Thursday, March 31, 2016

Diversity Thursday

As the vast majority of the Diversity Industry's intellectual foundation is based upon projected self-loathing - a large part of their efforts have been attacking the foundation and bindings of our nation; the ideas that came from The Enlightenment and the cornerstones of Western Civilization. Diversity bullies and their ilk hate themselves, and in their self-loathing hate that which defines them.

Defense of the ideals of The Enlightenment and Western Civilization is not simply an academic exercise. The USA is a republic of ideas. We are not bound by race, ethnicity, religious sect, and for a large part geography. As outlined in our Constitution, we have a structure to be bound by ideas and principals. 

These must always be the controlling factor in our civil existence, if not, the lower brain functions and worst parts of human nature will come to the front; race, ethnicity, religion, and regionalism. Those four horsemen of disintegration and bloodshed are what rise when multi-culturalism gains. Want to see the end result? Just look to the Balkans and Rwanda.

The war against what binds us together is trans-generational. The kids of the Progressive Era used the children of the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, as their foot soldiers. Gen X saw the fruits up close when they were in college in the 80s and 90s. Though advancing in some areas, the Diversity Industry has seen a few setbacks as the Boomers approach their dotage and Gen Y gets a footing - good news for all of us.

In a battle that was thought lost in the 1980s, there may be some fresh action that will work in favor of those of us who strive to preserved our republic of ideas from the agents of disunity who seek nothing more than to break us in to warring factions based on race, creed, color, or national origin.

Seeing this front opening up again should have all of us smile a bit today. Let's head on over to Ashley Thorne at NYPost;
In 1964, 15 of the 50 premier universities in America — including Stanford — required students to take a survey of Western civilization. All 50 offered the course, and nearly all of them (41) offered it as a way to satisfy some requirement.

But in the 1980s, minority students and faculty at Stanford asserted that requiring students to take the Western civ survey was implicitly racist. Jesse Jackson marched with an army of protesters chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Western culture’s got to go.”

In 1988, away it went. Stanford then began requiring a course on a non-Western culture. By 2010, none of the 50 top universities required Western civilization, and 34 didn’t even offer the course.

Stanford students want it back. And they don’t simply want to dust off a shelved syllabus.

The Review writers, led by editor-in-chief Harry Elliott, seek a new way to study old ideas. Students want to know the good — the legacies of reason, freedom and innovation. But they also want to know the bad — the skeletons of wars, slavery and the Holocaust.

They also recognize that we seek equal rights and individual choice because we have inherited Western ideas about freedom and human dignity.

Why study Western civilization? As these students argue in their manifesto, by knowing the West we can understand how knowledge has grown over time; how dictatorships rise and fall; how ideas we now presuppose took many years and much struggle to gain traction; and why these ideas matter. Without such knowledge, students will take the heritage of their civilization for granted and be unable, or unwilling, to defend it.
Of course, if forced, some would take a Western Civ course as an opportunity to attack it and ride their hobby horse around - that is OK; smart people will welcome and win that fight if it is in the open and fair. Like courses in critical thinking, understanding Western Civ will make our republic stronger;
The history of the West lays a foundation on which to build more specialized knowledge of art, literature, science, politics, philosophy and economics.

No matter what field students enter, they are well-served throughout their lives if they know how we got here. They can understand Donald Trump more clearly if they’ve read Machiavelli. They can see why it matters that Bernie Sanders is an intellectual descendent of Karl Marx.

They can recognize old arguments, learn from the mistakes of the past and apply what they’ve learned from this wider universe to our current age.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Rolling The Rock Up Ghar Mountain

There is a long but important article over at WaPo by Greg Jaffee that you need to read. It is mostly about the pending retirement of General Campbell, USA - but there is a lot more there, especially for those who spent the balance of their active duty time involved in this conflict;
Campbell had first come to Afghanistan in 2002 as a colonel when the mission was hunting down Osama bin Laden and Mohammad Omar, the Taliban leader. Soon his son, who was in elementary school during that first Afghanistan tour, will return for his third deployment in the country.

A lone, mud-walled compound clinging to the side of a mountain below caught Campbell’s eye.

“You wonder how they can live like that,” he said.

Sherman often had similar thoughts about the country where he had spent most of the past six years. “I always wish I could have a sense of perspective,” he said. “I wish I could have visited Kabul or Kandahar during the Taliban regime just to have a sense of what it was like.” He wanted to see Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s reign or Afghanistan during the brutal civil war of the 1990s.

He wished he could go back to Baraki Barak and try to piece together exactly what had happened. Why had a place that seemed so promising and received so much American attention and aid faltered? What had he missed?

“The war doesn’t end, and that’s why I am conflicted leaving,” Sherman said. “There’s still so much to do, and there’s still so much more that I don’t know. I don’t know a smidgen of this country. Do I know a lot of Afghans? Absolutely. But in my mind what I don’t know is the same as when I first got here.”
I was a mid-range LCDR deployed to the 5th Fleet AOR when 911 went down, and had a bit part in the initial invasion of Afghanistan through the end of the year. I had a child just a few months old. Eight years later, I ended the last year of my active duty career on the deck in that sad nation. I've been off active duty for over half a decade, and that child is now driving me around with her learner's permit.

The war goes on. I'm still trying to figure out this corner of it.

Read the whole thing to get a feeling of where Matt Sherman is as well. I think he's got it right; simplicity.

Hat tip Andrew.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Wages of Decades of European Delusion

There is a nuance to the attack on Brussels last week that is already well understood by long-time readers of CDRSalamander. Yes, on the whole the most recent attack in Europe was a well-executed tactical operation by the enemy in the course of The Long War.

Brussels, as the HQ of the EU and NATO is the premier target in Europe along with Paris and London, closely followed by Rome and Berlin. The backstory to the attack in question; this was an inside job. That is the nuance.

The attackers were not part of wave of million+ military aged males from radicalized Islamic nations that crashed over the borders of Europe in the last two years. No, these were native born Belgians, the end result of decades of wrongheaded national policies that had no historical record of success. Just the opposite, all of written history showed where polities being supported in Belgium would lead, but history was ignored in the arrogance of the now.

Over at TheNewYorkPost, Amir Teheri does an outstanding job filling in the caps of why this latest attack was very much part of The Long War, with some distinct local characteristics;
What happened in Brussels was a co-production by adepts of two sick ideologies.

The first one is Islamism in its many versions, including Khomeinism in Iran, Talibanism in Afghanistan, Salafism in Arab countries, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and ISIS and its offshoots across the globe. It will remain firmly in place until it implodes under the weight of its savage contradictions, as did the old Soviet Union, or is defeated in a war as was the case with Nazi Germany and imperialist Japan.

The other co-producer, the mushy and politically correct “liberal” ideology that has seduced segments of opinion in Western democracies, can and must be combated by all those who wish to protect the democratic system in an increasingly dangerous world.

Since most factories were located in the Walloons’ area, the owners were careful to import workers from French-speaking lands which, at the time, made French-controlled North Africa an attractive source of labor. The Walloons also had a low birth rate, while the Flemish had large families. One source of concern for French speakers was the capital Brussels, with its 19 districts divided across linguistic lines. The Walloons feared that their depopulated districts would be repopulated by Dutch-speakers. They offered rent-free or subsidized housing to immigrants from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia who knew no Flemish but could plod along in kitchen French.

By the 1990s, most of the factories had disappeared, but the immigrants remained. By then Islam was Belgium’s second-largest religion, now accounting for over 700,000 people or 6.2% of the population. Of these, almost half live in Brussels, counting for 28% of the total population of the city, and guarding the demographically declining districts from “falling” to the Flemish.
...
The Belgian multiculturalist elites, making a fetish of the concept of “otherness” corrected that lacuna by financing courses in Islam, encouraging the building of mosques and Koranic schools and even subsidizing pilgrimages to Mecca. The welfare industry also had an interest in protecting the “otherness” of the immigrant community where unemployment was rising, reaching over 40% by the end of the 1990s. In some cases, four generations of a family could be found on the welfare register in the context of their cherished “otherness.”

Radical Islamists of all ilks were welcomed to market their ideological wares.

In 1993 when France and most other Western nations banned the Algerian terrorist groups, Belgium welcomed them with open arms. For example, the so-called Islamic Armed Group (GIA), responsible for tens of thousands of killings in Algeria, maintained an office and published a magazine in Molenbeek, while the Islamic Liberation Party (Hizb al-Tahrir) which campaigns for the revival of the caliphate, transferred its leadership to Belgium.
...
The Belgian multiculturalist elite, helped by political allies in France and Germany, also secured European Union subsidies for Islamist propaganda in the shape of seminars and conferences and, ultimately, the creation of a European Fatwa Council headed by the Muslim Brotherhood televangelist Sheikh Yussef al-Qaradawi.
...
After the 9/11 al Qaeda attacks against the United States, Belgium, though member of the North Atlantic Treaty organization (NATO) and host to its headquarters, kept a low profile when the allies acted against the Taliban to dismantle terrorists bases in Afghanistan. In the US-led liberation of Iraq that followed in 2003, Belgium joined France’s President Jacques Chirac in denouncing “George W Bush’s illegal war.”

So open, so accommodating, not unlike the evil US or Britain. Belgium was sure it wasn’t a target for jihadists.
...
They even wrote to the king of Belgium inviting him and his family to convert to Islam as soon as possible.
Petty domestic identity based political concerns by a small but active political party, throw in some fluffy useful idiots from the multiculturalism cult, and there you go.
... the European Union’s foreign policy representative, the Italian Federica Mogherini, happened to be on an official visit to Amman, the Jordanian capital.

Fighting back tears, she cut short a news conference saying: “It’s a very sad day for Europe, as Europe and its capital are suffering the same pain that the Middle East has known and knows every single day, be it in Syria, be it elsewhere.”

She then mused about the role that Islam may have played in the tragedy, dismissing “the idea of a clash between Islam and the West.”

“Islam,” she said, “holds a place in our Western societies. Islam belongs to Europe…I am not afraid to say that political Islam should be part of the picture.”

Mogherini’s statement offers an insight into the mentality that has helped produce the situation in Western European societies, where fear is woven into the fabric of daily life. It is a world of illusions and false identities.
...
Brussels is the result of this thinking. It’s what happens when immigrants are allowed to construct their own state within a state, not pushed to become part of a nation.

In a sense, Mogherini is right. Islam in its most violent form is already part of Europe just as much as a cancer belongs to the body it attacks.

Mogherini’s crocodile tears remind one of the German Nazi anthropologists Sigrid Hunke, another grand lady of misguided European Islamophilia. In her book “Allah’s Sun Shines Over the West,” Hunke claims that Islam, not Judeo-Christianism, created modern Europe by shaping the Andalusian model and must at some point return to resume its work. Well, may be the prodigal son has returned, invited back by Europe’s multiculturalist elites.
Mogherini and the Belgian left, specifically the Walloon Parti Socialiste, are almost cartoonish weak-horse representations of may be a terminal illness of the EuroLeft - and even significant portions of the American Left; a personal self-loathing projected to a national cultural scale. Like a pretty girl who doesn't believe that she is pretty and deserving of being respected who makes herself unattractive, hurts herself, and then partners with lovers who abuse and debase her because she thinks she is somehow deserving of it.

Yes, it is a mental disorder.

The next question is; will the Belgian people hold their government accountable? Can they? As we outlined during the 2007 Belgian crisis, the entire nation can be held up by less than 25% of the nation's voters - specifically in this area by the Walloon Parti Socialiste. This sub-plot in the general European disaggregation in the face of waxing Islamism will only get worse.

Watch this space.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Fullbore Friday

Can you get a FbF for just surviving?

In this case? I think you'll agree, "Sure."

Via the The RAF Museum;
... Alkemade’s crew were detailed to raid Berlin on the night of 24/25 March 1944. One of 811 aircraft destined to attack the German capital, Alkemade’s aircraft, DS664, a Lancaster II coded A4-K and christened Werewolf by its crew, took off from RAF Witchford, Cambridgeshire at 18:48 and set course for Berlin.

Werewolf carried her seven crew members to Berlin on time and as planned, but the return journey was to be a different story. An unusually strong north wind blew many of the returning aircraft far to the south of their intended track and Werewolf was pushed towards the Ruhr with its heavy concentration of anti-aircraft defences.

Shortly before midnight on 24 March, a Junkers Ju 88 night-fighter flown by Oberleutnant Heinz Rökker of Nachtjagdgeschwader 2, intercepted Werewolf and attacked from beneath with cannon and machine-guns. Werewolf’s starboard wing and fuselage were shredded and erupted into flames which streamed back beyond Alkemade’s rear turret, the Perspex glazing from which had also been completely blown-out, exposing him to the frigid night air. The fight was not totally one-sided, Alkemade managing to get off a burst at the enemy with his four machine-guns, though reports of damage to Werewolf’s sailant proved wide of the mark.

The brief combat had mortally wounded Werewolf, and before long FS James Arthur Newman, Werewolf’s pilot, ordered the crew to take to their parachutes. A Lancaster’s rear turret was too cramped for the gunner to wear a parachute. Instead it was stored in a canister in the rear fuselage, to be clipped-on to a chest harness when needed.

Centring his turret and opening the doors, Alkemade was greeted by a vision of hell. His parachute was already well alight and the fierce flames seared his exposed face and wrists. His rubber oxygen mask, clamped tight over his mouth and nose began to melt.

