Category Archives: Military

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Daley Gator, The Mad Irishman, Pirate’s Cove, Whores and Ale, Bacon Time and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

On a rather less than optimistic note, over at johnkassnews.com, writer Greg Ganske has some thoughts about a possible overt conflict with China.  Excerpt:

What if China declares a naval and air “quarantine” on Taiwan, not just of weapons but of trade? This past week, Communist China did a dry run of exactly that. They used a diplomatic visit to an independent Taiwan by Speaker Pelosi as a pretext to surrounding the island with its navy, repeatedly violated its air space, and sent 11 live-fire missiles over the island into the Sea of Japan. These military exercises continue.

Why should this send shivers down our spines? What would be the U.S. response? This wouldn’t exactly be an invasion but sure could lead to war. Once war starts there is no telling where it ends. Not too long ago President Biden said the United States would help defend Taiwan should China invade it, though his administration subsequently said the ambiguous “one China” policy was still in place.

Here’s what I see as the major economic concern over this:

Taiwan is Beijing’s 5th largest trading partner and the 10th largest partner of the U.S. at $85 billion. Its importance far exceeds the size of its trade. Taiwan dominates 60 per cent of the world’s foundry market of semiconductor chips. Last year Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) alone accounted for 54% of the world’s total foundry revenue. It counts Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia as its customers.

Semiconductors are critical components that power electronics from computers to smartphones to brake sensors in cars. TSMC is even more important because it makes some of the world’s most advanced chips essential to our military like those in our Air Force F-35 fighter jets. Chips are critical to manufacturing of nearly everything. Why are people waiting so long for their new cars? The global shortage of chips has forced many automakers to stop production. Taiwan’s high-tech products simply keeps our global economy moving. Imagine the CCP controlling it, think about the disruption to the supply chain with a war in the South China Sea!

Two things make me skeptical of China making such an attempt, though:

  1. They need us as a market more than they would gain by having us as an enemy.  China’s economy is largely dependent on selling cheap consumer goods to the US and, to a lesser extent, Canada, Europe and the other Western nations.  Without those markets, their own economy would be in trouble – and if the United States’ economy crashed as a result of actions like the invasion of Taiwan and the resulting disruption of micro-processor production, the world’s economy would go with it.  The Chinese have to know this.
  2. While China has been attempting to dial their military in, in particular their Navy, they still aren’t really in a good position to project power.  They don’t have a great deal of sealift capacity, and one would hope that our vaunted fast-attack submarines alone would be able to prevent crossings of the Taiwan Strait.  Otherwise, what do we have them for?  The Chinese  have to know this.

Measure that, though, against the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration’s fecklessness and weakness.  If China were to make an attempt on Taiwan, now would be the time to do it.

The Chinese have to know that, too.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Watch this:

Dr. Victor Davis Hanson is an American treasure, and he has more intellectual power on his worst day than either Joe Biden or Heels-Up Harris ever did on the best day they ever lived.  In this clip, he lays out something I’ve been saying for years, only Dr. Hanson does it far more eloquently – and he brings receipts.  Give it a listen.  It’s worth fourteen minutes of your day.

Now then…

On To the Links!

Yeah, he’s running.

Get woke, go broke – the streaming services adjust.

Here we go again.

Arizona, doing the jobs the Imperial City is supposed to do but won’t.

Beef – it’s what’s for dinner.

Abolish the FBI.  Yeah, I think we’ve likely come to that point.

Robot dogs.

Do the elites want to stave us to death?

That’s actually racist.

Good guy with gun.

No shit, Sherlock.

Probably not.

This Week’s Idiots:

The Nation’s John Nichols (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

Paul Krugman (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a cheap partisan hack, and an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) is still a sawed-off runt, and an idiot.

The New Republic’s Jason Linkins is an idiot.

Dan Goldman is an idiot.

Vox’s Rachel Cohen is an idiot.

