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 […]

About Half the Size of the US Marine Corps

An amazing article on the rapidly shrinking British Army. 100k is about half the size of the US Marine Corps today. Famous regiments will be amalgamated or disbanded; commitments will be drastically reduced. The great Atlantic alliance will be the worse off for it. It wouldn’t be so alarming if the Royal Navy were to remain strong, and fully capable of worldwide power projection, albeit on a reduced scale. I don’t see that happening. One might take solace in knowing that perhaps the 84k who remain will be of the highest quality, as has been the tradition of the British […]

“Iraqi Offhand”

Ronaldus Secundus sent this in with the note, “It’s the Libyans but they are firing from the classic Iraqi offhand.” Yes, it seems to be a widespread cultural trait. Sad, because I continue to see a good many FALs in the possession of the Libyan rebels– in the right hands that rifle is markedly superior to any sort of stock AK. Bad news for them, probably, but good news for us.

A Royal Marine’s Last Wish

When I saw this, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Royal Marine David Hart, who had taken out a $403,800 life insurance policy before he was deployed to Afghanistan, stipulated in a letter that in the event of his death, his friends and their partners should travel to Sin City for a massive party in his memory. “In his letter David said he had had a great life and had no regrets about anything. He always said he would do something like this if something bad happened,” friend Andy Hare said. “He said, ‘Go and have a good […]

The Disaster in Japan: The U.S. Equity

As this awful thing continues to unfold, it’s time to begin to consider some hard truths about out interests here. – First and foremost our interest is to assist the Japanese in every way possible, and not only because we are bound to them by treaty and alliance.We help them because it is the right thing to do. – Because Japan provides a bulwark of stability and prosperity in a region where North Korean makes other countries wince, and Red China looms in the background, it becomes much more important for us to make sure that we assert our interests […]

Earthquake in Japan

Bad, bad news from Japan, with considerable scope for damage to the US. Irony of ironies– the larger DOD community (from OSD, USNORTHCOM, USPACOM, and the services) that is charged with coordinating and directing defense support of civil authorities in the wake of attacks and natural disasters, just wrapped up an annual conference where they addressed events just like this. I daresay most of the participants have not yet started their trips home. Not only does DOD have to provide support, but DOD has to continue operations at home and overseas. Events like this at home or abroad, with significant […]

Why We CAN’T Do Nothin’ About Libya (?)

Tango Seven-Six says LET IT BURN. Well, we might not have many other alternatives at hand, even if Our President was inclined to speak loudly and wield the big stick on his fellow African Muslim “Colonel” Khaddafy. I was wondering when someone was going to say, “Hey– where’s the Navy and Marine Corps?” (It’s not like we ain’t been to Tripoli before, all we’d need is new maps.) Well, someone has. And it is very revealing. Remember when naval forces could conduct non-combat evacuation operations [NEO] of American civilians in trouble? I do too, which is why I am very […]