Things you should be reading 9/6/13

ImageThe Aviationist: Nobody Wants to Fly Drones

The U.S. Air Force faces a personnel crisis when it comes to the drone pilots. In a report published for the Brookings Institution think tank, Air Force Colonel Bradley Hoagland said UAV recruitment offices does not get a sufficient number of volunteers. Back in 2008 only 3% of flying crew were related to drones. Last year the number reached 8,5%. Still more are needed because the sorties is on the rise.The UAV fleet of the USAF constitutes of 152 Predators, 96 Reapers and 23 Global Hawks HALE airframes. But there is little request for drones assignments and the amount the rate of drone pilots resigning or retiring is 3 times higher than that recorded among pilots flying traditional aircraft.

Washington Post: US war planners don’t support war with Syria

They are embarrassed to be associated with the amateurism of the Obama administration’s attempts to craft a plan that makes strategic sense. None of the White House staff has any experience in war or understands it. So far, at least, this path to war violates every principle of war, including the element of surprise, achieving mass and having a clearly defined and obtainable objective. They are repelled by the hypocrisy of a media blitz that warns against the return of Hitlerism but privately acknowledges that the motive for risking American lives is our “responsibility to protect” the world’s innocents.

Schneier on Security: The NSA’s Cryptographic Capabilities

Whatever the NSA has up its top-secret sleeves, the mathematics of cryptography will still be the most secure part of any encryption system. I worry a lot more about poorly designed cryptographic products, software bugs, bad passwords, companies that collaborate with the NSA to leak all or part of the keys, and insecure computers and networks. Those are where the real vulnerabilities are, and where the NSA spends the bulk of its efforts.

South China Morning Post: Timeline of Hayao Miyazaki’s Movies

Esquire: Lt. Col. Bateman has more fun in bars than you do

My family has a somewhat strange relationship with the United Kingdom, the country where I am now stationed. On the Anglophile side, I am the fourth out of the last five generations of my family to come to England, train for war, and then go to war alongside the British. I do not suppose one in a million Americans has quite that same depth of a linkage to this country, forged in blood and sweat over almost exactly a century. All of that affiliation, however, was on my mother’s side. My father’s side of the family has a distinctly different relationship.

On my father’s side things are different. I like to point out this difference when confronted as a “colonist” by one of my English peers who may be “in his cups.” In that situation I enjoy noting that in fact, my family loves England. Indeed, we love it so much, that when we came in 1066, we kept it. This, usually, brings the conversation and condescension to a screeching halt.



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