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    Peter O'Brien ─ tag

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    Strategic Bombing and Gentle War

    Much of the modern way of war springs from the writings of 4 men from the 1920s: Gen. Giulio Douhet, LtGen. Walther Wever, Marshal Hugh Montague “Boom” Trenchard, and of course, Col. Billy Mitchell.All were believers in “strategic bombing,” the idea that bombing the right targets would destroy morale while also destroying industrial capacity and disabling lines of communication, and drive any nation to surrender.Over the years the theory, particularly in the west, has undergone some modifications

    Marshall, Eisenhower and Ukraine

    On January 25th, 1942, USS Sargo (SS-186 (under the command of LtCmdr Tyrell Jacobs)) pulled into Surabaya, Indonesia after finishing a short war patrol, offloaded her remaining torpedoes, loaded 1 million rounds of small-arms ammunition, and headed to Mindanao, the Philippines to provide some ammunition to the US and the Philippine Armies. She then picked up 24 maintenance specialists from the B-17 wing and evacuated them from the Philippines. Jacobs, after three patrols in which he fired a great many torpedoes but sank no ships, turned over command, and ended the war working on, and significantly improving, US torpedoes.

    Putin, Xi, and the Pirate King

    In the news this week, Alexei Navalny, the dissident Russian politician who was serving 30 years in an Arctic Gulag, died. Navalny was a longtime rival of Tsar Vlad, had campaigned against corruption - Putin’s corruption - and after returning to Russia in 2021, had been found guilty of “extremism” and “fraud” - what were clearly nonsense charges, and sentenced to 30 years in prison. 

    To Deter

    There has been some interesting talk in the past week about deterrence and escalation and proportionality and I’m beginning to wonder if those words still mean what I thought they mean, like the word “secret” on the front page of a newspaper. But it’s important to review what they really mean because getting this wrong can have significant consequences.

    Strategic Vision in Wonderland 

    We created a Constitution - a remarkable feat, a document that was the envy of the world for 220 years - and still is if you want the root explanation of why millions of people are trying to get into the US and not so much anywhere else. (How many people tried to sneak into China last year?) 

    Strategic Costs

    One of the questions that keeps popping up in editorials, at least in the last month or two, is whether or not the folks in the White House want Ukraine to win the war with Russia. There are, of course, two obvious answers to that question - yes and no. But I have an unpleasant sense that the correct answer is “maybe.”

    Good Government by Peter O’Brien

    There’s an old adage that if something is “stupid but works, it’s not stupid.” There is, of course, a corollary, that if something is...

    Great Power Struggle by Peter O’Brien

    People don’t change, as a friend reminded me just the other day. 800 years ago the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Moscow wanted...

    Tyranny or Liberty? by Peter O’Brien

    A really smart friend of mine once noted, while speaking of the DOD: “You need to remember that we don’t do why!” Joe’s point was...

    Socialism and Motherhood by Peter O’Brien

    There’s been a lot of talk about Socialism and Socialists of late, with several being elected to Congress. All this even as Venezuela -...

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