Wrapping up a crazy, momentous week
Happy Friday TAT followers
As that I’m still fidgeting with different types of reports to bring everyone, I thought that I’d try a slightly different approach to a weekly roundup today. It’s hard to believe that we only began TAT two and a half months ago. I’m very grateful for all of you who subscribe, free or paid and who share.
On an administrative note, with Thanksgiving next week, my favorite holiday, I’ll be involved with lots of family big and small so, it will be an abbreviated week of posts. One thing near the top of my list of things to be grateful for this year, is all of you and our daily increasing subscribership. Along this line of thinking comes this reminder; if there are topics that you would like to know more about, please don’t hesitate to make requests. I will do my best to accommodate them.
Now, let’s take a spin through last week’s news revolving around threats. No long discussion for any of them but a short, one or two paragraphs regarding prominent highlights. It’s been a wild week so buckle up.
1. Missiles stemming from Putin’s illegal and genocidal invasion of neighboring Ukraine
This week, missiles, Russian or Ukrainian, stemming from Russia’s massive missile barrage aimed at eliminating Ukraine’s power grid from service, ended up in neighboring Poland, a NATO member-nation. This set the world on edge due to a potential for triggering Article 5 of the 1949, NATO Treaty, requiring collective defense of other member nations.
Cooler heads prevailed and for the moment, have determined that those missiles, killing two was likely not an intentional attack. This relieves NATO from the obligation to mass mobilize and go to war against Russia and her allies. Based on Putin’s entrenched fantasy of “winning,” we’re not out of the woods yet. His military is mostly unraveling and what remains operates without concern for international law, including those concerning war crimes and genocide. Their weapons and support have been shown to be somewhat unreliable and operated by incompetent and untrained troops, partially recent conscripts.
We must all keep our fingers crossed, our prayers intense and with some optimism that Putin will decisively fail before he starts WW III, intentionally or not.
The yearly G 20 Summit, held consecutively since 1999, is a forum for the leaders the world’s 20 largest economies, where leaders discuss key and critical economic issues while collaborating on ideas to address them most equitably.
Of significance this year was a joint statement at the close of the Summit that condemned Putin’s war against Ukraine… sort of.
Here is the statement:
“Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy,”
G 20, 2022, closing statement
Of course, Russia is a member although Putin wasn’t present. Foreign Secretary Lavrov was (another odd story) along with China and India who both have a significant economic stake in Russia. These three nations more than any others, kept the statement somewhat ambiguous regarding Putin’s cruel and deeply immoral invasion.
Still, the statement is merely wordsmithing, unless acted upon. Neither China nor India will be taking any decisive action unless pushed into it, which would be somewhat analogous to trying to put your cat into bath water.
3. President Biden meets with Xi while in Bali for the G 20 Summit
POTUS sitting down with Xi at least allows us all to exhale a little. The US and the rest of the rules-based, international order have been at odds for a long time with Xi’s aggression. Xi’s global aggression, best defined by the following three points has earned him the animosity of the majority of the world. The best news coming from their sit-down talks were that, at least they were back to attempting diplomacy again.
· Coercive economic aggression
· Military intimidation
· Massive human rights violations, including cultural genocide
4. Here at home, with a very slight margin, the GOP takes back leadership of the House of Representatives
In the worst midterm showing for the “out” party in decades, the GOP, is now narrowly, once again in charge of the House and Kevin McCarthy is the Speaker. A great many very serious and pressing national security threats are the business of the House and it remains to be seen, whether or not the GOP will govern or return to the conspiracy theory-fueled drama of the former administration. Of the Republicans elected this cycle, a full 210 of their current 218 victors (may increase another few seats) are election deniers. This is hardly encouraging since election denial is a conspiracy theory grounded in zero reality. If it terrifies you that the overwhelming majority of those in charge of the House of Representatives cannot distinguish fantasy from reality… it should.
In a longer TAT piece yesterday, I wrote more on what to expect, based on the considerations of ten, world class experts from the Atlantic Council. In short, if McCarthy leads with governance, our current progress should continue. If he returns to MAGA drama as indicated in reporting, the US and our allies are in for a long 2 years. Most concerning is his inclination to either defund or significantly reduce funding for Ukraine. This, in my professional opinion, is one of the most dangerous potential acts he could take in his new position and not just for the US, but the world as well.
PHEW!! What a week.
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and let’s all think hard about what we have to be thankful for during Thanksgiving week.