05/10/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

05/10/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. Biden admin declares state of emergency to keep fuel supply lines open after cyberattack

2. China Targets Muslim Women in Push to Suppress Births in Xinjiang

3. Indo-Pacific strategy signals renewed commitment: Top EU envoy

4. US military power comes from more than just the defense budget

5. Narcissism and National Security

6. Want better AI for the DOD? Stop treating data like currency

7. Former acting defense chief to testify on Pentagon’s response to Jan. 6 Capitol riot

8. The UN Commission on the Status of Women Lost All Credibility

9. DHS is gathering intelligence on security threats from social media

10. Cyberattacks on US are ‘here to stay’, Biden official warns

11. How an obscure Texas security company helped convince Americans the 2020 election was stolen from Trump

12. ‘Why Do We Deserve to Die?’ Kabul’s Hazaras Bury Their Daughters.

13. Air Force Special Operations Command competition solicits airmen’s ideas for U.S. security

14. Burma poet dies in detention, body returned to family with organs missing: reports

15. US Pacific Deterrence Initiative too little, too late to counter China

16. Navy SEALs And Army Night Stalkers Captured In Amazing Photos During Virginia Exercise

17. The Case for Restructuring the Department of Defense to Fight in the 21st Century

18. Smokejumpers CIA Clandestine Weapon in America’s Secret Wars

 

1. Biden admin declares state of emergency to keep fuel supply lines open after cyberattack

Axios · by Rebecca Falconer

 

2. China Targets Muslim Women in Push to Suppress Births in Xinjiang

The New York Times · by Amy Qin · May 10, 2021

More indications of the brutality and inhumanity of the Chinese government (and CCP).

 

3. Indo-Pacific strategy signals renewed commitment: Top EU envoy

koreanjoongangdaily.com · by Esther Chung

Excerpt: “Q. Several EU members had separate policy objectives towards the Indo-Pacific before. What does this latest announcement of a union-wide strategy mean for the Asian region?

 A. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the global challenges that we are facing are even more challenging [than before] and that we need to secure partnerships and work more on multilateral platforms to resolve the pandemic. Asia is the center of economy, as 60 percent of the world’s trade passes through the waters of the region. For Europe, it is very important to secure the freedom of navigation, and oceans governance is one of the key areas of partnership outlined in the Indo-Pacific strategy of the EU. Additionally, we are seeing more events in the region that are undermining the universality of human rights, such as the events in Myanmar, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. We want to ensure development in protection of human rights in the region.

With Korea, we have a close cooperation on crisis management, which allows us to operate joint exercises and exchange naval officers, and cooperate on anti-piracy operations like the Atlanta Operation off the Somali coast. We expect to see expansions in these partnerships. Further details to the strategy will be announced in September.

 

4. US military power comes from more than just the defense budget

Defense News · by Miranda Priebe, Bryan Rooney, Grant Johnson · May 7, 2021

Excerpts:The Biden administration proposes to finance the spending bill through a series of increases in corporate taxes. Some policymakers have expressed concern that such tax increases may harm growth by reducing incentives for corporate investment. However, changes to similar tax provisions through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 had no discernable impact on business investment. This suggests that, taken together, the proposed infrastructure investments and tax increases should increase growth.

On net, infrastructure investments may have several security benefits. Such investments directly improve the resilience of military installations and infrastructure used for military deployments. Less directly, infrastructure investments promote economic growth, which enables future defense spending.

A rising China presents a sustained challenge for the United States that cannot be met by focusing narrowly on defense spending alone. To have the wherewithal to protect U.S. security against this challenge indefinitely, the country has to make a broader set of investments that support U.S. military power and promote continued economic growth. Therefore, the country should look beyond the annual defense budget to the broader set of ways to promote national security over the long term.

 

5. Narcissism and National Security

c4isrnet.com · by Jaime Coddington · May 7, 2021

interesting food for thought. We should reflect on this: “This is, of course, precisely what’s happening. Fueled by unchecked narcissism, we engage in activities that may seem pretty harmless in isolation but collectively undermine the security of our societies. On November 30, 1939, the Red Army invaded Finland, calculating that the neighbor – small to begin with – would be so riven by its recent civil war and the simmering internal strife that it wouldn’t put up a fight. How mistaken the Soviets were. Under the redoubtable Marshal Mannerheim, the Finns not only united but fought audaciously for a remarkable 105 days. Would our countries, divided as they are, be as courageous and united as the Finns of 1939? Sure, we all hope so.

But the figurative Soviet assault is unlikely to arrive. Instead, we’re constantly attacked in small ways, and it all seems pretty manageable. But just like narcissism in isolation is tolerable while collectively it is highly damaging, acts of aggression below the threshold of war are tolerable in isolation and collectively exceptionally damaging. A bit of incorrect information is part of life in a liberal democracy, but the large-scale spread of inaccuracies can dangerously undermine it. (Exhibit A: January 6.) The occasional Chinese VC investment is part of life the globalized economy, but concerted investments that lead to the best ideas being snapped up long before the startups enter the market deprive the startups’ home countries of invaluable innovation. One Western citizen arrested on bogus charges is manageable, but arrests of Westerners as a tool of coercion are a national security threat.

“You are exactly where you need to be”? I’m not suggesting we should deny ourselves individual pursuits. I am, however, suggesting that we ought to take our communities into account more frequently. Sure, we don’t need to ask the famous WWJD question before every decision, and it would be hubristic to stop to consider potential national security consequences of our every action. But at the very least, we would do well to spend a few more thoughts on those around us. As Putnam documented two decades ago, our social capital needs replenishing. And today that wouldn’t just be a good thing on a human level but for national security too.

 

7. Former acting defense chief to testify on Pentagon’s response to Jan. 6 Capitol riot

militarytimes.com · by Erick Tucker · May 9, 2021

 

8. The UN Commission on the Status of Women Lost All Credibility

algemeiner.com · by Naomi Grant

Excerpts:…it recently elected Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Mauritania, and Tunisia to four-year terms on the council.

Article 2 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women states that all parties “agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women,” one example of which is adopting “appropriate legislative and other measures, including sanctions where appropriate, prohibiting all discrimination against women.”

Allowing countries with rampant abuse of women to be part of this body’s decision-making process is the opposite of applying sanctions and an indication that words on UN websites may be just that. It’s simply good PR for these six countries that oppress women and could provide them cover to defend themselves against international censure. Not only do the above countries have no credibility on this issue; countries that previously served on CSW with credibility and voted for these new members also deserve international censure.

Because of such actions, the commission makes a complete mockery of why it was created in the first place, and has sold out young girls and women around the globe. Activists will have to make do without it.

 

9. DHS is gathering intelligence on security threats from social media

NBC News · by Ken Dilanian · May 10, 2021

A careful approach is necessary. The potential for blowback is large.

Excerpts: “DHS sparked outrage over its open-source intelligence collection last year when it emerged that analysts had been compiling dossiers about tweets by certain journalists covering border issues. The secretary of homeland security ordered analysts to stop collecting information about journalists, and the flap led to a pullback in all types of collection of public information, current and former DHS officials have said.

Officials say they are taking a careful approach.

“Our job is not to police thought and speech — our job is to prevent acts of violence,” Cohen told lawmakers.

However, he said later, “We have to understand the close proximity between constitutionally protected speech … and the threat of violence posed by individuals who use that speech or leverage that speech as a way to incite violence.”

 

10. Cyberattacks on US are ‘here to stay’, Biden official warns

Daily Mail · by Lauren Fruen · May 10, 2021

The genie cannot be put back in the bottle.

 

11. How an obscure Texas security company helped convince Americans the 2020 election was stolen from Trump

The Washington Post · by Emma Brown, Aaron C. Davis, Jon Swaine and Josh Dawsey · May 9, 2021

Long read. This will be pooh-poohed by certain factions and probably will not be read or objectively assessed. If accurate this explains a lot. This would be arguably one of the most effective psychological operations (whether witting or not) ever conducted against the United States and even worse because it was conducted by its own citizens.

It also shows how effective a slick briefing (probably PowerPoint) can be that appeals to the preconceived notions of political leaders. If this reporting is accurate this could be one of the most damaging acts against our Constitution and the American political system.

 

12. ‘Why Do We Deserve to Die?’ Kabul’s Hazaras Bury Their Daughters.

The New York Times · by Adam Nossiter · May 9, 2021

So tragic. Is this an indication of what is to come?

 

13. Air Force Special Operations Command competition solicits airmen’s ideas for U.S. security

americanmilitarynews.com · by Jim Thompson · May 9, 2021

I would bet that more good ideas could be generated by listening to members of the organization at all levels than could be generated by any think tank or consulting firm. Ironically perhaps, the biggest untapped intellectual capital exists among members of organizations. I hope this proves my arguments and that the “evil geniuses” will generate some valuable input.

 

14. Burma poet dies in detention, body returned to family with organs missing: reports

eastasiaforum.org · by Hugh White · May 10, 2021

I guess nothing should shock us any more. But still, this level of brutality seems unbelievable. 

 

15. US Pacific Deterrence Initiative too little, too late to counter China

eastasiaforum.org · by Hugh White · May 10, 2021

Ouch. Strong criticism here: “Yet there is no sign that the United States has a plan to win a war with China that goes beyond a maritime campaign. A land invasion that aims to seize substantial Chinese territory can be ruled out as beyond US capability. History also suggests that a conventional bombing campaign or a trade blockade is unlikely to work.

This leaves nuclear weapons. The United States’ ‘nuclear first use’ doctrine envisages resorting to nuclear forces if conventional forces fail to deliver victory. But China has nuclear weapons too — which it could launch against US cities — and no president could afford to ignore the risk that they would be used to retaliate against any US nuclear attack on China.

Restoring credible deterrence of China is much harder than rebuilding US capabilities to fight and win a maritime campaign in the Western Pacific. It requires the United States to develop a credible military strategy that has a real chance of forcing China to concede on vital issues like Taiwan at a price that the United States is willing to pay. If that price includes a clear risk of nuclear attack on the United States itself, then no such a military strategy might be possible. In this case, the United States will lose the contest with China.

 

16. Navy SEALs And Army Night Stalkers Captured In Amazing Photos During Virginia Exercise

thedrive.com · by Tyler Rogoway · May 9, 2021

Photos at the link.

 

17.  The Case for Restructuring the Department of Defense to Fight in the 21st Century

madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil · May 10, 2021

There is an awful lot to digest in this essay.  

 

18. Smokejumpers CIA Clandestine Weapon in America’s Secret Wars

Youtube

Thanks to a good friend for flagging this.

I have often come across mention of smokejumpers throughout my study of Special Operations history and other national security operations involving the IC (and some of the books are mentioned in this “documentary’). I know the rough terrain suits we jumped in 1st SFG were based on smokejumper design and our tree landing techniques (which I conducted once in the tall pines of Ft Lewis) were learned from smokejumpers. I even recall we used to once send SF soldiers to Montana to train with the smokejumpers. But I had no idea the extent of the smoker jumper contribution to national security and clandestine operations or the close relationship between smokejumpers and the CIA.

Although this appears to be a relatively low budget production documentary the 48 minutes of history in this video is really worth watching for any interested national security history. There is a lot to unpack here. Operations are covered in Taiwan and Laos and Tibet as well as Vietnam but also Africa and even the Arctic (spoiler alert -look for the first Fulton Recovery operations). Yes as the title says this about the Smokejumpers and the CIA (to include Air America) but it also touches on the connection to the OSS and includes George Sisler (A smokejumper, Green Beret, and Medal of Honor recipient). But more importantly it is a history of contributions by unsung American heroes to national security operations around the world.  

There are many lessons for today. While we lament that a bunch of Americans can no longer conduct clandestine operations in places such as Asia because we cannot blend in – there are lessons from this history that show how Americans did and may still even be able to contact clandestine operations working with indigenous forces.

 

————-

 

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

– George Addair

 

“We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty”

― John F. Kennedy

 

William Casey on the OSS: “You didn’t wait six months for a feasibility study to prove that an idea could work. You gambled that it might work. You didn’t tie up the organization with red tape designed …” “ … mostly to cover somebody’s rear end. You took the initiative and the responsibility. You went around end, you went over somebody’s head if you had to. But you acted. That’s what drove the regular military and the State Department chair-warmers crazy about the OSS.”

– OSS veteran and DCIA William Casey

 

DanielRiggs
Mon, 05/10/2021 – 9:14am

05/10/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

05/10/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. We need to talk about Kim: US and South Korea remain far apart on the North as first summit approaches

2. Donald Kirk: Is South Korea next in line for US forces withdrawal?

3. Moon, entering final year, pledges last-ditch efforts to revive NK diplomacy

4. Two Organization and Guidance Department officials expelled to rural areas with their families

5. Kaesong party committee tries to send people to mines and rural areas

6. Moon urges North Korea to return to negotiation table

7. Moon Marks 4th Year in Office

8. Critics say Moon’s special address far from public sentiment

9. Defector activist grilled by police over anti-N.K. leafleting

10. N.K. paper highlights nationwide support for farming amid rice-planting season

11. Russia, China are cozying up to North Korea

12. Bringing Korea Back into the Fold by Victor Cha

13. Biden in the Asia Pacific

14. Seoul Officials on Long ‘Study’ Jaunts to U.S., U.K

15. How to deal with a nuclear-armed Kim Jong Un

 

1.  We need to talk about Kim: US and South Korea remain far apart on the North as first summit approaches

The Independent

We need to talk about Kim: US and South Korea remain far apart on the North as first summit approaches

Joe Biden and Moon Jae-in meet later this month and one topic will dominate – North Korea. Donald Kirk, in Washington, reports on the differences dividing the allies when it comes to dealing with Kim Jong Un

 

2. Donald Kirk: Is South Korea next in line for US forces withdrawal?

wacotrib.com · by Donald Kirk · May 06, 2021

As I previously wrote: Some of my Korean friends worry about the Pentagon’s force posture review and about US troop withdrawals from other areas (e.g., Afghanistan) and how it might affect force posture in Korea. But to my Korean friends I would not worry about the review or other withdrawals from other countries. What could drive changes to US force posture in Korea could be the logistic support for THAAD and the ability for US forces to conduct training, particularly live fire training, to maintain qualifications and certifications. if US forces do not have sufficient access to adequate training areas to remain qualified then those forces could be subject to withdrawal. As Confucius said, “To lead an untrained people to war is to throw them away.”

Key points: “Victor Cha, who served as Korea expert on the national security council during the presidency of George W. Bush and now runs Korean issues at the influential Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, had a ready answer to my questions: “Might Biden go for a peace treaty or end-of-war agreement with North Korea, pulling U.S. troops out of Korea — also as Trump talked about? Is Biden’s decision on Afghanistan setting precedent for U.S. policy with its two Northeast Asia allies, Korea and Japan?”

Cha’s response was unequivocal. “I don’t think so,” he emailed back. “The situations are not really comparable. I’m not worried about withdrawals because of the impact on the credibility of U.S. security commitments to our allies in the region.”

In other words, concerns about South Korean defenses against North Korea are too inextricably bound to China’s burgeoning presence and also to U.S. relations with Japan for the U.S. to consider bugging out. The attitude of the liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the conservative Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga may be quite different, and South Korea and Japan are not going to engage in real “trilateral cooperation” as long as contentious historical disputes remain unresolved, but leaders of both countries have to view U.S. troops as essential to maintaining peace in the region.

 

3. Moon, entering final year, pledges last-ditch efforts to revive NK diplomacy

koreaherald.com · by Lee Ji-yoon · May 10, 2021

The Moon administration will double down on his “peace at any cost” agenda. I too want peace on the Korean peninsula but I fear the Moon policy, if fully implemented with all the concessions desired, will actually increase the chances of conflict and will simply play right into the Kim family regime’s political warfare strategy that is based on subversion, coercion/extortion 9blackmail diplomacy) and the use of force to dominate the peninsula under the rule of the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State.

 

4. Two Organization and Guidance Department officials expelled to rural areas with their families

dailynk.com · by Lee Chae Un · May 10, 2021

The OGD is the most important department or organization in north Korea and the most important to Kim Jong-un himself. It theoretically should consist of the most loyal and thoroughly vetted personnel.

But no organization is immune from corruption and of course the more powerful and influence an organization has, the more likely there will be corruption to exploit that power in a country like north Korea.

 

5. Kaesong party committee tries to send people to mines and rural areas

dailynk.com · by Jong So Yong · May 10, 2021

This will be an experiment to see how much contact with South Koreans has influenced them and if they subvert their fellow citizens in the mines and rural areas.

Excerpt: “Kaesong residents are reportedly critical of the party’s simultaneously coercive and conciliatory approach to the issue. The source quoted one as saying that “It is worrisome and confusing that the authorities are forcing [people in Kaesong] to move according to [the Party’s whims], giving them only the choice between mining and farming.”

 

6. Moon urges North Korea to return to negotiation table

The Korea Times · by Nam Hyun-woo · May 10, 2021

We all want north Korea to return to the negotiating table. But Kim hopes we want it more than him and that we are willing to make concessions to him for his promise to return. It would be a mistake to make any premature concessions because it would only confirm to him that his political warfare strategy and blackmail diplomacy is successful. This will cause him to double down and not come to the table as a responsible member of the international community.

 

7. Moon Marks 4th Year in Office

english.chosun.com

And last year.

 

8. Critics say Moon’s special address far from public sentiment

The Korea Times · by Kang Seung-woo · May 10, 2021

Like many other politicians he appears to be only speaking to his base.

 

9. Defector activist grilled by police over anti-N.K. leafleting

en.yna.co.kr · by 김나영 · May 10, 2021

It will be interesting to see how President Biden handles this issue at the Biden-Moon summit.

 

10. N.K. paper highlights nationwide support for farming amid rice-planting season

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · May 10, 2021

Will “cheerleading” improve rice planting this year?

Excerpts: North Korea is known for chronic food shortages and the scarcity appears to be getting worse due to the fallout of last year’s flooding and the prolonged border controls put in place to ward off the global coronavirus pandemic.

South Korea’s unification ministry handling inter-Korean affairs earlier estimated that the North could be faced with a food shortage of around 1 million tons this year.

 

11. Russia, China are cozying up to North Korea

koreanjoongangdaily · by Jeong Yong-Soo and Sarah Kim

If we had six party talks it might be more likely three against three or even four against two depending on how one of the six parties leans.

 

12. Bringing Korea Back into the Fold

english.chosun.com · May 10, 2021

A good question: Can President Biden bring President Moon back into the fold? Based on President Moon’s recent speech I think not. This is going to be an innocent summit,

Excerpts: “The Biden administration has not been standing idly by, of course. It has been hard at work reconstituting the alliance after the Trump years, starting with the 2+2 meetings in March with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin meeting with their counterparts. On this occasion, Blinken also signed a deal on the upkeep of the U.S. Forces Korea, ending a protracted deadlock over cost-sharing. Shortly thereafter, the national security advisers of Japan and South Korea came to Annapolis to meet with Jake Sullivan and Kurt Campbell to re-establish executive-branch coordination and prepare for a potential summit-level meeting of the three allies. Behind all of these events sits a large volume of calls, messages, and in-person meetings to move the policy process forward. For the start of a new administration in Washington, this is a tremendous amount of activity in a short period and reflects the priority the Biden administration places on re-establishing trilateralism as a core element in Asia.

The purpose of these efforts is to bolster policy positions with regard to North Korea and China. But arguably another important objective of reconciling Japan-South Korea relations is to bring South Korea back into the fold of diplomacy with the major democracies in Asia. There has been a quiet but discernible trend developing over the past few years where South Korea was growing increasingly isolated.

 

13. Biden in the Asia Pacific

The Korea Times · by Deauwand Myers · May 10, 2021

Excerpts: “Now that President Moon Jae-in is near the end of his tenure, his administration still faces the challenges of an ascendant China and an aggressive North Korea.

Being the strongest ally to Korea, the United States’ role in dealing with both countries is paramount, and oddly, we still don’t know how President Joe Biden will deal with North Korea.

Biden has made it pretty clear how he feels about the Chinese government. Biden has already taken executive actions to change and secure supply lines and enhance security for sensitive and advanced technologies originating from the United States.

But President Biden’s foreign policy is not xenophobic, pro-totalitarian, and seeks multilateral consensus, from rejoining the Paris Accords on climate change to strengthening the United Nations and NATO, the polar of opposite of former President Donald Trump. This means his administration will seek cooperation on dealing with North Korea from China, and dealing with China from Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

 

14. Seoul Officials on Long ‘Study’ Jaunts to U.S., U.K

english.chosun.com · May 10, 2021

Interesting critique: “Of those who went to the U.S. and the U.K., most followed a well-beaten path around the backwaters, where they could afford to bring their whole families. Twenty went to Oregon, eight to Texas, six to Missouri, and five to Georgia.

Officials did usually submit some kind of report on return, but they were often thin gruel. The 19 who went to Portland, Oregon mostly reported about transport or climate policies in the city.

“Many went to Oregon because the University of Portland has been designated as a policy training institution under an agreement,” a city official said.

But very few went to population or technology hubs that are more obviously comparable to Seoul like Silicon Valley, or New York and Washington, where major organizations and international agencies are concentrated.”

 

15. How to deal with a nuclear-armed Kim Jong Un

CNN · by  David A. Andelman

Unfortunately Kim will not be a responsible member of the international community or of the nuclear powers. Trying to allow him the opportunity to be a responsible nuclear power will only cause him to continue his political warfare strategy and blackmail diplomacy because we will have proved it works for him.

Excerpts:The essence of any such plan must lie in the United States finding a way to persuade the North to join the global nuclear non-proliferation club. Implicit would be the acceptance that it already has a weapon. In turn the North will need to make its weapons and their security clearly visible and open to inspection.

China has every incentive to go along with such a plan and see that North Korea respects its spirit and letter. Biden must persuade Xi Jinping to embrace this in his dealings with Kim. At the same time Kim, as well as Xi, should understand that if North Korea launches a nuclear weapon at any foreign power, the United States is capable not only of a targeted nuclear attack on the capital of Pyongyang, but of turning the entirety of North Korea into a radioactive glass bowl.

Still, the Biden administration does not seem to have many other, workable alternatives than to find a pathway for Kim to be lured or coerced back into the process — whether by carrots or the stick of real, enforceable sanctions, especially enlisting China into an enforcement that is any more than simply lip-service. One of America’s leading negotiators with the North, Evans J. R. Revere, told me that the US “must squeeze the North Koreans from every possible angle (so that) every morning when Kim Jong Un gets up, he needs to wonder whether (he) will make it through the end of the day.” Revere paused then added, “I am convinced he is a rational actor.”

Biden and his negotiators must find some way to persuade Kim they understand his needs, but that he must understand how incumbent it is for him to come to the table as a responsible member of the community of nations and of nuclear powers. That is the best assurance of North Korea’s long-term survival, and his own.

 

————

 

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

– George Addair

 

“We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty”

― John F. Kennedy

 

William Casey on the OSS: “You didn’t wait six months for a feasibility study to prove that an idea could work. You gambled that it might work. You didn’t tie up the organization with red tape designed …” “ … mostly to cover somebody’s rear end. You took the initiative and the responsibility. You went around end, you went over somebody’s head if you had to. But you acted. That’s what drove the regular military and the State Department chair-warmers crazy about the OSS.”

– OSS veteran and DCIA William Casey

DanielRiggs
Mon, 05/10/2021 – 9:03am

Special Operations News Update – Monday, May 10, 2021

Special Operations News Update – Monday, May 10, 2021

Access SOF News HERE.

Special Operations News Update – Monday, May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021 SOF News Update 0

Curated news, analysis, and commentary about special operations, national security, and conflicts around the world. Topics include Navy SEAL training, jetpacks for SOF, the talkative Eddie Gallagher, SOF small arms, ASD SO/LIC and civilian oversight of SOF, 4th Canadian Ranger Group, smokejumpers and the CIA, ANASF, books, podcasts, videos, and more.

Dave Maxwell
Mon, 05/10/2021 – 8:38am

05/09/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

05/09/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. Restoring Taiwan’s Appropriate Place at the World Health Assembly – United States Department of State

2. Opinion | The U.S. Still Has Leverage In Afghanistan. Here’s How to Keep It

3. Biden’s foreign policy of ‘competitive coexistence’

4. Xi versus Biden: how China is beating the US

5. Will deterrence work, when our foes wage war disguised as peace? by Sean McFate

6. [OPINION] Fighting the virus of lies

7. Beijing’s Woke Propaganda War in America

8. US Navy Says Seizes Huge Weapons Cache In Arabian Sea

9. Ransomware attack leads to shutdown of major U.S. pipeline system

10. New U.S. Indo-Pacific chief to visit Japan in second half of May

11. Washington is playing a losing game with China by Chas Freeman

12. Genuine multilateralism, int’l cooperation championed worldwide

13. The US Needs to Impose Costs on China for Its Economic Warfare

14. Deterrent against China: Palau invites U.S. military to build on remote islands

15. ‘Conspiracy is hard’: Inside the Trump administration’s secret plan to kill Qassem Soleimani

16. Leaked documents reveal China’s sinister virus plan

17. 4 Years After an Execution, a Different Man’s DNA Is Found on the Murder Weapon

18. US State Department: We Will Not Normalize Ties With Assad

19. Afghan Pullout Leaves U.S. Looking for Other Places to Station Its Troops

20. Major China Bill Puts Military in a Crunch

 

1. Restoring Taiwan’s Appropriate Place at the World Health Assembly – United States Department of State

state.gov · by Antony J. Blinken

Looks like we are going to do something with the WHA (and thus the WHO.)

We should remember the history of the WHO. China was a founding member of the WHO. But we know the People’s Republic of China did not come into existence until 1948.

When diplomats met to form the United Nations in 1945, one of the things they discussed was setting up a global health organization.

WHO’s Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948 – a date we now celebrate every year as World Health Day.

 

2. Opinion | The U.S. Still Has Leverage In Afghanistan. Here’s How to Keep It

Politico · by Anne Pforzheimer · May 8, 2021

Conclusion: “Pulling out troops without conditions or remaining “at war” indefinitely are not the only two options; they never were. In our 2009 cable, we pointed out that anti-corruption and long-term development efforts were better investments than more troops. Rather than compound our past errors, the United States must now commit to the goal of stability by preserving our remaining leverage—and using it well.”

 

3.Biden’s foreign policy of ‘competitive coexistence’

ekathimerini.com · by Ian Bremmer · May 8, 2021

Ian Bremmer wins the prize for new foreign policy doctrine name: “competitive coexistence.”

 

4. Xi versus Biden: how China is beating the US

SCMP · by Suzanne Ho

Excerpts:A strong leader who has both a deep understanding of strategy and a desire to meet the needs of the people comes only once in many generations. Meritocracy allowed Xi to climb up the over the course of decades, by honing his capability and generating support.

Despite the Western media image of Xi, he is one leader who has a clear-eyed view of the path forward for China and the support of his people in securing the future.

On the other hand, America’s political duopoly, at least in the last decade, has resulted in greater polarisation, with its citizens paying the price.

 

5. Will deterrence work, when our foes wage war disguised as peace?

The Hill · by Sean McFate · May 8, 2021

Politics is war by other means.

Mao: Politics is war without bloodshed and war is politics with bloodshed.

But Sean has coined a brilliant new phrase: “War is becoming a strategic scam.” Perhaps this will take a rightful place next to Ike”s: “Military Industrial Complex.”

Excerpts: “These “non-war” wars do not bend to the strategic logic of Clausewitz or Thomas Schelling, who prized brute force as the ultimate form of diplomacy (read: “deterrence and war”). Our national security establishment is steeped in these two thinkers. Yet warfare has changed, becoming more Sun Tzu, who valued deception above firepower. You win modern wars not through blitzkrieg, but by manufacturing the fog of war and exploiting it for victory, as our adversaries do. This is strategic deception. Trying to deter it is like trying to win at three-card monte.

War is becoming a strategic scam, and not a contest of brute strength alone. David beats Goliath through trickery, something the U.S. suffered in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet we have not learned. Deterrence is the reasoning of Goliath, but we are surrounded by Davids. To beat them, we must improve our strategic IQ and think beyond a big “shooting war” that may never occur. Rather, we should ask what is “war” today? It’s not our great-grandfather’s war. If war is getting sneakier, we must get sneaky with it. We must learn to scam the scammers — after all, Americans are clever people.

 

6. [OPINION] Fighting the virus of lies

rappler.com

From a great person, Maria Ressa, whom I am proud to know for the past 2 decades. Wise words.

Excerpts:The virus of lies is highly contagious. They infect real people, who become impervious to facts. It changes the way they look at the world. They become angrier, more isolated. They distrust everything.

In this environment, the dictator wins, crumbling our democracies from within.

So here’s the thing: our problems can’t be solved from the Philippines alone. Again, something I’ve said repeatedly: what’s local is global; and what’s global is local.

Inevitably, there is this one moment when power and money chooses – status quo or change: in the Philippines in 1986, it was an elite family’s banner at a protest rally that helped open the floodgates that ousted a dictator. In Indonesia in 1998, months of student protests led nowhere until the business community and the military stepped in, ending nearly 32 years of Suharto.

Those with power and money must choose.

Ask yourselves these questions: Who are you? What do you stand for? What kind of world do you want in the next decade?

 

7. Beijing’s Woke Propaganda War in America

hoover.org · by Miles Maochun Yu

Excerpts: “On July 13, 1990, the Vice-Consul of Culture, Propaganda, and Exchange in the PRC’s San Francisco Consulate General, who defected to the U.S. in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Massacre, told a Berkeley, California audience about how easy it was for the CCP propagandists like himself to capture American intellectual and social elites to function as the CCP’s proxies in the U.S.:

“The tactic Chinese propagandists use is not really very complicated. It is simple. It is always to work on your ego, on your business interests, on your curiosity, and especially with the Chinese students (in the U.S.), on your patriotism.”

The former CCP propagandist further tellingly disclosed that:

“In the early 1970s when Nixon visited China, his visit was followed by a swarm of China experts from Hong Kong and the West. Surprisingly, these people were the easiest targets of all because they were self-important. They thought they knew everything about China.”

Indeed, since Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, the American elite’s ego, business interests, and curiosity about Chinese culture have supplied fertile ground and ample opportunities for the CCP to create a permanent class of the CCP propaganda proxies in the United States.

But elite capture goes further. Former senior government officials, including cabinet-level figures, routinely defend the CCP’s murderous acts, including the Tiananmen Massacre and other egregious human rights violations. Some of these former officials have even become registered agents for the Beijing regime and its CCP-controlled business interests in the U.S. Many of our leading universities and their talented professors often are coopted by the CCP to voice Beijing’s views in the U.S., masqueraded as research and objective surveys.

 

8. US Navy Says Seizes Huge Weapons Cache In Arabian Sea

Barron’s · by AFP – Agence France Presse

I wonder who is responsible for these weapons? Inquiring minds want to know.

Excerpt:The statement did not indicate where the vessel may have come from, but said the US Navy’s regular patrols in the region “disrupt the transport of illicit cargo that often funds terrorism and unlawful activity”.

 

9. Ransomware attack leads to shutdown of major U.S. pipeline system

Washington Post · by Ellen Nakashima, Yeganeh Torbati, and Will Englund

I wonder if these Eastern European criminals have read “Unrestricted Warfare?”

 

10. New U.S. Indo-Pacific chief to visit Japan in second half of May

japantimes.co.jp · May 9, 2021

Excerpts: “China could invade Taiwan “in the next six years,” Davidson told the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Aquilino told senators at a confirmation hearing in the same month, “My opinion is this problem is much closer to us than most think,” but he declined to weigh in on Davidson’s assessment of the six-year timeframe.

The Japanese government is studying possible responses by the SDF in the event of a military conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan within the strict confines of its national security laws and the war-renouncing Constitution.

 

11. Washington is playing a losing game with China by Chas Freeman

eastasiaforum.org · by Chas Freeman · May 9, 2021

Excerpts:The United States should work with China to ease the inevitable transition from dollar hegemony to a multilateral monetary order in ways that preserve American influence; leverage not boycott China’s Belt and Road Initiative to benefit from its opportunities and connectivities; promote cross-Strait negotiations and mutual accommodation rather than China–Taiwan confrontation; and expand consular relations, restore exchanges, and promote Chinese studies to enhance understanding of China.

Doubling down on military competition gives China a reason to up the ante and call the bluff, leading to a mutually impoverishing arms race.

Stoking China’s neighbours’ dependency on the United States rather than helping countries be more self-reliant implicates them in US conflicts of interest with China without addressing their own. They need US diplomatic support more than military backing to work out a stable modus vivendi with China.

US China policy should be part of a new, broader Asia strategy — not the determinant of relations with other Asian nations or the driver of policies in the region. To hold its own with China, the United States must renew its competitive capacity and build a demonstrably better governed, better educated, more egalitarian, more open, more innovative, healthier, and freer society.

 

12. Genuine multilateralism, int’l cooperation championed worldwide

xinhuanet.com

From a Chinese propaganda outlet.

I am always curious about the country with the 2d largest economy in the world can still described and categorized as a developing country.

Excerpts: As the largest developing country in the world, China has increased its contributions to achieving the highest reduction in CO2 emissions in the world and will achieve carbon neutrality from carbon peaking in the shortest time in the world’s history, said Ayadi.

China has already pledged to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, which is a much shorter time span than those proposed by many developed countries.

“This demonstrates China’s commitment to making more contributions to tackling global climate change and building up its image as a responsible major country,” she said.

 

13. The US Needs to Impose Costs on China for Its Economic Warfare

defenseone.com · by Jared Thompson and Anne Fixler

Yes. 

The US Needs to Impose Costs on China for Its Economic Warfare

 

14. Deterrent against China: Palau invites U.S. military to build on remote islands

washingtontimes.com 

Excerpts: “China is disadvantaged by America’s 70-year head start in the Pacific since the end of World War II and by Palau’s staunch support for the U.S., Taiwan and democratic Western allies,” a Bangkok-based geopolitical analyst with experience in the Pacific region said in an interview. “On the other hand, the U.S. spent the last two decades forfeiting much of the ‘First Island Chain’ to China.”

That “first chain” in the Pacific includes Taiwan, Okinawa, the Philippines and other islands closest to China on the front line of the struggle for influence in the highly trafficked and highly contested South China and East China Seas, where Beijing and Washington compete to dominate with their strategy and policies.

Palau is in the “Second Island Chain,” closer to Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. It links southern Japan, Guam and islands farther south across the Western Pacific Ocean. Although Palau’s primary interest is its economic survival, analysts say, the stakes are far greater and far 

 

15.  ‘Conspiracy is hard’: Inside the Trump administration’s secret plan to kill Qassem Soleimani

news.yahoo.com · by Jack Murphy and Zach Dorfman · May 8, 2021

I continue to be amazed by the amount of information that is allowed to see the light of day (or ink on pages). But I guess I should not be so naive to think that we could keep some secrets.

