Showing posts with label Russia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Russia. Show all posts

March 28, 2019

Who Is The Most Dangerous?

Recently, I started watching this show called "Billions."

I'm in the middle of Season 2, and it is a brilliant and mesmerizing show that depicts the battle between the CEO of a Wall Street Hedge Fund and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY.

Ands it is a true battle of wits, might, and it gets ugly in every way. 

(I won't spoil the show...)

But there is one line from the show that came out in the heat of an exchange between the two at the end of Season One that I wanted to share:
The only thing more dangerous than a person with unlimited resources is a person who has nothing to lose.

When you think about it, there is tremendous wisdom and truth in this, and a poignant lesson to be learned for every person, organization, and even nation of great power.

No matter how much money, people, and assets you may have to fight...

...if the other guy has nothing to lose and is willing to go do the unthinkable then we have a very big problem indeed. 
Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

From those desperate and willing to act as suicide bombers to those that would actually push the button on a nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack, there is no winning even if you are the last one left standing.

The other guy who feels he has already lost is willing to take you with him by any and all means. 

Therefore, we cannot and should not ever think that the battle against evil is won, because even when the opponent appears in all respects to be defeated that may be when they become even more dangerous to us than ever.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 30, 2018

NATO Is Asleep At The Wheel

So this is the dumbest military strategy I have ever heard. 

NATO is planning a "rapid deployment force" of at least 30,000 troops, 30 naval ships, and 360 planes to fight off a Russian invasion.

Sounds good?

The only problem is that this rapid reaction is planned to occur "within 30 days" of being put on an alert. 

Gee, a lot can happen in 30 days. 

It took only a little over two weeks for Russia to invade and annex Crimea in 2014 in a blitzkrieg that completely took the West by surprise. 

NATO continues to be shockingly unprepared for a Russian land grab.

Further, the 4,600 troops stationed on "forward deployment" and the 5,000 additional "spearhead force" to come to their aid "within 10 days" is again completely inadequate and ridiculous. 

Israel won the 1967 War in just 6 days against invading armies from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, and Israel again halted the advancing Egyptian army in the 1973 Yom Kippur War in just 3 days. 

With modern weaponry, Wars are fought and won in days--not months and years anymore. 

The long deployments we've had in Iraq and Afghanistan are not traditional wars, but wars of attrition again terrorism and dictatorships. 

If and when there is a war with the "Great Bear," it will be fought and won--OR lost in days--as well. Russia will act with stealth and speed and a ferocity that we remain blind to. 

And I fear that when we are ready to fight back, it will be way too little too late--like in Crimea--and all that will be left--after the European lands are gone--is more meaningless sanctions that Russia will retaliate against, tit-for-tat, anyway. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 17, 2018

Assad's Time Is Up

One year ago in April, the U.S. unleashed 59 cruise missiles on an air base in Syria that was involved in chemical attacks on civilians.

That was a warning message.


Today, the attacks against civilians, including the use of chemical weapons, continues in Syria unabated. 

There are now over 500,000 killed in Syria. 

That includes over 14,000 children killed by snipers, machine guns, grenades, IEDs, barrel bombs, gas attacks, and even torture and execution. 

In 2016, almost 1,500 were killed in one chemical attack alone by the Assad regime.  

Two weeks ago, Syria's sponsor, Russia is accused of using the most deadly of chemical nerve agents to poison a former spy and his daughter in the UK. 

It is high time for the U.S. to intervene and send a very definite message against the use of chemical weapons and indiscriminate killing and to take out Assad. 

Assad is a ruthless dictator with the blood of innocents on his hands and his continued use of WMD flies in the face of civilized society and sets a tone where this or worse can and will be used in the future. 

The U.S. needs to reset the bar on the use of these dangerous weapons by sending a clear message that those who use it indiscriminately will pay the ultimate price. 

We already provided a warning message in April last year. 

The Assad regime, Russia, axis of evil Iran, and Hezbollah terrorists all need to get the message from us loud and clear that red lines will not be crossed without paying a very serious price--and that all their efforts at expanding their malevolent reach across that region have been for naught. 

