Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Weird stuff on the Kazakh-Chinese border — and also ‘Buddhist vigilantes’ in Burma

I usually write this blog around 6 or 7 in the morning. There are days when my eyes kind of glaze over as I look at the overnight world news headlines: Bombs in Baghdad, drone strikes in Pakistan, and plane crashes in Nigeria. So when some news comes out of an unexpected place, I pay ...

Wikimedia
Wikimedia
Wikimedia

I usually write this blog around 6 or 7 in the morning. There are days when my eyes kind of glaze over as I look at the overnight world news headlines: Bombs in Baghdad, drone strikes in Pakistan, and plane crashes in Nigeria.

So when some news comes out of an unexpected place, I pay attention. Few places on the planet can be more remote than a border post between Kazakhstan and China. That's where 14 soldiers and a game warden recently were killed in an unexplained incident. Reuters suspects drug smuggling. For all we know, could be a feud with aliens.

Another item about another obscure location from the same agency reports that "Buddhist vigilantes" attacked Muslims in western Burma. Isn't "Buddhist vigilantes" a bit like "Marine Corps pacifists"?

I usually write this blog around 6 or 7 in the morning. There are days when my eyes kind of glaze over as I look at the overnight world news headlines: Bombs in Baghdad, drone strikes in Pakistan, and plane crashes in Nigeria.

So when some news comes out of an unexpected place, I pay attention. Few places on the planet can be more remote than a border post between Kazakhstan and China. That’s where 14 soldiers and a game warden recently were killed in an unexplained incident. Reuters suspects drug smuggling. For all we know, could be a feud with aliens.

Another item about another obscure location from the same agency reports that “Buddhist vigilantes” attacked Muslims in western Burma. Isn’t “Buddhist vigilantes” a bit like “Marine Corps pacifists”?

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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