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My Blog

The Alarm Has Sounded

Today, I am torn by my alarmist hackles, should I simply cry "Wolf!"; or should I run down Pennsylvania Avenue here in Washington, D.C. shouting "The Russians are arming and coming, the Russians are arming and coming"! However, after two cups of coffee at 3:34 in the morning, I've opted to stay in my tattered chair and to pen the following: Russia has sounded an alarm and the West needs to seriously heed the warning. Non-democratic entities are real impediments to global prosperity. With China creating waves in Asia, and with yesterday's confirmation by Russia that it wants to expand the reach of its warships to places like Venezuela,  then the United States of America, along with its Western allies must continue to read the intelligence briefs on their desks, along with their stark conclusions. Readiness of the United States and NATO will never be sufficient unless they could assure resilience to simultaneous Russo-Sino economic and military attacks. If the foregoing appear too candid, then blame it upon the crushed stems, fruited tops and leaves I inhaled once as a boy; but if you believe there's merit to my alarm, then I offer the following as support: The great journalists at the Associated Press(AP) ran this headline yesterday: Putin orders military tests amid Ukraine tensions; AP's brief, but info-rich article outlined that Russia's Putin has ordered massive military exercises involving most units in western Russia and that such exercises were intended to "check the troops" readiness for action in crisis situations. So any average analyst would infer that such preps obviously don't have a western component fear. An argument could be made to infer a possible intrusion into Ukraine under the cloud of protecting ethnic Russians in Crimea. Stay with me now: Pro-Russia armed men have seized government buildings in  Simferpol, Crimea. The BBC reports that the Russian flag has been raised over two government buildings in the city. So we can infer that Russia could be planning an incursion into Crimea, where they already hold  a long-term lease on a naval base. But what of the West? Thank God for journalists, they work hard and in dangerous situations and this is not just because I am a former journalist; but AP later headlined: Russia to expand its worldwide military presence, and herein this article lies Putin's anger and revenge at the West for what he has determined to be Western interference in his backyard in Ukraine. The AP reported that Russia is seeking permission for its navy ships to use ports in Latin America, Asia and elsewhere. This was not sought last September. The AP reported that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed Russia was conducting talks with Algeria, Cyprus, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore to berth Russian ships at these ports. Moreover, there are also talks with some countries to facilitate the refueling of Russian long range bombers. So should I start running down Pennsylvania Avenue? Let me add that Xi Jinping of China has been 'chum-chum' with Putin, so, one wonders as to their discussions at Sochi; but for the avid analysts, I offer this recent event as a prelude to collusion between Russia and China: not so long ago as China pestered Japan with boats in and out of  disputed islands on the East China Sea, the Russian Prime Minister, simultaneously visited another area claimed by Japan and disputed by Russia. Enough said for now. Have you figured it out yet? Russia will attempt to take Crimea and for revenge it will try to frustrate the West with relations in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua. Moreover, Russia will enter the balance of the delicate East and South China Seas debacles.