Philly Cop Shot in Name of Islam. What To Do?

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The suspect in the shooting (“attempted execution”) of a Philadelphia police officer declared that he shot the officer in Islam’s name.   (From the Police Commissioner: “According to him, police bend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Quran.”) Somehow, the mayor of Philadelphia seems to disagree with the shooter.  Sorta like how Obama doesn’t think muhammedans shrieking their hatred and vengeance upon the infidel as they murder Christians by the thousands has anything to do with muhammedanism.

Be that as it may, the man used a stolen police gun, something the new Obama executive action surely would have prevented.  The police need to be armed, of course, so the real criminal here is obviously religion.  It is high time we recognize that religion kills more people than anything else.  And in order to keep our children safe, we need to have some serious curbs on just anyone having religion.   Schools should be God-free zones.  We need to stop the “extremists” who have hijacked the First Amendment to claim an individual right to faith.

Do you believe in God?  Then you are an extremist.  You should be listed in a federal database as a believer in God.  The place you attend church services should be legally liable for anyone of that faith who kills or harms another person.  That way, when people are no longer allowed to have religion and we are all thankfully safe, armed Federal authorities can come to your house and confiscate bibles, crucifixes, prayer books, rosary beads, and other religious paraphernalia that are dangers to themselves, their household, and their neighbors.

Such a plan, of course, is not unprecedented.  Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, replying to a questioner in Keene, NH who asked “[Regarding] churches…the Soviet Union managed to take away tens of thousands–even millions–of churches and houses of worship, and in one year they were all gone. Can we do that? And if we can’t, why can’t we?”

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“I don’t know enough details to tell you how we would do it or how it would work, but certainly the Soviet example is worth looking at,” Clinton said at a New Hampshire town hall on Friday.

Common-sense religious laws.  Religion is responsible for more violence than any other single thing.  This outmoded idea that everyone has the right to have God in their lives, God telling them what to do instead of the dictates of the State, “makes no sense”, in the words of President Obama.  Maybe, if we can eliminate such dangerous religion in the hands of private citizens, we can avoid the tragedies like San Bernadino, Fort Hood, Umpqua, UC Merced, Paris, and elsewhere.  Let’s do it, for the children, so they can be safe from God and religious violence.  Like the ones in Kampuchea.

 

The Russian Navy

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the impressive blue water fleet built up by Admiral of the Fleet Gorshkov soon disintegrated into almost utter irrelevance. Russia simply had no money to maintain the fleet. Further, many of the hulls were obsolescent, held in service to artificially boost fleet size. 

Russia simply scrapped, abandoned, or sold off huge chunks of the fleet, focusing on maintaining a kernel of capability, primarily its nuclear armed ballistic missile submarine force.

Beginning about the middle of the first decade of the 20th century, however, as Russian economic fortunes began to improve, renewed emphasis was placed on naval capability.

The Office of Naval Intelligence recently released an overview of the Russian Navy’s past, and its current status.

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Take note that the first emphasis in renewed shipbuilding was on strategic capital ships. The top priority was to develop and deploy a new class of strategic ballistic missile submarines. The uttermost priority for Russia must be to continue to field a credible nuclear deterrence force.  After that, only then does submarine building focus on attack submarines.

Contrast that with developments in the surface forces. Shipbuilding capability, particularly for warships, is quite limited. And so rather than stress building large combatants, they’ve focused on building small, but quite capable, light combatants. New classes of corvettes, light frigates, and guided missile frigates are in production. Only after serial production of these types will Russia begin development of guided missile destroyers.

Note also that concurrent with our own Navy’s CNO’s emphasis on payloads over platforms, the Russians have taken a similar stance. Whereas our own LCS has a main battery consisting of a 57mm gun and Hellfire short range missiles, the Russian light warships have a Vertical Launch System capable of firing either the KALIBER series or YAKHONT series cruise missiles.

And Russia was sending a message recently when its corvettes and frigates used KALIBER cruise missiles launched from the Caspian Sea to attack targets in Syria. The targets almost certainly would have been easier to service via air strikes from Russian jets based in Syria. But that wouldn’t have served to remind a whole host of nations that Russia has a currently fielded capablity to conduct deep strike missile attacks at will from a stand off range that renders the launch platforms invulnerable.

The Russian Navy is unlikely to rise again to challenge the US Navy (nor the PLAN) for control of the high seas across the globe. But it is showing that it is becoming a genuine power in the region capable of complex operations and effective results.

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Russian Airliner in Sinai

The Russians have yet to respond to any such terrorist claims, but it’s safe to say that ISIS has President Putin’s full attention.

It’s unclear if militants allied with the Islamic State actually brought down the airliner. The video could be propaganda, but the terrorists do have surface-to-air missiles capable of bringing an airliner down.

