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New Wars: The Forum?

April 16, 2010

Over time some of you have posed the idea of starting a Forum for the myriad topics we discuss here at New Wars. I am seriously considering this as a way to take some of the clutter off the main page, but also keep topics ongoing indefinitely. The Breaking News page will likely go to the forum, but we can still keep up with it here via RSS feed. Also for consideration will be pages devoted to:

  1. LCS News
  2. Aircraft carriers
  3. New Battleships (cruisers, destroyers, frigates)
  4. Submarines
  5. Corvettes, cutters, & patrol boats
  6. Naval Airpower
  7. Motherships
  8. Amphibious Ships
  9. Fighters
  10. Bombers
  11. Tankers and transports
  12. COIN Aircraft
  13. Armored vehicles-wheeled
  14. Armored vehicles-tracked
  15. War on Terror
  16. War on Piracy

Too many topics, or not enough? Should I combine some or split them up? It doesn’t have to be called “New Wars Forum” either, which is just a working title.

Much appreciated is any advise and criticism. Naturally D.E. Reddick and our many regulars, I hope for your input. I’ll leave this here over the weekend and read every comment carefully!

Thanks always for your continued interest!

36 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2011 3:54 pm

    Effectively crafted post, and i also also at this time grasped in which many groupings are more willing compared to people (considering that all people are special) would certainly talk about the identical concept. I hope you bare this blog working well.

  2. D. E. Reddick permalink
    April 19, 2010 11:38 am


    I half-recalled some horror story regarding someone having only lutefisk to eat. So, I thought it might provide some comic relief to describe its nature given some of the events ongoing around the world (volcanic interruption of air travel; Polish air tragedy; possibility of war breaking out on the Korean peninsula). And, besides – my big toe quit hurting!

    BTW, I expect New Wars to reach 700,000 hits on Tuesday or Wednesday.

  3. Mike Burleson permalink*
    April 19, 2010 4:50 am

    Bill and D.E., certainly a unique contribution, but definitely nautical!

  4. Bill permalink
    April 18, 2010 11:52 pm

    My apologies to all for instigating an apparent thread hijack..but with my traveling plans in tatters and facing an indefinitely long period in country for now…that was good for a major laugh laugh and much appreciated. Thanks D.E.!

    In hopes that my hijacking transgressions might be overlooked, I can assure Mike and his loyal readers that when I do return, it will be with some new information on future naval ship and craft concepts that will be of great interest. ;-)

  5. D. E. Reddick permalink
    April 18, 2010 3:28 pm


    Yeah, the part about the jellification of a portion of the fish told me right off that there was something fundamentally WRONG about this ‘material’ as a food item. And that such a gelatinous piece of cod could be served smothered in butter is beyond even my vivid imagination!

    But then, a related process is used to produce hominy grits and with me being a good ol’ southern boy then I do love my grits. Yet, grits starts out as ground corn whereas lutefisk begins with dried whitefish such as cod.

    Two quotes from Garrison Keillor are informative:

    “Every Advent we entered the purgatory of lutefisk, a repulsive gelatinous fishlike dish that tasted of soap and gave off an odor that would gag a goat. We did this in honor of Norwegian ancestors, much as if survivors of a famine might celebrate their deliverance by feasting on elm bark. I always felt the cold creeps as Advent approached, knowing that this dread delicacy would be put before me and I’d be told, “Just have a little.” Eating a little was like vomiting a little, just as bad as a lot.”

    “Lutefisk is cod that has been dried in a lye solution. It looks like the desiccated cadavers of squirrels run over by trucks, but after it is soaked and reconstituted and the lye is washed out and it’s cooked, it looks more fish-related, though with lutefisk, the window of success is small. It can be tasty, but the statistics aren’t on your side. It is the hereditary delicacy of Swedes and Norwegians who serve it around the holidays, in memory of their ancestors, who ate it because they were poor. Most lutefisk is not edible by normal people. It is reminiscent of the afterbirth of a dog or the world’s largest chunk of phlegm.”

