Sunday, March 29, 2015

202nd Battalion.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Sheldon Adelson Internet web site Israel Hayom we have this interesting item.

An ENTIRE Israeli elite combat unit laid low by food poisoning. As to the source of the malady this is not clear.

I am sure there is an extensive and wide-ranging investigation occurring into this incident.

"250 paratroopers get food poisoning after Friday night meal"

"Soldiers in the 202nd Battalion were to spend the weekend on the Golan Heights • Some noticed that the chicken served for dinner smelled bad"

"Some 250 members of the IDF Paratroopers 202nd Battalion came down with food poisoning after eating Friday night dinner at their base this past weekend."

. . . .

"The soldiers said they were served a dinner of sautéed chicken, and some noticed that the chicken smelled bad."

"Nevertheless, they ate what they were served. Later they suffered from severe stomach aches and diarrhea. The battalion commander and other officers also came down with the same symptoms."

Traditionally and historically sickness, disease and illness killing more soldiers than battlefield casualties. About two-thirds [2/3] of those deaths during the American Civil War attributable to disease!

Water in particular perhaps the greatest killer of soldiers. NOT having enough water to drink or drinking contaminated and bad water!



Hoang Sa & Truong Sa.

This is coolbert:

From the Voice of America thanks to the tip from the Jungle Trader.

Custom Swiss watches as a demonstration of Vietnamese patriotic fervor. Dominion over the Paracels and Spratly Islands at the heart of the issue.

"Swiss Watches Latest Weapon in Vietnam-China Sea Conflict"

"HO CHI MINH CITY [Saigon]— Nguyen Van Liem has bought a few Swiss watches over the years, but his latest acquisition stands out from the rest of the collection. On the face of Liem’s new watch are the words,  'Hoang Sa and Truong Sa belong to Vietnam,' and on the back is a map of his motherland. The words refer, respectively, to the Paracels and Spratlies, islands in the South China Sea that are fueling an international spat among Vietnam, China, and four other countries. Amid this dispute, the watch is one of the latest products to let Vietnamese display their love of country."

. . . .

"As it fights its much larger rival over ownership of the islands, Vietnam has found plenty of ways to defy China. It has rejected passports, textbooks, and magazines that publish maps of Vietnam omitting the archipelagos. Citizens have boycotted goods from across the northern border and supported a 'Made in Vietnam' campaign. Vietnamese have raised money to donate to the fishermen and others living on the islands. And now, they’re buying nationalistic watches."

Contentious issue of dominion and sovereignty often expressed by stamps, maps or even most recently by television weather broadcast insets.



Saturday, March 28, 2015


This is coolbert:

Foreigners, expatriates fighting with ISIL we well know about. Entire brigades of such persons actually exist. Indeed, a main feature of ISIL is that appeal to the Islamic umma. The world-wide community of Muslims.

NOW TOO we have the phenomenon of those persons rallying to the anti-ISIL cause. From a variety of nations. Individuals small in number so far, but that final tally growing.

1. "Former Royal Marine Killed Fighting IS in Syria"

"A former Royal Marine who was helping Kurdish forces fight Islamic State militants in Syria has been killed."

"He has been named by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as Konstandinos Erik Scurfield from Barnsley, South Yorkshire."

"He’s the first Briton to die while fighting against IS in Syria and had served in 45 Commando [Royal Marine Commando]."

Royal Marine Commando troops trained to the highest order of proficiency and ability.

2. "Reports: Team of Ex-British Army Soldiers to Fight IS"

"Eight former British Army soldiers are preparing to travel to Syria to fight alongside Kurdish militias against Islamic State, according to the Evening Standard."

"The former soldiers, a number of whom are believed to have had Special Forces [SAS?] training, are said to be training to fight as a single unit on the front line in northern Syria."

"Images on social media, meanwhile, show members of the group wearing combat fatigues and holding assault rifles."

"The men told the Standard that their group is called IVFOR (International Volunteer Force), and that they have created a sword symbol to represent it."

These British soldiers are SAS? Special Air Service. NOT active duty but part of what is called "The Circuit". Informally still in contact with one another, highly trained and proficient soldiers and perhaps even combat experienced. Highly motivated self-starting individuals with an impressive skill set.

These soldiers do not designate them as MERCENARIES! Are not joining the fight against ISIL for monetary reasons. More idealistic than anything else.


Bab el-Mandeb.

This is coolbert:

NOT SINCE at least fifty years ago has this part of the world been such a point of contention.

Yemen, Aden, the Strait of Bab el Mandeb!

As reported by DEBKAfile and not seen any where else in the main stream media to my knowledge:

"Egyptian marines seize Bab el-Mandeb ahead of Iran"

26 March 2015.

"In a surprise step, Egyptian marine naval and marine forces Thursday morning, March 26, seized control of the strategic Bab El-Mandeb Straits to foil Tehran's grab for this important energy shipping gateway between the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal"

Aden and Bab el-Mandeb one of those oceanic and naval choke points as listed by Admiral Jackie Fisher from over one hundred years ago the control of which was essential to geo-political and strategic considerations of the highest order.

Control of Yemen and Aden and that essential choke point a contentious issue now, and everything in an continuous state of flux, Shia, Sunni, indigenous forces, outsiders, foreign intervention, extreme warring tribal factionalism, etc.

As it was in the days of Jackie Fisher so it is today but much more complicated.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Meat Grinder.