The immense heat forced Alkemade to close the turret doors again. He was trapped. Falling through the sky in a burning and abandoned aircraft. 3½ miles above enemy territory. And it was about to get worse. The conflagration devouring the aircraft now breached the rear doors and set the turret’s hydraulic fluid alight. The liquid-fuelled flames spread to Alkemade’s clothing. What could have been going through his mind? I’ll let him tell you: “

I had the choice of staying with the aircraft or jumping out. If I stayed I would be burned to death – my clothes were already well alight and my face and hands burnt, though at the time I scarcely noticed the pain owing to my high state of excitement...I decided to jump and end it all as quick and clean as I could. I rotated the turret to starboard, and, not even bothering to take off my helmet and intercom, did a back flip out into the night. It was very quiet, the only sound being the drumming of aircraft engines in the distance, and no sensation of falling at all. I felt suspended in space. Regrets at not getting home were my chief thoughts, and I did think once that it didn’t seem very strange to be going to die in a few seconds – none of the parade of my past or anything else like that.”

Falling head-first, looking back towards the stars twinkling in the night sky, FS Alkemade, serenity itself, hurtled towards the ground at 120 mph. At some point in the descent, Alkemade lost consciousness, possibly his body’s reaction to the pain where the flames had licked around his skin. Above him, Werewolf exploded.

Three hours later, Alkemade opened his eyes. He was lying on snowy ground in a small pine wood. Above him the stars were still visible, only this time they were framed by the edges of the hole he had smashed through the tree canopy. Assessing himself, Alkemade found that he was remarkably intact. In addition to the burns and cuts to the head and thigh, all received in the aircraft, he was suffering only bruising and a twisted knee. Not a single bone had been broken or even fractured. Both of his flying boots had disappeared, probably torn from his feet as he unconsciously struck the tree branches. Being of no further use, Alkemade discarded his parachute harness in the snow.
Of course, you need to read it all.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Diversity Thursday



Of course, the Commissars must be provided a self-confession for your lack of full support for The Party;
Marines across the Corps will be challenged on their unconscious prejudices and presuppositions as women get the opportunity to become grunts for the first time.
The Marine Corps is rolling out mandatory training for all Marines before the first future female rifleman hits boot camp, aiming to set conditions for a smooth transition and head off cultural resistance.

Mobile training teams will be dispatched to installations across the Corps throughout May and June to offer a two-day seminar to majors and lieutenant colonels, Col. Anne Weinberg, deputy director of the Marine Corps Force Innovation Office, told reporters Thursday. Those officers will then train the Marines under them.

Topics include unconscious bias, which focuses on how people prejudge others based on factors such as race and gender, and principles of institutional change. The seminar will also walk officers through the elements of the Corps' plan for opening ground combat jobs to women and include vignettes featuring challenges units might encounter.
Good people can disagree on the use and utility of this "training," but for me the problem isn't the petty and childish "I'm going to punish the Marines for making me look bad last year" vibe to it all - I've come to expect nothing less - no, it is the form of the training. There are ways to get the message out, but this isn't training; this is indoctrination.

As we have documented here over the years, the Diversity Industry is full of not just rent-seeking sectarian bigots, but also full of Cultural Marxist ideas that cannot survive long off the government teat or outside the faculty lounge terrarium.

"Unconscious Bias" is one of those logic traps the Diversity Industry uses to keep the paychecks running. It asks someone to prove a negative, which you students of logic know, is impossible.
You see, you have biases regardless of what you say or do. No, we can't prove it, but any audit we make of your words and actions, we can show that it is there. You see, we have metrics. Differences in metrics can only be a result from, at your core, that you are a racist, sexist, homophobe who can only be prevented from bringing back Jim Crow, putting all women in the kitchen making sandwiches, and pushing homosexuals off the tallest building by your organization hiring us as speakers or consultants to return over and over to accuse you of your bigotry. 
You're welcome.
We now have "unconscious bias" inside the lifelines, and in case you have not seen it yet, we also have "micro-aggression" and "safe spaces" inside the lifelines as well. This is happening because in this area at least, the Diversity Bullies we hire and promote are succeeding. 

No one effectively opposes them because they are scared that they will be denounced as being a sexist, racist, bigot, etc. Our senior leadership has invited them in. They are here, and they want control. Their job will never be done - there are jobs to justify and hate to feed.

These intellectual fascists are making a living out of fear and intimidation, and by using them and their cancerous philosophy, we are hurting the cause of bringing everyone in uniform together. This is no way to bring people together. Threats and intimidation and the squashing of open, fair, calm and intellectual debate is not an activity of a healthy culture.

Then again, that isn't the goal here. Not at all.

What can you do on your end? Calmly, respectfully, and professionally challenge their assumptions. Make them prove that anyone here is biased. Have them prove that their services are needed. Challenge them on their open questioning of your honor and how you treat your fellow Marines and Sailors.

Make no mistake, by sitting there quiet and submissive to their insults, you are agreeing with their premise.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Age of Decadence?

Here's something Mrs. Salamander and I have talked about a few times over the last half-decade

With one Wee Salamander in college and the other in high school, I think back to when I was there in the 1980s. There really isn't all much difference between the decades. Some things have improved, some as gotten worse, but on balance - fairly close.

Then I think back to when my parents were in high school and college in the 1950s, and they were in the 1980s where I am now. 

What a HUGE difference between 1955 and 1985. Different worlds. 

In that respect, we are in perhaps a better place. Our kids, maybe not, but from a parenting point of view - and the ability to at least get a view of our kids' culture - sure. I take that as a plus. 

Oops.

This constancy may not be a good thing, at least from this perspective.
And then there’s pop culture itself. In the original Back to the Future, Marty McFly invaded his father’s sleep dressed as “Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan.” Thirty years later, the biggest blockbuster of 2015 was about . . . Darth Vader’s grandchildren. It is directed by a filmmaker who’s coming off rebooting . . . Star Trek. And the wider cinematic landscape is defined by . . . the recycling of comic-book properties developed between the 1940s and the 1970s.

Even fashion shows a similar repetition, as Kurt Anderson pointed out in Vanity Fair several years ago: Not long ago
. . . I came across an archival photograph of Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell with a dozen of their young staff at Morgans, the Ur-boutique hotel, in 1985. It was an epiphany. Schrager’s dress shirt had no collar and some of the hair on his male employees was a bit unfashionably fluffy, but no one in the picture looks obviously, laughably dated by today’s standards. . . . Yet if, in 1990 or 1980 or 1970, you’d examined a comparable picture from 27 years earlier — from 1963 and 1953 and 1943, respectively — it would be a glimpse back into an unmistakably different world.
Global politics since the Cold War feels stagnant as well.

