Austin Bay from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 20 Jan 2019 05:53:12 -0800 Austin Bay from Creators Syndicate c726c142c3ff7628138eecdf1ece7696 China's Commercial Spies Encounter Blowback for 01/16/2019 Wed, 16 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The past year has witnessed an overdue international response to China's rapacious military espionage and economic theft operations.</p> <p>Noteworthy pushback occurred in December 2018 when Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Meng is also the daughter of Huawei's billionaire founder, a man regarded as a Beijing insider.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 16, 2019</p> e1fbd98fa0f23f7b13e99555ed30337e The Stakes in Congo: Lives and Lifestyle for 01/09/2019 Wed, 09 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If you advocate electric vehicles and dote on cellphones whose manufacture depends on Congo's minerals, then the Democratic Republic of Congo's flawed Dec. 30 presidential election matters because it can affect your digital lifestyle.</p> <p>Congo's stability also matters if you value human life. In Congo's last civil war (Great Congo War, 1996-2003) some three million to five million people died in anarchic combat and from starvation, disease and exposure exacerbated by war.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 09, 2019</p> 73801b7ed80d360f68db6d39f5aebf08 The Big Story of 2018 is the Trump Administration's Korean Diplomatic Initiative for 01/02/2019 Wed, 02 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>As 2018 began, Kim Jong Un's North Korean dictatorship was touting its ICBMs. Many weapons analysts believed North Korean ICBMs could strike Seattle and San Francisco.</p> <p>As 2018 began, North Korean leaders routinely threatened South Korea, Japan and the U.S. with nuclear attack. In January, Kim claimed would soon deploy nuclear warheads. Propaganda is one thing but North Korea has a documented, decades-long record for vicious, unprovoked conventional military attacks, assassinations, terror attacks and paranoid violence.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 02, 2019</p> f1f020a584871718a06e3b64f7bf1b81 Waging Peace on Earth: Two Comparative Vignettes for 12/26/2018 Wed, 26 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In 2005, I showed up at Camp Lemonnier, the American military base in the East African nation of Djibouti. As I joked in a column published that year, Djibouti is one of Earth's hard corners few people can pronounce and still fewer visit.</p> <p>Located on the Horn of Africa, Djibouti's neighborhood is violent. Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia are close by, tragic Yemen across the Red Sea. In 2005, war and atrocity savaged the region. As 2018 ends, they continue to plague it.</p> <p>I asked the U.S. Marine colonel escorting our group to describe the U.S. military's mission in the Horn of Africa. He replied softly and firmly: "We're involved in waging peace." He wore camouflage BDUs &#8212; battle dress uniforms in military lingo. But he meant what he said.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 26, 2018</p> d1d0acc18ff059c4023c29bdca4df8fa Congo's December Elections and Your Lifestyle for 12/19/2018 Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If you think the Democratic Republic of Congo's Dec. 23 national elections will never touch your life, please contemplate the following factors indicative of the tight-knit and complex troubles we confront on 21st-century Earth.</p> <p>Consider the great Congo War's bloodbath. This column lacks a camera that could provide photographic substantiation, but I'll do my best to describe the body count, quantitatively and comparatively.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 19, 2018</p> 7be56f1ffb45082699df1bf4431bbedd SecDef Mattis and India's Sitharaman Conduct Meaningful Public Diplomacy for 12/12/2018 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The SecDef's crafted statement was simultaneously a nuanced appeal to an ally and a harsh siren warning to China's ruling Communist dictators.</p> <p>The siren warned aimed at Beijing &#8212; the emerging India and the U.S. alliance &#8212; has long-term implications for Asia's threatened peace.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 12, 2018</p> 58686ac7d042486bba62c0566e8f13c6 Mexico's New President Confronts Violence and Impunity for 12/05/2018 Wed, 05 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>On Dec. 1, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was inaugurated as president of Mexico. The new president now confronts Mexico's supposedly intractable problems.</p> <p>Mexico's problems are numerous. Some are merely frustrating, requiring patient bureaucratic workarounds that savvy Mexican citizens have polished as a skill set. Others, however, are morally, economically and institutionally draining, alienating the decent and driving the poor deeper into poverty.