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On New Zealand shooting

Posted by Picard578 on March 19, 2019

Prelude: while this blog is predominantly-military oriented, especially early on, I had always intended to cover general security issues. And that goes far more into width than just military issues. The following is a commentary and speculation on the mosque shooting in New Zealand.

I decided to wait for a bit before commenting, as mainstream media – well, most people, but mainstream media especially – are prone to seeing what they want. And in mainstream media, Left dominates the narrative. Now, it is true that extreme Right is guilty of many hate crimes – but so is extreme Left, with caveat that Left in general is much more dangerous because a) it is global instead of national, and b) it is prone to hiding itself behind the humanist rhetoric, whereas even extreme right-wingers tend to be up-front and honest about their motivations. Left also tends to use any case and accusation to attack their opponents. The mainstream media that are falling over each other in its hurry to cover the attack on Muslims, are completely ignoring near-concurrent attacks on Christians:

https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2019/03/17/media-silence-surrounds-muslim-massacre-of-christians/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47611811

Now, onto the case.

Mainstream media had reported that the shooter is suspected right-winger. The shooter – Brenton Tarant – has published a manifesto. Titled “The Great Replacement”, manifesto would seem to confirm the media’s reports. However, the text is psychologically suspect. It paints the picture of an average white supremacist, the way that the Left sees them. It reads almost like a carricature, a comedy piece on white supremacism. Manifesto paints a picture of an uneducated, uninterested, lazy person, sprouting half-cooked phrases and maintaining contact with various right-wing groups.

But having had discussions with people ranging from far-Left globalists to far-Right groups, I can relatively safely say that that is not how even a neo-Nazi would write it. It is, however, the way how a leftist trying to act like a right-wing extremist might write it. It shows limited understanding of politics, psychology and society. Shooter is shown in rather stereotypical terms, as described before. It has a significant number of grammatic mistakes. Manifesto ponts to military and law enforcement as being places where far-right people are disproportionately employed. This serves no purpose for the goals of far-Right, but it may enable the Left to try and take over the control of these services, and use them for furthering their own agenda – similar to how they had taken over universities and politics.

His explanation on why he chose firearms for the attack also makes no sense – but it does make sense if one was to assume that the attack was to be used by the Left to abolish right to bear arms. He also talks about “invaders” and “traitors”, terms that a right-winger may use in anger, but hardly in a written text of such length. Likewise, his answers on whether he hates Muslims in general are not extremist; this is the point, as they may – and likely will – be used by the Left to paint any sort of nationalist, anyone who opposes globalism, as a potential mass murderer.

Soon in the text, he contradicts himself, first claiming that the attack is an “end in itself”, and immediately after that it is “meant to promote ideals”. So which one is it? Further it makes reference to 1300 years of war and invasion Islam had caused – a historical fact, but one that is extremely uncomfortable to the Left, and if tied to this attack in such a manner may become (even more) “politically incorrect” to discuss, allowing the Left to further its control of the discourse. Manifesto also discusses diversity, again helping the Left push the narrative that any form of diversity but their own – “diversity” that destroys actual diversity – is racist, hateful and genocidal.

Further pushing the leftist narrative/agenda, he claims that he is racist because he believes that “racial differences exist between peoples and they have a great impact on the way we shape our societies”. But that is not racism, that is racialism. Racism is a belief that one race is superior to others, and all others have to be exterminated or at least subjugated. It was used as a post-facto justification of colonialism (e.g. 19th century scientific racism) and of Nazi genocides (yet greatest genocides in history were either class-based or religion-based, not race-based). Racialism, on the contrary, believes that all races are distinct, unique, and of equal value. Racialism, similar to ethnic nationalism, would serve to prevent genocide, slavery and other evils of racism, as it would keep races separate and safe – from each other, at least, though obviously not from themselves. However, by pushing the idea that racism and racialism are the same, and that they both lead to mass murder, he is further promoting the leftist narrative which makes no distinction between the two.

