Saturday, April 19, 2014

WoW!!

The Watchers Council- it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

Thus, sans further adieu (or a don't)

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day . And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter

Friday, April 18, 2014

Losing In Yemen


Well, that's kinda creepy - all the faces blocked out may mean cats are actually deploying for T attacks in America or West Europa?

Kat Z explains...

CNN published a video clip featuring two al Qaeda leaders – Nasser al Wahayshi, al Qaeda’s number two and the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and Ibrahim al Rubaish, a former Guantanamo detainee and AQAP’s shari’a official – speaking to a gathering of over 100 AQAP militants in Yemen. Wahayshi is wanted by the US, and neither Wahayshi nor Rubaish seemed particularly concerned for their safety.

Whether the US missed an opportunity to strike or chose not to act is not clear. (US officials, according to CNN, are not commenting, but acknowledging either way could compromise intelligence collection efforts.)

But the takeaway here is that we’re not winning in Yemen. Leadership attrition through drone strikes has had a limited effect. And a counterterrorism partnership has been unable to actually defeat the group allegedly “ousted” from south Yemen in spring 2012.

There has been no follow-up offensive against AQAP since then. Yemen’s security forces suffer regular casualties at the hands of AQAP fighters. The group’s most recent major attack was on the regional military headquarters in Aden, Yemen’s second-largest city, on April 2. A checkpoint attack credited to AQAP killed a score of Yemeni soldiers the week prior.

The speakers in the video are AQAP militants who had escaped in the February 13, 2014, complex attack on a Sana’a prison. Prisoners were able to obtain explosives and grenades on the inside and then waited for the attack that freed them. At least 19 convicted AQAP militants escaped that day.

Five of them spoke in the video, released just six weeks later. There are also faces purposefully obscured in the released footage, which begs the question as to why is protecting their identities so important?

Such an operation to free prisoners is reminiscent of al Qaeda in Iraq’s “Breaking the Walls” campaign in 2012-2013, that allowed it to reconstitute itself there and expand into Syria. This comes at a time when there are rumors of militants returning from the Iraq and Syria battlefield ready to bring their skills to Yemen and a Yemeni who had fought in Iraq was killed in an airstrike.

 Are we seeing another instance of expertise moving from one al Qaeda group to another?

Wahayshi explicitly threatened the US in this most recent video and his group in Yemen is behind at least three attempts on the US homeland. So tell me, if we’re not winning in Yemen, are we really winning against al Qaeda?

Pic - "The facts show otherwise, that al Qaeda maintains an international terrorist network. And al Qaeda’s leaders are not tied to any one geographic location."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

30 Years War


Whether the present bloodletting in Syria, the ongoing geopolitical contest of wills between Sunni and Shia powers, and renewed Great Power rivalry yields anything approximating such a dramatic and long-standing order like a 30 Year War is totally quizzable no doubt

Yet it would benefit analysts to consider the similarities between that previous epoch shaping event and today’s ongoing drama. Today’s Middle East was set aflame through an act of desperate self-immolation by a food vendor in Tunisia. The European Thirty Years’ War began when Protestants rallied against the closing of their chapels by the Catholic emperor and threw three of his representatives out of a window (and probably onto a dung heap) in the infamous “Defenestration of Prague.” In both cases, long-standing frustrations and fears sparked a tinderbox long ready to explode.

The 2003 American invasion of Iraq reinvigorated the long-dormant Sunni-Shia conflict.
And without a Sunni power on its border powerful enough to check Iran, the Saudis and other Sunni powers now had to prepare for a renewed conflict.

At the same time, the rise and the subsequent development of a “Turkish” model for Middle Eastern development were felt in regional diplomacy, creating new potential constellations of power. Of course, the long-standing Little Satan-Palestinian conflict remained a sore spot for Arab nations as did conflict with Iran’s Syrian-backed cat’s-paw Hezbollah that was well ensconced in Lebanon.

