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.

This is coolbert:

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.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Test.

This is coolbert:

Do not consider this to be a test!

IDF = Israeli Defense Forces.

From the Russian Internet media outlet Russian Times [RT]:

"IDF uses Gaza as a lab and showroom for new weapons and tech it plans to sell – report"

"Human rights campaigners claim that the Israeli army and defense corporations exploit the deadly Gaza protests to test and advertise hardware like drones, sniper rifles and 'smart' fences."

A listing [probably not confined to] of Israeli weapons systems tested in recent military operations to include:

From 2014: [Operation Protective Edge]

* Hermes 900 Kochav drones.
* Next-generation Hatzav tank shells.
* MPR500 'smart bombs'.

From 2018: [suppression of the Gaza Angels demonstrations]

* Matrice 600. [tear gas drone]
* Phantom 3. [tear gas drone]
* "Shoko Drones".

"Shoko" able to deliver [a] "foul-smelling and very sticky liquid". Phantom 3 apparently a commercially available DJI Chinese product.

* Remington M24 rifle. [and ammunition for same]
* IWI Tavor rifle. [and ammunition for same]
* Gaza border fence.  [Magal Security Systems]

Fence understand as not merely fencing. A complete high-technology barrier system total and complete.

NOT PLANS TO SELL! IS SELLING

coolbert.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Cherry.

This is coolbert:

Cherries Jubilee it is not!

Here from several Internet web sites some material I was not familiar with until yesterday. Aspects of the Gettysburg Campaign and eventual Confederate defeat controversial at best!

That Army of Northern Virginia not having an adequate system of sustained and organized supply it necessary to requisition and confiscate supplies while on the march, foraging freely sometimes with bad consequences.

1. "How Pennsylvania Cherries Tried to Win the War"

"Ewell's men and the Confederate army that followed found the cherry trees that lined the roads irresistible. Many soldiers grabbed handfuls of the luscious fruit to eat as they marched. Some diaries tell us that many suffered stomachache. Some suffered worse. Those who recovered in time went on to fight at Gettysburg."

"It wasn't only enlisted men who suffered from eating too much fresh fruit . . . [it is suggested] that General Robert E. Lee's partial indisposition on the second day of the battle of Gettysburg might have been caused by an overindulgence of cherries and raspberries."

HUNGRY CONFEDERATE TROOPS EN ROUTE TO GETTYSBURG HAVING GORGED THEMSELVES ON RIPE CHERRIES AS PICKED FROM LOCAL ORCHARDS SICKENED AND AT LESS THAN 100 % FIGHTING CAPACITY PRIOR TO THE BATTLE? LEE ALSO AT LESS THAN 100 % REASONING FACULTIES A CONSEQUENCE OF HAVING CONSUMED TOO MUCH FRESH FRUIT HIS SYSTEM UNABLE TO HANDLE?

2. "Robert E. Lee may have lost Gettysburg because of a heart attack"

"In July 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee hatched an audacious plan to invade the North, defeat the Union Army, and force an end to the war – with a Confederate victory. Everything – perhaps the entire Civil War – depended on the outcome at Gettysburg."

R.E. Lee a man not in the best of health from heart disease his "audacious plan" that went awry during the third day at Gettysburg. Massed attack doomed to failure from the start [??] a result of less than 100 % correct reasoned and thinking?

"Despite his [R.E. Lee] relatively good medical condition from 1864 to 1867, by the end of the decade, he suffered from exertional (stable) angina – chest pain from blocked arteries caused by activity. By 1870, his angina became unstable and he died at age 63.

"His heart disease may have affected his judgment in all areas of life, which would explain some of the inexplicable and uncharacteristic decisions he ordered that day, namely Pickett's Charge."

It can be reasoned and understood quite easily that the ability to plan and conduct operations of R.E. Lee evidently unimpaired at Wilderness [1864] and Spotsylvania [1864]. Even to the end R.E. Lee still at the top of his game which was outstanding.

coolbert.



Wednesday, July 4, 2018

4 July COP.

This is coolbert:

Courtesy the Black Rifle Coffee Company Internet web site:

"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall wear no crown and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am The Sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Nights' Watch, for this night and all the nights to come" - - American special forces combat outpost Blackfish, Afghanistan.


That original quote by George R.R. Martin and thanks to all parties.

See the Black Rifle feature articles and peruse at your leisure.

And USA happy birthday!! American Independence Day, 4 July 1776.

coolbert.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

COA Lee.

This is coolbert:

COA = Course of action.

"course of action — 1. Any sequence of activities that an individual or unit may follow. 2. A scheme developed to accomplish a mission. Also called COA."

The Count of Paris as commenting on the various courses of action available to R.E. Lee during the Gettysburg Campaign, the invasion of the North, 1863/

COA as presented to Lee particularly when confronted by the mass force of the Union army in and around Gettysburg. As described by the Count:

"He [Lee] has four alternative to select from. [1] He has the choice to retire into the gaps of the South Mountain, in order to compel Meade to come after him, or [2] to wait steadily in his present positions for the attack of the Federals, or again, [3] to maneuver, in order to dislodge them from those they occupy by menacing their communications by the right or left;  or finally, to [4] storm these positions in front, in the hope of carrying them by main force. The best plan would undoubtedly have been the first, because, by preserving the strategic offensive, Lee would thus secure all the advantages of the tactical defensive." - - the Count of Paris.

According to A.L. Long, the Military Secretary to General Lee during the war, COA # 1 and # 2 not possible. the Army of Northern Virginia not having organized supply to sustain a prolonged period of combat. COA # 3 also not possible, Confederate cavalry absent, not providing valuable intelligence necessary for General Lee to make sound decisions.

AND WE ALL KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES OF COA # 4. ON THIS DATE [3 JULY] IN 1863, PICKETT'S CHARGE, THE RESULTS DISASTROUS.

coolbert.


Decoy.

