Obama’s Isolationism and Pee You on the EU
[ Editor’s Note: Here is the latest weekly roundup from brother Shrimpton in London. I hope he is right about the coming end of NATO.
I would like to see a good public investigation first as to what NATO has really done and an open discussion about how the secrecy classifications hide what these kinds of entities do and how they work, which is a complete undermining of all the democracies involved.
We have created a monster that, once a band of criminals got hold of, they could completely hide all of their nefarious activity, which is exactly what has been going on.
When you add in another layer of massive defense outsourcing to contractors who are impossible to monitor, you end up with taxpayer-funded international paramilitary criminal operations. Isn’t that special!
Secrecy has become the enemy of the world. We suffer a lot of torments that would end overnight simply by turning the light on. But we continue to let them con us with the old belief that the massive secrecy is to benefit us.
While some of it certainly does, the main beneficiaries are the world elites who are able to do all the nasties that they do with no public scrutiny. Intel agencies won’t release it, because they are employed by the same elites, ahhhh…a bit of a conflict of interest there… Jim W. Dean ]
On Wednesday, I attended the annual Richard Holmes Memorial Lecture in the House of Commons, given by fellow historian, Dr Andrew Roberts. There were a number of retired admirals, generals and marshals in attendance. My friend, Colonel Bob Stewart DSO MP, was in the chair.
The lecture was organized by the United Kingdom National Defence Association (UKNDA), of which I am a founder member. UKNDA supports the British armed forces and presses for a sensible defense policy, i.e., a new one.
UK armed forces spending has been slashed to historically low levels. The Army is being reduced to just 82,000 troops, disastrously.
One comment in particular in the post-lecture discussion struck me. This was to the effect that one reason for the UK to raise our defense spending is to fill the vacuum left by America’s withdrawal from the world. Since America has not actually withdrawn from the world and tens of thousands of US servicemen and women are serving outside the United States, the comment was not entirely fair.
Perception however can sometimes be almost as important as reality, even if they are not quite the same thing. Policy-makers often make decisions, usually called errors, based on false perceptions. In this case however, perception does encroach upon reality.
The Obama Administration is undoubtedly isolationist. It is also anti-British, thinking back to that idiotic pronouncement by a senior Administration official in London about British membership of the EU.
The first signs appeared in Iraq. Obama was elected in part on a policy of bailing out of Iraq and handing it over to Iran, although that’s not quite how it was put. He then started bailing out of Afghanistan. This was followed by a back seat on Libya, neutrality on Syria and impotence over the Ukraine.
The impression of isolationism was reinforced by the sad decision to decommission USS Enterprise (CVN-65) ahead of time (she was only 52 years old, for heaven’s sake!) and reckless cuts in the US defense budget. Scrapping the manned space program was another sign of surrender of US leadership.
As demonstrated by its irrational belief in man-made global warming, the Obama Administration is scientifically illiterate. Like the Coalition Government in Britain, it does not believe in technological progress.
Sadly, and I say this as a good friend of America, her allies are having to adjust to a world where America is not necessarily going to be around when needed. This may be good news for the American taxpayer, at least in the short term. Isolationism costs more in the long term, because you end up being isolated when you need friends.
Americans have a point when they say that the UK and European allies have been over-dependent on the US and unwilling to pull their weight, although I suggest that is less true of the UK. The days of cheap defense are over. In the UK we need to boost defense spending by at least 250%, to around 5% of GDP. The current level is a joke.
Washington however may come to regret its isolationist approach. Withdrawal from world affairs means less influence in the world. The disastrous 1945 settlement was largely drawn up in Washington, admittedly by German assets, such as Marshall and Stettinius. As the US steadily withdraws from world affairs, strategic thinkers in the rest of the West are having to grapple with the collapse of the post-war settlement.
NATO is now a dead letter, a Cold War relic doomed to irrelevance once a key European NATO player (Germany) sponsored an armed attack on the United States, i.e. 9/11. The truth about 9/11 has been concealed from the American people, but major players on both sides of the Atlantic know that the operational plan for 9/11 was drawn up by the German DVD.
The EU is on its last legs. It will struggle on for a few more years, but its disintegration may start as early as this summer, if Cameron goes as expected after this week’s European elections. The Electoral Commission in the UK are desperately trying to bail him and the EU out of trouble by drawing off UKIP votes into a pale imitation, slipped in at the top of the ballot paper, but they have been spotted. UKIP should top the poll, despite hysterical smear attacks.
The smears are hypocritical. Nigel Farage is at the same time smeared as a xenophobe and criticised for being married to a German! She is a perfectly charming lady if I may say so. UKIP are saying that we should be divorced from the EU, not banned from marrying Germans. At no stage is anyone in the MSM engaging with UKIP’s arguments, wisely, since there is no answer to them. We need to get the hell out of the EU.
The UN is almost as irrelevant as NATO. Its absurd Refugee Convention has caused enormous damage and loss of life, and the unnecessary UN-sponsored 1948 Geneva Conventions have aided the terrorist cause in the Global War on Terror. It too is likely to break up, although its disintegration will be slower than the EU’s. The IMF, World Bank and WTO are likely to follow.
