organization:u.s. military

  • Google employees are lining up to trash Google’s AI ethics council - MIT Technology Review

    un élément intéressant et à prendre en compte : les deux personnes visées sont également les deux seules femmes de ce comité d’experts. Choisies stratégiquement par Google pour faire jouer l’avantage genre, ou cibles plus évidentes des protestataires parce que femmes ?

    En tout cas, la place que la Heritage Foundation (droite dure et néo-management) prend dans l’espace mental des Etats-Unis, notamment dans le domaine technologique, est à suivre de près.

    Almost a thousand Google staff, academic researchers, and other tech industry figures have signed a letter protesting the makeup of an independent council that Google created to guide the ethics of its AI projects.
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    The search giant announced the creation of the council last week at EmTech Digital, MIT Technology Review’s event in San Francisco. Known as the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC), it has eight members including economists, philosophers, policymakers, and technologists with expertise in issues like algorithmic bias. It is meant to hold four meetings a year, starting this month, and write reports designed to provide feedback on projects at the company that use artificial intelligence.

    But two of those members proved controversial. One, Dyan Gibbens, is CEO of Trumbull, a company that develops autonomous systems for the defense industry—a contentious choice given that thousands of Google employees protested the company’s decision to supply the US Air Force with AI for drone imaging. The greatest outrage, though, has come over the inclusion of Kay Coles James, president of the Heritage Foundation, a think tank that opposes regulating carbon emissions, takes a hard line on immigration, and has argued against the protection of LGBTQ rights.

    One member of the council, Alessandro Acquisti, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who specializes in digital privacy issues, announced on March 30th that he wouldn’t be taking up the role. “While I’m devoted to research grappling with key ethical issues of fairness, rights & inclusion in AI, I don’t believe this is the right forum for me to engage in this important work," he tweeted.

    The creation of ATEAC—and the inclusion of Gibbens and James—may in fact have been designed to appease Google’s right-wing critics. At roughly the same time the council was announced, Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, was meeting with President Donald Trump. Trump later tweeted: “He stated strongly that he is totally committed to the U.S. Military, not the Chinese Military. [We] also discussed political fairness and various things that Google can do for our Country. Meeting ended very well!”

    But one Google employee involved with drafting the protest letter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that James is more than just a conservative voice on the council. “She is a reactionary who denies trans people exist, who endorses radically anti-immigrant positions, and endorses anti-climate-change, anti-science positions.”

    Some noted AI algorithms can reinforce biases already seen in society; some have been shown to misidentify transgender people, for example. In that context, “the fact that [James] was included is pretty shocking,” the employee said. “These technologies are shaping our social institutions, our lives, and access to resources. When AI fails, it doesn’t fail for rich white men working at tech companies. It fails for exactly the populations that the Heritage Foundation’s policies are already aiming to harm.”

    Messages posted to a Google internal communications platform criticized the appointment of James especially. According to one post, earlier reported by the Verge and confirmed by the employee, James “doesn’t deserve a Google-legitimized platform, and certainly doesn’t belong in any conversation about how Google tech should be applied to the world.”

    As of 5:30 pm US Eastern time today the public letter, posted to Medium, had been signed by 855 Google employees and 143 other people, including a number of prominent academics. “Not only are James’ views counter to Google’s stated values,” the letter states, “but they are directly counter to the project of ensuring that the development and application of AI prioritizes justice over profit. Such a project should instead place representatives from vulnerable communities at the center of decision-making.”

    #Google #Intelligence_artificielle #Ethique #Politique_USA

  • Kremlin says cyber attacks on Russia often launched from U.S. territory | Reuters

    The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the U.S. military had disrupted the internet access of a Russian troll farm accused of trying to influence American voters on Nov. 6, 2018, the day of the congressional elections.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters he did not know how much truth there was to that media report.

    “But in general I can say that U.S. territory is constantly being used to organise a huge number of cyber attacks against various Russian organisations. That’s the reality with which we live.”

    #cyberattaques #Russie #Etats-Unis

  • Is Climate the Worst Casualty of War?

    the big environmental organizations seem to have tacitly agreed that the U.S. military is the entity we won’t talk about when we talk about the biggest contributors to climate change.

    The Pentagon uses more petroleum per day than the aggregate consumption of 175 countries (out of 210 in the world), and generates more than 70 percent of this nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions, based on rankings in the CIA World Factbook. “The U.S. Air Force burns through 2.4 billion gallons of jet fuel a year, all of it derived from oil,” reported an article in the Scientific American. Since the start of the post-9/11 wars, U.S. military fuel consumption has averaged about 144 million barrels annually. That figure doesn’t include fuel used by coalition forces, military contractors, or the massive amount of fossil fuels burned in weapons manufacturing.

    #guerre #écologie #pollution #pétrole

  • China Military Threat: Seeking New Islands to Conquer - James Stavridis - Bloomberg

    The constant refrain was simple: The West is becoming a less reliable partner. These allies are dismayed by a U.S. administration that has repeatedly criticized its closest partners and accused them of freeloading on defense. They are also worried about weakness and distraction of a Europe facing Brexit. This is compounded as they watch China increase pressure on Taiwan to accept a “one nation, two systems” deal a la Hong Kong and militarize the #South_China_Sea by constructing artificial islands.
    There is also a less-noticed but extremely worrisome aspect to China’s increasing boldness: It seems to be building its naval capability to dominate farther into the Pacific — as far as what Western analysts call the “second island chain.

    When thinking in a geo-strategic sense about China, the island-chain formulation is helpful. Since the 1950s, U.S. planners have delineated a first island chain, running from the Japanese islands through the Philippines, and down to the tip of Southeast Asia. Dominating inside that line has been the goal of China’s recent buildup in naval and missile capabilities. But U.S. officials warn that Chinese strategists are becoming more ambitious, set on gaining influence running to the second island chain — running from Japan through the Micronesian islands to the tip of Indonesia. As with its initial forays into the South China Sea, Beijing is using “scientific” missions and hydrographic surveying ships as the tip of the spear.

    Japan and Singapore are essentially anchors at the north and south ends the island chains. They have been integrating their defense capabilities with the U.S. through training, exercises and arms purchases. They are exploring better relations with India as the Pacific and Indian Oceans are increasingly viewed as a single strategic entity. This is a crucial element in the U.S. strategy for the region. But there are changes coming.

    First, there are expectations that China will eye the third island chain, encompassing Hawaii and the Alaskan coast before dropping south down to New Zealand. This has long been regarded as the final line of strategic demarcation between the U.S. and China. Second, some analysts are beginning to talk about a fourth and even fifth island chain, both in the Indian Ocean, an increasingly crucial zone of competition between the U.S. and China.

    Two obvious Indian Ocean chains exist. The first would run from southern Pakistan (where China has created a deep-water port at Gwador) down past Diego Garcia, the lonely atoll controlled by the U.K. from which the U.S. runs enormous logistical movements into Central Asia. As a junior officer on a Navy cruiser in the 1980s, I visited Diego Garcia when it was essentially a fuel stop with a quaint palm-thatched bar. The base has expanded enormously, becoming critical to supporting U.S. and British combat efforts in the Horn of Africa and Middle East.

    The fifth and final island chain could be considered to run from the Horn of Africa – where the U.S. and China now maintain significant military bases – down to the coast of South Africa. Little wonder the U.S. military has renamed its former Pacific Command as the Indo-Pacific Command.


  • How Native Hawaiians Are Decolonizing Tourism

    Native Hawaiians living in the “vacation paradise” are caught between the state’s two major industries, the U.S. military and tourism. Through DeTours, they challenge both by showing tourists Hawaii from their perspective.
    #tourisme #Hawaï #industrie_touristique #peuples_autochtones #militarisation #résistance #Aloha #décolonisation #décolonialité #colonialisme #DeTours

    • DeTours: Mapping Decolonial Genealogies in Hawai’i

      This essay examines an alternative tour conducted on O’ahu, Hawai’i by DMZ Hawai’i/Aloha ‘Aina, a network of organizations confronting the U.S. military’s negative cultural, social, and environmental impacts on the islands and elsewhere in the Pacific. Informed by a commitment to Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) self-determination and the principle of aloha ‘aina (love for the land), DMZ Hawai’i offers “DeTours” to visitors and locals that highlight the geography and history of military occupation. The tours focus on the role of the U.S. military in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, its current effects on life on the island, and the ongoing struggles against militarism. These DeTours remap Hawai’i to convey the contestations and collisions that have defined the islands for well over a century, generating a model of Kanaka Maoli sovereignty rooted in familial relations to land while drawing from vast networks of kinship and affinity. In this endeavor, we engage three overlapping practices and concepts of genealogy: a critical historical understanding of the present and its conditions of emergence, the instantiation of Indigenous claims that have consistently confronted Western imperialism, and a spatiotemporal mapping of alliance and coalition. Our essay addresses the politics of U.S. empire in the Pacific, as Hawai’i stands as both the command center for U.S. military operations across half the Earth’s surface and is also one of the world’s preeminent tourist destinations. It also highlights possibilities for coalition predicated on Oceanic ties and shared histories of dispossession, illuminating strategies for survival and resistance in spaces of empire.

  • US to Extract Minerals From Afghanistan to ‘Defray Cost of US Assistance’

    The U.S. military has had its eyes on Afghan mineral deposits for some time. A 2007 Pentagon memo that the New York Times quoted in a 2010 article says that Afghanistan could be the “Saudi Arabia of lithium.”

    #extractivisme #Afghanistan #USA #Etats-Unis #mines #lithium
    ping @albertocampiphoto @daphne

    Quelle belle blague! “US assistance”, comme dit @isskein sur FB: “Bastards”

  • U.S. warship sails near disputed South China Sea islands - U.S. official

    The United States has criticised China’s construction of islands and military facilities in the area and is concerned they could be used to restrict free nautical movement.

    The U.S. military has a long-standing position that its operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and are separate from political considerations.

