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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #550 on: August 06, 2015, 02:57:35 PM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/more-navy-seals-than-army-rangers-2015-8
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #551 on: August 17, 2015, 08:03:51 AM »

Not sure where to put this one so I put it here:

 Saudi Arabia and Egypt Covet New Assault Ships
Analysis
August 17, 2015 | 09:15 GMT
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A Mistral-class warship under construction in Saint-Azaire, France, in December 2014. (JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP Photo)
Summary

Saudi Arabia and Egypt want to buy the Mistral vessels France originally agreed to sell to Russia. Stratfor sources in the region have largely confirmed French media reports, indicating that there is at least a preliminary interest in acquiring the vessels. Despite the considerable obstacles that Riyadh and Cairo would have to surmount before they could effectively utilize Mistral-class ships, the vessels could eventually offer these Arab countries increased capability to respond to varying threats in the region.
Analysis

Saudi Arabia is making considerable efforts to bolster its air and land force capabilities, and now Riyadh appears increasingly focused on investing in its naval forces. The acquisition of potent new ships easily fits within the envisaged Saudi maritime upgrade. Mistrals are flexible amphibious assault platforms that are ideal for the projection of force in littoral waters. In missions of short duration, a battalion — approximately 400-900 troops — can deploy from the Mistral, using landing craft or helicopters. In addition to carrying an infantry-based force, the vessels can be configured to lift significant numbers of vehicles (armored or otherwise) that can deploy by landing craft to a designated landing zone. The helicopter air wing aboard the Mistral can also be configured to the task at hand, with the ability to deploy large numbers of anti-submarine warfare helicopters for sub-hunting missions. However, the vessels have little self-defense capacity and rely on other surface warships to escort them and to provide protection.

There is definitely a requirement for Mistral-type ships in Riyadh's arsenal. The vessels, if correctly manned and equipped, would have been very useful in the Saudi-led coalition's operations in Yemen. It often takes offensive action for an armed force to understand that a capability gap exists, and the ability to project force from sea to shore is critical for a modern military. The Saudis could also benefit from using the vessels in and around the Persian Gulf, especially close to the islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs islands. These islands are disputed by Iran as well as the United Arab Emirates, but Riyadh could very rapidly deploy forces from a Mistral to capture terrain.

As Stratfor has noted in the past, Saudi Arabia has a strong desire to set up a joint Arab intervention force to counter threats to individual and collective interests in the region. The U.S. rapprochement with Iran and increased Turkish assertiveness mean that the Saudis are looking to their Arab brethren to reinforce their own military alliance system. As alluded to in the French reports, the Saudis may be interested in procuring the Mistrals as part of the greater joint Arab force project.

Military capabilities alone are not enough to create a viable and effective joint force — that requires strong political will. Indeed, there are several obstacles that work against the success of a joint Arab intervention force, especially one where Riyadh is vying for leadership. The Sunni Arab states, though willing to work closely on occasion, have disparate goals and interests that will continue to undermine their unity. Egypt would likely host the envisaged joint Arab force, and it would make considerable sense to base the Mistrals in Egypt. In this case, one or both of the Mistrals would be docked in Egypt close to the headquarters of the Arab force. Alternatively, one could be stationed in Egypt while the other would be deployed with the Saudi navy. This raises the question, would Cairo be willing to foot the bill for one or both of the Mistrals? 
Financing the Purchase

The Egyptians lack money and are principally concerned with countering threats in their immediate locale. Therefore, Cairo would be unlikely to go ahead with any purchase without Saudi financial backing. Assuming the Saudis fund the purchase, the Egyptians would benefit from the considerable prestige of maintaining one or both Mistral vessels within their own fleet. Furthermore, Egypt is involved in a number of regional conflicts where the deployment of a Mistral vessel might be useful, the Libyan conflict being the most obvious example.

While Saudi Arabia may be willing to finance the acquisition of the Mistrals, there are several obstacles that will continue to hamper the Saudis and the Egyptians when it comes to using the equipment. The biggest obstacle is the absence of trained crews to operate the vessels, and even more important, well-trained forces to deploy from the Mistrals. While both Egypt and Saudi Arabia maintain small marine forces, neither nation has previously operated large amphibious assault vessels and will need considerable time and investment to build up the necessary institutional knowledge to use the Mistrals effectively.

Furthermore, procuring the Mistrals is only the first step. The Saudis and Egyptians would still need to purchase the associated specialized helicopters and landing craft that would operate from each Mistral. Additionally, the Mistral vessels in question were specifically built for the Russians, and Riyadh and Cairo will undoubtedly have to refurbish the ships and modify them to suit their own particular command, control, communications and climate requirements.

Despite these constraints, there is a high likelihood that Egypt and Saudi Arabia will purchase the Mistrals. Assuming Riyadh is willing to fund their purchase and associated costs, in time the Egyptians and the Saudis could have a considerable rapid response force ready to deploy from these vessels for missions across the Arab world. That would fit in neatly with the current Saudi-led efforts to create a potent unified Arab force that would help safeguard shared interests across the region.
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G M
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« Reply #552 on: August 17, 2015, 08:12:04 AM »

Prepping for the great (nuclear) Sunni-shia war. Obama's legacy.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #553 on: August 17, 2015, 12:31:26 PM »

Prepping for the great (nuclear) Sunni-shia war. Obama's legacy.

In the post-Obama world we might need to add a nuclear fallout protection shield to the ammo and canned goods in the bunker.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #554 on: August 27, 2015, 07:43:19 PM »

Some interesting forward thinking:

http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/terrorist-and-insurgent-unmanned-aerial-vehicles-use-potentials-and-military-implication
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G M
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« Reply #555 on: August 27, 2015, 07:54:02 PM »


No doubt that lots of people in the national security field are worried about this. Not hard to create a flying claymore mine with current technology.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #556 on: August 27, 2015, 07:59:46 PM »

It would appear we are rapidly closing in on the opening scenes of The Terminator.

In a related vein:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1932&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #557 on: August 28, 2015, 08:30:46 AM »

By Paul McLeary with Adam Rawnsley

#flex? Defense Secretary Ash Carter is back in Silicon Valley to sell his vision for a collaboration between fast-moving tech giants and the more “traditional” Pentagon bureaucracy. In his second trip there in four months, Carter will use a speech Friday afternoon to unveil the $171 million FlexTech Alliance award, a collaboration between a consortium of tech companies and the Pentagon whose goal is to produce flexible sensors that can be stretched over clothing or fitted on ships and airplanes.

Backed by 162 companies, universities, and research labs, the alliance includes names like Apple and Lockheed Martin and will be managed by the Air Force Research laboratory. Overall, it’ll receive $75 million in Defense Department funding over the next five years, along with $96 million from the civilian sector.

