2002 G2 Gems

     Most Americans only know what multi-national corporations allow on television or in major newspapers and magazines.   We often encounter interesting military information ignored by the corporate "mainstream" press, and post it in our member Library to stimulate thought and discussion.  We post last year's G2 Gems here for visitors.

December 2002 - Army Space Command?

      This seems to be the Army's newest rat hole.  They don't seem to do much, except give a few space courses and push to get Army astronaut slots. They try to attach themselves to the SATCOM business, but that's really the Communications and Electronics Command's domain.  They also pretend they are involved in missile defense, but that's the Aviation and Missile Command.  Anyway, this is one reason why there is little money or manpower left for the grunts.  http://www.armyspace.army.mil/newbuilding/

December 2002 - Details of Diego Garcia

     I am all in favor of the 1st Amendment and love Globalsecurity.org , yet I see no reason to provide these detailed photos about a key base just as war with Iraq is pending.  A few commandos landing by boat could do serious damage.

November 2002 - Eroding GPS Worries Pentagon

     This is the title of an article in the November 4, 2002 issue of Aviation Week.  It states that more than half of GPS satellites in orbit are no longer fully operational, according to Owen Wormser from the Pentagon staff.  He said new satellites are ready but a launch backlog has hindered deployment. 

November 2002 - What Patriotism Really Means

Former Marine Corps Commandant General David M. Shoup once said:

     "The courage of one's convictions and the willingness to speak the truth as one sees it for the good of the country is what patriotism really means -- far more than flags, bands, and the national anthem."

October 2002 - Standards of Evil

The New York Times summarized President Bush's foreign policy dilemma on 10-20-02:

     "How could Mr. Bush convince the United Nations that Iraq must be confronted with military force immediately while North Korea, a confessed nuclear power, should be treated with patient diplomacy? And how do you continue working with the Pakistanis, the Russians and the Chinese, all of whom you believe helped North Korea in its nuclear ambitions in the 1990's?"

October 2002 - The F-22 Reality

A great letter appeared in the 10-7-02 issue of Aviation Week.  Retired USAF Major Donald B Eckstein wrote:

     "I find it amusing that Air Force Secretary James Roche and Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper redesignated the F-22 as the F/A-22 to 'highlight that the aircraft can drop two 1,000-lb. bombs'.  Using the same logic, they should redesignate the F-15E as the FB-15E because it typically carries either four Mk 84 2,000-lb precision-guided bombs or 12 Mk 82 500-bls bombs and four Amraams.  But when the F-22 carries its two Mk 83 1,000-lb or eight 250-lb bombs, it cannot carry Amraams, which cripples its ability to perform ground-attack and counter-air in the same sortie.  Perhaps the F-22 is facing resistance within Pentagon budget deliberations that no amount of spin control can hide its ground attack limitations."

     The F-22 is designed to carry all ordnance internally for "stealth", although it also has hardpoints for external stores.  As a result, it can deliver only half the bomb load of an F-15, and cannot carry the proposed longer-range air-to-air missile (Eraam) nor the 4600-lb bunker buster bomb used frequently in Afghanistan because they are too long to carry inside.  Finally, the F-22 will cost twice as much as the newest F-15Es coming off the production line today.

September 2002 - 9-11 Hijackers trained by the US Navy?

     According to Newsweek 9-15-01, two 9-11 hijackers Saeed and Ahmed Alghamdi listed their address on driver licenses and car registrations as 10 Radford Blvd, which is an area of Pensacola Naval Air Station where foreign students are housed during training.  Florida Senator Bill Nelson asked Attorney General John Ashcroft's office if the terrorists had been trained by the Navy.  After several months delay, Aschroft sent a letter denying any Navy involvement.  Meanwhile, last May 8th, Ambarak Alghamdi, a major in the Saudi Royal Air Force and a flight instructor at Pensacola, (with the same surname as the hijackers) died in an unexplained aircraft accident.