 

16. Leaked documents reveal China’s sinister virus plan

news.com.au · by Ria Matthews · May 8, 2021

Of course every biological research laboratory has and probably continues to have such discussions, mostly probably to talk about defense against the threats. But the question is do these discussions and “thinking” actually lead to weapons development. I am in no way excusing or defending Chinese actions or trying to establish a moral relativity relationship. But discussions are one thing, operationalization is another. I tend to be very suspicious of CHina and its capabilities and intentions but we need to continue to investigate.

“I think this is significant because it clearly shows that Chinese scientists were thinking about military application for different strains of the coronavirus and thinking about how it could be deployed,” said Mr Jennings.

 

17. 4 Years After an Execution, a Different Man’s DNA Is Found on the Murder Weapon

The New York Times · by Heather Murphy · May 7, 2021

This is one of the many reasons why I am opposed to the death penalty.  Despite modern science and technology we still make mistakes.

 

18. US State Department: We Will Not Normalize Ties With Assad

english.aawsat.com · by Washington- Muath al-Amri

 

19. Afghan Pullout Leaves U.S. Looking for Other Places to Station Its Troops

WSJ · by Vivian Salama and Gordon Lubold

It seems a little late. You would think we should have this sorted out and have put agreements in place before we withdraw our troops.

 

20. Major China Bill Puts Military in a Crunch

freebeacon.com · by Jack Beyrer · May 8, 2021

Excerpts: China has increased its military forces in recent months. Beijing commissioned three advanced warships in April, with several more under construction. On Wednesday, multiple reports indicated China is planning to build an airstrip in Kiribati, one of the closest island chains to Hawaii, as well as several other U.S. and allied military installations.

The bill also signals a potential emphasis for the administration: restraining nuclear weapons. Calling for an arms control discussion with China, the bill states the United States and China are not in an arms race even as Beijing stocks up on advanced weaponry. Rep. Don Bacon (R., Neb.) praised much of the bill but said the United States cannot afford to cut defense, especially in the nuclear realm.

“As long as China remains a threat to the U.S. and our allies, we cannot afford to make any cuts to defense, especially to our nuclear triad,” Bacon said. “Within our overarching strategic deterrence framework, both extended nuclear and conventional deterrence must be brought to bear if we are to present a credible challenge to the PRC’s hegemonic ambitions.”

The bill, which has been praised by the White House, will likely receive a vote from the Senate in May.

————

 

“Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.” 

– Ancient Indian Proverb

 

“Virtue always lasts longer than other qualities, and it always starts from the beginning.”

– Immanuel Kant

 

“Let us therefore set out whole-heatedly, leaving aside our many distractions and exert ourselves in the single purpose, before we realize too late the swift and unstoppable flight of time and we are left behind. As each day arises, welcome it as the very best day of  all, and make it your own possession. We must seize what fees.”

– Seneca

DanielRiggs
Sun, 05/09/2021 – 12:52pm

05/09/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

05/09/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. He Balloon-Dropped 500,000 Anti-Kim Flyers on North Korea—Then Cops Knocked on His Door

2. Southern county got a U.S. missile shield — and little else

3. How North Korean APT Kimsuky Is Evolving Its Tactics

4. South Korean opposition politician meets with U.S. North Korea rights activist

5. Virus fight, North Korea policy to challenge Moon’s final year in office

6. South Korea is betting it can stay out of the US and China’s intensifying rivalry

7. Israel, South Korea to sign free trade agreement

8. Resolving US-North Korea tension requires a formal end to Korean War

9. Reports: Kim Jong-Un executes a conductor in front of orchestra

10. What I have learned about suffering after escaping North Korea

11. New N. Korea policy does not affect U.S. defense posture in S. Korea: Pentagon

12. Is North Korea’s ‘Monster Missile’ Designed to Release Multiple Nukes?

 

1. He Balloon-Dropped 500,000 Anti-Kim Flyers on North Korea—Then Cops Knocked on His Door

The Daily Beast · by Donald Kirk · May 8, 2021

Will this be an issue at the Moon-Biden summit?

Biden and his team have not commented on whether the topic of the anti-leaflet law will come up at the summit, but Park hoped Biden would ask about the legality of the legislation that he said represses free speech as guaranteed in the South’s constitution.

“I want President Biden to ask all those questions,” he said. “Why does Moon violate the Korean constitution, freedom of speech, freedom of information. That’s what President Biden should confront President Moon with.”

Park spoke out in terms that clearly identify with Korean right-wing forces, gathering strength while Moon’s own popularity sinks in response to corruption scandals and economic issues.

“Moon is working for Kim Jong Un,” he said, echoing widespread comments by Moon’s conservative critics.

 

2. Southern county got a U.S. missile shield — and little else

koreanjoongangdaily · by Kim Jung-Seok and Sarah Kim

Now this is really rich. Why do they think they should get these projects as the professional agitators continue to radicalize the local citizens to protest and interrupt logistical support operations for the THAAD battery?

Perhaps the government should tell the local population that there can be no contributions until the THAAD battery can function without hindrance from local protests.

 

3. How North Korean APT Kimsuky Is Evolving Its Tactics

darkreading.com · by Kelly Sheridan

CloudDragon and KimDragon.

 

4. South Korean opposition politician meets with U.S. North Korea rights activist

UPI · by Elizabeth Shim · May 7, 2021

I wonder if the anti-leaflet law will be an election issue. But I hope not because it needs to be rescinded long before the 2022 president elections.

Excerpts: “The former prime minister also said Scholte inquired about President Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer.

Scholte reportedly said Moon should cultivate the “right awareness” about the plight of North Koreans living under oppression, according to Hwang.

Last year, Scholte delivered a letter to the South Korean Embassy in Washington, addressed to Moon, after Seoul warned it could revoke operation permits for North Korean activists in the South engaged in leafleting.

Scholte said defectors were being harassed and investigated without sufficient cause.

Hwang’s visit comes ahead of a presidential election in the South next year and after his colleagues in the conservative People Power Party won mayoral elections in landslide victories.

Hwang, who has not confirmed a presidential run, left Korea Wednesday for the United States, Korea Economic Daily reported.

 

5. Virus fight, North Korea policy to challenge Moon’s final year in office

The Korea Times · May 9, 2021

As he tries to cement his legacy. I am afraid his legacy will not be the one he desires.

I am not sure if the Biden policy review is in synch with the South Korean government (maybe it is with the professionals in the South Korean government but it is not in synch with the politicos in the Moon administration.)

Excerpts: “Some of the expected topics for the speech and the following question and answer session include achieving herd immunity against COVID-19 by November as the government promised; boosting the virus-hit economy through its Korea New Deal project for job creation; stabilizing the real estate market through an administration-led boost in the housing supply; and how to capitalize on the upcoming South Korea-U.S. summit slated for May 21 to restart the President’s Korean Peninsula peace process.

As to Moon’s peace process, experts said there is little room for South Korean diplomacy, as the policies of North Korea and the United States will matter more.

Hong Min, a senior researcher at the state-run Korea Institute for National Unification, said it does appear that the policy review on the North by President Joe Biden’s administration is in sync with the South Korean government. He noted that Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong said Seoul welcomed Washington’s review, in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, May 3, during the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers Meeting in London.

 

But Hong said what is more important than the South Korean government’s position is how the North responds to the review. He said prospects for North Korea-U.S. talks look dim as both Pyongyang and Washington have said they would respond in accordance with each other’s moves, with neither making any preemptive concessions.

“Looking at a few words from Washington on its North Korea policy, there are no terms, words, or content that Pyongyang would be satisfied with. Washington has only said that it would take gradual and diplomatic steps, which is far from what Pyongyang has requested, namely the withdrawal of what it claims to be hostile policies against the reclusive regime,” Hong said.

“Pyongyang has already revealed its principle of strong-against-strong and benevolence-for-benevolence. When both Pyongyang and Washington keep the position that they will wait for each other’s preemptive concession, then there is the possibility for tensions to keep increasing with both opting for stronger words and actions against each other.”

Hong said the government’s task would be mediating between the U.S. and North Korea, while leading the U.S. to take preemptive reconciliation measures.

 

6. South Korea is betting it can stay out of the US and China’s intensifying rivalry

Business Insider  · by Karl Friedhoff

Ah… a shrimp among whales (and a slightly different version used below).

But I disagree with the first line of the excerpt here but this is an interesting discussion of South Korean naval capabilities and ambitions.

Ultimately, there may not be a pressing need for South Korea to closely align with either great power, as it is not standing idly by in terms of its own defense. Under the supposedly dovish Moon administration, the country saw its two biggest year-on-year defense spending increases in its history, with an 8.2% increase in 2019 and 7.4% in 2020.

Its arms race with North Korea may attract the most attention, but it is also pursuing a blue-water navy — and that has little to do with North Korea. It has floated the idea of acquiring nuclear-powered submarines. And it is ready to develop a light aircraft carrier that could eventually carry up to 20 F-35B fighter jets.

Roh Moo-hyun, the last progressive president before Moon Jae-in, presided over construction of a deep-water naval port on Jeju island, South Korea’s southernmost point. The advance of the South Korean navy is in part a natural outgrowth of South Korea’s growing security interests around the world. But Seoul also has one eye on China and its territorial ambitions.

South Korea is in an unenviable position, and it will face growing scrutiny as it seeks to balance its economic and security interests. But the growth of its own national power has opened up previously closed spaces as it seeks to swim — not idly float — among the whales. Its ability to strike that balance will depend on not getting its tail caught.

 

7. Israel, South Korea to sign free trade agreement

Jerusalem Post

Two of our most important allies.

 

8. Resolving US-North Korea tension requires a formal end to Korean War

The Hill · by Colleen Moore · May 8, 2021

Kim Jong-un will only agree to an end of war declaration if it leads to the end of the alliance and withdrawal of US troops so that it can execute its critical line of effort in its long term strategy to dominate the peninsula – his divide to conquer strategy – divide the alliance to conquer the ROK.

He really does not care about ending the war unless he can exploit it for his political warfare strategy. 

The author is from Women Across DMZ which has proved to be a strong mouthpiece for north Korean regime issues and for placing all blame on the US rather than acknowledging the root of all problems in Korea is the existence of the most evil mafia- like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime that has the objective of dominating the Korean Peninsula under the rule of the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State.

I fear the influence of this organization on some members of congress. Such influence and co-opting of some very progressive members of congress risks breaking the bipartisan support for Korea issues that has long existed. 

 

9. Reports: Kim Jong-Un executes a conductor in front of orchestra

slippedisc.com · by John Borstlap · May 9, 2021

This is based on a report from north Korea escapee and YouTube millionaire Yeonmi Park. It does link to a Donga Ilbo report in Korean. While I would not be surprised if KJU  did this, it could also be a rumor followed by circular reporting.

 

10. What I have learned about suffering after escaping North Korea

The Korea Times · by Eom Yeong-nam · May 9, 2021

And most all us take our freedom for granted.

Excerpts: What freedom means to me is suffering, but freedom also presents the opportunity to overcome suffering.

People can try to reduce the education gap between North and South Korea by learning English or studying in graduate school. It is still possible to achieve when there is freedom.

That suffering happened to me because I’m from North Korea.

However, I have overcome those challenges and I am enjoying freedom because I have a special strength that I gained when I was in North Korea.

 

11. New N. Korea policy does not affect U.S. defense posture in S. Korea: Pentagon

kdva.vet · by Byun Duk-kun · May 4, 2021

I missed this report last week. Some of my Korean friends worry about the Pentagon’s force posture review and about US troop withdrawals from other areas (e.g., Afghanistan) and how it might affect force posture in Korea. But to my Korean friends I would not worry about the review or other withdrawals from other countries. What could drive changes to US force posture in Korea could be the logistic support for THAAD and the ability for US forces to conduct training, particularly live fire training, to maintain qualifications and certifications. if US forces do not have sufficient access to adequate training areas to remain qualified then those forces could be subject to withdrawal. As Confucius said, “To lead an untrained people to war is to throw them away.”

 

12. Is North Korea’s ‘Monster Missile’ Designed to Release Multiple Nukes?

The National Interest · by Sebastien Roblin · May 8, 2021

I think the simplest answer is the regime wants to develop this capability to enhance both deterrence and its blackmail diplomacy – the use of increased tension, threats, and provocations to gain political and economic concessions.

However, there may be another reason for showing us this capability. The Hwasong 15 may be sufficient or deterrence. But showing us a possible new missile system increases the level of threat and tension. But what if this is only a mockup of a capability to generate fear on our part and make us negotiate to halt or roll back what we perceive as the regime’s most advanced capabilities? What if the north simply wants to use this for negotiation and is actually setting the conditions to negotiate away this this capability in return for substantive concessions from the US. The regime neds of giving up a capability it does not really posses. The regime has long been masterful at getting something for nothing. All warfare is based on deception. 

 

————–

 

“Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.” 

– Ancient Indian Proverb

 

“Virtue always lasts longer than other qualities, and it always starts from the beginning.”

– Immanuel Kant

 

“Let us therefore set out whole-heatedly, leaving aside our many distractions and exert ourselves in the single purpose, before we realize too late the swift and unstoppable flight of time and we are left behind. As each day arises, welcome it as the very best day of all, and make it your own possession. We must seize what fees.”

– Seneca

DanielRiggs
Sun, 05/09/2021 – 12:52pm

Irregular Warfare Podcast: The Harsh Lessons of Anbar: Insurgency, the Awakening, and the Rise of ISIS

Irregular Warfare Podcast: The Harsh Lessons of Anbar: Insurgency, the Awakening, and the Rise of ISIS

An interview with General (Retired) Robert Neller, the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps and the deputy commanding general I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in Anbar Province in 2005–2007, and Dr. Carter Malkasian, former advisor to US military leadership in Iraq, State Department political officer in Afghanistan, and senior advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford

https://mwi.usma.edu/the-harsh-lessons-of-anbar-insurgency-the-awakening-and-the-rise-of-isis/

Riley.C.Murray
Sat, 05/08/2021 – 9:37am

05/07/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

05/07/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. DOD Directive 5111.10 Assistant Secretary Of Defense For Special Operations And Low-Intensity Conflict Charter

2. Time for Cognitive Warfare Against China?

3. Strategic Predictability: Landpower in the Indo-Pacific

4. FDD | How China Responded to President Biden’s Address to Congress

5. Don’t Let China Hijack the UN Security Council

6. Russian Spy Team Left Traces That Bolstered C.I.A.’s Bounty Judgment

7. Why a Filipino Official Just Flipped Out at Chinese Aggression

8. Top general: US considering training Afghan forces in other countries

9. DoD Investigating Former Army Officer Who Used Arlington Cemetery Footage in Campaign Ad

10. Diving Off the Platform-Centric Mind-set

11. Have the DoD’s special hiring practices hurt more than helped?

12. FDD | Time for Biden to Oppose Gulf Monarchies’ Outreach to Assad

13. Shadow Warriors Pursuing Next-Gen Surveillance Tech

14. Pentagon Struggles to Wean Afghan Military Off American Air Support

15. China’s State-Backed Messengers See Opportunity in India’s Coronavirus Woes

16. How China turned a prize-winning iPhone hack against the Uyghurs

17. The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?

18. Were those Navy SEALs spotted just off Capistrano Beach near Dana Point Harbor?

19. Nation challenges west’s human rights claims on Xinjiang

20. Can Biden imbue foreign policy realism with moral values?

 

1. DOD Directive 5111.10 Assistant Secretary Of Defense For Special Operations And Low-Intensity Conflict Charter

The 28 page document can be downloaded at this link.

A lot to parse here. My sense is ASD SO/LIC has a lot of responsibilities that go well beyond the SOF ADCON chain of command responsibilities and civilian oversight of SOF. A question is whether the ASD SO/LIC is sufficiently resource with personnel to execute all these responsibilities.

I am heartened to see this responsibility under the IW section:

 

(b) Lead DoD efforts to establish and sustain processes and authorities to assess and

analyze the viability of unconventional warfare as a strategic policy option, and incorporate

relevant concepts into strategic planning documents.

 

​On the other hand direct action stands alone:

 

f. Direct Action.

Coordinates with the USD(P) to oversee planning and resourcing of capabilities for SO

forces to conduct direct action, and monitors SO actions during planning and execution.

 

​The entire Irregular Warfare section is worth highlighting (but I am at a loss to understand why Direct Action stands alone as an apparent co-equal to IW. I am happy to read the references to FID and UW as strategic policy options. This is the verbiage in my syllabus for my course on UW and SOF for Policy makers and Strategists: “We need Strategists and Policy M​akers who have a deep (or at least sufficient) understanding of and value the strategic options offered by ​UW and Counter-UW​.”​

 

h. IW.

(1) In their role as a PSA to the Secretary of Defense, assists the USD(P) to:

 

(a) Develop and oversee policies for IW as it pertains to DoD IW-related activities

either independently or in support of other U.S. Government departments and agencies, foreign

security partners, or other select organizations, in accordance with DoDD 3000.07.

 

(b) Lead DoD efforts to establish and sustain processes and authorities to assess and

analyze the viability of unconventional warfare as a strategic policy option, and incorporate

relevant concepts into strategic planning documents.

 

(c) Develop policy in coordination with other U.S. Government departments and

agencies, and provide advice to senior DoD officials regarding the use of U.S. Government

resources in stabilization, in accordance with DoDD 3000.05.

 

(d) Develop policy and provide advice and guidance to senior DoD officials

regarding the use of U.S. Government resources to conduct foreign internal defense as a strategic

policy option, and incorporate relevant concepts into strategic planning documents to defend

against and impose costs on malign internal security threats.

 

(e) Develop, coordinate, and oversee implementation of counterterrorism policy

consistent with national strategies and DoD policy and objectives.

 

(2) In their role as a PSA to the Secretary of Defense, assists the USD(P) and, in

coordination with the USD(I&S):

 

(a) Develops policy and provides advice to senior DoD officials regarding the use of

U.S. Government resources in counterinsurgency.

 

(b) Develops policy in coordination with other U.S. Government departments and

agencies, and provides advice to senior DoD officials regarding the use of U.S. Government

resources in counterterrorism consistent with national strategies, DoD policy, and objectives.

 

(3) In coordination with the CJCS, the Secretaries of the Military Departments, the OSD

PSAs (as applicable), and the CCDRs, determines the optimal organizational structure and

decision processes for the DoD to ensure the uninterrupted oversight, management, direction,

and accountability over the development and maintenance of required forces and capabilities to

conduct or support IW missions.

 

The other important aspect of this paragraph is the recognition that IW (and FID, UW, Stabilization, CT, and COIN are inherently interagency and require resources well beyond DOD.. My question is in what documents among other government agencies does it state that such agencies have a responsibility for contributing to IW strategy and execution. I wish the drafters had included this description of the “concept of irregular warfare operations” (from the 2018 NDAA): ” Irregular warfare is conducted “in support of predetermined United States policy and military objectives conducted by, with, and through regular forces, irregular forces, groups, and individuals participating in competition between state and non-state actors short of traditional armed conflict.”​ Inclusion of this would have furthered the understanding of the whole of government nature of IW. But unless this is recognized and prioritized by other agencies of the US government this concept will be stuck in ASD SO/LIC.​

I have highlighted just a few points. As I said there is a lot to parse (e.g., note the guidance and authorities for legislative affairs)

 

2. Time for Cognitive Warfare Against China?

19fortyfive.com · by James Holmes · May 6, 2021

Or PSYOP.

Have the USS Mustin’s actions created desired effects in China? If so, then let’s do more.

Excerpts: “Or as the Bard might put it, the American crew showed slight regard for China’s navy.

Apparently, Washington didn’t get the memo that cognitive warfare is something China does. Beijing makes a practice of using naval and military implements to overawe outmatched neighbors such as the Philippines and Vietnam. It wages what Chinese officialdom calls “three warfares” against opponents on a 24/7/365 basis, executing legal, media, and yes, psychological operations to shape opinion in the Chinese Communist Party’s favor. The narrative: China is big, bad, and unbeatable.

A ship on a routine errand accompanied by a simple photograph helps give the lie to China’s narrative—and deface the image of itself Beijing has so artfully painted in recent years. Trolling is an underappreciated part of great-power strategic competition at sea. The U.S. Navy needs to do it more. Seize the initiative.

Well played.

 

3. Strategic Predictability: Landpower in the Indo-Pacific

warontherocks.com · by Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn · May 6, 2021

Perhaps this forms the foundation of the new USARPAC Commander’s strategic guidance to the force.

Conclusion:As the president has noted, the United States will “take on directly the challenges posed [to] our prosperity, security, and democratic values by our most serious competitor, China.” The Department of Defense needs to marshal all elements of American military power — air, cyber, land, sea, and space — in response. Given the stakes involved and Beijing’s continued ability to translate economic growth into military might, the United States cannot afford to discount landpower in its regional strategy.

The United States could just buy more technological platforms and say that this is our competitive advantage. But, if America did that, a quick look at military history would prove it wrong. From Great Britain in the American Revolution to France in World War II to America’s own experience in Vietnam, what a country fights with is nowhere near as important as how it fights. The United States can and should develop new platforms with better technology and enhanced intelligence capabilities, but it should also be clear-eyed about where and how it intends to employ those platforms to create enduring effects. U.S. air-, cyber-, sea-, and spacepower are essential to securing American interests in the Indo-Pacific, but we are unaware of any historical example where a war ended at sea or in the air — or in space or cyberspace space for that matter. Does the United States compete in those domains? Absolutely. However, war is won, and peace is preserved, on land. Army landpower needs to be in position to help decide the outcome.

 

4. FDD | How China Responded to President Biden’s Address to Congress

fdd.org · by Thomas Joscelyn · May 6, 2021

Excerpts:The omission of any reference to Taiwan is even more noteworthy when one considers what President Biden said he told Xi. “I told him what I’ve said to many world leaders: that America will not back away from our commitments—our commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms and to our alliances,” Biden claimed. The president continued:

And I pointed out to him: No responsible American president could remain silent when basic human rights are being so blatantly violated. An American president has to represent the essence of what our country stands for. America is an idea—the most unique idea in history: We are created, all of us, equal. It’s who we are, and we cannot walk away from that principle and, in fact, say we’re dealing with the American idea.

That idea is being challenged at home by actors across the political spectrum. And the CCP is all too happy to challenge it abroad.

 

5. Don’t Let China Hijack the UN Security Council

The National Interest · by Morgan Lorraine Vina · May 7, 2021

My assessment of China: China seeks to export its authoritarian political system around the world in order to dominate regions, co-opt or coerce international organizations, create economic conditions favorable to China alone, and displace democratic institutions.

Excerpts: “The Biden administration should not take lightly China’s use of the Security Council as a propaganda platform. As China takes the gavel, the United States should denounce any attempt by Beijing to use the body as a platform to manipulate the agenda to shield dictators and undermine democracy. The United States should also look to its other P-5 members, specifically the United Kingdom and France, as well as like-minded, elected Council members, such as Norway and Estonia, to call out China’s grandstanding.

The security council is a soft target for Beijing. As a deliberative body, it can be easily hijacked by its members and used as a political platform. The United States and other P-5 members should protect the integrity of the council and expose China’s deceptions.

 

6. Russian Spy Team Left Traces That Bolstered C.I.A.’s Bounty Judgment

The New York Times · by Michael Schwirtz · May 7, 2021

Excerpts: “Michael J. Morell, a former acting director of the C.I.A., said another factor had fostered confusion. When analysts assess something with low confidence, he said, that does not mean they think the conclusion is wrong. Rather, they are expressing greater concerns about the sourcing limitations, while still judging that the assessment is the best explanation of the available facts.

“A judgment at any confidence level is a judgment that the analysts believe to be true,” he said. “Even when you have a judgment that is low confidence, the analysts believe that judgment is correct. So in this case, the analysts believe that the Russians were offering bounties.”

 

7. Why a Filipino Official Just Flipped Out at Chinese Aggression

The National Interest · by Tory Rich · May 7, 2021

It was a helluva tweet. But it turns out his error was in usurping Duterte’s prerogative for the use of profanity.

 

8. Top general: US considering training Afghan forces in other countries

The Hill · by Rebecca Kheel · May 6, 2021

Excerpts: “The Afghan Air Force is also heavily reliant on U.S. contractors for maintenance. All U.S. contractors also are slated to leave the country in conjunction with the troop withdrawal, but Milley said talks are ongoing about whether any can be transferred to the control of the Afghan military to stay.

“That’s one of the key questions and I will tell you that the final crossing of Ts and dotting the Is of that plan is not yet settled,” Milley said. “But maintaining logistic support to the Afghan Air Force is a key task that we have to sort out doing it over the horizon, but also in country. It could be done by contractors.

“A lot of that’s going to be dependent on the security conditions on the ground,” he continued. “But the intent is to keep the Afghan Air Force in the air and to provide them with continued maintenance support.”

 

9. DoD Investigating Former Army Officer Who Used Arlington Cemetery Footage in Campaign Ad

military.com · by Steve Beynon · May 6, 2021

What is it with these former officers and military personnel? Do they not recall the briefings they received?

But this NCO undermines the legitimacy of the former officer and gives his opponent a simple message to discredit him:

Another NCO who served with Earls said he is confused why the ad leans so heavily on his military service, or why it is relevant to his district, given he has never deployed overseas and got out of the service relatively quickly. Evidence is mixed on any advantages former service members might have in election.

 

10. Diving Off the Platform-Centric Mind-set

usni.org · May 1, 2021

Algorithmic warfare. Did Al Gore invent that too? (My apologies, my daughter will counsel me for an attempted “dad joke.”)

Conclusion: Carl von Clausewitz characterized war as a Zweikampf, or two-sided duel, between hostile, sentient wills facing off amid disorder, uncertainty, and nonlinearity.28 The most recent 30-year shipbuilding plan maps vessel procurement out to 2051, but by that point, varying forms of machine-based sentience will drive the blinding pace of combat, and the force with the most hardened, resilient, cooperative, and adaptable algorithms will possess the decisive advantage. The total number and types of ships in the Navy’s fleet will matter much less than whether those ships can rapidly update their software and supporting data. It is time for the Navy to look up from counting ships and instead focus on driving down the days, hours, and even minutes required to send its latest software to sailors at the tactical edge.

 

11. Have the DoD’s special hiring practices hurt more than helped?

federaltimes.com · by Jessie Bur · May 6, 2021

Excerpts: “Sometimes this results in each military department creating separate developmental paths and certification requirements for similar sets of skills, a practice that creates significant barriers for promotion for internal candidates or lateral entry for external candidates. Moreover, management practices and culture more often than not erect barriers to hiring more than the lack of authorities. A prime example is the department’s reported failure by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence to recognize experience as a substitute for educational credentials when determining appropriate compensation for persons with cyber skills.”

This isn’t the first time that “flexibility” has been labeled the enemy of improved hiring, with HR professionals from several agencies testifying in a 2019 hearing that the myriad special authorities with different titles for certain job types have made the job of hiring managers that much more cumbersome. And that burden gets translated into longer hiring times.

AFGE called on the DoD to cut back on hiring caps, siloing of positions, extended probationary periods and unnecessary degree requirements, while expanding on existing incentive programs like the three-year Cyber Scholarship program to attract and keep talent.

 

12. FDD | Time for Biden to Oppose Gulf Monarchies’ Outreach to Assad

fdd.org · by David Adesnik · May 6, 2021

Excerpts: “Furthermore, there will be a need for constant vigilance. David Schenker, the State Department’s top official for Middle Eastern affairs under President Donald Trump, has urged the new administration to fill the open position of special envoy for Syria with an individual of sufficient stature to maintain and deepen the allied front against Assad.

Finally, if Riyadh wants to repair the extensive damage that human rights violations have done to its reputation on the Hill, it should not embrace the bloodiest regime in the region.

 

13. Shadow Warriors Pursuing Next-Gen Surveillance Tech

nationaldefensemagazine.org · by Jon Harper · May 7, 2021

Excerpts: “Desired program “deliverables” include: image matching at long range (100 to 1,000 meters); matching at severe pitch views (20 to 50 degrees); atmospheric turbulence mitigation; multi-image templates from video; body and face localization in moving video; cross-view whole body matching both indoors and outdoors; robustness against incomplete or occluded views; and multi-modal fusion, according to Ericson’s slides.

Solutions must be agnostic to sensor platforms and optics; adapt to edge processing and real-time streaming; accurate across diverse demographics and body shapes; invariant to pose, illumination, expression and clothing changes; and adapt or transfer solutions to be used in different platform-specific environments.

“The [technology] evaluation is going to be conducted on the aggregated evaluation sets that have images of subjects across a wide range of sensors and platforms,” Ericson said. “That’s how we’re going to fundamentally evaluate the statistical performance of these algorithms.

And so they need to be agnostic or at least robust to the kinds of sensor platforms and optics” that will be used during testing.

The four-year program is expected to kick off in the third or fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021. IARPA hopes to transfer the technology to other government agencies after the project is completed. Its customers include the CIA and other intelligence agencies, the U.S. military and the Department of Homeland Security.

Historically, about 70 percent of IARPA’s completed research successfully transitions to government partners, according to the agency.

 

14. Pentagon Struggles to Wean Afghan Military Off American Air Support

The New York Times · by Eric Schmitt · May 6, 2021

Excerpts: “Rules of engagement of American air power are extremely restrictive, according to a U.S. official, meaning that in some cases approval to strike could take longer than some jets can stay airborne. Many targets need to be preplanned and watched for hours, if not days, by drones and other surveillance aircraft, meaning immediate support for Afghan forces under siege is increasingly difficult.

U.S. officials have noted the gains made by the Afghan air force in recent years. Their fleet of small helicopters and armed propeller planes — that look more at home in a World War II movie — have become increasingly capable, though civilian casualties caused by their attacks have spiked.

But with about 17,000 military contractors also leaving with U.S. and NATO troops, the Afghan government is panicking on how to continue to maintain their aircraft. Almost the entire air force, minus some aging Soviet-era helicopters, is nearly completely dependent on contractor support for maintenance. The contractors even control the supply of fuel, one Afghan pilot said, because it has been siphoned and sold off by Afghan troops in the past.

Addressing the contractor issue, General Milley said that much would be determined by the security conditions on the ground. “The intent,” he said, “is to provide them with continued support.”

 

15. China’s State-Backed Messengers See Opportunity in India’s Coronavirus Woes

securingdemocracy.gmfus.org · by Bryce Barros · May 4, 2021

Excerpts:When Chinese and Indian soldiers clashed at the border between both countries in June 2020, Chinese diplomats and state-backed media reacted belligerently. The Indian government has since moved to severely curtail the operation of Chinese tech giants in India and has deepened its engagement with other democracies. As India fights to get its most recent coronavirus outbreak in check, Chinese government officials and state-backed media have deployed a more conciliatory tone. However, the expressions of friendship relayed by Chinese government officials and state-backed media barely conceal Beijing’s ambition to pull India away from a group of countries that threatens to effectively challenge the Chinese Communist Party’s hegemonic ambition in Asia.

But, as Dr. Garima Mohan, a fellow in GMF’s Asia program, told us, the propaganda push has not shifted the geopolitical soil. Though China’s offers of assistance and conciliatory tone were welcomed in India, she noted that “media outlets in India started reporting about China blocking flights and shipments to India.” In addition, “the perception in the strategic community that China used the COVID crisis last year to escalate military tensions on the border with India will cloud all offers of help from China.” China’s offers of assistance and messaging have not changed the structural tensions in Sino-Indian relations. These tensions were exacerbated by the “breadth and scope” of U.S. assistance and “messages of solidarity across the Biden administration,” which, Mohan said ultimately checked China’s narrative.

As India deepens its relationships and partnerships with regional and extra-regional democratic countries like Japan, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, China will continue to search for narratives and messages that weaken those bonds and ties. The coronavirus pandemic continues to provide instances where China can use carrots like assistance with case numbers to sticks like saber-rattling on the Sino-Indian border. In turn, this provides ample opportunities for Chinese government officials and state-backed media to opportunistically try their messaging on the world’s largest democracy: India.

 

16. How China turned a prize-winning iPhone hack against the Uyghurs

Technology Review · by Patrick Howell O’Neill

Excerpts: “Tianfu’s links to Uyghur surveillance and genocide show that getting early access to bugs can be a powerful weapon. In fact, the “reckless” hacking spree that Chinese groups launched against Microsoft Exchange in early 2021 bears some striking similarities.

In that case, a Taiwanese researcher uncovered the security flaws and passed them to Microsoft, which then privately shared them with security partners. But before a fix could be released, Chinese hacking groups started exploiting the flaw all around the world. Microsoft, which was forced to rush out a fix two weeks earlier than planned, is investigating the potential that the bug was leaked.

These bugs are incredibly valuable, not just in financial terms, but in their capacity to create an open window for espionage and oppression.

Google researcher Ian Beer said as much in the original report detailing the exploit chain. “I shan’t get into a discussion of whether these exploits cost $1 million, $2 million, or $20 million,” he wrote. “I will instead suggest that all of those price tags seem low for the capability to target and monitor the private activities of entire populations in real time.”

 

17. The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?

thebulletin.org · by Matt Field · May 5, 2021

Well beyond my level of knowledge on this but I did learn something. A long read.

Excerpts: “In what follows I will sort through the available scientific facts, which hold many clues as to what happened, and provide readers with the evidence to make their own judgments. I will then try to assess the complex issue of blame, which starts with, but extends far beyond, the government of China.

By the end of this article, you may have learned a lot about the molecular biology of viruses. I will try to keep this process as painless as possible. But the science cannot be avoided because for now, and probably for a long time hence, it offers the only sure thread through the maze.

​…

The virologists’ omertà is one reason. Science reporters, unlike political reporters, have little innate skepticism of their sources’ motives; most see their role largely as purveying the wisdom of scientists to the unwashed masses. So when their sources won’t help, these journalists are at a loss.

Another reason, perhaps, is the migration of much of the media toward the left of the political spectrum. Because President Trump said the virus had escaped from a Wuhan lab, editors gave the idea little credence. They joined the virologists in regarding lab escape as a dismissible conspiracy theory. During the Trump administration, they had no trouble in rejecting the position of the intelligence services that lab escape could not be ruled out. But when Avril Haines, President Biden’s director of national intelligence, said the same thing, she too was largely ignored. This is not to argue that editors should have endorsed the lab escape scenario, merely that they should have explored the possibility fully and fairly.

