Monday, July 16, 2018

Prince.

This is coolbert:

Erik the Prince?

Deuteronomy 28:43 - - "The foreigner living among you will rise higher and higher above you, while you sink down lower and lower."

With regard to the proposal of Erik Prince to privatize the war in Afghan, a mercenary force referred to as contractors, the yea and the nay, advantages and disadvantages as noted by an acknowledged military authority:

Advantages:

1.  "It can probably be done cheaper by contractors than the US military."

2.  "Contractor/mercenary casualties are easier to ignore "

3.  "Long term costs--less.  Injured and PTSD."

But needing:

4.  "Would require having powerful air assets on call for emergencies." Read further that advocacy of Erik Prince to employ the crop-duster type combat warplane in the low-intensity counter-insurgency environment.

Disadvantage:

THE HEAD WILL BECOME THE TAIL AND THE TAIL WILL BECOME THE HEAD.

An unstable/ineffective/incompetent central government as currently is the case in Afghan becoming too reliant on the mercenary/contractor military force. The foreign mercenary combatants if not tightly controlled at some point having more "say" in the running of the country than does the recognized and local political authority.

And thank you acknowledged military authority.

coolbert.










Sunday, July 15, 2018

B & W.

This is coolbert:

Blackwater White Company?

"His [Prince] suggestion centres on small teams of armed private contractors, not 'mercenaries', largely composed of former members of Western forces, mentoring Afghan troops – living, training and going into battle with them – supported by aircraft flown by contractors with Afghan co-pilots."

"Exclusive: Blackwater founder's plan to privatize America’s $76bn, 17-year war in Afghanistan"

"In a rare interview, Erik Prince speaks in depth about his pitch to Trump and Pompeo to slash costs by shifting military operations to an international team of 'contractors'"

Erik Prince of the now defunct [?] Blackwater independent military contractor concern.

And ARE mercenaries as that word mercenary generally, commonly, and ordinarily understood. A soldier whose allegiance is to himself, the paycheck, and his immediate compatriots and no one else. You pay me, I fight,. You don't pay me, I don't fight.

Also persons exempt from all protections of the Geneva Convention.

Erik additionally an advocate of the crop-duster like combat warplane. Cheap and effective, available for service now, close-air-support minimal in comparison to modern combat warplanes.

This is a return to the days of the Italian Renaissance and the White Company of John Hawkwood?

The condotierro hired guns [swords mostly], professional soldiers of the era and beholden to the highest bidder.

coolbert.


Friday, July 13, 2018

ACFT.

This is coolbert:

Army Combat Fitness Test. New!

Ready for combat anyone?

"A new Army PT test is on its way. This is not a drill."

"Army officials unveiled a new gender- and age-neutral PT test on Monday, and it’s set to replace the run/sit-ups/push-ups protocol that soldiers have known and hated for the past four decades."

Army Combat Fitness Test to consist of:

* Deadlift between 120 and 420 pounds.
* Standing power throw.
* Hand-release push-ups.
* Sprint-drag-carry.
* Leg tuck
* Two-mile run.


This is a video of the Army Combat Readiness Test. The same as the ACFT? Not sure about those push-ups.

Back in my day, over fifty years ago we had the five-event physical training test. Run a mile, throw a grenade [for distance and accuracy], horizontal ladder [monkey bars], run-dodge-jump, and low-crawl.

Measures of strength, endurance and agility as probably a good measure of physical ability for the soldier whatever his specialty.

I AM SOMEWHAT CONFUSED ABOUT ALL THIS TOO! THIS TEST WILL BE FOR ALL SOLDIERS OR JUST THOSE THAT ARE COMBAT ARMS? I AM NOT SURE.

The single best way to evaluate the health and strength of a soldier is the standing long-jump? Strong legs equates to strong health and fitness? The single best and easiest way to condition a soldier for combat weight-loaded marching?

coolbert.




Thursday, July 12, 2018

Vulcan Yemen.

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Houthi Beyond Thunderdome Yemen.

Dashka heavy machine gun mounted on a technical we are familiar with.

20 mm cannon mounted on a technical we are familiar with.

But a Vulcan 20 mm rapid-fire cannon we are not familiar with. Until now.

The article as seen at The Drive and thanks to the tip from Freeper:

"Houthi Rebels In Yemen Have Technical Trucks Armed With Vulcan Cannons"

"Technicals, a term typically applied to commercial pickup trucks or similar light wheeled vehicles with improvised weapon mounts, are common among both state security forces and non-state actors, especially in the Middle East. But few are as heavily armed as a type that Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen are employing, which packs a 20mm Vulcan cannon and looks like something one might expect to see in a new Mad Max movie."

"The fearsome combination looks like something out a post-apocalyptic action flick, but gives the group very real mobile firepower."

American Vulcan M163 used in the ground support role during Gulf War One. Able to destroy a thin-skinned vehicle with a single burst and used quite often in this role!

YOU COULD LEVEL A WHOLE FOREST WITH ONE OF THESE VULCAN! BUT THEY DON'T HAVE FORESTS IN YEMEN, DO THEY!