This is coolbert:

Christopher Hitchens and the strange case of the inflatable tanks!

Thanks to the English Tabloid Daily Mail.

"' fulminator-in-chief. . . visceral wit. . .  a decent, kind and deeply compassionate man with the air of a prophet about him . . . disreputable or foaming at the mouth . . . bonkers'"

"fulminator - - n. One who fulminates, or criticizes intensely"

"bonkers - - adj. Informal crazy"

See first items # 1 and # 2 as linked below. Then read further # 3 the acerbic response.of Christopher Hitchens. Thanks again in all cases to the English Daily Mail.

GREAT BRITAIN NOT EVEN ANYMORE A MEDIUM-SIZED WORLD POWER? FAKE AND OVERBLOWN?

Without further ado:

1. "British Army could introduce blow-up tanks to swell the size of armed forces in the eyes of the enemy"

2. "It's the enemy - blow 'em up! British army could deploy INFLATABLE tanks in bid to confuse enemies on the battlefield"

3. "PETER HITCHENS: Inflatable tanks? Perfect for our fake, overblown nation"

See also the Christopher Hitchens blog and the entire archive of same. Chris blogs, therefore he is.

Al L.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Mine B-29.

This is coolbert:

Effective of weapons systems, an additional comparison!

Thanks to the Strategy Page article by James Dunnigan:

 "The Super Weapon Everyone Wants To Ignore"

As extracted from the James D. article that comparison as to effectiveness, the naval sea mine as dropped by the American B-29 bomber in the latter stages of the Second World War

Starvation!. 

"For every U.S. submarine sailor lost using submarine launched torpedoes, 560 tons of enemy ships were sunk. During the mine campaign 3,500 tons were sunk for each U.S. fatality. On a cost basis the difference was equally stark. Counting the cost of lost mine laying aircraft (B- 29's at $500,000 each) or torpedo armed submarine ($5 million each), we find that each ton of sunk shipping cost six dollars when using mines and fifty-five dollars when using submarines."

By my quick and dirty calculation the dropping of naval mines by warplane that measure to sink Japanese shipping about sixty times more effective than the submarine campaign.

Starvation referring to Operation Starvation. So much Japanese shipping sent to the bottom the transportation of essential food stuffs more or less curtailed. It is estimated that 10 million Japanese might have died of hunger if the war had not ended as it did as soon as it did..

coolbert.


Sunday, July 1, 2018

CCV.

This is coolbert:

Again as excerpted from "The Reader's Companion to Military History" article by Arthur Waldron the "Chinese Civil War 1945-1949" the common perspective apparently erroneous:

"Traditionally the Chinese Civil War has been interpreted as a prototypical Asian peasant revolution of rural masses against a corrupt government [Nationalist]. Some of the picture fits, but not all. The National Government, exhausted by the Anti-Japanese War, was beset by political rivalries and riddled with corruption, and the Chinese economy was consumed by spiraling inflation. The Communists made a democratic sounding appeal that persuaded much moderate opinion at least to remain neutral and won support both from important sectors of the intelligentsia as well as the poor peasantry . . . Alliance politics were critical: the Soviet helped the Communists even while seemingly accommodating the Nationalists; ineffective U.S. intervention deeply alienated both Chinese parties. Ultimately, however, this was not a social war; its outcome was determined militarily and could have gone either way. Revolution, as most recent scholarship has underlined, was much more its consequence than its cause."

And also again the Nationalists as portrayed in the media the corrupt bad guys and the communists under Mao as reformers trying to get a better deal for the peasant.

The Soviets not stinting in their support of Mao. American response to the Chinese situation half-baked and confused.

Arthur Waldron is correct in his assert that military victory was primary and social revolution only secondary? The scholars have a difficulty with this one?

coolbert.




Saturday, June 30, 2018

Decimation.

This is coolbert:

Devoted readers to the blog will understand I was onto this image instantly with a story to tell!

Goya, Manet, Picasso. Add to the list Unknown!

Esteemed and world-famous artists their illustrations of a military execution as carried out by firing squad all having a similar form.

Here with yet one more example:


1 July 1916, Fusillade. Execution of mutinous Italian alpine troops [Alpini] during the Great War. ARTIST UNKNOWN! "Objective to punish mutinies, rebellions or acts of cowardice within the Royal [Italian] Army". Some devoted reader to the blog knows the name of the artist?

Based on a historical event:

"The Decimation of Cercivento, also known as The Rifles of Cercivento . . . identifies the decimation of an entire platoon composed of eighty Alpini of the 8th Regiment belonging to the 109th Company of the Battalion Monte Arvenis then operating on Monte Cellon, near the Monte Croce Carnico pass, accused by [the] Company Commander, Captain Armando Ciofi and his deputy Lieutenant Pietro Pasinetti, of insubordination and rebellion."

FOUR ALPINI SENTENCED TO DEATH AND EXECUTED.

The Italian Army during the Great War [WW1] infamous for the application of harsh and unremitting discipline, often draconian in nature.

coolbert.


Friday, June 29, 2018

Defector.

This is coolbert:

"We welcome you!!"

"THE CHIEU HOI PROGRAM OF VIETNAM"

From an Internet article by SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)

Chieu Hoi! Viet Cong [VC] and North Vietnames Army [NVA] defectors during that period of the Second Indo-China War.

Psychological warfare directed against enemy combatants in Vietnam, a program that worked and found to be cost effective in the extreme.

GVN = Government of Vietnam. South Vietnam.

JUSPAO = Joint United States Public Affairs Office.

CONSIDER THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CHIEU HOI PROGRAM:

 "To date [1968] , the total defections of Viet Cong [VC] returning under the program total 75,000. If we take this figure in the commonly accepted ratio of ten government soldiers needed for each insurgent guerrilla, the program has saved the GVN-US a troop strength of over 750,000 soldiers. If we do a little arithmetic from the dollar-saved angle, the total cost of the program, using a cost-sited figure of $127 to bring in a Viet Cong defector, would be around nine and a half million dollars. But looking at the cost to kill a Viet Cong, which is estimated at $300,000 each, this number would have cost two and a quarter billion dollars." - - Johnston.

