Sunday, June 29, 2008
It's Never A Bad Time For Some VH
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Is Becky Hammon A Traitor?
Behold the face of a traitor...at least in the eyes of some.
From FOX Sports
Becky Hammon grew up in the Midwest, where American values and patriotism run high. She plays guard for the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars, and at the ripe old age of thirty one years old, is still chasing her dream.
In her off season, she plays for a professional basketball team in Moscow, Russia. So far, no big deal. Because she has worked over in Russia for an extended amount of time, she was given citizenship status. And here is where it starts to get a little murky.
Becky's dream has always been to play in the Olympics. At her age, she knows Beijing is her last shot at that dream. So when Russia asked her to be a member of their National Basketball team and represent them in the Olympics, she said yes.
She was asked to try out for the US team after she said yes to the Russians and their seven figure contract, but has made the decision to play point guard for the Russians.
Keep in mind, she speaks little Russian and has no Russian in her bloodlines. She is 100% American, a native of Rapid City, South Dakota and a Colorado State graduate. her basketball jersey is the #2 selling jersey, right behind Lisa Leslie's jersey.
Anne Donovan, the coach of the women's basketball team, has called her a "traitor."
TRAITOR! You mean like Benedict Arnold? Or perhaps Robert Hanssen? Or maybe even Hanoi Jane? Not even close.
Personally I couldn't ever even consider playing a sport in the uniform of another country. Hell, my Dad wouldn't drive a car from a foreign country...It was a big deal when I bought a Sony TV for Pete's sake.
It seems to me there are two issues here.
1. Becky Hammon wants to play basketball in the Olympics, and apparently doesn't care whose uniform she wears as long as she's playing.
2. Apparently someone in the apparatus running the USA Olympic woman's basketball program has it in for Ms. Hammon.
It seems to me that Ms. Hammon cares more about playing basketball than the poly-si implications of a possible Russian victory via the hands of the basketball mercenary from the USA. Self over country, it's a sign of the times. This doesn't make Ms. Hammon a traitor...she's just selfish and that's a lot more common and unfortunately a lot of folks will identify with her position.
Oh, by the way there's an American male playing on the Russian men's team as well, his name is J.R. Holden...but who really gives a crap about that, there's a semi hot American chick who's playin' for the Rooskies! TO ARMS!
Strap On The Feedbag
New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less
In other news SEN McCain vows to save money by eliminating the Secret Service from the Dept of the Treasury
McCain Vows To Replace Secret Service With His Own Bare Fists
H/T Dude, Where's The Beach?
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thanks to reader Kath...
He has a post up about "the nickle ride". That is the first ride anyone who goes through flight training receives. It's a nickle ride because it isn't graded and it only costs you a nickle like the mechanical horse outside the H.E.B..
The first flight you take in flight school is commonly known as the “Nickel Flight”. This is because it is ungraded, reminiscent of the little nickel rides in front of a grocery store, and a way for underpaid instructor pilots to make a little money on the side. That first day we met our instructor pilots, mostly a crusty bunch of ex-Vietnam guys who have more time preflighting than I had years on earth. My guy however was a mid thirties former Blackhawk pilot named Jim (we used his last name, but I’m leaving that out.) Jim was a laid back guy with a good healthy perverted sense of humor, and I knew we’d get along just fine. Also along was my “stick buddy” who is the person you learn to fly with. The helicopter we learned on was the TH-67 Bell Jet ranger, painted in bright orange colors to let all who gaze upon you know that you are a danger in the skies, and to avoid you at all costs.
The day starts with some classroom time, and Jim takes a bit to ask us some questions about the helicopter and its’ emergency procedures. We’d spent the last two weeks learning all there was to know about the working of this bird and I knew there was nothing I could be caught off guard about. The one thing they didn’t teach me that I quickly mastered was “the blank stare” which I gave a lot those first few days. Apparently there was a lot I didn’t know or remember… After a while Jim got tired of asking Amy and I random questions about such complicated things as “how does the helicopter fly” only to be greeted with said blank stare, so we headed out to the flight line. The helicopters are parked all over the airfield in nice neat lines, and the most junior pilots get the ones farthest away, so we got the keys and logs and headed to our steed.
For the rest click HERE.
My experience was the same but different. In 1987 when I went through, ALL of the instructors were Vietnam Vets. I was lucky enough to get a guy named Leyland. His personality can be best illustrated by his favorite expression, "What are you trying to do, kill me?" and his technique for impressing the need for a rapid cross check of the instruments by banging me on the flight helmet with a pointer and then motioning to the instrument panel and saying, "attitude, airspeed" over and over again.
