Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mahmud.


This is coolbert:

What would Mahmud have done?

Thanks here for the tip from Robert through JihadWatch.

Here is the saga, now ended, of Haji Yakub, a Taliban commander that has bit the dust!

"U.S. Troops Kill Taliban Commander Clad in Woman's Clothing"

"KABUL, Afghanistan — Gun battles and air strikes by NATO and Afghan troops killed 53 militants in Afghanistan, including a wanted Taliban commander who tried to hide from soldiers under a woman's burqa, officials said Saturday."

For those of you that have seen the movie, "Battle of Algiers", this tactic, dressing as a woman under the voluminous robes and the face mask, is a ploy used by jihadi to escape pursuers!

This incident occurred in the Afghan town of Ghazni. Each and every time I hear Ghazni mentioned in the news, I am reminded of another Islamic warrior, Mahmud, from a thousand years ago now. A MAN WHO WOULD NOT HAVE EVER DRESSED IN WOMAN'S GARB!!

"Mahmud of Ghazni (Persian: محمود غزنوی) (November 2, 971 - April 30, 1030), also known as Yāmīn al-Dawlah Mahmūd . . . was the founder of the Ghaznavid Empire, which he ruled from 997 until his death."

"In Afghanistan, Mahmud is celebrated as a national hero and a great patron of the arts, architecture and literature as well as a vanguard of Islam and a paragon of virtue and piety."

"In modern Pakistan he is hailed as a conquering hero who established the standard of Islam upon heathen land, while in India he may be depicted as raiding iconoclastic invader, bent upon the loot and plunder of a peaceful Hindu population"

Right. Mahmud, depending upon your perspective, was a great conqueror and defender of Islam. Or, from the Hindu standpoint, a pillager, murderer, rapist, arsonist, destroyer of sacred objects.

BUT, hardly a man who would have dressed as a woman. And certainly NOT dressed that way when confronted by the enemy in battle!!

coolbert.

APMSS.


This is coolbert:

You can guess that this little news blurb caught my attention right away.

From the Chicago Tribune yesterday:

"NATION & WORLD"

"GULF OF ADEN"

"Somali pirates seized control of a chemical tanker Friday and a NATO helicopter gunship picked up three security guards who jumped into the sea. It was the 97th ship hijacking this year off Somalia's coast."

Those three security guards - - are employees of the English concern AntiPiracy Maritime Security Solutions (APMSS), run by Nick Davis. Provide "security", of a non-lethal nature, for ships transiting the Gulf of Aden?

Men, who are allowed only to use a L-RAD as a means of warding off piratical attack. The sonic-gun that causes HURT! Normally designed to be used for crowd control.

In this case L-RAD did not work?

Here is further on the pirate attack and the action of the security guards, thanks to the TimesOnline.

"British and Irish anti-piracy experts rescued - after pirates attack"

"They [the security force] fired water cannon at the pirates and zigzagged the vessel. They also used a long-range accoustic device [L-RAD] that fires laser-like beams of excruciatingly painful sound at attackers."

But - - after coming after sustained AK and RPG fire, the ship had no option but to surrender!!??

These three security men, knowing that identification might very well be a death sentence, jumped overboard to save their skins!!??

And probably did the right thing too.

Nick Davis, owner of AntiPiracy Maritime Security Solutions, hires only ex-Royal Marine Commando and special forces type persons for these security missions. Men who would not hesitate to jump off a tanker into mid-ocean if it meant their lives!

Having that NATO helicopter gunship in the vicinity made the decision to plunge into the water that much easier too??!!

The anti-piracy solution was not much of a solution in this case, was it?

coolbert.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Akshardham.


This is coolbert:

"they are 14th century warriors fighting a 21st century war,"

Read the entire episode of a previous Black Cat anti-terrorist operation. From 2002. Successfully concluded - - two terrorists being hunted and brought to a final end, but only after much difficulty.

"TEMPLE CARNAGE: Terrorist Attack in Akshardham"

"The shoot out and the hunt continued sporadically through the night. The terrorists became desperate at the daybreak. The firing reached a feverish pitch. At around 6:45am, the Black Cat commandos ended the 14 hour long ordeal by shooting the two terrorists hiding in the bushes"

A battle raging on/and/off for fourteen hours, within a twenty-three acre compound, two terrorists against the security forces, including the Black Cat unit. People will ask, "what took the commandos so long to get the villains!!??" These operations are never easy!!?? Always fraught with great danger and travail. NO TWO situations are the same.

And, those 14th century warriors fighting a 21st century war!!?? Read this comment by one of the Black Cat commanders:

"The team sent to Akshardham, for instance, was armed and ready within 15 minutes. It is another matter that it took 1½ hours for them to reach the airport through rush hour traffic in Delhi. (There is a small helipad at Manesar, but no helicopters). As one officer explains with a touch of sadness, 'What we needed at Akshardham were strobe lights, so we wouldn't have to wait for the morning light. There is equipment available - digital scans, thermal scans, even dogs equipped with cameras'"

BLACK CAT DOES NOT HAVE ORGANIC AERIAL LIFT CAPABILITY!! CANNOT REACH PARTS OF THE COUNTRY FROM HOME BASES UNLESS SUPPORT IS PROVIDED. THIS IS A TERRIBLE WEAKNESS THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED. AND THE BLACK CAT TROOPS ARE NOT EQUIPPED WITH SOPHISTICATED GEAR AS NORMALLY CARRIED BY OTHER SPECIAL OPERATIONS ANTI-TERRORIST UNITS!! Night-vision, infra-red illuminators and goggles, etc.

Hey, no one said this was going to be easy.

One could also suggest - - that it is not the gun - - but rather the man behind the gun that counts. Team work, tactics, practice, skill, are all to be preferred over technology!!??

coolbert.

RAW.

This is coolbert:

"Create mayhem, make it last. And leave the rest to the power of television news." - - Vikram Sood, former chief of India's Research and Analysis Wing - - commenting in the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist atrocity!


Here, from the wiki, is the full dope on R&AW.

Research and Analysis Wing.

"Research and Analysis Wing (RAW or R&AW) is India's external intelligence agency"

Roughly analogous to the American CIA or British M16.

"the militants in the Taj and Oberoi hotels were getting details of the movement of security forces around the hotels on Wednesday night from Pakistan through satellite phones and laptops"

"The satellite phone intercepts indicated that television was being used to provide information to militants inside the hotels"

It was one of these two "child" agencies of R&AW that monitored the satellite phone link between the terrorists in Mumbai and supporters in Pakistan?

* "The Radio Research Center (RRC) is an agency under Research and Analysis Wing. RRC deals with SIGINT and allied works. Most of its work is classified."

* "The National Technical Research Organisation (NTFO) is a secret agency under the PMO in India. It is believed that it deals with imagery and communications intelligence using various platforms, including satellites."

R&AW does not exist in a vacuum! Hardly so! Consider the number of Indian intelligence agencies currently active.

List of Indian Intelligence Agencies: [thanks again to the wiki entry]

* Intelligence Bureau.
* Joint Intelligence Committee (India).
* Central Bureau of Investigation.
* Directorate of Naval Intelligence (India).
* Joint Cipher Bureau.
* Directorate of Air Intelligence (India).
* Research and Analysis Wing.
* All India Radio monitoring service.
* Defence Intelligence Agency (India).
* Directorate of Signals Intelligence.
* Defence Image Processing and Analysis Centre (DIPAC).
* Directorate of Military Intelligence (India).
* Central Economic Intelligence Bureau.
* Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence (DGRI).
* Economic Intelligence Council.

Fifteen bureaus, agencies, services, directorates, centers, committees, wings, etc.

NOT a whole lot less than what the U.S. has [sixteen to be exact]!

"Westerners" like to think of India in terms of Mahatma Gandhi, ahimsa, non-violent protest, etc. Passive, non-violent persons, not given over to aggression and the use of force under any circumstances.

"Literally speaking, ahimsa means non-violence. But to me it has much higher, infinitely higher meaning. It means that you may not offend anybody; you may not harbor uncharitable thought, even in connection with those who consider your enemies. To one who follows this doctrine, there are no enemies."

