The Pax Americana Institute's Writing

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17-23 June 2018 Weekly Snapshot

Weekly Snapshot

17-23 June 2018

1. The Taliban is calling for negotiations to end US involvement in Afghanistan

Sheikh Haibatullah Akhunzada has come out with a statement saying that the Afghans’ salvation lay in America and other occupying forces leaving and repeated a call for talks with the United States.

Akhunzada said, “If the American officials truly believe in a peaceful end to the Afghan imbroglio, then they must directly present themselves at the negotiation table.”

The Taliban has been fighting the US and other NATO forces, under the Resolute Support mission, since 2001. The Taliban has announced a three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday, except against foreign forces.

2. The FED raises interest rates again

The Federal Reserve has announced that it is going to raise the interest rates. This would bring the federal interest rate to a range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent.

This will help with strengthening the US dollar but will weaken some foreign currencies. Countries with more instability and vulnerability may experience even more currency volatility. These countries would be places such as Turkey, Colombia, and Argentina. Mexico will likely experience some instability as well, especially with new tariffs that were enacted last week.

The FED has also suggested that there will be four interest-rate increases in 2018. This is to help cool off the economic growth and protect the American economy from expanding too quickly.

3. Turbulence in Mozambique has led to UK travel warning and US company evacuations

The United Kingdom has issued a warning to citizens about traveling to Mozambique after terrorist attacks have killed 17 people since May. The US state department issued a warning to citizens early this month, regarding the dangers caused by those terrorist attacks.

The US oil and natural gas company, Anadarko, has started to evacuate its staff from the area, citing instability and an increased danger to its workers.

These attacks are being perpetrated by groups with links to Islamic militants. 17 people have been killed: 10 of them beheaded since May.

4. Russia vows retaliation against US sanctions

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow is set to impose retaliatory measures in response to the US sanctions passed earlier this June.

This past Monday the US imposed more sanctions on Russia. The sanctions targeted three Russian individuals and five companies. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “The United States is engaged in an ongoing effort to counter malicious actors working at the behest of the Russian Federation and its military and intelligence units to increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities.”

It is unclear what the retaliation will be against the United States. However, it is suspected that the attacks will be tit for tat measures equaling the amount of the damages given by the US.

17-23 June 2018: Suggested Articles

Suggested Articles

17-23 June 2018

1. At Singapore Summit, North Korea Racked Up Wins

PAI advisor Chuck Downs, writing in The Hill, writes on the diplomatic wins by North Korea during the summit in Singapore. North Korea’s radical past and seemingly now-peaceful front makes the situation of peace between the US and North Korea subject to speculation. Classical conservatives around the globe and midwestern conservatives here at home understand the issues that can arise from allowing the North Korean regime to entertain the idea of peace while furthering their agenda. http://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/391815-at-singapore-summit-north-korea-racked-up-wins

2. Paul Revere and the roots of American Culture

Dr. Lamont Colucci comments on the role of Paul Revere during the American Revolution. The article, in the AMI Newswire, covers the necessity of heroic myths in American culture. Classical conservatives both in the Midwest and across the United States have a deep dedication to preserving American culture, which is seemingly opposed by those on the political left. Stories like that of Paul Revere, which were created in order to bring the country together against tyranny, are essential to American history and culture. PAI and its supporters strive to protect these stories and myths, in turn protecting the American way of life. https://aminewswire.org/stories/paul-revere-american-culture/

3. Understanding Putin’s Strategy

Robert Zubrin, for The Weekly Standard, reviews Russia’s dangerous and illiberal ideology which is gaining support throughout the world. Zubrin’s piece is in part an analysis of The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder which examines how and why Russia’s unethical mindset is spreading and how those of the free world can stop it. Zubrin’s review and Snyders book both line up with the struggle that classical conservatives and midwestern conservatives are fighting today. The followers of PAI as well as those working for the Institute stand ready to fight off the ideology being spread by Russia, being the last best hope for the world. https://www.weeklystandard.com/robert-zubrin/understanding-putins-strategy

4. Comey ‘Deviated’ from FBI Procedure During Clinton Probe

Jack Crowe, at The National Review, comments on former FBI director James Comey and his deviation from proper operational procedure during the investigation on Hillary Clinton. The new developments come as negative additions to Comey’s handling of the investigation which has already been seemingly covered in political bias. Classical conservatives hold true to the idea that no one is above the law, regardless of position. The politicization of intelligence by Comey’s FBI shows a significant issue with the current justice system, showing that political affiliation can prevent lawful justice. Midwestern conservatives and PAI strive to maintain non-partisan intelligence and justice communities, Comey’s handling of the Hillary investigation counter these beliefs. https://www.nationalreview.com/news/ig-report-comey-deviated-from-fbi-procedure-during-clinton-probe/

5. Kaspersky Lab Cut Off from U.S. Contractors

Andrew Blake, of The Washington Times, evaluates the recently published rules for government purchases from The Russian tech company Kaspersky Labs. Kaspersky, having ties with the Russian government, causes concern for espionage and spying which can come through different manipulations of the hardware and software sold by the company. The banning of government purchases from Kaspersky is a step in protecting both current and future government assets. Kaspersky Labs is just the most recent in a long list of Russian companies which aim to exploit nations for Russian expansionism. This situation is yet another example of the fight by classical and midwestern conservatives against and expansive and exploitative enemy. National security secrets are essential to the United States legitimacy in the world and PAI supports the recent efforts to counter Russian spying.
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jun/15/kaspersky-lab-cut-us-contractors/

