Sunday Clean-Up: Links and Notes

One of the most enjoyable aspects of this activity is to get suggestions and links from all of you, on a wide variety of topics. These below have piled up over the week from some of our most loyal readers; apologies, because I’m just now getting to them. From George W ’64, a great little piece on when to get out. There’s a lot of practical wisdom packed in there. Highly recommended. From MDL, a disturbing article on a once-great military and erstwhile bulwark of the Atlantic alliance. No wonder they want to avoid a confrontation over Ukraine. This does […]

The Wide, Wide World of MREs

Military rations from across the globe. Spain: Chicken and pasta instant soup; baked beans with sausages; sardines in vegetable oil; apricot cream; water purification tablets; solid fuel tablets; isotonic drink; chewing gum; matches; stove; papers napkins; toothpaste; hand disinfectant; chocolate with almonds; almond nougat; sesame bar; sweets and isoenergetic gel with vitamins … New Zealand: Creamy chicken and potatoes; Thai lamb curry; chocolate biscuits; Marmite; tomato ketchup; salt; pepper; sugar; tea; coffee; condensed milk; waterproof matches; chocolate drink; scouring pad; cheese; muesli; isotonic drink; bread; instant soup; plastic bag; peanuts and raisins; chewing gums; chocolate; napkins; onion flakes; sweets; instant noodles; muesli […]

NATO Intercepting Russian Aircraft…

… In large numbers. This, today: NATO intercepted at least 19 Russian aircraft flying far outside Russia’s airspace today, worrying the organization’s officials. “These sizable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European airspace,” NATO said in a statement released this afternoon. The Russian fighter jets and bombers were seen flying in three different regions. The intercepts came a week after widespread reports that a Russian submarine may have been spotted off the coast of Sweden. This, yesterday: According to the Latvian military, on Oct. 28, the German Air Force Eurofighter jets on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) […]

Happy Birthday, Royal Marines!

Per Mare, Per Terram! (Some great photos and tributes there, be sure to look at them all.) 350 years old. Here’s to you!


WE STAND WITH CANADA. The fight goes on. It knows no boundaries or borders. We’d best understand it and get ready for it here. Of particular note to this blog and much of its readership– the soldier who was on guard at the War Memorial and subsequently killed, was a reservist, a citizen-soldier. One of us. Here’s his regiment. I served in Kabul with several Canadians. Good men, all. They stood with us. We stand with them.

The Long War

When I was studying in France back in 2009 one of the many unique opportunities I had was to attend the Collogue Guerre Irreguliere/Irregular Warfare Conference at Camp Coetquidan.  And one of the things a British General said was that NATO knew Afghanistan would be a 20 year war.  That it would take an entire generation to fight and rebuild that country. The reason I bring this up, one of our categories here on OPFOR is The Long War.  I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that my generation’s war never ended.  That this irregular enemy, the non-state actor, would continue to […]

Two more steps in the Long March

The US may get a front row seat to a real world lesson on having a capable Navy that is about to be taught to our former friend and still ally the UK. By way of background: Inexpensive, abundant energy is key to building a successful economy. Spaniards have endured an extremely bad economy for many years. Spain, under Franco, was fascist, and did not thrive. On the other side of the ocean, Argentina thrived, fell, then turned to fascism to fuel its economy. Last year Argentina, sparked seized (“nationalized”) the fuel company YPF, controlled by Spain’s Repsol. By May, 2012, Spain struck a conciliatory tone […]

Welcome Aboard, Mate

“A new career and a new life.” Were I a restless younger man, I might be tempted.

Meanwhile in Israel

Two items of note, and of interest: First, things are heating up on the borders. Is this a definite sign of increased militant activity all along the country’s borders in the long term, especially now along the Egyptian border after the fall of the Mubarak regime? Second (and thanks to Paul H for sending it in), lessons from Israel’s performance in the 2006 Lebanon War. I, for one, did not think that the IDF performed well in that operation. This both surprised and dismayed me. Israel must not only do well but must be seen to do well. Go read […]

Bombing in Oslo

BREAKING NEWS: OSLO, Norway – DEVELOPING: Norwegian police — reportedly including anti-terror units — were responding Friday to a shooting at a youth camp run by the ruling Labor Party, where authorities confirmed that several people were wounded. The shooting came just hours after a powerful car-bomb tore through government buildings in Oslo, including the prime minister’s office, leaving at least two people dead and 15 injured. Sky News reports that a man dressed as a policeman and armed with a handgun attacked the summer camp for children. Norway Police are saying that shots also may have been fired near […]