The above is from IJN.  If this claim and the accompanying video are authentic, things could get very interesting.  Especially if it was a US-made MANPADS.  Putin and Russia are not constrained by the same self-loathing apology complex we are.  They certainly recognize ISIS for the threat that it is, and the United States as a paper tiger without the will (and soon, without the means) to be a major player in the Middle East.  The downing of an airliner with 224 people on board will not frighten the Russians, but will instead be an impetus for the autocratic Putin to ramp up the military response, all the while reinforcing Russia’s status once again as a world power.

H/T to LLL!

The Lessons of the Russo-Ukraine War

A tipster sent this roundup of lessons from the ongoing slow motion Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

It appears that a page or two is missing from near the end (and it badly needs a copy editor) but provides a good deal of insight into Putin’s army’s tactics, it’s operations, and its strategy. Sadly, it also exposes a good deal of the fecklessness of the US in supporting allies and partner nations in Eastern Europe.

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It goes without saying that the Obama administration has done little to nothing to assauge our allies fears of an expansionist Russia. But it must also be noted that there is little public support for a harder line with Russia. Wearied by a decade and a half of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a seemingly ever increasing number of other hot spots, the US public isn’t eager to face off with Russia, seeing little to gain, and the potential for much to lose.

Centennial of ANZAC Landings at Gallipoli

Today marks another significant centennial of the Great War.  (Yesterday marked the centenary of beginning of the Armenian Genocide.)  The ANZAC landings at Gallipoli took place on 25 April 1915.  It is a very special ANZAC Day.  From last year:

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Today is the 25th of April.  It is ANZAC Day, commemorating the 99th anniversary of the landings of 31,000 men of The Australian Division, and the Australian-New Zealand Division (reinforced with two batteries of mountain guns) on the crescent-shaped portion of beach known as Ari Burnu, forever after known as Anzac Cove.

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The ANZAC landing began before dawn on 25 April 1915, and was initially unopposed,  By mid-morning, however, Turkish troops under LtCol Mustapha Kemal had reacted strongly and taken the landing beaches and the precariously shallow Dominion positions under rifle, machine gun, and artillery fire.  Unable to move forward, and hanging onto hillside rocks and scrapes, ANZAC Commander MajGen Sir William Birdwood asked to have the beach-head evacuated.

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The Royal Navy argued that such an evacuation, particularly under fire, was impractical.   So Birdwood was ordered to stay, with the advice given by General Sir Ian Hamilton to “dig, dig, dig!”.  It is from this message, many conclude, that the ANZACs became known as the “diggers”.    Despite herculean efforts and near-suicidal courage, including the tragically costly landings at Sulva Bay in August of 1915, the stalemate was never broken.  Unable to advance, with no evacuation possible, the ANZACs remained locked in their initial positions, enduring conditions even more horrendous than those on the Western Front, until finally pulled out as a part of the general evacuation of the Gallipoli Operation in December of 1915.

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ANZAC Day has become a day of remembrance for all Australian and New Zealand war dead, but remains especially poignant for the nearly 13,000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers who gave their lives in the foothills of the Bari Sair Mountains, in the eight months of hell on Earth that was Anzac Cove.

At the going down of the sun,

and in the morning,

we will remember them.

Loss of Liberty, One Amendment at a Time

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The FCC voted today to make broadband internet a “public utility”.    A quietly terrible tragedy, the effects of which will be disastrous for our liberties.   DaveO at Op-For spells it out superbly.

From 1983 until today, February 26, 2015, America had the freest press the world has ever known because of the free (in terms of controls, not necessarily in cost) the internet. Through Obamacare we have seen the government directly attack the free exercise of religion, and today we have lost the last truly free press. Just like Obamacare, the authors and FCC Chairman ramrodded the s through with zero oversight, zero accountability, and a whole lot of lies to the people. The risk of blogs and the internet informing principled opposition to the Tyranocracy was too much to bear. What next? The Second Amendment?

For those of you who actually believed that control of broadband internet by the same Federal Government that used the IRS and Justice Department to persecute political opponents of Barack Obama and the radical Left had anything to do with “net neutrality”, your naïve stupidity in trusting the motives and explanations of this Administration contributed materially to handing control of the last semblance of independent press to the most malignant Presidency in the history of our Republic.

You were warned.  But you would rather be willfully blind.  And so you shall remain.  Let’s hear from an expert on censorship:

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?

-Stalin

Make no mistake, Barack Obama believes precisely the same.   And forget not that he counts our nation’s enemies among his friends, and domestic political opposition as his enemies.  He is once again employing his regulatory agencies, and his Führer’s Decrees, er, Executive Orders, to make sure we, his enemies, have neither.