    #Chine #Etats-Unis

  • Marine Corps F-35Bs Have Arrived Off the Coast of Africa For The Very First Time - The Drive

    For the first time ever, U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs Joint Strike Fighters are on an operational deployment in the Gulf of Aden, bringing them the closest they’ve ever been to conflict zones in Iraq and Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. The stealthy jets and their pilots set to join thousands of other U.S. Navy sailors and Marines for a two-week training exercise while they’re in the region, but there’s still no indication they are headed for actual combat, at least not yet.


    Neither the Navy nor the Marines have announced any intention to send the F-35Bs into combat anywhere in the Middle East or East Africa while the Essex and her ARG are in the region, but there is always a possibility the U.S. military could decide to do so.

    #Etats-Unis #guerre

  • Tomgram : Nick Turse, A Grim Inheritance | TomDispatch

    Le site TomDispatch est bloqué par le département de La Défense pour « racisme et incitation à la haine » alors que les sites d’extrême-droite Breitbar et Infowars sont libres d’accès....

    It looks like #TomDispatch may have a few less readers from now on. Perhaps it will surprise you, but judging by the mail I get, some members of the U.S. military do read TomDispatch — partially to check out the range of military and ex-military critics of America’s wars that this site publishes. Or rather they did read TomDispatch. No longer, it seems, if their computers are operating via Department of Defense (DoD) networks. The DoD, I’ve heard, has blocked the site. You now get this message, I’m told, when you try to go to it: “You have attempted to access a blocked website. Access to this website has been blocked for operational reasons by the DOD Enterprise-Level Protection System.” Oh, and the category that accounts for it being blocked? “Hate and racism.” Mind you, you can evidently still read both Breitbart and Infowars in a beautifully unblocked state via the same networks.


  • War Doesn’t Make Sense Anymore | The American Conservative

    America spends more on its military than all its enemies put together yet it still can’t win wars. Failed adventures in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have drained America’s power and diminished its prestige. The bloated Pentagon budget actually makes us weaker.

    Here’s the weird bit: nobody seems to care. If any other government department spent as much and accomplished as little, the populace would be in arms, complaining about wasteful government spending. Instead we mumble “Thank you for your service” and increase defense appropriations.


    Maybe the extravagant expense of the Pentagon budget is a feature, not a bug. Maybe no one objects when we spend a quarter of a billion dollars ineffectually bombing Syria or several trillion ineffectually invading Iraq because these days war profiteers make their money not by looting their enemies’ cities, stealing their land, and selling their women into slavery, but from their own governments’ spending.

    My own life confirms this intuition. The invasion of Iraq has been a disaster for the United States, for the Middle East, and for the long-suffering people of Iraq, but for many of us, it was a cash cow. For a decade, I earned a solid middle-class living working just four months a year as a news cameraman in Iraq. The war on terror bought me my house.

    Thousands of Americans (perhaps not coincidentally mostly from red states) worked as contractors for the U.S. military and pulled down salaries much higher than they would have earned in the private sector back home. A truck driver from Mississippi made over $100,000 a year hauling in supplies from Kuwait. It is shocking how little of the money America spent in that misbegotten conflict ever trickled into the Iraqi economy.

    #objectif #guerres #Etats-Unis

  • #Eternal_Harvest - USAF Bombing in Laos

    Here we have a data visualization of the bombings. Between June 9, 1964, and April 26, 1973, the US carried out the largest bombing campaign, per capita, in history, in Laos. US forces dropped, on average, 1.3 million pounds of bombs a day. For 3,243 days. On a country of 2.5 million people.

    This data was originally compiled by the US Department of Defense. This video shows missions from October 1965 through April, 1973.

    This video shows most of the logged attack missions flown over Laos by the US Air Force, Navy and Marines. This does not include missions without target coordinates, non-attack missions, missions flown by other countries, or missions flown before October, 1965.

    #cartographie #visualisation #bombardements #bombes #Laos #guerre_du_vietnam

  • More people have died in schools than military service members in 2018: report | TheHill

    A new analysis by The Washington Post found that more people have been killed at schools so far in 2018 than have been killed while serving in the U.S. military, based on data from Defense Department news releases.

    #Etats-Unis #écoles #armes

  • After deadly crashes in Pacific, U.S. Navy refocuses on leadership

    Chief of U.S. Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said the incidents in the Pacific reinforced the need for a closer look at leadership training, something officials say was in the works prior to the crashes.

    As we’ve come through the collisions, the investigations focused on the accountability and in some cases discipline; it has just become clear that you can’t emphasize and focus on it too much,” Richardson told a small group of reporters.

    Rear Admiral Jeff Harley, president of the Naval War College, said that in a break from the past, the new college would teach leadership courses throughout the year.

    One (issue) that has perhaps not been given the attention that is required, (and) we’re starting to understand that its required on a more continuous basis, is this idea of character competency,” - or leadership development, Harley said.

    Another reason for increased focus on leadership is the expectation that the Navy will play a larger role in operations in the years ahead.

    The U.S. military has put countering China and Russia at the center of a new strategy unveiled earlier this year.

    The Navy really kind of has unique and specific roles in making all that happen, not only from a security standpoint, but also sea lanes, keeping access to markets open,” Richardson said.

    Plus corporate, tu meurs… d’un grave fail de leadership, of course. D’ailleurs, on y travaillait déjà. Et, tiens, toutes ces platitudes objets de la dépêche Reuters sont émises justement à l’occasion de l’inauguration, je vous le donne en mille, de, de,…

    Last week, the Navy inaugurated the College of #Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island.

  • Trump’s sending troops to the border to take on 200 kids and parents

    According to President Donald Trump, the mightiest, richest country in the world is under a threat so huge and scary that it will require the deployment of military forces — as many as 2,000 to 4.000, Trump said Thursday — along its 2,000-mile southern border. The danger consists of a ragtag caravan formed by several hundred impoverished people, many of them children from tiny Central American nations. Yes, the time has come to protect America from marauding youngsters and their parents.
    #Trump #frontières #armée #militarisation_des_frontières #USA #Etats-Unis

    • The cost of 2 National Guard border arrests would help a homeless vet for a year

      President Donald Trump’s decision to send #National_Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border has drawn a mixed response. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey welcomed the move, while California Gov. Jerry Brown’s National Guard said it would “review” the request.

      Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., had a specific complaint: He said it was a poor use of tax dollars.

      “Using the National Guard to do border security is very expensive,” Gallego tweeted April 3. “For what it would cost the Guard to make just TWO arrests at the border, we could give a homeless veteran permanent housing for an entire year.”
      #USA #Etats-Unis #coût #économie #prix #surveillance_des_frontières

    • Guard border deployment creates issues for Pentagon

      Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) have now sent two requests for assistance to the Pentagon’s new Border Security Support Cell, which was hastily established to help coordination between the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security.

      It’s estimated that it will cost $182 million to keep 2,093 guardsmen at the border through the end of September, which represents just more than half of the personnel approved.

      The amount covers $151 million in pay and allowances for the 2,093 personnel, as well as $31 million for 12,000 flying hours for 26 UH-72 Lakota helicopters, according to a defense memo on the amount.

      #CBP #gardes-frontière #frontières

    • The Cal. National Guard Is Working At the Mexican Border, But Mostly Behind The Scenes

      In California - a state with strong differences with the White House on immigration policy - about 400 troops are on border duty. But they’re keeping a low profile.

      Signalé par Reece Jones sur twitter, avec ce commentaire:

      What are US National Guard troops doing at the border? Analyze intelligence, work as dispatchers, and monitor cameras “but not cameras that look across the border into Mexico”

    • L’armée américaine mobilisée pour défendre la frontière

      En campagne pour les élections américaines de mi-mandat, le président Trump a focalisé son discours sur la caravane de migrants d’Amérique centrale qui fait route à travers le Mexique. Il a promis de tout faire pour empêcher ces demandeurs d’asile de pénétrer sur le territoire américain (“Personne n’entrera”), y compris de déployer “entre 10 000 et 15 000 soldats” en plus de la police aux frontières et de la police de l’immigration.

      L’armée estime que seuls 20 % des migrants, soit 1 400 selon les estimations les plus hautes, iront jusqu’à la frontière qui se trouve encore à quelque 1 300 kilomètres et plusieurs semaines de marche, rapporte le Los Angeles Times. Le chiffre de 15 000 hommes correspond à peu près au nombre de soldats déployés en Afghanistan, observe le même quotidien. Les militaires envoyés à la frontière peuvent se poser des questions sur le sens de cette mission, comme l’illustre ici le dessinateur Chappatte.

    • U.S. Troops’ First Order at the Border: Laying Razor Wire

      Soldiers fill local hotels, joke about finding ways to keep busy.
      On Monday morning in this border town, about a dozen U.S. Army soldiers unfurled reams of razor wire on top of a wrought-iron fence alongside a bridge to Mexico.

      The soldiers from the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Riley, Kan., who wore helmets but didn’t appear to be armed, are among thousands of troops deployed in recent days to the southwest U.S. border as part of Operation Faithful Patriot.

      Around border crossings throughout Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, military personnel have filled up hotels and delivered trucks packed with coils of razor wire as they begin to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
      The personnel were sent in advance of the anticipated arrival of thousands of Central Americans, including children, traveling in caravans currently several hundred miles south of the nearest U.S. border crossing.

      At the DoubleTree Suites Hotel in McAllen, Texas, the bar did brisk business Sunday night as soldiers who had changed into civilian clothes chatted over drinks. Some joked about needing to find ways to keep soldiers busy during their deployment.

      The Anzalduas International Bridge, where the Kansas-based troops were working, is used only for vehicle traffic to and from the Mexican city of Reynosa. The wire was placed on top of fences at least 15 feet high along each side of the bridge that sat several dozen feet above an embankment.

      Outside the port of entry where vehicles from Mexico are stopped after crossing the bridge, shiny razor wire recently placed around the facility glistened in the afternoon sun.

      Migrants seeking asylum who cross the border illegally generally don’t come to the port, but swim or wade across the Rio Grande and turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents.

      Near another bridge connecting Hidalgo, Texas, to Reynosa, a concertina wire fence was recently erected along the river edge, a placement more likely to impede illegal migrants who arrive on foot.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have determined where the military placed razor wire, Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters Monday during a briefing.