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 05, 2018</p> 95b1459d95e139e0912972e957f18ac7 Russia's War with Ukraine Goes to Sea for 11/28/2018 Wed, 28 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Thanks to Russian thuggery, the Sea of Azov is no longer obscure geography and the world confronts an ugly little navy war with diplomatic and legal consequences for nations that value freedom of navigation.</p> <p>In last week's column, I described the Sea of Azov as "a nook of the Black Sea lurking east and north of the Crimean Peninsula," the Ukrainian territory Russia invaded and annexed in 2014.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 28, 2018</p> c474f2553ea2ebd2bcb8d134692cce7f Russia's Pinprick War in Ukraine Has Global Implications for 11/21/2018 Wed, 21 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Russia's relentless and corrosive war in eastern Ukraine's Donbass region continues. To the media savvy Kremlin's delight, its dirty little war of pinprick savagery has managed to sink below major media headline radar.</p> <p>In concept, the pinpricks will eventually bleed Ukraine to the point of capitulation. However, as the going price for a barrel of oil dips below $60, the loss of petro-cash impedes this particular Muscovite imperial ambition.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 21, 2018</p> 7e597b2b6ad68b6b90859762e6441302 To Deter China, India Joins the 'Nuclear Triad' Club for 11/14/2018 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>On Nov. 5, India announced that its first domestically made nuclear powered submarine, the INS Arihant, had just completed its first "deterrence patrol" by spending a month on station, quietly prowling the ocean while armed with ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.</p> <p>Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Arihant's assembled crew that their submarine's cruise was a "fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail ... Amid an increase in the number of nuclear weapons in our surroundings, a credible nuclear deterrence is extremely important for our country's security. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Arihant is an open warning for the country's enemies, for the foes of peace: Don't try any misadventure against India.</span>"<p>Updated: Wed Nov 14, 2018</p> e75b00d7943cb6923671f5514ec57cbb Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War and Ebola in Eastern Congo for 11/07/2018 Wed, 07 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In two of Congo's anarchic eastern provinces, War and Plague combine to inflict local horrors and seed conditions for a "breakout epidemic" with lethal regional and possibly global health consequences.</p> <p>Unpacking that first sentence illustrates why War and Plague in Congo are a legitimate American national security concern.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 07, 2018</p> 4caa25461283983021be9a280e9f8c76 China Prepares for Hot War and Long Struggle for 10/31/2018 Wed, 31 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In retrospect, the June 1989 massacre in Beijing's Tiananmen Square signaled that China's rise would not be peaceful. In Tiananmen, the Communist government's security forces slaughtered more than 2,000 demonstrators.</p> <p>Let's stipulate that China's four-decade rise from a hunger-plagued developing country to a great power with global clout ranks as one of history's more striking political-economic achievements.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 31, 2018</p> fe9371ab7929c249ae6075f70095ed21 Refugee Waves and Migrant Marches for 10/24/2018 Wed, 24 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The 1994 Rwandan genocide of ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderates forced hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee to neighboring sub-Saharan African countries.</p> <p>Key point: The burden of providing immediate care for physically threatened refugees always falls on the "host country," even unwilling hosts. A second key point: A flood of refugees is not a military invasion, but economically and socially it can have similar effects on the host nation. We've seen this occur even in wealthy nations like Sweden and Germany. Which leads to another point: Every nation in central Africa is politically and economically fragile.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 24, 2018</p> 86695cc91e8c926ff91c0ae5db7ee1f4 Bringing North Korea to the Nuclear Point of No Return for 10/17/2018 Wed, 17 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>This week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in offered North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un another encouraging word. Moon said the crippling economic and political sanctions imposed on North Korea will begin to ease "when and if we decide the North's denuclearization process has at least reached a point of no return..."</p> <p>Call that a word carrot. North Korea didn't receive a bankable financial instrument or written agreement, just a verbal incentive to continue the denuclearization process Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump began in Singapore last June.