did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Guest Post - You might actually need a new service for this one

1

Not discussed: why the military needs to be anywhere near this area at all when you have a perfectly good NSA already in existence.

Of course we know why: because the US national security system is a byzantine polycephalous clusterfuck that is the result of many thousands of unfireable middle-aged men and women who have no particular sense of ethics and very much want to build their own little empires. It was like that in 1940 and it still is.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 5:58 AM
horizontal rule
2

Which presumably applies to NSA too.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:00 AM
horizontal rule
3

There is a need to have one NSA-like thing. But once you have one, you don't need another.
Internally, I agree, the NSA may well also be a byzantine polycephalous clusterfuck as well. But its existence tout court is justifiable. Gentlemen need to be able to read other people's mail.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:04 AM
horizontal rule
4

If you have two, then you have an option if one fails.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:09 AM
horizontal rule
5

I actually used that clip from Contact as a joke one time in a talk, we were collaborating with another government funded group and couldn't agree on standards for our database and API so we each built our own to hold the same data.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:12 AM
horizontal rule
6

Other people sometimes don't use SAS and then you need to go your own way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:14 AM
horizontal rule
7

IF YOU'RE HAVIN PROBLEMS WITH YOUR NATIONAL SECURITY HIERARCHY I FEEL BAD FOR YOU SON
I GOT 99 PROBLEMS
THEN I PASSED AN ACT OF CONGRESS CREATING A SINGLE OVERARCHING SERVICE, REPORTING DIRECTLY TO THE PRESIDENT, WHICH WOULD TAKE OVER RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROBLEMS FROM ALL 99 OF THE EXISTING DEPARTMENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR DEALING WITH PROBLEMS IN ORDER TO STREAMLINE AND SIMPLIFY MY RESPONSE TO PROBLEMS
NOW I GOT 100 PROBLEMS


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:16 AM
horizontal rule
8

Bravo to 7.

Also, you know who else had a national security system that was a byzantine polycephalous clusterfuck that was the result of many thousands of unfireable middle-aged men and women who had no particular sense of ethics and very much wanted to build their own little empires? That's right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:19 AM
horizontal rule
9

1: And as is Cybercom sits inside NSA. Apparently NSA as an intelligence service doesn't have the legal authorities to conduct attacks, whereas cybercom does. (But the CIA is allowed to kill people.)


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:21 AM
horizontal rule
10

Anyhow, AFAICT the NSA is the actually-competent-and-effective and least evil part of US intelligence gathering, and we need to gather intelligence. But armies have always had their own intelligence services, we should probably just run ours better.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:22 AM
horizontal rule
11

9: even worse. Why do they need to employ service personnel then? Just roll it into NSA and let all the hackers wear normal clothes.
NRO is pretty effective, I think, but then it should be, the amount it spends.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:24 AM
horizontal rule
12

And NSA apparently has talent problems of its own.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:25 AM
horizontal rule
13

All NRO ever did was let Johan Goldberg write about liberals being Nazis.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:25 AM
horizontal rule
14

But he'd never have said that there were good people on both sides.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:32 AM
horizontal rule
15

Don't get me started on the distinction between OPCOM, OPCON, TACCOM, TACCON, ADCON and ADCOM, all of which are subtly different (operational/tactical/administrative command/control); yes, you can command a unit without controlling it or vice versa; yes, they sound very very similar, to the point where you have to say "you are OPCOM Mike to this HQ but OPCON November to this unit" to distinguish OPCOM with an M from OPCON with an N.

Drives me up the bloody wall.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 8:08 AM
horizontal rule
16

Which one is in charge of keeping Montenegro from starting WWIII?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 8:20 AM
horizontal rule
17

That was legitimately very creepy because you know perfectly well that he got it from Putin and he's just repeating what he was told.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 8:21 AM
horizontal rule
18

Yes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 8:23 AM
horizontal rule
19

More to the point, every Republican in office who accepted Trump's "I forgot to include 'not'" knows it too and has decided to ignore it for partisan reasons and helping their own re-election.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
20

yes, they sound very very similar, to the point where you have to say "you are OPCOM Mike to this HQ but OPCON November to this unit" to distinguish OPCOM with an M from OPCON with an N.

Especially confusing for Michael in OPCON.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
21

To clarify (ha!), there isn't an actual entity called OPCON. "You are OPCON to this HQ" means "this HQ has operational control over you".
Please don't ask me to explain the differences. Even US Joint Forces Command calls them "obscure and legalistic".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 8:55 AM
horizontal rule
22

Speaking of inteligence, this post from Kevin Drum is worrying.