We might have expected that by now we’d be locked in a race with China or Japan to colonize Mars — if, that is, we weren’t recovering from the Eugenics Wars that the original Star Trek expected to arrive sometime in the 1990s. Instead, we’re dealing with issues (from an aggressive Russia to, yes, Libyan-linked terrorist groups) that Marty and “Doc” Brown would recognize immediately. (Though in fairness, we do make movies about colonizing Mars, and the special effects are excellent.)

The word for this kind of civilizational situation is “decadence.” Not the decadence of pure debauchery — there’s some of that available today, but public morals in the West probably hit bottom in the 1970s, not in our own era of stagnation.

Rather it’s decadence as defined by Jacques Barzun: All that is meant by Decadence is “falling off.”
. . . The forms of art as of life seem exhausted, the stages of development have been run through. Institutions function painfully. Repetition and frustration are the intolerable result.
Barzun wrote these words in the late 1990s; today it’s hard to imagine a better distillation of our situation. And pace the doomsayers, decadent periods need not give way swiftly to declines and falls: They can last — especially in a society protected by oceans from the mass migrations presently yanking a decadent Europe back into history — for generations, until some external threat or internal revival finally ushers in a different, more dynamic age.

Which suggests an irony for Western and particularly for American conservatives. In a less decadent era, our forefathers hoped to stop the march of history, to redirect its rushing course. In our era, history seems to have slowed to a depressing, repetitious crawl, and it might be our mission to start it moving once again.
Still waiting for my hoverboard.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Strange Tango in the South Atlantic

Now and then you see something unusual pop up that you don’t usually see. One bump up from the ambient noise is just a random bit that can be dismissed, another bump – and it is time to zoom in, adjust your resolution and time-constant. 

When you have some secondary broadband noise in the background – you have to take a moment to investigate further.

Argentina and China seem to have a strange dance going on. SOUTHCOM J2, call your office.

The lawless ocean filled with illegal Chinese fishermen strip-mining fishing stocks? Check.
Argentina's navy announced Tuesday that it used gunfire to sink a Chinese-flagged boat that was fishing illegally in national waters.

China's government said it expressed its serious concern to Argentina and called for an investigation

The navy statement said the boat was intercepted Monday off the coast of Puerto Madryn, about 907 miles (1,460 kilometers) south of Buenos Aires.

The statement said the boat did not heed warning calls and instead tried to ram an Argentine naval vessel. Sailors then shot holes in different parts of the fishing boat, causing it to sink, the navy said.

Four people on board were rescued and arrested. They remained in custody and were to go before a federal judge in southern Chubut province, the statement said.
China’s expansion in to space and moving in to global dark areas you wouldn’t expect? Check.
A secret Chinese 'space station' built deep in Argentina's Patagonia region could be finished by the end of the year.
Four years ago leaders from the two countries worked on a deal to build the 'Deep Space Station'.
The counties have talked about a 'ground station in the Southern Hemisphere' to support the program for 'moon exploration and other space activities'
But there are concerns the base will have a more military focus than one of space exploration.
Not sure what if anything these have to do with each other – but it is worth watching and perhaps sending out for detailed analysis.

China, Argentina and the Week of the Weird, OK.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fullbore Friday


What does it take to get a Navy Cross - in WWII? And what, my not so gentle readers, do you think when someone tells you, "We don't train for that because that will never happen. We have Sailors, not Marines. That isn't IAW the CONOPS anyway, and with technology - well, your scenario is just stilly."

Ahem. Tell that to the men of the USS BUCKLEY (DE-51) and U-66.
On 6 May 1944, USS Buckley DE 51 engaged U-66 in an Epic Battle that included hand-to-hand combat.

0322 - Range 500 yards. The gun flashes were blinding and deafening, an earsplitting roar. The blasts of the 3", 40mm and 20mm blended into something unreal, as though all the demons of hell had been released simultaneously. Above the roar, the shouts of gun captains exhorted their crews to load and reload ever faster and faster. Blood was drawn. The quarry was at bay. The hunter was out to kill and to keep from being killed. The U-66 was buried under a hail of withering point blank fire.

0328 - The u-boat was 20 yards to starboard, zigzagging violently at 19 knots. Skipper Abel had to make a decision, one that could cost him his ship, his crew, his life. The U-boat was badly hurt. Buckley might have stood off and pounded it to bits. But, supposing the sub did aim a torpedo into Buckley and get away to be repaired and fight again? Buckley was expendable; transatlantic shipping was not. A DE captain had to know what to do at a time of decision. He decided to ram the U-boat!

0329 - "Right full rudder!"
Hundreds of tons of steel clashed, twisted and ripped as Buckley rode up on the foc's'l of U-66!

Then there occurred one of the most remarkable incidents of the Atlantic War as attributable to an extraordinary courage on the part of the enemy as to the valor of the Buckley crew. Men began swarming out of the conning tower and forward hatch of the submarine and up onto the foc's'l of Buckley. Because the sub was now below the maximum depression of the DE's guns, a bitter fight had suddenly become man-to-man for the possession of Buckley!

The Buckley crew rallied quickly and found their enemy with objects, fists and guns. Still the enemy persisted in boarding. Captain Abel had to make another decision. Engines were reversed as Buckley backed away from the sub. "All engines ahead full!" Guns crews returned to their stations pouring a living hell of fire into U-66. Alongside the U-boat to starboard, range 25 yards, Captain Abel fully intended to ram again, but he didn't. The sub rammed the DE! U-66 veered sharply to port and struck under the after engine room of Buckley. The shaft and propeller were sheared clean off. The Buckley's deck crew could look right into the conning tower which as a flaming shambles.

With a twisting, scraping and groaning of steel plates, the sub drew aft and cleared under Buckley's stern. She popped up right under number three 3" guns which scored three hits on the conning tower.

U-66 rode under the sea to her end.

For the next three hours, Buckley steamed about the area and recovered thirty-six prisoners, including four officers.

Miraculously, there were no casualties on board the Buckley. With her starboard shaft gone, flooded compartments and widespread damage, Buckley proceeded to the New York Navy Shipyard, a trip which she made on her port screw without incident.
And the Navy Cross citation for their CO, LCDR BRENT MAXWELL ABEL, USNR.
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Brent Maxwell Abel, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer Escort U.S.S. BUCKLEY (DE-51), in offensive action against a German submarine during while patrolling the Atlantic Coast on the early morning of 6 May 1944. Lieutenant Commander Abel expertly directed his command and made an undetected, high-speed approach in bright moonlight to a surfaced German U-boat. With skilled seamanship, he silenced its guns within four minutes after contact, despite a heavy barrage of enemy torpedo and automatic weapon fire. Narrowly escaping another torpedo, he then closed on the wildly maneuvering submarine, raked it with all available fire and rammed, with the enemy attempting to board the vessel in retaliation. Withstanding the desperate attacks of the enemy ship, which tried to ram after the combatants became disengaged, he persistently held to his target until the submarine, with its conning tower shattered and burning fiercely, all hatches open, abandoned by its crew and completely out of control, disappeared beneath the surface of the water and exploded. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States.
A good blow-by-blow account can be found here - one with a line that would make LT Black walk funny for a week.
"Hard right rudder!" he roared. "Pass the word to stand by for ram!"

Buckley heeled. Abel shot a glance at the exec.

"Okay, break out the small arms - let's go!"
In a day where the national "elite" hide from service like cockroaches from the light, you know what Buckley did before the war? He was a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law and left his practice at the outbreak of WWII. Skipper Abel passed away the day before Christmas, 2006. Cheers Shipmate.



Hat tip Perry.

This FbF was first run Jan 08.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Rewarding Success

Can I put something out about LCS without commentary?

I'll try - it is all embedded methinks.

Shot;
Fairbanks Morse Engine (FME) announced it has been named the 2015 Lockheed Martin Missions Systems and Training Supplier of the year for Ship and Aviation Systems during its annual Supplier Summit, held in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. on March 10, 2016.

The award honors FME for its product delivery and performance, technical support, and commitment to affordability, the company said. As an industry partner to Lockheed Martin, FME said it is committed to a strong and ongoing focus in the areas of continuous improvement and cost competitiveness to provide the solutions necessary to meet the U.S. Navy’s needs in support of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program.

“Receiving this award from Lockheed Martin is a great honor for Fairbanks Morse Engine. The name of the class is Freedom and as we think about our relationship with Lockheed Martin and the LCS program, we think about it as it relates to freedom. We believe everyone has an absolute right to freedom and this program supports that,” said Marvin Riley, president of Fairbanks Morse Engine.
Chaser;
Rear Adm. John Neagley helped write the requirements for the controversial Littoral Combat Ship some 13 years ago. Now Neagley, who’ll pin on his second star, is returning to LCS as Program Executive Officer at a particularly troubled time.
...
Neagley brings extensive experience in both the operational fleet and the LCS program to the job. After joining the Navy headquarters staff (OPNAV) in 2003, Neagley became lead requirements officer for LCS, overseeing the official performance objectives that drove the much-debated design: its jaw-dropping but gas-guzzling speed, its fast but fragile hull, and its light armament. In 2005, he moved over to the procurement side and became principal assistant program manager for LCS, focusing on the unglamorous but essential work of sustainment.
...
“John Neagley has a lot of experience with LCS,” one retired Navy officer told me. “While experience is generally a good thing, this also means he was involved in decisions that resulted in LCS having an incomplete capability analysis at the start, and, until the last couple of years, a poorly defined operational concept and unstable requirements.”

Diversity Thursday


I'm not sure what I find the most gobsmackingly funny, the kind of cadence lyrics that will be invented, the SAPR trivia questions, or the open discrimination against all male UIC.

Fresh h311? I've got your fresh h311 hang'n.
-----Original Message-----
From: [redacted], Samantha M EN1(EXW) SWOS ENG LS SAN DIEGO, N77
Sent: [redacted]
To: [redacted]
Subject: 2nd Annual SAPR Cup

Good Afternoon SWOS,

April is the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, one of the events is the SAPR Cup on Naval Base San Diego April 8th at 8am. The events include: Cadence Contest, 30 Yard Tire Flip Relay, 1 Mile Race, 4x100yd Relay, Push-Ups/Sit-Ups, Pull-Ups, Tug-o-War, and a round of SAPR trivia. The SWOS SAPR Team is looking to build a team to take first Place this year. Attached is the flyer and Sign-up sheet. I fliers will be posted on the 2nd and third deck of 3280 and 3533 as well as at the quarterdeck of the firehouse. The last day to sign up is March 30th when I collect the sheets. Let's get our name out there and win the cup! Have a great Day!


Very Respectfully,

EN1 (EXW) Samantha M. [redacted]
LCS DEPARTMENT
SAPR UVA
CFC REPRESENTATIVE
POA TREASURER
SURFACE WARFARE OFFICERS SCHOOL LEARNING SITE SAN DIEGO
3975 NORMAN SCOTT RD. STE1
BLDG 3280B, RM [redacted]
SAN DIEGO, CA 92136
CELL: 619-495-[redacted]

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Your 2nd Amendment Moment of the Day

Just so you know why the founders of this nation put the 2nd Amendment where it was (regardless of the States decided during the Progressive Era to stop actively keeping militia districts, the people still have a right, for now).

Sure, because of the blood, sweat and tears of the generations that came before us has left us protected and soft - others know why. Oh, they know;
“Shortly after ISIS’s arrival,” she continued, “they rounded up all the Sunnis who had ever served in the army, police or worked with the government and beheaded them. Anyone who stands against them are executed. They didn’t even try to convince any of us their way was superior or that their way of Islam was better for us. They just treated us like animals.” She also told me that there is widespread hunger and starvation among the entire population in and around Mosul. In recent months she had gone from weighing 140 pounds to only one hundred—and she looked as thin and frail as you would expect.

When I asked why, with such barbaric treatment, the Sunnis had not risen against ISIS in revolt, she was very animated in her response. “When the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] was in charge, they wouldn’t let civilians have guns. They took them all from us. When Daesh [an Arabic name for ISIS] came, they got all the heavy weapons and ammunition left behind by the Iraqi army. We had no means to fight them. We were powerless.” When I asked her if she’d rather have the Shia-dominated army in charge of the city instead of ISIS, she hesitated.

“I don’t like the Shia,” Mayam began. “Neither do I want ISIS. All we want is to live in peace. We don’t want any more war.” Indicating just how sick of war she and her family had become, she said, “right now we are all deeply traumatized by what ISIS has done to us. In the past when we had heard bombs or fighting, we would run from it to be safe. Now if we hear the sounds of battle, in hopes it is the Iraqi Army coming to liberate us we will run to it, even at the risk of being killed in crossfire. Right now,” she said in resignation, “I would support the [Shia-dominated] Iraqi Army against ISIS.”
A people unable to defend themselves become either dead or brutalized. The brutalized living become traumatized. The traumatized will sell themselves in to slavery to the strong for peace.

On all sides there is tyranny. For no one there is liberty.

What can you do in 2.5 years?

If you're using the Navy's investigative talents as a benchmark, you can probably relax.

I'm discussing over at USNIBlog. 

Come visit and hear the details.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

If you like that PB-17 line relative to PB-16, then ...

