Monday, July 11, 2016

Critical air base south of Mosul seized, 1900 freed

U.S. coalition forces will use a recaptured air base in Iraq as a logistics hub to wrest control of Mosul from the Islamic State, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on an unannounced visit to Iraq on Monday.
Iraqi forces said they seized the Qayara airbase, located about 40 miles south of Mosul, from the militants, also known as ISIS and ISIL, on Saturday.

“The point of seizing that airfield is to be able to establish a logistics and air hub in the immediate vicinity of Mosul. So, there will be U.S. logistics support," Carter told reporters after arriving in the capital, Baghdad.....

The Iraqi military told a Rudaw reporter on the front that they had freed 1,900 people who had been imprisoned by ISIS inside the air base two days ago. The prisoners were former members of the army and police force....

U.S. forces had already visited the airfield to check on its condition and advisers would be able to offer specialised engineering support in Mosul, where Islamic State has blown up bridges across the Tigris River, U.S. officials said.
Iraqi forces were already improving the airfield's perimeter in case of a counterattack from the nearby town of Qayara which Islamic State still holds, another U.S. official in Baghdad said.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Federalist No. 46

... Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.

The Battle of Cannae 216 BC

Monday, June 20, 2016

Database corruption erases 100,000 Air Force investigation records - ars technica

The database of the Air Force's Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS)—which is used by the Air Force Inspector General's Office to manage investigations into complaints from whistleblowers of waste, fraud, and abuse; Freedom Of Information Act requests; and congressional inquiries—has become corrupted, rendering over 100,000 case files dating back to 2004 unreadable. And because of the way the database was backed up, an Air Force spokesperson said that neither the service nor Lockheed Martin—the contractor that operates the ATCS system for the Air Force—can recover the data.
"The database crashed and there is no data," Ann Stefanak of Air Force Media Operations said in a statement to press. "We’ve kind of exhausted everything we can to recover [the data internally]... and now we’re going to outside experts to see if they can help." Efforts are being made to see if the data was backed up in other locations, and the Air Force has begun asking for help from other organizations within the Department of Defense and from outside experts in recovering the database's contents.
Air Force officials were informed by Lockheed Martin employees of the database crash on June 6 after the company spent two weeks attempting to recover the data. While much of the data in the system was historical, ACTS is primarily used to track ongoing investigations and inquiries—and those cases are now "experiencing significant delays,” Stefanek said.

-bth: how convenient. Whistleblower files lost without backup.