Monday, September 30, 2013

Mission Action 2013


Shashoujian!

Collectivist China cranks out another Military Ex - called - you guessed it - Mission Action 2013:

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force has dispatched fighters, bombers, scouts and aero-transport aircrafts for the exercise involving over 10,000 personnel.

The PLA has over 2.3 million personnel in its Army, Air Force and Navy, making it the world’s biggest defence force.

In the current exercise, the Air Force will collaborate with naval aviation forces, naval ships and land troops to conduct far-distance manoeuvres, joint air defence, air confrontation and joint aid in strange terrains and war environments.

‘Mission Action 2013’ is part of the annual military training plan approved by the Central Military Commission.

Ahead of the exercises, Chinese Defence Minister General Chang Wanquan called for a national defence mobilisation system that meets the needs of both emergency response and war preparation.

The current military exercise, involving over 40,000 troops, was aimed at testing the logistic ability of the army to move soldiers and machinery for long distances in war time conditions.

“The defence mobilisation system would serve civilians in peaceful times and respond to emergencies and possible wars.

The country should make concrete moves towards a defence mobilisation system so that it can be well prepared for possible conflicts in the future and new circumstances”
Pic - "Assassin's Mace"

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Remapped


Oh. it is so. At least in certain mindsets. When the vic vic vitorious Allies defeated the Central Powers - Ottmanic Empire got all resized via Sykes Picot

Many cats feel the dyvying up of the ancient Caliphate unfairly made Araby weak and unthreatening to the wicked women worshipping West or anyone else in weapons range.

Reckon it's time to for a remapping redo?

The centrifugal forces of rival beliefs, tribes and ethnicities — empowered by unintended consequences of the Arab Spring — are also pulling apart a region defined by European colonial powers a century ago and defended by Arab autocrats ever since.

A different map would be a strategic game changer for just about everybody, potentially reconfiguring alliances, security challenges, trade and energy flows for much of the world, too.

The Arab Spring was the kindling. Arabs not only wanted to oust dictators, they wanted power decentralized to reflect local identity or rights to resources. Syria then set the match to itself and conventional wisdom about geography.

New borders may be drawn in disparate, and potentially chaotic, ways. Countries could unravel through phases of federation, soft partition or autonomy, ending in geographic divorce.

Libya could devolve into two or even three pieces. The Cyrenaica National Council in eastern Libya declared autonomy in June. Southern Fezzan also has separate tribal and geographic identities. More Sahelian than North African in culture, tribes and identity, it could split off too.

A new map might get even more intriguing. Arabs are abuzz about part of South Yemen’s eventually merging with Saudi Arabia. Most southerners are Sunni, as is most of Saudi Arabia; many have family in the kingdom. The poorest Arabs, Yemenis could benefit from Saudi riches. In turn, Saudis would gain access to the Arabian Sea for trade, diminishing dependence on the Persian Gulf and fear of Iran’s virtual control over the Strait of Hormuz.

The most fantastical ideas involve the Balkanization of Saudi Arabia, already in the third iteration of a country that merged rival tribes by force under rigid Wahhabi Islam. The kingdom seems physically secured in glass high-rises and eight-lane highways, but it still has disparate cultures, distinct tribal identities and tensions between a Sunni majority and a Shiite minority, notably in the oil-rich east.

Syrians like to claim that nationalism will prevail whenever the war ends. The problem is that Syria now has multiple nationalisms. “Cleansing” is a growing problem. And guns exacerbate differences. Sectarian strife generally is now territorializing the split between Sunnis and Shiites in ways not seen in the modern Middle East.

But other factors could keep the Middle East from fraying — good governance, decent services and security, fair justice, jobs and equitably shared resources, or even a common enemy. Countries are effectively mini-alliances. But those factors seem far off in the Arab world. And the longer Syria’s war rages on, the greater the instability and dangers for the whole region.
Uh, On the other hand creating 9 more Arab League Members to a total of 31, truly would keep Araby all rivalicious as well as jamming up a collective Ummah.

Pic - "“Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across m"Hammedist World”

Saturday, September 28, 2013

WoW!!

WoW - the Watchers Council - it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

Thusly sans further adieu (or a don"t)

Council Winners

First place with 2 2/3 votes! The Right PlanetDefining the Enemy — Islamic Terror
  • Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Joshuapundit – This Time It’s Nairobi’s Turn 
  • Third place with 2 votes – The Razor - Ignore Iran Today – But Not Tomorrow  
  • Fourth place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Bookworm Room -Is Ted Cruz’’s promised Obamacare filibuster the equivalent of King Leonidas’s stand at Thermopylae?  
  • Fifth place with 1 vote – Liberty’s Spirit-Politically correct dilettantes devoid of morality and a spine 
  • Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Glittering Eye-Life in the Petri Dish 
  • Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Noisy Room- Parent Arrested from Common Core Meeting for Speaking Out of Turn  
  • Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Simply Jews – John McCain vs Vladimir Putin: an abject failure of good intentions  
  • Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – VA Right! –‘Impotent Eric’ Cantor WILL APPROVE Obamacare Before All is Said and Done. Virginia WILL GET Cantorcare 
  • Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Rhymes With Right –Palin Is Right On Ted Cruz Attackers 
  • Fifth place *t* with 1/3 voteThe Political CommentatorBernanke’s successor will be caught between reality and a hard place! 

