Monday, June 27, 2016

Russians have superior artillery firepower, better combat the USMC's Strategic Initiatives Group paying attention???

via War News Updates from Defense One
When Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster briefs, it’s like Gen. Patton giving a TED talk — a domineering physical presence with bristling intellectual intensity.
These days, the charismatic director of the Army’s Capabilities Integration Center is knee-deep in a project called The Russia New Generation Warfare study, an analysis of how Russia is re-inventing land warfare in the mud of Eastern Ukraine. Speaking recently at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., McMaster said that the two-year-old conflict had revealed that the Russians have superior artillery firepower, better combat vehicles, and have learned sophisticated use of UAVs for tactical effect. Should U.S. forces find themselves in a land war with Russia, he said, they would be in for a rude, cold awakening.
“We spend a long time talking about winning long-range missile duels,” said McMaster. But long-range missiles only get you through the front door. The question then becomes what will you do when you get there.
Well no shit.

This is what infuriates me about current Marine Corps procurement.  We're getting a good look at Russian hybrid warfare in Ukraine and air power has been effectively nullified.

You think that's bad?  Hold gets worse.  From the same article...
“We’re out-ranged by a lot of these systems and they employ improved conventional munitions, which we are going away from. There will be a 40- to 60-percent reduction in lethality in the systems that we have,” he said. “Remember that we already have fewer artillery systems. Now those fewer artillery systems will be less effective relative to the enemy. So we need to do something on that now.”
Towed M-777 and 120mm mortars are weak sauce against self propelled guns. The Marine Corps has been so focused on its aviation house that its neglecting ground combat.  We so need a Deputy Commandant for the Ground Combat Element...and we need someone to walk into the next meeting of the Strategic Initiatives Group and drop kick a bunch of LtCols and get them focused on the next fight instead of simply pushing forward with concepts that no longer fit the changing battlefield.

Side note.  What exactly is the Army getting at?  Check this out...
“When an Army fires unit arrives somewhere, it should be able to do surface-to-air, surface-to-surface, and shore-to-ship capabilities. We are developing that now and there are some really promising capabilities,” he said.
If this is fully realized then the Army will use missile fire in such a way as to almost negate the need for having their own "air force".  The goal is to defend against air attack, surface to surface (this is the biggee in my eyes...with ATACMS/long range MLRS you're looking at the possibility of not need interdiction strikes by USAF/USN/USMC aircraft) and the ability to conduct anti-ship strikes?  I wonder what his real goal is...what will his ultimate force look like?

Amazingly good news on the fight in Iraq against ISIS.

via Free Beacon.
Former Nineveh Province Governor Atheel Al-Nujaifi, who commands the National Mobilization Force of Sunni fighters, confirms that attacks are taking place inside Mosul with increased frequency.
“There was an attack in the Old City of Mosul on Friday. A man threw a hand grenade at Daesh militants. He was captured, executed and his body dragged through the streets behind a truck,” Nujaifi told the Washington Free Beacon by telephone Sunday. Daesh is an alternative name for ISIS.
“In another incident, an ISIS militant was shouting at a local woman who was not wearing her head scarf and an unknown man attacked the Daesh soldier with a knife,” Al-Nujaifi added.
The news site Sumaria reported Friday that Daesh militia are looking for unknown people in Mosul who tore up Daesh posters and pictures of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in different areas in the city. There are also reports of firefights within the ISIS police force as tension mounts and morale for the ISIS soldiers plummets. According to a Friday report by the Iraqi newspaper Mada, seven Daesh terrorists were killed in internal clashes between Daesh’s Islamic rules police, the hisbah, and security members.
Some Iraqi politicians have predicted that an insurrection will break out as the Iraqi army moves closer to liberating Mosul. An MP from Ninewa, Ahmed Al-Jubouri, who also leads an armed group, told an Iraqi newspaper on Wednesday that “People of Mosul are awaiting the start of the Ninewa liberation operations in order to revolt against Daesh.” He also says some of his fighters sneaked into Mosul city to carry out assassinations against ISIS terrorists.
ISIS executed four of its top commanders in a public square in Mosul on Wednesday, according to multiple sources, including Bas News, a Kurdish news site. The commanders reportedly were convicted by a Sharia Court for high treason on June 22nd and hanged in Mosul the same day, according to media reports. The executions follow the hanging or beheading of 21 ISIS commanders since April and the executions of scores of ISIS fighters charged with desertion or collaborating with Iraqi Army agents.
So suddenly we have Iraqi citizens taking charge of their destiny and fighting ISIS in Mosul?  Open attacks against ISIS soldiers and officials?  Men stepping forward to defend women against ISIS goons?  ISIS turning on itself and killing its own commanders (probably for failure on the battlefield)?