Assad is the ultimate April Fool if he thinks that a cruise missile isn't going to land on his head this time around and it will be very well-deserved indeed. 

For all the civilians and children, and for all the future generations--the time is up. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 29, 2017

Who Won The Election? Russia

So it turns out that the all important election of 2017 for the 45th President of the United States...

Was not between President Trump and Hillary Clinton at all.

Oh no.

Because who really won the election is Russia!

From the dossier to the uranium deal, charges of collision and stealing the election, the investigations, special counsel, weakened White House, chaos, confusion, misinformation, fake news, and alternative facts.

This is called INFORMATION WARFARE. 

All of these serve not only to weaken our elections and political system, and unnerve the trust of the American people, it wastes the time and efforts of our elected officials and media chasing ghosts. 

When you can't win an election fair and square, you pull out the McCarthyism card invoking fear of Russia and provoking political repression here at home. 

It's the "Commie bastards," of course that are interfering in our democracy.

But really it wasn't!  

Unless you count a hundred thousand dollars or so of political ads and botnets in a billion dollar plus election as serious meddling--not

Basically, we are talking a self-inflicted national wound--that keeps bleeding and bleeding. 

Our country is going on a wild goose chase--looking for something, turning over stones, but what they find--how significant is any of it?

The real winner again is Russia.

They are strengthening themselves in the world. 

They have the West on edge.

Our politicians and system of government is weakened.

We waste time, while Russia takes over Crimea, wins big in Syria, militarizes the Arctic, partners with China, and advances their world agenda. 

We are distracted with eyes off the ball--spending days, weeks, months, and years in a tizzy pointing fingers at each other, seeing shadows, scared of ghosts, and punching into the air. 

Russia won the election for sure. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 12, 2017

Reconquest of the Soviet Union

Okay, when I saw this map of the Soviet Union pre-1991 breakup, I got it!

Russia lost 14 Former Soviet Union (FSU) states after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

  1. Armenia
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Belarus
  4. Estonia
  5. Georgia
  6. Kazakhstan
  7. Kyrgystan
  8. Latvia
  9. Lithuania
  10. Moldovia
  11. Tajikistan
  12. Turkenistan
  13. Ukraine
  14. Uzbekistan

Could you imagine the United States or the European Union losing something like that?

Think of California and Texas and more seceding and making their own independent states. 

What would that do to the power and capability of this country?

Hence, when Russia goes into FSUs like Georgia and Ukraine (in red)--does a land grab like with Crimea and Abkhazia and South Ossetia--and threatens others, in their Soviet minds, they are just reclaiming what is/was theres.

Now listen, I am not justifying their aggression and hostile actions, but I am realizing/recognizing how explosive a situation this may end up being--especially since Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (in blue) changed sides and are now part of NATO!

Russia--even without the 14 FSUs--is the largest country in the world by territory with over 17 million square miles--that is almost the size of the United States and Canada or and China combined!

Russia may not have the economy of the United States but they are a formidable foe that we least not forget also has the largest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world. 

Russia has a history of creating a large world dominating union and their military forays into the FSUs, support of hostile regimes like Syria and in Iran, sizable war games in Belarus, continuing to militarize the Arctic, interfering in our election, stealing our secrets via Kaspersky Lab software is likely just a shadow of what is yet to come. 

So if you think North Korea and Iran are problems...  ;-)

(Source Map: here with attribution to Map Collection)
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May 31, 2017

Always National Security

Here is a link to my short video on national security thoughts that keep me up at night.

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May 30, 2017

You Can Take The Man From Washington

Wow, it just seems like there is no getting away from Washington, D.C. politics!

Even here in beautiful Florida, I ran into this caricature of former President Obama in some street art downtown.  

Man, isn't it enough that he empowered the Axis of Evil Iran and North Korea; left Syria and Ukraine to rot in bloody civil war and to kneel beneath the will of the Russians; ignored the Sino military buildout in the South China Sea, was lax on radical Islamists, ISIS, and global terrorism; abandoned America's allies Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the gulf nations; and let's not forget that he literally doubled our national debt to $20 trillion!

What was once an admirable Democratic party is still reeling today from the embrace of leadership from behind, disengagement, weakness, and blatant anti-Semitism. 

