Sunday, April 16, 2017

Diverse Faculties - Do They Exist? Rubel, Ruble and Rubble, What Will It Be?

Priorities: IMG_0543


Click here: The Least Diverse Place in America | PragerU

This is a response from a dear friend and fellow memo reader to a previous posting.  A Very thoughtful read from an equally thoughtful man who was a former physician:

"Gentle Folks,

In discussions some of us have had before, though not in depth, I’ve shared my concern that our college campuses have become, not a center for the free expression of ideas but a secure and tenured haven for the suppression of free speech. Below is an article by Stanley Kurtz from the Ethics and Policy Center in DC. It is a non-sectarian, apolitical think tank devoted to the discussion of the relationship between ethics and public policy. It is a widely respected organization and I would commend the article below by Mr. Kurtz for your thoughts. It was sent to me by a trusted colleague.

I have shared with some of you before my vivid recollection of the early 60’s in Berkeley, CA as a time of bewildering paradoxes. At that time, freedom of speech was nowhere more abridged than by those who professed support for the Free Speech Movement. Violence was manifestly the modus operandi of the Peace Movement. And nowhere was hate more practiced than by those carrying “Make Love, Not War” signs. The irony of this seemed lost to all around and nowhere more so than in college administrators who gave carte blanche to the violent demonstrations that destroyed scientific laboratories, turned over police cars, set fire to innocent businesses, occupied college administrative offices, etc., etc. And, so it seems, these paradoxes continue to this day.

The notion of academe as a place for the free exchange of ideas is rapidly disappearing and with it, I’m afraid, our whole notion of free speech embodied in the First Amendment. Indeed, I would agree with Dr. Kurtz that if it dies here, it will be lost forever. Everywhere. And without that, our whole western civilization is in danger of being lost as well. Who will dare carry its torch?

Your thoughts?

Prior to Trump becoming president we were dancing to Putin's Bear Hugs, we were sending cash to Iran claiming it was not ransom, N Korea was continuing to destabilize the world by threatening to attack America, China was beginning to expand their South China Sea base structure and Pacific Ocean influence and Syria was disintegrating and the resultant refugee flight was destabilizing Europe and sending a clear message the U.N was impotent, as always.

Trump becomes president and Putin is now relegated to the company of Syria, Iran, and N Korea. China seems more realistic about its role in the world, Assad has been put on notice to behave and stop gassing his citizens and N Korea's fat boy has been warned to rethink his insane rhetoric. (See 1 below.)

Will any of these reverse course events make the world safer and restore sanity? No way to tell because this is only act one in a continuing drama.  At least Trump has created uncertainty about his actions and that is causing some pause/angst on the part of our adversaries. Trump's foreign policy is fluid and, for the moment, suits the changing and challenging  needs of the time.

The immediate key is for America to regain its economic footing, put our economy on a path back to historical growth in GDP north of 3%, rebuild our military capabilities, reconnect internal racial relations and pass constructive legislation with respect to health care, tax reform so that re-employment can begin.Very tall orders considering there will be little help from Democrats and Republicans continue their internal war with the conflicting ideologies inside their own ranks.

As Trump is constantly challenged by external threats will they handcuff his ability to resolve internal demands? Whether you like Trump or not, this is the reality he and America faces and, until Democrats decide it is time to act responsibly, his efforts will remain circumscribed and made more difficult and the same is true for the effect from Republican renegades. Therefore,  any hoped for results are put increasingly in doubt.  The impact this muddle has on the markets cannot be ignored and we are beginning to see its impact.

A final issue Trump has even less control over is the action of The Fed, as it seeks to unwind from liquefying the economy while raising interest rates. In all the years I have observed the actions of The Fed, I have never seen it accomplish a soft three point landing. Something always goes wrong.  As I have often stated, The Fed was established so Congress could spend irresponsibly and off load their obligations on another government entity.
I have been an avid reader of The Naval War College Review ever since a very dear friend of mine taught there and subsequently arranged, through The Sec. of The Navy, for me to receive an invitation to attend a series of classes.

The article I just read is one of the most insightful relating to the future options and path China may take with respect to America's century old naval dominance in the Pacific, entitled: "Exporting Security" and written by Robert C. Rubel.

The author bases his discussion on a thesis Harvard Business School professor, Clayton Christensen published explaining the demise of high profile companies.  Christensen explained why many such companies, which dominated their fields, eventually lost out to inferior companies that engaged in progressive improvements and over time their practices became so "disruptive" the dominant companies could no longer compete as their own markets peaked.

In the case of China versus America, the author explains why America came to be a dominant sea power and why China, unlike Russia, is now able to challenge America.  After the latest deep recession in 2008, Rubel submits democratic expansion peaked and because America abdicated its dominant role of exporting security this has created an opening opportunity for China.

Rubel enumerated four options for America but concluded none were actually viable and synchronized with our interpretation of human values, our concept of democracy and the constitutional basis we continue to embrace.

In terms of China, Rubel was not willing to predict what role China has chosen to play, ie. did they wish to supplant America as the dominant naval power or simply exist alongside America.  He did, however, lay out a series of paths available to China based on the promotion of values in a competitive world .  In terms of America, Rubel returned to Christensen's thesis and explained why America, like the dominant corporation, could not remain static and would have to change if it wished to retain a semblance of its former role in matters of world sea power dominance.

