War logistics in a globalized economy

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Amateur warriors deal with tactics. Professional soldiers deal with logistics. This newsletter, helmed by a retired Navy man, is heavily logistical and tackles an underrated issue in Ukraine:

There has been discussion that both sides of the war are burning through their stockpiles at an unsustainable rate as the war appears to be expanding. . . .

Ukrainians would have run out of arms and ammunition months ago if the former Warsaw Pact nations in NATO had not emptied their stockpiles of Soviet-era weapons and the rest of US-led NATO had not attempted to roam the world Suck up as much available inventory as money could buy. That and the Ukrainians’ rapid adoption of NATO-compatible equipment are helping, but that has exposed other problems – who says the West has enough to give?

Salamander further elaborates on recent open source reports that show how complicated supply issues are in a globalized economy.

Russia invades Ukraine. Ukraine needs weapons. America sends guns. Europe tries to manufacture weapons. But the Germans need cotton linters (an unsexy component needed for propellant charges) and that cotton comes mostly from China. Trying to support Russia.

You see the problem, don’t you? Here’s more salamanders:

The Russo-Ukrainian War sends a stark warning to everyone – you need to increase production and capacity, and have a more reliable – if not efficient – supply chain.

That’s tricky, because unlike sexy things that displace water and cast shadows on ramps, ammo and consumables are hidden in bunkers, out of sight… and when your military and diplomats are doing their peacetime jobs, they’re never used . However, when you need them, the need is existential.

The problem with using resources “efficiently” at the geostrategy level is that you are involved in a game where the goal is for the military resources to be “wasted” by not having to use them.

Read everything and subscribe.

The United States used up 13 years of Stinger production and 5 years of Javelin production in just 10 years Months of the war in Ukraine.

Matt Labash was interviewed on his newsletter Slack Tide and he had this to say on writing:

Q: As a fan of your writing I hope you could tell me how you stylize your prose as it reminds me a lot of Tom Wolfe. Its writing comes closest to a mosaic of the world, as it has multiple POVs competing to be the reliable narrator and an intense attention to detail in reconstructing scenes and satirizing materialistic life choices as seen in Radical chic. If someone were to ask how someone could write like you, what would you advise?

LABASH: Well, thank you very much, but my advice would be not to do it. I mean, I love Tom Wolfe too, don’t get me wrong. I read pretty much every word he wrote and probably wanted to be him when I was 22 without the Iceman suit and spats. His attention to meaningful detail was second to none, and he was also a prose pyrotechnician. The guy could write about growing grass and make it interesting. And he had a great sense of history – as in what makes you. But after you read these journalism collections of his, which are all wonderful, and you decide to be Tom Wolfe and start putting it down, you realize how utterly pointless it is to emulate him. Because there is and could only be one Tom Wolfe at a time, and he died in 2018 (in his spats, I guess). I can’t and wouldn’t want to pull off onomatopoeia and multiple exclamation marks. Not that that was the gist of his writing – just some of the distracting accents. A bit like drugs were for Hunter Thompson, whose most interesting lyrics often had nothing to do with drugs. In fact, drugs were perhaps the most boring part, save for a smattering of them Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

But my more important point is that ultimately you have to sound like yourself or it’s not worth doing. If your voice is worth hearing, write in it. inhabit it fully. If it’s not worth listening to then get out of business and find something more stable like BASE jumping or child soldiers since journalism is in a perpetual state of collapse anyway. Especially the written version of it. But you can’t build a true writer’s life on imitation. It will never work. It can be useful to have good people to steal from when you’re starting out just to get your rhythm. But ultimately you have to find your own rhythm. If you don’t do this, you will be exposed as a scammer, and voicing someone else’s thoughts or manners will not be very satisfying anyway.

By the way, while we’re talking about Wolfe – and I wrote that a few months ago in a piece I did while writing on my side – but I met him once, a long time ago in my twenties. We were at the same dinner – he was the guest of honor, I was just an idiot then as now. I swore I wouldn’t drool all over the poor guy if I met him. Don’t want to mess up his suit. But I was pretty deep in my cups when I met him. And it came out almost involuntarily: “Mr. Wolfe, I want you to know, whenever I’m having trouble writing it, I just read something you wrote, like “The Last American Hero,” your story about {the stock car racer/moonbuster } Junior Johnson and it’s like an adrenaline rush in the Nads.” I was ashamed. And he, I’m sure. But he was his usual courtly Virginia gentleman self, generously offering, “You know, I’ll do the same when I’m in this spot. But I read Henry Miller.” I really liked that answer because Henry Miller is a pretty good adrenaline rush too.

Here is another entry from Labash To write:

Writing is as vast as life itself. The possibilities are endless, and almost all of them must be decided on a case-by-case basis. Because of this complexity, many seek to bury themselves in simplistic books on writing, such as Strunk & White’s classic, The Elements of Style. i own it It’s somewhere around here. But it’s a book I only pick up when I’m out of fatwood and need more kindling.

Otherwise I like EB White. I am not a savage. (His essay Once More To The Lake, collected in the flesh of a man is one of my all-time favorite essays on aging.) And the dictatorial little instruction book by him and his accomplice is good, I suppose, for impressing beginners with the basics. You should know the rules before you break them. Otherwise, I find it oppressive, stiff, and fussy: “Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph on each subject.”

Yes, whatever.

However, Labash has some practical advice:

Read more than you write. I once had an obnoxiously productive friend who said he now writes more than he reads. That made me never want to read it again. As a writer of any kind, it’s your duty to keep refilling your tank. And you can’t just do that by breathing your own fumes. You must always be on the lookout for things that inspire, that amuse, that somehow open up the world to your readers.

Unless, Subscribe to Labash. Make it your Festivus gift for yourself. You’ll thank me.

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One last thing: I worked with Labash on the same magazine for about 20 years. I learned to write mostly by sitting in the corner and watching him; read him.

And yet I don’t know that we’ve ever spoken in all those years together Above Write. I say this to emphasize what a gift his newsletter is to anyone who values ​​the written word. He shares the kind of genuine intimacy any writer with a talent like his would hope for.

Matt Dinan has a newsletter on writing and teaching:

A few years ago I started joking that college teaching isn’t difficult and can be easily accomplished in two steps:

(1) read book

(2) talk about book

At a certain level of abstraction, this joke describes how I actually teach. . . .

So my own little protest when I returned to teaching after the pandemic and sabbatical was to teach a course on a single book: Plato republic. We have tried to place them republic in our Great Books program for the last few years: it’s not the best introduction to Plato due to its length and difficulty, so we’ve moved away from teaching it to our first graders. During the pandemic, we have decided to keep our readings a little shorter to accommodate online classes and the general misery of our students. But this has resulted in an entire cohort nearing the completion of our Big Books program who have not yet read what is certainly a very great book, if any. . . .

The reading experience republic is, it seems to me, a synecdoche for education. Her upbringing, in other words, is neither of the two upbringings she depicts, but an upbringing to learn to love images of wholeness while retaining the ability to see them as images. Glaucon is the ideal interlocutor for dialogue because his love of abstract simplicity drives him to learn the mysteries of our souls – he has no patience for images. The single book, of course, especially about them republicis something elementary because it is an attempt to embody the educational process itself.

It’s a beautiful essay. If you are interested in books and lessons, you should subscribe

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