2014/07/22

"Chaos in Iraq"

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[Deutsch] 'Sicherheitspolitik' ist seltsam wählerisch

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Ich erinnere mich noch, wie Bundesminister der Verteidigung Rühe mit der Salamitaktik der deutschen Auslandseinsätze begann: Ein Bundeswehrhospital in Kambodscha. Das Land litt noch unter dem Bürgerkrieg.
Wer konnte sich schon einem derart edlen Unterfangen widersetzen? So ziemlich niemand. Und so begann es. Schritt fürSchritt ging es weiter mit der Militarisierung der Außenpolitik (damals noch beschrien von den Grünen) bis man 1999 mitmachte beim Luftkrieg gegen Jugoslawien (mit einer rot-grünen Regierung!). Recht kurz danach standen auch Heerestruppen in Kabul.

Einer von Rühes Nachfolgern, Struck, prägte den allgemein als lächerlich empfundenen Satz "Die Sicherheit der Bundesrepublik Deutschland wird auch am Hindukusch verteidigt".

Nun gibt es eine Ebola Epidemie in Westafrika. Wiederum könnten ein paar Bundeswehrsanitätstruppen Leben retten. Und dieses Mal ist es weniger lächerlich zu behaupten, dass eine Entsendung von Truppen irgendwie auch Deutsche daheim schützt.

Aber irgendwie scheint niemand diese Option auch nur öffentlich zu diskutieren.

Mag dies sein, weil

* dort zu helfen wohl keine diplomatischen good will erkaufen würde?

* Politiker ihre Abenteuerspielchen lieber mit echten, potentiell kämpferischen,  Soldaten spielen? 

* es weder den Egoismen von Bürokratie noch von der Industrie dienen würde, da ein solcher Einsatz wohl kaum zusätzliche Ausgaben für Truppen, Fahrzeuge usw. zur Folge hätte?

* es in der EU kein Äquivalent zum Chef-Falken der NATO, Rasmussen, und seiner Bürokratie gäbe? Bei Optionen für Militäreinsätze sind die scharf darauf, die "Relevanz" der NATO zu beweisen.

* die Fußball-WM die Massen für eine Weile ruhiggestellt hat? 


* ein Ebola-Epidemiegebiet für Journalisten nicht so attraktiv ist (obendrein Malariagebiet) und es relativ wenige Berichte zur Krise gibt?


Ich behaupte, dass eine rationale Regierung (die irgendwie doch den ISAF-Einsatz für sinnvoll hielt) sicherlich einige Flugzeugladungen und Bundeswehr-Sanitätspersonal nach Westafrika schicken und dort der Führung durch vorhandene Koordinatoren (wohl WHO) stellen würde. Oder sie würde zumindest ein ziviles Engagement zeigen, womöglich auch mit in bezahlten Urlaub geschicktem Bundeswehr-Sanitätspersonal für Ärzte ohne Grenzen.

S O
defence_and_freedom@gmx.de

P.S.: Es sind ganze zwei Wissenschaftler der Bw in einem Diagnoseteam dort, sowas nehme ich hier nicht als nationales Engagement ernst: Link.
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2014/07/21

'Security policy' is strangely selective

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I remember how the German minister of defence Rühe began with the salami tactics towards German military missions overseas: A military hospital in Cambodia, which was still suffering due to the civil war.
Who could object to saving lives, without killing anyone? Nobody. That's how it began. And then they progressed slice by slice, until 1999 German combat aircraft were participating in air attacks on Yugoslavia, and shortly thereafter ground troops were in Kabul.

One of Rühe's successors, Struck, coined the often-ridiculed line about how Germany is supposedly 'being defended at the hindukush' (in Afghanistan). 

Now there's an Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Again, a few military hospitals could save lives. And this time it's less ridiculous to claim that sending troops (military hospitals) there would in some way protect Germans at home.

Yet nobody is even discussing this option in public.

May this be so because 

* helping there would not be perceived as creating bargaining chips for diplomacy?
 
* playing games with combat troops as game chips is more 'fun' to politicians?
 
* there would be no bureaucratic or industrial special interests being served, since such a mission wouldn't justify extra expenses such as extra troops, extra vehicles et cetera?
* there's no equivalent in the European Union to NATO's hawk-in-chief, Rasmussen, and his bureaucracy, which are hell-bent on proving 'relevance' through highly visible expeditions?

* the football world championship has satisfied the masses enough for a while?

* an ebola epidemic zone isn't all that attractive to journalists and thus there are few reports about the problem?


I suppose in a rational government which by whatever info came to the conclusion that military action in Afghanistan is worthwhile would certainly send plenty cargo aircraft and some military hospitals to West Africa and put them under control of whatever coordinator institution there is so far (I suppose WHO). Or it would at least create a civilian response under the lead of Médecins Sans Frontières, possibly giving military medical personnel paid leave for it.

S O
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2014/07/19

The cynicism and naïveté behind calls for ceasefires

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It had been noted during the 1990's that the UN's imposition of ceasefires (usually supported or driven by great powers) had in some cases prevented a relatively unbloody violent conclusion of a conflict and prolonged it very much.
The idea to tell people to stop killing each other (and the enforcement by great powers showing off their big sticks) had a strong charm, and these policies were easy to enact.
They were also mis-used by great powers to press the 'pause' button whenever their preferred party was about to lose.

