Closing Thought–05Jan21

Trump’s Director of National Intelligence, Radcliffe, has made an extraordinary claim and it concerns China……

Has China discovered a super-soldier formula through the capabilities of genetic engineering? A U.S. government official claims this is exactly what is happening.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that claims the Chinese government is attempting to enhance the capabilities of soldiers through genetic engineering. It’s not the first time such a claim has been made. Ratcliffe’s article, cited in an NBC report, outlined his belief that China is the greatest threat to the United States in terms of military and economic power.

Ratcliffe’s concerns build on theories raised in 2019 about China’s capabilities with CRISPR, particularly after Chinese researcher He Jiankui used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to alter the DNA of embryos for seven couples in 2018. Although international outrage resulted in Jiankui’s incarceration in China, Ratcliffe suggested the Chinese government would attempt to capitalize on these capabilities with gene editing and continue to experiment on adults to create biometrically advanced super soldiers the likes we have seen only in movies.

https://www.biospace.com/article/is-china-using-crispr-to-create-super-soldiers-/

Is this true?

Or is it just more chest thumping against China by the Trump admin?

I do not doubt that China would try such a thing….but accusation is not proof….I will wait for the proof.

And yet the US is mobilizing for a large scale war….China is the first suspect…,but there are others….

The US military is investing heavily in preparing for large-scale combat operations. These operations, pitting the US armed forces against peer or near-peer adversaries, would require large numbers of troops, would almost certainly be expensive, and would risk high numbers of casualties. In other words, major war. But even if the US military is prepared, the American people aren’t. This is a problem.

A major war, fueled by rising competition between great powers, is certainly not guaranteed. Any geopolitical gains made would likely be offset by high casualties and the risk of a nuclear exchange. However, miscalculation and misperception could inadvertently lead to a dangerously escalatory armed clash. Military establishments the world over, and especially in the United States, are assiduously preparing for the possibility.

https://mwi.usma.edu/making-the-case-for-war/

And a now familiar tactic by the DoD….China is offering bounties for American troops…..

Months after an unsubstantiated claim about Russia paying bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops spread like wildfire, a similar claim about China is being reported by Axios.

The Axios report published on Wednesday cites two unnamed Trump administration officials. According to the officials, the Trump administration is declassifying “uncorroborated intelligence” that “indicates China offered to pay non-state actors in Afghanistan to attack American soldiers.”

The report says President Trump was verbally briefed on the uncorroborated intelligence by National Security Robert O’Brien, and officials across all agencies are working to “corroborate” the intelligence.

There are few details in the report of what the uncorroborated intelligence actually says. Axios was unable to see any of the intelligence reports and received the information from sources in a phone call.

One source said: “The US has evidence that the PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempted to finance attacks on American servicemen by Afghan non-state actors by offering financial incentives or ‘bounties.’” The sources did not say if the “non-state” actors included the Taliban or not.

The only info Axios could get was that the alleged bounty scheme happened sometime after the US-Taliban peace deal was signed in February. Since the deal was signed on February 29th, no US troops have been killed in combat-related incidents in Afghanistan.

(antiwar.com)

Deja vu all over again.

But not to worry…..we have a new president waiting in the wings to change the trajectory of our foreign policy…..Joe Biden will be better…..

Well that statement is pure manure……Joe Biden will change little….

Joe Biden stressed the need for “modernizing” US defense capabilities in the face of threats from China and Russia. Biden also addressed the recently discovered hack of the software company SolarWinds that affected several government agencies.

Biden said he spoke with a member of his transition team about the “different strategic challenges we’re gonna face from both Russia and China and the reforms we must make to put ourselves in the strongest possible position to meet those challenges.” He said those reforms include “modernizing our defense priorities to better deter aggression in the future.”

“We have to be able to innovate, to reimagine our defenses against growing threats in new realms like cyberspace,” Biden said. “We’re still learning about the extent of the SolarWinds hack and the vulnerabilities that have been exposed. As I said last week, this attack constitutes a grave risk to our national security.”