      It is part of an effort previously announced by Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander of the U.S. Northern Command, to “harden the points of entry and address key gaps.”

      Near the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge about 22 miles southeast of McAllen, troops on Monday were working on what looked to be a staging area to prepare for coming work. Two armed military police officers stood guard, opening and closing a gate as flatbed trailers carrying heavy military trucks and transports with troops inside arrived. At least one tent apparently intended to house troops was in place Monday.

      President Trump ordered the deployment last month after the first caravan made its way into Mexico. He had described the impending caravan’s arrival as an “invasion.”

      The Pentagon said Monday that more than 5,000 troops are at or would be on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the day, with about 2,700 in Texas, 1,200 in Arizona and 1,100 in California. Eventually, nearly 8,000 will be deployed, according to a U.S. official. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security have said the troops won’t be used to enforce immigration laws but will provide backup for Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers.

      At the Vaquero Hangout, an open-air bar within eyesight of the Anzalduas bridge, a flag declaring support for the U.S. military hung from the rafters. It was business as usual on Sunday evening. Some patrons watched the Houston Texans’ NFL game, while others were focused on a live band, George and the Texas Outlaws.

      A few folks briefly took notice of flashing lights from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle parked on the bridge as the soldiers lay down razor wire, an effort they would continue the next day.
      #fil_barbelé #barbelé

    • Pentagon to begin drawdown of troops at border: report

      The Pentagon is planning to begin a drawdown of troops at the southern border as soon as this week, the Army commander overseeing the mission told Politico on Monday.

      Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told the news outlet that the 5,800 active-duty troops sent to assist Customs and Border Protection at the U.S.-Mexico border should be home by Christmas.

      “Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” said Buchanan, who is overseeing the mission from Texas.

      Buchanan said engineer and logistics troops, which make up the largest parts of the deployment, will begin returning home soon.

      According to Politico’s report, some troops will begin leaving the area before the so-called migrant caravan arrives at the border.

      The news of the troops’ return comes as critics call President Trump’s request to send thousands of troops to the border a “political stunt.”

      Trump before Election Day stoked fears over an approaching group of Central American migrants heading towards the southern border, which he referred to as an “invasion.” He requested the deployment of thousands of troops to the border in a support mission just before Nov. 6.

      Some lawmakers have accused Trump of wasting resources and manpower on the mission, as reports have emerged that the troops are restless and underutilized.

      Thousands of participants in the caravan over the weekend reached Tijuana, Mexico, where they were met with vast protests. Some of the protesters are echoing Trump’s language, calling the group a danger and an invasion, The Associated Press reported.

      Most of the members of the caravan are reportedly escaping rampant poverty and violence in their home countries.

      –-> commentaire sur twitter:

      Just 3 weeks after deployment, Trump’s Pentagon is sending the military home from the border. They’ve served their purpose as the GOP’s 11th hour campaign force. Now we’re stuck with a hundred miles of trashy concertina wire and a $200 million bill.

    • Troops at U.S.-Mexican border to start coming home

      All the troops should be home by Christmas, as originally expected, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said in an interview Monday.

      The 5,800 troops who were rushed to the southwest border amid President Donald Trump’s pre-election warnings about a refugee caravan will start coming home as early as this week — just as some of those migrants are beginning to arrive.

      Democrats and Republicans have criticized the deployment as a ploy by the president to use active-duty military forces as a prop to try to stem Republican losses in this month’s midterm elections.

      The general overseeing the deployment told POLITICO on Monday that the first troops will start heading home in the coming days as some are already unneeded, having completed the missions for which they were sent. The returning service members include engineering and logistics units whose jobs included placing concertina wire and other barriers to limit access to ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico border.

      All the troops should be home by Christmas, as originally expected, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said in an interview Monday.

      “Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” said Buchanan, who leads the land forces of U.S. Northern Command.

      The decision to begin pulling back comes just weeks after Trump ordered the highly unusual deployment.

      In previous cases in which the military deployed to beef up security at the border, the forces consisted of part-time National Guard troops under the command of state governors who backed up U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other law enforcement agencies.

      But the newly deployed troops, most of them unarmed and from support units, come from the active-duty military, a concession the Pentagon made after Trump insisted that the deployment include “not just the National Guard.”

      Buchanan confirmed previous reports that the military had rejected a request from the Department of Homeland Security for an armed force to back up Border Patrol agents in the event of a violent confrontation.

      “That is a law enforcement task, and the secretary of Defense does not have the authority to approve that inside the homeland,” Buchanan said.

      The closure earlier Monday of one entry point along the California border near Tijuana, Mexico, was only partial and did not require more drastic measures, Buchanan said.

      “About half of the lanes were closed this morning, but that’s it,” he reported. “No complete closures.”

      Other ports might be closed fully in the future, he said, but he did not anticipate any need to take more drastic measures.

      “If CBP have reliable information that one of their ports is about to get rushed with a mob, or something like that that could put their agents at risk, they could ask us to completely close the port,” Buchanan said. “You understand the importance of commerce at these ports. Nobody in CBP wants to close a port unless they’re actually driven to do so.”

      The troop deployment should start trailing off as engineer and other logistics troops wind down their mission of building base camps and fortifying ports of entry for the Border Patrol.

      Army and Marine engineers have now emplaced about 75 percent of the obstacles they planned to, including concertina wire, shipping containers, and concrete barriers at ports of entry. “Once we get the rest of the obstacles built, we don’t need to keep all those engineers here. As soon as I’m done with a capability, what I intend to do is redeploy it,” Buchanan said. “I don’t want to keep these guys on just to keep them on.”

      Logistics troops, too, will be among the first to head home. “I will probably ask to start redeploying some of our logistic capability,” Buchanan predicted. “Now that things are set down here, we don’t need as many troops to actually build base camps and things like that, because the base camps are built."

      Among the troops who will remain after construction engineers and logisticians start departing are helicopter pilots, planners, medical personnel, and smaller “quick response” teams of engineers who can help Border Patrol personnel shut down traffic at their ports of entry.

      In contrast to the speed of the deployment in early November and the fanfare surrounding it, the withdrawal promises to be slower and quieter — but Buchanan expects it to be done before Christmas.

      “That doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” he added. “But right now, this is a temporary mission, and we’re tasked to do it until the 15th of December.”

    • Trump’s Border Stunt Is a Profound Betrayal of Our Military

      The president used America’s military not against any real threat but as toy soldiers, with the intent of manipulating a domestic midterm election.

      A week before the midterm elections, the president of the United States announced he would deploy up to 15,000 active duty military troops to the United States-Mexico border to confront a menacing caravan of refugees and asylum seekers. The soldiers would use force, if necessary, to prevent such an “invasion” of the United States.

      Mr. Trump’s announcement and the deployment that followed (of roughly 5,900) were probably perfectly legal. But we are a bipartisan threesome with decades of experience in and with the Pentagon, and to us, this act creates a dangerous precedent. We fear this was lost in the public hand-wringing over the decision, so let us be clear: The president used America’s military forces not against any real threat but as toy soldiers, with the intent of manipulating a domestic midterm election outcome, an unprecedented use of the military by a sitting president.

      The public debate focused on secondary issues. Is there truly a threat to American security from an unarmed group of tired refugees and asylum seekers on foot and a thousand miles from the border? Even the Army’s internal assessment did not find this a very credible threat.

      Can the president deny in advance what could be legitimate claims for asylum, without scrutiny? Most likely, this violates treaty commitments the United States made as part of its agreement to refugee conventions in 1967, which it has followed for decades.

      The deployment is not, in the context of the defense budget, an albatross. We are already paying the troops, wherever they’re deployed, and the actual incremental costs of sending them to the border might be $100 million to $200 million, a tiny fraction of the $716 billion defense budget.

      Still, we can think of many ways to put the funds to better use, like improving readiness.

      It’s also not unusual for a president to ask the troops to deploy to the border in support of border security operations. Presidents of both parties have sent troops to the border, to provide support functions like engineering, logistics, transportation and surveillance.

      But those deployments have been generally in smaller numbers, usually the National Guard, and never to stop a caravan of refugees and asylum seekers.

      So, generously, some aspects of the deployment are at least defensible. But one is not, and that aspect is the domestic political use — or rather, misuse — of the military.

      James Mattis, the secretary of defense, asserted that the Defense Department does not “do stunts.” But this was a blatant political stunt. The president crossed a line — the military is supposed to stay out of domestic politics. As many senior military retirees have argued, the forces are not and should not be a political instrument. They are not toy soldiers to be moved around by political leaders but a neutral institution, politically speaking.
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      Oh, some might say, presidents use troops politically all the time. And so they do, generally in the context of foreign policy decisions that have political implications. Think Lyndon Johnson sending more troops to Vietnam, fearing he would be attacked for “cutting and running” from that conflict. Or George W. Bush crowing about “mission accomplished” when Saddam Hussein was toppled. Those are not the same thing as using troops at home for electoral advantage.

      Electoral gain, not security, is this president’s goal. Two of us served in the military for many years; while all troops must obey the legal and ethical orders of civilian leaders, they need to have faith that those civilian leaders are using them for legitimate national security purposes. But the border deployment put the military right in the middle of the midterm elections, creating a nonexistent crisis to stimulate votes for one party.

      When partisan actions like this occur, they violate civil-military traditions and erode that faith, with potentially long-term damage to the morale of the force and our democratic practice — all for electoral gain.

      The deployment is a stunt, a dangerous one, and in our view, a misuse of the military that should have led Mr. Mattis to consider resigning, instead of acceding to this blatant politicization of America’s military.

    • The Military Is ’Securing’ a 1,900-Mile Border with 22 Miles of Razor Wire

      #Operation_Faithful_Patriot” is nothing more than a very expensive, politically motivated P.R. campaign.
      Skim through the Pentagon’s media site for Operation Faithful Patriot—the fittingly ridiculous name for the deployment of some 7,000 American troops to various spots along the Mexican border—and you’ll see lots of razor wire.