Recommended Articles: 10 June 2018

Recommended Articles
10 June 2018

1. Matthew Continetti of The National Review comments in the ideological disposition of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. The article reviews the historical factors of the regimes past leaders and draws an assessment on the recent international dealings. The tyranny of North Korea’s leadership will be lasting, spreading its oppression even after talks are finally pursued between the United States and North Korea. Midwestern conservatives understand the struggle to fight tyrannical dictators – referring back to the struggle fought by classical conservatives in the fight for our own independence. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/kim-jong-un-murderous-dictator-tyrannical-regime/

2. Charles Krauthammer, writing in The Washington Post, sends a letter to his readers and followers. Last August, Krauthammer underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor and has recently found out the tumor has returned within the course of a month, giving him only an estimated few weeks to live. Charles Krauthammer is a highly looked upon writer with classical conservative ideology strung throughout his works. PAI and midwestern conservatives everywhere know and appreciate the work that Krauthammer has done to give classical conservatism a voice within the media and will miss him deeply. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-note-to-readers/2018/06/08/3512010c-6b24-11e8-bea7-c8eb28bc52b1_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4face008a467

3. John McCormack of The Weekly Standard reports and analyzes the current situation with North Korea and China, focusing on why the countries support the idea of a deal being made. McCormack interviewed senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who was eager to comment on the issues what would ensue should North Korea try to “play” the Trump administration. Graham commented on the current status of United States international relation, which now utilized American military force as a diplomatic tool – something midwestern and classical conservatives saw fall away during the Obama administration. PAI supports the idea of maintaining a force which can fight and win the nation’s wars in the hope that such will not need to be used. Midwestern conservatives have never strayed away from military service, and returning to a strong international standing has always been important. https://www.weeklystandard.com/john-mccormack/graham-warns-north-korea-if-they-play-trump-were-going-to-have-a-war

4. Guy Taylor and Dan Boylan at The Washington Times write about China’s movement to better dealings with Iran. Commercial links between the two countries have been on the rise since the announcement by the Trump administration that the U.S. would pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Though classical conservatism believes in free market, the possibility of nuclear trades between Iran and China poses a national security risk. Midwestern conservatives as well as the Pax Americana Institute recognize the problems which are posed by increased relations between two anti-western nations. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jun/7/china-steps-business-iran-after-trump-exits-nuclea/

5. Posted by Jack Murphy of SOFREP is an outline of the situation in which a communist sympathizer was allowed to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point and commission as a second lieutenant. Spencer Rapone, the soldier and officer in question, publicly posted a photo of himself last year at his graduation and commissioning ceremony flaunting the inside of his cap which read “communism will win.” The Army has decided to release Rapone on an “other than honorable” discharge which will eliminate his access to veteran benefits. The Rapon issue shows the infiltration of communist ideology into the one of the highest academic institutions in the United States. Classical conservatives continue to fight the communist ideology today and need to continue to do so in the future. PAI and midwestern conservatives always seek to further the American way of liberty for all, officers such as Rapone are a major roadblock for such progress to proceed. https://sofrep.com/104349/update-communist-ranger-and-west-pointer-receives-an-other-than-honorable-discharge/

Weekly Snapshot: 10-16 June 2018

Weekly snapshot
10-16 June 2018

1. US Consulate in China Under Possible Supersonic Attack

The United States Consulate located in Guangzhou, China, is believed to have suffered from a supersonic attack. These attacks appear to have been going on for the past few months. Consulate worker Mark Lenzi, in addition to his wife and son, have reported what they think are neurological symptoms and have since been flown back to the United States for further testing.

The symptoms of this alleged event are strikingly similar to the case in which 24 embassy workers in Cuba fell prey to a supersonic attack in 2016. Though Lenzi is currently the only consulate worker to have reported issues, information has been coming out that the neighbors of the Lenzi family have been hearing the same noises and reported the same health issues.

2. North Korean Nuclear Facility Collapses

North Korea’s main nuclear test site partially collapsed due to the underground nuclear explosive testing which was being conducted there. The site, Punggye-ri, is located in the northeastern portion of the small country. The collapse raised speculation as to whether or not North Korea was back tracking on their promise to end nuclear testing.

The failure of the site poses an issue for both North Korean citizens as well as those located within the fallout zone in China. Further testing at the site would raise the issue of radiation leaks through access tunnels and other operational shafts.
The bomb test, which is believed to have caused the collapse, manifested in a 6.3 magnitude tremor and is believed to have triggered at least four different earthquakes. The magnitude of the tremor has researchers ruminating that the detonation was well over 100 kilotons of TNT. This bomb would be larger than any other explosive developed by North Korea thus far.

3. United States to Increase Patrols in South China Sea

In an attempt to create a more consistent military operational posture on the South China Sea, the Pentagon has released a schedule for naval patrols in the region. The increase in activity has been in response to China’s claims to the area which could disrupt the freedom of movement through the high seas. China cites its self-proclaimed control of the islands located in the sea as their justification for owning the surrounding waters.
United States Pacific Command, which symbolically changed its name last week to the Indo-Pacific command in order to bolster a friendly relationship with India, will be conducting what they call “freedom-of-navigation” patrols within the South China Sea, 2 to 3 times each month. The patrol posture counters Beijing’s approach to the situation which claims that international action in the area is destabilizing.

