organization:air force

  • Plus de 400 drones de l’armée américaine se sont écrasés depuis 2001
    http://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article/2014/06/21/plus-de-400-drones-de-l-armee-americaine-se-sont-ecrases-depuis-2001_4442699

    Plus de 400 drones américains Predator, Reaper ou encore Global Hawks se sont écrasés dans le monde depuis 2001, a rapporté vendredi 20 juin le Washington Post, qui met en avant les dangers potentiels de leur autorisation commerciale à l’avenir.
    Au terme d’une enquête de plus d’un an, basée sur plus de 50 000 pages de rapports d’accidents, le quotidien affirme que 418 accidents majeurs ont été recensés par l’armée américaine, aucun n’ayant provoqué de perte humaine.

    L’article du WaPo
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2014/06/20/when-drones-fall-from-the-sky
    avec l’incontournable infographie interactive, dont voici une vue statique
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/national/drone-crashes/database/images/db-promo-1170.jpg

    • Ce qui serait intéressant, ce serait le taux (rapporté au nombre d’engins et au nombre d’heures de vol). On trouve quelques éléments de référence à ce sujet.

      The military owns about 10,000 drones, from one-pound Wasps and four-pound Ravens to one-ton Predators and 15-ton Global Hawks. By 2017, the armed forces plan to fly drones from at least 110 bases in 39 states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico.

      The drone industry, which lobbied Congress to pass the new law, predicts $82 billion in economic benefits and 100,000 new jobs by 2025.

      (…)

      Nobody has more experience with drones than the U.S. military, which has logged more than 4 million flight hours. But the Defense Department tightly guards the particulars of its drone operations, including how, when and where most accidents occur.

      The Post filed more than two dozen Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Responding intermittently over the course of a year, the military released investigative files and other records that collectively identified 418 major drone crashes around the world between September 2001 and the end of last year.

      That figure is almost equivalent to the number of major crashes incurred by the Air Force’s fleet of fighter jets and attack planes during the same period, even though the drones flew far fewer missions and hours, according to Air Force safety statistics.

      Cette dernière info est reprise dans l’article du Monde.

      In most instances, military officials convened an accident investigation board to determine the cause. In 18 cases, the drone crashes were so sensitive that the military classified the names of the countries where they occurred and details of what happened.

      On peut imaginer que le drone ayant atterri en Iran fait partie de ces événements. Il y a sans doute eu d’autres prises de contrôle que celle-ci.

      Sinon, au moins une collision avec un avion…

      On Aug. 15, 2011, a C-130 Hercules weighing about 145,000 pounds was descending toward Forward Operating Base Sharana, in eastern Afghanistan. Suddenly, a quarter-mile above the ground, the huge Air Force plane collided with a 375-pound flying object.

      “Holy shit!” yelled the Hercules’s navigator, according to a transcript of the cockpit voice recorder. “We got hit by a UAV! Hit by a UAV!”

      It was an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV in military jargon. An RQ-7B Shadow, flown by an Army ground crew, had smashed into the cargo plane’s left wing between two propellers. Jet fuel cascaded out of a gash in the wing.

      The Hercules crew shut down one engine and radioed to clear the runway. Within two minutes, the plane landed, smoke pouring from the left side. “There’s a big frickin’ hole in the airplane,” the pilot said, according to the cockpit voice recorder. No one was hurt.

      About 50 seconds later, the unwitting drone operator radioed the control tower to confess he had lost track of his aircraft.

      “We had a, ah, C-130, um, that hit a UAV,” the air-traffic controller responded. “I’m suspecting that it’s yours.”

      Ce n’était pas de la faute du pilote mais du contrôleur aérien.

      The military has never publicly disclosed the outcome of the investigation. Two Pentagon officials said in interviews that the drone operator was not at fault, but they did not give further details.

      In response to a FOIA request from The Post, the Air Force released hundreds of pages of documents from its safety probe. The official finding of what caused the crash was censored, but some of the documents suggest the air-traffic controller was at least partly blamed. The records show the controller, a civilian contractor whose name was redacted, was temporarily demoted and given remedial training.

      Military officials said there has been only one other case of a midair drone collision, involving a helicopter and a small, hand-launched drone in Iraq a decade ago.