Carter has been pushing the nascent partnership with the tech world hard since assuming office in February. He last visited Silicon Valley in April, and addressed a conference of tech CEOs in Idaho in early July at The Allen & Co. conference, where he pitched a greater collaboration between the two. He has also put some roots down in the valley, having opened the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUX) at Moffet Field in San Jose, right next to a building owned by Google.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #558 on: September 05, 2015, 08:02:19 AM »

RARE EARTHS:
1. What is US government policy on strategic resources – the
dozens of arcane metals and minerals from antimony to
zirconium that we use in smart-phones, hybrid batteries, and
sophisticated military equipment? According to the US
Geological Survey, the US is completely import-dependent for
19 different minerals, counting the rare earths group of 17
elements as one.

The Government Accounting Office says a
score or more major US weapons systems are dependent on rare
earths coming from China. If this sounds like a growing
consensus that critical minerals supply is a matter of national
security risk, someone in the US Government forgot to send the
Pentagon the memo.

A new study by the legislative branch’s
Congressional Research Service (CRS) Rare Earths Elements in
National Defense documents in dispassionate detail a reality
entirely at odds with the Pentagon report. The report finds that
10 of the 17 rare earth elements are used in five functional areas
that cover every major war-fighting capability used to project power
via ground, sea, air and space: Guidance & Control, Electronic
Motors and Battlefield Communications. All told, CRS identified 24
specific weapons systems or cross-platform capabilities with critical
rare earths components, including: JDAMS smart bomb converter
kits, the Tomahawk cruise missile and Predator unmanned aircraft.
The Resource Wars is one conflict the American military machine
seemingly wants no part of. We are truly a nation at risk.

Daniel McGroarty, President, American Resources Policy Network

Ed: China has been dumping its Rare Earths on world markets to
depress prices and put its competitors out of business – classic
predator pricing. If America and China get into a military conflict,
and the US gets cut off, what would the Pentagon do? Where do we
get Rare Earths to build critical armaments? They will then typically
declare “Nobody foresaw it.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #559 on: September 11, 2015, 11:31:06 AM »

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/09/10/marine-study-finds-all-male-infantry-units-outperformed-teams-women/71971416/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/09/10/marine-experiment-finds-women-get-injured-more-frequently-shoot-less-accurately-than-men/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #560 on: September 13, 2015, 05:32:15 PM »

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pentagon-loses-sight-of-500-million-in-counterterrorism-aid-given-to-yemen/2015/03/17/f4ca25ce-cbf9-11e4-8a46-b1dc9be5a8ff_story.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #561 on: September 15, 2015, 10:11:54 AM »


By
Julie Pulley
Sept. 14, 2015 7:03 p.m. ET
WSJ:

With Capt. Kristen Griest and First Lt. Shaye Haver recently becoming the first female soldiers to complete Army Ranger School, demands for the complete integration of women in the U.S. military are growing. In 2013 then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta officially lifted the ban on women serving in ground-combat roles. On Jan. 1, 2016, all branches of the military must either open all positions to women or request exceptions.

As a former captain and airborne soldier in the Army’s Second Infantry Division Support Command, I say be careful what you wish for. Overturning a long-standing tradition in a martial organization like the U.S. military will undoubtedly have unintended consequences. I am particularly concerned with demands that the Army permit women to join its Infantry Branch.

Don’t misunderstand, I was thrilled when Capt. Griest and First Lt. Haver earned their Ranger tabs. I was especially pleased when Army cadre and peers assured me that the Ranger School’s high standards were maintained. As a woman, I support equal rights to a sensible point. At the same time, women must acknowledge that equality does not mean selective equality. I wish it did. I want to see those hard-charging, superwomen sisters of mine pursue every career opportunity the military offers men. No doubt they can do it—and do it well. But Ranger School for these two exceptional individuals is not the same as allowing women to serve in the infantry.

First, opening the infantry to women necessitates revisiting Rostker v. Goldberg, the 1981 Supreme Court ruling that only men are required to register for the draft. If the infantry is compelled to include women, the argument against women registering for the draft will be invalidated. If women are to be treated “equally” and serve in the infantry, shouldn’t they be drafted into the infantry at an equal rate?

The unlikely event of a draft aside, should women in an all-volunteer Army serve in infantry positions in equal numbers alongside men? If so, how would this affect American military families and morale? Would such changes dissuade women from voluntarily joining the Army? And most important, would significant numbers of women in the infantry serve to strengthen or weaken national defense?

From a practical standpoint, I believe the impact would be negative. Many civilians, veterans and active-duty service members will disagree. Many will view me as disloyal to women in arms. I respect and understand opposing perspectives. I also appreciate the sacrifices of women before me who suffered and overcame countless barriers so that I could live big dreams, choose to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, and serve my country without feeling professionally inhibited, marginalized or disrespected.

But questions persist. Can the general population of fighting-age American women be expected to perform equally with their male counterparts? According to a U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center study released in 2004, the average fighting load carried by an infantry rifleman operating in Afghanistan was 63 pounds before adding a rucksack. The average approach-march load in combat, which includes a light rucksack, was 96 pounds. The average emergency-approach-march load, which includes a larger rucksack, was 127 pounds.

Would the infantry have performed as well in past wars had half the billets been filled by women instead of men?

Can fighting-age American women be counted upon to fulfill their duties without causing an increased administrative burden in time of national emergency? Around the time my company received orders to deploy to Afghanistan in 2002, a number of women in my unit became pregnant. My company, stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., attached soldiers from two other Army posts to fill the vacancies caused by the inability of these female service members to deploy.

Will women serving in the infantry be injured more frequently or more seriously? In a 2011 article, the Seattle Times estimated the Department of Veterans Affairs paid over $500 million in benefits annually for degenerative arthritis, cervical strains and other musculoskeletal injuries. Will disability payouts increase with women serving in the infantry? I believe the defense leadership must conduct an objective study of basic training and military-school injury rates by gender to more accurately predict answers to such questions.

I don’t raise these questions because I am a “hater” or a naysayer. I ask because I am a mother of both a son and a daughter. As a former service member, I wouldn’t have wanted to be forced into a job in which I was severely disadvantaged. I do not want my daughter mandated to fill a position in which she will have to put forth significantly greater effort than her peers just to survive in a time of war. I do not want my son forced into a job where he is at greater risk because those serving alongside him are disproportionately taxed physically.

My hope is that the dialogue regarding the opening of all military branches will be thoughtful and realistic, unclouded by agenda and emotion.

Ms. Pulley, a 2000 graduate of West Point, is a former captain in the U.S. Army.
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Mario Bacalla
Mario Bacalla just now

It is amazing that in these forums when you ask a specific question as part of a post or response, what you get back are usually opinions all over the place that are not even close to the specific response that you were looking for. It seems that few responders bother to read or comprehend what you are asking or talking about. It is as if they are so desperate to show the “world” their knowledge or opinion, that the subject matter be damned.

