'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Monday, August 31, 2009

More military analysis

Graphic from: http://fix4rso.com/2006/12/26/boundaries-for-the-fourth-generation/

Today's hot topic-Hybrid Warfare

  • The basic analysis of generational warfare (GW) has been applied mainly to disruptive or transformative technologies and their affects on tactics and the operational level of warfare. However, the concept of “asymmetric” warfare is better applied at the operational and strategic level of warfare and is a fundamental change in the way warfare is conducted at not only the strategic, but ultimately the political level. Although asymmetric warfare is driven and enabled by technology, the more important differentiator is the psychology of the opposing sides and how each views the conflict being waged and the means and limits each side is willing to bring to the war.
  • Strategically and operationally, future warfare will not be easily categorized into conventional, generational or asymmetric warfare, but will likely become some combination or “hybrid” conflict that will combine elements of conventional combat, terrorism and asymmetric warfare, all held together by a psychological warfare plan to drive tactics and operations.
  • Even the technical dimension of generational warfare will lose its meaning against well-executed asymmetric warfare. Suicide car bombs can be just as effective as tanks and artillery at destroying a building. More importantly, future insurgent and non-state groups will have no compunction about using non-combatants as defenses against Western militaries reluctant to use massive firepower in the face of unbalanced media coverage. For better or worse, Western militaries are held to tighter rules of engagement, which their opponents either blithely ignore or actively circumvent to attack the will of Western societies. The fact that asymmetric opponents are willing to wage unlimited, no-quarter warfare has not been completely understood by Western militaries and is really incomprehensible to modern Western society. Moreover, asymmetric warfare will also bring asymmetric measures of victory, usually to the advantage of the weaker side. Just as powers that wage counter-insurgencies are considered to be losing if they are not winning, in the future, non-state actors and terrorist groups waging asymmetric warfare can “win” a war by simply not being completely annihilated by their opponent.
  • The U.S. military is still coming to grips with the issues of “generational” versus “asymmetric” warfare and has only begun to understand the “hybrid” wars that it is likely to face in the 21st century. As information technology and sophisticated weaponry become more ubiquitous, the technology advantage that Western armies have long enjoyed over potential adversaries will continue to dissolve. Once again, issues of training, moral, willpower and even simple numbers will become decisive factors on the battlefield. The issues of generational warfare involving weapons and tactics and conventional versus asymmetrical warfare must merge into developing a doctrine to wage some combination of conventional, information, and psychological hybrid warfare to attack not only an opponent’s military but their entire society and will as the U.S. military seeks some weakness of our opponent, whether that opponent is a Hezbollah fighter or a Chinese tank commander.
  • This debate is likely to become part of the ongoing 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. Should the U.S. military be prepared to wage 4GW against the Chinese or North Koreans or asymmetric warfare against Al Qaeda? How do we prepare to fight both? This will not be an easy question to answer, as special operations units are very different from armored battalions. More importantly, can the U.S. military reorganize, train, and prepare as the Israelis did to fight an enemy that knows how to use asymmetric means to negate our technology advantage and use information technology and “media warfare” to win a strategic victory even as they are defeated on the battlefield. The changes of generational warfare are no longer as relevant as they once were as the lines between conventional and asymmetric warfare become increasingly blurred.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

National Buyer's Remorse

Do Americans wish there was an election lemon law?

Sure seems so. The American people are clearly waking up from violating one of my two maxims:
  1. Never screw when you're drunk
  2. Never vote when you're angry
They are experiencing buyer's remorse for the Obamassiah. I mean didn't he appear to be a slightly left candidate of tax cuts for 95% of Americans, Hope and Change, and a new tone of politics in America? But look at what he has become:
  • The biggest tax and spend liberal since LBJ
  • The most pacifist, reckless foreign policy President since Jimmy Carter
  • The most partisan President since??? I don't really know...the spats between Clinton and Gingrich really seem pretty small change now, don't they?
  • Head of the most corrupt administration since??? I don't know this one either, of course the entire Democratic Party seems to think that taxes are only for chumps (that's you and me) and clearly they need their own fleet of private jets to fly around on.
  • and perhaps even a closet (or not so closet) Marxist
Is this what America voted for? A $700B stimulus package? $9, 10, 11T in additional debt? I mean what is a TRILLION dollars anyway? At some point does it all just become monopoly money?

