“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Russia's Navy Killed By A Russian Missile

Something near and dear to the heart of this Cold Warrior and Reagan Navy Veteran:

The Bulava missile has not entered serial production, and never will, but it has already destroyed the Russian Navy. Almost all the money allocated to the Navy’s development have been spent on this mindless dead-end program.

Any person who can see the real situation well understands that in a few years the Russian Navy as a whole, as well as all four of its component fleets, will cease to exist. This is already absolutely inevitable — the situation will not be changed even by mass purchases of ships from abroad.

In light of this, it is especially amusing to observe the fierce “battle for Sevastopol.” Why do we need it after 2017? To pay Kiev enormous sums to rent empty piers? By that time, at best the Novorossiisk naval brigade will be all that’s left of the Black Sea Fleet. And the discussion of whether we need a blue-water navy or a coastal one is a complete farce. We won’t even have a coastal force — the maximum that our “navy” will be able to accomplish in ten years is the immediate defense of a few main naval bases. Because we built the Bulava."


  1. Just as the Russians have wasted their money on useless missiles, the Iranians are following the South African lead, burning up cash in the pursuit of nuclear power. A capacity that will not provide either the security nor power projection they are looking for.

    Both the South Africans and Isreali, along with the Pakistani, exemplify that reality.

  2. Sucks to be tin-cupping it, doesn't it?

  3. The Bulava is designed to be capable of surviving a nuclear blast at a minimum distance of 500 meters.

    from the wiki article


    No wonder they're having troubles.

  4. Couldn't happen to a more deserving country.

    It is only a matter of time before the Chinese do an anschluss right up to the Kara Sea.

  5. I can eat fifty eggs, and survive a nuclear blast at 500 meters.

  6. But, . . . . but, them russkies and chinee got all them brainiac Sinetists, and ingineers, and stuff.

    Why, they gots more sintests, and enjineers than we got cracker, honky, rednecks, and they's so smart an everthang, and they all graduate summa kumlaudeemercy, an all.

    I don believe it.

  7. That is a remarkable image over Norway, I had no idea it looked like that until I was patching this article together. A Sign The End Is Near?

  8. the rodent says:

    Both the South Africans and Isreali, along with the Pakistani, exemplify that reality.

    Thanks for proving your still a fucktard...

  9. And to you, "Misdirection" thanks for providing a continued peanut gallery to play to.

    Without your input, it'd have been such a polite day of political discourse.
    With it, the comedy continues.

  10. Israeli Settlements More Than Legitimate


    I weep. You must not read my posts, Miss T.

    I linked to the Norway story the other day, via Coast to Coast. Even speculating 'bout the prophetic omen.


  11. I'm going to bed. If I end up dying for Sarah, celebrate my passing. I'm coming down with a hell of a cold.


  12. You started the day by being an ass...

    Mr Isreal.....

    So as long as your a fucktard, I will point it out to the bar that are a creep....

    Maybe that stick up your ass will dissolve someday...

    I doubt it...

  13. The Nixon Administration

    "The expropriation or confiscation of land, the construction of housing on such land, the demolition or confiscation of buildings, including those having historic or religious significance, and the application of Israeli law to occupied portions of the city are detrimental to our common interests in [Jerusalem]. The United States considers that the part of Jerusalem that came under the control of Israel in the June war, like other areas occupied by Israel, is governing the rights and obligations of an occupying Power. Among the provisions of international law which bind Israel, as they would bind any occupier, are the provisions that the occupier has no right to make changes in laws or in administration other than those which are temporarily necessitated by his security interests, and that an occupier may not confiscate or destroy private property. The pattern of behavior authorized under the Geneva Convention and international law is clear: the occupier must maintain the occupied area as intact and unaltered as possible, without interfering with the customary life of the area, and any changes must be necessitated by the immediate needs of the occupation. I regret to say that the actions of Israel in the occupied portion of Jerusalem present a different picture, one which gives rise to understandable concern that the eventual disposition of East Jerusalem may be prejudiced, and that the private rights and activities of the population are already being affected and altered.

