This is the 20th Edition of Wednesday What We’re Reading. It’s been a fun feature so far, and well-received to boot, so with a little luck, the next time I make mention of anniversaries in the introduction is when we’ve been doing them for a year.
- India and Pakistan have a go? – The lead story, obviously. With artillery fire exchanged across the Line of Control, and Indian airstrikes falling in Pakistani territory, things are heating up a bit on the subcontinent. On the other hand: North Indian civilian airports are still open, and there hasn’t been escalation as of press time. On the gripping hand: there’s an election in India in two weeks, and a few Twitterers who found their way to my timeline are saying that public opinion slants very much in the direction of, “Let’s teach them a lesson.”
- The case for the F-15X – I was interested last week. I’m still interested this week. It’s really hard to argue that: a) any war against even a near-peer force is going to involve stealthy aircraft only, and b) in a war which involves non-stealthy opponents, carrying nearly two dozen AMRAAMs is somehow a bad thing.
- India bails out of joint-with-Russia stealth fighter project – The Drive says it’s no surprise. We agree.
- India to buy unfinished MiG-29s to fill its fighter shortage – If they finish them to -K standards (or some other recent variant), not a bad move. Otherwise, maybe a bit questionable.
- F-35s as a nuclear defense weapon? – The headline is misleading. They mean using F-35s to attack launch sites or missiles during their initial climb, both of which seem to require more clairvoyance than I credit to the US intelligence apparatus.
- Big Army’s battlefield nuclear reactor project is a bad idea… – …says the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which means I’m cautiously in favor of it.
- STRATCOM chief says US military needs to learn how to ‘go fast’ again – In procurement terms, mainly. We agree here, but I think everyone agrees. The difficulty isn’t in identifying the problem, but rather in solving it.
- On South Korea’s blue water navy aspirations – Fine by me, if by ‘blue water’ they mean ‘the blue waters to the east and west of the Korean peninsula’.
- The US Merchant Marine is tragically, criminally small – Yes, yes it is.
- British boomers have great names – Talking about HMS Warspite, of the Dreadnought class. Granted, they’re recycling names, but they’re good names.
- Columbia SSBNs are a key element to the nuclear defense triad – Obviously.
- Speaking of, the Columbias are actually on schedule – Is… is that a thing? Come to think of it, the two best-run American procurement programs of the post-Cold War era have been Navy: the Virginias and the Super Hornet. Maybe they have a secret.
History, Photos, Paintings
- The countermeasure washdown system is a key part of aircraft carrier NBC defense – Also on-deck firefighting. Here’s a video, too..
- HMS Agamemnon and friends
- French frigate Bellerophon and an unidentified FREMM – Provence, parvusimperator informs me.
- The consequences of the Battle of the Caudine Forks – A half-defeated enemy is the same as an undefeated enemy.
- Nighthawks are flying around the Southwestern deserts, and people are taking pictures
Science and Technology
- Chipmaker TSMC lost $550 million in revenue due to a manufacturing error – Oops.
- Grand Canyon museum left buckets of uranium ore sitting next to a visitor exhibit – Discovered only because somebody’s kid was a Geiger counter enthusiast. Weird hobby, sure, but if one of my future children picks it up, I won’t be mad.
- On wage stagnation – Slate Star Codex is tops on my list of blogs whose authors I would disagree with on nearly every matter of substance, because the guy who writes it is so sharp. Also, the commentariat there is in the same club as ours—good ones.