Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mega Cities. The US Army, USMC and SOCOM all seem to want that fight...

Thanks to Adi for the link!

via Intercept.
The video is nothing if not an instant dystopian classic: melancholy music, an ominous voiceover, and cascading images of sprawling slums and urban conflict. “Megacities are complex systems where people and structures are compressed together in ways that defy both our understanding of city planning and military doctrine,” says a disembodied voice. “These are the future breeding grounds, incubators, and launching pads for adversaries and hybrid threats.”
The video was used as part of an “Advanced Special Operations Combating Terrorism” course offered at JSOU earlier this year, for a lesson on “The Emerging Terrorism Threat.” JSOU is operated by U.S. Special Operations Command, the umbrella organization for America’s most elite troops. JSOU describes itself as geared toward preparing special operations forces “to shape the future strategic environment by providing specialized joint professional military education, developing SOF specific undergraduate and graduate level academic programs and by fostering special operations research.”

They're looking at a Meat Grinder.

A hint for the think tank boys and the theorists in the Pentagon.  This future already exists.  You go into a mega city anywhere in the developing world you're gonna see this.  Additionally you have to ask the question.  Why would anyone plan on dropping men into such a chaotic situation?  It is a classic no win.

Doesn't anyone remember Somalia?  That was a rather small operation and it turned into chaos.  Do the same in a mega city and you'd have battalions disappearing right before your eyes never to be seen again and maybe...if you're lucky...maybe you get the chance to recover remains.

Its beyond time for the military to come to grips with reality.  Some missions are just beyond its ability to execute.  History teaches us lessons but we refuse to learn.

Open Comment Post. Oct 26, 2016

What's on your mind?

Spanish Army Combat Swimmers @ Triton 16 (pics)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

UK is sending a Heavy Mech Battle Group to Eastern Europe.

via Wall Street Journal.
The U.K. said it would deploy tanks and drones alongside 800 troops in Eastern Europe, the first of several expected moves by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to help counter growing fears about Russia in the region.
The U.K. troops will deploy next spring and be joined in Estonia by forces from France and Denmark, said Michael Fallon, the British defense secretary said. The force, he said, will likely include tactical drones, Challenger 2 main battle tanks and Warrior armored infantry fighting vehicles.
“That battalion will be defensive in nature, but it will be fully combat-capable,” he said in an interview.
Story here.

Sending a Heavy Mech Battalion is a serious show of force.

I think I'm with the German Foreign Affairs Bubba.  I think we're positioning ourselves so that one mistake, one rogue Battalion Commander with delusions of grandeur (on either side) or one misunderstanding could lead to war in Europe.

When you have so many forces from so many nations operating in close proximity bad stuff always happens.

F-35 negotiations break down. Pentagon might split F-35 order!

via Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Defense Department said it may split a $14 billion order for the next two batches of F-35 combat jets after failing to reach agreement on a single deal with lead contractorLockheed Martin Corp.
Lockheed has been in talks with the Pentagon for months about a combined deal for 160 jets covering two years of production, and the two sides had hoped to reach agreement in early 2016.
But negotiations over price and other issues have dragged on longer than expected as the Pentagon tries to cut the cost of the F-35A model used by the U.S. Air Force to around $80 million by the end of the decade.

The F-35 program office said it may now award a deal first on the smaller ninth batch of jets, which involves more than 63 planes, rather than combine it with a 10th batch.
Negotiating F-35 deals in bigger batches was intended to cut the Pentagon’s price and help Lockheed and its partners negotiate better deals with their suppliers, but the process is proving tougher than expected.

If this is true then the human body is weird...

via OraclesOfNorway Tumblr Page.

Your body is an incredibly bizarre machine.
“What you see is a myosin protein dragging an endorphin along a filament to the inner part of the brain’s parietal cortex which creates happiness. Happiness. You’re looking at happiness.”

Germany Warns of the Danger of War

via Huffington Post.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Oct. 8 that the situation between the U.S. and Russia today is more dangerous than it was during the Cold War. As he put it, “It’s a fallacy to think that this is like the Cold War. The current times are different and more dangerous.” Since most of us think of the Cold War as by far the most dangerous time we have known, Steinmeier’s view is startling. It is important to understand what he is saying, not simply because he is the foreign minister of an important country, but because he is a smart man.

In the interview, Steinmeier discussed the Russian intervention in Syria, the standoff with the United States and the frozen but still dangerous confrontation over Ukraine. When we look at these two confrontations between the United States and Russia (Germany doesn’t have the military strength to affect this balance) either situation could result in a direct confrontation of U.S. and Russian forces.
Story here. 

If I read this a couple of years ago I would have dismissed it as simply the crowing of a scared old man.  Now?  Now I have to consider Marine Corps and Army warfighting philosophy and how its evolving.  Those 300 odd Marines in Norway?  A few years ago it would be meaningless.  Today with the idea that small units are how the Marine Corps is going to fight along with the distributed operations theory and I'm not so sure.

If you take evolving concepts into play then it could easily look to the Russians like NATO is actually taking a warfighting posture on its borders.  Think about that.  The US by sprinkling penny packets of soldiers and Marines all over Europe can be considered as initial preparations for war because of our evolving warfighting philosophy!

I can only hope, but have little faith, that our leaders know what they're doing.  If the Germans are getting nervous than that's a canary in the coal mine.  One big ass canary.

Country wisdom...

How many of ya'll have been eating old eggs?

Turkish Tanks operating near Mosul.

Pics via ISIS LiveMap

This is a problem no one is talking about.  What is gonna happen with Turkey? They've made territorial claims to Iraqi soil and if they refuse to leave does that mean regional war?  Could we jump out of the ISIS frying pan into a nation state war?

Add that issue to the brewing Sunni-Shia conflict, Iran seeking to expand it influence and Iraq seemingly moving away from the US to the Iran/Russia sphere and I see nothing but continued fighting in the region.

First time seen in Syrian War. Coordinated anti-tank fire from multiple launchers.

Thanks to Drinas for the link!

Interesting.  This is the first time that I've seen coordinated anti-tank missile fire in this conflict.  I don't know who the "shooters" are but could we finally be seeing hints of professionalism?

Open Comment Post. Oct 25, 2016.

Am I alone in thinking that the US is losing its lead in combat power?  Its a sinking feeling I have and I can't shake it.

To be honest our military leadership reminds me of Adolf Hitler from 1943 on...he believed that "wonder" weapons would allow Germany to win a badly managed war.  He held onto the thinking that even though he stretched the German military to the breaking point globally that he would be able to snatch victory if he had new super tanks, an Amerika bomber, jet fighters, gigantic subs etc...

Meanwhile the allies produced vehicles, ships and aircraft that in many cases were "good enough" (and admittedly a few that were great) at rates that Germany couldn't match.  Between poor military planning, a ravaged industrial base and lackluster leadership the Germans didn't stand a chance.

Sound familiar?

Its slipping away and we're all watching it happen.

Anyway, that's my rambling and ranting.  What's on your mind?

Spacecraft of the 21st Century

Note.  The below illustration is produced by Reddit contributor YNot1989.  Click here to see it full size!