The Blaze: Senior State Department Counterterrorism Director Arrested For Allegedly Soliciting Minor

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Here be the linkie.

Senior State Department official Daniel Rosen was arrested for allegedly soliciting a juvenile Tuesday afternoon, a Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman told TheBlaze.

Rosen, the State Department’s director of counter-terrorism, was arrested at his home for the “use of a communication device to solicit a juvenile,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said.

The (LinkedIn) page says he “oversees $300 million per year in CT programs related to Countering Violent Extremism, Anti-terrorism Assistance, Counter-terrorism Financing, Counter-terrorism Engagement and Regional Initiatives. Manages the Office of Plans and Policy including oversight of 20+ personnel.”

He also “represents the Office of the Coordinator and the US Department of State in interagency and international meetings, conferences, congressional briefings, and other fora.”

…And not a peep could I find on NBC or CNN online news content.

Things that make you go “Hmmmmm”.

“If [Daniel Rosen’s story] disappears, you know that we are living in a government that is run just like the German government was run in the 1930s, one with the worst kinds of people.”

Beck said the nation is in “dire, dire trouble” if the repeated claims that senior State Department officials are soliciting sex with minors are ignored.

But don’t worry, now that the government is running the internet, the story of a senior State Department official responsible for counter-terrorism in the Obama Administration soliciting children for sex suddenly disappearing from major online content is much more easily explained.  Just ask Lois Lerner.

Especially when white right-wing extremists are the REAL threat.

Bill Clinton was vacationing in the Caymans and could not be reached for comment.

Cold War Redux

The XX Committee* has a great post on just who NATO is facing in Russia, and why our responses have been so poor.

As the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate, with the Russian military and its “rebel” minions never having honored the Minsk-brokered “ceasefire” for even an hour, something like low-grade panic is setting in among NATO capitals. Western elites have a tough time sizing up Putin and his agenda realistically, for reasons I’ve elaborated, and the situation seems not to be improving.

German has a delightfully cynical line, die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt (hope dies last), that sums up much of the wishful thinking that currently holds sway in Berlin, Paris, and Washington, DC. As the reality that Putin knows he is at war against Ukraine, and may seek a wider war against NATO too, is a prospect so terrifying that thousands of Western diplomats and “foreign policy experts” would rather not ponder it, so they don’t.

A classic example comes in a recent press report about how Western foreign ministries are striving to prevent Putin from doing more to destabilize Eastern Europe. Amidst much dithering about how to deter Putin — more sanctions? maybe some, but not too many, weapons for Ukraine? how about some really biting hashtags? — NATO leaders aren’t coming up with anything that can be termed a coherent policy, much less a strategy.

Western nations have consistently underestimated Putin’s willingness to use force.

How can we forget Putin overseeing the Second Chechen War? The 2008 invasion of Georgia? We’ve already effectively conceded Crimea. For that matter, who seriously thinks diplomacy will ever return eastern Ukrainian lands from Moscow’s grip?

Will we see a straight up invasion of Germany right out of Red Storm Rising? Probably not.

But almost certainly some “incident” will eventually take place in Latvia or one of the other Baltic nations that will, by amazing coincidence, be used by Putin to justify some Russian intervention.

Which, what a coincidence:

Increasingly frequent snap military drills being carried out by Russia near its eastern European neighbours could be part of a strategy that will open the door for a Russian offensive on the Baltic states according to defence expert Martin Hurt, deputy director at Estonia’s International Centre for Defence and Security.

The Lithuanian and Estonian defence ministries have expressed alarm at the increased military activity, and drawn comparisons with moves prior to the Russian invasion of Crimea.

Commenting on Russia’s announcement last week that its armed forces will not cease holding snap military exercises, Hurt, who has previously worked for Estonia’s Ministry of Defence as well as for the armed forces of both Estonia and Sweden, warned against taking this news lightly.

 

*If you don’t know where they got their blog name from, you most certainly should read this.

Vice Admiral Rowden's Message

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You can read the text of it over at Salamander’s place.  Micromanagement?  Possibly.  Necessary?  Some folks, among which is a guy named Greenert, seem to think so.  From where I sit, it seems there is some serious concern (finally) on the part of Navy leadership from the CNO on down, including SURFPAC, that our numbered Fleet Commanders don’t know how to fight their fleets, that Task Force Commanders do not know how to fight their task forces, nor Battle Group Commanders their Battle Groups, or individual COs and Officers, their warships.   There is, it is suspected, a lack of understanding of warfighting at all levels.  From the Operational Arts, to doctrine and tactics, down to techniques, and procedures, there is an alarming lack of understanding in areas for which we should strive for mastery.  In addition, it is likely that there is serious question about the true state of readiness of our fleet and the ships and aircraft (and Sailors) which comprise it.  Maintenance, training, proficiency, mindset, all these are suspect.

