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The Twisted Genius
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Serge, Any place, if heavily mined and even lightly defended, is tough to take.
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“BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:10 P.M.) – The prominent Syrian Arab Army (SAA) officer, Major General Issam Zahreddine, was killed today in Deir Ezzor after his convoy struck a land mine planted by the Islamic State (ISIS). According to a military source,... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Sic Semper Tyrannis
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Fred, I guess it all depended on the school. We wore our uniforms every Tuesday. That was several hundred cadets and midshipmen wandering around campus. Never heard of an incident. Same was true at Siena and Union Colleges. We were even able to walk around Albany State, Skidmore and Russel Sage without incident.
The USG has chosen a side. US embassy spokesman quoted as saying: "We support the peaceful reassertion of federal authority, consistent with the Iraqi Constitution, in all disputed areas." I'm sure the YPK in Rojava are hearing this loud and clear.
Most reports are saying the Iraqi Army and PMU are quickly gaining control of Kirkuk and the nearby oilfields. The PUK Peshmerga withdrew from these areas refusing to fight the Iraqi Army. The KDP Peshmerga are not putting up much of a fight. This all sounds very familiar. I wonder if the Green Berets are once again watching forces they trained squaring off against each other. I know how that feels.
I missed that whole anti-war era. AS ROTC cadets and midshipmen at RPI (Rensselaer Polytech) from 72 to 76 the entire student body was too preoccupied with beer, pot and sliderules to worry about any anti-military feelings. The closest thing to that was the demonstration against Jane Fonda in my freshman year. Many years later, I considered a different kind of anti-war statement. I kept an extremely powerful magnet from a very old hard drive just in case I got close to Cheney when he had his pacemaker. Was I serious about assassinating that miserable SOB if I got the opportunity? I doubt it, but I still have that magnet attached to an I beam in the cellar.
aleksandar, Nice. That opens up some possibilities.
aleksandar, I was wondering about the condition of the Mayadeen bridge. I'm sure it can be easily repaired if it's just damaged at both ends. I read the IS fighters ended up having to swim for it because their boat evacuation effort was clobbered by air attacks. The SDF is also busy addressing the latest IS attacks around Hasakah. The videos out of there are pretty grim.
b, I agree that preventing the Rojava Kurds from ever reaching the Mediterranean is Turkey's prime objective. I think Ankara and Damascus are in agreement on this.
JJackson, The R+6 forces east of the river include elements of the 5th Legion and the 4th Armored Division. I don't know if the entire units are across or not. So far their main effort has been to the north to help clear Deir Ezzor. I thought the'd move south or further east, too. Perhaps soon.
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"BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:40 P.M.) – Three years ago, the Syrian Arab Army was withdrawing from much of eastern Syria, with little hope to hold onto the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor. However, that would all change in late September 2015... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Sic Semper Tyrannis
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ISL, I checked out the Hyperloop One FAQ and they did address this question. They plan on a medium vacuum that can tolerate leaks. The maglev train could still run in an Earth atmosphere tube, but it would be horribly inefficient. I now see the difference between this and the pneumatic train... two totally different concepts. https://hyperloop-one.com/facts-frequently-asked-questions
I, too, read SouthFront and Al Masdar News for the simple reason that they cover the subjects I am interested in studying. They both have a point of view as do damned near all other news sources. Hell, Walter Cronkite had a point of view. That's a far cry from being a deliberate propaganda source. I like Meduza for the same reason. It also has a specific point of view, but I find value in reading many of their articles. Lyttenburg has no use for Meduza for the same reason. RT is state sponsored and probably deliberately pushes a point of view. I don't care. I can see past that and enjoy a lot of their wonderfully informative and in depth pieces. I sometimes read some sources with clearly rightwing points of view. I often find those points of view abhorrent, but those sources are still worth reading. I read all these as an anthropologist. In studying these writings, you can discern the world view of the authors, how they organize their world, their culture. To me, that is just as important as the stories themselves.
Last weekend my younger son and I took in the Caps home opener. We went early so we could stop by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. After our recent discussion about the proposed lunar space station/base, I had a strong desire to see the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project exhibit. Just seeing it again fortified my hope for the future of mankind. Among the other exhibits, we saw the Mercury and Gemini capsules. I am amazed by the smallness of these craft, far smaller than my old VW bug. The space walk from that Gemini capsule was quite an adventure. The spacewalker's suit ballooned up from the pressure differential and his visor fogged over. His partner had to pull him back in the capsule and seal the hatch behind him before the capsule could be sealed and repressurized. I imagine it had to be like pulling somebody with a rucksack and snowshoes into that VW bug. What an adventure. SpaceX, by making these launches routine and cheaper, is paving the way for far grander adventures in space.