This is coolbert:

At this very moment, as we speak, this propaganda leaflet being dropped over Syria and Iraq.

American propaganda leaflet portraying ISIL as the meat grinder. Recruits and captives both ground into the proverbial hamburger without amelioration other than being fed into the wrong end of the machine. A machine that is evil and blood-thirsty.

ISIL noted for an ability to recruit idealistic young people.

That message of the leaflet most clear. Don't join ISIL or this can and probably will happen to you.



This is coolbert:

From the Stars and Stripes thanks to the tip from Freeper we have an update on the current battle in and around Tikrit.

"Heavy casualties, discord stall Iraqi operation to recapture Tikrit"

An offensive by the Iraqi National Army and Shia militia having STALLED and most precipitously and ominously so."

"ISTANBUL (Tribune Content Agency) — The much ballyhooed Iraqi government operation to capture the central city of Tikrit from the Islamic State has stalled three weeks after it began, amid widespread reports that Shiite Muslim militias and the government are badly divided over tactics and roiled by claims that the militias have engaged in war crimes against the local Sunni Muslim population"

. . . .

"An Iraqi military commander on the scene who asked not be identified discussing sensitive national security matters described a difficult task ahead for any troops sent in to dislodge the Islamic State forces, whose numbers have been described as a few hundred."

DEFENSE IS THE STRONGER FORM OF COMBAT!! Easier to do and you can accomplish more with less. Those few hundred men very determined and fighting in a pre-planned manner, willing to sacrifice themselves making for formidable opponents.

That combination of sniper fire, fortifications hardened, booby traps, IED and EFP, fanatical troops, suicide bombers, etc., making for a formidable combination, that defender also having the upper hand in urban warfare, only the most able, prepared and properly equipped and motivated troops able to conduct and offensive operation when faced with such an adversary.

ISIL always incorporating into all operations the suicide bomber either wearing an explosive vest or driving a truck wired as a massive bomb!!

Those Shia militia in particular lack staying power? NO organic ability to sustain themselves for the long haul.

That presence of Iranian senior Revolutionary Guard officers perhaps if present only exacerbating matters? Divided command and discord the result.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Philip & Vlad.

This is coolbert:

From the Internet web site of Professor Victor Davis Hanson we have an analysis of Vladimir Putin and his perceived aggressive stance and geo-political machinations of the highest order.

Professor Hanson learned in the Classics and ancient military strategy.

When the Professor speaks we all need to listen and closely.

That analysis of Professor Hanson based on an analysis and perspective of the historical record thousands of years old.

Philip of Macedon the man with one eye. Father of Alexander the Great and also a practitioner of advanced state craft in the venerable and ancient tradition. As Vlad does today would be well understood by Philip.

"The Putin Way"

"Nothing that Vladimir Putin has done in gobbling up territories of the former Soviet Union is new. In fact, he simply apes every tyrant’s time-honored four-step plan of aggression."



"From Philip of Macedon to Napoleon, aggressors did not necessarily have a grand timetable for creating an empire. Instead, they went at it ad hoc. They took as much as they could at any given time; then backed away for a bit, if they sensed strong opposition was building — only to go back on the offensive when vigilance waned."


"All dictators feign craziness, or at least exaggerate their undeniably unhinged tendencies. Appearing capable of anything was always a dictator’s advantage . . . Demosthenes warned Athenians about the obsessed, one-eyed, limping Philip II, who would ruin every part of his hideous body to destroy the free city-state."


"Aggressive autocrats always have had a list of perceived grievances, what Thucydides once called prophases."

"For Philip, the pretext was supposedly Athenian aggression in northern Greece and cultural and racial disdain for his Macedonians.":


"Every aggressor also advances sophisticated lies. These narratives appeal to the better angels of the naïve. They always seem somewhat logical, at least superficially."

"For Philip, it was a grand Pan-Hellenic crusade under his aegis against the real enemy of Greek freedom: the slavish and effeminate Persian Empire."

"Nothing Putin is doing is novel, from his on-again, off-again digestion of nations, to his feigned uncouthness, to his victimization, to his idealistic and ecumenical agenda."

"Putin is scary because his time-worn method of aggrandizement is as predictable as it is usually effective."

And thank you Professor Hanson.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015


This is coolbert:

A more or less ancient [over 2,000 years old] and complete crossbow has been uncovered during the continuing excavation of the Chinese terracotta army.

"The most complete ancient crossbow unearthed with terracotta army"

"A view of a complete crossbow relic found during the third excavation of the number one pit of the Qin [Chin] terracotta warriors and horses in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province . . . Archaeologists have recently discovered the most complete ancient crossbow to date in the terracotta army pit one in Xi'an, Shaanxi province."

Normally organic objects made of wood and fiber material 2,000 years old not found intact or even if found at all merely in fragments, archaeological evidence of this sort very rare. 

From the terracotta army exhibit an original figure as unearthed and on display at the museum in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. That figure described as a "standing archer" more correctly understood as a man wielding a crossbow.

For a sense of scale and perspective this woman shown next to replica terracotta figures, also holding a crossbow of about the same size as the weapon just unearthed.

"Among hundreds of pieces of crossbows unearthed in the past, this one is said to be the best-preserved in general, with a 145cm arch and a 130cm bow string. The bow string has a smooth surface which experts believe to be made from animal tendon instead of fabric and the trigger mechanism is made of bronze"

. . . .

