Bad tidings of sea and air space challenges

Memorial services for the Pax Americana will be held shortly.

“History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.” — Ronald Reagan

It made the most news when China did it a few days ago.  But it’s been building for a while, and it’s not just off China.  As the holidays settle in on us, probes of other nations’ sea and air space are in the air.  Is war coming tomorrow?  No.  But whether it comes after tomorrow will depend on more than gestures from that shapeless blob of geopolitical potential that we may now, in a post-superpower world, call the “status quo powers.”  It will depend on the outcomes the status quo powers can secure.

The China Challenge Continue reading “Bad tidings of sea and air space challenges”

Russian bombers do Guam

It matters.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that the Russian Tu-95 “Bear” bomber aircraft operated near Guam on 12 February, a few hours before President Obama’s SOTU address.

A few things about this.

1.  It’s not the first time the Russians have timed bomber flights to coincide with Obama events.  As early as February 2009, Russian bombers buzzed Canada hours before Obama’s first visit there to confer with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  Later that year, in July, Russia conducted three close approaches to Alaska with Tu-95 Bear bombers during Obama’s state visit to Moscow.  Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins had this to say at the time: Continue reading “Russian bombers do Guam”

Russia, Iran standing off from Obama’s showcase events

The times are a-changin’.

Vladimir Putin decided not to attend the recent NATO summit in Chicago – although probably not out of petty pique at our president.  Regardless of his sentiments about Obama, he would have attended if he had thought it was in his interest to do so.   Now Iran has abruptly ended the scheduled talks on her nuclear program in Baghdad, affirming no interest in continuing this round without some lightening of sanctions up front.  The next round of talks is to be held in Moscow.

If they occur, as promised, in June – before the US election – the most likely outcome is more stalling and no progress.  But that is not because there has been no prior interest on the Western side in making big concessions in order to get an agreement.  What Iran is doing actually amounts to avoiding being presented with a favorable agreement.  The abruptness of the talks’ end indicates Continue reading “Russia, Iran standing off from Obama’s showcase events”