After a year and a half of keeping the existence of this super sensitive source closely held, why make it public now?
I'd speculate the intel sources here reasonably concluded that Trump has already burned their sources and methods to Putin.

-- southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) July 19, 2018
The American intelligence community has been on edge over Trump practically from the start. But after Helsinki their hair must be on fire. This is basically a declaration of war against Trump, a public accusation that he's known all along Putin ordered the election interference. One way or another, this is not going to end well.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 8:56 AM
horizontal rule
23

There's probably not happy about having to resort to spying on Trump to figure out what "verbal agreements" were made in Finland either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
24

Does it track with any of the many recent mysterious high-profile deaths in Russia, or were those all outsiders to the regime?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 9:29 AM
horizontal rule
25

I don't know. Let's not forget high profiles deaths in Britain also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
26

The deaths, mostly. The insiders just get disappeared.
https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/03/the-kremlins-man-the-mysterious-deaths-and-arrests.html

Though not always
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/27/mystery-death-ex-kgb-chief-linked-mi6-spys-dossier-donald-trump/


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
27

It's always puzzling that people are so sceptical about the idea of Russia having people killed. If some Mafia member had turned on his Don, and then was found mysteriously shot, no one would hesitate to say that maybe his Don had him killed. If some Arab guy blew up a school in Israel and then his mobile phone inexplicably exploded, you'd put "Mossad" under "likely cause of death" with a fairly high degree of confidence. But for some reason people get all giggly and non-serious around the idea of Russia killing folk. I blame all those spy films. They've made us think that spies and assassins don't actually exist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
28

I'm not skeptical that Russia is having people killed. I'm just saying I don't know if the reasons they are being killed is something to do with Trump giving U.S. intelligence to Russia.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 9:45 AM
horizontal rule
29

||

Semi-On-Topic: I'd like to think that the reason my immediate reaction to this was that it was a brilliant scenario for a YA adventure series was that I was so appalled that my brain took evasive action.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 9:46 AM
horizontal rule
30

Eyecatching headline, well up to Graun standard, but for "intelligence agencies" read "the police", and the ominous "agencies" which they refer to are "police forces".

"Spy", I think, is what Trump calls people who talk to the police.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 9:56 AM
horizontal rule
31

27 was not directed at Moby. Yes, agreed, there are other reasons for powerful people to die mysteriously in Russia.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
32

Just remembered the apartment block bombings, and on lookup had forgotten that was Putin's entrée to the presidency.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
33

It's always puzzling that people are so sceptical about the idea of Russia having people killed.

The super-weird thing is that this can be true even when the lethal instrument is something like polonium or a specifically Russian nerve agent. The entire point of killing someone this way is to let people know who did it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
34

And because I bet even in Russia there's like a million forms before you can dispose of your spare polonium any other way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 10:11 AM
horizontal rule
35

Does it track with any of the many recent mysterious high-profile deaths in Russia, or were those all outsiders to the regime?

It also tracks with the arrest for passing info to the CIA of two cybersecurity officials in the FSB, as referenced in Ajay's first link.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
36

The Alex Rider books are already the YA James-Bond like series.


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 1:43 PM
horizontal rule
37

Even if Trump were honorable, any one-on-one talks between him and any other head of government is worrisome. He would never know what he's agreeing to, and he couldn't report it anywhere near accurately to anybody.


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 1:46 PM
horizontal rule
38

He said to give your car to me.


Posted by: Opinionated Putin | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 1:46 PM
horizontal rule
39

Will Mossy ever be a FPP?


Posted by: Lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 3:09 PM
horizontal rule
40

Will Mossy ever be a FPP?

Only if he promises that some of his posts will simply be a paragraph from a book that he's reading with no citation or explanation.

Saying that I realize that one could argue for a spiritual continuity between some of nosflow's posts and that approach.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 4:06 PM
horizontal rule
41

He would never know what he's agreeing to, and he couldn't report it anywhere near accurately to anybody.

