Thursday, 31 January 2013

Update 31/01/12

Question: Have you ever had an idea, thought "that's brilliant!", then sat down to develop it further and realised "actually, that's a bit shit"? Well that's where I am right now, having originally started and written perhaps half of what was intended to be a post on shale gas, based around evidence given to the Energy and Climate change committee.

Then I started reading it back today and realised... it was a bit shit. So back to the drawing board then. Apology's for the delay. Between time constraints and writers block, this blogging thing is actually a lot harder than it looks!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

You know what I love?

When you're trying to write up a post about shale gas and then along comes another whole body of evidence too further complicate matters. Well the words "f**k" and "that" come to mind, at least for now. I also highly appreciate hour long phone calls from people who just can't wait to tell me about how horrible their train journey was. I mean, that means a lot to me, that you selected me to call up and bore to death with your inane story about how long it took to get back from London.

"Oh really, they made you switch to a bus replacement service? That's horrible! They should absolutely pay for individual taxis for you all. After all, I'm sure the fault wasn't completely out of their hands and there's nothing they could have done about it, right? Evil b******s!".

Then no sooner does the phone go down when it rings again "can you look after your nephews for a few hours?". Erm, how about "no", because I'm actually quite busy with my own life. We have these things called babysitters. You pay them money and they will look after your kids for you. It's remarkable what you can get people to do for money these days.

And I've just realised I've become the guy on the train, moaning down a phone line. On that note, links and vids time!

Friday, 18 January 2013

More Trouble in Timbuktu

Back in late July I posted my fourth post (doesn't time fly). It was called "Trouble in Timbuktu" (click the name to read it) and it was in reference to the growing troubles in Mali. At the time I made the point that intervention was likely to be led by France, with others in tow, and now here we are.

Not a startling prediction by any means. The fact is that once the rebel elements had pushed down south enough to threaten cities like Mopti, and made it clear that they intended to continue the push further south to Bamako, an intervention was basically inevitable. With significant French business interests in the region, plus a historical connection to Mali and it's neighbours (stemming from the colonial era), it was inevitable France would lead the push. The only real question was when they would intervene and what form this intervention would take. That picture is starting to clear up now.

With fear rampant in the press that the UK could get dragged into "another Afghanistan", the military intervention in Mali will be the subject of this article.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Update 17/01/13

Am working on a post about the situation in Mali. Up soon. Must dash. Stop picking your nose.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Update - 15/01/13

Don't you just hate it when you read a defence blog on a regular basis and anytime the blogger needs to buy time to finish a post properly they just post a bunch of videos and/or links? Jeez, I hate that....

...... here's some videos and links.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

World of COINcraft

Apparently it's bad luck to keep your Christmas tree up past the 6th of January, so down she's come. In her place you should find a picture of a Type 23 Frigate, specifically HMS Iron Duke. By now the picture is probably hidden mostly behind the text, which means that all you can see is her bow and one of her deployed boats, with her arse end in the background (but what a nice arse it is).

This picture (the original can be found here on the official Royal Navy site) wasn't chosen by accident however. I chose that picture for two reasons; one, because we're going to be talking a bit about about the Type 23's replacement, the Type 26, and two, because it shows Iron Duke stopping and searching a "go fast" boat, presumably as part of her previous counter-drug operations/training.

Now while combating drug running isn't neccesarily considered a part of Counter Insurgency (COIN) operations, many insurgent/terrorist groups around the world use things like drugs smugling, along with similar activities like arms and people smugling, to help fund their operations on dry land (it also makes a catchy title).

But is dealing with such activities - along with fighting piracy off the coast of Africa - a suitable job for something like a Type 23 or the Royal Navy's new Type 45 Destroyers? To drop bombs on insurgents in Afghanistan do you really need a twin jet engined aircraft like a Tornado? That's the subject for discussion today.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Happy Birthday to me!

So yes, it's my birthday today (5th January). And you know what I'll be doing for most of my birthday? Sleeping. 

Because as I start this post I have now been up for about 26 hours, which I can only presume is some sort of ironic and karmic(?) punishment for laughing at the host of Think Defence a few weeks ago when I heard he'd pulled a 30+ hour job.

This of course means that I still haven't finished my planned post. And on that note I'm going to try and keep you sweet with a link and some videos!