Thursday, January 19, 2017

Diversity Thursday

Yes friends, we are well through the looking glass. When you combine the ability to order people to do anything that isn't legal in the military, along with the autocratic control you have over the Midshipmen and Cadets in our service academies - you have in a way an interesting little human terrarium.

Just so you know exactly how the new policy is. Notice the little twist? Some people are more equal than others, natch.

"Good order and discipline." OK. 

Like I've said for a long time; make a clear personal evaluation of your desire for personal liberty in your college years, what you really want. Unless you desire a tightly bound military immersion and limited freedom in your one run at undergrad - consider NROTC.  


UPDATE: Well, count your blessings; you could be in the USAFA.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Don't Plow the Back-40 With the BMW

While we are talking about Jerry's long-legged bit from '09 - the concept of "Influence Squadrons" is growing roots all over the place. Going beyond just naval units, I'm discussing it over at USNIBlog.

Come by and give it a read - but read it with a British accent.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Poland Needs Fords, not Ferraris

Jerry's classic from '09 came to mind when I read the following about plucky, brave Poland's drive to grow its defense budget and recapitalize their air arm;
The Polish Ministry of Defence is analysing a possible purchase of 50-100 aircraft to replace the Polish Air Force's aging Sukhoi Su-22 strike aircraft and Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter aircraft.
Yes, NATO still has SU-22.
"We consider various possibilities that would be beneficial, [including purchase of] F-16 aircraft; used or new or another solution. The optimal solution would be a purchase of 50-100 aircraft," Bartosz Kownacki, deputy defence minister responsible for defence procurement, told the government-owned Polish Press Agency (PAP).

"I think that during a month and a half we will have a clear idea if is worth buying used F-16s from the United States or new F-35s," he added. According to Kownacki, the aircraft Poland has been offered are older variants than the F-16C/D Block 52+ models currently used by the Polish Air Force. The F-16 option being considered would see Poland purchase 96 used F-16s (six squadrons) for PLN100 million (USD24 million) each to replace Poland's aging 32 MiG-29s and 32 Su-22s.
Poland needs additional firepower now, and every platform counts. They are not going to march on Moscow, so they need something - in numbers - to fight and hold the line at home.

A well trained pilot in a Block 52+ F-16 can handle anything the Russians can throw at them. They do not need now, nor can afford the F-35 in the appropriate numbers.

Something else besides the trusty F-16, I would also offer that the Swedes are about to have a fire-sale of some slightly used Gripens;
Last year the Swedish defense company SAAB made its final delivery of 96 Gripen planes ordered by the Swedish government. Now, despite having thousands of flying hours and many years left, the fighter jets are destined for the scrapheap. The Swedish government is buying even newer Gripen planes.

Gripen C/D is an advanced fighter jet with attack and surveillance capabilities, which unlike its Gripen predecessors is also compatible with NATO standards and thus more easily exportable. SAAB has sold or leased the plane not only to the Swedish government but to South Africa, Hungary, Thailand, the Czech Republic and even to the United Kingdom, which uses the plane for pilot training.

But in 2012, the Swedish parliament voted to place another order, this time for sixty new Gripen E aircraft, to be manufactured with immediate effect. “The government’s order was connected to likely sales to Brazil and Switzerland,” Swedish defense analyst Robert Dalsjö told me. “Because other governments were likely to buy it as well, the idea was that the Swedish government would get the planes more cheaply than it otherwise would.”
That is a nice bit of kit that the Swedes might make a good deal on. As the Poles already fly the F-16, there is some economy on just getting more of them - but there is something to be said for having two sources for your fighter aircraft and making nice with a neighbor who also does not like the Bear all that much.

Either way, the smart move for Poland would be to buy "good" in bulk, and wait for the "perfect" to mature a bit and be a bit more affordable.

Hey ... well look at that;
...Kownacki suggested that now would be the wrong time to purchase the F-35, should that be the route the country opts for. In his view, had Poland enterer the programme five years ago, then Polish industry could have been involved. However, given the current price of the initial aircraft remains high it is worth Poland waiting a few years until "F-35 availability rises and the prices drop".
Smart.

Anything we can do to help the Poles, we should. Last year, they crossed the 2% of GDP threshold and continues to grow in their investment in their defense. We should reward them as much as we can. 

You know the theory; reward behavior you approve of - punish that you don't. When you look at her former Warsaw Pact allies now in NATO to her south - an example of positive behavior is very much needed.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fighting Seablindness is an All Hands Effort

Navalists have the wind at our backs. 

We have not had an opportunity like this in over 30 years to make our point to the American people why it is so critical that our republic own a powerful navy of global reach.

The need has been clear and well documented even before our republic was free of the British Crown, but to most outside the seapower fraternity it is not self-evident.

It is a sale that must be made to each generation. It is a story that must be told and retold; repackaged and redelivered by as many paths as possible. When a crisis brings its need in to focus, it is too late.

A strong navy cannot be built, trained and manned overnight and be effective. It must be ready on day one.

If we don't tell that story enough and in the right way - when her nation calls for her navy, she will not be ready. Even though she will not be ready, she will still answer the call. When an un-ready, under-capitalized, and poorly trained and manned navy gets underway against a challenger that is ready; the seas are filled with your own dead Sailors, it seabed littered with your ships, and your nation is opened to strategic risk to an enemy emboldened by victory.

One fellow retired Commander is more than carrying the load. As we discussed in his visit to Midrats late last year, Bryan McGrath is conducting a speaking tour on seapower in his corner of the republic. He recently put his video series on YouTube. Highly recommended.

As you get yourself ready for the next President and wonder what new directions we may take, during the course of the week, watch a video or so a day. Send a link along to a friend.

If we want our nation to understand why she needs a strong Navy and Marine Corps team, all must do a part. We can't all be Bryan, but we can introduce him to a few friends.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Fullbore Friday


What more can you say: thanks.
He was 16 when he shipped off to France in 1917 to join the ambulance corps with the serial No. 15577 -- one of 4.7 million Americans to serve in "The War to End All Wars" against Germany.

"I always knew I'd be one of the last because I was one of the youngest when I joined," Buckles said in his interview with the Daily News, after he became the last surviving member of those 4.7 million.

"But I never thought I'd be the last one."

Even after the war, Buckles couldn't escape the battlefield. In 1941, Buckles was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines while working as a purser for a steamship company. He languished for more than three years in prison camps before he was rescued in a military raid.

"I was never actually looking for adventure," Buckles once told The Associated Press. "It just came to me."

He also wasn't looking for the fame that came his way in 2008, when the second-to-last American veteran of World War I, Harry Richard Landis of Florida, passed away. But once he achieved the status of last surviving veteran, Buckles helped lobby to rededicate the existing District of Columbia World War I memorial on the National Mall in Washington as a national memorial.

With Buckles' passing, there are only two documented surviving veterans of The Great War left - 109-year-old Claude Choules and 110-year-old Florence Green, both of whom are British.

"Somebody has to pass it down. If I'm the last one, then I have to be the one to do it," Buckles told The News.


  Hat tip URR.

This FbF first posted March 2011.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Diversity Thursday

As usual with diversity advocates, there is no discussion on qualifications or merit. There is no discussion about why at no time in the near future - due to huge disparity in high school, college, and grad school graduation rates and scores between racial and officially recognized ethnic groups - will senior levels ever "look like America." 

If you are new to these facts, we've covered them in detail in previous DivThu. Just follow the diversity tag.

Now and then you just need to listen to the diversity commissariat pitch to remind you of the narrow minds you are faced with when they go on the warpath. They are the most base kind of racialists - only looking at people skin deep. Anyone who is not in full alignment with their program of active discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, or national origin (which you have to be if you want to meet their mindless metrics) - then naturally, you are a racist. You know the drill.

So, let's go over to the diversity funny-farm at WaPo where Joe Davidson demonstrates his grasping, race-based rent-seeking for all to see;
...the fate of the Obama administration’s diversity efforts all the more concerning. What will become of them when this administration ends next week and that of President-elect Donald Trump begins?

The tenor of Trump’s campaign and his history of racism (note his championship of the birther farce to undermine Obama’s presidency) and ethnic degradation (note his Mexican rapists slur during his campaign launch) provide no confidence for diversity advocates.
There it is.
And national security intelligence staffers generally have reason to be wary, given his disparagement of their finding that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered cyber hacking to promote Trump’s election campaign, thus tainting the legitimacy of his electoral college victory.

“Clearly, President-elect Trump lacks a history of sustained serious attention to inclusion and diversity,” Ernest J. Wilson III, University of Southern California dean of journalism and communications, said with restraint. He edited the book on this, called “Diversity and U.S. Foreign Policy.”
Ahhhhh...the best theories the 1970s have to offer, for you today!
If diversity is a national security imperative, statistics indicate an unfinished national security duty persists. Two blatant examples — 90 percent of the State Department’s Senior Executive Service is white. The Senior Foreign Service is 87 percent white.

The Senior Foreign Service feels “less diverse in terms of racial and ethnic background today than it was 20 years ago when I started serving in the State Department,” Rice said during an interview. She didn’t have statistics on that point, but the anecdotal observations of the veteran ambassador and diplomat are telling.
...
The presidential memorandum she was instrumental in drafting focuses on data and directs agencies to take a series of actions to promote diversity. It calls for a report to the president no later than 120 days after its Oct. 5 date. That would be two weeks after Trump takes over, but Rice is confident it will be ready before Obama leaves.

Ruth A. Davis, a retired pioneering black career diplomat gives Obama a B+ for his national security diversity efforts, saying they “might have been a bit more pronounced.” He missed an A in part because he could have selected more African American national security political appointees. She was the Foreign Service Institute’s first black director and the first woman of color appointed director general of the Foreign Service.
...
After the election, Rice met with midlevel career staffers to ensure the president’s memorandum is actually implemented. Other administration officials met with career employees from across government in November.

“Given the nature of this campaign on this issue of diversity and inclusion,” Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan told them, that is “all the more reason” they “should be thinking about how you step up, how you join together in the coming months and years to make sure that this issue gets carried on.”

That’s the challenge.
As we mentioned after the memo was drafted in DEC, one of the first actions of the Trump Administration should be to revoke it root and branch. It is officially sanctioned racism and has no place in a free republic.

There is no place in a modern society for a system based on active discrimination by acts of commission or omission against citizens based on race, creed, color, or national origin. It is wrong and it is immoral.

Again - watch the incoming Administration. This memo - along with so much of the racialist mindset in our government - must be rolled back.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Running Rust Tells a Story

So, you are about to get a bag'o'cash to buy some ships ... but is that really where you should put that money first?

I'm thinking that through a bit with the help of the VCNO over at USNIBlog.

Come visit and ponder with us.