Brigades across the Army are beginning to cancel trips to top training grounds – a prospect that could leave the majority of the troops who are not already overseas unprepared to deploy, the Army’s top enlisted soldier said Thursday.
Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler discussed the cuts while in town for the Warrior Games. Chandler spent much of Thursday visiting units across Fort Carson, while also hosting a town hall meeting for more than 300 soldiers.
Category Archives: U.S.
Are we on the brink of a new Cold War? The question isn’t as outlandish as it seemed only a few years ago. The United States is still the sole reigning superpower, but it is being challenged by the rising power of China, just as ancient Rome was challenged by Carthage, and Britain was challenged by Germany in the years before World War I. Should we therefore think of the United States and China as we once did about the United States and the Soviet Union, two gladiators doomed to an increasingly globalized combat until one side fades?
China is challenging a key American policy toward Japan: the unambiguous U.S. support of Japan’s sovereign rights to the Ryukyu island chain, including the key strategic island of Okinawa.
China recently issued a direct challenge to Japan’s claim of sovereignty over the Ryukyus and the U.S. government’s support of Japan’s position. On May 8, the People’s Daily, a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, published a sensational and long article headlined: “Not only do we want to take Diaoyu Dao back, but also the Ryukyus are open for discussion.”
After the Okinawa campaign, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in June 1945 decided to exclude the strategically important Ryukyu Islands south of the 30th parallel from Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s postwar administration of Japan, and placed those islands directly under U.S. military control.
In 1951, the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed between Japan and the 48 victorious Allied nations, placed the Japanese islands in the Ryukyu chain south of the 29th parallel under a U.N. trusteeship.
The treaty appointed the United States “as the sole administering authority” with the “right to exercise all and any powers of administration, legislation and jurisdiction over the territory and inhabitants of these islands, including their territorial waters.”
So the US was appointed sole administering authority with the right to do pretty much what it wanted. Subsequently, it decided to give the Ryukyu chain back to Japan. That means China has no claim.
China’s argument is that the chain belonged to it historically, and it is going to take them back. It will take them back by force, if necessary. One can see how smart the Chinese leaders are here. If they grab one or more of the Islands using military force, what are the Japanese going to do? They are going to quietly build thousands of nuclear weapons with the missiles to deliver them. Are the Chinese prepared for that?
Here we can see that the Chinese dream will soon be turning into the Chinese nightmare. Either China is going to war with Japan, or it is going to war with the US. In either case, China’s population will be heading south in a big way – the big blow-up. When things go exponential in a big way in real life, they eventually blow-up (See population graph below). China’s population demographics is part of the blow-up equation. Instability in China is another driver.
In Russia, a decision to go public with Fogle could have been made only at the highest level of political authority. Apparently, Putin gave the go-ahead after his first meeting with Kerry last week in the Kremlin. He evidently decided the Barack Obama administration is an easy pushover, which needs Russian cooperation on Syria and other issues so badly, it will swallow with hardly a whimper the use of a US diplomat as PR fodder together with the deployment of S-300 missiles with Russian crews to Syria. In Moscow, Secretary Kerry, among other things, agreed to sponsor together with Russia an international conference on Syria that would bring together the Syrian rebels and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. After a meeting in the Kremlin, Kerry told journalists: “A good new relationship with Russia is beginning” (Interfax, May 8). After the Fogle scandal erupted, Russian journalists triumphantly reported on State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell meekly insisting the affair would not spoil relations: “We have a very broad and deep relationship with the Russians across a whole host of issues and we will continue to work on our diplomacy with them directly” (RIA Novosti, May 14).
In essence, Syria has become not just a gruesome civil war, but also a proxy war with significant global implications — with the United States, Israel, and like-minded Arab states who seek Assad’s ouster on one side, and Russia, Iran, and terrorist groups like Hezbollah who seek his survival on the other.
If so, Assad’s survival in defiance of widespread expectations and U.S. desires will position Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah as regional “strong horses.” And it will nourish a growing sense in the region and elsewhere that the U.S. has become a decidedly “weak horse,” unable to shape events and, worse, unlikely to spend much energy trying.
There are two levels to think about:
Rebels – Worse than Assad, but no strategic alliance with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. They will likely push for Sharia law once they take over. Perhaps there will be an eventual alliance with Turkey. And Turkey is a key player to watch in the future. Everybody wants to bring back historical greatness in some form: Persian Empire, Ottoman Empire, Chinese Empire, Soviet Union, … . Eventually, I would expect the Rebels to go against Israel.
Assad – Not as bad as the rebels, but has a strategic alliance with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. Also, Russia is a backer. So there is the potential to do a lot more damage to Israel in the future.
There are no good answers here. There are only bad answers and worse answers. In a sick sort of way, keeping the civil war going may be the best option for the West. Obviously, that is not a good option for the Syrian people but neither are the other options.
Russia is engaged in a major buildup of both nuclear and conventional missile defense systems at the same time Moscow is seeking legal limits on U.S. missile defenses, according to U.S. officials.
The Russian military is developing and deploying an array of new and modernized anti-missile interceptors that are part of a strategic doctrine that calls for defending against what Moscow believes to be an increasing threat posed by offensive ballistic missiles, said U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports.
In a March inspection the 91st wing was rated “marginal,” the equivalent of a “D” grade, when tested on launch skills.
Folds described a deeper problem, citing willful rule violations such as leaving open the multi-ton blast door to their launch compartment while one of the two crew members was asleep. Sleep breaks are authorized, but the open door is not, given the risk of losing control of the capsule to an unauthorized intruder.
Publicly, the Air Force insists that its missileers, as they are known within the service, are capable, trustworthy and committed. But Air Force Secretary Michael Donley also acknowledged in congressional testimony that he worries that talk of further shrinking the nation’s nuclear force is having a “corrosive effect” on his troops.
Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff, said at the same congressional hearing that it’s understandable that young missile officers may be demoralized by the realization that theirs is a shrinking field.
Fiddlesticks, says Hirsh. Romney, we are told, was on to an inconvenient truth about Russia, which has become increasingly truculent in its approach to America and the West. To the joy of former Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, who has already tweeted about Hirsh’s piece, his candidate is now being vindicated. The truth about Russia is in plain sight even if Washington policymakers are loath to acknowledge it. Russia is returning, under President Vladimir Putin’s leadership, to a virulently anti-American stance, one that draws on imperialist czarist traditions to insert a pudgy thumb in the eye of the West: