About Defense Tech

Defense Tech examines the intersection of technology and defense from every angle and provides analysis on what’s ahead.

Tip Us Off

Tip for Defense Tech?

SEND IT!

It’s Confidential!

Ward'z Wonderz

Hey, I’m an Expert on Robot Snakes!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Here I am being on TV a few days back (and they don’t let you on TV unless you really know what you’re talking about, as I’m sure you understand being good TV-watching citizens of the 21st Century and everything):

– Ward

A Word from the Bossman

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

obama-crowd.jpg

Ward posted a very thoughtful commentary on Military​.com yesterday that I thought all of you who are fans of the Bossman might like to take a look at…

In the last pre-presidential election poll Military​.com ran earlier this week, 78 percent of our readers picked John McCain over Barack Obama. In a poll conducted the following day, the leading answer to the question “What issue was the most important to you as you voted for president” was “the economy” (39 percent) even more important than “the wars” (32 percent). Juxtaposing these two polls not only yields one of the answers to how Obama won the election, it also shows the degree to which Americans, even Americans with war fighting experience, are convinced Jihadist elements are no longer an imminent threat.

On the morning after the election the pundits sum up the results with the idea that Barack Obama’s victory is one of hope over fear. And assuming that’s true, the ability for a people to carry that out is a luxury that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Contrast this presidential election with the one held four years ago. The year 2004 has faded as a distant memory now, but think back: That the Rovian-style political operatives were able to leverage fear in Americans to win a second term for George W. Bush says more about the fact that Americans were actually scared at that time than it does about the hired guns ability to affect outcomes at will.

In 2004 the Iraq War was going poorly. Casualty rates were high. The insurgency was proliferating. Al Qaeda was blooming in new places, and Bin Laden and his confidants were releasing messages at a regular clip. Major European cities were weathering terrorist attacks.

America wasn’t scared because Karl Rove told it to be. America was scared because the times were scary to the degree that the majority of voters feared a change at the top. Four years later not only has that fear faded, it is all but gone from the national consciousness.

(more…)

A Man of Conviction…

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

FL_mccain_090507.jpg

We posted a story over at Military​.com this morning based on an interview your favorite DT poster, Ward Carroll, conducted with Sen. John McCain yesterday afternoon. Id recommend giving the story a read and listening to the interview, which we posted as a Podcast last night.

McCain is fighting an uphill battle in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, championing a war the general public is sick of talking about. The fact that a man who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five and a half years told us hes as convinced the U.S. is winning in Iraq “as anything I have been convinced of in my life” is saying something. His campaign may have lost its “straight talk express” luster among the political media and pundits, but hes still a remarkable man with firm convictions.

Heres Wards editorial on the McCain story…

I had a chance to chat with Senator John McCain yesterday as part of my weekly “The Editor’s Desk” podcast at Military​.com. Check it out here.

Regardless of your politics, you should be aware of (if not respectful of) what this man has done in his life. Never mind what he’s accomplished as a lawmaker. His career as a naval aviator is more impressive, in my book. Few know that he was aboard the USS Forrestal (CV 59) when a Zuni rocket inadvertantly fired across the flightdeck, setting off a massive fire that killed scores of men and destroyed dozens of aircraft. Here’s the video:

McCain was in the cockpit of an A-4 waiting to launch, parked on the port side aft, right next to the A-4 that. His jet was hit by the rocket. Once he realized how bad the situation was, he ejected out of his burning jet and parachuted into the water behind the carrier escaped by climbing out of the cockpit, walking down the nose and jumping off the refueling probe.

Some months later his jet was hit by a SAM over Hanoi during a bombing run. Again he ejected, this time at high speed. The wind blast broke both arms and his right leg. He landed in a lake in the middle of Hanoi, unconscious. He came to and fought to get to the surface but sank again. He finally located his lift preserver and floated to the top of the lake only to be greeted by an enraged mob. Soldiers had to intervene to keep him from being killed by the locals.

McCain was taken to Hoa Lo prison and immediately worked over for information by his captors. Soon the Vietnamese found out he was a four-star admiral’s son, so they nursed him to health and took him to “the Plantation” for propaganda purposes. He spent two years in solitary.

When McCain’s father took the CINCPAC job, the Vietnamese tried to get him to accept early release. In spite of his health and frequent torture sessions, he refused.

(more…)