Choose Your Battle

Welcome back to the Scuttlebutt. 

Pull up a bucket, and grab a drink, we need to talk.  

The title is meant to be ironic, by the way, because while one should always choose their battles, you also have to remember that the enemy gets a vote.  

You can decide that “I’m not going to fight about that, or go to war over that…” 

Only to have the enemy respond with “Great! So, I can do what I want, because you’re not going to fight?”  

Yes, you can always not fight, but there’s this line of 6 million Jews and a few hundred thousand other “undesirables” whose ghosts want to remind you of what happens when you decide not to fight, no matter what.

If your convictions are such that you truly believe “there is never any reason for violence,” well, first, what are you doing HERE?  Did you get turned around and miss the off-ramp on the information superhighway? 

And second, I wish you well, but I fear your days will be few on this earth, and full of pain.  Good luck, now go away, real people are talking. 

So, for those not trying to win the martyrdom merit badge, you need to understand that sometimes, you don’t get to choose who, only when.

Today we’re going to look at some of those situations brewing internationally.

The obvious folks on the hit parade are China and Russia.  

Yes, I fully agree that President Biden stumbled into this mess with his eyes closed, and a pudding pop in his hand.  Or it would be more accurate to say that his handlers stumbled into it because I’m not convinced that poster child for the Alzheimer’s Relief Campaign even knows what state (other than the State of Dementia) he’s in.  

Honestly, I sort of hope he doesn’t, because I can’t imagine a worse torture than to be trapped in a disintegrating body, and failing mind, and KNOW that your brain is oatmeal and that you have lost what little cognitive ability you had.   I really would not wish that on my worst enemy, far kinder to just kill a person.  

Anyhow, since we don’t have time travel, how we got here is only relevant to discussions of “HOW NOT TO DO THIS SORT OF STUPID SHIT AGAIN!”  And that; known in the circles I travel in as an “After Action Report/Debrief,” only matters if we survive to have that discussion. 

Right now, we’re in the middle of it, and it’s completely worthless to say, “well Biden got us in this, so it’s not ‘our’ problem.”  News flash, sparky.  The Russians don’t care, and the Chinese don’t care which party is in charge, other than in the context of they would like us as weak as possible.  So far, they’ve achieved that.  Between miss, and dis information, trying to drive wedges as far into the tree of liberty as they can, they have weakened our system dramatically.  

The question they are asking themselves right now though, is “Have we done enough to win?”

Our military is and has been for years, more interested in “Diversity” than success.  

Think I’m joking? There’s a case before the Supreme Court right now, called “Students for Fair Admission v. President and Fellows of Harvard College & the University of North Carolina.” CDR Salamander wrote about this case, and I’m summarizing some of the high points.  For the full details, click

The key takeaway for my point is that the military did an “amici curiae” in this case, claiming that “not using modest, race-conscious admissions policies would impair the military’s ability to maintain diverse leadership, and thereby seriously undermine its institutional legitimacy and operational effectiveness. Amici respectfully request that, in considering whether to reverse decades of precedent affirming the constitutionality of such admissions policies, the Court will continue to consider how such policies enable the military to serve our Nation’s security interests.”

Ah, but would it? Would it really? 

The claim by the Solicitor General is that “Our armed forces know from hard experience that when we do not have a diverse officer corps that is broadly reflective of the diverse fighting force, our strength and cohesion and military readiness suffer.” What she’s trying to refer to, is the Vietnam War.  

The trouble is that it’s not “diversity” that causes strength and cohesion to suffer, it’s inequity. It’s putting your thumb on the scale so that some folks “are more equal than others.” (The left likes to pretend that’s all one thing, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” The trouble is, it’s not. In reality, you gotta pick two, and Diversity doesn’t go with Equity.)  Is that happening? Well, here’s another Amicus.

Key takeaway quotes from this 91-page document:

