Greenland? Why Not?

There is much ado about President Trump offering to purchase Greenland, and the Danish government politely turning it down. Was it stupid to make the offer in the first place? It's not the first time the U.S. has offered to buy Greenland, which captured the interest of William Seward in 1867 and President Truman in … Continue reading Greenland? Why Not?

A Rusty Problem

The ocean is a nasty, caustic, unfriendly environment. Between the sea spray, wind and waves, not to mention the wildlife, pretty much everything wants to or can kill you. For a maritime vessel though, the largest challenge is managing rust. The science is simple. Ocean vessels sit in salt water, the iron in the vessels … Continue reading A Rusty Problem

The Cuban Deal Crisis

We have a crisis in Cuba. Not one involving missiles (at least not yet), but one involving a lack of a deal. It's been 3 years since Castro died and 8 years since Raul took over, and yet we seem no closer to a deal. Cuba is still the only place Americans are specifically banned … Continue reading The Cuban Deal Crisis

The new, fake, democracy

New President, just like the old. Picture from Wikipedia If you blinked, you missed the Presidential elections in Kazakhstan. After long time president dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev suddenly stepped down from power, an election, the first in Kazakh history, was held for a new President. And, sadly, as expected for a country only pretending to be … Continue reading The new, fake, democracy

What does post-war Russia look like?

Do those areas look familiar? The United States and Russia continue to go toe-to-toe with each other, over the same real estate, time and time again. Recently I found an old 1988 US Navy Arctic Manual. The pictures inside are interesting in that they look a lot like the pictures circulating in our current intelligence … Continue reading What does post-war Russia look like?

CNO, new CNO, and sexual harassment

ADM Bill Moran, from Wikipedia In case you hadn't caught it, the nominee for the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) retired early because he maintained a professional relationship to a former Public Affairs Officer (PAO) that had previously been charged (but not found guilty) of sexual harrassment. It's a mess that eventually resulted in the … Continue reading CNO, new CNO, and sexual harassment

You already paid for the bomber fuel

Whining about costs for a B-2 overflight is silly. The B-2 flies over the Utah Testing and Training Range at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, during the test run Sept. 10, in which the B-2 dropped 80 inert Joint Direct Attack Munitions. (Photo by Bobbie Garcia) It's not even Monday and already there are complaints … Continue reading You already paid for the bomber fuel

Russian disinformation up close in the Baltic

BALTOPS 2019 participants in Kiel, Germany While the run-up to the Democratic Party Debates and the crisis in the Persian Gulf with Iran has captured the news cycle, I've spent the past few weeks as part of the BALTOPS exercise. BALTOPS is an annual exercise that the US has lead in the Baltic Sea for … Continue reading Russian disinformation up close in the Baltic

Is Russia really a great power?

The Russian Space Station Mir, from Wikipedia Our National Security Strategy, Military Strategy and other supporting documents talk about a return to "Great Power Competition," with the Great Power Competitors being China and Russia. I think we made a mistake in calling Russia a Great Power, because in reality, it might not be. What makes … Continue reading Is Russia really a great power?

Rare earth materials and an upcoming Chinese mistake

Yttrium, from Wikipedia China continues to make the news about its possible restriction on rare earth metals. This isn't new, as China had previously restricted rare earth metals in 2010 as a move against Japan. Should China decide to impose a ban, it will only hurt them long term though. In case you don't have … Continue reading Rare earth materials and an upcoming Chinese mistake

Mexico…our alternate to Chinese manufacturing

A maquiladora in Mexico, where raw goods are processed tariff free. From Wikipedia. When we think of Mexico, too often we think of illegal immigration and "the wall." In reality, Mexico should be considered a much closer US ally than we give it credit. In all the discussion about the USMCA, NAFTA, the wall and … Continue reading Mexico…our alternate to Chinese manufacturing

Weapons shipping into Libya? Who would have thought?

An IL-76, from Wikipedia A while back I made some predictions on Russian activity, trying to think outside the box as to where we would see Russia next. An obvious one to me was Libya. After we kicked out Qaddafi's government, Russia lost somewhere around $4 billion in military sales since they had supported the … Continue reading Weapons shipping into Libya? Who would have thought?

We’re missing a post-hostilities Iran-US future

190503-A-YD127-1086 STRAIT OF HORMUZ (May 3, 2019) Gunner’s Mate 1st class Tyson Hinkley stands watch aboard the Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Whirlwind (PC 11) while transiting the Strait of Hormuz. Whirlwind is forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations and support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in … Continue reading We’re missing a post-hostilities Iran-US future

Norway is paying for its own defense

The bunad guerillas strike again in Norway! Never heard of them? You're not alone. The bunad is the traditional dress of Norway. Normally worn on formal occasions, women are taking to the streets in bunad dress in protest of closing hospitals. Norway has long been touted as the place to copy for socialized medicine. This … Continue reading Norway is paying for its own defense

Could Iran go pro-US?

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN The Abraham Lincoln Strike Group is steaming towards the Persian Gulf, and additional Patriot anti-missile batteries are shipping to nearby nations. Iran confidently declares it can sink the US Navy with one missile. Everyone is focused on what might become a shooting war. But the shooting part doesn't matter in the long … Continue reading Could Iran go pro-US?