(Editor’s Note: Since this article was published yesterday for subscribers, Mr. Brecher has published a big follow-up which we post below after this article.)
I’ve been saying for a long time that aircraft carriers are just history’s most expensive floating targets, and that they were doomed.
But now I can tell you exactly how they’re going to die. I’ve just read one of the most shocking stories in years. It comes from the US Naval Institute, not exactly an alarmist or anti-Navy source. And what it says is that the US carrier group is scrap metal. (more…)
Sorry about the long break. I had to deal with my real job, even picked up some extra hours. Once I would have bitched non-stop about that, but I’ve noticed that everybody’s gotten real flexible about their schedules, now that they’re lucky to have a job at all. No more Monday morning jokes. We’re as cheerful as a bunch of Mormons getting root canals. And under all the gung-ho attitude, people are just plain scared.
So naturally, everybody’s trotting out the end-of-civilization scenarios. There’s a whole bunch of guys out there (mostly guys, a few butch girls here and there) who sulk online for years waiting for somebody to bring up the Omega Man/I Am Legend scenario: what are you going to do when civilization collapses? (more…)
I come back from sick leave and there’s a whole pile of wars in my “in” box, like one of those old office cartoons. Still got to write up the dustup in Gaza, and then there’s the so-called final victory of the Sri Lankan Army over the LTTE. But for sentimental reasons I’ve got to give first mention to my boyeez, the Somali pirates. This is what democracy looks like: the Somali pirates. This is what anti-globalization looks like when you do it for real, not like deadheads following the WTO from city to city, banker groupies in black masks and red armbands. (more…)
Posted: February 5th, 2009
I’ll talk about Gaza tomorrow, but I’ve got the day off and it’s not my idea of a good time. For now I’ll just say it turned out exactly like I said it would, but blecch, it’s not my idea of a good time and I’m not in the mood to gloat too much. So I’m going to purposely change the subject to this note I wrote myself on the way to work last week: “Supertrooper??? Not mil. @ all!! Column on misused mil. Lyrics” (more…)
Posted: January 19th, 2009
When you look at the fighting in Gaza, or any of the other small, chronic wars we get these days, you notice that traditional war buffs, the ones who like to talk about WW II, don’t have much to say. If they say anything at all, it’s usually, “They should just wipe’em out!” Like, “Israel should just wipe the Pals out!” Or “America should just wipe Iraq off the map!”
And on paper, they’re right. Israel could kill every single man, woman and child in Gaza if it wanted to. And Hell, it probably does want to. So why doesn’t it? (more…)
Posted: January 12th, 2009
I just found the perfect job for myself: media consultant for General Laurent Nkunda. Now there’s a job with perks. And General, you need me. I know you need me because I just saw an interview with you in the Huffington Post. And even though you answered all the questions totally right, General, you just showed how you don’t understand the insane, childish way these people think.
Posted: January 9th, 2009
What’s going on in Gaza now is pretty easy to understand if you think a little bit about the way military trends have been going in the past century-but you also have to be willing to take a cold look at how wars work these days, when there’s no such thing as those “purely military” wars you WW II freaks dream about. (There never really was, but that’s another story.) (more…)
Posted: January 6th, 2009
Well ain’t that nice: Bono got another award. That’s what will help our world be a better and nicer place, Bono getting another award. What makes this one even more sickening than the rest is the name of the award: “Man of Peace.” That’s right: in case any of you had any doubts, on December 16, 2008, a bunch of moldy international moochers got together and officially named Bono this year’s man of peace.
There are a lot of people worth hating in this world, but I can’t think of anybody more in need of two bullets in the torso and one in the head than our friend Bono. (more…)
Posted: December 18th, 2008
We’re in trouble now, people. The Somalis of Minneapolis are joining the jihad. That’s according to a story that came out this weekend claiming that young Somali-Americans are flocking to dear old Somalia to join the jihad.
Posted: December 15th, 2008
Greece was supposedly “gripped” with big scary riots this week. I love that TV talk, “gripped.” Was it a firm, manly grip? I don’t think so, actually. People throw words like “riot” around pretty easily, and these were about the wimpiest excuse for urban violence I’ve ever seen. They may have been enough to grip Greece, but that’s not saying much. Around here we call that sort of stuff “Spring Break” and kids drive hundreds of miles to join in.
