Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

While we were out (I): News from all over

A drone the size of a fighter jet made a landing on a carrier. Its processors then flew to Las Vegas and began groping other processors that lacked prongs.  No, that last sentence is not true.  But where is the refueling capacity? If the Navy were serious, that would be the next step. Two Coast ...

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Flickr
Flickr

A drone the size of a fighter jet made a landing on a carrier. Its processors then flew to Las Vegas and began groping other processors that lacked prongs.  No, that last sentence is not true.  But where is the refueling capacity? If the Navy were serious, that would be the next step. Two Coast Guard rescue swimmers received Distinguished Flying Crosses for rescuing most of the crew of the Bounty when it went down in the Atlantic last year. I think that is something great to be able to tell your grandchildren about -- "This is for when I saved people aboard the Bounty." Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Chris Christie finally began the debate on what the Republican Party thinks about national security. Long overdue and glad to see it. I am less glad that the media has been covering it as some sort of celebrity personality clash, rather than a serious difference in outlook. At any rate, it looks like the NSA violates the law several times a day.   That Chinese general's son (a teenager who surfaced in this blog two years ago for abusing people with his customized BMW) was charged in July with participating in a gang rape. In other China news, the "African lion" on display in a private zoo turned out to be a big dog. The zoo got away with it until the animal started barking. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, the most famous one-star general in the U.S. military, pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault of a female Army captain. The facts begin to hit the fan on Sept. 30.  Meantime, you can read this.   Gen. Wes Clark dumped his wife of 46 years for a woman 16 years younger than that, a fashion designer in New York City. He sued for divorce on the grounds of "general indignities."  The CO of 22 MEU got relieved. Cause not disclosed. I dunno, maybe he dumped his wife for a New York fashion designer. So did the commander of a missile wing at Malmstrom AFB. Get fired, I mean. I don't know if he is dating a fashion designer. There was a messy court-martial of a female sailor charged with fraternization after she married another female sailor. She beat the rap. I confess I don't understand the long-range legal implications of this case. It is a weird case because when the relationship began the two women held the same rank, which makes one wonder if this case would have been brought against a heterosexual couple. Thomas E. Ricks of Dodge City was in trouble. Again. He needs to blog to keep him busy and out of trouble.   Speaking of looking for trouble, Camp Lejeune Marines caught a 14-foot-long tiger shark by roping and drowning it. "I've not seen nobody put a shark like that to pier in my years as a fisherman," said the skipper of the charter boat they were on. The shark had been dating a New York fashion designer. Iraq's foreign minister said his country is unable to stop Iran from flying arms to Syria through Iraqi airspace. "Like, dude, not our problem," was the vibe. But Iraq does have problems: The death toll in July was the highest in five years. August not much better.   Speaking of Iraq, someone mortared Abu Ghraib prison. What year do they think this is, 2004? On the bright side, Iraq declared part of the re-watered marshes a national park. I didn't know there was a kind of bird called "the Iraq Babbler." (Insert your joke here.) Remember Afghanistan? Anyone? Hooting Horton checked out as a blogger. Here are the snows of yesteryear.  The governor of Maine, a nutjob named Paul LePage, was in an F-35 simulator and stated, "I want to find the [Portland] Press Herald building and blow it up." He said it was a joke. If you heard a kid in a high school say something like that, would you laugh? Oliver Stone, a nutjob who makes films, revealed that there was no reason to drop the atomic bomb in World War II, and also recommended that Japan make nice with China, because China is so peaceful. If LePage gets elected president, maybe Stone can be his secretary of state.   Speaking of left and right, I think Al Sharpton and Bill O'Reilly deserve each other. The Financial Times very nicely took Emile Simpson, a contributor to this blog, out to a lunch of steak tartare, Dorset crab, and wine. I was gonna complain that I wanted one of these cushy invites, but then I remembered that the FT did in fact take me to a nice Italian lunch in DC a coupla years ago -- though not one where they wrote about every dish I ordered and how I ate it. Every day brings a new surprise. I didn't know there were Jane Austen re-enactors. I think they should hook up with the Civil War re-enactors. Calling Tony Horwitz  and Geraldine Brooks. The BD award for best commentary on NSA snooping on Americans goes, of course, to Duffel Blog. Mais bien sur. Second best is here

  • A drone the size of a fighter jet made a landing on a carrier. Its processors then flew to Las Vegas and began groping other processors that lacked prongs.  No, that last sentence is not true.  But where is the refueling capacity? If the Navy were serious, that would be the next step.
  • Two Coast Guard rescue swimmers received Distinguished Flying Crosses for rescuing most of the crew of the Bounty when it went down in the Atlantic last year. I think that is something great to be able to tell your grandchildren about — "This is for when I saved people aboard the Bounty."
  • Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Chris Christie finally began the debate on what the Republican Party thinks about national security. Long overdue and glad to see it. I am less glad that the media has been covering it as some sort of celebrity personality clash, rather than a serious difference in outlook. At any rate, it looks like the NSA violates the law several times a day.  
  • There was a messy court-martial of a female sailor charged with fraternization after she married another female sailor. She beat the rap. I confess I don’t understand the long-range legal implications of this case. It is a weird case because when the relationship began the two women held the same rank, which makes one wonder if this case would have been brought against a heterosexual couple.
  • Thomas E. Ricks of Dodge City was in trouble. Again. He needs to blog to keep him busy and out of trouble.  
  • Speaking of looking for trouble, Camp Lejeune Marines caught a 14-foot-long tiger shark by roping and drowning it. "I’ve not seen nobody put a shark like that to pier in my years as a fisherman," said the skipper of the charter boat they were on. The shark had been dating a New York fashion designer.
  • The governor of Maine, a nutjob named Paul LePage, was in an F-35 simulator and stated, "I want to find the [Portland] Press Herald building and blow it up." He said it was a joke. If you heard a kid in a high school say something like that, would you laugh?
  • Oliver Stone, a nutjob who makes films, revealed that there was no reason to drop the atomic bomb in World War II, and also recommended that Japan make nice with China, because China is so peaceful. If LePage gets elected president, maybe Stone can be his secretary of state.  
  • The Financial Times very nicely took Emile Simpson, a contributor to this blog, out to a lunch of steak tartare, Dorset crab, and wine. I was gonna complain that I wanted one of these cushy invites, but then I remembered that the FT did in fact take me to a nice Italian lunch in DC a coupla years ago — though not one where they wrote about every dish I ordered and how I ate it.
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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