The 10/19/21 dispatch.

Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!

Probably the biggest news since the last edition was the report regarding China’s hypersonic weapon and the passing of Colin Powell. Given that the Colin Powell passing made such huge headlines yesterday, I’ll only share a couple of small tidbits about him at the end of this edition, since I feel the mainstream media covered that fairly in depth.

So with that introduction out of the way, let’s talk about China’s hypersonic weapon news. Here’s the basic story in two tweets.

Item 1:

Item 2.

China denied it had launched a hypersonic weapon, saying it wasn’t a missile but instead was a space vehicle used in a "routine test." China claims it’s developing technology to lower the cost of future space travel.

Frankly, having perused several things on this, I’m not a hundred percent sure what to make of this. Some defense officials seem to think it's a huge deal. Others counter that current, tested weaponry (such as low-flying cruise missiles and ICBMs) can easily counter the threat.

The U.S. doesn’t seem too concerned publicly. (See below.)

To me, the reality is that it’s not like China is going to suddenly try to strike the U.S. with either ICBMs or hyper-sonic weapons. (That would lead to a catastrophic counter-response, and we currently have more nukes aimed in that direction.)

Rather, the real strategic fault line lies with Taiwan, and any possible attack or invasion of that island. (See below for your weekly geography reminder.)

The U.S. remains committed to growing an allied force that will prevent China ever retaking the island. I’ve written on this at length. See three items below:

Stan R. Mitchell: foreign policy and military matters.
The 10/8/21 dispatch.
Hope everyone has had a great week! Since my last post on Tuesday, I’m sad to say that things have gotten even testier with China. News broke that the United States ALREADY has troops in Taiwan, who are operating as advisors. This was previously unknown and certainly top secret information…
Read more
Stan R. Mitchell: foreign policy and military matters.
The 10/5/21 dispatch.
Hope everyone had a great weekend, and that you’re off to a strong start this week! Biggest news of late in the foreign policy world is China is upping its intimidation of Taiwan. (See stories below…
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Stan R. Mitchell: foreign policy and military matters.
The 9/24/21 dispatch.
Happy Friday to everyone! In this post, I wanted to share three quick China-related stories, and then share a few other neat things I’ve come across. First, China is still being China, trying to intimidate Taiwan (and probably other neighbors that we don’t know about). Nothing new here. See below…
Read more

Moving on, over in Afghanistan, the Taliban is learning some painful lessons about what it’s like to be on defense instead of on offense, as the aggressor. Another bombing recently happened there, as Islamic State ramps up its efforts against the Taliban. (See below.)

In other matters, I came across this news on Twitter and I’ve got to say, Alex is dead on. For as much as we blast the military (and other government agencies) for wasting money, it’s often as not Congress that deserves the blame.

Now for items that AREN’T in the news, but are still a big deal, let’s return to the old subject of Syria, where the Biden administration is attempting to overcome the reluctance of some nations to repatriate Islamic State fighters from Syria.

From the Washington Post:

Around 11,000 suspected fighters remain imprisoned in makeshift prisons run by Syrian Kurdish forces in northeast Syria. At least 60,000 women and children are confined to camps housing Islamic State families, where officials warn dire conditions and rampant extremism may yield a new generation of militants.

At least 70 people have been killed so far this year inside al-Hol, the sprawling camp that has come to symbolize the deadlock over the fighters and family members, hailing from across Europe, the Middle East and beyond, who now personify the unaddressed aftermath of the five-year battle against the Islamic State.

Many countries, including close U.S. allies in Europe, have been reluctant to bring home their nationals, citing security fears and the burden of monitoring or prosecuting those with extremist links.

“Just because it’s out of sight and out of mind, which it is for the vast majority of Americans, doesn’t mean it’s not a very serious problem,” said Nathan Sales, who oversaw efforts to repatriate those in the facilities as a top counterterrorism official during the Trump administration.

You can read the full story here:

Now, back to the Colin Powell news. Here are just a couple of items I really wanted to share.

First, this heart-felt comment from our Secretary of Defense.

And finally, this great clip that I still remember like it was yesterday.

Okay, this post has been long.

Let’s end with some motivation. I came across this story and was blown away. I hope it touches and inspires you, as well.

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. 

Feel free to leave a comment below. I love having conversations on here! You can also simply reply to the email you received and I will receive that communication, as well. I always appreciate each and every email that I receive. 

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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