    "My Government regrets and deplores this pattern of activity, and it has so informed the Government of Israel on numerous occasions since June 1967. We have consistently refused to recognize those measures as having anything but a provisional character and do not accept them as affecting the ultimate status of Jerusalem. . . ."
    U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
    Charles Yost, UN Security Council, July 1, 1969


    "On the general question of constructing housing and other permanent civilian facilities in the occupied zone, including Jerusalem, our policy is to call for strict observance of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, to which Israel is a party. This Convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring parts of its own population into occupied territory. We interpret this to include undertaking construction of permanent facilities which have the intent of facilitating transfer of Israeli population into the occupied territories."
    Department of State spokesperson
    Press conference, June 9, 1971


    "We regret Israel's failure to acknowledge its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as its actions which are contrary to the letter and the spirit of this convention."
    U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
    George Bush, UN Security Council debate on
    Resolution 298, September 1971


  14. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations William Scranton told the Security Council on March 23, 1976,

    "[S]ubstantial resettlement of the Israeli civilian population in occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under the convention and cannot be considered to have prejudged the outcome of future negotiations between the parties on the locations of the borders of states of the Middle East. Indeed, the presence of these settlements is seen by my government as an obstacle to the success of the negotiations for a just and final peace between Israel and its neighbors."


    Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in testimony before Congress on March 21, 1980:

    "U.S. policy toward the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories is unequivocal and has long been a matter of public record. We consider it to be contrary to international law and an impediment to the successful conclusion of the Middle East peace process. . . .

    "Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention is, in my judgment, and has been in the judgment of each of the legal advisors of the State Department for many, many years, to be . . . that [settlements] are illegal and that [the Convention] applies to the territories. . . ."


    Carter confirmed in an April 1980 interview that "our position on the settlements is very clear. We do not think they are legal."

  15. Nixon and the Jews
    By David Greenberg
    Mr. Greenberg writes Slate's "History Lesson." He is finishing a book about Richard Nixon's place in American culture.
    Richard Nixon's reputation as a hateful, vindictive anti-Semite was reinforced late last month when the National Archives, which has been releasing the 3,700 hours of Nixon's tape-recorded White House conversations in installments since 1996, dropped another batch.

    Whenever new Nixon tapes are released, the next-day stories invariably highlight the most outrageous tidbits, which typically include some anti-Jewish slurs. This go-round was no exception. Along with Nixon's apparently unserious threat to nuke Vietnam, reporters pounced on this 1972 exchange about Jews in the media between Nixon and the Rev. Billy Graham:

    BG: This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain.
    RN: You believe that?
    BG: Yes, sir.
    RN: Oh, boy. So do I. I can't ever say that, but I believe it.
    BG: No, but if you get elected a second time, then we might be able to do something.
    As the Chicago Tribune noted, Nixon, Graham, and Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman also cracked anti-Semitic jokes, discussed which journalists were Jewish, and lamented that Washington reporting had deteriorated since Jews entered the trade. (As the National Archives explains here, there are no complete transcripts of the tapes. However, historian Stanley Kutler edited a valuable collection of transcripts relating to Nixon's Watergate transgressions, entitled Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes, and a University of Virginia project is planning to publish volumes of additional transcripts.)

    As in the past, the recent reports of Nixon's Jew-bashing were followed by professions of shock. (The Anti-Defamation League's press release is here.) Such shows of indignation are probably on balance a good thing, reaffirming as they do that the president shouldn't be seeking revenge against a particular ethnic group. Yet they also betray either an incredibly short memory or a measure of disingenuousness. Have journalists forgotten the identical slurs heard on earlier tapes? Or the stories in 1994 reporting that, according to Haldeman's then-just-published diaries, Graham spoke to Nixon of "Satanic" Jews? Nixon's loyalists are no less opportunistic. For them the periodic disclosures serve as occasions to pen op-eds explaining why their benefactor, despite the slurs, really wasn't a Jew-hater. (The late Herb Stein, Nixon's [Jewish] chief economist, wrote one of these apologias in Slate.)

