U.S. Joins S. Korea for Joint Military Exercises

UAS

The U.S and South Korea have begun their annual military exercises. Last week, American military deployed an advanced anti-missile system to South Korea, and this week it will start sending attack drones. This new deployment is in response to continued provocative actions by North Korea, who just last week fired four test missiles that can reportedly reach the west coast of the U.S.

On March 7, the first elements of the U.S. THADD anti-missile system were deployed to South Korea. These are able to shoot down short, medium, and long-range missiles. The second deployment, that of Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems–or UAS drones, add significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

As far as the drills, U.S. Special Ops forces–including Navy SEAL Team Six–will join South Korea to practice incapacitating North Korean leadership. What’s new this year is the participation of SEAL Team Six and the presence of a significantly larger number of U.S. troops.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is leaving Tuesday for a visit to Japan, South Korea and China.

SouthChinaSeaJapan vs. China

Japan is planning a push-back against China’s actions in the international waters of the South China Sea. Its largest warship, the Izumi helicopter carrier, will begin a three-month tour of the area in May. This is the biggest show of naval force in the region since World War II.

China has been building islands and installing military bases on them, claiming ownership of area waters. Its growing military presence threatens Japan and the West. The U.S. Navy has been conducting sea and air patrols in order to ensure free navigation through the South China Sea, which is rich in fish, oil, and gas. About $5 trillion of sea-borne commerce passes through it each year.

Japan does not have any claim to these waters. However, it has a dispute with China over the East China Sea.

The Philippines vs. China

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed his military to assert ownership of a large ocean region off the country’s northeastern coast. Chinese ships were spotted there last year, which alarmed Philippine defense officials. Duterte cautioned them to be diplomatic, saying, “I cannot match the might of China.”

Duterte has openly criticized the U.S. for patrolling the area in the South China Sea, calling it “picking a fight” with China.

Why this Matters: The region has had recent problems, including the impeachment of South Korea’s President. The country will hold an election on May 9 to replace her, and the issue of North Korea and the South’s relationships with the U.S. will likely influence the outcome.

North Korea, China, and Russia are not happy about U.S. actions. Our new drones can monitor activity in North Korea, and can also reach across North Korea into China.

Pray for Sec. Tillerson and his ability to strengthen U.S. relationships. Pray the Lord would calm the troubled waters.

President Trump Proposes Cuts to
Federal Workforce

President Trump has proposed a budget that would drastically reduce the federal workforce. The spending cuts affect numerous programs and represent the largest reduction since the drawdown after World War II.

The budget prioritizes military and homeland security, with an increase for the military of $54 billion, but it slashes housing, foreign assistance, environmental programs, public broadcasting, and research.

According to one analyst, the budget reduces employment and home values in the DC area by almost two percent, and would cut personal income by 3.5 percent. Another analyst, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, says these are not just belt-tightening, but would affect a vast array of federal activities.

Departments can choose to implement reductions as they will. However, Trump administration officials say that discussions are ongoing, and the size of the cuts remains fluid. All cuts must be authorized by Congress, which could turn into a massive fight between fiscal conservatives and moderates/ liberals.

It is projected that the federal government will spend $4.091 trillion next year, with two-thirds of it going to entitlements: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, plus poverty assistance and interest payments on the debt. The part of the budget Trump can affect is the other one-third, which is called discretionary spending.

Why this Matters: The good news for conservatives is the bad news for liberals–government would be smaller and less involved in our everyday lives, and private companies and the states would have bigger roles.

This is what conservatives have been longing for and haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan. The beneficiaries of current government spending are federal workers and contractors while private citizens and small business owners have had to cope with larger taxes and the expense of excessive government regulations. It seems the President is tackling these problems and will continue his efforts when he addresses tax cuts later this year.

Continue praying for the President and Congress that they would bring spending under control. Pray for success and blessing on those in leadership who working for fiscal responsibility.

1 Tim. 2:1-2 – I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

resistanceACLU
ACLU Launches “Resistance Training”

On Saturday, the American Civil Liberties Union staged a training event that drew people from all across the nation. The organizing themes were free speech, religious freedom, civil and abortion rights, and gay/lesbian/ transgender rights. People were provided with “resistance training,” and the directors also plan to create “freedom cities” to pass laws that resist the President’s policies.

The ACLU also announced the formation of a grassroots platform called PeoplePower.org. It allows people who want to organize a local protest or rally to connect online. The goal of PeoplePower is to become a one-stop shop for resisters.

According to the ACLU executive director, 200,00 people signed up to attend 2,000 local events. The organization has seen a surge in membership, with a huge influx of younger members.

Why this Matters: The ACLU is a Leftist organization, but from time-to-time partners with conservatives in lawsuits concerning freedom issues. Over a single weekend in January the ACLU received more than 350,000 online donations, totaling $24 million. This is six times more than it usually raises in one year. How sad that most of this money will be used to fight the issues that conservatives care so deeply about–especially the lives of the unborn.

How to Pray: That the people of God would rise up spiritually to fight this “resist” agenda, that the rule of law will stand, and that their efforts to disrupt God’s work would come to nothing.

1 Pet. 2:13-14 – Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: