sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, November 21, 2016

Wars and Rumors

A Cold War in the South China Sea

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported last week that recent satellite imagery showed that Vietnam lengthened its runway on Spratly Island by dredging and reclamation work.

The runway has been expanded from less than 2,500 feet to more than 3,300 feet and probably will be lengthened to 4,000 feet. According to AMTI, which is a project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, continued reclamation work by Vietnam would likely mean that the runway has been extended to more than 4,000 feet.

According to AMTI, Vietnam has added 57 acres to Spratly Island.

When construction is completed, the longer runway will be able to accommodate commercial transport aircraft and jet fighter aircraft. Vietnam has been upgrading the defenses of its islands, especially Spratly Island, steadily this year. Vietnam installed an extended range artillery rocket (EXTRA) system on Spratley Island that can reach some of the Chinese Islands.

The Vietnamese can't be blamed for pushing back against China, which would swallow all of Asia whole if I could. That's naturally the Chinese plan but being Chinese, they have a 100 year timetable to accomplish it.

Aleppo

The Syrian air forces attacked eastern Aleppo for a sixth straight day Sunday, 20 November, in the most intense bombing since the war began five years ago.

Among the latest reported violence: a suspected chemical attack that killed four children and their parents. Two activist groups -- the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights and Aleppo Media Center -- said a barrage of barrel bombs struck their neighborhood.

The death toll since the bombing campaign began is over 300, or 50 deaths a day. All hospitals in eastern Aleppo have been destroyed or have closed.

As yet no major ground offensive against Aleppo has occurred. The Syrians continue to have the lead in liberating the rebel-held areas of Aleppo.

The Russians want the Syrians to do the heavy lifting that comes with a ground assault. The Syrians would rather have the Russians do it for them. The process of softening up neighborhoods (turning them into rubble) will continue until the Syrians feel that they can manage the mopping up without suffering a humiliating defeat.

16 comments:

  1. No, no, no. According to the Today Show, you've just been fooled by "False News." Everything's fine. All those stories were fabricated by a handful of websites in Macedonia trying to make Barack look like a do-nothing, incompetent traitor-monkey. Your problem is that you're a lo-fo, lazy news customer who can't be bothered to find the real news which is generally available on Joe Biden's Twitter feed and reported faithfully by NBC, CNN and the NYT.

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    Replies
    1. It doesn't require much to make Barack look like a lazy, incompetent "traitor monkey". Even Joe Biden's Twitter feed makes Barack look like a barely competent golfer who took up government as an avocation.

      Delete
    2. To Barack, government is more of an 'avocado.' One that was bright green and full of promise when he got it, but after leaving it to rot, untouched, in the sun for 8 years, has become a greasy, slimy black mess.

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    3. "Greasy slimy black mess" Are you referring to government or to Michelle (and possibly her mother as well)?

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    4. This is interesting. The greasy slimy black mess has appeared on the front cover of Vogue.

      I understand its "editor" has been given a formal warning by DJT. And not before time.

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    5. Did she appear as a 'tranny' or what was the angle? There is a Star Wars movie coming out next month. Was she promoting that?

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    6. *snork!* Yes, she must have been promoting Rogue One. She doesn't seem happy, though...
      https://gruntofmontecristo.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/mich1.jpg

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    7. Great picture of the First Lady.

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  2. Yep, falling apart at the seams, how many dead civilians will there be before the Syrians have the balls to take it back?

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    Replies
    1. The Russians aren't tender when it comes to civilian casualties, but I expect that the Syrians (in like manner) and the Iranian Kuds force which supports them will simply kill anything that moves. Aleppo has been a boil that they want to lance and be done with.

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    2. Perhaps the Lightbringer will halt the fighting by drawing another line in the sand.

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    3. Old Blue Gums frightens them all right. If he gets that sharpie out and starts drawing red lines the terrorists flee.

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  3. I thought the Vietnamese and the Chinese were buddy buddy. No more, I guess?
    I feel for the Syrian civilians, and the Kurds. Hopefully Trump will help the Kurds, but I don't know if that would be enough.

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    Replies
    1. The Sino-Vietnamese war was fought in 1979. After that the love vanished. Things are still tense.

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  4. We ought to occupy a few of those shoals, just to poke em all in the eye. Establish a "Twenty Nine Dash Line," to mock the Chinese, and then gerrymander the South China Sea to our heart's content.

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