The Service Academies’ Experience With Racial Preferences Illustrates This Threat To National Security.
Military academies, once the gold standard for excellence and personal accountability, now fully reflect this trend of racial preferences diluting merit. Data from West Point and the Naval Academy demonstrate that racial identity plays a significant role in admissions, and, as a result, minority students are disproportionately failing at these schools.
For example, research conducted on 1990s admissions data from West Point showed there were “155 Asian rejectees (43 percent) and 1,647 white rejectees (33 percent) who ha[d] both math and verbal SATs equal to or higher than the black admittee math and verbal SAT medians . . . [and] 160 Asians (38 percent) and 2,626 whites (37 percent) [were] rejected by the U.S. Military Academy who attained a class rank equal or better than the rank of the black admittee median.”
This same research paper used similar admissions data from the United States Naval Academy to estimate the odds of acceptance at the Academy based on the applicant’s race. Using “ethnic group membership, gender, SAT scores, and high school rank as predictor variables,” the researchers estimated that the “black-to-whites odds of admission are 4.44 to 1, the Hispanic-to-white odds are 3.32 to 1, and the Asian-to-white odds are 0.67 to 1.2.”57 These racial disparities reflect significant harm to less favored races seeking admission.
Another researcher who examined data provided by the U.S. Military Academy found similar results.
His examination of demographic data for the classes of 2000 to 2020 showed substantial differences in standards, specifically, substantially lower scores and higher admissions rates for Black individuals, and to a lesser extent Hispanic individuals, compared to White and Asian individuals. 
The author concluded that the academy intentionally seeks racial diversity and is willing to alter its admissions standards to achieve it.
The same study found that performance for cadets who graduated tracked demographic SAT trends, with the composite grade point average (for academic, military, and physical performance during the 4-year period, called “CQPA”), averaging 3.06 for Asian individuals, 3.02 for White individuals, 2.76 for Hispanic individuals, and 2.51 for Black individuals. Attrition rates followed the same trend, with the Asian rate at 17%, the White rate at 21%, the Hispanic rate at 24%, and the Black rate at 31%.
The researcher concluded that, in deliberate pursuit of class composition goals, the Academy employs race-based admission strategies and that these strategies include extension of “preferences to minority candidates who, on average, have significantly lower SAT scores than non-minority candidates who have higher SAT scores.” He also noted that Academy racial diversity admissions (“class composition”) goals are explicitly identified.
The researcher further showed that, to achieve class composition goals for minorities, the Academy admits “marginally qualified candidates with a known and higher probability of failure [and that] marginally qualified candidates are failing by the Academy’s own metrics.” 
He further concluded that “more marginal performers are graduating into the Army *** [while] marginally qualified candidates [as cadets] consume resources to try to get to graduation, and take up slots that other, available, better qualified individuals could have filled.
The researcher further observed that “[t]here are real and tangible costs to pursuing the diversity strategy, and no supporting quantifiable argument [is] offered for pursuing the strategy.”
He concluded that the academy “is deliberately seeking and tolerating low performance and accepting high failure rates that hurt cadets to meet arbitrary student body composition goals by skin color.” When the data are examined critically, the researcher observed, it is clear that this strategy yields “worse outcomes” than would result if racial preferences were not used.
This harmful emphasis on race is also reflected in the Navy’s recent decision, described above, to cease “blind review” of personnel files by officer promotion boards after the blind reviews led to fewer minority promotions than before. If the objective is to find the most qualified candidate, it is unclear how a photograph’s revealing race or ethnicity is relevant to a promotion selection decision—as opposed to being guided in that decision solely by the record of the officer’s experiences and performance reports—would further this goal. Although the officer promotion procedure is distinct from the admissions procedures at service academies, statements like these by high-ranking military officials reveal a leadership mindset toward training and selecting officers that values race for its own sake, rather than merit.
In short, in the military as elsewhere, as the Chief Justice wrote in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, treating racial balancing as an end in itself would effectively ensure that race will always be relevant in American life, and that the “ultimate goal of eliminating entirely from governmental decision-making such irrelevant factors as a human being’s race will never be achieved.” And in the military setting, racial balancing affirmatively harms rather than promotes national security.

In summation, we KNOW we are putting people in the academies, and commissioning them because they’re Black, or Hispanic. We KNOW that they are going to fail, or leave the service after four years, and we are doing that because we feel that it’s more important to have the right racial mix than to have people succeed!  This is going on while at the same time, the services are whining about not being able to find enough quality candidates, and being unable to man our ships and our divisions.  

Who is behind all of this crap? Well, there’s evidence on record from intelligence professionals of the Russian Federation and the PRC showing that the Green Movement, and the various racial organizations, like BLM, and even the venerable NAACP are supported and receive funding through those aforementioned countries. The money is passed through cutouts, and the folks receiving it may not even know they’re in the pay of enemy intelligence agents, but being a “useful idiot” as Stalin called them, still makes you useful, right up until you’re not… and then they have a place on the wall, in front of the guns.

All of this Diversity for diversity’s sake is a poison pill. But it’s not the only one. We’ve spent massive amounts on trying to develop “transformational technology in warfare.”  And as a result, we build ships like the Ford, the Zumwalt, and the ever-unpopular Little Crappy Ship classes.  Ships that took three times as long to build as their predecessors then sat as pier queens for more years before actually deploying.  