People round the world who have been pretty much confined to their homes for the last year might like a better answer than their media are giving them. Perhaps one will emerge in time. After all, the more months pass without the natural emergence theory gaining a shred of supporting evidence, the less plausible it may seem. Perhaps the international community of virologists will come to be seen as a false and self-interested guide. The common sense perception that a pandemic breaking out in Wuhan might have something to do with a Wuhan lab cooking up novel viruses of maximal danger in unsafe conditions could eventually displace the ideological insistence that whatever Trump said can’t be true.​

 

18. Were those Navy SEALs spotted just off Capistrano Beach near Dana Point Harbor?

Stars and Stripes · by Erika I. Ritchie · May 6, 2021

 

19. Nation challenges west’s human rights claims on Xinjiang

chinadaily.com.cn · by 张洁

Push back from a propaganda mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party.

Interesting excerpt: “In 2019, a letter hailing China’s “remarkable achievements in the field of human rights” and calling for work to be carried out “in an objective and impartial manner” based on “true and genuinely credible information” was signed by ambassadors from 37 countries to the UN in Geneva.

The envoys came from Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar as well as Russia, Pakistan, Egypt, Cuba, Algeria, Tajikistan and the Philippines.

The letter was sent to the president of the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In the letter, the ambassadors said they “appreciate China’s commitment to openness and transparency”. They added,”China has undertaken a series of counterterrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers.”

 

20. Can Biden imbue foreign policy realism with moral values?

The Christian Science Monitor · by The Christian Science Monitor · May 6, 2021

It takes good statecraft to protect both interests and values.

 

—————-

 

“First tell yourself what kind of person you want to be, then do what you have to do. For in nearly every pursuit we see this to be the case. Those in athletic pursuit first choose the sport they want and then do the work.”

-Epictetus

 

“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own intelligence.” 

– Immanuel Kant

DanielRiggs
Fri, 05/07/2021 – 10:09am

05/07/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

05/07/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. N. Korea unlikely to carry out provocations ahead of S. Korea-U.S. summit: minister

2. FM Chung says it’s ‘desirable’ for U.S. to appoint special representative for N. Korea

3. N.K. tightens antivirus efforts in border area within range of anti-Pyongyang leaflets

4. PM nominee calls anti-N.K. leafleting threat to public safety

5. N. Korea briefly placed under state of alert following kidnapping of security agency official’s son

6. G7 ministers endorse Biden’s North Korea policy

7. S. Korea raids activist’s office over anti-North leaflets

8. FDD | Taliban takes control of two districts in Afghan north

9. Just another Korea-US summit

10. Biden Must Push President Moon to Get Real on ROK-China Relations

11. North Korea’s Kim Regime: A Contemporary Apartheid

12. Defector denounces raid for dispatching balloons to North

13. Opinions clashing in South Korea on how to handle ‘pro-North’ publications

14. It is time for Washington to show its leadership

 

1. N. Korea unlikely to carry out provocations ahead of S. Korea-U.S. summit: minister

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · May 7, 2021

Wishful thinking or accurate assessment?

I worry these kinds of estimates make people complacent and frankly I do not hold the Ministry of Unification in high regard in offering “intelligence estimates” though the Minister does caveat his assessment saying we cannot rule out all possibilities and he is really parroting the assessments of “many experts.” But we should ask if the ROK military is on alert? Where are the Aegis equipped ROK ships? The last few missile tests conducted by north Korean found those whips in port and unable to surveil those tests.

Again, to beat a dead horse, I am reminded of Sun Tzu: “Do not assume your enemy will not attack. Make yourself invincible.”

 

2. FM Chung says it’s ‘desirable’ for U.S. to appoint special representative for N. Korea

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · May 7, 2021

I am hearing rumors (and Josh Rogin wrote this early this week) that the administration may not appoint a special representative. I think that would be a mistake.

I think as part of a strategic messaging campaign for the new policy the administration should announce its senior Korea team for implementation of the policy: A new special representative. a special envoy for north Korean human rights, a new US ambassador to South Korea, and the new commander for US forces in Korea (the nomination of General LaCamera was submitted to the Senate on April 27 but so far no confirmation hearing has been scheduled (or at least made public). 

In speaking with some Korea experts there is a belief there may only be a short window for diplomacy and the US needs to be ready to seize any opportunity. We need to have our senior Korea team in place and prepared to exploit any opportunities.

 

3. N.K. tightens antivirus efforts in border area within range of anti-Pyongyang leaflets

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · May 7, 2021

Another indicator that the regime views information as an existential threat to the survival of the regime. And it is interesting to note how the regime is exploiting the threat of COVID to be able to institute draconian population and resources control measures to try to prevent the military and the local population from access to information in the frontline areas.

 

4. PM nominee calls anti-N.K. leafleting threat to public safety

en.yna.co.kr · by 장동우 · May 7, 2021

This is really the height of hypocrisy. How many citizens in the South have been harmed by a north Korean response to information and influence activities? How many incidents have occurred not related to information activities which resulted in casualties among Korean civilians? And rather than restrict the human rights of those in the South (to include escapees who are Korean citizens) why doesn’t the government improve defenses to protect Korean citizens? Those who consent to government usually demand security while protecting their rights and individual liberties. It is up to the government to balance security and protection of individual liberties but the ROKG is taking what appears to be the easy way out and just restricting the rights in a misguided and futile effort to improve security. And that is the irony of the ROK actions. The north will not cease its provocations and the potential for civilian casualties will always remain.

 

5. N. Korea briefly placed under state of alert following kidnapping of security agency official’s son

dailynk.com · by Jong So Yong · May 7, 2021

A feud? Revenge? Criminal activity? Desperation for money? indicator of resistance? An interesting combination of apparent reasons.  

 

6. G7 ministers endorse Biden’s North Korea policy

donga.com · May 7, 2021

CVIA? Did someone receive an award for a new acronym? Seriously, note the statement about compliance with all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. This is apparently a key element in the new Biden administration Korea policy. Also, countering the north’s sanctions evasion tactics requires an aggressive international effort.

The statement adopted the expression‎ CVIA (complete, verifiable, irreversible abandonment) in regard with North Korea’s nuclear program. Previously, they used CVID for “Denuclearization” or “Dismantlement”, providing room for speculation that the ministers shunned from the expression‎ of “CVID” as the North detests it. The G7 ministers also voiced the need for keeping sanctions against Pyongyang in unison. “It is critical that sanctions which target the DPRK’s unlawful weapons development remain in place while its programs exist,” they said, stressing the need to fully implement the UN Security Council resolutions on the communist regime. They further vowed to counter the North’s “sanctions-evasion tactics, particularly its illicit maritime activities including ship-to-ship transfers.”

 

7. S. Korea raids activist’s office over anti-North leaflets

The Washington Post · by Hyung-Jin Kim · May 6, 2021

Again, the ROKG needs to rescind the law and cease these actions that violate the human rights of Korean citizens.

 

8. FDD | Taliban takes control of two districts in Afghan north

fdd.org · by Bill Roggio · May 6, 2021

Excerpt:While many press outfits are describing the spike in Taliban attacks as an offensive, the reality is that the group’s current operations are a continuation of its violence against the Afghan government and people. A Taliban offensive will likely look much different, and include thousands of fighters massing to seize provincial capitals, perhaps several at once. The Taliban previous took control of Kunduz City (twice, Farah City, and Ghazni City) and held them for short periods of time even while U.S. forces were in country and supporting the Afghan military.

 

9. Just another Korea-US summit

The Korea Times · by Donald Kirk · May 6, 2021

Donald Kirk possesses one of the most important characteristics of a professional journalist: He is the consummate skeptic! And he is the pithiest writer I know.

Excerpts: “You can’t blame Moon for imagining it might still be possible to bring Kim to his senses and persuade him he’s got far more to gain by forgetting about nukes and opening his country up to capitalism as China did under Deng Xiaoping. Moon’s popularity ratings have dropped so low, he needs Biden to smooth the way to rapprochement by easing up on U.S. demands for denuclearization.

Ho hum. We’ve been there before. None of this is going to work. Rhetoric will intensify. And China will come to the North’s rescue, shipping oil and food and other vital products to North Korea despite sanctions and COVID-19.

You have to wonder, though, how long can this standoff last before one leader or another says “I’m not going to take it anymore,” loses patience and fires the first shots.

Fear not, that won’t happen any time soon. The North is too weak, too emaciated by COVID, hunger and a lack of medicine, to fight anyone, but then nobody anticipated the Korean War, right? Good thing Biden and Moon will be talking. As long as Biden doesn’t fall for a “peace agreement” or “peace treaty,” meaning the U.S. would have to pull out its 28,500 troops, this summit should be fine.

 

10. Biden Must Push President Moon to Get Real on ROK-China Relations

The National Interest · by Matthew Ha · by Mathew Ha · May 7, 2021

Another excellent essay from my colleague, Mathew Ha.

 

11. North Korea’s Kim Regime: A Contemporary Apartheid

nkhiddengulag.org · by Damian Reddy

I hate to keep beating a dead horse but we need to beat the drum about the evil nature of the Kim family regime.

Excerpts: “However, the story for North Korea is quite different despite the similarities between South Africa’s apartheid regime and North Korea’s Kim regime remaining strikingly uncanny. Both systems demonstrate unjust control over its people, with a strict class system to ensure that there is a form of segregated development. One major difference is the basis for segregation: South Africa’s apartheid was based on racial discrimination, whereas North Korea’s discriminatory system is largely based on political ideology. Robert Collins, in his report on the parallels between the apartheid and songbun systems, informs of the discrimination that is practiced under songbun and argues that it includes characteristics of racism emanating from ideology.[10] In North Korea, ideology propagates that the Korean race is superior. An example of such racism is directed at the Chinese and Japanese. For example, if there is Chinese blood in one’s lineage, then one’s family can never be categorized as loyal in the songbun system.[11] Even greater discrimination is experienced if one is found with Japanese blood in one’s family.[12] This is a simple, but important example of how ideology in North Korea warrants the practice of discrimination. A similar narrative was told in South Africa under the apartheid regime—where the system created racial “superiority” and “inferiority.” The North Korean government may argue that it is not racially discriminatory, but if one were to remove race from South Africa’s apartheid and ideology from North Korea’s songbun, both systems would be identical. It is, therefore, recognized that North Korea’s Kim regime is practicing a contemporary form of apartheid, which is, in itself, a crime against humanity and one which is abolishable by international law.

 

12. Defector denounces raid for dispatching balloons to North

koreanjoongangdaily.joins .com  · by Kim Ji-Hye and Michael Lee

Key excerpts: ““The international community and all of humanity denounces the ban on sending leaflets into North Korea,” Park declared. “Even if we receive a three-year, 30-year prison term or capital punishment by hanging, we will continue sending information and the truth to our 20 million starving compatriots in the North.”

In response to criticism that the law curbed freedom of expression, then-Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha defended the amendment in a December interview with CNN, arguing that leaflets sent over the DMZ “endanger the safety of people living in border regions.”

“Freedom of expression, I think, is absolutely vital to human rights, but it’s not absolute. It can be limited,” she said.

PPP National Assembly Rep. Thae Yong-ho, who was deputy chief of mission at the North Korean embassy in London before defecting to the South, said the revision to the law “aimed at joining hands with Kim Jong-un and leaving North Koreans enslaved” in a speech attempting to delay the amendment’s passage in December.

The DP railroaded the amendment through the National Assembly six months after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong denounced North Korean defectors involved in sending propaganda balloons as “mongrel dogs,” and demanded the South halt the activities.

 

13. Opinions clashing in South Korea on how to handle ‘pro-North’ publications

The Korea Times · May 6, 2021

A complex issue. I have long opposed the part of the National Security Law about people having access to north Korean writings. I believe allowing citizens to read north Korean works will expose the lunacy of the Kim family regime. But the law exists and if you believe in the rule of law you have to follow it until it is rescinded. But I do not think people in the South who read Kim’s memoirs are going to be “radicalized” and start believing in Juche.

That said, one thing not discussed is whether the publisher of Kim Il Sung-‘s works have to pay royalties to the regime. Would Im Jong Seok collect royalties as he collects fees from broadcasters who use news reports from north Korea? 

 

14. It is time for Washington to show its leadership

donga.com

In vaccine distribution. A view from Korea.

 

—————-

 

“First tell yourself what kind of person you want to be, then do what you have to do. For in nearly every pursuit we see this to be the case. Those in athletic pursuit first choose the sport they want and then do the work.”

-Epictetus

 

“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own intelligence.” 

– Immanuel Kant

DanielRiggs
Fri, 05/07/2021 – 9:52am

DOD DIRECTIVE 5111.10 ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR SPECIAL OPERATIONS AND LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT CHARTER

DOD DIRECTIVE 5111.10 ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR SPECIAL OPERATIONS AND LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT CHARTER

Access the ASD SO/LIC Charter HERE.

DOD DIRECTIVE 5111.10 ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR SPECIAL OPERATIONS AND LOW-INTENSITY CONFLICT CHARTER

Purpose: Consistent with the authorities detailed in Sections 138 and 167 of Title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.), this issuance:

• Establishes the responsibilities and functions, relationships, and authorities of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD(SO/LIC)).

• Designates the ASD(SO/LIC), as a Principal Staff Assistant (PSA) reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense, to assist the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and to execute the responsibilities, functions, and authorities assigned in this issuance, and in accordance with applicable law, policy, DoD regulations, the November 18, 2020, and May 5, 2021, Secretary of Defense Memoranda, and the December 3, 2020, and December 30, 2020, Deputy Secretary of Defense Memoranda.

• The ASD(SO/LIC) reports directly to the Secretary of Defense in exercising authority, direction, and control of all special operations-peculiar administrative matters relating to the organization, training, and equipping of special operations forces. The ASD(SO/LIC) is also a member of the senior leader fora as designated in the November 18, 2020, Secretary of Defense Memorandum.

• The ASD(SO/LIC) is in the administrative chain of command and exercises authority, direction, and control of the Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), for special operations peculiar administration including the readiness and organization of special operations forces, resources and equipment, and civilian personnel (per section 167(f) of Title 10, U.S.C.).

• For all other policy matters, ASD(SO/LIC) will be subject to the authority, direction, and control of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy).

Dave Maxwell
Thu, 05/06/2021 – 1:19pm

05/06/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

05/06/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. DOD Optimizes Organizational Role of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict

2. Opinion | The Afghanistan War Will End as It Began: In Blood

3. Globalization’s Coming Golden Age

4. House Appropriators Fear Army Cuts, Continuing Resolution

5. Joint Chiefs chairman urges greater racial diversity in the military

6. Perspective | Authoritarian countries will try to use coronavirus vaccines as an internal cudgel

7. Opinion | The Pentagon must prepare for a much bigger theater of war

8. The Pentagon wants to take a harder line on domestic extremism. How far can it go?

9. Austin rolls back Trump-era policy on special ops

10. China Is a Paper Dragon

11. Bill To Combat Sexual Assault In Military Finally Has Votes To Pass, Senators Say

12. ‘That’s Why I Wear the Uniform:’ Milley Calls Racial, Religious Equality His ‘North Star’

13. “You Don’t Belong Here” (Vietnam War – Women Reporting from the Frontlines)

14. Opinion | Russia’s plot to control the Internet is no longer a secret

15. How Tough Conditions and Contested Communication Are Forcing the US Military To Reinvent AI

16. ODNI quiet on ’36-star’ info war memo

17. IntelBrief: United to Fight Terrorism? Reviewing the UN’s Global Counterterrorism Strategy

18. Crash In Iraq Helps Unmask Secretive Ultra-Quiet Special Operations Drone Program

 

1. DOD Optimizes Organizational Role of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict

defense.gov

The SECDEF Memo can be accessed here

I am not sure the headline is accurate.  Is this really optimizing the organizational role of ASD SO/LIC?  (Note now called the SOLIC organization).

ASD SO/LIC reverts to control by USD(P).  However for the SOF enterprise and for the ADCON chain of command for SOF the ASD SO/LIC will directly report to the SECDEF.  (POTUS, SECDEF,ASD SO/LIC, CDR USSOCOM).

And this is a key point that is positive: “ASD SO/LIC will continue to have full access to the same fora that the Service Secretaries have.”  This appears to be a recognition that SOF needs to be treated as a service level entity and an attempt to meet congressional intent.

But how is ASD SO/LIC organizationally optimized?  It is still too small and stretched too thin among a variety of responsibilities, many of which are not SOF related such as Counternarcotics and Global Threats (CNGT), Stability and Humanitarian Affairs (SHA), and the Office of Detainee Policy (ODP).  Over the years ASD SO/LIC has become the dumping ground for everything the rest of the Pentagon did not want to do – recall when Mike Lumpkin was ASD SO/LIC and they gave him responsibility for developing the Ebola response?  ASD SO/LIC was like the old cereal commercial – “Give it to Mikey – he will eat anything.”

Perhaps we should look at reorganizing ASD SO/LIC, which was intended for SOF oversight, and providing the staff to fully perform its civilian oversight and ADCON responsibilities (and meet congressional intent).  

It seems that Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby has provided some additional important information that gets at my concern.  The new charter will be important.

Excerpt from the press conference:Also today, Secretary Austin, I think you may have seen, Secretary Austin directed that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. The Assistant Secretary for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict retained – the office retains its direct reporting chain to the Secretary for its administrative chain of command role over U.S. Special Operations Command.

The Assistant Secretary remains a principle staff assistant and will continue to have full access to the same floor that service secretaries have. The Secretary also directed that the SOLIC organization, as we call it, now we joined the office of the undersecretary of defense for policy organization. This will ensure that special operation’s policy is fully integrated into all the other aspects of the department policy making process.

We’ll soon be publishing a revised charter which will further codify SOLIC’s – the ASD for SOLIC’s role and responsibilities. These efforts are significant steps forward toward strengthen civilian oversight of U.S. Special Operations Command and the provision of integrated policy advise for the Secretary and for the department.”

 

2. Opinion | The Afghanistan War Will End as It Began: In Blood

The New York Times · by Elliot Ackerman · May 5, 2021

Note this excerpt: “Unlike the withdrawal from Iraq, in which U.S. troops could drive through the desert into Kuwait as they did in 2011, and unlike the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, in which they could drive across a then-shared border, U.S. troops are currently marooned in Afghanistan, reliant on three principal U.S.-controlled airstrips (Bagram, Jalalabad, Kandahar), making their journey home all the more perilous.”

 

3. Globalization’s Coming Golden Age

Foreign Affairs · by Harold James · May 5, 2021

A sober critique and warning: “Governments and businesses also need to continuously innovate. As it did in the 1840s, isolationism today would mean cutting off opportunities to learn from different experiments. No single country, or its particular culture of science and innovation, was responsible for the development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine—one of the miracles of 2020. Success was the product of intense international collaboration. This story of innovation also applies to government competence. No state can succeed alone. Even if one particular decision is by chance spectacularly successful—say, Germany’s impressive testing record or the United Kingdom’s fast vaccine rollout—it is usually difficult to repeat that success in other policy areas. Policymakers may stride confidently past their first victory, only to slip on a banana peel.

The United States, in particular, may find this a hard pill to swallow. Americans have long been attached to the idea of their country’s superiority, akin to the belief held by the British in the mid-nineteenth century. COVID-19, like the 1840s famines and the 1970s oil shocks, presents both a crisis and a learning opportunity. The United States has coasted on the idea that the world needs the English language and the U.S. dollar. Neither of those assumptions can hold forever. Just as automatic translation technology is increasing linguistic accessibility, a different currency could become a new international standard. The dollar is not an adequate insurance policy or a viable basis for Washington to reject the need for change.

The challenge of the new upswing in the cycle of globalization will be to find ways to learn and adapt—increasing the effectiveness of government and business—without compromising fundamental values. As in the 1840s and the 1970s, financial and monetary innovation, or the tonic of inflation, will drive transformational change. Memories of crisis will push countries and governments to adapt in 2021 and beyond, just as they have before.

 

4. House Appropriators Fear Army Cuts, Continuing Resolution

breakingdefense.com · by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. and Paul McLeary · May 5, 2021

Excerpts: “The Senate Armed Services Committee has already said it’s not taking up the budget until July, and the House Armed Services Committee is uncertain when they will begin their markup. So the prospect of a Continuing Resolution is very real.

“When a budget request has been submitted on time, the delay in enacting the appropriations has only been about one month,” said Todd Harrison, director of Defense Budget Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on a recent call with reporters. In years when the budget request was submitted more than a week late, however, “we’ve seen the average CR go closer to almost four months on average.”

Overall, Harrison said, “the later this budget request is submitted, the harder it’s going to be for them to get this through anywhere close to the start of the fiscal year.”

House Appropriators Fear Army Cuts, Continuing Resolution

“It looks like the Army’s going to take the lion’s share of the cuts,” possibly losing a tank brigade, warned Texas Republican John Carter.

 

5. Joint Chiefs chairman urges greater racial diversity in the military

militarytimes.com · by Robert Burns, Lolita Baldor · May 5, 2021

Not to take away from the important message of General Milley in this article, but note the 6 “traditional” combat jobs. (SF not “traditional” or not a path for promotion to senior ranks.  In terms of “traditional” Aviation was established as a branch in 1983 and SF in 1987 but I guess those four years are the difference in “traditional.” 

Excerpts: “Army officers in combat jobs — infantry, armor, field artillery, air defense, aviation and engineer — are more likely to gain the experience that can get them promoted to more senior ranks. Evans said the Army is sending more diverse young officers from those particular fields to historically Black and Hispanic colleges to interact with cadets.

“It might inform their choices about selecting one of the, what we call the traditional six combat arms branches, as a career path,” he said.

 

6. Perspective | Authoritarian countries will try to use coronavirus vaccines as an internal cudgel

The Washington Post · by David Adesnik · May 5, 2021

Excerpts: “For the moment and probably for the rest of the year, the demand for vaccines in low-income nations will far outstrip the inventory available to Covax. Triage is unavoidable. One way to help address the problems of unfair distribution within countries would be to change the allocation process so that the readiness of recipient nations to distribute vaccines in a just and equitable manner should influence the allocation process, which currently employs an algorithm that prioritizes equality among countries, not equity within them.

This shift would actually be consistent with the principles Covax has adopted: The initiative commissioned a panel of experts to develop a values framework for allocating vaccines, as well as a road map for equitable delivery of limited supplies. There is also detailed guidance for the development of national vaccination plans. The values framework warns there should be “no tolerance for personal, financial, or political conflicts of interest or corruption.” Yet without independent monitoring, such aspirations are sterile.

The WHO and Covax leadership should broaden their view of vaccine equity to encompass responsibility for what happens after a partner state receives its doses. In all likelihood, this change will require the Biden administration and the other main Covax donors, especially Germany, the European Commission and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to make clear their support depends on efforts to forestall abuse. It is not just a matter of principle, but one of self-interest. As Tedros observed, one cannot put out only part of a fire.

 

7. Opinion | The Pentagon must prepare for a much bigger theater of war

The Washington Post · by Lloyd J. Austin III · May 5, 2021

Excerpts: “Any adversary thinking about pressing for advantage in one domain must know that we can respond not just in that arena but in many others as well. The power to deter rests on our ability to respond to aggression in the time and manner of our choosing.

This won’t be easy. The nature of warfare is changing; it spans an unprecedented theater that stretches from the heavens to cyberspace and far into the oceans’ depths. That demands new thinking and new action inside the Defense Department. We must redouble our efforts to work together — with allies and partners, across commands, across services and across our fiefdoms and stovepipes.

It is always easier to stamp out a small ember than to put out a raging fire. We must think harder and more creatively about preventing the future fight. And if we can’t prevent it, we need to be ready to win it, and to win it decisively.”

I am reminded of the parable of the physician in Thomas Cleary’s translation of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. 

 

8. The Pentagon wants to take a harder line on domestic extremism. How far can it go?

The Washington Post · by Missy Ryan · May 5, 2021

The Pentagon needs to be very careful on how it goes down this path.  It must get this right or risk confirming extremist narratives and radicalizing those who feel targeted without cause.

 

9. Austin rolls back Trump-era policy on special ops

Politico

I do not think it was a total roll-back. In the SECDEF’s defense it seems like he is trying to meet congressional intent – though I think at the very minimum level.

 

10. China Is a Paper Dragon

The Atlantic · by David Frum · May 3, 2021

Remember that Sun Tzu said: “Do not assume your enemy will not attack.  Make yourself invincible.”

But this is an interesting read.

 

11. Bill To Combat Sexual Assault In Military Finally Has Votes To Pass, Senators Say

NPR · by Claudia Grisales · May 6, 2021

This could be the most significant change in military order and discipline in recent history.

Excerpts: “Advocate groups have repeatedly said that there has been no improvement despite decades of promises from leadership and commanders, saying the commander-controlled system has failed to deliver accountability.

The military has reported climbing figures in reports of sexual assaults. In 2019, the Pentagon reported that about 20,500 service members had experienced some form of such an assault. That was 37% higher than two years earlier.

This, as the rate of prosecution and conviction for related cases has been cut in half to about 7% since Gillibrand first introduced her legislation, she says. Gillibrand also said that the current structure, while allowing such crimes to be pervasive, also hurts military readiness.

The issue drew renewed attention in 2019, when former Arizona GOP Sen. Martha McSally said during a related hearing she was raped by a superior officer. However, the retired Air Force colonel, who lost her Senate seat to Democrat Mark Kelly this past year, was opposed to Gillibrand’s proposal. Kelly has since signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill.

“A lot of people have begun to change their minds,” Gillibrand said.

 

12. ‘That’s Why I Wear the Uniform:’ Milley Calls Racial, Religious Equality His ‘North Star’

defenseone.com · by Tara Copp 

Powerful words from the Chairman.  Will they resonate with the force?

 

13. “You Don’t Belong Here” (Vietnam War – Women Reporting from the Frontlines)

WNYC· May 4, 2021
This is a story very much worth listening to.  I think I will add Elizabeth Becker’s book to my “too read pile.”

 

14. Opinion | Russia’s plot to control the Internet is no longer a secret

The Washington Post · by David Ignatius · May 4, 2021

We must protect the internet from despots like Putin (and Xi, etc).  We should not forget who created it:Internet technical governance today is managed by ICANN, which stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. This gathering of engineers and other experts was founded in 1998 to supervise domain names for the Defense Department’s ARPANET system, and it operated under a contract with the Commerce Department until 2016, when it went fully private.

The American roots of the Internet seem to both upset Putin and fuel conspiratorial talk. The Russian leader said during a 2014 interview translated by RT that the Internet “first appeared as a special CIA project . . . and the special services are still at the center of things.” Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former president, complained in a February interview: “The Internet emerged at a certain time, and undoubtedly the key rights to control are in the United States.”

Russia is ready to rumble over the rules that will shape the future of Internet communications. Fortunately, the Biden administration seems determined to fight back hard to maintain fair and open rules.”

 

15. How Tough Conditions and Contested Communication Are Forcing the US Military To Reinvent AI

defenseone.com · by Patrick Tucker

Fascinating read:

“Tim Chung, a program manager at DARPA working to create highly autonomous subterranean robotics through the so-called SubT challenge, described the difficulty of finding “actionable situational intelligence,” and making sure both the human and the robot know the definition of what that is, since it’s hard to predict what the robot might encounter in, say, a network of underground tunnels or a collapsed building.

“It’s not just good enough to know [that] there’s a left turn, a drop, a corridor. What you really want are refined coordinates to where that survivor is located,” Chung said “‘Actionable’ is something that must be defined both by the robot as well as also the human supervisor in the loop, and so these robots must balance how much perception they carry with how reliant they are on communications.” Chung spoke as part of a recorded Defense One session on the future of battlefield AI that will air on Thursday.)

But it’s not just bandwidth that’s constrained in these environments. Human attention is also a scarce commodity. That’s why SOCOM is working with operators to better understand when they have more thought to give to incoming machine communication, Sanders said.

“If I am training a partner nation, the amount of information I can hold without becoming overwhelmed might be different than deployed in a covert location for three days and I know that there are bad guys right around the corner that are going to shoot me. That tradeoff of cognitive human machine burden is very fungible. It changes depending on the situation and the person,” she said. “We are gathering real life information from our warfighters and developing great advocacy with them…It’s an ongoing experimentation.”

 

16. ODNI quiet on ’36-star’ info war memo

washingtontimes.com · by Bill Gertz

 

17. IntelBrief: United to Fight Terrorism? Reviewing the UN’s Global Counterterrorism Strategy

thedrive.com · by Joseph Trevithick · May 4, 2021

Conclusion: “Finally, this is an unusual year with multiple UN negotiations converging due to the pandemic. Such timing allows states a rare opportunity to reassess the UN’s institutional and operational response to international terrorism, nearly twenty years following the attacks of September 11, 2001, ten years after the death of Osama bin Laden, and the same year as the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. During the review of the GCTS in the General Assembly, states will also have to determine whether the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism receives increased UN budgetary assistance, or remains dependent upon voluntary extra-budgetary donations. States are likely to be increasingly conservative about expanding the UN’s budget in the current climate. However, the status quo process means that the program of work is not necessarily determined by counterterrorism assessments and needs, but rather by donor preferences and politics. Following this, the Security Council will have to determine the mandates of two important expert bodies – the al-Qaeda/ISIS Sanctions Monitoring Team and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED). These are also critical opportunities to think about the political, operational, and substantive directions for these bodies, and consider a closer integration of efforts with the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, and its Terrorism Prevention Branch, in Vienna. However, given the evolution of terrorist threats, overstretched budgets and resources in states’ capitals, and the return of great power competition, states will need to determine if the UN is fit for purpose for the terrorism landscape; this will necessarily include ensuring that is resourced to facilitate its effectiveness and responsiveness in this current operating environment.”

 

————–

 

“The meaning of politics is freedom.” Hannah Arendt

 

“There is no political freedom for citizens who think and do not judge!

I vote for civil rights today for freedom.”

– Jihyun Park-박지현, Escapee from north Korea, Conservative Political Candidate in the UK

 

“Then what a beautiful human being? Isn’t it the presence of human excellence? Young friend, if you wish to be beautiful,then work diligently at human excellence. And what is that? Observe those whom you praise without prejudice. The just or the unjust? The just. The even-tempered or the undisciplined? the even-tempered. The self-controlled or the uncontrolled? The self-controlled. in making yourself that kind of person, you will become beautiful – but to the extent you ignore these qualities, you’ll be ugly, even if you use every trick in the book to appear beautiful.”

– Epictetus

 

 

 

 

DanielRiggs
Thu, 05/06/2021 – 9:58am

05/06/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

05/06/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. Biden’s North Korea plans come into view

2. Can South Korea Continue to Balance Relations with the United States and China?

3. Japan and South Korea air their differences as US seeks unity at G-7 meeting

4. Opinion | Biden’s North Korea strategy: Hurry up and wait

5. G7 foreign ministers urge N. Korea to return to dialogue

6. North Korea getting ready for COVID-19 vaccines after reporting ‘zero’ cases

7. Police conduct raid over anti-N.K. leafleting

8. U.S. policy appears aimed at addressing N.K. nuke issue through dialogue: Seoul official

9. Unification ministry views U.S. attempt to reach out to N.K. positively: official

10. South Korea Discovers It Can Out-Bully North Korea

11. N.K. paper warns of virus infections via ‘strange objects’ in air

12. Three teenagers in N. Pyongan Province sent to reeducation camp for listening to S. Korean music

13. U.S. again reaches out to N. Korea but to no avail: WP column

14. N.K. leader, his wife attend art performance by army families

15. ‘I escaped the horrors of North Korea – now I want to solve Bury’s fly-tipping crisis’

16. Just How New Is Joe Biden’s ‘New’ North Korea Policy?

 

1. Biden’s North Korea plans come into view

lowyinstitute.org · by Soo Kim

“Short on details” and “the guessing game continues.” . I am sure there will be a thorough public articulation of the broad contours of the policy. But I hope there is a detailed classified version that we do not see.

Excerpts: “All of this is indeed speculation, although we may not be in the dark for much longer. US President Joe Biden is slated to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on 21 May for their first in-person summit since the inauguration. The two sides are expected to discuss a range of policy issues, including curbing the Kim regime’s nuclear ambitions and addressing its poor track record on human rights. The Biden administration may unveil its North Korea policy in full after the US–South Korea summit.

In the meantime, the guessing games will continue.”

 

2. Can South Korea Continue to Balance Relations with the United States and China?

KEIA · by Terrence Matsuo · May 5, 2021

A key challenge for the ROK and the US.

 

3. Japan and South Korea air their differences as US seeks unity at G-7 meeting

Strait Times

Excerpts:In his one-on-one meeting with Motegi, Chung expressed opposition to Japan’s decision to release contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant without sufficient prior consultation with neighbouring countries, the South Korean government said. Motegi said he would continue to provide information and expressed concern about South Korean statements on the matter.

Motegi urged South Korea to find an early solution to the problem of compensation for Koreans forced to work for Japanese companies during colonial occupation, as well as women trafficked to Japanese military brothels before and during the war.”

 

4. Opinion | Biden’s North Korea strategy: Hurry up and wait

The Washington Post · by Josh Rogin · May 5, 2021

I think Mr. Rogin would be better served if he waited until the policy is presented before deciding the new policy is “strategic place.”

I certainly hope this assessment is not correct:

“It’s clear that the Biden administration has several foreign policy priorities, and that spending time, resources and political capital on the North Korea issue isn’t one of them. Trump failed on North Korea, but at least he tried. The Biden team is going to have to try harder, and they would be better off doing that sooner rather than later.”

 

5. G7 foreign ministers urge N. Korea to return to dialogue

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · May 6, 2021

Everyone wants north Korea to return to dialogue. I do not think there is any country that opposes a return to dialogue – except perhaps north Korea. It is Kim that has refused to negotiate in good faith as a responsible member of the international community.

 

6. North Korea getting ready for COVID-19 vaccines after reporting ‘zero’ cases

UPI · by Elizabeth Shim · May 5, 2021

It would be something if north Korea could get vaccinated before there is ever a COVID breakout (note sarcasm).

 

7. Police conduct raid over anti-N.K. leafleting

en.yna.co.kr · by 이해아 · May 6, 2021

Despicable. And a huge self-inflicted wound for the ROKG and ruling party.

 

8. U.S. policy appears aimed at addressing N.K. nuke issue through dialogue: Seoul official

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · May 6, 2021

Who does not want dialogue? Only KJU.

 

9. Unification ministry views U.S. attempt to reach out to N.K. positively: official

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · May 6, 2021

We can expect the ROKG to put a positive spin on the Biden Korea policy and to try to shape it to align with the Moon administration’s peace agenda.

 

10. South Korea Discovers It Can Out-Bully North Korea

Forbes · by David Axe · May 5, 2021

Definitely a curious headline. Interesting analysis.

Excerpts: If North Korea dares to repeat its 2010 provocations—sinking ships and shelling islands—South Korea could shoot back in a precise way. And the regime of North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un knows it.

“Since 2011, North Korea has mostly refrained from provocations as overt as the 2014 direct naval bombardment of the Northwest Islands and certainly the 2010 sinking of the Cheonan,” RAND explained. “During the high notes of tensions during the mid-2010s, Pyongyang largely resorted to public statements and bombastic rhetoric against Seoul and Washington.”

