Tag: Military


In a week where “Centrist” candidates for the Democratic nomination for President have embarrassed themselves, Pete Buttigieg takes it to a new leve when he suggests that the United States should invade Mexico:

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said at a Latino forum in Los Angeles on Sunday that he’d be willing to send U.S. troops into Mexico to combat gang and drug violence.

“There is a scenario where we could have security cooperation,” Buttigieg said.

Even so, he added a caveat: “I’d only order American troops into conflict if American lives were on the line and if it was necessary to meet treaty obligations.”

His campaign later clarified that Buttigieg would only be open to military use as a “last resort” in response to Mexican cartel violence or an outside threat that endangers the country’s security.

Buttigieg’s comments came in response to a question at an event hosted by ABC7 Eyewitness News, where he added he would work to “make drug trafficking less profitable by walking away from the failed war on drugs here in the United States.”

He was the only candidate asked directly about moving troops to Mexico.

On Saturday, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro said he disagreed with President Donald Trump’s call to help Mexico “wage war” on cartels following the massacre of nine U.S. women and children in northern Mexico earlier this month.

“I don’t think the United States should send its military down to Mexico. Mexico is a sovereign nation,” he said.

It appears that Mayor Pete has learned absolutely nothing from his experience in Afghanistan.

Deploying US troops is one of the most important actions a President can take, and this sort of blithe and facile response is profoundly troubling.

Not a Surprise

One of the selling points of the F-35 is that it supposed to be significantly more reliable than legacy aircraft.

Not so much:

The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester said the next-generation F-35 jet continues to fall short of full combat readiness targets and, despite some progress on reliability issues, all three versions of the fighter are breaking down “more often than planned.”

None of the Air Force, Marines and Navy variants of the Lockheed Martin Corp. fighter are meeting their five key “reliability or maintainability metrics,” Robert Behler, the Pentagon’s director of operational testing, said in prepared remarks Wednesday before two House Armed Services Committee panels.


“The operational suitability of the F-35 fleet remains at a level below service expectations,” Behler said in the prepared remarks. “In short, for all variants, aircraft are breaking down more often than planned and taking longer to fix.”


Even with that 2020 target approaching, analysis to date shows that neither the Marine Corps nor Navy F-35 models are currently “on track” to meet their reliability metrics even as they log more hours, according to the latest assessment.

Among the key lagging metrics cited by Behler are “mean flight hours between critical failure” — a data point that refers to the time between failures that result in the loss of capability to perform a mission-critical task, or mean time between part removals for replacement from the supply chain.

Significantly, while the F-35 fleet demonstrated, over short periods, “high mission capability” rates reflecting the percentage of time jets are safe to fly and able to perform at least one specific mission, the jets “lagged” by “a large margin” the more complete measure of “Full Mission Capable” status, he wrote.

That indicates “low readiness” for combat missions “that require operationally capable aircraft,” Behler said.

Something is seriously wrong with our whole weapons procurement and development process.

I am Calling Bullsh%$ On This

The US Navy has filed a patent for a room temperature superconductor and a high-energy electromagnetic field generator, and the patents claim that these technologies are “operable”, meaning that they have working models.

There are a number of requirements for patent, most notably that it be non-obvious and novel, which the claims characteristics fulfill.

There is also a requirement that a patent be public, so that once it expires, a “Skilled person in the art,” can implement their invention.

There is an exception to the public requirement though, the government can classify a patent for national security reason.

For example, the first patent for a laser was classified, and the creator of the patent was refused access to it, because of his political activities in his youth.

If there were actually working models of these two inventions right now, the Navy would have classified the patents.

They don’t, but they want to clear the deck if someone does come up with working models, so those folks cannot restrict the government’s use of whatever is developed:

Last month, The War Zone reported on a series of strange patent applications the U.S. Navy has filed over the last few years and questioned what their connections may be with the ongoing saga of Navy personnel reporting incidents involving unidentified objects in or near U.S. airspace.

We have several active Freedom of Information Act requests with the Department of Navy to pursue more information related to the research that led to these patents. As those are being processed, we’ve continued to dig through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Public Patent Application Information Retrieval database to get as much context for these patents as possible.

