Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Submarine Forces

Terrorism today is one of the primary focuses for our armed services to concentrate on. One of these armed forces is the SSN or submarine force. I wanted to take a look at how our 50+ submarine force is equipped to handle the threats of terrorism. Submarines were the focus of the cold war and today may not seem very useful. I would argue though that as an intelligence gathering force and as a mobile weapons platform will help win the war on terror. A submarine can launch “harpoons” which amount to smaller cruise missiles that can hit targets on the land. The USS Cole demonstrated the shortsightedness of having boats in harbor. A submarines ability for extended deployment underwater will take away this form of fighting against a sub. The USS Seawolf which is one of two brand new seawolf class submarines carries a large number of Tomahawk missiles for use against land targets. Hostile nations like Iran have access to diesel powered submarines which if combined with a nuclear threat would need to be shadowed by one of out attack subs. The two classes of sub used by the US Navy are attack subs and boomers. Boomers are the large missile boats that still carry nuclear ordinance and other weapons. The boomers of other nations are shadowed by our attack boats as well as deploying attack boats to protect surface carrier battle groups. The idea of a nation like Iran being in possession of boats deployed on a diesel submarine (which is almost as quiet as a nuclear sub) is a very scary thought. The US Navy has the capabilities to try and engage those boats that will be carrying nuclear weapons but it may not be able to fight them as easily in the Arabian Sea.
Intelligence gathering and commando operations are another use for a submarine. The submarine can be used to wait of the coast and pick up agents leaving the country by clandestine means disappearing under the water before other nations can respond. They also have antennas that could receive short term transmissions for rebroadcast depending on the mission requirements of the undercover agent. Navy Seal Teams have also deployed from submarines in the past and submarines could be an efficient way of moving people in to shores which do not have a gradual coast. The Navy Seal teams could enter undetected as the approach is done under the water where few warning signs are available. Submarines can efficiently deploy mines in an area without the knowledge of an enemy. A mine dropping ship or plane might be detected but there is a far less chance of a mine laying sub being detected leaving the area hazardous to the ships of those nations that sponsor terrorism.
Submarines will be an important factor in fighting terrorism as methods become more advanced and as they are isolated in their camps. The ability to have a transport vehicle that can secretly deploy teams and or weapons even more undected than a plane will be an important factor in future warfare. The Seawofl class is the worlds most advanced submarine and although to date there have only been two completed only time will tell how many will be used in the fight against terrorism.
(All references on submarine capabilities can be referenced to Tom Clancy’s “Submarine”)

Sponsor an NHL Player

Denver talk radio host Mike Rosen has a great satirical page imploring the public to help the poor, impovrished NHL players. It's only around $700 per month. As Rosen says,

Although $700 may not seem like a lot of money to you, to a Hockey Player it could mean the difference between spending the lockout golfing in Florida or on a Mediterranean cruise.
It really is a tragic, tragic story. The mean owners locked the players out of their arenas, and they had no choice but to pack their bags and leave for Europe where many will play in their native countries. It must be so hard for them to go back to their families and not play here in the US. But you can sponsor a player and help him live the lifestyle he's accustomed to. So please, when you sit down to dinner tonight, think of poor Sergei Fedorov, or Eric Lindros. And most tragic of all, the New York Rangers.

Well, you know, I'm probably being a little too harsh on the players. NHL players for the most part seem to be very nice guys, and they're not all paid like Peter Forsberg or Derian Hatcher. It's the younger guys like Marek Svatos and Vincent Lecavilier who will be most hurt by this. It will also be smaller, but more exciting clubs like Calgary and Minnesota who will be hurt as opposed to New York and Detroit.

I'm annoyed at this whole situation, because, frankly, I want my hockey. I'm annoyed at the typical union intrasigence of the NHLPA and the typical whing of the owners. I don't really know if hockey needs a salary cap, but the other sports have them, and I don't think they've made things worse. I certainly think the NFL has gotten better. Sports stars get paid outrageous salaries anyway and owners also make a great deal of money. Admittedly, hockey is probably the least afflicted of the major sports, but they will find almost no sympathy from the general public for either side. People see this just like the 1994 MLB strike, except that fewer people care.

