Bierce Defines Battle – Today’s Quote

Battle, n., A method of untying with the teeth a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.

Journalist & Civil War First Lieutenant Ambrose Bierce

Andrew’s Note:  Do you think Bierce ever experienced “red line” diplomacy?

Mike Hoare’s Top 10 Rules of Battle

I love reading books about history and I especially enjoy military history.  Currently I’m listening to Lieutenant Colonel Mike Hoare’s memoir Congo Mercenary which he self narrated.  You don’t expect an adventurer and mercenary to to have a flair for writing but I’m really enjoying the book and am especially enjoying Hoare’s descriptions of the characters he met and commanded as well as what life was like in central Africa in the 1960’s.  As you can tell by his rules, he had rather a romantic outlook on life but many of his rules are nevertheless, timeless maxims for soldiers and those going into harm’s way.  I’ve added a few notes at the end if any of the rules leave you a little puzzled.

Hoare named his Congo Unit, 5 Commando (he’d led 4 Commando in a previous action in the Congolese province of Katanga).  Here are Mike Hoare’s Top 10 Rules of Battle:

5 Commando’s Rules of Battle

1) Pray to God daily.

2) Make a fetish of personal cleanliness; take pride in your appearance.  Even in the midst of battle; shave every day without fail.

3) Clean and protect your weapon always.  They must be bright clean and slightly oiled.  Examine your ammunition frequently.  Check and clean your magazine springs and clips. (more…)

Water or WARter – Today’s Quote

Water is the essence of life.  But drinkable, fresh water is at a premium.  Rising populations, poor water use and shortages in key areas are all major factors.

NATO Review Magazine via Water or WARter Video?

Book Review: American Sniper by Chris Kyle

I recently finished the book American Sniper:  The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice.  Kyle’s wife Taya wasn’t credited but also contributed significantly to the book.

When I bought the book I expected it to be an account of the weapons and tactics that led Chief Petty Office Chris Kyle of S.E.A.L. Team 3 to become the most ‘lethal’ U.S. sniper in history surpassing the legendary Marine Carlos Hathcock’s Vietnam era record by over 50%.  I expected Kyle’s book to be very similar to Hathcock’s Carlos Hathcock: Marine Sniper : War Stories And Tactical Tips From The Master Sniper which is also a great read…but what I ended up with was a love story.  Don’t get me wrong, Kyle’s book has lots of war stories and countless humorous anecdotes of his life as a Navy S.E.A.L.,  but he didn’t focus nearly as much on the mechanics of shooting as he did on the decisions, situations and loves that led him placed him in the positions that led to his lethal record.

I love a good military autobiography and the psychological makeup of snipers makes their stories particularly compelling.  As I mentioned above I’ve read Hathcock’s book as well as the autobiography of  Vassili Zaitsev, NOTES OF A RUSSIAN SNIPER which was made into the movie Enemy At The Gates.  As much as I enjoyed those books Kyle’s was something broader and in some ways more compelling.

Kyle told the story of his life, his S.E.A.L training, peacetime duty, and his four tours of duty in Iraq (including his contributions to the Second Battle of Falluja, the Battle of Ramadi, as well as various incursions into Sadr City) interspersed with the story of and the conflicts between his three great loves.

Love of Profession (more…)

The Real North Korean Threat

Frequent Prepography contributor Roger Reality wrote in to ask that I remind our readers that the 27 year old Leader of North Korea, Kim Jung-un just scrapped the 1953 Armistice that ended…really just hit the ‘pause button’ on the Korean War.  His declaration technically returns us to state of open warfare with the Stalinist state.

This puts us in a state of war with another nuclear armed nation…the first time this has ever happened.  I should also mention that this nuclear armed nation has also successfully launched a satellite into orbit demonstrating what is essentially an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability.  Put together ICBM and nuclear capabilities and we’ve got a whole new kind of threat to worry about…and it likely isn’t the one you’re thinking about right now. (more…)

A Nuclear Axis of Evil

As I listened to the President’s State of the Union address last night I couldn’t help but remember the same speech eleven years ago when another President described the ‘Axis of Evil.’  If you’ll recall the Axis included Iraq, Iran and North Korea.  The only thing worse than an Axis of Evil is a Nuclear Axis of Evil.

In case you’ve been on a low information diet this week… North Korea apparently detonated another nuclear weapon amid a blitz of anti-U.S. rhetoric.

(more…)

Middle East Escalation in a Dangerous World

The news reports have been particularly troubling lately especially considering our increasingly dangerous world.  It almost makes you long for the stability of the Cold War and Détente.  Here are a couple of examples out of the Middle East.

An apparent Israeli incursion into Syria…

Israel must defend itself but now we’re mixing Israel, Hezbollah, Iran, U.S. interests, European interests, Russian interests and the rest of the world interested to boot.  Complicate that by having Persian, Shia’, Iran assisting Sunni, Arab (Ba’ath Party) Syria and the situation gets very volatile.  Oil supplies are in jeopardy, there’s risk of violence escalating generally throughout the region and one of Israel’s other neighbors (Egypt) is being run by the Muslim Brotherhood…where there’s rioting in the streets.

Conflicting accounts emerged Wednesday over an apparent Israeli airstrike inside Syrian territory earlier in the day—with several regional and Western officials saying Israeli jets had struck a convoy of trucks carrying arms near the Lebanon-Syria border, while Syria’s state media described an Israeli strike on a military facility near Damascus.

via Syria Says Israel Struck Military Site, as Accounts Diverge – WSJ.com.

Iranian response for an attack on Syria?

Issuing Tehran’s strongest warning to date, a top Iranian official said Saturday that any attack on Syria would be deemed an attack on Iran, a sign that it will do all it can to protect embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made his comments as Syrian troops conducted offensive air raids against rebels and discovered a trio of tunnels they were using to smuggle weapons in their fight to topple Assad.

via News from The Associated Press

Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Chicago, Libya, Mali, Philippines, oh my it’s a dangerous world!  Are you prepared for this dangerous world?

News to Know

Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global.  Today we present news to know from the past week with a dab of commentary:

Security Threat News:

DHS Admits It Is Unprepared for EMP Threat:  The Department of Homeland Security says that our electrical grid is even more vulnerable to an Electromagnetic Pulse attack than we were a few years ago.

Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires:  If true, Al-Qaeda has found an extremely efficient and low risk way damage Western society.

‘Killing Is The Solution,’ Gang Member Tells Walter Jacobson:  A disturbing look inside the thought process of a street gang member.  Give some thought to what’s between your family and people like this…then take appropriate steps.

Communication News:

Britain in talks on cybersecurity hotline with China and Russia:  In all the old movies the nuclear hotline phones are red…what color will the cyberhotline phone be…hope it’s not an IP phone.

Financial News: (more…)

News to Know

Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global.  Today we present news to know from the past week with a dab of commentary:

News that could be ripped from the pages of an Ian Fleming Novel:

Security Threat News:

The Drums of War, Israel, Iran and the Logistics of Oil

The Drums of War…the most strategic piece of oil real estate in the world is being threatened and our leaders believe that Iran has the capability to block the strait of Hormuz.  I believe it’s just a matter of time before the Judeo-Persian War.  Iranian leaders have stated that they will wipe Israel from the face of the map, Israeli leaders have said they won’t tolerate a nuclear Iran…at this point it’s just a question of who will strike first.

If you’re an Ian Fleming fan read a little about the what’s been happening to Iran’s dwindling pool of nuclear scientists in recent years…the spymaster himself couldn’t have come up with more interesting plot devices including limpet mine attacks on cars…hmm, wonder who’s behind that? (more…)

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