Friday, December 30, 2011

Its Dead Jim

Sadly and with much regret I had to pronounce a Remington 742 30-06 dead tonight. The receiver had a small crack along the on of the rails the bolt travels on. This was causing the bolt to cycle at an angle which was jamming the weapon about every other shot according to the owner of the rifle. The rails the bolt rides on feel like the edge of a serrated knife and there is some very unusual wear on the inside of the receiver and some actually divots for lack of a better word. This all causes further issues with the rifle cycling. I know the 742s have a reputation for jamming and Remington makes the weapon almost impossible for the owner to actually clean the weapon as all you can do is remove the trigger group and clean it and around the action as much as possible and you can run a cleaning rod down the barrel (how quaint). The owners manual actually says to take the weapon to a Remington certified gunsmith or send to Remington for an annual cleaning. That is bogus. The good thing is the owner has a very nice Leopold scope that he can now mount on a good rifle instead of the one he currently has.

This is a 742 not the one in question. 

This is my first DOA arrival for a weapon and I was the owners second opinion as another gunsmith had previously told him it is dead. I hope this give the owner the peace of mind to go purchase a new rifle.

Friday, December 23, 2011


History is the most dangerous product ever concocted by the chemistry of the intellect. It causes dream, inbriates nations, saddles them with false memories...keeps their old sores running, torments them when they are not at rest, and induces in them megalomania and the mania of persecution. Paul Valery Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", and "[O]nly the dead have seen the end of war." George Santayana

Friday, December 16, 2011

This is interesting

I just saw in a 1963 article of future military weapon namely the demise of the M14 and the early approval of the AR-15/M6 about a need in the future of one to two sharpshooters per squad perhaps armed with the M14. Fast forward to today and what do we find? In the Marine Corps and the Army now have one to two designated marksmen per squad armed with either an M110 Semi Automatic Sniper System (SASS) or an updated M-14 both in 7.62x51. All the services tried a special purpose rifle (SPR) in 5.56 and while it was a great shooter and accurate it offered no ballistic advantage over an M-16 or M4. At that point M14s started coming out and the SR-25/M110 was quickly tested and adapted.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wow I really have no words


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gun thoughts

Having two internal discussions going on currently. I am going to do two upgrade on my AR. First conversion to the A3 format with flat top receiver and magpul Moe forearm. This is a gunsmithing excercise as I am going to do the work myself and not just buy it. This will force me to get the equipment to do it. I am going to buy a new upper more than likely in 7.62x39. The reason is it is overall cheaper in cost for the upper, ammo, and magazines even with the need to buy and different bolt to handle military surplus. I am going to get the 20" barrel to try tonwring the most velocity of the round. I am also going to put a collapsable stock on it. The next is the need for a defensive shotgun for the house. I am looking at a .410 bore Saiga. I like the idea of detachable magazines and light recoil. Also there are some very good defensive rounds coming out because of the popularity of the Judge hand guns. Also will be getting my FFL next year as I am working on my gunsmithing certificate. Thoughts or opinions?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jarhead Gunsmithing

I am going to be taking this website in a different direction in the near future. While I wil still post stuff concerning the Long War I am going to focus on firearms. Yes I know there about a million firearms related websites There are many like it but this one is mine. If you know where that line comes from you have a huge jump on most people. I have been focusing on learning gunsmithing and while starting small I have really enjoyed it. With my life long love of things that go bang learning how build and fix them is a natural step. Am I the worlds greatest shot NO but I can hold my own in the woods and on the range. Nor am I the foremost authority I will leave that claim to other people. I have recently finished a report on the value of the carbine to the US military and am going to shop it around for publication.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Haqqani problem

Two news stories three years apart about the ISI connection to the Haqqani network. As I have stated and others who get paid to do this have the Haqqanis are the most dangerous force fighting against NATO and Afghan forces. This group has enjoyed the sponsor ship and protection of the Pakistan government since the Soviet invasion. Here is a Bloomberg story from 2008. Today the story it was released that the US has hard evidence that the Haqqani network as an extension of the Pakistani military launched the FAILED attacks again the US embassy last week. It is also a known fact that the ISI was behind the 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul. Pakistan has declared war on the United States and is continuing its long running struggle with India. As I have said Pakistan is the enabler always has been and will be until dealt with. So far the US has done nothing but whine about Pakistan killing our troops. We have the same issue with Iran killing our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is no wonder the world thinks we are week they can attack us with impunity and the US will sit back and complain loudly with out taking a stand.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Well the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan is finally saying what we have known for awhile the Haqqani network enjoys the support of the Pakistani government. For those that do not know the Haqqanis are suspected of launching last weekends suicide attacks in Kabul. ISLAMABAD — The U.S. ambassador to Islamabad said in remarks broadcast Saturday that there is evidence linking the Haqqani insurgent network to the Pakistani government, a charge that could raise tensions in an already strained anti-terror alliance between Washington and Islamabad.


I hope to be up and posting again issues have kept me from posting. Computer issue solved we are back in business.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Marine's and their Weapons

The Marine Corps is looking to upgrade 200,000+M16A4s and 80,000 M4s. What is interesting about this is it will bring these up to a standard that many civilian users already have. Adjustable butt stocks, better scope mounts, and free floated barrels are pretty much standard on even middle of the road civilian AR15s. What amazes me is there are still senior Marines in the fleet that actually do not want some of the upgrades because you cannot use the weapon as a club or the two man buddy lift over a wall. Maybe they should us empirical data and actually survey combat vets and ask them how many people have been butt stroked in the head in the last 10 years. Give the Marine as good a weapon as you can and stop worrying about the irrelevant stuff.

As for the new M27 IAR it looks like the Corps is trying to go back to the old Browning Automatic Rifle principle. I am taking a wait and see approach but I cannot for the the life of me figure how they are going to do fire and maneuver with this thing. Maneuver yes but all they did was add another M16 to the fire team and take out a weapon the M249 saw that is capable of sustained fire. Anyway here are some pictures of the weapon in Afghanistan.

Monday, June 13, 2011


A terrorist group has taken over a country. Hezbollah has gained control the cabinet and with 16 of 30 seats. I hope that the US government cuts off all aid to Lebanon as we do not need to be arming a terrorist organization. The mullahs in Iran must be dancing in the streets today (well if it were allowed) now they will not need to smuggle weapons into Lebanon. They can do it officially as weapons sales to a friendly government. This will make interception of these shipments much more difficult politically.

No good is going to come from this.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Navy Crosses Awarded

Day by day, the legend of the Battle of Ganjgal grows.

The Sept. 8, 2009, clash between at least 50 heavily armed insurgents and the Marine trainers and Afghan forces they surprised in Kunar province, Afghanistan, already has led to three Marines and a Navy corpsman posthumously receiving the Bronze Star with V.

Two Marines were awarded the Navy Cross and another awaits a Medal of Honor investigation for this action.

Despite being under fire from a well entrenched enemy the patrol did not receive fire support or reinforcements and had to extract themselves. An investigation conducted by Army Col. Richard Hooker and Marine Col. James Werth, it determined that “negligent” leadership by three officers at nearby Forward Operating Base Joyce contributed “directly to the loss of life which ensued.” They refused direct calls for help from U.S. forces on the ground and failed to notify higher commands that they had troops in contact with enemy, the investigation found.