One can take solace that he never does what he agrees to do anyway.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
42

This isn't a so what. But this issue of reporting to multiple commanders isn't new and has been worked out before. Consider the Navy physician who works for the Marine battalion commander but is also responsible to the regimental and division surgeons (Navy), plus having to abide by Navy Nureau of Medicine orders. Or, the ship captain who is tasked by Navy and needs to meet Navy training rules etc. but reports to a Combatant Command that is headed by an Army officer. Even consolidating all the services won't eliminate the potentially conflicting responsibilities to operational and administrative commands. It can be a royal pain in the ass (Army's new fitness test, an admin thing, is going to get in the way of other admin and ops tasks) but it goes with the territory.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 6:57 PM
horizontal rule
43

Why did the army start a new fitness test? Were soldiers getting flabby or was CHAMPUS getting too expensive?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 7:31 PM
horizontal rule
44

Will Mossy ever be a FPP?

Isn't it canonical that he has to have sex with every FPP first? This is nigh impossible these days since I don't think anyone has seen Unf for years.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 10:18 PM
horizontal rule
45

And because I bet even in Russia there's like a million forms before you can dispose of your spare polonium any other way.

Just hide it behind a curtain and someone else will take care of it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-19-18 10:44 PM
horizontal rule
46

43. Army changed the test to make its exercises more like real situations. Not a bad idea. But it's going to require equipment that the other never needed. That's going to be expensive. Plus, the Reserve and Guard are already, rightly, complaining that this eqipment bottleneck will have a negative affect on readiness. Instead of having almost everyone do the test some Saturday morning (they train on weekends mostly), they'll have to be done piecemeal. This limits other training as a unit. Plus, if the gear is held by battalion it wil need to get trpanportrd to the various Guard armories that are home to the battalions's companies and platoons (they often don't come together as a large unit until summer exercices). Even the regular army is going to have challenges integrating it into all the other training and testing.

https://mwi.usma.edu/good-bad-armys-new-physical-fitness-test/


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 12:33 AM
horizontal rule
47

46: Army reserve has done exactly the same over here. Used to be a run, a loaded march, situps and pressups, which could be done with zero equipment. Now they're talking about climbing through windows and casualty drags and pull ups and powerbag lifts and six or seven other tests.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 1:38 AM
horizontal rule
48

42: yes, the article does point out that it's basically what you should expect for pretty much any combat support or service support unit.
If you're a mechanic who repairs tanks, you'll be OPCOM to the commander of the armoured brigade, because he's the one who gets to say where the brigade goes, and you're part of the brigade.
But you'll be ADCOM to the head of the army mechanical engineers, because he gets to decide things like "what kinds of regular training should the army's mechanics receive" and "what's the best way to fix this sort of tank". The brigade commander isn't a mechanic, he won't know the answers to those questions, and in any case it's best that all the army's mechanics train the same way.
Being OPCOM and ADCOM to the same HQ is the exception not the rule.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 1:44 AM
horizontal rule
49

@9

On that level, the difficulties they are having are no bad thing, hobbling as they do the attempt to create yet another NSA-a-like.

Though at some point a bad NSA-a-like is likely to be worse than no NSA-a-like.


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 3:06 AM
horizontal rule
50

@9

On that level, the difficulties they are having are no bad thing, hobbling as they do the attempt to create yet another NSA-a-like.

Though at some point a bad NSA-a-like is likely to be worse than no NSA-a-like.


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 3:06 AM
horizontal rule
51

Maybe we should start to do nation-wide morning calisthenics, like Mr. Trump's friends in North Korea.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 4:58 AM
horizontal rule
52

Says the guy who just put cheese on his eggs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 4:58 AM
horizontal rule
53

42, 48: OP link talks about this:

Cyber Command's ADCON/OPCON split is a vestigial structure that should be eliminated altogether.
[...]
The ADCON/OPCON split is a cultural feature that the service-specific cyber branches inherited from their ancestors. For example, the Army's Cyber Branch grew primarily out of Signal and Military Intelligence. In those branches, the ADCON/OPCON split makes sense: An ADCON commander donates her people to OPCON maneuver commanders (for example, to work in an infantry battalion's intelligence or communications shop).
I took this to imply the author is concerned with those hackers who aren't being loaned out, but are in specialized all-cyber units. A more serious thing he says it that the senior ADCON leadership almost entirely lack relevant technical experience - like Ajay's brigade commander, who doesn't know how to train mechanics - whereas in the Navy doctor case the divisional surgeons & C presumably are themselves Navy physicians.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 6:21 AM
horizontal rule
54

A more serious thing he says it that the senior ADCON leadership almost entirely lack relevant technical experience

Yes, exactly. It's OK for your OPCON not to know every detail of how you do your job. Your ADCON, on the other hand, really should because he's managing your career.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 6:49 AM
horizontal rule
55

Ajay provides a valuable perspective. Reading the article I thought "Yeah that sucks that the ADCON determines your promotion and yet doesn't know what your job is. Must be extra bad for technical people. Military bureaucracy is indeed FUBAR."

