Link drop November 2018



This means nothing unless they get rid of the deconfliction requirement in between, though the potential consequences are huge. There's nothing keeping us from doing the same with modestly upgraded 1970's strike fighters, of course. The technology is not the inhibitor; the inhibitor is whether you want to give the FAC the command authority (not just ability to request) over artillery assets.


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-> Maritime transport -> World merchant fleet -> Ships built ...
Sort this table by gross tonnage built. It reveals a picture of what nations are shipbuilding nations and which basically revel in memories about shipbuilding. Think about this with a hypothetical Pacific arms race in mind. I suppose it would be about as fair as this race:

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It's war porn, alright. The impact pattern is also a clear reminder about how indirect fire support tends to have a greater dispersion in range than to the left and right.
The "MLRS" in the video is nonsense. "MLRS" is a specific and different type of "MRL" (multiple rocket launcher). "ISIS" is likely nonsense as well. ISIS territory did not extend to the vicinity of Latakia. The targets were much more likely FSA troops if the "Latakia" reference is at least approximately correct.

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I mentioned earlier that the USN is a land attack navy that only pretends to protect maritime trade. Now they make it public knowledge that they wouldn't even only secure their nation's military sealift ships.

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 WTF does Mauritania need a LST for? To order such a ship is insanely inane corruption. They could have been corrupt about orders for new railway equipment instead. That would at least have offered some actual benefits to the country.

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(At the time of this writing it's still unclear whether four or up to 22 F-22 were left behind.)

Look how flimsy the hangars were constructed in a hurricane-threatened area, especially relative to hardened aircraft shelters.

That's what happens when an armed service pays most attention to shiny prestige objects and it's also what happens if there's a hollow force syndrome; expenditures are allocated to maintain or expand what the leaders like the most (especially quality and quantity of platforms) instead of doing an all-round optimisation.

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A critique on "CNO" @ Navy Matters blog:

(you can disregard the comment in the middle, and please graciously ignore the typos, too)
 is not okay if the blog post says this

(He did indeed delete the first comment about that conflict and he deleted that above-documented (slightly typo-ridden) comment as well.)

That's contrarian argumentation for the sake of defending one's position, damn the facts. On top of that there's some unprovoked arrogant insult involved.
I've encountered such behaviour a couple times and it always makes me wonder whether my at times a bit combative approach to pushing back against some comments takes similar wrong turns at times. I don't remember doing anything equivalent to deleting a comment that points out a 100% 180° conflict between a post and a comment of mine.
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hated it

still do

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I was already wondering if and when they would try to lease Rabaul. This one is close.

What's next? Palau? It has an international airport with a 7,200 ft runway.

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Can you imagine that a song like this could be created nowadays? It feels as if the very sentiment is at odds with the Zeitgeist today. The same country has 'shithole' insults on Twitter instead, in addition to the Zamunda fantasies that were already known in the (later) 80's.

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They can now dive, too. We're lost. ;-)

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Funny side note; more than 11 years of mil blogging, and just a few days after Canada legalised marijuana some company offered me to send me a free leather gun holster for review. It was the first unsolicited hardware review offer. Hmmm....

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  1. Would any thinking person support an argument that the US could out arms race China in the naval domain?

    If China does kick up a couple of gears the USN aint going anywhere near those island chains.

    So whats the fleet for?

    Peasant killing.

    Park them off Somalia, Grenada, Venezuela, Nicaragua and launch strike missions against their water treatment infrastructure.

    Expensive? Yes. Overbuilt? Yes. Vulnerable in a near peer fight? Yes. But still probably necessary to support US interests abroad. Blackrock is looking a bit shaky lately, may be worth drawing up a threat list based off where they are invested.

  2. The F-35B/HIMARS thing would have been still more impressive with multiple targets and retargeting in flight which IMHO is not yet possible with any GMLRS. I could imagine something like SPEAR3 being launched from a HIMARS launcher being a very useful capability, particularly as it could mount simultaneous multi axis attacks and self-itentify and attack even mobile targets.

  3. Re: CNO @ Navy Matters

    "That's contrarian argumentation for the sake of defending one's position, damn the facts. On top of that there's some unprovoked arrogant insult involved."

    I don't disagree with all of CNO's ideas, but I've found it's not worth my time arguing a point since it typically ends with him demanding exceptional proof while providing little, if any, of his own. His excuse usually being either limited post length (despite commenting extensively) or reliance on his personal experience (which is not substantiated in any way). He also has one of the worst cases of confirmation bias I've ever seen.

    Overtime I've found Navy Matters to be a useful barometer of naval reformist thinking but not much else, but YMMV.

    Need to get the naval forum at Sturgeon's House going....

    1. Yes, I agree that him demanding super-strong evidence while providing little for his own position is another issue.

      I myself don't provide much supportive evidence. I prefer to point out the dots I used to connect to come to a conclusion and expect the readers to reproduce the conclusion with my help. That conclusion may be correct or wrong, but at least there's usually some legitimate reason for why one would arrive at it.

      It makes little sense to demand scientific standards and comprehensiveness from such blog posts, and even less to expect waterproof supporting evidence from comments.
      Still, some comments are so wrong they deserve to be called out.

  4. You wrote an article 10 years back about the United States lack of industrial power, and how it would not be able to mount a rearmament program on the same scale as WWII. Given the changes that have taken place in the U.S. economy since then, would you consider your opinion to be invalidated?

    Looking at the latest edition of the CIA World Factbook, we can observe that while the industrial sector may have shrunk as a total portion of the U.S. economy, its value has skyrocketed from 2.84 trillion (in 2007) to 3.66 trillion (in 2017). Thats a quite impressive increase of 28.8%.