That image of India, if it ever was accurate, is now a long-gone thing of the past.

India possesses a military of considerable size, a nuclear arsenal, advanced weapons, etc. Indian history and culture has a long tradition of warfare, martial arts, para-military organizations, etc. Communal violence on a large scale, terrorism/guerrilla warfare being endemic to the Indian sub-continent, it is not surprising, at least it should not be, that the government of India has a lot of intelligence assets at the disposal of policy makers and decision makers.

The image [ahimsa] is "nice", but the reality is different!!

coolbert.

Sat Phone

This is coolbert:

Put this one in the "OH, shit, OH, damn" category!!

"Did 24X7 channels give away commando plans?"

"Government officials said that the militants in the Taj and Oberoi hotels were getting details of the movement of security forces around the hotels on Wednesday night from Pakistan through satellite phones and laptops, even though cable television lines were snapped in hotels on Wednesday night itself."

"The satellite phone intercepts indicated that television was being used to provide information to militants inside the hotels till Thursday evening when the government issued an advisory," said and I&B ministry official. Added an official: 'The militants knew from where the security forces were zeroing in.' That could have slowed down the operation."

"Create mayhem, make it last. And leave the rest to the power of television news. Vikram Sood, former chief of India's Research and Analysis Wing, said lots needed to be self-censored. 'It was horrific,' he said. 'The terrorists would have got to know exactly what was happening.'"

Let me be perfectly clear what we are speaking about here. The terrorists, holed up in their various locations, were receiving real-time intelligence on the counter-terrorist operations directed against them.

Persons, confederates of the terrorists, located in a safe-haven somewhere in Pakistan, were monitoring the cable television news and live broadcasts from the scene, AND RELAYING THIS INFO TO THE TERRORISTS VIA LAP TOP COMPUTERS AND SATELLITE PHONES!!! INTELLIGENCE VITAL TO THE TERRORISTS AND WORKING AGAINST THE INDIAN COMMANDO UNITS WAS BEING PROVIDED, UNKNOWINGLY, BY THE INDIAN MEDIA!!!

"The satellite phone intercepts" The Indian government radio intercept service must have been on the ball and intercepting the broadcasts to the terrorists. Broadcasts found to be originating from Pakistan. NO WONDER THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA IS SO HOT WITH PAKISTAN OVER THIS TERRORIST STRIKE!!!
coolbert.

Recriminations!

This is coolbert:

Even before the fighting in Mumbai has ended, the last terrorist YET to have been killed or captured, the area under attack totally and 100 % secured, the recriminations over the Indian response has already begun.

"Mumbai attacks: foreign governments criticise India's response"

"India has been accused of bungling its response to the terror attack on prominent hotels and tourist haunts in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) by foreign governments whose citizens have been killed."

1. The last group of terrorists were still able to fight NINE HOURS after the commando assault on their position began??!!

"Nariman House, the single story office block that was assaulted by helicopter-borne commandos just after dawn."

"But nine hours later there was still incoming and outgoing fire and grenade explosions at the building."

2. "A . . . British official criticised the Indian response to the crisis. Although the country's Black Cat commandos have a fearsome reputation for efficient anti terrorist operations, their deployment was botched."

"'They are supposed to set-up a command centre in complete control as their first priority,' the official said. 'Instead they arrived and went in guns blazing.'"

"'It was blind. They didn't have maps of the hotels, yet there terrorists had done enough reconnaissance to use the service facilities to manoeuvre.'"

3. "There was also criticism of a midnight announcement on the first day of the crisis by a cabinet minister that 200 commandos were deployed in the area within two hours."

"'The terrorist were forewarned by the government itself,' the official said.
Even in the midst of the fighting, the security operation is riddled with holes."

4. "A masked marine commando said clearance efforts were severely hampered by numbers of people still inside hotels when they moved in to flush out the militants."

"'We could have got those terrorists but for so many hotel guests,' he said."

Comments:

* Normally it would not take NINE HOURS to clear a single-story building during an anti-terrorist operation. The tactics for taking and securing a building should have been well worked out in advance? Practiced over and over until the entire procedure becomes routine? Grenades, sub-machine gun, buddy team, controlled explosives, mouse holes, etc. Anti-terrorist units the world-over know this stuff and practice relentlessly!

* In some ways, this is all the opposite of what occurred during the Columbine shootings and the police response. At Columbine, the first thing the police did was to set up a security perimeter and a command post. As they had been trained to do by the "experts". DID NOT GO INTO THE SCHOOL WITH "GUNS BLAZING" ! In the aftermath of Columbine there was a LOT of recriminations BECAUSE THE POLICE DID NOT MOVE INTO THE BUILDING SOONER AND TAKE OUT HARRIS AND KLEBOLD. LIVES COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED IF THE COPS HAD FOLLOWED A DIFFERENT SET OF PROCEDURES!!
* Apparently, the terrorists, some of them at least, AT ONE OR ANOTHER, HAD JOBS AT THE HOTELS, KNEW AND WERE ABLE TO USE THE SERVICE AREAS OF THE HOTELS FOR THEIR OWN ADVANTAGE DURING THE COMBAT!!
* YES, the hotel guests, the wounded, the dead, the lack of knowledge among who is present in the building is armed and dangerous, all makes for a difficult situation. Especially when you are in a hotel, with so many guests, room, service areas, etc. Behind each and every locked door is a potential terrorist. And those hotels appear to be massive structures!!

Black Cat, MARCOS, and the police on the scene, all faced an impossible situation! This was chaos at the worst??!!

Mumbai represents a new and terrifying form of terror? YES!
coolbert.

Black Cat

This is coolbert:

Here the Indian Army and Navy units, commandos, that responded to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

1. Black Cat commando. Better known as the National Security Guards (NSG). Provide bodyguards for high ranking Indian governmental officials. A mobile anti-terrorist force trained in the various aspects of security, hostage rescue, close-quarters combat, room-to-room fighting, etc.



"Of the 1,200 commandos, some 100, formed into small teams specialising variously in kidnap, hostage, hijacking and other anti-terrorist emergencies are on duty round the clock - ready to go within minutes of receiving a summons."

Described as: "They are 14th century warriors fighting a 21st century war," NOT possessing the refined and sophisticated equipment as other counter-terrorist units would have at their disposal.

2. Marine Commandos. Also known as MARCOS (Marine Commandos).

The unit has gained a fearsome reputation among nervous terrorists and are variously referred to as the Dadiwali Fauj (Bearded Army) since MARCOS are the only non-Sikh personnel allowed to grow them, Jal Murgi (Water Hens) for the speed in which they assault from the water and Magarmach (Crocodiles) for their amphibious capability.



This particular MARCOS man has a cross-bow as part of his weaponry!!

Both Black Cat and MARCOS units were involved in the Mumbai operation? News accounts seem to suggest so. These units did not, however, arrive on the scene until nine hours after the terrorists began their attack. Central "command" in Delhi [??] only decided to use the commando units two hours after firing had started. At that point, the situation was well out-of-hand!

These commando units quite often go into battle MASKED!? The one MARCOS man [the commander] being interviewed, [speaking passable English], wore a head bandanna, a mask, and sunglasses, totally concealing his face.

"NOT possessing the refined and sophisticated equipment as other counter-terrorist units would have at their disposal."

Well, they do have sub-machine guns, hand grenades, cross-bows. What more do you need! These counter-terrorist operations do not normally involved heavy weaponry but rather are close-quarters battle fighting, sort of like the trench warfare of World War One [WW1]. Additional equipment for the Indians would be a hindrance?

coolbert.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai.


This is coolbert:

The Indian security forces in Mumbai continue to battle with terrorists. This is the third day now and events are finally coming to a close? A chaotic situation is now well-in-hand?

"Five hostages killed in Jewish center, chaos at hotel"

"MUMBAI, India (CNN) -- The siege at a Jewish center in Mumbai is in its final stages, according to reports, but fighting still rages at a hotel in the city two days after terrorists launched a series of deadly attacks."