September 2002 - Corrupted Military Culture

     Recently retired Marine General Paul Van Riper said: "There's an unfortunate culture developing in the American military that maybe should make you nervous.  I don't see the rich intellectual discussions that we had after Vietnam. I see mostly slogans, clichés and unreadable materials."  New York Times 9-06-02

August 2002 - GPS Guided Munitions and Fratricide 

     The May 2002 issue of the Marine Corps Gazette has an interesting article by LtCol John T. Rahm entitled:  "Bombing Accuracy for Idiots".  He points out that circular error probable (CEP) is commonly used to measure the accuracy of a weapon.  However, "probable" means the circle, often very elliptical, where 50% projectiles or bombs are likely to hit.  While that was good for ballistic weaponry, it is very misleading for GPS guided munitions.  While they have great CEPs, many of their guidance systems malfunction and the bomb goes miles off target.  LtCol Rahm states that testers disregard such failures when measuring CEPs anyway, and he worked at China Lake where the testing occurred.  He writes this makes them too dangerous for close air support.

     This explains the frequent "mistakes" in Afghanistan where some bombs landed far from targets.  The complexity of GPS guided bombs like JDAM, or the Navy 5-inch ERGM still under development, or the proposed 155mm Excalibur, will often lead to friendly fire casualties which may be caused by any of these factors: a defective guidance system; a guidance system damaged during transport or installation; an incorrect GPS coordinate sent by the targeting system; and incorrect GPS coordinate entered into the bomb; GPS signal interference from nearby mountains, buildings, or solar flares; or GPS signal jamming.  So if an aircraft drops a GPS guided bomb from several miles away, any guidance problem may prove disastrous.  Even if 90% work great, that loose 10% may prove too dangerous.

August 2002 - Air Power over Yugoslavia

     From the 7-22-02 issue of "Aviation Week":

     "One lesson of the March-June 1999 Kosovo air campaign was the comparative difficulty of prosecuting the hard-kill element of the suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD) task.  Yugoslavian forces became adept, for instance, at moving SA-6 Gainful tracked launch vehicles and the associated Straight Flush radar when they thought  the equipment had been exposed to satellite, crewed-aircraft or UAV reconnaissance.

    The SA-6 battery crews effectively operated within the allied air forces decision cycle for launching an air strike using  precision-guided weapons.  Out of some 25 SA-6 batteries in service, only three were confirmed as destroyed during the air campaign." 

July 2002 - Police State Seeks Spies

     The US Government is establishing a network of one million American informants in ten cities chosen for a pilot program; so a full scale program will require millions.  This is standard for all police states.  Read about this innocent sounding program called TIPS.     

July 2002 - Hell is for Heroes

     I just added this Steve McQueen flick to my greatest films list.  It was written and directed by a WW II combat veteran.  The big battle at the end is a standard combined arms infantry assault and should be used as a training film.  It showed one tactic I had never seen or read about.  The Americans were attacking a distant German machine gun pillbox that was shooting them up.  They had a flamethrower for the final assault, but it has a limited range.  In one scene, they use the flamethrower to set the grass and brush in front of them on fire, and then dashed forward through the cover of the smoke and flames.  This may seem crazy, but not when a machine gun is gunning for you.

June 2002 - Open Borders

     The US Immigration and Naturalization Service last month was required to pay back wages and cancel suspension and demotion orders for two Border Patrol agents who told a newspaper about security problems
along the US-Canadian border.  The agents, assigned to the INS field office in Detroit, were recommended for discipline after they told the Detroit Free Press that Michigan's border lacked the resources to adequately protect the country from terrorists. Agents Mark Hall and Robert Lindemann said the 804 miles of shoreline border were guarded by 28 field agents, one working boat, several damaged electronic sensors and one broken remote camera.

     Keep in mind that these 28 field agents must cover that 804 miles of border 24 hours a day, seven days a week, plus days off for vacation or illness. So you have only about six on duty at any given time, or three teams of two.  Then when a team catches someone, they must transport and book him, so they're gone for four hours.  The simple solution is to assign soldiers to watch the borders and detain anyone they observe crossing illegally until the Border Patrol can pick them up.  The Bush administration resists this solution by claiming this is domestic law enforcement.  Meanwhile, the Bush administration has argued in federal court that our military has the right to declare any citizen an "enemy combatant", snatch them off the streets, and toss them in a military brig for life without any trial or hearing.

June 2002 - Leaking Secrets

     The "leaking game" has returned in Washington DC.  Government agencies hate oversight by Congress.  Whenever Congress wants to hold hearings, secretive agencies resist and often claim the information is too "sensitive".  Sometimes Congress gets tough and demands information by threatening subpoenas.  So the agency complies at first by emphasizing grave dangers if anything is leaked.  It then briefs Congressmen on some minor matters while someone calls up the press and feeds them the same info.  The next day everything appears in the press, and the agency and the President express outrage, and sends FBI agents to interrogate Congressmen and staff as the hearings are postponed.  This doesn't have to be a conspiracy, maybe just one high-level official operating on his own, but it's highly effective and seems to be employed by the Bush administration often.

May 2002 - Soaring Personnel Costs

     Page 23 of the 4-22-02 issue of "Aviation Week" has a startling chart which explains why the Bush administration opposes increases in active duty manpower.  The planned FY2003 defense budget will spend $379 billion, compared $380 billion in Reagan's 1983 budget 20 years ago.  These figures are adjusted for inflation for current year dollars.  Bush will spend only $69 billion to procure new weapons compared to Reagan's expenditure of $121 billion.  This is because Bush must spend $94 billion in manpower costs for 1.4 million active duty troops, while Reagan spent $84 billion for 2.1 million active troops.  So it now costs $67,000 per GI compared to $40,000 per GI in 1983.  This amounts to a 67% increase, and remember all these figures have been adjusted for inflation.  

      The actual costs for each GI are over $100,000 each when total costs such as base housing, recreation, veterans benefits, and retirement benefits are included.  This is why the big surge in military spending cannot pay for all the weapons each service wants to buy, and adding manpower worsens the problem.  A bigger question is why we need 60,000 reservists to augment 1,400,000 active duty personnel and 1,000,000 defense department civilians to support 7000 GIs in Afghanistan?

May 2002 - The New Reich

This is real, something Adolf Hitler would approve:

The Congress, by Public Law 85-529, as amended, has designated May 1 of each year as "Loyalty Day." On this special occasion, I encourage all Americans to join me in reaffirming our allegiance to our blessed Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2002, as Loyalty Day. I call upon all Americans to take part in celebrating this national observance.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-sixth.


May 2002 - The Roman Empire Today

In 1919 Joseph Schumpteter described ancient Rome in a way that sounds eerily like the United States in 2002.

"There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome's allies; and if Rome had no allies, the allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest -- why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted. The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors...The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, it was manifestly Rome's duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs."

April 2002 - Ruler of the Muslim World?

     "Let me put it this way. We are increasing or improving our command and control capacity in all of my region," General Thomas Franks.  March 29, 2002

April 2002 - Hiding flawed military projects

The Project On Government Oversight

March 28, 2002

Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
Department of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301-1000

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld:

Many years ago, our organization helped foster the creation of the Department of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E). In a seminal 1982 article in Reason Magazine, the Project On Government Oversight’s founder, Dina Rasor, outlined the inherent conflict of interest posed in the-then existing system of weapons testing. Under that system, program managers were responsible for conducting tests and evaluations on their own weapons, leaving the “fox to guard the hen house.”

Under that system, the article concluded “...it is not hard to see that the promoters of the weapon system – the program manager, the research and development factions, and even the services themselves – are constantly trying to turn in to Congress flowing report cards that obscure bad marks in ‘battlefield’ testing.” After repeated episodes of “grade inflation” in testing, in 1983, Congress created the Operational Test and Evaluation Office to provide an independent and objective evaluation of how America’s weapons really performed.

Since then, the DOT&E has helped Congress and the American public to understand the strengths and deficiencies of its most important defense programs. As such, I can think of no other agency within the Department of Defense that has more of a mandate to communicate its findings widely and publicly than the DOT&E.

In July 11, 2001 testimony, the Office of Management and Budget’s Deputy Director Sean O’Keefe stated: “This administration's vision is to champion a citizen-centric electronic government framework that will result in an order of magnitude improvement in the federal government's value to the citizen. The vision is results oriented, market based, and citizen centered, as outlined in the President's Budget. To accomplish this vision we must refocus resources to assure that information technology facilitates agency administration efficiencies, but most importantly, to maximize citizen access.” [emphasis added]

The DOT&E’s Annual Report is the most important publication communicating the findings of its programs testing and evaluation. I have been told that last year’s Annual Report will not be posted on your agency’s web site, and annual reports since 1995 have been taken down. I believe this to be a step backward. I urge you to reconsider this decision and allow the DOT&E to post its Annual Report on the web so that members of Congress and their staff, as well as U.S. citizens can learn of your agency’s important findings. The information contained in DOT&E reports is neither classified nor beneficial to potential terrorists.

