Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Good and Bad of Dogs and Cats Living Together

As our nation continues to dig for that one last grain of sand in its collective bellybutton with a dull pickax, nations in the drift are finding themselves falling in to bed with the strangest partners; some in the main good but fraught with danger; others creating both policy problems and the potential for significant strategic risk.

One hookup looks like a productive and pleasantly surprising one;
For the first time, Japan has deployed one of its P-3C maritime patrol aircraft to Palawan, Philippines for an exercise. The aircraft, along with 20 personnel arrived on Jun. 21.
Hopefully no one will be offended by the meatball.

A little more close to home - this hookup seems morbid and a bit ghastly in it potential downside.

Many of you know how many were killed and maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan by Iran's actions - and yet;
The U.S. military and Iranian-backed Shiite militias are getting closer and closer in Iraq, even sharing a base, while Iran uses those militias to expand its influence in Iraq and fight alongside the Bashar al-Assad regime in neighboring Syria.

Two senior administration officials confirmed to us that U.S. soldiers and Shiite militia groups are both using the Taqqadum military base in Anbar, the same Iraqi base where President Obama is sending an additional 450 U.S. military personnel to help train the local forces fighting against the Islamic State. Some of the Iran-backed Shiite militias at the base have killed American soldiers in the past.
What could go wrong?
The U.S. intelligence community has reported back to Washington that representatives of some of the more extreme militias have been spying on U.S. operations at Taqqadum, one senior administration official told us. That could be calamitous if the fragile relationship between the U.S. military and the Shiite militias comes apart and Iran-backed forces decide to again target U.S. troops.

Both of the above remind me of reading old newspapers articles about mildly obscure events that set in motion significant events. Maybe nothing ... but a good fiction writer could do a lot with both.

It couldn't get any more "interesting."

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