The rationale for former alliances with America were no longer the same, and the hazards of having been a front runner were now beginning to catch up with America  as pressures for new realignments mounted.

Perhaps what is taking place with respect to N Korea and in The Middle East will prove to be pre -cursors for tectonic alliance shifts. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, the 'thinkers and faculties' in our various military graduate colleges are being challenged to  ponder these issues and come up with pre-thought through options for our current and future president(s.)

It is obvious to me, Obama either chose not to connect with the likes of our Rubel's or chose to march to his own view of America's role thus, missing the boat of why America's future sea power role could be scuttled.
Bret Stephens responded to my e mail wishing him well by saying 'different venue, same thinking.'

RED ALERT: North Korea Kim Jong Un Claims They Have Ability To “Hit Those American Bastards” With His Nuclear Missiles 

By Kirsty Jane

For years, the world had heard warnings, but most doubted the day would ever come. Most missiles fall before allied defenses, but one finds its mark — it’s the one that matters most. In a flash, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people perish.

Would North Korea fire off a nuclear weapon? No one knows for certain, but what we do know is that the above scenario is exactly what an aggressive and increasingly-powerful North Korea has been threatening for decades. While the reclusive regime may have previously lacked the necessary weaponry, the North now has the kind of capabilities to turn at least some of its threats into promises.
The U.S. and its East Asian allies have strategic defense assets in position, but war is full of uncertainties. “People think missile defenses are a magic wand. They aren’t,” Jeffrey Lewis, a renowned arms expert, told The Daily Caller News Foundation (TheDCNF).
Here’s what happens if the North pulls the trigger.
What Would Happen If A Launch Appeared Imminent?
The U.S. and its allies in the region are by no means unprepared for a North Korean nuclear attack.
The U.S. and South Korea both have preemptive strike plans for a situation in which a North Korean nuclear attack appears imminent, and while Japan is considering new options, it still relies heavily on U.S. defense.
South Korea has a three-stage defense system, the first stage of which is a preemptive strike option designed to eliminate the North’s offensive capabilities. The “Kill Chain” preemptive strike system detects signs of an impending nuclear missile launch and strikes the North’s nuclear weapons sites and missile bases with cruise missiles and other weaponry.
The U.S. and South Korea also have a joint response plan, Operations Plan (OPLAN) 5015.
While the specifics for OPLAN 5015 are classified, the plan is believed to consolidate previous contingency plans, specifically OPLAN 5029 (internal instability in North Korea), OPLAN 5027 (preparations for an all-out war), and a peacetime plan involving localized provocations from North Korea. OPLAN 5015 is suspected to call for preemptive strikes on the North’s essential military facilities and weapons, and possibly North Korean leadership.
In the event that a nuclear missile strike appeared imminent, allied forces might attempt to eliminate the North’s missiles at launch. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last year that the U.S. could move to “take out launch capabilities on the launchpad” if North Korea appeared poised to launch a nuclear armed-missile.
The U.S. and South Korea regularly train for such contingencies. For example, during the annual Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises, U.S. and South Korean troops practice a “4D” operational plan which involves preemptive military options to detect, disrupt, destroy, and defend against North Korean strikes. The focus is precision strikes on the enemy’s core military facilities and weapons systems.
The challenge is that more and more of North Korea’s missiles are on mobile launchers and scattered about the country. Furthermore, the Korean People’s Army (KPA) has started using solid-fueled missiles, which require significantly less preparation time as they can be fueled in advance and need only a limited crew. Solid-fueled missiles can be fired with less warning and are much harder to track, making them less vulnerable to preemptive strikes.
Another issue is that preemptive strikes on North Korea would be much harder to justify diplomatically, especially if war breaks out in the aftermath, which is practically guaranteed.
What If The Nukes Are Already In The Air?
If a North Korean missile makes it into the air, there are plans for that situation as well.
South Korea and Japan rely on tiered missile defense.
Stage two of South Korea’s three-stage defense system is the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system, which is designed to intercept incoming missiles. The U.S. is bolstering South Korean defense through the deployment of a THAAD battery to South Korea, a process that began after North Korea fired four missiles into the Sea of Japan a few weeks ago.
THAAD’s Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance (AN/TYP-2) X-band radar can be configured to one of two settings: forward-base mode and terminal mode. In the latter, the radar has a range of several hundred miles and can facilitate the elimination of missiles in the terminal phase of flight. In the former, the radar’s range is extended, making it possible for THAAD to target projectiles in the initial or launch phase.
To ease China’s concerns about the radar’s ability to peer into its territory, the U.S. has agreed to configure THAAD in terminal mode. China continues to express opposition to the deployment.
THAAD is an important step for South Korean missile defense.
“THAAD is better than anything South Korea has or will have for decades,” Bruce Klingner, who specializes in Korean and Japanese affairs as the senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation, told TheDCNF, “It is imperative that we deploy it to augment the defense of Korea and the U.S. forces deployed there.”

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