Three more pings on Mar-a-Lago raid: A situational awareness adjustment

It all comes down to this.

This thought-treatment I really do hope to keep tight.  Nothing has changed substantially in terms of common facts since the last article, and my hope is to help focus the speculation on the situation, which right now is all over the place.

The pings have to do with (1) what the DOJ/FBI could have been and/or probably were looking for in the 8 August 2022 raid at Mar-a-Lago; (2) what the purpose(s) of the raid may have been; and (3) what DOJ and FBI already know about Trump knows, what he’s been doing at any relevant time in the past, and what his intentions are.

Regarding (2), I suspect there was more than one purpose. Continue reading “Three more pings on Mar-a-Lago raid: A situational awareness adjustment”

U.S. renders forensic opinion on Abu Akleh shooting

What would be a better answer.

As an Independence Day treat, the U.S. State Department on Monday announced its conclusions on the shooting of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin in May 2022.

It was reported earlier this weekend that the Palestinian Authority turned over to the U.S. a bullet the PA has said it recovered from Abu Akleh’s body after her death.  Israeli media said afterward that the bullet was then turned over to Israeli authorities for analysis, with U.S. personnel present throughout the process.

Other reporting contradicted that assertion, Continue reading “U.S. renders forensic opinion on Abu Akleh shooting”

Missile defense, NATO, and the significance of the periphery: Three pings on Russia-Ukraine

Bad negotiating.

And there it is:  the Biden administration agrees to put missile defense in Europe up for negotiation with Moscow.

That’s not what most will acknowledge at this point, including, of course, the Biden administration.  But that’s what it is.

On Wednesday, Americans learned of communications between NATO and Russia in which Russia proposed visits to sites in Poland and Romania where the U.S. deploys our Aegis Ashore missile defense system.  (Note, however, that the site in Poland has yet to become operational and has been delayed by years due to reported “contractor performance issues.”  That can’t help having a curious sound to it.  See p. 7(11) here.)

The purpose of the visits: Continue reading “Missile defense, NATO, and the significance of the periphery: Three pings on Russia-Ukraine”

A downpayment on “Kazakhstan” and the coming perturbations

Interesting times.

There’s a better-than-even chance that the developments in Kazakhstan will have repercussions well beyond any that are currently imagined – and probably beyond the intentions of any outside actors who have been involved, as some evidence indicates.

This is not primarily because of Kazakhstan as a security issue for Russia, though that’s a factor.  It’s because there is no Pax Americana anymore; there’s been none since about 2011; the U.S. under Biden is not and will not be the guardian of stability that we’ve been since 1945; and actors like Russia, China, and Iran see now as the time to take maximum advantage of that.

The short version is that they perceive they can get away with things, and they’re going to do them.

Starting with Kazakhstan Continue reading “A downpayment on “Kazakhstan” and the coming perturbations”

U.S. officials seek to counter China move on potential naval base in Atlantic

In the Atlantic: China, persisting.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that U.S. intelligence believes China is seeking to use the port of Bata in Equatorial Guinea, on Africa’s West coast, as a forward base for naval operations in the Atlantic.

There has been speculation about such a move for some time.  I wrote in May 2021 about an earlier report at the Washington Times, which cited Army General Stephen Townsend, Commander of U.S. Africa Command, expressing concern that China was seeking a naval base in West Africa.  General Townsend didn’t mention a specific country or port, but prior information indicated Senegal, Cape Verde Islands, and Western Sahara were possibilities.  (That article also dealt with reports that China wants to make a forward base out of Kiribati in the Pacific, with the initial outfitting to support an air base.) Continue reading “U.S. officials seek to counter China move on potential naval base in Atlantic”