In doing so, we came across documents that seem to suggest, at least by the Navy’s own claims, that two highly peculiar Navy patents, the room temperature superconductor (RTSC) and the high-energy electromagnetic field generator (HEEMFG), may in fact already be in operation in some manner. The inventor of the Navy’s most bizarre patent, the straight-out-of-science fiction-sounding hybrid aerospace/underwater craft, describes that craft as leveraging the same room temperature superconductor technology and high energy electromagnetic fields to enable its unbelievable speed and maneuverability. If those two technologies are already operable as the Navy claims, could this mean the hybrid craft may also already operable or close to operable? Or is this just more evidence that the whole exotic ‘UFO’ patent endeavor on the Navy’s behalf is some sort of ruse or even gross mismanagement of resources?

At the heart of these questions is the term “operable.” In most patent applications, applicants must assert proof of a patent’s or invention’s “enablement,” or the extent to which a patent is described in such a way that any person who is familiar with similar technologies or techniques would be able to understand it, and theoretically reproduce it.

However, in these patent documents, the inventor Salvatore Pais, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s (NAWCAD) patent attorney Mark O. Glut, and the U.S. Naval Aviation Enterprise’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. James Sheehy, all assert that these inventions are not only enabled, but operable. To help me understand what that term may mean in these contexts, I reached out to Peter Mlynek, a patent attorney.

Mlynek informed me that the terms “operable” or “operability” are not common in patent applications, but that there is little doubt that the use of the term is meant to assert to the USPTO that these inventions actually work:

If they had working models for this sort of technology, this would a classified submittal, because it would be a a leap forward in the technology.

Later in the article, there is correspondence between senior Navy personnel and the patent examiner advocating for what are a profoundly weird claims, which implies that the Navy, or the Pentagon, has a reason for aggressively supporting the claims.

And all of these documents were publicly available, because????

My guess is that either the Navy finds this credible enough that they want to preempt other patent holders, or this is an attempt to send scientists and engineers from other nations (Russia and China) down a dead end.

Don’t Let the Door Hit Your Butt on the Way Out

John Bolton just got fired.

He should never been hired in the first place; he’s so crazy that he makes Trump look sane:

President Trump announced Tuesday that John Bolton was no longer his national security adviser, ending a stormy tenure marked by widening rifts between an unorthodox president seeking a foreign policy victory and an irascible foreign policy hawk who had been deeply skeptical of much of the president’s agenda.

Trump disclosed the departure in a terse Twitter message, saying he would name a replacement as early as next week. Potential candidates include at least two conservative foreign policy commentators who have appeared on Fox News, where Bolton’s fierce attacks on Democrats endeared him to Trump nearly two years ago.

The appeal didn’t last, however, as Bolton’s opposition to elements of Trump’s approach on North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan, among other issues, put him at odds with his boss and other advisers. Trump also largely blamed his third national security adviser for overselling the strength of Venezuela’s political opposition earlier this year.

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” Trump said on Twitter. “I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service.”

A pity that this could not be settled in a cage match with flame throwers.

There is a Briar Patch Metaphor Here

The US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, us threatening to move US troop installations to Poland if Berlin does not increase defense spending.

So, the US is saying that Germany would not have to deal with the noise from the jets, the tanks blocking streets when they deploy for war-games, and the other issues that arise from large deployments of foreign troops on their soil, because they would be just on the other side of the border and just as available for their defense needs.

I do not claim to be an expert on the German zeitgeist, but you have to be pretty dense not to get this:

An envoy of U.S. President Donald Trump suggested on Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s unwillingness to boost defense spending might give the United States no choice but to move American troops stationed in Germany to Poland.

The comments by Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, signal Trump’s impatience with Merkel’s failure to raise defense spending to 2% of economic output as mandated by the NATO military alliance.

“It is offensive to assume that the U.S. taxpayers continue to pay for more than 50,000 Americans in Germany but the Germans get to spend their [budget] surplus on domestic programs,” Grenell told the dpa news agency.

Germany’s fiscal plans foresee the defense budget of NATO’s second-largest member rising to 1.37% of output next year before falling to 1.24% in 2023.

Eastern European countries like Poland and Latvia, fearful of Russia after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, have raised their military spending to the 2% target, drawing praise from Trump who wants Germany to do the same.

