Closing Thought–21May18

Well we had another mass school shooting this time in Texas….but I will not cover that for that is an effort in futility trying to change a culture of violence, guns and killing…..something we Americans excel at……

A Rifle To Kill Americans

There is a new Russian sniper rifle that is designed to kill NATO troops and that includes Americans….the odd part of this story is that this deadly rifle was promoted by the NRA…..

In late 2016, the US Army released a report noting that the Russian military, through experience gained during fighting in Ukraine, was undergoing a transformation and becoming a more potent battlefield threat to American forces. One troublesome development identified by the report’s authors was the increased proficiency of Russian snipers. “The capabilities of a sniper in a Russian contingent is far more advanced than the precision shooters U.S. formations have encountered over the last 15 years,” the study noted. One reason for this was the Russian military’s recent adoption of the ORSIS T-5000, a relatively new Russian-made firearm that the report called “one of the most capable bolt action sniper rifles in the world.” As one military technology expert noted, after reviewing this report, the US Army faced “being outgunned” by foes armed with the T-5000—which can be accurate at a distance of 2,000 yards—and these Russian rifles were showing up in Iraq and Ukraine. That is, this weapon posed a threat to US troops and those of its allies. Yet the National Rifle Association—which boasts it is identified with American patriotism—has helped promote Moscow-based ORSIS and its sniper rifle.

A fascinating story……but it probably matters not…..

A Short Break

Just wanted to let my regular readers know that I will be posting only one or maybe two posts a day…..I need to get to work on my health and returning to some sort of normalcy.

Plus the situation in this country has gone from crazy to all out bonkers…any time that personal BS becomes more important than the country at large then it is time for me to step back and let the idiots duel it out.

This change will take effect today and last for as long as it takes for me to reclaim some mobility and health…..

Please stop by daily there will always be something to ponder here on IST.

I would like to thank all my regulars for their loyalty and their comments…..I will still be with you every day just not as often….please do not hold that against me…….

Peace Out my friends……chuq


Unification Blues

There is much optimism around the Korean talks…..some are even looking forward to a possible unification of the two Koreas….they look toward the Vietnam of the 70’s and later the unification of Germany of the 90’s……

Yes the idea is very promising indeed….or is it?

The North and South have fundamentally diametric economic and political systems and national ideologies. They also have very large guns pointed at each other’s head. Neither side has much reason to trust the other to refrain from trying to exploit the chaos that would come with a transition and force reunification on their own terms. This trust gap is not going away, nor is the prisoner’s dilemma. True reunification would require breathtaking courage from leaders on both sides, who would need to ignore immediate incentives and assume enormous risk while going through the process.

This is, in part, why only two modern states have achieved negotiated, peaceful reunification. One was Yemen in 1990, and its experience ever since has been nothing anyone wants to replicate. The more instructive comparison is Germany, which reunified the same year. Prior to being sliced in two by outside powers, both Germany and Korea were cohesive cultural, linguistic and ethnic entities. Yet both became locked in a protracted zero-sum contest for supremacy between their competing halves. Both are surrounded by countries that, through the long-term lens of their own geopolitical imperatives, would rather see them stay divided. Both had U.S. troops stationed on half their home soil. And like the North, East Germany suffered greatly from the loss of Soviet aid and security.

A fanciful thought…..but we must get past rigorous negotiations before anything can move forward.

I wish I could say that I see a way forward….but with this bunch it is highly unlikely.