Tag: Military

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Hi Ricochet!  I trust this find you all well.  I have been inexplicably busy.  We thought after the kids left we’d be on easy street – Ha!  We seemingly have more to do than we did with kids.  I think it might be that we have a better understanding that this ride is finite and […]

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Ricochet Editor-in-Chief Jon Gabriel is in for Jim today. Join Jon and Greg as they discuss Republicans in the Tennessee State House of Representatives moving to expel three Democrats for collaborating with gun control activists and joining in their protests that disrupted proceedings on the House floor last week. They also hammer DCCC Chairwoman Suzan DelBene and her husband, Kurt, over the leaking of confidential veteran records of several Republican congressional candidates in the 2022 election cycle. Finally, they highlight the importance of today’s elections for control of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the runoff between Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson in the Chicago mayor’s race.

Join Jim and Greg as they present two bad martinis and a crazy one. First, they highlight House Speaker Kevin McCarthy saying Social Security and Medicare cuts are not on the table in the fight over the debt ceiling. That rebuts Biden’s false accusation but it also highlights how neither party has any intention of doing the work necessary to shore up these programs headed towards insolvency. They’re also dizzy from the conflicting explanations of Chinese spy balloons during the Trump years. After Biden officials saying Trump did nothing about three different balloons, we now have some saying the U.S. never detected those balloons while other defense and intelligence officials reportedly did know but chose not to tell President Trump. Finally, they groan and brace for the political drudgery and theater known as the State of the Union address.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul’s vow to get answers on the Biden administration’s debacle in Afghanistan. McCaul says the administration has been stonewalling on providing documents on how U.S. intelligence was so wrong on the advance of the Taliban, the deadly attack on U.S. service members outside the Kabul airport, and much more. They also shudder as a new report shows the U.S. is dangerously deficient in producing new weapons to replace the many munitions we’re sending over to Ukraine. In other words, if the U.S. got involved in sustained military action, we could run out of key weapons in less than a week. Finally, they shake their heads as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s solution to the wave of street vendor robberies is to tell them not to conduct business in cash.

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I had some interesting comments on a piece I wrote last week, criticizing aspects of 1950s America. I wanted to narrow in on the issue of education because I think it’s complicated enough to deserve its own discussion. I’ve had some time to formulate my thoughts, and my theory is that reading, writing and arithmetic […]

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China’s Vast Sovereignty Claims Are Becoming Reality


On June 13, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin held an extraordinary press conference in which he made a series of audacious statements about the sprawling reach of the Middle Kingdom’s territorial sovereignty. Placed in the context of China’s other recent actions and statements, the incredible size and shape of its regional ambitions are brought into sharp relief.

In simple terms, Beijing is determined to thoroughly dominate its region.

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This article was written by Michelle Black and published in the NY Times (I know collectively our favorite). I truly love this article. It captures the surreal rawness of dealing with death interspersed with bursts of humor that somehow accompany emotionally charged events. I thought it appropriate in light of the pending holiday and remembering […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome new polls showing New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan deadlocked with her possible GOP rivals after her sudden interest in border security faces a major backlash. They also shudder at a Pentagon report showing the U.S. military is dangerously dependent upon China for critical components needed to fight effectively. And they shake their heads as Sen. Elizabeth Warren tries to argue that “forgiving” student loan debt by forcing taxpayers to foot the bill will not add to inflation.


Eight Important Lessons on Deterrence from Ukraine


There’s nothing that complicated about deterrence theory. To successfully deter potential adversaries from doing bad things to you and your friends, they need to believe you are willing and able to do unacceptably bad things to them and their friends in response. The degree to which they believe this is the degree to which deterrence is effective. Hence, successful deterrence employs the tactic of ambiguity to create doubt in adversaries’ minds over how far you may be willing to go, which is where the phrase “all options are on the table” has often been employed through past conflicts and crises.

So, what lessons have we learned about deterrence over the past two months?

Ukraine’s War Is Our War


In case your blood pressure just took a leap, I’m not saying that we should be standing alongside Ukrainians fighting against the Russians. I don’t think anyone in their right mind thinks that’s a good idea. But as I watch their war unfold and analyze what is happening, more and more their war is beginning to sound more and more like the “war” we are experiencing in our own country. If you get past the cultural and structural differences comparing the relationship of Ukraine and Russia, and our own Communists who are finally admitting who they are, with patriots who love this country and its founders, the similarities are eerie.

The United States has been fighting a civil war, but we’ve only recognized that truth in recent years. The seeds for war were being planted by the political Left at all levels of our country right under our noses: government, education, and the corporate world. But we either ignored the signs or didn’t bother to notice them. Worse, we may have seen them, but in our own arrogance, we assumed those doing the work of the Left were nutcases and were no threat to the country.

We made the same assumption about Russia and Ukraine. We chose to ignore Putin’s actions and words, believing Putin was just reminiscing, and assumed that Ukraine’s difficulties were not our difficulties.

Navy Flight Training: The Way It Was…


T-28B Trojan.