No nation wants foreign troops on its soil, it’s a price that they are willing to pay for other benefits.

The Trump administration just offered the benefits with none of the costs.

They Need to Add Frickin’ Laser Beams Attached to Their Heads

Thread: 1) During a military expo in Beijing, #China has unveiled Shark-styled underwater drones designed to carry out reconnaissance missions. pic.twitter.com/xDioOyQo3B

— IndoPacific_SCS_Info (@IndoPac_Info) July 28, 2019

China has created an underwater that looks like a shark.

I am sure that I am not the only one who’s initial response was to think of the movie,
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery?

Because I cannot look at that shark drone, and not think that this something out of a parody of the James Bond films.

Of course, I always thought that they missed a joke with the Sea Bass:  At the time that Dr. Evil went into the deep freeze, there was no such thing as a Sea Bass, they were known as Patagonian Toothfish.

Just saying, “Patagonian Toothfish,” is funny.

It’s a Self Licking Ice Cream Cone

Since the US Military has established a base on the continent for Africa Command, violence and terrorism has exploded on the continent:

Since U.S. Africa Command began operations in 2008, the number of U.S. military personnel on the African continent has jumped 170 percent, from 2,600 to 7,000. The number of military missions, activities, programs, and exercises there has risen 1,900 percent, from 172 to 3,500. Drone strikes have soared and the number of commandos deployed has increased exponentially along with the size and scope of AFRICOM’s constellation of bases.

The U.S. military has recently conducted 36 named operations and activities in Africa, more than any other region of the world, including the Greater Middle East. Troops scattered across Africa regularly advise, train, and partner with local forces; gather intelligence; conduct surveillance; and carry out airstrikes and ground raids focused on “countering violent extremists on the African continent.”


There are now roughly 24 “active militant Islamist groups” operating on the continent, up from just five in 2010, the analysis found. Today, 13 African countries face attacks from these groups — a 160 percent increase over that same time span. In fact, the number of “violent events” across the continent has jumped 960 percent, from 288 in 2009 to 3,050 in 2018, according to the Africa Center’s analysis.

While a variety of factors have likely contributed to the rise in violence, some experts say that the overlap between the command’s existence and growing unrest is not a coincidence.

“The sharp increase in terrorist incidents in Africa underscores the fact that the Pentagon’s overly militarized approach to the problem has been a dismal failure,” said William Hartung, the director of the arms and security project at the Center for International Policy. “If anything, attempting to eradicate terrorism by force may be exacerbating the problem, provoking a terrorist backlash and serving as a recruiting tool for extremist groups.”

It’s not a failure, it’s just that the US military is not in it to succeed.  Their goal is to generate sortees, theater ribbons, promotions, and a justification for an ever increasing budgets.

Bleeding hearts will call this a failure, but there are military careers to be made here, baby.

Seriously, this has got to be the most wastefully run empire ever.

I Weep for the Tortoises

Notwithstanding a section of their constitution banning foreign military bases, Ecuador is allowing the US to set up a base in Galapagos:

Ecuador has agreed to allow US military planes to operate from an airport on the Galapagos Islands, reports say.

US aircraft will be able to use San Cristobal airport, Ecuador’s defence minister Oswaldo Jarrin has been quoted as saying.

They will “fight drug trafficking” under a deal with Ecuador’s government, Mr Jarrin said.

The reported deal has prompted concerns over the potential impact on the environment and Ecuador’s sovereignty.


Legislators in Ecuador’s parliament have called on Mr Jarrin and environment minister Marcelo Mata to explain the scope of co-operation with the US in the islands.

They have asked them to elaborate on proposals to extend the runway at San Cristobal airport, daily El Universo reports.

Lawmaker Marcela Cevallos said the plan would be alarming for conservationists, it reported.

Opposition congressman Carlos Viteri said the agreement with the US was “unacceptable” and should be prohibited if “it intends to cede an inch of Ecuadorian territory”.

Under Article 5 of Ecuador’s constitution, the country is “a territory of peace” and the “establishment of foreign military bases or foreign facilities for military purposes shall not be allowed”.

Ecuador’s former president Rafael Correa also reacted angrily, tweeting (in Spanish) that the island was “not an aircraft carrier” for the Americans.

