Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Does Taiwan NEED The M1 Abrams

TAIPEI — Debate over the practicality of procuring more main battle tanks (MBTs) for Taiwan has intensified since the Ministry of National Defense confirmed last week it was negotiating with the U.S. for surplus M1A1 Abrams MBTs left over from the Iraq War.
The announcement renewed debate over the need for a heavy MBT, said a Defense Ministry source, “but they are cheap and available now.” The deal would include refurbishment, but not an upgrade, he said. In 2011, Vice Defense Minister Chao Shih-chang was quoted by the local media saying the Army needed 200 new MBTs.
Since the 1996 Taiwan Strait missile crisis, Taiwan has focused on improving air-sea battle capabilities, and the Army has watched its grip on power and influence slip since the end of the Cold War. The Army maintained a large invasion force to retake mainland China during the Cold War.
Local defense analysts argue there are other pragmatic reasons for not procuring bigger and heavier MBTs. The island is composed of rugged interior mountains notorious for landslides. The coasts are either rice paddies, fish farms or are urbanized. Coupled with narrow roadways and anemic bridges, the island seems an unlikely home for a 60-ton tank 12 feet wide.
“The bridge piece of it is a real key, since you only have one shot to get a 60-ton tank across a 35-ton bridge, and then you have no bridge,” a U.S. defense analyst said. The M1A1 limits the choice of routes, but so does the “speed aspect,” he said.
“It is different than planning a route march by M60 [tanks], since the M113 [infantry carriers] cannot keep up with the M1A1s if going 40 mph,” he said. “It is one of those items that causes a revolution in military thought in planning, because you get a capability that is a generation above what you have.”
Also, Taiwan’s MBTs use a locally manufactured 105mm round, not the 120mm round used by the M1A1. Having a standard round for all MBTs is cost-efficient, said a former U.S. military officer who served at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto U.S. Embassy here.
     These so-called "local defense analysts" make good points about Taiwan's terrain, infrastucture and the M1's main gun. However, terrain while a concern, is not a major factor as the sheer presence of a few M1A1s will give the Chinese a little something extra to think about. As to small bridges, build new bridges. And the idea that the M1 should not be purchased because of it's main gun, is ludicrous. The M1 Abrams was originally designed to shoot the 105mm round, and could be modified to do so again. 
      In other words, yes Taiwan needs the M1 Abrams

iPhone Sized Handgun

     Obviously a last line of defense, but it might be a good weapon for a woman looking to conceal carry due to it's size.

• Titanium Frame with a MIL-STD finish that resists corrosion
• Two rounds in the chamber and integral grips house an additional two spare rounds
• Ported barrel reduces muzzle flip and recoil
• Slim, no-snag hammerless design for easy pocket carry
• Thumb latch auto ejects spent rounds
• 7 Patents pending including double-action trigger system
• 1911 Ergonomics and loaded rounds are visible
• Quick change - interchangable barrels

DoubleTap™ Specifications*:

.45 ACP, 9MM
14 oz Titanium (empty)
12 oz Aluminum (empty)
.665 inches
5.5 inches
3.9 inches
3.0 inches
Titanium or Aluminum

Hat tip to Doug Ross @ Journal for spotting this.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chinese Army Uses Flamethrower To Destroy Wasp Nest

     Since I have nothing else to post I give you this, and as a side note their CO has it out for the guy at 1:05.

Hat tip to CDR Salamander for spotting this.

Photo Credit: JAWS4FUN

Russia Denies Report Of Naval Base Negotiations

     From Defense News:

MOSCOW — The Russian defence ministry on July 27 denied it was holding negotiations about opening military installations in Cuba, Vietnam and the Seychelles, dismissing as “fantasy” media reports saying as much.
The denial came after Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency quoted Vice Adm. Viktor Chirkov, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, as saying Russia was working on the deployment of overseas naval bases.
But late July 27, the Defence Ministry said in a statement that Chirkov made no official declaration on the subject.
“Questions concerning relations between nations are not within the jurisdiction of the Russian naval command so should not be presented to the media in that way,” the ministry said. “The appearance of such information in the media is merely the fantasy of (the media) which has opted for sensation over professional ethics.”
     I think there are two possibilities here, 1) a certain admiral got too big for his britches, and ran his mouth off on something classified, or 2) Chirkov was just trying to get media attention, and was lying. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Russia In Negotiations For A Naval Base In Cuba Or Vietnam