Like Forrest Gump says, life is not a bowl of cherries or box of chocolates, especially when failed leaders do the wrong things and hurt the country and their party. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 18, 2017

Classified Nuts

Something about this advertisement seemed perfect for this week:

"I didn't realize these nuts were classified."

So said the chipmunk.

This was posted the same week that intelligence about ISIS was shared with the Russians from the oval office.

The Prez is entitled to share whatever he wants and maybe he didn't realize "these nuts were classified." 

My bet is this was all sort of innocent, but either way we don't want to jeopardize critical intel sources and methods in our fight against our enemies and terror. 

It's their nuts that should be on the line and not ours. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 8, 2017

Rivers Of Blood

So after years of brutal war in Syria and use of chemical weapons of mass destruction...

Obama and Kerry did nothing!

And the result has literally been rivers of blood in Syria. 

Obama and Kerry could have fired the warning shots--as President Trump just did 79 days into his new administration--but Obama and Kerry choose weakness and inaction.

The result of the Obama administration's inaction is that Russia has now comfortably moved and settled into Syria and that 500,000 Syrians are dead, 13.5 million require humanitarian assistance, 6 million are internally displaced, and 4.8 million refugees have fled across the borders.

Contrary to all who have accused President Trump of being complicit with Russia, instead we now see in him a leader who in fact stands up for what is right to Russia and despots like Syria's Assad.

Perhaps the real person complicit with the Russians and Iranians was Obama who let them ride roughshod over human rights and over America.

In complicity was not President Trump, but Obama secretly whispering to the Russians and caught on an open mic: "After the election, I will have more flexibility"--to do what Americans obviously wouldn't want me to do.

With regards to Syria's chemical weapons, Kerry falsely stated to the American people:


"We got 100% of chemical weapons out of Syria."

However, the slaughter continued for years and we continue to see chemical weapons used again this week with horrific pictures of men, women, and children brutally murdered in the streets of Syria.

But the weakness, disengagement, and leadership from behind from Obama and Kerry is hopefully behind us now. 

Stay tuned...next up is the phony deal that Obama and Kerry made with "Axis of Evil" Iran and the do-nothing with North Korea that has continued to lead them to a nuclear ICBM that can reach America!

So as we will soon start the holidays of Passover and Easter, we know that only G-d can make rivers of white water or of red blood flow mercifully or justly, but Obama and Kerry are the ones complicit in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Syria that they could've stopped, but didn't. 
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November 18, 2016

Telling The Next Guy

This was one for the books today.

Obama tells Trump that he needs to stand up to Putin (i.e. don't wimp out)!

Uh, who's the guy who has been in office the last 8 years? 

An during those years, our standing and national security has suffered from disengagement and utter weakness at virtually every turn of the globe. 

- We let red lines be violated in Syria and watched our Ambassador murdered in Libya

- Russia expanded into Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria, and now it's looking to Cuba and Vietnam.

- China has been rapidly militarizing into the South China Sea and expanding it's economic influence in Africa.

- We made the "worst deal in history" in Iran that allows them to eventually go nuclear!

- North Korea continues to expand it's nuclear arsenal and ballistic missile technology. 

- The Philippines told the President to "go to h*ll" and threatens to break from the U.S. militarily. 

- U.S. backed off support for democracy in Egypt after the military coup that overthrew Morsi

- Venezuela expelled our top diplomat and 2 other embassy officials ratcheting up hostilities with the U.S. 

- Cyberattacks have plagued the U.S. and we haven't been able to defend ourselves. 

- ISIS has demonstrated success and our strategy has not made them less dangerous and lethal. 

- After years of mounting terrorism, our leaders still refuse to even say the words, "radical Islam."

I'm not sure why people are so tempted to give advice and preach to others, when they themselves have so many failings. 

I think it's certainly okay to humbly share our experiences and lessons learned if we have any. 

But perhaps when you don't have the best record on something, as they old saying goes, you should refrain from throwing large stones in your very fragile glass houses!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 11, 2016

Fall Of The Wall - Take 2

I thought this was cool this week when at a local university in Downtown, Washington DC, they did a reenactment of the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

The division between East and West came tumbling down on November 9, 1989 ushering in the end of the Cold War.

