105 Comments

Can’t view the video, in Canada ☹️

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Use a VPN

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There is a 5 minute edited version on the 60 minute Facebook feed.

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CDR Sal, once again you prod my brain. (Made a point of watching the entire video before posting).

Agree, this is a nice public affairs release and anything that promotes the job our folks in uniform do when in harms way is a plus.

As has often been pointed out in these spaces, VLS replenishment at sea is going to result in a constant force allocation dance to keep assets in place to protect shipping and our assets. As the DDG skipper noted, they only have to succeed once (Glad to see the CIWS worked). The Houthis are also serving as stalking horses for their patrons, who appear to be developing their own TTPs as a result of intelligence gained by these activities. Many years ago was involved with a very large training event that illustrated the hazard of placing your assets in the opponents WEZ for an extended period of time. The sudden change from annoying pinpricks to a surge of vampires generated controversy that is still written about today in wargaming circles.

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The enemy always gets a vote, right? And an enemy educated in Sun Tzu may be voting a whole lot smarter than most White House occupants, especially those who are occupied with domestic politics. Presidential election year, anyone? The next few years are going to be very bumpy, boys and girls.

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The enemy (Islam) or (China) work on the long game even if it takes One Thousand years, they have the time. The USA works on the four year short game. Each el3ection changes the game,

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Perspective is driven by ideology and higher goals. If a person or political party’s goals are limited to winning the next election, we get what we get. I fear that this country will require a serious “come to Jesus moment” if we are to change our current path. Unfortunately, when we experience those “moments”, we usually draw the wrong conclusions from them - which goes back to the root problem of having the right set of higher goals. My apologies if that seemed to be a circular argument.

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It is a good one.

No apologies needed it is a failure loop I think.

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I humbly submit that without honestly appealing to Heaven and living up to those appeals by our personal actions, the failure loop will continue.

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I agree.

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Feb 19·edited Feb 19

fine PR. BZ

still.....that's $400 Million out, just in one brand of missiles. in what? last three months or so? Figure an easy $Billion/yr, add in another $Billion for support.

the math is simple, they'll wear us down unless we treat Iran, DIRECTLY, with extreme prejudice. ASAP.

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Feb 19·edited Feb 19

Houthis are basically on an island, surrounded by desert the Saudis control & ocean that the US can control.

If the US can't beat them, WTF?

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WTF indeed. To answer Madeleine Albright's infamous question to Colin Powell,. sometimes military force has limited utility. See also "Pyrrhic victory".

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Limited military force has limited utility. We're past the "managing conflict" phase, it's time to go Curtis LeMay on the Houthis.

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Sink their toys

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Agreed. Nora's CBS handlers did very well with her. Would have liked to see how Bob Simon would have done the story.

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Very curious that Norah O'Donnell continues to be Sixty-Minutes' go-to 'journo' for Navy/military stories.....

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She's a star. News is a business.

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She's the primary news anchor and as the 'face' of CBS News she can throw her weight around.

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For all the many years that I have lamented, lambasted and LOL'd at #CHINFOFails, this was clearly a win for getting the message out. The other CBS side-pieces on the Ike and other aspects of the presence out there have helped with the early efforts to get the general populace aware of something we all have been pounding on for, quite literally, decades now: Why we are a maritime nation, part of a maritime world, and why a Navy is necessary. BZ, all around, and nice to see a very (Justifiably, I would maintain) suspect media player put their Acela Corridor biases aside for once.

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O'Donnell did a positive-PR piece several months ago about USN operations in the SCS and the threat that the CCP/PLAN presents.

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Seems to gloss over a lot:

- The insurance impact

- Which flags are still using the route and why

Reveals:

- 100+ Standards gone away

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OTOH, we know Phalanx works, so maybe time for another production run of them?

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I'd love rallying our ammo around 30 x 173 for Mk 48 mod IV and an updated Phalanx.

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The updated Phalanx is called Goalkeeper; it's what Phalanx was originally designed as, but the Navy went 20mm to cut weight.:(

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The goalkeeper gun, yes. Much of the rest I would prefer the Phalanx.

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Thank you for continuing to highlight the Red Sea Naval and Marine operations. The article on the Bataan and now this just shows how they each play a role in this new warfare, and how they are clearly focused and are adapting to the threats to our ships.

