Austin Bay from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 26 May 2019 23:59:51 -0700 Austin Bay from Creators Syndicate b4265fb19d75d61337104d5da99b8ab0 Iran's Proxy Armies Become a Regime Liability for 05/22/2019 Wed, 22 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Mark down May 2019 as the month Iran's war-by-proxy-forces racket became an undeniable problem for Tehran's dictators.</p> <p>This month, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. informed the Iranian regime it will suffer violent consequences if and when the militias and terror cells Tehran employs throughout the Middle East and the world attack Saudi and American targets.<p>Updated: Wed May 22, 2019</p> dbaf79320df189d2bf67073c6d0d824d Congo's Global Epidemic War for 05/15/2019 Wed, 15 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Democratic Republic of Congo's daily hell of poverty, assorted wars, ethnic antagonism, frail government institutions, porous borders, cultural superstitions, meddling neighbors and corrupt elites provide a one-stop-shop example of the wicked conditions afflicting the globe's less-developed regions, sub-Saharan Africa in particular.</p> <p>Unfortunately for all homo sapiens living within 200 kilometers or so of a major airport anywhere on this planet, the Ebola virus epidemic afflicting eastern Congo constitutes a deadly, international, mass-casualty threat to human life.<p>Updated: Wed May 15, 2019</p> 5e3ec2175503d4201d23c57a93cbed55 China's Communist Dictatorship Targets American Creativity for 05/08/2019 Wed, 08 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Spies have always targeted more than military secrets. Gathering political intelligence and compromising personal information on enemy leaders is as old as our species. "Spying for profit" (economic gain) is old news, though globalization has increased the value of commercial and financial data.</p> <p>Likewise, spies have long pursued what we now call "proprietary knowledge," particularly when the intellectual property &#8212; which originally indicated a creative intellect owned it &#8212; involved technology having current or potential military application.</p> <p>However, communist China's pervasive and relentless spy operation targeting American scientific, commercial and economic creativity has no historical precedent.<p>Updated: Wed May 08, 2019</p> aa020aa3730015ebcf7193554b5ca5ee Sudan's Protestors Now Confront the Military Transitional Council for 05/01/2019 Wed, 01 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On April 11, after four months of relentless demonstrations by Sudanese citizens, Sudan's military ousted dictator and Darfur genocidaire Omar al-Bashir. </p> <p>Rise by the sword; fall by the sword. In 1989, Bashir led a military coup that toppled the government in Khartoum. For the next three decades, he relied on the military to maintain his personal power. Force of arms intimidated his political opponents while graft rewarded his political cronies.<p>Updated: Wed May 01, 2019</p> 34a913d9ff55c5f7756217c820e01ebe Background to Sri Lanka's Easter Terror Atrocities for 04/24/2019 Wed, 24 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">Within Sri Lanka's multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, the Easter Sunday terror massacres have stirred embittering memories of suicide terror atrocities perpetrated during the nation's 26-year-long civil war (July 1983 to May 2009). The Easter bombings killed at least 321 people and injured over 500.</span><br></p> <p>Understand that the stark and numerous differences between 2019's horror and the terror campaigns waged by ethnic Tamils during their secessionist insurgency are historically and politically salient. When it comes to capturing and/or eliminating 2019's perpetrators, the differences will be determinative. I'll sketch the key ones in a moment.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 24, 2019</p> d3a3e1b61a6213ff526efceb6d9fa209 Venezuela's Maduro Starves His Own People for 04/18/2019 Thu, 18 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Venezuela's slide to chaotic penury and violence continues. Socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro and his government ought to resign in shame, but caudillos and their cronies inevitably attempt to cling to power, no matter the suffering they inflict.</p> <p>The Venezuelan people certainly suffer. In the last month, the nation with over 300 billion barrels in proven oil reserves has suffered three major electrical blackouts affecting three-quarters of the country. Even the capital, Caracas, went dark.</p> <p>There's a loss of lives as well as lights. Venezuelan sources reported that 46 hospitalized patients died as a direct result of the first blackout.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 18, 2019</p> ee08cea7dde1852c0d737aadbde688ed Manila's Beijing Bromance Wrecks on Pag-asa Island for 04/10/2019 Wed, 10 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On April 4, the prickly Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, warned China that his country would react militarily if the China Coast Guard and fishing vessels continue to "swarm" and surround a small Filipino islet in the Spratly Islands, Pag-asa Island (also called Thitu). Duterte's warning followed a March 29 formal diplomatic protest the Philippines delivered to China's embassy in Manila.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Beijing's aggressive South China Sea territorial grab relies on a bully's bilateral perception of power</span>: strong China versus weak neighbor. China is an emerging great power with global economic clout and a powerful, modernizing military. In comparison, the Philippines is vulnerable militarily. It is also anemic economically, and it owes China so much money that both Duterte (belatedly) and his political opponents fear a Chinese debt trap. China could seize Filipino assets for nonpayment of loans.<p>Updated: Wed Apr 10, 2019</p> c0dda364edb832ec17fce696978ece77 NATO's 21st-Century Value for 04/03/2019 Wed, 03 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On April 4, the NATO alliance turns 70. Representatives from the alliance's current 29 member nations will meet in Washington to commemorate the occasion.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">There's much to commemorate, as well as current issues to anticipate and address.</span><p>Updated: Wed Apr 03, 2019</p> c5d3a2d919efc342dfb37746148de680 The National Security Impact of Mueller's Russia Investigation for 03/27/2019 Wed, 27 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Department of Justice has finally received special prosecutor Robert Mueller's long-awaited report. Media Sturm und Drang sensationalism to the contrary, Mueller found no evidence (zip, zero, nada) that President Donald Trump, his erstwhile campaign staff or his relatives "colluded" with Vladimir Putin's Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election and insidiously deny Hillary Clinton the White House.