Tag: Military

Luther Abel joins the podcast to tell us why he joined the Navy, and to speculate about why fewer young people are interested in joining the U.S. military these days.

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.)

The Malaysian Chronicles (Part III)

 

I was thinking “we gotta be close.” My land navigation skills are sufficient and via pace count and time I knew we were in the area. We had been moving through the jungle for close to two hours. We were being relatively quiet – not bad for close to 25 guys. The Malaysians carried next to nothing and the Americans had their standard fare – roughly 65-90lbs of equipment. As I alluded to in my last chronicle, our standing joke is 3000lbs of light weight gear. I had on Night Observation Devices (NODs). They were second generation so wipe all that Zero Dark Thirty equipment out of your head. These were monocular and did not adjust to depth, meaning that if you wanted to look at your map you had to reach up and adjust them, then readjust them for moving. And when moving they worked for longer range looking vice what is happening at your feet. I saw some serious headers taken by guys wearing NODs. And you haven’t really lived until you’ve fallen with your ruck on, driving your head into the ground whilst wearing said NODs.

We had sent out the Landing Zone (LZ) link up team hours earlier. Just before dark Sgt. Johnny had come back confirming the link up point. Earlier in the afternoon we finished drying out, ate (including some delicious wild mangoes and papayas) and finalized our plan. As Early Evening Nautical Twilight – EENT came on (because saying “dusk” is so arduous) we rucked up and started moving. The Malay’s tactics were fast and light and they moved OUT. We slowed them down as our tactics are slow and deliberate. There is a debate to be had about this but this is not the time nor place.

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Hi Ricochet.  The title of the above is for a book I am roughly 50% through reading as of this post.  It is the story of the fateful day October 4, 2017 a U.S. Army Special Forces team was attacked in Niger and four were left dead.  The perspective is that of Michelle Black the […]

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On this episode of “The Federalist Radio Hour,” Senior Editor Chris Bedford and Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky discuss why troops and fences still plague Washington, D.C., and how Biden’s promise of a return to normalcy is failing.