His statement that he is “ethno-nationalist” immediately places ethnonationalism into guilt by association – a logical fallacy most of the time, but a very powerful one indeed. Again, this serves the Left, and in no way helps the Right. Other one-liner answers are also stereotypical of what a modern-day right winger, especially an ethnonationalist, might say, providing the Left with the so-useful “smoking gun”. However, he also outright states that he is an “eco-fascist”, and that closest country to his view is People’s Republic of China – two statements that not only contradict each other, but rest of the text as well. He is also a “supporter of Donald Trump” as a symbol – Left on Capitol Hill will sure love that – as well as Brexit, two things that are currently very painful for the Left, and to be discredited by any means necessary.

Following answers are mostly one-liners, used to reinforce the view that the attacker is an ethno-nationalist conservative. His answer about video-games however serves to further support the leftist crying point about video games being “dangerous”, even though there is no proof that playing video games – even first-person shooters – increases agression in everyday life. But then, every moral guardian knows that Bluebeard was a Battlefield 2142 addict, that Hitler constantly played Doom 3 and that Blackbeard had Sid Meier’s Pirates! installed onboard his flagship. It does show how Left is trying to milk the attack for everything it is worth.

He also calles himself an eco-fascist, which is a relatively new ideology, in exposure if not in existence. He reaffirms Australia’s connections to Europe, by implication compromising the entire West. Next few points are stereotypical Nazi talking points about the “future of white people” etc. His statement “I will let my actions speak for themselves” is clearly meant to compromise any form of conservativism, or at least ethnonationalism.

Further writing serves to further reinforce the idea of him as a cretin, particularly rant about his combat capabilities which seems to paint him as a junior Call of Duty player. He continues by supporting every single thing that the Left opposes – providing the Left with a “point-by-point” support of their views. This includes Left’s attempts to control violence, as well as to counter claims that democracy is controlled by the globalist forces at the time that European union is attempting to increase its authoritarian control and integration. He also states that racial differences are a fact – another view Left is opposing. He claims that he attacked Muslims because they are the most hated, thus supporting the attempts to censor any and all criticism of Islam.

He continues by supporting some conservative talking points that are very painful for the Left – such as Muslim rape gangs in Europe, dangers of diversity to society, consequences of leftist policies on radicalization, the failure of assimilation. Again, these are used to paint them as necessarily murderous, and thus support the Leftist narrative. Manifesto is even used to provide shield to Merkel, Erdogan, by claiming that they are enemies of Europe, and thus connect their right-wing critics to the shooter. It also claims that diversity means inequality, thus supporting Left in attempts to create a unified global Borg Collective.

He draws a connection to Battle of Vienna in 1683., which in itself is one of showcases for dangers of Islam. By connecting rational discussion of potential dangers of Islam to this attack, it helps censor yet another thing that is painful to the Left. The same is repeated with a fact of leftist takeover of educational and media institutions and dying of the West, the thoughts on populist movements – which are a big problem for the Left which had abandoned and betrayed the very people it is supposed to defend, the fact that people are driven by the emotion. He especially supports memes, which had proven so damaging to the Left, and which Left had been trying to ban for the some time. Likewise, he points out the truth of capitalists using open borders policy to import cheap work force and reduce everybody else’s standards of living; calls for “Europe for Europeans”; and supports “with strong traditions, gender norms, societal norms;the poor and the religious, usually a combination of all” – that is, everyone that the Left hates. He also attacks globalized capitalists – correctly, but this allows them to defend themselves simply by screaming “racism” at any opposition to globalism.

It should be noted that the latter part of the text seems to have no grammatic mistakes, contradicting the introductionary part. Text itself covers literally every single social issue of contention between the Left and the Right.

Overall, the attack has served to put Right on the defensive – which was likely the whole idea. For at least the next few weeks, being a right-winger will become a crime – even more than it usually is.

