Dedication

We maintain and continue this committee of correspondence in memory of our founder and mentor, Colonel W. Patrick Lang. The image to the right is Marcus, a character from William S. Burroughs’s “The Coming of the Purple Better One.” Colonel Lang would refer to Marcus sometimes in clever jest, sometimes in biting social commentary and sometimes simply because he liked Marcus. May everyone who corresponds here do so in a similar spirit.

Posted in Administration | 12 Comments

AVAILABLE now FROM iUniverse, Amazon and Barnes and Noble in hard cover, soft cover, and digital.

The Portable Pat Lang

Essential Writings on History, War, Religion and Strategy

From the Introduction:

“In the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Col. Lang created his own blog which to this day still serves as a committee of correspondence for a large network of former military and intelligence officers, diplomats, and scholars of international affairs.

Since its launch in 2005, the Turcopolier website has had over 40 million unique visits.

Since leaving the government, he has also authored five books, including a Civil War espionage trilogy, a memoir of his years in government service, and a primer on human intelligence.

This present volume—his sixth book—is an anthology of some of his most important writings. The content speaks for itself.  So have at it.”

Posted in My books | 4 Comments

ISW on the developing Ukrainian defense industrial base and Russias strikes on the Ukrainian energy infrastructure

Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that Russia’s ongoing strike campaign against Ukrainian energy facilities aims in part to devastate the Ukrainian defense industry, confirming ISW’s ongoing assessment that Russian strikes against Ukrainian energy facilities aim to degrade Ukrainian defense industrial capacity. Putin stated during a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on April 11 that Russian drone and missile strikes against Ukraine’s energy sector are connected to Russia’s goal of “demilitarizing” Ukraine – one of his three stated goals in Ukraine. Putin characterized Russia’s ongoing strikes against Ukrainian energy infrastructure as a “forced” response to recent Ukrainian drone strikes against Russian oil and gas facilities and openly stated that Russian strikes indirectly aim to degrade Ukraine’s defense industrial capacity. The recent Russian strike campaign is degrading Ukraine’s power generation capacity while also exploiting reported Ukrainian air defense missile shortages in a renewed effort to collapse Ukraine’s power grid. Putin likely hopes to prevent Ukraine’s defense industry from developing to the point of near self-sufficiency in the long term as a strong defense industry could put Ukraine in a good position to defend against future Russian aggression and significantly reduce Ukraine’s dependence on Western aid. Significant delays in Western aid, due in part to successful Russian information operations and Western hesitancy, have created an opportunity for Russian offensive operations and Russia’s strike campaign.

ISW continues to assess that the development of Ukraine’s defense industrial base (DIB) over time can allow Ukraine to sustain its defense against Russia and longer-term national security needs with significantly reduced foreign military assistance. Ukrainian officials have expressed their intention to expand Ukraine’s DIB domestically and abroad since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, and Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov previously identified increased Ukrainian domestic production of weapons and military equipment as a priority for 2024. US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller has stated that the short- and medium-term provision of Western air defenses to Ukraine will be a critical element of Ukraine’s ability to stand up its defense industry, which will, in turn, decrease Ukrainian dependence on Western aid and especially US aid to Ukraine in the long term. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently emphasized that Ukraine cannot mitigate the lack of sufficient air defense systems and that only Western-provided air defense systems, namely Patriot systems, allow Ukraine to defend Ukraine against the intensified Russia strike campaign. ISW continues to assess that the US will not need to send large security assistance packages to Ukraine indefinitely if Ukraine can sufficiently expand its defensive industrial capacity, but the West’s provision of air defense systems and missiles to Ukraine is crucial for Ukraine’s ability to defend its energy infrastructure and its developing defense industry against Russian strikes.

https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-april-12-2024

Comment: Some of you are apoplectic over anything from the ISW, but I think they lay out this situation quite well. Surely we’ve all noticed that Russian air strikes have finally, after two plus years of dicking around, embarked on a clear strategy with a solid military goal… making a solid run at knocking out Ukraine’s major energy facilities. It’s sure smarter than taking pot shots at apartment blocks, although that continues. And, as ISW points out, it does seem to be aimed at crushing a developing Ukrainian defense industrial base. That’s some sound, long range thinking.