The officers were members of Task Force Chosin, a unit comprising soldiers from 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, out of Fort Drum, N.Y. In February, Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said Army officials told him that two of the three officers ultimately received reprimands, a likely career killer.

This is the second large case of negligent leadership shown by Army officers as the troops in Wanat were also not supported or supplied properly which also led to a large loss of life. Risk averse officers who are to worried about not making waves are letting our soldiers and Marines die. This is what happens when you try to make warfighters into policemen.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


While the world has been watching the Arab Spring, the NATO bombings of Libya, and the atrocities of Syria against its own population (with Iranian and Hezbollah help). Iran has been has been up to its usual of Jihad against the West, their Sunni neighbors (except the Taliban which it is arming just like they did Iraqi resistance), and its own people.

In Bahrain it appears that Iran encouraged and helped that countries Shia rise up against their current Sunni King. This uprising was brutally put down by members of the Gulf Cooperation Council led by Saudi Arabian troops. There is really two pieces of this one the encroachment of Iran further toward the Sunni heartland something that the Saudis will not tolerate and the fact that Bahrain allowed foreign troops in to kill its own population. In addition the world was quiet about the whole affair with oil being the price that it is. The issue over who is going to be the protector of the Arabs now that Egypt may or may not have the strong anti-Iran policy it once did.

Iran not ones to pass up killing US troops on the cheap are continuing to arm the Taliban something that was noted as far back as 2006. The Iranians also made it a policy to arm the Shiite groups in Iraq as well notably Sadr. Our friends in the UK are also making the case of Iranian involvement in Afghanistan it would appear the the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps which is the organization involved the most in spreading the Iranian jihad is behind arming the Taliban.

There is further Iranian involvement in South American not only in Venezuela but now in Bolivia.
Bolivia’s ongoing relations with Iran are being scrutinized by the foreign community. Israeli sources have documented deposits of uranium in Bolivia and have speculated that this is another reason for the growing ties between the two countries. Vahidi is one of the main promoters of Iran’s nuclear program as well as a strong proponent of the development of vectorial nuclear arms systems. Considering this, it is extremely dangerous that Vahidi has offered military support to Bolivia.

On the subject of nuclear weapons anyone that has doubts about the Iranian program should just re-bury their heads in the sand. It appears Iran wants a nuclear weapon by next year. Obviously years of talks have done nothing and that stronger measures maybe necessary to at least help the Iranian people get rid of the Mullahs.

The US has not had a consistant Iran policy since the overthrow of the Shah. This has to end no matter what party is in the White House. Strong steps must be utilized to help Iranian resistance and if need be force used to slow down or stop the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I normally take the side of police in such matters until the police decide to criminally cover up an illegal shooting. A former Marine Jose Guerena gets gunned down by police in his own home and the police try to cover it up. I do not want to make political hash out of this (some have already started) but a severe injustice was done by a political Sheriff and what appears to be an incompetent SWAT unit. This young man did exactly what I would do if my wife was screaming someone was breaking into our home. I would have done grabbed my AR15 and waited. While I do not know the home defense laws in AZ, where I live you can start blasting if you can clearly explain a threat. Seeing armed men in my house is a threat I would have started shooting. This young man as NOW admitted by police had the fire discipline not to fire probably when he recognized they were police. Do you know how they responded by firing 71 rounds 71! at one man hitting him 60 and then let him bleed out for over an hour before letting paramedics onto the scene. I am not just mad because this young man was a Marine I am mad because of the incompetence of this Sheriff and his SWAT team. The Sheriff and every member of that SWAT team should be in prison in shackles and every day be made to apologize to this young mans widow and child. Now the wife rightfully so has hired a of lawyer and I hope they bankrupt Pima County, AZ.

Thankfully in this case the Marine Corps gave this young man the full military funeral that he deserved. His home country killed him when two tours in Iraq did not.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fresh attack in Pakistan

Since the killing of bin Laden a couple of weeks ago the Taliban and AQ have been swearing their revenge. It has started off a little pitiful to be hones a couple of attacks on soft Pakistani targets and attempt on some US diplomatic personnel. These have caused only civilian Pakistani deaths and have not produced the Western or even Pakistani security service deaths they have to be striving for. However today terrorists (Taliban) are in the midst of an attack on a Pakistani Navy base in Karachi . Update from Pakistani news, 2 P3 patrol planes has been destroyed along with four Pakistani Naval personnel and a Ranger killed so far with the attack still ongoing....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A new force is rising in East Europe

The Visegrad group of Poland, Slovakia, The Czech Republic and Hungry have formed a military and political alliance outside of the EU and NATO. What is interesting about the countries is Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech have combat experienced troops as they have rotated in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan in particular. Poland is leading a battlegroup that will be outside of NATO command and control...I think this is very interesting for a group of countries on not the best of terms with Russia, making a name for themselves outside of old Europe and not on the best of terms with the Muslim world.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You Knew it was Coming

The Pakistanis are ticked off and their feelings are a little bit hurt. Of course being embarrassed in front of the whole world will do that.

1. They claim that they did not know where bin Laden was living. Considering that he was only 800 meters from their West Point it is hard to believe.
2. That the U.S. was able to fly in spend 40 minutes on the ground and not only not detect the SEAL team but were not able to respond at all. Even though there was gunfire and explosions going on.

Pakistan's army chief Gen. Kayani is ordering a probe into Pakistan's duel intelligence failures. Pakistani media is openly challenging the military and ISI which is often unsafe to do.

Meanwhile in other you knew it had to be coming news the Europeans are all in an uproar now that they are playing Monday morning quarterback and say we should have captured and tried him. Surprisingly it is the French who are on our side the the British both right and left and of course the Germans who are having a litter of kittens. My vote pull all troops out of Europe except to maintain our bases there. I am sick and tired of floating Europe's security bill let them pull their own weight for a change. But I digress..Oh one more thing are we going to have to defend Europe from their growing Islamic problem because right now they barely acknowledge there is a problem from their Asian immigrants.

This whole ordeal while cause a shift in Pakistani and American relations and it may well change things inside of Pakistan. Of course the Military and ISI may close ranks and nothing changes but maybe just maybe civilians can start to have more of a say in how those organizations are run.


I have been silent this last little bit while trying my hand at gunsmithing and generally watching the Middle East and the Magreb got to hell.

I am pleased as punch the OBL is dead as a hammer and could really care less that the Euro-weeny press with the exception of France is having a litter of kittens. What I do wonder about is why the narrative the the attack keeps changing? Maybe the administration should have waited on the debriefing before spouting off at the head. Also my friend over at Captains Journal raises a heck of a point when he says we can unleash a SEAL team on UBL and kill every man in the place but we try to hold snipers accountable for shooting an unarmed Taliban commander or tie Marine and Soldiers hands behind their back with very restrictive ROEs.

My brother made it safely back from another trip across the sea and he has some very unkind things to say about working with NATO. My reaction was "they were supposed to stop the Red Horde from taking over Europe?" Sadly as bad off as the Warsaw Pact was NATO might have been worse.

