Friday, February 05, 2016

Russia is winning in Syria and now the sanctions are at risk...

via Reuters.
Ukraine must uphold its part of a peace deal with Russia by modernising the country or risk a collapse of support for EU sanctions against Moscow, Denmark's foreign minister said on Friday.
The European Union is pressing Kiev to overcome political feuding and implement reforms to bring Ukraine out of Russia's shadow and into the West, but the resignation of Ukraine's frustrated economy minister has underlined the difficulties.
"If Ukraine doesn't come through with the reforms linked to the Minsk peace process, it will be very difficult for Europe to continue united in support for sanctions against Russia," Kristian Jensen told Reuters, referring to the peace deal agreed by Ukraine, Russia,France and Germany last year.
Jensen was speaking on the sidelines of an EU foreign ministers meeting in Amsterdam.
You can read between the lines on this just like I can.  The EU is chomping at the bit to remove the sanctions against Russia.  I don't know but would love to find out how much economic activity has been lost because of them.

But put that aside for a moment.

I'm past the point of wondering how every initiative pushed by our State Dept seems to be either a terrible deal, a bad idea, or just flawed but that's where we're at with Russia.

Their guys are beating our guys and it's no longer a surprise or frustrating.  I'm to the point of expecting it.  Whats simply mind blowing though is that while the Obama Administration is pushing to send an Armored Brigade Combat Team to Europe to "protect" them from Russian aggression, the EU looks ready to normalize relations and end the sanctions with them.

Our Pentagon labels them the number 1 threat and the EU is anxious to get back to trading with them.  Is this bizarro world or what?

Women in combat proponents endanger the 99% of women who don't want to serve.

via The Daily Caller.
“The draft is precisely why this has never been about “a few women who want to.” You make policy based on the 99% of women who don’t volunteer to serve, not a tiny fraction of the already tiny fraction of women who do volunteer,” Eden said.
For Eden, it has taken the threat of drafting women to prompt lawmakers to start talking about oversight, even though that oversight should have taken place back in 2013 when the Obama administration announced initial intentions to open ground combat roles to women.
Back in August 2015, Eden wrote an op-ed in The New York Times asking Carter not to open all combat roles to women, as the addition runs the risk of ruining mission success.
“Commanders of coed units know too well the added burdens of trying to juggle sexual dynamics, accommodations, relationships, fraternization, rape, pregnancy, hygiene and much more while maintaining troop welfare and good order and discipline, let alone mission accomplishment,” Eden wrote. “These are liabilities that can result in mission failure and high casualties in the combat units, all to satisfy a tiny group of women selfishly petitioning for their own career advancement.”
This is awesome and worrisome at the same time.  Because our military leadership sat on their hands while Haney, Ripley and the USNI Blog drove this policy down their throats, now all our daughters are at risk.

Their own selfishness, desire to be politically correct and STUPIDITY is driving this extremely logical move to require women to register for the draft.

True equality for women comes with good and bad.  Haney, Ripley and USNI Blog should have thought about their daughters and granddaughters that don't want to be in the military.  The draft will eventually come back, and it's a good possibility that one of their female descendants will join me in cursing the underhanded techniques used to pass this.

If I'm still around I'll mourn for their children and curse them.  If I'm not then I'll do it from hell.

LaVoy Finicum is being hailed as a heroic martyr.....

via RapidCityJournal
2:45 p.m.
Soft music played as hundreds of people from across the country crowded into a Mormon church in a small Utah town for the funeral of the spokesman for the Oregon armed standoff.
Pictures of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum and his family were displayed at the church's entrance Friday, along with a saddle and a painting of a cowboy next to his horse.
Mourners filled the main pews, gymnasium and several overflow rooms in Kanab, near the Arizona line. Others stood against the walls. Some small children held American flags in their hands.
Police shot and killed the Arizona rancher during a Jan. 26 traffic stop after they say he reached for a gun. His supporters called it an ambush.
via Yahoo
His death inspired a call for like-minded followers to come to Kanab, Utah, for his funeral. The day's events, billed as "LaVoy Finicum's Stand for Freedom," include a visitation and funeral, followed by a memorial horse ride to a local middle school for a benefit concert.
The events could draw up to 1,000 people, including many from Kanab and the nearby towns of Fredonia and Cane Beds, Arizona, where Finicum lived, said Sgt. Alan Alldredge of the Kane County Sheriff's Office. Others are expected to come from Nevada and elsewhere in Arizona.
"They've kind of put the call out nationwide," Alldredge said.
Sheriff's officials and the Utah Highway Patrol will be on hand to ensure the events are peaceful and orderly. Given the anti-government sentiment expected among the crowd, Alldredge said local law enforcement agencies have pleaded with the FBI and other federal agents to stay away.
"We've kind of asked them to stay away, and they say they will," Alldredge said.
The holdouts remain in the refuge and now we're starting to see the results of the Finicum shooting.