</p> <p>Hence this important question: Did the two years of Mueller's excruciating investigation and accompanying sensationalist media rant accusing Trump of a crime he didn't commit deleteriously affect American national security? More on that in a moment.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 27, 2019</p> 2c371aee6c22191bd8595c2b67ff9f2a Russia's Crimea Invasion Imperils 21st-Century Peace for 03/20/2019 Wed, 20 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin imperiled 21st-century peace among nation states when he stood in Red Square and announced Russia had annexed the Crimean Peninsula. "We will do much more," Putin told an adoring crowd. Putin's popularity poll ratings spiked.</p> <p>Unfortunately, that March 18 in Red Square marked a dangerous reversion. For the first time since the end of World War II, military aggression in Europe by a major European power had led to political annexation and territorial expansion. The historical legacy of military invasion and territorial annexation by a major power in Europe, whatever the rationale for expansion, is slaughter and suffering that afflicts the combatants and affects the entire continent. It often spreads to other continents. In the 20th century, revanchist warfare in Europe seeded global war and massive loss of life.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 20, 2019</p> 6c736e08175c69d4f2d73523ab86103c Sanctions and New Military Tech Threaten North Korea's Nuclear Threat for 03/13/2019 Wed, 13 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>February's Hanoi summit was unquestionably a media bust. When North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un demanded reduced economic and political sanctions but refused to abandon his nuclear weapons, U.S. President Donald Trump shrugged and walked out.</p> <p>No sensational agreements; no bombastic threats. Sensationalist media had to scramble. For a week or so, snark artists called the summit a diplomatic disaster.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 13, 2019</p> 24483b76cdd1d01324294e02542f9db3 Stop the F-35 Deal With Erdogan's Turkey for 03/06/2019 Wed, 06 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Is American economic power an anti-missile defense weapon?</p> <p>In the case of Turkey's imminent &#8212; and destructive &#8212; acquisition of Russian S-400 surface-to-air-missiles (SAMs), the answer is yes, at least for the moment.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 06, 2019</p> 8dcac393c7bba347ae3fd1e4e268631d Background to the Trump-Kim Hanoi Summit for 02/20/2019 Wed, 20 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In 2018, a small but palpable change in Korean War diplomacy occurred, one that may yet produce something other than nuclear conflagration in east Asia: rotund North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un kept his word.</p> <p>In April 2018, Kim made a promise just before he met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. He said his regime would refrain from testing ICBMs and nuclear devices.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 20, 2019</p> 059171bfb1bceadac4be20f783516274 Russian Hostile Meddling Backfires in Northern Europe for 02/13/2019 Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>On Feb. 11, Norway's intelligence agency severely criticized Russian jamming of GPS signals. The Norwegians said the Russian GPS signal disruption exploits that occurred last fall during NATO's Trident Juncture military exercise were not only a military concern but "also a threat to civil aviation in peacetime."</p> <p>When Trident Juncture concluded in November, both the Finnish and Norwegian governments protested the GPS disruption. Norway blamed Russian transmitters at a military base located on the Kola Peninsula &#8212; in the Arctic, east of Finland. <p>Updated: Wed Feb 13, 2019</p> 2443497f87d76fcd8998a461c909c3b2 Protecting Chokepoints Remains a Key Strategic Challenge for 02/06/2019 Wed, 06 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In January, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence published two complementary documents: "National Intelligence Strategy 2019" and "The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community." The second report was based on DNI Daniel Coats testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.</p> <p>The Strategy report had succinct summaries of challenges America faces. For example, U.S. "adversaries pose challenges within traditional, non-traditional, hybrid, and asymmetric military, economic, and political spheres." Let's translate the jargon. Traditional indicates conflict involving land, sea and air space and resources. Nontraditional means cyber. Hybrid and asymmetric indicate adversary operations integrating all of the elements of power in unexpected ways. Diplomatic, Information, Military and Economic power form DIME power.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 06, 2019</p> f27d036bbf9e412aecb00755ee884883 Bolton's Notepad and America's Venezuelan Policy Cocktail for 01/30/2019 Wed, 30 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>During a Jan. 27 White House press briefing addressing U.S. economic sanctions imposed on Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro's regime, reporters noticed national security adviser John Bolton idly clasping at his side a notepad containing the handwritten phrase: "5,000 troops to Colombia."</p> <p>Reuters reported it was "not clear if disclosure of the notes was intentional, and there was no indication that such a military option would be used any time soon."</p> <p>Bolton, regarded as a Washington interventionist, didn't threaten American military action anywhere much less demand intervention in South America.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 30, 2019</p> 0b0e40a0b3cf37e860ef1162d03c5cda Venezuela's Opposition Is Now a Serious Threat to Maduro for 01/23/2019 Wed, 23 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Since late fall 2018, nationwide opposition to Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro has shown signs of increasing coordination &#8212; emerging links connecting angry anti-Maduro street demonstrations, domestic political preparations by opposition leaders and anti-regime international diplomatic initiatives that portray Maduro as the vicious thug he is.</p> <p>Street demonstrations against the vicious socialist regime are not new. In the past, they have flared and then faded. The regime has isolated and silenced bothersome opposition leaders.</p> <p>However, Venezuelan opposition actions &#8212; lines of operation, to use jargon &#8212; have begun to work together. The opposition is successfully waging diplomatic, political and information warfare domestically and internationally.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 23, 2019</p> 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>