Forward Observer WEEKEND READING (09-11 OCT 15)

Discussion in '3 Percent' started by melbo, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Here’s a guide to the significant news you may have missed this week.

    Middle East

    FP: The Men Who Pretend to be Syrian Refugees. People washing ashore on the Greek island of Lesbos are trying to pass themselves off as Syrian to win a new life in Europe — and overworked officials are struggling to determine who’s telling the truth.

    IBD: DHS Admits No Database Exists to Vet Syrian Refugees. As the White House prepares to dump another 10,000 Syrian refugees on U.S. cities, it assures us these mostly Muslim men undergo a “robust screening” process. Not so, admits the agency responsible for such vetting.


    WOTR: Is America Ready for China’s Great Military Leap Forward? Invisibility cloaks? Mako anti-antisubmarine drones? Robotic “lobsters”? F-40 Shrike fighters? Imaginative science fiction or harbingers of the future? In his recent novel Ghost Fleet, Peter Singer, one of Washington’s most influential technologists, has written a fictional account of a future war with China that has caught the attention of national security geeks.


    FP: What Snowden Told Me About NSA Offensive Capabilities. “Cyber Command itself has always been branded in a sort of misleading way from its very inception,” he told me. “It’s an attack agency.… If you ask anybody at Cyber Command or look at any of the job listings for openings for their positions, you’ll see that the one thing they don’t prioritize is computer-network defense. It’s all about computer-network attack and computer-network exploitation at Cyber Command.”

    VICE: The Secret Agreement to Hide Cell Phone Spying. In August 2012, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, DC entered into a secret agreement with the FBI. The MPD was promising not to disclose any details about its use of a highly controversial antiterrorism surveillance technology known as a Stingray. About the size of a suitcase, the Stingray simulates a cell phone tower and intercepts mobile phone calls and text messages.

    MEF: What Presidential Candidate Ben Carson Got Right About Islam’s Taqiyya. Dr. Ben Carson’s recent assertion that the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya encourages Muslims “to lie to achieve your goals” was criticized, including by Quran scholars. But those scholars failed to mention the instructions for Muslims located in the Hadith, and that makes all the difference.

    Security / Defense

    Engadget: The Future of Army Gun Turrets. Maintaining perimeter security in a forward operating base… is a full time job. In fact, it normally takes teams of four to six soldiers to man each weapons system on the perimeter over a 12 hour shift. But with a new prototype perimeter protection system…, a single soldier sitting safely within the command bunker — instead being of up on the wire — can potentially do the work of 10.

    DS: Mission of Army Special Forces in Africa Reliant on Conventional Troops. The U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF)-first strategy playing out in Niger and other hot spots in Africa is going to be undercut if conventional forces continue to contract.

    FP: A Grunt’s Thoughts on the Loss of Kunduz City. When my unit arrived, the Taliban controlled most of the countryside — only the major population centers were under government control. Our area was mostly non-Pashtun, which meant the population solidly favored the Afghan government. For 12 long months my unit endured IEDs, landmines, sniper attacks, ambushes, and suicide bombers in an attempt to bring peace, order, and commercial trade to Kunduz province. And we succeeded.

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