The Bomber Has Landed!

As a foreign policy wonk that is analyzing conflicts around the world I do a lot of research and I found something this morning that needs attention.

So far today there has not been much news about the Chinese long range bomber that landed on China’s island in the South China Sea…..

The Chinese air force has landed long-range bombers for the first time on an airport in the South China Sea, a state newspaper said on Saturday, in a move likely to further fuel concerns about Beijing’s expansive claims over the disputed region.

The China Daily newspaper reported that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force conducted takeoff and landing training with the H-6K bomber in the South China Sea.

China is pitted against smaller neighbours in multiple disputes in the South China Sea over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/china-lands-bomber-on-south-china-sea-island-for-first-time/articleshow/64232552.cms

Not a big deal, right?

Well that may be an understatement for I also read a piece about what this event could mean for the future of the region…..

….on Friday, reports emerged that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Air Force (PLAAF) had, for the first time, landed an H-6K strategic bomber on one of the country’s South China Sea islands. China’s state-run People’s Daily shared footage of the bomber landing on an airstrip.

The island in question was Woody Island, China’s largest military outpost in the South China Sea. Woody Island sits in the Paracel Islands, but Chinese military activity there has foreshadowed possible moves in the seven artificial islands that Beijing also possesses in the Spratly group.

In addition to permanently stationing military personnel on Woody Island, China has deployed J-11 fighters, HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles, YJ-62 anti-ship cruise missiles, and other materiel there.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/05/south-china-sea-what-chinas-first-strategic-bomber-landing-on-woody-island-means/

This fell through the cracks with the hoopla of some royal nuptials….this region is becoming more contentious as the years go by……this needs attention and soon!

Advertisements

The End Of Pax Americana

These days there are many people that are predicting the end of the “Pax Americana”….but then there are those that have damn idea what I am speaking of (that is until they dash to the Google machine to help them look informed)……so let me help so no one has a stroke trying to get there quickly……

Pax Americana is a term applied to the historical concept of relative peace in the Western Hemisphere and later the Western world resulting from the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States beginning around the start of the 20th century. Although the term finds its primary utility in the later half of the 20th century, it has been used in various places and eras, such as the post-Civil War era in North America and globally during the time between the World Wars. Pax Americana is primarily used in its modern connotations to refer to the peace established after the end of World War II in 1945. In this modern sense, it has come to indicate the military and economic position of the United States in relation to other nations.

(freebase)

This phenom has been a good way to control the world and yet our leadership has been slipping……it started a rapid decline in 2001 and Bush’s desire for war and began its rapid descent in 2003 with the invasion and occupation of Iraq….and each president since has done nothing to stop the slide of the “Pax Americana”….not Obama and must certainly not Trump……

What if three very different U.S. presidents were to succeed each other in office, each focused like a laser on undoing what he saw as the gravely damaging policies of his predecessor? And what if, in so doing, the three actually compounded the damage done by the others? And what if, thanks to the handiwork of the all-powerful God of Irony, the three would someday be seen by history as the central collaborators in writing the closing chapter on Pax Americana, the more-than-70-year period that may someday be seen as the pinnacle of U.S. global influence?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2017/06/27/how-bush-obama-and-trump-ended-pax-americana/

Will the summit with North Korea help to stop the slide….and then the impending war that Iran could become that certainly not be a good thing for “Pax Americana”

We are losing our place among world nations…..will it cease?

Wars We Don’t Know

WE all know about our endless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and some even believe that is the extent of our involvement overseas….well that naivete is so cute…..we are ass deep worldwide in all sorts of warfare.

Just a couple off the top of my head…..

Somalia….

The U.S. military is dramatically expanding its operations at a former Soviet air strip in Somalia, constructing more than 800 beds at the Baledogle base, VICE News has learned. The construction at the secretive base marks the latest example of America’s growing and controversial shadow war in Africa.

Baledogle’s expansion is one part of what appears to be a massive U.S. military infrastructure development project in the Horn of Africa country that will see at least six new U.S. outposts built this year, according to multiple defense contractors who spoke to VICE News.

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/xw7nw3/somalia-is-looking-like-another-full-blown-us-war

Then there is Yemen…..

The Saudis and its Peninsula allies have been bombing Yemen for several years…..now there is a new twist…the US has troops helping the Saudis destroy Yemen…..

The US military is more deeply involved in the Saudi War in Yemen than officials ever admitted. In fact, new evidence suggests the Pentagon lied to Congress during the March debate about US involvement, presenting the US role at present being limited to targeting and mid-air refueling of Saudi warplanes.

The New York Times is reporting on Thursday that there are actually a small number of US special forces on the ground at the Saudi border with Yemen. Those troops have not only been on the ground since late 2017, but are there on a mission to help the Saudi military fight Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthi movement.