You think there's a bias against conservatives in the media? Try fighting the bias in the sports media against the sport of hockey and the NHL. No one likes to cover them, except in cities like St. Paul and Denver (of course the Candaian teams are different). Many sports writers and reporters are openly hostile to hockey. They won't even talk about the Stanley Cup until the finals, and then it's on to who Latrell Sprewell choked today or who John Rocker insulted or the price of Terell Owens' new earrings. I used to be disgusted with the way the guys on ESPN's Around the Horn would mercilessly ridicule hockey and then move on to Yanks/Sawks as quickly as they could. Don't get me wrong, I love that show; I'm just sick of the attitude.

What I'm trying to say is that the sport of hockey can't afford this. Hockey has plenty of loyal fans who will likely come back, but they were only marginally keeping things afloat. A lockout is only going to hurt a sport struggling for TV ratings and ticket sales in certain markets. This is not what hockey needs. What the sport could use is a contraction of some teams in markets that expanded too quickly and some tweaks to pump up the excitement a bit. I already think it's the most exciting game to watch, but it would be helped immensely by making the goals a bit larger for more scoring.

In the meantime, I guess I'll just do what every other hockey fan can do: wait and watch college hockey.

The Looney Left in Writing

Rush read an amazing piece from the Boston Globe yesterday that was written by James Carroll, who has clearly quaffed deeply from the cup of Michael Moore Kool-Aid. You can read the piece here, but I would recommend going to Rush's site and listening to his commentary here.

The Iraq Policy, My Friend, is Blowin' in the Wind

Laura Ingraham mentioned that the Bush campaign has a new ad out today using footage of Kerry windsurfing to illustrate his back-and-forth policies. This is a fantastic commercial, and it's also pretty funny.

Hindrocket over at Powerline notes that whoever decided it was a good idea to have cameras follow Kerry windsurfing wasn't thinking too clearly.

Bush's Speech

President Bush gave a very good speech at the UN today. Hugh Hewitt played it on his show and he commented on the lack of applause. Bush had some tough words for a lot of the corrupt and oppressive governments there and Hugh's definitely right that they must have either been bitter or uncomfortable.

You can read the speech at the White House website. It's definitely worth your time.

A Few Links

Just to keep things moving in the downtime here, I thought I'd point out some of the more interesting stuff I came across today.

First, Instapundit links to David Bernstein's post over at The Volokh Conspiracy showing conclusively Reuters' philosophy of terrorist appeasement. At this point, though, no one should really be surprised. They don't call it al-Reuters for nothing.

Then Ramesh Ponnuru points to this disgusting story of a soldier being attacked for wearing an Operation Iraqi Freedom T-shirt. Unfortunately, it doesn't particularly shock me that the ultra-leftists are willing to go this far. What is surprising is that it was at a Toby Keith concert.

Meanwhile, Captain Ed has a very interesting tale of the Kerry Campaign attempting to undermine one of our allies. Kerry apparently sent his sister down there to warn them of the dangers of a second Bush administration but also to work against John Howard's reelection. I have to say I share the Captain's disgust with this, not least because here the Kerry campaign is actively working against one of those alliances he's so concerned about. What really bothers me is that he apparently thinks it's okay to have a political party from one country working against a candidate in another. That's a disturbing precedent. Can you imagine the outcry if Jeb Bush had gone to Germany to campaign against Gerhard Schroeder?

Also of note is the fact that Cartoon Network played the episode of Family Guy containing the following joke tonight:

Peter: "Don't worry. There are lots of crazy people who went on to live happy, successful lives." [Cut to a picture of Dan Rather]

Coincidence? Almost certainly. It's still funny.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Broncos

I don't think I have to tell you how painful it is to see your team in field goal range, down by one with 30 seconds left in the 4th quarter fumble the ball and turn it over. And to Jacksonville of all teams. Arrgh.

At least the Chiefs lost. But the Raiders won...

Also, how are the Jets and the Lions 2-0?

I miss hockey.

If you're not reading VDH, what's wrong with you?

Again, I want to apologize for the lack of blogging. I've been distracted with the job search and just haven't seen anything I've felt compelled to write about. That also probably means I'm not reading enough. Everyone else is busy with exams, something I don't miss, but I'm beginning to feel they're prefereable to looking for a job.

Anyway, here's something I did read, Victor Davis Hanson's latest column over at NRO. He again discusses the disasterous consequences of a premature withdrawl from Iraq. I really can't recommmend him higly enough. He is someone who truely understands what is going on in the world today. It's kind of funny that it takes a classicist to do that.