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AMRAAM jammed by Su-30MKI – further questions on radar BVR combat

Posted by Picard578 on March 7, 2019

In a recent clash between Indian Su-30MKIs and Pakistani F-16s, latter had fired “four to five American AMRAAMs (AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile) from a distance of 40-50 km at the Indian aircraft including the Su-30 and the MiG-21 Bison.” IAF had negated Pakistani claims of having shot down a Su-30MKI in the engagement. Even if true, that claim would give Pk of 20-25%, nowhere close to 50-90% often claimed. Historically the attacker’s claims were typically significantly overstated, so there is no reason to believe Pakistani claims.

In February, Pakistani F-16 had been shot down by Indian MiG-21, confirmed by both sides.

EDIT: Missile used was AIM-120-C5. Multiple launches were “conclusively observed“. Su-30 had spoofed a number of AMRAAM missiles.

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The Camp of The Saints – Jean Raspail – Free PDF Download

Posted by Picard578 on January 1, 2019

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Croatian Navy has to tow warships around

Posted by Picard578 on November 21, 2018

Vukljanje-topovnjače-1

Croatian Navy warships have to be towed around like junk. Two missile gunboats had to be towed into city harbour of Šibenik. Landing ship “Cetina” towed gunboat “Dmitar Zvonimir”, while a towing ship from “Brodospas” (Ship Rescue) towed gunboat “Petar Krešimir IV” to proximity of “Dmitar Zvonimir”. Latter was then towed into shipyard, while the landing ship took over “Petar Krešimir” and towed it away. This is likely a consequence of lack of technical cadre capable of maintaining the ships combined with their overuse in recent exercises and NATO missions. In 2018. alone ships had taken part in more exercises than in several years before combined.

Such situation had already happened three times this year. In one of these incidents, 24.4.2018., missile gunboat “Dmitar Zvonimir” was towed out of the harbour by an even older “Dubrovnik” (“Petar Krešimir”: launched and commissioned 1992., “Dubrovnik”: ex-FNS-63 “Kotka”, launched and commissioned 1986., commissioned to Croatian Navy in 2009.).

Source: https://www.hop.com.hr/2018/11/21/hrm-slepa-svoje-raketne-topovnjace-kao-stare-kante/, http://morski.hr/2018/11/21/skandal-u-hrm-u-nakon-vojnih-vjezbi-topovnjace-vuku-konopima/

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Another consequence of very high flight to maintenance ratios in aircraft – vulnerability to disasters

Posted by altandmain on October 15, 2018

This article discusses how flight to maintenance ratios can leave air forces exposed to the unexpected, including natural disasters.

A high flight to maintenance ratio is one of the big issues in fighter aircraft that are complex. It is often an issue that does not go acknowledged during the procurement stage of military spending, but has immense consequences. Lower is better in this case, because it means less maintenance is needed per hour of flight.

Flight to maintenance ratio, roughly means that for every hour of flight, how many man maintenance hours does one need on average to keep the aircraft operational? A high flight to maintenance ratio means that more man hours are needed for every hour of flight.

The B2 stealth bomber, for example has the worst flight to maintenance ratio, and as a result seldom flies.

Hurricanes and other losses

Recently, a hurricane struck the United States. What occurred is that the hurricane, Hurricane Michael, took a sudden turn that was not expected and changed course towards the Florida Panhandle, where Tyndall Air Base is located. Tyndall Air Force Base is a major US Air Force base, where many F-22 stealth fighters are stationed.

There were 55 F-22 aircraft stationed there, but only 33 were moved out and the status of the remaining 22 are not known. It would seem that some were destroyed by the hurricane.

It is likely based on the comments that the USAF could simply not evacuate them quickly enough.

Air Force officials have not disclosed the whereabouts of the remaining 22 planes, other than to say that a number of aircraft were left at the base because of maintenance or safety reasons.

An Air Force spokeswoman, Maj. Malinda Singleton, would not confirm that any of the aircraft left behind were F-22s.

But photos and video from the wreckage of the base showed the distinctive contours of the F-22’s squared tail fins and angled vertical stabilizers amid a jumble of rubble in the base’s largest building, Hangar 5. Another photo shows the distinctive jet in a smaller hangar that had its doors and a wall ripped off by wind.

All of the hangars at the base were damaged, Major Singleton said Friday. “We anticipate the aircraft parked inside may be damaged as well,” she said, “but we won’t know the extent until our crews can safely enter those hangars and make an assessment.”