There wasn't a day that went by, until I took my Primary phase check ride (over 50 hours of flight training at that point), that I wasn't worried that by the end of the day I would be on the bus headed to FT Benning to become an 11B (infantryman). As I was what was called in those days high school to flight school (even though I had two years of college they still called us that...I guess community college to flight school just didn't have the same ring to it), I didn't already posses a skill (like the prior service Warrant Officer Candidates) so if I flunked out I was at the mercy of Uncle Sugar. As if I needed more motivation.
Somehow I made it through...even though it was uphill both ways to class, and we had to walk...in the snow ...in Alabama ...because it was harder when I went through.
A New Meaning To The Word "Embedded"
Personally, I don't know if it's true or not, don't really care...but if she was going to spread the love, so to speak, she could have at least hooked up with one of those soldiers she claims are forgotten and that she cares about so much...wait a tic...maybe the fact that she does care about us is why she...ah, never mind.
Girl Friday, 27 JUN 08
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself
There is no way someone can convince me that going to war to stop a tyrannical murderer from killing his own countrymen or threatening other countries is a bad thing. It is a shame that people have to die to make that change, but it is part of stopping evil and his evil, sadistic sons. I am sorry that people, American, Iraqi and others, died and will die in this war. I'm even sorrier that the great people of America didn't step up sooner to stop the deaths of multitudes more who died for absolutely no reason other than to satisfy one man's desire to gain and retain power. But if you feel so strongly that people dying is so horrible that you must hold the leader of the country in disdain, then where was your disdain for Saddam? And why aren't you rejoicing that he's no longer gassing his own citizens and allowing his sons to rape and murder for fun? Your double standard disgusts me.
I have seen with my own eyes the horrors of killing and death, and I hate it more than anything else, but I still believe that some things are worth fighting for... and if you aren't willing to fight, and die if necessary, for something then you don't deserve the rights and privileges we take for granted as Americans.
And another thing...
If you happen to believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... and that people deserve a fair shake in life and that those less fortunate sometimes need an extra boost, and that children are special no matter where they come from and that America is still a place that values hard work, self-determination, fair play and rooting for the underdog... well, then you are and I are more alike than different. I don't care if you call yourself liberal or conservative, democrat or republican or something else. It don't matter to me what race, religion, gender or any other whatnot that you may use to describe yourself with, if you believe what I described above and call yourself American, then you and me are the same.
And I love you all the more for it! So don't get hung up on labels and embrace being American, a citizen of the greatest country on the face of God's green earth!
He wrote this as a comment on a site where a person was expressing their disgust for the war and the loss of life, in same said war.
Personally I can't understand why so many people have such a difficult time understanding what has occurred and why we NEED to do this. Some people are naive, some are blinded by politics and some are just plain stupid. What can you do?
Iron Man Video
Yeah, that wasn't my era, but where are the "dames" like that today?
This is REALLY good animation...don't know where it came from, but this is good stuff...kinda cornball, but hey lets face it Marvel Comics always were a little cheesy. Sure beats the HELL out of those old Spiderman cartoons though. Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can...
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Tra, La, La
My only excuse is we didn't have cable and only had three channels to choose from...I don't remember what was on the other stations but it must have been worse than this...if you can believe it.
Labels: Old TV
Friday, June 20, 2008
Che', Che', Che' Changes
Girl Friday, 20 JUN 08
Why Does She Have To Be So Annoying?
On the way home from work yesterday, I had a chance to hear the Mark Levin Show. He's a guy from back East and the sound of his voice honestly grates on my nerves...but today he was ranting about one CBS reporter Lara Logan. Having seen some of her work while I was in the sandbox I was familiar with her "style". Seems she was on "The Daily Show" and had a few things to say about the war in Iraq and the First Lady that Mr. Levin didn't agree with.
From Newsbusters here's a little of what she had to say.
host Jon Stewart proceeded to question her about Iraqi violence not getting enough media coverage. The Comedy Central anchor queried, "Have we lost our humanity with this entire situation?" "Yeah, we have," Logan agreed...