This idiot fails to understand:  We want the (un)civil service gutted.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

One of the most talented songwriters and performers of the Seventies was Carly Simon, best known for tunes like Anticipation and You’re so Vain.  But one of my favorites of her work is the 1971 tune That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be, from her debut album Carly Simon.  I enjoy the song in spite of its rather pessimistic outlook on marriage, which I don’t share; my parents enjoyed a happy marriage for 71 years, and while my first marriage ended after only six years, I have been married to my own dear Mrs. Animal for over thirty years and we couldn’t be happier.

Anyway – I still really enjoy this song, and Carly Simon’s vocals.  Here is a live performance, again from 1971, in which Carly Simon shows eloquently how beauty and talent can go together.  And you know what’s great?  Look at that audience.  No cell phones held up, no heads turned down towards their little screens, just a lot of people watching the show.  Enjoy.

Rule Five Rising Sun Friday

While China is showing more and more hubris in the West Pacific every day, Japan is not-so-quietly dialing their military in.  Excerpt:

Japan’s recently published Defense of Japan 2022 booklet outlines a series of critical time sensitive initiatives aimed at strengthening its force posture in the Pacific and specifically increasing the ability of its Self Defense forces to deter China. 

Defense of Japan 2022

The text of the document cites particular concerns with what it describes as Chinese “coercion” and efforts to “change the status quo” in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

This has long been a concern for the US, Japan and its many SouthEast Asian allies, and it is something compounded and exacerbated by increased Russian-Chinese collaboration.

“The country’s ties with Russia, an aggressor nation, have deepened in recent years, with joint navigations and flights being conducted in the areas surrounding Japan by both Chinese and Russian vessels and aircraft,” the text of the Defense of Japan 2022 document says.

Certainly increased training and cooperation between Russia and China may be taking on new urgency in light of Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine. Perhaps of greatest concern to Japan, the Russian-Chinese cooperation has been quite active in the Eastern part of Russia closer to Japan.

“In the vicinity of Japan, Russia has made moves to strengthen cooperation with China, such as through joint bomber flights and joint warship sails involving the Russian and Chinese militaries, as well as moves to portray such military cooperation as “strategic coordination.” These trends warrant concern and must continue to be closely watched in the future,” the Japanese document describes.

What the document doesn’t describe is the almost-certain feeling of unease in Japanese military circles that the United States doesn’t have their backs any more.  While the post-WW2 picture in the West Pacific has been… well, evolving for some time, the weakness and fecklessness of the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration has to have the Japanese Self-Defense Force’s leadership sweating just a little – after all, they are much, much closer to China and Russia than the U.S. is, even us folks here in Alaska.

And, frankly, Japan should be able to take care of their own defenses.  They may be rediscovering their martial tradition, and that’s not a bad thing in today’s uncertain world.

Here’s an interesting tidbit from the report:

“In order to secure technological superiority, Japan has decided to significantly increase investment in potentially game-changing technologies, and has increased R&D expenditure to a record high,” the Japanese 2022 Defense Report says.

Few people do R&D better than Japan these days.

But here’s my concern:  Manpower.  This report, as described, doesn’t make any mention of Japan’s aging population or the demographic cliff the country is jumping off of.  Japan’s young people are not reproducing – not a problem unique to Japan – and while Russia and China face similar issues, both of them have a larger base to start from.  Technology is a great force multiplier and can make up some of that, but not all of it.

It’s no secret that Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. are fond of the Land of the Rising Sun.  We like visiting Japan, and hope Japan stays independent.  To maintain that independence, you have to be ready to defend it.  It’s good to see some in Japan realizing that; but how they deal with their population issues is going to be a whole different problem.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

It seems a new bridge has opened in the Los Angeles area, and much like a new proctologist’s office, it quickly started attracting assholes.  Specifically:

The 6th Street Bridge is a downtown Los Angeles viaduct that connects the Arts District and Boyle Heights. It’s been open less than two weeks and has been plagued by “street takeovers,” vandalism, drag racing, and criminal activity. The police have been forced to shut the bridge down twice, including Saturday evening as mobs threatened to get out of control.

