“We think that they kind of work but don’t really have the
data to say exactly what effects they have. A lot of academic studies about drones try really hard to get at this, but
they’re ultimately not sufficient for making strategic judgments. From a broad perspective, we know that in several
places around the world, drones offer quick tactical victories
but dubious strategic benefits.”
A senior fellow for asymmetric operations at the American Security Project
On whether drone strikes — such as those handled covertly by the CIA in
Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia — actually reduce the threat posed by terrorists.
National Defense, Aug. 21
“Piracy is like an ancient disease that should be extinct in this
modern world. The cure is difficult and requires the disruption of pirate actions, building law and order and livelihoods
ashore, and making the merchant prey less vulnerable.
Although there are signs of remission, I would judge the medicine will be required for some time to come.”
U.K. Royal Navy Commodore Simon Ancona
Deputy Commander of Combined Maritime Forces, which oversees the multinational counterpiracy effort Combined Task Force 151
Noting that the aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry that have helped dramatically reduce
attempted pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa must continue.
New York Times, Aug. 29
that will keep production lines
healthy for now.
“Consequently, the prospective
impact of budget sequestration on
Huntington Ingalls Industries may
not be as significant near-term as it
may be for other industries,” CEO
Mike Petters wrote to McCain in a
July 13 letter.
However, Petters also warned
that budget cuts could prompt pro-
duction delays and, ultimately, cost
increases on Navy programs. The
highly consolidated shipbuilding
industry, he warned, is already
“An additional downturn in
Navy shipbuilding could exacer-
bate material cost growth and pro-
mote further contraction of the
supplier base,” Petters added.
Stackley Notes Challenges
Should Sequester Occur
Sean J. Stackley, assistant secretary of
the Navy for research, development
and acquisition, went before the
House Armed Services Oversight and
Investigations subcommittee Sept. 11
to talk about the status of the shipbuilding industrial base and what the
Navy was doing to sustain it.
But most of the questions from
the few members who showed up
focused on the possible impact on
Navy shipbuilding of the $500 billion in additional defense budget
cuts from sequester.
Subcommittee Chairman Rep.
Rob Wittman, R-Va., noted that the
shipbuilding industrial base is
“essential to national security.” But,
he said, many leaders in the indus-
try are troubled by the uncertainty
over the possibility of sequester and
are considering layoffs and delaying
investments [See story, page 32].