No public debate took place with respect to this deployment. Indeed, the Pentagon appears to have gone to great lengths not to tell the American public or the Congress about the Green Berets they sent to the border. The Green Berets are intended to help the Saudis “locate and destroy” Houthi missile caches, and attack Houthi launch sites inside Yemen.

This has been going on despite the Trump Administration telling Congress that America’s involvement in Yemen was purely “non-combat,” and again, despite the Pentagon repeatedly saying that America’s sole involvement in Yemen was logistics and support for the air war.

(antiwar.com)

Lies to fight a war….go figure!

http://theantimedia.com/us-army-special-forces-secretly-fight-houthis-yemen/

American mercenaries, like Blackwater, maay be the saving graces of the US military…..

The Pentagon is interested in having contractors provide two fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters on call to rescue wounded American special operators in and around Yemen if necessary, as well as to perform various other missions. The announcement comes as it becomes increasingly clear that the U.S. military’s own aerial casualty evacuation capabilities are stretched thin and just months after it weathered serious criticism over relying heavily on private companies for these services following a deadly ambush in Niger.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/20598/us-special-operators-scattered-across-yemen-might-soon-rely-on-contractors-to-rescue-them

Wait!  Wait!

You mean the best trained, best equipped military in the world…a military that got a huge increase in their budget will need the help of mercenaries?

A study showed that there is not enough able bodied recruits for our numerous endless wars….they are unfit to serve.

Huh?

The state of physical fitness in the United States has long been a topic of concern among the nation’s leaders. Declining fitness measures on the part of military draftees played an important role in prompting President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 to establish the President’s Council on Youth Fitness. In 1960, John Kennedy, then the president-elect, felt so strongly about the subject that he wrote a multipage article, “The Soft American,” for Sports Illustrated.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/07/not_fit_to_fight_rethinking_military_recruitment_standards_113413.html

Time to re-think this war thing…..somebody is f*cking the pooch……we can NO longer afford endless war.

A Broken International Order

After World War Two the nations of this planet got together and formed the United Nations with the purpose of eliminating the possibility of a Third World War….they tried to make it so the new UN would not suffer the fate of the old League of Nations after World War One…..in case you were unaware it was a failure…..and sadly the UN is traveling down that road as well.

The UN is on a losing streak because of one reason only…..the Security Council……a group where one country can veto any policy without retribution……. the veto clause that allows just one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to paralyse decision-making by the world’s only duly-constituted law enforcement body. China and Russia have employed the veto on numerous occasions to block UNSC action against Syria. ( The US is not innocent in this either….they use the veto to stop nations like Israel for answering for their actions against civilians)  Reflecting on Syria’s savage civil war Amnesty International rightly concluded six years ago that the Security Council is ‘tired, out of step and increasingly unfit for purpose’.

As long as I have mentioned Syria look at the inaction around the alleged CW attack and the response of the US and its allies…..

U.S., British and French forces bombed three chemical weapons facilities in Damascus in retaliation for the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces in Douma on 6–8 April that killed around 70 people.

Others will discuss the strategic context and consequences of the allied air strikes on Syria. As a student of UN-centric global governance, I want to make the larger ‘structural’ argument that—considered in its totality—the strikes reflect and will further contribute to a broken system of international order.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/04/16/syria_a_symptom_of_a_broken_international_order_113331.html

Syria is a prime example of how the to provide ……..order is dying a slow and painful death……and one reason is the Security Council and its failure to provide….security.

Then groups like the Institute for the Study of War thinks that these strikes will do some good…..I disagree…but if you would like to read their take on this…..

http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2018/04/americas-interests-in-syria-beyond.html

The UN is broken because a handful of nations have veto power…..so to condemn the organization as ineffectual then you are blaming those nations with the power…..the US is one of those nations.

“Axis Of Autocracy”

Do you remember the original “Axis Of Evil”….North Korea, Iran and Iraq so labeled by GW Bush in a SOTU speech.

Now step back a few decades when the USSR and China were in competition for world domination….well there forms of communism…..

Why would I even bring this up?  What does it have to do with anything?

Well China and Russia are in budding bromance that could become a world problem……and when Iran is added to the total it is what is being called an “Axis of Autocracy”

It sounded like an echo of Sino-Soviet alliance of the 1950s and 1960s when China’s new defense minister, Wei Fenghe, said at a meeting in Moscow this month, “The Chinese side has come to show Americans the close ties between the armed forces of China and Russia.”

