04/17/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

04/17/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. The Russia Bounty Story Was Always Murky

2. A Platoon Leader’s Takeaways from the Anti-Extremism Stand-Down

3. Remarks by President Biden and Prime Minister Suga of Japan at Press Conference

4. Ukraine’s Unconventional Warfare Plan to Resist a Russian Invasion

5. How Delta, Rangers, and the Green Berets’ unique training would pay off in an Arctic war with Russia

6. The simple reasons online disinformation may never be fixed

7. America’s Come-From-Behind Pandemic Victory

8. ‘A long way to go:’ Why TikTok still has a QAnon and COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theory problem

9. Unconventional Supply Network Operations: A New Frontier in Global Competition

10. Huawei was able to eavesdrop on Dutch mobile network KPN: Report

11. How State’s Disinformation-Fighting Arm Uses Artificial Intelligence

12. What America’s Vaccination Campaign Proves to the World

13. Norway to allow U.S. military to build on its soil in new accord

14. The U.S. Marines Just Gave Us a Preview of How They Would Fight China

15.  Eight cadets at West Point expelled for cheating, over 50 set back a year

16. US should accept that its FONOPs have political implications

17. Biden Delegation Pledges US Support for Taiwan Self-Defense

18. Hard strategic realities keep US and Japan apart

19. The Contradiction That Doomed America’s Mission in Afghanistan

20. Trump-era Efforts to Boost Military Readiness Produced Mixed Results, GAO Finds

21. Trumpism lives on in new thinktank – but critics say it’s ‘just a grift’

22. The Claremont Institute’s Counterrevolution to Save America

23. Opinion | How Kash Patel rose from obscure Hill staffer to key operative in Trump’s battle with the intelligence community

 

1. The Russia Bounty Story Was Always Murky

vitalinterests.thedispatch.com · by Thomas Joscelyn

Excerpts: “From the beginning, the U.S. intelligence community wasn’t really sure whether the Russians actually paid for any anti-American operations. In other words, they didn’t know whether the alleged bounty offers had any real effect.

The reality is that the U.S. intelligence community is inundated with “low to moderate confidence”-type reporting all the time. Why did the alleged Russian bounties deserve front-page attention? It’s natural to suspect that anything Russia-related stood out to officials during the Trump years, when the president was widely accused of being a Russian asset and a Kremlin hook could instantly hype any story.

Again, the U.S. government should be forward leaning when it comes to protecting American troops, especially as they are withdrawn from Afghanistan. But that doesn’t mean this story deserved all the attention it received.”

The more I think about this entire incident the ​more I think this was a successful information and influence operation to exploit the existing divide in our country as well as the gullibility of the biased press on one side of the political divide. And the biased press on the other side will make the same hay over these recent intelligence assessments.

 

2. A Platoon Leader’s Takeaways from the Anti-Extremism Stand-Down

fromthegreennotebook.com · by Connor Collins · April 16, 2021

This platoon leader answered the proverbial LT questions: “What do you do now, Lieutenant?” Agree or disagree with this him, he did something.

Conclusion: “Therefore I offer three simple suggestions for junior leaders to act on personally and with their units. Each one flows from my three main points. First, peruse the Constitution once a year and talk honestly with colleagues about its (in)significance to you. Second, talk politics and be prepared to listen to different opinions. And third–perhaps the hardest of the three–examine yourself as a citizen of the internet. If small unit leaders can do these things personally, and perhaps even encourage their subordinates to do the same, our military will be better prepared for the wide range of challenges it will face in the coming decades.”

 

3. Remarks by President Biden and Prime Minister Suga of Japan at Press Conference

Office of the President of the United States  • APRIL 16, 2021 

Key excerpts: Prime Minister Suga:

“On North Korea, we confirmed our commitment to the CVID of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges, and agreed to demand North Korea to fulfill its obligations under Security Council resolutions.

On the issue of abduction, we reaffirmed that it is a grave human rights issue, and that our two countries will work together to seek immediate resolution by North Korea. Encountering North Korea, and for the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific, both of us recognize that trilateral cooperation, including the ROK, has never been as important as today, and agreed to promote such collaboration.”

President Biden: “We committed to working together to take on the challenges from China and on issues like the East China Sea, the South China Sea, as well as North Korea, to ensure a future of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Again note the reference to UN Security Council resolutions as well as trilateral ROK-Japan-US cooperation on north Korea. Prime Minister Suga is “on message.”

 

4. Ukraine’s Unconventional Warfare Plan to Resist a Russian Invasion

coffeeordie.com · by Nolan Peterson · April 13, 2021

The employment of resistance. Possibly to achieve unconventional deterrence (Robert Jones, Deterring “Competition Short of War”: Are Gray Zones the Ardennes of our Modern Maginot Line of Traditional Deterrence? https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/deterring-competition-short-war-are-gray-zones-ardennes-our-modern-maginot-line 

Here are some references that apply for those who want to look at the concept of resistance against revisionist powers. These provide the intellectual foundation for studying and understanding resistance.

JSOU: Resistance Operating Concept (ROC) by Otto C. Fiala Foreword by Major General Kirk Smith Brigadier General Anders Löfberg: https://jsou.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=54216464

SOCEUR: Resistance Operating Concept: https://nsiteam.com/social/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/U-SMA-Brief-SOCEUR-Resistance-Operating-Concept.pdf

USASOC ARIS Project:

Resistance Manual: https://www.soc.mil/ARIS/books/pdf/resistance-manual.pdf

Science of Resistance: https://www.soc.mil/ARIS/books/pdf/science-resistance.pdf

Understanding States of Resistance: https://www.soc.mil/ARIS/books/pdf/understanding-states-resistance.pdf

Tactical Pocket Reference – Resistance: https://www.soc.mil/ARIS/books/pdf/tactical-states-reference.pdf

Resistance and the Cyber Domain: https://www.soc.mil/ARIS/books/pdf/resistance-cyber.pdf

 

5. How Delta, Rangers, and the Green Berets’ unique training would pay off in an Arctic war with Russia

Business Insider · by Stavros Atlamazoglou

 

6. The simple reasons online disinformation may never be fixed

sciencefocus.com · by Nina Jankowicz

Depressing but probably accurate.

Excerpts: “I used to use the term ‘media literacy’, but now I talk about ‘information literacy’. Being information literate is broader than understanding how social media platforms work and how they target you. It’s about the whole ecosystem that a consumer of information online needs to understand to have the full context, like why am I being targeted with this?

In terms of how we fight this, there’s no easy solution. Fact checking people individually doesn’t work. People tend to stand their ground when they see something that tells them that they’re wrong.

I’ve found that getting into a conversation has some success. Ask them, “Why do you believe this article? What appeals to you about it?” Understand where they’re coming from and then hopefully equip them without saying, “you’re wrong.” Instead, we can say, “I know you care about child trafficking. Here is a better source than that.” And then, over time and with better evidence, they come to change their minds.

The emotional approach takes so much more time and energy, but it’s what you need to do to counteract disinformation online.”

 

7. America’s Come-From-Behind Pandemic Victory

Foreign Policy · by Hal Brands · April 16, 2021

Very interesting assessment from our Grand Strategy expert, Hal Brands:How much of this is a direct result of COVID-19? Probably quite a lot. National security hawks had been trying to convince Americans for years that China was a dangerous rival, but it was only during COVID-19 that the proportion of Americans who see Beijing as the country’s greatest enemy more than doubled, from 22 percent to 45 percent. In 9 of 12 countries surveyed, negative views of Xi increased by double digits between 2019 and 2020. Granted, international audiences also think the United States did a horrible job handling the pandemic. But the United States has an opportunity under new leadership to rebuild its credibility. Xi is not going anywhere, and the worst characteristics of China’s COVID-19 response—particularly the secrecy and vicious dishonesty that have been there from the start—are intrinsic to the Leninist, one-party system he runs.

In retrospect, COVID-19 may loom largest as the moment when Beijing, in more openly revealing its ambitions and tactics, also unintentionally helped to derail them. This argument may sound ridiculous after a year when the United States lost so many of its own citizens. And the United States hinges on its ability to make the most of the opportunities before it—after a period when the country’s reputation for pursuing the bold, positive policies that are needed today has itself taken a beating.

But COVID-19 would hardly be the only example of an international crisis that ultimately produced geopolitical outcomes at variance with first, or even second, impressions. The pandemic is not done tormenting the United States just yet. It is, however, moving into a new phase that is less likely to reveal a struggling superpower and more an impressively resilient one.”

 

8. ‘A long way to go:’ Why TikTok still has a QAnon and COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theory problem

USA Today · by Jessica Guynn

These ideas are not limited to TikTok. I see them all the time on social media (and among “closed” Facebook groups!). And there are non-QAnon adherents who believe and further disseminate these ideas.

The latest QAnon and COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy videos on TikTok advanced debunked theories that members of the U.S. government are trying to “overthrow our constitutional government,” and that Bill Gates and Dr. Anthony Fauci caused COVID-19 to profit from it.

 

9. Unconventional Supply Network Operations: A New Frontier in Global Competition

realcleardefense.com · by Daniel Egel and Ken Gleiman

From two of my favorite unconventional strategic thinkers.

Conclusion: “Building cross-functional, multi-domain strategies, tactics, and organizational models designed to dynamically map, monitor, and then either manipulate or attack these complex, adaptive supply networks could be one of the next great challenges of international security. The United States lacks appropriate operational frameworks, strategies and tactics, as well as the accompanying advanced tools to, at speed and scale, gain the necessary forensic understanding for these operations.

 

10. Huawei was able to eavesdrop on Dutch mobile network KPN: Report

nltimes.nl

Sure, Huawei is not a security threat.

 

11. How State’s Disinformation-Fighting Arm Uses Artificial Intelligence

nextgov.com 

Technology is great and fighting disinformation is important but what about offensively getting our superior message out? Our values? Our desired American narrative? When are we going to be proactive instead of reacting and trying to counter the narratives of the revision and rogue power and violent extremist organizations?

But as Clint Eastwood said, “A man’s gotta know his limitations.” This is the most frank and honest and accurate assessment I have read by a US government official. Kudos to Mr. Kimmage.

“If I could really use one word to characterize the whole philosophical approach of the Global Engagement Center, its partnerships,” he added. “We realize that the U.S. government is, in most cases, not the most effective communicator with most audiences, and the U.S. government is not always going to be the most innovative, because there are all kinds of constraints in a big bureaucracy. So, what we try to do is identify and support partners who are at the cutting-edge of innovation, who are thinking creatively about what’s going to happen next.”

So much of the activity GEC tracks is on digital platforms via technical tools. The center established a technology engagement team that works with the officials in the tech sector to identify innovative tools that could be put to use to combat the threats. They maintain a testbed and have biweekly demonstrations.

“We’ve reviewed over 200 tools,” Kimmage said. “We’ve done more in-depth testing on 25 tools and some of those are now being put to work by some of our partners.”

GEC also maintains an online platform and community of interest—disinfocloud.com—to connect with relevant stakeholders.

“We’re very eager to engage,” Kimmage said.

 

12. What America’s Vaccination Campaign Proves to the World

The Atlantic · by Anne Applebaum · April 10, 2021

Excerpts: “But an opportunity for the U.S. might lie precisely here, in the authoritarian drive to politicize the vaccines. The best answer to Russian and Chinese strongmen who offer thousands of vaccines to countries that say nice things about them is to flood the market with millions of American doses, helping everyone regardless of what they say about the U.S. or anyone else. After Trump, the American political system won’t win much admiration again anytime soon. But if American democracy is no longer a trusted product, American efficiency could be once again. Within a matter of weeks, a majority of American adults will have had their first dose of a vaccine. What if the U.S. then begins to pivot from mass-vaccinating its own citizens to mass-vaccinating the rest of the world? Americans can’t do social trust, but we can do vaccines, plus the military logistics needed to distribute them: planes, trucks, cold-storage chains. The best cure for propaganda and disinformation is real-life experience: If people see that the vaccines work, they will eventually get one. We can end the global pandemic, improve the economy for everybody, protect ourselves and everyone else, and create the relationships that can help us deal with crises to come.

The U.S. might even have an opportunity to turn a mass-delivery effort into something more permanent. If the World Health Organization has become too bureaucratic and too reliant on China to enjoy the complete confidence of the rest of the world, then let’s use this moment to build COVAX into something new, something more trustworthy: an institution that provides smarter delivery systems, more efficient biomedical cooperation, and links among production centers in Europe, India, Africa, and elsewhere in the world. Vaccine nationalism is small-minded, self-centered, and ultimately self-defeating, because COVID-19 will not cease to be a problem until no one has it. This is the moment to think big, the moment for generosity and big ideas. As our massive logistical investment in refrigerated transport begins to pay off, the question for Americans is not just how we can enter the game, but how we can change it.”

 

13. Norway to allow U.S. military to build on its soil in new accord

Reuters

Another issue for all the anti-US overseas base haters to protest over.

 

14. The U.S. Marines Just Gave Us a Preview of How They Would Fight China

19fortyfive.com · by Caleb Larson · April 16, 2021

 

15.  Eight cadets at West Point expelled for cheating, over 50 set back a year

USA Today · by Tom Vanden Brook

Oh no. Not again. But I suppose the military remains a microcosm of our society.

 

16. US should accept that its FONOPs have political implications

asiatimes.com · by More by Mark Valencia · April 17, 2021

Perhaps this is part of an IO campaign to show the US is not solely focused on “containing” China and is asserting FON rights regardless of the country. Of course I would hope this kind of action would be coordinated behind closed doors with India if that were the case

 

17.  Biden Delegation Pledges US Support for Taiwan Self-Defense

thediplomat.com · by Nick Aspinwall · April 17, 2021

Emphasis on “self?”

 

18.  Hard strategic realities keep US and Japan apart

asiatimes.com · by Andrew Salmon · April 16, 2021

Again to paraphrase Clint: “A country’s got to know its limitations or the limitations of its allies.”

 

19. The Contradiction That Doomed America’s Mission in Afghanistan

The New York Times · by Max Fisher · April 17, 2021

 

20. Trump-era Efforts to Boost Military Readiness Produced Mixed Results, GAO Finds

defenseone.com · by Elizabeth Howe

The question is do we need a new way to measure readiness? Or even to define what is readiness? And readiness for what?

 

21. Trumpism lives on in new thinktank – but critics say it’s ‘just a grift’

The Guardian · by David Smith · April 17, 2021

AFPI.

 

22. The Claremont Institute’s Counterrevolution to Save America

realclearwire.com · by Mike Sabo

Conclusion: By reasserting Americans’ control over their political institutions, Claremont seeks to help recover republican government.

 

23. Opinion | How Kash Patel rose from obscure Hill staffer to key operative in Trump’s battle with the intelligence community

The Washington Post · April 16, 2021

With all due respect to the many great young political appointees and civil servants serving in our government the Africa resource mission by the SEALs indicates how youth and inexperience can hinder real world operations and lead to tragedy.

Excerpt: “Anger toward Patel within the national security bureaucracy mounted after an Oct. 31, 2020, hostage rescue mission in Nigeria. The incident, never previously reported in detail, was described by four high-level sources.

It was a rescue mission that was nearly aborted partly because of inadequate coordination by Patel. SEAL Team Six had been assigned to rescue 27-year-old Philip Walton, a missionary’s son who had been kidnapped by gunmen in Niger, near the border with Nigeria. Patel, as a senior counterterrorism adviser, had assured colleagues that the mission had a green light, according to several sources. The SEALs were ready to parachute into the rescue site from high altitude (one source estimated 30,000 feet) when there was a last-minute hitch.

But as the SEALs were about to jump, military commanders and State Department officials realized that one necessary item hadn’t been completed: The Nigerian government hadn’t been informed prior to the operation inside their country, as required.

A frantic last-minute effort to obtain the necessary permission ensued. The SEAL team’s aircraft held over the target, flying in a racetrack pattern, for about 45 minutes while the State Department tried to locate a Nigerian national security official who could receive the official notice. Finally, just 15 minutes before the operational window closed, the Nigerians were given word, the SEALs parachuted down, and the hostage was rescued.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were angry that, in their view, Patel had prematurely said the operation was fully cleared, according to knowledgeable officials. One senior Pentagon official said he was “incensed” at Patel. A second senior Pentagon described Patel’s actions as potentially “dangerous” for the SEALs.

 

Young political appointees and civil servants would do well to remember General Schoomaker’s adage: “Don’t ever confuse enthusiasm with capability.” This is also worth a read

 

————–

 

“One can define their way to failure, but one must understand their way to success.”  

-Robert Jones

 

“I do not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

– Voltaire

 

“Having a strategy suggests an ability to look up from the short term and the trivial to view the long term and the essential, to address causes rather than symptoms, to see woods rather than trees.”
– Lawrence Freedman, Strategy: A History

 

DanielRiggs
Sat, 04/17/2021 – 1:04pm

04/17/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

04/17/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. The Case for Maximizing Engagement With North Korea

2.  U.S.- Japan Joint Leaders’ Statement: “U.S. – JAPAN GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW ERA”

3. SOCKOR Dedicates Headquarters Campus After Medal of Honor Recipient

4. Suga says he is prepared to meet N. Korean leader Kim to address abduction issue

5. U.S., Japan committed to complete denuclearization of N. Korea: leaders

6. FM Chung, U.S envoy hold dinner talks on climate change cooperation

7. U.S. congressmen call for amendment of anti-leaflet law

8. North Korea Gives Extra Food to Veterans for Former Leader’s Birthday

9. What can Joe Biden do about North Korea that Trump didn’t do?

10. Russian envoy says ‘no famine’ in North Korea, describes ‘extra-harsh’ COVID-19 restrictions

11. Is North Korea Returning to Diplomacy?

12. Kim Jong Un attends concert with North Korea’s first lady

13. North Koreans don masks to celebrate birth of country’s founder

14. 7 Years After Sewol Ferry Disaster, Bereaved Families Still Urge Government to Reveal the Truth

15. How South Korean Soldiers and YouTube Catapulted a K-Pop Girl Group to Fame

 

1. The Case for Maximizing Engagement With North Korea

38north.org · by Frank Aum · April 16, 2021

I am for engagement.  But first Kim has to want to engage.  Second, we have to have the right balance between engagement and protecting South Korea, seeking stability, stopping proliferation, halting global illicit activities, and putting pressure on the regime to halt its human rights abuses.  Third, engagement must be focused on a long term goal such as resolving the “Korea question.”  Lastly, we must understand that engagement without pressure (and without accountability for malign actions) will be assessed as appeasement and success for Kim’s long con, political warfare strategy, and blackmail diplomacy.

I am for engagement as long as we engage Kim Jong-un with the full understanding of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime.

I think the Biden administration is going to support engagement with its new Korea policy; however, it seems apparent that it is going to base the policy on the requirement for full implementation of all relevant UN Security Council resolutions. 

Conclusion: “To be sure, North Korea also has a say in whether engagement is possible. Its government faces significant constraints and sometimes can take months to respond to proposals. Also, Pyongyang—even more than Washington—can act cautiously out of fear. It often retreats into its shell during periods of crisis, like the current COVID pandemic, restricts the movement of foreigners and citizens to maintain strict control, and can sometimes create an inhospitable environment through its harsh treatment of foreigners suspected of threatening behavior. But just as often, North Korea is eager to engage, invite foreign delegations, seek meetings to discuss the potential for peacebuilding, and explore academic and scientific exchanges. The United States needs to be ready when North Korea reemerges from its COVID lockdown. Better yet, it should encourage the North’s reemergence by signaling a robust commitment to peace and engagement and reinvigorating offers for COVID assistance. As North Korea has noted, in a message of both warning and invitation, it will respond to the US based on “power for power and goodwill for goodwill.”

The future of US-DPRK relations is still to be determined. If the United States continues a policy of isolation and pressure, North Korea will likely remain a hostile and inscrutable security threat, a chronic hotspot draining attention and resources from other priorities, and, in the worst case, one miscalculation away from precipitating a nuclear catastrophe. By shifting to a comprehensive engagement policy, however, Washington could work together with Pyongyang to develop more nuanced understandings of each other, enhance mutual trust and reduce threat perceptions, manage and decrease nuclear and conventional risks, and cultivate the North’s ability to participate as a more responsible member of the international community.”

 

2. U.S.- Japan Joint Leaders’ Statement: “U.S. – JAPAN GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW ERA”

APRIL 16, 2021 • STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

Key excerpt: “The United States and Japan reaffirmed their commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea, urging North Korea to abide by its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions, and called for full implementation by the international community. We intend to strengthen deterrence to maintain peace and stability in the region and will work together and with others to address the dangers associated with North Korea’s nuclear and missile program, including the risk of proliferation. President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to the immediate resolution of the abductions issue.

The common refrain in all recent allied (and Quad) statements has been about implementing or abiding by all relevant UN Security Council resolutions which of course calls for the denuclearization of north Korea, et el (while mentioning the desire for the denuclearization of the of the Korean peninsula).

 

3. SOCKOR Dedicates Headquarters Campus After Medal of Honor Recipient

dvidshub.net

I am glad they are able to honor COL Howard this way.  I remember meeting COL Howard for the first time when he was the SOCKOR Commander in 1989. We were out training with the 5th ROK SF Bde conducting live fire training. And when he came to observe the training the range caught on fire and he was able to watch an ODA and about 100 Korean SF try to put it out over the next hour.

You should be able to access other photos of the ceremony and the HQ here.  

And for a truly incredible and inspiring story please read this about COL Howard: “How Colonel Robert Howard Got to his Medal of Honor Ceremony.” 

 

4. Suga says he is prepared to meet N. Korean leader Kim to address abduction issue

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · April 17, 2021

But the regime would really have to come clean after all its lies to Japan about this issue.  Will it ever do so?

Interestingly, Japan is the only major country Kim has not met with in the region.

 

5. U.S., Japan committed to complete denuclearization of N. Korea: leaders

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · April 17, 2021

Through implementation of all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

 

6. FM Chung, U.S envoy hold dinner talks on climate change cooperation

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · April 17, 2021
 

7. U.S. congressmen call for amendment of anti-leaflet law

donga.com · April 17, 2021

And going beyond the amendment, the ROK/US Alliance should initiate a comprehensive, sophisticated, and holistic information and influence campaign focusing on the resolution of the Korea question, influencing the 2d tier leadership, and preparing all Koreans for unification.  But I know that is a naive wish. But one can dream.

 

8. North Korea Gives Extra Food to Veterans for Former Leader’s Birthday

rfa.org  · by Hyemin Son

Does the regime really think these actions make it look good?  Or that the people don’t realize what an empty gesture this really is?

Excerpts: “The central government ordered local authorities to provide bonus food to veterans who were injured in the line of duty, or who fought in the 1950-53 Korean War, during which about 406,000 North Korean military personnel and 600,000 North Korean civilians were killed.

In the impoverished country where life expectancy for men is about 68 years, few veterans of that conflict are still alive, meaning most receiving this year’s food bonus are so-called “honored veterans”—former soldiers of any age who became disabled in the line of duty.

As North Korea reveres Korean War veterans, the authorities ordered that they be given slightly more food than the injured veterans, a point of contention for the latter group.

 

9. What can Joe Biden do about North Korea that Trump didn’t do?

NBC News · by Ken Dilanian and Carol E. Lee · April 17, 2021

My recommendation: Play the long game and conduct a superior form of political warfare focusing on solving the Korea question, implementing all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, using a human rights upfront approach with a sophisticated information and influence campaign resting on a foundation of the strongest possible alliance deterrence and defense capability.

 

10.  Russian envoy says ‘no famine’ in North Korea, describes ‘extra-harsh’ COVID-19 restrictions

washingtontimes.com · by Guy Taylor

While there may not be a famine (at least not yet on sale of the Arduous March of 1994-96), the “extra-harsh” COVID 19 restrictions and their effects are what very well may cause internal instability.

 

11. Is North Korea Returning to Diplomacy?

thediplomat.com · by IsozakiI Atsuhito · April 16, 2021

We should remember that the concept of north Korean diplomacy (with Juche characteristics) is one of the long con, political warfare, subversion, coercion/extortion or blackmail diplomacy to establish the condition to achieve unification under the domination of the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State to ensure survival of the Kim family regime.  So if it is “returning to diplomacy” we need to keep in mind what that means.

 

12. Kim Jong Un attends concert with North Korea’s first lady

upi.com · by Elizabeth Shim

But no military parade.

 

13.  North Koreans don masks to celebrate birth of country’s founder

Daily Mail · by Lydia Catling · April 16, 2021

Lots of photos at the link.

 

14.  7 Years After Sewol Ferry Disaster, Bereaved Families Still Urge Government to Reveal the Truth

thediplomat.com · by Mitch Shin · April 16, 2021

This is a wound that will not heal either in the Korean psyche or Korean politics.

 

15.  How South Korean Soldiers and YouTube Catapulted a K-Pop Girl Group to Fame

thediplomat.com · by Jenna Gibson · April 15, 2021

Soft power.

 

—————

 

“One can define their way to failure, but one must understand their way to success.”  

-Robert Jones

 

“I do not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

– Voltaire

 

“Having a strategy suggests an ability to look up from the short term and the trivial to view the long term and the essential, to address causes rather than symptoms, to see woods rather than trees.”
– Lawrence Freedman, Strategy: A History

DanielRiggs
Sat, 04/17/2021 – 12:44pm

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker Early April Trends

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker Early April Trends

Access the tracker HERE:

Trend Overview

Edited by Jonathan Schanzer

Welcome to FDD’s Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker. Every two weeks, we will ask our experts and scholars to provide real-time assessments of the administration’s foreign policy. The analyses below go beyond “quick take” tweets. Our contributors are instead tasked with providing a succinct rationale for the current trendlines – very positive, positive, neutral, negative, or very negative. Links are embedded for readers who seek to read more. These trendlines can change quickly, so please check back twice per month to see how FDD’s experts and scholars view President Joe Biden’s foreign policy, and why.

