exclusive – government reveals strategy to camouflage national debt

1 04 2010

As seen in this morning’s FT. I’m a tad disappointed no-one from the media approached me for a subject matter expert comment on this. For instance, they forgot to mention mimetic resemblance, wherein a potentially dangerous thing (e.g. Quantitative Easing) pretends to be something harmless (i.e. charitable giving from a conjurer’s hat of magic money), like when the Canadian Freshwater Shark mimics a floating log in order to catch its favourite prey – lumberjacks. It’s a fishy business, government spin. Anyhow, my scanner isn’t working, so I took a photo of the article for posterity, and copied the content below (my italics added):

A secret Treasury memo leaked this morning reveals how the government intends to mask the enormity of our country’s crippling financial deficit, using classic subterfuge techniques commonly used by the military to disguise men and equipment.

The communiqué, issued from Chancellor Kevin Darling’s office, was addressed to Merkin King, governor of the Royal Bank of England.

It outlines steps – to be taken by spokespeople when issuing statements to the press about piscal policy – that are intended to obscure the size of the national debt, including:

• Dividing the deficit into sub-units, such as external and internal liability and short term and long term indebtedness, thus making the overall amount harder to perceive: this is similar to disruptive camouflage used by many animals to break up the contours and symmetry of their bodies or by soldiers to obscure the shapes of men, vehicles and aircraft.

Blending the debt against a background context of world insolvency, similar to camouflage colours and patterns employed by soldiers’ combat uniforms to match the environment.

• Diverting scrutiny away from the issue by focussing attention on the United States’ even more embarrassing monetary problems, known as misdirection by camouflage experts.

• Mentioning the amount of borrowing quickly and indistinctly whilst simultaneously coughing into a hand and waving at an imaginary friend across the road: another form of misdirection.

Pass this article on to all those you know – it’s time we call the politicians’ bluff and show them that they can’t pull the wool over our eyes!





current camo compendium

7 02 2010

In the spirit of the recent trend toward an increase in the thought and development of  uniforms for troops, including the design of features as well as camo patterns,  Strike-Hold! has posted loads of great pictures in an article about 21st Century camo uniforms.

"finnish-winter-camo"

"Call that a knife? THIS is a knife!"





help get these tactical chucks made!

31 01 2010
"Tactical Chucks"

Pic courtesy of ITS

Bryan, over at the ITS blog, is making an appeal to all readers with an interest in seeing Converse’s iconic Chuck Taylor All-Star high-top basketball shoes become available in a tacti-cool olive colour. What would make him want to do that? Click on over to his gig and find out!





photo’s of ucp-delta in action

23 12 2009
UCP-D-afghanistan

UCP-Delta pattern in Kandahar province, Afghanistan

Defense Tech has the first exclu­sive look at the Universal Camouflage Pattern — Delta being worn by US Army personnel in the field in Afghanistan.

Also check by at Soldier Systems for additional pictures, including the MultiCam competitor in the field trials.

MultiCam_Afghanistan

MultiCam in Kunar province, Afghanistan





dreamin’ of a white christmas?

23 12 2009
Finnish snow camo

Finnish M-05 snow camo on Strike-Hold!

Over at Strike-Hold!, Lawrence has been as busy as Santa’s elves collating a wish-list of  currently available (although how available might depend on who you are!) snow camouflage. Have you written your letter to QM Claus yet? If not, check it out!





camo comparison

4 09 2009

Over on Strike-Hold!, Lawrence has put together a bunch of photo’s showing how Bulldog’s Mirage camouflage compares to MultiCam and the US Army’s Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP). The States are re-evaluating their ground-troops’ camo uniform in the light of a less-than-satisfactory performance from their  grey* toned UCP in Afghanistan. It’s expected that Crye’s MultiCam will participate in the contest, and maybe some other recently developed patterns will be in the running too. Lawrence’s photo shoot gives some idea of how these likely contenders appear side-by-side in the same light and environmental conditions.

Mirage, MultiCam, UCP side by side

Mirage, MultiCam, UCP side by side

*UCP’s colours are officially Desert Sand, Urban Gray and Foliage Green. To all intents and purposes that’s cream, light steel grey and medium slate grey.





crazy clouds

4 09 2009

Those wacky bureaucrats at the Chinese Ministry of Defence! I don’t know,  not satisfied with hollowing out islands in the South China Sea to build secret Thunderbird naval bases, or reverse engineering several different jet plane technologies to make one cut-and-shut that doesn’t quite work, they’ve decided to stretch the remit of the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army) to encompass entertainment for bored dignitaries. The PLA have been training hard to perfect a number of choreographed song and dance routines, executed in colourful costumes. Here they are singing their version of The Weathermen’s It’s Raining Men, in a subtle little clouds-and-sky patterned camouflage. Sweet.

Chinese PLA soldiers wearing cloud-patterned camouflage

Chinese PLA soldiers wearing cloud-patterned camouflage

So, what would you do with two and a quarter million troops, a growing defence budget and no enemies? Party, of course!

