- Time’s Battleland has an excellent obit for the USS Enterprise. After fifty years of service, the aircraft carrier is being retired. A sad day for some, but also comforting to know she worked hard and well for five decades.
- The robotic mule is coming soon to a USMC squad near you! DARPA’s $54 million Legged Squad Support System (LS3), which mimics a mule, just completed a couple weeks of field testing and is no worse for the wear. Among many other great features, the LS3 can recharge batteries and follow basic commands (“sit!”).
- In allies news, Japan will up its defense budget a bit, though it is still a very low share of GDP. Canada’s love-hate relationship with the F-35 continues to twist and turn: Ottawa claims it will have to use private companies and allies for mid-air refueling because it will not modify tankers for the job.
- The New York Times ran an editorial today supporting leaving a minimal number of U.S. troops, mostly SOF, in Afghanistan after 2014. The piece pushes for a withdrawal as soon as possible and compliments the administration for apparently rejecting General Allen’s high-end option of 20,000 troops. For Mr. Karzai and his requests for technical and monetary largesse in talks with President Obama, the Times had only harsh words: “Those requests cannot be taken seriously when Afghan security forces are increasingly murdering Americans and the Afghan government remains so profoundly corrupt.”
- An odd development out of Gaza: U.S.-made missiles waiting for transport to Gaza were seized by the Egyptian military.