October 23, 2012

Is "horses and bayonets" Obama's new thing — after Big Bird and Binders Full of Women?

Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams says these things aren't working:
Where are those glorious debate memes of times gone by?...

There was Battleship. And there was the night’s biggest winner, Obama’s smooth dis to Romney, “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.” Faster than you could tweet “Oh, snap!,” the inevitable Tumblr was born.

Yet the whole thing felt less fun this time around, and a lot more forced. 
Big Bird and Binders Full of Women were words that came out of Romney's mouth. "Horses and bayonets" was inserted by Obama. It's one thing to have fun with Romneyisms, quite another to accept a faux-Romneyism cooked up by Obama... especially when Obama is making fun of the military and what comes out of his head is an old children's game — suggesting that he thinks this real-life killing and dying is some kind of game — and an image of the historical military — which seems to be about the movies he's watched, not anything that about Romney.
Bob Schieffer was a little doddering, but couldn’t match Jim Lehrer for FAIL worthiness. Josh Romney did not make with the crazy eyes. In short, as we all learned long ago from “Mean Girls,” you can’t make a thing a thing any more than you can plan for spontaneity.
Speaking of movies, I've never seen "Mean Girls." I don't get the reference. I'm not in your "we all." Is it the making a thing a thing thing or the plan for spontaneity thing?

But back to the landscape of Obama's mind — where kids fiddle with plastic Hasbro toys and old war movies play, from which he concocted a Romney gaffe that Romney never gaffed — why is there no picture there of the horse soldiers of the Afghanistan War?
The U.S. special operations teams that led the American invasion in Afghanistan a decade ago did something that no American military had done since the last century: ride horses into combat.
"It was like out of the Old Testament," says Lt. Col. Max Bowers, retired Green Beret, who commanded the three horseback teams.

"You expected Cecil B. DeMille to be filming and Charlton Heston to walk out."
It was like a movie, but it really happened, and those men were heroes. Is it so hard to call them to mind, now — in these days of unmanned drones, who kill when you point at a name on a card, or hover overhead and watch as — it can't be real — our ambassador fights for his life for 7 hours?

155 comments:

Renee said...

Read Queen Bees and Wanna Be's over watching Mean Girls.

http://rosalindwiseman.com/publications/queen-bees-and-wannabes/


-------------

Romney made a specific point about the fleet of our Navy, that it was under sized and underfunded. I expect the Commander in Chief to respond with something other then a flippant remark.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

More comments of snark/style than anything. Substance is not a strength of the left.

I watched some of the debate in the PIP box while having the ball game on - the agitator-in-chief's facial expressions and body language suggested an attitude of condescension. While not surprising, I am confused as to why no one on teh won's adviser list suggested that making faces and coming off as an ass in the first 2 debates may not be ideal.

But then again nothing about a group desperate to hold onto power tempered by anger and hate surprises me.

TWM said...

I doubt Obama ever played with toy soldiers. Toy community organizers maybe, but not war toys.

KLDAVIS said...

In Mean Girls, one of the girls decides that "Fetch" is going to be the new "Cool" and just starts using it. No one else goes along, and eventually she is told to stop trying to make fetch "happen". You can't make a thing a thing. Either it will be, or it won't, but trying doesn't help.

TWM said...

And as Ann seems to be noting. Those ships are manned by flesh and blood men and women. Not toys at all and not to be used as some lame schoolyard insult. One would argue as we pull back our ground troops from overseas we do indeed need more ships to project out power off those shores.

Not to mention the fricken Chinese to worry about. And a crazy Russia.

kcom said...

As far as I know, the oceans haven't gotten any smaller since 1916. And it's still not possible with today's technology for a ship to be in two places at once. If you need to cover the oceans, it'll still take a certain number of ships. For horses we can (and have) substituted tanks and planes. With what can we substitute the size of the oceans?

Michael K said...

The Navy just went for Romney in a big way. I notice some snarky comments about Runfeld's "small footprint" in the Iraq War. That was valid at the time. As he said, "You fight with the army you have." The Turks double crossed us and we had no northern force for the invasion.

The navy, on the other hand, has two oceans, big ones, to patrol. The Persian Gulf to the Sea of Japan. Those aircraft carriers that Obama is so confident about are pretty vulnerable in the tight confines of the Persian Gulf. It's a long way from there to Afghanistan, too.

The Navy has been worried about the sequestration all year. Since Obama doesn't take briefings, he might not know that. He's taking no chances, though. The military vote is being suppressed.

Dan in Philly said...

I'm quite sure that the Obama crack about horses and such will sway the surging Romney tide. Such a witty putdown!

Does anyone else think that kind of thing is more or less the real Obama? Remember "Lipstick on a pig?" There's been too many of those rather snide snipes sliping out to make me think it's not some part of him.

acm said...

"Gretchen, stop trying to make 'fetch' happen!" is what the Queen of the Mean Girls says to her next-in-command, possibly following up with something about trying too hard, or how you can't make a thing a thing. I think there's something similar in Heathers, if you've seen that.

I guess "stop trying to make bayonets happen" would be the thing to say, but it's much more fun to use the Mean Girls reference against Obama. Picture a political cartoon of Obama in a pink miniskirt, rolling his eyes just so, and scolding Mitt to "Stop trying to make the Navy happen!"

I wish I could draw...

Dr Weevil said...

"Toy community organizers", TWM? Yes! Read Saki's 1914 short story "The Toys of Peace" here. Seriously, go read it right now. It's not very long, totally pertinent, and hilarious. People were already arguing for toys just as ridiculous as toy community organizers back in 1914: the newspaper quotation from which it begins is genuine.

LYNNDH said...

I really hate to break it to the Prez, but the US Navy does not have any ships that go under water, at least not on purpose. It does have Boats that go under water, and they are called Submarines. If he knew anything about the Navy, he would know that. Kind of like calling a Navy Corpsman a Corpseman.

Larry J said...

Obama's view of war is shaped by his heavy use of Hellfire missiles fired from UAVs to take out targets. That's all well and good for limited goals against an enemy with no air defenses. It won't be nearly as effective against a technologically capable adversary.

One of the biggest traps for the military is "planning to fight the last war." The problem is that the next war (and there's always a next war) is seldom like the last one. The weapons and tactics that worked for the last war seldom work well for the next one. We can't assume that all future wars will be like what we've fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have to be prepared for what might happen based on probability. What works against militants in Afghanistan likely won't work against China.

We need special operations forces. We need aircraft capable of surviving in a defended environment. And we need ships to keep the sealanes open.

Scott M said...

"Why is there no picture of the horse soldiers..."

Possibly because POTUS didn't say we had no horses. He said we had fewer horses.

The bayonet thing, though, was completely wrong.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Everybody remembers the SFs on horseback in the early days of the war, and Zero ought to know all foot branches (including some Navy bluejackets) still use some kind of knife or bayonet.

One of the things that has killed Barry is that there was always some nonsense thing he tried to use to make the Romster look bad and it only ended up hurting him.

EMD said...

