Q: What happens when you discover the stall speed on an SR-71 while doing a low pass?
Archive for the ‘Military’ Category
Remember last year’s story about how the Air Force was trying to kill the A-10 Warthog, with one now-cashiered general saying airmen talking to congress about saving the venerable plane was “treason?”
Well it appears that the Air Force has finally given up on attempts to kill America’s most effective tank-killing aircraft:
The U.S. Air Force is reportedly scrapping what has become an annual attempt to retire the A-10 Thunderbolts from the fiscal 2017 budget request being drawn up.
Maj. Melissa J. Milner, an Air Force spokeswoman on budget matters, said Wednesday she could not comment on the Defense One report that the Cold War-era attack aircraft had been spared indefinitely, but boosters of the plane affectionately known to ground troops as the “Warthog” hailed the move to keep them in the inventory.
“It appears the administration is finally coming to its senses and recognizing the importance of A-10s to our troops’ lives and national security,” said Rep. Martha McSally, a Republican from Arizona and a retired Air Force colonel who flew the A-10.
“With A-10s deployed in the Middle East to fight ISIS, in Europe to deter Russian aggression, and along the Korean peninsula, administration officials can no longer deny how invaluable these planes are to our arsenal and military capabilities,” said McSally, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, also known as ISIL.
For the past three years, the Air Force has sought to begin mothballing the A-10s in favor of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to take over the close air support mission. Each year, the House and Senate have blocked the cuts.
In a statement, Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona and the chairman of the defense panel, said, “I welcome reports that the Air Force has decided to keep the A-10 aircraft flying through Fiscal Year 2017, ensuring our troops have the vital close-air support they need for missions around the world.”
The debate over the A-10s appears to have been shelved as commanders in the Iraq and Syria air war increasingly call upon the Thunderbolts flying out of Incirlik air base in Turkey and other bases in the Mideast for attack missions.
Score a point for the restoration of sanity over institutional antipathy.
Congressional Medal of Honor winner Tibor Rubin, who went from being a prisoner at Mauthausen concentration camp to being one of the baddest bad-asses in the Korean War, died at age 86 last week.
In summer 1950, Mr. Rubin was “volunteered” to defend a strategic hill while the rest of his company withdrew to safety near the Pusan Perimeter amid an onslaught by North Korean troops. He armed himself with grenades and guns and waited, knowing the sergeant had no intention of relieving him, ever.
The enemy attack began at dawn, and Mr. Rubin said he became “hysterical” as they swarmed the hill “like ants.”
He fired helter-skelter, lobbing grenade after grenade to create the impression of more than one man. “Pull the pin, boom, pull the pin, boom,” he said. Unable to see through the resulting smoke, he kept up the defense for a full day, defending his post until American-manned Corsairs repelled the remaining North Koreans from the air.
“He inflicted a staggering number of casualties on the attacking force during his personal 24-hour battle, single-handedly slowing the enemy advance and allowing the 8th Cavalry Regiment to complete its withdrawal successfully,” read his citation for the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest award for valor.
Later he was captured by the communist Chinese, and repeatedly risked his life sneaking out to find food for his fellow prisoners.
And after all that, he got screwed out of his medal until George W. Bush set it right in 2005.
Also, the book about his life just came out this year: Single Handed: The Inspiring True Story of Tibor “Teddy” Rubin–Holocaust Survivor, Korean War Hero, and Medal of Honor Recipient.
(Hat tip: Legal insurrection.)
More links from the big bucket of Jihad news:
Europe has been following the liberal, progressive, pseudo-socialist path a lot longer than we have. Instead of doing little things that make sense all along, they’ll let the problem get really big and stupid, and then it is guillotines, gulags, and cattle cars. There’s a lot of really pissed off Europeans right now, and over the centuries we’ve got plenty of examples of what masses of pissed off Europeans do when pushed.
This is not the Turkey you want to see in the headlines at this time of year…
The problem with doing an update on Syria is that I’m not sure anyone knows what the hell is going on there.
