Victory Institute analyst Olen Davidson recently interviewed Tom Mullikin (a former U.S. Army officer, global expedition leader, environmental lawyer, and soon-to-be commander of South Carolina State Guard) on issues of energy security and climate change – and how the veteran community can become part of the solution.
Having just returned from the Republic of Fiji (where he was and is leading an international group of 52 attorneys in a review of proposed mineral and seabed mining legislation for that island nation), environmental attorney Thomas S. Mullikin is not your typical attorney. In fact, there’s nothing typical about Tom Mullikin.
A former U.S. Army officer who has been tapped to command the S.C. State Guard later this month, Mullikin – founder and pres. of the Mullikin Law Firm and Global Eco Adventures – is on a quest to become the first human to have climbed the world’s seven great summits and logged dives in the world’s five oceans. He has already climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest peak), Mt. Elbrus (Europe’s highest peak), Mt. Kosciuscko (Australia’s highest peak), Mt. Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere), and summits across the North American continent. And he has recorded SCUBA dives in every ocean on earth. In each-and-every adventure, the issue that is foremost on his mind is the environment—why and how it is changing, and how best to preserve it.
We recently discussed global climate change and America’s dangerous dependency on foreign sources of energy with Mullikin. Both are vital issues says this environmental expert who points to a way out of this dependency and also argues that neither issue should ever be politicized.
QUESTION: You urge veterans to speak out in support of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of shale oil to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Aside from the obvious (less dependency on Middle East oil), what are some of the other ways that increasing our domestic energy production would affect our military and national security? Continue reading “A way out for America’s dependency on foreign oil”
Supporters of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) would have us believe that the treaty makes the world a safer place. For 30 years, media, political, and even military elite have all called for ratification of UNCLOS.
But why should the U.S. ratify a treaty that, considering Chinese ongoing territorial aggression against its neighbors, we can see is useless when it comes to maintaining “peace, justice and progress for all peoples of the world,” as the charter states?
Chinese naval vessels recently violated UN law by using their fire control radar to target a Japanese naval destroyer and military helicopters operating near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in February.
The rocky, uninhabited islands belonged to the Japanese until after World War II, when the United States assumed temporary control. The islands returned to Japanese administration in 1972, but the Chinese didn’t voice their claim to the islands until a potentially significant oil field was discovered in the region later that decade.
For months, Chinese and Filipino vessels have maintained a delicate standoff over the Scarborough Shoals (Huangyan Island to China). Although 500 miles from the nearest Chinese port, Chinese fishing vessels flaunt the law by harvesting their catch within the UNCLOS-established exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, just 124 miles from their coast.
In 1947, the Chinese government claimed virtually all of the South China Sea in what has become known as the “Nine-Dash Line.” China, a member nation of UNCLOS, refuses to explain the details on how they reached their far-fetching boundary.
A U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks states that a senior Chinese government maritime law expert admittedly did not know of any historical basis behind the “Nine-Dash Line.”
There are plenty of examples, but I came across this today while doing some research:
In perhaps the single deadliest bombing in Iraq, a car bombing on Feb. 28, 2005 that killed 125 teachers and police recruits at a health clinic in Hilla, was executed by a U.S.-educated Jordanian lawyer.
[I]n the history of the world, Palestine has never existed as a nation. The region known as Palestine was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly, by the British after World War I. The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their ancestral homeland. It was never ruled by Arabs as a separate nation.
General David Petraeus, the top commander of both U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, says that the recent Qur’an burning in Florida has inspired multiple deadly riots in Afghanistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai called last month’s Qur’an burning by the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla. “a crime against the religion and the entire Muslim nation,” and demanded that Pastor Terry Jones be brought to justice.
This incident demonstrates that in Afghanistan, we are fighting a war against an enemy who often has few ideological differences with the population we are trying to protect. The Taliban and the Afghan people both seek the establishment of Islamic sharia law, which explains President Karzai’s demands to bring Jones to justice. Under sharia law, burning a Qur’an is considered blasphemy – anything disadvantageous to Islam can be considered blasphemous – and may be punishable by death.
While the Qur’an burning has destabilized the security situation for our troops in Afghanistan, it only provided the catalyst for those whose sensitivities are on a hair-trigger anyways. The problem isn’t burning books – it’s the ideology that inspires people to take to the streets, injuring and killing innocent Afghans (including at least one child) and aid workers in retaliation for the burning of a book.
Americans should read books instead of burn them, but when something so simple can inspire riots and murders around the world, pyrophilic “outreach centers” aren’t the ones with the problem.