Archive for November 2nd, 2007

United States Bombed Syria?

Did United States warplanes bomb Syria? That’s what mid-east media, including, al-Jazeera, are reporting today, citing unnamed Israeli sources. According to the reports, Israeli jets escorted a pair of unidentified U.S. aircraft, each armed with a nuclear weapon, to the target in Syria, which was hit with one weapon and completely destroyed. I can’t find an english al-Jazeera page about the story yet, but it’s being covered elsewhere, all citing al-Jazeera.

If it’s true – which is questionable, at best – I think it’s safe to say all hell is going to break loose. I don’t think it’s impossible, but without corroborating evidence one way or another, I’m going to optimistically call it highly unlikely. Particularly alarming – and requiring clarification from somebody, promptly – is the implicit explicit suggestion that a “tactical nuclear weapon” was used to destroy the facility. That’s not the sort of thing you want to start a panic about, unnecessarily. If the Pentagon doesn’t deny this soon…

Published in: General, History, Security | on November 2nd, 2007 | 1 Comment »

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

In October of 2000, the Department of the Army published a not-terribly-exciting field manual – FM 3-01.11, the “Air Defense Artillery Reference Handbook”. That edition, marked “Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited” is available at a number of places online, including a version here.

A new, revised edition of this manual was published last week – but the Army has chosen to restrict it to “U.S. Government agencies and their contractors only”. Where you used to be able to download the manual right from the Army’s website less than a month ago (see Google cache here), that’s no longer the case.

The Air Defense Artillery people at Fort Bliss are a little overzealous in their pseudoclassification and product restrictions; as far as I can tell, not one single product of their command is currently “officially” available to the public. As is perhaps not surprising, their restrictions are less than completely effective, and most of their “restricted” products are available somewhere online. In time, I believe, the new version of FM 3-01.11 will be, as well.

Until then, though, feel free to partake in a great exercise in ironic Web 2.0 collaboration and help them improve a field manual they don’t want you to see.

Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on November 2nd, 2007 | Comments Off on Now You See It, Now You Don’t