Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Thoughts on Governor Sarah Palin

The choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice President again shows that Senator McCain can think outside the box. Conventional thinking was for McCain to choose another man, someone from the Congress or a former member but he clearly moved beyond this sort of traditional thinking by picking Palin. I personally have been following Governor Palin's career for more than a year since she is a true-blue conservative from an important Western state. Also, this decision makes Sarah Palin most likely the first female President in the United States (in 2012). McCain showed so much courage and character in reaching outside Washington in picking Palin, it was an incredible choice.

As governor of Alaska, she vetoed over 300 special interest bills in the budget.

She cancelled the $300 million dollar "Bridge to Nowhere" that Congress wanted to waste money on. She has been in office for 13 years as mayor and governor of Alaska.

She is a pro-life woman who, when faced with a terrible choice (knowing she would have a Downs syndrome baby), she stuck by her principles.

Her oldest son signed up for the US Army after 9/11 and Palin's family fully support their son in this effort.

She is a life-time member of the NRA, hunts, and loves moose-burgers (no vegetarian tree-hugger here). Her husband is an Alaskan Inuit. She has done more in the last 20 months than her predecessors have done in the previous 12 years! She also brought down in ethics investigations she governor of Alaska, the state attorney general, and the head of the GOP party in Alaska. She is in favor of oil drilling and has taken on the Alaskan oil companies in that northern state.

She is 44 years old and has had 5 kids and looks THIS GOOD!


Friday, August 29, 2008

The DNC in Denver

You know, after watching the DNC convention in Denver this week, a city I recently moved from, the more I question why should Barack Obama be President of the United States? From disgusting shady deals for his home to such a lack of poor judgment by associating with America-hating Jeremiah Wright and terrorist William Ayres. Don't you know, Mr. Obama, that you are known by the company you keep? Hanging out with such despicable people like Wright and Ayres only shows your extremely poor judgment. The worst decision Obama has made is the fact that he said he would speak to the most anti-American hating leaders around the world (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Il Sung) but refuse to speak to fellow Americans on the Right. Obama refuses to speak to Focus on the Family and Fox News because they are "right wing" but he will talk to Ahmadinejad and Il Sung because they are leftists. Too bad Obama has such poor judgment.

Here we are, in the middle of the most important wars in our history, and we are about to hand over the leadership of this country to a single term black senator from Illinois? Are people insane?

Obama is also against progress. He, like his left-wing brethren, are wedded to the new religion: gaiaism. This form of planet worship (instead of God-worship) is shown in the form of "saving the planet" (instead of peoples) and in "renewable energy". Instead of tapping the vast oil reserves here in the United States (more than 3 times what Saudi Arabia has, in the Rocky Mountains alone) they want to gut economic progress by forcing everyone to use wind and solar power. They are waging an all-out war against nuclear, oil, hydroelectric, and coal power. Oh the Democrats will fight all right, not the War on Terror but the War Against Gaia.

Jill Biden: beautiful, gracious, stunningly kind, and a good wife and mother. I was deeply impressed by her behavior in public and I wish her well, whatever happens in the future.


Michelle Obama: you’d think that someone who earns $360,000 a year from a hospital could get good dental care, but apparently not. Her most infamous quote: “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country” See the video here if you don’t believe the quote.

Bill Clinton: has the nerve to complain about the US military’s capability when he was the one who gutted it in the 1990s. He slashed the US Army from 18 divisions to 10, from 15 aircraft carriers to 10, from 36 combat airwings to nearly 20. Bill Clinton was the single most responsible person for the weakening of thee US armed forces, putting now in a very dangerous global position.

And he has the nerve to discuss the financial situation in the USA when he sold this country out by signing (illegally) NAFTA. That economic treaty destroyed the industrial base of this country. Clinton's foolish signing of this law cost the US over 5 million high-paying jobs, then blame the Bush administration for it. It's absurd.

