Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tyranny with a Smile

My latest @ The National Review - Tyranny with a Smile
National Review Online

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Regarding my latest piece on Syria (@ National Review), you can find some of my other writings on Syria under the ''Syria'' section of this post.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ukraine and Russia

Regarding the evolving situation in Ukraine. Provided below are my link pages on Russia and Ukraine.

On Ukraine

Flag of Russia.svg

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Daily Telegraph

In addition to my present writings for the National Review and freelance etc., I've joined The Telegraph's blogging team. I'm excited about writing for the UK's most widely read broadsheet newspaper. Anyway, if interested, you can find my profile page here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Energy of American influence in the 21st century

More than anything else, it was the influence of American manufacturing that won the 20th century.

Its revolutionary scale provided the planes, ships and tanks that helped America, Britain, Russia and the allies to destroy Nazism and end Imperial Japan.

Facing the Soviet Union, American manufacturing offered global citizens an informed choice between the rot of communist authoritarianism and the opportunity of capitalist democracy.

It delivered the industries and machines and jobs that brought new prosperity to billions across the planet.

But that was then.

Today, there’s an urgent need for a new revolution of American industry – one that’s fit for the 21st century - an energy revolution. That which can provide the foundation of America’s future prosperity and the new shield of democratic international order.

And let’s be clear, this is no pie in the sky delusion.

American innovators have already marked out the road ahead of us.

In the Shale surge, the tapping of new reserves and the development of better supply lines, America’s energy future has never looked brighter. From the Bakken of North Dakota to Midland, Texas; we’re finding that where investment goes in, broadly shared wealth come out. After all, these boom-#towns offer $80,000 paychecks as the norm (*although social problems have also emerged).

For many reasons, we desperately need to energize this budding opportunity.

Empowered, our energy revolution would enable America’s escape from the OPEC dual-prison of Middle Eastern theocracies and Venezuela’s necrocracy. Finally, our foreign policy would see liberation from an addiction to cheap energy imports.

And at home, with dynamic and diversified energy production we’d see lower costs for individuals and businesses alike. We’d be able to expand our trade in the global economy - barriers to entry would diminish and our commerce would increase.

More relevant to present circumstances, as I’ve noted before, an empowered American energy industry would also afford Europe an alternative to Gazprom blackmail. And as Russia pursues new exports to Asia, our energy exports would undercut Putin’s strategy across the world – we could offer energy supplies at better prices and without the baggage of threats.

These ambitions are undoubtedly profound. Still, like a torch in the darkness, they offer the intersection for America’s moral and strategic imperatives.

Unfortunately however, while the bounty sits in clear view, our willingness to grasp the evident potential is far less certain.

The absurdity of President Obama’s Keystone XL standpoint provides the obvious case in point.

But it’s only a symptom of a larger dysfunction.

Instead of expedited export licenses, all too often we’re getting vague undertakings and obvious disinterest. Absent approval for new exploration, we’re getting partisan posturing. Somehow, just as the President always finds a way to fast track new energy regulations, he never manages to miss an opportunity to unleash America’s bubbling abundance. Unbelievably, the President seems to preference left wing lobby groups before national security necessities.

We can only hope that the President awakes from his slumber.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Secrecy Below the Surface – Western Intelligence and the MH370 ‘ping’

Updated piece is available @ The Telegraph (where I've started blogging).

The search for MH370 is entering overdrive.

Following Haixun 01’s apparent ‘ping’ detections on Friday and Saturday, the Royal Navy is now sending a research vessel, HMS Echo, into the narrowing search area.

But Echo is not the only Royal Navy asset in the area.

Last Monday, HMS Tireless, a Trafalgar-class British attack submarine arrived in the southern Indian Ocean. Her mission – find MH370’s Black Box.

She’s out there right now. Lurking below the waves.

No one however, has realized why this is so significant.

Tireless isn’t just any submarine. Instead, albeit an older boat, Tireless possesses some extraordinary sensor platforms – perhaps even the 2076 sonar system (which is being introduced to the Trafalgar class complement). This explains why the UK has been so quiet about the deployment - they don’t want to attract other listening ears into the area...

