Friday, February 16, 2018

Fullbore Friday

Sometimes you have to bring up a ship that did just solid, warship duty. For example, I give you the USS MANCHESTER (CL-83).

That is all for FbF today - but I leave you with something to ponder.

As we discuss what is or is not littoral warfare - check out
this picture. All the stealth in the world won't help you here --- and a lack of damage control will kill Sailors wholesale. That is why the selling of LCS is almost a crime.

First posted JAN2010

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Don't let, "That's a Ford for 'ya" - become a snarky catch-phrase

Are you up to speed on the latest issues with the USS FORD (CVN 78) and EMALS?

I've got the goods for 'ya over at USNIBlog.

Come visit and give it a read.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

What the Pros Study

Come on people ... I know you love you some logistics!

Don't run away ... David Beaumont has a very good and readable post up titled, HOPING AND PLANNING FOR THE BEST: UNDERSTANDING WAR WITHOUT LOGISTICS, that is well worth your time as he kicks off a full year of logistics.

No, seriously ... it is what he does.

Of note;
Security is being recast as international logistics systems and supply chains contribute to the reshaping of the global order, and strategic policy intertwines itself with economics and industrial power to create objectives for the military forces protecting national interests (it has, of course, been ever thus). The growing logistics needs of combat forces creates pressures at a time where ‘small wars’ are being fought on a shoestring budget, where the increasing outsourcing of military activities binds operational success with the fortunes of commercial opportunity, and the growing complexity and diversity of supply creates troubling issues for military security.
There is little discussion – nearly a complete absence – of how logistics shaped the Western counter-insurgency operations which followed. With forces ‘hoping for the best, and planning for the best’, small logistics footprints and inadequate strategic consideration severely curtained British Army operations in Basra in the early years of its deployment in Iraq. The need to secure supply-routes and distribution tasks restricted the frequency of combat patrols, and entrenched forces into ‘forward operating bases’ thus reducing the tactical mobility of the force. Similar experiences in Helmand, Afghanistan, were encountered. More and more significant resources had to be directed to logistics missions, drawing upon helicopters to overcome lacking equipment and the state of lowering materiel readiness as the supply chain failed to keep up.
Keep an eye on him for logistics with an Aussie accent. Hopefully, with very little slang.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Those are not simple sand bars China is building

If you haven't checked with the latest imagery of what China is building in the South China Sea, then you've missed a sea change.

What was at one time little more than sandbars with a shack and a spotty pier, are now a series of scaled down Diego Garcias.

Via the UK Daily Mail;
The dramatic military build-up is shown in pictures taken from a height of 1,500m (4,920 feet) in the last six months of 2017, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

One of the fortresses is situated on Panganiban, a reef which a United Nations-backed court has previously ruled belongs to the Philippines, it is reported.

On the three largest reefs, Kagitingan, Panganiban and Zamora, runways appeared to be ready to receive military aircraft.

As an old TLAM guy, I fully recognize a nice target set when I see one - but there is a lot more to coercive power in peace than what might happen in full war;
China had in December defended its construction on disputed islands as 'normal' after a US think tank released new satellite images showing the deployment of radar and other equipment.

The military expansion also ties into a broader Chinese initiative, called One Belt One Road.

The vast infrastructure project, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is set to build a 'new Silk Road' of ports, railways and roads to expand trade across an arc of countries through Asia, Africa and Europe.

Hat tip BB.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A long, irregular, and forever war; a discussion with Dan Green - on Midrats

As we enter our 17th of ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and the global struggle against terrorism, why is this war taking so long? Where are we making progress, where are we stalled, and where are we falling back?

There are no easy answers to these questions, if there were they wouldn’t need to be asked.

We will discuss these and related issues for the full hour this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern with author Dr. Daniel R. Green, a Defense Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy focusing on counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, and stability operations in the Middle East and Central Asia.

He is a reserve officer with the U.S. Navy with multiple deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan, along with holding several senior advisory positions dealing with the Middle East, Central Asia, and NATO/Europe in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the State Department.

Dr. Green recently completed his third book, In the Warlords' Shadow: Special Operations Forces, the Afghans, and their Fight with the Taliban that we will use as a stepping off point for our conversation.

Join us live if you can, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio or Stitcher

If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Fullbore Friday

No one will attack you. No one has a reason to. You are neutral. You have not armed yourself with anything aggressive that might provoke them.

Your unit is not finished training. You are nowhere near the front. You have plenty of time before you have to confront the enemy.

You are in a modern city full of civilians. There is no reason for anyone to attack you.

You are only 17 in 1940.

You have made it to 2018. You've had a full life - one whose experience is a witness to the false assumptions of others.

If you pardon the rough translation, I give you Corporal William 'Bill' Ramakers, Royal Netherlands Marines, the last veteran of the Battle for the Maasbruggen as the Dutch call it - or the 1940 Battle for Rotterdam in the Anglosphere.

Bill recently passed away after 95 years;
As a 17-year-old marine, Bill and his comrades fought for days against the German invasion force in Rotterdam during May of 1940. Because of their steadfast resistance, the marines, dressed in dark blue uniforms, were nicknamed by the Germans the "schwarzen Teufel": the Black Devils.
What an interesting path he took.
Ramakers became prisoner of war after the battle, but managed to escape a short time later. After the liberation of the south of the Netherlands in 1944, Ramakers left Scotland and Camp Lejeune in the United States for marine training.

After extensive training, with with the Marine Brigade he was supposed to participate in the invasion of Japan if that country did not surrender. With no invasion, Ramakers left for the former Dutch East Indies, and returned to the Netherlands in 1948. In 1951 with his young family, Ramakers emigrated to Canada.
Fullbore Corporal ... and congrats on a long and well lived life.

The pic is from his return to The Netherlands in 2014 with a visit by the King and Queen.

As for the Battle of Rotterdam, this is a great video overview of a brief part of WWII mostly unknown outside The Netherlands.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Diversity Thursday

The diversity industry has a unique ability to make both idiots and cowards of people.

A perfect example this week comes from the Home Country;
Mandarins at the Foreign Office invited staff to wear Islamic headscarves for the day, claiming they symbolised ‘liberation, respect and security’.

The event was last Thursday, just days before Britain marked the 100th anniversary of women being given the vote.
We all know where this came from. Their internal Diversity Commissariate had a wonderful idea that only a sexist, racist, homophobic bigot would oppose ... so of course it would be approved and supported. You know the drill;
An internal email to Foreign Office staff said the event was taking place on February 1 between midday and 2pm inside the department’s headquarters at Whitehall.

It read: ‘Would you like to try on a hijab or learn why Muslim women wear the headscarf? Come along to our walk-in event. Free scarves for all those that choose to wear it for the day or part of the day.

‘Muslim women, along with followers of many other religions, choose to wear the hijab. Many find liberation, respect and security through wearing it. #StrongInHijab. Join us for #WorldHijabDay.’ Posters for the event, featuring Foreign Office branding, were circulated. World Hijab Day, an annual event, was also marked in the Scottish Parliament.
As there seemed to be no one in the Foreign Office that had a shred of intellectual courage, we'll have to let others make the point;
The department was accused of backing the ‘institutional oppression of women’ by giving away taxpayer-funded headscarves at a walk-in event to mark World Hijab Day.

The event was held as women in ultra-conservative Iran burned their headscarves in protest at being forced to wear them or face arrest and prison.
Many Muslim women across the world have shunned the hijab – which covers the hair and neck but not the face – as an antiquated, oppressive, religious tool.
Maajid Nawaz, who heads the counter-extremism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, criticised the department for ‘supporting World Hijab Day and the institutional oppression of women through modesty culture, while brave Iranian women risk all to remove hijab tyranny’.

Anti-hijab activist Masih Alinejad told Reuters: ‘We are fighting against the most visible symbol of oppression. These women are saying, “It is enough – it is the 21st century and we want to be our true selves.”’