Friday, February 29, 2008

More on the Lockheed Martin JLTV (UVL) prototype (Updated)

It seemed only fair to seek out a better representation of the new Lockheed Martin JLTV prototype after the energy I expended trying to get the goods on the BAE/Navistar truck.

"Ed" made a comment about yesterday's post on the unveiling of the new prototypes, pointing out that the Lockheed Martin UVL essentially functions as a military pickup truck.

A visit to the Lockheed Martin Web site gives us a look at the vehicle minus the protective barrier of blue plastic (correction: make that blue canvas director's chairs) chairs, and gives the company a chance to explain what's up with the big box in the back.

From the Web site:
In contrast to Lockheed Martin's first prototype, the Combat Tactical Vehicle Payload Category B, which was designed as an infantry carrier, the new The Utility Vehicle Light (UVL) Payload Category C prototype is designed with a focus on payload. The variant is used to carry personnel, general cargo and ammunition, or can be configured to carry an S250 shelter. When the shelter is removed, the UVL can be used as a utility or prime mover vehicle.

What's a S250 shelter?


Obama and economics II (Updated)

The Obama campaign had apparently been caught speaking out of both sides of its mouth on NAFTA.

Obama needs to remember that if you're going to try to be all things to all people you'd better hope that the people don't get around to comparing notes.

It makes sense for the NAFTA-bashing to simply consist of insincere campaign rhetoric. Why? Because it isn't consistent to implement protectionist trade practices while trying to "restore" America's standing with the rest of the world. Protectionism ticks off other countries because it limits their benefit from trade. Negotiating NAFTA to provide greater benefit to the United States almost inevitably means renegotiating NAFTA to the relative disadvantage of the other partners.

Will this begin to lift the intellectual slumber of the Obamaniacs?


Paul Mirengoff sounded a similar note at Power Line:
After one of the recent Democratic debates, I suggested that Barack Obama's campaign appears well on its way to becoming one of the most intellectually dishonest in recent memory. That was after Obama pledged to combat illegal immigration by helping to fix the Mexican economy, while simultaneously pledging to pull out of NAFTA unless Mexico agrees to U.S. environmental and labor standards.
The post goes on to make the appropriate tie-in to the Obama campaign's two-faced message on NAFTA.

One additional note: I found Rush Limbaugh a bit careless in his handling of the story. His version had Obama telling the Canadians to disregard the NAFTA stance he's presenting domestically. While that version is not entirely misleading since Obama is ultimately responsible for his campaign, it's misleading enough so that it probably shouldn't be communicated that way without some clarification. Perhaps Rush got around to clarifying and I missed it.


Obama and economics

Captain Ed Morrissey, posting from his new digs over at Hot Air, highlights a story on Sen. Obama's economic rhetoric and offers his own trenchant commentary.

Many people have compared Obama to Ronald Reagan in his ability to promise “morning in America,” but they have focused only on the most superficial part of the Reagan revolution. Reagan didn’t cast himself as the agent of hope, but appealed to the hope within Americans that they could lift up the country, and not the other way around. He focused on the hope of the individual as the true agent of change, and not the despair of the collective that required government intervention.

The rhetoric has given us nothing really new. It has the same populist ring to it that we have heard since before collectivism got entirely discredited in the latter 20th century. It’s simplistic calls to soak the rich and redistribute the wealth, to impose economic isolationism, and to prey on the fears of the working class by casting globalization as an unmitigated evil.

(Be sure to read the rest at Hot Air)

I've got to admit that "Obamanomics" has a nicer ring to it than "Blumneconomics."


Busy at MillenWorks

One finds hints here and there (without really digging for it) that MillenWorks is a shockingly technological family business. Kind of like Joe Gibbs Racing with more DNA held in common.

I noted weeks ago how MillenWorks had teamed with Textron for purposes of the JLTV competition, and though competitive racing seems to be part of the MillenWorks gig, it turns out that they do more than just dabble in the realm of military vehicles. The company Web site is well organized and makes a nice presentation for the company's full line of products.

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blog it

Check out the other vehicles from the menu you'll find here.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Score this one for McCain

McCain demonstrated terrific timing with his call out of Barack Obama's war strategy. In a debate Sen. Obama mentioned that he would reserve the right to attack al Qaeda in Iraq rather than proceeding to withdraw troops. The dust-up came just before Pew Research found Americans positive about the outcome in Iraq and willing to have troops there.
"I always reserve the right for the make sure that we are looking out for American interests. And if Al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad."
(Pakistan Dawn)
Note the "if Al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq." McCain did.

