The First Modern War

While in university I took a second in conflict management…..war as obscene as it is has always fascinated me…..what possesses man to commit such carnage and how does it end……

While World War One created the world as we know it today…..but was it the first modern war?

So, what was the first modern war?

Some say the Crimean War was the first.

The Crimean War (1853-1856) stemmed from Russia’s threat to multiple European interests with its pressure of Turkey. After demanding Russian evacuation of the Danubian Principalities, British and French forces laid siege to the city of Sevastopol in 1854. The campaign lasted for a full year, with the Battle of Balaclava and its “Charge of the Light Brigade” among its famous skirmishes. Facing mounting losses and increased resistance from Austria, Russia agreed to the terms of the 1856 Treaty of Paris. Remembered in part for Florence Nightingale’s work for the wounded, the Crimean War reshaped Europe’s power structure.

The Crimean War was a result of Russian pressure on Turkey; this threatened British commercial and strategic interests in the Middle East and India. France, having provoked the crisis for prestige purposes, used the war to cement an alliance with Britain and to reassert its military power.

Anglo-French forces secured Istanbul before attacking Russia in the Black Sea, the Baltic, the Arctic, and the Pacific, supported by a maritime blockade. In September 1854 the allies landed in the Crimea, planning to destroy Sevastopol and the Russian Fleet in six weeks before withdrawing to Turkey. After victory on the River Alma, they hesitated; the Russians then reinforced the city and attacked the allied flank at the battles of Balaklava and the Inkerman. After a terrible winter, the allies cut Russian logistics by occupying the Sea of Azov; then, using superior sea-based logistics, they forced the Russians out of Sevastopol, which fell on September 8–9, 1855.

https://www.history.com/topics/british-history/crimean-war

Now that you have the simple definition of the war…the whys and wheres…..

But what made it to be considered as the first modern war?

In 1854, British industrialist Henry Bessemer met Napoleon III. Bessemer had designed a new type of artillery shell, and after the French generals had shown little interest in the product, the inventor decided to pitch the idea to the Emperor himself.

Napoleon had taken the French throne by coup three years earlier. In the mould of his uncle, the first great Bonaparte, the new Emperor was determined to restore France’s influence both in Europe and the colonies. Only the previous year, he had sent troops to fight the Russians in the Crimea. Napoleon III liked Bessemer’s idea of a longer, heavier shell cut with spiral grooves that would make the shell spin and as a result more accurately target enemy positions. This, he believed, was the sort of technology that would help him release France from the shackles imposed by the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the Peace Treaty that had brought an end to the Napoleonic Wars. There was, however, one slight problem with Bessemer’s invention.

https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2013/10/crimea-the-first-modern-war/

Now you know.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

A Cold War Reboot?

I admit it I am old…..I lived through the original Cold War for most of my life and even witnessed the death of the old Soviet Union….when the USSR died it was hailed as a new beginning of a world that would be at peace and prosperous.

Well the world got more prosperous thanks in part to the advent of globalization….the peace part has yet to be achieved.

While we await the promise of peace the US is stirring the pot for a reboot of the policies of the Cold War.

This time the new ‘enemy’ is China…..

There has been lots of rhetoric around the ‘China Problem’…..and now the Senate has made it official that we are rebooting the Cold War….

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced a new piece of bipartisan legislation to confront China through prioritized military spending and more arms sales in the Indo-Pacific, sanctions, money for “democracy promotion” in Hong Kong, and other areas where the US seeks to counter Beijing.

The legislation still needs to go through the Committee before being introduced in the Senate, but a draft of the bill, titled the Strategic Competition Act of 2021, was released by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the Committee chairman. Menendez negotiated the bill with Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID).

In a release on the Committee’s website, the 281-page bill was described as the “first major proposal to bring Democrats and Republicans together in laying out a strategic approach towards Beijing — and assuring that the United States is positioned to compete with China across all dimensions of national and international power for decades to come.” Menendez is convening a Committee meeting on April 14th for a vote on the legislation.

The bill calls for the US to strengthen military ties in the Indo-Pacific through arms sales. The bill reads: “The United States should design for export to Indo-Pacific allies and partners capabilities critical to maintaining a favorable military balance in the region, including long-range precision fires, air and missile defense systems, anti-ship cruise missiles, land attack cruise missiles, conventional hypersonic systems, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, and command and control systems.”