As far as I know, the oceans haven't gotten any smaller since 1916.

Oh, come on. The oceans stopped rising in 2008.

Tim said...

Voting for Obama on the hope or intention that it would force Democrats to accept responsibility for the war on terror was always an irresponsible hope, based on magical thinking.

As a party, the Democrats are culturally, institutionally, emotionally and intellectually divorced from national security and the military.

Giving them this responsibility is akin, if you'll excuse the crude analogy, to putting a Vegan in charge of a slaughterhouse or a steak house.

It was never going to work. It was foolish in the extreme to think it might.

Have a long conversation with an educated Democrat on military matters sometime, and it becomes immediately apparent they not only do not know what they are talking about, what they do know is informed by movies, and not much else.

So, in trying to mock Romney, Obama only mocks himself.

Drones are antiseptic, a video game - just like a movie. Obama can figure that out.

Anything beyond that? Fucking clueless. So, he responds to a serious point with a stupid mock.

No doubt he was correct in that his voters would buy it, knowing how little they know of military matters.

Smarter voters?

Not so much.

EMD said...

Obama hasn't learned to let the surrogates do the snarking.

Hagar said...

I do not understand all this interest in who "won" this or that debate.

Lincoln won the Lincoln-Douglas debates, but he won them at Appomattox - 5 years later.

EMD said...

“Oh, snap!,

Madame, it's 2012. Please.

dmoelling said...

There was an op-ed in the NY Post yesterday on the Cuban Missile Crisis. It pointed out that JFK had 900 Ships available to him worldwide and an overwhelming advantage in bombers and nuclear missiles. He dealt from a position of overwhelming military advantage. He could create an impenetrable blockade on short notice. This allowed a no-shots fired resolution.

Conserve Liberty said...

The problem with the horses and bayonets versus modern military meme encapsulates the problem with the left's entire approach to war. To the left, war is something distasteful - though perhaps grudgingly necessary - best fought at a distance, and never to the death. A weaponized drone is the perfect tool for this new kind of precision warring - dispassionate, waged with a joystick from a warehouse in Arizona with no opportunity for drama or personal heroism. How Modern! How European! How flacid!

Horses and bayonets, by their nature, require American men and women wearing boots occupy a piece of the enemy's ground - and that's the entire point of real war. Occupy the enemy ground, dominate the enemy and destroy its will to resist further, subjugate the will of the (non-combatant) people to continue the fight. WIN the damned war!

At least as a metaphor, and in the case of Marines as real weapons, REAL war is ALL ABOUT horses and bayonets and truly ending the war by truly winning the war.

Words don't win war, weapons and the will to use them with overwhelming force do.

AJ Lynch said...

If I was a prez candidate and my opponent had talked to me that way [trying to show off his vast military knowledge], I'd have bashed his head in right on TV.

And of course, I would have ruined my chance to be president.

EMD said...

“Oh, snap!,

Madame, it's 2012. Please.


Oops. Madame is not our gracious host but the Salon writer. Mea Culpa.

whoresoftheinternet said...

Look, President Affirmative Action (and Plagiarizing Joe, his second in command) have ripped off so many bad statements over this campaign and this disastrous presidency that Romney just has to pull a random one out of a hat nowadays and that's the topic they run with. And the anti-left is all over funny memes about it.

Meanwhile, Romney/Ryan have been much more in control. Of course, that also means they've been less likely to inspire passion on the stump. But with a president failing as badly as this one, they don't need to do that much.

SO Obama's grasping for any meme to counteract his negative ones.

it's forced politics at its saddest.

Renee said...

In 1917, soldiers also used bicycles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_infantry

EMD said...

And of course, I would have ruined my chance to be president.

My counter would have been "Condescension doesn't fit the office of the Presidency."

Who knows if that would've went over well.

campy said...

Obama hasn't learned to let the surrogates do the snarking.

"I'm even a better snarker than my hired snarkers!"

Christopher in MA said...

Romney made a specific point about the fleet of our Navy, that it was under sized and underfunded. I expect the Commander in Chief to respond with something other then a flippant remark.

I suspect everything King Putt knows about the Navy he learned from the Village People.

Freder Frederson said...

As far as I know, the oceans haven't gotten any smaller since 1916.

But the ships are faster, less dependent on fueling stations (in 1916 the U.S. was transitioning from coal to oil to fuel its fleet) and can project their weapons much further. The outside range of warship in 1916 was 20 miles tops. Our modern navy can launch missiles or planes from hundreds or even thousands of miles away (and our ballistic missile submarines, have for all practical purposes, unlimited range)

Bob Ellison said...

Helpless, helpless, helpless, helpless

Paul Zrimsek said...

I begin to see where Obama got the notion that the Iraq surge couldn't work. Too many bayonets.

PatCA said...

How can Obama think snark is appropriate in a foreign policy debate???

I guess when you have teenagers who drunkenly feel up a Hillary cutout running your campaign, that's what you get.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"So, in trying to mock Romney, Obama only mocks himself."

Romney and Ryan have done a good job of getting out of the way of Peter Principle Personified (we've all worked with one of them) and Slow Joe - corollary: ***When arguing/debating an idiot, get out of the way, and shut up so bystanders can tell which person is the idiot.

alan markus said...

Can't find Katie Couric 2004 election either (I love that kind of challenge), but this is gold:

Katie Couric: Can You Explain What the Internet Is?

Ironic that the Internet is what is killing the Main Stream Media.

Edmund said...

You may fly over a land forever; you may bomb it, atomize it, and wipe it clean of life - but if you desire to defend it, protect it, and keep it for civilization, you must do this on the ground, the way the Roman Legions did - by putting your soldiers in the mud.” - T. Fehrenbach

I don't think the President understands this.

His riposte to Romney on the size of the USN missed the point: it's the Navy that says they need 300+ ships and boats. Not Romney.

Scott M said...

But the ships are faster, less dependent on fueling stations (in 1916 the U.S. was transitioning from coal to oil to fuel its fleet) and can project their weapons much further. The outside range of warship in 1916 was 20 miles tops. Our modern navy can launch missiles or planes from hundreds or even thousands of miles away (and our ballistic missile submarines, have for all practical purposes, unlimited range)

All of which doesn't change the fact that the modern navy is hammer and eggshell. At least in 1916, there were no OSK's in naval warfare outside, possibly, a luck torp. Now, an entire flotilla of ships can be taken out by one measly platform, be that bomber, ship or land-based. This would argue for MORE ships, not less, if it ever comes to a real naval shooting war, the likes of which have not been seen since WWII.

Larry J said...

Conserve Liberty said...
The problem with the horses and bayonets versus modern military meme encapsulates the problem with the left's entire approach to war. To the left, war is something distasteful - though perhaps grudgingly necessary - best fought at a distance, and never to the death. A weaponized drone is the perfect tool for this new kind of precision warring - dispassionate, waged with a joystick from a warehouse in Arizona with no opportunity for drama or personal heroism. How Modern! How European! How flacid!