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Good reporting. Surprised to see we still have the capacity to conduct real journalism. Who is the intended target audience of the story though? Congress? The Houthis? Our own moral for our Navy? Self admission of spending over 400 million dollars so far on standard missiles should not only be alarming to the professional military audience, but even a 60 minutes news reporter can question the logic of using a multi million dollar missile against a ten thousand dollar drone. Where are the replacement missiles? How long until China starts embedding the PLA into the experiment and tries to learn all they can from our TTP’s and missiles?

VADM Cooper even subtly states that Iran is fighting the USN. We need to do the needful if we want to end this and restore maritime security and safe passage in the Red Sea.

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VADM Cooper is correct, which begs the question what do will we do about the Houthi paymasters.

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Nothing. Sanctions don't work, and military action against Iran will escalate to the US' detriment.

So the best US can do is punch down and wipe out a bunch of desert pissants. If the US can't do that, well nice run while it lasted.

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"How long until China starts embedding the PLA into the experiment and tries to learn all they can from our TTP’s and missiles?"

I cannot imagine a scenario where they have not, at the absolute least, been observing and taking notes since before the drones and CMs started flying. My more skeptical take is: I wonder how much of a hand they are playing in shaping the munitions and TTPs used by Iran/Houthis in order to evaluate our responses and our capabilities across a range of different conditions, scenarios, etc. The Red Sea is a test bed for them right now and the USN is the test subject being put through its paces.

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True. My comment was rhetorical. Chinese . Mil are likely watching first hand and providing tech support

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I like it. Alas, the SWO CO has resurrected the BCG look. Very minor nit.

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Just saying it is probably a good idea having the NERD NARP type with the BCG's in charge of all that high tech ! Good nit though.

My nit is the constant media drumbeat that those drones and antiship missiles are 10K. Iran is not supplying them with off the shelf DJI's. Good response by the CO regarding putting a price on the lives of the sailors.

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author

BCG are kind of a kip thing nowadays with the kiddies.

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Huh. Full circle I guess.

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The SWO CO's Magnum P.I. 'stache was a good visual too.

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Feb 19·edited Feb 19

Looks like CNN got an invite also

https://youtu.be/V0qRTzMJbCs?si=y8Kmpl3ShTMrA-1L

Additional 60-minutes footage

https://youtu.be/BXUpixvGipw?si=gFOSF8ZgtPydx3jr

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The USN used to be adept at garnering this kind of PR...

Yet another skill being belatedly relearned....

https://youtu.be/ufA1uV4cePY?si=43sQzATAg5c0BXhH

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I am sure the Chinese watch the events unfolding with a sense of "this will be easier than we thought". Launch 5000 $10,000 drones and the westpac AAW ships will all be winchester. Then the DF-21s will start calling. Our "strategy" is like buying a hand-made James Purdy & Sons 12 ga over/under shotgun for killing the occasional field mouse in the barn.

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The PLAN ships in the area seem to have done nothing to help secure the passage, but you know they are taking notes. If I were in their place, it’s what I would do.

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Why should they? The Houthis don’t target Chinese or Russian ships.

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Which makes collusion between Russia, China, and Iran seem like more than a 50% chance, also given the weapons buys between the three countries.

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Why are we surprised that countries we antagonize form alliances?

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I can understand that as a general statement, but I believe the roots of those three countries’ strongly distrust/dislike for the U.S. runs much deeper than that. Simplifying the last 800 years of history: Russia has been paranoid about invasion since at least as far back as Ivan the Terrible, has felt a strong need to control the major plaines that provide entry points to Russia-proper, and the U.S. somewhat stumbled into the Ukraine war because we have gross incompetence in the State Dept; China want s very badly to make up for the Western powers’ gunboat diplomacy of the 19th and early 20th centuries and has declared the 21st century as belonging to them, while at the same time having internal power struggles, the paranoia natural to dictatorships, and a shrinking population; and the Twelfth Imam crowd in Iran is bound and determined to create the apocalypse they believe is necessary to usher in their vision of eternal paradise.

So, I ask very politely and with great sincerity - What are your Plan A and Plan B for resolving these very long term sources of conflict?

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My Plan A and Plan B are to return Donald Trump to the White House.

