Category: Robert Farley
My latest at the Diplomat takes a look at efforts to broaden the naval canon:
Last week, the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC), on online think tank on maritime affairs, published a series of articles on forgotten naval strategists. Posts thus far have included discussion of the Athenian statesman Themistocles, Soviet AdmiralSergei Gorshkov, and Portuguese priest Fernando Oliveira. While no one should take this as an excuse to stop reading Alfred Thayer Mahan or Julian Corbett, it’s well past time to inject different voices into the seapower conversation.
“It is a tribute to this great country, that a man who once took a shot at Teddy Roosevelt could win back your trust”
The pledge drive to help compensate for the items burglarized from Erik’s home amounted to roughly $1995. Your generosity was remarkable; who knew that so many of you could tolerate Loomis and his dead horses? Everyone at LGM is deeply grateful for your assistance. I’m going to hold open the Loomis-centric drive until midnite tonight (hit the button on the near right sidebar), after which any donations will shift back to supporting the entire LGM community.
My latest at the National Interest works through the deterrent capabilities of Israel’s sub force:
Do the Dolphins provide Israel with a credible second-strike deterrent capability? No, not by the standards of every other submarine deterrent force. The obstacles are too numerous to think of the Dolphins as representing the same sort of “dead hand” retaliatory capability that we associate with other sub forces. Israel has other, more capable and more survivable means of retaliating against Iran, or even launching a first strike. At this point, the Dolphins amount to “security theater,” an effort to convey the image of additional protection without actually providing much in the way of defense.
I, for one, am glad that some doctors out there are brave enough to hold back the tide of “black lung” addled coal miners/parasites who are threatening the profitability of our coal companies and our insurance companies:
After working underground in the coal mines of southern West Virginia for almost 35 years, Steve Day thought it was obvious why he gasped for air, slept upright in a recliner, and inhaled oxygen from a tank 24 hours a day.
More than half a dozen doctors who saw the masses in his lungs or the test results showing his severely impaired breathing were also in agreement.
The clear diagnosis was black lung.
Yet, when I met Steve in April 2013, he had lost his case to receive benefits guaranteed by federal law to any coal miner disabled by black lung. The coal company that employed the miner usually pays for these benefits, and, as almost always happens, Steve’s longtime employer had fought vigorously to avoid paying him. As a result, he and his family were barely scraping by, sometimes resorting to loans from relatives or neighbors to make it through the month.
Like many other miners, he had lost primarily because of the opinions of a unit of doctors at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions that had long been the go-to place for coal companies seeking negative X-ray readings to help defeat a benefits claim. The longtime leader of the unit, Dr. Paul Wheeler, testified against Steve, and the judge determined that his opinion trumped all others, as judges have in many other cases.
For your Thursday morning coffee drinking pleasure:
- Great longread on Air France 447 and the future of commercial aviation.
- On the origins of camoflauge.
- Alyssa Rosenberg on the next phase of the culture wars.
- Bill Sweetman on Russian and Chinese bomber projects. I’d give 5-1 against the PAK-DA flying before 2030.
- The Bestiary of Intelligence Writing will go straight onto my next syllabus.
- Ships of the Desert.
As some of you may know from twitter, last Thursday Erik’s new apartment was burglarized. He lost two computers (one from URI, one of his own), two external harddrives, and a truckload of digitized primary documents and music. The loss of hardware amounts to roughly $2000, but the losses in documents and music are far more significant. The trove of primary docs is the main source for the final chapters of Erik’s book manuscript on labor relations, environmentalism, and logging, and can be reconstructed only at considerable time and expense. The music is permanently gone.
In support of Erik, we’ve decided to launch a short fundraising drive. Aside from (small) overhead, all donations for the next week will go directly to Erik, in order to make up for some of the loss. Your support is deeply appreciated.
The above links are acting a bit twitchy, so if they’re not working just click on the Donate button on the near right sidebar.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the first aerial combat victory:
On August 25, Roland Garros and Lt. de Bernis became the first flyers to damage an enemy aircraft. Flying a Morane Parasol, they shot at a German airplane, which escaped in a dive, although one of the two men onboard was wounded. On September 7, Russian Pyotr Nesterov was the first pilot to destroy an enemy airplane, but he did it by ramming his Morane into an Austrian Albatros. Both air crews died as a result.
Then, on October 5, French pilot Sgt. Joseph Frantz and his mechanic/gunner, Louis Quénault, shot down a German biplane near Reims to record what is considered the first official aerial combat victory. Méchin tells the story in detail in this month’s edition of the French aviation history magazine Le Fana de l’aviation.
My latest at the National Interest is a broad assessment of the role of PGMs in American grand strategy:
How has the growth of the Precision-Guided Munitions (PGM) complex changed the balance of international power? More specifically, how has the U.S. military’s embrace of this system of weapons affected its ability to accomplish U.S. national goals? The president’s decision to pursue the war against ISIS strictly through the means of airpower and seapower makes the question particularly relevant. The United States will fight ISIS with precision-guided munitions, and apparently little else. It’s worth asking how effective they are in accomplishing national ends. The answer, it turns out, is surprisingly mixed.
And so at risk of pursuing the mushy middle road, we in academia can grant that the Confucius Institutes represent an act of (not entirely disinterested) generosity on the part of the People’s of Republic of China, and we can do our best to take advantage of this generosity in both our research and on behalf of our students. The United States is not at war with China; it maintains correct diplomatic relations with Beijing and American business conducts commerce with China on a vast scale. At the same time, without worrying overmuch that we’re submitting to the “rhythm of totalitarianism,” we need to remember that the Institutes represent one (privileged) vision of China’s past, present, and future. The CI is not a center for disinterested research (although few places are), and we can’t expect academic even-handedness with respect to the critical political challenges affecting the U.S.-China relationship today.
Found this in the basement of a local church (the girls have music class in the next room):
The original is by Harry Anderson, finished in 1961. The most common interpretation (based on the title, Prince of Peace) is that the Savior is expressing support for the world-peace-bringing mission of the United Nations (his position on the United Nations Command in the Korean War is less certain). Alternative interpretations include “Giant Jesus Confirms Impotence of United Nations Security Council,” “500′ Nazarene Turns on UN After Slaying Godzilla,” “Enormous Christ Offers to Redeem Sins of Canadian Diplomat Who Double Parked His Dodge Station Wagon.”
I stop paying attention for a few months, and this happens:
Congratulations to Matt, who has an uncanny skill at the particular game. I’d offer an LGM prize, but Matt has always refused. Next year!