09 September 2009

In the Hope of Sparking Some Discussion

There's a conversation from a while back over at BoardGameGeek about "Why people have no interest in Wargames"...

03 September 2009

View of the Navy Under Construction

You can zoom waaaaay in on Google Maps with this and see ships under construction at the Bath Iron Works in Maine.

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By: Brant

02 September 2009

Retrospective on the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale

There's a great article about the Battle or Cuito Cuanavale in Africa back in the '80s.
It's also a very hard one to characterize.

Do you thank the SADF for turning back the tide of communism in southern Africa? Or do you see it as another example of an oppressive apartheid regime suppressing a black liberation movement?

Is it a victory for a Western-style maneuver-oriented military against a largely communist conscription force with Russian-based doctrine? Or does it show the differences between a force that perceives itself to be fighting for the defense of 'their' homeland/continent against an invading force of outsiders/interlopers?

If you're interested in purely in the military aspects of the wider campaign, there's a nifty little issue from S&T a few years back that covers the battles in Angola in '88-'89 as well as Budapest in '56. They both build off of the old ModQuad mechanics from SPI, and I would recommend the Angola game as a great bit of afternoon fun that might not perfectly model the campaign (it lacks quite a bit of political depth) but succeeds as fun game about a campaign few others have explored.

By: Brant

Student Products in Wargaming

Conflict Simulation :Philip Sabin :King's College London

01 September 2009

You hire kids, you get kid-quality work

The government goes bat-crap crazy and hires a 23-year-old kid to provide them with ammunition and then is surprised when something goes wrong. Sigh.

A U.S. military contractor accused in a scheme to illegally ship nearly $300 million in Chinese-made ammunition to Afghan soldiers has agreed to a plea deal that could send him to prison for up to five years.
Under the deal, prosecutors will drop 84 counts of wrongdoing in exchange for 23-year-old Efraim Diveroli pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge. He could also be fined up to $250,000.
Diveroli was president and owner of AEY Inc., the Miami Beach firm awarded a $298 million U.S. Army contract in 2007 to provide the ammunition to Afghanistan. The contract forbade exporting Chinese ammunition, but prosecutors say the company did it anyway and claimed the rounds were from Albania.

By: Brant

Changing governments does not mean changing treaties

The US has refused to acquiesce to a renegotiation of the deal that stations US troops in Japan and Okinawa just because Japan's government changed hands.

The United States ruled out renegotiating a deal on US military bases with Japan's new left-leaning government, which has pledged a fresh look at US forces in its territory.
Japan's incoming prime minister Yukio Hatoyama in the past called for the United States to remove the Futenma Marine base -- long a sore point as it lies in a crowded urban area on the southern island of Okinawa.
But State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the United States would not revisit a deal finalized just months ago by Japan's long-ruling conservatives that also includes moving troops to the US territory of Guam.
'The United States has no intention to renegotiate the Futenma replacement facility plan or Guam relocation with the government of Japan,' Kelly said.