Ed Timperlake Honoring the New Generation of Military Heros

Ed Timperlake, the Editor of the Forum, appeared yesterday on the Mark Davis spot on Rush Limbaugh. Ed honored the new generation of veterans and discussed the future of the US military.

A New Generation of Vets is Coming

It has been reported that the most dangerous rank in Iraq and Afghanistan combat is a USMC Lance Corporal (E-3). Those wearing that stripe on their Marine Dress Blues have the highest probability of being killed or wounded. A Marine Lance Corporal makes around $1,300 per month.

The Marines’ brothers and sisters in arms serving with the Army, Navy, and Air Force are also paying a heavy price. In the opening engagement the US Naval Academy had the most graduates killed on 9/11 of any institution. West Point graduates have paid the highest price of all US officers serving in combat today.

It is not my intention to dwell on just the sacrifice of all but to send a message to America that a new generation of veterans is coming. This generation of veterans has truly earned the right to lead America into the future.

A few soldiers raising their hands today to support and defend the Constitution will still be making national security decisions in 2060. However, not just for our national security, but throughout America there is now a tremendous force for good in our society. A new generation is with us who believes despite the risk of their own life that their service in a Nation at war is bigger than just a sense of self.

The attributes of this cadre run deep. Student bodies cheering their team at the football games for the Commander in Chief trophy have dedicated four years to get an excellent education following a rigorous honor code – to not lie, cheat, or steal. When they graduate a war is calling them.

Fellow officers will join Service Academy grads. These officers come from the great land grant colleges of America. They make a commitment knowing their ROTC courses will require time and attention away from their chosen degree path. A few Ivy League ROTC Graduates will appear along with other private colleges. State Military institutions like VMI and the

Citadel will add to the mix. Let’s not forget that some students after spending their own money on an education volunteer for Officers Candidate School.

They all meld together with unity of purpose to be leaders in a nation at war.

The men and women they lead in the ranks are volunteers out of high school from cities large and small, off farms, and out of factories, office cubicles, and the service industry.

Ultimately when bullets are flying and people are dying it comes down to a fundamental truth: no one is in it for the money.

Building a Post 9/11 Safety Net

Since 9/11 a touchstone of service has been forged and a generation bonded. Some will stay in uniform; others will leave; but all have imprinted memories for a lifetime.

However, the biggest surprise I suggest is this generation is not monolithic in thought or deed. They will be Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. They will be deeply religious or not and some will have very significant problems readjusting. More than we suspect.

Family and friends will be the best help for those with combat wounds, physical disables, mental issues like PTSD, and sickness from the environmental factors on the battlefield. There is also a safety net woven by previous generations of warriors and strong VA programs. But the most important safety net will be support from their fellow warriors.

In getting on with their lives, because of decisions made beyond their control they will be facing huge problems. The American economy is in deep recession with significant issues still to come. In these veterans’ future there is an economic tsunami they didn’t create. Raising a family in these hard economic times will be a major challenge.

Nevertheless regardless of significant problems this generation can really drive the entire moral tone of America. At one bright moment these veterans were not greedy. They didn’t posture, or make excuses. These men and women didn’t whine or complain. They just – to use an infantry phrase – put one foot in front of the other and soldiered on to get the mission accomplished.

A lot of shallow posers – individuals who hint that they wished they could have served but didn’t – can be very smart and manipulate ideologues across the left-right political spectrum. These hucksters will reach out to harness this generation’s energy for their own purpose. However, whatever a veteran does, big or small, every American should know that these men and women have a well developed instinct for the truth. They are untouchable on that front.

So unscrupulous politicians, scam artists, hustlers, and parasites be on notice. If a man or a woman can face down the Taliban, come at them at your peril. Same advice goes to criminals and street thugs.

America, as once reported in the great space race, is “A-OK”.

Ed Timperlake, was the first Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Public Affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, he was also Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.

For a chance to hear Ed please go here


The “Untouchables” first appeared January 2010 here


As we have argued, Just Do It.  Well Ed just did it!

