Try to find a pattern in the randomness!
The UK Prime Minister is not rumored to have an especially deep appreciation of foreign policy, which in part explains why he gave that dreadful speech in Ankara.
David Frum, on the other hand, posits a deeper game.
The Marine Corps’ STOVL variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is once again proving that complexity is, well: Complex.
Lockheed Martin said Tuesday that several parts on the most complex version of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter were failing more often than expected, a problem that is slowing flight testing on a model tailored for the Marines.
The company’s chief executive, Robert J. Stevens, told analysts that the problems had occurred on the version that can take off in short distances and land vertically like a helicopter.
Mr. Stevens said the defects had reduced the flight tests on that model to 74 so far this year, 21 fewer than planned. He said the company was working with suppliers to fix the problems and thought it could catch up by extending some of the flights.
The real struggle with the F-35B is behind the scenes of the Blue/Green team, where the rumor tells me that senior Navy flag and Marine general officers only speak to each other in order to shout. Navy has been counting on Marine fighter squadrons to deploy aboard aircraft carriers in order to ameliorate the fighter gap, but no one is able to suitably explain how the STOVL variant will operate of conventional carriers in cyclic operations. Not to mention heat dissipation.
Speaking of shouting, Sal has one of his Diversity Thursday posts up that has set blood a’boiling throughout the Navy, a confidant reports. Seems that Navy is keeping a list. A very important, very private list. Eyes on the future, and that.
The Navy is ordered on businesslike lines these days, and things must have metrics. Metrics give you leverage to control processes and institute change. I get it.
But it seems to me that “accountability” had a different flavor, back in the day.
Probably I was just naive.
Pundita has some pictures up of Afghanistan, then and now. If you don’t like to see pictures of young Afghan girls with their noses cut off, you should probably forgo the link.
Also skip it if you don’t like pictures of young Afghan girls sitting in biology classes back in the 60s. With their hair uncovered!
You should also give it a pass if you don’t like being reminded of the consequences of Realpolitik during the Cold War:
Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?
Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [fundamentalism], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Something of an open question, it seems.
Support for the Afghan mujahadin was labeled “Charlie Wilson’s War” in media.
Closer to home, Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has his own little war going on:
In laying out 13 charges of ethical violations committed by Representative Charles B. Rangel, the House ethics committee set the stage for a rare public trial of the Democratic Congressman this fall, a potential embarrassment for the Democratic leadership during the election season.
The unveiling of the charges Thursday came even as Mr. Rangel’s lawyers suggested they were trying to reach a settlement to avoid such a fate for Mr. Rangel, 80, a Harlem Democrat.
Ethics committee members appeared somber on Thursday, expressing fondness for Mr. Rangel even as they issued the stinging report, which states that Mr. Rangel’s “actions reflected poorly on the institution of the House and, thereby, brought discredit to the House.”
Two brief points: 1) Congressional approval ratings have sunk to 11%, a number chiefly made encompassing actual congressmen, staffers that depend upon them for employment and their extended families. Take away Mr. Rangel’s purported ethical lapses and that number jumps to 12%, maybe. Discredit?
You already had that.
2) Louisiana’s Edwin Wilson Edwards once boasted that the only way he could fail to win re-election was if he was found in bed with a dead woman or a live boy. One gets the sense that even these would be insufficient to stir Rangel’s constituents, who have sent the man to Washington 20 times.
Summary: Politics are local, and GOP hopefuls eying a take-over of the House of Representatives need to remember that we tend to be overly fond of our own rascals, preferring to throw other people’s bums out.
All for now, work beckons &c.
More later, maybe.