Saturday, February 9, 2013

Information Wars


Now, let’s fast forward to the present. As a society, we expect rapid and massive technical innovation in the creation of physical objects. We measure the speed of directional changes in the allocation of resources for such innovations in milliseconds, rather than years. Our “Sharps” Shooters no longer have a range of 200 yards. A trigger pulled in Washington can hit a target in Islamabad. I keep coming back to the idea that we, as a society have reached a tipping point, but I feel at a total loss as I try to imagine where it may lead.

With the results of the election a couple of months ago, I took note of how a certain part of the winning team took their victory lap. Concededly, I was venturing into the realm of rank speculation. Nevertheless, it then rang true to me then that we were seeing the shape of things to come. In the Google Purges, aimed first at General Patreus, the Elite that Knows Me took information and used it as a weapon against those that served in our military. I saw this a prelude to the strategy the Obama administration would use as sequester approached.

This week, the only voice from the military side of things that one could hear in favor of our present levels of military spending was Leon Panetta. This was no principled dissent or voice of altruism. It was a carefully planned trap to move Republicans away from a “letting it burn” strategy through sequester. The rest of the military voices, however, stayed mute. So mute, that there was little to no voice in opposition to the “savings” that will result in the draw-down by 2/3 of our nuclear arsenal.

As the Greatest Generation drifts into the alluvium of history, so does the voice for strong national defense. I recently saw a sign that our flight from military might is inevitable. I went to see a band play on New Year’s Eve – a true guitar prodigy really. They were all guys in their 20’s, that played southern and 60’s music.  It was a three piece band, with no percussion.  The bass player was really that good.  The keyboard was an electric organ that used a mechanical tone wheel, which gave them a Greg Allman type sound.

There it was, stuck on the organ - a “Ron Paul” sticker.  My friend, a major liberal, said that his son, a brilliant 18 year old kid probably on his way to med school, loves Ron Paul. He communicates with all sorts of like-minded people from the safety of his bedroom. To this generation, it seems that Ron Paul is what I would call "cool."  At 52 years, I am too old now to know the current analog to that expression.  My liberal friend said his son and his friends say that anything is better than these people in Washington. I said, “No, they realize that nothing is better than these people in Washington.” So as I see it, the future holds little promise for our American military.   

The evidence of this trend is all around this week. “[T]he decision this week to delay deployment of the USS Harry Truman aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East was to adjust to funding for the 2013 fiscal year.” The Navy is delaying work on the USS Abraham Lincoln.  I see it as no coincidence that the old enmity between the Chinese and Japanese seems to be on the rise, as we can see by the misfortunes of a few poor fishermen. There are no powerful dissenting views that I have seen today that say the decline in the American military will make the world less safe.

I can only wonder whether our ability to acquire and process information will be enough to maintain our security, as we stand on the brink of the savaging of our American military material might.  After all, with our low information voters, what we have been calling here the Snookie mentality, the most important question is what would Carrie Bradshaw say about all of these military thingies?  Don't we have drones to do what those aircraft boats thingies do?

Today, it is about information. As Tom pointed out early on, the Feinstein Bill is basically dead on arrival. However, deep within this new legislation, the Elite that Knows Me seeks what they believe to be the real gem. Your information - because that will ensure your silence.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%

00:06 EST, 10 February 2013 - Webb said his sources in the FBI told him federal agents wanted to close down their investigation when they learned that nothing illegal had happened, but they were told to keep digging. The FBI investigators, Webb says, never wanted to out Petraeus' affair.  Into what? - 20,000 pages of email.  From where?  

02/09/2013 23:17 - February 3, Nan'an, Fujian Highway 308, artillery units practical exercise for several days. February 3 to 6, Fujian, Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Huzhou, a large troop movements, nearly 100 vehicles of various types of military vehicles, armored vehicles, artillery filled the entire road, endless, Xiamen and even the scene of a traffic jam 10 kilometers. In addition, on February 3 in Shiyan, Hubei, a large number of tanks, wheeled military base from Shiyan room counties is delivered to the coastal areas.

5 comments:

Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

I had a discussion yesterday with one of my tenants that I thought it was possible that a shooting war could erupt between China and Japan. Japan has very capable conventional forces... but the ChiComs have nukes.

Under our current regime, Japan should expect no help from us.. even if our base in Okinawa comes under fire from China.

ikaika said...

i always considered the possibility that China would come to collect. use Japan as a feint and then roll into North America.

Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

Ikaika:

They would need a lot more sea lift capability before doing that. Even at the height of its power, Imperial Japan didn't go beyond taking some of the Aleutian islands.

Though I guess they could do something portrayed in this TV mini-series from back in the 80's.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084919/

frithguild said...

Sometimes you just need to listen to what another country threatens to do. The old guard wants Taiwan. They have the new J-31 attack plane - very fast and very stealthy when it comes straight at you. They have been spying on Taiwanese anti aircraft and anti ship defenses. That being done, and without a carrier battle group to muck things up, they can cross the strait largely unopposed. Taiwan has no Navy to speak of. We would need two carrier battle groups to maintain air superiority and keep their transports in port. Obama doesn't have the resolve to sink their ships.

Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

Frith:

From what I have read, the Taiwanese army is sub-par. They look very good in parades, but have little combat training. They are not exactly up to the caliber of the Republic of Korea forces (whom are the best trained in the world in IMHO).

We could do serious damage to China without firing a shot (though it would hurt us severely.. at least in the short run):

1. Suspend all interest payments on Chinese held debt.. or just outright default.

2. Freeze all Chinese corporate accounts and ban all Chinese imports.

3. Give the Japanese intermediate ranged nuclear missiles and help equip their navy with the SM3 missile.