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25 March 2015


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In the previous Big Dog thread the issue was brought up that aviation is not to be overly relied on by infantry for resupply and support because of a shortage of numbers. Also the issue of weight gain and feature creep for soldiers came up. These are related, as the shortage of aircraft is a reflection of their own issues with weight gain and feature creep. I think interested people from outside Army Aviation should lead some sort of re-examination of how the Army does aviation, as I fear (and have heard from people involved) that Army Aviation is controlled by ex pilots who favor manned helicopters with tons of features and attempts at survivability due to their own life experiences.

The idea here is to make Army Aviation more pervasive so that infantry can depend on it for supply and CAS, and therefore carry less equipment.

Things I want to point out are: 1) There is no private organization so concerned with resupply of people in remote areas that is so minimally invested in things resembling Cessna Caravans, which can be provided in much greater numbers than Blackhawks or C-130s 2) There is no statutory requirement that the army cannot provide its own fixed wing CAS, and ample reason to doubt the efficacy of the envisioned tiny fleet of F-35s dropping smart bombs in any conflict larger than the ones we are currently in 3) What is considered the realm of CAS can be rethought given guided / smart / glide-enhanced artillery/mortar shells - what matters is fire support, not whether it comes from an air asset 4) Unmanned systems lend themselves to a pervasive, high-quantity approach 5) GPS guided parachute drops are a current reality and can hopefully enable further reduction in reliance on carrying everything in.


Ok, I was waiting for a chance to post something off topic ;)


Since we had the topic - Germany and Greece - before in the comment section. I would like to alert interested parties to a longterm Greek perspective on recent events.

First a link to my local first German public Channel.
The German version. If you can follow German and it is blocked for you, consider using Hotspot Shield. There is a free edition. Although, it comes with the burden of ads which I deeply dislike.


English version on Vimeo:

AGORA - From Democracy to the Market


I stumbled across it on TV by accident around 30 minuites into the doc. Early enough to catch the academic basis for recent austerity politics. Naturally as a German it surprised me at the time. As an economical nitwit, wasn't that exactly the misguided approach of Germany to the Great Depression? Seems there was an academic paper that no doubt was well received in expert circles and the German approach may have been partially based on. Not so much on history. Although ..?

Paul Krugman on the latest "academic austerity theory" in his NYT article "The Excel Depression".



Amen on all that. The USAF has under-served or ignored CAS since Korea.


Step-daughter and husband in from Guangzhou. I'm still shopping for surf fishing stuff and watching the thermocline move up the east coast of Florida, bringing with it bait fish, pompano, red fish and black drum.


I have to admit that at one point in my studies I became very, very jealous of people that are able to read Greek. ... Quite possibly I am influenced by someone that actually went through high school with an emphasis on the ancient languages. But strictly I often prefer the Greek variants to the Latin ones.



What would be the Roman variant for Agora? Anyone?

the closest I can get is:


Reuters is reporting Saudi troop build up on its border with Yemen. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/24/us-yemen-security-usa-saudi-idUSKBN0MK2S120150324


There has been some interesting resupply experiments using unmanned powered parasails which I think has real promise.

Low cost UAVs as spotters is used now by armies and militias in at least five ongoing conflicts - Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon and Ukraine. These are low cost solutions with big payoffs when combined with artillery, mortars, helicopters and manned aircraft.

It is worth remembering that in WWI only a few dozen aircraft saved the allies from being flanked in 1914-15 by removing the element of surprise in German ground maneuvers. Then the entire concept of aviation would evolve in less than 5 years. A similar revolution in technology is occurring 100 years later.

The Beaver

Things are not looking good for Yemen:


Matthew LEE from ICP has given a detailed report on what is happening at Turtle Bay:


William R. Cumming

MSM desperate FOR NEWS avoids the Constitutional bar to Ted Cruz candidacy for President--Not born in the USA!


Col: I'm doing a course on Robert E. Lee and his high command. I learned that when Stonewall Jackson was serving in Mexico he became enamored with Catholicism. Do you know anything about this? And why did he revert to strict Calvinism?


The brutal reason Boko Haram just took 500 ‘young women and children’ http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/25/the-brutal-reason-boko-haram-just-took-500-young-women-and-children/
Mass kidnappings have become essential to Boko Haram’s campaign. The kidnapped are used as soldiers. They’re used as wives. They’re used as bargaining chips. They’re used as cooks, as suicide bombers and as future soldiers. Boko Haram, unlike the Islamic State, doesn’t worry about attracting fresh recruits. They simply take them. It’s an effective method of swelling their ranks to match the international coalition assembled to fight them.

