Monday, 13 January 2014

Indonesia adds $840 to everyone elses nickle

From Ambrose

The headline should explain why market controls are foolish.

Nickle price bottomed at $13,350 per tonne.
In response, Indonesia halted exports.
Prices have now hit $14,190 per tonne.

A gain of $840 per tonne.
The problem is, everyone BUT Indonesia has managed to profit from this.

In 2011, Indonesia produced 294,000 tonnes of nickel
805 tonnes per day
Even at the lower price, the ban costs Indonesia $10,753,150.68 PER DAY

The ban is however boosting the Russian Economy to the tune of $621,369.86 per day, I'm sure Vlad is enjoying his little windfall.

Indonesia wants to create a Nickle refining industry, one can only speculate, but I do not believe holding nickle hostage will be an effective strategy for encouraging investment.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

What the russian thought of strategic bombing


 Linebacker II chronology
Night of 18/19 December 1972.

 Night of 25/26 December 1972.Nixon orders the Christmas truce and no B-52s were launched,

 "Night of 27/28 December 1972.The North Vietnamese sent a note to President Nixon offering
to resume negotiations."

9 Days of bombing, two of which were cancelled, and the North Vietnamese buckled.
The North Vietnamese had decided that since the US was going home soon, they had no reason to negotiate with the US or account for their wishes.  Not wishing to be screwed by congress, Nixon sought a way to bring the North Vietnamese back to the table and give him his honourable peace.  He settled on bombing Hanoi.

7 days of bombing, and the North Buckled.  Seven, days.  Seven days of bombing the capital forced the North Vietnamese to the table, from a position of weakness, a thing they had not faced in thirty plus years of combat.  Seven days bombing their capital hurt them more than 30 years of counter insurgency warfare, tactical bombing and search and destroy infantry sweeps.

Dread Empires Fall (The Praxis Trilogy)

Possibly The BEST Space based warfare series I've ever read

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Warship Armour

ComNavOps has long been of the opinion that ships need armour

I think I finally have a counter argument

Force = Mass x Acceleration

Currently, the Type 45 has a force of 1, a mass of 1, and accelerates at 1
If we add 5cm of armour to the T45, we change that.

We have a force of 1, and a mass of 1.1, therefore, we have an acceleration of 0.909

Now, my understanding is that warship accelerations are carefully plotted to allow it to change direction and move whilst laying down chaff fields
Decreasing its acceleration by 10% might make a huge change to its ability to avoid taking a hit in the first place

Sunday, 22 December 2013

A sword is of no use unless its wielded

A Gun is of no use locked in a safe
A soldier is of no use if he cannot be deployed to theater

Monday, 16 December 2013

Softwood is kindling

TrT is stepping up his preps, not because of a change in timescales, but because cashflow permits.

Part of this, is secondary heating.
I have a modern, condensing, combi boiler which runs on mains gas.
However, storing gas for it is out of the question, and it requires an electricity supply a well, which can be stored, at some cost.
As a back up, I have a multifuel (wood and coal) stove.  Its not big, rated at about 3kw.
I've been getting a bit of practice in firelighting and testing fuel.
The best way I've found to actually light a fire, is a small kerosene firelighter, 1cm square, sat on top of a tealight (parafin) removed from its metal holder, sat on top of a piece of wood.
The kerosene melt and ignites the parafin, turning the wood into a big candle.

I've tried hardwood and softwood, hardwood logs with a diameter of around 2" and any length, burn well, 1-4" are doable, but four is harder to light.
I also have a supply of pallet wood (US readers, your pallets are hardwood).
I used a 14x11x11 inch box of pallet wood, today.
This evening.

Its good enough to get a burn going, but there just isnt enough heat in it.

Not tried coal yet, trying to sort where I could store a few tons of it.
Anyone tried tunneling?

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Beating the lonely drum of strategic bombing

TrT is feeling lonely since he is the only person who seems pro strategic bombing anymore
Never fear, I shall continue to beat the drum.

As part of the drawdown of the British Empire, Malaysia was announced, and North Borneo was tacked on.
Indonesia took umbridge to this, and promptly invaded, in support of some hastily conscripted locals.
A three year guerrilla war was waged, eventually 100 British Battalions were deployed, along with 36 Malay and 8 ANZAC
I believe the modern British army has 30 battalions.

Thats a fantastic amount of resources to commit.

The war was eventually won, Indonesia decided that North Borneo was not worth the costs and gave up.

What could have been done to speed up that decision making process?

Well, I see two possiblities.
The first, quite oddly, is a land attack.

The war was fought entirely on the defensive, cross border raids were rare, super top secret (yeah, because the Indonesians didnt connect wiped out border posts with the fucking war), and small.
A deep penetration invasion would never work, but imagine if each patrol base was built 10m further forward, and the border moved with them.  Even just 10metre a month adds up fast.

The second, is to bomb the fucking shit out of them.
Supply the 36 Malaysian Border Battalions with food and ammunition for a siege and leave the border to them.  Rather than sending 100 infantry battalions to patrol the border, send three carrier fleets to pound Jakarta.
How many tenements filled with civillians have to collapse under bomb and rocket and shell, how many docks and ships rendered inoperable, how many army barracks, police stations and governments offices need to be bombed?
Not many.

All in, fewer than 1000 were admitted dead.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

We're STILL Winning!

From the mostly fantastic Michael Yon

Yon Makes mention of night warfare and cowardice.

I'll hit the politics angle.
My local government has 19 districts and each has 10 polling stations.
190 stations in 40 square miles.
Khandahar Province is 20,800 square miles and has 244 polling stations.

Despite having nearly 5 per square mile, my local government moves them towards identified groups of labour voters and away from identified groups of Tory voters. (there are 2 in one dive school, none in the posher school 200m up the road)

That they brag about 250 is telling
But hey, we're winning.

Sunday, 1 December 2013


If you want a currency union, transfer payments are part and parcel of that.
Taxes will be raised in one area and spent in another

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Where did this mad idea that Saudi needs protecting come from?

Saudi Arabia is perhaps the country with the biggest scope for improvement in the world.
And I dont mean that like Tuvalu is the country with the biggest scope for improvement, on the grounds that its shit.

Saudi is already a serious player, its airforce dwarfs that of the RAF or the French Airforce.

The RAF and FAA plan to operate 150ish Typhoons and 50ish Lightnings
The French Airforces, a roughly similar number of Rafales

The Saudis operate (or plan to operate) FOUR HUNDRED F15/Tornado/Typhoon variants, along with a further 100 F5s

I know you are all screaming, airpower isnt everything, but when the other guy is across a ten mile sea, it kinda is.
The 500 aircraft of the RSAF would fuck up Iran beyond any hope of survival as a modern state in an afternoon.

But why stop there?
Saudi has a well equipped, fairly small, but poorly motivated and trained army.
Saudi also has a sizeable population that lives on welfare and government none jobs.
Its not even difficult to conscript those people.
Within a year, Saudi could feasibly put 5 million men in the field, poorly led, but equipped with the best kit oil can buy, unless they keep the coffers open and recruit mercenary officers to plug the gap.