Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How to Fix the US National Defense Doctrine

On January 19, 2018 General James “Mad Dog” Mattis held forth publicly on America’s new and improved National Defense Strategy. He mouthed quite a lot of words, but the executive summary is actually just two points:

1. The War on Terror is no longer a thing. Since terrorism is now a much worse problem around the world than it was when the War on Terror was first announced after 9/11, it certainly hasn’t been won. Another problem is the prodigious amount of treasure, life and limb that has been squandered on this worse-than-futile pursuit. But Americans are now going to do what they always do after a military misadventure: declare victory, go home, and cower behind two oceans hoping that their misadventure doesn’t follow them home. America’s new message to all the numerous victims of terrorism is “Suck it up.”

2. America’s new enemy is Chinarussia—a very large Eurasian country. The US depends on Chinarussia for a great many things and can’t possibly afford to go to war with it, but what’s a poor bankrupt country to do when nothing works? Previously, the US was able to successfully play China and Russia against each other (after Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon were given an opening by the very foolish Nikita Khrushchev, who alienated Mao Zedong with his attack on Joseph Stalin’s legacy). But now “Divide and conquer” is no longer a thing either; the new thing is “unite your enemies while making them laugh.” Uniting China and Russia took quite a bit of American effort and is more or less a fait accompli. Making them laugh was even harder, but I feel that Mattis did a good job.

What’s so funny? Here’s Exhibit A: Mad Dog’s eyebags. They are yooge!

If you set out to develop eyebags that big, there are two ways to go about growing them. The first is to eat lots of salty snacks. This causes the body to retain water, filling various flaps of loose skin, such as the ones under the eyes. The second is to drink lots of liquor. The alcohol thins the blood, producing a similar effect. Now, for reasons that I will soon make clear, I find it doubtful that Mattis is one to eat lots of mini pretzels, so my working hypothesis is that Mad Dog’s motto is “put a little vodka in your gas tank.”

Speaking of gas tanks, his eyebags made me think of the external fuel tanks on the F-35.

This, by the way, has turned out to be an altogether useless plane. It was supposed to do everything anyone wanted in a jet but after well over a trillion (with a “t”) dollars spent on its development it has proven to be a huge disappointment. What’s more, about half of the ones built have defects that will probably never be addressed well enough for them to fly combat missions. One of its problems is that it doesn’t have the range it needs; hence the external fuel tanks. They give it a more useful range, but they also destroy its stealthy qualities. It might be possible to jettison them in mid-flight, though; or maybe they just fall off by themselves. Could be a bug or a feature—who knows?

Likewise, Mattison could jettison his eyebags and still stay liquored up 24/7. Here’s my grooming trick for Mad Dog: he should get the Pentagon to procure for him a crate or two of Preparation H, at $500,000 or so a tube.

He should judiciously apply it to his eyebags an hour or so before each public appearance. Better yet, he should have one of his staff fluffers apply it, in case he doesn’t drink enough and gets the shakes, because you don’t want to get that stuff in your eyes. Preparation H is very good at shrinking swollen tissues wherever they may arise. Look at George Soros: his eyebags are fully deflated.

Soros is definitely a Preparation H man.

First problem solved.

Meanwhile, the problem of the US not having a useful next-generation air superiority fighter jet is a major problem. You see, the way the US military operates, if it can’t establish air superiority over a theater of operations, it can’t even show up to a fight. And in squaring off against Chinarussia showing up would be key, because the Russians and the Chinese would be perfectly happy to keep all of Eurasia and maybe Africa to themselves while letting the Americans nurse their eyebags all the way over on the run-down, unfashionable side of the planet. To appear sufficiently threatening, the US has to continuously get in everyone’s faces by maintaining lots of Eurasian military bases and by holding lots of military exercises.

