Russia Seems To Have A Strategy, Why Don’t We?

Bomb Pop

Russia upends the U.S. and NATO once again, now carrying out a third day of a devastating bombing campaign that shows no sign of letting up in Syria. 


Russia is leapfrogging us to pursue their goals of keeping dictator Bashar Al Assad, tightening up on a renewed cozy relationship with Iran and Iraq–in what is the prime oil basin of the world–and reestablishing their place on the world stage as a superpower (apparently, Crimea wasn’t the end, but just the beginning), and at the same time killing U.S.-backed Syrian rebels


But what about our efforts…


Well, we’ve had “dismal results” after dilly dallying around in Syria for the better part of its 4 1/2 year civil war that’s killed over 250,000 people and created 5 million refuges streaming across the Middle East and Europe, and we keep having to “rethink” our strategy there. 


At the same time, as to our war to defeat the terrorist ISIS caliphate–who vows to smuggle nukes into America and plans a “religious cleansing” of hundreds of millions–uh, they continue to grow!


What about our more than 10 year investment in Iraq–where we spent over $2 trillion and in which almost 37,000 of our service members were either killed or wounded?  –Iraq is now cooperating with…Russia!


How about Iran–for whom we went to the mat with a controversial deal to relieve their sanctions and provide them hundreds of billions of dollars to funnel into their economy as well as global terror? –Iran is allying themselves with Russia (and Hezbollah), deepening their foray into Syria, and continue their threats to annihilate Israel and chants of death to America!


Then to hear yesterday that not only don’t we have a strategy as has been the reframe for months, but that we are not going to play chess or get into a proxy war in the Middle East with Russia…well gee, the world game of strategy and brinksmanship is not going to stop for us. 


Just because we don’t have a (good) strategy and don’t want to play global chess anymore doesn’t mean Russia, Iran, China, and others aren’t going to forge ahead with their dangerous strategies and gains. 


We are a wealthy, mighty, and innovative nation–surely, we have a strategy in this country of over 319,000,000 people, somewhere. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A NATO In Shambles

NATO
For months and months now, we’ve seen Russia aggressing against the West and NATO cowering in fear of an escalation.



Russia is the largest country on Earth covering 9 time zones and they are truly a formidable bear. 



Recently, with the Russian blitzkrieg into Crimea, the West was taken by the surprise and the speed of the attack, as Russian helicopters, tanks, and soldiers violated the borders that were once Ukraine. 



At the same time, Russia attack planes and subs have been probing the skies and waters of Europe, and NATO has been feebly attempting to intercept them over and over again–always on the defense. 



Russia continues to upgrade their nukes and conducts nuclear games and brinksmanship, while the U.S. dismantles it’s Cold War arsenals according to previous START treaty.



Last week, with the U.S considering light arms for the Ukrainians, the Russians warned that would cause “colossal damage” to ties. 



When the U.S. threatened to throw Russia out of the SWIFT payment system, we were warned, “Russian response — economically and otherwise — will know no limits.



But as Lt. Gen. Frederick Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe, stated, “You can’t provoke them. They’re already on a path to do what they want to do.



While Russian Spetsnaz are pulling their country identifying insignia off their uniforms to make the world hesitate, question, and cower at those behind the masks, NATO is still grappling with plans on how to put together a simple rapid reactionary force of just 5,000 soldiers to get themselves together within 48 hours and then 25,000 troops within weeks. 



Uh, the battle or even the war may be over by the time our sleepy NATO gets it’s boots on and muskets loaded. 



In the age of fiber optics and ICBMs steaming across the networks and skies, taking days and weeks to mobilize is b*llsh*t!



NATO cannot even get but 4 of it’s 28 member nations to maintain the minimum 2% contribution to defense, because once defense is treated as belonging to the commons, the attitude is just let the others worry about it or the U.S. will provide the fallback for all anyway. 



While Russia only worries about Russia and moves in forward thrusts, NATO dances around trying not to get speared, because they theorize now it’s only Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, and so we don’t want to antagonize the bear and end up being it’s next dinner. 



But the Great Bear is hungry for power and respect, and as NATO runs and pees it’s pants, the bear smells it’s prey and is in fearless chase. 😉



(Source Photo: here with Attribution to Crown, UK Defense Ministry)

What’s Diplomacy Anyway?

What's Diplomacy Anyway?

This was a humorous engraved stone that I found in a gift shop today.

It is a Concord “Words From The Wise,” engraved paperweight, crafted in England.

Diplomacy is generally associated with negotiation, persuasion, consideration, tactfulness, etiquette, and respect. However, this engraved paperweight has a little bit of a different view of it–“The art of letting someone have it your way.”

Diplomacy has traditionally been differentiated from the use of military power in that diplomacy relies on “soft power” (co-opting or winning over cooperation), whereas the military employs “hard power” (coercion). Both are ways of handling relations and resolving conflict.

More recently, some foreign affairs experts have started to use “smart power,” which is situational-based–leveraging alliances and partnerships in some cases and a strong military in others.

In any case, it’s all about working together to bridge differences–and like the “Easy Button” the best way is to maintain a strong relationship, whether you get your way or not. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)