Biden would be Encouraged

That’s what’s in the REPO Act, or Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity for Ukrainians Act, which is included in the latest Ukrainian aid package.

It encourages Mr Biden to transfer frozen Russian reserves to a trust fund for Ukraine.

Those frozen assets amount to some $300 billion, globally. Count on Biden, though, to decline to be encouraged.

He won’t touch those frozen assets. He’s already been…encouraged…by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to slow-walk delivery of the weapons Ukraine needs actually to defeat the barbarian and drive him back out of Ukraine. He’s already been…encouraged…by Putin to deny altogether other weapons that would facilitate a Ukrainian outright victory.

Israel and Genocide

In a WSJ article regarding the present explosion of Hamas terrorist pro-Palestinian protests and the demands of disruptors perpetrating these “protests” that the colleges and universities divest from Israel-related investments, there is the disruptors’ claims that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip (and, presumably in the West Bank). This claim is risible on its face.

Nuclear Missile Defense

In their Thursday missive to The Wall Street Journal‘s Letters section, Laura Grego and Lisbeth Gronlund, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, wrote correctly that defending against relatively low-flying and short-range rockets that Israel’s Iron Dome does so well is different from defending against long-range, fast, exoatmospheric missiles.

But then they segued to their strawman argument.

…potential adversaries will develop systems to counter a potential buildup or improvement in defenses.

Missiles and missile defense are in an arms race. Who knew?

Instructively, these two scientists offered no alternative solution to the national security problem of defending against nuclear attack.

Misunderstood Difficulty

Hamas terrorists are resuming their presence in northern Gaza Strip, months after the IDF had initially cleared the Strip except for the far south of the Strip: Rafah and a couple small villages near Rafah.

[R]enewed violence, in areas Israeli forces had previously largely cleared of Hamas, serves as a sobering example for Israel’s forces of the difficulty of consolidating gains as they prepare an offensive in Rafah, the militant group’s last major bastion.

It’s certainly true that clearing an area of the remnants of a terrorist entity that operates as a dispersed network and that is skilled at (literal) underground operations and keeping that area clear is deucedly difficult.

Coherent Argument

Progressive-Democratic Senator Chris Murphy (CT) provides yet another example. He kindly provided his own Friday morning reminder that Progressive-Democrats are unable to form coherent arguments on policy, and so they engage in smear.

Murphy’s example:

Chris Murphy
@ChrisMurphyCT
Your Friday morning reminder that Republicans are full of shit when they complain about the border.
They killed the tough, bipartisan border security bill because Trump told them to keep the border a mess because it would help him politically.

Stopping Fentanyl

Sultan Meghji, Frontier Foundry CEO and former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation CIO, wants the government to use artificial intelligence packages to stop fentanyl at the border.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) can leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify the trucks, boats, and planes trying to sneak fentanyl into the country.
We must use this technology at the border and ports of entry (where nearly 85% of America’s fentanyl comes into the country,) when we have access to every vehicle coming in.

Joe Biden’s Tariffs

Progressive-Democrat President Joe Biden has raised the tariff on steel imports from The People’s Republic of China, a tariff former President Donald Trump initiated (although Trump badly diluted the effect and importance of the tariff by applying it against our allies, also). The Wall Street Journal‘s editors are in a bodice-ripping panic attack over Biden’s move.

Didn’t President Biden promise a better trade policy than his predecessor? Well, he now appears to be in a race with Donald Trump to be Protectionist in Chief. Witness his pitch for new tariffs at a campaign stop on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Deterrence and Punishment

Iran fired over 300 drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic rockets at Israel in the overnight (my time) of last Saturday. That’s what the question of deterrence and of punishment must respond to.

Israel’s leaders were considering whether to respond to the wave of more than 300 drones and cruise and ballistic missiles fired by Iran. [Pedantic nitpick: missiles are guided; ballistic “missiles,” being unguided, are rockets.]

Some DoD Acquisition Problems

Our DoD’s failure with battlefield drones (as opposed to large surveillance and targeted raid drones) is shamefully demonstrated by a small US drone builder and Ukraine’s position on and need for actual, small, battle-capable drones.

Most small drones from US startups have failed to perform in combat, dashing companies’ hopes that a badge of being battle-tested would bring the startups sales and attention. It is also bad news for the Pentagon, which needs a reliable supply of thousands of small, unmanned aircraft.

One aspect of the American problem stems from too much dependence on DoD specifications.

“Dialog”

Ex-Republic of China President Ma Ying-jeou, of the RoC’s pro-People’s Republic of China Kuomintang Party, was invited to and met with PRC President Xi Jinping, and they talked about the prospects for improved relations across the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait that separates Taiwan from mainland China.

Amanda Hsiao, a Taipei-based analyst with the Brussels-headquartered International Crisis Group, accurately characterized the meeting:

Beijing is trying to show for an international audience that they are open to dialogue with Taiwan—open to peaceful unification. All of which is an attempt to try to make China appear more reasonable.