I started Navy pilot flight training in the summer of 1977 when the advertised time for a jet pilot to earn their wings was 18 months. Few actually completed their training that quickly due to weather and the aging fleet of training aircraft which made them a challenge to keep flying. In 1975 the Navy had begun transitioning to the new T‑34C Turbo Mentor but mechanical problems had delayed a full switchover and some squadrons were still flying the T-28 B/C, an aircraft whose first flight was in late 1949! Despite its age, it was a magnificent machine and fun to fly. It was a lot of plane for someone who’d never flown before but once you mastered its high power, it was solidly predictable.

T-45A Goshawk.

My first stop was Pensacola, Florida where I completed survival school. (Water immersion and helo splashdown training!) In August, new orders sent me to Whiting Field Naval Air Station, north of Pensacola for Primary Flight Training where I would be flying the radial engine-powered T‑28B Trojan. Its nine-cylinder Wright R-1820-86 engine and three-bladed propeller developed an eye-watering 1,425 horsepower!

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Apparently, the Chinese Government realized space is more than shuttling aging celebrities and billionaires like some other published programs. It’s being reported that the Chinese have successfully tested an advanced type of missile that can go low orbit and achieve multiples of Mach speed. It is my understanding that this type of missile is key […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they process the latest difficult news out of Afghanistan. First, they discuss the American citizens who are trying to get out and can’t get to the airport while the U.S. government pretends it’s not happening. They also fume over a Washington Post story that the Taliban offered to give the U.S. control of Kabul until the withdrawal deadline and Biden turned them down. And they shake their heads as White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan insists we’ll have all sorts of leverage to get citizens and allies out of Afghanistan, even after our military leaves.

Designed Disaster: US Military Model Afghan Army


LogisticsTake every narrative about Afghanistan, including those that please you, with a shaker full of salt. Consider the claim that the Afghan National Army was a sham, really a source of American military career advancement and defense contractor enrichment. The ANA melting away, and the Taliban’s lightning victory, supports this narrative. Surely, after 20 years, the Afghan military should be able to defend its own country. Yet, a bit of reflection on what it takes to create an effective military complicates the narrative. This past week’s events were not inevitable.

Any effective army needs both teeth and tail. The aphorism goes “amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics.” Combat troops and logistics troops both need effective leadership, with commanders supported by competent staffs, and timely, actionable intelligence. Considering each of these in turn provides a matrix by which to organize inquiry into what happened in Afghanistan.

Building effective army units, from the ground up, is no easy task. Take an American infantry rifle platoon. Assume three 10 man squads in a platoon. You need three to five years to develop and select 2 sergeants per squad, team leaders, as the very first line of leaders. These young sergeants are the base of the pyramid of the non-commissioned officer corps, which our senior officers uniformly profess to be the backbone of the American military.

The American Soldier


For 20 years, US military personnel have given grace to the Afghan people and brought swift justice to their oppressors. For 20 years, Afghan women have been kept from sexual slavery because of American military presence. For 20 years Afghan, women have been able to go to school, protected by American servicemen; an opportunity heretofore not allowed by the male-dominated society. For 20 years, the American soldier has stood athwart tyranny.

But let us not forget why America was in Afghanistan in the first place. A generation has passed since the awful day when our nation was attacked by terrorists, terrorists whose place in the world was protected by the then despotic rulers of Afghanistan. The American soldier returned fire, raining down justice so that freedom might ring. And the freedom was passed on to the Afghan people. The American soldier was the face of the American people, interested in nothing more than peace.

America’s protective, peace-keeping service continues today (long after World War II) in Europe and at the DMZ in Korea. Why American presence could not continue in a conditional advice-and-consent role in Afghanistan was not a decision made by the American soldier. Our commitment to peace in the Middle East was kept by the American soldier. It is unfortunate but true that in a sin-marred world there are times when the forces of good must face off against the forces of evil, with force. The American soldier runs toward the battle; the people that need protection are grateful for their fence of grace.

It’s another day with no good martinis in sight. Join Jim and Greg as they react to reports of a diplomatic cable in July that said the Afghan government was likely to fall shortly after the U.S. withdrawal. They also hammer a key Democrat in Congress for saying the military should not be helping Americans get to the Kabul airport and and the White House Communications Director for suggesting our Afghan allies only have until August 31st to get out. And they rant about the government charging Americans up to $2,000 to be evacuated.

A Day in the Life of a Combat Diver Student or Yep I’m Wet Again…


I had just closed my eyes and opened them when it registered that one of my two roommates had left the light on.  I was just about to give them some serious what for and tell them to shut off the damn light.  Then I noticed one of them was donning his PT clothes.  I seemingly blinked and five hours were gone; it was time to get up.  I was in the middle of the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) week three.

Monday through Friday 0500 was first call, followed by a 0530 formation for Physical Training.  Every day, as we groggily went about getting our PT clothes on, our self-appointed morale team would slide their boombox (remember those?) into the hallway and hit play.  Canned Heat “Going Up Country” would blare down the hall and within a few seconds we’d all be dancing (it wasn’t pretty) and singing along.  Without fail in unison we’d all belt out the second stanza:  

Confessions of a 2A Absolutist


Hello, my name is Postmodern Hoplite, and I am a “Second Amendment Absolutist.”

I believe that the right to keep and bear arms recognized in the US Constitution is so broad and expansive that it extends to include tanks, artillery, combat aircraft, and even atomic weapons (at least in principle, if not in fact.)