  16. Defending Nixon from charges of anti-Semitism has occupied his supporters for a half-century. The accusations date to the postwar years, when the American right remained closely tied to the unvarnished anti-Semites of the '30s who railed against the "Jew Deal." Although Nixon never publicly voiced any of this old-fashioned bigotry, some of his political kinsmen did, and his strident anti-communism played with the Jew-hating fringe. (Extreme anti-communism always contained an anti-Semitic component: Radical, alien Jews, in their demonology, orchestrated the Communist conspiracy.) In Nixon's early campaigns, anti-Semitism was a latent theme.
    When the Republicans nominated Nixon as their vice-presidential candidate in 1952, some opponents accused him of anti-Semitism. Nixon had Murray Chotiner, his (Jewish) campaign manager, secure the ADL's stamp of approval. Still, into the summer voters inundated campaign headquarters with letters asking about Nixon's feelings toward Jews. The candidate sometimes responded himself, with his characteristic earnestness. "I want to thank you for … your courtesy in calling my attention to the false rumor that I am anti-Semetic [sic]," he wrote in one reply. "I am enclosing a copy of a letter which Murray Chotiner has sent to these people which, I believe, is self-explanatory." The questions were kept alive by a brief flap over the revelation that in 1951 Nixon had bought a home whose deed prohibited its resale or rental to Jews. And they haunted him in his 1956, 1960, and 1962 campaigns as well. The anti-Semitism issue loomed large enough in the 1960 presidential race that Newsweek's Raymond Moley devoted a column to defending Nixon while New York's (Jewish) Sen. Jacob Javits did likewise on the Senate floor.
    When Nixon was elected president in 1968, a general feeling existed, said his (Jewish) aide William Safire, that "Nixon just doesn't like Jews." To combat this impression, Nixon loyalists emphasized things Nixon did that were "good for the Jews." The main example was his delivery of arms to a besieged Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. That argument was weak, since Nixon's support was both equivocal and contingent; he never believed in the moral necessity of a Jewish homeland. On other issues, the politics of Jews—overwhelmingly liberal and Democratic—and Nixon's remained far apart.
    What rendered the apologias untenable was the public release of White House tape transcripts during the 1974 Watergate endgame. Safire recalled that Arthur Burns, a (Jewish) friend whom Nixon appointed Federal Reserve chairman, "felt especially incensed about the ethnic slurs on the tapes. [Leonard] Garment, [Nixon's (Jewish) counsel], Stein and I all felt that sinking sensation in an especially personal way. It simply did not fit in with all we knew about Nixon's attitude toward Jews, and it fit perfectly with most Jews' suspicions of latent anti-Semitism in Nixon, which all of us had worked so hard to allay."

  17. Since 1974, the publication of aides' memoirs and the release of more tapes have shown that Nixon made anti-Semitic references more often than Safire and others suspected. Sometimes, he simply grouped all Jews together in an unseemly way ("[Supporters of] the arts, you know—they're Jews, they're left wing—in other words, stay away"). Other times, he was more explicit (calling supporter Robert Vesco, who later fled the country to escape criminal charges, "a cheap kike"). Sometimes he chalked up nefarious behavior to Jews ("The IRS is full of Jews," he told Haldeman, when the IRS commenced an audit of the Rev. Billy Graham. "I think that's the reason they're after Graham, is the rich Jews").
    At least once the anti-Semitism appears to have had hard consequences. As Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein first reported in The Final Days, and as White House memos later confirmed, Nixon feared that a "Jewish cabal" at the Bureau of Labor Statistics was skewing data to make him look bad, and he instructed his aide Fred Malek to tally up the Jewish employees at the bureau—a count that probably resulted in the demotion of two Jews. (It later forced Malek's own resignation from George Bush's 1988 presidential campaign.)

