Monday, March 2, 2015


I was reading Mattis today and I was many hours later struck by a fundamental underlying flaw in his argument for a new strategy. He is fixated on applying hi-tech and superior man-agent abilities to dealing with outright savages. Kill enough, fast enough and the new savages will dash home.

On my first ship, the flagship for the Middle East Force, we had a plaque in the Wardroom from an earlier visit to Ethiopia.
Mobilisation Order by Emperor Haile Selassie - Abyssinia 1936
Everyone will now be mobilised and all boys old enough to carry a spear will be sent to Addis Ababa. Married men will take their wives to carry food and to cook. Those without wives will take a woman without a husband. Woman with small babies need not go. The blind, those who cannot walk, or for any reason cannot carry a spear, are exempted. Any one found at home after receipt of this order will be hanged.
Think about Verdun or The Battle of the Somme. 75,000 casualties in just the Allied armies in a single battle, much less two and he thinks he has a grasp on true warfare. There were a million casualties at Verdun and that murderous war killed many millions of men of military age. The Muslims could lose that many in a week and never miss them. Just think back to World War I.

Think about it on a perspective that includes 4 years of trench warfare that cost millions of soldiers their lives. Go on,  just ponder it. Millions and millions of the best of men, shelled, gassed, killed for what? Muslims are putting it all on the line because we lost the urge. We build $200 million dollar fighter planes because we like not to to fight.

The key has always been resilience. What caused the retreat of civilization in the Dark Ages? It was human population die-offs nobody can even imagine today.

I'd submit that the Muslims are willing to try to invoke the thing again. Plagues and worse for the West and we let them into our grad schools to study biochemistry and worse every single semester.

Blogged on iPad which is not good for me.

2 SEALS basking in the ice flow. It will get ugly in a second

 We aren't going to be them.

Update: somewhat fixed.


  1. I fall into your trap each and every time! Instead of just reading your post I analyse it, then research segments that I know I have books on. Which then leads on to finding the books in question - that requires me to make a pot of tea as I browse through each book.

    Two days later I realise the dogs haven't been fed, nor I.

    In the mean time I have perused the recommended reading list of Mattis (again) and ordered two more books; The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan by Lester W. Grau - and - The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet Afghan War by Ali Ahmad Jalali.

    Are you an agent for AMAZON?

    1. Nope.
      I could be but I leave that sort of thing to the Kings of the Internet.

      Mattis is very good. You probably have not been there but anybody can get there, a walk through Fort Meyer, right next to Arlington National Cemetery can be instructive. They post the dates for Tattoo and other of our memorable services on the Parade. They don't call it a parade.

      I get to Fort Meyer, when I go, through the Wright Gate next to the Netherlands Carillon. When you drive up the hill you will enter housing. It's all housing for generals and the most exalted senior enlisted. They are pretty much 4 star and 3 star and Master Sergeant of the entire US Army houses. As an aside, one of those houses is where my father's father/family lived before the war.

      Picture Mattis. In the environment we knew him as the warrior monk. But, you walk around among those houses and wonder, what does a warrior monk do with all the space allowed? I heard he once had 7000 books. That's a lot. I never had more than 3000 books and the shelving took up some space.

      No wife, no family. Lasting legacy.