...Logan, who in late 2007, complained to "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno that "we're doing extremely badly" in Iraq, also used her appearance on the program to bash First Lady Laura Bush. After dismissing "armchair academics" who don't really know what the situation is like in Afghanistan or Iraq, she scolded, "See Laura Bush saying this is my third time in Afghanistan. She doesn't mention that she was only there for a few seconds..." When Stewart wondered if such individuals might not really be looking for the truth of the situation, Logan playfully shrugged her shoulders.
The reporter, who has made several trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, repeatedly implied that very few have the understanding she has about the Middle East. After agreeing with Stewart's assessment that Americans have lost their humanity over the situation in Iraq, Logan made this statement about reporting bad news:
LARA LOGAN: You know, I was asked once do you feel responsible for the American public having a bad view, a negative view of the war in Iraq? And I looked at the reporter and I said tell me the last time you saw the body of a dead American soldier. What does that look like? Who in America knows what that looks like? 'Cause I know what that looks like. And I feel responsible for the fact that no one else does.
Now in some respects I understand that she means the American public in general doesn't know or care much about Iraq, and for the most part I would agree with her.
But her rant about nobody knowing what it looks like or feels like is ridiculous...tell that to the families, their friends, fellow soldiers. Having heard her before it is obvious she believes this war to be wrong, and she believes that if only people saw "the truth" that it would all end. To her, "the truth" consists of dead Americans on TV not the whole truth just selected sections of it chosen to manipulate people's feelings.
She castigates the First Lady for only spending a limited time in Afghanistan and then having the nerve to talk about it. She intimates that only someone like herself who has spent countless days and weeks in the war zone could possibly understand the situation. Well, there is something known as the "big picture"...sometimes you have to take a step back to see the entirety of what is happening. If you live your life looking for the next suicide bomb attack it is very unlikely (unless you make an effort to do so) that you will see what is happening in the region as a whole.
While I was there, I had to stop and look around and get outside of what I was doing on a day to day basis, because let's face it, my job is to go to where bad stuff happens. If that's all I judged the situation by, I would have her take on things. But if you step back and look at the number and severity of events that are occurring now versus a year ago...you would be dishonest to say that nothing has changed.
It's sad also because she's pretty hot. Why does she have to be so dim?
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Lance Keeps Going and Going and Going
Career soldier answers call of duty
Posted on: Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 11:54 PM
By Bill Begley
Killeen Daily Herald
WEST FORT HOOD - Deployments are nothing new for Chief Warrant Officer-5
He's been going through them for nearly 40 years.
"The kids change," McElhiney said Tuesday while waiting to head to Iraq with
more than 250 4th Infantry Division Combat Aviation Brigade soldiers. "The
faces change. They get younger." With reason.
McElhiney, the senior instructor pilot at Fort Hood, also is the senior
chief warrant officer-5 in the Army.
His first deployment came in 1970, when he went to Southeast Asia with the
101st Airborne Division as a gunner and co-pilot on the first attack
helicopter in the world - the AH-1G Cobra - during the Vietnam War.
It was the first taste of combat for a career soldier who also took part in
the invasion of Laos - a campaign that saw him shot down three times in a
span of three days, earn a Purple Heart while providing close air support
for ground troops and later earn the Distinguished Flying Cross for
assisting in the rescue of Special Forces troops.
After that came action in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, when he
volunteered to deploy with the 2-229th Flying Tigers, and action during
Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II.
At 60, he is the Army's senior Longbow pilot, and will replace his son,
David Lynn, as the standardization instructor pilot in Iraq.
"There is no way I could train these guys how to fly using tactics that I
learned in Vietnam and not go out and show them how to do it," he said. "I
am not built that way."
That's why, more than 30 years after first seeing combat in Vietnam,
McElhiney found himself back in the mix again, flying in fierce combat
during the Army's rugged push through the Karbala Gap before taking Baghdad
in April 2003...
...The only Army pilot honored last month at the "Gathering of Eagles," an
annual aviation event hosted by the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell
Air Force Base in Alabama, McElhiney has been there - repeatedly - and said
the value of experience is something that cannot be measured.
To read the whole thing go HERE.
Anyone who's been around FT Hood and been involved in Army Aviation knows Lance, he's the real deal that keeps on giving.
H/T Chris...break time's over back on your head!
Monday, June 16, 2008
According to Alicia
Alicia Keys believes that the government invented Gangsta Rap to get blacks to kill one another.
To read the whole thing go to The Corner...where some good points are made about the evil genius behind gansta rap.
I agree 100% with the author...at both sites.