     From Rueters:

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia hopes to establish its first naval base abroad since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and is looking at Cuba, Vietnam and the Seychelles as possible locations, state-runRIA news agency quoted the navy chief as saying on Friday.
Russia has been increasing the reach of its navy in recent years, sending warships further afield as part of an effort to restore pride project power in a world dominated by the U.S. military.
"It's true that we are continuing work on providing the navy with basing outside the Russian Federation," RIA quoted Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov as saying in an interview.
The Soviet Union had a large naval base in Communist ally Vietnam but post-Soviet Russia opted to vacate the Cam Ranh base in 2002, during President Vladimir Putin's first Kremlin term, because rent payments were a burden on state coffers.
The fate of Russia's only naval facility outside the former Soviet Union, a maintenance and supply facility in the Syrian port of Tartous, is uncertain because of the conflict in Syria.
Chirkov said Russia was "working out the issue of creating sites for material and technical support on the territory of Cuba, the Seychelles and Vietnam," RIA reported.
     Currently, the Russian Navy is rusting away, as most of their ships date from the days of the Soviet Union. The only real problem I can see with Russia establishing a naval base in Cuba is if they base nuclear weapons there. As to Vietnam and the Seychelles, not to big of an issue there.

Israel May Strike Syria To Keep WMDs From Hezbollah

As Syria's regime teeters on the brink of collapse, Israeli soldiers and civilians alike are preparing for possible military action to make sure Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons don't fall into the hands of terrorist groups.
Sources close to the Israel Defense Force told FoxNews.com soldiers have been put on standby and are ready to move, while civilian demand for gas masks has jumped 66 percent over the last few weeks from 2,200 to 3,700 per day. The fears center around the prospect of Hezbollah getting Syrian chemical weapons as the Assad regime shows imminent signs of collapse.

“Israel...will not hold back and will respond decisively if this happens,” Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said.

Hezbollah, (the Islamic militant group based in south Lebanon, supported by both Syria and Iran), who has long called for the destruction of Israel, is the prime candidate to take possession of the armaments. Speculation is mounting about when and how Israel will deal with the prospect of chemical weapons being spirited away during the chaos of Assad's likely fall.

“It appears the IDF may seek to eliminate Syria’s ability to transport the weapons to proxy forces but not to eliminate the actual weapons themselves by striking at storage facilities," Idan Kweller, political correspondent for Israel Army Radio, told FoxNews.com. "Israel’s main interest is to ensure the weapons are not passed on to the likes of Hezbollah in south Lebanon.”

The potential breakdown of the Syrian regime has reportedly paved the way for any number of Islamist terror groups, including Al Qaeda, to blend in with the Free Syrian Army, giving them cover to get at the a chemical weapons stockpile Assad acknowledges having. That could potentially pose a massive threat to Israel’s security and inflict significant civilian casualties, according to experts.

Meanwhile, the race to locate the chemical weapons has reportedly been taxing a number of international security agencies, including the CIA, desperate to ensure the arms won’t fall into the wrong hands and spark an all-out regional war. One report suggested that a group of Jordanian commandoes had been sent into Syria to try and recover the weapons, while Turkey’s intelligence agency is another with good reason to fear unaccounted for weapons.

Earlier this week, Turkey, nervous of growing activity from Kurds in western Syria, mobilized troops and missile batteries to the border, further ratcheting up tensions in the region against their former ally. Earlier on Thursday, Turkish newspaper Zalman reported officials speaking optimistically of Turkey’s “commitment to preserving warm relations with Israel,” a significant change in tone from the antagonistic relationship on both sides in recent years and a follow on from the up-beat visit of a Turkish delegation to Jerusalem who met with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu a day earlier.
Kweller believes Israel and Turkey could well be on the verge of setting aside recent disputes to jointly focus on the danger a de-stabilized Syria poses them both.

With increased reconnaissance of the region set to dictate the next move, the Israeli public is holding its breath to see exactly what Netanyahu and his advisors will do next. They may hold back until the last possible moment in an effort to be seen as doing everything to keep the lid on the region, or they could move proactively. The IDF and the public don't know yet, but their jitters are real.

