• Uncategorized

    MOOTW or War Itself is coming

    There can be little doubt that the intersection of US and Chinese interests (i.e. oil, gas, etc) in Africa and the existence of failed or failing states will give ample opportunity for somebody to intervene. Between the stories of TopCat Marine Security trying to vie for a security contract (cease and desist? come on…), the UK adding to a substantial US presence, and front-companies (which could include TopCat?) the US could do a stellar job staying up-front, out front, and public with humanitarian and other helpful aid in the region in a real battle for hearts and minds. The Chinese are doing it, we need to do publically do it.…

  • Private Military Companies

    UK SAS-SBS poaching

    This is not about the highly respected UK SAS-SBS soldiers poaching but of the poaching OF THEM by private security companies: The SAS and SBS have fewer than 600 "shooters" between them and all have already served several times in Iraq and Afghanistan since the war on terror was launched in 2001. Part-time volunteer reservists from 21 and 23 Territorial regiments of the SAS have also been called up to ease the strain. Between 40 and 60 experienced regular troopers have abandoned their roles over the last year to earn up to �500 a day – about five or six times their army pay – as mercenaries with private security…

  • Uncategorized

    SAS-SBS joining US Forces in Africa

    Things are heating up in Africa. See this story from The Herald: THE UK’s special forces are being deployed to Djibouti, the impoverished state which dominates the entrance to the Red Sea, to join US Delta Force commandos in the hunt for al Qaeda training camps along the Horn of Africa. Some 2000 Marines are already there backing up US Special Forces.

  • Civil-Military Relations

    General and SecDef rift — civil-military relations dividing

    Friction between politicians and the military is age old, but in the United States today it is getting hotter. Back in November there was an interesting exchange between the new Joint Chief Gen Pace and SecDef Rumsfeld. In today’s NYT, the "Marine infantry platoon commander currently assigned as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff" (General Peter Pace) gave a belated and rather lame explanation of the month old exchange.

  • Civil-Military Relations

    Japanese Maritime Self-Defense recruiting videos

    Changes in enlistment motivation from institutional to occupational and back can be found in the advertisements for the military service. Consider the purpose of the Army of One, the Navy’s Accelerate Your Life, and the Air Forces program (which was what again? obviously it didn’t track well with this demographic). The JMSDF has apparently two recruiting videos. One is clearly institutional and the other, well, I’m not sure what the other is. Look for yourself and determine (this link has both videos playing simultaneously). Thank to Glimpse of the World for this. See note: see this English-language Japanese news story on SDF / JMSDF recruiting changes (not quite the Army…

  • Admin

    Holiday & Offline

    I will be offline 23 Dec – 2 Jan due to the holidays. Please continue to read this site, post comments, send email directly to me, use it at resource, etc. I will be back after the first of the new year.

  • Africa,  China,  Public Diplomacy

    Chinese and the Horn of Africa

    News from the Horn of Africa is diverse and found along many paths. To start, US troops in the Ogaden area rescued two abused and endangered cheetah cubs late last month (Nov 2005) while the Taipei Times is reporting the Chinese navy is "flexing its soft power" as part of an "assertive foreign policy…connecting Chinese seaports with the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. Its strategy: to build up sea power, measured in ships, bases and alliances. Energizing a populace accustomed to thinking of China as a land power is one crucial element of Beijing’s new maritime diplomacy." The sea-based public diplomacy is integral to Chinese expansion in the…

  • Uncategorized

    The Cheetah Cubs

    The Cheetah Cubs According to the Department of State, "U.S. counterterrorism troops, carrying out humanitarian water improvement projects in the Horn of Africa region" found these two cubs and rescued them in Dec 05. It is good and expected our forces are in the region and there are no negatives to that from my perspective. The issue complicates when considering the "armed camps" protecting Chinese oil workers in the region.

  • Africa

    Rove Energy Corporation Limited

    The blogosphere is increasingly used to incite and investigate and this recent comment is a further example of this growing use of the new pamphleteers to influence events. The region in question has obvious links to other disucssions on this site (see the Somalia category and take your pick of readings). How does the South African Ophir Corporation has recently announced a 75% stake in the Rova Energy Corporation figure into all of this? The maritime diplomacy of the Chinese, Yemini fields accessed from Somalia, and the general lawlessness of the region certainly makes for some interesting reading. More investigation on this surely to come. Comments, leads?

  • Africa,  China,  Peacekeeping,  Public Diplomacy

    Chinese Public Diplomacy via UN Peacekeeping

    The Chinese state media has highlighted an interesting point as part of their growing public diplomacy campaign to win the hearts and minds of the world, and not least of the impovrished and non-G8 that have important resources China needs. In the last six months, China has had generally 1,000 troops or police on United Nations peacekeeping missions. A Chinese scholar said Tuesday that China has sent out more than 3,000 troops and policemen to United Nations peacekeeping missions since the late 1980s, reflecting its firm support of the UN’s role in maintaining world peace and security.  "China has contributed the largest number of troops to UN peacekeeping operations among…