If the news sounds too good to be true it probably is.

This sounds too good to be true.

American Warfighter: Brotherhood, Survival, and Uncommon Valor in Iraq, 2003-2011

Heads up tribe members.  I'm posting a review of American Warfighter tomorrow and working on a give away of 10 e-books of the same via Smashwords on the platform of your choice (Kindle, Nook, etc...).

I've talked about doing reviews for awhile and this is the start of that effort (need to circle back to another book but that's a discussion for another day), as an added bonus I'm contacting the author to get a little question and answer from one of the studs written about.

If you can't wait for the details then let me cut to the chase.  You will be riveted by the stories.  You will be in awe of these men.  You will believe that their are still men that will do the hard thing despite the odds.

You'll be inspired.

If you can't wait then trust me....This is a must read (available here).

Convair R3Y Tradewind "The Flying Task Force" & the earliest talk of a "sea base" that I've found.

They make a formidable case for the need for a seaplane.  What I found interesting is how they took explained the vulnerability of forward airfields, airborne troops and even showed how naval forces themselves are vulnerable.

What really caught my eye was the proposal to use rivers as natural landing spots for Marine forces using these aircraft.  Pretty innovative thinking at the time.

But what had me spinning are the pics below.

These aren't the best screen grabs but the explanation of them in the video is amazing.  This pre-Vietnam video is talking about a "sea base" before sea bases were cool.

There really is nothing new under the sun!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Did Brexit destroy the UK's nuclear deterrence?

I got an interesting e-mail from Robert I'd like to share.
Final vote to replace the Trident submarine nuclear deterrent fleet was due in Westminster this summer - that decision will not be possible until the issue of an Independent Scotland has been
resolved - based on EU referendum demographics, it is clear the United Kingdom has imploded, which opens up the prospect that the last country in Europe to retain an independent nuclear deterrent will be France!
Wow.  I hadn't considered this.  The Brit nuclear sub issue never really concerned or intrigued me.

After this e-mail that might have been a mistake.

Think about this.  If the Brits are to maintain nuclear subs then even IF they hold a vote this summer and confirms the thinking that they're going to remain a nuclear power, then not only do they have to budget those new subs but they also have to build a new base for them.

So what choice would you make?  Continue to be a global power because of your nuclear deterrence or bolster your conventional forces so that you can engage in ongoing small wars without end?

The Brit defence budget is in a hurt locker whether they like it or not.

Are we doing anti-ship missiles wrong? UPDATED!

via Wikipedia (relax, its just for discussion).
After analyzing World War II naval battles and encounters in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Soviet military thinkers assessed that the times of large seaborne battles were over, and that stand-off attacks were the way to neutralize and incapacitate large battle groups without having to field a similar force against them. Substituting cruise missiles for air attacks, VVS and AV-MF commanders set about to convert their heavy bombers to raketonosets, or missile carriers, which could be launched against approaching enemy fleets and task forces from coastal or island airfields. The Kh-22 (Complex 22) weapon was developed by the Raduga design bureau and used to arm the Tupolev Tu-22M.
That's the Russian philosophy.  You can call them early adopters of the former CNO's "payloads over platforms" thinking.

But moving to the Western naval forces with regard to anti-ship missiles....are we dong it wrong?  Look at the Indian Brahmos.  Its a large, fast anti-ship
missile with outstanding range.  Compare that to what the rest of the West is producing.

Don't feel like a Google search?  Well lets drag out that chart I posted a couple of months ago...

click on image to enlarge
The US and its allies (with the exception of India) are losing the anti-ship missile race.  Using SM-6's in the anti-ship role is more telling than many realized.

Our stuff is slow, short ranged and packs a pathetic punch.

The reason?  The Fighter Mafia.  With the demise of Strategic Air Command and with the "Neck Down" mania that swept the thinking of Naval Air we've seen the rise of the multi-mission fighter.  Unfortunately that biases us toward small planes with small payloads that are short legged.

