Welcome to the View from the Front podcast. If you just happened to stumble by, let me say a quick word about what we’re doing here.
For those who don’t know, my name is Stan R. Mitchell, and I’m a prior Marine and journalist.
Every week, I primarily do three things:
Work to highlight what our military troops are doing around the world, while also trying to better educate Americans about looming hotspots. (Why I focus on foreign policy...)
Attempt to unite our country and remind us of how lucky we are to live in America. (My thoughts on the division in this country...)
And I always make sure at the end of the episode to share plenty of motivation and wisdom, because I want to do my small part to help encourage you and lift you up. Life is certainly hard, and I think it’s fair to say all of us need all the motivation and encouragement that we can possibly get.
In this episode, we’ll be discussing several topics, that I think will really interest you, and that I almost guarantee you haven’t seen in the news! This includes:
Plenty of news about the Ukraine/Russia conflict, we’ll debunk the top five myths about the Russian invasion, we’ll cover a new defense treaty that Japan signed with Britain (as well as some of the behind-the-door reasons that Japan is stepping out of its passive state), and then we’ll cover two bits of cool tech news: lasers on ships and an unmanned fleet of 100 U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf region.
Finally, we’ll cover plenty of motivation and wisdom, as we all do.
Again, you should listen to it from the player above.
And if you love what I’m doing here, please sign up for email notifications. It’s FREE. Unless you choose to subscribe and support what I’m doing. It’s $5 per month should you choose that option, and you can cancel at any time.
Also, people are always asking me on social media how to best support my dreams, including getting out future books sooner. Believe me, the best way to support me is by signing up for a paid subscription here. Or, you can sign up at Patreon or at Venmo (@authorstanrmitchell).
Enough of the sales pitch, I hope you enjoy today’s edition. Again, you should listen to it from the player above.
And what follows are some of the news reports/source notes that I quote from in the podcast, as well as the motivation and wisdom links I read.
Selected source notes for the podcast.
Ukrainian intelligence officials are warning that the Kremlin plans a new mobilization wave for up to 500,000 men to fight in Ukraine starting in mid-January.
The new conscription drive, which would be larger than last autumn’s Russian draft of 300,000, would include a push in big cities, including some strategic industrial centers in Russia, Andriy Cherniak, an official with the Main Military Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, told POLITICO on Saturday.
“This time the Kremlin will mobilize residents of big cities, including the strategic industries centers all over Russia,” Cherniak said. “This will have a very negative impact on the already suffering Russian economy.”
Russia plans to mobilize 500,000 soldiers in days. If they don't deliver victory, then 'Putin will collapse,' says Ukrainian spy chief.
The leadership changes, whatever their true purpose, highlight that Putin never expected to be in such a disastrous situation. He is now nearly a year into an invasion that some Russian commentators predicted would end successfully within days, with victorious Russian troops parading through Kyiv.
“Putin loves to cut the legs out from under whoever is tallest at the moment, and I think this is a part of that,” McKew said in an interview. “It is a signal that these internal power struggles that everybody has been microanalyzing and that we focus on so much are under control.”
Whatever the internal machinations, one thing remains clear: The war is not going to plan. McKew said the reshuffling reflected preparation for new offensives. “I think it signals an escalation, of commitment to advancing and sustaining the war, which no one’s really been that certain of from the Russian side, because they were planning on winning so quickly,” McKew said.
Why is Japan taking this step toward remilitarization? One galvanizing moment for Japanese leaders, U.S. officials say, was when China and Russia flew six heavy bombers near Japan in a joint exercise on May 24, as Tokyo was hosting a meeting of the “Quad” partnership of Australia, India, Japan and the United States.
Japan expressed “serious concerns” about the flights. But China and Russia did it again in late November, sending two Chinese heavy bombers and two Russian planes over the Sea of Japan. This time Tokyo expressed “severe concerns,” again with no apparent response.
Another wake-up call came in August, when China fired five missiles into Japan’s “exclusive economic zone” during a spasm of military exercises after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visited Taiwan. “We have protested strongly through diplomatic channels,” said Nobuo Kishi, Japan’s former defense minister who now serves as a special adviser to the prime minister. The lesson was that “nothing in the Taiwan Strait stays in the Taiwan Strait,” Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Tokyo, told me in an interview.
Earlier this month, US, Australian, British and Japanese paratroopers conducted joint parachute training from Japanese aircraft.
Additionally, the Vigilant Isles (pictured above) joint UK-Japanese exercise, which began in 2018 and other than US forces, was the first time foreign troops had conducted military exercises on Japanese soil, was held for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic in December, with soldiers from the British Army’s Royal Artillery and their Japanese counterparts practising island defence capabilities and improving their interoperability.
From the story (Story link: Here comes the Navy’s laser fleet):
Developed under a 2018 contract with Lockheed, the HELIOS consists of a 60-kilowatt laser and optical dazzler package designed to knock out unmanned aerial vehicles, “burn the boats,” and disrupt both airborne and shipborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance sensors, according to the Congressional Research Service.
As swarms of drone aircraft, watercraft, and anti-ship missiles pose growing threats to surface vessels, laser weapons systems have proven an ideal low-cost, near-unlimited ammo countermeasure to deter potential attacks.
Motivation and Wisdom:
You know, just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. And we all know that opportunities don't happen, you create them.
So, I want to make sure I do my best to feed you mentally. As you’ve probably heard, people often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing, that's why we recommend it daily.” That was said by the great Zig Ziglar, and I’ve found it to be true for sure.
Without further delay, let’s just begin.
And, I always like to end with this one:
And with that, thanks for joining us this week on The View from the Front.
If you can, consider at some point becoming a paid subscriber.
The View from the Front is a reader-supported publication. The best way to support this work and make it sustainable is with a paid subscription. But at the same time, free ones are appreciated, too!
As a reminder, please be kind and try your best to love your fellow Americans.
So many men and women have sacrificed, fought, and died to keep this country together the past 240-plus years. Please work daily to unite our country again. The vast majority of Americans are decent, loving, great people.
Please don’t name-call the other side. They are mothers and fathers and folks not much different than you.🇺🇸🇺🇸
Also, please try to be a better person each and every day. Try to be kinder on social media and how you interact with others with whom you disagree.
Also, if you have a dream kicking around in the back of your mind? Go after it. If you have that friend or family member that you know you should reach out to? Reach out to them.
Finally, and this especially goes to all my awesome military folks listening out there, if you need help, reach out to someone. Please. Call that friend or family member. Do it for us all. We’ve already lost too many of the greatest folks that this country has produced to suicide. So I’m asking you to be brave once more, and show some vulnerability. Take a deep breath, breathe, and call a friend or family member or someone who can help.
I appreciate each and every one of you. Every tweet, every share, every email, etc. I can’t even tell you how much those mean to me, and I love each and every one of you.
Please join me again in our next episode, and please stay safe until then.
Thanks again, everyone! You guys are the best. As always, don’t forget to check out my books. You can find all 11 of them on Amazon.
And with that, I’m out.
Stan R. Mitchell
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my books. I’ve written a CIA/Marine sniper series, a detective series, a private investigator series, an action-packed Western, a motivational/biography book about President Obama, and two realistic war novels: one about World War II and one about Afghanistan.