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Monday NatSec Roundup

USS America's Test F-35 Flight Operations.jpg
F-35B prepares for landing on USS America. By Lance Cpl. Dana Beesley , Public Domain, Link

Based on some comments I read last week, it seems that there’s still an appetite here for a general national security/foreign policy roundup. I’m going to make an effort to make an effort to get this done on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday late morning/early afternoon. This will be link heavy, but hopefully with some analysis; Dan may also jump in on this. General rules about OT commenting apply (which is to say I don’t care what you post), but it would be great to focus in the general direction of foreign policy. Also feel free to make requests, or throw out additional items of interest. Without further adieu…

  • Stacy Goddard has a good, quick explainer on why it’s difficult to buy places like Greenland these days. Paul Musgrave has a different explainer on previous US efforts to acquire Greenland, which have apparently stretched back a good long time. From my point of view, there actually is a strong strategic logic for the acquisition of Greenland, but that logic tends to founder on questions of Greenlanders right to self-determination.
  • Jeremy Corbyn is absolutely and utterly unreliable from the point of view of anyone who wants to Stop Brexit.
  • Matthew Cole’s profile of Erik Prince, written in May, remains worthwhile. Any kind of settlement in Afghanistan is probably going to result in new influx of PMFs operating on behalf of the Kabul government.
  • Russia had another nuclear accident, and the standard operating procedures for cover up apparently remain in place. Speculation has centered around a new kind of cruise missile, although experts disagree (a lot) on exactly what happened. Generally good to pay attention to Cheryl Rofer on these kinds of issues, also Michael Kofman.
  • Japan and South Korea are trying to chill their trade dispute out. Moon in particular is making an effort to calm things down. On the one hand, I appreciate ongoing Korean frustration with Japan’s unwillingness to come to grips with World War II. On the other, the Japanese probably aren’t wrong in believing that there will never be an apology sufficiently apologetic to satisfy either Korea or China.
  • Protests in Hong Kong continue, and China’s propaganda machine is getting fired up. My feeling is that the emergence of China as a major actor on social media propaganda (they already are in many ways, but have been inwardly focused) is going to make the Russians look like rank amateurs.
  • Japan is buying 42 F-35Bs. I’ve argued for a good long time that the F-35B is a gamechanger in the way we think about naval architecture, and it seems that navies are increasingly tending to agree.
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