The students graffitied the wall with things they disliked like fascism, socialism, high taxes, a PC culture, censorship, and poverty. 

Later, they added Neo-Nazi's, corruption, and more.

By the afternoon, they knocked down the wall in the playful reenactment.

I found it hopeful to think that we can do the same in real life.

With President-elect Trump, perhaps there is the opportunity for new and better relations with Russia. 

Rather than escalating tensions and pointing new more advanced nukes at each other and encroaching ever closer toward confrontation, we can stop the madness. 

Truly reset the mindset of conflict and instead work together and walk it back. 

With respect for each other, there is enough world pie for everyone.

Tear down the wall, and build trust, respect, and peaceful relations again. 

No nonsense peace through strength and cooperation is the sane way forward--the alternative would be disaster!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 25, 2016

Countdown To Nukesville

So I keep reading and hearing about Russia preparations for nuclear confrontation with the West and the overall risk rising greatly:

- Investing in new advanced nuclear weapons, such as stealth nukes that can destroy an area the size of Texas or France

- Adding hundreds of new warheads

- Moving nukes to the European doorstep of Poland and Lithuania

- Flying Russian bombers within 40 miles of California coast

- Pulling out of non-proliferation agreements, including producing new intermediate range nuclear cruise missiles 

- Violating security pacts to destroy plutonium stockpiles

- Skipping the nuclear security summit

- Conducting massive civil defense drills

- Threatening asymmetrical and painful actions against the West, including first strike

- Building new bases in Ukraine, Syria, and now eyeing Cuba and Vietnam

- Building dozens of new underground bunkers

- Entering a new arms race with the U.S. 

Well perhaps this is all just saber-rattling bluster and party-rallying political rhetoric.

The real question is if this is all talk, then why all the costly actions being made?

Self defense experts always say never pull out a weapon unless you seriously intend to use it, so are Russia's intentions to simply counter the West or is it going to go way beyond that. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 2, 2016

U.S. Shuts Eyes To Syria and Ukraine

While we are willing to take in some refugees (true to "our values"), we are not willing to enforce "red lines" and stop the killing in Syria's almost 6-year murderous civil war. 

Incredibly, there are 500,000 killed (including 50,000 children) and another 2,000,000 wounded in the fighting already

Also, there are 6,000,000 internally displaced and another 4,800,000 refugees outside Syria causing a humanitarian crisis and destabilizing the region. 


Dictator Bashar Al Assad and most importantly, Russia seem unstoppable. 

Russia does not play by the West's rules--they make the rules!

While we threaten to cut off diplomatic talks, Russia continues the heaviest bombing of the war with 1,900 bombs on Aleppo in the last week alone.

The UN cries foul with empty threats of war crimes on the atrocities being committed, but again no one is willing to stop Russia.

Moreover, Russia brings in yet more advanced weaponry and warns the U.S. not to try to stop them in Syria (sound familiar to the 2014 blitzkrieg in Crimea/Ukraine?). 

Again, we are unwilling to stop the bombardment of almost 300,000 civilians in Aleppo with aid convoys, hospitals, schools, and bakeries all grotesquely now being fair game.

Last week, I watched 60 Minutes on CBS about our nuclear bomber fleet, and the rising threat of nuclear war with Russia.

What was particularly scary is that U.S. military strategists are now concerned that the U.S. is "sociologically weaker" than our opponents.

In particular, they worry that as Russia continues to threaten first use of nukes to meet their strategic aims with "an evolved willingness to employ nuclear weapons in the course of a conflict," they are counting on the U.S. to back down from any engagement or retaliation, because we would be so afraid of escalating with Russia, let alone using first. 

In other words, Russia does not consider the U.S. nuclear deterrent to be credible anymore--we are viewed as chicken and pushovers and Russia could simply "shock the Western powers into de-escalating."