Horses and bayonets, by their nature, require American men and women wearing boots occupy a piece of the enemy's ground - and that's the entire point of real war. Occupy the enemy ground, dominate the enemy and destroy its will to resist further, subjugate the will of the (non-combatant) people to continue the fight. WIN the damned war!

At least as a metaphor, and in the case of Marines as real weapons, REAL war is ALL ABOUT horses and bayonets and truly ending the war by truly winning the war.


Channeling my inner geek, your post reminds me of the old Star Trek TOS episode where two planets have been at war for generations. The war is fought using computers and the casualties report to death chambers. It's all clean and sanitary. The Enterprise is declared a casualty, so Kirk starts a new form of diplomacy by blowing up the death chambers. This forces the two planets to face the horrors of real war or find a way to make peace.

There's this myth of "surgical strikes" taking out targets while not harming innocents. It seldom works out well in practice. To increase the effectiveness of Hellfire missiles against personnel, they can be equipped with metal sleaves over the warhead to increase fragmentation (my company makes those sleeves). Shapnel doesn't discriminate.

If you want peace, let the military fight to win. Hit with massive, decisive force and break your enemy's will. Leave no doubt.

rastajenk said...

I would like for the Mitt to have mentioned that we have nukes that have rendered ships and planes relatively worthless, too; but that it would be a foolish policy to rely on them as adapting to new technologies.

Freder Frederson said...

The bayonet thing, though, was completely wrong.

Not really, I bet you can't find an instance of line of infantry charging with fixed bayonets in the last fifty years. And although Marines (but not rank and file Army) are trained in bayonet use, they are rarely attached in combat situations.

Shanna said...

"Stop Trying to make Fetch happen. It's not going to happen!"

That's how I feel about the binders thing.

rastajenk said...

Hagar - Lincoln/Douglas was seven years pre- Appamatox.

rehajm said...

My counter would have been "Condescension doesn't fit the office of the Presidency."

Who knows if that would've went over well.


A similar circumstance for Romney during his last gubernatorial debate. Was a roundtable discussion, opponent attacked attacked attacked while Romney refused to bite. At the last second, with his opponent jabbing, Romney called her behavior 'unbecoming'.

We know the outcome, but his opponents REALLY harped on it- sexist, demeaning, condescending.

Lesson learned...

Bob Ellison said...

Larry J, interesting comments. I've been thinking the left lost the long-term political war when the military went all-volunteer. The armed forces are America's last, best, most respected institution, and while the forces are heterogenous, they skew way to the right.

It must be very difficult, being an affirmative-action guy like Obama, not too smart, way too much ego, trying to convince a nation grateful for its men and women in uniform that you are the guy to lead the people who, by and large, think you're not the guy.

Scott M said...

Not really, I bet you can't find an instance of line of infantry charging with fixed bayonets in the last fifty years.

You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about and it shows. Often, you make decent points, but as I know living veterans that have fixed bayonets in combat and used them (within the last fifty years) you're showing your ignorance on this one.

Aridog said...

Let's just ask about one salient fact regarding our military and the lives of our soldiers....that was NOT f'ing brought up in the debate last night.

What is the explanation for losing 1000 American soldiers' lives between 2001 and mid-2010 (9.5 years) and losing an additional 1000+ between mid-2010 and October 2012?

What has changed? What matériel deployment has changed? What ROE's have made it more dangerous? What? WHAT?

Something has g-d damn well done so I'd say. And over the recent year and a half it damn sure wasn't a video published in July 2012. WTF people? Let's talk about it. Don't everybody try to go first, now.

Hagar said...

I think Romney said he agreed with Obama on too many points where I do not believe he actually does agree. This may be good debate strategery in terms of "winning" the debate or some image thing beyond the debate, but it debases the concept of having a debate to start with.

A good debater should be able to state his honest opinions without engaging in ad hominems or histrionics.

SteveR said...

Ever see a carrier battle group?

traditionalguy said...

The last time our Navy was so small was late 1942 after the Japanese Empire had either sunk or put out of action half of the ships and the ship yards were a year away from replacing them.

We learned that it take 2 years to build them. Ergo keep some spares around for that moment in time.

Radar and carrier aircraft were the winning margins. And today missiles are king. But the ability to project force ashore anywhere still requires ship capacity to carry troops and weapons and ships that protect them while on the trip.



Freder Frederson said...

This would argue for MORE ships, not less, if it ever comes to a real naval shooting war

And pray tell who exactly would we have a real naval shooting war with? China? Russia? You've got to be kidding.

ricpic said...

I don't get Obama's quip. Is he saying that battleships are as obsolete as horses? Bayonets of course will never be obsolete.

Bob Ellison said...

Freder Frederson, you should probably back away from the keyboard now.

Mike said...

I came to see Ann's reaction to the snarkmaster in chief, and am not disappointed. I do not agree with Ms. Althouse's take a good portion of the time because she is much more centrist than I am. And she's a woman. Having absorbed her blog over the last decade or so, I've come to trust her written reactions as pretty typical of the fairer sex and "independent" type voters. Independents will decide this election, as they do most.

For all practical purposes, this contest appears to be over because the independents are breaking quite hard for the challenger (as they historically do). The president has trouble getting over 45-47 in national polls and there is little hope he can suddenly pull 15% more voters into his camp in the last two weeks. His failure is baked in the cake.

EMD said...

Freder!

Conserve Liberty said...

Channeling my inner geek, your post reminds me of the old Star Trek TOS episode where two planets have been at war for generations. The war is fought using computers and the casualties report to death chambers.

The horrors of land war necessarily beget a moral pause before the declaration. The Obama Administration's flouting the rules of "Executive Authority" to wage these drone wars rises to evil.

and FWIW Netflix has recently added all the Star Trek episodes and movies on the "Watch Instantly" list.

ricpic said...

Freder isn't aware the Chinese are building a monster navy.

tim in vermont said...

I would have asked Obama if that is how his advisers explained it to him.

Balfegor said...

Re: Freder, Scott M:

The British seem to have a thing for bayonets still. British soldiers fixed bayonets and charged in Iraq in 2004 and in Afghanistan in 2011.

Mitchell said...

I had to google "horses and bayonets."

My intitial surmise was way off.

Was not at all along the lines of "guns or butter."

karrde said...

Speaking of Obama and military knowledge...

Some of Obama's supporters who gathered a video sequence for the honor-the-veterans moment at the Democratic National Convention can't tell the difference between the U.S. Navy and the Russian Navy.

An official apology was given. But a pattern of lack of knowledge (or lack of caring to know) seems to be strong among the leaders of the Democratic Party.

Freder Frederson said...

Often, you make decent points, but as I know living veterans that have fixed bayonets in combat and used them (within the last fifty years) you're showing your ignorance on this one.

Which is why I carefully phrased it "line of infantry".

Hagar said...

"Strategery" = Games that political consultants and pundits play.

Cedarford said...

People missed that Obama's "zinger" about horses, bayonets, those ship thingies that go underwater and aircraft carriers make it wrong to compare today's Navy numbers to our Navy in 1917 - was delivered with smug cockiness by the law lecturer, but he was wrong on most counts..

