Showing posts with label France. Show all posts
Showing posts with label France. Show all posts

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pic Post

I save good pictures onto the desktop until I find a use for them. Every so often it gets overcrowded and I do one of these posts then drag them all to the pic file. Warning, some mild profanity.

Yeah I know the picture of the gun is not a Glock. Still a good one though.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Southern Prepper 1 Video and Tab Clearing

Hat Tip to Modern Survival Online for highlighting this excellent video by Southern Prepper1.

The points about working on your fitness, confirming zero's and testing weapons are excellent. Also the reminder about web gear/ chest rigs/ something to carry ammo, spare parts and such is very valid. Personally it reminded me that we need a couple of good schematic books and do not really have a solid dedicated rig for the AK. Sure I could slap something together from the various pouches that are lying around and worst case could use one of those com bloc 5 mag(?) pouches that were tossed into mag deals forever but but that is not idea. More stuff to add to the list I guess.

French soldiers are joining the fight against Islamic rebels in Mali

Dangerous Old Men. I would humbly submit that the last decade of war has produced a whole lot of dangerous young men. Many of whom are right minded and bought an AR on leave or shortly after getting out.

Precedent Teaches Us The Left Really Wants ALL Our Guns by Charlie Daniels. Yes, that Charlie Daniels.

Saw this picture of Rick Perry on the drudge today and could not help but share it. It went up awhile back in conjunction with Texas allowing law abiding concealed weapons permit holders to carry on campus. While he came off as the stammering idiot of the group during the Republican Primaries, which says a lot; he actually seems legitimately pro gun which is cool.

Anyway I hope you all have a great Sunday.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Review: Wars of National Liberation by Daniel Morgan

Commander Zero loaned me this book with the conditions that it is eventually returned and I share my thoughts on it. Figured a book review is as good of a way as any to share my thoughts. So here we go.

Comprehensive- This book talks about a whole lot of different conflicts. China, Algeria, French in Indochina, Jews vs the Arab world I, II, III, IV, Vietnam and touched on themes of African and South American conflicts.

Well Researched- The guy definitely knew what he was talking about. The sheer amount of research put into this book is impressive.

Brought home key themes- Successful insurgencies have safe havens behind international borders, foreign support and tend to be fighting against unmotivated outside forces. Stuff I have talked about before.

Bounces Around- This book seems to have sort of gone regionally then by time but could have been organized better. Specifically a set framework for discussing conflicts and another for battles would have been a huge help to this book.

Dove deep into some random conflicts/ battles but light in other probably more applicable ones. Talked a lot about Korea which was a pretty conventional fight. Also went deeply into a few other conventional battles. There really wasn't any rhyme or reason here. It was almost like they just made some old work fit into this project. They failed to really be descriptive enough to make sense when they tried to go deep too fast relying heavily on small diagrams Either needed to go deeper into battles or just stick to themes.

Misses significant conflicts like Chechnya and Northern Ireland. Also the Israelis vs the PLO (instead of the conventional fights vs the Arab world) would have been good. Some really useful stuff could have come from this.

Briefly and half heartedly mentioning Afghanistan in what they try to pass off as a closing. The Afghan war vs the Soviets is a great case study for a whole lot of information. The books failure to meaningfully discuss the Soviet Afghan War is almost irredeemable. It would be like talking pistol development through the 18th century and not mentioning Colt.

Sorely needed a good conclusion. Seriously they were going through the case studies then had a half halfhearted confusing chapter that vaguely mentions Afghanistan and mumbles about some other stuff and the book just ends.

Discussion: I got a lot out of the part on China which is a chapter of history I wasn't well informed on. The pieces on conflicts I was more familiar with were good and usually had an interesting new tid bit or three.  For a nonfiction book it managed to be informative while staying lively enough to stay interesting which is a definite balancing act.

This book would probably be on my fairly short list for studying insurgencies/ guerrilla war. It probably wouldn't make the top 5 but would definitely be in the top 10.

Overall assessment: Buy and read. The price on Amazon is like 7 bucks. I got stuff out of this book and considering my study of the field is pretty solid and I have some decent practical experience that says something.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Randomness

Well it seems President Obama's view has evolved to where he now supports Gay marriage. My thoughts on that issue are on the record and I am pretty much ambivalent about this new development. I suspect it is about firming up his base and making Romney look like an evil hate monger.

If you have been waiting to buy PM's at a dip it might be time to pull the trigger.

In case you were wondering 2 year old girl scout cookies taste just fine.

If you are short on doom and gloom there is an outbreak of whooping cough in Washington State. In case you needed any more reason to vaccinate yourself and your children.

JP Morgan lost a couple billion dollars in the last few weeks.

