This map shows what the loss of Crimea really means for Ukraine

I don’t intend to post much more about the Ukrainian situation, unless something major happens, but this map/illustration below is an absolute must see if you’re interested in the value, size, and make up of Crimea/Ukraine. (The map is even super-imposed over America to help give you an idea of the size of the place.)

Here’s the map, and believe me it sums up weeks of reading or watching of news: What the loss of Crimea really means for Ukraine.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

Some much-needed perspective on the Ukraine situation

Despite all the panic in the media the past couple of weeks — and I confess I fell for some of the worry — the great Soviet Bear is not emerging.

In fact, the Bear is nothing but a cub. (Shocking, I know.)

And if you don’t believe me, spend just a few minutes reading this article, which includes maps and much needed perspective.

Losing our marbles as Putin loses at chess: The cold war is over.

Here are a couple of gems from the article:

[ ] “A little over two decades ago, the Soviet Union was nestled behind a row of pawns that extended into the heart of Europe. It held sway over dozens of client states throughout the world. Today, NATO and the EU extend to the very border of Russia itself. To wit, Poland (a former Warsaw Pact state on the border of the Soviet Union) and the Baltic states (former Soviet republics) are all members of the EU and NATO and have invited U.S. F-15s and F-16s to augment their defenses in response to the crisis.”

[ ] “Putin aspires to a new Cold War and the restored power and prestige that that would imply. Russia, however, is now a shadow of the Soviet Union, contained at the far end of Europe.  … Despite the histrionics from American politicians and European security wonks, Russia is as far from domination of Europe as it ever has been.”

Believe me, take a couple of minutes to read the article. It will lower your blood pressure, guaranteed.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

Thanks, Pakistan. You guys are swell.

So our good friends in Pakistan continue to cost us a ton of money.

The latest is an additional $2.1 billion.

“Pakistan’s refusal to let NATO access its ports and roads into Afghanistan has cost the U.S. Defense Department more than $2.1 billion in extra transportation costs to move supplies and equipment in and out of the country.” (Article link.)

For those who forgot, Pakistan closed the ground route last November after a U.S. airstrike mistakenly killed 24 of its soldiers

Just as bad — maybe worse — this recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle said that now more Pakistanis see U.S. as its enemy, despite our enormous amount of aid.

“In the last couple of years, Washington has earmarked a bigger chunk of its aid to Pakistan for civilian projects, hoping to engender goodwill with the country’s intensely anti-American populace. The latest polling suggests that the strategy hasn’t worked.

“About 75 percent of Pakistanis surveyed regard the United States as an enemy, according to a poll released this week by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. That’s actually up more than 10 percent since three years ago, when 64 percent said they viewed America as an enemy.” (Article)

Two final points.

First, we’ll be giving nearly $3 billion in U.S. aid to Pakistan for fiscal year 2012.  Second, we’ve given more than $20 billion in military and non-military aid since 2001.  (Link.)

Good thing we don’t have any bridges to repair or any ongoing deficits to cut or — umm, this is a stretch — any debt to pay down.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.

P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novel Little Man, and the Dixon County War a huge success! It’s gone as high as No. 16 on the Amazon UK Paid List (see here and here), landing smack dab between a Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey book. Learn more about it here.