Why Not?

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo (D) doesn’t want the US to decouple our trade or our trade relationship with the People’s Republic of China. It’s sufficient, she claims in all seriousness to safeguard [our] technology to ensure [our] economic competitiveness.

It’s important that we get the bilateral economic relationship right, not just by protecting but also by actively promoting our economic interests in trade. We are not seeking the decoupling from China.

Stop Guessing

In a Wall Street Journal piece centered on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s supposed goals for his invasion of Ukraine and his associated “red lines,” Laurence Norman and Stephen Fidler opened with this:

President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been punctuated by frequent Russian threats to escalate the war. Many have been later dialed down or ignored, leaving the US and its allies guessing what the Russian leader’s real red lines are.

They added this:

Russia’s repeated ultimatums and U-turns, along with its ever-shifting war aims, have reinforced the belief among Western government officials that Mr Putin is being forced to improvise in a war that has slipped out of his control.

A Plan for the Winter

Mark Kimmitt (USA Brig Gen, ret) has one for the Ukrainian military that centers on resting and refitting for a major spring offensive. The thought has some merit, but I disagree.

Rather than using the winter to refit for a spring offensive, the Ukrainian army should use refitting-in-progress to mount a winter offensive along one or two fronts.

A drive through Melitopol’ to the Azov Sea coast would be one useful front; a drive to liberate Severodonetsk and though Kramatorsk would be another.

Negotiations with Russia

Boris Johnson, in his Monday Wall Street Journal op-ed, is on the right track regarding the idea of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin an end to the barbarian’s invasion. Negotiations now would be both fruitless and pointless, Johnson writes, because they would require Ukraine to surrender Ukrainian territory and they would idiotically rely on the barbarian’s trustworthiness in keeping any agreement. Negotiations now would be ill-timed, as well: the time for negotiating can only be after the barbarian has been driven entirely from Ukrainian territory and Ukraine having won, totally and decisively, the war the barbarian began.

Red Lines

President Joe Biden (D) is meeting today with People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting occurring in Indonesia. Supposedly, on the Biden-Xi agenda will be Biden’s desire to exchange red lines with Xi—each to learn the other’s.

I’m skeptical of the utility of such an exchange.

The problems with Biden and Xi exchanging red lines are two: Biden will respect Xi’s and Xi will not respect Biden’s, and Biden will not enforce his while Xi will enforce his forcefully in the unlikely possibility Biden does stray.

Useful Talks

The US and the Republic of China this week began direct talks regarding pushing our trade and general economic relationship.

The US and [the Republic of China] are set to begin two days of face-to-face meetings in New York on Tuesday aimed at strengthening trade and economic ties at a time of ramped-up tensions between Washington and Beijing.

It also would be useful for the US to greatly strengthen our political ties with the RoC, as well as sharply increase our defense relationship with, and arms sales and transfers to, that nation, followed by SecDef Lloyd Austin and CJCS Mark Milley traveling to the RoC to meet with Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng and Chief of the General Staff Chen Pao-yu, followed in turn by President Joe Biden traveling to the RoC to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen.

Why Do the Workaround?

NVIDIA Corp is busily looking for ways to circumvent newly enacted rules barring export of computer chips and chip technology to the People’s Republic of China.

Nvidia Corp has begun offering an alternative to a high-end chip hit with US export restrictions to customers in China, after the new rules threatened to cost the American company hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.
Nvidia said the new graphics-processing chip, branded the A800, meets US restrictions on chips that can be exported to China under new rules rolled out last month. The chip went into production in the third quarter, the company said.

DHS Responsiveness

House Republicans have put Department of Homeland Security management on notice to hold onto a variety of data; they’ll be investing the department if they win a majority of the House this Tuesday (and the out-days of vote “counting”).

House Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member Congressman James Comer (R, LA) has warned Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that Republicans would seek to hold him and his agency accountable for the ongoing crisis at the southern border should they win in next week’s midterm elections.
“We cannot endure another year of the Biden Administration’s failed border policies,” Comer and his fellow committee Republicans wrote to Mayorkas, per the Washington Times. “We have written DHS fifteen times this Congress to conduct oversight over the border crisis. Again, we request documents and information to understand the Biden Administration’s plans, if any, to secure the border.”

Putin Wants an Arms Race

Russia threatens arms race in space if commercial satellites do not stop assisting Ukraine in war, goes the subheadline.

And:

[Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Konstantin] Vorontsov argued that commercial satellites used to benefit Ukraine in the war violates The Outer Space Treaty and warned it could start a “full-fledged arms race in outer space.”

An arms race in space.

I say bring it. The Soviet Union couldn’t handle a Reagan arms race in space; the USSR couldn’t keep up with the technology developments, and its economy couldn’t keep up with anything—military or civilian.

National Defense Authorization Act

This bill is intended to fund our national defense effort, it’s an annual bill, and the one for 2023 is being put together these days.

Here’s some of what the Progressive-Democratic Party Senators insist on including in it, things which they insist are critical to our national security.

  • an amendment to address high credit card fees
  • an amendment to exempt foreign graduates of American universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math from annual green card limits
  • an amendment to stop federal employees from being reclassified as political appointees without the consent of Congress