In comments last week, Biden slammed President Trump for not prioritizing cybersecurity and, like many have, blamed Russia for the SolarWinds hack, despite a lack of evidence that Moscow was involved. The former vice president has also vowed retaliation for the SolarWinds hack, and Biden’s chief of staff said the incoming administration’s response would be more than “just sanctions.”

(antiwar.com)

You see if you were hoping for sanity in our defense posturing then you will be sadly disappointed.

There is another situation that could lead to problems shortly…..

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has re-awoken to a profound truth: Rich, secure capitalists are the natural enemies of authoritarian regimes. In a hybrid autocratic-capitalist model, capitalism is the means to generate wealth, but power is the end goal. Successful capitalists naturally begin to demand that their personal and property rights be protected from authoritarian fiat. Capital in the hands of entrepreneurs is a political resource; it poses a threat to the implementation of centralized plans.

Realizing this, the CCP has begun to assert control over the private sector by “installing . . . Party officials inside private firms” and having state-backed firms invest in private enterprises. In the absence of civil rights or an independent judiciary, “private” companies have no real independence from the government in China. Dissent and demands for civil rights are a threat to the regime and will be crushed.

China’s shift from encouraging external investment and internal market competition toward treating capitalism as a threat has an obvious historical precedent. From 1921–1928, the Soviet Union instituted a policy of economic liberalization, which allowed for the privatization of agriculture, retail trade, and light industry. This partial and temporary return to a controlled and limited capitalism, known as the New Economic Policy (NEP), saved the Soviet economy from collapse and enabled Russia to modernize. But, in 1928, Stalin suddenly reversed course: He collectivized agriculture and liquidated the most prosperous farmers, thereby necessitating the frequent resort to grain imports, notably from the United States.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/01/the-bill-is-coming-due-for-chinas-capitalist-experiment/

Just a little something to think about……

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“lego ergo scribo”

Is There A Conflict Countdown?

In the last few years there seems to be a ever perpetuating story that our next “big” war will be with China…..it all started with Obama, at least in the media and gained ground with Trump and now with the incoming president Biden…..the military has been feeding this scenario as well as the intel community…..

And now a top military commander is throwing fuel on the war fire….

America’s military priority in the coming years? China, China, and China—or so says the top US military commander. Speaking at a Wall Street Journal summit Tuesday, Army Gen. Mark Milley said China is aiming to equal America’s military might by 2035 and be ready to win a war against the US by midcentury. “They are on a path to try to do that,” Milley said. “It is certainly a significant security challenge for the United States now and in the years to come.” He added that the “great-power competition” between China and the US should not “turn into a great-power war. That would be a disaster.” Seapower Magazine quotes him as saying the Pentagon can offset Chinese power—and in theory, avoid a war—with a “consistent, predictable” budget boost of roughly 3% to 5%.

But Milley isn’t hopeful: “I don’t see that as a realistic thing in the coming year,” he said. In fact, he foresees Pentagon budget cuts, and favors modernizing forces over keeping current forces up to snuff, mostly to offset a rising China, per ABC News. He also suggested making certain international troop placements—like those in Bahrain or South Korea—rotational or “selective,” in part because such permanent bases reflect an outdated strategy: “I think that is something that needs a hard, hard look,” he said. “Much of that is a derivative of where World War II ended.” He also feared that US noncombatants, like family members, could get trapped if war breaks out between the Koreas. “I have a problem with that,” he said.

Trump’s DNI had thrown fuel on the fire awhile back…..

The nation’s top intelligence official just unloaded on China in unusual fashion. “The People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II,” writes director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Beijing’s leaders, he asserts, aim to dominate the US and the rest of the world on everything from the military to the economy to technology, and they are “preparing for an open-ended period of confrontation with the US.” China, he adds, “should be America’s primary national security focus going forward.”

  • Rarity: It is “exceedingly rare for the head of the US intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power,” writes Mike Allen at Axios. Such assessments are typically made to the president and lawmakers behind closed doors.
  • Why? It’s seen as part of a push by the Trump administration to ramp up the case against China before President Trump leaves office. As Bloomberg puts it, the administration wants to “lock in its policies and posture toward China” and make it more difficult for Joe Biden to unwind them. The Hill notes that US-China relations have soured on a number of fronts, including over COVID, trade, and the South China Sea.

