Friday, July 31, 2015

Fullbore Friday

I look at what some men did so young, and I look at pity at what little I have done, and am perplexed about all the complaining from others.

That photograph on the right? That is Horace Greasley looking down at Himler. As Peter outlines,
He admitted to not know how the man was, only that he was a high ranking Nazi. He is shirtless because he was showing Himmler how skinny he was and was requesting more rations for the prisoner. Because that is what you do when you are carrying on a secret love affair with a Jewish girl that could get you killed, you stand up to the head of the SS and the guy most responsible for the Holocaust.
He was maybe 25 when that was happened. What else did he do?

Via TheTelegraph;
The reason for the frequency with which Greasley put his life in danger, he admitted with engaging good humour and frankness, was simple: he had embarked on a romance with a local German girl. Rosa Rauchbach was, if anything, running even greater risks than Greasley.

A translator at the camp where he was imprisoned, she had concealed her Jewish roots from the Nazis. Discovery of their affair would almost certainly have meant doom for them both.

Greasley recounted the almost incredible details of his wartime romance in the book Do The Birds Still Sing In Hell? (2008), which he had been "thinking about and threatening to write" for almost 70 years. But while the book is described as an "autobiographical novel", the story was largely confirmed at his debriefing by MI9 intelligence officers shortly after the war.
...
He was 20 and working as a young hairdresser when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia,
...
But his war proved a short one. After seven weeks' training with the 2nd/5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, he landed in France at the end of the "Phoney War" as one of the British Expeditionary Force; on May 25 1940, during the retreat to Dunkirk, he was taken prisoner at Carvin, south of Lille.

There followed a 10-week forced march across France and Belgium to Holland and a three-day train journey to prison camps in Polish Silesia, then annexed as part of Germany. Many died on the way, and Greasley reckoned himself lucky to have survived.
In the second PoW camp to which he was assigned, near Lamsdorf, he encountered the 17-year-old daughter of the director of the marble quarry to which the camp was attached.

She was working as an interpreter for the Germans, and, emaciated as he was, there was, Greasley said, an undeniable and instant mutual attraction.

Within a few weeks Greasley and Rosa were conducting their affair in broad daylight and virtually under the noses of the German guards – snatching meetings for trysts in the camp workshops and wherever else they could find. But at the end of a year, just as he was realising how much he cared for Rosa, Greasley was transferred to Freiwaldau, an annex of Auschwitz, some 40 miles away.

The only way to carry on the love affair was to break out of his camp.
...
Sometimes, Greasley reckoned, he made the return journey three or more times a week, depending on whether Rosa's duties among various camps brought her to his vicinity. His persistence in their love affair was not the only testimony to his daring. A wartime photograph shows Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, inspecting a prison camp and a shirtless skinny PoW close to the fence confronting him.
...
Rosa repaid his attentions, he said, by providing small food parcels and pieces of equipment for him to take back into the camp, eventually including radio parts which enabled 3,000 prisoners to keep up with the news by listening to the BBC.

Greasley was held prisoner, working for the Germans in quarries and factories, for five years less one day, and was finally liberated on May 24 1945. He still received letters from Rosa after the war's end, and was able to vouch for her when she applied to work as an interpreter for the Americans.

Not long after Greasley got back to Britain, however, he received news that Rosa had died in childbirth, with the infant perishing too. Horace Greasley said he never knew for certain whether or not the child was his.

After demobilisation he returned to Leicestershire, swearing that he would never take orders from anyone again. He ran a hairdressers', a taxi firm and a haulage company in Coalville, where he met his wife, Brenda, at a fancy dress party in 1970. They married in 1975, retiring to the Costa Blanca in Spain in 1988.

Greasley was delighted with the publication of his book and was to have undertaken a return visit to Silesia for a television company this spring, having, he said, been promised the company of "a very attractive 21-year-old female nurse for the entire journey". He died in his sleep before the offer could be made good.

Horace Greasley is survived by his wife and by their son and daughter.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

LCS Update - come on ... you know you want one ...

Remember, LCS-1 was commissioned in 2008 and it still cannot do anything but presence missions - more expensively and less effectively than a Coast Guard Cutter.

How are all those great mission modules going?

Via our buddy Megan;
The Littoral Combat Ship’s mine countermeasures (MCM) mission package will not reach initial operational capability (IOC) by the end of September as planned, after reliability issues forced the program to stretch out the test period and delay Pentagon-level initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E).

USS Independence (LCS-2) has been off the coast of Florida conducting a technical evaluation since April, and that test event was supposed to have wrapped up by early June to allow for IOT&E this month and a final IOC declaration by the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.

But LCS Mission Modules Program Manager Capt. Casey Moton said Thursday at a Mine Warfare Association lunch that across-the-board reliability problems in the two start-to-finish mine clearance runs in the technical evaluation led the program to extend the evaluation for several months rather than move prematurely to IOT&E.
With enough money and time, we'll get it fixed. Well, we better.

And ASW?
The Littoral Combat Ship’s anti-submarine warfare mission package needs to shed some weight before it can deploy on a ship, and the Navy awarded three contracts to help find weight-reduction ideas.

The mission package includes two mature and fielded sonar systems, plus the hardware needed to integrate the systems with the ship. LCS Mission Module Program Manager Capt. Casey Moton said Thursday at a Mine Warfare Association lunch that each of his three mission modules is given 105 metric tons of weight on the LCS, but the ASW as it stands today surpasses that limit.

The mission package includes a Variable-Depth Sonar – the Navy chose the Thales UK Sonar 2087, the same VDS used on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate – as well as the Multi-Function Towed Array used on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (DDG-51) and eventually the Zumwalt-class destroyers (DDG-1000). The Navy cannot overhaul either mature system, so it has hired Advanced Acoustic Concepts, L-3 Communications and Raytheon to find more creative ways to reduce weight.
Sigh. All the wasted time, money, and credibility.

When it is all said and done - this sub-optimal solution to a real world requirement will be ~20% of our fleet.

That is the largest crime, right after our decision to throw good money after bad and not looking back. 

Solution? We're past that. We can only hope we get DDG(X) right - and we will only do that if we are honest about the mistakes we made with LCS, DDG-1000, and LPD-17. We're stuck with the Little Crappy Ship and it's upgraded spawn Frick-n-Frack for the small warship for a few decades.

