* 22 external CSS files
* has about 37 different DNS lookups to get access to all the files
On top of this, I've never seen so much analytics and tracking on any website - ever!
Seriously, someone needs to have a good look at the way that this site is constructed. Such a massive bandwidth hog - and noticably slow!
The reason for all of this is that it's a kitchen-sink Drupal install, plus every ad industry service in history.
We've been working to cut all of this down, but I haven't been on the job for very long =P. A fair number of the images aren't even properly minimized! You'll see it improve soon though =).
A lot of the stuff being loaded seems to come from their commenting system.
You lose wars.
The life and business on the streets there reminded me what happens when you don't invade for no reasons.
At least from what you see on the street level, capitalism is doing better there than in the bailout-laden U.S.
Did I oversimplify? Of course. But until the U.S. shows some strategic intelligence like "don't invade countries without a reason" its tactical choices will always fail too.
By the way, they call it the American War there.
I do not know enough of Cambodian history to tell if it is true, but at least it sounds like a plausible scenario.
Oh come on. South Vietnam was an American client state from the word go. American advisors helped run Ngo Dinh Diem's campaign in the 1955 referendum that set up the South Vietnamese government. When Diem didn't turn out to be the man the U.S. government had hoped he would, American money helped finance the 1963 coup that killed him.
> and never did actually invade North Vietnam
No, we just bombed the holy hell out of them: see Operation Rolling Thunder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Rolling_Thunder) and Operation Linebacker II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Linebacker_II) for examples.
There was still no invasion of Vietnam. The entire operation was hamstrung by politically imposed restrictions.
"We weren't any worse than the soviets" is not a moral defense, and given that we couldn't hold south vietnam against insurgency, you'd need a hell of a case to support the idea that we could have held north vietnam.
I mean, given that we were dropping napalm and agent orange, what kind of "politically imposed restrictions" would you say held us back from winning?
The war effort was also politically micromanaged--for instance, every airstrike had to be individually approved by the White House. This led to delays and, frankly, interference in military affairs from incompetent politicians.
Fighting a counterinsurgent war on the defensive is never strategically sound; one is always better served by being on the move and taking the initiative. This was politically impossible in Vietnam, which is why it took so long.
Now, perhaps there were valid political reasons not to invade north Vietnam. In that case, the answer is not to get involved at all. You either do the job right or you don't do it at all. In either case, the mistake wasn't that the US invaded Vietnam without a good reason--there was no invasion, and there was a good reason. The mistake was that the US didn't fully commit to the objective, and that the White House didn't let the military do their job.
Here's the fact: Nobody wanted us there. South vietnamese were informing on the US and killing our troops. You think having a few airstrikes being more effective would have made a difference for that? Like if we just killed enough of the bad guys, the rest of them would have given up?
That's not the way asymmetrical warfare works. Every guy you kill has brothers and cousins who want to avenge him. Losing the political battle is losing the war. That's why we won in Iraq (Al Qaeda in Iraq were flown-in nihilists who alienated the population), and that's why we're losing in Afghanistan (the Taliban are a local movement with a local base).
You're seriously saying that had we invaded North Vietnam and bombed more stuff, it would have been fine? Like we could cut the supply of an army that was living off the land? Looks like we would've just been occupying twice as much ground with the same number of troops, unless you're advocating killing every last man, woman and child in the country.
And no military can be effective when it's micromanaged from the White House.
If you're living off the land, conducting guerilla warfare, you can't be broken. "Broken" is for standing armies. Guerillas just leave the field of battle and then bomb your patrols when you try to occupy.
I didn't say the people of South Vietnam democratically voted to formally request US involvement, or that the Diem regime was morally legitimate, or even that it was a good idea to get involved in the Vietnam War. Just that there was no actual invasion anywhere in the process.
A bit of revisionist history never hurt anyone.
I don't think it was a great reason and most now don't, but then again I thought Afghanistan could never work, and there were very few of us who would say so. It's easy to get swept up by militaristic arguments it seems.
F-35 lacks the F-16's agility in the air-to-air mode and
the F-15E's range and payload in the bombing mode, and it
can't even begin to compare to the A-10 at low-altitude
close air support for troops engaged in combat.
Not defending the F-35 though. My main issue with it is that I can't see that it is needed at all.
