ThreatView – 6 June 2021

Major Events

Chinese expansion. China is intently focused on holding their initiative in the Pacific with the Spratly and Paracel islands. Militarily, they provide a permanent blue-water navy capability that China otherwise lacks, and strategically they allow China to seize the initiative in the event of conflict with Taiwan. With China being increasingly provocative in Taiwanese air space and patrolling with coast guard and naval vessels, the media has reported “internal debates” about the “strategic ambiguity” of Taiwan in US foreign policy. However, the deep economic ties between the US and China will certainly stave of conflict in the near future, and almost certainly prevent conflict for at least another decade, allowing ample time for either differences to be resolved or longer trenches to be dug.

Israel-Palestinian conflict. While the history of conflict between the nations of Israel and Palestine run deep, the current tensions specifically stem from a pending court decision about properties in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The debate about title to the property appears inhumane, as it is an Israeli corporation that is claiming title, but it is Palestinian families that will be removed from the only home they have known. Yet, both sides see the other party as encroaching on their ancestral lands. Rather than rely solely on proving title, as doing so across a range of international wars and occupations is problematic to say the least, the court should rely on generational ties. If a single family has lived on a piece of land for multiple generations, title to the land should be assumed. In situations where land was “sold” without proper title, the land should be awarded to the party who can demonstrate physical occupation as of 10 June 1967.

Inflation. Russia has announced that it will dispense with dollar-denominated assets held by its National Wealth Fund, which accounts for as much as 35% of its international reserves. This, combined with global food inflation and the rapid increase in US national debt will likely lead to a record annual inflation, which is already nearly 3% higher than the previous fiscal year, with a further 120 days to go. The overall trend suggests inflation could reach as much as 5%, which could devastate the already shrinking middle class.

Rocket cargo. If you can land a rocket on the moon, then you can probably land a rocket anywhere you want to on the earth, carrying nearly any payload required, and within 90 minutes from launch. At least, that’s what the Air Force is officially exploring with their “Rocket Cargo” program included in their annual budget request. The technology to produce the capability exists today, but this is unlikely to be a tactical capability anytime in the next 20 years, as commercialized rocket technology will continue to focus on carrying payloads to faraway moons and planets,


Quote of the Week

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

Gen. George S. Patton

A similar quote goes something like “perfection is the enemy of good enough.” Waiting until things are “perfect” is an easy way to allow ourselves to procrastinate. If you do not think you are “good enough” at something yet, you probably never will be. Sometimes you just have to be brave enough to get started.


Opinion

Ending the pandemic. It’s time we move past the pandemic restrictions. The fear and panic associated with COVID-19 will not ease until we do, but we have to confront the fear before we can overcome it. There should be no discussion of a “new normal”, there should just be normal, again.

Granted, there are certain economic concessions that have to be made. Many people were out of work for an entire year, and in some cases even more. People will need to be protected from losing their homes while they transition back into the work force, but there also has to be a forcing function in order to make it happen. I’m not concerned about the people “taking advantage” of government programs, but rather the people that are genuinely fearful of the virus.

What it comes down to is we can’t live a life of fear. People value their freedom and their ability to make decisions, and this sense of freedom was lost when our ability to move freely in the world was literally taken away. Not by the government, but by giving in to fear.

If this sounds like you, start working your way back now. Go to the places you used to visit on a regular basis. Short visits, at first, with all the reasonable protections you require to feel comfortable, and then slowly increase the risks you are willing to take. If we don’t, we will simply live the rest of our lives out in fear. And that, my friends, is no way to live at all.


Recent SPOTREPs

26 May 21 – SPOTREP: Russian Signals Intelligence Vessel Operating off the Coast of Kauai

29 May 21 – SPOTREP: North Korean Economy Growing More Desperate