04 June 2009

June 4th, 1942











From these honored aviators, Marines and Sailors - those departed and the few left with us, we draw our heritage...our ethos.


May they and their actions this day never be forgotten. And from their stand, may we evermore draw strength.

03 June 2009

North Korea: Here We Go Again - Part II

09broad190As if the 29 April statement from the DPRK Foreign Ministry wasn't provocative enough, comes the latest missive dated 29 May (full statement here):

As long as the UNSC fails to respond to the DPRK's just demand, the DPRK will not recognize any resolution and decision of the UNSC in the future, too.

Third, if the UNSC will make further provocative actions, this will inevitably lead to the DPRK's approach towards adopting stronger self-defensive counter-measures.

The end of the Cold War worldwide works only between big powers, but a Cold War still persists on the Korean Peninsula.

The UNSC-crafted UN Command itself is a signatory to the Korean Armistice Agreement.

Any hostile act by the UNSC immediately means the abrogation of the Armistice Agreement.

The world will soon find out how the army and people of the DPRK will stand up against the high-handed and get-it-alone approach of the UNSC in defending its dignity and sovereignty.

The U.S. is keen on using a catchphrase "Carrot and stick."

It would be better for the "Donkey" of the U.S. Democratic Party to lick the carrot.

Well. What next Alphonse?

Some have said another strong statement from the UNSC would do the trick and if the Russians or Chinese don't join in it won't matter - though in light of the above we are hard-pressed to see how this would work. Others argue that it's time to effect kinetic solutions on the DPRK homeland, to which we respond - 'done a count of tube artillery in the hills outside of Seoul recently?' Clearly those two COAs represent the extremes of the range of operations (assuming 'do nothing' isn't an option). Reflecting some of the rising frustration on this issue, a commenter on another site remarked -"I hear a lot of frustration from pretty much everyone I talk to about this. But what does anyone actually think we should do?" Actually - there is a good bit we can do short of direct, kinetic effects. A couple, for example might be:

1. Step up rigorous enforcement of the Proliferation Security Initiative. Every nK flagged vessel is suspect of carrying materials for their ballistic missile and/or nuke program and hence gets stopped, wherever they are, and searched. Any problems with manifests, logs, etc. and the ship is impounded and the crew interred or sent back to nK, minus the ship.

2. Crack down on the backdoor hard currency exchanges that only serve to keep the leadership elite in power and do nothing to aid the people. We started doing this back in ‘06-07 and it hurt them so much they agreed to come back to the 6-party talks. Do it again and this time keep the pressure up.

And work on regional confidence building measures with our allies in Australia (yes, Australia - look at yesterday's chart and plot out a southerly trajectory to 4,000 nm/7500 km, roughly the same distance to Hawaii and you are in the heart of Australia), South Korea and Japan. Things like strengthening theater and regional defenses to include missile defense, for example.

Because every carrot needs a stick.

02 June 2009

DPRK and Long Range Missiles: Here We Go Again

1_28_nk450Looks like the missiles of spring are coming back for return engagement this summer:

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea may this month test a missile designed to fly as far as U.S. territory and may also be gearing up for skirmishes with the South around their disputed sea border, South Korean media reported on Monday.


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has shifted its most advanced long-range missile — capable of reaching Alaska — to a new west coast launch site near the border with China, reports said Monday, in a move that threatens to further escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The regime could fire the long-range missile as early as mid-June — around the time South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and President Barack Obama hold a summit in Washington, the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper in Seoul said, citing unidentified officials in Washington and Seoul.

The missile at the Dongchang-ni launch site on the northwest coast is believed to be a version of the Taepodong-2 rocket that the North fired on April 5 saying it was a satellite launch, the report said. The JoongAng Ilbo newspaper carried a similar report. A new long-range missile launch would mark a significant escalation in tensions already running high after the North's April rocket launch and an underground nuclear test conducted a week ago. The U.N. Security Council has been discussing how to punish Pyongyang for the atomic blast.

Well, say this about nK - they do stick to the script:

"In case the UNSC does not make an immediate apology, such actions will be taken as:

"Firstly, the DPRK will be compelled to take additional self-defensive measures in order to defend its supreme interests.

"The measures will include nuclear tests and test-firings of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

"Secondly, the DPRK will make a decision to build a light water reactor power plant and start the technological development for ensuring self-production of nuclear fuel as its first process without delay."

slide1The new wrinkle in this iteration is the apparent use of a new west coast launch facility - adds al sorts of new factors in indications and warning and defense compared to the facility at T'aepo dong. Also raises questions about nK's turnaround/lessons-learned from the previous launch of a new TD-2 variant in April this year. Starts to possibly speak volumes about the nK's assessing the failure of April's launch and incorporating lessons learned form that event. By comparison is the almost three year period and new airframe from the 2006 TD-2 launch failure to April 2009 launch attempt.

It won't be a boring summer 'round these parts...that's for sure.

01 June 2009

Midway Week


This week is the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. In recognition of that, check with your local VFW/American Legion Post for local observances and try and make it a point to attend. To help, here's a listing of known events from around the country:


1. 3 June, Arlington, VA: formal banquet, Army-Navy Country Club

2. 4 June, Washington D.C.: USN commemoration at the Navy Memorial

3. 4 June, Washington DC, BOM symposium (IMMF)

4. 4 June, Houston, TX: BOM commemoration by NOUS

5. 4 June, Boston, MA: BOM commemoration aboard USS Constitution (I'm sure Maggie will be there - right? - SJS)

6. 4-7 June, New Orleans, LA: USS Yorktown (CV-5) reunion

7. 6 June, Chino, CA: Coral Sea & BOM symposium and air show

8. 6 June, San Diego, CA: BOM commemoration aboard USS Midway.

9. 6 June, San Francisco, CA: formal banquet, Marines Memorial Club

10. 6 June, Jacksonville, FL: BOM commemoration & banquet hosted by Navy League

11. 6 June, Monterey, CA: formal “Dining Out” at Naval Postgraduate School

12. 8 June, Chattanooga, TN: BOM event begins “Navy Week.”

I'll be observing here in the heartland since this week I am also TAD for training and so posting will, perforce, be light. There are some posts scheduled for publication here and over at the USNI blog (most there focusing on Midway). Wherever you are on the 4th, take pause and remember those who dared, those who fought heavy odds - those who gave their all; and how much different the course of the war in the Pacific would have been otherwise...

w/r, SJS

Links to More Midway Sites:

The Course to Midway: Turning Point in the Pacific

Naval History & Heritage Command

International Midway Memorial Foundation

Battle of Midway Celebration at Army Navy Country Club

Navy PA Resources Website