     A picture is worth a thousand words.


Welcome, Texas Style

     It's things like this that make you proud to be a Texan. Now, if we can only get open-carry legalized.

     If you couldn't tell already, this is photo-shopped.
Photo Credit: Doug Ross@Journal

The 72 Club: 7/28

Friday, July 27, 2012

Flashback Friday: Ulyanovsk-class

     This week the topic of discussion is the USSR's planned class of supercarriers, the Ulyanovsk-class. The Ulyanovsk-class was supposed to be a Soviet analog to the American Nimitz-class supercarriers. The main mission of the Ulyanovsk-class would have been power projection and sea control, versus ASW as with all previous Soviet carrier designs.
     The Ulyanovsk-class would have had a displacement of just under 80,000 tons fully loaded, a length of 325 meters, a beam of 40m, and a draft of 11m. The Ulyanovsk-class would have had a top speed of at least 30 knots, and crew of roughly 3,800 men. 
     As with all Soviet carrier designs the Ulyanovsk-class carried their own offensive firepower in the form of 12 SS-N-19 Shipwreck ASCMs in 12 VLS launchers between the forward catapults. The Ulyanovsk-class also carried 24 SA-N-9 Gauntlet SAMs in VLS cells scattered around the deck. However, the Ulyanovsk-class departed from previous Soviet carrier designs in that they were not equipped with ASW weapons, sonar, and large guns. 
     The lead ship of the Ulyanovsk-class, the Ulyanovsk, was under construction when the USSR collapsed in 1991, and was scrapped in 1994 and her metal sold on the world metal market, as was the metal being readied for the second ship. However, there are rumblings that the Ulyanovsk-class design may be used for China's future aircraft carriers (unfortunately the Aviation Week article that I was going to link to is no longer available, so here is a blog post I wrote a year ago with some links on the subject).
     The Ulyanovsk-class was a rather interesting aircraft carrier design, but ultimately was a colossal boondoggle for the USSR, sapping precious resources from more valuable projects. The USSR attempted to build ships that were equal to U.S. Navy ships, rather than concentrating on submarines and cruise missiles which would have been cheap and and hard to kill solutions. In other words, we out spent them, and in trying to catch up they bankrupted themselves.

Photo Credit: Harpoon HQ, K.E. Cepreeb

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Interior Photos Of The Varyag

     It's been some time since any photos worthy of note have come out of the Varyag. However, Alert 5 just posted some photos of the inside of the Varyag. Take a look:

Photo Credit: Alert 5

The Air Force's New Bunker Buster Is Operational

The Air Force’s 30,000-pound behemoth bunker buster is ready to be used if needed, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said Wednesday.
The Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, is designed to destroy deeply buried bunkers that protect chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, but Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year that the bomb needed more development to be able to take out Iranian bunkers.
Since then, Syria has disintegrated into full civil war, making the U.S. government worried about the Syrian regime’s stockpile of chemical weapons.
“The Syrian regime needs to protect these weapons,” Defense Department spokesman George Little said Tuesday. “And I think I’ve been very clear, as have others in the U.S. government, that it would be unacceptable not to secure them.”
After speaking at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Wednesday, Donley was asked if the MOP was available to be used. He was not asked where it might be used.
“If it needed to go today, we would be ready to do that,” he said. “We continue to do testing on the bomb to refine its capabilities, and that is ongoing. We also have the capability to go with existing configuration today.”
    This is not about Syria, or their chemical weapons. This is a message to the Iranians that their nuclear facilities are within our reach. Now, watch as Iran digs deeper bunkers for the nuclear facilities.
Photo Credit: USAF 

Kuwait Buys 60 Patriot PAC-3 ABM Missiles

     From Defense News:

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Wednesday it planned to sell 60 Patriot missiles to Kuwait in a deal worth an estimated $4.2 billion, as the emirate tries to bolster its defenses against the threat from Iran.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which is in charge of U.S. weapon sales to foreign countries, notified the Congress of the intended sale on July 20, the agency said in a statement on its website.
Congress has 30 days to raise any objections it may have. If nothing is said, the contract is deemed valid after that waiting period.
The deal involves the sale of 60 Patriot advanced capability (PAC-3) missiles, 20 launching stations, four radar systems and control stations, personnel training and training equipment, and spare parts, the DSCA said.
“Kuwait will use the PAC-3 missiles and equipment to improve its missile defense capability, strengthen its homeland defense, and deter regional threats,” the agency said.
     Nothing like the threat of ballistic missiles from Iran to light a fire under a country's leadership. Though, I think THAAD would be a better choice from missile defense.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