To understand why West Africa is finally teaming up against Boko Haram, follow the money http://qz.com/368116/to-understand-why-west-african-nations-are-finally-teaming-up-against-boko-haram-follow-the-money/
The economic interpretation of the insurgency is not confined to explaining the regional force, however. On a farm in Gizawa, Kano state, farmers explain over plastic bags of harvested tomatoes that the insurgency grew because “someone was making money from it.”

When I asked the group who might be benefiting, a few of the farmers shrug. “The government has allocated all of this money to combat Boko Haram, but the soldiers complain that their weapons are not good enough,” one ventures. “Where is the money? Why have they not bought better weapons?” The traders murmur in agreement.

In the air-conditioned office of a major commodities trading company in the region, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the topic, a manager agrees with the farmers’ assessments. “The military elites, some generals and other high ranking officials, have taken the money and not used it on the frontlines,” he tells me, “they have put it in real estate and they are becoming rich men.” As a result of this scheme, he tells me, the Nigerian government could only muster a “lukewarm” response to the insurgents on their own.

As for where the insurgency gets its money, the manager shrugs: “That we do not know.” “They used to tax the population and businesses, but they have not done so in a few years,” he says. Those who volunteer to be in the insurgency, according to him, “are in it for the money. Boko Haram pays well and is sometimes the only job around.”

It would be very interesting to know who is funding Boko Haram, and what the ultimate goal of those people are... there's more to it than just oil and jihad.


Phillip Bobbitt, nephew of LBJ, proposes the thesis that the world will/is moving from nation-states with national economies that participate as nations in a global economy, to a Market-State




Nothing new about that, the globalization meme all over again. Corporations rule the world, etc. pl



Jackson was an uncatechized Protestant of some kind when he went to Mexico and still looking for a path in life. He was stationed in Mexico City after the fighting ended and made the acquaintance of th archbishop of Mexico from whom he took instruction in the Catholic faith. He had not made up his mind when he returned to the US. He left the army after a few years to take a professorship at VMI. Lexington, Virginia was a very Presbyterian place because of the density of Scotch-Irish in the populous. He joined the 1st Presbyterian Church there and eventually was an Elder. He always remained friendly to the RCC. During the war, he had intelligence agents who were RC priests and there was an RC chaplain with a Louisiana regiment who used to frequent his headquarters mess where they would discuss theology and the like. Lee, also took instruction from the archbishop in Mexico but said that the liturgy was too ornate for his taste. pl



The interchanging of nations as economies is a staple of the ivory tower libertarian/neocon/neolib crowd who can't wrap their heads around the concept of "blood and soil" because they're part of the transnational 'elite'.

In other words, its junk science. Wasn't Fukiyama proclaiming that liberal democracy was the "end of history" a few years ago?

I should be a technocrat - it means that you never ever have to admit you're wrong even when you so horribly are.


Thank you. That is great information.

Charles I

I had this poly-sci 101 prof who quit to become a Jesuit priest and he told me one of the best parts was being taught to read Greek and he was able to read all the old philosophy canon he was bonkers over in the original. I'm sure he's still locked in a cubicle somewhere just squinting and thinking.


Will there be an agreement between the P5+1 and Iran this month?

Wondering what others think?

Yes or No?


I'm surprised at the extremely muted reaction to the WaPo and WSJ reports that Israel spied on the negotiations with Iran and then shared that intel with the Republicans. I know this isn't news to this forum, but it seems like there should have been more general uproar, no?




SST's reach is expanding!

I have begun reading David Sakwa's just released book "Frontline Ukraine", which appears to be the first serious scholarly work on the Ukraine mess.

The Frontline Politics chapter near the end of the book characterizes Russian, US and EU politics driving the situation as a preface to the final chapter on the Future of Ukraine. In Frontline Politics, I find FB Ali quoted to provide fundamental insight into the dysfunctional US Ukraine politics - in the company of quotes from Stephen Cohen and Henry Kissinger on lesser points. I then find David Habakkuk quoted to provide the primary insight into the dysfunctional EU Ukraine politics.

And of course the FB Ali and David Habakkuk quotes are cited to their SST postings!

FB Ali

Thank you for the reference. Actually, the book is by Richard Sakwa, not David.


Same only different - great documentary.


click on yenisei


and from the perspective of we-the-serfs: neofeudalism.



A plane went down.



Wonderful!! I'm glad that
Col. Lang has provided a forum where they participate and I can learn from everyone!

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