Posts Tagged asia

Over 200 Retired Generals and Admirals Call For Resignations After Afghanistan Withdrawal Chaos

From Flag Officers 4 America:

As the principal military advisors to the Commander In Chief (CINC)/President, the SECDEF and CJCS were the two top military officials in a position to recommend against the dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms.  

If they did everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal and the President did not accept their recommendations, then knowing the disastrous consequences looming, the retired flag officer signers believe these top military advisors should have resigned as a matter of conscience and public statement.

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The Politicians Continue To Play Checkers In Foreign Policy

From SOFREP:

Incredibly, Secretary of State Blinken said that Chinese influence in Afghanistan could be a positive thing if China sought a “peaceful resolution of the conflict,” and a “truly representative and inclusive” government. Yet, China doesn’t have a government that could be called “representative and inclusive” by anyone. So, why would they work towards one in Afghanistan?

Yet, it’s not unlikely that the Taliban held meetings with the Chinese intelligence service that could have aided in Taliban planning and operations.

Anyone who understands diplomacy and espionage can do the math and see that the Taliban are solidly backed by China. This could have emboldened them to take back Afghanistan in true blitzkrieg style as they did.

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The World After Afghanistan

From Spiked Online:

While a new regime in Afghanistan offers opportunities, this is still the Taliban we’re talking about. It is still a brutal Islamist movement, committed to the rule of Sharia law. And, insofar as it backs and inspires other Islamists, the Taliban still poses a significant security threat to all those regional powers hoping to take advantage of its retaking of power.

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US Increases Arms Sales To Republic of China (Taiwan)

From The Federalist:

“If concluded, this proposed sale will contribute to the modernization of Taiwan’s howitzer fleet, strengthening its self-defense capabilities to meet current and future threats,” a State Department official told CNN.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry welcomed the deal, saying the proposed sale would help the island nation “maintain a rock-solid self-defense” and “regional peace and stability.”

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Marines Train In Taiwan For First Time In 40 Years

From Taiwan News:

Taiwan’s Naval Command on Monday (Nov. 9) confirmed media reports that a contingent of U.S. Marines have arrived at the invitation of Taiwan’s military and will begin training Taiwanese troops for four weeks starting that day, marking the first public acknowledgment of U.S. Marines training in Taiwan in over 40 years.

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Tensions Increase Between China and Taiwan

From Al-Jazeera:

China has stepped up military activity around the island, where the losing nationalists set up their government at the end of the civil war in 1949, sending fighter jets and warships on exercises close to Taiwan. Communist-ruled China claims the island as its own and has not ruled out the use of force to assert its control.
Taiwan’s defence ministry, in a statement late on Thursday to accompany a video showing Taiwanese forces taking part in drills, said it was “expressing its stern attitude about recent Chinese Communist People’s Liberation Army military pressure acts”.

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Pro-ISIS Indonesian Pilots

From The Intercept:

“Both [pilots] appear to be influenced by pro-IS elements including extremist online propaganda by well-known radical Indonesia outlets and a suspected Indonesian foreign terrorist fighter who is likely to be in either Syria or Iraq,” the report states.

“Pilots, air crew and others with access to and within the aviation environment can pose obvious threats if these persons are radicalized. Their access and knowledge of security and safety regimes provides the ability to attempt attacks as witnessed by past global events,” warns the report, which also notes that a recent issue of Inspire, the magazine published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, encouraged attacks by those involved in aviation.

 

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China and Philippines Dispute In South China Sea Heats Up

From Al Jazeera:

Chinese vessels have challenged a Philippine military plane on patrol over disputed waters in the South China Sea, according to the Philippine military.

The Islander aircraft was flying over Subi Reef on April 19 when a Chinese vessel radioed a warning, Brigadier-General Joselito Kakilala, a Philippine military spokesperson, said on Sunday.

From Fox News:

The Philippines on Sunday urged the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to take immediate steps to halt land reclamation by China in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, warning that failure to do so will see Beijing take “de facto control” of the area.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers that if China’s construction of artificial islands on reefs claimed by other countries is allowed to be completed, then Beijing will impose its claim over more than 85 percent of the sea.