Senate Unveils Sweeping Legislation to Confront China

The Cold War will be rebranded  as well as the reboot…..

When it comes to future conflicts or present-day war games, they have all the advantages and we have none! Or as Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, told CNN recently, “Russia and China are playing a home game, we are playing an away game.” And mind you, we’re talking about a home game that could stretch from the Baltic Sea and the Arctic regions of Eurasia to the South China Sea. Those two “near-peer rivals” (as the U.S. military has taken to calling them) seem to have all the luck. I mean, count on one thing: imagined future flare points for conflict – “a fictional global crisis erupting on multiple fronts” in those war games – won’t be in the Caribbean, off New York City, or near the Baja Peninsula. As a result, the US will have to be fully prepared, at staggering expense, to deploy and support forces thousands of miles away for the future conflicts the Pentagon is now imagining.

Fortunately, that military is, it seems, planning ahead for just such a future. As CNN’s Barbara Starr recently reported, this summer it’s going to engage in highly classified computer war games with two near-peer enemies with fictional names. No one, however, should doubt for a second that they will be China and Russia. This will happen just as the next Pentagon budget is being set in place and, in a recent exercise gaming out a future conflict against such adversaries, an anonymous Defense Department official confirmed to Starr that “we found the Blue Team, the US and allies, kept losing.”

The Cold War, Rebooted and Rebranded

We are returning to the ‘good old days’ of the Cold War…..that will mean more and more taxpayer cash will flow into the Pentagon and the rest of the nation will suffer.

Time to invest in some form of diplomacy….and leave the weapons and threats aside……but sadly talk does not equate into profit for the defense industry….and we all know it is more about that than the good of the nation.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

An Invocation To War?

Events seem to be spiraling in Ukraine in the mash-up with Russia…..something I tried to bring to the readers of IST and try to make people understand that this situation could get serious very quickly…..https://lobotero.com/2021/04/05/ukraine-vs-russia/

After I attempted to raise the alarm to conflict in the wings…..Ukraine has invoked the agreement with NATO……

Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, is quoted today as boasting that his nation’s military is capable of responding to what he deemed the “aggravation of the situation” in the Donbass, in his words the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk and Lugansk, and “along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.”

The above regions are only two of five Ukrainian (or former Ukrainian) oblasts bordering Russia. The total land border between Ukraine and Russia as Ukraine computes it is some 1,225 miles; Russia’s border with Donetsk and Lugansk is 255 miles.

The Ukrainian military chief has extended the line of conflict by almost five times. In language evocative of the worst days of the Cold War, Khomchak also intoned: “Ukraine is supported by the entire civilized world. We are not alone in the face of the enemy.”

As a concrete example of what he was alluding to, and in arguably the most inflammatory language used to date in regard to the conflict in the Donbass, the country’s top military commander mentioned NATO’s collective military defense clause:

“We have intensified the military dialogue with NATO at the strategic level and deepened cooperation in the Black Sea region. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are taking part in collective training events for troops [forces], including in NATO exercises on the subject of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.”

At the same time Interfax-Ukraine reported that an American delegation led by the U.S. defense attaché to Ukraine, Colonel Brittany Stewart, paid a working visit to the Joint Forces Operation headquarters. From 2014-2018 known as the Anti-Terrorist Operation, Joint Forces Operation is the name for Ukraine’s war in the Donbass.

The American delegation met with troops assigned to “the contact line with the enemy, talked with Ukrainian defenders and once again made sure [were apprised?] of the presence of Russian mercenaries in Donbas.” It also visited a memorial to Ukrainian soldiers killed in the seven-year war in the Donbass.

Colonel Stewart said at a briefing, “The U.S. government is deeply concerned over the situation that is developing near the borders of Ukraine and in every possible way supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

The U.S. and NATO in every possible way support Kiev’s war near the Russian border.

(antiwar.com)

Once again the drums of war are beating and the clock is ticking…..time to let real diplomacy take the lead….not the ‘gunboat diplomacy’ of our past.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is It Trump Lite?

My main interests are in the arena of foreign policy and international relations……and I know that Biden has been president for less than 100 days and it may not be a good idea to analyze his foreign policies…..but the world is going to crap and he, Biden, should be focused on the many flair ups happening around the world as well as putting the US on sound domestic footing.

In less than a 100 days not much has changed……..

Joe Biden has been president for two months. Only 46 months to go, unless he is reelected. In fact, he teased the media at his press conference, suggesting that he likely would run for reelection, though he insisted that prospect was too far in the future for him to consider today.

The biggest change from his predecessor is the calm which has descended upon Washington, D.C. Days go by without thinking about Biden. After four years of Donald Trump, the atmosphere seems so … normal.

However, U.S. foreign policy hasn’t changed much.

(read the analysis)

After Two Months, President Joe Biden has Become Donald Trump Lite on Foreign Policy

Seems to be a ‘bait and switch’ foreign policy……just doing the status quo…..

Unscrupulous used car dealers could learn a trick or two from America’s foreign policy mandarins when it comes to bait-and-switch tactics. Repeatedly, U.S. officials have invoked a specific justification—frequently an emotionally charged one with wide appeal—to obtain congressional and public support for a military intervention or other questionable policy initiative. When the original justification subsequently proves to be bogus, exaggerated, or no longer applicable, they simply create a new rationale to justify continuing the mission.

That tactic is especially evident with respect to the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan. U.S. leaders justified the initial invasion of the country as a necessary response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Foreign fighters belonging to Al Qaeda had used the country as their primary safe haven, and the Taliban government had allowed Osama bin Laden and his organization to plan and execute the attacks from that sanctuary. Given the public’s emotional trauma from the 9/11 episode, the nearly total lack of opposition to launching the Afghanistan invasion was unsurprising. In statement after statement during the initial months and years that followed, American officials reiterated that defeating Al Qaeda—and, if possible, killing or capturing bin Laden—was the primary objective. Ousting the Taliban regime was a corollary to that goal, but no one advocated a long-term war against that indigenous Afghan faction, however odious its social policies might be.

Bait-and-Switch: How Officials Perpetuate Bad Foreign Policy

For instance….can Biden get this country out of the spiraling endless wars?

My opinion is no he will….nor does he truly want to…..but I am not lone in this belief…..

Will Joe Biden end the endless wars or won’t he?

I have serious doubts that he has the will or political acumen to do so. But that’s only a fragment of the question that needs to be asked, as we approach the twentieth anniversary of our global “war on evil.”A far, far bigger question looms, a question with answers scattered across the global landscape: Can we learn to wage peace? Can we create a united world, free of borders and scapegoats? Can we transcend our alienation from and exploitation of the planet that is our home and our nurturer? Can we stop being afraid of people we don’t know, people who are “different”from us? Can we let go of our need for an enemy?

Millions of global citizens believe the answer to these questions is yes and are committed to creating a different world—I call it participatory evolution—but at the highest levels of collective human organization, cynicism and ignorance rule. Or perhaps I simply mean cluelessness. Militarism is embedded in the infrastructure of the nation state. It’s not simply that borders and interests have to be “defended”; the easiest way to maintain the illusion of national unity is to present the people with a powerful enemy, imaginary or otherwise.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/04/01/can-biden-end-endless-wars-and-learn-wage-peace

Like I say…..this is nothing but more of the same on the major points….there is some small movement in the world….but will that lead to a wider foreign policy of diplomacy?

I know you may think I am being too hard on Biden…that he has lots of work to do to repair the damage done to our foreign policy by the other guy that was president.

That is true…..but I see a chance here to do more than just repair….we could change direction and make this a better world.

I just do not see anything changing in our adventurism…..the more we intervene the more unstable regions and the world become.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Why Is NATO Involved?

It is no secret that I am no fan of NATO…..its time has passed…..now it is nothing but a sponge that sucks in taxpayer dollars.

NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization…..The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance of 30 countries that border the North Atlantic Ocean.1 The Alliance includes the United States, most European Union members, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Turkey.

NATO’s mission is to protect the freedom of its members. Its targets include weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyber-attacks.

If this is for the protection of members then why are they trying to insert themselves in the Far East…there are NO members in that region.

I asked this question because of something I read…..

An article appeared on the website of the Atlantic Council on March 26 entitled Opportunity knocks for NATO and its partners in the Asia-Pacific, which elaborates plans for continuing and qualitatively upgrading the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s steady but largely unnoticed penetration of that region through military partnerships, port visits and exercises with NATO naval groups and the establishment of Asia-Pacific nations’ liaison offices at NATO Headquarters in Brussels among other measures. It came as it did immediately after the recent two-day foreign ministers meeting at NATO Headquarters before and after which NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Anthony Blinken unrelentingly thundered against China and Russia, with Blinken casting them into the same category with Iran and North Korea as threats not only to the Asia-Pacific region where they’re situated but to the entire world.

