Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Winning Hearts and Minds

I might as well just start and say this isnt a nice post, there are no fluffy bunnies, we dont hug and hold hands and sing kum by F-in yah around a camp fire.
This is hard, but this is also real, and this is also effective, scouring of the north effective, but effective none the less.

Lets take two Men.
We'll call them Alan and Ben.

Alan and Ben like each other.
Now, if Alans wife Amy is about to walk off a cliff Ben will shout "look out" and save her.

Nothing controversial there I hope?

Now lets add a third Man, we'll call him Terry.

Terry doesnt like Alan, in fact, he hates Alan.

If Terry holds a gun to Beatrices head, and says he will pull the trigger unless Ben is quiet, Ben will be quiet as Amy walks off the cliff to her death.
No one values his mates wife more than his own.  Doesnt matter how nice the other guy is, your not going to sacrifice your wife, to save his.

And it shouldnt take a lot to see this as a Metaphor for Afghanistan.

It doesnt matter how nice Alan (America) is to Ben (Afghan Peasant), unless Ben does what Terry (Taliban) says, Ben is going to shot and killed by Terry, and no one is going to die because someone built them a school.

So, what do we do?

Step One
Free Stuff, as now.
Everyone likes free shit

Step Two
If Terry holds Bens wife hostage, we move heaven and earth to save her, and if failed scour Terry, terrys wife, kids, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, nieces from the earth.
Now, here, we arent really winning, most likely, Ben, Alan and Terry simply all lose their wives.
Ben might decide the chance of Alan saving Beatrice isnt worth the risk.

Step Three
If Ben doesnt give us a chance to save Bens wife, and lets Amy die, we move heaven and earth and storm the very gates of hell to scour Ben and Terrys families from the earth.

There are rewards for siding with us against Terry, and Punishments for supporting Terry, even if only by omission, and our punishment is orders of magnitude more than anything Terry could possibly mete out.


The WiVibe 3 is awesome, that is all

Monday, 21 January 2013

HMV saved?

HMV Saved?

My understanding was that HMV called in the administrators when it couldnt get better terms off its suppliers, so was it all just a case of bluff calling gone wrong?

Probably not, but hopefully someone at the big music labels has realised that if HMV goes under, they are left with Super Markets, Amazon and iTunes as their only customers.

Both Walmart and Tesco have designs on their own music labels (I believe walmart already has it), Amazon is ****ing huge and negotiates from a position of extreme strength.

Many people have learnt that its a very bad idea to have only one customer, especially if that customer is TESCOPOLY like.

Friday, 18 January 2013

So, C17s to Mali?

The blogosphere is awash with tales of the glorious influence we have won thanks to lending C17s to the French to fly a few blokes over.

Is this more "soft power", or can anyone point and say "that there, thats our prize"?

In any event, the A400 is coming on stream, and can fly 20,000kg to Mali.

Oh well, short lived that influence....

Bretton Woods was not a gold standard

Not really.

It fell apart when the US printed more dollars than it had gold backing for, France called, and the system blew up.

The new system that appears to be forming simply recognises gold as a store of value.
It makes no attempt to peg currency to a certain weight of it.

Sadly, nor does it deal with the outstanding trade differentials which are already stored, but they are Chinas problem (anyone else will simply buy US weapons)

Monday, 14 January 2013

HMV fails

Another one bites the dust.

Big Box retailer offering no added value, beyond an intermediary between the distributor and the end customer.

HMV is dead.
And why not?

Another year has gone by, and again, another big name fails after sticking its head in the ground and denying that the internet* exists and that Tesco and ASDA sell computer games, DVDs and CDs

Jessops I'd never heard of, and Currys was last year.

* For Fucks sake most games you buy at the video game store now are just blank cds with a link to steam anyway.

Its not just the failures, its the constant dumb fuck looks on reporters faces, as if this is a shock.
HMVs big strategy to save itself was to join the fight for the already brutal mobile phone market, offering the same deals available in the O2 store.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The futures bright, the future isnt EUrope

800 jobs lost at a Honda plant servicing EUrope

800 jobs gained at a jaguar plant servicing China

And yet we are in dire straights is we cease to handcuff ourselves to this basket case existing on little but former glory

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Cameron has just lost the election.....

Kicking Europe into the long grass will work for Labour and the Lib Dems, its not a key issue to their supporters, even if it should be.

It wont for Cameron, and he simply cant love bomb enough lib dems and tax cut enough working labour to make up for Chihuahuas who will stay home or vote UKIP.

Even if he brought in my much desired 20% @ £20k tax plan, I could not say with any certainty what I would do.  I would probably vote, but I cant say who for.

Charlie Sheen wasnt winning, and neither is Germany

Raedwald stumbles upon the worst kept secret in mercantilism.

It doesnt work.
Japan tried it for forty years following the second world war, the very second they tried to keep a single yen of their export earnings, their economy failed, and didnt recover, twenty years later its still in perpetual recession.

China has tried it for the last twenty, China didnt even manage twenty years of stagnant wages, its actually being forced to slash net pay to fight off workers in India, Pakistan, Vietnam and Indonesia, amongst others.

So why would Germany do any better?


Free Trade between two consenting partners is awesome, quite possibly the greatest inter nation interaction there can be.

But you cant "win", because the other side cant "lose", if they were losing, they would simply cease to trade.

The US has lived on welfare for 60+ years, and nations have been fighting to beggar their poor to provide cheap loans to buy cheaper goods to the US.
Germany was happy to set up the same arrangement for the Southern States.

