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    • The legal system works at the speed of smell, but we are getting closer to what may be one of the most important civil rights cases to come in front of the Supreme Court in the last half century. There are new readers coming to CDRSalamander every day, so once again let me set the foundation. The cornerstones are rather simple but essential for our wondrously polyglot experimental republic to survive; persons deserve to be judged as individuals; individuals deserve equal opportunity; people deserve to be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin; no favor should be given to nor ill-favor placed on any person based on something they can do nothing about – their race, creed, color, or national origin, etc. With that out of the way – it really should be self-evident, but the excessively emotive on this topic sometimes need a reminder – let us get back to the subject of todays DivThu. The case in question is Students for Fair Admission v. President and Fellows of Harvard College & the University of North Carolina that is finally on the docket of SCOTUS. In summary, universities have shamefully been discriminating against different ethnic groups in favor of those they deem more desirable. Merit, objective criteria for success, academic excellence, and all those things one would expect to be determining factors are not what is driving the zero-sum game that is admissions. No, the diversity industry (those who derive financial, power, or psychological gain from promoting discrimination), have their metrics and they must be met. Turning their stated goals on it head, they are not about equal opportunity or the elimination of discrimination or sectarian division, instead they have decided that they want to use these evil methods to pursue their own goal; equity. Stuck in a mid-20th Century mindset, they desire to legally be able to discriminate against people born in the 21st Century based on their race, creed, color, etc while at the same time, picking a desired group that they want to give preferential treatment to based on self-identified criteria. Regulars of DivThu know the extended commentary. New people can click the “Diversity” tab to review if they wish. This is where the military comes in. It didn't have to weigh in on this political topic - but ideologs decided they needed a shield of political retired General and Flag Officers ... so be it. Shots fired. Let the battle be joined.  As we have documented through the last two decades – the military (especially at the service academies) have protested that they do not discriminate in admissions, but of course we know they do. Many of us have seen the data. As the data became known, then the excuses and smoke screens came out, but in the last half decade or more as the light of truth became brighter on their actions, they decide to turn in to the skid and claim, “Yes, we discriminate. Discrimination is a good thing. We will keep doing it. You will like it, and if you protest against our bigotry we will call you a bigot.”  You know the drill. In this case that involves college admissions, the natsec left decided that they would service-shame the civilian side of the house by gathering a bunch of retired senior officers to – and this is the amazing part – say, “Universities need to be allowed to discriminate, because if you don’t let them discriminate, then we won’t be able to discriminate. We love discrimination and we will lose all our wars if we can’t continue.” Strange flex, and I’m taking a little artistic license with their verbiage, but there it is. Well, some interesting things have come out that connect two cases, one from 2015, and the other the one that is the subject in today’s post. I’d like you to look over two amici curiae. The first one from 2015’s Fisher vs. University of Texas at Austin.  You can read the details of the case here. There was an amici curiae filed in 2015 that you can read here signed by 34 retired senior officers, a former Senator and Medal of Honor recipient, and one of Bill Clinton’s Army Secretary, Joe Reeder. Remember that name…he is one of the major players in the 2015 and 2022 efforts. In their amici curiae they state; That was always a great gift to those who have been fighting this fight for so long. At last, a high profile “Ref. A” out in the open so that no one is silent due to a whole variety of reasons, that, yes, the military does discriminate. People – though a shrinking pool of the ideological and ignorant – still claim that this does not take place, but even those who did not see it firsthand now at least had a Ref. A. to push So, we now have Students for Fair Admission v. President and Fellows of Harvard College & the University of North Carolina. If you need the details of that case, click here. We have a 2022 amici curiae for this case as well with Joe Reeder and his law firm again at the front. We have this time 35 (33 retired GOFO plus Sen. Kerry and Reeder) signing on vice 36. Their Summary of the Argument seven years later from Fisher reads in part; What a gift to truth. Their policies can never survive the light of day. They can try to defend it – but especially as our nation becomes even more mixed-heritage – as the people are WAY ahead of the entrenched sectarians – fewer people are going to see any positive attribute to having government institutions line up with some outdated “one drop” rule, or look the other way to red in tooth and claw racial self-identification fraud for fun and profit. Nope, however, there are some retire GOFO who are quite happy to.  Let’s look at those 34 GOFO who signed on in 2015 and see which way the wind is blowing. Of those 34 GOFO, 15 returned to sign the 2022 document. Huh. What about the other 19? Well, three have passed away (Clemins, Griffith, and Neal) and one LTG Becton, USA (Ret.) is 96 years old. That leaves 15 who decided that 2022 is a different time and it was time to reassess. Those who signed on in 2015 but did not return in 2022 were Abizaid, Brown, Casey, Dunwoody, Fogleman, Giambastiani, Keane, Maddox, Magnus, Powell, Prueder, Regni, Rondwau, Schwartz, and Tilelli.  