Home » 2018
Yearly Archives: 2018
Much as pundits don’t want to say America is currently fighting its second Civil War, it is in fact the pundits of the left that are inciting this war.
The days of classic liberals and progressives like Hubert Humphrey, who loved America are gone! They have been replaced by advocates of socialism at the least extreme and Antifa and those that seek a violent overthrow of the country at the greater extreme.
The far left does not seem to have an end state—just throw all of the bastards out and some utopia will follow. This movement seeks to silence all those who would oppose them or expose them for what they really are.
The open borders movement seeks to accomplish the overthrow and movement to socialism by changing the demographic electorate to win the civil war at the ballot box. In the process they will force a movement towards socialism as the uneducated and unemployable immigrants require large degrees of government support in terms of the basics of life: This will become the model for the rest of society. This will be paid for by the ever increasing taxes on the capital producers.
The capital producers, such as the Koch Brothers and their fellow economic barons, favor open borders so that they can have low labor costs. At first glance this would seem to be an anachronism. However, as the creators of capital their expectation is that they will always be needed to make the system work. The same might be said of liberal politicians, movie stars, sports athletes and others who feel that their skills make them irreplaceable. But they don’t create capital. They create personal wealth and may in fact find themselves as early targets of those who find governmental largess insufficient.
Many rail against President Trump for seeking to close the borders and for challenging the world elites over trade and other issues. Could it be that he is increasing the isolation of the US to reduce the influence of the partners of the left in Europe and elsewhere? A common battlefield technique is to isolate your enemy.
The Chinese and the Russians see this as an opportunity and appear to be stirring up both sides to increase the internal pressure in America. In doing this they support any side that is seeking to destroy the Judo-Christian values that this country was founded on. Claims of racism, sexual domination by one sex or the other and such are dsigned to divide, though their excuse is equality. The lack of the teaching of history or studying the masters like Bach and Shakespeare are other examples of the tearing down of traditional values. Colin Kapenack is made to be a hero because he opposes the national anthem and the American flag by use of the plea for some form of social justice. He replaces the warriors who have given up their lives to keep us free.
The question one must ask in the opening days of this civil war is how long will it take until there is truly a coordinated effort to defeat the antifas of the country? President Trump’s election was the first volley in this counterattack, but it may not be enough. If it is not enough the country will see much more blood and loss of life before one side emerges and truly subjugates the other. The subjugation will not be pretty. The liberal wealthy might want to study what is happening in South Africa where the white property owners are having their land stolen from them by the majority. They may be actually caught in the middle—the left if it wins will take their wealth and the right if it wins will isolate and punish them for their positions.
The socialists might want to look at Venezuela where everyone is about to go hungry.
In short it may be that nobody wins in this civil war—not even the instigators.
In recent posts I have presented:
- Description of Operation Husky
- Colonel Gavin’s description of the airborne operations in Sicily
- My remarks at Ponte Dirillo on 10 July
The latest is that some citizens in Bellevue Ohio working with the mayor have decided to seek the Medal of Honor for my father LTC Arthur F. Gorham.
We will be following this story.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am honored to join you today for the third time. I am proud to be joined by my wife, our three children, and all three of our grandsons.
I want to thank Senore Ventura and all of our Sicilian friends for the warm hospitality extended to my family and all who celebrate freedom. In our 3 visits to this hallowed ground we have been warmly received and we appreciate the friendship that has not only been developed here but also that exists between our two nations.
I speak to you not only as a former warrior myself, but as the son of a true warrior: LTC Arthur F. Gorham. My father gave his life while leading his paratroopers against a determined foe at the beginning of the effort to rid Italy and Europe of the scourge of Fascism’s two evil dictatorships. I am reminded of a saying I learned while a cadet at West Point that is attributed to General Douglas MacArthur: “There is no substitute for victory.” The brave men and women from many countries who valiantly fought here 75 years ago knew that victory, even in the face of long odds, was the only option.
The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies liberated Sicily from the Axis. It was a coordinated large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of intense land combat. Husky set the stage for freeing the rest of Italy and later Europe.