Trade is awesome, but it has to balance over a sub generational time scale.
If you have an export surplus for a decade, you arent getting that first year surplus back, ever.

Without intervention, there would never be a decade long surplus, currency differentials would widen to shut off the sustained one directional export, and would continue to widen until the surplus was reversed, and then there would be another surplus, which currency fluctuations would again counter.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Cameron has just won the election

Unemployed woman whining her benefits wont go up by as much as she thought, shes "lost" £34 a week (voice over "£150 a year") as it the camera does a close up of her son playing on a £300 iPad.

And Labour have fallen for it, hook, line and sinker.

Its not quite home ownership, but Camerons largest winable demographic is the working (wo)man who has just saved up and bought "new" used car, only to realise every benefits scrounger on their street has a newer, better, car, most have two.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Naval Strike Drones

Trt has been mulling over the idea of small ships, and how to use them effectively, for, well, all of 36 hours now, and so its time for another blog post :)

I dont believe they can work as stand alone warships, they just cant.  Sven explains why.

But as additions to a warship?
Well, thats a whole other kettle of fish.
After some thinking, the Skjold is too big, its time to go back to the CB90

According to wiki, the CB90 has capacity for 21 armed marines, if we assume 100kg per bloke, that gives us 2100 kg of crew space.
More than enough for 4 NSMs at 410kg each, 1640kg, plus boosters and box launcher.

Imagine the T45 and the T26, each carrying two of the buggers.

Now, its been a long time since warships have engaged one another, second world war if you discount missile boats shooting each other, but the Argentine Fleet was a huge problem to the Royal Navy in the 82 War.  Despite being wildly outmatched, there was still a chance it could get lucky, and not that lucky to be fair.

Imagine how much easier it would have been to nullify their battle groups if we could interpose five autonomous missile drones between our ships and theirs?
Even if we limit their area of effect to 30miles each way, thats still a 300 mile wall they would have to sail around.  Not a problem?  Except wheres the wall? 

I dont want to tread over the same ground, so I'll leave uses for now, but the ability to carry them isnt remotely difficult, the RN carries similar sized boats on Davits on ships already.
There would be RoE problems with using them as mines, but they are resolveable, using them as strike units is simple already.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Big Wing theory?

TrT is reading some old notes (Yes, I am rockstar) and has come across "Big Wing" theory again.


Now, as I frequently point out, I have no practical experience of these matters, but "big" and "little" wings are not competitors, they are mutually supportive.

Group your light/fast fighters into small groups, their purpose is to ensure that every incoming bomber wing faces at least some resistance.
At the time, it didnt take much to force a bomber off course, with navigation limited to a compass and a guess at speed, any damage, or evasive maneuver would introduce errors into navigation, and the earlier they were introduced, the greater the eventual margin of error when the bombs were released.

Group your heavy/slow fighters into large groups, their purpose is to ensure some incoming bomber wings face total losses, or as near as.

Note, numbers made up

I've never really had anything back me up on this, but I am convinced that an experienced fighting force can lose 50% of its man power, have them replaced with recruits fresh out of basic and suffer only a minimal loss of its combat effectiveness.
A unit that loses 80% of its manpower is destroyed as a fighting force.  The "veteran" soldiers force multiplication effect is overwhelmed by the force division effect of the newbies.

Hence my view that efforts should be put in to destroying sub units as thoroughly as possible.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Small Ship Fleet

Navy Matters has an excellent piece on using small ships as part of a fleet.

I think its absolutely essential to remember there are some key words there, "as part of a fleet".

A fleet of 2000 to 3000 ton frigates is going to be annihilated by a 10,000t destroyer, just because it is going to see them first through a higher mounted radar.

However, if we have a ten thousand ton destroyer and a few 3000 frigates, the Destroyer can sail around with its radar blaring, and the targets acquired can be fed to the silent frigates, who are around the destroyer.
Anyone who tries to attack the destroyer gets a nasty surprise, and the frigates can run and hide behind their big brother in a sustained engagement.

I posited the idea of ship carrying an unmanned CB90 armed with NSM, probably impactical, however, the Skjold Class is already cleared for firing the missile.

An umanned Skjold Class with 4/8 NSMs would be an exciting tool, a fleet towing 8 of them would have frightening amount of options.

Imagine a modern Jutland type scenario.
The Enemy fleet turns in defeat, do you pursue?  And risk running over 8 unmanned stealthish ships carrying 64 AShMs?  Or do you let the enemy fleet escape and live to fight again another day?
Or, You are defeated, you turn to run, dropping mines, laying smoke and chaff, the enemy runs 8 unmanned (so suicide) ships through, 4 are lost, the other four unleash hell on the rear of your retreating ships, a third of your capital ships are damaged and lack the speed to escape.  Do you resume hostilities?  Or abandon a third of your fleet?

Nothing remotely difficult about dropping them off and telling them to wait an hour and then catch up.

Or the Falklands.
Imagine landing at San Carlos knowing 8 of those are prowling?
Sanitise the area?


With a top speed of 75kmh and a range of 185km, clearing the top zone gets you four hours.
Forcing them back to port gets you SEVEN hours.
Fancy landing your liberation force with those sat in port?  A frightening fleet in being.

How do you react to a vessel like that?  Its virtually invisible, its fast on a level the navy isnt geared up to consider, its sustainable to a level they arent either, dropped off, or self deployed, it can run a single diesel engine for, who knows, weeks?