It is September 11 here, and tomorrow it will be in the US, this is for all the veterans out there who sacrificed.
On December 7th, a documentary will be released on YouTube (yes, released on YouTube, not MSM).
Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this groundbreaking new documentary uncovers the UN sanctioned war on drugs, charting its origins and its devastating impact on countries like the USA, Colombia and Russia. Featuring prominent statesmen including Presidents Clinton and Carter, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo and expose the biggest failure of global policy in the last 50 years.
Bookmark this page if you like to view it.
Awesome graphic that shows our instinct to invade and conquer
With Afghanistan in mind, I’ve been reading an article suggesting that the west needs to win more wars with private armies. The argument is that this would allow Government’s to ‘fudge’ their involvement, and politicians wouldn’t have to explain casualties to the public.
Some of it even makes sense.
Here are a few extracts:
Why has the international community continued to persist with negotiated settlements and even-handedness in cases where one side was clearly at fault? The reason, for the most part, is self interest. Such an approach avoids direct intervention and the subsequent political risks.
GIVE WAR A CHANCE
Outright victories, rather than negotiated peace settlements, have ended the greater part of the twentieth century’s internal conflicts.
The private military sector can allow policymakers to achieve their foreign-policy goals free from the need to secure public approval and safe in the knowledge that should the situation deteriorate, official participation can be fudged.”
As the political and economic costs of peacekeeping continue to escalate, it may increasingly make sense for multilateral organizations and Western governments to consider outsourcing some aspects of these interventions to the private sector.
Western countries are more reluctant to intervene militarily in weak states, and their politicians are disinclined to explain casualties to their electorates. Furthermore, Western armies, designed primarily to fight the sophisticated international conflicts envisaged by Cold War strategists, are ill equipped to tackle low-intensity civil wars, with their complicated ethnic agendas, blurred boundaries between combatants and civilians, and loose military hierarchies.
UN peacekeeping efforts have fallen victim to Western governments’ fears of sustaining casualties, becoming entangled in expanding conflicts, and incurring escalating costs.
Oh, I forgot to mention, the author is Labour Leader David Shearer
Oh come on, this is bull dust surely?
The male sex drive is to blame for most of the world’s conflicts from football hooliganism to religious disputes and even world wars, according to scientists.
They obviously haven’t listened to Rodney Carrington.
I was reading a review of a new book about two British Snipers called Dead Men Risen: The snipers’ story
Operating from a remote patrol base in Helmand, two British snipers were responsible for killing 75 Taliban fighters in just 40 days. In one remarkable feat of marksmanship, two insurgents were dispatched with a single bullet.
The arrival at the newly-established Patrol Base Shamal Storrai (Pashto for “North Star”) in late August 2009 of Serjeant Tom Potter and Rifleman Mark Osmond marked the start of an astonishing episode in the history of British Army sniping.
Within 40 days, the two marksmen from 4 Rifles, part of the Welsh Guards Battle group, had achieved 75 confirmed kills with 31 attributed to Potter and 44 to Osmond. Each kill was chalked up as a little stick man on the beam above the firing position in their camouflaged sangar beside the base gate – a stick man with no head denoting a target eliminated with a shot to the skull.
Osmond, 25, was an engaging, fast-talking enthusiast, eager to display his encyclopedic knowledge of every specification and capability of his equipment. He had stubbornly remained a rifleman because he feared that being promoted might lead to his being taken away from sniping, a job he loved and lived for. Potter, 30, was more laid back, projecting a calm professionalism and quiet confidence in the value of what he did.
Potter had notched up seven confirmed kills in Bara in 2007 and 2008 while Osmond’s total was 23. Both were members of the Green Jackets team that won the 2006 British Army Sniper Championships.
These guys can shoot.
Most of the kills were at a range of 1,200 metres using the 7.62 mm L96 sniper rifle.
The snipers used suppressors, reducing the sound of the muzzle blast. Although a ballistic crack could be heard, it was almost impossible to work out where the shot was coming from. With the bullet travelling at three times the speed of sound, a victim was unlikely to hear anything before he died.
