Archive for the ‘US Military’ Category

From Time:

Robert Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and West Point graduate, fears that won’t happen. He spells out what he sees as the dangers of opening combat billets to women in his new book, Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women into Combat. His key concern is that, under political pressure, the military will ease its standards, resulting in a less-capable force. Battleland recently conducted this email chat with him. …

What do you see as the three biggest risks to letting women serve in the combat arms?

There are a multitude of risks—far more than most people realize, especially those without military experience. Among the many risks I discuss in “Deadly Consequences” are these three:

– First, standards will be lowered. As a practical matter, there has to be a certain minimum number of women in combat units for the policy to succeed. That can be accomplished only by “gender norming” the standards for combat service. Lower standards will inevitably degrade combat effectiveness, and the nation will be less secure. There is also good evidence that the policy will harm military recruitment and retention.

– Second, women who serve as ground combatants, whether by choice or under compulsion, will suffer disproportionate physical and psychological harm.

– Third, the already serious problem of sexual assault in the military will get worse. Notwithstanding the Administration’s wishful thinking, this prediction is borne out by the statistics.

His points in general are the same ones hit on here in previous posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

There is nothing to gain from this.  There is much to lose.

On the battlefield, there is no agency to appeal to for gender bias.  The enemy, the weather, the conditions, the misery do not care that things aren’t fair.

Torsion bars don’t care if you’re too weak to change them.  Track doesn’t care if you’re too weak to break it and rebuild it.

breaking_track mlrs

You can yell at artillery shells all you want that they’re sexist for weighing too much, but they will not care.

155 shells

90 pounds of gear on your back does not care… and the inability to do any combat job gets passed on to someone more competent, who then has to carry two loads instead of one.

US infantry

Your buddy who needs your help does not get lighter just because you’re a girl (or a weak man who only meets a girls’ standard).

Fireman_carry_Army

Men who do these jobs have to be physically strong athletes.  Those who can’t meet the standard are a continuing drag on their unit and/or are mustered out.

The few individual women who could meet the standard (and could probably get waivers and be welcomed into units that might find utility for them) are not who is being looked at here.  This is a push for cocktail party circuit politicians to say “look at the good social justice thing I did for women” that will put girls into positions that break many men, and will break women much faster and much worse.

From Breitbart:

Playboy, Penthouse and other sex-themed magazines will no longer be sold at Army and Air Force exchanges _ a move described by the stores’ operators as a business decision based on falling sales, and not a result of recent pressure from anti-pornography activists.

The 48 “adult sophisticate” magazines being dropped are among a total of 891 periodicals that will no longer be offered by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service at its stores on U.S. military bases worldwide.

Good news is the Navy and Marine Corps haven’t dropped anything yet.  With different deployment schedules and different institutional cultures, hopefully they don’t.

 

Remember, though, Hagel already declared war on pinups and is out to make the military into something else.

Morality in Media, a Washington-based anti-pornography group, called the decision “a great victory” in its campaign against sexual exploitation in the military, and said it would continue to urge operators of Navy and Marine Corps exchanges to follow suit.

Ah, yes, morality enforced by government, in this case, removal of products by a government-run store.

Hopefully the first part of the story is correct and this is an economic decision and not a morality one.  Given Hagel’s declared war on pinups, I’m very skeptical of the explanation.  If falling sales dictate removal of titles, that’s the market making a decision.  If it’s Morality in Media and other anti-freedom groups pushing for further restriction on morale-improving leisure materials (I won’t say reading) and being successful as it dovetails with Hagel’s politically correct agenda, they fall in the same category as any other group that wants more state control.

They’re just going to “nudge” people into proper behavior with coercive paternalism.  Government orders you to eat your vegetables.  Government orders you to work harder.  And government says put a coat on, it’s chilly out.

Penelope Jiminez

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As usual, Col Kurtz had this to say:

brando-apocalypse-now

We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!

The Cost Of Defeat

Posted: June 21, 2013 by ShortTimer in Afghanistan, Government, History, US Military
Tags:

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

D-Day

Posted: June 6, 2013 by ShortTimer in Music, Navy, United States Army, US Military

69 years ago.

Some fascinating pictures from the Normandy landings in the video (a few somewhat graphic), though there are a few modern film stills tossed in as well (a few graphic, but fake).

Midway

Posted: June 4, 2013 by ShortTimer in Music, Navy, US Military

71 years ago.

The subtitles and some shot change effects are a bit distracting, but there’s some amazing footage spliced in there.