    Those interested in expanding their horizons can learn about lutefisk via this link. Caution! This is not for the squeamish as there are several color photographs…

  6. Bill permalink
    April 18, 2010 2:07 pm

    D.E. I have been in working and living in Norway for a long time..from many SES fast ferry design/builds through two RNoN SES programs and beyond. So..I learned early on that lutefisk and a certain type of locally-produced and very stinky pungent cheese are both to be avoided. ;-)

  7. Jed permalink
    April 18, 2010 12:31 pm

    Personally I am OK with things as they are Mike, but in the end if you set up a forum, I am sure it will be a success too !

  8. D. E. Reddick permalink
    April 18, 2010 11:34 am


    Have you developed an appreciation of lutefisk, yet?

  9. Bill permalink
    April 18, 2010 5:30 am

    For Mike and ScottB; Looks like I’ll have plenty of time to dig out that info on the OPV variants of Skjold and Oksoy classes that I referred to a while back….guess who was lucky enough to have been in Norway when a certain volcano popped its top? This might be my home for quite a while yet…

  10. michael permalink
    April 18, 2010 4:53 am

    Thanks for info.

  11. April 18, 2010 2:23 am

    I have to agree with most of the previous posters. A forum section seems good, but with a few broad topics rather than a large number of specific ones. Forums always have a tendency to require a lot of moderating just to keep out the spammers and other junk that clutters them up. I think the idea of a “give and take” section would be great though. I know in the past I’ve had several questions that Iv’e posted on here and always, people were kind enough to answer them for me. It’s one of the reasons I always come back to this site. Just my two cents. I look forward to whatever change you decide to make.

  12. Guess who? permalink
    April 17, 2010 11:20 pm

    That is a good idea, definitely too many topics and misses out a key one such as historic references though.

  13. Mike Burleson permalink*
    April 17, 2010 8:11 pm

    Joe makes the case of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Friday I had almost made up my mind to go ahead thinking it a good idea, but I have to bow to the overwhelming logic here.

    I agree with Michael about the lack of armor vehicles discussion. I try to fit it in here occasionally and always get good response from readers on the subject.

    D.E. sorry to hear about your medicals troubles and wish you get well soon!

    I believe like D.E. the Breaking News if kept here at the site should involve as little discussion as possible, but I also have to resist the urge myself to keep going with certain topics. Think that was behind my initial decision for a Forum, to expand the Breaking News, but I suppose you can only do so much.

    All your ideas are much appreciated. Always welcome any thoughts on making the blog better, even if it means keeping things “as is”. We will put the Forum on the back-burner for now.

  14. D. E. Reddick permalink
    April 17, 2010 5:43 pm


    I believe that the Breaking News section should remain as it is presently constituted. It seems to be quite useful as it is currently being used.

    But a new “Give and Take Q & A” rolling question thread could be quite useful to many readers. It could be placed in a space at the top of the blog in this sequence:

    Home — About — Give and Take Q & A — Breaking News — LCS Acronyms — etc., etc…

  15. Chuck Hill permalink
    April 17, 2010 5:19 pm

    Maybe you just need to change the title of “Breaking News” to “Give and Take”.

    To explicitly allow questions and comments.

  16. Distiller permalink
    April 17, 2010 4:36 pm

    That can develop into serious work, Mike. Careful!
    Actually, I wouldn’t do it.

    Still, an initial structure could look like that:
    — Naval Forces
    — Land Forces
    — Aerospace Forces
    — Strategic Forces
    — ISR
    — CS/CSS
    — Misc

  17. B.Smitty permalink
    April 17, 2010 3:33 pm


    Try Tank Net, Defense Talk Forums, and World Affairs Board.

  18. michael permalink
    April 17, 2010 1:40 pm

    Just a suggestion but don’t you think that the aircraft buffs in general have numerous websites to visit, whereas the army i.e. arms and armour tracked vehicles,wheeled vehicles and current devopments in army procurement seems sadly overlooked.
    Some European and Eastern bloc sites but I find very little western sites dedicated to this subject,or am I not looking in the right place.
    IMHO I would suggest that the aircraft be confined to naval or in the case of the USA marines as well and leave out the dedicated national air forces.
    Not being very switched on as concerns the internet,how do you intend to monitor and keep apace with all this new input, you seem to be or soon will be overwhelmed with contributors to your increasingly popular site.
    Myself I would like to see more diverse input,but please don’t forget your main format is NAVY even if I don’t agree with your ‘small is beautifull’ concept.
    P.S. hope your family issues are sorting themselves out.

