Zimbabwe's brutal government outsources posh birthday celebrations.5:00 PM, Feb 22, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
Reuters has an interesting story up on Robert Mugabe's birthday celebration, hosted by the new soft imperialists, communist China. Last year, the Zimbabwean dictator's 85th birthday was globally mocked as an embarrassing Marie Antoinette moment (one of many, really), as Mugabe spent a huge sum on a lavish party while his once prosperous population starved. Seems he learned his lesson this year, letting China foot the bill.
It wouldn't be the first time. China was instrumental in Mugabe's rise to power, supplying his ZANU forces with resources, advisors, and weapons during the Rhodesian Bush War. When Mugabe --after having successfully adopted Mao's population centric insurgency strategy-- came to power, he made the mistake of adopting Mao's approach to economics as well.
France gets an assist.4:33 PM, Feb 5, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
As if the French offering to sell Russia an amphibious assault ship wasn't bad news for Georgia, Eli Lake at The Washington Times reports that:
The Republic of Georgia is charging a Paris-based satellite provider with caving in to Russian pressure after the company blocked a Georgia-based Russian-language station from broadcasting into the Caucasus region.
Words of widsom from a leader who led.12:38 PM, Feb 5, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
Quote of the day (so far, as Continetti says), from the champion of the Polish Solidarity movement, Lech Walesa:
"The United States is only one superpower. Today they lead the world. Nobody has doubts about it, militarily," the Polish leader said. "They also lead economically, but they're getting weak.
"But they don't lead morally and politically anymore. The world has no leadership. The United States was always the last resort and hope for all other nations. There was the hope, whenever something was going wrong, one could count on the United States. Today, we lost that hope."
The White House must explain how cutting U.S. nuclear forces will contribute to nonproliferation1:40 PM, Feb 1, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
John Bolton has a piece in this week's issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD on President Obama's pledge to dismantle our nuclear arsenal:
We have no need for further arms control treaties with Russia, especially ones that reduce our nuclear and delivery capabilities to Moscow’s economically forced low levels. We have international obligations, moreover, that Russia does not, requiring our nuclear umbrella to afford protection to friends and allies worldwide. Obama’s policy artificially inflates Russian influence and, depending on the final agreement, will likely reduce our nuclear and strategic delivery capabilities dangerously and unnecessarily. (Securing “loose” nuclear materials internationally has long been a bipartisan goal, properly so. Obama said nothing new on that score.) Meanwhile, Obama is considering treaty restrictions on our missile defense capabilities more damaging than his own previous unilateral reductions.
Military to take on climate change, focus on the human terrain12:33 PM, Feb 1, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
According to a draft copy of the Quadrennial Defense Review, DoD wonks are planning to mold an already over-tasked military to meet rising challenges associated with global warming climate change.
Consider how drastically the Pentagon has been forced to adapt since the end of the Cold War. Forces have shifted from hulking divisions pointed at the Fulda Gap to a lighter, stability and stabilization model. They've had to adapt to a rising role in humanitarian relief efforts, most evident during Katrina, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and now in Haiti. Further, the Armed Forces experienced a volatile 1990s, as the Clinton administration's various social experimentations with military culture dislodged 200 years of tradition and courtesies. All this while they've suffered through two decades of unchecked defense cuts, leaving our men and women in uniform with triple the number of missions with a fraction of the resources.
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