4. Russia Intensifies Alleged Role in Syria

An overnight bombing of a small village, Zardana, located in the rebel held province of Idlib left 44 dead and more than 60 others injured. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group monitoring the Syrian situation, claimed that this was the deadliest single attack to be carried out in the past year.
Though the attack was denied by Moscow, as confirmed by Russian news agencies, the Russian government was quick to publicly report intelligence on heavy artillery fire in the past 24 hours. The claims that the artillery fire is responsible for the damage has countered the claims of Russian style fighter jets operating in the airspace.

Policy Analysis: Putin’s KGB: The Coupling of the FSB and SVR

Putin’s KGB: The Coupling of the FSB and SVR

Vladimir Putin shares the same goal that his predecessors did before him: a world dominated by Russian influence. In order to achieve this goal, there needs to be several institutions in play which allow for the expedited movement towards global influence. One institution crucial to this mission is the intelligence community working both within and outside of Russia. Putin himself, being a former KGB officer and then the director of the FSB after the fall of the Soviet Union is fixated on developing an intelligence agency massive enough to project Russian influence all around the world. Unconfirmed reports from local Russian newspapers show that the government in on the edge of amassing its intelligence power into a single agency. The steps being taken by the government of Russia are detrimental to the western world.

The Russian intelligence community has had a long-standing tradition of working in ways which come off more as meddling than intelligence gathering, affecting the citizens of sovereign nations all around the world and even affecting those residing within Russia’s borders. In order to fully grasp why Putin feels the need to develop a massive intelligence community one needs to understand how the KGB came to be and operated prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The KGB traces their own lineage back to 1880, with the establishment of the Department of State Police, the Okhrana, whose main mission was to infiltrate and destabilize radical groups within Russia which countered the countries tsarist narrative. (Meissner) The name, Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, which translates into the Committee for State Security and gives the widely used acronym KGB, would not actually be assigned to any organization until after the 1917 October Revolution and the creation of the Cheka, Russian secret police. (Strauss)

The KGB found itself at odds with doing actual intelligence work, habitually stifled by western institutions during the Cold War, but was effective in policing their homeland and countering anti-communist revolution in Russia satellite nations. (Strauss) Most international efforts were made to counter the United States, in both areas of foreign interest and on U.S. soil as portrayed in the hit television series The Americans. The work done by the KGB to counter its own citizens garnered a negative outlook by many citizens, inadvertently destabilizing support for the communist party by playing a watchdog role. (Pringle) As the USSR fell, so did the KGB with it, being afflicted by the same levels of corruption and internal dissent seen in Russia’s other governmental organizations. After the fall of the USSR and the establishment of the Russian Federation, the FSB and SVR, domestic and international intelligence agencies respectively, were created to fill the void. (Strauss) Putin has increased both the budgets as well as the operating spheres of these two organizations which begs the question: Has the KGB been dissolved, or has it just changed masks?

The work of Russian intelligence agencies has habitually brought different issues to countries all around the world, both near and far from from Russian borders. The SVR has been known to plant moles in several different United States institutions, reminiscent of the KGB work during the Cold War which saw heavy attempts at Russian meddling in the American social and political arenas. (The Economist) As recent as 2010 the United States government apprehended ten agents which were participating in the “Illegals Program,” named by the Department of Justice, again reminiscent of the Cold War era spy operations. The FSB, though supposedly being the domestic intelligence source, has also seen action in international affairs, with agents having been outed in places such as Ukraine. In addition to destabilization activities, assassinations have always been on the list of undertakings by Russian intelligence agencies. Links have been drawn between numerous suspicious deaths and the FSB in Moscow, with foul play being ruled out in each and every case. (Brown)

Putin is currently in the workings of re-creating the massive intelligence agency by expanding the reaches of both the FSB and SVR. In addition to the upgrades in budget, the FSB has been found to have increased action in areas of foreign issue, blurring the line if domestic and international. In Syria, an alleged FSB agent was captured by ISIL forces and was beheaded by his captors in 2016. Prior to his death, the alleged agent was recorded making statements about his own ill-placed faith in the Russian government to come to his aid. (Ensor) Obviously Russia would never come forth to say that the individual was indeed an FSB operative, inevitably in order to maintain the agencies international integrity. Other workings in Syria have seen GRU operatives working with Assad’s forces to run a signals intelligence collection point named “Center S,” showing just how involved the Russian intelligence community is in foreign theaters. (Mitzer, Oliemans) Other FSB agents have been caught inciting violence in Ukraine in an attempt to destabilize the region and legitimize their actions there. (RFE/RL)

According to the report made in Kommepcaht, a local Russian newspaper, a new intelligence agency will fall under the name the Ministry of State Security (MGB) (reminiscent of the Stalinist intelligence agency of the 1940’s and 1950’s) and will encompass every aspect of intelligence collection, analysis, and distribution. (Operov, Safranov) Though the report was never officially confirmed by the Russian government, it was also never denied. In addition to this, Putin has taken several steps to bolster both the FSB and SVR in the time that he has been president, from allowing their funding to expand exponentially to giving broader areas of operations under the FSB and SVR flags. The strength of these agencies can also be highlighted in the new extensions to their facilities. The SVR has doubled the building space of their headquarters in Yasenevo since 2007. Along with quadrupling the parking space surrounding the building.