So I Guess They Could Do It All Along
What follow is an excerpt from an article at Aviation Week.com
In the wake of the U.S. Air Force leadership shake up, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is directing the service to field six more Predator combat air patrols (CAPs), as well as more Reapers to support operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The order comes shortly after Gates’ first briefing from the new Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Task Force June 6. He set up the task force in April, explaining during a speech at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., that getting warfighting support from institutional military — namely, the Air Force — was “like pulling teeth.”
A lack of support for the ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was one of several reasons cited by insiders and observers for his abrupt ousting of Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley.
While DOD is looking across the services for ISR support, the Air Force’s immediate task is to field more Predators and Reapers, which provide much-desired full-motion video to operators on the ground. The Air Force has fielded 25 Predator MQ-1B CAPs — each including four air vehicles plus ground control and support — as of this month. Gates is directing that six more be fielded by December, a military official says...
More can be seen HERE
Amazing isn't it? Someone gets fired and magically they find a way to get more UAVs into theater. I'm sure someone could say they were going to do that anyway...but it is quite the coincidence.
Video of the F-35B
Here (via Ares Homepage and Lockheed Martin) is some video of the first flight of the F-35B over North Texas. It struck me while watching this, that aerospace companies used to get bonuses for going supersonic on the first flight etc. These days they don't even retract the landing gear.
Saturday, June 14, 2008|
I Won't Back Down
It's Flag Day!
Military Working Dog Has His Day
Military working dog receives Army Achievement Medal
Story and photos by , TF Iron Public Affairs Office
9 June 2008
MOSUL, Iraq — On his last day of duty at Forward Operating Base Marez, Sgt.1st Class Zzarr seemed excited with the Soldiers hovering around him at the 3d Armored Cavalry Regimental headquarters, June 5.
Zzarr was about to receive an Army Achievement Medal, a reward for his service to the Army during his deployment. Zzarr was responsible for discovering about 6,000 pounds of explosives in hidden caches around Mosul.
As the Soldiers stood at attention and the orders were posted, Col. Michael Bills, commander of the 3d ACR, bent down and pinned the AAM on Zzarr’s collar. Instead of a salute, Zzarr enthusiastically offered a paw, wagged his tail, and wanted to play.
Zzarr, a three-year old Dutch Sheppard, is a military working dog assigned to the 221st Military Police Detachment stationed at Fort Eustis, Va.
The dog’s trainer, Staff Sgt. Kevin Dee, said Zzarr specializes in searching for explosives. During the past year in Mosul, the dog was credited with finding three major caches, one of which included 1,200 pounds of explosives that was going to be used in a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
The dog’s discoveries have saved countless lives by “finding things the (human) eye can’t find,” he said.
For the whole story go HERE
Friday, June 13, 2008
Someone Has Been Drinking Their Own Bathwater
Here's a sample of their love of country
In the comments some guy (who has obviously been huffing canned air) said this:
Best cheer leading outfits in the league hands down. I don't want to hear it from the Cowboys fans either. I love the Cowboys cheerleaders but the uni's aren't better than these. Now if we could only keep Donovan healthy.....Glad to see my team supporting the troops. Showing some of that "City of Brotherly Love" spirit right there.
Yeah, the same "Brotherly Love" spirit that booed Santa Claus one year at an Eagles game. Don't get me wrong these ladies deserve to be thanked for what they have done and continue to do for the troops...but!!
Here's a sample of those aforementioned abysmal Cowboy Cheerleader outfits
The original and still the best. Even if the team and owner suck the cheerleaders still kick ass.
Here some video from one of their trips to entertain the troops
But I can't let this one go without posting some of the comments that followed this video on You Tube.
what the fuck..my man is out there right now and i have to bear watching this...whats the point of that shit....whats next puttin up whore houses on their camps?that makes me sick...
fromramsteinafb We've got one screwed government, allowing such foolish things to take place while a large part of our men over there, have wifes over in the states.
As it is, it is very hard for us back in the states to be without them, holding things down and always worried about possibilities make it hard on us.
Making it easier to arouse our men by what they C. When it being hard enough being apart for long time.
The ones ignorant enough to allow this for our men, try'n make an excuse 4 their hormones
Yes as always it's about them. There is nobody that should be able to watch the Dallas Cowboy or Philadelphia Eagle cheerleaders because they have to sit at home and wait...and if you didn't know this...I sure didn't, don't know how I missed this one...apparently these girls are somehow making their husbands unfaithful during their deployment. Such is the attraction and charm of these women that men can no longer control their urges and storm the stage (not filmed of course) and have their way with these women and every other female available after the show.