Biden is no different…he also wants to keep this storyline active (at least for now)……

  • What Biden says: In an interview with the New York Times, Biden says he has no plans to immediately loosen tariffs put into place by Trump. First, he wants to consult with other nations. “The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our—or at least what used to be our—allies on the same page,” he says. “It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency.”
  • No leverage: Biden also told the Times that dealing with China requires leverage, and “in my view, we don’t have it yet.” He says his goal will “be to pursue trade policies that actually produce progress on China’s abusive practices—that’s stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations,” etc.
  • Assessment: Biden’s comments suggest that he “is focused on picking his spots with Beijing, shoring up alliances and US national power first, rather than rushing to accommodate a Chinese government that seems to think the burden for detente lies entirely with Washington,” writes David Wertime at Politico. “Friends and allies concerned about a US over-correction on China must be feeling some relief.”

I wrote in the past about the possibilities of the next war…….https://lobotero.com/2020/09/22/could-the-us-lose-the-next-big-war/

The next question should be…..could the US win the next ‘big’ war without the use of nukes?

Any sensible discussion of what a hypothetical World War III might look like needs to begin with the sheer size and force of America’s military assets. For all that China and Russia are arming up on various measures, US commanders have the power to dominate escalating crises and counter opposing forces before they can be used.

Take missile warfare alone. The US Navy already has 4,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the Navy and Air Force are currently taking delivery of 5,000 JASSM conventional cruise missiles with ranges from 200-600 miles. Barely visible to radar, these are designed to destroy “hardened” targets such as nuclear missile silos. Russia and China, by contrast, have nothing of equivalent quantity or quality with which to threaten the US mainland.

https://theconversation.com/could-the-us-win-world-war-iii-without-using-nuclear-weapons-94771

Will the China bashing continue with the new president?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Mission Space

I am one of the few bloggers that are concerned with the stretch of American interventionism into space seriously.

The new Space Force to me looks like an invasion and occupation force….nothing about it appears to be about self-defense no matter what lies the government spreads.

I have looked at the legality of the Space Force and looked beyond satellites and looked into the possibility armed conflict and destruction.

If a refresher course is need then I can help there as well….https://lobotero.com/2019/07/16/space-law-part-2/

More backstory…..https://lobotero.com/2020/11/08/the-space-force/ This post covers the warfare that will be available to the new Force.

The training is for war….not self-defense…..

Space Force’s new training and readiness unit, called STARCOM, is working from the ground up to figure out what doctrine, skills and tech space professionals will need for orbital warfare.

“What we are really bringing to the fight is focus. Focus on space,” Col. Peter Flores, commander of the Space Training and Readiness (STAR) Delta Provisional at Space Operations Command, said in an interview today. (STAR Delta is the predecessor to a brand new training and readiness field command, that will be called STARCOM. It will be led by a two-star and is expected to be up and running sometime next year.)

“We’ve decided that the topic is important enough and unique enough that we need a group of people who understand it down to its most fundamental levels,” Flores added.

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/11/starcom-training-troops-to-fight-space-wars-boldly/

I believe that the Treaty of 1967 should be the rule….not some warmongering bullshit from the M-IC….the space exploration should be peaceful and shared…..

In 2019, US President Donald Trump declared “space is the new war-fighting domain”. This followed the creation of the US Space Force and a commitment to “American dominance” in outer space.

Other space-faring nations, and those who fear the acceleration of an arms race in space, were greatly concerned. At the latest meeting of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, states noted with alarm that “preventing conflicts in outer space and preserving outer space for peaceful purposes” is more necessary than ever.

The election of Joe Biden as the next US president and Kamala Harris as vice-president suggests there is cause for hope. The future of space may look more like the recent launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station.

https://theconversation.com/war-in-space-would-be-a-catastrophe-a-return-to-rules-based-cooperation-is-the-only-way-to-keep-space-peaceful-150947

On a side thought–does the US have protocols for any first contact scenario?

