Now More Than Ever – a Strong Navy and Peace 5

The Navy League has been tireless in its mission to support the sea services throughout the last 116 years. From its founding in 1902, they have tried to always live the spirit that Theodore Roosevelt embodied when he said “A good Navy is not a provocative of war, it is the surest guarantee of peace.”

Three years after he said those fateful words, the world was changed forever on May 27, 1905 when a smaller Japanese fleet defeated the powerful Russian Navy in the Straits of Tsushima.

This unexpected naval battle set the tone for naval conflict for the next century. It showed that a willful and resourceful nation could project sea power and influence the course of history in a way that the world would have to notice. It clearly demonstrated that no country, no matter how small or limited in resources, should ever be taken for granted.

Despite that warning, America was not ready for the Great War that was to come. We had lulled ourselves into thinking that the vastness of the oceans surrounding us would keep us from harm. We were wrong. An entirely new menace called the submarine destroyed that perception of safety once and for all. 100 years ago today, fighting men and women would serve in a cause that should have been avoidable. But the oceans brought the threat to us.

As many countries did, we relied on the promise of peace through disarmament when that war completed. The navy was shrunk and a peace dividend was expected in its place. It never came. Instead, the Axis of Japan, Italy and Germany once more used the oceans to project their power. We were ill prepared for that war too, but the drive and determination of the American people carried the day once more.

The global situation is much the same today as it was before the major wars. Countries are once more expanding their forces and influence through sea power.

  • China is pushing the boundaries in the seas and islands around her country that once enjoyed freedom;
  • A resurging and aggressive Russian Navy has a global reach and an eye on returning to their once unlimited status
  • Rogue nations that are seeking to capitalize on technology are once more challenging freedom around the globe.

 

On Memorial Day, we honor the fallen. We remember their sacrifices. But we honor and remember them best when we remain ever ready and ever vigilant. We pay them the ultimate tribute when we are once more ready to defend that which they gave everything for.

The Navy League stands with all of our sea services in paying honor and tribute to our fallen. We stand for maintaining the strongest military on the face of the planet. America stands for freedom in this world. In the face of so many challenges, maintaining that strength is the only way to maintain our freedom. America needs to be alert now more than any time in history.

Mister Mac

Come Home to the Sea – Post Number 500 on TLS 2

 

I woke up this morning from a dream about being on the seashore looking out. Our family used to drive across Pennsylvania in the heat of summer and spend a weeks vacation in Wildwood New Jersey. Growing up along the rivers and in the hills of Western Pennsylvania, I had never experienced anything like this before so standing on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean was pretty awesome. The dream was so clear… a boy standing with his feet in the wet sand staring out at the horizon past the waves that were breaking in front of him. The potential for adventure was endless to a young boy.

I can imagine another small boy thousands of years ago doing the exact same thing. The salt spray from the ocean breeze fills his nostrils and the sound of the breakers is balanced with the sound of the seagulls flying all around. What is he thinking as he looks out over the vast sea with no end in sight? Where does his imagination take him as he thinks about the vastness of the water before him? What else is out there?

The oceans have always represented man’s greatest barriers and his greatest opportunities.

“Oh Lord your sea is so great and my boat is so small” is an ageless statement that has probably crossed the minds of sailors in all generations. I have journeyed in everything from a fishing boat in the Gulf of Thailand to the mightiest aircraft carrier in the mighty Pacific Ocean. They are all made equal in their helplessness against the forces of the waters. Even the powerful submarines that carried me around the globe are often mere subjects to the whims of King Neptune when he is raging and storming in his fury.

Nimitz Golden Gate

Yet human kind still seeks the opportunities that the sea can provide.

Since the earth’s surface is made up of a significant amount of water, the seas provide a way to communicate and share the raw materials far beyond a single countries shores. The early explorers  challenged the “Flat Earth” theories that promised  a swift and sure death for sailors who went too far and fell off into the abyss filled with all manner of dangers and sea monsters. Those explorers were inspired and made brave by the promise of adventure and wealth. In many ways, that same promise spurs on much of the economic growth in the world we live in today.

Ohio on the surface

We have learned many new technologies over the years that have made the world closer. Air travel is routine now and satellites and the internet have drawn us together like nothing that Magellan could have imagined. Yet the sea remains. Even in this modern day and age, the sea remains as the greatest barrier and opportunity for man.

