I'm going to kick around a couple things I noticed from Situational Awareness recently but haven't posted about.

The first is this post entitled "Was Tarawa necessary?" I'm not really going to debate that issue, (feel free to, though, in the comments) but rather the last paragraph caught my eye:
"...My interest is in examining the expectations of how the assault would go versus how it really went down. Tarawa happened early enough in the Pacific War as to be an "initial encounter" for a particular type of operation: the opposed beach landing against an island. The casualties it produced were shocking at the time, even by WW2 standards. There was outrage in the US, and calls for Nimitz's resignation. Sound familiar?"

Not to bring up those retired Generals' carping again, but gee-wiz, what were they really expecting? Perfection? A plan that worked flawlessly? C'mon. In the end, as the saying goes, hindsight is 20-20, and the decisions made by the US in Iraq are going to be fodder for debate for longer than anybody reading this will be alive.

The second is this post about "An Army of One"
"As societies the world over come to value the individual, military systems have been evolving to follow suit. In Western-oriented armed forces, casualty management is not good enough: The goal of many current battlefield tactics and supporting technologies is casualty avoidance. The evolution of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; battlefield networks; stand-off, precision fires; and electronic warfare are all examples of how modern militaries exploit the skill and value the life of each individual warfighter. Every friendly casualty is viewed as a failure on some level. Some see this as a weakness. I see it as a strength, one that is entirely consistent with the relationship between a society and its military.

It must be frustrating - and maybe quietly terrifying - to face an enemy who expends money rather than lives to kill you."

This idea isn't entirely new, as the cartoonist Bill Mauldin made a similar observation in his book "Up Front" about the US Army in Europe in WWII, willing to expend munitions instead of men.

But it is definitely more necessary these days. No longer, it seems, are people willing to be conscripted to fight. Therefore, militaries are going to depend on those willing to serve, (for whatever reason), and this 'warrior class' (or whatever you want to call it) cannot be 'bled white' or suffer undue (or maybe any) attrition.
Jumping out of perfectly good airplanes always seemed to me to be somehow wrong.

However, this might change my mind.
"A new military parachute system which fits wings on soldiers could enable them to travel to 200 kilometres (124 miles) after jumping, Jane's Defence Weekly defence magazine said Friday."

I can't see it working with like, a battalion of paratroopers though. Can you imagine the confusion that would ensue?

But I could see SF types using something like this. I say mount missles on it too.


Window Contractor

A Window into the Life of a Contractor:

Most readers know by now that I work on contract for the DOD. For the last three years, I've been working on a contract that has operated on "extensions" from the original contract, which ended (I gather) three years ago. The military decided not to renew it at that time, but rather to do a full competition process for a five-year contract. That was, as I mentioned, three years ago.

Since then, we've operated on one last-minute extension after another. This is because "the contract" was always coming through -- just two more weeks, DOD says. Ok, we need another month. Well, the holidays are coming up -- we'll make this one a two-month extension. Actually, we've decided to rethink who will be in front of this process -- six months. We've made the decisions, but we just couldn't get the paperwork done. Thirty days. Ok, another thirty. Maybe we should rethink the RFP -- let's give you another six months.


Today, at midnight, it will be six months from the last six month extension. I am told that the contract is "almost finished!", but in fact not finished; so, to make sure this work doesn't go on hold, they wanted to give us a twenty-day extension.

As of close of business, they... er... hadn't finished the paperwork. But it's no problem, almost done, we'll surely get it tomorrow.

I love the military.

Anyway, I'm unemployed as of Midnight Romeo. Talking about government efficiency, by the way -- another government agency, which shall remain unnamed but with which I work through the military contract, cut off my access to their computer systems yesterday at midnight. No problem if y'all can't read a calendar: just remember that childhood ditty, "Thirty days hath May." Right.

So, I'm going on a brief vacation -- first one I've had in quite a little while. I've seasoned my camp dutch oven and grill, packed up my kit, and off I go for a few days on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the mountains thereby. Be back online by Sunday, or thereabouts, when I'll be blogging from the Great State of Georgia. I'd say, "I should be under contract again by then," but we'll just have to see.