Good fucking grief.
Girl Friday, 13 JUN 08
Back for an encore presentation for this Friday is Kelly Monaco, April 1997 Playmate of the Month, Soap Opera star and winner of "Dancing With the Stars".
Thursday, June 12, 2008
This Is Just Sad...
Adam Sage in Saint Pierre de Varengeville-Duclair
The names “Thomas and Dorothy” were carved in the bark of one trunk. Another said “Bob and Carma”. Other trees were marked with soldiers’ home states - Iowa, Maine or Alabama - and several bore hearts and the names or initials of a wife or girlfriend.
The beech trees of Saint Pierre de Varengeville-Duclair forest bore a poignant testimony to the D-Day landings for more than six decades. Thousands of American soldiers stationed there after the liberation of Normandy spent their spare hours with a knife or bayonet creating a lasting reminder of their presence.
Although the trees grew and the graffiti swelled and twisted, this most peculiar memory of one of the 20th century’s defining moments remained visible - until now. Amid bureaucratic indifference and a dispute between officials and the forest owner, most of the trees have been felled, chopped up and turned into paper.
Many locals to their everlasting credit wanted to keep the trees...but local officials deemed the trees "unsafe" and ordered them to be chopped down. I bet those trees were safer than say an MG-42 or a PzKpfw IV...not that they care obviously.
...and time marches on.
The First Flight of the F-35B
From Aerospace Daily comes this:
Lockheed Martin has flown the first short-take-off-and- vertical-landing (STOVL) F-35B, in conventional-take-off (CTOL) mode, clearing the way for funding to be released for production of the first six U.S. Marine Corps aircraft.
The 44-minute flight of aircraft BF-1, the first production-representive F-35, from Lockheed’s Fort Worth, Texas, plant also marked the start of a five-year, 5,000-plus test program involving three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter: the CTOL F-35A, STOVL F-35B and aircraft carrier-capable F-35C.
F-35B lead test pilot Graham Tomlinson, from JSF industrial partner BAE Systems, says the first flight went “absolutely to plan.” Flight-testing is beginning in CTOL mode, with STOVL testing now scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2009.
The aircraft was flown with gear down at speeds up to 230 knots and 15,000 feet altitude to assess handling qualities. The gear will be retracted on the second flight. Tomlinson says BF-1 flies “very similarly” to aircraft AA-1, the first F-35, with some enhancing features, including dual nose-gear doors to improve directional stability and improved flight control on touchdown. “The aircraft lands itself,” he says.
First flight of BF-1 is one of two milestones required for the award of a $1.3 billion contract for the first six low-rate-initial-production F-35Bs. Marine Brig. Gen. David Heinz, deputy head of the Joint Strike Fighter program office, says the contract should be awarded after Pentagon acquisition chief John Young has been briefed on resolution of blade-failure issues with the STOVL version of Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine.
Despite the engine problems, the first flight was within weeks of the late May date committed to in August 2006, Heinz says. Although a delay of 30 to 60 days had been predicted after turbine blade failures in two STOVL F135s during ground testing in 2007, “we came in two weeks in front of that,” he says.
For the rest please go HERE
I could wile away the hours...
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
STRATFOR on the USAF Firings
Strategic Forecasting, Inc.
GEOPOLITICAL WEEKLY: THE U.S. AIR FORCE AND THE NEXT WAR
By George Friedman
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has fired the secretary of the Air Force and
the Air Force chief of staff. The official reason given for the firings was the
mishandling of nuclear weapons and equipment related to nuclear weapons, which
included allowing an aircraft to fly within the United States with six armed nuclear
weapons on board and accidentally shipping nuclear triggers to Taiwan. An
investigation conducted by a Navy admiral concluded that Air Force expertise in
handling nuclear weapons had declined.
Focusing on Present Conflicts
While Gates insisted that this was the immediate reason for the firings, he has
sharply criticized the Air Force for failing to reorient itself to the types of
conflict in which the United States is currently engaged. Where the Air Force
leadership wanted to focus on deploying a new generation of fighter aircraft, Gates
wanted them deploying additional unmanned aircraft able to provide reconnaissance
and carry out airstrikes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These are not trivial issues, but they are the tip of the iceberg in a much more
fundamental strategic debate going on in the U.S. defense community. Gates put the
issue succinctly when he recently said that "I have noticed too much of a tendency
toward what might be called 'next-war-itis' -- the propensity of much of the defense
establishment to be in favor of what might be needed in a future conflict." This is
what the firings were about.
Naturally, as soon as the firings were announced, there were people who assumed they
occurred because these two were unwilling to go along with plans to bomb Iran. At
this point, the urban legend of an imminent war with Iran has permeated the culture.
But the Air Force is the one place where calls for an air attack would find little
resistance, particularly at the top, because it would give the Air Force the kind of
mission it really knows how to do and is good at. The whole issue in these firings
is whether what the Air Force is good at is what the United States needs.
There is a neat alignment of the issues involved in the firings. Nuclear arms were
the quintessential weapons of the Cold War, the last generation. Predators and
similar unmanned aircraft are part of this generation's warfare. The Air Force sees
F-22s and other conventional technology as the key weapons of the next generation.
The Air Force leadership, facing decades-long timelines in fielding new weapons
systems, feels it must focus on the next war now. Gates, responsible for fighting
this generation's war, sees the Air Force as neglecting current requirements. He
also views it as essentially having lost interest and expertise in the last
generation's weapons, which are still important -- not to mention extremely
Fighting the Last War
The classic charge against generals is that they always want to fight the last war
again. In charging the Air Force with wanting to fight the next war now, Gates is
saying the Air Force has replaced the old problem with a new one. The Air Force's
view of the situation is that if all resources are poured into fighting this war,
the United States will emerge from it unprepared to fight the next war. Underneath
this discussion of past and future wars is a more important and defining set of
questions. First, can the United States afford to fight this war while
simultaneously preparing for the next one? Second, what will the next war look like;
will it be different from this one?
There is a school of thought in the military that argues that we have now entered
the fourth generation of warfare. The first generation of war, according to this
theory, involved columns and lines of troops firing muzzle-loaded weapons in
volleys. The second generation consisted of warfare involving indirect fire
(artillery) and massed movement, as seen in World War I. Third-generation warfare
comprised mobile warfare, focused on outmaneuvering the enemy, penetrating enemy
lines and encircling them, as was done with armor during World War II. The first
three generations of warfare involved large numbers of troops, equipment and
logistics. Large territorial organizations -- namely, nation-states -- were required
to carry them out.
Fourth-generation warfare is warfare carried out by nonstate actors using small,
decentralized units and individuals to strike at enemy forces and, more important,
create political support among the population. The classic example of
fourth-generation warfare would be the intifadas carried out by Palestinians against
Israel. They involved everything from rioters throwing rocks to kidnappings to
suicide bombings. The Palestinians could not defeat the Israel Defense Forces (IDF),
a classic third-generation force, in any conventional sense -- but neither could the
IDF vanquish the intifadas, since the battlefield was the Palestinians themselves.
So long as the Palestinians were prepared to support their fourth-generation
warriors, they could extract an ongoing price against Israeli civilians and
soldiers. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict thus became one of morale rather than
materiel. This was the model, of course, the United States encountered in Iraq.
Fourth-generation warfare has always existed. Imperial Britain faced it in
Afghanistan. The United States faced it at the turn of the last century in the
Philippines. King David waged fourth-generation warfare in Galilee. It has been a
constant mode of warfare. The theorists of fourth-generational warfare are not
arguing that the United States will face this type of war along with others, but
that going forward, this type of warfare will dominate -- that the wars of the
future will be fourth-generation wars.
Nation-States and Fourth-Generation Warfare
Implicit in this argument is the view that the nation-state, which has dominated
warfare since the invention of firearms, is no longer the primary agent of wars.
Each of the previous three generations of warfare required manpower and resources on
a very large scale that only a nation-state could provide. Fidel Castro in the Cuban
mountains, for example, could not field an armored division, an infantry brigade or
a rifle regiment; it took a nation to fight the first three generations of warfare.
The argument now is that nations are not the agents of wars but its victims. Wars
will not be fought between nations, but between nations and subnational groups that
are decentralized, sparse, dispersed and primarily conducting war to attack their
target's morale. The very size of the forces dispersed by a nation-state makes them
vulnerable to subnational groups by providing a target-rich environment. Being
sparse and politically capable, the insurgent groups blend into the population and
are difficult to ferret out and defeat.
