Sgt. Maiko–RIP

Closing Thought–06Dec18

Yet another US trooper was killed in Afghanistan…..this death is of a US Ranger…..

A recent clash in Afghanistan resulted in the death of a U.S. soldier and an Army Ranger dog.

Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso, whose death was previously reported, died in a raid against al Qaeda militants that in the southern Nimruz province in late November. The other casualty was that of Maiko, an Army Ranger dog.

Stars and Stripes on Tuesday reported that Maiko had been assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment’s 2nd Battalion.

“The actions of Maiko directly saved the life of his handler … and other Rangers,” according to a biography of the dog confirmed to Stars and Stripes by a spokesperson for the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning in Georgia.

Maiko was born in 2011 in the Netherlands and arrived in the U.S. a year-and-a-half later. The dog was on his sixth deployment to Afghanistan and was 7 years old when the clash occurred, according to Stars and Stripes.

Maiko reportedly participated in more than 50 Ranger-led raids involving combatant apprehension, building clearance and improvised explosive device detection.


IST wishes to thank this brave trooper for his service and that he may Rest In Peace…..his sacrifice will never be forgotten.

The “Green New Deal”

This is why I dislike the Dems so much….the Progressives have come up with a plan for a “Green New Deal”………

We understand the problem ― we can’t allow temperatures to rise by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gives the world 12 years to make substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to avoid severe climate effects later this century ― including in the United States. The urgency of the situation can’t be overstated.

We have momentum ― incoming Democrats, like Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, are building support for an ambitious climate plan, and more than 15 members of Congress are calling for a select committee with a mandate to draft comprehensive legislation: a Green New Deal. We have the outline of a plan: We need a mass mobilization of people and resources, something not unlike the U.S. involvement in World War II or the Apollo moon missions ― but even bigger. We must transform our energy system, transportation, housing, agriculture and more.

This is a great idea….the problem is that it is NOT a Dem idea…..this was first proposed 8 years ago by the Green Party USA…….

And if you like facts then read this fact……

But at least I am not alone knowing where this “idea” came from……

This week progressives nationwide are talking about a Green New Deal and, while mainstream media is saying that insurgent Democrats came up with this, we beg to differ! We applaud the efforts of Democrats for finally adopting what the Global Greens began to work on in in 2006 while noting that the delay of 12 years is very significant when it comes to climate change.

The Green Party has been advocating for a massive jobs and public works program to transition our energy infrastructure rapidly over to renewable energy for more than a decade [1]. The project truly began with a Global Greens ‘Green New Deal Task Force’, first formulated in 2006. It was brought into American Green political campaigns by Howie Hawkins when he ran for governor in 2014 [2]. Next Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka highlighted it in their 2016 presidential campaign [3] while many more American Green candidates have run campaigns using it since that time.

Time to give credit where credit is due….and bring in the people that thought this idea up as part of the team to pass this policy.

To be honest I do love all these grand plans…..knowing that they will probably go nowhere….but it does make good optics and slogans…that be bitchin’

The Azov Affair

First the US has decided that the old INF Treaty is not as good as it could be……then shortly after Trump’s spoke of his decision the Sea of Azov incident happened…..

Thoughts I had earlier……

Then my thoughts on the Russia/Ukraine mash-up……

Then I read that the US was giving Russia days to comply or suffer……

 After years of claiming Russia is violating the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday that the US is giving Russia 60 days to comply with the deal.

The big obstacle to this is, despite the US making such allegations for several years, and getting NATO to endorse their narrative, Russia has denied ever violating the deal in the first place, and insists the missile in question, the 9m729, is not banned by the treaty.

The question is based on the missile’s range, with INF banning everything from 500 km to 5,500 km. Russia has only tested the missile to about 400 km, and it is intended to replace a missile that itself was only 400 km. US officials, however, have speculated that the missile has a much longer range

In response to rising tensions…..the Treaty thing and the Azov Affair…..Russia has given their answer by deploying missiles…..

Russia will target countries hosting U.S. missiles if Washington goes ahead with plans to pull out of a landmark Cold War arms treaty, General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday.

“If the INF treaty is destroyed, we won’t leave it without a response,” he said in a presentation to foreign military attaches in Moscow, according to an official transcript. “You as military professionals must understand that the target for Russian retaliation won’t be U.S. territory but the countries where the intermediate-range missiles are deployed.”

Just what our military needs yet another conflict to worry about….I think they have their hands full with all the armed conflicts these days…..why not try something novel like….DIPLOMACY?

But then does Ukraine deserve blind support by the Trump Boyz?….My thought is NO…no country deserves blind support…..but I may be alone….or not……

The recent clash between Russian and Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait has generated a flurry of alarm. NATO was compelled to call an emergency meeting with Ukraine and the UN Security Council convened an urgent session to discuss the crisis. Exercising their usual tendency to oversimplify murky geopolitical rivalries, Western officials and journalists embraced the knee-jerk narrative that the incident is yet another case of Vladimir Putin’s blatant aggression and “outlaw behavior” against its peace-loving, democratic neighbor. Right on cue, CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets dispatched stridently anti-Russian editorials masquerading as news stories.

In reality, the Kerch Strait incident involves a complex mixture of factors. They include the tense Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relationship, Kiev’s broader foreign policy objectives, and Ukraine’s volatile domestic politics.

These situations with Russia have the possibility of turning ugly quickly……

Learn Stuff!


Once Around The Horn

I have written a bunch about the Arabian Peninsula…..the policies of Saudi Arabia and the situation with Qatar and in all that time only a mention has been given to the policies of the UAE…..I will try to change that……

Let’s begin with the Horn of Africa……for those not quite sure…..

Image result for horn of africa images

As you can see the importance of this region for a lot of the crude flows through this region….oil that is…Texas Tea, black gold….yada yada….

I have written about this region before (listed in further reading section at the close of this post)… seems that all nations are trying to get that toe hold in this region….US, Russia, China and now the UAE…..

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged in recent months as an important protagonist in the Horn of Africa. Through political alliances, aid, investment, military base agreements and port contracts, it is expanding its influence in the region. A recent manifestation came in the summer of 2018, when Eritrea and Ethiopia announced – after a flurry of visits to and from Emirati officials – that they had reached an agreement to end their twenty-year war. Emirati and Saudi diplomacy and aid were pivotal to that deal. Elsewhere, however, Gulf countries have played a less constructive role. Competition between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, on the one hand, and Qatar on the other, spilled into Somalia beginning in late 2017, aggravating friction between Mogadishu and Somali regional leaders. Abu Dhabi’s relations with the Somali government have collapsed. As its influence in the Horn grows, the UAE should build on its Eritrea-Ethiopia peace-making by continuing to underwrite and promote that deal, while at the same time looking to reconcile with the Somali government.

UAE is interested but they are by no means the only ones…….

  • Arab Gulf states are intervening more assertively in sub-Saharan Africa to capitalize on economic opportunities and protect their security interests.
  • They view Africa as a relatively uncontested arena in which they can experiment with foreign interventions as part of their strategy to prove their rising status on the world stage.
  • The impact of Gulf states’ rivalries in Africa is becoming increasingly damaging, as their zero-sum rivalry has provoked retaliations, which have dangerously destabilized vulnerable parts of Africa, such as during the fallout to the GCC crisis.

What does it say when our supposed “allies” show the shame adventurism for conflict that this country does?

Read!  Learn Stuff!

Further Reading: