Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Democrat Whip speaks truth

And validates The Salamander Postulate**.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Monday that a strongly positive report on progress on Iraq by Army Gen. David Petraeus likely would split Democrats in the House and impede his party's efforts to press for a timetable to end the war....of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be "a real big problem for us."
Hat tip The Spies of Salamander.
**The Salamander Postulate states that many have so much invested politically and emotionally in defeat that they have reached the point where their success is based on national failure. If victory seems likely - they will do all they can to ensure defeat to avoid political damage that would derive from victory. They have become loyal only to their own power.

While you were playing Harpoon....

While we seem to have forgotten ASUW - the rest of the world gets a vote. Other navies want to kill you.
Back in November 2005, The Hindu newspaper reported that India's government has given the go-ahead for exporting missiles, and that India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is looking to market several of its products internationally. The DRDO will participate in international expos as part of its marketing strategy, and government officials have claimed interest from African, Gulf and South-East Asian countries. They have also noted, however, that India's government would be required to approve any foreign sales to specific countries.

The missile systems in question include:

* Trishul ("trident") short-range surface-air missile (SAM)
* Akash ("sky") medium-range SAM
* Nag ("cobra") anti-armor missile; and the
* Indo-Russian BrahMos medium-range supersonic cruise missile, which is primarily designed as an anti-ship weapon but could be modified for land attack.
What is BrahMos you say? Ready for this Skipper?
The supersonic missile - which derives its name from the Brahmaputra rivers in both countries - has a range of almost 300 km and is designed for use with land and sea platforms, the source said. According to sources of the Russian collaborating company, Mashinostroyenie,

“The BrahMos missile has successfully completed its test, and the first customer is the Indian navy. Serial manufacture has begun in both Russia and India. The initial batch of BrahMos missiles will number approximately 70.” The BrahMos basic model is anti-ship but it could also be adapted for use against land targets. It could also be adapted for airborne platforms, the sources said.

Mashinostroyenie designed the missile and its propulsion system, all-important software and the guidance system is designed by Indian counterpart - DRDO.

The missile is a two-stage vehicle that has a solid propellant booster and a liquid (propellant) ram jet system.

This technological achievement places India among a small group of countries to acquire the capacity of producing cruise missiles.

“The jointly produced cruise missile is distinguishable from others in that it travels at a supersonic speed which is more than twice the speed of sound. Almost all other contemporary anti-ship missiles fly at subsonic speed,” the DRDO sources added. The supersonic speed imparts it a greater strike-power as well.

Possessing stealth characteristics, the 6.9-meter cruise missile weighing three tonnes has a range of 280 km.
They plan on building over 1,000 and will sell them.

I don't like the liquid fuel, but what a weapon. Get out your circular slide-rule and do the math. Ready to counter 1, 2, 5, 15? How much warning do you need? How much do you think you will have?

I will make you love me

Today is the day for inflammatory titles. Using a logic only a rapist would understand, it looks like the Powers That Be are ordering us to lay back and enjoy it.
The Pentagon will move to require its civilian and military employees to use the Defense Travel System after an outside report won the department breathing room to fix the much-maligned system.
Over 80% of people do not use the $500 million system now because it is terrible. Forcing everyone to use it is going to be a nightmare. I can hear the train wreck from here.

They need to do better on training if they are going to force this down everyone's throat. A mass email of a Word .doc and a .ppt and then say, "Do it." is not the answer. That is, however, what a lot of the Fleet is getting.

Dr. Chu may be happy - but this just reeks of Beltway-Centric thinking. Not everyone has a NIPRNET computer at their desk. Often 12+ people share just one. Bandwidth is not all broadband. That doesn't even cover the time it takes to make travel happen - and lord help you if you are between conference meetings or at sea and you have to change you flight because something important came up that caused a delay - or the COD is hard down.

Do they really think they can go from 17% compliance to 100% in the span of a few months? I don't.

Fairy dust will not make this work. Dr. Chu needs to deploy without assistants for a few weeks....with a NMCI laptop.

Make it happen.

Blinded by his own bigotry

Every family has one, well most do. The Great Uncle or other older relative who is a nice, kind, warm man who wouldn't harm another soul. A good man, maybe a Deacon at his church ... but as benign as he appears and intends - he is a bigot.

He will say things that make you blush, angry, and ashamed while at the same time embarrassed. Embarrassed for him because you know that he doesn't see himself and what he says from the point of view of others. He is just blind to the fact that what was once seen as normal opinion and conversation is now obvious for what it is - ignorant, racist bigotry. The man is good - but his ideas are rot.

In Navy Times we see again where sanctioned racist organizations grow roots in permissive soil - and let good men think they are doing good - where if the ethnic groups were reversed - the bigotry would be clear as day.
At that conference, Jackson met Navy and other sea service officers of different races and ethnic backgrounds. Among them were senior officers wearing eagles and stars on their collars. Jackson, a black officer, saw himself in them.

“They looked like me walking around, and they talked to me,” said Jackson, now a captain. “They talked to me, and that made a difference.”
In 28 years in the Navy, Jackson has been a skipper commanding the destroyer McFaul and commodore leading Destroyer Squadron 14. His latest mission as national president of NNOA, meeting this week in Coronado, is to propel the organization through rough waters.
Quite an ethno-centric perspective.
In welcoming remarks Tuesday to a crowd of Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officers, Rear Adm. Len Hering, who commands Navy Region Southwest, asked each attendee to get involved with local youth organizations, such as the Urban League, and reach out to youngsters and excite them about the Navy as a future career option.
Casting a wide net is great. Racially exclusive effort is not.
Jackson said exceptional minority men and women often are looking past the military services for other career options.