Husky began on the night of July 9,1943. The initial airborne landings took place in extremely strong winds, which made the landings difficult but also ensured the element of surprise. Later, beach landings were made on the southern and eastern coasts of the island, with British forces in the east and Americans towards the west. Spearheading the sledgehammer blow to crack open Hitler’s Festung Europa, for the first time, would be paratroopers of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division and glidermen and parachutists of Britain’s 1st Airborne Division. My father led the 1st Battalion of the 505th. Despite the high winds which scattered the paratroopers into small groups all over the island, the airborne troops took the initiative wreaking havoc on the Axis lines of communications so that the landings could occur on the beaches near Gela uninterrupted by counter attacks. The seizure and holding of the bunkers and top of the hill to your rear was key to this effort.
Strategically, Husky achieved the goals set out for it by Allied planners. The Allies drove Axis air and naval forces from the island; the Mediterranean’s sea lanes were opened and dictator Benito Mussolini and his fascists were later toppled from power. The success of the Allied effort here in Sicily opened the way to the destroying Nazism in Europe.
They fought right here near this monument. My friend, Senore Ventura, on whose farm we are at today, remembers observing as a young boy the fighting and dying that occurred at this place.
Today, we celebrate the feats of those brave warriors and their struggle for freedom. Warfare today is vastly different than what the soldiers who fought here 75 years ago knew. In the current climate, it is unclear what constitutes victory and worse, some refuse to even admit there are enemies whom we must defend against. In some cases, we fight against terrorists who know no rules of war and seek to deny us our freedoms. In other cases, old enemies appear eager to re-fight a war I thought was settled with the fall of the Berlin Wall nearly three decades ago. In this climate, it seems like we need to be reminded of what Winston Churchill said in 1940 before the United States entered World War II: “Victory at all cost. Victory in spite of all terror. Victory no matter how long and how hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”
As we contemplate the sacrifices made 75 years ago, let us insure that the warriors who died freeing the world from Facism and later communism will continue to be relevant in our search for freedom. We must remain resilient to the forces who would seek to suppress our individual freedoms to their preferred political or religious views.
Let me close by reassuring those who gave their lives for freedom that we understand their sacrifice by reciting The Absent Legions by – Edgar A. Guest
Somewhere, far away, ‘they heard us
When the word of Victory stirred us.
Safe within God’s Holy keeping,
Heard us cheer and saw us weeping;
Shared in all we did or said-
Freedom’s glorious, youngest dead.
Never doubt it, there was gladness
Where the dead are done with madness,
Hate and hurt, and need for dying.
As they saw our banners flying
On our day of joyous pride,
” ‘Twas for this,” said they,
“We died!” What if tears our eyes had blinded.
As of them we were reminded?
Never doubt it. they were voicing
Somewhere. songs of great rejoicing;
Glad to look on earth and see
Safe our country. still. and free.
Thank you for the warm hospitality extended to my family and all who celebrate freedom.
“Elements of the 1st Battalion of the Regiment landed exactly where they were supposed to: on and off the high ground overlooking the airfield about 5 kilometers northeast of the city of Gela. The 1st Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Arthur F. Gorham, accompanied by elements of the 3rd Battalion of the 504th, engaged a Kampfgruppe[i] of the Hermann Goering Panzer Division at once. There were supposed to be no Germans (except a few technicians) on the island, and I could not believe the first reports that were coming in; the German Panzers were everywhere in large numbers. The troopers went to work and in a short while learned that the Panzer Infantry was quite manageable and our Infantry could stop them. The Tiger Tanks, though, were something else. Equipped with 4-112 inches of armor that on a slant amounted to 6 inches, and 88 MM. guns that the Germans used against the Infantry, and which was probably the most formidable antitank weapon in the world at that time; with an overall weight of 60 tons the Tiger Tank was something that one would never forget after the first encounter. The Germans launched their counterattack in two columns: the western column from the vicinity of Niscemi, and the eastern column from the vicinity of Biscari. This column contained a company of Tigers. It was this battalion that I became engaged with on the morning of July 11th. It was about 10 kilometers east of its planned objective and, from the outset, the German Panzer battle group was astride the road that we needed to get to our objective area where the 1st Battalion had landed. At the end of the day’s hard fighting we made a last counterattack, and the German Infantry broke and ran from the battlefield, and, thus, we were able to join with the 1st Battalion near Gela.”
[i] 1. The Kampfgruppe was an ad hoc combined arms formation, usually employing combination of tanks, infantry, and artillery (including anti-tank) elements, generally organiz1ed for a particular task or operation.
A Kampfgruppe could range in size from a corps to a company, but the most common was an Abteilung (battalion)-sized formation. Kampfgruppen were generally referred to by either their commanding officer’s name or the parent division.