Just another manifestation of Obama's colossal arrogance and belief he is the smartest person in any room. When he is not usually the smartest in any room he goes in.

He morphed from SEAL Commando Leader to Admiral of the High Seas. And I don't think the Navy people want the chowderhead any more than the SEALs want Choom.

1. The ship things that go underwater, submarines, were the game changers of WWI, deployed in the hundreds, sinking thousands of ships. And in our Navy since the 1890s (not counting the Confed's Huntley). They are also called boats in naval lingo, not ships. A small detail Admiral Obama overlooked.
2. While not in Naval use in 1917 on the high seas, horses have a 3500 year history of use in the military and law enforcement and are still in use today by our troops, though in a lesser role as technology inproved.
3. Bayonets are still in use. Marines really like their bayonets. The Brits did a classic bayonet attack in Iraq using bayonets in 2003, that put 200 Islamoids in flight.
4. Admiral Obama is ignorant that by 1917, the 1st aircraft carrier attacks (by the Japanese in Tsingdao in 1914 and Brits on 1914 with 3 carriers attacking a Zepplin base) Already in the history books, unknown to Admiral Obama, perhaps distracted by his leading the SEAL mission against Osama. (The 1st long range bombers also date to WWI, as any AF person knows.)

Lord Admiral of the High Seas Obama also misses that while we have vastly superior boats and carriers to 1917, so do our enemies. And while tech does impact numbers, numbers can still overwhelm a better tained and technologically more sophisticated enemy.

Balfegor said...

Re: Conserve Liberty:

The horrors of land war necessarily beget a moral pause before the declaration. The Obama Administration's flouting the rules of "Executive Authority" to wage these drone wars rises to evil.

Oh I don't know about that. Using flying killbots obviously puts us on the "evil empire" side of the ledger, but it's not really evil in and of itself. Narratively, the evil empires often fight with droids and so on so the heros just kill robots, rather than other human beings.

Mitchell said...

A retired soldier once told me that the best way to remove a bayonet, that's stuck in your enemy, is to blast it out.

Military humor.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

It is apparent from the reports about who won the debate that being assertive about bullshit wins debate points BUT not getting sucked in to snarky retorts and keeping your cool wins the day.

So the question remains. Which candidate deserves to be president for the next 4 years?

Only the debased and truly ignorant will choose the incumbent.

Balfegor said...

Re: Freder:

Which is why I carefully phrased it "line of infantry".

Do . . . do we even make infantry line up in lines anymore? Didn't that go out of style after the Great War?

Martha said...

Michele said in a recent interview that Obama was very involved in discussion with his daughters about their middle school social lives.

Obama's mean girl snark
put our President at the level of a nasty school age girl jockeying for inclusion in the mean girl clique.

Scott M said...

Which is why I carefully phrased it "line of infantry".

Why do you bother?

Since you used the nonsensical "of line of infantry", I assumed you were trying to say that a line of infantry hasn't used bayonets in the last fifty years? Isn't that a correct interpretation of your statement?

Regardless, even with my interpretation of your "careful phrasing" at the highest degree of charity, you're still wrong. The action in question was a line of 82nd Airbone infantrymen charging an VC position after the order came down to fix bayonets. I have talked to several of the men that were involved in that firefight.

They were most definitely in a line when they started out.

Scott M said...

Do . . . do we even make infantry line up in lines anymore?

Every day for formation or PT. Every battle drill a soldier or marine learns involves lines.

Hagar said...

Rastajenk is correct: The Lincoln-Douglas debates were held in the campaign for a senate seat in 1858, not the presidential campaign of 1860.

Recommend googling the Wikipedia article.

bgates said...

Freder, Obama's statement was, "Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed."

His immediate point, "we have fewer bayonets", is wrong. We have more bayonets.

His larger point, that it doesn't matter that we have fewer ships "because the nature of our military's changed", might be defensible - but his argument is with the Navy, and he's not equipped to have an argument with them. He's simply not smart enough.

Cedarford said...

His riposte to Romney on the size of the USN missed the point: it's the Navy that says they need 300+ ships and boats. Not Romney.

================
Excellent point.
I think Lord Admiral of the High Seas Obama, fresh off his dabbling as SEAL Team Mission Commander Choom - misses that.
But the Navy and Marine Vets voting won't.
Plus a lot of Army and AF active and Vet people can figure that if Obama is as smugly clueless on Navy matters, his stupid arrogance likely carries over to his ability to understand and lead other Branches.

exhelodrvr1 said...

I would not expect Romney to be up-to-speed on military specifics at this point, just on the general concepts of how it fits into foreign policy. Raising the issue of the size of the Navy seems to show that he understands that. This was an area where Obama should have a huge advantage, and the fact that he was not able to respond specifically shows that he still doesn't understand the use of the military, and how limitations of the military can impact foreign policy. He would have much better access to info on number of carriers and carrier groups, deployment/maintenance schedules, same with the submarines and their capabilities and uses, MEUs, how our technological advantage is or isn't countering the capabilities of our enemies/rivals, etc. Items that have a huge impact on the options that are available to a President when crises occur. The fact that he was not able to come up with a specific response to Romney's specific point is another huge red flag against Obama. Of course, not surprising since he rarely attends the security briefings

Dust Bunny Queen said...

FWIW Netflix has recently added all the Star Trek episodes and movies on the "Watch Instantly" list.


Ooooh. Programing my watch list immediately!!!

FYI: My grandfather was a large animal vet in WWI and took care of the horses in that war in Europe. It was horrific. I'm glad we don't use horses as much.

However, Romney is correct in that we should allow the military, the navy to determine what they need to succeed and what they need to protect their troops, not some trumped up community organizer or a bunch of ignorant buffoons in Congress.

Balfegor said...

Re: Scott M:

Every day for formation or PT. Every battle drill a soldier or marine learns involves lines.

I guess it makes sense for drills. Do they still line up 19th century style when actually engaging the enemy?

Sam L. said...

edutcher wrote, "Everybody remembers the SFs on horseback in the early days of the war, and Zero ought to know all foot branches (including some Navy bluejackets) still use some kind of knife or bayonet."

He ought to, but well, that's below his pay grade, as he sees it.

Renee, the Japanese used bikes to get around Singapore, and take it from the land side.

rastajenk, nukes are blunt instruments. Sometimes you need small, sharp instruments. (I was in the SAC missile biz some years ago.)

Missed who wrote this, "Not really, I bet you can't find an instance of line of infantry charging with fixed bayonets in the last fifty years." I recall a Brit unit did in Iraq.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0bd_1249524865


Balfegor said...

Re: Scott M:

Saw your other comment -- well, I guess they do line up!

Lem said...

Reading the transcript gives me a better sense that Romney might have won the debate.

Here is a little nugget.

Remember when Obama claimed Romney said that al Qaeda was not the biggest threat facing the US...

Romney remembered the quote corrected it and baited Obama all in one swoop.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Governor Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al-Qaida’s a threat because a few months ago when you were asked, what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia — not al-Qaida, you said Russia...

