONALLY launch? Well fuck, this is embarrassing..." scenario Jimbo mentioned seems to be a pretty good guess.
Toggle Commented Nov 9, 2010 on Missile launch off Cali coast at BlackFive
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It's a good thing he was in a van. If not for the extra mass, I wonder if his brakes would've been able to overcome the truck's acceleration. Or perhaps the impact let Pace's foot slip off the accelerator, so the brakes just had an extra ton or two of mass to slow down and didn't have to fight the pickup's engine? Either way, that was a very impressive maneuver, and I'm glad for everyone involved that it worked.
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In short, on the issue of most classified material: No. Or at least "Not until after it's old enough to be irrelevant." And reread the article, John. Gates went on record saying that the revelation of our sources of low-level, which-village-are-the-bad-guys-in-this-week intel did not reveal "key sources of intelligence", not that it A) did not reveal sources or B) did not put those sources at risk. He's making the distinction between high level sources that provide potential answers to "Where is the Taliban's #2 going to be next week" or "What are the details of the next attack on the US" and low level sources of intel that are of very little interest to the SecDef or the CIA, but are absolutely crucial to day-to-day "tactical military operations" to use his own terms.
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2010 on 9/11 prevented by WikiLeaks at BlackFive
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You added a decimal place there, Sparkle. It's pricey, but it's not THAT pricey. MSRP is $3,450 or so. You're more apt to find it for 4-5K.
Toggle Commented Jun 26, 2010 on British Sniper Rifle at BlackFive
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As far as I know, the L115A3 is a somewhat modified variant of Accuracy International's Artic Warfare Magnum (http://www.accuracyinternational.com/aw_series.php), if that helps, just as the M24 is a modified Remington 700. They have three retail distributors in the United States, but the nearest to CA is Mile High Shooting Accessories here in Colorado.
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2010 on British Sniper Rifle at BlackFive
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As both former Army and former MI, this guy is a disgrace on so many levels that I've lost count. As for how he got the clearance, it's pretty straightforward. This wasn't an emotional/mental issue. It was a political one, and for better or worse (and in my opinion for better, despite occasional shitbirds like this one) we do not reject people for clearances for their politics unless we find they fall under categories like "Advocates the violent overthrow of the United States government.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2010 on Collateral Murder leaker busted at BlackFive
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When I was in Iraq in late 2003 to late 2004, we started out with orders like these (mag in, bolt closed on an empty chamber, weapon on safe unless given permission to lock and load by platoon leaders or higher), they went away after awhile, then came back again after a couple of negligent discharge incidents. Needless to say, as far as I know pretty much everyone ignored the rules since as Froggy said there's no clear visual indicator on a M4 to indicate whether there's a round in the chamber. On our first movement into the country I can remember our LT passing on the order NOT to lock and load under any circumstances, and our PSG coming down the line to "check on everyone" and quietly pass the word to ignore that order and chamber a round as soon as we were moving (coupled of course with dire warnings of our fates should we fuck him by revealing that we'd done so with an accidental discharge). Fun times.
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Being a perversion of X doesn't make perverted-X evil, just perverted. The honor and nobility owed to those who serve can be given, but isn't necessarily owed, and certainly isn't owed in the same way, to those who serve for money. So, taking pay for a service is somehow inherently ignobling? I don't buy that at all. One of the effects here in the US of terminating the draft was that the military had to increase pay across the board. I don't think that in any way decreases the merit of service given by volunteers in the 80s or presently relative to the service given by draftees prior to that. And the same goes for people who've chosen to go work for PMCs. In my experience, they're not formerly military looking to score college funds. They're looking for a six-figure pay check for a few months of dangerous work, which is what people do to make a living, I understand, but it's not quite the same as serving your country. What's your experience? I'll agree that that's the motivation of the guys I met in Iraq (november 03 to november 04) who were pumping gas or driving civilian supply trucks. That is, NON-military contractors. But the operators from MPRI (training), Xe (executive protection, force protection, convoy security), and so on that I worked with absolutely were motivated by a desire to serve their country. They just wanted to make better money while they did it, and in some cases to dispense with certain aspects of military culture, which I can certainly understand. "Do what you enlisted to do, but with less mickey mouse and more pay" is a pretty good deal. [Edited to make the italics slanty --- SEK]
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Well, remember I was Army, not Air Force, so we're talking smaller birds controlled at a lower level than the Predator, Reaper, Global Hawk, etc, and the trend in the Army and Marines is definitely towards smaller, more portable, deployed further forward. As far as the distance goes, it comes down to the size and capabilities of the birds. The more range and endurance they have, the larger they have to be, which in turn means they'll need actual runways rather than something like the RQ-7 Shadow. In turn that usually means that the control systems will be larger and less portable and harder to forward-deploy. As cool as the idea of something like the tiny predator-controlling setup from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is, we're a long ways from something like that being practical for the larger systems. All that said, I'll agree that at the very least we should've planned on encrypting (and classifying by default) UAV video feeds. I'm less certain on the control links for the reasons I mentioned earlier (making loss-of-link scenarios far easier and more common, since they're already too common).
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2009 on Hackers grab drone footage at BlackFive
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Former 96U here, and I have to say that I'm not surprised. I wondered about this back when I was in, and was basically told that for our bird the issue of crypto was brought up early on and dismissed because of the increased unit cost (both adding in the crypto capacity on the GCS and AV end and increasing the bandwidth to accomodate encryption of the video and/or control signals) and the bureaucratic bullshit that goes with officially-approved crypto schemes. In the end, you get what you pay for. As for the control signal, it's worth remembering that passively demodulating video in a standard transmission format is one thing, but creating your own software to replicate instructions from one piece of proprietary software to another is something else entirely. I'm pretty sure (it's been years and I didn't take my TM with me when I ETS-ed) that the control link is also unencrypted, but mainly for reasons of reliability. There are already problems with temporary loss-of-link when it comes to UAVs due to distance, atmospheric conditionds, etc, so you REALLY don't want to add handshake failures and so on into the mix.
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2009 on Hackers grab drone footage at BlackFive
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An anarchy symbol is (or used to be) a capital A in a circle with both ends of all the strokes crossing out of the circle. I'm not certain, but I think it was intended to represent a symbolic breaking of boundaries/order. Anyway, as a younger vet from a similar timeframe (OIF 03-04) my thoughts are that it really depends on your son. I'm not sure I'm 100% on-board with Synova's analysis, but then again I suspect that your son isn't at all certain what he really thinks or feels either. This is a risk, but one thought is to try taking the time to speak with him openly and directly about the importance of the symbol that you've offered to him, what it means to you, and how his treatment of that offering has made you feel. If you can honestly say that you're glad he's chosen to at least keep it and wear it, say that. Say that you're disappointed and try to explain why without getting angry, etc. You know your son best, and so can best judge if this is the right approach. If it's not, or you don't trust yourself to confront him without blowing up (not that I don't understand the anger, mind you, but I suspect it would just push him away), then just try to spend time with him as whtetiger said. Good luck. -Brian
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