“We are in a war for talent,” he said.
Everyone is. That is not race exclusive. Sure, everyone is hunting for that, as a percentage of the total, rare Mechanical Engineer of Sub-Saharan African extraction - but that is what it is. What and how does he define the growing percentage of mixed race officers?
Jackson said he also wants to expand officer professional development and improve opportunities for advancement and leadership roles, including command. He also wants them to mentor more junior officers. His goal: To see NNOA’s membership rolls grow by 35 percent.
The problem is that some members or his organization take that as an excuse to shop race-exclusive lists to board members. Yes, it happens.

In the end, what he has is a personal desire, but it is just that - a personal desire - based on race. I don't respect his methods, but I do respect the fact that he is someone who wants to see others do as well as he has - but the ends do not justify the means.

How does he think an Asian, Hispanic, or Caucasian officer in his command felt when he was competing with a Black officer who walked around with a NNOA coffee mug? Think he felt like he got a fair shake?

As professionals, of every shade, we owe it to our Sailors to not have non-performance based bias. NNOA is bias by design. It is not a diverse organization. It is an anachronism.
Today is not 28 years ago. The new college graduate today was born in '85-86. We need to join the 21st Century.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Newt read CDR Salamander

Not really - but he knows the same history I do. Stealing from The Corner - look at the second half of this clip. Newt gets everything right.

Winning the war

VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services — electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation — to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began — though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done.

In Ramadi, for example, we talked with an outstanding Marine captain whose company was living in harmony in a complex with a (largely Sunni) Iraqi police company and a (largely Shiite) Iraqi Army unit. He and his men had built an Arab-style living room, where he met with the local Sunni sheiks — all formerly allies of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups — who were now competing to secure his friendship.

Another propaganda bit from some NeoCon think tank published at some WingNut publishing house? No. In the New York Times by,
Michael E. O’Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Kenneth M. Pollack is the director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings.
Yes, Brookings.

Hat tip Rich at The Corner.

That ain't the Georgia National Guard

While we are talking about the nations in Iraq that you will never hear about from the MSM - let us take a moment to say, "thanks, Shipmate" to the small, poor, but American loving friend that we have in the Republic of Georgia. They know how to cowboy up.
He is one of the 1,200 extra troops that Georgia is sending to Iraq to join the U.S.-led coalition. When the troops are fully deployed, Georgia will have the third-largest number of troops in Iraq, after the United States and the United Kingdom.
But it isn't just the number of troops that has been boosted, but also their role.

Around 800 Georgian troops have been serving in Iraq since 2004, but, for the most part, not in a frontline role.

But the new Georgian troops will take on a more high-profile responsibility: patrolling the border with Iran to stop the smuggling of weapons and other goods.

RFE/RL military analyst Koba Liklikadze says it will be a challenging operation.

"Before, Georgian units just participated in the control of checkpoints and organization, in Ba'qubah, and in the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad," Liklikadze says.

"Now the contribution is very significant from Georgian soldiers [and] it's a very new and significant challenge for Georgian soldiers. They will lead this operation in this very huge area. "

For the most part, only U.S. and British forces in the coalition have taken part in combat operations.

Troops from other countries tend to be deployed in support roles, providing security or logistics. Countries often send troops for specialized tasks like engineering, bomb disposal, or providing field hospitals.

To date, no Georgian soldiers have been killed in Iraq and only a few have been wounded. But Liklikadze says the new mission along the Iran-Iraq border carries a much higher risk.

Chris Parker, a retired British lieutenant colonel who served as the chief of staff for the British 7th Armored Division in Iraq, says the enhanced role of Georgian troops could be a sign of things to come.

"On the political level, I think [the United States and United Kingdom] will be delighted to see more aggressive posture -- in terms of determination to get into the more dangerous roles -- from other coalition members," Parker says.

"Of course that helps on the political level to allay any fears of their own populace, in America or Britain, who perceive that their own countries are taking all the hard work and other countries less so."
And for lesser nations who were born into freedom and therefor can spit on it with abandon (Hat tip Ayaan) - or those who will happily let others fight for their freedom, but won't lift a finger to help others get theirs - here are the stats for Georgia - compared to, say, Belgium:
Population: Georgia: 4,646,003 Belgium: 10,392,226

--GDP Overall PPP:
Georgia: $17.88 billion Belgium: $342.8 billion
GDP Per Capita: Georgia: $3,800 Belgium: $33,000
In Iraq: Georgia: 1,200; no caveats Belgium: none
In Afghanistan:
Georgia: 50-100 in the recent past; present offer of SOF. Belgium: 300. Loaded with caveats, only guarding the airport.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Iraq: nation of joy

They won their national version of the World Series - the Asian Cup. From Iraq the Model, at the start;
I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said hat today has been as exciting as one of those election days in Baghdad. Our national soccer team is playing for the Asian cup for the first time in its history. By comparison this is as if the American team is playing for the cup of Copa America against the team of Brazil or Argentina! But of course here in Iraq we care way more about soccer than Americans do. No offense meant of course!
..and then,
No, the joy is not for "no matter what"….Our team has just won the Asian cup for the first time in our soccer history. The win came through a magnificent goal by the head of our heroic forward Younis Mahmoud at the 71st minute of the match..
Our team ruled the game by all standards; in defense, midfield and attack our players proven that they are the best…they are now the masters of Asian soccer!

Today is definitely the happiest day for Iraqis in years. Tears of joy mixed with prayers for hope on the faces of millions of Iraqis…Words truly fail me and I can't describe the feeling so please pardon me if the post doesn't sound coherent; I hear the cheering and music outside although the bullets of celebration keep falling on the ground and roofs here and there. But no one seems to worry about that, the moment is so great that fear has no place in the hearts of the millions of fans, neither from bullets nor from crazy suicide bombers who tried to kill our joy last week.

Our players, tonight our heroes, learned that only with team work they had a chance to win.
May our politicians learn from the players and from the fans who are painting a glorious image of unity and national pride, and let the terrorists know that nothing can kill the spirit of the sons of the immortal Tigris and Euphrates.

The fear is gone, the curfew is ignored, tonight Iraq knows only joy...
Watch the technical then the emotional.

