BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.

calendar   Sunday - August 14, 2016

What, this isn’t called the Ticonderoga?

#2 Looking Bomb Will Soon Be #1



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The B61-12 bomb, described as the most dangerous ever produced, features a tail kit from aircraft manufacturer Boeing which will enable a precision-guided trajectory.

It also has a mechanism that enables an adjustment of the explosive force – ranging from a high of 50,000 tons of TNT to a low of 300 tons - and can be delivered by stealth jet bomber.

Military experts believe the weapon’s accuracy and variable power reduces the risk of collateral damage and potential widespread civilian casualties.

General James Cartwright, the retired commander of US Strategic Command, told America’s PBS News: “If I can drive down the yield, drive down the likelihood of fallout, does that make it more usable in the eyes of a president or national security decision-making process?

“The answer is yes, it likely could be more usable.”

But this has led to a number of former and current senior US defence officials voicing concerns that the precise nature of the weapon could provide a rationale for its future use in conflict.

OK, so they made a variable nuke into a guided glide bomb. That makes sense I’d say. And therein lies a whole can of worms. It makes so much sense that you’d want to use it. All the time!

Nah. As usual, the folks in charge aren’t seeing things properly. If you can make a nuke so precise that it becomes a tactical weapon, then there’s almost no reason for it to be a nuke in the first place. Or perhaps just a teeny tiny one. So tear out the variable power bits, and pull out the extra plutonium that could allow this piglet to be a 50Mt bomb, and just put in enough to make it a 5Kt. Enough to wipe out an airport, or a smaller city, or an aircraft carrier, or a military supply depot, etc. Now you’ve got something fearsome; a nuke that folks are eager to use.

I was hoping that this one had a cool name. Cool names for outrageous weapons are important. Like MOAB, for that giant standard bomb we spent a few billion developing and then never used. And this one could have been easy! Look at the picture! It looks like a pencil. It even says Number 2 on the side! So quick, let’s get the generic trade name for pencil and use that. You know, like Xerox or Kleenex; product names that define the genre. The Dixon! The Ticonderoga! The Pearl! ( Blackwing and Mirado are out because those aren’t yellow pencils ) ... oops, it turns out that, while any cheap ballpoint can be a Bic, and any halfway good one can be a Parker, we have no generic name for a pencil. It’s just a pencil. Or a #2. How about that crap?

Guess we should cancel the bomb program then. No cool name, no new nuke. It’s not like we don’t have plenty of other ones sitting around already. Hmmphh. Well fine. Screw you guys, I’m going home.



Here, have a bunch of links and some graphics (right click for larger versions). Free! WTH, and why not? After all, your friendly government is in the process of spending ELEVEN BILLION DOLLARS to execute this bomb overhaul project. Guess we still have quite a few of the buggers sitting around, what what?


http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/nuclear-weapon-obama-most-expensive-ever
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/daily_videos/america-updates-its-nuclear-bombs/
https://engtechmag.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/nato-shows-off-new-steerable-nuclear-bomb-russia-not-happy-about-it-an-annotated-infographic/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L14GMtf8Vwk (drop test video. Spin rocket only burns for half a second, but it’s enough to spin ‘er up)
https://fas.org/blogs/security/2016/01/b61-12_earth-penetration/



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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/14/2016 at 08:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Saturday - July 30, 2016

Hot Rounds

thermobaric bullet or “natural” dieseling?

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This is the Army’s new M80A1 EPR 7.62 bullet. It is made just like the M855A1 5.56 bullet: a copper base core behind a hardened steel penetrator front core with a gilding metal jacket. Hey, it’s lead free and thus “green”! Weighs in at about 130gr I think. It is not fired at any kind of extreme velocity. The bullet has been designed to fragment, usually breaking apart at the cannelure line the way Ball 5.56 ammo did back in the early 60s.

I’ve seen a lot of ballistics test gelatin block videos. I can’t recall ever seeing one that created an internal explosion that sat there huffing smoke rings before.

The flash you are seeing is real. Apparently gelatin block has some kind of flammable vapors in it (news to me I thought it was just Knox and water); when the bullet passes through it creates an enormous primary temporary wound channel that sucks lots of air into the entrance hole where it can mix with those vapors. When the block collapses - again at very high speed - it’s Chem 101 and the old PV=NRT ideal gas law - air temperature and pressure soars as the volume instantly diminishes to almost nothing, and this self ignites like a diesel engine. FOOM. And creates a One Two punch of a second temporary wound channel. And then the block sits there blowing smoke rings.

Enemies beware: not only does this one kill you dead, it blows you to shreds - twice - and sets you on fire. Oh, and it also shoots right through Level III armor, even at long distances. Nowhere to hide.

Horry Clap.

link 1

link 2

link 3 - effect still there even at low velocity (ie extended ranges)

link 4

Slow motion video with the 5.56 M855A1 EPR bullet below the fold. Watch the fireball burst into life.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2016 at 10:14 PM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun ControlMilitary •  
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calendar   Monday - July 25, 2016

dead in the water

Funny how this fiasco happened on Obango’s watch.