"By the end of 1966, Vietnamese and U.S. efforts resulted in 20,242 Hoi Chanh returned (or rallied) to the Government of Vietnam. About two-thirds of these were VC combatants rather than political supporters, a significant drain on enemy strength. The number of Hoi Chanh since the program’s inception now totaled 48,041, and the trend in ralliers had been increasing steadily since mid-1965. More important, MACV estimated the total cost of the program so far (not counting US salaries) at only $125.12 per returnee. JUSPAO estimates were slightly higher, showing a cost per Hoi Chanh of $150, but when compared to the estimated $322,000 cost per VC combatant killed, the program was remarkably inexpensive. . ." - - Barger.

Kit Carson Scouts also those defectors recruited, willing and able to fight with American units after rallying to the side of the GVN. Very valuable assets my understanding.

coolbert.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Fourth.

This is coolbert:

More in the nutshell stuff, extracts with key points from an article by Barno and Bensahel that tip from isegoria.net, the future of warfare.

"in a nutshell - - when you want to make it clear that you're going to sum something up in just a few words. ..."

"The Fourth Industrial Revolution will transform the character of war"

"The U.S. military has extensive combat experience — in small wars — but it may not know what to expect from war in the Fourth Industrial Revolution"

FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AS DEFINED BY:

"Characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, the developments are affecting all disciplines, economies, industries and governments, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human."

"What will it mean to fight wars in a world characterized by the Fourth Industrial Revolution — and what will it take to win?"

    "Just as it will disrupt and reshape society, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will transform the character of war."

    * "Space and cyber. Artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, autonomy, and robotics."

    * "The return of mass and the defensive advantage. A new generation of high tech weapons."

    * "The unknown x-factor. Secret technologies developed by friend and foe alike will likely appear for the first time during the next major war, and it is impossible to predict how they will change battlefield dynamics.s of unanticipated, unfamiliar challenges to U.S. forces."

    * "The emerging characteristics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution suggest we are on the precipice of profound changes to the character of war."

    * "The study of warfare has always heavily relied upon scrutinizing past battles to discern the lessons of those as yet un-fought. But in today’s world, that important historical lens should be augmented by one that focuses on the future."

See previous blog entries the topic of which was the future of warfare, the body/mind/technological/cyber connection:

http://militaryanalysis.blogspot.com/2017/07/mooneyham.html

http://militaryanalysis.blogspot.com/2017/07/year-2060.html

http://militaryanalysis.blogspot.com/2017/07/legion.html

coolbert.








Wednesday, June 27, 2018

UAV Libya.

This is coolbert:

NOT ever heard any of this before!

Air war Libya! Ongoing and for nearly six full years now. NONE of which has ever been reported?

Thanks to the article by David Axe, courtesy the Daily Beast and MSN:

"The Escalating Air War No One Is Watching"

"A complex air war over Libya has killed hundreds of innocent civilians, and possibly many more, since the U.S.-led NATO intervention in the North African state began in 2011. And almost no one outside of the war-torn country has even noticed. The U.S. government, for its part, increasingly seems to prefer it that way."

"Manned warplanes and drones from four foreign countries and various Libyan factions conducted at least 2,158 air strikes between September 2012 and mid-June 2018, according to a new report from the Washington D.C. based New America Foundation and Airwars.org, an air-strike-tracking project affiliated with the University of London."

Air war Libya conducted primarily it seems by drone, armed and otherwise.

Air war Libya as fought by various Libyan warring factions and foreign interventionists.

Air war Libya numbers of sorties slightly more than one per day for a prolonged period. Deaths due to air strikes too probably less than the number of persons killed in Libyan road accidents during the same period.

I guess it isn't all so bad. Unless the Hellfire missile is aimed at you.

coolbert.




Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Chiang.

This is coolbert:

As excerpted from  a "The Reader's Companion to Military History" article by Arthur Waldron the topic of which is the Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek.

"Long compared unfavorably to Mao Tse-tung, Chiang has yet to find biographer, and until recently most assessments of him have  been closer to that of Joseph Stilwell who ridiculed him . . . than to that of Owen Lattimore, who considered him a 'great man.' But a recent confirmation of the staggering human cost of Chinese Communism has vindicated Chiang's judgment of its threat, while the corruption and disorder of post-Mao China serve as reminders of how intractable were the problems he faced."

Chiang Kai-Shek great as in the Biblical sense! Best understood as a man wielding a lot of power. Not necessarily for good or bad. Merely wielding.

The war record of the Chinese Nationalists both BEFORE and AFTER Pearl Harbor and indeed in the aftermath of Japanese surrender controversial and a matter for discussion.

Chinese Nationalist troops fighting the Japanese their effort described often as half-hearted, lackadaisical and poor. Chiang in particular always portrayed by the media of the time as more interested in fighting the communists and Mao rather than the Japanese invader.

A full, complete and unbiased understanding of the Chinese war effort during the Second World War the scholarly effort fraught with difficulty? See a previous blog entry dealing with this topic.

Influential elements of the foreign press too their portrayal of Chiang less than flattering and in perhaps even an intentional and malicious manner?

coolbert.

Games.

This is coolbert:

As excerpted from "The Reader's Companion to Military History" article "War Games" by Thomas B. Allen:

"Fletcher Pratt's Naval War Game became popular in the United States in the late 1930's, introducing a pastime that would become widespread by the 1960's. To determine whether a ship would be sunk, Pratt, a military writer, used a complex formula involving the thickness of a ship's armor, its speed, and the caliber and number of guns on each of the ships in an engagement. As proof of his formula, Pratt used the real-world fate of the Admiral Graf Spee, the German 'pocket battleship' fatally damaged in 1939 during a running battle with three Royal Navy cruisers. 'Rated on gun-power and armor,' Pratt wrote, the Graf Spee 'should have been more than a match for the three British cruisers, but by the formula . . . they should have beaten her. They did.'"


