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Oh, dear. Abimael Guzman being the self-proclaimed Fourth Sword Of Communism. Not the third. Can't even count nowadays.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on The Best Defense | Foreign Policy
America's 'forgotten' war?
On a different note, how many insurgencies have been ended where decapitation (organisationally, not bodily) ran out of targets? Targeted killing is hardly new. I recall a line of justification from one Ladislas Farago when he was a Pacific War intelwallah (in 'Get Yamamoto.' -- Was it Lanphier, was it Barber...?)
No, it does not.But it does sound like the Turd Sword of Communism on a particularly bad day.
@Gold Star Father The most amusing thing of late is the phenomenon of Brit stuffed-shirts saying that the US doesn't know how to be an Empire. Whether this is a particularly unsophisticated ploy to have the colonial rubes pay their Natural Masters for lessons is an open question. The point about expeditionary warfare in the days of yore was either grabbing more territory/tribute or squashing the recalcitrant Hard to see how that is relevant today.. As for coalitions, the latter day manifestation is unusual -- in days of yore numero uno had others pay him. Nowadays, numero uno has to pay for the participation of others.
2 months, 4 weeks ago on The Best Defense | Foreign Policy
@Gold Star Father Not really. The Kaffir Wars (Cape Frontiier Wars) were somewhat more numerous (and involved others than the British at various times) The Zulus take pride of place only because of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. The Untergang of Ulundi is probably less known and spoken of. And practically nobody speaks of Moshesh who held in check British and Boers alike. Interestingly, the Zulu element in what was once Rhodesia is also more celebrated than the 'others.Though Mzilikazi was known for obliterating Afriucans, not whites.
Well, when it comes to playing the Indians to your cowboys perhaps Somalis ought to take a ticket and join the line. And that's a pretty long line, yes?
3 months ago on The Best Defense | Foreign Policy
Out of curiosity (yes, I know what it did for the cat), which fixed-wing close support plane do you mean? The A-10? Isn't it still being produced?
There is, of course, the old saw that the Saudi 'royals' are actually from a Jewish tribe , can you say, Khaybar? This ought to prove beyond all doubt that the current ... um.... government is uniquely unqualified to guard the so-called holy places. In any case, did they not control the oily places they'd not be of much account. This would also largely explain why Saudi Arabia has been gloriously unsuccessful in getting anywhere with their efforts to advance solutions to the Palestinian problem. The Palestinian problem with Israel, that is. Not the Palestinian problem that affects them.
The Iranian 'threat' serves as a diversion for Israel and Saudi Arabia. For the first, it is used to hide intentions towards the implementation of a two-State solution (ain't gonna happen -- nickle and dime it to death) . For the second, invent an external threat to divert attention from domestic stumbling. As for the minor Gulf statelets, they're probably eying Abu Musa and the Tunbs and the allegedly bases in and around them. Which they hope to take back. As soon as Uncle Sam does it for them. In between, wait for the stories of Arab babies ruthlessly ripped from respirators... :-)
Well, Churchill didn't exactly have conventional warfare in mind when 'Set Europe ablaze' was the Word Of The Day. Via the SOE.
Norway would be regarded as a disaster for the British mostly because of their not seeming to know what they wanted to accomplish. Did they even have in mind the degradation of the Kriegsmarine?
One might just as well invoke manpower losses in Poland, Holland and France as additional reasons.
As for those periphery things, it was admittedly a tad later that it could have been seen as a necessity because of Uncle Joe's griping.
And Operation Torch somewhat later also involved firing on the French, neh?
3 months ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
A damn sight less of a chance than, say, the Pakistanis giving Riyadh a nuke or three. Yes, less. Not more.
3 months, 1 week ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
There is an older 'network'. Rumour. A good deal of this sharing thing is made up of rumour, wilful misrepresentation and editorialising.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
In ye olde days it was surely not merely a question of getting to where you were going (assuming that you actually arrived at the place you wanted to go to). Local knowledge must have played a part. Such as knowing the position of reefs and shoals, not to mention currents and tides. As your illustration demonstrates quite nicely, a map need not necessarily be complete and the information contained might be of a summary nature. As for the disappearance of the oldest charts, that's what happens with time and wear and natural calamity.
I'm well-rested now, which is why I understand your puzzlement. I don't understand myself either. That said, the biggest military-civilian arguments I've ever seen in the press have had to do with the size of UK armed forces andt he budget Guidance of the defence secretariy place-holders usually was of the "Get stuck in* variety, cliché masquerading as policy.
Blame Blair. There was no obvious reason for the UK to enter Afghanistan; Blair's former defencewallah (Robertson) as NATO sec-gen decided that as the US had been attacked, NATO had to join in. Or had it decided for him but <God knows by whom. As for Iraq, Blair was hardly forced into it by his military.
Howm little things have changed since has been demonstrated by Libya; similar tiomfoolery in Syria was averted only narrowly. Again, no evidence of a hard-line military oushing politicians to action. Wait a while, it's not going to be long before Iran comes up.
Look at it this way. Heed what the US 'ally' says equals heaven. Heed what military advice from Brit brass which clashes with the wishes of that 'ally' equals misery. In any case, at one time, defence matters were nominally in the hands of hapless Labour apparatchiks, in reality these worthies were sock puppets of whichever PM. Adept in mouthing clichés but giving advice that'd be heeded. Have mercy.
In sum, remove artificial and annoying constraints. Why restrict oneself to decapitation and minor culling of cannon-fodder? When the entire military panoply can be deployed. Let the Shebab tremble, entire city blocks can be destroyed as a 'lesson in frightfulness.' Why make a public circus over this Guano Bay and rendition when 'we can keep you forever offers itself? And a bit of Nacht und Nebel as a side-dish, as a 'tool in the kit.'
However, it is possible to be grateful for one thing. No mention of a 'neutron bomb' to spare damage to building s n0r use of a small nuclear warhead... 'Hey, we used it against a terrain feature and intelligence was that nobody 'innocent' was cluttering up the countryside. But patience...........
Ah, collective punishment. Available in China, ancient or modern, and in Syria. How fortunate that it is unknown in the Palestinian territories or wasun known, say, in occupied Iraq.
IAs for death, which must not be proud -- it is a Donne deal. Any stories of premature babies being removed from respirators or legs being ground in some outsized industrial mixer?
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
Rommel had his staff car shot up some near Ste Foy de Montgomery (or some such). Allegedly a Montgomery connection there. As to his allegedly lack of l'audace, there is Arnhem..............
3 months, 4 weeks ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
'Battle Cry Of Freedom' (McPherson) is not only on your Civil War but the finest study that I've ever read. Instead of a pillow fight, perhaps people would do better to try to excel this excellent book.
4 months ago on Access denied | The Best Defense
One sparrow doesn't make a summer and a victory or a near-victory with minimal outcome on the end of the campaign, well... (shrugs) It's of course perfectly true that the Khalsa gave commanders plenty to fear. And there was at least one American soldier of fortune who did well out of Ranjit Singh.
The Brits speak of Isandlwana readily enough, it's true. But just as a lead-up to Rorke's Drift. The Italians had no RD after their little embarassment. A single battle won isn't really significant. Not necessarily.