Dave Maxwell
Fri, 04/16/2021 – 7:58am

04/15/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

04/15/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell.  Edited and Published by Daniel Riggs

1. Man arrested for creating fake army unit

2. FDD | Covid-19’s origins remain unknown. Holding China and the WHO accountable is necessary.

3. The FBI Takes a Drastic Step to Fight China’s Hacking Spree4/15/2021 Korean News and Commentary

4. Key Findings of the Inspector General’s Report on the Capitol Riot

5. Quad is not ‘Asian NATO’, India never had ‘NATO mentality’, Jaishankar says

6. Biden’s Foreign Policy Starts at Home

7. Exit Strategy

8. Seven Pillars Revisited: The Myths and Misreadings of T.E. Lawrence

9. The Next National Security Strategy and National Resilience Through Education

10. The Secret Spies Keeping Baghdad Safe

11. Digital Identity Is a National Security Issue

12. Afghans Wonder ‘What About Me?’ as American Troops Prepare to Withdraw

13. How Biden’s team overrode the brass on Afghanistan

14. U.S. Wins Allies’ Blessing on Afghanistan Withdrawal

15. Biden’s gamble: Will pulling troops out of Afghanistan revive extremist threat?

16. CIA’s Big Afghanistan Problem

17. Understanding the Iran Threat Network

18. Joe Biden gives up on the war in Afghanistan, leaving a weak ally

19. Biden and Suga should take a hard stand on human rights

20. Will Japan Confront China? A Visit to Washington May Offer a Clue.

21. Biden Finally Got to Say No to the Generals

22. Army Band HIJACKS Ballad of the Green Berets! | SOFREP

 

1. Man arrested for creating fake army unit

Reuters · by Reuters Staff · April 14, 2011

Chinese “unconventional warfare” for profit???

Excerpt: “Deng charged more than 100 fellow Chinese nationals a fee of between $300 and $450 to join the fake Army unit, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

He called his bogus squad the U.S. Army/Military Special Forces Reserve unit, or MSFR for short, and he gave himself the lofty title of supreme commander, prosecutors said.

 

2. FDD | Covid-19’s origins remain unknown. Holding China and the WHO accountable is necessary.

fdd.org · by Craig Singleton and Mark Dubowitz · April 14, 2021

Conclusion: “For years, American political leaders have confused checkbook diplomacy with real leadership in multilateral bodies. After the devastation wrought by Covid-19 and the inability of the international community to objectively investigate the pandemic, continuing these failed policies at the WHO would be nothing short of diplomatic malpractice.”

 

3. The FBI Takes a Drastic Step to Fight China’s Hacking Spree

Wired · by Brian Barrett · April 14, 2021

Excerpts: ““If the Microsoft Exchange servers they interacted with were fully patched and they actually deleted any and all web shells on the backdoor servers, it should be quite effective,” says Steven Adair, founder of security firm Volexity, which first identified the Hafnium attack. “Assuming these Microsoft Exchange servers were just backdoor with web shells, they were essentially sitting ducks. These actions potentially save these organizations from future harm.”

There are two important caveats here. First, removing a web shell doesn’t get rid of any malware that may already have snuck through, or return any data that has been stolen. Second, if the underlying vulnerabilities remain on a system, someone could always just plant another web shell.

In those limitations, Tait sees an encouraging degree of restraint on the part of the FBI. “What they’re doing is actually unusually narrow,” he says. The FBI could have asked to scan for ransomware or illicit materials that might be present on the server, or to proactively patch servers that were still vulnerable. “Then I think you would have more serious privacy concerns, like is the FBI piggybacking on this to look for other crimes?” 

Instead, the agency got in, defused the bombs, and got back out.

Five years ago, an operation like this would have been highly unlikely, if not impossible. In December 2016, however, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure was updated to make search and seizure orders more applicable to cybercrime. Rather than having to get a warrant in every individual court district where suspected illegal activity occurred, law enforcement could instead get sign-off for broader efforts from a single judge, as long as officials could demonstrate that the activity took place in five or more districts.

“The big mismatch has always been between the way that legal rules are tied to physical geography and that cyberoperations extend beyond it,” says Doss. A target’s vulnerabilities are more important to a hacker than what state they’re in, especially for large-scale hacks, like Hafnium’s Exchange server assault or SolarWinds or the creation of a botnet. 

 

4.  Key Findings of the Inspector General’s Report on the Capitol Riot

The New York Times · by Nicholas Fandos · April 13, 2021

This will be an interesting hearing. I am surprised the NY Times did not provide any of the findings on how the military performed.

 

5. Quad is not ‘Asian NATO’, India never had ‘NATO mentality’, Jaishankar says

theprint.in · April 14, 2021

A view from India.

We have tried NEATO, SEATO, CENTO and they did not work. I do not think there can be a NATO-like security arrangement. The conditions in Asia are much different than in Korea.

 

6. Biden’s Foreign Policy Starts at Home

defenseone.com · by Peter Nicholas

Some fascinating insights in this article. I agree the line between domestic and foreign policy is increasingly blurred and that foreign policy must be explained in terms of how it affects the American people.

 

7. Exit Strategy

defenseone.com · by Eliot A. Cohen

Conclusion: “This is, then, a humbling moment for the United States. It is a moment of relief for the parents of servicemen and servicewomen who would otherwise deploy to a war in which their politicians do not believe. It should be a moment of reflection for the leaders of institutions that performed less well than they ought to have. It is a moment for diplomats to rebalance and reconfigure elements of American foreign policy. And it is most definitely a moment of moral responsibility. If Americans take that responsibility seriously, welcoming to freedom and citizenship those who put their faith in American words, American commitments, and American ideals, then something redeeming will be saved from the wreck of a decent cause.”

 

8. Seven Pillars Revisited: The Myths and Misreadings of T.E. Lawrence

mwi.usma.edu · by Sam Wilkins · April 15, 2021

To be effective in conventional, irregular, (or even nuclear) war, you must be a student of war and study the full spectrum of conflict. One trick ponies cannot endure with only one trick. We should all strive to achieve the coup d’oeil (military genius or the inward looking eye) Clausewitz advocated we develop and that Lawrence obviously possessed after his intense study of war combined with his experience on the ground. 

 

And in these times of uncertainty we should be investing in more education rather than cutting educational programs such as the Army’s University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies. As General Schoomaker used to say, “Train for certainty. Educate for uncertainty.”

Conclusion: “Johnson effectively captures how Lawrence’s successes were not due to some innate genius or mastery of set principles of irregular warfare, but rather the product of an intense study of war. As a student at Oxford, Lawrence poured over volumes of military history in an attempt to understand the challenges faced by great commanders. While he did not recognize it at the time, Lawrence was following the advice of Prussian thinker Carl von Clausewitz, who urged commanders to undertake such a “critical analysis proper,” as opposed to “the plain narrative of the historical event.” Nor did his self-development stop during the desert campaign; Lawrence proved willing to learn from his own mistakes and those of his partners.

Today, Lawrence’s example should inspire serious reflection on “how small wars fit into big ones.” In an era of increasing geopolitical rivalry, irregular warfare will remain a vital supporting pillar to conventional operations against peer competitors. If they wish to avoid the mistakes of the past, irregular warfare practitioners should pay close attention to Johnson’s book—both as a superb analysis of the desert campaign and as an antidote to misapplications of Lawrence’s ideas on war. As Lawrence himself wrote, “If we must fight, we have no excuse for not fighting well.”

 

9. The Next National Security Strategy and National Resilience Through Education

thestrategybridge.org · by Ryan Kort · April 15, 2021

Key point in the conclusion. Unfortunately there are an awful lot of educated people who believe in the conspiracy theories that contribute to the divide in our country.

“To compete effectively, the U.S. must have a well-educated populace. In addition to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the United States must also emphasize civics and history courses, with a solid grounding in historical and empirical facts about the history of our national institutions and constitutional form of governance. While several competing projects involve historical interpretation of pre and post-revolutionary U.S. governmental policy—such as the 1619 Project and the 1776 Project—the overarching goal of any civics education program must be to provide an inclusive, truthful accounting of the history and functions of the U.S. government. Such education must focus on making better informed and involved citizens who can participate constructively towards the common future we all share. Media literacy should begin at an early age.[23] The U.S. government can also reinforce this early education through public education campaigns and expanded national service opportunities.[24] Additionally, a decline in participation in civic organizations is precisely why a civics education renaissance in primary through university levels that focuses on presenting a broad survey of contemporary civic issues to expose students to divergent viewpoints can enhance their knowledge of actual public policy, tolerance of others, and engender a sense of legitimacy of democratic outcomes.[25]

As previous National Security Strategies articulated the case for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to enable American prosperity, so too must the next National Security Strategy articulate the case for civics and media literacy education, accompanied by a renewal of civic engagement to live up to American values and expand our influence abroad. Former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster succinctly captured the importance of education in his book Battlegrounds: “Educated citizens are best equipped to foil efforts to divide communities and pit them against each other.”[26] The ability to function as an engaged, media literate citizen within civic society is not just essential for the continued strength of our democracy; it is an essential foundation of competition and directly counters an asymmetric method for adversaries to gain advantage over the United States to further their own ends.

 

10. The Secret Spies Keeping Baghdad Safe

guernicamag.com · by Lindsey Hilsum · April 14, 2021

Interview with the author, Margaret Coker, of the book, The Spymaster of Baghdad.

 

11. Digital Identity Is a National Security Issue

warontherocks.com · by Patrick Hearn · April 15, 2021

Perhaps gives new meaning to “finding yourself.” And you certainly have to “know yourself” to be successful in war at least half the time. (Apologies for the attempts at humor).

Excerpt: “Secure digital identity is as important to all Americans now as providing secure credentials to U.S. government employees was back in 2008. By elevating digital identity to a national security and counter-intelligence priority, the Biden administration can set in motion several initiatives to keep the country and its secrets safe. The United States should prioritize centralizing digital identity efforts at the White House, creating best practices across agencies, and arming Americans with accountable tools to protect themselves. By doing so, the White House can help build a strong digital infrastructure that is essential to the country’s digital safety, privacy, economy, and democracy.”

 

12. Afghans Wonder ‘What About Me?’ as American Troops Prepare to Withdraw

The New York Times · by Thomas Gibbons-Neff · April 14, 2021

I expect Thomas Gibbons-Neff (TM) will be one of the few journalists in Afghanistan who will be writing about the plight of the people (as much as his NY Times editors will allow him to do so.

 

13. How Biden’s team overrode the brass on Afghanistan

Politico · by Lara Seligman, Andrew Desiderio, Natasha Bertrand, and Naha Toosi · April 14, 2021

It was not a “Pentagon decision” to “override.” It is a decision that can only be made by the president whether we like the decision or not. He may have “overrode” their recommendations or the options they provided, but they did not have the authority to make a decision that could be overrode. 

 

14. U.S. Wins Allies’ Blessing on Afghanistan Withdrawal

WSJ · by William Mauldin

Excerpts:NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the withdrawal decision wasn’t easy and entailed risks.

“The alternative is to stay, but then we need to be prepared for a long-term, open-ended military presence and mostly will have to increase the number of NATO troops in Afghanistan to withstand increased Taliban pressure,” Mr. Stoltenberg said.

Mr. Austin declined to comment on the views of military commanders and officers in the U.S. about the decision. “I won’t speak for them,” Mr. Austin said, adding it “was an inclusive process, and their voices were heard, and their concerns taken into consideration as the president made his decision.”

 

15. Biden’s gamble: Will pulling troops out of Afghanistan revive extremist threat?

militarytimes.com · by Robert Burns · April 14, 2021

Are there options if the gamble does not work? I hope DOD, the IC, and State are coordinating and collaborating on those options.

 

16.  CIA’s Big Afghanistan Problem

spytalk.co · by Jeff Stein

Excerpts:The prospect of such a scenario conjures up nightmarish memories of the apocalyptic debacles in Saigon and Mogadishu.

Imagine some 30,000 Afghans—in particular the women we have empowered— storming the airports to escape or, barring that, trying to make it overland to neighboring countries under Taliban attack, an intelligence officer told me when the prospect of an emergency exit was just a scary thought: There are no rivers to sail “boat people” into a nearby sea, like when Saigon collapsed in 1975—nor helicopters to wing desperate U.S. diplomats, CIA people and their Afghan friends from the American embassy to the safety of aircraft carriers offshore. The 38-mile drive from Kabul to Bagram air base has long been such a Taliban shooting gallery that U.S. personnel opt for helicopters. If it wants, the Islamist guerrillas can presumably pour mortar and rocket fire down on the airfield and transport planes.

Once a nightmare, a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan is now an all too real possibility. It’s not clear whether U.S. leaders have truly grasped that. They’ve been kidding themselves about victory in Afghanistan for two decades now.

“The Americans have the watches,” the Taliban is fond of saying, “but we have the time.”

And now that time has come.

 

17. Understanding the Iran Threat Network

rand.org · by Ariane M. Tabatabai, Jeffrey Martini, Becca Wasser

The full 27 page report can be downloaded at the link.

 

18. Joe Biden gives up on the war in Afghanistan, leaving a weak ally

The Economist  · April 13, 2021

Conclusion: “On September 20th 2001, as American forces geared up to invade Afghanistan, President George W. Bush told a joint session of Congress that “this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion.” He was right about that.

 

19. Biden and Suga should take a hard stand on human rights

asiatimes.com · by Ted Gover · April 15, 2021

And President Moon should be part of the effort as well for all the areas discussed in the article and north Korea.

 

20. Will Japan Confront China? A Visit to Washington May Offer a Clue.

The New York Times · by Motoko Rich · April 14, 2021

It is going to have to be prepared to do so eventually.

Excerpts:Mr. Biden may also try to pull Japan along on climate change. Both Washington and Tokyo are working toward drastic reductions in carbon emissions, and Mr. Biden is hosting a climate summit next week. One goal is to persuade Japan to stop its financial support of coal projects abroad, which it has already started to reduce.

Mr. Suga may hope that a fruitful trip to Washington will bolster his standing at home, where he is politically vulnerable. The Japanese public is unhappy with his administration’s management of the pandemic and a slow vaccine rollout (although Mr. Suga has been cleared to travel after being vaccinated himself), and a majority oppose the decision to host the Olympic Games this summer.

The trip’s success may depend in part on whether Mr. Suga develops a rapport with Mr. Biden. Seasoned watchers of Japan will be closely tracking Mr. Suga, who is not known for his charisma, especially after his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, spent considerable time and effort wooing Mr. Biden’s predecessor.

“We have two older and very traditional politicians in a lot of ways,” said Kristin Vekasi, an associate professor of political science at the University of Maine. “I will be curious to see what they do.”

 

21. Biden Finally Got to Say No to the Generals

The New Yorker · by Susan B. Glasser · April 14, 2021

We seem to be trying to make this into some kind of civil-military divide but this seems to be the president making a decisive decision that only he can make whether we like the decision or not.

Excerpts: “The world of 2021 is just not the world of 2001. The list of more pressing concerns—recited by Avril Haines, the director of National Intelligence, and elaborated on in the report—began with an aggressive China and extended to Russia, Iran, North Korea, cyberattacks, climate change, global pandemics, financial crises, rising authoritarianism, international terrorist groups, and, in a striking acknowledgement for this annual national-security ritual, domestic violent extremists, such as the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, on January 6th. No wonder that Mark Warner, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called Haines’s testimony “a list of about as many awful things as I have heard in ten minutes as I may have heard in recent times.”

 

Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan must be understood in that context. After a pandemic that has killed close to six hundred thousand Americans, new thinking about what constitutes a threat to the United States is desperately required. More Americans were dying every day during the pandemic’s height than in the entire two decades of the U.S. involvement in the Afghan war. And it was Americans seeking to stop the peaceful transfer of power who attacked the seat of American government, in January. National security is no longer a matter purely of foreign policy. Biden admitted he was making a choice, and maybe it will even prove to be the wrong one. But it’s a choice, he said, to “fight the battles for the next twenty years—not the last twenty.”

 

22. Army Band HIJACKS Ballad of the Green Berets! | SOFREP

sofrep.com · April 13, 2021

Not a critical national security issue of course.  

I have been told that it was Dolly Parton who wrote the extra verse. Compare the lyrics here

Other than the controversial verse I think the Army Band should be commended for a beautiful rendition of the song of the Special Forces Regiment.

 

————–

 

Science must become Art….Of the two fields into which we have divided the conduct of war, tactics and strategy, the theory of the latter contains unquestionably, as before observed, the greatest difficulties, because the first is almost limited to a circumscribed field of objects, but the latter in the direction of objects leading directly to peace, opens to itself an unlimited field of possibilities. 

War is part of the intercourse of the human race. We say therefore, war belongs not to the province of arts and sciences, but to the province of social life.

– Clausewitz

 

“The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.”

Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight; (2) he will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces; (3) he will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks; (4) he will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared; (5) he will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.” 

– Sun Tzu

 

DanielRiggs
Thu, 04/15/2021 – 9:47am

04/15/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

04/15/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. N. Korea may resume nuclear, ICBM testing: intelligence chief

2. N. Korea marks late founder’s birthday with celebrations, no signs of provocations yet

3. “Worst-Ever Situation” or Not (north Korea)

4. Sinpho South Shipyard: Submersible Missile Test Barge Returns to Secure Basin

5. After an Electoral Loss, Will South Korea’s President Change His Policies?

6. Sinpo South Shipyard Update: Continued Activity

7. As North Korea and China plan to resume trade, reported land mines on border illustrate Pyongyang’s paranoia over Covid-19

8. North spends quiet, festivity-filled day remembering its founder

9. State Security University students in Sino-N. Korean border region withdrawn

10. Pro-unification group denounces planned U.S. hearing on leaflet ban as ‘interference in inter-Korean affairs’

11. Military to set up AI security system near border following N.K. man’s crossing

12. North Korea: What we know about its missile and nuclear programme

13. Russian ambassador says no famine in North Korea, trade may resume soon

14. North Korean educational authorities rank average test scores of students nationwide

15. China, North Korea border could be site of new projects, report says

16. Left-wing education destroying the world’s liberal democratic system

17. Asean and Korea amid mounting US-China rivalry

 

1. N. Korea may resume nuclear, ICBM testing: intelligence chief

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · April 15, 2021

The questions for me are always what effects does Kim seek to achieve if he conducts a nuclear or ICBM test? How does the action support his strategy.

The DNI gives us some broad answers:  “For its part, North Korea may take aggressive and potentially destabilizing actions to reshape its security environment and will seek to drive wedges between the United States and its allies,” she said at the Senate hearing.

“Kim may be considering whether to resume long-range missile or nuclear testing this year to try to force the United States to deal with him on Pyongyang’s terms,” the report said.

She is describing Kim’s strategy of political warfare, his long con and blackmail diplomacy – the use of threats, increased tensions, and provocations to gain political and economic concessions.​ These statements and the detailed information that back them up in the intelligence estimates should be driving our policy and strategy. We have to address the Korean security situation with a deep understanding of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime and deal with it as it really is and not as we would wish it to be.

Kim seems to be trying to shape the conditions so that the new Biden administration strategy is either dead on arrival or if the US wants to make the new ​strategy work it will have to provide sanctions relief in return for a promise to negotiate.

​There is one other concept that has been on my mind of late. KIm Jong-un may also act as a “spoiler” in great power competition. ​north Korea is not and will not be a great power but it is possible that Kim may believe that he can enhance his strategy by being a spoiler in the relationship between the US and China.

For all the pundits out there who are recommending policy and strategy I think it would be useful to understand that our policy makers at the NSC, State, DOD, Justice, Treasury, etc are going to be (or should be but I am confident they are) basing the policy and strategy on these intelligence estimate. Going forward I would recommend the pundits and think tankers reference the ODNI’s threat assessment when making their new proposals. If their recommendations do not take into account the intelligence estimates then their policy and strategy recommendations should be dead on arrival.

 

2. N. Korea marks late founder’s birthday with celebrations, no signs of provocations yet

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 15, 2021

Again, we really have to assess what effects Kim thinks he will achieve if he conducts a provocation.

 

3. “Worst-Ever Situation” or Not (north Korea)

38 North

Key point to help us understand north Korean propaganda:

“The term “Arduous March” is associated with an extremely trying situation and hunger. It originated in the approximately 100-day march by Kim Il Sung and his anti-Japan guerrilla unit in the late 1930s. The most recent Arduous March refers to the mid to late 1990s, when millions of North Koreans died from widespread hunger. The “spirit of the Arduous March” was announced in the 1996 New Year’s joint editorial by the party, army and Youth League dailies, North Korea’s most important policy document of the year.[5] North Korean state media articles regularly mention “Arduous March,” typically to recall the spirit with which the people tided over difficulties in the 1990s. On the other hand, this terminology has been attributed much less frequently to the leader. According to the ROK Ministry of Unification, Kim Jong Un has previously mentioned “Arduous March” in only three public speeches, all in historical contexts, unlike at the latest cell secretaries’ meeting.[6]

In regards to this statement I think there is great potential for the conditions to eventually be worse than the famine of the 1990s with no hope of relief because there is no South Korean Sunshine policy to bail out the regime because of the contemporary sanctions regime that was not in place in the 1990s. The second reason is that the markets that developed and provided resilience up until this point in time have become severely restricted with the regime’s implementation of its COVID mitigation measures which have been used as “cover” to crack down on economic and political activity that is a threat to the regime.

Excerpt: ”There is no evidence to suggest that North Korea’s economic situation is nearly as dire as the Arduous March of the 1990s. Unlike in 1996, Kim’s brief announcement of “Arduous March” at the party cell secretaries’ meeting was not presented as a policy guideline for the year. Choson Sinbo, a website operated by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), claimed that the term “Arduous March” was not synonymous with economic difficulties but rather reflected a “life-and-death” resolve to carry out the decisions reached at the January Party Congress.[7] The article also pointed out that Kim’s use of the term was confined to the Workers’ Party this time, not the entire population as was the case in the past. Choson Sinbo appears to have editorial ties to Pyongyang and regularly publishes commentary on issues that North Korea itself seems reluctant to discuss.”

 

4. Sinpho South Shipyard: Submersible Missile Test Barge Returns to Secure Basin

38north.org · by Peter Makowsky · April 14, 2021

Kim knows we are watching. We have to assume he is showing us what he wants us to see.

 

5. After an Electoral Loss, Will South Korea’s President Change His Policies?

carnegieendowment.org · by Chung Min Lee

From our good friend, Chung Min Lee.

Excerpts: “The PPP’s victory in the by-election provides a new political calculus and opens the possibility of the opposition sustaining its momentum through next year’s critical presidential election. Yet the path to victory is not assured. It will depend on whether the party can bring in outside big names and construct a united front, as they did in the by-elections. Former prosecutor general Yoon Seok-yeol, who resigned in March after the Moon administration’s relentless efforts to diminish his office’s powers, is seen as a serious presidential contender. If the conservative party attracts Yoon and other outside candidates such as Ahn Cheol-soo (a software entrepreneur turned politician who bolstered the PPP’s victory in Seoul by joining hands with mayoral candidate Oh), then it will be able to field a unified candidate in the 2022 presidential contest.

But the burden is much heavier on the ruling party. The DP’s biggest obstacle is whether its powerful old guard will allow a new generation of party leaders to enact wrenching internal reforms, boost a new presidential candidate, and extricate the party from Moon’s influence. But so far, party stalwarts have refused to back down from the very policies that crushed the party in Seoul and Busan.

If the past four years is any guide, Moon and the wall of ideologues surrounding him, will stay the course and press on. In the last year of the Moon administration, it seems that policies rejected by millions of Korean voters and unstinting political hubris will continue to be core guiding principles.”

 

6. Sinpo South Shipyard Update: Continued Activity

CSIS · by  Joseph Bermudez and Victor Cha · April 14, 2021

 

10. Pro-unification group denounces planned U.S. hearing on leaflet ban as ‘interference in inter-Korean affairs’

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · April 15, 2021

We should keep in mind every time we talk about the north’s nuclear weapons we reinforce regime legitimacy. On the other hand the focus on human rights is an existential threat to the regime.

 

11. Military to set up AI security system near border following N.K. man’s crossing

en.yna.co.kr · by 최수향 · April 15, 2021

AI cannot replace the enduring requirement for boots on the ground patrolling to actually interdict infiltration operations. Perhaps AI can assist but there is no substitute for boots on the ground.

 

12. North Korea: What we know about its missile and nuclear programme

news.yahoo.com · April 13, 2021

I believe I sent the original BBC report but this is useful information we should keep in mind.

 

13. Russian ambassador says no famine in North Korea, trade may resume soon

Reuters · by Josh Smith · April 15, 2021

A lot to parse in this report.

And there is this: “Matsegora said positive changes in relations between North Korea and the United States were unlikely due to the hard line taken by the new administration of President Joe Biden.

“Judging by how aggressively the Joe Biden administration is behaving on the Russian, Chinese and other fields, there are very few hopes for a positive scenario in Korean affairs,” he said.

 

14. North Korean educational authorities rank average test scores of students nationwide

dailynk.com · by Ha Yoon Ah · April 15, 2021

Korea students in the north face two long term challenges that affect their intellectual capacity and ability to deal with the modern world, to include in unified Korea. First, the widespread malnutrition has not only the physical effects such as we see in stunted growth but also long term cognitive effects. Second, the curriculum in north Korea is dominated by ideological training and even STEM subjects are taught in the context of all that the Dear, Great, and Supreme leaders have done for the world in various areas. Students in north Korea will be ill-prepared to function in a modern society that does not follow the teachings of Jucje and the Kim family regime. This will be especially problematic during the unification process.

 

15.  China, North Korea border could be site of new projects, report says

upi.com  · by Elizabeth Shim · April 14, 2021

Probably only if Kim thinks he can maintain economic and political control in the region.

 

16. Left-wing education destroying the world’s liberal democratic system

onekoreanetwork.com  · Jebong Lee · April 14, 2021

A courageous view from South Korea.

 

17. Asean and Korea amid mounting US-China rivalry

straitstimes.com · by Lee Hyuk · April 14, 2021

Excerpts: “The US-China confrontation is an even more difficult challenge for Korea. The new Cold War between the US and China is unfolding on every front, and the dynamics of their competition over security, economy, political systems and values all carry deep implications for Korea.

Korea today is often touted as a democratic and economic miracle, and such achievements have been possible, to a substantial degree, because of its alliance with the US.

The US counts on Korea to remain its steadfast ally committed to defending shared values and strategic interests.”

 

———–

 

Science must become Art….Of the two fields into which we have divided the conduct of war, tactics and strategy, the theory of the latter contains unquestionably, as before observed, the greatest difficulties, because the first is almost limited to a circumscribed field of objects, but the latter in the direction of objects leading directly to peace, opens to itself an unlimited field of possibilities. 

War is part of the intercourse of the human race. We say therefore, war belongs not to the province of arts and sciences, but to the province of social life.

– Clausewitz

 

“The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.”

Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight; (2) he will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces; (3) he will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks; (4) he will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared; (5) he will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.” 

– Sun Tzu

 

 

 

 

DanielRiggs
Thu, 04/15/2021 – 9:29am

04/14/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

04/14/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell.  Edited and Published by Daniel Riggs

1.  ODNI Releases 2021 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community

2. Unconventional Warfare and Foreign Internal Defense in the Joint Doctrine Encyclopedia

3.  Will Afghanistan Become a Terrorism Safe Haven Once Again?

4. Afghanistan’s Situation Didn’t Change. American Politics Did

5. That Suburban Home Buyer Could Be a Foreign Government

6. China Poses Biggest Threat to U.S., Intelligence Report Says

7. Israelis May Ban High Tech Cars From Bases: ‘Perfect Espionage Vector’

8. National Defense Strategy ‘unrealistic,’ says House Armed Services chairman

9. Misinformation in the Military Community and the Next National Security Strategy

10. American Vulnerabilities in an Age of Great Power Competition: The Case for Understanding Domestic Extremism through an Irregular Warfare Lens

11. Getting Serious About Women, Peace & Security

12. Opinion | Biden takes the easy way out of Afghanistan. The likely result is disaster.

13. Biden’s Afghan Exit

14. Japan Is Now Our Most Important Ally. Here’s Why.

15. Big changes coming to Army Stryker brigades

16. Personnel spending cuts won’t help military readiness, key lawmaker warn

17. Number of US Troops Linked to Domestic Terror Plots Small but Growing

18. Would Russia Invade Ukraine and China Invade Taiwan Simultaneously?

19. Troops are Leaving Afghanistan. Can the U.S. Still Advise Afghan Security Forces?

20. China’s Dystopian “New IP” Plan Shows Need for Renewed US Commitment to Internet Governance

21. FDD | Diplomatic Malpractice: Reforming the WHO After China’s COVID Cover-up

22. FDD | Biden Administration Nominates Key Cyber Personnel

23. ‘Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret’ adapted to film

24. Secret and Careful: How America Spied On Imperial Japan in China

25. The Special Forces op that supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq

26. Intelligence officials reassert their role post-Trump

 

1. ODNI Releases 2021 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community

odni.gov · by ODNI Office of Strategic Communications

The 27 page unclassified report here:

Excerpts: “Beijing, Moscow, Tehran, and Pyongyang have demonstrated the capability and intent to advance their interests at the expense of the United States and its allies, despite the pandemic. China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas—especially economically, militarily, and technologically—and is pushing to change global norms. Russia is pushing back against Washington where it can globally, employing techniques up to and including the use of force. Iran will remain a regional menace with broader malign influence activities, and North Korea will be a disruptive player on the regional and world stages. Major adversaries and competitors are enhancing and exercising their military, cyber, and other capabilities, raising the risks to US and allied forces, weakening our conventional deterrence, and worsening the longstanding threat from weapons of mass destruction. 

 

NORTH KOREAN PROVOCATIVE ACTIONS 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may take a number of aggressive and potentially destabilizing actions to reshape the regional security environment and drive wedges between the United States and its allies—up to and including the resumption of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) testing. 

· We assess that Kim views nuclear weapons as the ultimate deterrent against foreign intervention and believes that over time he will gain international acceptance and respect as a nuclear power. He probably does not view the current level of pressure on his regime as enough to require a fundamental change in its approach. 

· Kim also aims to achieve his goals of gaining prestige, security, and acceptance as a nuclear power through conventional military modernization efforts, nuclear weapon and missile development, foreign engagement, sanctions-evasion, and cyber capabilities. 

 

Military Capabilities 

North Korea will pose an increasing threat to the United States, South Korea, and Japan as it continues to improve its conventional military capabilities, providing Kim with diverse tools to advance his political objectives or inflict heavy losses if North Korea were attacked. 

· Pyongyang portrayed a growing and more diverse strategic and tactical ballistic missile force during its January 2021 and October 2020 military parades. 

 

WMD 

North Korea will be a WMD threat for the foreseeable future, because Kim remains strongly committed to the country’s nuclear weapons, the country is actively engaged in ballistic missile research and development, and Pyongyang’s CBW efforts persist. 

· Despite announcing an end to North Korea’s self-imposed moratorium on nuclear weapons and ICBM testing in December 2019, Kim thus far has not conducted long-range missile testing and has left the door open to future denuclearization talks with the United States. Kim may be considering whether to resume long-range missile or nuclear testing this year to try to force the United States to deal with him on Pyongyang’s terms. 

 

Cyber 

North Korea’s cyber program poses a growing espionage, theft, and attack threat. 

· Pyongyang probably possesses the expertise to cause temporary, limited disruptions of some critical infrastructure networks and disrupt business networks in the United States, judging from its operations during the past decade, and it may be able to conduct operations that compromise software supply chains. 

North Korea has conducted cyber theft against financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide, potentially stealing hundreds of millions of dollars, probably to fund government priorities, such as its nuclear and missile programs. 

 

2.  Unconventional Warfare and Foreign Internal Defense in the Joint Doctrine Encyclopedia

DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

Some doctrinal background on UW and FID.

The two key Title 10 special operations missions are unconventional warfare and foreign internal defense. Below are four key definitions from the JP 1-02.

The definitions are short and simple. The UW definition was shortened by a USSOCOM working group in 2009 because the CDR, USSOCOM at the time wanted an easy to articulate and easily understood definition of UW to improve understanding and acceptance outside of SOF. However, this sacrificed more detailed understanding and a certain level of intellectual rigor.  In reality if a practitioner wants to know more about the concepts he/she has to go to the relevant doctrinal manual but of course few outside the SOF community do so (and probably many within the SOF community do not do so either). However, up until 1997 DOD used to produce something called the Joint Encyclopedia which I believe served as the bridge between the DOD Dictionary and detailed doctrinal publications. 

Below I have provided the terms from the current JP 1-02 followed by the entries in the Joint Doctrine Encyclopedia. UW and FID are two of the most misunderstood and undervalued special operations missions and the reason for that is few outside of the SF and SOF community read the doctrine. However, if we would resurrect the Joint Doctrine Encyclopedia we might be able to provide useful information to help understand the UW and FID missions (and all the other concepts well beyond SOF in the 737 page encyclopedia).  These entries provide another level of description and understanding of the concepts in the DOD Dictionary. 

I think you can see that UW in particular is a very comprehensive and robust mission and not just about overthrowing a government with guerrilla forces which is the subconscious definition for most people.

I offer these Joint Doctrine Encyclopedia entries as a “public service” for those who want to have a better understanding of the UW and FID missions but cannot do the deep dive necessary in the doctrine.  I would argue that these are critical concepts for irregular warfare, support to political warfare and campaigns as part of Great Power Competition and operations in the “gray zone.”

From the January 2021 Joint Pub 2-01 DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

special forces — United States Army forces organized, trained, and equipped to conduct special operations with an emphasis on unconventional warfare capabilities. Also called SF. (JP 3-05)

subversion — Actions designed to undermine the military, economic, psychological, or political strength or morale of a governing authority. See also unconventional warfare. (JP 3-24)

unconventional warfare — Activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary, and guerrilla force in a denied area. Also called UW. (JP 3-05)

foreign internal defense — Participation by civilian agencies and military forces of a government or international organizations in any of the programs and activities undertaken by a host nation government to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, insurgency, terrorism, and other threats to its security. Also called FID. (JP 3-22)

This is an excerpt from the Joint Doctrine Encyclopedia which is still posted on the DTIC web site. The latest version is from 1997.

 

3. Will Afghanistan Become a Terrorism Safe Haven Once Again?

The New York Times · by Julian E. Barnes and Eric Schmitt · April 13, 2021

And what if it does sooner rather than later? What is our response?

 

4. Afghanistan’s Situation Didn’t Change. American Politics Did

defenseone.com · by Kevin Baron

A very interesting question in the subtitle. Can we fight terrorism in a new way?

 

5. That Suburban Home Buyer Could Be a Foreign Government

WSJ · by Konrad Putzier

I have been observing a lot of homes in suburban Alexandria being sold very quickly at very high prices. Now I wonder if foreign governments are buying these.

Excerpts: “Today, more U.S. real-estate companies and Wall Street firms are buying in bulk or building single-family rental homes specifically for rentals, allowing foreign investors to back them with large sums of money.

Home builder Lennar Corp. , for example, recently launched a venture to buy single-family rental homes across the country. The company said it already has commitments from investors for $1.25 billion and will use that to buy $4 billion worth of homes. A number of these investors are based or affiliated with companies abroad, say people familiar with the matter. That includes Allianz Real Estate, a subsidiary of the German insurance giant, which said it committed $300 million.

In the U.S., Allianz had focused mostly on office skyscrapers in big cities, which tend to be easier to buy and sell. It then branched out to warehouses and apartments. The firm started discussions with Lennar about the venture in early 2020.

Unlike a decade ago, when investors bought foreclosed homes and those already occupied, the focus is now on newly built properties. “The lack of institutional ownership just shows you how difficult it is to get into the market,” said Christoph Donner, who heads Allianz Real Estate’s North America business.

 

6. China Poses Biggest Threat to U.S., Intelligence Report Says

The New York Times · by Julian E. Barnes · April 13, 2021

Excerpts: “Typically, the director of national intelligence delivers the threat assessment to Congress and releases a written report alongside it. But no declassified assessment was issued last year, as the Trump administration’s intelligence agencies sought to avoid angering the White House.

In 2019, Dan Coats, then the director of national intelligence, delivered an analysis of threats from Iran, North Korea and the Islamic State that was at odds with President Donald J. Trump’s views. The testimony prompted Mr. Trump to lash out on Twitter, admonishing his intelligence chiefs to “go back to school.”

Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence; William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director; and other top intelligence officials will testify about the report on Wednesday and Thursday.

“The American people should know as much as possible about the threats facing our nation and what their intelligence agencies are doing to protect them,” said Ms. Haines, whose office released the report.

 

7. Israelis May Ban High Tech Cars From Bases: ‘Perfect Espionage Vector’

breakingdefense.com · by Arie Egozi and Brad D. Williams · April 13, 2021

Wow. This is an interesting OPSEC problem.

Excerpts: “Some countries, including China, have already banned Tesla cars from entering military bases. This has prompted Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk to publicly defend the company.

The company’s Beijing office issued a statement regarding its onboard cameras on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. Last month, speaking virtually at the China Development Forum, Musk said, “If a commercial company did engage in spying, the negative effects to that company would be extremely bad.” He added the company would be “shut down everywhere.”

But Tesla, the company, as a threat actor is only part of the concern for military services. Another, perhaps far more serious threat, would be other governments hacking the cars as a means of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance on bases — or for more reckless or dangerous purposes. In particular, Iran has not shied away from conducting destructive and reckless cyberattacks against its regional adversaries in the past. Following an Israeli cyberattack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility on Sunday, tensions are high between Israel and Iran.

If the IDF does ban cars, the leased cars and those owned by the IDF and equipped with cameras and GPS may be parked outside the bases that will operate shuttle services from the main gate. The IDF and other sensitive facilities stopped the use of video equipment made in China several years ago after some experts said that some of these systems had a “backdoor” that could enable someone to see what the video equipment sees.

Other security experts told Breaking Defense that the danger of hacking military systems calls for “hardening” certain subsystems that may be affected remotely by hostile parties.

The IDF is operating a massive cyber defense operation, but experts who spoke with Breaking Defense said that while main systems are protected, the danger can be posed by “basic threats” like connected cars.

 

8. National Defense Strategy ‘unrealistic,’ says House Armed Services chairman

Stars and Stripes · by Sarah Cammarata · April 13, 2021

The key question and the essence of strategy: What is truly necessary and possible?

Excerpts:Smith argued the document’s long list of aims – winning an “all-out” war with China, countering Russian aggression, bolstering the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and deterring North Korea – is not only extremely costly, but requires more military personnel to achieve than the U.S. has now.

“We don’t have the people to meet that many different needs, to fight that many battles at the same time… we’re sort of perpetually chasing our tail,” he said.

Smith said, for example, combatant commanders frequently complain that requests they make for forces, whether that includes aircraft carriers, troops, drones or planes, go unfilled.

“We need to get back to a core principle of what is truly necessary and what is possible,” the congressman said.

 

9. Misinformation in the Military Community and the Next National Security Strategy

thestrategybridge.org · by Matthew G. Butler · April 14, 2021

This is analysis I did not expect. Some food for thought.

Conclusion: “In conclusion, the next National Security Strategy must address misinformation within the military community. If the next National Security Strategy forces that introspection, military leaders can work toward possible solutions throughout the community. Secretary Austin committed “to rid our ranks of racists and extremists” during his Senate confirmation hearing.[26] Furthermore, Austin emphasized the criticality of fighting internal threats within the military to ensure the Department of Defense could fight external adversaries.[27] Misinformation creates fog and friction in the battlespace of the mind. The National Security Strategy sets the tone throughout the national security enterprise and, specifically, provides senior leadership guidance to thwart misinformation among service members, veterans, and military family members. Lastly, misinformation must be addressed throughout the continuum of military affiliation, crossing multiple departments from Defense to Veterans Affairs and into broader society. Twenty percent of the arrested and charged January Insurrectionists were veterans spurred by misinformation to join hundreds of individual threats (in the form of fellow Americans) to national security.[28] The next National Security Strategy can serve as a response to a genuine need in the military community as well as defense against potential domestic insurgents.”

 

10. American Vulnerabilities in an Age of Great Power Competition: The Case for Understanding Domestic Extremism through an Irregular Warfare Lens

mwi.usma.edu · by Wes J. Bryant · April 14, 2021

Conclusion: “In examining how we can better protect our nation, its interests, and the American people, the United States must make a deliberate shift inward to assess domestic vulnerabilities from the perspective of those who can, and will, exploit them. Perhaps it is even more fitting, in this context, to borrow wisdom from the rich cultural and military history of one of those very adversaries, for as Sun Tzu reminds us: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

 

11. Getting Serious About Women, Peace & Security

thestrategybridge.org · Joan Johnson-Freese and Nalani Tyrrell · April 13, 2021

Excerpts: “During the May 2019 House Intelligence hearing, more transparent strategies in granting security clearances, clear feedback from promotion boards, and more blind hiring practices were raised by intelligence community representatives for implementation within the intelligence community. Those procedures, and committed leadership at every level, will further promote inclusive diversity in the intelligence community. The military should make similarly appropriate efforts as well, as cogently pointed out by a female member of the Air Force cyber warriors team, else risk an even bigger shortage of cyber specialists than already expected.

Leadership at all security related organizations must—perhaps for the first time—read and commit to implementation of the Women, Peace and Security framework for entrenched policies and practices to change. They must understand and assure their subordinates do as well, that implementation of the Women, Peace and Security framework is not a “nice thing to do” but a 21st century security imperative. Including it in the National Security Strategy is a good way to assure that happens.”

 

12. Opinion | Biden takes the easy way out of Afghanistan. The likely result is disaster.

The Washington Post · by the Editorial Board · April 13, 2021

The Washington Post Editorial Board is critical of President Biden’s decision.

 

13. Biden’s Afghan Exit

WSJ · by the Editorial Board  ·April 13, 2021

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board is also critical of President Biden’s decision.

 

14. Japan Is Now Our Most Important Ally. Here’s Why.

hudson.org · by Kenneth R. Weinstein

This may not be helpful with our broader alliance structure. Our Korean allies may have an emotional response to this. We have avoided the “rating” by calling our alliances the cornerstone (Japan) and linchpin (Korea).

 

15.  Big changes coming to Army Stryker brigades

armytimes.com · by Todd South · April 13, 2021

Excerpts: “Speaking at the annual Maneuver Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate out of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, on April 7, Mason laid out both the changes to the formation and gear that SBCT soldiers will see in the near and long-term future.

For soldiers, some of the bigger changes will come in the setup of the formation.

The Army plans to add an electronic warfare platoon, a cyberspace electromagnetic activities cell, drones, additive manufacturing and drone maintenance platoons, an additional platoon to each cavalry squadron, two more artillery guns per battery, a third engineer company, robotic combat vehicle operators and an attached Mobile Short-Range Air Defense from the division level.”

 

16. Personnel spending cuts won’t help military readiness, key lawmaker warn

militarytimes.com · by Leo Shane III · April 13, 2021

Pennywise and pound foolish. Servicemembers will pay the bill.

 

17. Number of US Troops Linked to Domestic Terror Plots Small but Growing

voanews.com · by Jeff Seldin

Based on Seth Jones’ recent CSIS report.

 

18. Would Russia Invade Ukraine and China Invade Taiwan Simultaneously?

19fortyfive.com · by Daniel Davis · April 11, 2021

Daniel Davis provides us with one very worst case planning scenario.

 

19. Troops are Leaving Afghanistan. Can the U.S. Still Advise Afghan Security Forces?

realcleardefense.com · by Alexander Powell

Sure. We will call them advisors and not combat troops and put a force cap on the mission and then forget about it. 

But seriously, this is a discussion of a concept of a “remote advisory cell.”

Conclusion: “In conclusion, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State remain present in Afghanistan, and the U.S. retains an enduring interest in keeping counterterrorism pressure on those groups. As long as the Taliban waver on their counterterrorism commitments, the Afghan Air Force and SOF are the United States’ chief and best options for conducting counterterrorism operations absent a U.S. troop presence on the ground. A remote advisory cell is a feasible option for maintaining security cooperation relationships with critical Afghan partner units, though it should adhere to the common features identified above to be as effective as possible. The Taliban, meanwhile, are unlikely to readily accept the establishment of a remote advisory cell, limiting the idea’s utility to specific circumstances. Even so, a remote advisory cell may have domestic political benefits given the increased force protection and likely reduced costs it would afford over the current U.S. footprint in Afghanistan.”

 

20. China’s Dystopian “New IP” Plan Shows Need for Renewed US Commitment to Internet Governance

Just Security · by Mark Montgomery and Theo Lebryk · April 13, 2021

Conclusion: “The United States cannot afford a similar failure to compete, as was the case in international fora associated with 5G development and international cybercrime. Chinese dominance in standardization will cost American firms market share and can open the door for more Chinese backdoors around the globe. Huawei dominance on New IP and 6G would not only create a less free, less interoperable internet, it would pave the way for authoritarian governments to gain expanded say over future changes to the internet for years to come.

The Chinese New IP proposal can be successfully contested, but only if the United States rallies its private-industry partners and like-minded international democratic governments to the cause. They must all work together to collectively rein in the threat of authoritarian governments using multilateral institutions such as the ITU to export their vision of the internet worldwide before it is too late.”

 

21. FDD | Diplomatic Malpractice: Reforming the WHO After China’s COVID Cover-up

fdd.org · by Craig Singleton · April 13, 2021

Excerpt:The anniversary of the first COVID-19 lockdowns came and went, and yet the world remains no closer to understanding the virus’ true origins. Nor is the WHO positioned to respond more effectively to the next global pandemic, which may be only years, not decades, away. Chinese authorities have actively obstructed the investigation into COVID-19’s origins and deserve ample condemnation for putting global health at risk. Yet the WHO also bears substantial responsibility for the current impasse. It has resisted multiple efforts to implement reforms after previous failures to deal effectively with outbreaks of infectious diseases, including SARS and Ebola. Nor does the WHO’s current leadership appear capable of standing up to member states such as China that undermine its work. Finally, the United States bears some responsibility for the WHO’s flawed performance, since Washington has donated billions of taxpayer dollars to the organization without demanding any accountability in return. After the devastation wrought by COVID-19, continued engagement without a serious campaign for WHO reform would be nothing short of diplomatic malpractice.”

 

22. FDD | Biden Administration Nominates Key Cyber Personnel

fdd.org · by  Mark Montgomery · April 13, 2021

 

23. ‘Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret’ adapted to film

armytimes.com · by Harm Venhuizen · April 14, 2021

 

24.  Secret and Careful: How America Spied On Imperial Japan in China

The National Interest · by Warfare History Network · April 13, 2021

Some often overlooked history of the OSS in WWII.

 

25. The Special Forces op that supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq

wearethemighty.com · by Miguel Ortiz · March 19, 2021

An often overlooked mission.

 

26. Intelligence officials reassert their role post-Trump

CNN · by Katie Bo Williams, Kylie Atwood and Zachary Cohen

 

———-

 

“I have noticed that nothing I never said ever did me any harm.” 

– Calvin Coolidge

 

“I will not disgrace the soldier’s arms, nor abandon the comrade who stands at my side, but whether alone or with many,

I will fight to defend things sacred and profane.

I will hand down my country not lessened, but larger and better than I have received it.”

–  Athenian Oath

 

 “I cannot give birth to wisdom myself and the accusation that many make against me, that while I question other, I myself bring nothing wise to light due to my lack of wisdom, is accurate. The reason for this is as follows: God forces me to serve as a midwife and prevents me from giving brith.”

– Socrates

 

DanielRiggs
Wed, 04/14/2021 – 9:32am

04/14/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

04/14/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. N. Korea may be considering resumption of nuclear testing this year: U.S. report

2. N.Korea Backtracks on Ban of Open-Air Markets

3. North Korea Could Have 250 Nuclear Weapons by 2027, Report States

4. Sanctions on North Korea effective despite illicit activity, analyst says

5. KLO members to finally receive compensation, but not much (South Korea)

6. [Interview] Attorney for N. Korean human rights says US only listens to politically charged defectors

7. South warned to not ‘downplay’ U.S. Congress’s anti-leaflet hearing

8. North Korea best handled with allies

9. Korea’s diplomatic capacity lacking

10. U.S. Spy Chiefs Warn of Threats From China to Climate Cha

11. Sanatorium director in N. Pyongan Province arrested for selling bottled water at inflated prices

12. N. Korean Workers’ Party releases new information about recently-established Ministry of Justice

13. Pro-Pyongyang media denies economic hardship after ‘Arduous March’ speech

14. Korean American Nominated for U.S. State Dept. Job

15. Number of incoming N. Korean defectors dropped by 77 pct on-year in Q1: official

16. S. Korea again marks world’s lowest birthrate: UN report

 

1. N. Korea may be considering resumption of nuclear testing this year: U.S. report

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · April 14, 2021

From the Threat Assessment: Despite announcing an end to North Korea’s self-imposed moratorium on nuclear weapons and ICBM testing in December 2019, Kim thus far has not conducted long-range missile testing and has left the door open to future denuclearization talks with the United States. Kim may be considering whether to resume long-range missile or nuclear testing this year to try to force the United States to deal with him on Pyongyang’s terms. 

 

2.  N.Korea Backtracks on Ban of Open-Air Markets

english.chosun.com · April 12, 2021

Perhaps Kim is realizing that if he does not allow these markets to function it is going to create blowback that he may not be able to control.

Does this provide an indication of possible resistance potential in the future?

 

3. North Korea Could Have 250 Nuclear Weapons by 2027, Report States

The National Interest · by Stephen Silver · April 13, 2021

From the joint RAND/Asan report here

 

4. Sanctions on North Korea effective despite illicit activity, analyst says

upi.com · by Elizabeth Shim · April 13, 2021

There is one way that sanctions are working that I think is too often overlooked.  Kim raised expectations in. 2018 with his military and elite that he could “play” trump and Moon and get sanctions relief while keeping his nuclear weapons. He has failed to do this and some escapees (defectors) tell me this is the biggest failure by any of the three Kims.  This is generating tremendous internal pressure on Kim.  This is the kind of pressure that could cause Kim to change his strategy.  Yes we would like better enforcement of sanctions and we should call out Chinese and Russian complicity in sanctions evasion activities.  But even though we could improve enforcement, the key point for the Biden administration is to not make sanctions relief part of the new strategy.