  19. Joe permalink
    April 17, 2010 12:58 pm

    At the macro-level, your blog has become a hit in the past 12-18 months using the style you are debating a change to. When you find something that is working, don’t change it!

    Seconding the notion, I think adding a rolling question thread, where anyone can throw out questions on anything mil-related, would be a good addition and would add a bit to the give & take outside of the topics you pick to cover.

    Going against the suggestion grain, I would vote for maintaining a consistent presence when it comes to covering land-based airpower, if for no other reason than from a “blog-topic-diversity” pov. It doesn’t have to detract from your area of passion (naval affairs) but can help stave off the feeling of “been there/done that”, topics-wise, when seeing this week’s version of A/C carrier alternatives, LCS alternatives, etc.

  20. D. E. Reddick permalink
    April 17, 2010 12:02 pm

    JKT has a good point about being able to ask questions. We presently have a Breaking News section. Why not set up a Q & A Forum along the same lines. It wouldn’t be so much a forum but rather another persistent thread on the blog. There has already been some give and take in Breaking News, so why not set up a permanent thread that is meant to handle the give and take of questions and answers?

  21. jkt permalink
    April 17, 2010 11:47 am

    Well, if you aren’t going to add a forum, I’d be interested in people’s recommendations for other forums. MilitaryPhotos has a very active forum (and, yes, with many trolls) — with all topics just thrown into one big “general” pot. StrategyPage, on the other hand, has their forum divided into dozens of very specific categories … and has little to no activity in most categories.

    There are certain weapons and topics that I’m very interested in and have a lot of questions about how they might evolve in the future. Right now, I track a bunch of mil-blogs to see if they post on it, then I know I have to ask my question within 6-12 hrs … because after that nobody reads the post. So if I have a question about, say LCS. I have to hope somebody posts on LCS in a blog I track. Then I have to ask my question in the comments and hope somebody knowledgeable happens to read the question and bothers to answer — all in the 6-12 hr active lifespan of most blog posts.

    Most often this fails, mostly because I don’t find the post till after it’s faded from internet consciousness (ie the next day). So it would be nice to find a forum that has some reasonable chance of getting questions answered by somebody who knows something.

  22. Hudson permalink
    April 17, 2010 11:45 am

    It’s not that forums are a bad idea; I use them frequently, to get information, which a well-populated forum can give you. A forum would also eliminate the need to agree or disagree with Mike’s oft-stated views, for example, that the best way to fight a swarm is with a swarm, which I have disagreed with.

    On the other hand, Mike is a knowledgeable and gracious host. He permits dissent, commenting or not commenting on it as he chooses. He brings a strong sense of history to his posts, which I like, and a literary flair, also appreciated. This, in turn, encourages well-reasoned, well-informed and well-written (for the most part) responses from the commentators. The host brings his personality to the blog and elevates the conversion, IMHO. And mini-forums arise anyway within the topic at hand among the commentators.

    All-in-all, using distributive voting, I would cast 3 votes for NWs the way it is, and 1 vote for a forum, as long as it doesn’t destroy the core. By all means, keep the Corps!

    I also like the humor found in this blog.

  23. D. E. Reddick permalink
    April 17, 2010 10:33 am

    Due to an attack of arthritis causing my left big toe to feel likes it’s broken, I have been mostly quiet. I try not to offer opinions or attempt rational evaluation of matters when I’m contemplating taking an axe to my foot!

    However, after reading the various comments offered… …I find that I must align myself with Solomon, Marcase, Scott B., and Mrs. Davis.

  24. Mrs. Davis permalink
    April 17, 2010 8:07 am

    It will be off-blog, in other words will have its own website.

    You lost me there. Be careful about losing critical mass.

