An Army of One, but in What Color Beret?
The Army’s decision to issue black berets to every soldier
is one of those stories that keeps on giving. A retired major general,
now working in the defense industry, said that the issue has distracted
service leaders from more important issues, and that the cosmetic
change in the Army uniform should not be a priority. "The two
highest-ranking Army officials at the Pentagon don’t have
time to talk to me," he said under the condition of anonymity,
"because they are too busy preparing testimony about berets
for two House of Representatives committee hearings.
"They should be spending their time on more pressing priorities,
like modernization, recruitment and retention," he said.
The general conceded, however, that there are legitimate reasons
for introducing the black berets. One of those reasons is to make
enlisted members feel valued and not less important than those serving
in the élite beret-wearing units. This also goes along with
the new recruiting slogan, "An Army of One."
Col. Kevin Kelley, director of advertising and public affairs at
the Army recruiting command, at Fort Knox, Ky., said that the new
slogan is indeed meant to highlight that the individual’s
contribution to the team is valued and important. ... Kids today
want to be part of something bigger than "myself."
So far, results of the new campaign have been impressive, said
Kelley. Radio, television and Internet advertisements have been
designed to attract people from the ages of 17 to 21, he said. "Since
the start of this advertising campaign, hits to our Web site (www.goarmy.com)
have increased from 7,300 a day last year at this time to 30,000
per day, with spikes as high as 50,000 a day," Kelley said.
Actual "leads," which are those individuals who provide
their name and address or telephone number requesting information
about the Army, "have increased 72 percent over last year at
Contractors Compete Harder When Own Dollars at Stake
The current project to develop unmanned bombers offers further proof
that military high-tech programs are more successful when private
industry’s dollars are on the line. Both the U.S. Air Force
and the Navy are developing so-called UCAVs (unmanned combat air
vehicles). The Boeing Co. is the prime contractor for the Air Force
system. The company is competing for a naval UCAV against Northrop
Grumman Corp. Both firms received $2 million contracts last June
for a 15-month preliminary design phase. The agencies providing
the funds are the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced
Projects Research Agency.
But anyone who has worked in military programs knows that it will
cost much more than $2 million to design a UCAV. The contractors
are investing large sums of their own research and development (R&D)
dollars in this competition.
Having contractors compete in military R&D programs is "great,"
said Bill Scheuren, program manager for the UCAV at the Office of
Naval Research. "It is especially great when the contractors’
dollars are involved," he told an industry audience at a conference
in Arlington, Va.
"Isn’t it funny how that works?" Scheuren asked.
The companies in the Navy UCAV program are making extraordinary
efforts to win this competition, he explained, "so you get
the ‘A’ team. You rarely have overruns."
Wolfowitz Touts Alliance With Turkey
The United States considers Turkey one of the strongest allies in
preserving security and NATO’s influence in Europe, said Deputy
Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. "Turkey stood with us in
the Korean War and is standing with us today as a vital NATO partner,"
said Wolfowitz in a speech to the U.S.-Turkish Relations conference
in Washington, D.C.
Maj. Gen. Timothy Kinnon, vice director of the Pentagon’s
J5-JT staff, pointed out that 80 percent of the world’s crises
have taken place within close proximity to Turkey: the Balkans,
Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Caucasus region.
"Turkey’s materiel and moral support is indispensable"
in northern Iraq, noted Wolfowitz. With their development of ballistic
missiles, Iraq and Iran are posing a threat to both the region and
the western world, Wolfowitz said. Therefore, the development of
defenses against ballistic missiles will strengthen security in
the region, he said.
‘Russian Paranoia’ Necessitates New Investments
A purported surge in Russian spying is just another indicator of
the renewed influence of Moscow’s foreign intelligence service,
Rep. Porter J. Goss, R-Fla., chairman of the House Permanent Committee
on Intelligence, told reporters.
"The KGB is back," he said. "After [President Vladimir]
Putin came in, I think there was a green light, because he was thinking
‘these are my guys,’" Goss said. Putin is a former
The reason for the "obvious and well-known" increase
in espionage, Goss said, is Russian paranoia. Partly, he said, this
has to do with a natural curiosity—shared by many nations,
both friends and adversaries—about exactly what is U.S. foreign
policy. "I think there is uncertainty, and one of the ways
that paranoids react to uncertainty is to find out as much as they
can. I don’t think the Russians understand what an open, democratic
society we have, even now.
"I can’t tell you how bad the paranoia is over there,"
said Goss, himself a former clandestine-services officer for the
CIA. "People need order, and they’re willing to sacrifice
freedom for it. They’re back to a knock on the door in the
middle of the night."
Increased threats to national security through Russia’s increased
espionage, however, are just one reason why the United States needs
to invest more in its intelligence gathering, said Goss. At this
point, the number one concern of the intelligence community, he
said, is the underfunding of the National Security Agency (NSA),
whose computing power "won the Cold War for us."
Although the NSA "served the nation brilliantly," its
computers are now out of date, Goss said. "Every part of the
NSA is a problem that needs to be fixed." The NSA director
"has mission impossible," he added.
Goss said that he has talked to President Bush and pleaded with
him, "Please don’t forget about intelligence in your
defense review." Bush was encouraging, Goss said, but "my
bet is that NSA is going to be underfunded" in the 2002 budget.
Iridium Satellite Re-Launches Commercial Service
Iridium Satellite executives said that they have learned their lesson.
Iridium, a company that made headlines in 1999 with its spectacular
stock collapse and subsequent bankruptcy, has emerged again under
the name Iridium Satellite LLC.
Lauding Iridium’s new cost structure, which will be one-tenth
of the first Iridium, new chairman and CEO Dan Colussy said, "Once
again, Iridium is the only provider of truly global, truly mobile
satellite communications services." Colussy said that Iridium
Satellite LLC is currently used by the Defense Department under
a multi-year contract, with 20,000 mobile telephone units. To be
profitable, Colussy said that only 40,000 additional non-government
users are needed. The new phones, which retail at $1,000-$1,500,
have airtime rates of $1.50 per minute. The previous cost of Iridium
telephone units was approximately $3,000, with per minute costs
as much as $7. The existing constellation of 66 satellites and seven
in-orbit spares has remained in orbit, in good health, with projections
to be operational for at least seven years, according to Mark Adams,
Iridium Satellite’s chief technology officer. Adams stated
that individuals who currently possess Iridium phones will receive
upgrade technology free of charge.
Iridium Satellite LLC targets companies that have "operations
in remote areas where no terrestrial communications offerings exist,"