05/30/17

NATO Allies, Ungrateful Freeloaders?

NATO allies are ungrateful freeloaders, Big Red Car? Not all of them, just some.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, having spent a few days with President Donald J Trump in Washington, DC and now having spent a NATO Summit and G7 meeting utters:

“The times when we could fully rely upon others are to some extent over. I experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans must take our own destiny into our own hands.”

Read those words a second time and see if you have any basic disagreement with them. The Big Red Car sayeth, “Duh?”

This bit of wisdom comes on the heels of President Trump repeating what he has said for a long period of time — NATO members are not living up to their contractual obligations to spend 2% of their GDP on defense.

This is as essential element of the NATO (the Atlantic Charter) as Article V which states an attack on one is an attack on all. It is difficult to see why the Europeans think the United States should honor Article V and come to their rescue if they don’t honor their part of the deal.

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05/29/16

Memorial Day v Veterans Day

Big Red Car here on a quiet Sunday morning. Tomorrow is Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is different than Veterans Day.

Let the Big Red Car explain the difference. This is why we have Memorial Day.

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Texas Military Cemetery near Fort Hood with the Hill Country in the background, decorated for Christmas.

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05/1/16

Military Shrinking, Danger Ahead

The United States of America has always enjoyed a national security and military advantage not afforded to other countries by virtue of being separated from much of the world by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It has provided both safety and a temporal barrier that has given us time and space in which to plan for war.

Other than the War of 1812 and some Mexican border escapades, the US mainland has never really been threatened in a meaningful way. We have never suffered the fate of London or Paris or Berlin.

The Germans in WWII were able to bring the fight to our home waters on the Atlantic with their subs and the Japs shelled the west coast but other than that, these oceans have served us well.

The terrorists of 9-11 broke that safe barrier with their attack.

We live in a different world. That world has a resurgent traditional military threat (Russia, China) and an asymmetrical warfare threat. It has become more, not less, complicated.

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01/9/16

Do Not Screw With the US Marine Corps — Marines — Good Advice for Enemies and Friendlies, No?

Big Red Car here. Well, the day has dawned and it is bright, sunny, and cold. Still flirting with 52F as a high. This is winter!

On Earth as it is in Texas. Winter good in the ATX.

So, the Navy Secretary, one Ray Mabus, has sent a scolding memorandum to the United States Marine Corps,the Marines, telling them to get with integrating women into the Marine combat arms including specifically the infantry.

The policy decision was made on 3 December 2015 but already the Sec Navy is in the “scolding” mode. Huh?

Mabus is a former Democratic Governor of Mississippi and has been a loyal Obama acolyte since his 2009 appointment as Navy Secretary. The Marines, of course, fall under the Navy in the Pentagon.

He also served as Bill Clinton’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

02/12/15

Social Media and the Internet Go To War

Big Red Car here. Another beauty in the ATX. Ahhh, thank you, God!

So, The Boss was chatting with one of his trade school buddies. “Trade school” is what you call VMI, West Point, Air Force Academy, Annapolis, Citadel and other military schools. It is an inside joke amongst trade school grads.

They get on the subject of asymmetrical warfare — fancy word for terrorism and the whole Middle East mess. Lump in Al Qaeda, ISIL, Boko Horam and the flavor of the day shitheads.

Social media and the role of the Internet bubbles to the surface. Continue reading

09/21/14

Military Science and Advice

Big Red Car here in the sunny and wonderful ATX. Ahhh, it’s good to be in Texas!

So The Boss was a professional soldier and is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. He commanded combat engineers both in the United States and overseas. He learned a bit about soldiering. Soldiering was his family’s business — his 96-year old father is retired from the military (infantry) and his late mother served in World War II (yes, his mother wore combat boots). Continue reading

03/6/14

The Russian Bear is a Punk

Big Red Car here.  Nothing to do today so I did a bit of research on the Russian military.  Back in the day of the USSR, The Boss had an assignment to take a look at some forward deployed Russian Army units in Germany.  They had this crazy tour of East Berlin limited to officers who were paratroopers or Rangers and who were taller than 6’3″.  They visited the areas of East Berlin that the Russians had not rehabilitated.

They also met with similar aged Russian officers.  It was a staring contest.  The Boss was not impressed with the Russian company grade officers though they could really drink vodka.

So, how does the Russian Army stack up as a military force? Continue reading