Thursday, February 22, 2018

Diversity Thursday

Our Coast Guard has a lot to answer for.

The only reason this fits in to DivThu is because one of the most caustic efforts of the diversity industry is how it metastasizes in to the legal system
The nation’s highest military court has thrown out the 2012 rape conviction of a Coast Guard enlisted man because admirals and prosecutors packed the seven-member jury with five women, four of whom held jobs as advocates for victims of sexual assault.

In a 5-0 ruling that could change how the military conducts sex abuse trials, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces unleashed caustic criticism of all involved.
the Coast Guard commandant down to an appellate court to the original trial judge ... contributed to a “stain on the military justice system.”
The opinion, delivered by Judge Margaret A. Ryan, said the four admirals who played a role in assembling the officer and enlisted jury pool produced an illegal “gender-based court stacking.” She suggested that the admirals’ role amounted to unlawful command influence
Politics and agendas have always seeped in to our legal system. Only transparency, a free press, and a lot of money for good lawyers to force the truth out keeps that in check.

There is a special kind of evil in humans that will willingly - heck joyfully - move to destroy another person's career, family, friends, and private life for no other reason than to move a narrative forward. To promote an agenda. Or worse, to satisfy an internal need to feed some other craven desire.

This isn't the first case, and it won't be the last - but it does beg a few questions.

- After over a half a decade, how does a man get his reputation back?
- Who will be held accountable for warping the legal system?
- What will happen to them?
- What can we put in place to prevent this from happening again?

Most of us know both victims of sexual assault and those who have been accused of same. I've been around enough to know both more than I like to remember.

While we should all be focused on victims on sexual assault, not every accusation is true. There are legion of false charges, as there all with all crimes. 

If it has not already found its way in to your life, it will. You will have someone in your circle accused of sexual assault of one degree or another. If you are friends with someone who has been charged with any kind of sexual crime, do not automatically assume they are guilty. If you are truly a friend, be a friend. 

They probably will be abandoned my most people they know. Their personal and professional lives will be shattered and will never be the same regardless of what comes out of the legal system. If they are military, even if they are found not guilty in civilian courts, the military can and probably will take them to Court Martial. Double jeopardy is a thing, and is a Kafkaesque experience to watch someone go through.

If guilty, they will have family that will need support - and even they will need support if you are willing to provide it. Remember, the legal system is not totally about guilt and innocence - it is often about winning or losing. Even if guilty, he may not be. Even if they admit their guilt or you are sure of it and you cannot be in the same room as them ever again - remember their family and friends and support them.

If they are found not guilty ... and you wait until then to come back to them - don't expect to pick up where you left them off. They have a life to rebuild. They probably will have little use for such a poor quality material that abandoned them when things were the worse.

Hat tip Ken.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Not quite the Morocco Crisis, but a little ...

There are some interesting things happening in the Indian Ocean.

I'm over at USNIBlog pointing out a spot of bother over in the Maldives.

Come pay a visit and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Obama's Syria Blink

How did we find ourselves where we are in Syria with the Russians back, the Iranians stronger, and the Turks playing Ottoman?

In a wide ranging interview with the short-lived former SECDEF Chuck Hagel at DefenseNews, he outlines a moment in time that simply has not been explored enough by the press - any of the press.

So much of the problems we have in the Middle East and North Africa can be traced right back to the simply wrong world view held by President Obama.

The cuddling up to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during his apology tour. The bash-and-shrug in Libya. The premature withdrawal from Iraq. Pretty much everything with Iran. Do I need to go on?

I'll let this pull quote speak for itself.


Was it a mistake not to go into Syria with force and respond to the use of chemical weapons? 
Well, we were ready to do it, as you know. It was a decision made by the National Security Council, a unanimous decision. I strongly favored it. At the last minute the president decided not to do it. I think it was a mistake, I’ve said that. We wouldn’t have had to kill volumes and volumes of people — there was a way to do some things to Assad’s government. And that was the intent. That was the strategy. So it is what it is. Would that event have changed the course of things in Syria? I don’t know.

But also I would say [that] at the time, the Russians were not there. I think it sent a very clear message to the Russians, very clear. When the Russians saw [us not attacking Assad], that action, that was clear to them that we were not going to be players in Syria and we were not going to be involved. And what they did is they took a little naval base, which was nothing, in Latakia province, and used that to build up a huge air asset campaign, troops on the ground, intelligence, navy. And now they’ve got a significant set of sophisticated assets in Syria and now really hold the cards in Syria.

Monday, February 19, 2018

See WESTPAC from the Chinese Shore

In an article about great power conflict from an exceptional Special Report from The Economist, The Future of War, there is a superb challenges we face vs. China in that theater.

