Just why did we fight in North Africa?
It seems a no brainer to not fight there but yet we, the British and the Germans fought like hell there.
Been there done that. Our town squares are little tiny things and there is no great mass of people moving through them at any given time. I wish I had seen this sort of thing at the square or the mall but so far I've missed out on sudden elegance, It takes a city. I had coffee in Amsterdam and watched the parade before picking up the coffee and joining them.
The winds were fair out of north haven and we went for a sail in Maine. It was a sturdy crew of 2 and the landlubbers. We managed between us to put the lee rail under water a time or two. Brave words were spoken.....in a half whisper.
I myself was happy to share the little facts of boatage one of which is, when the top of the mast actually hits the water the whole tipping over thing comes to an end and is done although it is a nice dramatic end. Lubbers unimpressed.
Still, fun was had by all.
All sailors are aware, that to end the dramatic tipping one merely needs to let the sheets fly.
As I think about it as I read the days news about Europe and the hole their climbing down, I wonder if any of those countries ever bothered to develop and field an External Office of Net Assessment whose sole purpose was to assess the ability of the US military and its leadership to actually follow through on their guarantees of NATO reinforcement. Any rational nation/state would obviously assess and sum up the capabilities of its enemies but it takes a step beyond to also assess, realistically, one's allies capabilities. Those of us who know watched NATO shoot its entire wad at Libya and then run to the US for replenishment of munitions because they not only had no more, they had no capability to even make more. And so they fell in our estimation as 'allies'. There is both a qualitative and quantitative difference between war allies and client states. We in the United States seem to be entirely saddled with client states these days. OTOH, the ROK really don't need us but our airpower and seapower will make the victory over the DPRK more swift but then the ROK are welded to the DPRK in maintaining the exact status quo.
The first time I went to the ROK it was as a Naval War Plans Officer. I did my thing for 2 months and returned to CONUS back in '95. At that time the Aum Sham Rikyo were deploying home made nerve gas on the Japanese subways and the youths in the ROK were rioting vigorously for reunification. As I returned to the ROK over the next 20 years I saw the dramatic decline of youth rioting and youth in favor of reunification with the north. In fact, they have learned to dread it after the fall of the Berlin Wall. They know their GDP and income will be destroyed for decades as they attempt to assimilate the fallen people of the the DPRK and build them up to 'Western Standard' world citizens, if it can be done at all. For those that don't know, the people of the ROK are FIERCLY competitive. Reunification will be a disaster for about 50 years. Whole generations now will need to die off now that the fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters of citizens living in the ROK die off and the ties with relatives in the north dwindle away to nothing.The current generations pay lip service alone to reunification but none want it.
We began with our putative allies in Europe who have ELECTED to go to war with Russia. It almost defies belief. I'm sure Putin has moved Russian industry to full rate production of the Kalibre and other long range missiles and it would only take a single hit on Westminster Palace at Question Time to reveal the United Kingdom as an almost complete paper tiger. Same thing in Paris, Brussels, Strasbourg and even Turtle Bay.
WE have sent our HIMARS and artillery rockets to Ukraine along with 66 billion dollars and now we hear the USAF is interested in sending Ukraine some A-10s because they've been trying to destroy them for over 20 years now. A-10s are a dead letter in an environment teaming with Javelins and superior air defense systems that can drop a fly at 200 miles. Nevertheless, the Air Force sees a chance to finally divest themselves of the single mission tank busters.
So, here we are at the dawn of the 21st century with essentially harmless European allies who were quick to send what little remained of their arms and weapons to Ukraine who have done everything in their power to invite the wrath of Russia and we kicked out 80.000 Army National Guardsmen for refusing to take the killer vaccine and cannot meet recruitment goals for the Army as it wages war only on white supremacy and extremism.
I think it might be time to read the real Prophet again. Robert Heinlein really nailed it with the crazy years and just as I turn and run in unfamiliar places when I hear banjo music (and who doesn't who watched the movie Deliverance), I also scan the papers for mention of Nemiah Scudder and no, that is very definitely not President Trump.
If This Goes On
I found this to be a wonderful read. If you feel like the world has taken a sudden turn you might enjoy this book by Gordon Dickson.
We went out last night and took in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. For those who really liked reading Paul Gallico, this was a wonderful picture. It is not action/adventure. It harkens back to another time.
I still follow the news, a bit, in written form. NATO, US and the EU seem to have all gone mad. If somebody set out to destroy the world economy they could not possibly choose a more destructive and hellbent form than we are all now embarked on.
I have to admit I'm still amused by the war profiteers of this age. They make no bones about going all in on gold and precious metals and declaring that they keep them at home where they're safe but still shout aloud about the utter wrongness of the Court on all the Second Amendment stuff. Like the farmers and hoarders who smugly announce that they'll be OK because they raise their own food or stowed away tons of it without any mention of what drives necessity to insane lengths.
I think in the second month of my blog I offered my readers a picture of my little pilot. Much older now and really wants to fly/pilot. Really needs, as I did at nearly that age, to have a good friend who is building multi-engine time for an ATR. You really need to fly to figure out if that really is your calling. I didn't fly at night and only in VFR conditions. I decided early that I didn't want to fly at night or under IFR conditions.
As we camped out in our nice house in New Harbor Maine I was continuously struck by the number of light aircraft I saw flying seaward in single engine planes at sunset. I'll take any sailing vessel or powered vessel offshore at any time day or night and even come back after dark if it has radar. Not an aircraft. They are way more unforgiving.