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Go be poor elsewhere, Colonial!;)

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"James Purdy & Sons 12 ga over/under" ya made my mouth water.

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At the 11 minute mark we hear a summarization of the situation. If we replace Houthi with Ukraine, and Iran with United States it is similarly true. Not a wise, American interest first, position to be in.

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Freedom of Navigation is one of the pillars the rules based order is built on. If you want to keep the rules based order going, this threat must be thoroughly crushed.

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Although it may be a good live-fire training exercise, plinking a few assorted drones and missiles isn't going to crush anything. Even an occasional airstrike is not going to accomplish much.

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Let me put it another way (especially in light of today's sinking): the Houthis have forfeited their existence.

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By what authority? The Constitution? The Bible?

We are NOT an empire. We are NOT 'Team America World Police'. The largest beneficiaries of traffic in the Red Sea won't pay down our enormous debt, won't pay sailors widows a penny.

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If it talks like an empire and walks like an empire, it's an empire. Don't let flowery language like "Rules Based Order" deceive you what the West became after the 1990's. If the racket fails, there won't be a market for the US debt, then what?

Sleepy Joe should go to Congress and get authorization, sure. US can't solve this, think how emboldened some will get.

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The United States Constitution. Article I, Section 8, clause 10 gives the US the power to “define and punish piracy and felonies on the high seas and offenses against the law of nations.”

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"Define". Which is to say 'in cases relevant to US interests' otherwise this would be a mandate to be "Team America World Police" - a concept anathema to our founders.

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Army guys on a boat...

The way too insular USN still doesn't get how the lack of any unique "Naval" identity appears to the average taxpayer who only knows the Navy through Topgun and the SEAL soap operas.

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Hunter Killer didn't do it for you?

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Feb 19·edited Feb 19

No.

Funny you should mention that, my gym trainer watched last month, and this was his take:

It was the ninja Army Seal super warriors who carried the day in that cheesy flick, supported by some sub guys.

Get away from any USN bubble and see if it had any effect on the average taxpayer to want to pony up for more Naval Power...

(aka clueless 'mouthbreathers' to some prominent navalists)

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Feb 19·edited Feb 19

HK was a pathetic attempt to attract the video-game generation.

Aside from Greyhound, we've yet to see the movie industry do a proper portrayal of the black-shoe navy. The resources that was put into Masters of the Air, instead should've revolved around Hornfinchers Neptune's Inferno.

I will say, despite the somewhat exaggerated CGI, the Midway remake wasn't too bad, just a bit too much history packed into what should've been a more focused project.

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Feb 19·edited Feb 19

You teed this up again...

Instead of giving more priority to the heroic tale of the Jessie Brown/Thomas Hudner movie (way too problematic messaging), the "Naval Enterprise" showcased this message to the general public...

https://youtu.be/IXuszu8V1Xc?si=WjR_qDRCYvgSPdfy&t=23

(I could wax eloquent about the many and varied things wrong in that film sequence...like nearly hourglassing the spinnaker...but its a movie)

May as well put the money into the Air Force since the Navy can't figure out what it is.

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Hollyweird has a creativity problem and the Navy has a PR problem.

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Good point, I don't get it either. Camo at Fleet HQ? Well done piece, however.

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BDU makes you feel like you’ve earned that combat action ribbon.

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Looks like 7th Fleet also got in on the PR

https://archive.ph/Up7RR

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Sal Mercogliano's YouTube channel, "What is Going on With Shipping" presents an excellent picture of the merchant shipping situation in the Red Sea. He explains the impact of shipping insurance in a manner that even this old hermit can understand. Ward Carroll's YouTube channel is great. Also, gCaptain Form provides dailey news on the maritime industry. Just some thoughts from an old dinosaur.

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The greater the risk the higher the premium - if you can get hull or cargo insurance at all. That's easy enough for even a dinosaur to understand.

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Yep, that is the way Sal explained the process. For some silly reason I thought there was more to it. Not really any different then home or car insurance. He does use historical examples to give a deeper understanding of the shipping industry.

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There are some things that are peculiar to shipping - the type of charter, the general average, etc. But the purpose of insurance is the same - to spread out risk and charge only a relatively small premium thereby allowing commerce to take place.

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There is also a thick body of law surrounding maritime insurance.

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