A full-blown military alliance remains a long ways off, of course, and it is easy to dismiss Wei’s remarks as rhetorical posturing. But that would be a mistake, because Wei nonetheless captured an ominous feature of world politics today: the growing alignments between America’s various geopolitical rivals.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-04-19/china-russia-and-iran-are-forming-an-axis-of-autocracy

While NATO is build-up its position in Eastern Europe the US Navy building up to counter China in Asia…..

The American admiral slated to head the US Pacific Command is planning a buildup of American forces in the region along with closer alliances as part of the Pentagon’s new strategy to counter China.

Admiral Philip Davidson, the nominee for the command job, revealed in little-noticed testimony to a US Senate committee how he will restructure the 375,000 military and civilian personnel, 200 ships and nearly 1,100 aircraft in the region.

http://www.atimes.com/article/us-admiral-outlines-new-military-buildup-to-counter-china/

Then there is Iran…..the US is countering the spread of Iranian influence with the Army and Air Force in the Middle East…..

Where will all this posturing lead?

To a place we all would rather avoid.

OMG! It Is Official!

Holy crap!  I got a good chuckle when I heard that a bunch of spineless Congressmen signed a petition to nominate Trump for the Nobel…..but it is not so humorous for it is official he will be nominated……

Republican lawmakers have nominated President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. Eighteen House members penned a letter Wednesday to the Nobel Prize Committee praising the president’s efforts to broker peace in the Korean Peninsula, reports the Hill. “President Trump has worked tirelessly to apply maximum pressure on North Korea to end its illicit weapons program and bring peace to the region,” the letter says. The lawmakers credit the president for the recent historic meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, in which the leaders agreed to rid the Peninsula of nuclear weapons and bring a formal end to the countries’ 68-year-old war. Although the countries entered into an armistice in 1953, they never signed an official peace treaty.

If the two countries can resolve their differences, Trump deserves the prize, Sen. Bob Corker told CNBC Wednesday, but the senator issued a caution. The Foreign Relations Committee chair said that North Korea has made several overtures in the last two decades, only to reverse course. In a separate interview with CNBC, retired Gen. Michael Hayden credited progress with North Korea to four things: “The president squeezing the [North] Koreans, the economic sanctions, the diplomatic isolation, the military demonstrations.” He added, though, that Trump’s earlier tweets about Kim, in which he famously called him “Rocket Man,” were not helpful. Trump plans to meet with the North Korean leader in the next month or so. If the meeting takes place, it would be the first time a sitting US president has met with a North Korean leader.

Obama got the prize for nothing and Trump has been nominated for nothing…..now if he, Trump, does broker an agreement then I say he gets the prize….but right now NO he deserves none.

He was a bully and then turned into a warm and fuzzy participant……so far right now it is a bit absurd…..

The nomination for the 2019 prize came in a letter from 18 of Trump’s Republican supporters in the House of Representatives to the Nobel Committee chair Berit Reiss-Andersen, which starkly resembled the narrative of fakery the President delights in. Trump, went the signers, should receive the prize “in recognition of his work to end the Korean War, denuclearize the Korean peninsula, and bring peace to the region.”

The Republicans seem to have things the wrong way around.  Rather than incite instability, Trump supposedly calmed the waters.  Rather than creating teeth-chattering fear amongst allies, he brought accord where there was disagreement.  “Since taking office, President Trump has worked tirelessly to apply maximum pressure on North Korea to end its illicit weapons programs and bring peace to the region.” He was the great unifier, bringing on powers such as China “to impose one of the most successful international sanctions regimes in history.” (Never let history get in the way of a good tale.)

https://www.globalresearch.ca/nobel-nonsense-nominating-donald-trump-for-the-peace-prize/5638976

Stay Tuned…….

Pakistan And The Frontier

We hear a lot about the Tribal areas of Pakistan…..some say it is a hot bed of terrorism and in the past the Pakistani military has had some ops in the area and the US has used drones to attack suspected terrorist hideouts…..

Some even go so far as to claim that the Tribal areas have been “tamed”……is it possible……

Maligned as a bastion of extremism and a top terrorist safe haven, Pakistan’s Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA), along the country’s northwestern border with Afghanistan, have endured a significant transformation in the last few years. Between June 2014 and May 2016, the Pakistani army launched operation Zarb-e-Azb, literally translated as “swift and conclusive strike,” which focused on clearing terrorist organizations such as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Punjabi Taliban, East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Haqqani network from the seven administrative units that comprise FATA. According to Pakistani military officials, at the start of the operation, approximately one-third of the FATA had been under “miscreant control” with the North Waziristan district earmarked as the key terrorist stronghold.

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/asia/pakistan-truly-tamed-tribal-frontier

I have a few readers from Pakistan and I ask them to give my readers a clearer picture of the area if they would.  First hand info is more better than opinion piece from others.

Finally, have the Tribal Areas truly been tamed?