Friday 13 October 2017
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 1, Block A: Michael E Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re: US Army’s plans for future war. . . . Highly aggregated level of major force. NATO: brigade level in and out of the Baltics; another in Romania; 3,000 or 4,000 cannot stand up to 50,000 Russian troops. Russians’s ability to assemble [multiple troops]. DoD is planning out many years, expecting small wars, urban; cyber will be part of the battlefield: can combine false info, disinfo, to fool the enemy. Planning for everyone, incl individuals, to carry nuke/bio weapons. Excluded: old-fashioned, huge, burn-the-nation-down war. . . . Going to NATO: dealing with brigade level, now in and out of Baltics. Will have components, incl in Romania. We cannot stand up to 50,000 men moving a corps, nor with the fact that we no longer will have cyber superiority. We’re just not thinking in combined, large-scale operations, whereas the Russians are. Russian can put together large-scale forces, incl tank armies a la World War II.
. . . During the Cold War, US had an ACR (armored cavalry division) equal to a Soviet division of 285 tanks. We’ve now so de-tuned our actual capabilities that I’m just not sure how we’ll fare. Does DoD think everything is Fallujah??
“The future being urban warfare” – like Stalingrad? That’s nothing new: we had that in WWII. Russians routinely speak of non-strategic (= tactical) nuclear weapons.
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 1, Block B: Michael E Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re: US Army’s plans for future war. The largest units we can currently imagine are in NATO, and not large, esp compared to Russian or Chinese ability to deliver [large numbers of troops]. Army training and doctrine command.
There’s no small war about this. Russia will take Eastern, and Western, Europe, as hostages if [they deem it necessary]. Their whole MO is ability to wreak mayhem on the field. They’re pretty good at that, and no one in the West is doing anything to counter it. Germans need to double their defense budget and [include] tiny armies such as those of the Dutch, Chechens, etc.
Hardest thing to keep [between wars] is the ability to run large-scale, combined operations.
Montgomery (BEF) in 1940 conducted the most conservative & cautious warfare; was completely dependent on the US; we’re not in any position to depend on anyone
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 1, Block C: Richard A Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, Hoover Defining Ideas, in re: Gerrymandering. Do courts have the right to intervene in redistricting? (Gerry made his districts look like a salamander; hence, “Gerrymander.”) Case - Cole Grove vs Green, 1946; Justice Frankfurter: Either the states have to reform themselves or the Congress has to intervene (neither happened). Gill vs Whitford (Wisconsin): a three-judge panel going direct to Supreme Court (voting issues have a special route).
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 1, Block D: Richard A Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, Hoover Defining Ideas, in re: Baker vs Carr (Tennessee; anent map from 1901): redistricting matters present justiceable questions. Dilution claim. 1849: Luther vs Gordon, Rhode Island. Republican form of government decision. Equal protection clause. . . . Repealing the three-fifths rule. . . . Sober people . . .
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 2, Block A: Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus, Center, in re: Tax reform. If we want economic growth, corporate tax reform [diminution] is necessarily. Territorial system was proposed, expensing; all sounded very good. Then I saw the sentence: global minimum tax. They want to impose a tax that’s effectively a minimum tax on earnings from abroad. In England, pay 19%, so when it returns, you’ve already paid. In Bermuda, tax rate is zero; when you repatriate it to the U, have to pay __%. Revised GOP proposal is a bait-and-switch scam. At the Senate hearing last week you couldn't tell the Republicans from the Democrats; and they were pretty much all lawyers.
Keep your eye on one thing, and one thing only: how much government is spending, because that’s the true tax. ---Milton Friedman
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 2, Block B: Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus, Center, in re: [More on taxation.]
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 2, Block C: Gregory R Copley, editor-in-chief of the Defense & Foreign Affairs group of publications, incl the govt-only intell svc, the Global Information System; author, UnCivilization, et al.; in re: Independence votes: England managed to alienate Scotland; JB’s experience in the 1970s. Recall when Glasgow was regarded as the second city of the entire British Empire, a powerhouse. Dozens of thousands of ships had been built on the Clyde, etc. As power moved to Whitehall, Scotland was forgotten. Similar to what happened to Catalonia: promises made by Madrid to Barcelona were forgotten. Can England, Spain, Iraq, Indonesia, repair themselves? The capitals forgot their promises, but the Catalans, for example, have not. (And, of course, there’s Brexit.)
Identity politics: the rise of the city-state and dismissal of the “regions” = flyover spaces.
Rights were sworn to: language, culture, finances. Similar to Western Australia, promised certain rights hat progressively have been eroded: unethical and unconstitutional arrogation of powers to the center. ”Whatch’a gonna do about it? It’s too late now.” No, it's not! We do not want our ancient identity to be removed from us.
Of US states, California, Texas, and Upstate New York have all spoken of secession. The very phrase “sanctuary state” is secessionist. The naysayers don’t address the anxiety of the regions, but instead slap it down. The Spanish king just failed that test by saying rather rudely in his speech, in effect: “Come to heel or suffer the consequences.” That was the job of the PM, who in fact has done it brutally and thus reinforced the Catalan desire to leave.