"I understand that Sen. Obama said that if al Qaeda established a base in Iraq that he would send troops back in militarily. Al Qaeda already has a base in Iraq. It's called al Qaeda in Iraq," McCain said.

"It's a remarkable statement to say that you would send troops back to a place where al Qaeda has established a base -- where they have already established a base."


Perhaps the most interesting thing about Obama's response was his readiness to shed his above-it-all approach to attack and counterattack politics. But the lack of real content was a close second.

Watch the dodge:

Faced with the dissonance between advocating withdrawal and his position on opposing al Qaeda in Iraq, Obama ... changes the subject to We shouldn't be there in the first place.

It's a consistent winner with the brainlessly antiwar left; you can see and hear the crowd lapping it up. But it won't fly with most Americans. The electorate is coming around on the war, and thinking observers saw the dodge.


Surge finally working at home

Pew Research just published polling data that suggest that U.S. Americans are finally catching on to the fact that progress is occurring in Iraq.

Significantly, 53 percent now say the U.S. will succeed in Iraq and only 39 percent think the effort will fail. The remainder didn't know how things would turn out.

Click on the link if the image is too small.
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Navistar/BAE systems JLTV video (Updated) made good on their promise to make an unveiling video available.

The video is in .wmv format. You can probably expect to see it on YouTube. If and when I find it there I'll do an embed.

The video features a show prototype with a custom patriotic paint job and a few snippets of a vehicle with the standard paint job in action. The video makes this product look faster than production introducing the Lockheed Martin CTV. The two vehicles look comparable in making a tight circle. That's more a commentary on the video production than on the specifics of real-world vehicle performance. I'm no expert and I'm merely conveying my impression.


Make that videos (plural). BAE Systems has a different video at their official Web site.


Thanks, Reuters!

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US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton ...
Sen. Clinton may have a legitimate beef with the mainstream media after Reuters distributed this campaign photo of the fading Democratic presidential contender.

The problem is, Clinton looks more and more like the figure on the right when she opens her mouth to complain about her press coverage.

Hat tip to Hot Air.


A matter of trust?

As the primary process moves closer to giving us our two major-party candidates, some polls have come out that offer support to the supposition that Sen. McCain possesses some key advantages over Sen. Obama.
... McCain has one advantage over Obama that makes up for the fact that he's not as likable: People are likely to have trust in McCain regarding his willingness to find a middle ground between the parties, and they'll trust him on national security.

Trust is always an issue with Democratic candidates during an election and 2008 should prove no different.
(Sublime Bloviations: "McCain the best GOP choice to confront Obama?")
Rasmussen finds the expected numbers on this one.
McCain is trusted more by 55% of voters when it comes to National Security issues. Obama is trusted more by just 30% on this point. Just half (51%) of Democrats express more trust in Obama than McCain on national security. Unaffiliated voters prefer McCain by a two-to-one margin.

McCain’s advantage on other issues is far smaller.


Notably, McCain carries more trust on the economy. Unless Obama somehow changes that number (not impossible, but I couldn't offer a reasonable strategy for him to accomplish it if I wanted to), the Democratic emphasis on the poor economy may backfire.

Of course it's just one poll. Plenty of things are likely to change as the campaign unfolds. One new wrinkle is Rasmussen finding Obama in the lead in Texas. That should make Obama the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party unless Sen. Clinton pulls some slick maneuvers at the convention (involving Michigan, Florida and superdelegates).


JLTV prototypes (Updated)

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Lockheed Martin unveiled its second operational Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) prototype at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) winter symposium here Feb. 27, while BAE Systems and Navistar showed off their JLTV prototype.
(Aviation Week)
Less than snazzy with the big box piggybacked onto the rear half of the vehicle, though no doubt the performance of the vehicle weighs far more heavily than its aesthetics.

Lockheed Martin's earlier prototype,unveiled in late 2007, was the one that looks like a Humvee on steroids.

The Aviation Week story teases us with their report of the unveiling of the BAE Systems/Navistar JLTV prototype. With no flippin' photograph.

The best I can find at the moment is an unfamiliar low resolution pic at the Navistar Web site with the caption "JLTV Vlog Unveiling: Coming Feb. 28, 2008."