The Atlantic Council, which is sixty years old this year, is considered to be the world’s preeminent pro-NATO think tank, one which has spawned dozens of mirror organizations in the post-Cold War period, especially in Eastern European nations and former Soviet republics where they have been instrumental in lobbying, almost always successfully, for their host countries’ NATO membership. Despite the Atlantic Council’s name, it has, reflecting and keeping pace with NATO itself, adopted an international purview and mandate over the past thirty years. It now has five regional bureaus: Europe and Eurasia, Americas, Africa, Indo-Pacific and Middle East. The term Europe and Eurasia would not have been employed during the Cold War when the NATO and transatlantic community were understood to be limited to North America and Europe. Similarly, the term Indo-Pacific has recently come to replace Asia-Pacific, as in the Pentagon three years ago changing the name of its largest geographical unified combatant command from Pacific Command to Indo-Pacific Command.

Upcoming NATO Summit and the Great Game for the Asia-Pacific

I do not think that NATO should have any involvement in the Far East…..that should be up to the countries that feel the threat from China….not to have the US do it for them.

The US is getting ass deep in the Indo-Pacific thing…..so deep that the Pentagon has requested a $27 billion increase to their already bloated budget to deal with the Pacific region…..

The Pentagon recently asked Congress for an astronomical $27 billion budget increase to support a massive military buildup in Asia  as part of its new Indo-Pacific plan, which calls for a substantially more aggressive military stance against China.

With the US already ranking first in military spending worldwide and holding more than 290 military bases in the Asia-Pacific region alone, this aggressive buildup is being proposed at the most financially precarious moment in US history. According to the Congressional Budget Office report released this month, federal debt is projected to reach 102% of GDP by the end of 2021 before surpassing its historical high of 107% in 2031 and going on to nearly double to 202% by 2051. According to Doug Bandow, “Uncle Sam is headed toward insolvency.”

How can the Biden administration sell such an expensive foreign policy proposal to the American public in these economically depressed times? By publicly stoking moral outrage and militarism in the US–as well as throughout the Asia-Pacific region–in the name of launching a crusade ostensibly in defense of human rights. This strategy was on full display when Secretary of State Blinken echoed bipartisan political rhetoric about the “Chinese threat” during his visit to Asia last week. In a stream of condescending self-righteousness, he unleashed a deluge of recrimination against China and North Korea while pontificating on American exceptionalism.

The Real Danger of the Pentagon’s New Indo-Pacific Plan 

Once again the M-IC is pushing the US foreign policy into a new expensive conflict that we cannot afford.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ukraine Vs Russia

The situation in Ukraine has not been in the news as of late…….it was all consuming when the forces of pro-Russia Ukraine fought with the Ukrainian forces……but lately the media has had so much more on their plate and pushed it back to the back burner.

But recently there has been a developing situation that could soon lead to a start-up to a deadly conflict once again…..

The U.S. military believes a buildup of Russian forces near the border with Ukraine, seen as “concerning” on Tuesday, is likely a training exercise. But the gathering of troops comes amid heightened tension in the region, and Ukraine’s Commander-In-Chief Ruslan Khomchack told his country’s parliament this week that Russian forces from different regions had been assembling near the border.

Russia’s president has acknowledged an “escalation of armed confrontation” in the region.

Training exercises were always a possible explanation for the buildup, but a U.S. defense official told CBS News that the locations and types of units seen on the ground didn’t line up with what the Russian Ministry of Defense had announced last month.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-troops-ukraine-border-concerning-united-states/

The war of words……

The Kremlin said on Wednesday it was worried by the situation in eastern Ukraine, fearing the Ukrainian side could do something that would restart a civil war there.

President Vladimir Putin late on Tuesday accused Ukraine of provoking armed confrontation with pro-Russian separatists and failing to honour earlier agreements over its wartorn east, during a telephone call with France and Germany’s leaders.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-military-putin-kremlin-idUSKBN2BN1FQ

Not to worry the US may be dragged into this conflict as well……

Numerous statements by Ukrainian and Russian officials reported this Easter Sunday bode ill for hopes of diminishing tensions in Eastern Ukraine. Growing indications of impending intervention by the Pentagon and NATO make the situation yet more grim. U.S. European Command has raised its Ukraine watch level from possible crisis to potential imminent crisis, the highest level, according to Stars and Stripes.