On July 9, Allied convoys came together near the British-held island of Malta, and from there they made for the southern coast of Sicily. The landing craft were slightly delayed in reaching the island because of a storm, but in fact this also helped the Allies: the Italian defense forces had been placed on a lower than usual state of alert because it was thought that the poor weather would have made an attack unlikely. Simultaneously airborne troops of the US 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) and the British 1st Airlanding Brigade.
The location of the planned paratrooper landings was the vicinity of the U in the above map of the landing bases.
The first landings were made by the British, using more than 130 gliders of the Airlanding Brigade. Their task was to take control of a bridge, the Ponte Grande, some distance to the south of Syracuse. However, the landings were fraught with problems: 200 men were drowned when their gliders crashed into the sea, many more landed in areas away from their target, and only 12 landed in the right place. Even so, the British were successful in taking and holding the bridge.
Meanwhile, the American paratroopers were attempting a landing in the south west part of Sicily (just east of the port of Gela. This operation, too, went far from smoothly. Many of the pilots used had little experience of combat and a combination of this inexperience, dust being thrown up from the dry ground, and fire from anti-aircraft guns meant that the American paratroopers ended up quite widely spread, some landing as much as 50 miles away from their targets.
The planned and actual landing zones for the US paratroopers. (From Ready thde history for the 505th PIR in WW II.)
On Tuesday July 10, 2018 there will be several ceremonies celebrating the American assault on Sicily. The first will be at Ponte Dirillo where some of the paratroopers commanded by LTC Arthur F Gorham fought off 2 German counterattacks over the following several days near there. LTC Gorham was killed during those battles. (Ponte Dirlllo is located just south of where elements of 1-505 actually landed.) There will also be ceremonies in Gela and a reenactment of the naval invasion on the evening of 10 July. We will report from the scene.
The main assault on the Sicilian coast was a joint effort between British and U.S. forces, with American divisions attacking the western coasts and the British the east. Warships were based off the coasts in order to provide covering fire. The British forces had the easier time of the two groups, with relatively little fight being put up by the Italian defenders. This allowed the Allied guns and tanks to be landed quickly, and Panchino was in British hands by nightfall.
Meanwhile, the U.S. divisions on the other coast of the island had a much harder time of things, with both Italian and German airplanes offering strong resistance to the invasion. Later in the afternoon, a Panzer division of heavy Tiger tanks joined the defense, but the Americans managed to land 16th Regimental Combat Team and the 2nd Armored Division by evening. The U.S. forces succeeded in holding their ground until covering fire from the Navy drove off the tanks. The beach head was also protected by the brave paratrooper lead by LTC Gorham near Ponte Dirillo. Subsequently LTC Gorham’s small paratroop element was place under the command of the 16th Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division.
The Axis were misled by the widely scattered Allied paratroopers into thinking that the invasion was on a massive scale, and requested reinforcements. However, these did not make a difference to the eventual outcome. On July 12, Augusta had come under British control, and General Bernard Montgomery ordered his men to mount an attack on Messina to the north. Lt. General George S. Patton, who commanded the American 7th Army, did not agree with this change in emphasis and told his troops to head west instead.
The U.S. soldiers advanced steadily toward Palermo, a strategically important seaport. They met relatively little serious resistance and, by the time they had occupied the port on July 22, more than 50,000 prisoners had been taken. Control of Palermo allowed the 9th Division of the U.S. Army to make a landing there, rather than having to repeat a riskier southern assault; it also opened up a useful supply line for the Allies. Once this had been achieved, Patton was ordered by Alexander to go forward to Messina.
Many analysts have credited the planning and operational approach to operation Husky as making Normandy a success. Normandy was an invasion on a much larger scale and with many more troops but the approach was the same. The paratroopers’ mission in both operations was to isolate and protect the beach heads from enemy attacks so that there was time for the beach heads to be consolidated and the landing forces assuming the brunt of the battle.
The activities around Gela will be reported right after they happen.
Reports indicate that new legislation in the Senate proposes to authorize US military cyber warriors to go on the offensive against Russian attacks on the United States in cyberspace. It also mandates a cyber deterrence doctrine.
