Saturday’s Forum

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Well done Vlad!

    EU leaders have announced their intention to collectively rearm and become autonomous in food, energy and military hardware in a Versailles declaration that described Russia’s war as “a tectonic shift in European history”.

    At a summit in the former royal palace, the 27 heads of state and government said on Friday that the invasion of Ukraine had shown the urgent need for the EU to take responsibility for its own security and to rid itself of dependencies on others.

    Speaking at a press conference in the palace’s Galerie des Batailles, in which France’s military achievements are celebrated in painting and sculpture, France’s Emmanuel Macron said the Versailles treaty of 1919 had divided Europe but that today leaders were uniting. He described Russia’s aggression as a “tragic turning point”.

    “We can see how our food, our energy, our defence are all issues of sovereignty,” he said. “We want to be open to the world but we want to choose our partners and not depend on anybody.”

    He added: “The Versailles declaration is linked to the fact that sovereignty in Europe, which might have been thought of by some as a slogan or a French fantasy, is seen by all today as crucial.”
    The leaders agreed to “invest more and better in defence capabilities and innovative technologies” by substantially increasing defence expenditures and through tighter cooperation and coordination of their armed forces and procurement. While EU member states spend more than three times the Russian defence budget, there are limited tie-ups and multiple overlaps in capabilities.

    The European Commission has been given a new role to find weaknesses in Europe’s defences and to advise on investment.

    Macron said Olaf Scholz’s decision to set aside €100bn (£84bn) for defence and Denmark’s decision to put its opt-out on EU security mechanisms to a referendum showed the seriousness of the moment. The EU is also doubling its funding of military equipment destined for Ukraine to €1bn.

    “About 10 days ago, Germany decided to make historical investments and Denmark made a historic choice deciding to ask the people if they want to come back to the European defence and security project,” Macron said. “Everywhere you look historic choices are being made.”

    You have succeeded in doing what many US presidents couldn’t do. Thanx so very very much! And here’s a little sweetener for you. That Nord Stream 2 pipeline you were so eager to build to Germany? Yeah, they won’t be needing that after all.

    A deadline of 2027 has been set for freeing the EU from dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal. In 2021, the EU imported 155bn cubic metres of natural gas from Russia, accounting for about 45% of its gas imports and close to 40% of the bloc’s total gas consumption.

    Ol’ Vlad really screwed the pooch this time.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:


    wait for it

    DGA Anderson
    · Mar 10
    now this is cinema

    Some things twitter is actually good for.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Opal Vadhan

    Madam @VP

    thanking American and Polish service members before departing Warsaw, Poland.

    The VP left with a handful of patches that the service members tore off their uniform and gave to her.

    “sniff sniff… They never ripped patches off for me… sniff sniff”

    -guess who

  4. CSK says:

    God, I love doggies.

  5. CSK says:

    Adam Kinzinger says his biggest regret is not voting to impeach Trump the first go-round.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I think god made dogs to remind us humans what the important things in life really are.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via commentor NotMax over at BJ:

    In 1626, a ship foundered in stormy seas and wrecked on Cape Cod, where the passengers were aided by the local Indigenous population and the Pilgrims in nearby Plymouth.

    Now the most in-depth scientific analysis of timbers found more than 150 years ago has provided the best evidence yet that they belonged to the ill-fated vessel known as the Sparrow-Hawk.

    The results of an international, multiyear study on the remains of the ship were published Friday in the “Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.”

    “I am just over the top about this news,” said Donna Curtin, executive director of the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, which has been in possession of 109 timbers from the Sparrow-Hawk since 1889.

    The timbers have long been assumed to be from the roughly 40-foot (12-meter) Sparrow-Hawk — the oldest known shipwreck of English Colonial America — based largely on where they were found, but there always remained some uncertainty.

    “Historical narratives get distorted over time,” Curtin said.

  8. CSK says:

    Indeed. And remember…God is dog spelled backward.

  9. CSK says:

    Bill Barr, who says he would back Trump in 2024 if Trump got the nomination, also says that Trump would lose in 2024 because “he’s too divisive.”

  10. MarkedMan says:

    It’s great that the world, from governments to businesses to the arts, has reacted so strongly against the Russian invasion. ButI expected to see more about just why there is such unanimity. FWIW, I think that collectively all these entities were just about done with Russia anyway. Twenty years ago Russia was the romantic and brash young cousin that everyone knew would go on to great things once he overcame his wild youth. Now, he’s the drunken uncle who never amounted to anything and turns every event he’s invited to into an unpleasant drama about him.

    Ukraine is the straw that broke the camels back, causing everyone to realize there is no upside to dealing with Russia anymore, and instead it’s just one thing after another.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Another POV: McDonald’s in Russia: departure is about a lot more than burgers

    “People misunderstood: Russians didn’t want to be Americans, and they didn’t want to be like America, but they wanted the same stuff: the jeans, the cigarettes, the chewing gum, the burgers,” said Fiona Hill, who was an exchange student in Russia in the late 1980s and went on to become an intelligence analyst on Russia and then senior director for Europe and Russia in the White House.

    Nautilus Pompilius, a Russian rock group, had a hit song at the time called Goodbye America, with lyrics that reflected that scepticism, about being “taught for so long to love your forbidden fruits” but finding that “your ripped jeans have become too small for me”.

    The honeymoon with westernisation was short-lived. The shock transition from communism to a market economy, shepherded by a liberal government with western consultants, was a disaster, producing oligarchs, lawlessness and poverty.

    When Putin was first elected president in 2000, Russians looked to him to restore order. But even then, the former KGB officer still had aspirations of turning Russia into a strong market economy, albeit with authoritarian governance.

    “Putin was saying: ‘I’ll bring you bread and circuses, I’ll bring you Big Macs, Ikea, reality TV like everybody else has, and you leave the politics and the national security to me and everything will be great,’” said Hill, who has co-authored a biography of the Russian president.
    The disillusion that set in over the ensuing years came from several different directions at once. Putin’s attempt to order a modern economy into being one less reliant on oil and gas faltered in large part because he was not prepared to give up tight central control. Small businesses were given no protection against the oligarchs. And the global financial crash of 2007-08 raised questions over whether the west had a model worth following at all.

    “When the financial crisis hits, the Russians are thinking: these guys aren’t that smart,” Hill said. “They’ve just completely and utterly upended not just their own economy, but the global economy.”

    And now I really do need to get busy.

  12. Kathy says:


    What I’d like to see is a slow exodus from China.

    Russia is pretty much an extractive economy living off exports, like other third world countries stuck in the past. China is industrialized and has plenty of labor, and has invested in local development. Cutting China off would mean far more economic damage than the loss of one major oil and gas supplier.

    Therefore I’d love to see industry driven by foreign investment spread to other places in southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, etc. When the shock inevitably comes, and it will because Xi is as invested in one-man rule as Putin is and as much a control freak over client states, it may be withstood.

  13. CSK says:

    What in holy hell is going on in New Hampshire???? The state legislature is actually going debate a bill that would have the state secede from the union and form its own nation????

    Jen or Sleeping Dog: Perhaps you would care to address this?

  14. MarkedMan says:


    What I’d like to see is a slow exodus from China.

    China’s internal market is immense, so they could be a hugely successful economy even if they were net importers. But FWIW, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of new foreign investment in China as a supplier. That ship has sailed. They no longer have the lowest cost labor and they are increasingly enforcing environmental laws, which were really the only reasons Western companies were setting up shop.

    Both my current company and my previous one manufactures in the US (and elsewhere, but not China) and so are net importers into China. The big western investment today is in selling to China, not building factories.

    Some manufacturing is even returning to the US, although a truly modern manufacturing plant has so little labor in it they really don’t have that much of an impact on the employment rate.

  15. Sleeping Dog says:


    Link? The last I heard on the bill that after introduction, the R speaker buried it deep in a couple of hostile committees. But their is a quirk in NH legislative rules that requires any bill introduced to have a hearing. Quite likely that is what is happening. But a quick look for an update got me nothing.

  16. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    There’s a piece about it in Hot Air by Jazz Shaw.

  17. Jen says:

    @CSK: I’m not sure where Jazz is getting his info, but that bill went up in proverbial and just short of literal flames. The vote was 323-13, all thirteen are Free State nuts.

    A few things at work here, the biggest of which is the Free State movement. These idiots want to secede because they think that somehow New Hampshire will then be completely unburdened by pesky regulations. We’d also starve to death, as it must have escaped them that we don’t exactly have the terrain, flora/fauna, or weather to self-sustain.

    Personally, I think that all 13 who voted for this ridiculous resolution have violated their oaths of office (to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the US and the State of New Hampshire) and I’d like to see them removed from their positions immediately.

