syriadepl

There is an almost palatable desire by the NATSEC community to focus on those things it is most comfortable with, what is easy to wargame, what good people can politely in detached manner disagree about alternative Courses of Action in public; territorial disputes in the South China Sea, the Syrian Civil War, the future of NATO, a resurgent Russia. Yes, these are comfortable subjects, but they are wrapped in the vanity of denial. For The West, they may not be the most important subject worthy of time and treasure to prepare for. It should invest more time in looking at… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDRSalamander in Strategy | 
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NORFOLK (July 12, 2011) Sailors assigned to Riverine Group (RIVGRU) 2 participate in pre-deployment exercises in a riverine command boat powered by an alternative fuel blend of 50 percent algae-based and 50 percent NATO F-76 fuels. The alternative fuel mix supports the secretary of the Navy's efforts to reduce total energy consumption on naval ships. RIVGRU-2 is stationed at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre N. McIntyre/Released)

Please join us at 5pm (EDT) on 21 Aug 2016 for Midrats Episode 346: The Farsi Island Incident – Is the Navy a Learning Institution? The thankfully bloodless embarrassment that was the Farsi Island Incident is still making news after the January 12, 2016 seizure of 10 U.S. sailors by Iranian forces. Especially for our Surface Warfare community, there are a lot of hard, cold lessons here not just about the incident itself, leadership and professionalism – and institutional lessons about how conditions are set and organizations are sub-optimized to a degree that an incident – in hindsight – was… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Mark Tempest in Navy, Podcasts, Training & Education | 
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MatrixBluePillRedPill

When you’ve worked on a problem for a long time and cannot make progress in a direction that is in your favor, and the harder you work the more on the problem the more difficult it becomes – then perhaps it is time to look for fresh ideas and perspectives. There is a good chance that you have identified both the problem and the possible solution incorrectly. In this case, let’s look at Syria and Iraq through Part 1 of an exceptional bit of work by the pseudonymous Cyrus Mahboubian over at WarOnTheRocks. The whole article deserves a thorough reading… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDRSalamander in Foreign Policy, Hard Power, Strategy | 
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Pilot Officer WIlliam Fiske, RAF

Seventy-six years ago today, Pilot Officer William “Billy” Fiske scrambled to his Hurricane along with his fellow pilots at RAF Tangmere to intercept a formation of German Junkers over the English Channel. His squadron destroyed 8 German aircraft, but a gunner badly damaged Fiske’s aircraft and put a bullet through his fuel tank. Rather than bail out, in one final piece of extraordinary skill, he managed to nurse his burning Hurricane back to the airfield, and bring it down through a steep dive into a belly landing. Fiske had to be recovered from his aircraft and died the next day… Read the rest of this entry »


Image courtesy of Exploring Alaska's Seamounts 2002.

Please join us for a live show at 5pm EDT (US) on 14 August 2016 for Midrats Episode 345: Fisheries as a Strategic Maritime Resource We live in a crowded world with limited resources. What happens when this meets modern technology’s ability to shorten the time/distance equation and increase the ability to know of what lies below the waves? What complications do we fine when the above two points meet up with the eternal search by growing nations to reach for the seas to support their homeland’s growing needs? As populations demand more protein in their diets as per capita… Read the rest of this entry »


3375151904

The American people have lost their belief in and desire to participate in the soft-empire concepts of the last decade and a half. During the Bush the Younger Administration, there was a lot of blood, treasure, and professional reputations invested in nation building; a right of center interventionist idea repackaged from the previous century as a quasi-modernized move to make the Middle East safe for democracy. To be sure there were other reasons wrapped in with it – but in soft focus the promoted vision was nation building as a way to bring a more peaceful world from the Hindu… Read the rest of this entry »


Rear Adm. John B. Nowell, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7, turns over command to Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) during a change of command ceremony

Relinquishing command is always bitter sweet because of the people and the experiences you have to leave behind and because there always seem to be so many things that you still want to get accomplished. As I pen this post, a reflection piece, I am in the final moments of command as Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet – 7th Fleet’s amphibious arm that also includes a mine countermeasures force and a helicopter sea combat squadron. By the time many of you read this, I will have turned over the reins to my long-time friend Rear Admiral Marc Dalton. I met… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by RDML John B. Nowell Jr in Marine Corps, Navy | 
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Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin Cartwright launches the Instant Eye MK-2 Gen 3 unmanned aerial system during an exercise for Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory's Marine Air-Ground Task Force Integrated Experiment  on Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 9, 2016

There’s a growing realization that we must leverage the value of unmanned systems across the full range of naval missions—not to pursue “unmanned” for the sake of “unmanned” in a zeal to be more technologically advanced, but because it makes sense, taking us to the next level and beyond. As natural complements to our existing ships, aircraft, and submarines, unmanned systems bring the ability to efficiently increase both the capacity and capability of our force; there are missions where unmanned will bring comparative advantage over existing manned counterparts. In man–machine lash-ups, unmanned technology will take us even further. Against the… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by RADM Bob Girrier, USN in Innovation, Tactics | 
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One of my favorite naval stories is that of the impressive but meaningless deployment of the raider CSS SHENANDOAH as told so well in John Baldwin’s book, Last Flag Down. A non-state actor (the CSA not a recognized nation) builds and deploys a warship with one goal in mind – destroying the commerce of another. Her best work was done against USA whalers in the Pacific. Though the comparisons are imperfect, the SHENANDOAH came to mind when I got a view of that small but efficient ramming bow on Sea Shepard’s purpose built anti-whaling ship, OCEAN WARRIOR, that was launched… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDRSalamander in Piracy | 
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NPSstacks

Writing professional articles has a long history in all the U.S. military services. American naval publications date as far back as the 1830s. While military personnel are commonly lauded for their willingness to take physical risks in defense of the nation, sometimes we are less open to taking the intellectual risks involved in the betterment of our profession. In #RTSW 2 we discussed the fear some writers have that they might embarrass themselves through a small mistake or problem in a professional article. Taking an intellectual or academic risk is far different than strapping into an aircraft, rigging to dive… Read the rest of this entry »


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