Need to Catch Up on the Iran Deal?

This is the most important thing you will watch this week. Via the Hoover Institute, former Ambassador Charles Hill and General James Mattis, USMC (Ret) discuss the Iran deal and the state of the world with Hoover fellow Peter Robinson.


Also, if you want to see why everyone is looking at the freshman Senator from AK, Tom Cotton - I offer this;


Diversity Thursday

If you get the feeling that there is a dedicated effort to strip away a focus on the serious to the unserious - to burden critical institutions with political theory - you are not alone. Heck ... it isn't feeling, it is fact;
You have to wonder how seriously America’s enemies take us when our commander in chief tells our military that climate change is a top threat to national security, and CIA Director John Brennan makes diversity training and inclusion top priorities for intelligence services.

Russia and China are expanding their spheres of influence in Eastern Europe and the South China Sea, respectively, while our spy agency is scrambling to remake its senior staff to be properly diversified by race, gender, sexual orientation and other demographic characteristics. Iran’s mullahs will chuckle about the Obama administration’s obsession with diversity all the way to their first nuclear-weapon test.
Wait, it is worse. This obsession with race and ethnicity has a long track record in human civilization; every nation that has pushed sectarianism has been destroyed by it. This isn't just bad social theory - it is governmental malpractice.

Those who have studied the history and foundation of the modern diversity movement know that it is based on this foundation - that the USA as founded was and is now is tainted by its racist, sexist, homophobic etc founders who designed a white male power structure that must be torn down and destroyed so this nation can be fundamentally transformed in to ... well ... something else than the hated entity it presently is. 

There are well meaning useful idiots who empower what is at its base a socio-political movement based on hate flavored with no small measure of self-loathing. The fact our institutions participate in this willingly or not is to our great shame. Those who hold those billets are as well the zampolit of a hateful and sectarian political movement. I don't think think we are there yet, but close, but I look forward to good people (hopefully a mixed race female of unknown sexual orientation) to start asking them, "Why do you hate heterosexual white males? You seem to celebrate everyone but them."
For one thing, “all leaders, managers, and supervisors” in the CIA should be subject to “mandatory stand-alone diversity and inclusion training.” This must include such “well-established tools” as “unconscious bias training” so that all CIA officers can “learn how societal forces and their own experiences mold their daily decisions and perceptions.” If done with sufficient thoroughness, such training could inculcate the conviction in CIA managers and supervisors that developing a diverse workforce is a “core job function.”

The trouble is, however, that training alone may not suffice to rewire brains prone to “unconscious bias.” Additional steps are therefore necessary. Managers and supervisors, the panel says, “must be consistently evaluated on their success and failure” in fostering inclusivity. The CIA should introduce an agency-wide performance-measuring tool, which “must be utilized on a 360-degree basis”—that is, imposed on everyone without exception—“to drive and institutionalize accountability for inclusive behaviors.”
...
At a time when global terrorism is resurgent, when the Middle East is burning, when Russian boots are marching, when China is ramping up its military and Iran is on the verge of going nuclear, is it really a good idea to ask the CIA to concentrate on achieving a 30% minority quota in the agency’s leadership ranks?

Mr. Brennan evidently thinks so. In his statement accompanying the study’s release, the CIA director said he has ordered that beginning Oct. 1 every member of his senior leadership team will be required “to attend diversity and inclusion training.” As of that date, these top CIA officials will also be “evaluated on their actions to create, maintain, and sustain a diverse and inclusive environment.”
We all know what that means. The best will not rise to the top. Meritocracy will not bring the best results. There will be nepotism, fraud, and the best will never join or will leave when they realize the game is rigged against them. 

The best want to be part of a meritocracy - not some corrupt system based on racial and ethnic cronyism.

Hat tip M2.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Casualty of Institutional Self-Contradiction

What happens when a leader strives to hold her female Marines to a standard in line with her male Shipmates - and makes a few waves in the process?

I'm pondering the story of LtCol Kate Germano, USMC over at USNIBlog. Stop by and give it a read.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Reserves Make the Call: Armed Sailors to the Watchbill

This is, in a fashion, better than nothing - an adequate fast-reaction, low-risk option for the burearcracy ... perhaps a little high-risk slow-as-Christmas for everyone else; but we'll take it. Right people for the job as well if done correctly with other measures;
----Original Message-----
From: Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command [mailto:[redacted]@public.govdelivery.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2015 [redacted]
To: [redacted]
Subject: Master-at-Arms (MA) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY!

CNRFC is soliciting MA volunteers (E5/6) to provide 45 days (ADT) of armed sentry watchstander duty at 53 [redacted] commencing [redacted]. CNRFC is seeking MA volunteers (E5/6) for 1 year (ADSW) of armed sentry watchstander duty, commencing [redacted], at 70 [redacted]. CNRFC is seeking MA volunteers (E6/7) for 1 year (ADSW) of armed security oversight duty at the [redacted] and CNRFC HQ. There is a strong likelihood that your duty can be performed at your local NOSC if your NOSC is not located on a base/installation. Volunteers must be either MA "A" school graduates or have completed the Security Reaction Force - Basic (SRFB) course, have a current 9mm semi-annual weapons qualification, and have a current OC spray qualification.

CNRFC is also seeking volunteers (any rate) who hold the 0812 NEC and can perform the function of armorers for the same time periods above.

To volunteer, send an email to LCDR Steve [redacted] (CNRFC N33) at steven.[redacted]@navy.mil, indicating whether you are volunteering for 45 days of ADT commencing [redacted], or 1 year of ADSW commencing [redacted], or both. Due date is [redacted]. LCDR [redacted] phone number is 757-322-[redacted] if you have questions.

We need volunteers!
This is a slow, peace time reaction. For those USNR who can read the unredacted portions, you will see what I mean.

"Sense of urgency" is not what I read here - but it is such that it is - but I am sure there are bridging operations in place to cover the gap.

A few other practical notes; force protections support that MAs have been providing elsewhere will suffer, from Central America to the SFRC FP component protecting youknowwhat unless personnel and money is found elsewhere. I am sure smart money is running that down.

You also have the issue that that there is not unlimited ADT/ADSW monies. ADT was significantly cut the last two FYs, and unless there is some moving around of dollars, I doubt that will chance in the near future.