This new increase in space can mean one of a few different things. It could mean that with geopolitical tensions are on the rise, the Kremlin has sought to expand the resources and capabilities of the SVR. Or it could be making room for a combined headquarters between the SVR and the FSB if President Putin does choose to join the two. In addition to these instances, Russian military intelligence, or GRU has been working hand in hand with the SVR, mostly on Signal intelligence operations in foreign theaters. With allowing these agencies to gain power also comes a dedication from that organization, the more money Putin gives the more often they are willing to protect him politically, standing as puppets for the commander rather than servants of the public. (Peter) This comes with another host of issues as the new MGB will maintain the ability to follow up on criminal cases to their own content, making the already corrupt atmosphere of Russian courts nearly impossible to get through. (Operov, Safranov)

The pairing and expansion of the Russian intelligence community causes issues for the western world, nations and regions influenced by Russia, and Russian citizens themselves. For the United States and its western allies the threat is typical of any hostile nations intelligence community, the mission of the agencies revolves around countering democratic influence wherever possible with the allotted resources. For nations close to Russia which fall under its sphere of influence, such as Ukraine, the threat of Russian meddling only increases. Finally, with the Russian citizens, the threat of moving backward in time looms like a storm cloud. Both the KGB and FSB have a history of “intimidation and selective repression” which the Russian people would rightfully attempt to move away from. (Soldatov) The KGB was ruthless in dealing with citizens which opposed the communist regime and its priorities and moving back to this stage is inevitably what Putin aims to do. The threat of a massive Russian intelligence agency, which can project its domestic and international influence through destabilization missions, is knocking at the door of all the world.


Works Cited

Brown, Daniel. “Russia Is Reportedly behind a Disturbing Number of Assassinations Outside Its Borders.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 19 June 2017, www.businessinsider.com/russia-assassination-abroad-2017-6.

Ensor, Josie. “Isil Claims to Have Beheaded ‘Russian FSB Agent’.” The Telegraph, Telegraph

Media Group, 9 May 2017, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/09/isil-claims-have-beheaded-russian-fsb-agent/

Meissner, Daniel. “Shaken but Not Stirred: The Tumultuous History and Resilience of the KGB.” Daniel J Meissner, academic.mu.edu/meissnerd/kgb.html

Mitzer, Stijn, and Joost Oliemans. “Oryx Blog.” Captured Russian Spy Facility Reveals the Extent of Russian Aid to the Assad Regime, 6 Oct. 2014, spioenkop.blogspot.com/2014/10/captured-russian-spy-facility-reveals.html

Operov, Sergey, and Ivan Safronov. “Ministry of Emergency Powers.” Kommepcaht.ru, Kommepcaht, 18 Sept. 2016, https://en.wps.ru/articles/def-sec/ministry-of-emergency-powers/

Peter, Laurence. “Putin, Power and Poison: Russia’s Elite FSB Spy Club.” BBC News, BBC, 3 Feb. 2018, www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42636245

Pringle, Robert W. “KGB.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 23 Nov. 2017, www.britannica.com/topic/KGB

RFE/RL. “Ukraine Detains Two Russian FSB Agents Who Came Ashore From Black Sea.” RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, 30 June 2017, www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-detains-russian-fsb-agents-black-sea/28588737.html

Soldatov, Andrei. “Putin’s Secret Services.” Foreign Affairs, Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2018, www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2018-05-31/putins-secret-services

Strauss, Bob. “How the KGB Grew Into the World’s Most Feared Intelligence Agency.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 16 Dec. 2016, www.thoughtco.com/history-of-the-kgb-4148458

“Unearthing Moscow’s Moles.” The Economist, The Economist, 29 Jan. 2015, www.economist.com/united-states/2015/01/29/unearthing-moscows-moles

“Ten Alleged Secret Agents Arrested in the United States.” The United States Department of Justice, Department of Justice, 28 June 2010, www.justice.gov/opa/pr/ten-alleged-secret-agents-arrested-united-states

Recommended Articles: June 3 2018

Pax Americana Recommends Reading:

1. The editors of The Weekly Standard illustrate the rising tensions between “peaceable nations” and Russia. The foreign policy decisions by the Russian Federation have always been a looming issue. Midwestern conservatives should always pay close attention to Russian foreign policy. The Pax Americana Institute and classical conservative thinkers continue to monitor the overt threat of the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin’s notoriously violent path. https://www.weeklystandard.com/the-editors/putin-contra-mundum

2. Jonah Goldberg at National Review writes a letter-type article on what it means to be grounded after he attended the funeral of his friend and one of Alaska’s founders, Vladimir Paul Gavora. Goldberg comments on the necessity of a moral consensus to help solve issues. Midwestern conservatives, the Pax Americana Institute, and classical conservatives everywhere have continued to maintain morals as the rules for life. Additionally, Goldberg comments on limiting the power in Washington to prevent monarchical style rule, a classical conservative pillar. https://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/remembering-vladimir-paul-gavora-great-oaks-have-deep-roots/

3. Jonathan Tobin at National Review writes about the recent firing of Roseanne Barr over a racially charged tweet and the implications of limiting employment based on speech. Though classical and midwestern conservatives recognize that those who would speak egregiously about any given situation, especially on race issues, should not be tolerated, they also believe that protecting the rights of individuals is of number one importance. The Pax Americana Institute and classical conservatives across the midwest know that eliminating a job based on someone’s personal feelings and actions, as long as they do not harm the liberties of others, puts society on a slippery slope of rights eliminations. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/roseanne-barr-samantha-bee-neither-deserve-firing-for-offensive-speech/