    • Ah, plus loin dans l’article, on trouve des informations sur les taux.

      The Air Force acknowledged that Predators crash more frequently than regular military aircraft, but officials said the drone’s safety record has improved markedly.

      During its first dozen years of existence, the Predator crashed at an extraordinarily high rate — for every 100,000 hours flown, it was involved in 13.7 Class A accidents.

      Since 2009, as the Air Force has become more experienced at flying drones, the mishap rate for Predators has fallen to 4.79 Class A accidents for every 100,000 flight hours.

      The Reaper has fared better than the Predator, incurring 3.17 Class A mishaps per 100,000 hours over the past five years.

      Air Force officials pointed out that the crash rate for Reapers now approaches the standard set by two fighter jets, the F-16 and F-15, which over the past five years have posted Class A mishap rates of 1.96 and 1.47 respectively, according to statistics from the Air Force Safety Center at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.


  • Russia Issues Grim Report On North American Magnetic Anomaly
    http://www.brujitafr.fr/article-russia-issues-grim-report-on-north-american-magnetic-anomaly-12389

    http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/mgc1.jpg

    Sorcha Faal arrive avec une explication qui possède un certain mérite faute de mieux, les Russes ont détectés une anomalie magnétique. A grim report prepared by Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force Lieutenant-General Viktor Bondarev on the just completed scientific mission of North America carried out by 4 Tupolev Tu-95 strategic aircraft and 2 Ilyushin Il-78 aerial refueling tankers that “electronically swept” for “magnetic anomalies” from Alaska to California warns that a “catastrophic event” may be nearing for this region. US officials, it should be noted, characterized this purely scientific mission as a “bombing run” that came within 50 miles of California, but which their Air Forces were able to repel by their launching of F-15 fighter (...)

    #NATURE_/_ECOLOGIE



  • The revolving door between #Google and the Department of Defense
    http://pando.com/2014/04/23/the-revolving-door-between-google-and-the-department-of-defense

    Many of Google Federal’s top managers come from the biggest and baddest military and intel outfits: US Army, Air Force Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Director of National Intelligence, USAID, SAIC, Lockheed… the list keeps going on and on.

    Take Michele R. Weslander Quaid, Google’s Chief Technology Officer of Public Sector and “Innovation Evangelist.”

    Chances are you’ve never heard of her. Neither had I. But Weslander Quaid took the top spot in Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of the seven most powerful women to watch in 2014.

    The reason?

    She helped bring the Google mindset to federal intelligence agencies.

    (...)

    #porte_tournante


  • Jordanian air force bombs Syrian opposition vehicles
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/jordanian-air-force-bombs-syrian-opposition-vehicles

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/4cols/leading_images/758830-01-08.jpg

    Syrian refugees walks past a makeshift market in the Zaatari refugee camp, a seven-square-kilometre (2.8-square-mile) camp that is home to more than 100,000 refugees. (Photo: AFP-Khalil Mazraawi) Syrian refugees walks past a makeshift market in the Zaatari refugee camp, a seven-square-kilometre (2.8-square-mile) camp that is home to more than 100,000 refugees. (Photo: AFP-Khalil Mazraawi)

    #Jordan used its air force for to “protect” its northern borders with #syria. On Wednesday, Jordan announced that its air force attacked military vehicles attempting to infiltrate from Syria. Security sources monitoring Syria’s southern front said the air raid is linked to #Al-Nusra_Front declaring its responsibility for the bombing of the (...)

    #Mideast_&_North_Africa #Articles #Damascus #Daraa #Nasib #Samir_al-Sheikh #Sweida


  • #MH370 il y aura de (sérieux) comptes à rendre en Malaisie…

    Malaysian military withheld radar data on Flight MH370 as nations searched wrong area, sources say | National Post
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/11/malaysian-military-withheld-radar-data-on-flight-mh370-as-nations

    “The initial assumption was that the aircraft could have diverted due to mechanical issues or, in the worst case scenario, crashed,” said a senior Malaysian civilian source. “That is what we were working on.”

    Officials at Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation, which oversees air traffic controllers, the Defence Ministry and the air force directed requests for comment to the prime minister’s office, which did not respond.

    One senior military official said air traffic control had informed the military at around 2:00 a.m. that a plane was missing. The standard operating procedure was to do so within 15 minutes, he said. Another military source said the notification was slow in coming, but did not give a time.
    (…)
    Another contentious issue has been whether the military was slow in passing on its radar data that showed an unidentified plane had re-crossed the Malay peninsula.

    Two civilian aviation officials said military bureaucracy delayed the sharing of this information, although they gave no precise timeframe for when it was handed over.

    “The armed forces knew much earlier that the aircraft could have turned back. That is why the search was expanded to include the Strait of Malacca within a day or two,” said a second senior civilian source, who was familiar with the initial search, referring to the narrow stretch of water between Indonesia and Malaysia, on the western side of the peninsula.

    “But the military did not confirm this until much later due to resistance from senior officers, and the government needed to step in. We wasted our time in the South China Sea.”

    Government sources have said Prime Minister Najib Razak had to force the military to turn over its raw radar data to investigators during the first week after the flight’s disappearance.

    (…)
    The accounts given to Reuters reveal growing tensions between civilian officials, the military and Malaysia Airlines over whether more could have been done in those initial hours.
    (…)
    In his interview with Reuters, Malaysia Airlines chief Ahmad Jauhari played down talk of tension, saying there were “ #slight_differences_of_opinion. ”

    • Et ça continue dans l’à peu près : coup de fil ou reconnexion ?

      MH370 : le mystérieux coup de fil du copilote - Le Point (en vrai, AFP)
      http://www.lepoint.fr/monde/mh370-le-mysterieux-coup-de-fil-du-copilote-12-04-2014-1812410_24.php

      Le copilote du vol MH370 a tenté de passer un appel de son téléphone portable juste avant que l’avion ne disparaisse des écrans radars, a rapporté samedi un journal malaisien, citant des enquêteurs anonymes. L’appel a été coupé, peut-être « parce que l’avion s’est rapidement éloigné du relais (de télécommunications) », écrit le New Straits Times (NST), sans indiquer qui était le destinataire de l’appel.

      Selon une autre source, également citée par le quotidien malaisien, le téléphone mobile de Fariq Abdul Hamid a été « reconnecté » au réseau, sans qu’il soit certain qu’un appel ait été effectivement passé à partir du Boeing 777 disparu le 8 mars. L’avion assurant le vol MH370 aurait volé assez bas près de l’île de Penang, sur la côte ouest de la Malaisie - après avoir changé de cap - pour qu’un relais de télécommunications capte le signal du téléphone du copilote.

      La liaison téléphonique a été « reconnectée » entre le moment où l’avion a dévié de sa route et celui où il a disparu des écrans radars, affirme le quotidien contrôlé par le gouvernement, citant la deuxième source. « Une reconnexion ne signifie pas nécessairement qu’un appel a été passé. Elle peut aussi être le résultat de la remise en marche du téléphone », selon cette source.

    • Il y a deux ans, chez Malaysia Airlines, les enregistreurs de voix du poste de pilotage continuait à fonctionner sans arrêt après l’incident, effaçant les données…

      Malaysia Airlines jumbo jet had to return to Heathrow - and all black box cockpit voice recorder data was lost - Mirror Online
      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/malaysia-airlines-jumbo-jet-return-3395734

      The jumbo jet had a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) - a device which can record the last two hours of cockpit conversations.

      The AAIB, which classed the incident as “serious” in its report today, said the CVR continued to run for some time after the aircraft landed “and as a result all relevant CVR recordings were lost”.


  • Universities top the list for hackers
    FT, 27/02/14
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/23a25e1e-9e3a-11e3-b429-00144feab7de.html

    “A lot of these universities happen to be doing research today that will be classified in five years if the navy or the air force picks up the research,” he said [Ken Geers, senior global threat analyst at FireEye]. “So you can see why the advanced persistent threats might be thinking that far ahead to support their mission.”

    Universities could be looking at “torpedoes, hypersonic missiles, high performance quantum computing” that would “benefit the military or intelligence organisation of any state”, he said.

    He added that universities often lacked the protections that government and large critical infrastructure providers are putting in place and their staff’s openness to collaboration may mean they are not as “guarded” as, for example, a government employee.