Greek leftists want to stay in the Euro but avoid any sort of austerity.

France's economy isn't doing so well.

I have been enjoying the show Person of Interest lately. It is a bit big brothery and will make you want to delete all social networking stuff then smash your laptop and cell phone but those may not be thoughts worth fighting anyway. There is always action and the good guys win which makes for an enjoyable show.

Dewars Scotch whisky has found a place in our liquor cabinet.  It is smooth and affordable enough to drink whenever the mood strikes me.  It isn't going to be mistaken for a nice single malt but at half the price that would not be a reasonable expectation. One of the downsides of scotch is that a decent blend is the price of a bottle of Crown Royal or a good burbon.

Have a good weekend,


Saturday, September 25, 2010

quote of the day

"God is on the side of the best shots."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why Apologize

Are good

Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when
DeGaule decided to pull out of NATO.  DeGaule said he wanted all US
Military out of France as soon as possible.

Rusk responded,
"Does that include those who are buried here?"

Did not respond.

Could have heard a pin drop.

When in England ,
At a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the
Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of
'empire building' by George Bush.

He answered by saying,
"Over the years, the United States has sent many of
Its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom
Beyond our borders.  The only amount of land we have ever asked for
In return is enough to bury those that did not

Could have heard a pin drop.

There was a conference in France
Where a number of international engineers
Were taking part, including French and American.  During a break,
One of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you
Heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft
Carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims.  What does he
Intend to do, bomb them?"

A Boeing engineer
Stood up and replied quietly:  "Our carriers have three
Hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are
Nuclear powered and can supply emergency  electrical power to
Shore facilities; they have three  cafeterias with the capacity to
Feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand
Gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a
Dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and
From their flight deck.  We have eleven such ships;
How many does France have?"

Could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy Admiral
Was attending a naval conference that included
Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French
Navies  At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large
Group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.
Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a
French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many
Languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "Why is it that
We always have to speak English in these conferences rather than
Speaking French?"

Without hesitating,
The American Admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the
Brit's, Canadians, Aussie's and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't
Have to speak German."
Could have heard a pin drop.



Robert Whiting,
An elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.
At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport
In his carry on.
Have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked

Mr. Whiting
Admitted that he had been to France

You should know enough to have your passport ready."

The American said,
"The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !"

The American senior
Gave the Frenchman a long hard look.  Then he
Quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in
1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen
To show a passport to."

Could have heard a pin drop.


I am proud to be of this land, AMERICA

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

quote of the day

"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."
-Bryan the crazy ex CIA father in Taken

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Fall of the Wall

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. I remember it on the nightly news when I was a kid. Not well but guys standing on a big concrete wall with sledge hammers and a lot of people who were all happy and stuff. I think the impact of the Cold War (certainly best symbolized by the Wall itself) upon Germany is at least to those in my approximate generation completely under rated.

To me prior to coming here if you had to list things which were significant and involved Germany you would mention the World Wars, and Beer and maybe David Hasselhoff. Specifically I tended to focus in on WWII and The whole attempted takover of the world and genocide bit. I think elements of those things are significant but less so than the Cold War.

I say this because the effects of the Cold War were more significant and longer lasting. Yeah Germany tried to get a bigger piece of the colonial pie which Britain, France and to a far lesser degree Spain had pretty much divided amongst themselves. They pretty much took over Europe for awhile and killed a whole bunch of Jews, Gypsies and other folks. However not that long after the war their situation in relation to the war wasn't that different from that of their neighbors on both sides. A whole generation of young men were pretty much gone, lots of innocent people were dead and the national infrastructure was wrecked. The story of a German woman was probably not that different from that of a Belgian woman or a French woman. Times were hard, her sons went off and some or all of them died, for times food and fuel was limited and things generally sucked. At some point there was some bombing or shelling in the area and at some point strange young men in weird uniforms occupied the area and may or may not have done some bad stuff.

The one thing which makes Germany's national experience vis a vi WWII different is a broad sense of national shame. They let a real asshat gain power and then their country tried to take over Europe and killed a whole shit ton of people. The jewel in their crown of guilt is the holocaust. However the way this is expressed is in a sense of real reluctance at wide military action which for different reasons (mainly the shell shock of loosing a huge part of two whole generations of young men) pretty much all of Europe has.

Attempting to disconnect WWII and the Cold War into discrete events is something of a tenuous operation but not entirely undoable if some imagination is used. The war on the Eastern Front (Russia vs Germany) could well have gone differently (more that it could have gone slower for the Ruskies not so much the end result) or the Allies could have moved a little faster and Germany would have been left to recover and rebuild from the war with out a bunch of commies waiting to storm through the Fulda Gap. Interesting what if's aside the two issues can be somewhat seperated.

