Sunday, September 25, 2016

Data Dump Cleanup

I try not to write more than 100 blog posts per month to avoid appearing, ah, compulsive. The month Russia first invaded Ukraine was my peak month and at some point I vowed to aim for no more than 100. I'm trying.

Anyway, tabs are building up in my browser and I have forward posted about as much as is healthy.

So here's a data dump of things blogworthy but with minimal commentary.

In the category of no good deed goes unpunished, how terrorist organizations are funded through charity.

Venezuela could implode from socialist mismanagement; and is so bad off that the oil-rich nation is importing American oil. I hope SOUTHCOM is busy with PowerPoint presentation preparations.

The European Union is Balkanizing into blocs, which will be fun when the EU goes from being a proto-empire to a full-blown multi-ethnic empire.

While North Korea and Iran have ties on missile development, it seems more like a seller-buyer relationship, respectively. Which is not comforting when you consider that North Korea is making progress on nuclear warheads for those missiles.

The United States military wasn't consulted on the big cash payments to Iran notwithstanding Iran's role in killing hundreds of American troops in Iraq during the Iraq War.

From the "Well, duh" files of anybody not associated with the Obama administration (outside of DOD), our cash payments to Iran will enable Iranian terrorism.

The Syrians have begun another offensive against Aleppo (which seems to be matching the Isonzo River front for futility and stalemate if not the carnage of Verdun). The ceasefire did nothing more than demoralize rebels who saw us try to sell them out in another counter-productive deal with Russia. I will say that the Assad/Russian effort to kill civilians seems more intense this time.

An article on how China's foreign policy is driven by domestic politics. I think this underestimates the linkage since the Chinese Communist Party thinks in terms of maintaining the primacy of the party, and so domestic and foreign policies are part of a continuum for achieving their primary objective.

The Army is hoping to get the National Guard more integrated with the active component. I believe that the tests will prove that reserve combat support and combat service support units can be readily integrated with the active component; but that combat integration is more difficult. I think studies will show that reservist combat companies can be integrated with relative ease; battalions can be with some work; but brigades will always require post-mobilization training to bring them up to active standards.

Pondering decentralizing Syria. Of course, pondering whether we should promote this outcome may be moot since it is already well on that path on the ground.

Western elites have more in common with each other than the grubby "deplorables" who share technical citizenship with their elites but who don't even know what Davos meetings do let alone aspire to be invited to them. When our leaders aren't at least partly motivated by "duty, honor, country," how do we defend ourselves against foes who actually believe in their countries?

Well, that cleaned things up nicely. And it is one post. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.