Posted: December 11th, 2008
The F/A-18 that crashed on to a Korean family’s house in Miramar yesterday had me remembering that movie Donnie Darko. That’s the one where the guy has to decide whether to let a jet engine fall on his bedroom or not, because he knows in advance it’s going to happen and he has the option of following an extra in a bunny suit out of the house or staying home to wait for Pratt & Whitney to drop in. It’s some shit about predestination vs. free will, and in the meantime you get a lot of overproduced 80s hair music, and between the religious part and the soundtrack of my rotten high school days, that movie got me down in a major way. As I recall, the hero decides to stay in bed and get crushed to death by the engine because it’ll save this cute girl’s life. Some kind of deep meaning crap. (more…)
Posted: December 10th, 2008
Every day this week I’ve gone to the computer and googled the same question: “How many attackers Mumbai?” And I still haven’t gotten anything like a straight answer. Of course the official Indian story is “ten.” Right. Ten guys, kids by the look of them in the closed-circuit tv pictures, did all that? Well…that’s not actually impossible. I’m not one of these people that underestimate the bloodlust and craziness of ten teenagers with some basic training, a good plan, AKs with plenty of ammo, and heads full of cocaine’n’Quran. That’s a powerful cocktail, that cocaine/Quran mix. They’ll have to come up with a good street name for it, something like Mecca-chino. Keeps you awake and firing for two days straight.
Posted: December 9th, 2008
For the next week I’m going to try blogging every day. Things have just been happening too fast for the occasional article. Every day there’s something I want to talk about, and that’s how I’m going to do it.
Today’s big news, or comedy skit, however you want to call it, was the news that five Blackwater guards have been indicted on Federal charges of manslaughter and using a machine gun in the commission of a crime. No joke I could make about this could top that great line from Apocalypse Now: “Shit, charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.”
Posted: December 8th, 2008
Will India and Pakistan ever finish the cat-fight and get on with a real war? “We live in hope,” like my grandma used to say — but don’t hold your breath. Listening to the Indian and Paki generals shaking their little fists at each other, with their little mustaches going up and down, hearing the Indians talk about how their patience is “almost” exhausted — it just gets me down.
This fag-slapping shit gives war a bad name.
Posted: December 5th, 2008
Well, now we know my pals the Somali pirates are loyal War Nerd readers. At the end of my column saluting them for taking on a supertanker, I suggested they go for a cruise ship next:
Posted: December 1st, 2008
I sure didn’t expect to be spending Thanksgiving morning sucking down instant coffee and flicking channels between CNN and the BBC. But the attacks in Mumbai are so big and, like they keep saying, “brazen,” that I stayed up late and got up early.
Posted: November 27th, 2008
Cop groupies, naval warfare nerds and gas-starved SUV moms around the world all had the same hero last week: the Indian Navy. The Subcontinental squids announced that they had struck the first blow for law’n’order on the high seas by sinking a Somali pirate “mother ship” off Yemen.
Their timing was perfect. The pirates had been looting every ship in the Indian Ocean for weeks with no retaliation. Once again, the Somalis were doin’ it old-school, on the cheap, making the rich countries look weak by facing them down armed with no more than our old friend the RPG. (more…)
Posted: November 26th, 2008
Yo ho ho ho time in Somalia! What’s the bestest present kids dream of in faraway Puntland, where piracy is more than a Disney marketing gimmick? A supertanker, that’s what. A Saudi supertanker is the ultimate in stuffed stockings: 100 million gallons of pure crude.
Posted: November 18th, 2008
Today I’ll finally keep my promise and tell you about my favorite book on the Horn of Africa. Remember a couple columns back, I promised to tell you about a great book on the Ethiopian/Somali wars? Of course I promised to post my book report “tomorrow,” and it’s weeks later. Hey, “tomorrow” is a flexible concept, like “manana.”
Posted: November 17th, 2008
What George W. Bush loved best about his job was being a war president. Playing war, that is, as opposed to making war like a grown-up. Remember him strutting onto that carrier in his little flight jacket? You never saw Eisenhower, a real general, playing out his martial fantasies this way. You can take the drink out of the drunk, but you can’t take the swagger out of a fool. (more…)
Posted: November 13th, 2008