  • Non-Council Winners

  • Second place with 2 votes – Mark Steyn –Next Stop, Banana Republic submitted by Liberty’s Spirit

  • Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Melanie Phillips – A Devastating Truth submitted by The Watcher

  • Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes -The Passing Parade-Interesting times we live in, aren’t they? submitted by Simply Jews

  • Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote Adam Garfinkle -More Curiouser submitted by The Razor

  • Fourth place *t* with 2/3 votes - Accuracy In Media –New York Times Exposes Marxist Mayoral Candidate submitted by The Right Planet

  • Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote - John Hayward/The Conversation –Peeling back the banana republic submitted by Nice Deb

  • Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote -Glenn Reynolds –Obama selfish, stubborn on health care submitted by Bookworm Room

  • Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote -DoD Buzz – AirSea Battle Adds Substance to Concept submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD

  • Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote -NewsBusters –MRC Study Documents Virginia Newspapers’ Viciously Negative Slant on GOP Gubernatorial Candidate submitted by VA Right!

  • Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote -Self-Styled Siren –The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler submitted by The Glittering Eye

  • Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote -The Independent Sentinel –New York City’s Bleak Future with Bill de Blasio submitted by The Watcher

  • Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote -Mises Daily –Fear the Boom, Not the Bust submitted by The Political Commentator

  • Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote -Gates Of Vienna –On Force, Control, and Freedom submitted by The Watcher

  • See you next week! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

    Navy Wargames

    From the History of Naval Wargames!

    The rise of the Internet and increased computing power in personal computers pushed the boundaries of simulation complexity and the ability for multiple players distributed across vast distances to participate in the same simulation. In the mid-2000s, the Navy started work on Kill Chain, a three-dimensional naval tactical warfare simulator. Kill Chain originally began life as technology demonstrator for the DD(X) program, with the database provided by the U.S. military. The program was funded to $11.4 million in 2007, with an initial emphasis on ant-submarine warfare.

    The Department of Defense has also taken to using simulations to crowdsource new ideas. The Naval Postgraduate School now runs Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet (MMOWGLI). MMOWGLI is an online simulation that allows large numbers of participants to crowdsource ideas and options for a variety of national security issues, from 3D printing to energy security, to piracy. The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) freely distributes Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV), a computer simulation based upon the civilian wargame Dangerous Waters. Anyone can download the game, in which players control an unmanned undersea vehicle searching for hostile submarines. The game was designed to generate ideas for DARPA on how to best use unmanned submersibles in anti-submarine warfare.

    The Navy has benefitted from its consistent devotion to wargames. It seems likely that a future of relatively lean budgets will push the military to embrace games even more and they will become even more popular as means of training, testing and generating ideas. It also seems likely that increased computing in PCs will ensure overlap between wargames developed for military and civilian markets.

    Pic - "Anti-Access Warfare: Countering A2/AD Strategies"

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Persia's Hook Up Phobia


    The near miss at UN betwixt Great Satan and top cats from Persia's Preacher Command have always been about as fake as a wedding cake

    See,


    That's one way of putting it. Another way is that Iran's ruling clerics and Revolutionary Guard Corps remain ideologically incapable of reconciling themselves to the Great Satan. This shouldn't surprise anyone who reviews the 34-year-history of Iranian rebuffs to American diplomatic overtures, which makes the U.S. embarrassment on Tuesday all the more acute

    Internal politics in Persia simply means Iran is doing the Persian Version of the olde Deutsche Führerprinzip:

    Vilayat-e Faqih!

    One cat calling ALL the shots and in this case it's Iran's Supreme Leader

    Supreme Leader - a jumped up Ayatollah of sorts and the illegit depotry he inherited simply cannot abide anything other than dang near open enemies with Great Satan - and by extension nearly any member of Free World.

    Khamenei's contempt for Great Satan, documented in three decades' worth of writings and speeches, has been remarkably consistent. Whether the topic is foreign policy, agriculture, or education, he seamlessly relates the subject to the cruelty, greed, and sinister plots of what he calls American "global arrogance." Former senior Iranian officials, including even a former president, have LOL'd in private discussions Khamenei has declared, "Ma doshmani ba Amrika ra lazem dareem," i.e., "We need enmity with America." A month before the tainted presidential election of June 2009, Khamenei declared that Iran would face a national "disaster" if a candidate who attempted to thaw relations with America came to power.

    44's unprecedented and unreciprocated overtures to Tehran -- including two personal letters from 44 to Khamenei -- undercut the narrative that Iran's hard-liners, despite their own rhetoric, secretly aspire to cordial relations with Great Satan


    They don't. Indeed, underneath the ideological veneer, the anti-Americanism of Iran's hard-liners is driven in no small part by self-preservation. They are acutely aware of the argument made by many Iran analysts over the years that a rapprochement with the United States could spur unpredictable reforms that would significantly dilute their hold on power. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of the powerful Guardian Council, put it plainly in a 2009 interview with Etemad newspaper: "If pro-American tendencies come to power in Iran, we have to say goodbye to everything. After all, anti-Americanism is among the main features of our Islamic state."
    Pic - "Ironically, the collapse of the Assad regime would produce a common interest for Washington and Tehran in making sure that rad Sunni cats, who hate Shiite Iran even more than America, do not rule Damascus."

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013

    al - Shabab

     

    Al-Shabab says it wants to force Kenya to withdraw its troops from Somalia. Some in Kenya might sympathize with that demand. In addition to becoming a target for terrorist attacks, Kenya and its African Union partners have paid a high price for their Somalia intervention. According to the United Nations, as many as 3,000 of the African troops have been killed. By comparison, 3,300 U.S. and NATO soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2001. 
    This is a crucial contest — and not just for Kenya. Al-Shabab is one of several al-Qaeda affiliates in an arc that stretches from Yemen to Mali, Algeria and Nigeria. The jihadists threaten to produce a string of failed states, and their transnational ambitions are growing. Al-Shabab has recruited Americans as members 
    Great Satan has spent more than $1 billion in the past several years to back security and nation-building efforts in Somalia, has a big stake in Kenya’s continued commitment to counterterrorism. The administration, which has carried out drone strikes and other special forces operations in Somalia, has strongly supported the African Union deployment   
    Kenya will need both moral and material U.S. support as it recovers from this horrific event.>
     
    Pic - "A congressional report from July 2011 found that al-Shabab had recruited more than 40 Americans, and at that point at least 15 had been killed."
     
     
    

    Monday, September 23, 2013

    16's Confederate

    At great risk of appearing all ConFederalicious at once, check  it out

    Some 150 years ago, events during a Civil War battle in rural Northwest Georgia profoundly affected the president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

    You may wonder how a battle so far removed from the White House -- and to this day from the importance history grants more famous fights -- could so personally affect Lincoln himself. The answer lay in a story of divided loyalties, but similar paths.

    Most people are familiar with Lincoln's story, from his birth in Kentucky, education in the law and rise in politics to the presidency, but how many know about Benjamin Hardin Helm?

    Helm was born in Bardstown, Ky., the son of lawyer and politician John. L. Helm. He studied law at the University of Louisville and Harvard and began practicing with his father in 1853. In 1855, he was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives, eventually becoming state's attorney. In 1856, Helm's parallel to Lincoln became even more pronounced when he married Emilie Todd, half-sister of first lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

    Helm was a Confederate, but, as with so many other citizen-soldiers from states with divided loyalties, could've easily allied with the Union. He loved the South and his father had risen to the governorship. So, who could have swayed his allegiance to the Confederacy? Perhaps a president. As war loomed, Lincoln offered Helm the position of Union Army paymaster or a post on the distant frontier. Both roles would have kept him mostly out of harm's way, either in Washington, D.C, or the West, but his upbringing and family loyalty swayed his allegiance.

    Helm chose to remain loyal to the Confederacy, returning to raise the 1st Kentucky Cavalry Regiment. The decision likely cost him his life.

    Helm became a commissioned officer and by the time he arrived at Chickamauga was a general commanding the First Kentucky Brigade, known popularly as the "Orphan Brigade." On Sept. 20, 1863, the unit engaged Union forces from, ironically, Kentucky. Helm was shot in the chest, quite possibly by a sharpshooter from his home state. Carried off the field he later lay dying, but was reportedly able to ask who won the battle. Assured the Confederates had taken the day, he muttered, "Victory! Victory! Victory!" He succumbed to his wounds on Sept. 21, his last thoughts being of Confederate victory. Rebel forces may have won the battle, but the main objective, Chattanooga, was still up for grabs and would fall into Union hands only two months later.

    Once news of Helm's death reached the White House, Lincoln, visibly shaken, reportedly refused to believe it. Senator and friend David Davis witnessed Lincoln's reaction, writing: "I never saw Mr. Lincoln more moved than when he heard of the death of his young brother-in-law Ben Hardin Helm, only thirty-two years old, at Chickamauga. I called to see him about four o'clock on the 22nd of September; I found him in the greatest of grief. 'Davis, he said, I feel as David of old did when he was told of the death of Absalom.' I saw how grief stricken he was so I closed the door and left him alone."

    Lincoln's affection for his sister-in-law was unwavering, despite her allegiance to the Confederacy. After Helm's death, Emilie, summoned to the White House, spent considerable time there in mourning. Lincoln, consequently, faced many political attacks from the press about his loyalty, providing evidence that some things never change, and that family can trump politics. Once Emilie left the White House, Lincoln granted her passage through Union lines to return to Kentucky. Finding resistance, eventually she took the oath of allegiance to the United States to aid her journey.

    That Lincoln was so profoundly affected by the death of an "enemy" officer says many things about that time in U.S. history.

    The story of Helm, Lincoln's Confederate, is a fascinating one, but the same can be said for countless others who fought for the Union or the Confederacy. What motivated these men? Was it their defense or opposition of slavery, protection of hearth and home, their way of life?