The great powers throughout history have found ways to use the oceans and seas to extend their power. From the earliest civilizations in the east and the west, nations have used the water for power projection and protection from outside forces. Just as Rome conquered the Mediterranean, other countries have used the distance and difficulty to shield themselves from the influence of others. But technology has impacted both of those abilities and despite the oceans challenges, most modern civilizations are now dependent on one thing: the freedom to freely navigate the sea lanes of the world.

This was one of the first lessons we learned in Boot Camp in 1972. In Chapter 1 of the Bluejackets Manual (18th Edition, US Naval Institute) Military, Economic and Political Importance is introduced to the new recruits.

“Ships of the Navy have always been needed to protect our country’s interests off our coasts and all over the world. Today in an age of atomic bombs, nuclear power, and guided missiles, the importance is greater than ever.”

What was written then is even more true today. Our freedom is directly related to our ability to defend ourselves from any threat to our ability to maintain freedom of the seas. Yet it is the face of this reality that the nation faces threats that come from within. For a number of reasons, our ability to build and maintain a fleet that is capable of an adequate defense is being threatened. The shipyards that once built the ships that stopped the rising tide of imperialism and savagery in the past are no longer capable of producing the next generation with any strength. The technology, experience and ability of our shipyards is being lost to global forces that make us more and more dependent on other countries. Those same countries that could easily fall prey to the influence of an emerging China or a resurging rogue Russian desire for the old days.

Look how weak the world has been in response to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Observe the silent spread of Chinese influence over her neighbors in the vast Pacific ocean. Who will provide the strong voice and power that will keep both of those ambitions in check? America still has a large force available for the foreseeable future. But one only needs to look at Pearl Harbor to see how quickly the power of an area can be shifted. The difference between then and now is that after Pearl Harbor, we had the shipyards and ability to overcome that tragic loss and build the mightiest Navy the world has ever known. With the state of our shipbuilding industry today, I am not convinced we would be able to repeat the miracle. We had the luxury of time in the 1940’s because of the ocean’s protection. With the threats today, that protection would be neutralized.

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From the BJM: “The United States is almost an island, surrounded by oceans. Over these oceans must come the raw materials needed to preserve our great industries. There are a few materials, such as manganese and chrome, which are vital in making steel. Our Navy must keep the sea lanes open for merchant ships, not only to get raw materials but to deliver food and weapons to our friends and allies.”

In a new age of threats, our merchant fleet is almost non-existent. Most of our goods are now shipped on foreign flagged ships built in other nations. This “Island” we live on would quickly become hostage to whoever controlled the seas. The Chinese in particular have spent a great deal of time and money on ship killing missiles. How long could the United States survive without the raw materials that come daily into our ports? Senator McCain, a third generation Navy man is pushing to cripple what is left of the Maritime industry.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2015-01-21/story/john-mccain-plan-scuttle-100-year-old-maritime-law-unleashes-anger-first

What’s ironic about McCain’s caving in to special interest that seek to bypass protections for our vital shipping industry is that his whole family and the nation he served are all indebted to that industry for their lives and their freedom.

McCain 2

The oceans of the world will always provide the resources, the opportunities and the challenges that every generation must embrace. The one thing the ocean’s provide more than anything else is the opportunity for freedom or slavery. Time will tell if the United States is wise enough to determine how to maintain the former and stave off the latter.

By the way, this link will take you to one of the most amazing tributes to the sea I have ever heard. “Come Home to the Sea” comes from Mannheim Steamrollers Fresh Aire VI album and is a remarkable representation of what I feel every time I think of the sea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN3ACbKknhw

Thanks for stopping by.

Mister Mac

While America dismantles its forces, others prepare to fill the gap 3

I am relatively sure that the Chinese are not wasting any resources on sensitivity training as they view the world’s oceans and resources. I wonder if we are maintaining our vision for the last war as they prepare for the next one.

 

China’s Growing Military Might: Top 4 Concerns For The Pentagon

Christian Science Monitor, May 9

China continues to increase spending to grow its already considerable military, and top Pentagon officials continue to watch the developments carefully.

In a report issued this week, the Department of Defense for the first time directly accused China’s military of using cyberattacks to spy on US networks.

In this arena and others, “China’s military buildup shows no signs of slowing,” said David Helvey, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for East Asia, who presented the congressionally mandated report on the state of China’s military activities.