A good comparison for how Germany rebuilt after the war would be Japan.

It is almost impossible to imagine a country being suddenly cut in half with almost no travel (at least for average folks) in between. The image is particularly stark when you consider Berlin being cut into pieces. Your Mom lives across town, too bad maybe you can see her in a few decades.

To make the contrast between West and East Germany all the more distinct one side got massive aid to rebuild and the other got systematically stripped of anything useful and was run down. The West generally was a decent place to live and the East was not so nice by really any measurable criteria I can think of.

While Germany could have recovered from the war within the time it takes to age a good Burbon the Cold War lasted about 45 years depending on which events you count or where you were. I would submit that Germany is still feeling the after effects of reunification. The East has far higher unemployment and hasn't generally caught up to the developed and productive Western part of the country.

This quote really sums it up best " It was expected that stronger growth would begin reducing the numbers of unemployed by 1995 and that Germany would return to its postwar path toward prosperity. But the absorption of eastern Germany, and the methods by which it had been accomplished, had exacted a high price throughout all of Germany." I would submit that this price is still being felt.

In any case the damn commies (not to be confused with our kind though slightly stern Social Democrat allies:) lost which is always a good thing. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Prisons in SHTF

Our loyal correspondent Humongous sent me an email on this topic. He works in a Maximum Security Prison and wondered about my thoughts on what would happen if things went all SHTF. I do not have a ton of knowledge in this area but that hasn't stopped me from writing about all sorts of other topics so why should it be an issue for this one?

I think prisons fair more or less OK (I think some prisoners in Katrina had a rough time but not out of purportion to everyon else)  for short term and localized disasters. Just about everywhere has power outages and such so they have (at least I imagine) plans for that. As for local disasters I think bussing to somewhere else is pretty much the answer everywhere. That works if there is a flood in this region or the like.

For a slow slide sort of situation in general I think prisons would fair reasonably well. They are the kind of think that a government (at whatever level) would have to fund. When you are broke you stop eating out but keep buying toilet paper. The wildcard for this sort of situation is that political types could make radical changes is policies or early parole to drop their operational costs.

Me thinks a genuine full on TEOTWAWKI is what our correspondent was mostly thinking about. Broadly speaking I think there are 3 possible options: 1) The prisoners dehydrate/starve/freeze to death in their cells. 2) The prisoners leave the prison and are free. 3) The prisoners are intentionally killed by the guards. I will talk a bit more about each of these broad options a little bit.

1. In my opinion this is probably the least likely scenario. Unless all the prisoners are securely locked in old school small cement cells with heavy metal bars and all the guards decide simultaneously to just go home this would not happen. This would be somewhat probable for an individual or two in a small isolated local jail if the deputy who was on duty was for whatever reason unable to return.

2. This scenario is the most likely in the big picture though it would depend on some other factors. It is also the most likely because it is the most openly defined. In this scenario the prisoners could be freed or escape. I would not be supprised that if a lot of lower security facilities ended up turning the prisoners loose. As for the more dangerous prisoners in more secure facilities me thinks their large scale freedom would be the result of an escape. I think in the security area older prisons would face far better than newer ones as they tended to rely on lots of metal and big walls not security systems and electric fences which rely on power.

In a prison with lowered security because of less/ no power the odds of prisoner escape would be high. Also if prisoners had enough info about what was going on outside to come up with a plan and execute it knowing the guards could not hunker down and wait for help it could get ugly. Most likely I see a combination of those two factors leading to most of the prison breaks.

3. The guards intentionally kill the inmates. I do not see this happening at minimum security jail camps and such. This one would need a couple of conditions for it to come to pass. First of all the facility would need to have the capability to keep inmates controlled in their small cells for awhile regardless of their desperate attempts to free themselves. Second of all the person in charge (might not be the head guy but the one on the scene who is functionally in charge) would need to have a grasp of the true seriousness of the event they were involved in and the implications for letting these violent dangerous criminals loose in a world without law and order. This would take a combination of being pragmatic and a really cold hearted mother fucker. Third the guards who were left (some would not show up and some might abandon their posts with useful equipment and guns) would have to have the means to kill the inmates in a not up close and personal manner, basically guns and enough ammo to do the job. That shouldn't be a big issue unless someone has already cleared out the gun cabinet and or ammo storage on their way out for the last time. I think that in more conservative areas with more of a law and order type philosophy there would probably be more dead violent prisoners than escaped violent prisoners.

I could see the guards potentially separating the non total psycho inmates and putting them on their way then making sure the real nut jobs never get out.

