Was Stalin A Sneak?

This week we seem to be fixated on Russia and its leader….so since I like history how about a little ditty about Russia and its leader…..

We all know about Stalin, the leader of the USSR, and his support for the regime in North Korea at the time of the Korean War.

There are many opinions on why the US fought that war….most are the opinion of the Red Scare and the spread of communism……well NK was already communist so there is no basis for a war of prevention….but recent documents have a whole new direction for the reason the US entered into the Korean War.

The following telegram from Joseph Stalin to Czechoslovak President Klement Gottwald on 27 August 1950 in which the Soviet leader explained his decision-making in the preceding months raises new questions about the origins of the Korean War. Did Stalin purposefully seek to entangle the United States in a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula? Did Stalin expect an intervention by the Chinese communists from virtually the beginning of the conflict? First published in the original Russian in Novaya I Noveishaya Istoriia in 2005,1 two experts, Beijing University Professor Donggil Kim and University of Georgia Professor William Stueck, provide an initial assessment of this potentially significant new finding.

Kim argues that the document suggests that Stalin gave Kim Il Sung permission to attack South Korea on 25 June 1950 not because he felt the US would not get involved, but precisely because he wanted the US to become entangled in a limited conflict in Asia. Other scholars, by contrast, have emphasized that Stalin secretly approved Kim Il Sung`s plan to attack during the North Korean leader’s secret trip to Moscow in April 1950 – only after receiving his assurances that South Korea could be overwhelmed so quickly, in a matter of a few weeks, that Washington would be unable to rescue it.2 From the very beginning he envisioned a conflict involving not just the North Koreans, but also the newly established People’s Republic of China. Doing so, Kim argues, would allow the Soviet Union to concentrate its energies on consolidating its European empire and forestalling the outbreak of a third world war. Kim bases his findings, which will be published in an NKIDP Working Paper later this year, on this and additional documents that have recently become available from the collection of the late Russian diplomat and historian Andrei Ledovskii as well as from Russian and Chinese archives.

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/did-stalin-lure-the-united-states-the-korean-war-new-evidence-the-origins-the-korean-war

This war is one of the wars that the US population seems hell bent on removing from the American memory….they have done a pretty good job in removing World War One and now the Korean War is in their sights and after that it will be the Vietnam War.

NO war should be erased from the memory…..

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News From Afghanistan

Believe it or not after 17 long bloody years there is still news from Afghanistan…..

The government of Afghanistan held talks with the Taleban…it brought about a short ceasefire but not much else…..

If the U.S. has any real strategy in Afghanistan, it seems to be fighting a war of attrition long enough and well enough for the threat to drop to a level that Afghan forces can handle or accept a peace settlement credible enough for the U.S. to leave. After seventeen years of combat, no one at any level is claiming that enough military progress has been made in strengthening the ANSF enough for it to win. The most favorable claims seem to be that the ANSF are not losing, may someday become able to win with U.S. support.

No one is making any serious claims about success at the civil level in terms of politics, governance, and economics. Hope for the civil side seems to rely on the theory that if you attempt enough reform plans, one may eventually work. This is a literal triumph of hope over experience.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/afghan-war-attrition-peace-talks-remain-extension-war-other-means

SecState Pompeo visited Afghanistan and reported back that our strategy is indeed working……that is great considering that NO one knows just what the strategy is….so how can we say it is working……

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/no-secretary-pompeo-americas-strategy-in-afghanistan-is-not-working/

Then more news comes out about the ISIS cell fighting in Afghanistan…..

Gen. John Nicholson, the US commander in Afghanistan, says that the ISIS affiliate is increasingly resilient, with access to foreign fighters. On top of that, Nicholson warned, ISIS is getting funding and other general support from jihadist groups in several nearby countries.

This is the first time officials are addressing this issue. Afghan officials have declared the ISIS presence in Nangarhar to have been “wiped out” several times following offensives in recent years, and when that offensive wraps up, ISIS reemerges there, seemingly as strong as ever.

Before, officials just ignored the past, and were every bit as confident about their newest offensive. Gen. Nicholson’s comments show that there is at least some recognition that these offensives, while killing a lot of people, aren’t amounting to much.

(antiwar.com)

I apologize for the terrible news but at least you know how bad it is….now is time for the people to speak up and demand out troops come home.

It’s Illegal!

I am referring to the many wars that this country has decided that it must fight…..that is the job of the Congress and so far they are spineless cowards on this subject.

This is the new way of war for the US….pick a spot and attack…..

[T]he President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons. …
S.J. Res. 23 (107th): Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), Sept. 18, 2001

The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary … in order to … defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq.  …
H. J. Res 114 (107th): Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, Oct. 18, 2002

It’s all so obvious to a detached observer. Nonetheless, it remains unspoken. The United States of America is waging several wars with dubious legal sanction in domestic or international law.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2018/03/23/illegal-wars-the-new-american-way/

The one word that can drive the US into a frenzy of armed struggle is…..Freedom…..the God of Modern Warfare…..

Freedom. The term is so ubiquitous in its application to war we tend not to ask why that is. We take it as a given. Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom are two good examples of how the concept seems encoded into American strategic objectives, yet it is not limited to countries like the U.S. where this idea is so culturally (and constitutionally) central. Crimea was not conquered by Russia, according to Russian claims, but rather the minority Russian population of Ukraine was liberated and given the opportunity for self-determination and to vote in a referendum about their collective future. While this essay will attempt to uncover why freedom appears to stoke the warrior instinct inside of us, doing so would only lead to an impasse, were it not considered within a larger set of questions. As a systematized justification for political violence, freedom was not always so predominant as it is today. Assuming human nature didn’t change over the past few decades, we then need to uncover what did.

Before the twentieth century, wars fought by modern republics might have been deemed legitimate for a variety of reasons, including indeed freedom from foreign occupation or local oppression, but also other reasons that might make us cringe today: colonization, evangelization, debt collection, monarchical successions, glory, plunder, vengeance, territorial conquest, and many more. As the bulk of these other justifications receded in history, freedom remained.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/01/freedom_the_god_of_modern_war_113395.html

Since 1990’s the US has been in infinite war……or so it would seem….(you knew that eventually I had to throw some history in this post)……

The United States of Amnesia.” That’s what Gore Vidal once called us. We remember what we find it convenient to remember and forget everything else. That forgetfulness especially applies to the history of others. How could their past, way back when, have any meaning for us today? Well, it just might. Take the European conflagration of 1914-1918, for example.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/infinite-war-the-gravy-train-rolls-on/

Closing Thought–17Jul18

Last week we had the great news that all the kids and their coach had been rescued from the cave in Thailand…..the news was every where and the atta boys were constant…..

The out pouring to love and good wishes was amazing…..but with all that I was wonder after years of conflict why the news media seems to ignore the plight, the suffering the death of the children of Yemen…….

Thanks to a major international effort, a Thai youth soccer team has been successfully rescued from the cave where it has been trapped for nearly 15 days. The boys’ plight and the efforts to rescue them have captured the world’s attention for several days, dominating news headlines throughout much of the world. Ultimately, most of the boys were rescued thanks in large part to an international collaboration as divers from several countries united to save them. Indeed, the rescue team was composed of five foreign divers paired with five Thai Navy SEALs as well as a team of 70 support divers, 50 of whom were from other nations.

The successful rescue of the Thai youth team undoubtedly stands as a testament to how international collaboration stemming from international awareness – thanks in part to in-depth news coverage – can overcome impossible odds to save the lives of children and others in need. Yet, while the now-rescued Thai youth recover out of harm’s way, children elsewhere whose lives are also in danger cannot expect similar treatment.

http://theantimedia.com/thai-boys-yemen-children/

Do not misunderstand…I am thrilled that these kids were rescued from the rising water in that cave….I just do not understand why one group of kids is more important than another…..we can thank the media for this situation…..they alone decide who is important.

Why cannot the media with all its resources do something about all the suffering in Yemen?  Why is there NO stomach for an effort in Yemen?  Why are starving children Yemen less important than kids trapped in a cave?

Another American Death (Again)

Closing Thought–13Jul18

Our stay in Afghanistan, 17 years and counting, has not been without costs….the deaths of our troops is that cost.

I am sorry to report that yet another American soldier has died in Afghanistan…..the AP is reporting……

The U.S. military says a service member died Thursday of a wound sustained in combat in eastern Afghanistan.

The name of the service member was being withheld pending notification of family members.

It was the second U.S. military death in Afghanistan in less than one week. On Saturday, Army Cpl. Joseph Maciel, of South Gate, California, was killed by what the U.S. is investigating as a possible attack by a member of the Afghan military.

In Thursday’s incident, the U.S. military said an Afghan security force member also was killed and several were wounded. No other details were provided.

I offer the family our heart felt condolences…..May he rest in peace…..and thank you for your service.

Say “Adios” To NATO?

It is no secret that Trump does not like NATO in the least…..he is due in Europe to meet with NATO countries and he has sent a letter to a few of them asking for cash……

President Trump heads to Belgium next week for a NATO summit, and he has set the tone in advance with what the New York Times calls “sharply worded” letters to leaders of other member nations. The gist: Trump asserts that they’re not paying their fair share for defense, adding that the US is tired of picking up the slack and might rethink its role in alliance. Deutsche Welle reports that Trump sent letters to at least eight leaders, but the Times says it could be a dozen. It quotes from a particularly pointed one to Germany’s Angela Merkel. “The United States continues to devote more resources to the defense of Europe when the Continent’s economy, including Germany’s, are doing well and security challenges abound,” he writes. “This is no longer sustainable for us.”

