The view from the front: military matters and motivation for 6/3/22.
Happy Friday!! Hope you have some wonderful plans for the weekend!
The biggest news since Tuesday was the below, which is huge for Ukraine.
If you want to know why this is a HUGE deal, check out the incredibly-detailed thread below. It’s absolutely worth the read to see the edge these have over Russian weapons systems.
Moving along, this wasn’t exactly a small deal for Ukraine in itself.
Moving from land to sea matters, I’ve been writing about the Russian blockade for several editions, and another potential solution came up this week.
From the story:
These storage containers -- such as bags or boxes -- could help salvage some of the more than 20 million tons of grain that are currently stuck inside Ukraine. They could also help Ukraine load the grain onto trains or trucks out of the country once overland routes are established, a senior administration official explained.
Pretty cool idea for sure, and I’m glad the Administration and the world is working hard on this serious problem.
While all of this is happening from the Ukraine side of the house, Russia continues to show some strain and weakness happening. As proof, take a gander at this.
I really can’t blame those quoted in that story. I mean, would you want to go back after learning the glaring realities of combat in Ukraine (after being sold a total spin job about Nazi’s)?
But, the Russians being Russians, this news broke, as well.
Hanna Liubakova @HannaLiubakovaThe list of what #Russia’s occupying forces stole from Chernobyl’s laboratories was compiled by @washingtonpost: - 689 computers - 344 vehicles - 1,500 radiation dosimeters - Irreplaceable software - Almost every piece of firefighting equipment The estimated cost $135 million https://t.co/DbVqCwQJjQ
Have I mentioned this week yet that my opinion of Russians continues to plummet lower and lower? (Calm down, Stan. No rant needed here. Keep moving, like they told you in the Marines.)
Despite so many atrocities and violations of laws, Ukraine continues to inspire with its apparent abundance of leadership. From the lowest ranks to the highest (such as its President, who didn’t flee, and this billionaire below), it’s almost mind-boggling how the country and its residents are pulling together.
Check out this amazing story.
Moving to a different part of the globe, let’s move to China now. There are a couple of news items I want to share, and then a brief bit of conjecture.
First, in news, there’s this, which is a little jarring.
That’s quite a naval threat, which will push out and expand the influence of China.
Secondly, China has hit some recent bumps in the road. (I guess jailing people who speak out and loading up people on trains is starting to hurt their brand a bit.)
Now for that bit of conjecture.
I had a kind and loyal reader/subscriber reach out after the last newsletter, in which I dinged President Biden for making three gaffes on the same point (about American defending Taiwan).
The reader asked two questions regarding Biden’s statement. His questions were that given that China flew 30 fighters near Taiwan:
1. Which Nation is overreacting?
2. Which message is received more in the Pacific?
After thinking on those two questions, and thanking him for the question, I told the reader that I think China was going to fly those fighters near Taiwan no matter what Biden said.
But upon a little more reflection, here’s what I think is happening (which I shared with him and I’ll now share with you).
I think Biden making the same mistake three times is not an accident. I think our government is telling allies that he absolutely means it. That this is the stubborn, cranky Biden that means it. The one with the backbone that left Afghanistan no matter what how bad that destroyed his poll numbers.
But while they’re saying this to allies to re-assure them of American commitment to Asia, I think these same administration folks are telling China and the media that the statements are nothing. That Biden is just a gaffe machine and we shouldn’t sweat what he’s saying. That he “mis-spoke.”
Doing this accomplishes a couple of things. First, it keeps China from being pushed over the edge in the short term into attacking Taiwan pre-maturely. At the same time, it buys our country some runway, so that America can continue its pivot and re-alignment to counter the great dragon in the East.
What do you all think? Am I crazy? (Or am I dead on the mark like the time I got lucky predicting a possible solution to breaking up the Russian blockade?)
I welcome any comments below or by email or social media.
As a brief reflection on history, I thought I’d share this since this was beaten into nearly every Marine’s brain from the first day of boot camp.
Finally, let’s end with some motivation and wisdom.
First, let’s begin with this. Somebody out there needs to see this.
And here’s some more motivation for your soul.
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
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my books. I’ve written a CIA/Marine sniper series, a detective series, a private investigator series, an action-packed Western, a leadership/biography book, and two realistic war novels: one about World War IIand one about Afghanistan.