The Collapse of the INF

The 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty was the first treaty to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons from the arsenals of the US and Russia. “Trust buy verify” was Reagan’s catchphrase to describe the treaty. In the early 1980s, Soviet deployment of intermediate ranged weapons such as the SS-20 missile lead to US deployment of Pershing II missiles as well as Ground Launched Cruise Missiles. The extremely short time of flight of SS-20 and Pershing II was seen as destabilizing, and the theory of a limited nuclear exchange in Europe being limited to Europe was widely discredited. By eliminating intermediate range forces, with both the Soviet Union and the US instead relying on intercontinental forces, the Mutual Assured Destruction theory of deterrence was actually strengthened. This led to a measurable decrease in tension between the superpowers.

With the successful implementation of the INF treaty, sufficient trust between the superpowers was built that allowed other treaties to move forward, such as the Conventional Forces in Europe agreement.

For many years, INF has been held aloft by both the political right and the left as a model of  successful negotiation by the West with the East.

Today, a resurgent Russia is de facto discarding the INF treaty.

The United States has concluded that Russia violated a landmark arms control treaty by testing a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile, according to senior American officials, a finding that was conveyed by President Obama to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in a letter on Monday.

It is the most serious allegation of an arms control treaty violation that the Obama administration has leveled against Russia and adds another dispute to a relationship already burdened by tensions over the Kremlin’s support for separatists in Ukraine and its decision to grant asylum to Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor.

At the heart of the issue is the 1987 treaty that bans American and Russian ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles capable of flying 300 to 3,400 miles. That accord, which was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, helped seal the end of the Cold War and has been regarded as a cornerstone of American-Russian arms control efforts.

And why shouldn’t Putin disregard the treaty? The Obama administration has already conceded that they will do little or nothing to punish Russia.

As a practical matter, the US cannot simply reinvent the Pershing II and GLCM systems. First, that would be enormously expensive. Secondly, we would have to find a European ally  willing to host such systems. Even in the coldest days of the Cold War, it was extraordinarily unpopular with large swaths of the European electorate. Today there simply would be no western European nation willing to host such weapons. And it’s not like the Obama administration would be willing to put forth the diplomatic effort to convince any that hosting them would be in their best interests.

There is on possible reply the US could make that, while expensive, is quite feasible. After 1992, the US removed nuclear weapons from the inventory of all but the strategic missile submarine force. The nuclear tipped weapons such as the Tomahawk were retired.

But with some infrastructure effort, and a good deal of expensive training, US naval forces could quickly establish a credible intermediate range nuclear threat to Russia.

Another possibility is that the Army Tactical Missile System, a short ranged guided ballistic missile system, could have its range extended. It was deliberately designed to fall well short of the 500km range threshold of INF. Coupled with a program to develop a nuclear warhead, it could provide a response to continued Russian development of intermediate ranged ballistic missile systems.

Neither system would be particularly technically challenging. Only politically.

Battle Rattle » Priceless Craigslist apartment posting for Camp Lejeune barracks is a must read

Marines who are preparing for a permanent change of station to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, might be trolling Craigslist for housing.

Well, this listing might have everything you’re looking for — or perhaps everything you’re hoping to escape.

On July 20, a Craigslist user posted a one-bedroom rental that would be available in two weeks. The “lovely” 225 square foot space is located in a “gated community with 24-hour private security,” the advertisement states. Rent is $1,000 per month, and can be conveniently paid “on the 1st or split between the 1st and 15th with automatic withdrawal.”

There are not only free laundry facilities and gym memberships, but also running trails with “motivation specialists” to “encourage” runners.

via Battle Rattle » Priceless Craigslist apartment posting for Camp Lejeune barracks is a must read.

Barracks are ever so much nicer than they once were. And yet barracks life still sucks.

…The More They Stay The Same.

kipsmile_5

Brad’s excellent piece about the weak-minded simps on the far-left being anti-Israel, and openly sympathetic to Hamas, can be corroborated around most any college campus on either coast.  Leftist Progressive “intellectuals” of all ages rail against Israel and the Jews so vehemently that it would make Julius Streicher blush.  They are too dogmatic and stupid to figure out that Hamas would perpetrate on Israeli men, women, and children precisely what ISIS did this week, when it massacred some 1,500 young Iraqi men (filming much of it) in scenes reminiscent of SS Einsatzgruppen on the Eastern Front.  All Hamas lacks is the means.  Which leftists in this country (which include Mssrs Kerry and Obama) seem ever so willing to give them.  To those who would recoil at such a comparison, I would ask, just what do you think “destruction of the Zionist Jews” means?   Hamas is also supported wholeheartedly with weapons and money (so much the more since sanctions were lifted) by our old friend Iran.  (Whom we are told we should trust not to build a nuclear weapon.  They don’t mean what they say about annihilating Israel, either.)

This willful blindness is, however, not a new paradigm.  Obama’s, and the American media’s, pandering to Muslims and outright sympathy for Hamas and its soulless butchers in Gaza, have a familiar ring to them.  Who else but the incomparable Kipling tells us of such a precedent?

Boh Da Thone was a warrior bold:
His sword and his rifle were bossed with gold,

And the Peacock Banner his henchmen bore
Was stiff with bullion, but stiffer with gore.

He shot at the strong and he slashed at the weak
From the Salween scrub to the Chindwin teak:

He crucified noble, he scarified mean,
He filled old ladies with kerosene:

While over the water the papers cried,
“The patriot fights for his countryside!”