</p> <p>South Korean media now refer to that meeting as the "unprecedented U.S.-North Korea summit." It certainly was. Trump assured Kim that he and his nation had a safe and wealthy future backed by American and South Korean security guarantees &#8212; as long as Kim followed through on his promise to completely, verifiably and irreversibly denuclearize, or CVID.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 17, 2018</p> 0bd22a72fb45e34ab34dbd778c54b436 Iraq's New Government Confronts Iran and Corruption for 10/11/2018 Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>After four months of vote recounts and bitter negotiations following May's indecisive election, in September Iraq's strife-ridden Council of Representatives voted to form the nucleus of a stable government when its parliamentarians agreed to select Barham Salih as president.</p> <p>In early October, Salih chose Adel Abdul-Mahdi to be prime minister and charged him with forming a new national government. Abdul-Mahdi must accomplish this feat in 30 days.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 11, 2018</p> cfccdd5f2b1cccf1eb48eb97911dcca3 The US-Mexico-Canada Trade Deal Is a Weapon Against Chinese Imperialism for 10/03/2018 Wed, 03 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As China's Communist government sees it, the "neo-NAFTA" U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is far more than a revised North American trade arrangement. It is an act of strategic warfare aimed at China.</p> <p>Beijing has got this one right. The Trump administration's USMCA gives Washington a powerful economic and diplomatic tool for achieving the U.S. and its key allies' most vital long-range goal in the Indo-Pacific region: preventing the rise of a hegemonic regional power, in this case China. Key U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific is shorthand for Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea and Singapore. India is a quiet ally, though continued Chinese misbehavior will ensure India morphs from quiet to key.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 03, 2018</p> 8e97687b90e695d2ef541e920381c0d6 McCaul and McRaven Discuss Food Insecurity and National Security for 09/26/2018 Wed, 26 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>War and anarchy directly link to mass human hunger.</p> <p>In 2017, the United Nations reported 37 countries confronted food insecurity or scarcity conditions that required external assistance - meaning food supplied by international agencies or donor nations like the U.S. Internal conflicts or regional warfare afflicted at least 30 of these countries.</p> <p>The problematic connection between violent conflict and hunger led the University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs to organize a forum (held Sept. 17) addressing the national security aspects of food insecurity.<p>Updated: Wed Sep 26, 2018</p> e83792de07f2844f6055a8dd855b46f0 The Population Threat to China's Prosperity for 09/05/2018 Wed, 05 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>While the Chinese Communist government basks in China's economic success, several terrible authoritarian decisions made in Beijing put the country's stability and sustained prosperity at risk.</p> <p>Though a forbidden public topic, the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre haunts the government. Chinese citizens bitterly resent the massacre, its cloak of totalitarian silence and Beijing's continued police state repression.<p>Updated: Wed Sep 05, 2018</p> f8bd019845fb3bb073d500974c39e1f9 Will Venezuela Explode Before It Implodes? for 08/29/2018 Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In 2007, now deceased Venezuelan socialist dictator Hugo Chavez toyed with launching an invasion of Curacao, a Dutch-protected island just off the Venezuelan coast. That wasn't his first military threat to a neighbor. Circa 2000, he began suggesting Venezuelan forces might intervene in neighboring Colombia, at the time fighting a narco-Communist guerrilla insurgency. </p> <p>Controlling Colombia would be a major step toward creating what Chavez called his socialist version of the South American "super-state" envisioned by 19th-century South American revolutionary Simon Bolivar. The Chavista "Bolivarian" state's territory would include Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and a slice of Surinam. Peru and Bolivia were possible future targets.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 29, 2018</p> f3ac128d90ec2dcdc1e3225cdddae971 Defending NATO's East: Rapid Reinforcement or Forward Deployment? for 08/22/2018 Wed, 22 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In early August 2008, Russian military forces invaded the nation of Georgia. An American action encouraged the Kremlin to halt its attack. U.S. Air Force transports flew elite Georgian infantrymen deployed in Iraq from Iraqi bases to their hard-pressed home country.</p> <p>August 2018, a decade later: Poland audaciously asked America to build a permanent U.S. military base on its territory.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 22, 2018</p>