I digress did you know that the Iranian government through their Revolutionary Guard Corps is involved with something like $12 Billion dollars a year in smuggling a lot of that involving drugs out of Lebanon and Central and South America. $12 Billion is a ton of money and would make the IRGC pretty much financially independent of the Iranian government.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Why would Europe and the US intervene in Libya but just now want to start more sanctions against Syria. The same Syria that wiped and entire town that was rebelling off of the map 20 years ago. Now Assad is moving mechanized units into towns and killing people wholesale. I think it has to do with Syria's ties to Iran which also gets a free pass to kill their own citizens as well.

Our country does not have a foreign policy in place to hold the rouge regimes to task. The world waits for our leadership meanwhile our CnC plays golf.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


As reported here previously NATO with out U.S. involvement cannot decisively deal with Gadhafi's troops. This is evidenced by today's statement from Paris which lamented the limited U.S. military role in Libya and chided Germany for its lack of involvement. In a dire analysis, France's defense minister acknowledged that without full American participation in the combat operation, the West probably can't stop Gadhafi's attacks on besieged rebel cities. (Where are is NATO's further involvement in Afghanistan when we asked for it?) Britain and France do not have the air power to drop the tonnage of bombs needed to stop and degrade Libya's military to the point that the very poorly armed rebels can an effective attack against Tripoli. Britain only has a total of 136 GR4 Tornado not all of which are being used for this operation. In addition the Royal Navy operations around 110 GR9 Harriers in the ground attack and anti-air role. While the Typhoon can perform the air to ground function there is no indication they are being used. France operates a combined 306 Mirage 2000, Mirage F1, and Rafale multi-role aircraft. This is fewer than the aircraft in the U.S. Air National Guard and Reserve. The U.S. if it wanted to could put 100+ heavy bombers in the air all delivering precision guided munitions. Add F15, F16, F18, Harriers, AC-130 gunship, and A10s. If the U.S. decided to use its un-deployed aircraft in an air offensive it could dwarf the aircraft being currently used again Libya. What the politicians and rebels do not understand is that to wage an air campaign that would cripple Gadhafi Libya's infrastructure would have to be destroyed as well as it manufacturing base. This will leave little for the rebels to take over. Those that think destroying equipment works got the wrong impression from Kosovo during that air campaign Serbia's infrastructure was also hit causing civilian casualties and lots of hard feelings among the civilian population.

Reviewing Drone Strikes in Pakistan

Pakistan is now wanting the US to stop drone strikes into the tribal areas. I think the reason for this not the high civilian casualties as even the Pakistanis have been reporting very few civilian casualties from these strikes. The Pakistanis know the US is going to start pulling out of Afghanistan next year and are again trying to position themselves as the protectors of the Taliban movement. To stay in power the Pakistanis will try co-opt the various jihadi groups and turn their attention to India. The best way to do this is to continue to fund them and then be able to show them they protected them from the drone strikes which has taken a toll on mid and senior level commanders. Also the US has focused heavily on the Haqqani network in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan and in Afghanistan. The drone strikes have almost killed the senior members of the Haqqani group on several occasions. The Haqqanis are loyal to the Pakistani government and the Pakistanis need them for influence in Afghanistan so the Pakistanis want them as strong as possible. To do this the Haqqanis need a relatively safe sanctuary which the drones do not give them. A strong Haqqani presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan gives the Pakistan military a strong influence on both sides of the border. A unstable Afghanistan actually gives Pakistan strategic depth against India which the Pakistani still view as their main enemy not the jihad movements in their own borders. Sadly the only way to keep Southwest Asia stable is for US forces in some form or another to be in Afghanistan for a very long time.

Monday, April 11, 2011

There is a new power in the Universe

It seems that our current administration has surrendered the US place as a leader in the world. A world power for centuries and since World War II sitting on the sidelines and complaining about US hegemony, France is again flexing its muscles as a world power. With its push to establish the no-fly zone over Libya, direct military intervention in the Ivory Coast, and now banning of face coverings for people in public (directed at the Islamic subjugation of women). I have said some nasty things about the French in recent years and yes meant all of them but as of right now good on them. I wish our current leadership would take some lessons.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Koran Burning

Afghans are up in arms about a stupid preacher burning a Koran accusing us of bigotry of insulting their religion yet just across the border in Pakistan Sunni Muslims are killing Sufi Muslims why are their not mass protests around the world?

Oh thats right I remember Islam is the last revelation and they are the only ones who can chose who is an apostate or infidel. There is no common sense in the Middle East and Southwest Asia as they see themselves as superior to everyone else but meanwhile they still live like it is the 7th century. Do not even ask what they do with their left hand. The hypocrisy of these people knows no bounds and they do not even see it themselves. Islam without some leverage being applied is never going to internally change. Individual Muslims may change but the overall direction of jihad central in Saudi Arabia and Tehran is not going to unless it is forced to.

You know

When you aim your AK at 45 degree angle you are not going to hit much if anything. The AK was not made for indirect fire. For that you need a mortar. Watch the video it goes without saying these guys have little to no training. My personal feeling that without an influx of Western heavy infantry and their associated heavy weapons Gaddafi's forces will continue to ground them up I sure hope the CIA, SAS, French and Egyptian special forces that are in country have an escape plan.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Kunar/Konar Province Afghanistan

As word filters out about new fighting in this province casualty announcements are also leaking out in the last few days of March six members of the 101st Airmobile division have been killed. Konar is home of the Korengal and Waigal Valleys which have been a source of intense combat for several years. Basically ISAF has surrendered most of this area to the Taliban when they gave up their outposts and decided on bigger bases and to conduct mobile operations in the area.

The 2011 fighting season has begun in earnest and in some places like Helmand it never ended.
In March the US suffered 31 KIA
Konar - 7 Borders Pakistan and is a funnel for fighters coming from the Tribal Areas. Except for the people that live in the valley along the Pech river who view us by what we can give them the people here HATE us. With a little aid from their friends in Pakistan they fight us every chance the get.
Khandahar - 7 The traditional homeland of the Taliban.
Helmand - 6 Has seen heavy fighting since the invasion of Afghanistan. Britain suffered almost all of their casualties here. The Marines took over last year and have been engaged in heavy fighting ever since. According to the General in charge of Marine operations in Helmand this summer they are moving to the border and are going to attempt to control the crossings from Pakistan. Stay tuned for this fight it is going to be bad.
Logar - 4
Wardak - 3
Kunduz - 1
Patika - 1
Khowst - 1 a traditional Haqqani Network stronghold maybe all the operations against them are paying off.
Ghazni - 1

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Wrong War

"You have to defeat the enemy on the battlefield before you can do anything else." I have started reading Bing West's "The Wrong War". I have a great deal of respect for General West's previous books especially "No True Glory" about the battle of Fallujah it will break your heart. Here is a taste of the book.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


It appears that the rebels have retaken the town of Ajdabiya. After British air strikes like this one you can understand why this is possible. While the British MOD claims this was to protect civilians it also appears to be tactical air strikes in preparation of the battlefield for the Rebels. Speaking of one of the rebels admitted to fighting against US forces in Afghanistan..... Great.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan the Marines in Helmand get ready for spring and the poppy season and the return of the Taliban and foreign fighters into the area. Putting Marines right on the border is going to be a nasty business and except some pretty significant action when that happens. Helmand borders the HQ of the Taliban in Pakistan and they have a significant recruiting base there. It is also one area of Pakistan that the government there will not allow Predator and Reaper drones. The ISI would not Mullah Omar to get killed by accident.

It looks like 3/5 is going to get to come home on time. This unit has seen some very serious action and a bunch of casualties in it six months in Sangin.

On the social matters front there is a special place in hell for this woman.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I need and more importantly the American people need a reason why we are involved in Libya. Follow me here if you would a minute. Yes Gaddafi is a tyrant and dictator and no friend to the U.S. or the West but is it up to the U.S. to fly combat mission on the country? There are some issues that need to be addressed.
1. Sec State Clinton herself said no-fly zones do not work.
2. Great Britain released one of the Lockerbie bombers due to pressure from BP so they could drill in Libya.
3. France imports 15% of their oil from Libya
Both of these countries have a lot to lose from an unstable Libya so why would they prefer the "rebels" over the current regime. While I try not to sound like a conspiracy nut here what does the US gain from being involved.
It seems to me that NATO had to be involved because the British nor the French have the command, control, communication and intelligence (C3I) to coordinate a coalition. For that they needed US involvement. It would seem our commander in chief (CinC) and his staff have no idea what they are doing and may have been duped into undertaking this operation.

Oh by the way the grand coalition they keep talking about...There were twice as many coalition partners for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Just saying.

Meanwhile the President says he has talked to enough members of congress to be OK with going to war. Yet there has been no formal hearings or consultations with congress on the current conflict. Today it was released that the CinC sent a letter to congress. Call me underwhelmed, again I ask what is the end game?

There are better rebellions to be supporting namely the one in Syria which could actually give the US a strategic victory if the Assad regime could be overthrown. While the Sunnis that take over probably will not be our friends it might be an opportunity to separate Syria from Hezbollah and Iran.

Back to Libya Mr. President we demand an answer.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Order of Battle

Wow according to Reuters this attack on Libya is being done on the cheap. Still the US does not have an aircraft carrier in the Med. I imagine there are some red faced admirals right now. There was a time when the U.S. had a carrier in the Med at all times.

Human Shields

Using the press as human shields not a bad idea and I do not know why the Brit held back al-Reuters and CNN they will be accusing the West of atrocities at any time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Foreign Fighters

In 2007 a cache of AQI documents was found after a raid in Sanjir Iraq which is on the Syrian border. This records were of 606 foreign fighters brought into Iraq to fight against US forces and the Iraqi government. Saudi Arabia (244) our friends and allies contributed more fighters than anyone else. The next country on the list was Libya (112) or 18.8%. All in all North Africa contributed 191 for 31% or foreign fighters.

This is something to think about when we rally behind the Libyan rebels/freedom fighters.

B2 Bombers

We have used B2 bombers to launch an attack against Libya's air forces. This is all well and good so we have blown holes in some concrete and destroyed some planes. Apparently Libya's air force has been grounded since yesterday's shoot down of a Mig23/27 over Benghazi. So the no fly zone is working.

Now we have other issues:
Qatar is sending planes but they will not drop bombs.
Some of the Arab League countries whose support we need are wavering because we are having to launch air to ground attacks against targets. Was how to impose a no-fly zone not explained to them?
China and Russia are already not happy about the ground strikes (hopefully this is just noise they have to do politically as they do not want to be seen backing anything the West does).
Let me be clear I do not agree that with Gaddafi when he says it is al-Qaeda leading the rebellion against him. However Libyans are well represented in Islamic terrorist groups including al-Qaeda and I think are very much involved with this rebellion. According to the link I added our military thinks the same thing as well. We are getting played by the rebellion and are providing close air support for a group that will not be any better than Gaddafi.

I still want to know what the end game is are we trying for regime change? Are we just going to keep Gaddafi's air force on the ground and let the rebels try to do everything else themselves (if this is the case they will lose)? Or like I said above are we going to try and shape the battlefield so the rebels can overcome Libya army and mercenaries.

To our counter-terrorism people be prepared Libya can still strike soft targets and if he cannot himself he has paid terrorists before he can again. Do not be surprised if some terrorist groups start seeing offers to fill their coffers in exchange for attacks to be launched.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Say a prayer

The men and women of our armed forces are about to be put in harms way yet again. The opening salvos of our involvement are already on the way into Libya. Also please take time out to do the same for our allies.

In saying this I sure hope we know who we are backing. The eastern part of Libya is full of AQ sympathizers and terrorists it would be something if these folks were duping the West and other Arab nations into setting them up with their own country to hate us from.

I would still like to know what the end game is going to be are we removing Libya's air power to make it more of an even fight or is the UN and the world looking at regime change? No one has yet explained this is a clear matter.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


When infidel armies damage a mosque people riot in the streets world wide. However when Muslims destroy a mosque no one seems to care.

"Many buildings have been destroyed including mosques. About 40 to 50 tanks are taking part in the bombardment. But they could not reach the centre of the town, which is still in the control of the revolutionaries,"

People do not realize the huge double standard used by Muslims and their sympathizers in the West. Here is a clue everything they do is to fight the imperialists everything we do is crusading against a peaceful religion. I would sure like to see rioting in Islamic countries about this incident but I doubt it is going to happen.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Broken Rifle Weekend

I have an Olympic Arms Heavy Barrel AR 15 from the assault weapons ban period which means that it does not have a bayonet lug on the rifle. I would not use the bayonet anyway that is why I have the Kukri machete. Speaking of that I have the zombie weapons at the tool sharpening place as I do not have a belt grinder to get the edge started. I was told that both machetes ( I also have a regular machete) will come back nearly shaving sharp from there I can keep maintained. There is something about a good carbon steel blade that once you get a working edge on it they will hold it forever (the dull machete from last summer is a funny story).

Anyway I digress I have started to feel better and thought I would get the rifle out and make sure it would pass inspection. So I begin to field strip it and the recoil spring buffer retainer and spring go shooting out of the weapon. This is an issue I thought I had corrected uh guess not. So I take the butt stock off and find that the buffer tube is loose (well there is your problem). So I tighten that down but since I do not have a torque wrench I just get it as tight as I can. I then get the weapon field stripped and notice that one of the bolt key screws is gone. CRAP then as I am taking the bolt apart the firing pin retention pin looks like it has seen better days. If I was braver I would also fix the ejector as well it looks rough but it seems to be working well. Then as I am putting the rifle back together a spring I have never seen before falls out of a hole that I have never seen before. Turns out that the take down detent and spring have fallen on hard times as well. This spring has seen way better days for sure and the detent is just gone. I did not think I was that hard on the rifle as I only usually put a magazine a month through it. Thankfully I have been around the Black Rifle for most of my adult life so I know my way around one a bit. Besides what I do not know the instructions are easy enough to find.