For some other Ed Timperlake pieces among the many which he has written see the following:




The Honorable Edward Timperlake

The Honorable Edward Timperlake recently served as Director, Technology Assessment, International Technology Security (OSD).  He was the DOD representative to the National Counterintelligence Executive Committee (NCIX-DNI) and principal DOD liaison to FBI for their Government wide CI “Critical National Asset” project. Additionally he traveled throughout Iraq to catalogue contraband conventional weapons that violated international embargoes. From 1996 to 1999, he served as a member of the professional staff of the Committee on Rules, U.S. House of Representatives, and was assigned by the Chairman to be his investigator on illegal foreign money contributions to political parties.

In 1989, he was confirmed by the Senate as the first Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs for Congressional and Public Affairs and then in a reorganization he was the first Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.

His military service was as a Marine Fighter Pilot, and Commanding Officer of VMFA-321  He is a Vietnam Veteran. His education was at the United States Naval Academy BS, and his graduate work was at Cornell University, MBA.

He has co-authored three books:

  • Showdown, Why China Wants War with the United States, co-author, Regnery Press, May 2006.
  • Red Dragon Rising, Communist China’s Military Threat to America, co-author, Regnery Press, 1999. (new expanded paperback published April 2002)
  • Year of the Rat, How Bill Clinton Compromised U.S. Security for Chinese Cash, co-author Regnery Press, 1998. (New York Times Best Seller, 22 weeks, new expanded paperback published in 2000)

An Historic PR “fumble” in the Super Tucano Vs AT-6 Public Fight

Currently the U.S. Air Force is engaged in a source selection process to pick a Light Attack Support Aircraft (LAS) for the emerging Afghan National Army Air Corps.

The Super Tucano is the only platform with proven combat success in fighting against both the communist FARC guerillas in Colombia and drug kingpins operating across borders in South America. (SLD Forum: “All Else is Rubbish”).

The AT-6, the other LAS in consideration, is not yet even certified for ordnance release.

So what exactly has been the PR strategy for the AT-6?

An opening salvo was fired by Mr. Richard Michalski, general vice president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM&AW) and was posted in The Hill Congressional Blog. For some reason he focused on both a buy America argument while also attacking Embraer Air for not being cognizant of the ejection seat ergonomics for female fighter pilots. For a country with a female President this was truly strange.

The echo chamber supporting him in the comment section made two astonishing statements:

First was an attack on the Second Line of Defense article in which I had placed a picture of a Super Tucano female pilot in the Brazil AF (EMB314: Which Gender Issue?).

The second point made in support of Mr. Michalski essentially captures the overall line of support currently in play that argues it is good for the American worker to select the American AT-6 over the Super Tucano.

Soon there appeared other articles in print stressing the need to protect the American worker and adding an additional point about the supply chain strength of building the AT-6 in America

(See for example AT-6 Meets The Need For An Affordable Light Attack Aircraft)

“A final and not unimportant point is that unlike some of the other contenders for the LAAR role, the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 would be developed, produced and assembled in the United States. The entire supply chain would be secure, safe and American. The AT-6 is a low-risk, low-cost solution that avoids the political, logistical and operational challenges that would inevitably arise if a foreign-built aircraft were selected as the LAAR.”

Or see Pentagon’s Light Attack Plane Competition Has Large Implications).

“There are only two credible contenders for the contract: an American plane made by Hawker Beechcraft designated the AT-6, and a Brazilian plane made by Embraer designated the EMB-314. They’re both propeller driven, multi-mission aircraft, and their price-tags are similar. But because the Beechcraft offering would be developed and assembled in America, it would generate over 1,000 jobs here. The Brazilian plane would be developed elsewhere, and final assembly in the U.S. would probably generate less than a hundred jobs.”

Concurrently, along with buy-America and supply chain arguments in play the next PR strategy was to stress the advanced systems on the AT-6. In a front page Aviation Week story a HBC pilot let the reader believe that  the lone (1600shp) AT-6 in existence wakes up every morning and thinks it is an A-10

AT-6 Seen As Versatile Combat Aircraft By David Fulghum  (Av Week) May 18 2011:

“Now, as the AT-6B/C, it is promising to become an inexpensive path to network-centric operations, precision strike and advanced surveillance for other air forces.

Nor is there a foreseeable end to the development potential envisioned for the two-seater. It offers 1,600 shp, 5-6-hr. endurance and an A-10C cockpit—a combination that’s being created by the team of Hawker Beechcraft and Lockheed Martin.