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Gerald Ford Still Not Ready For Prime Time

No, not the former President. The new aircraft carrier. Biggest one ever made. And sadly, this news does NOT come from Chevy Chase Maryland

$13.8 BILLION Boat Can’t Do It’s Basic Job

The $13-billion USS Gerald R. Ford is already two years behind schedule, and the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier is facing more delays after the Pentagon’s top weapons tester concluded the ship is still not ready for combat despite expectations it would be delivered to the fleet this September.
According to a June 28 memo obtained by CNN, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation, said the most expensive warship in history continues to struggle launching and recovering aircraft, moving onboard munitions, conducting air traffic control and with ship self-defense.

“These four systems affect major areas of flight operations,” Gilmore wrote in his report to Pentagon and Navy weapons buyers Frank Kendall and Sean Stackley. “Unless these issues are resolved ... they will significantly limit CVN-78’s ability to conduct combat operations.”
...
Fixing these problems would likely require redesigning the carrier’s aircraft launch and recovery systems, according to Gilmore, a process that could result in another delay for a ship that was expected to join the fleet in September 2014.
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Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, slammed the latest delay as “unacceptable” and “entirely avoidable” in a statement earlier this month.
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“After more than $2.3 billion in cost overruns have increased its cost to nearly $13 billion, the taxpayers deserve to know when CVN-78 will actually be delivered, how much developmental risk remains in the program, if cost overruns will continue, and who is being held accountable,” he added.

Horry Clap. It can’t launch or land planes, it can’t arm them for missions, it can’t control their flight patterns around the ship, and it can’t fight the ship when attacked. Crivens!! In other words, it’s a defenseless, worthless steel box in the water, filled with flippantly spent dollars.

Yeah, but the new one uses new technology, the first solid technical updates in 40 years. Of course, they’ve had 40 years to develop all that crap, and test it all in isolation, right? Right?? No???


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/25/2016 at 10:02 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Sunday - April 17, 2016

Turtler’s Game Corner: UFO Alien Invasion

After about half a month of preparing for moving, working on a few odd jobs, and getting school in order, I can finally come back and hack out a post on here. Well, thanks for holding down the fort Drew. Life has kind of been a bugger for me lately, though I should be thankful it is still better than many. Please keep your prayers and thoughts with Peiper and his wife.

I know there are dozens of things happening in the wider world for me to talk about, but right now it’s the start of a new week and I just want to catch my breath, kick back, and Relaaaax! So when I sat down I realized I wanted to make a post about something I enjoy doing in my off time, and which some of you might be able to enjoy doing as well. But which is still at least a little bit topical to the hell-in-a-handbasket way of the real world.

So without Further ado, allow me to present you with....

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EXPLOSIONS!!!!!


Ok, more specifically the explosions- and everything else- in a little thing called UFO: Alien Invasion. Some of you might have heard of it before, some of you might have played it before. But I figure that there are probably at least a few other videogamers out here who would enjoy it, and that in a time like this at least a few people who aren’t that would be able to appreciate it..

I figure the best way to introduce it would be to give a

It is the year 2084. You control a secret organisation charged with defending Earth from a brutal alien enemy. Build up your bases, prepare your team, and dive head-first into the fast and flowing turn-based combat.

UFO: Alien Invasion is a squad-based tactical strategy game in the tradition of the old X-COM PC games, but with a twist. Our game combines military realism with hard science-fiction and the weirdness of an alien invasion. The carefully constructed turn-based system gives you pin-point control of your squad while maintaining a sense of pace and danger.

Over the long term you will need to conduct research into the alien threat to figure out their mysterious goals and use their powerful weapons for your own ends. You will produce unique items and use them in combat against your enemies. If you like, you can even use them against your friends with our multiplayer functionality.

UFO: Alien Invasion. Endless hours of gameplay — absolutely free.


Yeah, you read that right… UFO: Alien Invasion is ABSOLUTELY FREE. It costs exactly NO MONIES. NADA. GOOSE EGG. You can (and I’d suggest should) download it from here: http://ufoai.org/wiki/Download

I’d probably have to rate this game as one of the real gems you can find online if you like strategy and tactics. It isn’t the newest thing in the batch and it doesn’t look like a modern Triple A title- though I do think it looks good in its’ old way, and the globe is breathtaking.

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(Yes, this is what it really looks like in gameplay.. and this still doesn’t really do it justice compared to how it Moves.).

But what really makes it sparkle is the sheer *Depth.* There is an awful lot of depth to the game, from being on the worldview map deciding where to place bases like you’re a command in chief pointing at a map, taking emails, and tracking allied and friendly aircraft. To being down on a base managing what it researches or builds, to probably the heart of the game: meeting the enemy on the ground, where your squad and theirs fights it out for the future of a world one turn at a time. All the while trying to keep your coalition above water and close the tech gap.

The storytelling is also pretty good. The backstory lore is… probably average to above average, with the world of 2083 being a rather peaceful, idyllic place where super-nations and federations live in relative peace and increasing prosperity and freedom, even for places like the Middle East. The actual backstory I’d say is hit and miss with a few liberal buzzwords thrown around but nothing that offensive (unless you figure working with the UN is offensive in and of itself.... and by the off chance you DON’T playing politics with your funding nations will swiftly change your mind). On the whole I’d probably say there are some things that come across as incredibly optimistic or off tone, but others that sound incredibly prescient (like what happened to the US because of reckless deficit spending and China’s totalitarian expansionism before it fell). But I’d probably say that it comes across mostly like they wanted to establish one big happy world to juxtapose it against the coming darkness.