Gentleman co-bloggers (and Cassidy, if she's a mind), feel free to entertain yourselves. You have the run of the hall.

Names of Campaigns

Names of Movements:

John Derbyshire wrote, a while ago now:

The Santorum business brought to the fore an outfit called "The Human Rights Campaign." You would never know from its name that this is a homosexualist lobbying organization. I have no problem with HRC's existence — homosexuals have as much right to organize and lobby as the rest of us — but I do have a problem with that name — viz., it's dishonest. The name of an organization ought to give some clue as to what the organization is for. Why don't they call themselves "The Homosexual Rights Campaign," or "The Campaign for Tolerance of Alternative Sexuality," or something like that? If they want to be a little more in-your-face, they could go for something with a defiant or humorous twist: "The Sodomite Sodality," perhaps. Don't they understand that this straining at bland respectability just makes them look shifty?

Readers, I have decided to launch a movement for the legalization of dog meat as a marketable foodstuff. My movement will be named: "The Campaign for Truth, Justice, Harmony and Peace." Everyone OK with that?
As to which, Southern Appeal kindly points us to this story:
Dutch pedophiles are launching a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations to 12 from 16 and the legalization of child pornography and sex with animals, sparking widespread outrage.

The Charity, Freedom and Diversity party said on its Web site it would be officially registered Wednesday, proclaiming: "We are going to shake The Hague awake!"
I'd lampoon it, but it's been done three years in advance. Thanks, Derb.

Marines = Doctors

Marines = Doctors:

That's the lesson I'm forced to draw from Doc Russia's first post since becoming a doctor. It's a list of twenty-one lessons (or twenty-two) that he got in Med School which were the same as the lessons he learned in the Corps.

Number three is my favorite.

Don't mess with Marines.

Especially one who puts the lie to the old saying about bringing a knife to a gunfight.


Memorial Day II

A Memorial Day Wish (For Good):

I want to wish everyone a fine, reflective Memorial Day. I encourage you to visit MilBlogs and BlackFive to enjoy the tributes there.

As for me -- I'm working today. :) So, my Memorial Day tribute will be to do my duty as a contractor, in service to the men in the field. My respects to them all, and those who have gone before.

A Memorial Day

A Memorial Day Wish (For Ill):

Deuddersun came by in the comments below to warn us about an anti-Marine Corps site, posing as a tribute. Be warned.


I hate to be the bearer of bad news on Memorial Day, but so be it. I recently visited my blog and while checking out my referrers (from my counter) I came across a url that begins with http://blog.myspace.com/index.cf...g.view&friend...

Following that link led me to a blog on mypace that appears to be a tribute to the Marine Corps. Every sentence or gif is linked to a site involved with, in some way, the Corps, whether they be Left or Right. Each link refers to one of our sites, yours, mine, Mike the Marines, fox news, even the Corps own official site. Each link also contains a nasty virus or worm. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent cleaning my machine. I notified myspace asap and threeatened legal action if they didn't remove the blog immediately. The sick bastard who built that site is neither Left nor Right, he/she just hates Marines. I suggest you check your own list of referrers, but DO NOT click on any link starting with the url I posted above. Just going to the site releases a nasty worm called Byte-Verify/execute. I don't know what else to do, but I do know that anyone visiting this site will be directed to ours and susequently infected. I have notified the Corps and sent them the entire url with a warning not to open it unless they can handle the havoc it unleashes. Likewise I will notify Mike the Marine.

It turns my stomach that some piece of shit would do this on Memorial Day. If you or any of your readers know of any other way to deal with this, please let me know. I'm not blogging much these days, too busy working, but my email works and comments can be left at my site under my last post.

I am sorry to have to make you aware of this on Memorial Day.

Best to you and yours. As always, I remain

Semper Fidelis

Always Faithfull

Be warned. I suspect that the Marines will be the subject of more such in the near future. We should be on guard.