The Plaid Avenger

Plaidcast  |  East Asia-Pacific

Is Un-Kim Turning North Korea Un-Insane?

North Korea has been historically, and categorically, totally bat-shit crazy for decades…a small, starving nation led by megalomaniacs bent on creating an isolated, Marxist utopia based on misinformation and fear. Their main country goals have been to swell the ranks of their military and to create a nuclear weapon in order to be taken seriously by the outside world, at the expense of actually having any sort of real economy that provides jobs and food for their people. But it appears that possibly they are turning the corner on this insane, and totally unsustainable, approach here as of late, as their new leader Kim Jong-Un is changing the tone of the country, and of his leadership style as well! He is way more open to the public eye than his insane daddy ever was, and suddenly the country itself is opening to outside trade and influence! Crazy stuff! But will it continue, and will it be enough to truly open the ‘Hermit Kingdom’ for good?

Keywords: North Korea, China, Uncle Chang Song-thaek, Yong Nam, Vietnam, Laos, Japan, Disney

US up in the SouthEast Asian Hizzle, Big Time!

Is a new ‘Chinese Containment Policy’ underway? It sure looks like it to the Plaid Avenger and friends! As the USA continues to focus more time, attention, money, and military into Asia as a whole, SouthEast Asia in particular looks to be the region that is gaining the most-est in terms of US love. Visits from top US officials, investment from top US companies, and strategic US military ties are all being formed at a break-neck speed across the ASEAN block…all of which serve to bolster US influence in the region while simultaneously side-lining China’s aggressive attempts to do the same thing! The battle for Pacific primacy on!

Related Stories:
Clinton calls for US-Asean unity for region to prosper
(From China:) US intervention not conducive to Asia-Pacific stability
Sea of trouble for ASEAN
First ASEAN-US Business Forum to kick off to chart economic cooperation
GE first U.S. firm to invest in Burma

Keywords: Chinese Containment, ASEAN, US, China, South China Sea, Vietnam, Burma, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Japan, South China Sea, military, economics, GE

America Courting Asian Allies

From Shangri-la to Washington, DC, America has got a fever for the flava’ of Asian alliances! US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was showing the love to Singapore, VIetnam, and India last week while talking defense strategies in the Asia ‘hood, and elaborating more about the US forces shift to the Asia-Pacific realm. Now Hillary Clinton is hosting an Indian delegation here in the US to further woo the South Asian power into inceased integration and cooperation with the Americans on a variety of other issues. These moves reflect the changing nature of US initiatives, changing US alliances, and also are indicative of how important India is becoming to future US policy on that side of the planet.

Keywords: US, Shangri-La, Singapore, Vietnam, Cam Rahn Bay, India, US-India strategic dialogue, SCO, China, Afghanistan, Asia-Pacific, Pacific, Indian Ocean, military

The Bear Further Embraces the Dragon

The Russian throw-down has officially occurred:! Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it crystal clear (through words, actions, and official visits) that he sees Russia’s future in the East, not the West. Listen as the Professor points out all the Puin moves that make this assessment entirely obvious….including multiple disses of Team West on the G-8, on Syria, and on missile defense, while further embracing China, the SCO, and a “Eurasian Trade Union.”
Putin sez: “The fundamental interests [of Moscow and Beijing] coincide broadly both in international and economic affairs.”
Hu Jintao sez: “I am firmly convinced that your visit will contribute to further development of all-embracing strategic partnership and cooperation.”
Can you feel the love? I can smell it from here.

Related Stories:
Russia and China tout strategic partnership amid global breakdown
Russia, China Pledge to Boost Ties on Trade, Foreign Policy, Military
Putin aims to cement key alliance with China

Keywords: Russia, China, Eurasian trade union, bear, dragon, G-8, NATO, Germany, France, Belarus, Kazak, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan

US Proclaims Pacific Shift!

Finally! A full-on public proclamation/admission from US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta states what is obvious to us world-watchers: the US is officially shifting its naval/military focus from the Atlantic to the increasingly important Pacific Ocean. The Professor discusses what this means for power politics, future US alliances, movement of US forces, and possible conflicts in this 21st century where the Pacific realm is the new super-highway of connectivity, economic interaction, and intrigue!

Keywords: US, China, military, navy, Pacific, Atlantic, Leon Panetta, South China Sea, Philippines, Scarborough Shoal, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, aircraft carrier, submarine, fighter jets, destroyers, troop deployment

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Issue 2: Battle For Burma

Well, the battle for the heart and soul of this country is on, but no one outside Burma seems to be able to do a damn thing about it! Why not?

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