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  1. Apparently China has been conducting military drills and exercises on their northeast border with Russia. China and Russia have always been “frenemies” ever since the Soviet-Sino split which peaked with Zhenbao Island incident that resulted in a brief armed conflict between the two countries in 1969. Nixon adroitly exploited this rift with his visit to China in 1972. https://www.theklaxon.com.au/home/china-russian-border-drills
  2. Yea, that frustration results in about a million Chinese women a year being kidnapped to become “wives” by poor, rural men! As usual with the Chinese system, any effort to bring attention to this problem results in the typical repression and lack of prosecution to those doing the kidnapping.
  3. This trend first came to my attention about ten years ago with an article in The Ecominist, but really has started after WWII as countries become more urbanized and you don’t need a bunch of kids to work the farm or other nasty jobs before we invented teenagers. Back when that Ecominist article was written, European birth rates were dropping below replacement values. Sweden was so concerned about the trend that they started “paying” mothers to have babies, I think they get a monthly stipend for each kid they have until they are pre-teens or something like that. As a result their birth rate is 1.9 which is higher than most other European countries. Whats funny is that Sweden expects their mothers to work too! Stay-at-home mothers are treated as somewhat of a pariah.
  4. I think everyone is getting hung up on the term productivity, if you use the economic textbook definition and apply an apple to apple comparison between Chinese and U.S. workers, then the Chinese are more productive than US workers based (largely) on the disparity of cost. I would argue and I think Peter is also arguing that while the Chinese are great at making widgets, the United States is good at making widgets and really great at creating those widgets (and marketing them). Most of the products made in China are designs for US companies or stolen or copied from us and other countries. When you take into account the electricity costs to run factories in China vs the U.S. and the fact that you have to ship those products here then the productivity formula favors the U.S. Peter Zaihan has been making the talk show rounds because his book is releasing in June which claims that we are nearing the end of globalization.
  5. Peter Zeihan also did a briefing for the MWFC at Fort Benning which shows some sort of interest in military circles of his ideas. One thing he failed to mention in the that presentation (he did sort of allude to it indirectly) is that in addition to loosing a pool of a nations production age population (ages around 20-50 depending on country), a country also faces a shrinking pool of military age adults (ages 18-40). The US has a birth rate of about 1.7 (the birth rate needs to be 2.1 for replacement value) so for the time being we still have a sustainable pool of military age adults, but countries like S. Korea are struggling to recruit enough troops currently and will face difficulty in the near future (probably N. Korea as well but who knows). China’s years of their “one child” policy (which they have abandoned) has really screwed with their demographic makeup resulting in the world’s fastest aging population. Peter claims by 2050 China will have half the population that they have today!
  6. The first twenty minutes or so of the video talks about Russia and Ukraine, but really Peter’s whole presentation is really about the end of globalization and the declining birth rates (China being the most egregious example, their population will shrink by half after 2050), the changing energy and wheat market, as well as numerous other topics. I probably should have picked a better title as Russia only occupies a small portion of the briefing There were numerous officers in the zoom audience so I wonder if this was some sort of DOD sponsored event. The video is over two hours long and I’m still digesting all the implications presented in Peter’s presentation.
  7. As I am posting this, I’m watching this video by Peter Zaihan and only about twenty minutes or so into this video but there is a ton of information that I have not seen or read anywhere else. This should be shown at intel briefings for an insight into what it going to happen in the next few months with the conflict in Ukraine!
  8. Dr. John Campbell has a good video of how the current Monkeypox was brought to Europe and the U.S.
  9. Juan Brown posted the latest update on his Blancolireo YouTube channel of the AirFrance 777. Apparently the two pilots were inadvertently fighting each other on the controls and decoupled the yokes.
  10. Except Uncle Sam has not been paying the tax that the service member allegedly owes! The poor service members have had to fend for themselves. DOD is just now doing a survey to see how many people have been affected by this!
  11. So apparently certain members of the Armed Forces stationed in Germany are being taxed by various local German authorities. They say if your job is not essential to the defense of NATO you are there voluntarily and not only are they taxing you on you base pay but also consider the on-base gym, commissary, BX, shoppet, clothing sales, etc. an additional benefit to your tax liability! https://www.stripes.com/theaters/europe/2022-04-12/tax-germany-us-troops-eucom-pentagon-5661053.html
  12. As I have been both a civilian and AF FE, the Air Force did much more extensive training on runaway trim than the civilian world.
  13. Try this, don’t request to get anything issued until September. When the new FY bearing down on them they will be begging you to take stuff! I remember in my old unit sometimes September would be like Christmas! Survival knives, Ford wrenches, winter flight gloves, Gortex would suddenly appear out of nowhere! Seriously though, your position must have came with some sort of funding to include x amount of equipment issue.
  14. Being retired since 2014, I miss the monthly UTA intel briefings of what’s really going on around the world. The closest I can get now is following Tom Cooper on FB. He either works for or owns Helion and Company Publishing, which publishes books on smaller or little known conflicts around the world. Tom has posted daily updates on the Ukrainian conflict on his page, (like everything on the internet, you have to take it with a grain of salt) getting into detail that the media lacks.
  15. That might be a little bit simplistic, I regularly watch DW News and France24 (I have almost given up on US News channels) and there is quite a bit of coverage on events in Ukraine and mobilization in Europe. Even Sweden has a bit of war nerves and has mobilized troops to reenforce Gotland Island. Personally I think the idea of a full-blown war happening in the dead of winter and before the Winter Olympics is a bit of hyperbole especially since the hybrid conflict has been more effective for Russia but all it can take is one wrong move!
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