But that doesn’t mean North Korea wants peace. Rather, it aims to provoke without risking a damaging response. “The North Korean military has … expanded its cyber capabilities since 2010, providing Pyongyang a means of provocation and retaliation that exposed a yawning gap in Seoul’s deterrence policy,” according to RAND.”

 

11.  N.K. paper warns of virus infections via ‘strange objects’ in air

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · May 6, 2021

Mark my words – when there is finally a reported outbreak in the north if contact tracing process will reveal COVID was transported by the balloons from escapees in the South. The Propaganda and Agitation department is laying the groundwork to blame COVID on South Korea and specific escapees in the South.

 

12. Three teenagers in N. Pyongan Province sent to reeducation camp for listening to S. Korean music

dailynk.com · by Jong So Yong · May 5, 2021

As an escapee told us during North Korean Freedom Week, the Korean people know the risks yet it will not deter them from trying to obtain any information from the outside world.

 

13. U.S. again reaches out to N. Korea but to no avail: WP column

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · May 6, 2021

It will be a mistake not to appoint a north Korean special representative. 

But this kind of information from Rogin and the Korean press is really misinformation:

“The Joe Biden administration has said it had sought to engage with North Korea since mid-February, but that the reclusive nation did not respond to its overtures.

“The Biden team quietly reached out to Pyongyang in February but got no response. Nor has the Kim regime responded to a second attempt by Team Biden to convey the results of this now-completed review,” he wrote, citing two unidentified “senior administration officials.”

I believe the “reaching out” to the north in February was simply a diplomatic courtesy to inform the north that the Biden administration was reviewing its policy. Yes there was no response from the north but it was not as if the US was groveling to the regime for engagement. It was simply taking routine diplomatic actions.

 

14. N.K. leader, his wife attend art performance by army families

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · May 6, 2021

For Kim ideological purity is a top priority.

Excerpts:Kim lauded the KPA after watching the show, saying it “always sets an example in implementing the party’s policy on mass-based culture and art.”

He also urged the North to learn from the “ardent patriotism, strong capacity for living and high ideological and spiritual world” of the army families.”

 

15. ‘I escaped the horrors of North Korea – now I want to solve Bury’s fly-tipping crisis’

uk.news.yahoo.com

Jihyun Park is an extraordinary woman. Her story needs to be told inside north Korea. The Koreans in the north need to know about her example – how an escapee can rise to political leadership in a western country. Her story will provide hope and inspiration.

 

16. Just How New Is Joe Biden’s ‘New’ North Korea Policy?

The National Interest · by Eli Fuhrman · May 5, 2021

Again, we still need to see the details.

 

————-

 

“The meaning of politics is freedom.” Hannah Arendt

 

“There is no political freedom for citizens who think and do not judge!

I vote for civil rights today for freedom.”

– Jihyun Park-박지현, Escapee from north Korea, Conservative Political Candidate in the UK

 

“Then what a beautiful human being? Isn’t it the presence of human excellence? Young friend, if you wish to be beautiful,then work diligently at human excellence. And what is that? Observe those whom you praise without prejudice. The just or the unjust? The just. The even-tempered or the undisciplined? the even-tempered. The self-controlled or the uncontrolled? The self-controlled. in making yourself that kind of person, you will become beautiful – but to the extent you ignore these qualities, you’ll be ugly, even if you use every trick in the book to appear beautiful.”

– Epictetus

DanielRiggs
Thu, 05/06/2021 – 9:57am

DOD Optimizes Organizational Role of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict

DOD Optimizes Organizational Role of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict

The SECDEF Memo can be access HERE: 

DOD Optimizes Organizational Role of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict

defense.gov

Immediate Release

May 5, 2021

Today Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III signed a memorandum directing a further optimization of the organization of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD(SO/LIC) as called for by the 2017 NDAA.

The SO/LIC organization now rejoins the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy organization, but retains its direct reporting chain to the Secretary for its administrative chain of command role over U.S. Special Operations Command. ASD(SO/LIC) remains a Principal Staff Assistant and will continue to have full access to the same fora that the Service Secretaries have. The Deputy Secretary of Defense will ensure SO/LIC maintains dedicated resources and grows to a level commensurate with its increased responsibilities.

This change ensures that Special Operations policy is fully integrated into all aspects of the Department’s policies.

The memo on the Organizational Role of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict can be found here.

Defense Secretary Austin

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Dave Maxwell
Wed, 05/05/2021 – 2:29pm

05/05/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

05/05/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. How American Politics Got Troops Stuck—and Killed—in Afghanistan

2. Antony Blinken warns China: ‘It would be a very serious mistake’ to attack Taiwan

3. US Presses Taliban to Ease Violence, Resume Peace Talks

4. Xi claims ultimate authority, adopts Mao’s title ‘helmsman’

5. Cyber Command shifts counterterrorism task force to focus on higher-priority threats

6. Why Afghanistan is critical to the struggle against China, Russia and Iran

7. Afghanistan’s Moment of Risk and Opportunity

8. Leaving Afghanistan Will Make America Less Safe

9. Failing to Train: Conventional Forces in Irregular Warfare

10. #Reviewing Power on the Precipice: The Six Choices America Faces in a Turbulent World

11. Opinion | Biden’s Taiwan Policy Is Truly, Deeply Reckless

12. Any reduction in Energy Department’s cybersecurity resources a mistake

13. Eddie Gallagher now says SEALs intended to kill unarmed fighter and ‘nobody had a problem with it’

14. Opinion: China’s New Silk Road is full of potholes

15. China does not want war, at least not yet. It’s playing the long game

16. As U.S. warns of invasion, Taiwan fears quieter Chinese threat

 

1. How American Politics Got Troops Stuck—and Killed—in Afghanistan

Politico · by Erik Edstrom · May 4, 2021

What a powerful and sobering essay. There is so much to unpack in this.  Make sure you read to the end to find out about what happened to the soldier, A.J. Nelson.

 

2. Antony Blinken warns China: ‘It would be a very serious mistake’ to attack Taiwan

Washington Examiner · by Joel Gehrke · May 4, 2021

Excerpt: “The bottom line is we have managed Taiwan, I think, quite well and quite effectively,” Blinken said. “What is very troubling and very concerning is that Beijing seems to be taking a different approach, acting aggressively.”

 

3. US Presses Taliban to Ease Violence, Resume Peace Talks

voanews.com ·  Ayaz Gul · May 4, 2021

What leverage or incentive is there if the US is committed to leaving by September 11th? Are we going to initiate military operations on a scale sufficient to cause the Taliban to halt the violence?

Questions I wonder about: What changes to conditions might cause the US to reverse or at least postpone the decision to withdraw? Since the withdrawal process has begun at what point will we no longer have the military capabilities to conduct operations beyond defending the withdrawal? What is the point of no return for the withdrawal -e.g., at what point will we no longer have the military capabilities to support Afghan forces and thus can only be fully committed to the withdrawal? What is the point of no return? And at that point what do we expect the Taliban, AQ, or ISIS to do?

 

4. Xi claims ultimate authority, adopts Mao’s title ‘helmsman’

washingtontimes.com · by Bill Gertz

Excerpt:  “The most famous sobriquet of Mao, founder of the Chinese Communist Party and hero of the Chinese Revolution, was “Great Helmsman.” Mr. Xi’s use of the term highlights what analysts say is his plan to consolidate his rule under an extreme Chinese version of communism.”

 

5. Cyber Command shifts counterterrorism task force to focus on higher-priority threats

c4isrnet.com · by Mark Pomerleau · May 4, 2021

CT is no longer fashionable. But terrorism is not going away. The question is can we walk and chew gum at the same time? Can we compete in great power competition and still commit sufficient resources and capabilities to counter violent extremist organizations? Cyber will always provide critical capabilities to the CT fight.

 

6. Why Afghanistan is critical to the struggle against China, Russia and Iran

militarytimes.com · by Rep. Michael Waltz · May 3, 2021

Excerpts: “Bagram Airfield remains our sole strategic key terrain in the backyards of three of our four global competitors — China, Russia, and Iran — and we have no other options in the region.

The governments in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan have shown little willingness to host American bases and the Gulf states are problematic as our aircraft have to fly over Iran or Pakistan.

We will be effectively blind in our abilities to fight back, should terrorists based in Afghanistan successfully launch another attack on our homeland.

Like the Obama administration, President Biden is dealing with the world as it wishes it to be rather than accepting the tough reality of what it is.

The United States cannot give up this key terrain that we have spent so much blood and treasure to fight for and may cost us far more lives if we have to fight without it in the future.

 

7. Afghanistan’s Moment of Risk and Opportunity

Foreign Affairs · by Ashraf Ghani · May 4, 2021

The president of a country should know what’s best for his country and we should pay attention.

Conclusion: “As we move into uncharted waters for Afghanistan, I am focused on achieving the best possible outcome of this long period of conflict: a sovereign, Islamic, democratic, united, neutral, and connected Afghanistan. I am willing to compromise and sacrifice to achieve that. The withdrawal of U.S. troops is an opportunity to get us closer to that end state, but only if all Afghans and their international partners commit to a clear path forward and stay the course.”

 

8. Leaving Afghanistan Will Make America Less Safe

warontherocks.com · by Bruce Hoffman · May 5, 2021

Conclusion: “There are no perfect options. But instead of turning its back on Afghanistan, the United States should shift its rhetoric in the “Global War on Terror” away from “winning” and “losing” and toward “managing” and “accepting.” This would facilitate an ongoing but limited troop presence with a clear homeland security, not nation-building, brief. Keeping a small number of elite troops in Afghanistan, while unlikely to elicit roars of approval at campaign rallies in the 2024 presidential race, would likely keep both the Taliban and al-Qaeda at bay in the country while protecting a forward operating base on China’s and Russia’s doorstep. Withdrawal, by contrast, will be universally seen as defeat. As with bin Laden 25 years ago, it will give a rhetorical victory to terrorists the world over. And it will boost the morale of state adversaries that benefit from the perception of U.S. weakness.”

 

9. Failing to Train: Conventional Forces in Irregular Warfare

mwi.usma.edu · by James W. Derleth · May 5, 2021

A lack of irregular warfare education and training for the military writ large. Congress has a partial “fix” for this in the NDAA Section 1299L. Of course we really need a “center” that goes beyond DOD – we need an interagency center at the national level. Irregular warfare is the DOD contribution to the national level political warfare effort.  

 

10. #Reviewing Power on the Precipice: The Six Choices America Faces in a Turbulent World

thestrategybridge.org · by Frank Hoffman · May 4, 2021

An excellent review essay from Frank Hoffman. He identifies some key questions missing from book:

“Imbrie’s questions are not a complete set. In particular, he overlooks the role of American values at home and in the world it can and must engage with. Should America be merely an exemplar or exporting enforcer of its basic ideals? Walter McDougall’s Promised Land, Crusader State exemplifies this choice, and argues for setting an example here at home.[10] The question Imbrie and readers should add is “How active should the U. S. be in shaping a liberal order beyond its own shores, to extend a liberal hegemony?”[11] Should the U. S. actively oppose illiberal societies or merely set an example, a shining beacon and a City on a Hill? Should U.S. leaders tend to their own unruly garden at home, or trim back what Robert Kagan called the unruly jungle?[12] Should it retrench and wait for the swarm of foreign rivals to gather, or sit complacently at home?”

 

11. Opinion | Biden’s Taiwan Policy Is Truly, Deeply Reckless

The New York Times · by Peter Beinart · May 5, 2021

As the headline says Mr. Beinart offers a scathing critique of the administration and Taiwan.

Excerpts:It’s reckless because deterrence requires power and will, and when it comes to Taiwan, the United States is deficient in both. According to Fareed Zakaria, “The Pentagon has reportedly enacted 18 war games against China over Taiwan, and China has prevailed in every one.”

There’s another reason deterrence alone won’t work: China cares more. In 2017, mainland Chinese said that Taiwan topped their list of “concerns about the U.S.-China relationship.” Among Americans, by contrast, Taiwan didn’t make the top seven.

What’s crucial is that the Taiwanese people preserve their individual freedom and the planet does not endure a third world war. The best way for the United States to pursue those goals is by maintaining America’s military support for Taiwan while also maintaining the “one China” framework that for more than four decades has helped keep the peace in one of the most dangerous places on earth.

 

Hawks will call this appeasement. So be it. Ask them how many American lives they’re willing to risk so the United States can have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

 

12. Any reduction in Energy Department’s cybersecurity resources a mistake

The Hill · by  Mark Montgomery · May 4, 2021

Excerpt: “As the senators wrote, “[t]he reliability and resilience of the electric grid is critical to the economic and national security of the United States.”

Unless DOE continues to prioritize cybersecurity risks to our electric grid, the plans it had drawn out so far will be of little to no use. An assistant secretary level leader, with a properly resourced office has been, and will continue to be, key to this success. Hopefully, to paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of a reduction in seniority of the CESER billet are greatly exaggerated. But if not, any such reduction would be a critical error at a critical time.

 

13. Eddie Gallagher now says SEALs intended to kill unarmed fighter and ‘nobody had a problem with it’

taskandpurpose.com · by Jeff Schogol · May 4, 2021

I have no words for this man and his actions.

 

14.  Opinion: China’s New Silk Road is full of potholes

DW · by Deutsche Welle  

An interesting German perspective.

 

15. China does not want war, at least not yet. It’s playing the long game

theconversation.com · by John Blaxland

We all must play the long game. The question is can we?

 

16. As U.S. warns of invasion, Taiwan fears quieter Chinese threat

NBC News · by Louise Watt · May 5, 2021

Subversion. A key line of effort in unconventional warfare.

 

—————-

 

“We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty.”

– Mark Twain

 

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

– President John F. Kennedy

 

“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”

– Alexis de Tocqueville

 

DanielRiggs
Wed, 05/05/2021 – 9:29am

05/05/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

05/05/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. Chinese ambassador tells U.S., North Korea not to make tensions with each other worse

2. Commander General LaCamera nominated for next USFK commander

3. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis receives Paik Sun-yup award

4. N. Korea continues to build up chemical, biological weapons: US official

5. N. Korea may give up nukes, but will test U.S. commitment to diplomacy: U.S. experts

6. The rollout of the Biden administration’s North Korea policy review leaves unanswered questions

7. They Were Promised a Socialist Paradise, and Ended Up in ‘Hell’

8. (2nd LD) Top diplomats of S. Korea, Japan agree on ‘future-oriented’ ties, differ on historical issues

9. Inside the real North Korea: Wife of British diplomat reveals human side of life under Kim Jong-un

10.  North Korea may mount military provocations over South Korea-US summit: Korea Herald

11. Japan, S.Korea meet with Blinken despite rifts

12. Biden’s tentative steps towards North Korea’s Kim greeted with scepticism

13. South Korea’s diplomatic balancing act with Russia

14. Trump may have cleared Biden’s path to check NKorea

15. North Korea faces economic ruin amid food and medicine shortages

 

1. Chinese ambassador tells U.S., North Korea not to make tensions with each other worse

Newsweek · by Lauren Giella · May 4, 2021

The US and north Korea get a dressing down from the Chinese ambassador. Of course the Chinese prescription for reducing tensions is for the US to lift sanctions.

 

2.  Commander General LaCamera nominated for next USFK commander

koreanjoongangdaily · by Michael Lee

I still have not seen an official announcement from the US side but our Korean counterparts keep a close watch on issues like this.

Close here but as usual the press misses an opportunity to more accurately explain the command relationships.

A bilateral agreement signed between South Korea and the United States in 1978 also gives the USFK commander operational control of allied forces on the peninsula in wartime — a combined force that includes South Korea’s approximately 600,000 active duty troops as well as the 28,500-strong USFK.

What the reporter should have added is that the ROK/US Combined Forces Command is a bilateral command , NOT a US command, that serves the security interests of both the ROK and US and answers equally to the national command and military authorities of both countries through the Military Committee. By agreement and tradition, the commander of the ROK/US CFC has always been a US general officer but that will change when the OPCON transition process is complete.

The ROK press also makes a big deal out of USFK and often incorrectly describes USFK as controlling ROK forces in the Combined Forces COmmand (the Joongang Ilbo did not do that here).  But it is interesting the ROK focuses on the command that is the least important when it comes to deterrence and defense.  USFK is a subunified command under the combatant command of USINDOPACOM. It is not a warfighting command and is a forces provider to the ROK/US Combined Forces Command which has warfighting responsibility for both the ROK and US.  It answers to the Military Committee which consists of representatives of both country’s national command and military authorities.  And then there is the UN Command which is an international command that will provide coalition forces to the ROK/US CFC in wartime and will retain responsibility for managing the Armistice to prevent a resumption of hostilities.  The UNC answers to the US CJCS because the UN Security Council Resolutions that established the command in 1950 designated the US as the executive agent for the command.

 

3. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis receives Paik Sun-yup award

koreanjoongangdaily · by Park Hyun-Young and Sarah Kim

A great honor for General Mattis.

 

4. N. Korea continues to build up chemical, biological weapons: US official

koreaherald.com · by The Korea Herald · May 5, 2021

No surprise but it is important that US officials state this.

Excerpts: “Jennifer Walsh, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security, also said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may actually use such weapons in case of a conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

 

“North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons jeopardizes international stability and weakens the global nonproliferation regime. These capabilities pose a threat to US forces, allies,” said Walsh in a statement submitted to the House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations.

“Given the risk that Kim Jong Un could seek to employ WMD in the course of or to stave off a conflict on the Korean Peninsula, the Joint Force must be ready for any number of WMD-related contingencies that require operating in a CBRN contaminated environment,” she added.

 

5. N. Korea may give up nukes, but will test U.S. commitment to diplomacy: U.S. experts

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · May 5, 2021

The $64,000 question is what are the real security guarantees that would allow Kim to give up his weapons?  What are their terms?

Excerpt: “I do believe North Korea is committed to complete, verifiable denuclearization, assuming they get the security assurances they want and certainly they need because they’re concerned about regime change, and they realize nuclear weapons, indeed, are a deterrent,” Joseph DeTrani said in a webinar hosted by the Washington Times Foundation.”

My fear is the regime will use “security guarantees” to end the ROK/US alliance and get US forces off the peninsula so that it can achieve its objectives to dominate the peninsula and ensure regime survival.  The regime is conducting political warfare, executing a long con, and using blackmail diplomacy tactics to achieve its strategic aims.  

Sasha Mansourov thinks we are going to see a provocation: “Alexandre Mansourov, professor of security studies at Georgetown University, argued Pyongyang will likely stick to its traditional way of dealing with a new U.S. administration — first by provoking to see how serious the new U.S. government is.

“North Koreans are likely to test how seriously the United States is really committed to diplomacy because they’ve seen this game many times before. They played this game with us many times before,” he said in the virtual seminar.

“And so in my opinion they may actually launch … maybe a satellite, will conduct a submarine based ICBM test sometime around May 21 Biden-Moon Summit, just to see whether the Biden administration will abandon diplomacy,” he added, referring to Biden’s upcoming summit in Washington with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in.

 

6. The rollout of the Biden administration’s North Korea policy review leaves unanswered questions

The Brookings Institution · by Robert Einhorn · May 4, 2021

We still do not have the details of the new policy (and I hope we do not see the classified policy and strategy because we need to be executing a superior form of political warfare to effectively deal with north Korea and this must be classified).

 

But  Robert Einhorn identifies some key points:The Biden administration seems prepared to associate itself with some elements of its predecessors’ North Korea policies, including the joint statement adopted by President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their Singapore summit meeting in June 2018. The Washington Post quoted a second U.S. official as saying the administration would build on the Singapore agreement and other previous agreements.

Other than maintaining that it will avoid the mistakes of its predecessors, issuing some expected reaffirmations (the goal of denuclearization), and providing some interesting tidbits (support for the Singapore framework), the Biden administration has so far relied mainly on generalities in publicly outlining the results of its review of North Korea policy, using language like “calibrated, practical, measured approach” and similar formulations intended to be reassuring and unassailable.

So, much is still publicly unknown about the Biden administration’s North Korea policy. Indeed, much is still probably undecided within the administration. The following critical questions remain unaddressed so far by the public rollout of the Biden policy.”

 

7. They Were Promised a Socialist Paradise, and Ended Up in ‘Hell’

The New York Times · by Choe Sang-Hun · May 5, 2021

The cruelest bait and switch.

Excerpts: “Mr. Lee was born in Japan in 1952. The family ran a charcoal-grill restaurant in Shimonoseki, the port closest to Korea — a reminder that they would return home.

As the Korean War came to an end, the Japanese government was eager to get rid of the throngs of Koreans living in slums. For its part, hoping to use them to help rebuild its war-torn economy, North Korea launched a propaganda blitz, touting itself as a “paradise” with jobs for everyone, free education and medical services.

Mr. Lee’s primary school in Japan, he said, screened propaganda newsreels from North Korea showing bumper crops and workers building “a house every 10 minutes.” Marches were organized calling for repatriation. A pro-North Korea group in Japan even encouraged students to be recruited as “birthday gifts” for Kim Il-sung, the country’s founder, according to a recent report from the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights.

Japan approved of the migration despite the fact that most Koreans in the country were from the South, which was mired in political unrest. While Japanese authorities said ethnic Koreans chose to relocate to North Korea, human rights groups have accused the country of aiding and abetting the deception by ignoring the circumstances the migrants would face in the communist country.

“By leaving for North Korea, ethnic Koreans were forced to sign an exit-only document that prohibited them from returning to Japan,” the Citizens’ Alliance report said. The authors likened the migration to a “slave trade” and “forced displacement.”

 

8. (2nd LD) Top diplomats of S. Korea, Japan agree on ‘future-oriented’ ties, differ on historical issues

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · May 5, 2021

Please focus on national security and national prosperity as the priority while managing the difficult historical issues.

 

9. Inside the real North Korea: Wife of British diplomat reveals human side of life under Kim Jong-un

The Telegraph · by Nicola Smith

Will this be a “coffee table book” that I will purchase?  The hard cover is $25.95 at Amazon and is due out in June.

The anecdote features in her new book, North Korea – Like Nowhere Else, a rare photo exploration of the reclusive state, which is due to be released on Thursday.

 

10. North Korea may mount military provocations over South Korea-US summit: Korea Herald

The Strait Times

Of course they could.  But will they?  For what effects and objectives?

 

11. Japan, S.Korea meet with Blinken despite rifts

news.yahoo.com

Excerpts:The Biden administration conducted a North Korea policy review “in a deliberate way because we wanted to make sure that we were very actively consulting with all of the concerned countries, starting with our close allies South Korea and Japan, given their own very strong equities in this issue,” Blinken said Monday.

The two Asian nations are both treaty-bound allies of the United States but have long had friction due to the legacy of Japan’s harsh colonial rule over the Korean peninsula.

South Korea last month voiced “deep disappointment” after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga sent an offering to the Yasukuni shrine, which venerates war dead including convicted war criminals, although leaders in Tokyo have in recent years refrained from the more explosive step of visiting.

Relations deteriorated sharply in 2019, with South Korea pulling back at the last minute from terminating an agreement on sharing intelligence with Japan on North Korea.

 

12. Biden’s tentative steps towards North Korea’s Kim greeted with scepticism

Financial Times · by Edward White · May 5, 2021

Excerpts:Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA analyst who briefed presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama on North Korea, believed Biden’s policy was being designed as a “holding action, not a breakthrough”.

“The administration is not hyping its proposal. It realises that it’s unlikely to ‘solve’ the North Korean problem; it likely seeks to keep North Korea quiet so it can concentrate on more pressing priorities elsewhere that are solvable,” she said.

Soo Kim, a former CIA North Korea analyst now at the think-tank Rand Corporation, expected the Kim regime to resume military provocations. “There is little holding Pyongyang back from brinkmanship,” she said.

Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a North Korea expert at King’s College London, noted several “positive signals”, including Kim’s adherence to a de facto moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests since his summit with Trump in Singapore in 2018.Preparatory work was also under way for potential “track two” talks: back-channel discussions involving North Korean diplomats and foreign non-government experts, people familiar with the discussions said.

“They have certainly left the door open,” said Glyn Ford, a former member of the European parliament with close connections to high-ranking North Korean officials. “Quite how far open the door is, I’m unclear.”

 

13. South Korea’s diplomatic balancing act with Russia

eastasiaforum.org · by Anthony Rinna · May 5, 2021

Russia can be a spoiler in Northeast Asia.

Excerpts: “Given that Russia has a strong interest in pursuing collaborative economic projects involving both North and South Korea, particularly under South Korea’s New Northern Policy, the biggest challenge Seoul faces regarding Russia–US tensions will be responding to Russian diplomatic overtures that involve projects and initiatives that run counter to the current sanctions regime.

Senior Russian officials, for their part, express doubt that the United States would be favourable toward South Korea engaging in trilateral cooperation with North Korea and Russia. As South Korea gears up for presidential elections in 2022, it remains to be seen whether Moon Jae-in’s successor will maintain the New Northern Policy, launch a new analogous project, or abandon prospects of such trilateral cooperation altogether.

If Seoul maintains that Russia can play a helpful role in the Korean peace process through economic collaboration, then Russia’s opposition to sanctions — and the United States’ insistence on maintaining them — will elevate tensions within South Korea’s own foreign policy decision-making. This may not be nearly as pressing an issue as Seoul’s increasingly untenable ‘strategic ambiguity’ between China and the United States, but it is an issue that South Korea will likely be forced to contend with.

 

14. Trump may have cleared Biden’s path to check NKorea

washingtontimes.com · by Ben Wolfgang

But we are likely to see neither a return to “strategic patience” nor the employment of “unconventional, experimental, top down, pen pal diplomacy.”  The question is how will the difference be split?

 

15. North Korea faces economic ruin amid food and medicine shortages

The Guardian · by Justin McCurry · May 5, 2021

It could be  worse than the 1990’a Arduous March.  But while there are external conditions, e.g., COVID, natural disasters, and sanctions, it is really the policy decisions of Kim Jong-un that are the problem and what will bring ruin to the north.

 

—————-

 

“We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty.”

– Mark Twain

 

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

– President John F. Kennedy

 

“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”

– Alexis de Tocqueville

DanielRiggs
Wed, 05/05/2021 – 9:18am

05/04/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

05/04/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. Day 1 of the End of the U.S. War in Afghanistan

2. Who should lead the Pentagon’s information operations efforts?

3. Pentagon whistleblower warns UFO intelligence could rival 9/11

4. U.S. ‘far left’ susceptible to Chinese government’s COVID disinformation: Report

5. Biden team may partner with private firms to monitor extremist chatter online

6. In a Reversal, Nigeria Wants U.S. Africa Command Headquarters in Africa

7. Abandoning Taiwan Makes Zero Moral or Strategic Sense

8. The Fallacy of Presence

9. Austin’s task force is toughest move yet on China as Biden Pentagon mulls options

10. Bin Laden Raid Pilot Says Unique Marine Air-To-Air Course Likely Saved Him From Pakistani F-16s

11. ‘It’s an act of war’: Trump’s acting Pentagon chief urges Biden to tackle directed-energy attacks

12. Special Forces human performance facility construction underway at Fort Bragg

13. Why the United States Needs an Independent Cyber Force

14. Back to the Future: Getting Special Forces Ready for Great-Power Competition

15. Manhunting the Manhunters: Digital Signature Management in the Age of Great Power Competition

16. A Cold War, fought with information and espionage

17. Opinion | Here’s What Biden Must Do Before We Leave Afghanistan By Michael McCaul and Ryan C. Crocker

18. Joint exercise of US forces in Alaska mimics ‘what future conflict could feel like’

19. Japan offers official development assistance to Philippine military

20. Locsin says sorry to Chinese envoy over expletives; Palace says to leave swearing to Duterte

21. FDD | Is Beijing Planning a Rob, Replicate, Replace Olympics?

22. China Has Lost the Philippines Despite Duterte’s Best Efforts

23. Why America’s Trillion-Dollar War on Terrorism Couldn’t Defeat Boko Haram

 

1. Day 1 of the End of the U.S. War in Afghanistan

The New York Times · by Thomas Gibbons-Neff · May 3, 2021

TM Gibbons-Neff will probably end up taking us through the entire withdrawal process and chronicling the entire event. His writing will serve as the initial history of the withdrawal process. And I expect after US forces withdraw he will remain to document what comes next until it is no longer safe for him to remain in Afghanistan. I imagine it is challenging for him as a former Marine who served and fought in Afghanistan.

I expect this kind of reporting will be award winning:  “When asked about Maiwand, a district only about 50 miles away where Afghan forces were trying to fend off a Taliban offensive and Major Zahid was desperately trying to send air support, a U.S. soldier responded, “Who’s Maiwand?”

In the evening, the base loudspeaker chimed as one of the transport planes departed. “Attention,” someone out of view said. “There will be outgoing for the next 15 minutes.” The dull thud of mortar fire began. At what was unclear.

The end of the war looked nothing like the beginning of it. What started as an operation to topple the Taliban and kill the terrorists responsible for the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, had swelled over 20 years into a multitrillion-dollar military-industrial undertaking, infused with so much money that for years it seemed impossible to ever conclude or dismantle.

Until now.

The Taliban’s often-repeated adage loomed over the day: “You have the watches, we have the time.”

In one of the many trash bags littering the base, there was a discarded wall clock, its second hand still ticking.”

 

2. Who should lead the Pentagon’s information operations efforts?

Defense News · by Mark Pomerleau · May 3, 2021

It should not be OSD(P) or ASD SO/LIC leading DOD information operations. Both should exercise their roles of appropriate civilian oversight. We need a dedicated professionally staffed agency or organization (not a staff function) to actually lead DOD information warfare activities.

But this excerpt really makes me want to cry.

“If cyber as a domain is in its adolescence, then information is surely in its infancy,” he said.

 

How could information and influence be in its infancy? What an indictment of the nearly century of various attempts at information and influence operations and the dreaded words that are not used in the article at all -psychological warfare and psychological operations –  since they have been replaced by military information support operations.

 

3. Pentagon whistleblower warns UFO intelligence could rival 9/11

Daily Mail · by Bevan Hurley · May 3, 2021

Wow. It is not a conspiracy theory if it really happened as they say.

 

4. U.S. ‘far left’ susceptible to Chinese government’s COVID disinformation: Report

washingtontimes.com · by Guy Taylor

I assume this is the RAND report referenced in the article: Superspreaders of Malign and Subversive Information on COVID-19 Russian and Chinese Efforts Targeting the United States 

Excerpts: “The RAND report, meanwhile, analyzed nuanced differences in Russian and Chinese disinformation campaigns, as well as audience susceptibility to both.

“China-linked messaging was more uniform across different outlets; this suggests that operators did not attempt to target specific polarized audiences or to purposefully appeal to a wide variety of audiences in the United States,” the report said. “However, during the time frame that we analyzed (January 2020 to July 2020), messages critical of the U.S. response to the pandemic might have resonated with critics of the Trump administration, those on the left of the U.S. political spectrum, and those concerned with the federal pandemic response.”

“It is also possible that some of the messages about the origins of the virus could be attractive to conspiracy theory enthusiasts with different political views and affiliations,” the report added. “Overall, China-linked messaging could be of interest to U.S. audiences on the farther left of the political spectrum — Trump administration critics, conspiracy enthusiasts, and capitalism skeptics among them.”

 

5. Biden team may partner with private firms to monitor extremist chatter online

CNN · by Zachary Cohen and Katie Bo Williams

This could very well be the biggest mistake this administration makes. This could play right into the narrative of the extremist organizations and could lead to further recruitment and radicalization.

 

6. In a Reversal, Nigeria Wants U.S. Africa Command Headquarters in Africa

cfr.org · by John Campbell

This is quite a statement, proposal, or request.

 

7. Abandoning Taiwan Makes Zero Moral or Strategic Sense

Foreign Policy · by Blake Herzinger · May 3, 2021

A critique of Charles Glaser’s recent essay on abandoning Taiwan. 

Excerpts: “Apart from the logical flaws in his argument, Glaser seems untroubled by condemning 23 million free people to living beneath Beijing’s boot—to say nothing of the death and destruction that would be rained on Taiwan in an invasion. Somewhere along the line, some within the realist school appear to have lost their way. Too often, realism seems to just mean risk aversion and ends in calls for appeasement.

It is entirely appropriate for the U.S. government as well as the U.S. body politic to discuss and debate the future of the United States’ relationship with Taiwan, but it demands more than flimsy and error-ridden arguments when millions of lives lie in the balance. The risk of war is a terrible one, and Glaser is right to hope to avoid it, but retrenchment in the face of Chinese revisionism is not a convincing solution to the problem.

The same policies playing out in Xinjiang and Hong Kong—brutal repression, crushing dissent, reeducation camps—would be on full display in Taiwan, but the fact the United States’ long-term partners would be violently subjugated to a totalitarian government seems to be wholly outside the frame of Glaser’s concern. Realism is not an excuse for callousness. Imperfect as it may be, the United States presents itself as a state that stands for certain values, and leaving a democratic government and a free nation to be ground to dust while it looks on is not among them.

 

8. The Fallacy of Presence

usni.org · May 1, 2021

Presence, patience, and persistence. Presence for purpose. But I think the Chief is exactly right – presence without the proper authorities for action is rarely a deterrence. And this applies to more than fishing!

Illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing enforcement.

Gulf of Maine (GOM) Gray Zone.

Conclusion: “Unfortunately, for IUU fishing, the current legal framework is unsupportive of substantive enforcement action. In Advantage at Sea, the leaders of the Sea Services state, “the boldness of our actions must match the magnitude of our moment. The security of our nation depends on our ability to maintain advantage at sea.”17 Such an advantage will not be achieved or maintained by presence alone. Without substantive action, Canadians will continue to fish the GOM Gray Zone. China will continue to use its fishing fleets to gradually assert control over contested areas, all the while threatening the sustainability of fish stocks in the EEZs of developing nations throughout the world. Global competition for fish will increase and devolve into violence as fisheries collapse and the protein they provide becomes increasingly scare. The “firm and persuasive operations to confront malign behavior” cannot be mere presence and must instead translate into legislation that enacts criminal laws with extraterritorial applications and strategies and policies that enable and even encourage U.S. forces to seize, burn, and sink wherever warranted.

 

9. Austin’s task force is toughest move yet on China as Biden Pentagon mulls options

Washington Examiner · by Abraham Mahshie · May 3, 2021

Excerpts: “The China Task Force is the most clear manifestation of how seriously he’s taking China as a pacing challenge,” Kirby said, noting its conclusions are due by mid-June. “They’re continuing to do their work.”

In a departure from his usual reticence to delve into spending priorities, the spokesman also indicated the coming defense budget would put money behind the effort.

“We’re getting ready to unveil the president’s budget for DOD, that will come in in due time,” Kirby said. “I think you’ll see this larger concern about great power competition and our focus on that part of the world reflected in budget priorities.”