Mr Jarrin assured critics that “there will be no permanence of anyone” on the island.

He said any modifications to the airfield would be paid for by the US, Telesur reported.

So, the US will pay to modify airfield, potentially destroying hundreds of acres of habitat on San Cristobal, but it’s not a base.

This is manifest destiny Monroe Doctrine bullsh%$.

Captain Putnam Browne is Not a Fool

Donald Trump sent the Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) to the Persian Gulf to pressure Iran, but it is remaining outside of the Persian Gulf in Indian Ocean.

When you consider the restricted waters of the the Gulf this is a common sense move.

If the Lincoln were in the Gulf, the Iranians would know exactly where they are, and any attack would have a reaction time of a few minutes.

This guy is not painting a target on his back in order to promulgate John Bolton’s stiffy for regime change:

A U.S. aircraft carrier ordered by the White House to rapidly deploy to the Mideast over a perceived threat from Iran remains outside of the Persian Gulf, so far avoiding any confrontation with Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces amid efforts to deescalate tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Officers aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln repeatedly told The Associated Press on Monday they could respond rapidly to any regional threat from their position, at the time some 320 kilometers (200 miles) off the eastern coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea.

However, after decades of American aircraft carriers sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil traded at sea passes, the U.S. Navy’s decision to keep the Lincoln away is striking.

“You don’t want to inadvertently escalate something,” Capt. Putnam Browne, the commanding officer of the Lincoln, told the AP.

Also, you know, the whole getting sunk thing.

Because It’s a Cheaper Plane to Fly

Saab is tendering an offer to Canada for JAS-39 Gripens.

The Trudeau government has been decidedly cool on the expensive to buy and expensive to operate F-35, and the Gripen offers much more flexibility and much lower life cycle costs:

Saab is ready to sell the Canadian government 88 Canada-built Gripen fighters should Ottawa require home-built aircraft.

The Swedish combat aircraft manufacturer cautions nothing is finalised and its offer will ultimately reflect Canada’s formal request for proposal (RFP). The company expects the final RFP to be issued around midyear by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

“As we have demonstrated in Brazil, and depending on the requirements of a customer, we can build fighter jets in countries other than Sweden,” says the company. “Gripen is the world’s most-modern multi-role aircraft and a perfect match to Canada’s operational requirements for NORAD defense and expeditionary missions. It is proven to operate in any climate, from arctic to desert.”


The RCAF issued a draft request for proposal in October 2018 to an exclusive set of five potential suppliers to replace its Boeing CF-18A/B Hornet fleet.

The suppliers included Dassault Aviation, maker of Rafales; Saab, maker of JAS 39 Gripens; Airbus Defense, a major partner in the Eurofighter joint venture, which makes Typhoons; Lockheed Martin, maker of F-16s and F-35s; and Boeing, maker of F/A-18 Super Hornets and F-15E Strike Eagles.

My guess would be that Canada would go with the F/A-18 EF, as it is the most straightforward path from the earlier models CF-18s.

Additionally, Canada has long expressed a preference for a twin engine aircraft.

Still, if the bottom line is cost, the Gripen makes a lot of sense.

A Thought for Memorial Day

US Army Major (Ret) Danny Sjursen observes what should be obvious, that “Yes, My Fellow Soldiers Died in Vain.”

Amid the hagiography of the troops, and the non stop commercials for the holiday, we need to acknowledge, as James Tiberius Kirk does, “The illogic of waste ……… the waste of lives, potential, resources, time.”

Don’t allow people who will never face jeopardy themselves to use the deaths of those who did to prosecute their psychopathic agenda.

The Return of the AH-56 Apache

Proposed Apache Update

AH-56 Apache

Boeing is proposing a major update to its Apache attack helicopter, that the similarities between it and the 1960s vintage AH-56 apache are striking:

U.S. aerospace manufacturer Boeing has shown footage of high-speed version of Apache attack helicopter during the Vertical Flight Society’s 75th Annual Forum & Technology Display.

Graham Warwick posted images of the Apache gunship concept and photo of a scale model of a new helicopter that was unveiled by the Boeing on social media.

The concept, called the Advanced AH-64 Block 2 Compound, is developing to serve as a gap filler in a U.S. Army Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program.

