Fal's recent activity

  1. Comment on NATO deploys more forces to Kosovo after thirty peacekeepers injured in ~news

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    NATO is deploying 700 additional troops to northern Kosovo after 30 of its peacekeepers were injured in clashes with ethnic Serb protesters amid a long-simmering dispute.

    “We have decided to deploy 700 more troops from the operational reserve force for Western Balkans,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Oslo, after talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store on Tuesday.

    He said that NATO would also “put an additional battalion of reserve forces on high readiness so they can also be deployed if needed”.

    A battalion typically ranges from 300 to about 1,000 troops. The NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, KFOR, currently consists of almost 3,800 troops.

    KFOR said the 30 hurt peacekeepers from Hungary and Italy had several injuries, including “fractures and burns from improvised explosive incendiary devices”.

    The latest round of tensions increased during the past weekend, after ethnic Albanian officials elected in votes overwhelmingly boycotted by Serbs entered municipal buildings. When Serbian protesters tried to block them, Kosovo police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

    In response, Serbia put the country’s military on the highest state of alert and sent more troops to the border with Kosovo. The Serbs protested again on Monday, insisting both ethnic Albanian mayors and Kosovo police must leave northern Kosovo.

    On Tuesday, the situation in the northern Kosovo town of Zvecan remained tense with ethnic Serbs gathered outside the town hall that a crowd had tried to storm on Monday. Kosovo police had repelled them with tear gas, before the NATO-led peacekeepers intervened.

    The soldiers at first tried to separate protesters from the police, but later tried to disperse the crowd using shields and batons. Several protesters responded by hurling rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails.

    Many Serbs are demanding the withdrawal of Kosovo police forces, as well as the ethnic Albanian mayors they do not consider their true representatives.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on IRC for tildes? in ~tildes

  3. Comment on Summer Games Done Quick 2023, a week-long charity fundraising event featuring speedruns, has begun in ~games

    Fal
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    Tragically it doesn’t look like CarlSagan42 is participating in this years Mario Maker, so I’m not sure which team to support.

    Tragically it doesn’t look like CarlSagan42 is participating in this years Mario Maker, so I’m not sure which team to support.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Sharp rise in piracy rates across Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway – Mediavision has been tracking citizens' piracy habits across the Nordics since 2010 in ~tech

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    Slightly offtopic but: When I saw 'piracy' and 'nordics' in the title, I was fully ready to read an article about the resurgence of vikings

    Slightly offtopic but: When I saw 'piracy' and 'nordics' in the title, I was fully ready to read an article about the resurgence of vikings

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Why it took thirteen years to engineer the Taco Bell Crunchwrap in ~food

    Fal
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    I eagerly await your next submission to the weekly ~food thread

    I eagerly await your next submission to the weekly ~food thread

    3 votes
  6. Comment on Why it took thirteen years to engineer the Taco Bell Crunchwrap in ~food

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    @cfabbro A video in which Ben day drinks on Sam's dime, again.

    @cfabbro

    A video in which Ben day drinks on Sam's dime, again.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Tildes Pop-Up Game Event: Demo Disc Days in ~games

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    Casual Racing: Tanuki Sunset You play as a Tanuki/Raccoon and skateboard down a very long road, doing tricks and drifting to collect points, and collecting the in-game currency (the name eludes me...

    Casual Racing: Tanuki Sunset

    You play as a Tanuki/Raccoon and skateboard down a very long road, doing tricks and drifting to collect points, and collecting the in-game currency (the name eludes me at the moment) to customize your skateboard and purchase hats, sunglasses, shirts, walkmans (walkmen?) and whatnot to dress up the tanuki. Pretty fun, and had a small story line to go with the maps. Fun retro aesthetic and synthetic and lofi soundtrack.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on Tildes Video Thread in ~misc

  9. Comment on Taiwan is competing for arms with the Middle East, not Ukraine in ~misc

    Fal
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    Returning from a visit to Taipei in February, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, the Republican chairman of the House’s recently established select committee on China, expressed concern about the pace of arms deliveries to Taiwan, including the much-discussed $19 billion backlog, telling the New York Times, “We have to prove that we’re willing to deliver.”

    The scale of the backlog has been widely cited by political leaders on both sides of the aisle as an indicator of a weak U.S. defense industrial base that is unready for a major-power war and unable to meet demands from Russia’s war in Ukraine and a potential conflict over Taiwan simultaneously. Gallagher’s Democratic co-chair, Rep. Ro Khanna, made this Ukraine-Taiwan trade-off explicit in a late April speech on U.S. competition with China, in which he also called for the use of the Defense Production Act to dramatically ramp up U.S. weapons production. The argument that U.S. aid to Ukraine must be cut to allow for sufficient support to Taiwan also has many advocates beyond Capitol Hill, chief among them Elbridge Colby, the lead architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, and Kevin Roberts, the president of the Heritage Foundation.

    Rather than Ukraine, Taiwan has competed most directly with other countries purchasing new systems. Among its biggest competitors are large buyers in the Middle East, including Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. These countries not only buy many of the systems Taiwan needs most, but they also buy these weapons in large quantities—often exceeding what has been allocated to Ukraine, from stocks or otherwise.

    The fastest and most efficient way to get needed weapons into Taiwanese hands would be to pause or reduce deliveries to large arms buyers in the Middle East—specifically Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, at least temporarily. Though these Arab states do have some legitimate security concerns, particularly coming from Iran and its proxies, substantial and largely condition-free arms transfers to these countries have frequently fueled regional conflicts, produced security outcomes that are antithetical to U.S. interests, and contributed to human rights violations.

    Both parts of this approach could receive pushback from members of Congress, defense contractors, and certain U.S. security partners. Portraying these decisions as temporary and strategically necessary would be one way to allay such concerns. More generally, the Biden administration has demonstrated a willingness to compromise U.S. economic gains for national security when it comes to competing with China.

    Speeding up and increasing arms sales to Taiwan will come with trade-offs. But neither supersizing the U.S. defense industrial base nor terminating aid to Ukraine is the best choice. If the United States is serious about arming Taiwan “to the teeth,” as Gallagher has urgently recommended, it will pause or slow arms deliveries to partners with less urgent need, including large buyers in the Middle East, to divert this production capacity toward Taiwan and invest more heavily in Taiwan’s defense sector to build additional capabilities and self-sufficiency.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Tildes Video Thread in ~misc