Category Archives: iraq

The People’s Republic of China Goes all Sun Tsu on Us

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“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

The classic affirmation of the ancient Chinese strategist and philosopher is to be ignored at one’s own great peril.

The rest of the world, and China in particular, sees Mr Obama in the opposite light – as a weak leader in the autumn of his presidency…   Mr Xi has shown Mr Obama little respect since their first summit in California last year. Mr Obama warned his Chinese counterpart to stop the cyber attacks on the Pentagon and other targets. China’s cyber-incursions increased. Earlier this year, the White House indicted five Chinese nationals for cyber-espionage, including a senior military officer. None are likely to be brought to trial. It was the kind of empty gesture Beijing has come to expect of Mr Obama.

Vladimir Putin could not have said it better.  Nor Bashir Assad.  Or Rouhani.  Or our (erstwhile) allies, either.   Embolden our adversaries, worry our partners.  That is the sum total of the foreign policy accomplishments of the Obama Administration and its tiresome and amateur ideological shills.

There will be a price to pay, in power, influence, and prestige.  Or in the lives of Lance Corporals.  Or both.

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Filed under China, Defense, history, iraq, islam, israel, Libya, obama, Politics

The BBC’s 1964 Masterpiece “The Great War”

Of all the events of the Twentieth Century, it is the First World War that has had the most dramatic and longest-lasting impact on the psyche of Western civilization, more so than all the events that followed.   For anyone with an abiding interest in that war, the 1964 BBC documentary The Great War is an invaluable reference to understanding.  Narrated by Sir Michael Redgrave, the 26-part documentary is a superbly-crafted work.  The tenor of the broadcasts reflects the erosion of the naïve hopes of the warring parties in 1914 into the grim fatalism that the years of slaughter evoked, and the upheaval that would ultimately topple the crowned heads of Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Serbia.  BBC producers make excellent use of voice to read the actual words of the key participants such as Edward Grey, Bethmann-Hollweg, Conrad von Hotzendorf, Joffre, Haig, Falkenhayn, and others.  The series features remarkable and little-seen motion footage of the world of 1914-18, including the civilians, the politicians, the armies, and the great battles of that war.   The battle footage heavily emphasizes the two great killers of that war (in inverse order), the machine gun, and modern breech-loading recoil-dampened artillery.

Of note also are the poignant, and sometimes extremely moving, interviews with the participants of events of the great tragedy.  Some had been in the thick of the fighting, others young subalterns or staff officers at the sleeve of the decision-makers.   Most remarkably, the BBC managed to produce a documentary about momentous events that changed the world and yet also managed to allow the viewer insight into the inestimable human tragedy that these events summoned.   At the time of the release of The Great War, those events were closer in time to the audience than the beginning of the Vietnam War is to our contemporary world.   The twenty-six episodes are around forty minutes each.  Worth every second of the time spent.

Oh, and as the credits roll at the end of each episode, one can spot the name of a very young (19 years old) contributor named Max Hastings.

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Filed under Air Force, armor, army, Around the web, Artillery, Defense, doctrine, gaza, guns, history, infantry, iraq, islam, israel, logistics, marines, navy, planes, Politics, Syria, veterans, war, weapons

“We are here from Mexico and came by train”

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NBC News tells us that ISIS propaganda leaflets have been found near Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA.  Which also happens to be the location of the FBI Academy.  The leaflets reportedly announce in Arabic that “We are here from Mexico and came by train”.

But I am sure there isn’t anything to worry about.   In fact, I am positive that they are counterfeit.  Why?

Because the folks at DHS have already told us that suggestions that ISIS terrorists have crossed the deliberately wide-open Southwestern US Border are “categorically false”.  And that “DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border”

That makes me feel better.

Because the chances of Ebola reaching US shores is “unlikely”.    Al-Nusrah Islamic extremists are “moderate”.  The Benghazi attacks were not terrorism.  The IRS scandal was only low-level employees in Cincinnati.  Fast and Furious was started under Bush.  The Obamas didn’t know about Jeremiah Wright’s racist, anti-Semitic rants.  The biggest terrorist threat to the US is from white male Veterans who believe in the Constitution.  Global warming exists and is Man’s fault.   If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.  The unemployment rate is dropping.  We can trust Iran not to build nukes.  This Administration isn’t anti-Israel.  The CIA didn’t tell the President about ISIS.   Voter ID laws are unpopular.   No lobbyists hold policy jobs.   This will be the most transparent Presidency ever.

So however could I doubt Jeh Johnson and his razor-sharp spokespeople at DHS when they tell me something such as terrorists crossing our open borders is “categorically false”?   It’s not like Johnson’s skin color played any part in being hired as DHS Secretary, because race is never an issue with this White House.

These leaflets may be forgeries, and represent nothing more than someone’s idea of a prank.  Then again, they may be the genuine article.   Whatever, the one thing we can count on from the Obama Administration is full disclosure of the truth, regardless of any embarrassment that it might cause.  It isn’t as if they would lie to the American people, would they?

 

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Filed under Afghanistan, Around the web, Defense, guns, history, Iran, iraq, islam, israel, Libya, marines, nuclear weapons, obama, Politics, Syria, terrorism, Uncategorized, veterans, war, weapons

AGM-130 in Action

Via Funkers 350

Operation Northern Watch-1999.

A Beagle crew spots an SA-2 Surface to Air Missile system, and takes a shot with an AGM-130.

What’s an AGM-130?

Take a 2000lb bomb. Fit it with a television camera and remote controls. Give it big fins for good glide range.  Then, to give it a bit more range, strap a goodly sized rocket motor underneath. Add on a datalink so the launching aircraft can send directions from long distance.

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Jerry Hendrix Discusses Rep. Randy Forbes’ Assertion That the US Navy Has No Strategy

Jerry Hendrix, late of the Naval Historical Center and now a fellow at CNAS, addresses a letter from Randy Forbes (R-VA) to CNO Admiral Greenert.  Read it all on DefenseOne.com.

A response, but certainly not a rebuttal.  I think the good Captain (Retired) is spot on with his assertions of the victory of the “Technical Rickovers” over the “Humanities Mahans”.   And that the very lack of being able to verbalize the importance of seapower is a major factor in the dearth of strategic eloquence from our Navy leadership.

When senior admirals speak strategically, their message can be summarized as “we do what we do because we have always done what we have done. The oceans are peaceful, we created that environment, and there is no need to change the formula.”

Indeed.  We are saddled with senior Navy leadership that assiduously avoids meaningful discussion about why the US Navy is building a fleet so entirely contrary to the requirements of the Cooperative Strategy.  Inherent in that avoidance is the unwillingness to discuss true ship numbers, or anything approaching a proposition for a high-low mix.  We have ever-smaller numbers of very large and very expensive warships which bodes poorly for forward presence.  The result is an increasing tally of unmet requirements, and of capital ships being employed in very low-end missions, to the detriment of other missions more appropriate and important.

That shipbuilding is a colossal mess, with LCS being the poster-child, should be no surprise.  This is the Navy, after all, that has its senior leadership in critical c0mmand positions offering up such gems as the Navy’s mission not being war at sea, and the most dangerous threat to US interests in the Pacific is not China or North Korea, but global warming.  And, though less openly now, the rather curious assertion that forcible entry is no longer possible or required, that somehow the sea as strategic or operational maneuver space is an outmoded idea.

Have a read, folks, and let me know what YOU think of Hendrix’s assertion.

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Filed under Around the web, budget, China, Coast Guard, Defense, history, Iran, iraq, logistics, marines, navy, Politics, Uncategorized, war

Panetta Jumps Ship

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Former SECDEF and CIA Director Leon Panetta has released an excerpt from his memoirs, Worthy Fights, in which he lays out precisely what nearly everyone who paid any attention at all (to someone other than Chris Matthews, at least) in the last four years knew to be true.  Obama cut and ran from Iraq for domestic political reasons.  The WAPO, of all places, has the story.

(Michele) Flournoy argued our case, and those on our side viewed the White House as so eager to rid itself of Iraq that it was willing to withdraw rather than lock in arrangements that would preserve our influence and interests.

Barack Obama threw away a victory paid for with the blood of American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.  He did so with the cavalier disregard of someone discarding old socks.   Obama rendered the blood and sacrifice of our service men and women moot.   Watching ISIS roll over Anbar Province, taking control of places whose names evoke such strong emotion in those who were there, Ramadi and Fallujah, Mosul, Tikrit, engendered in me a seething anger that has not really dissipated.   Anger at Barack Hussein Obama for his dereliction of duty, and for the Useful Idiots who believed his far-fetched fabrications, and who yet refuse to place responsibility for ISIS and Iraq’s current troubles on the man whose blithe and egregious neglect of his responsibilities brought on precisely what he was warned about.  It must be akin to a Vietnam Veteran watching the fall of Saigon.

Maybe it was Leon Panetta’s time in uniform (He was a United States Army Intelligence Officer) that would not allow him to ignore the despicable falsehoods perpetrated by his boss, especially when he knew the price that had been paid for the gains Obama was throwing away.  Whichever, Panetta puts paid to the lies of this Administration regarding ISIS and his headlong skedaddle from Iraq.  Panetta goes further.

To this day, I believe that a small U.S. troop presence in Iraq could have effectively advised the Iraqi military on how to deal with al-Qaeda’s resurgence and the sectarian violence that has engulfed the country.

Barack Obama has not told the truth about a single act or decision he has made.  His is the most malignant, corrosive, dishonest, and damaging presidency in the history of our nation.   The blood of the mass murders committed daily in Iraq is largely on his hands.  Not that he cares.  He got re-elected.  Much to this great nation’s detriment.

“The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world.”     – Ayn Rand

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Filed under Air Force, army, Around the web, Defense, history, iraq, islam, Libya, marines, navy, obama, Politics, Syria, Uncategorized, veterans, war

MLRS in Desert Storm

In the days immediately prior to the ground assault of Desert Storm, artillery was tasked to execute artillery raids on Iraqi positions in Kuwait and southern Iraq, both for the benefit of pounding Iraqi positions, and as a carefully crafted scheme to deceive the Iraqis as to where the main allied effort would come.

1. 9 launcher, 12 rockets each, 644 bomblets in each rocket: 69,552 warheads on foreheads.

2. It’s amazing to look back and see just how much personal equipment has changed since then. Every single piece of the uniform has been changed or updated since then.

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