Category Archives: Military

Rule Five Space Force Friday

Do we need a space force – a space navy, if you will – to protect commerce from Earth orbit to the Moon and beyond?  The serving Top Man at NASA thinks so.  Excerpt:

NASA’s administrator is a strong defender of President Donald Trump’s proposals for space — including an armed force and a permanent presence on the moon — and says he wants Americans to realize how much their well-being depends on what happens far above Earth.

“Every banking transaction requires a GPS signal for timing,” Jim Bridenstine said in an interview. “You lose the GPS signal and guess what you lose? You lose banking.”

“If you look at what space is, it’s not that much different than the ocean,” added Bridenstine, who made 333 aircraft-carrier landings as a Navy pilot. “It’s an international domain that has commerce that needs to be protected.”

Bridenstine was in his third term representing a congressional district in Oklahoma when Trump nominated him to lead the $21 billion space agency. He was confirmed in the spring despite criticism over his lack of scientific or engineering experience and his previous statements questioning climate change science — though he said in hearings that human activity was the chief cause of global warming.

Last summer, when he was still in Congress, Bridenstine supported a measure that would have created a “space corps.” It passed the House but was removed from the final defense spending bill. Then last month, Trump called for the Pentagon to develop a sixth branch of the American armed services that would protect national and commercial interests in space.

I’m of mixed feelings on this one.

Pros:

  1. The kid in me, who loved Star Trek, thinks the very idea is just cool as hell.  Were I younger, I’d join up.
  2. There will eventually be commerce in space; there are just too many riches out there (asteroid belt, for example, a wealth of rare earths and precious metals) and that commerce will need to be protected.
  3. If the United States isn’t the first to do this, someone else will be.

Cons:

  1. We’re broke.  How the hell are we going to pay for it?
  2. We’re broke.  How the hell are we going to pay for it?
  3. We’re broke.  How the hell are we going to pay for it?

I have a novel idea, though; there’s another way to skin this particular cat.  As noted, there are a wealth of resources around the Solar System, much of it inside the orbit of Jupiter, that private enterprise will eventually want to go get.  OK, I’m in favor of private enterprise, and have long held that when practical space travel is developed, it will be private enterprise that does it.  So, OK, let those private organizations develop their own armed ships and security forces, as a cost of doing business in, say, the asteroid belt.

“But Animal,” you might ask, “what happens in the event of a conflict with another nation, a nation that has their own forces in space?”  Simple answer, one that goes back to the 18th century; give the private ships a letter of marque to conduct offensive operations under the U.S. flag.  Resurrect the concept of the privateer.

Seems like the answer to me.  Thoughts?

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

I’ve discussed the likelihood of a possible breakup of the United States before in these virtual pages before, but here’s a pretty interesting take on the topic.  Excerpt:

The problem? In short, there are no red states; there are no blue states. There are instead, counties and neighborhoods and streets and the couch versus the bedroom after an argument with a spouse or significant other over political matters.

“And so what?” asks the Pollyanna-ish reader. He (or the rarer idiot she) observes, “We split up and then there’s no more reason to fight?”

That’s wrong for several reasons. One is that it is the moderate and right-wing tendency in the red areas that politically constrains the left-wing tendency of the blue. Remove the red from the blue and the real reds of the bluest blue states run amok, with moderates and moderation suppressed.

Think here: Stalin in Birkenstocks, the spirit of Ho Chi Minh coming down from his gas tank in Boston,4 or a Pol Pot cognate with a degree in journalism from Harvard or Yale, rather than École Française d’Électronique et d’Informatique. Remember, too, that Bill Ayers’ Weatherman expected and, I daresay, wanted to kill twenty-five million Americans, one in eight of the population, one in five adults, to create their preferred society.

It should not need to be said, in a world of bright people, but, sadly, we don’t live in that world: I am pretty sure that the same happens in the red states, where the removal of the political Left leaves all kinds of wingnuts, to include of the white-sheeted, pointy-hatted variety, to create or recreate their own particular fantasies, and run roughshod over moderates there.

