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.)
So far, it seems these are just harassing moves by China, but any time a country is doing this, you always fear they are just trying to get the other side to lower their guard. And then during one of the runs of fighters and bombers, it’s the real deal. A real attack with real missiles and bombs.
As of now, U.S. intelligence doesn’t seem overly concerned of an immediate Chinese attack, so that’s good. But I do think that if you’re China, even though your own forces are growing and becoming more modern and lethal by the day, you do have to worry that the West is growing better prepared and aligned to prevent/repel an invasion. And thus, an attack in the shorter term is the potentially more strategically wise move (if you’re going to risk such an incredibly risky move).
I don’t know that an invasion is possible in the short term. (You may remember previous newsletters mentioning the limited number of landing craft that China currently has.) But the U.S. certainly seems politically divided right now, and the alignment of countries against China grows by the month, so who knows. Perhaps some air strikes and missile strikes might get Taiwan to bow down, China might think.
But the risk of any kind of attack is absolutely so huge for China. It’s economy could literally be destroyed almost overnight by world-wide boycotts, tariffs, etc. So, the safe bet is more intimidation, playing the 25- to 50-year game that China seems set on. (They’re assuming, of course, that by then America will be weaker and less of a barrier.)
Before we move on from this topic, if you REALLY want to get into the weeds about the airspace around Taiwan, just give this thread of comments a read after you click the link:
Moving to other matters, there was a good piece about the world we find ourselves in now, given our post-Afghanistan withdrawal. It’s a good reminder that we are more aligned in our country through our police/intelligence/military communities to prevent future 9/11s. A good read if you have a few mins.
In other news, for those who need their tech hit for this week, there’s this:
Finally, there’s been a fair amount of news about the Pandora Papers. I haven’t really been super into these stories because it seems beyond obvious to me. The rich and powerful have ALWAYS been finding ways to hide their wealth and avoid paying taxes. But if you want some more info on it, see below.
In other matters, for your hit of motivation of the week, there’s this:
And lastly, here’s a heart-warming story to end the post with:
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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Stan R. Mitchell
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