You ask why 2+2=4 and you are going to get back responses that go from; “you are too dumb to figure it out, you are using the wrong formula, because the sun rises in the east, to it is Obama’s fault”.  Needless to say, frustrating but also revealing to the current state of affairs.
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william pogue
william pogue just now

Ms Pulley says what 100% of people who have been in Infantry combat say and believe. However, it is so Politically Incorrect, it goes unsaid and unheard! You go girl!!!
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Doug Schomberg
Doug Schomberg 5 minutes ago

There is a reason why women do not play football with men nor make the men's basketball team.

If you want a winning team, you need the best players on it...the infantry is no different.

If women can make the cut, put them on the field. But if they cannot, keep them off of it.

When the infantry team loses, people die.
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Charles Pierce
Charles Pierce 5 minutes ago

We have women in combat today and have always had women in combat.  But putting women into combat positions, Armor, Infantry, Cavalry is a mistake.  Do we need women in combat units, do we have a shortage of people wanting to serve in combat units?  The answer is no we do not.  The Marines have looked at mix infantry squads and found them to be lacking and less efficient than all male squads.  Has anyone looked at the logistics of having women in combat units.  If I go three or four weeks with out a shower or bath I do not have a problem, women do.  We need to stop using the military in social experiments that do not increase the efficient of the force.  I am a Retired Armor officer who was an Airborne/Ranger qualified individual. 
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Julie Keene
Julie Keene 5 minutes ago

The Israeli military has had women in its infantry divisions for decades--since 1948--and it seems to work out.
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Charles Pierce
Charles Pierce 4 minutes ago

@Julie Keene but not in direct combat roles since the war for independence in 1947/1948.
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Julie Keene
Julie Keene 2 minutes ago

@Charles Pierce @Julie Keene

According to Wikipedia (I know, I know) "The 2000 Equality amendment to the Military Service law states that "The right of women to serve in any role in the IDF is equal to the right of men.""
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objectivist1
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« Reply #562 on: September 16, 2015, 10:53:53 AM »

Skobelev’s Principle

SEPTEMBER 15, 2015  BY MICHAEL DEVOLIN

“I hold it as a principle that the duration of peace is in direct proportion to the slaughter you inflict on the enemy.” –Gen. Mikhail Skobelev, 1881


General Mikhail Skobelev’s words above were in reference to his defeat of the walled citadel of Geok-Tepe and his army’s complete depredation of the Tekke Turkmen, “a fierce, slave-taking people…” of Central Asia. “The Emperor’s orders were explicit,” writes Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac in their book Tournament of Shadows: “Under no circumstances was Skobelev to take a single step backwards, ‘for this would be for Europe and Asia a sign of our weakness, would inspire still greater boldness on the part of our adversaries’.”

The Russians have always been known to upstage the West in regards to dealing with enemies. There is the story of two KGB agents kidnapped by a gang of quite imprudent Islamic Liberation Organization (ILO) operatives in Beirut. The story goes that the ILO kidnappers, after hiding the hostages away, then sent a message to the Russian embassy in Beirut demanding the release of certain ILO members (if I remember correctly) at that time incarcerated by the Lebanese government of the day.

Unbeknownst to the impulsive terrorists was the fact that the KGB was aware not only of where the two Russian citizens were being held captive, but also of the identities of the kidnappers. As a response to their demands the Russians sent to the safe house a box with the head of the leader of that particular ILO unit inside and the warning that if the two KGB agents were not released in a matter of hours, the next box they received would contain the heads of the kidnapper’s mothers. Needless to say, the KGB agents were released posthaste and the ILO never again harmed or threatened Soviet citizens anywhere.

There are also recent accounts about the Russian Navy mercilessly dispatching Somali pirates on the high seas. As a result, Somali pirates steer clear of all vessels flying the Russian flag. The lesson is obvious: deal harshly with your enemies and they will avoid you like the plague. “An angry countenance turns away a back-biting tongue.”

My point here is about dispassionate Russian wisdom being so broadly and ultimately contrary to Western liberalism and the insane and constrictive notion that we have no choice but to lay down our weapons, suspend punitive sanctions, and propose peace initiatives to enemies whose religiously cultivated arrogance has continually induced their leaders to mock Western peace initiatives, no matter how compromising.

The contradistinction between the two extremes—the wisdom of the former and the foolishness of the latter—seems to go unnoticed these days. President Obama plays nice with the Republic of Iran; Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and vying to become the next Prime Minister of Canada promises that, if elected, he will call off Canada’s participation in air strikes against ISIS targets and restore diplomatic relations with Iran. Tom Mulcair, leader of the NDP Party of Canada, promises near the same.

There seems to be an extremely imprudent, oscillating duality infecting Western political leaders these days (with the notable exception of Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper). I see traditional political parties—Liberal, NDP, and Conservative in Canada, Republican and Democrats in the United States—exhibiting harmful traits eerily similar to those that brought down the mighty Spartans long ago; a duality, as pointed out in Paul Cartledge’s historical work The Spartans, that “led inevitably to divided counsels—dynastic rivalries, succession anxieties, faction fighting.” Three paragraphs later Cartledge writes, “The adage of Lord Acton—absolute power corrupts absolutely—applied vigorously in this case.” And isn’t this so in the case of Western democracies?

We have the leaders of European democracies condoning the influx of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, many of whom leave a trail of trash and excrement (and damaged iPads) in their wake; many of whom have probably little or no interest in assimilating the traditions of their host countries; some of whom may likely turn out to be ISIS operatives. The so-called “opposition parties” applaud this gross imprudence from the other side of their respective parliament floors like a hired audience for a game show.

Compare these flabbergasted political sycophants with Putin and his answer to a question posed him by a Le Monde reporter about the war in Chechnya, “If you are a Christian, you are in danger. Even if you are an atheist, you are in danger, and if you decide to convert to Islam, this will not save you, either, because traditional Islam is inimical to the conditions and objectives set by the terrorists. If you are prepared to become a most radical Islamist and are prepared to circumcise yourself, I invite you to come to Moscow. I will recommend having the operation done in such a way that nothing will grow for you there anymore.”

When another reporter suggested that Putin negotiate with Chechen terrorist leaders following the Beslan massacre, he replied, “”Why don’t you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace? You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers? No one has a moral right to tell us to talk to childkillers.”

I am in no way espousing Russia’s expansionist behaviour of late. I am suggesting that the West begin dealing with our terrorist enemies in similar fashion as the Russians have been dealing with theirs. Justin Trudeau’s suggestion that the “refugee problem” would be mitigated by calling off airstrikes against ISIS is a prime example of a tendentious Leftist politician choosing the exact opposite course of action as that which mere reason would implore, regardless the injurious ingredients those choices (like allowing Syrian refugees into Canada without security restrictions) would obtrude upon what would become by then a victimized, albeit self-deceived, Canadian populace.