While I thought the shoot was justified, apparently many feel differently and he's being hailed as a heroic martyr.  Even worse is the news that his death is serving as a rallying cry for the militia movement which is something I feared.

The confusing part (at least for me) is that it seems as if we're seeing the melding of two groups that aren't natural allies.  The militia movement is anti-govt to a large degree.  Ok, we knew that, but what should concern law enforcement is the fact that farmers/rural landowners are beginning to move into their camp because of policies of the Bureau of Land Management being pushed by environmentalist.

That is a potent mix and in rural areas that could be a deadly for federal agents.

Russian SU-35s to do combat air patrols 24 hours a day over Khmeimim Syrian Air Force Base. Are they prepping for conventional combat?

Thanks to William for the link!

2016-02-05 14:31:42.371 GMT
Ok, what do we know for sure?

1.  The peace talks broke down and Kerry is blaming the Russians for not halting their aerial offensive.

2.  Saudi Arabia says that its ready to send troops to Syria in a US led coalition.

3.  Russia says that they have indications that Turkey is preparing for a ground incursion into Syria.

4.  Days ago Russia sent SU-35's to Syria to augment other fighters already in that country.

5.  We just found out that Russian SU-35's will do combat air patrols 24 hours a day over the airbase they're harbored in.

Do the Russians believe that a Turkish incursion is imminent?  Are they trying to "shape" the battlefield ahead of an air war?  Or is this simply a bluff to get Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the US to back off?

I have no idea.

Gun Control is about to become moot...enforcing gun crime laws are the new reality with 3d printed guns becoming a reality...

Video found at Everyday No Days Off Blog.

What you see above is a video showing a 3d printed gun being test fired.  The manufacture of weapons in your house, without permit is already going mainstream.  When the price of a 3d printer drops to that of your average laptop then the gun control debate becomes a moot point.

Gun control advocates have already lost and they don't even know it.  Gun rights proponents have always said that the way you control violent crime is to enforce laws on the books that place strict sentences on those that commit them...especially those that involve weapons of any type...including guns.

The funny thing?   We're about to reach a point where only law abiding citizens will be buying guns from manufacturers.  I can easily see a time where we see a real black market in untraceable guns.  Can you imagine the law enforcement challenge of trying to track a gun that was made in a basement, used once in the commission of a homicide and then literally burned to crisp?

I should have listened to my Russian followers. Syria is reaching a "new" critical stage.

Thanks to MiloMonkey for the link!

via Sic Semper Tyrannis
It appears to me that Kerry and Erdogan now realise that the latest Syrian offensive signals the beginning of the end for their fictional moderate, democratic rebels who are not really jihadists, just misunderstood.

The Peace talks? They remind me of Napoleon III trying to "negotiate" with Moltke and Bismarck after the French were defeated at Sedan. What cards do the rebels have to play - "The gratitude of the Syrian people?".
What Kerry and Erdogan are now probably doing is contemplating what a reunified, jihadist free, Syria is going to look like along with a resurgent, sorry, I mean "emboldened", Russia, Hezbollah and Iran. My opinion is that they are going to remake the Middle East to the detriment of Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The question then becomes whether Turkey and the U.S. are going to permit that. There are suggestions on another thread that Turkey may try to take military action in Syria under the "responsibility to protect" mantra. I do not see that as a winning military strategy unless the U.S. and NATO can be prevailed upon to support such a venture. Are we stupid enough to do that?
I watched as the Russians announced SU-35's were going to Syria.  I listened to my readers talking about a new offensive that was moving at almost breakneck speed.  Listened and read news reports about first a humanitarian crisis and then collapsed peace talks.

I even followed reports from Russia warning that the Turks were staging for a military intervention into Syria.

Any idea what this all means?

SST talks about a move to the detriment of Israel.  I don't know if I fully agree with that.  The Israelis have been carrying out airstrikes cross border with no interference from the Russians.  It seems to me that they have military professionals that can determine who they need to fight together and keep from stepping on each others toes while doing it.  This also indicates to me that the Russians have the Syrian Dictator firmly under the thumb.  I don't think he'd be too pleased to have IDF aircraft routinely invading his airspace.

But that leaves the move to station SU-35's.  I really should have zeroed in on those early reports of the Turks planning an incursion, the Saudi's talking about a US led coalition to rescue the non-combatants in Syria and the collapsed peace talks.

The Russians are setting up to block any "no fly zone" over Syria.  They just took the easy move off the table and if there is an escalation then it will be solidly in the camp of the GCC/Turkey/US.

Of course I could easily be wrong (please tell me where you disagree) but one thing is certain.  This thing in Syria is reaching a "new" critical stage.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Watching the Dem debate. Their race is a farce

I'm sitting here watching Bernie and Hillary SUPPOSEDLY go at it during the New Hampshire debate and I've come to one conclusion.

The Democrat Party race is a farce.

Bernie as usual yielded the floor on clear/easy lines of attack on Hillary, she bashed him on an extended foreign policy portion of the debate and then they played patty cake on the fair versus free trade issue.

The only good thing about this is that their "coalition" is already fracturing and young women and men of all ages don't trust Hillary.

This is the election that the Republican Party's been waiting for and they're throwing it away.  First Congress isn't doing jack despite all the excesses of the current administration and the Republican establishment is intent on playing games.  Additionally the top 3 don't give me the "yeah" feeling that I'm looking for.  Cruz?  Sleazy salesman.  Trump?  Madman that might be the Republican Obama, he's asking me to take alot on faith.  Rubio?  He looks like he might be ready to lead a Boy Scout Troop (under supervision) and I wonder if he's had his first bit of facial hair.

When I think about this election I find myself sinking into depression.  Time to find something to warm my other words these bastards are driving me to drink.

Capt. Jerry Hendrix (Ret) calls for the Navy to build Queen Elizabeth sized carriers...

Thanks to Joe for the link!

via Politico.
Instead of doubling down on an obsolete and prohibitively expensive plan for these iconic American ships, the military should build cheaper carriers that are upgraded for modern military engagements. With the size of the air wing shrinking from 90 aircraft in the 1990s to around 65 airplanes today, the Navy no longer needs a 100,000-ton carrier to hold them all. A ship around 75,000 tons would meet our needs and would save a significant amount of money.
The Navy could also revamp the carrier’s relevance by repurposing a program to develop a carrier-based drone, which is currently intended solely for surveillance missions, so that it is also capable of performing long-range strike missions. Sixteen stealthy unmanned aircraft built to fly 1,500 miles while carrying three tons of precision-strike ordnance would allow the U.S. to launch strikes from the carrier while keeping it out of the range of carrier-killing missiles.
The Navy’s decision on the carriers today will affect U.S. naval power for decades. These carriers are expected to be combat effective in 2065 — over 150 years since the idea of an aircraft carrier was first conceived. With an updated plan, the aircraft carrier can continue to defy the odds and demonstrate America’s military might across the world.
QE sized carriers?  I don't know.  I always looked at the current carrier air wing as just a place holder for low intensity ops.  If we had a conventional war I always imagined that those wings would be plus sized back up to the 100 plus planes that were once carried regularly before the 2000's.

If I was wrong in my assumption then this makes sense.  But I do wonder.  Why have 10 carriers that are operating under capacity?  Maybe 7, 6 operational and one in reserve with full decks might be a better option.

We would have to dump parts of the forward presence bullshit but when we sent a carrier out people would know we mean business.

Something weird is happening in Syria....Keep your eyes on developments there!!!!

Thanks to William for the link!

via Globe Mail.
A Saudi military spokesman said Thursday the kingdom is ready to send ground troops to Syria to fight Islamic State group provided coalition leaders agree during an upcoming meeting in Brussels.
Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri told The Associated Press that Saudi Arabia has taken part in coalition airstrikes against IS since the U.S.-led campaign began in September 2014, but could now provide ground troops.
The United States is scheduled to convene a meeting of defence ministers from countries fighting IS in Brussels this month.
“We are determined to fight and defeat Daesh,” Asiri said, using the Arabic acronym for IS. He didn’t elaborate on how many troops the kingdom would send.
Saudi Arabia is deeply involved in Yemen’s civil war, where it is fighting Iranian-backed Shiite rebels. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have long viewed Iran as a regional menace, and Riyadh and Tehran back opposite sides in the wars in Syria and Yemen.
Asiri’s announcement came shortly after Russia said it suspects Turkey of planning a military invasion of Syria.
Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday in a statement that the Russian military has registered “a growing number of signs of hidden preparation of the Turkish armed forces for active actions on the territory of Syria.”
He said images of a checkpoint on the Turkish-Syrian border taken in late October and late January show a buildup of transportation infrastructure that could be used for moving in troops, ammunition and weapons.
The announcement came a day after U.N.-led peace talks in Geneva were suspended for three weeks.
This is getting interesting again.  First my readers have been abuzz about the advances that the Syrian Army is making.  The Syrians with alot of help from their Russian allies are carrying the day.  Then we have the breakdown in peace talks because the Russians didn't agree to stop bombing the rebels.

Personally I think that was a move to freeze the conflict and keep the Syrian regime from regaining even more territory.

