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We’ll start this episode with the decision by OPEC to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day, then, we’ll move on to the following:
A little bit about the leadership situation in Russia, and what might happen there.
A little bit about what elections in November might mean for the military.
The latest on the reaction to North Korea firing a ballistic missile over Japan.
A raid the U.S. conducted in Syria.
The latest news about the tensions in China and Taiwan.
Some news about arctic operations for America.
And end with our motivation and wisdom.
The biggest news of late is the following:
A coalition of oil-producing nations led by Russia and Saudi Arabia announced Wednesday it will slash oil production by 2 million barrels per day, in a rebuke to President Biden that could push up gas prices worldwide, worsen the risk of a global recession and bolster Russia in its war in Ukraine.
The move by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners prompted a blistering reaction from White House officials and reverberated almost immediately through domestic and global financial markets, threatening higher energy costs for the United States and European countries already grappling with inflation and economic instability.
In another article, Biden said the move was “a disappointment, and it says that there are problems” in the U.S.-Saudi relationship.
Possible countermoves by the U.S. include:
A move by Congress to repeal a long-standing exemption to federal antitrust law that allows OPEC to align prices.
Removal of American forces from Saudia Arabia. (Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) has already said he’d introduce a bill to do so.)
President Biden is taking serious heat for the situation.
Here are just a few examples:
Also, this, from Senator Chris Murphy, who’s a Democrat and member of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Finally, there’s this from retired CIA member and author, Marc Polymeropoulos, who appears on news segments and is on the @AtlanticCouncil.
We’ll see where this goes from here, but clearly Saudi relations are on shaky ground.
Moving along, I wanted to share this article from Defense One.
The article, Just How Long Should the US Send Aid to Ukraine?, was written by Erik Swabb, who served as a U.S. Marine infantry officer in Iraq and in the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia. He also served as General Counsel of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.
He wrote the following:
Should future U.S. assistance be measured in months, or at most a few years, especially if Ukraine is no longer in danger of being overrun by Russia?
The short answer is no. If the United States provides long-term assistance—likely for more than 10 years, not only could Ukraine secure its future against a revanchist Russia, Washington could gain a first-rate military partner. Because of its legitimate government, capable leaders, level of socio-economic development, highly motivated public, and combat experience, among other factors, Ukraine has a strong foundation on which to build. As a result, U.S. support could have an exponential impact on Ukrainian military capabilities. The United States would be a major beneficiary, allowing U.S. forces to focus on potential conflicts outside of Europe over the coming years.
Initially, my thoughts on helping Ukraine were about stopping a bully. About wrong and right, and which side we come down on.
But as Swabb explains, there’s a lot more benefit that we’re getting than we’re even thinking about.
Moving along, here are some questions for Putin to consider…
But Putin’s message isn’t completely being bought by the soldiers he’s sent. See this surrender video below.
As the losses mount, so does the pushback against Moscow. Such as this:
An official in a Russian-occupied region of Ukraine suggested Russia’s defense minister should shoot himself because of his army’s failings, an unusually blunt and public rebuke of Kremlin leadership.
And also this:
The growing, strident criticism of the Russian military command is drive hard-line nationalists
Shoigu, 67, has no military background but has served as defense minister for nearly a decade, and has been part of Putin’s leadership team since he was elevated to the presidency on Dec. 31, 1999. Until the war, Shoigu was among the country’s most popular politicians, and was often tipped as a potential successor to Putin.
He is one of Russia’s longest-serving ministers, going back to 1991, when President Boris Yeltsin named him minister for emergency situations. Over the years, Shoigu has remained close to Putin, sometimes accompanying the president on trips to the Siberian taiga.
And the pressure on Putin is continuing to grow, as well. See this:
Putin, who turns 70 on Friday, came to power himself through a quasi-legal succession process — appointed as deputy prime minister and then acting prime minister by President Boris Yeltsin, who resigned within five months, catapulting his handpicked successor into the presidency.
Names mentioned as potential successors include the Security Council secretary, Nikolai Patrushev; former president Dmitry Medvedev; longtime Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin; and Patrushev’s son, Dmitry, now agriculture minister.
I told you I’d keep up with any news about the aftereffects of North Korea launching a ballistic missile over Japan.
Well, here’s the latest on that.
In response to this provocation, the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, joined by two Japanese navy destroyers and one South Korean destroyer, arrived yesterday in the Sea of Japan to conduct trilateral ballistic missile defense exercises, Ryder said.
"These exercises send a clear message of allied unity between our nations and enhance the interoperability of our collective forces," he said.
"The exercises also demonstrate the deep strength of our trilateral relationship with Japan and the Republic of Korea, which is resolute against those who challenge regional stability," he said.
And moving to the Middle East, the United States conducted a risky in-person raid in Syria two days ago.
Let’s now move to China and Taiwan.
Hat tip to Joshua Hughes for sharing the next story.
From the story (U.S. Aims to Turn Taiwan Into Giant Weapons Depot):
American officials are intensifying efforts to build a giant stockpile of weapons in Taiwan after studying recent naval and air force exercises by the Chinese military around the island, according to current and former officials.
The exercises showed that China would probably blockade the island as a prelude to any attempted invasion, and Taiwan would have to hold out on its own until the United States or other nations intervened, if they decided to do that, the current and former officials say.
But the effort to transform Taiwan into a weapons depot faces challenges. The United States and its allies have prioritized sending weapons to Ukraine, which is reducing those countries’ stockpiles, and arms makers are reluctant to open new production lines without a steady stream of long-term orders.
Along those same lines, I wanted to share a couple of stories below, just because they show the increasingly aggressive words of American leaders toward China.
The two discussed their unwavering commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region and the challenges to that ideal.
Both Australia and the United States are dedicated to the premise that all countries should be free to choose their own destinies. Further, the international, rules-based order is based on the idea that nations should respect international laws and resolve disputes peacefully, Austin said.
"These shared convictions run deep, and they are the foundation of our unbreakable alliance," the secretary said. "The region and the world face a growing challenge from autocratic countries attempting to change the status quo through threats, coercion and provocative military activities and even naked aggression," Austin said. "We're deeply concerned by China's aggressive, escalatory and destabilizing military activities in the Taiwan Strait and elsewhere in the region."
Nations around the world are uniting to oppose Russia's unprovoked and cruel invasion of Ukraine. "The United States and Australia are united in opposing actions that threaten peace, stability and the rules-based international order," he said.
"Clearly, China wants to be the world's only superpower, and they actually believe that everybody else has to be a loser, and they can be the only winner," Air Force Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach said. (He’s the commander of Pacific Air Forces.) "It's clear that they want to impose their will on the world, especially their close neighbors. And that's, that's counter to our objective of [being] free and open."
Pitch Black exercise hosted by Australia. As the name implies, it is an exercise that emphasizes operating in low light. "There were 17 countries flying," he said. "And often when you have that many countries flying in one exercise, you actually have to reduce the complexity of the exercise so that everybody can participate."
I know I had said earlier I’d cover the artic command and Republican plans for Congress regarding the military, but this newsletter has gotten too long, so I’ll do my best to do that in the next edition.
So, with that, let’s move to the motivation and wisdom portion now.
I always like to end with this one:
And with that, thanks for joining us this week on The View from the Front.
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The View from the Front is a reader-supported publication. The best way to make this work sustainable, and to help improve it, 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 all.
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.