If you could actually get 2 MAs per what was outlined in the email, that would require ADT funding for 106 personnel for 45 days. That rounds out to 4,770 potential man-days of ADT for the remainder of the FY. ADSW is easier money to come by, however, we don't know how big the bucket of money will be for FY16. I've been told there were issues already this year with money ... so ... N1/4 dudes; make it happen.

Hat tip; my many USNR friends ... who all seemed to want to send this to me. Consider it a post by popular acclaim.

Behold, the wages of a speech

It is like watching a yard you once cared for slowly fade to weeds, dead spots, and brambles.

As we have discussed for over 5 1/2 years, this was all foreseen. When you retreat under fire, this is what happens.

Sudarsan Raghavan at WaPo has a heartbreaking story about the fruit of this administration's shift in December 2009, now that it is starting to ripen.
Across Afghanistan, tens of thousands of people are once again on the move. It’s a grim deja vu of the years of civil war and Taliban rule, when masses of Afghans flocked to refugee camps. What’s different now is that much of this desperate migration from rural areas to cities is unfolding in Afghanistan’s northeast, reflecting the conflict’s shift from conventional fighting zones in the south and east.
The new refugees are also a bleak symbol of how the shape of the fight has changed since the U.S.-led NATO mission formally ended combat operations last year. Afghan security forces, now backed by less American air support, are engaged in more fierce ground battles with insurgents, trapping civilians in the paths of mortars, rockets and bullets. With the Taliban fragmented and new militant groups surfacing, including the Islamic State, the number of front lines has surged around the country. Civilian casualties are at record levels.
...
The exodus has now reached levels unprecedented since the Taliban regime’s demise in late 2001. Nearly a million Afghans — about 3 percent of the population — have been driven by conflict to other parts of the nation.
...
And after nearly 14 years of conflict — and with crises in Syria, Iraq and South Sudan competing for the world’s attention and dollars — “donor fatigue” has set in, aid workers say. Halfway into the year, the United Nations has received less than one-third of the $405 million it has requested from the international community to respond to Afghanistan’s various humanitarian problems.
...
In the first five months of this year, doctors treated three times as many patients for conflict-related injuries as in the same period last year. On this day, every bed was full. Last month, over a four-day period, doctors treated 77 patients injured by clashes, one-third of whom were women and children.
This is the future our leaders chose. This is what we warned would happen if we did not have the strategic patience to play the long game.

This next pull quote is a nice vignette of what Shape-Clear-Hold-Build, district by district, was designed to avoid - and what became inevitable following President Obama's speech at West Point in December 2009.
“I am worried about getting shot again,” said Ghafoor, his eyes downcast as he lay on a bed in the hospital ward. “I don’t care if the Taliban or the government rules. All I want is security.”
...
“My whole life was a few hens and a cow,” said Jamillah. “I have lost all of them, as well as my son and my home. How can I go back?”
This too is Obama's legacy.

If you thought the Islamic State found fertile ground in Syria and Sunni Iraq - wait until they build partnerships with the Taliban. Wait until the Iranians move in to Herat and the Shi-ite Hazara heartland of the country to fight against the Islamic State aligned Sunni tribes.

Yes, a legacy of a feckless, shortsighted, and self-referential foreign and defense policy.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Article 4, NATO, and Turkey

Turkey is turning the ratchet one more time - maybe;
NATO said Sunday that it would meet this week after Turkey called for special talks amid heightened concerns over its security.

Turkey made the request under Article 4 of NATO's founding treaty, which allows countries to ask for consultations when they believe their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened.

It's only the fifth time in NATO history that members will meet under Article 4, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told CNN.
The other times?
Since the Alliance’s creation in 1949, Article 4 has been invoked several times. Once by Poland on 3 March 2014 following increasing tensions in neighbouring Ukraine. On two occasions in 2012, Turkey requested that the North Atlantic Council (NAC) convene under Article 4: once on 22 June after one of its fighter jets was shot down by Syrian air defence forces and the second time on 3 October when five Turkish civilians were killed by Syrian shells. Following these incidents, on 21 November, Turkey requested the deployment of Patriot missiles. NATO agreed to this defensive measure so as to help Turkey defend its population and territory, and help de-escalate the crisis along the border.

Previously, on 10 February 2003, Turkey formally invoked Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty, asking for consultations in the NAC on defensive assistance from NATO in the event of a threat to its population or territory resulting from armed conflict in neighbouring Iraq. NATO agreed a package of defensive measures and conducted Operation Display Deterrence from end February to early May 2003.
Let's review:

- Turkey; 2003
- Turkey: 2012
- Turkey: 2012
- Poland: 2014
- Turkey: 2015

Needy.

Besides seeming that your country has to have five letters, Turkey is producing more Article 4 issues than can be consumed locally.

What does Turkey want from NATO, now that she has decided that the medieval nightmare that is ISIS could rage on her doorstep for years, but only when the Kurds were getting strong, they needed to act?

There are a few things to keep in mind concerning this latest chain of events that hopefully will help the excessively optimistic to calm down.

We have always walked on eggshells when it came to the Turks – and they play that to best effect. Let me be a bit blunt having worked with and around the Turks a few times.

- First of all, the Turkish contributions to the alliance always look better on paper than they are useful in the field. From the Crimean War on, the then Ottomans and now Turks, relied on their Western allies to do the heavy lifting, or leaned on them to provide the edge to succeed in the field that they lack – NATO is just another iteration of this habit.

- They have a very large military, but it is more of an inwardly focused. Though they fought well in the Korean War, besides fighting their fellow NATO ally Greece and their Cypriot cohorts in the 70s, Turkey has at best a military built to … have a military. Look at what little they have done as an alliance member from the Balkans to their duck-n-cover participation in Afghanistan. The only alliance member that did less with less was the Greeks.

Even in the use of their bases – as we learned in 2003 of spotty reliability – it is for their interest, either because others are are doing their dirty work, or it is the minimum they can do in exchange for something else.

- Turkey is not going to move to eliminate the horror at their doorstep, ISIS. In some ways, the Turks have been playing both sides against the middle looking for their own needy advantage – for you Game of Thrones fans; consider the Turks the House Frey of NATO. They will make their token efforts, and will do what needs to be done to preserve their enclave around the tomb of Suleyman Shah. Taking care of eliminating medieval radical Sunni terrorists on their border is not the job of the Islamists Turkish government, dontchaknow. If it must be done, it should be done by their NATO Janissaries and various Arab fodder, though if pressed, they will be willing to provide staff elements or liaison officers..