China Wants Okinawa

From the Washington Post:

BEIJING — For many observers, rising friction between China and Japan over a group of remote and uninhabited islands in the East China Sea is worrying enough.
But if some influential Chinese nationalist commentators have their way, the spat over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands — which Beijing calls the Diaoyu — could widen into a dispute over a much more important archipelago.
In a fiery editorial this month, the Global Times newspaper urged Beijing to consider challenging Japan’s control over its southern prefecture of Okinawa, an island chain with a population of 1.4 million people that bristles with U.S. military bases.
“China should not be afraid of engaging with Japan in a mutual undermining of territorial integrity,” the Communist Party-run paper declared.
Maj. Gen. Jin Yinan, head of the strategy research institute at China’s National Defense University, went even further. He told state-run radio that limiting discussion to the Diaoyu was “too narrow,” saying Beijing should question ownership of the whole Ryukyu archipelago, which by some definitions extends beyond Okinawa.
     Not. Gonna. Happen. The Japanese consider Okinawa as one of the Home Islands, which is one reason why they fought so viciously there in 1945. China has already ticked the Japanese off with their dispute over the Senkaku Islands, and this will just make things worse. However, China is unlikely to ever do anything about Okinawa militarily, as that would start a war with Japan, and eventually the U.S.. Right now this appears to be just a bit of political posturing for the people on the Chinese part. Not to mention that the movement to get U.S. soldiers off of Okinawa will probably fade because of this.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Iran Nuke Program Gets Thunderstruck

     From The New Scientist:

In 2010, Iran's nuclear facilities were infiltrated by Stuxnet, the centrifuge-wrecking malwareallegedly cooked up by the US government. Now they seem to have been hit again by a bizarre attack forcing nuclear plant workstations to pump the song Thunderstruck by heavy metal band AC/DC through the speakers at full volume.
News of the attack comes from Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at Finnish computer security firm F-Secure, who says he recently received a series of emails from a scientist working at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI):
"I am writing you to inform you that our nuclear program has once again been compromised and attacked by a new worm with exploits which have shut down our automation network at Natanz and another facility Fordo near Qom."
The Iranian scientist goes on to say that they believe the attackers used Metasploit, a common hacking tool which provides a variety of ways to penetrate supposedly secure networks. "There was also some music playing randomly on several of the workstations during the middle of the night with the volume maxed out," says the scientist. "I believe it was playing 'Thunderstruck' by AC/DC."
While the US military has used heavy metal music as a weapon in the past it seems unlikely that a Stuxnet-like stealth attack would announce its presence with a few blasting power chords, suggesting the hit is more likely the work of a thrill-seeking hacker. Hypponen says he has been unable to verify any details of the attack, but has confirmed that the emails were sent and received from within the AEOI.    
     D'oh. That's gotta make them more than a bit mad after a while. AC/DC isn't the greatest ever. 

More Bang For Your Truck, Part 2: Someone Is Buying The Klub-K

     One of the first posts I wrote after starting General Quarters! was a kind-of analysis of the Klub-K container-fired cruise missile. Today, Strategy Page posted a story saying that the Klub-K has been on the market for two years, meaning that someone is buying it. The question the author asks is, who? Read it:

July 24, 2012: For the last two years a Russian firm (Morinformsystem-Agat JSC) has been marketing a version of the Klub cruise missile that can be carried in a 40 foot (12.9 meter) shipping container. Called “Pandora’s Box”, the launcher and the missile have to slide out of the container before firing, thus limiting where it can be placed on a ship, particularly your typical container ship. Recently the manufacturer announced another version of this system with a smaller, slower and presumably cheaper cruise missile. This unidentified weapon is described as weighing 520 kg (half a ton), having a 145 kg (319 pound) warhead and being 3.8 meters (11.8 feet) long. Max range is 130 kilometers.