As for what I think would go down by and large. Prisoners in minimum and medium security facilities would mostly go free be it by jumping over the fence or walking with their personal belongings through the front gate. For maximum security prisons I think it would be more likely to see a combination of escape attempts (large or small, peaceful or violent)  and mass executions. Also a few would probably have one botched by the other and darn near everybody ending up dead. Maybe the inmates make a go of it and a guard in a good position with a rifle takes a lot of them out or the guards try to make like it is the bloody days of the French Revolution and the inmates rush them and do some real damage.

I do know that JWR considers prisons in his regional/ local retreat advice and this makes a lot of sense to me. Do not make a mistake of underestimating them because they would be poorly equipped. Pretty darn quick these predators would arm themselves and most would start reaking havoc.

I would not want to live near a prison (I say prison intentionally there are jails all over the place) say within a 40 mile radius of one.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Question of the Day

"Why do some places prosper and thrive while others just suck?"
-PJ O'Rourke

Just starting his book "Eat The Rich". Tonight I read some crap by a poser who said he joined the French Foreign Legion. I got a bit less than half the way through it before my BS detector was fully pegged (among other things he described a Browning .50 cal as a rocket launcher) and I decided to put it down. I have heard a lot of quotes from this book and if nothing else I hope it is entertaining.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Guerilla Warfare

I am going to do this sans notes (not feeling like going to grab them) so one little piece of info or two might be wrong. In any case I am going to talk about a lot of different conflicts in brief and focus more on general trends that correlate with success and failure.

First it is worth noting that guerrilla warfare goes back too the beginning of time. Basically any time a non uniformed army or police force fought against you had a guerrilla war. The name comes from the Spanish phrase "small war" which came into play when Napoleon invaded Spain and the partisans fought a low level war against them. So no guerrilla warfare was not invented by Che Guevara in the late 1950's.

Some successful guerrilla wars:
American Revolution
China (Mao c1949)
Algeria (a perfect example of not so much willing as the other side loosing will)
Vietnam (against the French and US)
Afghanistan (vs the Russians and just about everyone that invaded prior to them)

Some that were not successful for the guerrillas:
Spain vs. Napoleon
Indian Wars
Philippines (c1899-1902ish)
Boer Wars
Ireland c1920's though to narrow that down to one war would be a great simplification
All partisans during WWII. They were heroic and convenient but they didn't win the war, even in a single theater.

Here are some characteristics of successful guerrilla campaigns:
They are opposing an over stretched or dysfunctional government
They have some sort of a safe haven to train, rest and regroup
The terrain makes it easy for people to hide, mountains, swamps, jungles
Outside support for the guerrillas
A charismatic leader able to unify people
A less quantifiable characteristic is freedom of movement. It is a combination of terrain and safe havens.

Note that some of these characteristics are things the guerrillas can do nothing about. You can't make a country of open plains into high jagged mountains anymore then you can turn a well organized cohesive government into an overstretched and dysfunctional one.

Here are some characteristics of successful counter insurgency (COIN) campaigns:
Will. The common theme in almost every failed COIN campaign is that the lack of will (throughout or at the end) is a common denominator of all the failures I can think of.
Separate the guerrillas from the population. This one is touchy and difficult. It worked well when the British put up massive barricades and forced people into concentration camps. Not saying it was nice but it did work. Also the Brits did a nicer version of this in Malaysia. We did not do this successfully in Vietnam.

Deny the guerrillas a safe haven. Guerrillas without a safe haven are rarely successful.

Deny the guerrillas freedom of movement (this overlaps with separating them from the population and denying them a safe haven). We were successful in the Philippines partially because of a naval blockade and the fact that it is an island nation. It was easy to deny freedom of movement. When guerrillas are fixed in position they are destroyed.

Brutal repression of guerrillas can be successful. I am not saying it is nice or a good thing to do but it has worked very well in the past. Notice that guerrilla operations against the Axis during WWII were not particularly successful because they were rather nasty folks who didn't play around. This is not always necessary or even successful but when it works it works.

Working towards conciliation is another tenant of successful COIN ops. If guerrillas know they are going to be killed/ punished whenever found regardless of their current involvement in the conflict they will tend to keep fighting as winning is their only way out. If however there is a fairly generous amnesty policy possibly coupled with helping them reintegrate and find jobs you can really hurt their manpower (lower level troops mostly) when things start to get bad for them.

Some thoughts on guerrilla movements:
They can offset strategic weakness with tactical strength. 100,000 occupiers vs 5,000 guerrillas is a decisive advantage as is 60 guerrillas vs 10 occupiers in a tactical fight. It is worthy to note that guerrillas don't really hold any ground. They sabotage, assassinate, ambush and raid. The characteristics of all of these is a quick planned withdrawal.

I could write more but it probably wouldn't be really cohesive and I am hungry. Time to nuke leftover pizza.
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