First there is optimism;
Jonathan Eyal of RUSI, a defence think-tank, (says) demographic factors and changing social attitudes in China suggest that there would be little popular appetite for conflict with America, despite the sometimes nationalistic posturing of state media. Like other developed countries, the country has very low birth rates, fast-decreasing levels of violence and large middle classes who define success by tapping the latest smartphone or putting down a deposit on a new car. In a culture of coddling children prompted by the one-child policy, Chinese parents would probably be extremely reluctant to send their precious “snowflakes” off to war.
It outlines well what we have described here over the years as the Most Likely COA for the Chinese - and the most smart; the Chinese Porcupine. 
The risk that the West will run into a major conflict with China is lower than with Russia, but it is not negligible and may be growing. China resents the American naval presence in the western Pacific, and particularly the “freedom of navigation” operations that the US Seventh Fleet conducts in the South China Sea to demonstrate that America will not accept any Chinese claims or actions in the region that threaten its core national interests or those of its allies.

For its part, China is planning to develop its A2/AD capabilities, especially long-range anti-ship missiles and a powerful navy equipped with state-of-the-art surface vessels and a large submarine force. The idea is first to push the US Navy beyond the “first island chain” and ultimately make it too dangerous for it to operate within the “second island chain” (see map). Neither move is imminent, but China has already made a lot of progress. If there were a new crisis over Taiwan, America would no longer send an aircraft-carrier battle group through the Taiwan Strait to show its resolve, as it did in 1996.

How such tensions will play out depends partly on America’s allies. If Japan’s recently re-elected prime minister, Shinzo Abe, succeeds in his ambition to change the country’s pacifist constitution, the Japanese navy is likely to increase its capabilities and more explicitly train to fight alongside its American counterpart. At the same time other, weaker allies such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia may conclude that bowing to Chinese military and economic power is a safer bet than hoping for a declining America to fight their corner.

The greatest danger lies in miscalculation through a failure to understand an adversary’s intentions, leading to an unplanned escalation that runs out of control. Competition in the “grey zone” between peace and war requires constant calibration that could all too easily be lost in the heat of the moment.
It is this that we need to be preparing for with our friends around China's maritime borders. WESTPAC is their "Gulf of Mexico" and VACAPES, and we should keep that in mind as we travel in those areas. The Chinese are bold, and we are looking weak, that is also something to remember given the Chinese culture of how the weak should be treated by the strong.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fullbore Friday

Sometimes you have to bring up a ship that did just solid, warship duty. For example, I give you the USS MANCHESTER (CL-83).

That is all for FbF today - but I leave you with something to ponder.

As we discuss what is or is not littoral warfare - check out
this picture. All the stealth in the world won't help you here --- and a lack of damage control will kill Sailors wholesale. That is why the selling of LCS is almost a crime.

First posted JAN2010

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Don't let, "That's a Ford for 'ya" - become a snarky catch-phrase

Are you up to speed on the latest issues with the USS FORD (CVN 78) and EMALS?

I've got the goods for 'ya over at USNIBlog.

Come visit and give it a read.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

What the Pros Study

Come on people ... I know you love you some logistics!

Don't run away ... David Beaumont has a very good and readable post up titled, HOPING AND PLANNING FOR THE BEST: UNDERSTANDING WAR WITHOUT LOGISTICS, that is well worth your time as he kicks off a full year of logistics.

No, seriously ... it is what he does.

Of note;
Security is being recast as international logistics systems and supply chains contribute to the reshaping of the global order, and strategic policy intertwines itself with economics and industrial power to create objectives for the military forces protecting national interests (it has, of course, been ever thus). The growing logistics needs of combat forces creates pressures at a time where ‘small wars’ are being fought on a shoestring budget, where the increasing outsourcing of military activities binds operational success with the fortunes of commercial opportunity, and the growing complexity and diversity of supply creates troubling issues for military security.
There is little discussion – nearly a complete absence – of how logistics shaped the Western counter-insurgency operations which followed. With forces ‘hoping for the best, and planning for the best’, small logistics footprints and inadequate strategic consideration severely curtained British Army operations in Basra in the early years of its deployment in Iraq. The need to secure supply-routes and distribution tasks restricted the frequency of combat patrols, and entrenched forces into ‘forward operating bases’ thus reducing the tactical mobility of the force. Similar experiences in Helmand, Afghanistan, were encountered. More and more significant resources had to be directed to logistics missions, drawing upon helicopters to overcome lacking equipment and the state of lowering materiel readiness as the supply chain failed to keep up.
Keep an eye on him for logistics with an Aussie accent. Hopefully, with very little slang.