What worries counter-terrorism officials is that you could get many of these shipping container missiles on most cargo ships, turning the vessel into warship. The shipping container can also be hauled around (like many such containers are) via truck or rail car and used to surprise someone you don’t like.

The system is all in one shipping container, which is equipped with four missiles, in sealed shipping/firing containers. Also in the container are communications and targeting equipment which the two man crew uses to program the missiles, operate the hydraulic system to raise the missiles, and fire them. The entire container is waterproof, and contains a satellite link for receiving target data, or whatever.
The first version of Pandora's Box used the 3M54 Klub missile. This weapon was originally designed for the Kilo submarine. Each Klub weighs two tons, can be fired from a 533mm (21 inch) torpedo tube and has a 200 kg (440 pound) warhead. The anti-ship version has a range of 300 kilometers, and moves at up to 3,000 kilometers an hour during its last minute or so of flight. There is also an air launched and ship launched version (which is used in Pandora's Box). A land attack version does away with the high speed final approach feature, and has a 400 kg (880 pound) warhead.

What makes the anti-ship version of the 3M54 particularly dangerous is its final approach, which begins when the missile is about 15 kilometers from its target. Up to that point, the missile travels at an altitude of about 32 meters (hundred feet). This makes the missile more difficult to detect. The "high speed approach" (via the use of additional rockets) means that it covers that last fifteen kilometers in less than twenty seconds. This makes it difficult for current anti-missile weapons to take it down.

It’s unusual for a firm to offer something like Pandora's Box, which is designed for concealed transport on a merchant ship, truck or rail car. So far, none of the buyers have been identified. The manufacturer says there have been many inquiries from foreign nations (none were identified). While these missiles are of questionable effectiveness in wartime, they would likely be much more potent if used for a surprise attack on a military or civilian target. Estimated price for each cargo container of Klubs is about $6 million. The new version probably goes for less than $4 million per container. The fact that Pandora's Box is still being offered for sale after two years, and has just been upgraded, indicates that someone is buying, but who?

     In my original post I suggested that potential buyers could be muslims, or disgruntled citizens. However, in light of recent world developments countries like Iran, Syria, or Venezuela would be wise to purchase these as they can be moved into an enemy country (read the U.S.) without a great deal of trouble. Countries like Vietnam, the Philippines, or Taiwan could also buy these as a first strike weapon to use against China, or an asymmetrical weapon when conventional weapon systems have been disabled.
     Either way, the Klub-K has the capability to be be a grave threat, and needs to be monitored closely.

Photo Credit: Concern Morinformsystem-Agat 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You Can No Longer Tweet Court Jester Gaffes In Real-Time

Vice President Joe Biden will take questions from reporters on a White House press call today, and as has been the case in the past, the on-the-record conversation will be embargoed until the end of the call.
The curious caveat -- who would write an article during the middle of the call? -- is a product of the post-Twitter presidential campaign, barring reporters from the beloved habit of tweeting remarks in real-time.
But it begs the question: If it's going to be in an article 20 minutes later, why can't it be on Twitter right now?
From White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest, via email: "The embargo will allow journalists to hear the entirety of the Vice President’s remarks and get the benefit of having their questions answered -- before trying to condense a 30-minute conference call about a 20-page NEC report into a 140 characters."
     After all, its not like Biden is the biggest buffoon in politics, right? 

Russian Task Force En Route To Syria Enters Med

      From Defense News:

MOSCOW — A Russian naval flotilla of warships destined for the Syrian port of Tartus has entered the Mediterranean, Russia’s defense ministry said Tuesday.
“The Russian ships today passed the Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean at 1200 GMT,” said a defense ministry spokesman, quoted by Itar-Tass agency.
Led by the Admiral Chabanenko anti-submarine destroyer, the three landing craft left their home port of Severomorsk in the Arctic Circle earlier this month. They are due to be joined in the Mediterranean by the Russian patrol ship Yaroslav Mudry as well as an assistance vessel.
The ships will perform “planned military maneuvers”, said the ministry. Earlier in the month a military source said the ships would be topping up on supplies of fuel, water and foodstuffs.
Russia has denied that the deployment is linked to the escalating conflict in Syria.

