Saturday, July 24, 2004

Behind Enemy Lines

Pretty much everyone except for the non-stop blogging machine Dan Drezner seems to have slowed down a good bit in the summer heat. So bored was I that I went to sign up to lurk on the mailing list run by George Monbiot, hoping to grab snippets to quote mockingly here.

In the first few days, I certainly wasn't dissappointed. In a thread responding to the great sage's jeremiad against off-road vehicles, one correspondent writes, to my great hilarity:
I suggest that the military in the US and UK follow France's example and keep a low profile and adopt alternative energy sources for defending their people and resource[s], though preferably not nuclear perhaps solar powered tanks, wind powered frigates and hydro powered laser guns.
It seems certain themes in French defence policy refuse to die.

Useful as non-fossil energy energy might be in avoiding global warming, a casual acquaitance with military history tells me that tank battles have been known to happen in winter, at night and in poor weather, as in the clash at 73 Easting during Desert Storm. Neither would wind-powered frigates be much use in defending la Patrie, judging by the outcome at Trafalgar. Hydro-powered lazer guns would be cool (although I understand that hydropower isn't carbon neutral, owing to the methane produced by decaying plants in their resevoirs), although it would probably limit the area that could be protected by any new "son of star wars" system to protecting Hoover dam and it's tourist information centre from stray North Korean missiles.

I wonder, what future awaits the submarine-based French nuclear deterrent...