    Still, Nixon's loyalists haven't shied from defending him. Garment has argued that Nixon's words on the tapes are just private mutterings, too fragmentary to allow the conclusion that he was anti-Semitic. Others have used the "some of his best aides were Jewish" rejoinder, pointing to Burns, Chotiner, Garment, Safire, Stein, and of course Henry Kissinger (about whom Nixon privately made anti-Semitic comments). Still others, including Nixon Library Director John Taylor in a 1999 letter to Slate, contend that when Nixon said "Jews," he really meant something like "anti-war liberals," at whom he was justifiably angry.
    All these claims can be easily countered. To the dismissal of Nixon's remarks as just "private," one could argue that private comments are actually more revealing than public remarks of someone's true feelings, especially since overt anti-Semitism has become taboo. And this response, like Taylor's, begs a key question: If he's not anti-Semitic, why does Nixon vent his anger at anti-war liberals by focusing on their Jewishness? Making their ethnicity central to his complaint, when their ethnicity is nowhere at issue is, arguably, exactly what defines anti-Semitism. As for the prevalence of Jewish aides in Nixonland, again one has to understand how prejudice works. Anti-Semites, racists, and other bigots construct a definition of a group based on stereotypes and then direct their hatred toward the group. When they encounter an individual who seems to defy the stereotype—a friend, an aide, a Cabinet secretary—the negative view of the group as a whole isn't called into question; rather, the nonconforming friend gets defined as an "exception," allowing the hostile picture of the group as a whole to stand. On the tapes, Nixon and Haldeman are often heard discussing exactly these sort of "exceptions."

  18. Perhaps most important, all these apologias for Nixon seem aimed at keeping him free of some permanent stigma, of being branded with a scarlet A. But this is ultimately just a semantic concern. There's no way to settle whether Nixon was an anti-Semite—not just because you can't peer into someone's soul, but also because there's no litmus test for anti-Semitism. No, Nixon didn't hate all Jews personally, nor did he use unreconstructed Henry Ford-style anti-Jewish appeals—though, of course, virtually no major public figure in the last 50 years has. Yet clearly he thought and spoke of Jews as a group, more or less united in their opposition to him, possessing certain base and malign characteristics, and worthy of his scorn and hatred. You don't have to call that anti-Semitism if you don't want to. But there's no denying it represents a worldview deserving of the strongest reproach.

  19. The United States of America

    Love it or Leave it.

  20. desert rat said...
    The United States of America

    Love it or Leave it.

    I am a 100% citizen of this nation, whether you like it or not...

    I prefer to CHANGE it....

    Dont like it? Move to Gaza....

  21. Well, wi"misdirection" your bloc voted 73% and got your "Change" in the USA.

    Hope you like it.

    Your man is in the Oval office, daily. The Thunder and Lightning, doing Mr Crown's bidding at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    And still you whine and moan.

  22. I didnt vote for him and I am ONLY accountable about my actions....

  23. "says I, 'You're the luckiest man in America' "
    The Sheik's wife only waited 40 years to hear that back-handed compliment.

  24. How did my Friday night with MLD go? It doesn't look so good. I guess if I'm going to host a party, I should be around. But I was out crashing a Christmas party with a friend. We had a blast. I got hit on by a woman which was a first. She ask for my number and offered me to stay at her place if, I wasn't able to drive home.

    Timing is everything and I was a little late calling. I guess, I should have went with my gut and made that call a little earlier. I had a good time with old friends but the first choice would have been more relaxing.

  25. 58. Subotai Bahadur:

    I realize that this did not start on January 20, 2009. The Army and Air Force are, as has been noted above, dedicated to top down control at the expense of local initiative; SpecOps personnel excepted. The Navy and Marines have been happily forced by circumstances to traditionally depend on those on the scene to do what must be done.

