the “new” problem of nukes at sea

by twit

Two nuclear-armed submarines crashed into each other in early February:

As inquiries began, naval sources said it was a millions-to-one unlucky chance both subs were in the same patch of sea. Warships have sonar gear which locates submarines by sound waves.

But modern anti-sonar technology is so good it is possible neither boat “saw” the other.

although this kind of thing may happen more often than one might think:

The USS San Francisco, a nuclear submarine, crashed into an undersea mountain at its top speed of about 32 knots in 2005. One crew member was killed and 97 injured.

but not to worry!

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Even John McCain isn’t so foolish to talk about going to war with Russia

by twit

Via Politico on August 12, 2008:

McCain has led harsh denunciations of Russia’s invasion of Georgia, though neither he nor any other leader has suggested that the West has any real way to blunt Moscow’s ultimate intentions.

Which hopefully means that we now can all agree that Governor Palin is dangerously unqualified to be Vice President:

GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?

PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.

GIBSON: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.

PALIN: Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO.

Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise, but…

GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help.

You’d think a Governor whose national security credentials are based on Alaska being close to Russia would understand this…

“All I know is, there is water where it didn’t used to be”

by twit

Which is apparently why the United States is losing a very Cold War…

From the International Herald Tribune on August 18, 2008:

Admiral Thad Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard, who toured Alaska’s Arctic shores two weeks ago with the homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, said that whatever mix of natural and human factors is causing the ice retreats, the Arctic is clearly opening to commerce – and potential conflict and hazards – like never before.

“All I know is, there is water where it didn’t used to be, and I’m responsible for dealing with that,” Allen said. Given the 8 or 10 years it would take to build even one icebreaker, he added, “I think we’re at a crisis point on making a decision.”

Really? A crisis point in the Arctic? However could this have happened?

As early as 2001, the navy issued reports saying that it had limited ability to operate ships and planes reliably in the Arctic. But with two costly wars under way, the region has remained an icy backwater and a low priority, with navy budgets for polar analysis declining.

oh. So what does this mean?

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Once again, Arab insurgents distract a superpower from the obvious threat… The other superpower

by lestro

In the future, when alien anthropologists or hyper-intelligent insect archaeologists are trying to piece together the end of what we call ‘human civilization,’ they will undoubtedly come to one conclusion:

It was the fault of the Arabs. But not in the way that one might expect.

After 50 years of posturing and bluffing and threats of mutual assured destruction, the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union finally seemed to burn itself out in the late 80s. The Soviet Union broke apart and the Doomsday Clock finally turned back a few ticks as everyone was now almost all on the same side.

World War III, at least as we expected it, had been averted.

But the new threat of Islamofacism stepped in to fill the gap, an ideology of destruction and hate, premised on a bastardization of a religion and a total lack of respect for nation states, their leadership and their territorial boundaries.

Eventually, all eyes turned to this rising force as the new potential enemy for World War III. At first, they attacked, we ignored. They attacked again, we swatted at them like flies. They attacked again and we continued to pooh-pooh and downplay the threat to our national security. Then, on September 11, 2001, the little bastards went too far and suddenly everyone – including, finally, the Bush Administration – was paying attention.

Finally we had a new enemy. Finally we could crank our war machine back up. The World War that we had spent 50 years preparing for was finally on our doorstep.

It didn’t matter that it wasn’t the war we expected or that they didn’t play by the rules, we took it to them.

Fer us or agin us. And agin us gets bombed.

If World War III was going to play out, it was obviously going to be between the Civilized World and the Fundamentalist Islamic World.

Made sense at the time.

But history, says the cliché, is written by the victors. And that means much of the story often gets left out. And as recent events in Georgia have shown us, just because we counted out the Soviets and that version of WWIII doesn’t mean they did.

We took our eye off the Russians in favor of the Arabs and it may end up costing us. Just like it did them.

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America’s Old Man continues to let his imagination run wild

by lestro

According to the Caucus, at an event in Pennsy, Johnny Mac had this to say about his plan to go to as many small towns as possible :

“I’m going to tell them I think they are the heartland of America, that the values they hold dear are the strength and character of America,” Mr. McCain said.

“They’re the reason why the people in Georgia today are looking to America . . . a beacon of hope and liberty.”

Of course, that is NOT what the Georgians themselves are saying, just what Mac thinks they are saying (or at least what his top foreign policy adviser, a lobbyist who also works for Georgia, is telling him)…

Bitterly criticizing the United States and other Western countries for letting his country down, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia said Russia had flagrantly defied the peace accord and effectively severed the country in two…

Mr. Saakashvili said Russian forces had all but established an economic blockade of Tbilisi and criticized Western countries, including the United States, suggesting that they had appeased Russia and let Georgia down.

“Today, the West’s very will is tested,” Mr. Saakashvili said in a telephone call with journalists. “The main thing is if the West fails now, then it will have tremendous consequences for the world for years to come.”

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“Strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”

by lestro

Apparently, the US and UK have decided to cancel scheduled war games with the Russians in light of their recent attacks on Georgia:

A senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity Tuesday, said that the August 15-23 exercises involving Russian, French, British and US warships in the Sea of Japan “have been scrapped.” The exercises were to involve an onshore component in the Russian port of Vladivostok.

“In the wake of this conflict, there is no way that we can proceed with this joint exercise at this time,” the official said.

I believe Russia’s response was something to the effect of “That’s okay with us, we don’t need the games anymore as we found a real war to practice in…”

Besides, the only good War Games are the ones that involve Matthew Broderick and the WOPR that just wants to play a nice game of chess.

However, given that Russia and the West are once again viewing each other suspiciously through figurative and literal gun sights, maybe we should not have canceled. It does always help to get a close-up view of what your enemy is up to…

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How do you say “Gulf of Tonkin” in Cyrillic?

by lestro

So it looks like Russia launched the first salvo in this war about a month ago.

Weeks before bombs started falling on Georgia, a security researcher in suburban Massachusetts was watching an attack against the country in cyberspace…

Jose Nazario of Arbor Networks in Lexington noticed a stream of data directed at Georgian government sites containing the message: “win+love+in+Rusia.”

Other Internet experts in the United States said the attacks against Georgia’s Internet infrastructure began as early as July 20, with coordinated barrages of millions of requests — known as distributed denial of service, or D.D.O.S., attacks — that overloaded and effectively shut down Georgian servers…

This, combined with reports that South Ossetians have been ethnically cleansing Georgians, leads me to believe that the Russians were hoping to provoke a response that would allow them to move their already-prepared-and-waiting military into their neighbor.

It also explains how they got in there so quickly.

But be prepared, this is what the future of war looks like:

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