sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Current Events

the main thing,
  is to keep the main thing,
    the main thing.


Iran Ups its Game

The Iranian funded, Houthi-controlled news agency, Saba, reported that Houthi forces in Yemen launched a ballistic missile at a military base just west of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Saba posted that "the rocketry of the army and the popular committees" launched a ballistic missile at a military base in Al Muzahimiyah area, west of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. The Houthi army said the operation was a success and that "the capital of the Saudi devil is now within the range of the Yemeni missiles."

The Saudis have not confirmed that a ballistic missile hit any facilities near Riyadh. There are no reports of damage or casualties, but that is normal for any incident that embarrasses the Saudis.

If the missile attack is confirmed, it would be the longest range missile attack conducted by the Houthis. It also would be the first attack against Riyadh.

The Houthis continue to receive significant outside missile support or expertise (from Iran) because the pre-war inventory of the Yemen Army had no missiles that could travel the 600 or so miles between northwestern Yemen and Riyadh.

The American position in all of this is one of bystander without a significant horse in the race. However it does point (maybe just to me) to an Iranian timetable to recover Jeddah/Medina/Mecca for the Shiite Muslims. 

I hear your counter argument, "LL, it was just one poorly-aimed ballistic missile." And that may be the case. But if they can put a missile in the air with the lift capacity, they can put a nuclear weapon on it and they won't have to be all that accurate.

It's one more persuasive argument for energy independence in the USA.

The Spear

Viva Trump!

Mexico understands that they must deal with President Trump because they (and the US) have a symbiotic relationship. 

My sense is that three years from now, things will be working like clockwork...the wall will be built, etc. However there's a chance that the PRI party (center left - Partido Revolucionario Institucional) will be out and the PRD party (communist - hard left - Partido de la Revolución Democrática) will take the presidency and the legislature. It's going to take a lot of cash to keep the PRI in place.

Military Spending

There is an old adage that a nation can make guns or butter but has difficulty in doing both at the same time. I think that's true in the USA today. There is inherent vast expense in running a military. This blog has many veterans who read it and I thank you for your comments, for your experience and for your service. 

There is the tip of the spear where kinetic action takes place in the military. Then there is the logistics and support mechanism (the shaft of the spear), heavily populated with staff, general officers and their (bloated) staffs. At the moment, it's a very long spear with a very short (but razor sharp) point.

Making changes to this vast human machine is always fraught with challenges. The bureaucracy which created the machine, fights like the third monkey on its way up the ramp of Noah's Ark when it's starting to rain. 

Encouraging redundant generals and admirals to retire and then quietly retiring their billets when they're gone may be a prudent step in the right direction, but I don't think that President Trump will take that approach in draining the swamp. Maybe Vice President Pence will do that in his first term as President, 8 years from now?

To me simply getting the assets we have pushed through maintenance schedules until we're all caught up, replacing spare parts and munitions and rotating people who need to be rotated would be a huge victory.

I recall a Naval Special Warfare Command environment when we were still using World War 2 surplus in the 1980's. That all changed when the Army started running the SEAL Teams (through JSOC) and they understood the need for modern equipment. My point is that before we start talking about new toys, we need to fix the operational matrix that we have and that along with funding, will likely take a couple of years at a peacetime military tempo.

Vetting Visitors

There is the eight year old child standard that needs to apply to national policy.

If you ask any eight year old child whether you should check out somebody before you let them into your house, they will likely tell you that they don't let strangers in without telling a parent.

Neither should your teenage girl pick up hitchhikers strange to her on a lonely highway at night. The eight year old will set you straight on that too if you ask.

The protesters who are upset at a TEMPORARY travel ban from seven countries where those countries of origin can't keep track of who received a passport need to consult an eight year old...and listen to the advice.