      There are photos of American troops laying razor wire (technically known as concertina wire) along the California-Mexico border. Of wire being affixed to the top of fences and to the sides of buildings. Everywhere you look on the Pentagon’s site, you find wire, wire, and more wire. Photos of soldiers carrying rolls of unused wire, snapshots of forklifts bringing more of the stuff to the border, and even videos of wire being unrolled and deployed. It’s thrilling stuff, truly.

      The message is not subtle. President Donald Trump might not have convinced Congress to blow billions for a fully operational border wall, but good luck to any immigrant caravan that happens to stumble into the thorny might of the American military’s sharpest deterrents.

      The focus on concertina wire isn’t just in the Pentagon’s internal media. The Wall Street Journal dedicated an entire Election Day story to how troops in Granjeno, Texas, had “unfurled reams of razor wire on top of a wrought-iron fence alongside a bridge to Mexico.” Troops stringing wire also appeared in The New York Post, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.

      There is so much concertina wire deployed to the southern border that if it were all stretched out from end to end, it would reach all the way from Brownsville, Texas, on the Gulf Coast to....well, whatever is 22 miles west of Brownsville, Texas.

      Yes. Despite the deluge of photos and videos of American troops are securing the southern border with reams of razor wire, Buzzfeed’s Vera Bergengruen reports that “troops have deployed with 22 miles of the wire so far, with 150 more available.”

      The U.S.–Mexico border is roughly 1,950 miles long.

      The wire doesn’t seem to be getting strung with any sort of strategic purpose, either. That WSJ story about the troops in Texas hanging wire from a bridge says that the “wire was placed on top of fences at least 15 feet high along each side of the bridge that sat several dozen feet above an embankment” while the bridge itself remains open to vehicle traffic from Mexico. If there is a goal, it would seem to be making the border look more prickly and dystopian while not actually creating any sort of barrier.

      It’s no wonder, then, that the troops deployed to the border are confused about why they are there. On Wednesday, when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited some of the troops stationed near McAllen, Texas, he was met with lots of questions and provided few answers.

      “Sir, I have a question. The wire obstacles that we’ve implanted along the border....Are we going to be taking those out when we leave?” one of the soldiers asked Mattis, according to Bergengruen. Another asked Mattis to explain the “short- and long-term plans of this operation.”

      “Short-term right now, you get the obstacles in so the border patrolmen can do what they gotta do,” Mattis responded. “Longer term, it’s somewhat to be determined.”

      Even at a time when most American military engagements seem to be conducted with a “TBD” rationale, this feels especially egregious. Mattis did his best on Wednesday to make the effort seem like a meaningful attempt to secure the border, while simultaneously admitting that he does not expect the deployed troops to actually come into contact with any immigrant caravans. Lately he’s been talking about how the deployment is supposedly good training for unconventional circumstances.

      It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Operation Faithful Patriot—a name so silly that the Pentagon has decided to stop using it—is nothing more than a very expensive, politically motivated P.R. campaign. Of the 39 units deployed, five of them are public affairs units. There seems to be no clear mission, no long-term objective, and no indication that the troops will add meaningful enforcement to existing border patrols.

      As for all that wire? It doesn’t really seem to be working either.
      #Faithful_Patriot #barbelé

  • Tomgram : Andrew Bacevich, A Memo to the Publisher of the New York Times | TomDispatch

    The key point is that when it comes to recent American wars, the Times offers coverage without perspective. “All the news” is shallow and redundant. Lots of dots, few connections.

    To put it another way, what’s missing is any sort of Big Picture. The Times would never depict Russian military actions in the Crimea, eastern Ukraine, and Syria, along with its cyber-provocations, as somehow unrelated to one another. Yet it devotes remarkably little energy to identifying any links between what U.S. forces today are doing in Niger and what they are doing in Afghanistan; between U.S. drone attacks that target this group of “terrorists” and those that target some other group; or, more fundamentally, between what we thought we were doing as far back as the 1980s when Washington supported Saddam Hussein and what we imagine we’re doing today in the various Muslim-majority nations in which the U.S. military is present, whether welcome or not.

    Ce n’est pas vrai, le #New_York_Times ne se contente pas de ne pas se poser des questions sur la #violence criminelle des #etats-unis, le new york times la blanchit.

  • Trump wants to get the U.S. out of Syria’s war, so he asked the Saudi king for $4 billion - The Washington Post

    In a December phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, President Trump had an idea he thought could hasten a U.S. exit from Syria: Ask the king for $4 billion. By the end of the call, according to U.S. officials, the president believed he had a deal.

    The White House wants money from the kingdom and other nations to help rebuild and stabilize the parts of Syria that the U.S. military and its local allies have liberated from the Islamic State. The postwar goal is to prevent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian partners from claiming the areas, or the Islamic State from regrouping, while U.S. forces finish mopping up the militants


  • Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia: Top three stunning admissions from the top U.S. general in the Middle East

    Assad has won, Iran deal should stand and Saudis use American weapons without accountability in Yemen: head of U.S. military’s Central Command’s stunning Congressional testimony

    Haaretz and Reuters Mar 16, 2018

    The top U.S. general in the Middle East testified before Congress on Tuesday and dropped several bombshells: from signaled support for the Iran nuclear deal, admitting the U.S. does not know what Saudi Arabia does with its bombs in Yemen and that Assad has won the Syrian Civil War.
    U.S. Army General Joseph Votel said the Iran agreement, which President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from, has played an important role in addressing Iran’s nuclear program.
    “The JCPOA addresses one of the principle threats that we deal with from Iran, so if the JCPOA goes away, then we will have to have another way to deal with their nuclear weapons program,” said U.S. Army General Joseph Votel. JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is the formal name of the accord reached with Iran in July 2015 in Vienna.
    Trump has threatened to withdraw the United States from the accord between Tehran and six world powers unless Congress and European allies help “fix” it with a follow-up pact. Trump does not like the deal’s limited duration, among other things.
    Votel is head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, which is responsible for the Middle East and Central Asia, including Iran. He was speaking to a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the same day that Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after a series of public rifts over policy, including Iran.
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    Tillerson had joined Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in pressing a skeptical Trump to stick with the agreement with Iran.
    “There would be some concern (in the region), I think, about how we intended to address that particular threat if it was not being addressed through the JCPOA. ... Right now, I think it is in our interest” to stay in the deal, Votel said.

    When a lawmaker asked whether he agreed with Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford’s position on the deal,Votel said: “Yes, I share their position.”
    Mattis said late last year that the United States should consider staying in the Iran nuclear deal unless it was proven Tehran was not complying or that the agreement was not in the U.S. national interest.
    A collapse of the Iran nuclear deal would be a “great loss,” the United Nations atomic watchdog’s chief warned Trump recently, giving a wide-ranging defense of the accord.
    Iran has stayed within the deal’s restrictions since Trump took office but has fired diplomatic warning shots at Washington in recent weeks. It said on Monday that it could rapidly enrich uranium to a higher degree of purity if the deal collapsed.
    Votel also discussed the situation in Syria at the hearing.
    During the Syrian army’s offensive in eastern Ghouta, more than 1,100 civilians have died. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Russia and Iran, say they are targeting “terrorist” groups shelling the capital.
    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned on Monday that Washington “remains prepared to act if we must,” if the U.N. Security Council failed to act on Syria.
    Votel said the best way to deter Russia, which backs Assad, was through political and diplomatic channels.
    “Certainly if there are other things that are considered, you know, we will do what we are told. ... (But) I don’t recommend that at this particular point,” Votel said, in an apparent to reference to military options.
    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asked whether it was too strong to say that with Russia and Iran’s help, Assad had “won” the civil war in Syria.
    “I do not think that is too strong of a statement,” Votel said.
    Graham also asked if the United States’ policy on Syria was still to seek the removal of Assad from power.
    “I don’t know that that’s our particular policy at this particular point. Our focus remains on the defeat of ISIS,” Votel said, using an acronym for Islamic State. 
    Saudi Arabia
    In a stunning exchange with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, Votel admitted that Centcom doesn’t know when U.S. fuel and munitions are used in Yemen. 
    “General Votel, does CENTCOM track the purpose of the missions it is refueling? In other words, where a U.S.-refueled aircraft is going, what targets it strikes, and the result of the mission?” Warren asked.
    “Senator, we do not,” Votel replied.
    The Senator followed up, citing reports that U.S. munitions have been used against civilians in Yemen, she asked, “General Votel, when you receive reports like this from credible media organizations or outside observers, is CENTCOM able to tell if U.S. fuel or U.S. munitions were used in that strike?”
    “No, senator, I don’t believe we are,” he replied.
    Showing surprise at the general’s response, Warren concluded, “We need to be clear about this: Saudi Arabia’s the one receiving American weapons and American support. And that means we bear some responsibility here. And that means we need to hold our partners and our allies accountable for how those resources are used,” she said.

  • Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia: Top three stunning admissions from the top U.S. general in the Middle East - Middle East News -

    Assad has won, Iran deal should stand and Saudis use American weapons without accountability in Yemen: head of U.S. military’s Central Command’s stunning Congressional testimony

  • Fitness Tracker Data Highlights Sprawling U.S. Military Footprint in Africa

    Out in the cocoa-colored wastes of north-central Niger, people have been running around in circles. Exactly who has been jogging or walking around this compound outside the town of Arlit is unclear. But there’s a good chance it has something to do with U.S. Africa Command’s “Analysis Office” there, the existence of which was disclosed in 2016 contracting documents. Not far away, people have been running round and round in a compound near the airfield in Agadez, Niger, where the U.S. military (...)

    #GPS #géolocalisation #sport #Fitbit #Strava

  • Un ex-agent du FBI affirme que les entreprises de technologie doivent « faire taire » les sources de « rébellion »

    Les implications de ces déclarations sont stupéfiantes. Les États-Unis seraient en pleine #guerre civile et la réponse nécessaire du gouvernement serait la #censure, ainsi que l’abolition de tous les autres #droits démocratiques fondamentaux. La « rébellion » devrait être réprimée en faisant taire les #médias qui la préconisent.