See this Binkov You tube video an analysis a naval war game the adversaries the World War Two battleships USS Iowa and the IJN Yamato. Who would win? Describes quite well the variables that must be taken into consideration when modeling such an encounter. As to the eventual outcome of such a duel, you have to go see the entire video.

Those of you devoted readers to the blog further interested in the topic of war gaming and naval war gaming in particular as it was done in the Fletcher Pratt mode go see the War Times Journal "QUICKFIRE  PRE-DREADNOUGHT ERA FAST-PLAY RULES"

Have fun and good luck. I recommend highly without reservation or qualification. And YES, luck and the throw of the die favorable or otherwise does play a role.

coolbert.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Punjab.

This is coolbert:

Here with a critique and key points: "Lessons from the Punjab Campaign".

As extracted from the South Asian Terrorism Portal and thanks to same!

The Punjab insurgency a rebellion by Sikh separatists seeking an independent nation. Defeat of the ten-year long insurgency due to a variety of factors.

SF = Security Forces. COIN - Counter-Insurgency.

"Secrets of COIN Success Lessons from the Punjab Campaign"

By Anant Mathur

 "The Punjab campaign stands out among the most recent, successful and victorious COIN campaigns in the world. This was largely made possible by a coherent grand strategy and tactical innovations on the ground. This campaign provides interesting lessons that are applicable to all COIN campaigns."

* "First, the importance of promoting an anti-insurgency leader needs greater emphasis than observed in available COIN theories."

* "Secondly, it is essential that Governments must demonstrate the resolve for a political solution of the conflict only from a position of strength."

* "Thirdly, election of insurgents for constitutional posts creates even bigger problems for the COIN campaign."

* "Fourthly, COIN campaigns are inherently labour intensive."

* "Fifthly, cutting-edge technology has a limited role to play in COIN campaigns."

* "Sixthly, the insurgency’s sympathizers in the SFs should be handled sensitively."

* "Seventhly, the COIN campaign should focus on the leaders and ideologues of the insurgency."

* "Eighthly, external help to the insurgency must be stifled using all instruments of state power."

* "Lastly, the campaign must develop specific measures of effectiveness to gauge the level of popular support."

The security forces [SF] of India perhaps the most experienced and adept in the world when it comes to counter-insurgency operations, at both the practical and theoretical level.

coolbert.






Figures.

This is coolbert:

Before May 1943 the German U-boat campaign in the Atlantic during World War Two [WW2] effective. In the aftermath of May 1943 the German U-boat effort more or less an insignificant factor in the war if not a total failure.

As excerpted from "The Reader's Companion to Military History" article by Holger H. Herwig the topic German WW2 Admiral Karl Doenitz; the German U-boat campaign, success and ultimate disaster:

"Donitz commanded Germany's U-boat forces in the Battle of the North Atlantic. His submarines sank 175 Allied warships and 2,603 merchant ships but lost 784 boats and 28,000 men. In April 1943 Convoy HX231 drove off all attacking U-boats. Allied convoys, radar, aerial patrols, depth charges, special naval 'killer groups,' and Ultra electronic intercepts blunted the German underseas campaign. Donitz conceded defeat in the battle on May 23, 1943, when he recalled his boats. After 1943  more than thirty-five hundred Allied ships in sixty-two convoys crossed the Atlantic without a single loss."

Those various convoys after May 1943 in totality by my calculations carrying enough war-making munitions alone to supply and equip an army of about five million men.

Eighty percent of German submariners losing their lives during the war!! A submarine sinking as you can well imagine the loss of life 100 % in almost all cases.

coolbert.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Trust.

This is coolbert:

Nothing new under the sun!

As it was in the time of Augustus Caesar two-thousand years ago as it is now!

"The latest casualty in the global pension catastrophe is…"

From the Sovereign man Internet web site the article by Simon Black that initial portion copied in entirety the original tip from Chuck.

"In the year 6 AD, the Roman emperor Augustus set up a special trust fund known as the aerarium militare, or military treasury, to fund retirement pensions for Rome’s legionnaires."

"Now, these military pensions had already existed for several centuries in Rome. But the money to pay them had always been mixed together in the government’s general treasury."

"So for hundreds of years, mischievous senators could easily grab money that was earmarked for military pensions and redirect it elsewhere."

"Augustus wanted to end this practice by setting up a special fund specifically for military pensions."

"And to make sure there would be no meddling from any government officials, Augustus established a Board of Trustees, consisting of former military commanders, to oversee the fund’s operations."

"Augustus really wanted this pension fund to last for the ages. And to keep a steady inflow of revenue, he established a 5% inheritance tax in Rome that would go directly to the aerarium militare."

"He even capitalized the fund with 170,000,000 sesterces of his own money, worth about half a billion dollars in today’s money." [See previous blog entry  the purchasing power of Roman currency at the time!]

"But as you can probably already guess, the money didn’t last."

SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES IN THE UNITED STATES PLACED INTO THE GENERAL REVENUES DURING THE VIETNAM WAR IN MEASURE PAYING FOR THE CONFLICT. SOMETHING THAT WAS NEVER TO OCCUR BECAME SO! AND HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE!

CLEVER SENATORS BEING CLEVER! ROME FROM TIMES OF YORE, UNITED STATES TODAY! SENATORS! SOLONS! WISE MEN? SURE!

coolbert.

UB-85.

This is coolbert:

It seems that World War One U-boat Captain Forstner was not alone.

Sea monsters everywhere! And attacking without restraint!

So it was alleged. Consider now within the perspective of a recent discovery the entire issue of German U-boat under assault by a paranormal creature the existence of which is unknown to science.

Thanks to the English tabloid Daily Mail and their Internet web site.