First Ukraine and now Syria, what country is safe from the "Great Bear"--will the Balkans be next or perhaps somewhere even more deadly to a broken NATO and a farce of a UN. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 20, 2016

Russia's Iron Fist

Russia is enormously resurgent (as is China), and they are modernizing their military, while we are "busy" and distracted with ridiculous dysfunctional political infighting here in the U.S.

- Between Republicans and Democrats. 

- Between Trump and Hillary.

- Between running mouths and utter corruption. 

- Between what our values are and aren't.

- Between racism and cop killings. 

- Between sequestrations, filibusters, and government shutdowns. 

- Between fighting terrorism and not even being able to say it's name and origin. 

- Between support for NATO and our allies and abandoning them. 

- Between invading Iraq and Afghanistan and then hasty and wasty retreats. 

- Between capturing terrorists and locking them away in Gitmo and then throwing them back out on the streets to plot and attack again. 

- Between calls for a strong military, policing the world, and keeping the peace and that being replaced by leadership from behind, disengagement, appeasement, and weakness.

- Between a healthy, vibrant economy and a shallow recession, failing Obamacare, slowing innovation, and ballooning national debt and welfare state. 

In the meantime, the Russians, if no one has noticed is moving critically forward in the world. 

- Ukraine's Crimea has been gone since 2014, separatists are fighting in the east, and tens of thousands of troops are massing on the border. 

- Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia was  occupied by Russia in the war in 2008

- Chechnya was taken by Russia in 1999 and Grozny, the capital, was completely leveled. 

- Bases around Damascus and in Iran have been built up and are in active use in the civil war in Syria going on today, and Aleppo, the largest city in Syria is becoming apocalyptic. 

- The Baltics are under threat by encroaching Russian forces. 

- U.S. military ships and planes and being regularly "buzzed" and Russia is flying mock nuclear bombing runs on the U.S.A. and Europe. 

Russia is proposing a counter-alliance to NATO by them, China, India, and arch enemy, Iran

So while the U.S. spends more on military than the next 8 nations combined, with the U.S. at $610 billion to Russia's much more modest $85 billion, nevertheless, we are falling over our own feet, while Russia is clearly on a determined march.

We can't afford to play politics and suck our thumbs here at home, while Russia is determined and strategic in their moves geopolitically advancing their interests.

We are playing a losing hand and wasting valuable blood and treasure unless we get our democratic house in much needed order, focus, and resolve. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 22, 2016

Make Up Your Mind

It all started with the Staples "Easy" button that says robotically when pressed, "That was easy!" 

Then came the "B.S." button that yells out, "That was bullsh*t!"

Now we have the decision and indecisional buttons for "Sorry," "Yes," "Maybe," and "No."

Very much like organizational decision-making and politics where either we can't make up our minds, hedge our bets because we simply don't know, or make decisions on imperfect knowledge or with plenty of biases.

It's funny-sad how instead of decisions and progress, some people lie and pretend that what they are saying has any reality or basis to it despite proof to the compelte opposite. 

For example, over and over again, we hear some politicians say there is no military solution in Syria, yet Russia has proved that completely false turning the tides of the war in Assad's favor and driving back the U.S.-backed rebels and recapturing dozens of towns and cities.

You can probably think of plenty more examples as this is the germy spin that we all must swim and navigate in. 

If only, we could just press a "truth" button to get past all the garbage thrown at us then maybe we could get down to business and really get something done. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

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January 5, 2016

Warning 613

As per my prior posts in November and December, we are continuing to see the mystical 613 (representing the number of commandments in the Torah). 

This morning, on the Washington, D.C. Metro, see the time showing (above upper right). 

The whole family is seeing this, as I got a note from my daughter just a few minutes ago looking at online classes at Lynda.com and one of the classes had 613 views. 

Even to me (normally a critical thinker and healthy skeptic), it seems beyond regular explanations for the frequency and locations that we are seeing these signs. 

Also, last night I had a scary dream about what seemed like the end of times--it was almost like The Walking Dead, with people running to the countryside amidst chaos and destruction all around them. 