Memorial Day 2013

Posted: May 26, 2013 by ShortTimer in Military, US Military, Veterans
Tags:

From Military Times:

Hagel: Troops’ workplaces will be checked for ‘degrading’ images of women

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a close-up and comprehensive inspection of all military offices and workplaces worldwide to root out any “materials that create a degrading or offensive work environment.”

P-47Noseart1 P-47D 58th FG Lady Godiva nose art

The extraordinary searches will be similar to those the Air Force conducted last year and prompted officers to scour troops’ desks and cubicles in search of photos, calendars, magazines, screen-savers, computer files and other items that might be considered degrading toward women.

nose art ace in the hole

The inspections will now target soldiers, sailors and Marines.

army ranger girl bawidamannwar at sea sailor girl bawidamanndesert marine girl bawidamann

The workplace searches will be conducted by “component heads” before July 1, and Hagel expects each service to submit a report summarizing the findings.

gil elvgren secretary pinup

The inspections were controversial and many airman complained that it felt like a “raid” and arbitrarily targeted materials such as fitness magazines and beer posters.

P47 Raid Hot Mama nose art

Air Force officials said the prevalence of those items may be correlated to sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace.

feminist sticker 2

Hagel outlined several other measures aimed at cracking down on sexual assaults.

 

Not this: More porn, less rape.

Apparently chastisement and more of this:

dress length meaning guide

He ordered the service chiefs to develop ways to hold commanders accountable for maintaining a command climate of “dignity and respect”.

yelling woman

Hagel said he wants these measures to “really drive the cultural change.”

 

Fuck Hagel.

This was my fucking “workspace”.

68 - ShortTimer 2003 Iraq

The horror.  The horror.

We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!

To Hagel, this is degrading:

magpul hot shots may 2013 emily ohara

Yet somehow this is not (graphic).

This has been done a few times here, addressing the initial 450 million rounds of JHP, then addressing it with Social Security’s investigators, and then debunking it again, but the story of DHS’s millions and billions of rounds keeps resurfacing.  And it’s good to ask questions, but some of them have answers that have already been given, and others are answers that just aren’t was widely known because they’re just a bit specific and technical.

From HotAir:

Why do they need to purchase huge stockpiles of ammunition? Far more, in fact, than the the Army buys on a per capita basis.

Homeland Security’s procurement officer is grilled in Congress on why federal agents who rarely fire weapons need several times more bullets annually than an Army officer. Who or what are they shooting at?

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz on Thursday asked Nick Nayak, DHS’ chief procurement officer, a question we and others have been asking: Why has the Department of Homeland Security been buying so much ammunition?

The military doesn’t actually shoot that much.  Military personnel walk around on base unarmed, and their issued weapons are locked up in armories, stored far from ammunition (hence why civilian security stopped Hasan at Ft. Hood).  There just isn’t that much shooting done – for example, rifle qualification in the Marine Corps has been an annual thing for years.  Infantry may fire more rifle or machinegun rounds, armor crews may fire more machinegun rounds, but admin and intel and logistics and motor T and the like will fire maybe once a year.

By contrast, federal law enforcement goes everywhere armed.  They even fly armed.  Pistol, rifle, and shotgun qualification for federal law enforcement is often a quarterly event.  They carry guns every day, everywhere, in contrast to the military, which carries when deployed or on assignment, and sometimes not even then.

Law enforcement often operates as individuals who encounter violent criminals who are an immediate, personal threat to their lives.  The military operates as a large group, and in such a manner that overwhelming force is used to prevent losses.  A law enforcement officer is responsible for their own safety in an immediate and personal way, and can only fire when personally threatened.  The soldier, sailor, airman or Marine is responsible for his own safey as well, but in a different way, and very rarely is he alone, and he can fire when a target is present – whether or not that target is a personal threat to his own life.  The law enforcement officer usually can’t run and hide from a thug with a knife 10 feet away, but the soldier can usually take cover from fire 500 yards away and call for an airstrike.

Apples and oranges.

Chaffetz notes that DHS is currently sitting on more than 260 million rounds of ammunition. Their current claimed rate of expending bullets works out to between 1,300 and 1,600 rounds per officer each year, while the Army averages 350 per officer. Nyak agreed with the math, but insisted that DHS goes through roughly that amount every year, almost exclusively for training. But if it’s for training, there’s another question to be answered.

Another question is why so many hollow-point bullets are being purchased?

Federal law enforcement fires a lot more rounds per year.  They shoot a lot more.  They are issued ammunition for training and duty, and that ammo is the same.  The last thing you want to do is issue out some full metal jacket ammo for training and have someone carry it to the field.  The reason jacketed hollow points are used is because they’re very effective at energy transfer.  They’re good for stopping bad guys.