The pieces then were set for the Tunisian self-immolation that would lead to a regional conflagration:

* the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and the proliferation of weapons across North and West Africa;

* the quasi-coup in strategically vital Egypt that led to the end of the pharaonic Mubarak regime, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and yet another military intervention overthrowing their President Morsi;

* the civil war in Syria where chemical weapons have once again brought back reminders of Saddam Hussein and his Anfal campaign against the Kurds.

In the short to medium term, the military backed government will probably be able to pacify the tumult brought about by Ikwhan overreaching. However, rising food prices, that have been a prime source for much of the “Arab Spring” unrest, will put pressure on the new government

That this is happening simultaneously with Syria’s descent into hell represents dire portents. There is no question that a full-scale civil war is underway there with over one hundred thousand lives estimated lost and atrocities committed by both warring parties, including the use of chemical weapons. Additionally, Syria’s carnage has spilled over into Lebanon and continues to threaten hope of stability there. Already there are suicide bombings and tit-for-tat acts of retribution from and against the Shia militia Hezbollah.
Also, eternally queering the mix is the Forever Quest for Palestine Peace.
Chances of resolution are almost nonexistent. Along with chaos in Syria, Little Satan has much larger fish to fry due to existential fears concerning the Iranian nuclear program and the potential for a possible breakdown of order in Egypt. Already, Sinai has emerged as a flashpoint between Egypt and Little Satan despite the Egyptian military’s apparent desire to mitigate terrorist actions there.

The future likely holds more jihadist migration around the region, more starvation, more disease and more terrorism. And what will become of small, fragile monarchies like Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates? These countries have largely escaped unrest, but it’s doubtful they can indefinitely.
Pic - "Great Powers AWOL?"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DDG 1000


Ahoy!

Great Satan is fixing to unleash her latest greatest combat ship - the future era USS Zumwalt.

She's the first US ship to use electric propulsion and produces enough power to one day support the futuristic electromagnetic rail gun, which will be tested at sea in 2016.

DDG 1000 got claws!

Rail guns fire a projectile at six or seven times the speed of sound – enough velocity to cause severe damage. The Navy sees them as replacing or supplementing old-school guns.

The Zumwalt-class destroyer is not an Aegis system. It uses instead the class-unique total ship computing environment (TSCE) integrated mission system. The peripheral vertical launch system (PVLS) VLS is capable of accommodating all Standard missile types it has not been publicly stated if the TSCE will be modified to support the Standard missile or the ballistic missile defense mission.

20 × MK 57 VLS modules, with 4 vertical launch cells in each module, 80 cells total. Each cell can hold one or more missiles, depending on the size of the missiles. 2 × 155 mm Advanced Gun System 920 × 155 mm total; 600 in automated store + Auxiliary store room with up to 320 rounds, 70-100 LRLAP rounds planned as of 2005 of total
2 × Mk 46 30 mm gun (GDLS)

Optimized for the land-attack mission, she will tote two Advanced Gun Systems (AGSs) with a combined magazine capacity of approximately 750 rounds of long-range land attack and conventional munitions.

Each AGS will consist of a single-barrel 155mm gun supplied from an automated magazine. An Advanced Vertical Launch System (AVLS) with 80 cells will host Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, Standard Missiles (SM2-MR) for local air defense, Evolved Seasparrow Missiles for engagement of both airborne and seaborne threats, and Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rockets for engagement of submarine threats.

Two 40mm Close-In Gun Systems will enhance self-defense against air and surface threats.

She may also carry 2 SH-60 LAMPS helicopters or 1 MH-60R helicopter and 3 MQ-8 Fire Scout VTUAV drones with a crew of about a 140 cats.

Pic - "Her gig is like to F Over enemy navies in the 1st 20 seconds..." 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Clear Nippon

Shinshin!!

The land of
backward comics, Harijuku Girls, and cool robots - Japan is HOT! Instead of scary missiles and secret police - Japan built a fun, rich democratic tech saavy, tolerant, egalitarian society with a free, uncensored press, transparent, periodic elections, and independent judiciary that hasn't bothered anyone in over six decades.