As for what a light attack platform should be, the debate is over, declares Daniel Hinson, AT-6 demonstration and test manager and chief test pilot. The answer, he contends, is an affordable manned platform that is toughened to the demands of pilot training and that lends itself to integrating niche features that include precision weapons as well as advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.”

Unfortunately, for the advanced “tron” argument the AT-6 has bumped into some unforgiving laws of aerodynamics that were recently pointed to the very knowledgeable and prestigious Association of Old Crows.

The Association of Old Crows (AOC) sponsored a symposium in Arlington in May 2011 on the AT-6, and the laws of physics were made in a very direct way:

  • No RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) installed.
  • Significant weight and balance (CG) and overall weight challenges associated with MWS (Missile warning System) installation
  • Aircraft is tail heavy; ballast had to be installed forward to re-align CG
  • Ballast detracts from overall aircraft payload

To summarize on the demonstrated Combat capability of both aircraft:

  • The Super Tucano is a proven combat aircraft that is currently killing Communists and drug kingpins; and
  • The AT-6 is not yet certified to drop ordnance and pays a price in support in just trying to defend itself in a limited threat environment.

As much as I enjoyed the open and fair debate on capabilities, the AT-6 supporters were just handed a huge OOPSIE by HBC management and their investment banker owners (49% US, 49% Canada, 2% corporate officers)

Goldmanʼs Hawker Beechcraft Pursues Talks on Chinese Jet Venture

May 23, 2011, 7:52 PM EDT

By Howard Mustoe

May 24 (Bloomberg) – “Hawker Beechcraft Corp., the private- aircraft manufacturer owned by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Onex Corp., said itʼs in

negotiations about a joint venture that could lead to the production of planes in China.

The U.S. company has been in talks since January over a deal that may ultimately see it transfer technology to win a bigger slice of sales in the fastest

growing major economy, Chief Executive Officer Bill Boisture said in an interview.

“Iʼve been there three times since the first of the year and there are serious discussions about potential joint ventures,” Boisture said. While there are “real

possibilities,” talks are at an early stage and a deal may initially focus on joint sales, followed by production of parts and then final assembly “over the next

10 years,” the executive said in London.

History of this type of activity with the Peoples Republic of China has not been kind to the American worker and our Defense Industrial Base. Joint Ventures with allies and fellow democracies have tremendous potential, but with the PRC absolutely not!

American workers are always caught in the middle between Investment Banking “deal making ” and PRC scamming and have over time learned some very hard lessons.

One egregious and famous example is the loss of an entire factory.

On August 24th 1993, Chinese Officials walked into a MacDonald-Dougless managed defense plant in Columbus Ohio. The plant had giant computer-controlled strategic machine tools. It built parts for the Minuteman missile, F-15 Fighter and C-17 airlifter. Needless to say the workers tried to block the PLA visitors with overturned tables and filing cabinets. All future PLA site surveys were scheduled for Sunday when the plant was shut down. But the deal went through and the tools were shipped to China.

Ultimately, everyone lost McD and the workers are both gone except of course the PRC who won  because the machine tools wound up in PLA military factories.

Consequently, when the PRC makes overtures for joint ventures American national security can be put at risk, industrial base jobs will be lost and dual use technology compromised.

So everyone who has made arguments in favor of the AT-6 that it is American made and has state-of-the-art “tron” technology have just had their entire argument destroyed and thrown back in their face. It is actually sad for them because they tried so hard.

This entire matter is an ugly PR fumble of the first order.



“All Else is Rubbish”

Clarifying the continuing public debate about the AT-6 versus Super Tucano selection for the Afghan AF is important for the overall success of U.S. international diplomacy in the worldwide aviation market.

There is a saying that can be recognized by all USAF, USN and USMC combat aviators that after engaging in a practice Air Combat Maneuvering (ACM) engagement — whomever ever first gets to the briefing board wins.

In other words, who ever first frames the debrief makes sure it favors the outcome desired-which is almost always “I won.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with strong, capable, well-trained fearless egos doing what ever it takes in arguing tactics and technology to enhance their knowledge to fight and win in the air.

Recognizing how important it is to not make the debriefing session spiral off track, The Navy Fighter Weapon School, “Top Gun,” created a technique called “Goods” and “Others.”  It was an approach with much merit.