"The best crossbows' shooting range could double that of an AK47, reaching almost 800m [maximum EFFECTIVE range for the AK and not maximum range]"

The burial tomb of the Qin [Chin] Emperor yet to be uncovered. A man-made "Wonder of the World" yet awaits the archaeologists.


Monday, March 23, 2015


This is coolbert:

As seen at the Internet web site an instance of the Australian military using the power of the ocean to generate "green" power. Limitless and inexhaustible energy without any pollution!

"Renewable Energy Looks Swell"

"Australia’s largest naval base now gets part of both its electricity and its fresh water courtesy of the Roaring Forties, westerlies, which blow between latitudes 40° S and 50° S"

"Carnegie Wave Energy, in Perth, has been working since 1999 on what it calls CETO technology. Ceto was the ancient Greek goddess of sea monsters, and Carnegie’s particular monsters are buoys that resemble giant macaroons. They float a metre or two below the ocean’s surface, bobbing up and down in the swell and generating electricity as they do so. The current version, CETO 5, has a capacity of 240kW per buoy. Three of the beasts are now tethered to the sea bed 3km from HMAS Stirling, on Garden Island. They also help to run a desalination plant on the base, for fresh water is a valuable commodity in Western Australia’s arid climate."

The "Roaring Forties" and the "Furious Fifties" those winds of the Southern Oceans and the swells as produced by the wind action the thing of legend. Especially from during the days of sail.

NOW producing energy in an unforeseen manner. And for the military too. This is a proven and working model of concept that needs to be repeated where and when it can be availed of.


Sunday, March 22, 2015


This is coolbert:

More paranormal.

Much to my surprise the observation by combat aviators of Unidentified Flying Objects [UFO] not merely confined to that period of World War Two onward.

During the Great War [WW1] combat pilots also observing and ENGAGING IN COMBAT WITH UFO!

From an UFO Internet web site and copied almost in entirety:

"UFOs in History: 1916 Incident"

"Strange lights were [also] observed by members of the Royal Flying Corps defending London from Zeppelin raids on the night of 31 January 1916, just as many pilots observed similar unexplained aerial phenomena during the Second World War. On the night in question, orders were sent to the fighter aerodromes to the effect that Zeppelins were approaching London. At 7.40pm Lieutenant RS Maxwell arose from Hainault Farm Aerodrome, near Romford in Essex. At 8.25 his engine was '...missing irregularly and it was only by keeping the speed of the machine down to 50mph that I was able to stay at 10,000 feet.   It was at this time that I distinctly saw an artificial light to the north of me, and at about the same height. I followed this light northeast for nearly 20 minutes, but it seemed to go slightly higher and just as quickly as myself...and I eventually lost it completely in the clouds.'" (PRO Air 1/611 16/15/288). [PRO = British Public Records Office]

"At 8.45 pm another aeroplane, piloted by Flight Sub-Lieutenant JE Morgan, may have observed the same UFO after arising from an aerodrome at Rochford, some twenty-two miles east of Hainault Farm. Morgan reported (in an official report to the War Office) that at 5,000 feet he had seen, about a hundred feet away from his aircraft, 'a row of what appeared to be lighted windows which looked something like a railway carriage with the blinds drawn.' In the belief that he had chanced upon a Zeppelin, Morgan fired at the object with his Webley Scott pistol, whereupon 'the lights alongside arose rapidly' and disappeared!"

Combat personnel making observations of extraordinary phenomenon of what ever type are: 1. Trained observers making rational reports devoid of hysteria. 2. Not having an agenda.

Foo Fighters of the Second World War were not the first time then combat aviators encountered and even attempted to ENGAGE UFO presumably piloted by aliens.


Shimonoseki Straits.

This is coolbert:

Until just yesterday I was totally unaware of this event.

From that era of the American Civil War U.S. naval vessel far from home but engaged in a punitive expedition against Japanese naval forces.

The Battle of Shimonoseki Straits, Date July 16, 1863.

"The Battle of Shimonoseki Straits . . . is a little-known naval engagement fought on July 16, 1863, by a warship of the United States Navy, the USS Wyoming, against the powerful feudal Japanese daimyo Lord Mori Takachika of the Chōshū clan based in Shimonoseki."

"The USS Wyoming under Captain David McDougal, sailed into the strait and single-handedly engaged the US-built but poorly manned Japanese fleet. Engaged for almost two hours before withdrawing, McDougal sank two enemy vessels and severely damaged the other one, and inflicted some forty Japanese casualties. The Wyoming suffered considerable damage with four crew dead and seven wounded."

That most eminent historian of the American Civil War Shelby Foote of the opinion that the Southern cause was more or less hopeless from the start. The Union almost fighting as termed by Foote "with one hand tied behind it's back".

Foote citing the instances of Federal determination even during a time of dire war to continue national development and progress even while devoting immense resources to defeating and subjugating the states in rebellion. Those instances of "national development and progress" to include:

* The Homestead Act.

* The Transcontinental Railroad.

Add to that list the determination to risk war with Japan, engaging in a punitive expedition and devoting much needed military resources to same.

Yankee confidence and resolve hardly lacking!!


Russia & Norway.

This is coolbert:

From MARCONI through Harry at Sharkhunters some items of interest.

European military exercises as currently underway, Russian and Norwegian both:

1. "Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered a drill of some 38,000 troops in the Arctic as part of a major show of strength amid tensions with the West over Ukraine.  Putin put the Northern Fleet on full combat readiness in a snap inspection of Moscow's military power in the strategic region."