Despite fictional portrayals of first contact, it is most likely that alien life encountered by humanity would be so different from any life encountered by people on earth that it would be inconceivable to plan for, and possibly even unrecognizable. First contact protocols in this scenario would likely be led by scientists. In the unlikely event that humanity encounters intelligent / communicative life, the response would more resemble a whole-of-society approach.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/11/30/an_assessment_of_the_national_security_implications_of_first_contact_651347.html

I realize that most people have other stuff on their minds….but this is important enough for me to dedicate time and resources to research…..your grand kids will be dealing with this in the future is it not important enough to help them prepare?

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How War Is Fought

In college I studies war in all forms and solutions that lead to war……

For centuries war was fought with cavalry and foot soldier attacks…..but then slowly the way war was being fought began to change…..

The weapons that changed the way we fight wars…..

Humanity fought its earliest wars using fists, clubs, and rocks. At some unknown point in time, a forward-thinking adversary learned to propel rocks towards the enemy through the use of a sling. Later improvements in military efficiency included edged weapons, and the use of spears, flung with the force of a strong arm. Smaller spear-like projectiles used the flexibility of yew wood and the strength of leather to be launched towards their target. Each advance, as it were, allowed attacks upon the enemy from a greater distance, rather than assault and hand-to-hand combat.

As weapons evolved, so did the means by which they were employed and countered. Bladed weapons were countered with shields and armor. Body armor remains a feature of 21st century combat troops. Strategy and tactics evolved to better take advantage of modern weaponry and to counter its effects on the battlefield. The latter itself changed, expanding to ever increasing areas of conflict. Each advance has been followed by others superior to it, a trend throughout history which continues today. Here are 10 weapons which changed the manner in which war was, and still is, fought around the world.

10. Gunpowder

Ironically, gunpowder first appeared in 9th century China as a formula for medical use. First created by alchemists in the futile search for the elixir of life, medicinal uses of gunpowder were limited. But its use as a weapon was self-evident, as a means of starting fires. During the Song Dynasty, in the early 11th century, the use of gunpowder as an incendiary rather than an explosive appeared, documented in ancient texts of the time. Fire arrows became both an offensive and defensive weapon. About two centuries later, explosives in the form of bombs appeared. By the late 13th century, Chinese hand-held cannons were a feature of the battlefield.

….read more….

https://www.toptenz.net/weapons-that-changed-the-way-war-is-fought.php

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Class Dismissed!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Who Really Won In South Caucasus?

The war that most Americans are clueless was fought between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the south Caucasus region……while we Americans were fixated on the election people were dying in an old hatred….

First where is this problem region?

Experts: Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict Is Christian Genocide Under the  Pretext of War| National Catholic Register
Big disclosure: Pakistani army fighting on behalf of Azerbaijan in the war  against Armenia

To explain the feelings and desires of the region…..

I will let others trying to fill in the blanks for my readers…..

For now the fighting has ceased and a ceasefire is in place……

Troops from Azerbaijan have begun occupying some of the disputed territory….

Azerbaijan said Friday its troops had entered a district bordering Nagorno Karabakh handed back by Armenian separatists after almost 30 years as part of a Russian-brokered peace deal to end weeks of brutal fighting in the region.

Troops moved into the district of Aghdam, one of three due to be handed back, the Azerbaijan defense ministry said, a day after columns of Armenian soldiers and tanks rolled out of the territory.

Armenia will also hand over the Kalbajar district wedged between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia on November 25 and the Lachin district by December 1.

On Thursday Armenian residents of Aghdam hurriedly picked pomegranates and persimmons from trees surrounding their homes and packed vans with furniture, before fleeing ahead of the official deadline to cede the mountainous province.

Azerbaijan Troops Enter First District Handed Over by Armenia

Hopefully the ceasefire holds and no more people have to die…..

But most Americans will want to know who won the war.  It is an American obsession to put everything into wins or losses…..

My thought is that the outside instigators actually won not those fighting and dying…..Turkey/Russia comes to mind…..

Turkey’s intervention in September with military advisers, precision drones and Syrian mercenaries allowed Azerbaijan to wrest back all its territories occupied by Armenia for almost three decades in six bloody weeks. The country’s strongman President Ilham Aliyev has been given a big boost. Turkish hard power has shifted the balance in the south Caucasus, much as it’s done in Syria and Libya. Yet Moscow, which sat on its hands through much of the conflict, is seen by many as the real winner. Is it?