Applying the same technique to the current and very public debate over the US Air Force’s selection of a Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft for the emerging Afghan National Army Air Corps might prove enlightening.  And remembering that this is a non-developmental contract competition is always useful to keep in mind.

First, asking any aviator “platform centric” arguments can get robust and emotional. So both aircraft in consideration, the AT-6 and Super Tucano have strong advocates. It is also understandable that a lot of Air Force pilots would have fond memories of their time spent learning to fly in the T-6. The AT-6 is a derivative of that basic trainer. This is just like the fond feelings a lot of Naval Aviators have for the T-34 Mentor the, Navy’s basic trainer, which was their first step in the journey to Navy Wings of Gold.

The AT-6 versus Super Tucano-“Goods” and “Others”

A huge “Good”—is that a selection for a light attack aircraft for Afghanistan is finally in works.

“Others” –Typical anonymous and staff-driven Congressional meddling in the last Congress stopped a program to introduce such an asset into Afghanistan to support our forces.

The program was called “Imminent Fury”.

“Good”-Three of the best Combat Generals in the US 21st Century Military, General’s Mattis, McCrystal and Petraeus all wanted a light attack aircraft immediately for combat.

“Others”- Kansas (where Hawker Beech builds the T-6) interests in Congress slow rolled the Request For Forces (RFF) because the AT-6 was still in development and wasn’t ready for a combat role which remains true today.

But now, first a word about combat requirements and the role of LAS is necessary.

A truly legendary fighter pilot said almost a Century ago that; “The duty of the fighter pilot is to patrol his area of the sky, and shoot down any enemy fighters in that area. All else is rubbish.”

Baron Manfred von Richthofen, 1917.   “Richtofen would not let members of his Staffel strafe troops in the trenches.”

He was right about killing any enemy threat in the air being first and foremost. The USAF along with Navy and Marine fighter pilots have always quested to establish total air dominance.

The history of American success in this effort was paid for in the fights to the death in the Pacific and Europe in WWII, to MIG-Alley in Korea and the sky above North Vietnam. However, one fact often taken for granted from combat in Desert Storm is that in today’s fight in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya the US and its allies own the air.

Historically, Air Dominance is very fragile because in tactical aviation technology is always moving forward in an action/reaction cycle against equally reactive enemies. Currently if American political leaders retain the political will power to field the emerging “Hi-Hi” mix of fighters, the F-22 and the F-35, in sufficient numbers, America and allied nations will rule the skies for a generation. (The F-35B in the Perspective of Aviation History).

For the Red Baron, keeping his squadron focused on the air battle was important for his day. However, with Air Dominance established in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya shifting air power focus to support troops on the ground by strafing, and launching precision guided munitions to kill the enemy is also the pilots duty — and “All else is rubbish.”

Because of U.S. current ownership of the air in Afghanistan, there is a tremendous opportunity for introducing a war-tipping asset in the fight on the ground, and that is a light attack aircraft.

The Deputy US/NATO commander, whose combat assignment, was building out the surge airfield in Kandahar Afghanistan into the largest single runway operation in the world explained this important tactical opportunity. He was interviewed by Second Line of Defense Re-visiting the Concept of a Counter-Insurgency Aircraft).

Now back to the AT-6 Vs Super Tucano “Goods and Others “debate–

“Others” –The “Afghan Light-Attack Plane Competition to Culminate with Major Flyoff –Few changes in updated requirements”  (Inside the Air Force 07/30/2010)

But the reality seems to be not quite so.  There seem to be changing requirements in play. “One important change is that the “standard LAS combat mission” calls for the aircraft to strafe an enemy target with its .50-caliber machine guns while carrying two 500-pound GBU-12 bombs. In the previous requirements document, the standard mission called for releasing one of the two GBU-12s, then strafing.

The change is critical because performing a strafing mission with two large bombs – which weigh more than 1,200 pounds when guidance systems are factored in – puts a great amount of stress on a small airframe, according to defense observers. The aircraft would need adequate power to pull up while carrying the extra bomb during a strafing run.”

A portion of the test was apparently eliminated, under controlled conditions that are otherwise done on a routine basis by relatively less-experienced Colombian Air Force aircrews in combat against FARC.