MR. SCHIEFFER: I’m going to add a couple of minutes here to give you a chance to respond.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, of course I don’t concur with what the president said about my own record and the things that I’ve said. They don’t happen to be accurate. But — but I can say this: that we’re talking about the Middle East and how to help the Middle East reject the kind of terrorism we’re seeing and the rising tide of tumult and — and confusion. And — and attacking me is not an agenda. Attacking me is not talking about how we’re going to deal with the challenges that exist in the Middle East and take advantage of the opportunity there and stem the tide of this violence. But I’ll respond to a couple of the things you mentioned. First of all, Russia, I indicated, is a geopolitical foe, not —

PRESIDENT OBAMA:
Number one —


MR. ROMNEY: Excuse me. It’s a geopolitical foe. And I said in the same — in the same paragraph, I said, and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin, and I’m certainly not going to say to him, I’ll give you more flexibility after the election. After the election he’ll get more backbone.

It turns out thats not exactly what Obama said... Obama actually said...

"This is my last election.. after my election I'll have more flexibility.

But Obama, wisely, chose not to correct Romney.

Drago said...

Freder: "And pray tell who exactly would we have a real naval shooting war with? China? Russia? You've got to be kidding."

It's not your fault you are so ill informed.

I would advise you to cast your gaze at the significant and clear Chinese buildup of SSM's designed specifically for anti-Carrier Group operations in order to bring pressure to bear on the Taiwanese.

This is a transparent move. The Chinese do not even hide it.

And these are some of the same weapons systems being provided to Iran for the purpose of threatening the Straits of Hormuz.

Further, there are already rumblings concerning the Egyptians and Chinese/Russian/NK missile technology for shutting down the Suez and Eastern Med.

Freder, perhaps your obvious lack knowledge/understanding of military history, tactics, strategy, military & geo-political strategy and capabilities (based on cultural inclinations and technological development) should preclude you from commenting on a subject such as this.

I mean, we can EXPLAIN it to you, but we cannot COMPREHEND it for you.

kcom said...

Which is why I carefully phrased it "line of infantry".

Which means you really didn't have a point, right? You were trying to get by on semantics. Obama didn't talk about lines of infantry charging with bayonets. He talked about the existence of bayonets. Why would soldiers in the 21st century make a habit of using tactics that were rendered obsolete in the early 20th century? With the same weapons you can adapt new tactics. See the history of the rifle.

Colonel Angus said...

And pray tell who exactly would we have a real naval shooting war with? China? Russia? You've got to be kidding.

Why? It's not like we are even friends. In point of fact, we have very competing interests in the region not to mention defense treaties with a couple of countries who have even bigger security issues with them.

I would say your incredulousness over the prospect betrays your ignorance of the secutity landscape in the region.

Henry said...

Reading the transcript and some of the commentary (submarines are "boats", not "ships") I've become increasingly disgusted with Mr. Obama.

I'm mildly annoyed by Mr. Romney. Don't just say the Navy needs more ships. Explain why!

I'm wholly disgusted by Mr. Obama. In this one case, I'm actually closer to his position. I find it very hard to believe that we need as much military hardware as the rest of the world combined. But instead of defending a position -- that of a leaner military -- the president resorted to snark.

This is a matter of national security. What is the mission of our navy? And Obama used the moment to preen. It was a vile performance.

Cedarford said...

Mitchell said...
A retired soldier once told me that the best way to remove a bayonet, that's stuck in your enemy, is to blast it out.

Military humor.

========
Gets better.
1. Try and twist it free 1st. This also opens up the wound channel for better killing power.
2. Taht doesn't work? Avert your eyes. Then:
3. Pull trigger until weapon is freed.

Why avert your eyes???

So you don't get a faceful of blood, tissue, and bone fragement spatter, dummy!!

Calypso Facto said...

The current and former Navy sailors I know are decidedly NOT impressed with being relegated to the dustbin with horse cavalry by the Commander in Chief.

Colonel Angus said...

Now, an entire flotilla of ships can be taken out by one measly platform, be that bomber, ship or land-based. This would argue for MORE ships,not less, if it ever comes to a real naval shooting war

Indeed, just ask the Brits. Her Majesty's Navy received a bit of a pounding from a second rate banana republic back in the early 1980s.

Freder Frederson said...

The action in question was a line of 82nd Airbone infantrymen charging an VC position after the order came down to fix bayonets. I have talked to several of the men that were involved in that firefight.

Well, I guess I lose the bet. You did find an instance in the last fifty years.

Scott M said...

Well, I guess I lose the bet. You did find an instance in the last fifty years.

There have been more.

Kirk Parker said...

Binders full of non-working women? How very, very 50's.

traditionalguy said...

BTW, the Day After an EMP burst over a battlefield, the side with horses will be the winner.

Colonel Angus said...

My guess that Romney didn't take Obama to task for his apparent idiocy is that Romney is a gracious person and pointing out an idiot's idiocy is beneath the office.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Henry,
"I find it very hard to believe that we need as much military hardware as the rest of the world combined."

We're not even close to that level.

Cedarford said...

Sort of a pity that Romney didn't have the military knowledge to come back with:

1. Mr President, the Marines have bayonets. They love their bayonets! And I am not going to take them away if I am President.

Instant debate winner.

or

2. Mr President, those ships that go underwater are called boats - and almost changed the outcome of the First World War. They are not new technology, as you seem to think. Neither are aircraft carriers, which had already been used in attacks before 1917.
You need to listen to the Navy and not imagine that you are smarter than them, know their history better than they do. A man has got to understand his limitations, as some old actor said in a movie....

Instant debate winner!

cubanbob said...

Freder Frederson said...
This would argue for MORE ships, not less, if it ever comes to a real naval shooting war

And pray tell who exactly would we have a real naval shooting war with? China? Russia? You've got to be kidding.

10/23/12 11:08 AM

You may not be aware that among other things the Navy is the taxi service for the Army. It takes a lot ships to transport and supply an armored infantry division. An d a lot of ships to protect the transports.

Michael said...

Freder: It has been noted in the press in the last 24 hours that bayonets have been used in Afghanistan in the last decade.

I am not sure that any army has marched "in a line" with bayonets drawn in the visual you seem to portray I believe you are thinking of the Civil War or perhaps the Crimean War.

Colonel Angus said...

"I find it very hard to believe that we need as much military hardware as the rest of the world combined."

Assuming that were true, it largely due to the role as leader of the free world. If we wish to relinquish the responsibility then that's fine. Bring our troops home, pull out of NATO, and our mutual defense treaties and focus on building roads, bridges and a school teacher in every home. Just don't act surprised when everything goes to hell.

The reality is that there has always been a superpower or shared superpowers. The question is who fills the void.

Writ Small said...

Horses and Bayonets are two of the three symbols that appear on Risk (TM Hasbro) cards. Again with the conflating of war and board games. Obama must have thought his attacks would make Romney looks small. Poor little guy.

Methadras said...

I thought it was Stage 3 Romnesia being the great Urkel meme now.