Jane’s Defense Weekly early reported that the new gunship will feature an enlarged main wing, revised engine exhaust arrangement, large vertical tail fin, and a rear-mounted pusher propeller. The design may also feature a new, rigid rotor system, which is a standard feature on other compound helicopter designs.

Also the Rotor & Wing International said that Boeing already has conducted wind tunnel testing of a scale model of a high-speed Apache gunship.

The similarities between the two helicopters, both in appearance and concept, are striking.

This is a Declaration of Unconditional Surrender

The US military has stopped issuing assessments on who is in control of various parts of Afghanistan.

This cannot be construed as anything but an admission of abject defeat, but anyone with the vaguest sense of history knew that this would be the case 18 years ago:

The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan has stopped assessing which districts in the country’s 34 provinces are controlled by the government or by insurgents, meaning nearly every metric to measure success of America’s longest war is now either classified or no longer tracked.

For about three years, NATO’s Resolute Support mission had produced quarterly district-level stability assessments that counted the districts, total estimated population and total estimated land area that Kabul controlled or influenced, as well as those under the sway of insurgents and those contested by both sides.

Officials have stopped the assessments because they were “of limited decision-making value” to Army Gen. Scott Miller, commander of the Resolute Support mission, the coalition told the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, according to a quarterly report published late Tuesday.


Taliban insurgents have been expanding their influence in rural areas, and while they’ve yet to seize a major city, they’re believed to be stronger than at any point since the war began over 17 years ago — a major boon for the group as it continues direct negotiations with the U.S. aimed partly at an American troop withdrawal.

The numbers are bad, so stop collecting the numbers.

The culture of the PowerPoint warriors.

Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money

Despite the fact that the F-35 technically entered service last year, it is still not combat ready.

The block 4 upgrade is supposed to get it there (maybe) and now we discover that the price tag for this will run into the billions:

Lockheed-Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet, the world’s costliest weapons program, just got even costlier.

The estimated total price for research and procurement has increased by $22 billion in current dollars adjusted for inflation, according to the Pentagon’s latest annual cost assessment of major projects. The estimate for operating and supporting the fleet of fighters over more than six decades grew by almost $73 billion to $1.196 trillion.


Instead, the increase reflects for the first time the current cost estimates for a major set of upgrades planned in coming “Block 4” modifications, according to the report.


But the long-range cost estimate for operating the fleet from 2011 to 2077 was problematic even before the latest independent Pentagon cost projection of an increase to $1.196 trillion. By contrast, the F-35 program office’s latest estimate declined by about $8.5 billion to $1 trillion.

Block 4 is a major upgrade, and includes integrating new weapons beyond its current meager loadout, (including European weapons and the short range Sidewinder), adding electronic warfare capabilities, and adding the ability for the F-35 to communicate with legacy aircraft.

Note that even with this upgrade, the cannon will still not work properly, and the vaunted ALIS maintenance program is still (at best) marginally operational, so the term “combat ready” is a bit of a stretch.

For only a few tens of billions of dollars, which could otherwise be used to rebuild aging infrastructure, educate citizens, and provide healthcare.

The F-35 is an exercise in what James Tiberius Kirk would call, “The illogic of waste.”

What is the Difference Between the British Army and Oswald Mosley?

Video has emerged of soldiers on a shooting range in Kabul firing at a target of Jeremy Corbyn. MOD confirms it as legit: pic.twitter.com/qOr84Aiivj

— Alistair Bunkall (@AliBunkallSKY) April 3, 2019

Fascist Much?

Not much, it appears.

A video has emerged showing British soldiers engaging in target practice of a Jeremy Corbyn poster :

A video showing soldiers firing at a Jeremy Corbyn poster for target practice demonstrated a serious error of judgment, an Army chief has said.

Brigadier Nick Perry said the Army was taking the matter “extremely seriously” and would fully investigate.

“The video shows totally unacceptable behaviour that falls far below the behaviour that we expect,” he said.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn said he was “shocked” by the clip; his party said it had confidence in the investigation.

Mr Corbyn added: “I hope the Ministry of Defence will conduct an inquiry into it and find out what was going on and who did that.”

The short clip shows four paratroopers in uniform firing down the range before the camera pans to the target, a large portrait of the Labour leader.