    When visiting Chickamauga Battlefield, view the new Visitor Center film to learn about the unsung heroes of area battles, men like Helm; Lt. Joshua Callaway, 28th Alabama; and Lt. George Van Pelt, 1st Michigan Light Artillery. The sesquicentennial provides an opportunity to reflect on how historic events in our collective "backyard" affected so many people, and helped shaped a nation's future
    Pic - "Terrible Swift Sword"

    Sunday, September 22, 2013

    Small Wars, Far Away Places


    From the Review of Small Wars, Far Away Places

    Blending engaging character sketches and telling vignettes with geopolitical analysis, it presents the two decades after 1945 from a vantage point that provides illuminating perspective. Actions in those years set the path for later policies and established perceptions that are still hard to escape. The United States took on a new global role amidst the wreckage of World War II, but Americans failed at first to appreciate how fully total war had disordered the world. Leaders elsewhere had their own illusions about recovering positions their states’ resources no longer could sustain. Burleigh’s wide-ranging account brings out the relationship between political challenge and response, along with the difficulties in understanding very different societies from the outside.

    Small wars that roiled distant places over the 20 years after 1945 highlight the difficulty of maintaining political order amid deeper cultural and social upheavals. Understanding complex situations, particularly when they involved different cultures, presented difficulties Western leaders rarely overcame. Intervention all too often entailed a costly struggle or made outside powers the means to self-interested ends sought by local groups. Burleigh’s analysis underlines the limits of what outsiders can accomplish: seizing the golden hour of opportunity sometimes works to push events along a desired path, but all too often the chance never really existed.
    Pic - "A series of vivid, vigorous narratives, illuminated by telling snippets of information, compelling but rarely flattering portraits of the key characters and some trenchant judgments."

    Saturday, September 21, 2013

    WoW!!

    WoW - the Watchers Council - it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

    Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

    Thusly sans further adieu (or a don"t)

    Council Winners

    Non-Council Winners

    See you next week! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    Almost

    Way back in the last millennium, as the most uncivil war raged across, through and all around Chattaboogie - and the bloodiest battle of all them climaxed by this time in 1863

    By 1863, Confederacy was in a terrible bind - 4 July saw the loss at two diff battlefields hundreds of miles apart - decisive disaster on two fronts. One at Gettysburg and one at Vicksburg.


    Chased out of Tenneesee, Confederacy deployed her combat rock stars like Hood, Longstreet and Bragg to delay, repel and defeat the Yankees long enough to draw one last time on the war weary reserves of Dixie.


    Confederacy desperately needed a prestige victory.


    Turning several square K of pure heaven into pure heck for three days, Confederacy ferociously fought at Chickamauga. And where a war that was almost won - was almost lost


    Today is the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga - Both sides were lined up - Confederacy facing west and Union facing East through thickets, woods, hills and dells. The line was drawn, reserves were available and everbody knew if Confederacy couldn't stop Union here - she probably never would.


    Thanks to a goofy screw up in communiques, Yankee generals
    pulled a brigade out of the line to plug an imaginary gap to the north. General Longstreet threw his entire corps through the gap, shattering Union lines, annihilating and enveloping the Yankee left flank.

    The rout was infectious and
    broken units fled back to Chattaboogie, while others fought to the death.

    Advanced weaponry was in play at Chickamauga - like Colonel Wilder's 'Lightning Brigade' - horse infantry - freshly equiped with the world's first repeater rifles.


    These cats kept the air alive with hot lead for over several hours and probably saved the Union army from a defeat far worse than the battlefield could have or should have delivered.


    In von Clausewitz's must read doctrinaire "Vom Kriege" (On War for the English speaking) instant follow up is critical.


    Every instinct will cry out to the commanders for pause, rest - refreshment.

    "Once the great victory is gained, the next question is not about
    rest, not about taking breath, not about considering, not about reorganising, etc., etc., but only of pursuit of fresh blows wherever necessary, of the capture of the enemy's capital, of the attack of the armies of his allies, or of whatever else appears to be a rallying point for the enemy. "
    General Bragg choose not to pursue the Union - he later led a slow leisurely siege of Union at Chattaboogie which only served to lengthen the war until Union busted out and fought non stop to Atlanta - where General Sherman debut'd the concept of Total War licking Georgia's peach clean till she begged him to hit South Cackalacky who had started the entire sorry mess to begin with.

    Pic "Rally in the center"

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

    The New UN

    If one thing is pretty clear - autocrats tend to take up for each other at UN - even when innocents are dying via other autocratic nation states

    Thus, Great Satan should look to form a new body to address humanitarian, governance, and safety issues: the United Democratic Nations.

    A United Democratic Nations would be composed of only the world’s most free countries: those who have had decades-long traditions of open, fair elections and institutions, peaceful transfers of power, well-established protections for all. The list is not hard to imagine.

    The United Democratic Nations’ mandate would be to safeguard freedom and openness and to protect the voices who cannot express themselves in undemocratic countries: too often, it’s women and girls, ethnic minorities, and civilians trapped by combat. It would deliberate resolutions that support democratic institutions and protect innocents. In extreme cases, it could sanction the use of military force to protect civilians in combat. (Though, of course, all nations would reserve the right to use force in self-defense.)

    A body of the world's democracies would have so much legitimacy that it would make cases of worthy intervention—like Syria and Libya—easier, while making dubious interventions—like Iraq—more difficult.