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The End of Consensus Politics in China

The End of Consensus Politics in China is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By John Minnich

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign is the broadest and deepest effort to purge, reorganize and rectify the Communist Party leadership since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and the rise of Deng Xiaoping two years later. It has already probed more than 182,000 officials across numerous regions and at all levels of government. It has ensnared low-level cadres, mid-level functionaries and chiefs of major state-owned enterprises and ministries. It has deposed top military officials and even a former member of the hitherto immune Politburo Standing Committee, China’s highest governing body. More than a year after its formal commencement and more than two years since its unofficial start with the downfall of Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, the campaign shows no sign of relenting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Borderlands: First Moves in Romania

Borderlands: First Moves in Romania is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

I arrived in Bucharest, Romania, the day after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will be here in a few weeks. The talk in Bucharest, not only among the leadership but also among the public, is about Ukraine. Concerns are palpable, and they are not only about the Russians. They are also about NATO, the European Union, the United States and whether they will all support Romania if it resists Russia. The other side of the equation, of course, is whether Romania will do the things it must do in order to make outside support effective. Biden left Romania with a sense that the United States is in the game. But this is not a region that trusts easily. The first step was easy. The rest become harder.

If this little Cold War becomes significant, there are two European countries that matter the most: Poland and Romania. Poland, which I visit next, stands between Germany and Russia on the long, flat North European plain. Its population is about 38 million people. Romania, to the south, standing behind the Prut River and bisected by the Carpathian Mountains, has a population of about 20 million. Of the roughly 82 million people along the eastern frontier (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria), approximately 58 million live in Poland and Romania. Biden’s visit to Romania and U.S. President Barack Obama’s planned visit to Poland provide a sense of how Washington looks at the region and, for the moment at least, the world. How all of this plays out is, of course, dependent on the Russians and the course of the Ukrainian crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

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Borderlands: The New Strategic Landscape

Borderlands: The New Strategic Landscape is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

I will be leaving this week to visit a string of countries that are now on the front line between Russia and the European Peninsula: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Azerbaijan. A tour like that allows you to look at the details of history. But it is impossible to understand those details out of context. The more I think about recent events, the more I realize that what has happened in Ukraine can only be understood by considering European geopolitics since 1914 — a hundred years ago and the beginning of World War I.

In The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman wrote a superb and accurate story about how World War I began. For her it was a confluence of perception, misperception, personality and decisions. It was about the leaders, and implicit in her story was the idea that World War I was the result of miscalculation and misunderstanding. I suppose that if you focus on the details, then the war might seem unfortunate and avoidable. I take a different view: It was inevitable from the moment Germany united in 1871. When it happened and exactly how it happened was perhaps up to decision-makers. That it would happen was a geopolitical necessity. And understanding that geopolitical necessity gives us a framework for understanding what is happening in Ukraine, and what is likely to happen next. Read the rest of this entry »

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Missile Defense From Raytheon

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Ending The Violence In Ukraine

From US News:

Of immediate concern is preventing the fighting from escalating still further into a bloody civil war. The risk of a broader conflict would increase significantly if Yanukovych feels compelled to call in the army in a desperate last-ditch attempt to restore order. However, such a course is fraught with serious risks, especially if some army units refuse an order to fire on their fellow citizens.

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Russia Strengthens Ties With Vietnam

Russia Strengthens Ties With Vietnam is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series about Russia’s intensifying focus on East Asia. Part 1 examines Russia’s traditional interests in the region and its closer relationship with Vietnam.

Recent challenges in exporting energy to Europe have made an orientation toward Asia more desirable for Moscow. Russia’s economy depends on hydrocarbon exports, and while Western Europe is attempting to become less dependent on Russia by seeking new energy sources, Asian markets have large and indiscriminate appetites for energy.

Although Russia’s focus in Asia traditionally has been on China, Japan and South Korea, it also has ties to Southeast Asia, which remains a strategically significant — though not absolutely essential — area for Moscow’s efforts to extend its influence and energy exports eastward. Notably, Moscow recently struck a spate of energy and defense deals with Hanoi in an effort to strengthen their relationship, open up new markets for Russian energy and balance against China’s moves in Central Asia. Moscow’s moves into Asia through Vietnam are proceeding piecemeal, paralleling Russian moves elsewhere in the region. Read the rest of this entry »

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Letter from Kurdistan

Letter from Kurdistan is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Reva Bhalla

At the edge of empires lies Kurdistan, the land of the Kurds. The jagged landscape has long been the scene of imperial aggression. For centuries, Turks, Persians, Arabs, Russians and Europeans looked to the mountains to buffer their territorial prizes farther afield, depriving the local mountain dwellers a say in whose throne they would ultimately bow to. Read the rest of this entry »

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