  18. Kathy says:


    My concern is there’s a lot of stuff made in China. not necessarily finished products, but lots of components, from plastic casings to thread to cables to connectors to parts components to chips, and therefore sanctions like those imposed on Russia would choke the global economy as much as China’s.

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: You are right about that. I was only pointing out the trend is already in the direction you champion.

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Late yesterday, Jax asked about bagel recipes. Joy of Cooking had an old-fashioned boiled bagel recipe that might suit you. You’d need to boil the bagel dough after it’s been wrapped around the dog, so steaming might work better. My own experience with bagel dogs (which I buy occasionally at the cvs) is that the principal thing that makes the bagel dog is the egg white/beaten egg glaze that goes on the bread, but I used to make pretty coarse bread when I still baked. I blame over/under handling the dough (never figured out which).

  21. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: And I agree with your thrifty daughter; Schwan’s charges a lot for the convenience of home delivery (which I derive no advantage from anyway because only the post office ever successfully delivers ANYTHING to my address). Thrift is to be commended nearly always.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: “…Trump would lose in 2024 because ‘he’s too divisive.'”

    So the point of backing FG is…?

  23. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I was hoping someone could tell me.

  24. dazedandconfused says:


    We were lucky to find a doggy care place like that. We have a shepard/border collie cross breed mutt that has more energy than he knows what to do with. The place was discovered by word-of-mouth, the lady that runs it does not advertise and has a standing policy of no new customers, but she agreed to accept Oscar as he was recommended by his best-bud’s (Cleatus’s) owner and she loves Cleatus.

    The phone conversation went like this:

    “How did you find out about me? We are not accepting new clients!”

    “Sue suggested we call. We have a great dog she knows well and says this is THE place for him.”

    “Sue, Cleatus’s mom?”


    “OK, but here’s the deal. Your dog is allowed on a trial basis. One time is all I promise. Our dogs have free run of the field and are not caged. If your dog is not fully socialized or has any problems I’m going to kennel it for the duration if his stay.”

    “Can’t ask for anything more than that.”

    “Another thing, when you get your dog back your dog is NOT sick.”


    “That’s what I said, your dog is NOT sick. He will sleep for a couple days because he will be tired. Nobody’s dog is used to playing all day every day, and all of them take some time off after a couple days here. If just one more owner tells me their dog came back sick I’m going to shoot somebody, I’ve HAD it with that crap, understand??”

    “Ooookayyyy. When can we drop him off?”

    Oscar earned his stripes with her and all went well. She tells us stories of him running the legs off other dogs and tiring them out, which she just loves. Oscar knows her name, and if we say “Anna” he leaps up, tail wagging, and is eager to go. Just have to drive up and open the door, he leaps out and runs straight to the gate on his own.

    It’s is such a wonderful comfort to know when you’re away the pup is not locked in a cage or living with someone just doing you a favor, he’s where he’s having a great, great time. On one occasion she came to us. She was driving to the airport anyway because one of her old clients moved away and when they go on vacations they fly, that’s right, fly, and from a thousand miles away, their dog to Anna instead of a local kennel.

  25. JohnSF says:

    Already happening.
    Anecdotage plus recent investment stats indicate a lot of western companies now prefer to invest in ASEAN countries or Latin America.
    So many people tired of investing in China and being ripped off one way or another to benefit the “connected”.

    Also (as Mu Yixiao pointed out the other day here) China remains remarkably dependent on western (esp German/Japanese) capital plant and machine tools; and a large amount of their electronics design and software is based on license+replicate+modify foreign tech.

    Contrast with Taiwan and South Korea which have become genuine first rate technological peers by actually doing the “hard yards” (rugby speak LOL).

  26. JohnSF says:


    …Vlad really screwed the pooch this time

    “Do not call up that which you cannot put down.”

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @dazedandconfused: My son has an Aussie, and found a similar space. Don’t know the particulars but he swears he will never have another Aussie again. (he loves them, but lives in STL and just does not have the time nor space for them).

  28. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I have two big Aussie’s and a border collie, and I am definitely glad they have room to run. I would never have one in town. Particularly the border collie, she’s too damn smart and can jump too high for her own good. I have yet to find a fence that can hold her, she’s either over or under, we’ve had to learn to just be happy with her learning to stay out of the way when we’re doing anything with cattle in the corrals. The big dogs are good boys, they’ll stay in one spot out in the meadow for hours just watching if I ask them to, but that collie….”Stay” is not in her lexicon yet. Selective hearing. 😛