Here are Pentagon officials’ top four concerns as they carefully monitor the growth of China’s military.

1. Frequent cyberwarfare attacks, other espionage efforts

China has long been accused of engaging in cyber attacks and espionage on US networks, but for the first time the US military directly attributed some of those attacks to its counterparts in China, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

“In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the United States government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the [Chinese] government and military organizations,” Mr. Helvey said during a Pentagon briefing this week.

The report points to cyberespionage, along with other activities – with the aim of bolstering China’s military advantages:

“China continues to leverage foreign investments, commercial joint ventures, academic exchanges, the experience of repatriated Chinese students and researchers, and state-sponsored industrial and technical espionage to increase the level of technologies and expertise available to support military research, development, and acquisition.”

2. Use of space to thwart the US military

In 2012, China conducted 18 space launches to expand its intelligence and surveillance satellites.

At the same time, China is working quickly to “improve its capabilities to limit or prevent the use of space-based assets by adversaries during times of crisis or conflict,” according to the report.

Indeed, “PLA writings emphasize the necessity of ‘destroying, damaging, and interfering with the enemy’s reconnaissance … and communications satellites,’ ” the DOD report notes, adding that such attacks would serve to “blind and deafen the enemy.”

The same PLA analysis also points out that “destroying or capturing satellites and other sensors … will deprive an opponent of initiative on the battlefield and [make it difficult] for them to bring their precision-guided weapons into full play.”

3. Development of ‘carrier killer’ missiles

China is developing specialized, precision anti-ship ballistic missiles that are capable of hitting US aircraft carriers from a range of about 600 to 1,800 miles, according to the report.

“This is something that China has invested in, and we’re watching very carefully as it’s developing that program,” Helvey said.

These weapons could potentially affect the US aircraft-carrier presence in the region. “We’re concerned about the ability of China to develop missiles that can project its military power with precision at great distances from China,” he added. “Obviously, something that can hold at risk large surface ships, including aircraft carriers, is something we pay attention to.”

4. Development of sophisticated ships, planes, and drones

The Chinese military is working quickly to improve its array of increasingly sophisticated fighter jets and attack helicopters.

Indeed, China is developing fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft that incorporate stealth technology, some of which, the report says, use technology captured by Chinese spies.

China has also launched its first aircraft carrier, which senior US military officials say they are watching carefully and which is “the most significant development in the [Chinese] Navy over the past year,” according to the report.

“The formation of carrier battle groups will enable the PLA Navy to conduct comprehensive operations and enhance its long-range operational capabilities,” it says.

The PLA is also “investing heavily in a robust program for undersea warfare,” developing nuclear-powered attack submarines, Helvey said.

Like the US, China is also interested in expanding its fleet of drones – as well as selling its technology. “We have seen some reports of China marketing unmanned air systems in air shows around the world,” Helvey added, “so that’s something we’ll have to continue monitoring very carefully.”

There were many books written in the aftermath of the surprise attacks that began America’s active involvement in World War 2.

I wonder if the next generation’s books will be written in Chinese?

Mister Mac

Where have you been? Reply

I have to admit it’s been a few days since my last post and considering the nature of that post, some of my readers may have wondered if I had been selected for early admission to the nearest FEMA camp. No such luck (at least not yet). We have been spending a lot of time working on our new business and doing some training to support that.

Some might think I am quite insane trying to start a business in this climate and frankly some days I think I might agree with them. But I have been watching closely and according to the AP there are some positive signs starting to show up in the country.

Here’s a short list:

Gas prices have finally started to stabilize according to the Department of Energy

President Obama has signed off on the Keystone Pipeline and shale oil will be flowing south very soon

The EPA has finally decided that ANWAR isn’t all that sensitive after all and the new technology available will protect the environment

The Department of Health and Human Services have reportedly found a gazillion dollars in fraud which will help to offset the new costs of Obama Care. This will also allow the Federal Department of Sex to provide an unlimited supply of birth control to every Girl Scout troop in America

After a shaky start, people are lining up by the droves to pick up their new Chevy Volt

Occupy Wall street has volunteered to come and clean up the messes they made and take classes in Good Citizenship from the American Legion

Michelle and the Girls have announced that until the economy really improves, they are cutting down to ten vacations this year

With Don’t ask, Don’t tell finally gone, the wars overseas have all ended. No one seems to be interested in fighting anymore. There will be a massive same-sex kiss off in New York upon their return

Ahmadinejad has apologized to the Israelis and ordered the complete destruction of his nuclear program. He Thanks Obama for his wise leadership

The Russians and Chinese have agreed to support the UN and stop the senseless violence in Syria. Upon hearing that, Assad calls Obama and tells him he is leaving power. Putin calls Obama and tells him that he has decided that for the good of Russia, he will resign and retire to his dachau. He thanks Obama for his encouragement during the tough times.

