Archive for defense

And the bad idea of the Century Award goes to….

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , on 27, February 2016 by chockblock

Instapundit links

Chris Hughes, the owner of The New Republic, said on Friday that he had sold the magazine to Win McCormack, a publisher and editor based in New York and Portland, Ore., who founded the literary quarterly Tin House.

Mr. McCormack will appoint Hamilton Fish, the publisher of The Washington Spectator and a former publisher of The Nation, to be publisher and editorial director, The New Republic said.

The New Republic Is Sold, RAVI SOMAIYAFEB. 26, 2016, NYT.COM

This was the magazine the published Scott Thomas’ fake articles and faker Stephen Glass and sockpuppeter Lee Siegel.

And someone bought this crap?

A fool and other people’s money I guess.

Poetic justice give the damage this rag did, I’m just sorry it’s taking good money instead of going under.

“a hands off, leading from behind approach”

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 14, June 2014 by chockblock

The U.S. has made the case as strongly as they can to regional countries, including Kuwait. But ultimately when you take a hands off, leading from behind approach to things, people don’t take you seriously and they take matters into their own hands.
America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS, Josh Rogin, The Daily Beast.com

“The elephant in the room, unmentioned by Obama, is what happens if Iraq’s leaders — or the rebels — turn out to be uninterested in compromise. In particular, the president never said anything approaching this: “We will under no circumstances permit the terrorists to take control of Iraq.”

Barack Obama is a man who knows how to use words. It’s possible, then, that this omission was intended to prepare us for the worst.”
What Obama Didn’t Say About Iraq, Stephen L. Carter, Bloombergview.com

America didn’t lose Iraq, it was given away by a party and an Administration bound and determined to “get out of Bush’s War.” The left cares not for foreign affairs, it distracts from the domestic agenda of taxing and spending*. When they do show interest, it’s to kiss the ass of oil sucking dictators or to kow-tow to any foreign tyrant. Or simply parrot the current thinking of Europe’s intellectual class.

Iraq could have used American troops. ISIS is an Al-Qaeda spin-off. A failed Iraq spells trouble for the US. Sadly, we American’s don’t care about foreign wars, but foreign wars do care about us.

The left likes to say that they ended Vietnam and now Iraq. That somehow the Democrats brought us troops home. Lies. George Bush signed the agreement to withdraw from Iraq when their coalition government didn’t want a Status Of Forces Agreement.

But if you see Tumblr, Reddit or other hives of lefty scum and villainy, the Democrats are treated like royalty for “bringing the troops home” (not really, we’re still gonna be in Afghanistan until 2017). Don’t forget the drone strikes. Clinton has his cruise missiles, this Whitehouse has kill lists and drones. Hands off and leading from behind.

So as the media has sown, so shall the American public be forced to reap the bitter harvest.

*: I’m not kidding about that. See TheOtherMcCain for our “reality based community’s” take on Iraq:

Yes, the most urgent business facing the United States Senate is a newspaper columnist’s thoughts about sex on college campuses.
— R.S. McCain

And the “racist military” smear continues.

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , , , , , on 19, April 2014 by chockblock

All thorough out Hollywood and the media’s depiction of the military, we’re shown a bunch of mooks beacuse the military is teh evilz!

Part of this meme is that the US military is/has/trains/recruits rabid racists. They become “veterans” who are planning to/training to/stocking up guns for/working for INSERTSINISTERPLANSHERE.

Jackasses like Timothy McVeigh get branded about every so often (a SF washout and marginal soldier who was demoted from E-5 to E-1).

“Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, is accused of killing three people outside a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement community on April 13, according to media reports. The Fayetteville Observer reported that Miller is a former Ku Klux Klan leader as well as a retired master sergeant who served in Army Special Forces. He was forced to retire in 1979 for distributing racist materials.
Veterans slam New York Times piece linking vets to hate groups, Militarytimes.com

Yep, another “veteran”. And here is the MSM stock narrative:

“The number of Vietnam veterans in that movement was small — a tiny proportion of those who served — but Vietnam veterans forged the first links between Klansmen and Nazis since World War II. They were central in leading Klan and neo-Nazi groups past the anti-civil rights backlash of the 1960s and toward paramilitary violence. The white power movement they forged had strongholds not only in the South, but also in the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, California and Pennsylvania. Its members carried weapons like those they had used in Vietnam, and used boot-camp rhetoric to frame their pursuit of domestic enemies. They condoned violence against innocent people and, eventually, the state itself.”
Veterans and White Supremacy, By KATHLEEN BELEW, NYT.com

Plenty of “weasle words” there, I’ve highlighted them. She goes on to say:

Mr. Miller obviously represents an extreme, both in his politics and in his violence. A vast majority of veterans are neither violent nor mentally ill. When they turn violent, they often harm themselves, by committing suicide.