  25. Scott B. permalink
    April 17, 2010 7:26 am

    I’m with Solomon and Marcase on this one. There are plenty of fora out there, most of which end up contributing very little in terms of knowledge or ideas, but quite a lot in terms of interpersonal fights and bitter feelings.

    A very dangerous move IMHO, one that’s not needed anyway.

    My 2 cents…

  26. Mike Burleson permalink*
    April 17, 2010 6:56 am

    “i kinda worry about you diluting your blog.”

    Marcase and Solomon make good arguments, and simultaneously I was thinking of this also, that it might distract from what we are already doing. Not bad numbers-wise, just ask ScottB. And D.E. Reddick has been strangely silent who I thought this might be of interest!

  27. Marcase permalink
    April 17, 2010 5:24 am

    Hmm… Solomon raised a good one.

    The more I think of it, the more I think I prefer New Wars as is. A forum get’s too easily buried with many-many posts, and requires A LOT of moderating (trolls are inevitable).

    I like New Wars a lot because of its topics and quick and conchise commenters, as I think it is more interesting to read/debate new info on the LCS in new posts, than to constantly having to search the Forum.

  28. April 17, 2010 4:53 am

    wow Mike. i know many are happy with the idea of going to a forum for all the different subjects but i kinda worry about you diluting your blog.

    it might not always be as ‘neat’ as you might like but this is a one stop shop to read your ideas on different subjects.

    proceed with caution my friend!

  29. Mike Burleson permalink*
    April 17, 2010 4:08 am

    “I would go a little heavier on Naval topics.”

    Thinking along that line too, it is mainly what we discuss. The LCS will almost certainly have its own section, it is a hot topic.

    Some more info on the Forum: It will be off-blog, in other words will have its own website. I am looking at a Free Forum host right now which has interesting features.

  30. Bill permalink
    April 17, 2010 3:37 am

    I’m with Chuck and others that suggest fewer topics..Chuck’s list was pretty good. Besides, as with most forum topic structures, you can always include an ‘off topic’ area or two to catch what might not fit within those you more narrowly define.

    Leave out the ubiquitous ‘Politics’ and ‘religion’ off-topic sections that so many forums have. But as for an “NSFW” off-topic section..I need to think on that… LOL.

  31. Chuck Hill permalink
    April 17, 2010 12:50 am

    Agree there should not be too many topics, but to reflect the current readership’s apparent interests I would go a little heavier on Naval topics. Here are ten that I think may be comprehensive:

    Air Warfare Systems
    Land Warfare Systems
    Naval Surface Warfare
    Aircraft Carriers
    Combined Arms
    Strategic/Neuclear Warfare
    Chemical/Biological Warfare

  32. Mike Burleson permalink*
    April 16, 2010 9:30 pm

    Very good suggestions! Much appreciated.

  33. ShockwaveLover permalink
    April 16, 2010 8:52 pm

    I’m with Marcase on this one. Though it might be better to have a huge fleet on the high seas (or the littorals), in this case I think it’d be better the have fewer ‘Battleship Topics’ in the forum. :P

  34. April 16, 2010 6:32 pm

    I would go with “new wars” instead of splitting it. And compliment with it a sub-forum on “conventional war.”

    And we only need one category for aircraft. Those guys get far too much coverage as it is.

  35. Marcase permalink
    April 16, 2010 6:30 pm

    If I may make a suggestion, keep the topics in the forum fairly basic, with room for new topics to start. It might be usefull to subdivide the forum into Air (all aircraft types, roles, Satellites etc), Land, Sea (incl. subs, amphibs, LCS, CVs), Elec (new AEGIS, AESA, EW systems), Ordnance (rifles/carbines, laser systems, new cannons, PGMs, ATGW etc), Space (sats) and War (GWOT, anti -piracy etc).

    By keeping all ships in ‘Sea’ (or Naval or Maritime or whatever) there’s the option to combine threads within one category.

    Just a thought.

  36. April 16, 2010 6:30 pm

    Far too many. That many I am struggling to rationalise.

    Why not have one group for “army” vehicles?

    I think mothership is too disputed. What about carriers and amphibs (major), escorts, coastal, submarine, and auxiliary/misc. ?

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