- This is mostly about the Kurds. They are slowly gaining more territory and recognition. From the collapsing states of Syria and Iraq, they at last have a chance for forming a nation of their own. That example, from the Turkish government points in one direction; somewhere in the neighborhood of 18% of the Turkish population is Kurdish.

See that map at the top? That is where most of them are … and the percentages are a little more drastic. 79.1% Red (Southeastern Anatolia), 64.1% Light Red (Northeast Anatolia), 32.0% Pink: 14.8 - 4.9%.

The Kurds are many, and Istanbul is far away.

If you were a Turk – would you want an active, progressive, secular and newly energetic – flush with victory – Kurdish republic next to your majority Kurdish provinces?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fullbore Friday

Most of your people slaughtered. In front of you is the land of your ancestors, a land you do not know, mostly desert and waste. You are surrounded by large numbers of a well armed enemy on the march. You have the option of going home, or to ride off to war in a cheap copy of an outdated weapon.

Of course, you gather around you fast friends, and head to the sound of rolling tanks.
WWhen Lou Lenart was growing up in a Pennsylvania mining town, he endured beating after beating because he was Jewish.

After he took a Charles Atlas bodybuilding course, he joined the Marines and fought in the Pacific. A few years later, he smuggled warplanes into Israel, helped found the new state’s tiny air force and led an attack on more than 10,000 Egyptian troops who had advanced to a bridge within 16 miles of Israel’s biggest city.

“It was the most important moment of my life, and I was born to be there at that precise moment in history,” he told the Jerusalem Post in 2012. “I was the luckiest man in the world that my destiny brought me to that precise moment to be able to contribute to Israel’s survival.”

Lenart, hailed in Israeli headlines as “the man who saved Tel Aviv,” died Monday at his home in Ra’anana, Israel. He was 94.
...
Lenart kept a home in Los Angeles as well as one in Israel. One of the planes he flew as a Marine fighter pilot is on permanent display at the Proud Bird restaurant complex near Los Angeles International airport.

But he is most closely associated with a 40-minute strafing and bombing raid on Egyptian columns that had marched up the Israeli coast from Gaza on May 29, 1948. With tanks and trucks, the troops were stalled at a bridge that had been blown up by Israeli commandos. In another day, they would have rolled into Tel Aviv.

With only a few hours’ notice, Lenart and three other pilots hopped into Czech Avia S-199s — small, rickety planes that had been pieced together with parts from German Messerschmitts, dismantled before being covertly shipped to Israel and reassembled on a makeshift airstrip.

“We had never flown the planes before,” he said. “We didn’t know if they would fly or if the guns would work.”

In fact, Lenart’s guns jammed. One of the planes, piloted by a South African named Eddie Cohen, went down in flames.

“We lost one-fourth of our air force that day,” Lenart later said. “It was like a piece of your heart being broken off.”

But, surprised by the attack, the advancing forces ultimately withdrew. The bridge where they had bogged down is still known as Ad Halom — or “Up to Here.”
Mensch.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Diversity Thursday

Yes, some DivThu writes themselves. This really shouldn't be a DivThu, but that mindset of tokenism and the patronizing socio-political posturing of the narrative is out in force. The diversity bullies are doing all they can to grow their empire. 

Awards mean things. Who you nominate for awards often say more about you and your command's mindset than they do about the nominee itself.

What do we have here?
Five everyday heroes were recognized Tuesday night for their accomplishments both on and off duty as the Military Times 2015 Service Members of the Year.
What is the Army offering?
Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Fontenot ... has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, served as a drill sergeant and later at the Drill Sergeant Academy, and has volunteered at a veterans hospital, a homeless children's shelter and Camp Kemo, for kids fighting cancer
Marine Corps?
Staff Sgt. Zachary Rubart ... three combat deployments under his belt and a Purple Heart on his chest, isn't one to shy away from potential danger.

On Sept. 16, 2013, while Rubart was training on the Marine Barracks Washington parade deck, reports of an active shooter at nearby Washington Navy Yard brought his infantry experience to the fore.

Without hesitation, Rubart assembled a small group of Marines into a quick reaction force and took off for the armory, his ceremonial sword still strapped to his side.

Once armed, Rubart and his Marines helped District of Columbia SWAT personnel clear several rows of buildings and secure the homes of the chief of naval operations and other flag officers on the base.
Air Force?
Air Force Senior Airman Joseph Moreland ... A tactical cyber systems operator, Moreland has deployed three times since joining the Air Force in December 2011. And on his deployment last year, his office wasn't on a base in Afghanistan, it was riding alongside special operations troops to austere locations, setting up crucial communications lines to assist in high-value missions.

Moreland also coordinated a volunteer effort following flooding in the area, leading eight volunteers and saving about $50,000 in goods.
How about our Coast Guard - what message are they putting out about their people via their representative at the awards, Coast Guard Aviation Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Lee Biladeau?
MH-65 Dolphin helicopter mechanic and aircrewman, Biladeau is respected by all, from his maintenance and engineering officers to the pilots and rescue swimmers, to the young aviation maintenance technicians and a contract boat skipper who provides a target for search and rescue practice.

At his first duty station as an AMT, in Port Angeles, Washington, Biladeau got involved with a local lacrosse club called the Mountaineers. He signed up to be head coach of the new, co-ed junior high-age team, taking on seven boys and three girls who'd never played a day in their lives. He spent three seasons with them, practicing every day after school and traveling on Saturdays for games in the Seattle area.
Good, solid, service - and representative of thousands just like him.

Well, I can't wait to hear about our Sailor. What message do we want to give to the nation about what being a Sailor is all about, and what that experience they gain in the Navy helps their community?
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Sara Freeman ... the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower's pregnancy coordinator pushed the health readiness of women in that crew to 89 percent.

A survivor of sexual assault prior to joining the Navy, Freeman, 28, uses her experience to help others.

She served as part of the carrier's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team, and she volunteers to help prevent sexual assault in the Hampton Roads, Virginia, community.
So, that is what our Navy wants to put out front? Priorities for a Navy at war?

Go to sea on the most powerful warship ever to put to sea, get pregnant - perhaps by rape - perhaps not.

