DOD’s new analysis of excess capacity failed to persuade one of its key targets, House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), that it badly needs a new round of base closures.Thornberry dismissed the study’s results — that the department’s excess capacity would be 22 percent under force levels projected for 2019 — over their reliance on a force structure he said is inadequate to meet the global threats confronting the nation.“The capacity report the Pentagon belatedly delivered to Congress simply doesn’t tell us what we need to know. In envisioning a military far smaller than anyone thinks is wise, it fails to comply with the law as badly as it fails to justify a BRAC round,” Thornberry said in a written statement last Friday.On Thursday, Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, echoed Thornberry’s reaction to the study during his opening remarks to the markup of his panel’s portion of the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill.“This mark prohibits the department from implementing another round of Base Realignment and Closure in the absence of an accurate end strength assessment,” Wittman said.Following the short markup, the Readiness Subcommittee approved its mark and its language rejecting DOD’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2019.There is at least one voice on the committee who has vowed to push Congress to authorize additional base closures — Washington Rep. Adam Smith (D), the committee’s ranking member.Following the release of DOD’s capacity analysis, Smith praised the report and made the case that allowing the military to shed some of its excess infrastructure will help pay for other critical needs.“This report makes clear that DOD maintains a large amount of infrastructure that it does not need,” he said in a written statement. “Disposing of excess infrastructure through a transparent, deliberative, and independent process, such as another round of Base Realignment and Closure, can be done in a responsible manner that enhances military readiness and frees up funds that can be used to strengthen our military in other ways,” Smith said.“I have consistently supported a responsible BRAC process that would produce exactly these kinds of efficiencies. I will continue to work toward legislation that authorizes an additional BRAC round, which also addresses the concerns and skepticism that linger from the 2005 BRAC,” he said.DOD estimated that the Army has 33 percent excess capacity, the Air Force 32 percent and the Navy 7 percent. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
– plans to intensify sensitisation campaigns, communication activities in progressIn order to become eligible for millions of dollars in cash to mitigate the effects of climate change, Guyana is forging ahead with various consultations and sensitisation workshops both locally and internationally but much more work needs to be done to sensitise the populace.Although such efforts are to be lauded, like many initiatives there are difficulties to be encountered and at this point, one of the major challenges is the fact that stakeholders have limited knowledge about the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) fund worth US$650 million.This is according to Thomas Scheutzlich, a consultant for Global CAD, who was giving an overview of the work his firm has done so far at a Natural Resources Ministry press conference on Thursday.He explained that, sadly, stakeholders, as well as communities that are surrounding forested areas along with those that are intended to reap benefits from REDD+ incentives, are also lacking in knowledge of the initiative.From surveys conducted by Global CAD in conjunction with the Natural Resources Ministry in 2018, data revealed that only about 51 per cent of organisations from Region Four knew about REDD+.Meanwhile, in the outlying communities, in the hinterland areas, where villages depend on the forest for a living, the percentage in unfamiliarity of the topic was higher.Global CAD Consultant Thomas ScheutzlichScheutzlich said that 64 per cent had no idea of the initiative. However, plans are moving apace to correct this situation and in the upcoming months, more focus is going to be placed on communicating much more with stakeholders and indigenous communities.The German consultant stated that in the next few months, communication activities and sensitisation events will be ramped up throughout most, if not all, regions across the country.Come December 2019, a three-year programme to build Guyana’s capacity will end. This US$3.8 million project involves help from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.Meanwhile, there have been ongoing consultations in seven regions with more meetings scheduled.REDD in Guyana is intrinsically linked with the development and implementation of the Low Carbon Development Strategy and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Norway is currently the only source of finance through which the LCDS will be implemented although other financing sources may be harnessed as they become available.The MoU establishes a framework for REDD payments into the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) which funds projects under the LCDS.The LCDS initiative was aggressively pursued under the former Administration despite the criticisms that came from the then Opposition, the APNU/AFC coalition.
