TOC Ready Room 29 March 2022: Eyes front (not back), on attacks in Israel

What’s wrong and right with the world.

This will be a brief Ready Room; basically little more than a string of tweets.  But it’s important. The subject is the terror attacks in Israel in recent days, which have now taken the lives of 11 people.  The first was a gruesome mass-knifing attack, the other two shooting attacks.

Terror using small arms is not unusual in Israel, but the attacks we’ve been seeing also don’t fit recent patterns. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 29 March 2022: Eyes front (not back), on attacks in Israel”

TOC Ready Room 10 March 2022: NFZs, convoys, and Iran follies, oh my

What’s wrong and right with the world; Russia-, Ukraine-, and Iran-wise.

Keeping it short and sweet for now, as things keep updating on the long-running Phase II of the “IT in Russiagate” topic.  The first subject in today’s Ready Room grab-bag is the no-fly zone proposal for Ukraine.

It’s a bad idea.  All I will do here is copy in an email sent earlier with my reflections on the matter.  They were forwarded in response to a piece by former Senator Joe Lieberman in the Wall Street Journal (apologies for the paywall).

The email text: Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 10 March 2022: NFZs, convoys, and Iran follies, oh my”

Russia-Ukraine: An alternative scenario

Rumors of war-war flying fast. What if there’s another option?

Saturday morning in the U.S. sees reporting that President Biden is recalling U.S. diplomats from Kyiv, and suspending consular services at the embassy.

Russia is also said to be pulling diplomats out of Ukraine. Continue reading “Russia-Ukraine: An alternative scenario”

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. executing weak-hand troop reset in Iraq

Got an uncomfortable feeling about this.

At first glance, this might not sound to some observers like it’s that bad a move.  But it’s worrisome, and the reason is stated simply.  It leaves U.S. troops in Iraq, some still at the remote bases, but with less security than they had before the “drawdown.”

It’s also being done as the result of attacks on the U.S. and other Coalition troops at the Iraqi bases earlier in 2021.  Such a prelude inevitably creates a sense that the Iran-backed “militias” that launched the attacks have the U.S. on the run.  That’s not a useful basis for security expectations going forward.

It isn’t getting much media attention in the U.S., but an 18 December article indicates the Iraqi army has announced that “foreign combat troops” have left Al-Asad air base in Anbar Province, and that the base is now under the full control of the Iraqi army. Continue reading “U.S. executing weak-hand troop reset in Iraq”