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07 June 2012


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William R. Cumming

What to make of Congressional rejection of SOC efforts to expand its role training armed forces of nation-states of interest to the USA?

William R. Cumming

Will the fallout from David Sanger's new book become an election issue in the fall or be gone with the wind?

William R. Cumming

Finished reading the 2002 book "1421" about the Chinese efforts to map and travel the world and discover the America's! Extremely interesting to one who wonders about the world's navies over the course of this century. Does Russia still have an effective Navy as far as force projection not just missile launch? What is the big fuss over a nuclear attack sub perhaps being permanently laid up after a destructive fire? Who has the most modern, efficient, and effective diesel sub fleet world wide? What nation-states are building diesel subs? Who has them? Does the US have any diesel subs?


why not facilitate a break up of Iraq; the Kurds get the oil in the north, the shias get the oil in the south, and the sunnis get incorporated, along with the remaining deserts, to syria and saudi arabia? the sunnis can get the benefit of oil production from the saudis and syrians. there is so much oil in that area, i bet if the "fallujahns" could dig deep enough, they would find oil


Opinions regarding the Wisconsin recall results?

William R. Cumming

Money is the Mother's Milk of politics!



It seems to me to be a local phenomenon except that there is a nationwide phenomenon of people not wanting to pay for other people's expenses; SS, Medicare and public service pensions are examples. Men I have known for a long time now express a complete willingness to see the end of such things on the basis of "I have mine. Take care of yourself." pl



I used to be against a break up of Iraq, but now that the state has fallen into the hands of the enemies of the US it seems like a good idea. pl



I think that the BHO Administration has given the dems a stick to beat them with in the Sanger disclosures and it will not go away. pl


IIRC a lot of 1421 was later outed as stuff the author made up whole cloth.


This Week in Maritime History: 17th Century Pirate Haven Destroyed, Israel Attacks USS Liberty




Does Russia still have an effective Navy as far as force projection not just missile launch?


What is the big fuss over a nuclear attack sub perhaps being permanently laid up after a destructive fire?

Local politics as it is in Maine for overhaul, and the options are an added 400 mil in repairs or just scrap it since it is already 24 years old. And Electric Boat will soon way in with a "Hey we can build you a nice shiny new Viriginia class model as a replacement."

Who has the most modern, efficient, and effective diesel sub fleet world wide? What nation-states are building diesel subs?

Well the Germans are building the best diesel boats, so whoever has been purchasing them has the best tool in their fleet.


Does the US have any diesel subs?

Not anymore.


This afternoon on NPR they were telling me the senate twins, Lindsey Graham and John McCain, were complaining about intelligance leaks from the White House. Duh, what a couple of boobs! Like the Bush administration didn't leak when it served their purposes?

Will Reks

I've been hearing a lot of the same. One 49year old friend comes to mind who retired after serving 24 years as a navy linguist. He has his pension but is always railing about teacher's benefits.

I'm of the opinion that in dire times we might need to pare back some of public labor expenses but we need to take into account that what a lot of people are saying is that public employees don't deserve what people in the private sector lack. Meaning good pay and benefits. That indicates a general decrease in our standard of living.

Medicine Man

That's my recollection as well. The Emperor of that era did finance a number of large naval expeditions, for trade and influence, but they were mostly into SE-Asia, the Indian Ocean, and Arabia — all well trafficked sea lanes (for the Chinese) during the early 15th century.

Searching for Zheng He's expeditions on wikipedia will yield some information along these lines. You'll find no mention of an early discovery of North America or Australia or the like.



Just returned from the Shenandoah. Thanks for the recent restaurant recommendations. I managed to have dinner at the Red Hen in Lexington. Excellent fair and a great staff. Picked up some Wade Mills grits to bring back to Detroit. Looking forward to making some on the next trip up North.

Was what is now Rt 11 what was the Valley Pike back when Jackson was making a career of whipping Yankees? Remarkable the ground his 'foot cavalry' could cover.


Bought a Remington 870 Home Defense from Scottsdale Gun Club. Good price, feels nice in my hands. Going to take it for a run this weekend at the range.



It is the same road and it lies in almost the same trace today. pl


Mr. William C.,

Young Anatoly Karlin might provide some answer to your queries regarding the Russians & their naval forces.


"Anatoly Karlin is a San Francisco based independent writer, political analyst and media critic. He is the author of the blog [Da Russophile] deconstructing Western media lies about Russia."

Alba Etie

Secretary of Defense Panetta said yesterday the US is at war in the FATA in Pakistan & we will defend ourselves - that and our recent coziness with the Indian military has got to p-ss off Pakistan even more . What does this mean for our withdrawal from Afghanistan -can we still use the Kyhber Pass?


Col. Lang, Fred,

Yeah, I MUST definitely make trips to these old battlegrounds to thoroughly understand the obstacles & terrain advantage offered the various Commanders. (Vacation worth spending.)

T. J. "Stonewall" had an expert hand at tactical savvy with his signature manœuvre & skillful gambits.

How did he maintain esprit de corps with ALL that marching in the Valley Shenandoah for so long?

Instilled belief of a Higher Power on his rank-&-file? The literature I've perused (thus far) did not offer a clear answer.

His untimely demise a definite loss for the boys-in-gray. Would the outcome of the War have been markedly different if Bobby Lee did not lose this Ace of his?

Truly, a place in the Panthéon of Military Greats he deserves.

That overblown airbag Liddell Hart would doubtless agree, though he wrote extensively on "Tecumseh" Sherman, another favorite of mine.

P.S.: Apologies for being the constantly long-winded airbag that I am. A curt military man I ain't.



"recent coziness with the Indian military has got to p-ss off paki"

Yeah, not to mention Mrs. Clinton being real dissed 'bout that turncoat/patriot (depending on your individual point-o'-view) doctor whose unhappy comments on his (un)lawful imprisonment have only irked the pakis even further.

IMHO, Uncle Sam is better off without an ally who has zero qualms of keeping a wanted terrorist in its care for that many years.

Then again, that's just MHO.

P.S.: All apologies, Brig. FB Ali.



O'Connor, the British commander in Libya who defeated the Italians early on was asked who taught him to operate the way he did. "Stonewall Jackson" was the reply. I recommend Robertson's book on Jackson as well as the 19th Century book, "Stonewall Jackson, and the American Civil War," by Colonel GFR Henderson. I wrote a paper on the 1862 Valley Campaign when a student at the war college. Would you like to read it? BTW, there was also an 1864 Valley Campaign. pl


Col. sir,

My many thanks for your keen (i.e. acute) recommendations.

The paper you wrote when you were studying at the War College would be of valuable interest to those other guests who too have an appreciation for War-Between-the-States' lore.

May I suggest perhaps that it be posted at the Athenæum?

(Well, there's the alternative of my e-mail Inbox but I deem it better that we have a wider audience here instead, I ain't that selfish!)

P.S.: Thanks for pointing out there was another Campaign on very grounds two years later in '64.

[Sir, my apologies if I seem rather excessively humble - some would use the word 'pretentious' - in speech (or rather writing) all these years. It stems from a culture where its members adhere to respecting their Elders.

I MUST remember that when I next speak to my Mother.]



I will put it on TA. This was a team effort as required by War College efforts to make us team players, but it represented my thinking. There is also a good book on the 1862 campaign called "Stonewall in the Valley." Iam in the early stages of writing a novel set in that campaign. My book, "Down the Sky," has much of the 1864 campaign in it. pl

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