Good Company

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Friday, September 07, 2012

Things to Read Over the Weekend

Robert Haddick's (Small Wars Journal)analysis of China's moves in the South China Sea - Salami Slicing in the South China Sea | Small Wars Journal
But what about an adversary that uses "salami-slicing," the slow accumulation of small actions, none of which is a casus belli, but which add up over time to a major strategic change? U.S. policymakers and military planners should consider the possibility that China is pursuing a salami-slicing strategy in the South China Sea, something that could confound Washington's military plans.
Japan is moving to increase its maritime security:
Japan plans to deploy new patrol vessels to bolster maritime security around its far-flung islands in the wake of the recent landing of Chinese activists on its Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

The Land Ministry has decided to seek a budgetary provision of about $130 million in the 2013-14 fiscal to strengthen the country's Coast Guard with a fleet of four new 1,000-ton class patrol vessels and three midsize helicopters, Japanese media reported on Thursday.

The Ministry also proposes to equip patrol boats with video transmission systems so that they can immediately send images of suspicious vessels to the Coast Guard headquarters.
A crtique of the current administration's national security efforts, "Taking the easier path to a worse place":
The most important national security problem facing our nation -- the crushing load of debt that will crowd out discretionary spending by our government -- was addressed in the context of cutting military spending. The president who has doubled our national debt in three years now claims "I will use the money we're no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work rebuilding roads and bridges and schools and runways, because after two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it's time to do some nation building right here at home." That is, defense is the bill payer for his domestic programs.
U.S. maritime security is looking at some new robotic helpers as set out in "Ocean Power Technologies to Work with U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Wins New Autonomous PowerBuoy Grant" which may be a boring headline, but is about an interesting topic:
... a joint technology transfer initiative to show how the Autonomous PowerBuoy can be used with multiple surveillance technologies. OPT will leverage its experience from the LEAP program in surface vessel detection to demonstrate an enhanced tracking technology covering a wider variety of vessels. This technology will feature an acoustic sensor system in addition to the existing HF RADAR. This will allow the PowerBuoy to collect data for ocean observing applications at the same time as it performs its enhanced surveillance duties, demonstrating the dual use of the PowerBuoy technology.
Oh, "spybots" of sort - or perhaps "dectobots?" More on the Navy's LEAP project here. Pictures of LEAP buoy nearby, including one of a U.S. Coast Guard vessel placing the buoy.

An explanation of the LEAP buoy mission:
17-06 - TOME

UPDATE: I don't agree with all Peggy Noonan wrote here (good gosh, she actually like Joe Biden), but this is good:
There was the relentless emphasis on Government as Community, as the thing that gives us spirit and makes us whole. But government isn't what you love if you're American, America is what you love. Government is what you have, need and hire. Its most essential duties—especially when it is bankrupt—involve defending rights and safety, not imposing views and values.
My emphasis, her words. Clint Eastwood really set the tone for the election with his empty chair, didn't he? "Politicians are employees of ours. *** And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go."
UPDATE2: Interesting graph from Chart of the Day, offeredup with the following explanation:
The latest jobs report came out today with the Labor Department reporting that nonfarm payrolls (jobs) increased by a mere 96,000 in August. Today's chart puts the latest data into perspective by plotting each monthly gain and loss in nonfarm payrolls since 1980. As today's chart illustrates, the monthly gain in jobs has been less robust over the past two years than has typically occurred during expansionary periods. Today's chart also illustrates that the gains in jobs in August were slightly below the average monthly gain since 1980.

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