Methadras said...

If anything, Urkel will go down in history as being at great meme creator. At least he can lay claim to having built that.

Methadras said...

Urkel always has been presenting the meme that the joint chiefs do not want more funding for their armed forces? Really? I've never heard them say that. This is code to the contrary that the reason they aren't asking for more funds is because they've been ordered to cut. And Urkel signed the sequestration into law. The guy just lies on a momentary basis and believes it.

Methadras said...

EMD said...

Obama hasn't learned to let the surrogates do the snarking.


Where do you think leftard snark emanates from?

Seeing Red said...

I love the idea of Russia building a naval yard on Cuba, don't you?

Is Freder even paying attn to what's going on in the Orient?

Seeing Red said...

Freder - read Rantburg.

MayBee said...

Imagine if we'd had ships with those plane thingies on top of them within flying distance of Libya.

We might have been able to rescue our Ambassador ourselves, and not leave it to some "looters" to find his body and do with it whatever they did.

Some Seppo said...

British bayonet charge in BASRA.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0bd_1249524865

AlphaLiberal said...

For Pete's sake, Obama never said our military today does not use horses or bayonets! He said they use we use FEWER horses and bayonets.

Do conservatives understand what "fewer" means? What a dumb and picayune response.

Meanwhile, Romney gave ol' Gerald Ford a run for his money:

"Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea. It's the route for them to arm Hezbollah in Lebanon, which threatens, of course, our ally, Israel."

Iran has three seas on it's border. However, it does not have Syria on it's border. Romney has made this gaffe many times.

I guess in the alternate Republican universe, Iran is landlocked and bordered by Syria.

Yeesh!

ThomasD said...

You know what the navy doesn't have, even on any of it's aircraft carriers?

Corpse men.

Barack H. Obama, Military Sooperjeenyus.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here is the bayonet exchange which Republicans clearly wish had gone differently:



Romney: "Our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We're now at under 285...We're headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. That's unacceptable to me."

Obama: "You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines."

Apparently, the conservative blabbers are now telling us we should have the same military as we did back in 1917.

What a dumb argument to make. Really, it should cause your head to explode.

Henry said...

@exhelodrvr1 -- True. That was a very hasty overgeneralization.

But still:

11 of 22 aircraft carriers,
22 of 28 cruisers,
56 of 153 destroyers
71 of 134 nuclear submarines

We tend to match the rest of the world in the big ticket items. After that it's a pretty mixed bag based on country-by-country priorities.

Russia has a hell of a lot of battle tanks (22,000 out of 86,000). We have a lot of attack helicopters (6,400 out of 8,400).

(I'm referencing this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_level_of_military_equipment acknowledging that the data is disputed. Also see this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures).

In terms of budget, the U.S. spends three times as much as Russia and PRC combined. If you consider that the next big spenders are all allies (Germany, France, Japan, U.K., South Korea), I think my point holds. What is the mission?

I'm not saying that these levels of military spending are ipso facto wrong, but what is the mission?

That's what the President failed to answer. So intent was he to mock Mr. Romney he forgot that he was answerable to the American people.

EMD said...

FEWER horses and bayonets.

With more troops, do not use fewer bayonets.

AlphaLiberal said...

1. Mr President, the Marines have bayonets. They love their bayonets! And I am not going to take them away if I am President.

How deluded or dishonest do you need to be to say that "fewer" means "take away?"

If this is the best you guys have from that debate, you are admitting you got your arses kicked.

ThomasD said...

Romney: 'The Navy says they need 313 ships'

Obama: 'Yeah so, what do they know?'

And leftists think this was a winning exchange.

Epistemic closure at it's finest.

EMD said...

Iran has three seas on it's border. However, it does not have Syria on it's border. Romney has made this gaffe many times.

Yes, he's wrong, but if you're physically heading to Israel, how would you get there? Strategically speaking.

I'd cut through an under-defended Iraq and then Syria and not fuck around with going all the way around Saudi Arabia, getting creamed in the Persian Gulf.

Of course this is moot if Iran can go full nuclear.

Cedarford said...

DBQ - However, Romney is correct in that we should allow the military, the navy to determine what they need to succeed and what they need to protect their troops, not some trumped up community organizer or a bunch of ignorant buffoons in Congress.

There is still a strong case for civilians not to defer to "career military" on all matters related to military equipping and military strategy.
The military does suffer from a balliwick mentality and seeing their specialty as the solution to all problems and of course, the "can do attitude!" can lead to fatal military overoptimism and create a nondeliberate misleading of US leadership.

Examples:

1. AF officer arguing with an Army tanker that the most important element to victory in future war will be a 350 million fighter jet with "extra terrorist fighting capability on top of air supremacy". With the Army tanker calling that ridiculous and what is needed is a 48 million dollar tank that gets 0.2 MPG because it is also equipped with a full anti-air missile and radar battery it carries along with "premiere terrorist Evildoer perimeter defense and can show movies for the crew of "heroes" on board.

2. Zealous suckup commander tells his boss that the General's idea to hand out soccer balls to girls in Fallujah is pure genius and it will result in Iraqi freedom and democracy. General reports to Pentagon that the suckup afiirms soccer balls will win the war. The Pentagon PR lawyer spokeslady tells the White House that empowered girls with soccer balls are turning the tide.

The White House, not wishing to second guess Commanders in the field, orders 50,000 more soccer balls given to empowered young girls in Iraq.

Back in Iraq, the elders are very offended that the soccer balls are being given to girls without their approval...

The Jihadis, after laughing their asses off, direct all the young boys wishing to be shaheeds some day to take away the soccer balls. And turn over all they don't wish to play with while the girls properly go home to clean and cook - to be filled with ammonium nitrate, TNT, and nails. As soccer balls make great IEDs to kill infidel dogs.

EMD said...

Iran has three seas

I think we can all admit that the Caspian Sea is pretty useless.

Scott M said...

And turn over all they don't wish to play with while the girls properly go home to clean and cook - to be filled with ammonium nitrate, TNT, and nails.

Why fill the girls with ammonium nitrate, TNT, and nails? Why not use the soccer balls?

Edmund said...

@lphaLiberal For Pete's sake, Obama never said our military today does not use horses or bayonets! He said they use we use FEWER horses and bayonets.

Right on horses. Wrong on bayonets. At the start of 1917, the regular Army was authorized to be enlarged to 140k troops. Today it's 561k. The Army issues M9 bayonets for use on M16s and trains in their use. So, today we have 4x as many bayonet-capable troops.

By 1918, we had a lot more troops as we were in WW I and conscripting soldiers. Then we shrank the Army, and had to enlarge it again for WW II. People forget that until the Cold War, the US had a very small standing army.

ThomasD said...

"There is still a strong case for civilians not to defer to "career military" on all matters related to military equipping and military strategy."

Of course there is. But it is part of the job of the President/CiC to respond directly to the requests of the career military.

Obama poking fun at StrawRomney did nothing to counter the legitimate estimates from the Navy.

Kirk Parker said...

