Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lyndon Baines Obama

I thought one of the lessons we learned from the Vietnam War was that the CINC needs to back away from Tactics and focus on the Strategic issues. Then again, in order to not repeat the past, you have to be a student of the past.

I think it is safe to say, President Obama is not very well read in matters of military history.

Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.

Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.
Just days after taking office, the president got word that the first strike under his administration had killed a number of innocent Pakistanis. “The president was very sharp on the thing, and said, ‘I want to know how this happened,’ “ a top White House adviser recounted.

In response to his concern, the C.I.A. downsized its munitions for more pinpoint strikes. In addition, the president tightened standards, aides say: If the agency did not have a “near certainty” that a strike would result in zero civilian deaths, Mr. Obama wanted to decide personally whether to go ahead.
Here is an interesting thing to chew on. Do they sit in a little theater looking place with a covered series of "0" "25" "50" "75" "100" buttons on the arm of their chair?

The selection board from h311.
It is the strangest of bureaucratic rituals: Every week or so, more than 100 members of the government’s sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, to pore over terrorist suspects’ biographies and recommend to the president who should be the next to die.

This secret “nominations” process is an invention of the Obama administration, a grim debating society that vets the PowerPoint slides bearing the names, aliases and life stories of suspected members of Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen or its allies in Somalia’s Shabab militia.
Snort. Back to LBO.
The nominations go to the White House, where by his own insistence and guided by Mr. Brennan, Mr. Obama must approve any name. He signs off on every strike in Yemen and Somalia and also on the more complex and risky strikes in Pakistan — about a third of the total.

Aides say Mr. Obama has several reasons for becoming so immersed in lethal counterterrorism operations. A student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, he believes that he should take moral responsibility for such actions. And he knows that bad strikes can tarnish America’s image and derail diplomacy.
OK, help me out here. Where is there anywhere in his past where he has mentioned studying August and Tom? Anyone ... anywhere? I'm calling a flag. I know his pastor wasn't preaching that from the pulpit.
But the control he exercises also appears to reflect Mr. Obama’s striking self-confidence: he believes, according to several people who have worked closely with him, that his own judgment should be brought to bear on strikes.
Noted expert in all things military at the Tactical level, I am sure.
So the president, and I think all of us here, don’t like the fact that people have to die. And so he wants to make sure that we go through a rigorous checklist: The infeasibility of capture, the certainty of the intelligence base, the imminence of the threat, all of these things.
I'm sorry - I am quite happy that people who plan to kill women and children by the score who are simply on a plane to vacation or on a subway to work are set to die. Some people need to simply go away.

I can actually sympathize with the President. If you do not frame this conflict properly, you will find yourself in a position of trying to explain away the inevitable sloppy nature of war. Innocent people will and do die - but that is the fault of your enemy and the nature of war, not the President. If you don't understand that, or are uncomfortable explaining that, and have contempt for those in uniform - then you can start to micro-manage.

There we are; Lyndon Baines Obama.

Diversity Thursday

In the face of tight budgets and, "I'm sorry, Seaman Timmy can't go to that school - we're out of money." - this stuff is firmly trending towards the decision making practices of the Loyal Order of Moral Cowards.

OK - count the number of NAVAIR employess and their estimated cost-per-hour ... then ... BEHOLD!
From: NAVAIR Commander
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 7:28
Subject: NAVAIR Diversity Day - 26 June


On 26 June, NAVAIR will host a day of training on the topics of diversity and inclusion. We invite you to join us for dialogue and discussion as we create an awareness of the benefits of a diverse workforce and explore the opinions, backgrounds, cultures and experiences that make NAVAIR and the Navy stronger. Frans Johansson, noted diversity expert and author of "The Medici Effect," will join us to discuss innovation powered by diversity. NAVAIR's Diversity Day discussions will also highlight and showcase the work of the Executive Diversity Council and the NAVAIR Diversity Advisory Teams.

NAVAIR is committed to fostering a culture that leverages and values diversity while ensuring equal opportunities for all. To succeed, we must not only understand the barriers preventing diversity, but also the value gained by fostering an inclusive environment. Please mark your calendars for this important training on Tuesday, 26 June at the River's Edge Conference Center in Patuxent River, Md., and broadcast nationally via VTC from 1000-1500 EDT. You can view the save-the-date flyer at Registration details are forthcoming.

VADM David Architzel
Really? Frans? He has been milking that book since the first Bush 43 administration.

NAVAIR - airplanes and such. Think about the inability to properly plan, organize and execute a program - much less manage and lead it - has cost us since we adopted the leftovers from the loser of the USAF F-16 & F-17 flyoff. Do you really want them to take advice from a person who recommends (in the new book coming out this summer he is pimping, natch),
"Success, we’re told, is the outcome of careful planning, analysis, and strategy. But the truth is, success is far more random than we’d like to believe. In fact, in today’s complex, volatile, and random world, the five-year business plan is obsolete. Going through the motions can no longer guarantee strong performance. If planning is out the window, what do you have? According to Frans Johansson, look for “click moments”—rare opportunities, often serendipitous, to change course. In The Click Moment, he will discuss how to spot click moments and increase their occurrence in your life, how to place lots of high-potential bets, and how to leverage the complex forces that follow into a winning strategy."
Let me offer some help to NAVAIR.

Buy in bulk a bunch of books about John Boyd, pass out cards for the JAG in case someone feels like they are working with a bigot, and then tell everyone to get back to work - Sailors are counting on them.

Oh, if the Diversity Industry insists that NAVAIR needs his wisdom - the email a link to the below at 16:01 on a Friday afternoon, log training complete and go home.

Oh, speaking of priorities - for all of you who are having trouble getting the VA to focus on their core mission - read the first few pages of this document's Bu11sh1t Bingo - that will help you understand where effort and $$$$$ is going.
UPDATE: I forgot to add, this has nothing to do with diversity of ideas, perspectives, backgrounds - etc. Everyone should know that by now - no - this (D)iversity is all about the most useless difference between us - the self-identified racial/ethinc block checked on a sheet of paper, put on a PPT - and justifies another paycheck for the grievance industry.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Strong Republican Gain

I am very much from the Reagan School - someone doesn't have to agree with me on everything; just most things.

Along those lines - Artur Davis coming on over at this time is a huge loss for Democrats - and a great gain for Republicans.

Smart, independent, and a man of his own mind.
I am in the process of changing my voter registration from Alabama to Virginia, a development which likely does represent a closing of one chapter and perhaps the opening of another.