I should have given myself a few more minutes to search.

Navistar issued a press release including a superior photo to the one I clipped above.

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (February 27, 2008) BAE Systems and teammate Navistar International Corporation today unveiled a fully-operational system the team will use for the competitive Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program. JLTV is the U.S. multi-service initiative for fielding a family of future light tactical vehicles.

"Our approach to the JLTV program is focused on the Warfighter," said Matt Riddle, vice president of Wheeled Vehicles at BAE Systems. "The BAE Systems-Navistar JLTV team has taken a warrior-centric design approach that provides the foundation for a future family of vehicles that will meet the Joint Services' light tactical vehicle requirements for decades to come."
Click on the link above to get a look at the better photo.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Force Protection and DRS Sustainment Systems join list of JLTV partnerships

DRS Sustainment Systems Inc., a business unit of DRS Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: DRS: 57.51, +0.82, +1.44%), and Force Protection, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRPT: 4.77, -0.06, -1.24%) announced today they will team to compete for the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Program.
(Fox Business)
Is this a sign that the Cheetah has been tried and found wanting? Or simply a formality recognizing the need to update the Cheetah in response to the potential achievement of other JLTV entries?


Monday, February 25, 2008

Blumneconomics IV

That pinata of the St. Petersburg Times, editorial columnist Robyn Blumner, is at it again.
I find few things as maddening as when economists try to convince Americans that the middle class and poor are far better off today than a generation or two ago because of all the things we can now afford that used to be considered luxuries.
(St. Petersburg Times)
Why would that make you mad, Ms. Blumner?

Reading the rest of the column should leave the reader still wondering how Blumner would answer the question. Really answer the question, that is.

Rather than comparing the classes now with those from a generation ago, the best Blumner can do in this column is cite a study that reports on the the current middle class, including a focus on the attitude of people regarding their financial well-being.

I guess if you think you're poor than you are poor. Here's how Blumner puts it:
Prosperity is not how many DVDs you have stacked on a bookshelf. It is a sense of financial security and peace of mind.
By this reasoning, any multibillionaire who puts his fortune at risk pretty much qualifies as poor. So long as he perceives the risk, anyway.

The funniest part of it is that Blumner is, in effect, trying to convince people with televisions, microwaves, a place to live, a car and a nice selection of clothing that they are poor. If she's lucky, these folks enjoying the luxuries of modern life will buy the notion that they are victims and align politically with Blumner to engage in a little bit of class warfare.

The argument she mocks is solid economics. In calculating standard of living, unfortunately for Blumner, it is the standard of living that should be examined and not the perception of the subjects. Perception is a separate issue.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jonah Goldberg was on the Hugh Hewitt radio program

I missed Jonah Goldberg, author of the new bestseller "Liberal Fascism," when he appeared recently on Hugh Hewitt's radio show.

Fortunately, I know I can find transcripts at Duane Patterson's Radioblogger site.

The show again helped back up Hewitt's branding of his show as "The very best in political talk."

Just a taste:
JG: Rousseau says the government is there, that our rights come from the government, that come from the collective. Locke says our rights come from God, and that we only create a government to protect our interests. The Rousseauian says you can make a religion out of society and politics, and the Lockean says no, religion is a separate sphere from politics. And that is the defining distinction between the two, and I think that distinction also runs through the human heart, that we all have a Rousseauian temptation in us. And it’s the job of conservatives to remind people that the Lockean in us needs to win.


Humvee ===> Cobra

If it had been a snake, it would have bitten me.

Turns out that the Turks have been using a vehicle built from AM General basics (Humvee parts, that is), into a combat vehicle that shares some characteristics with the Force Protection Cheetah. That is, a V-shaped hull and a curb weight well below the current crop of MRAP vehicles. The Turks call it the Cobra.

The unfolding of the JLTV competition should prove interesting.

Long MRAP story in the New York Times

It was a long time coming, but the extensive story on MRAPs does rival earlier USA-Today coverage.
ON the first day of his third deployment to Iraq, Marine Staff Sgt. Christopher Spurlock was traveling in a convoy that was helping to clear roadside bombs in Ramadi. Sergeant Spurlock was riding in an armored transport known as an MRAP, and his vehicle, a Cougar, was fourth or fifth in line.
(read more)
Nice accompanying graphic, too. It compares the Humvee, 4x4 MaxxPro, 6x6 Cougar and the Force Protection Buffalo.