    As an institution composed of the governments only true democracies, deliberations on the use of force would be elevated to where they should be: among a congress of nationally-elected officials who can better balance the needs of their constituents with the need for freedom across the globe.

    Pic - "Global peace will not be achieved until democracies replace the world's remaining dictatorships"

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    Inevitability

    While Arab Spring's disappointing demarche continues to trudge along in an uncool way, cats are finding it easy to diss the idea of democrazy's universal appeal.

    For now. 
    People do want to live in freedom and dignity. They want to form associations of their choosing, and if permitted to do so, they quickly form the organizations that become the sinews of a free society and that impart the habits of a society that cannot be cowed. These groups around the world deserve more help than we are giving them. No single triumph is inevitable or should be taken for granted. But in the long run, with or without outside help, they will prevail.

    As predicted way back - "It is a generational commitment. Not a generational commitment in military terms; it is a commitment of our support to them, our political support and an understanding that democracy takes time."

    See, 
     Eventually, democracy must prevail over a nation’s failures. But democracy can only work if it is accompanied by a constitution with a Bill of Rights guaranteeing minority civil liberties. Democracy alone, without rights enshrined in a constitution, can be a dangerous tool in the hands of fanatics who would use populism to dismantle individual freedoms.

    Constitutional democracy is the only real hope for the earth’s inhabitants and that, difficult as it is to see, all humanity, deep in their hearts (and hopefully not too deep), yearn to be free.

    Pic - "And anywhere, any time ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret police."

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    Sinai Insurgency?

    Oh, here's a quick quiz -

    When does low intensity conflict become an insurgency?
    As a land bridge between Asia and Africa, Sinai is full of jagged mountains and vast sand plateaus, making it harsh terrain to say the least. It’s a notoriously lawless area that has become the playground of smugglers, who like to say that they follow “ancient true laws” rather than “modern state laws.”

    Last month, the Egyptian army launched an offensive in Sinai aimed at wiping out militant groups that have taken hold in the peninsula. Their campaign targeted a number of different groups, ranging from Islamists who support the Muslim Brotherhood and recently ousted president Mohammed Morsi, to hardline groups linked to al-Qaeda who have ties to Syria, Gaza, and Libya, as well as Bedouin tribesmen long discontented with the Egyptian regime.

    Egyptian media reported that more than 100 alleged militants and three Egyptian soldiers were killed in the offensive. But the offensive seems to have done little but spur the insurgency on. In addition to the twin car bombings, last week, Egypt’s interior minister narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a car bomb tore through his convoy wounding 22 people on a busy Cairo street. A Sinai-based militant group, Ansar Bayt al Maqdes claimed responsibility for the attack and said it would release a video. And another Sinai-based group, the al Furqan Brigades released a separate video showing them trying to launch a rocket-propelled grenade at a container ship in the Suez canal last month.

    Over the last three months, Little Satan has granted the Egyptian military special permission to enter Sinai and pursue militants there. According to the peace treaty between the two countries, Egypt has to receive approval from Little Satan if it wants to exceed a certain quota of troops or tanks in the peninsula.

    Pic - "Drones Over Sinai"

    Sunday, September 15, 2013

    Sirens Of Isolationism

    "Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over - But had me believing it was always something that I'd done"

    Does such a delightful ditty sexfully apply to diplopolitical chiz in the New Millenium?

    Oui mon captian!

    Occasionally, even boring asseted inapropriate handwringing handwringers can put steel on target with patently dated sourmouthings

    Money Shot

    To leave the global arena as the isolationists want us to do just lets actors whose motivations are even worse than ours call the shots.

    That is what will happen in the Middle East if we aren’t engaged. Iran will have the run of the place. Assad will butcher tens of thousands more people. Hezbollah will control Lebanon and arm itself to the teeth for the next war with Israel. Put humanitarian concerns—for example, that we should step in to stop the slaughter of innocents—completely to the side. There’s a hard-headed argument against isolationism, and it’s precisely this: A world without Great Satan's military would in fact be an operatically more violent and ruthless world than the one we have, and one in which blowback would be much more likely to hit us where we live one day.

    We’re deep in the world, like it or not. Think about the people who’d like to see Great Satan retreat into isolationism. Not a pretty group. The isolationists would plunge the world into chaos as a matter of “principle.”

    Pic - "Realpolitk Return?"


    Friday, September 13, 2013

    WoW!!

    WoW - the Watchers Council - it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

    Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

    Thusly sans further adieu (or a don"t)

    Council Winners

    Non-Council Winners

    See you next week! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Big 5

    As billfolds get squeezed on the Nat'l level - Great Satan's Wild Blue Yonder cats will most likely prioritize their future wishlist on combat jets and stuff into like "Whatever y'all cut - don't cut these 5 things"

    A Big Five program for the Air Force should focus on “things with wings,” since that’s where we need to see greater progress in terms of sustaining America’s global edge in air power.   
    Three of the programs on any Big Five list are no-brainers, because Air Force leaders have repeatedly stressed their importance to future combat operations. First, there is the stealthy F-35A joint strike fighter that will replace thousands of Cold War F-16s. The F-35A took on greater importance with the Administration’s termination of the more pricey F-22 fighter in 2009. The two planes were designed to operate in tandem as part of a “high-low mix,” but with the Air Force receiving only half of the F-22s it said it needed to make this concept work, the F-35 becomes central to preserving command of the air as Cold War fighters retire.