Defeat has been cruel and humiliating for Armenia. Its leaders are being assailed by a furious public as traitors. Its lost at least 1,500 soldiers, with an unstated number missing, a sizable portion of its military kit and all the land it hoped to barter for a future deal that would have given Armenian-majority Nagorno-Karabakh the right to self-determination — read: union with Armenia. A nine-point cease-fire deal brokered by the Kremlin that took effect on Tuesday effectively salvaged Armenian control over around 70% of Nagorno-Karabakh proper. Around 2,000 Russian peace keepers will be deployed in and around the enclave, spelling a return of Russian forces to Azerbaijan as well. Russia’s stranglehold over Armenia is near complete, its leverage over Azerbaijan arguably greater, to the extent that it can re-ignite hostilities.
 
I have a follower from Armenia and I hope to get her in-put into this situation….
 
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Could There Be An Iran Surprise?

All the rhetoric around Iran has come to a head…..and the possibility of a war with Iran before Donald the Orange leaves office (or is forced out)…..

A source told The Washington Post if an American is killed and it can be ‘tied back to instructions from Iran’ it would spark immediate US response

A report from The New York Times that said President Trump considered attacking an Iranian nuclear facility raised fears of a possible US strike on Iran before January 20th. An official familiar with the meeting told The Washington Post that while a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear program was off the table, President Trump is ready to respond to attacks in the region that can be tied to Iran.

According to the official, Trump emphasized that any killing of an American that can be “tied back to instructions from Iran” will spark an immediate US response. The official said the president was “very forceful” and that if Iranians kill Americans, the US response will be swift and painful.

The Post story came after rockets fell inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, where the US embassy is located. No casualties were reported near the US embassy, but the Iraqi Army said rockets landed outside of the Green Zone, killing a child and injuring five civilians. The Post said the rockets were “apparently fired by an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia,” although it is not yet clear who is responsible.

President Trump Sets Tripwire For Attack on Iran

After years of threatening could this be the tripwire that plunges the US into yet another war…..just to make Israel happy?

If this occurs it will be disastrous and probably very bloody….are we prepared for more death and destruction?

Could the surprise be waiting for a new president?

Iran’s current parliament, judicial system and the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are controlled by the conservatives, the main political faction that opposed the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

However, conservatives, who are gearing up for Iran’s own presidential elections in 2021, have signalled for the first time their readiness to sit at the negotiation table with Washington.

Iranian hardline politician Hamidreza Taraghi recently told local media that conservatives were the only political faction who could lead fruitful negotiations with the US.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iran-press-review-tehran-hardliners-biden-negotiations

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Biden And War

The big question is what will a president Biden’s policies on war really look like?

To begin where does Biden stand on war…..

Is the real Biden the dove of 1991, the hawk of 2002, or the dove of 2020? The answer is all of them. And so, in the end, the Biden doctrine may be a mirage. He’s not an ideologue who seeks to impose a foreign policy program. Neither is he a narcissist who views every diplomatic issue in terms of his individual benefit. Rather, Biden is a man of his time, a man who shares many of his party’s and his country’s strengths and weaknesses, a man who has lived and learned in the shadows of war, a man once tempted by the possibilities of power and now tempered by the realities of force. Biden’s foreign policy journey is not over. As president, he may pivot in a more hawkish direction, as memories of the Iraq War fade and new challenges emerge from China and Russia. Biden recently wrote: “The triumph of democracy and liberalism over fascism and autocracy created the free world. But this contest does not just define our past. It will define our future, as well.”

Let’s take a look at Biden’s history with war and foreign policy……from an article written in the Foreign Policy Research Institute……

Biden the Moderate

Biden’s foreign policy journey is a story in three chapters, each in the shadow of war. The opening chapter began in the wake of Vietnam in the 1970s, when Biden was a youthful senator, and lasted through the Gulf War in 1991. “I ran the first time as a twenty-nine-year-old kid against the war in Vietnam,” recalled Biden, “on the grounds that the only way to take a nation to war is with the informed consent of the American people.” Still, he didn’t identify with the peacenik protesters and thought that the Vietnam War was dumb, rather than immoral.