"CNN's Indian sister network, CNN-IBN, reported the siege at Chabad House, where at least two people were being held hostage, was close to ending soon after commandos started to enter the building.The network also reported five people had been killed at the house."

One hotel is cleared. Another hotel remains unsecured. A Jewish center is still occupied by the terrorists. Other terrorists have been killed or captured.

"Earlier, police said they had cleared the Oberoi Hotel, killing two militants and freeing hundreds of trapped guests. They found 30 bodies and were searching the building."

"However, fighting continued to rage at the Taj Mahal Hotel -- where one gunmen was reportedly still holed up."

These villains really seem to have known their targets really well. EVEN SET UP A COMMAND POST, PREPARED IN ADVANCE [??], in one of the hotel rooms!

And KNEW, very well, the layout of the hotels, knew where to go, where to hide, etc.

"They fired at guests 'with no remorse' and knew the layout of the hotels well enough to 'vanish' after confronting security forces, the commando said."

A hotel is a tempting target for terrorists? Lots of guests become "hostages" even when not under direct control of the villains. Security forces are hesitant to use firepower for fear of hitting innocents! The interior of a hotel consists not only of the rooms for guests, hallways, etc. Another entire building exists out-of-sight and is accessible only to employees? Trying to clear a hotel, all the rooms, guests trapped inside of rooms, the security forces not knowing for sure who or what is behind a door, and trying to use a minimum of force at all times, is a real problem!?

Here too is the story of Mark Essex. Black Muslim/Black Panther/terrorist/spree killer who rampaged through New Orleans - - 1972!! Finally cornered in a Howard Johnson hotel! Read about the extreme difficulty the New Orleans police faced in dealing with this subject! It finally took 1,000 rounds of M-16 ammo and a Chinook helicopter to bring this miscreant to his final end!!

coolbert.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Guru?


This is coolbert:

Here are some startling predictions - - by a futurist guru - - a man, who has often in the past been right on the money?

"Gerald Celente, the CEO of Trends Research Institute, is renowned for his accuracy in predicting future world and economic events"

Events to occur during the next four years within the American contiguous forty-eight [48] states, requiring a military response needed to maintain order! The active duty military forces, national guardsmen, militias, "white companies" will be needed more at home than overseas?

"Celente Predicts Revolution, Food Riots, Tax Rebellions By 2012 "

This particular "futurist" - - sees a near future for the U.S at home - - that is alarming? A future to include, within the next four years:

* Food riots.
* Tax rebellions.
* Squatter rebellions.
* Job marches.

Celente has an enviable record for futurist predictions? Accuracy is quite good? Correctly has predicted:

* "1987 stock market crash"
* "the demise of the Soviet Union"
* "the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis"
* "the sub prime mortgage collapse"
* "the massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar"
* "the boom in gourmet coffees.”
* "‘green marketing’"
* "corporate downsizing"

"The man who predicted the 1987 stock market crash and the demise of the Soviet Union is now forecasting revolution in America, food riots and tax rebellions - all within four years, while cautioning that putting food on the table will be a more pressing concern than buying Christmas gifts by 2012."

Military force will be A MUST if the U.S. is to maintain cohesiveness, civility, and sovereignty! Living Americans do not have any experiences even remotely similar? But the signs are there for everyone to see. Squatter encampments along the U.S-Mexican border are already a reality. Called colonias', they are so far tolerated. Any attempt to bring order to the chaotic border situation with our southern neighbor will result in these colonias' erupting into rebellion? I hope not, but fear the worst!

Here too is further on the 90 page document as made public in 2006 by the British Ministry of Defense [MoD]. As authored by Admiral Parry.

"Revolution, flashmobs, and brain chips. A grim vision of the future"

In particular:

"Climate change - -
There is 'compelling evidence' to indicate that climate change is occurring and that the atmosphere will continue to warm at an unprecedented rate throughout the 21st century. It could lead to a reduction in north Atlantic salinity by increasing the freshwater runoff from the Arctic. This could affect the natural circulation of the north Atlantic by diminishing the warming effect of ocean currents on western Europe. 'The drop in temperature might exceed that of the miniature ice age of the 17th and 18th centuries.'"

A reduction, precipitous, in the salinity of the north Atlantic Ocean, will result in oceanic current change that will be catastrophic. Ireland and Great Britain will become more or less uninhabitable, arctic-like tundra not able to sustain human populations. An additional instance of a solar Maunder Minimum and humankind may be in for another Ice Age, with all that will bring!!

Keep the powder dry!!

coolbert.

Indja.

This is coolbert:

The news today from India, of course, is grim!!

The ongoing terrorist attacks on Mumbai continue.

The villains have yet to be routed. Situation still unclear in many aspects. It does not look good! Expect the final casualty toll to go much higher!

"Mumbai rocked by deadly attacks"

"Gunmen have carried out a series of co-ordinated attacks across the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay), killing at least 80 people and injuring 200 more."

"At least seven high-profile locations were hit in India's financial capital, including two luxury hotels where hostages were reported to be held."

The scale of these attacks is especially audacious. Seven coordinated GROUND attacks simultaneously IS TOTALLY UNPRECEDENTED??!!

Previous terrorist-linked attacks in Mumbai or other Indian cities were of the bombing variety ONLY? A bomb or series of bombs were detonated, remotely or otherwise, BUT GROUND ATTACK WAS NOT PART OF THE EQUATION?

At least until NOW!

The choice of hotels in the high-price, upscale part of Mumbai was carefully thought out too? Especially hotels that are generally the favorites of well-to-do foreign tourists or businessmen.

Hotels in particular make anti-terrorist and hostage-rescue operations next to impossible. So many places to hide and so many persons to identify as friend/foe make the job very difficult at best. Lot of chances for friendly-fire accidents may occur if and when [already has been done?] anti-terrorist commando units go into action!

The bad-guys had to have had a lot of support on the ground. And planned this escapade for some time. The government of India is going to hear a lot of recriminations about this.

This story is still unfolding as we speak. More later!

coolbert.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ears.


This is coolbert:

Here is more dope on the anti-sniper detection and location system soon to be deployed to Iraq and Afghan. A device as developed and manufactured by the British concern QinetiQ. Q as in "Q"? The eccentric Englishman providing all sorts of exotic gadgets for James Bond!

"US Army Places $9.95 Million Order for QinetiQ North America's Next Generation of Soldier-Wearable Sniper Detectors"

"US Army’s first large-scale deployment of Ears expected by end of year"

"QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group has announced a $9.95 million order from the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force (REF) for SWATS Soldier-Wearable Acoustic Targeting Systems."

"Part of the Ears Gunshot Localization System product family, SWATS soldier-worn units will be deployed to US Army troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan this year."

"This is the US Army’s first large-scale deployment of any soldier-wearable gunshot and sniper detection solution."

Ears they call it. It seems only one unit per troop is all that is needed. You DO NOT require several units working in concert to achieve triangulation and find the position of the enemy sniper? This is correct? Yes?

Ears too does NOT live in isolation. This is a "hot button" item for defense contractors. Everyone has their own "device", each outperforming the latest and greatest?

Here, thanks to David Crane of Defense Review, is a more complete listing of anti-sniper detection and location devices. Either under development, being fielded, etc.

"Anti-Sniper/Sniper Detection/Gunfire Detection Systems at a Glance"

(1) BBN Boomerang II Mobile Acoustic Shooter Detection System (MASDS) for Moving Vehicles.
(2) WeaponWatch.
(3) REDOWL (Robot Enhanced Detection Outpost with Lasers.
(4) M1 FS-GDS Fixed Site/and M2 VM-GDS Vehicle Mounted Gunfire Detection Systems.
(5) AAI PDCue Tetrahedral Gunfire Detection System.
(6) Anti-Sniper Infrared Targeting System (ASITS).
(7) ShotSpotter Military Systems.

Such "devices" are going to see a lot of action in the years to come? A counter to one of the most effective tactics [sniper], that can be employed by jihadi or other 4th generational warfare practitioners? There is a NEED and it is being met?

coolbert.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Anti-Sniper.

