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92
I've been to the Alaskan panhandle and south to Victoria in early May.  The weather was better than Chicago.  From what I gather, it's a relatively mild winter, say no worse than Ireland or Scotland.
93

Do you have any thoughts on where this might be going or what programs, if any, are in the pipeline?


In the *US* pipeline? If recent years (say, the last 40 of 'em) are any guide, damn near nothing that will actually come to pass as an intended program. There is always work going on to design the Next Great Reusable Rapid Reaction Launch System... just as there has been for about as long as I've been alive, with little to show for it. However, there may be a lot of systems sort of sneaking up that'll do the job... SpaceX for space launch and various smallsat/nanosat technologies to replace military satellites that "near-peers" are or will be soon able to take out at will.

Space is currently used for recon, communications and navigation. So far as anyone knows, it is not used for weapons, and there's no evidence that that's going to change anytime soon for the US. SpaceX and Blue Origin *may* be able to provide the ability to reasonably rapidly replace satellites used for recon, comms and nav. The X-37 seems to be related to that, though what advantage it would actually provide in wartime is unclear.
94

Maybe. It was totally unnecessary in the context of the post.

??? Read in context, it was no more than "oy vey."


Quote
Dictionary Definition:
a person treacherous enough to betray a friend; traitor.

Bah.


Orion - Hopefully I'm not putting you on the spot but you're a space specialist.  McCains paper offers only a paragraph about this sphere.  Writing "For decades, the U.S. military has assumed that space was a sanctuary. No more. Near-peer competitors such as Russia and China are developing military capabilities explicitly to deny U.S. forces the use of space, including by targeting our satellites."

Do you have any thoughts on where this might be going or what programs, if any, are in the pipeline?

N
95
Couldn't the Skyraider or Martin Mauler carry four torpedoes ?
96
The Spec for the new medium bomber that was fulfilled by the Halifax and Manchester was initially to be capable of carrying two 18" torpedoes. And that is a large aircraft but still two not four.

I did read that the spec was originally for 4 torpdoes then someway along the timeline, it was realised that torpedoes were quite large things.
97

Maybe. It was totally unnecessary in the context of the post.

??? Read in context, it was no more than "oy vey."


Quote
Dictionary Definition:
a person treacherous enough to betray a friend; traitor.

Bah.

98
Would like to see the Navy/USMC "high/low" mix include the USGS.  Increased amphib/small surface combatant production levels could involve moving some capability to the USGS.  One could make a case that 16 F-35B's on a large deck amphib (especially if they get NGJ capability soon) are as effective as at least 1/2 a CVN w/F-18's.  Basically "distributed lethality".

Neil, could you tell me what the USGS acronym stands for? I couldn't find it in the PDF.

Sure.  US Geological Service.  But what I meant to write was USCG - United States Coast Guard.  That probably makes more sense to you.  Sorry about that.

Folks don't think about the Coast Guard too often.  It actually has quite an expansive authority.  It's jurisdiction includes both domestic and international waters.  Also has unique latitude in maritime law enforcement based on its original mission of enforcing tariff laws and preventing smuggling.  Ask anyone that's been boarded by them in the middle of the night.

So, much as the US military relies on the National Guard, I'd like to see amphib/small surface combatant capability extended into the USCG.  This would include HA/DR missions around the world.  The USCG 14th District boundaries include the Hawaiian Islands and most of the Central and Western Pacific with units stretched between Singapore, Japan and Hawaii.

Thanks Neil! Makes much more sense to me now.

I have to wonder how the USCG personnel would feel about being more directly involved with warfighting, or are we talking about something more akin to how the UK Royal Fleet Auxilliary operates a significant part of the Royal Navy's amphibious ships?

They are Lions.  Also, the USCG can be transferred to the Navy by POTUS at any time or by Congress during war.  May as well build their ships to greater survivability standards and give them more capability.  I like the 4500T National Security Cutters but would like to see the USCG receive more lethal capabilities.

You seem to be seeking a more warfighting function for what is essentially a naval police force.  I also wonder what the USCG might think about such a fundamental change to its raison de' entre?
99
Russia and the PRC have been "separated" since the 1950s when Mao and Khrushchev fell out over the denunciation over Stalin and then in the 1960s, over the Cultural Revolution.   At no point have they agreed ideologically since.   The Russians' Eastern Frontier with the PRC is heavily fortified and remains so.   The Russians fear the idea of an expansionist China.   To suggest that they are somehow in league is ludicrous.

Trump's Foreign Policy plans appear, at least initially, to be quite insane.  He is playing to his domestic audience and it shows.  Their paranoia and fear of the world is palpable.   Despite Muslims Terrorism killing so few Americans and causing relatively little actual disruption to American society, American society seems terrified at the idea of Muslim Terrorists, despite none coming into the US as refugees.   I'm willing to accept that Trump may be smarter than he initially appears but I wonder if he'll be anything other than a one-term President.   His efforts to try and bring Putin into the fold are admirable but I wonder if Putin is worth the effort?   Russia is a wreck economically, with everything centred on one man and his coterie of associates.   Once Putin leaves the scene, where does that leave Russia?

Trumps efforts against China appear amateurish and even childish.  I am quite willing to reserve judgement on that aspects of his Presidency.   His efforts to place the United States central to his foreign policy are interesting.  I do know he's pissed off my Prime Minister and as far as I am concerned, thats admirable.

100
Sferrin can take a break over the Judas comment.

Wait, what? "Judas" is a common enough exclamation of exasperation, not an insult. Sometimes it's "Judas Priest," said in the same way someone might say "Jesus Christ" or "Jesus Tapdancing Christ" or "Jeebus Cripes" or "FFS" or "frak me" or "oy vey" or whatever. I've heard "Judas" rather more commonly since I moved to Utah because, y'know, Mormons and such.

Maybe. It was totally unnecessary in the context of the post.

Dictionary Definition:
a person treacherous enough to betray a friend; traitor.
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