So I start getting on line to get the parts I need. First I hit Midway (they are sometimes pricing but usually have everything you need) and they have most of what I need (but not the take down spring and detent) then I remembered a company called Del-Ton who I was looking to buy an upper receiver from for a great price. They had the parts that Midway did not and for cheaper and when I mean cheaper it is hard to be much cheaper than the $1.99 I spent on a spring but they were and their shipping was also cheaper. I am looking forward to using them for parts in the future.

That gets me to another topic. My Queen has just about talked me into going to an online Gun smithing school and while I will not learn how to do the machining I will get everything else for mounting scopes and doing accessories.. Then Midway has a "How to Gunsmith an AR-15" course as well and Brownells has even more stuff. I could be done in year and have a way to earn a little money on the side for my projects.

How tyrants remain in power

With all the trouble brewing in Northern Africa and the Middle East I thought it might be worth a go to mention how tyrants in history have remained in power in the face of determined opposition. The tyrant in question either gives such a show of force or threat of violence they back down Napoleon's famous "give them a whiff of the grape" when he stopped a group of rioters in France. Hitler had his "Night of the Long Knives," Idi Amin just ate everyone that got in his way. Qaddafi has chosen to fight to stay in power and it looks like he is pulling out all the stops. If we want the rebellion to succeed we are going to have to help and I do not mean boots on the ground. Once we get a carrier group back in the Med (I have spoken on this and cannot believe we do not have one there anyway like we usually do.) Then we sweep the skies clear of Libyan air power. It would be better actually if the Egyptians did it but they are in such a mess as it is the U.S. will probably have to since NATO has already stated they are not messing with Libya at all.

Oh and the U.S. government has still not declared the attack and murder of our airmen in Germany as an act of Terrorism.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Great New Book

I am currently reading a great book call "Grunts" by John C. McManus. Here is a Paragraph from the chapter on Marine Combined Action Platoons (CAP) in Vietnam. For a little background on this program Marines and Corpsman were sent at first to local villages around the Marine base at Phu Bai. These Marines were sent to augment the PF (think village militia) at these villages. The Marines would eat, live, patrol, go on ambushes, and protect the villagers from the Viet Cong. Does any of this sound familiar? This is Counter Insurgency warfare something the Marine Corps has been doing for a very long time. I am going to add somethings to this paragraph so that it will be relevant to today's conflicts.

"The average Vietnamese (Afghani) peasant was caught in the middle of a vicious struggle that raged among the PFs, ARVN (South Vietnamese Military), the NVA (North Vietnamese Army, the V.C. (Taliban) and the American. This meant that most of the people simply wanted the security to be left alone and live their lives in peace. 'Its not that so many people in Vietnam are Viet Cont,' one CAP leader explained as the combined action program was just starting to grow. ' Its that most of them will swing with... whoever's got the strength. Because they don't have anything to lose by going over to the Viet Cong (Taliban) are in their village; or going back to the government when the government comes in the village. But now you've got a ville that's go khaki (a CAP) in it its got medical attention there, its got people that care and people that show some friendliness and some interest. So the villager like any other human being begins to develop loyalties(McManus, 2010)."

No do not get me wrong the Marines were not there roasting marshmallows they were killing VC and NVA alongside their PFs. They were defending their new homes and the homes of the villagers. Currently we are in the COIN fight of our lives and now that we are re-learning the book turns out there was already one written. Yes the new COIN operations are loosely based on what the Marine Corps has done in the past we still though have a penchant for large scale search and destroy missions they failed in the 60s I just hope we will get it right this time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Terrorism in Germany

I have have written several times small gunfire attacks such as the one in Germany can be more successful than the big explosions. It seems that the Wahabi influence is spreading to Kosovo which is an area that while Muslim is not known for making their women wear the hijab and enforcing the usual hard core Muslim laws. However the influence of Saudi petro dollars, mosque building, and missionary work is starting to pay off for potential terrorist cells.

What I can see happening is that a group of young men started going to the mosque and learning how America is evil etc. Then someone says they need to take up arms against the infidel and they went for the soft target ie off duty airmen.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Great Vid on the Muslim Brotherhood

My favorite Quote is that the Western Political left the that support the Muslim Brotherhood are "political idiots"

Gen West

If you have not read Gen. West you really should he is fast becoming in my mind the Marine Historian of the long war. This artile concerns Marines in Sangin, Afghanistan. All five of my readers should know I write about Marines in Helman very often. Gen. West is currently embedded in the Marines in Sangin

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Land Wars in Asia

I have a thought that seems to make a lot of sense so bear with me here. During the first Gulf War we went in did our thing and got the heck out no resistance sprang up against us (except bin Laden who threw a fit). During the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan we went in to oust the Taliban and al-Qaeda during this time we had world wide support. 2003 we invade and topple Saddam Hussein and while we did not have the support no one was really going to miss this guy except the French and the Russians who were doing business with him. It was only after we stayed in Afghanistan and Iraq to nation build did resistance movements hit us full force.

Defense Sec. Gates has said that any Sec. Def. that proposes to a President to send a sizable US force into the Middle East or Africa "should have their head examined.' Heck we even learn that from The Princess Bride.

I have been mulling over an alternative to this and it is cold blooded and not the least bit humanitarian. It is a fact of life that we will have to intervene in this area again at some point. Whether it be in Iran or back to Afghanistan if the Taliban or a version of them takes the country back over. The next time we go in do what we went in to do and leave that means leaving the enemy dead on the ground and their infrastructure destroyed. The people of the Middle East while being able to tolerate Westerners for a short period of time have no desire to have a mini Marshall plan done on their country if foreigners will have to be there for an extended period of time. To them this smacks of occupation and that they will not tolerate. The Iraqis thought they could take over as soon as the Hussien regime was toppled well we should have let them and from here on out when we have to intervene we follow the same steps we did during and after Desert Storm. Get in get out and leave the rebuilding to someone else.

Writing on the Wall

A couple a weeks ago I posted this about the revolution in Egypt. Well as any number of people who knew what the Muslim Brotherhood was about and the Islamic awaking going on in Egypt could have see what would happen. Attacks on the by the military and police on the Copts has begun. It has gone from tearing down a wall in front of a Monastery that the monks built to protect themselves because the army and police refused to. To a full assault on the monastery.

Reports from the St Bishoy Monastery show that the Egyptian military launched a significant attack against unarmed Monks. Also the soldiers shouting "God is Great and Victory" means there was a religious motive to the attack. That is some victory over defenseless monks.

"When we tried to address them, the army fired live bullets, wounding Father Feltaows in the leg and Father Barnabas in the abdomen, said Monk Ava Bishoy. Six Coptic workers in the monastery were also injured, some with serious injuries to the chest. Father Hemanot Ava Bishoy said the army fired live ammunition and RPGs continuously for 30 minutes, which hit part of the ancient fence inside the monastery. The army was shocked to see the monks standing there praying 'Lord have mercy' without running away. This is what really upset them, AINA reported he said. "As the soldiers were demolishing the gate and the fence they were chanting, 'Allahu Akbar' and 'Victory, Victory(1)."