This is coolbert:

Here again, is an example of technology to the rescue? The "magic bullet" that solves a problem? Or at least makes the problem manageable?

"Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan to get life saving anti-sniper device "

"British and American forces fighting the guerrilla insurgence in Iraq and Afghanistan could soon be protected by an anti-sniper device that can pinpoint the position of the shooter within a fraction of a second."

"The palm-sized device designed by Qinetiq, the British defence firm that was once the government research laboratories, is pinned to the uniform and uses acoustic technology to calculate the exact position of the rifle fire."

"Then a electronic voice passes on the 'bearing and range' to the soldier allowing him to jump to safety and return fire."

[this assumes the man wearing the device has not been hit by the sniper fire and is able to "jump to safety and return fire"]

"The device, which costs around £2,500 [$5,000?], works by isolating the crack of the sniper rifle thanks to four microphones, a GPS system and a powerful microprocessor. "

"It takes less than a tenth of a second and provides the results in audio and visual formats. It can even send a grid reference via radio to supporting artillery and aircraft."

"The system, which weighs less than 6oz, is so sensitive it can tell the difference between outgoing friendly fire and incoming enemy fire and can distinguish a sniper even in a gun battle"

I know that American police forces have had for some time devices of this nature at their disposal. Devices, perhaps larger than what has been developed for use in Iraq, mounted on telephone poles in strategic locations. A "report" from a firearm will trigger the pole-mounted devices and allow for triangulation, determining the source of the gunfire. This current system going to be used in Iraq is MUCH MORE sophisticated, as you might expect, given the ever increasing rate of technological advancement!

coolbert.

Gyrojet



This is coolbert: Here is a weapon originally developed from way back when in the Vietnam War era. The MBA Gyrojet pistol. Had the appearance of a conventional pistol but was much more! Caused a mild stir and interest at the time. Was evaluated by the U.S. Army but found to be "lacking". A revolutionary concept in that the pistol fired A ROCKET!!

"The bullets were for all practical purposes small rockets that started a powder burn upon firing, and constantly accelerated until it reached the target, giving smaller ammo the hitting power of a much larger caliber."

"the MBA Gyro-Jet pistol made for a brief span from 1966 to 1969. It was a stamped sheet metal gun resembling a cheap cap pistol more than a deadly firearm. Early versions fired a 13mm projectile, later reduced to 12mm in order to comply with 1968 Gun Control Act. The self-contained projectile, like a mini rocket ship, had either two or four nozzles to vent the gas and provide recoilless propulsion."

"the Gyrojet used multiple angled exhaust ports to spin the projectile as it traveled thru the smooth barrel. this produced great accuracy"



Those angled exhaust ports spun the projectile as it traveled down the smooth bore barrel and toward the target upon exiting, continuously being spun the entire way until impact!

A pistol, firing a rocket, that seemed to hold great promise. Had a number of significant advantages over the standard .45 ACP auto loading pistol as issued to U.S. troops at the time. Advantages to include:

* Large caliber. [greater than a .45 auto loading pistol]

* Recoilless. [very little at any rate]

* Much muffled report. [the "bang" made by detonation is compared to the opening of a can of soft drink?]

* Very long effective range. [reputed to be up to 100 meters]

* High-velocity meant greater lethality at longer range. [even came in an armor piercing round]

But had some significant drawbacks also. To include:

* "misfires or not getting a 100% burn was a problem" [in humid weather] [described though as an infrequent problem].

* "fouling of the exhaust ports." ["a fouled port could cause a wobbling path and nasty accuracy problems."]

* "the rocket burning could leave a trail back to the shooter." [this was the biggest drawback of them all?]

* "clearing a jam or reloading a Gyrojet pistol during a fire fight was impractical."

* "Close range Gyrojet velocity/energy was sub-lethal"

* "longer range accuracy was doubtful"

Perhaps the most glaring disadvantage, at least to my way of thinking, was NOT the smoke [?] trail leading back to the shooter, but rather the non-lethal aspect at close-range. The rocket, when exiting the muzzle, did NOT have sufficient velocity to be deadly to a human! You would hit the guy, but not kill him! Considering that 50 % of all gunfights where a handgun is used occur at a distance of 2 meters OR LESS, and you see the drawback to the MBA Gyrojet right away!!

The MBA Gyrojet was an interesting and novel concept. Perhaps too far ahead of curve to ever be adopted? What already exists, the .45 ACP pistol [today the 9mm Beretta] is just too well a known a product to be cast aside instantly for an alternative you are just not sure about?

coolbert.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Musselman.



This is coolbert: Here from a diplomatic discussion between: The Tripolitan Ambassador to Britain, Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja - - in conversation with - - Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, then serving as American ambassadors to France and Britain - - 1786

"that it [slave raids of the Barbary pirates] was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."

Let us refresh our memory as to the predictions made by the British Admiral Parry recently. Among other things, Parry has predicted that the Mediterranean will see a return of the Barbary pirates. Cut-throat Muslim raiders, practicing a trade we thought done away with long ago.

"Beware: the new goths are coming" - - June 11, 2006

"In an apocalyptic vision of security dangers, Rear Admiral Chris Parry said future migrations would be comparable to the Goths and Vandals while north African 'barbary' pirates could be attacking yachts and beaches in the Mediterranean within 10 years."

"Third World instability would lick at the edges of the West as pirates attacked holidaymakers from fast boats. 'At some time in the next 10 years it may not be safe to sail a yacht between Gibraltar and Malta,' said the admiral."

Generally speaking, Admiral Parry has foretold a breakdown of the world order, beginning around the year 2012 or so. A breakdown due to a variety of factors, factors for which no amelioration seems to be possible. This is all going to be inevitable?

The predations - - of the Barbary pirates will resume with a vengeance! Something that was thought a-thing-of-the-past, an anachronism never to be seen again, will once more be a constant source of threat to European populations [and anyone other than a Muslim traveling in the afflicted area!]!

The Barbary pirates, Muslims, were especially covetous of what was called "white gold"! European slaves, taken primarily from the various European nations bordering the Mediterranean, but also from Ireland, England, and even on one occasion, Iceland.

[in some minds, there is a special intriguing aspect to European "white people" being enslaved by what are seen as "dark skinned" persons??!! A perverse interest in such matters is aroused!!]

The normal way to deal with the Barbary pirates was to pay tribute, bribes, baksheesh, ransom hostages, etc. Military action was generally felt to be futile.

These piratical raiders, the desire to obtain "white gold" occurred for a period of almost 1,000 years!! ONLY put to an end by military action of the various European powers - - and - - the conquest and occupation of Algeria by the French [1830's]!!

The piracy now occurring in the Horn of Africa region is only a small taste of what is to come? Behavior once thought to be, again, an anachronism never to be seen again, will become common place, routine, AND DEADLY!!

I hope not, but I fear it will be!!

coolbert.

Interpreters.

This is coolbert:

Back again on the topic of masks as worn by Iraqi interpreters working for the U.S. military. Interpreters now forbidden to wear masks to conceal their identity. Placing those brave Iraqis in great peril. Even some Congressmen can instantly see the danger here!

"Pentagon Urged to Reverse Mask Ban"

"13 U.S. Lawmakers Back Iraqi Translators"

"Thirteen members of Congress and an association of interpreters this week urged the Pentagon to rescind a policy that prohibits interpreters who work with U.S. troops in Baghdad from wearing ski masks to conceal their identity."

Consider the fate of many of the interpreters that have worked for the U.S. military since the invasion and occupation. Over 300 dead, some meeting their fate in a gruesome and terrible manner. Family members of the interpreters too are in great danger! Also targeted and singled out for elimination.

"More than 300 interpreters working with U.S. troops in Iraq have been killed since 2003."

"There seems to be a disconnect between the command and the people on the ground who appreciate what the interpreters are doing"

NOT just a disconnect. A terrible disconnect. And - - I fear - - all for the wrong reasons. The top army brass in Iraq has made this decision, forbidding the interpreters to wear masks - - primarily out of cosmetic concerns, and nothing more than that?! Some general at the top wants everyone, "to look nice"!!

coolbert.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Piracy - - Again.

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

TOP SECRET intelligence dope [not actually so, but let us pretend that it is!!].

NATION & WORLD

Looking for a way around pirates

“Gulf of Aden shipping by the numbers”

* “20,000+ vessels go through annually.”

* “4 % of global oil supplies pass each day.”

* “80 hijackings or attempts this year.”

“Mightily armed, but slightly baffled, 21st Century civilization appears to have no collective answer to modern piracy”

“As a result, insurance rates for merchant shipping are skyrocketing and shippers are considering alternatives, including the circuitous passage around the Cape of Good Hope.”

The Horn of Africa region, especially the Gulf of Aden, just south of Yemen, is where most of the current piracy episodes occur. Another cluster of piracy incidents is in Nigerian waters. Shipping taking the alternative route around the southern tip of Africa WILL BE FORCED TO STAY WELL OUT TO SEA EVEN IF TRANSITING THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE HEADED NORTH!!! Even more miles, days, and an increase in the shipping cost!!

As for: “no collective answer to modern piracy.” HOW ABOUT - - KILL THE PIRATES??!!

coolbert.

The Report

This is coolbert:

This news item - - on the radio today too!!

From the Chicago Tribune today:

Report: U.S. clout will wane

"WASHINGTON - - A new assessment by American intelligence agencies predicts that U.S. influence in the world will decline over the next two decades as surging powers such as China and India, as well as independent entities including ethnic tribes and criminal networks, gain international clout."

"The report titled 'Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World.' Represents the U.S. intelligence community’s most comprehensive examination to date of the long-term security issues that the United States is likely to face."

"China stands to have more impact on the world over the next 20 years than any other single country, and India will strive to represent one of the world’s economic poles, the report says."

This is a report - - the analysis of which is done and placed into the public domain - - once every five years. NOT findings unknown to devoted readers to this blog! Surely not so!

And, it should be emphasized, that when we are speaking about clout, we ARE NOT [??] necessarily talking about the U.S. becoming WEAKER, we are only talking about nations such as China and India becoming STRONGER, as the terms strong and weak are judged in the international arena, by a set of variables, with nuance!

Two things are NOT mentioned in this Tribune article [for what reason the Tribune did not see fit to print?] that ARE included in the intelligence report:

* Nations will compete more vigorously for scarce and need resources. [this is a common reason for wars starting!]

* Alternative sources of energy will be coming on-line in a big way by 2025, replacing the use of fossil fuels.

Some personal comments:

* No mention was made that England and Ireland will become wastelands by 2025! Becoming tundra like arctic regions, uninhabitable, due to a change in the oceanic currents!!

* Trans-national and criminal enterprise networks are enormous already and becoming stronger. Consider this too from the same Tribune today: “Criminal groups account for about 6 percent [%] of Italy’s gross domestic product”. “This includes the four large Mafia gangs - - the Costa Nostra, Ndrangheta, Camorra, and Sacra Corona Unita”. All that from just Italy alone.

And this - - again - - from the Tribune syndicated columnist George Will. According to George: “In America’s saturated [auto] market, there is almost one car for every persons of driving age; in China there are 3 [autos] for every 100 [persons of driving age], and fewer than that in India.”

Well, there it is, in a nutshell, as they say!! China and India - - - - are light years behind the U.S. with regard to general prosperity and wealth for the average man in the street!! Those guys [China and India] have nowhere else to go but up!

[some of you may recall this from a blog entry long ago now. In 1939, only one adult American male in four could own an automobile. By 1947, almost all adult American males could own an automobile. Such was the sea change in the U.S. in the aftermath of the Second World War.]

coolbert.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pirates!


This is coolbert:

Good interview this morning on National Public Radio [NPR].

Persons being interviewed are: Admiral Gortney, commander of the U.S. 5th Fleet and also commander of the Combined Maritime Force, patrolling the Indian Ocean, and: Nick Davis, head of a private British concern which provides security details for merchant shipping!

Concerning the current wave of piracy occurring in the vicinity of the Horn of Africa. Piracy, once thought a thing of the long-gone past, now a practice [piracy] undergoing a regrettable resurgence, threatening international commerce.

Somali pirates hijacking whole ships, holding the ships, cargo, and crews for ransom.

At this very moment, no less than eighteen ships from a variety of nations are being held for ransom!!

[I would qualify all this by saying that those crews have BEEN KIDNAPPED. NOT just the ships being held for ransom! The crews are hostages and their situation can only be described as KIDNAPPING!! In many American locales and jurisdictions, kidnapping involving death of a victim is a crime that can result in the death penalty!!]

It seems that the Somali pirates have become emboldened of late. Previously confined their piracy only to the immediate coastal waters of Somalia. NOW, are ranging further a field, far out to sea, attacking ships of ever increasing size, cargoes being seized and held for ransom being much more valuable!!

[consider the most recent case of the Saudi super-tanking hijacking. Cargo [oil] on board that tanker is estimated to be worth $100 million. This represents about one quarter [1/4] of Saudi daily oil output and shipments to foreign destinations!]

From this particular NPR interview:

According to Admiral Gortney:

* His command must patrol an area of ocean consisting of 1 million square miles. NOT enough assets EVER will available to successfully locate and deter the pirates.

* Jurisdiction is a problem. THERE IS NO VIABLE GOVERNMENTAL OR JUDICIAL ENTITY IN THE AREA WITH AUTHORITY TO ARREST, TRY, CONVICT, AND PUNISH THE PIRATES!!

* Shipping concerns must take proactive measures ON THEIR OWN! Speed of vessels must be increased; boarding ladders secured and not hung over the side, AND SECURITY DETAILS PROVIDED FOR EACH SHIP!

This Englishman Nick Davis is head of a private company [Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions] that for a price: PROVIDES SECURITY DETAILS FOR MERCHANT SHIPPING.

[this [Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions] is an example of the “white companies” spoken about by the British Admiral Parry? “White companies” being private security concerns, paramilitary in nature, to augment/provide security and/or perform a whole host of missions ordinarily ONLY within the purview of the conventional military!]

According to Davis:

* Security aboard each merchant vessel consists of a three-man force, ex-British Royal Marines or special operations forces [SAS?] personnel! Trained military men now working and using their skills [only to a certain extent] in the civilian sector.

* If and when confronted by pirates, the security team uses a sonic-blaster [L-RAD] as the sole means [?] of defense. An audio signal of such overwhelming intensity and volume that it HURTS!! THESE MILITARY MEN ARE RESTRICTED TO NON-LETHAL WEAPONRY ALONE!!

Some comments:

* Mere defensive action will not be enough to deter or STOP the piracy. Patrolling, “white companies”, etc., never will be adequate in number or nature. The best defense will have to be offensive in nature. GO AFTER THE PIRATES AND GET THEM!! Security details aboard merchant vessels SHOULD NOT BE CONFINED TO USING NON-LETHAL WEAPONRY!! That Combined Maritime Force MUST NOT be confined to patrolling and “dealing” with situations ONLY when they develop. YOU MUST CARRY THE FIGHT TO THE PIRATES WHERE THEY LIVE!!

* Jurisdiction with regard to fighting piracy should not be a problem. The fight against piracy, as waged centuries ago now, WAS THE ORIGINAL FORM OF UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION!!?? Anybody, anywhere, fortunate to get their hands on pirates were universally recognized as having the authority to exact punishment, the usual recourse being HANGING, SUMMARY-LIKE, OF THE MISCREANTS!! Somalia too is a totally law-less place, NO “central government” or legal authority capable of handling the pirates. A breakdown of order makes legitimate an outside force or forces to take action as they see fit, “for the common good”??!!

coolbert.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Afghan - - MSR.


This is coolbert:

“lieutenants think tactics, generals think logistics.”

The American/NATO effort in Afghan is absolutely connected to having a secure and dependable main supply route [MSR] from Karachi, Pakistan, through the Khyber Pass, to Kabul?

70 % of logistics need by the American/NATO force in Afghan is and has been forwarded via this MSR!

And yet - - the effort by American/NATO commanders to secure and maintain a continuous and uninterrupted flow of supply through the Khyber Pass has been half-hearted, lackadaisical, ill thought out, reactive ONLY, and NOW, imperiled?

American/NATO forces are totally at the mercy of the Pakistani to provide security for those re-supply convoys transiting the pass? Security now proving to be totally inadequate for the task?

The current Khyber Pass/Afghan MSR situation can be contrasted with the La Voie Sacree [Sacred Way] of World War One [WW1] fame?

The French, at the WW1 Battle of Verdun, also depended absolutely upon one MSR. A single narrow gravel road, with parallel narrow gauge railway carried nearly 100 % of the beans and bullets to the embattled Frenchmen defending the fortress city of Verdun. This single MSR became known as "The Road" and in the aftermath of Verdun, "La Voie Sacree"!



Petain [the most senior French commander at Verdun] and the rest of the French high command decided very early in the game that “The Road” had to be kept open, maintained, and secured, the flow of supplies to the Verdun garrison needing to be uninterrupted and continuous, NO MATTER WHAT!!


The French mobilized and marshaled their forces, devised and implemented plans, using whatever means and methods were necessary to keep “The Road” open, NO MATTER WHAT, NO MATTER HOW DRACONIAN!! And, doing so all the while “The Road” being under sporadic attack by German ground-strafing aircraft and long-range artillery fire!



Means and methods, successful, to include:

* "construction of a relief standard-gauge railway line"
* "8,500 men . . . worked to keep the road in good shape and order."
* "A broken down vehicle was immediately moved to the roadside"
* "30 breakdown trucks always on the road and repair crews stationed beside it"
* "Automobile repair shops [working] ceaselessly"
* "hydraulic presses turning out solid rubber tyres."
* "fixed machine gun posts" [anti-aircraft]
* "several small military airfields . . . [complete with] Seven (7) Nieuport fighter squadrons"

We will not see American/NATO commanders responding in a similar fashion, as did the French at Verdun? The French - - to maintain the continuous flow of supplies - - had almost unlimited resources at their disposal, operated on friendly territory, AND HAD THE DETERMINATION, THE GUMPTION, THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL WHEREWITHAL - - CARTE BLANCHE AUTHORITY WIELDED WHEN NEEDED.

American/NATO Afghan commanders will NEVER be given the means or the authority to act in a similar manner, as did the French at Verdun.

OH, I am telling you people, this Afghan MSR situation MUST BE, and NEEDS TO BE, taken seriously! Will it? Am I being too alarmist? Time will tell!

coolbert.

33rd [ILARNG].

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune:

Illinois Guard ready for war

2,700 to help Afghans defend against Al Qaeda and Taliban forces

Troops from the Illinois National Guard [ILARNG] being deployed for combat duty in Afghan.

“The Guard soldiers at Ft. Bragg are the main body of a 2,700-strong force of Illinois Guardsmen are nearly done with a 57-day training cycle before heading to Afghanistan. They leave in December, when they will join 65,000 American and NATO forces battling Al Qaeda and a resurgent Taliban.”

“Many states, including Illinois, have seen their largest Guard call-ups since World War Two [WW2]”

“The military has requested 20,000 to follow Illinois’ 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The Illinois troops have reached Afghanistan in stages, with the critical assignment to advise the police and Afghan National Army”

“2,700 Illinois Army National Guard troops assigned to train Afghanistan National Army and police personnel over the next year.”

Broken down [the 2,700] in this fashion:

* "300 will have actual training roles, working in 16-man teams."

* "400 will guard the camps where the Illinois troops are based."

* "700 will work in teams of 40 to guard U.S.–led provincial reconstruction teams."

* "1,300 will provide support the rest", including: [Of the 1,300]

* "700 to secure bases and camps around the country"

* "300 to provide logistical support."

Some comments:

* A sixty day training cycle before deployment overseas is usual for a National Guard [NG] unit. Even a NG combat arms unit is NEVER expected to be instantly ready for combat action. Is available for combat AFTER a training period, normally of a few months. Weapons qualification, refresher training, enhanced level of physical fitness, etc. DO NOT expect instantaneous miracles from NG troops. DO expect a certain degree of competence and proficiency after a period of training prior to deployment!

* These are the largest Guard call-ups since WW2. Yes! Ever since the Second World War, the U.S. active-duty military has been hesitant to call-up and send into combat NG units. Mostly as a result from the excessive and sometimes catastrophic casualties suffered by the 36th Division [Texas National Guard] during the Italian Campaign. Terrible casualties, for little or no gain, most specifically so, during the abortive crossing of the Rapido River.

* Please note that of the 2,700 troop deployment, ONLY about 300 will actually be assigned to the specific mission - - training Afghan National Army and police. The rest will be in “support” roles?

* Finally, there is a photo accompanying the article in the Chicago Tribune. Shows some troops, wielding their M-16 rifles, firing at targets downrange, over the top of a treated-lumber wall. Weapons qualification of some sort? Wrong as being trained too? Rather, should be taught to engage targets from behind an 18 inch berm of earth or sandbags, firing from around the sides of berm, right side or left, not exposing yourself, and not visible from the front! This is how it should be done!

Go 33rd, and good luck, you will need it!!

coolbert.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Maroons


This is coolbert:

Here is another instance of the most amazing and desperate guerrilla warfare.

A totally distinct and unique ethnic group, fighting for their liberty against the most impossible of odds!

The Maroons!!

Black African slaves, taken to work on the plantations of Dutch Guiana [modern-day Suriname], escaping into the jungle, establishing river settlements, re-creating African village life as practiced in the 1700’s, waging - - quite successfully - - guerrilla warfare against the armies of the Dutch colonialists and the outraged “planters”!

Rebellion and guerrilla warfare outstandingly chronicled by several European authors:

"'The Boni Maroon Wars in Suriname' by Wim S.M. Hoogbergen gives an overall picture of the history of the Aluku, or Boni, in Suriname from their origins until 1860 . . . Another author who wrote on the Boni history is John Gabriel Stedman."

With special regard to Stedman:

"His [Stedman] years in Surinam were characterized by encounters with African slaves and colonial planters as well as the exotic local flora and fauna. He recorded his experiences in 'The Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam' (1796) which, with its firsthand depictions of slavery and other aspects of colonization, became an important tool in the early abolitionist cause."

[please note the photo accompanying this blog entry. That is Stedman standing over the captured Maroon? Dressed in European fashion with weapons, EXCEPT NO FOOTWARE! Boots and other shoes would NOT HAVE LASTED VERY LONG IN THE FETID, HUMID, JUNGLE CLIMATE OF SURINAME!! An impediment to movement!]

Maroons waging guerrilla warfare so successfully - - THAT THE COLONIALISTS FINALLY WERE FORCED TO NEGOTIATE A TRUCE AND A PEACE TREATY FAVORABLE TO THE GUERRILLAS!!

"after several unsuccessful campaigns against the Maroons, the European authorities signed several peace treaties with them in the 19th century, granting the Maroons sovereign status and trade rights."

These black African slaves, escaping to freedom, became known as the MAROONS! Suriname is perhaps the archetype, and most famous of all the slave rebellions of this nature. Suriname was NOT an isolated example of this form of behavior!! Maroon settlements were and to some extent STILL ARE found throughout South America and the Caribbean!! Escaped African slaves, seeking freedom from their brutal masters, creating communities - - again - - that for all purposes are identical to African village life of the 1700’s. And having to wage and live in a state of continuous warfare the entire time!!

Guerrillas, fighting using the most primitive and improvised of weaponry. Stone implements [hatchets], spears, bow and arrow, their bare hands when nothing else was available, AND WHAT WEAPONS THEY COULD CAPTURE FROM THE PURSUING MILITARY FORCES OF THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENT!

Please do not think, however, that the Maroons are a thing of the past. Maroon settlements are still to be found in Suriname. Persons living the jungle-river lifestyle of their ancestors, wary and cautious when dealing with outsiders. AND, as late as the 1990’s [!!!], again, still in a state of rebellion. This is the Jungle Commando. Rebellious Maroons, following in the tradition of their ancestors, waging unconventional warfare against the oppressive “central government” of Delano Bouterse!