Brig Perry, commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, said there were currently 400 soldiers from his brigade working with Nato and Afghan partners in Afghanistan, where the footage is thought to have been filmed.

I’m wondering whether these are simply idiots who should be expelled from the military, or if it’s some sort of message that someone is trying to send to Corbyn.

I really hope that it is the first.

Triple the Development Time, and You Might Get Close

This will not fly in 4 years

India, which took 30 years to develop a lightweight fighter, the Tejas, is now promising that it will be fielding a completely new mid-size derivative of that benighted program.

They are expecting the aircraft to take flight in 2023, with initial qualification following by 2 years.

Considering the fact that this aircraft will be almost completely new, this is a Herculean task.

Given that it is India, where weapon system development proceeds at a pace that makes US defense procurement look like a hummingbird on meth, I doubt it:

Before it became the Tejas Mk. 1, India’s indigenous fighter was the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), intended to replace the MiG-21. As a final operational configuration is approved for the Tejas Mk. 1, the government’s defense technology agency is proposing a larger successor, the Medium Weight Fighter (MWF), or Tejas Mk. 2.


The MWF relates to the Tejas Mk. 1 very much as the Saab Gripen E/F does to the Gripen A/B/C/D. The Tejas Mk. 1 is an enlargement using the General Electric F414 engine in place of the F404 in its predecessor and fitted with updated electronics. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) builds the Tejas Mk. 1.

Unlike that earlier type but like all Gripens, the MWF has all-moving foreplanes just behind the cockpit, creating a close-coupled canard-delta configuration. With 22,000 lb. thrust available from the F414-INS6 engine, maximum takeoff weight is 30% greater than for the Tejas Mk. 1—17.5 metric tons (38,600 lb.) versus 13.5 metric tons, according to data that the DRDO presented at the Aero India exhibition, held in Bengaluru on Feb. 20-24. Maximum external load is almost doubled, to 6.5 metric tons from the 3.3 metric tons of the Tejas Mk. 1 and improved Mk. 1A, which use the 20,200-lb.-thrust GE F404-IN20. Weapons would include beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles and standoff precision-guided munitions.

The compound delta wing carries short-range air-to-air missiles on wingtip launch rails, rather than on pylons under the wing as on the Mk. 1, increasing span slightly to 8.5 m (28 ft.). Height also is increased slightly, to 4.86 m. The proposed aircraft will be 14.6 m long, 1.35 m longer than the Tejas Mk. 1. A Mirage-style refueling probe is fitted. Maneuver capability is increased to 9g, versus 8g for the Mk. 1A.


“The first prototype is expected to fly by the end of 2023 and we hope to get the initial certification by 2025,” says a DRDO official—though these events hinge on when and if funding is made available.

The Gripen E update involved relocating the landing gear to allow for additional fuel, structural improvements, and adding some hard points.

This is basically a completely new aircraft, with new systems, new flight control laws, and no shared structure to speak of.

This is not going to happen in the time frame described.

I’m Not Sure That This Is Even News, and That Is Alarming

Boys and Their Toys

Some whack-doodle Alt-Right Coast Guard officer accumulated an arsenal, and was planning to target Democratic politicians and journalists.

This is disturbing because it is neither unexpected nor particularly unusual.

To quote David Warner (Jack the Ripper) from the 1979 movie Time After Time, “Ninety years ago I was a freak. Today I’m an amateur.”

A white supremacist Coast Guard lieutenant is accused of stockpiling weapons, compiling a hit list of Democratic senators and left-leaning journalists, and preparing for a massacre.

Prosecutors in Maryland called Christopher Paul Hasson a “domestic terrorist” in a Tuesday court filing, first reported by George Washington University’s Seamus Hughes, that argued for Hasson’s detention ahead of trial on firearms and controlled substance charges.

What law enforcement discovered during a Feb. 15 arrest and search led prosecutors to tell a federal court that Hasson “intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” They included references to an anti-abortion bomber; a white supremacist Islamophobic mass murderer in Norway; his stated desire to “kill almost every last person on the earth” through biological weapons; and the discovery of 15 guns in his Silver Spring, Maryland basement.

