Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« November 2014 »
S M T W T F S
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
CHARLESTONBOOKGUY
Tuesday, 11 January 2005
Soldiers Arming Themselves
There has been much controversy about US troops in Iraq having to purchase their own body armor, scavenge for armor for vehicles and so on. Too bad the press has little understanding of history (before 1960) as they would easily discover this isn't unheard of in warfare. The ancient Greek hoplite was required to bring his own armor, shield, and weapons when called for battle, likewise the armored knight of medieval times. Remember the Minutemen? What state would our country be in today if they thought the government must arm them before they would fight for our freedom? Before WW2 George Patton had to purchase fuel for his tanks from his own substantial fortune to keep them rolling during maneuvers. In his new book American Soldier, Tommy Franks told how he had to buy CB radios for his men from his own funds.
Secretary Rumsfeld rightly stated "You go to war with the army you have". I'm glad we still have soldiers who can take initiative in defense of our country.

Posted by charlestonbookguy at 2:14 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 11 January 2005 2:16 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Monday, 10 January 2005
A Mass Missile Defense
The Falklands War of 1982 gave us a glimpse of what modern anti-ship missiles can do against a surface fleet. Not only were 2 British warships sunk, but the entire war strategy was affected. The former Soviet Union built cruise missiles of far more destructive power than those deployed by Western nations (Harpoon, Excocet), many of which are supersonic (Sunburn) and in the hands of potential enemies (Iran, North Korea, China). The West has yet to witness a mass attack of such weapons on their surface fleets.
In the late 80's, the US planned to add greater stealth to the fleet by the novel idea of creating smooth superstructures. In other words, all masts, radars, weapons, ect. would be imbedded below decks, making the vessel a much reduced target to anti-ship missiles. The end of the Cold War finished these ambitious plans, but the attack on the Cole and 9/11 2001 reminded us we still have enemies. For our ships to survive in modern war against a mass cruise missile attack, it may be time to revive this simple but potentially revolutionary idea.

Posted by charlestonbookguy at 1:08 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 7 January 2005
The Ironies of Airpower
Generals seldom have the things they need or need the things they have. After WW1, which was basically a fighter pilots war, three great airpower enthusiasts, Guilio Douhet, Billy Mitchell, and Hugh Trenchard claimed the bomber would revolutionize war. The bomber had played a minor role during the conflict, save as a terror weapon against civilians. The new airpower prophets sought to utilize the bomber on a grand scale against enemy cities as a way to win future battles. Little thought was given to close air support, bomber escort, or air superiority. The bomber became a symbol of independence for the airmen, a sort of battleship of the air, in the quest for a separate service.
Despite the grandiose visions of the prophets, none of the great powers possessed a full fledged strategic bomber force at the start of WW2. The exception was Germany who understood the proper role of airpower, and used it in conjunction with their army to conquer Europe. It was only when the Luftwaffe tried to subjugate Britain with airpower alone that it ran into trouble. The English refused to be terrorized even as their cities crumbled around then. Still the British and Americans felt they could teach the Germans something about bombing cities and set out to win the war with airpower alone. Like the stalwart Brits, the Germans refused to bow under pressure and had to be forced to quit, by the Anglo/American and Russian armies, ably assisted by close air support.
Amazingly, after the war, the Air Force claimed victory, and armed with the atom bomb, now said they could end war forever. SAC was created and the fighter pilots were told they weren't needed, save to guard the bomber bases. Once again reality intervened in Korea, and SACs new massive B-36 Peacemakers couldn't stop the Northern invasion. Korea was again a fighter pilots war, and the generals were elated when it concluded so they could build new jet bombers, again to keep the peace. There were plenty of fighters around in the 50's and 60's, but they became faster and heavier, so they too could carrier nukes to bomb Russia. Later in Vietnam, SAC met its match and the heavy fighters were fought to a standstill. It was the first war America lost.
After Vietnam, for the first time the fighter pilots controlled the Air Force. Air superiority was given first priority, along with close air support in a doctrine dubbed "Air-Land Battle". There were still plenty of bombers around, though, just in case. Along with this came new and marvelous weapons such as cruise missiles and precision guided bombs, which gave the airmen the long sought after "one bomb-one hit". The dreams of the prophets now seemed realized.
Armed with the new weapons, the Air Force paved the way for a 100hr victory in Kuwait in 1991, followed by a total victory for airpower in Kosovo, where no troops were needed, except afterwards for peacekeeping. In Afghanistan and later Iraq, giant B-52s performed close air support with precision bombs after traveling thousands of miles. With the bomber finally living up to the promises of Douhet, Mitchell, and Trenchard, the Air Force is now doing a strange thing. Using desperate tactics, they are clinging to a Cold War era fighter, the F/A-22 Raptor (The A meaning attack, added later as an after thought) designed for air superiority against a foe that no longer exits, even offering to cut the number of other tactical aircraft (the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter) to pay for it. They also steadfastly refuse to order any more bombers, even after being cajoled by Congress. Strange the workings of generals minds.

Posted by charlestonbookguy at 2:07 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 10 January 2005 1:16 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 3 January 2005
THE OIL WARS
I THINK THE PRESENT WAR ON TERROR MAY LIKELY BE CALLED THE OIL WARS BY FUTURE HISTORIANS, JUST AS THE ERA OF CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE US AND RUSSIA IN THE LAST CENTURY CAME TO BE KNOWN AS THE COLD WAR. THE PERIOD CAN BE TRACED FROM THE 1990 IRAQI INVASION OF KUWAIT AND CONTINOUING TO THE PRESENT DAY.

THIS SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS A DEROGATORY STATEMENT, BUT ONE OF SIMPLE FACT. ANYONE WHO THINKS MIDEAST OIL IS NOT VITAL TO THE NATIONAL SECURITY OF THE WEST IS INCREDIBLY NAIVE AND LIVING IN LA-LA LAND. THINK FOR A MOMENT WHAT THE COMPLETE SHUT DOWN OF OIL IMPORTS WOULD MEAN TO EVERDAY LIFE IN AMERICA, EUROPE, JAPAN, AND INCREASINGLY CHINA. BESIDES THE CASUAL USE OF TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM WORK, WHAT OF THE TRUCKS WHICH BRING THE DAILY SUPPLIES OF FRESH GROCERIES TO OUR CITIES? HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU KNOW WHO GROWS THEIR OWN PRODUCE ANYMORE, OR RAISES MEAT FOR THEIR FAMILIES? OIL ALSO SUPPLIES MUCH HEAT AND ELECTRICITY FOR MANY INDIVIDUALS.

IN OTHER WORDS, IT WOULD NOT BE THE POLITICIANS WHO WOULD SUFFER IN A MAJOR OIL EMBARGO, BUT THE AVERAGE CITIZEN. THINK ABOUT THAT NEXT TIME YOU WANT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE OIL WARS.

Posted by charlestonbookguy at 6:04 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 3 January 2005 6:06 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older