And here is the epic smack down:

“Make no mistake—if there were extremists in the ranks, commanders would be quick to give them the boot; the Army’s regulations give them plenty of latitude to do so. In fact, that actually happened in the case of Frazier Miller,

Finally, understand that Mr. Miller represents just one of over 20 million veterans in America—roughly the entire population of the state of New York. One person does not make a trend.”

Racists in the ranks? Not in this Army., Crispin J. Burke, Medium.com

As both XBradTC, the Military Times and the Department Of Defense are quick to point out, being a racist nutjob gets a soldier back on the street with a quickness.

Tattoos are inspected, background checks are done. Sure there are some idiots who fall through the cracks. But contrary to what liberals, progressives and places like the Southern “Poverty” Law Center think, there is no mass movement of racist “vets”.

Extremist groups try, they send pamphlets, use the internets and attempt to use social media. And the IG, the DoD’s special law enforcement agencies and the FBI are quick to find them.

I suspect that this “meme” is more battlespace prep for 2014 and backlash over the fail of progressive causes. Expect to see Tea Party rallies peppered with “racist milita” and veterans running for office smeared with this.

The left hates the military and this is one way they have to swipe at recruitment and the treatment of vets.

Armies

Posted in politcs, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2, March 2014 by chockblock

“This isn’t 1940. Moreover, as an instrument of coercion, that smaller army would be more lethal than the much larger one that helped defeat Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. Given a choice between a few hundred of today’s Abrams tanks and a few thousand vintage Shermans, Gen. George Patton would not hesitate to choose the former.”


Do we really need a large Army?
By Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Post.

This is the same paper that whitewashes the drone strikes. George Bush would never have been given an article titled “5 myths of the Iraq war”.

And yet the “argument” for cutting the military persists.
This Ain’t Hell skewers Tom Rick’s argument for “going to a cadre-like military, with only two Army divisions kept at high readiness”.

The left believes that troops are stupid. Just draft the bodies you need, buy the tanks, trucks and planes and then send them off to war. Lefties won’t go of course, the draft dogers of the 60’s became to leaders of today.

No they want to cut to the bone and keep cutting. there is talk of a new round of BRAC. Closing MORE bases, gutting civilian towns, eroding the defense industrial base. All for more spending on “domestic programs”.

Once the troops leave, their expertise is gone forever. You can’t draft leadership, tribal knowledge or hours in the cockpit.

“In the meantime, the world, from East Asia to the Middle East, is “unsettled” and becoming ever more so. Does anyone doubt that the decision in Washington to slash its defenses has been fully noted in Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, Tehran, and North Waziristan? Like Jeremiah, we say judgment is inevitable. Unless the present course is reversed, the wages of weakness will be paid in increased instability, crises, and ultimately conflicts that might well have been avoided.”

Deeply Unsettling“, Gary Schmitt and Thomas Donnelly, WeeklyStandard.com

It’s 1938 all over again.

UPDATE: Told you so…

And in other news…

Posted in politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2, February 2014 by chockblock

The DNC is millions in debt. Detroit is only mostly dead.

And this is the reality based community?

Boeing, Boeing

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 6, January 2014 by chockblock

So this happened:

SEATTLE (KING) – Boeing machinists have voted to approve Boeing’s latest eight-year contract proposal, securing assembly of the company’s new 777X airplane in Washington state.

Thousands of union members cast their ballots – some waiting in line for hours outside of the union hall in Everett – in Friday’s crucial vote.
— “Seattle machinists approve Boeing 777X production contract“, Ksdk.com

So Kshama Sawant must be spinning, she called for Boeing workers to “Take Over” their plant if Boeing left. Yeah, talking like a Batman villain makes all kinds of sense…

Boeing’s workers have working brains. Their Union doubled down and lost. Boeing could move to those “right to work” states. The voted to keep their jobs. Hopefully they will vote new union leadership.

And yet again the media doesn’t get “military”…

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 10, December 2013 by chockblock

And now how!

Here we see a call for peace in Asia:


The clock starts ticking for the next crisis. With China’s announcement of the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea and the strong response from Japan, the United States and several other countries, tensions in East Asia are mounting. Since the crisis over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in September 2012, both China and Japan have begun to conduct frequent air and marine patrols in the Diaoyu/Senkakus area. With the flyby of the American B-52s, the area around these tiny islands has become a zone of tension with high probability of an accident and subsequent conflict.