Walkie-talkie messages revealed that the Taliban thought they were being hit from helicopters. The longest-range shot taken was when Potter killed an insurgent at 1,430 metres away. But the most celebrated shot of their tour was by Osmond at a range of just 196 metres.
On September 12th, a known Taliban commander appeared on the back of a motorcycle with a passenger riding pillion. There was a British patrol in the village of Gorup-e Shesh Kalay and under the rules of engagement, the walkie-talkie the Taliban pair were carrying was designated a hostile act. As they drove off, Osmond fired warning shots with his pistol and then picked up his L96, the same weapon – serial number 0166 – he had used in Iraq and on the butt of which he had written, ‘I love u 0166’.
Taking deliberate aim, he fired a single shot. The bike tumbled and both men fell onto the road and lay there motionless. When the British patrol returned, they checked the men and confirmed they were both dead, with large holes through their heads.
The 7.62 mm bullet Osmond had fired had passed through the heads of both men. He had achieved the rare feat of ‘one shot, two kills’ known in the sniping business as ‘a Quigley’. The term comes from the 1990 film Quigley Down Under in which the hero, played by Tom Selleck, uses an old Sharps rifle to devastating effect.
Most people would struggle to shoot a stationary target at 196m let alone two on a motorbike attempting to get out of Dodge fast. The fact that these two regularly knock over bad towel-heads at over 1000m is a testament to their skill.
Coincidentally on The Brigade was a photo of a British sniper using this exact weapon in the circumstances explained in the book.
There is a 100% chance you will have a tear in your eye within 30 seconds of this video. If you make it to the end without a tear you are a cold heartless bastard.
Soldiers returning from war surprise kids, loved ones. NSFW b/c you will bawl your eyes out (video)
The Song is called: Praan, by Garry Schyman
I rate Clare Curran as one of Labour’s most dangerous. Not because she is smart, because she isn’t, but because she can write.
A couple of days ago I read her post at Red Alert on cyber-security. As is usual with Clare she was attempting to “own the language” and “fly flags”. As is usual for her she is busy nicking other peoples ideas and trying to claim them for Labour and for herself.
Nevertheless her post does have some good talking points.
On Wednesday night TVNZ7 ran a live debate on privacy and security issues on the internet. It covered a lot of ground and if you’re interested in the whole debate watch the clip here.
I was in the audience and got to ask the panel a question about NZ’s cyber security – threats such as computer viruses, worms, Trojans and malware (malicious software). Unfortunately there wasn’t much time for discussion, but it’s already generating some debate within the internet community and no doubt the public sector.
Globally, many governments take active cyber-defence roles through CERTs (Computer Emergency Response Teams), but New Zealand remains one of the few countries that lacks a national CERT.
Nice, Clare, presumably you were also at The ORB launch just the week before if you were truly interested in cyber-security. I mention The ORB, because contrary to Clare’s assertions it seems the government, albeit through its minor party partner is addressing this issue. Clare Curran is merely scurrying along as a fast follower and trying to make Labour appear “with-it”
It’s good though that someone is Labour is ow doing some thinking, but one wonders what they hell they did for the last 10 years, when they were in a position to influence this. Asking a question of Steven Joyce is definitely once over lightly stuff.
Meanwhile it shows that Heather Roy has put quite a substantial amount of thinking into addressing the issue of cyber-security and the protection of New Zealand’s electronic assets from attack from abroad.
In the year 2035, most readers will be well beyond ‘taking to the hills with a .22 rifle’ to defend New Zealand against invaders. Our children and grandchildren, however, will not.
What will warfare look like then? Is it believable that the keyboard will replace the AK47 as the most prolific weapon in the world? Will asymmetric warfare – involving proxies, non-state actors and new technologies – become the new norm, as the world’s major research institutes predict?
This series of Heather Roy’ Diary, titled ‘Keeping Future Kiwis Safe’, is not intended to pre-suppose anything that may be in the Government’s Defence White Paper. It is my update, based on world trends, of how ACT’s policy sits against the facts as they stand.