The Arab Spring has resulted in an age of enlightenment in the middle east and women are being asked to help mediate the old disputes and …

Wait, what?

None of that stuff actually happened? Crap… I am in so much trouble.

Anybody need some stationary and business cards???

(Maybe they will let me check into the camp early)

Peace

Mister Mac

Some Track Records Should Be Remembered Reply

1972 was a leap year and changes were going on all over the world. American involvement in Viet Nam was already significantly reduced to a support role and the last combat troops were scheduled to be out by August. The program of Vietnamization was well into its fourth year and the ARVN was placed in strategic locations that had previously been held by American soldiers and marines.

C-130A_57-0460_VNAF_TanSonNhut_1972

Nixon was holding secret talks with the Chinese to try and establish a more normalized relationship. Russia was worried about a closer North Viet Nam relationship with China and both sides had spent the previous year arming the NVA with thousands of new tanks, armored vehicles, missiles of every type, and an untold number of small arms and ammunition.

The NVA had been very patient in its long struggle with the South and its allies. They had been used to deprivation but their previous experience with the French in the early fifties and the Japanese before that were stark reminders that someday the foreigners would leave. Nixon and Kissinger were worried that a withdrawal before a peace could be signed would leave the South completely vulnerable and appear to be an America defeat (the first one in modern history)

Surprise!

The Easter Offensive by the North was the first sign that all of the predictions about the NVA were incorrect. Years of negotiations convinced many American politicians that the north would respect the zones set up by various treaties. Armed with the new hardware, the NVA proved them all to be wishful thinkers. They stormed straight through the demilitarized zone and engaged the ARVN army where he stood.

arvn_apc_1972_700

It was only the intervention of US airpower in the form of Operation Linebacker that kept the battle from turning into a rout. President Thieu had watched his own commanders reaction to the massive invasion and saw that they were still not ready for the tasks that Vietnamization was supposed to have prepared them for. In the end, the attack was recorded as a South Vietnamese win since so many of the units from the north were stopped and hurt badly.

linebacker

Back home, America had already shown its war weariness. Protests from San Francisco to New England had divided the country like nothing had since the civil war. It was an election year and Nixon knew that he had to do something to complete our “honorable” withdrawal from all of the situation. President Thieu was very reluctant to see American air power gone.

Large portions of the NVA still remained in control of parts of the south. Thieu was being forced to accept their presence since removing them would require a re-engagement of the forces that had just been removed. Nixon pressured Thieu to accept the terms of the cease fire. He got Thieu’s to agree to an in-place arrangement by offering "absolute assurance" that he intended to take "swift and severe retaliatory action" if North Vietnam should violate the terms of the agreement. He sought to remove the other roadblock, the stubborn attitude of the government in Hanoi, by ordering a resumption of the bombing of the heartland of North Vietnam.

History records the rest of the story and should be an abject lesson to the Afghanis. The war lasted for a while longer but once it was clear the American’s were not coming back, the North was relatively free to prepare for the final conquest. Even up until the final days, American politicians were taking assurances from the Cambodians and North Vietnamese that there would be no reprisals and peace would return to the region.

And peace did return. At the point of a bayonet. All of the people who protested sat silently by while millions were killed and millions more were enslaved. The blood of those people is forever on the hands of people who misunderstood the nature of the enemy. We are guilty of giving those who oppose us too much credit for thinking and reasoning like we do. I don’t know if we will ever figure out that there are just some people and groups that want to destroy our way of life. No amount of scripture, negotiation, pleading for a sense of fairness, or seeking a level playing field will ever fix that.

sail away

Just like Viet Nam, the war will not be over when we withdraw from the Middle East. At some point, someone is going to have to finish the job. This is one track record that has a heavy cost.