During this time, Biden was a middle-of-the-road Democrat on foreign policy. He backed the invasions of Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989, but opposed funding the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, and in 1991, voted against authorizing the Gulf War. Saddam Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. national interests, he said. Just as Washington was ignorant about Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, now it didn’t understand the Middle East. The goal of stabilizing the region was a pipe dream, which “has never in 5,000 years been accomplished for very long.”

Biden’s wariness about fighting Iraq was in sync with the Democratic Party mood and wider public opinion. He was one of 45 (out of 55) Democratic senators who voted against the Gulf War (the resolution authorizing war only narrowly passed 52 to 47). In the buildup to Desert Storm, the American public was also cautious about hostilities, and only became enthusiastic about war after the fighting started.

Biden the Hawk

The second chapter of Biden’s foreign policy thinking is the hawkish phase, from 1991 to 2003, in the shadow of the Gulf War and the end of the Cold War. Biden quickly regretted his vote against war in 1991 and criticized Bush senior for ending the campaign too soon and leaving Saddam in power, causing “immense human suffering within Iraq.” Buoyed with confidence about seizing the sword, Biden championed U.S. intervention in the Balkans, called Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević a war criminal to his face, and described the Bill Clinton administration’s inaction in the region as, “a policy of despair and cowardice.” Biden supported the Kosovo War in 1999 as well as the Afghanistan War in 2001. He also sought to check Saddam’s “relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction,” and in October 2002, voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq.

Is the Biden doctrine really a hawkish manifesto, as some on the left claim? Biden’s bellicose pivot in the 1990s reflected the broader American zeitgeist. The rapid U.S. victory in the Gulf seemed to bury the Vietnam syndrome in the Arabian sands. From 1991-2003, over one hundred polls asked Americans whether to remove Saddam by force, and every single one found majority support. After the 9/11 attacks, Washington was gripped by fears of a potential alliance between terrorists and tyrants, and Biden was one of 77 senators who authorized the use of force to topple Saddam.

Biden the Dove

The Iraq War opened a new chapter: Biden the dove. The senator saw the invasion of Iraq as a national and personal failure. He had hoped that congressional backing for war might spur a tougher United Nations response and avoid hostilities entirely, but the hawks surrounding Bush were set on fighting. “I made a mistake,” he explained. “I underestimated the influence of Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and the rest of the neocons. I vastly underestimated their disingenuousness and incompetence.” His fears about the aftermath of regime change in Baghdad proved prescient, as the war became a costly quagmire.

Since 2003, Biden has been generally skeptical about the use for force. He opposed the surge of troops in Iraq in 2006-2007, the surge in Afghanistan in 2009, and the Libyan War in 2011. He raised doubts about the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden in 2011, as well as the decision to draw a red line against the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Biden did back the campaign against ISIS and favored the escalation of drone warfare, but he criticized Trump’s decision to kill Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

So what do you think?

Is Biden a dove or a hawk?

My gut will go with….HAWK!

The Biden campaign promised to “increase pressure” on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad – presumably by providing more arms and money to his violent opponents. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris declared that the U.S. government “will once again stand with civil society and pro-democracy partners in Syria and help advance a political settlement where the Syrian people have a voice.” Northeastern University professor Max Abrahms observed, “Every foreign policy ‘expert’ being floated for Biden’s cabinet supported toppling the governments in Iraq, Libya and Syria, helping Al Qaeda and jihadist friends, ravaging the countries, uprooting millions of refugees from their homes.”

Declassify America’s Dirty Secrets in Syria to Stop a Biden War

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Closing Thought–28Oct20

Today in history….the natives around New Orleans in 1768 revolt against the Spanish governor of the territory……

The Insurrection of 1768 constituted a rebellion against colonial Louisiana’s first Spanish governor, Antonio de Ulloa, and a temporary victory for New Orleans’s elite French Creoles. The revolt occurred after the 1763 Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War (1754–1763) and divided the territories of French colonial Louisiana between Spain and England. Events surrounding the insurrection revealed long-standing problems with the colonial government of French Louisiana and the initial weaknesses of Spain’s occupation policy. Spanish forces would ultimately resolve the conflict in 1769 and control Louisiana west of the Mississippi River for the remainder of the century.

