Jade Helm and Civilian Interactions

Anyone else remember the complete butthurt that some folks in the “patriot community” got when Jade Helm was going to take place on and off post? Evidently the same patriot community isn’t all that “woke” when it comes to training off post, in Germany.

https://www.stripes.com/news/soldiers-scout-hybrid-enemy-in-german-countryside-1.452343#gallery

I like to make fun of easily disproved conspiracies, and Jade Helm was one of the easiest to disprove. But all kidding aside, there are some very important lessons to take forward.

1, for military forces to be relevant in the international conflicts happening today, they need to train to interact with civilians and around civilians. The days of a front line far away from civilization are over.

2, the first point isn’t going to stop the conspiracy theorists from pointing out that they are idiots by believing that every off post exercise is some sort of scheme to get the civilian population accustomed to martial law, or some other BS.

3, because point number 2 is a reality, you can expect the “idiot signal” to be amplified by the usual suspects like Sputnik news, RT dotcom, and bloggers who amplify Sputnik and RT like Alex Jones. They don’t care that they are advancing enemy information operational goals, they just want to be a part of point number 2.

There are further reaching consequences of the current face of warfare, and essentially it has taken the traditional SOF roles of FID, CA, and COIN and handed those off to the regular military, while the SOF community focuses more on breaking apart networks and a a “counter-SOF” mission. I don’t mean to say that SOF is becoming irrelevant, only that the relevancy is changing as the little squabbles between superpowers devolves more and more into “gray zone conflicts.”

It is an interesting time to be alive.

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The passing of a pioneer.

In the early days of blogging, before such easy services as “blogger” and “wordpress” you had to code your own and maintain it. This would be the ancient days of dial up internet and Windows 95 and 98. So mid to late 90s.

At that time Rush Limbaugh was the voice of conservatives on the radio, and the Democrats were regretting their decision to free up the FCC rules on radio because he was hurting their narrative. And while traditional media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) were still reeling from right hook the talk radio, early bloggers like Kim and Connie Du Toit were following up with a left hook on the internet.

So it is with a bit of real sadness that I received word that Connie Du Toit has passed. She wasn’t always a nice person online, and had rather sharp things to say for those whose lifestyle choices were a bit outside the norm, but the impact of her and Kim on the “gunternet” or “freedom loving community” can’t be minimized. So many people found each other through Kim’s site that if you used the acronym RCOB I think that many would still recognize is as “Red Cloud of Blood.”

Connie wasn’t perfect, but none of us are, and her impact on lives well beyond her immediate circle was profound. When I pass, I hope that someone can say the same for me.

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How many “lone wolves” would you need?

I read something incredibly interesting, and to follow along with the rest of this post, you need to read it too: https://status451.com/2017/01/20/days-of-rage/

It’s a bit of a read, but all of the information is important. Especially the part about the existing power structures that support violent leftist groups, and the distinct lack of power structure that would support right wing violence.

The author’s conclusion then that in a potential civil war, that leftist violence would be better organized and logistically supported is rather sound. You don’t expect the John Birch society to take up arms and bombing.

So, if the author’s conclusion that “right wing” violence will take the form of racist groups and lone wolves the next logical question is, “well, exactly how many lone wolves do you need to not lose to the violent left?”

And that…is a very good question. So what follows are just my thoughts, as I pondered the potential scenarios playing out. It might make for an interesting intrigue novel or series of short stories, so it’s been on my mind.

But, here is what I think.

One thing about lone wolves is that in order to be effective against an actual organization is that they need information in order to find out, “who do I kill to have the most effect?” And that information really has to come from outside the lone wolf themself, because one of the good rules of getting away with a crime is to not get caught casing your victim, er, I mean “target.”

At any given time, there are multiple hard left groups willing to either support violence or conduct violence. Student groups, political groups, and some groups that aren’t groups just flash mobs of multiple groups.