    Qu’une telle déclaration puisse être faite lors d’une audience du Congrès, sans aucune objection, est une expression de la décadence de la #démocratie américaine. Il n’y a aucune fraction de la classe dirigeante qui maintienne le moindre engagement envers les droits démocratiques fondamentaux.

    Aucun des Démocrates dans la commission n’a soulevé aucune des questions constitutionnelles soulevées par la demandant aux sociétés de technologie massives de censurer le discours politique sur Internet. Un seul Républicain a soulevé des préoccupations sur la censure, mais seulement pour alléguer que Google aurait un parti pris libéral.

    • Une analyse de la main-mise de l’état corporatiste US sur les médias de Chris Hedges :

      In the name of combating Russia-inspired “fake news,” Google, Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Agence France-Presse and CNN in April imposed algorithms or filters, overseen by “evaluators,” that hunt for key words such as “U.S. military,” “inequality” and “socialism,” along with personal names such as Julian Assange and Laura Poitras, the filmmaker. Ben Gomes, Google’s vice president for search engineering, says Google has amassed some 10,000 “evaluators” to determine the “quality” and veracity of websites. Internet users doing searches on Google, since the algorithms were put in place, are diverted from sites such as Truthdig and directed to mainstream publications such as The New York Times. The news organizations and corporations that are imposing this censorship have strong links to the Democratic Party. They are cheerleaders for American imperial projects and global capitalism. Because they are struggling in the new media environment for profitability, they have an economic incentive to be part of the witch hunt.

      The World Socialist Web Site reported in July that its aggregate volume, or “impressions”—links displayed by Google in response to search requests—fell dramatically over a short period after the new algorithms were imposed. It also wrote that a number of sites “declared to be ‘fake news’ by the Washington Post’s discredited [PropOrNot] blacklist … had their global ranking fall. The average decline of the global reach of all of these sites is 25 percent. …”

      #decodex #fake_news #post-vérité (ministère de la )

  • Remind Me Why We Have Troops in #Niger? | naked capitalism


    So far as I can tell, there are only two reasons for us to have a military presence in Niger:

    1) To help France hang on to its uranium supply, a vital national interest for them, and

    2) The self-licking ice cream of the Global War on Terror, or whatever we’re calling it these days.

    Since the political class seems to be lusting for war — whether with Russia or in North Korea — a war in Niger would have much to recommend it, since the only nuclear powers involved would be the United States and France (since its hard to see that China would have vital national interests involved; Niger’s uranium would constitute some fraction of one-third of China’s uranium supply).

    If the United States runs true to form (and at this point we have form) a war in Niger would:

    0) Never be declared;

    1) Last for many years;

    2) Not produce a victory (if victory be defined as parades and politicians claiming victory);

    3) Be extremely expensive;

    4) Cause enormous civilian suffering and many refugees;

    5) Destabilize West Africa;

    6) Strengthen the mercenary elements of the military-industrial complex;

    7) Produce blowback, should adversaries once again focus, as Bin-Laden did, on the “far enemy.” In this regard, it would be interesting to see the social effects if the blowback operatives were Africans, and not from the Middle East, as were Bin Laden’s.

    What could go wrong?

    #guerres #etats-unis

    • The U.S. military is conducting secret missions all over Africa – VICE News

      “The huge increase in U.S. military missions in Africa over the past few years represents nothing less than a shadow war being waged on the continent,” said William Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.

      These developments stand in stark contrast to early assurances that AFRICOM’s efforts would be focused on diplomacy and aid. In the opening days of the command, the assistant secretary of defense for African affairs, Theresa Whelan, said it would not “reflect a U.S. intent to engage kinetically in Africa.” #AFRICOM, she said, was not “about fighting wars.”

      But an increasing number of AFRICOM’s missions have the appearance of just that. The command has launched 500 airstrikes in Libya in the last year alone, and U.S. forces have regularly carried out drone attacks and commando raids in Somalia.

      “When push comes to shove training missions can easily cross the line into combat operations.”

      “This military-heavy policy,” said Hartung, “risks drawing the United States more deeply into local and regional conflicts in Africa and generating a backlash that could actually aid terrorist organizations in their recruitment.”


    WHEN THE PENTAGON peers into its crystal ball, the images reflected back are bleak.

    On May 23, 2023, in one imagining from the U.S. military, terrorists detonate massive truck-bombs at both the New York and New Jersey ends of the Lincoln Tunnel. The twin explosions occur in the southern-most of the three underground tubes at 7:10 a.m., the beginning of rush hour when the subterranean roadway is packed with commuters making their way to work.

    The attack kills 435 people and injures another 618. Eventually, we’ll come to know that it could have been much worse. The plan was to drive the trucks to “high profile targets” elsewhere in Manhattan. Somehow, though, the bombs detonated early.

    This spectacular attack, which would result in the highest casualties on U.S. soil since 9/11, isn’t the hackneyed work of a Hollywood screenwriter — it is actually one of the key plot points from a recent Pentagon war game played by some of the military’s most promising strategic thinkers. This attack, and the war it sparks, provide insights into the future as envisioned by some of the U.S. military’s most important imagineers and the training of those who will be running America’s wars in the years ahead.

  • U.S. military apologizes for ’highly offensive’ leaflets it distributed in Afghanistan - LA Times

    “Get your freedom from these terrorist dogs,” reads the Pashto-language text. “Help the coalition forces find these terrorists and eliminate them. The image shows a lion chasing a white dog that is meant to represent the flag of Taliban insurgents, which is white with the Shahada printed at the center.”

    A leaflet distributed Sept. 5 by U.S. forces in Afghanistan shows a dog bearing the Islamic Shahada, or profession of faith, an image that many found offensive. (Sultan Faizy / For The Times)

    #clichés_arabes même si c’est plutôt clichés_musulmans qui conviendrait.

    • ددغي ترهکرو سپيو خبل ازادي پيرته واخلی
      ايتلافی خواکونو سره مرسته وکری ترڅو دغه دښمنان په نښه کري اوله مينخه ويسي

      (marrant le pachto, comme le persan, mais avec des rétroflexes et des affriquées en plus (ici un ښ et un څ…)

      EDIT : Tiens, gg ne fournit pas (du tout) le même texte en passant par le bouton proposé ici (il manque même la moitié) et en copiant collant dans translate.

  • Ten sailors missing after U.S. warship, tanker collide near Singapore
    ça devient une habitude…
    mais cette fois à babord, donc, a priori, c’est lui qui a priorité…

    Ten sailors are missing after a U.S. warship collided with an oil tanker east of Singapore before dawn on Monday, tearing a hole beneath the waterline and flooding compartments that include a crew sleeping area, the U.S. Navy said.

    The collision between the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker Alnic MC was the second involving U.S. Navy destroyers and merchant vessels in Asian waters in little more than two months.

    The ships collided while the U.S. warship was heading to Singapore for a routine port call, the Navy said in a statement.

    • Ici, il est hors de question d’imaginer une quelconque défaillance de la veille sur l’un ou l’autre navire : ça doit être l’endroit où le trafic est le plus dense au monde et on est aux abords immédiats du port…

      En revanche, le communiqué de la Navy laisse songeur. Le John McCain est abordé à babord (à l’arrière de sa seconde cheminée), vraisemblablement à l’endroit où s’achève la dernière ligne droite de la trajectoire) alors que le pétrolier vient de l’est et se dirige vers le terminal pétrolier (dans l’axe de cette ligne droite). Difficile à imaginer si le John McCain entrait au port ; normalement, il présentait son flanc tribord…

      Au vu des photos, et de l’enfoncement des tôles, il semblerait que le pétrolier venait de l’arrière.

    • Stricken destroyer John S. McCain arrives in Singapore, 10 crew still missing

      Mounting questions
      The details of how the collisions occurred remain unkown, But incidents such as those with the McCain and Fitzgerald incidents are troubling, said Jan van Tol, a retired commander of three war ships who now serves as an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

      Navy destroyers are remarkably nimble and responsive, including rapid acceleration ability, thus should certainly be able to get out of the way of almost anything approaching ‘too close,’” van Tol said in an email.

      Such close quarters situations should NEVER be allowed to develop without various watchstanders and watchteams being well aware that they are developing,” he said.

      It is unknown whether McCain had suffered any kind of casualty to its engineering or steering systems ahead of the collision that would have contributed to the disaster.

      The collision was the fourth significant safety incident of 2017 involving a U.S. 7th Fleet ship. In January, the cruiser Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay and in May, the cruiser Lake Champlain collided with a Korean fishing boat in the Sea of Japan.

      (outre le Fitzgerald)

    • Complètement dingue !

      La collision a eu lieu nettement plus à l’est, juste à l’entrée du dispositif de séparation de trafic. Dans les derniers instants, on voit l’Alnic NC abattre en grand sur la gauche en ralentissant fortement, indice évident d’une manœuvre en catastrophe, qui ne peut se justifier (on est dans le rail, bon sang !) que par une tentative d’évitement désespérée…

      Mille sabords !, que fabriquait cet amiral de bateau-lavoir de USS John S. McCain à cet endroit là ?
      (NB : le père et le grand-père du sénateur, John S. McCain III, ont tous les deux terminé leur carrière comme amiral et, pour faire simple portaient également le même middle name, Sidney. On fait dans la dynastie ou pas…)

      Comment a-t-il pu couper la route d’un bateau dont la route est absolument rectiligne et prévisible (il est dans le rail) ? Peut-être le McCain n’y était-il pas et a-t-il manœuvré brutalement pour s’y placer ?

      EDIT (24/08)
      pour gCaptain, l’abattée à gauche est le résultat de la collision, ce qui parait tout à fait crédible et explique bien la forme de l’enfoncement sur l’arrière de l’ouverture. Le McCain devait filer vite pour dévier à ce point la trajectore.
      Du coup, on peut élaborer un scénario où le McCain coupe, pour des raisons qu’il reste à préciser, le rail « conformément aux règles internationales » : perpendiculairement et le plus vite possible. Et dans ce cas, il est responsable à 100%…

      Comment, elle a dit déjà l’amirauté ? ah oui, #poor_seamanship

    • The Latest: US Navy vessel arrives to help damaged destroyer - The Washington Post

      5:00 p.m.
      The oil tanker involved in a collision with the USS John S. McCain destroyer in busy Southeast Asian waters had four deficiencies including navigation safety violations in its last port inspection.