An apparent attempt as well to minimize the need for strafing was made in the test process as well. The Super T has an internal gun and test fights of the AT-6 with an external gun pod were reported as being “bumpy”—the “pray and spray” tactic.

To summarize the good and others on the “Attack” capability in the LAS competition – The “good” is the Super Tucano is a proven combat aircraft the “others” is that AT-6 is not. Altering the Course of a War With LAA

Now on to the “S” for “Support” in LAS.

“Good” Supporters of the AT-6 have been emphasizing the “S” for support in talking about all aspects of the AT-6 future combat surveillance and electronic networking capability. It is obvious yet again an attempt is being made to try to shift the debate since as is pointed out there is no operational “A” for Attack in the AT-6.  So as the saying goes they are making lemonade.

But there still exists a HUGE “Others.”

Unfortunately, for the AT-6, the aircraft has bumped into some laws of aerodynamics that were recently pointed out by the very knowledgeable and prestigious Association of Old Crows.

The Association of Old Crows (AOC) sponsored a symposium in Arlington in May 2011 on the AT-6. And they were very direct:

  • No RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) installed.
  • Significant weight and balance (CG) and overall weight challenges associated with MWS (Missile warning System) installation
  • Aircraft is tail heavy; ballast had to be installed forward to re-align CG
  • Ballast detracts from overall aircraft payload

To summarize:

  • The Super Tucano is a proven combat aircraft that is currently killing Communists and drug baron; and
  • The AT-6 is not yet certified to drop ordnance and pays a price in support in just trying to defend itself in a limited threat environment.

The Pacific Dimension: Sizing the Challenge

The key to understanding any human conflicts in the Pacific is to first recognize both the natural power and size of that Ocean.

As the Father of the American Navy John Paul Jones said about the quality of a Naval Officer —“It is by no means enough that an officer of the Navy should be a capable mariner. He must be that, of course, but also a great deal more. He should be as well a gentleman of liberal education, refined manners, punctilious courtesy, and the nicest sense of personal honor.”

Being a capable mariner is thus a given by any Naval Force to simply survive to fight in the Pacific.

The Pacific is nothing like the name  –“Pacificum” or peaceful in Latin.   It is a violent and expansive Ocean. Rounding the tip of South America. Ferdinand Magellan, in perhaps one of the more significant “name branding” mistakes in history pronounced the body of water he saw as peaceful.

Before any consideration can be given to discussing the rise of the Peoples Republic of China in the Pacific to discuss US ability to deal with an ascendant China the simple size and magnitude of the that Ocean from the Arctic down must be acknowledged.

The answer to the question how large is the Pacific is very simple — it is huge.

“The Size of the Pacific Ocean is Massive; it covers more than one-third of the earth’s surface, which is approximately 165 million square kilometers (about 65 million square miles). It extends about 15,000 kilometers (9,600 miles).”

The question of how dangerous and violent is the Pacific was answered by Sir Francis Beaufort in the 19th Century in his code measuring storms at sea “The Beaufort Scale.”

After being wounded several times and commanding a Royal Navy ship of war Beaufort became Hydrographer of the Royal Navy for twenty-five years. In fact some of his charts are still used to this day.  Sir Francis was a visionary who specifically recognized the strategic importance of the entire Pacific and he also focused on the strategic importance of the Arctic.

His  “Beaufort Scale” runs from 1 to 12 with a Force 12 being “Hurricane Winds.” –“Huge waves and sea is completely white with foam and driving spray greatly reduces visibility”.

However, in 2006 the Peoples Republic of China adopted a scale that goes to a high of 17 to acknowledge what they saw as the power of a tropical cyclone off their shore known as a “Chinese Typhoon.”

Consequently, all ocean going mariners, from early explores on war canoes, to Chinese Junks, to European sailing vessels to modern battle fleets must have a very healthy respect for the pure raw power and also extremely significant distances involved with the Pacific Ocean.

It is still very true that even a 21st Century Navy can only venture forth with ships and planes that are rugged, survivable and have the range to go up against both nature and in combat against a reactive enemy — it is not as easy as the US Navy makes it look.

A famous World War Pacific Typhoon makes that startling point. Historians have debated the number of USN Ships sunk by Japanese Kamikaze attacks during all of WW II in the Pacific. Their counts vary from a low of 34 to a high of 47.