And that’s what law enforcement does.  Law enforcement shoots to stop.  Not to kill, but to stop an immediate, personal threat on the officer’s life.

That’s an important distinction, and one that needs to be made.

Full metal jacket rounds penetrate easily, but don’t do as much energy transfer.  They don’t create wounds that are immediately disabling the same way that JHP rounds do.  There is a plethora of information about this on the internet.

Full metal jacket:

Jacketed hollow point:

The duty and training ammo is the same because the agent training with it will know how it fires, how it recoils, and they’ll know how to handle it.  FMJ loads do not recoil the same out of a defensive pistol as a JHP duty/defensive round, either.  Ammunition is manufactured to its use, and JHP is manufactured to have to stop a threat, so the ammo is hotter, and recoils differently, which has effects on follow-up shots.

Pistol rounds in FMJ are not the best there is for self-defense, and are often wholly inadequate.

The duty and training ammo is also the same because if the agent were to bring a magazine loaded with FMJ to the field, and if the agent needed to stop a threat, the rounds wouldn’t perform as well.  If that threat overpowered him and the agent was killed, his family would have a pretty decent basis for a lawsuit on their hands.  Even if it were found to be the dead agent’s fault, the lawsuit would be expensive, as would the loss of an agency’s investment in a trained agent.

How many millions of dollars would that be, and how many millions would the repercussions be as compared to just buying JHP for everything?  Bean counters do those kind of numbers and find it’s probably easier just to spend the money once and just use JHP.

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There have also been specific incidents in which FMJ rounds have been used in the field by federal law enforcement, and failed.

In 2009, a Border Patrol BORTAC unit in Arizona tracking rip crews ran into an armed smuggler group, one of whom decided to engage one of the BORTAC members with a revolver.  The BORTACer did what he could to try to avert the attack by attempting to blind and disorient the smuggler with a high-power flashlight and get the subject to surrender.  Even knowing he was spotted and caught, the smuggler turned to fire. The BORTACer had to fire 14 rounds with his rifle, 11 of which hit his assailant.  The first 10 were center-of-mass hits, and did not stop the attacker.  The smuggler, despite receiving 10 wounds from a rifle, was still able to fire all 6 rounds from his revolver at the agent.  What stopped the attacker was the last round – a headshot.  The ammunition used by the BORTACer was 55 grain FMJ.

Would the smuggler have died due to the FMJ in the body?  Yes, later.  But as demonstrated, it did not stop his attack.

The law enforcement officer is responsible for all of his rounds.  He’s not shooting in a war zone.  The military soldier, sailor, airman or Marine is not responsible in the same way for every round he fires.

HotAir quotes IBD here:

As former Marine Richard Mason recently told reporters with WHPTV News in Pennsylvania, hollow-points (which make up the bulk of the DHS purchases) are not used for training because they are more expensive than standard firing-range rounds. “We never trained with hollow points. We didn’t even see hollow points my entire 4-1/2 (years) in the Marine Corps,” Mason said.

As already noted, with pistols especially, performance is different, both for training purposes and especially for application purposes in the field.

The reason the Marine Corps doesn’t train with hollow points is twofold.  One is that the Hague Convention of 1899 outlawed the use of soft points and hollow points (so even though the US didn’t agree, they weren’t exactly in use much), and the other more important reasons are that the military may have to engage targets through concealment and/or cover, or to destroy materiel as well as personnel.

A JHP round will deform when it hits an object, as it’s supposed to mushroom out and cause more immediate damage to an immediate assailant that needs to be stopped RFN.  An FMJ round is much more likely to penetrate objects and still retain some performance, enough to cause disabling wounds or injuries which will take a combatant out of the fight, even if it’s a few minutes later from blood loss.

For example, federal law enforcement is unlikely to shoot through walls or doors because they have to be sure of their target, and prove ability, opportunity, and intent of a lethal force threat to be legally justified in a shooting.  If someone runs into a building to hide, you probably don’t keep shooting, because they’re probably no longer an immediate lethal force threat.  It’s time to call the negotiators and sit.

By contrast, if a Marine or soldier has a target that runs into a building to hide, shooting through walls or doors is quite often an option.  That’s because the person they’re going after isn’t even called a threat, but a target.  The military doesn’t have to wait to fire in self defense (discussions of bad ROEs aside), the military identifieds targets and destroys them.  Law enforcement reacts to threats.