Sunday Funnies

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sharia in New York

And to thing everyone was worried that it was the Religious Right that we going to have the State enforce religious law. Suckers.
A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday on hate-crime charges after he threw a Quran in a toilet at Pace University on two separate occasions, police said.
Hat tip LGF.

I would rather have Admiral Hardass

..but Roughead will do.
Adm. Gary Roughead, barely two months into his tour of duty as the Navy's top fleet commander, has been tapped to become chief of naval operations, a defense official confirmed Thursday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Defense Secretary Robert Gates has recommended that President Bush nominate Roughead to succeed Adm. Mike Mullen as the Navy's top officer. He now is head of the Norfolk-based Fleet Forces Command.
Not official - but I'm feeling BostonMaggie's vibe.

And yes, Shoes do rule the Navy.

Best named base in Iraq

Nice slide-show of our Romanian friends here. A bit of background here. The irony of "Camp Dracula?" Try this.

Friday, July 27, 2007

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.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hollywood joins the Long War

In about the way I expected.
On a night four years ago, five soldiers back from three months in Iraq went drinking at a Hooters restaurant and a topless bar near Fort Benning, Ga.

Before the night was over, one of them, Specialist Richard R. Davis, was dead of at least 33 stab wounds, his body doused with lighter fluid and burned. Two of the group would eventually be convicted of the murder, another pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and the last confessed to concealing the crime.

Now some in Hollywood want moviegoers to decide if the killing is emblematic of a war gone bad, part of a new and perhaps risky willingness in the entertainment business to push even the touchiest debates about post-9/11 security, Iraq and the troops’ status from the confines of documentaries into the realm of mainstream political drama.

On Sept. 14, Warner Independent Pictures expects to release “In the Valley of Elah,”Paul Haggis, whose “Crash” won the Academy Award for best picture in 2006. The film stars Tommy Lee Jones as a retired veteran who defies Army bureaucrats and local officials in a search for his son’s killers. In one of the movie’s defining images, the American flag is flown upside down in the heartland, the signal of extreme distress. a drama inspired by the Davis murder, written and directed by

Other coming films also use the damaged Iraq veteran to raise questions about a continuing war. In “Grace Is Gone,” directed by James C. Strouse and due in October from the Weinstein Company, John Cusack and two daughters struggle with the loss of a wife and mother who is killed on duty. Kimberly Peirce’s “Stop-Loss,” set for release in March by Paramount, meanwhile, casts Ryan Phillippe as a veteran who defies an order that would send him back to Iraq.


In October, for example, New Line Cinema will release “Rendition,” in which Reese Witherspoon plays a woman whose Egyptian-born husband is snared by a runaway counterterrorism apparatus. Paul Greengrass, the director of “The Bourne Ultimatum,” in which the bad guys belong to a similar rogue unit, is adapting Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s book about the Green Zone in Baghdad, “Imperial Life in the Emerald City,” for Universal Pictures.

Brian De Palma’s “Redacted,” focusing on an Army squad that persecutes an Iraqi family, is to be released in December by Magnolia Pictures. And Sony Pictures is developing a film based on the story of Richard A. Clarke, the former national security official and Bush administration critic.

Judge a movie by the friends it keeps.

Despite some obvious fictionalization — the Fort Benning case did not involve the authority-challenging local detective and single mother played by Charlize Theron — the film hews closely enough to fact that Mr. Haggis is considering a dedication to Specialist Davis.

But whether the case truly speaks for returning veterans will not be easily settled, even with help from Warner Independent. The studio plans to supplement some of its promotional screenings with panel discussions of post-traumatic stress disorder, a factor raised in the movie.

“The issues are similar to what a lot of us are coping with,” said an approving Garett Reppenhagen, an Iraq veteran who saw “Valley of Elah” last week at one of the first such screenings in Washington. Mr. Reppenhagen, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, helped recruit viewers for the screening.

By contrast, Dennis Griffee, a wounded veteran who is national commander of the Iraq War Veterans Organization, said he turned down a request to become involved with the film after learning that Susan Sarandon, a vocal opponent of the war, had a prominent role.

“At the very least it is offensive,” Mr. Griffee said of what he sees as a widespread refusal to acknowledge the troops’ pride at achievements in Iraq. He added that virtually every member of his platoon wound up in college, not jail, on return.

Cross posted at MilBlogs.

A “culture of over-optimism”

Not how you would describe CDR Salamander….

Anyway, the title of this post comes from the best SECNAV we have had in, well, almost all my career. I prefer “Happy Talk” myself, but
this does sound more professional.
The CBO report follows warnings in April by Navy Secretary Donald Winter that a "culture of over-optimism" among shipbuilders and bureaucracy within the Navy is fostering distrust between Congress and the service and could jeopardize the Navy's future shipbuilding appropriations.
The non partisan Congressional Budget Office said the service will need annual shipbuilding budgets averaging nearly $21 billion between 2008 and 2037 to buy the 293 ships in its shipbuilding plan. That's about one-third more per year than the Navy's projected shipbuilding budgets, CBO said.
That plus-up isn’t going to happen. If we do not change towards new, off-the-shelf platforms of DDG-51 or European baseline, or something domestic along the FFG-7 development concept (fast, cheap, directive and “good-enough”) - then we are heading to a fleet of 210 sooner more than later because…..
In a report to a House subcommittee, CBO said the Navy has underestimated the cost of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, first in a new series of flattops, by about $1 billion.

The Ford...is likely to cost about $11 billion, CBO said.
Neither CBO's new projections nor the Navy's cost estimates on the Ford include about $4 billion already spent on research and development for the new class of carriers.
..and stand-by,
Plus, the cost could run higher, as the first ship in a new series typically is more expensive than those that follow because shipbuilders are working out kinks in the design, shipbuilding experts say.
CBO said the Navy also has set its cost targets too low on the new Zumwalt-class destroyer, a planned series of cruisers known as CG(X), Virginia-class attack submarines, and a new series of amphibious assault ships, among other ships.
How did we get here? Simple; a lack of accountability combined with a “culture of over-optimism.”