Maroons of Suriname, still ready to take to the "bush" and fight in the ancient and traditional way!!

These Maroons merit our highest respect. There is NOTHING “chickenshit” about these people.

coolbert.

Khyber - - Railway

This is coolbert:

From a prior blog entry:

"the Main Supply Route [MSR] for NATO and American forces in Afghan starts at the port of Karachi, travels north through the Khyber Pass by either road or narrow-gauge railway [?], the terminus being Kabul. "

Here, thanks to the astute and knowledgeable reader to the blog, Andrew, we have the final intel dope on the Khyber Pass railway:

"Along with most of the railways in Pakistan and India, the Khyber Pass railway is 5'6" broad gauge, rather than narrow gauge. It stops before the Afghan border, and is unlikely to be of much military significance these days."

That means the bulk if not all of the war munitions, beans and bullets and essential items such as Coca-Cola must be trucked through the pass, sinuous as the route is, all the while under the unblinking gaze of the villainous and treacherous tribesmen, licking their chops and grinning, caressing their British SMLE rifle [I think AK by modern standards]!!

NOT a pretty sight.

I stand corrected and gladly so. Thank you Andrew.

coolbert.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Masks!

This is coolbert:

Here is the type of headline that really makes me mad:

From the Chicago Tribune yesterday:

"Interpreters ordered to remove ski masks"

"BAGHDAD — The U.S. military has barred Iraqi interpreters working with American troops in Baghdad from wearing ski masks to disguise themselves, prompting some to resign and others to bare their faces even though they fear it could get them killed."

"'The terps [interpreters] are the No. 1 wanted here,' said A.J., a 36-year-old military interpreter, using the shorthand for his profession. 'More than the Americans. More than anyone.'"

"We are a professional Army, and professional units don't conceal their identity by wearing masks," Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a U.S. military spokesman."

It is because of callous, stupid, mutton-headed and just plain ordinary wrong decisions like this that the American effort in Iraq can and will fail.

Those interpreters are brave men, placing their lives and the lives OF THEIR FAMILIES on the line!!!

And this is the reward that they get!! I suppose that the persons making this decision to unmask the interpreters do not realize that there exists a whole host of persons quite willing and able to kill the interpreters and their entire families in the proverbial heartbeat!!

And, as for this American "spokesman" who maintains that professional units "don't conceal their identity by wearing masks". NO!! American special operations troops, by regulation, perhaps by signed binding agreement, in many cases ARE NOT ALLOWED TO REVEAL THEIR IDENTITY!! AND, DURING CERTAIN SPECIFIC UNDERCOVER ASSIGNMENTS, MISSIONS REQUIRING ANONYMITY, WEARING A MASK MAY EVEN BE OBLIGATORY!!

Those senior commanders having made the decision and ordering the Iraqi interpreters to remove their masks ought to be immediately cashiered from the U.S. Army, denied pensions, maybe even kicked hard in the balls for outright stupidity!!

NO, I really mean it. This has me pissed off!!

coolbert.

Femme Fatale'

This is coolbert:

Here is the original headline from the early part of the war in Afghanistan.

"Close shave for special ops forces in Afghanistan"

September 13, 2002

"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan have been ordered to shave and wear regular uniforms to look more like U.S. soldiers rather than locals, according to an official at the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida."

American special operations troops, primarily the Special Forces ["Green Berets"], spotted and photographed wearing non-regulation uniforms to include the baggy, pantaloons style pants as favored by the Afghan, the tan baseball style caps, a scarf, and wearing BEARDS. Entirely out-of-uniform! Much to the disgust of high command in Florida who ordered the SF men to conform to regulation.

Now, only from today, this additional headline immediately catches my attention. The no-beard rule for American troops in Afghan still applies. A rule that has many American troops, again, primarily the SF, chafing.

"U.S. Troops Question Military No-Beard Rules in Afghanistan"

"The American clean-shaven look is a drawback in a land where facial hair is seen as a sign of manhood"

November 17, 2008

"KABUL—As the U.S. military garners increasing counterinsurgency experience in America's long-standing war in Afghanistan, soldiers are questioning one military restriction that has long been the norm within the U.S. armed forces: the prohibition against beards."

"The military says it has good reasons for the beard ban for most American troops—including":

* "hygiene"
* "soldierly discipline"
* "the ability to get a good seal on gas masks should troops need them."

YES, all true. BUT - - there is also a severe drawback here!?

Men - - within the Afghan cultural context, lacking a beard, are CONSIDERED TO BE EFFEMINATE!! NOT REALLY A MAN - - AND NOT SOMEONE TO BE LISTENED TO, OBEYED, OR RESPECTED!!

ESPECIALLY WITHIN THE ISLAMIC CONTEXT!! EVEN MORE SO IN BACK-COUNTRY AFGHANISTAN!!

For those American troops, especially those deploying with and fighting side-by-side with the Afghan military or irregular forces friendly to the Afghan government of Karzai, beardless American troops are femmes', not worthy of respect?!

Does this stretch credulity?! I think NOT! The Afghan people, for the most part, outside of Kabul, are a sixteenth century people still living a sixteenth century existence. Mostly out of choice, but still the case?!

Cultural norms must be taken into consideration in the case of allowing especially SF men the choice of wearing a beard?!

Senior authority, thousands of miles away in FLA. are making decisions for cosmetic reasons that ACTUALLY ENDANGERING THE TROOPS THEY COMMAND WITHOUT THOSE COMMANDERS EVEN REALIZING IT!!??

Dig this stuff:

"One soldier in the violent border area of Kunar province estimates that his combat outpost gets attacked almost daily. But when the base received a visit recently from a commanding officer, the soldier recalls, 'the main thing' he told the soldiers is that they needed to shave more frequently. They did shave, but they felt they gathered better intelligence with locals when they were unshaven, as locals felt more comfortable talking to bearded men."

That commander, saying that the "main thing" is to shave on a regular basis, needs to remember these names:

* J.E.B. Stuart.
* Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
* R.E. Lee.
* U.S. Grant.

Need I say more??!!

Beards si, Castro no!!

coolbert.

Peachey and Danny!

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

NATION & WORLD

Pakistan closes route for supplies

“PESHAWAR, Pakistan - - Container trucks and oil tankers bound for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan have suspended deliveries after militant attacks prompted Pakistan to block a major supply line, highlighting the vulnerability of the mountain passage.”

“The ban in northwest Pakistan . . . was intended to allow for a review of security in the famed Khyber Pass”

“The suspension could be lifted as early as Monday today with new procedures in place”

NOT A TOTAL CESSATION OF ALL TRAFFIC, ONLY TEMPORARY??!!

Again, as has been the subject of previous blog entry, the Main Supply Route [MSR] for NATO and American forces in Afghan starts at the port of Karachi, travels north through the Khyber Pass by either road or narrow-gauge railway [?], the terminus being Kabul. 70 % of all NATO and American supplies for the Afghan war effort take this perilous route!

A route now being interdicted and disrupted by the locals and those of the Taliban persuasion.

My worst fears are now being confirmed?

The way the English would have handled this, back in the days of the British Raj, would be to locate the local “headman”, pay him an appropriate bribe, allow him to loot a certain percentage [%] of all cargo, and the problem would be solved!!

Peachey and Danny, where are you when we need you!!??”

coolbert.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Heraclius.

This is coolbert:

Here is a man who is perhaps the archetype of the warrior/king? A man who gets very marks indeed from the military historian Trevor Dupuy! Heraclius [Hercules?], the emperor of Byzantium [610]!

A man, who, when beset by enemies from all sides simultaneously, was able to re-organize his army, almost singlehandedly, and then LEAD his troops, personal fashion, into combat. LEAD and emerge victorious against all odds.

[a man leading and fighting in the fashion of the English kings Arthur, Alfred, Henry, Richard.]

A man, also, establishing [this is disputed to some degree] an institutionalized legacy that enabled the Byzantines to last as a sovereign entity for eight hundred years longer.

