sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Threat Assessment

Context and Precedence: When I was younger, I'd read the Worldwide Threat Assessment with great interest. It portended a Soviet Union that would overwhelm the planet, (without predicting the total collapse of the USSR). I drank the Kool Aid deep as I read and it prompted me to enter a career in government service.

The new Worldwide Threat Assessment is out

The new Assessment offers a dark and forbidding view of the world around the USA. Every continent on earth is hostile to the US. Every multinational issue poses a threat. And yet, the rest of the world knows there still is no safer haven for investment. They all still put their money in the USA. The 'full faith and credit of the United States' still lures them in. 

The portion on the North Korean missile and nuclear programs makes short shrift of a year without provocations, nuclear tests or long-range missile launches. Few, if any, predicted such a year. Prudence counsels that negative judgments about North Korea might have profited from greater circumspection. Yes, Fat Kim still wants to have a Korean Peninsula under his complete power, but the genie is out of the bottle. Listening to Western radio stations is still punishable by death in North Korea, but the insidious nature of freedom is a tough nut for the Norks to crack forever. 

Back to the Assessment. There is a lot that's not in it. Much is not considered in their dire predictions (that justify even greater defense spending). Great powers still shape the international environment and America (and Canada) have the largest energy reserves on the planet. The balance of trade with China is coming into genuine balance, ISIS no longer holds territory, and Iran is on the brink of internal collapse as the Ayatollah holds onto power with his dirty, unclipped fingernails. 

Global cooling is emerging as a threat but we can do little more about that than we can about global warming. The developing world pollutes at an unprecedented pace, but that might not have much to do with the climate. 

America's greatest enemy is America. We can't secure our Southern Border, many want to scrap the system that made us the envy of the world, and some can't figure out which bathroom to use. Universities don't seem to be doing much but to reinforce that confusion. The reliability of the FBI is continually called into question as their participation in reaffirming and supporting the Deep State is revealed, as the onion's layers are peeled back.

The problem with socialism is that you can vote your way into it but you need to shoot your way out of it.

19 comments:

  1. Assessments. When you need to take ownership, writing the most dire and foreboding works best. When the SHTF, you say, "I told you so". When the situation doesn't, you can say, "Our warning allowed us to prepare. The enemy was deterred by our preparation".

    Intellectual honesty? You can't be serious!

    Yeah, WSF is a hopeless cynic.

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    1. I think that the assessment is made by the military industrial complex with an eye on profit. That's how they roll in the Deep State.

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  2. Your definition of socialism in the last sentence is so true.

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  3. L.L.

    Great assessment.Some years ago, there was a book called "The Pentagon's New Map" which I believe covered a lot of this. I'm going to have to dig it out and read it again, but it seems the author covered many of these scenarios now panning out.

    If memory serves, he points out the economic as well as the rise of the Muslim and other countries as to how they react to the very situations we see now

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    1. I'm not advocating for a weak US military. It needs to be second to none. However the threat of godless hoards swarming like ants through the Fulda Gap to take over Europe, sorta happened when the million man Muslim invasion happened. And the Europeans welcomed them, gave them cell phones, apartments and put them on welfare. Sometimes you can't do anything about stupid.

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  4. If we hadn't opposed the USSR they likely would have steamrolled everyone and taken over the planet. It was our economic might that did them in....ou military merely held them at Bay while they imploded over time. ALL collectivist economies/countries implode eventually. The tragedy is the massive suffering many people endure while said policies fail.

    Yes....most otf he world hates the US.....out of envy. They want the success and luxurious life style even POOR Americans enjoy. But like many people (specifically those bizarrely enamored by socialism) they don't want to EARN what they seek. They want to steal it....either by outright force or by governmental theft under the guise of "fairness". Humans are inherently lazy.

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    1. The US stood as a bulwark for freedom and still does. But we're still our worst enemies.

      I travel from time to time and found that the Eastern Europeans genuinely love the USA. They saw the other side of the coin and want what we have. However, they do seem to be willing to work for it. That bothers the Russians as it should. But it's not going to change.

      There are other countries on other continents where the mood is different and they want hand-outs rather than a hand up.

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    2. Yes.....we have me the enemy, and far too often he is us.

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  5. The problem with socialism is that you can vote your way into it but you need to shoot your way out of it.

    Internet Quote of the Century.....

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  6. The Worldwide Threat Assessment has always had a tendency to assess the worst imaginable case. Imagining they're all 10 feet tall and equipped with unbeatable technology - to encourage development of our own tech. It's always better to be over prepared and have overwhelming force advantage over the other guys.

    Especially if you happen to be selling that "overwhelming force" and there's a well worn, furrowed path between the pentagon and the executive boards of the defense contractors. Not quite as bad as the revolving door between the financial sector and the government agencies that regulate them.

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    1. Those well-furrowed paths are paved with unbreakable rice bowls. There have been a lot of self-licking ice cream cones sold for the sake of national defense.

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  7. Yeah, the WTA used to be a driver for a LOT of what we did... And that last sentence says it all...

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    1. Right, it was all driven by the WTA. I know that some things can be exaggerated, and some of the things (such as China) are legitimate problems for the USA and allies. I would prefer scrupulous honesty and I don't think that the 2019 WTA offers that.

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  8. Yeah, we are our own worst enemy. At least half of us hate ourselves and want to bring down the country, and the rest of western civ on our coattails.

    I hope it annoys the PRC that they are coming in second to us, even there.

    Seconded on the "internet quote of the century" award.
    -Kle.

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  9. Sorry but the world is buying up our debt AND government is spending us deeper and deeper. Those in the world buying it will own us when it finally breaks. The cause of our problem is an uncontrolled government and the end winners WILL BE those who own us.

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    1. If you owe somebody $50, you're a debtor. If you owe somebody $3 trillion dollars, you're a partner because if you repudiate the debt (which the US could do, ruining its credit) and they can't collect, they're up the creek.

      Debt is a problem in general because the interest on the national debt is choking us. Reducing the size of government is necessary and then comes the entitlements and everyone is happy to eliminate entitlements that they aren't receiving. Talk to seniors about eliminating medicare and social security. Just explain that their government screwed them and that's ended. The reaction you get won't be pretty. So it's become a very complicated problem.

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    2. I find it interesting to look at actual data on who owns US government debt. Here is a recent breakdown of ownership:
      https://www.thebalance.com/who-owns-the-u-s-national-debt-3306124
      I was surprised to find that the biggest owner is the federal government itself. Foreigners account for about 1/3rd and that number has been relatively stable for several years. As the article points out, those most at risk are our own people.
      Another (related) issue is the growth of social security; people rightly point out that they paid into it - but they wrongly think they are 'just' getting their money back. Due to changes in the structure, especially for those of relatively low income, most people will get far more out of social security than they paid into it since benefits from it have gone up but payments to it have not.

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  10. Love the post. And the comments too.
    Thank you.

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  11. I made this for you in Shop Class:

    https://imgur.com/8k38Qrd.jpg

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