The Art of War: Part 2

27 May 2008

When your forces are dulled, your edge is blunted, your strength is exhausted, and your supplies are gone, then others will take advantage of your debility and rise up. Then even if you have wise advisers you cannot make things turn out well in the end.

Therefore I have heard of military operations that were clumsy but swift, but I have never seen one that was skillful and lasted a long time. It is never beneficial to a nation to have a military operation continue for a long time.

-Sun Tzu

flickr: soldier’s media center

For us time is a relative term. We live in a world of thirty second commercial bites and hour long mini dramas. Our national attention span rarely exceed the next presidential election. How could we haver possible consider our place in the world objectively? Isn’t easier to assume that if the nightly news doesn’t cover it, that it’s not happening? To the overwhelming majority that now seek resolution if not consummation, have they too been deemed the people who will always object to everything?

My neighborhood was established around the turn of the century. Is this a long time ago when you consider the four to hundred year old buildings on our New England coast? Does even our oldest settlements measure up to the castile walls, provincial parks, and villages in Europe measure in centuries over years? Will we sustain the next five years of these modern wars? We’re still established in places ravaged by a war over a half century old. Can a long time have any meaning in a fickle society such as ours?

The Art of War: part 1

27 May 2008

“When you do battle, even if you are winning, if you continue for a long time it will dull your forces and blunt your edge; if you besiege a citadel, your strength will be exhausted. If you keep your armies out in the field for a long time, your supplies will be insufficient.”
-Sun Tzu

flickr: soldier’s media center

It is apparent that the US death toll in the Global War on Terrorism and the subsequent occupation of iraq has increased exponentially since our self declared victory. There is no way to win an occupation. The wars have dragged on for over five years. I’ve heard the elderly lament that their country is engaged in yet another war, usually five by their count in a lifetime not including the countless operations we have perpetually been engaged in.

Through our endless campaigns abroad and domestic protests we may never truly comprehend the type of warfare that once ravaged our species. Wars that have spanned generations rather than years. Sadly warfare is the one attribute that mankind excels at. We are the product of our own demise. It’s going to happen no matter what you do, no matter how much you think you know.

“War is like a fire – if you do not put it out, it will burn itself out.” -Li Quan

For Few, Iraq War Has Changed Everything

9 March 2008

Shortly before I left for my last deployment we got our wills in order. My wife’s friend who was and still is incapable of any real world understanding or empathy told us that she felt so sorry for us.

For Few, Iraq War Has Changed Everything
Swords to Plowshares
Vetrans for Peace
War on Terrorism Casualties

The coming space war.

10 January 2008

I can’t tell you how many hours I have vested in war games.  Simulating a variety of over the horizon warfare scenarios I have spent an almost equal amount of time in briefings and debriefings in these areas.  Perhaps this is why I am so interested in government contingency plans and worst case scenarios.  Some claim that it is merely a propaganda piece but I think How the China Loses the Coming Space War at Wired Magazineis interesting, you know if you’re into that sort of thing.  And well frankly I am, especially with all that has been happening with the Straight of Hormuz.

flickr:  dsearls

Related Links:

Visual Satellite Observers

Radio Amateur Satellite 

National Reconnaissance Office: For Kids!

World Security Institute

No longer on the fence.

16 December 2007

It seems more and more as the year has passed, that I have evidently made the right decision.

And old coworker sent me this…

…I know some where in that huge brain of your[sic] you wished you would have gone to AIC school and to another ship (the LINCOLN). The carrier life is some much different then the small boy standard. You have some much freedom and you never have to stand port/strd. The watch we stand is RED CROWN. if you don’t remember what that is I can explain later…

flickr: MSHennessy

It never seizes to amaze me that you can practically live with someone, work with someone, and know someone for almost three years and that they may never comprehend who you really are. Maybe it’s my fault though.

We went to base months ago to sign a form. I took an extended lunch only to arrive on base and not be granted access, which is something I sort of expected. The pass and decal station did not have the information in their system that was faxed from my point of contact three days earlier. While I find it easier to be courteous and patient in social and professional matters like this most people with mid level authority in the military do not, and people with mid level authority make up the bulk of the service. With attitude I was told “I’m not going to let you on base because your point of contact put down tomorrow as your access date.”
“Well I’ll call her because I don’t have an appointment, I’m just supposed to come in sometime today.”
“Well I’m not going to let you on today”
So after a phone call and some time spent driving around in familiar neighborhoods we made our way back to the main gate where I was granted access. Once on base the first half of the paper work went smoothly, while the second half at another building kicked off in much a military fashion.
“Are you on leave or something?” I was asked with a snotty attitude. I knew the source of this was the sign on the door: ALL MILITARY PERSONNEL WILL BE IN UNIFORM AT ALL TIME WHILE CONDUCTING BUSINESS ON NAVSTA EVERETT. “No,” I replied “I’m not in the military any more.” With that I finished my paper work, returning to work two and a half hours after I had left, only a mere hour and a half than I anticipated.

It’s a wonder that we win wars and have risen to the world power that we have become when the gears and widgets making up the machine cannot efficiently perform their job

My experience on base was not an isolated incident, but a great microcosm of my seven years off military service.