Syndey J. Freedberg, Jr over at BreakingDefense has a little something for everyone about LCS and the shipcount going forward.
Last year’s 30-year plan projected the Navy would meet or exceed its goal of 308 “battle force” ships in twelve years (2022-231 and 2035-2036), peaking at 321 ships — which Carter called excessive — in 2028. By contrast, and entirely as a result of the LCS cut, this year’s projection is that the Navy will fulfill the 308-ship requirement in only eight years, 2021-2028, peaking at 311 vessels — just three ships above the goal.

What’s more, Navy leaders have more than hinted that 308 is not enough and their ongoing Fleet Structure Assessment — the first full review since 2012 — will raise the requirement to reflect the increased threat from China, Russia, and the Islamic State. If the goal goes up as little as four ships, to 312, the current 30-year plan will never meet it.

Let's make a few assumptions, but start here; this is your high-water mark.

Planning Assumption (PA)-1: There will be no expansion of conflict on the globe beyond existing conflicts.
PA-2: Budget pressure post-election will be negative towards defense.
PA-3: Domestic economy will at best soften, or hit mild-recession NLT 4QCY18.
PA-4: Russian budgets will decline until oil prices get north of $74 bbl again.
PA-5: Chinese budgets will moderate as softening economy will drive a more inward focus.
PA-6: There will be no growing political constituency for greater defense spending.

PA-3 & 5 are the weakest, but the others are solid, subject to radical change beyond out control. The pressure on the budget will remain and will expand - talk to your local economist over drinks, just mind the bar tab.

Those with a numbers focus vice a capabilities focus get the vapors on this graph - I happen to like the tradeoffs. Trading a lot of something you have much of that does nothing, for a lesser number of things you are short of that does a lot is - by any measure - the right call.


Read the whole thing
. While you do, look at the outyears and what happens to the ratio of capable large ships to less capable Little Crappy Ships.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Stoned on Joint

We should always strive to be a learning institution. It would be even better if we were a learning institution that had a better memory.

Is this Step-1 of a 12 step program; acknowledge the problem?
“I’m not saying they’re bad. I’m not saying they’re good. I’m just saying they’re hard,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said Thursday. “You ought to think really hard about what you really need out of the sixth-generation fighter and how much overlap is there between what the Navy and the Air Force really need.”

When the F-35 was conceived in the 1990s, the goal was to buy a common plane for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and even America’s allies. The Air Force version would fly from traditional runways, the Navy version would operate from aircraft carriers, and the Marine version would be built to take off from short runways and land vertically. The goal was to have all three have 70 percent of their parts in common, which was meant to save billions of dollars in development and logistics costs.

But engineering changes have produced three variants that have only 20 percent of their parts in common, Bogdan said at a conference sponsored by McAleese and Associates and Credit Suisse.
From day one, people warned that the F-35 as a joint program was not going to work, that it would make the F-111 program look like a success.

Of course, they were right. There are successful joint programs, C-130, F-4, A-1, OV-10, etc - but they did not start out that way. Other services just adopted what another built.

The F-35 is what many critics warned it would be - an over-compromised aircraft that won't make anyone happy. Not only does it suffer from compounding technology risk from trying to do everything and be everything to everyone. It never works, and it won't work.

Classic example, despite all our combat experience of the last century, we have build the Navy and USMC version without an internal gun. All done because of weight issues. Amazing.

Though initial moves towards FA-XX were heading in the right directions, the DC crowd with a unblemished record of failure is trying to bend the program. From Mabus's fantasy unmanned concept to the Lucy vs Charlie Brown "Joint" thinking, we are in danger of building and flying FA-18 in to the 22nd Century.

As we continue to move forward with this, I beg, I beg on my knees that we go with an evolutionary product, we ignore the PPT sirens call for the revolutionary, we produce the possible and good as opposed to have to cancel the perfect future-imperfect.

We are on the edge of making the right call, or repeating the same mistakes;
Asked Thursday whether the Navy would work with the Air Force to buy a new sixth-generation aircraft, Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said, “It’s really too early to make a conclusive statement in that regard.”

Richardson said the two services, which are already discussing the key capabilities of a fighter that might first see combat in the 2030s, will keep talking with one another.

“Even in the early stages, [the Navy is] committed to working with the Air Force on that so that we kind of learn from each other as effectively as we can,” the admiral said at the conference.
...
In the meantime, defense firms have been pitching concepts of their own for nearly a decade: planes armed with lasers, special engines that don’t give off heat, and more. Now if they can just come up with a way to help keep the program itself on track.
Just say "No." Wish the USAF well, but go our own way. Let them create the unaffordable with lasers and no-heat engines that might fly by 2045 - but lets move forward on something that we can afford more than one squadron of and start production in 2020. Something that actually meets the needs of the Fleet and Marines ashore.

We fought WWII in less time, we can do this.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Building a Navy in Peace That Wins at War with CAPT C.C. Felker, USN - on Midrats

The wartime record of the US Navy in under four years of combat from late 1941’s low point to the September 1945 anchoring in Tokyo Bay did not happen by chance. It did not happen through luck, or through quick thinking. It happened through a process of dedicated, deliberate, disciplined and driven effort over two decades in the intra-war period.

What were the mindset, process, leadership, and framework of the 1920s and 1930s that was used to build the fleet and the concepts that brought it to victory in the 1940s?

This week we are going to dive deep in this subject for the full hour Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern with Captain C.C. Felker, USN, Professor of History at the US Naval Academy and author of, Testing American Sea Power: U.S. Navy Strategic Exercises, 1923–1940.

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 or Stitcher

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.



Friday, March 11, 2016

Fullbore Friday


A battle that wasn't, and a warship that did not find her way to war - but a lesson none-the-less. I present to you HMCS Rainbow, the one of the first two ships of the Canadian Navy.

Her story reminds me of those who think that because their ship is not manned, armed, trained, or designed for a mission - that for some reason in war they will be given a pass. "They won't deploy a CVN that close to shore....we won't go without air superiority...there is no threat there...other units can do that...the 1,000 ship Navy concept addresses that..." and so on.

No, when the call comes - you get underway - as the crew of the RAINBOW did.
At 8:55 p.m. on the 4th of August, 1914, a telegram was received from Westminster announcing that war had been declared against Germany. ... HMCS RAINBOW was already at sea, and was therefore the first ship of the RCN to be at sea as a belligerent.