    #Université #cybersécurité


  • Truth in journalism
    http://warincontext.org/2014/02/12/truth-in-journalism

    In a report exemplifying the kind of journalism-as-stenography in which David Sanger specializes, comes this observation about the pressures under which Director of National Intelligence James Clapper now operates — thanks to Edward Snowden:

    The continuing revelations have posed a particular challenge to Mr. Clapper, a retired Air Force general and longtime intelligence expert, who has made no secret of his dislike for testifying in public. Critics have charged that he deliberately misled Congress and the public last year when asked if the intelligence agencies collected information on domestic communications. He was forced by the Snowden revelations to correct his statements, and he has been somewhat more careful in his testimony.

    “Critics have charged” that Clapper perjured himself in Congress, but as studiously impartial journalists, Sanger (and his colleague Eric Schmitt) are incapable of making any determination on that matter.

    #journalisme_MSM


  • New C-27J Cargo Planes Stored In Arizona Boneyard
    http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=e1aebd19-7147-4a0d-bac9-e4458f0f42da

    The Dayton Daily News reports that the Air Force has spent some $567 million to acquire 21 new Spartans since 2007, but has found that the Air Force does not have missions for many of the aircraft.

    The planes had originally been acquired because of their ability to operate from unimproved runways. But sequestration forced the Air Force to re-think the airplane’s mission, and it determined that they were not a necessity, according to an analyst with the Project for Government Oversight.

    The airplanes supported up to 800 jobs at Mansfield National Guard Base in Ohio, which led the state’s congressional delegation to strongly support the continued acquisition of the airplanes, even though former Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz said in a congressional hearing that the C-130 can do everything the C-27J can at nearly $100 million less per airplane.

    (...)

    the C-27J Spartans are parked in the desert, and more are being built and delivered into storage. An Air Force spokesman said the program was “too near completion” to be able to terminate the program in a way that does not cost the taxpayers more than building the airplanes and sending them immediately to the boneyard.

    #complexe_militaro_industriel (et «congressionnel») #gabegie


  • Mubarak fired the first shots of the Yom Kippur war - Telegraph

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/10322814/Mubarak-fired-the-first-shots-of-the-Yom-Kippur-war.html

    The ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was the Air Force commander in 1973, said he personally flew a fighter jet and attacked an Israeli communications base. The attack took place six minutes before the major surprise assault by the Egyptian and Syrian armies began.

    The former President said his role was completely secret, known to only three other people, including former President Anwar Sadat. Five years after the war, Sadat signed the peace treaty with Israel which still remains to this day.
    (...)
    Mubarak’s comments, made before his release in August 2013, seem geared to bolstering his image in Egypt as a leader who stood up to both Israel and the United States. A previous transcript of a recording published in Egypt in June states that Mubarak challenged US President Barack Obama, who pressed him to give up power during the 2011 uprisings.


  • Senate Panel Backs Resolution on Use of Force Against Syria - WSJ.com
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324577304579054973488682120.html

    Apparemment le feu vert du Sénat est compatible avec l’emploi d’une force plus grande,

    The revised options under development, which reflect Pentagon concerns that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has dispersed his military equipment, include the use of Air Force bombers to supplement the four Navy destroyers armed with missiles that are deployed in the eastern Mediterranean. Initially, Pentagon planners said they didn’t intend to use aircraft in the proposed strikes

    ...

    The Pentagon’s new planning stems from Mr. Assad moving equipment, including Russian-made helicopters, to bases around the country while the U.S. debates, a change that could require the Pentagon to use many more Tomahawk cruise missiles and other types of munitions than initially envisioned.

    Moreover, U.S. officials say, Mr. Assad has moved aircraft and other equipment into hardened bunkers and shelters. In some cases, destroying these hardened targets, officials say, could require the use of multiple Tomahawks.

    The Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean carry about 40 Tomahawks each. Air Force bombers could carry dozens more munitions, potentially allowing the U.S. to carry out follow-on strikes if the first wave doesn’t destroy the targets.

    Among options available are B-52 bombers, which can carry cruise missiles; low-flying B1s that are based in Qatar and carry long-range, air-to-surface missiles; and B-2 stealth bombers, which are based in Missouri and carry heavy guided bombs.