On the other hand we should not be duped by the argument that sanctions are hurting the Korean people in the north. The reason they are suffering is solely due to the policy decisions of Kim Jong-un. He has chosen to prioritize his nuclear and missile programs, conventional military modernization, and support for the regime legitimacy over the welfare of the Korean people in the north. Kim Has the power and the resources (especially through his illicit activities) to ease the suffering of the Korean people but he chooses not to help them while demanding the utmost loyalty from them

 

5. KLO members to finally receive compensation, but not much (South Korea)

koreanjoongangdaily.joings.com · April 13, 2021

These partisan and Korean patriots were caught in the ultimate catch-22.  They were fighting for the freedom of their country but not in the Korean military.  They fought under the UN Command which of course doesn’t provide benefits and compensation as a nation state does to its military members.  This is part of the moral hazard we can create in unconventional warfare when working through, with, and by indigenous forces. 

I recall meeting partisan commander Park many times over the years at the annual celebration at their memorial Kangwha Island in the Han River Estuary.  We could see his house on the north Korean side. He was a high school teacher in what was then South Korea.  When the north invaded he took his class south and eventually linked up with the UN forces and joined the partisans.  they were trained in parachute operations by US forces and then conducted 61 parachute infiltrations into north Korea to gather intelligence – exfiltration was on foot conducting a passage through the front lines.

Here is a link to SOF in the Korea War from the USASOC Historian’s Office. There are a number of articles on the 8240th and the Korean partisans and the wide range of operations they conducted.

 

6. [Interview] Attorney for N. Korean human rights says US only listens to politically charged defectors

Hani · by Kwon Hyuk-chul · April 09, 2021

This human rights lawyer is a late addition to the witness list for the Korean human rights hearing by the Lantos commission in Congress tomorrow (information at this link).  I wonder about the backstory about she ended up on the witness list.

Her views are insulting not only to the US but to the Koreans from the north who have escaped. 

 

7. South warned to not ‘downplay’ U.S. Congress’s anti-leaflet hearing

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Yoo Jee-Hye and Sarah Kim

This is going to create more friction in the alliance but it must be done. This law is harmful to so many on so many levels – and it impacts the alliance since it actually provides support to Kim Jong-un .

 

8. North Korea best handled with allies

The Korea Times · by Arthur I Cyr · April 13, 2021

Concur.

But I wonder why Mr. Cyr does not give credit to Kim Young Sam (who was one of the “three Kims”) being elected in 1993 as the transition point for South Korean democracy or why he chose to mention the Nobel Peace Prize when we all know the facts surrounding it.

“Democratic change culminated with election in 1998 of President Kim Dae-jung, heroic opponent of dictatorship. In 2000, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. During the earlier dictatorship, Kim survived imprisonment and at least one attempt to kill him. Occasional political turmoil since 1998 confirms South Korea’s democracy.

As in the past, U.S. leaders should work with allies, underscore military commitment, and pursue negotiation. The Biden administrations deployment of traditional diplomacy is encouraging.”

 

9. Korea’s diplomatic capacity lacking

The Korea Times · by Kang Seung-woo · April 14, 2021

The nuclear waste water issue with Japan is a complicated one.

Excerpts:Despite its strong protest, Korea has a few options such as reinforcing radiation testing on imported food products and inspections of supply chain origins for food imports.

“I am furious about what the government has done so far about the issue that is directly linked to the people’s safety,” Rep. Joo Ho-young, the acting leader of the main opposition People Power Party, said Wednesday.

Shin Beom-chul, director of the Center for Diplomacy and Security at the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy, said, “The government needs to join forces with countries that will be immediately affected by the radioactive water such as China, Taiwan and Russia to reflect their position on Japan’s decision.”

 

10. U.S. Spy Chiefs Warn of Threats From China to Climate Change

Bloomberg · by Tony Capaccio, Chris Strohm and Peter Martin · April 13, 2021

 

11. Sanatorium director in N. Pyongan Province arrested for selling bottled water at inflated prices

dailynk.com · by Jong So Yong · April 14, 2021

No surprise about north Korean corruption.  Everyone is trying to survive.

 

12. N. Korean Workers’ Party releases new information about recently-established Ministry of Justice

dailynk.com · by Ha Yoon Ah · April 14, 2021

Note the central importance of the Organization and Guidance Department (OGD).

 

13. Pro-Pyongyang media denies economic hardship after ‘Arduous March’ speech

upi.com· by Elizabeth Shim · April 14, 2021

It is hard to walk this back.

 

14. Korean American Nominated for U.S. State Dept. Job

english.chosun.com

 

15.  Number of incoming N. Korean defectors dropped by 77 pct on-year in Q1: official

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 14, 2021

Escapees.  Please call them escapees.

We are seeing the results of the Kim family regime’s draconian population and resources control measures.

 

16. S. Korea again marks world’s lowest birthrate: UN report

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · April 14, 2021

This Is going to be a long term national security issue making unification that much more important to Korea.

 

————

 

“I have noticed that nothing I never said ever did me any harm.” 

– Calvin Coolidge

 

“I will not disgrace the soldier’s arms, nor abandon the comrade who stands at my side, but whether alone or with many,

I will fight to defend things sacred and profane.

I will hand down my country not lessened, but larger and better than I have received it.”

–  Athenian Oath

DanielRiggs
Wed, 04/14/2021 – 9:06am

04/13/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

04/13/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell.  Edited and Published by Daniel Riggs

1. Statement From Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby on 4-Star Reviewer Appointment on Manda Bay Investigation

2. After War Zone Scandals, Special Operators Are Curbing Deployments and Investing in Ethics Training

3. Special Ops and CIA sabotage missions may shape future wars

4. Exploring Chinese Military Thinking on Social Media Manipulation Against Taiwan

5. A 35-year CIA veteran explains what China’s up to around Taiwan and what the US should do about it

6. In a dramatic turnaround, China has started to lose the Covid Cold War

7. No Release for Ex-Officer Guilty in ‘Fatal Vision’ Murders

8. Georgetown Law Professor Decries ‘Maoist Takeover’ of Academia

9. China’s Message to America: We’re an Equal Now

10. DoD’s New Pushback Against Chinese Money In US Defense Industry

11. Options to Ensure the Best Indo-Pacific Policy in the U.S. Department of Defense

12. What Maps Can Tell Us About U.S. Strategy for Europe and Asia

13. The Quad (finally) delivers: Can it be sustained?

14. The Military, Police, and the Rise of Terrorism in the United States

15. What America’s Vaccination Campaign Proves to the World

16. Fulfilling Our Duty to Afghan and Iraqi Interpreters Is a Matter of Honor—and of National Security

17. US Needs to Show Its Willingness to Defend Taiwan 

18. How Biden Will—and Won’t—Battle the Pentagon

19. US spy chiefs to warn of threats from SolarWinds to North Korea

20. Seventh Fleet move a reminder that Quad must remain a group of equals, not a US-led posse

21. FDD | Turkey’s Courtship with China Spells Trouble for Uyghurs

22. Striking the Right Balance: How Russian Information Operations in the Baltic States Should Inform US Strategy in Great Power Competition

 

1. Statement From Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby on 4-Star Reviewer Appointment on Manda Bay Investigation

defense.gov April 12, 2021

 

2. After War Zone Scandals, Special Operators Are Curbing Deployments and Investing in Ethics Training

military.com · by Stephen Losey · April 12, 2021

 

3. Special Ops and CIA sabotage missions may shape future wars

audacy.com · by Jack Murphy · April 9, 2021

Subversion and sabotage are key pillars of unconventional warfare.

Sometimes it is useful to remember the older definitions of unconventional warfare:

A broad spectrum of military and paramilitary operations conducted in enemy-held, enemy-controlled, or politically sensitive territory. Unconventional warfare includes, but is not limited to, the interrelated fields of guerrilla warfare, evasion and escape, subversion, sabotage,
and other operations of a low visibility, covert or
clandestine nature. These interrelated aspects of unconventional warfare may be prosecuted singly or collectively by predominantly indigenous personnel, usually supported and directed in varying degrees by (an) external sources(s) during all conditions of war
or peace. 

  (FM  31-20, 1990)

 

4. Exploring Chinese Military Thinking on Social Media Manipulation Against Taiwan

jamestown.org · by Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga · April 12, 2021

Conclusion:In retrospect, it is clear the PLA, and especially PLASSF Base 311, prepared for and may have executed a campaign to covertly manipulate Taiwanese social media and interfere in Taiwan’s 2018 elections. This article shed light on how long the PLA—as the CCP’s “barrel of the gun”—has been interested in Taiwanese social media and focused on exploiting it for political interference against Taiwan. Social media is simply the latest and greatest way for the PLA to artificially manipulate Taiwanese public opinion.

There needs to be greater emphasis—in Taiwan specifically, but also more generally—on the stated intentions and tactical considerations of entities within the PLA and the Chinese government charged with carrying out social media interference. The hope is that this article has provided an example of the range and depth of publicly available, primary source material on official Chinese thinking on social media manipulation against Taiwan and encouraged further exploration of these materials.

A shift from an overreliance on outputs to a more balanced view that incorporates inputs can promote more substantial debates and establish a firmer foundation to inform policy discussions. Such an approach would place less weight on outcomes, which inherently assume that one party has benefited and are contentious against the backdrop of elections, instead placing more emphasis on better understanding the actual threats and how to best combat them.”

 

5. A 35-year CIA veteran explains what China’s up to around Taiwan and what the US should do about it

Business Insider · by John Culver and Ryan Hass

Excerpt: “US policy for Taiwan should follow the Tsai administration’s example of basing its legitimacy on the vibrant quality of its democracy and economic freedom. There are an array of steps the United States can take with regard to Taiwan on trade, multinational democratic forums, health policy, and even security affairs that neither stretch Washington’s standard invocation of the Three Communiques, the Taiwan Relations Act, and other assurances nor risk abandonment.

And especially with regard to US security policy toward Taiwan, cooperation with Taipei should focus on steps that make a use-of-force decision by Beijing a difficult one, fraught with risk, that relies less on big-ticket, budget-busting weapons purchases and more on public determination and capacity to resist military force.

This should include US advice and assistance to enhance the credibility of Taiwan’s military as a Taiwanese institution, not a legacy of the Chinese civil war that enforced martial law on the island until the late 1980s. Building public trust in the Taiwan military is essential to overco

 

6. In a dramatic turnaround, China has started to lose the Covid Cold War

The Telegraph · by Georgina Hayes

Excerpts: “To solve these massive long-term problems, the CCP needs to liberalise and open up. Instead, Xi Jinping has doubled down on building an isolationist totalitarian superstate. By contrast, European and American firms are set to power unexpectedly buoyant recoveries; a more dynamic capitalist environment has forced them to adapt to the new post-Covid world, shedding costs and changing their business models as required. Centre-Left politicians who have convinced themselves that recovery can only be engineered by generous handouts and aggressive state projects should take note.

There is much we can learn from China’s values – its hunger and energy and innate investment in the future, rather than just the present (which share the same tense in Mandarin). But if it fails to learn, in  turn, from the West that freedom is crucial to progress, the resurgent Middle Kingdom may yet turn out to be a stillborn superpower.”

 

7. No Release for Ex-Officer Guilty in ‘Fatal Vision’ Murders

military.com · by Gary D. Robertson · April 11, 2021

Will we ever know for sure what happened that night at Fort Bragg?

 

8. Georgetown Law Professor Decries ‘Maoist Takeover’ of Academia

National Review Online · by Ed Whelan · April 12, 2021

Here’s the link to a most provocative essay that is the subject of the article.  

 

9. China’s Message to America: We’re an Equal Now

WSJ · by Lingling Wei and Bob Davis

Excerpts: “America’s chaotic pandemic response, followed by a summer of racial upheaval and the Jan. 6 Capitol storming, solidified his faith in the Chinese system’s superiority, Chinese officials say. In internal meetings, they say, he compares American democracy to “a sheet of loose sand” and declares that the one-party system allows him to get things done.

With Mr. Biden in the White House, China has continued a hard-line approach, signaling that companies not following Beijing’s rules will lose access to the Chinese market. Swedish clothing brand Hennes & Mauritz AB recently met with a strong social-media rage and consumer boycott in China over its stance against sourcing cotton from Xinjiang. Chinese authorities have restricted military personnel and employees of certain state-owned companies from using electric vehicles made by America’s Tesla Inc., citing national-security risks including concerns about the cars’ cameras. H&M declined to comment. Tesla, which didn’t respond to requests for comment, said last week that its cameras aren’t activated outside North America.

“Nobody has forced them to stay in China,” Mr. Yang said in Anchorage, regarding U.S. companies doing business in China.

 

10. DoD’s New Pushback Against Chinese Money In US Defense Industry

breakingdefense.com · by Paul McLeary

Excerpts: “There currently is no centralized mandate or guidance for what needs to be done across the DoD to get their arms around the problem, and there is no dedicated funding in the budget to re-shore some manufacturing capabilities. But Slotkin and Gallagher’s urgent push to remedy that in the 2022 budget could change that, if they manage to cut through the cacophony of voices during this year’s defense spending debate.

For Dougherty, “it’s pretty clear” what DoD needs to begin to work its way out of the problem. “They just need leadership, a centralized approach…and things like centralized data and centralized reporting,” to grapple with the depth of the problem.

If some sort of conflict does arise and supply chains are put at risk, Dougherty said, “the proactive, nefarious work coming from China and Russia in particular [will make US policymakers] “realize that we don’t have control over everything that we think we have control over.”

DoD’s New Pushback Against Chinese Money In US Defense Industry

“The proactive, nefarious work coming from China and Russia in particular [will make US policymakers] “realize that we don’t have control over everything that we think we have control over,” Tara Murphy Dougherty, CEO of Govini said

 

11.  Options to Ensure the Best Indo-Pacific Policy in the U.S. Department of Defense

divergentoptions.org · by Chandler Myers · April 12, 2021

 

12. What Maps Can Tell Us About U.S. Strategy for Europe and Asia

19fortyfive.com · by James Holmes · April 12, 2021

Despite the norm of digital maps there is still no substitute for paper maps and globes.

Interesting analysis from Professor Holmes.

 

13. The Quad (finally) delivers: Can it be sustained?

lowyinstitute.org · by Susan Thornton

Excerpts:Two key factors, though, are likely to determine the Quad’s staying power above others. The first is the degree to which the Quad can forge a reputation for producing positive-sum outcomes. Without an alternate rationale for what this particular four-country grouping can do, its salient identity will be as a nakedly anti-China bloc. India in particular will be uncomfortable with this, as was demonstrated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s insistence that that group “stand for something and not just against something”, and by the non-mention of China in the summit’s joint statement.

But if the Quad’s raison d’être is provision of public goods and mobilising synergies on global issues, not only do member countries stand to benefit, but Chinese objections will fall flat. The initial “deliverable” of a pooled investment in Indian vaccine production capacity is right on target, but following this with further outcomes on climate change and technology cooperation will likely be more difficult. If, however, the Quad can push in the laudable direction of raising India’s global engagement while expanding its marketplace and support network, the Quad brand will remain resilient in the face of future potential pressures.

Which brings us to the final point: if China continues to show its teeth and bully others, the Quad is more likely to be sustained. If, on the other hand, China demonstrates restraint, it will be harder to keep it going.

 

14. The Military, Police, and the Rise of Terrorism in the United States

csis.org · by Seth G. Jones, Catrina Doxsee, and Grace Hwang · April 13, 2021

A somewhat optimistic conclusion: “Despite these challenges, one reason for hope is the low number of deaths from domestic terrorism. Terrorism from violent far-right and far-left extremists has not killed many Americans—at least not recently. This could change, of course, as Timothy McVeigh illustrated in 1995. Terrorism expert Brian Jenkins once wrote that “terrorism is theater” and “terrorists want a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead.”73 These aphorisms may not have been true of al-Qaeda and Islamic State adherents, as Jenkins recognized.74 But the data certainly raise questions about how far most domestic terrorists are willing to go today.”

The PDF can be downloaded here.

The methodology can be downloaded here

 

15. What America’s Vaccination Campaign Proves to the World

defenseone.com · by Anne Applebaum

Excerpts: “But an opportunity for the U.S. might lie precisely here, in the authoritarian drive to politicize the vaccines. The best answer to Russian and Chinese strongmen who offer thousands of vaccines to countries that say nice things about them is to flood the market with millions of American doses, helping everyone regardless of what they say about the U.S. or anyone else. After Trump, the American political system won’t win much admiration again anytime soon. But if American democracy is no longer a trusted product, American efficiency could be once again. Within a matter of weeks, a majority of American adults will have had their first dose of a vaccine. What if the U.S. then begins to pivot from mass-vaccinating its own citizens to mass-vaccinating the rest of the world? Americans can’t do social trust, but we can do vaccines, plus the military logistics needed to distribute them: planes, trucks, cold-storage chains. The best cure for propaganda and disinformation is real-life experience: If people see that the vaccines work, they will eventually get one. We can end the global pandemic, improve the economy for everybody, protect ourselves and everyone else, and create the relationships that can help us deal with crises to come.

The U.S. might even have an opportunity to turn a mass-delivery effort into something more permanent. If the World Health Organization has become too bureaucratic and too reliant on China to enjoy the complete confidence of the rest of the world, then let’s use this moment to build COVAX into something new, something more trustworthy: an institution that provides smarter delivery systems, more efficient biomedical cooperation, and links among production centers in Europe, India, Africa, and elsewhere in the world. Vaccine nationalism is small-minded, self-centered, and ultimately self-defeating, because COVID-19 will not cease to be a problem until no one has it. This is the moment to think big, the moment for generosity and big ideas. As our massive logistical investment in refrigerated transport begins to pay off, the question for Americans is not just how we can enter the game, but how we can change it.

 

16. Fulfilling Our Duty to Afghan and Iraqi Interpreters Is a Matter of Honor—and of National Security

mwi.usma.edu · by Douglas Livermore · April 13, 2021

Excerpts:The past management of SIV program is a national embarrassment. Afghan and Iraqi interpreters have served bravely right alongside American men and women in intense combat throughout these wars, and the SIV program was supposed to honor and repay them for their sacrifices. Yet execution of the SIV program proved to be very far from the original vision, as under-resourcing, apathy, and immorally long delays further endangered these allies and their families.

After years of ineffectual attempts to reform the program there now is a chance to finally satisfy our responsibilities to our Afghan and Iraqi comrades. The Biden administration’s order to review and recommend changes to the SIV program provides the highest-level emphasis necessary for executive and legislative action. There is every expectation that these recommendations, if enacted, will ensure proper resourcing, oversight, and execution of the SIV program. Most fundamentally, implementing such recommended reforms and improving the SIV program will both fulfill our moral obligations and support our long-term national security interests.

 

17. US Needs to Show Its Willingness to Defend Taiwan 

spectator.org · by Francis P. Sempa · April 13, 2021

The “Asiatic Mediterranean?”

Excerpts: “In 1972, the U.S. and communist China issued the Shanghai Communiqué, which weakened U.S. ties to Taiwan for strategic reasons. Then, President Nixon wisely exploited the growing Sino–Soviet rift, and China became a de facto ally in containing the Soviet Union. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Once the Soviet empire collapsed, the strategic logic of the Communiqué ended, but successive U.S. administrations acted as if it didn’t. As China’s rise accelerated in the 21st century, the U.S. slowly strengthened its ties to Taiwan without abandoning the substance of the Communiqué.

But even when China was our de facto ally against the Soviet Union, Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act (1979), which provides that “It is the policy of the United States … to consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means … a threat to the security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States.” That act also allowed the U.S. to provide “defensive” arms to Taiwan and “to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan.”

We are in a Cold War with Communist China. It is high time to once and for all abandon the Shanghai Communiqué and make it unmistakably clear to China that we will defend Taiwan if China attacks.

 

18. How Biden Will—and Won’t—Battle the Pentagon

Foreign Policy · by Mark Perry · April 12, 2021

Excerpts: “Biden retains the fears that he expressed during the Obama years—that, in the end, a president can be rolled by those in uniform.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’re in the midst of a civilian-military crisis,” said retired U.S. Army Col. Andrew Bacevich, a West Point graduate and president of the Washington-based Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft (where I also work). “It undermines, it erodes the single most important pillar of democracy that we have as a nation. That crisis has to be the first thing on the new president’s agenda.”

Eaton, the retired Army major general, remains confident that Biden’s fundamental decency, his experience as a contentious skeptic during the Obama years, his appointment of Austin as defense secretary, his focus on diplomacy over intervention, and his intellect will help resolve the problem. “Smart soldiers will always follow smart commanders,” Eaton said. “And the view in the military is that, no matter what they might think about his policies, Biden is smart.”

Then, too, Biden retains the fears that he expressed during the Obama years—that an inexperienced president might be unduly influenced by the military’s ever confident, can-do mentality. That, in the end, a president can be rolled by those in uniform. Biden’s constant doubts, relentless questioning, and privately expressed niggling at the military’s claims during that era left an indelible impression. “The military doesn’t [screw] around with me,” he reportedly told aides as vice president. “I’ve been around too long.” Put simply, the military and its officers were able to defy Trump because he was in awe of them.

 

19. US spy chiefs to warn of threats from SolarWinds to North Korea

theedgemarkets.com · April 13, 2021

Excerpts: “Now, Biden’s intelligence team — including Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and CIA Director William Burns — is under increasing pressure to respond to a widening series of national security threats while defending the administration’s continuing reviews and policy approaches even as it nears the 100-day mark in office.

“This hearing is particular timely because those threats are rapidly evolving, with a rising great power competition with China, an increased threat from domestic violent extremism, nuclear dangers arising from nations like Iran and North Korea, and destabilizing impacts of cross-border threats like climate change and pandemic disease,” House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, said in a statement.

Biden has vowed that his intelligence officials won’t face pressure to abandon their independent assessments of America’s threats. He has pledged that Haines will be a “fierce advocate for telling the truth and leveling with the decision-makers.” In her confirmation hearing, Haines said that someone in her post “must never shy away from speaking truth to power — even, especially, when doing so may be inconvenient or difficult.”

 

20. Seventh Fleet move a reminder that Quad must remain a group of equals, not a US-led posse

theprint.in · by Prakash Menon · April 13, 2021

A view from India.  

 

21. FDD | Turkey’s Courtship with China Spells Trouble for Uyghurs

fdd.org · by Aykan Erdemir and Umut Can Fidan· April 12, 2021

 

22. Striking the Right Balance: How Russian Information Operations in the Baltic States Should Inform US Strategy in Great Power Competition

mwi.usma.edu · by Sandor Fabian and Janis Berzins · April 12, 2021

 

———–

 

Just a reminder:

George F. Kennan defined political warfare as “the logical application of Clausewitz’s doctrine in time of peace.” While stopping short of the direct kinetic confrontation between two countries’ armed forces, “political warfare is the employment of all the means at a nation’s command… to achieve its national objectives.” A country embracing Political Warfare conducts “both overt and covert” operations in the absence of declared war or overt force-on-force hostilities. Efforts “range from such overt actions as political alliances, economic measures…, and ‘white’ propaganda to such covert operations as clandestine support of ‘friendly’ foreign elements, ‘black’ psychological warfare and even encouragement of underground resistance in hostile states.” See George Kennan, “Policy Planning Memorandum.” May 4, 1948.

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/johnson/65ciafounding3.htm 

 

 Political warfare is the use of political means to compel an opponent to do one’s will, based on hostile intent. The term political describes the calculated interaction between a government and a target audience to include another state’s government, military, and/or general population. Governments use a variety of techniques to coerce certain actions, thereby gaining relative advantage over an opponent. The techniques include propaganda and psychological operations (PSYOP), which service national and military objectives respectively. Propaganda has many aspects and a hostile and coercive political purpose. Psychological operations are for strategic and tactical military objectives and may be intended for hostile military and civilian populations. Smith, Paul A., On Political War (Washington: National Defense University Press, 1989)

 https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a233501.pdf

 

“No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.”

– Alan Bullock, British historian

 

 

 

DanielRiggs
Tue, 04/13/2021 – 9:27am

04/13/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

04/13/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. <Inside N. Korea>Kim Jong-un regime orders emergency import of medicines:Medical care collapses due to trade restrictions by COVID-19, causing many deaths.

2. North Korea’s Leader Warns of Famine

3. North Korea Mobilizes Women to Solve Construction Labor Shortage

4. Former Moon advisor says S. Korea can’t secure peace if it stands with US

5. White House set to nominate first woman secretary of the Army

6. The rise of domestic extremism in America

7. Countering the Risks of North Korean Nuclear Weapons

8. China’s ex-ambassador to Britain named top envoy on Korean Peninsula affairs

9. South Korea’s leaflet ban draws international condemnation on human rights grounds

10. US hearing on North Korea’s human rights expected to anger Pyongyang

11. Moon to Meet Biden in May

12. Even With Seoul Paying More, America Can’t Afford to Defend South Korea

13. Moon orders new Marine Corps chief to protect fishermen near border

14. N. Korea begins construction on new political prisoner camp near uranium production facility

15. World watches North as Day of the Sun approaches, U.S. Congress holds hearing

16. North Korean diplomats expelled from Malaysia likely arrive in Beijing

17. N. Korea holds celebrations for founder’s birthday in show of confidence in coronavirus handling

18. Outgoing U.S. Indo-Pacific commander awarded top medal from S. Korea

19. N.K. paper calls for establishing company specialized in coastline protection facilities

 

1. Inside N. KoreaKim Jong-un regime orders emergency import of medicines:Medical care collapses due to trade restrictions by COVID-19, causing many deaths.

asiapress.org

More indicators that we must observe and assess.