    However, some things can be said to have been emphasized since that date. First, almost all flag officers, and field grades who actively aspire to be flag officers are political creatures. Their antennae are constantly quivering for a hint at what will please those above them, and to avoid anything that hints at getting a bad mark on their record that will before the next promotion board.

    What guidance [facts on the ground, not platitudes] has been given to these cockroaches with aspirations? What have they learned since January 20?

    First, the National Command Authority, and his political minions really do not care about American casualties beyond their use as “photo ops”.

    * His use of the arrival of the bodies of American soldiers killed in action for a public relations stunt tells the military much about what the administration thinks of them.

  26. * The shootings at Ft. Hood and the deliberate ignoring of warning sign after warning sign that could have headed off the massacre has been noted. As has the primary concern of the upper levels of the chain of command with “Diversity” over getting at the facts. Finally, the non-reaction of the National Command Authority as the events unfolded has also been noted.

    Second: The court-martial of the SEALS who are charged with splitting the lip of the terrorist who planned the killing and mutilation of the bodies of Americans in Fallujah has been a bright, glowing sign of what is to come.

    Third: The decision by the National Command Authority to try captured Al Quada terrorists in civilian courts. With the prosecuting attorney being the senior staffer of Senator Charles Schumer, who is trying to prosecute anyone who captured or interrogated enemy terrorists as war criminals, there is no doubt who is really on trial. Further, both the prosecution team and the defense team are composed of ACLU attorneys who defended the Guantanamo detainees.

    Think of all those layers of permissions at all sorts of staff levels. If you are ambitious for position [not command, position] having signed off to approved an attempt to capture any Taliban or Al Quada leader, if successful, would mean that you could be held responsible for the act in any politically convenient witch hunt that may come out of Washington. No one has ever been punished for failure to actively engage the enemy in this war. The safest course is to deliberately throw more monkey wrenches into operations. How much of our inability to get inside the enemy’s OODA loop is based on a series of deliberate prolongations of our own for career protection purposes?

    This subject got me to thinking about the past. In the later Roman Empire, their army was really two armies. There were static forces, in outposts along the borders [Limes] whose job was to detect incursions by the barbarians, send word that they were coming, and fight to delay them until the regular field army of Legions arrived. Those same Legions were commanded by generals whose next career step up was to become emperor, by killing the previous emperor. Internal politics and power seeking governed the deployment of legions as well as strategic necessity.

    The Rhine was one of the more certain and easily defended of Rome’s frontiers. It was deep, it was wide, and it was fast; precluding the Germanic tribes from crossing into Gaul. The winter of 406 is reported to be one of the coldest on record. History has it that on Christmas Day in 406, the Rhine froze solid for the first time in memory. And on that night it was as if every German in the world up to and including Hagar the Horrible, Brunhilde complete with horned helmet, and Arminius’ many times great grandchildren invaded Roman territory; walking across the Rhine.

    The Roman troops on the Limes sent word back, and prepared to sell themselves dearly. I was just thinking it was likely that more than one Roman junior officer went into battle wondering if the politicians commanding the field armies would come to their aid, or abandon them for their own political purposes. And I wonder if our own troops will be wondering the same things soon, too.

    Subotai Bahadur

  27. Great music there, al-doug. Didn't know the Three Stooges were Jewish.

    By the way, my wife is well used to my hyperbobole by now. heh, in fact, she might even agree with the sentiments, she's a big Palin fan too.

    Morning Melody. I got a terrible cold, just got up to get some medicine.

    Here Is Hugh Fitzgerald's Take On Obama's (and Bush's) Follies

    Back to bed....

  28. I would argue that the Russian military shipbuilding industry is more likely to be doomed without such a purchase. Russia’s shipyards have proven themselves virtually incapable of building new military surface ships of any size.

