The Nation’s DIME 1901

Here is the first DIME of the year… number 1901 for 2019 and the first week of the year. The new Congress is in place and the insanity has begun in Washington DC. Today, Conservative commentators are again working in a target rich environment!

In the Diplomatic world,

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wasted no time inserting herself onto the political stage proposing what is called “The Green New Deal.” This has been around a long time. Here is where you can read the entire proposal which Presidential candidate Jill Stein ran on. It’s a Progressive and Liberal’s dreamland for America. The Green New Deal should scare the daylights out of every American. It is a “labor bill through the climate change lens” as Forbes calls it. It is a dramatic shift in policy to increase the size and power of the government and drive the debt trillions higher. Also, the Democrats introduced a bill to end the electoral college, which kept Hillary Clinton out of the White House in 2016. With the Republicans holding the upper hand in the Senate, strap in folks, this is going to be a very bumpy ride!

In the Informational realm,

In an event which must have General Curtis LeMay rolling over in his grave, a New Year’s Eve tweet by Global Strike Command (GSC) and the subsequent apology for it clearly shows how our military culture has snapped under political correctness. GSC tweeted “#Times Square tradition rings in the #NewYear by dropping the big ball…if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger,” and then had a video of a B-2 bomber dropping a MOAB. After some twitter backlash, GSC apologized for their “poor taste” after tweets like this started showing up… “Apologies for this grotesque tweet are insufficient. This is simply inexcusable.” We’ve dropped several of those MOABs now and made our enemies into teeth, hair, and eyeballs… and some people are upset a military command made a pretty funny joke? Political correctness is the progressive leftist’s method for controlling even the language of our conversations and military jokes.

In the Military arena, 

China’s space agency landed a vehicle on the far side of the moon, which sent incredible pictures back to earth of its rover running around. In other military news, Russia has sent some of their long range maritime patrol and bomber aircraft across the Arctic Circle on missions resembling Cold War flights. US and our NATO partners must develop an Arctic strategy to counter Russian aggression over the North Pole.

In the Economic world,

Apple lost a Facebook! Apple’s shares fell 39 percent or $452 billion since October of this year, larger than the value of Facebook.  Many blame this on the US-China trade war. iPhone sales have declined and China’s economy is weakening under the US tariff war. But the December jobs report sent the stock market up 747 points today, with 312,000 new jobs and higher wages. So all of you can quit worrying about the economy now… well, maybe.

The US-China trade war developed another side affect this past week. The State Department issued a travel warning Americans China may place “arbitrary law enforcement” and “exit bans” steaming from the trade war and the arrest of  Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou. What this means is if you are a Chinese American expect some harassment and possible jail time because China is really starting to feel the pinch of President Trump’s tariffs.

Hope all of you have a great weekend. My good friend Rush will be back on Monday and I’m sure he will have a lot to talk about.

— Final note, please let me know your feedback and suggestions on Twitter, your thought on this weeks DIME, and what do you want more or less of? Let me know by sending a tweet to @MarkHasara and put #nationsdime in the header.

Have a great weekend!

Sluggo Sends!

P.S. — If you’re reading my book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit, I’d really love to hear your thoughts in a review on Amazon here or Barnes and Noble here. I read them all.

The Nation’s DIME 1852

This the last DIME for 2018, and there is a lot happening this past week to end the year… US Government shut down over wall funding, another Cold War with Russia, and the stock market going for a real wild ride.

In the Diplomatic realm,

President Trump said he will keep the US Government closed until he sees $5 billion in the budget for the wall. Today he threatened to close the border completely. He has good reason to do so. Here is a name I want all of you to remember, Corporal Ronil Singh. He’s the cop shot and killed in Newman California by illegal alien Gustavo Perez Arriaga during a traffic stop. Arriaga is here illegally and is suspected of being a gang member. 

President Trump discussing the wall with Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi. Photo by Evan Vucci

In the Information area,

The death of Corporal Ronil Signh and the Arriaga arrest gives President Trump the news story he needs to build the wall. He can now illustrate the Democrats are placing the nation in danger by not budgeting $5B. How little money are we talking about here? One billion Washington’s spread out as a quilt covers four square miles, five billion covering twenty square miles. One trillion one dollar bills covers 3992 square miles, twice the size of the state of Delaware! Another example: five billion Washingtons stacked up is 340 miles tall. A one trillion stack is 67,866 miles high or a quarter of the way to the moon. Five billion dollars in a trillion dollar budget is spitting in the ocean. If we can spend tax dollars on how cocaine affects mating quail, we can fund the wall. President Trump also has a new video which surfaced of Senator Chuck Schumer voting for a border wall in 2006. 