To overcome this, Chinese and Japanese leaders first need to demonstrate their vision, courage, and determination to make peace. The establishment of the zone of peace is a crisis prevention tactic. It will not change any legal claims or the status of the territorial claims. If they want to avoid conflict, especially one arising from a small incident, they should take measures to decrease the likelihood of such accidents through using tools such as the zone of peace.

–“How to Prevent Accidental Conflict in the East China Sea:China and Japan could avoid conflict in the East China Sea by setting up a “peace zone.”,By Zheng Wang,thediplomat.com

Alright, this would be a good idea, trouble is the hate China and Japan have for each other. The “zone” and “islands” in question are worthless (except for undersea deposits of oil, minerals and fishing rights). Yet they might start shooting over it.

Japan did horrible, horrible things to China in World War II. The Chinese Community Party needs a win to cement the idea it’s a superpower. Japan just wants it’s territory respected (and yes some of their right wing isn’t too keep on China). Peace? Hardly. If the U.S. intervenes we’ll be seen as on Japan’s side. Or worse the diplomats of our current party will be so wishy-washy that any deal will be crap.

So smart diplomacy isn’t their thing.

Neither is defense:

“Want a better U.S. military? Make it smaller. The bigger the military, the more time it must spend taking care of itself and maintaining its structure as it is, instead of changing with the times. And changing is what the U.S. military must begin to do as it recovers from the past decade’s two wars.”

Want a better U.S. military? Make it smaller

Tom, you’re an idiot. The Louisiana Maneuvers exposed an Army ill-equipped for war. Jeeps with wooden signs that said “tank”, wooden guns, four “bombs” dropped from air planes. The cycle repeated just before Vietnam. The USAF sold off thousands of iron bombs as scrap to prep for the nuclear mission. Cue 1965 and TAC was in country, a flight of 4 jets would have 1 bomb each. The old bombs? Sold to West Germany for pennies on the dollar and bought back in haste for much more.

Tom Ricks wants to repeat that. A downsized military loses thousands of junior enlisted, NCO’s and officers with experience. No we can’t draft it, recruit it or get it from the moon. Aircraft, tanks, ships and wheeled vehicles put in “storage” rot unless kept up, something a “smaller” military won’t be able to do. All lefites hate carriers and now China’s new anti-ship ballistic missile is there new excuse to get rid of them.

Yeah, take away the carriers, downsize the air fleet and shrink the ground troops and we have no leverage to force China or any one to the negotiation table. A frigate navy is what Tom Clancy predicted if we lost our carriers, something his latter pie in the sky novels got right.

While the fall of Communism and the post-Cold War era wasn’t kind to Clancy, Tom Ricks and Zheng Wang seem to think it’s 1939. They want Peace In Our Time.

Given how well that went back in ’39, I saw we ignore them and their MSM ilk.

A word about benefits and costs in the Military

Posted in army life, army training, HOOAH!, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 26, November 2013 by chockblock

Gee seems personnel costs aren’t eating the DOD alive. That the DOD’s senior leadership was lying and cost are up elswhere in larger ammounts than ”’personnel”’!.

Okay, lemmie ‘splain:

In the 90’s, weapons tech was teh smexy, but the budget was low. Pay, the housing allowance and other bennies ”barely” kept up with inflation. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines were on food stamps. Units were cut right and left (look at a map of pre-1989 West Germany, 1995 Germany and now). Many qualified troops left as flying hours were cut, 2 aircraft were cannibalized to keep one flying and the whole being military on food stamps thing.

Slick Willie agreed to the Future Combat System, JSF and a few other weapons programs, that were delayed. He punted and was more interested in oval sex in the oral office.

So 9/11 happened, BAH and pay were on the upswing. While recruitment was up before OIF, ~2004 the numbers went down. I was there, headlines like “empty seats at Benning” were in the Army times. Then some brain dead git addicted to power point came up with the “moral waiver”. Promotion points dipped and many idiots got in. So to preserve the proggies and hardware (and fat contracts) This Aint Hell gives us the money quote:

“Congress is deeply resistant to cutting pay and benefits. So the Pentagon leadership’s rhetorical focus on soaring personnel costs may help reduce pressure on the broader military budget.