The obvious solution for Ukraine is to obtain more air defense systems. She needs all kinds and a lot more of each of them. Western Europe should be able to double Ukraines present three Patriot batteries. The US should give a few more. Unfortunately, everybody seems to want to hold on to what they got. But in an oddly unexpected move, the European Parliament moved to hold the discharge of the EU Council budget until additional Patriot systems are committed to Ukraine. Macron is also backing up his tough talk of a while ago with concrete aid. Japan, on the door step of China, is sending her Patriot missiles to the US so the US can resupply Ukraine with the missiles. There appears to be progress, but will it happen fast enough.

Ukraine is producing its Bohdana self-propelled howitzer at a rate of eight per month. They started the war with a few prototypes. Ukraine has also become one of the world’s leading producers (and users) of drones. The Czech Republic and Estonia have managed to scrounge up a buttload of ammunition around the world and the rest of Europe seems willing to foot the bill. Europe is finally upping the production of both artillery pieces and ammunition.  

The US? Who knows. The White House is not only afraid of the Kremlin’s nuclear weapons, but also that Russia’s energy industry might be damaged by Ukrainian drones. A sizable minority of the Republicans in the House are content to see Putin rewarded for his war of aggression. At least the isolationists are doing it out of principle. Even the Japanese Prime Minister told a joint session of Congress to grow a pair.

TTG

Posted in Russia, The Military Art, TTG, Ukraine Crisis | Leave a comment

Britain? Kaput! By Walrus.

kaput \kuh-PUT\ adjective. 1 : utterly finished, defeated, or destroyed. 2 : unable to function : useless. 3 : hopelessly outmoded.

Britain as we understand it, is finished. Shakespeare and Churchill, Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh, Magna Carta, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Orwell, Huxley, Darwin, Newton, Oxford, Cambridge all gone. What remains is a diseased appendix to Europe. Corrupt, cowardly, lying, cheating, greedy, and totally without any, even basic, understanding of the concept of honor.

The British Post Office Scandal has revealed the true extent of British Governmental corruption involving the deliberate destruction of the lives of at least a thousand of its own workforce in what has been described as the biggest miscarriage of Justice in British history. This scandal is the subject of a public enquiry that is revealing a little, a very little, of the putrid behaviour of the British managerial classes. So what? Draw a line and move on….. but what dooms Britain is that its Government and Public Service are resisting the calls for justice from the victims and prosecution for the lying sons (and daughters) of Bitches that did this, and who continue to get away with it despite more evidence emerging every day.

Folks, this is British 9/11. What has been destroyed is not concrete and steel but reputation. It can’t be rebuilt at least not by the sleazy creeps who inhabit its upper reaches. Think it through. If Britain will do this to its own, what hope for Britain as a global financial centre? Lloyds? No. The LME? Forget it The Royal Courts of Justice? Ask Assange. Did MI5 murder Litvinenko? probably. Princess Diana? David Kelly? Certainly. Russiagate – a british plot? Of course. White Helmets? Yes. Nord See II? Naturally. De Gaulle was ahead of his time: “perfidious Albion”, Oui.

It should be apparent that Britain is now utterly unreliable as a partner, strategically, commercially, politically and its condition is irrecoverable. President Zelensky and the poor people of Ukraine are about to find this out.

https://www.postofficehorizoninquiry.org.uk

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Kelly_(weapons_expert)

Posted in United Kingdom, Walrus | 52 Comments

Declaration “Dignitas Infinita” on Human Dignity

The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued an important new doctrinal declaration on human dignity, approved by Pope Francis, that not only reaffirms the Catholic Church’s traditional teaching on abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide, but also updates it by denouncing some newer forms of violation of that dignity in the 21st century, such as surrogacy and the promotion of gender theory.

“Declaration ‘Dignitas Infinita’ on Human Dignity” is the title of this 23-page document that Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández said went through several preparatory drafts over the past five years, and which he presented at a Vatican press conference on April 8. He revealed in a preface to the text that Pope Francis explicitly asked that the document “highlight topics closely connected to the theme of dignity, such as poverty, the situation of migrants, violence against women, human trafficking, war and other themes.” Thus the declaration goes beyond the focus on single issues and throws a spotlight on the much broader field of violations of human dignity.

