War Is Boring
by DAVID AXE
A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can’t turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy’s own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January.
“The F-35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage,” the unnamed pilot wrote in a scathing five-page brief that War Is Boring has obtained. The brief is unclassified but is labeled “for official use only.”
The test pilot’s report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 — which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history’s most expensive weapon.
The U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — not to mention the air forces and navies of more than a dozen U.S. allies — are counting on the Lockheed Martin-made JSF to replace many if not most of their current fighter jets.
And that means that, within a few decades, American and allied aviators will fly into battle in an inferior fighter — one that could get them killed … and cost the United States control of the air.
Left hand right hand etc.
This week, one government intelligence agency, after patiently and methodically tracking a terrorist leader for months through precise electronic surveillance, successfully targeted him for death by drone. Also this week, a government intelligence agency eliminated a terrorist leader through a drone strike without even knowing the leader was present, basing its decision to use lethal force on sophisticated analysis of militants’ patterns of life.
Bizarrely, this was the same agency, and this was the same terrorist leader.
On Tuesday, hardly before the dust in Yemen had settled, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake and Josh Rogin, relying on information provided by anonymous sources, supplied the public with the first narrative. In this version, the CIA killed Nasir al-Wuhayshi, “general manager” of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, “by building a methodical case on his whereabouts over months from information collected through technical means.”
On Thursday, the Washington Post’s Greg Miller, also relying on information provided by anonymous officials, supplied the second narrative. In this version, al-Wuhayshi was dead not because the CIA had tracked him down but because the Obama administration had “eased” certain drone-strike guidelines in Yemen and permitted the CIA to carry out “signature strikes” — strikes that take place without the agency’s specific knowledge of the identities of the individuals marked for death.
Al-Qaeda’s second in command has been killed in a U.S. airstrike, the extremist group said Tuesday.
Nasir al-Wahishi was also the leader of its Yemeni branch al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), considered the most dangerous al-Qaeda affiliate by U.S. officials.
In a video statement released early Tuesday by AQAP’s media wing, the group confirmed his death and said his deputy, Qassim al-Rimi, has been named its new leader. The news of Al-Wahishi ‘s death could not be independently confirmed. U.S. officials have said they are trying to verify whether he has been killed.
The hazards and challenges of combat flying in World War II are almost beyond comprehension today. So were the challenges of being a black man in the 1940s, Now imagine what kind of human being it took to meet and overcome both sets of challenges simultaneously.
Our greatest generation is disappearing before our eyes. Most of them are already gone. It will take another 20 years or so for the very last to go but what will we say then? If I am still alive by that time, it will seem lonely, as though another parent has gone. The Second World War still loomed very large indeed when I was born in 1949. It fades a little every year and the day will come, a century or more in the future, when no living person can remember the World War II veterans.
May the day come though, when there are no war veterans at all, for the world will have gone 80 or 90 years without a war.
Former Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. John Mosley, a Denver native who was a trailblazer in collegiate sports as well as the civil rights movement, died Friday, days before the day set aside to honor the sacrifice of those who like him defended the nation.
He was 93.
During World War II, Mosley aggressively sought the right to fly and fight for this county.
“He always said that he had to fight in order to fight,” said his son Eric. “He used that saying as a benchmark in his life. He had to struggle to be able to fight for his country.”
“He always had the determination to be the best he could be and be someone extraordinary,” Eric recalled.
Former Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. John Mosley (Denver Post file)
Mosley excelled despite segregation and the prejudice that once existed. In his youth, blacks were confined by covenants and standards to living in an area just east of downtown. He refused to become bitter.
“I looked at it as an opportunity to move ahead,” he recalled in a 2008 interview. “I was too busy trying to ensure that I got everything I possibly could out of school and also to participate in athletics.”
WASHINGTON — Both houses of Congress are moving to guarantee greater access to contraceptives for women in the military, actions that lawmakers say are prompted in part by concern about unplanned pregnancies in the armed forces.
The annual defense policy bill, passed on Friday by the House, says military clinics and hospitals must be able to dispense any method of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Women have complained that they are sometimes unable to obtain contraceptives prescribed by their doctors, especially when they are deployed overseas.
Oh great. Destroying an M-1 tank is no easy task. The only really sure way is to land a JDAM right on top of it. Air strikes will have to be diverted from other targets to take care of it. It’s a pretty good bet that we have now destroyed more of our M-1s than our enemies have. Thanks Bush.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi troops abandoned dozens of U.S military vehicles, including tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery pieces when they fled Islamic State fighters in Ramadi on Sunday, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steve Warren, estimated that a half dozen tanks were abandoned, a similar number of artillery pieces, a larger number of armored personnel carriers and about 100 wheeled vehicles like Humvees. He said some of the vehicles were in working condition; others were not because they had not been moved for months.
This repeats a pattern in which defeated Iraq security forces have, over the past year, left behind U.S.-supplied military equipment, prompting the U.S. to destroy them in subsequent airstrikes against Islamic State forces.
Asked whether the Iraqis should have destroyed the vehicles before abandoning the city in order to keep them from enhancing IS’s army, Warren said, “Certainly preferable if they had been destroyed; in this case they were not.”
Update: Jubilant ISIS guy with recently donated M-1
Knowing history the way I do the rise of mercenaries scares the living shit out of me.
If there happens to be anyone reading LGF who opposes nuclear disarmament for any reason, you probably need to know that our doomsday arsenal is less secure than a revolving door in a prison. I’m just saying that we’re lucky to die of climate change instead of Dr. Strangelove levels of radiation released by sheer incompetence.
Some interesting technical detective work, and a good example of how seemingly trivial design factors (in this case, the choice of material for a rivet) can have very big effects in aviation.
BILOXI, Miss. (Tribune News Service) — For years, a strange problem with the U.S. Air Force’s C-130 aircraft had pilots and crews reporting sickness, discomfort and, in some cases, excruciating pain after routine flight missions. The phenomenon remained a mystery until February, when a handful of reservists at Keesler Air Force Base took the initiative to solve the mystery. They made a tiny discovery that’s affecting airplanes worldwide.
The problem was with the pressurization system on the C-130 Hercules — the longest-produced and perhaps most-popular aircraft in military history. The versatile airplane serves as an attack gunship, a troop transport, a surveillance plane and many other roles.
Keesler’s famed Hurricane Hunters fly the C-130J for weather reconnaissance.
In February, maintenance technicians from the 403rd Wing began a hunt for a solution to the problem. At times, the C-130s’ pressurization systems could not be controlled manually or automatically. Cabins would over-pressurize at certain altitudes, causing the physiological problems.