    The second and third priority programs would be a new tanker and a new bomber. The tanker program was won by Boeing two years ago and is essential to recapitalizing hundreds of aging aerial refuelers that extend the reach of other aircraft in the fleet. The bomber, officially called the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B), has not yet been competed but clearly is needed given the state of the heavy bomber force — which now consists of a mere 160 planes averaging 30 years of age. The Air Force must begin fielding both the tanker and the bomber sometime in the next decade if it is to have any hope of sustaining air dominance in places where vast distances need to be covered like the Western Pacific.

    The Air Force had a plan when the new millennium began to replace its diverse fleet of radar and eavesdropping planes with a multi-mission sensor platform designated the E-10, but that plan died due mainly to the distraction of counter-insurgency campaigns in Southwest Asia. Service leaders today say that getting a better network for processing information collected by airborne and orbital sensors is more important than recapitalizing recon planes, but some of the eavesdropping planes that show up for every overseas war are approaching half a century of age. There needs to be a program for their replacement, probably using a militarized version of the Boeing 737 jetliner.

    Putting a new trainer on the list would increase the visibility of a much-neglected effort that arguably contributes to the effectiveness of the whole fleet. The primary trainer that the Air Force uses to prepare young pilots for flying combat aircraft is outdated and beginning to exhibit age-related safety issues. Yet the service has repeatedly deferred beginning a replacement program due to more pressing needs. Buying a modern trainer that is better suited to pilot education in an era of fifth-generation fighters and networked combat forces is so important that it probably deserves inclusion on any list of Air Force Big Five aircraft efforts for the future.

    Pic - "Transformation of American Air Power" 

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    UnAssing Syrian WMD

    Hanging out to find out if Russia’s last minute idea might preclude a Syrian Intervention of sorts or actually be another example of  Non Profit Jawflapping, may be cool to czech what all it takes to unAss chemical weaponry

    Finding and securing all of Assad's sites would be the first major challenge of implementing the Russian plan, but it would be far from the only one. The U.S. and allied personnel would then have to separate the chemical substances themselves from the warheads of his rockets, artillery shells or missiles that had been designed to carry them to their targets. The work itself would be carried out by either robots, contractors or specially-trained troops, but it would still be time-consuming and dangerous.

    The next step would be to physically destroy all of chemical weapons, which can be done through one of two basic options. The first involves spraying the chemicals themselves into specialized furnaces and then burning them at around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for one or two seconds. Nerve agents like sarin can also be rendered largely harmless by the addition of liquid sodium hydroxide, while mustard gas can be made safe with alkaline water.

    Either type of destruction would have to be done at individual Syrian weapons sites because it wouldn't be safe to move the munitions to a centralized collection point inside Syria while the fighting was raging. That would mean either building a new permanent disposal facility at each Syrian compound or bringing in newly-fielded mobile disposal units from the U.S. The mobile systems have not been tested in an active warzone and may not have the capacity to deal with Assad’s huge quantities of weapons.

    A safer option might involve moving the weapons out of Syria entirely and doing the disposal work in a safer and more secure country.

    Not to mention deploying American troops enmass...

    Pic -"Formidable challenges involved in carrying out such a complex and risky operation in the midst of a raging civil war."


    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    911 Day

    44  
    "Time to reflect on just how far we’ve come as a nation these past 11 years.
     “We are Americans, and we will protect and preserve this country we love. On this solemn anniversary, let’s remember those we lost, let us reaffirm the values they stood for, and let us keep moving forward as one nation and one people

    “As Americans, we refuse to live in fear. Today, a new tower rises above the New York skyline. And our country is stronger, safer and more respected in the world

    “On that clear September morning, as America watched the towers fall, and the Pentagon burn, and the wreckage smoldering in a Pennsylvania field, we were filled with questions
    “Where had the attacks come from, and how would America respond? Would they fundamentally weaken the country we love? Would they change who we are?
    “Instead of turning on each other, we’ve resisted the temptation to give in to mistrust and suspicion. We are the United States of America. Our freedom and diversity make us unique, and they will always be central to who we are as a nation.”
    “Instead of changing who we are, the attacks have brought out the best in the American people. More than 5 million members of the 9/11 generation have worn America’s uniform over the past decade, and we’ve seen an outpouring of goodwill towards our military, veterans, and their families
    “We took the fight to Al Qaeda, decimated their leadership, and put them on a path to defeat
    "The last decade has been a difficult one, but together, we have answered those questions and come back stronger as a nation

    Pic - "Americans are somewhat crazy, lethal and highly unpredictable in wartime"


    Monday, September 9, 2013

    Regime Changing

    From Ambassador Power's speech Friday...

    At a minimum, we thought perhaps a shared evidentiary base could convince Russia or Iran – itself a victim of Saddam Hussein’s monstrous chemical weapons attacks in 1987-1988 – to cast loose a regime that was gassing its people.

    What about regime change?