So there you have it.  That said, rather than seeing members of Hamas squashed by a fat railroad employee, I would be ever so happy to see some fuel-air explosive dropped on one of their parades.   Same with ISIS.   Too bad Obama, the media, and the far-left are so sympathetic to the former and indifferent about the latter.   T’ain’t much new under the sun.

Remains of WW2 Japanese Plane Found Near Peru | 

Tumbes| A team of underwater oil and gas prospectors working near the northern part of the Peruvian coast have uncovered the carcass of a Japanese warplane from the Second World War era. The plane seemed to have been covered with bullet holes, suggesting it could have been gunned down in the area in a yet unknown aerial skirmish of the war.

The preliminary observations have permitted to identify the plane as an early model of Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen used by the Japanese Imperial Navy from 1940 to 1945. When it was introduced early in World War II, the Zero was considered the most capable carrier-based fighter in the world, combining excellent maneuverability and very long range, and was the pride of the Japanese Navy.

via Remains of WW2 Japanese Plane Found Near Peru | .

Well, that’s pretty interesting. I have a theory it might have been a war trophy later dumped.  But who knows?

A-10 Hawg’s New Role As a Storm Chasing Aircraft.

This A-10 is undergoing conversion to a storm chasing aircraft.
This A-10 is undergoing conversion into a storm chasing aircraft.

As retirement looms for the USAF’s A-10 Hawg, the National Science Foundation and Zivko Aeronautics have teamed up in a $13 million dollar project to convert one aircraft into a platform to deploy sensors in thunderstorms.

A computer server system will be installed where the weapons system used to be. The system will use sensors on the wings to detect things like wind speed, pressure and movement of a storm. The information is then sent to researchers working on the ground.

“So they’ll get real time, first-hand knowledge of whatever it is they want to sample,” Schneider said.

The A-10 will be equipped to release small sensors into the storm, similar to what was done in the movie “Twister”. The only difference is the sensors will be released from above the storm instead of below it.

“We’re actually going to drop ours out of the wing tips and the wheel pods,” said Schneider.

Learn more from the video in the article above.

From the National Science Foundation:

Since the retirement of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) T-28 in 2005, the storm research community has been without means of obtaining in-situ measurements of storm properties.  In 2010 the National Science Foundation (NSF) took steps to remedy this.  The Foundation decided to sponsor the Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS) at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, to requisition a Fairchild A-10 from the US Air Force.   A year later, the USAF agreed to lend a mothballed A-10 to the US Navy, to be regenerated, reinforced for storm penetration, instrumented for scientific research, and operated by CIRPAS in collaboration with scientists at SDSMT.

The A-10 is a rugged aircraft deisgned to take a lot of punishment from the battlefield. That same strength will be of value when doing the storm research. From Popular Mechanics:

“Conventional research aircraft avoid these severe storms, so they’re basically outside looking in,” meteorologist and veteran storm-chaser Joshua Wurman of the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, Colo, tells PM. “We want to study the worst weather, but we’re trying to keep the [plane] outside the worst weather. With the A-10, we don’t have that limitation.”

A couple of the Thunderbolt’s targets will be supercell thunderstorms, which birth tornadoes, and mesoscale convective systems, giant storm clusters that can produce thunder and lightning, pounding hail, and damaging winds. Ground-based radar systems can track wind and precipitation in these systems fairly well from a distance. But to understand how temperature and humidity contribute to tornado formation, for example, researchers need to get at the heart of the storm.

The A-10 started off as a platform designed to save lives on the battelfield. It’s an interesting twist the A-10 will now be saving civilian lives in the US.

Git Sum!
Git Sum!

I don’t want to hear one damn word about Israeli war crimes.

Every damn leftist tells me about purported Israeli genocide against Palestinians.  That’s crap. In all the Middle East, there are only 1.6 million Arabs that enjoy complete political and religious freedom. And they live in Israel.

You know who likes killing Arabs?

——

Arabs.

And if you don’t think for a second that Hamas would love to do to every Israeli what ISIS has done, you simply refuse to listen to what Hamas itself insists.

There’s video at the second link. I’m not going to post it. But you should watch, vomit, and realize the utter depravity the civilized world will sooner or later have to confront.

Obama, Kerry and Utter Incompetence in the Middle East

I really cannot add anything to Ace’s two pieces this morning on the complete disaster that is the  Kerry led mission to seek a Gaza cease fire.

What the Hell is John Kerry Doing?

And

Does John Kerry Read The New York Times?

It’s one thing for the Obama administration to be consistently mildly hostile to the Israelis. That’s just what the Left has become in America.

But to approach both sides of this conflict in a manner that leaves both Israel and Hamas openly contemptuous of the Obama administration really takes some doing.

The Forrestal Fire

Today marks the anniversary of one of the most famous fires aboard ship, the conflagaration that struck the USS Forrestal as she prepared to launch strikes against North Vietnam in 1967.

http://blogs-images.forbes.com/williampentland/files/2012/09/USS-Forrestal-Fire.jpg

I’ve written of this before here.

One reason the fire is so well known is that it was extensively filmed by cameras used to monitor activities on the flight deck. And that film has been used ever since to train sailors of the dangers of fire, and how best to save their ship.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6NnfRT_OZA]

 

The National Naval Aviation Museum actually tracked down the squadron duty logbook of an embarked squadron, VA-65 by the officer on duty, Ron Zlatoper.

http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/nnam-wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Forestal-Fire-Log-Book_02.jpg

Zlatoper would go on to a distinguished career, retiring as a four star Admiral. Who knows what the 134 men who died saving their ship might have done?