      An official database for ports in Asia shows the Alnic MC was inspected in the Chinese port of Dongying on July 29 and had one document deficiency, one fire safety deficiency and two safety of navigation problems.

      The database doesn’t go into details and the problems were apparently not serious enough for the Liberian-flagged and Greek-owned vessel to be detained by the port authority.
      4:10 p.m.
      The chief of Malaysia’s Maritime Enforcement Agency says the collision between an oil tanker and the USS John S. McCain guided missile destroyer early Monday occurred at the start of a designated sea lane for ships sailing into the Singapore Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

      Zulkifli Abu Bakar said the incident occurred 4.5 nautical miles (8.3 kilometers) from Malaysia’s coast. He said a Malaysian warship was in the area monitoring the cleanup of an oil spill from an unrelated collision of two merchant ships and was contacted by the McCain.

      Both Malaysia and Singapore say the accident happened in their waters, likely reflecting a dispute about ownership of some rocky outcrops in the area.

      It happened in Malaysian territorial waters, specifically in Teluk Ramunia waters,” Zulkifli said. “For this moment, we shouldn’t argue about whose waters. Most important thing is we focus on the search and rescue.

    • Frontière entre la Malaisie et Singapour — Wikipédiaère_entre_la_Malaisie_et_Singapour

      La délimitation de cette frontière maritime a fait l’objet d’un recours devant la Cour internationale de justice, effectué conjointement le 24 juillet 2003 par la Malaisie et Singapour. Le différend portait sur l’île de Pedra Branca, les Middle Rocks (deux rochers inhabités) et South Ledge, un haut-fond découvrant. Par un arrêt du 23 mai 2008, la Cour a attribué Pedra Blanca à Singapour, les Middle Rocks à la Malaisie, et South Ledge à l’État dans les eaux territoriales duquel il se trouve (la Cour n’ayant pas reçu mandat des parties pour délimiter leurs eaux territoriales respectives).

      L’arrêt de la CIJ
      Affaire relative à la souveraineté sur Pedra Blanca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks et South Ledge –(Malaisie/Singapour)
      Arrêt du 23 mai 2008

      (il me semblait avoir vu passer ce contentieux ici)

      (extrait de l’arrêt de la CIJ)

    • Serrage de boulons généralisé…

      Admiral to order operational pause in Navy after warship, merchant ship collide - CNN

      Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson is expected to order a one-day pause in operations “to ensure we are taking all appropriate immediate measures to enhance the Navy’s safe and effective operation around the world,” according to a US Defense official and an advanced copy of Richardson’s statement obtained by CNN.

      The stand-down will take place over the next couple of weeks, at the discretion of individual commands, the defense official said.

      The order comes after a US Navy guided-missile destroyer collided early Monday with an oil tanker east of Singapore, the fourth accident this year involving a US warship in Asian waters.

      This is the second major collision in the last three months, and is the latest in a series of major incidents, particularly in the Pacific theater. This trend demands more forceful action,” Richardson’s statement says.

      C’est le moment de ressortir la vanne éculée du phare et du porte-avions états-unien… #lighthouse_vs_US_Navy

    • US Navy also considering ’cyber intrusion or sabotage’ as possible causes for USS John McCain collision

      A steering failure, or maybe even hacked systems – the US Navy is considering all possible reasons after launching a broad investigation into the collision of the US guided-missile destroyer USS John McCain with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore on Monday (21 August).

      Plusieurs médias reprennent l’hypothèse, apparemment émise par l’US Navy, de panne de l’appareil à gouverner (#avarie_de_barre, un des entrainements les plus fréquents en passerelle dans mon souvenir, presqu’autant que #un_homme_à_la_mer à babord/tribord suivie du Boutakov règlementaire…) Je ne trouve pas le communiqué original. Pas plus que, l’évocation officielle d’une #cyber-attaque qui aurait déjà été plus ou moins éliminée par la marine.

      Apparemment, la source initiale est CNN

      Ships, aircraft search for crashed US destroyer’s 10 missing crew - CNNPolitics

      What caused the accident?
      The warship suffered a steering failure as the warship was beginning its approach into the Strait of Malacca, causing it to collide with a commercial tanker Monday, a US Navy official told CNN.
      The official said it was unclear why the crew couldn’t utilize the ship’s backup steering systems to maintain control of ship.
      Earlier, another US Navy official told CNN there were indications the destroyer experienced a loss of steering right before the collision, but steering had been regained after the collision.

      Évidemment, l’option #hacker circule pas mal (déjà pour l’USS Fitzgerald), Popular Mechanics explique de son côté que ça ne peut pas être du #GPS_spoofing, etc.
      No, the USS McCain Wasn’t a Victim of GPS Spoofing

    • Ah, ben Les Échos relaient le complotisme, bravo…
      (oubliant au passage l’hypothèse de l’avarie de barre, mise en avant par l’amiral Richardson (CNO : Chief of naval operations)

      Après la collision d’un destroyer américain, des experts agitent la piste de la cyberattaque

      L’amiral n’a pas exclu que la collision ait pu être provoquée par un facteur extérieur ou une cyberattaque. Cet accident n’est pas le premier (voir encadré) et intrigue certains spécialistes de la Défense.

      « Il y a quelque chose de plus que la simple erreur humaine car sinon cela impliquerait énormément de gens », avance par exemple Jeff Stutzman interrogé par le site McClatchyDC.

      Pour cet ancien spécialiste de la guerre de l’information et de la marine, qui travaille désormais chez Wapack Labs, une société de sécurité informatique, tout bâtiment qui s’avance dans le détroit de Singapour aura sur le pont une équipe complète de vigiles et d’opérateurs radars.

      De son côté, interrogé par le site « International Business Times », Todd Humphreys, un professeur à l’Université du Texas et spécialiste en systèmes de navigation par satellite, va plus loin dans la suspicion.

      Pour lui, cet accident semble « statistiquement très suspect ». Et il n’hésite pas à faire un parallèle avec un incident intervenu en juin en Mer noire et au cours duquel des signaux GPS auraient été trafiqués via, selon lui, « un signal qui provenait du continent russe ».

      La piste russe n’est cependant pas la seule à être soulevée. Interrogé par le site australien, Itay Glick, un autre expert de cybersécurité qui a travaillé pour les services de renseignements israéliens, avance que si la Russie a les capacités d’effectuer une telle attaque, la Chine l’a également.

      « Je ne crois pas aux coïncidences », explique-t-il encore en rappelant que « l’erreur humaine » est toujours une solution de facilité pour expliquer un accident.

      À « l’expert » dont les pontifications concluent l’article, on fera remarquer que la Navy a viré tout l’état-major de l’USS Fitzgerald et on rappellera aux Échos que l’amiral Richardson met en avant une deuxième hypothèse « matérielle ».

      Certains font remarquer que les nombreuses gesticulations de la Navy dans un contexte où le nombre de bâtiments baisse pourraient avoir aboutir à une fatigue des équipements et des équipages…

      Enfin, on sourira à la légende de la photo (bizarrement fournie par le SIPA) ouvrant l’article…

      Toutes les pistes sont envisagées y compris celle d’une cyberattaque, a laissé entendre l’amiral John Richardson, chef des opérations de la marine américaine.
      Daniel Chan/AP/SIPA

      … où on a un peu de mal à reconnaître l’amiral Richardson…

      la légende d’AP est la suivante
      Malaysian Maritime Director Indera Abu Bakar points to damage on USS John S. McCain at press conference in Putrajaya on Monday.
      AP Photo/Daniel Chan

    • China Calls U.S. Navy ’Arrogant’ After USS John Mccain Collision Accident

      A Chinese state-run newspaper claimed Monday that the most recent collision of a U.S. Navy destroyer with a merchant ship was an example of the U.S.’s “arrogance” in conducting patrols in and around the South China Sea.

      The nationalist Global Times ran an editorial Monday shortly after the USS John S. McCain was hit by an oil tanker east of Singapore in the Strait of Malacca and 10 sailors were reported missing.

      While stating the collision was an example of the U.S. military’s decline and that Chinese society’s “applause” was tantamount to the nation’s feelings toward the U.S. encroaching on its territory, the opinion piece also claimed that the U.S. is not trying to avoid such collisions.

      U.S. warships are constantly involved in accidents around the South China Sea,” the op-ed, which is often considered direct thoughts from the Chinese government, read. “On the one hand, the U.S. Navy has behaved arrogantly in the Asia-Pacific region. It lacks respect for huge merchant ships and fails to take evasive action in time, thus resulting in serious accidents.

      On n’est pas loin de la blague du phare…
      Blague qu’évoque le deuxième commentateur de l’article du Monde sur le sujet.

    • CNN sur la même – et évidente – question, mais beaucoup plus terre à terre : quand il y a série, c’est qu’il y a problème de fond…

      Why are so many Navy ships crashing ? - CNNPolitics

      The US Navy is facing difficult questions about the health of its fleet in the aftermath of the USS John S. McCain’s collision with an oil tanker east of Singapore on Monday, the latest in a series of naval accidents in the Pacific.

      Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson ordered a rare, one-day operational pause in response to the latest collision. And while the cause of the USS McCain crash is still to be determined, the spate of accidents — four since January — suggests there could be a more systemic issue.
      Lawmakers and defense analysts are warning that the Navy’s readiness problems — which have led to longer deployments for ships and less time and money for maintenance and training — could be playing a role in the uptick in crashes.
      In addition to the Navy’s stand-down, the Marine Corps grounded all of its aircraft for 24 hours earlier this month on the heels of two deadly crashes “to focus on the fundamentals of safe flight operations, standardization, and combat readiness.