Yeah.  Our major cities are pretty much hosed.  Remind me, who’s in charge in all these big cities that are experiencing meltdowns?

As for the assholes, maybe Napoleon had a point, and a “whiff of grapeshot” is in order here.

And now:

On To the Links!

Aww, too bad.

Where are the parents?  Well, Big Daddy Government removed any real need for fathers, so there’s half the problem.

How to erode the world’s greatest military.

Paul Pelosi’s graft spurs call for ban on insider trading.  “Rules for thee, not for me” is the operating assumption in the Imperial City now; it’s past time that stopped.

Kamala “Heels-Up” Harris richly deserves mocking, but honestly, I can’t take seriously some horse’s ass who calls himself “Charlamagne Tha God.”

Is our NATO membership really necessary?

Good guys with guns.

Heh heh heh.

Revenge?  No.  Accountability?  Yes.

Yo quiero Taco Bell.

We can hope.

This Week’s Idiots:

The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos is an idiot.

New York Magazine’s Ed Kilgore is an idiot.

The LA Times’ Jackie Calmes is an idiot.

The Guardian’s Jessica Glenza is hysterical, and an idiot.

Robert Reich (Repeat Offender Alert) remains a sawed-off little runt, and an idiot.

Juan Williams is an idiot.

Tallahassee attorney Bob Reid is an idiot.

Vanity Fair’s Bess Levin is an idiot.

Gabby Giffords is full of more shit than a Christmas goose.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

I have many fond memories of Ray Stevens’ unique comedy music over the years.  He immortalized fads such as streaking (The Streak) television adventure drama (Along Came Jones) and service organizations (Shriner’s Convention.)

 One of my favorites, though, takes a few gentle pokes at small-town churches.  That song would be The Mississippi Squirrel Revival.  Here’s the official video.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Battle Rifle News

It seems the USAF is fielding a new rifle, and it’s kind of interesting.  Excerpt:

The Air Force is almost finished distributing nearly 1,500 new rifles to security forces, pararescuemen, Guardian Angels, and explosive ordnance disposal Airmen, the service announced April 16.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is in the final phase of delivering the Squad Designated Marksmanship Rifle after procuring approximately 1,464 of the guns.

The SDMR is a semi-automatic, 7.62x51mm-caliber rifle designed by Heckler & Koch, initially developed for the Army to give units the ability to engage targets precisely up to 600 meters away.

For the Air Force, the SDMR will help fulfill multiple missions.

For security forces performing base defense operations, it will replace the M24 Sniper Weapon Systems currently in use.

For pararescuemen and Guardian Angels tasked with personnel recovery, it will replace the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems rifle. The SDMR will save Airmen five pounds in gear on missions.

For explosive ordnance disposal technicians, the SDMR will be used to “to eliminate small munitions in their standoff munition disruption activities,” according to an Air Force release.

“Being able to field one solution that can effectively achieve multiple missions epitomizes Air Force acquisition strategies and shows [Airmen’s] ability to adapt to any situation,” Matthew Hamer, head of AFLCMC’s Small Arms Program Office, said in a statement.

The Army first began accepting deliveries of the SDMR in 2020 and is scheduled to finish fielding the new rifle by the end of 2023, with some 6,000 rifles being distributed.

What’s interesting here is that the new SDMR is chambered for the good old 7.62x51mm NATO round, making it (unlike the M-16/M4 platform) an actual Main Battle Rifle (MBR).

Well Armed.

Frankly I’d hope to see this weapon more widely issued.  In today’s world of mechanized warfare, a rifle cartridge firing a heavier bullet that can penetrate light vehicle bodies would be preferable.  Also, the .30 caliber cartridge – a rework of the famous old Cartridge, Caliber .30, Model of 1906 – has a greater effective range than even the newer, heavier-bullet versions of the 5.56 round.