The past few days have witnessed a phone conversation between President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and a similar exchange between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his, Defense Minister Andrii Taran. In both instances the American officials assured their Ukrainian allies of American support not only in their steadily mounting conflict with the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Donbass in what was formerly Eastern Ukraine, but with its war of words, and veiled words of war, with Russia which borders the two republics.

The deputy speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, evoked the death of the child to warn the NATO and European Union nations in Europe that their silence on the Ukrainian government’s resumption of shelling in the Donbass is providing the Kiev government carte blanche to continue and to escalate the current conflict into a prelude to all-our war. A war, moreover, on the Russian border, one that it’s difficult to imagine Moscow being able to stand aloof from for long. His words included, “Yesterday, for the first time since July 2020 a Ukrainian shelling of the DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] was conducted and a six-year-old child died,” and he bemoaned the fact that “there is no word about this” from Ukraine’s and Russia’s partners in the Normandy Contact Group, France and Germany. (The Normandy Format was established in 2014 when fighting in the Donbass erupted in order to deescalate the conflict and reach a peaceful settlement between its participants.)

(antiwar.com)

Smells like more interventionism to me.

This is one of those situation that is flying under the radar for now……but it should be monitored and attempts made to calm any events that could lead to more fighting.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Myanmar

The news has been awash of the troubles in Myanmar…..the protests, the response and the reasons…..all because the people of Myanmar feel that their rights are being infringed on by the country’s military.

Myanmar’s security forces have killed more than 300 people in attempts to crush opposition to a Feb. 1 coup, with nearly 90% of victims shot dead and a quarter of them shot in the head, according to data from an advocacy group and local media.

The killings have drawn outrage and prompted some sanctions from Western countries, including the United States. The use of lethal force against civilians had also been condemned by some Southeast Asian neighbors, which tend to be restrained in their criticism.

Then there are those “pro-democracy” protests in Hong Kong that has been raging for over a year….then death tolls are not confirmed because the Chinese government obfuscates the figures and facts.

There is a swift and hard reaction to these ‘crimes’….mostly through the sanctions switch…..the West has acted decisively.

Then there is the protests that have been raging for decades and yet the West does not think it is important enough to cover….or do anything about….

In the last two decades 10,000+ people have died protesting the theft of land, destruction of crops and the lack of ‘democracy’….

And yet there are NO sanctions in place against the offending country…..no media coverage…..or punishment for depriving the people of their homes and livelihood….not to speak on the democracy thing…..

The country in  question is Israel.

For some reason this nation gets a pass on the acting like a civilized country.

The media tells us about the people especially children that have been killed or maimed and yet they ignore the countless Palestinian children that have suffered like injuries plus the lose of their parents and homes.

The West is outraged….I said outraged….to the point that they issued a joint statement….

The following is a joint statement of the Chiefs of Defense of Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

As Chiefs of Defense, we condemn the use of lethal force against unarmed people by the Myanmar Armed Forces and associated security services.  A professional military follows international standards for conduct and is responsible for protecting – not harming – the people it serves.  We urge the Myanmar Armed Forces to cease violence and work to restore respect and credibility with the people of Myanmar that it has lost through its actions.

And yet most of these countries are totally silent on the barbarity of the IDF….to the point that they are enablers of the violence.

The apparatus of our diplomacy does not hold Israel accountable…..like they try to do with Myanmar or China.

I am sick and tired of all the slogans and rhetoric about democracy and then turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Israel….all in the name of self defense……all this is is a code word for genocide…..something the Israelis should be opposing given their history…..but instead they continue to kill and maim and steal from an indigenous people.

The US is by NO means a good faith spokesperson for democracy….regardless of the rhetoric.

Either we support ALL democracy movements or we need to STFU.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More Biden Foreign Policy

My forte is international relations and I spend a lot of time in ‘open source’ intel looking at our positions around the world….especially when it comes to our wars and our dealings in the Middle East.

Not even a hundred days into his presidency and he has made my sh*t list……

I believe it is time for the US to get out of Afghanistan…after 20 years and many lives lost and we are in no better position than we were 15 years ago…..and I think that KSA needs to be punished for their brutal murder of the NY Times journalist……at least at this time….none of those situations will be resolved…..

