Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Remember

Posted: December 7, 2014 by ShortTimer in History, Never Forget, US Military

uss arizona pearl harbor

D-Day

Posted: June 6, 2014 by ShortTimer in History, Music, United States Army, US Military

70 years ago.

Midway

Posted: June 5, 2014 by ShortTimer in History, Music, Navy, US Military

72 years ago.

Or for a much shorter power metal summary:

It would seem that no advanced civilization has yet developed without a government which saw its chief aim in the protection of private property, but that again and again the further evolution and growth to which this gave rise was halted by “strong” government.

Governments strong enough to protect individuals against the violence of their fellows make possible the evolution of an increasingly complex order of spontaneous and voluntary cooperation.

Sooner or later, however, they tend to abuse that power and to suppress the freedom they had earlier secured in order to enforce their own presumedly greater wisdom and not to allow “social institutions to develop in a haphazard manner” (to take a characteristic expression that is found under the heading ‘social engineering’ in the Fontana/Harper Dictionary of Modern Thought (1977)).

- F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism

Hayek

He begins this discussion in Chapter 2 of the book and references classical antiquity and the trading societies surrounding the Mediterranean as a prime example of nations that went through that rise and decline, but as noted, modern society is going through much the same thing.  The Anointed, to borrow Thomas Sowell’s phrase, know better and begin to “nudge” society where they want it to go.  As Jonah Goldberg noted, American totalitarianism and government control comes with a smiley face, though they’re making pseudo-erudite academic arguments for more outright thuggery.

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”

- Thomas Jefferson

Mikhail Kalashnikov Dead at 94

Posted: December 24, 2013 by ShortTimer in Guns, History
Tags:

mikhail kalashnikov

Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the Avtomat Kalashnikov rifle, dead at 94 on Dec 23, 2013.

The former Soviet tanker was quoted at one point as saying:

“Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer.  I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery.”

He was also often quoted for saying that he didn’t mind having designed the world’s most prolific rifle as he did it to keep his homeland safe.

Remember

Posted: December 7, 2013 by ShortTimer in History, Never Forget, US Military

uss arizona pearl harbor

The Cost Of Defeat

Posted: June 21, 2013 by ShortTimer in Afghanistan, Government, History, US Military
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Afghanistan has pretty much now become the sequel to Vietnam.

We won every battle in Vietnam, had the NVA on their heels, utterly destroyed the North Vietnamese during the Tet Offensive, but it went down in history as a loss due to the political will to fight disappearing.

In Afghanistan, we did the same – victory after victory until politicians started meddling with the war and hamstringing rules of engagement until the political will to fight evaporated.

And now we’re leaving.  We got a little bit of payback and some experience at the cost of lost lives and limbs and blood and years that we can’t get back.

And now we’re leaving behind $7,000,000,000 worth of equipment.

The end of a war brings its own logistical challenges.  Getting the troops home from the theater of war takes plenty of planning, especially in an environment still significantly unsecure, as in Afghanistan (and in Iraq, for that matter), but the question of retrieving heavy equipment is even more complicated.  With the drawdown date set by Barack Obama approaching, the Pentagon has decided to scrap billions of dollars in equipment rather than deal with the logistical and economic consequences of retrieval:

Facing a tight withdrawal deadline and tough terrain, the U.S. military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of vehicles and other military equipment as it rushes to wind down its role in the Afghanistan war by the end of 2014.

The massive disposal effort, which U.S. military officials call unprecedented, has unfolded largely out of sight amid an ongoing debate inside the Pentagon about what to do with the heaps of equipment that won’t be returning home. Military planners have determined that they will not ship back more than $7 billion worth of equipment — about 20 percent of what the U.S. military has in Afghanistan — because it is no longer needed or would be too costly to ship back home.

Not only is it a waste in lives, but now it’s a waste in materiel.

We’ve done this before after WWII, and it was a waste then (though at least we recycled some of it).

destroyed p38s after ww2

Here’s an idea – let private industry bring back that equipment.

Humvees and MTVRs sold on the open market may pay the cost of shipping back to the US, as well as quadcons and empty hescos and the piles and piles of equipment that are still worth something.

Since we ignored MacArthur’s maxim “There is no substitute for victory” and decided that some kind of withdrawal without victory is acceptable, at least we should take the time to bring back our stuff.

Otherwise we may as well just run this photo again:

fall of saigon helicopter