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I think SURFPAC’s message is a very good step in the right direction.  It may also shake out the most egregious impediments to training for war, both self-inflicted and externally imposed.  This includes peripheral tasks that take up inordinate time and attention, maintenance and manpower shortcomings that render weapons and engineering systems non-mission capable, and jumping through burdensome administrative hoops required to perform the most basic of combat training.

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I cannot say whether or not VADM Rowden dislikes Mission Command.  I hope that he does not, because the ability of junior commanders to take the initiative and act boldly across widely-flung battlefields in the absence of orders has been the critical element of success for many centuries.  But Mission Command requires junior leaders who are positively imbued in their craft, and senior leaders who understand what must be done and can clearly express their intent (and then have the courage to trust their subordinates).   The entirety of the US Navy, more so perhaps than the other services, must rely on such leadership for its survival in combat with an enemy.  Unfortunately, the Navy may be the service that has become the most over-supervised and zero-defect-laden bastion of micromanagement in all of DoD.

Gunnery training aboard U.S.S. Astoria (CA-34), spring 1942.

Vice Admiral Rowden’s message has an almost desperate tone to it.   As if, to quote Service, Navy leadership realizes that it is later than you think.  One cannot help but be reminded of the myriad comments from US cruiser sailors in 1942.  Following initial and deadly encounters with a skilled and fearsome Japanese Navy in the waters off the Solomons, many deckplate sailors swore they would never again bitch about the seemingly incessant gunnery and damage control drills that interrupted their shipboard lives.    Like 1942, a Naval clash against a near-peer who can muster temporary advantage will be a costly affair where even the winner is badly bloodied.  Unlike 1942, there is no flood of new warships on the slips which can make good such losses.

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Words from an earlier post of USS Hugh W. Hadley, on the picket line off Okinawa, reinforce the importance of what VADM Rowden wants:

LESSONS LEARNED, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:

                      1.  It must be impressed that constant daily drills in damage control using all personnel on the ship and especially those who are not in the regular damage control parties will prove of  value when emergencies occur.  The various emergency pumps which were on board were used effectively to put out fires.  Damage control schools proved their great value and every member of the crew is now praising this training.

                      2.  I was amazed at the performance of the 40 and 20 guns.  Contrary to my expectation, those smaller guns shot down the bulk of the enemy planes. Daily the crews had dinned into their minds the following order “LEAD THAT  PLANE”.  Signs were painted at the gun stations as follows “LEAD THAT PLANE”.  It worked, they led and the planes flew right through our projectiles.

Not the things of (fill in the blank) History Month or of SAPR or “diversity” training….

North Korea Fires Russian SS-N-25 Switchblade ASCMs

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Yesterday, the Korean People’s Navy (KPN) successfully fired three supposedly indigenously-developed anti-ship cruise missiles into the East Sea out to a range of approximately 200 km.  While the DPRK may claim the missiles are a home-made design, analysts say they are in actuality Russian export-variety Kh-35E Uran ASCMs (NATO codename SS-N-25 Switchblade).  The Kh-35 series is a close equivalent to the US AGM-84 Harpoon missile, being slightly smaller and with a lighter warhead (360 lbs) than the Harpoon (488  lbs).

It is possible that the newly-cultivated relationship between Putin’s Russia and the DPRK is bearing fruit for both entities.  This weapon system, if successfully integrated into the DPRK arsenal, represents a significant and problematic upgrade to North Korea’s offensive and defensive capabilities.  The SS-N-25 Switchblade has a seeker head very comparable to the deadly 3M-54 Klub (NATO codename SS-N-27 Sizzler), with both a radar homing and anti-radiation ability which can acquire out to 50km.

The fielding of significant numbers of SS-N-25s represents a multi-generational upgrade for the DPRK, the majority of whose ASCM inventories consist of obsolete SS-N-2 Styx and smaller (and shorter-ranged) C 801 and C 802 systems.  It is likely that the new capabilities will be employed in shore-based systems, greatly expanding both range and lethality of DPRK coastal defenses.  In addition, the plentiful but obsolescent smaller ships and craft of the Korean People’s Navy (corvettes, PTG/PG and Fast Attack Craft) configured to carry the SS-N-25 suddenly multiply exponentially their combat potential in a surface fight.  Ditto the obsolete IL-28s and other older aircraft of the Air Force, should they be configured to carry the Switchblade.

Should it come to pass that the SS-N-25 eventually comprises a major part of the DPRK ASCM inventory (courtesy of the Russians), a hard problem just got harder.   Just in time to shrink our Navy below 250 ships.