India/Pakistan Dust Up
India and Pakistan have been going at it (nothing new there). India used aircraft to attack terrorist training bases in Pakistani controlled Kashmir (a state divided between Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India). The Pakistanis retaliated. Both closed airspace to civilian aircraft (now reopened).
What you should watch for-
Disruptions to civil normality are the most costly war preparations and thus they are unambiguous indicators of the leadership’s intention to go to war. India must place air and sea ports and the rail system along the entire border and in central India under military management before it deploys attack forces from central India.
India has only taken these measures only when it prepared for war. That means prior to the four wars with Pakistan (counting the Kargil war in 1999 as the fourth) and during three war preparation periods (1986 and twice in 2001) in which war was avoided by US and UK political intervention.
Opening the airspace means that India has not activated the national war plan.
As for alerting the border states, an increased alert of the border states is another essential early step to prepare for war. That is because farming villagers must be relocated to safety before army engineers can start preparing the border for large troop deployments.
The relocation operation is expensive and takes time. Millions of people must be moved. The start of border relocations is another unambiguous indicator because of the civilian costs.
Military preemption of rails and ports has not occurred. Civilian relocation has not occurred, though Indians have been urged to build bunkers. So it’s currently about face and posture without the genuine intent to slug it out, toe to toe, launching nukes and creating a mess.
Pakistan agreed to release Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was shot down in a rare aerial engagement over Kashmir. Indians fly Russian built MiG 21’s and the Pakistanis fly US built F-16’s. The shoot-down was somewhat predictable.
Indian retaliation against the Jaish e-Mohammed was justified. The Indian Air Force attack and the events that followed look amateurish – no damage done; no casualties; and an aircraft lost in combat.
North Korean Summit
The US media reaction and commentary has been confused and unfocused, neglecting how things may appear from the North Korean point of view. Chairman Kim needed a positive outcome. The propaganda machinery gave him one, based on deepening mutual respect.
The important statements in (NK) Rodong Sinmun are the agreement to remain in “close contact”; “to continue to hold productive dialogues to resolve the issues discussed at the Hanoi summit talks”; and the promise to meet again.
Kim blamed his foreign ministry team – not the US — for the talks not climaxing in an agreement. The two sets of press remarks to clarify the abrupt termination of the summit hint at self-justification – the Ministry put together a good deal which the US did not appreciate. In the North Korean system, their task was to make the summit a success for the leader. They did not, but the propaganda department spun it into a success for the Chairman.
President Trump walked away from the dictator of the Hermit Kingdom, leaving the sanctions in place, the NK army and population starving. Every administration in living memory would have kowtowed rather than give the dictator the cold shoulder. I had honestly thought no one in Washington had as much guts as this, not since Reagan.
Kim Jung Un can see what happened to the Soviet Union after Reagan walked away from Reykjavik. The parasite, deprived of a host, must starve.