Discover more from The View from the Front. By Stan R. Mitchell.
The Stan R. Mitchell report for 3/29/22.
Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!
We begin today with Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defense for the United Kingdom posted the most up-to-date map of the situation below.
If you look at that red line along the bottom of the map, that’s the land bridge that Russia is determined to establish and maintain.
That will allow Russia to easily supply and reinforce the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally invaded back in 2014.
But General McCaffrey says the Russians are desperate to try to claim Odessa to the west (or left side of the map), while also trying to simply retain the land bridge they’ve already attempted to establish. And as he said in the video below, it’s not clear they can do either.
From a broader, higher perspective, the best news is that Ukraine has begun counter-attacking Russian troops.
Let’s hope the Ukrainians can continue to push back the Russians and cut off their supply lines. And that America and the West continue to arm them as they need.
I wanted to comment briefly on the remarks by President Biden in Warsaw, Poland, where he ad-libbed the line, "For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power."
Let me first say that I don’t want any president, whether it’s Biden or Trump or anyone else, ad-libbing during major foreign policy speeches.
It’s dangerous and foolish, under the best of circumstances.
But as the political firestorms blew one way and then back another, I was surprised to learn that former President Ronald Reagan found himself in much the same situation.
In a column in The Washington Post, Biden’s support for Ukraine and opposition to Putin were no ‘gaffe,’ columnist Max Boot made the following point:
Yet I wonder if perhaps history will vindicate this Biden “gaffe” in much the way that many historians have praised comments by President Ronald Reagan that were once seen as dangerously provocative.
Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire” and predicted it would wind up on the “ash-heap of history.” Those tough but true words contributed to raising superpower tensions in the early 1980s, but they also inspired many behind the Iron Curtain to fight for freedom. After the Berlin Wall came down, many saw Reagan as a visionary, not as a warmonger.
Future historians might similarly vindicate Biden’s hope that Putin — whom he has accurately branded a “war criminal” — will fall from power even though the United States apparently has no plan to remove Putin, just as in the 1980s the United States did not have any plan to topple the Berlin Wall.
Biden’s words give hope not only to Ukrainians but also to Russian dissidents fighting to build a freer country, and it is hard to see how they could make Putin fight any harder than he already is.
I agree with much of that, but I disagree with that last line. You don’t want to make Putin more desperate.
And I remain steadfast in my belief that no president should ad-lib foreign policy comments. If President Biden wanted to say what he said, it should have been written in by the speechwriters.
What do you all think? Would love to hear your thoughts on his words in the comment section.
Moving along to the countering of China, there were a few things worth sharing in that regard. First, there was this:
Secondly, there was this show of force by America and its allies.
Finally, there was this excellent commentary about what our goal should be.
Moving on to tech news, there was a great article on Military.com about the new service rifle/machine gun for the Dept of Defense.
From the article:
The weapons are expected to be tested by various units for feedback that will play into the Defense Department's decision on what the new rifle and machine gun for the Army will be. The M4 is a smaller variant of the M16 rifle, originally fielded in 1969. The SAW, which uses 5.56mm ammo, was issued to units in 1984, serving as a much lighter alternative to the Army's M240L machine gun, which uses 7.62mm ammo. That weapon is not on deck to be replaced.
The Next Generation Squad Weapons program was launched in 2017. The Army wanted weapons to use a 6.8mm round, over concerns that the current 5.56mm is too small, especially against an adversary with body armor. That new ammo is also aimed to be lighter than the current brass ammo used by troops.
You can read the full article here: Army Aims to Buy 29,000 Next-Gen Rifles and Machine Guns for Grunts to Test.
Finally, let’s end with some motivation and wisdom.
That’s it for this edition. As a reminder, please be kind and endeavor to love your fellow Americans. We need to pull this country together, and that starts with all of us.
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Stan R. Mitchell
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