The proposed expansion of Turkish influence should rely on three parallel factors

Saturday, May 7th, 2022

In his 2009 book The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, George Friedman predicted how the geo-political map of the world would look in 2050:

In one of its chapters, the book has published a map of “Turkey’s sphere of influence in 2050.” According to the map, Turkey’s sphere of influence by 2050 will include Greece, Cyprus, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Gulf countries, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Crimea, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. The book was published during a period when Turkey’s foreign policy under former Foreign Minister Ahmad Davutoglu was being shaped based on the so-called “zero-problem” foreign policy which aimed to ease tensions in neighboring countries starting from the signing of the Armenian-Turkish protocols and ending with consolidating “friendly” relations with Arab countries. During this era, many researchers criticized Turkey’s foreign policy and categorized it as “neo-Ottoman.”

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It is worth mentioning that when this map was first published, Crimea was not subjected to Russian annexation; part of Nagorno Karabakh and its surrounding areas were not captured by Azerbaijan; and Turkey had not occupied parts of Northern Syria and Iraq; nor had it acquired military bases in Libya and Qatar and extended its influence in Lebanon, Ukraine and Georgia. Now, many Turkish nationalists and government circles believe that such maps are “promising” given the rise of Turkish power in the region.

[…]

According to the book, the proposed expansion of Turkish influence should rely on three parallel factors. The first factor is Turkey’s soft power diplomacy characterized by culture and religion aimed to exercise influence over these states. The second is Ankara’s success in employing its economic supremacy in the region. The third factor is the natural weakening, over time, of neighboring states, which were expected to go through political turmoil eventually leading to political divisions or, in severe cases, civil wars and Turkish military adventures in these countries.

We have built our military around small numbers of large, expensive, exquisite, heavily manned, and hard-to-replace platforms

Saturday, March 5th, 2022

The kill chain is a process that occurs on the battlefield or wherever militaries compete, Christian Brose explains:

It involves three steps:

The first is gaining understanding about what is happening.

The second is making a decision about what to do.

And the third is taking action that creates an effect to achieve an objective.

When members of the US military complete that process of understanding, deciding, and acting, they refer to it as “closing the kill chain.”

And when they thwart the ability of a rival military to do so itself, they call that “breaking the kill chain.”

The United States spends close to three-quarters of one trillion dollars on national defense each year, he notes:

That is more than the next eight countries spend put together. That money buys a lot of military capability — fighter jets, submarines, aircraft carriers, battle tanks, attack helicopters, nuclear weapons, and hundreds of thousands of incredibly well-armed people.

[…]

The problem is not that America is spending too little on defense. The problem is that America is playing a losing game. Over many decades we have built our military around small numbers of large, expensive, exquisite, heavily manned, and hard-to-replace platforms that struggle to close the kill chain as one battle network.

[…]

China, meanwhile, has built large numbers of multi-million-dollar weapons to find and attack America’s small numbers of exponentially more expensive military platforms.

Popular Posts of 2021

Saturday, January 1st, 2022

I just took a look back at my numbers for 2021. Here are the most popular posts during that calendar year, four of which are new, six of which are older:

  1. Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics
  2. Days of work led to the decision to do nothing at all (new)
  3. IQ Shredders
  4. He-Man Opening Monologue
  5. Both sons also later attempted suicide
  6. The Pros and Cons of Empires
  7. It is difficult to understand why this should be such a formidable task
  8. Will China invade Taiwan? (new)
  9. Hitler’s strategy through mid-1940 was almost flawless (new)
  10. American mothers had given their sons everything in the world, except a belief in themselves (new)

Here are the most popular posts actually from 2021 and not from an earlier year:

  1. Days of work led to the decision to do nothing at all
  2. Will China invade Taiwan?
  3. Hitler’s strategy through mid-1940 was almost flawless
  4. American mothers had given their sons everything in the world, except a belief in themselves
  5. Once the Soviet Union was destroyed, the British would see reason and give in
  6. Most drugs don’t do anything significantly good or bad for most people who take them
  7. A sword never jams
  8. He was worth a dozen rational, decent men
  9. Hamas and Islamic Jihad sent their first-line of defense into the tunnels to start taking up positions
  10. Could the Germans have taken Moscow?

