Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


The good ol' war and the bad new one

Russian Tupolev TU-95 bombers have flown a sortie to provoke a response from US fighters over the US base at Guam. That are reminiscent of the good ol' days of military signaling, where you would fly/sail/march close to the other side's border to provoke an escalation of readiness. Though a threat, it was so institutionalised that everyone knew their roles. A recent incident, where the diplomatic spat between Russia and the United Kingdom was underlined by an increase in the number and range of Russian sorties over the North Sea, indicates that this time-honoured tool of diplomatic signaling is being taken up by the Russian government once again. It serves as a show of strength and carries the symbolism of readiness for actual war.

In other news, the new kind of war once again just shows to be confusing, violent, dusty and not at all easy to make anything off so readily for all us armchair strategists. The British (and Danish) withdrawal from Basra throws the area into disarray, and criminal, tribal strife. Everything the British and Danish soldiers have risk and lost their lives for over the last four years, are in danger of deteriorating in an instant. Once again, we are forced into considering the classical dilemma: Empire (continual occupation) or isolationism (let them sort their own bullets). Globalisation seems to rule out the latter, and perhaps also the first. Perhaps we should only rejoice a rising Russia, that could put us back in the good ol' ways of bi-polar order.


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