organization:us defense department

  • US military attacked for complicity in Afghan child soldiers after boy’s murder

    Created in 2010, the Afghan Local Police, known as ALP, is largely an invention of the US military, and was initially overseen by elite US special operations forces. Critics have long pointed to persistent human-rights abuse allegations within an entity they fear provides cover for the empowerment of militias.

    According to a US government audit in October, the US Defense Department has provided $469.7m to the ALP from inception through April 2015, and estimates that the force will cost approximately $121m annually to sustain.

    The same audit chided the Pentagon for lacking plans to disband the ALP or transition its 30,000 fighters to the official security services after US sponsorship ends, a switch currently slated for September.

    #enfants_soldats #milices #etats-unis #Afghanistan

  • Selon Human Rights Watch, la coalition saoudienne a utilisé des bombes à sous-munition - accusées d’être en pratique du même type que les bombes à fragmentation, et donc de toucher notamment des civils - sur deux quartiers peuplés de Sanaa.
    Précision : ces armes sont américaines, comme en témoigne une photo avec le numéro de série des armes.
    Yemen : Coalition Drops Cluster Bombs in Capital
    Indiscriminate Weapon Used in Residential Areas / HRW 07.01.16

    (Beirut) – Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces airdropped cluster bombs on residential neighborhoods in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, early on January 6, 2016. It is not yet clear whether the attacks caused civilian casualties, but the inherently indiscriminate nature of cluster munitions makes such attacks serious violations of the laws of war. The deliberate or reckless use of cluster munitions in populated areas amounts to a war crime.
    “The coalition’s repeated use of cluster bombs in the middle of a crowded city suggests an intent to harm civilians, which is a war crime,” said Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch. “These outrageous attacks show that the coalition seems less concerned than ever about sparing civilians from war’s horrors.”
    Residents of two Sanaa neighborhoods described aerial attacks consistent with cluster bomb use.

    Markings on a remnant of a CBU-58 cluster bomb found near al-Zira`a Street in Sanaa on January 6, 2016 indicating that it was manufactured in 1978 at the Milan Army Ammunition Plant in the US state of Tennessee.

    • HRW recommande du coup au gouvernement américain de suspendre la vente d’armes permettant des bombardements aériens tant que des enquêtes sérieuses n’ont pas été menées sur la possibilité de crimes de guerre :

      Neither Yemen, Saudi Arabia, nor any of the other coalition countries are party to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, the international treaty banning cluster munitions. A total of 118 countries have signed and 98 have ratified the treaty. Human Rights Watch is a co-founder of the Cluster Munition Coalition and serves as its chair.
      On November 17, the US Defense Department announced that the State Department had approved a sale of US$1.29 billion worth of air-to-ground munitions, such as laser-guided bombs and “general purpose” bombs with guidance systems – none of which are cluster munitions. The US should not sell aerial bombs to Saudi Arabia in the absence of serious investigations into alleged laws-of-war violations in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said.

      Bon, entre nous, je doute que l’on n’en entende autant parler que des « barrels bombs » d’Assad...

  • America′s military shift sends different messages at home and in Europe | Europe | DW.DE | 09.01.2015

    The Pentagon’s announcement to phase out US military installations in Europe to cut costs should not come as a much of a surprise. After all, the US defense department must slash projected spending by close to a trillion dollars over a decade, as mandated by Congress.
    The process of evaluating which US military facilities can be closed has been going on for almost two years, said Gustav Lindstrom, head of the emerging security challenges program at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. “We are just seeing the culmination of this.
    The scheduled return of US bases in six European countries to their host nations will not have a major impact on Washington’s military presence and readiness in Europe. They are slated to be offset by a stronger rotational force, with the total US troop levels in Europe is expected to remain steady around 64,000.
    In June 2014, the White House announced the so-called European Reassurance Initiative (ERI), slated at roughly a billion dollars to be spent this year on training, exercises and capacity building in Europe.
    While Pentagon experts favored cutting US military bases instead of overseas installations, fierce opposition by local politicians means it would be very difficult to implement. Shutting bases an ocean away is politically a lot easier and less costly. That’s why European bases came first.
    But the projected savings of $500 million dollar per year are just a drop in the bucket towards the mandated cut of $1 trillion. Much more will have to come. The writing is now on the wall.

    Moscow should not interpret base closings as shift of US role in Europe

  • Open Letter to the Tor Project: Where Does Your Money Come From and Why Do You Hide It From the Public? | Friends of WikiLeaks

    From our rather cursory look into the Tor Project and its funding it appears that – in 2011 at least – the organizers of the Tor Project and their US Government “sponsors” attempted to hide the true sources of its funding from the public by utilizing the classic US Government cloak-and-dagger method of using “cutout” companies and NGOs to “pass-through” money from the US Defense Department and the US State Department to Tor – to the tune of over $730,000.00 – a huge chunk of their total funding.

    The Tor Project’s own “amended” financial document for 2011 which reveals these current relationships between Tor and the highest levels of the US Government, presented to Tor by their accountants in July 2012

    #Tor #DoD #silicon_army

  • « The Future of Programming » - Bret Victor

    excellente conférence sur la #programmation, retro-style

    “Why did all these ideas happen during this particular time period?”

    There may be a number of reasons.

    The story I told in the talk — “they didn’t know what they were doing, so they tried everything” — was essentially that programming at the time was in the “pre-paradigm phase”, as defined by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. (...)

    But there’s another story, which has to do with funding models. Much fundamental research at the time, including Engelbart’s NLS and the Internet, was funded by #ARPA, an agency of the US Defense Department which had been given significant resources due to the cold war.

    ARPA ushered in an era of abundant funding for university projects, offering far more in terms of funding than any other research funds at the time. Where institutions such as the National Science Foundation and the Three Services Program provided funding to research programs at the level of tens of thousands of dollars, ARPA was willing to throw millions into the creation and support of promising research efforts.

    Part of what made ARPA funding so successful was that its directors (such as J.C.R. Licklider and Bob Taylor) were free to aggressively seek out and fund promising individuals with “no strings attached”.

    #recherche #silicon_army

    Avec le même titre, mais une approche différente, un autre article très intéressant sorti le même jour :

    The future of programming - O’Reilly Radar

    it’s worth examining the house of cards we’re building with our current approach to software development. The problem is simple: the brain can only fit so much inside it. To be a programmer today, you need to be able to execute the program you’re writing inside your head.

    When the problem space gets too big, our reaction is to write a framework that makes the problem space smaller again. And so we have operating systems that run on top of CPUs. Libraries and user interfaces that run on top of operating systems. Application frameworks that run on top of those libraries. Web browsers that run on top of those. JavaScript that runs on top of browsers. JavaScript libraries that run on top of JavaScript. And we know it won’t stop there.

    We’re like ambitious waiters stacking one teacup on top of the other. Right now, it looks pretty wobbly. We’re making faster and more powerful CPUs, but getting the same kind of subjective application performance that we did a decade ago. Security holes emerge in frameworks that put large numbers of systems at risk.