But the actual story over the game is quite good and (from what I’ve been told and can figure out) relatively scientifically sound (or “hard") as far as Sci-Fi goes. Don’t expect the enemy to let you get complacent, because there will be a lot of twists and turns before the end, and it’s obviously where most of the lore attention and juicy technological red meat went into. And wisely so!

So, I’d highly suggest you give it a try, for something that *might* have you coming back a lot.

Now, I’ve tries to explain why I like this. But what makes it topical?

Well, this game- and ones like it- is probably one of the great anti-terrorist epics in recent game history.

Yeah, you heard me right. Because while the enemy are aliens and the game is set in a relatively utopian world (again, including the MENA, Africa, and Asia...), the means and messages are far more down to Earth than Angela Merkel is. You see, the enemy you face are terrorists in how they act and behave, they just happen to be aliens terrorizing the Human Race. You’re going to be facing an enemy that will spend much of its’ time dropping violent squads in cities, indiscriminately murdering whoever they can before trying to get out just as suddenly as they struck. Trying to identify and pre-empt these attacks and strike at the heart of those waging murderous war on you is the heart of the game. And it will not be an easy one, because this will be a rather long war and all the while you will have to keep a weak kneed public and their politicians from losing their cool and simply surrendering to the terror, and yourself from being wiped out by attrition against an enemy that seems to have no trouble replacing its’ cannonfodder.

Yeah, that’s not familiar at alllllll....

In a way, it’s a chance to spend some hours away in the kind of position that you might dream of. Or have nightmares of. The chance to lead a combined, international fight to understand and destroy an enemy that endangers everyone and seeks to shape the world in its’ image. To make the calls and avoid the mistakes that Merkel/Obummer/InsertNameHere has. But at the same time that means that you will have nobody to blame more for defeat than yourself.

So hope you guys enjoy. If things like this are popular enough, I might make these kinds of “Free Game Spotlights” a semi-regular feature. >/br>

I’ll probably will try and get more posts after a day or so. But until then, I’ll be killing some digital terrorists of the human and alien varieties.... 




Posted by Turtler   United States  on 04/17/2016 at 06:18 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFun-StuffInternationalMilitaryScience-TechnologySelf-DefenseTerroristsWar On TerrorWar-Stories •  
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calendar   Friday - April 01, 2016

Army’s latest idea is 143 years old

Defense Department To Build “Buntline” Howitzer




In 1873 Sam Colt built a few dozen of his pistols with crazy long barrels. The idea was to give the rather anemic .45 Colt cartridge a bit of extra range. Or maybe he was just against any kind of concealed carry. Somehow the ungainly pistol became known as a Buntline Special.

The pistols looked about like this:

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modern reproduction 1873 Buntline Special by Uberti

In 2016 the Defense Department announced that multiple subcontractors are working on several projects with silly sounding acronym names, spending huge amounts of money, to reinvent the wheel and stick a double length barrel on the M777, our current lightweight towable 155mm Howitzer.

It artillery piece looks pretty much like this:

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modern pre-production 2016 Buntline Special 155mm Cannon by BAE Systems

While the general idea is to build a field gun with extra long range, the new gun will also have several other benefits, such as adding 1000 pounds to the idea of “lightweight”, making a gun just a tad heavier than can be safely carried by the 1947 design Chinook helicopters that the M777 was designed for, which in turn will really complicate things for our Marines and soldiers in the field, and eventually force the services to spend billions developing a new helicopter system with all sorts of cost overruns. The new extra long barrel makes the cannon a towing nightmare, taxing the ability of the standard trucks to haul the thing around and to be able to turn corners and negotiate uneven ground, which in turn will really complicate things for our Marines and soldiers in the field, and eventually force the services to spend billions developing a new truck and towing system with all sorts of cost overruns. Let’s not forget the further added cost and logistical benefits of carrying a grossly larger spare parts inventory to replace all the barrels that will get bent or broken, since the M777 is wisely designed to be pulled along by the end of the barrel, protecting that nice chassis and pretty wheels at the other end of the gun, where anyone with half a brain would hook up a towing hitch to. Sure, just stress the hell out of the barrel, because goodness, who cares if that stays straight or not?

Right. And don’t mention that South Africa already has a robust extra long range 155mm gun system, with autoloading no less, that we could simply just go and purchase.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J.—Picatinny Arsenal engineers have been working to create a longer, newly modified M777A2 howitzer that has the potential to double the system’s current artillery range.

The modification adds six feet to the cannon and less than 1,000 pounds to the overall system. A mobility demonstration is the first step to determine if the howitzer can be modified for extended range, or if a new system is required.

“Their [user] concern is that when the self-propelled program is done they will be left with a towed cannon variant that they can’t tow around, which is its number one mode of transportation,” said David Bound, M777ER Lead, Artillery Concepts and Design Branch, which is part of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC.

The Extended Range Cannon Artillery, or ERCA, project is funded by ARDEC’s science and technology office and charged with developing technology to extend the range of all 155mm artillery.

The ERCA program develops not only the XM907 cannon but also products, such as the XM1113 rocket assisted projectile, the XM654 supercharge, an autoloader, and new fire control system.

Program Manager Towed Artillery Systems, or PM-TAS, which leads the M777ER program, is taking the ERCA cannon design and adapting it to the M777 to determine if it can be a cross-platform solution.

This PM-TAS effort is a dual-funded program by the Army and the Marines.

PM-TAS is part of the Program Executive Office for Ammunition at Picatinny Arsenal.

“Right now (the M777) can shoot about 30 kilometers, but once all of the upgrades are complete it will be able to shoot about 70 kilometers,” said Bound.

“So, it will be able to reach out and hit targets well in excess before the targets can reach them. It will also give a lot of operational over match so the warfighter won’t have to worry about coming into a situation where they are under fire before they can return fire,” said Bound.

After the ERCA program, the M777ER program is engaged in making sure that ERCA’s system is suitable for the M777 system.

The final ERCA system will be demonstrated with an M109A7 system, which is the Paladin self-propelled howitzer.

Well ... except that the M777 has kind of had a 40km range for 9 years now, but that was pretty much only with the magnificent M982 Excalibur shell, a guided munition - I made a huge post about it and a few other boom toys back during the fighting phase of Gulf War II - that cost a mere $150,000 a shot. But double good news there! Not only has mass production lowered the cost to a bargain basement $70,000 per shot, a new, really inexpensive ($15,000 or less), replacement fuse with steering fins has been developed that works 99.5% as well (12m accuracy at 40km vs 5m at 40km, attached to an exploding shell that can destroy everything within a 50m radius of where it goes off), that will fit on any standard shell in the arsenal. This is the XM1156 Precision Guidance Kit:

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A base canard? Nay nay, a fuse-ed one; the base is well blooded!

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a base bleed artillery shell utilizing a thrustless rocket engine

So, 40km range with a couple types of shell. The base bleed design is pretty cool; a solid fuel rocket with no nozzle is built into the boat-tail base of the VLD projectile. Firing the gun ignites the propellant, which does nothing more than produce a lot of hot air. But this air fills the vacuum vortex behind the moving shell, and thus eliminates nearly all the base drag. The result is much higher retained velocity which means much longer range. And it makes a great tracer too! Just hanging a rocket engine back there doesn’t really help, as the thrust has to be absolutely perfectly even and aligned or else it will cause an imbalance and destroy accuracy, if not destroy the shell itself as it yaws sideways while spinning a couple hundred thousand RPM. Nope, neat idea but it don’t work.

I couldn’t find anything on the “supercharge” gun powder. But any slower powder will work better in a longer barrel, and if the barrel is long enough there’s no reason not to do a “supergun” style series of secondary powder charges. Just make sure your burn through bags are well tested first!

So, long barrel, bigger charge of slower powder, drag reducing Ultra Low Drag (ULD) projectiles ... add it all up and it very well could work out to 70km ranges. Hey, when you care enough to kill your enemies an extra long way away, and not harm anyone near them ... all it takes is buckets of tax money. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/01/2016 at 03:50 AM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Tuesday - March 22, 2016

BOMBING IN BRUSSELS!! Terrorists hit the Belgian Capitol!

EXPLOSIONS GUT BRUSSELS AIRPORT AND METRO


A few hours ago, near-simultaneous explosions tore through the Belgian capitol. It seems pretty clear- even with the sketchy information- that there were at last two targets. One was the Maalbeek Metro Station, and the other Brussels Airport. Initial reports indicate that we’re looking at dozens of casualties, including at least a baker’s dozen dead. I don’t think that number is going to go anywhere but up in the next hours. This map is the best one I could find on short notice showing the relative locations of the two.
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I’ll probably put more information- pictures I don’t trust putting above the fold, my two cents, and news articles- below the fold. But let’s make one thing ABSOLUTELY clear: This Had to have been a coordinated attack, and a daunting one at that. Half a dozen miles may not seem like a big distance but it can’t be easy to coordinate this kind of attack in a densely urban area like the heart of Brussels is. Which says nothing good about our security or the enemy’s capabilities.

God be with us all… I don’t pretend to know the full story behind this but I do hope that these savages get theirs.


calendar   Thursday - March 10, 2016

Today In History: The End Of An Era

March 9, 1862: Civil War Battle of the Ironclads

In which one small, purpose-built steam powered iron battle-barge in the Union Navy fights to a draw with the Confederate Navy’s steam powered armored ship, a built on the fly, jury rigged, re-floated burned hulk covered in scrap iron and bacon fat. At the end of the day both drove away and into history. The era of wooden ships was over.

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Cut-away views, to scale of CSS Virginia and USS Monitor

On March 9, 1862, Catesby Jones assumed command of the Merrimack and set sail down the river to attack more of the Union ships. What he didn’t know was that during the night, the Union ironclad USS Monitor had slipped in to join the Union ships at the area known as Hampton Road.

Jones saw the USS Minnesota and took aim on the wooden-hulled frigate. As the ships neared each other, they opened fire. It was then that Jones saw an odd low profile almost raft looking boat alongside the Minnesota. The Monitor steamed toward the Merrimack and the two ironclads began firing upon each other. Jones tried to ram the Monitor, but being smaller, faster and more maneuverable, the Monitor managed to avoid most of the ramming.