“If you focus on the least doable thing, what you gain is leverage to bring the whole budget up,” Adams said. “By pointing to the hardest thing to change, they hope that the whole budget will continue to be high.”
Stars & Stripes: Report: Pentagon emphasizing personnel, but budget costs up across the board”

Well, not only is it the “hardest thing to change”, it impacts fewer voters, because cutting actual defense spending impacts contracting and manufacturing jobs and entire local economies. Whereas, cutting the number and pay of troops affects far fewer people – people who wouldn’t ordinarily vote for the current administration and it’s less likely to have any real impact on elections.
— Jonn Lilyea slams the DoD

Yup, because having good troops leave because they can’t feed their families, pilots leave because of poor maintenance and low flying hours and a garrison military nitpicking every little behavior worked so well in the Clinton Era.

If the Bush era was one of fat waste and flushing money down the toilet, the Clinto era was one of dry rot. It was Clinton’s DOD that came up with contractors and no-bid contacts to DynCorp, KBR et al. Bush just went over the top. Far from saving money, the new soldiers of fortune cost much, much more:

“We know that sergeants in the military generally cost the Government between $50,000 to $70,000 per year. We also know that a comparable position at Blackwater costs the Federal Government over $400,000, six times as much.”

The left wants to go back to a draft so they can take money from readiness, going back to the era of a small army/navy swelling with draftees. We have members of Congress saying that we need to “slash” future bennies.

Bollocks.

What is needed is to fire the contractors, replace them with Reservists/National Guard, enlarge the Guard and Reserve and slash the DoD Civlians, O-5 and up, E-7 and up armchair warriors who’ve never deployed. End the draft.

When an Active duty US Vice Adm. Bill Moran has to “dispell rumors”, things are bad (go click on that link).

The 90’s sucked. As troops leave for better pay elsewhere, the military rots from within. I suspect that’s what some want, but do we really want a return to the 30’s Army?

Military pay and benefits

Posted in army life, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 3, February 2013 by chockblock

One again there are calls to “reform” military pay. I’ve said on this blog before that our service members don’t get paid enough. No we’re not europe; defense spending is not breaking the bank it’s actually smaller now. But many still attack our bennies.

Some bloggers, like In from the Cold, have struck back.

We have a powerful ally:

Col. Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret), deputy director, MOAA Government Relations
“Statements that rising personnel costs are “unaffordable”…“out of control”…”unsustainable”… and “will impact readiness” are geared to make headlines, alarm the reader, and (not infrequently) generate support for pursuing additional studies.

“If personnel costs continue growing at that rate and the overall defense budget remains flat with inflation,” CSBA authors hyperbolized, “military personnel costs will consume the entire defense budget by 2039.”

Elsewhere, they acknowledged that will never happen. But the quote was seized and repeated by reporters, pundits, bureaucrats and other “analysts.” E.g., James Kitfield did so in the July 2012 National Journal.

Is there any chance personnel costs will consume the entire defense budget by 2039? Of course not.

Before examining the personnel share, let’s first consider that the defense budget has consumed a progressively smaller share of federal outlays over the last 50 years”

The Military Officer’s Association of America is made up of people who’ve fought America’s wars. Company level commanders who’ve had to deal with military families. The Association of the United States Army echoes the call to help soldiers get better pay.

There are many leftist dirtbags who insist that the military revert to the Regan/Carter era of pay.

Pay freezes and benefit cuts would cause the Army to bleed numbers. Soldiers on food stamps, NCO’s and officers leaving, morale nosediving and enlistment down. The left wants that, I don’t.

How about we cut the think tanks and the pay of Congressmen who say stupid things instead?

The cost of Defense

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11, November 2012 by chockblock

I admit that I am a Cold War baby. I was born in the 70’s, my father worked as a defense contractor. He met my mother when he was in the Air Force.

But what has the military done for the rest of us?