More heads on pikes please.

Riverine buy - smart

I am so fully engorged that I will quote in full from this.
SAFE Boats International, a U.S. based boat manufacturer, has been contracted to provide a new asset to the United States Navy’s Riverine force. The vessel, designated as the Riverine Command Boat (RCB), is a 49-ft. diesel/jet platform with reconfiguration capabilities that will allow the Navy to convert the vessel’s mission with minimal changes to the base design.

Originally designed by Sweden’s FMV and produced by long time Swedish boat builder, Dockstavarvet, the vessel will now be built in the U.S. by SBI under license from FMV & Dockstavarvet. The boat will be used as a Command and Control platform for the Navy’s Riverine force. Outfitted with the latest in C4ISR equipment, the RCB will have the ability to communicate with other vessels, aircraft and land based assets. The SeaFLIR III IR system and Furuno Navigation package allows for night operations, long range tracking and integration of the navigational equipment.

The RCB weapons capability includes provisions for four individual .50 caliber mounts and a centrally located mount for a stabilized remote control weapons station (ROSAM) with a 360 degree arc of fire. The RCB also has the ability carry and deploy mines and has already been tested and certified to increase fire up to, but not limited to, Hellfire missiles and a gyro-stabilized twin-barrel 12-cm mortar. The twin Scania DI16 850 hp diesel engines coupled to Rolls Royce FF410 waterjets will allow the RCB to run in excess of 40 knots.
Yep - this will work. From the baseline Swedish product.
The CB90 is constructed of aluminum and designed to operate as a fast attack boat, patrol boat and special operations support vessel. Heavy machine guns are mounted in fixed installations, or stabilized and remotely controlled from a monitor in the wheelhouse. The boat can also carry mines or Hellfire missiles, and a gyro-stabilized twin-barrel 12-cm mortar. The innovative drop bow system allows for easy troop deployment or the rapid extraction of injured personnel.

CB90 Spec List

LOA (w/ transom platform): 49'

Beam: 12' 5"

Capacity:21 troops (up to 30 possible) and 4 crew

Propulsion: Twin Diesel Engines with twin Rolls-Royce Kamewa FF-410
Waterjets capable of operating on JP-5, JP-8 and marine diesel #2

Speed: (@ Combat Load) Up to 40 Kts cruise / 45 Kts sprint

Draft: 36"

Range: Greater than 320 nm

Optional Armor Protection : Up-to 7.62 Nato Ball
If you like, you can see the CB90 in this 2 minutes of play Swedish War Pr0n (which, BTW, has some mildly disturbing lyrics in the last 35 seconds or so).

Here is the higher brain work for you. We have a short fuse need for a design that the domestics cannot come up with inside the money/time death spiral. We have good answers already overseas. We license build.

Mmmmmmm. LCS, DDG-1000 black hole and "holy crap - we need frigates to do anti-piracy" fix? Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, and Norway for starters all have good designs, ready for a shipyard at the right price. Just a thought....

Hat tip Eagle1 and proper copyright to LT Black for the first line paraphrase.

What is Arabic for New Years?

I am pretty sure it is this:
سنة جديدة But the actual Islamic New Year is called R'as as-Sana. Not so much a holiday like ours though.

The holiday for same in Vietnamese is "Tet."
Five times within the last 100 years, the US Armed Forces have had direct --- and painful --- experience with enemies who have tried to turn around a deteriorating situation by lashing back in one last, massive assault.

The list of presidents and their military commanders who have faced these crises reads like a who’s who of recent American history: Woodow Wilson and General John "Blackjack" Pershing; Franklin Delano Roosevelt and General Dwight D. Eisenhower; Harry Truman and Admiral Chester A. Nimitz, then General Douglas MacArthur; and finally, with less happy results almost four decades ago, Lyndon Baines Johnson and General William Westmoreland.
Bookie has a great snag that you all should read as you prepare for September. The author is D. M. Giangreco, who served as an editor at Military Review for 20 years.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Gen. Conway to San Francisco

Anything spoken by an Active Duty 4-star Marine, in San Francisco, that starts the 3rd paragraph with,
With due respect to the senator, I would offer that he is wrong ...
..is worth your time.

BLACKFIVE had the full transcript last week - so go there to read the whole thing. Of course the MSM missed the whole point - but expected.

Hat tip Bill.

The Joint Chiefs of Choice

Another datapoint that Goldwater-Nichols and the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Combatant Commander system/relationship no longer serves the needs of the nation. It is broke, and has reached the point it is actually a road-block to victory.

In The Washington Examiner, Rowan Scarborough reviews how we came up with The Surge – a plan that was way overdue – but that the Military wing of the National Security Structure in-place could not come up with on its own. A view we only saw bits of earlier.

The JCS is not structured to serve such a role - and neither are any of the Combatant Commanders (CENTCOM is in the weeds on IRQ, AFG, HOA, PAK, IRN.... like they have time and continuity to get out of the weeds).

The whole story is a stinging indictment on our National Security Structure that was put in place and supported by both political parties and two generations of Military leaders.
A group of military experts at the American Enterprise Institute, concerned that the U.S. was on the verge of a calamitous failure in Iraq, almost single handedly

They banded together at AEI headquarters in downtown Washington early last December and hammered out the surge plan during a weekend session. It called for two major initiatives to defeat the insurgency: reinforcing the troops and restoring security to Iraqi neighborhoods. Then came trips to the White House by AEIKagan, retired Army Gen. John Keane and other surge proponents.