ChuckO, I don't see how a leak would cause a catastrophic failure. Small leaks could certainly cause a failure or at least a degradation in efficiency, but I don't see how it would cause a catastrophic implosion or explosion. A similar system was envisioned by an inventor in the mid-1800s. He secretly built a small pneumatic subway under NYC in 1869. https://gizmodo.com/how-one-inventor-secretly-built-a-pneumatic-subway-unde-1123695775
Jagger, Russia has seen the value of a "technical" centered force in its experiences in Syria. They have developed light battalions and proposed super light brigades based on lessons learned there. The key is mobility. Look at the Tiger Forces and other successful units in the SAA. They are built around small units that integrate infantry, technicals, 23-2 auto-cannons, a few tanks and BMPs and a hefty dose of indirect fire support. The Russian BMD is a magnificent weapon for airborne forces. We should have a "light tank" like that for our airborne forces. https://russiandefpolicy.blog/2016/10/26/charge-of-the-superlight-brigade/ We are seeing the constant struggle between armor and anti-armor tipping in favor of armor with the introduction of active anti-missile systems like shtora, arena and trophy. These systems provide much needed survivability to lighter armored vehicles.
raven, We never seemed to have a shortage of ammo for training. On a Big Island live fire, my mortar section fired a 30 minute FPF with illumination. We were cooling the tubes with water from five gallon cans and did end up burning one out. An artillery battalion commander was watching from the company defensive position and was in awe as we totally overwhelmed the fire of the accompanying 105 battery. The Division Commander, MG Willard Scott, forcefully intervened before a report of survey could be completed and directed that no one will be found liable for replacing the tube. He declared we were training as we should train and congratulated us on our skill. That old redleg loved mortars and professed that love often. Fuel, OTOH, was often in short supply. We often had to walk to and from the training areas with all our gear including the mortars and the TOW systems. We looked like an African safari carrying those TOWs along with our extra pioneering equipment. We also found out we had no atropine in our Division supplies. Not to worry. We had no chemical suits either. We used those ponchos that wouldn't keep the rain out and the black leather glove shells.
Lyttenburgh, I agree with your comments. I don't know what the Ukies can teach us other than bear witness to the lethality of the modern battlefield.
Lemur, The Russians moved away from the mass mobilization and towards a smaller professional force. Their reliance on artillery and radio-electronic combat have long histories. Our problem stems from fighting and planning to fight "lesser" enemies rather than peer and near peer opponents.
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“The U.S. Army’s rapid reaction force in Europe is underequipped, undermanned and inadequately organized to confront military aggression from Russia or its high-tech proxies, according to an internal study that some who have read it view as a wake-up call... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2017 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
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Not only are the SAA Tiger Force battling in Mayadiin, but the jihadis have declared they have abandoned the city as their capital. They moved south to al Bukamal. Looks like IS shot their wad in their last big offensive to cut the Deir al- Zor/Sukhna/Palmyra LOC. I wonder what CENTCOM has to say about the assault on Al-Qaryatayn by 300 or so Is jihadis last week. The Russians are saying the Al Tanf area has become a "black hole" where refugees are being used as a shield to cover the jihadis. http://tass.com/defense/969330
Fred, Been a good hockey night for both of us. Red Wings got their first win in their new Little Ceasars Arena and the Caps won their opener in Ottawa with an Ovi hat trick. (The win was actually a SO.) His countryman, Kuznetsov, guaranteed another 50 goal season for Ovi a few weeks back. My younger son and I will take in the home opener Saturday. Hoping the Caps make it 2-0 against the Habs.
pl, We would put one of those spring-loaded stamped metal M-16 bipods on the M3 grease guns and fire them single shot using trigger control. The massive bolt in those things slowed the cyclic rate down so much, aimed single shots were easy to master. Our marksmanship teams would do the same with the M60 during competition. My favorite was a Russian made AKMS with several 75 round Russian made drum magazines. It was easy to carry and I could lay down a sustained suppressive fire firing from the hip with the aid of the sling. It was like using a fire hose. I'd love to have it now strictly for sentimental reasons. I'd also like to have the hatchet I carried, but that was left in the Shouf along with the AKMS. I'd also support the banning of those bump stocks and similar devices. I'd also like to see a ban on the manufacture of extended capacity after market magazines. I'm more sympathetic those that go with historical and replica weapons. I can understand hobbyists desire to own them. I can also understand farmers having AR-15 like weapons with 30 round magazines to eradicate feral pig herds tearing up their crops.
pl, You're absolutely right about this not requiring a great amount of training. He could have done all this, including the surveillance cameras, with knowledge gained from YouTube videos. Seems he bought 33 weapons in the last year across 4 states. I think background check info is purged regularly or purposely not kept in a searchable database so I doubt this buying spree would have alerted anybody. The few photos out now show a stack of 100 round box magazines rather than the dual drum magazines I first read about. They also show two bipod equipped AR-15 type weapons rather than tripods. Maybe tripods may be near the windows. Those 100 round box magazines are currently out of stock at many online sites at the moment. They're going for under $100 each. He does appear to be a "gun enthusiast" or gun nut as I call them as opposed to a collector of historically interesting arms. I'm surprised I haven't heard of any range activity yet. Maybe he just used remote desert locations rather than organized ranges. I assume an examination of the weapons will determine if he used these weapons in practice. Firing these weapons in "full auto mode" for any length of time will probably leave evidence of barrel burnout. I would think that's why he had so many in his hotel suite. Shooting at a crowd of over 20,000 in an enclosed pen would undoubtedly burn out a barrel or two or cause jamming. I'm with you on the brain tumor type of explanation. He also filled out a prescription for valium a few months ago. Maybe he felt signs of Alzheimer's coming on and didn't want to go out that way. Couple that with his apparent onset of gun enthusiasm and we got a real problem. I saw some of that reasoning impairment in my father-in-law. Looks like he tried to set up a similar ambush to hit another outdoor concert featuring Chance the Rapper and Lorde a few weeks ago. Couple that with a former Marine neighbor of the shooter claiming Paddock was a Trump supporter tends to blow a hole in the political motivation theories. He didn't give a damn who he was shooting.
pl, I wouldn't be too thrilled about giving up some of my babies, either. I would hope some kind of arrangement could be made for historical weapons.