US Powerless Against Hypersonic Missile Attack From China And Russia, New Report Warns

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A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warned that the current ballistic missile defense system in the US is powerless against hypersonic missiles from China and Russia.

The missile’s speed, altitude, and maneuverability could defeat all networked sensors (including space-based) and ground- and sea-based radars; ground- and sea-based interceptor missiles; and render the Pentagon’s command, control, battle management ineffective in a hypersonic missile attack. Continue reading

Pentagon’s top tester: Littoral ships ‘have a near-zero chance of completing a 30-day mission’

The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program is behind schedule, hundreds of millions over budget, and incapable of conducting most of the basic missions it was intended to carry out. Senators on Thursday said they wanted to know why.

“Like so many major programs that preceded it, LCS’s failure followed predictably from an inability to define and stabilize requirements, unrealistic initial cost estimates, and unreliable assessments of technical and integration risk, made worse by repeatedly buying ships and mission packages before proving they are effective and can be operated together,” said Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., told Pentagon witnesses during a hearing.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was more blunt. “The process is completely broken. If you want this to stop, somebody needs to get fired.” Continue reading

America’s nuclear defences rely on floppy discs and 1970s computers, according to audit

Nothing new per se in this article other than the announcement of upgrades, finally. However, it’s likely too little, too late. Alarm bells went off over this issue years ago as detailed in previous posts:

America’s Nuclear Arsenal Is Still Controlled By Antique Computers With Floppy Disks

Russia’s nuclear weapon arsenal surpasses US

 

America’s nuclear force still uses floppy disks designed in the 1970s to coordinate some of its functions, according to a watchdog report released on Wednesday.

The report by the Government Accountability Office points to a number of worryingly outdated “legacy systems” still in use across the US government that are in desperate need of upgrading.

A Pentagon command and control system – responsible for US nuclear forces, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers, and tanker support aircraft – runs on an IBM Series/1 computer and uses 8-inch floppy disks, the report says.

Continue reading

Navy Faces Deployment Crisis as Aging Ships Get Sidelined

When the next war begins, America might not be ready or have to sit on the sidelines and watch on as allies are attacked — if not America itself.

 

Experts warn of U.S. inability to respond in Persian Gulf, Asian Pacific

The U.S. Navy is suffering from an inability to deploy ships to key international conflict zones due to rising maintenance issues on an aging fleet, that is increasingly being sidelined for lengthy repairs, according to military experts and a new government investigation.

Heavy demand on the Navy’s fleet during the past decade has compromised the operational conditions of many ships, forcing military leaders to sideline these vessels for lengthy repairs that experts say will severely limit the Navy’s ability to respond to emerging threats in the Persian Gulf and Asia-Pacific regions. Continue reading

US auditor points out software problems with F-35

The U.S. government auditor has urged the Defense Department to fix software problems associated with the F-35 fighter jet, saying the problems could result in taking the entire F-35 fleet offline.

The Government Accountability Office said in a April 14 report that the Pentagon is aware of risks that could affect the F-25’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), but does not have a plan to remedy the problems in a “holistic” manner. Continue reading

Auditor: Government Will Owe More Money Than Entire Economy Produces

Report finds issues with reliability of government’s financial statements, improper payments

An auditor for the Government Accountability Office told lawmakers  Wednesday that in the next few years the federal government will owe more than our entire economy produces.

Gene Dodaro, the comptroller general for the Government Accountability Office, testified at the Senate Budget Committee to provide the results of its audit on the government’s financial books. Continue reading

The Pentagon Still Hasn’t Decided Who’s In Charge If America Comes Under Cyberattack

Is it NORTHCOM or CYBERCOM? CYBERCOM or the NSA—or both? So many agencies; so little clarity.

One of the Pentagon’s key missions is to lend a hand—or a drone—during natural disasters or other domestic emergencies. But it is unclear, in the event of of a massive data breach, which element of the Defense Department is in charge of military support, according to Congress’ watchdog agency.