Some of you will have read ACT’s 2008 election manifesto on international relations and national security (http://roy.org.nz/Files/ACT_IRNS.pdf). Rather than turn this Diary into a tome, I’m going to keep it brief here but, if you’re stimulated or baffled by the context of anything written here, I commend you to read our policy document. You’ll see that it’s all consistent.
She rightly describes the threats as warfare. You would be much mistaken in thinking that China and many muslim nations do not already have a cyber-warfare capability. As the Wikileaks controversy has shown, even the West’s own cyber-networks need serious work. With increasing connectivity with hardware (guns, bombs, missiles, vehicles, UAV’s) with people there is increased risk of disablement of war-fighting capability. Take out the network, take out the enemy.
Ungoverned spaces are a major issue for security planners around the world. These include a lack of effective Government. Examples of this include Somali piracy; pressure on existing treaties and agreements – such as water rights sharing and non-exploitation of mineral resources in Antarctica – and the absence of any generally agreed historical governance such as space and cyberspace.
Cyberspace refers to the entire electro-magnetic spectrum. Cyber-battle and cyber-warfare are subset terms that deal with the security aspects of this space. It is one of several physical and transient ‘ungoverned spaces’ where there is no discernable or effective governance. These are ‘spaces’ where terrorists, criminals and the disaffected gather and can operate with impunity. In cyber-war targets can range from internet, phone and media to power grids and more. It is an area where we are vulnerable. It is also an area where New Zealand can be a world leader.
Current approaches to international security can be likened to a ‘broken windows’ policy. This works fine for policing but, when someone takes down our national power grid or stock exchange from a cyber cafe overseas, who ‘kicks in the door’ and who arrests them – even if you know who ‘them’ is?
In tactical terms, cyberspace is a manoeuvre corridor. Strategically, for a nation with such dated infrastructure as ours, it represents an ‘Achilles Heel’ that could set back our recovery from the global economic recession for a very long time.
“Private” Roy has been learning quickly. She however, briefly, touches on an important area of growth that is begging for exploitation by smart Kiwis. Not just in cyber-warfare but in innovative deployment of technology to solve common military problems for countries that sit far below the technological war-fighting ability of the US, Britain or China.
In a number of areas we could build a military Industrial complex in order to export expertise and products, designed and developed here. military equipment and solutions are one of the few remaining areas where governments are prepared to pay a premium and by catering to that we could easily generate a huge amount of GDP.
One area I can see for immediate application is Search and Surveillance capability using UAVs. Right now we use antiquated, albeit, upgraded capabilities of Orion P3 aircraft. But they still require bums on seats in aircraft and eyes on binoculars. It costs a vast amount of cold hard cash to have this capability ready and waiting but even more to deploy it.
By utilising a UAV platform, we could actually have more coverage, with better equipment and our people actually never leave the shore. We could monitor fishing fleets, Southern Ocean whaling and other maritime patrol tasks, all from a central location where the “pilots” and crew never leave the ground. Even better we cold have them armed if necessary to provide far more effective hitting power than our current air “force” resources contain. The technology exists, it just hasn’t yet been developed around those strategies. This is but one example where New Zealand can really contribute and really cash in.
The important thing here, though, is not to fall into the trap of playing with the big boys. Big Boys toys have a habit of having big boys price tags, just look at the debacle that we still suffer over the NZLAV. Of course we would need to co-operate with other nations, and one such nation with technical skills we could really use is Israel. Unfortunately Helen Clark in a fit of pique and antisemitism passed a law preventing such information transfer or even physical supply of equipment. Right now our troops are going into harm’s way without the protective equipment they would really like because of this silly law. I think it is high time we were a bit more grown up, remove that law and start to build New Zealand’s capability in the military industrial complex, through the sharing of ideas and technology with friendly nations out there.
It will sure as hell build more GDP than a cycleway ever will. One of the first steps I would suggest would be the creation of a New Zealand Cyber-Defence Bureau, similar to the Australian capability, but also drawing on the capabilities that Israel has.