Commenting on this in an editorial on Vatican Media, Andrea Tornielli, its editorial director, said: “The new text contributes to overcoming the dichotomy that exists between those who concentrate exclusively on the defense of life that is unborn or dying and forget the other attacks against human dignity, and those, on the other hand, who focus only on the defense of the poor and migrants and forget that life has to be defended from conception to natural death.”

The declaration’s fourth chapter gives attention to 13 broad areas of violations against human dignity, including some new ones in the field of bioethics. The declaration, quoting Pope Francis’ talk to the diplomatic corps on Jan. 4 of this year, says, “the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood” represents “a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs.” It explains that “surrogacy violates the dignity of the woman, whether she is coerced into it or chooses to subject herself to it freely. For, in this practice, the woman is detached from the child growing in her and becomes a mere means subservient to the arbitrary gain or desire of others.” Moreover, it argues that “the legitimate desire to have a child cannot be transformed into a ‘right to a child’ that fails to respect the dignity of that child as the recipient of the gift of life.” It repeats the pope’s call for the international community “to prohibit this practice universally.”

At the same time, the declaration strongly denounces violence against women in its manifold forms. It says that “while the equal dignity of women may be recognized in words, the inequalities between women and men in some countries remain very serious” and calls for them to be addressed. It denounces coercive abortions and the practice of polygamy. It condemns the phenomenon of femicide and calls on the entire international community to have a coordinated and concrete commitment to protecting women.

It is perhaps noteworthy also that the declaration begins its focus on gender theory by defending the human dignity of L.G.B.T.Q. people (though it does not use the abbreviation). It reaffirms that “every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence.”

For this reason, it says, “it should be denounced as contrary to human dignity the fact that, in some places, not a few people are imprisoned, tortured, and even deprived of the good of life solely because of their sexual orientation.” This appears to be a response to legislation in some African and Asian countries. At the press conference Cardinal Fernandez said the church supported the decriminalization of homosexuality in the various countries.

As widely expected, the declaration issues a firm “no” to gender theory, which it describes as “extremely dangerous” since, among other things, it “intends to deny the greatest possible difference that exists between living beings: sexual difference.” The declaration says: “This foundational difference is not only the greatest imaginable difference but is also the most beautiful and most powerful of them. In the male-female couple, this difference achieves the most marvelous of reciprocities. It thus becomes the source of that miracle that never ceases to surprise us: the arrival of new human beings in the world.”

It recalls that “the Church teaches that human life in all its dimensions, both physical and spiritual, is a gift from God” and says: “Desiring a personal self-determination, as gender theory prescribes, apart from this fundamental truth that human life is a gift, amounts to a concession to the age-old temptation to make oneself God.” The declaration concludes that “all attempts to obscure reference to the ineliminable sexual difference between man and woman are to be rejected.”

The declaration also says no to sex change. It says “we are called to protect our humanity, and this means, in the first place, accepting it and respecting it as it was created” and so “[it] follows that any sex-change intervention, as a rule, risks threatening the unique dignity the person has received from the moment of conception.”

In his preface to the text, Cardinal Fernández said the declaration’s aim is “to offer some points for reflection that can help us maintain an awareness of human dignity amid the complex historical moment in which we are living.” The introduction and first three chapters of the declaration presents the genesis and development of the concept of human dignity through history, from its emergence in classical antiquity to its development in the Bible and in Christian thought, and in recent decades at the Second Vatican Council and through the magisterium of Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis.

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2024/04/08/dignitas-infinata-vatican-gender-theory-surrogacy-247654

Comment: There’s something in this declaration to piss off everybody. Of course, the big headlines concern the Church’s stand against sex change and gender theory. I actually had to look that one up. Gender theory proposes that gender is merely a social construction and that an individual can pick whatever gender he or she feels like picking. Carried to the logical end, this means physically altering gender… sex change. Given the Church’s views on the sanctity of life, marriage and children, her opposition to gender theory and sex change makes perfect doctrinal sense.

The declaration sets out sections on the following “grave violations of human dignity: the drama of poverty, war, the travail of migrants, human trafficking, sexual abuse, violence against women, abortion, surrogacy, euthanasia and assisted suicide, the marginalization of people with disabilities, gender theory, sex change, and digital violence. 