So imagine that the recent trip by Milo to Berkeley was supported by just one “lone wolf” with a silenced rifle. How many people throwing molatov cocktails could that “lone wolf” kill before someone decided that being an anarchist was less important than letting the police know that someone was killing the anarchists? That’s a very, very good question and I don’t have an actual answer for it.

But, I do know that if “right wing” violence is to be effective it needs to be a few things.

1, it needs to be targeted at hard left groups actually conducting violence. Yes this will make martyrs, but not all of them will end up like Che with a line of T-shirts.
2, it needs to target violent leaders whenever possible. Che, despite a highly successful line of Tshirts wasn’t much of an asset to any people’s revolution as he decomposed into base elements.
3, it needs to be anonymous. Rather than claiming acts every “right wing” organization needs to issue statements that they do not condone violence, but respect the right to defense of life and property.

Because the “hard left” will target police and businesses. The “hard right” needs to target the “hard left” specifically in the acts of targeting police and businesses. Nothing wins the hearts and minds of the people like the feeling that someone out there is on their side. Notice that’s how Trump got elected, as a backlash against people feeling that the “coastal elites” weren’t on their side, and didn’t care at all about “flyover country.” (Which, if you look at the lefts reactions to the wildfires in Tennessee, confirms that the coastal elites really think rather poorly of people in flyover country.)

So, how does a “lone wolf” go about this?

Well, they first need information about what the “hard left” is going to do. Remember that part about the Episcopal church supporting a parasitical hard left group? Well a “lone wolf” can join a “hard left” group and let them feed the information on where the next violent protest will occur. Let your ideological enemy feed your operations.

What this means is that the most successful “hard right” lone wolves will look a lot more like hipster douchebags than redneck Rambo. Camouflage is important, and hipster douchebag will have a lot more access to “hard left” activities than some veteran with a “Death From Above: AIRBORNE!” Tshirt.

It also means the potential “hard right” heroes are Black, Asian, and Latino and have a lot more females as those groups will get less scrutiny than Steve Rodgers.

And what would success really look like? When the “hard left” groups start purging the hell out of each other trying to eliminate the moles in their ranks and they stop being able to effectively commit violence on the population at large.

I guess you could say that those “lone wolves” are much more like “sheepdogs” in a grand scheme of things. And you would need about one “lone wolf” per every “hard left” group that could possibly become violent, in every local chapter. That’s an awful lot of lone wolves, and I don’t see too many “threepers” or “sheepdogs” lining up to infiltrate the base of power of the “hard left.” And by the time the “lone wolves” could recognize the need for that it would probably be too late.

So how many “lone wolves” would you need? More than you’ve got. Still, it makes for an interesting thought experiment.

Comments are open if you have any better ideas on how a “lone wolf” could be effective against a widespread conspiracy driven leftist agenda.

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A failure of Democracy

So what do you call it when a democratically elected leader is forced out of office through violence? Yup, it’s called a “coup” from the “coup d’etat” which is evidently French for “stroke of the state” which like the “coup de grace” is cutting off the head of the beast.

So, can we all agree that a coup is a failure of Democracy? Yes? Good.

Democrats absolutely love Democracy right? It’s right there in their party title, right? Strangely enough, liberals (aka Democrats) talking about a coup has become rather common lately.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/30/3-ways-to-get-rid-of-president-trump-before-2020-impeach-25th-amendment-coup/

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/what-would-happen-in-the-minutes-and-hours-after-a-coup-in-america

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/01/will-donald-trump-be-assassinated-ousted-in-a-coup-or-just-impeached/

And insanely enough, a liberal saying that it is Trump who is getting ready to pull a coup (which is a bit insane, because he isn’t going to replace himself through force) https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/trial-balloon-for-a-coup-e024990891d5#.t640tpey2

So….why do people who supposedly love democracy have lots of wishful thinking about a coup going on right now?

“No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?” Animal Farm, chapter 9, by George Orwell

Well, here we are. The “Comrade Napoleons” of the world have decided that we have decided wrong, and are now publicly fantasizing about removing the “wrong decision” from power by force. I’m not sure if this is one of the “Five Stages of Grief” or not, but so far it looks like the Ctrl-Left is simply talking through their power fantasies as a way to forestall getting to “acceptance.”