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 2, Block D: Gregory R Copley, editor-in-chief of the Defense & Foreign Affairs group of publications, incl the govt-only intell svc, the Global Information System; author, UnCivilization, et al; in re: Independence votes; breakaways; disunion: Kurdistan. After the Kurds had done everything Woodrow Wilson could have asked, suddenly the State and Defense Departments forgot to call back our allies. Why are they imitating the king of Spain? Ahh, they think they’re sui generis. Remember the US stealing Kosovo and giving it to the Albanians.
Catalans deliberately ignored the [provincial?] constitution, whereas the Kurds held an entirely legitimate referendum. The US was about to abandon the Kurds for the third time – used them then ready to cast them away. The main threat of Kurdish independence is to Turkey: might lead to the break-up of Turkey. Extraordinary momentum in State Dept toward the status quo. Instead, in such a matter we need to think, is this change inevitable? If so, what shall we plan? It's always the arrogance of [centralized] power
Canberra, Jakarta, everywhere. Results are predictable. You can repress opposition, or find new ways to dialogue. That means making compromises, but people who’ve held too much power for too long refuse to change.
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 3, Block A: Patrick Tucker, DefenseOne technology editor, in re: Hybridization of war: combatants who don’t declare themselves but infiltrate. A fundamental new fact of warfare. Cyber, everything, Fight a distributed adversary blended with an urban population, and very capable: army units are tiny, sophisticated, Special-Forces-like groups. Command and control is more semi-autonomous. Multi-domain battleway. Air (drones), cyber, maybe maritime, land; individuals will operate across all these domains. JTACs. An army of one.
Army purchasing: a spoof we broke on Friday: streamline the way the Army both buys and builds things. One guy will streamline everything the Army buys. Convert a hue chaotic kluge . . . Chief of staff outline s new priorities: missiles that can shoot 400 km, combat vehicle to replace Bradleys, l helos; resist jamming and electronic warfare; anti-UIV; better drone defenses; better soldier [care] – a single unified effort to tackle all these things. Make a network that works across the entire army. A lot of three-stars have lost power and money. Computers communicating to form a larger whole, and also somewhat independently.
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 3, Block B: Patrick Tucker, DefenseOne technology editor, in re: Cephalopodal nervous system* (octopus has a lot of intelligence distributed across a lot of surfaces; hyperconnectivity distributed; one great big giant computer.) “Connecting everything to everything.” One ship can provide targetting data; another can ________. Imagine everything the US goes to war with as one [nervous system]. This is the next step to the third offset. Will have by 2030 or so.
* You stop in front of [the octopus’s] house, and the two of you look at each other. This one is small, about the size of a tennis ball. You reach forward a hand and stretch out one finger, and one octopus arm slowly uncoils and comes out to touch you. The suckers grab your skin, and the hold is disconcertingly tight. It tugs your finger, tasting it as it pulls you gently in. The arm is packed with sensors, hundreds of them in each of the dozens of suckers. The arm itself is alive with neurons, a nest of nervous activity. Behind the arm, large round eyes watch you the whole time. . . . When we try to compare one animal's brainpower with another's, we also run into the problem that there is no single scale on which intelligence can be sensibly measured. Different animals are good at different things, as makes sense given the different lives they live. When cephalopods are compared with mammals, the lack of any common anatomy only increases the difficulties. Vertebrate brains all have a common architecture. But when vertebrate brains are compared with octopus brains, all bets—or rather all mappings—are off. Octopuses have not even collected the majority of their neurons inside their brains; most of the neurons are in their arms.
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 3, Block C: Julia Leonard, MIT Dept of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; and Science magazine: in re: Persistence. Testing among children at fifteen months. . . .Building environments with a high pay-off. Effort; no effort; baseline.
Effort: Infant observes an adult being persistent in trying to accomplish a task; much eye contact and speech. No effort: done swiftly, but no sign of persistence. Baseline: _________.
Babies can learn that hard work pays off Infants try harder after seeing adults struggle to achieve a goal
MIT PlayLab at the Boston Children’s Museum and recruited 103 visiting infants, aged 13 to 18 months . . . Critically, the babies were learning a mindset from the adults, rather than a specific set of actions.
But perhaps the simplest way of instilling persistence in your kids is to persist yourself—and let them see you doing it
Infants Can Learn the Value of Perseverance by Watching Adults / After observing grown-ups struggling with tasks, 1-year-old babies make more effort themselves.
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 3, Block D: Julia Leonard, MIT Dept of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; and Science magazine: in re: Babies can learn that hard work pays off
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 4, Block A: William Reeder Jr., Through the Valley: My Captivity in Vietnam
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 4, Block B: William Reeder Jr., Through the Valley: My Captivity in Vietnam
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 4, Block C: Col. Wesley L. Fox USMC (Ret.), Six Essential Elements of Leadership: Marine Corps Wisdom of a Medal of Honor Recipient
Friday 13 October 2017 / Hour 4, Block D: Col. Wesley L. Fox USMC (Ret.), Six Essential Elements of Leadership: Marine Corps Wisdom of a Medal of Honor Recipient