The US also likes to keep a war or two going at all times, and to do that the US military has to follow its recipe for what it calls success: take over the airspace, bomb the enemy into submission, and only then send in a few grunts for mop-up operations and to secure the area. The grunts have grown few in number and low on morale, having had lots of limbs blown off while patrolling previously secured (and re-secured, and re-secured…) areas, and so the emphasis is on aerial bombardment (as in Raqqa and Mosul, which the Americans have turned into rubble-strewn wastelands suffused with the stench of death).

The first step—taking over the airspace—is essential, and the F-35 fiasco makes it highly uncertain. Even if the bugs can ever be worked out well enough to send it into combat, the Russian SU-35 fighter can literally fly circles around it, making it a bad idea to deploy it wherever there are any Russians or Chinese around.

Other new Russian air defense systems, such as the S-400, which is selling like hot cakes, can effectively seal off large areas against any US incursion.

Without a way of establishing air superiority, the US won’t be able to get up into Chinarussia’s face. Therefore, the new US National Defense Doctrine has no teeth.

Speaking of teeth, observe Exhibit B.

I don’t think Mattis has any teeth either. He has dentures, which rattle around in his mouth as he talks. This accounts for his mumbling and lisping. I’ve observed this phenomenon on numerous occasions when visiting retirement homes. This, by the way, is why I think that his eyebags are puffy because of vodka rather than crunchy, salty snack foods: crunchy foods don’t work well with dentures.

Here’s my advice for Mad Dog: he should get the Pentagon to procure for him a crate or two of Fixodent, at $500,000 or so a box.

He should also think about retiring. It’s a bit late in the day for him and the US military both. He ought to be rocking his soul in the bosom of Abraham, not attempting to formulate cockamamie national defense doctrines.

In any case, second problem solved.

Third, I would like to also fix the real problem. I would like to propose an alternative US National Defense Strategy—one that will actually work. It is remarkably short and simple, being composed of just seven words: “Keep to your side of the ocean.”


Jeff Lovejoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve K said...

Its a 35. Here are the two together. https://theaviationist.com/2016/05/08/f-35-forms-up-with-f-16/ Note the 16's ventral intake.

Ekkar said...


Matt H said...

I am no "fan" of the F-35, but it will fill a niche in the U.S. arsenal. It costs way too much and General M. Dog knows it. The Navy is well aware of the fact that carriers are sitting ducks, but we still need mobile launch platforms for manned aircraft. So, the F-35 is the solution they came up with. I'm quite certain that it will be the last fighter aircraft the U.S. produces as UAVs take over combat roles. If my facts are "fracts" let me know!

Chris Raine said...

Dmitry, thank-you for your thoughtful piece. Isn't it true that the F22 is the US 5th generation air superiority plane, and that the F35 had a different role? I think that it is fair to say that Russia has a formidable fighter force, and it is undisputed that the Russian ejection seat design is just to die for.:')

K Satifka said...

Dmitry, your mocking of MD Mattis was hilarious. He was never married (except to the Marines)and has no children. Merkel, Macron, and British PM Edna May also have no children, though at least they all have a spouse. Such people, I think, are doubly dangerous. They can leave their respective countries in tatters and not be concerned for their nonexistent progeny. In spite of his overheated rhetoric, Trump could be more trustworthy. With 5 children, and 8 grandchildren (with more to come) his stake in a stable future for them should be obvious.

Chris said...

The F-35 has indeed been a fiasco so far, but it's not like its predecessor, the Harrier, was easy to develop. The Americans should have probably left it to the Brits and thrown in some financing, to produce a STOVL fighter jet that actually works. The main problem with the F-35 is that it wants to do too many things at the same time. This puts both the Japanese and the Brits in a bit of a pickle as they are relying on the F-35 C variant to man their upcoming aircraft carriers, which won't be able to operate with conventional aircraft. Britain already has one undergoing sea trials and a second one under construction. The Japanese are building a number of flat-top destroyers, which look suspiciously like aircraft carriers. These are obviously being built in preparation for a conflict with Russia and China, which I don't know how the Brits are going to fight, with an Army smaller than Singapore's and two aircraft carriers with no planes on them. I think the UK is further along the road to becoming a banana republic than the US, based on the massive incompetence of its entire ruling class. The incompetence seen along issues such as Brexit, the NHS and the military is just staggering, frankly, it makes the Americans look rather good in comparison.

Chris Ferris said...

Funny, the One Belt One Road Initiative looks a lot like The Marshall Plan 2.0 to me. As more and more countries decide to but their cart behind building bridges and infrastructure as opposed to dropping bombs and blowing up bridges and infrastructure things will improve. Having fools like this for the world to see can only accelerate this process. As more people turn their backs on Mordor, and stop playing in its reindeer games it will eventually have nothing left to sustain it.

Esmaiil Fotoohi said...

The first para made me vomit mentally with the argument so fallacious and so far from the truth that could stand the rest as a waste of time. "Time is passing" and any hope to find the US establishment as a sane entity is just a waste of it. The US is a Warmachine under the control of the Anglozionist. The controller is at fault not the machine.

Dmitry Orlov said...

A particularly insightful comment cross-posted from Russia Insider:

mark • 11 hours ago

Strange how the US can't produce aircraft any more.

They used to make some really good planes, from the Mustang and B17 to the F15/16/18.
Then somehow it all went wrong and they started producing Flying Turkeys.
The B2 bomber wasn't exactly a rip roaring success. Unit cost $2,200 million, only 20 produced, one lost, 19 left, only 6 serviceable, have to be kept in hangars and treated like precious porcelain. Not surprising as they cost several times more than their own weight in 24 carat gold.

Then came Flying Turkey No. 1, the F22. 900 - 1,000 were planned, but it was such a turkey the production line was closed after 100 units, probably a bit less embarrassing than admitting the whole project was a failure.
This set the stage for Flying Turkey No. 2, the F35. It's anybody's guess if they can ever get this thing to work, though the signs aren't promising, and at ? $400 million ? (who knows) a pop it may all be a bit academic anyway.

This is a bit of a worry as the UK's white elephant aircraft carriers are premised on buying Turkey No. 2., even if they only put to sea with 5 or 6 of them instead of the 50-60 capacity.

Chris Raine said...

Hi Mark,
All good points, and you forgot the F117! But I think the takeaway here is that the Flanker and Fulcrum designs are 30 years old or older, and more importantly, they are 4th gen planes. You can "super" them all you want, but a 4+++ generation aircraft is still 4th gen.

This apparently is forcing Russia to develop a 5th generation plane too. And like the 35? it is so expensive that the parent nation cannot find enough money to put it in the air! So Russia partners with India. Like the US had to partner with other nations to build the F35. I think.

The arms race seems to be a race to get to see which nation experiences bankruptcy first.

You are safer (and broker) with a strong military, no matter what country you live in. Let's keep selling that load of bs.

Bill Carter said...

"I would like to propose an alternative US National Defense Strategy—one that will actually work. It is remarkably short and simple, being composed of just seven words: 'Keep to your side of the ocean.'” I agree. What then would you propose as a defensive strategy? Also where does that leave Europe if America stays on its side of two oceans.

Also, have you considered publishing your books in audio. I am (in some McLuhan way) enjoying audio over the written word. Hopefully I am understanding as much. Whatever the case, I am a close follower of your thoughts. Thank you

Jean-Paul Printemps said...

The quality of American weaponry follows the demise of its manufacturing base. How can you outsource industrial manufacturing to China and then declare it as your enemy, expecting to build a next generation of anything domestically?

But we are reminded in the comments that the day of the drone may be upon us, and perhaps nanobots. Indeed, I would say that this technology has gone virulent! It is said the race goes not to the strong or swift. If this conflict should unfold to an unthinkable extreme, it will surely hold some lessons for us.