It doesn't excuse the recent McCain story, but represents a good journalistic effort.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Ridgeback armored vehicles for the Brits?

The other day at the blog "Defense of the Realm" I noticed a reference to a "Ridgeback" armored vehicle--the proposed name of a design proposed by Protected Vehicles Inc.
Named for the Rhodesian Ridgeback, a lion hunting canine from Southern Africa, the Ridgeback is a Medium Mine Protected Vehicle (MMPV) with 4 x 4 or 6 x 6 wheeled options. The Ridgeback boasts 10-15 Ton capacities, is capable of carrying up to 12 personnel and has a modular design to ensure multi role capability.

PM Gordon Brown apparently mentioned the name while discussing protected vehicle orders.

As the Brits have expressed interest in PVI's Golan (perhaps influenced by potential delays in obtaining MRAPs from other suppliers), the notion seems plausible on its face.
December 12, 2007: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced today that the Ministry Of Defence plans to order 150 'Ridgeback' protected patrol vehicles to support the British forces in Afghanistan.
(Defense Update)
The story goes on to suggest that a number of builders have been considered for the Ridgeback, which suggests that the Brits picked out the name and want to find a vehicle to match.

Or, PVI got the name based on the British vehicle proposal?

Most likely a naming coincidence.


PolitiFact botches another one

I've been sitting on this one for a number of days because I've been engaged with a time-intensive non-writing project lately.

I haven't been reading The St. Petersburg Times'/Congressional Quarterly's PolitiFact regularly. I just happened to stumble onto this entry while doing some research.

History supports McCain’s stance on waterboarding

The morning after the CNN/YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, John McCain remained firm in his stand against the use of an interrogation technique called “waterboarding.” He cited solid history to buttress his position.
Though I intend to vote for McCain as things currently stand, the PolitiFact analysis is out in left field.

It's a bit difficult to blame them, however. They uncritically accepted a shoddy piece of scholarship by Judge Evan Wallach, published by credulous student editors at the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law.

Wallach's carelessness is summed up by his blanket treatment of "water cure," "water torture" and "waterboarding" despite the fact that the descriptions vary substantially between the most common descriptions of the former two and the latter.

Here's the statement from McCain that receives PolitiFact's highest mark for veracity:
“I forgot to mention last night that following World War II war crime trials were convened. The Japanese were tried and convicted and hung for war crimes committed against American POWs. Among those charges for which they were convicted was waterboarding,” he told reporters at a campaign event.
Wallach's essay (rough draft found here) provides no support for even the existence of a "charge" of waterboarding. The essay most closely approaches that judgment when it makes the claim that a technique similar to modern waterboarding served to support a charge of treatment in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
Sawada and his co-defendants were not specifically charged with torture in the trial charges and specifications.
("Drop by Drop" by Evan Wallach)
They weren't specifically charged with waterboarding, either.

McCain and PolitiFact were probably both suckered by the Wallach essay, figuring that that Columbia Journal of Transnational Law wouldn't publish it without careful review. The carelessness of PolitiFact is nonetheless painfully evident in that they ignored McCain's specific claim relative to the content of Wallach's flawed essay.

Here's how PolitiFact rated McCain over the statement:

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The rating means nothing more than how much McCain's statement accords with a particular orthodoxy. It is fairly certain that McCain truly believes what he's saying, so it wouldn't make sense to suggest that he lied about it. Likewise, the workers at PolitiFact almost certainly have absolutely no thought of misleading those who make use of their, um, service.

But they blew it again on this one.

My take on waterboarding.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Don't question my patriotism

Photojournalist "Zombie" has yet another fascinating set of photos from demonstrations centered around Berkeley's attempts to bar military recruiters from campus.

You're un-American if you question the patriotism of the Leftists in the crowd, by the way.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Video "MRAP Saves Lives"

MRAPs haven't been in the news so much lately, so as a result I haven't posted much on military hardware.

I did run across an uncredited news report posted at YouTube. Unfortunately, it repeats the misinformation about the MRAP fatality some weeks ago, taking military officials at their mistaken word that it was the first fatality for an MRAP crew member.