The motivations of the major local players are clear: Assad wants to survive and maintain power, while his paymasters in Iran want to back him and the Shia against the Islamic State and other Sunni groups. The Islamic State wants to establish its brutal medieval caliphate over first Mesopotamia and the Levant, then the entire Ummah, then the entire world, exterminating Shia and subjugating Christians and Jews to dhimmitude along the way. The Saudis want to back Sunnis (possibly including the Islamic State). The Kurds just want to survive. Etc.
However, what Barack Obama and Vladamir Putin want is considerably less clear.
Obama, after royally screwing Iraq by pulling U.S. troops out after Bush had largely stabilized it (at great expense in money and lives), seems to want to fight a pretend air war against the Islamic State and a pretend insurgency against Assad in order to keep reporters from asking him about it, thus kicking the can down the road for the next President to deal with. (Then again, perhaps this gives Obama too much credit. Maybe, like Jeremy Corbyn’s desire to give the Falklands back, Obama screwed up Iraq just for the pure leftish joy of undoing the achievements of a conservative leader he loathed…)
What does Putin want to accomplish in Syria? Prop up a military equipment-buying client state in Syria? Support a more important client state in Iran? Give Obama a black eye? Keep Russians distracted from domestic economic woes with military adventurism abroad? Make Russia the dominate political power in the Middle East, filling the vacuum Obama left with America’s withdrawal and betrayal of regional allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia? Actually destroy the Islamic State? Take the Shia side in a the wider Sunni-Shia conflict?
Here are some links on Syria:
If Russia ends up bolstering Iran’s position in Syria (by expanding Hezbollah’s influence and capabilities) and if the Russian air force effectively takes control of Iraq thus allowing Iran to exert a greater influence over the government in Baghdad, the fragile balance of power that has existed in the region will be turned on its head and in the event this plays out, one should not expect Washington, Riyadh, Jerusalem, and London to simply go gentle into that good night.
Sure enough, some experts now predict Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey will move to counter Russia militarily if Moscow continues to rack up gains for Assad.
because Vladimir Putin, with all the unpredictability of the morning sun, has invaded Syria on behalf of Assad and Putin’s more important ally Iran — Assad’s longtime string-puller. The Russian strongman’s claimed purpose is to fight the Islamic State — a pretext no more real than was the supposed need to protect indigenous Russian populations that Putin cited in invading Georgia, Crimea, and Eastern Ukraine.
The Syrian mess has gotten messier
Putin, with China’s indulgence, is obviously attempting to fortify a sphere of anti-American influence across the Middle East. Anti-Americanism in this Islamic-supremacist region long predates Putin, of course. What has changed is that the United States is governed by a man of the hard Left — a president who is sympathetic to the Islamist narrative about American imperialism, ambivalent at best about American power, and determined to diminish America’s regional commitments, and thus American influence.
The move provides a foothold in a part of the world that the Soviet Union was kicked out of four decades ago. At a moment when the United States appears to be washing its hands of the increasingly bloody and chaotic region, it gives Russia an expanding military presence in the Mediterranean on the doorstep of a NATO ally (its newly established airfield at Latakia in eastern Syria sits just 75 miles from the border with Turkey), and the gambit may yet serve as leverage with the West as Putin seeks to get out from under economic sanctions imposed as a result of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.
The problem for America is that a logical Middle East policy is impossible as long as Obama is President and Kerry is Secretary of State.
Can Putin achieve long-term victory in Syria where Obama’s fecklessness couldn’t? Maybe. Can Iran and Russia together crush the Islamic State? If Russia wanted to commit serious ground combat forces (think Operation Iraqi Freedom), probably, but that would be an exceptionally expensive move that would spread Russian forces dangerously thin elsewhere. But considering that does not appear to be Russia’s immediate goal, which seems to be crushing the Free Syrian Army and allied forces in Western Syria, expect the war against the Islamic State to drag out indefinitely.
Except for the Kurds (which Obama’s feckless policies have refused to adequately support), the Syrian Civil War is bad guys vs. bad guys all the way down. Assad surviving, or a long-running war between Russia and the Islamic State, are far from the worst possible outcomes…
How about a short LinkSwarm to get the Friday LinkSwarm back on Friday?