Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Are superpower navies doomed?
LRC military expert William Lind thinks so. Not only can subs be morally dodgy doomsday weapons but in a purely sea battle they are the new capital ships. Makes sense as does the idea that in a world where a few tenacious guerrillas and/or homemade bombs can defeat the army of a nuclear superpower, diesel-electric subs still have their uses. ISTM carriers are still the tactical weapon of choice as air support for land wars but I see Mr Lind’s point; they’ve been sidelined in terms of sea power like the battleships they largely replaced so in future you wouldn’t see carrier-vs-carrier fights any more than a re-enactment of Trafalgar or Jutland. Meanwhile except for its doomsday boats the US Navy is still planning to re-fight World War II (still a powerful part of the American national myth — even though logically the country could and should have sat it out — as popularised by Tom Brokaw and Mr Bush’s minders have tried to exploit with that ‘Axis of Evil’ business).

Taking God’s name in vain
Tracking the trajectory and factions of the largely Protestant US religious right. Reason remembers 10 years ago when First Things for example sounded like real conservatives. (You mean it was all only a partisan act to try to knock down Bill Clinton? Noooooo!)

All you need is cash
Baby-boomers tend to be rich and spend money, and may be willing to buy re-heated Beatles tunes over again for Christmas. Thought Sir George Martin knew better than to Spectorise those songs with soppy strings. (And that’s your alliteration of the day.)

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