Of all these, the one that struck me most personally was the one on war. Pope Francis was quoted “We can no longer think of war as a solution because its risks will probably always be greater than its supposed benefits. In view of this, it is very difficult nowadays to invoke the rational criteria elaborated in earlier centuries to speak of the possibility of a ‘just war.’ Never again war!” Will the Church soon renounce the idea of a just war? Has my chosen profession and career been an affront against God and Humanity? I guess I can take solace in this line. “While reaffirming the inalienable right to self-defense and the responsibility to protect those whose lives are threatened, we must acknowledge that war is always a ‘defeat of humanity.’ Maybe I and my brethren in arms have been granted an indulgence. DOL

TTG

Posted in Culture and Society, Religion, TTG | 33 Comments

The situation and some possible courses of action … A Pat Lang post reposted from 26 February 2022

Reviewing the situation:

The Russian Army has an active force of about 400,000. Half of those are draftees, conscripts if you like that term better. Between 150,000 and 200,000 have been committed to the Ukraine “project” by Putin and Company. It seems that only about 70,000 men have thus far been put into Ukraine. If that is so, then how many are committed to the operation to capture Kiyiv? Half of that perhaps? 30,000 men ? 30k soldiers to capture a city of 3 million inhabitants? The Ukrainian Army and armed civilians are evidently putting up a good fight. Delays in the timetable built into Russian plans are a major threat to the viability of the Russian effort. Logistics rule. If the Russians cannot get their lines of supply sorted out, their advance will grind to a halt and they will then be very vulnerable to guerrilla resistance in their rear areas.

Courses of action available to the US …

In the absence of a US declaration of war or an AUMF the existing US law allows the president (as CinC of the armed forces) to make a “finding” for covert action against a de facto enemy. CIA is by law the Executive Agent in such an action, but in fact CIA is a civilian agency and they lack the skill and knowledge to do anything serious of a military nature. So, DoD, acting on behalf of CIA normally executes such a “finding” for covert action. Actions undertaken under such a “finding” are not acknowledged. 

With such a “finding” in hand a number of things could be done:

  • We can supply the Ukraine with much needed equipment and associated training. Personnel extracted from Ukraine could be trained in Poland or some other country, perhaps even in CONUS and then returned with the equipment and supplies, probably overland from Poland. Air defense systems first, then more and more anti-armor weapons. We have a lot of this stuff and if necessary equipment can be withdrawn from reserve component units for transfer to the Ukrainians.
  • We have a lot of perfectly usable combat and supply aircraft that are scheduled to be sent to the desert bone-yard as part of force modernization. F-15s, F-16s, A-10s, etc. Under an appropriate “finding,” a covert proprietary company resembling Air America could be formed and pilots, ground crew and logistics people recruited for service IN Ukraine. We did something like this in WW2 with the creation of the American Volunteer Group (the Flying Tigers) in China. The US government formed that group and paid for it for the two years or so that it existed until the entry of the US into WW2. High risk for the people involved? Certainly, but the money would be good.

These possibilities are dependent on continued resistance by the Ukraine’s army and people.

Covert action gives Russia the opportunity to avoid a direct confrontation with a NATO country with all the risk of a nuclear exchange that would be present. Pat Lang

https://turcopolier.com/the-situation-and-possible-courses-of-action/

Comment: I am reposting this because some here think Pat Lang’s original position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine would have modified since then. Since i was in near daily contact with Pat in his last year, I can say his position did not change in that year and I seriously doubt it would have changed in the year since his passing. The concept of the Ukrainian people fighting an invader for their continued existence as an independent people is basic for us Special Forces types. Assisting those fighting for their freedom is in our DNA.

There are 154 comments to this two year old post. In this post and those comments, Pat, myself and many others still here laid out our positions on the Russian invasion and the Ukrainian defense against that invasion. Pat introduced his concept of a modern version of the American Volunteer Group. We discussed the idea only days before. Some were shocked at the idea of providing material support to Ukraine. Surely it would lead to a nuclear war. Well, the US and many Western countries have provided all manner of material support since then and that nuclear war has not materialized.

That military aid has slowly increased since those early days crossing several supposed Russian red lines with no ensuing nuclear war. But aid remains hobbled by that same fear of Russia going nuclear. That fear has characterized the Biden administration’s policy since those early days. That policy stands in stark contrast to the administration’s galvanizing, or cajoling, of Western support for Ukraine in the months leading up to the invasion in the forlorn hope that the invasion could be avoided. In hindsight, I don’t think the invasion could have been avoided short of abandoning Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe in accordance with Kremlin demands.

