Periodic World Craziness Update # 19

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid President Assad forces in Syria:  If true this begs the question of whether the goal of Iran is to provoke a confrontation with any US troops sent in to train/assist the rebels given that that is the stupid idea the Administration has come up with.  The Civil War in Syria shows every sign of being in the early stages of blowing up into a wider regional conflict and moves like the one’s both Iran and the US are taking do not help keep the war within Syria’s borders. Special Report: … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 18

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and brinkmanship. Syria Begins to Break Apart Under Pressure From War: This article states the obvious. I wonder when, if ever, the NYT is going to regain its former luster as a serious paper. As the analysis in this piece could be done by any 2-year old with an internet connection It is obvious that Syria is falling apart and has been for the past 2 years. The war there would probably be over were it not for foreign meddling in what is arguably an internal conflict. Apparently Western bleeding hearts have more finely developed skills of self-delusion than … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 17

PWCU #17

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. North Korea demands US withdrawal from peninsula before resuming talks: Now we know that the North is just posturing and has no stomach to start a hot war with the South.  The bad part from their perspective is that if they are dumb enough to try and ;pull off even a limited attack the days when they could expect a proportional or even no response from the South are probably over as the South would probably retaliate all out of proportion to the scale of any provocation from the DPRK.   Boston Marathon bombings: No doubt more information about … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 16

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. Obama Says Iran A Year Away From Nuclear Weapon: The most telling quote and also begging a question from this piece is: “Iran is about a year away from developing a nuclear weapon and the United States remains committed to doing everything in its power to prevent that from happening…”  What exactly can the US do?  In the face of the budget cuts this year that are forcing a virtual shutdown in training and the resultant effects on military readiness are not US options even more reduced than before.  It would seem that the President is making empty veiled threats and if I … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 15

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. Pressure builds in Iran nuclear stand-off:  It is quite simple really.  Nobody wants to do anything with regards to the Iranian quest for nuclear weapons that can really stop them because that would entail Iraq style regime change and there is not a single country willing to go that far that has the capability.  (That would be the US)  The diplomatic dancing will continue until Iran tests a weapon at which point it will be too late.  I also think that at that point Israel will have no choice but to unilaterally attack Iran as they are the country … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 14

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. Mali & Central Africa – West faces ‘decades’ of conflict in N Africa, Death Toll Climbs Past 80 in Siege in the Sahara:  My only question is when are we going to get serious about stamping out terrorism?  My guess is never because a true solution would cause most Westerners to blanch in disgust.  It will take several attacks similar in scale to 9/11 in most Western countries for people to really come to grips with the threat of terrorism and then develop the resolve to do something effectual. Why Algeria Didn’t Warn the U.S. About Its Hostage Raid:  We are supposed to wonder why any 3rd World Country distrusts the … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 13

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. Egypt’s Islamists aim to build on constitution vote:  We are now starting to see the logical outcome of the “Arab Spring.”  I would guess that more Islamist regimes will come to power but they will at first cloak themselves with legitimacy of Democracy.  We are seeing a repeat of the patented Arab “one man, one vote, one time” phenomenon that occurred in the wake of WWII. Mexico urges US court to block part of Arizona law:  I just wonder why we don’t hear any US politicians or the administration telling a foreign nation to stay out of internal US affairs. I also find … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 12

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. Red Flag Over the Atlantic:  Everyone who follows China understands that China wants and is trying to increase their influence in the world.  They are doing this by exercising their considerable economic clout in places such as Africa and South America and also by increasing defense spending an acquisitions.  This year they launched their first Aircraft Carrier and have increased defense spending by double digit percentages every year for the past dozen years or so.  That they would be interested in an Atlantic base should surprise nobody.  If they aspire to regain the Great Power status they lost hundreds of years ago they must have a … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 11

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship.  Greece, Spain ‘in depression’: Nobel winner Stiglitz:  The slow motion death of the Euro continues and the only people that seem to not recognize it are the technocrats in charge of the various EU government.  At some point, probably too late, the signs and symptoms will be so overwhelming that the EU’s leaders will have no choice but to stop trying to apply band-aids and have to do something that will actually work.  That end is probably the dissolution of the Euro. China’s increasing military spending unnerves neighbors:  Count me among the people who is alarmed by the growth in Chinese … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 10