An Aircraft Carrier has a pregnancy coordinator. OK, beats what we had on the Big E, which were the folks that scheduled seating on the outgoing COD.

I can hear mothers and fathers everywhere, "Suzie, you must join the Navy!  When you leave here when you are 18, it looks like someone with a lot of experience will help you when you get raped. Even better, when you get pregnant, when they send you back home an expectant single mother at age 19, there will be someone there to help you get home!"


Hat tip JA.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A leader will fight his ship and defend his Sailors, with or without being told to do so

"... our Country will, I believe, sooner forgive an Officer for attacking his Enemy than for letting it alone."
- Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson
It seems that our Navy-Marine Corps team is still full of the leaders its nation expects it to have. They don't need 'ole Sal to say after the fact what needed to be done - they already knew and did it;
A Navy officer and a Marine fired their sidearms hoping to kill or subdue the gunman who murdered five service members last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to multiple military officials familiar with internal reporting on the tragedy.

It remains unclear whether either hit Muhammad Abdulazeez, who was shot and killed Thursday after he gunned down four Marines and a sailor at the Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga. It's also unclear why they were armed, as it is against Defense Department policy for anyone other than military police or law enforcement to carry weapons on federal property.

A report was distributed among senior Navy leaders during the shooting's aftermath saying Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, the support center's commanding officer, used his personal firearm to engage Abdulazeez, Navy Times has confirmed with four separate sources. A Navy official also confirmed Monday's Washington Post report indicating one of the slain Marines may have been carrying a 9mm Glock and possibly returned fire on the gunman.
More details will follow - but for now given what we have, BZ to LCDR White.

If he receives anything less than praise, medals, and promotion - then may the media hammer of Thor come down on all who would do anything against him.

Launch the Ready JAG

We all know that lawyers are in many ways, just well paid trolls.

That's OK though, if they are your trolls.

I'm pondering about trolls under the Chinese bridge over at USNI. Stop by and ponder with me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Long Game Worst Case

When it comes to China, the usual discussion devolves to one of a few very comfortable spots; China's peaceful rise; China will get old before it gets rich; or on a dark day, China's rise falters as its internal socio-economic conflicts consume itself.

There are other Courses of Action. The above are from the "Most Likely COA" working group. What comes out of the "Worst Case COA" working group?

Over at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Geoff Wade offers a not unimagible scenario;
In a recent post, I introduced a new PRC book entitled ‘China Is Not Afraid — New Threats to National Security and Our Strategic Responses’, (中国不怕——国防安全新威胁与我们的战略应对). I suggested that the volume is part of a larger PLA strategy to invigorate and bolster the morale of domestic constituencies, both military and otherwise, as well as being intended to serve as a warning to any foreign powers which might seek to constrain or restrict China. It’s perhaps worthwhile further extending this analysis to two other PLA-inspired products, one a film and the other a newsagency article, to explore what sort of agenda these works are promoting.

The Chinese film Silent Contest (较量无声) was controversial as soon as it appeared on Chinese and global websites in October. By the end of that month, the film was being deleted from PRC websites without any official pronouncements as to the reasons for its appearance or disappearance. The film is still available in various iterations (video) on YouTube.

Highly polemical, and set against a rousing soundtrack, the film suggests that the United States is trying to subvert China through five avenues: (1) undermining China politically, (2) engaging in cultural infiltration, (3) warfare in terms of ideas, (4) the training of fifth column agents and (5) the fostering of opposition forces within China. The overall message is that the United States seeks not simply to dismember China but aims to find ways to take it under control.
Yes, you need to read it all, but where is Geoff taking us?
A more troubling example of irredentism can be seen in an article which appeared on the website of the Chinese news agency Zhongguo Xinwenshe (Chinese, English translation here) in July this year. Entitled ‘Revealing the Six Wars China Must Fight in the Coming 50 Years’ (曝光中国在未来50年里必打的六场战争), the article is another manifestation of the hyper-nationalist attitude seen within some parts of the PLA. However, that an article of this nature was carried by a PRC national news agency suggests that it was approved at a very high level.

The six ‘inevitable’ wars suggested in the article’s title are presented in the chronological order in which they will take place:

The war to unify Taiwan (2020–2025)
The war to recover the various islands of the South China Sea (2025–2030)
The war to recover southern Tibet (2035–2040)
The war to recover Diaoyutai and the Ryukyus (2040–2045)
The war to unify Outer Mongolia (2045–2050)
The war to recover the territory seized by Russia (2055–2060)
If I were a Chinese nationalist who wanted his nation to reach its proper place of power and respect, and was willing to use military power to to so, well ... that is about the right list +/-.

Here, brush up on your Mandarin.



Monday, July 20, 2015

Rational Enemies Require Rational Responses

Over the weekend, I am sure you have read many of the responses to the attacks in Chattanooga. This is a good moment to take a measure of not just possible solutions to prevent more repeats of such attack, but of our leaders as well - and we'll get to that in moment.

As for the specifics of the attack, we need to be very clear and honest with ourselves about what they were and the person who conducted them. There was nothing senseless about them, nothing mindless, nothing that should have been a surprise. 

Though unquestionably a person with a warped world view, the attacker was quite sane. We have already seen people try to make excuses, but I'm not buying it. We have millions of young men who have debt, smoke weed, are depressed, and are trying to find their way in this world - but they are not growing beards and attacking the US military.

The attacker was very clear headed about what he was doing, why he was doing it, and the long-view context of his role in a global, religious war.

This was just one in a series of attacks of this kind. If you have forgotten, Streiff has a nice summary for you. Oh, and yes; there will be more.

We are engaged in a long, global war - it just happened to come home for a day. From a professional standpoint, it is useful to stand back and see that the enemy conducted a very good operation - one that not only should have been expected, but one that we should expect to be replicated. Effective and efficient techniques, tactics, and procedures are used and improved upon until they are no longer useful. Put on your red hat for a moment and review this attack. Same as the 911 attacks, professionally - using their way or war and ROE - you have to respect it.

William Saletan over at Slate provides some perspective if you need it;
Are trainers and recruiters noncombatants? If so, we’re killing noncombatants every week. According to the Pentagon’s latest published data, our coalition in Syria and Iraq has struck more than 2,000 enemy “buildings” and nearly 500 “staging areas.” A “staging area” can be almost anything—according to the U.S. military glossary, it’s “a general locality established for the concentration of troop units.” Scan the Pentagon’s daily reports on the campaign, and you’ll see accounts of strikes against “barracks,” “compounds,” “structures,” “manufacturing workshops,” and “logistics hubs.” If you’re an ISIS foot soldier, it hardly matters where you are or what you’re doing. You’re a target.

