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Articles written by Rube Render


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  • Opinion: Let's stop forcing our values on others

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Jun 15, 2024

    There’s the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice (sometimes called the World Court), Western Values and the International Rules-Based Order. These last two are capitalized to imply that they carry the same gravitas as the ICC and the ICJ. The International Court of Justice (ICJ or World Court) is a civil tribunal that hears disputes between countries. In theory, any state member of the United Nations, by signing the charter agrees to comply with a...

  • Opinion: In politics, my side is right, yours is wrong

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Jun 8, 2024

    Grant Shapps serves as the minister of defense for the United Kingdom. Shapps recently informed a conference in London that both U.S. and British defense intelligence agencies had evidence that, “lethal aid is now, or will be, flowing from China to Russia and into Ukraine, I think it is a significant development.” The report goes on to state that Shapps could not provide any evidence to support his stunning assertion. This type of report happens on a regular basis and alw...

  • Opinion: Words bear remembering 200 years later

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Jun 1, 2024

    At our church last Sunday, during that portion of the service where we offer public prayers, we prayed for all those who lost their lives in service to our country during war. I was once again reminded of the often-quoted remark by John Quincy Adams: “We go not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” The speech was delivered to the U.S. House of Representatives on July 4, 1821, while he was secretary of state. Adams’ speech should be read in full. It’s short and insightful....

  • Opinion: NATO not a weapons cornucopia

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated May 25, 2024

    I’ve written before about the strange perception Europeans have when it comes to their relationship to the NATO alliance. Consider the following conceptualization. The secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has repeatedly stated that Ukraine is not at war with Russia. All 32 member states of NATO are, however, members of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) that is sometime referred to as the Ramstein group. The UDCG is a coalition of about 50 countries that i...

  • Opinion: We've forgotten some things about logistics

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated May 18, 2024

    Here are some things we used to know about logistics, tactics and leadership but seem to have forgotten. Civil War Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest on winning cavalry tactics: “Get there firstest with the mostest.” Russian presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov: “Today, the winner on the battlefield is the one who is open to innovation, more open to the most rapid implementation.” U.S. Gen. Omar Bradley: “Amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics...

  • Opinion: Moldova may be country to watch

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated May 11, 2024

    Stephen Bryen is an expert in security strategy and technology who served as deputy under secretary of Defense during both Reagan administrations. Bryen recently published two articles in Asia Times that are causing some concern among the commentariat. The first of these asserts that France has sent its first troops officially to Ukraine, and they are members of the Foreign Legion. The initial 100 troops are part of a force that will number around 1,500 and will deploy in...

  • Opinion: Article 5 refers only to NATO members

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated May 4, 2024

    Europe’s leaders have gone crazy. They have systematically gone about de-militarizing themselves by sending most of their military armament to Ukraine. In point of fact, they are now widely asserting that they have no more military material to provide. In spite of that, a growing number of European countries continue to actively pursue plans for some kind of armed intervention into Ukraine. All soldiers inserted would act in “non-combatant” roles. The caveat to that would...

  • Opinion: NATO a defense alliance, not sovereign state

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Apr 27, 2024

    A sovereign state or nation is a country whose government has a supreme authority over its population and territory. No other nation or entity has authority over a sovereign nation or controls its territory. As of 2024, there are 32 member states in NATO. At times, while reading headlines, one could think that NATO is some sort of sovereign government, unto itself. An example of this is the story that NATO is considering taking control of the U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact...

  • Opinion: Author needs to remember Vietnam

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Apr 20, 2024

    Edward Luttwak is an American author, generally considered one of the premier military theorists in the West. He is known for his works on grand strategy, military strategy, geoeconomics, military history, and international relations. Luttwak recently published two articles in Britain that at first glance are 180 degrees out. The first of these was published in The Telegraph on March 15 under the headline, “Europe is a continent of pacifists – no amount of money can fix NAT...

  • Opinion: Congress can't solve Ukraine mess

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Apr 13, 2024

    Congress is once again in the throes of trying to cobble together a piece of legislation that will provide Ukraine with some money in support of its war effort. The amount of money being discussed has changed several times in the past few months, but it generally comes down to about $60 billion, so let’s use that figure for discussion purposes. Supporters of the war would have you believe that the $60 billion has to be provided, right now, and that is already too late. The m...

  • Opinion: Agencies should wait for more info

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    Most conspiracy theories are based on kernels of truth. This is true for the terrorist attack that occurred in Moscow on March 23 and resulted in more than 100 deaths. The U.S. government issued a statement asserting it provided a warning to the Russian government, that the Russians failed to heed, which led to the loss of life. A public statement was issued by the U.S. Department of State on March 7 that read, “The Embassy is monitoring reports that extremists have i...

  • Opinion: NATO losing credibility on Ukraine

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Mar 30, 2024

    There is one way to “win” a war without winning on the field of battle and that is to become the side that can dictate what determines success in the war. There are presently three sides in the Ukraine conflict. They are, Russia, Ukraine and the collective West. In his book, “The Russian Art of War,” Jacques Baud notes that at the start of Russia’s Special Military Operation, Vladimir Putin enumerated two objectives for the campaign and has never abandoned either of those. Th...

  • Opinion: Draft may be job Americans won't do

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Mar 23, 2024

    I received greetings from my local draft board in 1962. At the time I was serving with the U.S. Marines in Japan. The letter had my correct mailing address, including my current rank, service number and unit as well as FPO, San Francisco, Cal. The FPO stands for Fleet Post Office. The address should have been a clue that I was on active duty. Back in the day, when you graduated from high school, if you were an 18-year-old male, you could almost count on being drafted shortly....

