Yet more stupid giant floating radar news. Not only can't it keep the sea if the weather turns bad, not only is there no sea boat, and no security - but its support vessel won't be able to go alongside it most of the time, according to the US Coast Guard. This really is one of the poster children for Stupid Defence Procurement, no?
Speaking of stupid defence procurement, Richard North has issued a Christmas list of stuff he thinks the armed forces need. Predictably, all but one item on it comes from either BAE or the United States, and it's all very expensive, electronic and Rumsfeldesque, not to mention tactically defensive. For example, he advocates we buy a "system" (a word that is usually the key indicator of useless expensive kit) whose manufacturers claim it can shoot down mortar rounds in flight.
Well, when it's working, if the enemy chooses to shoot at the camp that got the scarce gadget, and until they invent a countermeasure (like chaff stuffed in the tail of their 107mm rockets, say). This is a classic example of cheap, highly available 4GW that entrains incredibly expensive technofixes on the part of conventional armies. Far better to take the money Northo wants to give Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Rockwell, Raytheon and Co and pay a large bonus to recruit more linguists and agent handlers for the Intelligence Corps, so there might be a chance of finding out who is firing the mortars. And that way, perhaps we wouldn't just have discovered that General Richards' interpreter was an Iranian spy.
(Seriously, the guy is a nightclub owner and salsa instructor as well as a TA I-man. How could he not be a spy of one persuasion or the other?)
In other North-related news,
HRW picks up the "ambulance hoax" bullshit and hoofs it into Row Z. Bloggers were said to be collapsing with asphyxia awaiting Dick's apology.