2. "A military spokesmen [Russian] said that some 5,000 troops were also being drilled in Russia's far-east and a further 500 close to the volatile southern Caucasus region, news agencies reported.  The drills are the latest in a succession of large-scale military manoeuvres that Moscow has ordered around the vast nation with relations with the West at a post-Cold War low over the crisis in Ukraine."

3. "Norway is currently conducting some of its largest military exercises in decades not far away from its border with Russia.  That exercise, called 'Joint Viking', involves over 5,000 personnel and is presented by Oslo as the largest drill in that part of the country since 1967."

To all Norwegian participants. REMEMBER THE POSTER ON THE WALL!!


Friday, March 20, 2015


This is coolbert:

As extracted from the Professor Al Nofi CIC # 442:

•"The German Army entered the Great War [World War One] with some 33,000 regular officers and about 40,000 reserve officers, but upon mobilization required 119,754 officers, which meant there was a shortfall of about 42,750 right from the start of the war."

•"All of the officers holding corps, army, or higher commands in the German Army in 1914 were nobles, 77 percent of them with lineages reaching back to the Holy Roman Empire, and rest with titles created since the foundation of the 'Second Reich' in 1871."

The Schlieffen Plan as approved in 1905 was predicated on an expansion of the German Army by 50 % in troop strength. This the Kaiser did not approve of as that would have meant many more officers to be designated from among the commoner instead of the nobility.

That right wing of the German advance in 1914 not violating the territory of Holland and not sweeping and wheeling to the west of Paris as was the original intent.

The Schlieffen Plan might have worked IF the size of the German invading force was increased 50 % beyond what was the case in 1905 but a hesitant and reserved Kaiser not willing to confer officer rank on too many commoners.

More than anything else German planners making excessive and ill thought out demands from the enlisted man. Continuous marching without respite combined with the rigors of combat, too many troops too worn out by the time of the final climactic battle [First Battle of the Marne].


Thursday, March 19, 2015

MRF Darwin.

This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

"As I understand it US Marines (primarily) pass through the Darwin training areas, but they are not based permanently in Australia."

From a variety of Internet web sites we have some details of that Marine Rotational Force Darwin [MRF-D].

That emblem of the MRF-D the saltwater crocodile. Most appropriate, is it not?

1. Marine Rotational Force Darwin.

2. Facebook.

3. "Cracks appearing in US marines' charm offensive in Darwin"

"Locals are grumpy about the noisy aircraft and nervous about the marine battalion growing to 2,500 by 2017-18"

That total MRF-D to be in several years a regimental sized unit consisting of battalions on a six month rotational cycle. Six month deployment with extensive training followed by a movement back to home base. And all-arms capability, deploy-able I might think to any part of the Southwest Pacific with little if any advance notice.

Equipment, supplies, ammo, food, fuel also pre-positioned and stockpiled which can be availed of if necessary? Of this I am not sure.

Also extracts from a 2011 interview, question and answer session, that deployment of U.S. Marines to Darwin discussed:

“Q. Do you envision permanent bases here? Could it lead to that?"

“MR. RHODES: No, I don’t think ‐‐"

"Q.    Planes?  There’s no sea element to this, more ships rotating through or anything?"

"MR. RUSSEL:  This particular initiative doesn’t involve a ramping up of ship visits or naval cooperation."

"Q.    — they won’t be permanently attached?"

"MR. RHODES:  There will be a constant rotation, so there will be — this will be a regular presence of the U.S. Marines in Australia." 

That Darwin training facility already evidently is now and has been for some time a permanent Australian military encampment a portion of which is now occupied by American Marines. That area devoted to military exercises extensive and massive, those U.S. Marine contingents best described as part of "a constant rotation" with "a regular presence".


Wednesday, March 18, 2015


This is coolbert:

Some clarification regarding one of those six questions as part of the poll administered to the Australian public by a group described as a "communist" front organization.

"Q3 - - If armed conflict broke out between Japan, the USA and China over the islands [East China Sea] should Australia:"

Those four possible responses to Q3 as offered to those being polled:

1. Support China.
2. Support Japan and the United States.
3. Remain neutral.
4. Unsure.

From among the general Australian populace the answer 71 % remain neutral. AND not a whole lot of deviation from that figure even when taking into account the various sub-categories of respondents.

Australia one of only two nations in the world [that other nation Norway] the central government of which has a budget surplus. This from the export of natural resources [primarily iron ore], those importers the Asian industrial power houses of China, South Korea and Japan. Expect that trade TO BECOME ALMOST NIL IF AND WHEN A CONFLICT IN THE EAST CHINA SEA OR THE SPRATLY ISLANDS BECOMES MANIFEST.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sappers Syria.

This is coolbert:

The ancient and venerable siege technique of sapping and mining that modern version as described. Sapping and mining the work in this case of the Free Syrian Army?

"Syrian Rebels Shift to Tunnel Warfare"

"Fighters combine an ancient tactic with modern weapons"

"On March 4 at 5:31 p.m., computer screens at the European Mediterranean Seismological Center lit up. A a 2.3-magnitude tremor had just rattled Aleppo in eastern Syria."

"But it wasn’t an earthquake."

"Rebel tunnelers had planted a huge stash of explosives under the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Directorate headquarters. The underground attack represented a powerful blow against the Syrian regime."