    (They seem to still be able to build submarines for some reason)

    Only one new ship larger than a corvette has been completed since 1993. The Admiral Gorshkov frigate keeps getting delayed. The initially highly publicized Ivan Gren LST project has disappeared completely — it may be that it’s failure is the proximate cause for the RFN looking to France for an alternative.
    Wonder why they can still build subs?

  29. And who wins the oil concessions in Iraq ...

    Amid fierce competition, a group led by Russian energy giant Lukoil won a deal to develop the West Qurna Phase Two oilfield, which with 12.9 billion barrels of reserves is one of the world's largest untapped "supergiant" fields.

    Supergiants are fields of 5 billion barrels or more.

    On the first day of the auction on Friday, the 12.6 billion barrel supergiant Majnoon field went to a partnership of Royal Dutch Shell and Malaysia's Petronas.

    The Russian company's win of West Qurna is made sweeter by the fact it had lobbied unsuccessfully since the 2003 U.S. invasion to revive a Saddam Hussein-era contract for the field.

  30. The Russians do not need to project military power, they can just follow behind US and pick up the loot, as the US moves on to the next boondoggle of a war.

    Still not smacking the "Bad Boys", in that safe haven called Pakistan.

    While the aQ spoke folk in Egypt claim that it is not "them" that are blowing up civilians, in Pakistani cities.

    Which well may be the truth, the ISI and the Generals not beyond killing a few of their own civilians, to discredit the civilian government in an attempt to regain political power.

  31. U.S.-born al-Qaida operative Adam Gadahn, who commonly delivers the organization's English messages, said the extremist network was being framed for the bloodshed by the U.S. and Pakistani intelligence services .

    "The perpetration of such deplorable acts and the pinning of responsibility for them on the mujahideen, only serves the enemies of Islam and Muslims, who are today staring defeat in the face," he said, blaming the media for implicating al-Qaida in the attacks.

    "The mercenaries of the ISI, RAW, CIA or Blackwater are the real culprits behind these senseless and un-Islamic bombings," he added.

    The ISI and RAW are the Pakistani and Indian intelligence agencies, respectively, while Blackwater is the private security firm — now called Xe Services — whose involvement in the killings of Iraqi civilians have tarnished its reputation throughout the Muslim world.

    From the AP

  32. In Pakistan, where conspiracy theories are rife, support for militancy has only recently taken a downturn, and anti-Americanism is widespread, Gadahn's message may have some resonance.

    After the market blast in Peshawar, many Pakistanis expressed disbelief that Islamist groups could have attacked other Muslims in such a manner. And in some corners of the Pakistani media, Blackwater has increasingly been floated as a culprit in nefarious events.

    Gadahn grew up in Los Angeles and then moved to Pakistan in 1998, according to the FBI. He is said to have attended an al-Qaida training camp six years later, serving as a translator and consultant for the group.

    Al-Qaida's media arm, al-Sahab, is increasingly using English-language videos to address Muslims in Pakistan who are unlikely to speak Arabic. Gadahn's message specifically addressed Muslims in south Asia, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

  33. This Week at War: Mexico's Narco-Armies

    Posted by Robert Haddick

    According to Manwaring, Los Zetas is no longer merely an enforcer for the Gulf Cartel, but an independent military force that rivals the power of legitimate governments in the region. It has used the enormous cash flow it receives from drug smuggling to acquire state-of-the-art weapons and electronics technology and to build intelligence-gathering, logistics, and operational planning staffs that Western military commanders would not only recognize but envy.

    So do Los Zetas's commanders aim to seize control of the Mexican state? Probably not, according to Manwaring -- at least not directly. Los Zetas (and other cartel leaders in the region) want to weaken but not completely destroy the traditional authority of the state. Los Zetas and cartel members need to travel outside the country, communicate, and conduct financial transactions. Most important, these transnational criminal organizations greatly benefit from the Mexican government's zealous protection of its sovereignty -- this keeps the U.S. government one step away from interfering with the cartels.