 

2. North Korea’s Leader Warns of Famine

hrw.org · by Lina Yoon · April 12, 2021

Conclusion: “Kim’s warning may be yet another attempt to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to further tighten his grip on power. The 1990s famine not only killed multitudes but also undermined the government’s repressive rule, as survivors learned to evade food supply programs and set up their own illicit markets. Kim may be using the pandemic to take the country back to when there was an entirely closed border and very few imports. This allowed the government to completely control the distribution of food and supplies while also prohibiting the population from accessing any information not sanctioned by the government from inside or outside the country.”

That is more than arduous. It is terrifying.

 

3. North Korea Mobilizes Women to Solve Construction Labor Shortage

rfa.org· by Jeong Yon Park · April 12, 2021

It is the women of north Korea who have proven the most resilient and are responsible for the survival of families through the Arduous March of 1994-1996. But if the regime is going to drag them away from their family responsibilities they are going to create suffering on a scale greater than 1994-1996 and it could lead to internal instability.

 

4.  Former Moon advisor says S. Korea can’t secure peace if it stands with US

Hani · April 12, 2021

Moon Chung-in will put the ROK at grave risk with his advice.  These are very dangerous ideas.

 

5. White House set to nominate first woman secretary of the Army

Defense News · by Jen Judson · April 12, 2021

History.

 

6. The rise of domestic extremism in America

The Washington Post · by Robert O’Harrow Jr., Andrew Ba Tran, and Derek Hawkins · April 12, 2021

Please go to the link to view the graphics.  

 

7. Countering the Risks of North Korean Nuclear Weapons

RAND · April 13, 2021

I participated in this event last evening and I was a reviewer on this report.

The 120 report can be downloaded here.

 

I am reminded of Sir Lawrence Freedman: “Deterrence works. Until it doesn’t.” This reports looks at the way north Korea will likely employ nuclear weapons during armistice and conflict. It makes a number of provocative recommendations and provides some unique analysis that is worthy of study and reflection.

 

8. China’s ex-ambassador to Britain named top envoy on Korean Peninsula affairs

upi.com · Elizabeth Shim · April 12, 2021

As we wait to learn who will be the US Special Representative for north Korea.

What does it mean for China policy toward Korea? After all, personnel is policy. 

Excerpts: “In 2017, Liu wrote an editorial published in The Telegraph that claimed China does not hold the “master key” to the “North Korean crisis,” after former President Donald Trump threatened “fire and fury” against North Korea.

“China is ready to help, but you cannot put out a fire if someone continues to pour oil over it — or find fault with or even frustrate firefighting efforts,” Liu said at the time.

 

9. South Korea’s leaflet ban draws international condemnation on human rights grounds

onekoreanetwork.com · April 13, 2021

This will be a very interesting hearing. Details here.   

Here are the witnesses:

Panel I

Gordon G. Chang, Author, Losing South Korea and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World

  • Hon. Inho Lee, Former Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Russian Federation under President Kim Dae Jung and Professor Emerita of Seoul National University
  • John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch
  • Suzanne Scholte, Seoul Peace Prize Laureate and Chair, North Korea Freedom Coalition
  • Jessica Lee, Senior Research Fellow for East Asia, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

 

10. US hearing on North Korea’s human rights expected to anger Pyongyang

The Korea Times · by Nam Hyun-woo  · April 13, 2021

Yes I think holding the human rights hearing on April 15 (Kim Il Sung’s birthday) is a great way to “honor” the most despotic regime in the modern era that is guilty of crimes against humanity against the Korean people living in the north.

 

11. Moon to Meet Biden in May

english.chosun.com · April 13, 2021

Note: Biden meets Suga in Washington this Friday.

 

12. Even With Seoul Paying More, America Can’t Afford to Defend South Korea

Foreign Policy · by Doug Bandow · April 12, 2021

Dangerous words from Mr. Bandow: “Washington officials constantly talk of North Korea as a threat to the United States. It is not. North Korea is a threat to South Korea and the U.S.-South Korean alliance, which is very different. That can be easily remedied by the United States—by leaving the ever-stronger South to take over its own defense.”

Following his advice will lead to conflict in Northeast Asia and that will have a direct impact on the American people.

 

13. Moon orders new Marine Corps chief to protect fishermen near border

m-en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · April 13, 2021

This is not a new threat.

 

14.  N. Korea begins construction on new political prisoner camp near uranium production facility – Daily NK

dailynk.com · Seulkee Jang · April 13, 2021

For all those who criticize me for saying human rights is a national security issue – this is one reason why. The north uses its slave labor (prisoners) for uranium mining to support its nuclear program and other illicit activities.

Excerpts: “The authorities plan to send the prisoners to uranium mines and processing facilities to produce uranium concentrate immediately after they enter the camp, based on the source’s account.

According to the source, the Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant needs more manpower to expand uranium-related production, so the authorities decided to mobilize prisoners to supplement the labor shortage.”

And note this: “There are also rumors of North Korea smuggling concentrated uranium produced in Pyongsan to Iran, Syria, Qatar, and Egypt, which lend weight to claims that North Korean authorities are expanding the production of concentrated uranium.

In fact, Daily NK’s source claimed that North Korea is smuggling uranium ore in addition to concentrated uranium.

“As far as I know, China requested uranium ore, not concentrated uranium,” the source explained. “It’s not just that China doesn’t trust North Korea’s refinement capabilities. This way, they can also get uranium ore for a lower price.”

 

15. World watches North as Day of the Sun approaches, U.S. Congress holds hearing

Koreajoongdaily · by Yoo Jee-Hye, Park Hyun-Ju, and Sarah Kim · April 13, 2021

Will this result in a north Korean provocation? I will not predict one but I would not rule one out.

 

16.  North Korean diplomats expelled from Malaysia likely arrive in Beijing

thejakartapost.com · by The Jakarta Post · April 13, 2021

The question is will north Korea and Malaysia eventually return to the status quo? It is in both their financial interests to do so.

Excerpts: “North Korea had apparently used Malaysia as a hub to raise money for leader Kim Jong Un and his government in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, as its citizens had been allowed to enter the Southeast Asian nation without visa.

Before leaving the embassy in Kuala Lumpur, North Korean Charge d’Affaires Kim Yu Song read out a statement in which he slammed Malaysia for being “subservient” to the United States and laid all responsibility at the country’s feet.”

 

17. N. Korea holds celebrations for founder’s birthday in show of confidence in coronavirus handling

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · April 13, 2021

The only thing we can really have confidence is that the regime continues to be able to control the narrative about COVID.

 

18. Outgoing U.S. Indo-Pacific commander awarded top medal from S. Korea

en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · April 13, 2021

 

19. N.K. paper calls for establishing company specialized in coastline protection facilities

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · April 13, 2021

A major threat to the north is mother nature.

 

————-

 

Just a reminder:

George F. Kennan defined political warfare as “the logical application of Clausewitz’s doctrine in time of peace.” While stopping short of the direct kinetic confrontation between two countries’ armed forces, “political warfare is the employment of all the means at a nation’s command… to achieve its national objectives.” A country embracing Political Warfare conducts “both overt and covert” operations in the absence of declared war or overt force-on-force hostilities. Efforts “range from such overt actions as political alliances, economic measures…, and ‘white’ propaganda to such covert operations as clandestine support of ‘friendly’ foreign elements, ‘black’ psychological warfare and even encouragement of underground resistance in hostile states.” See George Kennan, “Policy Planning Memorandum.” May 4, 1948.

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/johnson/65ciafounding3.htm 

 

 Political warfare is the use of political means to compel an opponent to do one’s will, based on hostile intent. The term political describes the calculated interaction between a government and a target audience to include another state’s government, military, and/or general population. Governments use a variety of techniques to coerce certain actions, thereby gaining relative advantage over an opponent. The techniques include propaganda and psychological operations (PSYOP), which service national and military objectives respectively. Propaganda has many aspects and a hostile and coercive political purpose. Psychological operations are for strategic and tactical military objectives and may be intended for hostile military and civilian populations. Smith, Paul A., On Political War (Washington: National Defense University Press, 1989)

 https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a233501.pdf

 

“No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.”

– Alan Bullock, British historian

 

 

 

 

 

DanielRiggs
Tue, 04/13/2021 – 9:01am

FICINT – Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War

FICINT – Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War

FICINT – Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War

Small Wars Journal is pleased to present an excerpt from Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War by Small Wars Journal-El Centro Fellow Michael L. Burgoyne. This fictional account—or FICINT (Fictional Intelligence)—describes the security situation in Mexico in an accessible manner.  Here the situation in Mexico is described through the lens of fiction and intelligence to depict future conflict scenarios grounded in reality.[1]  Is it ‘criminal insurgency,’ ‘civil strife,’ ‘crime wars,’ ‘non-international armed conflict (NIAC),’ or something else. Burgoyne seeks to inform the policy and operational debate surrounding insecurity and criminal armed groups (CAGs) in Mexico in this text. SWJ

Comments from the author:

In 2020, Mexico suffered over 35,000 homicides, marking another year of exceptionally high rates of violence that are comparable to a war zone. Mexican transnational criminal organizations drive the violence in Mexico and play a key role in the over 70,000 annual drug overdose deaths in the United States. Yet, Americans lack an understanding of the complex security situation just south of the border.

I am thankful to Small Wars Journal-El Centro for the opportunity to present an excerpt from, Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War.  I wrote the story as modern day western designed to bring the reader into a violent and complicated world where there are no easy answers. While the story is fiction, the events depicted are drawn from reality, which is documented in the accompanying notes section. These notes also include references to outstanding scholars that provide excellent analysis of the ongoing conflict in Mexico.

Finally, this excerpt is augmented with a brief interview with Alexei Chevez, a Mexican scholar and security practitioner with a deep knowledge of the nature of the internal stability struggles in Mexico.

My hope is that this work of fiction provides an engaging way to understand the very real and daunting security challenges the Mexican people face.

– Michael L. Burgoyne

The excerpt of Ascensión: A Tale of the Mexican Drug War is available here at SWJ-El Centro.

 

Endnotes

[1] For more on FICINT as an analytical tool, see August Cole and P.W. Singer, “Thinking The Unthinkable With Useful Fiction.” Journal of Future Conflict-Online Journal. Issue 2 (Fall 2020). Kingston, Ontario: Queens University, https://www.queensu.ca/psychology/sites/webpublish.queensu.ca.psycwww/files/files/Journal of Future Conflict/Issue 2 Fall 2020/Issue_2-Singer.pdf.

 

ZFTWARNING
Mon, 04/12/2021 – 4:03pm

Anticipating the Biden Administration’s New North Korea Policy

Anticipating the Biden Administration’s New North Korea Policy

The National Interest · by David Maxwell · April 12, 2021

My estimate on what I think will be part of the new Biden Administration Korea policy was just published at the National Interest below. 

DanielRiggs
Mon, 04/12/2021 – 1:08pm

04/12/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

04/12/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell.  Edited and Published by Daniel Riggs

1. Blackout Strikes Natanz Nuclear Facility in Iran

2. The United States Considers Reinforcing Its ‘Pacific Sanctuary’

3. America’s Oldest Asian Ally, Overlooked

4. FDD | Ukraine Calls Out Iran’s Lack of Transparency in Airliner Case

5. U.S. will send more ships to South China Sea, Philippines Ambassador says

6. FDD | Austin Makes First Trip to Israel as Defense Secretary

7. A Closer Look at Israel’s New High-Tech Barrier

8. US accused of ‘cognitive warfare’ over ‘unusual’ Navy photo

9. Biden administration plans to name former senior NSA officials to White House cyber position and head of CISA

10. China builds advanced weapons systems using American chip technology

11. Building a wall of denial against gray-zone aggression

12. UN chief warns that use of IEDs is increasing globally

13. Opinion | AI companies are enabling genocide in China

14. JAIC director: With flat budgets, turn to AI to save money

15. Developing a counterinsurgency strategy that actually works

16. Putin vs. the Press

17. Special Operations News Update – Monday, April 12, 2021 | SOF News

 

1. Blackout Strikes Natanz Nuclear Facility in Iran

The New York Times · by Ronen Bergman, Rick Gladstone and Farnaz Fassihi, and Gerry Mullany · April 11, 2021

Two fundamental tenets of unconventional warfare are subversion and sabotage.

 

2. The United States Considers Reinforcing Its ‘Pacific Sanctuary’

warontherocks.com · by Wallace C. Gregson, Jr. and Jeffrey W. Hornung · April 12, 2021

Excerpt: “While it is still unknown what results the posture review will bring, the recent 2+2 meeting in Tokyo demonstrated that the alliance is stronger than ever given the common positions shown on China and the need to find ways to bolster the alliance. That strength, combined with an increased proactiveness by Japan, means that it is possible that Japan could see an uptick in U.S. military presence after this review is complete. One thing is clear. If the words of the late Sen. Mike Mansfield were true in the past, that the “U.S.-Japan relationship was the cornerstone of stability in the Far East and in the world, bar none,” the regional challenges that the alliance faces now may make that sentiment even truer today.”

 

3. America’s Oldest Asian Ally, Overlooked

WSJ · by Michael George DeSombre

Conclusion: “Thailand is strategically positioned in the middle of Asean, and Asean is at the heart of U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy. As the Biden administration develops its foreign policy and national-security strategy, it should leave no doubt of its commitment to the country’s oldest ally in Asia.”

 

4. FDD | Ukraine Calls Out Iran’s Lack of Transparency in Airliner Case

fdd.org · by Toby Dershowitz and Dylan Gresik· April 9, 2021

Excerpts: “In its recent statement, the Ukrainian government said it “will not accept any version of the PS752 [downing] that has been voiced but not confirmed by real evidence.” As such, Ukraine has moved “even closer” to elevating the issue under provisions of the Montreal Convention of 1971, according to Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada. The convention – to which both Ukraine and Iran are party – concerns criminal liability and financial compensation in the destruction of civilian aircraft.

Ukraine may soon decide to initiate the process of negotiations, arbitration proceedings, and, if necessary, the elevation of the dispute to the International Court of Justice. While the United States is not party to the court, the Biden administration should publicly voice its support for Ukraine to hold the Islamic Republic accountable at the international level. Regardless of the status of ongoing nuclear negotiations between Washington and Tehran, Biden should stand firm with U.S. allies and partners in the face of Iran’s continued transgressions in the case of PS752.

 

5. U.S. will send more ships to South China Sea, Philippines Ambassador says

Newsweek · by Anders Anglesey · April 11, 2021

I guess the Ambassador is privy to our force deployment decision. I hope he is not speaking out of school here.

 

6. FDD | Austin Makes First Trip to Israel as Defense Secretary

fdd.org · by Bradley Bowman· April 9, 2021

 

7. A Closer Look at Israel’s New High-Tech Barrier

realcleardefense.com · by Jacob Nagel and Jonathan Schanzer 

Excerpts: “Controversy also surrounds the military message that barriers send. Some in the IDF believe the construction of expensive and high-tech fences sends a message of weakness or a defensive posture. They argue that effective fences might prevent political leaders from taking decisive action during conflict, particularly if they feel the barrier might shield the country from a wider conflagration.

Barrier proponents argue these measures prevent terrorism and loss of life. The West Bank fence brought the number of suicide bombings to near zero. The Egypt border fence brought smuggling down to negligible numbers, too. As with Iron Dome, some argue that advanced fences give political leaders flexibility to decide exactly when and how to launch a military response to provocations.

As always, the debates will continue in Israel. But in the meantime, the Gaza border is likely safer — until Hamas invents new ways to attack.

 

8. US accused of ‘cognitive warfare’ over ‘unusual’ Navy photo

au.news.yahoo.com · by Nick Whigham· April 11, 2021

“Cognitive warfare?”  How about just plain psychological warfare or psychological operations?

I saw another report that the photo has since been taken down which if true I think is a huge mistake.

Excerpts: “”In the photo, Commander Briggs looks very relaxed with his feet up watching the Liaoning ship just a few thousand yards away, while his deputy is also sitting beside him, showing they take their PLA counterparts lightly,” Lu Li-shih, a former instructor at Taiwan’s Naval Academy, told the SCMP.

“This staged photograph is definitely ‘cognitive warfare’ to show the US doesn’t regard the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) as an immediate threat.”

The aircraft carrier, USS Theodore Roosevelt, and its strike group, as well as the amphibious ship USS Makin Island are also operating in the South China Sea, US officials revealed.

 

9. Biden administration plans to name former senior NSA officials to White House cyber position and head of CISA

The Washington Post · by Ellen Nakashima  · April 12, 2021

 

10. China builds advanced weapons systems using American chip technology

The Washington Post · by Ellen Nakashima and Gerry Shih · April 09, 2021

As one of my War College students used to say back in 2010 – Chinese R&D is “steal to leap ahead.”  No one should be surprised by this report.

 

11. Building a wall of denial against gray-zone aggression

AEI · by Elisabeth Braw · April 12, 2021

The 25 page report can be downloaded here

 

12. UN chief warns that use of IEDs is increasing globally

Stars and Stripes · by Edith Lederer · April 10, 2021

 

13. Opinion | AI companies are enabling genocide in China

The Washington Post · by  Michael Chertoff and N. MacDonnell Ulsch · April 12, 2021

Excerpts: “One response is for the United States to organize a coordinated effort to restrain the Chinese government’s ability to further develop AI for its predictive policing program — for example, by bolstering protections against intellectual property theft in this area, enacting punitive sanctions to discourage private technology companies from collaborating with Beijing, and publicly and forcefully decrying the complicity of such companies in the human rights catastrophe in Xinjiang.

To be successful, such an effort would need bipartisan support in Washington, to win cooperation from democratic partners around the world and to persuade the private sector through laws and regulations to act in its own long-term interests. Action on this scale is necessary and urgent to curb the Xi regime’s worst authoritarian instincts and minimize the human cost of its oppressive rule.

Opinion | AI companies are enabling genocide in China

 

14. JAIC director: With flat budgets, turn to AI to save money

c4isrnet.com · by Andrew Eversden · April 9, 2021

I am always leery about claims that technology can result in saving money.

 

15. Developing a counterinsurgency strategy that actually works

indianexpress.com · by Sajid Farid Shapoo · April 9, 2021

A view from India.  I remember being a fly on the wall for some general officer discussion back in 2008 or 2009 when the Indian Army Chief of Staff visited Fort Bragg.  I will never forget the comment he made about have 5000,000 Indian military and security personnel conducting counterinsurgency on a daily basis.   That is almost like employing the entire active duty US  Army.

Excerpt: “Indian counterinsurgency has to work with a dual objective of defeating the insurgents militarily and fully quell the insurgent impulses. This will need institutional overhauls. The conflict over the distribution of resources can be mended with economic development, but the bigger challenge would be to create a system where the tribal population feels that the government is representative, not repressive. Opening negotiation channels and policies like surrender and rehabilitation can give such a representative sense to the rebels that the government cares for them if they (rebels) are willing to shun the violent path. Lastly, the asymmetry in the distribution of power cannot solely be ironed out by just economic policies, it is critically important to create a system where the distribution of power is not controlled by the traditional elite.

 

16. Putin vs. the Press

FDD · by Clifford D. May April 9, 2021

 

17. Special Operations News Update – Monday, April 12, 2021 | SOF News

sof.news · by SOF News · April 12, 2021

 

———–

 

“My congratulations to you personally for your part in the presentation today … The challenge of this old but new form of operations is a real one and I know that you and the members of your command will carry on for us and the free world in a manner which is both worthy and inspiring. I am sure that the green beret will be a mark of distinction in the trying times ahead.”

– Message from President Kennedy to General Yarborough, 11 April 1961

 

“One should become the master of one’s mind rather than let one’s mind master him.”
– Nichiren Daishonin

 

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”
 – Franklin D. Roosevelt

DanielRiggs
Mon, 04/12/2021 – 1:07pm

04/12/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

04/12/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Former N. Korean child beggar runs for local election in U.K.

2. ‘Worst ever’ threat to Kim Jong Un’s rule

3.  U.S.,S. Korea: KN-23 shows irregular trajectory including pull-up maneuver

4. Iran Calls On South Korea To Release Funds Frozen Under US Sanctions

5. Korea’s effort in Afghan reconstruction recognized

6. Ex-minister decries U.S. congressional hearing on anti-N.K. leafleting ban

7. North Korea transfers control of important military shipbuilding factory to Munitions Industry Department

8. Kim Il Sung birthday crackers are being sold in local markets before start of official distribution

9. S. Korea, U.S. closely watching N. Korean moves on SLBMs, new submarine: JCS

10. ‘Never criticise the Dear Leader!’ Kim executes official after ‘rant’ against Government

11. Is Mike Pompeo Clueless on North Korea?

12. [Editorial] Self-inflicted disgrace (South Korean Anti-leaflet law)

13. Moon’s approval rating dips to record low of 33.4 pct: Realmeter

14. US military bases in Japan, South Korea ramp up coronavirus vaccinations

15. PM: S. Korea willing to help Iran advance dialogue for restoring nuclear deal

 

1. Former N. Korean child beggar runs for local election in U.K.

donga.com· April 12, 2021

Last week I listened to Professor Fahey talk about north Korean human rights.  One of the things she mentioned was that Koreans in the north have no examples to look up to because everything is focused on idolizing and deifying the Kim family regime.  This is one example that must get to the Korean people (as well as the other UK candidate as well as the South Korea legislators currently in office after their escapes from the north). This needs to be part of an information and influence campaign.

 

2.  ‘Worst ever’ threat to Kim Jong Un’s rule

asiatimes.com · by Daniel Sneider · April 12, 2021

Very important and comprehensive analysis on the north Korean situation from Daniel Sneider.  

If I were advising the command I would recommend that not only it focus on the indications and warnings for international instability, I would be conducting a review of all relevant crisis actions SOP measures and review contingency plans. 

This conclusion sums up why things may be different (and worse) than the 1990s: “What won’t change are the underlying problems that have now converged into a “worst-ever” threat to Kim Jong Un’s rule”

The underlying conditions and problems are exacerbated by Kim Jong-un’s deliberate policy decisions as well as the nature of the regime, its objectives, and strategy.

I will not predict if or when there might be internal instability in north Korea, only that if it does occur it will be catastrophic and we had better be prepared for it.

 

3. U.S.,S. Korea: KN-23 shows irregular trajectory including pull-up maneuver

donga.com · April 12, 2021

This is for warfighting and attacking the fat target of Camp Humphreys and Osan and Cheongju air bases.

Buried lede: “In the meantime, the three Aegis ships were not mobilized when the new missile was launched. Normally, one carries out missions while the other two are anchored for maintenance, but at the time of the missile launch, all three of them were anchored. Some point out that this could have been the reason why the radar failed to detect the missile early on and mistakenly judged the flying distance.” 

I hope the ROK has more surveillance capabilities than one Aegis ship (3 to make 1).

 

4. Iran Calls On South Korea To Release Funds Frozen Under US Sanctions

Barron’s · by AFP – Agence France Presse

This could cause ROK/US alliance friction. 

 

5. Korea’s effort in Afghan reconstruction recognized

The Korea Times · by Kwon Mee-yoo · April 12, 2021

Something that has been below the radar.

Recall that South Korea is the first (and may be the only nation) to go from a major aid recipient to a major donor nation.

 

6. Ex-minister decries U.S. congressional hearing on anti-N.K. leafleting ban

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 12, 2021

Human rights are universal and we must stand up for them everywhere.  The Moon administration and ruling party made a huge error passing this legislation and they cannot get a pass on it.

 

7. North Korea transfers control of important military shipbuilding factory to Munitions Industry Department

dailynk.com· by Seulkee Jang · April 12, 2021

Additional information from my friend and mentor, Bob Collins:  

The Munitions Industry Department is subordinate to the Korean Workers’ Party and is responsible for all weapons development. However, organizations connected to WMD come under the direct control of the MID. The reassignment of control of this October 3rd Factory is a sharp indicator of Kim regime’s intent to put nukes on SLBM’s. 

 

8. Kim Il Sung birthday crackers are being sold in local markets before start of official distribution

dailynk.com · by Jeong Tae Joo · April 12, 2021

I am reminded of the old saying: “let them eat cake.”  Though I am sure the Koreans in the north would be happy to have any food.

 

9. S. Korea, U.S. closely watching N. Korean moves on SLBMs, new submarine: JCS

en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · April 12, 2021

 

10. ‘Never criticise the Dear Leader!’ Kim executes official after ‘rant’ against Government

Express · by John Varga · April 12, 2021

The nature of the Kim family regime.  Loyalty is everything.  And north Korea must be a no whining zone.

 

11. Is Mike Pompeo Clueless on North Korea?

The National Interest · by Doug Bandow · April 11, 2021

Mr. Bandow is an equal opportunity critic.  He has no love for anyone but he does appear to give some credit to former President Trump’s unconventional, experimental, top-down, pen-pal diplomacy.  However, It failed like all other efforts not because of what we did or did not do (despite the pundits who call for appeasement). It failed because of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime.

Excerpt: “Give Trump credit, he created an opportunity for serious negotiation. However, he was utterly incapable of forging such a pact. Now Pompeo’s comments suggest that the secretary of state may have been no better prepared. And hence was lost one of the nation’s great diplomatic opportunities.”

 

12. [Editorial] Self-inflicted disgrace (South Korean Anti-leaflet law)

koreaherald.com · by The Korea Herald · April 11, 2021

The passing of this law gives the appearance of appeasement when you examine the north Korean threats and actions and the subsequent statements of South Korean officials and passage of the law.  The Moon administration and ruling party need to fix this.

