The Philippines’ conundrum over China – and the USA’s, too

Bullying tactics often work if the one being bullied doesn’t have the muscle, strength or willpower to stand up to the bully.  That pretty much sums up what seems to be happening between China and the Philippines right now. Strategy Page reports: President Duterte is trying to be realistic in his policy towards China but that seems to be making the situation worse. Duterte points out that China is already occupying the disputed territory in the South China Sea and no one is willing or able to push them out. China has hired several hundred Chinese fishing boats and their crews as

Continue reading

Recovering from Pearl Harbor

Today the USA, and the US Navy in particular, remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 that dragged this country into the Second World War.  There will be many words written and spoken about the solemnity of the occasion, and exhortations to “Never forget!”. However, there’s another aspect to Pearl Harbor that we mostly do forget.  That’s the enormous, complex, expensive salvage efforts that commenced almost at once, to repair as many damaged ships as possible and return them to the fight.  Many people don’t realize how successful it was.  Of the battleships that fought and won the Battle of Surigao Strait in

Continue reading

Where was this guy when we needed him???

A link at SNAFU’s place showed me a fast, ingenious way to fill sandbags. When I think of the literally thousands of never-to-be-sufficiently-damned sandbags that I filled the hard way, bending over with an entrenching tool and scooping sand, earth, mud and rock into a bag that always flopped closed at the critical moment . . . I’m speechless with a combination of rage, envy and bitterness.  Why didn’t we think of such an ingenious device when we needed it?  (On the other hand, if we had, I’m not sure our NCO’s would have let us use it.  The old-fashioned way would probably have been

Continue reading

A new potential war trigger in the Middle East?

I haven’t seen this reported anywhere else, but Strategy Page claims: Syria is apparently granting citizenship (and Syrian passports) to thousands of Iranian mercenaries like Hezbollah from Lebanon, some Iranians and Shia from other countries Iran recruited to fight in Syria. These newly created Syrians will be wearing Syrian Army uniforms as they take up position near the Israeli border. Israel suspected that Iran was planning this and now has to respond before these Iranian forces can carry out any attacks (as Iran has vowed to do) on Israel itself. Iran is desperate for a win because their recent efforts to

Continue reading

Close-range air-to-air footage of the Sukhoi Su-57

Russia’s attempt to produce a fifth-generation fighter, the Sukhoi Su-57, has apparently not been too successful in technical terms;  the aircraft is reputedly not nearly as “stealthy” as it needs to be when measured against the US F-22 Raptor.  Also, Russia has announced that it won’t put the aircraft into mass production, probably because it can’t afford it in large numbers.  Nevertheless, it’s probably a pretty capable “Generation 4½” fighter, and a dozen will be built for the Russian Air Force. Recently an air-to-air photo shoot was held for the Su-57.  An Antonov An-12transport (similar to the US C-130 Hercules) was the camera plane.  It

Continue reading

SNAFU is right: we’re not winning, and we can’t win by doing it the same old way yet again

Solomon, a former Marine writing at his SNAFU blog, posits that the current counter-insurgency strategy, tactics and training of the US armed forces is fatally flawed. This is about our wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, the Philippines and other places I don’t know about.It ain’t working.We’re wasting lives and money.  Don’t get it twisted.  Anyone that dons the uniform to carry out the policy of the United States IS NOT wasting his life. But leadership pursuing a failed policy CAN!!!It should be beyond obvious to anyone watching this thing that Afghanistan is spiraling out of control.  We’re looking at a Saigon #2

Continue reading

Close-range air-to-air footage of the Sukhoi Su-57

Russia’s attempt to produce a fifth-generation fighter, the Sukhoi Su-57, has apparently not been too successful in technical terms;  the aircraft is reputedly not nearly as “stealthy” as it needs to be when measured against the US F-22 Raptor.  Also, Russia has announced that it won’t put the aircraft into mass production, probably because it can’t afford it in large numbers.  Nevertheless, it’s probably a pretty capable “Generation 4½” fighter, and a dozen will be built for the Russian Air Force.Recently an air-to-air photo shoot was held for the Su-57.  An Antonov An-12transport (similar to the US C-130 Hercules) was the camera plane.  It lowered

Continue reading