So… what has changed Democrats? Your absolute hatred for the President has you so outraged over a wall you once wanted, while American citizens are being gunned down by illegal aliens coming across the border. Hold out Mr. President… keep the government closed and build the wall!

Your Government spent $356K to see how cocaine affected mating habits of Japanese Quail!

In the Military world,

This went unnoticed by many in the states… the US-Russian Cold War is heating up close to home. TU-160 “White Swan” bombers flew 6200 miles across the Atlantic from their base in Murmansk to… Caracas Venezuela. This puts Russian Air Force nuclear capable bombers 1300 nautical miles from Miami. The two bombers flew a 10 hour patrol throughout the Caribbean Sea after arriving in Caracas. The bombers were escorted by… wait for it… US-made F-16 Fighting Falcons and Russian-made SU-27 Flankers in the Venezuelan Air Force. The Venezuelans need the money and Russia wants to build a base on the island of La Orchila. For those of you who like how history repeats itself, this smells just like the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Route of flight for the two TU-160s from Engels to Caracas via Aviamil on Twitter.

In the Economic realm,

December was a bad month for the stock market. The market dropped 800 points in a single day and then rose to its highest gain in a single day, 1068 points. What is causing the roller coaster ride? Several things. The Fed raised interest rates a quarter point as the economy was roaring. Brent Crude Oil price is down to $52 a barrel after approaching $90 earlier in the year. The China Tariff battle continues to make investors edgy too. Some market commentators are saying the crash is coming. Why the jitters? One reason may be the midterms. Here are some very interesting articles on how midterm elections affected the markets since World War II. Democrats will try to rein in the 28 month economic boom in preparation for the 2020 primary election. If Trump goes into 2020 election with the economy still growing, he will be reelected.

As 2018 closes, the world is on a roller coaster ride and will remain so. The House will change hands to the Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi in January. Expect more investigations into the Trump Family affairs. Republicans will have a bigger margin in the Senate with a lot of judgeships to be voted on. And American troop levels fall across the Middle East over the next few months, with many of our allies worried about the continuing Proxy War between the US and Israel against Russian and Iran.

See you next year… On the Nation’s DIME 1901.  

— Final note, please let me know your feedback and suggestions on Twitter, your thought on this weeks DIME, and what do you want more or less of? Let me know by sending a tweet to @MarkHasara and put #nationsdime in the header.

Have a great weekend!

Sluggo Sends!

P.S. — If you’re reading my book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit, I’d really love to hear your thoughts in a review on Amazon here or Barnes and Noble here. I read them all.

The Nation’s DIME 1851

In a stunning move, President Trump in a video statement says he will bring home the 2000 troops currently fighting ISIS in Syria. Russian President Putin has agreed ISIS is all but defeated. I hope ISIS knows this.

There has been a lot written and spoken about US involvement in Syria and President Trump’s announcement. Here are my thoughts on this.

In the Diplomatic area, 

President Putin has agreed with Trump’s move to pull troops out of Syria. Senators Graham and Corker don’t agree with the President’s decision. Other lawmakers feel this is a “big mistake”, with the insurgency in Iraq still on their minds. Many of our allies feel this is a bad move. The only person we have not heard from on this is SecDef Jim Mattis. But what is our diplomatic end state in Syria… does anyone know? What should the US do in Syria? There must be a clear diplomatic end state in Syria, and I have not seen that yet. The diplomatic end state always drives the military end state and strategy-to-task process. Simply defeating ISIS does not solve the bigger problem of the proxy war between the US/Israel coalition and the Russia/Iran coalition. A new Cold War is brewing…

The US Special Forces Base of Al Tanf Syria which the Russians do not like being there.

In the Informational realm,

ISIS and Iran will view the American pullout of Syria as a defeat for the US and President Trump. So will Russia. Count on it. ISIS will say they have defeated the US in every propaganda film produced. Their information campaign will bring more foreign fighters to the region. Iran and particularly Major General Qasem Soleimani will be embolden to spread their influence across Syria. Our allies the Kurds feel betrayed by this move. Our allies felt the same way when the US left Vietnam, a big loss of trust. The US needs to develop an intense information campaign stating if there is a resurgence of ISIS and their supporters, the subsequent campaign will be relentless and uncompromising.