And how did it become the policy of the United States to RELEASE terrorists and PROSECUTE CIA agents?

Unfortunately, we are stuck with him until January 20, 2013. So I guess we will all have to stay sharp, vote in 2010 and hold on to our wallets.

Friday, August 28, 2009

How to deal with terrorists

So, the other day, I was having a very, very intense discussion with my liberal classmate from high school on Facebook about the whole CIA interrogation Bull**** and the whole "torture" thing.

I, of course, pointed out that I don't believe Ali Hakim their Heads off HAS any rights to a lawyer, due proces or the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions or the Law of Armed Conflict. They have the right to a quick trial and a fine hangin' to paraphrase the great John Wayne.

Well, I must have REALLY stomped on his liberal self-rightousness because now he has deleted the converstional thread (it was really good) and won't accept any comments of mine. Oh, well, his loss. I find it funny that Liberals are so freakin' thin skinned. But I guess, that's the joy of being a white, male, conservative, veteran Catholic old grouch, I don't give a rat's butt what you think of me, you can call me whatever you like.

Anyway, I didn't get to hit him with the money quote for dealing with Islamic terrorists, from one of my favorite movies-LOTR, The Two Towers, quoted by Aragorn before the Battle of Helms Deep.

: [In Elvish] Show them no mercy... for you shall receive none!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Islam versus Christian Part ???

Just finished this book and am shaking my head at how utterly ignorant I am about so much history. This is a really fabulous book about the struggle for the Mediterranean Sea during the 15th and 16th centuries. The age old story of the ongoing conflict between Christianity and Islam is well laid out by Crowley, who does an excellent job of describing just how much the Ottoman Turks ruled the Med during this time period, raiding much of Europe and enslaving thousands of Christians. The fact that Spain, Venice, the Papal States and other European countries could hold off their petty rivalries long enough to win this battle is truly miraculous.
Most Catholics, sadly, don't know the story of the Rosary and its connection to this battle. Unfortunately, in today's namby-pampy multicultural mishmash of Western society, the idea of invoking Christ's name for victory in battle would no doubt make many Catholics cringe, but it was done out of necessity 500 years ago. How soon we forget.
Crowley has written another book on the siege and fall of Constantinople...that will be next.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Art and Science of War


The debate on war as an art or science is as old as warfare itself. As warfare became inexorably intertwined with politics and a matter of life-or-death for a monarch or state, military minds grappled with how best to conduct warfare. Carl von Clausewitz tried to differentiate between the art and science of war by drawing a distinction between calculating how a battle or campaign should turn out based simply on the “science” of how many divisions, men or guns each army has and introducing the elements of “chance” and “will” into combat. These elements are used by Clausewitz to explain a great many contingencies in how war is played out, and they remain relevant today, even though they are often forgotten by generals and politicians.

First, each side in a war is attempting to win, and is likely at any time to exert their will to wage war, i.e., the total resources and effort available to them. Therefore, war is not a one-sided affair where one side simply acts and the other reacts, but a constantly swirling theater of thrust and counter-thrust where the actions on one front can affect another.

Second, no matter how much each side tries to determine what their opponent is doing or plans to do, there are often information gaps where a field commander must use their intuition or as Clausewitz calls it “military genius” to make a best guess of what the enemy might do and react accordingly. In addition, once a battle begins, a commander often cannot maintain control over their forces and combat often takes on a life of its own. This is what Clausewitz refers to as “friction.”

The ability to overcome uncertainty, friction, a lack of information, or whatever the vernacular, is the “art of war.” Unfortunately, even an understanding of this art and the ability to operate successfully within the confusing setting of the battlefield does not allow an army or commander to avoid the need to master the science of war. The science of war can be something as mundane as properly employing new weapons technology, creating the logistical capability to maintain a modern army in the field or the ability of a general to move his forces via accepted doctrine and tactics into an advantages position on the battlefield. On a modern battlefield, the science of war has an even more dramatic impact as modern battlefield commanders attempt to organize infantry, armor, artillery, attack helicopters, air support, unmanned aerial vehicles, and even information technology into a coherent plan. When commanders can combine the science and art of war they are successful, when one side is lacking, an army often faces defeat.

