Chinese S-400s

During the next 18 months, China will begin receiving their shipment of Russian made S-400s. It can be assumed that they will be deployed in the vicinity of Taiwan and in the South China Sea.  Knowing the capability of these systems how would you circumvent or defeat theses systems from the sea?

Posted on January 26, 2016 .

Is fighting Terrorism a legitimate effort?

Terrorism is the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area or organization as a way of trying to achieve a political goal. Terrorism is not an ideology, or even a philosophy.  It is merely a tactic to be used to turn public opinion. Does it make any sense to have a war against a tactic? 

Posted on December 23, 2015 .

Should pilots get promoted while in flight school?

The question I am about to propose is heresy in many circles.

Flight school takes a long time.  Length of time varies based on what you are going to fly and which service you are in.  There are other schools that take a particularly long time as well, such as Nuclear Power school. The question is should service members attending instructional courses at the beginning of their careers be earning time in grade for promotion?

It is not uncommon for a Marine Corps fixed wing pilot to spend such a long time in flight school that he/she arrive at their squadron as Captains.  A Captain in the Infantry is a very experienced leader, but a Captain fresh out of the training squadron is as inexperienced as a 2ndLt.  Should they wait until they are complete with their basic MOS training before beginning to accrue time in grade for promotion?

If this were the case, for pilots and all other MOS', what would be the benefits to the force and to the service member?

Posted on September 23, 2015 .

Strategy vs Technology

During World War II, Admirals and Generals focused on strategic and operational decisions which were then passed on to their subordinates in the form of commanders guidance.  These same subordinates were expected to shape their operational and tactical plans around this commanders guidance.  

Today, Admirals and Generals (sometimes even Presidents) spend much of their time playing platoon commander.  They are focused on ISR feeds, deciding whether or not something is a valid shoot or not.  They are looking at maintenance status of individual units and questioning why this brigade or that squadron hasn't improved their readiness.  Tactical units, even SOF, need to submit confirmation briefs to a dozen different organizations to get permission to execute a platoon raid to grab a mid level insurgent leader, delaying their reaction time, but ensuring that every flag officer between them and the President has a chance to weigh in.

Is this because technology allows it, or because the stakes are so small that the Admirals and Generals just don't have anything strategically important to worry about? What are your thoughts?

Posted on September 17, 2015 .

Barriers to Autonomy in the Department of Defense

There are many efforts within the Department of Defense to produce autonomous systems.  In 2000 Congress mandated a goal of 1/3 of DoD air vehicles being autonomous by 2012 and 1/3 of DoD ground vehicles being autonomous by 2015.  We are not there yet, the question is why?  Is it because of technological advancement, or is it organizational?

Posted on March 18, 2015 .

Surface Connector

Today at Sea-Air-Space, the Marine Corps discussed that the need to bridge the gap between ship and shore in an advanced Anti-access/Area Denial environment was going to be a joint effort.  The Marine Corps already has the AAV-7 which can swim from ship to shore at around 5-7knots, the new ACV phase 1.1 will have similar swimming capability, but in order for the Marines to be combat effective on arrival, the goal would be to keep the transit under an hour.  This means that the amphibious ship is going to have to come inside the visible horizon to drop them off.  This is obviously not a survivable tactic in the modern era.  

The Marine Corps understands this and is investigating methods for bridging the distance from a minimum of 65 miles of the coast to the drop off point.  Even going so far as to give the U.S. Navy money to use to develop the capability.


How would you bridge the gap?  What would be a useful platform for that penetration and how would it be equipped?

Posted on April 7, 2014 .