This is going to be a bit of a “roundup” type of RED post. Thankfully, we don’t seem to have any immediate crisis, although the stage is set for at least a half dozen crises, and several of them are potentially extreme.
Just news, not crisis: New mailing instructions to overseas military for civilians. Be aware if you’re sending mail overseas to troops.
2020-08-12: Amazing! Bipartisan common sense: Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, House Foreign Affairs ranking member Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, and (according to anonymous sources) House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. and Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. agreed with General Gen. Petr Pavel, chairman of NATO’s Military Committee that Turkey’s purchase of the Russian-built S-400 air defense system represents two very serious threats. Foremost is the concern that if “plugged into” NATO systems, the Russian system would have access to “sensitive” data. It seems to my non-tech mind that it would also present the possibility of hacking the NATO system, malevolently interacting with, controlling, misinforming, or shutting down the NATO system.
It’s also likely that having two very different systems operating “on the same wavelength” so to speak, could cause communication problems even if ill will were not a concern.
Erdogan seems defiantly determined to make the US fear such malevolence: “Turkey riled lawmakers further in November, when it publicly targeted a Turkish F-16 with the S-400, a move interpreted as an implicit threat against other F-16 users, such as the United States.” In other words, “We can take down your aircraft.”
It seems wise that Turkey was removed from the F-35 joint strike fighter program back in July.
Turkey had already angered the US House of Representatives with its invasion of Syria so badly that an unheard of bipartisan response occurred: the House voted 403-16 to sanction arms sales to Turkey.
China continues its global domination plans. Back in 2018 newscomau reported, “There’s no going back. Beijing has won the South China Sea” – with the completion of “massive, impeccably constructed and impressively equipped military fortresses” created from reefs in the South China Sea. Hong Kong was a gift. Taiwan feels the increased threat of increased Chinese military exercises: “Presently, China seems to be assessing the West’s resolve to defend Taiwan, while simultaneously attempting to instill fear in the administration of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen” , as in this airspace violation: “China has been flying what it calls ‘island encirclement’ drills on-off since 2016 when Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen first took office. Beijing believes Tsai, who won re-election last month, wishes to push the island’s formal independence.”
“To buffer against Beijing’s aggression, expect Taipei to increase cooperation with unofficial allies, including the US, which has already approved two arms sales to the island this year.” (July 13, 2020)
Considering that Chinese military experts are urging Beijing to prepare for war with the US, I’d say that’s a good idea. But China seems to think it can intimidate the US, maybe because we’re close to a Presidential election and in turmoil internally.
A very good brief description of how China changed from the 90-pound weakling of the planet to a dangerous emerging superpower can be found here, and it contains the one bright spot in regards to China: “President Trump’s China skepticism is disrupting the Chinese plan.”
Concern that China might actually attempt to invade Taiwan is so great that two Taiwan F-16s have begun flying patrols with live Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
Did you know that early on August 11th, three B-2 Stealth bombers departed Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, for Diego Garcia island in the Indian Ocean? These bombers have a range of about 6800 miles … and the South China Sea is only about 3,000 miles away. The last time that happened (in 2016) it was also in response to aggression by China.
The South China Sea is not the only place China is expanding its presence and power: the leaders of Iran have fallen for money, and are allowing China to buy up Iran, in essence.
Speaking for myself, I’m glad that I am a follower of the God of angel Armies, Who is, by Himself, unimaginably more powerful than all the rulers of this world and those in the Heavens. “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.’ The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.” (Psalm 2:1-4)
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.’ ” (John 11:25-26)
“… giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:12-14)
To all our Troops & Veterans, Thank You! Have a safe and blessed Friday.
* Thanks to our old friend Wolfie for the Feature photo today, it’s one of his originals.