Again, I’m not sure what to conclude.

Also, I should thank some of my top referrers: Reaction Times, Western Rifle Shooters Association, BorepatchZ Man, and Instapundit.

Posts from Newtonmas Past

Saturday, December 25th, 2021

Please enjoy these posts of Christmas Past:

It would not be like the movies with intense dogfights

Sunday, November 21st, 2021

Physics would constrain space-to-space engagements. These five key concepts help explain how:

  1. Satellites move quickly.
  2. Satellites move predictably.
  3. Space is big.
  4. Timing is everything.
  5. Satellites maneuver slowly.

Warfighting on Earth typically involves competitors fighting to dominate a physical location:

Opposing military forces fight to control the land, sea, and air over a certain part of Earth to expand influence over people or resources. Space warfare does not follow this paradigm; satellites in orbit do not occupy or dominate a single location over time. Instead, satellites provide capabilities, such as communications, navigation, and intelligence gathering, to Earth-based militaries. Therefore, to “control space” is not necessarily to physically conquer sectors of space but rather to reduce or eliminate adversary satellite capabilities while ensuring one retains the ability to freely operate their own space capabilities.

[...]

Objects orbiting Earth have a strict relationship between altitude and speed. Orbital mechanics dictate that objects at lower altitudes will always move more quickly than those at higher altitudes. Any attempt to add or reduce a satellite’s speed will always lead to a change in altitude. Compare this relationship between speed and altitude to an aircraft, which often changes speed without affecting its altitude, and vice versa.

And that speed is fast. Satellites in commonly used circular orbits move at speeds between 3 km/s and 8 km/s (6,700 mph and 18,000 mph), depending on their altitude. In contrast, an average bullet only travels about 0.75 km/s (1,700 mph).

[...]

Also, because a satellite’s speed is tied to its altitude, a satellite will return to approximately the same point in its orbit at regular intervals (known as its period), regardless of the orbit’s shape and absent a maneuver to change the orbit.

[...]

To deviate from their prescribed orbit, satellites must use an engine to maneuver. This contrasts with airplanes, which mostly use air to change direction; the vacuum of space offers no such option.

[...]

Getting two satellites to the same altitude and the same plane is straightforward (though time and delta-V consuming), but that does not mean they are yet in the same spot. The phasing — current location along the orbital trajectory — of the two satellites must also be the same. Since speed and altitude are connected, getting two satellites in the same spot is not intuitive. Therefore, it requires careful planning and perfect timing.

One way to get close to another satellite is to perform a flyby. A flyby occurs when one satellite nearly matches the other satellite’s position without matching its orbit. Because the satellites are in different orbits, they will appear to speed past each other. These maneuvers are useful for inspection missions where the goal is not to destroy the target but to image it. Flybys often require minimal delta-V for an attacking satellite to perform since it can use natural intersection points of the two orbits to come close to its target. A related operation, known as an intercept, involves intentionally trying to match positions with the target, leading to the destruction of both satellites.

For two satellites in the same orbit, a common maneuver known as a phasing maneuver is required for one satellite to catch the other satellite. A phasing maneuver involves changing the satellite’s position in its orbit plane, either moving it ahead or behind of where it would normally be, similar to a train increasing or decreasing its speed to arrive at a destination sooner or later. Unlike a train, which can speed up or slow down without changing tracks, a satellite that changes speed also changes its altitude. This leads to the satellite entering into a new orbit known as a transfer orbit, an orbit used temporarily to move a satellite from an original orbit to a new orbit.

Phasing Maneuvers

Ground-based ASATs are missiles that rely on a rocket to deliver a small warhead to impact with a satellite. Because the rocket has a large delta-V capacity, the warhead itself is placed in the correct intercept trajectory and requires little propellant to reach its target — this makes them more intuitive as they behave more like traditional missiles.

[...]