  • Theory of the #drone 4: Pennies from Heaven

    The focus of the new US Army /US Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual FM 3-24 that was issued in 2006 was, naturally enough, on ground operations in which the Army and the Marine Corps would take the lead. To the anger of many Air Force officers, air operations were relegated to a supporting role outlined in the last appendix, the last five pages of 335, which acknowledged the contribution of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) from ‘air- mounted collection platforms’ and (in certain circumstances) the ‘enormous value’ of ‘precision air attacks’.

    http://geographicalimaginations.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/meilinger-coin-from-above.png?w=627&h=531

    http://geographicalimaginations.com/2013/07/30/theory-of-the-drone-4-pennies-from-heaven


  • Free Trade and Globalization — Global Issues
    http://www.globalissues.org/issue/38/free-trade-and-globalization

    For globalism to work, America can’t be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is.…The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist—McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

    — Thomas Friedman, What the World Needs Now, New York Times, March 28, 1999. Quoted from Backing Up Globalization with Military Might

    C’est archi-connu mais on ne le citera jamais assez.


  • The Enemy Within - NationalJournal.com
    http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/the-military-s-rape-problem-20120913

    http://cdn-media.nationaljournal.com/?controllerName=image&action=get&id=22046&width=314

    Nearly 20,000 service members are raped or sexually assaulted each year by predators who often evade punishment....

    Les victimes (d’hommes toujours) ne sont pas seulement les femmes,

    Although uniformed women are sexually assaulted at a higher rate than men, the total number of male victims is actually higher because there are so many more men in uniform; of the 19,000 estimated assaults each year, more than 11,000 target men

    Et ne pas accepter son sort témoigne d’un « trouble de la personnalité, »

    When Norris had to renew her Air Force security clearance, she admitted on the paperwork that she had received mental-health counseling for PTSD. She refused to release her medical records to a clearance investigator, essentially ending her career. She was separated from the Air Force after 15 years in the service, five years before she could collect full retirement benefits. “Basically, I was fired for being raped,” Norris says, “while three of the four people who assaulted me retired with full military benefits.”

    She was just the tip of the iceberg. Petty Officer 3rd Class Jenny McClendon’s ordeal began during an overnight shift on a Navy ship at sea, when a petty officer 2nd class began forcefully groping her. She asked not to serve night watches with him, but the request was denied. Eventually, she says, he raped her. McClendon reported the attack directly up her chain of command, but her senior chief accepted the man’s denials and refused to take the word of a lower-ranking woman. When the assaults continued, McClendon went all the way up to the ship’s captain, who ordered a criminal investigation. Nevertheless, the case lacked evidence because the ship carried no rape kits (despite a mixed-gender crew). The perpetrator finally admitted to “consensual sex” and got knocked down one rank.

    McClendon says she was assaulted again by an investigator while based in Norfolk, Va. This time, when she reported the attack, her lieutenant called her a “whore” and sent her to a Navy therapist, who suggested that she was a bad fit for the Navy. “Essentially, I was diagnosed with a personality disorder for failing to adjust adequately to being raped,” McClendon says, even though “borderline psychotics ... could never make it through boot camp.”


  • Military sex assault monitor accused of sex assault
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/06/air-force-sexual-assault-watchdog-arrested-for-sexual-assault/2139325

    WASHINGTON — An Air Force officer in charge of sexual assault prevention was arrested in Arlington early Sunday for drunkenly groping a woman, according to police.

    Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, was arrested and charged with sexual battery. He allegedly grabbed the woman’s breasts and buttocks. When he attempted to grope her again, she fought him off and called police, according to the police report. The victim did not know Krusinski, said Dustin Sternbeck, an Arlington County Police spokesman.

    Krusinski is the chief of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response branch at the Pentagon, according to the Air Force.


  • Canada’s air force eyes drones for maritime and Arctic patrols | Metro

    http://metronews.ca/news/canada/610016/canadas-air-force-eyes-drones-for-maritime-and-arctic-patrols

    OTTAWA—Canada’s air force remains committed to getting a squadron of drones to keep watch over vast tracts of the country’s coastlines and Arctic regions, be deployed on humanitarian missions, and even carry weapons in war zones, the head of the air force.

    http://metronewsca.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/19b46e6977af4bf19bc4d55bbba_22_03_2013_133433-0400_20130322093952.jpg?w=618&h=408&crop=1

    Lt.-Gen. Yvan Blondin says delays in purchasing unmanned aerial vehicles have had a silver lining as evolving technology has meant drones are becoming more capable.

