Fanta’s Elephant

December 2015



As reported by our friend Chris Cavas, at an American Society of Naval Engineers symposium this week, we heard an interesting series of statements from those who are responsible for providing the tools we give our Sailors to take to sea. In the background we could also see an enlightening contrast between the tinkerer and the warfighter. First, the tinkerer; “How do we deliver the capabilities going forward, what does it take to do that?” John Burrow, the Navy’s top civilian official for research, test and evaluation, asked a professional audience in Washington on Tuesday. “It takes investment, a willingness to take on… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Innovation, Navy | 
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OK, with the core topic of this post, “Russians” may be a bit of clickbait, but they actually are a large underlying flavor to this stew history is cooking up. This is the stew of the realists and their allies the antitransformationalists – something we should have a hearty appetite for after a few decades of the toasted rice-cakes fed to us by the Cult of Transformation. The last year has seen a welcome shift in the center of gravity for navalists in the national security arena in a direction that will help our navy rebalance towards the end of… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Hard Power, Innovation, Navy | 
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USS CARNEY's Yardarm

Just a week after the horrific attack on ordinary citizens in Paris, the United States has been unequivocal in its support of our French allies. The motto of Paris is Fluctuat nec mergitur, which translates as “tossed but not sunk.” The crest of the city shows a ship in stormy waters. What an appropriate reflection of the strength and optimism that defines the spirit of a city that has endured so much in the last week. The tenacity of Parisians reminds me of that of New Yorkers after 9/11. Before this incident, I would have told you that the bonds… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by VADM James Foggo in Uncategorized | 
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Please join us at 5pm on 22 November 2015 for Midrats Episode 307: Our Own Private Petard – Procurement & Strategy with Robert Farley This Sunday we are going to look at the big pixels that supports the entire national security infrastructure above it. Using his recent article in The National Interest, The Real Threat to America’s Military (And It’s Not China, Russia or Iran), we will tackle the greatest challenge of a world power – those things it has no one else to blame for. Procurement, strategy, and the choices we make. The run of the last 30 years… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Mark Tempest in Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, Policy, Strategy | 
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Living room

The citizens of our great country know little about the military, even less about what military members do, and scarcely are informed about the issues of the day. I did not serve in the military, but my kids do. All have served our country, whether in Teach for America or in the Navy. As I see it, most of my neighbors understand and appreciate service. Our volunteer fire companies are generally well manned. The Parent-Teacher Association and local service groups may have an ebb and flow, but they maintain a public presence, and my neighbors understand what they do. I… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Bill Asdal in History, Navy, Policy, Soft Power, Training & Education | 
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There is a gap in our national conversation when it comes to national security issues. Strip away the 24-hr news cycle and the hot topic of the day, that isn’t the conversation I am referring to. The gap we have is one that has been growing for over a half a decade as the war and those fighting it on the front lines have faded not just in numbers, but as part of what the citizens are talking about among themselves and what the sources they get their information from dedicate less time to covering. This fade has a variety… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Soft Power | 

Please join us at 5 pm EST on 15 November 2015 for Midrats Episode 306: Author Claude Berube on his next book: Syren’s Song This Sunday for the full hour our guest will be author Claude Berube to discuss his second Connor Stark novel, Syren’s Song. From the Amazon page, “Syren’s Song is the second novel featuring Connor Stark, and it promises to be just as engaging as The Aden Effect. This geopolitical thriller begins when the Sri Lankan navy is unexpectedly attacked by a resurgent and separatist Tamil Tiger organization. The government issues a letter of marque to former… Read the rest of this entry »

M-60 main battle tanks are lined up in the staging area at the Dundalk Marine Terminal after being offloaded from the vehicle cargo/rapid response ship USNS ANTARES (T-AKR-294).  The tanks were used by the 32nd Separate Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Wisconsin Army National Guard, during Exercise Reforger '86.

“Hey 1980s! The second decade of the 21st century is on the POTS line, and they are wondering if they could make some copies of your stuff in the vault.” As history shows, most times you don’t pick a war – a war picks you. Of course, in a way, all wars are wars of choice. When faced with aggression, a people can always decide to surrender without a fight – or only after a token resistance. War is a test of national wills on many levels – big wars often result when one side misreads the national will of… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by CDRSalamander in Army, Hard Power, Navy, Soft Power, Strategy, Training & Education | 
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Please join us on Sunday, 8 Nov 2015 at 5pm EST (U.S.) for Midrats Episode 305: Fall Free For All It is that time of the year … time for a Fall Free For All on Midrats. No guests, no agenda, open phones, open topics, open mic. Join Sal from “CDR Salamander” and EagleOne from “Eaglespeak” for a full hour as we dive in to the national security topics of the day with a maritime bent – or whatever topics break above the background noise. This is your chance by calling in or by throwing it out in the live… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Mark Tempest in Uncategorized | 
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The Navy’s knowledge of its own human terrain is like using a map of the world from the 14th Century. The Navy can do better. Before we get too far into the weeds on one possible way to improve our talent management in the Navy, we are doing a survey to better understand the detailing process. Its for all officers and can be reached here. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming. Wouldn’t you want $2.7 trillion more without a lot of effort? A recent study by McKinsey Global Institute was headlined with the following: Labor markets around the world haven’t kept… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by LT Mike Mabrey and LTJG Chris O'Keefe in Innovation, Navy, Policy, Training & Education | 
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