Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts

Sunday, September 8, 2013

American Mercenary on Syria

Syria, creating a crisis for no apparent reason is a pretty solid look at the problem. Dictators vs Terrorists rings more true than most will admit. I fear the moderate Syrian freedom fighter is that areas equivalent of a nice girl working her way through school as a stripper; a cute idea but real examples are few and far between.

Fundamentally I am not sure what the desired endstate in Syria is, at least in terms specific enough to be meaningful. Maybe the message hasn't been passed down to us common folks yet. In any case this concerns me as it is the starting point for figuring out what to do in pretty much everything.

Let's look at a real world example. We are out of orange juice which is a problem for Walker. I want to fix this problem to achieve the endstate of having orange juice for him to drink. My choices would be to go buy some orange juice or find a citrus grove then get to squeezing.

This will let me discard the auto repair shop a mine away, a gun shop in town, a sporting goods store, butcher shop or the city dump. It also shows just sitting at home on the net will not do.

So after discarding the options which do not work I go back to the two viable options. Given that citrus groves are not readily available in my immediate area that leaves buying OJ as the obvious choice. I then look at the stores which sell OJ to decide what one fits our needs best based on location, price and other items we may also need to purchase. 

A clear vision of the desired end state is known as commanders intent in the Army. From this intent we can develop options for reaching said intent. Those options are weighted against each other to find the most desirable way to meet the intent.

AM's newest on the topic The law of unintended consequences, involving Syria goes into some potential actions plus the most likely/ most dangerous responses to them. It is always worth remembering that whatever one parties intent might be the other side(s) have a vote also. They may look at the problem differently (culture matters a lot here) or act illogically in ways that may not be in their ultimate best interest. The point in my mind is that a fight can get wildly out of control in a hurry in an action, reaction, counter action cycle. It doesn't matter if we are talking two people in a bar or modern nation states. What is meant to start as a proverbial slap across the face can end up with somebody dead.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

War Drums and Random Thoughts

So our President wants to give Syria a spanking. Looks like President Obama wants Congress Mommy's approval before acting. Half the democrats are such doves they wouldn't vote to fight anybody, ever and the Republicans love them some war but wouldn't agree with President Obama that water is wet. So this should be fun to watch.

Playing with carry setups. Think the right answer for me is pocket at home and appendix when out. I've been a bit lazy so pocket has gotten more play then it probably should. Not having a good dedicated appendix holster is part of the problem.Looking at getting a Raven Vanguard to try fixing the hardware issue. They fit different sized Glocks without irritating extra space which is huge for me plus at that price point I'll take a chance. Meant to order one today but lost track of time.

Had an awesome lunch down in Lake Charles yesterday. Wonderfully cooked shrimp that were huge. Also had gumbo for the first time which was cool. I like the food down here.

Not having much stuff has been interesting. This has been a good reminder that if you pick the right stuff it's easy to get by without too much. When we get the rest of our stuff it will be time to go through everything again. Last move a lot of stuff was thrown away or donated. This time it will probably be less than last but  we can stand to get rid of some unnecessary stuff. Sort of along those lines I plan to organize some preparedness stuff. Probably look at caching some redundant stuff and using the rest to fill out useful systems. Looking at that as an opportunity to identify small holes in our preps which will be really good. Failing because you could not afford to buy a 5k whatever sucks but what can ya do on the other hand failing because you forgot a $20 cord/ cable/ widget would suck.

Things are looking good for the housing plan. It ain't over till it's over but there aren't many gates left to pass through. Living in a nice place we actually like will be really nice. Hopefully it all works out.

So far this weekend we have been busy. Yesterday we went to Lake Charles which was cool and then fished in the evening. Today we hit a flea market this morning. Some stuff was decent but half the vendors seemed to have stuff pulled from the trash put into piles that were covered with filth and dust at 4x fair market value. Not going back there any time soon. Got some fun plans for the rest of the weekend.