"The explosion was a current adaptation of a medieval siege tactic. Pre-modern soldiers would dig a tunnel deep under an enemy castle’s walls, collapse the tunnel and bring down the castle along with it. Syria’s rebels do the same, but adding explosives to better collapse the tunnel."

In warfare, sometimes the old ways are the best ways. Without question.

Aleppo within the context of the Syrian civil war we have not heard about in some time now. Specifically the citadel of Aleppo the capture of which having great symbolic value.

See previous blog entry regarding Aleppo and the citadel.


Room & Board.

This is coolbert:

From The Moscow Times an interesting item.

"Russia's Arctic Soldiers May Be Rewarded With Free Homes in Crimea"

"Russian soldiers who serve in the rough and inhospitable Arctic could be compensated by the state with real estate in Crimea, or other desirable locations in southern Russia, a Defense Ministry official said Thursday."

. . . .

"in the last two years, over 2,000 servicemen from the Northern Fleet — upon which Russia's new Arctic command is being built — have been provided with housing in central and southern Russia."

Crimea has always [?] been a popular destination for vacation and retirement among Soviet/Russian military.





This is coolbert:

That Iraqi offensive to capture Tikrit from ISIL insurgents seems to have stalled. The city surrounded but further advance now in question.

"Iraqi Tikrit offensive stalls"

"The Iraqi army and Shia militias trying to retake the city of Tikrit from Islamic State forces paused their offensive over the weekend, claiming they need reinforcements while simultaneously saying they want to avoid civilian casualties and preserve infrastructure."

"The 30,000 government troops are facing a much smaller force of IS fighters and are apparently unable to advance beyond the fringes of the city."

That "30,000 government troops" reputedly consisting on 10,000 soldiers of the Iraqi National Army and 20,000 Shia militiamen. Commanded by Iranian hard-core elite Al Qods revolutionary guard officers.

Tikrit of course the birth place and home town of Saddam Hussein.

That mixed force of INA and Shia militia neither trained or equipped for OR even mentally prepared for urban warfare, especially when confronted with a resolute foe such as ISIL.



Monday, March 16, 2015

Polling Data.

This is coolbert:

Also from that American Thinker article the mention of a poll as taken of Australian citizens, the purpose of which was to determine the attitudes of an American ally to the possibility of conflict in the East China Sea or the Spratly Islands for that matter.

A poll as conducted by a group described as a "Chinese front organization", six questions asked:

"Australian Attitudes on ANZUS and the East China Sea"

Q1 - - "China and Japan are in dispute about the ownership of five islands in the East China Sea. The Chinese call them the Diaoyu islands, the Japanese call them the Senkaku islands. Are you aware of this dispute between China and Japan?"

Q2 - - "Are you aware that the United States of American has made a commitment to militarily support Japan if Japan and China came into armed conflict over the islands?"

Q3 - - "If armed conflict broke out between Japan, the USA and China over the islands should Australia:"

Q 4 - - "Australia has a security treaty with the USA called ANZUS. Do you think the ANZUS treaty means we have to take sides and support Japan in a conflict with China over these islands?"

Q5 - - "In the event of a war over the islands, if the American President rang the Australian Prime Minister to ask Australia to join the Japanese and Americans, what should he say?"

Q6 - - "If there were a conflict between China and Japan, and Australia supported Japan in conjunction with the USA, do you think the value of Australia's trade with China would fall?"

Devoted readers to the blog will have to access the polling data to find the responses to these questions in both the general specific categories.


Australian devoted readers to the blog and those Australians merely perusing even if only for a single time let me hear from you on this one!!


East China Sea.

This is coolbert:

If indeed push comes to shove in the East China Sea with military conflict the result we have an appreciation of the situation as it might transpire thanks to the article from American Thinker..

That coalition of the United States and Japan at war with China.

That existing dispute over ownership of the islands in the East China Sea called Daioyo by the Chinese and Senkaku by the Japanese.

Five uninhabited and uninhabitable islands again ownership disputed, the United States having resolved to protect Japanese interests.

As was noted in 2005 by the author [and military expert?] Robert Kaplan such a war the conclusion and outcome of which might not be favorable to the Chinese

Scenarios and appreciations as given the military balance at the time [2005] having changed?

"Some have seen this war coming well in advance.  In 2005, Robert Kaplan wrote an article entitled 'How We Would Fight China'.  In it he notes that China will approach the war 'asymmetrically', as terrorists do."

"Why China Will Lose the War It is Planning"

See my previous blog entry Air-Sea battle which describes such a conflict. A war fought above the ocean, on the surface of the ocean and under the water and out of sight. Submarines dueling with other submarines an important factor undeniably so.

Dominion and control of the islands not so much the reason for conflict but rather dominion and control of the surrounding seabed at stake. Vast natural gas deposits believed [?] to exist and only waiting to be found and exploited.

Sounds sort of like the Gran Chaco War from the 1930's. Bolivia and Paraguay fighting a protracted and very costly war over an uninhabitable desert, vast oil deposits waiting to be found and exploited that reason for conflict. Those vast oil deposits NOT FOUND OR EVER EXISTING IN THE FIRST PLACE!!


Saturday, March 14, 2015


This is coolbert:

Described as "9 Historical Mysteries" six of which have a military dimension.

"Mysteries" solved but more than that clarification as to the surroundings and circumstances of events as they transpired.

You need to read it all.

