I always check War News Updates. Lots of good stuff there today:
The Marine Corps wants a new, less-expensive amtrac to replace its infamous Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, but it’s in a bind: How do you build a whole new fast, wave-skimming personnel carrier without falling into the same cost and delay traps that claimed the original? Maybe you build one that doesn’t need to be as fast or cover as much distance. Before you can do that, though, you need to change the assumptions that underpin the whole project. In the world of the military services that can only mean one thing: a review.
Kevlar underwear, enhanced night-vision goggles and portable solar panels: the US military is seeing a gear revolution, thanks to the lessons learned during 10 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The M4 rifle remains the basic firearm of the American GI, but the addition of many gizmos now makes the soldier look more like Inspector Gadget than GI Joe: the typical gear kit includes 73 items, from clothes to weapons.
A lot of these soldier programs were things the Army should have addressed decades ago, but the impetus to fund and field them outside of a conflict just wasn’t there.
The reports are not good, disturbing even. I have heard basically the same story four times in the last 10 days, and the people doing the talking are in New York and Washington and are spread across the political spectrum.
The gist is this: President Obama has become a lone wolf, a stranger to his own government. He talks mostly, and sometimes only, to friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett and to David Axelrod, his political strategist.
Everybody else, including members of his Cabinet, have little face time with him except for brief meetings that serve as photo ops. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner both have complained, according to people who have talked to them, that they are shut out of important decisions.
I’ve long felt that Obama was a lot like a dog chasing a car. The chase is fun, but what the hell does he do if he catches it?