The Houthi if anything very resourceful, resilient, determined, even inspired and worthy of admiration, whether you agree with their cause or not.

coolbert.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Von Paulus II.

This is coolbert:

Conclusion!

Interrogation! Surreptitious! Von Paulus. Schmidt.

"Report of the Special Section of the Don Front NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs) to Special Sections Department of NKVD USSR, about conversations of F. Paulus, A. Schmidt and others."

"February, 3rd, 1943"

"To Deputy of the National Commissioner of Internal Affairs of the USSR, Commissioner of State Security Third Rank, comrade Abakumov"

"According your order, I placed agents on the premises, occupied by captured German generals."

"With Paulus and Schmidt I placed an agent of counter-intelligence department, junior lieutenant of the state security, comrade Tarabrin, who speaks German language well, and our representative Nesterov."

THOSE MOST SENIOR GERMAN COMMANDERS CAPTURED AT STALINGRAD THEIR PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS EAVESDROPPED BY GERMAN SPEAKING NKVD [Soviet secret police] AGENTS, THOSE AGENTS SUPPRESSING THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF THE LANGUAGE!

Von Paulus and his immediate subordinates while in captivity their main topic of conversation and concerns being: Dinner. Sleep. Vodka. Cigars. Penknife. Shave.

Creature comforts Von Paulus seemingly oblivious to the suffering of those remnants of the Sixth Army. Of those Germans captured at Stalingrad ONLY about 5 % of those troops making it back to Germany. The remainder succumbing to hunger, disease, privation of all sorts and downright mistreatment by their captors.

I guess it can be suggested that Von Paulus at that exact moment of time more or less helpless, his duty having been done according to his code of honor.

Devoted readers to the blog will have to decide for themselves.

coolbert.


Von Paulus I.

This is coolbert:

Consider this anecdotal account - - German soldiers of the Sixth Army in the aftermath of the Battle of Stalingrad. Thanks to the wiki:

"We [Soviet soldiers and British journalist] . . . went into the yard of the large burnt out building of the Red Army House; and here one realized particularly clearly what the last days of Stalingrad had been to so many of the Germans. In the porch lay the skeleton of a horse, with only a few scraps of meat still clinging to its ribs. Then we came into the yard. Here lay more more [sic?] horses' skeletons, and to the right, there was an enormous horrible cesspool – fortunately, frozen solid. And then, suddenly, at the far end of the yard I caught sight of a human figure. He had been crouching over another cesspool, and now, noticing us, he was hastily pulling up his pants, and then he slunk away into the door of the basement. But as he passed, I caught a glimpse of the wretch's face – with its mixture of suffering and idiot-like incomprehension. For a moment, I wished that the whole of Germany were there to see it. The man was probably already dying. In that basement [...] there were still two hundred Germans—dying of hunger and frostbite. 'We haven't had time to deal with them yet,' one of the Russians said. 'They'll be taken away tomorrow, I suppose.' And, at the far end of the yard, besides the other cesspool, behind a low stone wall, the yellow corpses of skinny Germans were piled up – men who had died in that basement—about a dozen wax-like dummies. We did not go into the basement itself – what was the use? There was nothing we could do for them." - -  British war correspondent Alexander Werth, witness at Stalingrad.

Multiply the scene as described above by hundreds if not thousands of instances and you have a good idea of the German soldier, Stalingrad, upon surrender.

That combination of unremitting combat, pitiless cold, lack of provision, disease and inadequate if not downright non-existent medical care. The iconic image accompanying this blog entry does say a lot, doesn't it!

More to follow. I am going somewhere with this.

coolbert.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

SkyGuard.

This is coolbert:

More on cost effectiveness of weapons systems. See previous blog entries as applicable here and here.

From the latest edition of the DEBKAfile newsletter as extracted:

"Israeli strategists split over Iron Dome versus laser system missile interceptors"

30 June.

"Israel's military leaders are in a hot debate over whether to supplement Israel's expensive Iron Dome missile stocks with the new and cheaper US laser beam weapons. The arithmetic is simple: Downing an estimated number of 12,000 enemy missiles would take more than 30,000 Iron Dome missiles, at the astronomical cost of $5 billion. Fifteen SkyGuard lasers batteries (at $75 million apiece) would come to around $1.125 billion, representing a saving of $3.75 billion"

Missiles as being spoken about here more correctly understood as ROCKET ARTILLERY of the old-fashioned GRAD variety [but improved and larger].

Hezbollah in particular possessing rocket artillery in abundance courtesy of the Iranian. A formidable threat to Israel the counter of which is the Iron Dome surface-to-air missile counter-rocket/counter-mortar weapons system.

THE AMERICAN DIRECTED ENERGY SKYGUARD MUCH MORE COST EFFICIENT THAN IRON DOME? [DEVELOPMENT OF SKYGUARD IT SEEMS A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT OF THE U.S AND ISRAEL]

SkyGuard I am totally unfamiliar with. Cost effectiveness until battle-tested only a speculation.

coolbert.