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?

Living in pain with military medicine

The offending hospital for this article When someone thanks me for my service, I normally reply with "Just doing my job." Because, honestly, most of my non-deployed days are just like everyone else's days. I wake up, workout, and head to work, where most of my work is done on a computer. Then I head … Continue reading Living in pain with military medicine

Russia playing the spoiler

Kazakhstan...as always, squished. The news broke recently about Russian President Putin meeting with Kim Jong Un to discuss peace on the Korean peninsula. That move is less about peace on the peninsula and more about denying President Trump a foreign policy victory in Korea. With upcoming elections, President Trump needs all the wins he can … Continue reading Russia playing the spoiler

On Judas and Notre Dame

If you're not following the Shameless Popery blog, you're missing out. Not only is the author a regular writer, but he writes in a way that is both deeply theological while also being easy to read. His piece this week on Judas is no different, and it should give us some pause as we finish … Continue reading On Judas and Notre Dame

Why Disney is dark

Because we want girls to expose as much skin as possible to men they know nothing about...sounds like a strip club to me! (Image from IMDB) Disney's stock price has jumped up, largely based on the announcement that it would launch its new streaming service. While parents everywhere are probably rejoicing, we should take a … Continue reading Why Disney is dark

The Baltic Sea…Europe’s South China Sea equivalent

BALTOPS 2018 participants As NATO celebrates its 70th anniversary, the media focus continues to be on whether President Trump will leave NATO. I don't view that as highly likely, but I do think he is going to continue his march towards rewarding countries that contribute to the alliance, while continuing negative rhetoric towards those that … Continue reading The Baltic Sea…Europe’s South China Sea equivalent

Did you secure your phone?

Wait, is that cup of coffee hacking your phone? (image from Wikipedia) If you tell a Marine to secure a phone, he'll probably turn it off and put it in his pocket. When I mention securing a phone, I'm thinking more about making sure it's safe to use from hackers and other people that want … Continue reading Did you secure your phone?

A Three-Point Plan for China

China continues to push for world dominance and to replace the United States as the go-to world power. China's tactic of slowly pushing boundaries (see South China Sea) and hiding internal problems (see Uighur Muslim internment camps) is working, mainly because no nation has significantly challenged China's strategy. Worse, China is prepping the battlespace in … Continue reading A Three-Point Plan for China

The burying of a college admissions scandal

USC School of Cinematic Arts, from Wikimedia So there's a pretty big college admissions scandal being uncovered right now. Eight universities took millions of dollars in bribes to admit kids of rich parents. Yet searching for it in the news is surprisingly difficult. On Google News, all the stories are lumped into the "Entertainment" section, … Continue reading The burying of a college admissions scandal