Sherman Sacks Columbia

William Tecumseh ShermanSherman captured Savannah, Georgia shortly before Christmas of 1864, after cutting a swath of destruction across that state. After spending some time Savannah, Sherman moved his army into South Carolina. Sherman began his Carolina campaign on February 1st. By the 17th, he had captured Columbia. Sherman sacks Columbia, South Carolina – Feb 17, 1865 – HISTORY.com

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union, and Confederate batteries opened fire on the Federal garrison of Fort Sumter in April of 1861 to get the festivities started. So the Union soldiers were particularly delighted in bringing war to South Carolina.

The troops under Confederate General Wade Hampton abandoned the city leaving it open to Sherman’s troops. The Union soldiers set fire to city – many after getting drunk.

Sherman wrote:

“Though I never ordered it and never wished it, I have never shed any tears over the event, because I believe that it hastened what we all fought for, the end of the War.”

About 2/3 of the town burned before the flames were extinguished, but Sherman set more fires – to all the government buildings – three days later before they marched out of Columbia.

Russia’s New Cruise Missile

So the Russians under Vladimir Putin have just deployed a new cruise missile, which is bad, because it violates an end-of-the-Cold-War arms treaty. Russia secretly deploys cruise missile, violating arms treaty

But they didn’t develop this missile in the last month. It has been in testing since 2014. And unless there is something wrong with my math, Obama was president during most of the time since 2014 to today. But the press seems to think that this is something Trump let happen.

You could make the argument that since the system hadn’t been deployed, it was not in violation of the agreement, but that is probably a bit short-sighted.

The US concluded in 2014 that Russia had violated the 1987 treaty banning ground-launched intermediate-range missiles by testing the experimental new cruise missile, Reuters reported.

So what did the Obama Administration do in the face of this treaty violation? The same thing the Obama Administration did when Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula, which was nothing. (The same thing they did when Syria crossed the “red line in the sand” and used chemical weapons, which was also nothing. I’m sure there are other examples.)

I don’t particularly like Trump, but blaming this situation on him is a bit disingenuous, even for the mainstream media.

‘Starship Troopers’ Is the New ‘The Art of War’

May have to revisit this one. 6 Reasons Why ‘Starship Troopers’ Is the New ‘The Art of War’

Modern warriors, surrounded by sophisticated gear and nuanced rules of engagement, need to meditate on the balance between technology and soldier, man and machine, civilian and veteran. For that kind of wisdom, they must go to military science fiction — and one great book in particular.

Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, published in 1959, is aging remarkably well.

Apparently it is recommended reading at West Point. [Hat Tip to From the Barrel of a Gun.]

And please note: The movie by the same name is definitely not worth your time. (I wish they would consult the military before they do “military science fiction.)

International Criminal Court is Having a Bad Year

Russia has just announced it intends to withdraw from the ICC. Why Russia Just Withdrew from the ICC

The geniuses at the ICC have just now concluded that the annexation of Crimea and the on-going hostilities constitute an “armed conflict” between Russia and Ukraine. (Why can’t diplomats and bureaucrats say “a state of war?”) Russia isn’t happy.

A handful of African states are in the process of withdrawing – it takes a year – over perceptions of bias. Or maybe actual bias.

. In the past two months, Burundi, Gambia, and South Africa all withdrew from the Rome Statute, citing alleged bias against African countries. The ICC currently has 10 ongoing investigations, of which nine are in Africa and one in Georgia. Uganda, Kenya, and Namibia have also signaled they are considering pulling out of the ICC.

Globalization anyone?

A year since the Paris attacks

The attacks left Paris stunned last year. A year after Paris attacks, Europe’s extremism problem shows no signs of going away – The Washington Post

The political earthquake has made coverage of any other story problematic this week. The other alternative is that this story isn’t viewed as important by the media. Though I guess I understand that a story on the anniversary is about all we can hope for.

PARIS — In a series of attacks on “precisely chosen targets,” nine Islamic State militants wrought devastation in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, killing at least 130 people.

Of course that isn’t the only attack.

In the U.S., the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a June attack on a gay nightclub in Florida that killed 49 people. In Europe, at least 30 people were killed in Brussels in March in two attacks, a suicide attack at a metro station and a double suicide attack at the Brussels airport. And in July, 86 people were killed in Nice when an Islamic State attacker plowed a truck through throngs of people on a busy promenade at the city’s Bastille Day festival.

Part of me wants to believe that the lack of coverage leading up to this is simply due to the fact that media is still in denial, finger-pointing, and ass-covering mode. The cynical part says that they would just like to sweep the issue of terrorism under the rug.</p.

Baltic State of Lithuania Prepares for Invasion

Forget the Cold War, or even Cold War 2.0, this is preparation for the real thing. So would this be World War III, or something else? War In Europe: Lithuania Prepares For Russian Invasion As NATO Sends Troops To Eastern European States

More than two years after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, Lithuania is warning its citizens of a possible similar fate in the former Soviet Union republic. Lithuanian government officials have published tens of thousands of copies of a 75-page guide on how to survive a Russian invasion, BBC News reported Saturday.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are small and all share a border with Russia, and all were part of the old Soviet Union. Lithuania has been a NATO member since 2004. An invasion is supposed to trigger action in the part of the NATO alliance. (Do we think the current or likely next US Administration will live up to its NATO commitments?)

Germany also warned residents in an August advisory to stockpile food and water in case of a national emergency. For its part, Lithuania announced last year it would restart military conscription for men aged 19-26.

The most ineffective foreign policy of my lifetime. Previous entry here.

The Most Ineffective Foreign Policy of My Lifetime (Part 3)

The Nobel Peace Prize is SUPPOSED to be awarded to an individual who decreases military posturing. Good thing Obama won his before he was in office, because he hasn’t really succeeded at that these past 8 years. Russia taunts US with biggest military offensive since the Cold War.

The Kremlin is sending the full might of its Northern Fleet and part of the Baltic Fleet to reinforce a final assault on the city of Aleppo in a fortnight, according to Western intelligence.

The naval forces will participate in a bombardment of Aleppo meant to wipe out the rebels. All on the eve of the US election.

Good thing we have the Smartest President Ever™ in the White House.

(Part 2 can be found here, and Part 1 at this link.)