Granted I’m a big-gun man in my sporting guns as well, so some of this may be my bias talking.  I’m large-framed and not very recoil-sensitive, and prefer the .338 Win Mag and the .45-70 fir hunting.  But I’m nevertheless glad to see an honest MBR being fielded for use.

Animal’s Daily 1914 News

Are there parallels between today’s situation in eastern Europe and the Europe of 1914?  History may not always repeat, after all, but it frequently rhymes.  David P. Goldman thinks there are such parallels.  Excerpt:

World War I had no good guys and no winners. France rightly sought the return of the provinces Germany had annexed in 1870. Russia rightly feared that German influence would sever its industrial centers and tax base in the Western parts of it its empire; England feared that Germany would encroach on its overseas empire; Germany feared that Russia’s railroad system would overcome its advantage in mobility and firepower. None of them wanted a war, but each of them decided that it was better to fight in 1914 than fight later at a disadvantage.

Historian Christopher Clark in his 2013 book The Sleepwalkers forever buried the black legend of German aggression in 1914, with proof from Russian archives that the Czar’s mobilization – with French incitement – provoked the outbreak of war. There’s no hero to cheer, no villain to boo in the first tragedy of the 20th century, just mediocre and small-minded politicians unable to step back from the brink.

All of them acted rationally in the pursuit of their vital interests, but at the same stupidly as well as wickedly, and the ensuing world wars undid the achievements of a thousand years of Western civilization. We look back to 1914 in horror, and wonder how the leaders of the West could have been so pig-headed. Nonetheless, we are doing it again today.

That should be an object lesson for today’s Ukraine crisis. Vladimir Putin acted wickedly, and illegally, by invading Ukraine, but also rationally: Russia has an existential interest in keeping NATO away from his border. Russia will no more tolerate American missiles in Kyiv than the United States would tolerate Russian missiles in Cuba.

The United States could have averted a crisis by adhering to the Minsk II framework of local rule for the Russophone provinces of Eastern Ukraine within a sovereign Ukrainian state but chose instead to keep open Ukraine’s option to join NATO. That was rational, but also stupid: It backed Putin into a corner.

I’m not so sure keeping that option open was rational, but I wholeheartedly agree it was stupid.  And I’m not 100% certain NATO is still relevant, although it’s vastly more relevant and useful than the UN at this point.  Frankly, Ukraine isn’t any of our damn business.  Is the Russian invasion a bad thing?  Certainly.  Are there any compelling U.S. interests involved?  Not so that I can see.

Look, Russia is likely due for a scrambling overhaul in any case, and within a generation.  Putin won’t live forever, the Russian GDP is roughly the same as Spain’s, and the Russian people aren’t having babies.  A poor state whose people aren’t reproducing isn’t a recipe for long-term success; at this point it would seem Russia is doomed for the ash-heap of history in time, Putin’s desire to resurrect the Soviet Union aside.  But now we are involved, and without one U.S. soldier involved, we are paying the price – at the gas pump and, with the latest boom in inflation, everywhere else.

Goldman concludes:

In Chinese official media, there is a grim discussion of the parallel between Ukraine and Taiwan. We misjudged Putin, just as he misjudged us. No sanctions or denunciations will hold back the Russian Army. We should not misjudge China. Sometimes an uncomfortable status quo is infinitely preferable to a roll of the dice on peace or war.

Especially when the folks you’re rolling dice with have nuclear warheads on intercontinental launchers.

Rule Five Critical Military Theory Friday

This guy gets it.  “This guy,” being retired Marine LTG Gregory Newbold, on the subject of critical military theory.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

Many Americans, particularly our most senior politicians and military leaders, seem to have developed a form of dementia when it comes to warfare. The result is confusion or denial about the essential ingredients of a competent military force, and the costs of major power conflict. The memory loss is largely irrespective of political bent because all too many are seduced by a Hollywood-infused sense of antiseptic warfare and push-button solutions, while forgotten are the one million casualties of the Battle of the Somme in World War I, or the almost two million in the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II.

This “warfare dementia” is a dangerous and potentially catastrophic malady, because the price for it could alter the success of the American experiment and most assuredly will be paid in blood. The condition is exacerbated and enabled when the most senior military leaders — those who ought to know better — defer to the idealistic judgments of those whose credentials are either nonexistent or formed entirely by ideology.

Warfare dementia is a pretty good way to describe what’s going on now, when we have a visibly dementia-ridden Commander in Chief who seems determined to make the military into a jobs program for the neurotic.

The purpose of this essay is to explain the fundamental tenets of a military that will either deter potential enemies or decisively win the nation’s wars, thereby preserving our way of life. What follows are the tenets of Critical Military Theory:

1. The U.S. military has two main purposes — to deter our enemies from engaging us in warfare, and if that fails, to defeat them in combat. Deterrence is only possible if the opposing force believes it will be defeated. Respect is not good enough; fear and certainty are required.

  • Relevant Wisdom: “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for War.” George Washington.

In other words, the military exists to kill people and break things.  Anything that distracts or detracts from that primary mission is unacceptable.

Having put in my own rather modest term in Uncle Sam’s colors, and being the son and grandson of men who have done the same, I find all of the tenets listed in this article laudable.  The military is not like any other organization, private or public; they have a mission, that mission ultimately being to close with and destroy our nation’s enemies by fire, maneuver and shock effect.  Nothing else matters.  The skin tones of the individual soldiers don’t matter.  They can either carry out the mission or they cannot, and nothing that stands in the way of that mission can be tolerated, or else we’re asking to, sooner or later, lose not a brush fire (Afghanistan) but a major war – one that will end our country and our way of life.

The essay concludes:

So what’s the problem? The problem today is one of both priorities and standards. We signal a dangerous shift in priorities (as just one example) when global warming, not preparedness to defeat aggressive global competitors, is considered the greatest problem for the Department of Defense and headquarters and rank inflation blossom out of control to the point that the support element greatly diminishes the ground combat element that wins wars. A problem of standards when every service and the Special Operations community dilute requirements based purely on merit in favor of predetermined outcomes to favor social engineering goals, and when new training requirements crowd out expectations and measurements of combat performance. 

This principle is the most clearly and frequently violated in our current military environment. Although the examples are many, the most egregious sidestepping of scientific evidence occurred when the U.S. Marine Corps’ lengthy examination of the effects of integrated (coed) ground combat performance was refuted and ignored (often by those who hadn’t read it). This brings to mind the verbiage used in another context: “inconvenient truths.”

Indeed.

Read the whole thing.  Think on it.  Those of you True Believers who have served will recognize the character of Lieutenant General Newbold; he may wear stars on his shoulder straps but he obviously has the heart of a rifleman.  We need more like him.

Unfortunately, given the entrenched bureaucracies in the Imperial City, we are probably going to get more of the likes of the soft-shelled invertebrate Milley.

I like General Newbold’s emphasis of his tenets by following each with what he calls “relevant wisdom” from military thinkers from days gone by.  Here’s one from one of the General’s fellow Marines, Colonel Jeff Cooper:  “If you find yourself under lethal attack don’t be kind. Be harsh. Be tough. Be ruthless.”  Colonel Cooper was talking about citizens attacked by criminals, but the same rule applies to nations.

The last time the United States fought like this was in 1945.  We couldn’t do that now.  And that doesn’t bode well for our future.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

This mid-holiday week is a short work week for most folks, and a quiet, relaxing week for others.  Even pols and Imperial City bureaucrats and talking heads are pretty quiescent (by comparison), so the links are a bit sparse this week.

Our sunrise on Monday.

For our part, Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. enjoyed a quiet Christmas, our first in our new Alaska home.  We left the house only to go to Wasilla to take in a matinee of Spiderman – No Way Home, which we enjoyed.  Some folks look down their noses at comic-book movies, but sometimes we enjoy light, easy escapist fantasy, which is what these are.  You don’t have to think about them too much, they’re fun, and the good guys always win in the end.  Some folks think they’re silly.  That’s fine.  As my late Grandpa used to say, every cat its own rat.

And so…

On To the Links!

No shit, Sherlock.

Fuck off, slaver.

See a beautifully preserved dinosaur hatchling.  Cool!

Not without changing out a lot of politicians.

Can New York reverse its population drop?  Not unless they reverse their habit of electing corrupt and incompetent politicians.

There’s a red wave on the rise.

If, you know, we can get a clean election.

Yes, CRT is being taught in our schools.  It would be nice if they were teaching things like reading, writing and math.

Lint has DNA? 

The Navy is testing laser weapons – again.  Those wacky squids.

Fuck off, slaver Part Deux.

The Texas vs. California Challenge?  If it’s all the same to you, Colonel Schlichter, we’ll stay in Alaska.

Top ten dinosaur discoveries of 2021.  Cool!  I remain just as fond of dinosaurs and dino-discoveries as I was when I was a little kid.  Also, dino-era sea monsters were a thing.

Brian Stelter continues to rehearse for his second career as an actual potato.

This Week’s Idiots:

Salon’s Amanda Marcotte (Repeat Offender Alert) is an idiot.

The Guardian’s Rebecca Solnit is an idiot.

Slate’s Jordan Weissmann is an idiot.

HuffPo’s Phoebe Cohen is an idiot.

The Guardian’s Sam Levine is an idiot.

Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy is an idiot.

Nikole Hannah-Jones is an idiot.

Kamala “Heels-Up” Harris continues to prove herself an idiot.

This Week’s Cultural Edification:

This seems appropriate, for our last cultural edification before a new year.  This is the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, playing Auld Lang Syne, accompanied by some lovely views of the Scottish Highlands.  A part of my own ancestry springs from the hills shown here.  I can trace my lineage in part back to one Donald MacKay, who fled northwestern Scotland in the late 1600s for the New World.  I don’t know what he was running from or why, but I’ll be there was a damn good story in it, and if somehow I was able to set down with him over a wee dram of single malt, we’d find plenty to talk about.

Maybe that’s why bagpipe music still gives me chills.  Happy New Year, one and all, and may your 2022 be happy, healthy, productive and profitable.

Animal’s Daily Veggie MRE News

Yr. obdt. 1991

Before we start, check out the ending of my current series over at Glibertarians!  If you haven’t, read the whole series.

A fellow veteran and buddy of mine directed my attention to the other day to this, the veggie omelet MRE, which apparently came out after my time, but that looks… disgusting.  Excerpt:

A newly declassified report alleges that the infamous vegetable and cheese omelet MRE was not accidentally spawned in a wet market, but was intentionally created in a laboratory to advance “gain-of-function” research into the development of even shittier field rations.

The report from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases rejects the long-accepted wet-market theory, and instead concludes that the dreaded “vomelet,” which has spawned tens of thousands of disability claims, was first developed at the Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, in Natick, Mass.

“Conventional wisdom from the CDC, WHO and other respected health entities have traced the origin of the vegetable omelet MRE to recombinant DNA from a farmer’s market frequented by the strippers who work along Victory Drive outside Fort Benning,” the USAMRIID paper’s unnamed authors wrote. “However, it now appears that the omelet was, in fact, created by our very own Natick Army Labs to spur breakthroughs into even more MRE menus that look and taste like someone took a dump in a pouch.”

Image from article.

All I can say is, yuck.

I never saw one of these; as I said, I think they came along after my time.  I did hang around long enough to see some of the newer packs with the little Tabasco bottles in them, which made some of the entrees…  edible.  Sort of.

It’s important to note that the Chicken Ala King wasn’t terrible, and the chocolate fudge cookies that came in some packs were good enough to be pretty valuable trade items.  But for the most part…  Well, MREs would keep you alive, but you would have to find your happiness someplace else.

Hopefully the Army is improving these damn things.  But, the Army being the Army – somewhat – I’m skeptical.

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.