There has been no action or statement by any Western power or the U.N.
Maybe the U.S. is re-thinking the billions of dollars spent arming and training the Egyptian military. It is no wonder the Copts either back Mubarak or were neutral during the revolt as they could read the writing on the wall as well. I hope these people decide to leave before they lose more than a monastery.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Taliban COIN

This is not the first time the Taliban have had to step back and evaluate civilian deaths. A few years ago in Afghanistan this was a topic of discussion for them and AQI had to be admonished for killing fellow Muslims as well.

It seems that the Haqqanis have been bad and the Taliban is now having to struggle to fix their image. It is interesting to note though that the Afghan people blame the U.S. and NATO no matter who is killing civilians if we do it it is because we hate Muslims or are careless. If the Taliban do it it is because we caused the war by invading Afghanistan in the first place. I love Arab/Muslim logic their believe in conspiracy theories knows no bounds. First they say Muslims could not have done 9/11 but then celebrate OBL for conducting the attacks. Hezbollah attacks and capture several IDF soldiers inside of Israel...Israel gets blamed for retaliating.

Friday, February 25, 2011

North Africa and the Middle East are on fire

Then I hear tonight that the U.S. does not have a carrier in the Med for the first time in decades.. WTF is this why we had to use a ferry to get our citizens out of Libya? This is stupidity of the highest magnitude. Wow is all I have to say.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The world seems on the brink of something

Being a student of history from what I have read about the run up to WWI and WWII it seems that is where the world is today. Vast radical political movements and countries arming like they are getting ready to go at it.

I wonder what it is going take set the world off again? I also wonder when the American public is going to stop drinking their lattes and see what is going on outside their immediate circle of influence? I would have thought 9/11 would have done it but I was wrong as the American people's attention span went back to American Idol and Suvivor

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Commandant's vision of the Corps

With Sec, Gates recent attacks on the Corps the Commandant responded with his vision of the Corps going forward.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Shock Action

"Fire and fire only is hopeless if the enemy ever makes contact. Weapons of shock are the crusher and pincers which are held in the hands of the assailant. Shock weapons are the military instruments par excellence. They are not only employed by courageous fighters anxious to close with the enemy, deliver him a blow, and win a decision, but they are truly the deadly. They win battles. (H. Turney-High, Primitive War: Its Practice and Concepts, 12).

Great Video

I have been talking lately about the Marines in Helmand province primarily around Sangin. The BBC has placed an excellent show about this area out on you-tube (Thanks HPS for the tip). This action involves clearing a 900 meter stretch of road known as bomb alley.

Also just for the fun of it a Marine ambush of the Taliban for a change


I have been watching this and wondering how our State Department and Executive could be getting this so wrong. It is like they are wanting to cause a power vacuum in there that the Muslim Brotherhood can step right into. There is enough literature out that shows exactly what the Brotherhood believes in that I do not need to add to it however keep in mind this group gave us al-Qaeda and HAMAS and fuel militant Islam throughout the world.

Yes I am all for democracy wherever it can take root however there is nothing at all to be said for letting the Egyptians be able to vote one time and then having it taken away or become meaningless. The Egyptian woman you see going around without head scarves...if the MB takes over that is gone, violence against the Christian Copts will increase, and our best ally in the area Israel will face enemies on all directions.

I am really beginning to wonder where our leaders heads are.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons and other stuff

In a move to cause regional issues Pakistan is moving forward with an arms race of one to build new nuclear weapons. From the New York Times "American assessments, suggest that the number of deployed weapons now ranges from the mid-90s to more than 110. When Mr. Obama came to office, his aides were told that the arsenal “was in the mid-to-high 70s,” according to one official who had been briefed at the time, though estimates ranged from 60 to 90." Pakistan already far exceeds the weapons needed to blast India into a nuclear wasteland, so why the build up and why now? Does the Pakistan military view the U.S. as unable and unwilling to say enough is enough? These weapons do not help Pakistan in its war against their own insurgency, India is unlikely to come pouring across the border and ignite its own very large Muslim population.

This theory has no basis in fact and is just that a theory but one way to infuse a lot of cash is to be building these weapons on contract for another country say Iran or N. Korea or selling them on the open market.

As the Chinese curse goes "may you live in interesting times." Combine this with the leaderless revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan and the world is in for some interesting times.

A word on the protests rocking northern Africa and Jordan there is only one group organized enough to fill the power vacuum left by regimes falling. These are the Muslim groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated organizations. Already Mohammed el Baradei is negotiating with the Muslim Brotherhood for a coalition government. The Brotherhood member has already asked the Egyptian people to prepare for war against Israel. If the Brotherhood does come to power in Egypt Israel will be surrounded all it would take then is for Iran to say go and Hezbollah and Hamas will launch attacks followed possibly or in conjunction with an Egyptian military the US has been arming and training for over 20 years.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weapons of the Taliban

The Taliban prefer to use the weapons that have held them in good steed since the Soviet invasion. Except now they use suicide bombers as a guided weapon. This tactic was not seen much if at all during the anti-Soviet jihad. This shows the influence of al-Qaeda and like minded groups have on the current insurgency in Afghanistan.

Taliban ambushes some times begin with an IED going off followed by a volley of Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG), recoilless rifle, mortar, medium machine gun (PK, PKM) fire, and if they can get them heavier DsHK 12.7 and 14.5 mm machine guns. Recently in Helmand province there are reports of sharpshooters armed with old bolt action Lee Enfields, Mosin Nagants and occasionally SVD sniper rifles. These weapons are supported by AK-47 carrying members of the unit. Assaults on bases especially at the battle of Wanat describe RPG fire hitting like machine gun fire. Also unguided 122 and 107mm rockets are used in single and multiple launch configuration. There are what are often used when the news mentions a rocket attack at such and such a place.
While not a comprehensive list this should give the reader an idea of the weapons being used against US and allied forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Embedded in this post are links to stories and video about that weapons system.

Rocket Propelled Grenades: Can knock out a humvee, Bradley, or a Stryker with one hit can be effective against heavier armor if fired from behind or the sides. Against infantry the RPG has anti personnel effects similar to that of a grenade.

RPG-7 Range Max Effective 500 meters can fire a variety of anti armor and personnel rounds Rate of fire up to 6 per minute. You see Taliban gunners carrying the launch tube and several rounds in a back pack. Other members of the unit will also carry rounds for the weapon.

Recoilless Rifle: Where developed as an anti-tank weapon along the lines of the WWII Bazooka. This is a heavy weapon used in assaults on bases but can be used in a prepared ambush.
SPG-9 73 mm there are many images of this weapon in theater as well. It has a range of 1000-1300 meters and can fire anti tank or anti personnel rounds.
B-10 82 mm fires a larger warhead with a maximum aimed ranged of 1000 meters and maximum range of 4500 m.

Mortars: Are more effective than the same caliber of artillery shell due to a higher busting charge because the round does not have to be fired down a rifled barrel.
Russian/Chinese/Pakistani: 82 MM Mortar: Range 4100 m max can fire up to 30 rounds per minute. Casualty radius 30m for troops in the open 18 meters for troops on the ground.

Heavy Machine Guns have been used for fixed defenses, prepared ambushes, and attacks on bases. As their name implies these things are heavy and take a lot of manpower to set up and keep the weapon fed. I saw a video of a fixed Taliban ambush site which they do not move that had a 14.5 mm set up under camo netting in a good fixed position and they would take pot shots at vehicles as they drove by. Either one of these two weapons can defeat the armor of a humvee and the KPV can penetrate a Stryker and Bradley if they are not up armored.

DShK 12.7 mm Machine Gun
Empty Weight: around 80lbs- tripod
Rate of Fire: 100 rpm practical 600 rpm cyclic
Range: 2000 meters
Post-war DShKM with the shield discarded. Note the flat belt-feed unit.

KPV can be used
Caliber 14.5
Weight with ground mount: 176 lbs
Range: 2000 meters,
Armor Penetration: 20mm at 1000 m/30mm at 500 m
Vladimirov KPV-14.5 heavy machine gun on Kharanin-designed wheeled mount, view on the receiver and controls.

PK/PKM medium machine guns
Caliber 7.62x54mm
Loaded weight about 18lbs
Rate of fire 250 rpm practical Cyclic: 650
Range: 1500-2000 meters

Sniper rifles: The Afghans have had a history of marksmanship until the coming of the AK-47. As mentioned above the Marine Corps and the British came across sharpshooters in Helmand province armed with weapons from WWI and WWII. These rifles fire a full sized 7.62 round in the case of the Nagant and the SVD it is the same round fired from the PK series of machine guns making resupply easier.

Lee-Enfield adapted into service 1895
Caliber: 303
Bolt Action/10 round Magazine
Range: Out to 1000 yards.
SMLE mk. III*, made in 1916 (cutoff already omitted from design). image by Alan Blank

Mosin Nagant adapted into service 1891
Caliber: 7.62x54R
Bolt Action / 5 round Magazine
Range: 1000
Was used as a sniper rifle during WWII
 M 1891-30 Sniper rifle.

SVD sniper rifles are also being used in Afghanistan
Caliber 7.62x54R
Semi Automatic 10 round magazine
Range up to 1000 meters (not hitting much).
 Original SVD rifle with wooden furniture, right side.

AK-47 - This weapon still in production has been produced in greater numbers than any other small arm in history. It is so iconic it is on Hezbollah's flag and the National flag of Mozambique.
Weight Loaded: 8.36 lbs
Magazine: 30 rounds
Rate of Fire 600 rpm cyclic/100 rpm practical / 40 rpm semi
Effective Range: 300 meters

Kalashnikov AKMS - AKM with folding buttstock

The AK 47 is one of the most dependable firearms ever made. While it is not light, it does not boast the accuracy of the M16 (I have used the AK and the AR15 to hunt with and find both acceptable) it will shoot every time the user pulls the trigger. Since the AK was designed as a suppression weapon so that either supporting arms can finish of the enemy or to keep heads down until the assault is close enough that accuracy does not matter.

Grenades: This is a mixed bag from all over the world
This is the Russian F1 Grenade pretty typical of all grenades useful in assaults and urban fighting. Has an effective status of 20-30 meters on troops not in cover. Range as far as the user can throw it.

The calibers of the small arms are limited to three 7.62x39, 7.62x54, and in some cases .303 this eases supply problems for any type of force when the number of rounds used are kept to a minimum. The Taliban on a whole do not shoot well and use their weapons on fully automatic and spray and pray. If this were to change the fight in Afghanistan will get much more difficult.

While the list is not inclusive of every weapon being used in the Taliban this hopefully will inform the reader on what is being seen on the front lines on a daily basis.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Marine Tanks in Afghanistan

Leave it to the Marines of all US forces to bring tanks into Afghanistan. The M1A1 will provide the Marines with long range precision fires and nothing says in your face like a tank unit rolling up on a position. Yes I know the Soviets had tanks all over Afghanistan during their stay there but I would hope the Marines would have better sense than to replicate the tactics they used. “We also hope to intimidate the enemy and provide superior and accurate firepower to kill the enemy, and only the enemy.”

Khost Afghanistan

Dawn news is reporting a pretty large scale battle in Khost overnight 10 Taliban (I am thinking Haqqani network fighters since this is they home base) killed and 12 captured. Three suicide bombers detonated their vests killing a woman and injuring a child. It appears that this group launched an attack while Afghan and US forces were about to go on a joint patrol (not a bad idea) but then after several hours of fighting got rolled up.

Russia getting rid of the AK

The Russian Defense Minister said it is time to get rid of the AK-47? Well for one thing the Russians do not use the AK-47 anymore and have not since the 1970s when they switched to the AK-74. There will be more on this later as the so called defense expert said the M4 is the gold standard in military small arms.

More on this later as have been working on an opinion piece that U.S. forces are under gunned in the small arms department. More on this to come

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why can out military not defend itself inside the US

There have been two successful attacks that against US Army installations in the last few years. This brings my to my point why can soldiers not defend themselves outside of a war zone? The soldiers at Ft. Hood were out processing to go to Afghanistan yet there was not a loaded weapon in the place except for a civilian police officer. In Little Rock the same thing was in place the young men just back from boot camp were not armed and neither were any of the recruiters.

If there is a segment of our society that I would expect to be armed it would be our armed forces. Yet the military is making it harder for them to be that way at home. Yes there is a law about the armed forces carrying out operations inside of the US. There is no law however that should leave them defenseless in case of an attack.

U.S. Terrorism 2010

In 2010 according to the National Counter Terrorism Center there were four successful acts of terrorism in 2010 all of these conducted by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). From 2004 to the third quarter of 2010 there have been 39 successful terrorist attacks carried out in the US and Canada.
5 Islamic related
20 Animal Liberation Front / Earth Liberation Front
5 Anarchist
9 unknown
What these numbers hide however are the over 20 attempted attacks by Muslim terrorists in the US alone in 2010. According to a Department of Homeland Security in a report issued in May of 2010 that stated in part "The evolving threat and increasing resilience of al-Qa-ida and other terrorist organizations have be highlighted by the number of recent domestic events, including the Times Square bombing attempt, the Fort Hood attack, and the December 2009 airline bomb plot. The number and pace of attempted attacks against the United States over the past nine months have surpassed the number of attempts during any other one year period." This report did not report the bombs mailed from Yemen or the attempted attack in Oregon in November of 2010. Islamic terrorists love spectacular attacks car bombings, suicide bombings, vehicle suicide bombings etc...In the U.S. these types of attacks so far have failed due to good luck and intelligence on our side and bad luck on the terrorist side.