As tensions heat up between major Sunni and Shiite rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran, and "Axis of Evil" Iran unveils a 2nd underground depot with missiles capable of carrying nukes, and ISIS continues their jihadi rampage leaving 80% of Ramadi in Iraq destroyed at a cost of $10 billion, a new Jihadi John replacement is executing British hostages in Syria, and there are escalating superpower tussles with Russia and China--it is not hard to see just some of the potential dangers in our times in terms of escalating conflict, terrorism, and war. 

What is the future for us all, I do not know for certain, but all I can tell you is there appears to be warnings all about, and the question is will we heed them or not and then what is the outcome--it should be with mercy and for blessings. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 31, 2015

Is He A Man Or A Mouse?

Often at home, we'd look at what's going on in the world, the sad state of affairs, when people act bad, and the lack of leadership, and my dad would say, "When there's no man, you be the man."

He was right!!!

These days, the question has morphed into, "Is he a man or a mouse?"

We are so chasing our tails out there.

Today after 4 1/2 years of civil war in Syria--hundreds of thousands dead, 14 million displaced, chemical weapons and barrel bombs dropped on civilians, crossed red lines and empty vows of "No boots on the ground"--and now we sending up to 50 special forces as a token force to "advise and assist" in Syria after the recent $500 million military training program for "4 or 5" moderate rebels in Iraq was a total bust!

Of course, we're going to Syria not to actually engage the enemy, but more to dare Russia whose deployed there with planes, tanks, ships, artillery, and Spetsnaz special forces to hit us. 

Similarly, after Russia's incursion into Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, we conduct a training exercise with 3,000 troops in the Baltics and put together a NATO rapid reaction force in Europe and call it day, as if that will deter the "Great Bear."

Oh, and don't forget that we sent a single battle ship within 12 nautical miles of the South China Sea artificial islands--again, daring them to try something. 

Well what if one of these days Russia or China actually took up the dare?

Already this week, Russia flew two fighter jets within a mile of the Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier--endangering the 6,000 personnel and all those valuable Navy assets. What did we do? We had 4 fighters escort them away--after what couldn't been a significant attack on our Navy.

If we did that to Russia, what do you think they would've done--our fighters would've been shot down so fast, we wouldn't have known what hit us--like when they did the Blitzkrieg into Ukraine and recently into Syria--we're taken off guard again and again. 

Also recently, Russia maneuvered a military satellite between two of U.S. Intelsat satellites, 50 of which are used by our military for communications and drone missions. Moreover, Russian subs and ships are hovering around major global data cable lines posing a threat to the backbone of the Internet.

How about with Iran--we make a deal easing sanctions on them and releasing hundreds of billions of dollars--and what do they do? Conduct long-range ballistic missile test, convict a Washington Post reporter, arrest a U.S. business executive, and continue to threatens America and Israel

When we are afraid and our enemies are not--when they act with impunity--we are more mouse than man. 

We may get some cheese, but the mouse is dead rodent meat unless it gets with it.

This is not a game of cat and mouse--but the lives of hundreds of millions that hang in the geopolitical balance--and there is no mousey hole to hide in. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 8, 2015

Please Tell Us Your Diabolical Intentions

So Russia is escalating in Syria (from devastating air strikes to sea-launched cruise missiles, and now a possible land offensive) and even considering expanding into Iraq. 


"We believe this is a fundamental mistake."  --Maybe a mistake for us, but not for Russia who is wielding their mighty bear claws and showing a decisive victory!  


"We are not prepared to cooperate on strategy."  -- Is this perhaps because we don't have one, and Russia apparently does. 

"Syria is not going to turn into a proxy war between the Russia and the United States." -- Okay, so the alternative is to capitulate and give the Middle East over to Russia, like with Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. And what then will we let over to the Russians, Chinese, and Iranians next (because there's no reason for them to stop there)? 

"One of the profound difficulties dealing with Russia in Syria or elsewhere is how opaque Putin's intentions are and how the Russia system lies about what they are up to." -- Gee whiz, we can't figure out what Russia is up to as they slam Assad's opposition (that we are supporting) into smithereens? We're expecting the competition to tell us their strategy, and why should they do that? 

This last one is perhaps the most bizarre as we all implicitly understand that an adversary is not going to divulge their strategy, and moreover are using misinformation and deception to throw us off balance and advance their objectives. 