Please let me know your decision on this matter. Thank you.


Danielle Brian
Executive Director

March 2002 - What Chuck Spinney learned about Anaconda

      When I rang Lt. Col (ret) Lester Grau -- the Army's leading scholar on Afghanistan and author of three books and numerous articles on Soviet-Afghan tactics and battle history --  on March 7 to chat a little more about the historical lessons of mountain combat in Afghanistan, he very reluctantly told me he was unable to help; not, he said, because he didn't want to, but because the Army had ordered him not to discuss any of his work in the context of Operation Anaconda.

     Other officers I interviewed found it interesting that the person arguably best suited to help the public understand what was going on in Shah-i-Kot had been muzzled, and were not charitable in speculating as to what that meant. One officer who follows Grau's work did, however, draw my attention that day to a recent article co-authored by Grau for the Military Review Bulletin, published by the Army Command and General Staff College. Entitled "Ground Combat at High Altitude," the article flies in the face of early official optimistic pronouncements about Anaconda, essentially stating that the US Army's knowledge about high-mountain combat -- defined as 10,000 feet and higher -- is disturbingly deficient. (Anaconda ranged over turf from 8500 to 13,000 feet). "The US Army has no experience fighting in truly high mountains and its mountain warfare manuals deal primarily with low and medium mountains," the piece begins, adding that the Army "needs to know how to conduct high-altitude mountain warfare, develop the tactics, techniques and procedures to do so, and share the experience of other armies to understand and prepare for possible high-altitude conflicts."

March 2002 - Pentagon now funds positive ads

     The Pentagon has always wasted millions of dollars a year for thousands of public relations people.   However, I was surprised to see a full page advertisement in Parade magazine about the value of the Navy-Marine Corps team.  This wasn't a recruiting ad, just millions spent for image building.  I visited their website, then e-mailed a letter asking how much that ad cost, and what budget line was funding this expensive campaign.  They said it was part of recruiting, but I told them there was no mention of that nor any 1-800 number to contact.

March 2002 - Real GPS Jamming

      In 1997, a GPS transmitter at Griffis Air Force Base was left on inadvertently after a test for a two-week period causing a complete loss of GPS signals to 16 commercial airliners and partial loss of signals to almost all aircraft operating within a 300-nautical mile radius. (Naval Proceedings, Jan 2002, p 86)

March 2002 - Former CIA agent is CIA watchdog

     The US Congress has been dragging its feet about conducting hearings into the CIA's failure to detect anything about the 9-11 attacks.  Nothing much is expected since the House Intelligence Committee Chairman is a former CIA agent.  Peter Goss grew up in Connecticut, graduated from Yale, served as an Intelligence officer in the US Army, and then became a Central Intelligence Agency Clandestine Services Officer.  Ten years later, he retired early due to "illness" and moved to Florida to accept an appointment to fill a vacant spot as a county commissioner.  No one has ever explained why the Democratic Governor of Florida at the time, Bob Graham, would appoint an "ill" Republican with no local government experience from Connecticut to a position in South Florida. 

    Goss somehow accumulated a lot of money to run for Congress in South Florida, and then became chairman of the committee which oversees CIA activities.  I'd think the other 434 members of the House would feel uncomfortable with this arrangement, but they may have no say.  His counterpart in the US Senate is Bob Graham, the man who gave the sickly Goss his Florida appointment, and later became a Senator and is now chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.  According to Carl Hulse of the New York Times (2-17-02 article), Goss and Graham were together on the morning of 9-11 meeting with the chief of the Pakistani intelligence service, whom they had met while traveling together to the region a few weeks earlier.

March 2002 - More missile waste

      Every National Missile Defense test costs around billion dollars.  A big chunk of that money is to provide a target missile for the anti-missile interceptor.  This missile is fired from remote island in the Pacific and intercepted by a missile fired from California.  However, the Navy fires several inert ICBMs from their submarines each year for testing.  The 12-17-01 issue of "Aviation Week" describes how a ripple of four Trident missiles were fired off the Florida coast on 12-09-01, and mentions that four were fired from a different submarine in the Pacific six months earlier.  Hopefully, some senior officers in our military will realize that billions of dollars can be saved from future missile defense tests if Trident reliability tests were combined with missile defense testing to provide them targets. 

