Saturday, October 08, 2016

Data Dump Part N

Here's another data dump of links that are accumulating on my screen. It's sadly a target-rich environment out there.

Given that Venezuela managed to tank their economy with stupid (but bizarrely appealing to too many) socialist policies, I suppose it isn't impossible that Iran could tank their economy with corruption despite the influx of money that the Iran deal provided the nutball mullahs.

Did 2008 signal the rise of nationalism as a new (old) way of organizing the international system?

North Korea seems to be at a new level of collapse-watch, but Lord knows if this is really it (and will it be regime collapse or nation collapse?) considering that post-Cold War North Korea seems to descend to new levels of "can you believe that regime still creaks along?" levels every few years.

If the Hillary Clinton email outrage is no big deal, why was the White House in "close contact" with Hillary's people because the administration was worried about "fallout" from being linked to her use of unsecured private email?

North Korea might be preparing for a new nuclear test--or it could be data collection from the last test.

The Russians have been building up forces in Syria, which isn't too shocking given the importance being given to finally taking eastern Aleppo from rebels. Holding it will be another matter, of course, if taken.

American M-1 Abrams tanks might team up with ground drones controlled by the tank crew. Scouting and shooting (and resupply and casualty evacuation) to help preserve the tank is a good idea. I hope one of the drone vehicles the tank controls carries non-line-of-sight missiles to fire and kill whatever the scout drones find. And why do they have to all be ground drones?

Alaska may have nearly doubled its proven oil reserves. Which is good, I hasten to add.

Blonde-haired, blue-eyed socialist paradise Sweden is now an exporter of jihadis. So how many just remain in Sweden? The article highlights the appropriately named Gothenburg suburb of "Angered." No doubt.

This author argues that military combatant commands are obsolete in light of the multiple non-military security tasks we must cope with around the world. The latter is true enough, but why are the combatant commands considered responsible for the new tasks when we have a whole big civilian government to address them while still having sufficient military tasks to occupy the combatant command commanders? Perhaps the author is right, but it isn't readily apparent to me. I'll need more convincing. After all, Task Force Smith (which the author raised as a cautionary tale) wasn't destroyed because it was obsolete in an organizational sense.

Russia has moved nuclear-capable (but not nuclear-tipped) Iskander missiles into their Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic Sea.

Finland and America signed a defense cooperation agreement that states that America's presence in the Baltic Sea is a good thing. De-Finlandlization proceeds. This follows a similar American-Swedish agreement.

Researchers claim having sex inspires spirituality and even belief in God? I suppose if you think it takes an act of God ...

So there you go.

UPDATE: A couple more.

Haiti was slammed pretty hard by Hurricane Matthew even as we heave a sigh of relief that we avoided heavy loss of life.

And Iran's ballistic missile technology continues to advance.