“Defense or Democracy?”

That’s the question the Biden administration is worrying about in Chad.

The Biden administration is in a bind over whether to provide military aid to Chad, one of Africa’s most reliable bulwarks against the spread of Islamist militants and an opponent of Russia’s growing influence in the Sahel region.
Chad’s longtime president, Idriss Déby, was killed in battle two years ago and quickly replaced by his son, violating the line of succession laid out in the Central African country’s constitution. Now, the US government is struggling with the question of whether the ruling junta is too brutal and undemocratic to merit US assistance, or whether the country’s value as a military ally trumps those concerns.

Two “Whys”

Carefully—cowardly—anonymous Biden administration officials have leaked to the press that

A drone attack on the Kremlin earlier this month was most likely orchestrated by Ukraine, which has conducted a series of attacks on Russian targets, US officials said.

Why is the Biden administration even talking publicly about this? Who conducted the strike would seem to be a national security matter, for us and for the nation—if there was one—that conducted the strike, especially when that nation, supposedly, is heavily supported by the US. The leak and its claimed attribution of who did it seem especially egregious in light of the nature of the attack: it was blatantly amateurish and so wholly inconsistent with the quality of operations which the Ukrainian military has otherwise executed.

The Right Answer

I don’t often agree with Mark Zuckerberg, but in this case, I do, to the extent he has the courage of his words. The European Union’s Internal Market Commission has fined Meta $1.3 billion for the crime of sending the data its Facebook facility collects on European citizens to servers in the US.

The ruling raises pressure on the US government to complete a deal that would allow Meta and thousands of multinational companies to keep sending such information stateside.
Tech companies have been especially vulnerable to regulatory scrutiny absent such a deal. But most large international companies rely on a relatively free flow of data across the Atlantic….

Another Reason

In an attempt to extort concessions from us and to drive a wedge between us and the Republic of Korea, the People’s Republic of China has banned certain local firms in key information-infrastructure industries from buying computer chips from the American company Micron Technology.

The next two largest chip manufacturers after Micron are the RoK’s Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, each with chip factories in the PRC. The wedge is the effort to get those two to sell into the PRC in place of Micron.

Department of State Gaslighting

This time it’s in the arena of foreign military sales. Arms sales to our friends and allies are approved by Congress and they’re carried out by DoD.

[State] is set to release a 10-point plan to retool its oversight of the process to make it more effective at a time of strategic competition, especially with China, State Department officials said. It calls its new plan “FMS 2023.”
The State Department plans to develop more creative and flexible financing for countries, expanding the view of arms sales to take a more regional approach instead of weighing each country’s request on a case-by-case basis, and prioritizing some cases when they fit squarely into broader national security goals, according to department officials.

Economic Coercion

The subheadline on The Wall Street Journal‘s Sunday editorial summarizes one spin on the case.

The best defense would be for the West to work together against Beijing’s bullying.

The editors then summarize the related conclusion of a Center for Strategic and International Studies report:

All of this suggests that the West can work together to deter China by increasing the costs of economic coercion.


Time to Stop

Despite sanctions, Russia is succeeding in importing technical products like computer chips, lasers, and the like, products which are usable in the barbarian’s weapons systems as well as his more general economy. Russia is doing so with the active complicity of a few ex-Soviet republics that remain in the sway of the barbarian.

In total, US and EU goods exports to Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan rose to $24.3 billion last year from $14.6 billion in 2021. These countries collectively increased their exports to Russia by nearly 50% last year to around $15 billion.

They brag about it, too.

Stepping Up

Great Britain is sending Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has said that the missiles are now going into or are in the country itself, although it’s unclear how many are being sent or whether there are more in the pipeline.

The export version of the cruise missile (which I ass-u-me is the version being sent) has a range of 155 miles, cruises at 100 feet above ground, and carries a 1,000lb warhead.

And They Accused Trump of Being Soft on Russia

Progressive-Democrat President Joe Biden’s Janet Yellen-run Treasury department has—once again—extended a waiver to a rule barring import of Russian oil and gas that was instituted ‘way back in March 2022. Even at the time of the rule’s institution, Treasury created a waiver to allow financial institutions to continue processing dollar-currencied payments for Russian energy in other countries.

The waiver was supposed to expire by that June, but Yellen extended it to early December. She said, through a Treasury spokeswoman,

This license [extension] will provide for an orderly transition to help our broad coalition of partners reduce their dependence on Russian energy as we work to restrict the Kremlin’s revenue sources[.]

The Joe Biden Version of Immigration Reform

Now the CBP is being ordered by the Biden administration to release illegal aliens into our nation’s interior on illegals’ lick and promise: their “Notice to Appear/Warrant to Appear” forms with immigration court dates no earlier than 2026. Apparently, this is to clear the border of the current buildup in preparation for the even larger flood that’s building in anticipation of the removal of the last of the Title 42 restrictions later this week.