On the other hand, should any of those nitwits be serious about a coup…well I guess they’ll just have to destroy Democracy to save it. Although the Ctrl-Left didn’t like the idea of “having to burn the village to save it” in Vietnam, and made that a cultural touchpoint to show exactly how evil those vile military people were.

It’s a good thing Liberals suck at tactics. If they were serious about this they wouldn’t be talking in an open forum. Kinda like those all the “Threepers” who never seem to be in the right place and time to disobey any un-Constitutional orders. People who are talking, generally aren’t shooting. And I think that’s a good thing.

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The Superpower Tango

One of the more persistent techniques used by Russian Information Operations is to have government officials release contradictory statements.

“Russia will not stand for this NATO aggression!” Says minor party member.
“The presence of even an additional brigade along Russia’s borders is meaningless, purely symbolic.” Says different minor party member.

In both cases, Russia needs both statements to be absolutely true, because at some point in the future the Russian leader can say, “We’ve always said that these NATO exercises were pointless and ineffective” OR “We’ve put up with too much NATO aggression and now the west must accept the consequences of their own actions!”

The point is that the “truth” that Russia wants in the future needs to be supported by the statements in the press now, and Russia is more than happy to take both sides on any issue to ensure future flexibility.

With that in mind, Secretary of Defense Mattis made his first official phone call as SecDef to the head of NATO and reassured NATO that America still stood with NATO. This is even at the same time that President Trump has never rescinded his statement that America wouldn’t automatically come to the aid of an ally that “wasn’t paying it’s fair share.”

This schizophrenic policy duet is probably the best possible response to Russia’s current situation, being aggressive towards neighbors and losing money due to the international sanctions. At some point the current “status quo” must either break into a “thaw” or into “war.” Russia going broke and having a huge internal upheaval is an extremely distant third option.

So at some point in the future Trump can say, “I and my administration have always offered an olive branch to Russia.” or they can say “We supported our NATO obligations to their fullest in the fact of immanent Russian invasion.” By owning both sides of the issue SecDef Mattis and President Trump have diplomatic wiggle room for the future.

This is totally at odds with Obama’s policy which was much more defined, and therefore much easier to manipulate.

At the nation state level, relations between the US and Russia is best understood as a dance where both are trying to lead. The struggle is to keep dancing rather than stop dancing. Throughout the Cold War this “tango” between US and Russian leadership took on great subtlety and years would pass between changes in the beat, key, or tempo.

Now…whether Russia responds well to a dose of it’s own IO tactics remains to be seen. Russia has always had longer serving leadership than the US, so Russia can afford to play a longer game. Possibly the best outcome from the Trump administration is just to kick the can four more years into the future.

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Addition to the blogroll, Home Hardening

It’s a new blog, but the author is good (a transplant from a much longer running personal blog) and the content is relevant to anyone who owns a home.

https://homehardening.wordpress.com/

Remember, security is just a measure of time and effort that an attacker must spend in order to gain access. So every time you can do something inexpensive but effective for security, you should.

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Marines look longingly to Army tank procurement, back off Jarheads.

Not to poke fun at my amphibious brethren, but the entire USMC is a microcosm of the train wreck that the F-35 has done to the DOD as a whole. The USMC tank force is dwindling, and with it the USMCs ability to take ground in the face of a mechanized enemy resistance. I don’t care what the air power advocates say, a tank in your formation NOW beats an aircraft on call.

There is another lesson to be learned here, and I’ll get to it. All quotes from : https://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/2017/02/marine-armor-2050

The solution to the issues of contemporary enemy armor, modern ATGMs proliferation, and the continued requirement for high-speed survivable lift is to develop FOVs from the ACV and to influence the Army when they develop a new main battle tank. An ACV FOV gives the Marine Corps options to accomplish the mission. As the Nation’s scalable middle-weight force, the Marine Corps needs armor options that can accomplish the mission at hand.

The sad part here is that the “Light Tank” that the US Army needs is going to not be the same light tank that the USMC needs.

The heavy armor option will remain the M1A1 MBT for the Marine Corps. The M1A1 life cycle has been extended to the year 2050. In the meantime, the Marine Corps needs to continue upgrading its tank ammo; fire control system; lighten its logistical footprint; and its sights, survivability, and communications suite to remain relevant on the modern battlefield. The U.S. Army leadership is discussing the possibly of developing a light tank to exponentially increase the effectiveness of infantry formations.

BG Scott McKean, USA, Chief of Armor/Commandant, stated, The Army should also innovate with direct energy, a new infantry fighting vehicle, and a future tank with autonomous capabilities … I saw firsthand the impact a light tank brings to an infantry force and how it exponentially increases the formation’s effectiveness …

It is essential that the Marine Corps begin to influence and show interest in investing in the development of such a tank.

Well…the writing is on the wall for the USMC. The Corps desperately needs a tank that is truly expeditionary, which is something that the M1A1 is not. It needs a 500 gallon tanker truck to keep one M1A1 going per day, and anyone who has ever looked at the load out of what a Marine Expeditionary Force looks like understands that there isn’t any “extra” to go around servicing something that sucks jet fuel, well like a jet.

So the USMC wants to get their hands in the “Light Tank” business.

Not just “no” but “fuck no, hell no, don’t ruin this for us the way you ruined the Joint Strike Fighter program.”

The only thing I can think of worse than a “Joint Strike Fighter” for three services is a “Joint Expeditionary Tank” program. You want another “Joint Light Tactical Vehicle” that meets EVERY SINGLE REQUIREMENT set forth just so you can bitch about how it’s “too big (wah) and takes up too much valuable space on our boats (wah wah)!”

Seriously Marines, I’m all for jointness. But I’ve also seen the USMC develop its own programs and then not buy them because “it costs too much and might set back the F-35 program! (waaah!)” I’ve seen the Army cancel both the XM8 Buford (the Armored Gun System) and RAH-66 Comanche because the programs weren’t delivering and the threat environment didn’t emerge.

The USMC only needs a few hundred tanks at most for training and to put on the boats. The Army has a need for thousands of tanks, but the “light tank” numbers are also only a few hundred, possibly up to a thousand. This is a “small potatoes” purchase in the grand scheme of things.

But…here is where the “joint” part would kill it.

The Army needs the “Light Tank” to be air drop capable, but will settle for C-130 transportable to a forward landing strip.
The USMC needs the “Light Tank” to swim over the horizon to the shore, but will settle for taking a ride on a ship to shore connector.
The Army and USMC need the “Light Tank” to be IED protected (which kills air drop and amphibious capabilities).

The USMC would be better off taking another look at the M60A3 upgrade path http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/raytheon-can-turn-old-american-made-m60a3-tanks-killing-16142 Because even though it doesn’t give them swim capabilities, it cuts the weight on the ship and fuel consumption on the shore. The additional 25mm cannon on the tank would really add to the infantry support options. And they would be cheaper to operate and maintain, the only thing the USMC wouldn’t get is a swim capability, but that’s what upgrading the LAV-25s to a LAV-III Amphib with 30mm or larger would give them. So more boom, less fuel.

The Army is playing “just the tip” with industry on the “light tank” or “mobile protected firepower” specifications. LTG McMasters (ARCIC) and MG Piatt of the Army Rapid Capabilities Office (ARCO) are not really looking at fielding a light tank or “mobile protected firepower” anytime soon, other than the 30mm “Dragoon Variant” Stryker.

And the 30mm Stryker may in fact end up being the “Light Infantry” support package of the future, if the next generation beyond the Dragoon variant can meet the other requirements. A 30mm cannon with airburst munitions is a damn fine support weapon, and the “CROWS-J” variant (common remote operated weapons station, javelin) gives any vehicle with a CROWS system an anti-tank capability.

I think that the Army and USMC should really look at not doing the “joint” thing this time around.

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