It is likely based on the comments that the USAF could simply not evacuate them quickly enough. The extent of the damage, if you read the full article, is not yet known, but appears to be extremely extensive.

The reason why aircraft like the F-22 are going to be affected by this is because stealth aircraft have a set of unique characteristics that make them vulnerable:

  1. A very high flight to maintenance ratio means that they simply cannot take off quickly enough. They are down for maintenance when they need to move most urgently.
  2. There are fewer of them (since there are less than 200 F-22s due to the costs to manufacture them and because the program was terminated early), so any losses will be a larger percentage of total fleet losses.
  3. Where they can evacuate to is limited. Stealth aircraft like the F-22 or B2 need special climate controlled hangars and have a lengthy supply chain.
  4. The sheer complexity means that there will be unexpected downtown of these aircraft. From the article below:

The high-tech F-22 is notoriously finicky and not always flight-worthy. An Air Force report this year found that on average, only about 49 percent of F-22s were mission ready at any given time — the lowest rate of any fighter in the Air Force. The total value of the 22 fighters that may remain at Tyndall is about $7.5 billion.

This is inherently exposed in not just a war against a competent enemy, but also in peacetime against natural disasters.

A brutal reality of this world is that disasters that occur suddenly will happen. Whether they be hurricane/typhoons, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, or any other disaster, a smaller fleet with a high flight to maintenance ratio means that the entire fleet of aircraft is far more vulnerable to being caught by surprise by these events.

The F-35 would also be affected

The F-35 JSF is significant in that it will be replacing the majority of aircraft in not just the USAF fleet, but also several NATO allies.

The F-35 also suffers from a high flight to maintenance ratio.

Four years into their operational career, F-35 fighters are expected to require between 41.75 and 50.1 maintenance man-hours (MMH) per flight hours, or about three times as many as most fighter aircraft currently operated by Western air forces.

Considering both the F-35 and F-22 are in this situation, this will leave the fleets of Western air forces far more vulnerable, not just to enemies in a war, but also to natural disasters and other unexpected events.

What would be the solution?

The solution is to procure cheaper aircraft (so that more aircraft can be procured and losses would be a small percentage of the fleet). These aircraft would be more widely dispersed, so that they are harder to destroy, either by an enemy, or in this case by a natural disaster.

Picard’s FLX proposals are a good step forward to protecting the Western air forces against losses like this one.

The existing aircraft would be retired. This is not without historical precedent. The F-14 was retired in part due to its unfavorable flight to maintenance ratio.

The decision to incorporate the Super Hornet and decommission the F-14 is mainly due to high amount of maintenance required to keep the Tomcats operational. On average, an F-14 requires nearly 50 maintenance hours for every flight hour, while the Super Hornet requires five to 10 maintenance hours for every flight hour.

Not only does a more complex aircraft mean fewer aircraft due to the expensive unit costs, but it also means fewer sorties per aircraft because they will be down for maintenance. This is on top of the greater vulnerability to natural disasters.

A historical perspective

Natural disasters, in the history of war, have played a key role in swinging the outcomes of many wars in the past. It would be extremely inadvisable to think that modern armies are immune to the effects of unexpected natural disasters and other weather events.

Furthermore, if we consider the effects of a natural disaster on these aircraft, what could the effects of a surprise attack be from a competent enemy? With so few aircraft concentrated in a handful of bases, and with such a high flight to maintenance ratio, the losses could be quite bad indeed. These aircraft would be in known locations on the ground. Forget for a moment about being radar stealthy in the air and worry about being exposed on the ground. Prudence would demand that we reduce our vulnerability to such events.

In a way, the OODA loop is much slower with these aircraft. Since it takes so long to maintain each aircraft, the ability for an air for with a large percentage of its total aircraft with high flight to maintenance ratios to react to a changing battlefield. It would take more time for example, for intelligence to be relayed and then a sortie generated in response to that intelligence. There are fewer aircraft, concentrated in a handful of locations, and they need more time before going to a sortie to prepare.