In other words: When there is an Ebola virus epidemic, for example, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs steps in to help the civilian government. But it’s not clear what military official should organize forces when there is, for instance, a hospital computer virus unleashed by Iran. Continue reading

Report: DHS Incapable of Accurately Reporting Visa Overstays

Twelve years after mandate, DHS has not deployed tracking system

The Department of Homeland Security remains unable to accurately report the number of aliens who illegally overstay their visas into the country more than 12 years after the agency was ordered to employ a tracking system to monitor these individuals, according to a new government oversight report that is highly critical of the department’s efforts. Continue reading

Ex-GAO head: US debt is three times more than you think

The former U.S. comptroller general says the real U.S. debt is closer to about $65 trillion than the oft-cited figure of $18 trillion.

Dave Walker, who headed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said when you add up all of the nation’s unfunded liabilities, the national debt is more than three times the number generally advertised. Continue reading

An SOS for GPS: Act Now, Or the Entire System Risks Collapse

I’d like to begin this new column with the dire warning that the sky is falling, and not just because this is my first official regular column I’m writing for Nextgov. Yes, I no longer have “guest” as part of my title and will now be able to bring you what is hopefully informative and entertaining columns on a regular basis right here at the world’s best government-focused technology magazine.

For those of you who don’t know me all that well yet, my background is deep in technology, especially the really geeky stuff that can sometimes make your (and my) head spin. I’ve been fortunate enough to work for some impressive publications in a review capacity over the past twenty years, and gotten my hands on a lot of interesting products and services aimed at both the federal government and the private sector. Continue reading

US Nuclear Bombers Lack Satellite Terminals for Atomic Emergencies

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US satellite terminals to ensure communications with nuclear bombers do not yet exist and have been delayed indefinitely, a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said.

“[The] development of key satellite communication terminals for strategic bomber aircraft has been deferred by several years,” the report said. “Further details remain classified.”

The terminals were planned to be part of a massive nuclear command, communications and control (NC3) system, the GAO explained.

Continue reading

US Failing to Protect 9,000 Federal Facilities From Cyber Threats: Report

WASHINGTON, January 13 (Sputnik) — The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lacks a strategy and has done nothing to address cybersecurity risks to building and access control systems at nearly 9,000 federal facilities, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has said in a report.

“No one within DHS is assessing or addressing cyber risk to building and access control systems particularly at the nearly 9,000 federal facilities, protected by the Federal Protective Service (FPS),” the GAO report, released Monday, found. Continue reading

Experts warn: ISIS threat from ‘immigration reform’

‘There are increasing members of Hezbollah present in Latin America’

President Obama has sought to grant amnesty to aliens through “immigration reform” since he took office, and now he’s apparently ready to get around to that work.

At least, that’s according to Vice President Joe Biden, who told CBS News in a report this week that Obama is “absolutely committed to moving forward.”

Speaking at a Hispanic Heritage Month reception recently, Biden explained Obama’s moves would be political. Continue reading

Deficiencies In Missile Defense System Put US Homeland At Risk, Audit Says

Concerns about failures to properly improve the accuracy and effectiveness of the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) ground-based missile interceptors have been raised in a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit report at a time when nations across the globe — including China, Russia and North Korea — are developing ballistic missile capabilities.

The GAO audit details three separate flight tests of the GMD’s Capability Enhancement I (CE-I) interceptor and the upgraded version called the Capability Enhancement II (CE-II) in which both interceptor designs had issues with their guidance systems.

The CE-I and CE-II are ground-based exoatmospheric kill vehicles are engineered to intercept incoming ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Continue reading

U.S. Nuke Sites Dismantled Security to Save Money, Report Warns

Problems persist two years after major security breach

The organization responsible for securing America’s highly sensitive nuclear sites has been suffering from a “chaotic” and “dysfunctional” security policy that has endangered the country’s nuclear sites and left them vulnerable to attack, according to a new report by the government’s watchdog group.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which is tasked with managing the nation’s nuclear stockpile and securing classified research sites, has “increased risks and reduced security” over the past several years in a bid to reduce overhead costs, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Continue reading