In contrast, an orbital ASAT is basically a satellite that purposefully destroys other satellites. This can be done either with an RPO intercept or with onboard weapons. Unlike the ground ASAT missile, which can be launched without warning and at a moment’s notice, an orbital ASAT may be launched months to years ahead of a potential conflict.

[...]

Some counterspace threats utilize the electromagnetic spectrum to inflict either temporary (reversible) or permanent (irreversible) harm. These threats are attractive because the attacks happen from a distance, which adds a measure of deniability and lessens the burden of getting physically close. Intentional jamming can also be quite difficult to distinguish from unintentional interference, making attribution more challenging.

[...]

While there has never been a battle in space, we can still gauge what a war in space might look like. It would not be like the movies with intense dogfights. Instead space-based threats would be un-crewed and require slow and deliberate planning to get into position. Compared with the timing and flexibility limitations of on-orbit weapons, ground-based threats afford substantially shorter engagement execution timelines and the prospect of more numerous shots. The more we can internalize these insights, the better we can understand the stakes of a geopolitical fight in space.

It’s time for spooktacular links!

Sunday, October 31st, 2021

I’ve written about Halloween and horror quite a bit over the years:

Popular Posts of 2020

Friday, January 1st, 2021

I just took a look back at my numbers for 2020. Here are the most popular posts during that calendar year, six of which are new, four of which are older:

  1. Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics
  2. It is difficult to understand why this should be such a formidable task (new)
  3. He disappeared into a room, and you didn’t see him again until it was done (new)
  4. There is no reason for concern (new)
  5. No One Left to Blame (from 2015, making a comeback)
  6. It’s a teacher’s dream (new)
  7. The Bob Rubin Trade
  8. The Pros and Cons of Empires
  9. Happy Secession Day! (the newest compilation of Fourth of July posts)
  10. Freeman Dyson appeared for more esoteric topics (new)

Here are the most popular posts actually from 2020 and not from an earlier year:

  1. It is difficult to understand why this should be such a formidable task
  2. He disappeared into a room, and you didn’t see him again until it was done
  3. There is no reason for concern
  4. It’s a teacher’s dream
  5. Happy Secession Day!
  6. Freeman Dyson appeared for more esoteric topics
  7. The larger strategic goal was to puncture the myth of communist inevitability
  8. N95 versus KN95
  9. Both sons also later attempted suicide
  10. That place is like Africa Light

Again, I’m not sure what to conclude.

Also, I should thank some of my top referrers: Reaction Times, Western Rifle Shooters Association, Instapundit, Borepatch, and Z Man.

God bless us, every one!

Friday, December 25th, 2020

Please enjoy these posts of Christmas Past:

I don’t discuss Thanksgiving nearly as much as Halloween

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

I don’t discuss Thanksgiving nearly as much as Halloween:

I have ascended to the third order of magnitude

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

I have ascended to the third order of magnitude. I have 1,000 Twitter followers:

Isegoria 1,000 Followers

Popular Posts of 2019

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

I just took a look back at my numbers for 2019. Here are the most popular posts during that calendar year, two of which are new, eight of which are older:

  1. Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics
  2. He-Man Opening Monologue
  3. The Bob Rubin Trade
  4. The best hard science fiction he’d read in decades is a techno-thriller (new)
  5. The Father of Social-Science
  6. Fast Friends Protocol
  7. The Pros and Cons of Empires
  8. They are unable to decipher compound sentences (new)
  9. Summary of the Fate of Empires
  10. Observations from Actual Shootings

Here are the most popular posts actually from 2019 and not from an earlier year:

  1. The best hard science fiction he’d read in decades is a techno-thriller
  2. They are unable to decipher compound sentences
  3. A concerned citizen is largely helpless
  4. We should drop arithmetic
  5. One subgroup of scholars did manage to see more of what was coming
  6. The great vice of the Greeks was extrapolation
  7. The barbarian invaders had one thing the civilized Incas did not
  8. The whole point is sacrifice
  9. The tattoo has a profound meaning
  10. Superior recon trumps hypersonic missiles

Again, I’m not sure what to conclude.

Also, I should thank some of my top referrers: Z ManMapping The Dark Enlightenment, and Borepatch.

