Friday Linkzookery – 20 Aug 2010

FN finally admits that USSOCOM is not buying the SCAR mk.16
Been trying to stay out of this until the official word came. From what I’ve heard it’s due to budget and not the gun. Bummer. Also, as far as I know the Mk17 7.62 SCAR-H is still on.

The M41A Pulse Rifle
Feel the weight.

July airstrike total is 2nd highest of year
Down 20% from June but still at 400 for the month. If current rates continue, this year will see the fewest aerial weapons releases since 2007. No airstrikes were performed in Iraq during July.

In Afghanistan, bomb blasts hit high in July
But more than 1300 IEDs detonated or were defused in July, a record month and 42% more than last July. they killed 53 troops and wounded 399. Fewer airstrikes (see item above) aren’t helping keep the bombers under control.

We need fiscal sanity in Washington before tax increases
If the government showed any indication that they were interested in responsible spending, I’d be a lot more open to talk about tax hikes. They’ve gone from truly horrible under Bush and the GOP to godawful unbelievably horrible under Bush and the Democrats to Are You Fucking Kidding Me under Obama.

U.S. high-speed railway: a matter of cost and demand
Murdoc would ride AMTRAK if it was affordable. It isn’t even close to being a reasonable choice. He can’t imagine what a disaster an attempted US high-speed rail system would be.

Automation Fatigue On LCS Class Ships
It’s been tough for the small crew to keep up with everything. Surprise surprise.

Bushmaster MOE M4 Type Carbines
Outfitted with Magpul Original Equipment.

Variations on the G3
Steve Adelmann looks at the CETME and the PTR-91 for Shooting Illustrated.

Divers to pull WWII plane from reservoirA fisherman found a Helldiver in a San Diego reservoir.

Buying Better Burkes
Building more DDG-51s and upgrading some of the ones we’ve already got.

Gold-Plated AK. With a chicken for a front sight.
Unsure of the source.

Carnival of Homeschooling
Back 2 Home 2010

Comments

  1. I am of the opinion that a high tolerance to corruption of afghan officials/police does far more harm to the war effort than reduction of airstrikes. (I am not opposed to the later btw)

  2. I am of the opinion that a high tolerance to corruption of afghan officials/police does far more harm to the war effort than reduction of airstrikes.

    You’ll get no argument from me on that one. In fact, if corruption had been steadily and seriously addressed since the fall of the Taliban, I don’t think there’d be much reason for too many airstrikes at all these days.

  3. From what I have read, Ambassador Eikenberry has pretty much marginalized himself and our diplomatic mission from having any real influence over Afghani politics. Rather than sitting back and pointing fingers at how corrupt they are, we need an ambassador like Ryan Crocker in Iraq that will get in there, rub elbows and apply pressure as needed. We have the right general in there, but we really need a new diplomatic team to go with it.

  4. Good luck on the corruption; it’s endemic to their culture. Khalilzaid was an good Ambassador while he was there, and far more effectively managed Karzai; in the end we’re still where we are today. Hitching ourselves to Karzai was a bad call, and no one’s been willing to fix it yet.

    Regardless, of who the Prez is, if they’re weak, corrupt, and ineffective we’re stuck with essentially the same situation we created in Vietnam. Indigenous security and armed forces who are frequently third rate (at best), uncommitted to their government (hence the desertion and running away effect), and oddly enough corrupt like the bosses. Not a good formula.

    1. No doubt that corruption will never be “solved.” Heck, we can’t “solve” it here and the concept of allowable actions are far, far different. I just wish we had put more effort into it from Day One, and even knocking the the level of corruption down from 12-out-of-10 to 8-out-of-10 could make a gigantic difference as far as security and optimism for the future go.

      Afghanistan is a tough one and that has been clear from the very beginning.

      (Which I know you know.)

    2. I’ll defer to your experiences, since I’ve never been there. My opinion is totally academic. But it seems like we have to try something on that front, or we might as well give up and pull out now, and stop throwing away lives.

      Besides, the Iraqi government is notoriously corrupt too, yet we’ve somehow managed to help them form a shaky democracy with a chance at success. Like Murdoc said, they don’t have to turn into the vision of pure government to be considered a relative success. Just become somewhat less corrupt, and a little more competent. South Vietnam, as corrupt as it was, managed to stand against the North until we pulled funding and air power out from under them, and they were up against a competent, well funded state actor in the form of North Vietnam, with a professional, well trained and equipped military in the form of the NVA. The bar for success doesn’t have to be set as high in Afghanistan. All we need there is a government that is competent enough to marginalize Taliban and drug gang violence, and muddle along politically. A loose federation with a weak, somewhat corrupt central government that can keep the worst actors in check would be fine by me.

      1. Yeah I thought it must be our new uber OMGPWNSAUCE round…..maybe we shouldn’t be talking about such things on the internets.

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