A glance at today's most important National Security news
It's busy day
There’s a lot going on today so I will try and share some succinct comments about a handful of news articles, pertinent to high priorities of our NSS, National Security Strategy.
Before beginning, I also wish to extend prayers for recovery, to our suffering, fellow citizens victimized by Hurricane Ian. There are plenty of relief efforts ongoing. If you can, any of them would be grateful for your support.
1. Putin’s latest crazy
Today, Putin announces the intent to annex 4 portions of Eastern Ukraine which he dishonestly claims, belong to Russia. Last week, he held a sham election in which he claimed that Ukrainians in those four Oblasts (much like a US state) actually voted for annexation by Russia. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just as with his pre-invasion propaganda claiming he had to protect those Oblasts from Ukrainian Nazis, committing genocide against Russians living there, not a word is true.
The rules-based, international order which includes NATO, the EU, ASEAN, Organization of American States and the African Union and the UN, all reject this nonsense. The bottom line is that his declaration is meaningless, just like everything else pouring out of the Kremlin’s mouth the past few years.
It’s a desperate act, just like Russian sabotage of NORDSTREAM pipelines intended to provide gas to Europe. NORDSTREAM I was turned off by Putin a couple of months ago and II hasn’t yet begun to supply Europe. The bottom line… this means nothing, exactly like his ridiculous “annexation” claims of eastern Ukrainian oblasts.
To round-out his crazy this week, his failed recruitment efforts are being met with all sorts of resistance. Military aged Russians are fleeing Russia by the tens of thousands in any transport they can find, to escape conscription. Desertion and surrender are the only two tactics that the Russian army has proved good at these past couple of months. They are also increasing daily
2. Kim Jong Un is the boy who cried wolf
KJU, the pipsqueak and sadistically brutal, N. Korean dictator is firing missiles again, attempting, without success to intimidate S. Korea, the US and related allies. Considering that it’s fall, this is routine, acting out by an insignificant man, begging for attention.
This is a yearly dog and pony show by KJU, in an attempt to bargain for supplies to get N. Korea through the harsh and rapidly approaching winter. Were it not for the generosity of the US and others, including China and Russia, N. Korea would starve and freeze every winter because under dictatorship by psychologically disadvantaged men, nothing is successful in N. Korea, despite what Dennis Rodman says.
We all might as well pop some popcorn and watch the KJU, “look at me” show until he gets his normal rations of fuel and grain to see his long-suffering people through the winter. Still, even with our contributions, countless N. Koreans will starve and die of hypothermia, just as they do every year under KJU’s despotic thumb.
3. Xi’s rhetoric and poor decision-making is self-defeating
Xi came to power in 2012 and immediately set out to buy his way around the world with his BRI, Belt and Road plan, discussed earlier this week on TAT. As we say in the army, he let his, “alligator mouth overload his bird a$$.” Despite having a sound strategy for achieving ultimate goal of global hegemony, his decision-making to successfully execute his strategy, was and still is poor. He over-spent prior to the pandemic and afterwards. His, like most economies suffered and still suffer from pandemic related effects. Now, China’s economy is now going downhill faster than I did on a sled, while growing up in Ohio. With his soon, upcoming party congress, he’s doing whatever it takes to retain power but hasn’t yet learned his lesson about over-doing his aggressive posture towards neighbors and the rest of the civilized world. Treating the world as his endured slaves when he can’t back it up has left him nearly isolated from those, he seeks to conquer… hopelessly.
When it comes to national security, it is an imperative that a nation can positively and ethically influence other nations. This is as far as it can be from being one of Xi’s strengths. He calls his diplomats, wolf diplomats, executing wolf warrior diplomacy for him. Considering the world’s opinions of him and his aggression, this loud aggression in normally polite diplomatic circles is the exact opposite of productive.
For all of Xi’s bluster about Taiwan and backing Putin, I would not recommend betting on any upcoming success for the man who outlawed Winnie the Pooh in China, because people keep calling him Pooh based on his stature.
Finally, today, a quick note about the quickening pace of global populism’s failures. Bolsonaro in Brazil, displaying traits common to his fellow populist authoritarians like Modi in India, Putin in Russia, KJU in N. Korea, Trump here in the US, is losing popularity. Historically speaking, populism fails under the weight of failing to perform for the people you claim to champion. Like his fellow radicals, Bolsonaro is an avid assaulter of all things environmental, incites violence against minorities, skims corruption from everything he touches, abuses all forms of law enforcement and gives zero in return to his nation.
If you track these leaders and former leaders over the past few years, the exact same patterns will emerge. The last time the world experienced such a disturbing wave of this behavior, was just prior to WW II, which ended poorly for them. The key to marginalizing all of the negativity and catastrophe these immoral men heap on all of us, is to follow the guidance in the NSS. Making and sustaining strong relationships with the law-abiding world is strong leverage over the malcontents.
To wrap up, one more time I wish to offer every possible best wish and support to the people of Florida for as speedy and painless recovery possible. I realize that this is a high standard, but I rather wish for the stars for them and get less, than not.
All my best,
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