Rainbow’s fearless captain, Commander Walter Hose, understood the crucial importance of setting the right tone early on. Much, therefore, hung in the balance when Rainbow headed south in search of von Spee’s cruisers on Aug. 4, 1914. The German Asiatic Squadron represented a formidable challenge: Two modern armoured cruisers, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, and four modern light cruisers, Dresden, Emden, Leipzig and Nurnberg. The two big ships carried 8.2-inch and 6-inch guns, and their gunnery was renowned as the best in the German fleet. Their armour was impenetrable to Rainbow’s guns at anything beyond point-blank range. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were also faster, by nearly four knots (23 versus 19.75): They could eat Rainbow for breakfast. The light cruisers were more of a match, but the German ships were newer and four knots faster, too, while their modern 4.1-inch guns had a longer range than Rainbow’s aging 6-inch. In fair weather, any one of them could stand off and beat Rainbow into submission without being hit. By late July 1914, this powerful German force was largely dispersed, with Leipzig and Nurnberg exchanging places off Mexico as part of an international force protecting foreign interests during the Mexican civil war. The British had few ships in the Pacific, and these were scattered across a quarter of the earth’s surface. The great uncertainty facing von Spee was the intent of Britain’s Pacific ally Japan. Her powerful fleet made the western Pacific untenable, while the heavy cruiser Idzumo was with the international fleet off Mexico and had to be watched carefully. Also off Mexico were two aging British sloops, Algerine and Shearwater, each of about 1,000 tons and utterly defenceless. The only British warship in the whole eastern basin of the Pacific Ocean was little Rainbow. Rainbow was ordered to prepare herself for war, while a group of British Columbia businessmen opened negotiations with a Seattle shipyard for the purchase of two submarines being built for Chile. Hose soon had Rainbow ready for sea, but high explosive shells for her guns were not expected to arrive from Halifax until Aug. 6 because the railway refused to handle the explosives. So Hose drew antiquated shells filled with black powder (modern shells used cordite) from old stores in Esquimalt, filled out his crew from local volunteer “reservists” (an amateur group of naval enthusiasts who had no official standing) and declared his ship ready. On the afternoon of Aug. 2, the British requested that “Rainbow should proceed south at once in order to get in touch with (Leipzig) and generally guard the trade routes north of the equator.” This was an ambitious order for a partially manned training cruiser equipped with little more than solid shot. At 1 a.m. on Aug. 4, Rainbow cleared Esquimalt harbour. Few thought they would see her again.
Great story. Admiral Graf von Spee's squadron's saga ... well .... that is for a few FbF for later on.

This FbF first published in July 2007.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Diversity Thursday

I originally was not going to cover this, as I've been warning you about "white privilege" bullies for about half a decade, and I posted on this in '14 (a reminder to everyone to make sure and read CDRS every day if you want to be ahead of the pack). So many of you have sent this to me that it is clear that you want to bat it around a bit.

By popular acclaim then, BEHOLD!


Head on over to Judicial Watch for all the links to the fetid pile of racist hate by what is par for the course for the Diversity Industry's cadre of Cultural Marxist bigots that we have in the US military. Read it all there. The above is but a taste.

That really is the story here. Something everyone who deals with them knows. The military's branch of the Diversity Industry is largely populated by rent seeking, otherwise unemployable people who are driven - and paid - by a motivation to hate, envy, and power over others who are different than they are.

As practiced today, this is nothing more than government sponsored sectarianism. These people inject division, the opposite of the need to strive towards good order and discipline via a cohesive and unified unit.

Where they cannot find real problems - which in 2016 are unicorn sightings - they invent them. They inject their cancer in to otherwise healthy organizations so they can bask in some race based Munchausen by Proxy.

These people must be opposed as, like rust, they never sleep. I warned you years ago that something you laughed at the first time you heard it, "white privilege" and "trigger warnings" was going to be in your face, and this year they have broken through the ambient noise. It is only going to get worse. 

As many MIDN had emailed me to let me know, at even the Naval Academy, the "trigger warning" and "micro-aggression" fascists are tapping their hob-nailed boots about the halls already.

In the Fleet, it is starting to creep in as well. When we send our BA/NMP coded for diversity to conferences, as documented here through the years, this is what they are briefed on.

What can you do? Well, don't get fired over it, but slow roll it all. Let the billets be gapped. Do not fund any TAD to these conferences. Do not submit the award packages to sectarian organizations. Don't answer the data call or messages, and if you do, punk the system and be incomplete or late about it.

Hold those in your organization who promote this division in contempt as you would any person who frames their life around judging people by race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation. 

Not on my watch; not on my ship; not in my Navy. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Modularity? Here is a lot of that and whitespace to work with.

A few things I want you to consider not just for the 20-ton version, but especially the 50-ton version.

Think long dwell ASW. Think long dwell ISR at sea and ashore. Think disaster response. Think resupply in places that have lost shore facilities and have limited airports. There is even more to ponder.

USN or even USCG? I'd love to have one to give to Pax River (det Lakehurst, natch) and some JOs, a cadre of enlisted personnel, a funding line, and have them come up with some uses.
The longest aircraft in the world is preparing for its first test flight in a few weeks' time.

The Airlander 10 is a cross between an airship and an aeroplane.

It generates lift aerostatically through being filled with helium, and aerodynamically thanks to its unique-looking wing shape.

Because it's heavier than air, the 20-ton craft can land without tethers on most surfaces, including water.

Hybrid Air Vehicles, the makers of the Airlander 10 and based in Bedford, anticipate commercial uses such as leisure cruises, persistent, airbone research and for cargo to hard-to-reach places.

It can carry up to 10 tons and could be fitted to transport 48 passengers, flying for five days continuously, cruising at 80 knots (92mph).

The Airlander 10 was originally developed from 2009 for the US Army, which abandoned the project.

Hybrid Air Vehicles has plans for a 50-ton version of the Airlander.

Monday, March 07, 2016

The Sad Truth About Illegal Orders

I hope that by now everyone is familiar with Trump's statement concerning illegal orders from the last debate. If not, take a moment to watch;


If your IT department won't let you watch video, here it the transcript;
BAIER: Mr. Trump, just yesterday, almost 100 foreign policy experts signed on to an open letter refusing to support you, saying your embracing expansive use of torture is inexcusable. General Michael Hayden, former CIA director, NSA director, and other experts have said that when you asked the U.S. military to carry out some of your campaign promises, specifically targeting terrorists’ families, and also the use of interrogation methods more extreme than waterboarding, the military will refuse because they’ve been trained to turn down and refuse illegal orders.

So what would you do, as commander-in-chief, if the U.S. military refused to carry out those orders?

TRUMP: They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me. Believe me.

BAIER: But they’re illegal.

TRUMP: Let me just tell you, you look at the Middle East. They’re chopping off heads. They’re chopping off the heads of Christians and anybody else that happens to be in the way. They’re drowning people in steel cages. And he — now we’re talking about waterboarding.

This really started with Ted, a question was asked of Ted last — two debates ago about waterboarding. And Ted was, you know, having a hard time with that question, to be totally honest with you. They then came to me, what do you think of waterboarding? I said it’s fine. And if we want to go stronger, I’d go stronger, too, because, frankly...