The highest profile the non-repeats are Abizaid, Casey, Fogleman, Keane, & Powell. That begs  the question, "What caused them not to join?" They will have to answer that on their own. Who are the repeat defender who are doubling down on pro-discrimination? Blair, Christman, Clark, Hill, Inman, Jumper, Lennox, Lyles, Mullen (of course), Myers, and Oelstrom. Look aback at who the high-profile non-repeats are. That is quite the group who did not return. Who replaced them? Abbot, Bolden, Bostick, Brooks, Carter, Caslen, Dunford, Haney, Johnson, McRaven (of course), Miller, Robinson, and Scaparotti.  Who is high-profile in this group? Dunford, McRaven, and Scaparotti I think. This is a great filtering mechanism to see who is who in the zoo, so to speak. A Salamander Pardon to 2015 alumni will be provided to those who did not show up in 2022, and BZ to a few high profile people whose name is not on either and will given a respectful nod to. However, to come back in 2022 knowing the details of what this case is … that is just plain clear as day what these people support. Noted.  A final note, an organization called Veterans for Fairness and Merit also submitted an amici curiae for the latest case. You can read it in full here, but of note; remember the alumni from 2015? General Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF (Ret.) is on that amici curiae. He saw the light and didn’t just demur, put his name to it. BZ. Watch this case. It is time that we meet the promise of our nation’s founding and to address the reality of the 21st Century. The time for racial discrimination and preferences is over. No more sectarianism. View the full article
    • Americas Lockheed Martin won a $12.9 million deal for AEGIS design agent field engineering services. Aegis is an integrated missile guidance system used on US Navy and allied ships to protect the battle group. Work will take place in Virginia, California, Hawaii, Japan, Washington and California. Estimated completion date is in September 2023. The US Army is integrating a 20 kW-class laser weapon system into its new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to help soldiers down smaller unmanned aerial systems (UASs), according to the director of the service’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office Lieutenant General Neil Thurgood. The three-star general spoke at the Space and Missile Defense symposium about a host of programmes under his purview including directed energy initiatives. At the event, he announced that senior service leaders recently approved the development of an Army Multi-Purpose High Energy Laser (AMP-HEL) prototype that they want completed by the end of September 2023. Middle East & Africa Mali on Tuesday received military jets and a combat helicopter from Russia. During a ceremony, L-39 and Sukhoi-25 jets as well as Mi-24P helicopter gunships were displayed. No information was disclosed about the conditions for acquiring the gunships. Previous Russian arms deliveries made public this year, were helicopters and surveillance radars as well as mobile radar systems. Europe Babcock International has signed it’s second deal in a fortnight to aimed at offering Israeli technologies for British defense programs. The British company’s latest agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries and its subsidiary Elta Systems is aimed at proposing a radar for the Defence Ministry’s Serpens program. The Spanish military took delivery of a THeMIS robotic vehicle, made by Estonia’s Milrem Robotics, to gauge how unmanned ground technology can improve operations of its ground forces, the company announced August 9. The evaluation comes as some European armies are in the market to equip their soldiers with robots for anything from cargo carrying to surveillance and attack missions. Asia-Pacific Taiwan’s army held another live-fire drill Thursday after Beijing ended its largest-ever military exercises around the island and repeated threats to bring the self-ruled democracy under its control. China announced carrying out fresh military drills around Taiwan Monday, days after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island escalated tensions between the two powers. Today’s Video WATCH: Mi-24P In War Thunder : A Basic Review View the full article
    • Americas BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems won a $13.5 million order, which provides for the ALR-56M radar warning receiver, C-130J Block Cycle F, Operational Flight Program and Mission Data File Generation updates and system services. Work will be performed in Totowa, New Jersey, and is expected to be completed August 9, 2024. Boeing won a $278 million ordering agreement for the procurement of F/A-18 aircraft consumable parts. This is a five-year base contract with one five-year option period. The performance completion date is August 8, 2027. Using military service is the Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2027 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Boeing has provided over 430 F/A-18E/Fs to the Navy since the early 2000s. The aircraft serves as the frontline strike fighter of the service branch, supporting air combat operations from aircraft carriers. Middle East & Africa Several types of previously unseen armoured vehicle and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) were displayed during a parade held by the Armed Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FACI) on August 7. TV coverage of the parade in Yamoussoukro to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the country’s independence showed it included 20 of the FACI’s new Otokar Cobra II light armoured vehicles (LAVs), including an ambulance and a recovery vehicle. Europe Lockheed Martin won a $524 million modification, which increases the ceiling to procure long-lead time materials, parts, components, and effort for the production of seven Lot 15 F-35A aircraft, two Lot 15 F-35B aircraft, seven Lot 16 F-35A, and two Lot 16 F-35B aircraft for the government of Italy. Work will take place on Texas, California, the UK, Italy, Florida, New Hampshire, Maryland and Japan. Estimated completion will be in June 2025. Asia-Pacific South Korea’s government stressed Wednesday it will make its own decisions