"9 Historical Mysteries Solved By Astronomy"

"History is filled with mysteries that can be answered by the position of the moon, the nature of the tides, and the time of year when an event occurred. Here are mysteries of battles, art, and literature, that were solved thanks to astronomical detectives."

To a degree analogous to those celestial phenomenon as associated with significant events within the military historical context. Gaugamela and the total eclipse of the moon on that evening prior to the battle that made Alexander the world conqueror of repute.

It is all foretold in the stars don't you know.



This is coolbert:

More drone activity over France!

Drones apparently doing a recce [reconnaissance] of a sensitive military facility.

NO ONE apprehended in these various incidents.

"Fresh drone spotted over sensitive military site in France"

As of 8 March.

"A drone has been spotted flying over a sensitive French military site southwest of Paris, the latest in a series of drone sightings over sensitive areas in and around France’s capital."

"The drone was seen late Saturday over the Seine-Port marine transmission center, where the French navy communicates with its submarines."

See previous blog entries regarding this topic:

Drone hysteria! Activity, apparent recce in the vicinity of nuclear or nuclear related facilities most worrisome. AND NO CULPRITS IDENTIFIED OR APPREHENDED!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

South Africans.

This is coolbert:

That central government in Nigeria is now desperate. Has resorted to mercenary forces from South Africa. Mercenary units now in combat with the Boko Haram jihadists. A sure sign the Nigerian is unable on their own to deal with the problem.

"Nigeria’s Fight Against Boko Haram Gets Help From South African Mercenaries"

"DAKAR, Senegal — Hundreds of mercenaries from South Africa and other countries are playing a decisive role in Nigeria’s military campaign against Boko Haram, operating attack helicopters, armored personnel carriers and fighting to retake towns and villages captured by the Islamist militant group"

"The Nigerian government has not acknowledged the presence of the mercenaries, but a senior government official in northern Nigeria said the South Africans . . . conduct most of their operations at night"

. . . .

"A senior Western diplomat confirmed that the South Africans were playing 'a major operational role,' particularly at night. Equipped with night vision goggles, the mercenaries 'are whacking them in the evening hours.'"

Not since the time of Sandline and Executive Outcomes has the South African mercenary been in the news. Combat ready, trained, experienced and ruthless.


Troops [South African mercenaries] able and willing to fight at night and using night-vision goggles to their advantage, put the big hurt to the Boko Haram insurgent!

Nigeria a large nation with abundant resources and having considerable military force at their disposal. Their officers too trained in the English fashion and attending Sandhurst. So what is the problem that a mere handful of mercenaries are seen as an essential element?

But will it be enough?


Cost Effective.

This is coolbert:

A barrage of Chinese cruise missiles as launched against an American aircraft carrier battle group cost effective.

Low-cost [relatively speaking] but effective cruise missiles, swarms of them, able to penetrate known defenses and such tactics described as resembling the English bowmen of the Hundred Years War in conflict with the mounted French noblemen. As described in this Internet article.

"What Can the Middle Ages Teach Us About US Naval Strategy?"

"The history of European chivalry offers valuable insights for analyzing the Sino-US naval competition."

"For the lack of space here, let us just briefly investigate one aspect of the Sino-U.S. naval rivalry, the arms race between Chinese anti-ship missiles and American aircraft carrier battle groups from a financial perspective. A 2013 report by the Center for New American Security neatly summarizes the uneven financial equation of this arms competition. The paper notes that the cost of the DF-21D, a Chinese anti-ship ballistic missile, lies between $5 to $ 11 million"

 “Assuming the conservative, high-end estimate of $11 million per missile gives an exchange ratio of $11 million to $13.5 billion [the estimated cost of one nuclear-powered aircraft carrier], which means that China could build 1,227 DF-21Ds for every carrier the United States builds going forward. U.S. defenses would have to destroy every missile fired, a tough problem given the magazines of U.S. cruisers and destroyers, while China would need only one of its weapons to survive to effect a mission kill.”

From a much more prior age the swarm of cruise missiles also in consonance with the French naval strategy of Jeune Ecole'. The Young School. Naval strategy based upon torpedo boats and merchant raiders. A massive barrage of torpedoes as fired from small sized naval vessels able to overcome the defenses of even the mightiest of battleships.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Organic Assets.

This is coolbert:

Those Baltic nations constituent nations part and parcel of NATO not having much of an organic capacity for self-defense.

Consider from the CIA World Factbook that the populations of the Baltic nations about:

* Latvia 2.2 million

* Lithuania 3.5 million.

* Estonia 1.3 million.  

From that rule-of-thumb as has been generally accepted ever since the time prior to the Great War [WW1], nation/states under the most ideal of conditions able to "man", organize, equip, train and sustain about one division per million inhabitants.

"all of the great powers maintained enormous armies, the 'ideal' being that a country should be able to field one or two divisions for every million inhabitants."

A division recognized in the general sense as a military unit of about 14,000 to 18,000 troops and the largest unit in an army as having a fixed structure.

"divisions, usually of 14,000-18,000 men in the infantry"

That fixed structure of a division [infantry] in the modern context usually consisting of:

* Three regiments of infantry.

* One regiment of tanks.

* One regiment of artillery.

* One regiment of air defense.

That process of "manning", organizing, training, equipping and sustaining a single brand-new division a laborious process, taking about SEVEN YEARS!

From Strategy Page see the entire Professor Al Nofi CIC # 440 article regarding this topic. Thank you Professor Al.