(APPLAUSE)

... that’s the way I feel. Can you imagine — can you imagine these people, these animals over in the Middle East, that chop off heads, sitting around talking and seeing that we’re having a hard problem with waterboarding? We should go for waterboarding and we should go tougher than waterboarding. That’s my opinion.

BAIER: But targeting terrorists’ families?

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And — and — and — I’m a leader. I’m a leader. I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it. That’s what leadership is all about.

BAIER: Even targeting terrorists’ families?

TRUMP: Well, look, you know, when a family flies into the World Trade Center, a man flies into the World Trade Center, and his family gets sent back to where they were going — and I think most of you know where they went — and, by the way, it wasn’t Iraq — but they went back to a certain territory, they knew what was happening. The wife knew exactly what was happening.

They left two days early, with respect to the World Trade Center, and they went back to where they went, and they watched their husband on television flying into the World Trade Center, flying into the Pentagon, and probably trying to fly into the White House, except we had some very, very brave souls on that third plane. All right?

(APPLAUSE)
Applause. Let that sink in.

Citizens of a free republic are applauding a man who is telling everyone two things that should disgust anyone who took an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States...".
1. The CINC will issue illegal orders.
2. His military will gladly follow those illegal orders.
3. Citizens applaud 1 & 2.

Applause.

There has been a lot of huff'n and puff'n from many who presently or once wore the uniform, including your humble blogg'r, roughly of, "We will not. No one will follow those illegal orders. We will just refuse." The more I've thought about it, the more I think my initial instinct is wrong. 

That might be an internal dialog, but once a senior officer looks you in the eye, and even if you make a protest says, "The JAG stated ..." or "The Justice Department ruled that ... ", there are very few who will resist. Anyone below 4-stars that does refuse will simply be fired and someone will step forward to execute the order in their place within minutes. That one person will have a clear conscience, but will also have a dead-end career, professional exile, and nothing will actually have changed. 

In the main, orders will be followed.

Why? Rosa Brooks outlined why rather well;
Military resistance is no safeguard against a future president — Trump or anyone else — who’s determined to have his way.

Laws can be manipulated, and they can be changed, especially when a president wants them manipulated or changed. The U.S. military has a strong rule-of-law culture, but it also has a strong commitment to civilian control of the armed forces. Generally speaking, that’s good, but it also means that officers rarely respond with a flat-out “No” when senior civilian officials start playing fast and loose with the law. The armed forces have a duty to disobey manifestly unlawful orders, but when top civilian lawyers at the White House and the Justice Department overrule the military’s interpretation of the law, few service members persist in their opposition.
...
If history and social psychology have taught us anything, it’s that most people, civilian and military alike, will go along with the instructions of those they perceive as authority figures, no matter what horrors they have to witness or carry out — and for the most part, that’s precisely what happened after 9/11. Although it was CIA rather than military personnel who were implicated in many of the most egregious post-9/11 abuses, military officers went along with plenty of bad actions and sometimes instigated them.
...
We’ve seen similar dynamics in recent debates about controversial Obama administration practices. Several military leaders have questioned the legality, morality and strategic wisdom of secret U.S. drone strikes outside of traditional battlefields, particularly when the targets are U.S. citizens. But just as they did under President Obama’s predecessor, Justice Department lawyers have provided memos offering legal justifications , muting any military resistance. U.S. military intervention in Syria is also arguably illegal under international law, and numerous lawyers in the armed forces have expressed private concerns about this and about the legality of current U.S. action under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. But here again, don’t expect a mutiny or a coup.
Read it all. She has a sober, and from my point of view, the correct reading of the landscape.

I would like to think I would do the right thing, but you know what - if for some reason I got called back, I'd just be a Commander. This isn't a Field Grade, Company Grade, or Senior NCO issue. This is a General Officer and Flag Officer (GOFO) issue.

What if there were push back at the GOFO level? There would be delays, there might be resignations. At the tactical level, there might even be some misdirection to delay or avoid - but it would be executed until contrary orders came down the chain.

The odds of the above scenario playing out is rather small. I have come to believe this; there is nothing that our GOFO community have done in peace that would lead me to think that there would be any concerted effort to stand up and say, "No." in times of crisis.

This has a long pedigree. Did anyone in uniform in '41 stand up when American citizens of Japanese extraction were rounded up and their property liquidated? No.

Today, how does a careerist mindset that defends failed programs like an industry spokesman, not a customer, then in a much more stressful and dangerous situation, turn to make an even more professionally ending moment by saying, "No?" Point to me an exception.

The last GOFO that stood out front, and this wasn't even an illegal order case, was General Shinseki, USA (Ret) right before the invasion of Iraq. All he did was to speak what he believed was the best military advice and let history judge his decision. That was over a dozen years ago. Before him was Vice Admiral Thomas F. Connolly, USN (Ret) during the F-111 battle - but besides that I'm drawing a blank.

Tell me where I am wrong. Tell me who I am overlooking. 

It is good and right that we defer to our civilian leadership, but have we taken it too far? Standing up is just not our style, but have we taken that so far that we are happy that the American public thinks its military's officers will mindlessly follow any order? Is that something we are proud of? Do they have any reason to think otherwise? 

You get what you promote, and this is what we have. 

A stand-up personality type tends to not get to those exalted 3-star and 4-star levels, and it has nothing to do with performance in the field. Brave warfighters seem to wilt under political, media, and social pressure - strange but true. 

Need more data points? Remember all those brave senior officers who stood up in the face of the scapegoating of junior officers in the early 1990s Tailhook? Of course you don't. There are more examples out there.

We have a different culture at our senior levels. Leave and be quite. Don't be disgraced, and don't do anything that will keep you off various boards of directors and senior positions out there in industry that will pay big bucks for your connections in DC.

Don't burn bridges, they are paved with gold. Don't be "that guy" who you wind up seeing quoted in InfoWars.

A little too cynical? Yes, it is - perhaps. This is not a blanket swipe - but it does outline an objective observation of an average.

In the end analysis, the fault is not with the military, and unquestionably not with the Company Grade Officers, Field Grade Officers, or Noncommissioned Officers - and we can even give a pass to the GOFO that with exceptionally rare exceptions are just good people in hard jobs doing what they can to serve their nation like everyone else. No,it is the fault of the American people for electing those who issue the orders to the military. 

That is why who is CINC is so important. The guy at the top, regardless of who he is, holds the position of General Washington and draws on that personal capital. On a subconscious level, that still means a lot in the US military. It should. It is what makes us unique. In spite of all the sniping, a humble and meek nature for 3-stars and 4-stars is a feature, not a bug. It is only open for abuse with abusive and corrupt civilian leadership.

Pause and ponder.