 

13. Moon’s approval rating dips to record low of 33.4 pct: Realmeter

en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · April 12, 2021

Hardly a surprise giving the trend and the shellacking the ruling party took in the elections lasts week.

 

14. US military bases in Japan, South Korea ramp up coronavirus vaccinations

Stars and Stripes· by Matthew Burke · April 0912, 2021

 

15. PM: S. Korea willing to help Iran advance dialogue for restoring nuclear deal

en.yna.co.kr · by 박보람 · April 12, 2021

A snarky comment:  How has the middleman function turned out with north Korea and the US?

 

———

“My congratulations to you personally for your part in the presentation today … The challenge of this old but new form of operations is a real one and I know that you and the members of your command will carry on for us and the free world in a manner which is both worthy and inspiring. I am sure that the green beret will be a mark of distinction in the trying times ahead.”

– Message from President Kennedy to General Yarborough, 11 April 1961

 

“One should become the master of one’s mind rather than let one’s mind master him.”
– Nichiren Daishonin

 

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”
 – Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

 

DanielRiggs
Mon, 04/12/2021 – 12:51pm

Irregular Warfare Initiative: Armed Overwatch: Airpower in Irregular Warfare – Past, Present, and Future

Irregular Warfare Initiative: Armed Overwatch: Airpower in Irregular Warfare – Past, Present, and Future

An interview with Lt Gen (Ret.) Thomas Trask and Dr. James Kiras on the looming cultural changes facing airpower in irregular warfare 

https://mwi.usma.edu/armed-overwatch-airpower-in-irregular-warfare-past-present-and-future/

Retired Lieutenant General Thomas Trask transitioned from the Air Force in 2017 after thirty-three years of service, retiring as the vice commander of United States Special Operations Command. During his career Tom flew rescue and special operations helicopters, accumulating more than 3,200 hours and over fifty combat missions.

Dr. James Kiras teaches at the US Air Force’s School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. In addition to his knowledge of aviation history, his other areas of expertise include irregular warfare, international terrorism, and special operations, He is the author of Special Operations and Strategy: From World War II to the War on Terrorism.

Riley.C.Murray
Mon, 04/12/2021 – 8:14am

Office of the Director of National Intelligence: Global Trends 2040

Office of the Director of National Intelligence: Global Trends 2040

Published every four years since 1997, Global Trends assesses the key trends and uncertainties that will shape the strategic environment for the United States during the next two decades.

 

https://www.dni.gov/index.php/gt2040-home/introduction

Riley.C.Murray
Mon, 04/12/2021 – 8:05am

Special Operations News Update – Monday, April 12, 2021

Special Operations News Update – Monday, April 12, 2021

A roundup of stories related to the special operations community of interest

Special Operations News Update – Monday, April 12, 2021

Topics Include:

-International SOF in action (Canada, UK, Denmark)
-Counter threat finance applied to GPC
-Information Operations
-Updates and analysis on ongoing conflicts
-Upcoming events

Riley.C.Murray
Mon, 04/12/2021 – 8:01am

04/11/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

04/11/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. Hybrid warfare, pandemic style

2. Inside the Fight for the Future of The Wall Street Journal

3. CCP Adviser Outlines Detailed Plan to Defeat US, Including Manipulating Elections

4. How a growing fight against a little-known ISIS affiliate pulled in US Green Berets and foreign mercenaries

5. Pentagon Launches Post-Insurrection Extremism Review

6. US intelligence report warns of increased offensive cyber, disinformation around the world

7. Lt. Col. Kenneth Dwyer throws out first pitch at Carlisle game to his son in ‘continuation of the story’ of recovery

8. ‘Clear the Capitol,’ Pence pleaded, timeline of riot shows

9. Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Phone Call With Philippines Secretary

10. Lorenzana, US defense chief discuss VFA and West Philippine Sea

11. Northeast Asia power grid could slash cost of green energy, study finds

12. The New Nuances of the Nuclear Export Market

13. UK to Deploy Carrier to Indo-Pacific Region

14. How an Ohio bartender’s patriotism was warped by social media and a devotion to Trump, ending in conspiracy charges from the Capitol riots

 

1. Hybrid warfare, pandemic style

dailytimes.com.pk · by Ikram Sehgal · April 9, 2021

A view from Pakistan.

Excerpts:  “This new form of warfare, avoiding a clear differentiation between war and peace, soldiers and civilians, is practiced by all sides of the different divides

and strategies, to include the employment of irregular military and paramilitary forces like guerrillas, paramilitaries, etc. Islamic State, Hamas and Hizbullah use terrorist acts as a means. Use of non-violent means by civilian institutions include psychological assaults using ethnic, religious or national vulnerabilities, provocateurs operating behind enemy lines, economic assaults through sanctions, boycotts and punitive tariffs so as to weaken the enemy economy, cyber assaults at elections and referendums, use of big data for manipulation of referendums like Brexit and the US elections and a vast selection of propaganda warfare via electronic and social media, TV channels and publications. Diplomacy is as much involved into this new type of warfare as are fake news. With religious elements militating against vaccinations of any kind, all sorts of reasons are being aired not to take the jab.

The Russian military understanding of it as a Western ploy against the new Russia-China axis and use Hybrid Warfare to prevent implementation of Eurasian concept and Russia‘s return as a global power. Sun Tzu more than two thousand years ago wrote “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster”

In that sense the pandemic and the fight against it is going to re-enforce the new global power relations that have come up during the last twenty years. In anticipation of the 21stcentury we were thinking that this might be the century of peace and the end of so many wars, so far it has become the century of shifting centers of development from the former West (US and Europe) to Asia and even Eurasia – even if Europe prefers to ignore this for the time being. And this shifting of power relations is not going smoothly; old and new local conflicts are pushed into wars: Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Nagorno Karabakh and others. Vaccination has become something as a new tool of hybrid warfare in this. The process of change is enduring as the pandemic has shown and the new alliances will strengthen, but it certainly will take time.

 

2. Inside the Fight for the Future of The Wall Street Journal

The New York Times · by Edmund Lee · April 10, 2021

The New York Times reports on the Wall Street Journal.

We all need to be concerned about the future of the entire Fourth Estate.

Excerpts: “One goal put forth by The Content Review seemed more attainable to many inside the paper than conjuring millions of new subscribers overnight: a greater effort to appeal to readers of color. In a meeting between the strategy team and high-level editors, Ms. Story spoke about trying to track the racial diversity of people quoted in Journal coverage. Most of those gathered for the discussion were white.

Everyone at the meeting said they agreed that The Journal should include more diverse voices. But how? Should they survey subjects about their background? A senior editor expressed concern about such a tack, according to two people who were briefed on the event, saying he was worried the paper might be sued if it came out that its reporters were passing over white people to quote Black people. (The company disputes the characterization of the meeting.)

Such comments illustrate how difficult it will be rewiring the staff to more modern methods of news gathering.

In a Feb. 22 memo to the staff, Mr. Murray endorsed including a wider variety of people in The Journal’s coverage, pledging to “properly capture the diversity of our society and speak to as wide an audience as possible.”

Mr. Latour has also been talking about the need for change. In a series of companywide meetings that started last summer, he emphasized the importance of The Journal’s digital transformation, but repeated a phrase that many took to mean he wanted a continued focus on business leaders and Wall Street elites. “We need to be digging into the brand,” he said, according to several staff members.

Mr. Latour never asked for a copy of The Content Review, according to two people familiar with the matter. It’s still unclear if he’s read it.

If he has, he would know that one key message contradicts the very approach he’s favoring: “We can’t think we’ve got a comfy base of digital subscribers who will be satisfied if we just keep doing what we’re doing.”

 

3. CCP Adviser Outlines Detailed Plan to Defeat US, Including Manipulating Elections

theepochtimes.com · by Nicole Hao · March 26, 2021

This is from the Epoch Times so we must take it with a grain of salt. 

Excerpts: “Jin Canrong, a professor and associate dean of the School of International Studies at Beijing’s Renmin University of China, explained the plan in a July 2016 speech on “Sino–U.S. Strategic Philosophy.” The speech, recently uncovered by The Epoch Times, was given over two full days at Southern Club Hotel Business Class in south China’s Guangzhou city.

“We want to be the world leader,” Jin said, explaining Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s desire for a “national rejuvenation” of the country.

Dubbed “teacher of the state” by Chinese netizens, Jin is a prominent scholar known for his fiery anti-U.S. rhetoric. He’s an adviser to several CCP organizations, including two powerful bodies, the Organization Department and the United Front Work Department, although it’s unclear how close he is to Xi.

Jin was also a visiting professor at the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, in 2003 and 2007.

 

4. How a growing fight against a little-known ISIS affiliate pulled in US Green Berets and foreign mercenaries

Business Insider · by J.W. Sotak

Excerpts: “For its efforts, ISIS can extend its reach to a new region — where ungoverned spaces further facilitate that expansion — and access valuable resources, profits from which can be redistributed to other needy franchises.

That violence and the stakes involved are why US Special Operations Command has tripled its forces in the province.

The response likely reflects a mix of political and commercial interests. Washington may see continued chaos in Cabo Delgado as a threat that will surely benefit ISIS and its operations in Africa. US firms may also be looking to secure access to the precious natural gas that foreign companies are already jockeying to exploit.

Mozambique is now on the list of African nations where the US is deeply involved. The fighting in Cabo Delgado is far from over, but what remains uncertain is whether the elite Green Berets and deadly drones they wield will be stymied like the Russians and South Africans before them.

 

5. Pentagon Launches Post-Insurrection Extremism Review

defenseone.com · by Ben Watson

Excerpts: “Though the numbers of extremism offenders are believed to be “small,” Kirby said the service secretaries, all of whom are Trump administration holdovers, have shared anecdotes from their ranks which “reinforced” with Austin “that this is a problem.”

Other, more tangible changes are afoot. Service secretaries of the military branches will create a way for outgoing troops to self-report being targeted or having “any potential contact with an extremist group,” though exactly how this will take shape is unclear. Other new changes involve “updat[ing] and standardiz[ing] screening questionnaires” for new recruits across every service, including to make clear that lying to recruiters could result in “punitive action for fraudulent enlistment.”

West Point and an Iraq war veteran Bishop Garrison will lead the working group’s efforts, which are to begin around next week. Bishop also serves as Austin’s Senior Advisor on Human Capital and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The first progress reports — along with “mid-term and long-term recommendations” are expected by mid-July.

“This is not about being the thought police… it’s about the behavior and the conduct that is inspired by or influenced by this kind of ideology,” Kirby said.

 

6. US intelligence report warns of increased offensive cyber, disinformation around the world

cyberscoop.com · by Shannon Vavra · April 8, 2021

Excerpts: “Global privacy paradigms also are on the verge of shifting, the report warns.

“Privacy and anonymity may effectively disappear by choice or government mandate, as all aspects of personal and professional lives are tracked by global networks,” the report states.

As more governments continue to gain control of surveillance capabilities, privacy will continue to erode, the report suggests.

“Authoritarian governments are likely to exploit increased data to monitor and even control their populations,” the assessment notes, going on to predict they “will exercise unprecedented surveillance capabilities to enforce laws and provide security while tracking and de-anonymizing citizens and potentially targeting individuals.”

Governments have already begun availing themselves of commercially available spying technology to target vulnerable individuals, according to researchers. Governments such as MoroccoSaudi Arabia and India are accused of using spyware to target dissidents, journalists and other vulnerable people.

 

7. Lt. Col. Kenneth Dwyer throws out first pitch at Carlisle game to his son in ‘continuation of the story’ of recovery

pennlive.com · by Edward Sutelan · April 10, 2021

An American who should inspire us.

 

8. ‘Clear the Capitol,’ Pence pleaded, timeline of riot shows

AP · by Lisa Mascaro, Ben Fox, and Lolita C. Baldor· April 10, 2021

A lot to parse here. This is quite a story. Some interesting timeline analysis. Anyone who has had to deal with crisis action will recognize the complexity of the challenges here. Others will armchair quarterback forever.

 

9. Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Phone Call With Philippines Secretary

defense.gov  · April 10, 2021

 

10. Lorenzana, US defense chief discuss VFA and West Philippine Sea

philstar.com · by Franco Luna

An odd request on the vaccine issue.

 

11. Northeast Asia power grid could slash cost of green energy, study finds

SCMP · by Stephen Chen · April 11, 2021

A “super power grid.”

Northeast Asia power grid could slash cost of green energy, study finds:

  • Regional network would enable long-distance transmission of renewable energy 
  • for about the same price as it costs to produce coal
  • China, Russia, Mongolia, South Korea and Japan consume about a third 
  • of the world’s energy combined

 

12. The New Nuances of the Nuclear Export Market

The National Interest · by Eunjung Lim · April 10, 2021

Conclusion: Working together, the United States and South Korea can build a brighter and safer future for nuclear power and for themselves.

 

13. UK to Deploy Carrier to Indo-Pacific Region

jakartaglobe.id

 

14. How an Ohio bartender’s patriotism was warped by social media and a devotion to Trump, ending in conspiracy charges from the Capitol riots

cleveland.com · by John Caniglia · April 11, 2021

A cautionary tale. 

 

————

 

“In the moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” 

– Theodore Roosevelt

 

“It is high time the ideal of success should be replaced with the ideal of service.”

– Albert Einstein

 

“True leadership is the art of changing a group from what it is into what it ought to be.”

– Virginia Allan

 

DanielRiggs
Sun, 04/11/2021 – 9:59am

04/11/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

04/11/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Bolton: North Korea Unlikely to Denuclearize Under Kim

2. Google sees new trick in renewed North Korea cyber attacks

3. COVAX Vaccine Supply to N. Korea before May Unlikely

4. N. Korea marks 9th anniversary of Kim Jong-un’s leadership with call for loyalty

5. S. Korea, U.S. authorities assess N.K. has completed building new 3,000-ton submarine: sources

6. Cheong Wa Dae denies report U.S. requested S. Korea join Quad

7. AstraZeneca vaccine rollout resumed, those under 30 excluded (South Korea)

8. A revolt by the young (South Korea Election)

9. Moon to reshuffle Cabinet as early as this week

10. North Korea’s SLBM threat looms large

11. First Comes Iran, Then Comes North Korea

12. Beware the rise of state-sponsored cyberattacks

13. Kim warns North Korea faces famine horror similar to 90s crisis that left ‘millions’ dead

14. Intelligence Sources: North Korea Nears Completion of New Submarine

 

1. Bolton: North Korea Unlikely to Denuclearize Under Kim

voanews.com · by William Gallo

Not hyperbole: “Bolton said Pyongyang’s capacity to proliferate its nuclear weaponry is one of the imminent threats Washington must face.

“We do know this,” Bolton said. “If Iran made a wire transfer of a substantial amount of money to North Korea, they could have a North Korean nuclear warhead within a matter of days and so could anybody else with the same financial assets.”

 

2. Google sees new trick in renewed North Korea cyber attacks

foxnews.com · by Brooke Crothers

Excerpts: “The blog contained analysis of publicly disclosed cyber vulnerabilities and included “guest” posts from “unwitting legitimate security researchers,” in order to “build additional credibility with other security researchers,” Google said.

After reaching out to targeted researchers, the cyber actors offered to collaborate on cybersecurity research, then provided a Microsoft program, Visual Studio Project, that contained malicious code, Google said.

Google also observed several cases where targeted researchers unwittingly installed malware after visiting a blog. “Shortly thereafter, a malicious service was installed on the researcher’s system,” according to Google.

Even sophisticated researchers can fall for ploys by cyber criminals, Brian Martin, vice president of vulnerability Intelligence at Risk Based Security, told Fox News.

 

3. COVAX Vaccine Supply to N. Korea before May Unlikely

world.kbs.co.kr · April 11, 2021

 

4. N. Korea marks 9th anniversary of Kim Jong-un’s leadership with call for loyalty

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 11, 2021

Even though every Korean in the north knows you do not survive or and certainly cannot thrive without demonstrating personal loyalty to Kim Jong-un and the regime must still call for loyalty. It is all the regime has: forced or fake loyalty.

 

5. S. Korea, U.S. authorities assess N.K. has completed building new 3,000-ton submarine: sources

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 11, 2021

Excerpts: “”Both South Korea and U.S. intelligence authorities made the assessment that North Korea has already finished building the 3,000-ton submarine unveiled in July 2019,” according to sources.

“The authorities assess that North Korea is reviewing the right timing to roll out the submarine for a strategic effect, including maximizing pressure against the United States,” a source said.

The source added that the North could reveal the submarine at a launching ceremony and actually roll out an SLBM, such as the Pukguksong-3.

 

6. Cheong Wa Dae denies report U.S. requested S. Korea join Quad

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 11, 2021 

I doubt we did. I believe South Korea knows full well our position and recommendation and there is no reason to make a request. Korea knows it has an open invitation because it is a like minded democracy that supports the rules-based international order.  I think the diplomats and national security professionals in the administration know that South Korea has to make the decision without coercion (by the US – the PRC’s action could cause a kind of reverse coercion). As much as we believe it is very much in South Korea’s interests it is a conclusion South Korea leaders must reach on their own.

 

7. AstraZeneca vaccine rollout resumed, those under 30 excluded (South Korea)

en.yna.co.kr · by 강윤승 · April 11, 2021

 

8. A revolt by the young (South Korea Election)

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · Lee Jung-min

Interesting analysis of the recent election.

Excerpt: “That’s an astounding turnaround in Korea’s election history. In the parliamentary elections just a year ago, the young generation voted against the PPP citing its image as an old party of corruption. At the time, 56 percent of voters in their 20s — and 61 percent of those in their 30s — gave overwhelming support to the DP, while only 32 percent of the first group and 30 percent of the second group voted for the United Future Party, the predecessor of the PPP. The younger generation was an ally loyal to the liberal DP since the election of Park Won-soon as Seoul mayor in the 2011 by-election.

After the DP’s sweeping victory in the parliamentary elections last April following the presidential election in May 2017 and local elections in June 2018, however, schisms began to appear in the solid alliance between the 20-30 generation and the liberal party because of all the hypocrisy and arrogance of the DP despite it championed fairness and justice. A revolt by the young generation has spread like magma erupting from a volcano since then. Members of the young group started shifting to Oh’s bandwagon one after another. On April 4, three days before the mayoral by-elections, I went to a rally staged by Oh’s supporters who gathered around the rear gate of Children’s Grand Park in eastern Seoul to share their feelings about the DP and government.

 

9. Moon to reshuffle Cabinet as early as this week

The Korea Times · April 11, 2021

Suffer an election defeat and fire your unelected cabinet members.

 

10. North Korea’s SLBM threat looms large

The Korea Times · by Jung Da-min · April 11, 2021

As a reminder the response to this threat is NOT for South Korea to build a nuclear powered submarine.

 

11. First Comes Iran, Then Comes North Korea

ozy.com · by John McLaughlin · April 8, 2021

Kim Jong-un might like being 2d priority. He could react to this.

Conclusion: “The bottom line: The Biden team is right to give first priority to Iran, because it can still be deterred from the nuclear path that North Korea has already taken. But when the administration turns to North Korea later, it will have to include among its goals measures to guard against Pyongyang diluting or undoing whatever progress it may have made with Iran.”

 

12. Beware the rise of state-sponsored cyberattacks

The Spectator · by Arieh Kovler  · April 8, 2021

Especially from north Korea!

 

13. Kim warns North Korea faces famine horror similar to 90s crisis that left ‘millions’ dead

Express · by John Varga · April 11, 2021

Just take a step back from the immediate crisis in the north and think about how the Korean people in the north have suffered so much and yet have survived through decades of extreme hardship. The resilience of the Korean people in the north is a testament to the strength of human beings and their will to survive. We should have great respect for the people.

 

14. Intelligence Sources: North Korea Nears Completion of New Submarine

19fortyfive.com · by ByHarry Kazianis · April 11, 2021

 

————

 

“In the moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” 

– Theodore Roosevelt

 

“It is high time the ideal of success should be replaced with the ideal of service.”

– Albert Einstein

 

“True leadership is the art of changing a group from what it is into what it ought to be.”

– Virginia Allan

DanielRiggs
Sun, 04/11/2021 – 9:46am

04/09/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

04/09/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. China’s Techno-Authoritarianism Has Gone Global

2.  A Tiny Particle’s Wobble Could Upend the Known Laws of Physics

3.  Sens. Menendez, Risch unveil bipartisan bill to counter China

4. Commerce Adds Seven Chinese Supercomputing Entities to Entity List for their Support to China’s Military Modernization, and Other Destabilizing Efforts

5. Capitol Rioters Face the Consequences of Their Selfie Sabotage

6. Cost Imposition: The Key to Making Great Power Competition an Actionable Strategy

7. Office of the Director of National Intelligence – Global Trends

8. China’s Arrogance Is Uniting Its Rivals

9. China accuses US of ‘human rights sins’ to distract from its genocide and other human rights abuses

10. Inside secret Syria talks aimed at freeing American hostages

11. Peter Thiel Calls Bitcoin ‘a Chinese Financial Weapon’ at Virtual Roundtable

12. Fort Hood brigade commander relieved for bullying and poor judgment

13. E Pluribus Unum – A Rallying Cry for National Service

14. Naval Postgraduate School faces big budget cuts and possible reorganization.

15. GAO report sees U.S. military readiness slipping

16. Video – SOCPAC JTF 510 in the Philippines – GSOF | SOF News

17. Analysis: Al Qaeda continues to operate throughout Afghanistan

18. General Orders No. 35 – ARMY SPECIAL FORCES BRANCH

19. Rigorous CFIUS Reviews Will Continue Under Biden: How to Prepare

20. China is right not to cave to US-imposed post-WW2 global order

21. The Cold War Is Being Rebooted and Rebranded

22. Biden admin bristles as China accuses U.S. of ‘intimidation’ tactics, claims ownership of Taiwan

23. ‘Untapped weapon’: Philippine leaders warn China by touting defense treaty with US

24. ‘Untapped weapon’: Philippine leaders warn China by touting defense treaty with US

 

1. China’s Techno-Authoritarianism Has Gone Global

Foreign Affairs · by Maya Wang · April 8, 2021

Conclusion: “The U.S.-Chinese competition over technology could shape the future. If Washington is serious about protecting privacy and promoting human rights, it should seize the initiative from China by upholding these standards for everyone who uses U.S. technology, domestically and around the world.”

 

2. A Tiny Particle’s Wobble Could Upend the Known Laws of Physics

The New York Times · by Dennis Overbye · April 8, 2021

Excerpts: “There was pride that they had managed to perform such a hard measurement, and then joy that the results matched those from Brookhaven.

“This seems to be a confirmation that Brookhaven was not a fluke,” Dr. Carena, the theorist, said. “They have a real chance to break the Standard Model.”

Physicists say the anomaly has given them ideas for how to search for new particles. Among them are particles lightweight enough to be within the grasp of the Large Hadron Collider or its projected successor. Indeed, some might already have been recorded but are so rare that they have not yet emerged from the blizzard of data recorded by the instrument.

Another candidate called the Z-prime could shed light on some puzzles in the Big Bang, according to Gordan Krnjaic, a cosmologist at Fermilab.

The g-2 result, he said in an email, could set the agenda for physics in the next generation.

“If the central value of the observed anomaly stays fixed, the new particles can’t hide forever,” he said. “We will learn a great deal more about fundamental physics going forward.”

 

3. Sens. Menendez, Risch unveil bipartisan bill to counter China

Axios · by Orion Rummler

 

4. Commerce Adds Seven Chinese Supercomputing Entities to Entity List for their Support to China’s Military Modernization, and Other Destabilizing Efforts

Commerce Department · April 8, 2021

 

5.  Capitol Rioters Face the Consequences of Their Selfie Sabotage

The New York Times · by Elizabeth Williamson · April 6, 2021

These organizations will need to re-evaluate their operational security procedures.

 

6.  Cost Imposition: The Key to Making Great Power Competition an Actionable Strategy

mwi.usma.edu · by Doowan Lee · April 8, 2021

Excerpts: “To overcome these shortcomings, I offer a practitioner’s definition to concretize how we can strategize and operationalize the concept:

Great power competition is a state of antagonistic relations indicated by time, space, and material progression toward respective objective achievement between two or more great powers.

In this formulation, I posit that the main yardstick of great power competition is the temporally variable extent of a state’s competitive edge. The key is how to execute foreign policy in such a way as to create a favorable relative ratio of objective achievement over time.

In the end, this article hopes to begin a rigorous and feasible conversation for national security practitioners and planners to concretize the concept of great power competition. I offer three recommendations. First, we need to understand the CCP’s strategic priorities and policies better. Debates about the CCP’s strategic interests are driven by the most conspicuous issues. US policymakers should intimately appreciate the CCP’s grand strategy. More importantly we need to understand potential local and regional friction points to such objectives. Imposing disproportionate costs in short order will require taking advantage of emerging grievances against the CCP outside the mainland. Second, the United States should focus on countries where influence is tightly contested and the CCP is actively expanding its economic and military footprints. We see increasing local resistance to the CCP’s expansionist projects. Third, the United States should develop data-driven analytic processes to observe, measure, and track how different activities are in fact correlated with effective cost imposition in time, space, and material. Without such a system, it would be nearly impossible to optimize how we allocate our resources to outcompete the CCP. It is time that the United States established a means of measuring return of investment on great power competition.

With the Chinese economy likely to overtake that of the United States in the next seven years, the United States does not have a lot of time to learn how to practice great power competition effectively. The only way to sustain or expand American global leadership is to incorporate disproportionate cost imposition in every aspect of US foreign policy execution.”

 

7. Office of the Director of National Intelligence – Global Trends

dni.gov · by ODNI – NIC

You can access each section of the report at this link at the table of contents on the left side of the page.

Some new terminology and concepts to learn.

Five trends:

  • major demographic shifts
  • Human development
  • environment
  • several global economic trends
  • Technology will offer the potential to mitigate problem
  • Five themes appear throughout this report and underpin this overall thesis:

  • shared global challenges
  • increasing fragmentation within communities
  • disequilibrium
  • greater contestation within communities, states, and the international community
  • adaptation will be both an imperative and a key source of advantage for all actors in this world
  •  

    8. China’s Arrogance Is Uniting Its Rivals

    Bloomberg · by Hal Brands · April 8, 2021

    In any other time Xi’s views and assessment of America might create some unity against an external threat but in the current tribal divide in the US I fear we will continue our damaging and dangerous infighting.

    Excerpts: ”Xi doesn’t think much of America right now. In speeches, he has said that “the world is going through changes seen once in a century” as China rises and the U.S. falters. In a meeting with Joe Biden administration officials in Alaska last month, his diplomats ridiculed the idea that a divided, distracted America could speak to Beijing from a “position of strength.”

    A country that has suffered more than 550,000 deaths from Covid-19, that saw its capitol sacked by its own citizens, and that spent four years under President Donald Trump lashing out at the international system, is in deep trouble, Chinese propaganda organs argue. Why shouldn’t Beijing push for advantage in the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait and many other fronts at once?

    Conclusion: “Paradoxically, that’s not entirely good news for the U.S.: This realization could simply lead Xi to act more aggressively to reap the international gains he seeks — starting, perhaps, with forcible reunification with Taiwan.

    This, unfortunately, is also a historical pattern. As Michael Beckley and I have written, revisionist powers become most aggressive when their growth slows, their strategic enmities multiply, and they discover that they have only a short period of time to achieve their goals. Imperial Germany fell into this trap before World War I, Imperial Japan did likewise before World War II, and China may be following the same trajectory today.

    The scary reality of U.S.-China relations is that we may soon enter a period of even higher tensions. Overconfident autocrats who think the world is moving in their direction can be very dangerous. Desperate autocrats who suddenly realize that their window is closing can be more dangerous still.

     

    9. China accuses US of ‘human rights sins’ to distract from its genocide and other human rights abuses

    americanmilitarynews.com · by Ryan Morgan · April 8, 2021

    Note our five “sins:”

    Sin No.1:#Colonialism.

    Sin No.2:#Racism.

    Sin No.3: Exporting turmoil.

    Sin No.4:Interventionism.

    Sin No.5: Double standards.

     

    10. Inside secret Syria talks aimed at freeing American hostages

    spectrumlocalnews.com · by Associated Press Washington, D.C.

    Excerpt: “My assumption is he’s alive and he’s waiting for me to come and get him,” said Roger Carstens, a former Army Special Forces officer who attended the meeting with Patel in his capacity as U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs under Trump. He was kept in the position by Biden.

    “My job,” he added, “is to get Austin Tice back.”

     

    11. Peter Thiel Calls Bitcoin ‘a Chinese Financial Weapon’ at Virtual Roundtable

    Excerpts: “Thiel, the venture capitalist and conservative political donor, urged the U.S. government to consider tighter regulations on cryptocurrencies in an appearance on Tuesday. The statements seemed to represent a change of heart for Thiel, who is a major investor in virtual currency ventures as well as in cryptocurriences themselves.

    “I do wonder whether at this point, Bitcoin should also be thought [of] in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.,” Thiel said during an appearance at a virtual event held for members of the Richard Nixon Foundation. “It threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the U.S. dollar.” He added: “[If] China’s long Bitcoin, perhaps from a geopolitical perspective, the U.S. should be asking some tougher questions about exactly how that works.”

     

    12.  Fort Hood brigade commander relieved for bullying and poor judgment

    armytimes.com · by Kyle Rempfer · April 8, 2021

    I cannot recall a relief that specifically uses the term bullying before (although I am sure many have been relieved for bullying though it is usually couched in loss of trust and confidence or due to poor command climate).

     

    13. E Pluribus Unum – A Rallying Cry for National Service

    realcleardefense.com · by Steve Blank

    Steve Blank definitely is provoking from thought. Hacking for defense is a very good program. I saw it in action at Georgetown under the guidance of Chris Taylor who brought it from Stanford.

     

    14. Naval Postgraduate School faces big budget cuts and possible reorganization.

    montereycountyweekly.com · by Pam Marino

    Sure – let’s cut education in times of budget austerity.

    Do not forget General Schoomaker’s adage – “train for certainty, educate for uncertainty.”

    As an aside since the retirement and then passing of Ike Skelton there is no congressional champion for professional military education.

     

    15. GAO report sees U.S. military readiness slipping

    washingtontimes.com · by Mike Glenn

    Excerpts: “Every warfighting domain … is now contested as potential adversaries, most notably China and Russia, have developed and enhanced their own capabilities,” according to the report. “The GAO found that reported domain readiness did not meet readiness recovery goals identified by the military services.”

    The Pentagon defines “readiness” as the ability of U.S. military forces to fight and meet the demands of assigned missions. The GAO investigators reviewed readiness recovery plans from the Pentagon and the individual military services for fighting on land, sea, in the air, in outer space and even in cyberspace. A global mission and lengthy deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have taken their toll, the GAO reported.

    “We found that the military services had reported persistently low readiness levels, which they attributed to emerging and continued demands on their forces, reduced force structure and increased frequency and length of deployment,” the authors wrote.

     

    16. Video – SOCPAC JTF 510 in the Philippines – GSOF | SOF News

    sof.news · by SOF News · April 9, 2021

    A very interesting video with Lt Gen Wurster and LTG Fridovich discussing our operations in the Philippines.

     

    17. Analysis: Al Qaeda continues to operate throughout Afghanistan

    longwarjournal.org · by Bill Roggio · April 8, 2021

    Excerpt: :FDD’s Long War Journal has tracked al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan for well over a decade, using press releases and public statements from the US military, NATO’s command in Afghanistan, and Afghan security services, as well as the jihadist groups’ own martyrdom statements. The data clearly shows that al Qaeda and allied terrorist groups have been operating on Afghan soil for the past two decades with the approval of the Taliban. These terrorist organizations often operate in areas controlled by the Taliban – and the jihadists killed in coalition or Afghan raids often die alongside members of the Afghan Taliban. Between 2007 and 2019, NATO, US, and Afghan forces, have launched at least 373 operations against these foreign terror groups in 27 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Many of the raids against Al Qaeda and its allies have gone unreported.”

     

    18. General Orders No. 35 – ARMY SPECIAL FORCES BRANCH

    history.army.mil

    34 years ago today Special Forces was established as an official branch of the US Army.

     

    19. Rigorous CFIUS Reviews Will Continue Under Biden: How to Prepare

    news.bloomberglaw.com · by Donald F. McGahn II, Schuyler J. Schouten, and Chad R. Mizelle

     

    20. China is right not to cave to US-imposed post-WW2 global order

    asiatimes.com · by Ken Moak · April 9, 2021

    Wow. I have no words for this argument.

    Excerpts: “The proceeds raised via QE were spent on bailing out businesses and banks deemed too big to fail, allowing them to continue operating. In this sense, the US was not practicing what it preached, strengthening the argument that it had set up “debt traps” as a way to prevent developing economies from developing.

    A case in point is the US banning its technology firms from selling advanced chips to China, citing national-security reasons. The real motive, however, was to slow down if not kill Chinese technological progress. No country had ever complained about Chinese products posing a national-security threat until Trump decided to make it one, solely based on unproven or speculative evidence.

    All said and done, China is right not to follow the US-imposed postwar world order. Indeed, it could even be argued that the communist country became what it is today because China defied US-style rules and values. For this reason, China will likely continue adhering to “socialism with Chinese characteristics” as its economic development and ideological architecture.

     

    21. The Cold War Is Being Rebooted and Rebranded

    The Nation · by William Astore · April 9, 2021

     

    22. US Navy Conducts Patrol In Indian EEZ Without Consent, Announces It Publicly

    thewire.in · by The Wire Staff

    I hope there is a rest of the story to this.

     

    23. Biden admin bristles as China accuses U.S. of ‘intimidation’ tactics, claims ownership of Taiwan

    washingtontimes.com · by Guy Taylor

     

    24. ‘Untapped weapon’: Philippine leaders warn China by touting defense treaty with US

    Washington Examiner · by Joel Gehrke · April 8, 2021

    I am reminded of the little boy taunting the bully because he has a big brother he believes will come to his rescue.

    Again, is this a place for miscalculation?

     

    ———–

     

    “Too many people learn about war with no inconvenience to themselves.”

    – Guy Sajer

     

    The plan on paper was that the indirect actions were primary, and that direct action was only meant to buy space and time. But in practice, direct action came to rule the day.

     -Admiral Eric Olson, former commander of US Special Operations Command, October 8, 2020

     

    “The only way to fight the plague is with decency.”

    – Camus, The Plague

     

     

    DanielRiggs
    Fri, 04/09/2021 – 8:57am

    04/09/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

    04/09/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

    1. U.S. still in final stage of ‘careful’ N. Korea policy: State Dept.

    2.  Top Priority: North Korean Human Rights in 2021 (HRNK)

    3. Civil and Political Rights in the Republic of Korea: Implications for Human Rights on the Peninsula

    4. North Korea Tells Citizens to Prepare for a Famine Worse than the 1990s

    5. How young voters, once solid supporters of liberal causes, turned against Moon’s party in by-elections

    6. S. Korean PM to visit Iran next week amid lingering tension over frozen Tehran funds

    7.  Military Cuts (Part 3): Height standard for recruits is 142cm. Growing trend of avoiding enlistment.

    8. Moon Ignores Voters’ Slap in the Face

    9. Iran releases Korean tanker and 14 crew

    10. North Korea likely to stay more reclusive in face of UN sanctions

    11. North Korean authorities transfer management of special road near Sinuiju to Ministry of State Security

    12. North Korean authorities execute chairman of “Distance Education Act” commission

    13. South Korea unveils prototype of KF-X fighter jet

    14. US military donors line up to give South Korea some much-needed blood

    15. Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: What Is North Korea Doing?

     

    1. U.S. still in final stage of ‘careful’ N. Korea policy: State Dept.

    en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · April 9, 2021

    US foreign policy is going to be based on strong alliances and effective coordination and cooperation among alliance partners.

    Excerpts: “He also emphasized the importance of working closely with U.S. allies and partners.

    “We want to ensure that we have consulted broadly and widely and deeply with our partners and, of course, with our treaty allies,” he told the daily press briefing.

    U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan hosted his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Washington last week to precisely discuss the outcome of his country’s ongoing North Korea policy.

     

    2. Top Priority: North Korean Human Rights in 2021 (HRNK)

    Youtube The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

    This is a must watch video. Spend 1 hour with these three brilliant Korean scholars and you will learn more about north and South Korea than reading a dozen books. Yes that sounds like hyperbole but the expertise and wisdom present among these three experts is unmatched by any other similar webinar conference.

     

    3. Civil and Political Rights in the Republic of Korea: Implications for Human Rights on the Peninsula

    Human Rights Commission

    This will be a very fascinating hearing on April 15. Note the witnesses.

     

    4. North Korea Tells Citizens to Prepare for a Famine Worse than the 1990s

    rfa.org · by Jieun Kim and Albert Hong

    I am starting to get worried. We have been making the analysis for quite some time now. (though some of the skeptics are cited in the article). But for Kim and the regime to state it so openly and bluntly I fear it could come to pass. Maybe this is. Kim’s way to mobilize the country to prevent it from happening but only Kim has the power to prevent it – he could sufficiently solve the problems by making the right policy decisions. He is responsible for the mess he has made but he is the only one with the power to clean it up.

    I hope we have the right focus on indications and warnings (nuclear weapons or an attack tonight are not the only threats). And do we have our contingency plans up to date and are we at least conducting the table top exercises to ensure all commands have a sufficient understanding of the contingencies?

    Excerpts: “The attendees were furious that they were being asked to be patient and to consent to sacrifices without specific details on how this would get them through the tough situation, according to the second source.

    “So now the people are all saying that a second Arduous March is imminent. On the surface, the authorities are saying that everything will be fine once the five-year economic development plan laid out in the party congress is completed,” said the second source.

    “But since they are not hiding the fact that the current economic crisis could lead to a situation more difficult than the Arduous March of the 1990s, the anxiety of the people is increasing,”

    International observers were skeptical that the current situation in North Korea was anything at all like the famine of the 1990’s.

     

    5. How young voters, once solid supporters of liberal causes, turned against Moon’s party in by-elections

    en.yna.co.kr · by 장동우 · April 9, 2021

    Excerpts: “It should be made clear that the shift in preference of young voters this time is widely interpreted as the generation punishing the ruling party for mishandling the governing of the nation and economy, as opposed to reflecting a phenomenon of growing affinity among young people toward the conservative party.

    “The PPP’s victory, despite the party not having done much, is a sign that the DP has made huge errors. But this administration and the ruling party is reluctant to own up to its mistakes, having the tendency to blame the press, the prosecution service and young voters,” Kim In-gyun, a 29-year-old worker in Seoul, said.

     

    6. S. Korean PM to visit Iran next week amid lingering tension over frozen Tehran funds

    en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · April 9, 2021

    Excerpt: “Chung’s visit to Iran from Sunday to Tuesday — the first such trip by a South Korean premier in 44 years — follows Tehran’s release this week of a Korean oil tanker and its captain about three months after its seizure over alleged oil pollution.”

     

    7.  Military Cuts (Part 3): Height standard for recruits is 142cm. Growing trend of avoiding enlistment.

    asiapress.org

    That is 55.9 inches or 4 feet 7.9. inches.

    I wonder if north Korean marching cadences include “standing tall and looking good.”  

    Excerpt: A: “The passing height for boys is 142 cm. There is no standard for weight, and unless they are really skinny and frail, they are allowed to enlist.”

     

    8. Moon Ignores Voters’ Slap in the Face

    english.chosun.com

    ABM – anyone but Moon.

    Excerpts: “The ruling party was only able to win elections because the opposition was in hopeless disarray. But this time voters had enough. “Anyone but Moon,” could have been their desperate slogan. They cast their votes to express their anger at the president, and the MP would have lost no matter which candidates it fielded.

    And still Moon shows no sign of relenting. He hid behind the curtains and let his chief secretary read two sentences on his behalf. Any decent person would at least have the guts to stand in front of the people and bow down to the ground.

     

    9. Iran releases Korean tanker and 14 crew

    koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Ser Myo-Ja

     

    10. North Korea likely to stay more reclusive in face of UN sanctions

    The Korea Times · April 9, 2021

    If you wanted to make an analysis with as close to 100% certainty as possible it would be that north Korea will stay more reclusive.

     

    11. North Korean authorities transfer management of special road near Sinuiju to Ministry of State Security

    dailynk.com · by Jeong Tae Joo · April 9, 2021

    Excerpt: “The road has been put under heightened security because it is located near Uiju Airport, which is guarded by a unit under the country’s Air and Anti-Air Force. Additionally, because the September Iron and Steel Complex also serves as an arms factory, North Korean authorities keep the road under special management in order to prevent military secrets from leaking out of the facility.”

     

    12. North Korean authorities execute chairman of “Distance Education Act” commission

    dailynk.com · April 9, 2021

    Note the power of the Organization and Guidance Department.

    How effective can distance education be in a country without sufficient networking capability?

    Excerpts: “Interestingly, Ri Guk Chol, the president of Kim Il Sung University, is the chairman of the reorganized commission. Ri’s appointment could indicate the government’s determination to enforce the Distance Education Act by raising the prominence of the commission.

    After the authorities reorganized the commission, Kim Jong Un addressed the matter in a “handwritten remark,” reportedly writing that “Just as I became the commander in the battle for forest restoration, I will also become the commander of a farsighted grand policy for national education.”

    According to the source, the “handwritten remark” – interpreted as a sign that Kim Jong Un will fully support and assist the implementation of the Distance Education Act – has reportedly been distributed to all members of the commission.”

     

    13. South Korea unveils prototype of KF-X fighter jet

    Reuters · by Josh Smith · April 9, 2021

     

    14. US military donors line up to give South Korea some much-needed blood

    Stars and Stripes · by Matthew Keller · April 7, 2021

     

    15. Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: What Is North Korea Doing?

    The National Interest · by Stephen Silver · April 8, 2021

     

    ————–

     

    “Too many people learn about war with no inconvenience to themselves.”

    – Guy Sajer

     

    The plan on paper was that the indirect actions were primary, and that direct action was only meant to buy space and time. But in practice, direct action came to rule the day.

     -Admiral Eric Olson, former commander of US Special Operations Command, October 8, 2020

     

    “The only way to fight the plague is with decency.”

    – Camus, The Plague

     

    DanielRiggs
    Fri, 04/09/2021 – 8:36am

    Oryx: Fighting The Tide: The Islamic State’s Desperate Attempts to Combat Coalition Airpower

    Oryx: Fighting The Tide: The Islamic State’s Desperate Attempts to Combat Coalition Airpower

    An open source look at a non-state actor’s attempts to counter the advantages of modern air forces

    https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2020/09/the-islamic-states-desperate-attempts.html

    Riley.C.Murray
    Fri, 04/09/2021 – 4:33am

    The Kingston Consortium on International Security: Beyond Direct Action: A Counter Threat Finance Approach to Competition

    The Kingston Consortium on International Security: Beyond Direct Action: A Counter Threat Finance Approach to Competition

    Article: https://www.queensu.ca/kcis/kcis-insights/insights-1-3

     

    The Politics of Special Forces Podcast: https://www.queensu.ca/kcis/podcasts

    Riley.C.Murray
    Fri, 04/09/2021 – 3:09am

    SOF News Weekly News Update – 5 April 2021

    SOF News Weekly News Update – 5 April 2021

    A roundup of news stories related to the special operations community of interest

    Special Operations News Update – April 5, 2021

    Topics Include:

    -AFSOC’s recent Emerald Warrior Exercise

    -Training between Indian and US SOF

    -SOF/CIA operational cooperation

    -PRC and Russian information warfare

    -Various global hotspots

    -Plus upcoming events

    Riley.C.Murray
    Fri, 04/09/2021 – 2:56am

    04/08/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

    04/08/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

    1. Pentagon to study land mine rules that Biden promised to reverse

    2.  Biden Backs Taiwan, but Some Call for a Clearer Warning to China

    3. Before becoming a terrorist leader, ISIS chief was a prison informer in Iraq for U.S., records show

    4.  Experts Torn on Proper Role of National Cyber Director

    5. NSA About To Release Unclassified 5G Security Guidance

    6. Destroyer USS John McCain Transits Taiwan Strait as Chinese Carrier Strike Group Drills Nearby

    7. Service Chiefs Versus Combatant Commanders

    8. Sharpening the Blunt Tool: Why Deterrence Needs an Update in the Next U.S. National Security Strategy

    9. To Counter Beijing, Send In the Coast Guard

    10.  The Defense Department isn’t meeting its readiness goals, report finds

    11. ‘If Girl Scouts could survive, why not Marines?’ PETA to protest over ‘Cobra Gold bloodlust’

    12. China’s Greenland Ambitions Run Into Local Politics, U.S. Influence

    13. White House Releasing Topline Budget Numbers Friday

    14. Why Is It So Tough to Withdraw from Afghanistan?

    15. Imperial Policing Redux: The Folly of Staying the Course in Afghanistan

    16. Robin Shepherd In The Hill Times: Follow The Fab Four Against Beijing’s Bullying

    17. Taiwan vows to ‘defend itself to the very last day’ against China

    18. Chinese armed attacks in West PH Sea to ‘trigger US obligations’ in defense treaty – official

    19. OSS Society: General Norton Schwartz talks with World War II B-24 Liberator aviator John Billings about his new memoir, “Special Duties Pilot.”

     

    1.  Pentagon to study land mine rules that Biden promised to reverse

    washingtontimes.com · by Mike Glenn

    I made some provocative comments in the article.

     

    2. Biden Backs Taiwan, but Some Call for a Clearer Warning to China

    The New York Times · by Michael Crowley · April 8, 2021

    Excerpt:The debate reflects a core foreign policy challenge seizing the Biden administration as it devises its wider Asia strategy. At the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon, which is reviewing its military posture in Asia, officials are re-evaluating core tenets of American strategy for a new and more dangerous phase of competition with China.

    American officials warn that China is growing more capable of invading the island democracy of nearly 24 million people, situated about 100 miles off the coast of mainland China, whose status has obsessed Beijing since Chinese nationalists retreated and formed a government there after the country’s 1949 Communist revolution.

    Last month, the military commander for the Indo-Pacific region, Adm. Philip S. Davidson, described what he sees as a risk that China could try to reclaim Taiwan by force within the next six years.

    The United States has long avoided saying how it would respond to such an attack. While Washington supports Taiwan with diplomatic contacts, arms sales, firm language and even occasional military maneuvers, there are no guarantees. No statement, doctrine or security agreement compels the United States to come to Taiwan’s rescue. A 1979 congressional law states only that “any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means” would be of “grave concern to the United States.”

    The result is known as “strategic ambiguity,” a careful balance intended both to avoid provoking Beijing or emboldening Taiwan into a formal declaration of independence that could lead to a Chinese invasion.

     

    3. Before becoming a terrorist leader, ISIS chief was a prison informer in Iraq for U.S., records show

    The Washington Post · by Joby Warrick  · April 7, 2021

    Should be useful for developing themes and messages for support influence operations. Seems like a lot of potential here. Kudos to West Point’s CTC for publishing the reports.

     

    4. Experts Torn on Proper Role of National Cyber Director

    defenseone.com · by Mariam Baksh

    We have to get this right. This is a critical national security issue.

     

    5.  NSA About To Release Unclassified 5G Security Guidance

    breakingdefense.com · by Brad D. Williams

    Conclusion: “Given the broad applications of 5G across the defense, public, and private sectors, the “stakes for securing this new technology could not be higher,” Noble said. 5G will “impact the way we defend our nation.”

     

    6. Destroyer USS John McCain Transits Taiwan Strait as Chinese Carrier Strike Group Drills Nearby

    news.usni.org · by Sam LaGrone · April 7, 2021

    Excerpts: “The Liaoning strike group – the carrier and five escorts – had operated near Okinawa, sailing through the Miyako Strait on Saturday, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry.

    On Sunday, the Theodore Roosevelt strike group entered the South China Sea. On Wednesday, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and the embarked Carrier Air Wing 11 exercised with the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

     

    7. Service Chiefs Versus Combatant Commanders

    realcleardefense.com · by Mackenzie Eaglen

    Force provider versus operational commander. It is hard for the force provider to say “no” to the operational commander conducting operations. Who is the force provider to second guess the requirements of the commander in theater?

    The unspoken question is whether our combatant command structure with regional combatant commands is still the right way to organize the military to support US national security? (A heretical question I know after Goldwater-Nichols)

    We have the “tyranny of distance” (deploying to Asia), the “tyranny of proximity” (the distance of Seoul from the DMZ) and now the “tyranny of the now.”

    Excerpts:Lawmakers identified the core consequences of inaction on these issues: “The ‘tyranny of the now’ is wearing out man and machine at too high a rate to ensure success both now and later.” As the members detailed, years of such unmitigated force requests that lack prioritization and tradeoffs have resulted in consistently high operational tempos across the services with obvious, negative outcomes. The National Commission on Military Aviation Safety, for example, found that a “relentless” optempo is “leading to unsafe practices and (is) driving experienced aviators and maintainers out” of service. Reducing the demands on the force is one part of the fix and key to halting the current downward spiral. The next step will be for Congress to provide consistent funding to regain lost ground.

    This letter has continued a conversation that will continue throughout the year as Congress drafts the defense policy bill. The Pentagon’s response to the questions should be considered mandatory reading. Depending on the answers from the Pentagon, it may just be time for Congress to legislate action to better balance the here-and-now with winning the long-term competition. A series of sprints will not be enough to prevail in this competition marathon.

     

    8. Sharpening the Blunt Tool: Why Deterrence Needs an Update in the Next U.S. National Security Strategy

    thestrategybridge.org · by Kyle J. Wolfley · April 8, 2021

    The author references Sir Lawrence Freedman. We must never forget his wise words: “Deterrence works. Until it doesn’t.”

     

    9. To Counter Beijing, Send In the Coast Guard

    WSJ · by Alexander B. Gray

    We have not resourced the Coast Guard for this kind of mission. The Coast Guard has long been a “do more with less” organization. What Coast Guard missions will be divested to undertake this kind of role? Is it the best use of our coast Guard?

    But is this “assumption” valid? Will this achieve the “ambiguity at sea” the author recommends? Will using the Coast Guard help ease confrontations at sea? How can it both ease confrontation and support deterrence? Can’t the Chinese still read our intentions (just like we read their intentions through their use of their coast guard and militia ships and fishing vessels)? Maybe it will make us feel better using a non-gray hulled ship but will it really make a difference to the Chinese and ease confrontation?

    As a quasimilitary service, its presence can help ease confrontations at sea while deterring Chinese aggression. The Coast Guard’s new Legend-class National Security Cutter is powerful enough to be the premier warship in most navies.

