Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 In Review

Well, as midnight creeps ever closer, I think it would be good to look back all that has happened in 2011.
     The Good. Gadhafi, Bin Laden, and Kim Jong Il are all dead (I hope they have special places near the furnace in Hell). Eric Holder and the DOJ are in hot water over Fast and Furious.  The U.S. is out of Iraq (its debatable if thats good). General Quarters! was started, and as of 3 PM, The Peanut Gallery was started. And some other stuff happened I don't remember.
     The Bad. The Japanese Tsunami killed a few hundred people. The economy continues to tank (three guesses why... Hint: its not only Congress). Agent Brian Terry was killed on the border with Mexico with a gun from Fast and Furious. A Congresswoman Giffords was shot in Tuscon, (she is now doing at lot better, and can talk again). Robert Gates canceled the SLAMRAAM and EFV. And a lot of other stuff I'd rather not remember.
     As the year comes to close, here are a few stats from the year, General Quarters! was viewed almost 8200 times, 8 comments were posted, and the country with the most views outside of the U.S. (at 4500) was the Philippines at 321. The most popular post in 2011 was The F-15 Silent Eagle: A Dark Horse, you can see the rest at the popular posts gadget below. Finally, I would like to thank you to who have read General Quarters! this year, and as we are only 5 hours from midnight I wish you a happy 2012.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Obama Economic Stats

Shamelessly stolen from Mostly Cajun.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Petition To Name CVN-80 USS Enterprise

      Recently, I came across a petition to name CVN-80 USS Enterprise, at the moment the CVN-79 is slated to be named the USS John F. Kennedy. Since the founding of the U.S. Navy, the Navy has had 6 ships named the Enterprise, a 14-gun brig, a 10 gun schooner, a motor yacht, and two aircraft carriers (CV-6 and CVN-65). The Enterprise (CV-6) during WWII earned 20 battle stars, becoming the most decorated ship in U.S. Navy history, the second aircraft carrier to be named the Enterprise (CVN-65) was the worlds first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, and holds the record for length of service for an aircraft carrier (50 years as of this November). It has become a symbol of the U.S. Navy to have a carrier named the USS Enterprise, and it would be a terrible shame to not have a CV named the Enterprise.
     At the moment the petition only has around 300 signatures, and started in August. The petition is looking for at least 10,000 signatures, and then will be sent to Congress and SECNAV. The folks over at the USNI Blog did the same thing last year and ended up at about 3,000 signatures. So, if you would, sign the petition, spread the word, and let's see if the Navy will name CVN-80 the USS Enterprise.

Photo Credit: US Navy

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Strategy For The 21st Century Part 4: Africa

     Africa. In that last few months Africa has undergone series of radical events (not all good): Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, the overthrow of Hosni Mubarack in Egypt, the creation of South Sudan, a Kenyan military campaign against the Somalian pirates, and even deployment of 200 U.S. special forces troops to the Central African Republic. Overall the African continent has no major threats or concerns for the U.S.. However, there are a few things which are cause for minor concern, and which must be dealt with.
     1. Somalia's pirates and terrorists. In the last few years Somalia has spawned many small bands of pirates on the sea, and Al-Shabab on land. The pirates Somalia has produced have attacked thousands of ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Western Indian Ocean, not all successfully though. Some ships which were attacked and taken are the Maersk Alabama (cargo ship), MV Faina (carrying arms, including T-72 tanks), and numerous other cargo and fishing vessels. Along with Al-Shabab they pose a threat to American shipping, including oil tankers coming from the Persian Gulf. In this situation it would be best to carry out a series of cruise missile strikes on the bases, and also hit their "stock exchange" in Haradheere. But, overall the long term solution would be to have every U.S. flagged ship have a squad or two of private security agents (e.g. mercenaries) onboard while moving through the Gulf of Aden or the Western Indian Ocean.
     2. Egypt's new government. The new government in Egypt which is now controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, has control of one the most valuable assets in the world: the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal is a the link by which many U.S. warships get to the Indian Ocean, and 15,648 oil tankers, bulk carriers, LNG tankers, and many types passed through the Suez Canal in 2010. If the Suez Canal is shut down by Egypt's new muslim government, it would be enormous blow to the world economy, and to U.S. economic interests in the Indian Ocean region. This would also force U.S. warships to either double the Cape of Good Hope, or sail from the West Coast, both of which would vastly reduce time on station, and increase the time needed to get to the Indian Ocean if a crisis arose. In this instance there really is no military solution as the "Dear Leader" (Obama) has backed the new muslim government instead of our former ally Hosni Mubarack, who generally did things that were good for the U.S.. Since there is no real military solution, and negotiating with the Muslim Brotherhoo  would be like talking to brick wall, it would be best to: 1. Wean the U.S. off Arab oil, and drill in the U.S. 2. Do not attempt to reenter the Indian Ocean and the Middle East until we have realized the our enemy here is Islam.
     Overall, there is not much to say about Africa with the exception of keep out! Africa is at the moment a big pit filled with quicksand, if you step in it you are basically screwed. The best strategy would be to stay out of Africa (this includes pulling out all 200 U.S. soldiers from the C.A.R.), and only do anything if attacked. 