Madeline Albright: the most despicable human being in the former Clinton administration was given center stage to speak at the Obama convention. She was most directly responsible for the mass murders and all-out genocide in black Rwanda in 1994. This woman, this fiend, was singularly responsible for the mass deaths in Rwanda and she deserved no spotlight like she had at the convention. Again, Democrats show the worst judgment in picking leaders; mass murder accomplices, hard-core radical leftists, and America-hating "pastors". This is the real Democratic Party, the Party of Death. They are the party of the gays, the blacks, the unions, and other hard-core leftist groups. The are anti-Christian and anti-life ("pro-choice") and anyone voting for him should keep this in mind and judge wisely.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Russia, the West, and Killing Michelle Malkin

West tells Russia to keep out of Ukraine
by the Financial Times

Britain led a chorus of support for Ukraine on Wednesday as western fears rose of possible Russian attempts to build on its victory in Georgia by threatening neighbouring states.

Speaking during a visit to Kiev, David Miliband, the UK foreign secretary, called on the European Union and Nato to prepare for “hard-headed engagement” with Moscow following its military action in Georgia.

“Russia must not learn the wrong lessons from the Georgia crisis. There can be no going back on fundamental principles of territorial integrity, democratic governance and international law,” he said.

Mr. Miliband’s remarks coincided with warnings from Bernard Kouchner, French foreign minister, and Carl Bildt, Swedish foreign minister.

In an unprecedented step, the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized countries also issued a joint statement on Wednesday to condemn “Russia’s excessive use of military force in Georgia and its continued occupation of parts” of the country.

The warnings came after Moscow recognised the independence of the breakaway Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Tuesday in the first effort to redraw international borders in the former Soviet Union since its 1991 collapse.

Mr. Kouchner warned that the situation was “very dangerous” because Russia might now be considering other targets such as the divided state of Moldova and Ukraine, with its strategically important Crimean peninsula.


More here.

NATO Not Ready For Prime Time
One reason many European nations are reluctant to let their troops engage the enemy in Iraq, or Afghanistan, is that they fear the outcome will not be up to the task. Over a decade of shrinking budgets has meant less money for realistic training. There are also equipment shortages. The net result is several layers of leadership that are really not well prepared for a shooting war. The leaders of these nations have also been warned about this by their own special operations troops, who have seen combat in Afghanistan. Most of these operations have been kept secret, as is normal for this sort of thing. But the commandos from these different nations had opportunities to exchange notes, and it was generally agreed that most post Cold War European nations had let most of their combat troops down. The special operations forces were hardly cut at all, as they were considered vital for counter-terrorism, or any kind of military emergency that might come up. The spec ops guys were dismayed at what was happening to the levels of training and equipment in the rest of the armed forces, and knew it could mean disaster if these guys were sent into combat.

Now that's starting to happen, and the results are not pretty. For example, several Czech helicopter pilots, when told they were going to Afghanistan, basically said no. Not unless they got more training, and helicopters that could handle that kind of tricky flying. The crew of an Italian helicopter gunship was recently sent home because they refused to fire in combat. No one will say exactly what happened there, but that sort of thing is usually the result of poor preparation, and leadership. And then there's the recent ambush of a French patrol, which resulted in ten French paratroopers killed. Most of the casualties occurred because the troops had not practiced dealing with ambushes, and the way the Taliban operate. Worse, the French troops were trapped under fire for many hours, long past the time when air cover or ground reinforcements should have arrived. Again, this has all the marks of bad leadership and poor training.

The well trained and equipped volunteer troops (particularly the American, British, Canadian, Australian and commandos of all nations) make it look easy. But it isn't. Lots of training, lots of practice, and decades developing combat leadership, is what it takes. Some nations are now faced with the need to repair some of the damage cause by that post Cold War euphoria and budget cutting.


Killing Michelle Malkin
This week a shocking and vile video of a thug/talk show host (Alex Jones) trying to incite a crowd to murder a small Asian woman (Michelle Malkin). This sort of despicable behavior shows clearly why millions of people are abandoning the Democratic Party (and the political left in this country). Jones is a well-known lefty Denverite and his disgusting behavior shows how demon-possessed the man really is. He is the the thug, the monster, and the evil man that he claims Malkin is. It is this kind of awful speach and behavior that makes people ignore the fanatics on the Left. I am glad I left the Left 20 years ago....