And that’s because 2076 isn’t just any sonar. In fact, it’s one of the most advanced and classified programs in the British Government. Complementing integrated active-passive detection capabilities, 2076 provides highly developed imagery processors – offering sonar technicians the ability to ‘see’ what they hear. Of course, the key question is whether or not Tireless has already been fitted with 2076. And here, typifying the absent knowledge that besieges our MH370 discourse we can only estimate probabilities.

Still, the available information is compelling. For a start, we know that Tireless was homeported in February 2013 and on exercise in UK waters during JuneJuly and September 2013. Again, it’s presumption, but it’s plausible that Tireless was fitted with 2076 and running sea-trials during this period.

More specific to the latest news, it’s noteworthy that Tireless arrived on station about two weeks following the Australian Prime Minister’s release of satellite imagery of suspected wreckage. After all, those images were far inferior to the product of US spy satellites. And let’s be clear, under the ‘five eyes’ agreements, it’s almost certain that the US would have provided better imagery to the Australians before their announcement. In turn, this strongly implies that the Australians were confident their finding was significant – they knew more than they let on.

And then there’s the specific strategic importance of HMS Echo’s arrival at the signal site. In the deep waters of the southern Indian Ocean, detection is no easy game – along with exceptional equipment, it also requires exceptional human skill. As a corollary, Echo’s arrival would allow for a classified surface to sub-surface interaction dynamic. The Royal Navy isn’t exactly keen to share its sonar capabilities with China.

Regardless, a month after MH370 went missing, this is no longer just about finding a plane. In equal measure, it’s about minimizing exposure to present and potential future adversaries. In short, the UK is looking for MH370, they just don't want us to know how.

PS - If MH370 was deliberately diverted around Indonesian airspace... it makes the concern of terrorism far greater. It will certainly raise concerns on the part of Australian intelligence over a potential 9/11 style attack.

My previous writings on MH370 - here and here.

Voters vs. Bombers in Afghanistan

My latest @ The National Review - Voters vs. Bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan
National Review Online

Saturday, April 5, 2014

ISIS - Takfiri sentiment

Flowing with my latest @The National Review - I thought you might find it interesting to read some more on the Takfiri fetishism that defines ISIS. Case in point; what ISIS is doing to Iraq and Syria today, their ideological primogenitors were doing to 10th century Baghdad. Describing that era, Joel Kraemer writes about the mobs that attacked women, destroyed musical instruments, interrogated couples and persecuted the Shi'a population. This is the legacy that sustains contemporary Salafi-Jihadism; a movement that finds joy in cooking human heads in pots, in burning prisoners alive, torturing children and using the mentally-ill to attack funerals. In turning passenger planes into chariots of death and malls into factories of mayhem. As a side note, here's why they don't like satire.

PS - I normally post a video concerning the topic of the blog post. However in this case, because ISIS related footage inevitably involves the celebration of slaughtered innocents, I'm not posting a video. What do these videos entail? Well, one I recently watched... involved a group of truckers being pulled over on a highway in western Iraq. Following an interrogation, ISIS executes the men for being Allawites. The execution scene is then replayed with accompanying jihadist music. These people are true evil.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Russia - Link Page

A link page for my writings/media contributions on Russia (no particular order). I'll update this page as new pieces are published. Thanks for reading!

Russia in Ukraine - link page (Many, many of my writing links on Ukraine!)

MH-17 and the Downing of American Leadership (National Review)
Putin returns (National Review)
The Nemtsov murder (National Review)
Tyranny with a smile (National Review)
Putin's KGB Playbook (National Review)
On Russian Intelligence (National Review)
Obama's slumber-Putin's swindle (American Spectator)
WMD deal disaster (The Guardian)
On WMD deal (Mark Davis 660AM)
On Syria-Russia (Mark Davis 660AM)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

McCutcheon - Supreme Court rules on campaign donations

I support the Court’s ruling. Two key reasons.

  1.  Americans have the right to exercise free speech without geographic limit.
  2.  Arguments I’ve previously made here (update: and have again been proved true here).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NSA in Iraq

Regarding the latest reporting on NSA operations in Iraq... Please see my thoughts (18.15 mark) for the BBC last October.