Recruiters are standard fare. In February, we sent a drone to kill an ISIS recruiter in Afghanistan, even though, according to a Pentagon spokesman, the recruiter had “decided to swear allegiance to [ISIS] probably no more than a couple weeks ago. And he didn't have a whole lot of depth to any network resources or manpower when he did it.”

Training facilities aren’t just fair game. They’re prized targets. President Obama has repeatedly bragged about hitting them. In February, White House spokesman Josh Earnest proudly informed reporters that coalition airstrikes had “succeeded in taking out at least 20 training camps.” Two weeks ago, Obama indicated that the tally had increased: “We’ve taken out thousands of fighting positions, tanks, vehicles, bomb factories, and training camps.”

When we target a training facility and kill its inhabitants, we don’t call that terrorism. We call it moral success.
He is, of course, exactly right.

As he and others have pointed out, we have a huge leadership problem at the very highest levels, leaders who seems to be going out of their way to signal a weak horse. Done for internal political reasons best known to those making the statements, you can not understate the degree they are creating undesired negative effects from an INFO OPS and PSYOPS perspective - a veritable cavalcade of unforced errors. 

Just a couple of examples of what I am talking about, and before we start pointing fingers elsewhere, we should examine our Navy-Marine Corp team first. From the SECNAV;
While we expect our Sailors and Marines to go into harm's way, and they do so without hesitation, an attack at home, in our community, is insidious and unfathomable.
Really?
insidious
adjective in·sid·i·ous \in-ˈsi-dē-əs\
: causing harm in a way that is gradual or not easily noticed
We have been under terrorist attack for almost a decade and a half inside our national borders. Review Streiff's summary again if you need to. That does not even cover all those attacks we have managed to stop. The Chattanooga attack is only insidious if you have not been paying attention, or unnecessarily distracted by less important thing ... like ... well ... "green" energy, naming warships for shameless political reasons, and contributing to sectarianism and division by actively supporting segregation of Sailors and Marines by race, creed, color, and national origin. That may be part of it.
unfathomable
adjective un·fath·om·able \-ˈfa-thə-mə-bəl\
: impossible to understand
If this is impossible for you to to understand, then, well ... I've got nothing more to say. The original statement speaks for itself.

The discussion concerning if our military should have the ability to defend itself has been amazingly daft. You can barely breath for all the straw men people are throwing around.

At one end is, "this is the job of the police, the military should not be armed while in the USA in shopping malls and on Main St.." Amazing cognitive dissonance. If there was ever a situation that proved the darkly humorous phrase, "When every second counts, the police are only minutes away." this is it. 

On the other end are some who think that people are asking for everyone in uniform to be armed. GMAFB. No serious person is asking that. To make that argument is to not know how the military works, and to demonstrate an embarrassingly patronizing view of those who serve.

We have Duty Officers, Petty Officer of the Watch, etc etc. You can also keep people at Condition 4 if you really want to be safe, but I'll tell you what - I will take a negligent discharge once a month over the slaughter we saw last week - and so will 98% of those in uniform.

This incredible fear by leadership about having the logical move to allow at least some in each space to be armed comes from one place - fear. Not fear of the enemy, but fear for some safety incident on their watch that might hurt their career. They fear their own FITREP cycle than they fear going to a funeral of a Sailor or Marine gunned down at their desk. 

Make no mistake, some people are more than willing to put their Sailors and Marines in a defenseless position playing the odds that it won't matter, just so they don't have to deal with the potential risk of having armed Sailors and Marines in their UIC. That is nothing new, and the safety-uber-alles in the myopic PT-belt era is a headwind that must be fought. 

Let's also look back at the default excuse, these post-Cold War, Peace-Dividend era instructions from FEB92. Yes, we are operating under 22-yr old instructions that don't even have the word "terrorism" in it. Read it all here.

Specifically, Para D.1 is where the meat is - and opens the door to having more people armed, but;
The authorization to carry firearms shall be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried. Evaluation of the necessity to carry a firearm shall be made considering this expectation weighed against the possible consequences of accidental or indiscriminate use of firearms.
It is the last part that is the problem. That was put in as a catch-all point to destroy any commander who had a safety incident. Anyone can say in hindsight, "You did not properly evaluate the necessity ..." etc. Poor leaders will use this to throw subordinate commanders under the bus, so those commanders will not take the chance. Reason? They have no faith or trust in their Chain of Command to support them. When you create a zero-risk culture, don't be shocked when you have no one taking any risk.  Better a thousand die than to receive one bad FITREP, dontchaknow.

We mentioned the lead Navy civilian ... so to be fair and balanced, let's look at a uniformed Army leader;
"I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I'm not talking about where you end up attacking each other," Odierno said during a morning breakfast. Instead, he said, it's more about "accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries."
To say I am disappointed is to understate in the extreme.

As I mentioned Friday - I spent months - as have hundreds of thousands of other sevicemembers, many who can say "years" not "months" - carrying a weapon around in Condition 3 - and only going to Condition 1 only when outside the gate. Condition 3 or Condition 4 should be more than fine for recruiting duty ... and no chance for "accidental discharge" as there is no round in the chamber at all. But again, even if there were - look at the string of attacks where those in uniform were ordered to be defenseless. Worth a accidental discharge or two? My clearing barrel says, "Yes."

For now, we have a paralysis at the Federal level. We have become used to this state of affairs. At least we have some state Governors stepping in and leading;
Governors in Indiana, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma have ordered National Guardsmen to be armed.
It really is that easy to do.

What these leaders know is that the enemy has seen that the attack in Chattanooga was a successful attack, and there are thousands of other targets that are just as easy to get to - and are just as legitimate of a target in war.

To not understand the threat as it is, is not to be worthy of someone in a position of authority and leadership in 2015.

Having servicemembers to die unarmed in the face of a determined enemy for your own vanity, and petty career comfort behind your reserved parking space, duty driver, six-figure retirement income, and security detail? Ponder that.

