A day late again. In my defense, I was watching a friend’s 2-year old and it has been a while. Once again, no unifying themes in our Daily Dump…
Today we will discuss some of the stories that we would normally overlook. I know that, as far as the news goes, most are talking about Russia so we decided to highlight some of the other stories that may have gotten lost in the news coverage…when everyone zigs maybe we should zag with the one exception being, Why Germany refuses weapons deliveries to Ukraine from DW. Germany is definitely an outlier in this regard and I think that it is important to jump in and to see why. From the article (emphasis mine):
Both the United States and the United Kingdom have announced arms deliveries, mostly handguns, ammunition and anti-tank weapons. A group of US senators visiting Ukraine earlier this week promised more weapons would be on the way.
German government officials have expressed concern that such deliveries could push tensions higher and make negotiations more difficult.
In their coalition agreement, the center-left SPD, the Greens and the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP) agreed on a restrictive arms export policy that does not allow any weapons deliveries to crisis regions.
Baerbock said her government’s decision on weapons had a historical dimension — a reference to Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War.
“The idea that Germany delivers weapons that could then be used to kill Russians is very difficult to stomach for many Germans,” Marcel Dirsus, a nonresident fellow at the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK), told DW.
And here is a surprising little bit of information that I did not know:
Germany remains one of the world’s top arms producers and exporters, with sales increasing 21% from 2016 to 2020, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Its largest customers were South Korea, Algeria, and Egypt.
Critics will point to the NordStream II or fuel imports as the reason Germany isn’t providing weapons but I think it is important to see what they actually say though.
Staying in Europe, some good news out of France, Reuters reports: French parliament passes motion condemning China ‘genocide’ against Uyghurs. Just my opinion, but in the world of Great Power Competition, this should be brought up every day. The relevant details:
Activists and U.N. rights experts say at least 1 million Muslims are being detained in camps in the remote western region of Xinjiang. The activists and some Western politicians accuse China of using torture, forced labour and sterilisations.
China denies any human rights abuses in Xinjiang and says its camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.
Sticking in France for one more, we turn to Macron’s Flawed Vision for Europe from Foreign Affairs which sparked some good discussion on Twitter the other day. The article is really good and is definitely worth your time. I don’t necessarily agree with everything but that does not mean they are wrong. Here is the crux of the article but again, you should read the whole thing for context:
Both Europe and the United States would benefit, then, from the Europeans’ stepping up. But Macron’s proposal to speak on behalf of Europe while demanding a leading role in hot spots around the world is the wrong solution to the problems he has identified. China’s rise, Russian aggression, the weakening of democracy, global warming, technology regulation, and public health all demand collective action, and that is the opposite of what the French president appears to be proposing.
Another article I picked up on Twitter, Radio Free Europe’s: Taliban Turns Insurgents Into Commandos As It Builds ‘Fully Capable’ Army. It hurts my heart to see all of that U.S. equipment. And just an observation…they are 6-feet apart in formation.
Al Monitor reports: Iran to host joint naval exercises with Russia, China.
Russian Navy ships are visiting Iran to prepare joint maritime exercises between the two countries and China.
Russia’s Pacific Fleet on Tuesday said a missile cruiser, anti-submarine warfare ship and a tanker anchored offshore at the port of Chabahar in southeastern Iran. The ships departed Vladivostok last month.
The exercises follow previous naval exercises between Russia and Iran last February. The two countries have at least twice held joint naval drills with China in Middle Eastern waters in recent years.
For our final article, we go to The Economist and China’s birth rate continues to fall for what I think is the most interesting article of the day and something very different than what we normally link too. Here are the details:
Despite the recent efforts of its government, China’s birth rate is falling. According to data released on January 18th by the National Bureau of Statistics, there were 10.6m births in 2021, 1.4m fewer than the previous year. For five consecutive years population growth has slowed, and last year the number of deaths, at 10.1m, approached the number of births, suggesting that the population may soon start to shrink.
And why is this important:
This is a headache for the Chinese Communist Party. Its leaders worry that an ageing population and shrinking workforce will dent the country’s economic growth. After decades of a one-child policy designed to limit population growth, the government has tried to change gear. In 2016 couples were allowed to have a second child for the first time in more than 35 years—and last year the limit was upped to three. The government now tells its people, particularly women, that it is their patriotic duty to have more children. There are plenty of inducements to encourage more energetic procreation, too, including more state-funded childcare and better protection against workplace discrimination for women.
For something different today, how about some really fast helicopters and Defiant X Completes Its First Mission Profile Tests, Exceeding 245 Knots from Interesting Engineering. We cover all of the big stories too and more in Today’s Daily Dump.
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January 20, 2022
Podcast: Preparing to Evade – The Spear
There’s a Race for Arctic-Capable Drones Going On, and the United States is Losing – Modern War Institute
Houthis launch aerial attack against UAE capital Abu Dhabi – Long War Journal
Podcast: Grading the Biden Team’s Foreign Policy – Net Assessment
How to Support a Globally Connected Counter-Disinformation Network – War on the Rocks
Reviving the Victory Garden: The Military Benefits of Sustainable Farming – War on the Rocks
The Role of Emotions in Military Strategy – Texas National Security Review
Civil Unrest and Natural Disasters: Debunking a Myth That’s Been Around Too Long – Small Wars Journal
1/20/2022 National Security and Korean News and Commentary – Small Wars Journal
Move Over JARVIS, Meet OSCAR – Center for Strategic and International Studies
The Middle East and North Africa in International Relations: The Changing Dynamics of Regional and National Security – Center for Strategic and International Studies
Drugs, real estate and money laundering in Senegal – Institute for Security Studies
Biden and the Middle East: Year one review – Al Monitor
Drone wars: Race is on for unmanned aerial supremacy – Asia Times
What is Iran’s Revolutionary Guard doing in Myanmar? – Asia Times
A Dam in Syria Was on a ‘No- Strike’ List. The U.S. Bombed It Anyway. – The New York Times
Military Buildup: New Images Capture Russian Armor Massing Near Ukraine – Radio Free Europe
Taliban Turns Insurgents Into Commandos As It Builds ‘Fully Capable’ Army – Radio Free Europe
Liberal Illusions Caused the Ukraine Crisis – Foreign Policy
Iran’s Revolution Is Eating Its Own – Foreign Policy
China’s birth rate continues to fall – The Economist
Russia-Ukraine Standoff – Daily Briefing | Jan. 20 – The Moscow Times
West Warns Russia Against ‘Any’ Ukraine Incursion – The Moscow Times
The Long Road to Peace in the Southern Philippines – The United States Institute of Peace
How the U.S. and Japan Are Teaming Up to Combat Chinese Hypersonic Weapons – Popular Mechanics
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