Saturday, August 3, 2013

The World This Week - 03 AUG

Russia Moves To Strengthen Cuban Relations:

The post-Cold War period has frankly not been kind to US influence in Latin America - and it's primarily our own fault.  What used to be our traditional "backyard" was forgotten and cast aside by a Capitol Hill more infatuated with power/oil-politics in the Middle East.  Washington's only real interest in our neighbors to the south is the so-called "Drug War" and immigration - both of which are fraught with haphazard mismanagement and outright corruption and are really just excuses to expand Federal power domestically.  In the meantime, a power vacuum appeared in the Americas - a vacuum our international competitors were only too happy to fill and exploit.  With Chinese, Russian, and even Iranian support, Leftist anti-American regimes are sprouting up all over the region, effectively muscling out US influence.  Lucrative business deals, resource rights, and tech transfers have been conducted without any American participation at all.  Militarily, these regimes are reaching out to traditional enemies, as recent Russian naval exercises in the Caribbean Sea aptly displayed in which Russian strategic assets operated the closest to US soil since 1962.  And yet, reports such as these seem to only generate yawns from Capitol Hill.  Only occasionally does the State Department seem to take any serious interest in the Latin South and, generally, their disparate efforts only seem to increase the animosity felt towards the US even more.  Should we continue to lose influence in Latin America, the US will find itself severely outmaneuvered on the world stage with an entire hemisphere of hostility, instability, and rival foreign influence just beyond our southern border.

China Reveals PLA Plan To Wage "People's War" In Cyberspace:

Although it was rumored long before amongst intelligence circles that the PLA (People's Liberation Army) had some sort of plan like this in place, this is the first time Beijing has openly admitted it.  The "People's War" term came from the old Maoist days to describe the last ditch defense strategy to be employed should China face a conflict in which it's existence was at stake.  The plan called for every capable Chinese man, woman, and child to pick up arms and become a literal "resistance state."  The losses inflicted on any invader would be so colossal that any operation on the Chinese landmass would be deemed militarily impossible.  Essentially, the PLA has transferred this idea of mass-scale irregular warfare into the realm of cyberwarfare - a method of war that the Chinese have already demonstrated significant capabilities in.  In this scenario, Chinese civilian cyberwar teams could be called up and employed from countless locations within China and abroad to attack the network infrastructure and databases of a particular country ... as in the US.  Such a strategy would overwhelm any countermeasures we have in place (something they've already proven themselves capable of multiple times) and make a response impossible.  Something to keep in mind with the growing Chinese threat is that their rapid advancement in military technology and strategic capability has been achieved with the sole goal of confronting and neutralizing US capabilities.  They have no other objective and have tailored their strategies to overcoming the world's most powerful military by striking its vulnerable (but essential) command and control systems - what the Chinese call the "assassin's mace."  The naysayers in America who continue to defend China's recent rise as a peaceful entry into the current global order need to take a very hard look at Beijing's strategic objectives.

Insider Attacks On US Forces In Afghanistan Spiking:

Perhaps one of the saddest chapters in the long and tragic saga of the US military action in Afghanistan - the continued (and often fatal) attacks on coalition troops from Afghans supposedly on the allied side.  I won't dwell long on this subject, as it is still very personal for me and you all already can gather where I stand on this conflict.  However, I hope it prompts the readers here to find out the truth about the Afghan war, a war that has done nothing for our country except slowly destroy the young men who went and fought it - many of whom returned physically and spiritually broken, if they returned at all.  Now, as we supposedly exit the theater in 2014, we will not only be getting shot at by by the Taliban we were sent to destroy and who are still firmly entrenched there, but the very Afghans we worked alongside with will be treacherously adding to the fire.

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