4. Dr. Lamont Colucci comments on the most recent world events concerning the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, the father of Marxism and author of The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. As today’s younger generations in western countries move further into a pro-communist and anti-capitalist mindset, the Pax Americana Institute is dedicated to education and enlightenment on the issue. Fighting communism has always been a cornerstone of midwestern and classical conservative ideology and will remain a necessary task for generations to come. https://aminewswire.org/stories/karl_marx_200/

5. A report from Global Security outlines the recent developments of an Iranian advanced monitoring program. The U.S. Department of Treasury has found the program to be a cause of concern for human rights under Iran’s sphere of influence. The Pax Americana Institute and Midwestern conservatives know about the long list of human rights violations which have come from the Iranian government to both their citizens and others who have fallen under their reach. Classical conservatives everywhere understand the issues with Iran’s dictatorial and abusive regime; this report highlights the issues which drive the conservative fight. https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iran/2018/iran-180530-treasury01.htm

Intelligence Forecast: 1-15 June 2018

1. Next Step with the Israel Embassy

Throughout several past Presidencies, the American people have been fed the promise of moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Promises like this have been made by Presidents from both the Republican and Democratic party. During former President Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, Clinton attacked George H.W. Bush for breaking his promise to the American people that he would move the embassy. President Clinton was never in favor of moving the embassy because he felt it would limit the opportunity to create a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians. The cycle repeated [O1] itself in the 2000 Presidential election where George W. Bush chastised his predecessor for promising to move the embassy and never following through with it. Because of this, Bush vowed to start the moving process within a few months if he were to get elected. We continue to see the cycle repeat itself in a 2008 campaign speech, then Senator Barack Obama said, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” The only difference here being that he never ousted his predecessor. Yet as we can deduce, the move never happened. History has shown that this specific topic ends up being another empty campaign promise, up until current President Donald Trump. He too promised to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and in May 2018, that officially happened. With the move came a mass controversy, but why?

The Arab-Israeli conflict is nothing new to the international community, to include the United States, and up until 2017 this community did not officially consider Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital. After President Trump officially announced the embassy move, it showed that the U.S. was favoring Israel, something that was trying to be avoided in the past. In addition to this, for decades there were essentially two U.S. embassies in Israel, the legitimate one located in Tel Aviv. As well as the Jerusalem consulate that essentially served as the de facto embassy to the Palestinians who claim Jerusalem as their capital in the hopes of one day having an independent state. “Now the U.S. maintains an embassy in one part of the city and a separate consulate less than a mile away, potentially creating confusion about who has ultimate authority.” (Fox News). This would be heightened if President Trump were to give this additional authority to the Ambassador.  All of this can be summed up very simply; the U.S. moving its embassy could cause “significant harm to U.S. credibility as a mediator,” however, that is not the approach that Donald Trump took to this topic; thus the moving of the embassy.

Furthermore, it was announced on June 1st that President Trump is, “considering giving U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman more authority over the U.S. outpost that handles Palestinian affairs, five U.S. officials said, a shift that could further dampen Palestinian hopes for an independent state” (Fox News). This news would re-ruffle the Palestinian feathers, however, at the same time ease the minds of the Israelis, which is something President Trump is aware he’s doing. It was also stated that “Trump has departed from traditional U.S. insistence on a “two-state solution” (Fox News). Despite speculation, nothing has been finalized, and these events will continue to unfold in the near future.

Officials have said that it is expected for Ambassador  Friedman to end up having complete authority over the consulate located in Jerusalem (Fox News). While there seems to be no time-table moving forward, there has been no indication showing President Trump won’t give this additional authority to the Ambassador.

2. United States and North Korea

Since the Cold War the tensions between the United States and North Korea have been no secret, this has intensified within the last couple of years. From that moment, the United States has recognized North Korea not as a state, but instead as a rogue regime. Being a rogue regime, they have still wanted a seat at the nuclear table and as the North Korean nuclear program evolved it created more tension between the Kim dynasty and the United States. President Trump has been inadvertently battling against the North Korean dictator for roughly 18 months now where the tensions have been fluctuating like a roller coaster. At times they would sky-rocket and it would feel as though war was the next inevitable step, and at other times Kim Jong Un was backing down to President Trump almost diminishing tensions.There seemed to be progress with North Korea during the Winter Olympics, which were held in South Korea. There was a unified Korean Women’s Hockey team, and Kim Jong Un’s sister attended the games. With what seemed to be progress, it was announced in mid-May that there was going to be a summit between President Trump and Dictator Kim in Singapore; however, it didn’t last long for the two to find themselves in another superiority ‘flexing game.’ Since the announcement, the world has seen two weeks of back and forth negotiations. The timeline is as follows:

  • May 16, North Korea said they ‘may’ back out of the summit due to the accusation of “reckless statements and sinister intentions” (BBC).
  • May 24, President Trump officially cancelled the summit, said there was “tremendous anger and open hostility” (BBC), from North Korea.
  • May 26, North and South Korea met for surprise talks at the DMZ located at the 38th Parallel.
  • June 1, General Kim Yong-chol hand delivered a letter from Kim Jong Un at the White House, where President Trump announced the Summit is back on for June 12 in Singapore.

