Austin Bay from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 16 Jan 2021 12:59:43 -0800 Austin Bay from Creators Syndicate a198faf8bf52c820a8b4b4683da00439 Venn Diagram of Freedom's Threats: Kim Jong Un-Reliable North Korea Intersects Amazon Servers for 01/13/2021 Wed, 13 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Strategists know trying to see the geopolitical battlefield from an adversary's point of view is useful, particularly the view of an adversary with a couple of nuclear weapons and a legacy of provocative violence.</p> <p>I can't really enter the mind of North Korean dictator and chain-smoking lard tub Kim Jong Un, so his point of view, rendered as a geopolitical scenario, must be surmised.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 13, 2021</p> 63421dea3375e9a855430c13a8e3e211 In Praise of Trump Administration Transactional Diplomacy for 01/06/2021 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Until the Trump administration began its experiment in 21st-century American transactional diplomacy, "intractable international problems" dismayed, vexed and bamboozled establishment diplomats, whether they hailed from Washington's Beltway morass, U.N. agencies or cachet townhouses in European capitals.</p> <p>I specify American transactional diplomacy &#8212; meaning negotiating and then concluding two-way deals (bilateral agreements, in diplo-speak) that demonstrably benefit two antagonistic nations. The payoff of conflict and creating peace level: The deal diminishes their level of mutual antagonism, promotes kinder words and opens opportunities for wealth-creating interaction.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 06, 2021</p> 18807ae5818ada7e4640d8308c0d624a 2020's Bio-Economic World War: Communist China Lied; Millions of Human Beings Died for 12/30/2020 Wed, 30 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>The Chinese Communist Party's COVID-19/Wuhan virus disinformation campaign (cover-up) rates as 2020's biggest Big Lie. By any measure, especially body count, the CCP committed 2020's most consequential and deadliest falsehood.</p> <p>The following analysis summarizes decisions and actions by China's communist rulers from December 2019's final days through the end of January 2020, when U.S. President Donald Trump shut down air travel between mainland China and America.</p> <p>(1) China's rulers &#8212; or their frightened commissar and police apparatchiks &#8212; brutalized and jailed the doctors and researchers who identified the disease as a threat to life and sought to warn other Chinese and medical authorities worldwide.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 30, 2020</p> 1cfa564e75008bcd2de014e8edc6725a The Enemy Is Fragility: Pompeo's New Strategy for 12/23/2020 Wed, 23 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Planet Earth, for worse and occasionally better, is a world of neighborhood existence &#8212; many neighborhoods at peace, many (most?) neighborhoods uneasy and facing tenuous circumstances, too many neighborhoods experiencing outright anarchy and war.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Blame the level of perception, of easy aggregation, for missing this truth.</span> I'll illustrate with an anecdote. Six years ago, an obstreperous type saw me at a private reception. From across the room, he bellowed: "Austin Bay! Is there any hope for Africa?"<p>Updated: Wed Dec 23, 2020</p> 64974b2750b80d7f9526943aab6b8baa The Navy's Robot War in the South China Sea for 12/16/2020 Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The first "high-end" war won or lost by robots may be fought at sea. The South China Sea, extending from China's southern coast to Singapore, is a likely candidate for this battleground. At this moment in time, it has replaced the Korean Peninsula as the most dangerous military collision between the great powers China and the U.S.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">One caveat for this robot-rich war is what is a "robot" war machine. It's actually a gray-area term, one we will explore momentarily.</span><p>Updated: Wed Dec 16, 2020</p> a686b307c205c661588425e9a942a53e Anatomy of Narrative Warfare: China's Fake Photo Propaganda Attack on Australia for 12/09/2020 Wed, 09 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>A Chinese foreign ministry official recently tweeted a photo showing an Australian special operations soldier in Afghanistan holding a knife to the throat of a child.</p> <p>The picture was digitally altered, a contrived visual lie spread via the internet with the linked goals of provoking shock and anger in viewers worldwide &#8212; and then politically manipulating those human emotions to the benefit of the Chinese Communist Party.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 09, 2020</p> 70d10688702322a2988f735c24867f7a Merry Christmas, Hawaii: U.S. Missile Defenses Just Improved for 12/02/2020 Wed, 02 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Hawaii can rest a bit easier this Christmas, thanks to another successful Missile Defense Agency anti-ballistic missile test. On Nov. 16, an SM-3 Block IIA (SM3) missile fired by a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS John Finn, destroyed an "ICBM-representative target" as it plunged toward Hawaii. The SM3 is a kinetic interceptor, hit to kill. Its November kill was exo-atmospheric &#8212; in near space.</p> <p>The target missile had physical characteristics similar to North Korea's advanced ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles). Launched from a site in the western Pacific, its flight trajectory mimicked a Nork shot at the Hawaiian Islands.