In such a war, the nation-state's primary mission is to identify the enemy, separate
him from the population and destroy him. It is critical to be surgical in attacking
the enemy, since the enemy wins whenever an attack by the nation-state hits the
noncombatant population, even if its own forces are destroyed -- this is political
warfare. Therefore, the key to success -- if success is possible -- is intelligence.
It is necessary to know the enemy's whereabouts, and strike him when he is not near
the noncombatant population.
The Air Force and UAVs
In fourth-generation warfare, therefore, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are one of
the keys to defeating the substate actor. They gather intelligence, wait until the
target is not surrounded by noncombatants and strike suddenly and without warning.
It is the quintessential warfare for a technologically advanced nation fighting a
subnational insurgent group embedded in the population. It is not surprising that
Gates, charged with prosecuting a fourth-generation war, is furious at the Air Force
for focusing on fighter planes when what it needs are more and better UAVs.
The Air Force, which was built around the concept of air superiority and strategic
bombing, has a visceral objection to unmanned aircraft. From its inception, the Air
Force (and the Army Air Corps before it) argued that modern warfare would be fought
between nation-states, and that the defining weapon in this kind of war would be the
manned bomber attacking targets with precision. When it became apparent that the
manned bomber was highly vulnerable to enemy fighters and anti-aircraft systems, the
doctrine was modified with the argument that the Air Force's task was to establish
air superiority using fighter aircraft to sweep the skies of the enemy and strike
aircraft to take out anti-aircraft systems -- clearing the way for bombers or,
later, the attack aircraft.
The response to the Air Force position is that the United States is no longer
fighting the first three types of war, and that the only wars the United States will
fight now will be fourth-generation wars where command of the air is both a given
and irrelevant. The Air Force's mission would thus be obsolete. Only nation-states
have the resources to resist U.S. airpower, and the United States isn't going to be
fighting one of them again.
This should be the key point of contention for the Air Force, which should argue
that there is no such thing as fourth-generation warfare. There have always been
guerrillas, assassins and other forms of politico-military operatives. With the
invention of explosives, they have been able to kill more people than before, but
there is nothing new in this. What is called fourth-generation warfare is simply a
type of war faced by everyone from Alexander to Hitler. It is just resistance. This
has not superseded third-generation warfare; it merely happens to be the type of
warfare the United States has faced recently.
Wars between nation-states, such as World War I and World War II, are rare in the
sense that the United States fought many more wars like the Huk rising in the
Philippines or the Vietnam War in its guerrilla phase than it did world wars.
Nevertheless, it was the two world wars that determined the future of the world and
threatened fundamental U.S. interests. The United States can lose a dozen Vietnams
or Iraqs and not have its interests harmed. But losing a war with a nation-state
could be catastrophic.
The Next War vs. the War That Matters
The response to Gates, therefore, is that the Air Force is not preparing for the
next war. It is preparing for the war that really matters rather than focusing on an
insurgency that ultimately cannot threaten fundamental U.S. interests. Gates, of
course, would answer that the Air Force is cavalier with the lives of troops who are
fighting the current war as it prepares to fight some notional war. The Air Force
would counter that the notional war it is preparing to fight could decide the
survival of the United States, while the war being fought by Gates won't. At this
point, the argument would deadlock, and the president and Congress would decide
where to place their bets.
But the argument is not quite over at this point. The Air Force's point about
preparing for the decisive wars is, in our mind, well-taken. It is hard for us to
accept the idea that the nation-state is helpless in front of determined subnational
groups. More important, it is hard for us to accept the idea that international
warfare is at an end. There have been long periods in the past of relative
tranquility between nation-states -- such as, for example, the period between the
fall of Napoleon and World War I. Wars between nations were sparse, and the European
powers focused on fourth-generational resistance in their colonies. But when war
came in 1914, it came with a vengeance.
Our question regards the weapons the Air Force wants to procure. It wants to build
the F-22 fighter at enormous cost, which is designed to penetrate enemy airspace,
defeat enemy fighter aircraft and deliver ordnance with precision to a particular
point on the map. Why would one use a manned aircraft for that mission? The
evolution of cruise missiles with greater range and speed permits the delivery of
the same ordnance to the same target without having a pilot in the cockpit. Indeed,
cruise missiles can engage in evasive maneuvers at g-forces that would kill a pilot.