While all of this was unfolding SOFREP.com, an alternate news organization that writes news using their background in Special Operations, [O11] wrote a piece on May 25th, stating that there were three likely outcomes from all of this: either a new summit will be renegotiated, the two states would fall back into the roller-coaster of tension, or war between the two at some point in the future. Which one of these outcomes seemed to be the most likely? It appeared war was the least likely option, for one reason: history. The United States has not maliciously been in North Korea since the Korean Conflict, and since that time the tension between both parties has always been clear. Showing that there’s no indication of anything different. In addition to this, President Trump has been dealing with North Korea since he took office and has not started a war between the U.S. and North Korea. From the remaining two options provided: a new summit deal, or resort back into the rollercoaster of tension, at the time it appeared the most likely outcome would be that a new summit would be negotiated. From the time President Trump took office there has been a superiority battle, of sorts, between both him and Kim Jong Un. Which could be a potential reason for the constant change in tension between the two. Nothing was new to the negotiation of the summit, as one can see from the timeline one side made a stride for superiority, forcing the other to do the same. Now that both sides have been able to show the other they are serious; the summit will likely resume as originally planned.

3. A New and Improved Army?

At the turn of the 21st Century, the world saw a significant increase [O12] in technological advancements. This was seen most through the lens of the private sector, nevertheless, the military could not escape it. As technology has continues to improve, so do the prototypes that the Department of Defense contracts out for its troops. One of the more recent prototypes has been the ‘Iron-Man suit’ also known as TALOS, and as one may suspect, it gets its name from the suit seen in the Iron Man movies. It is a suit that a Soldier can enter and operate with increased protection. It doesn’t have the ability to do all of the same things that the one from Hollywood can, however, they look similar and ultimately have the same goal. Right away there were significant issues. The weight, battery life, heat and quickness of entering and exiting just to name a few. Since its introduction at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) the suit has slowly faded from the spotlight but continues to be developed.  The next ‘big thing’ was an evolution of the iron man suit, an exoskeleton. This, while it can’t provide additional protection, does offer the ability to do normal human activities at a much higher level. For example, it allows you to jump higher with more ease than normal, as well as run faster. Its inspiration coming from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, where the exoskeleton technology is utilized. With this, along with the iron man suit, the problem then became the cost.

On June 1st, it was released that the Army’s research lab was working on a “third arm” prototype, where it eases the weight of a weapons system allowing for better accuracy for a longer period of time. The prototype is still considered an exoskeleton with how it’s designed. It attaches to the Soldiers body armor in the back and wraps around the body where it then connects to the weapon system and eases the weight of the weapon itself. The prototype is made of carbon fiber and only weighs 4 pounds. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory also stated that this is the third version of the third arm and they are continuing to improve it.

What does this mean for U.S. Soldiers? Will the Department of Defense finally step into the world of exoskeletons and field it to their soldiers, or is this just another idea created by the ‘good idea fairy?’ The military-based website Task and Purpose believes that this is something attainable, “[the] third arm is well on its way to turning science fiction into reality” (The Washington Times). More than likely, the largest determining factor again comes down to cost. The DoD has been known for selecting the ‘lowest bidder’ on its technology, including weapon systems. Though, it appears a price tag has not been announced for the third arm, it can be safely assumed it will not be cheap. The entire system is made from carbon fiber, and a 2’ x 4’ carbon fiber sheet can cost around $175, don’t forget that that is only for the material itself and one can only guess how much production of the third arm costs. The future does not seem bright for advanced technology in the military, not until one of two things happen; either the DoD stops utilizing its lowest-bidder model or the cost of this advanced technology can decrease to a low enough point for the DoD to use its lowest-bidder model.

Works Cited

Ernst, Douglas. “Army Releases Footage of ‘Third Arm’ Prototype Resembling ‘Aliens’-like Tech.” The Washington Times, The Washington Times, 1 June 2018, www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jun/1/army-releases-footage-of-third-arm-prototype-resem/.

“FLASHBACK: All The Times Past Presidents Promised To Move US Embassy To Jerusalem.” The Daily Caller, The Daily Caller, dailycaller.com/2017/12/06/flashback-all-the-times-past-presidents-promised-to-move-us-embassy-to-jerusalem/.

Hollings, Alex. “Trump Pulled out of the North Korean Summit, Here Are the Likely Outcomes.” SOFREP, 26 May 2018, sofrep.com/103666/trump-pulled-out-of-the-north-korean-summit-here-are-the-likely-outcomes/.

Liptak, Kevin. “Trump Says Singapore Summit with Kim Is Back On.” CNN, Cable News Network, 1 June 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/06/01/politics/trump-north-korea-letter/index.html.

Press, Associated. “After US Embassy Move, Trump Weighs Jerusalem Consulate Changes.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 1 June 2018, www.foxnews.com/world/2018/06/01/after-us-embassy-move-trump-weighs-jerusalem-consulate-changes.html.

Schallhorn, Kaitlyn. “Why Trump’s Promise to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem Is so Controversial.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 14 May 2018, www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/05/14/why-trumps-promise-to-move-us-embassy-to-jerusalem-is-so-controversial.html.

Systems, Jolt. “JEGS Performance Products 70815: Carbon Fiber Sheet 100% Carbon Fiber | JEGS.” JEGS High Performance, 18 Apr. 2017, www.jegs.com/i/JEGS-Performance-Products/555/70815/10002/-1?CAWELAID=230006180002540447&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=39714413703&CATCI=pla-291420598510&CATARGETID=230006180039220963&cadevice=c&gclid=CjwKCAjw3cPYBRB7EiwAsrc-uUba3pqPGjESEvwZoQlI7cH1m8SQ9FIb4Zf3h-hSTwEe0fPcoWYdBBoCLqsQAvD_BwE.