Trump made a deal with the Taleban for ‘peace and the removal of US troops……Biden will crap on that deal….

President Biden said in an interview that aired on Wednesday that withdrawing from Afghanistan by the May 1st deadline set by the US-Taliban peace deal will be “tough.”

“I am in the process of making that decision now as to when they will leave,” Biden said of the remaining US troops in Afghanistan. He said the deal signed between the US and the Taliban last year in Doha was not “very solidly negotiated.”

“And so we’re in consultation with our allies as well as the government, and that decision’s in process now,” Biden added. When asked if the process will take longer than May 1st, the president said, “I don’t think a lot longer.” He said a withdrawal by May 1st “could happen, but it is tough.”

The US appears to be trying to buy more time in Afghanistan. The Biden administration presented the Taliban and the US-backed government with a power-sharing deal for an interim government, which both sides are now deliberating on.

(antiwar.com)

He , Biden, has no intention of punishing MbS, prince of KSA, for ordering the murder of a NY Times journalist who was dismembered…..

US President Joe Biden defended his administration’s decision to not impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite acknowledging that the royal was responsible for the murder of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In an interview with ABC News aired in parts on Wednesday, Biden credited himself for releasing the US intelligence community’s findings on the killing but said sanctioning bin Salman would have been unprecedented.

“I’m the guy that released the report,” Biden said, referring to the assessment by the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) that was made public last month.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/khashoggi-murder-biden-defends-decision-against-punishing-mbs

He released the report….oh goody now step the Hell up and make the bastard pay for his barbaric actions.

Enough said?

Then there is the row of China/Russia….Biden is focusing on the rise of China’s military….

But how serious is the threat?

Someone needs to say this, and it looks like it’s gotta be me: China and Russia are not our enemies.

Somehow, the opinion-makers in the media, the bloated military brass with all their ribbons and stars and with little to do but worry about how to keep their massively overbuilt operation afloat with ever more taxpayer money, and the members of Congress who like to gin up fears among the voters so they’ll keep voting for them have gotten everyone thinking that Russia is still hell bent on world communist takeover and that China it trying to replace the US as global hegemon.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Let’s Stop Pretending Russia and China are Military Threats

So far I have seen nothing from Biden that shows me that he will change anything in our foreign policy….endless wars…..kowtowing to KSA and Israel like a whipped puppy.

So much for a new direction.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

US Vs North Korea

Four years ago when the other guy was president….the situation with North Korea was all rain bows and lollipops….hugs and love letters….and now those of fantasy are gone.

Since Biden has been elected president….the chest thumping and rhetoric has changed…..but not the tactics.

Since Biden became president he has tried to take a hard line with North Korea…..to which a response has been issued by Kim’s sister…..

For the first time, a high-level regime official in North Korea has addressed remarks directly to President Biden. The warning message took issue with the US and South Korea’s joint military drills, which began March 8, the Japan Times reports. “We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration trying hard to give off (a gunpowder) smell in our land,” Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, said. “If it wants to sleep in peace for (the) coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.” Pyongyang says the drills are “rehearsal for invasion,” but the US and South Korea say the drills, which were scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are “defensive” in nature and don’t include field training.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made their first trip abroad, discussing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs during talks in Tokyo and planning for similar discussions Wednesday in South Korea. The US continues to await a response from North Korea after weeks of attempts at making diplomatic contact, the BBC reports. The Biden administration continues to review former President Trump’s North Korea policy, and plans to unveil its policy in the coming weeks, a senior State Department official tells CNN.

The US decided to answer with strong statements….

North Korea conceded Thursday that the US had attempted to establish contact between the two governments. The Biden administration sent emails and tried several ways to deliver telephone messages, even involving a third country. But the Americans’ effort was nothing but a “cheap trick,” a foreign ministry official said, to buy time while the US tried to sway public opinion. “What has been heard from the US since the emergence of the new regime is only lunatic theory of ‘threat from North Korea’ and groundless rhetoric about “complete denuclearization,'” Choe Son Hui said. She also criticized the US for keeping sanctions against her country, Reuters reports, and for conducting military drills with South Korea.