Joyeux Noël

Wednesday, December 25th, 2019

Please enjoy these yuletide posts of Christmas Past:

There’s a simple rule of simul-climbing

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

Rock-climber Emily Harrington was making a one-day free attempt on the 5.13 Golden Gate route up Yosemite’s El Capitan, when her foot slipped, and she fell:

Having Honnold on board as a belay partner was only one part of a strategy that would need to work perfectly in order for Harrington to become the first woman and fourth person to free climb Golden Gate in a day. She’d been working through the moves of the route for years. In 2015, she freeclimbed it in six days. And on November 7 of this year, she came heartbreakingly close, climbing all but the last 30 feet of the final 5.13 pitch before exhaustion overtook her. “It’s not about the hard pitches,” she explains. “It’s about the accumulation of fatigue. Even the 5.10 pitches are really physical, so it becomes this huge endurance challenge that a lot of climbers don’t quite grasp.”

[...]

To stack the deck in her favor, she and Honnold planned to use a technique called simul-climbing, a time-saving high-risk endeavor in which the leader and follower both advance at the same time. The leader places gear sparingly, “running it out,” as they say, while the follower cleans the gear. By leaving huge gaps between placements and climbing simultaneously, a team can cover four pitches with the amount of gear and time that it typically takes to finish one. The tradeoff is, of course, safety. If the follower slips, he pulls the leader off with him. If the leader falls, she takes an enormous fall that must be caught by a belayer who is focused on climbing.

“You have to conserve your gear,” says Harrington. “Instead of climbing the Freeblast in 12 pitches, we planned to climb it in four pitches.” The Freeblast, for people who remember the movie Free Solo, is the lower, less-than vertical-section of Freerider/Golden Gate where the climbing isn’t technically as difficult as the upper sections, but it’s slabby, slippery, and what Harrington generally characterizes as “insecure.”

“It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s easy for your fingers and feet to be numb and to slip unexpectedly,” says Honnold. When he made his abortive attempt on Freerider early in Free Solo, it was the Freeblast section that turned him around rather than the most difficult sections up high. Harrington is a 5.14 climber. When she slipped, she was making the last move of a 5.10c pitch while navigating a pair of twin cracks. Just a few feet above her was a fixed bolt she could have clipped for ultimate safety.

About 150 feet below, Honnold was belaying Harrington when he heard her scream. “I was sitting on the ground tying my shoes, getting ready to start simul-climbing,” says Honnold. “Tons of slack just pools on the ground, which is consistent with huge falls.” The phenomenon occurs when the leader is falling but still above her last piece of gear. “The rope is falling at the same speed as the climber,” says Honnold. “It’s just physics.”

Honnold was belaying with a gri-gri, a mechanical device that’s a little bit like the cams in a car seat belt. Its mechanism allows the rope to slide smoothly through it at low speeds but locks down tight if you try to pull the rope through it with any kind of jarring motion. But the energy of the fall never actually reached the gri-gri. In most circumstances, a belayer’s hand is never supposed to leave the rope. But at the highest echelons of simul-climbing, that’s just not an option. The follower has to climb and remove gear from the wall while also belaying the leader. That’s why there’s a simple rule of simul-climbing: don’t fall.

[...]

At the hospital, her injuries proved to be gruesome but largely superficial. Most shockingly, Harrington had somehow managed to get her neck caught in the rope during the fall and was left with a long bruise that made it look like she’d been strangled. Ultimately she was able to walk out of the hospital a day later.

[...]

Honnold, who is famously dry when it comes to assessing risk, doesn’t view it as a cautionary tale: “In a lot of ways, this shows that the techniques actually work,” says Honnold. “She took one of the worst possible falls on the whole route and still wound up basically fine.”

[...]

Ultimately, though, Harrington herself sees the accident as a validation, if a painful one: “The system worked. The rope caught me. My gear held,” she says. “I’ll try again in spring.”

Happy Turkey Day!

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

I don’t discuss Thanksgiving nearly as much as Halloween:

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

I’m always surprised by how much I’ve written about Halloween and horror over the years: