Discover more from The View from the Front. By Stan R. Mitchell.
The 1/11/22 dispatch.
Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope everyone is doing well.
Before we start this newsletter, let me share a bit of personal news, if you will.
I've released a new book and taken my first shot at a book that wasn't fiction. Below are the details:
“Number 44: The traits and characteristics that carried Barack Obama to the top” is a part character study/part self-help book. It’s a short, non-partisan look at what will be the first of many books about the charisma and character of American presidents. What sets them apart from their peers? What qualities allowed them to reach their goals where so many have failed? And how can you cultivate those qualities in yourself?
Each book will avoid left-versus-right issues. This series isn’t concerned with a president’s policies. Rather, each installment will provide a brief overview of the life of one president — probably detailing some things you DIDN’T know about them in the process — and dissect what lessons we might learn from them (both in their successes and their failures).
These books, with luck, will enrich your life and further your career. The first book will be about Barack Obama. The next will be about a Republican (in an effort to maintain a political balance to the series).
Thank you for that small indulgence.
Moving to news, the violence mentioned in the past newsletter happening in Kazakhstan has mostly been tamped down through government oppression, including the intervention of Russian troops.
Russian troops to quit Kazakhstan, says president. From the story:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed victory in defending Kazakhstan from what he described as a foreign-backed terrorist uprising. Read more.
Kazakh authorities say order has been largely restored in the nation of 19 million and that almost 10,000 people have been detained over the unrest, with a hunt for others ongoing.
Many high-level officials have been arrested (see below), and I’m sure some pretty deep purges will now occur.
For those who have forgotten, here’s how the unrest was put down. (Note: it ain’t pretty, and that’s the censored video below; there are dozens of uncensored shooting videos on Twitter.)
Moving away from Kazakhstan to Ukraine, the Russian intimidation of a third invasion hasn’t let up. (I know, most places don’t say third invasion, but first Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula. And they followed that up by invading the eastern part of the country in the Donbass region.)
This potential third invasion seems as likely (maybe more likely) than it did a couple of weeks ago. Just two links to prove this point.
And for those who think with the new year, that maybe we should just trust Putin on this, quick reminder:
I’d create a list of links for all the ways that Putin is a horrendous, cruel dictator, but I fear there’s not enough bandwidth for that.
Ukraine is preparing for the likely invasion.
From the article above:
A new law that went into effect on Saturday, Jan. 1, has enshrined civilian resistance as a key component of Ukraine’s national defense against a Russian invasion force. Adopted over the summer of 2021 in the wake of Russia’s April military buildup, the law “On the Fundamentals of National Resistance” will “involve the entire population of Ukraine in the protection of their homeland, their land and their families,” according to the Ukrainian presidential administration website.
To that end, Ukraine’s civilian resistance fighters are being trained and equipped for war ahead of time. And should Russia invade more Ukrainian territory this winter, these volunteers will be led into battle by a cadre of highly skilled special operations commandos and combat veterans.
Let’s hope that Putin doesn’t invade, but I wish we were arming the Ukranians at an even heavier clip than we already are. The U.S. has hesitated to rush more weapons in for fear of provoking Putin, but in my mind, he’s not exactly the kind of guy who needs provoking.
Plus, let’s keep his power in perspective.
I say arm the Ukrainians and pray for them as they deal with probably the worst neighbor a country could ever have.
Moving on to China, another country worth barely trusting or watching with a keen eye, there was this news a few days ago.
China’s construction of a bridge spanning a Himalayan lake that lies along the India-China border has reinforced concerns in New Delhi about the ramping up of military infrastructure by the Asian giant in contested areas along their frontier.
The bridge being built over Pangong Lake lies in territory that Beijing controls but is also claimed by India. It will enable Chinese troops to mobilize rapidly in the area where both sides were engaged in a prolonged military standoff, according to analysts.
Days after satellite pictures revealed the construction of the bridge, India said that it has been closely monitoring the construction activity. “This bridge is being constructed in areas that have been under illegal occupation by China for around 60 years now,” foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing this week. “As you are well aware, India has never accepted such illegal occupation.”
Moving to the Middle East, Iran continues its build up. But this time we’re talking about their naval power.
According to the article, Iran built a destroyer, four submarines and 110 combat speedboats last year. This year, Iran wants to build another destroyer and larger submarines.
Full story here: Iran seeks to grow naval power as it prioritizes asymmetric warfare.
Moving to Afghanistan, the Taliban is still being the Taliban, with this high-profile arrest (among many other acts).
No point in talking about the above matter much. Most Americans don’t care about Afghanistan. (If I still sound sour about this, it’s because I still am.)
Moving to Asia, Covid has the military taking some pretty unprecedented steps as they continue to try to minimize its effects on readiness.
This isn’t news, but it’s a good reminder of how much more readily people across this country once were to serve. How many had forgotten about Ted Williams and what he did for America?
Finally, let’s end with some wisdom and motivation.
That’s it for this edition. And as a reminder, please be kind and endeavor to love and support your fellow Americans. The vast majority of Americans are decent, loving, great people.
Please don’t name-call the other side on social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. They are mothers and fathers and folks not much different than you.
As always, please share this post if you enjoyed it, as well as comment below.
Stan R. Mitchell
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my books. I write fast-paced military and mystery thrillers. You can find all ten books here: amazon.com.