Hundreds more gigawatts expected in the coming decades More than 70 gigawatts of wind power is installed around the U.S., according to new figures from the American Wind Energy Association. The milestone was hit in November. It took three years to get from 60 gigawatts to 70 gigawatts due to the temporary expiration of the Production…
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By John Massey
Some American flyboys are in Finland this month, in an effort to remind Russian President Vladimir Putin where his country’s borders really are.
The 123rd Fighter Squadron, based out of Portland, Oregon, is participating in exercises in Finland over the course of this month.
The F-15Cs of the 123rd will be assisting in improving the readiness of the Finnish Air Force, who has seen an increase in its necessity due to an increase in Russian airspace violations of sovereign airspace.
Finland is not a member of NATO, but has been a participant in the Partnership for Peace program, as well as assisting in ISAF operations in Afghanistan, and participating in NATO exercises, as demonstrated below.
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has solidified North American and European security interests to a degree that may even exceed that of the height of the Cold War.
This in turn has lead to an interest among some to extend the NATO security umbrella.
This has led most recently to Montenegro’s invitation to the alliance, and some suggestions that Sweden and Finland consider alliance membership.
Both Sweden and Finland have historically followed a policy of neutrality, but this has not been entirely adhered to.
Sweden has had intelligence sharing agreements with NATO states since 1954, as well as relying on NATO capabilities in the event of war against the Soviet Union, and in more recent times against simulated Russian airstrikes.
Both countries participate in NATO exercises, and operations, as well as having strong relations with both Denmark and Norway; both founding members of the Atlantic Alliance.
However, the two countries are not equally open to formally joining the alliance.
The Swedish public has rapidly shifted in favor of NATO membership, with 41% in favor, 39% opposed, and 20% undecided as of late 2015. While Finnish support for NATO membership is at a historical high, only 27% support membership.
This is why the American deployment of aircraft into non ally Finland is such a strong signal.
The Americans may be showing a preview of the kind of commitment they would offer if Finland joined NATO.
By creating stronger military and diplomatic ties with Finland through interactions between the 123rd with Finnish units, and other NATO-Finland interactions, the case for affiliation becomes more concrete.
That does not make the Portland based unit’s sale easy.
Greater affiliation with the EU and NATO has historically lead to an increase in likelihood for Russian counter actions, ala the 2008 Russia-Georgia War, and the two year old ongoing fiasco in Ukraine.
It is essentially out of the question that Finland join without Sweden, or vice versa. In addition to the two countries having strong historical ties, as well as sharing a highly convenient border to ferry troops and material over in the event of Russian intervention into Finland, while Sweden joining with Finland might trigger a response against neutral Finland, in order to guarantee buffer space against the perceived NATO threat.
The Oregon Air National Guard is thus pulling double duty in appealing to both the remaining non aligned Scandinavian countries, as well as improving Finland’s unilateral readiness.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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House Republicans overwhelmingly voted for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to be the party’s nominee to be the next Speaker of the House in a vote Wednesday afternoon.
Ryan made quick work of his only active opponent for the job- Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and is expected to face a full house vote tomorrow before taking office. (Ryan is expected to easily win the full house vote, considering his party has a solid majority.)
According to the Huffington Post, the final vote count among Republicans was 200 votes for Ryan, 43 votes for Webster, 1 vote for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN.) and 1 vote for Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
If he is elected tomorrow, Ryan will be the youngest Speaker of the House since the Civil War.
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By Camila Saenz
Which pro gun Ted Cruz supporter has recently made headlines due to being shot by her four year old son? The answer to that question would be Jamie Gilt.
Floridians make for the most interesting headlines.
Jamie Gilt, 31, has been very vocal about her opposition on stricter gun laws and that it is important to teach children the proper use of weapons.
One of her post on her Facebook page called, “Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense,” reads “My right to protect my child with a gun trumps your fear of my gun.” On this Facebook page there were also various pictures supporting Cruz.
On a drive to a relative’s home Tuesday afternoon, her son sitting in the seat behind her, pulled the trigger of a hand gun, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department news release.
Gilt was later rushed to a hospital in Gainesville, Florida; she is currently in stable condition. Her son, was unharmed, and has been released to relatives.
The firearm was owned legally by the victim, and the child had come to posses the firearm without the victim’s knowledge.
According to Florida law, “it is a misdemeanor for a person to store or leave, on a premise under his or her control, a loaded firearm in such a manner that it is likely a child can gain access to the firearm.”
The Facebook page was taken down on Wednesday March 9th, and has inspired many imitations of the page.
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