     This is at least the second time the Russian Navy has sailed to Syria since the conflict, as the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov arrieved in Syria in December of 2011. As to why Russia is doing this again, it is probably to deliver arms, and/or evacuate Russians from Syria.

North American RA-5C Vigilante

Video Credit: jaglavaksoldier

Monday, July 23, 2012

MV-22 Arrives In Japan

Photo Credit: The Aviationist

The Bamster: Because Of Me "The World Has A New Attitude Towards America"

"Because we're leading around the world, people have a new attitude toward America. There’s more confidence in our leadership. We see it everywhere we go," President Obama said at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno.

"Four years ago, I stood before you at a time of great challenge for our nation. We were engaged in two wars. Al Qaeda was entrenched in their safe havens in Pakistan. Many of our alliances were frayed. Our standing in the world had suffered. We were in the worst recession of our lifetimes. Around the world, some questioned whether the United States still had the capacity to lead," Obama said earlier in his speech.

"So, four years ago, I made you a promise. I pledged to take the fight to our enemies, and renew our leadership in the world. As President, that’s what I’ve done. And as you reflect on recent years, as we look ahead to the challenges we face as a nation and the leadership that’s required, you don’t just have my words, you have my deeds. You have my track record. You have the promises I’ve made and the promises that I’ve kept," he said.

     Yep, the world has a new attitude towards us, Today the Aussie FM said that world leaders "see America in decline", and 100 dead and over 200 wounded in a series of bombings in Iraq. How's that Hope and Change working for ya'?

Taiwan Wants Used M1 Abrams

     From Defense News:

TAIPEI — Taiwan is considering purchasing tanks used by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan to update its aging fleet, the defense ministry and media said July 23.
Taiwan remains wary of China despite a recent improvement in relations, and military experts say the self-ruled island would deploy tanks in the event of a land invasion by its powerful neighbor.
The M1 Abrams, which entered U.S. service in 1980 and replaced M60s, are a third-generation main battle tank and would bolster Taiwan’s fleet of about 1,200 tanks, mostly M60s and M48s.

This is interesting because it comes soon after Red China announced plans to establish a garrison in the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. And this is an extension of the ongoing arms race in the region as most countries with coasts on the South China Sea are gearing up for a war with China over the natural resources in the region. However, Taiwan will probably not get the tanks as the current administration is extremely hostile to them.

Photo Credit: USMC

Marine Corps Establish Police Battalions

     From the Associated Press:

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) -- The Marine Corps has created its first law enforcement battalions - a lean, specialized force of military police officers that it hopes can quickly deploy worldwide to help investigate crimes from terrorism to drug trafficking and train fledgling security forces in allied nations.

The Corps activated three such battalions last month. Each is made up of roughly 500 military police officers and dozens of dogs. The Marine Corps has had police battalions off and on since World War II but they were primarily focused on providing security, such as accompanying fuel convoys or guarding generals on visits to dangerous areas, said Maj. Jan Durham, commander of the 1st Law Enforcement Battalion at Camp Pendleton.

The idea behind the law enforcement battalions is to consolidate the military police and capitalize on their investigative skills and police training, he said. The new additions come as every branch in the military is trying to show its flexibility and resourcefulness amid defense cuts.

Read the rest here.

     This caught my attention because the Marine Corps is a military organization, and while they have MPs for base security, they don't have a role in law enforcement. Yet, here they are setting up whole battalions for busting drug runners and investigating terrorism. However, I would bet a months pay that these units are really meant to be used inside the United States to keep the peace when things hit the fan.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Wit of The Greatest President

     As a man who has given many speeches, I can tell you that nothing helps more than a well placed joke, and Reagan shows this beautifully.

Video Credit: ReaganClub

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ron Paul Thinks Romney Is Scared Of Him

