sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, September 1, 2017

A Few Thoughts

Feeding the North Korean Military

The Daily NK reported from sources in the northern provinces of North Korea that North Korea lacks enough food to feed the army. Officers encourage soldiers to steal corn from farms. Malnutrition does not excuse soldiers from duty and training.

One of the sources for the Daily NK report said that in the northern regions of North Korea, the corn harvest generally begins in early September. Residents have started guarding their farms and small agricultural holdings day and night. However, the young, stout and well-armed soldiers are still able to steal despite these measures.
"A soldier who fails to acquire enough food during the autumn harvest is deemed a fool. The soldiers are stealing food using any method they can think off. In addition, as the military officers turn a blind eye toward these activities due to the lack of food within the army, even the collective farmlands and private fields are becoming the targets of food raids," the source said 
"Soldiers carrying big sacks of unripened corn can be frequently seen at the markets. They sell the corn at cheap prices to merchants who have made deals in advance." 
North Korean military forces are required to grow or otherwise acquire much of their own food. The troop units north of the Demilitarized Zone tend and guard their unit farms. The navy must fish and engage in piracy to support itself. Air force bases also have farm and side businesses. 

Military theft from civilian farms has been a chronic problem since at least the mid-1990s. Sometimes soldiers are detailed to patrol the perimeters of important farms to keep other soldiers from stealing food. The military theft problem appears to have become almost institutionalized, as the national public distribution system collapsed.

Then there's THIS from the Daily Timewaster... on how the North Koreans are staying alive.

One of the differences between North Korea and other failed statist systems is that North Korean soldiers are not immunized from the food shortages of the farmers and workers. Only the Kim clan and its cronies plus the new, small middle class of communist entrepreneurs are exempt from food shortages.

And in China, it's not that different. The People's Liberation Army, the Secret Police, the Public Security Bureau and the defense industry in general owns its own rice bowls and they're expected to turn a profit from those businesses and to feed themselves. In democracies, those institutions are supported with tax money. Different countries, different systems.

Pakistan

The US has charged that Pakistan gives aid and sanctuary to terrorists (does anyone remember bin Laden?). Pakistan undisputedly created the Taliban and has been supporting it tacitly since the first talib crawled out of the Paki madrassas in the mid to late 1990's. They are outraged that the US finally called them on it after almost thirty years of overt skulduggery.

China, an ally of Pakistan that gave it nuclear weapons, is also expressing outrage that the US would state the obvious. Russia is selling Pakistan new weapons, including four new helicopter gunships.

On 30 August, the National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to cut US air and ground supply lines to Afghanistan via Pakistan. Speaking before the assembly, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif also urged the government to consider postponing any visits by US delegations to Pakistan or by Pakistani officials to the US. Crushing as a sensation of state visits would be to the US, I suspect that we'll muddle through

All forces fighting for the Afghan government absolutely depend on the supply lines that run through Pakistan and on Pakistani ports.

Pakistan probably will step up harassment by customs officials and border guards of shipments destined for Afghanistan, as it has done periodically in the past. However, Pakistan will not cut the supply lines. It's essentially hot air.

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis earn their living, directly or indirectly, from the huge logistic enterprise that sustains Afghan and coalition operations in Afghanistan. It is a source of steady employment for truck drivers and owners as well as shippers because Afghanistan is landlocked. Past special inspections have proven that accountability is such that even the Taliban rely on US military logistics for some supply items.

Which brings up the uncomfortable question of why the US is still expending blood and treasure in Afghanistan.

It must be FUN to be Putin

My sense of things is that Vlad is having the time of his life being king.

And nothing seems to give the Russian strong man more joy than cat fishing the mainstream media. 

If ever there were a bunch of rubes who kept snatching the bait offered, it would be the dynamic duo of CNN and MSNBC.



16 comments:

  1. The million man Nork army is just a facade: every dictator/potentate including Ghengis Khan, Napoleon Bonapart and Alexander the Great; they all know: "an army marches on its stomach."

    Kim Jong Fat Boy hasn't figured that out yet. His million man army will be able to fight for maybe two days, and then they will run out of food and start eating each other.

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    1. If it comes to fine dining, the only cut of marbled meat in that whole country is Dear Leader. I wonder if he knows that?

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    2. They guy is indeed well marbled. And no, he probably doesn't know that.

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    3. He has a chronic gout issue. I wonder of all that uric acid in his system will taint the meat? Granted, a hungry platoon of Norks would likely not care (or notice) that he tastes like piss.

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  2. Interesting post. Curiously, the Brit army in the 18th C was plagued by malnutrition; soldiers' food and kit was deducted from already meager pay and men starved. Remarkably corrupt.

    I guess they solved that by getting rid of their army.

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    1. When you only have a few thousand people in your army with a nation of 60 million to support them, you'd expect that they'd be eating beef.

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    2. There are a lot more Africans in the British ranks these days than in years past. I noticed that but it would have been racially insensitive for me to comment (oops, to late).

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  3. Geography is a bitch. Under President Trump we are at least dropping the nation building boondoggle in Afghanistan.Kill off the bastards then leave.

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    1. Killing them and then leaving them works. Hanging out for decades is always a bad idea.

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  4. I've been thinking that about Putin, too. His importance is being pumped up to all new levels by the MSM. They make him capable of everything.

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    1. It's laughable, but you know that he's enjoying it.

      Russia sans Warsaw Pact and the Islamic Stans is a big country with some resources, but it's not a prosperous place. Ukraine has always been the bread basket and I don't blame Putin for clinging to it like the third monkey up the ramp to the Ark as the rain begins to fall.

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  5. There is much money to be made in war...

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    1. "War is a racket." General Smedley Butler, USMC

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  6. In the early stage after 911 CIA and a few hundreds SF managed with their effort, money and local support to kick Taliban into Pakistan and the future looked bright. But then adding more troops and letting the Taliban come back and infiltrate the plan to build a new democratic nation went down the drain. In the current situation IS add a new variable to the equation and even Taliban appreciate them being killed. Given all the ethnical groups hating each other, different tribes, different languages, religion, culture, history plus all the factors making the country a mess who can really believe there ever will be peace? The past of that place of the earth is filled with examples of wars and conflicts. I guess the best is just let them find their own way of killing each other until they have divided the geography into part where each tribe develop their own rules for trade among each others. The rest of the world can purchase agricultural products if they stop producing opium. Any terrorist camp could be bombed to the stone age.

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    1. When the CIA and SF handed it over to Big Army, I heard the circus music in the background.

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