As to the horse-race question that animated parts of the blogosphere, it is true that people whose judgment I value have asked me to weigh the prospect of running in one of the Northern Virginia congressional districts in 2014 or 2016, or alternatively, for a seat in the Virginia Legislature in 2015. If that sounds imprecise, it’s a function of how uncertain political opportunities can be — and if that sounds expedient, never lose sight of the fact that politics is not wishfulness, it’s the execution of a long, draining process to win votes and help and relationships while your adversaries are working just as hard to tear down the ground you build. …

On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You’ve read that in my view, the law can’t continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don’t need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way — it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.
As Alexander Burns at Politico reminds us, this is the guy who gave President Obama's seconding speech at the 2008 Democrat convention.


Admiral Harvey Goes Salamander

Yes - I said it.

Who writes stuff like this?
... it is apparent to me that we were not doing our jobs with a focus on the end user, our Sailors. In these instances, the desire/need to deliver the program or system became paramount; we did not adhere to our acquisition standards and failed to deliver whole programs built on foundations of technical excellence. Then we accepted these flawed programs into the Fleet without regard to the impact on our Sailors.
we have entered a period in which the resources we have now and can expect in the future will no longer support the behaviors of the past. The likelihood of decreasing budgets and increasing demand for Naval forces leave us with no margin for delivering poorly designed, poorly delivered or unnecessarily burdensome programs to the Fleet.
That ain't me - that is Admiral Harvey.

Yep, if he knows it or not - Admiral Harvey has just joined the antitranformationalist underground.

Admiral, you now have a reserved
The Boggs Collective Greenwood Rocker on the front porch over at my homeblog. We'll put you between AR and Sid. As you are used to having a good JAG handy, AR will keep you comfortable - and she's a sharp professional, you'll like her.

Don't mind Sid though - he'll grow on you - and feel free to ignore Byron request that you pour his beer in to pint glasses - he's just hazing you.

More detail over at USNIBlog.

Oh, and Admiral ... sorry - but new guy on the front porch has to fetch drinks first day. House rules. Make sure you make MaryR's Gimlets with actual, fresh squeezed lime juice (you can find them behind the case of Moonpies under the sink) and quality gin; give her the Roses lime juice and vodka Gimlets just makes her fussier than usual.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Michael Ware: "Suck it up."

Last week's post on BG Pittard hit a nerve - so let's hit that nerve again: suicide.

I do not think that the Care Bear approach works for most men - I simply do not - and I think the big self-congratulatory pity party for those who kill themselves is counter productive in the extreme. Not popular to state - but I stand by it.

Again, with the exceptions I outlined last week standing; a grown man who selfishly ends his life deserves no sympathy; save that for those they leave behind. Full stop.

Near my position, and probably closer to where we should be, follows.

Correspondent Michael Ware has been there and has some good advice - read it all, but here is the pull quote to those who are thinking that they need to end it in order to stop that which is haunting them. I think he is much closer to the right answer:
We just have to suck it up. As we did the blood and sweat and sand. As we did on patrol, or over watch. As we did on cordons-and-knocks, on sweeps, in hides, in gun pits, in turrets, and on chopper doors. As we did killing or capturing or merely waving to children through Humvee windows.

Because of all of those things and more, our peace times are not necessarily so. But I wish it less now than I did. To be dead, that is. Time’s passage let me discover that the desire diminishes, that it mellows even as it rages, and that, possibly, it eventually quiets. I know it’s been my silent brooding companion; familiar, intimate. But I told the doctors. I even confided in my parents, now elderly, and they have watched their son grow older than them right before their eyes.

I’m here to tell you none of us has any choice. Because living is there to be done and it’s we who must do it. It must become our new mission. Because when our generation was called it was we who answered. And our Fallen cannot be left behind. It is we who must remember them.

So, if but one of you reads this, sees this, stumbles over it and you give me just one more day as a result, then this humiliation will have been worth it. Please allow me just to say to you, with no particular expectation at all:


Monday, May 28, 2012

I walked out this AM with a usual list of 1st World problems: last night's storm has covered everything with Spanish Moss, my newspaper is wet, and none of the kids did the dishes as I asked them to.

I had the pleasure to spend some of this weekend with family and friends. A friend's wife is German. Just a great woman who I always enjoy the pleasure of her company as we get to talk about the joys of dark dark, bitter chocolate, the beauty of the Rhine valley, quality beer, and the inherent sturdiness of German automobiles.

She has almost perfect children who are always a hoot as they wander around speaking Germlish - once sentence in German, the other in English without an accent in either.

As our conversation went to food, we talked about the sweet corn in the low-country boil, and she mentioned off-hand that she never ate corn growing up. When her father was "with" the Russians after "the war", that is all they fed him, and as a result her father wouldn't allow corn at the table.

There you go.

I forget - we come from very different backgrounds. The greatest hardship my mother had in WWII was that her dresses were made from the sacks they bought corn meal in (not that bad really - they were made to be used like that).

Sure, our family had known devastation when the Union forces 80 years earlier burned and looted their way through the county, but that was mild by the standard of that day, as it was done in a relatively civilized manner; "Ma'am, you and the children need to get what you need and leave. I have orders to burn the barn and out buildings ... " - instant poverty, but at least you were alive. After the war, those men who survived went home relatively unmolested, and started a century long project of rebuilding and modernization.

My German friend's parents did not have that. Their cities were leveled, their own government started a war that put their men through a senseless meat grinder, and then defeated - many of the men who survived were used as slaves in a Communist death machine for years before the few survivors were sent home.

We are a blessed nation - and a large part of that blessing has to do with geography I will grant you, but we have that geographical blessing for a reason.

After two wars and many treaties - we agreed to a logical, defensible, and peaceful border with the British Empire to the north. Though we could have taken more if we wanted, our predecessors worked out a reasonable border with Mexico to the south (thought I really wish we had not failed to keep Baja California as planned).

In the context of their time, we gained by relatively civilized means, a properly shaped and ordered geography minimizing potential enemies to our borders and providing strategic depth only Russia and China have.

The reason was that those who came before sacrificed for their nation's security and future stability. We all owe them thanks and gratitude that we have such simple problems now. Our greatest threat is totally in our control - the fact we spend too much. The greatest epidemic in our nation is that our poor are so fat their bodies cannot process all the food they take in. We and our friendly neighbors have so much oil, we have to find places to build more pipelines to handle it. We call ourselves in a "war" where a decade's worth of casualties in a nation of 313 million is roughly the same in real numbers as a couple of days in the American Civil War when the nation was of only ~30 million.