But back to Pat’s AVG concept, I think it would have been effective in those early days, but not so today. The A-10s, though heavily armored, are slow. Russian air defenses along the front lines have finally developed to the point that close air support has become extremely difficult. I don’t think any of us foresaw the development of drone warfare that we’ve seen in the last two years. Even the F-16s will not be the game changer some think it would be, although the AIM-120 AA missiles may help. The best thing we can do is immediately provide a lot more air defense systems including more Patriot batteries.

TTG

Posted in TTG, Ukraine Crisis | 81 Comments

HARPER: COL. W. PATRICK LANG R.I.P.

It is hard to believe that one year has passed since our founder Col. Pat Lang, a voice of reason in these troubled times, passed away. We can only imagine what kinds of wisdom would have been forthcoming from his pen in these 12 months of war on multiple fronts, turbulence and political missteps on the home front.

My wife and I had the privilege of working on a daily basis with Pat as he churned out his last two books–his Memoir Tattoo and his collected writings The Portable Pat Lang. Even as his health was deteriorating in his final months, he made clear that he viewed his published works as his enduring legacy. His memoir is a work of art that provides unparalleled insights into the second half of the last century and the early years of the present century. It was his gift to current and future generations who need to understand the follies and achievements of our recent past to avoid the former and build upon the latter.

I can think of no more fitting way to celebrate Pat’s life and recall our personal experiences as his friends, colleaguess, and students than to redouble our efforts to get his works circulating as widely as possible. Start with your own purchases for yourself and those who you hold dear and wish to see benefit from Pat’s wisdom, biting humor, and literary brilliance. Military libraries and other institutions have been slow to purchase and distribute his books.

In addition to his two final literary gifts, several years before his death, Pat was able to secure the copyright on an earlier book he wrote on human intelligence. He reworked it, with a new introduction and it was published as The Human Factor: The Phenomenon of Espionage. At last year’s Miami Book Fair, The Human Factor was a popular item and all the available copies at the Fair were sold out in one day. It is a unique and vital work on the challenges associated with the work of a case officer. Remember that during the final years of his career, he was the director of global human intelligence for the Defense Intelligence Agency. That short book is a gem, which should be part of the curriculum at every intelligence program.

We know that Pat is in a better place, looking down and wagging his fingers at the would-be leaders of our nation and the world. He devoted his life and career to speaking truth to power.

Posted in Ukraine Crisis | 23 Comments

A Note On Our Folly By Walrus

“The March Of Folly” by Barbara Tuchman, analyses the causes of historic foreign policy disasters from the seige of Troy onwards with a view to understanding the role of pure unadulterated Govermental stupidity – folly – in the decline of empires. This is important because after removing the more obvious causes of decline: tyranny, greed and incompetence, alone or in combination, there remains an inexplicable core. According to Tuchman these are caused by folly – perverse policy that fails.

To qualify as folly, Tuchman believes that…… “the policy adopted must meet three criteria: it must have been perceived as counter-­productive in its own time, not merely by hindsight. This is important, because all policy is determined by the mores of its age. “Nothing is more unfair,” as an English historian has well said, “than to judge men of the past by the ideas of the present. Whatever may be said of morality, political wisdom is certainly ambulatory.” To avoid judging by present-­day values, we must take the opinion of the time and investigate only those episodes whose injury to self-­interest was recognized by contemporaries.

Secondly a feasible alternative course of action must have been available. To remove the problem from personality, a third criterion must be that the policy in question should be that of a group, not an individual ruler, and should persist beyond any one political lifetime. ” …….. Does the Western policy towards Russia meet all of Tuchmans criteria of folly? In my opinion yes it does; every little bit of it.

But wait, there is more. We now have to consider The Walrus Law (TM) “Governments achieve the reverse of their stated objectives”. According to my law (well I think it is mine) our policy should see Russia gaining in power and influence as a result of our actions and we should be losing the same. I think that is happening.

Conversely, according to my law, the best way to neutralise Russia would be to love them to pieces.

What sayeth the Committee?