“US-North Korea: Trump Says Summit with Kim Is Back On.” BBC News, BBC, 1 June 2018, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44339003.

Recommended Articles: 29 May 2018

Pax Americana Recommends Reading:

1. Rich Lowry at The National Review talks about standing up for what is right in relation to the new NFL rulings requiring players to stand for the national anthem. Lowry states, “There are all sorts of way to express your discontent with policing in America other than disgracing your team and your league by kneeling during the National Anthem.” The Pax Americana Institute and our classically conservative ideology drives us to support the country which allows a wide array of opinions to prosper. As a midwestern conservative think tank we proudly support the idea of standing up for what you believe in a manner that is professional and respectful. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/nfl-anthem-policy-stand-up-for-whats-right/

2. Matt Walsh at The Daily Wire writes about the moral ambiguity of society and the movement away from God in contemporary culture. Midwestern conservatism has always maintained the moral high ground on a multitude of issues, placing Christian ethics above all else. Conservative think tanks such as the Pax Americana Institute propagate the message of morality which classical conservatives have always argued. Midwestern culture has largely revolved around these same ideas. https://www.dailywire.com/news/30869/walsh-nothing-will-get-better-until-we-return-god-matt-walsh

3. Dr. Lamont Colucci in writing for the American Media Institute, comments about how the Obama administration knowingly prevented the arrests of Hezbollah terrorists. Classical conservatives have always maintain a hard line belief on defending the rights of all who would have them stripped. The Pax Americana Institute and midwestern conservatism stands staunchly against both the ideology of those committing terrorist acts under the political guise of Hezbollah as well as the inaction of the Obama administration in countering these actions. https://aminewswire.org/stories/obama-prevented-arrest-known-hezbollah-terrorist/

4. Stephen Hayes in The Weekly Standard writes about Paul Ryan’s retirement and the ending of classical conservatism within the Republican Party. The Pax Americana Institute and Midwestern conservatives have always maintained the belief that ideology comes before a party name. Paul Ryan is an example of what true conservative philosophy means in the political arena and what conservative think tanks propagate. https://www.weeklystandard.com/stephen-f-hayes/hayes-paul-ryan-and-the-end-of-an-era

5. Thomas Donnelly writing in Strategika for The Hoover Institute relays his beliefs on economic sanctions and their real-world problems. Donnelly writes for several conservative think tanks and much of his ideology matches that of the Pax Americana Institute. Classical conservatives everywhere know that economic sanctions, a favorite of the Obama administration, cannot solve international issues and conflict. Hardline ethical standards must be employed in foreign policy decision making. https://www.hoover.org/research/brief-guide-strategy-and-sanctions

 

Weekly Snapshot: 27 May – 2 June 2018

Weekly snapshot
27 May – 2 June 2018

1. Putin to step down after 2024

On Friday, Putin announced that he would not be seeking re-election after his term ends in 2024. This would be in accordance with the Russian constitution that bars people from holding the office of president for more than two consecutive terms.

This is not the first time that Putin has not run for reelection. In 2008 Putin stepped down from the office of president after serving two terms. He took the job as prime minister of Russia before returning to the presidency in 2012. In 2008, Dmitry Medvedev won the election with 71% of the vote. This was because he was endorsed and had the help of Putin. Medvedev was the former chief of staff of president Putin and nominated Putin for the position of prime minister. In return after the 2012 election, in which Putin won by a landslide, president Putin named Medvedev as prime minister.

After 2024 it is unclear what will happen with the leadership of Russia. It is hard to believe that Putin will walk away. He is likely to remain involved, most likely as the Prime Minister. A Puppet will be put in the office of president and Putin will likely remain as the head of the Russian government.

2. China’s Invitation to the Rim of the Pacific Naval Exercise has been Rescinded by the Pentagon

Wednesday, the Pentagon has officially rescinded the invitation for China to participate in their biannual Rim of the Pacific Naval Exercises known as RIMPAC. RIMPAC is the largest international naval exercises in the world. They are held in Hawaii every other year and usually hosts upwards of 26 nations.

China’s continual expansion in the South China Sea, headed with their creation of man-made Islands used as airbases and surface – to – air defenses. This has been a point of contention internationally and has led to extreme criticism of the international community especially the United States. This explicit recinding of China’s invitation is a clear sign that the United States has a strong foreign policy and is willing to follow it.

3. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is using the US leaving to renegotiate the Iranian Nuclear deal

After the United States left the Iranian Nuclear deal earlier this month, the supreme leader of Iran has fired back with his own concessions that he is looking for, in order to keep the deal alive. The UK, France, and Germany are all trying to keep the deal alive, but Iran is looking to renegotiate the terms of the deal.
One of Ayatollah Khamenei’s main conditions is that European powers should protect Iranian oil sales from US sanctions and continue to buy crude oil from Iran. This would be a tall order with the implementation of the previous sanctions to Iran, along with the new sanctions that were mentioned by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Along those same lines, Khamenei also demanded that European banks should safeguard trade with Iran. In an attempt to shield themselves from the effects of the sanctions from the United States, Iran is putting most of the burden on the European powers.

