From China, With Sprinkles

Gee, you’d think there’s be some type of common sense rule about not buying critical electronic components for your military hardware from your enemy, but I guess not.

Fake electronics becoming military danger

“Sprinkling” sounds like a fairly harmless practice, but in the hands of sophisticated counterfeiters it could deceive a major weapons manufacturer and possibly endanger the lives of U.S. troops.

It is a process of mixing authentic electronic parts with fake ones in hopes that the counterfeits will not be detected when companies test the components for multimillion-dollar missile systems, helicopters and aircraft. It was just one of the brazen steps described Tuesday at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing examining the national security and economic implications of suspect counterfeit electronics — mostly from China — inundating the Defense Department’s supply chain.

See also:
U.S. defense equipment has been outfitted with counterfeit parts from China
Senate Homes in on China’s Role in Counterfeit Parts Entering DOD’s Supply Chain
Senators to Take on Counterfeit Electronic Parts in DOD
US Senators Demand China Crack Down on Suppliers of Fake Military Parts
Officials: Fake weapons parts ‘ticking time bomb’
Officials: Fake weapons parts ‘ticking time bomb’
Opening Statement at SASC Hearing on Counterfeit Electronic Parts in DOD Supply Chain
Fake Chinese weapons costs US millions
Lawmakers says counterfeits flood Pentagon supply
Chinese counterfeit parts found in U.S. weapons
Officials: Fake weapon parts hit Pentagon supplies
Lawmakers describe counterfeit electronic parts flooding into military’s supply chain
Probe traces bogus military parts to China
Report: US military supply chain riddled with shanzhai parts from China
China rejects U.S. charges of bogus weapons parts

It’s bad enough that China steals our intellectual property at will and that we owe them over a trillion dollars, but now they’re deliberately sabotaging our military equipment with fake electronics that, upon failure, could cost the lives of our military service members?

/it’s not a hot war, but it’s not a cold war either and we seem to be losing

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Feeding The Hand That Bites Us

I think you can safely say that the war’s not going well when you have to pay the enemy to protect your supply lines. That’s just seriously [expletive deleted] up.

U.S. indirectly paying Afghan warlords as part of security contract

The U.S. military is funding a massive protection racket in Afghanistan, indirectly paying tens of millions of dollars to warlords, corrupt public officials and the Taliban to ensure safe passage of its supply convoys throughout the country, according to congressional investigators.

The security arrangements, part of a $2.16 billion transport contract, violate laws on the use of private contractors, as well as Defense Department regulations, and “dramatically undermine” larger U.S. objectives of curtailing corruption and strengthening effective governance in Afghanistan, a report released late Monday said.

The report describes a Defense Department that is well aware that some of the money paid to contractors winds up in the hands of warlords and insurgents. Military logisticians on the ground are focused on getting supplies where they are needed and have “virtually no understanding of how security is actually provided” for the local truck convoys that transport more than 70 percent of all goods and materials used by U.S. troops. Alarms raised by prime trucking contractors were met by the military “with indifference and inaction,” the report said.

“The findings of this report range from sobering to shocking,” Rep. John F. Tierney (D-Mass.) wrote in an introduction to the 79-page report, titled “Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan.”

The transport contract “has fueled warlordism, extortion, corruption, and maybe even funded the enemy,” Tierney said Tuesday in a House subcommittee hearing on the issue. “U.S. taxpayer dollars are feeding a protection racket in Afghanistan that would make Tony Soprano proud.”

See also:
Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan
Afghanistan haulage contract helping to fund Taliban, says US report
‘US money in Afghanistan lands up in the hands of Taliban’
US military faulted over truck security in Afghanistan
U.S. funds protection racket in Afghanistan, report says
U.S. Military Supply Chain Relies on Afghan Warlord Payoffs, Report Says
US Funds Used to Pay Afghan Warlords
US security contract ‘fuels Afghan warlords’
U.S. Said to Fund Afghan Warlords to Protect Convoys
‘Shocking’ Report: U.S. Funding Afghan Warlords
US money going to warlords in Afghanistan: Report
Lawmakers: Pentagon ignored payments to warlords

/pay your enemy for protection, hell of a way to run a military supply chain in the middle of a war

The Chinese Are Dying To Make Your IPad

Welcome to China, where life is cheap and they literally work their labor to death to produce goods for Western consumption.

No respite for troubled Foxconn after fresh suicide bid

THE TRAGIC saga of young people taking their own lives at the Foxconn electronics factory goes on, after a 25-year-old employee surnamed Chen tried to kill himself by slashing his wrists.

The Hunan native, who had been working at Foxconn since March, received medical attention in time to save his life.

Mr Chen’s attempted suicide came after a 23-year-old migrant worker from the far western province of Gansu died after jumping from the seventh-floor balcony of his dormitory, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

The tragic events are making people thinking about the real cost of their iPads, laptops and mobile phones.

There have been 10 deaths out of 13 suicide attempts at the plant, which employs over 300,000 people, since January, and Foxconn’s main clients, fearful of the fallout from the suicide crisis, are asking why this is happening.

Both Dell and Hewlett-Packard have said they were looking into conditions at Foxconn, one day after Apple said it was upset by the deaths and was also investigating the situation.

Apple said it is “deeply committed to ensuring that conditions throughout our supply chain are safe and workers are treated with respect and dignity.” The suicide crisis worsened just hours after chief executive Terry Guo personally showed journalists around the plant in a bid to repair the company’s image, which has been badly hit by the wave of suicides.

See also:
13th Foxconn worker reportedly attempts suicide
Still more Foxconn jumpers, including a double suicide?
The Foxconn Suicides
Tenth apparent suicide at Foxconn iPhone factory in China
Two more suicide bids at Apple factory
Foxconn suicide sparks China probe
IPhones and suicides
Foxconn woes have U.S. ripple effects
Another Suicide Hits Foxconn
Foxconn sees 12th Jumper and 10th suicide
The Underside of Apple’s Chinese Manufacturing
Foxconn Technology Group
Foxconn

As much as we enjoy our cheap consumer electronics, it seems that the Chinese laborers inversely don’t enjoy assembling them. Are the cost savings worth the lives lost and the human misery inflicted?

/tolerable Chinese labor conditions, is there an app for that?