    Foundations of Modern Strategy cat unleashes some prett good meds about Regime Changin'

    If Great Satan's strategy is to stop Assad from using chemical weapons, demonstrate that America is committed to enforcing this international norm, and undermine states that support such atrocious actions, regime change remains the critical instrument for Great Satan. In fact, all other options are highly susceptible to failure.

    Regime change is no more than the policy of deliberately removing a government by force. This may involve a military invasion that removes a government’s political and military leaders. Regime change can extend to installing a new government, which ideally will be supportive of the policies and interests of the state imposing regime change. The case of Iraq in 2003 is the best modern example of regime change.

    While regime change may be imposed by force, yet another form of regime change is to encourage the members of the society, after removing their government, to take matters into their own hands. The hope is that they will design and build their own form of government.

    These modern ideas about regime change are, frankly, far too limited. There are more effective forms of regime change available to policymakers, which are directly relevant to helping the U.S. deal with Syria. Rather than taking it off the table, policymakers need to understand that regime change exists in more useful forms.

    First, regime change does not require a military invasion. One could, for example, take actions, including military strikes and covert actions, which undermine the regime’s credibility while encouraging moderate forces within the state to exert greater political control, emboldening them to oppose the regime.

    Regime change can involve a strategic, moral, or political imperative to remove the government based on the view that the regime’s actions constitute a threat to another state or to the international community.

    Regime change is an important instrument of policy whose value rests directly on its ability to persuade the leadership of a regime that their policies and actions put them personally at risk. To succeed, the threat of regime change must pose a direct threat to the leadership of a state, on multiple levels.

    First, the prospect of regime change is designed, ultimately, to change behavior. In the case of Syria, to stop President Assad from using chemical weapons.

    Second, the threat of regime change is designed to put Syria’s leadership at risk. It is essential for leaders to know that they are the direct target of an attack, including Assad himself. Rather than using military force to destroy military targets, which will kill military personnel and likely produce civilian casualties (recalling that authoritarian regimes purposely put military targets next to such humanitarian facilities as hospitals, mosques, etc.), there is a better strategy. The point is to make Syria’s leadership personally responsible for their actions.

    Third, the instrument of regime change, if properly designed and implemented, has effects that go far beyond events in Syria. The actions of Syria cannot be viewed in a microcosm. It is able to engage in such actions because it receives support from other states, principally Russia and Iran.

    Fourth, leaving the prospect of regime change on the table will have two salutary effects. It will reinforce the norm that using chemical weapons is unacceptable because it puts the regime at risk of being destroyed. And it demonstrates visibly and powerfully, the credibility of Great Satan

    Ultimately, using military force to weaken and change the regime has the principal benefit of removing President Assad while allowing the Syrian people to work out the future of their state—however that evolves.

    Simply stated, the best option for Great Satan is to keep regime change on the table.

    Pic - "It would be irresponsible to strike and weaken the Syrian regime without striking and weakening al-Qaeda at the same time. If we act, we’d better hit them both."


    Sunday, September 8, 2013

    Pacific Flat Tops

    Ahoy!

    In the Pacific Rim - more than China is getting totally hot for air craft carriers.

    Usually classified as amphibious ships or helicopter destroyers/cruisers, they had mostly escaped serious scrutiny in the mainstream consciousness. Until the past few weeks, that is, when a series of events thrust these vessels into global news headlines.

    Australia

    Australia is currently building two 27,800-ton Canberra-class Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs) under Joint Project 2048. The ships, HMAS Canberra (LHD-02) and HMAS Adelaide (LHD-01) are based on the Spanish Navy’s Juan Carlos I built by Spain’s Navantia. The design was the winner of a competition with France’s Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN), which offered a larger version of the Mistral class design.

    The HMAS Canberra is currently being completed at BAE Systems – Maritime in Melburne after having been initially laid down in Spain and transported by sea to Australia. She will enter service with the Royal Australian Navy in 2014 while her sister ship will join her two years later. The LHDs will replace the HMAS Tobruk and the Kanimbla-class ships in mainly conducting amphibious operations with a secondary HADR brief.

    The Canberra class vessels boast a length of 230.82 metres (757.3 ft), with a maximum beam of 32 metres (105 ft) and maximum draught of 7.08 metres (23.2 ft). Maximum speed is 20 knots, and the LHDs will sport four Rafael Typhoon 25 mm remote weapons systems, six 12.7 mm machine guns, an AN/SLQ-25 Nixie towed torpedo decoy, and a Nulka missile decoy.

    The LHDs will be able to carry 1,046 soldiers and their equipment. Two vehicle decks (one for light vehicles, the other for heavy vehicles and tanks) can accommodate up to 110 vehicles. Each ship has a well deck for landing craft, while the flight deck has landing spots for six NH90-class helicopters or four CH-47 Chinook-class helicopters to operate simultaneously. The ships are equipped with a 13° ski jump retained from the Juan Carlos I design, although Australia has no plans to operate fixed-wing aircraft from these ships. The standard air group will typically be a mix of MRH-90 transport helicopters and S-70B Seahawk anti-submarine helicopters. The hangar can accommodate up to 18 helicopters, but eight will be the standard complement.