And cruise missiles exist that could serve as unmanned aircraft, flying to the
target, releasing submunitions and returning home. The combination of space-based
reconnaissance and the unmanned cruise missile -- in particular, next-generation
systems able to move at hypersonic speeds (in excess of five times the speed of
sound) -- would appear a much more efficient and effective solution to the problem
of the next
generation of warfare.
We could argue that both Gates and the Air Force are missing the point. Gates is
right that the Air Force should focus on unmanned aircraft; technology has simply
moved beyond the piloted aircraft as a model. But this does not mean the Air Force
should not be preparing for the next war. Just as the military should have been
preparing for the U.S.-jihadist war while also waging the Cold War, so too, the
military should be preparing for the next conflict while fighting this war. For a
country that spends as much time in wars as the United States (about 17 percent of
the 20th century in major wars, almost all of the 21st century), Gates' wish to
focus so narrowly on this war seems reckless.
At the same time, building a new and fiendishly expensive version of the last
generation's weapons does not necessarily constitute preparing for the next war. The
Air Force was built around the piloted combat aircraft. The Navy was built around
sailing ships. Those who flew and those who sailed were necessary and courageous.
But sailing ships don't fit into the modern fleet, and it is not clear to us that
manned aircraft will fit into high-intensity peer conflict in the future.
We do not agree that preparing for the next war is pathological. We should always be
fighting this war and preparing for the next. But we don't believe the Air Force is
preparing for the next war. There will be wars between nations, fought with all the
chips on the table. Gates is right that the Air Force should focus on unmanned
aircraft. But not because of this war alone.
This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to
Copyright 2008 Strategic Forecasting, Inc.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The Best Thing Ever Done With A Prius
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Oh, Zephyr Winds...
Saturday, June 07, 2008
The Fight For Fallujah
I am watching a show on The Military Channel called The Fight For Fallujah. As a participant in that battle I was interested to see the ads for it and wanted to see how good a job they did.
The Military Channel website describes the show like this:
Fallujah was an intense, bloody, personal battle. Just as Somalia (Blackhawk Down) defined a generation of Army Rangers, Fallujah created a special breed of Marine for the 21st Century, one schooled in hand-to-hand combat and urban warfare.
If one had no prior knowledge of this fight, you would be led to believe that only Marines and Iraqi forces were involved in Operation Phantom Fury which took place in NOV 04. You would never know that David Belliva and other members of the 1st Infantry and 1st Cavalry Divisions of the United States ARMY participated in this fight.
I supported both USMC and Army elements during this battle, where I earned the right to wear the 1st MARDIV patch on my right shoulder. My unit and many other Army units that participated in this fight received the Navy Unit Commendation. US Army Soldier David Belliva has been nominated for the Medal of Honor for what he did in that fight. But you would never know what any Army units did in this fight from watching this show.
I understand in a 60 minute presentation it is very difficult to present a picture that shows the entire story especially when it as complicated as Op Phantom Fury. The Military Channel did a good job telling the story of the Marines that they chose to highlight, bit was by no means the story of the fight for Fallujah.
Maybe some day.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Chimps Gone Wild
64 Years ago today...
Girl Friday, 6 JUN 08
If you say so...
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Was The Green Hornet Really a Fat Stoner?
...starring as, The Green Hornet. OOOOKAY, if you say so.
Now I'm not a big fan of the story but having a passing aquaintance with the "Green Hornet", I'm pretty sure he was a crime fighter, who kicked ass along with Kato.
More on this story was found HERE.
I guess I wish him all the luck in the world...call me skeptical, but the only thing I see him taking on is a bag of weed and a six pack. I guess we will see.
Labels: The Movies
Congrats From the Boss
I found this picture at the blog of Mary Katharine Ham
Almost as entertaining as the picture itself is the meltdown of nuclear proportions of those in the comments section who hate the President (i have taken the liberty to post a sample below)
My Pet Goat writes: Thursday, May, 29, 2008 9:55 AM
God in Heaven!
This over grown frat boy never ceases to embarrass us before the world!!! He looks like an absolute idiot in this photo! Almost as bad and the back rub on Chancellor Merkel.
Please, God, make this end soon!!!!!
Kimberly writes: Thursday, May, 29, 2008 10:13 AM
Statesman? More like Buffoon
Good God, what is Bush doing in this photo? What a ridiculous frat boy
Yeah, how dare he celebrate with a young person who has sworn to defend this nation? That bastard. (Sarcasm)
Russian Girls Video
Russian Girls - video powered by Metacafe
H/T Last of the Few
Labels: Hot Chicks