<p>Updated: Wed Dec 02, 2020</p> 05d6e5dd87b1d6f9c9ac8ffab8b099f4 China Prepares for 'Informationized' War for 11/25/2020 Wed, 25 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In March 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, speaking to the National People's Congress, declared that the Chinese military's most important mission was "to win local wars under Information Age conditions."</p> <p>Wen's use of "local wars" drew immediate reaction. Given China's territorial claims in Asia, locals such as Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan heard a threat.</p> <p>As for the phrase "under Information Age conditions," media took that to mean the internet, interconnected global communications and pervasive information resources &#8212; information's soft power side, to include propaganda to cover a Chinese "gray zone" war.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 25, 2020</p> dfe49064d111716b50bed34967bff8f0 The Congressional Research Service Takes a Peek at the Next Big War for 11/18/2020 Wed, 18 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>To adapt former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's famous 2002 press statement, the world's next big shooting war will be a consequential event masked by known unknowns.</p> <p>The human historical record tells us a major armed (kinetic) conflict involving powerful nations will eventually erupt. Given contemporary economic interdependence and the lethality of modern weaponry, the conflict will have disruptive global consequences, many of them grim.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 18, 2020</p> 3ad6349628d186515bf3cc17dbe4934a Trump's Middle East Peace Prize on the Belated Ballot for 11/11/2020 Wed, 11 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Major American news media and the usual gang of Washington beltway clerks have tried to ignore into oblivion the Trump administration's diplomatic achievements in the Middle East. </p> <p>Their collective pay-no-heed is crooked and vile on so many levels.<p>Updated: Wed Nov 11, 2020</p> f7d1de10e1fee3da6e88a2f16bfae343 India's Naval Exercise Indicates Trump Administration's China Policy Improved Indo-Pacific Security for 11/04/2020 Wed, 04 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Perhaps in five years, an honest historian will publish an honest history assessing the positive diplomatic effects of the President Donald Trump's administration's decision to challenge the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship's pervasive spying, economic trickery and utter disregard of international law.</p> <p>The Trump administration has employed tough diplomatic and legal initiatives, and implemented economic and military policies that reduced the CCP's freedom of action. It rejected China's expansionist territorial claims. <p>Updated: Wed Nov 04, 2020</p> b65b3e29a49bbc57fc85d173374d5642 Did the Economist Aid a Chinese Communist Influence Operation? for 10/28/2020 Wed, 28 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On Oct. 26, the Washington Free Beacon published a hard-hitting investigative article exposing a truly appalling and destructive example of communist China's long-term war on free societies, in this case using influence and information as weapons.</p> <p>The Free Beacon detailed The Economist magazine's years of "sympathetic" coverage of China's Huawei Technologies company. Then the report connected information to a kind of influence by documenting the magazine's profitable business relationship with the notorious corporate giant. The Free Beacon noted The Economist did not acknowledge that economic relationship for nearly a decade. <p>Updated: Wed Oct 28, 2020</p> bf0b26ad00567c3e8982af6be4529760 Sanctions Have Slashed Ayatollah Iran's War-Making Capacity for 10/21/2020 Wed, 21 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As October began, Iran's religious dictators were peddling a narrative of imminent triumph on "a momentous day," Oct. 18. On that day, the 13-year-long U.N. arms embargo imposed on Iranian security forces would expire. U.N. Security Council members Russia and China refused to renew it. Both dictatorships acknowledge they would love to sell weapons to Iran.</p> <p>According to Tehran's propagandists and western media apologists, on the momentous day, The Great Satan (the U.S.) and its malign President Donald Trump would suffer a stinging diplomatic defeat. The regime survived the embargo!<p>Updated: Wed Oct 21, 2020</p> bdb2de1c29cb5cbf9d48a03e4f319d63 Huawei and the CCP's War for Information Dominance for 10/15/2020 Thu, 15 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Long-term strategic struggles, like the U.S.-versus-China confrontation, do not submit to bombshell headlines and snapshot predictions. When very large and powerful political, economic and cultural organizations conflict, years judge the slow war process of achieving strategic gain or suffering damaging loss, not talking heads on 24/7 news outlets.</p> <p>Some 30 years ago, the Chinese Communist Party and its intelligence agencies bet digital-information delivery dominance would be a decisive advantage in a long-term struggle for global dominance. I emphasize delivery, for dominating the material and physical (equipment and infrastructure) means for delivering digital information gives the dominator an edge in providing, denying or subverting content &#8212; be it news, opinion or entertainment. Control the system, or be able to easily penetrate, manipulate or corrupt it, and you can secretly collect data on users, spy on users and, if you happen to be a CCP totalitarian, engage in intimate, personal blackmail in order to advance other political and economic schemes.