More and more officials began attending the sessions. Even Vice President Dick Cheney came. "We took the results of our planning session immediately to people in the administration," said AEI analyst Thomas Donnelly, a surge planner. "It became sort of a magnet for movers and shakers in the White House." DonnellyAEI approach won out over plans from the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command. The two Army generals then in charge of Iraq had opposed a troop increase.
Keane already had done some ground work. He won a private meeting with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in September. The retired four-star bluntly told him that he would lose the war unless he changed tactics.
With its plan in place, the AEI Iraq team is not sitting still. Keane is an adviser to Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. He has inspected war conditions on two visits. Kagan left for Iraq this week.

"It was kind of the 11th hour, 59th minute," Donnelly said of AEI's surge plan.
convinced the White House to change its strategy. military historian Frederick said the
Maybe 12th hour, 1st minute politically. That is The Surge's birth.

As for the National Security Structure's Military wing - way past time to fix it.

He wants to be J5 too!

You can almost have an entire blog dedicated to the follies of Sen. Webb (D-VA). The hand-between-the-two-middle-buttons attitude just keeps giving and giving.
Virginia Sen. Jim Webb stepped into a politically charged spat between the White House and the top Democratic presidential contender on Monday, joining a group of senators seeking a committee hearing on Pentagon planning for a possible withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
If you want to be CINC, run for President. Otherwise, review The Constitution and stop sucking up Staff work hours. If you want the military to focus on victory, why have its Staffs drop everything, which is what they will do, in order to prepare their Commander for a Senate hearing?
Oh....I see.

Hippie chicks on parade

As all you Boomers try to convince yourself how great you were for the culture - I am sure along the way you remember all those great Flower Power girls from the summer of '67 you met at Monterey on your weekend liberty from Alameda.

Wonder what happened to her? Well, some things have not changed. Others? Well,
see for yourself here.

All that being said - before I even knew what girls/women were for - for me - deep down - Boomer females will always be like
her. Yea, her. Still my kind of girl. She still has it all together.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Find the American Woman

Easy, there is only one.

Your hat fell off

Yep, go back and get it. Don't want to go home without that. Someone might be able to trace it back to you and all.....

Salamander cat sez

For ninme and Bubblehead - and other closet catbloggers out there.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Michael Barone on the Boomers too

The other half is '74 and all. He has a good point here.
For the past 15 years, our politics has been a civil war between two halves of the baby-boom generation (generally taken to include those born between 1946 and 1964). We have had two presidents who were born in 1946 and graduated from high school in the class of 1964, which had the highest test scores in history.

Both those presidents happened to have personal characteristics that people on the opposite sides of the culture war absolutely loathe. We first saw the acrimony of the boomer civil war in the 1992 vice presidential debate between Dan Quayle (born 1947) and Al Gore (born 1948). We see it in the hate-filled reactions to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. And we are tired of it. Most voters would like to move on to something new.

It’s not clear whether we will. Right now, the Democrats seem likelier than the Republicans to nominate the next president, and the candidate they seem likeliest to nominate is Hillary Rodham Clinton (born in 1948). She tends to polarize voters in much the same way her husband and his successor have. Her favorable-unfavorable in poll after poll runs around 49 percent favorable and 47 percent unfavorable. That means: a) she can win and b) she can lose.
President Clinton; again. Heck, I think Skippy won't like that CINC either.....where is my MILPERSMAN?

Talking about my Generation

Dean Barnett in The Weekly Standard executes an exceptional strike in one of my favorite, going on 25 years, battles - the Boomers vs. Gen X (and Y and now).
In the 1960s, history called the Baby Boomers. They didn't answer the phone.

Confronted with a generation-defining conflict, the cold war, the Boomers--those, at any rate, who came to be emblematic of their generation--took the opposite path from their parents during World War II. Sadly, the excesses of Woodstock became the face of the Boomers' response to their moment of challenge. War protests where agitated youths derided American soldiers as baby-killers added no luster to their image.

Few of the leading lights of that generation joined the military. Most calculated how they could avoid military service, and their attitude rippled through the rest of the century. In the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, military service didn't occur to most young people as an option, let alone a duty.

But now, once again, history is calling. Fortunately, the present generation appears more reminiscent of their grandparents than their parents.
You need to read the rest to hear how one Gen. X guy is leading the rest beyond the Boomer Cant.
Just spot-on work going after one of the most narcisstic, damaging and damaged, selfish generations we have ever produced.

A few weeks after his commissioning, the lieutenant sent me an email that read in part:

I remember when I was down at Quantico two summers ago for the first half of Officer Candidates School. The second to last day I was down there--"Family Day," incidentally--was the 7/7 bombings. The staff pulled us over and told us the news and then said that's basically why they're so hard on us down there: We're at war and will be for a long time, and the mothers of recruits at MCRD and at Parris Island right now are going to be depending on us one day to get their sons and daughters home alive.

When I was in England last week, I talked to an officer in the Royal Navy who had just received his Ph.D. He was saying he thought the larger war would last 20-30 years; I've always thought a generation--mine in particular. Our highest calling: To defend our way of life and Western Civilization; fight for the freedom of others; protect our friends, family, and country; and give hope to a people long without it.

It is surely a measure of how far we've come as a society from the dark days of the 1960s that things like military service and duty and sacrifice are now celebrated. Just because Washington and Hollywood haven't noticed this generational shift doesn't mean it hasn't occurred. It has, and it's seismic.

Laura Armstrong, is the daughter of the legendary Vietnam War hero Roger ("Black Bart") Bartholomew, comes off the top rope.
I only hope the aging hippies, socialists, Che-lovers, etc. will begin dying off before they do much more damage. It's time for the Reagan kids to have their turn.

Michael J. Totten - ONSTA

Totten is back in Iraq. He is one of the honest brokers. You should check in on a regular basis.

His greeting should sound familiar to a few folks...
You know how it feels when you get into a black car in the afternoon with the windows rolled up in July? It’s an inferno outside, but inside the car it’s even hotter? That’s how Iraq feels in the shade. Sunlight burns like a blowtorch. If you don’t wear a helmet or soft cap the sun will cook your brain. First you get headaches. Then you end up in the hospital.
He has a little something for Senator Reid.
After having spent several days Baghdad’s Green Zone and Red Zone, I still haven’t heard or seen any explosions. It’s a peculiar war. It is almost a not-war. Last July’s war in Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon was hundreds of times more violent and terrifying than this one. Explosions on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border were constant when I was there.