On the plus side, the report obtains some comments from MRAP crew members and has a good number of shots of various MRAPs in action in Iraq. The Force Protection and BAE Systems models feature most prominently.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ruffini sees McCain advantage over Obama

Patrick Ruffini, posting at Hugh Hewitt's blog, makes an observation on John McCain similar to the one I made last week.

I'm beginning to think Obama might be the easier candidate for McCain to beat. Why? Because there could be no clearer contrast on the Commander-in-Chief test.

Ruffini bases his call on McCain's vastly superior credentials on fighting terrorism, while I played up the comparison as between candidates steering a less-partisan course in leadership. Plus I mentioned McCain's obvious advantage on terrorism.

Ruffini's emphasis is appropriate in that McCain has a real advantage over Obama on security, while the comparison I emphasized is a close call between the two men. McCain has the record, but Obama has the charisma. The more security surfaces as an issue of importance to Americans--make that "voters"--the better McCain will compare to the likable but naive Obama.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Belated congratulations to the New York Giants

I've been rooting for the Giants in the NFL playoffs. Not too avidly, mind you. My motivations stem from my status as fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and on my greater dislike for the Cowboys, Packers and Patriots.

How do the Bucs figure into it? Simple. If you're not going to win the Super Bowl then what better fate is there than to lose in the playoffs to the Super Bowl champion?

As for the Giants, it did come down to their pass rush much as it did in their game against the Bucs. Any of the Giants playoff opponents could have beaten that team, which is not a slap against the Giants. They stepped up and outplayed the competition to grasp the championship. They earned it.


Monday, February 04, 2008

North Texas Skeptics still not skeptical enough

I've pointed out over and again the hypocritical approach to skepticism brought to bear by the North Texas Skeptics on their quotation page ("one of the biggest skeptical quotes pages on the Internet!").

I sent them an e-mail months ago to inform them of problems with the quotation they attribute to former secretary of the interior James Watt.
My responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns. We don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand.
James Watt, Secretary of the Interior for Ronald Reagan
Quoted in the Washington Post, May 24, 1981
(North Texas Skeptics)
The so-called skeptics have apparently had trouble confirming what I said about the quotation. That's skepticism in action, right enough, but the quotation wouldn't be there in the first place if they had checked the source properly.

John Blanton responded to my e-mail to the effect that he was trying to locate the story in the Washington Post to verify the information. I know for sure he never succeeded, because I've already checked it out.

But the error stays on, month after month ...


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Iraq deaths nudge slightly higher for January

Deaths in Iraq for the two main categories I'm tracking (using data from Iraq Casualty Count) increased very slightly for January of this year, the sort of increase that might as well be called the continuation of a plateau in comparison to past fluctuation.

The reasons for the increase are probably twofold. First, the enemy did cause an increase in deaths near Baghdad. Second, the Coalition is pressing its advantage with a new military offensive in what may be AQI's last significant outpost.

In short, the minor increase in casualties is entirely consistent with the trend of surge success in Iraq. Militarily, probably only the Democratic Party can stop Petraeus now. Though the Iraqi government hasn't exactly covered itself with glory over the past year. Long term success in Iraq still depends on key government actions.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Ratcheting up the air war?

While doing my regular hunt for MRAP news, I happened across a rather strange (in my view) story over at the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Tom Engelhardt's essay appears to advocate the notion that the United States is putting emphasis on the air war in Iraq.

His assertion appears to hinge on a couple of stories appearing in mainstream media sources.

"The U.S. military also said in a statement that it had dropped 19,000 pounds of explosives on the farmland of Arab Jabour south of Baghdad. The strikes targeted buried bombs and weapons caches.

"In the last 10 days, the military has dropped nearly 100,000 pounds of explosives on the area, which has been a gateway for Sunni militants into Baghdad."

And here's paragraph 22 of a 34-paragraph Jan. 22 story by Stephen Farrell of the New York Times:

"The threat from buried bombs was well known before the [Arab Jabour] operation. To help clear the ground, the military had dropped nearly 100,000 pounds of bombs to destroy weapons caches and IEDs."

(Centre for Research on Globalization)

Up through this point, Engelhardt has a solid case. Dropping tons of bombs does add up to increased emphasis on air war. It doesn't take Engelhardt long to perplex, however. Just two paragraphs later, Engelhardt asserts the bombing is "unexplained" in the LA Times story. The context suggests that the 100,000 pounds were dropped for the same reason as the 19,000 Engelhardt quoted in the previous paragraph, and if that weren't enough the NYT story reinforces the idea by saying that the bombings targeted weapons caches and IEDs.

Engelhardt elaborates by charging that the bombings haven't been covered adequately in the news. If we start with the presumption that the bombings resulted in some substantial number of deaths (the reader can supply whatever number he finds substantial) about which the press was aware, then Engelhardt's argument is plausible. "If it bleeds, it leads," after all.

If, on the other hand, the bombings merely detonated IEDs and destroyed some weapons caches the bombings are a bit of a footnote to the war operations in Iraq.

Engelhardt's story appears to confirm that he thinks the bombings killed significant numbers of people, albeit his is an argument from silence (or worse) with respect to the newspaper stories he cites. He veers off into a story of the German bombing at Guernica (Spain) featuring 100,000 pounds of ordinance where a great deal of carnage did take place.

Engelhardt then proceeds to emphasize how Guernica became international news, apparently in contrast to the present indifference to the supposedly corresponding carnage in Iraq.

I'll quote one more (long!) sentence in which Engelhardt attempts to underscore his point.
Those last two tag-on paragraphs in the Parker and Rasheed Los Angeles Times piece tell us much about the intervening 71 years, which included the German bombing of Rotterdam and the blitz of London as well as other English cities; the Japanese bombings of Shanghai and other Chinese cities; the Allied fire-bombing of German and Japanese cities; the U.S. atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the Cold War era of mutually assured destruction (MAD) in which two superpowers threatened to use the ultimate in airborne explosives to incinerate the planet; the massive, years-long U.S. bombing campaigns against North Korea and later North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia; the American air power "victories" of Gulf War I and Afghanistan (2001); and the Bush administration's shock-and-awe, air-and-cruise-missile assault on Baghdad in March 2003, which, though meant to "decapitate" the regime of Saddam Hussein, killed not a single Iraqi governmental or Ba'ath Party figure, only Iraqi civilians.
I'll take Engelhardt's word that the "shock and awe" bombing campaign didn't kill a single Iraqi governmental or Ba'ath Party figure, though I don't have any idea how he came by that information (he's not telling, at least in this story). I'll just say that my understanding of the "decapitation" strategy was that it attempted primarily to disrupt communications between commanders and troops.
Pape's question asks the following: should I adopt a punishment strategy, which tries to push a society beyond its economic and psychological breaking point, a denial strategy, which tries to neutralize an opponent's military ability to wage war, or a decapitation strategy, which destroys or isolates an opponent's leadership, national communications, or other politico-economic centers?
(Military Theory)
That isn't to say that "decapitation strike" cannot refer to the killing of a key individual, obviously.

Here's a reference that may provide the germ of Engelhardt's claim about the failure of the decapitation strikes along with an explanation supporting my point of view:
But not one of the top 200 figures in the regime was killed by an air strike. [Air] attacks are only as good as the intelligence they are based on. . . . That intelligence was often not reliable” (p. 177). Despite the factual nature of this statement, it overlooks any psychological effects of the air portion of the overall campaign on Iraqi leadership, and since many key Iraqi leaders fled for survival at first opportunity, one cannot say that the air campaign did not successfully separate them from the battlespace.
(Air & Space Power Journal, book review)
By the middle of his essay, Engelhardt does refer to anecdotal evidence of casualties from the bombing in question. Oddly, however, his lone example consisted of a report of Coalition troops advancing through "smoldering citrus groves."

I can see the Reuters headline now: "American troops advance through smoldering citrus groves."

Or if that's not shocking enough: "U.S. bombs helpless citrus trees."

Engelhardt spends the latter half of the essay talking about the use of air power to combat the insurgency in Iraq, calling particular attention to increased deployment of hardware. Minus my suspicion that one is intended to associate the increased use of air power with a corresponding death toll on innocents, there's not much to object to in the latter section unless it is to question Engelhardt's assertion that the buildup represents an escalation of the air war.

Most likely, the buildup represents an aspect of the overall surge strategy, which calls for putting extreme military pressure on the insurgency while holding territory already cleared of insurgents. The areas currently being bombed may represent the last stand of al Qaeda in Iraq, which will end up reducing the need for U.S. air support for missions, particularly bombing.

It is true, however, that Iraq has no real air force of its own at present. U.S. air support for Iraqi operations will probably be needed for years while Iraq develops its own air force.