Sunday, May 22, 2016

The High Price of Security Theater - Reason.com

From the article: 
The Price of Fear
Since 2002, people in the United States have been 100 times more likely to be gunned down by local, state, and federal law enforcement agents than to be killed by Muslim terrorists.
Ohio State's Mueller has been wielding the weapon of cost-benefit analyses for more than a decade in his own personal war on the war on terror. He points out that the feds spend roughly $150 billion annually on terrorism, compared to just $2 billion on the most frequent cause of death in the U.S., heart disease, and $300 million on strokes, the third most common killer. "We spend $500 million for every death from terrorism and only $2,000 for every death resulting from strokes," Mueller laments. "That means we spend 250,000 times more per death on terrorism." Though federal authorities have poured more than $4 trillion into fighting terrorism since 9/11, "these extraordinary expenditures have utterly failed to make people feel safer," he says. The percentage of Americans who expected another major attack was as high or higher in 2014 as it was in 2002, immediately following the worst terrorism incident in American history.
What does the U.S. have to show for its astonishing levels of anti-terror spending? "I firmly believe that those huge budget increases have not significantly contributed to our post-9/11 security," says Michael Sheehan, a former New York City deputy commissioner for counterterrorism. What these activities have been is an unmitigated victory for America's politicians, who take advantage of pervasive fear to engorge their own powers.
Americans are being asked to pay for the privilege of having their rights and liberties shredded by Washington. And with just a few months until the 2016 presidential election, there's little sign they've even noticed.
 
https://reason.com/archives/2016/05/22/the-4-trillion-war-on-terror/2

Pretty interesting article.  I pretty much agree that we have over-reacted out of fear and spent a lot of money on things that were of little use.  I don't agree with everything in this article.  I'm not sure the cost of the wars can be counted as theater but Reason authors take a much more dim view of our use of power in the world than I do.  I do think much of the TSA and DHS is pretty useless.  I do think we need to consider the costs of war when we spend the kind of money we do to fight a war where we don't get dirty.  Like some kind of video game.  It's all hi-tec and very expensive.  Johnny Brooks pointed out to me one time that we use $100k missiles to take out their $20k Toyota trucks.  Eventually, that won't work.  Bin Laden said something to the effect that "we will bleed you to death".  I don't think that's the exact quote, but the meaning is correct.  Seems like that is happening.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Army Adds 84mm Recoil-less Rifle to Platoon Arsenal – Kit Up!

From the article: 
U.S. Army infantry platoons will soon have the 84mm Carl Gustaf recoil-less rifle, a devastating anti-armor system, as a permanently assigned weapon.
 
http://kitup.military.com/2016/05/army-adds-84mm-recoil-less-rifle-to-platoon-arsenal.html

This sounds like good news.  Some of you may know more about this.  I have been reading complaints about the Javelin for years.  Why so slow to incorporate this seemingly very good solution?  It's lighter and cheaper and the ammunition cost less?  It's been in use in Afghanistan for several years and gets good reports and takes how many years for the Army to bring it into the inventory?  Egad!!!!

Squids and the Inner Light of Being | Fred On Everything

From the article - sarcasm warning: 
A woman commanded the SEALs, who had been disarmed to prevent violence. The new main battle tanks had changing tables, and urinals had been outlawed throughout the services or converted to flower pots to preclude uncomfortable spaces. The warriors of social justice needed a Cause.
http://fredoneverything.org/squids-and-the-inner-light-of-being/

A really fine bit of sarcasm.  Fred assails this modern notion that we can be whoever or whatever we "feel" we are.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

In patience to abide : Essays in Idleness

In time America, too, will be buried with the other empires. But the funeral has not yet come, and while she lives and breathes, she retains her duties. She must, for the world's sake, stop licking her wounds, and whining; must keep up our quarrel with the foe.
The world, in all its imperfection, will have empires of one kind or another. Not one will always be a force for good. But there is better and worse, and if we are sane, we will allow that in our time the American power has been a blessing.
 
http://www.davidwarrenonline.com/2016/05/19/in-patience-to-abide/?owa_medium=feed&owa_sid=

This is one of the better discussions I have seen in a long time about the US's burden to be the global policeman.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

WATCH: This Syrian Tank Gets LIT UP Like A CHRISTMAS Tree ⋆ Doug Giles ⋆ #ClashDaily

From the article: 
This is one of the reasons Arabs are scared to death of the Israelis. What you are about to watch is an actual event. The Israeli Armed Forces filmed this in real time. What you'll see is a fully armored Syrian tank being hit by an Israeli laser-guided, steel-penetrating, phosphorous-filled "hand held" rocket. The rocket is small, very portable and is a tightly controlled weapon.
 
http://clashdaily.com/2016/05/watch-muslim-tank-gets-lit-like-christmas-tree/

Damn this is good.  Go watch the video.  The IDF kicks some butt.  "Steel penetrating and phosphorus filled".  I'd like to know more about that.