Part of the Problem with Claims of NATO Obsolescence

…is the Left’s and Europe’s lack of understanding of the meaning and the import of obsolescence.  This is illustrated by a piece in World Politics Review.

The failure to understand is illustrated with this claim:

[A]lthough Russia’s resurgence as a revanchist and norms-breaking power has conveniently thrust NATO back into the thick of European and American security concerns, Europe actually faces no threats for which the alliance is the most effective instrument. In fact, Europe faces no military territorial threats at all.

Mexican Terror Threat

Mexico is upset with President Donald Trump’s efforts to tighten border security and especially with his efforts to deal more thoroughly with illegal aliens present in the US, many of whom are Mexican.  A coalition has formed—a group of Mexican officials, legislators, governors and public figures planning to meet [in the US] with migrant groups—to plot ways in which to interfere with our enforcement of our immigration laws.

One of those ways was described by Mexican ex-Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda:

The backlog in the immigration system is tremendous [the idea is to double or triple the backlog]….

A Test

The Moscow Times, one of several mouthpieces of Russian President Vladimir Putin and of his Kremlin government, sees the current flareup of shooting between government forces on the one hand and “rebels” and their Russian bosses and reinforcements in the Donbass region of Donetsk as a test.  Recall that Donbass is on the road to Black Sea coastal Mariupol, a key urbanized area on the coastal road to Russia-occupied Crimea.

The organ is right.

Moscow clearly wants Kiev to implement its vision of the Minsk agreement—a special status for the separatist controlled areas, retaining Russian-backed armies and de-facto control of the border with Russia, with only nominal oversight from Kiev.

The Business with Iran

The Wall Street Journal opined on Iran’s missile launch last week and President Donald Trump’s imposition of sanctions against Iran in response.

[I]t does look as if President Trump may be willing to do what Mr Obama refused to do, which is to rigorously enforce the [nuclear weapons development] agreement….

Trump said during the campaign that he might not tear up the Executive Agreement, but instead enforce it to the letter.

Why would his doing so now be such a surprise? Oh, wait, the NLMSM spiked that part of his commitments while focusing, disparagingly, on his earlier musing about tearing up the EA.

Security Holes

Recall the hoo-raw over Apple’s refusal to help the FBI hack an iPhone used by the San Bernardino terrorists, the FBI’s claim that they couldn’t get into the iPhone without Apple’s help, and then the FBI’s successful penetration of the iPhone from hiring a third party to do hack it.  Recall further the FBI’s subsequent refusal to tell Apple about the security hole in Apple’s iPhone software (supposedly limited to the generation of cell phone used by the terrorists) that was exploited by the hack and the FBI’s associated refusal to tell Apple how the hack itself worked.

Obama’s Asia Pivot

On top of President-On-The-Way-Out Barack Obama’s (D) acquiescence to the People’s Republic of China’s seizure of the South China Sea and his timid response to the PRC’s aggression against Japan in the East China Sea—hallmarks of his “pivot to Asia,” we get the following pivot outcomes.

A Chinese attack submarine made an unprecedented stopover in Malaysia this week in a rare public display of China’s expanding undersea force and a further sign of power realignment in Southeast Asia.

And

The visit came as two Russian warships docked in the Philippines—a US treaty ally—and Moscow offered to sell Manila advanced weaponry in another challenge to longstanding U.S. military relations in the region.

A Thought on Edward Snowden

This one is prompted by a Letter to the Editor published in last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal.  The relevant part of the letter is this:

If we start at the beginning, it was the US government, including the National Security Agency, that stole information that belonged to me—my phone and internet metadata. Edward Snowden revealed the existence of the government’s thieving. Now Mr Snowden is considered the thief.

Now Mr Snowden is considered the thief.  He is, and worse. That the NSA screwed up/stole private data/abused its role/what-have-you doesn’t alter that simple fact.

The US Nuclear Force

Steven Pifer, a Brookings Institute denizen, wrote some thoughts for Politico in response to a President-Elect Donald Trump tweet about our need to “expand [our] nuclear capability.”  Typical of his piece is this bit:

[O]ne should keep perspective. The North Koreans are building their small nuclear arsenal, and no one knows for certain whether they have miniaturized a weapon that could fit atop a ballistic missile. But nothing North Korea does could stop the US military—with its current nuclear capability—from obliterating the small country.

The VA Fails Again

The wife of an Iraq veteran, blinded by a suicide bomber has a story to tell (RTWT) from the veteran’s spouse’s perspective, and she has asked the central question.  Her question is this:

[T]here has to be a better way for our federal government to make it easier for the spouses, parents, and siblings who have to quit their jobs and forfeit their livelihoods to care for an injured veteran.

Her husband’s—and her—problems with this failed agency include things like this [emphasis added]:

Embarrassments Coming Thick and Fast

Now the People’s Republic of China is overtly rubbing President Barack Obama’s timidity in his face, and in the face of the United States.  The USNS Bowditch had been conducting ocean floor surveys in the South China Sea and was recovering the drones it used in conjunction with those surveys when a PRC vessel that had been stalking shadowing the Bowditch snatched one of the drones and made off with it.

This is, at best, an act of rank piracy and a theft of technology the PRC does not have.