Mister Mac

Gold! There’s Gold out there! 3

029_25A

January 24 1848 is a day that will live forever as one that changed American history.

John Sutter had hired a millwright named James Marshall to construct a sawmill along the south fork of the American River. The water was not flowing in the right vicinity so they cut a fresh millrace. The timber from the mill was supposed to feed the growing need of the settlers who were trickling into the area. This followed the Mexican American war and California was the new property of the victorious Americans.

020_16A

After cutting the millrace to redirect the water, Marshall noticed a glimmering sparkle of light in the freshly moved dirt.

Looking more closely, he discovered that the sparkle was gold flakes.  He rushed off to tell Sutter who had a local assayer confirm that it was indeed gold. Sutter quietly tried to harvest as much as he could in secret. But like all secrets, the word soon got out. Within months the largest gold rush the world had ever seen began. The California Gold Rush (1848-1855) changed the face of the west coast and the large population shift had consequences far beyond the imaginations of even the most ardent expansionists.

170px-Gullgraver_1850_California  330px-Gold_seeking_river_operations_California

Ironically, Sutter lost everything he had from the sudden inrush of gold seekers.

He had a large farm, cattle herds, and a small community which were all wiped out by the hoards of prospectors who came to seek gold. He never recovered from the tragedy. His story is not so unfamiliar though.

330px-California_Clipper_500

Of the 300,000 who rushed to the area, many worked for years and went home with little more than what they arrived with.

But the City of San Francisco went from a small sleepy town of about 200 to more than 36,000 almost over night and the real gold was made selling provisions and clothes to the incoming miners. Agriculture and ranching grew as less and less gold was found. The real riches that came from the ground were from the increase in the food available for not only California, but across the nation after the railroads were forged across the continent. America profited in many ways from the events that started on this day in 1848. The Golden State has been a significant part of our success and power as a nation.

 

What if we discovered gold today?

Well, we would have a lot of company in a very short time.

 

EPA Army Corps EDF Sierra Club

WWF World Bank  UN People eating tasty animals

First of all, the entire area would be declared a government protected area. The Army Corps of Engineers would have to conduct an environmental impact study lasting at the least ten years. The EPA would request a planning document that cover air, water, and ground pollution prevention plans (add another ten years). Congress of course would have to meet in emergency session to decide how the gold would be spent and every lobbyist in town would be lining up for the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations to stop the digging. The World Council of Churches would insist that any gold collected be divided up among the poorest countries in the world and offer to administer the redistribution for a small fee. Of course the United Nations would create another World Heritage site to preserve the wealth.The list goes on and on…

The President would be hounded by the left and the right and ultimately cave to whichever was his base.

For instance, if his base was the environmental groups, he would place a hundred year moratorium preventing mining of any kind.

(There would be a private party afterwards with all of Hollywood’s elite to celebrate the environmental triumph. I heard that Lady Ga Ga will sing.)

 

In the meantime, the Chinese would arrange to take the land and using their ownership of the major ports in California, ship the gold and add it to  the gold America used to have, then just annex California.

 

Thanks for the gold

I understand California grows the second highest amount of the rice in the U.S. (also thanks to the Gold Rush)

Do you suppose the Chinese know that too?

Your rice is cooked

Mister Mac

Hu Said What? 1

Normally I would think of a routine from an old Abbott and Costello movie when I see something a comical as the title of this post.

jintao

Not this time though. Hu Jintao (the President of the People’s Republic of China) has been very vocal recently about upgrading and preparing the military in general and the Navy in particular for combat.

Chinese Navy Fighters Chinese Navy Marines

Wait, what? Combat????

Isn’t that where people get killed and ships and aircraft are destroyed occasionally? Isn’t that where countries with widely divergent points of view sometimes attempt to have their way? Does it bother anyone else that the leader of a country with 1.8 billion people is starting to make some serious noises about the future of the sea lanes in the Chinese sphere of influence?

http://news.yahoo.com/chinas-hu-urges-navy-prepare-combat-160509787.html

How many times must we re-learn the lessons of Pearl Harbor?

The territorial ambitions of the Japanese had been long known. As one of the powers that emerged from World War 1, the leaders of Japan were anxious to take their place on the world stage as an equal partner. Much of the world’s geography had changed at the end of the war as the victors divided up the spoils. Whole nations suddenly appeared and many far away islands were passed out like so many playing cards. The leaders of Japan had seen it all before. The Europeans and Americans had far flung empires and territories, many of which were in Japan’s sphere of influence. Japan was not to be denied her rightful place at the table.