Each has been an economic disaster. The IMF and World Bank in particular have gone along with the lack of transparency on damaging offshore MTN trading programs, generating enormous resentment on the Right, as they are the primary cause of inflation.
The Carrier Debate
Fellow readers of Proceedings, the impressive journal of the US Naval Institute, will have noticed more Administration-sourced sniping over the CVN program. For the record the Navy have got it right. Big carriers are the way to go, and nuclear power is the best method of propulsion.
Having had their arguments over the supposed Chinese ballistic missile threat refuted the anti-carrier brigade have now invented a new threat – multi flechette ballistic missiles. Forget it. A warship at sea is an almost impossible target for any sort of ballistic warhead to hit.
A ballistic warhead is just too predictable in the terminal stages of flight. US carriers, with their quadruple rudders, are actually quite maneuverable. When it comes to damage control and survivability size equates to quality as well as quantity.
I doubt a flechette would knock out a carrier even if it hit it. The fact remains that the last full-size American carrier to be sunk in combat was the USS Hornet, in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. As VT readers will know that was in October 1942.
The last British fleet carrier sunk in combat was the dear old HMS Eagle (she was originally a Chilean battleship, taken over on the stocks – her engine rooms instruments were in Spanish!), on the famous Pedestal convoy to Malta, in August 1942.
The carrier debate is important, and I shall devote a future column to it.
Response to comments
Apologies to Rolf Harris! “Sir Ralph” should have been “Sir Rolf” of course! And yes, I still think he is innocent of the charges brought against him. In saying that, I note the lengthy delays before the women decided that they had been indecently assaulted, the lack of corroboration and the uncertainties in their accounts. It is not even clear, e.g., that Rolf Harris was actually present at one of the alleged incidents, i.e. if it happened at all, it may have been a different man. This a political trial, brought by a highly politicized prosecuting authority, and the charges are crocks.
Responding to JS (and, no, we’re not related, nor have we met or even spoken!) the Germany spy named King I was referring to in the Preface to Spyhunter was none other than Admiral Ernest ‘von’ King. Mackenzie King, the Canadian PM, was also dodgy, however.
I am glad ‘Mydogissick’ appears to be enjoying Spyhunter. Yes, it is good value at £25 plus p&p!! An e-book version is planned, for later in the year.
I was pleased to see a reference to my former client Tony Farrell, whom I had the privilege of representing last year in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. He’s a very nice chap if I may say so, and I am sure he didn’t beat up any suspects! So far as I know he never even served with Thames Valley Police, indeed, since he has a brain, he would have struggled to get in. As a police intelligence officer his contributions were more cerebral than physical, indeed that was the problem.
Classic Movie Review – Against the Wind (1947), dir. Charles Crichton
A very old war movie, starring Robert Beatty, Simone Signoret, James Robertson Justice, Gordon Jackson and Jack Warner, this is a cracking yarn about the Special Operations Executive (SOE). James Robertson Justice is the Colonel Buckmaster type figure. Having correctly spotted Jack Warner’s character as a German spy, he sensibly orders him shot. Simone does the shooting.
The plot is entirely credible, unsurprisingly, since it is based on real events, although SOE’s biggest losses due to penetration were in Holland.
The special equipment factory was clearly the inspiration for 007’s Q Branch. Dressing up plastic explosives to look like cow dung was a nice touch. It’s always nice to see a car-load of Gestapo run over some plastique.
If you are looking for hints on how to rescue prisoners from ‘Jerry’ on a train you will find them here, along with one or two good ideas on how to kill Germans. The acting is good, the directing superb and the early post-war scenes of Belgium quite fascinating. It’s well worth watching.
There are some fine in-flight views of a Handley Page Halifax B. Mark III. At least they take off in and drop out of the same type of airplane. The continuity was somewhat better than on an old episode of Quincy ME broadcast in England last week, Holding Pattern (series 3, episode 7).
The hijackers start off in a Convair 880, approach in what looks from its gear like a Fokker Friendship, or possibly an old DC-6 or DC-7 (you can only see the landing gear – I can assure you, it is not from a Convair 880!) and land in a 747. The program deserved better. Quincy ME is still being broadcast after nearly four decades because it is quality TV.
For fans of the 880, there are lots of close-up and interior shots. For those used to flying Southwest, who want to see what a comfortable airline seat looks like, wait for the next re-run! For my money the 880 was the most elegant of the American first generation jetliners. They not only looked good, they flew good! There isn’t a commercial airliner in service today which could hope to keep up with a Convair 880 coast to coast. The plane deserved greater commercial success.
May 19th 2014
Michael Shrimpton is a barrister, called to the Bar in London 1983. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counterterrorism.
Michael was formerly an Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies in what was then the Department of National Security, Intelligence and Space Studies at the American Military University.
Michael’s ground-breaking, 700 page intelligence text “Spyhunter: The Secret History of German Intelligence” was published in England by June Press on April 14, 2014.