Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Reading

CDR Salamander: Fullbore Friday in which war gets fought with the aircraft you have.

Steeljaw Scribe remembers Liberty. See also here.

Al Qaeda moving to Yemen and Somalia? Jane flags it with the comment, " Well we knew that was coming." Have you been looking at "sea lines of communication" lately? See here. And this:
The Strait of Bab el-Mandab is a chokepoint between the horn of Africa and the Middle East, and a strategic link between the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. It is located between Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea, and connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Exports from the Persian Gulf must pass through Bab el-Mandab before entering the Suez Canal. In 2006, an estimated 3.3 million bbl/d flowed through this waterway toward Europe, the United States, and Asia. The majority of traffic, around 2.1 million bbl/d, flows northbound through the Bab el-Mandab to the Suez/Sumed complex.

Bab el-Mandab is 18 miles wide at its narrowest point, making tanker traffic difficult and limited to two 2-mile-wide channels for inbound and outbound shipments. Closure of the Strait could keep tankers from the Persian Gulf from reaching the Suez Canal or Sumed Pipeline, diverting them around the southern tip of Africa. This would effectively engage spare tanker capacity, and add to transit time and cost.

The Strait of Bab el-Mandab could be bypassed through the East-West oil pipeline, which crosses Saudi Arabia with a 4.8 million bbl/d capacity. However, southbound oil traffic would still be blocked. In addition, closure of the Bab el-Mandab would block non-oil shipping from using the Suez Canal, except for limited trade within the Red Sea region.

Security remains a concern of foreign firms doing business in the region, after a French tanker was attacked off the coast of Yemen by terrorists in October 2002.
Oh, that Gulf of Aden in between Somalia and Yemen?

Reading battlefield detainees their "rights" granted under the U.S. Constitution? Not favored here. I guess the answer is just to kill them in battle and save on the paperwork. Legally, of course, and, by all means, let's have the ACLU out there giving the enemy fighters legal counsel on the battlefield during firefights. Where's that first ACLU Combat Brigade, anyway? See here where, working off a post by Consul- at- Arms, I wrote:
Consul-at-Arms quotes and briefly discusses some comments on the potential release of Gitmo prisoners here. Taking no live prisoners is mentioned for future operations. I, personally, am holding out for the all-volunteer "Airborne ACLU Corps," who will jump into combat zones and offer legal advice to people who are shooting at our troops in order to protect their clients rights. . . this country has a surplus of liberal lawyers anyway, and way too many law schools. . . this program might help solve one part of the problem. . .and allow lawyers to get credit for community service under the new administration. I have a few "constitutional law" profs in mind who would make a good starting team for the AACLUC, especially those who don't seem to have read the Constitution.
They especially seemed to have missed that part about what country the Constitution applies to. Hey, if you gotta a belief, go out and take action where the action is ...

Spies for Cuba. There are some great lines from the movie Sullivan's Travels that seem relevant here:
Burrows: You see, sir, rich people and theorists - who are usually rich people - think of poverty in the negative, as the lack of riches - as disease might be called the lack of health. But it isn't, sir. Poverty is not the lack of anything, but a positive plague, virulent in itself, contagious as cholera, with filth, criminality, vice and despair as only a few of its symptoms. It is to be stayed away from, even for purposes of study. It is to be shunned.
God save us from dilettante commies.

Can't catch old-fashioned spies, but it is time to work on our "cyberwar" skill set." Galrahn makes points.

UPDATE: You should listen to this interview about Pakistan from NPR's Fresh Air.

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