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. U.S. military suspends joint patrols with Afghans:  All I can say is that it is about damn time one of the higher ups realized that the joint patrol and living policy is a failure.  Absent a robust vetting process, which is obviously lacking, it is unconscionable to have our troops living side by side with Afghans who cannot be trusted as far as we can throw them. Pakistanis Try to Storm U.S. Outpost; One Is Killed:  I expect that demonstrations supposedly in outrage over the video will continue for a another week or so.  I am more and more … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 9

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. Afghanistan: a ragged retreat threatens to turn into a slow-motion rout: Afghanistan is increasingly in the news again. I don’t know if that is because the US Presidential race is entering the final stages or that the war does in fact seem to be turning into a slow motion disaster. I suspect a little bit of both with some other factors thrown in. What ,most journalists and commentators fail to acknowledge however is that the war in Afghanistan went south a long time before Obama came into office. It went out the window when the US invaded Iraq and … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 8

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. Heavy clashes hit Syrian capital for second day:  The unrest, hell call it what it really is, the Civil War in Syria seems to be entering a new phase as the rebels gain in strength and/or competence and are actually starting to bring the conflict to the capital Damascus.   The big question mark is not can the rebels win but what will the international community do?  As things now stand they will offer only condemnations of the Assad government because they are stymied by Russian and Chinese support for Assad and his government.   I don’t see that … Read more…

Periodic World Craziness Update # 7

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. An Authoritarian Axis Rising?:  Perhaps more people should be talking about this.   This article asks the intriguing question of whether world events over the past year or so, but particularly since Putin’s return to power, don’t highlight the beginning of a new bipolar world order.   These supposed Axis states are China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela.   Interestingly, as the article points out, half of them rely on oil money and thus lower oil prices are seen as a threat.   Is the world once again aligning along authoritarian lines?  That is a good question, … Read more…

Update on SFC Walter Taylor

Saw this update on SFC Taylor’s case yesterday and decided to add it to my page as well.   From the LA Times: Court-martial decision postponed for soldier in Afghan shooting.   His Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a Grand Jury, was held last week and now the case in in the hands of the reviewing officer.   She will review the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing and then make a recommendation to Taylor’s Brigade commander who will endorse that recommendation or not and then send it to the JMTC commander in Graf who is the General Court Martial Convening Authority.   The JMTC commander makes the final decision on whether this case should go to trial or if Taylor should face, a lesser Court Martial, administrative punishment, or even no further action.

All that being said, I would guess that at a minimum Taylor faces a Special Court Martial, probably a Special BCD.   The nature of what has been reported so far makes it clear that Taylor is being prosecute as an example to others.   Whether that is good military policy is besides the point, the army does stuff like this sometimes.   I will say that in my experience, if it does go to a Court Martial Taylor will get a fairer hearing than he would in a civilian court.   His CM Panel, the military version of a jury, will consist of people his grade or higher both officer and enlisted if he opts that, and he would be stupid not to.   The panel are people that understand the military and the pressures in combat.

I have no worries that if it goes to trial he will win.   The problem I have is that even if he wins, his career is now damaged because of the massive publicity surrounding the case.   That is something he cannot get away from.   It will also haunt him as he goes in front of a selection board for promotion.   The perception could be that he hurt the army and he could therefor later be denied promotion or even selected for elimination and the case could have nothing overt to do with it but it will always be there.   The army is a small place and institutional memory is long, especially about people who are perceived as tarnishing the Army Reputation.

Periodic World Craziness Update # 6

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship. Europe rocked by Spanish banking crisis, Time to Admit Defeat: Greece Can No Longer Delay Euro Zone Exit:  At the top of the news for a week or so was the impending meltdown of the Greek economy and Euro experiment. Greek euro exit looms as G8 gathers:  The question in my mind is not if Greece will leave the Euro, but when and what will be the wider consequences for the EU as a whole?  As I understand it, there is no mechanism for an EU country to exit the Euro without repudiating the EU treaty itself and also leaving the … Read more…