  • The very existence of this Wiki was made possible via the US Department of Defense wanting to create a way for people to gain access to powerful research computers they were geographically separated from—for both purely scientific/academic and military projects. Incidentally, it also protected the flow of information between military installations from attacks (up to and including nuclear weapons). This is what became the Internet. (The World Wide Web and the hypertext system, while still vital, was a civilian thing)
  • Your sat-nav. NAVSTAR GPS, developed for the US military and made available for public use after the KAL 007 shoot-down.
  • Supersonic flight—first done by the US Air Force.
  • The Moon Landings—military-trained pilots. Of the 12 men to walk on the Moon, only one (Harrison Schmidt) had never been a member of the US Armed Forces. Of the remaining 11, only the first (Neil Armstrong) was directly employed by NASA: Armstrong was a retired Navy test pilot, while the remaining 10 were still active-duty Air Force and Navy pilots (4 Air Force, 6 Navy).
  • US Space Exploration in general—the Titan space launchers were originally for Superior Firepower.
  • Antibiotics. In order to keep troops healthy, the US Military developed a way to mass produce penicillin in World War II to ensure every soldier would have access to some.
  • Nylon—originally created for parachutes. Or rather, originally created for women’s stockings, which used the silk needed for parachutes at the beginning of World War II; old stockings were turned into parachutes. And then they ran out of old silk stockings and started making the parachutes out of old nylon stockings and whatever other nylon they could get their hands on. Women held stocking drives to support the war effort.
  • Duct tape—originally created as a waterproof packing tape for supply crates being carried ashore in amphibious landings. In the military duct tape is colored olive drab instead of silver, and nicknamed “mile a minute tape” or “ninety mile an hour tape.”
  • In response to large natural disasters around the world, when the US sends aid, the first responders are usually the military, who have the logistical capacity to quickly move a lot of supplies and medical personnel, often to territory that doesn’t lend itself easily to conventional civilian transportation due to limitations of local infrastructure (pre-existing limitations or those caused by the disasters themselves). Entire naval battle groups have been rerouted to provide aid, occasionally even as the disaster is in progress.
    On the internet an anecdote exists of a supposed conference listing some of the capabilities of aircraft carriers in disaster situations, including on-board hospitals, cafeterias designed to feed thousands and the ability to both provide electricity to shore based facilities, and provide a landing point for rescue aircraft.
  • One of the benefits of joining the US military since WWII is having your college paid for by the Montgomery GI bill. One can also get a scholarship by joining the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps, essentially a college level cadet program that leads into a military career as an officer). In addition, each service offers the ability to gain college credit, and in some cases having a degree is a requirement for promotion even for the enlisted. In America joining the military to get an education is a fairly common motivation, helping to make the military an institution of society in many parts of the US.
  • — TVTropes: “Yanks With Tanks”

“There is no National Defense Service Medal for veterans of the Cold War. What were America’s GIs up to? They went on alert when Egypt claimed the Suez Canal in 1956. They manned missile silos in North Dakota and piloted B-52s aimed at Soviet targets. They crewed nuclear-armed submarines and drove tanks in the Fulda Gap between West and East Germany. Some of what they did is still secret.”
–“A Cold Shoulder for Cold-War Vets“, By BARRY NEWMAN, WSJ.com (via XBradTC)

So out come these idiots from George Mason University:

In 2010, the United States government spent more on national defense ($738.8 billion) than it did
at the height of the Cold War spending in 1986 ($572 billion), when the U.S. was competing in
an arms race against the then superpower U.S.S.R.

Once the U.S. embarked upon the path of permanent war, starting with World War II, the result was a permanent war economy. The permanent war economy continuously draws resources into the military sector at the expense of the private economy, even in times of peace. We explore the overlooked costs of this process. The permanent war economy does not just transfer resources from the private economy, but also distorts and undermines the market process which is ultimately responsible for improvements in standards of living.

What? What technology has been suppressed? What has been held back?

Let’s look at the budget:

Yea, less than a quarter even if you add in the “generous” pensions vets get from the Dept. Of Veterans Affairs. Here, here, here and here I destroy the left’s favorite arguments about the military:

  1. We don’t need a draft.
  2. Pay is not generous.
  3. The military is smaller today that it was during the cold war.
  4. There is no need to “reform” pay.

What we have here is a failure to adjust for inflation. “1986 ($572 billion)” becomes 1,2 trillion in 2012. 2010’s $738.8 billion becomes $349.9 billion in 1986 dollars. The military is smaller and cheaper than during the cold war.

I suspect that the left hates the military and some want to side with our enemies. The only country that had a military-industrial complex that broke it was the former USSR. A command economy sucks because it has to choose guns over butter. Like North Korea:

North Korea at night.

North Korea fights global warming!

The “report” from Thomas K. Duncan and Christopher J. Coyne i long on sweeping lefty generalizations and short of specifics(And if TvTropes can call out their bullcrap…). The “military-industrial” complex was a term Eisenhower(R) used to refer to Kennedy(D) and his fear that Kennedy would spend more on defense. Then Vietnam happened under LBJ, man walked on the moon and the DoD had huge growth. I’m stationed on an air base expanded and built upon during the Kennedy era.

I sense bad things for those of us in the service, since this is catnip to the left.