Posted in government, History, Walrus | 130 Comments

Israel attacks Iranian embassy in Damascus

DAMASCUS, April 1 (Reuters) – Suspected Israeli warplanes bombed Iran’s embassy in Syria on Monday in a strike that Iran said killed seven of its military advisers, including three senior commanders, and that marked a major escalation in Israel’s war with its regional adversaries.

Reuters reporters at the site in the Mezzeh district of Damascus saw emergency workers clambering atop rubble of a destroyed building inside the diplomatic compound, adjacent to the main Iranian embassy building. Emergency vehicles were parked outside. An Iranian flag hung from a pole by the debris. “We strongly condemn this atrocious terrorist attack that targeted the Iranian consulate building in Damascus and killed a number of innocents,” said Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad who was seen at the site along with Syria’s interior minister. Iran’s ambassador to Syria said the strike hit a consular building in the embassy compound and that his residence was on the top two floors.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said in a statement that seven Iranian military advisers died in the strike including Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in its Quds Force, which is an elite foreign espionage and paramilitary arm.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israel-bombs-iran-embassy-syria-iranian-commanders-among-dead-2024-04-01/

Comment: Israel deliberately bombed part of the Iranian embassy in Damascus in direct contravention of the Vienna Convention. They took out the Quds Force commander in Syria and Lebanon and several other IRGC officers. What else did they do today? They killed several World Central Kitchen volunteers traveling in a UN vehicle. The WCK volunteers were from Australia, Britain and Poland along with two Palestinians. 

Granted the current Israeli government is hell bent on removing the Hamas threat (a correct goal), they clearly find the goal worth the price of becoming a true pariah nation. A lot of Israelis are not thrilled with Netanyahu or his approach to removing this threat and are making their displeasure known. 

TTG 

Posted in Iran, Israel, Middle East, TTG | 87 Comments

He is risen…

A happy and joyous Easter to all.

TTG

Posted in Religion, TTG | 17 Comments

The Polish Proa Fleet

I thought I’d change it up. Even add a little levity to our sullen and sometimes frightening world. Given that Vladimir Eremeev and his self-designed and self-built proa, Drama Queen, has now started and completed two Everglades Challenges, I think it’s more than appropriate to share this jovial adventure of this pair of happy, happy Polaks in their proa. I’m almost positive I linked to this video one before, but hell, it’s well worth a second look. Enjoy.

TTG

Posted in Messing about in boats, TTG | 9 Comments

The Baltimore Key Bridge Collapse

MARYLAND, UNITED STATES – MARCH 26: An aerial view of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge after a collision with a cargo ship in Baltimore, Maryland, United States on March 26, 2024. According to the Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA), all lanes are closed in both directions, and traffic is being diverted. (Photo by Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu via Getty Images)

At the suggestion of Keith Harbaugh, here’s a post on the collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore. Keith provided a YouTube playlist with several good videos. I’ve watched the 50 minute video of Sal Mercogliano and John Konrad, two experts in their respective fields of maritime history and maritime shipping, discussing the issues and answering questions. That alone is well worth watching.

Keith Harbaugh’s playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZlQy6FlDBO3WlxlBsanJJVQ1wdK-ZaU8

The Mercogliano and Konrad discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-t5EZov7b0&list=PLZlQy6FlDBO3WlxlBsanJJVQ1wdK-ZaU8&index=3

On the few times I’ve driven over the Key bridge, I noted that it was a spindly looking bridge for something that large and that high. And the bridge supports seemed to rise out of the water largely unprotected by massive pilings or riprap islands. This probably isn’t unusual for bridges, but I thought it was a major vulnerability. John Konrad mentioned this lack of protective islands around the bridge supports which could have grounded the ship before it hit the supports. Maybe the design of the rebuilt bridge and other bridges will take heed of this. I’m sure there are other procedural measures that can and will be implemented.

As someone mentioned, thank God this didn’t happen during rush hour. The casualties would have been in the hundreds. The mayday issued by the pilots on the ship and the quick reaction of police in the area shut the bridge traffic down within 90 seconds.   

Until the channel is cleared, the Port of Baltimore is out of commission. The supply chain in this region is obviously greatly affected. Rerouting of traffic was already underway by first light yesterday. I wonder if this affects LNG shipments to Europe? It will definitely affect auto and auto parts supplies in the US.  

TTG

Posted in Current Affairs, The economy, TTG | 36 Comments