Here is the video, make your own decision.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Georgia War Summary

Part 1
Russian politicians are working on establishing South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations. These two provinces, populated by people who are not ethnic Georgians (the Caucasus has dozens of such groups, which is one reason this is such a violent part of the world) are not large enough to survive economically, and will no doubt eventually ask to become part of Russia. This will annoy the UN, as Russia will have, in effect, taken two provinces from neighboring Georgia, and gotten away with it. Russia has been doing this sort of thing for centuries, and considers it necessary to its national defense, and perfectly all right. This plays well inside Russia, not so well elsewhere.

Part 2
Russian troops began withdrawing from Georgia, slowly. It will probably take them weeks to complete the process. In the meantime, they will continue to loot, and generally punish, the Georgians, in order to let everyone know who calls the shots in the Caucasus, and anywhere along the Russian border. But this punitive operation did not have the desired effect. The Czechs, Poles and Ukrainians all promptly agreed to work with the West to improve their defenses against Russia, and the possibility of becoming "another Georgia". There was much talk about a return to the Cold War. But this time around, Russia is hardly a superpower. Russia has nuclear weapons, but beyond that, their military is decidedly second rate. Against a third rate opponent like Georgia, that's sufficient. But against the West, not so much. Russia's European neighbors appear ready to side with the West, even in the face of Russian threats.

Part 3
The Russian military demonstrated great resourcefulness and innovation during its recent campaign in Georgia. This includes the strategic planning, because the war was a set up. Russia used only one infantry division for the invasion, and had held training exercises in July. The increased border violence by South Ossetian forces caused the Georgians think they could retake the lost (in 1991) province. Less than a day after the Georgian forces entered South Ossetia, the Russian force of over 20,000 troops (including combat experienced Chechen counter-terror units and North Ossetian militia groups) came in. The Georgians were not prepared for this, even though the Russians had been making a lot of noise, for weeks, on the Internet about the growing "crises" in South Ossetia. By August 8th, the Russian Cyber War preparations became evident, as most Georgian media and government web sites were shut down by Russian attacks. It was the Internet version of the blitzkrieg, and a blow to military and civilian morale in Georgia. But on the ground, the combat experience of the Russian troops quickly translated in defeats for inexperienced Georgian troops. Despite several years of training under the supervision of Israeli and American combat veterans, the Georgians were still not as effective as the Russians (who have been fighting in Chechnya for over a decade). Although the Georgian anti-aircraft units brought down some Russian jets, the Russians basically ruled the skies and used that to constantly pick apart Georgian units. It was Russian air power the prevented the Georgians from mounting an effective defense.

Russia told the UN that it would veto any UN attempt to pass resolutions urging Russia to hurry up and get out of Georgia. The Russian success in Georgia was very popular inside Russia, where there has been growing unhappiness over Russias loss of empire and superpower status in the early 1990s. Nationalist politicians are talking about rebuilding the empire. This could get tricky, and is one reason the Russians get so excited when another of their neighbors talks about joining NATO. That organization is designed for mutual defense. You attack one NATO member, you attack them all, and two of them (France left NATO in the 1960s, but is considered an associate member) have nuclear weapons.


Part 4
Russian troops beat the Georgians on the ground, not so much because of superior numbers, but because the Russians had more troops with combat experience, and very recent experience in fighting this kind of war. The Russians got this way by fighting a successful campaign just across the border, in Chechnya. There, several hundred thousand Russians and pro-Russian Chechens have gotten valuable combat experience. The Chechen rebels (a mixture of nationalists, gangsters and Islamic radicals) have been reduced to a few hundred hard core fighters. The Russians basically use Chechnya as a training ground where their "contract soldiers" (volunteers, who are much more effective than conscripts) can get some combat experience. These volunteers are particularly common in paratrooper and commando units. Both were apparently used in the ground operations that pushed the Georgians out of South Ossetia, and conquered key areas elsewhere in Georgia. Some of the "Russian" troops were apparently Chechen paramilitary units.

The Georgian troops had received training and weapons from the U.S. and Israel over the last few years. But the U.S. training was mainly for peacekeeping operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was of limited use against experienced Russian counter-terrorism troops. A small number of Georgians received special operations training, but not enough of these troops were available to defeat the Russian advance.

The Georgians did better in the air and at sea, even though they were greatly outnumbered there as well. Georgian warplanes shot up the Russians pretty badly (killing the commander of Russian ground forces, for example) before the Russians were able to shut down the Georgian air force. But in the process Russia lost at least four aircraft destroyed, and a number of others badly damaged.