These same reports indicate that lawmakers were disappointed in the administration’s latest cyber policy. The Senate Armed Services Committee’s fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill designates clandestine military operations in cyberspace as “traditional military activities.” This affirms the secretary of defense’s ability to order cyber operations. A related section of the bill “authorizes the National Command Authority to direct US Cyber Command to take appropriate and proportional action through cyberspace to disrupt, defeat and deter systematic and ongoing attacks by Russia in cyberspace,” the report states:
(a) In General.—It shall be the policy of the United States, with respect to matters pertaining to cyberspace, cybersecurity, and cyber warfare, that the United States should employ all instruments of national power, including the use of offensive cyber capabilities, to deter if possible, and respond when necessary, to any and all cyber-attacks or other malicious cyber activities that target United States interests with the intent to—
(1) cause casualties among United States persons or persons of our allies;
(2) significantly disrupt the normal functioning of United States democratic society or government (including attacks against critical infrastructure that could damage systems used to provide key services to the public or government);
(3) threaten the command and control of the United States Armed Forces, the freedom of maneuver of the United States Armed Forces, or the industrial base or other infrastructure on which the United States Armed Forces rely to defend United States interests and commitments; or
(4) achieve an effect, whether individually or in aggregate, comparable to an armed attack or imperil a vital interest of the United States.”
There are several interesting aspects to this Congressional proposed strategic policy.
1. The concept of cyber deterrence as a doctrine.
2. That deterrence of cyber-attacks may also be achieved by the use of non-cyber responses.
The congress determining national security strategy is by itself unique. The formal authorization of a cyber deterrence doctrine opens the whole realm of what is deterrence?
My UCLA graduate school professor (Bernard Brodie who was one of the founders of deterrence doctrine thought of deterrence as” a strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from taking an action not yet started, or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires. A credible nuclear deterrent, he wrote, must be always at the ready, yet never used.”
Subsequently the capacity to harm another state was to be a motivating factor for other states to avoid it and influence another state’s behavior. To be coercive or deter another state, violence must be anticipated and avoidable by accommodation.
Deterrence is considered to consist of the capability to inflict such harm and the willingness to do so. Capability is the more easily demonstrated aspect of deterrence. It is achieved through observable tests, news reports or use. Willingness is the hard part to quantify. It is usually thought to consist of demonstrated use or as during the cold war some form of automaticity to the response. With the consequences of a major nuclear exchange being so great during the cold war and automatic responses discussed openly no side was willing to test the willingness of the other.
This lack of willingness to test the other side’s willingness became the source of moderation during the cold war. Simple escalation of the DEFCON or making advanced alert status visible was used as a method of signaling willingness.
How one is to signal willingness in the cyber world is a fascinating question. It may require some cyber ‘skirmishes.” Possibly these have already occurred.
As we go forward in the evolution of strategic thought the concept of cyber deterrence will require significant additional study and the response to questions, such as:
- What is the potential damage?
- What is the nature of escalatory steps?
- What are the defensive measures? (These will most likely be constantly changing.)
This article should open a dialogue of cyber deterrence. Please make your comments and check back for the comments of others.
For the last 2 weeks the North Koreans and the US have been playing many “cards” in their efforts to have the upper hand in Singapore. Let’s review the high points.
- The North Koreans walk out of a meeting with the ‘south Koreans and issue a searing critique of National Security advisor Bolton. The critique was against him personally, but more importantly the North Koreans were rebelling at the Libyan example—Kaddafi denuclearized and then 15 years or so he was overthrown by rebels armed and provided air support by NATO and then subsequently murdered. Not a good image to send the North Koreans.
- The North Koreans also slowed discussions about the summit.
- President Trump talked less positively about the probability of the summit and mentions the military option.
- The president send us a letter to Kim Jun Un that was very conciliatory and positive but cancelled the summit.
- However the President continues with a scheduled meeting with President Moon of South Korea. The two president talked about trade but one can be sure that they were seeking to show solidarity and soften the rhetoric.
- Today President Moon and Kim Jun meet in for 2 hours in Panmunjom and talked about the relations between the two Koreas. Some pundits of course argue that they can have a summit and don’t need President Trump probably because they don’t understand the “process”
- Sarah Sanders announced that the US advance team departs for Singapore tomorrow to prepare for the summit.
- Positive remarks are heard around Washington to include from the President
- There may be several more back and forths but unless the North Koreans play a strong antagonistic card one can expect a reversal of the cancellation this coming week.
The search for an advantage will continue by both sides but it looks like there will be a summit.