Kirby also sought to underscore that Austin’s first foreign trip was to visit Indo-Pacific allies and partners, including South Korea, Japan, and India.

“To listen to them about what they’re seeing in the region and the threats from their eyes,” he said. “ And to listen to them about their concerns about China’s increasingly aggressive and coercive behavior.”

 

10. Bin Laden Raid Pilot Says Unique Marine Air-To-Air Course Likely Saved Him From Pakistani F-16s

thedrive.com · by Tyler Rogoway and Jamie Hunter · May 3, 2021

Another fascinating story which really is another indication of why we need joint forces and joint training.

 

11. ‘It’s an act of war’: Trump’s acting Pentagon chief urges Biden to tackle directed-energy attacks

Politico · May 3, 2021

I hope we can get this sorted out soon before any more Americans are attacked and hurt.

Excerpts:A House Intelligence Committee spokesperson said on Friday that the panel has been “working quietly and persistently behind closed doors on this critical issue since the first reports,” vowing to “follow the evidence wherever it may lead and ensure anyone responsible is held to account.”

Doctors and scientists say the Havana attacks, which started in 2016, may have been caused by microwave weapons, which use a form of electromagnetic radiation to damage targets. While U.S. officials have not publicly blamed Russia for the events, Moscow is known to have worked on microwave weapons technology.

Simone Ledeen, a former Pentagon official overseeing Middle East policy under Trump who worked on directed-energy attacks in a previous position at DoD, also called on the new administration to continue looking into the incidents.

“This was one of the missions that absolutely needed to continue,” Ledeen said. “I hope the new team picks this up — it is actually very important as Americans are clearly being targeted.”

 

12. Special Forces human performance facility construction underway at Fort Bragg

americanmilitarynews.com · by Rachael Riley · May 4, 2021

 

13. Why the United States Needs an Independent Cyber Force

warontherocks.com · by David Barno · May 4, 2021

Conclusion: “We have called for an independent U.S. Cyber Force before, but the ever-increasing reliance on the cyber domain and the stunning nature of recent cyber attacks now make this even more urgent. The cyber domain is unprecedented in the history of warfare, since it does not require physical weaponry or geographic proximity to effectively attack and disrupt today’s U.S. military (and American society more broadly). The existing services are far too invested in preparing for warfare in their respective domains to think creatively and independently about ways to address this entirely new type of threat. Creating a new U.S. Cyber Force would help ensure that the vital oxygen upon which the U.S. military depends is always available in every future military operation.”

 

14. Back to the Future: Getting Special Forces Ready for Great-Power Competition

warontherocks.com · by Barnett S. Koven · May 4, 2021

Pretty comprehensive proposals and recommendations for Special Forces focusing heavily on language.

 

15.  Manhunting the Manhunters: Digital Signature Management in the Age of Great Power Competition

mwi.usma.edu · by Chris Cruden · May 3, 2021

It is a brave new world. Yes SOF must recognize the threats within the digital environment.

Excerpts: “Persistent digital situational awareness is a double-edged sword. Collection and analysis of such data creates a digital unblinking eye that can provide key, targetable insights into adversary operations, personnel, and force movements. But when our adversaries turn their own unblinking eyes in the direction of US SOF’s past, current, and future activities, these SOF organizations lose operational and technological advantages.

US SOF must recognize the realities of the digital threat environment, how current SOF operational profiles fit within it, and what continuing the status quo will mean for future operations against near-peer adversaries. Above all, SOF must understand that failure to take corrective, protective, and proactive actions to manage their digital signatures will result in operational compromise, mission failure, and strategic loss in this new era of great power competition.

 

16. A Cold War, fought with information and espionage

carryingthegun.com · by DG · May 4, 2021

This is a very accurate assessment I think: “As we move further and further into this new thing – great power competition – I’m struck by how much more difficult this is going to be than anything we’ve done before.”

 

17. Opinion | Here’s What Biden Must Do Before We Leave Afghanistan By Michael McCaul and Ryan C. Crocker

The New York Times · by Michael McCaul and Ryan C. Crocker · May 4, 2021

Excerpts: “These are vital issues Mr. Biden and his team must address — before we pull out on Sept. 11.

Yet so far they have offered no clarity on what counterterrorism agreements, if any, have been reached with other countries. They have provided only minimal assurances for how they will secure the safety of our embassy and personnel. They appear to have no plans for protecting Afghan women. And they have announced no strategy to address the visa backlog that could endanger thousands of our Afghan partners’ lives.

When America pulls out of a conflict zone at the wrong time, it creates a vacuum in which the terrorist threat grows again. That, in turn, eventually requires a re-entry of forces to keep Americans safe. So begins yet another forever war.

The ill-advised decision to pull out of Afghanistan may do just that. But by ensuring proper guardrails are in place, we have a chance to limit the fallout.”

 

18. Joint exercise of US forces in Alaska mimics ‘what future conflict could feel like’

Stars and Stripes · by Wyatt Olson · May 4, 2021

 

19. Japan offers official development assistance to Philippine military

news.abs-cbn.com · by Kyodo News

A first time security assistance effort by Japan. This could be significant though there are no weapons involved in this, only “lifesaving” equipment. Small steps.

But this is significant: “After the delivery is completed, Ground Self-Defense Force personnel will be sent to train units of the Philippine forces in their use, the ministry said.”

 

20. Locsin says sorry to Chinese envoy over expletives; Palace says to leave swearing to Duterte

globalnation.inquirer.net · by Daphne Galvez · May 4, 2021

Wow. I wonder if there is a president decision directive outlining this “policy.”

Excerpt: (We reiterate the President’s message that curse words have no place in diplomacy… President Duterte told members of his Cabinet that he is the only one who can use curse words. His Cabinet members should not imitate him.)

 

21. FDD | Is Beijing Planning a Rob, Replicate, Replace Olympics?

fdd.org · by Cleo Paskal · May 2, 2021

Conclusion: “If someone truly cares about all the effort, time and sacrifice athletes from all over the world devoted to making it to the Olympics, they would find a venue for them to compete where the hosts aren’t just waiting for a chance to rob, replicate and replace them—and ultimately use all that hard work to dominate them, and their nations.”

 

22. China Has Lost the Philippines Despite Duterte’s Best Efforts

Foreign Policy · by Derek Grossman · May 3, 2021

Conclusion: “To be sure, Duterte’s own instincts, high approval ratings, and lame-duck status probably mean he won’t plan a wholesale embrace of the United States. On the contrary, he is very unlikely to stop criticizing the United States because he remains, at his core, anti-U.S. That said, China has left Duterte little choice but to keep inching closer to Washington. To that end, it is likely the United States and the Philippines will reach an agreement on the new VFA soon. Atmospherics aside, Duterte is becoming less of a headache for Washington and more of one for Beijing—and that is a good thing for U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific.”

 

—————

 

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” 

– Mark Twain

 

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself makes you fearless.” 

– Lao Tzu

 

 “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” 

– Eleanor Roosevelt

DanielRiggs
Tue, 05/04/2021 – 8:55am

05/04/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

05/04/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Chung – United States Department of State

2.  Blinken urges N. Korea to engage, saying U.S. seeks practical progress

3. Biden Administration Gives Indication of North Korea Policy, but Questions Remain

4. Kim launches preemptive strike on Biden-Moon meet

5. Biden Wants a Pragmatic Approach Towards North Korea. Why Not Leave Korea Altogether?

6. Blinken urges North Korea to embrace diplomacy after consulting allies

7. N.K. paper says coronavirus vaccines ‘far from a panacea’ amid delay in securing supplies

8. North Korea: Keeping Its Powder Dry

9. Pyongyang’s Seoul-bashing over publication of Kim Il Sung memoir

10. Blinken tries to engage Pyongyang from London

11. US falls short of persuading North Korea to dialogue: experts

12. Analysis: Diplomatic dance or standoff? N.Korea and U.S. tread cautious line

13. N.Korea ‘Likely to Test Nuclear Weapon or ICBM This Year’

14. Head of Mangyongdae Revolutionary School demoted for failing to prevent suspected COVID-19 outbreak

15. The Latest: NKorea warns people to brace for virus struggle

16. US Calls on North Korea to ‘Engage Diplomatically’

17. South Korea’s ruling party elects hardliner on Japan issues

 

1. Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Chung – United States Department of State

state.gov · by Office of the Spokesperson  · May 3, 2021

 

2. Blinken urges N. Korea to engage, saying U.S. seeks practical progress

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · May 4, 2021

My assessment: Secretary Blinken explains the US seeks dialogue through practical and principled diplomacy and is providing Kim Jong-un the opportunity to act as a responsible member of the international community and negotiate in good faith to ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. 

We only have an announcement that the policy review is complete and some supporting talking points from the White House spokesperson and POTUS’ statement during the Congressional address. There are other indications of the new US policy in the March Quad Statement, the 2+2 statements from Tokyo and Seoul, and the joint statement from the three national security advisors of the ROK, Japan, and the US. However, no significant details of the policy have been released. My assessment of the anticipated policy is here:

My sense is the Biden administration is basing their new policy on a deep (and realistic) understanding of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime. However, it will still be a compromise policy taking into account many of the diverse views of both US internal differences and those of our allies (a tough thing to do). The greatest friction will be within the ROK US alliance and the conflict between Moon’s peace agenda, desire to offer concessions (and demand sanctions relief for the north) to support north-South engagement, and the north’s appeasement of the regime (e.g., the anti-leaflet law in direct response to Kim Yo-jong’s threats). The US and the ROK have different views of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the regime. Kim Jong-un will seek to exploit these differences with his “divide to conquer line of effort – e.g., divide the ROK/US alliance to conquer the ROK.

But…..I hope there will be a publicly discussed overt policy (that is based on principled (and practical) diplomacy (which means a phased approach and “action for action”), a human rights upfront approach, deterrence and defense and full implementation of all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions) and that it supports a classified superior political warfare strategy to counter the regime’s political warfare strategy with Juche characteristics.

I expect the heart of the policy to be based on full implementation of all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. This is because they are fairly comprehensive and because of the Biden administration’s foreign policy aim to properly use international institutions. Most importantly, the UN Security Council Resolutions are what the world demands and not just the US.

Regarding north Korean remarks on POTUS remarks in address to congress, announcement of completion of the policy review, and US statement on north Korean human rights abuses: The US should not be pressured by north Korea statements and over the top rhetoric. This is business as usual for the north. It is clear that all the regime knows is blackmail diplomacy – the use of threats, increased tensions, and provocations to gain political and economic concessions. The US (and the ROK) should be exposing the strategy and tactics of the north and not make decisions based on north Korean rhetoric (though it must take the rhetoric seriously and must thoroughly analyze it for the messages the regime is trying to send).

Kim Jong-un is clearly trying to make the new Biden Korean policy dead on arrival, or he is trying to establish the conditions to demand sanctions relief in return for a promise of talks. The US seeks talks but will not be coerced or extorted by the north. However, POTUS does not have the authority to unilaterally lift sanctions – it will require agreement at the UN Security Congress to lift UN sanctions and the US Congress to lift congressional imposed sanctions. Most important POTUS must not lift sanctions otherwise Kim Jong-un will assess that his political warfare strategy, his long con, and his blackmail diplomacy tactics are successful and rather than negotiating in good faith he will double down and seek more concessions.

 

3. Biden Administration Gives Indication of North Korea Policy, but Questions Remain

dailysignal.com · by Bruce Klingner · May 3, 2021

Good analysis from Bruce. There is still more that we need to know to understand the full scope of the policy.

 

4. Kim launches preemptive strike on Biden-Moon meet

asiatimes.com · by Andrew Salmon · May 3, 2021

Again, Kim is using his blackmail diplomacy tactics to set the conditions to extract concessions from the US and international community in return for a promise of conducting diplomacy in the future.

 

5. Biden Wants a Pragmatic Approach Towards North Korea. Why Not Leave Korea Altogether?

The National Interest · by Doug Bandow · May 3, 2021

The fastest way to bring war to the Korean peninsula is to follow Mr. Bandow’s advice.

 

6. Blinken urges North Korea to embrace diplomacy after consulting allies

24matins.uk · May 3, 2021

As I said: Secretary Blinken explains the US seeks dialogue through practical and principled diplomacy and is providing Kim Jong-un the opportunity to act as a responsible member of the international community and negotiate in good faith to ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. The onus is on Kim Jong-un to come to the table.

Blinken urges North Korea to embrace diplomacy after consulting allies

 

7.  N.K. paper says coronavirus vaccines ‘far from a panacea’ amid delay in securing supplies

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · May 4, 2021

The Propaganda and Agitation Department covering the failures by the Kim family regime.

And I am sure when they do procure vaccines they will spin it that Kim Jong-un is responsible for their discovery and development and that he has (again) saved the Korean people in the north.

 

8. North Korea: Keeping Its Powder Dry

38north.org · by 38 North · May 3, 2021

Attempting to set conditions for future demands and actions in my opinion.

 

What is missing from the analysis below is no mention of the regime’s reactions to the US statements on north Korean human rights. The regime has reacted strongly to the statement because it undermines regime legitimacy and is a threat to the regime. We need to examine the full scope of north Korean statements to better understand the nature of the regime.

 

9. Pyongyang’s Seoul-bashing over publication of Kim Il Sung memoir

donga.com  · May 4, 2021

Another of north Korea’s propaganda lines of effort.

But what is interesting is how the Propaganda and Agitation Department turns democratic principles against the South to further the north’s agenda.

 

10. Blinken tries to engage Pyongyang from London

Koreanjoongangdaily · by Sarah Kim · May 4, 2021

The question is will Kim Jong-un act and negotiate like a responsible member of the international community or will he continue to execute this long con, political warfare strategy, and blackmail diplomacy tactics? 

 

11.  US falls short of persuading North Korea to dialogue: experts

The Korea Times · by Kang Seung-woo · May 4, 2021

Wow. It seems like some pundits are in full support of Kim Jong-un’s objective to make the new Biden Korea policy dead on arrival.

But we have really only heard the policy review is complete and we have heard some talking points. Do we really expect that to “persuade” north Korea? How about allowing some diplomacy to be attempted before we jump to conclusions.

 

12. Analysis: Diplomatic dance or standoff? N.Korea and U.S. tread cautious line

Reuters

The diplomatic dance has only just begun.

 

13. N.Korea ‘Likely to Test Nuclear Weapon or ICBM This Year’

english.chosun.com

At least I think that is what Kim wants us to believe. Fits right into his blackmail diplomacy tactics.

 

14. Head of Mangyongdae Revolutionary School demoted for failing to prevent suspected COVID-19 outbreak

dailynk.com · by Ha Yoon Ah · May 4, 2021

So was there really an outbreak? Is this an admission? If not how can you be responsible for preventing a “suspected outbreak?” 

This really seems like it counters the continue regime reports of no COVID cases within north Korea:

Excerpts: “Mangyongdae Revolutionary School started preparations for its students to attend the Oct. 10, 2020 military parade in May of last year. In September, there was a surge in suspected cases of COVID-19 among some of the students, twelve of whom died. The twelve students reportedly had preexisting conditions and died after exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms such as high fevers, coughs, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and hemoptysis.

The school’s hospital attempted to escape blame for the deaths by claiming the students had become ill because the long hours they spent practicing for the upcoming military parade kept them from sleeping properly. The school claims that the students died from sepsis and alveolar shock, but those within the military believe they died from COVID-19.

News of the deaths was belatedly reported during the KPA Party Committee’s plenary meeting, where it was decided that Oh should be demoted for failing to prevent a major incident where the “children of fallen warriors were killed en masse.”

 

15.  The Latest: NKorea warns people to brace for virus struggle

Star Tribune · May 3, 2021

Perhaps the pandemic is hitting or about to breakout in the north. If an outbreak occurs it could be catastrophic. Are we ready for the possible contingencies?

 

16. US Calls on North Korea to ‘Engage Diplomatically’

voanews.com · by Nike Ching · May 3, 2021

We need to emphasize the new policy is an offer to the north to negotiate as a responsible member of the international community. It is up to Kim Jong-un. But we are likely to see him continue his long con. political warfare strategy, and blackmail diplomacy.

 

17. South Korea’s ruling party elects hardliner on Japan issues

asahi.com · by Takuya Suzuki · May 3, 2021

 

————-

 

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” 

– Mark Twain

 

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself makes you fearless.” 

– Lao Tzu

 

 “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” 

– Eleanor Roosevelt

DanielRiggs
Tue, 05/04/2021 – 8:40am

05/03/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

05/03/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell.  Edited and Published by Daniel Riggs

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell.  Edited and Published by Daniel Riggs

1. Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe

2. A wider war coming to Myanmar

3. Afghanistan Withdrawal Won’t Be Like ‘Fall of Saigon,’ Deputy SecDef Says

4. China already ‘engaging in irregular war’ with US in the ‘grey zone’

5. US-led ‘psychological wars’ against Russia, China lead to all lose situation

6. Philippines foreign minister issues expletive-laced tweet over China sea dispute

7. China: Totalitarianism’s Long Shadow

8. Could China send peacekeeping troops to Afghanistan?

9. China is Trying to Break up the Five Eyes Intelligence Network

10. Organizing for Large-Scale Maritime Combat Operations

11. Increase in rare-earth mining in Myanmar may be funding junta

12. Australia Is Reviewing China’s Ownership of a Darwin Port

13. S. Korea, China, Japan express concern over uneven economic revival in Asia

14. How a More Resilient America Beat a Midcentury Pandemic

15. From the Past, a Chilling Warning About the Extremists of the Present

16. No ‘Boogeyman’: Why the Bin Laden Raid Might be the Last Unifying Moment for US Foreign Policy

17. The Operational Environment (2021-2030): Great Power Competition, Crisis, and Conflict

18. Opinion | Is America a Racist Country?

 

1. Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe

The New York Times · by Apoorva Mandavilli · May 3, 2021

I guess if we do not reach herd immunity Darwin rules will prevail. There will be a culling of the human herd.

 

2. A wider war coming to Myanmar

asiatimes.com · by Bertil Lintner · May 1, 2021

Excerpts:Even without a unified ethnic resistance, there is still a chance that the Tatmadaw’s old guard could move to break the stalemate by pressuring or even trying to overthrow Min Aung Hlaing and his top deputies before the situation deteriorates further.

The SLORC and SPDC were likewise brutal outfits and no friends of democracy, but former junta chief and commander-in-chief Senior General Than Shwe did initiate liberal reforms that led to a more open society and vastly improved relations with the West and wider world before stepping aside in 2010.

Than Shwe is now in his late 80s and political analysts in Myanmar believe that the current chaos is hardly the kind of legacy he would want to leave behind. Whether the aging general has the wherewithal, influence or inclination to try to rein in Min Aung Hlaing is unknown, but the anarchy unleashed by his coup is clearly not in the military establishment’s short or long-term interests.

 

3.  Afghanistan Withdrawal Won’t Be Like ‘Fall of Saigon,’ Deputy SecDef Says

military.com · by Stephen Losey · April 30, 2021

 

4. China already ‘engaging in irregular war’ with US in the ‘grey zone’

news.com.au · by Jamie Seidel · May 2, 2021

We face threats from political warfare strategies supported by hybrid military approaches. 

Irregular Warfare is the military contribution to Political Warfare. Political warfare is how we should describe the competition space between peace and war and is the defining element in Great Power Competition. While state on state warfare is the most dangerous threat or course of action of GCP and why we must absolutely invest in deterrence and defense, Political War is the most likely threat or course of action.  

It is time for us to shift from the Clausewitzian “War is politics or policy by other means” and embrace our adversaries’ views: “Politics is war by other means” or as Mao said, “Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.”

 

5. US-led ‘psychological wars’ against Russia, China lead to all lose situation

theedgemarkets.com · May 3, 2021

China doth protest too much. And it is guilty of mirror imaging or projecting. It is China who has the “three warfares:” psychological warfare, legal warfare, and media or public opinion warfare.

 

6. Philippines foreign minister issues expletive-laced tweet over China sea dispute

Reuters

This should spark the twitter war – perhaps it gives new meaning to better to jaw-jaw than war-war. I have never seen such a “diplomatic statement.”  Perhaps twitter does bring out the worst in us.

The tweet: “China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see… O…GET THE FUCK OUT,” Locsin said in a tweet on his personal account.”What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We’re trying. You. You’re like an ugly oaf forcing your attentions on a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to father a Chinese province…”, Locsin said.

 

7. China: Totalitarianism’s Long Shadow

journalofdemocracy.org · by Minxin Pei

Excerpts:Given the self-destructive dynamics of neo-Stalinism and the strategic odds stacked against the Party, the future could see Xi’s nightmare realized as economic, political, and external conditions akin to those that plagued the late-stage Soviet regime begin to beset CCP rule.

By that time, China’s socioeconomic conditions will be even more favorable for a democratic breakthrough than they are today. Even if we [End Page 18] assume annual growth averaging 3 percent between now and 2035 (a very modest figure by PRC standards), that will yield a per capita GDP exceeding $25,000 a year in Purchasing Power Parity terms. Meanwhile, another hundred-million people will have graduated from college, raising the share of the populace with a postsecondary degree to just over a fifth.

Will this bring a decisive political mobilization against one-party rule by 2035? No one can say, but with a per capita income which will be equal to that of Chile today and about three-hundred million college-educated citizens, Chinese society will by then be abler than ever to press for democratic change. If the fate of post-totalitarian communist dictatorships in the old Soviet bloc is any guide, a bet worth making is that China’s long journey from Maoism to neo-Stalinism via a three-decade trip through post-totalitarianism will be seen as a historical detour that delayed but could not prevent a rendezvous with democratic change. When that meeting happens, Lipset’s modernization thesis shall have its last laugh—and China may finally march out of the long, dark shadow of its totalitarian past.

 

8. Could China send peacekeeping troops to Afghanistan?

thinkchina.sg · by Ma Haiyun · May 3, 2021

The very first point – will there be a UN peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan? I have not heard any discussion of such a mission.

Conclusion: “The prospect of Chinese peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan may later emerge when the Kabul regime, as China’s traditional security partner, either becomes transformed as part of the interim government or even replaced by the Taliban. A UN solution of peacekeeping is certainly helpful to promoting peace in future Afghanistan, but China’s participation owing to geostrategic interests may complicate this mission.”

 

9. China is Trying to Break up the Five Eyes Intelligence Network

gatestoneinstitute.org · by Con Coughlin · May 3, 2021

Excerpts: “China is making a deliberate attempt to create divisions within the elite “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance by forging closer relations with the left-wing government of New Zealand premier Jacinda Ardern.

The Five Eyes alliance, comprising the US, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, dates back to the Second World War, when a number of key allies decided to share intelligence in their bid to defeat Nazi Germany and Japan.

Today, maintaining intelligence-sharing cooperation between the five Anglophone nations is deemed essential to combating the threat posed by autocratic states, such as Russia and Communist China.

 

10. Organizing for Large-Scale Maritime Combat Operations

divergentoptions.org · by Michael D. Purzycki · May 3, 2021

I don’t think large-scale maritime combat operations will be restricted to the maritime domain.

 

11. Increase in rare-earth mining in Myanmar may be funding junta

The Telegraph · by Maighna Nanu

Excerpts: “Limiting military access to foreign currency is the “primary financial pressure point that could elicit a change” in the junta’s behaviour, concluded this week’s IEM report.

Sanctioning the regime’s foreign assets generated from natural gas, mining, forestry, shipping and airlines would cut off roughly $2 billion per year in financing for the military, it said.

The US and the UK have both imposed visa bans and asset freezes on individual generals and moved to sanction the military-controlled conglomerates, Myanma Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC).

The two firms operate in lucrative sectors such as mining, tobacco and gemstones.

 

12. Australia Is Reviewing China’s Ownership of a Darwin Port

Bloomberg · by Jason Scott · May 3, 2021

Excerpts: “China slammed Australia’s decision last month to use new laws to cancel Belt-and-Road agreements with the Victorian state government. There has been increasing speculation Morrison may use the laws, passed in December, to scrap long-term leases held by Chinese companies at the ports in Darwin and Newcastle.

“In relation to the Port of Darwin, if there is any advice that I receive from the Department of Defence or intelligence agencies that suggest there are national security risks there, then you would expect the government to take action on that,” Morrison said in a radio interview Friday.

 

13. S. Korea, China, Japan express concern over uneven economic revival in Asia

m.koreaherald.com · by Park Han-na · May 3, 2021

Excerpts:At the meeting of the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, which was held later in the day, the leaders called for the early implementation of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s largest free trade deal, signed by 15 countries including Australia and New Zealand in November 2020.

They said the deal will help strengthen economic linkages and enhance trade- and investment-related activities.

During the trilateral meeting, the finance minister told his counterparts that the country will continue with expansionary fiscal policy until the economy gets back on track and will push for the Korean green new deal in pursuit of sustainable growth through the development of the renewable energy sector.

Close cooperation among the three nations will create the strong synergy needed to tackle pending issues they have in common, such as climate change and the restoration of multilateralism, as well as low birth rates and aging populations, he added.

 

14. How a More Resilient America Beat a Midcentury Pandemic

WSJ · by Niall Ferguson

Some fascinating history.

 

15.  From the Past, a Chilling Warning About the Extremists of the Present

The New York Times · by Neil MacFarquhar · May 2, 2021

More interesting and important history.

 

16.  No ‘Boogeyman’: Why the Bin Laden Raid Might be the Last Unifying Moment for US Foreign Policy

defenseone.com · by Jacqueline Feldscher

Excerpts: “The raid that killed bin Laden was not the uniting moment. It was the culmination of a groundswell of rallying around the flag that began with the 9/11 attacks themselves,” said Peter Feaver, a political science professor at Duke University and former National Security Council staffer in the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations. “…To have the impact of the bin Laden raid, it would likely need to be preceded by a galvanizing moment that dramatized the threat. Such a moment is not to be wished for, since it would be a great national tragedy.”

Feaver speculated a “dramatic gesture” to end the Iranian or North Korean nuclear weapons program forever could elicit a celebration across America akin to that felt after the bin Laden raid, but acknowledged such an operation would also likely have a high death toll.

Still, others wondered if America could unite over something positive.

“What about people celebrating the moment in time when the world is rid of Covid?” Ben-Yehuda said. “Or of celebrating a billion Covid shots sent from the U.S. to the developing world. This country is capable of greatness.”

 

17.  The Operational Environment (2021-2030): Great Power Competition, Crisis, and Conflict

madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil · by user · May 3, 2021

The 28 page document can be downloaded here. 

 

18. Opinion | Is America a Racist Country?

The New York Times · by Charles M. Blow · May 2, 2021

A very controversial opinion piece about one of the most controversial and divisive subjects of our time.

 

————–

 

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” 

– Vincent Van Gogh

 

“If you hate a person, then you’re defeated by them.“ 

– Confucius

 

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” 

– Socrates

DanielRiggs
Mon, 05/03/2021 – 9:22am

05/03/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

05/03/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell.  Edited and Published by Daniel Riggs

1. Estimating North Korea’s Nuclear Stockpiles: An Interview With Siegfried Hecker

2. N. Korea should not miss opportunity

3.  Military closely monitoring N.K. activities, no unusual signs yet: JCS

4. Police chief orders thorough probe into anti-N.K. leafleting by defector group

5. Unification minister vows continued efforts for ‘meaningful’ change in inter-Korean ties

6. N. Korea said to quit World Cup qualifiers to be hosted by S. Korea in June

7. Japan, South Korea nowhere near rapprochement

8. Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Chung Eui-Yong Before Their Meeting

9. Opinion | This ex-Marine tried to help a North Korean diplomat defect. Now he faces decades in prison.

10. N.K. paper calls for tightened efforts against ‘devil’s virus’

11. North Korea accuses Joe Biden of pursuing ‘hostile policy’ over its nuclear programme

12. S. Korea launches new frigate with improved anti-submarine capabilities

13. South Korea eyes production hub for COVID-19 vaccines

14. Biden takes a firm stance on N. Korean nuclear issue

15. Biden’s N.Korea Policy Sends a Worrying Signal

16. Picasso’s ‘Massacre in Korea’ displayed here for first time

17. Moon’s Approval Rating Nosedives Below 30%

 

1. Estimating North Korea’s Nuclear Stockpiles: An Interview With Siegfried Hecker

38north.org · April 30, 2021

The key point: “How many bombs can North Korea make with those inventories of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, and can they make hydrogen bombs?

SH: The plutonium bomb that destroyed Nagasaki in August 1945 used around six kilograms. The Hiroshima bomb used HEU, but it was of a primitive design. How much plutonium or HEU the North Koreans need for a bomb depends on how good their scientists are and what kind of bomb they want to build. A reasonable estimate is five kilograms for plutonium bombs and 25 kilograms for HEU bombs. Using the plutonium and HEU inventories I mentioned leads me to believe the most likely number of bombs is 45. The recent estimates in a RAND/Asan Institute report of 67 to 116 today and 151 to 242 by 2027 are much too high. They estimate that North Korea has the capacity to add 12 to 18 bombs per year; ours is closer to six.

As for hydrogen bombs, these need fusion fuels, namely the heavy hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium. Deuterium is easy to produce. Tritium has to be produced in reactors. Looking at the North’s reactor operations over the years, I believe they have produced small amounts of tritium, perhaps enough for a few hydrogen bombs. The real question, of course, is, do they know how to design and build a hydrogen bomb? We are not certain, but the sixth nuclear test was large enough to have been a hydrogen bomb. It likely used a plutonium fission device to drive the fusion reaction. Since the production of plutonium and tritium requires reactors, it is very important to stop reactor operations in Yongbyon permanently.

 

2. N. Korea should not miss opportunity

donga.com · May 3, 2021

This is the key point – the regime wants sanctions lifted before even talking. But the last sentence of this excerpt is the Donga Ilbo’s warning to the north.

North Korea should show a change of attitude as the U.S. mentioned upholding the Singapore Agreement and the possibility of easing sanctions. While North Korea argues for ‘first easing sanctions, then talking,’ it is well acknowledged that such an option is not realistic. North Korea also demanded at the Hanoi Summit the easing of key sanctions with the condition of dismantling nuclear facilities in Nyongbyon. North Korea should understand that the Biden administration’s stance of ‘careful, calibrated diplomatic approach’ can change any time with the North’s provocations.

 

3. Military closely monitoring N.K. activities, no unusual signs yet: JCS

en.yna.co.kr · by 최수향 · May 3, 2021

Is the operative word “Yet?”

 

4. Police chief orders thorough probe into anti-N.K. leafleting by defector group

en.yna.co.kr · by 김나영 · May 3, 2021

Stop the appeasement of Kim Yo-jong and the Korean family regime.

 

5. Unification minister vows continued efforts for ‘meaningful’ change in inter-Korean ties

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · May 3, 2021

Minister Lee just keeps doubling down on his failed ideas and demonstrating a pack of understanding of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime.

 

6. N. Korea said to quit World Cup qualifiers to be hosted by S. Korea in June

en.yna.co.kr · by 유청모 · May 3, 2021

I will be hard to reprise the 2018 Olympic engagement. Of maybe the regime just begs the international community for nK participation.

Excerpt: An official from the KFA said the AFC is expected to ask North Korea to reconsider its decision not to travel to South Korea, because there is still some time left before the centralized matches kick off here.

 

7. Japan, South Korea nowhere near rapprochement

asiatimes.com · by Daniel Sneider · May 3, 2021

The only way we are going to see an improvement in Japan-ROK relations is if both Moon and Suga decide to exercise decisive leadership and in the face of domestic criticism prioritize national security and national prosperity while managing the historical issues.

 

8. Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Chung Eui-Yong Before Their Meeting

state.gov · by Antony J. Blinken

Hopefully there will be some substantive remarks following their meeting.

 

9. Opinion | This ex-Marine tried to help a North Korean diplomat defect. Now he faces decades in prison.

The Washington Post · by Max Boot and Sue Mi Terry · May 2, 2021

We should not be extraditing Mr. Ahn.

 

10. N.K. paper calls for tightened efforts against ‘devil’s virus’

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · May 3, 2021

The regime must sustain the threat of COVID to justify imposition of its draconian population and resources control measures in order to further oppress the people to protect the Kim family regime from internal threat.

 

11. North Korea accuses Joe Biden of pursuing ‘hostile policy’ over its nuclear programme

BBC

It is the Kim family regime that has been pursuing a “hostile policy” toward South Korea and the international community for some 7 decades. It seeks domination of the Korean peninsula and there is no more hostile policy than that.

Kim Jong-un is mirror imaging and projecting.

 

12. S. Korea launches new frigate with improved anti-submarine capabilities

en.yna.co.kr · by 최수향 · May 3, 2021

This is more important for the defense of Korea than the development of a nuclear powered submarine.

 

13. South Korea eyes production hub for COVID-19 vaccines

m.koreaherald.com · by Lee Ji-yoon · May 3, 2021

Reporting on vaccines in Korea is all over the map.

 

14. Biden takes a firm stance on N. Korean nuclear issue

donga.com · May 3, 2021

This is the unstated difference and friction in the ROK/US alliance about the new US policy for north Korea. We have two different views of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime. Will we be able to close that gap with the upcoming alliance meetings and president summit on May 21st? Or will we allow the regime to pursue one of its most important lines of effort in its long con and political warfare strategy: divide to conquer – divide the ROK/US alliance to conquer the ROK.

Excerpt: However, the North warned, “They will face a serious situation.” It is a response toward Biden’s first congressional speech that mentioned “diplomacy” and “strong sanctions” as the principle of North Korea policy on Wednesday (local time) and America’s continuous presentation of North Korean human rights issue. The South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae did not make an official announcement regarding this. “The South Korean government is anticipating positive responses of the North for efforts made by the U.S. and South Korea,” said the Foreign Ministry in Seoul.

 

15. Biden’s N.Korea Policy Sends a Worrying Signal

english.chosun.com

We should keep in mind that none of us have seen the actual policy (and most of us may never and should not see the full details – many of which should be classified). So everyone is making judgments based on a few statements. And many of the judgments are made to further agendas and preconceived notions.

But “diplomacy and ster deterrence” is in effect the same approach that has gotten the U.S. government nowhere for the last 30 years. The fact that the Biden administration was unable to come up with anything different after a 100-day policy review shows just how complicated the North Korean nuclear question is. As expected, North Korea responded with one of its usual tirades, accusing the U.S. of making a “big blunder” and warning of a “very grave situation.” The North is threatening to test launch long and short-range nuclear missiles unless the U.S. eases sanctions or decreases its troop presence in South Korea. Already, the U.S. and South Korea have halted annual joint military exercises to appease North Korea, but to no avail. If the North does not get what it wants, it always resorts to provocation, so close cooperation between the U.S. and its allies is needed more than ever.

Conclusion: “Kim believes hanging on to his nuclear weapons is his only hope of remaining in power. That attitude has not changed since the days of former his father Kim Jong-il. Hopes of denuclearization are fading rapidly. Moon will sit face to face with Biden on May 21. He needs to let the U.S. leader know that his goal is the complete scrapping of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, not another publicity stunt.

16. Picasso’s ‘Massacre in Korea’ displayed here for first time

The Korea Times · May 3, 2021

I am an in no way art aficionado. I was familiar with Picasso’s other two works but not this one from the Korean War.

Please go to the link if you cannot see the painting in this message. 

 

17. Moon’s Approval Rating Nosedives Below 30%

Historic lows.

english.chosun.com

 

————-

 

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” 

– Vincent Van Gogh

 

“If you hate a person, then you’re defeated by them.“ 

– Confucius

 

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” 

– Socrates

DanielRiggs
Mon, 05/03/2021 – 9:10am

Special Operations News Update – Monday, May 3, 2021

Special Operations News Update – Monday, May 3, 2021

Access SOF News Update HERE.

Curated news, analysis, and commentary about special operations, national security, and conflicts around the world. Navy SEAL focus on GPC, ‘Tab Culture’, MoH for Ranger, AFSOC, international SOF, female WWII spies, proxy warfare, Russia’s GRU, troubles in Sahel, books, podcasts, and videos about SOF.

Editorial Note: Due to travel requirements and other priorities SOF News will not publish any articles for the next week. We will return on Monday, May 10, 2021.

Dave Maxwell
Mon, 05/03/2021 – 6:19am

Journal of Advanced Military Studies, Vol 12, No 1. 2021. (Political Warfare and Propaganda)

Journal of Advanced Military Studies, Vol 12, No 1. 2021. (Political Warfare and Propaganda)

Access the Journal of Advanced Military Studies, Vol 12, No 1. 2021. HERE

Table of Contents:

POLITICAL WARFARE AND PROPAGANDA

Political Warfare and Propaganda: An Introduction 13

James J. F. Forest, PhD

Fake News for the Resistance: 34

The OSS and the Nexus of Psychological Warfare

and Resistance Operations in World War II

Daniel de Wit

All Women Belong in the Kitchen, and Other Dangerous Tropes: 57

Online Misogyny as a National Security Threat

Kyleanne Hunter, PhD, and Emma Jouenne

Consistency of Civil-Military Relations 86

in the Israel Defense Forces:

The Defensive Mode in Cyber

Glen Segell, PhD

Russian Cyber Information Warfare: 112

International Distribution and Domestic Control

Lev Topor, PhD, and Alexander Tabachnik, PhD

Propagandized Adversary Populations in a War of Ideas 128

Donald M. Bishop

Social Antiaccess/Area-Denial (Social A2/AD) 149

Colonel Phil Zeman, USMC

Representation of Armed Forces through Cinematic 165

and Animated Pieces: Case Studies

Michael Cserkits, PhD

Streaming the Battlefield: 181

A Theory of the Internet’s Effect on Negotiation Onset

First Lieutenant Anthony Patrick, USMC

 

REVIEW ESSAYS

The Crucible of War: 197

What Do We Know about Military Adaptation?

Martijn van der Vorm

National Security Is Still an Ambiguous Concept 210

José de Arimatéia da Cruz, PhD/MPH

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Beyond Blue Skies: 217

The Rocket Plane Programs that Led to the Space Age

by Chris Petty

Reviewed by John M. Curatola, PhD

Forging the World: 219

Strategic Narratives and International Relations

edited by Alister Miskimmon, Ben O’Loughlin, and Laura Roselle

Reviewed by Raphaël Zaffran, PhD

It’s My Country Too: 222

Women’s Military Stories from the American Revolution

to Afghanistan

edited by Jerri Bell and Tracy Crow

Reviewed by Sara Ferragamo

Iwo Jima and the Bonin Islands in U.S.-Japan Relations: 234

American Strategy, Japanese Territory, and the Islanders In-Between

by Robert D. Eldridge

 

Reviewed by Samantha Boelter, MAH

Polymaths of Islam: 236

Power and Networks of Knowledge in Central Asia

by James Pickett

Reviewed by Victoria Clement, PhD

Rhetoric and Demagoguery 238

by Patricia Roberts-Miller

Reviewed by Ann Luppi von Mehren

The Secret History of RDX: 241

The Super-Explosive that Helped Win World War II

by Colin F. Baxter

Reviewed by Frank Blazich, PhD

Dave Maxwell
Sun, 05/02/2021 – 10:01am

05/01/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

05/01/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. Exclusive: Coalition calls on Biden to form disinformation task force

2. Putin Just Doesn’t Care – Murder, mayhem—so what? He’s trying to make a point. 

3. China Expands Disinformation Campaign to Undermine International Xinjiang Outcry

4. When It Comes to Political Warfare, China is at the Head of the Class

5. Russia’s Sputnik V Skews Stats to Falsely Trash Pfizer Vaccine

6. ‘Ghostwriter’ disinformation campaign rages on as Biden prepares for NATO trip

7. Chinese workers allege forced labor, abuses in Xi’s ‘Belt and Road’ program

8. Facebook says it removed the internet’s 12 most prominent anti-vaxxers. 10 are still on the social network.

9. Biden leaves China a Xinjiang terrorism problem with US exit from Afghanistan

10. Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker – Late April Trends (link to complete roll-up)

11. Opinion: Regime change in China is not only possible, it is imperative

12. Biden’s first 100 days on the global stage were the easy part

13. Pentagon chief calls for ‘new vision’ for American defense

14. State Briefing on SECSTATE Trip to the G7

15. Biden’s Foreign Policy Takes a Back Seat to Domestic Priorities

16. Senate Intel leaders say mysterious directed energy attacks appear to be increasing

17. How a brutal assault led a woman to one of the CIA’s most valuable Russian spies

18. Davidson, handing INDOPACOM’s reins to Aquilino, takes one last jab at China

19. Secretary of Defense Remarks for the U.S. INDOPACOM Change of Command

20. FBI and CIA are urged to boost intel gathering on foreign White supremacist groups

21. He mentored decades of Army Rangers. At 94, he’ll receive the Medal of Honor.

22.  As counterterror missions fade, special operations finds time to fix its own problems

23. Nathan Chapman: Remembering the first US soldier killed in Afghan war as troops pull out after 2 decades

24. From “Stability Operations” to “Stabilization Activities:” Why and How the Department of Defense changed its Doctrine and Policies

25. Candid reflections on Afghanistan from those whose lives were changed forever by the war

26.  ‘Congratulations, You Killed Osama bin Laden’

27. Teamwork Led Us to Bin Laden and Can Keep America Safe

28. Donald Kirk: How anti-Asianism explodes in wake of the ‘China virus’

29. “Oh So Social” Conversation: Osama bin Laden Raid – 10 Years Later (OSS Society)

 

1. Exclusive: Coalition calls on Biden to form disinformation task force

Reprise the Active Measures Working Group from the Raegan-Bush years? Deception, Disinformation, and Strategic Communications: How One Interagency Group Made a Major Difference

By Fletcher Schoen and Christopher J. Lamb Strategic Perspectives 11  

Matt Armstrong can weigh in on the merits of doing so.  

Quote from Matt’s 2017 testimony: “We have remarkably little relevant experience in combating the political warfare being waged against us today. We may imagine that the United States Information Agency and the Active Measures Working Group are guideposts, but USIA was never intended nor fit for that purpose and the Active Measures Working Group was a very small and very reactionary operation. Neither is a useful model of proactive and unified defense, let alone offense.”

Axios · by Ina Fried

 

2. Putin Just Doesn’t Care – Murder, mayhem—so what? He’s trying to make a point. 

spytalk.co · by Jeff Stein

 

3. China Expands Disinformation Campaign to Undermine International Xinjiang Outcry

rfa.org

Note this is from Radio Free Asia and this is broadcast into China.

 

4. When It Comes to Political Warfare, China is at the Head of the Class

oodaloop.com · by Emilio Iasiello · April 23, 2021

Excerpts: “This raises into question President Biden’s strategy to use coalitions to reign in and contain adversaries. While many may join in curtailing countries like Iran and North Korea, China’s burgeoning status as a global leader and its strong economy may present benefits that far outweigh any preferred courses of action against it. China’s influence operations and disinformation/misinformation campaigns are exactly the types of activities Beijing will use to cast doubt and sow division in order to weaken the resolve of some of the more malleable alliance members. This may result in the White House settling for a mild Plan C when it comes to addressing China instead of going with a strong Plan A.

China’s political warfare embodies the types of activities Beijing implement against such an alliance. They will be used to cast doubt and sow division to weaken the resolve of some of the more malleable members. What’s more, political warfare (in tandem with its broader “Three Warfares” strategy) exemplifies the tenets expressed in Chinese writings of “winning a war without fighting.” When it comes to shaping perceptions, China has excelled in the information space. If the United States does not put up is own counter to these activities, it may find itself incorrectly thinking its strength remains behind a Maginot Line that’s crumbling from its base.

 

5. Russia’s Sputnik V Skews Stats to Falsely Trash Pfizer Vaccine

polygraph.info · by William Echols · April 28, 2021

Excerpts:U.S. officials have previously accused Russian intelligence of running disinformation campaigns to undermine faith in the Pfizer vaccine.

Polygraph.info previously noted that the state-owned Russian Gazette published an article in February claiming 64 people in Sweden had died from side effects of the Pfizer vaccine, despite the fact that Sweden’s medical watchdog found that none of the deaths were vaccine-related.

A study by The Alliance for Securing Democracy, which is affiliated with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, found that “Pfizer received by far the most unfavorable coverage of any vaccine, particularly from Kremlin-funded outlets and Iranian state media and government accounts.”

 

6. ‘Ghostwriter’ disinformation campaign rages on as Biden prepares for NATO trip

cyberscoop.com · by Sean Lyngaas · April 28, 2021

A 33 page PDF of a report on “Ghostwriter” is at this link.

Excerpts:The Ghostwriter activity is the kind of foreign disinformation that Joe Biden will be up against as he prepares to make his first overseas trip as U.S. president in June. Biden will attend a NATO summit in Brussels where is expected to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the transnational bloc.

NATO has long been a fixation for Ghostwriter operatives. They forged a letter last year from the NATO secretary general to Lithuania’s defense ministry purporting to announce the withdrawal of NATO troops from that country. But the attackers have also veered into pure domestic politics by hacking Polish politicians’ Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts to smear them or to attack social activists in Poland, according to FireEye.

 

7. Chinese workers allege forced labor, abuses in Xi’s ‘Belt and Road’ program

The Washington Post · by Lily Kuo and Alicia Chen · April 30, 2021

I hope the Global Engagement Center is including this in its themes and message planning. Of course we want these messages to come from other sources than simply the USG so hopefully articles like these will have legs.

 

8. Facebook says it removed the internet’s 12 most prominent anti-vaxxers. 10 are still on the social network.

Mashable · by Matt Binder

Excerpts:The Center for Countering Digital Hate and Anti-Vax Watch are urging the big social media platforms to take action and enforce their own policies.

“Big Tech promised to protect public health by taking enforcement action against known, repeat-offender vaccine disinformation superspreaders. Yet, so far, they have failed to finish the job,” said CCDH CEO Imran Ahmed in a statement. “The CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram know exactly who is violating their terms of service. Their lies cost lives, and social media companies’ refusal to remove them has dire consequences. Big Tech must stop profiting from the spread of this disinformation.”

Mashable has reached out to Facebook regarding the actions the company took as mentioned at today’s hearing and will update this post when we hear back.

 

9. Biden leaves China a Xinjiang terrorism problem with US exit from Afghanistan

SCMP · by Maria Siow · May 01, 2021

An interesting perspective I had not considered.

 

10. Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker – Late April Trends (link to complete roll-up)

FDD · by Jonathan Schanzer · April 30, 2021

 

11. Opinion: Regime change in China is not only possible, it is imperative

The Globe and Mail · by Roger Garside · April 30, 2021

Wow. Now here is a provocative new book with a very provocative thesis.

Maybe there is a role for Gene Sharp’s From Dictatorship to Democracy . I wonder if Sharp is cited in his book.

A coup is one way in which change can come. Another possibility is that Mr. Xi’s opponents will prevent his reappointment as general secretary of the Communist Party at its next national congress in November, 2022, and will use that occasion to launch China onto the path of change. That congress is a crucial point on China’s timeline to the future, because the reappointment of Mr. Xi would raise the prospect of him remaining leader for life and make his removal thereafter much more difficult.

The potential benefits of an orderly transition from dictatorship to democracy in China test the limits of the imagination. They include peace based on trust; a great extension of the domain of democracy and the rule of law; and a liberation of the creative genius of the Chinese people in the arts and sciences to match that which has already occurred in the field of economic activity. To achieve this outcome will require a degree of skill and courage on the part of all those engaged in shaping our future seldom seen in history. But my faith in humanity is strong enough to allow me to believe it is within our grasp.

 

12. Biden’s first 100 days on the global stage were the easy part

NBC News · by Alexander Smith · May 1, 2021

Yes it is a complex world out there.

Excerpts: “But explaining how you’re going to solve the world’s intractable puzzles is a lot easier than actually solving them.

If these obstacles were daunting when Biden was Obama’s vice president, they have gained a new complexity now.

America finds its global dominance challenged, and there is now far more domestic scrutiny on foreign commitments than the relative leeway in the years after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Babones believes.

“It’s just a more complex world,” von Hippel at RUSI said. “The U.S. is not as strong as it was four years ago, and it needs to compromise more and be a different type of superpower.”

 

13. Pentagon chief calls for ‘new vision’ for American defense

Star-Advertiser · by Cindy Ellen Russell · May 1, 2021

Excerpts: “U.S. military isn’t meant to stand apart, but to buttress U.S. diplomacy and advance a foreign policy that employs all of our instruments of national power,” Austin said.

He chose to spell out his ideas at Pearl Harbor, at the center of U.S. military power in the Indo- Pacific region, reflecting U.S. concerns that China’s rapid modernization and growing assertiveness make it a powerful adversary. Notably, Austin in his speech did not explicitly mention China or North Korea.

In his first four-plus months as defense secretary, Austin has focused less on big policy pronouncements and more on immediate issues like the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and internal issues like extremism in the military, as well as launching broad reviews of defense strategy.

Austin said U.S. defense will continue to rest on maintaining deterrence, which he described as “fixing a basic truth within the minds of our potential foes: The costs and risks of aggression are out of line with any conceivable benefit.”

To keep that deterrent effect, the U.S. military must use existing capabilities, develop new ones and use all of them in new and networked ways — “hand in hand with our allies and partners.” This should be accomplished in alignment with U.S. diplomatic goals and efforts, he added, in order to prevent conflict from breaking out in the first place.

“It’s always easier to stamp out a small ember than to put out a raging fire,” he said.

 

14. State Briefing on SECSTATE Trip to the G7

state.gov

Excerpts: “On the agenda for this year’s G7, it will be filled with weighty issues, including COVID-19, economic recovery and growth, the climate crisis, human rights, food security, gender equality, and more. The list of challenges is long, but our partnerships are deep and strong to tackle these challenges.

Our approach to responding is just as important, in fact, as the challenges themselves. We’ll discuss geopolitical challenges from the perspective of collaborative and multilateral strength. We will affirm the values our nations share, such as media freedoms and how to protect them. We will discuss a sustainable recovery from the pandemic and how to develop greater resilience going forward.

The pandemic and the climate crisis are the latest reminders that we are bound together in a global community. Our history of shared values with our G7 partners will be a firm base as we work to meet these global challenges.

Briefing With Acting Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip T. Reeker and International Organization Affairs Senior Bureau Official Erica Barks-Ruggles on the Secretary’s Upcoming Travel to the United Kingdom for G7 Meetings and Ukraine – United States Department of State.”

 

15. Biden’s Foreign Policy Takes a Back Seat to Domestic Priorities

WSJ · by Warren P. Strobel and Vivian Salama

We cannot conduct effective foreign policy if our domestic house is not in order. On the other hand we have to walk and chew gum at the same time.

 

16.  Senate Intel leaders say mysterious directed energy attacks appear to be increasing

CNN · by Jeremy Herb

Strange, troubling, and begs the question, if real, what are we going to do about this?

Excerpts:The Pentagon and CIA have separately set up task forces to address the issue, and the State Department named a senior official to lead the department’s response. CIA Director William Burns said during his confirmation hearing that he would review the evidence on the alleged attacks on CIA personnel overseas.

“We have been working quietly and persistently behind closed doors on this critical issue since the first reports, and pressed Director Burns on it during the recent Worldwide Threats hearing, in both open and closed session,” the spokesperson said. “The Committee will continue to hold events and briefings on this subject and we will follow the evidence wherever it may lead and ensure anyone responsible is held to account.”

 

17. How a brutal assault led a woman to one of the CIA’s most valuable Russian spies

news.yahoo.com · by  Jenna McLaughlin and Sean D. Naylor

Truth is stranger than fiction. A long, fascinating read.

Excerpt:Unperturbed, Sales began her own investigation. Over the next several years, she pieced together documents Mikhaylov had left behind, conducted her own interviews and scoured the internet for information. Sales eventually came to believe the CIA had helped her former tenant move to the United States, and is protecting him as part of a legal maneuver roughly similar to the Justice Department’s witness protection program. The reason, she argues, is that he’s the son of one of the agency’s most valuable assets of the past two decades.

 

18. Davidson, handing INDOPACOM’s reins to Aquilino, takes one last jab at China

Stars and Stripes · by Wyatt Olson · May 01, 2021

Excerpt: “Make no mistake, the Communist Party of China seeks to supplant the idea of a free and open international order with a new order, one with Chinese characteristics, one where Chinese national power is more important than international law,” he said during an afternoon ceremony that included remarks by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

 

19. Secretary of Defense Remarks for the U.S. INDOPACOM Change of Command

defense.gov

 

21. He mentored decades of Army Rangers. At 94, he’ll receive the Medal of Honor.

The Washington Post · by Dan Lamothe · April 30, 2021

Another great American who is going to finally get what he deserves.

 

22. As counterterror missions fade, special operations finds time to fix its own problems

militarytimes.com · by Meghann Myers · April 30, 2021

 

23. Nathan Chapman: Remembering the first US soldier killed in Afghan war as troops pull out after 2 decades

meaww.com · by Shubham Ghosh · April 29, 2021

It was an honor to serve with Nate in 1-1 SFG in Okinawa. He was our communications sergeant in C-1-1 just before he PCS’d back to Fort Lewis and was selected for this mission (after he of course volunteered for it).

But we should all be troubled by this concluding section: “Chapman’s family kept on suffering

In July 2012, the CBS News carried a report that spoke in detail about the difficulties that Chapman’s widow Renae went through after his death. Besides the tragedy of losing a loved one who she said “was funny”, Renae has also found it challenging to get the benefits from the veterans affairs department that were promised to Chapman’s family. Ranae, who faced medical hardships after her husband’s passing away, was quoted as saying by CBS News: “They clerical error you to death. They paperwork you to death.”

She said she hadn’t got the payments she owed for dental work because the VA department “insisted” that Nathan died a year earlier than he did and that meant some of her benefits were well past their expiry date. She also said she did not get medical benefits because the department thought she had conditions that were outside the purview of primary health insurance, something she denied. Ranae, who attended former president George W Bush’s State of the Union speech as a guest of former first lady Laura Bush in 2002, has also been made to prove to the department that she has not married again. Ranae told the network that she feels for those thousands of soldiers who return home from the battlefield with a bruised body and psyche and feared that they are not going to get the help they need.

 

24. From “Stability Operations” to “Stabilization Activities:” Why and How the Department of Defense changed its Doctrine and Policies

linkedin.com · by Robert Burrell · April 30, 2021

Excerpts: “Whether or not these changes were needed following the Long War remains in question. Historically, the U.S. military has a mixed record on stabilization, with some very positive results. The two prevalent case studies remain the great successes in Japan and Germany following World War II. There also remains many issues unresolved about exactly how the State Department will implement its new responsibilities, particularly on a massive scale like that conducted in Iraq or Afghanistan. Another key question regards how the State Department will operate in non-permissive environments to achieve stabilization.

In conclusion, the Department of Defense, State Department, and USAID – all joined at the hip – have set out on a new direction in regard to stabilization, a collaboration which was long overdue and appears very promising. At the same time, the history behind how and why these changes took place are also important to understanding where the U.S. Government is headed.

 

25. Candid reflections on Afghanistan from those whose lives were changed forever by the war

militarytimes.com · by Howard Altman · April 29, 2021

 

26. ‘Congratulations, You Killed Osama bin Laden’

Politico · by Garrett M. Graff · April 30, 2021

Another long very interesting read.

 

27. Teamwork Led Us to Bin Laden and Can Keep America Safe

defenseone.com · by Leon E. Panetta and Jenny Bash

 

28.  Donald Kirk: How anti-Asianism explodes in wake of the ‘China virus’

wacotrib.com · by Donald Kirk

 

29.”Oh So Social” Conversation: Osama bin Laden Raid – 10 Years Later (OSS Society)

Register at this link

 

—————-

 

“To fight the good fight is one of the bravest and noblest of life’s experiences. Not the bloodshed and the battle of man with man, but the grappling with mental and spiritual adversaries that determines the inner caliber of the contestant. It is the quality of the struggle put forth by a man that proclaims to the world what manner of man he is far more than may be by the termination of the battle.

 

It matters not nearly so much to a man that he succeeds in winning some long-sought prize as it does that he has worked for it honestly and unfalteringly with all the force and energy there is in him. It is in the effort that the soul grows and asserts itself to the fullest extent of its possibilities, and he that has worked will, persevering in the face of all opposition and apparent failure, fairly and squarely endeavoring to perform his part to the utmost extent of his capabilities, may well look back upon his labor regardless of any seeming defeat in its result and say, ‘I have fought a good fight.’

 

As you throw the weight of your influence on the side of the good, the true and the beautiful, your life will achieve an endless splendor. It will continue in the lives of others, higher, finer, nobler than you can even contemplate.”

– Hugh B. Brown

DanielRiggs
Sat, 05/01/2021 – 3:04pm

05/02/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

05/02/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. Biden administration forges new path on North Korea crisis in wake of Trump and Obama failures

2. Biden to Steer Between Obama, Trump Policies on North Korea

3. Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker- Late April Trends – Korea

4. Biden to veer from Trump, Obama policies in taking on NKorea

5. Biden administration sets new North Korea policy of ‘practical’ diplomacy

6. Kim Jong-un orders army youth to stamp out haircuts and music he doesn’t like

7. S. Korea vows to coordinate with U.S. for early resumption of nuke talks with N.K.

8.  S. Korean, U.S. military chiefs vow stronger combined readiness, alliance

9. Seoul, Washington still fine-tuning summit agenda

10. S. Korea to join U.S. efforts to reshape global semiconductor supply chain

11. Report: U.S. seeking improvements to THAAD systems, including Korea

12. South Korea Is Doing It Again: Confounding The Skeptics

13. Biden’s new North Korea policy is an extended hand to Kim Jong Un

14. Joint chiefs of staff of S. Korea, U.S., Japan meet in Hawaii

15. North Korean defector faces $27K fine for sending leaflets into country by balloon

16. Trump Reveals What Many Already Suspected About His Korea Policy

 

1. Biden administration forges new path on North Korea crisis in wake of Trump and Obama failures

The Washington Post  · by John Hudson and Ellen Nakashima  · April 30, 2021

It seems like John Hudson and Ellen Nakashima were privileged to be granted the scoop on the new policy.

 

2. Biden to Steer Between Obama, Trump Policies on North Korea

WSJ · by Michael R. Gordon and Sabrina Siddiqui

Based on the timing of this article it looks like Michael Gordon and Sabrina Siddiqui also had early access to the announcement that the policy review was complete.

My sense is the Biden administration is basing their new policy on a deep (and realistic) understanding of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime. However, it will still be a compromise policy taking into account many of the diverse views of both US internal differences and those of our allies (a tough thing to do).

But…..I hope there is a publicly discussed overt policy (that is based on principled (and practical) diplomacy, a human rights upfront approach, deterrence and defense and full implementation of all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions) but that it supports a classified superior political warfare strategy to counter the regime’s political warfare strategy with juche characteristics.

 

3. Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker- Late April Trends – Korea

FDD · by David Maxwell and Matthew Ha

 

4. Biden to veer from Trump, Obama policies in taking on NKorea

AP · by Aamer Madhani and Matthew Lee

People are already making comments about the phrase “denuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula” (both positively and critically as the Korea watcher community is divided on this issue). I wrote about it here

My comments:Another clue regarding the Biden administration’s policy for the Hermit Kingdom is its consistent use of the phrase “denuclearization of North Korea” to describe its long-term objective. The United States and its regional allies have long debated this phrasing. Washington and other members of the Quad prefer this wording, North and South Korea and many Korean pundits say the goal is “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”  

 

The latter phrase dates back to the 1992 North-South Agreement on Denuclearization, which pledged that neither North nor South Korea would seek nuclear weapons. Various agreements and resolutions over the past thirty years, including UNSCR 1718 and the 2018 statements at summit meetings in Panmunjom and Singapore, have also used this phrasing. Yet the “denuclearization of North Korea,” which solely references the Hermit Kingdom, is the more accurate description of what must take place on the Korean Peninsula.

This is because the ROK and the United States completed the denuclearization of the South when America withdrew tactical nuclear weapons in 1991. It is North Korea that has continued to develop weapons of mass destruction to threaten the ROK, the region, and the world. The Biden administration’s choice to use “denuclearization of North Korea” suggests the new policy’s objectives will not be complete until North Korea denuclearizes.

Kim Jong-un uses the phrase “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” as part of his demand for the end of Washington’s “hostile policy,” which he defines as the presence of U.S. troops in the region, the ROK/U.S. alliance, and Washington’s extended deterrence over South Korea and Japan. Whether witting or not, those who use this phrase are supporting the North Korean narrative, thereby providing the continued rationale for Kim Jong-un to make his various demands. Without U.S. forces, Kim believes he can successfully implement Pyongyang’s strategy, which is based on subversion, coercion, and extortion. If conditions are right, then he might even be able to achieve the regime’s strategic aim to dominate the peninsula in order to ensure its survival.

However, Kim will likely continue using the phrase “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” to mask his true motives. When he does so, the United States and the international community should respond with two messages as part of an influence campaign.

First, they should publicly explain Kim’s own hostile strategy every time the regime uses the phrase. This is in keeping with Sun Tzu’s famous dictum, “what is of supreme importance is to attack the enemy’s strategy.”

Second, they should remind the international community and North Korea that the ROK already completed denuclearization of the South back in 1991 and that there are no nuclear weapons on any southern territory. It is the North that has refused to comply with all relevant UNSCRs, and it alone must do so to complete denuclearization of the entire Korean Peninsula.

 

5. Biden administration sets new North Korea policy of ‘practical’ diplomacy

Reuters

Excerpt: “On April 15, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius quoted a senior administration official as saying the likelihood of North Korea giving up nuclear weapons right now was “close to zero” and the administration was seeking interim “way stations,” such as halting weapons proliferation and checking North Korea’s development of new delivery systems like submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

 

6. Kim Jong-un orders army youth to stamp out haircuts and music he doesn’t like

Mirror · by Nina Lloyd · May 1, 2021

The real threats to the regime: Ideological. Of course he may be on to something. Look how radicalized the west became due to the Beatles’ haircuts on the Ed Sullivan show in the 1960s. It was the end of the world as we know it (oh wait, that was REM).

 

7. S. Korea vows to coordinate with U.S. for early resumption of nuke talks with N.K.

en.yna.co.kr · by 김수연 · May 1, 2021

The key issue: “The two sides were far apart over the scope of Washington’s sanctions relief in exchange for the North’s denuclearization steps. “

 

8. S. Korean, U.S. military chiefs vow stronger combined readiness, alliance

en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · May 1, 2021

Note it is the combined forces that must be “ready to fight tonight.”

It is no surprise that the professional military leaders in our alliance would emphasize this. The question is will our political leaders (particularly in the South), allow readiness to be strengthened?

 

9. Seoul, Washington still fine-tuning summit agenda

The Korea Times  · by Jung Da-min · April 30, 2021

From the South Korean perspective note emphasis on QUAD and COVID (specifically vaccines). No mention of the new US Korea policy.

 

10. S. Korea to join U.S. efforts to reshape global semiconductor supply chain

donga.com · May 01, 2021

Good news.

 

11. Report: U.S. seeking improvements to THAAD systems, including Korea

UPI · by Elizabeth Shim · April 30, 2021

This will cause friction with both the professional agitators who have radicalized Korea citizens to protest THAAD and China.

 

12. South Korea Is Doing It Again: Confounding The Skeptics

Forbes · by William Pesek · April 30, 2021

🙂

Excerpts: “The good news is that Korea’s rebound adds spring to the step of President Moon Jae-in’s government, which is in its last year. Since May 2017, Moon has talked big about building a more innovative growth model.

In recent decades, Korea beat the dreaded “middle-income trap” by becoming a leader in consumer electronics, digital devices, petrochemicals, semiconductors and popular culture exports. More recently, Seoul tried to diversify an economy historically driven by autos and ships. Moon set out to recalibrate growth engines from exports to innovation and services.

A major focus has been diverting economic oxygen away from chaebols to startups that disrupt the local business culture and develop into tech “unicorns” that create new jobs and wealth. The trouble, of course, is that Korea has now had three successive presidents who spoke of raising the nation’s economic game.

 

13. Biden’s new North Korea policy is an extended hand to Kim Jong Un

Vox · by Alex Ward · April 30, 2021

Some diverse interpretations of the policy now that it has been announced that the review is complete.

Semantics but the announcement was the review is complete – could that mean the review has been completed but the new policy (which should be based on the review) is still in development? (I tend to think the new policy has been developed but we are only likely to hear the major talking points which Ms. Psaki provided rather than the details which I believe should be classified).

Again the phrase “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” is going to be controversial. If we are going to use it, we must continually emphasize that South Korea has complied with the 1992 north-South Agreement of Denuclearization – the north did not and has not and must now comply with all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions to meet its obligations.

 

14. Joint chiefs of staff of S. Korea, U.S., Japan meet in Hawaii

donga.com

Note the reference to the Iskander KN-23 which can attack what the north calls the “fat target” which can only mean Camp Humphreys, Osan Air Base and Cheongju Air Base. Our ROK and US military leaders know that Kim still has designs on warfighting and executing his camping plan to dominate the peninsula if conditions are favorable or he is faced with a existential threat (internally or externally).

 

15.  North Korean defector faces $27K fine for sending leaflets into country by balloon

Newsweek · by Julia Marnin · April 30, 2021

If he is subject to a fine by the ROKG the international community must unite in opposition (and we will have to start a “GoFundMe campaign”).

However, if the ROKG decided to not take action perhaps it can walk back its appeasement of KimYo-jong who coerced the ROK into passing the law in December based on her threats (and the destruction of the South Korean liaison building in Kaesong last June).

 

16.  Trump Reveals What Many Already Suspected About His Korea Policy

thediplomat.com · by Kyle Ferrier · April 28, 2021

I think I am a little more critical of the former POTUS’ statement than Kyle: “I think the former president’s comments are harmful to the US and our interests. They are embarrassing and shameful and illustrate how little he understands of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime. as well as the importance of the ROK/US alliance to US national security interests. He does not know what all of the rest of Americans and most Koreans in the north and South (save perhaps some in the Moon administration) know: The root of all problems in Korea is the existence of the most evil mafia-like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime that has the objective of dominating the Korean Peninsula under the rule of the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State. It seeks to do this through the execution of a seven decades old strategy of subversion, coercion-extortion (blackmail diplomacy), and use of force to achieve unification dominated by Kim Jong-un in order to ensure the survival of the Kim family regime.  That said, the former president (or more likely his national security team – many of whom had a deep understanding of the nature, objectives and strategy of the Kim family regime) deserves credit for only one action in regards to north Korea and that is he did not lift sanctions against the regime. That was his single most important action in regards to Korea policy. His unconventional, experimental, top-down, pen-pal diplomacy was really nothing more than the gimmick of a reality TV show and did little to advance ROK/US strategic interests and security except to erase the last taboo of a presidential meeting with what can only be described as the most evil totalitarian dictator in the modern era who is responsible for the worst human rights abuses and crimes against humanity, as determined by the 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry, in the modern era and on a scale not seen since World War II.

 

————

 

“To fight the good fight is one of the bravest and noblest of life’s experiences. Not the bloodshed and the battle of man with man, but the grappling with mental and spiritual adversaries that determines the inner caliber of the contestant. It is the quality of the struggle put forth by a man that proclaims to the world what manner of man he is far more than may be by the termination of the battle.

 

It matters not nearly so much to a man that he succeeds in winning some long-sought prize as it does that he has worked for it honestly and unfalteringly with all the force and energy there is in him. It is in the effort that the soul grows and asserts itself to the fullest extent of its possibilities, and he that has worked will, persevering in the face of all opposition and apparent failure, fairly and squarely endeavoring to perform his part to the utmost extent of his capabilities, may well look back upon his labor regardless of any seeming defeat in its result and say, ‘I have fought a good fight.’

 

As you throw the weight of your influence on the side of the good, the true and the beautiful, your life will achieve an endless splendor. It will continue in the lives of others, higher, finer, nobler than you can even contemplate.”

– Hugh B. Brown

DanielRiggs
Sat, 05/01/2021 – 2:34pm

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker Late April Trends

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker Late April Trends

April 30, 2021 | FDD Tracker-Late April Trends

Access the tracker HERE

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker

Late April Trends

Jonathan Schanzer

Senior Vice President for Research

Welcome back to FDD’s Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker, where every two weeks our experts and scholars assess the administration’s foreign policy, with trendlines of very positive, positive, neutral, negative, or very negative. Since our last installment, the administration has earned higher marks in a few areas, but in the areas of Defense, Iran, Lebanon, and Sunni Jihadism, the trend remains very negative. A number of policies remain neutral simply because they have yet to be fully articulated. The White House is moving remarkably quickly on a number of fronts, so many of these trendlines are likely to change again soon. Check back again in two weeks for updates.

   

Dave Maxwell
Fri, 04/30/2021 – 4:24pm

“Oh So Social” Conversation: Osama bin Laden Raid – 10 Years Later (OSS Society)

“Oh So Social” Conversation: Osama bin Laden Raid – 10 Years Later (OSS Society)

Register at the link HERE 

Adm. William McRaven, Sec. Leon Panetta and Dr. Michael Vickers discuss the Osama bin Laden raid 10 years later.