By nightfall, the battle was a draw. The Monitor headed to the safety of shallower water where the Merrimack could not follow. Fearing being caught by the receding tide and being low on ammunition, the Merrimack headed back to the navel yard.

A couple months later, Union troops advanced on the Norfolk Naval Shipyard where the Merrimack had been docked. The crew of the Confederate Merrimack blew up the ship rather than allow it to fall into the hands of the Union.

As 1862 drew to a close, the Monitor encountered bad weather off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and sank.

The Battle of the Ironclads, the first of its kind, ended. The battle may have been over but it changed the face of naval warfare for all time.

This was always one of my favorite war stories growing up. The dour Monitor, under powered, it’s poor hull design barely seaworthy. It’s mighty guns probably capable of piercing Virginia’s armor, but the gunners afraid to use the full specified powder charge would have destroyed lesser cannons. The first turret, a 100 ton iron cheesebox that must have rung, deafening, like Hell’s own bells when struck by cannonballs. The plucky Virginia, an emergency effort. The USS Merrimack had been burned to the waterline, so they took the underwater part of the hull and built a steamship on top of it. The frantic search for iron; their inability to roll or weld iron plate. All the battle damage as the shells struck, smashing the wood beneath the iron to splinters while the railroad track armor held together.

Neat stuff. Follow my link, or look up any of the hundreds or thousands more out there.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/10/2016 at 04:11 AM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Thursday - February 25, 2016

Since when did CIA stand for Central Inclusion Agency?

Sorry for the delays. But I’ve been busy for more or less the past week and a half with family stuff, helping someone with travel prep, and getting ready for my Birthday (which is tomorrow on the 25th). So I’m just coming back out of my shell now. But it seems like the news keeps outpacing me. I began working on this analysis on Scalia’s funeral and Obama’s priorities (or lack thereof). Then I received news of a death and started work on an obituary. But now… Now...... I learn of THIS. THIS damn mess. https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/Diversity_Inclusion_Strategy_2016_to_2019.pdf

Yes, apparently the CIA has a “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.” Heck, not only that, but an ANNUAL one. You want to read all that? I sure don’t. But I think the money quote is really on the first page, coming from John Brennan- the CIA Director HIMSELF. And what does this fine defender of America and secretive public servant go out and write when he comes out to justify the tax dollars he’s been given?

Embracing and leveraging diversity through an inclusive culture that fosters innovation, new ideas, and new insights which is at the heart of what we are charged to do and will drive mission success.”


Soooooo..... see a bit of a problem with this?

The CIA is a damn spy agency. The heart of what it is tasked to do is conducting covert operations against our enemies, try to keep our own stuff secret, and interdict operations and other threats against us. It is meant to Spy. In that line of work, diversity and especially inclusiveness are NOT virtues.

Why? Because spying and intelligence gathering are ultimately based on a bedrock of exclusiveness. Terms like “Need to Know” and “Security Clearance” are inherently exclusive and the very basis for the world these groups operate in, in large part because they need to. From the very start they are dependent on EXCLUDING those who Do Not Need To Know from those who Do. Excluding people who cannot be trusted with given intelligence from those that can. Exclude the people who might be vulnerable to external pressure or compromising things from those who are. On any given issue or operation the former categories will include the VAST MAJORITY of the people on this planet, including the country the agency or operation in question is working for. And all of this is before those select few who people do decide to trust are further shuffled and compartmentalized with their own, even more finely grained “Need to Know” restrictions, security clearances, and other dividers; all so that if there’s a break in one compartment the entire ship doesn’t go down.

This is not merely useful for these organizations, they are integral parts of what they are and what they need to do in order to Survive At All. Now, since we got here by asking why being inclusive and diverse is not always a good thing in the spook business, it’s only fair to ask “Why?” again. Why is this pervasive secrecy and exclusion needed for intelligence services?

Well, I decided to start this off with a snippet of this fascinating alternate history article from the BBC, dealing with a centuries old case. Namely, The Gunpowder Plot. Now, this was not an intelligence operation or something conducted by a government authority. It was in fact a highly murderous terrorist plot devised by people who wanted to utterly destroy a significant chunk of London and thousands of people just to get at the King and Parliament to (regardless of what the average Fawkestard or 4Chan apologist would have you believe) establish an even more repressive and absolutist government. But not only is this the kind of terrorist threat that modern intelligence organizations are supposed to per-empt, but it also featured people operating as spies, planning military (Emphasis in following is mine)


As history actually turned out, there are two very good reasons why the Gunpowder Plot had to fail. The first was that the plotters were caught in the double-bind of most early modern conspirators: in order to make a rebellion work, it had to involve a lot of people, but the more people who knew about the plot, the more it was likely to leak.

In the case of this one, the means of effecting it, by murdering most of the English political élite, was so sensational and so morally disturbing to most people, that the chances of somebody blowing the whistle on it were unusually high.

That is exactly what happened; one of the people brought into the plot in its later stages (probably the unstable Francis Tresham) told an opportunist peer, Lord Monteagle, who tipped off the government.

Whoever sent that letter to Baron Monteagle most likely was not disloyal to the plan or the cause (of establishing a tyranny more in line with the likes of 17th century Spain over the ashes of London). If he had been, he probably would have sent it to someone else. A player in the well-oiled Elizabethan network of spies and informants that James inherited, or actual authorities of the Crown rather than Lord Monteagle. Someone actually in the government rather than just standing in Parliament. The Monteagle Letter (as it’s called now) was probably sent by a sincere, loyal terrorist who wanted to avoid killing someone he thought could be an ally because Monteagle was a fellow Catholic.

So in many ways the Gunpowder Plotters were perversely lucky compared to a lot of modern spy rings, planners, and other operatives. And it still did them in. The letter was the crucial straw that led to the end, and within two weeks of the letter’s delivery the plan had collapsed and most of the group accounted for, and in less than two and a half months all the known conspirators were arrested or dead. 

This example helps demonstrate one of the key concepts of intelligence work, or really using any kind of lie or deception. That you should have as few people in the know as possible in order to make it work. Enough that (hopefully) whatever you have planned should be successful, but no more to avoid the risk that somebody will write something, say something, get caught, or otherwise expose it. It’s the reason why care must be taken in who investigates even the absolutely, gobsmackingly criminal security breaches Hillary made in her private server (which some investigators do not even have the authorization to look at, or didn’t).  In the case of the Gunpowder Plot the result was that Western Civilization and constitutionalism dodged a very nasty bullet, but these kind of breakdowns do not always work in favor of the good guys. All one has to do to see that is observe the resistance martyrs- like those of the World Wars and Cold Wars, but also people as far back as Nathaniel Hale- to see that. Here is just one sobering example out of countless thousands we know about and God only knows how more we do not. http://www.executedtoday.com/tag/french-resistance/

Now, I can understand that overwhelming uniformity also can be a major problem. All I have to do to see that is observe how the Japanese spy rings in North America, the “White Dominions” of the Commonwealth (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc), and India crashed and burned during WWII. * . Part of the reason why the massive “Cambridge Ring” of Soviet spies within the higher echelons of the British Government happened was because the Brits tended to recruit too much from a upper crust students of a handful of “Ivy League” schools, who were the demographic most likely to be radicalized by Communist propaganda or student politics, were the most likely to be able to radicalize others in their orbit, and were likely to have even non-traitors who would defend them. 

But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that being too diverse or inclusive would be the even greater risk for an intelligence organization, precisely because it runs against the very grain of what it is meant to do. Spying is about trying to manipulate and uncover the enemy without being manipulated or uncovered by them. Having a rainbow coalition of security risks just for the sake of inclusion or diversity will only undercut the ability to try that in a game where there are incredibly high stakes and the slightest trip up could tip the balance. I would hope our spymasters and intelligence dons and donas would understand that. But then, I am just an uninitiated civilian. However, one of my friends who decidedly Wasn’t one of that did have something to say about this, and gave me permission to quote him.

You do want diversity in intel analysis, but moreso diversity of THOUGHT than anything else. Now from a HUMINT** perspective, you do need diversity of race, to whit you need trusted and capable agents of the races which you need to infiltrate.
Beyond that, race is irrelevant.


That is broadly my thought as well. Intelligence is a field where it helps to be able to think outside the box and have a lot of different thoughts and methodologies working together( though with caveats that there is a limit to the use of diversity of thought when you start employing enemy sympathizers like Kim Philby, leader of the aforementioned Cambridge Ring). But I would argue that the explicit focus on diversity and inclusion is a good sign that- like in universities- diversity of thought is going out the window. And in particular trying to intentionally jigger with the race/sexuality/gender quotas is defeating the purpose.

He also had this to say.

Well sure, in that sense yes, if the existence of any restriction at all becomes definitively what can fairly be called “exclusive” then yeah, it’s exclusive. Except that logic doesn’t make sense. Or rather… If the existence of any restriction immediately disqualifies you from being able to be characterized as inclusive, then yeah, it’s not inclusive. Except, see, it doesn’t. You can be inclusive and not be all-inclusive.

And on some level I can understand this. I’m sure that if you ever wanted to spy from within the genocidal Islamist-Arab Supremacist nightmare ruling out of Khartoum you probably wouldn’t want to use a Black agent. Likewise if you wanted to deal with some genocidal Baptists or Transsexuals who want to murder all the “Heretics"/"Cis-Gens" it would probably help if you had somebody who could pass off as the former or was an actual transsexual.

But let’s be clear here. the differences and diversities of these people (no matter how vastly different they might seem in their private lives or as individuals) are not nearly as important in recruiting them as what they have In Common. Bravery, loyalty, discretion, and willingness to answer the call of duty is the common thread that we will rely on.  There have been many, very colorful and diverse heroes, heroines, and martyrs have served the cause of freedom. Take Neil Munro “Bunny” Roger, the camp, publicly gay fashion designer who served through WWII in glory.  Take Julia Child, the very het, very ‘50s celebrity chef who joined the OSS and served for years from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Take my Grandfather’s quasi-namesake “Garbo” the straitlaced, booky Spaniard anti-Communist and anti-Fascist who was turned down by the British and then decided to go work for German intelligence and sell them a line of bull in order to get SIS’s attention.

Are these people diverse enough for you? Yes, in many ways they are. But what makes them noteworthy is not what makes them diverse but what makes them SIMILAR. It is what made them all trusted agents and heroic figures.