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JHP and FMJ rounds are used for different things.  DHS knows enough to buy it cheap and stack it deep, just like serious citizens have done for decades.  That’s just a matter of economics.  Is it good to ask questions?  Absolutely.

But it would be better to find out what Napolitano knows about terrorists that get in the country, and maybe why she’s allowed to not answer questions.

Or why Eric Holder, who’s killed DHS personnel in ICE and USBP through his Fast and Furious program, isn’t in prison.

From Washington Free Beacon:

The only two women to participate in the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course (IOC) failed ongoing tests to determine which infantry positions should be available to women …

The two women both volunteered to participate in the IOC. Two other women had previously volunteered in September but also failed.

Looks like the standards still exist to some degree.  12 men and 2 women out of the most recent class washed out.

Just like I said the first time, it’s still a social experiment that doesn’t belong.  It’s a task very, few men can do.  The desire to have women in combat has already resulted in lawsuits against reality, and it will result in further dropped standards and both women and men who aren’t up to the task being sent into situations that set them up for failure.

The US Navy’s chief of information, Rear Admiral Kirby, laments that there’s a “military-civilian gap”.   But what he doesn’t understand is that it exists only to him and those in Ruling Class circles.

In more than 10 years of war, we in the military have gone to great expense and trouble to listen to the concerns of foreign peoples and cultures. We have learned Dari and Arabic and Pashto. We have sat cross-legged in shura and tribal councils. And yet I worry that we do not pay our fellow Americans the same courtesy.

It’s time that we do a better job understanding and relating to the people we serve.

Really?  Has he been reading William “Troops are vile scumbag mercenaries who should grovel before their betters” Arkin‘s pieces?

Kirby’s perspective is horribly distorted.

We do not talk with them. Too often, we talk at them. We are the guest speakers, the first-pitch-throwers, the grand marshals. We show them the power of our capabilities through air shows, port visits and other demonstrations. This outreach is important, but it isn’t always a two-way street. And it doesn’t improve our understanding of the society we defend.

No, Kirby, you’re an admiral and chief of informationYou talk at people, you are the guest speaker, the first-pitch-thrower, the grand marshal.  You attend and orchestrate the dog-and-pony shows.

This lament comes up a lot from the left, and sometimes it comes up from those stuck inside the DC bubble.

I’ll address it the same way I did last time:

There are two Americas.  There are those who serve, those who know those who serve, who understand service to the country, and those who don’t.  Leftists and mainstream media writers are constantly scribbling about this.  Read enough and you’ll find it shows up all the time.  They lament that that the military isn’t representative of the nation, especially since we’ve switched to a volunteer system.  It’s not an uncommon thing to notice.  But it’s not a disconnect between the broader US public and the military.

It’s a divide between the Country Class and the Ruling Class.  The military is the Country Class, and the Ruling Class always wonders why they aren’t represented enough.  They wonder why the military is societally so far away from them, the same way they don’t understand farmers, truckers, miners, etc.

I guess I should amend that.  Once you’re an O-7, you’re crossing over into the Ruling Class.

Kirby is an admiral and chief of information – he’s firmly in the Ruling Class.  Off the top of my head, I can name 10 coworkers who are veterans in my job.  Outside of work, back in regular life, I can come up with at least two friends from circles as far back as high school who are veterans – in circles that weren’t very military-oriented.  If I count family and those who’ve served, I end up with 5 off the top of my head.  The military and veterans don’t talk at people the way the Chief of Information Admiral does… because they aren’t the Chief of Information Admiral.

They’re people you have conversations with.  The only “talking at” comes in the form of telling people about things they have limited to no experience about – which is true of any profession.

If you end up hanging out with a gearhead and know nothing about cars, you may feel “talked at”, but that’s just because you’re getting up to speed.  Even if you know about muscle cars or imports, you may find yourself getting “talked at” as you’re brought up to speed on rat rods.

32 ford rat rod

If I talked to the owner/builder of that ride, I expect to get talked at, because I know very little about it – but if I’m engaged in conversation, I’m probably going to learn.

The rest of the Admiral’s piece, when seen with the understanding that he’s part of the Ruling Class, makes sense.  He seems to lament a disconnect between himself and the civilian world.  But it isn’t a military-civilian disconnect.  It’s between himself and his DC cronies against the Country Class.  He even writes about cultivating relationships with the Ruling Class, and yet somehow doesn’t understand that’s the problem.

Naturally he, as a Ruling Class professional leader who talks at people, has decided to talk at us again and tell us all how we need to live and act.