Link drop October 2018

Regarding the camouflage patterns; the absence of any macropattern is striking. 
Regarding the KF-X; a F-35ish multi-role combat aircraft with two F414 (or EJ200) Engines is a very good idea in my opinion, and I'm sure the USN would have preferred that (for safety reasons) over the single-engined F-35 version. I wonder why the F-35 wasn't limited in commonality to the avionics. The airframe and to some extent the engines differ anyway, so one could have created more role-optimised versions (leaving all the STOVL drawbacks to the Mariners and small carriers STOVL version).
The Germans and French appear to develop yet another European co-operation multi-role combat aircraft (or fighter) from clean sheet. I see no indication that anyone is picking up some foreign development project such as KF-X and completing it with indigenous and other avionics and engines tailored to the own needs and political-economic conditions.

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They deserve to be 'under fire' for having such incompetent face paintjobs in broad daylight!
Even this one is better!

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Light brigade changed into medium brigade, medium brigade changed into heavy brigade (both based on CONUS). With their super-fast personnel turnover rate they could have turned a light one into a heavy one instead.  Well, maybe the infrastructure is the reason. Anyway, this plus paying attention to EW threats reported from the Ukraine and the modification of 8x8 Stryker APCs into 8x8 Stryker IFVs by adding a super-expensive 30 mm autocannon turret is much of what the U.S.Army thinks makes it more credible vis-à-vis the Red Army Russian Army. Ah well, and they revived/refurbished some Avenger vehicles, including the idea to use it with AIM-9X (a huge change in capability, and somewhat unlikely to happen with enough missiles).

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 Regarding the blog here: I have https redirect on, so even if you see old http links in old posts to some other old posts - that should lead you to a https page.

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[German] "Diese Kolumne ist eine Unverschämtheit"
Und man mag hinzufügen; was auch immer man mit der Zielgruppe des Frustes anstellt; die Ursache des Frustes tangiert das nicht.

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[German] "Wieso es keinen Rechtsruck gibt, aber die extreme Rechte trotzdem wächst"
Die Sache mit dem Vertrauen in Staat & Parteien bezweifle ich, da werde ich mal auf Umfragen achten. Ansonsten; der Artikel spiegelt im Wesentlichen die Forschungsergebnisse der Amis wieder. Hierzu passt mein alter Text zu Progressiven und Konservativen.
Die Klage, dass es in Deutschland keine echt konservative Wahloption gibt, stimmt schon weitgehend. Merkel hat halt zugunsten der Amtszeitverlängerung der CDU (und CSU) einige nicht-konservative Standpunkte mit ihrem parteiinternen Machtnetzwerk aufgezwungne, weil die Standpunkte gerade bundesweit Mehrheitmeinung waren. Dadurch haben die besonders Ängstlichen (also Konservative) in Deutschland keine bürgerlich-konservative Wahloption. Damit sind sie allerdings nicht die einzige politische Richtung, die unrepräsentiert bleibt. Sozialliberale zum Beispiel stehen am Wahltag auch rätselnd vor den Wahlzetteln.



  1. Could the successful EW campaign in UKR be scaled up in a full scale barney? Does that lack of scale matter if the limited resources are correctly allocated to operational level spearheads? Would that correct allocation allow the application of EW to have a theatre effect? Answer, no clue.

    Everything seems incredibly confused at the moment. Every force in the west has massive structural problems, none seem to be able to create the momentum to overcome them. So as bad as it is now, even discounting technological change, it is going to get worse.

    Oft trolled point, but there may be a structural truth to the argument that the american state has to start a new war in order to remain relevant. Isolationism has a foothold in american politics and the current conflicts are running out. No clue what that would be, Grenada-like doesnt seem to be significant enough.

    Maybe Mahan was correct that geography is the ultimate shaper of strategy, in the absence of a clear objective and sufficient forward momentum it is that truth, that errosive force that shapes events on the ground.

    So the US becomes isolationist, loses its forwards presence, and is then irrelevant. Projecting power from the continental US without strong alliances is impossible. After that, we get a new world order.

    Post WW2 was unnatural, produced a peace dividend which the US quickly squandered. The 'true' nature of the US is now reasserting itself. Korea, mistake. Vietnam, mistake. GW1, needless. GW2, arrogance. Then they shake their head and crawl back to their island. "We tried to help them, they just wouldn't take it. They were too stupid and short sighted to understand that we had their long term best interests at heart. Thats why we had to spread napalm, dioxins and landmines all across their countries. At least we tried."

    Everyone knows that 30mm turret should have been 25mm instead. Thats what is going to change things. They will rue that decision for decades. You mark my words.

