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Author: TriSec    Date: 04/23/2019 10:09:03

Good Morning.

It's the battle that just won't go away.

One hundred and fifty four Aprils ago, enemy General Lee surrendered to the forces of the United States led by Ulysses S. Grant at Appomatox Court House, Virginia.

Over the ensuing century and a half, those enemies of the Union have been embraced, celebrated, and honored by a certain subset of the population, primarily those unable to comprehend that their forebears lost.

It's taken a long time to even begin to remove some more offensive symbols of the old condeferacy, but you'd at least think that the government of the United States would not be celebrating those things on federal property - but of course, you'd be wrong.

Since 1956, a wrought-iron arch honoring the duly-elected leader of an enemy of the United States has stood in silent sentinel on the grounds of former Fort Monroe near Hampton, VA. Saner voices have at last called for removing this insult.

RICHMOND, Va. — Gov. Ralph Northam is calling for the removal of an arch honoring the former president of the Confederacy at Fort Monroe, where the first enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia 400 years ago.

The Daily Press reports that Northam's office presented a letter to the Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees Thursday supporting removal of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Arch, a wrought-iron structure built in 1956 by the Army with $10,000 from the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The board voted unanimously for removal, likely to be a lengthy process because Fort Monroe is designated a national historic landmark. It sits on a peninsula named Old Point Comfort, where the first enslaved Africans arrived in 1619. Slaves sought their freedom at the Union outpost there during the Civil War.

It's almost starting to feel like we need another civil war to defeat them once and for all. I suppose if the likes of General Sherman marched again, maybe they'd shut the hell up?

Moving on, we'll stay in the South. Really, really, south. Like Antarctica. As if the United States can't have enough war, the USCG of all organizations is warning that the Earth's nether region could become a future battlefield. As if we don't have enough war. And what is the Coast Guard doing there, anyway?

The Arctic's changing climate and the growing Russian and Chinese presence in the region signal a greater need for the U.S. to assert its role as an Arctic nation, with the Coast Guard contributing significantly to keeping the area "conflict-free," according to a new strategic outlook published Monday by the service.

To ensure that the U.S. maintains its leadership in the Arctic, the Coast Guard must work with the U.S. Navy and collaborate with Arctic nation partners and alliances, notes the strategy, the U.S. Coast Guard's Vision for the Arctic Region.

The service also needs to build out its fleet of icebreakers, aircraft and communications systems to ensure the safety and security of the Arctic "even as our aspiring ... competitors maneuver for strategic advantage in the area," the report states.

The strategic outlook is the first new policy paper by the service since 2013. According to Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz, it "reaffirms the Coast Guard's commitment to American leadership in the region through partnership, unity of effort, and continuous innovation."

"We understand the significant investment required to secure the Arctic. … We will remain vigilant in protecting our national interests in the polar regions," Schultz wrote in a news release accompanying the report.

The last time the Coast Guard published an Arctic operations strategy, China and Russia were launching renewed efforts to expand business and national security interests in the region, notable for its natural resources, including mineral and energy deposits, fishing and increasingly accessible sea lanes.

China, which has no territory in the Arctic, was given observer status on the Arctic Council in 2013. And in January 2018, it released a white paper spelling out its goals for the Arctic, referring to itself as a "near-Arctic state" and outlining an ambitious plan, a "Polar Silk Road," of scientific and commercial development and environmental protection in the region.

Russia, an Arctic nation with long-standing interests above the Arctic Circle, also is increasing its presence in the region, maintaining a fleet of at least 40 icebreakers and building or enhancing six northern military bases since 2013.

The increased interest in the area by these and other nations, combined with growing access to what was once one of the planet's most remote regions, made possible by receding sea ice -- according to the Coast Guard report, satellite imagery taken between 2006 and 2018 showed the 12 lowest Arctic ice extents on record -- sets the stage for increased competition.

"Actions by strategic competitors will challenge the long-standing norms that have made the Arctic an area of peace and low tension," the report notes. "The institutions contributing to a conflict-free Arctic will face new challenges requiring active and committed American leadership."

But we can wrap up on an optimistic note. Candidates have been lining up recently to start taking potshots at Dear Leader. This fair Commonwealth is now fielding three - of course Senator Warren. You may have heard that former Governor Bill Weld is planning on challenging for the Republican nomination. But the most compelling of all is Congressman Seth Moulton. He is among the younger candidates at a mere age 40 (Two years younger than our own President Kennedy at the time) But he's got a compelling backstory, and is one of the few candidates focusing on foreign policy. I can't speak for anyone else here, but that is one of my primary areas of scrutiny for a candidate.

Representative Seth Moulton, Democrat of Massachusetts, hopes to leverage his military background in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Although the field of Democratic candidates now numbers 19, few have focused intently on national security and foreign affairs. Mr. Moulton, a Harvard-educated Marine veteran who announced his candidacy on Monday, has signaled that he will seek to differentiate himself from his competitors by filling that largely unoccupied space.

In a speech at the Brookings Institution in February, he laid out his foreign policy platform, which included three areas of concern: arms, alliances and arms control.

He called on the United States to “stop fighting today’s battles on yesterday’s battlefields,” by which he meant re-examining whether it is wise, for instance, to invest 16 times more money in naval carriers than in cyber and technological defenses.

When thinking about arms control, he said it was important to consider not only traditional weapons but also new autonomous weapons powered by artificial intelligence.

And though he supports strengthening ties with NATO, he said it was necessary to rethink its strategic role and purpose.

“Likewise,” he said, “we should be re-examining our troop commitments to places like Japan and Germany and we should be asking whether it makes sense to establish a Pacific NATO to counter China.”

In an announcement video on Monday, Mr. Moulton pledged to cut “massive weapons programs we don’t need so that we have the money to invest in the future.”

It's unclear if Congressman Moulton will have a significant impact on the election. He is now the 19th declared candidate for the Democrats. While I can be pleased that America's Fuehrer has sparked such passion for unseating him...I am also growing concerned that we'll reach the point of too many cooks spoiling the broth.

With so many candidates out there now, is it possible for one to capture the votes necessary? I can only hope that on election day, enough of us can pull the lever for "D-anywhere" instead of staying home because "D-my candidate didn't win the primary".


6 comments (Latest Comment: 04/23/2019 15:27:51 by Scoopster)
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