One of the precursors to war was actually intended to prevent war

The Washington Naval Conference of 1922 was supposed to limit the surge of warship building that continued at the end of the war. The five signatories were the US, the British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan. This treaty was designed to limit the “Big Guns” of each fleet as well as other armament that could be used in an aggressive manner.

While aircraft carriers were covered by the treaty, the Japanese saw the future of warfare that would include an air component. Not that it really mattered to them since by 1936 they had completely abandoned the treaty. The Japanese started the war with ten large carriers, most of which violated the terms of the treaty.

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Chinese Ballistic Missile Sub

When the Pearl Harbor attack came, the Japanese were prepared to fight the next war.

The United States and Great Britain were still mired in doctrines and weapons systems that have evolved from 1918. The Army and the Navy had belatedly started to ramp up for war in the year prior to Pearl Harbor, but they would face an enemy who had already shown his expertise in Asia. The Chinese were the first real victims of the juggernaut that would span the Pacific after December 7th.

Four years of bitter warfare would result in not being fully prepared to fight the next war. Men and treasure were expended on faraway islands in a bloody march to Tokyo. Man’s ability to inflict unimaginable suffering on his fellow man was expanded in ways that shocked the once sleeping giant. Torture, beheadings, starvation, forced labor were some of the stunning violations that were employed in the imprisoned lands of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

300px-Greater_East_Asia_Conference

The shocking loss of such a large number of capital ships in the waters of Pearl Harbor truly did wake the sleeping giant. Years of peace had cleared the memories of many people as to its sacrifice and commitment. What saved America was the will of its people to be free and its large industrial base. This country was able to mobilize quickly and use its massive infrastructure to rapidly produce the weapons needed to supply the remaining Allies that would eventually help us to overcome the Axis powers.

China Rising…What lessons should we have learned from Pearl Harbor?

First, the notion that there will never be another major war is completely false. As long as two men are left on the planet, one of them will eventually think they should have an equal or greater share of something than the other. And the other will stand with just as much conviction and moral authority that he will not give an inch. That fact is as old as Cain and Able. The need for resources in a growing country will drive their leadership to seek ways to meet that demand. Food, water, natural resources, technology will all drive the reasons for the next conflict. I may just be cynical, but to me, it doesn’t seem like mankind has a very good record when it comes to trust or being trustworthy.

Second, you need to be ready for the next war, not the last one. The national interest is best served when there is a coordinated strategic vision that is constantly looking at the next threats. Cyber warfare and satellite killers can easily be launched in a bloodless attack that could render whole societies weak and unable to respond to threats. While the idea of a Japanese Army marching all the way to Chicago during World War 2 may have seemed ludicrous, the Chinese have many times more resources and the elimination of our defensive posture electronically would greatly enable that attack.

Third, treaties are rarely worth the paper they are written on. Time and time again, we have relied on the seductive voices of progressives who always seem to want to give the other fellow more credit than he actually deserves. We just expect people to think like us. They don’t. Different cultures and religions have different rules and exceptions to the rules. If they want something bad enough, they will willingly sign any paper that limits your ability to respond to their change of plans.

Fourth, America won World War 2 because it could rapidly mobilize its industrial base to do the incomprehensible. We had the mills, raw materials, manpower that was skilled, and the ability to fund it all from a variety of sources. Can anyone honestly say that we are in the same position today? Many of our mills are now overseas, we have crippled our own energy production capability at the alter of “Green” and that skilled workforce is now retiring in droves with insufficient replacements. Money? Hell, we owe so much to China, they could simply roll into Washington and tell us they were foreclosing on the debt. I hope the First Lady has saved some room in her garden for rice.

Fifth, it is impossible to successfully negotiate from a position of weakness. The other fellow will know your weaknesses and set his terms to capitalize on them. The only way to maintain a nations status as a superpower on the world stage is to have the means and the resources to protect its citizens and property wherever they are in the world.

The cost of weakness and not being prepared for the next conflict is too high to sustain.

