MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Posts Tagged ‘Military

We Got Him!

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I hope.

Fox News is reporting that Osama bin Laden is dead, apparently killed by US bombs a week ago. We have the body (very important). President Obama will be speaking about this shortly.

It appears that this is part of the surge as lead by General Petraeus, copied from Iraq, and championed by President Bush. Both these men deserve some credit.

But so does President Obama for bucking his leftist constituency, staying the course in Afghanistan, and approving the surge there.

Osama now goes straight to hell, where I’m sure he will enjoy his seventy-two raisins. Thanks and kudos to the US military personnel who delivered this evil man to his just desserts.

Update: It looks like he was killed in Pakistan. It may not have been a bomb, but a ground operation. I hope so. I would much rather he saw it coming and knew the end was at hand.

Update II: As of 11:35 EST, President Obama is addressing the nation, and confirming that Osama bin Laden is dead. Hooray!

Update III: The President has confirmed that it was a ground operation, carried out by American forces. Good.

Update IV: Obama is here at his best. He took some credit – as he should – but he also mentioned President Bush positively, our military, our allies, and all those who have helped bring this evil man to justice. The President has affirmed that we will not be attacked with impunity and will be relentless, and I applaud him for it. He has also asked that God bless the USA. Thank you Mr. President.

Update V: An important lesson for those who would declare war on the United States as bin Laden did is that it does not matter that you outlast one of our presidents. Certainly, President Bush would have liked to have this happen on his watch, but he has already issued a statement that he is delighted it has happened. President Obama – who has frankly grown in the national security aspects of his office – has recognized that this is bigger than he is. Mess with the US, and don’t expect that all you need to do is outlast the guy presently in office. In one way, it’s good that this happened under Obama – a president who has apologized for the US, who has been less than jingoistic to put it mildly, and who’s own wife has admitted that she was not proud of her country prior to her husband’s nomination. President Obama has now demonstrated that our enemies cannot count on weakness on our part. Mess with the US, and you mess with the whole country for good and for all. There is no statute of limitations.

Update VI: It appears that the mission went down not last week, but just this weekend. The Navy SEALs carried it out and the self-proclaimed “strong horse” cowered behind one of his wives, using her as a human shield. It also appears that this day was long in the planning, at least back to 2007, a tribute to the military and intelligence professionals who spanned two administrations to bring this man to justice.

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Written by martinipundit

May 1, 2011 at 11:00 pm

USS Ranger CV-61

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World War II marked a transition in naval warfare that very few people foresaw. After all, while there had been changes in naval technology over the preceding centuries, they had largely been confined to three aspects: gunnery, armor, and propulsion.

In the Golden Age of Sail – a period which continues to hold my fascination – cannons and sail held supreme. Later in the nineteenth century warships adopted steam engines, actual armor plate, and guns which while connected to their forebears were magnitudes more powerful.

Students of history know that these big gun ships dominated throughout the nineteenth century and became supreme in the early part of the twentieth culminating in the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet who both clashed at Jutland. No one knew it at the time, but that was essentially the high-water mark of the all big gun ship. More such ships would be built and commissioned for the next couple of decades, and some would be incredible. The HMS Hood – one of the most elegant ships ever built would ultimately be sunk by the German battleship Bismarck, herself a tour de force of naval architecture. (Her design predecessors Scharnhorst and Gneisenau showed stunning beauty.) There were American battleships in this league about which I have previously written.

Yet aircraft carriers are somehow different. Maybe it’s the mystique of Pearl Harbor, but I can’t help but notice the tremendous success of the British whose Swordfish aircraft successfully attacked the Italian fleet at Taranto months before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Of course, it must be allowed that the Japanese both knew of and studied the Taranto attack.

That’s the transition. World War II marked the transition of naval supremacy from the all big gun ship to the aircraft carrier. Some debated it at the time, but there is no disputing that in the Pacific, the United States after Pearl Harbor had lost the eight battleships of the Pacific Fleet. The US Navy was left with the carriers to bring the fight to the enemy, and I suspect that the stalwart American sailors were just as surprised as anyone else when those carriers not only proved equal to the task but the masters of it.

That brings me to the postwar aspect of things. It is simply an axiom that combat reaps lessons. Four years of the most intense conflict, in which technology becomes a weapon itself, will yield lessons which the observant may improve their ability to wage war. In a postwar context, the USS Ranger, CV-61 may be the first ship to embody those lessons.