At sea, Georgian missile boats hit several Russian warships, which had not been equipped with equipment, or crews, that were capable of dealing with this kind of threat. Two Russian warships were damaged sufficiently that they had to withdraw from the area. Within a few days, however, Georgia's miniscule navy and air force were destroyed, largely by the much larger Russian air force.

The Russians ran a large scale Information War campaign, shutting down Georgian access to the Internet for several days, and blanketing the world media, and Internet, with Russian spin on what was going on in Georgia and why.

The Russians apparently wanted to intimidate the Georgians into electing a less pro-West government. There are some Georgians who are more inclined to do whatever the Russians want, but it's unclear if this faction has a majority of the votes yet. Some Georgians believe that the Russians are still angry about Josef Stalin, a Georgian who killed more Russians than Adolf Hitler. Stalin is still a hero to Georgians.

Russia has now shown itself to be a bully. Russia has been trying to annex two parts of Georgia that border Russia, and this war was all about showing Georgians that Russia would rather fight than give up this land grab. The UN was created to deal with this sort of thing, but Russia is doing well, so far, intimidating the UN into inactivity.

It's not a clear win for the Russians, but, short-term, many things appear to be going their way. Long term, things are rather more murky. Europeans have been reminded that the Russian bully they have feared and despised, for so many centuries, is back in town. That could have interesting consequences down the road.

By StrategyPage

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mass Murder in Denver Thwarted

You know, it has always seemed to me that the Big Lie is always successful, no matter what lie it is covering. The last Big Lie I can recall is that "Islam is a Religion of Peace". If this were true, then why are muslims (and not Christians or Hindus) killing their wives and daughters over affairs of honor? Why does the leader of Iran say there are no homosexuals in their country? Did they outlaw them all and kill them all like so many other muslim nations have? What disturbs me mostly was this week a muslim man was found dead in a hotel in Denver (I just moved from there). He apparently was planning on poisoning the water supply of the city while the Democratic National Convention was happening. He was a Somali muslim. I find it shocking and worrisome that any religion would use weapons of mass destruction (poisonous gases and toxins, bioweapons, and even radioactive and nuclear materials). Can you imagine if Christian people were doing this? The outcry! The uproar! I can hear it now: "They're fanatics, wipe them out! Make their religion illegal! Take away their children", and other such words but since it if the "Religion of Peace" doing this, there is silence.....think about it my friends. Think hard.


BMD in Israel
The U.S. has agreed to set up a ballistic missile early warning radar in the Negev desert. The portable radar will be manned by American soldiers rotated in from bases in Europe. The radars may arrive before the end of the year, but more likely, by early next year. This radar will improve Israeli ability to detect missiles coming from Iran.

Meanwhile, RAFAEL is adding a dramatic new capability to attack helicopters – the ability to launch mini-UAVs when airborne. The company is demonstrating this capability on their attack helicopter simulator (Helicoat).


“The Skylite was originally developed as a canister launched mini-UAV, so its modification into a helicopter-borne system does not require drastic redesign” says Menachem Dvir from RAFAEL. The canister-launched Skylite is displayed loaded on a quad Spike launcher, identical to a launcher already cleared for helicopters such as the Spanish Tiger attack helicopter. “When on a mission, helicopters can deploy the Skylite to scan an without exposing themselves to anti-aircraft threats, such as shoulder fired missiles (MANPADS) and RPGs. When targets are detected, Skylite hands over the images to the crew, for prosecution with precision guided weapons such as Spike ER. Attack helicopters are already using UAVs to facilitate accelerated ‘kill chains’. Therefore, offering such capability as an integral capability is the next logical step” said Dvir.

The Grand Deception
A Taiwanese journalist found an army unit posting dummies around its base, and reported that the military was so short of men, as it was using mannequins dressed as soldiers to man checkpoints, and not very convincing ones at that. Questions were raised in parliament. An army representative said, publicly, that the dummies were there to fool spy satellites. Privately, the general apparently warned the media and politicians to back off. Spy satellite deception has been a growing military activity since the 1970s, when it was revealed that the Russians spent enormous amounts of money and effort to try and fool American spy satellites. After the Cold War, it was discovered that some of those deceptions were effective.