Now we have Turkey and Saudi Arabia ready to send troops into the country?  Once again we tiptoe up to the brink of a serious miscalculation by some of our idiot allies.  I just hope the Obama administration has the good sense to not save them from themselves.

Yeah.  This just moved up the "watch list".


Thanks to T Rob for the link!

via Local8now.
The first woman in Tennessee to enlist as a combat engineer in the Army went AWOL according to a military spokesperson.
Local 8 News was first to tell you about Erika Lopez back in July of 2015. She made headlines when she enlisted for a job that could involve fighting on the front lines.
The U.S. Army had just lifted its ban on women in combat roles when she walked into a recruiting office in Knoxville and decided to enlist as a combat engineer.
Lopez was in basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. An Army spokesperson tells Local 8 News that Private Lopez was scheduled to return from convalescent leave on January 4th. She was reported absent without leave (AWOL) on January 5th after she failed to return.
Spokesperson Tiffany Wood issued a statement saying, "After 30 days in an AWOL status, a Soldier is considered a deserter and a
federal warrant is issued for his or her arrest. "
Wood says once Private Erika Lopez is arrested she'll be taken to the nearest military installment and handed over to military police.

Back in July of 2015, Lopez told us she knew her decision was unique. "It makes me feel really excited that no woman has ever done it before."
She left her husband and two children in September of 2015 for basic training where she was learning to build bridges, detonate artillery, and detect roadside bombs under combat conditions. She said, "You make sacrifices your whole life for your children and for your family, this will be a sacrifice... Women can do anything they set their mind to just as well as men I don't really see any difference at all. I hope women will want to join."
That shit is hard huh girl?

Too funny!  One more day and she's a deserter...Big Chicken Dinner baby!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

11 indicted in Oregon standoff case. Feds give conspiracy theorists new ammo...

via ABC News.
A federal grand jury has indicted Ammon Bundy and some of the men and women who joined him at the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge, authorities said Wednesday.
However, the indictment remained sealed and further details on the charges were unavailable.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoff Barrow said the documents would be unsealed within 24 hours.
Barrow said the indictment was returned against the 11 people who have already been arrested and others, perhaps a reference to the last four holdouts at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Defense attorneys demanded the immediate unsealing of the indictment — a request denied Wednesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart.
"You will get a copy of the indictment in due course, don't worry," Stewart said.
Arraignment was set for Feb. 24.
Authorities arrested 11 people last week on a criminal complaint charging them with felony conspiracy. They were accused of using intimidation to prevent federal officers from doing their work at the refuge in sparsely populated southeast Oregon.
In a criminal complaint, defendants have a right to a preliminary hearing in which they can question the arresting officer under oath about probable cause for the charges.
After an indictment, they are no longer entitled to such a proceeding.
The cancellation of preliminary hearings that had been scheduled for Wednesday dismayed attorneys for the accused.
Lisa Hay, who represents defendant Ryan Payne, said it appears prosecutors moved to scrap the hearings even before the indictment had been handed down. She was also annoyed that prosecutors presented the indictment to the judge and not to defense attorneys.
"That's an unusual thing and it's unfortunate in a case like this, where many of the people distrust the government to begin with," Hay said.
I was so ready to say that the Feds have handled this case perfectly and then they do this trash.  Simply amazing.  The flippant attitude by the Judge isn't helping either.  "You'll get a copy of the indictment in due course, don't worry".

Fucking seriously?  These guys are fighting to stay out of jail and many in the militia movement are watching this carefully.

They just added a whole bunch of unnecessary suspicion to the whole case.  The worse thing?  I seriously believe that the militia movement was completely fractured because of how poorly the militiamen behaved during the standoff.  The Feds with this idiotic maneuver (I'm betting that they didn't want to give information on the case to the defendants) just breathed new life into the movement.  From near perfection to utter stupidity in one day.

That's your Federal govt at work.

SM-6 can now hit ships? Forgive me if I'm not impressed.

Thanks to Gruaak for the link!

via SecDef Twitter Feed.
#SecDef breaking news: We’re modifying the SM-6 so that in addition to missile defense, it can also target enemy ships at sea.
So we're taking part of our anti-air loadout and going to dual purpose it to kill ships?  Exactly how many per ship will it take to get a kill?  How many are going to be dedicated to the anti-ship mission and will that mean that we'll be unable to deal with swarm attacks by marauding enemy air? How far will the thing go?  How much will this cost?

I'm just an armchair blogger and these are just a few of the questions I have.  But what should be disturbing is that this is being considered instead of doing the work to field a purpose built anti-ship missile that is long ranged and hits hard.

Once again we're seeing half measures being trotted out as world beating solutions.  Forgive me if I'm not impressed.