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Logistic Routes and the Détente

Reading an interesting article on the alignment of USSE with Siad Barré’s regime in Somalia from 1969 onwards and it has some interesting tidbits having to do with military logistics and transport.  The article by Gary Payton is standard Cold War era analysis, but this bit was of interest to me: Throughout the I960s, three […]

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Playing with trains in the sand: reflections on the MENA Cargo show

GUEST POST BY R.Z. Having spent the last couple of years researching Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs), attending their industry gatherings and military expos, I was very excited to shift gears to a new project and curious what differences I would find in the world of Middle East logistics.  On 17-18 March I attended […]

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About Today: Steaming the security seas

10 February 2015 Everything anticipated our entry into what I can only call security seas. There are ships that do not send signals: they turn out to be warships of a sort, small, compact, going only at 7 knots with a marking of F571 their only distinguishing feature off the coast of Yemen. There is […]

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Shim El-Yasmine: Suez Canal

8 February 2015 “the great current of human inclination is to enjoyment.”  Karl Marx, Capital Vol. II I want to be more jaded.  After all, my nautical venture is an all-expenses-paid research trip – the best of both worlds: doing what I love and a leisurely adventure unlike much else in the world.  I stare […]

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Une Année Sans Lumiere: Encounters before Suez Canal

7 February 2015 15.00 Last night I was invited by the Filipino crew members to one of the crew members’ birthday party. He is an engine -fitter and he will be turning 40 tomorrow.  The crew recreation room unsurprisingly had a karaoke machine playing soft-rock versions of already soft rock songs. There were big bottles […]

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Peace Frog: Conquest by infrastructure

6 February 2015 I have to admit that I prefer Braudel’s longue durée over his histoire événtmentielle: Perhaps his influence runs through all the great historical accounts written since 1949, where explanations and theoretical framings are comfortably married to historiographic detail, but his eventful histories tend to be boring “one thing after another” accounts.  Not […]

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Areia de Salamanca: The Razzia in the 16th century

5 February 2015 I borrowed Braudel’s discussion of the presidios on the North African coast yesterday to reflect on logistics… But as I read on, there was also the counterinsurgency element against the colonials (about which Braudel seems remarkably sanguine; remarkably without comment):  Let us imagine the atmosphere in these garrisons. Each was the fief […]

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On Battleship Hill

Marsaxlokk-Jabal Ali; On Military Logistics in the Age of Philip II 4 February 2015 What becomes clear in reading Braudel’s vol II about war-making is the extent to which your martial power really depends on your economic ability to supply the garrisons intended to act as your line of defence. His fascinating discussion of the […]

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The Logistics of War

The indispensable National Security Archives has released a memo by Rumsfeld (dated 6 October 2001) that has loads on the logistics of war.  The memo covers Rumsfeld’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt and Central Asia, in preparation for the invasion of Afghanistan.  The memo has loads of fascinating tidbits including, for example, this: Mubarak offered […]

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Dangers of crewing an oil tanker

Associated Press reports that jets belonging to the Libyan government bombed a Greek-owned tanker, killing two crew members: A military spokesman for Libya’s internationally recognised government says its fighter jets bombed a Greek-owned tanker ship because it had no prior clearance to enter an eastern port and acted “suspiciously”. Spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari said the jets […]

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