      House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said it was unprecedented that “two military services have now had to take a knee to review safety and training procedures.
      Former Virginia Republican Rep. Randy Forbes, who is now a fellow at the Naval War College, said the concern over the recent incidents goes beyond just determining why the collisions occurred, but points to a broader issue if the Navy had to ramp up in a significant conflict.

      When our ships are having this much difficulty sailing in open waters, it gives us a lot of concern about what would happen if we were in a major conflict and how we would operate there,” Forbes said. “The Navy is in desperate need of additional resources so that they can do the kind of training they need, they can do the kind of ship maintenance they need.
      Thomas Callender, a defense analyst at the Heritage Foundation and former Navy submarine officer, noted that the destroyer collisions occurred in low-light times of day and highly trafficked areas.

      Those are some of the most difficult times, sunset and sunrise, of trying to determine what your contact picture is, what you’re really seeing with this,” Callender said.
      Forbes said traffic congestion would likely be a commonality, too.

      It’s like when you have accidents on roads: Normally it’s going to be where more vehicles are,” he said. “It still doesn’t justify it — we’ve got to operate in those waters.
      But the fact that all four Navy collisions this year occurred in the Pacific could also point to issues with training that are specific to the region, Hendrix said.
      The fact this is so regional ... it strikes me there’s a degradation in training standards and operational procedures,” he said.

    • Déclaration, ce soir à Singapour, de l’amiral Scott Swift, commandant de la Flotte du Pacifique (3è et 7è flotte)

      pas d’info particulière dans la déclaration liminaire (tout bien, tout corporate)

      • toute première question (7:00) (on ne les entend pas bien, mais les réponses permettent de les reconstituer) : cyberattaque ?
      – j’ai entendu cette hypothèse, mais on n’a rien vu qui puisse laisser penser à quelque chose de cette nature, mais nous (il cite le CNO) n’écartons aucune hypothèse

      • des modifications dans la chaîne de commandement
      – c’est trop tôt pour conclure quoi que ce soit, laisser se dérouler l’enquête

      • la flotte n’est-elle pas épuisée ? y a-t-il eu des négligences ?
      – ce n’est pas ce que j’ai vu ce matin lors de ma visite du navire, les équipages sont déterminés et opérationnels, ils ont bien bossé pour le damage control

      • découverte de corps ?
      – la marine malaisienne a récupéré un corps (en mer, donc) et va nous le restituer ; les plongeurs ont trouvé des corps, nous sommes en train de les identifier

    • U.S. Navy to relieve admiral of command after collisions: WSJ

      The U.S. Navy plans to remove from duty the commander of the fleet that has suffered four recent collisions in Asia and the deaths of a number of sailors, the _Wall Street Journal _reported on Tuesday, citing U.S. officials.

      Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, the three-star commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan, will be relieved of command on Wednesday in connection with four collisions since January, including two involving fatalities, two U.S. officials said, according to the Journal. It said Navy officials declined to comment.

    • La Chine remet une couche…

      After U.S. destroyer collision, Chinese paper says U.S. navy a hazard

      The state-run China Daily said in an editorial on Tuesday that people will wonder why such a sophisticated navy keeps having these problems.

      The investigations into the latest collision will take time to reach their conclusions, but there is no denying the fact that the increased activities by U.S. warships in Asia-Pacific since Washington initiated its rebalancing to the region are making them a growing risk to commercial shipping,” it said.

      China has been upset at U.S. freedom of navigation operations near Chinese controlled islands in the disputed South China Sea, where China has been reclaiming land, building air bases and increasing its military presence.

      While the U.S. Navy is becoming a dangerous obstacle in Asian waters, China has been making joint efforts with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to draw up a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea and it has boosted navigational safety by constructing five lighthouses on its islands,” the China Daily said.

      Anyone should be able to tell who is to blame for militarizing the waters and posing a threat to navigation.

    • Ah, quand même, on se décide enfin à demander leur avis à des experts en autre chose que les cyberattaques !

      US Navy 7th Fleet commander dismissed, Navy says - CNNPolitics

      Carl Schuster, a Hawaii Pacific University professor and former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center, said that he thought it was unlikely that the ship would have been hacked.

      Navigating a ship in a shipping channel is a manual operation. It comes down to watch attention and awareness. It’s a training procedure issue and a watch qualification issue,” he said.

      He added that even if the steering had been compromised it would be possible for the McCain to outrun the tanker, and that some degree of directionality would be possible by changing the speed of the port and starboard propellers.

      The “traffic situation” in the shipping channel at that time should be the focus of investigation, Ridzwan Rahmat, a senior defense and security analyst at Jane’s suggests.

      The signs were that the merchant ship was in compliance and the damage on the USS John S. McCain suggests that it wasn’t in compliance” of traffic rules at the time, he said.

    • Si vous ne l’avez pas déjà lu, peut-être faites un petit détour sur le fil concernant le Fitzgerald, l’article de gCaptain, Red over red, concernant le rapport préliminaire sur l’abordage d’il y a deux mois est à lire absolument.

      Je reprends ici mon commentaire qui concernait plutôt les événements du McCain (je finis par m’y perdre…)

      Sur l’incompétence des commentateurs, je remarque qu’aucun n’a fait la remarque que le navire de guerre coupe la route d’un bâtiment de commerce dans un rail…

      L’hypothèse d’une cyberattaque relève du délire. Mais peut-être que les hackers russes ou chinois dont déjà capables aujourd’hui de liquéfier les cervelles d’une équipe de quart en passerelle, après tout de quoi ne sont-ils pas capables ?

      Si le GPS est tombé en rade ou a été piraté, on dispose d’autres moyens de navigation, mille sabords, notamment en vue de terre. Bon sang, l’abordage a eu lieu à 5 miles du principal phare de la région et à 10 miles de la côte ! Si la passerelle a besoin du GPS pour naviguer, il y a lieu de s’interroger sur les compétences requises pour être officier de quart dans l’US Navy.

      Mais, de fait, on en est bien là : couper la route d’un navire dans le rail (je sais je me répète, mais ça ne passe pas !…)

      d’où mon soulagement (enfin, presque…) dans le commentaire précédant immédiatement celui-ci…

    • Search for Missing U.S. Sailors Slowed by Extensive Damage to Vessel - The New York Times

      In the McCain case, the search is taking longer because the damage to the vessel appears to be more extensive. According to one Navy official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because investigations were underway, the Alnic appears to have hit the McCain nearly head-on, whereas the Fitzgerald suffered more of a glancing blow.

      C’est en effet compatible avec l’enregistrement de la trajectoire de l’Alnic MC (j’ai complété mon commentaire de la vidéo des relevés AIS )

      Par ailleurs, le corps repêché par la marine malaisienne n’avait pas de lien avec l’abordage.

      A Malaysian Navy vessel found a body at sea on Tuesday, but it turned out to be the decomposed corpse of an elderly man and was unrelated to the collision, the United States Navy said.

    • China suspected after crashes of USS John S McCain and USS Fitzgerald | World | The Times & The Sunday Times

      The collision on Monday between a Liberian tanker and a US warship, the latest in a series of incidents in Asia, has provoked questions about possible Chinese involvement.

      A former Royal Navy officer said that the movements of the Guang Zhou Wan, a Chinese commercial vessel, could be significant in explaining the fatal crash off Singapore that left at least one sailor dead. A further nine are missing.

      Tracking data indicates that the tanker that collided with U_SS John S McCain_ was followed by the Chinese vessel, which appeared to steer out of the way before the incident.

      “You get the impression that fleet forces command are going to be looking at wider potential problems — hacking, crew training, how they are navigating, validating of ship-watch…

    • With the USS McCain collision, even Navy tech can’t overcome human shortcomings | Ars Technica

      Initial reports from the organization suggest that a “steering casualty”—a loss of control over steering from the bridge—contributed to the McCain’s fatal collision. That, and the nature of the ship’s steering and navigation system, has led to speculation that the McCain was “hacked” and that perhaps some sort of malicious electronic attack was also involved in the Fitzgerald’s collision.

      But so far, available evidence suggests something much less sinister—though potentially more threatening to the overall readiness of the service. There was no hacking, no GPS spoofing or jamming, nor any other deliberate enemy electronic attack on the Navy ships involved in this year’s accidents. Instead, much more human factors were at work—and some of them are endemic to the Navy’s current management culture and operational readiness.
      Watch standers aboard modern warships may have more technology to help them, but they still face a daunting task when they enter high-traffic areas as treacherous as the Strait of Gibraltar—or the Strait of Malacca, the approaches to the Bosporus and Dardanelles, and the approaches to Tokyo Bay. In each, hundreds of other vessels may be visible to the naked eye or on the radar scope. The resulting sea of data points can overwhelm even an experienced bridge crew regardless of how good their technology is.

      Long article, où je finis par perdre le fil de ce qu’il cherche à dire…

    • U.S. Navy Provides Details of Surface Fleet Review In Wake of ’Disturbing Trend’ of Accidents – gCaptain

      The U.S. Navy has provided details of a comprehensive review of the Navy’s global surface fleet operations after the destroyers USS Fitzgerald and John S. McCain were both involved in major collisions with commercial vessels just two months apart.

      2. You are directed to lead a Comprehensive Review of surface fleet operations and incidents at sea that have occurred over the past decade with emphasis on SEVENTH Fleet operational employment to inform improvements Navy-wide. This review should address the follow areas:

      a. Individual training and professional development, to include seamanship, navigation, voyage planning, leadership development, officer and enlisted tactical training in formal schools and on the job;

      b. Unit level training and operational performance, to including manning, personnel management, watchbill management, bridge (and CIC) team resource management, contact management, contact avoidance, leadership oversight and risk assessment/mitigation at all levels of the chain of command;

      c. Development and certification of deployed operational and mission standards (Force Generation) with particular emphasis on Forward Deployed Naval Force (FDNF), to include validation of required certification standards, gaps between required standards and actual employment practices, effectiveness of leadership and oversight at all levels of administrative and operational chains of command, maintaining and enforcing standards throughout FDNF assignment including self-assessment practices, external inspection reinforcement, remedial action mitigation plans;

      d. Deployed Operational Employment and Risk Management (Force Employment), to include Combatant Commander mission requirements, theater security cooperation requirements, maintenance impacts, other competing priorities (fleet experimentation, concept development), and their corresponding impact to operational tempo (OPTEMPO) and fundamental mariner and seamanship proficiency;

      e. Material Readiness of electronic systems to include navigation equipment (e.g. AIS, radars, ECDIS, VMS, WSNs), propulsion machinery to include steering systems, combat system modernization, and material availability;

      f. Practical Utility of current navigation equipment and combat systems including sensors, tracking systems, displays, and internal communications networks to evaluate their effectiveness at integrating tactical data and providing situational awareness to our people.