1st Word problems thanks to 1st Class ancestors.

We are blessed - all we have to do is earn it today.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Birth of Chinese A2/AD

The military professional must be a student of history - he must be an agenda-free, objective consumer of current events, recent history, varied opinion, and clear-eyed analysis of past and present military operations.

The bureaucrat and fonctionnaire concern themselves with POM cycles and influence (both very important mind you - but not the place for strategic thinkers), but the path to winning tomorrow's conflict lies elsewhere.

In everyone's "Top-5" concerns with China's growing military capabilities, you will find the topic of Anti-Access/Area-Denial (A2/AD) strategy - with good reason.

For the US to create effects in WESTPAC - we will rely on sea power to do the heavy lifting both logistically and militarily. The further we can be pushed back from shore, the more the Chinese can play to their advantage - land power and near-shore operations.

Harry Kazianis at The Diplomat has the start of what looks like an ongoing series on Chinese A2/AD and I like the way he is setting the foundation of the subject - why?
China’s version of A2/AD was born from a complex but fascinating web of history, a revolutionary change in how wars are fought, and recent events that caused Chinese military planners to think outside of the box. What resulted is a powerful asymmetric strategy that will have U.S. military planners scratching their heads for years to come.
But a good place to start in understanding China’s A2/AD doctrine is in the mid-1980s. Chinese planners began to shift away from planning for a war with the Soviet Union, and began gradually to think about ways to modernize their armed forces and incorporate new technologies and fighting doctrine.

And there’s no better way to learn than by example. The rapid defeat of Iraqi forces during the 1991 Gulf War served as a shock to Chinese planners. The revolution of military affairs had arrived. Not only was some of the military equipment the Iraqis operated purchased from China, but the scope of the defeat seemed to catch the Chinese planners somewhat off guard. As one scholar noted: “The revolution in air-delivered weapons dramatized by the United States in the 1991 Gulf War shattered Beijing’s complacency. Time was no longer an ally. The danger ahead was total, perhaps permanent, obsolescence with the result that China’s air defenses couldn’t prevent surprise attacks deep into the nation’s heartland.”
Chinese planners would go into overdrive in response. In 1993, then-President Jiang Zemin ordered Chinese military planners to focus on preparing to wage “local wars under high technology conditions.”
There are obviously other events, recent or otherwise, that Chinese planners looked at when crafting A2/AD. The wars in Bosnia, Kosovo and the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, as well as the 2001 Hainan Island incident, were all major factors for China when considering the development of its military strategy.
Learning institutions ....

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fullbore Friday

What ship was launched 100 years ago this month?

100 is a big number for a ship ... so if it is big .... LT B gird your loins .... then it must be USS TEXAS (BB-35)!

We could spend hours on the ship that my paternal Grandfather (GM3 Salamander) saw from his ship, the USS ARKANSAS (BB-33), with the Brits in WWI - but let's just say "Happy Birthday" to the grand lady who completed 34 years of commissioned service and can still be visited today - and give a nod to a few bits in her highlight reel.
On 23 October 1942, Texas embarked upon her first major combat operation when she sortied with Task Group 34.8 (TG 34.8), the Northern Attack Group for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. ... Texas transmitted Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower's first "Voice of Freedom" broadcast, asking the French not to oppose Allied landings on North Africa. When the troops went ashore, Texas did not come immediately into action to support them. At that point in the war, amphibious warfare doctrine was still embryonic; and many did not recognize the value of a pre-landing bombardment. ... Thus, unlike in later operations, she expended only 273 rounds of 14 in (360 mm) ammunition and six rounds of 5 in (130 mm) ammunition.
At 03:00 on 6 June 1944, Texas and the British cruiser Glasgow entered the Omaha Western fire support lane and into her initial firing position 12,000 yd (11,000 m) offshore near Pointe du Hoc at 04:41, as part of a combined total US-British flotilla of 702 ships, including seven battleships and five heavy cruisers.[44][45][A 8]

The initial bombardment commenced at 05:50, against the site of six 15 cm (5.9 in) guns, atop Pointe du Hoc.[2] When Texas ceased firing at the Pointe at 0624, 255 14 in (360 mm) shells had been fired in 34 minutes—an average rate of fire of 7.5 shells per minute, which was the longest sustained period of firing for Texas in World War II.[44] While shells from the main guns were hitting Pointe du Hoc, the 5 in (130 mm) guns were firing on the area leading up to Exit D-1, the route to get inland from western Omaha. At 06:26, Texas shifted her main battery gunfire to the western edge of Omaha Beach, around the town of Vierville. Meanwhile, her secondary battery went to work on another target on the western end of "Omaha" beach, a ravine laced with strong points to defend an exit road. Later, under control of airborne spotters, she moved her major-caliber fire inland to interdict enemy reinforcement activities and to destroy batteries and other strong points farther inland.
By 15 June, the troops had advanced to the edge of Texas's gun range; her last fire support mission was so far inland that to get the needed range, the starboard torpedo blister was flooded with water to provide a list of two degrees which gave the guns enough elevation to complete the fire mission. With combat operations beyond the range of her guns on 16 June, Texas left Normandy for England on 18 June.
Hey - speaking of Pops's ship,
On the morning of 25 June Texas, in company with Arkansas, Nevada, four cruisers and eleven destroyers, closed in on the vital port of Cherbourg to suppress the fortifications and batteries surrounding the town while the US Army's VII Corps attacked the city from the rear. While enroute to Cherbourg, the bombardment plan was changed and Task Group 129.2 (TG 129.2), built around Arkansas and Texas, was ordered to move six miles (10 km) to the east of Cherbourg and engage the guns of Battery Hamburg, a large shore battery composed of four 240 mm (9.4 in).[50][51][52] At 12:08, Arkansas was the first to fire at the German positions, while the German gunners waited for Arkansas and Texas to be well in range to return fire. At 12:33, Texas was straddled by three German shells; five minutes later Texas returned fire with a continuous stream of two-gun salvos. The battleship continued her firing runs in spite of shell geysers blossoming about her and difficulty spotting the targets because of smoke; however, the enemy gunners were just as stubborn and skilled. At 13:16, a German 240 mm (9.4 in) shell skidded across the top of her Conning Tower, sheared the top of the fire control periscope off (the periscope remains fell back into the Conning Tower and wounded the gunnery officer and three others), hit the main support column of the Navigation Bridge and exploded.[50][53][54] The explosion caused the deck of the Pilot House above to be blown upwards approximately 4 ft (1.2 m), wrecked the interior of the Pilot House, and wounded seven. Of the eleven total casualties from the German shell hit, only one man succumbed to his wounds—the helmsman on duty, Christen Christensen.[55] Texas's commanding officer, Captain Baker, miraculously escaped unhurt and quickly had the bridge cleared. The warship herself continued to deliver her 14 in (360 mm) shells in two-gun salvos and, in spite of damage and casualties, scored a direct hit that penetrated one of the heavily reinforced gun emplacements to destroy the gun inside at 13:35.[51]

