Everyone – Outside of Ukraine – Is Still Calling It a “Conflict With Russia”

At what point due the leaders (and reporters) of the world admit that it is a war? Russia Tries to Strangle Ukraine with New Maritime Strategy.

Russia is adopting a new tactic in its ongoing conflict with Ukraine by cutting off the latter’s access to its important ports in the Sea of Azov.

Spiegel is slightly to the Left of the BBC, so I don’t really expect much from them, but they do translate some of their stories into English.

The new Crimean Bridge, it turns out, not only connects people, but can also be used by Moscow to close off access to the Kerch Strait. That Sunday, Russia declared the Sea of Azov, which is located northeast of the strait and whose coastline it shares with Ukraine, semi-officially to be its own. There’s not really anything Ukraine can do to oppose it.


Did Anyone Really Think Putin Was Going to Stop with Crimea?

I said then that it looked like he was playing The Great Game. He just appears more patient than most. Russia seizes three Ukrainian naval ships off Crimea.

Russia has seized three Ukrainian naval ships in a strait near Moscow-annexed Crimea, raising fears of military escalation and prompting an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday.

Empire builders don’t stop building empires, unless they get stopped.

What’s The Price of Not Paying Attention to Security?

That depends on what business you are in. Dozens of US spies killed after Iran and China uncovered CIA messaging service using Google.

The cost?

“Dozens of people around the world were killed because of this.”

The cause?

The internet-based communications platform was first used in the Middle East to communicate with soldiers in war zones and had not been intended for widespread use but due to its ease of use and efficacy, it was adopted by agents despite its lack of sophistication, the sources claimed.

Security is hard – or so we are told. And it is so convenient to use this simple system. Who wants to think about security? No one wants to learn a new system!

The people who authorized the use of the “easy but not secure” system should have been fired, but they are civil servants. “There has been no accountability for the failure.” (Actually, I think the penalty should be criminal negligence, or maybe manslaughter, but they haven’t even been fired.)

The government had already been warned about the hackability of the system by a defence contractor named John Reidy.

In the standard “shoot the messenger mode” they fired him some time later.

No Mention of Germany in an Article about NATO?

First, let’s look at the story itself. ‘We haven’t done this … since the Cold War’: British troops are testing out old skills on the way to major NATO war games.

HOEK VAN HOLLAND, Netherlands (Reuters) – British troops disembarked in the Netherlands on Wednesday en route to Norway to test NATO’s ability to move personnel and armor quickly across Europe, an exercise officers said showed London’s commitment to European security after Brexit.

So the invasion of Crimea and the ongoing war in Ukraine have FINALLY convinced the leaders in Europe that maybe Russia is up to no-good. And so, War Games on their front step. Well, not quite.

But what caught my attention is the following paragraph.

Britain, which has the biggest defense budget in the EU and is rivaled for military capability only by France, is eager to show that despite its vote to leave the European Union it remains committed to Europe’s security.

Germany is participating in this exercise, but the German military – Bundeswehr – is in bad shape overall. Despite a budget surplus, low unemployment, Merkel’s government won’t spend money on defense.

October 6, 1973: Israel Invaded

The Yom Kippur War: One of many wars that are forgotten by people who don’t pay attention. Which is just about everyone not in the military. 45 years ago – Yom Kippur War launched against Israel.

Which includes reference to

The famous battle for the Golan Heights in which a small group of Israeli tanks held off a Syrian armored force a hundred times their size. … The Heights of Courage (available for free online) by Avigdor Kahalani tells the story of the battle from the view of a participant. The battle also is the focus of the Prologue to Tom Clancy’s The Sum of All Fears:

Not the only war against Israel that is “forgotten.”

Welcome to Cold War 2.0

Russian Bombers testing US defenses? Yeah, sounds like the Cold War all over again. U.S. fighter jets intercept two Russian bombers near Alaska.

The bombers were intercepted west of the mainland of Alaska and were accompanied by Russian Su-35 “Flanker” fighter jets and never entered airspace over the United States and Canada, NORAD said.

Some of the bombers intercepted were nuclear-capable.

Russia is presently holding its Vostok-2018 drills, its largest show of military force since the height of the Cold War nearly four decades ago.

In case you are interested, in 1974 Oakridge National Lab tested several expedient blast shelters; shelters you could make given a few days notice with stuff you might have on hand. It is of course easier if you don’t wait until the last minute. And you need to cut up at least 1 car tire to build a blast valve. Of course you can buy blast valves and ventilation systems. And you need some things you probably haven’t thought of. (Do you know why beanbag chairs were introduced?) Switzerland has blast shelters for its entire population. Russia has blast shelters for most cities.

The British and the French Haven’t Been At War With Each Other Since 1815

If you don’t count the Vichy government, which was really a tool of Germany during WWII. French navy to intervene if ‘scallops wars’ dispute with Britain escalates.

Flares, rocks and even petrol bombs were flung at the British ships, with one shocked fisherman calling it a “scene out of Vietnam.”

A British fisherman called on the navy to be deployed to protect them.

And so France is also considering its navy to put an end to the clashes. Though I don’t think the British Royal Navy is going to get involved at this point. Who knows? Throwing bombs at other vessels could be considered an act of piracy.

The root of the conflict lies in the Baie de la Siene – a stretch just north of the Normandy coast famed for scallops. British fishermen are allowed to dredge for scallops in the bay under European Union law, but French law bans the practice for locals between May 15 and October 1, when they reproduce.

The War of the Scallops? Who can say. While 1815 is a long time ago, that pretty much marked the end the Second Hundred Years War. France and England have been at war a lot throughout history. (The difference between the British and the Americans is that Americans think 100 years is a long time, and the British think 100 miles is a long distance.)