Date And Time

Fri, May 14, 2021

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EDT

About this Event

Tags

Dave Maxwell
Fri, 04/30/2021 – 12:26pm

04/30/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

04/30/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell.  Edited and Published by Daniel Riggs

1. State of Defense 2021

2. United States Special Operations Command’s efforts to sustain the readiness of special operations forces and transform the force for future security challenges

3. “They’re lawless”: Current, former Navy SEALs allege criminality, drug use within ranks

4. China warns US against imposing its democratic ideals after Biden speech

5. Senate Armed Services committee checks up on effort to recruit women into Special Ops

6. Major overhaul in how the military handles sexual misconduct cases may finally happen

7. China says US increasing military activity directed at it

8. U.S. Spy Chief Sees Taiwan Views Hardening for Independence

9. A candid conversation with Rep. Mike Waltz, Congress’s only combat-decorated Green Beret

10. The U.S. Military Needs to Stay Out of the Information Warfare Game

11. Want to Be a Better Defense Strategist? Read Fiction.

12. An Asymmetric Defense of Taiwan

13. Al Qaeda promises ‘war on all fronts’ against America as Biden pulls out of Afghanistan

14. The most dangerous place on Earth (Spoiler alert: Taiwan)

15. Biden’s world: how key countries have reacted to the US president’s first 100 days

16. In Conflicts From Ukraine to Taiwan, the West Needs a Strategy

17. Congress needs to review UN agency’s terror finance problem | Opinion

18. U.S. Security Partners and Putin’s S-400

19. Exactly how much does a highly placed spy cost?

20. India’s Covid crisis set to derail world economy

21. Washington’s Weirdest Think Tank

22. Retired Generals and Service Chiefs Launch ‘Operation Protect Democracy’ in Wake of Capitol Attack

23. FVL: Don’t Pick The Tiltrotor, V-22 Test Pilot Tells Army

 

1. State of Defense 2021

defenseone.com · by Defense One Staff

Please go to this link to read the state of all the services.  

There is no mention of Special Operations Forces.  There is nothing on information and influence operations (or psychological operations and civil affairs).  There is no mention of unconventional warfare.  And the excerpt below is the only reference to irregular warfare.

Just saying.

Excerpt: “That doesn’t mean that the lessons from two-decades of fighting insurgents will go to waste, said Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville at a Center for a New American Security event this month. “Counter-insurgency and irregular warfare, that’s not going away. In fact as we look around the world there’s many places that could be incubators for potential terrorism.” The Army’s Security Force Assistance Brigades will play a role in more settings, helping partner militaries better step up their ability to fight terrorists and irregular forces.

State of Defense 2021

 

3. “They’re lawless”: Current, former Navy SEALs allege criminality, drug use within ranks

CBS

This video report is very troubling.

 

4. China warns US against imposing its democratic ideals after Biden speech

Strait Times

Perhaps POTUS struck a nerve.  Democratic ideals and values are a threat to autocrats.

 

 

 

5. Senate Armed Services committee checks up on effort to recruit women into Special Ops

13newsnow.com

Video at the link.

 

6. Major overhaul in how the military handles sexual misconduct cases may finally happen

militarytimes.com · by Leo Shane III · April 29, 2021

I do not think there is anything that will stop this effort.

 

7. China says US increasing military activity directed at it

militarytimes.com · by Associated Press · April 29, 2021

Remember the Chinese three warfares: psychological warfare, legal warfare, and media or public opinion warfare.

 

8. U.S. Spy Chief Sees Taiwan Views Hardening for Independence

Bloomberg · by Anthony Capaccio · April 29, 2021

The people of Taiwan do not want to lose their freedom.  Can anyone argue for denying their freedom?

 

9. A candid conversation with Rep. Mike Waltz, Congress’s only combat-decorated Green Beret

Washington Examiner · by Jamie McIntyre · April 30, 2021

I believe Mike is a second term Congressman.  He was elected in 2018 and re-elected in 2020.

Excerpts: “Washington Examiner: Based on your more than two decades of service in uniform, do you believe there is a problem with racism and white supremacy in the U.S. military?

Waltz: I think racism exists everywhere. We should always strive to eliminate it. The way to eliminate it is to keep the military merit-based and mission-focused. It is about achieving the standards that we have set to defend the nation. But when we start infusing in the very earliest part with 18-, 19-year-old cadets that race is a focus, I think that’s moving in the exact opposite direction.

I want to be clear that we absolutely should have a clear understanding of our very checkered past as a country with race, but inculcating our future leaders to be focused on race, I think the pendulum is swinging way too far.

 

10. The U.S. Military Needs to Stay Out of the Information Warfare Game

19fortyfive.com · by Jordan Prescott · April 29, 2021

Quite a critique.  We have a lot of work to do in information warfare but taking DOD out of it is not the way to go. Though we could heed Kennan’s advice below (just not the author’s interpretation of it).  We absolutely need a national level civilian led effort but that does not mean there is not a role for DOD.

Excerpts: “Within DOD, Cyber Command is responsible for offensive cyberspace operations and Special Operations Command is the lead for information operations. Unfortunately, at a March hearing, DOD witnesses acknowledged the military isn’t keeping up with information-warfare threats from Russia and China and reiterated the need for a whole-of-government approach.

One could fairly interpret the latter comment as a plea to be excused from the mission. During the global war on terrorism, the whole-of-government mantra was repeatedly endlessly and still the other departments barely showed up.

ISIS information operatives once tormented America with its relentless messaging. They’re also now dead because American bombs were more effective than tweets. DOD could be forgiven for wanting to be given a pass and to focus on kinetic operations.

Kennan, the architect of containment, recognized America’s belief that peace and war were distinct and would hinder its efforts to counter the Soviets. To succeed, Kennan’s solution was simple — wage “political warfare”. Most importantly, Kennan recommended the implementing entity would be staffed and led by civilians reporting directly to the President via the Secretary of State.

The United States would be wise to revisit this recommendation.

In Greek mythology, Athena is the goddess of just war but it is Hermes who is the herald of the gods.

To paraphrase the Scriptures, render unto Athena that which is Athena’s, render unto Hermes the things which are Hermes.

 

11. Want to Be a Better Defense Strategist? Read Fiction.

The National Interest · by James Holmes · April 30, 2021

The late Charles Hill would recommend reading the classics and literature.  His book on Grand Strategy is an excellent survey of how the classics and literature contribute to and influence Grand Strategy throughout history.  That said, I think reading Cole and Singer and other modern authors like them is very helpful.

 

12. An Asymmetric Defense of Taiwan

The National Interest · by Michael O’Hanlon · April 28, 2021

Dr. O’Hanlon does not outline all asymmetric approaches.  He overlooks the potential of civil resistance to support unconventional deterrence.

 

13. Al Qaeda promises ‘war on all fronts’ against America as Biden pulls out of Afghanistan

CNN · by Nic Roberston and Saleem Mehsud

Excerpts: “In an exclusive interview with CNN conducted through intermediaries, two al Qaeda operatives tell CNN that “war against the US will be continuing on all other fronts unless they are expelled from the rest of the Islamic world.”

In the past al Qaeda has rarely responded to questions, choosing instead to hide behind its own self-serving propaganda, dodging even the most distant scrutiny. It’s unclear why the group has chosen to do so now.

Terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank, editor-in-chief of West Point’s CTC Sentinel, who reviewed al Qaeda’s answers, says it is possible “they feel buoyed by the Biden administration’s decision to pull out troops from Afghanistan, but they may also be seeking to deflect attention from the many recent losses.”

 

14. The most dangerous place on Earth (Spoiler alert: Taiwan)

Economist

Wow.  This is quite a headline.  

Excerpts:If they are to ensure that war remains too much of a gamble for China, America and Taiwan need to think ahead. Work to re-establish an equilibrium across the Taiwan Strait will take years. Taiwan must start to devote fewer resources to big, expensive weapons systems that are vulnerable to Chinese missiles and more to tactics and technologies that would frustrate an invasion.

America requires weapons to deter China from launching an amphibious invasion; it must prepare its allies, including Japan and South Korea; and it needs to communicate to China that its battle plans are credible. This will be a tricky balance to strike. Deterrence usually strives to be crystal-clear about retaliation. The message here is more subtle. China must be discouraged from trying to change Taiwan’s status by force even as it is reassured that America will not support a dash for formal independence by Taiwan. The risk of a superpower arms race is high.

Be under no illusions how hard it is to sustain ambiguity. Hawks in Washington and Beijing will always be able to portray it as weakness. And yet, seemingly useful shows of support for Taiwan, such as American warships making port calls on the island, could be misread as a dangerous shift in intentions.

Most disputes are best put to rest. Those that can be resolved only in war can often be put off and, as China’s late leader Deng Xiaoping said, left to wiser generations. Nowhere presents such a test of statesmanship as the most dangerous place on Earth.”

 

15. Biden’s world: how key countries have reacted to the US president’s first 100 days

The Guardian · by Jon Henley · April 30, 2021

Interesting.  But it is still early in POTUS’ term.

 

16. In Conflicts From Ukraine to Taiwan, the West Needs a Strategy

Bloomberg · by Andreas Kluth · April 29, 2021

No kidding.  Would anyone argue otherwise?  But seriously I think the subtitle is useful – ambiguity does not equal indecisive (or should not).

Excepts:What’s clear is that the choice between ambiguity and clarity is fraught with danger and a matter for the highest rung of statecraft. It’s disconcerting when a U.S. president appears not to appreciate the concept of strategic ambiguity — in 2001, George W. Bush stated bluntly that he would “do whatever it takes” to defend Taiwan. It’s equally worrisome when a president fails to grasp the proper deployment of strategic clarity. In 2012 Barack Obama warned Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad not to cross the “red line” of using chemical weapons but then did nothing when Assad committed that atrocity the following year.

In East Asia, the case for switching from ambiguity to clarity is now strong. In eastern Europe, it remains weaker. But what worries me most is that the West’s ambiguity in both regions increasingly seems desultory rather than strategic — the result of indecision as opposed to purpose.

 

17. Congress needs to review UN agency’s terror finance problem | Opinion

Newsweek · by Julia Schulman and Richard Goldberg · April 29, 2021

Excerpts:In this year’s foreign aid bill, Congress should condition U.S. assistance to UNRWA on thorough anti-terror vetting for all UNRWA expenditures prior to disbursement. UNRWA staff, contractors and recipients of cash assistance should be vetted to ensure that they don’t have ties to terrorism. Legislation should require the State Department to halt and claw back U.S. funding if the agency declines to turn over its payroll, contractor and beneficiary information for vetting.

Congress can also legislate broader reforms. Since UNRWA is a welfare agency—not a refugee agency—the U.S. government should not use scarce refugee assistance dollars to support it. Wherever possible, assistance should transition away from UNRWA and toward bilateral aid programs that help Palestinians achieve self-sufficiency. Any contribution to UNRWA should also be contingent on allowing the U.S. to independently audit its books. American taxpayers should not trust China with ensuring UNRWA’s financial transparency.

Congress should consider two other conditions for future assistance to UNRWA: verification that textbooks used in UNRWA schools do not include anti-Semitic content, incitement or extremism and a requirement that UNRWA return all contributions should the U.S. discover its facilities are being used by terrorist organizations to store weapons or equipment.

UNRWA’s steering millions of dollars to terror group affiliates should alarm U.S. taxpayers and their representatives in Congress. If the Biden administration wants to restart U.S. funding to UNRWA, congressional appropriators should insist that funding be contingent on verifiable reform. Congress must ensure that humanitarian aid reaches the Palestinian people, not terrorist group affiliates.

18.  U.S. Security Partners and Putin’s S-400

FDD by Bradley Bowman, Aykan Erdemier and Ryan Brobst

Download the very comprehensive infographic here:

 

19. Exactly how much does a highly placed spy cost?

asiatimes.com · by Dave Makichuk · April 30, 2021

 

20. India’s Covid crisis set to derail world economy

asiatimes.com · by Uma S Kambhampati · April 30, 2021

Excerpts:Given all these issues, and the humanitarian crisis unfolding, it has become imperative for the world to act quickly to help India – whether such help is requested or not.

We are seeing signs of this coming through, albeit after a short delay, from the UK (oxygen concentrators, ventilators); the US (vaccine raw materials, drugs, rapid tests and ventilators); and Germany (oxygen and medical aid).

Whatever is provided is likely to be a drop in the ocean of India’s requirements, but at least it demonstrates a recognition that we are in this together. The Indian government may have been ineffective in the current crisis, but failing to recognize how it will affect the world would amount to an equivalent level of complacency.

If the leading powers fail to do everything they can to help out, India’s crisis will become a world crisis in short order, not only for health but also for the economy.

 

21. Washington’s Weirdest Think Tank

Table Mat · April 27, 2021

22. Retired Generals and Service Chiefs Launch ‘Operation Protect Democracy’ in Wake of Capitol Attack

defenseone.com · by Tara Copp

Well this will add to the debate on civil military relations and political action by retired general and flag officers.

Excerpts: “The group will now focus on restoring confidence in the voting system and work to increase civic engagement and voter access. It is also targeting political corruption and misinformation campaigns.

“Our democratic republic is in peril and we must act to restore Americans’ faith in each other and the ideals of a government truly of, by, and for the people,” the group said in a statement announcing its expanded mission.

“The fact that veterans and active duty members participated was troubling for us,” Zinni said. “And then, of late, the legislation that seems to be proliferating to try to restrict eligible voters in many ways and make it more difficult to vote” prompted them to re-group.

 

23. FVL: Don’t Pick The Tiltrotor, V-22 Test Pilot Tells Army

breakingdefense.com · by Scott Trail

Conclusion:In this competition, the tiltrotor wins for speed and range. For rapid buildup of combat power and sustaining operations, the compound helicopter’s hover performance and tight formations provide a clear advantage. When it comes to the configuration that best supports the Army’s mission while minimizing life cycle costs, the Defiant X performs best where it matters most.

 

—————

 

 

“Revolutionary war is an antitoxin which not only eliminates the enemy’s poison but also purges us of our own filth.”

– Chairman Mao Zedong (Tse-tung)

 

“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”

– Ronald Reagan

 

“Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.”

– Horace Mann

DanielRiggs
Fri, 04/30/2021 – 9:28am

04/30/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

04/30/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell.  Edited and Published by Daniel Riggs

1. How Biden Can Reduce the North Korean Threat

2. North Korea Sends 10-Year Military Vets to Mines and Building Sites Right After Discharge

3. N. Korea likely to stage provocation, continue modernizing missiles: U.S. intelligence

4. Defector group flouts ban, sends leaflets across North Korea border

5. Biden’s Early Tenure Has Improved America’s Image Abroad

6. Three Puzzles in South Korean Diplomacy Discourse

7. Sharp scuffle between S. Korea, Japan in US review of N. Korea policy

8. Why are South Korea’s young men turning against Moon Jae-in and his ruling party?

9. Kim Jong Un absent from North Korea’s Youth League Congress

10. Biden will meet with South Korea’s president on May 21.

11. N.K.’s largest youth group drops late founder’s name from title after 25 years

12. Korea to Support U.S.-Led Anti-China Alliance

13. Woman in her 20s dies after beating from Yanggang Province detention center guard

14. North Korea’s Generation Z: The Achilles Heel of Regime Stability

15. Washington Post pivots to Asia with Seoul news hub

16. Half of the Sinpo Fishing Company’s fishermen being moved to military fishing company

 

1. How Biden Can Reduce the North Korean Threat

National Review · by Nicholas Eberstadt · April 29, 2021

If this does not spur some creative thinking I do not know what will.  This is from one of our pre-eminent Korea scholars, Dr. Nick Eberstadt.

I was a little more blunt a few years ago as I would call this a strategic strangulation campaign – and then prepare for what comes next. 

I would also add a support to potential internal resistance component and of course it must be built on a sophisticated and holistic information and influence campaign that includes a focus on what is an existential threat to the Kim family regime: human rights (which Nick discusses below)

 

2. North Korea Sends 10-Year Military Vets to Mines and Building Sites Right After Discharge

rfa.org · by Jieun Kim

The brutality of the regime.

Is there resistance potential?

 

3. N. Korea likely to stage provocation, continue modernizing missiles: U.S. intelligence

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · April 29, 2021

An intelligence question we should always ask is what effect Kim is trying to achieve with a provocation?  What are his objectives? And then how can we counter them?

This is our assessment. But is it Kim’s assessment?  And in the worst case scenario when faced with an existential internal or external threat Kim Jong-un may believe execution of his campaign to unify the peninsula by force may be his only option.  Furthermore, just because we assess he does not have the military capability to achieve unification it does not mean that the regime does not seek and will use subversion, coercion/extortion and political warfare to try to achieve it.

Excerpt: “While Berrier noted the North has the capability to mount an attack on South Korea or U.S. Forces Korea, he said the North Korean military “lacks the overall capability to reunify the Korean Peninsula or support a sustained conflict.””

 

4. Defector group flouts ban, sends leaflets across North Korea border

UPI · by Thomas Maresca

A test case? What will be the ROKG response? Will there be a north Korean response?  Human rights and information are existential threats to the Kim family regime.

The US position? (Good statement from the State Department spokesman):

On Thursday, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price praised “the courage of the North Korean defector and human rights community” and said the United States “will always support their efforts to shine a spotlight on these grave injustices.”

 

5. Biden’s Early Tenure Has Improved America’s Image Abroad

morningconsult.com · by Eli Yokley · April 27, 2021

Some interesting data.  Note the little difference in South Korea.

I will William Gallo of VOA offers an interesting anecdotal explanation for why the ratings in South Korea are nearly the same under Trump and Biden.

 

Here is what he tweeted about this article.  I have a similar experience among my Korean friends in the South.

 

William Gallo

@GalloVOA

The US favorability rating in South Korea remains the same under Biden as it was under Trump, suggests this

@MorningConsult poll.

 

William Gallo

@GalloVOA

Some anecdotal context: I’ve talked with a lot of South Koreans who keep their opinion of Trump separate from their opinion of the US. Which makes sense and would help explain this poll.

 

6. Three Puzzles in South Korean Diplomacy Discourse

Toda · by Chung-in Moon

From one of the most dangerous foes of the ROK/US alliance.  Beware the subversion by Moon Chung-in because he seeks to undermine the alliance and is willing to appease north Korea more than most.

That said, his three “anecdotes” (or puzzles) below provide some interesting and useful perspectives.  They can provide us with insights into how he is likely advising the Moon administration.

 

7. Sharp scuffle between S. Korea, Japan in US review of N. Korea policy

Hani · by Gil Yun-hyung · April 26, 2021 

An interesting development.  

I doubt we are going to explicitly state CVID.  I do not think that phrase and acronym will be found in the new US Korea policy.

Excerpts: “In the statement, the US and Japan agreed on four principles about North Korea: calling for North Korea to abide by UN Security Council resolutions, promoting the denuclearization of North Korea (rather than the Korean Peninsula), strengthening “deterrence to maintain peace and stability in the region” – implying more South Korea-US and Japan-US military exercises, and blocking proliferation.

But disagreements were also evident in the statement. Suga said in a press conference after the summit that the two countries had agreed on the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges, but that wasn’t included in the joint statement.

It would appear that South Korea and Japan are standing on either side of the US and yanking its arms in the opposite direction, with Seoul calling for gradual and phased denuclearization based on the Singapore joint declaration, and Japan pushing for CVID, an approach that North Korea has roundly rejected.

On Thursday, the day after Moon’s interview ran in the New York Times, Noh Kyu-duk, South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, spoke on the phone with Sung Kim, the acting assistant secretary in the US State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

In a press release, South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Noh and Kim’s phone call had “confirmed that close cooperation is taking place between South Korea and the US in regard to the US’s review of North Korea policy, which is now being wrapped up.” Seoul appears to have reiterated the position that Moon expressed in the interview during deliberations between these lower-level officials.

But it’s still uncertain to what extent the US will accommodate South Korea’s preferences and whether it will put off announcing the results of the review until after Moon visits the US.

 

8. Why are South Korea’s young men turning against Moon Jae-in and his ruling party?

SCMP · by Kim Ji-Hyun

Excerpt:South Korea’s next presidential elections are set to be held in March 2022. Though young men appear to be deserting Moon’s ruling party, victory for the opposition is far from guaranteed.

“It’s too early to predict which party or politician could win the next presidential election,” said Bong Young-shik, a research fellow at Yonsei University Institute for North Korean Studies. “The game changer could come in November, when the government plans to achieve Covid-19 herd immunity. Given that the vaccination rate of the first dose is less than 5 per cent, it’ll be a very tough game for the ruling party.”

 

9.  Kim Jong Un absent from North Korea’s Youth League Congress

UPI · by Elizabeth Shim · April 29, 2021

A cause of concern? Or will we overreact with speculation?

Excerpt:The youth league represents North Koreans ages 14 to 30, and retains about 5 million active members.

Kim attended the 9th congress of the youth league in 2016, but his name was not mentioned in state media Thursday.

South Korean analyst Cho Han-bum at the Seoul-based Korea Institute for National Unification told local news service News 1 Kim’s non-attendance is unusual.

Some North Korea watchers in the South are raising concerns Kim could be engaging in other activities related to the military, including a potential launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, according to News 1.”

 

10. Biden will meet with South Korea’s president on May 21.

The New York Times · by Madeleine Ngo · April 29, 2021

Will the new US Korea policy be unveiled before, during, or after the summit?

 

11. N.K.’s largest youth group drops late founder’s name from title after 25 years

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 30, 2021

Interesting development. What does this mean?  What effect is the party trying to achieve.  I am sure this had to be approved by Kim Jong-un and coordinated with the Propaganda and Agitation Department.  There must be an intended message in this.

 

12. Korea to Support U.S.-Led Anti-China Alliance

english.chosun.com · April 29, 2021

Half pregnant?

Excerpts: “The U.S. is asking us to join a Quad Plus,” a ruling party official said. “But we think we can cooperate with the Quad countries on a case-by-case basis in fields where we have a contribution to make.” Another official said, “We’re partially joining the Quad at the request of the U.S. because we need to secure more vaccines. But it’s not full membership.”

The government is wary of China, which has repeatedly asked Korea if it intends to join. Beijing accuses the Quad of being “cliquish” and taking a “cold-war-era approach.”

It remains to be seen whether the halfway house the government has settled on will satisfy either side.

 

13. Woman in her 20s dies after beating from Yanggang Province detention center guard

dailynk.com · by Lee Chae Un · April 30, 2021

Kim Jong-un and the Kim family regime must be held accountable for their horrific human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.

 

14. North Korea’s Generation Z: The Achilles Heel of Regime Stability

keia.org · by Hazel Smith · April 28, 2021

Internal and external threats.  But it is the internal threats that could bring down the regime (and unfortunately could also result in catastrophic decisions by the regime).  This is a very powerful conclusion.  I think this is why the regime has tried to take advantage of COVID and imposed the most draconian population and resources control measures in the modern era.

We need to assess this: Is there nascent resistance potential inside north Korea?

Excerpts: “Externally, the regime understands the nuclear program as providing a successful deterrent to foreign intervention. Its military strategy is supported by reliance on diplomatic protection from China and Russia that it counts on to prevent a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing military force against the DPRK.

Domestically, the regime is floundering. The frequent panegyrics praising city youth who ‘volunteer’ to work in coal mines and cooperative farms after graduation reflect a regurgitation of past policies whose sell by date ran out in the famine years of the 1990s. It seems unlikely that the insistence on ‘more ideology’ as a substitute for access to decent work, food and living conditions will provide a sufficient motivating force for this new generation, whose understandings of the world are very different from those prescribed by that self-same ideology. The regime is correct in its assessment that Generation Z provides the Achilles heel of regime stability.

 

15.  Washington Post pivots to Asia with Seoul news hub

The Nikkei

Excerpt: “On Wednesday, the company announced details of the Seoul news hub, appointing Kendra Nichols from within the company as hub editor, and hiring Katerina Ang, who has been a contributing writer for Nikkei Asia, to be breaking-news editor.

The hubs in Seoul and London “are focused on covering the news wherever it takes place and doing so in the right time zone,” Jehl said. Seoul will be a team of 10, while London will have nine staff, including four breaking-news reporters, two breaking-news editors, a visuals editor, an audience editor and at least one multiplatform editor.

Half of the breaking-news reporters will watch over U.S. news, while the other half covers international news. That breakdown reflects the function of the new hub. The goal is to both cover Asia news during the Asia daytime, and to relieve pressure from the U.S. team during their nighttime.

 

16.  Half of the Sinpo Fishing Company’s fishermen being moved to military fishing company

dailynk.com · by Jong So Yong · April 30, 2021

The military is the best functioning institution in north Korea.  And of course it wants to control economic activity and food procurement.

Excerpts: “In response to the complaints, the Ministry of Defense’s logistics department has promised to compensate the boat captains. Captains with diesel powered boats will receive 20 kilograms of soybeans while unpowered fishing boat captains will receive 15 kilograms of corn.

Despite this promise of compensation, boat captains still continue to sell off boats and boat parts because they believe the compensation is “ridiculously low” and because they do not want to suffer financial distress at the hands of the military.

“The Sinpo Fishing Company is no more if it gets divided up into two parts due to government policy,” the source said, adding, “People are angry because they are unsure about how they are supposed to survive when the military takes over farming and fishing activities.”

 

————

 

“Revolutionary war is an antitoxin which not only eliminates the enemy’s poison but also purges us of our own filth.”

– Chairman Mao Zedong (Tse-tung)

 

“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”

– Ronald Reagan

 

“Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.”

– Horace Mann

DanielRiggs
Fri, 04/30/2021 – 9:12am

United States Special Operations Command’s efforts to sustain the readiness of special operations forces and transform the force for future security challenges

United States Special Operations Command’s efforts to sustain the readiness of special operations forces and transform the force for future security challenges

The video of the hearing and the statements for the record from each witness can be accessed HERE

United States Special Operations Command’s efforts to sustain the readiness of special operations forces and transform the force for future security challenges

Subcommittee: Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities

Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Time: 02:30 PM

Location: Russell SR-232A

Witnesses

  • Major General James Glynn

    Commander, United States Marine Corps Special Operations Command

  • Rear Admiral Hugh Howard

    Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command

  • Lieutenant General James Slife

    Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command

  • Lieutenant General Francis Beaudette

    Commanding General, United States Army Special Operations Command

    •  

      Dave Maxwell
      Thu, 04/29/2021 – 10:19pm

      04/29/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

      04/29/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

      News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

      1. US special operations chief for Europe heads to Ukraine in aftermath of Russian border buildup

      2. The unexpected Pentagon chief

      3. A civilian cybersecurity reserve corps is needed for the Pentagon and DHS, lawmakers from both parties say

      4. The Marine Corps Is Kno4/29/2021 Korean News and Commentarywn as a Force of Young Warriors. That’s About to Change

      5. Lt Gen Slife to Senate: AFSOC at an ‘Inflection Point’ Requiring Transformation in Personnel, Acquisition

      6. The U.S. Can’t Betray Its Best Friends in Afghanistan

      7. The Proxy Gambit

      8. The US Intelligence Community Needs a ‘Wild Bill’ Moment

      9. The Right Way to Fight a Maritime War Against China

      10. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Reality of Afghanistan

      11. Analysis | Was China behind last October’s power outage in India? Here’s what we know

      12. Congress demands answers on Afghanistan withdrawal

      13. Washington Is Avoiding the Tough Questions on Taiwan and China

      14. Give the U.S. Navy the Army’s Money

      15. A New Coalition to Advance U.S. Global Interests

      16. Let Taiwan into World Health Assembly

      17. Supreme Court to Rule on Whether C.I.A. Black Sites Are State Secrets

      18. Remarks by President Biden in Address to a Joint Session of Congress

       

      1. US special operations chief for Europe heads to Ukraine in aftermath of Russian border buildup

      Stars and Stripes · by John Vandiver · April 29, 2021

       

      2. The unexpected Pentagon chief

      Politico · April 28, 2021

       

      3. A civilian cybersecurity reserve corps is needed for the Pentagon and DHS, lawmakers from both parties say

      airforcetimes.com · by Rachel Cohen · April 28, 2021

      Excerpts:It’s unclear how DOD and DHS would opt to use that rapid-response workforce alongside their offensive and defensive cyber teams — including uniformed reservists — or whether cyber reservists would be held to similar training standards as typical military reservists. People who don’t show up for duty when called could have their pay withheld, among other possible penalties.

      Five years after the program launches, lawmakers want the head of the Government Accountability Office to study whether the effort should be changed, extended or made permanent. The pilot project would automatically end six years after establishment, according to the bill.

      The sponsors hope to pass their legislation as a standalone measure or as part of the 2022 defense policy bill, an aide said.

      “Creating a reserve corps similar to our National Guard or Army Reserve will allow our national security agencies to have access to the qualified, capable, and service-oriented American talent necessary to respond when an attack occurs,” Blackburn said in the release. “The Civilian Cybersecurity Reserve pilot project represents a big step in strengthening America’s cybersecurity posture.”

       

      4. The Marine Corps Is Known as a Force of Young Warriors. That’s About to Change

      military.com · by Gina Harkins · April 28, 2021

      A culture change?

       

      5. Lt Gen Slife to Senate: AFSOC at an ‘Inflection Point’ Requiring Transformation in Personnel, Acquisition

      airforcemag.com · by Brian W. Everstine · April 28, 2021

      Excerpts:In 2020, AFSOC Airmen deployed to 62 nations for “engagements” with host militaries, while also flying through and/or landing in more than a dozen more. These agreements with “80-100” nations that U.S. special operations forces have can be “tremendous leverage” against the influence of countries such as Russia and China, Slife said.

      “What I have found is that our Airmen aren’t motivated necessarily by killing and capturing terrorists. They’re motivated by relevance,” he said. “And so if the thing that makes them relevant to the nation is pursuing great power competition, you better believe they are all in on moving in that direction.”

       

      6. The U.S. Can’t Betray Its Best Friends in Afghanistan

      Bloomberg · by Editorial Board · April 28, 2021

      We must recognize the moral hazard we create when working with indigenous forces. This must be taught in leadership courses throughout PME.  We must plan for the transition phase at the beginning of the campaign and those working with the indigenous forces must understand what is the transition plan and must know not to make promises (or make even implied promises) that cannot be kept. 

      But we have done this so many times throughout our history from the tribes in Burma in WWI, guerrilla forces in the Philippines, Korean Partisans in the Korean War, the Hmong and Montagnards in Vietnam and others. It always amazes me that any indigenous forces still want to work with us.

       

      7. The Proxy Gambit

      mwi.usma.edu · by Alex Deep · April 28, 2021

      Excerpts:The outsourcing of military operations to state or nonstate proxies presents a host of tactical, logistical, strategic, political, legal, and ethical challenges. What Machiavelli observed about mercenaries and auxiliaries—that they are “dangerous . . . disunited, ambitious, and without discipline, unfaithful”—can apply to any group that has its own motives, especially when those motives include profit.

      Proxies are difficult to control even when their motives align with those of their sponsors. They can, for example, take it upon themselves to go above and beyond the mission’s objectives. This was the case with Operation Condor, when Brazilian military and political elites, in collaboration with their regional allies, took it upon themselves to prosecute a cross-border program of repression against suspected communist, socialist, or even merely left-wing critics of each other’s authoritarian regimes. Operation Condor received support from the United States, but it went into overdrive particularly when the Latin American authoritarian regimes suspected Washington of going soft on communism under the newly elected president, Jimmy Carter.

      Finally, there has been inadequate debate and reflection about the way the United States has used proxies in the past. Proxy warfare figured prominently during the Cold War. New work is shedding important light on the ways in which the United States cultivated and worked with friendly military officers in developing countries to marginalize anti-colonial forces. It applied what came to be known as the “Jakarta Method,” mass killings, abductions, and, more broadly, repression of left-leaning civilians through close collaboration with anticommunist military and paramilitary forces, as well as civilian groups.

       

      8. The US Intelligence Community Needs a ‘Wild Bill’ Moment

      thecipherbrief.com · by Ellen McCarthy and Matt Scott · April 28, 2021

       A very bold proposal. You might make the point that it should be the IC and the special operations community.

      Conclusion: “Practical first steps today might include the stand up of a new OSS-like entity, one that is not tied to existing bureaucracies, led by someone who is highly-trusted by the President and Republicans, and who is not afraid of overcoming bureaucracy. The OSS-like entity might try piloting a new capability focused on trusted content delivery but using an entirely new collection, processing and dissemination model and infrastructure, perhaps designed from successful private sector endeavors. Key to this new office would be the ability to rapidly scale new technologies coming out of America’s emerging technology incubators, and truly harnessing America’s digital economy. Thinking outside the box, another option in the spirit of the OSS might be to fund and empower the State Department to be the public sector side of a new public-private information partnership. The State Department’s current embrace of open sources could further remove challenges associated with information sharing and classification.

      Whatever approach this administration chooses to take it’s clear that stability and incremental investments will not be enough. We are in a global moment where the threats are incredible, and the American Intelligence Community is not currently up to the tasks ahead. We need a ‘Wild Bill’ moment.

       

      9. The Right Way to Fight a Maritime War Against China

      19fortyfive.com · by James Holmes · April 28, 2021

      Excerpts:Geography is a foe to China, fettering its nautical destiny. Beijing has to fret about gaining access to the Western Pacific high seas and waters beyond from the moment a warship or merchantman casts off lines in a Chinese seaport until the time it moors in a foreign port of call. China’s misery is America’s opportunity. The United States and its allies can deliberately compound China’s access dilemma by deploying along the first island chain and barring its access to the high seas through the straits that puncture the island chain. The more PLA commanders have to worry about marine access, the more they will disperse forces along the island chain—and the less firepower they will have to concentrate at any individual flashpoint cataloged by Admiral Stavridis.

      A back-to-basics approach offers the allies their best chance of massing more combat power for a contingency than can China’s armed forces. Look to the masters of strategy for wisdom—and execute.”

       

      10. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Reality of Afghanistan

      ozy.com · by John McLaughlin · April 28, 2021

      Conclusion: “As so often happens in foreign affairs, decision-makers must place bets on all these questions based on judgment, history, incomplete data and — inevitably — politics. The Afghan case is harder than most, and Biden deserves credit for at least deciding. For the other iron rule of foreign affairs is that failure to decide … is actually a decision. And usually not a good one.”

       

      11. Analysis | Was China behind last October’s power outage in India? Here’s what we know

      The Washington Post · by Fiona Cunningham · April 29, 2021

      Did they or didn’t they?

      Excerpts:The PLA might not yet have the testing capabilities they desire to anticipate and manage all of the second-order effects of a cyberattack on critical infrastructure that would reverberate beyond its original target. A cyberattack could have caused an international outcry and Indian retaliation if the Mumbai outage had deprived hospitals of power for longer than backup systems could sustain.

      Nevertheless, Chinese leaders’ incentives for restraint don’t rule out the possibility that a government-linked group or patriotic hackers might have disrupted the Mumbai electrical grid by accident or without official authorization. An attack could have slipped through despite the stricter oversight of PLA cyber operations since 2014, and non-PLA groups may be subject to different rules; at least one group linked to the Ministry of State Security reportedly still hacks for profit. And it’s also possible that China’s laws prohibiting individuals from hacking may not be enforced, especially when the target is a geopolitical rival.

      While it’s not clear exactly what happened in Mumbai on Oct. 13, the speculation that it was a Chinese cyberattack has nevertheless galvanized India’s military to better counter Chinese cyber threats in the future.

       

      12. Congress demands answers on Afghanistan withdrawal

      The Hill · by Bradley Bowman and Maseh Zarif · April 28, 2021

      Excerpts:It is important to note that Section 1215 also includes a waiver that Biden could use to avoid submitting the report. To exercise that waiver, the president would need to certify in writing that not providing the information is in the “national security interests of the United States” — and would need to provide a detailed explanation justifying that assertion.

      That would be a difficult argument for the Biden administration to make. After all, if a withdrawal by September that ignores conditions on the ground and the advice of commanders is in the national security interest, the Biden administration should be able to answer tough questions and defend the decision in the light of day.

      If the Biden administration is unable or unwilling to do so, that sends a disturbing signal regarding the merit of the rationale for the withdrawal. Regardless, in the coming weeks and months, Congress should utilize all of its oversight and legislative powers to push the administration to minimize the damage to American national security that Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal is about to inflict.

       

      13. Washington Is Avoiding the Tough Questions on Taiwan and China

      Foreign Affairs · by Charles L. Glaser · April 28, 2021

      Retrenchment???

      “Retrenchment may not be getting the hearing it deserves because it clashes with the United States’ self-perception as the global superpower. For those who see the United States as the winner of the Cold War, the creator and leader of the liberal international order, and the protector of much of what is worth protecting, retrenchment is simply too jarring. This is a dangerous reflex. This attachment to a certain identity could act as a barrier to revising policy, leading the United States to insist on preserving the status quo when its material interests point in the opposite direction. Although China’s rise should not cause the United States to change its values, including respect for democracies, it should prompt it to update its self-image and accept some loss of status.

      Most observers appear to believe that the United States is pursuing a cautious policy: after all, it is simply maintaining its existing commitments. Yet a declining power determined to preserve the status quo can in fact be engaging in very risky behavior. This is what the United States is doing today. Without acknowledging it, U.S. officials are accepting a great deal of risk, clinging to old commitments as the balance of power in East Asia shifts. The burden for sustaining the current policy should lie with its proponents, who should acknowledge the risks and spell out why they are warranted. Without having this debate, the United States will continue, almost on autopilot, to preserve its commitments in the region, even though what is likely called for is a long-overdue change in course.”

       

      14. Give the U.S. Navy the Army’s Money

      Foreign Policy · by Blake Herzinger · April 28, 2021

      Sustain a navy and raise an army.

      Excerpt:The Navy’s need for a greater share of the defense budget will certainly be criticized as interservice rivalry or parochialism. But in terms of any contingency related to a rising China seeking to displace the order of the free world, there are no realistic options without a strong, revitalized Navy. To have all the modern tanks in the world surrounded by soldiers with augmented reality helmets stuck on U.S. shores or sunk hundreds of miles from land is not a winning scenario.

      Active and retired naval strategists are increasingly fervent in their calls for recapitalization of the fleet—not to score points in some imagined interservice rivalry but because they know that if called on, the force may not merely be bloodied but may fail. Not for want of sailors or fighting spirit but for a simple lack of large gray ships ready to go into harm’s way.

       

      15. A New Coalition to Advance U.S. Global Interests

      WSJ · by Elliott Abrams

      It is hard to argue with any of these principles from the Vandenburg Coalition.

      Excerpts:

      Vandenberg’s philosophy is based on six principles:

      First, American security depends on leadership.

      Second, a strong America is a safe America.

      Third, strategic cooperation serves U.S. interests. 

      Fourth, free and fair trade advances the prosperity and security of the American people.

      Fifth, we support a proud U.S. foreign policy that champions American values without apology.

      Sixth, foreign policy should be responsive to all Americans—not only those in Washington or with the clout to hire lobbyists. 

      The Vandenburg Coalition:

       “I am hunting for the middle ground between these extremists at one end of the line who would cheerfully give America away and those extremists at the other end of the line who would attempt a total isolation which has come to be an impossibility.”

       

      16. Let Taiwan into World Health Assembly

      washingtontimes.com 

      Yes.

       

      17.  Supreme Court to Rule on Whether C.I.A. Black Sites Are State Secrets

      The New York Times · by Carol Rosenberg · April 26, 2021

      Excerpts:The government argued that disclosures about the nature of the interrogations were different from ones about where they took place, notwithstanding the European court’s findings and press reports.

      “In the world of clandestine intelligence operations, where tradecraft is deployed to cloak the true nature of activities and misdirect attention, things may be uncertain notwithstanding suppositions based on incomplete and circumstantial information,” said the government’s latest brief in the case, United States v. Abu Zubaydah, No. 20-827, which was filed in March.

      Judge Richard A. Paez, concurring in the full Ninth Circuit’s decision not to rehear the case, wrote that courts should not blind themselves to what everyone knows.

      “Given the overwhelming, publicly available evidence that Abu Zubaydah was detained at a black site in Poland, it is difficult to take seriously the suggestion that media outlets are untrustworthy and that the standards applied by other judicial bodies are inadequate,” he wrote. “Good grief, the president of Poland publicly acknowledged in 2012 that, during his presidency, Abu Zubaydah was detained in Poland by the C.I.A.”

       

      18. Remarks by President Biden in Address to a Joint Session of Congress

      Office of the US President-Address to Joint Session of Congress  · April 29, 2021

      So many policy issues to be debated from his speech but he makes a strong case for democracy versus autocratic leadership in his conclusion.

       

      ———-

       

      “Insurgents tend to ride and manipulate a social wave of grievances, often legitimate ones, and they draw their fighting power from their connection to a mass base. This mass base is largely undetectable to counterinsurgents, since it lies below the surface and engages in no armed activity”

      – David Kilcullen

       

      “Life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.” 

      – Soren Kierkegaard

       

      “Give instructions only to those people who seek knowledge after they have discovered their ignorance.” 

      – Confucius

      DanielRiggs
      Thu, 04/29/2021 – 9:45am

      04/29/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

      04/29/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

      News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

      1. Military blames radar blind spot for inaccurate assessment of N.K. missiles

      2. Building Materials Delivered to THAAD Base After U.S. Complaints

      3. Defense Ministry Reveals Cowardice in THAAD Supplies

      4. U.N. committee requests N. Korea provide explanation on human rights violations

      5. State Dept.: Kim Jong Un should be held accountable for human rights abuses

      6. Biden vows to cooperate with allies to address North Korea

      7. It Is Time to Change Approach to North Korea

      8. N. Korean officials cover costs for retired military officers’ holiday meals through “donations” from ordinary people

      9. North Korea sees a surge in soldiers frustrated with government policy deserting their posts

      10. No sign of China backing for North Korean missile tests: experts

      11. N.K.’s largest youth group calls for eradication of anti-socialist practices

      12. S. Korea heading fast toward herd immunity after vaccinating 3 mln in 2 months

      13. Minister calls first half ‘most optimal’ period for progress in stalled peace process

      14. S’pore police investigating S’porean man wanted in US for allegedly doing business with North Korea

      15. US, Japan and South Korea eye foreign ministers’ meeting in May: Media

      16. 10,000 North Korean Students Turn Themselves In For Having Watched K-Drama

      17. S. Korea to give primary approval to self-funded aid projects when assistance to N. Korea resumes: official

      18. On the Occasion of North Korea Freedom Week – United States Department of State

      19. North Korea sunk Cheonan warship, Seoul says after suspended reinvestigation

      20. Combined forces of S. Korea, U.S. fully ready to deter N. Korean threats: Milley

       

      1. Military blames radar blind spot for inaccurate assessment of N.K. missiles

      en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · April 29, 2021

      Blind spots could be reduced through participation in an integrated missile defense system and would be even more effective in a trilateral integrated missile defense systems with the ROK, Japan, and the US.

       

      2. Building Materials Delivered to THAAD Base After U.S. Complaints

      english.chosun.com

      Our soldiers are defending South Korea with a capability the South Korean government does not provide and yet they are treated extremely poorly by those who they defend. But I do not blame the South Korean citizens who are protesting. I blame the professional agitators who are radicalizing the local citizens with lies.

      Excerpt: “U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called their circumstance “unacceptable” when he met with Defense Minister Suh Wook in March.”

       

      3.  Defense Ministry Reveals Cowardice in THAAD Supplies

      english.chosun.com

      I do not blame MND. Its hands are tied by the Moon administration.

      But there are so many issues with this problem. And this is a self-inflicted wound.

      Excerpts:The ministry insisted that the equipment delivered on Wednesday “has nothing to do with the improvement of” the THAAD battery itself. In May last year, it changed an outdated strike missile in the middle of the night and repeated that the replacement was “unrelated” to any improvement in the capability of the system. But what if it was? Is there anything wrong with improving the anti-missile system? Whose defense ministry is this, South Korea’s or North Korea’s?

      The government also apparently sought China’s “understanding” before the missile replacement last May. But South Korea is a sovereign nation and has absolutely no reason to ask China’s understanding every time it wants to change a lightbulb. The way the Moon Jae-in administration kowtows to China and North Korea is insane.

       

      4. U.N. committee requests N. Korea provide explanation on human rights violations

      en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 29, 2021

      We should not forget that a focus on human rights is an existential threat to the regime. Kim Jong-un must deny the human rights of the Koreans living in the north in order to keep himself in power. But I doubt that is the kind of “explanation” he will provide to the UN Human Rights Committee. 

       

      5. State Dept.: Kim Jong Un should be held accountable for human rights abuses

      UPI · by Thomas Maresca · April 29, 2021

      Yes. Kim Jong-un must be held accountable. And those who enable him must be as well.

       

      6. Biden vows to cooperate with allies to address North Korea

      koreanjoongangdaily.com  · by Sarah Kim · April 29, 2021

      Minister Lee is projecting (sanctions relief) though trying to present a balanced assessment (depending on progress toward denuclearization).

      He likewise indicated there was “some possibility of flexibility” in the Biden administration’s Pyongyang policy and that it could be based on a “phased and simultaneous approach, including easing of sanctions depending on the progress in denuclearization.” 

       

      7. It Is Time to Change Approach to North Korea

      realclearworld.com · by Daniel DePetris

      I support establishing normal relations with north Korea if and only if it is based on a clear understanding of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime and is a component of our superior political warfare strategy that is designed to defeat the regime’s political warfare strategy. long con, and blackmail diplomacy (the use of threats, increased tensions, and provocations to gain political and economic concessions). 

      Excerpts: “Critics will suggest that normalizing relations with the North is deeply irresponsible. Diplomatic contact, however, should be not be treated as a reward. Bilateral engagement is a normal part of statecraft. It can also provide both countries with a direct forum to share best practices in the nuclear realm, keep tensions from boiling over, establish rules of the road in the event of a crisis, and increase mutual understanding about one another’s respective policies.

      The North Korea file is synonymous with failure for multiple U.S. administrations. If President Biden is more realistic about what he can accomplish and supports bold, common-sense reforms, he can break this string of failure and defend U.S. national security interests in the process.

       

      8. N. Korean officials cover costs for retired military officers’ holiday meals through “donations” from ordinary people

      dailynk.com  · by Lee Chae Un · April 29, 2021

      I would ask everyone who follows north Korea to reflect on this statement form the subtitle: “… retired military officers, some of whom are “true believers” who still hold Kim Il Sung’s “partisan struggle ideology” in their hearts”

       

      9. North Korea sees a surge in soldiers frustrated with government policy deserting their posts

      dailynk.com · by Jeong Tae Joo · April 29, 2021

      This could become a huge problem and may be an indicator of the future loss of coherency and support of the military.

      I am sure these new “regular daily report system” will take the form of formations 3 times a day in which the three chains of control conduct a headcount. And if anyone is missing the soldier’s immediate supervisors (squad, platoon leaders, company commanders) will be held accountable.

      Note the problems with the frontline corps as well the RGB. A lot to digest here.

      The other issue is the reduced party membership opportunity and the potential for the future of soldiers.

       

      10. No sign of China backing for North Korean missile tests: experts

      SCMP · by Minnie Chan

      Of course I take what the Chinese analysts say with a grain of salt. However, based on the Chinese “3 No’s” toward nK – no war, no instability and regime collapse, and no nukes, it is plausible that China does not support or back the nK missile launches. I think we are mistaken if we think China has a strong influence over Kim Jong-un. And because of this I think we have to consider how nK can be a “spoiler” in great power competition. While we try to get china to help us with th enK problem Kim actually may try to play both the PRC and the US off against each other all the while giving the appearance of remaining in the Chinese sphere of influence (and sustaining the PRC-DPRK alliance that is closer than lips and teeth).

       

      11. N.K.’s largest youth group calls for eradication of anti-socialist practices

      en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 29, 2021

      The number one priority for the regime is to ensure ideological purity. With that Kim can deny the human rights of the Korean people in the north in order to sustain the Kim family regime’s power.

       

      12. S. Korea heading fast toward herd immunity after vaccinating 3 mln in 2 months

      en.yna.co.kr · by 김한주 · April 29, 2021

      Whoa. This headline seems like a major change in outlook. Perhaps this is the view of the semi-official news agency Yonhap.

       

      13. Minister calls first half ‘most optimal’ period for progress in stalled peace process

      en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · April 29, 2021

      I have not seen any previous discussion of this: “One of the efforts could be to get the Panmunjom Declaration ratified by the National Assembly,” he said. “The unification ministry has almost completed its necessary internal preparations.”

       

      14. S’pore police investigating S’porean man wanted in US for allegedly doing business with North Korea

      Strait Times

      We need to keep at this.

       

      15. US, Japan and South Korea eye foreign ministers’ meeting in May: Media

      Strait Times

      A lot of alliance diplomacy is taking place – the military leaders of the 3 countries will soon meet in Hawaii. We have had a trilat meeting with the NSAs. We have had a Japan-US summit and soon a ROK-US summit. And now we have a trilat of foreign ministers.

      Alliances are important to the US.

       

      16. 10,000 North Korean Students Turn Themselves In For Having Watched K-Drama

      koreaboo.com · April 29, 2021

      Wow. Rule by fear and terror? I wonder how they will all be punished?

      I asked an escapee (defector) this week about the moral hazard we create when we send information into the north. He said the people know the risks and are more than willing to take the risks. He said they are thirsty for information and need the information. He said we must continue and do much more.

       

      17. S. Korea to give primary approval to self-funded aid projects when assistance to N. Korea resumes: official

      en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 29, 2021

      Excerpts: “”Projects funded by local governments or solely funded by the nongovernmental organizations will have priority in getting approval,” he added.

      Earlier this month, a unification ministry official said Seoul is considering allowing local aid groups to resume assistance to Pyongyang as the country is showing increasing signs of easing its border restrictions with China.

       

      18.  On the Occasion of North Korea Freedom Week – United States Department of State

      state.gov · by Ned Price

      It is good to see the excellent and important work of Dr. Suzanne Scholte recognized. This is the 18th year of nK Freedom Week I believe. Below the State Department Statement are my remarks that I gave at the opening session of Freedom Week on Monday.

       

      Remarks for ​north ​Korean Freedom Week 26 April 2021

       David Maxwell,

      Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

       Information and influence are the keys to unlocking the prison that is north Korea. Dr Jung Pak of the State Department always asks: Who does Kim Jong-un fear more: The U.S or the Korean people living in the north? We can see that for the last seven decades it is the Korean people living in the north. From the Juche ideology to the veneration of the mafia-like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime to the Songbun system to oppress the Korean people, we can see how the regime is deathly afraid of the Korean people. And the only thing Kim Jong-un fears more is the Korean people armed with information: the truth about the outside world and the truth about the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime and its quest to dominate the Korean peninsula to ensure the perpetual survival of the Kim family regime while seeking to oppress all Koreans in the north and South.

       The Kim family regime’s rule is a blight on all humanity and one of the most tragic events in human history. The suffering caused by Kim Jong-un and the regime is a moral outrage on a scale that is difficult for the outside world to comprehend.

       We need to educate the Korean people in the north about their inalienable human rights of which they know very little. We need to educate those outside of Korea about the crimes against humanity being committed inside the north.

       But it is information that will unlock the gulags and the entire prison that incarcerates 25 million people inside north Korea. We need an aggressive, comprehensive, and holistic information and influence campaign to bring about change and to help the Korean people living in the north.

       But such a campaign is not simple and not without danger. I will be asking our heroic escapees about the potential moral hazard we create by sending information into north Korea. I will ask what are some of the most effective themes and messages to transmit to the people? How can the most intensive system of surveillance and control be defeated so that the people can obtain information? What are the weaknesses of the regime that can be exploited through information and what are the strengths of the people that we can reinforce? How can Americans and others help the Korean people in the north? And so much more if time permits.

       The UN Commission of Inquiry stated one of the many human rights violations in north Korea is the suppression of information among the people in the north. We all have a responsibility to help them get information. To get them the truth and to work to free 25 million fellow human beings from their slave-like existence. I will close with our US Special Forces motto; in Latin, “de oppresso liber.” In English “to free the oppressed.” Nowhere should that apply more than to the people inside north Korea.  Thank you.

       

      19. North Korea sunk Cheonan warship, Seoul says after suspended reinvestigation

      UPI · by Elizabeth Shim

      It is about time. I wonder what coerced the Moon administration into finally admitting the facts.

       

      20. Combined forces of S. Korea, U.S. fully ready to deter N. Korean threats: Milley

      kdva.vet · by Byun Duk-kun · April 28, 2021

      I think people overlook that General commanded the 1-506th Infantry at Camp Greaves, Korea in the 1990s. If you look at his uniform you can see the Currahee DUI over his right pocket barely visible above is foreign jump wings.

       

      ———-

       

      “Insurgents tend to ride and manipulate a social wave of grievances, often legitimate ones, and they draw their fighting power from their connection to a mass base. This mass base is largely undetectable to counterinsurgents, since it lies below the surface and engages in no armed activity”

      – David Kilcullen

       

      “Life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.” 

      – Soren Kierkegaard

       

      “Give instructions only to those people who seek knowledge after they have discovered their ignorance.” 

      – Confucius

      DanielRiggs
      Thu, 04/29/2021 – 9:33am

      04/28/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

      04/28/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

      News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

      1.  Secretary of Defense Statement on Senate Confirmation of Dr. Colin Kahl

      2.  The U.S. Built the Afghan Military Over 20 Years. Will it Last One More?

      3.  Biden’s Pentagon policy chief Colin Kahl confirmed with GOP senators absent

      4. The force is still too small, Army chief says, and Afghanistan withdrawal won’t really help

      5. Switchblade: Era of the loitering drone has come

      6. US Special Ops buys AeroVironment’s anti-armour Switchblade 600 loitering munition

      7. FDD | Biden, Congress Should Defend Missile Sanctions Imposed on Iran

      8. Navy SEALs to shift from counterterrorism to global threats

      9. Readiness in the Balance: U.S. Military Preparedness Amid Growing Threats

      10. Admiral (Retired) William H. McRaven, Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, and Nicholas Rasmussen, Former National Counterterrorism Center Director, Reflect on the Usama bin Ladin Raid

      11. How to Turn the Tables on China? Use Their A2/AD Military Strategy Against Them

      12. Twenty retired French generals call for MILITARY RULE in the country

      13. Why Taiwan’s Defense Strategy Calls for a Reassessment of Priorities

      14. Biden Must Protect Women’s Rights After Afghanistan Withdrawal

      15. REVEALED: The Scientists “Debunking” the Wuhan Lab Leak Theory Admit Being ‘Collaborators’ and Honorees of Chinese Communist Party.

      16. Extremists Find a Financial Lifeline on Twitch

      17. Uniting for Total Collapse: The January 6 Boost to Accelerationism

      18. Biden Taps Frank Kendall To Be Air Force Secretary

      19. Frosted Misery: A Navy SEAL in SERE School | SOF News

      20. “Where’s Your Tab” and other Sad Lieutenant Stories – The Company Leader

      21. How China is stoking America’s racial tensions

      22. China’s people need the truth — America should help them get it

      23. What the CIA Did (and Didn’t Do) in Soviet-Occupied Afghanistan

      24. How Not to Win Allies and Influence Geopolitics

       

      1. Secretary of Defense Statement on Senate Confirmation of Dr. Colin Kahl

      defense.gov

      We have a USD(P).

       

      2. The U.S. Built the Afghan Military Over 20 Years. Will it Last One More?

      The New York Times · by C. J. Chivers · April 28, 2021

      More photos at the link.  This is depressing. 

       

      3. Biden’s Pentagon policy chief Colin Kahl confirmed with GOP senators absent

      Defense News · by Joe Gould · April 27, 2021

       

      4. The force is still too small, Army chief says, and Afghanistan withdrawal won’t really help

      armytimes.com · by Kyle Rempfer · April 27, 2021

      Excerpts: “The Army accounts for about 25 percent of the Defense Department’s budget and about 35 percent of the active-duty end strength of the department.

      “But we’re over 50 percent of the current operating tempo of the Department of Defense,” Whitley said. “We’re two-thirds of the readiness demands and the readiness priorities for warfighting of the Department of Defense.”

      “The Army cannot sustain that level of commitment and operating tempo and readiness for such a wide range of things in a declining budget environment — and that’s the simple math,” Whitley said.

      The force is still too small, Army chief says, and Afghanistan withdrawal won’t really help

      Ending the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan won’t be of much use to Army planners sweating the size of the force, as fiscal constraints loom large over the service in the coming years.

      The Army’s end-strength growth, once expected to top 500,000 active-duty soldiers, has slowed to a crawl in recent years and currently sits at roughly 485,000 troops.

      “This is the same size Army that we had on 9/11, and when I take a look at what the requirements are, when I take a look at what historically we needed, and now that we’re in a time of great power competition, I’m very, very concerned about the size of the Army,” Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville said during a Tuesday discussion at the Center for a New American Security.

      Much of the strain on the Army’s size comes from the combatant commands, where soldiers make up the bulk of military personnel deployed across the world. But the impending withdrawal from Afghanistan, in U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility, won’t make much of a difference.

      “The number of troops in Afghanistan is really not a significant amount,” McConville said when asked how the withdrawal would factor into end-strength woes.

      Growing the Army also doesn’t appear to be happening in the current fiscal environment, unless the service cuts into readiness and modernization funding.

      “The [Army] secretary and I both agree that we can’t do the things, as far as readiness and when it comes to modernization, if we were to grow the Army to the level that we think would reduce the stress of deployments for our troops,” McConville said. “What we’re trying to do is produce the best Army we can with the resources that we’re going to get.”

       

      5. Switchblade: Era of the loitering drone has come

      asiatimes.com · by Dave Makichuk · April 27, 2021

      Conclusion: “Regardless, loitering munitions are likely to be fielded by more and more militaries in the 2020s given their versatility and effectiveness. This is only the beginning.”

       

      6. US Special Ops buys AeroVironment’s anti-armour Switchblade 600 loitering munition

      flightglobal.com · by Garrett Reim · April 27, 2021

       

      7. FDD | Biden, Congress Should Defend Missile Sanctions Imposed on Iran

      fdd.org · by Richard Goldberg, Matthew Zweig, Behnam Ben Taleblu, Saeed Ghasseminejad

      · April 27, 2021

      The 14 page memo can be downloaded here:

       

      8. Navy SEALs to shift from counterterrorism to global threats

      AP · by Lolita C. Baldor

      Excerpts: “Rear Adm. Hugh Howard, top commander for the SEALs, laid out his plans in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. He said the Navy’s special operations forces have been focused on counterterrorism operations but now must begin to evolve beyond those missions. For the past two decades, many have been fighting in the deserts of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan. Now they are focused on going back to sea.

      That decision reflects the broader Pentagon strategy to prioritize China and Russia, which are rapidly growing their militaries and trying to expand their influence around the globe. U.S. defense leaders believe that two decades of war against militants and extremists have drained resources, causing America to lose ground against Moscow and Beijing.

       

      9. Readiness in the Balance: U.S. Military Preparedness Amid Growing Threats

      Video at this link.  

      Transcript is at this link.  

       

      10. Admiral (Retired) William H. McRaven, Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, and Nicholas Rasmussen, Former National Counterterrorism Center Director, Reflect on the Usama bin Ladin Raid

      ctc.usma.edu · April 27, 2021

      11. How to Turn the Tables on China? Use Their A2/AD Military Strategy Against Them

      The National Interest · by James Holmes · April 27, 2021

      Excerpts:Meanwhile the Pentagon should fashion access- and area-denial strategies of its own. PLA and Chinese Communist Party thinkers and practitioners obsess over maritime access for a reason: access deniers along the island chain could cut China off from the trading world.

      To channel Mahan, sealing the straits permitting passage through the island chain would be like cutting the roots of a plant. It would deny the Chinese merchant fleet and PLA Navy access to the oceanic thoroughfare on which they rely to ply their trades. China’s import and export traffic—crucial to its prosperity, and thus to fulfilling the China Dream—could shrivel and die.

      Its geopolitical standing could wilt in the process.

      A U.S. access-denial strategy, then, would impose a hard fate on China. Which is the point. Threatening fearful consequences could deter Beijing from aggression tomorrow morning, and the next. If Xi Jinping & Co. wake up and choose forbearance enough days in a row, who knows? China, Asia, and the world could learn to coexist over time.

      Lions need not lie down with lambs. Uneasy peace will do. Rediscovering the pivotal role of access will illumine the way.

       

      12. Twenty retired French generals call for MILITARY RULE in the country

      Daily Mail · by Danyal Hussain, Ross Ibbetson, and Danyal Hussain · April 27, 2021

      Now here is a civil-military relations issue.

       

      13. Why Taiwan’s Defense Strategy Calls for a Reassessment of Priorities

      The National Interest · by James Holmes · April 28, 2021

      Excerpts: “As a result, Taiwan’s maritime strategy risks falling behind the times even as strongman Xi and other communist chieftains rattle their sabers. The same could be said of Taipei’s air strategy, predicated on high-end fighters such as F-16s and F-35 stealth fighters. This at a time when airfields and other infrastructure are increasingly untenable in the face of PLA Rocket Force ballistic missiles and PLA Air Force combat aircraft. Aviators too are susceptible to memes.

      Nor, I should say, am I picking on Taiwan here. A meme spread throughout the U.S. Navy a quarter-century ago maintaining, in effect, that naval history had ended with the demise of the Soviet Navy. We no longer had to prepare to battle peer fleets to rule the main. We let the skills and hardware for major sea fights atrophy—and are now scrambling to restore our fighting ability now that an age of great-power competition and strife is upon us. No one is immune to mind viruses.

      To evaluate Taiwan’s defenses, ask whether Taipei is asking too much of the armed forces—and whether the armed forces are remaking themselves adequately to cope with today’s brave new world.

       

      14. Biden Must Protect Women’s Rights After Afghanistan Withdrawal

      defenseone.com · by Jacqueline Feldscher

      I am not sure how POTUS could do this nor can I see how diplomats can handle the issue. (Of course I do not think the US military presence will protect their rights either). This is an Afghan problem.

       

      15. REVEALED: The Scientists “Debunking” the Wuhan Lab Leak Theory Admit Being ‘Collaborators’ and Honorees of Chinese Communist Party.

      thenationalpulse.com · April 27, 2021

       

      16. Extremists Find a Financial Lifeline on Twitch

      The New York Times · by Kellen Browning · April 27, 2021

      Excerpts: “Joan Donovan, a Harvard University researcher who studies disinformation and online extremism, said streamers who rely on their audience’s generosity to fund themselves felt pressured to continue raising the stakes.

      “The incentive to lie, cheat, steal, hoax and scam is very high when the cash is easy to acquire,” she said.

       

      17. Uniting for Total Collapse: The January 6 Boost to Accelerationism

      ctc.usma.edu · April 27, 2021

      Conclusion: “January 6 represented an apotheosis for this new extreme far-right accelerationist network, just as it has become a moment of reckoning for the mainstream of society. The Capitol insurrection no doubt helped to inspire the Biden administration’s heightened concern over domestic extremism,43 just as it has sparked renewed energy among those conservatives determined to retake control of the Republican Party from Trump loyalists.44 But it has also become a source of renewed momentum and energy for the extreme far-right. It is a unifying symbol, an example of a victory that almost was and might still be. It has empowered and emboldened its admirers while offering an opportunity to exercise the common terrorist tactic of studying and learning from failed actions.45

      It remains unclear whether the coalition that formed on January 6 will ultimately reflect a fleeting, one-time moment in the history of the extreme right or if it will be the first among many examples of unifying events that even temporarily bring together groups and individuals from across a fragmented ideological spectrum. More cross-national research would be useful to determine whether and how accelerationist networks are communicating across borders, taking inspiration from each other’s violent acts, and finding ways to align to bring down their own national systems through violent and insurrectionist action. Finally, the events of January 6 signaled increased engagement from women, who have historically been less engaged in violent action on the extremist fringe, in ways that deserve more attention and study. Ongoing research will likely benefit from an exploratory spirit, since it appears that this “ecumenical” extreme far-right is itself in a mode of discovery and experimentation, as consolidation remains the order of the day and collapse the dream for tomorrow. CTC

       

      18.  Biden Taps Frank Kendall To Be Air Force Secretary

      defenseone.com · by Marcus Weisgerber

       

      19. Frosted Misery: A Navy SEAL in SERE School | SOF News

      sof.news · by SOF News · April 27, 2021

      The US Army Special Forces SERE school at Fort Bragg (Camp MacKall) is the best school I attended in the Army.

       

      20.  “Where’s Your Tab” and other Sad Lieutenant Stories – The Company Leader

      companyleader.themilitaryleader.com · by Joo Chung · April 26, 2021

       

      21. How China is stoking America’s racial tensions

      spectator.us

      There should be no doubt the Chinese are doing this.  It is low hanging fruit and just too easy to do.

      Excerpts:Twitter, Facebook and YouTube do crack down on Chinese disinformation when it becomes impossible to ignore, as with COVID and Hong Kong, but their actions are inconsistent and patchy. Twitter and Facebook have now started labeling Chinese accounts as ‘state-affiliated’ but that has not dampened unease, even among Facebook’s own employees. Staff there are reportedly concerned the company is being used as a conduit for state propaganda, with a wave of sponsored posts of happy Uighurs, dancing, singing and generally thriving under Chinese rule.

      Still, the Chinese embassy in Washington is having to do without its Twitter account, which was suspended in January after diplomats responded to evidence of forced sterilizations with a tweet claiming Uighur women had been ‘emancipated’ from extremism and were no longer ‘baby-making machines’. It was typical of China’s approach to try to whitewash an atrocity by appealing to feminism. In this case they misjudged their audience and overstepped the mark.

      In targeting identity politics, China is stoking the most difficult and divisive issues in America. The absurd part is that Xi Jinping’s rule is built on an increasingly virulent ethnic nationalism. This fuels the CCP’s combative stances internationally — see, for instance, China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi unashamedly berating secretary of state Antony Blinken for America’s record on human rights.

      At home, meanwhile, the Communist party crushes human rights and regards any cultural and religious difference as a threat. This is what drives the appalling repression in Xinjiang, where the party is seeking to neuter Uighur culture and subjugate it to the Han Chinese. China’s Communist leadership is no position to lecture anybody about racism. Yet they do.

       

      22.  China’s people need the truth — America should help them get it

      The Hill · by Joseph Bosco, opinion contributor · April 27, 2021

      I would argue the US is the only country in the world that has the ability to get the truth to all oppressed people through VOA, RFE/RL, RFA, etc.

       

      23. What the CIA Did (and Didn’t Do) in Soviet-Occupied Afghanistan

      newlinesmag.com · by Emran Feroz · April 26, 2021

      Some history for consideration.

       

      24. How Not to Win Allies and Influence Geopolitics

      Foreign Affairs · by Audrye Wong · April 27, 2021

      But we should be exploiting these issues for our own information and influence campaign.  Let’s expose the Chinese strategy.

      Excerpts: “This is not to say that Beijing’s attempts at economic statecraft should be written off. With the BRI, China is learning from its missteps. It has announced that it will curb “irrational” BRI investments, crack down on Chinese investors’ illegal activities abroad, and establish a new agency to coordinate foreign aid. At the BRI’s international forum in 2019, Chinese leaders went beyond their usual bland “win-win” rhetoric and for the first time emphasized mantras of quality infrastructure, zero corruption, and ample transparency. At the same summit, China’s central bank and finance ministry also announced new financing criteria that would take into account recipient countries’ existing debt loads.

      On the flip side, growing illiberalism globally may give China more opportunities to gain influence in subversive ways. Particularly in countries teetering on the brink of authoritarianism, carrots that buy off corrupt elites could not only help them maintain their hold on power but also do long-term damage to political institutions. China could thus entrench authoritarianism—even if it is not actively trying to export autocracy. As a preventive measure, the United States and its partners can strengthen accountability institutions in recipient countries and provide technical expertise to help them negotiate with China. But framing the issue as a U.S.-led club of democracies competing against China’s authoritarian camp is almost certain to alienate many of those countries, which would prefer to avoid choosing between two rival powers.

      In the end, China’s rapidly expanding overseas economic presence, particularly when accompanied by subversion and coercion, may exacerbate strategic fears across the globe. Chinese officials may still think that economic development naturally promotes goodwill and gratitude among recipients, but there is good reason to believe that they are wrong. China, it turns out, cannot count on automatically converting its growing economic clout into a new geopolitical reality.

       

      ————

       

      “Since 1945 there has been no Third World War. The development of nuclear weapons may prevent such a catastrophe. In the two World Wars words were one of a variety of weapons in the armory of the belligerent powers. In future, because of the advent of nuclear weapons, words may be the only arms which the super-powers can employ without risking annihilation.”

      –  Charles Roetter, The Art of Psychological Warfare, 1914-1945

       

      “Discussion of psychological warfare remains controversial because reexamination of its record leads in short order to a heretical conclusion: The role of the United States in world affairs during our lifetimes has often been rapacious, destructive, tolerant of genocide, and willing to sacrifice countless people in the pursuit of a chimera of security that has grown ever more remote. Rethinking psychological warfare’s role in communication studies, in turn, requires reconsideration of where contemporary Western ideology comes from, whose interests it serves, and the role that social scientists play in its propagation. Such discussions have always upset those who are content with the present order of things. For the rest of us, though, they permit a glimmer of hope.”

      – Christopher Simpson, Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare, 1945-1960

       

      “The biggest wars are the wars of thought.”

      The Oldest Soldier

      – Fritz Leiber, Night Monsters

      DanielRiggs
      Wed, 04/28/2021 – 9:59am