At 14:47, an unexploded 240 mm (9.4 in) shell was reported.[56] The shell crashed through the port bow directly below the Wardroom and entered the stateroom of Warrant Officer M.A. Clark, but failed to explode. The unexploded shell was later disarmed by a Navy bomb disposal officer in Portsmouth and is currently displayed aboard the ship. Throughout the three-hour duel, the Germans straddled and near-missed Texas over sixty-five times, but she continued her mission firing 206 14 in (360 mm) shells at Battery Hamburg until 15:01 when, upon orders to that effect, she retired.
Oh, there's more. Head on over to Wikipedia for more.

Five battlestars and only one combat casualty. Wow.

Oh, and one day we need to have a Salamanderpalooza with Sid leading a Hard Hat tour.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

LCS: Quote vs. Quote

One of the core reasons more people have not joined the LCS bandwagon has been the ongoing contradictions and contrary sales points by its strongest advocates.

Earlier this week we bounced the CNO's "not in harms way" off The Under's "LCS will be like Taffy 3" strange rally cry.

Well - there is more to chew on that will help explain why LCS just cannot get traction.
"If we needed a frigate, we would build a frigate."
--- Undersecretary of the Navy Bob Work at the CATO forum: The Future of the U.S. Navy Surface Fleet.
P 50 Section 2 of U.S. Navy Program Guide 2012
"Decommissioning of the remaining 26 FFGs is scheduled to occur prior to FY 2019. The LCS will replace the capacity and capability of the FFG 7-class."
Sure, a lot accept that LCS will be in the Fleet - but don't confuse acceptance with approval - and don't complain people "don't get it" when you can't even "explain it."

Hat tip DKB in comments.

Diversity Thursday

The opposition we have voiced here towards the sectarianian agenda of the Navy's Diversity Bullies is just our part of a much larger socio-political scam.

The nastier side effects of the Diversity Industry we have all seen, but for better or worse, it is good to see that it isn't just the Navy's issue - but one of our larger society. Running parallel to our arguments here over the years, Victor Davis Hanson wraps it up well. Read it all.
For anyone familiar with the American university and its gospel of multicultural diversity, the revelation that Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren exploited her 1/32 Cherokee ancestry to pass as a minority is a dog-bites-man story. For decades now universities have depended on the superficially non-white “other” to fulfill and tout their “commitment to diversity” and their doctrine of “multiculturalism.” Meanwhile, the only diversity that counts, the diversity of minds and points of view, is ignored. Instead, the rigid leftist ideology of American historical wickedness and oppression is imposed on the presumed bastions of truth and free minds.

The phoniness of such “diversity” is evident on multiple levels. Warren’s ploy is not that much more egregious than the thousands of Caucasians with Hispanic surnames who pass as minorities in American universities. White Chileans, Argentines, and Mexicans come to American colleges and are transformed into “Chicanos,” a category that has little reality outside a college campus. Hiring Basques or Spaniards counts as increasing “diversity,” even though they have nothing culturally in common with the mestizo or Indian children of farm-workers. So too African or Caribbean blacks are hired not because they bring the unique perspective of their homelands to their intellectual work or teaching, but because they count as “black,” and thus are assumed to have some mystical connection with American black students and their cultural identity, which owes much more to American culture and history than to African.

Of course, socio-economic differences among American minorities are also ignored in the rush to promote diversity. A Mexican-American dentist’s or schoolteacher’s daughter who never cut a grape or washed a dish supposedly has some special insight into poor or working-class Mexicans. A light-skinned black son of college-educated parents who grew up in the suburbs gets to campus and suddenly has a rapport with the “brothers” and their experiences. An upper class Chinese is thought to be better able to relate to anyone designated by the meaningless category “Asian-American,” which obscures the fundamental differences and histories of Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Thais, Laos, Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Hmong. The social capital that comes from education and wealth and that is used to define “white-skin privilege” suddenly has no value when it comes to the equally privileged ethnic “other.”
This melodramatic history is the antithesis of the only diversity that counts, intellectual diversity, for it reduces a complex, variegated, universally flawed humanity into cardboard villains and victims. But the point of multiculturalism has never been “diversity.” If true diversity were the aim, then the university would promote the diversity of religion, region, socio-economic background, and most important intellect and philosophy. And that’s what “diversity” of the sort that allowed a blue-eyed, blonde Elizabeth Warren to pass as evidence of Harvard’s “commitment to diversity” is really about: imposing a leftist ideological conformity predicated on America’s historical crimes and sins.
As a side note, if you missed the Midrats interview with VDH - you can get it here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

BG Pittard is Correct

We need to be blunt with each other. We need to speak to each other as adults.

Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, USA may not be snuggly-huggly - but he is spot on.
“I have now come to the conclusion that suicide is an absolutely selfish act,” he wrote on his official blog recently. “I am personally fed up with soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess. Be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us.”
Of course, now the Harpies of Compassion have come down on him.
The posting was subsequently scrubbed from the Fort Bliss website, ... Pittard is expected to formally retract his comments later this week, but suicide-prevention experts believe that Pittard’s blog posting has already conveyed precisely the wrong message to emotionally-fragile troops.

“Soldiers who are thinking about suicide can’t do what the general says: They can’t suck it up, they can’t let it go, they can’t just move on,” said Barbara Van Dahlen, the founder of Give an Hour, an organization that matches troops with civilian mental-health providers. “They’re not acting out of selfishness; they’re acting because they believe they’ve become a burden to their loved ones and can only relieve that burden by taking their own lives.”
Don't think MG Pittard doesn't "get it" - he does.
Pittard, for his part, is far more devoted to suicide prevention than his comments might suggest. Fort Bliss – which houses roughly 40,000 troops, 40,000 military family members, and 13,000 other civilians in Texas and New Mexico – has an unusually large staff of 160 psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental-health professionals.