UPDATE: As the nation waits for leaders to act - the people will make their own statement. Via USMCQ;

Dude with semi-autos eating Chick-Fil-A, guarding their Marines.

'Murica.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Fullbore Friday

Only one proper FbF. Fallen in the line of duty. Unarmed and unable to defend themselves because they were following the orders of those who have armed security everywhere they go.

They deserved better from those they serve. They gave their lives because they have dedicated theirs to defending yours.
He grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, survived two tours of duty in Iraq, and earned a Purple Heart. But, according to his family, he died in a domestic terrorist attack on Thursday, July 16, 2015, at the hands of a madman in Chattanooga, Tennessee, who shot up a military base, killing four Marines and wounding three others.

His name is Thomas J. Sullivan, 40, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, one of three kids of Jerry and Betty Sullivan. He grew up in the East Forest Park section of Springfield, graduated Cathedral High School and went on to serve his country in Iraq.

Just a few days ago, Sullivan was jogging along Mill Road in Hampden, Massachusetts, where his parents live.
Like URR, a Marine artilleryman from New England. Here is how his friends will remember Gunnery Sergeant Sullivan.



As the other killed are identified, I'll add to this post.



UPDATE: Second Marine identified as Lance Corporal Skip Wells from Marietta, GA. Here is Lance Corporal Wells with his mother.


UPDATE: 37 year-old U.S. Marines Corps Staff Sgt. David Wyatt of Hixson, TN. Married with three children.

UPDATE: Sergeant Carson Holmquist, USMC of Jacksonville, NC.

A Sailor has joined his Marines.

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith died two days after a gunman opened fire at two military facilities, his step-grandmother Darlene Proxmire told NewsChannel 15.

Smith, 24, was shot three times while working as a logistics specialist at the Navy Operational Support Center, where four Marines were slaughtered in a barrage of bullets, his family told the Salina Journal.
...
The U.S. Navy said the sailor succumbed to his wounds at 2:17 a.m. Saturday without releasing his name.
...
Smith leaves behind a wife, Angie, and three daughters under the age of 7.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Stating the Obvious

Paying gig being being what it is, today's post was going in late ... but then I've decided to slide it to Monday. My thoughts have changed a bit on it, and after today's events in Chattanooga - I just want a put a marker out there.

Here's my snap report in anger - something you are not supposed to do, but it is my blog, so there.

We have lost four Marines in service to their nation. They were killed by an unlawful enemy combatant inside the lifelines of their own nation.

This is a long war, a global war. From Sept. 11th, 2001 - almost 14 years ago, we have know who the enemy is and what pool he will be pulling 95% of his fighters from. Their names are not John, Juan, Ivan, or Wei.

They are not uneducated, deprived, underprivileged people.

We have to be right 100% of the time, and don't. They have had successful attacks, they will have more successful attacks. If we "win" by stopping them 98% of the time, that does not mean they lost 98% of the time. When they win 2% of the time - they win 100% of the time.

That is how this math works.


From the "students" who attacked us in 2001, to the traitor who attacked his fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood, to this guy as I am sure we will soon find out - all the things were in place to identify these people ahead of time and to prevent the attack - but we failed.

In 2001, we did not enforce our immigration laws, we still don't. At Ft. Hood, we had an entire Army scared of its own shadow from DEOMI and the rest of the jackbooted PC enforcers, they still are.

There are other examples out there that are legion. This will be another.

Of course, there are plenty of outstanding Americans, naturalized citizens, refugees, students, tourists and family members of citizens who are Muslim or have Muslim names - heck my good neighbor is from Iran and I served with Muslims for over two decades. Good googly moogly, our own President has a Muslim name from soup to nuts - that isn't the issue, so you can put that straw man back in the box.

Here is what we need to all acknowledge; we will have more of these attacks from young Muslim men - and soon women too. They will use our freedoms and rights as citizens against us. Our response must not be to restrict our freedoms and rights - it won't make us safer and that is after all what they want. What we need to do is to look clearly at the problem and do what we can to mitigate the threat while it is here.

If the past is prologue - this phase of violent, expansionist Islam will be with us for at least a century, maybe two. Unlike past phases, this one won't just have bloody edges on the borders and internal power plays in Dar al-Salam, this will have skirmishes deep in Dar al-Harb. That is where we are.

How do we mitigate? A few things to start.
1. Profile and monitor those that fit it. Have the moral courage to do it, support it, and vote for those who do.
2. Zero tolerance for those who overstay their visa. Empower and require local and State law enforcement to actively find and detain those, from all nations, who overstay their visa. If they refuse, cut off all federal funds to that locality. We use that to make the drinking age 21 - I think this is a bit more important. If they are a sanctuary city, same thing - no federal funds until they change.
3. Halt all import of refugees from Muslim nations. Help relocate to other nations if we feel the need to - but it is not our job to take in tens to hundreds of thousands of additional potential threats. Look carefully at immigration as well. The present system that Teddy Kennedy gave us is do for a relook anyway.
4. Enforce the fracking border. This is a no brainer. I'm not going to say more. If you are so morally corrupt that you like open borders so you can import a dependent class that will vote to give you more control - I'll pray for you. If you have sold your soul to the Chamber of Commerce - then screw you.
5. Crushing penalties on anyone who gives a job to an illegal alien or someone who is here on a visa and is not allowed to work. See note about Chamber whores in #4.

There, a quick five that will help shrink the pool of the high-probability towards terror population. That way, we can have our police and security services concentrate on those who are here in smaller numbers - more likely to catch them before they strike.

Don't like #1-5, then please enlighten me on better ideas. I'm game.

A final note - when I was deployed ashore, I carried a personal weapon 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Six of those hours I wasn't carrying it, it was in the locker next to my rack. All military bases and especially easy to access recruiting stations in the USA are legitimate targets of the enemy. We need to accept that. We need to let our service members be armed when on duty. Not all perhaps ... but enough. 

If we won't do that, then we need to accept that we are putting our uniformed personnel out for slaughter as a lamb in the forest - all for our own political vanity and moral cowardice.

We could at least agree to Condition 4, couldn't we? 

This is the world as it is - not the world as we wish it to be.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Overhead in a Box

Here's something any Strike Group commander would love and every AO would get a bit grumpy about.

What's not to love.

I'm pondering over at USNIBlog. Stop by and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Iran? I'll Let Our Friend Chuck Give You Four Reasons

What LCS Was Supposed to Be?