Well I'm bored of writing so it's time to wrap this up. Talk to you all later.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gone Fishing


It seems the war drums are getting pounded pretty hard for Syria. Between Russia, ethnic tensions and Iran/ Hezbollah that is a complicated situation for sure.  While not an expert on that area it is difficult to think of a realistic scenario where anything good happens for the US by getting involved there. From a real politik perspective none of the combatant parties are particularly pro US or nice people so it is fine if they kill each other. It saddens me that normal innocent people are caught in the middle but this is not a simple/ cheap problem to solve.

However that is something I cannot control. Haven't been paying much attention to the news. Still trying to figure out the tv channels/ times here and honestly I just don't care much. No point in stressing things going on far away.

We've been fishing a few times lately. Sort of figuring out a routine that works for our family which is good. Kiddo got his own pole while helps considerably with keeping him entertained. Caught a fish the other day which was good. It was 18 inches long and weighted 16 pounds; see I'm blatantly lying which is a sure trait of a fishermen. Getting better for sure which is easy when starting from ground zero.

Mostly it's something to do with the family outside; away from blogs, smart phones, social media and the TV just being together and talking. Sadly that is a novel idea these days. Spending more time outside and less time stressing our current 24/7 information cycle is probably a good thing. When we get settled I'm going to get a hunting license then start trying to shoot stuff.

Interestingly Max Velocity wrote an article comparing and contrasting Canteens vs Hydration Bladder
John Mosby wrote Tactical Applications of The Defensive Sidearm Part 3

From the Warehouse:
Camping Survival is now stocking a wide variety of Fish Antibiotics and  Potasium Iodine anti radiants



Monday, May 6, 2013

Israel Strikes Syria

Israel struck military targets in Syria. This follows an air strike Thursday.

It would be difficult for me to express exactly how bad this could be. On one hand Israel could have the tacic, albeit silent, consent of the US and several Arab nations in which case not much of anything will happen. However it is quite possible that is not the case at which point this could escalate local tensions and small scale violence or cause a world ending war with a nuclear component (this absolute worst case is very unlikely).

It is interesting that the first target was reportedly a load of Iranian missiles destined for Hezbollah. This doesn't matter really except that it shows the depth of complication this situation has. It is both a civil war and a proxy war. Seriously it's like a game of 3d chess with multiple sets of mortal enemies. Also this strike sort of puts a hole in the "Syria's AA capabilities are so great" argument. If Israel could conduct an air strike the US certainly could. Interesting stuff for sure.

Thoughts?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Syria, Anonymity in a Connected World and Life

Meant to write a good gear review today except all of a sudden it is 9 o'clock in the evening. I'm tired physically and emotionally. Been talking to lots of folks about lots of things. Maybe something will pan out but who knows. Talking to lots of folks for every deal that actually pans out is part of life I guess.

Been thinking about Syria. If there is a positive side for us getting involved I can't really see it. The talk about arming the rebels has increased. Honestly I am ambivalent about the whole thing. Don't know anybody who lives near there so whatever happens is fine.

The concept of anonymity has been on my mind lately. Stuff ranging from the easy Wally World throw away phone to getting a storage space, utilities or maybe even a short term place to stay without anybody being the wiser. I think it's important to be realistic. Things have changed a lot since the widespread use of computers and even more since 9/11. You can go ahead and toss all those 90's era Paladin Press Get Yer Fake ID in 4 Easy Steps books into the recycling bin. Beating a simple database search or official inquiry is probably a lot more realistic than evading the full force of a first world government, particularly if that government is the US.

Other than that not a whole lot is going on. About to end another work week which is nice. Looking forward to maybe tossing a few rounds downrange. The ammo situation seems to be getting better so I've been able to replace at least enough to shoot a box now here or there. Catching up on some sleep will be nice also.

Anyway that's what is going on here.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Syria- No Easy Options

Analysis- No Good Military Options in Syria for the US
Syria is a large country with a robust anti aircraft capability.  Doing a "No Fly Zone" there would be a lot harder than tossing an F-16 into the air. In fact without significant preparation to destroy their AA abilities that F-16 would likely be shot down. This is not to say we couldn't do it. Sure we COULD own the skies over Syria 48-72 hours after beginning operations. It would take a fair amount of missiles, aircraft and effort. There is a distinct probability that a couple of those aircraft would be shot down. The point is a minimal cost/ negligible risk scenario like Libya would not be possible.

The Syrian AA capability prevents strategic strikes to support the rebel forces, knocking out C2 nodes, armor, etc. Also there is the unwritten truth that people need to conduct targeting then ultimately call in the birds to hit those targets. In today's environment that is problematic. 

Syria's chemical weapons are a concern or to some degree the problem itself. Destroying those weapons, if we can even find them with any accuracy, from the air is at best problematic. Realistically they would probably need to be secured by troops at least temporarily before evacuating or destroying them in place. Can't see us being willing to send in enough troops to make that plan work.

Just tossing guns at the problem is a technique. However as we've seen decades ago in Afghanistan and much more recently in Libya this strategy has some risks. Vetting unknown fighters in a timely manner with few personnel involved is not something that generally works well. This means at least some of the weapons would go to folks we do not want to arm.

So if No Fly Zones are prohibitively costly, securing chemical weapons more so and just tossing guns at the situation isn't a great choice what is left? I haven't even talked about Russia's influence which even further muddles the waters. Doing nothing is a valid realpolitik option. So far that has seems to have been our plan.

However the recent movement of 200 people from 2nd Armored Division shows we are interested in gathering data to make more informed decisions. All my info on this is open source so the exact composition of that group interests me. It might tell a lot about what we are planning. Fundamentally we don't send a lot of folks around the world in support of a plan to continue doing nothing. This means an action of some sort is becoming more likely.

Certainly this could get interesting.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tab Clearing

Graves Bushcraft Books

Venice is flooding, like really bad. This is really sad as it is a beautiful and truly one of a kind city. However since the place is sinking they should probably figure something out and get it up and running sooner instead of later.

Egyptian Islamists want to destroy Sphinx and Pyramids. That would suck. We wanted to get there while relatively close in Germany but they had that whole protest and junta thing so that trip got postponed.

File this under you have got to be kidding me and this is why we are broke. We regularly send tens of thousands of dollars getting pictures painted of cabinet heads.

Nato to defend Turkey from Syria.

UK may send troops to Syrian border.

Palestine is working on UN recognition.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

From Around The Web

Thousands of Portuguese soldiers protest budget cuts. This individual event may be nothing but broadly speaking large scale military protests are indicative of serious instability. Often this sort of thing is followed by the executive branch trying to fire/ arrest a couple of key Generals next week followed by a bloodless coup that puts in a "transitional council" of key military leaders that may or may not go away.

Syria fires at Israel who returns a warning shot. Those two countries haven't exchanged fire since 1973. This is obviously not good.


On a lighter note
Meth has been proven to help fight the flu. Talk about the cure being worse than the disease.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What If?

I started reading a book on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and it started something like this. "The saddest situations occur when both sides have a legitimate claim to being the good guys." Truly the situation that has occured and been perpetuated by various power players is a sad one for both sides.
What if we stopped giving the Israeli's, Egyptians, Palestinians and pretty much every other nation in that hotbed money and weapons? Aside from buying influence does making sure both sides are better armed really serve to help create a lasting peace? If you come outside to your tween boys fighting in the back yard do you give them each a stout stick? If your buddies get a bit rowdy at the bar do you give one a whiskey bottle and the other a knife? I don't think so.

Are we really helping Israel or are we enabling them to continue a dysfunctional conflict and not seriously search for a realistic solution? If we really care about the right of oppressed people to have an independent nation to call a homeland what about the Kurds or the Pastun's or the Tibetans?

Maybe one could argue that it is good for Israel that we back them with weapons, money and the implicit threat of force. However more to the point is it a good thing for America? Are we serving our independent needs and goals with these actions?

Even asking these questions could get me labeled an anti semite. That might concern me more than any position folks could take on the issue. Whipping out an "ist" every time you get questioned is the adult sociapolitical equivalent of a little  kid yelling "LALALALALALALALAL" or "I can't hear you" when they know their argument is losing.

I don't know what the answers are but asking questions might just be worthwhile.

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