Morning Ed: 9/11 and National Security

[911a] David Marcus explains how he talks to his son about 9/11.

[911b] Here is the effect of 9/11 on Canada.

[NS1] Silicon Valley has evidently left itself really vulnerable to espionage.

[NS2] How the US blew its China spy network.

[NS3] From Kolohe: Royal Navy Sailors go native, become Florida Men.. The actual geopolitical implications is that this is the ship’s debutante ball, & will restore to the UK a deployable afloat Naval aviation asset which it hasn’t had since 2011.

[NS4] James Holmes is banging the drums on the need to deploy diesel submarines to Asia. From Kolohe: I don’t agree with the thesis of this piece, but the guy writing it is a Naval War College professor – but he’s also been banging this drum for a while.

[NS5] A Florence lands in North Carolina, the story of a nuclear submarine that rode out a hurricane under water.

[NS6] A look at the history of the sack of the Gauls.

[NS7] The final days of Hirohito.

[NS8] Who knew war propaganda had a dark side?

[NS0] Was 80 years ago really a good time to be anti-war? No problem, turns out it was from 65 years ago… and the USSR. {h/t Kolohe}


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Will Truman is the pseudonym of a former para-IT professional who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He is also on Twitter. ...more →

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20 thoughts on “Morning Ed: 9/11 and National Security

  1. 911a: I had forgotten about the 2003 blackout but now that he mentions it, I remember coming home that day from work (prepping for the start of classes) and flipping on the TV and seeing New Yorkers streaming home on foot, and my first thought was “Oh s***, there’s been another attack” and I also remember my relief finding out it was “just” a power outage.

    This reminds me of how old I really am: my incoming students this year were babies or toddlers when it happened. They have no memory of it. I have more vivid memories of Watergate and Nixon’s resignation (I was like 4) than they do of this.

    I still don’t know – and never will, probably – why they closed my campus (1000 miles from any of the stuff that happens) that day: whether it was out of respect for lives lost/in consideration for any students who might have lost loved ones, or out of fear that something might happen even here, and better to have the students either contained in the dorms or at home than out walking around campus….

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      • 2003 blackout was the day I foolishly wore flip flops in for a quick trip to grad school at E 78th street between 5th and Madison. Had to walk all the way home to basically the Ditmars stop in Queens…five and a half miles IN FLIP FLOPS temperature in high 90’s and high humidity …it really sucked. Spent the rest of the night outside the local pub with the neighborhood gang till we had to go eat some ones ice cream that was at great risk of melting.

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  2. NS1 – semi-serious question…do men really tell important state/industrial secrets to Eastern European prostitutes? That’s a concept I really have an extremely hard time believing.

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  3. Ns4- I should have included this Popular Mechanics article as a two link set. Pop Mech uses the National interest article as its jumping off point, but provides the case of why the USN is reluctant to include and/or switch over to diesel or otherwise non-nuke subs.

    (The main thing is that the USN is built to play away games, while an SSK/SSP is better when you have home field advantage)

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      • How do you have a ‘covert’ sub tender? Or is this something that looks like a regular cargo ship but is secretly a tender? (to that I would reply that ‘white’ i.e. neutral shipping hasn’t fared to well in the 100+ years of submarine warfare either)

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        • Yep, cargo ship that is a tender. Of course, given how much commercial ship tracking there is these days, a lonely freighter that does not look like it’s doing anything much except turning lazy circles would be spotted in a minute.

          Nukes still better.

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          • Yeah, covert sustainment capability works for low intensity and/or asymetric warfare (or so I’ve heard), but its really hard to hide logistics from modern C4ISR systems once they start supporting a big op.

            (This is also why ‘War with North Korea just on word of dependent evac’ is a somewhat flawed premise – even with existing theater stuff, we’d have to move a lot more in before making a move, which is exactly what we did in Iraq, both times)

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    • Combine these with the announcement that Boeing has won a contract to develop a refueling drone for the Navy and there’s only one conclusion: the planners have figured out that aircraft carriers and nuclear subs are too expensive to risk in China’s backyard. Or at least are quickly becoming so.

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      • The Navy just stood up the first underwater drone squadron. It is, IIRC, a recon squadron, but how far away do you think the Navy is from developing armed drones that can quietly sit near the bottom until they get an ELF pulse?

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        • Is the US going to play by the rules? As I read the definitions, that’s an unarmed mobile non-contact mine, which comes with lots of restrictions on deployment and arming. There’s always the basic question: which US strategic goals are met by deploying a hundred (a thousand?) smart mines in the South China Sea? What happens when one of them malfunctions in a way that torpedoes a Japanese-flagged supertanker full of crude oil?

          Not to mention, it’s not an arms race I want to get into with, say, China. The thought of a thousand Chinese smart mines 13 miles off every West Coast port makes me nervous.

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      • I don’t think the US Navy is leaning into remote/autonomous underwater vehicles all that much – as in, sure its researching them, but are not building an entire transformative infrastructure around them, the way say, Naval Reactors was stood up in the 50s for the nuke sub force (or how carriers became practically their own branch of the Navy when battleships were still the queens). The USN institutionally is certainly not currently leaning away from the primacy of the nuclear sub as its fundamental building block of undersea warfare.

        I think the air picture is more mixed, but again, I don’t think they’re leaning away from human aviators in cockpits as much as some outside the community expect and/or would like to see.

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