From The Blaze

Texas Rep. Ron Paul on Friday said the Romney campaign is “insecure” about him speaking at the Republican National Convention next month, possibly because they’re concerned about him using it as a platform to rally his supporters.
Nebraska‘s state GOP convention Saturday is Paul’s last chance to win an official presence and speaking slot in Florida. Under the RNC’s bylaws, Paul needs to win a plurality of delegates in five states to be awarded a convention spot. So far, he has four: Iowa, Minnesota, Maine and Louisiana. Nebraska is his final hope, though even supporters admit it’s a long shot.
“I think the Romney campaign organization is very insecure,” said Paul in an interview on Fox Business.
Paul said he hasn‘t heard directly from Romney on whether he’ll be given a spot, but said he‘s gotten the sense that it’s the RNC that’s more open to letting him have a presence.
“They [the Romney campaign] want this thing to go smoothly,” he said. “But all conventions are like that. And this is the one thing that annoys me a bit. If they want this thing to go smoothly and be a big media event, and it costs the taxpayers $18 million, and they don’t want a discussion, why can’t we have a little debate?”
     Mr. Paul, the reason no one wants you to speak is because as soon as you talk about anything half the audience falls over with laughter at your naivete. That's the truth.

Photo Credit: CS Monitor

Monday, July 16, 2012

LockMart & Taiwan Ink Deal To Update Taiwan's F-16s

     From Aviation Week:

Taiwan’s state-owned aerospace company and Lockheed Martin on July 12 said they had signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on upgrades of Taiwan’s 145 F-16 A/B fighter jets once Washington and Taipei finalize the deal.

Today a source familiar with the matter confirmed that the U.S. government and Taiwan signed a letter of acceptance on a $3.7 billion deal to upgrade 145 F-16 fighter jets.

Lockheed officials also confirmed the news, which was announced in Taipei by Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corp., a state-owned aerospace company, although the memorandum was signed at the Farnborough International Airshow on Wednesday.

The memorandum confirmed the AIDC’s “determination to work with Lockheed Martin” to meet the requirements of Taiwan’s Air Force on upgrading its aging F-16A/B fleet.

Under the memorandum, Lockheed will work with the Taiwanese company “on F-16 retrofit modifications, F-16 component parts manufacture and other potential offset projects.”

The memorandum comes when Taiwan and the United States are close to finalizing a deal to upgrade Taiwan’s 145 F-16A/B jet fighters at a cost of up to $5.3 billion.

A letter of acceptance on the larger weapons deal could be signed within weeks, said a source familiar with the matter.

The Obama administration approved the F-16 upgrades for Taiwan last September, upsetting China, but details of the actual government-to-government weapons sale are still being finalized.

Obama administration officials say the upgrade would give the planes essentially the same capabilities as new late-model F-16 C/Ds that Taiwan had sought to deter any attack.

China opposes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan on the grounds that they sabotage Beijing’s plans for reunification. China deems Taiwan a renegade province and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

U.S. lawmakers sympathetic to Taiwan are pushing for Washington sell 66 new F-16s to Taiwan, in addition to the upgrades.

     About time. Though, I do wish Sen. Cornyn would increase the pressure on the Dear Leader to sell those new F-16s to Taiwan.

Photo Credit: USAF  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Computer Troubles

I've been having problems with my computer for the last week and a half, so the blog has languished. But now the computer problem has been fixed, so posting will resume this week.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day Y'all

     Today 236 years ago, 57 delegates signed the Declaration of Independence which gave the 13 states independence from Britain, and gave future generations a chance at something great.

Have a good Independence Day y'all.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

India Plans To Build 2nd Indigenous Carrier

India plans to build another indigenous aircraft carrier in addition to the INS Vikrant, which is expected to join the country’s navy in 2016.

“The indigenous aircraft carrier [IAC] program is planned to be [a] continuing process over the next decade-plus, with the Indian navy’s medium-term aim being to have at least two fully operational and combat worthy carriers available at any 
given time,” says Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Nirmal Verma.

The second planned IAC could weigh about 65,000 tons and is likely to be christened INS Vishal.

Vikrant is under construction at the public-sector Cochin Shipyard in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The keel-laying for Vikrant, which will weigh about 45,000 tons, took place in February 2009.

Verma says the Indian navy has articulated a development plan up to 2027 that is “capability-based rather than threat-based.”

     This comes after the converted-Kiev sailed for sea trials. I think with this, and other plans, we are seeing a new power bloc appear in Asia. Either way India will be quite interesting to watch over the next few years.

Photo Credit: Russia Today 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

This Week's Joe Biden Gaffes

Joe being Joe, and remember this man is ONE heartbeat away from being POTUS.

Exhibit 1:
      I don't live in a beautiful house? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder you elitist jerk.

Exhibit 2:

Hat tip to Weasel Zippers.