China launched its first spy satellite in 1975, and by the 1990s normally had at least a dozen of them in orbit. Until the late 1990s, these were the kind of satellites that had to return their film to earth for developing. This method was dropped by the United States in the 1980s. The Chinese have since moved on to digital photo satellites, which transmit images to earth. The U.S. began using this technology in the 1970s. Digital satellites can take a lot more photos, and that means the potential enemy has to put a lot more effort into

Saturday, August 16, 2008

More Russian moves

Russian LR bombers in Cuba
Izvestia has quoted an unnamed high-ranking Russian air force official as saying that long-range nuclear-capable Tu-160 and Tu-95 bombers could be deployed to Cuba if the United States deploys an anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe. “While they are deploying the ABM system in Poland and the Czech Republic, our long-range strategic bombers will already be landing in Cuba,” Izvestia quoted the source as saying.



Venezuela asks for Russian bases
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he would welcome Russian military bases in his country, reports. “Russia has sufficient resources to provide for its presence in various parts of the world,” he told reporters in Moscow when asked about the possibility of Russia having bases in Venezuela. “We will raise flags; we will be beating drums and singing songs, because our allies, with whom we have a common vision of the world, will be coming.” According to the BBC, Chavez called for a strategic alliance with Russia to protect Venezuela from the U.S., while President Dmitry Medvedev said three Russian energy companies will be allowed to operate in Venezuela but gave no details of an anticipated arms deal between the two countries.

Nudging Felons To Vote?
This week, the Washington Post reported that a number of organizations—the ACLU and the NAACP among them—are leading a nationwide push to get as many felons registered to vote as possible. You read that right—felons, not ex-cons, but current inmates. The Post noted that in Ohio, "The NAACP will hold a voter-registration day at the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland this month to register 'people caught up in the criminal justice system.'" And in California, activists will be at the jails tomorrow to "register people visiting prisoners and encourage them to take registration cards to their incarcerated friends or family members, some of whom can legally vote."

I've heard of all kinds of voter registration efforts, but this could be the first time there’s been a coordinated effort aimed specifically at those behind bars. And I hope it will be a wake-up call to men and women of faith. The Left is energized in a way I have not seen since the ‘60s. What about you? Have you contacted friends and family members to find out whether they are registered to vote? Are you registered to vote? If not, please visit our website at today. Defend your values. Make your voice heard. Vote!

Honoring Our Heroes
Earlier this year, a presidential candidate made headlines for mocking the values of small town Americans, telling an audience in San Francisco that heartland folks "cling" to their faith and guns out of "bitterness." Thankfully, some of our young men and women are willing to pick up their guns, not out of bitterness, but out of love for God and Country. This week, one of America's fallen heroes, Sgt. Ryan Baumann, came home and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. According to his mother, Ryan decided to join the Army after 9/11 because "he wanted to do everything he could for his country." Ryan died in Afghanistan on August 1st when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. Lauren Smith, his fiancée, said it was her understanding that Ryan saw the bomb and steered his Humvee so that his side of the vehicle took the brunt of the blast. Everyone else in the vehicle survived.

Like all the courageous men and women who serve our country in the Armed Forces, Ryan Baumann was an incredible person. And an incredible thing happened as his family made the trip to Arlington National Cemetery this week. According to one news report, "In Southern Maryland, residents lined the procession route from funeral services earlier in the morning in Leonardtown to the cemetery in Arlington County. Thousands turned out along Route 5 in Leonardtown to pay their respects." I confess that there are moments when I turn on the television and listen to the rhetoric of leftwing politicians, and Code Pink, and hear the liberal media parrot back the latest leftwing talking points and I fear for the future of our country and worry about the nation and culture that my children will inherent. But so long as America is still capable of producing heroes like Sgt. Ryan Baumann and so long as thousands are willing to stand in the August sun to pay their last respects, I will have hope, and my courage to fight on will be renewed. May yours be too!

Friday, August 15, 2008

All about Georgia

The Empire Struggles Back
The Russian empire is being rebuilt. The Russian people demand it. Russian politicians are using this popular attitude to placate the people, and distract them from the fact that Russia is turning into a dictatorship. And so Russia is pressuring its neighbors to do what they are told by Moscow. In support of this, the Russian government has re-established control over key industries, as well as all the major mass media.

While the 1917 revolution destroyed the ancient Russian monarchy and simultaneously rejected democracy and the market economy, the 1917 revolution didn't work. The overbearing and inept czarist aristocracy eventually returned in the form of overbearing and inept Communist Party officials and state-appointed industrial managers. The second revolution in 1991 was less bloody than that of 1917, but the huge Communist bureaucracy was not dismissed, only reduced.

Unlike the 1917 revolution, 1991 one saw the dismemberment of the czarist empire, something even the 1917 Reds were not willing to tolerate. Territories that had been Russia's for centuries, like Ukraine and Belarus, plus others that had only been conquered in the 19th century (Central Asia and the Caucasus), were suddenly independent once more.

But not completely free. The Russians called their new neighbors the "Near Abroad" and treated them more like prodigal children than sovereign nations. In the early 1990s, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was formed by Russia. The CIS was sort of a successor of the Soviet Union. But after he 1990s, the CIS began to fall apart. Some members, especially Armenia, Ukraine, Georgia and Turkmenistan, drifted away. Or at least tried to. Apparently you could join the CIS, but not leave it.

The New Russia of the 1990s faced serious economic and political problems internally, as well as unrest on its new borders with these new neighbors. Russia sought to solve all these problems to its advantage, Thus the Near Abroad nations are increasingly hostile to Russian interference. During all this, Russians grew increasingly nostalgic for the old empire. Russian politicians played on this by talking of rebuilding the empire.

There were other considerations. For over a thousand years, Russians have lived in fear of invasion. Thus it has always been popular to absorb or subdue neighbors, to provide a buffer zone between the core Russian (mainly Slavic) territories, and potential invaders. The Golden Age was the post World War II period, when Russia still had all the czarist conquests, while Eastern Europe, Mongolia and North Korea were run by communist governments that were basically satellites of Russia. Memory here has been selective. The empire was expensive, in terms of cash, diplomatic ill-will and poor public relations. But only the good things are now remembered, which is how nationalistic memories usually work.

Ironically, the Russian military industries were saved in the last decade by India and China. These two nations kept Russian weapons manufacturers alive with large orders. More importantly, the booming economies in China and India drove up the price of oil, of which Russia is a major exporter. The billions in oil wealth propped up the Russian economy and allowed the armed forces to be rebuilt. Now Russia talks openly of reclaiming its status as a superpower and dictating the fate of its neighbors. But Russia remains a second rate military power, with a second rate arms industry and a collection of very hostile, and fearful, neighbors.

The war in Georgia comes on the heels of threats (of violence) made to Ukraine. Before that, Russia cut off energy supplies to Ukraine to show who was really in charge. Russia makes more threats to the Baltic States and East European countries over membership in NATO and the construction of a U.S. anti-missile system. The bear is back in a fighting mood, and the world wonders how far this reassertion of empire will go.

Western Europe is paralyzed by fear of losing a quarter of its natural gas supplies. When Russia set up those gas pipelines during the Cold War, somber pledges were made that gas deliveries would never be used for political purposes. After seeing what happened to Ukraine, and other East European customers, no one can be sure anymore. After Georgia, no one can feel safe from Russian violence anymore either.

Russia Takes A Beating Over Georgia
While Georgian ground forces have been pushed around by the recent Russian invasion, Georgian air defenses have been noticeably more effective. The Russians have admitted to losing four aircraft (three Su-25 ground attack bombers and a Tu-22 bomber flying a reconnaissance mission.) Most, or all, appear to have been brought down by the SA-11 BukM1 surface-to-air missile systems (obtained from Ukraine).

The SA-11 is the successor to the SA-6, which did so much damage to the Israeli Air Force during the 1973 war. The SA-11 launchers are self-propelled and carry four 1,500 pound missiles. The missiles have a 30 kilometer range, and can hit aircraft at up to 72,000 feet. The missiles move at about 2,900 kilometers an hour. The battery radar, which is also self-propelled, can detect aircraft at up to 85 kilometers away. The system can be set up and ready to fire in five minutes. The missile has a 150 pound warhead, that is triggered by a radar proximity fuze.

