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Bump And Run

During the Cold War the various militaries played a dangerous game of near misses whenever their forces were in close proximity. Aircraft and naval vessels would make close passes to each other, occasionally with fatal results when someone zigged when they should have zagged.

Reading various news reports and Dr. Cole’s post, Iran IRGC Ships confront US Navy, that’s what occurred to me and to Jo Fish, a Cold Warrior in the Navy.

While there is certainly an element of garden variety stupidity in the game, it can also produce useful intelligence about the defense capabilities of the other force, as well as the skill of the potential opponent.

Danger Room has a post up on How Iran Attacks at Sea, which is quite different than the response one would expect from a navy.

A number of people starting talking about the “Gulf of Tonkin”, the pathetic and perhaps mythological event that was used to justify increased US involvement in Southeast Asia. but fortunately leveler heads have prevailed. I would hope that our forces have learned something from the first Gulf War and added capabilities to our vessels, because, while we have an overwhelming technological advantage, the Iranians tend to use more ballistic than guided weapons, and depend on numbers rather than individual sophistication. It is possible they could overwhelm our defenses with shear numbers of “antique” weapons that can’t be jammed.

January 8, 2008   43 Comments

Now I Understand

Apparently the guild rules on saying “recession” only apply to the United States, because Fallenmonk and Susie Madrak both noticed a James Quinn article in the Telegraph [UK] about the Merrill Lynch economist who used the “magic word”: “David Rosenberg, the bank’s chief North American economist, argues that a weakening employment picture and declining retail sales signal the economy has tipped into its first month of recession.”

I also found the first line of the article interesting: “The US has entered its first full-blown economic recession in 16 years, according to investment bank Merrill Lynch.”

Essentially he is saying that that the supposed “recession” that Clinton left for the Shrubbery wasn’t, in fact, a true recession under guild rules, because 16 years ago, 1992, the President’s last name was Bush.

[Read more →]

January 8, 2008   6 Comments

Oh, No, I Broke It

The American Street experienced a major meltdown today. For the first time with its new host the server went down, and now the clock is messed up. It should be cleared up shortly.

Don’t forget to vote in the only New Hampshire election that is really meaningful: the Mount Washington Topcat race. Via Lisa in comments, here’s a YouTube link to the candidates in action.

[I note that there is no “Cat Blogging” category at the American Street. That needs to be addressed when things calm down.]

January 8, 2008   2 Comments