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 15, 2020</p> aa118694c6be69e679e171ce117b48bf For China, the Quad Is a Diplomatic and Military Double Whammy for 10/07/2020 Wed, 07 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This week's Quadrilateral Security Dialogue foreign ministers meeting in Tokyo signals that so-called Quad has arrived as a global diplomatic combination. The Quad is already an Indo-Pacific military power.</p> <p>For Beijing, the Quad's formation and solidification is a nightmare &#8212; and China's communist government has only itself to blame.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 07, 2020</p> 213b0da149ba203334ce9f9fbac8e07c The Iguala Massacre: Mexico's President Versus Beyond-the-Law Elites for 09/30/2020 Wed, 30 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For decades, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador &#8212; in North American mediaspeak, AMLO &#8212; styled himself as a gifted man of the political left who was ... well, special.</p> <p>As a perennial eccentric outsider, AMLO promised to bring Mexico radical change and new prosperity if he were to become president. Why did he push the brave-new-world bravado? Faith question. His ultimate answer wasn't unswerving faith in utopian socialism. Ultimately, his answer reeked of faculty-club narcissism. Mexico will change "Because I, The AMLO, am Me!"<p>Updated: Wed Sep 30, 2020</p> 6ea6167980a89446fed07f0fcd62f897 On the UN's 75th Anniversary, Commemorate UN War Fighters for 09/23/2020 Wed, 23 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Somewhere in a storage room, I've a World War II submarine recognition pamphlet framed to display its intriguing title.</p> <p>Published circa 1943, the pamphlet is no frills &#8212; black ink submarine silhouettes and captions on white paper. The silhouettes depict U.S., British Commonwealth, Free French and Soviet Union subs, and, as I recall, a Dutch and a Greek sub as well. The Netherlands, Greece and France had been defeated, but some ships escaped to fight for their "free governments in exile."<p>Updated: Wed Sep 23, 2020</p> 17486251d1f60378aaa47c7028872e48 Has the Trump Administration Ended Clinton's Less-Than-Splendid Balkan War? for 09/09/2020 Wed, 09 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On Sept. 4, the Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic signed an agreement committing the two Balkan states to reach a mutually beneficial and permanent economic and trade normalization deal. The Trump administration brokered the agreement and hosted the signing ceremony in Washington.</p> <p>No, it's not a peace treaty between Serbia and Kosovo; it's an agreement to reach a deal. But the positive small step that makes possible larger steps is proving to be a trademark Donald Trump diplomatic and peace-making technique. Trump emphasizes economic progress that diminishes the negative effects of divisive ethnic, religious and cultural differences, and neuters destructive historical grievances as the harmful excuses for hate they are. Trump sees economic development that everyone can see sets the stage for the resolution of seemingly permanent political disputes. Like last month's United Arab Emirates and Israel agreement to diplomatically recognize each other and openly display their extensive commercial ties, the Serb-Kosovar agreement makes a dramatic international statement about how leaders see the future.<p>Updated: Wed Sep 09, 2020</p> 06136aaba869f1eaeaad6c872a69e7f1 Why Turmoil in Belarus Matters for 09/02/2020 Wed, 02 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The post-election turmoil shaking Belarus has the typical storyline of a geriatric dictatorship losing its ability to control by fear. The corruption and grinding poverty produced by Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and his regime's 26 years in power finally spurred a new reform-minded generation to challenge the dictator at the ballot box. Knowing they were despised, the dictator's gang rigged the election. Outraged by the fraud, reformers filled the streets with genuinely peaceful mass protests and appealed to free nations for help. Attempting to crush an energized opposition, the dictator's riot cops responded brutally, beating and arresting thousands.</p> <p>This happens all the time? Unfortunately, yes, it does.<p>Updated: Wed Sep 02, 2020</p> fc1c5c1c21bd803203032c5c22ff1793 China War Scenarios: Versus the U.S., Versus India, China Versus China for 08/26/2020 Wed, 26 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In July, senior government officials in Taiwan and the U.S. warned that communist China was aggressively threatening Taiwan's independence. U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper contended Beijing had taken its intimidation "to a new level."</p> <p>China's 1995-1996 "missile drizzle" operation, sometimes called the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis, set a high bar for aggressive threats to Taiwan. For nine months, Beijing fired short- and medium-range missiles into the surrounding ocean. Though communist missile crews carefully avoided the bullseye, large splashes bracketed the island.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 26, 2020</p>