Following his points defeat to Chris Eubank Jr. last weekend, James DeGale (25-3-1, 15 KOs) has decided to hang up his gloves at 33, with his legacy including becoming the first British boxer to win both an Olympic Gold medal and a professional world title.DeGale won his first world championship when he defeated Andre Dirrell in May 2015, before going on to defend it three times, including a majority draw against Badou Jack. The super middleweight southpaw lost and then won back his title against Caleb Truax over his next two fights. Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThe former British, European and two-time world champion released a lengthy statement Thursday, announcing his retirement via Twitter. “Today marks 10 years since my professional debut fight on February 28, 2009 and today is the day I am announcing my retirement from boxing. It’s been an unbelievable journey and I’ve had an amazing decade – if I’m honest, the best years of my life – and having started boxing at the age of nine then being selected as part of the England Amateurs squad, I’ve collected many memories along the way. It is hard to admit that I’m not the fighter I once was, but I’m human and along the way, my injuries have taken a toll – both on mind and body and these things have contributed to impact my performance in the ring.”He added: “I lost the fight on Saturday at The O2, but I’m touched to have a good send off from the fans in my home city. The day after the fight, someone said to me that one fight does not determine a legacy. Looking back, if someone had told me at the start of my boxing career, when I was in the England squad, that I would become an Olympic Gold medallist, British and European champion and two-time world champion, I would never have believed them, but I did it and I’d like to think I did it the clean, honest and hard way with discipline and respect to the sport I love. I’m proud to say that I’ve made history as the first ever British Olympian boxer to turn professional and to win a world title and I am also proud to have been a road warrior – to travel wherever I needed to be to fight and to win. There’s nothing left to prove.”You can read DeGale’s full retirement statement here.
Cloud Computing : Dassault Systèmes proposera son propre projetQuelques semaines après s’être retiré du partenariat qui réunit l’Etat, Orange et Thalès autour du projet de cloud computing français Andromède, Dassault Systèmes annonce son intention de développer un système concurrent. Un projet que le groupe espère voir choisi pour devenir Andromède.Alors qu’il a quitté en décembre dernier l’alliance qui réunit depuis 2009 l’Etat français, Orange et Thalès, autour du projet Andromède, Dassault Systèmes travaille sur un autre projet de cloud-computing. Bernard Charlès, directeur général du groupe, l’a annoncé sur BFM Business. Il affirme que s’il a quitté le partenariat, il n’a pas abandonné le projet en lui-même. Andromède – dont le coût estimé à 285 millions d’euros devait être assuré par l’Etat à hauteur de185 millions tandis qu’Orange et Dassault devaient injecter 60 millions d’euros, et Thalès 30 millions d’euros – vise à créer un système français de stockage des données stratégiques des PME, des grands groupes et des administrations françaises. Il s’agit de développer un cloud computing capable de rivaliser avec les géants américains comme Cisco, IBM, Microsoft ou Google. “Fin décembre, nous avons constaté que la structure de coûts […] ne permettait pas d’avoir une solution compétitivecar ces coûts étaient trop élevés. Donc on s’est retiré de la structure mais pas du projet, que je porte depuis deux ans et demi. Il y a donc un autre projet en gestation, avec d’autres acteurs, qui sera Andromède je l’espère. Il s’agira à l’Etat de décider du projet qu’il souhaite mettre en oeuvre. Mais celui-ci sera compétitif” a expliqué Bernard Charlès. Il reviendra alors au gouvernement de faire un choix entre les différentes propositions qui lui seront faites. Contacté par l’AFP, le ministère de l’Industrie s’est dit prêt à étudier le projet du groupe. “Si Dassault Systèmes souhaite déposer un nouveau projet de cloud computing en vue d’un soutien des investissements d’avenir, alors on examinera son projet dès lors qu’il l’aura déposé” a-t-il affirmé.Le 31 janvier 2012 à 10:30 • Maxime Lambert