    • Fatigue and Training Gaps Spell Disaster at Sea, Sailors Warn - The New York Times

      The bridge of each Navy destroyer is controlled by a round-the-clock shift of young officers, who must pass written and oral exams to qualify for the positions. Still, they typically are under 25 and may have little shipboard experience. Junior officers also move on to other assignments after limited tours.

      Are we shortchanging their basic training, especially as we rotate our junior officers every 18 to 24 months?” asked Admiral Crowder.

      Training for junior ship officers has changed significantly in recent years. In 2003, the Navy dropped what had been an intensive six-month training course on navigation, basic seamanship, engineering and maintenance before new officers were assigned to their first ship.

      Instead, the new officers were sent directly to a ship where they were supposed to learn on the job. Some said they got practical training on deployments, and noted that the Seventh Fleet had a reputation as being the most experienced in the Navy. But, many commanders said, crews were too busy to provide that kind of instruction.

      By last year, the Navy had largely reversed course, sandwiching a junior officer’s first sea tour between 14 weeks of classroom work.
      Most ships use a traditional “five and dime” watch rotation, in which sailors serve five hours of watch, then have 10 hours off, he said. But during those 10 hours, sailors often have daytime duties.

      The rotation can lead to a watch officer pulling a 20-hour day every three days, Mr. Cordle said, adding that even designated sleep time can be interrupted by drills or refueling operations that can keep sailors up for days at a time. A recent Government Accountability Office report said sailors were on duty up to 108 hours each week.

      I averaged 3 hours of sleep a night,” someone described as a Japan-based Navy officer wrote on Reddit last week. “I have personally gone without sleep for so long that I have seen and heard things that weren’t there. I’ve witnessed accidents that could have been avoided because the person was so tired they had no right to be operating heavy machinery.

      Navy tests of sailors on the five-and-dime schedule found lack of sleep led to blunted decision-making and reflexes that were roughly the same as those of sailors who had downed several beers.

      The Naval Postgraduate School has developed a shorter watch schedule to match circadian rhythms, which uses three hours of watch duty and nine hours off. Recognizing the benefits, submarines were ordered to move to a similar schedule in 2015.

      Mr. Cordle said adopting the schedule could result in greater safety. But the Navy has left scheduling up to individual captains, and three quarters of ships still use the five and dime.

    • Ship Collisions : Address the Underlying Causes, Including Culture | U.S. Naval Institute

      Un think tank naval, grosse institution privée (estd 1873…), entre dans la danse (après plusieurs autres dont gCaptain). Dans le collimateur :
      • l’organisation des tours de quart
      • la non-spécialisation des officiers entre pont et machine
      • la (non-)formation au quart
      (j’ai lu sur un blog que, sur les navires modernes de la Navy (classe Ticonderoga !), il n’y aurait plus de table à carte en passerelle (support traditionnel du point à la main) mais uniquement de l’électronique…, à confirmer)

      In the wake of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) collisions, the Navy is conducting investigations, relieving commanding officers, conducting safety stand downs (operational pauses), and retraining. This is a similar response to past mishaps, but this time the Navy must include true root cause analysis . Analysis after mishaps invariably uncovers human error and training deficiencies as causal factors. Some people get fired and others retrained. The Navy has begun to dig deeper with the CNO’s mandate for a fleet-wide investigation last week. I predict some of the findings of root causes will include the Navy’s approach to training and career development, surface warfare officer (SWO) culture, and high operational tempo (OpTempo) driving mission over people. 

      When a junior officer (JO) reports to a warship, he or she immediately has three jobs: standing watch under instruction, running a division, and earning qualifications (first as an officer of the deck and then as a SWO). Once qualified to be a watchstander, a JO is on the watch bill and expected to train the next batch of JOs. Depending on the number of qualified watchstanders on board, the watch rotation varies: “port and starboard” (6 hours on watch and 6 hours off); “five and dime” (5 hours on and 10 hours off watch, rotating); three or four section “chow to chow” rotating (based around mealtimes); “3 on/9 off” or “4 on/8 off” with two watches per day that do not change for a given underway. The “off” time is when a JO can accomplish day work, run the division, and work on qualifications—along with a little sleep and maybe squeeze in a run on the treadmill.
      The U.S. Navy appears to be the only maritime organization in the world that does not have dedicated watchstanders and separate dedicated professional tracks for deck and engineering.
      Another root cause likely will be the alertness level of those watchstanders. Watch rotations vary greatly in the fleet, partly because of the variability in the number of qualified watchstanders and partly because of SWO culture. Many COs will direct the watches be run the way he or she experienced as a JO. The vast majority of Navy ships still use rotating watches, which is completely against human circadian rhythms. With rotating watches, everyone sleeps when they are off watch because they are in a constant state of exhaustion. Myriad sleep deprivation studies have proven that lack of sleep is cumulative. You can’t “catch up” on sleep, and decision-making is impaired just like being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Yet the Navy has not addressed watch rotations to maximize crew rest. Instead, it perpetuates a culture where lack of sleep is a rite of passage, and the main risk assessment tool does not account for crew rest.

    • Singapore-led safety investigation underway into USS John S McCain collision - Channel NewsAsia

      The Singapore Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) launched a marine safety investigation following the collision of the USS John S McCain and Liberian-flagged oil tanker Alnic MC on Aug 21. 

      A TSIB spokesperson said on Thursday (Aug 31) that the investigation was launched immediately after the collision, and the probe was being conducted in accordance with the International Maritime Organization’s Casualty Investigation Code in Singapore’s capacity as a coastal state.

      The US Coast Guard, on behalf of the US National Transportation Safety Board, and the Liberian Maritime Administration are participating in Singapore’s safety investigation as Substantially Interested States,” the spokesperson said. 

      To date, investigators have interviewed the crew members of the Alnic, while TSIB has been coordinating with the US Coast Guard to gather relevant information on the US guided-missile destroyer, including statements of account from its crew. 

      TISB has also obtained shipboard data from the Alnic and other ships in the vicinity at the time of the collision to support the Singapore-led safety investigation, the spokesperson said.

      Si on lit entre les lignes, il semblerait que le TSIB rende public l’ouverture de leur enquête (avec 10 jours de retard) pour faire pression sur la Navy qui, à son habitude, ne semble pas particulièrement coopérative…

      Clairement, il n’est pas prévu qu’ils aient accès directement aux témoignages des marins du McCain

    • U.S. Navy to Haul Damaged Destroyer John S. McCain to Japan for Damage Assessment – gCaptain

      The U.S. Navy is planning to haul the damaged guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain to its ship repair facility in Yokosuka, Japan where damage assessments will continue to take place.

      The Navy said Tuesday it intends to issue a task order on an existing contract, for the salvage patching and transport via heavy lift of USS John S McCain (DDG 56) from Changi Naval Base in Singapore to the U.S. Navy’s Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka, Japan. The Navy did not specify which existing contract it was referring to.

    • Une hypothèse circule depuis quelques jours : l’USS John S McCain aurait été en train de doubler l’Alnic NC, suffisamment près (ie beaucoup trop près…) pour que, vers la fin du dépassement, la perturbation hydrodynamique due à la vague d’étrave de l’Alnic vienne perturber le safran du McCain, provoquant une embardée à gauche, voire mettant en panne l’appareil à gouverner.

    • Un peu de ménage…
      Pour l’instant, l’état-major du destroyer n’a pas été touché.

      Admiral, Captain Removed in Ongoing Investigations into USS John S. McCain, USS Fitzgerald Collisions

      The commander of the Navy’s largest operational battle force and his subordinate in charge of the attached destroyer squadron have been removed from their positions as a result of ongoing investigations into a string of incidents this year that resulted in the death of 17 sailors and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, USNI News has learned.

      U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Philip Sawyer removed Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander of Combined Task Force 70, and Capt. Jeffery Bennett, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 15, from their positions on Monday (Tuesday local time) due to a loss of confidence in their ability to command, two Navy officials told USNI News and later confirmed by a statement from the service.

    • Les réparations auront lieu « localement », à Yokosuka. Localement, parce qu’il faut encore acheminer l’USS John S McCain de Singapour à Yokosuka (transfert prévu dans le courant de ce mois). Contrairement à l’USS Fitzgerald qui lui était à Yokosuka et va être acheminé à Pascagoula dans le Mississippi (probablement en décembre).

      USS John S. McCain to Be Repaired in Japan – gCaptain

      The U.S. Navy will repair the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) at the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka, Japan.

      Repairs will begin upon arrival from Singapore aboard a heavy lift vessel in October, the Navy said.

      Accessoirement, on profitera de l’immobilisation pour faire un peu de remise à niveau :

      In addition to supporting repairs, the McCain’s crew will focus on training, readiness, and certifications to prepare the ship for its return to the Seventh Fleet, according to the Navy.
      On Thursday, the USS John S. McCain departed Changi Naval Base to meet the heavy lift transport vessel MV Treasure, which will transport it to Fleet Activities Yokosuka for repairs.

    • U.S. Navy says deadly McCain collision was #preventable, relieves ship commander

      The commanding officer exercised poor judgment, and the executive officer exercised poor leadership of the ship’s training program,” the USS Seventh Fleet said in a statement released in Japan on Wednesday.
      The McCain’s captain, Commander A. Sanchez, and his executive officer, Commander J. Sanchez, were reassigned to other duties in Japan, where the Seventh Fleet is headquartered, the Navy said.

      On attend le rapport préliminaire d’enquête…