    Viewed in this light, Los Zetas and other such transnational private military forces may be much more dangerous to stability and legitimate governance than al Qaeda or religion-inspired terror groups. The multi-billion-dollar drug-smuggling business seems to buy far more military capability, foot soldiers, high and low-level government officials, and neighborhood support than religious exhortation does. It is easy to organize against al Qaeda's highly unpopular vision of society. For Los Zetas, it's business, not political -- there can be a cut of the action for everyone. That might make Los Zetas and their private military cousins the more insidious threat to legitimate governance.

    The "Region" Mr Manwaring refers to, it includes most of North America.

  34. Marine Corps Gazette

    The greatest single influence on our counterinsurgency doctrine isn’t a Marine. He isn’t even an American, or a colonel or a general or an admiral for that matter. He is an Australian lieutenant colonel who did the bulk of his influential work as a captain—work that has become the cornerstone of company-level counterinsurgent operations and has brought him to prominence as an advisor to the likes of GEN David Patraeus, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and to the Department of Defense during the 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review. Not bad for a foreign field grade officer, but why are we, the most powerful Nation on the planet, importing talent to help solve our warfighting problems? Don’t we have Marine officers capable of doing the same?

    The answer, unfortunately, is that we do not. The Marine Corps has not invested in the education and development of its officer corps to produce such an officer and, as a result, stands ready to be marginalized within the Department of Defense as a result of this shortfall. Unconventional times and unconventional wars require unconventional thought, and the ability to think brilliantly and unconventionally is a product of education. The foreigner who so significantly impacted our counterinsurgency doctrine and the planners who developed the controversial, but ultimately successful, “surge” shared a common background—the commonality of a doctoral-level education. How, though, can the Marine Corps correct the deficiency? And who is this guy, anyway?

    We’ll start with the second question first. This guy is LTC David Kilcullen of the Australian Army, and he isn’t just some overeducated policy wonk; he is an intellectual warrior. As a young company grade infantry officer he became interested in the Dar’ul Islam insurgency in Indonesia and was afforded the opportunity to pursue advanced education to study it. Ultimately obtaining a doctorate in anthropology, he returned to his roots, strapped on his pack, and resumed his duties as a company commander. He wasn’t sidelined to a nonoperational job because of his education, but instead was placed back into the mainstream where he led soldiers in places like Cyprus, Papua New Guinea, and East Timor. His experiences as an operational soldier and leader served to broaden his educational experience, and his education served to broaden his professional abilities. The result of this confluence of education and experience resulted in arguably making him the single most influential counterinsurgency expert in the world today.

  35. desert rat said...

    "The Russians do not need to project military power, they can just follow behind US and pick up the loot, as the US moves on to the next boondoggle of a war."
    So it WAS a


    Ash was right all along.

  36. ...and Rufus, too.
    Wrong all along.
    But we already knew that.

  37. They can't build a friggin boat.
    We can only buy our energy from others.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. No, doug, it was not a War for Oil, or we'd have those concessions.

    The oil was not our concern, Mr Bush did not lie. His goals were sincere, his methods shoddy and ill planned.

    That "Putin the Great" has those Russian pre-invasion concessions back, that only verifies that for the US, it was not about oil, but fear.

    Thus the need for "Preemption".

    For the rest of the whirled, it was a game of wait and watch, as we lost our resolve for the "Long War", right on schedule.

  40. Speaking of oil, we're sub $70 even at "peak oil" with a recovering world economy...and a stronger dollar.

  41. The Russians do not need to project military power, they can just follow behind US and pick up the loot, as the US moves on to the next boondoggle of a war.

    What loot? Poppies?

  42. 66. HEP-T:

    Stryker is that bunker I ordered you to take been neautralized?

    No Lt we got within 50 meter’s and then the enemy “lawyered up” we had to call in JAG and we are still waiting for the ACLU to sign off on the attack

  43. Doug: Wonder why they can still build subs?

    They can still build rockets too, they're going to be our only link to the ISS for years. It's a matter of priorities. For Russia, priorities are set in a way that maximizes their national prestige. Hence the Russian flag at the North Pole.