Specific journalists and others appear in Hasson’s search history, the filing claims, including: MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes, Joe Scarborough, and Ari Melber; Sens. Richard Blumenthal—or “blumen jew,” in Hasson’s writing—Tim Kaine, Chuck Schumer, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker; Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Ilhan Omar; CNN’s Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, and Van Jones; as well as prominent Democrats Beto O’Rourke and John Podesta, and the Democratic Socialists of America.

I am shocked at the fact that I am completely not shocked.

If this is the new normal, we are f%$#ed.

Our Broken Military-Industrial Complex

The Navy’s costliest warship, the $13 billion Gerald R. Ford, had 20 failures of its aircraft launch-and-landing systems during operations at sea, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.

The previously undisclosed failures with the electromagnetic systems made by General Atomics occurred during more than 740 at-sea trials since the aircraft carrier’s delivery in May 2017 despite praise from Navy officials of its growing combat capabilities. The Navy must pay to fix such flaws under a “cost-plus” development contract.

The new reliability issues add to doubts the carrier, designated as CVN-78, will meet its planned rate of combat sorties per 24 hours — the prime metric for any aircraft carrier — according to the annual report on major weapons from the Defense Department’s operational test office.


The launch-and-landing issue is separate from the ship’s lack of 11 functioning elevators to lift munitions from below deck, an issue that’s drawn scrutiny from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican.

The Ford “will probably not achieve” its sortie rate requirement because of “unrealistic assumptions” that “ignore the effects of weather, aircraft emergencies, ship maneuvers and current air-wing composition on flight operations,” Robert Behler, the Pentagon’s director of operational testing, said in his assessment of the carrier, obtained by Bloomberg News.


Ten “critical failures” occurred during 747 at-sea catapults of jets; another 10 “operational mission failures” occurred during 763 shipboard landing attempts, according to the testing office’s report.

So, we are talking about a 1.5% failure rate for the technology.

This is not human error, this is a failure of the underlying technology, the catapult is performing about 6x worse than what is specified under contract, and the arrester gear is performing about 100x worse than is called for.

This is a hell of a way to run a f%$#ing railroad.

OK, I Did Not See This Coming

There are a number of things that I thought would never happen.

One of them was that the US Air Force would never order another F-15.

They have been trying to kill them for some time, but now it looks like they might be asking for some new Eagles in the 2020 budget:

Indecision has plagued the U.S. Air Force’s approach to managing a fleet of about 230 Boeing F-15C/Ds. Only two years ago, top Air National Guard officials floated a proposal to retire the U.S.-based portion of the air superiority fleet. After that idea withered under the heat of a Congressional backlash, the Air Force last year opted to deprive its F-15C/D units of a critical electronic warfare upgrade, making the entire fleet vulnerable to a near-term retirement decision. Again, Congress intervened and voted to partially restore the program in the enacted fiscal 2019 budget.

But Air Force leaders now seem poised to perform the budgetary equivalent of the F-15’s about-face Immelmann turn. Instead of launching another attempt to retire the F-15 fleet, the Air Force is likely to ask Congress for money to order new F-15s for the first time in 19 years. The anticipated policy reversal has prompted calls for the Air Force to justify such a sweeping, strange request in fleet strategy.

“We’re in a bit of a pickle, and the pickle is we don’t have the capacity we need,” Matt Donovan, Air Force undersecretary, explained on Jan. 18.

Donovan was careful to clarify that he was neither confirming nor denying reports that the F-15X would be included in the Trump administration’s upcoming fiscal 2020 budget, but he still offered a preview of the Air Force’s newly formed argument that the time has come to reverse its nearly two-decade-old position. Instead of insisting that acquiring more non-stealthy, manned fighters in the modern era is futile, Air Force officials are now pleading for more air superiority aircraft overall, regardless of whether they are less observable to radar.

There are a number of issues, the USAF is maintaining that they are not getting F-35s fast enough, but I am inclined to believe that in addition to their sky-high acquisition costs, that the operating costs of the Lightning II are much higher than anticipated.

The hourly direct operating cost of the F-15 is lower than either the F-22 or F-35, while the Eagle’s unrefueled range is greater than either of the newer aircraft, and its air to air and air to ground loadouts are superior.

For about 95% of any conflicts, the F-15 is cheaper and more capable, so this decision would make sense, which is why I never expected the US Air Force to consider such a decision.