"Mystery of the WWI U-Boat and the 'sea monster' solved: How bungling German captain sank his own vessel after demanding a heater in his cabin - and then blamed the leak on a creature of the deep"

* "UB-85 was patrolling the Irish Sea when captain claimed monster attacked"
* "Captain said damage forced them to surface and surrender to British"
* "Sub was recently found by Scottish Power when laying undersea cables"
* "German navy logs reveal sub sunk after issues caused by captain's heater"

NO! NO! A THOUSAND TIMES NO! NO SEA MONSTER!

This German U-boat captain in contrast to so many others apparently a slacker and a poor leader of men, infamous as one who shirked his duty unwilling to press home the battle to the enemy?

But, no sea monster! We can agree about that!

coolbert.





Saturday, June 23, 2018

East & West.

This is coolbert:

Here with perspective on the American Civil War I might have only very vaguely familiar with. Union forces in the western theater of the war effective. Union troops in the eastern theater of the war not so very effective.

Thanks to "The Reader's Companion to Military History" and the "American Civil War" article by Williamson Murray.

". . . what remains inexplicable is the considerable contrast between the eastern and western theaters in terms of the performance of the opposing forces. Unfortunately the disparity in the military effectiveness of the armies has to a great extent eluded historians. All too often, histories of the war have depicted Southern troops as an idealized country folk, trained and prepared for war by their youth on farms, whereas Northern troops, living in dank factory slums, were incapable of fighting. In fact, 85 percent of the North's population lived on farms, and if Northern armies had a difficult time against Confederate force in the eastern theater, their comrades in the West dominated their Southern opponents throughout the war. The performance of Northern and Southern armies had less to do with the makeup of the armies - - they were all drawn from similar backgrounds - - than with the particular styles of leadership and battle effectiveness that resulted from idiosyncratic factors, such as the ability of senior leaders"

Think Lee, Jackson and the Army of Northern Virginia [Confederate] in the east. Think Grant, Sherman and Thomas and the various army formations of the Union in the west.

LEADERSHIP MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE!

coolbert.

Rampage.

This is coolbert:

Boris has one! Benjamin has one too!

From the latest edition of the DEBKAfile news letter:

This missile has been used by the Israel Air Force against Syrian targets? And with great success? Apparently a stand-off weapon system air-to-ground missile.

Rampage!

"New Israeli supersonic air-to-ground missile"

16 June.

"The new air to surface missile, dubbed Rampage after a popular video game, is a powerful weapon nearly impossible to detect or intercept and equipped with a warhead, rocket engine and advanced navigation for precision targeting, say its makers Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Military Industry Systems (IMI). It is also cheaper to produce than comparable weapons in Israel's arsenal. The 4.7-meter long missile weighing 570 kilos is designed for strikes on command centers, air force bases, infrastructure and field targets shielded by air defense batteries"


Boris boasts, Benjamin does not. The proof is in the pudding as they say and Rampage already battle tested. Nothing more to say!

coolbert.

BB Saudi.

This is coolbert:

"…we are in dialogue with the accused criminals who have been convicted with smuggling drugs, murder, rape, from the following nationalities: 110 Yemenis, 21 Palestinians, 212 Saudis, 96 Sudanese, 254 Syrians, 82 Jordanians, 68 Somalis, 32 Afghanis, 94 Egyptians, 203 Pakistanis, 23 Iraqis, and 44 Kuwaitis."

"We have reached an agreement with them that they will be exempted from the death sentence and given a monthly salary to their families and loved ones, who will be prevented from traveling outside Saudi Arabia in return for rehabilitation of the accused and their training in order to send them to Jihad in Syria." - [Signed] Director of follow up in Ministry of Interior [Saudi] Abdullah bin Ali al-Rmezan

THE DIRTY DOZEN BUT MUCH MORE THAN A DOZEN.

From the War Nerd Internet web site and somewhat dated but still of interest.

"The Saudi Dirty Dozen and Jihadi as Risk Disposal"

By Gary Brecher September 10, 2013

The BASHI-BAZOOK! Criminals in the Islamic context released from prison on the condition they perform military service as an irregular combatant. Their reward plunder if possible with their sentence expunged.

Foreign interventionists in the Syrian Civil War fighting in furtherance of Saudi goals.

Criminals rarely if EVER make for good soldiers. Criminals accustomed to using violence but in almost all circumstances doing so against persons far weaker than themselves and not having an ability to resist. Criminals too not used to or again EVER comporting themselves in the manner of a soldier, accepting discipline of any sort.

Just a bad idea! Image however as accompanying this blog entry outstanding!

coolbert.






Friday, June 22, 2018

Reflections.

This is coolbert:

Concluding!

In finality an extract without comment from the Strategic Outpost column as seen at the War on the Rocks Internet web site:

"STRATEGIC OUTPOST AT 50 (COLUMNS): SOME REFLECTIONS"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel  JULY 5, 2017

"This is the 50th time that our 'Strategic Outpost' column has appeared at War on the Rocks. When we published our first piece on January 27, 2015, we had no idea how long our column would last or how it would be received. On this notable occasion, we’ve chosen to share some reflections about these past two and a half years for readers who may have joined us along the way."

"As we looked back on our body of work, here are some of our favorite pieces, by category"

* "Most Important"

"All of our columns are important, of course, but some of them stand out to us as particularly special, raising a critical issue or perspective that we hadn’t seen anywhere else."

* "Most Under-Appreciated"

"Some of our articles don’t resonate among our readers as strongly as others."

* "Most Controversial"

"We try not to wade into national politics too often, but it has been difficult to avoid during the past year."

* "Most Impact (That We Know Of)"

"Impact is notoriously hard to gauge, of course, but sometimes there are indirect indicators"

* "Most Fun"

"We love putting together periodic reading lists, because we get to expand our own horizons while helping our readers do the same."

Also and let us not forget: "I blog, therefore I am!!"

For yours truly as well! 

coolbert.