Let's say a group of ship designers liked the original "streetfighter" idea, had a history of corvettes and small missile boats - but as most sane people do, just shook their head at the the US Navy's LCS and said, "Well, let's not do that?"

What would they come up with? Perhaps something like what Russia seems to have sketched out;
The vessel is expect to displace just 1,500 tons with a top speed of 35 knots.

Based on the various illustration available, it seems like this "Russian LCS" Trimaran could be fitted with:
A-192 130-mm main gun
UKSK VLS cells and/or Redut VLS cells
Paket-NK torpedoes
AK-630M-2 "Duet" CIWS
PK-10 decoy launchers

Furke radar
Mini-Poliment radar(from 20385)
"Zarya-2" Hull Sonar, "Vinietka" VDS
"Puma" 5P-10 artillery radar
Spot for helicopter Ka-27 type in underdeck hangar
1,500 tons with a 5.1" gun, torps, and multi-use VLS?

Yes, they learned their lessons well. They, like us, may make a dog's breakfast out of a good idea - but let's give them a chance to fail.

The Most Important Documentary You Won't (it seems) See

OK folks, I've tried to find where in the USA you can watch this - but I can't. Any ideas?
Next Wednesday (15 July), Channel 4 airs a documentary in its Dispatches slot so important it ought to rank with John Pilger’s exposés of Cambodia’s Killing Fields or even the footage of British troops liberating Belsen. Escape From Isis uses secret footage — filmed by extremely brave people who would have been killed if discovered — to show you in unsparing detail what it’s like behind the Black Flag curtain: everything from the small talk of Islamic State fighters as they jauntily discuss what they’re going to do with their Yazidi captives to the dull thump heavy rocks make as they hit the flesh of a woman being stoned to death by a group of religious zealots led by her own father. It’s ugly, it’s almost unbearable to watch and it’s essential viewing.
One of the questions most often asked about the Holocaust is: why didn’t the Allies do something to stop it sooner? I imagine the time will come when we give ourselves a similar beating-up over our inertia in dealing with Islamic State. (‘So the Prime Minister wrote to the BBC urging it to call them by a different name. And that was it?!’) 
I remember when the Prime Minister was trying, unsuccessfully, to co-ordinate military action against the Assad government, one of the things he urged MPs to do before they voted was to watch a film he’d seen showing the atrocities Assad’s supporters had committed. This, it struck me at the time, as it does even more so now, was an hysterical and irresponsible suggestion. Important decisions regarding military action should not be decided in a mood of heightened emotion. The same applies to this Dispatches documentary. 
It is not an argument for or against anything. It merely shows you what is. I’ve made it sound ghastly but what makes it bearable, uplifting even, is the extraordinary story it tells of the rescue operations that have brought at least some of these captured Yazidis back to the bosom of their tearful families. Watch and you will share their joy. This is TV at its most unmissable.

UPDATE: Kim let me know that it is also going to be shown on PBS tonight on FRONTLINE. Check your local listing. It is on 22:00 here.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Maritime Silk Road and its Neighbors

Though the term "Maritime Silk Road" is quasi-new, its use isn't. Sea Lines of Communication are what they have been since man first paddled his canoe out of a river and in to the open ocean.

What is different now, is that China is rich enough to start to project power - and as her economy has grown so has her dependency on the natural resourses from overseas - specifically Africa and the Middle East. In her drive to protect the path her resources take to get to markets, China is no different than we are.

Her SLOCs are not easy.

One interesting aspect of this has been China's effort to have more control over as much of the waterspace as possible on and athwart their SLOC - and the reaction of her neighbors to Chinas efforts.

In an article in Eurasia Review by Zhao Hong, a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, the author provides a nice primer as this relates to SE Asia.
... the South China Sea dispute is far from being resolved and could become an obstacle in the building of the Maritime Silk Road. For example, the prospect for joint development of maritime resources in the South China Sea has been under discussion since the early 1990s. Yet little progress has been made up. From the Southeast Asian perspectives, Beijing has not suggested that the ‘shelving’ of the territorial disputes and the promotion of joint development mean that their sovereign claims have become less strong or that joint development would lead to longer-term prospects for territorial compromises, as China had indicated that “Beijing would only concede to joint cooperative activities if the other claimants first acknowledge Chinese sovereignty over the South China Sea”. While China believes that domestic regime change and resource nationalism are the main factors for the failure of joint development,16 as in the case of the Philippines where it has been claimed that “a joint venture with China on equal terms would be a violation of the country’s constitution”.17 Hence, the claimant states have continued to argue over the sovereignty issue instead of temporarily shelving it to benefit the establishment of a joint development scheme.
...
The relationship between China and the US is one between a rising power and an established dominant power. Competition in Southeast Asia is inevitable although “the balance of interests in the region strongly favours China because the various diplomatic and territorial quarrels roiling East Asia are of much greater salience and concern to China than to the US”. While it has become difficult for the US to hold its primacy in the region, China cannot be a single power of domination in the region either. The two powers will have to develop a clearer mutual understanding and greater mutual acceptance, and work together to maintain a balance of power in the region to limit strategic rivalry.

ASEAN is at the centre of this big power relationship and has been able to establish platforms that could play a supplementary role in channelling the US-China relations in more predictable and constructive directions. American and Chinese interests do intersect in Southeast Asia, and ASEAN is a relatively neutral body friendly to both.31 Therefore, Southeast Asia can help determine whether China and the US can build a new model of big power relations, based on rules and dynamic changes of economic relations developed in the region.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Between the Ears Challenge, on Midrats



Are the growing feelings of crisis, confusion and strategic drift in the national security arena not so much the result of external challenges, but the result of poor thinking and intellectual habits on our part?

Using his article in The National Interest, “The Real Problem with the American Military” as a starting point, our guest for the full hour Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern will be Dakota L. Wood, LtCol USMC (Ret.), Senior Research Fellow on Defense Programs at The Heritage Foundation.

Dakota served two decades in the U.S. Marine Corps. Following retirement, Mr. Wood served as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Most recently, Mr. Wood served as the Strategist for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Special Operations Command.

Mr. Wood holds a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy; a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the College of Naval Command and Staff, U.S. Naval War College.

Join us live if you can with the usual suspects in the chat room and offer up your questions for our guest, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio

If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here.


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