Now, it is true that other ships were built and designed before the Ranger. The USS United States was probably the most significant, though she was never in any danger of completion. The Ranger herself was a member of the Forrestal class, and she followed that ship as well as the Saratoga. USS Independence rounded out the class.

The reason Ranger is important is she was built from the start with the angled deck so critical to modern carrier operations. Invented by the British – very clever people where naval technology is concerned – the angled deck allowed for simultaneous takeoff and landing operations. It also eliminated the danger of a landing aircraft failing and crashing into other planes forward on the deck.

From an American point of view, though many WWII carriers were converted – Essex class and others – it was the Forrestals, led by the Ranger, that incorporated this new and critical innovation.

The Ranger has a more personal meaning for me – my cousin commanded a squadron of A-4 Skyhawks off of her in the Vietnam War. Her service to the country was exemplary, and at this time her fate remains unclear. I hope she becomes a museum ship as I would dearly like to go aboard her. Here she is in her prime:

USS Ranger

A glass raised to the entire class: USS Forrestal CV-59, USS Saratoga CV-60, USS Ranger CV-61, and USS Independence CV-62!

Written by martinipundit

October 5, 2010 at 2:13 am

Posted in Military, Ships

Tagged with ,

So That’s What They Mean by Patriotism …

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Liberals or progressives or whatever we’re supposed to call them today always get incensed at the notion that someone, somewhere has ‘questioned their patriotism.’ Never mind that the person they are accusing of this heinous offense has never (as in never) done anything of the sort.

I’ll do it though. I’ll come right out and say it. President Obama is unpatriotic.

I’ll wait for the crowd to calm down (assuming it doesn’t tar and feather me).

Okay. Why do I say this? Because of the despicable notion that members of our military should  be billed for medical care for injuries sustained in the course of carrying out their military service.

The Obama administration is considering making veterans use private insurance to pay for treatment of combat and service-related injuries. The plan would be an about-face on what veterans believe is a long-standing pledge to pay for health care costs that result from their military service.

But in a White House meeting Monday, veterans groups apparently failed to persuade President Obama to take the plan off the table.

I call that unpatriotic. Shame on Obama.

Universal health care for all except our brave fighting men and women? The man is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.

A glass raised to Ned Rice at Breitbart.

Written by martinipundit

March 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm

The Federalist Society Is Circulating a Letter from a US Marine to the Savages

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The full text:

From a Marine officer on the Iraqi warfront with Jihadistan…

(This is an open letter to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, “Islamic Response,” and the rest of the so-called al-Qa’ida “insurgents” in Iraq and elsewhere.  We don’t have an e-mail address for these swine—though we are closing in on their snail-mail address, but we are forwarding this letter to Federalist Patriots around the world in the hope you good people will forward it to as many other Patriots as possible to rally prayer and support for our fellow Marine, Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun.  Should these al-Qa’ida pigs spill his blood, we want them to rest assured that the contents of this letter will eventually be nailed to their foreheads. Thank you for your assistance.)

To al-Qa’ida terrorists in Iraq:

I see that you have captured a U.S. Marine, and that you plan to cut off his head if your demands are not met. Big mistake. Before you carry out your threat I suggest you read up on Marine Corps history.  The Japanese tried the same thing on Makin Island and in a few other places during World War Two, and came to regret it. Go ahead and read about what then happened to the mighty Imperial Army on Tarawa, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. They paid full price for what they did, and you will too.

You look at America and you see a soft target, and to a large extent you are right. Our country is filled with a lot of spoiled children who drive BMWs, sip decaf lattes and watch ridiculous reality TV shows. They are for the most part decent, hard working citizens, but they are soft.  When you cut off Nick Berg’s head those people gasped, and you got the media coverage you sought, and then those people went back to their lives.  This time it is different. We also have a warrior culture in this country, and they are called Marines. It is a brotherhood forged in the fire of many wars, and the bond between us is stronger than blood. While it is true that this country has produced nitwits like John Kerry, Michael Moore, Howard Dean and Jane Fonda who can be easily manipulated by your gruesome tactics, we have also produced men like Jason Dunham, Brian Chontosh and Joseph Perez. If you don’t recognize those names you should. They are all Marines who distinguished themselves fighting to liberate Iraq, and there will be many more just like them coming for you.