Why is this important? I find it amazing that we are not hearing enough about what is going on in Afghanistan. It is quickly becoming a forgotten war, part of what I fear is a concerted strategy by the Obama Administration to lay the ground work for something less than victory. The disconcerting part is that Afghanistan is no longer really
the prize here, PAKISTAN is....the U.S. and all of Western civilization can not allow Pakistan to fall under anything resembling Taliban or Islamic fundamentalist control. More on that topic later...

Monday, August 17, 2009


Well, how to dissect the Obamacare debacle. So many ways so little time...so here goes.

IDEOLOGICAL- Clearly the Far Left President and his Far Left cronies in Congress have underestimated the ideological bent of the American electorate. The American people are waking up to the "bait and switch" candidate that was elected and are becoming more leery of Obama's "Rob the rich and spread the wealth to the poor" ideology. The overwhelming leftist bent of the current health care plans have galvanized the electorate more than even the crap-and-trade and porkulus.

MANAGEMENT- This is the biggest debacle. Clearly the Far Left Democrats figure they could just slam this through, wrote a piece of crap bill, and then were hammered by an incredibly well-educated electorate that no longer trusts or believes the spin from the dinosaur media. Strictly from a management point of view, the lack of coordination between the White House and Congress was incredible. The "message" on health care can not be sent in sound bites, because, as noted above, the electorate can read the bill for themselves and they don't believe the B.S. soundbites anymore.

POLITICS- This could truly be Obama's Waterloo, although I consider it more of his Midway. A turning point to be sure, but not victory. Republicans must truly win the war of ideas here and start pitching their own solution to health care. It is not enough to stop the public option and squash ANY government run insurance plan. Republicans must demonstrate a plan to let PEOPLE and the FREE MARKETS make health insurance more affordable to Americans.

The Republicans has a major opportunity to not only defeat this Obamaination of a health care bill, but kill of crap and trade and really make some noise on rolling back some of the porkulus spending and bringing the deficit down.

The question is, do the have the cajones to do it? We'd better hope so....the path to a new Republican revival and revolution in 2010 and 2012 start now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lots going on.

Well, let's start out with the last of an era.

Britain's last WWI vet to be honored at funeral

His lord said unto him, Well done good and faithful servant thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Mat 25:23

And of course, it's good that we are now over with the Global War on Terrorism. Darn I must have missed the part where we blew Osama Bin Laden and the rest of Al Qaeda into tiny little bits.

White House: 'War on terrorism' is over

Maybe Obama will have a teachable moment and have Osama over for a beer at the White House.

Interesting look at history

Thomas Woods has written a very thought provoking look at the Catholic Church's many contributions to Western Civilization and laid to rest many popular misconceptions about science, art, law and the foundations of Western civilization as we know it today.

I learned a great deal about how the Church founded the modern university, patronized astronomy and mathematics and even how monasteries helped create modern agriculture.

For a Catholic convert like myself, it is a fascinating read in how the Church, far from being a close minded group of zealots so OFTEN portrayed by the modern liberal media, was, and is in fact, one of the most open minded and reason based faiths in history.
I particularly recommend this book for any Catholic homeschoolers.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hippie Holiday Anniversary

Outstanding perspective on the 60's Hippie Generation by the VFW, of which I am a proud member.

While Woodstock Rocked, GIs Died

Unfortunately, these same hippies now control the universities, public schools, media and Democratic Party. No wonder our country is going to the dogs.

I am glad that our Vietnam Vets are finally getting the long overdue respect they deserve, but I think much more derision should be heaped on these hippies and draft dodgers.

I think Robert Heinlen had it right. His classic Sci-Fi Novel, Starship Troopers, had a world where only those who served in the military had full citizenship and the right to vote and hold office. Hmmm, just think, no Bill Clinton, Obamabi, Nancy, Harry, or Hillary. Too bad life doesn't imitate art.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Chicago Way

So Obambi and his crew are putting horse heads in the beds of Republicans, pesky Governors and anyone else who dares to defy the Obamasseah and his Chicago Thugs.

Issa to Emanuel: Back Off!

