Assorted quick remarks

(1) Egypt, Turkey

The Egyptian military appears to have learnt a lesson from the Turkish military's experience with the AKP. They didn't want to tolerate a slow descend into political impotence in a near-theocracy.

There is more to it, though: The Turkish military appears to have hoped for Turkey joining the EU and getting secularised and modernised enough by the process. A coup against the AKP would have shattered this hope (it's shattered now anyway). The Egyptian military on the other hand has the U.S. subsidies as its only substantial link to the Western world - and it knew with good confidence that the U.S. didn't like the Egyptian government too much.

The third reason for the coup in Egypt appears to be that the Egyptian military has too much to lose. It's not just power, or autonomy - it's economical. The Egyptian military has a vast network of industrial enterprises, which no doubt funnel a lot of cash into the inevitably corrupt military's (army's?) senior officer corps. This is similar to the situation in North Korea, China and likely some other places (I suspect Myanmar, but I'm not sure).

One could memorise these factors and stay alert; maybe some military coup in the next two decades will be utterly predictable with this in mind.
Or future governments learn from these examples. The policies and signals of some future elected government in a similar position as Mursi's may become understandable as reaction to the recent events, too.

Western governments may also learn from these events that offering a substantial link and advantages may avert a military coup in a transitioning country in general.

(2) "relevance"

There's some talk about how landing a drone on a carrier proves a navy's or its carrier fleet's "relevance".
This word - "relevance" - basically triggers an alarm in me if uttered in a military context. 
The U.S. Army used it a lot in '99-'02 when it went all nuts about not having joined the Kosovo party as a useful guest. The whole Stryker armoured truck and "air-deployability" hype was the result. Next, the very same army found itself in a very slow force build-up, conventional invasion and an almost decade-long fucked-up occupation.

A panicking military bureaucracy does stupid things. 
More stupid than usual.

(3) MilBlogs
Military-related blogs pop up and disappear (even the biggest one, Wired's Danger Room, appears to have ceased operation). Six years of "Defence and Freedom" (originally "Defense and Freedom" before I decided to use only British English, thus the URL) did spectacularly fail in one thing: Motivating the creation and operation of somewhat similar blogs.
Blogging about the "how-to", alternative and critical perspectives, or even counter-warmongering MilBlogging are still very rare. Especially on count one and three.

It appears as if  one-man-show MilBlogging is a poor idea in general. Many MilBlogs which appeared and disappeared were run by single authors, and they usually didn't come close to produce the consistent quality and quantity of posting for a breakthrough.

Maybe something in between weblog and forum is required; something which allows both regular and guest bloggers to publish their stuff.
It goes without saying that I'd only be in favour if the output isn't warmongerish. I should thus be really glad about the lack of such a platform, for warmongerish bloggers are still a dominant majority. Even otherwise civil people are easily enticed into favouring some application of explosives if none of "us" would be hurt in the process. As if there wasn't always some backlash anyway.



  1. I do read your blog with interest. You may want to add a forum here to develop a community, but regardless the fact that your material is out here justifies it. While I'm making this comment I do have some remarks:

    Your entries on emphasis point Schwerpunkt are a clever read. I especially like your arguments regarding the proper assignment of helicopters and other assets to the echelon capable of shifting their radii of effect in his main effort within a given timeframe;

    armored reconnaissance topics are fascinating. Folding these entries into the issue of low force density in modern times, what do you imagine the proper employment to be?;

    In a general sense armies most obviously apply emphasis-point by pumping troops into a break-in zone of narrow combat sectors. Does modern aerial and artillery firepower render mass armor techniques unwise? What can replace the massed thrust as the means to seize the enemy national territory? Surely the next conventional war in Europe won't be another Great War;

    I like how your critiques remind us of the 'sunk costs fallacy' and other false reasoning. Keep that line of discussion going.

    1. The armoured recce thoughts are reserved for my book project.

      Your massed armour question can be put into the context of my repertoire-based framework http://tinyurl.com/mfw35ap
      I suppose even against a most capable opponent it's still an "it depends" affair. Very short-lasting concentrations may well be worthwhile, especially as unlike the Cold War's nuclear bombs the current AT threats aren't more potent against concentrations than dispersed companies. The availability of places for hiding and good fighting positions is probably a practical limiter.