The Ford is a sexy bitch, I can’t deny that, but the rest of those hulls were abject failures, and the Ford costs three times as much and takes twice as long to build as a Nimitz. Time and money we do not have.  I sat down yesterday with one of the head guys at my old employer.  The Navy expects us to be at war with China within a year.  

Yes, 12 months.

Our procurement system is so FUBAR that we can’t build a patrol boat in a year. So, we’re stuck more or less with what we have.  We have good gear, probably better than anything the opposition forces have, but do we have enough of it?  Another Poison Pill. 

The invasion of Ukraine has provided a wealth of lessons, to those who would learn, or re-learn them:
  • War goes through supplies with a voracious appetite. You can feed it weapons and equipment, or you can feed it men, it’s going to eat one or the other, sometimes both.
  • No matter how much gear you have, you’re going to find out you don’t have enough.
  • Microprocessors are the new queen of the battlefield.
  • New transformational technology isn’t transformational until your enemy says it’s transformational.

In the opening days of the war, Russia moved the line fast.  In part, because they were going through artillery shells like a drunken private goes through singles at a stripper bar.  They were literally expending shells at a 100:1 ratio compared to Ukraine.  But then they started running far enough ahead of their supplies to need support troops, and that’s when the problems started.

They’re losing ground daily now, in no small part because they’re out of all their cool sexy stuff, most of which wasn’t nearly as cool and sexy as they thought it was.  Their Anti-Aircraft missile system was supposed to be able to intercept the HIMARS rockets.  FAIL.  Their new tanks were supposed to be the queen of battle. FAIL.  Their troops were supposed to be THE badass MF on the field. FAIL. 

Meanwhile, Ukraine, using a fair amount of new NATO and US stuff, proved that Smart shells coming out of Paladins really are the queen of battle, HIMARS rockets really do own the land down range, and western man-portable missiles are way better than the Russians thought.  They also proved that they can take COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) Drones, and with a little ingenuity make them into very effective weapon delivery vehicles. (Again, microprocessors for the win.) 

They also proved that even in a small theater of operations, and compared to WWIII Ukraine is a small theater, we don’t have enough shells and rockets to keep expending them at such a rate as to not expend troops instead. 

So, why am I pounding on microprocessors?  Guess where over 80% of the world’s microprocessors are made?  

Hint: Rhymes with Saigon.  Yes, that’s right, Taiwan.  Are you beginning to get the picture yet about why China and the US are about to go dukes?

Short of a miracle, we’re going to end up fighting the PRC.  At the same time, on Tuesday, Russia dropped (apparently, we’ll know for sure in a couple of days) a missile or two on Poland.  

If it was a screw-up, they’re going to need to say so, and beg forgiveness, while paying repatriations.  Let me tell you, as an old Russian fighter, that’s something they suck at doing. It took several weeks for the old USSR to admit that they had a problem at Chornobyl, in spite of more proof of their problem than we have of the Holocaust.  

If it wasn’t an accident, then we just hit “Article 5” territory.  In other words, NATO is activated and we’re at war.  

Again, this is an issue that we can lay at Biden’s feet, but that doesn’t change the fact that if they attack Poland, we’re in it, and we can fight now, or we can fight later when it’s more expensive, and we have fewer allies.

I won’t give Biden, and the rest of his party any passes on this mess, and yeah, it’s “their war.”  That doesn’t matter.  If we are attacked, or our vital interests are attacked, guess what, the enemy isn’t going to say “Oh, you don’t want to fight? OK, I’ll go home until you do.”

Only a fool fights in a burning building. We know there were questionable things in this last election and in the 2020 election.  Statistically alone, we know there was some cheating, probably a LOT of cheating.  We can be pretty sure that some folks in office right now or coming in January did not actually win the election they ran.  

Yes, it matters.

Not as much as a war with China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea does.  

No, I’m not saying “kiss and makeup.”  I am saying to the leftists, “I hate you, you cheated, but if we go to war with what is really an ‘Axis of Evil,’ I will put aside my differences with you until after we sort those fuckers out.”  

Look, this is an OLD game.  The British were past masters of it, in places as far-flung as India, Scotland, South Africa, and the Crimean. “Get your enemies to fight each other, by promising one side special deals. Then destroy the winner while he’s weakened.”  Let’s not play that game, please. 

Take care, watch your six, 
Until next time I remain,
Yours in service.
William Lehman.

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