The Georgians also have some Tor-M1 systems, also obtained from Ukraine. Also known to NATO as the SA-15 Gauntlet, it has a maximum range of 12 kilometers. It is only effective up to 6,000 meters altitude. The system was designed as a successor to the SA-N-8 Gecko. Each launcher carries eight missiles, and it is claimed to be capable of engaging two targets simultaneously. The system was designed to be a tactical battlefield air-defense system, designed to take out close-air-support planes like the A-10 or tactical fighter-bombers like the F-4, F-16, and F-18.

Georgia claims to have downed ten Russian aircraft as of August 11th, and the true air losses won't be known until photos appear of all the aircraft wreckage. It is interesting that Russia was unable to come up with effective countermeasures against missile systems they had designed. The Russians knew of Ukrainian arms exports to Georgia, and the presence of the SA-11s and SA-15s. This is another mystery that will only be explained over time.

The Czech Connection In Georgia
The Czech Republic has been the major supplier of heavy weapons to Georgia during the last five years. This included 175 tanks (31 percent of them T-72s, the rest T-55s), 24 self-propelled 152mm howitzers, 36 122mm towed D30 howitzers and six 122mm rocket launchers. Large quantities of ammunition were also sent, as well as some Su25 ground attack aircraft. All this stuff is Cold War surplus, and went cheap. Total Czech arms sales to Georgia last year were about $20 million. Many East European nations were eager to sell Georgia weapons, knowing that they might well be used against Russian troops.

By StrategyPage

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Having Russia as a Neighbor sucks! (unlike America)


You know, as I was watching news today I realized that America's neighbors have been protected for decades (Canada, by NATO and Mexico by the Monroe Doctrine). However, it must really suck living next to Russia! I mean, just ask the Chechans! Russia bombed their capital city of Groznyy (pop 500,000) flat and now it is Georgia's turn. Widespread rape and genocidal attacks by Russian troops were the standard MO for the Chechan Wars. No wonder the Georgians fled in terror from the Russians. Being a neighbor of Russia sucks!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Russian Bear Seeks a Slaughter in Caucasus Region

Hitler invaded Sudetenland; now Putin invades Georgia
August 11, 2008

On October 3, 1938, Adolf Hitler's armies marched into Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia. Germany said it was responding to separatist demands from the large German population that lived there and that she was merely honoring their desire for reunion with Germany. Hitler's tanks took over a vital part of an independent country that had largely rejected his overtures and allied itself with the West. Neither Britain nor France nor the United States did a thing to stop him.

On August 7, 2008, Vladimir Putin's armies marched into South Ossetia, a part of Georgia. Russia said it was responding to separatist demands from the large Russian population that lived there and that she was merely honoring their desire for reunion with Russia. Putin's tanks took over a vital part of an independent country that had largely rejected his overtures and allied itself with the West. Neither Britain nor France nor the United States did a thing to stop him.

Encouraged by his occupation of Sudetenland, Hitler continued his designs on Czechoslovakia itself and invaded the rest of the nation a few months later.

Will history continue to repeat itself?

Georgia is one of the two countries that have split off from the old Soviet Union and most firmly reached out to the West. Now Putin is testing whether the west will respond to an overt Russian military attack on a part of Georgia, doubtless paving the way for a full scale invasion, perhaps in the coming days. One immediate Russian move would be to use its new found military leverage to force Georgia to give up Abkhazia, another province with a large Russian population.

Russia has encouraged migration by ethnic Russians into its satellite empire ever since Stalin's days and now is using the provinces with large Russian populations to foment discord in nations that lean to the West.

The United States and the European Union must not turn away at this crucial moment in history. The U.S. should take visible steps to bolster Georgia, including the dispatch of supplies, materials, and other manifestations of our determination not to let this nation be invaded.

Russia's goal in this imperialism is to intimidate any nation on its borders into rejecting overtures from the west and to try to prove that the west will offer no real protection against Russian military designs.

NATO should speed consideration of Georgia's application for admission and should extend its security umbrella to include the struggling democracy.

If the United States appeases Russia now, it will pay the same price British Prime Minister Nevelle Chamberlain paid in the 1930s. This invasion must not be allowed to stand or, at the very least, it must be contained to South Ossetia and not allowed to lap over into the rest of Georgia.