The arrogant thug thizzle of Rahm and the gang will have the awesome effect of not only reuniting Republicans, but will eventually drive independents away from their strong arm Third-World political tactics.

I mean when CALIFORNIA starts to make fun of Obambi, you know change is brewing.

Spoof poster of Obama's face painted as The Joker

And I mean the level of thin-skin on these people is amazing. As Michelle Malkin notes, this is NOTHING compared to the crap hurled at Bush during his eight years in office.

So in the meanwhile, as the rest of the world LAUGHS at us and our socialist, black liberation, thug politics President and his minions, the country slowly awakens to the mistake they have made.

Heh, heh, and the Democrats in Congress will soon discover that they are being measured for the ol' Greyhound tires of the Obama-Rham express.

Of course when it comes to Arlen Specter, I would say back the bus up, just to make sure.

Excellent Book

Rick Atkinson has done it again. The sequel to his Pulitzer Prize winning Army at Dawn is a thoroughly and well written account of the Italian Campaign in World War II from the invasion of Sicily to the fall of Rome.

Atkinson pulls no punches and is highly critical of the operational and tactical decisions made by Allied generals and politicians. His use of primary sources provides an excellent glimpse of what life was like for the GI and Tommie slogging through some of the worst terrain in World War II.

What is most interesting is his discussion about the utility of the Mediterranean Campaign in general. There were some major frictions between the Americans and British about how much effort to put into driving up the Italian Peninsula or even attempting an invasion of Yugoslavia and driving into Germany via the Ljubljana Gap. These differences were never really resolved and the redeployment of significant numbers of troops from the Mediterranean, first to prepare for the Normandy invasion and then to invade southern France, ensured that Italy would remain a bloody sideshow of the war after June 6, 1944.

I shudder to think what our "mainstream" media would say about this campaign today. Hundreds of GI's were killed and wounded daily to advance a few hundred yards or to take and retake territory from tough fighting German troops.

I dare say they would call it a quagmire. And they would probably be right...but that quagmire diverted a significant amount of German attention away from Normandy...so was it worth it? Read Atkinson's book and decide.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Officially Historic Now

Well, I am officially becoming historic now.

Boeing Rolls Out US Navy's P-8A Poseidon

So it's only a matter of time before the P-3 goes away. Of course, the Navy has been flying the poop out of them over Iraq and Afghanistan. Hard to imagine since there are no submarines in either place :<> but they do carry a lot of gas, fly a long time, and have a lot of sensors and folks to operate them.

So, now I am feeling really ancient...not quite like those manly men who flew B-17s in World War 2...those guys had BIG CAJONES...but nonetheless a little nostalgic.


I don't believe in them, especially when it comes to my money. So, does it seem strange that the stock market is going up as Obama's VERY expensive lefty, liberal job killing agenda is going down the toilet? I don't think so...I believe the market will go up as Obama's poll numbers and his agenda go down...just think what kinda boom we could have after 2010...hmmm.

Look at what's happened in the lazy, hazy days of summer.

I mean cap and tax, er, trade, er, whatever the hell it is, will not survive the Senate, especially when the Senators from big coal states, many of them Democrats, figure out how much their states will get screwed. That means no government takeover of the energy industry, so maybe gas and electricity prices won't skyrocket.

Obamacare will not survive in its present form. Once Congress goes home for the summer and gets an earful from the voters, there will be no government massacre of private insurance to put everyone on "Medicare" or whatever you want to call it. Either the "conservative" Blue Dogs or the lefty liberal wackos like Waxman and Conyers are gonna be pissed off, which is just fine with me.

I agree with the conventional wisdom that in the end, young people will get screwed with another generational theft and EVERYONE will be forced to pay for some kind of health insurance whether you want it or not. The only way to pay for the MASSIVE health care costs of retiring baby boomers is to screw the next generation.

So, as I said earlier, forget race, class or gender..what Obama is gonna leave as his legacy, besides a mountain of debt, is the biggest GENERATIONAL war in American history as my son and his generation realize just how big a shaft they have gotten to pay for the baby boomers and their "golden years."

But for the moment, my 401K has recovered most of its value, my other investments made at the bottom of the market have gone up by 1/3 and as long as Obama get shut down, maybe I can retire and live off the next generation within 20 years or so.....but I'm not holding my breath.