  44. I meant we went to War for Oil,
    for Pootie,
    ...those eyes.

    "Speaking of oil, we're sub $70 even at "peak oil" with a recovering world economy...and a stronger dollar."
    Rufus IS right.
    (stopped watch, and all that)
    The shit is bound to hit the fan when the Chi-Coms and Injuns get up to speed.

  45. The oil in Iraq, Ms T.

    The poppies, Mr Karzai and his allies have that asset well in hand.
    Protection provided by the USMC, as General Smedley Butler (USMC ret) foretold.

    Past performance being the best predictor of future events.

  46. MLD: I got hit on by a woman which was a first. She ask for my number and offered me to stay at her place if, I wasn't able to drive home.

    I know it's fun sometimes just to try it ("Hope My Boyfriend Don't Mind It") but if you don't totally want pussy from about age two, do yourself and everyone else a big favor, MLD, and stay with what really makes your tail wag faster.

    Maybe next MLD Friday if you're around we'll put up the classic cowgirl-getting-cleaned-up picture and kick off an open thread.

  47. "Hence the Russian flag at the North Pole."
    They ain't got one on the moon!
    We waz great.
    Long ago and far away.

  48. "but if you don't totally want pussy from about age two"
    Jeeze, I must be a homo.

    Shoulda took that guy up in San Fran back when I was 18.
    Another Lost opportunity.

  49. MLD is hittin on Ms T.
    Sheik al-Boba'l have to settle for Governor fantasies.

  50. First Thing We Do, Kill All the Speechwriters

    Mark Steyn channels the President:

    “There are those who say there is no evil in the world. There are others who argue that pink fluffy bunnies are the spawn of Satan and conspiring to overthrow civilization.

    Let me be clear:
    I believe people of goodwill on all sides can find common ground between the absurdly implausible caricatures I attribute to them on a daily basis. We must begin by finding the courage to acknowledge the hard truth that I am living testimony to the power of nuance to triumph over hard truth and come to the end of the sentence on a note of sonorous, polysyllabic if somewhat hollow uplift.
    Pause for applause.”
    The worst (best?) part? Steyn’s parody was so pitch-perfect, I heard it in my head in Obama’s voice. Read the whole thing

  51. 67. RWE:

    A few observations from my USAF career:

    1. Individual initiative and innovation is strong discouraged from the official viewpoint – and is relied on very heavily to actually get things done.
    2. Avoiding blame is always a bureaucratic priority, and this got worse in the 1990’s.
    3. Personal integrity went downhill in the 90’s.
    4. The massive downsizing of the 1990’s led to a great many people in the wrong jobs and many examples of the “horse holders for nonexistent horses” situation.
    5. It is entirely possible for a single relatively low ranking officer to stop things, if for only a while, even at the National level – and this is not always bad, since in the 90’s a lot of stupid things were attempted. The reason this is possible is that the higher ups wish to avoid work as much as anyone else.
    6. Senior officers who display the “Exact PowerPoint Format” mentality are never good at anything of any kind.

  52. "Within a decade, reimportation would save consumers roughly $80 billion and the federal government $19 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But that would mean $100 billion more in lost revenue than the powerful Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobby agreed to bear-- in exchange for being supportive of the overall health reform effort..."

    Pharma Deal Shuts Down Healthcare Debate


  53. The attached article argues that higher CO2 emissions are a net positive in that they help increase food supplies and water in the 3rd World countries that are even now demanding reparations in Copenhagen.

    However, the article merely provides one side of the argument. (For instance, there is an argument that current farming practices in Northern China are reducing the water table and increasing the desertification in that area.) But the article is just an example that we may be premature in beggering ourselves for science that many consider questionable.

    More CO2 is Good for the Planet