“We don’t think there is need to respond to the US delaying-time trick again,” Choe said in a statement, per the AP. “We have already declared our stand that no US contact and dialogue of any kind can be possible unless the US rolls back its hostile policy toward” North Korea. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are in South Korea, where Blinken told Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong the US will work with his nation and other allies to get North Korea to denuclearize. It’s the first time the US secretaries of state and defense have met with their South Korean equivalents in five years. Blinken and Austin had similar talks in Japan before traveling to Seoul.

Now the Pentagon has joined the chest thumping…..

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned Thursday that American forces are ready to “fight tonight,” in response to North Korea slamming drills resuming between the US and South Korea.

The US and South Korean forces have resumed military drills after pausing the exercises more than a year ago over coronavirus concerns.

“Our force remains ready to ‘fight tonight,’ and we continue to make progress toward the eventual transition of wartime Operational Control to a [Republic of Korea]-commanded, future Combined Forces Command,” Austin said.

(nypost.com)

Tit for tat rhetoric…..chest thumping accomplishes nothing…..

Stop the war cries and let diplomacy step in.

Diplomacy….that means let South Korea take the lead and we need to advise and stand back…..

The U.S. and South Korea have reached two agreements about the near-term future of the alliance, the Biden administration announced before the recent meeting in Seoul. First, the two governments worked out a new cost-sharing arrangement for the extensive U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula. And second, Washington and Seoul assented to suspend many of their annual joint military drills.

The latter is a smart move. It could well lower tensions and make space for useful diplomacy with North Korea, which regards the drills as practice for invasion and often responds with its own provocations in turn. The value of the cost-sharing arrangement is more difficult to assess. On the one hand, its settlement may allow more important diplomatic matters to move to the forefront in the relationship, which is to the good. But this deal also represents a recommitment to counterproductive U.S. dominance of inter-Korean relations, which serves neither U.S. interests nor the cause of peace.

Time For South Korea to Take the Lead on North Korea

Since South Korea has the most to lose and/or gain….they should take the lead on any negotiations.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

SF Troops To Mozambique

We have troops in about 80 countries and now we can add one more to the growing list…..

The disturbing news as reported that insurgents are beheading children….

 
An insurgency in Mozambique that began in 2017 is escalating in intensity and leading to disturbing new claims from human rights groups. This week, the UK aid group Save the Children accused insurgents allied with the Islamic State of beheading children as young as 11, reports Reuters. The aid agency offers eyewitness accounts from mothers whose villages were raided. “We tried to escape to the woods, but they took my eldest son and beheaded him,” says a 28-year-old identified as Elsa, who was hiding with three smaller children. “We couldn’t do anything because we would be killed, too.” Her boy was 12. Another mother tells a similar story of her 11-year-old son. The New York Times, meanwhile, reports that the US military got involved this week—in the form of a dozen Green Berets who are training Mozambique solders on how to fight the insurgents.

The war “is part of an alarming expansion of insurgencies believed to have ties to the Islamic State in several parts of Africa,” write Declan Walsh and Eric Schmitt in the Times. “I don’t think anyone saw this coming,” says Col. Richard Schmidt, deputy commander of US Special Operations Forces in Africa. “For this to crop up so quickly is concerning.” The BBC digs into the background of the war, which appears to have risen in part out of anger that locals weren’t benefiting from the nation’s burgeoning ruby and gas industries. The violence is centered in the northeastern province of Cabo Delgado. Both sides have been accused of atrocities, and Reuters notes that beheadings have been a hallmark of the fighting. But the new claims about the beheading of children raise the accusations of human rights groups to a new level.

But why deploy to Mozambique?

There are other signs that the US may become more involved in Mozambique. The US claims the group fighting in northeastern Mozambique has ties to ISIS. Last week, the Biden administration designated the group, known as al-Sunna wa Jama’a, as a foreign terrorist organization.

But it’s not clear how strong the ties are between al-Sunna wa Jama’a and ISIS, or if they are even linked at all. The US is quick to lump together Islamist militant groups in Africa with ISIS or al-Qaeda as a pretext for intervention.

Even a report The New York Times questioned the link between the two groups. The Times story said some experts fear the terror designation from the US could hamper future efforts to end the fighting through negotiations or complicate humanitarian aid deliveries.

The real reason for this deployment…..

The US International Development Finance Corporation, which the Trump administration launched to counter China’s infrastructure projects, has invested heavily in gas projects in Mozambique.

So this is about China….and not the horrific stories coming from the country?

So the interventions continue.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”