Stand on top of the hill at the Punchbowl National Cemetery in Hawaii or watch the weeping tears of oil that still come from the Arizona Memorial each year. Visit any of the hundreds of thousands of Memorial Markers in towns and cities all across America to see the names of men and women who are no longer here because of the sin of unpreparedness.

The Japanese telegraphed their punch at Pearl harbor for many years prior to December 7th. The Chinese are graciously doing the same thing for us now. Will we have the leadership and the national will to answer the challenge the next time? Is anybody listening?

I sincerely hope so. I am too old to have to learn Chinese.

Mister Mac

God Bless (and Preserve) America

All schools day 2

Caught in the Crossfire 2

Its 3:00 AM and everyone in the control room party has managed to find a comfortable enough position to hide the fact that they are half snoozing. The room is rigged for red and the boat is plugging along at 4 knots at 150 feet. Even the Auxiliaryman of the Watch has laid his clipboard down as he reposes on the comfy naugahide cushion covered trashcan.

planesmen3_full ballast_flood_full

Then at 3:06 everyone gets a quick reminder how fast things can change as the forward torpedo room bilge alarm starts flashing and chirping on the BCP. The Chief of the Watch turns to the AOW and gives him a kind of a nasty look since its obvious that someone wasn’t watching the level in the potable water tanks…

Life is kind of like that sometimes.

You are just cruising along when out of seemingly nowhere an alarm sounds. It could be nothing. Or it could be an indicator of something much bigger. Maybe that little flashing light is a warning that events not yet clearly understood could spiral out of control.

There was a pretty interesting alarm today in the New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/world/asia/obama-addresses-troops-at-final-stop-in-australia.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&ei=5065&partner=MYWAY

The far east has been an evolving maze of activity for the past decade. The US presence has been decreasing with the loss of bases, ships, attention and focus. A large part of that has been the number of assets dedicated to fighting the War on Terror. Iraq and Afghanistan have rightly or wrongly consumed much of our attention and the Far East has slowly evolved into an unsettled existence.

firebase

I was kind of surprised that the CiC would announce to the world the permanent posting of 2500 Marines in Australia.

I am not sure what their purpose is or why they are needed there. Their proximity to the vital sea lanes is the official line from the DoD but if shipping was the major deal, why not build more ships and planes? I have been to the area a number of times and I can assure you its pretty wide open. Don’t get me wrong, I love Australia and would gladly put my uniform back on to help defend her. The match up just seems a little off balance.

Caught in the crossfire?

More surprising to me though (and it probably should not have been) is the reaction to the Chinese. The article speaks about “concern” and even contains a not so veiled threat to Australia about not getting caught in the crossfire. Are we at war? Did I miss something here? wasn’t this supposed to be the “Age of Aquarius” or some such silly nonsense?

Its pretty routine for people to dismiss alarmists like me. I am not formally schooled in international diplomacy and I am not privileged to any insider information. However, I am pretty skilled at reading maps and I can count. As much as I admire the United States Marine Corps, I am pretty sure that 2500 of their finest will still have trouble overpowering 2.8 million active duty Commies even on a good day.

MalaccaDistance

Over 60,000 vessels transit the Strait of Malacca per year. If the strait were blocked, nearly half of the world’s fleet would be required to reroute around the Indonesian archipelago through Lombok Strait, located between the islands of Bali and Lombok, or the Sunda Strait, located between Java and Sumatra. I find it kind of interesting how many Mine Warfare ships the Chinese Navy has. Does 391 seem a bit high for a country at peace?

http://www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.asp?country_id=China

When you have a Commander in Chief who has broadcast what the ChiCom’s perceive as weakness since the day he took office, you should expect that at some point they will start actively and aggressively testing the limits of our actual commitment.

Frankly, I love the Australian people but I am not so sure I would put too much faith in anything offered by a government that routinely lies to its own people (Fast and Furious, Solyndra, GM’s actual bail out cost, support for Israel, and anything Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid say).

The most frightening statistic for me on the Global Firepower charts is this: despite the fact they consume over 8 billion barrels of oil per day, they are only able to produce 4 billion.

At some point, their reserves are going to be out leveraged by their needs. I wonder where they plan on getting the rest of their oil needs from. Talk about getting caught in the crossfire.

Didn’t we do this war back in the 1940’s?

Mister Mac

Post Sript:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/11/us-satellites-compromised-by-malicious-cyber-activity/

Now who in the world would want to mess with our satellites???