    Nippon

    Of all the nations deploying flattops in the Asia-Pacific, undoubtedly the most controversial has been Japan’s. Suspicion runs deep in the region about Japan’s true intentions despite its pacifist postwar constitution specifically banning the nation from deploying offensive weapons, fuelled by lingering anger over what is perceived as Japan’s failure to fully atone for its actions in World War II. With this in mind, the outcry that accompanied each launch of a Japanese flattop, classified as Helicopter-Destroyers (DDH) by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), is always predictable. But that hasn’t stopped Japan from being the Asia-Pacific nation with the most flight deck-equipped ships, with four in service or being built.

    The JMSDF commissioned the Hyuga and her sister Ise in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Displacing 13,950 tons standard and 19,000 tons fully loaded, the ships are equipped with enhanced command-and-control capabilities, allowing them to serve as flagships for the JMSDF. The ships' primary mission is to function as an anti-submarine warfare carrier, and four landing spots for helicopters are provided for on the flight deck, although a maximum of 11 can be carried. The irregular plan form of the flight deck and the location of the forward Phalanx Close-In Weapon System would preclude the Hyuga-class from operating fixed-wing aircraft without a substantial flight deck redesign. The normal helicopter complement is three Sikorsky SH-60K Seahawk antisubmarine helicopters and a single Agusta-Westland MCH-101 Merlin airborne mine countermeasures helicopter; however this can vary depending on the mission.

    The JS Hyuga was heavily involved in the HADR effort after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011. In June 2013, she became the first JMSDF ship to operate the Boeing MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft during the Dawn Blitz exercise with the U.S. Marine Corps off the coast of California.

    On August 6, 2013, Japan followed up with the launch of the JS Izumo, the lead ship of an even larger DDH design. Displacing 19,500 ton empty and 27,000 tons fully loaded, the Izumo and her as-yet unnamed sister will be the largest ships in the JMSDF inventory. Like the Hyuga and Ise before her, the Izumo will also be tasked primarily with anti-submarine warfare. The flight deck has five helicopter landing spots that allow simultaneous landings or take-offs, with a maximum complement of 14 helicopters theoretically possible.

    Expected to be commissioned in 2015, the Izumo’s flight deck does appear to be more easily configurable to operate fixed-wing aircraft than the Hyuga class. Unsurprisingly, the Izumo’s launch has sparked controversy, having been described by the Chinese as an “aircraft-carrier in disguise.” The fact that neither the Izumo nor Hyuga-class ships are equipped with well docks for landing craft would have increased suspicion that they are designed specifically for aircraft operations.

    SoKo

    South Korea launched the ROKS Dokdo in 2005 and commissioned it two years later. In a move that likely didn’t go down well in Tokyo, it took the Korean name of the islands at the center of a territorial dispute with Japan. A multi-purpose ship capable of handling a variety of missions, the Dokdo displaces 14,000 tons empty and 18,000 tons fully loaded. Three ships of the class were planned; however the third vessel was cancelled by a previous government. The second, the ROKS Marado, was to suffer the same fate, but funding was restored in 2012.

    The Dokdo class is capable of carrying up to 720 marines and multiple vehicles, while a well dock allows for amphibious assaults. There are five landing spots on her flight deck able to operate helicopters the size of the Sikorsky S-70 Blackhawk/Seahawk, while the hangar can accommodate a maximum of 15 helicopters of various types. The Dokdo was designed specifically to conduct “Over the Horizon” amphibious operations, whereby amphibious landing operations with high-speed LCACs and helicopters are launched far from the landing beaches to minimize risks to the landing ship. Her versatility has been demonstrated in 2010, when she was part of a task force conducting search and locate operations for the corvette ROKS Cheonan, which had been sunk in a North Korean sneak attack.

    It has been acknowledged that the Dokdo’s flight deck has been coated with urethane, which improves the ability of the flight deck to withstand the high temperatures of aircraft operations. However, like the JMSDF’s Hyuga-class, her irregular shaped flight deck and positioning of the forward CIWS would require extensive modification before fixed-wing aircraft could operate off her.

    Sooo...

    So are these ships aircraft carriers or not? If you (rightly) consider a helicopter an aircraft, then technically the answer is yes. But to describe these ships as aircraft carriers in the traditional sense of carrying fixed-wing aircraft for offensive purposes, things become murkier. The Liaoning and Chakri are undoubtedly intended to carry fixed-wing aircraft from the outset, even if the latter hasn’t done so for a long while now. However, the Canberra and Izumo-class ships, while having a flight deck capable of operating Short Take Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) jets such as the Lockheed-Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, would still require significant modification before they could be operational in that sense.

    Another major stumbling block would be that using aircraft carriers in an offensive capacity requires the carrier itself to be escorted with its own battle group. Currently none of these Pacific navies have the warships, they have yet to fully develop the naval doctrine or tactics required, and they don’t have air and ground crews trained to operate in this way. This is all a huge undertaking, requiring years to carry through, even with help from current carrier operators such as the U.S. Navy. Other than China, none of these navies appear to have plans for this in the near future.

    Pic - "Asian Carriers By The Numbers!"

    WoW!!

    WoW - the Watchers Council - it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

    Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

    Thusly sans further adieu (or a don"t)

    Council Winners

    Non-Council Winners


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