Thanks to T. Zeng and ICUS for the tip.





school for snipers

13 08 2009

Two recent posts on the Strike-Hold! website resonate with me. The first concerns the International Special Training Centre (ISTC) Sniper Course at Grafenwoehr, Germany. The article itself is a worthwhile read, but most striking is this picture:

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Eric Ludan, an instructor for the International Special Training Centre's (ISTC) Sniper Course provides feedback to two Special Forces Soldiers following a live-fire exercise July 24 at the Grafenwoehr Training Area. The Sniper Course is an intense five-week course that teaches NATO Special Operations Forces (SOF) in basic sniper fundamentals. The students spent the night stalking and observing their targets during the evaluated exercise. The facilities at the Joint Multinational Training Command allow the SOF throughout NATO to train to standard. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Gina Vaile-Nelson, 133rd MPAD)

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Eric Ludan, an instructor for the International Special Training Centre's (ISTC) Sniper Course provides feedback to two Special Forces Soldiers following a live-fire exercise July 24 at the Grafenwoehr Training Area. The Sniper Course is an intense five-week course that teaches NATO Special Operations Forces (SOF) in basic sniper fundamentals. The students spent the night stalking and observing their targets during the evaluated exercise. The facilities at the Joint Multinational Training Command allow the SOF throughout NATO to train to standard. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Gina Vaile-Nelson, 133rd MPAD)

If ever a more succinct illustration were needed of the benefits of selecting your personal concealment with the terrain of your operational area in mind, surely this is it. See how the US Army’s ‘Universal’ Camouflage Pattern (UCP) stands out like a glowing grey ghost against the lightly wooded background, and even the khaki-looking Multicam worn by the spotter in the middle of the picture appears out of place. In a real operation, the spotter would no doubt have customised his garb with dirt, scrim and fresh foliage to render it less visible, or even worn a ghillie like the German sniper in the foreground, but I have reservations about the utility of such techniques when used to attempt to compensate for UCP’s ineffectiveness. A pig wearing lipstick is still a pig.

The other Strike-Hold! story that I found particularly interesting tells of how some British soldiers in Afghanistan’s Helmand province are dyeing their desert camouflaged under-armour combat shirts (UBACS) a curious greeny-blue. You can read it here. UK readers may have seen about this in the Daily Mail or the Sun (where a disengenuous, hysterical spin was put on the issue to make more of the story than meets the eye), but the original source of the pictures, and a hint as to the  explanation why, is found in Michael Yon’s excellent blog, penned from the frontline in Afghanistan.

Into the Green Zone

Into the Green Zone

I can’t help wondering how something like this might work, out in the green zone…

PenCott multi-environment camouflage pattern

PenCott multi-environment camouflage pattern

PenCott multi-environment camouflage pattern

PenCott multi-environment camouflage pattern

Sniper wearing PenCott multi environment camouflage pattern in open farmland

Sniper wearing PenCott multi environment camouflage pattern in open farmland




fangblenny fish found to fox foes

7 04 2009

A MASTER of disguise has been uncovered living in Australian waters.

Photo: Dr Karen Cheney

Photo: Dr Karen Cheney



The blue-striped fangblenny is the first fish found to be able to change its colour at will to mimic a variety of other fish.

Its repertoire of colour changes includes olive, orange, and black and electric blue, and it appears to use colour vision to achieve its incognito exploits, new research shows.

University of Queensland biologist, Karen Cheney, said that her examination of the little fish’s eyes showed they should be able to detect different hues. They also have a habit of curling their tail around to touch their head, so they can see their body. “It is possible that fangblennies can view some of their own colouration,” Dr Cheney said.

The only other creature known to be able to imitate other species is the mimic octopus, which alters its colour and shape to resemble lionfish, flatfish and sea snakes.

Dr Cheney and her colleagues had studied the habits of fangblennies on coral reefs in Australia and Indonesia. Their results are published in the journal Proceedings Of The Royal Society.

For food, fangblennies dart out and attack larger reef fish, nipping off tiny pieces of their fins, scales or mucus.

In olive mode they tend to hang out in shoals of similarly coloured damselfish, and in orange mode they mingle with yellow anthias.

“Their repertoire of disguises appears to prevent, or reduce detection by potential victims,” Dr Cheney said. “They may also escape from predators by hiding in a large shoal.”

Their most striking talent is to impersonate black-and-blue juvenile cleaner wrasse – fish that provide a cleaning service for other reef fish by picking parasites off their backs.

The researchers were surprised the fangblennies did not attack reef fish that came to have their parasites removed.

Dr Cheney said this probably helped maintain good relations with cleaner wrasse.

“Otherwise the cleaner fish could get aggressive and chase them away.”

She has found that when the fangblennies are removed from a shoal they can revert to what appears to be their default colour, brown, within a few minutes. Brown ones tended to hide away in holes in the reef, Dr Cheney said.

From an article by Deborah Smith, Science Editor, Sydney Morning Herald

March 3, 2009





the art of camouflage

3 04 2009
Boa Constrictor

Boa Constrictor

Here’s a great BBC slideshow for fans of animal camo, with a voice-over provided by Professor Innes Cuthill from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol.

bbc-frog

“Appearance, it seems, is key to survival in the animal kingdom – with some species able to blend in perfectly with their surroundings, while others behave quite the contrary.”

Images may be subject to BBC copyright.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.