An AC-130W Stinger II gunship and Airmen from the 73rd Special Operations Squadron fire the 30mm GAU-23/A cannon on ground targets during a close air support training exercise. The GAU-23/A is an upgraded version of the ATK Mk44 Bushmaster Automatic Cannon. Filmed on April 27, 2015.
Scottthebadger was kind enough to compliment my simile of Atlantis pinned like a butterfly on display. It’s even more obvious when you see the cargo bay doors open.
Officials in Lithuania and Poland told Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin they’re concerned enough about the threat posed by Russia that they want to host U.S. military bases.
The Illinois Democrat traveled to the two NATO member states, as well as to Ukraine, during the Memorial Day break, meeting with officials in the three countries. Durbin told reporters Friday he met in Lithuania with the country’s president and prime minister, as well as members of Parliament.
“They went so far to say they want the United States, if they will consider it, to put in a permanent military base in Lithuania, which I thought was an interesting request,” Durbin said.
At a subsequent stop in Poland, Durbin said he heard similar sentiments from officials there, including from representatives for Polish President-elect Andrzej Duda.
“They, too, expressed concern about Putin’s aggression and a desire to have the United States place permanent military facilities in their country,” Durbin said. “We have, I might say, in both Lithuania and in Poland, ongoing exercises, maneuvers and training between American forces and NATO forces, but clearly they want more.”
The Poles are begging for US troops in significant numbers. At a minimum, a Brigade Combat Team.
Lithuania isn’t as exposed as Estonia and Latvia, but it’s still pretty exposed. And it has a very unhappy history of being occupied. It’s rather understandable they would wish for stronger security assistance from us.
I can’t help but take some pleasure in seeing the mainstream media, however belatedly, explain that the NSA defector Edward Snowden is a very useful tool for Vladimir Putin and his intelligence services in what I term their Special War against the West. I’ve been pointing this out, since it’s obvious to anybody actually acquainted with the ways of Russian intelligence, in considerable detail for a long time, so I welcome anybody who joins Team Reality, no matter how long it takes them to get there.
Putin is growing less subtle by the day, and in his latest rant about the FIFA scandal, which seems likely to expose some dirty Kremlin deals, he put in a good word about his boys Edward Snowden and Julian Assange (what exactly is the relationship between the Russians and Wikileaks? well, I told you that too). For a former KGB counterintelligence officer, this is pretty much showing your hand.
Here’s your depressing read for the day. I can only excerpt so much, so go and read the whole thing.
I read it on Thursday, and haven’t cheered up since.
John is right- why should Putin back down from further confrontations with the West? Putin’s Russia is in a weakened, strategically vulnerable condition, and taking risks to change that. And so far, the gambles have paid off. The West in general, and the Obama administration in particular, have steadfastly refused to even acknowledge that Russia is fighting an actual, no kidding, shooting war against the West. Just because most of it is taking place in Ukraine doesn’t mean the goal isn’t to rebuild the Russian empire to challenge the West.
And if the West won’t even bother to respond to Putin, why should he continue to be subtle?
On this day in 1940, one of the most successful fighter aircraft of all time first took to the skies. The F4U Corsair would be the first fighter to exceed 400mph in level flight, go on to be produced until 1953 in sixteen different variants, and actually see combat into the 1960s!
A part of our affinity for the Corsair stems from the fact that our father flew them during the early 1950s while in the Reserves. And greatly enjoyed it, in spite of almost killing himself once.