Yes, it’s true; a major societal collapse, and a civil war sure as hell would be one of those, would be a shitshow beyond imagining; and yes, it’s very likely that in plenty of areas the nuts would rise to the top.  Plenty of areas would be run, not by elected leaders, but by warlords who managed to accumulate enough guns and followers to cow the rest of the population.

It’s just too bad that some folks have some weird idea that a civil war would be some glorious reclamation of the United States’ founding principles.  It wouldn’t be the beginning of a renewed U.S., it would be the end of the U.S. in any recognizable form.  I’m not saying it will never happen; I am saying I hope I don’t live to see it.

Animal’s Daily German Meltdown News

The decay of Germany’s military continues apace.  Excerpt:

The German magazine Spiegel recently revealed that most of the Luftwaffe’s—the modern German air force’s—128 Eurofighter Typhoons are not flightworthy.

In fact, only about ten of the aircraft are ready for operations, Spiegel said. This raises doubts about Germany’s ability to meet its NATO defense commitments.

“The problem is complicated,” according to Spiegel.

“Put simply, all Eurofighters have a sensor on the wings that detects enemy jets or attacks and warns the pilot. About half a year ago, it was discovered that the pod is no longer properly cooled. Since it is central to the self-protection system and this must be active in all operational flights, the number of operational jets drops.

In addition, “although the technicians could replace the defective pods on the wings, they needed a specific spare part to seal the cooling circuit. However, this, according to the sobering response of the industry, is currently unavailable because the manufacturer has been sold.”

Somewhere, Carl Von Clauswitz is spinning in his grave.

Not for much longer.

Germany has been, for better or worse, the pivot on which European history has turned since they were unified in the nineteenth century.  That’s probably ending now, but honestly, Europe is probably ending now – certainly within a generation or two.  Frau Merkel has already let the barbarians into the gates, and ethnic Europeans are losing the demographic battle through apathy.

The decay of Germany’s once-proud military tradition and, incidentally, their shirking on their NATO obligations, is a symptom of a much greater collapse in progress.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!

It seems some rules for our nation’s military are changing.  the new rule is, if you aren’t deployable, you aren’t serving.  Excerpt:

New rules requiring members of the military to be able to deploy or get out were put in place to ensure fairness in deployment rates, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said.

“You’re either deployable, or you need to find something else to do. I’m not going have some people deploying constantly and then other people, who seem to not pay that price, in the U.S. military,” Mattis told reporters Feb. 17 in his first comments on the issue since the new policy was formally introduced.

“If you can’t go overseas [and] carry a combat load, then obviously someone else has got to go. I want this spread fairly and expertly across the force.”

Under new rules first reported on by Military Times, military members who have been non-deployable for the past 12 months or more will be separated from the military.

Approximately 11 percent, or 235,000, of the 2.1 million personnel serving on active duty, in the reserves or National Guard are currently non-deployable, Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford, told Military Times earlier this month.

Of that total non-deployable force, Troxell said, about 99,000 are on that list for administrative reasons, such as not having all their immunizations or their required dental exams. About 20,000 are not deployable due to pregnancy, and 116,000 are not deployable due to either short- or long-term injuries.

Maybe the Israel Defense Force has something going for it.

Plenty of service members have been non-deployable at one time or another, for injuries (not necessarily combat – plenty of folks have been hurt in training), pregnancy, family issues and so forth.  But this policy is aimed at the “permanent profile” folks.  If you’ve served, you know the type.

The military is not a jobs program.  It is an organization that is essential to the nation, one of the few legitimate functions of the Imperial government in concordance with the Constitution, and it has a primary purpose:  To kill people and break things.  Anything that interferes with that mission is bad.  It’s bad for the mission, bad for the people who have to pick up the burden of the service members who can’t, and bad for the country.

Once again General Mattis has the right idea.  Of all of President Trump’s appointments, James Mattis and Neal Gorsuch are probably the best.