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 »


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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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Sea-Shepherd-logo-800x433

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 »


marinewriting

Chief of Naval Operations Richardson has put out a call for more naval professionals to contribute to their profession through writing. Other Flag Officers have followed his lead and there is a rising movement across the joint force. The first post in this series examined how someone can develop an idea into a professional article. The next two posts will look to offer a clearer picture of what a writer should expect once their article is written: from submission to when it is out in print or online. The advice in this series is based on professional writing for a… Read the rest of this entry »


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When was the last time you thought about not just nuclear weapons, but nuclear power? Not just the engineering aspects, but the political, sociological, and hidden strategic risk of nuclear power? It is funny how a topic can keep coming in to your scan after being in the background for so long. The last few weeks, the Navy and the Atom kept breaking above the ambient noise. First was something I first wrote about 30-yrs ago as an undergrad. The topic of the paper, which I received a very disappointing B- on if I recall correctly (NB: when your POLYSCI… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDRSalamander in Foreign Policy, Navy, Strategy | 
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