You’d think explosions and gunfire define Iraq if you look at this country from far away on the news. They do not. The media is a total distortion machine. Certain areas are still extremely violent, but the country as a whole is defined by heat, not war, at least in the summer. It is Iraq’s most singular characteristic. I dread going outside because it’s hot, not because I’m afraid I will get hurt.

21st Century Navy

For my valued Old Salts out there - yes, it is like that. Posted without further comment.

Hat tip reader Tim.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Canadian lefty left loopy

My hero takes your standard issue sheltered, self-actualized, smug, intellectually inbred Canadian Leftists and makes him, well, you watch Ayaan take him to school.
What she says at the end is one of the best comebacks I have ever heard.

Air Farce sanity?

My stars and garters! I don't believe I am saying this - but - of all places, the USAF is leading from the front. Benchmark, replicate and move forward! Bravo Zulu, or Sierra Hotel or whatever the Blue Suits say. Via StrategyPage - this is the most REMF sourced sanity I have seen in a long time. LBG, call your office.
The U.S. Air Force has rebelled against the annoying late 20th century custom of creating many annual training courses to deal with persistent social or organizational problems. From now on, instead of spending nine hours a year attending training for things like suicide prevention, anti-terrorism awareness, handling classified data, sex related issues, and so on, only 90 minutes a year would be used for all these reminders.
Hat tip John at Argghhh!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Battle Buddy Beatdown

Great thing about the New Media, it is hard for the Moonbats to wallow in their fantasy world. Check out Mudville and BLACKFIVE for details.

Death Wish Caucus wins

The enemy kills via guile and stealth. The best way to stop a terrorist attack is for citizens, as their government has asked them, to report suspicious behavior. The German-American Bund Fifth Column, errrrr, C.A.I.R. and the Flying Imans (with their Trial Lawyer useful idiots) want to stop this by holding the threat of a life destroying lawsuit against any citizen who reports suspicious behavior prior to bodies on the floor.

It is logical to protect the watchful citizens from the enabler of the enemy by protecting them from lawsuits just for saying, "You may want to take a look at that guy, he is acting funny."

Well, with a few exceptions, the Democrat Party has blocked this. They want you to be quiet and die.

Someone tell me why they would vote against it. I will call my Democrat Senator and ask them - that should be interesting.

Here is something bipartisan for you: two profiles in slime - Brownback and Obama - didn't even vote. And they want to be President?

More detail from Andy and Michelle. Michelle also has a list of who voted to kill it. Skippy, can you explain why Webb voted with those who want the American people too scared to defend themselves? Why Sen. Clinton (D-NY) is more of a man than he is?

Graphic by RightOnTheRight.

Fullbore Friday

Jefferson DeBlanc, Col. USMC. Awarded the Medal of Honor. I'll let the man speak for himself.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Not worthy of Webb

Notice the pattern. He constantly talks over others. Only his facts apply. His lame excuse for why his second hand knowledge of Iraq is greater than another Senator's first hand knowledge. Saw it in 6th grade - looking at it now.

His facts are wrong. His bully habits are wrong. I'm not a huge fan of Senator Graham (R-SC), but still, why people think this performance helps Webb's cause is beyond me.

Though no video - the tried it the other night with Senator Thune (R- SD).
1:57 A.M.
Thune is maybe a little too good, because Webb has started playing a little fast and loose with the gavel and floor rules, interrupting him to ask some inane questions about the diversity of opinions on the war within the military. The subtext of this is, near as I can tell, “I, Jim Webb, am a citizen soldier extraordinaire and former career military officer. You are none of these things and are therefore unqualified to speak on such issues.” Thune deftly counters by reminding Webb, that he’s actually visited with soldiers in Iraq and Webb has not.
Senator Webb (D-VA) is getting old real fast. Anger mixed with narcissistic pomposity isn't a plan - and it rarely makes good policy.

I know I should go after the message and not the messenger - but Webb has made himself the message. Fair game.
Speaking of the worlds greatest deliberative body, from Allah; Nuff said.

UPDATE: Some facts for my friend Skippy who in comments said,
It was Graham that talked over Webb...
Webb started by talking, uninterrupted for 1:42. Graham's next time slot ran 1:34 - but Webb interrupted and talked over him on and off for a total of :29 - Graham netted 1:05. Webb next had 1:51 - but Graham interrupted or talked over him for 24 seconds - Webb netted 1:27. The last ~:50 was verbal graba55 that was about break even.
----Webb's net talking was 3:09, gross 3:34. Interrupted by Graham 16% of the time.
----Graham's net talking was 1:05, gross 1:34. Interrupted by Webb 39% of the time.

Webb started it. Webb had 69% of the talking time during the segment gross. Webb had 74% of the net talking time.

Facts are hard things, friend.

France starts to emerge

Sarkozy continues to say and do the right thing - mostly.
President Nicolas Sarkozy has emphasized that France intends to develop its nuclear deterrent and improve conventional forces.

"You are the life insurance of France," he told the crew of a nuclear-missile submarine during a visit before Saturday's spectacular Bastille Day military parade in Paris.

His defense minister, Herve Morin, pledged to "revive the defenses massacred by the Socialists" during their tenure in power. France, he added, will maintain its military budget at 2 percent of the gross domestic product and build a second aircraft carrier.
As a % of GDP it is less than the USA, but compared to the rest of Continental Europe (except for Greece) it is tops. We'll take it. France will always be France, but a strong France is a plus for a strong West. Mostly.
Mr. Sarkozy, elected president in May, has set out to improve France's defense and build a more effective, though somewhat ignored, joint military force of the European Union.