But according to Ajay, in most fields the ADCON does know what your job is. So this problem that affects technical people could actually be fixed.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 6:57 AM
horizontal rule
56

Counterpoint: I've always had a better life when nobody understands what I'm doing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 7:00 AM
horizontal rule
57

Also, shouldn't all those sentences read OPCOM/ADCOM by XYZ?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 7:07 AM
horizontal rule
58

I suppose, if you wanted to be grammatical. But the way people say it is "OPCOM to". I guess it's shorthand for "your OPCOM line of responsibility runs to" or something.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 7:16 AM
horizontal rule
59

The military medicine model solution is interesting. My cousin, now about age 41?, went to fully-paid medical school after West Point and decided to stay in. He served tours in combat areas and was a doc for Special Forces, but also gave doc-in-the-box-type care to civilians in Afghanistan and other places. I sense he's had much more flexibility in his career than the typical lt. colonel, without (on the other side) the financial rewards and potential independence of a doc in private practice.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
60

||

I'm drunk as all hell and just discovered that someone I had thought given a number of signals might be a potential romantic partner is in all likelihood a lesbian.


|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 3:27 PM
horizontal rule
61

69: ugh, bummer.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 3:34 PM
horizontal rule
62

A Bayesian would keep trying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 3:34 PM
horizontal rule
63

I mean, not if given a clear rejection or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-20-18 3:59 PM
horizontal rule
64

The intersection of people who can run a 15-minute two mile and dissect a Windows kernel memory dump is vanishingly small.

I think that "vanishingly small" might be exaggerating the difficulty of these two tasks. A 15-minute two-miler is roughly equivalent to a 24-minute 5k, and about 25% of the runners at my local parkrun do better than that every week. As for dissecting a Windows kernel memory dump, you load the dump into windbg and start reading the documentation. It requires persistence and patience rather than native genius.


Posted by: Gareth Rees | Link to this comment | 07-21-18 6:07 AM
horizontal rule
65

I could definitely run a 15-minute two-miler. They don't count the time that you're rest-walking, right?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-21-18 7:32 AM
horizontal rule
66

I suppose I could have when I was 20, if I had been exercising then. I know that when I was 40 and trying to get below an 8-minute mile, I failed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-18 7:46 AM
horizontal rule
67

a doc for Special Forces

My image of "Special Forces doctor" has been permanently stamped by the Fatal Vision guy.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-21-18 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
68

67: the Fatal Vision guy

Yes - we gave my cousin grief about him


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 07-21-18 10:24 AM
horizontal rule
69

||
Somebody ought to write a fic about what happens when the Ekumen discover Earthsea. And Ged has to walk around being ashamed of being so heteronormative and patriarchal and what not.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-21-18 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
70

69: I wrote it a decad ago. But my ansible is malfunctioning. "Avert," I said, as I emerged from the Immanent Grove.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 07-21-18 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
71

Honestly, I find it's a bad idea to taunt people about how they aren't cool enough to murder their family.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-21-18 12:58 PM
horizontal rule
72

69: I think UKL wrote that herself? Minus the Ecumene.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-21-18 4:03 PM
horizontal rule
73

||

Sending the airforce out to bomb the ice dams on the Lena River--extreme and exceptional as it may seem--is not and will not be an unusual occurrence.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 07-22-18 5:04 AM
horizontal rule
74

||

London or London adjacent people, there are plans to meet up with AWB (who is in London) on Wednesday evening. Probably somewhere in or around Bloomsbury.

Maybe a front page poster can stick something up?

>


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-22-18 11:25 AM
horizontal rule
75

========•
Charley Carp,

You want to read August's Harper's. Montana wildfires, whiny right-wing home owners, ...

The crossword puzzle is some sort of romantic tale.
====


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 07-22-18 1:47 PM
horizontal rule
76

Thanks for the tip. Well done, I'd say.

https://harpers.org/archive/2018/08/lolo-peak-rice-ridge-mega-fires/

No one would confuse Lolo Peak with Mt. Fuji, though.

And, until the very end, he doesn't really say much about smoke, and even then he's not capturing the long colds etc folks in Seeley suffered all winter. We did too, but maybe a bit less extreme. Smoke isn't just something for silly city slickers to be afraid of, or an inconvenience. It's a real health issue, and one that's not restricted to the WUI.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-22-18 3:57 PM
horizontal rule