The last of Khamenei’s main conditions could have even more international implications. The supreme leader has demanded that the European powers pledge to leave Iran’s Ballistic missile program alone. Along with not disrupt Iran’s activities in the middle east. This last issue puts the US against the European powers, as Washington has openly been against both the Ballistic missile program and Iran’s dealings in the middle east. Ayatollah Khamenei has said that if these demands are not met by the three countries, Iran would immediately resume its enrichment of uranium.

4. Five Iranians Facing New Sanctions from the US Treasury Department

On Tuesday, the US Treasury Department has imposed new sanctions on five Iranians who have provided Yemen’s Houthis with weapons and training. The Houthis used these new resources to launch attacks on cities and oil infrastructures in Saudi Arabia. Several of these people helped the Houthis through Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, while others were just financing the operations.
These new sanctions are just part of the United States tougher stance on Iran. The Trump administration is trying to economically suffocate Iran in hopes they stop there financing of terrorist groups and stop their development of nuclear weapons. These sanctions, along with several others the United States has emplaced, shows that this new administration is going to have a tougher foreign policy, and is not going to put up with the games that Iran has been playing for years.

Weekly Snapshot: 20-26 May 2018

Weekly snapshot
20-26 May 2018

Pax America’s Weekly Snapshot for your week starting Monday, 21 May 2018:

1. Gina Haspel Confirmed to Lead the CIA

After weeks of partisan resistance from lawmakers, the Senate, on Thursday, has finally confirmed Gina Haspel as the first woman ever to lead the CIA. She drew controversy over her involvement in the CIA’s enhanced interrogation programs, even running some prisons where these techniques were used. In her confirmation hearings, Haspel did say that the agency would not resume its enhanced interrogation programs, as they were damaging to the officers and the United States standing in the world.

She had trouble from John McCain, Jeff Flake and Rand Paul for her refusal to explicitly condemn waterboarding as immoral. But she was able to overcome those “no” votes with the help of some red state democrats who fear going against the Trump agenda with the midterm elections looming.

2. The U.S. Opens its embassy in Jerusalem

On Monday, May 14th, 2018 the united states officially opened its new embassy in Jerusalem. This marks the final set in the official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This decision has created outrage by the Arab world, particularly the Palestinians. This culminated with large protests on the Gaza Strip.

The six-week protests called the “March of Return” escalated on Monday due to the U.S. recognitions. Violence started with rocks and Molotov cocktails being thrown at the Israelis protecting the border. Israeli forces ended up shooting into the crowd, killing 58.

Other countries are already starting to move their embassies to Jerusalem following the United States lead. On Wednesday, Guatemala moved its embassy to Israel’s capital city as well, also urging other countries including Paraguay and Romania who are considering moving embassies as well.

3. School shooting in Santa Fe, Texas

Ten people were killed and ten more wounded in a school shooting on Friday. This high school just south of Houston is home to the most recent attack at a school, adding to the already staggering number of attacks thus far this year. At least one teacher and several students were killed, and ten others were wounded. Some still in critical condition.

The suspect in custody is 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis. He admitted to authorities that he was the shooter. Along with the two guns (a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver). Authorities also found homemade explosives devices in the school and nearby. These included pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails and pressure-cooker bombs. The shooter’s dad was the legal owner of the guns and is unclear whether he knew his son had obtained possession of them.

4. US puts sanctions on top Hezbollah Financier and Representative in Iran.

On Thursday, the United States Treasury department implemented new sanctions on Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi. Bazzi is one of the main financiers of Hezbollah. These sanctions will affect five of Bazzi’s companies in Europe, West Africa and the Middle East.

The Treasury department also imposed sanction on Hezbollah’s representative to Iran, Abdallah Safi Al-din. He is the main person who helps facilitate the financial relationship between Hezbollah and Iran.

On Wednesday, the United States, with the support of the Gulf States, imposed more sanctions on Hezbollah’s top two leaders, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Naim Qassem.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement “The savage and depraved acts of one of Hezbollah’s most prominent financiers cannot be tolerated”. He went on to say, “This administration will expose and disrupt Hezbollah and Iranian terror networks at every turn, including those with ties to the Central Bank of Iran”.

This coming in the wake of President Trump pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, is a sign that the Trump administration is not going to back down from Iran any longer. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to outline a plan on Monday about the US’s plans to build a coalition to take a closer look at what it sees as Iran’s destabilizing activities.

5. Chinese Bombers land on the Disputed Island in the South China Sea

Late in the week, the Associated Press reported the Chinese air force had done landing and takeoff drills on an island in the South China Sea. The location was Woody Island in the Paracel Island Chain. Just one of the many islands that are in the middle of the dispute between China and sovereign states of the region. The H-6Ks were taking off from an air base and making simulated strikes against sea targets before landing back on the island.

6. New sanctions on Russia over violation of Missile control.

A new round of sanctions are being ordered on Moscow, this time for their violation of the 1987 pact that banned the testing and fielding of missiles with ranges of 310 – 3,417 miles, known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Russian officials are denying they violated the treaty citing that the missiles in questions cannot fly that far.

The Sanctions were ordered by President Trump as a memo to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The new sanctions are set to be published within the next two months. The sanctions come after the annual defense policy bill, that was passed in 2017, accused Russia of violating the INF treaty. The sanctions could include visa bans, asset freezes and any other sanction President Trump would deem appropriate.