George C. Marshall and the American Nuclear Age

From former VMI Professor of Chemistry Frank Settle, who taught from 1964 to 1992, a brief opinion on the role of George C. Marshall ‘901 on the development of the American nuclear age. Marshall is unique in having a senior level vantage point for over a decade in which he participated in or witnessed all of the important decisions about the arrival of the nuclear age. Professor Settle spoke on this topic at VMI on August 6th. If anyone attended and can give a review, please contact us.

The Coming Technical Revolution

Adding the horse changed warfare and commerce forever. Adding the internal combustion engine changed warfare and commerce forever. And now, via the Instapundit, the coming technical revolution in military and commercial affairs. Over the past year, there’s been a whole lot of excitement about the electromagnetic propulsion drive, or EM Drive – a scientifically impossible engine that’s defied pretty much everyone’s expectations by continuing to stand up to experimental scrutiny. The drive is so exciting because it produces huge amounts of propulsion that could theoretically blast us to Mars in just 70 days, without the need for heavy and expensive […]

For a country of dragons, Communist China more resembles a leech

For a country of dragons, Communist China more resembles a leech. Is it even communist? Has China ever created anything on its own since 1949? Sure, the Chinese are more efficient in production, but they have the benefit of having zero R&D costs and hiccups. Leeches in ones and twos are an annoyance. Armies of them are deadly for their host. Why hasn’t the PLAN deployed an aircraft carrier yet? They haven’t stolen a complete set of plans but they are sure they are missing something. They just don’t what. Why hasn’t the PLAAF deployed the J-20 (the PLAAF F-35)? They are waiting […]

Why the OPM hack matters to you

The OPM hack began last year. The security processes and tools that failed you at OPM are also found in other government agencies. Very likely all of your financial information is already for sale on the Dark Web, even with the Silk Road shut down, other market places opened up. And no, the US is not going to change banking and tax laws to de-fang what will happen to you. But it gets worse! But in fact, the data accessed by the intruders may be far broader. The 127-page SF-86 forms believed to have been accessed by the hackers also […]

If you give a plane a computer

…it will be hacked. From Ars Technica: He stated that he then overwrote code on the airplane’s Thrust Management Computer while aboard a flight. He stated that he successfully commanded the system he had accessed to issue the climb command. He stated that he thereby caused one of the airplane engines to climb resulting in a lateral or sideways movement of the plane during one of these flights. He also stated that he used Vortex software after compromising/exploiting or “hacking” the airplane’s networks. He used the software to monitor traffic from the cockpit system. Or have installation and configuration bugs. […]

The Lightning Strikes Again

I initially believed the reports of the enormous gap in time between the retirement of the A-10 and the Full Operational Capability for Close Air Support to be something from the Duffelblog or the Onion. But the Duffelblog takes national defense a bit more seriously than does our Air Force. “In many ways, it won’t have the some of the capabilities of our current platforms,” Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, head of the service’s Air Combat Command, acknowledged during a briefing with reporters on Friday at the Pentagon. While we’ve been distracted by marines playing with balls, and hazing at El Cid, […]

(He Said “Balls”)

No, really– Robotic War Balls: A research team from Stamford, Conn. has developed an amphibious drone that they are currently testing with the Marines. The GuardBot is a robot ball that swims over water at about 4 miles per hour and then rolls along the beach, at as much as a 30-degree incline and 20 miles per hour. It uses a nine-axis stabilization, “pendulum motion” propulsion system, which moves the bot forward by shifting the center of gravity back and forth and a variety of steering algorithms.  It took creator Peter Muhlrad some seven years to develop, but now that it’s complete […]

An Interesting Discussion On Uniforms

John Minehan a frequent commenter to this site recently sent this email to me, I asked if I could share it with the forum.  I will also share some comments from others once I receive their permission. I always thought it was odd how similar(but distinct) the Cadet uniform evolved at USMA, VMI, Citadel and the former PMC.  I also thought “outliers” like Norwich and VPI and A&M are kind of interesting. Specifically, why did PMC have the USMA “brass bullet” buttons on the coatee, when Citadel and VMI had buttons with the school seal?  PMC also had the one […]

The changing face of war

The greatest horror stories take place in your mind. H. P. Lovecraft planted suggestions, such as the renewed vigor of Robert Suydam that grew into terror at the discovery of mysterious clawmarks on the body of his wife in “The Horror at Red Hook.” Artillery is most effective because it invisible in action, but its affect morally devastates those who survive. We respect and fear snipers for this same reason. Facing your enemy decreases the senses of horror and helplessness. Whether in the boxing ring or on the battlefield, a face is humanizing, and humans can be defeated, especially non-Americans. But the […]

ISIS seize WMD that Certain People screamed were never there

Won’t W be surprised! Since these WMD never existed, according to certain people, where did this all come from. Darth Cheney is truly a Dark Master for pulling this off with his neo-con minions! 17.09 Chemical weapons produced at the Al Muthanna facility, which Isis today seized, are believed to have included mustard gas, Sarin, Tabun, and VX. Here is the CIA’s file on the complex. Stockpiles of chemical munitions are still stored there. The most dangerous ones have been declared to the UN and are sealed in bunkers. Although declared, the bunkers contents have yet to be confirmed. These […]