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Category Archives: Defense

Final Assessment: What We Have Learned From Our Inspections of Incinerators and Use of Burn Pits in Afghanistan

“This report presents SIGAR’s final assessment of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) use of incinerators and open-air burn pits to dispose of solid waste in Afghanistan. The facts and concluding observations contained in this report are based on inspections conducted by SIGAR between October 2012and June 2014 at Camp Leatherneck, Forward Operating Base Salerno, ForwardContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – DOD Building Partner Capacity, Defense Business Transformation, GAO’s High-Risk Series, Mental Health

Building Partner Capacity: DOD Should Improve Its Reporting to Congress on Challenges to Expanding Ministry of Defense Advisors Program, GAO-15-279: Published: Feb 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2015. Defense Business Transformation: DOD Has Taken Some Steps to Address Weaknesses, but Additional Actions Are Needed, GAO-15-213:Published: Feb 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 201 GAO’sContinue Reading

President Obama – National Security Strategy in 2015

Fact Sheet:  The 2015 National Security Strategy – “Today, the United States is stronger and better positioned to seize the opportunities of a still new century and safeguard our interests against the risks of an insecure world.  The President’s new National Security Strategy provides a vision and strategy for advancing the nation’s interests, universal values,Continue Reading

UK Tribunal Rules Secret Surveillance Unlawful

The Intercept: “The United Kingdom’s top surveillance agency has acted unlawfully by keeping details about the scope of its Internet spying operations secret, a British court ruled in an unprecedented judgment issued on Friday. Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, was found to have breached human rights laws by concealing information about how it accesses surveillanceContinue Reading

Robot Learning Manipulation Action Plans by “Watching” Unconstrained Videos from the World Wide Web

Robots Learn by Watching Videos – “Researchers at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) partnered with a scientist at the National Information Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence in Australia (NICTA) to develop robotic systems that are able to teach themselves. Specifically, these robots are able to learn the intricate graspingContinue Reading

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction 26th Quarterly Report to Congress

Neil Gordon – Investigator, POGO: “This week, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released its 26th Quarterly Report to Congress. The last quarter saw great accomplishments in Afghanistan, as well as a disturbing reminder of our government’s obsession with secrecy. The final three months of 2014 marked a milestone in Afghanistan, with NATOContinue Reading

Logistics of leaving Afghanistan

Getting out of Afghanistan – E.B. Boyd: “Leaving Afghanistan has become one of the most difficult operations the U.S. military has ever undertaken. “Certainly in our lifetime, it’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest operation in terms of complexity, size, and cost,” said Lt. Gen. Raymond Mason, who headed Army logistics until heContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Defense Logistics, Depot Maintenance, Supply Chain Security

Defense Logistics: DOD Has a Strategy and Has Taken Steps to Improve Its Asset Visibility, but Further Actions Are Needed, GAO-15-148: Published: Jan 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 2015. Depot Maintenance: Status of the Public-Private Partnership for Repair of the Dual-Mode Transmitter in the F-16 Fire-Control Radar, GAO-15-249R: Published: Jan 27, 2015. Publicly Released:Continue Reading

DoD Releases 2013 Annual Report on Suicide

“…the Department of Defense (DoD) released its 2013 calendar year Suicide Event Report (DoDSER), which details the number of suicide attempts and deaths for U.S. service members. The DoDSER also includes detailed assessments of demographic information, behavioral health history, and deployment history for each suicide event. This comprehensive information informs DoD senior leaders as theyContinue Reading

Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations

CRS Report – Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations. Jeremy M. Sharp, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. January 21, 2015. “This report provides an overview and analysis of U.S.-Yemeni relations amidst evolving political change in Yemeni leadership, ongoing U.S. counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives in Yemen’s hinterlands, and international effortsContinue Reading

SIGAR Report Documents 300 Million Dollar Waste on Afghan Police

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction – More than $300 Million in Annual, U.S.-funded Salary Payments to the Afghan National Police Is Based on Partially Verified or Reconciled Data. SIGAR 15-26 Audit Report, January 15, 2015. “Despite 13 years and several billions of dollars in salary assistance to the Afghan government for the ANP, thereContinue Reading

Projected Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2015 to 2024

“Nuclear weapons have been a cornerstone of U.S. national security since they were developed during World War II. During the Cold War, nuclear forces were central to U.S. defense policy, resulting in the buildup of a large arsenal. Since that time, they have figured less prominently than conventional forces, and the United States has notContinue Reading