Intelligence gatherers must be exclusive because the cost of failing to do so tends to be paid in blood and worse. And there must be limits to their diversity in order to avoid inviting enemy sympathizers, mercenaries, or other untrustworthy vessels into places where they can do incalculable, often irreplaceable damage.

Diversity and inclusion for the sake of diversity and inclusion alone is the death of serious intelligence gathering. When that is our first line of defense against another 9/11 and a new dark age (in whatever shape) that is something we CANNOT afford. I’d like to hope that this is just a PR stunt by the CIA Director while continuing on doing their work, but in this age of Obama I do not trust it. Would you?

Footnotes/snark below the fold. I’ll try and get back on my posting schedule now.




Posted by Turtler   United States  on 02/25/2016 at 06:35 AM   
Filed Under: • DIVERSITY BSHomeland-SecurityMilitaryOutrageousPolitically Correct B.S.Stoopid-People •  
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calendar   Wednesday - February 10, 2016

On This Day In History: February 10

1163: On what would be February 17th by modern reckoning, King Baldwin the Third of Jerusalem- the conqueror of Ascalon- dies childless at the age of 33, among suspicions that he was poisoned by a Syrian Orthodox Christian who was acting as his doctor. A long eight day funeral procession marked by open grief caries him from the place of his death at Beirut to his kingdom’s capitol and place of his tomb at Jerusalem. He started off his reign on a very unpromising start, which among other things featured a civil war against his own mother and going up against none other than Nur-ad-Din, Salah-al-Din (Saladin)’s mentor, including a failure to take Damascus. But that soon changed. He forged an alliance with the Eastern Romans and fought Nur-ad-Din to a standstill, but his real victories were in the South against the Fatmid Caliphate in the South.

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His crowning achievement by far was the siege of the city of Ascalon in 1153. Conventional wisdom of the time in siege warfare was that you needed to block absolutely all routes of supply for the area under siege, have superior numbers to the defenders, and only conduct an assault if you had overwhelming odds. Baldwin had exactly none of these advantages, but managed to siege and storm one of the most fortified cities in the world while outnumbered.  It turned Ascalon into a bulwark of the Christian states in the Levant while serving as a springboard for attacks into Egypt, and the seal of doom for the Fatmid Caliphs and seemed to foreshadow great things.

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But within a decade of that triumph, he was dead at a young age (even for then) and control of the Kingdom of Jerusalem passed to his brother, who spent his reign raiding futilely into Egypt, using manpower that the Crusaders simply did not have. Then he died and bequeathed the crown to his only son, the heroic Leper-King Baldwin the Fourth, who saved Jerusalem from Saladin but could not save his dynasty from lack of heirs. After his death the Kingdom fell victim to ugly infighting and worse leadership, which led to shattering defeat at Hattin to Saladin’s Jihadis. Saladin went on to reconquer and destroy the entire city of Ascalon to prevent it from being a Crusader defensive position, and within three decades of Baldwin III’s funeral the Crusaders were dependent on foreign leaders- most famously the kings of England and France- to avoid destruction. And which slowly led to a death spiral for the Crusader Kingdoms of the Orient, and ultimately Christianity in much of the Levant.


Baldwin III’s a rather forgotten figure in history, including that of the Crusades and Jihads, which is ironic because at the time of his death he stood among the giants of his era. He was well read in everything from history to law, eloquent, intelligent, approachable by those he ruled over, and chivalrous *almost*- almost- to a fault; a strong King who was able to fund a war on multiple fronts against far more numerous enemies without even taxing Church property and was lauded by virtually everyone, including those enemies. At the time of his death well below the expectancy of an adult male for the period, it looked like he was developing into someone who might have qualified as a Christian equal of Saladin himself. We can only imagine what might have happened had he lived, or if he would have continued to improve. But his greatest enemy Nur said

“The Franks (Read: Western Catholic Christians) have lost such a prince that the world has not now his like.”

I am inclined to believe him. And so this post is dedicated to you, King Baldwin. Rest with God.



Posted by Turtler   United States  on 02/10/2016 at 11:23 PM   
Filed Under: • HistoryMilitaryOBITITUARIESPolitics •  
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calendar   Sunday - January 17, 2016

Please Let There Be More To This Story

Kerry Gave Our Riverines To Iranian Navy?




First came the fact that President Barack Obama refused to address the arrest of 10 of our sailors by the Iranian military after their boats had mechanical trouble at sea. Then came news that the Obama administration had offered the Iranians an apology for the release of the sailors.

Now comes the disturbing revelation, apparently delivered by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, that the Obama administration tipped off the Iranians that our soldiers were lost at sea and requested their aid.

The news came from Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, during an interview on TheBlaze’s Dana Loesch shortly after Iran’s arrest of the sailors had come to light.

“I understand that (Secretary of State) John Kerry has indicated, look, when he got word, he and Ash Carter called the Iranians to help take care of our Navy guys, because they had some mechanical problems,” Gohmert said.

There’s a bit more at the link, but the main point is here above: the Obama regime shopped our sailors to the Iranians instead of following standard military protocol. They engineered their own slap in the face.

Now, why on Earth would they do that? What’s the point? Where’s the benefit?

