Final Word from Wednesday, October 17, 2018

When U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis visits Prague for a few hours on Oct. 28 to attend a Czechoslovak centennial military parade, he will encourage Czech officials to buy American helicopters, armored vehicles and other military equipment. At the same time, Mattis will indirectly be encouraging Czech officials to allow their military to become susceptible to the "decline in U.S. manufacturing industry," as identified in a recent report by Mattis's own department. According to the report, which was ordered by Donald Trump, the U.S. is experiencing "an erosion of organic infrastructure," has sourcing vulnerabilities that could lead to a "sudden and catastrophic loss of supply" and is taking steps that enable China's own economic and military rise. As with many things Trump does, this inward message to American voters about the risk posed by China sends a completely different message to the world: You better look hard before you leap into a new U.S. chopper. [ Czech Republic United States dept. ]

Glossary of difficult words

centennial - relating to a hundredth anniversary;

susceptible - likely or liable to be influenced or harmed by a particular thing;

organic - (in this sense) domestic;

sourcing - the act of obtaining from a particular source;

to enable - to make possible;

chopper - helicopter.

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