Some Thoughts on Europe’s Defense

French President Emmanuel Macron has one and so does German Chancellor Angela Merkel (through her Defense Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer). And so do I.

Macron strongly favors a Europe that is strategically autonomous in its defense. After all, he notes (OANN‘s paraphrasing),

the United States would only respect a Europe that was more self-reliant in defence.

AKK, on the other hand, says that (again, OANN‘s paraphrasing)

Europe [will] remain dependent on Washington for its defence for a long time to come.

Another Reason

…why neither the People’s Republic of China nor the World Health Organization can be trusted.

Opposition from the Chinese government is preventing participants in a World Health Organization meeting on the Covid-19 pandemic from learning directly about one of the world’s biggest coronavirus success stories.
Taiwan hasn’t recorded a locally transmitted coronavirus infection in about seven months but has been blocked from participating in a virtual gathering this week [last week as this is posted] of the WHO’s 194-member World Health Assembly because of objections from Beijing, which considers the self-ruled island part of its territory.

Foreign Takeovers of Domestic Companies

Great Britain is concerned with

strik[ing] a middle ground between welcoming foreign investment and protecting strategic industries from takeover, particularly amid concerns around acquisitions by Chinese state-backed companies.

Thus,

Under…proposed rules, investors would have to notify the government about transactions involving 17 sectors including nuclear, artificial intelligence, transport, energy, and defense.

That would seem to make a foreign investment law unnecessarily byzantine, and require revisiting at some aperiodic intervals.  After all, what’s not strategic today might turn out strategic tomorrow. This is illustrated by the timing of this proposal.

Turkey’s Erdoğan

In Turkey, this Cover Page of the Charlie Hebdo publication would be a crime because Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is afraid of ridicule (the headline caption translates as “In private, he’s very funny”). In France and much of the West, it’s a matter of free speech and free press. Here, too.

The joke is on Erdoğan. Or he is the joke. You pick ’em.

Some Biden-Related Concerns

…as outlined in Just the News.

There are at least three instances where there is now public evidence that Joe Biden met with foreigners his son was courting for business.
The first occurred in 2011 when Obama White House entry logs show several Chinese businessmen involved with Hunter Biden checked in to meet the vice president.
The second occurred in 2013, when Hunter Biden rode aboard Air Force II with his father and then introduced the vice president in Beijing to a Chinese businessman that was helping him start an investment fund.
The third, alleged in an email purportedly recovered from Hunter Biden’s old laptop, indicates Hunter Biden arranged for an official from Burisma to meet his father in April 2015. …the Biden campaign now acknowledges the encounter may have happened though insists it was fleeting.

Briar Patch

Throw me in that one, Br’er Xi. He’s upset that the US is selling arms to the Republic of China so that nation would have a better chance to defend itself against a People’s Republic of China physical invasion effort.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday that Beijing has decided to impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co’s defense division, and Raytheon Technologies Corp, as well as other US entities involved in the planned $1.8 billion weapons package.

Zhao added

[The People’s Republic of] China “firmly opposes” and condemns US arms sales to Taiwan, which “severely damage Chinese sovereignty and security interests[.]”

Little Satan and Great Satan

PLO Secretary General and head of the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department, Saeb Erekat is infected with the Wuhan Virus. He had been handling his treatment from his West Bank home, but his condition worsened, so he was transferred to a hospital Sunday.

In Tel Aviv.

Erekat also has one of the several comorbidities associated with particularly severe and potentially lethal Wuhan Virus infections. He had a lung transplant three years ago, and he has a depressed immune system from the drugs necessary to minimize organ rejection.

The lung transplant was performed in the United States.

Defense of the Republic of China

Paul Wolfowitz had a thought on that last Tuesday. His opening paragraph laid out his thesis.

Beijing has been making a show of hostility toward Taiwan. Last week China released footage of “real combat” it conducted last month in Taiwanese airspace. A Chinese invasion would present the greatest threat to global peace in a generation. The US would confront an agonizing dilemma: risk an armed clash between two nuclear superpowers or abandon a free people to communist tyranny. But there’s an alternative—deter the threat by committing to oppose it, by force if necessary.

I’d be a bit more blunt.

Progress

…on the foreign policy and national security front.

The White House is moving forward with three sales of advanced weaponry to Taiwan, sending in recent days a notification of the deals to Congress for approval, five sources said on Monday, while China threatened retaliation.

The three weapons systems—of seven in the works—have been approved by the State Department and are these:

  • High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)
  • SLAM-ER, a long-range air-to-ground missile system
  • external sensor pods for F-16 jets that allow the real-time transmission of imagery and data from the aircraft back to ground stations.

Because, Of Course

Russian President-for-life-soon-to-be Vladimir Putin says Alexei Navalny secretly works (or works secretly, you pick ’em) with the CIA.

Putin’s Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov:

I can even be specific: these days, specialists from the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America are working with him.

You bet. I understand Putin has a summer dacha outside Bykovskiy he’s interested in selling, too. Nice ocean front property.