At Pittard’s direction, the base has also constructed a “Wellness Fusion Campus” designed to provide education on resilience, suicide prevention, and spotting signs of depression or other mood disorders in one’s self or fellow troops. So far this year, two troops from the base have killed themselves, putting Fort Bliss roughly on pace to match the six who took their own lives last year. In 2010, five troops from the base killed themselves there.

“I was stunned when I heard about the controversy [over Pittard’s comments],” said Lt. Col. Leonard Gruppo, who runs the new center. “General Pittard is the most aggressive, most visionary, and most innovative installation commander in the Army when it comes to mental health and suicide prevention.”
Maybe MG Pittard has been thinking and living this long enough that he has come to see what is the core nature of suicide. Perhaps he has had a moment of clarity.

I had mine years ago and stand firm in this: with very rare exceptions that deal with sacrifice for others or incurable physical pain; a person who kills themselves is not worthy of pity or understanding - save both for the loved ones they leave behind; they are the ones who need your care.

MG Pittard - do what you need to do to call off the Harpies of Compassion, but know this - you are not alone, and you are correct.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Battleship: the Review

Not by me - I went to see The Avengers at IMAX.

Anyway - Burke over at StrategyPage does a fine job. For some reason, I like this.
At this point, we should remember Mark Twain’s remark that Wagner’s music is better than it sounds. Battleship is actually more fun than a description of it sounds. Once the action starts it’s nonstop. The movie looks great, and you can sit there and ogle your choice of the special effects, the extensive Navy hardware, or Brooklyn Decker. It’s a summer movie, big, loud, mindless, and fun if you don’t think about it too much. It’s an unusual blend of patriotism and PC. The movie’s heart, at least, is in the right place. The idea of taking an old World War II battleship out to take on alien invaders actually does have a certain inherent coolness to it. (Besides, who would want to see a movie called Littoral Combat Ship?)
Hat tip DC.

Monday, May 21, 2012

LCS & More At CATO

OK folks - I'm not just making this required listening because at the 43:25 mark, Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute quoted your humble, ahem, blogger - no - you need to listen to this as it is a great panel and a very well rounded discussion of where we are as a Navy and were we need to go.

All these panel members want the same thing - they just differ on how to get there and what tools we need when we arrive. It is a great example of the "creative friction" that is so important to achieving success in any endeavor.

The panel members were Robert O. Work, Under Secretary of the Navy; Eric J. Labs, Senior Analyst for Naval Forces and Weapons, Congressional Budget Office; Ben Freeman, National Security Fellow, Project on Government Oversight; Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute; and moderator Benjamin Friedman, Senior Fellow in Defense and Homeland Security Studies, Cato Institute.

Depending on your Operating System, you may just have to download the MP3 and listen - but head on over to CATO and catch the full policy forum; The Future of the U.S. Navy Surface Fleet.

Just a note about "The Under." As most of you know, though I disagree with him on LCS - I personally and professionally like the guy. He is a great patriot and thinker - I just think he is wrong in most things about LCS. Not all, just most. Actually, on LCS I hope I am wrong in the end and he is right - as if I am mostly right ... then ungh.

He is a happy warrior - but perhaps too happy. Though he understands and recognizes technology and program risk - I don't think he appreciates the downside or has really thought out Plan B - as Plan A will be almost compete before we know if it is even a good plan - very different than the small run plans of the past he used as examples in his presentation.

He is also making the mistake of not understanding fully why people oppose LCS. He gets little angles of the opposition, but not the whole picture - creating little partial straw men to argue against. It misses the nuance, but is fair on his part and worth looking at

He states that there are three type of people who do not like LCS:
1. Those who just don't get the new Fleet design and as such just .... don't get its transformational brilliance.
2. Those who do not like the problems in the early stages of the program and are stuck on that and can't get over it. (BTW - tacky and internally contradictory move by The Under in using the "inherited from the previous administration" dodge - while praising CNO Clark).
3. Those who don't like the design flaws.

He also growls at those who want a frigate, "If we needed a frigate, we would build a frigate." Well, from HOA to Libya to about everywhere else - yes we need a "frigate" in the modern 21st Century sense.

Let me address 1, 2, & 3.
1. I agree some don't understand the Fleet design because they haven't made the effort to try - but most people I know have and they simply don't agree with it. They don't believe it is a good design, that it will work as promised, or that is the best design to meet the known unknowns our Navy always seems to sail in to. I would also offer that many of those don't like the design because it is based of a selective Hegelian dialectic reading of Fleet progression since WWII. Undersecretary Work, just because someone does not agree with the Fleet design you like, does not mean they "don't get it." They do - they just don't like it, kind of like Moxie.

2. Fair description of one subset of opponents. Many are as described - and they can't get over it as many of those errors are "baked in" to the ships and cannot be PPT'd out. They also remember how truth changed and are a little jaded as a result. Agree though that it is looking backwards a bit too much, not forward.

3. That is really a sub-set of 2, with a healthy skepticism of the "Swiss Army LCS" nature of the program - a more effective position to take.

I am also concerned because his argument is full of contradictions that don't lead one to have faith that everything will turn out right. Just a few examples.

A: You can't state that some people don't get the "radical, new, transformational, sliced, dices, julliennes" Fleet design on one hand, and then say that the Fleet design represents a "return of the small combatant to the Fleet design." Even a paleo-neo-Mahanist would understand that. May need to re-tool that counter.

B: Of course it is a warship - but you cannot have the CNO state:
"I don't worry per se about its survivability where I would intend to send it," Greenert said of the LCS. "You won't send it into an anti-access area."
... and then talk about a future LCS Skipper turning towards the enemy like the Tin Cans off Samar. You can't be both (for the record, I agree with The Under. The LCS CO will have to order his ship in to the teeth, as he won't have a choice as history teaches up. That, again, makes many of my points).

Enough of my prattling on - listen to the forum and what all the panel members had to say.

Good stuff.

Hat tip Galrahn.

It's OK - Our Navy is There ...

Time to buck everyone up.

For obvious reasons, I am not going to name the ship, the CO, the time frame, nor the coast this took place on. I will not put this leader in danger.

