|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Friday, September 12, 2003
Wearing Out and Adding Up: Buried costs of the occupation: "Army officials say they will need more than $16 billion to repair and replace worn and expended military hardware and reconstitute a force that has been exhausted by simultaneous operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The "reset" involves more than 50,000 wheeled and tracked vehicles, every aviation system deployed in the Middle East and 300 different computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.
"The dollar cost still slaps you in the eye," the Army official said. Of the president's $86.6 billion request for the coming fiscal year, only $3.3 billion is earmarked for that "reset," congressional sources said, meaning that the expenditures will be stretched out for years to come. That $3.3 billion is a small part of the $65.5 billion that would go to the Defense Department; the other $21.1 billion would go for reconstruction. Almost half of the defense money, $32.3 billion, would be used for fuel, food and other costs of combat and occupation, while $18.5 billion is being requested for reserve and National Guard salaries and other personnel costs..
The escalation has infuriated some members of Congress and their staffs, who say that many of the costs should have been anticipated.. "There's widespread concern that the Department of Defense just hadn't thought through this thing adequately," said James W. Dyer, the Republican staff director of the House Appropriations Committee, who attributed supply problems to "very poor planning." ..
The White House also wants $300 million for about 60,000 three-piece body-armor suits, so Army commanders can issue flak jackets to virtually every soldier in Iraq. "Here's a blinding flash of the obvious," one Army official said. "There is no front line out there." " 10:59:31 PM
Bill Weinman · AMTP -- a replacement for SMTP: "This is the home of the AMTP protocol. AMTP is being designed as a possible replacement for SMTP, with security features designed to reduce the impact of Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE) and the cost of running mail servers. " The A stands for Authenticated, so you know the true source of every email. More spam filtering info from Paul Graham:
: Thomas Bray's blog, on hacking and related topics. 5:00:35 PM
Ditch the Road Map. Just Get There, Already: Provocative idea. "The current Israeli-Palestinian peace process relies on a step-by-step approach, which is destined to fail. Moreover, its goal is final status negotiations, which are unlikely to succeed.
Enough with the small steps. Enough negotiating. Years of intermittent talks between Israelis and Palestinians have produced a good notion of what a settlement acceptable to both sides must look like. The challenge is to get there before the onset of a catastrophic chain of events. .. It is time for a fresh approach that leaps directly to a final deal, presented without further negotiations, backed by a U.S.-led international mandate, and submitted for approval via popular referenda among the Israeli and Palestinian people. This is the best and most realistic way forward. " 4:46:35 PM
Cringely: Massive identity theft is a crime waiting to happen:
"What I produced in that hour was all the information required to steal the identities of 300,000 people, most of whom would be considered to have high financial (if not emotional or artistic) net worth. If I was a real criminal I could use this data over a period of 4-6 weeks to apply for online credit cards and bank accounts, to order credit reports that list where the victims do their banking so I could loot those accounts, too. Before anyone would notice I could grab that Secret Service [average] of $217,000 per victim for a total take of $65 billion, which certainly beats my day job. This sort of crime is eventually going to happen. If I can do it just about anyone can do it. The take probably won't be $65 billion, but it will be in the multiple billions." 8:56:17 AM