Ukraine, election legitimacy, and Trump’s big day of validation

Expressing U.S. interests. Or, rather, not.

There’s commentary below on the Ukraine issue, but first, the meta-message of President Biden’s press conference on Wednesday:  Trump can be un-impeached any time now.  The two things he was impeached for have become U.S. policy under Joe Biden.

The first impeachment of Trump was over Trump’s handling of arms shipments to Ukraine.  Democrats in Congress charged that Trump improperly delayed them and showed inadequate support for Ukraine’s security, allegedly as an extortion move against the Ukrainian government in a quest to get Kyiv to attack Joe Biden.

Now showing inadequate support for Ukraine’s security is Biden’s U.S. national policy.

The second impeachment of Trump Continue reading “Ukraine, election legitimacy, and Trump’s big day of validation”

TOC Ready Room 17 Jan 2022: Rumors of war; Antisemitic attack in Texas

What’s wrong and right with the world.

This will be the roughest and readiest of Ready Rooms.  What I want to focus on is insights readers may not have gleaned from elsewhere on two important topics.

The first is Russia and Ukraine, and on that topic the initial observation must be that the subject is being comprehensively suppressed on Twitter, and may be on Google as well.  I can tell what’s being suppressed on Twitter, as I’m posting some of it and watching the reach of others’ tweets, as well as mine, be throttled.  Popular tweeps on the matter are posting updates and links, and the number of “likes” and retweets is abysmal, far below what you’d normally see.

If we were to read something into that, it would seem to be that someone expects something to happen soon. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 17 Jan 2022: Rumors of war; Antisemitic attack in Texas”

Danger closer: A game change that needs to reset U.S. national defense alertment

Even more interesting times.

Probably the strangest consequence from two recent North Korean missile tests, on 5 and 11 January 2022, was a pair of reported U.S. events that appear to have been in reaction to them.

One U.S. event got much more coverage than the other.  It was on the afternoon of 10 January on the U.S. West coast, minutes after the missile launch from North Korea at 7:27 AM in the Korean time zone on 11 January. 

At “around 2:30 PM PST” on 10 January, the FAA issued a ground stop for air traffic throughout sectors on the West coast.  The North Korean missile launch occurred three minutes before the ground stop order, whose reality and authenticity The Drive’s “War Zone” blog has since verified through contact with persons involved at the receiving end of the order.  Sources confirmed they believed the stop order to be related to national security. Continue reading “Danger closer: A game change that needs to reset U.S. national defense alertment”

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”

December 2021: Russia making major strategic moves

Russia busting some big moves.

This will not by any means be a comprehensive treatment.  Time is a big factor right now, and it’s more important to enlarge the landscape image of what’s going on by presenting recent developments together.

In the latest TOC Ready Room, we looked at Russia’s announcement about being “forced” to deploy intermediate-range missiles to Europe, which would be an overt violation of the terms of the now-defunct 1987 INF Treaty.

That in itself is a major move; “tectonic,” we might say, using the adjective deployed by Dmitry Medvedev in 2011 about the Arab Spring.

As discussed on 15 December, I assess Russia’s move to be as much about a shifting orientation vis-à-vis China as about Russia’s relations with NATO Europe.  But it’s definitely about NATO Europe (and North America) as well. Continue reading “December 2021: Russia making major strategic moves”