Insurrection of 1768

Now with the history lesson complete…..I shall move on to the meat of this post…..

While the US remains tied down by its many many endless wars….other nations are trying to extricate themselves from the scenario that the US keeps living with…..

I read an article recently that Britain is confirming that it will withdraw from the military missions of the EU…..as reported by Reuters…..

Britain has formally notified the European Union of its intention to withdraw from the bloc’s military missions by the end of this year, EU officials told envoys on Wednesday, diplomats said.

As one of Europe’s biggest military powers, Britain is central to European security efforts but EU and British negotiators agreed in March 2018 that Britain could not continue to lead or take part in EU missions when London leaves the EU.

Spain and Italy have agreed to take a larger role in many of the EU’s 17 peacekeeping and training operations around the world.

Who will step up to fill the void left by Great Britain when they finally depart from the EU?

Any Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

P.S.  We will be boarding up and getting everything ready for the storm name Zeta to arrive.  Hopefully I will be back tomorrow but Zeta may have a different idea.  Scary that Zeta looks like it will become a Cat 2 storm…now that is some dangerous stuff.

I will try to post from my cel phone…..as much as I can.

But we will persevere!

See you soon.

News From Libya

It all began in 2011 when NATO decided to intervene in the civil unrest in Libya…..and ever since the death of Gaddafi the nation has been torn by civil war and destruction.

There have been many attempts to bring all sides together and all have failed miserably….even when one of the war lords is an CIA asset.

All this is looking like another war with no end and Europe is considering an intervention (again)…..

Wherever Europe’s attention turns in northern Africa, that region is the worse for it. In recent years, this has meant Libya, where the destruction of the Libyan government during the 2011 NATO intervention there is now set to give way to direct European Union intervention.

NATO was quite pleased with its 2011 handiwork, which saw Moammar Gaddafi removed from power and quickly killed. The assumption was that this would lead to an orderly transition of power. Instead it led to a civil war that’s continued to tear the country apart ever since.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the European Union is in the process of developing multiple potential military options for intervening in Libya, all intended to stabilize the situation. This is being done with an eye toward getting Libya’s oil industry back to exporting.

Since 2011, Libya has had as many as three, and at times zero, self-proclaimed governments operating out of different areas of the country. At times, the UN has endorsed a government, or created a government to endorse, and other nations in the region have backed either those governments or other rival governments, though none has ever controlled more than a fraction of Libya in any real way.

Europe Gears Up for Another Military Intervention in Libya

Just what the world needs…yet another war to finance.

With all the death and destruction the question needs to be asked….

Being one of the most prosperous countries in the African continent, thanks to its vast oil fields, after the fall of Gaddafi, the North African country was divided between rival governments in the east and west, and among multiple armed groups competing for quotas of power, control of the country and its wealth.

Gaddafi ruled for 42 years, leading Libya to a significant advance in social, political and economic matters that were recognized and admired by many African and Arab nations at the time. Despite his controversial government, Gaddafi came to represent an important figure for anti-imperialist struggles for his position mainly against the U.S. and the policies carried out from Washington on the Middle East.

It is for this reason, his life and death became pivotal events in Libya and key to understand the current situation.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/analysis/Libya-Before-and-After-Muammar-Gaddafi-20200115-0011.html

What part of 2011 was good for the Libyan people?

A decade later and the death and destruction just keeps flowing…..

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“lego ergo scribo”

Post Script:  While I was writing this draft news has come out that the two factions in Libya that have been fighting for a decade have come to an agreement for a ceasefire…..

Warring factions in Libya have agreed to a “permanent” ceasefire following talks, the United Nations said on Friday.

The agreement came after five days of discussions in Geneva between representatives of the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).

“The Libyan parties have reached a permanent ceasefire agreement throughout Libya,” said Stephanie Williams, head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

“This achievement represents an important turning point towards peace and stability in Libya.”

