Friday, April 28, 2023

China-Philippines, Gershkovich escalation

China gets caught between its deceptive diplomacy and its imperial aggression. The recent incident involving a Philippines coast guard vessel and Chinese vessels underscores China's ambition and duplicity.

The U.S. should revoke Russian state media visas over Evan Gershkovich's inability to access consular services. The Russians are escalating because they sense weakness. The U.S. must alter that perspective.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Littoral combat ships, Yellen China

Fortunately for China, Congress remains beholden to the Littoral Combat Ship. These ships are useless for a prospective war with China. Cronyism explains why they still exist.

Janet Yellen must not go to China. At least not until Blinken has made his trip first. To do otherwise would signal to Beijing that it can leverage trade for other concessions.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

James Cleverly speech, US submarine to South Korea

U.K. foreign secretary breaks with U.S. in keynote speech on China. James Cleverly sent Beijing a message of separation from Washington on key matters.

The U.S. is sending messages with submarine visits. Washington wants to deter North Korea and contest China's escalating nuclear program.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Taiwan-Ukraine weapons trade off? China ambassador to Paris

A critical debate on the Taiwan-Ukraine weapons trade off. The Hudson Institute provided a forum for two competing views.

China tellingly fails to retract damaging comments by its ambassador to France. Lu Shaye's declaration that the Baltic states are not sovereign democracies has met a qualified response by Beijing.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Crimean dissection strategy, China's wolf warriors are back

The U.S. should help Ukraine dissect Crimea from Ukraine, not seize it. The U.S. must focus on both Ukraine's needs and Russia's theology over the territory. A dissection strategy balances both interests.

China unleashes the wolf warriors on the Philippines and South Korea. Beijing's diplomatic strategy is utterly self-defeating.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Von der Leyen vs. Macron, Russian mobilization strategy, UFO chief

EU Commission president deconstructs Macron on China. Ursula von der Leyen offered a compelling counter-narrative to the French president's Beijing appeasement policy.

Russia's mobilization rhetoric hints at shift to static defense strategy. The Russians may not believe they can risk putting more underequipped troops onto the front line.

Decoding the Pentagon UFO chief's testimony to Congress. Sean Kirkpatrick offered a commitment to analytical rigor. That's what's needed, not Chicken decapitating poltergeists.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Trafigura, China-Netherlands, Xi and Kim

Why is the Biden Administration helping Trafigura support a Kremlin kingpin? The trading house is acting in a manner that flows against the grain of U.S. policy on Russia.

China complains as the Netherlands warns of its endemic espionage. The Netherlands's intelligence service chief just identified China as the top economic threat.

Xi hints at using North Korea to pressure the U.S. In a newly released letter to Kim Jong-un, the Chinese leader praises Kim and pledges new cooperation. Absent? Any subtle criticism of Kim's missile tests.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Discord SIGINT, Russia-North Korea

Discord leaks underline the importance and complexity of signals intelligence. Much of the intelligence material involved appears to have been derived from SIGINT.

Russia and North Korea assist China by pressuring U.S. pacific forces. The Russians are conducting snap naval exercises focused on Japan, and Kim Jong-un is firing off ICBMs.

Annalena Baerbock in Beijing, Discord leaks and allies

From Thursday...

Breaking with Macron, Germany's Annalena Baerbock brings a message of European courage to Beijing. The foreign minister shows fortitude in face of China's duplicity and threats.

Allied tensions over Discord leaks hint at different intelligence community cultures. The U.S. is seen as a very capable but not terribly secret-secure intelligence ally.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

China F-22s, Senate UFO hearing

China, or the problem with F-22s leaving Okinawa but arriving in Poland. The U.S. cannot do everything at maximalist levels, everywhere

Senate UFO hearing should focus on government programs, not Skinwalker Ranch. The need for serious inquiry is diluted by dalliances with entertainment.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Biden in Ireland

Inside the terrorist threat concerns over Biden's visit to Northern Ireland. Loyalist paramilitaries despise Biden for what they regard as his pro-Irish sympathies.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Macron/Talleyrand, Biden to Ireland

Mr. Macron, the modern Talleyrand, goes to Beijing. The French president has chosen China over his nation's oldest ally.

Biden's Ireland trip comes with complications below the surface. The political situation and security challenges in Northern Ireland are of particular note.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Lebanon rockets

Why Israel is about to attack Hamas in Lebanon, and likely also Hezbollah in Beirut. The Israeli government and opposition are united in the belief they must broadcast strength amid domestic political tension.

Taiwan meetings

Kevin McCarthy fails to publicly pressure Taiwan's Tsai on defense spending. The simple truth is that Taiwan spends far too little on defense. An American president might find it hard to justify future military intervention when Taiwan is ambivalent about defending itself.

Did China's consulates send protesters to the Tsai-McCarthy meeting? Beijing's track record and the abundance of the same Communist Party flags in Simi Valley suggest so.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Philippines bases, RC-135 spy flight, Macron to Beijing, China military, Trump protests, France tech-China, Sanna Marin, Trump Secret Service

Philippines gives U.S. war planners big boost with new base locations. The bases would enable U.S. forces to refuel and rearm, and strike PLA forces with greater efficiency.

U.S. spy plane monitors new Russia warship as Finland joins NATO. The RC-135 signals intelligence aircraft was operating just outside of Russia's Northern Fleet headquarters.

Macron bows before Xi before even arriving in Beijing. The French president views China relations through the prism of trade. And very little else.

China military newspaper emphasizes the need for absolute loyalty to the Communist Party. It's a reminder that the Chinese military is not a national military similar to that of other nations.

The pro- and anti-Trump protests show America at its best. Political disagreement on matters of significant national import need not entail violence or government repression.

U.S. should recall its ambassador if France provides China with access to its high-tech industry. The U.S. cannot tolerate support, even if indirect, for the PLA's warfighting capability.

From Monday...

Finland's Sanna Marin leaves office with America's thanks. The prime minister has been a stalwart U.S. ally in face of Russian aggression and Chinese coercion.

Trump's New York travel poses special Secret Service challenges. The former president's itinerary is public and the Secret Service's means of protection are more limited.