Friday, February 15, 2013

Deception in Air-Sea Battle

Captain Brett Friedman has written on this blog several good pieces on Air-Sea Battle (ASB).  In my personal favorite, he describes how ASB falsely promises the US military a strategic victory over an enemy by using air and sea power to defeat our enemy.  He brings in historical examples of the US using air and sea forces to reduce shore-based defenses, like Operation OVERLORD, or the Battle of Iwo Jima, two battles where the shore defenses were hardly affected by the Air-Sea Battle conducted prior to amphibious landings. While the ends of the preparatory fires before Iwo Jima and the D-Day assault were different from ASB, the idea that is promoted is the same:  Air and Sea power are the “be all, end all” of war.  As Capt Friedman puts it, "[I]t was assumed, by the US Navy as late as 1943 and the US Army in 1944, that air and sea firepower would negate shore defenses. ASB is built around this same assumption, an assumption proven false sixty-nine years ago."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Observing the Falklands

The Argentinians call the Falklands the Malvinas,
but since the UK actually owns them,
I refer to them as their owner refers to them .
In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia Island.  The reasons were complex.  The Argentinians since the early 1800s have claimed the islands as their own with the British consistently vehemently opposing this claim.  Furthermore, in the 80s, the Argentinian Military Regime was dealing with some serious domestic discontent, and wanted to incite some nationalistic fervor to focus the populace, and distract them from the imperfections of the regime.  They did this by doing what military regimes do best, use military action to solve their problems.  They attempted a seizure of what for hundreds of years belonged to someone else (the Brits).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Humans in Combat

Since the announcement that the exclusion policy for women in combat units will soon be lifted, the milblogosphere has been assailed by depictions of brutal ground combat conditions. When you ignore the gender issues, what is striking is the superhuman expectations we have of humans in combat. Kings of War has a good roundup and other notable additions include the New York Times At War blog and Bing West’s take at the American Interest.