That "ideal" for those Baltic nations not even existing, organic self-sufficient defense not a possible under current circumstances EVEN WITH COMBINED RESOURCES!


Monday, March 9, 2015


This is coolbert:

From the book: "EMBEDDED, A Marine Corps Adviser Inside the Iraqi Army" by Wesley Gray those comments of a Delta force operator on the use of the radio by the modern troop.  That operator who:

"had killed hundreds of people with the radio (either with indirect fire, air support [CAS], or calling in a quick reaction force). He suggested we follow our suit and ensure our communication procedures are tight. Max summarized his advice: 'The radio helps you figure out who is coming to help out in if you are stuck in an ambush, who is calling for fire, who is calling in the MEDEVAC ( medical evacuation) , who is calling EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) teams and so forth. Without proper radio procedures you are fish bait for the insurgents.'"

Radio the PRC-148 personal radio with formidable capability as issued to the troop. Skip-hopping frequency transmitter/receiver with embedded cryptographics. AND IT WORKS!

That highly trained soldiers such as a Delta force operator being proficient at the use of the radio, communications procedures, map reading, determining grid coordinates, using supporting fires, etc.

Back-pack radios of the Vietnam Era such as the PRC-25 often dead-lined from not having an adequate number of 24 volt batteries available. Modern technology such as the PRC-148 a tremendous advancement and a boon to the common soldier.

Use the radio in an effective and judicious manner and it is to your advantage. Use the radio in an ineffective and injudicious manner and it is a liability without end or measure.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Vietnam 1965.

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune as was the headlines fifty years ago. That American involvement in the Second Indo-China War now escalating dramatically, and as the case for dramatic headlines.


"HITTING REWIND ON HISTORIC WEEK" by Stephan Benzkofer. That "historic week" the first week in March. 1965 to be exact in this case.







"Operation Rolling Thunder started March 2, 1965 . . . On March 7 the Tribune reported that two battalions of Marines were on the way to Vietnam . . . and that they would not engage in 'pacification'".

"Before the year was out, more than 200,000 U.S. troops would be in Vietnam."

And the rest is history!


Saturday, March 7, 2015


This is coolbert:

At this very moment the Iraqi National Army [INA], bolstered by Shia militia and possibly commanded by an Iranian general officer advancing on the ISIL controlled city of Tikrit. The battle joined, the situation as of this moment unclear.

That INA having big time egg in their face, morale very low, the rank and file troop dispirited and his esteem nearly zero.

In measure Iraqi failure a cultural phenomenon. From "EMBEDDED A Marine Corps Adviser Inside the Iraqi Army"  by Wesley Gray.

"When it comes to prioritizing efforts during defensive operations, the Marines follow a common sense acronym."


* Security.  "Check [your] surrounding[s]."

* Avenues of approach.  "Make sure the machine gun is pointing in the direction from which the enemy will be approaching."

* Fields of fire.  General idea of where to point their weapon."

* Entrenchments. "'road blocks', 'signs', 'defensive positions'."

This is as would be taught at the Marines Infantry Officer Qualification course.



* Relax. "Make sure everyone has a comfortable position."

* Eat.  "Always bring homemade chow from the camp."

* Sleep.  "As long as someone in the turret is partially awake, everyone else can sleep":.

* Tea.   "When everyone needs a pick-me-up, break out the tea set."

Tikrit of course the ancestral home of Saddam Hussein. Expect the battle for Tikrit to be long and bloody. And don't expect American air power to show up?


Friday, March 6, 2015


This is coolbert:


But it has been and now we all know.

Dissimilar combat training naval style. Have you ever done it ze French way?

"US supercarrier ‘sunk’ by French submarine in wargames"

"WITH a good submarine, a navy can do amazing things. Ask the French. They’ve just managed to 'sink' a nuclear-powered US super carrier — and half its battle group."
. . . .

"But rumours abound of similar significant victories by minor nations against the titanic icons of America’s naval might."

French nuclear attack submarine Saphir able to stalk and destroy [notionally] the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier and half the supporting carrier battle group.

"Notional: 3. abstract, theoretical, or speculative, as reflective thought. 4. not real or actual; ideal or imaginary"
Surface vessels at the mercy of the submersible and presumably also the American nuclear submarine that always [?] accompanies and protects the battle group from under the water.

And again the results of this exercise apparently supposed to have been kept a secret but now this has been inadvertently made public.

Such an exercise at sea and the results surprising [?] not so totally unique so it seems. The Swedish Gotland class submarine [non-nuclear] on repeated [?] occasions also able to "stalk and destroy" an American aircraft carrier battle group [once again notionally] AND DO SO ALMOST IN A LEISURELY MANNER!!

Something amiss here and I am sure the American naval brass taking a long and hard and worried study of the situation.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Private Parts.

This is coolbert:

From KOMO we have indications of an event that has not been seen in sixty or so years?

Radiation sickness, American sailors in the aftermath of the Fukushima, Japan, nuclear reactor meltdowns exposed to levels of radioactivity, the result most disturbing.

