TOC Ready Room 28 March 2022: Russia-Ukraine and the breakup of NATO; Biolabs and viruses

What’s wrong and right with the world.

Two main points for this post regarding Russia and Ukraine.  One is that, as most readers will be aware, Russia has declared a new phase of operations, which according to the Russian video brief is to concentrate on consolidating Russia’s territorial gains in Donbas.

This is being presented by Western media as evidence that the invasion so far has been an unmitigated disaster for Moscow.  That’s obviously not true.  An unmitigated disaster would be one in which Russia, after suffering some apparently significant personnel and equipment losses (I remain wary of going with either side’s numbers on that), had no territorial gains to consolidate. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 28 March 2022: Russia-Ukraine and the breakup of NATO; Biolabs and viruses”

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”

Bear bombers and the general collapse of the status quo

Peace in our time.

An F-22 from the 302d Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf AFB, AK intercepts a Russian Tu-95MS Bear H. (USAF image)
An F-22 from the 302d Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf AFB, AK intercepts a Russian Tu-95MS Bear H. (USAF image)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Iran: Now for the not-so-funny part

The missiles of 2014?

Alternate title: Sink the Kharg!

Intellectual honesty required putting the recent threats issued by Iran in a realistic perspective.  While we should take Iran’s geopolitical posture seriously, it does our own deliberations a disservice to accept absurdities from Iran rather than calling them out.  Someone’s bound to notice eventually, so it’s best to sort the nonsense out up front.

That said, we should be concerned about what Iran has been doing in the last 48-72 hours.  This is not because Iran can make good on threats like those depicted in the truly moronic Lenziran video (see link above); it’s because the Iranian regime has escalated its verbal attacks dramatically.  These aren’t random bursts of rhetoric.  They appear to have a specific purpose. Continue reading “Iran: Now for the not-so-funny part”

Iran: Funniest threats ever?

Interesting times.

In Iran's crosshairs.  Sort of.
In Iran’s crosshairs. Sort of.

To begin with, let’s agree that it is not funny that Iran’s making threats.  It’s the way Iran is making threats.  Which – I’m sorry – has me in stitches.

No, really.  It isn’t funny.  It’s just hard not to laugh.

To read a full-length treatment of the latest Iranian trash talk, see this excellent summary from Times of Israel.  I’ll address the two major rhetorical jabs in turn. Continue reading “Iran: Funniest threats ever?”