A literacy rate of over 99%, Nippon is a wonderful example of the human spirit unbound.Japan has been a long time ally of Great Satan for eons -- and has the world's second (or third, based on purchasing power parity) largest economy, 2nd biggest contributer to UN, yet Nippon remains dependent on America for its security, a minor military player despite having global economic and political interests.
And that last piece is changing

Japan plans to go way beyond the last millennium's 'Self Defense Force" chiz and be all bulking up for regional puissance!

And that means - New Clear Ambiguity

Although Japan does not have nuclear weapons, she has a nuclear weapons policy. The strategy was set out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1969 in an internal document whose existence was kept secret until the daily Mainichi Shimbun published it in 1994. That paper states that “for the time being we will maintain the policy of not possessing nuclear weapons” but also “keep the economic and technical potential for the production of nuclear weapons, while seeing to it that Japan will not be interfered with in this regard.” Known as “technological deterrence,” this posture is inherently ambiguous, and has been made more so still by the ministry’s insistence that the document was a research paper rather than a statement of policy. 
In a 2000 essay about the future of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the disarmament advocate Jonathan Schell drew a distinction between capacity and intention in describing the range of positions states may adopt on nuclear weapons. At the time, Sweden had the capacity to produce such weapons but not the intention; Libya had the intention but not the capacity. Japan, by contrast, stands out as the only nation that has both the capacity and the intention to produce nuclear weapons but does not act on its intention. she has pioneered a type of nuclear deterrence that relies not on any overt threat, but on the mere suggestion of a latent possibility.

Pic - "What's that you got on? Is it comte d'guerr ensembe?"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Growler To The Rescue!

Boeing's Navy League unleashes a prett cool PDF about the 2028 High Threat A2AD Environment...

All aircraft operate in the EME where stealth cannot guarantee survivability or superiority

Stealth technologies are optimized for a limited band within the electromagnetic spectrum

Modern threats are expanding across the EM spectrum making stealth aircraft detectible and vulnerable

Increasing computing power, advanced sensors and evolving aircraft detection methods are
degrading the benefits of stealth

The Growler / EM support is required for successful offensive and defensive military operations

Modern threats are multi - spectral and all fighters require full - spectrum protection

The F 18 sexed up beyond repair as the EA-18G, currently being delivered to the Navy,  is the cornerstone of the naval Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) mission. Derived from the combat proven F/A-18F aircraft, the EA-18G incorporates advanced AEA avionics bringing transformational capability for suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) and non-traditional electronic attack operations.

Her bona fides include: 

Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses: The EA-18G will counter enemy air defenses using both reactive and pre-emptive jamming techniques.
 
Stand-off and Escort Jamming: The EA-18G will be highly effective in the traditional stand-off jamming mission, but with the speed and agility of a Super Hornet, she will also be effective in the escort role.   
 Non-Traditional Electronic Attack: Dramatically enhanced situational awareness and uninterrupted communications will enable the EA-18G to achieve a higher degree of integration with ground operations than has been previously achievable.
 Self-protect and Time-Critical Strike Support: With her Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, digital data links and air-to-air missiles, the EA-18G will have self-protection capability and will also be effective for target identification and prosecution.   
 Growth: High commonality with the F/A-18E/F, nine available weapon stations and modern avionics enable cost-effective synergistic growth for both aircraft, setting the stage for continuous capability enhancement.

Full Spectrum: The EA-18G's ALQ-218 wideband receiver combined with the ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System will be effective against any radar-guided surface-to-air threat.

Precision Airborne Electronic Attack: Selective-reactive technology enables the EA-18G to rapidly sense and locate threats with a significantly higher degree of accuracy than was previously possible. This improved accuracy enables greater concentration of energy against threats.  
 Advanced Communication Countermeasures: Its modular ALQ-227 Communication Countermeasure Set enables the EA-18G to counter a wide range of communication systems and is readily adaptable to an ever-changing threat spectrum.    
 Interference Cancellation System (INCANS): INCANS dramatically enhances aircrew situational awareness by enabling uninterrupted communications during jamming operations.

Pic - "Great Satan has a unique responsibility in helping secure access during times of peace, increased hostilities, and open conflict!"

Saturday, April 12, 2014

WoW!!

The Watchers Council- it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

Thus, sans further adieu (or a don't)

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter