Raising a Flag

Above: Yevgeny Khaldei's photograph of 'Raising a flag over the Reichstag'.

"What individuals do is related to what they think. . . . Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed."

Francis Beer as quoted by Isaiah Wilson III in 'AMERICAN GRAND STRATEGY AND THE FUTURE OF U.S. LANDPOWER', CHAPTER 4 'RECONSIDERING AMERICAN POWER' Strategic Studies Institute and U.S. Army War College Press, December 2014

"Although the crisis in Ukraine continues to focus attention on Russia's western border, Moscow is seeking to exploit a more lucrative prize along its vast northern frontage: the Arctic Circle. Melting ice has opened up new transit routes and revealed previously inaccessible oil and mineral deposits. Facing a year of harsh economic constraints, securing exploitable energy reserves remains a top priority for Moscow. The planned militarization of the Arctic is already underway, and funding is secured through 2015 (the Ministry of Defense was the only Kremlin ministry not to be curtailed in the most recent budget.) With Russia aiming to consolidate its strength by the end of the year, surrounding countries are already reassessing their positions in the face of an overwhelming regional force […] Even in a post-Cold War world, the region could once again be transformed into a zone of frozen conflicts. The great powers have long competed over the Arctic, and now countries such as China and India are expressing their own interest in the region."

From: 'Russia's Plans for Arctic Supremacy' published Januari 16, 2015 on http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/russias-plans-arctic-supremacy#axzz3PMtY6OsF

"Reports of heavy rocket artillery firing on the eastern parts of the city of Mariupol, Ukraine, as well as a statement made by a separatist leader, indicate the potential preparation of an offensive on the city. While this would be a significant escalation and an indicator of Russian intent to push further into Ukraine, potentially forming a much-rumored land connection to the northern border of Crimea, there are also several indicators required for such an offensive that are currently still missing. […] Reports of heavy rocket artillery firing on the eastern parts of the city of Mariupol have been widely reported, with the death toll rising to 27 people [...] The widespread use of Grad Multiple Launch Rocket Systems indicates that this is a planned action with significant logistical support that it involves extensive use of Russian troops, though Grad fire has been widely used throughout the conflict. […] Heavy artillery preparations frequently precede Russian attacks, particularly by concentrated MLRS attack. Given the amount of munitions needed to supply concentrated fire, the Russians tend not to use them casually. The presence of Grad missiles indicates the possibility of artillery preparation for a broader offensive."

From: 'Red Alert: Rocket Fire Could Signal New Offensive on Mariupol' published today on http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/red-alert-rocket-fire-could-signal-new-offensive-mariupol#ixzz3PqAJzyzQ

"Representational pictures were the first true “medium” our ancestors created, some 30,000-40,000 years ago. Some of the early pictures were accurate depictions of the natural world. Others likely had a persuasive, even political, intent as they employed deliberate factual distortions. Understanding this human factor is crucial in understanding pictures. Any estimation of the meaning or effects of a picture must take into account the receptivity, attitudes, and beliefs of audiences, as well as those of producers or disseminators.": http://bartvanbroekhoven.com/en-US/running/141-sar-sarsential-toolbox-15-14

"Logic tells us that a flag should invoke respect by virtue of the entity it represents, not by its coloration or pattern. Yet, despite logic, we are all swayed—irrationally, perhaps, but most assuredly—by appearances.": http://bartvanbroekhoven.com/en-US/running/146-graffitihunt-2