Robert Young Pelton
Inside the Search for the Last Prisoner of America’s Longest War
VICE, 21 July 2014
PART 1 EXTRACTS:
The next intercepts from the elated kidnappers, using their CDMA or RUIM phone while still inside the vehicle, provided the first real piece of evidence on how Bergdahl was grabbed: “We were attacking the post. He was just taking a shit. He had no gun with him. He was taking a shit. He has not cleaned his butt yet.”
Article below started to circulate in the office on Friday and appears in today’s Washington Post. LTG (R) Barno is spot-on. He describes the Army I retired from and, substantially, the Army I was commissioned into in 1971. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the threats were IEDs, snipers, etc. In the Army to return, the threats will be Semi-Annual Training Briefs, PT tests, maintenance inspections, barracks inspections, shortages of white paint for rocks, etc. For the junior officers and, to a significant extent for the Soldiers, during the 13 years of combat, they have been working within intent, with significant autonomy and opportunity to exercise initiative. And they have done well. Now they face infinite micromanagement with emphasis on uniforms, tatoos, police call, pulling Staff Duty Officer and Charge of Quarters, motor stables, area beautification, etc. Principal drivers of this future are a former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and the current Sergeant Major of the Army, who have postulated that this new regime is the silver bullet to restoring discipline within the force and reducing Soldier suicides. As LTG Barno notes, it’s also likely create unattractive command climates thus generating voluntary separations which will contribute to sequestration-driven reduction of end strength.
Some significant information here most mainstream is ignoring — Hamas / Iran now have the edge.
“Paper Dome” and Israeli/US propaganda
“For more on the rockets now used by Hamas and Hezbollah, Robert Siegel speaks with Ted Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Postol also comments on Israel’s pursuit of an upgraded defense system.
What if everything we know about poor countries’ economies is totally wrong?
VOX, 14 July 2014
As China and India continue their fairly rapid paces of economic growth, a greater and greater share of extreme poverty is going to be concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. But if we’re going to make progress there, we need to have good numbers about how various economies are faring, how income is distributed within them, and so forth.
The trouble, Simon Fraser University economist Morten Jerven argues, is that those numbers are often incomplete at best and downright false at worst. It’s a problem that came into sharp relief recently when Nigeria “rebased” its GDP numbers, doubling its GDP in the process.