The important thing is to know that .... well .... our Navy is still going strong.

For a friend of the blog;

In a real departure from normal procedures, the skipper left the weatherdecks open during the full power run, crash astern, and crash ahead testing. ... everyone else secures the decks to avoid possible mishaps. (when I told him that) He gave me a disgusted look and formed an upside down triangle with his hands. He said that one of his missions was the "depussification of the Navy."
He told some hilarious stories about dealing with his Suggestion Box. They have a CSO that is a bit of a screamer when folks screw up. Invariably, after the ship completes a CS event the CSO passes word for all khaki to assemble in CIC where they will get a "frank and honest appraisal" of their performance. Well after one of these "Assemble all khaki" 1MC announcements the skipper gets on the 1MC and announces "away the morale suppression team, report to CIC." After that he got a missive in the Box saying that, "speaking for the crew," it was disheartening that he knew that morale was being reduced by the CSO and rather than step in and put a stop to it he was making light of it. Skipper said he always waits a couple of days before responding the such suggestions.

"First off you don't speak for the crew, you speak only for you."
And so it goes from there. Bravo Zulu Skipper - I'll keep an eye on you and your ship. I expect great things.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Return to Russia, on Midrats

The USSR may be gone ... but Russia has not gone anywhere.

While the news seems to be all around Russia from the rise of China, the incredible success of the Baltic states, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics, to the European edge of the "near abroad" - Russia continues to be a major player.

Is it still feeding off the corpse of the USSR, or is there a new dynamism and potential? If not a democracy in the Western sense and not Communist either - what is it?

Where does it see its role beyond a seller of weapons and energy? Is Putin just about Putin - or does he have a larger vision for Russia?

Why has Russia taken the position it has from Syria to Iran in the face of world opinion?

To discuss this and more, for the full hour today, Sunday 20 May from 5-6pm EST we will have returning guest Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg, Senior Analyst, CNA Strategic Studies, an Associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and author and host of the Russian Military Reform blog.

Join us live if you can, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio - the best way to get the show and download the archive to your audio player is to get a free account and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Sunday Funnies

From one of my spies ...
Yep'r ... is real. From the Pentagon on the 16th.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Defenestration of the Janissaries

Over at USNIBlog, URR returns to what is a very important topic - the top-heavy nature of our force.

Any student of history knows what happens to a military that becomes a boated patronage machine more focused on privilege and status than service and warfighting.

Everyone likes to talk about how "expensive" manpower is - but as we decimate the meaty center of our operational capability with ERB and other programs - we ignore the most expensive bloat of all; our Admirals.

I think good people can disagree on what the right number is and different ways to "right size" the bulbous top of the pyramid ... but no one can realistically defend where we are now;

The May 2012 Proceedings reached me while I was on some active duty facilitating some war games at NDU. It is my second-favorite Proceedings issue of the year. It is the Naval Review issue. Contained therein is every Navy Flag Officer currently serving. Three hundred thirty one in total, according to USNI.

There has been discussion aplenty here and elsewhere regarding the absurdity and wastefulness of having 1.17 Admirals for EACH SHIP in the United States Navy.
URR has a good entering argument, check it out.

Next bid.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fullbore Friday

Oh, he's only a 20-yr BM1. Didn't even graduate from High School. Snuck in to the Navy at 16 even.

Really? Define "only."

What more can I say but what is in his Medal of Honor citation?

U.S. Navy, River Section 531, My Tho, RVN
Mekong River, Republic of Vietnam

31 October 1966
for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. BM1 Williams was serving as Boat Captain and Patrol Officer aboard River Patrol Boat (PBR) 105 accompanied by another patrol boat when the patrol was suddenly taken under fire by 2 enemy sampans. BM1 Williams immediately ordered the fire returned, killing the crew of 1 enemy boat and causing the other sampan to take refuge in a nearby river inlet. Pursuing the fleeing sampan, the U.S. patrol encountered a heavy volume of small-arms fire from enemy forces, at close range, occupying well-concealed positions along the river bank. Maneuvering through this fire, the patrol confronted a numerically superior enemy force aboard 2 enemy junks and 8 sampans augmented by heavy automatic weapons fire from ashore. In the savage battle that ensued, BM1 Williams, with utter disregard for his safety exposed himself to the withering hail of enemy fire to direct counter-fire and inspire the actions of his patrol. Recognizing the over whelming strength of the enemy force, BM1 Williams deployed his patrol to await the arrival of armed helicopters. In the course of his movement he discovered an even larger concentration of enemy boats. Not waiting for the arrival of the armed helicopters, he displayed great initiative and boldly led the patrol through the intense enemy fire and damaged or destroyed 50 enemy sampans and 7 junks. This phase of the action completed, and with the arrival of the armed helicopters, BM1 Williams directed the attack on the remaining enemy force. Now virtually dark, and although BM1 Williams was aware that his boats would become even better targets, he ordered the patrol boats' search lights turned on to better illuminate the area and moved the patrol perilously close to shore to press the attack. Despite a waning supply of ammunition the patrol successfully engaged the enemy ashore and completed the rout of the enemy force. Under the leadership of BM1 Williams, who demonstrated unusual professional skill and indomitable courage throughout the 3 hour battle, the patrol accounted for the destruction or loss of 65 enemy boats and inflicted numerous casualties on the enemy personnel. His extraordinary heroism and exemplary fighting spirit in the face of grave risks inspired the efforts of his men to defeat a larger enemy force, and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
Only a BM1. Only the most highly decorated Enlisted Sailor in our history - worth a good name.

'Nuff said.

Hat tip P.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

LCS Ponderable of the Day

Just a little snip from an email from the Fleet.
"Independence just pulled into SD not long ago and her AAR for transit through the Panama Canal shed light on some of the crew's challenges during the transit over. We are now living with the realities of what was hastily planned and pushed into production. "
... and we'll be living with it for awhile.

The sad truth is that we are well past killing the program, though we'll will bemoan the opportunity cost for decades - this will make it in to the Fleet.

The big questions now are:
(1) how we manage to optimize a sub-optimal platform in a manner that give the Fleet Commanders the best possible platform given its limitations.

(2) ensure we employ the platform in a manner that does not unnecessarily imperil our Sailors.

The answers are still evolving, but some things won't. Physics and physical endurance.

LCS will, for many yapp'n from the cheap seats, be the gift that keep on giving.