To stress his point, Mr. Sarkozy had invited all 27 EU members to send contingents to join the 4,000 French troops and military schools marching on the Champs-Elysees on July 14, the national day.
Sorry, I can't help myself; if they need directions, they should ask the Germans - they can do it in their sleep.

SEP Prelude, cont.

There is plenty of I&W on what we will hear in SEP. One thing I will guarantee you though, there are so many people who have everything invested in defeat, and will not accept a positive to positive leaning report. They will cheery pick and spin. When that does not work, they will attack General Petraeus specifically - and then the military in general - something they are already doing a fair bit. Then they will ignore anything that seems like progress, even more than they are now.

What a he11 of a fight we will have on our hands.
The U.S. military's top general said parts of Iraq have undergone a "sea change" of improved security during the troop surge...
I think we can also nix the "surge +" rumors.
...what I'm hearing now is a sea change that is taking place in many places here," he replied. "It's no longer a matter of pushing al Qaeda out of Ramadi, for example. But rather - now that they have been pushed out - helping the local police and the local army have a chance to get their feet on the ground and set up their systems."

Army Col. John Charlton, whose 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division has ushered in the changes around Ramadi, noted that there has not been a roadside bomb attack there in more than two months and that attacks of all kinds are down to about one per day.
"All these trends are still very, very positive," he said. "The level of violence has gone down and stayed down. Now, that doesn't mean that al Qaeda has given up."
Pace conferred Monday with Petraeus and Pace's top deputy, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, in Baghdad. He said then that among the options is maintaining or increasing the current troop levels of 158,000 after September. Odierno said he didn't foresee requesting more troops.

"Right now, I can't find an assessment where I would say I need more troops," Odierno said.
Good news on the political front as well.
Also yesterday, Shiite legislators loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr decided to end their five-week boycott of parliament after receiving assurances that the government would protect their shrines.

Treason at the CIA?

If the below story is true, and all the if's that go with it - then what else would you call it?
Dissident U.S. intelligence officers angry at former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld helped a European probe uncover details of secret CIA prisons in Europe, the top investigator said on Tuesday.

Swiss Senator Dick Marty, author of a Council of Europe report on the jails, said senior CIA officials disapproved of Rumsfeld's methods in hunting down terrorist suspects, and had agreed to talk to him on condition of anonymity.

Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling) sponsored the resolution, which was approved unanimously.he was there to 'take over state government' according to Ritter's spokesman.

"There were huge conflicts between the CIA and Rumsfeld. Many leading figures in the CIA did not accept these methods at all,"
Maybe Dick is playing CYA, but it sounds right.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Horatius at the bridge

On the war in Iraq, no one in the Senate is clearer than CAPT John McCain, USN (Ret.).
...we members of Congress, must face our responsibilities honestly and bravely. What is asked of us is so less onerous than what we have asked from our servicemen and women, but no less consequential. We need not risk our lives, nor our health, but only our political advantages so that General Petraeus has the time and resources he has asked for to follow up on his recent successes and help save Iraq and America from the catastrophe that would be an American defeat. That is not much to risk, Mr. President, compared to the sacrifices made by Americans fighting in Iraq or the terrible consequences of our defeat. For if we withdraw from Iraq, if we choose to lose there, there is no doubt in my mind, no doubt at all, that we will be back – in Iraq and elsewhere -- in many more desperate fights to protect our security and at an even greater cost in American lives and treasure.

Little is asked of us to help prevent this catastrophe, but so much depends on our willingness to do so, on the sincerity of our pledge to serve America’s interests before our own.
Crossposted at MilBlogs.

Hat tip and stolen title from PowerLine.

Parade of 442nd

Something to remember this July. From 18 JUL 46. There is also a bit about the death of the King of Thailand, the last dirigible Flag Officer retiring, the RAF bomber tour of the US, and an Oregon canyon thingy.

I dream of Olberman...

...taking an opportunity to do an embed like this. If anyone in media needs an overview of reality - he is it. Make sure and read all of this great write-up of clue.
It is 5:30 a.m. on Day 8.

It was billed as a three-day tagalong tour with Hotel Company, the toughest gang on the third Canadian rotation to Afghanistan.

This journalist was invited to witness a quick military strike and count the Taliban dead before the convoy's triumphant return to Kandahar Airfield to shower, dine on real food and marvel anew at flush-toilet technology.

But Week Two has dawned and this rediverted, revamped, oft-extended mission drags on, waiting for supplies to land in the middle of nothing with no reliable end date.
Hat tip John at Argghhh!!!

IA assignment time

Went down the P-way to talk to a Shipmate who just found out he has an IA - needs to start preps about, well, yesterday. He was looking kind of like this guy.

The new post-DH has to go to a CONUS IA for 6-months, he only looks like this. But....there is a war going on.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

General Lee, Superman, and their crew

Michael Yon, once again, reports like it should be done. Don't forget the tip jar, but not until you read what at Lt. has to do now days to get a picture of a nurse latched on to him when he isn't wearing anything below the waist. Don't worry though, it doesn't have anything to do with Skippy when he was a LT.

Keeping and eye on the long game: Part XXII

"The oceans are our lifelines. If commerce were cut off, the economy would plummet,"
Who said that? Mahan, Churchill? Nope.
...says Ni Lexiong, a fellow at the Shanghai National Defense Institute and an outspoken proponent of Chinese sea power. "We need a strong navy."
Growth is the key.
China says it will spend nearly $45 billion on its military this year, an increase of about 18% from 2006.
18% a year means you double about every 4 years.
China has 76 main surface combatants and no carriers, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. The Chinese fleet is also untested in modern naval warfare.
Be careful. Be very careful. Outside of benign Carrier and SSN ops, so are we.

This whole WSJ article gives a solid executive summary of why a navy is critical to China in the 21st Century. It is also a reminder that as we try to get our Fleet plan on a steady footing after a lost decade - other nations get a vote on what we think the future will look like.
In 1996, during a standoff between leaders in Beijing and Taipei over Taiwanese moves to assert independence, China test-fired missiles near the island. The U.S. responded by ordering carrier battle groups to the area.

China's inability to prevent this U.S. show of military strength and support for Taiwan rankled political and military leaders in Beijing. They started to develop what is viewed by the Pentagon as an "anti-access strategy." The Pentagon says it is designed to limit the U.S. military's freedom of movement in Asia and, specifically, its ability to intervene in any conflict between China and Taiwan.
I use a less fancy name - The Porcupine Strategy.
"If we develop a strong navy with more advanced weapon systems, we have more choices. It's possible that China will join in a cooperative system headed by the U.S.," says Mr. Ni of the Shanghai National Defense Institute. "But we would also be ready to fight if we have to."
Fair, clear headed thinking by China.

At a time when the CNO states that the debunked theory of Diversity is a top priority, SES and NAVSEA junior Flag Officers send out Bu11sh1t Bingo laden Six-Sigma love letters of Homeric length, and SECNAV seems almost alone fighting against the fraud, waste, and abuse of LCS, DDG-1000, and LPD-17 - the PLAN is focused on what a once young and ambitious navy did in its rise to Maritime Dominance.

Peacetime Bureaucracy in a time of war

Back to the MRAP. In of all places, a very thorough review of the MRAP slow roll in McPaper. Like we saw with the Marine lasers, what we have often is a bureaucracy in acquisitions that focuses on the potential peacetime set of Beltway battles and pet theories as opposed to the war at hand.
Addressing the generals, McGriff recommended analyzing every incident involving Marine vehicles the same way investigators probe aircraft crashes. Look at the vehicle for flaws, McGriff recalls telling the officers, and examine the tactics used to defeat it.

Lt. Gen. Wallace Gregson, commander of Marine Corps Forces in the Pacific, and Lt. Gen. James Mattis, leader of the Marine Combat Development Command, listened and then conferred for a moment.

The room grew quiet. "Then they said, 'OK, what do you want to do?' " McGriff remembers.

He recited the very plan that the Pentagon, under a new Defense secretary, would embrace in 2007: "A phased transition. Continue to armor Humvees. At the same time, as quickly and as expeditiously as possible, purchase as many MRAPs as possible. Phase out Humvees."

According to McGriff, the room again grew silent. Then, Mattis finally spoke: "That's exactly what we're going to do." Mattis' words failed to translate into action. The urgent-need request McGriff drafted went unfulfilled at Marine headquarters in Quantico. A June 10, 2005, status report on the request indicated the Marine Corps was holding out for a "future vehicle," presumably the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle — more mobile than the MRAP, more protective than the Humvee, and due in 2012. In practical terms, that meant no MRAPs immediately.
Read it all.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fun with FFiGs

USS ELROD (FFG-55) has been seen with this interesting little addition. What it is will be obvious when you look at a zoom-in.

Kind of silly for OPFOR purposes - what SMS EMDEN did was a little more like it WRT changing your look. Sure, it looks big when you are next to it, but from a distance of more than 1,000 yds - unless you are at sea level - you just don't notice it. But hey, I bet the crew got a kick out of it - and, why not? I think there are more options out there to be extra scary. Eagle1 has some ideas - here is mine.

Defend Norm!

Bravo Zulu to Chap! Did you know that Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) is trying to kill that bucket of FOD DTS! Oh, glory of glories! Almost the best news since calling the new killer UAV the "Raptor." Anyway, buckets of cluelessness, this time led by Bill Hobbs, are trying to make it look like something slimy and crooked. Ace picked it up and is keeping an open mind. Chap weighed in using one of my posts on DTS to tell Ace to look closer at what Sen. Coleman is doing - and folks are coming out of the woodwork to report on the garbage DTS is. Head on over to Ace's place if you have a DTS story that needs to be told. Ace is a Mensch, be polite - he is just looking for the truth - help a brother out.

A hearty Bravo Zulu to Senator Colman too. Keep it up!

Iran returns fire in the Economic War

Smart decision by Iran - and a warning. Economic warfare is a soft way of attacking your enemy without all the kinetic nastiness -passive aggressive warfare if you want; but warfare nonetheless. The US Dollar is at a historically weak point - and Iran makes the decision to make a strike.
Iran asked Japanese refiners to switch to the yen to pay for all crude oil purchases, after Iran's central bank said it is reducing holdings of the U.S. dollar.

Iran wants yen-based transactions ``for any/all of your forthcoming Iranian crude oil liftings,'' according to a letter sent to Japanese refiners that was signed by Ali A. Arshi, general manager of crude oil marketing and exports in Tehran at the National Iranian Oil Co. The request is for all shipments ``effective immediately,'' according to the letter, dated July 10 and obtained by Bloomberg News.

The yen rose on speculation for an increase in demand for the currency, the result of Japan's annual 1.24 trillion yen ($10.1 billion) of oil imports from Iran. Central bankers in Venezuela, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates have said they will invest less of their reserves in dollar assets because of the weakening currency.
And so it starts. We opened this opportunity for them. Good timing on their part. In a broad sense, the value of the Dollar is a rough function of supply and demand. By no longer demanding that payments are made in dollars - the global demand for dollars goes down. As the dollar gets weak, the more it costs to import almost everything. As along as we have a deficit, we need foreigners to buy our bonds. If the dollar is weak - they will want more of a premium to buy them - i.e. we will have to increase the interest rates on out national debt. That will cause all interests rates to rise. Economics is a function not only of math, statistics and other quasi-hard sciences, but also psychology. In economics you can have a herd mentality. Our huge foreign debt is owned mostly by Asia - Japan and China mostly. What if they start to head for the door. How do you get Yen? You sell something else for them. Sell Dollars. More Dollars being sold as demand decreases means an increasing collapse in its value, and so on. As for the balance of payments issue, we'll cover that some other day. From a Red perspective, solid move. Difficult to counter.