in strengthening its defenses against North Korean threats, rejecting Chinese calls that it continue the polices of Seoul’s previous government that refrained from adding more US anti-missile batteries that are strongly opposed by Beijing. The differences between South Korea and China underscored a reemerging rift between the countries just a day after their top diplomats met in eastern China and expressed hope that the issue wouldn’t become a “stumbling stone” in relations. Bilateral ties went downhill in 2017 when South Korea installed a missile battery employing the THAAD, in response to nuclear and missile threats from North Korea. The Philippines has scrapped an order for 16 Russian military helicopters, an official confirmed Wednesday, following reports former president Rodrigo Duterte decided to cancel it due to US sanctions on Moscow. Manila agreed in November to pay $228 million for the Mi-17 helicopters, as it seeks to modernize its military hardware. Today’s Video WATCH: Philippines cancels Russian helicopter deal due to US sanctions View the full article
    • Was it Ukrainian Special Operations forces? Did the Ukrainians operationalize their Grom SRBM? Did the USA sneak in some ATACMS along with HARM missiles to strike Saki Airbase in Russian occupied Crimea? My bet is in that order, and in time we will find out … but there is one thing I do know for sure; this is just another reminder that this regional conflict is telling us a lot about what we need to understand about the future of war that will manifest itself in the likely big war to come in the Western Pacific. Not unlike how the Spanish Civil War gave hints to what WWII would look like, the Russo-Ukrainian War today is showing shadows of what is to come. From drones, to highly accurate long range precision fires by conventional ballistic and cruise missiles, to exceptionally well-trained special forces – if you have a high percentage of your air forces, supply depots, maintenance facilities, and ammunition magazines within range of your enemy – if they have the ability, they will attack them. If you concentrate your forces, you distill your operational risk to an essential vulnerability too attractive not to attack. The Russians are lucky that the pre-war Ukrainian government and its blinkered Western advisors did not have the Ukrainians properly ready for the war that came this February.  America and her allies do not have that luxury in the Pacific west of Wake. There is no larger power who will send us meaningful amounts of aid to cover our peace time distraction. The People’s Republic of China’s rocket forces have our bases covered. You can safely assume that the PRC’s clandestine services are good and well set. They know what needs to be done. They have been preparing for decades and the Russo-Ukrainian War shows they were on the correct path. If we continue to assume that we will be able to have access and use of these fixed facilities in any future conflict for more than a day or two, we are setting ourselves up for an inability to operate forward. Yes, this is an election season, but time is short and our leaders need to act now. We need to start to better distribute our risk, faster – especially maintenance and rearming. Otherwise, we will find ourselves – once again – pushed back east of Wake and south of New Guinea for the second time in a century in the opening months of a global war that will last years – one fate does not guarantee we will win this time.  Photo credit NZHerald. View the full article
    • Americas General Dynamics Land Systems won a $99.8 million deal for M1 Abrams tank sight units with containers. This was a competitive acquisition with one response received. The M1A1/2 Abrams main battle tank is manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems. Work will take place in Alabama. Estimated completion date is December 31, 2029. The US Navy has carried out a demonstration of the MQ-8C Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) concept during Exercise Resolute Hunter. The exercise took place at San Clemente Island from June 21 to July 1. HSC-23 flew the unmanned rotorcraft for 23 hours during this period. It had taken off from Point Mugu and flown to San Clemente before control was handed over to a Portable Mission Control Station (MCS-P) deployed there. “Fire Scout is the Navy’s only unmanned helicopter with the ability to deploy from a ship or land with ISR&T at the extended range required for future warfighting,” said Capt. Dennis Monagle, Fire Scout program manager. Middle East & Africa The US Army awarded Textron Systems a $9 million modification  for an Aerosonde MK4.7 aircraft. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of September 27, 2023. Fiscal 2021 Foreign Military Sales to Nigeria in the full amount were obligated at the time of the award. Europe The Czech Republic starts negotiations with Israel to purchase three Heron drones including ground control stations, data terminals, and shipping containers. The acquisition comes as part of the Czech Army’s “Capability Building Concept,” an initiative to build up the service’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) capabilities for aerial reconnaissance, combat support, and ground unit protection. Asia-Pacific An air combat training programme for Australia’s Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler aircrews has been upgraded and extended. The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) inked a new five-year, $76.4 million contract to enhance the ground-based training of pilots and personnel. Austal has delivered its second of eight Evolved Cape Class patrol boats to the Royal Australian Navy after completion in Henderson, Western Australia. The ship was commissioned as the ADV Cape Peron under the Commonwealth of Australia. The first of its class, the ADV Cape Otway, was delivered to the navy in March after 18 months of construction. The six remaining units are still under production at the shipyard, with a scheduled completion in 2024. Today’s Video WATCH: Never Underestimate the F/A-18 Block III Although It’s Not a Stealth Fighter Jet View the full article
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