In hockey you have the "hip check" ...

... in the Navy, we have something kind-of like that when LT Murphy has the conn.

Looks like all that CYA hiding of INSURV reports, "optimal manning" and "transformational" concepts about the skills ships company need to have vice workers ashore is working like gangbusters.

Maybe that had something to do with it ... maybe not. Either way - just a good thing no Sailors were hurt.
Crews assessed damage on a U.S. Navy assault ship and a refueling tanker that collided in the Pacific Ocean off California, after the steering apparently went out on one of the vessels, the military said.

The Wednesday morning accident between the amphibious assault vessel USS Essex and the oiler USNS Yukon occurred about 120 miles off the coast of Southern California as the Essex was approaching the Yukon to be refueled, said Cmdr. Charlie Brown, a spokesman for the 3rd Fleet.
Brown said the steering apparently stopped working on the 844-foot-long Essex, which was carrying 982 crew members on its way to San Diego for scheduled maintenance. It had spent the past 12 years based in Sasebo, Japan, as command ship for the Navy's Expeditionary Strike Group 7.

The Essex was traveling with a new crew that came aboard for the trip to California. The ship recently underwent a crew swap with another amphibious assault ship, the Bonhomme Richard, as part of a standard procedure in the Navy to keep its ships operating.
the 844-foot-long Essex, which was carrying 982 crew members on its way to San Diego for scheduled maintenance. It had spent the past 12 years based in Sasebo, Japan, as command ship for the Navy’s Expeditionary Strike Group 7.
"They were probably so close there was no time to respond when the steering went out," said Allen, who served 30 years in the Coast Guard.
Steering going out in the middle of UNREP?

Neptune is not happy with someone.

Diversity Thursday

They do write themselves sometimes.

Pass the popcorn - it is another schadenfreude DivThu as we bask in the open contradictions, fraud, lies, and otherwise sillyness of this whole Diveristy Industry.

First - when you don't have real problems ... try to invent them. After all, if your paycheck, ego, or insecurity-feeding requires sectarianism and division - you have to fake it till you make it.

First ... USNA!
From: "ENCM (SW) Chris [redacted]"
Date: May 14, 2012 10:05:10 AM EDT
To: [redacted]
Subject: Seriously Folks - This is Stereotyping

Good morning all,
The term "Indian Run" is used to describe the alternating sprint exercises at various levels here at the Academy, and it is widely used among the public.

I hope all can already see the problem with this, but let me be clear, this is a form of stereotyping. I also wanted to offer a broader perspective:

A SGT tells his soldiers that they will be doing Navy runs.
A soldier asks, what's a Navy run.

Another soldier responds, it's associated with the Navy, so it's going to be an easy day.

The soldier's curiosity about the Navy run probably goes beyond what it is. That simple question may also be seeking an answer to why another service is referenced, or seeking validation of what they may already suspect is something inappropriate.

To the broader point, look beyond the simple questions that may be asked by those under your charge. The simple question is often the tip of the iceberg; as with icebergs, its what's underneath that has sunk many ships. I am asking everyone to revisit practices that may have caused you to pause, so we can keep our ship afloat.
I'm also seeking input on an alternative name for these sprints.

ENCM(SW) Christopher [redacted]
Equal Opportunity Advisor
US Naval Academy
Wow. Where do we start? When you actually research the phrase - no one knows where it comes from. Funny, one place that tries to figure it out puts a picture of a Indian-Indian, turban and all.

The fact that the don't know where its origin comes from but they assume it is bad, says a lot more about those who are "concerned" than anyone who uses it.

Let's see. It is physically challenging, demanding, requires exceptional physical condition and endurance to do an "Indian Run."

That's considered an insult? I checked with Elizabeth Warren - doesn't hurt her feelings. OK, if you are a "half-empty" mentality person or some fat-body, I guess you could say it is a mindlessly exhausting exercise whose only purpose seems to be to inflict pain and exhaustion on those doing it. Fine, call it a "SWO Run" then.

But wait ... we have ideas!
From: "ENCM (SW) Chris [redacted]"
Date: May 15, 2012 9:17:21 AM EDT
To: [redacted]
Subject: Alternatives to "Indian Runs"

Good morning all,
Given the overwhelming responses, and a continuous stream of emails this morning, I wanted to at least get this bit out. Here are some examples offered, and either works as a replacement to "Indian Runs":

Back to front sprints
Drafting sprints
In-line sprints
Leap frogs
Speed intervals
Squad sprints
Team sprints
Wind sprints

As of this post, I have received 52 emails in response. Several made attempts at establishing the term's origin; two cautioned against being overly sensitive; and one, who self reported as being of Native American decent, said he was always offended by the term, but didn't speak out because he just wanted to fit in.
We may not have the ability to remedy every concern that comes our way, but should be willing to address them. What the responses overwhelmingly show is that many of you are at least willing to consider things you might not have otherwise. Just one more facet of leadership.

ENCM(SW) Christopher [redacted]
Equal Opportunity Advisor
US Naval Academy
- Back to front sprints: a kind of foreplay. No good - hostile work environment.
- Drafting sprints: NASCAR specific. No good - not inclusive.
- In-line sprints: grammatically awkward.
- Leap frogs: already used; and too much fun. Even I'm giggl'n with the thought of someone trying to yell, "Leap Frogs" at a bunch of MIDN. Confusing.
- Speed intervals: already used (if you have any athletic background you'd know that).
- Squad sprints: maybe, but confusing.
- Team sprints: ghey.
- Wind sprints: already taken.

So, confusing or ghey. Take your choice. I still like "SWO Runs."

Isn't there an open E-9 billet at sea somewhere we can send the good Master Chief - he is underemployed and I wouldn't wish that job on any Sailor.

BTW, thanks to the WIDE range of people who forwarded this to me. I've been laughing all week.

Second ... GOLF!
One glance at the team pictures of the men’s and women’s winners from last weekend’s PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship might make people rethink the term “minority.”
The men of Texas Pan-American and the women of Bethune-Cookman each won for the second time in the past three years. Neither school has an African-American on its roster. Half of Bethune-Cookman’s six golfers, in fact, are European.
Payton, who is NFL great’s Walter’s older brother, took over the golf program at Jackson State in 1985 and realized no HBCU school had been invited to play in the NCAA golf championships.
Payton pooled resources and influence with a few other African-American leaders to create the Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, which made its debut in 1987. Eight years later, Jackson State became the first HBCU to qualify for the NCAAs
The PGA was granted complete ownership and management of the event in 2006. The field was opened not only to HBCUs, but also to “Hispanic-serving institutions,” such as Texas Pan-American. As the disparity between non-minority and minority golfers competing at the tournament grew, officials created a men’s independent division and a women’s independent division specifically for minority individuals.
Renee Powell was the second black female to play on the LPGA Tour. Powell, 66, recalled twisting the arm of a sponsor in order to send golf equipment to three HBCUs. When she arrived at a tournament in which they were playing, Powell had a startling discovery.

