The 10/15/21 dispatch.

Happy Friday! Hope everyone is doing well.

I thought I’d start this week’s edition with the news that Harvard is withdrawing a language program from China and moving it to Taiwan. And I literally said at the time, the following: “I think this is just the start of a trend for American companies and institutions. China is going to have to decide who it wants to be.”

And what I meant is that if China continues its current bullying, horrendous behaviors, then Western institutions (and capital) will flee.

Sure enough, shortly afterward, LinkedIn announced it was starting to exit the country. (See below.)

This is the kind of thing that can spiral. Once a country (or person) gets a reputation, it’s hard to change it.

What if most American companies fled? What if all Western tourism ended? What if American consumers seriously boycotted all products made in China.

It’s hard to fully grasp how big a deal this could be and I hope China will begin to chart a new course forward. One of peace and unity with the rest of the world. Because the alternative will not only be bad for a lot of the West, it will also eventually be horrific for China.

In other news, there was this, which certainly caught my eye:

From the story:

"We continue to believe that diplomacy is the most effective way to do that, but it takes two to engage in diplomacy, and we have not seen from Iran a willingness to do that at this point," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a joint press conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the State Department before their meetings.

Blinken emphasized that the window for diplomacy with Tehran is closing "because Iran has been using this time to advance its nuclear program in a variety of ways."

"I'm not going to put a specific date on it, but with every passing day and Iran's refusal to engage in good faith, the runway gets shortened," Blinken said.

With the window for a diplomatic opportunity growing more narrow, the Biden administration is holding discussions about contingency options to contain Iran's nuclear program with partners and allies.

This is the kind of thing that certainly bears watching.

I would hate to see strikes against Iran but we constantly seem to be edging up to that line with them. (Recall the strikes last year back and forth. And our history of small skirmishes with them goes back decades.)

Moving along, for those who have been following the outspoken Marine Lt Col drama, it seems to have mostly resolved itself. See story below.

I’ll end this edition with two lighter notes.

In the good-hearted category, there’s this.

And in the motivation category, there’s this.

That’s it for this post. Stay safe and be kind. As always, please share this post if you enjoyed it.


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Every Tuesday and Friday, I write about conflicts and military matters that are happening throughout the world. Such as what’s happening in Afghanistan or Iraq. How we’re aligning ourselves to counter China’s growing influence. Updates on new military technology that we’re fielding.

As long-time readers know, I do all of this from a moderate perspective that focuses on unity in our country. I also don’t believe in clickbait, over-the-top headlines, or other tactics created to increase fear or panic, all in the hope of adding to web traffic. You will always get the sober, mature view, with a slight bit of my optimism peering through. 

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Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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