Life imitates FP cover art

We thought the cover image of our March/April "War Issue" -- an iPhone loaded with apps like "instaCOIN"and "DroneWar" --  was a joke, but it turns out not to be that far-fetched. Danger Room's Nathan Hodge reports:

In a discussion yesterday with reporters, Maj. Gen. Keith Walker, director of the Army’s Future Force Integration Directorate at Fort Bliss, Texas, said that around 200 soldiers would receive an “iPhone-like device” with digital apps installed.

Walker said the devices would have “various apps for system maintenance, instruction manuals — that we can all remotely upgrade. Also, we’re working to allow soldiers to have a distributed way of getting feedback to us on the equipment, where they can do Wikipedia-style upgrades to tactics, techniques and procedures, and comments on performance of hardware and software.”

Further down the road, Walker said he could envision tactical applications, like an app with GPS capability that could pinpoint the user’s location, or a digital tool that would allow troops to analyze terrain.

We had a good time coming up with the apps for our phone, so Walker is welcome to get in touch if the army needs ideas. 


Little U.S. support for ending Cuba embargo

It seems that Americans are in no particular hurry for a change in Cuba policy: 

Forty percent of Americans say the Cuba embargo should remain in place while 36 percent want it ended, and nearly half say they wouldn't visit the island even if allowed, according to a BBC/Harris Poll released Tuesday.

Nearly three in 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama's gestures toward Cuba have not been enough, 35 percent believe they went far enough and 10 percent say they went too far, the poll showed.

The good news for embargo opponents is that younger Americans are less supportive of the policy than older voters. Most Americans -- 63 percent -- see Cuba as "unfriendly" but not an enemy. I have to imagine that most of these voters wouldn't be in favor of slapping new sanctions on other merely "unfriendly" nations, but the poll is a reminder that once policies have been in place.