February 2002 - A fair share of loot

      Representative Gene Taylor, a Democrat from Mississippi, which is a major shipbuilding state, warned that the Navy was on a pace to shrink below 300 ships if its budget was not bolstered.  Chastising Navy Secretary Gordon England, Mr. Taylor said: "After a $66 billion increase over the past two years, you're building fewer ships than the Clinton administration. Guys, who's going to jump up and say, `When do we get our share?'"

February 2002 - What will Egypt sink?

     The US government has notified Congress it intends to sell Egypt four fast patrol boats and 53 Harpoon anti-ship missiles in a deal valued at up to $1 billion -- after assuaging the concerns of U.S. lawmakers worried about the deal's effect on Israel's security.  The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, arguing the arms package was critical to helping Egypt defend the Suez Canal, decided to proceed with the controversial deal after more than two months of meetings with lawmakers.  Of course, US taxpayers will actually pay for the missiles as part of America's insane $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt.

February 2002 - Pentagon Weapons' Costs Rise By 15 Percent Last Two Years

     Many of the Pentagon's 79 major weapons programs have grown in cost by 15 percent, or over $105 billion, since fiscal 2001—a two-year increase that is the largest since the early 1980s, according to government documents. "The services have been saying for years that their cost estimating capabilities have improved and that they are not underestimating the cost of new weapons just to get the system's foot in the door," said Steve Kosiak, a defense analyst for the non-partisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. "These numbers certainly strengthen the case of the skeptics." (Bloomberg.com, February 11, 2002)

February 2002 - FY2003 Budget Numbers

CDI has organized the FY2003 Defense budget in a simple format.

February 2002 - Police State

"I think what we actually heard in the State of the Union speech was the 'police' State of the Union speech." 
--Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. [D-IL], Feb 03 2002

January 2002 - The Good War?

     World War II combat veteran Paul Fussell's book "Doing Battle" didn't sell nearly as well as books by Stephen Ambrose, who somehow missed military service but became wealthy writing about brave and brilliant American troops in World War II.  Perhaps Fussell's work wasn't popular because he insisted on writing:

     "In the opinion of British military historian Max Hastings, the American forces were so bad (and actually so were most of the British) 'that when Allied troops met Germans on anything like equal terms, the Germans almost always prevailed.'  Thank God the troops, most of them, didn't know how bad we were.  It's hard enough to be asked to die in the midst of heroes, but to die in the midst of stumblebums led by fools--intolerable.  And I include myself in this indictment."

January 2002 - Army refuses to leave Korea

     Readers of G2mil know that South Korea is five times stronger than North Korea and the presence of American troops wastes $5 billion a year and hampers peace efforts.  Unfortunately, the US Army will begin construction of 20 high-rise apartments at Yongsan Army Garrison near Seoul this summer to house 1066 Army families, despite objections from the city of Seoul which wants the base closed.  This wasteful spending will allow more soldiers to deploy to Korea with their families.  If that area is threatened by invasion and nuclear or chemical attack as many claim, why spend money to keep 1066 more families there?  Why keep any GIs there?

January 2002 - An unconstrained Army secretary

This is from the current "Marine Corps Times"

      "Thomas White's May 31 arrival as the Bush administration's Army secretary filled a leadership void and gave the Army a leader unwilling to accept the constraints imposed by conventional wisdom"....."But for White, perhaps the best news of the year was that, in order to avoid ethics violations, he was forced to sell his stock in Enron Corp, where he had been vice chairman before becoming Army secretary.  White had owned at least $25 million of the energy company's stock when he sold last summer.  Then the company went bankrupt.  If he still owned the stock, it would have been worth at the close of business Dec. 21, no more than $392,000.

       White probably was "unconstrained" by ethical and legal issues at Enron.  Perhaps he can set up a massive ponzi scheme in the Army to fill its budgetary wish list by defrauding millions of investors.

January 2002 - No rush to sign up

       We all saw the patriotic fever sweeping the USA on TV after the 9-11 attacks.  Evidently, that enthusiasm didn't extend to volunteering for military service.  The US military signed up 18,717 recruits in October of 2001, slightly fewer than the 18,778 who signed up in October of 2000.

Read Year 2001 G2 Gems