Henry,

"I find it very hard to believe that we need as much military hardware as the rest of the world combined"

Pax Americana works a whole lot better that way.

Henry said...

Pax Americana works a whole lot better that way.

If that's the mission, the candidate (Romney) should be prepared to explain and defend it. If that's NOT the mission, the candidate (Obama) should explain what he thinks the mission actually is.

Conserve Liberty said...

Japan is a Treaty Ally of the United States.

Japan accounts for nearly 25% of world Gross Economic Activity.

Japan imports virtually all of its energy.

To import energy Japan requires the sea lanes around its island nation remain open and free of hostile threats.

China is a hostile threat to Japan.

China is thus a hostile threat to a Treaty Ally that accounts for nearly 25% of world Gross Economic Acvtivity.

We therefore have a treaty duty to maintain sufficient naval foces to keep the sea lanes around Japan open and free of hostile threats.

The Navy says it needs 313 ships and boats to accomplish this and its other missions. President Obama says it needs only 285 ships and boats and is content to allow that number decline to the low 200's.

I'll side with our treaty allies. What say you?

Darrell said...

I read in the last couple of days that those "binders of women" were put together by several womens groups in Massachusetts and given to both the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor in hopes that the winner would increase the number of women serving in top positions in Mass government. One of the women hired by Romney out of that binder recently spoke about the experience.

And yet that didn't shut anyone up.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Henry,
I agree that Obama does not understand the mission, which is why he doesn't use the numbers correctly. Romney apparently does (admittedly a very small sample size.) It was a perfect opportunity for Obama to come back with how he thinks his vision for our future military accomplishes his vision for our future foreign policy/economic development. He didn't, which pretty clearly indicates that he doesn't have an understand the interaction between the military and foreign policy.

Cedarford said...

China is a hostile threat to Japan.

China is thus a hostile threat to a Treaty Ally that accounts for nearly 25% of world Gross Economic Acvtivity.

We therefore have a treaty duty to maintain sufficient naval foces to keep the sea lanes around Japan open and free of hostile threats.

The Navy says it needs 313 ships and boats to accomplish this and its other missions. President Obama says it needs only 285 ships and boats and is content to allow that number decline to the low 200's.

I'll side with our treaty allies. What say you?

===================
I say with the US 16 trillion in hock, with the US owing China 10,480 dollars a household from Obama's sides entitlements and Bush's side stupid wars of Adventure...
That we should tell the Japanese to spend some of their own money to do more to protect their own sea lands.
Given they are a prosperous nation with 25% of the global economy and without the path to bankruptcy the ObamaPhone Mommas and Neocons helped us get on.

Cedarford said...

Sea lanes!!

Kirk Parker said...

Henry,

Nice find of the actual figures.

I wonder if the 'rest of the world' figures for carriers includes the Charles de Gaulle--is she back operational yet?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"If anything, Urkel will go down in history as being at great meme creator. At least he can lay claim to having built that."

I am hearing there is a severe straw shortage in DC.

This, offset by the demand for horses and bayonets.

Kirk Parker said...

And I guess I should make explicit what was only implicit in my question--are the 'other' carriers really equivalent to ours?

sleepless nights said...

Romney mentored Meg Whitman when she was just out of college. I'm guessing she's about 10 years younger than he is, but that's a really critical time period. Her success reflects well on him.

Kirk Parker said...

And--aha!--partially answering my own questions, the figures for carriers only include CV/CVN's; Amphibious Assault Ships (LHD) and (arguably) our one remaining LHA are comparable to at least some nations' carriers in terms of size and capabilities, though carrying a much more limited mix of aircraft. So it might be fair and comparable to include those in the carrier, making it 20 of 31 (2/3) instead of 11 of 22 (1/2).

Drago said...

Alpha: "Iran has three seas on it's border. However, it does not have Syria on it's border. Romney has made this gaffe many times."

Romney needs to slow down on this point. He tends to shorten what he is saying and often neglects to state completely that thru Syria Iran could have direct influence into the Mediterranean Sea.

That's sort of a big point since it has often been noted that the Iranians would enjoy direct access to the Med in order to threaten Western nations.

Drago said...

Kirk: "So it might be fair and comparable to include those in the carrier, making it 20 of 31 (2/3) instead of 11 of 22 (1/2)."

No, it would not be "fair" or even relevant to include LHD's or LHA's along with our "big decks".

They are not remotely comparable in terms of firepower and ability to project that firepower.

For instance, the amphib have no SEAD capabilities to speak of which are critical for force projection.

You would never send a "li'l ol" Amphib carrier into a real hornets nest of action all by it's lonesome.

It would get real ugly, real fast. 6 to 10 Harriers are just not enough.

Drago said...

Kirk: "I wonder if the 'rest of the world' figures for carriers includes the Charles de Gaulle--is she back operational yet?"

LOL

Even when the de Gaulle was "operational", she wasn't really that "operational".....

The French are forever living off of their Napoleanic history.

The French, as we know them today, have been "the French" since 1821.

LOL

What was it that Patton said? "I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me."

furious_a said...

Blame Bush. Bain. Big Bird. 'bortions. Binders. Bayonets....

Obama campaign hasn't reached the 'C's yet and there's only two weeks left until Election Day.

furious_a said...

Iran has three seas on it's border. However, it does not have Syria on it's border.

Iranian aircraft are overflying Iraq on their way to Syria.

Like Obama, so 19th Century with railroads and windmills.

Colonel Angus said...

Apparently, the conservative blabbers are now telling us we should have the same military as we did back in 1917.

Actually if you read what Romney said, it was that the Navy stated it needed 300+ ships. If that puts us at 1917 levels of preparedness, blame the Navy, not Romney.

Obama was trying to be cute rather than address the needs of the Navy. I'm sure it warms the cockles of liberal supporters but it only demonstrates his unseriousness as CinC.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

The punk face and shit eating grin of the agitator-in-chief is a 'tell'.

It says, you just touched a nerve, how dare you.

Over his head, over his head, over his head...Clint Eastwood was dead-on.

Conserve Liberty said...

I say with the US 16 trillion in hock, with the US owing China 10,480 dollars a household from Obama's sides entitlements and Bush's side stupid wars of Adventure...
That we should tell the Japanese to spend some of their own money to do more to protect their own sea lands.
Given they are a prosperous nation with 25% of the global economy and without the path to bankruptcy the ObamaPhone Mommas and Neocons helped us get on.


Two points:
1. One reason the US Dolalr has been the world's accepted reserve currency is a return for our agreement to defend freedom of the seas with our globe-encircling Navy. If you really want to see a global economic hyperinflation then collapse, breach that historical agrement and dislodge the dollar as the workld's reserve currency.
2. Your argument is, of course, the reason these socialists refused to write a budget for four years and borrowed $5.5BBN by continuing resolution. At some point we simply cannmot afford to maintain the defense of the world any more. They intentionally brought that day much, much closer.

Bastards.
1.

Kirk Parker said...

Drago,

You missed my point--which was not to compare the LHD's to our CVN's, but to compare them to whatever else made up the 11 'carriers' that were in the 'other nations' columns.

