Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

MKV_II

Russia: give preeminence to what they do and not what they say.  But don’t ignore what they say.  From Inside the Ring:

Russia’s military is working to deploy an "impenetrable" missile-defense shield by 2020, according to Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the Russian armed forces staff.

Gen. Makarov was quoted in Russian news reports Monday as saying "the state will have an umbrella over it which will defend it against ballistic missile attacks, against medium-range missiles, air-based cruise missiles, sea-based cruise missiles, and ground-based cruise missiles, including missiles flying at extremely low altitudes, at any time and in any situation."

"Of course, this is a long process that requires a significant financial investment. But the foundation for this system will be established as early as 2011," he said.

The general’s statement raises questions about the testimony last year by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who told Congress while lobbying for the ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty that the Russians "hate" missile defenses, based on their constant opposition to U.S. defenses and efforts to limit U.S. defenses in the arms treaty.

Based on Gen. Makarov‘s comments, what the Russians really hate are U.S. missile defenses because they could be expanded to counter Moscow’s missiles.

Wait!  If missile defense won’t ever work, cost too much, and is destabilizing, why would Russia want to stop U.S. missile defense efforts, let alone develop their own “impenetrable” system?

The formatting “challenges” I’ve had on the blog were a maddening combination of issues which started with a new computer (Merry Christmas!).  With a new machine, I had to install Firefox and then added the script blocker plug-in which I believe is capable of mangling a number of things.  Next, I couldn’t find my copy of Office (that zero gravity can be a drag) to install; as such, I was sans Word until now (I did not feel the power of WordPad).  Microsoft just did a push of Live Writer, which I use, and it looks like it did before. 

It isn’t always the space gloves.  So is all well now?  We’ll see…

From the International Relations and Security Network (host) via the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (publisher) through Pavel K. Baev (author) working for the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO).  Got all that?  Good.  Here’s what Baev had to say (in paraphrase) about Russia’s current position regarding the Arctic:

 

Russia now prefers a pattern of balanced cooperative behavior in the Far North as demonstrated by the recent maritime border agreement with Norway.

This cooperation only partially fulfils Russia’s ambitions and Moscow will try to limit globalization of the Arctic, insisting on privilege for the littoral states and prioritizing the ties among the ‘Arctic five.’

Development of the hydrocarbon reserves, particularly those that are off-shore, requires the engagement of Western partners, who remain reluctant to invest due to a poor investment climate and considerable uncertainty over demand.  Russian energy companies Gazprom and Rosneft are not in a hurry to launch new projects.

The main factor undercutting Russia’s plans and ambitions for the Arctic in the mid-term would be the scarcity of demand for energy resources based on the slow recovery of the global economy.

Russia seems to be trending towards becoming the Saudi Arabia of the northern latitudes; a nation with resources, demographic problems, and little know-how.  To their great benefit, Norway and the other Arctic states, are powerful enough to avoid bullying (for the moment?) by the Russians.

The Air Force One part of the DoD budget.

white_house_aides_surfboards_1-5-11

Why is China hiding the cost of their defense build up?
Got Space

From CBS:


Newly released leaked U.S. diplomatic cables claim China is probably hiding both the size of its military buildup, as well as, on occasion, its intentions.
Australia’s national intelligence agency conducted a strategic assessment of China’s military spending, and concluded that the communist countries military buildup "threatens regional stability," reports the Australian daily The Age.
A leaked cable states that the agency found that China spent $90 billion on its military in 2006 – double the $45 billion budget publicly announced by Beijing, The Age reports.

 

$90 billion buys China more military engineering, research, development, goods, and services than the same amount U.S. would buy because their labor rates are a fraction of ours.

I think the arms control community needs to get involved here and solve this pronto, but where is their outrage? 
China, by themselves, is putting the whole INF treaty at risk with its figurative explosion is non-strategic range missiles.

There’s even some space stuff…

Another cable written in January, 2008, released by the Norwegian Aftenposten newspaper, cast doubt on China’s official explanation for a weather satellite it blew up in orbit in January, 2007.
Officially, China said the satellite’s destruction by a ground-based missile was a "scientific experiment."
U.S. officials, however, concluded that "China had not explained adequately the purpose of the test," and that the test was "inconsistent with China’s stated interest in the peaceful use of outer space."
The cable goes on to state: "The contradiction between China’s statements and actions in this area raise questions about the credibility of China’s declaratory policies and commitments in other areas of national security affairs. The U.S. is refraining from any expansion of space-related cooperation with China."

 

 

You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows and you don’t have to be a U.S. official to conclude what China says and what China does are sometimes quite inconsistent.

And you still can’t spell Assange without a-s-s.

SpaceWonk.com: it’s for the children.

Seriously, the site is under construction and all the work is being done by a homeless guy with golden pipes and only modest web building skills.  So how about a little slack, eh?

Suggestions welcomed.  No, seriously.

SpaceWonk With Space Ghost

leader This is something that must be considered: now that DADT has been rolled back, where if anywhere, is the line of demarcation for unprofessional behavior?

For example, consider videographer and aspiring YouTube artist Capt Owen Honors, United States Navy.  From the Weekly Standard:

Obviously, Honors has dishonored himself. But it is not at all clear why advocates of open sexuality in the military should be so appalled by his behavior. Do they really find “raunchy” behavior shocking? If so, why do they endorse gay pride parades that exhibit the same juvenile and licentious behavior? According to the media, the videos of Honors contain “homoerotic” skits that satirize the Navy’s “water conservation” efforts…

The whole point of the gay rights movement is to say that “no one chooses” their sexuality and thus it is an inherently undisciplined area of life. Since the now-officially approved moral philosophy of Obama’s military says that disciplining one’s sexual desires means “living a lie,” we should expect many more “expressive” episodes in the military’s future.

I think this means we’re on the slippery slope.  Drug use?  Personal choice?  Adultery and fraternization?  Lifestyle issues.  Incest, like the Columbia University professor David Epstein? Oh, that was consensual between consenting adults, comparable to homosexuality, and not that big a deal.

…as it goes from informal “homoerotic” skits to open gay pride parades, the Navy will find itself grappling with bigger problems than the scandal of Owen Honors.

At some point there is a moral standard and it is based on something.  What is the standard and what is its basis?