The “refugee problem” facing Western democracies in Europe and North America is a catastrophe that should be dealt with by Middle Eastern Islamic countries instead of Western democracies.

That these Muslim refugees are seeking safe haven in an infidel-ruled Western Europe instead of the oil-rich countries of their fellow religious says everything about the finer points of Islam and those nation-states where it has long ago gained preponderance. Where is the love? The one sure way—the stratagem invoked by mere reason—to obviate this refugee crisis emanating out of Syria and beyond is the total elimination, from the air and on the ground, of ISIS and their supporters.

The fact that ISIS has, by violently brutal conquest, been continually gaining new territory should be profiled by so-called “experts” not as a failure of Western military forces in halting their advance but rather a failure on the part of Middle Eastern Islamic states and their armed forces to deal with a danger that has, from the very beginning of this human tragedy, been far more approximate to their existence, both politically and religiously, than it has ever been to Western democracies.

So why are we fighting their war? And if we are forced to fight their war simply because they refuse to fight it themselves, let us be efficient and militarily laconic in disposing of this enemy.

Let us acquire a “duration of peace,” its anticipated longevity measured only by the level of destruction we inflict upon this enemy of all humanity. And afterward, after we dispose of ISIS, let us hold these Islamic nations to account for turning their backs on their fellow Muslims, on a humanitarian crisis that was always theirs, not ours; that was spawned out of the bowels of the religion of Islam and the imperialism it advocates and from nowhere else.

Let us point this out to them, just as they are so ever wont to point out our sins. Let us apply Skobelev’s principle to our enemies in the same way they apply Islamic jihad to us.



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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #563 on: September 19, 2015, 02:25:16 PM »

Gender Integration of Marines Brings Out Unusually Public Discord

By DAVE PHILIPPSSEPT. 18, 2015



The Marine Corps and its civilian leadership at the Pentagon are squaring off in an unusually public dispute over whether integrating women into the corps’s all-male combat units will undermine the units’ effectiveness, or whether the male-dominated Marine leadership is cherry-picking justifications to keep women out.

The military is facing a deadline set by the Obama administration to integrate women into all combat jobs by 2016 or ask for specific exemptions. The Marines, with a 93 percent male force dominated by infantry, are widely seen as the branch with the hardest integration task. The Marine Corps has the most units closed to women and still trains male and female recruits separately.

The tension began last week when the Marine Corps released a summary of a nine-month, $36 million study that found that integrated combat units were slower, had more injuries and were less accurate when firing weapons.

The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., submitted the corps’s recommendation on gender integration to the secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, on Thursday. Pentagon officials said the corps was expected to request an exemption for at least some front-line combat units.

Mr. Mabus, the civilian head of the Marine Corps, has steadfastly said in public statements that the Marine Corps study is flawed and that its summary findings were picked from a much larger study in a manner that was biased toward keeping women out of combat roles.

In an interview Thursday, Mr. Mabus said he planned to push ahead with integration despite the study. “My belief is you set gender-neutral standards related to the job Marines have to do, and you adhere to them,” he said. “It doesn’t matter whether the Marines who meet those standards are male or female.”

Further complicating the dispute is the fact that General Dunford, who will take over next week as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be responsible for submitting recommendations to the secretary of defense for all the armed services, including the United States Special Operations Command. Officials in the Army, Navy and Air Force have suggested they are not likely to seek exemptions on integration.

On the surface, the debate within the Marine Corps has centered on the physical abilities of men and women. But critics say the dispute is also driven by a male-dominated culture that encourages Marines to believe that their esprit de corps will be undermined by the presence of women.

“The Marines have a climate of non-inclusivity and justify it by talking about combat effectiveness, but a lot of it is based on emotion and not fact,” said Lt. Col. Kate Germano, who was removed as the commander of female Marine recruits this summer after she pushed for integration and clashed with male superiors. “A lot of them, especially the older generation, believe integrating women will be disastrous in war.”

A recent op-ed by retired Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold of the Marines laid out the concerns about integration, saying women posed a threat to the “alchemy that produces an effective infantry unit.”



“The characteristics that produce uncommon valor as a common virtue are not physical at all,” Mr. Newbold wrote in the piece, published in the online magazine War on the Rocks, “but are derived from the mysterious chemistry that forms in an infantry unit that revels in the most crude and profane existence so that they may be more effective killers than their foe.”

He asked rhetorically how mixing men and women of “the most libido-laden age cohort in humans, in the basest of environs, will not degrade the nearly spiritual glue that enables the infantry to achieve the illogical and endure the unendurable.”

Mr. Newbold could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Mabus dismissed the idea that women would erode unit cohesion and lower morale.

“That is almost exactly the same argument made against ending racial segregation in the military, and the ban on gays — that it will ruin morale,” he said in the interview. “And it just isn’t true. We’ve seen that.”

A senior Pentagon official briefed on the Marine Corps study, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said a separate, unreleased study on the same group of Marines, by the Naval Health Research Center, showed that while women scored lower in many physical tasks and had higher injury rates, they scored higher in mental resilience and had fewer mental health problems. The study also found that integrated units rated their unit cohesion at the same levels as all-male units and outperformed male units at making complex decisions, the official said.

The disagreement between the Marine Corps and the Pentagon is a rare public display of tension in a culture that generally values silent professionals.

“I’m struck by how much they aired their dirty laundry in public,” said Michael E. O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution specializing in defense issues. “The Marine leadership is definitely dubious and reluctant about this. I think they know they will have to integrate, but they have real concerns about what it will mean to the force.”

Mr. Mabus will make his recommendation to Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter by January. Mr. Carter recently echoed Mr. Mabus’s belief that women should be able to enter all military careers if they can meet standards set for their tasks.

Some Marines familiar with the corps’s integration study are concerned that changes to current operations could threaten lives. Sgt. Maj. Justin D. LeHew, a decorated Iraq war veteran who oversaw the integration tests, said in a post on his personal Facebook page this week that lowering standards to allow women into combat teams would endanger other Marines. The post was soon taken down, but was published by Marine Corps Times.

“In regards to the infantry... there is no trophy for second place. You perform or die,” Sergeant LeHew wrote. “Make no mistake. In this realm, you want your fastest, most fit, most physical and most lethal person you can possibly put on the battlefield to overwhelm the enemy’s ability to counter what you are throwing at them, and in every test case, that person has turned out to be a man. There is nothing gender biased about this; it is what it is.”

The Pentagon will announce final decisions on integrating the remaining closed positions and occupations and on any approved exceptions around Jan. 1, Capt. Jeff Davis, a spokesman, said.