Scott M said...

Bastards.
1.


1. ? I'm dying to know...

Colonel Angus said...

That we should tell the Japanese to spend some of their own money to do more to protect their own sea lands.

That didn't work out well for China last time.

edutcher said...

Balfegor said...

Every day for formation or PT. Every battle drill a soldier or marine learns involves lines.

I guess it makes sense for drills. Do they still line up 19th century style when actually engaging the enemy?


Light infantry tactics (dispersal, use available cover, fire and movement) supplanted a lot of that. The rest was done by the other side having automatic weapons.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

This "debate" with subsequent comments is, IMO, ridiculous. First, as others have noted: why have a navy? Ans--a navy permits you to project force thousands of miles away from your homeland. For example: Dame Thatcher's navy permitted British Forces to dispatch the Argentines in their ill advised effort to retake the Falklands--Ask the Argentine sailors who went down the Begrano. And a Carrier Battlegroup is an impressive force that also works for, gasp, for humanitarian actions. George Bush was widely ridiculed for sending an carrier battle group to Indonesia following the earthquake and Tsunami, but a CVBG has a tremendous potential for saving lives as well as taking them.

With respect to bayonets. As an aging soldier I much prefer to use a M1911 45 for close combat, but it is nice to know that a bayonet is available if needed. For those who have never been in combat, its all about standoff--the further you away from your adversary the better off you are.d

Obama's comments reflect, as do some commenters above, only confirm the fact the fact they know nothing of which they speak.

Roger J. said...

As an old cavalry man, but mounted in an armored vehicle, the cavalry is romantic but impractical. If you have not seen the movie warhorse, you should see what happens to horsemounted cavalry in the modern era of automatic weapons. Even in the days before automatic weapons, the way you killed cavalry was to kill their horses. A dismounted cavalry man is a lightly armed target.

Scott M said...

For those who have never been in combat, its all about standoff--the further you away from your adversary the better off you are.d

The modern bayonet has a ton of uses to the average soldier. Aside from most people's image of a long thingy at the end of a musket, the modern bayonet is basically a combat knife with the ability to be afixed. It's also a thousand-in-one tool (though a lot of guys I served with also had a leatherman handy).

On the last, it's a fallback weapon more often than not, hanging inverted on the opposite side of your dominant hand. Guns jam. Knives don't.

Patrick said...

US soldiers at Ia Drang (1965) fixed bayonets and used them in close combat, the first major conflict of Vietnam.

A friend with 3 tours in Iraq says they routinely fixed bayonets when they were "kicking in doors." He never used the bayonet, however.

He made in through three tours with only one injury. He broke his ankle while fishing.

Conserve Liberty said...

Bastards.
1.

@Scott M. 1. ? I'm dying to know...


Given the other proofing errors in the entry I neglected to read before posting.

However, maybe, as in a bastard, there is (1) no honor in their backgrounds. These guys simply cannot accept the rules of engagement in this country - in fact they laugh that we try to play by whatever rules we think exist, and they cynically take advantage of our self-enforced sense of a social order.

They never accept defeat, the will of the people, the rule of law, the expectations of those who consent to be governed - they sneer at the very idea that they are but temporary stewards of a larger idea. They reject the very notion of a larger idea.

I'll bet if Romney wins 370 Electors the media and Obama will still act like they're entitled to control the discussion and manage the outcome.

Bastards.

Sunslut7 said...

Ann,
Don't overlook the John Ford movie entitled: "The HorseSoldiers". Starring John Wayne and William Holden and the usual Ford brigade of character actors. Also it included a pretty piece of Southern womanhood by the name of Constance travers or MacKenzie (I forget which). And yes there may be bayonets in the movie. yes, there are lots of horses too. But no Big Bird and now binders of women.

Speaking of the term 'Binders of Women' I get an image of women bound and gagged in their very best corporate attire. Ernestly awaiting orders to 'serve' their masters. The BDS&M meme runs through the entire narrative. Is this an attempt by Obama to secure the support of the kinky crowd in Ohio. A like 'FERNWOOD Tonight' audience solicitation on behalf of the chosen one?

Aridog said...

C4..."career military"...

At the senior ranks, that term no longer means what you think it means. When you have 1.4 Million+ active duty military "overseen" by 800+ flag or general rank officers, supervision bureaucracy has taken over the military political and social structure...It is now at 1750 troops/sailers/airmen per individual admiral/general. In prior sane times, a Brigade would range from 2500 to 4000 or so men, and be commanded by an 06, aka a Colonel.

WTF are we doing with all these generals and admirals? We don't have near the Division, Corps or "Army" organizations, Army or USMC, to justify the number.

Roger J. said...

Aridog--your post re ratio of flag officers to soldiers is on target (no pun intended)--during world war two when we had a huge army, general officers were quite rare. Now, not so much.

AndyN said...

On how many levels does Obama's horses and bayonets comment fail?

Only the truly delusional would believe that he's quick enough on his feet to have come up with this on the spot, so it's obviously a talking point that he was drilled on expecting Romney to comment on the size of the navy. How weak does the campaign have to be to think that not only is it a good idea to counter a substantive criticism with snark, but to do it with quantifiably factually inaccurate snark?

If our plan to keep Iran from going nuclear really is to bring sanctions, how are we to enforce those sanctions without the threat of blockade? Will the force levels that Obama wants to maintain be enough to accomplish that? Is there any reason to believe that Obama could even guess at an accurate answer to that question?

And how's this for a bit of irony... Just one week ago tonight Obama said: "I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets. And so what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced..." The Clinton assault weapon ban prohibited a small list of guns specified by name, and a larger group of guns that congress designated as "assault weapons" based on having more than an acceptable limit of features specified in the law. Among those features was the a bayonet lug. Odd that Obama would consider such an anachronism something that should be kept out of the hands of civilians.

Titus said...

Binders and Big Bird were stupid.

But this bayonet thing is an entirely different can of worms.

Jason said...

Freder: Not really, I bet you can't find an instance of line of infantry charging with fixed bayonets in the last fifty years.

Freder, you're an idiot. Really.

I immediately thought of the Argyle Highlanders in Basra, because I blogged it when it happened.

David Bellavia, now running for Congress in Pennsylvania, killed a moojie with a knife in the Battle of Fallujah. At the time he was... wait for it... infantry. In a line.

Someone also mentioned a recent action in Afghanistan. Actually, there was more than one. One I know of at Kakarand a couple of years ago.

The British army dislodged the Argentinians from Mount Tumbledown with a bayonet charge in 1983, moron.

My dad fixed bayonets at the end of the Battle of Souy Cut, January 1-2, 1968, after Fire Support Base Burt got overrun by NVA. Oliver Stone was there, too, in a mech company - that was the model for the climactic scene in the movie, Platoon.

Some asshole said rank and file Army doesn't get trained on the bayonet. That's not true either.I've been on many bayonet assault courses and have had troops train on them as well.

What the fuck is it with libtards who want to yap about shit they know nothing about when it comes to the military?

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