According to Dupuy:

"Heraclius became emperor at Constantinople in 610, when it appeared that the Byzantine Empire was about to disintegrate from a combination of internal decay and corruption and apparently irresistible external threats from east [Persian] and west [Avars]. When he died thirty-one years later, he had eliminated both of the external threats and established a sound administrative system as a basis for a sturdy military organization and political region control. A new external threat [Muslim Arabs] had appeared, but the system bequeathed to them by Heraclius enabled his successors to hold that threat a bay for more than eight centuries."

Again, according to Dupuy, after re-organizing his defeated and dispirited army:

"[Heraclius began] six years of campaigning in which Heraclius fought the Persians across eastern Anatolia, Armenia, Mesopotamia, Media, and Persia itself. He won battle after battle"

Also, NOT neglecting the Avar threat, Heraclius:

"supervise[d] the construction of new fortifications to cover the approaches to the city [Constantinople] from the north and west and to conduct occasional raids against the Black Sea coast of the Avar kingdom."

[make the enemy bleed, make him wonder where you are coming from, make him keep his head down!! - - G.S. Patton.]

Finally defeating an alliance comprised of Avars and Persians, "Heraclius supervised a series of campaigns that soon cleared the Avars from the region south of the Danube."

In response to yet one more threat [Muslim Arab], at a latter stage of his reign:

"Heraclius contented himself by organizing the security of Anatolia with the theme system, which was to become the basis for Byzantine military organization and regional governments for centuries to come." [this is disputed?]

Again, we find the history of the Byzantine gettidng short shrift by the scholars? NOT held in high esteem as it perhaps should be? Who else has never heard of Heraclius?

Heraclius was not only the archetype of the warrior/king, but he had outstanding intuitive military understanding of combined arms [navy/army] and how to keep the enemy off balance! And an excellent administrator to boot. Rare combinations to find all in one man!

AND, ONCE MORE, ALL THE WHILE PERSONALLY LEADING HIS TROOPS INTO COMBAT!! MOST SUCCESSFULLY SO!!

coolbert.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Booty?

This is coolbert:

Thanks here to the British TimesOnLine:

"'Robin Hood’ dishes out Nato booty"

Well, this is what I have been afraid of. The Taliban villains have gotten it into their heads that the way to defeat NATO and American forces in Afghan is to cut and interdict that main supply route [MSR] passing through the Khyber Pass!

70 % of all supplies used by NATO and American forces currently in Afghan transits the Khyber. And the locals are waging war in the time-honored guerrilla partisan tradition so dear to their hearts!

If that MSR is cut, it is "curtains" for the NATO/American mission in Afghan? I fear it is so!

"A Taliban 'Robin Hood', who distributes cut-price food from Nato convoys to the poor, is disrupting supply lines to British and US troops in Afghanistan."

"In an audacious raid in Pakistan’s border region last week, two American Humvee armoured personnel carriers and 10 lorries laden with food were seized by Taliban fighters."

"In the past year the Taliban have increased attacks on convoys carrying hardware, food and oil as they make their way from Karachi to Peshawar and through the Khyber Pass."

"Lorry-loads of hijacked grain have been sold off cheaply in local markets and the Humvees paraded as war 'booty', giving the rebels a propaganda boost. More than 30 tankers with fuel bound for allied forces have been destroyed in bomb attacks on the road this year."

"The Taliban commander who led the raids, Mustafa Kamran Hijrat, told The Sunday Times last week that he planned to sever the allied supply lines."

"Hijrat claims to have hundreds of fighters under his command, although local officials estimate his force at no more than 200."

Even a force of no more than 200 can do A LOT OF DAMAGE! 200 skilled and determined figthers can do great damage and make the route cost prohibitive. Imperiling the entire Afghan mission?

"The Humvees, Hijrat boasted, were 'maal-e-ghaneemat' or booty. They were seized on Monday as the Taliban launched three ambushes on a 12-vehicle convoy as it wound through hairpin bends on the approach to the Khyber Pass."

Right! Mustafa is fighting in the Islamic tradition. Islamic "warriors" fight in large measure NOT ONLY for what they perceive as legitimate jihad, BUT TO GAIN BOOTY AT THE SAME TIME. A JIHADIST LOOKS FORWARD TO BECOMING WEALTHY IF POSSIBLE FROM BOOTY OBTAINED FROM THE VANQUISHED ENEMY!

King of the Khyber Rifles, where are you when we need you??!!

OH, I am telling you people, this is going to go from bad to worse!

coolbert.

QSPR

This is coolbert:

Thanks here to the great Russian web site: WorldGuns.

"Smith & Wesson / AAI Quiet Special Purpose Revolver / QSPR / tunnel revolver (USA)"

This was a new one on me. A revolver, developed by the U.S. Army for use by tunnel rats in Vietnam.

The tunnel rat. An American troop, small in stature but big in courage, venturing into the very heart of the enemy underground. Those tunnel complexes so favored by the communist enemy in Vietnam. Elaborate underground structures that could harbor an entire division of enemy troops if need be.

American tunnel rats, equipped with a bare minimum of equipment, often operating solo, entering the "commie" abode in the search primarily for material of intelligence value.

Again, the tunnel rat, barely equipped, often carrying with intent a minimum of gear. Gear to include:

* Small caliber handgun.
* Goggles.
* Knee-pads and gloves.
* Gas mask.
* Hearing protection.
* Illumination device of some sort.
* Grenades. [concussion, flash/bang grenades were available?]

It should be understood that the .45 ACP auto loading pistol, standard issue to American infantry at the time, WAS TOO LARGE A CALIBER FOR EFFECTIVE USE UNDERGROUND!! The report ["bang" made by detonation of the firearm] and muzzle flash were both deafening and blinding at one and the same time.

It was preferred to use an expedient handgun of smaller caliber during tunnel rat operations. A .38 special revolver or a Chinese made 7.62 auto loading pistol quite often being used in lieu of the .45 ACP weapon, the 7.62 Chicom pistol perhaps having been captured from communist forces prior!

Here is the weapon the U.S. Army devised to fill the need for a potent handgun to be used in tunnel warfare.

The QSPR.



"Quiet Special Purpose Revolver (QSPR; also known as 'tunnel revolver' or 'tunnel gun') evolved from 1967 US Army requirements for a silenced, multi-projectile hand weapon for use by 'tunnel exploration personnel' (so called 'tunnel rats'), which operated against Vietnamese communist forces in the numerous tunnels dug by NVA and VC personnel"

"based on commercially available Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum revolvers, rebuilt by AAI to handle their special integrally silenced ammunition. Earliest prototypes featured new, very short smooth bore barrels"

* NO sights. None were needed. Low-light, use at close quarters, etc.
* Stubby, smooth-bore, almost non-existent barrel.

A firearm using uniquely developed INTERNALLY SILENCED AMMUNITION!!

"internally silenced ammunition, based on the "gas seal piston" concept . . . The whole concept of the internally silenced ammunition is rather old and starts in the pre-WW1 era, but practical results were achieved only during 1950s and 1960s, when chemical and metallurgical technologies finally permitted manufacture of actual ammunition."

A handgun NOT firing conventional ammunition. Firing tungsten balls from a sabot round!!

"the QSPR ammunition fired fifteen tungsten balls (loaded into plastic sabot)"

"the practical lethal range was estimated at about 30 feet / 10 meters, which was sufficient for extremely cramped tunnels of Vietnam war. The sound signature [report] of QSPR round fired from QSPR revolver was about 110 dB, or similar to that of traditionally silenced .22LR pistol."

AS WITH MOST, IF NOT ALL, "SILENCED" WEAPONRY, NOT TOTALLY SILENCED, BUT RATHER, MUFFLED!!

Was used to a very limited extent by special operations units in Vietnam, BUT NOT DURING TUNNEL OPERATIONS!!

These handguns, if they still exist, must be worth a lot of money. What happened to them in the aftermath of the war. You could not fire one as the ammo would not be available? Worth something to a collector, that would be for sure!

coolbert.