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“Tents, generators, and portable toilets had transformed an old police barracks on the outskirts of a Polish village. Inside the tents, men speaking different languages sat on folding chairs at long tables, typing on military-grade laptops. A map of Europe’s Baltic coast was projected onto a large screen above them.
For a few days, this miniature military camp housed the transatlantic alliance – not in theory, but in practice. This was the temporary headquarters of Trojan Footprint, the largest NATO Special Operations Forces training since the end of the Cold War. It was the summer of 2018, and the U.S. Army’s 10th Special Forces Group, based in Europe since the 1950s, was coordinating more than 2,000 conventional and unconventional troops from more than a dozen countries, including Germany, Britain, the Netherlands, Canada, and even non-NATO-member Sweden. The exercise was confidential – I was asked not to name the nondescript village – but not secret. The commander of the operation told me he wanted Russia to know that Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, together with their NATO allies, were planning and practicing for all possible scenarios, up to and including their response to an invasion.
This was not, as Russian propaganda would have it, because they want a war. This is because they do not want a war. “Ultimately, it’s about deterrence,” the colonel told me. “We’re saying, ‘Here’s the price you would have to pay, this is the bitter pill you would have to swallow.’””
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Apple, Google, Starbucks, and companies like them all claim to be socially responsible, but the first element of social responsibility should be paying your fair share of tax."
"One problem with today’s polarized politics is that both parties don’t mind stretching constitutional limits to achieve their policy goals. Democrats cheered on Barack Obama’s legal abuses on immigration and so much more..."
"The Democratic Party has problems with Israel. But Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), the new members of Congress who have attracted attention with toxic tweets and support for boycott, are not the main protagonists."
"Chicago Police sources now suggest he staged what he says was a racist and homophobic attack on him. Smollett vigorously denies it. Whatever the truth, it's a moment to reflect."
"In talmudic tort law.. the responsible party must transfer to the plaintiff an area of his best land of equivalent value- rather than a larger area of low-quality land. From the standpoint of classical economics, such a requirement is nonsensical."
"“Alexa, can I use you on Shabbat?” The journalist spoke into a small glass-and-metal device he held in his hand, which connected him to a distant supercomputer in a place known only as “the Cloud.”"
"Racial capitalism is the process of getting some sort of social or economic benefit from someone else’s racial identity. In the United States, this usually, though not always, involves white people benefiting from nonwhite racial identity."
"A gay French writer has lifted the lid on what he calls one of the world’s largest gay communities, the Vatican, estimating that most of its prelates are homosexually inclined..."
"I’ll state the obvious and say that much if not all of the reason my life hasn’t changed is that I’m not a parent. Children are life’s great timekeepers, and when you don’t live with any, you’re at the mercy of your own internal clock..."
"...cooking without recipes is a kitchen skill same as cutting vegetables into dice. It’s a way to improve your confidence in the kitchen and to make the act of cooking fun when sometimes it seems like a chore."
"Psychedelics have frequently been maligned in both the scientific community and mainstream culture. But new medical research and a more capacious understanding of the drugs have started to shift opinions."
"The story of angels stretches all the way back to the opening sections of the Book of Genesis. There, God posts cherubs as sentries at the gates of the Garden of Eden, following Adam and Eve’s expulsion. "