    “If you commit yourself too early with a very expensive program, there are new ones coming in that are not far behind that will give you different capabilities and could be much cheaper,” Blondin told the Star.

    #drones #canada #arctique


  • Drone base in Niger gives U.S. a strategic foothold in West Africa - The Washington Post
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/drone-base-in-niger-gives-us-a-strategic-foothold-in-west-africa/2013/03/21/700ee8d0-9170-11e2-9c4d-798c073d7ec8_story_1.html

    Two U.S. defense officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning, said the Pentagon ultimately wants to move the Predators to the Saharan city of Agadez, in northern Niger.

    Agadez is closer to parts of southern Algeria and southern Libya where fighters and arms traffickers allied with al-Qaeda have taken refuge.

    The Africa Command did not respond to questions about how many U.S. troops are in Niger, but one U.S. official said the number of Air Force personnel had increased beyond the 100 troops Obama said last month he had deployed.

    #drones #niger #afrique #africom


  • Air Force erases drone strike data amid criticisms | FP Passport
    http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/03/08/air_force_erases_drone_strike_data_amid_criticism

    Quietly and without much notice, the Air Force has reversed its policy of publishing statistics on drone strikes in Afghanistan as the debate about drone warfare hits a fever pitch in Washington. In addition, it has erased previously published drone strike statistics from its website.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/files/fp_uploaded_images/130308_Missing%20Drone%20Strike%20Data.jpg


  • Worrying praise for a resounding failure - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/worrying-praise-for-a-resounding-failure.premium-1.470456

    When people start praising failures, it’s time to worry. And that’s exactly what happened a week and a half ago: Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised the chief of staff and the air force commander for the “sharp, effective performance in which a #drone was intercepted and shot down in the area south of Hebron.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also praised the drone’s interception.


  • Iranian Drone Incident Was Unacknowledged IDF Security Debacle Tikun-Olam Tikun Olam-תיקון עולם
    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2012/10/17/iranian-drone-incident-was-unacknowledged-idf-security-debacle

    Iranian Drone Incident Was Unacknowledged IDF Security Debacle

    by Richard Silverstein on October 17, 2012 · 1 comment

    in Mideast Peace

    I’ve often noted the parallel between the IDF’s public statements and Kabuki-style Japanese theater. Everyone wears a costume (or uniform) and mask, everyone plays a role, no one’s actual role or anything they say bears any resemblance to reality. So the Iranian drone incident is in the same vein. Israel’s leadership high-fived each other over the stellar performance of the air defense command in shooting down the craft without causing injury to any Israeli. Story over, case closed.

    Not so fast. Along with my posts on this subject, Haaretz defense analyst Reuven Pedatzur and Yediot’s defense correspondent Alex Fishman have insisted on telling their Israeli readers that the emperor has no clothes. Here is Pedatzur who, by the way, was an ace IAF pilot during military service:

    When people start praising failures, it’s time to worry. And that’s exactly what happened a week and a half ago: Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised the chief of staff and the air force commander for the “sharp, effective performance in which a drone was intercepted and shot down in the area south of Hebron.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also praised the drone’s interception.

    In reality, this incident was anything but a “sharp, effective performance.” By any professional standard, the penetration of an unmanned aerial vehicle into Israeli territory, apparently after it had flown for more than two hours over the sea, and its subsequent flight clear across the country over the course of another half hour, are an embarrassing failure for the Israel Defense Forces.

    …The UAV made its way over the sea from Lebanon to the coast of Gaza. During its long flight parallel to the coast, it was not discovered by a single one of the various detection devices that “look” westward. If this wasn’t due to negligence on the part of someone manning these detection systems, who wasn’t alert to what was happening out at sea, then it points to gaps in the IDF’s radar coverage of the western sector.

    Moreover, during its flight, the UAV passed over Israeli naval vessels without anyone noticing it. It also passed over the drilling platforms at the Leviathan natural gas site – a point worth noting for those who are supposed to defend our gas production sites in the future. Those who launched it could very easily have loaded it with explosives and then blown it up over one of these platforms.

    According to official IDF sources, the UAV was discovered only as it was about to cross the coastline near the Gaza Strip, and at that point, fighter planes were scrambled. Someone in the IDF needs to explain why it was discovered so belatedly. After all, had the drone been laden with explosives, its operators could have aimed it at the coastal city of Ashkelon, the nearby power plant, or Ashdod port…

    No less…worrying is the description of the air force’s activity after the UAV was discovered…Fighter planes escorted the drone on its flight eastward for about half an hour before launching two missiles at it, one of which hit. If so, it’s hard to understand the considerations that guided those who managed the interception.

    After all, it was impossible to know for sure that the drone wasn’t laden with explosives, turning it into a flying bomb. And if it had been, there was a reasonable possibility that it would suddenly dive and explode over a preplanned target – for instance, the air force base over which it flew. It’s not clear why the IDF decided to take such a risk instead of downing it as soon as it was discovered.

    …It’s not clear why they allowed it to continue flying, thereby enabling it to photograph targets in the heart of the country. The explanation that “operational considerations and considerations of protecting [nearby] communities” led to the army’s decision to down it only after about half an hour is unconvincing.

    But what ought to be most worrisome about the UAV affair is the depiction of this failure as a success. After all, if the IDF and the air force are being praised for a superb performance, it’s clear there is no need to investigate, ask questions and learn lessons.

    Another Israeli report notes (Hebrew) that Israeli Bedouin have found substantial portions of the downed drone in the area where it crashed. In other words, the IDF supposedly retrieved the craft in order to study it. Yet they left almost half of it where it landed and abandoned the area. If you compare this behavior to the way the NTSB investigates an airline crash, in which every piece of a crashed plane is retrieved for purposes of reconstruction, you see the haphazard, slipshod method of the IDF. It claimed it had recovered what it needed from the landing site and didn’t need whatever was left behind. Even if this is so, can you imagine how eager anyone seeking to learn about Iran’s drone capabilities would be to salvage such wreckage, which sits there on the forest floor waiting for anyone to come along and find it?

    Not to mention that the Israeli military censor has prohibited any Israeli media from publishing photos of the drone fragments. Imagine the hypocrisy of this considering that the IDF itself has abandoned these remnants leaving them for anyone to find, photograph, sell, whatever. If anyone has access to such photos, please contact me.

    Iran has made additional claims concerning the drone flight and its aftermath that induce skepticism, but are worth considering. They say that drone photographed Israeli preparations for next week’s missile defense joint maneuvers with U.S. forces and other military facilities in its path. In addition, they claim Israel’s national air defense commander was sacked. That appears false as the supposedly fired officer ended a normal three-year tour in this position and was rotated into a different one.

    Now the question remains: why wasn’t someone sacked over this bungle? As Pedatzur indicates above, there’s no need for questioning a military success. The IDF is not the sort of military organization that understands the difference between success and failure so it will swell its chest with pride, pin a medal on a few uniforms and pretend it conducted itself most excellently. Remember what I wrote about Kabuki theater above?

    Fishman pursues an entirely different tack (and I disagree with some of his approach), but he takes issue with the claim that the Iranian mission failed:

    In Israel, some members of the security establishment have been infected with…blindness. When the Iranian drone was shot down some 30 kilometers from Dimona, Israel cheered: The plot has been thwarted. In Western language, which Israel uses as well, the presence of a hostile drone is supposed to have some sort of operational purpose. Someone had sent it to take pictures, check the alertness of Israel’s defense systems and send back data. In short: It was supposed to carry out a practical mission with tangible results. Since these results were not achieved, the mission failed.

    But in the language of the Iranians and Nasrallah, the fact that the unmanned aircraft penetrated Israeli airspace is a huge achievement on a psychological level. As far as they are concerned, this was the purpose of the mission.

    On a related subject, Fishman’s article got me thinking about another potential danger that drones might pose to a nation like Israel. There are of course armed drones like those of the U.S. and Israel that have killed thousands of Muslim civilians. But imagine if you will a more advanced drone, one that might carry a compact nuclear warhead. It can’t be done now. But who’s to say that it isn’t possible to develop such a craft in future? All any nation would have to do would be to develop the drone and the primitive nuclear warhead and figure out how to fly it to the target, drop it, and detonate it. Even if the defending state shot the object down, as long as it happened over its territory there could potentially still be an aerial nuclear explosion.