Photo Credit: Chris Lofting

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Strategy For The 21st Century Part 3: The Middle East

     The Middle East (the Middle East in this blog post is defined as Israel, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, the U.A.E., Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan).
In the last few months the Middle East has begun to heat up with Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, Iran allegedly having an intact RQ-170 Sentinel, Israel getting hit with rockets more frequently, and President Bashar Assad massacring his own people in Syria. So, here is what is necessary for the U.S.' national security as it relates to the Middle East:
     1. Pull out of Afghanistan. We have been in Afghanistan since late 2001, and 10 years later we have allegedly killed Bin Laden, established a democracy, pushed Taliban back into the mountains, and have avenged the 2,600 Americans who died on 9/11. Now it is time to pull out. We have reached a stalemate where no side can truly win, the Taliban can't beat the U.S., and the U.S. can't beat the Taliban. This more or less is what happened to the Soviets during their war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The Soviets got bogged down in a guerrilla war against the Taliban, after a few years the war got very unpopular back home. Thus, with folks back home becoming unhappy, and the collapse of the USSR beginning, the Soviets were forced to pull out of Afghanistan in 1989. This is exactly what is happening now 21 years later, Americans are beginning to wonder why we are still in Afghanistan, and we cannot afford to continue to fight this war with the debt at 14 trillion.
     2. Prepare for war with Iran. Since the mullahs took over Iran in 1979, they have been hell-bent on wiping the U.S. (known to them as the "Great Satan") off the map. In the last 10 years the mullahs have actually gotten serious, with their nuclear program kicking into high gear, attempted purchase of SA-10s, and the development of more advanced missiles (Shabab series).  On top of this, Iran claims they have an RQ-170 Sentinel in their possession, if true it probably means one of two things: 1) Iran has a better cyber-warfare capability than we give them credit for, 2) Iran has a better air defense capability than we give them credit for. We need to be ready to hit hard in a first strike. We cannot afford to let the Iranians get the first punch in if we go to war. We always have a carrier battle group (CVBG) in the Persian Gulf, and there is no place to run, especially if you are in shallow water. Honestly, it would be better to have an SSGN in the Persian Gulf as a deterrent rather than a CVBG, as an SSGN can hit hard and would be hard to find. Both of which are qualities needed when fighting in the Persian Gulf.
     3. Be ready to support Israel in the coming war. Back in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War, Israel came within 72 hours of running out of ammunition, and almost resorted to nuclear weapons. However, the U.S. began an airlift the likes of which had not been seen since the Berlin Airlift. This airlift was named Operation Nickel Grass, and airlifted everything from M60 Pattons to 155mm artillery rounds to Israel over the span of one month. We must be ready to this again, as Israel is our only true ally in the Middle East. Furthermore, war is coming to the Middle East, Bashar Assad continues to massacre his own people, and the U.N. will at some point step in with it's R2P (Responsibility 2 Protect) doctrine, and stop the Syrian military. When that happens all hell will break loose, as Assad has threatened to start an "earthquake", this translates to: bombard Israel with thousands of rockets ranging in size from large Estes rockets to 20 SS-26s. When this begins the U.S. will probably be Israel's only supporter in the world, and we must be prepared to help our one true ally with military supplies.
     4. Remove all bases from the Middle East. Since Operation Desert Storm in '91, the U.S. has had several hundred bases in the Middle East, ranging in size from FOBs to full fledged Air Force bases. Most of these have been closed, but many still remain in operation. These bases have served their purpose, and we have gone about as far will can ever go in defeating the Muslims (we could do more if we had decent ROEs, a decent president, and actually knew who our enemy is). And with the debt climbing ever higher it is time to pull out of the Middle East, as we have gone as far as we can, until we realize our enemy is not just Al Qaeda, but Islam itself.
     The points above are in my opinion the beginning to winning in the Middle East. However, the key to winning is to realize that the enemy here is not just Al Qaeda, the Taliban or the Muslim Brotherhood, but the true enemy is Islam and everything it stands for.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ron Paul On 9/11 & Iraq

