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“Local Expert”

[ 27 ] May 16, 2017 |

I did the news. | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather




[ 16 ] May 16, 2017 |

I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to review Mark Moyar’s new book on the history of special operations forces, Oppose Any Foe. A full review will appear at H-Net in the next couple of weeks, but here are a couple of spinoffs. First, at the Diplomat, a short article on the Pacific origins of US SOF:

Where did U.S. special operations forces come from? The answer, as with any major organizational entity, is complicated. The general want for special forces stems from a desire to concentrate and leverage high human capital- both in training and selection- for the accomplishment of specific, extremely difficult military tasks.

But as discussed in Oppose Any Foe, U.S. special operations emerged through a complicated process of inter- and intra-organizational dispute, waged over the course of several decades. Indeed, Moyar’s account makes clear that much of the history of the development of U.S. special operations forces is the story of their use in East Asia. Many of the foundations of modern special operations forces were laid in the Asia, whether in the Pacific theater or China theaters of World War II, or in the mountains of Korea, or the jungles of Vietnam.

And at the National Interest, some attention to SOF disasters:

Moyar turns a critical eye on the history of U.S. special forces, taking seriously the costs that developing such units imposes on the rest of the military, and taking account the strategic limitations of special operations. Moyar argues, among other things, that the glamor and undeniable heroism of special operators has helped deflect scrutiny of some of their more egregious failures, and of the special-operations enterprise as a whole.

Our Idiot King Part IV

[ 93 ] May 12, 2017 |


I’m generally happy to mock anyone who says “I couldn’t imagine that it would get this bad!” but hey. As far as I can tell, the President of the United States is publicly threatening the former Director of the FBI against testifying about their conversations, on the logic that the former may have secretly taped the latter.

Please no more Idiocracy comparisons; I would gladly trade Trump for President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.


[ 160 ] May 11, 2017 |


On the future USS Ford-class carriers

You know the catapult is quite important. So I said what is this? Sir, this is our digital catapult system. He said well, we’re going to this because we wanted to keep up with modern [technology]. I said you don’t use steam anymore for catapult? No sir. I said, “Ah, how is it working?” “Sir, not good. Not good. Doesn’t have the power. You know the steam is just brutal. You see that sucker going and steam’s going all over the place, there’s planes thrown in the air.”

It sounded bad to me. Digital. They have digital. What is digital? And it’s very complicated, you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out. And I said–and now they want to buy more aircraft carriers. I said what system are you going to be–”Sir, we’re staying with digital.” I said no you’re not. You going to goddamned steam, the digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good.

I’m not even sure how to calculate how much it would cost to refit the Ford with steam catapults. This is what it looks like when you give an idiot a reason to talk about everything he doesn’t know…


[ 2 ] May 11, 2017 |

Kiev 1985 DN-SN-86-00684r.jpg

Some more thoughts on how the Chinese might use their two carriers in an operational role:

The design concept for the first Soviet aircraft carriers differed considerably from that of their U.S. Navy counterparts. Instead of supporting expeditionary operations, or carrying out strikes against high value targets, Soviet carriers were designed to deter or defeat Western forays into protected bastions for ballistic missile submarines. This included flying air defense against U.S. anti-submarine warfare aircraft (whether carrier or land-based), as well as having the capability of destroying invading U.S. surface ships and submarines (through SSMs and ASW helicopters). The VSTOL Kievs and the STOBAR Kuznetsovs could only launch short-range fighters, but this was all they needed in order to maintain a defensive perimeter.


Our Idiot King Part II

[ 47 ] May 11, 2017 |

Working on that strong, credible reputation for strength and resolve…


Bob Owens RIP

[ 0 ] May 10, 2017 |

Bob Owens (known to long-time readers as TIDOS Yankee) has passed away:

Bob Owens, editor of the popular pro-gun blog, died Monday in what authorities have ruled a suicide.

Officials say Owens shot himself in the head near his North Carolina home. He was found around 11 a.m. near a stop sign outside his subdivision in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., a town southwest of Raleigh. A gun was located nearby, according to the Fuquay-Varina Police Department.

Condolences to his friends and family.

LGM became embroiled with Bob sometime after the right and left halves of the blogosphere had moved from “hostile diatribe” to “point and laugh,” but before the internal logics of each half had diverged so far as to make even that limited degree of interaction pointless. I had basically forgotten that he existed; had to do a double take before I remembered who he was.

Comments are closed.



Tuesday Links

[ 67 ] May 9, 2017 |

Grading is done, decompression beginning. For your reading pleasure…

Hard. Pass.

[ 111 ] May 4, 2017 |


As the Lars Ulrich of LGM, I often receive certain promotional offers:

Hi Dave,

In a daring new political thriller, lawyer and author Richard T. Dolezal imagines a world where people of faith must strive to take their country back. In The Fourth Vow, a chance discovery gives the Catholic Church irrefutable proof that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is executing a decades-long strategy to destroy Christianity in America. Pope John Paul II retains famed trial lawyer Carson Elliott to confront the ACLU. The ACLU responds by having Elliott killed. And so it begins.

“And look at society today.  It is quite easy to observe how vulgar, uncaring, coarse, rude and sexually-explicit our culture has become, and how unpatriotic and poorly informed some people are,” Dolezal says. “Those of us who have lived awhile can remember a better society. In my book, I suggest that an ‘incremental evil’ has slowly insinuated itself into our daily discourse and dulled our senses to its ugliness. Where are the Christians pushing back?”

Can I send you a review copy of the book or set up an interview with Dolezal?



Reader poll: Which of the three Daves should be subjected to this gift?


[ 44 ] May 3, 2017 |

Ssb golfii.png
“Golf” class SSB. By AnynobodyOwn work, GFDL, Link

My latest at the National Interest looks into the question of North Korea’s pursuit of submarine-launched ballistic missiles:

What is the status of North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) program? SLBMs are the classic second-strike insurance program; even if the homeland is incinerated, submarines hiding in the deep can retaliate against a nuclear attack. North Korea, a state of limited means with a limited nuclear arsenal, could use SLBMs to deter a preventative U.S. attack. Conversely, North Korea’s missile submarines could offer the opportunity for a preemptive attack against Japan or the United States.



[ 3 ] May 2, 2017 |

Aircraft carrier silhouettes (Warships To-day, 1936).jpg

Some thoughts on the parallels between the Japanese and Chinese paths to naval aviation:

Although separated by the gulf of nearly a century, it’s worth considering the progress of the Chinese program against that of the Japanese carrier aviation program in the 20th century. Both the PLAN and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) started from nearly scratch, and the progress of the former has closely tracked that of the latter.

Monday Linkzzzz

[ 4 ] May 1, 2017 |

Tejas inverted pass.jpg

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