“All of your golfers are white,” Powell told the coach.

Powell, who was raised in an era when it was exponentially tougher for women, let alone black women, to crack a college roster, is not particularly outraged that non-minorities are predominant on many HBCU golf teams.

“If you’re a young black golfer, you might decide you have to play a little harder,” Powell said. “After all, you can look at it this way: Those white girls are minorities at their school.”
Tied in to knots by their own internal contradictions. Then again - the entire Diversity Industry is built on a racial concept that went away over 40 years ago.

They shouldn't feel too bad - they should see who in the Navy claims to be "Hispanic."

All this sectarianism and division would continue to be funny if it was not such a cancer on our nation's soul.
UPDATE: Yes, it can get better.

Date: Thu, May 17, 2012 at 9:36 AM
Subject: Alternatives to "Indian Runs"
To: All Officers at USNA complex , USNA-CPO

Good morning all,
It was brought to my attention this morning that the term "frog" was
used as a slur to refer to Franco-Americans. There is ample
information to support this concern. Under the list of alternatives I
offered for "Indian Runs", please strike from the list "Leap Frogs".
These emails are sent to Officers and Senior Enlisted, and does afford
an opportunity to learn from each other, so I appreciate the feedback
and will give each due consideration.

Somewhere at Annapolis is a hero for freedom .... with a rack full of berets and baguettes.
UPDATE II - Electric Boogaloo: As pointed out by an astute emailer; while we are at it - if you think about it; given this nation's history - are both "Master" and "Chief" problem words?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Accessing Salamander's Archive

Come on guys ... I've been tracking your IPs since early 2005. You Congressional staffers are getting slow to the game.
A key congressional subcommittee has questioned the manning plan for the Navy’s newest class of warships and signaled that it will force the Navy to keep three of seven selected cruisers from an early retirement.

The subcommittee took issue with the manpower plan for littoral combat ships, in particular asking why the Navy has decided to send ensigns and first-term sailors to these smaller crews, after previously saying they didn’t plan to do so. Lawmakers are concerned that junior sailors and ensigns assigned to LCSs won’t get the training they need on a ship with minimal manning and limited opportunities for training.

“The committee is concerned that the current LCS manning model is unrealistic and that relying on temporary solutions such as berthing modules to accommodate additional crewmembers is both impractical and detrimental to the quality of life of the entire crew,” the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee wrote in a report obtained by Navy Times. The report, which has not yet been publicly released, is to be considered at a markup Thursday.

You could have asked this, I don't know ... five years ago, eight years ago - but you're right. The Navy was telling a different story then than they are now.

That's OK - better late than never. Here is the fun part if you have time to pass this around - get hold of the NPS thesis of then LT now CDR Thaveepho Douangaphaivong, USN, presently the XO of NRD Minneapolis.

Wait ... silly me -
here it is for you.
The Littoral Combat Ship’s (LCS) minimally manned core crew goal is 15 to 50 manpower requirements and the threshold, for both core and mission-package crews, is 75 to 110.

This dramatically smaller crew size will require more than current technologies and past lessons learned from reduced manning initiatives. Its feasibility depends upon changes in policy and operations, leveraging of future technologies and increased Workload Transfer from sea to shore along with an increased acceptance of risk.
Read it all - then give CDR Douangaphaivong an Operational Command for speaking truth before it became popular.

You want to reward "against the grain" thinking and intellectual courage? Start with him.

Let's see - you paid for him to go to NPS. No variable cost. CDR Salamander is free. So, how much did you pay for all those PPT, consultants, vignettes, Fantasy Island CONOPS?

Just to be fair - we'll take just 10% of the cost you paid them. CDR D and I will split it 50/50; time value of money and all.

Yes, his thesis is from 2004. Two Thousand Frigg'n Four.

LCDR Morton Assumes Command of NORTHCOM

Ahhhh ... way back when ... remember when they said ... but they'd never .....

I remember that everyone understood that you can deploy for a year and put your life on the line every day ... but as we don't want to upset our Islamic friends; we will give up the pleasure of a beer. Sure; we understand.

Then it was a "group punishment" if one person from a nation who has the outlandishly irresponsible 21-yr drinking age doesn't know how to drink makes an a55 of himself. (notice that nations like The Netherlands with a drinking age of 16 just don't have this problem)

What about the USA ... oh, that will never happen here, right?
The head of the U.S. Northern Command has a reminder for his troops supporting the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago: no alcohol, no prostitutes.
Yep, General Order #1: in CONUS. In your own nation. In your off duty hours. I'm just happy they didn't make everyone sign a Page-13 stating they wouldn't beat their wives during the Super Bowl.

Anyone deployed to AFG can tell you ISAF/NATO bases are awash in alcohol for the adult nations. Ever been to ISAF HQ on New Years?

How do we find ourselves here treating the military this way - after a decade of war? In their own nation? What does this represent?

Same thing; CYA leadership and moral cowardice of the worst kind; one that throws service members under the bus and reinforces the worst cliche'd insults.

Then we spin it like some cheap paternalistic fuss-bucket.
"Military commanders routinely apply lessons learned from previous experiences. In this case, the recent events in Colombia highlighted to the leadership at USNORTHCOM the importance of ensuring that there is absolutely no confusion on what is expected from the military and DOD (Department of Defense) civilians supporting these important national security events," explained U.S. Northern Command spokesman John Cornelio.
In. The. USA.

Read the whole memo and cry the beloved nation.

NATO Conf Memo

Good googly moogly. The world laughs ... and I laugh with them.

I just ask one thing - do not heap scorn on the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen - this isn't their fault and they have done nothing wrong. Tut-tut, waggle a finger, and just shame everyone from SECDEF to COMNORTHCOM. Let them feel the shame.

Nanny state leadership. The Care Bear branch of this school.

Hat tip hewhoshouldknowbetter.