I don't usually find myself defending defense spending... but war-related technology is something you don't know you need, until you do, by which time it's too late to procure it.
If the US is going to continue its M.O. of attacking countries whose military air presence can be counted on two hands, and consists mostly of old Soviet cast-offs, then sure, the current level of tech is more than sufficient. Overkill, even. I don't think there has been a single loss of U.S. military aircraft to enemy action since... Kosovo?
I think a main impetus of this particular project is because both Russia and China are rapidly developing their own 5th-generation fighters, and while a head-to-head with China doesn't seem entirely likely, it's certainly less farfetched than the idea was 20 years ago.
Don't take it the wrong way, I'm not defending this particular boondoggle of a project, but the need for a 5th-generation fighter is entirely understandable.
On the plus side, it doesn't look like other countries' 5th-gen fighter projects are doing much better... The Chinese project has faced delay after delay after delay, and the Russians too.
No respectable air force general wants to build a career on drone acquisition.
A few years ago, in a wargame predicated around the persian gulf, this retired marine who was playing the bad guys launched a low-tech attack on carrier groups which consisted of a ton of drones and fishing boats filled with high explosives. He won.
Result? They did a "redo" with a new rule that he can't do that stuff. Because carriers are awesome and admirals want to command them.
Isn't the more likely scenario that China overtakes us economically, not militarily?
Even if you did compare the two, the US is a richer country (so it costs comparatively more to train and outfit the same number of men to the same amount) with a stronger cultural valuation of human life and a stronger cultural and political desire for short-term victories. If the Chinese got into a prolonged military conflict, not only would they be less sensitive to heavy losses, but if it took more than a couple years, no one would be worrying about reelection the way American politicians would. China is content with simply being able to win; the US needs to immediately overwhelm the enemy while suffering minimal friendly losses, or else the war will be lost politically if not militarily.
That's why we have things like the F-22 and F-35; in combat exercises small numbers of F-22's can singlehandedly wipe out entire wings of enemy aircraft without the enemy getting as much as a missile lock on the F-22. The US is in a weird spot--if [one telegenic fighter jock gets shot down](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_OGrady), it becomes national news for a week!
This seems almost certain at this point, all the more likely that there will be a military showdown at some point.
Not only there have been many, the enemy isn't that needed. Everyone seems perfectly capable of destroying their own machines. Actually it looks like investing in general safety would be a better option for everyone than investing in high tech radar protection.
Of course these are mostly helicopters rather than planes, but still - aircraft.
Imagine your wife had Hugh Jackman, Michael Phelps and Bill Gates as her husbands in some strange polyamory type setup (hey you brought your wife into the conversation first ;-) ). And then one day, all those husbands disappeared and she was left with you.
The F-35 might not be the best design (they'd be better off with a cheaper F-22 derivative and a separate replacement for the Harrier I think) but it fulfills a real requirement.
Why would they need to make such an overly complicated plane is beyond me, it's like the F-14 situation all over again. Plus, the F-22 works (and looks) pretty well already...
Unfortunately, we're already commited over $10 billion to building new carriers for them.
I presume "extended readiness" is civil service jargon for "scrapped as soon as it is built".
Better to seem incompetent than reveal you've got a warp drive/time machine/transporter project.
I know it's kind of an optimistic view, but it does make me feel better.
Those are all intricate mechanisms that need to withstand severe levels of stress.
The shuttle could have been really awesome had its requirements only been set by NASA. Instead they had the NRO and other agencies jumping in there with space-irrelevant stuff that never even got used.
I believe that this was imposed on the program by the US Airforce due to the need to collect spy satellites for service and put large payloads into polar orbit.
I think that the polar orbit requirement was never used, and had a very significant impact.
One of the things that was to enable the polar orbit was a new set of solid rocket boosters, the 'Filament-wound' models that had a lighter weight outer case, and more propellent.
The book Riding Rockets was written by an astronaut who was in the middle of prep on that discovery mission when Challenger happened, and has a few details on the proposed polar orbit launch.
The only way the F35 will pay for itself is if it can turn into a space fighter :-D - otherwise, with all those components onboard, it will cost even more to maintain it over the next several decades.
Heck, in a real war, I'd rather take something simpler that is easy to build and cheaper to repair - Russia seems to have it right with the SU/MIG 3X, which are just perfected 2X designs...
But the military industrial complex needs to be slowly starved to death.