  • Opinion: Document reveal already covered

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Mar 16, 2024

    On the first of March, The Wall Street Journal published an article by Max Colchester, Thomas Grove and Janes Marso. The headline read, “Document From 2022 Reveals Putin’s Punishing Terms for Peace.” A secondary headline read, “Draft peace deal drawn up shortly after Russia’s invasion shows Ukraine was confronted with becoming a neutered state.” The article discussed the peace negotiations held in Istanbul between Ukraine and Russia during March and April of 2022. What caught...

  • Opinion: Are we sleepwalking to WWIII?

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Mar 9, 2024

    In February 2023, at the first anniversary of the Ukraine war, Gen. Mark Milley told a news conference, “Russia is now a global pariah and the world remains inspired by Ukrainian bravery and resilience. In short, Russia has lost — they’ve lost strategically, operationally, and tactically.” That sentiment has been repeated ad infinitum by Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan, Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin. At the second anniversary, during a House Armed Services Committee hearing...

  • Opinion: Biden, Trump likely to sweep primaries

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Mar 2, 2024

    As of today, six states and the Virgin Islands have held their primary elections or caucuses. Early voting for the much-touted Super Tuesday primaries has begun. Fifteen states and American Samoa will vote or caucus on March 5 to determine who will be candidates for the general elections in November. I can’t remember a time when Super Tuesday was this irrelevant. Both the Republican and Democrat candidates have been nominally selected, if not actually chiseled into stone. T...

  • Opinion: Europeans need to 'cowboy up'

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Feb 24, 2024

    When the Persian king Cyrus the Great established his empire, he divided his holdings into territories or provinces called satrapies. A satrapy was ruled by a satrap who served as a viceroy to the king, but had significant powers of his own. In medieval Europe, satrapies eventually became referred to as vassal states. A vassal state had a mutual obligation to a superior state or empire. Vassal states are generally called client states today. If King Cyrus returned to the...

  • Opinion: Biden not competent for presidency

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Feb 17, 2024

    The 345-page Hur Report landed on the Biden presidential campaign like a 345-pound bomb. The report didn’t start out that way, but eventually it got toxic. Hur decided not to charge Biden with anything that had to do with classified documents. In point of fact, due to the Justice Department’s policy that a sitting president can’t be indicted, Hur had no choice. He couldn’t indict Biden. Hur’s statement that, “our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willf...

  • Opinion: Funding Ukraine won't stop chaos

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Feb 10, 2024

    The world is in chaos. Ukraine is running out of men, material and munitions to fight the war, while the two Zs, Zelensky and Zaluzhnyi, are sparring to see who is in charge. Even with the assistance of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, President Zelensky can’t seem to fire Gen. Zaluzhnyi, who refuses to leave his post. Also in gridlock is the parliament of Ukraine, who can’t pass a mobilization law that will satisfy everyone and still provide the military wit...

  • Opinion: Best option: Leave Syria, Iraq now

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Feb 3, 2024

    For the last few weeks, U.S. troops stationed in Syria and Iraq have been taking in-coming rocket, missile and drone attacks. News reports claimed that more than 140 attacks on American troops in Iraq and Syria had been carried out with 70 members wounded and no fatalities. The pentagon faced a quandary that although a response of some kind was required, care had to be taken to ensure that the response taken would not escalate the conflict into a full-blown war. Officials...

  • Opinion: Biden should put U.S. security first

    Rube Render, Correspondent|Updated Jan 27, 2024

    You can’t be on the internet for 10 minutes without stumbling onto some sort of clickbait icon. The original clickbait is the newspaper headline, honed to a fine point by the supermarket tabloids. Who can resist “Blind Man Gets 20/20 Vision After Eating 500 Bushels of Carrots?” You just gotta buy that rag. Because I’m a reader of newspapers, I’m a collector of headlines. One that caught my eye recently was, “Economy Better, but People Feel Worse.” The writer went on to ex...

  • Opinion: Austin should step down after protocol breach

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Jan 20, 2024

    When I left active duty in 1980 and went to work in the civilian economy, I knew who my boss was and who my boss’ boss was. After that, the line of who was in charge, up to the chief executive of the company, was kind of fuzzy. This was not true in the military, where I could name my bosses’ bosses, from my individual commander, up through the military rank structure to commandant and then secretary of defense and the commander in chief. We were required to learn this cha...

  • Opinion: Trump's words most likely satirical

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Jan 13, 2024

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in his poem “Locksley Hall,” penned the line, “In spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” But then Tennyson was a poet, and he never heard of baseball or presidential politics. I’ll leave the baseball intimation to the sports page and use some of my time to talk about politics. Although the vast majority of voters will not begin to pay attention to presidential politics until after Labor Day, the 15% of the public who consider th...

  • Opinion: Europeans need that cheap Russian energy

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Jan 6, 2024

    Two of the greatest miscalculations made by NATO and the Collective West regarding the Ukraine Project are that the Russian economy would collapse as a result of the economic sanctions imposed on it and that the Russian army would collapse when the Spring Counter-Offensive launched its drive to Melitopol and the Sea of Azov, to cut off Crimea. After more than 10 increasingly restrictive sets of sanctions, international institutions including the World Bank as well as...

  • Opinion: Enemy has a vote in freezing war

    Rube Render, Local columnist|Updated Dec 30, 2023

    The collective West has held multiple meetings with itself to decide what should be done to end the fighting in Ukraine. These meetings have included as many as 30 to 40 countries. Noticeably absent from all of these has been Russia. Most of these meetings have decided that Ukraine should “freeze” the war, with the lines where they are today. This would allow Ukraine time to re-build its military, re-arm and allow it NATO membership. Vladimir Putin recently held his ann...

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