Mirages.

This is coolbert:

Assumptions regarding American military power as based on recent modern conflicts questionable?

What has worked in the past will not work so well [or work at all] in the future?

From Strategic Outposts:

"Mirages of War: Six Illusions From our Recent Conflicts"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel April 11, 2017

Six illusions as accepted as fact but indeed questionable:

* "Illusion 1: Warfare is Land-Centric."

* "Illusion 2: There Will Be Adequate Time to Adapt"

* "Illusion 3: American Technology Rules"

*" Illusion 4: U.S. Supplies runneth Over."

* "Illusion 5. There Will Be Plenty of High Tech Munitions."

* "Illusion 6: The United States Will Never Need a Draft."

NEVER AGAIN WILL THE UNITED STATES NEED A DRAFT [CONSCRIPTION] UNLESS A PROTRACTED WAR IN THE MANNER OF WW1/WW2/KOREA IS THE CASE? DEVOTED READERS TO THE BLOG CAN COMMENT? WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF SUCH AN INSTANCE OCCURRING? WHO HAS THE CRYSTAL BALL?

Modern warplane assembly of a F-15 for instance requires a minimum of eighteen months for the start/finish process, raw material to fly-able fighter jet! What is in the inventory now if gone will be hard to replace!

coolbert.


Machine.

This is coolbert:

Right and wrong, Hollywood style!

"What We Saw in War Machine"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel June 13, 2017

A movie review thanks to Strategic Outposts:

"War Machine (2017)"

Storyline:

"A general from the US is sent to Afghanistan to 'clean' the situation up after eight years of war in the country. He finds himself amongst tired soldiers and disillusioned politicians eager to leave. In this situation he feels his mission is to 'win' the war, something deemed impossible by everyone around him."

* "What the Movie Gets Wrong"

    "The General. Brad Pitt plays the movie’s lead character as a buffoonish and rather dull-witted (though sincere) stereotype of the modern American general."

    "The Chain of Command."

    "The Loyal Wingman."

    "The Afghan Strategy Spaghetti Chart."

    "McMahon the Runner."

* "What the Movie Gets Right"

    "The Isolation of Senior Wartime Commanders."

    "Wartime Pain for Military Families."

    "The Unending Rotation of Military Commanders"
   
* "The Fight for the Rolling Stone Cover"

* "The Big Takeaway"

    "Tilda Swinton brilliantly plays a German parliamentarian who politely but relentlessly grills McMahon about his war-winning strategy during a briefing in Berlin."

NO, I HAVE PERSONALLY NOT SEEN THE MOVIE OR EVEN READ THE BOOK.

coolbert.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Limits.

This is coolbert:

HARD POWER as a panacea to various critical world events neither desirable or even effective? FORCE of the military variety often counter-productive? President Trump behind the learning curve in this regard?

"hard pow·er - noun - a coercive approach to international political relations, especially one that involves the use of military power."

From Strategic Outpost courtesy the War on the Rocks Internet web site.

"Trump’s Next Task: Learning the Limits of Military Power"

David Barno and Nora Bensahel May 2, 2017

Limits as enunciated but I think hardly limited to:

* "First, Trump is, by all indications, enamored with military power"

* "Second, the Trump administration is reducing its non-military options by systematically gutting the civilian elements of U.S. national power, especially diplomacy and development."

* "Third, the Trump administration has too many generals influencing its thinking on national security."

* "Fourth, as noted earlier, Trump has now delegated nearly unprecedented decision-making authority to Secretary Mattis and U.S. military commanders in the field."

"THE BEST INTERNATIONAL LAW IS THE STRONGEST ARMY!" - - G.S. Patton.

coolbert.


Obligation.

This is coolbert:

Once more with extracts and commentary from the Strategic Outpost column of the Internet web site War on the Rocks. The topic in this particular instance the possible reinstatement of the military draft [conscription].

The professional all-volunteer military force of the United States now a done deal for over forty years and counting.

Conscription as was the norm for a twenty year period from Korea through Vietnam done away with and perhaps for all time?

Conscription however as a means of bolstering the American military with "warm-bodies" and "boots on the ground" not a done with forever concept?

Generally speaking military service seen as one of three most important duties of a citizen. Voting and jury duty as the other two.

"THE DEEPEST OBLIGATION OF CITIZENSHIP: LOOKING BEYOND THE WARRIOR CASTE"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel MAY 15, 2018

"Yet the remarkable success of the all-volunteer force masks its one profound disadvantage: It has become too easy for most Americans to believe that they are no longer responsible for fighting the nation’s wars. It has unintentionally sent the message that 'someone else' will take those risks and fight those fights. Since fewer than 1 percent of the population serves in the military, and most of those who now serve are related to someone who has served, the civil-military gap has expanded into a massive chasm."

"Why is this such a serious problem?"

"First, it makes it too easy for the nation to go to war. It is much easier to decide to send someone else’s children, parents, and friends to war than to send your own."

"Second, and even more importantly, in this era of renewed great power competition, the United States may well find itself having to fight wars of greater size, scope, and casualties that require more troops than the nation can recruit voluntarily."

AN AMERICAN MILITARY CONSISTING OF MOTIVATED AND PATRIOTIC AMERICANS WILLING TO DO THEIR DUTY SUPERIOR TO THE CONSCRIPT AND FOR THE MOST PART COMPELLED TO DO THEIR DUTY DRAFTEE? I FOR ONE DO BELIEVE SO.

ANYWAY, AMERICANS AS A WHOLE DO NOT WANT A RETURN TO CONSCRIPTION AND THE DRAFT. 

coolbert.


CoS.

This is coolbert:

Continuing additionally with extracts and commentary from the War on the Rocks Internet web site continuing column Strategic Outpost by Barno and Bensahel and thanks to both.

Kelly? A bad idea?