Captain Davis said that since 2013, some 111,000 jobs that women were previously excluded from had opened up to them, with 220,000 still closed. Presumably, the bulk of those will open come January.
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« Reply #564 on: September 25, 2015, 08:34:05 AM »

http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150924/1027457868/germany-laser-gun.html
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« Reply #565 on: September 26, 2015, 06:40:32 PM »

http://www.people.com/article/female-ranger-school-graduation-planned-advance
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« Reply #566 on: September 26, 2015, 07:59:43 PM »


This is my shocked face.
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« Reply #567 on: October 02, 2015, 07:51:23 PM »

I remember reading long ago Lt Gen McMasters when he was a major. What I read was about what he did in Desert Storm. He had very interesting insights into military matters then. The last I heard of him was probably around 1998, when he was a Lt Col. He is now head of Training Doctrine and Command (TRADOC) when seeks to plot the needs and strategy of future wars.

(Gen Fred Franks ran TRADOC after Desert Storm. He commanded the Ground Forces in Desert Storm. Interestingly, he lost a leg below the knee in Vietnam, and was eventually allowed to return to duty then, an unheard of event. Worth reading his book on Desert Storm done with Tom Clancy.)

See, I do know a bit about a bit of different things..... cheesy
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« Reply #568 on: October 02, 2015, 07:52:56 PM »

Damn...forgot to link....

http://m.military.com/daily-news/2015/09/16/us-army-wants-more-firepower-across-formations-general-says.html?ESRC=army_150921.nl
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« Reply #569 on: October 02, 2015, 07:59:45 PM »


This would be fun in a fire fight......

http://www.military.com/equipment/xm25-counter-defilade-target-engagement-system

25mm grenade launcher with airburst capacity. Puts my old M201a - M16 with 4omm grenade launcher to shame.  (First time I ever fired the 40mm, it went about 50 yards before hitting  the ground and exploding. Range Instructor was not happy with me.)
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« Reply #570 on: October 20, 2015, 10:50:05 AM »

http://www.wsj.com/articles/obama-takes-the-military-hostage-1445297057
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« Reply #571 on: October 20, 2015, 11:03:43 PM »

http://www.defensenews.com/story/breaking-news/2015/10/20/ballistic-missile-defense-bmd-navy-destroyer-ross-sullivans-frigate-provincien-lezo-hebrides-scotland-test-exercise-target/74299016/ 
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« Reply #572 on: November 06, 2015, 10:35:26 AM »

http://www.11bravos.com/blog/being-separated-from-the-army-is-as-easy-as-stopping-a-rape/
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« Reply #573 on: November 06, 2015, 10:45:26 AM »

This is a rather lengthy read about the USAF gender actions and harassment. This Tech Sgt appears to being railroaded in the military quest to eliminate any "gender bias" or harassment. He could face 130 years in prison. In fact, he is facing charges far greater that the traitor Bergdahl. Even the level at which the trial will occur is greater than that of the traitor. His crime, touching a female airman, being crass, etc.

Hell, when I was in the AF, the worst offense would have been an Article 15, and more likely, a letter of reprimand.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/nov/5/aaron-allmon-case-makes-minot-air-force-base-groun/

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« Reply #574 on: November 06, 2015, 10:56:05 PM »

It is like there has been a fundamental transformation of this country.
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« Reply #575 on: November 07, 2015, 10:11:23 AM »

 How a New Bomber Will Shape U.S. Military Strategy
Analysis
November 5, 2015 | 09:15 GMT Print
Text Size
A concept drawing of the next-generation long-range strike bomber. (Northrop Grumman)
Forecast

    The United States' new long-range strike bomber aircraft will combine existing technologies in one model to make the U.S. bomber fleet more effective and versatile.
    The move to bring all U.S. bombers under a single, separate command will raise their status and make them a key component of the U.S. strategy to project power worldwide.
    The networking technology used in contemporary fighter aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles will ease the integration of the latest bombers with the rest of the U.S. Air Force's network-centric warfare capabilities.

Analysis

The U.S. Air Force is developing a new bomber that promises to secure the U.S. advantage in modern warfare. The next-generation long-range strike bomber, recently awarded to Northrop Grumman Corp. for development, will not be designed to rely on as yet undeveloped technologies, as is so often the case with new aircraft and weaponry. Instead, the aircraft will combine and fully exploit existing advanced stealth technology, integrated software, ordnance and countermeasures. In effect, the military is consolidating the best of its technology in one package. At the same time, the U.S. Air Force has decided to aggregate all of its bombers under a single, unified command, clearing the way to making bombers a more central part of its operations. Thus the new long-range strike bomber is poised to become a central pillar of the U.S. strategy to project its power throughout the globe.
Maintaining an Edge in Conventional Warfare

The B-2, the latest bomber model currently in use by the U.S. Air Force, was developed nearly 20 years ago. Since that time, newer aircraft have incorporated the significant technological advancements that have been made since the B-2's inception. Some of this technology has made its way into the United States' B-52, B-1B and B-2 bomber fleets, but the new bomber model will bring all of these technologies together in one comprehensive design, making fuller use of each to better meet modern strategic and tactical needs. At the same time, the new bomber is designed to be especially easy to upgrade as more advanced technology emerges.

The next-generation bomber comes not a moment too soon. Although the United States' current bombers will last for some time, they are rapidly losing their competitive edge against the aircraft developed by rapidly strengthening military powers such as China and Russia. And while the bulk of the current U.S. bomber force will have to be replaced by 2037, the U.S. Air Force expects Chinese technological advances to overtake the most modern B-2 bomber much sooner, perhaps as early as 2020. The introduction of the new long-range strike bomber — and in particular, its more advanced stealth technology — will therefore be critical to maintaining the U.S. advantage in conventional combat operations.
The Network-Centric Approach

Apart from stealth technology, the new bomber also features modern sensor packages that provide a clearer picture of the battlefield. Sensors of this type have already been installed in several other U.S. military aircraft, and a range of tests by the U.S. Air Force have shown they can help accurately and independently identify and engage targets. During Operation Resultant Fury in 2004, perhaps one of the most significant of these tests, B-52 and B-1 bombers were able to sink multiple moving maritime targets. These demonstrations suggest that in an actual combat situation, aircraft could detect, engage and destroy enemy vessels with precision-guided munitions. And the advanced sensor packages that make this possible are an important part of the design for the new U.S. long-range strike bomber. They give the United States a technological edge that could become even more important in future conflicts. If, for instance, conflict arises with China in the Pacific someday, technology that allows the U.S. military to effectively strike maritime targets will become a powerful tool for the United States.

Operation Resultant Fury also publicly tested the U.S. ability to conduct "network-centric warfare," an important concept in modern warfare dictating that countries should attempt to translate their information advantage into a competitive edge on the battlefield. To do so often requires broad task forces comprising several different moving parts that work in concert with each other, connected by an advanced and reliable network. The new bomber's sensor packages could help make that happen. In the 2004 test, bombers coordinated with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance planes, command and control aircraft, refueling tankers and fighter jets. Though it was the bombers that ultimately delivered the decisive blow that completed the mission, the real feat of the exercise was the fact that the military was able to successfully integrate information collected from sensors on such a broad array of platforms. Pulling all this information together allowed surveillance and command platforms to identify and track numerous mobile maritime targets and lead the striking aircraft directly to them.

The advanced sensor packages on the new long-range strike bomber, then, will likely enable effective coordination with other vehicles during joint operations. The new bomber's network will be integrated with already existing platforms, including a wide variety of unmanned aerial vehicles, which will make cooperation even smoother. Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force's broader objective is to develop its network-centric warfare capabilities in its other aircraft, including the F-35 fighter jet, effectively creating a wider web of sensors for the new bomber to integrate into. The easier it is for all these platforms to interact, the more effective each one becomes in the long run.
An Asymmetric Advantage

The latest bomber model could also create significant gains for the United States in asymmetric warfare. Bombers can spend a great deal of time flying over potential targets while carrying substantial amounts of ordnance. This offers a distinct advantage in conflicts against insurgencies and actors such as the Islamic State, which are often weaker than states in terms of traditional military power. For example, in the final months of 2014 and at the start of 2015, U.S. B-1B bombers played an important role in the battle to retake the Syrian city of Kobani from the Islamic State. With the help of refueling tankers, the bombers spent eight hours over the city expending their munitions in individual, precision-guided strikes against Islamic State fighters as they emerged. The long-range strike bomber will seek to improve upon these capabilities, both with its advanced sensor packages and with its potential to develop further into an unmanned platform. The aircraft would essentially be able to go anywhere in the world and remain in the air for as long as its ample ordnance lasts.

With its various advantages in assymetric and maritime warfare, the new long-range srike bomber will play a central role in the United States' projection of power abroad. Indeed, this has already been partially reflected in the recent restructuring of the U.S. Air Force. Since April, the United States has drawn all of its bomber aircraft under a single umbrella: the Global Strike Command. Prior to the reorganization, the Global Strike Command controlled nuclear-armed bomber aircraft and nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles. The remaining bombers reported to the Air Combat Command. Now, the Global Strike Command will be able to move beyond its nuclear role by assuming control over all long-range striking capability. The move to place all strategic bombers under their own separate command will likely raise the profile of the U.S. bomber force, paving the way for it to emerge as a distinct pillar of U.S. military might.
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« Reply #576 on: November 08, 2015, 11:50:44 AM »

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/us-military-tries-halt-brain-drain/413965/
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« Reply #577 on: November 21, 2015, 11:08:31 PM »

Here's some thinking on how warfare will change over the next twenty years.   

Fast forward 20 years (about the age of the WWW).  An aging, schlerotic EU has become the destination for over a hundred million refugees and migrants fleeing the densely populated killing fields of Africa and SW Asia. 

The rapidity of influx has led the EU to take extreme measures.   Tens of millions of these migrants/refugees are roughly housed in relocation camps all across Europe. 

Violence within these camps has risen steadily, leading to an EU-wide Islamic insurgency.

The soldiers sent to counter this insurgency are outfitted with autonomous weapons.  These weapons combine deep learning (making them very smart) and cloud robotics (allowing the military to rapidly share advances in training and technique) to provide these soldiers with capabilities far beyond what we've seen in previous wars.   

Here's an idealized example so you can get the idea.  A human/robot team advances down a street in an urban environment. 

   Big Data:  The autonomous weapons used by the team continuously scans the street in all directions.  These weapons can visually ID everyone on the street from a database of 3.5 billion people in under a second.  It also continuously analyzes the people, windows, etc. down the street looking for the visual signatures of concealed weapons and IEDs.  i.e. A car at the end of the street is resting a bit too heavily on its springs, indicating there may be explosives in it.  These weapons learned to do this based on billions of hours of combat and police training images/footage (aka Big Data). 

   Customized Training:  The human members of the team have trained the weapons to alert the team when it sees any electric vehicles demonstrating even the slightest bit of irregular behavior -- the rapid acceleration possible with autonomously driven electric vehicles can make them dangerous kinetic threats in three seconds.

   Cloud training:  The autonomous weapons with the soldiers with connections to military's cloud.  Fortunately, this connection to the cloud gave these weapons access to the certified methodologies for identifying and neutralizing a new DIED (drone IED) used by Islamic insurgents only yesterday.  This paid off.  The new DIED entered the street behind the team, and the systems new how to ID it, engage it, and neutralize its countermeasures flawlessly.  During the engagement, the human team member noticed a slight change in the behavior of the DIED -- it released its homemade cluster bomblets earlier than anticipated.  The data/footage of the engagement is tagged with a note to this effect and it is uploaded to the cloud in order to add to the approved methods for countering it. 

Of course, much of this capability might become open source and available to anyone smart enough to employ it.

 
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« Reply #578 on: November 22, 2015, 03:01:23 AM »

Europe existing in 20 years is quite optimistic.
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« Reply #579 on: December 04, 2015, 05:06:39 PM »

http://www.allenbwest.com/2015/12/as-obama-orders-women-in-combat-look-what-we-discovered-about-female-army-rangers/
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« Reply #580 on: December 05, 2015, 12:39:14 PM »


Wow.... three cases proving the Left's agenda of equality and the competence of women, and they shred the records?

Why on earth would they do that, unless those three "Ranger" women had the standards lowered?

 shocked
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It's all a matter of perspective.
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« Reply #581 on: December 06, 2015, 02:19:48 AM »

http://weaponsman.com/?p=27569

Nothing to worry about.
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« Reply #582 on: December 06, 2015, 02:26:17 AM »

http://weaponsman.com/?p=27569

Nothing to worry about.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/12/05/us-air-force-will-need-more-bombs-for-isis.html?intcmp=hpbt3

Running on empty.
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« Reply #583 on: December 11, 2015, 10:18:11 AM »

WASHINGTON — As American intelligence agencies grapple with the expansion of the Islamic State beyond its headquarters in Syria, the Pentagon has proposed a new plan to the White House to build up a string of military bases in Africa, Southwest Asia and the Middle East.
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The bases could be used for collecting intelligence and carrying out strikes against the terrorist group’s far-flung affiliates.

The growth of the Islamic State’s franchises — at least eight militant groups have pledged loyalty to the network’s leaders so far — has forced a debate within the Obama administration about how to distinguish between the affiliates that pose the most immediate threat to the United States and Europe and others that are more regionally focused. The regional groups, some officials say, may have opportunistically adopted the Islamic State’s brand to bolster their local clout and global stature.

In the midst of that debate, senior military officials have told the White House that the network of bases would serve as hubs for Special Operations troops and intelligence operatives who would conduct counterterrorism missions for the foreseeable future. The plan would all but ensure what Pentagon officials call an “enduring” American military presence in some of the world’s most volatile regions.

Administration officials said that the proposal for the new basing system, presented to the White House this fall by Gen. Martin E. Dempsey during his final days as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was not intended to be a specific Pentagon proposal to combat the affiliates of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The officials said that it was meant primarily as a re-examination of how the military positions itself for future counterterrorism missions, but that the growing concern about a metastasizing Islamic State threat has lent new urgency to the discussions.

The White House declined to comment about continuing internal deliberations. The plan has met with some resistance from State Department officials concerned about a more permanent military presence across Africa and the Middle East, according to American officials familiar with the discussion. Career diplomats have long warned about the creeping militarization of American foreign policy as the Pentagon has forged new relationships with foreign governments eager for military aid.

Officials said the proposal has been under discussion for some time, including this week during a White House meeting with some members of President Obama’s cabinet. Shortly after General Dempsey retired in September, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter referred to the plan in a little-noticed speech in Washington. “Because we cannot predict the future, these regional nodes — from Morón, Spain, to Jalalabad, Afghanistan — will provide forward presence to respond to a range of crises, terrorist and other kinds,” Mr. Carter said. “These will enable unilateral crisis response, counterterror operations, or strikes on high-value targets.”

Pentagon planners do not see the new approach as particularly costly by military standards. One official estimated it could be in the “low millions of dollars,” mainly to pay for military personnel, equipment and some base improvements.

For the approach to have any chance of success, analysts said, regional American commanders, diplomats and spies will have to work closely together and with Washington — something that does not always happen now — to combat threats that honor no borders. “You can’t just leave this on cruise control,” said Vikram J. Singh, a former official at the Pentagon and State Department who is now vice president for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress.

Officials said that the Pentagon’s proposed new architecture of bases would include four “hubs” — including expanding existing bases in Djibouti and Afghanistan — and smaller “spokes,” or more basic installations, in countries that could include Niger and Cameroon, where the United States now carries out unarmed surveillance drone missions, or will soon.

The hubs would range in size from about 500 American troops to 5,000 personnel, and the likely cost would be “several million dollars” a year, mostly in personnel expenses, Pentagon officials said. They would also require the approval of the host nation.

The military already has much of the basing in place to carry out an expansion. Over the past dozen years, the Pentagon has turned what was once a decrepit French Foreign Legion base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, into a sprawling headquarters housing 2,000 American troops for military operations in East Africa and Yemen.

Similarly, the American military has been using a constellation of airstrips in Africa, including Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, for surveillance missions flown by drones or turboprop planes designed to look like civilian aircraft, to collect intelligence about militant groups across the northern part of the continent.

The Pentagon plan also calls for a hub in the Middle East, possibly Erbil, in northern Iraq, where many of the 3,500 American troops in Iraq are based.

The Islamic State emerged from a group of militants in Iraq to take over large portions of Iraq and Syria, and now threatens other countries in Europe and elsewhere.

The new approach would try to bring an ad hoc series of existing bases into one coherent system that would be able to confront regional threats from the Islamic State, Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups — including possible attacks against American embassies, like the assault on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012. It would also ensure that the bases would receive regular financing in the annual Pentagon budget and it could lengthen — and make more predictable — troop deployments, especially among Special Operations forces who often rotate assignments every several months.

A senior Pentagon official said the proposal was still very much in its early stages, with some officials advocating a larger string of new bases in West Africa, and others, mindful of African fears about a large American military footprint on the continent, saying the main hub for West Africa would actually be located in southern Europe. Any American bases in Africa, American officials said, might have approximately 500 soldiers.

For instance, American officials said that the intelligence agencies were generally unanimous in their view that the Islamic State affiliate in Libya and some of the other franchises had strong ties to the group’s leaders in the Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, and that they had a desire to carry out its agenda of attacking the West.

But there is greater uncertainty about groups like Boko Haram, a Nigerian-based Islamic militancy responsible for years of destruction in north-central Africa. The group announced its allegiance to the Islamic State this year, but American officials have given conflicting statements about the strength of Boko Haram’s bonds to the Islamic State’s top leadership.

Gen. Joseph E. Dunford Jr., who took over in October from General Dempsey as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told Congress this month that he saw little to distinguish among the Islamic State affiliates. He said that the Islamic State’s inclusion of Boko Haram and other militant groups into its fold was part of a “global dynamic.”

“These threats are difficult to confine to one place,” he said, adding that was why the United States needed to strike at the Islamic State not only in Iraq and Syria but also in “other places where it is.”

But Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commander of the Pentagon’s Africa Command, said around the same time that he did not see strong ties between the Islamic State and Boko Haram, which he indicated still saw itself as a regionally focused group.

One American intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing classified assessments about the various groups, said that the Islamic State “does not vet the new affiliates” with the same scrutiny that Al Qaeda does, and generally welcomes any opportunities to build its global brand.

The affiliates, the official said, are a mélange of different identities and agendas — and some might not be “completely subsumed” into the Islamic State.

While he said that some groups were the result of active efforts by the Islamic State to expand its global presence, others like Boko Haram and the Islamic State branch in the Sinai Peninsula were products of local circumstances and were seeking to exploit the group’s resources and prominence.

They are flying the Islamic State flag, he said, “in an attempt to elevate their cause.”
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« Reply #584 on: December 16, 2015, 10:52:44 PM »

A good video on the Roman legion and how it is believed to have been used at least for a time in Roman history.  Includes the scene out of the Douglas/Kubrick Spartacus' movie showing the approaching Roman juggernaut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndh3b9wC-A0
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« Reply #585 on: December 17, 2015, 01:43:17 AM »



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3068216/Pentagon-spend-2billion-shield-War-Games-mountain-bunker-EMP-attack-North-Korea-Iran.html
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« Reply #586 on: December 17, 2015, 09:24:29 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xR6CLFQt7VI
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« Reply #587 on: January 10, 2016, 12:41:53 PM »

Hat tip to our Doug:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/01/06/us-navy-fleet-ship-size-aircraft-carriers-pournelle-column/78238004/
http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2015-07/deadly-future-littoral-sea-control
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« Reply #588 on: January 18, 2016, 07:07:26 PM »

http://nypost.com/2016/01/16/the-rape-of-the-us-marine-corps-a-lunatic-drive-for-fairness/
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« Reply #589 on: March 12, 2016, 09:55:21 AM »

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/americas-air-supremacy-fading-fast-15458

Fundamental change.
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« Reply #590 on: March 12, 2016, 12:10:44 PM »

 cry cry cry angry angry angry angry angry angry
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« Reply #591 on: March 17, 2016, 09:10:01 AM »

Skunk works

Russia and China may be giving the U.S. a run for its money in the military modernization race, but the head of Lockheed Martin's famed Skunk Works is still pretty confident in America's edge in fifth generation fighter jets. Skunk Works has been home to some of the world's most innovative -- and classified -- development of military aviation projects, like the iconic SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117, America's first stealth fighter jet. Rob Weiss, Lockheed's Skunk Works boss, tells Defense One that the U.S. F-22 and F-35 have little to sweat from rivals and that the U.S. may not need to replace them for another 30 years. Rivals have nonetheless tried to catch up to America's lead in fifth generation jets, with China working hard on the Chengdu J-20 and Russia developing the Sukhoi PAK-FA.