Before the current politically correct climate enveloped our culture one of the recruiting slogans of our band of brothers was “The Marine Corps Builds Men.” You will soon find out just how true that is. You, on the other hand, are nothing but a bunch of women. If you were men you would show your faces, and take us on in a fair fight. Instead, you are cowards who hide behind masks and decapitate helpless victims. If you truly represented the interest of the Iraqi people you would not be ambushing those who come to your country to repair your power plants, or sabotage the oil pipelines which fuel the Iraqi economy. Your agenda is hate, plain and simple.

When you raise that sword over your head I want you to remember one thing.  Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun is not alone as he kneels before you.  Every Marine who has ever worn the uniform is there with him, and when you strike him you are striking all of us. If you think the Marines were tough on you when they were cleaning out Fallujah a few weeks ago you haven’t seen anything yet. If you want to know what it feels like to have the Wrath of God called down upon you then go ahead and do it. We are not Turkish truck drivers, or Pakistani laborers, or independent contractors hoping to find work in your country. We are the United States Marines, and we will be coming for you.

(Circulation of this message is being sponsored by The Federalist Patriot, the most widely read conservative e-journal on the Internet.  If you have not already joined the ranks of Patriots receiving The Federalist Patriot, we encourage you to do so. This highly acclaimed conservative digest of news, policy and opinion will be delivered FREE by e-mail to your inbox each week. Simply link to—http://Federalist.com/subscribe/patriots.asp If you don’t have Web access, send a blank e-mail to and you will be subscribed automatically.)

Written by martinipundit

June 30, 2004 at 11:43 pm

Posted in GWOT, Iraq, Military

Tagged with , , , ,

The Old Battlewagons

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Obsolete though they may be, there is still nothing like a battleship.  Strategy Page makes the case for bringing two of the last back:

These perceived shortfalls in fire support are the reason that there has been a lobbying effort to reactivate at least two of the Iowa-class battleships, led by the United States Naval Fire Support Association (USNFSA). The two ships that would return to service should the USNFSA get its way are the Iowa (the #2 turret has been nearly repaired, and the parts to complete the repairs are stored in that turret) and the Wisconsin. These ships would be equipped with shells developed from the HE-ER Mk 148 program (cancelled after the 1991 decommissioning of the battleships). The Ex-148 was slated to have a range of 91 kilometers using a 13.5-inch (343mm) shell in a sabot. An 11-inch (280mm) version would have had a range of 180 kilometers (equivalent to the 155mm AGS). These shells, at 1,400 pounds/635 kilograms and 694 pounds/315 kilograms respectively, are much larger than the shells from the 127mm and 155mm guns. For targets close to shore (within 15 miles/25 kilometers or so), the Iowas could use their regular shells, either the 2,700-pound (1,225-kilogram) armor-piercing shell or the 1,900-pound (862-kilogram) high-capacity shell. This is possible due to the fact that the Iowa-class battleships carry much more armor than the Burke and Zumwalt-class destroyers, and are thus much more resistant to damage.

The Iowa class has certainly been among the most long-lived of US warships.  Four were commisioned during WWII: Iowa (BB61), New Jersey (BB62), Missouri (BB63), and Wisconsin (BB64).  Two more, the Illinois (BB65) and the Kentucky (BB66) were never completed. The ships cost the taxpayers $100 million each in 1944, but they can be said to be a bargain given that they are still potentially viable warships six decades later.  One, the Missouri saw the surrender of the Japanese Empire in Tokyo Bay and is now a museum ship at Pearl Harbor.  The New Jersey is slated to become a museum.  With nine 16 inch guns apiece, the Iowa and the Wisconsin represent more artillery firepower than most countries possess.  As with ships like the German Bismarck and the Japanese Yamato, they were the epitome of the battleship (the Montana Class, had any been built, would have eclipsed the Iowas).  While those ships and their sisters are long gone, the Iowa class stands ready to serve again. Surely something to consider.

Here are all four.  That’s the Iowa in the foreground.

Written by martinipundit

June 29, 2004 at 11:18 pm

Posted in Military, Ships

Tagged with , ,

WarSims

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This takes the Sims to a whole new level.

Written by martinipundit

June 14, 2004 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Military, Technology

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Shields Up!

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The future is upon us as ‘boffins’ (a curious term) at the UK Ministry of Defence appear to have invented a working force field. Star Trek gets closer all the time.

Also here.

Written by martinipundit

June 11, 2004 at 1:31 pm

Posted in Military, Technology

Tagged with , ,

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