"Why No General Should Serve as White House Chief of Staff"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel September 12, 2017

* "First, having a retired general serve in such an unabashedly partisan role further blurs the boundaries between the military and politics, and erodes the long-standing reputation of the U.S. military as an apolitical institution."

* "Second, Kelly’s appointment promotes the myth that military leaders are superior to civilian leaders."

* "The final danger of having Kelly (or any military leader) serve as White House chief of staff is that any major policy failure occurring on his watch would undermine the standing of the military, rightly or wrongly."

A PRESIDENTIAL CHIEF OF STAFF [CoS] DOES NEED MANAGERIAL AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND IN ABUNDANCE. YOU DO NOT NEED THE PROVERBIAL SHRINKING VIOLET OR A PERSON WITHOUT STRONG BACKBONE. ANY MAN/WOMAN WHO HAS ACHIEVED THE RANK OF FLAG OFFICER POSSESSES MANAGERIAL/LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND IS PRACTICED AT SAME. KELLY HARDLY A BAD IDEA.

coolbert,.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Warning.

This is coolbert

MAD DOG FIRES A SHOT!

Further still an extract with my commentary from the Strategic Outpost column of the War on the Rocks Internet web site.

"JIM MATTIS FIRES A CLEAR WARNING SHOT"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel MARCH 20, 2018

"In case you missed it, here’s the most important sentence in the recently released National Defense Strategy: 'America’s military has no preordained right to victory on the battlefield.' These blunt words from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis encapsulate the key theme of the document, which conveys a powerful sense of urgency about what it will take to fight and win the nation’s future wars."

"The Inside Message"

* "The National Defense Strategy clearly states that the central challenge to U.S. national security is 'the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition' with Russia and China."

* "Second, the National Defense Strategy states that the joint force needs to be resilient."

* "Third, the joint force needs to be able to rapidly adapt to a fast-changing and highly competitive operating environment."

"The Outside Message"

* "The National Defense Strategy is a fairly wonky document. Few Americans will read it, and most will not know it exists at all."

"won·ky - - adjective - - informal crooked; off-center; askew. (of a thing) unsteady; shaky. not functioning correctly; faulty."

WE ARE IN NOW A PERIOD OF GREAT POWER GEOPOLITICAL CONFLICT [SANS WARFARE] AS IT WAS IN THE PERIOD JUST PRIOR TO THE GREAT WAR [WW1]. WORLD GLOBAL MACHINATIONS BY A HOST OF DOMINANT NATIONS EACH HAVING AIMS AND GOALS WHICH ARE IN DIRECT COMPETITION.

coolbert.

Misconceptions.

This is coolbert:

What? Me worry?

Yet more, extracts with my commentary from the STRATEGIC OUTPOST column as seen at the War on the Rocks Internet web site.

"Why Americans Aren’t Really Worried About War With North Korea"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel January 16, 2018

AMERICANS NOT WORRIED ABOUT WAR NORTH KOREA? THEY OUGHT TO BE!

* Misconception #1: The U.S. military is the best in the world, so any war with North Korea will be short and decisive. While the first part of this statement is undoubtedly true, the second part leaps to the wrong conclusion.

* Misconception #2: Few Americans would die in a conventional war with North Korea.

* Misconception #3: War won’t impact Americans at home.

* Misconception #4: War won’t personally touch me or my family.

* Misconception #5: The war will end with the defeat of North Korea.

MORE AMERICAN CASUALTIES PROBABLY IN THE FIRST DAY OF A FULL-SCALE WAR WITH NORTH KOREA THAN KILLED IN GULF WAR ONE, GULF WAR TWO, IRAQI COUNTER-INSURGENCY AND AFGHANISTAN COMBINED!!

OUTCOME OF THE WAR MIGHT AGAIN RESULT IN YET ANOTHER STALEMATE WITH DESTRUCTION ON AN EVEN GREATER LEVEL THAN WAS THE CASE IN THE FIRST KOREAN WAR. [NOTE IT IS SOMEWHAT INCORRECT TO SAY THERE WAS A FIRST KOREAN WAR, FIGHTING ONLY CEASING WITH AN ARMISTICE BUT NOT A PEACE TREATY]

coolbert.


Veterans.

This is coolbert:

Yet still again more another extract with my commentary from the Strategic Outpost column as seen at the Internet web site War on the Rocks.

"HOW TO TALK TO A VETERAN"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel NOVEMBER 7, 2017

"This Veterans Day, the country will pause to honor those that have served in the U.S. military — including more than 2.7 million veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet, as many have noted, fewer than 1 percent of Americans serve in the military today, and they are growing increasingly distinct and isolated from the remaining 99 percent. Most Americans hold the men and women who have fought in these wars in high personal esteem, yet often struggle to connect with this new generation of veterans."

* "Questions to Avoid"

* "Questions to Ask"

* "How to Say 'Thank You'"

* "On the Lighter Side"

* "The Advanced Course: After Your First Conversation"

OTHER THAN WITH OTHER VETERANS I PERSONALLY NEVER HAD A CIVILIAN ASK ME A SINGLE DARN THING ABOUT MY MILITARY SERVICE.

coolbert.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Assumptions.

This is coolbert:

Again with extracts, those key points with my commentary from "Strategic Outpost"

"The U.S. Military’s Dangerous Embedded Assumptions"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel April 17, 2018.

Assumptions embedded and dangerous to include:

    * "The U.S. military still knows how to fight a major war."

    * "The United States can protect its ground forces from air attack."

    * "The U.S. Air Force will be able to fight effectively from contested bases."

    * "Stealthy aircraft will remain stealthy"

    * "Aircraft carriers can be both effective and survivable"

    * "U.S. submarines will remain undetectable."

    * "Amphibious operations remain viable."
   
    * "The U.S. military can protect its air and sea logistics pipeline"

    * "Advanced U.S. weapons systems will operate effectively under wartime conditions."

    * "The U.S. military can keep its secrets."