The solution is simple but one that the USAF would probably not bite on.  Its also a proposal that might not be workable.  My idea would be to have B-1 Bombers (the only fast, long ranged strike platform we have)  start performing the naval strike role in earnest.  Dedicate a squadron to the Pacific with the intent of ravaging Chinese naval forces.  Additionally it must be recognized that the path we're on now is simply wrong.  Penetrating fighters that can get within the strike zone of ship defenses before launch and then escape is the wrong idea.

Better to launch from long distance.  We can't kill the archer (the strike fighter attacking our ships) and are left trying to fight his arrows (the anti-ship missiles).  We need to give our enemies the same problem.  Meanwhile check out the KH-32 that my Russian readers are crowing about (as seen in the first pic on this page) via Wikipedia.
SpecificationsWeight 5,820 kg (12,800 lb)Length 11.65 m (38.2 ft)
Diameter 92 cm (36 in)
Warhead 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) RDX
or 350–1000kt nuclear
Engine Liquid-fuel rocketWingspan 300 cm (120 in)
Propellant Tonka-250 and IRFNA
Operational range 600 km (320 nmi) (Kh-22M/MA) [1]Flight ceiling 10-14km or 27km
Speed Mach 4.6 [2]
system Inertial guidance followed by terminal active radar homing
platform Tu-22M, Тu-22К, Тu-95К22
Long range, high speed missiles are going to be large.  If we're serious about future naval conflicts then we need a return to naval strike aircraft that can carry them.

Clarification and Update:  Let me be clear (cause I wasn't before), I'm asking the US Navy to make a choice.  It can either keep its carriers and its carrier air wings but update them in a realistic way to deal with near peer threats or it can accept the fact that we're reaching a point where anti-access defenses are effectively neutering them.
The short term answer is one that the Navy pissed away.  The X-47.  It was an all aspect unmanned striker that could get closer to the enemy to put those short ranged anti-ship missiles to good use.  I said it up top but it bears repeating.  The Fighter Mafia and the F-35 is in essence killing our ability to project naval power.  The longer term is to develop a new A-12 that can do the job.  Either way the F-35 is not the answer.

Think Defence looks at Brexit possibilities...

Think Defence Blog is looking at Brexit outcomes and while he seems to have a mostly "all is well, have a tea" attitude, the one spot where he seems concerned is the budget.  Check this out.
GDP falls, defence spending falls, in proportion (assuming all other things equal)
Assuming the worst, the Severe Shock scenario, MoD budgets would reduce in line with GDP reductions by 6% in 2018.
The MoD’s 2017/18 budget is stated to be £36 Billion, a 6% haircut would mean the MoD has about £2 Billion less.
The 2010 SDSR by way of comparison, inflicted an 8% budget cut.
Remember, the 6% reduction is based on an ‘all things being equal’ reduction in GDP as represented by the severe shock scenario AND maintaining defence spending at 2% of GDP.
Even if spending were maintained at 2% of GDP, it would still mean a reduction in real terms of 6%, two percentage points better than SDSR 2010.
There are an awful lot of assumptions here, the main one being that the Treasury ‘Severe Shock’ estimate is realised, let’s be honest, it could be worse, it could be better. Many have challenged the assumptions and modelling methods used by the Treasury and it completely discounts any currency or trade positives.
The simple truth is we simply do not know what the future holds for the wider economy but fundamentally, the defence budget is not immune from any rise or fall in our national economic wellbeing.
Would there need to be an SDSR in 2017, not necessarily, although it would seem wise.
The worst case scenario assumes a budget reduction approximately 75% of that in SDSR 2010.
Would we look at the second carrier, F-35B numbers, plans for Apache E, Protector, complex weapons, FCAS, P-8A, Army personnel numbers, Ajax, MIV, Strike Brigades and Project Morpheus, frankly, it would be silly to try and second guess individual cuts because as we know from all past defence reviews, the pain is (adjusted for time) shared equally.
This confirms my thinking.

I'm constantly amazed at how the elite and many military professionals are so unable to judge the mood of the people.  Do you think that a nation can be at war for over a decade and the masses not get to a point of rejecting it?

The UK will cut its defense spending.  Its not even a question.  The real question is how much.

