Link dump Feb 2016

Back in 2014 I wrote
A "hollow force" is a military which still has plenty shiny platforms, but lacks the spares, training and consumables to be much good with them. I suppose this is rarely the outcome of incompetence and more often the outcome of poor incentives, including the top brass' attempt to blackmail politicians into providing bigger budgets while maintaining officer slots.
It's a wide-spread problem, and in the U.S. it's apparently a cyclical thing. The military and members of the legislative appear to have almost conspired to follow a strategy of neglecting training and maintenance, even personnel numbers, in favour of buying stuff (particularly big ticket items such as ships and aircraft). This served the politicians' interests because they were able to satisfy lobbyists (the big ticket item sellers have a better lobby than the providers of consumables). The military meanwhile was sitting out a perceived reduction of spending (below the insane GWOT hysteria years' budgets), hoping to end up with more ships and aircraft after the fiscal moderation than if they avoided a hollow force.

The situation is dire regarding the lacking maintenance and overhaul of warships, which is more visible to the public than are the readiness rates of tanks, for example.

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Back in 2011 I wrote about the increased coverage of individual equipment against fragmentation threats. The evaluation was completed in 2012, and nowadays "ballistic underwear" can be purchased even online. It's not so much a protection of the entire area as of essentially genitals and major arteries in the upper legs.

The British approach seemed to be different from the American one.

Generally, I wonder why such shapes close to the body were used at all. Looking back at the ancient pteruges (which ended up making hoplites and legionaries look as if they wore mini skirts), we see a much more efficient (area : what's protected) shape. We can easily avoid this "mini skirt" impression by simply integrating fragmentation protection not into vests, but rather into a long jacket. The lower part would be supported by the hips (due to the belt) and thus not burden the back muscles, making a little more weight there rather acceptable. One would still need to judge whether the extra weight is really worth it.

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some real life satire

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The German newspaper FAZ had an article titled "Bundeswehr will „Ankerarmee“ für kleine Nato-Partner werden" (Bundeswehr wants to become anchor army for small NATO partners) to which I will not link for stupid legal reasons. This article describes how smaller NATO partners integrate their land forces into the German ones, benefiting from the German organisation above brigade level (corps HQ etc.). I wrote about something like this in 2015.
Other cooperations are about a joint naval flotilla, joint support aircraft (I wrote about that too).

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1 comment:

  1. I like this ballistic underwear very much and own a pair of myself. Very good , especillay psychologically.

    Your solution of integrating such protection into a long jacket would not give the same protection for Blasts that come out of the earth and go straight up in the air. This blast protection underwear is for protection against mines (mainly). Moreover it does not hinder your movement so much as an loose heavy jacket (for the same reason i do not like smocks). The more armour is close to your body, the lower is the penalty for your movement.

    Shapes close to the body are therefore much better than loose shapes, because they give you better agility and the wight is better distributed. For the same reason armour in earlier times was mostly close to the body (chain armour etc). The named pteurges had not a great value for protection and the upper legs and the belly were mostly protected by the shield.