"Navy sailors suffer strange deformities after Fukushima exposure — 'Testicles swell to size of tennis balls' after pants got so contaminated they set off radiation alarms — 'Her arm swelled up, hand looked like baseball mitt' — 'His fingers turned yellow, even brown… feet now dark red' (VIDEO)"

"KOMO 4 News transcript, Feb 11, 2015 (emphasis added): Men and women sworn to serve, now suffering from mysterious health problems… Local rescuers find themselves battling for the truth — and their own survival… They had no idea of what was happening in coastal Fukushima… prevailing winds sent most of that radiation over the Pacific, where the 7th Fleet was positioned… the sailors say no one aboard ship took any extra radiation protection measures [for] 'probably about a week'… [Aviation Structural Mechanic Ron] Wright remembers one time the scanners went crazy over his trousers. 'It was just being like beep, beep, beep, beep… I lost my pants.'…"

At least since the time of the Castle Bravo event no such widespread radiation sickness has occurred at sea?

In the aftermath of Castle Bravo Japanese fisherman downwind doused with high levels of radioactivity and much damage done, all inadvertently but nonetheless occurring.

I do recall that in the aftermath of the reactor melt-downs the American aircraft carrier George Washington was sent to the vicinity as part of the relief effort. Crew members receiving some radiation exposure and given prophylactics in response.

Even in peacetime military duty can be hazardous.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Code Talkers.

This is coolbert:

From Professor Al Nofi and his CIC # 441 we have this interesting item:

"During NATO operations in Bosnia, the troops of the Royal Welch Fusiliers sometimes resorted to their native language for emergency communications, since it is virtually unknown outside of their country."

Analogous to the American Indian Navajo code talker from the era of World War Two [WW2]. The use of code talkers much more extensive that what I had realized.

I might add not only emergency communications but also SECURE emergency communications.

AND this not a single occurrence existing in a vacuum:

"A similar system employing Welsh was used by British forces, but not to any great extent during World War II. Welsh was used more recently in the Balkan peace-keeping efforts for non-vital messages."

That language of Wales of ancient and venerable origin, spoken in that part of Great Britain long before the arrival of the Anglo-Saxon and the development of English as English understood today.

Units of the British army still maintain their regimental tradition based to an extent on regional and ethnic affiliation. Distinct units of Scots, Welch, etc.

Various spellings of Welch, Welsh all occurring.



This is coolbert:

Here with a blog entry based almost strictly on an image. But you must see.

A downward plunging mortar round has passed through the sheet metal of a vehicle and embedded itself in the tire. BUT DID NOT DETONATE. Rubber is highly resistant to penetration by any sort of projectile. This mortar round will probably be detonated by Explosive Ordnance Disposal without removing. The vehicle will be trashed but that is the safest method.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015


This is coolbert:

From that prior blog entry:

"War between Canada and the United States and planning for same has to be taken within the context of Anglo-American relations."

"Hostility between Great Britain and the United States with the possibility of armed conflict lasting until relatively quite recently historically, at least up unto the time of the Great War. Canada as a nation not totally fully sovereign and independent until 1977."

Those two specific instances that "possibility of armed conflict" between the United
States and Great Britain:

1. Venezuelan crisis of 1895.

A border dispute as historically understood, complete with provocative postage stamp.

"The Venezuelan crisis of 1895 occurred over Venezuela's longstanding dispute with the United Kingdom about the territory of Essequibo and Guayana Esequiba, which Britain claimed as part of British Guiana and Venezuela saw as Venezuelan territory"

"The crisis ultimately saw Britain accept the United States' intervention in the dispute to force arbitration of the entire disputed territory, and tacitly accept the United States' right to intervene under the Monroe Doctrine."

The British submitting to arbitration only after being warned that the United States might intervene under the Monroe Doctrine. NO ACQUISITION OF NEW TERRITORY IN THE AMERICAS BY EUROPEAN POWERS.

2. Venezuelan crisis of 1902–03.


 "The Venezuelan crisis of 1902–03 was a naval blockade from December 1902 to February 1903 imposed against Venezuela by Britain, Germany and Italy over President Cipriano Castro's refusal to pay foreign debts and damages suffered by European citizens in the recent Venezuelan civil war."

"U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt forced the Germans to back down by sending his own larger fleet under Admiral George Dewey and threatening war if the Germans landed"


That Monroe Doctrine still alive and well? Has not been invoked or even mentioned since the time Cuban Missile Crisis? But remains in place nonetheless.


Monday, March 2, 2015


This is coolbert:

Originally I thought this might be a weapons cache from the era of the Cold War as placed there by Soviet spetsnaz. Or maybe a Gladio stay-behind mission.

But evidently the thought is that this is IRA. Irish Republican Army.

"Teenage metal detector trawling Somerset river stumbles across hidden cache of 40 'IRA' weapons - including 'Widow Maker' rifle and Nazi machine gun"

 *   "James Cork stumbled across cache of weapons"
 *  "The 16-year-old was trawling the water with a magnet"
 *   "Experts say some of the . . . may have belonged to the IRA"
 *   "Among them . . . a Nazi MG 42 and an M16 assault rifle"
 *   "IRA hid guns and explosives all over the UK mainland"

Terrorists acquire weapons, then store same for future use. Store in a manner where they cannot be found [by ordinary methods] and must be coated with some sort of preservative so they will not deteriorate.

This does seem to be an weapons cache of the IRA. An odd conglomeration of weapons and not standard issue as might be the case for Soviet spetsnaz.

That Easter Accord that ended the "Time of Troubles" in Northern Ireland specified the IRA had to eliminate their weapons arsenal.

Eliminate not so properly defined but rather considered as inoperable or out-of-reach.

Weapons as found at Somerset merely dumped from a bridge into the water and left. "Inoperable and out-of-reach" by any standard?