Compare that Kamikaze fight against a reactive enemy over a almost a four year war with a US Task Force caught in a Pacific Typhoon in one 24 hour period.

In the Pacific Typhoon of December 18, 1944 three Destroyers capsized; the USS Spence, USS Hull, USS Monaghan, with the loss of most of their crew–over 700 hundred sailors perished. Additionally, 146 aircraft on Fleet Carriers were struck from the rolls because of damage. So yes being capable mariners along with rugged ships and planes makes a huge difference.

The Arctic and Northern Pacific:

To look at distance a globe is required not a Mercator map. Looking at a globe gives one an appreciation of the great circle shipping lanes. There is a northern pacific trade route essentially from the Chinese Coast passing Japan, Russia, Alaska from the tip of the Attu, along the Aleutians, into Canadian and American west coast ports — of course “passing” is a relative term in distance especially to avoid bad weather.

However, the Imperial Japanese Navy took advantage of the Northern Pacific route to use that part of the ocean to both hide their Pearl Harbor attack fleet and also their Midway Strike Force. The American Navy learned in both the disaster at Pearl Harbor and their great war tipping victory in “the Miracle of Midway” to pay close attention to that part the largest Ocean in the world.

Additionally, the US Coast Guard, with undaunted courage is currently operating consistently in arctic and Alaskan waters. The Northern Pacific is a team effort with the US Navy and Coast Guard.

Carrying the fight to Imperial Japan was difficult. In World War II, for command and control and resource allocation American Commanders divided up the Pacific into essentially two complementary but independent Combat theaters.

Admiral Nimitz led his “Central Pacific” Island hopping campaign and General MacArthur his South West Pacific Campaign into the Philippines. Forces and battle tactics were similar but different. Regardless of each Commanders approach both were successful and victory achieved.

With respect to the Peoples Republic of China looking at the geography of the Pacific might be different than the WWII Japanese Island geographic model. There are still two areas of action but they can be looked at differently.

The “Blue Water Engagement Zone”:

There is a “Blue Water Engagement Zone” — picture a slightly askew great circle trapezoid from San Diego, to Tokyo to Hainan Island (PRC) to Darwin Australia. In order to traverse that trapezoid the journey is over 18,000 miles and inside that area is a lot of Blue Water for USN Carrier Battle Groups to maneuver while approaching the PRC Coast.

Of course, maneuvering far at sea is essentially trading distance for effectiveness and is a problem.  But it is not as easy as it looks to write off the USN surface battle force as a “wasting asset” — the Forum will discuss this concept of writing off the surface fleet because precision attack weapons with remote sensors are so deadly. So were Kamikazes.

However, it must be noted a combat airfield capable of sustained operations and maneuvering at over thirty knots is a force to contend with.  This Blue Water maneuvering force will eventually have to go into combat.  However, it must be noted and not minimized that the opposition is limited by geographically fixed points — airfields, IRBM missile sites and Command and Control bunkers.

Of course, the enemy always gets a vote so the PRC forces can also maneuver on the land air, sea and subsurface. That is the crux of this forum’s question.  But the PRC must realize that the US Navy has a long history of Blue Water Operations and is designed to be in its “Blue Water” element over such a vast expanse of Ocean.

This forum will discuss the awakening of the PRC to their need also for a Blue Water Navy.

Finally, even though Carrier Battle Groups (CBGs) have tremendous maneuvering room to greatly complicate any attack against them. They have to have forces to close with and engaged the enemy.  Consequently, when the time is right the third geographic issue comes into play — the Littoral.

The Littoral

“The Littoral” is a way of saying close to the shore-how close is a moving scale. It is simple to say in any potential Pacific Combat it is where the Navy/Marine Amphibious Ready Groups have to approach close enough to be effective-this is called “from the sea.”

In order to get into Littoral waters, ships must be capable of operating in the Blue Water Engagement Zone — speed range and endurance come into play. But the Amphibious force has to also be designed as a self contained combat survivable and capable swing force — sized appropriately to close with an enemy and engage in combat if required.

This forum will hopefully allow a robust debate on the rise of the PRC and the moves and counter moves that can be made by all US Forces maneuvering over the largest contiguous area on the globe — one third of the earth’s surface.