Magazine article National Defense

Readers' Forum

Magazine article National Defense

Readers' Forum

Article excerpt


Unconventional Warfare

I read the article "US. Should Invest in Truly Unconventional Forms of Warfare" in the January 2012 issue with great interest, as it represents the sort of forward thinking we need today.

As good as the article is, I think author Russell Aldrich went seriously adrift in the second paragraph.

"If China decided to sell [U.S. Treasury] bonds and invest elsewhere, it could have potentially devastating effects for the U.S. economy."

This is a trap that more famous writers have also fallen into. Please stop a minute and ask: To whom would the Chinese sell? Not the European Central Bank, as they would not trade shaky dollars for even more shaky Euros. Maybe the SomaIi Pirates Retirement Fund or the MedelUn Cartel Investment Trust would take a few billion, but they couldn't put a dent in the trillion that the Chinese hold.

No. The Chinese are stuck with them, as there is no possible buyer. The shoes, shirts, and cell phones the Chinese shipped over are gone forever, and all they have is a lot of engraved paper. Or, worse yet, blips on a computer screen! Remember, the only reason you have a $1,000 dog is because I'm willing to give you two $500 cats for it.

Please think hard about this: Who is a possible, credible, capable buyer for the bonds the Chinese hold? Well, yes, we could buy them back for . 1 5 cents on the dollar, like we did with the billions of dollars worth of hotels the Japanese built here in the 90s. The Japanese knew real estate always goes up. The Chinese thought the dollar was as good as gold until they found out we are borrowing $1 billion a day just to stay afloat.

The rest of your article is, as the Brits once said, "sterling."

Richard Keogh

Honolulu, HI

Rail Guns

Your "Viewpoint, An Inexpensive Solution For Quickly Launching Military Satellites Into Space" in the March 2012 issue of National Defense Magazine appears to have few inaccuracies.

In the second paragraph "of 'Iranian Super Gun' fame." If I remember correctly from watching the History Channel, that was the "Iraqi Super Gun" as Saddam Hussein was in pursuit of the Super Gun.

The bottom paragraph should state something to the effect that two magnetic fields are created (one for each rail) opposing each other and creating a force according to Lorentz's Force Law on the armature to repel it in the desired direction. Of course, this is dependent upon the direction of the electric current flow. …

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