Air Force

The U.S. Air Force has taken a look at the way the Navy wants to fund its submarine modernization program, and wants a piece of the action. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told a congressional panel Wednesday they should really think about funding a joint service "strategic deterrence" account that would pay for the Air Force’s B-21 bomber as well as refitting the Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic submarines. "If [there] is a strategic deterrence fund that would help or benefit one leg of the triad, I would ask for consideration that all legs of the triad be included in such an approach."

Army

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that he'd have "grave concerns about the readiness of our force" in a major conventional throwdown with a country like China, Russia, Iran or North Korea. Milley told the lawmakers that the past decade or so of focus on wars like Iraq and Afghanistan have prepared the service well for combat in counterinsurgencies and small wars, but at the expense of preparedness against larger conventional adversaries
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« Reply #592 on: March 21, 2016, 11:28:03 AM »


Share
What the Next Arms Race Will Look Like
Analysis
March 21, 2016 | 09:30 GMT Print
Text Size
An artist's illustration of DARPA's Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2. (DARPA)
Forecast

    The design, production and fielding of hypersonic missiles — though expensive and technologically complicated — is becoming more feasible.
    The United States and China will likely incorporate the first operational long-range hypersonic missiles into their arsenals by 2025, with Russia lagging a few years behind.
    Once they are deployed, hypersonic missiles will revolutionize warfighting in certain conventional and nuclear settings.

Analysis

A new arms race is unfolding between the world's great powers. Hypersonic missiles, which are both accurate and extremely fast, stand to change the face of modern warfare by rendering the current generation of missile defense systems ineffective. As competition heats up among Russia, China and the United States to be the first to deploy hypersonic missiles, each will become more vulnerable to attack by the others. If tensions rise, so will the risk of pre-emptive strikes among the longtime rivals.

Hypersonic missiles travel at least five times the speed of sound. Only a few other manmade devices are capable of reaching hypersonic speeds, including ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles and unmanned spacecraft such as the Boeing X-37. The only manned aircraft to achieve hypersonic speed is the rocket-powered North American X-15, which broke speed and altitude records when it was introduced in the 1960s.

The rocket-powered North American X-15 in flight. (NASA/Wikimedia Commons)

Recently, the focus of research in hypersonic technologies has shifted toward missile development, but several challenges must be overcome to make hypersonic missiles a reality. First, it is difficult to create a weapon that can reach hypersonic speeds while enduring the stress and extreme temperatures of hypersonic flight. It is harder still to ensure that the weapon can maintain those speeds for an extended period — enough time to reach its target. Second, high velocities can make a hypersonic vehicle sensitive to changes in flight conditions, resulting in instability in the missile's airframe during flight. Coupled with the fact that high speeds leave less time to course correct, this instability can make guidance of hypersonic missiles problematic. Finally, hypersonic vehicles' actual flight paths often do not match the predictions researchers derive from ground tests and theoretical models, lengthening the process of development.

Despite these obstacles, hypersonic missiles have some considerable advantages. Their speed enables them to reach their targets much more quickly than other missiles and to better penetrate enemy defense systems. Those with gliding capabilities can also cover great distances, enabling one country to strike at another from farther away. Guided hypersonic missiles would be more accurate than traditional ballistic missiles, and they could conceivably be armed with nuclear warheads, becoming a strike asset or a deterrent in nuclear warfare.
From Theory to Reality

It will not be long before hypersonic missiles find their way out of the lab and onto the battlefield. In late February, U.S. Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello announced that the U.S. Air Force plans to have operational prototypes ready for testing by 2020. The U.S. Air Force already conducted four flights of the experimental X-51 hypersonic cruise missile from 2010 to 2013, two of which were considered successes. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin has made substantial progress on its Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept and Tactical Boost Glide vehicle.

The X-51 WaveRider hypersonic flight test vehicle uploaded onto a B-52 bomber. (U.S. Air Force/Wikimedia Commons)

China is close behind, and it appears to be on track for deployment by 2020 as well. In 2014, China conducted three tests of its DF-ZF hypersonic strike vehicle, followed by three more in 2015. The U.S. military deemed all but one of the tests successful. Russia is developing its own hypersonic glide vehicle, the Yu-71, though its ambitions of fielding the vehicle in the next four years may be overly optimistic. (Moscow's sole test of the Yu-71, in 2015, was a failure.) But one of Russia's relatively short-range hypersonic missiles, the 3M22 Zircon, underwent its first test on March 18, and a second model (the BrahMos-II) will be ready for testing around 2017.

A scaled down model of the BrahMos-II hypersonic missile. (Wikimedia Commons)

As the world's biggest powers race to build up their hypersonic arsenals, the nature of battle will fundamentally change. Missile defense systems will struggle to counter hypersonic flight, making targets — especially large naval warships — more vulnerable to attack. In time, this could drive the development of directed-energy weapons (such as high-powered lasers or microwaves) as a possible way of countering hypersonic missiles. But as has been the case for revolutionary military technologies in the past, the best defense will be to destroy the missiles before they can launch, increasing war planners' emphasis on offensive action.

Countries will have an incentive to launch pre-emptive strikes against their enemies to knock out hypersonic missile caches before the missiles can be deployed. Moreover, guidance systems, along with command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance networks — the weakest components of hypersonic missile capabilities — will become critical targets. At the same time, states with hypersonic missiles (and the bigger offensive advantage they bring) will have less need for stealth technology to penetrate enemy defenses.

Nuclear warfare — and strategies to deter nuclear conflict — will be altered as well. Though increasingly effective anti-ballistic missile technologies will continue to be important against opponents that lack hypersonic weapons, they will be of little use in countering hypersonic missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. Because hypersonic missiles are so difficult to detect and counter, countries could be motivated to pre-emptively strike at an enemy developing a hypersonic capability. As hypersonic missiles undermine the fragile balance among global nuclear powers more and more, many countries will be forced to re-examine their deterrence and national security strategies, potentially contributing to greater uncertainty and instability in the long run.

Lead Analyst: Omar Lamrani
Send us your thoughts on this report.
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G M
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« Reply #593 on: March 27, 2016, 09:11:29 AM »

http://breakingdefense.com/2016/03/marines-scrounge-yorktown-museum-f-18-for-spare-parts-how-bad-is-it/

Got to love the Obama era.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #594 on: April 05, 2016, 01:40:49 PM »

http://www.cnet.com/pictures/meet-the-navys-new-13-billion-aircraft-carrier/?ftag=ACQ9265a8a&vndid=1846635544&ttag=cnet-fb-528&nan_pid=1846635544
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