Trump adds that it will “become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries do not share NATO’s collective security burden while American soldiers continue to sacrifice their lives overseas or come home gravely wounded.” Trump has long made clear he dislikes NATO, though he previously reversed his position that it was “obsolete.” Specifically, the US asserts that other nations are not meeting a commitment to devote 2% of their GDP to national defense, reports CNN. Belgian leader Charles Michel says he is “not very impressed” with Trump’s letter, and the Times collects a quote from a former Pentagon official: “Trump still seems to think that NATO is like a club that you owe dues to, or some sort of protection racket where the US is doing all the work protecting all these deadbeat Europeans.”

Speaking of letters an ambassador has sent a letter of resignation….

The United States embassy in Estonia has a brand new opening at the top, and the now-former ambassador, James Melville, went out swinging at President Trump, reports the Washington Post. “The honorable course is to resign,” Melville wrote Friday on Facebook. “For the President to say the [European Union] was ‘set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank,’ or that ‘NATO is as bad as NAFTA’ is not only factually wrong, but proves to me that it’s time to go.” Estonia, the Post notes, sits on the Russian border, and Melville’s resignation comes as Trump indicates he’s rethinking NATO protections for such countries and ahead of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Having served under six presidents and 11 secretaries of state, I never really thought it would reach that point for me,” Melville wrote.

Trump seems to forget that many of the NATO nations when asked came to the assistance of the US in a wide array of scenarios…..from Afghanistan to Iraq to African problems……..where will these allies be when asked in a time of need?

Further Reading:

True, the Trump administration continues to emit a range of conflicting signals about alliances. Within the pages of the National Security Strategy (PDF) and the unclassified summary of the National Defense Strategy (PDF)—the formal documents underpinning declaratory strategy—allies are seen as positive contributors to U.S. security. Yes, the documents continue to expound Trump’s point about the need for allies to carry more of the weight. See, for example, page 28 of the NSS: ‘We need our allies … to modernize, acquire necessary capabilities, improve readiness, expand the size of their forces, and affirm the political will to win.’

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/07/03/a_post-alliance_us_113577.html

Putin will play a game and will offer to give some concessions…..

 A senior Kremlin official tells Bloomberg that Vladimir Putin is preparing to offer significant concessions to President Trump at their July 16 summit in Helsinki, Finland in the hopes of beginning to repair strained relations between Russia and the United States. Chief among them, according to the official, is a discussion on Iran’s role in Syria – an issue that Moscow is simultaneously coordinating with Tehran.

http://theantimedia.com/putin-prepares-major-concessions-trump-summit/

If Trump weakens NATO how would Russia test its strength?

At Poland’s northeast border there’s only a narrow strip of inland border connecting it to NATO members Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. It’s called the Suwalki Corridor and it has long been an object of concern for Western military leaders.

To the west sits a unique spot Russian territory, the exclave of Kaliningrad, a key military port on the Baltic Sea. To the east is Belarus, a key Russian military ally. On the eve of this week’s NATO Summit, the former commanding general of U.S. Army Europe is issuing a new warning: cutting off that corridor could be how Russian President Vladimir Putin cuts off the Baltic states from the rest of NATO, possibly without firing a shot.

https://www.defenseone.com/threats/20/18/07/how-russia-could-test-nato-warns-former-us-army-europe-commander/149530/

The meetings to come will test the alliances that the US has depended on for decades….will they be there when needed again?

There is so much more and I will revisit this subject soon…..and report on “what is what” (love that saying)……

Oops! Well That Sucked!

History is a fun subject…we get to look into the lives of our ancestors…..I do a lot of reading and I have found some blunders, military blunders that few of us realize.

Take Russia…there were two separate invasions that were just amazing and each one was beaten by those famous Russian generals…..General January and General February…..

I would like to teach my reader about the 10 most amazing military blunders in history…..

Throughout history, battles have been lost to bad weather, insufficient weaponry and bad luck. But what about those for which poor judgment and shoddy planning are to blame? From the French troops led to their death at Agincourt, to Hitler’s lost army of 330,000 men at Stalingrad, historian Rupert Matthews rounds up 10 of the worst military mistakes in history…

Any fool can lose a battle. All you need to have is a weaker army than your opponent. What takes a special talent is to lose a battle when you start off with all the advantages in your own hands.

Some commanders have managed to throw away the power of greater numbers, strong positions and superior weaponry with blunders of such awesome scale that they have ended up losing a battle that, logically, they should have won with ease. Here are the most impressive military blunders in history…

https://www.historyextra.com/period/medieval/worst-military-blunders-battles-mistakes-history/

Like I said Oops!  That just sucked!