Unless ... just maybe ... something physical had to be passed from one boat to the other, while the world’s attention was focused on the other part of the story, and here’s the video? This is what magicians call the prestige. The rest of us call it smoke and mirrors.

I don’t like being played for a fool, but at least if there was some kind of positive Secret Squirrel shit going on, it could explain a lot. OTOH, a traitor with enough power to create a minor international scene like this could pass across a bag full of missile tech, a box full of nuclear detonators, a drum full of tritium, a slug of plutonium, whatever, at the same time. And all we’d ever see is sailors on their knees. And I do mean create ... what do you think the odds are that two exquisitely maintained naval craft would break down at the same time??


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/17/2016 at 08:58 PM   
Filed Under: • IranMilitaryObama, The One •  
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calendar   Thursday - January 14, 2016

Just Sickening

I finally got around to watching the Iranian video of our captured (and now releases)  Swift boat  Riverine Command Boats.

Granted, these are not battleships. They’re only about 50 feet long, an “up-armored" version of the Swedish CB-90.

image

Neat little boat. 43 knots or faster, several heavy and medium machine guns, grenade launcher, etc. Pretty much a modern PT boat, minus the torpedoes. For now.

Surrendered without a fight to the Iranians, who were driving a bass boat. Seriously, pretty much. Half the size, a tenth the mass, a third of the crew size, not even close to a fifth of the firepower ...

image

All it takes to capture US Navy vessels these days. A bass boat and an AK.

image

Not 100% sure if this is a true story or not, but I hear that the Iranians have a new secret weapon that will let them capture our aircraft carriers and any really large cruisers or destroyers in the area.

image

Word is that the mullahs are assembling fleets of these in canvas bags ready for rapid air drop deployment.

At this point, even Maxwell Smart is embarrassed. *


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/14/2016 at 09:02 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Wednesday - January 13, 2016

Out Punned

It’s not that often when another punster can get the drop on me. But when it does, I’ll acknowledge it. Here’s my hat tip to the masters of the game.



News story:
US NAVY SWIFTBOATS CAPTURED BY IRAN, 10 SAILORS TAKEN PRISONER

The cover of today’s NY Post:

image

Perfection.

Here’s the story, in case you’re not fully aware of this latest bit of international humiliation due to our sissy-pants wearing ninny of a pResident

Iran released video on Wednesday of 10 American sailors who were detained by Iran overnight aboard their two US Navy patrol boats in the Gulf.

Some of the nine men and one woman can be seen in the video on their knees with their hands behind their heads. Another video shows the sailors seated on traditional rugs and being served a meal.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said it had freed the sailors after determining they had entered Iranian territorial waters by mistake. The sailors had been detained aboard two US Navy patrol boats in the Gulf on Tuesday.

Their release brought a swift end to an incident that had rattled nerves days ahead of the expected implementation of a landmark nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers.

Elsewhere, why miss the opportunity to give Obama and the USA a firm spanking?

Iran’s army chief said on Wednesday the seizure of two U.S. navy boats and their 10 sailors should be a lesson to members the U.S. Congress trying to impose new sanctions on Tehran.

“This incident in the Persian Gulf, which probably will not be the American forces’ last mistake in the region, should be a lesson to troublemakers in the U.S. Congress,” Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, head of Iran’s armed forces, was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/13/2016 at 07:08 PM   
Filed Under: • IranMilitary •  
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calendar   Tuesday - November 03, 2015

Once Upon A Time

Warning: trigger words ahead!! Danger, danger danger!!! May contain peanuts and gluten too!!

Once upon a time, men sang like men, about manly things.

This is an ancient marching tune, whether in standard or double time. It’s only in the last 300 years that it’s been in English. Come on, when you’re singing about repelling the Saxon foe, you know you’re doing it OLD school.

This set of lyrics is very close to the most modern version, which has been kicking around 50 years or so now.

You just might recall the song from a war movie so old that Michael Caine had hair in it. Dark hair. His own.

image

No, I have no idea how I got to this one. I was reading about the Mets. But you click on a link in a comment, go there and click on another link ... and pretty soon ...


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/03/2015 at 12:02 AM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryMusicUK •  
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calendar   Thursday - August 20, 2015

Myself, I’d have been over teh moon

Epic FAIL Pic

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Nothing says happiness more than a small child surrounded by tons of high explosive artillery shells.



Bring your kids to


EXPLOSION!! The Museum of Naval Firepower


today, and they’ll have a grand time learning all about the long history of using giant weaponry to splatter sailors into burning small bloody chunks before leaving them to drown in the remorseless icy ocean.  And hey, we’ve got mines and missiles too, even an old atomic bomb that somebody found out behind the dust bins. It’s not ticking at all, we’re almost completely sure of that!

Plus, now you can rent our halls for your own big events! Start your married life with a bang!

Explosion! traces the development of naval armaments from gunpowder to the Exocet missile...but the museum is not just about big bangs!

Nor are the human, social and moral consequences of warfare forgotten - visitors will be provoked as well as educated and entertained.

Because their precious childhoods are just incomplete without recurring nightmares that will take years of therapy to get past. So come on down today!!

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read more


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/20/2015 at 11:36 AM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryPolitically-IncorrectUK •  
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