    To be clear, I’m by no means claiming that is something that Iran (or Hezbollah) would do. On the contrary, I don’t believe that at all. Everything about Iran’s behavior indicates that it behaves militarily in a relatively pragmatic and measured fashion and acts in proportion to the provocations meted out by its opponents. But can I say the same about North Korea or some unforeseen crazed state that might be motivated to wreak havoc on an enemy in the future?

    My point here is that if the U.S. and Israel continue exploiting their current superiority by terrorizing various nations and groups they consider their enemies, then as they sow so shall they reap. If you kill with drones someone will want to kill you with one. If you sabotage industrial plants with cyber-weapons, someone will do the same to yours. If you assassinate scientists, then someone will do it to yours.

    We have no monopoly on these systems. Remember what happened in 1949? The Russians exploded a hydrogen bomb and all hell broke loose in U.S. military and political circles. How did Stalin get nukes? We were supposed to be the only ones who had them and presumably would ever have them.

    Do we really believe that we can maintain permanent supremacy over our so-called enemies? That they won’t figure out how to hurt us just as we’re hurting them? This is not a game of Monopoly. You don’t buy Park Place and own it forever. Reality has a nasty way of upsetting such illusions.


  • «Egyptian junta installs Islamist Mursi as figurehead president»

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jun2012/egyp-j25.shtml

    By Barry Grey 25 June 2012

    Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission on Sunday declared Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) candidate, the winner of the presidential election runoff held the week before in the midst of a political coup carried out by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

    The announcement followed a three-day delay during which tens of thousands of people, mostly MB supporters, thronged Cairo’s Tahrir Square to denounce the military’s assumption of dictatorial powers and the threat that the SCAF would falsify the election results and hand the presidency to its favored candidate, former Air Force chief Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak.


  • U.S. Needs Another 600 Humans to Fly Its Robot Planes | Danger Room | Wired
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/06/u-s-needs-another-600-humans-to-fly-its-robot-planes

    As of December 16, 2011, the Air Force had 1,358 pilots and 949 sensor operators, a shortfall of 338 and 245 respectively. And with more Reapers coming — their number will go from the current 96 to 199 in 2015 — they will need around 1,400 more pilots and sensor operators combined.

    http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2012/06/drone_pilot-660x440.jpg

    #drones #robots #armement

    le rapport cité : http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2012/06/06132012_uas1.pdf


  • BREAKING NEWS - Obama ORDERS limited AIR STRIKES against SYRIA!!!! HERE WE GO!!!

    S President Barack Obama has ordered the US Navy and Air Force to accelerate preparations for a limited air offensive against the Assad regime and the imposition of no-fly zones over Syria,DEBKAfile reports. Their mission will be to knock out Assad’s central regime and military command centers so as to shake regime stability and restrict Syrian army and air force activity for subduing rebel action and wreaking violence on civilian populations.
    DEBKAfile’s sources disclose that the US President decided on this step after hearing Russian officials stating repeatedly that “Moscow would support the departure of President Bashar al-Assad if Syrians agreed to it.” This position was interpreted as opening up two paths of action:

    http://unitedtruthseekers.com/forum/topics/breaking-news-obama-orders-limited-air-strikes-against-syria-her



  • The crash and burn future of robot warfare (Le Monde diplomatique)
    http://mondediplo.com/openpage/the-crash-and-burn-future-of-robot-warfare

    American fighter jets screamed over the Iraqi countryside heading for the MQ-1 Predator drone, while its crew in California stood by helplessly. What had begun as an ordinary reconnaissance mission was now taking a ruinous turn. In an instant, the jets attacked and then it was all over. The Predator, one of the Air Force’s workhorse hunter/killer robots, had been obliterated. An account of the spectacular end of that nearly $4 million drone in November 2007 is contained in a collection of Air Force accident investigation documents recently examined by TomDispatch. They catalog more than 70 catastrophic Air Force drone mishaps since 2000, each resulting in the loss of an aircraft or property damage of $2 million or more. (...) Source: Le Monde diplomatique