     Ron Paul recently made a statement that the Bush administration was "gleeful" after 9/11 because they now had a reason to invade Iraq. However, what Mr. Paul forgets is that we didn't invade Iraq until December of 2003, two years after 9/11. We invaded Afghanistan immediately following 9/11. On top of this the pretext for invading Iraq was that they were supporting Al Qaeda (true), and they had Weapons of Mass Destruction (true).
     My real beef with this statement is for three reasons: 1. The fact the Mr. Paul fails to realize we were attacked preemptively by 19 muslims.  2. Mr. Paul continues to disrespect those who died in the attacks on the Pentagon, the WTC, and United Flight 93. 3. Mr. Paul shows a complete lack of historical knowledge of something that happened only 10 years ago.

Here is the quote:

Video Credit: CBS

Here are some previous posts on Ron Paul:

Ron Paul on The War On Terror

Ron Paul on Iran

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Israel vs. The U.N. On The Refugees

I have posted before on Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon's series of videos detailing the Israeli-Arab conflict. However, his most recent video blasts the U.N. on the way it handles Arab refugees from Israel. Take a look: 

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Strategy For The 21st Century, Part 2: Asia

     Asia. Since the Communist Chinese took over China in 1949 there has been a secret war waged along the west side of the Pacific Rim. After that was the Soviet naval buildup under Admiral Gorshkov, that turned the Soviet Navy into a true blue-water navy. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union (and it's navy) there is only one real Communist nation that poses a threat in the Pacific, the People's Republic of China. Just in the last few weeks China's president Hu Jintao urged the PLAN to prepare for combat. This comes as tensions continue to rise over the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea, and the PLAN stopped an Indian Navy ship just outside Vietnamese territorial waters. As China continues to buildup their military, the United States must respond. Here is what I believe the U.S. must do to stop China.
     1. Build new bases, and reopen old ones. Since the U.S. took over the Philippines from Spain in 1896, we operated Naval Base Subic Bay, and Clark Air Base a few miles away. However, after the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Clark AB was covered in ash. The year after in 1992 the treaty leasing NB Subic Bay expired. Thus, the U.S. lost 2 very valuable bases located only 1100km from China. With the U.S. backing the Philippines in the Spratly Islands dispute, it would be in the Pilippines' and the U.S.'s best interests to reopen NB Subic Bay, and if possible Clark Air Base, as the former Clark Air Base is now Diosdada Macapagal International Airport. Also, the Marine Corps is in the process of stationing 2500 Marines near Darwin, this should be augmented with a full-fledged Air Force base and Naval Station in Australia, if the Australians are willing. Bases should also be established in Taiwan, and Singapore, existing bases on Guam, Hawaii, and Okinawa should be expanded.
     2. Cease the construction of "Supercarriers", and design and build a new class of aircraft carriers about the size of the USS Midway-class. In that last few years the Chinese have begun developing the DF-21D, as a means of denying most of the Western Pacific to U.S. aircraft carriers. This coupled with the proliferation of supersonic cruise missiles, and Kilo-class submarines poses a grave threat to U.S. naval air power throughout the Pacific. Furthermore, in this case quantity is better than quality, because at the moment if one carrier is lost there is a gaping hole the Navy's capabilities until the next carrier is completed. Thus, it is necessary that the Navy instead of building very few "Supercarriers", build a smaller class of carriers with a displacement not to exceed 65,000 tons, a max speed of 40 knots, and a complement of  50 aircraft. This is feasible as the USS Midway had a displacement of 62,000 and could carry 65 aircraft as of it's decommissioning in 1992. 
     3. Resurrect the Navy's ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) capability. During the Cold War the U.S. Navy was the best in the world at ASW. However, since the USSR collapsed in 1991 the Navy's ASW capability has gone down hill. This can be rectified by, 1. Extending the life of Perry-class frigates 2. Investing in more SOSUS systems and towed array sonars. 3. Developing a new class of frigates specifically for the ASW role.
     There is more that I will lay out in future posts, but the ideas I have laid out in this post, I believe are a good start to beating China and maintaining the U.S.'s national security.

