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September 24, 2016 / 21 Elul, 5776
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Obama on Syria: Low-Quality ‘Jaw-Jaw’

I’m skeptical that we have any intention of taking action against Syria – even punitive action, with no view to an outcome or end-state.
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2.  You might well have been unaware, given the lack of coverage in the mainstream media, that a Russian naval task force arrived in Cuba on 5 August, marking the first such visit in four years.  The lead warship is the Slava-class cruiser Moskva, accompanied by the Udaloy-class destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov and an oiler, Ivan Bubnov.  The Moskva task force went to Nicaragua next, where it arrived 12 August for the first-ever visit of a Russian (or Soviet) naval ship to the Central American country.

Moskva is scheduled to visit Venezuela on this deployment as well, and will conduct joint operations with the Venezuelan navy.

3.  China’s navy continues to bolster an active profile in the Pacific, having completed a provocative circumnavigation of Japan in early August.  Circumnavigating Japan is something you do only for its own sake; it doesn’t take you anywhere.  A foreign research ship might have maritime science interests, but when a foreign navy does it, it’s just a provocation.

China also wasn’t getting enough attention in Washington for her naval intelligence collection against Hawaii and Guam, so one of her naval officers announced it baldly at a maritime conference in early June 2013.  The Washington Times spoke with a U.S. analyst who confirmed that Chinese naval ships have entered the U.S. exclusive economic zones off Hawaii and Guam.

Chinese aggression in the South China Sea has the Philippines arming up – and Japan, under geopol-activist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, stepping in to offer help.  All worms turn eventually.

The launch of Japan’s biggest new warship, a helicopter-carrying big-deck, in early August, did get plenty of attention from the MSM.

Carrier qualifications for J-15 fighter jets on China’s aircraft carrier in June got less of an MSM focus, as did revelations from independent media, in early August, that China indeed has her own indigenous aircraft carrier in construction.

J. E. Dyer

About the Author: J.E. Dyer is a retired US Naval intelligence officer who served around the world, afloat and ashore, from 1983 to 2004.


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