An Anti-Assad soldier films the destruction of Homs Syria

In the Military arena,

There are approximately 2000 US troops in Syria, mostly Special Forces soldiers at base like Al-Tanf. The issue with a US withdrawal, as we’ve seen before in Iraq, is a resurgence of ISIS forces. ISIS has been decimated by overwhelming airpower and drone strikes. Trump’s decisions have been three steps ahead of his enemies. What if he envisions an airpower-focused strategy in Syria? After the first Gulf War, Iraqi was divided between two No-Fly Zone called Operations Southern Watch and Northern Watch. Don’t get me wrong, airpower is a very potent killing tool capable of securing the air, but airpower cannot occupy territory. And airpower is a great aphrodisiac for diplomatic leaders who don’t want to say boots on the ground, but extremely costly.

The only potent Air Force left in the region will be the Israeli Air Force. The IAF has been very active in Syria against Iran’s Al Quids forces. As I stated above, if there is a resurgence of ISIS and their supporters, the campaign must be relentless and uncompromising, and include the Israelis in the solution. Read and remember Lt Col Ralph Peters excellent article called When Devils Walked the Earth here which explains who these ISIS terrorists are and his 25 Superpower Do’s and Don’ts here.

US precision-guided bombs detonate on an ISIS target somewhere in Syria

In the Economic realm,

The war in Afghanistan is in its seventeenth year, the war in Iraq now fifteen. Wars are expensive. Six trillion dollars have been spent in the Global War on Terrorism, and the US deficit is now 20+ trillion dollars. How much is a trillion dollars? Here is a great graphic of what it looks like.

But there is human economic toll involved in the continuing war. One acute case… fliers. The US military is out of pilots. The long and numerous deployments have eviscerated the US military of its fliers. The Airlines and Air Cargo companies are hiring as many pilots they can and cannot keep up with demand. By 2030, the commercial air carriers will be 600,000 pilots short.

The Trump Administration needs to take a hard look at where we are going in the Global War on Terrorism. The military has been at war since Desert Storm in 1991 and very tired. Reevaluation of our diplomatic and military end states in Afghanistan and Iraq must be reviewed based on the current threat ISIS and other Islamic Extremist groups present to US security. I feel Iran is the real threat in the Middle East. We cannot afford to keep spending money uninterrupted in the Middle East because bin Laden’s wish will come true, the US bled to bankruptcy.  

— Final note, please let me know your feedback and suggestions on Twitter, your thought on this weeks DIME, and what do you want more or less of? Let me know by sending a tweet to @MarkHasara and put #nationsdime in the header.

Have a great weekend!

Sluggo Sends!

P.S. — If you’re reading my book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit, I’d really love to hear your thoughts in a review on Amazon here or Barnes and Noble here. I read them all.

The Nation’s DIME 1848

President Trump is attending the G20 Summit in Buenos Aries Argentina. Attending the summit are Britain’s Teresa May, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman, and China’s Xi Jinping. Good news is already coming from the Summit, but there are numerous rifts laid bare in Buenos Aries

In the Diplomatic arena,

President Trump will not meet privately with President Putin over the seizure of Ukrainian Navy ships in the Crimea. Russia’s Navy captured three Ukrainian ships and blocked the Straight of Kerch with patrol boats and SU-25 Frogfoot air cover.

The White House announced President Trump will meet with China’s Xi Jinping over the trade war. The Chinese have a lot to gain or lose if the trade and tariff war continues. Many believe the Chinese have the most to lose, but China has an ace up their sleeve. Jinping continues to militarily buildup their South China Sea islands. Five trillion dollars of commerce transits through the South China Sea which China could shut down in moments. 

In the Informational area,

Britain’s Teresa May has said during their first face-to-face meeting, she wants President Trump to know he’s wrong the Brexit Deal will not harm the global economy. She feels there can be a deep trade deal with the US when Britain exits the EU. Prime Minister May also wants to chat with Crown Prince Salman about the assassination of journalist Kamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. May wants to confront him on reports he ordered the murder and the human suffering in their war on Yemen. The Yemeni Civil War is said to be the worst humanitarian disaster in history. 