WITH REGARD TO STEALTH AIRCRAFT, DO NOT THINK STEALTHY WARPLANES ARE TOTALLY INVISIBLE. MERELY LESS VISIBLE. ENEMY REACTION TIME REDUCED SIGNIFICANT FOR EFFECTIVE ACTION TO BE TAKEN.

coolbert.


Know.

This is coolbert:

Continuing with extracts from the Strategic Outpost column of the War on the Rocks Internet web site with my commentary.

 Army Chief of Staff Mark A. Milley wants you to know!

"Three Things the Army Chief of Staff Wants You to Know"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel May 23, 2017.

Those three key points the CoS wants you to know to include:

1. "Embrace the Suck"

"Milley talked at length about his views on how war will change in the future. He argued the fundamental nature of war (including fear, uncertainty, and chance, according to Clausewitz and others) will remain largely unchanged, but the character of war is evolving rapidly."

2. "Disobey Orders — Smartly"

"The future battlefield will not only be one of chaos and unpredictability, but will frequently lack reliable communications up and down the chain of command."

3. "Break Out of Your Bubble"

"With less than 1 percent of the population serving in the military, the divide between the military and American society is growing ever deeper."

NOT NECESSARILY DISOBEY ORDERS. EXERCISE YOUR INITIATIVE AS IS COMMENSURATE WITH A DYNAMIC SITUATION IN KEEPING WITH THE COMMANDERS ORIGINAL INTENT!1

coolbert.


Monday, June 18, 2018

First.

This is coolbert:

As extracted from the STRATEGIC OUTPOST column of the War on the Rocks Internet web site that evaluation of the current Korean Crisis and possible use of atomic weapons of eliminating the North Korean nuclear threat as perceived.

IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE TRUMP/KIM SUMMIT, HOW MUCH MORE GERMANE CAN WE GET?

"THE GROWING DANGER OF A U.S. NUCLEAR FIRST STRIKE ON NORTH KOREA"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel OCTOBER 10, 2017

"The escalating tensions over North Korea have brought the United States closer to war on the Korean peninsula than at any other time in decades. Yet Washington is just as likely as Pyongyang, if not more likely, to initiate the first strike — and would almost certainly use nuclear weapons to do so. Such a strike may be the only way to decisively end the North Korean nuclear program"

"The possibility of a first strike against North Korea has long been discussed as one way to address its growing nuclear threat. Yet very few understand the grim military logic that only an overwhelming surprise nuclear strike provides a decisive option. There is simply no other way to destroy North Korea’s nuclear capabilities while minimizing the risk of massive conventional or nuclear retaliation."

"There are two crucial reasons why a conventional first strike cannot be effective. First, the time lines involved are too long. It would require weeks or even months of preparation: building up troops, aircraft, and ships, as well as evacuating tens of thousands of U.S. citizens."

"Second, and more important, a conventional first strike simply cannot destroy enough North Korean military capability to prevent a retaliatory second strike."

CONVENTIONAL MILITARY AIR STRIKES AGAINST THE NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR APPARATUS IN TOTALITY WILL NOT WORK! ONLY A NUCLEAR FIRST-STRIKE WILL WORK!

THREAT NOW LESSENED? WE SHALL SEE!

coolbert.


STRATEGIC.

This is coolbert:

Here with an introduction to a series of blog entries, "in the nutshell" postings, extracts from the "STRATEGIC OUTPOST" column of the Internet web site "War on the Rocks" Posts without regard to precedence or chronology.

"in a nutshell phrase of nutshell. 1. in the fewest possible words."

"STRATEGIC OUTPOST" a continuing column as authored by David Barno and Dr. Nora Bensahel.

As to the curriculum vitae [CV] of the authors:

"Lt. Gen. David W. Barno, USA (Ret.) is a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the School of International Service at American University and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center at the Atlantic Council. He was senior American commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan from 2003–2005. Barno was a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He has published extensively and testified before Congress numerous times."

"Dr. Nora Bensahel is a distinguished scholar in residence at the School of International Service at American University. She was most recently a senior fellow and codirector of the responsible defense program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where she previously served as deputy director of studies."

WHEN GENERAL BARNO AND DR. BENSAHEL SPEAK, WE SHOULD ALL LISTEN? THAT IS THE QUESTION?

Personally I rate the Internet web site War on the Rocks and the STRATEGIC OUTPOST column highly and recommend to all devoted readers of the blog, without reservation or qualification.

See all my comments in CAPITAL LETTERS and understand I am not SHOUTING!

THANKS to General Barno and Dr. Bensahel in all cases too.

coolbert.


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Tinian WW2.

This is coolbert:

Best amphibious operation of the entire Second World War!

Tinian, 1944. First it was Saipan. then it was Guam. Then Tinian. The Marianas Campaign, World War Two.

As extracted from: "1001 Things Everyone Should Know About WWII".

"This ten-mile-long [sixteen kilometers] islet shuddered under a forty-three-day air/sea bombardment before the 2nd and 4th Marine Division . . . went ashore on July 24, 1944. Opposed by more than 8,000 Japanese soldiers, the Marines overwhelmed organized resistance by August 1, with a little mopping up left to be done. U.S. losses came to 295 killed and 1,554 wounded while the Japanese lost 7,000 killed along with 316 prisoners."

"Marine lieutenant general Holland M. Smith, heading the Marianas Expeditionary Troops, thought Tinian the best amphibious operation of the Pacific campaign."


See this Marine Corps news reel type documentary movie the subject of which is the Tinian operation. They make it all sound so easy. And in comparison to other amphibious landings of  WW2 it probably was so. Tinian only three miles [five kilometers] from the southern most point of Saipan. Tinian is that very rare example of a military operation proceeding more or less according to plan, deviation in response to dynamics very limited?

Best a very subjective judgment in most cases but in the instance of Tinian we can all agree [??] the amphibious invasion of the island, reduction of the Japanese garrison and capture by U.S. forces was indeed the BEST of WW2.

coolbert.