Those were first and foremost policies of denying the enemy a 'victory', and of preventing the defeat of preferred parties.
The Western great powers advanced on this path farther, and by the time of the civil war in Libya they weren't satisfied to ask for ceasefires or safe zones and threatening with invasion - they actually got a UNSC resolution allowing them to intervene with violence to keep their preferred team(s) from getting defeated. Again, the non-preferred team wasn't allowed to win.

But then there are people who didn't get the cynicism in such policies and are actually naive enough to still buy into the idea that ceasefires, no-fly zones and so on are really first and foremost protective for the civilians.
These naive people sometimes call for ceasefires at the 'wrong' time, such as when the Ukrainian government was finally in the process of collapsing the separatist/infiltrator territory.
The less naive pols didn't join this chorus, of course.

And then there are the really, really inept ones who don't only accept the naive interpretation, but also completely lost an understanding for what the word "war" means. People such as those who now call for a ceasefire, so the remains of flight MH17 can be investigated properly.
They seriously call for a break in a war so something can be investigated.

That's like asking a stadium to wait a minute during a professional sports match so some marker on the grass can have its white refreshed a bit.

That's so very much outlandish and stuck in mindset of peace that I can only expect the Ukrainians and Russians to totally lose respect for such fools.

The Ukrainians have a civil war mixed with a paramilitary aggression at home, and are only days or weeks from settling it for good. I wonder how much stupidity and naïveté it takes to ask them to wait for days or weeks with this.


It's this kind of folly which makes me doubt that leading Western politicians are still capable of strategy, or even only strategic thought.

S O
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2014/07/18

A rather big link drop

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A link drop relevant to Defence and Freedom topics, in no particular order:



Debrief: A Complete History of U.s. Aerial Engagements - 1981 to the Present
This book isn't anywhere in a single German library, and thus unavailable to me for interlending.
I seriously consider to donate a copy to a library.


(Stanley Baldwin should have asked Canada to enact a Nickel embargo)

(one example of the gems in there)

(basically naval chaff, could appear in 'multispectral' smoke on land as well)



The Great Model 8 and 81
(This could have been an excellent quick fire carbine in WWI, especially with Spitzer bullet)

Before The Sturmgewehr: Assault Rifle Developments Prior to 1942

'B' - the flying car
(drive/VTOL drone concept)

SAM simulator
(exactly was it says)

Battle Report #10: Rossbach and Leuthen 1757
(A very nice summary of mid-18th century European land warfare state of the art)

Lorenzoni Repeating Flintlock Pistol
and
Girardoni Air Gun

Machine Guns vs DRONES - In real life
(video)

MMC Husqvarna Army Automatic
(proven Swedish snow-ready motorcycle)

Legal but not fair (Hungary)
(Hungary is slipping away from democracy, and almost everybody in Europe knows. There's much to learn from Hungary - in order to avoid a repeat)

It began with a Lie
(5 Parts TV documentary on Kosovo Air War propaganda/warmongering)

ground report: Motorcycles used as force multiplier in Afghanistan
(This clearly was beyond the horizon of large Western armed bureaucracies, though the small Lithuanian army's light infantry ('special forces') did this successfully.)

Acemoglu/Robinson: What's the problem with (Spanish) Catalunya?
On the birth of nationalism and conflict

YouGov: Umfrage: Deutsche wollen kein größeres militärisches Engagement

Sukhoi Test Pilot explains 'Supermaneuverability'

Wired: German Official: U.S. Spying ‘Biggest Strain’ in Relations Since Iraq War

Kurfürst - The Messerschmitt Bf 109 performance site

Heinkel He 100
(I didn't know there was a video of it, but the Japanese preserved one! Britain was so lucky it never entered mass production; its speed and range would have been devastating over South England in 1940.)

Forum thread on late Mirage 5 series
 (It's amazing how much these first Mach 2 generation airframes were adaptable later on.)

NYTimes: The Biology of Risk

Yes, this link drop is in part a compensation for my laziness regarding real, text-heavy, blog posts. 
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2014/07/15

Digital Eye in the Sky

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This is well past tolerable, and I seriously want this kind of technology outlawed completely. In the constitution.


S O
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[Deutsch] Digital Eye in the Sky

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Diese Technologie bzw. Kombination von Technologien ist weit jenseits von allem Tolerierbarem. 

Wir sollten dies verbieten, vorzugsweise in der Verfassung.

Und wenn das nicht funktioniert wäre das dann wohl der Artikel 20(4) Fall*.


S O
defence_and_freedom@gmx.de

*: Natürlich weit gefasst und bezogen auf die Hardware, nciht auf Personen.
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"Maneuver Warfare: German Experiences in WWII"

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Those interested in the U.S.Army's Germanophilia of the 70's or  some German officer's' anecdotes will find seven likely interesting documents a the "The Blaster" blog:

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2014/07/11

Cowardice meets arrogance in UK surveillance stitch up

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For the British readers, and as a warning for others:

BoingBoing

The leadership of the major UK political parties are set to ram through a sweeping surveillance bill without debate or study. It's a perfect storm of cowardice and arrogance (...)
 
 

2014/07/08

Islamic [terror] threat is exaggerated by ‘oxygen of publicity,’ says former MI6 chief

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Finally!

Just two example articles:

"ISIS threat has been exaggerated, says former MI6 chief: Sir Richard Dearlove thinks 'pathetic' Britons spreading messages on internet should be ignored"

Islamic threat is exaggerated by ‘oxygen of publicity,’ says former MI6 chief


I've been saying (and writing) that the errorism threat is exaggerated for years.
The people who alerted so much about the errorists weren't the though ones; they were the easily-scared chickens or worse, professional cynical fearmongers.

S O
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