In the Military realm, 

I hope President Trump discusses Iran’s proxy war in the Middle East with Crown Prince Salman and the rest of the G20. We’ve been warned about this. Iran’s Hezbollah forces are now setting their sights on US forces, which have Putin’s backing. The Israeli Air Force struck Iranian targets throughout Syria last night. The Russian S-300 Surface-to-Air Missile site near Masyaf Syria continues to grow and Iranian 747 cargo planes are landing in Beirut. The IAF received additional F-35s to deal with the growing threat of double-digit SAMs in Syria. 

In the Economic world,

President Trump signed a new NAFTA deal with Mexico and Canada while attending the G20 Summit. Here are good articles on the differences and why NAFTA was renegotiated. Now each country’s legislature must ratify the document so we’ll see what the recent US elections will impact the signing.

Next week’s articles takes a look at Iran’s influence in the Middle East. Remember one name… Major General Qasem Soleimani.

— Final note, please let me know your feedback and suggestions on Twitter, your thought on this weeks DIME, and what do you want more or less of? Let me know by sending a tweet to @MarkHasara and put #nationsdime in the header.

Have a great weekend!

Sluggo Sends!

P.S. — If you’re reading my book Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit, I’d really love to hear your thoughts in a review on Amazon here or Barnes and Noble here. I read them all.

Nation’s DIME 1844

Closing in on the midterms, the world seems to be in chaos. Here are the things I’m reading about in the DIME.

In the Diplomatic community,

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for a cease fire in Yemen’s Civil War. The US will continue supporting the war, but patients is running out on the Saudi-UAE coalition. US has supported the coalition with drone strikes in Yemen, killing several high value Al-Qaeda jihadis, Anwar al-Awlaki the most famous.

In the Informational area,

Eleven people were killed and four law enforcement officers wounded as Robert Bowers walked through the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh shouting anti-Semitic statements and shooting into the congregation. Hard to believe he has plead not guilty to 44 counts. Two things not covered in the news… A trauma doctor ran in with the SWAT Team giving medical attention to victims. The Muslim community raised over $180,000 for victims to cover their funeral costs. In the midst of this tragedy, unlikely heroes are coming to help.

In the Military arena,

The largest NATO exercise since the Cold War is underway in Norway. The Russians have reacted to TRIDENT JUNCTURE with bombers flying in the region, and a naval missile firing exercise. TRIDENT JUNCTURE is NATO’s response to a recent Russian exercise. Ambassador Azita Raji wrote a great article for War on the Rocks with a number of links here.

In the Economic realm,

US stock market lost $2 trillion in October. Tech stocks and CEOs were the biggest losers. Amazon lost $19 billion in two day. Investors worry about more tariffs on China. Think about that… two trillion is more than the gross national product of many countries. The market volatility was in response to concerns over global growth and the continuing trade war with China.

The US midterms are next week which is sure to bring a lot of talking points.

The Nation’s DIME 1842

Another Honduran migrant caravan approaches the U.S. – Mexico border. The Trump Administration response is different with this one.

In the Diplomatic realm,

The Trump Administration is responding to the moving caravan by threatening to close the US – Mexico border.  Mexico now braces for the invasion of 3000-4000 Honduran migrants. In response to President Trump’s diplomatic move, Mexico airlifted federal police to the Honduran Mexican border halting the flow of 3000-4000 migrants. Mexico warned the caravan they will deport them if they do not turn around. Mexico has also asked the UN for help.

In the Informational area,

Timing of the caravan is very suspicious, right before the midterm elections. Trump has warned the caravan to return to Honduras, but the migrants continue moving north. President Trump made his position clear, and so has his detractors

In the Military realm,

President Trump threatened the Mexican Government to deploy US troops along our southern border.  The National Guard troops have deployed before when the last caravan approached the US border, and looks like they will again. Our southern border is a very dangerous place with numerous players. Developing rules of engagement for a border security operation like this will be very interesting.

In the Economic area,

President Trump has threatened to cut off the money… finally. Financial aid to Honduras will be first. He then threatened two other nations with the same, Guatemala and El Salvador. The Honduran and Guatemalan are now moving quickly to stop the migrants. It always comes down to money.

I find the movement of this migrant caravan right before the midterms very suspicious. What group or agency is paying for their movement? Four thousand people require a lot of food, water, and logistical support. I don’t think the caravan is as spontaneous as we are led to believe.