Time To Ban The Bans
In 2008 alone, officials in the U.S. banned -- or tried to ban – a multitude of “dangers” in our everyday lives. A small sampling of targeted items includes trans fats, plastic bags, “fast food” restaurants, helium balloons, camp fires, circuses, homeschooling, baggy pants, spanking, and ice cream trucks among others. The justification for this Good Humor crack down, as regulators spin it, is a “precautionary” approach to public health. But the description one political consultant gave to the London Times more accurately depicts this unsettling phenomenon: “It’s becoming almost like an arms race as to who can ban more things."

For consumers, it’s rapidly becoming a lose-lose situation.

These bans (or “structural interventions,” as the San Francisco Department of Public Health has euphemistically dubbed them) go far beyond educating consumers, veering into the sort of heavy-handed government intrusions that have no place in a free society. Silverware is the only thing that should come between an individual and his dinner plate. And despite all of the lofty promises health officials offer in exchange for our freedom, many experts believe that trans fat bans, calorie-count mandates, and the rest of this dietary nitpicking is unlike to benefit our health. The reason is simple, according to Dr. Roger Clemens, a nutrition professor at California State University Northridge: “We don’t have dangerous foods; we have dangerous lifestyles.”

The World Health Organization estimates that 60 percent of the global population isn’t active enough. Two million deaths each year are attributable to physical inactivity. And the solution to these “dangers” won’t come from City Hall or the Statehouse. It boils down to this: personal health is about individual choices. That means turning off the TV, climbing the stairs, and taking that extra step.

Aegis Triumphant
The U.S. Navy, capitalizing on the success of its SM3 anti-missile missile, wants to equip more ships with it. So far, the seagoing Aegis radar system has used SM-3s to knock down nearly 90 percent of the test missiles fired towards it. This includes shooting down a low flying space satellite. There are 18 U.S. Navy ships equipped with SM-3, and the navy would like enough money to equip all of its Aegis equipped ships (90) with the SM-3. This is expensive, as it costs a few million bucks to upgrade the Aegis radar and install the new software. And then there are the SM-3 missiles, which cost three million dollars each. The navy won't say how many SM-3 missiles are on each ship equipped to handle them, but it's probably something like at least a dozen. So to equip over 80 additional Aegis ships with SM-3 would cost over three billion dollars.

The Aegis anti-missile system consists of a modified version of the Standard anti-aircraft missile and the Aegis radar system, modified to track incoming ballistic missiles. The RIM-161A, also known as the Standard Missile 3 (or SM-3), has a range of over 500 kilometers and max altitude of over 160 kilometers. The Standard 3 is based on the failed anti-missile version of the Standard 2.

Arleigh Burke

The Standard 3 has four stages. The first two stages boost the interceptor out of the atmosphere. The third stage fires twice to boost the interceptor farther beyond the earth's atmosphere. Prior to each motor firing it takes a GPS reading to correct course for approaching the target. The fourth stage is the 20 pound LEAP kill vehicle, which uses infrared sensors to close on the target and ram it. The Aegis system was designed to operate aboard warships (cruisers and destroyers that have been equipped with the special software that enables the AEGIS radar system to detect and track incoming ballistic missiles).

By the end of the year, the U.S. Navy will have completed equipping 18 ships with the Aegis anti-missile system. One reason the navy recently cancelled its expensive new DDG-1000 class of destroyers was because these were built to support amphibious and coastal operations, and did not have a radar that could easily be converted to use SM-3 missiles. The DDG-1000 also cost 2-3 times as much as current Aegis destroyers. With missile defense seen as a higher priority than providing new coastal combat capability, the DDG-1000 was killed, and money saved could be used to build more Aegis destroyers, and convert more current destroyers and cruisers to use SM-3.


Japan also has four Aegis warships being equipped with this anti-missile capability (including the Atago-class). Other nations are equipping some of their ships with Aegis. Currently, five navies operate 108 Aegis equipped ships, and are thus able to upgrade to SM-3. Israel also wants to buy a land based Aegis, which would cost about $50 million, plus the costs of the SM-3 missiles. This is not a problem, as the original development version of Aegis was built on land, and still serves for continuing testing and development.