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/libya-ceasefire-sign-permanent-following-talks

All military units and armed groups must pull back from the front lines and return to their camps. All foreign fighters and mercenaries must leave Libya within three months – by January 23.

Williams said there were mercenaries from up to nine countries fighting in Libya. Both the GNA, backed by Turkey, and the LNA, backed by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, have fielded foreign combatants.

Any military agreements either side has struck with their foreign backers must also be suspended until a new unified government is in place, the deal said, with all foreign military trainers to depart.

This is good for the Libyan people but not so much for the arms industry…..will this play into the equation?

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That Tank!

I recently read an article about the massive and impressive tank……but before I go into the article let us look at the tank….which is a little over 100 years old and has been a supporting player in every war since World War One.

Let us now turn to a little history of the tank.

The weapon known as the tank was invented by the British in 1916…..

The first official photograph taken of a Tank going into action, at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, 15th September 1916. The man shown is wearing a leather tank helmet.

The concept of a vehicle to provide troops with both mobile protection and firepower was not a new one. But in the First World War, the increasing availability of the internal combustion engine, armour plate and the continuous track, as well as the problem of trench warfare, combined to facilitate the production of the tank.

The name ‘tank’ came from British attempts to ensure the secrecy of the new weapons under the guise of water tanks. During the First World War, Britain began the serious development of the tank. Ironically, the Royal Navy led the way with the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, establishing the Landships Committee in early 1915.

The military combined with engineers and industrialists and by early 1916 a prototype was adopted as the design of future tanks. Britain used tanks in combat for the first time in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on 15 September 1916.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/how-britain-invented-the-tank-in-the-first-world-war

Then when the US entered WW1 and the US became a major proponent to tank used in warfare…..

Most American military observers were unimpressed but some officers felt differently. Even before the American Expeditionary Force arrived in France, General Pershing took a liking to the tank. Seeing the metal monster in action, Pershing ordered the formation of an American tank corps before the end of 1917.

Two men, who would go on to become major figures during the next world war, began fitting this new battlefield beast into the U.S. army’s ranks. In France Captain George Patton worked hard to assemble the U.S. Tank Corps, while in the U.S., Captain Dwight Eisenhower helped create the U.S. Tank Service.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a17015005/history-american-tank/

We all remember seeing the impressive sight of the American tanks screaming across Iraq in the 1990s and again in 2003….and of course the tank was credited with our quick successes in both those invasions.

Recently there has been less and less dependence on tanks in our many asymmetric conflicts….and some are proposing a radical idea.

From the day that the concept of a tank was introduced there has been debate about the utility of these vehicles. Hard to build, difficult to man and drive, and ultimately vulnerable once deployed, tanks have never been the perfect package that they externally represent. The late Professor Ogorkiewicz wrote in his 2016 book Tanks, of how Lieutenant Colonel J. F. C. Fuller came to realise the limits of tanks during the 1917 Ypres offensive.  And, following that war, only Britain and France continued to see utility in the tank for close to a decade, before the Soviet Union began to enter the field.

The contemporary discussion around the abiding value of the tank is not therefore new, however the context and the nature of the modern battlefield has changed considerably since 1916, and this in turn warrants a different discussion around the value of the tank. To be clear, this article is intended to initiate discussion, it is a reflection of those issues that must be considered when balancing forces. There is value to any asset deployed to the battlefield, from an entrenching shovel to aircraft carriers, providing that they are used properly and adequately supported.

We have chosen three select areas, which all influence the utility of tanks; the Totality of the Battlefield (TotB), the totality of technology, and the totality of society. Much of this discussion should be regarded as a “Red Team Exercise”, a deliberate attempt to pull apart entrenched thinking. And, while it is framed against the current climate that prevails within the British Army, it should be understood that these considerations will apply in some measure to every single force in the world.

The tank is dead. Long live the tank.

Could this be the beginning of the end for our beloved tanks?

Well let’s look….an Abrams cost about $4.3 million and cost annually about $250,000……that does not include fuel for the many trips to the battlefield.

With Napoleonic battles a thing of the past it would make sense to rid the burden to tanks and their upkeep from the military budget.

Any Thoughts?

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“lego ergo scribo”