    1. The current U.S. administration isn't isolationist AT ALL. Instead, the moron-in-chief is on an egoism trip and incapable of understanding anything but zero sum negotiations. He doesn't get the concept of win-win.

      That's going to go away soon, and I suppose it's impossible tot ell how long the disappointment of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will discourage from further major military adventures. We know they don't discourage from small military adventures and certainly not from cruise missile aggressions.

    2. What the policy outcomes are, are different from what the public voted for. Lots of isolationist rhetoric in the election from trump. That is now a position that has votes behind it, no clue what comes after Trump from the right so that thread just hangs there.

      Bit simplistic to say "AT ALL", you meant something more like pacifist maybe? His basic negotiating position is being unwilling to foster alliances. Quid pro quo is gravity. Is it all bluster, stupidity, or does he think that will work? I maybe had an answer to that in the past, now I just think he is mentally ill. Effect is the same, a US without allies is an isolationist US.

      That's even before considering we might be at the end of the current economic cycle. Recessions in the US bite hard.

      GW2 was supposed to define the century, it didnt. By their own ambitions, if they are attempting to outpace any future Lindberg " america first" type movement and also gain a proxy advantage against China, they have to get entangled pretty hard. War of choice. Domino theory got them Vietnam, maybe SE Asia again?

      The crack about the cruise missile aggressions reminds me a bit of arguments made by some on the left. I don't buy it, there is no provoking in this era, everyone is already provoked. Everyone is back playing games again, in front of and behind the scenes. A couple of dozen dead from CMs doesn't even cause a blip in what is going on.

      That's all just theatre.

      It is not likely that if Trump was removed tomorrow, all of the players would climb down. The US is weakened, power blocks are planning for the possibility of its demise. So there is going to be turmoil, no matter what, as a new order is formed.

      Bottom line, this is all too high level. There is a monkey behind the wheel of the most powerful nation.

      He agrees with the last person he talked to, sometimes.

      He copy pastes from right wing policy wonks, sometimes.

      He enacts his self originated ideas, sometimes.

      So I'm full of crap, no way to tell what is going to happen.

    3. The inability to understand cooperation doesn't equal isolationism. The moron-in-chief had Syria bombed, threatened North Korea for no reason and keeps troops in a gazillion countries including civil war countries. He's no more isolationist than Obama or Clinton were.



    4. Try this, the US under Trump has set itself on a course towards isolation.

      That's not a unique perspective, you must have heard that voiced before.

      There is the push, and the pull in isolationism. Remove yourself or be removed from.

      I would argue he is doing both.

      "Inability to understand cooperation...", agreed. But the inability to practise it does. Whether intended or not, if alliances aren't 'paid for', they decay. The effect is the same.

      I was trying to connect back to the US cultural history of isolationism, then tie it to the fact that unless they invest continually and heavily in men, money, material and largesse, they will loose their forward presence and be trapped on their 'island'. Again, not an original point.

      The discussions around declaring an end to the Korean War are interesting. It appears Trump promised an armistice to Kim and was ready to announce. It was only manoeuvering and haranguing from those close to him who stopped it.

      He does not understand what isolationism is, he is not sophisticated enough, he does not operate on that level. That does not mean that the effect of his leadership cannot be increasing isolationism. That also doesn't mean there isn't a faction of the electorate are not voting towards isolationism, "goddam world is so ungrateful for what we do for they. We maintain the rules based order. We are the global policeman. We won the cold war and kept those stinking euros from Stalins clutches. And look at the weak, rich useless 'peans now, insulting our duly elected president. I say we cut 'em off and let them all rot. They'll die without us. You watch. -Vote Trump 2020."

      Interesting future rapidly approaching. Geographic and political isolation in an age of global strike. Cuts both ways, what happens when 3rd tier powers get access to orbital warheads? That doesn't completely undercut the absolute requirement for control over sea lanes in order to maintain a large expeditionary army, but the meddling you are concerned with gets a lot easier and cheaper when you don't need in theatre air bases and carrier groups.

    5. The U.S. have a history of maybe 20 years isolationism in total. And that's generous counting.
      American isolationism is largely a myth. There was a time when the U.S. didn't bother paying attention to other continents, but that was a matter of relative capability rather than intentions.

      Trump is merely blundering cluelessly, that's not isolationism. Nor is he moving towards it. He's farther moving away from competent foreign policy.

      The Iran deal was the most astonishing diplomatic success in decades - he wasted it not because of isolationism but because he has to destroy everything the Democrats built like a toddler that crashed brick towers. He's clearly not intent on ignoring Iran altogether, which would be an isolationist policy.