Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ward Nerd Must Read

At major phase changes ("tipping points" as Gladwell calls them), the old rules that governed a system cease to work and new rules take over.

Keep that in mind when you read the War Nerd's latest and keep saying to yourself "he is exagerrating" or "it can't be true, there's a super-secret something that will defend against this threat..."

The War Nerd: This Is How the Carriers Will Die
By Gary Brecher
...The lesson here is the same one all of you suckers should have learned from watching the financial news this year: the people at the top are just as dumb as you are, just meaner and greedier. And that goes for the ones running the US surface fleet as much as it does for the GM or Chrysler honchos. Hell, they even look the same. Take that Wagoner ass who just got the boot from GM and put him in a tailored uniform and he could walk on as an admiral in any officer’s club from Guam to Diego Garcia. You have to stop thinking somebody up there is looking out for you.

Remember that one sentence, get it branded onto your arm: “Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack.” What does that tell you about the distinguished gentlemen with all the ribbons on their chest who’ve been standing up on carrier bridges looking like they know what they’re doing for the past 50 years...

...The difference between the Israeli navy and ours is simple: the Israelis learned their lesson and switched to smaller, lighter missile craft. No more ocean-going muscle cars to act like giant magnetized targets. The newer Israeli boats are small enough that when you lose one, like they did in the 2006 war to land-based Hezbollah surface to surface missiles, you don’t suffer 100 casualties.

That’s one way the US Navy could have gone after the Eilat went down: a fleet of smaller, lighter ships, basically ships you could afford to lose. There are some real interesting computer modeled naval war games that seem to be telling us that’s the way to invest your naval budget: lots of small ships carrying big missiles...

This isn't a War Blog, but it is a blog about the huge changes rolling over the earth as we speak, so I don't vouch for every technical detail. That said, the mindset he refers to does not seem alien to the times we live in. Perhaps he's exagerrating a bit, but one thing to add from my computer days, back when I was much heavier (on an amateur basis) into simulation software - the Navy was running computer simulations and war games back in the 1980's showing that mass ballistic missile attacks on surface ships had very, very high kill rates. Those war games made enough noise at the time to even make it into Tom Clancy's "The Hunt for Red October." The Navy ran those sims after the Falklands War - a war that might have been won (or at least made much, much more messy) by Argentina had they owned about 20 more aircraft-launched Exocet missiles.

The Navy kept building carriers.

Something to ponder as you listen to "experts" give you reassurance. Here's hoping that the experts in the U.S. Navy are of a better caliber than the ones on Wall Street. I personally think they are and here's hoping we never have to find out...

1 comment:

David said...

Does the U.S. military undergo the survival-of-the-fittest winnowing that even the smallest mom-and-pop pizza parlor must survive?

The military is the largest centrally-planned, socialist monopoly in America. This makes it the weakest institution of all, which is saying something when the field includes the DMV and the Post Office.

If you want "defense," you need competition. There is none in government or any agency thereof. This is axiomatic.

Interesting post. Glad my kids aren't tempted by the lies in the recruiting ads.