Clearly the solution is to procure more aircraft that are less complex, cheaper, and easier to maintain. This will not only mean fewer losses due to unexpected events, but also a much faster OODA loop.

This is an extremely costly lesson to learn, but fortunately one that was learned in peacetime and not in a war.

On a final note, I wish the best of luck to everyone affected by Hurricane Michael.

 

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Sci-fi battleship design

Posted by Picard578 on September 26, 2018

Just something from military sci-fi I am currently working on.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Byzantine warships and their tactics

Posted by Picard578 on September 20, 2018

Weapons and Warfare

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Reconstruction of an early 10th-century Byzantine bireme dromon by John H. Pryor, based on references in the Tactica of Emperor Leo VI the Wise. Notice the lateen sails, the full deck, the fore- and mid-castles, and the Greek fire siphon in the prow. The above-water spur is evident in the bow, while the captain’s tent and the two steering oars are located at stern.

The typical high-seas elite warship of the empire in the period was the dromon (from the Greek dromeas, meaning `the runner’). This was a two-masted fully decked bireme with two banks of oars, one rowed from below the deck and one from above it. There were twenty-five oarsmen on each side of each deck, thus raising the total number of oarsmen to a hundred, all fully seated. The marines and the officers of the ship numbered around fifty men, while the ousia, the standard complement of…

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Surprise and deception in war (Carl von Clausewitz expanded)

Posted by Picard578 on September 17, 2018

This is an expansion of Chapters 9 (Surprise) and 10 (Deception) of Clausewitz’s Book 3 of “On War”.


3.9. Surprise

Surprise is a key factor in war, for without it there is little possibility of achieving superiority at the key point. Other than being a tool for superiority, it is also useful by itself due to its psychological impact. Successful surprise causes confusion and breakdown of the opponent’s command and psychological structures. Surprise itself can be tactical, operational, strategic, political or even grand strategic, but regardless of the level it is based on two key factors: speed and secrecy. Both require great energy and serious character. While in theory surprise makes it easy to achieve decisive successes, in practice there are always factors such as friction and chance which may reduce its impact. Read the rest of this entry »

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On Friction In War – Carl von Clausewitz Expanded

Posted by Picard578 on September 9, 2018

Here I took observations of Carl von Clausewitz on friction (just reading through his book “On War”), and expanded on them.


War is simple, but the simplest thing is hardest. Various acters and factors in war produce other acters and factors, and also with their interaction produce friction. There are many things that cannot be predicted; things that should not happen but do; things that should have happened but did not. While each circumstance by itself may be too small to even consider, together they add up. Each level of authority adds another layer of friction, and confusion and dangers of war only increase probability of it happening. Most effects of friction cannot be predicted; effects of weather, disease, confusion, mechanical failures; they all cause friction of some kind. Organization itself causes friction: differing doctrines and culture can cause friction when operating with allies. Because of these various types of friction, any undertaking in war is like moving in a fog or a deep mud. Further, each war is full of individual characteristics and events which change its nature; one of primary qualities of a general is recognizing that friction. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Spanish Army of the Thirty Years’ War

Posted by Picard578 on September 3, 2018

Art of Warre

Modern impression of a tercio by artist Cabrera Peña. Source: magazine Desperta Ferro!

During the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth centuries Spain was the dominant continental power of Europe. Its main strategic assets were (1) its American, Italian and Flandrian possessions, (2) the family ties and alliances of its Habsburg rulers, and (3) its military establishment. As a wargamer I will concern myself only with the infantry, cavalry, dragoons and ordnance.

1. The infantry

Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, engraving 1513

The core of the Spanish army was the infantry, and the core of the infantry were the shock troops called tercios. The tercio developed around 1530 out of an earlier batlefield formation, the coronelía, a 6000-strong unit of pikemen and harquebusiers with some halberdiers and sword-and-buckler men thrown in. The coronelía had been the answer to the double threat which Spain had encountered in the Italian wars: the Swiss Gewalthaufen (pike blocs) and the French heavy cavalry…

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