Is Iran's Supreme Leader Dead? via War News Updates.

via WNU
WNU Editor: I have been reading persistent reports on social media and Middle Eastern news websites (the comment thread) that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini has died. None of the International wire services are carrying it ... and Iranian media .... Press TV, Fars News Agency, Tasnim News Agency are still quiet. Is this report is true? I will have to say no. If Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini was dead .... this news would be on Iranian TV within the hour (if not sooner). But .... these reports are still making the rounds.
War News Updates is a MUST READ for me everyday.  This guy digs into open sources in a way that makes me envious.  When he posts a story, its not because he's an advocate for a certain issues (like I am for the Marine Corps, Ground Forces etc...) its because he's seeking to "see the issues before they become issues".

Which brings me to this story.  Don't shit can it.  Do your own research.  If this is true then 2016 continues its madness and we can expect a huge fight in Iran for power and could lead to proxy wars suddenly turning into full fledged fights.

Keep your eyes on this one tribe!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Lithuanian Boxer Infantry Fighting Vehicles via Below the Turret Ring Blog

Below the Turret Ring has the story here.

SU-30MKI + Brahmos anti-ship missile test pics....this is a warning/prep for the Chinese Navy!

Thanks to MicMac80 for the pics.

I'm confident that the US and India will become closer and closer for one reason.  China.

The fighting in the mountains is just a hair trigger away from going hot and both sides are getting ready for a major fight above the clouds (I feel sorry for the bastards that end up in gun battles 8K feet up!).

But the side note is the coming naval battle in the Indian Ocean.  China is dipping its too far and wide and India has taken notice.  Make no mistake about it.  The package you see above is aimed at the Chinese Navy.

But what about Pakistan you say?  Nonsense.  Pakistan has a weak, and feeble navy.  They're no threat.  The only threat from the sea that Pakistan poses to India is landing terrorists on its coasts.

The interesting thing?  I never considered it but China can be bottled up quite effectively in the maritime sphere with "partners" that desire to participate in battle against them.  And that's the rub.  If we could properly ally Japan, S. Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and maybe Thailand in a mutual defense pact against China then they're effectively surrounded and unable to act in the Pacific region.

We won't get that pact though.  So we're back to an alliance of the willing in a battle against the Rising Dragon.

Fitness Talk. Your Saturday Cheat Meal Appetizer...

So simple.

So delicious looking.

So gotta try it!

Below is the artist recipe, via BuzzFeed Tumblr Page.

          Makes 9–12
Recipe by Alvin Zhou for BuzzFeed TastyI
2 large white onions
3–4 slices mozzarella cheese
2 cups flour
5 eggs
2 cups bread crumbs
Oil, for frying
Marinara sauce
Peel and cut onions into 1-centimeter rings, then separate the rings.
Slice the mozzarella into 4 even strips, and place a smaller onion ring in the center of a larger one. Fill the gap between the rings with strips of mozzarella. Repeat with remaining onion rings and freeze them for 1 hour.
Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs into three separate bowls. Dip each prepared ring into the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs, then back into the egg, and one last time into the bread crumbs. Repeat with the remaining onion rings.
Heat the oil in a pot over high heat. Fry the rings until golden brown, being careful not to fry them for too long as the cheese may ooze out completely.
Drain on a paper towel, then serve with marinara!

How did guys develop shoe fetishes?

Colorway: Red/Red
Release Date: 02/09/14
Original Price: $250
Average Resell Value: $5,523

Craziness!  I was watching a bodybuilder's vid today and he was talking about Louis Vuitton sneakers.  I personally don't understand it but all these pro or near pro bodybuilders are into LV sneakers.

The fascination that guys have on shoes is weird to me and the thought that a video would be devoted to shoes on a bodybuilding channel irked me, but what had me spinning is that he talked about "Yeezy" sneakers and how despite the LV sneakers having a 1K price tag they were of better quality.

A quick search showed that it was a Kanye West shoe and again I thought.  No big deal.  I don't have an UNRATIONAL hatred of the guy that many do.  But I wanted to see the shoe and saw that Addidas and Nike were sold out.

Intrigued now I went to a website to see what the aftermarket was for these shoes and ran across the pic you see above.  A $250 dollar shoe has ballooned in price to over 5K?

Its not a Kanye West problem, its a soceital problem.  Only a fool would pay that much for Yeezy's OR LV's!  A whole bunch of people across the board really need to re-prioritize!  The bigger question is this.  How did guys develop shoe fetishes?

More "sneaker prices" on the aftermarket here.