It is time for us to bring sanity back to the military equation here.

Immediately...

- Establish a no fly zone over Syria. 

- Put our own base on the ground or military assets into sharp play. 

- Issue a cease and desist ultimatum and mean it. 

The time for losing is over, and the time for winning must begin. 

We can pretend that we can look the other way and simply avoid a conflict, but all we are doing is bringing ever more devastating confrontation that much closer as we lose ground, credibility, and allies (who fear the commitment and iron hand of Russia far more than our own wavering and dubious one)--and we deceive ourselves far more than our adversaries could ever deceive us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 3, 2015

Russia Seems To Have A Strategy, Why Don't We?

Russia upends the U.S. and NATO once again, now carrying out a third day of a devastating bombing campaign that shows no sign of letting up in Syria. 

Russia is leapfrogging us to pursue their goals of keeping dictator Bashar Al Assad, tightening up on a renewed cozy relationship with Iran and Iraq--in what is the prime oil basin of the world--and reestablishing their place on the world stage as a superpower (apparently, Crimea wasn't the end, but just the beginning), and at the same time killing U.S.-backed Syrian rebels

But what about our efforts...

Well, we've had "dismal results" after dilly dallying around in Syria for the better part of its 4 1/2 year civil war that's killed over 250,000 people and created 5 million refuges streaming across the Middle East and Europe, and we keep having to "rethink" our strategy there. 

At the same time, as to our war to defeat the terrorist ISIS caliphate--who vows to smuggle nukes into America and plans a "religious cleansing" of hundreds of millions--uh, they continue to grow!

What about our more than 10 year investment in Iraq--where we spent over $2 trillion and in which almost 37,000 of our service members were either killed or wounded?  --Iraq is now cooperating with...Russia!

How about Iran--for whom we went to the mat with a controversial deal to relieve their sanctions and provide them hundreds of billions of dollars to funnel into their economy as well as global terror? --Iran is allying themselves with Russia (and Hezbollah), deepening their foray into Syria, and continue their threats to annihilate Israel and chants of death to America!

Then to hear yesterday that not only don't we have a strategy as has been the reframe for months, but that we are not going to play chess or get into a proxy war in the Middle East with Russia...well gee, the world game of strategy and brinksmanship is not going to stop for us. 

Just because we don't have a (good) strategy and don't want to play global chess anymore doesn't mean Russia, Iran, China, and others aren't going to forge ahead with their dangerous strategies and gains. 

We are a wealthy, mighty, and innovative nation--surely, we have a strategy in this country of over 319,000,000 people, somewhere. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 29, 2015

Russia Outwits Us Again x 4

You can't build the world from the backseat. 

Either we're in it or we're not. 

Instead, Russia has jumped into the driver's seat, and we're not coming out looking too good on the world stage. 

- In 2013 they took in and continue to shelter Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who ran to Hong Kong after allegedly leaking oodles of NSA classified information.

- In 2014, Russia conducted a blitzkrieg and took Crimea from sovereign Ukraine (giving it a strategic port in the Black Sea), and are conducting a separatist war in the eastern part of the country. 

- In 2015, Russia enters the Syrian crisis and allies themselves with dictator, Bashar Al Assad (who has used chemical weapons on his own people), as well as with Iran and Iraq.

- Additionally, Russia is taking the lead role in the oil and mineral rich Arctic bolstering their presence and militarizing, including building new ice-breakers (while our Coast Guard has only one operational). 

Some people have said mockingly, "Well what should we do, start a war with Russia?"

And the answer is an unequivocal, no. 

But I assume they don't want to start a war with the U.S. either. 

Rather, this is the Cold War Part II, where we are fighting by proxy in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Arctic.

If we want the world to be modeled on freedom, human rights, and democracy then we need to be able to stand up for those things that are important to us.

Yes, we have to care about what's going on here at home too, but we don't live in a bubble, although surrounded by oceans on the east and west coast, we can sometimes easily feel that way. 

It's a big world--and it takes tremendous leadership to bring it along a good and noble path.

The leadership role will not stay vacant for long...it can be us if we want it, or else you might as well flip a coin on either Russia or China. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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