Kevin Rudd, the former Australian prime minister, and an expert on China, reviews the U.S.-China relationship in a powerful article that will run in the December issue of Proceedings. He begins and ends politely, but in between delivers a pretty damning assessment of the Trump Administration’s performance. Worth keeping in mind as Trump heads into the G-20 on Friday and Saturday.
Among the demerits he assigns:
"The U.S. withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Commission is a godsend for Beijing, which has long found this to be the single-most problematic multilateral institution.”
"Similarly, the U.S. attack on the World Trade Organization has enhanced China’s standing there despite China’s general reluctance to embrace fundamental global trade liberalization or fully open its own markets.”
"U.S. criticism of the U.N. itself has enabled China to look like a responsible global stakeholder in the multilateral system.”
He goes on to ask 10 tough questions of the Americans. One of the hardest is when he wonders aloud what reason other countries would have to buy into the nationalistic American stance laid out by Vice President Pence in a speech last month.
“Pence’s address was consciously and eloquently couched in terms of U.S. interests and values,” writes Rudd. “But it made no appeal to the international community’s common interests and values . . . . Instead, the world has seen the current administration walk away from a number of critical elements of the order constructed by its predecessors over seven decades (human rights, multilateral trade regimes, climate change, the International Criminal Court, and U.N. aid agencies) under the rubric of the nationalist call of ‘America First.’"
I’m told a link for the article will be up on USNI’s website tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.
At least one Air Force base is on the lookout for a sinister new threat: angry men who can't get laid.
Personnel at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland were recently treated to a threat brief regarding an "increase in nationwide activity" by self-described "incels," members of an online subculture of "involuntary celibacy" who adopt an ideology of misogyny, mistrust of women, and violence in response to their failed attempts at romantic relationships.
The brief was first made public via a screenshot posted to the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page on Tuesday. An Air Force spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the screenshot to Task & Purpose.
"The screenshot was taken from a Joint Base Andrews Intel brief created following basic threat analysis on an increase in nationwide activity by the group," 11th Wing spokesman Aletha Frost told Task & Purpose in an email.
From Long Beach to Huntington Beach, residents were greeted Saturday, June 15, at precisely 8 a.m. with "The Star-Spangled Banner." Then 12 hours later, the "Retreat" bugle call bellowed throughout Seal Beach and beyond.
At first, people wondered if the booming sound paid tribute to Flag Day, June 14. Seal Beach neighbors bordering Los Alamitos assumed the music was coming from the nearby Joint Forces Training Base.
But then it happened again Sunday. And Monday. Folks took to the Nextdoor social media app seeking an answer to the mystery.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The main thing to remember about Navy SEAL Chief Craig Miller's testimony on Wednesday is that he didn't seem to remember a lot.
Miller, considered a key witness in the trial of Chief Eddie Gallagher, testified that he saw his former platoon chief stab the wounded ISIS fighter but was unable to recall a number of details surrounding that event. Gallagher is accused of murdering the wounded fighter and separately firing on innocent civilians during a deployment to Mosul, Iraq in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."
In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.