The reaction to the Fort Hood shooting attack and the recent killings in Tuscon by a deranged man should give AQ a new type of tactic to focus on. While this analysis is very cold it is the truth. Simple mass gunfire attacks have a better chance at success and the fallout in US political circles is huge also there is the terror that the jihadist so much want to sow. Where will the next attack fall? So far there have been two successful jihadist gunfire attacks in the US one at an Army recruiting station in Little Rock, AR and the second at Ft. Hood, TX. Firearms while needing skill to use require less than bomb making and planting.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

this is a bit dated but I think still rings true

After the 9/11 and the anthrax attacks that occurred in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon the government and media of the United States saw a nuclear weapon on every containership coming into a port and a biological agent in every envelope. The Anthrax attacks were particularly frightening because they occurred soon after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 letters laced with anthrax began appearing in the U.S. mail. Five Americans were killed, 17 were sickened, and the nation was terrorized in what became the worst biological attacks in U.S. history . The threat of terrorists getting Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) was also used as a pretext for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The WMD threat is an especially difficult issue for policymakers because of the virtual impossibility of preparing in a comprehensive way for the huge variety of potential attacks and the many toxic and chemical substances that might be used . By focusing on what potentially is the most deadly but also hardest, attack to commit the United States is diluting the effort to combat terror by not focusing on other more viable threats. A nuclear weapon detonating in a U.S. city would cause massive casualties. The Threat of WMD use especially nuclear weapons is horrific with the effects being:
The energy of a nuclear explosion is transferred to the surrounding medium in three distinct forms: blast; thermal radiation; and nuclear radiation. The distribution of energy among these three forms will depend on the yield of the weapon, the location of the burst, and the characteristics of the environment. For a low altitude atmospheric detonation of a moderate sized weapon in the kiloton range, the energy is distributed roughly as follows:
50% as blast;
35% as thermal radiation; made up of a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum, including infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light and some soft x-ray emitted at the time of the explosion; and
15% as nuclear radiation; including 5% as initial ionizing radiation consisting chiefly of neutrons and gamma rays emitted within the first minute after detonation, and 10% as residual nuclear radiation. Residual nuclear radiation is the hazard in fallout .

Hiroshima after being attacked by an atomic bomb
Despite the horrific effects of a nuclear weapon on a city it is still difficult to obtain and detonate nuclear weapons. Terrorists have much easier options such as suicide bombings, conventional gunfire and bombing attacks as well as using chemical agents. The threat of WMD use especially nuclear weapons has caused the United States government to focus on preventing terrorist groups from acquiring and bringing nuclear weapons into the country. This strategy as well intentioned but it is has caused a loss of focus on the true capabilities and intentions of terrorists groups. The terrorist cells that have been arrested in the United States may have desired a nuclear weapon but so far none seem to have the means to acquire one. These groups however can cause mass casualties through the use of explosives. This was seen in the first attack on the World Trade Center and the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City which killed 168 people and until 9/11 was the worst incident of terror on United States soil. Since 2004 there have been 24 confirmed terrorist attacks in the United States . The attacks carried out in the United States actually reflect the methods terrorists are using and paint a better picture of capabilities of these groups. It is these methods and groups that should be the focus of domestic anti-terrorism resources.
Terrorist Attack Methods 2004-2009
Arson / Incendiary 11
Bombings 8
Shootings 3
Chemical / Biological 2

The focus on WMDs has taken law-enforcement and intelligence resources away from the more likely capabilities of terrorism. These policies have left the United States even more vulnerable to conventional attacks. Dirty bomb and chemical threats can be developed from hazardous material, yet over the past three years funds for secure disposal of these items has been drastically reduced. While only four people have been killed and twenty one wounded by terrorist attacks in the United States since 2004 the focus continues to be the constant worry over a nuclear detonation. When the focus should be on the known groups and their current capabilities if these groups can be rolled up now the chances of the acquisition of WMD will be diminished.
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack and the follow on invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq have ushered in a new age of terrorism. The United States and its NATO allies attacked Afghanistan and drove the Taliban and al Qaeda into Pakistan and other parts of the world. This attack and the world wide hunt for al-Qaeda has killed, captured, and disrupted the older cadres of the group. This older cadre consisted of Afghan war veterans and the younger men who took to the call of jihad after the Soviet Union pulled out of Afghanistan. The third wave of terrorists which the United States and the world are combating now comes from the worldwide Diaspora of Muslims spread throughout the world. This group is made up of the children of émigrés or childhood immigrants themselves to the West. These under or un-employed young men are becoming self-radicalized from radical imams, literature, and the internet.
While the September 11, 2001 attacks forged a new united front against international terrorism that in itself will not help solve the problem. This united front against terrorism however faces difficulties when the terrorists are citizens or legal aliens of the country they are attacking. The Madrid train bombers for example were self financed and reasonably well to do, most were legal Spanish residents, and many were married with children. However they were radicalized by the internet and other media. This has been a focus of al-Qaeda and other groups. As-Sahab is Al Qaeda's technically sophisticated propaganda unit, responsible for the group's Internet videos and all other postings and communications. It is presumed to conduct its work from a hideout in northern Pakistan or southern Afghanistan, in close proximity to Al Qaeda's leadership. As-Sahab emphasizes Islamic theology in buttressing its calls to violence, and preaches that jihad is mandatory for Muslims. Messages also focus on maintaining Islamic unity in the face of psychological warfare tactics initiated by the United States and its allies. The United States also faces these self starter groups as several plots have disrupted in the last few years. These attempted attacks have not come from terrorist snuck into the country to perform attacks but from Muslim citizens, converts to Islam, and long term residents. In September of 2009 three legal U.S. residents were charged with lying to the FBI during an investigation and one was charged with plotting to set off a weapon of mass destruction, also another U.S. citizen was arrested for trying to detonate a truck bombing in Illinois. In Texas an illegal alien from Jordan was also arrested trying to detonate a truck bomb in Dallas. These domestic terrorists are the new face if Islamic terrorism.
Islamic terrorism is not the only terror issue being addressed by the United States currently. The right wing and single issue terror groups are also capable of launching deadly attacks. The largest being the attack on the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City which until 9/11 was the largest terrorist attack on United States soil. This attack was a shock to the United States as it was not committed by a Muslim sect but by a crew cut white man. This is not to say that Right Wing and Islamic groups are committing the most terrorist attacks in the United States. Single issue groups such as the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) has committed more than 600 crimes since 1996 and in 2002 stated it would “no longer hesitate to pick up the gun. ” Since 2004 the environmental groups have committed 11 acts of terrorism in the United States the most of any group that has been identified .

The United States faces several threats not only from trans-national groups such as al-Qaeda and Hezbollah but also from self radicalized Muslims and members of the far right and single issue groups. These threats have changed the way that Federal law-enforcement operates as the FBI is now focused on counter-terrorism. The FBI's overriding priority is to protect America from terrorism attacks. The FBI’s new counter-terrorism mission is to identify and disrupt potential terrorist plots by individuals or terror cells, freezing terrorist finances, sharing information with law enforcement and intelligence partners worldwide, and providing strategic and operational threat analysis to the wider intelligence community . The government’s reaction to the terrorist threat has also led some to believe that there has been a reduction in civil liberties with the passage of the Patriot Act. If there is another mass casualty attack that is generated from inside the United States there maybe a further call for an increase in law-enforcement and intelligence gathering powers in the United States. While terrorism was not new to the United States before September 11, 2001 and further attacks and attempted attacks have continued since, the publics’ and government’s attention has been sharply focused on the subject of terrorism. However the vision may not be a broad as needed as it seems to focus on one group, Islamic terrorism at the expense of others.

Since this was written the Ft. Hood attack took place as well as several more disrupted attacks.

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