Permissible Arms

Taking a stand against whole grains and world peace

Posted in afghanistan, united states, us defense, us politics by Karaka on 27 October 2009

A couple quick links before I hit the sack:

Banned USB Drives May Get Thumbs Up:

After being banned almost a year ago as bug-infested cyber threats, thumb drives may soon be allowed to plug back into U.S. Defense Department computers and networks.

But not all thumb drives. And not for all computer users, according to Pentagon officials and industry sources.

Thumb drives were banned in November 2008 after thousands of military computers and networks became infected by worms, viruses and other malicious software. Many of the infections were traced to thumb drives, which acquired malicious software from computers or the Internet and passed them on.

The ban has been a major hassle for many who came to rely on thumb drives.

I seriously cannot imagine my life without the three thumb drives I carry with me every day.

Via Danger Room, Simon Klingert‘s photographs of medevacs in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Helmand Medevac Marines

U.S. Marine soldiers carry an injured Afghan boy towards a Medevac helicopter of Charly Company, 3rd Battlion 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade in the Garmser district of Helmand province, Afghanistan, August 26, 2009

Finally, I don’t always take the National Security Expert blog terribly seriously, because in a sea of wankiness their topic discussions always stand out as being particularly wanky, but I noted this week’s panel discussion. How Is Hillary Clinton Doing As Secretary Of State?

Clinton has taken charge of relations with great powers China and Russia, and is a key player in reinforcing Obama’s multilateral approach to international issues, one of the things that the Nobel committee cited in giving him the Peace Prize. People give her credit for giving this administration some spine. And she certainly is getting more resources for the State Department. David Rothkopf, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote a piece in the Washington Post in August saying that Clinton is “rethinking the very nature of diplomacy and translating that vision into a revitalized State Department, one that approaches U.S. allies and rivals in ways that challenge long-held traditions.”

But we would like to know what you, the experts, think about Hillary’s performance so far, what she has accomplished, and what more she could or should be doing. So what kind of report card do you give Hillary Rodham Clinton so far as secretary of State? Was she a good, or bad, choice as the nation’s top diplomat?

The responses are a mixed criticism of celebritas, political history, and the minor accomplishments thus far this year; but the real point to me, that only a couple of the respondents touch on, is that ten months is too early to make grand proclamations about any staff member’s work. By elevating her performance to criticism so early on, she can’t help but fail in some respect. A bunch of dudes trying to discern trends and scry future challenges only focuses on a face rather than a mission, a person rather than the department. What’s the point?

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4 Responses

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  1. Alec said, on 30 October 2009 at 15:42

    >> Finally, I don’t always take the National Security Expert blog terribly seriously, because in a sea of wankiness their topic discussions always stand out as being particularly wanky […]

    Have I missed something about American parlance, or did you pick this up in Britain?

    • Karaka said, on 30 October 2009 at 16:57

      Nope, you nailed it. I don’t even recognize Britishisms when I do them anymore, I spent too much time in and out of the Isles.

      • Alec said, on 30 October 2009 at 17:05

        “A load of bloviating wank” is another good term.

        I actually did choke when I heard “spastic” being used on Scrubs.

  2. Karaka said, on 30 October 2009 at 22:40

    For some reason this thing only lets nested comments two-deep. Grr.

    In the States spastic got shortened to spaz, and that seems to be it’s most common variation. But I too associate “spastic” with Britain. I miss living there.


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