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Strategy For The 21st Century Part 1: Europe

     Europe. Since 1991 and the "Peace Dividend" almost every country in NATO has been drastically cutting back on it's military. Examples are the U.K., Germany, Denmark, Belgium, France, Italy, and the list goes on. The more NATO members slash their military, the more the burden falls to the U.S. defend NATO. Thus, it is in our interests, and NATO's for the U.S. to pull out of NATO and Europe. And here's why:
     1. We are for all intents and purposes defending NATO instead of NATO members defending themselves. As of 2011 there are roughly 54,000 U.S. soldiers in Germany, 9,000 in the U.K., and a further 9,000 in Italy. In last year's SDSR the U.K. canceled the Nimrod MRA4,  personnel numbers in the Air Force, Navy and Army were reduced by a combined total of 17,000 troops. The number of Challenger 2 tanks was cut by 40%, the number of AS-90 self-propelled artillery was cut by 35%, and list goes on. The same thing that is taking place in Britain is also taking place in Germany, with the Germans cutting their military drastically from it's Cold War strength of 360,000 to just 76,000 men. Why? Because the U.S. has become the sugar-daddy in terms of defense for NATO members, and this is putting strain on the U.S. military and the defense budget as the troops and equipment based in Europe are needed elsewhere, and we cannot afford to defend Europe any longer.
     2. The USSR is gone, and the Russian Federation is not much of a conventional threat. Since the collapse of the USSR, the Russian military has been in decline, and has lost most of conventional military power. For example, the Russian Navy has 61 submarines of all types (cruise missile, ballistic missile, attack, diesel-electric, and rescue) as of 2011, down from a high of 373 submarines of all types in 1985. The Russian Army has a strength of 321,000 men, this is down from a strength of 1,995,000 men in 1985. The Russian Air Force is down to 769 fighters from 1620 fighters in 1985.  However, Russia is still a nuclear threat, as Russia's nuclear forces are for the most part still intact, with at least one new missile in development, and the fact that with the decline of Russia's conventional forces they forced to rely heavily on their nuclear deterrent.
     However, there are some bases in Europe that are actually needed for our (the U.S.'s) national security. Namely, RAF Lakenheath, RAF Fylingdales, Naval Station Rota, and Lajes Field. RAF Fylingdales because it is the base of one of two early warning radars meant to detect Russian or Chinese ballistic missiles launches. RAF Lakenheath because it is the base of the 48th Fighter Wing, and it would be good to maintain a small force in Europe for any unforeseen events. Naval Station Rota because it is located strategically at the mouth of the Mediterranean, and also will provide a base for operating against the Russians who have become more active in the Med'. Lajes Field because it provides a landing strip for transports heading east, and would provide a rest stop for transports in the event of another Operation Nickel Grass.  Also, as Air Force units based in Germany and throughout Europe are being withdrawn, the 100th Air Refueling Wing from RAF Mildenhall, and the 52nd Fighter Wing from Spangdahlem Air Base, would be moved to RAF Lakenheath.
     If the the U.S. can get itself out of Europe there would no savings for a few years as the bases are shut down and the troops brought home, but over the long term you are looking at savings in the billions of dollars a year. These saving could be used in other areas of Defense or in paying off the debt, and pulling out of Europe will force NATO members to actually defend themselves.