    ​I would be for trying this if we first resource the Coast Guard properly or we divest it of a significant amount of its other responsibilities.​

     

    10. The Defense Department isn’t meeting its readiness goals, report finds

    militarytimes.com · by Meghann Myers · April 7, 2021

    The full 35 page GAO report can be downloaded here

    The one page highlights of the report can be accessed here

    Although there are some reports on special operations listed in the references the main report does not conduct any analysis of the readiness of special operations forces. And there is no reference to the readiness of the military to conduct irregular warfare.

    What “domain” do special operations and irregular warfare fall under?

    But if you do not check on it or measure it or assess it, then it must not be important. 

     

    11. ‘If Girl Scouts could survive, why not Marines?’ PETA to protest over ‘Cobra Gold bloodlust’

    marinecorpstimes.com · by Andrea Scott · April 7, 2021

    Sigh…I guess PETA will want the Girl Scouts to replace the Marines to fight the next war. I do not know how anyone could take PETA seriously with this kind of “analysis.” I think in the upcoming exercise the PAO guidance will likely be that they will try to minimize press coverage of survival training. Drinking snake blood is of course not a significant part of the exercise but is simply part of team building and cultural exchange. The press likes to report on these events because of the sensationalism.

     

    12. China’s Greenland Ambitions Run Into Local Politics, U.S. Influence

    WSJ · by Stacy Meichtry and Drew Hinshaw

    Rare earth metal competition.

    Excerpts:China mines over 70% of the world’s rare earths and is responsible for 90% of the complex process to turn them into magnets, according to Adamas Intelligence, which provides research on minerals and metals. The mining project in Kvanefjeld, a mountainous area in Greenland known in Inuit as Kuannersuit, was expected to produce 10% of the world’s rare earths, according to Greenland Minerals, an Australia-based firm that holds the project’s exploratory license.

    Shenghe, one of the world’s biggest producers of rare-earths materials, acquired a 12.5% stake in Greenland Minerals in 2016, making it the company’s largest shareholder. Since then, Shenghe’s stake has been diluted to 9%, but Greenland Minerals is relying on the Chinese firm to process any materials it extracts from Greenland, a technically challenging step that is key to the project’s viability.

    The concession includes uranium deposits, which locals fear could be released into the area’s pristine natural landscape and farms. The project is also forecast to increase Greenland’s carbon-dioxide emissions by 45%.”

     

    13. White House Releasing Topline Budget Numbers Friday

    breakingdefense.com · by Paul McLeary

     

    14. Why Is It So Tough to Withdraw from Afghanistan?

    warontherocks.com · by Ryan Baker and Jonathan Schroden · April 8, 2021

    Conclusion: “The U.S. military has the raw capacity to withdraw all remaining personnel from Afghanistan in just a couple of weeks. It is less clear that it can do so without abandoning a lot of expensive equipment, leaving its NATO allies to fend for themselves, pulling U.S. Transportation Command assets away from missions elsewhere in the world, and perhaps even exposing U.S. troops on the ground to significant risk by deprioritizing tactical considerations during the withdrawal. These are real costs and risks that are a large part of what makes getting out of Afghanistan on a short timeline — whether it be May 1 or a few months down the road — so hard. The “tactical reasons” Biden cited during his press conference are thus not ones of logistical capacity, strictly speaking. Rather, they are questions of how much he is willing to pay, and risk, to overcome the logistical difficulties and associated costs of a safe and orderly withdrawal. Given the president’s comments to date, it seems he prefers a timeline of several months to withdraw from Afghanistan, not several weeks.”

     

    15. Imperial Policing Redux: The Folly of Staying the Course in Afghanistan

    mwi.usma.edu · by Paul Poast · April 8, 2021

    Conclusion: “In the end, imperial policing was a policy designed for the British to maintain empire on the cheap that proved neither cheap, nor effective, nor sustainable. History has demonstrated that empires must recognize when they are overextended if they want to retain their power and influence. Whether it takes form by conscious choice or accidental mission creep, imperial policing is neither a sound nor a credible policy for the United States to continue to emulate in Afghanistan—where efforts have likewise been expensive, ineffective, and unsustainable—if it hopes to avoid the fatal mistakes of empires past.”

     

    16. Robin Shepherd In The Hill Times: Follow The Fab Four Against Beijing’s Bullying

    halifaxtheforum.org · April 7, 2021

    Hmmm… nice anecdote but it is much easier to stand up to injustice in the US than the PRC. But I agree with the sentiment even if the anecdote is not a perfect one:

    Conclusion:And anyone who thinks that it is only politicians that have a role to play in confronting injustice should recall an episode from the American south in 1964. In that year, on their first American tour, the Beatles were booked to play the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. Shocked to discover their audience was to be divided along racial lines, they refused to perform unless the stadium was desegregated. It was a bold move. This was a critical juncture in the careers of working-class lads from Liverpool, fighting for a piece of the lucrative American music market. Despite indignant murmurings in the local press, they got their way. “I’d sooner lose our appearance money,” John Lennon said of the affair.

    More than half a century later, we could do with leadership like that from our wealthy and privileged celebrities. They are not being asked to take a vow of poverty, or to stand in front of a Chinese tank. They just have to recognize their place on the scales of human justice, and act on it. If they won’t, remember that the contents of our pockets have weight, too. Our choices matter in this difficult and dangerous standoff with China. It’s time to make them count.”

     

    17. Taiwan vows to ‘defend itself to the very last day’ against China

    americanmilitarynews.com · by Ryan Morgan · April 7, 2021

    Does this include mobilizing the population to resist?  Can Taiwan develop a concept for resistance among the population that will be an asymmetric contribution to the defense of Taiwan through unconventional deterrence?

     

    18. Chinese armed attacks in West PH Sea to ‘trigger US obligations’ in defense treaty – official

    cnnphilippines.com · by CNN Philippines Staff

    Again, is this where miscalculation could lead to conflict?

     

    19. OSS Society: General Norton Schwartz talks with World War II B-24 Liberator aviator John Billings about his new memoir, “Special Duties Pilot.”

    Register here.  

     

    ————–

     

    “Glory is now a discredited word, and it will be difficult to re-establish it. It has been spoilt by a too close association with military grandeur; it has been confused with fame and ambition. But true glory is a private and discreet virtue, and is only realized in solitariness.”

    – Graham Greene (quoting Herbert Read), Ways of Escape, 1980

     

    “…pessimism…can drive men on to do wonders.”

    – V.S. Naipaul, A bend in the River, 1979

     

    “Communism is cholera and you cannot compromise with cholera.”

    – First President of South Korea, Syngman Rhee

     

    DanielRiggs
    Thu, 04/08/2021 – 11:40am

    04/08/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

    04/08/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

    1. South Korean Conservatives Are on the Rise a Year Before Presidential Election

    2. FDD | North Korean Human Rights Should Unite the U.S.-ROK Alliance, Not Divide It

    3. General Officer Assignments – USAF (new SOCKOR Commander)

    4. South Koreans See China as More Threat than Partner, But Not the Most Critical Threat Facing the Country

    5.  Election Rout Signals a Shift in South Korea’s Political Scene

    6. Moon takes election rout as ‘reprimand’ from the public, Cheong Wa Dae says

    7. Ruling party leaders resign en masse for election defeat

    8. Opposition Must Not Forget Why Voters Supported It This Time

    9. Military training important to protecting U.S. interest on Korean Peninsula: Pentagon

    10. Challenges of Negotiating with North Korea

    11. US prepared for diplomacy for denuclearization of North Korea: White House spokeswoman

    12. Prospects for interim agreement (Korea)

    13. N. Korea slams Japan for referring to East Sea as ‘Sea of Japan’

    14. North Korean Hackers Threatened Bithumb Exchange With a $16M Ransom Amid the 2017 Data Breach, Says Report – Security Bitcoin News

    15. Gaps between market prices in different North Korean regions are growing

    16. North Korean entity defeated in South’s court in first trade lawsuit

    17. S. Korea replaces Marine Corps chief

     

    1. South Korean Conservatives Are on the Rise a Year Before Presidential Election

    WSJ · by Andrew Jeong and Timothy W. Martin

    Democracy in Korea is a live and well.  I think even the conservatives were surprised by these results.

     

    2. FDD | North Korean Human Rights Should Unite the U.S.-ROK Alliance, Not Divide It

    fdd.org · by Mathew Ha · April 7, 2021

    An important essay from my colleague Mathew Ha.

     

    3. General Officer Assignments – USAF (new SOCKOR Commander)

    defense.gov

    Someone should let the US Air Force know SOCKOR is no longer located at Camp Kim Yongsan. I hope someone gets the new commander to the right location at Camp Humphreys!

     

    4. South Koreans See China as More Threat than Partner, But Not the Most Critical Threat Facing the Country

    thechicagocouncil.org · by Public Opinion Survey · April 6, 2021

    Key point: In South Korea, unfavorable views of China are now on par with views of North Korea and Japan, and 59 percent say South Korea and China are mostly rivals. Specifically, clear majorities think China is more of an economic and security threat than a partner. But neither China’s economic power nor its military power are considered the top critical threats facing the country. Instead, larger majorities cite low birth rates in South Korea and North Korea’s nuclear program.

     

    5. Election Rout Signals a Shift in South Korea’s Political Scene

    The New York Times · by Choe Sang-Hun · April 7, 2021

    What will be the implications of this election for Korea foreign policy, north Korean strategy and the ROK/US alliance.

    On the surface this election appears to be good for democracy in South Korea. Contrary to the fears and allegations of many, it does not appear the ruling party could control the outcome of the election.

     

    6. Moon takes election rout as ‘reprimand’ from the public, Cheong Wa Dae says

    en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · April 8, 2021

    A snarky comment:  The ruling party received a spanking.

     

    7. Ruling party leaders resign en masse for election defeat

    en.yna.co.kr · by 박보람 · April 8, 2021

     

    8. Opposition Must Not Forget Why Voters Supported It This Time

    english.chosun.com

    Vote against versus vote for.

    Conclusion: The PPP now faces an uphill struggle proving itself worthy of that trust as the public watches its every move. It will face many attempts by the old guard to return to their old ways and feed their political greed. If it forgets what led to its destruction and to whom it owes its resurgence, it will quickly collapse again.

     

    9. Military training important to protecting U.S. interest on Korean Peninsula: Pentagon

    en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · April 8, 2021

    Training is more than important. It is critical. If we cannot train our combat forces and if our crews, pilots, etc cannot maintain their qualifications we cannot leave them on the peninsula.

     

    10. Challenges of Negotiating with North Korea

    stimson.org · by Jenny Town · April 7, 2021

    We should keep in mind two things.  First, Kim Jong-un has to want to negotiate.  If he does come to the negotiating table we need to assess why he is doing so.  We need to ensure we are not giving him a “win” meaning that he assesses that his long con, political warfare strategy, and blackmail diplomacy are working so that he will double down on them rather than negotiate with even modicum of sincerity. 

    But we cannot have talks for talks sake. north Korea must be shown that diplomacy is his. only option.  But if we appease him and give him concessions then he will simply assess his strategy is working and he will continue to execute it.

    Conclusion: “As North Korea resumes missile testing and other activities that start to raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula once again, the impulse may be to set aside diplomacy for the near term. However, it is also a clear reminder that the longer we settle for the status quo, the more limited our options become. While there may be both a preference and pressure for pursuing an all-or-nothing approach to denuclearization with North Korea, this policy is doomed to fail. Instead, a long-term, step-by-step approach that offers progress in each of the lines of effort established in the Singapore Joint Statement provides the best chance of actually starting down the denuclearization road and improving the security situation for the U.S. and its allies.”

     

    11. US prepared for diplomacy for denuclearization of North Korea: White House spokeswoman

    The Korea Times · April 8, 2021

    Splitting the difference or all encompassing? Denuclearization of the north and the entire Korean peninsula.  We should stress the South already complied with the 1992 North-South Agreement on Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We  should also stress the north’s definition of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula includes an end to the ROK/US alliance removal of US troops and an end to extended deterrence.  We should not support the regime’s narrative but we should take every opportunity to expose it.

    Excerpts: ”She said the U.S. remains committed to denuclearization of North Korea.

    “We have a clear objective as it relates to North Korea, which is denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula,” the spokeswoman said at a daily press briefing. “We are, of course, continuing to enforce sanctions. We are consulting with allies and partners. We are prepared to consider some form of diplomacy if it’s going to lead us down the path toward denuclearization.”

     

    12. Prospects for interim agreement (Korea)

    koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Michael Green

    As I have noted we must ensure we do not set the conditions so that Kim assesses his long con, political warfare strategy, and blackmail diplomacy are successful.

     

    13. N. Korea slams Japan for referring to East Sea as ‘Sea of Japan’

    en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 8, 2021

    One of the few things Koreans are unified over – opposition to Japan.

     

    14. North Korean Hackers Threatened Bithumb Exchange With a $16M Ransom Amid the 2017 Data Breach, Says Report – Security Bitcoin News

    news.bitcoin.com · by Security · April 7, 2021

    The Kim family regime’s all purpose sword strikes again.

     

    15. Gaps between market prices in different North Korean regions are growing

    dailynk.com · by Seulkee Jang · April 8, 2021

    This is the problem: The North Korean authorities are expanding their control over markets at an accelerating pace. According to the source, “operating hours of official markets [have been reduced to] 2 PM to 6 PM.”

     

    16. North Korean entity defeated in South’s court in first trade lawsuit

    upi.com· by Elizabeth Shim · April 8, 2021

    Small victories.

     

    17.  S. Korea replaces Marine Corps chief

    en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · April 8, 2021

     

    ————

     

    “Glory is now a discredited word, and it will be difficult to re-establish it. It has been spoilt by a too close association with military grandeur; it has been confused with fame and ambition. But true glory is a private and discreet virtue, and is only realized in solitariness.”

    – Graham Greene (quoting Herbert Read), Ways of Escape, 1980

     

    “…pessimism…can drive men on to do wonders.”

    – V.S. Naipaul, A bend in the River, 1979

     

    “Communism is cholera and you cannot compromise with cholera.”

    – First President of South Korea, Syngman Rhee

    DanielRiggs
    Thu, 04/08/2021 – 11:30am

    Modern War Institute: PSYOP, Cyber, and InfoWar: Combatting the New Age IED

    Modern War Institute: PSYOP, Cyber, and InfoWar: Combatting the New Age IED

    An different methodology for countering adversary influence operations

    https://mwi.usma.edu/psyop-cyber-and-infowar-combating-the-new-age-ied/

    Riley.C.Murray
    Thu, 04/08/2021 – 5:29am

    Modern War Institute: Pulling Levers, Not Triggers: Beyond Direct and Indirect Approaches to Irregular Warfare

    Modern War Institute: Pulling Levers, Not Triggers: Beyond Direct and Indirect Approaches to Irregular Warfare

    An analysis and recommendation for expanding U.S. irregular warfare approaches beyond enemy-centric methodologies

    Article: https://mwi.usma.edu/pulling-levers-not-triggers-beyond-direct-and-indirect-approaches-to-irregular-warfare/

    Riley.C.Murray
    Thu, 04/08/2021 – 5:23am

    Breaking News Analysis: Conservatives Sweep the Seoul-Busan By-Elections

    Breaking News Analysis: Conservatives Sweep the Seoul-Busan By-Elections

    Special News Item & Commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

    Blue Roof Politics · by TK · April 7, 2021

    For those who follow South Korea domestic politics here is a useful initial analysis of the elections today.

    From this analysis we can see domestic issues as the driving force behind the conservative “sweep.” 

    Significant excerpt: Exit polls show that young men are rapidly turning conservative.  This election is the first real-world manifestation of the trend that has been appearing in the opinion polls for the past few years: young men of South Korea – particularly those in the 20s, and to a lesser degree in their 30s – are making a sharp conservative turn. According to the exit polls, 72.5% of male voters who are in their 20s and younger voted for the conservative candidate – higher even than the male voters who are in their 60s and older. In contrast, 44% of the female voters who are in their 20s and younger voted for the liberal candidate, one of only two demographics that favored Park Yeong-seon over O Se-hun. No other age group shows this level of gender gap, indicating a particularly toxic brand of sexism among South Korea’s young men.”

    The question for us is how will this affect the Moon administration between now and the 2022 Presidential election? (and will a conservative candidate win that election breaking the cycle of 2 liberal presidents followed by 2 conservative presidents followed by 2 liberal presidents?) And more specifically how will this affect the Moon administration’s north Korea policy (the peace agenda) and the ROK/US alliance?  This will require further analysis and I hope to hear from my Korean friends about this.

    Graphics at the link.

     

    DanielRiggs
    Wed, 04/07/2021 – 12:37pm

    04/07/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

    04/07/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

    1. Sinpo South Shipyard Update: North Korea Moves Submersible Missile Test Stand Barge

    2. Sinpho South Shipyard: Repositioning of the Submersible Test Barge

    3. N. Korea moves submersible missile test stand barge: U.S. think tank

    4. More movement in North further raises suspicions of SLBM test

    5. N.K. urges ‘cell secretaries’ to root out anti-socialist practices

    6. Kim Jong-un calls on party’s grassroots members to cut antisocialist practices

    7. Kim Jong-un says North Korea facing its ‘worst-ever situation’

    8. Defense minister, EU military chief vow to boost security ties

    9. New “hypersonic missile technology” college created at North Korea’s national defense university

    10. US alliance bedrock of South Korea’s foreign policy

    11. South Koreans vote for key city offices as political winds shift

    12. South Korean Conservatives Are on the Rise a Year Before Presidential Election

    13. Biased National Election Commission decisions raise questions in the run-up to Seoul and Busan by-elections

    14. South Koreans see politics as a choice between two bad options

    15. Iran considering release of seized Korean oil tanker

    16. Cheonan warship families urge Moon to announce that N. Korea was behind it

    17. High-wire act for Seoul in balancing ties with US and China

    18. Toward stronger US security ties with Seoul, Tokyo

     

    1. Sinpo South Shipyard Update: North Korea Moves Submersible Missile Test Stand Barge

    CSIS · by Joseph Bermudez, Victor Cha and Jennifer Jun · April 6, 2021

    This report is generating some speculation and reporting but note Joe Bermmudez’ assessment is that it does not mean an SLBM test is imminent. 

     

    2. Sinpho South Shipyard: Repositioning of the Submersible Test Barge

    38north.org · by Peter Makowsky · April 6, 2021

    Excerpt: “The purpose for repositioning the test barge to the construction hall at this time is unclear. It may be to make room in the secure boat basin for the new submarine. Alternatively, since it is berthed behind the floating drydock, the North Koreans may be preparing to float it into the drydock or onto the marine railway to undergo maintenance or to move it inside the construction hall for modifications. The barge was designed for testing of the Pukguksong-1. As two new, untested Pukguksong missiles were displayed in recent military parades, the barge may need modifications to accommodate newer generation missiles.”

     

    3. N. Korea moves submersible missile test stand barge: U.S. think tank

    en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · April 7, 2021

     

    4. More movement in North further raises suspicions of SLBM test

    koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Michael Lee

    Isn’t the blackmail diplomacy (the use of threats, increased tensions, and provocations to gain political and economic concessions) so obvious?

    Excerpt: “The U.S. president’s comments are a provocation and encroachment on our country’s right to self-defense,” said Ri Pyong-chol, the vice chairman of the North’s Central Military Commission, in a statement issued March 27. “If the United States continues with its thoughtless remarks without thinking of the consequences, it may be faced with something not good.” 

     

    5. N.K. urges ‘cell secretaries’ to root out anti-socialist practices

    en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · April 7, 2021

    These statements provide important insight into the nature of the Kim family regime.

    The regime has few “policy tools” other than doubling down on regime ideology as the response to every problem. Perhaps more importantly, this report indicates how much Kim Jong-un fears the Korean people living in the north. The development of political resistance among the population is an existential threat to the regime. It is a greater threat than COVID, sanctions, natural disasters, and the ROK/US alliance.

     

    6. Kim Jong-un calls on party’s grassroots members to cut antisocialist practices

    koreajoongangdaily.joins.com· by Sarah Kim

    For north Korea, ideology is everything.

     

    7. Kim Jong-un says North Korea facing its ‘worst-ever situation’

    The Korea Times · April 7, 2021

    Is this the true test of Kim Jong-un’s leadership? Is this the inflection point in the 70 + year history of the Kim family regime? Are we ready for the possible contingencies that might come next?

    Excerpts: ”North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has acknowledged his country was facing the ”worst-ever situation” as he addressed thousands of grassroots members of his ruling party during a major political conference in Pyongyang.

    Experts say Kim is facing perhaps his toughest moment as he approaches a decade in rule, with North Korea’s coronavirus lockdown unleashing further shock on an economy devastated by decades of mismanagement and crippling U.S.-led sanctions over his nuclear weapons program.

    We should not forget that the reason for the suffering of the Korean people in the north is the sole responsibility of Kim Jong-un and his deliberate policy decisions.

     

    8. Defense minister, EU military chief vow to boost security ties

    The Korea Times · April 7, 2021

    This could signal an important development as European countries increase their presence in Asia (re: Quad – note naval exercise in the Indian Ocean that will include France and the UK). The ROK is not going to be left out of broader relationships even as it tries to balance relationships with the PRC and the US.

     

    9. New “hypersonic missile technology” college created at North Korea’s national defense university

    dailynk.com · by Jeong Tae Joo · April 7, 2021

    The military is the priority and there has never been a deviation from Military FIrst politics.

    Excerpt:  “The authorities want to produce more national defense specialists by teaching them about hypersonic weapon design, production, and research,” the source said. “Starting next year, incoming students will face much higher criteria regarding test scores than other places.”

     

    10. US alliance bedrock of South Korea’s foreign policy

    straitstimes.com · April 7, 2021

    There is a lot to unpack in this short essay but these excerpts really sum up Korea’s strategic situation and issues:

    The bedrock of its survival and growth has been the US alliance.

    South Korea needs to engage actively in exchanges and trade with China, but regarding security and related high-tech issues, it should clarify its position of alignment with the US.

    The Moon administration has assumed a submissive attitude to North Korea to bring it to the negotiation table. But the Hanoi summit showed clearly that Pyongyang has no intention of denuclearising.

    Talks only for the sake of talks are meaningless. Dialogue is important, but sanctions are the only realistic means to deter North Korea’s threats.

    The first thing for South Korea to do is to figure out, with its allies, how to apply more effective sanctions against the North.

     

    11. South Koreans vote for key city offices as political winds shift

    Reuters · by Josh Smith, Sangmi Cha · April 7, 2021

    Will there be a rudder adjustment to South Korean domestic politics?

     

    12. South Korean Conservatives Are on the Rise a Year Before Presidential Election

    WSJ · by Andrew Jeong and Timothy W. Martin

    Will there be a conservative wave in these and upcoming elections (through the Presidential election next year)? 

    Excerpts: “The winners of the Seoul and Busan mayor elections will hold office for about a year, as they are finishing terms started by others. Seoul’s ex-mayor was found dead last July in an apparent suicide—after his ex-secretary went to the police to file a complaint accusing him of sexual misconduct. Busan’s former mayor resigned months earlier due to a sexual harassment scandal.

    South Korea’s conservatives lost three major elections in three years—and renamed their party three times during that period. Last year they renamed it the People Power Party. A victory in the mayoral races in the country’s two biggest cities would give them momentum, local political experts say.

    “If the conservatives win, it would mark a revival for them and a return of the conservatives as a legitimate political power base that might contend for the presidency,” said Kang Won-taek, a professor of politics at Seoul National University.

     

    13. Biased National Election Commission decisions raise questions in the run-up to Seoul and Busan by-elections

    onekoreanetwork.com · April 7, 2021

    Biased National Election Commission decisions raise questions in the run-up to Seoul and Busan by-elections

     

    14. South Koreans see politics as a choice between two bad options

    The Economist · March 31, 2021

    Excerpts: “Even those without feminist sensibilities have plenty of reasons for dismay. The government’s failure to make housing more affordable has been compounded in recent weeks by the revelation that officials from the agency in charge of new housing developments had profited from inside information on big land deals. On Monday Kim Sang-jo, Mr Moon’s top economic adviser and the architect of the government’s flagship corporate-governance reforms, resigned after it emerged that he had substantially raised the rent on a flat he owned two days before a new tenant-protection law would have limited the increase. Covid-19 restrictions, a slow vaccine rollout and a sluggish economic recovery are eroding the goodwill the government earned by managing the early stages of the pandemic well.

    But voters are not enamoured with the conservative opposition, says Mr Kang of SNU. “If they win the mayoral elections,” he says, “it will not be the opposition’s victory but the ruling party’s defeat.” That is mainly because the conservatives have developed little in the way of new ideas or personalities since the previous president, Park Geun-hye, was impeached for corruption four years ago. The voices of young people and particularly of young women are woefully under-represented in both main parties. Oh Se-hoon, the conservative candidate for mayor of Seoul (pictured on previous page), held the office until ten years ago. “It says a lot that they haven’t found a better candidate in a decade,” says Mr Kang. As the government stumbles and the opposition remains stuck in its ways, disillusionment is likely only to deepen. ■

     

    15.  Iran considering release of seized Korean oil tanker

    koreajoongangdaily.joins.com  · by Sarah Kim

    What will Iranian blackmail diplomacy cost?

     

    16. Cheonan warship families urge Moon to announce that N. Korea was behind it

    donga.com · April 7, 2021

    This should not be a difficult action at all. And it saddens me to think President Moon will not call out Kim Jong-un for the regime’s murderous behavior.

     

    17. High-wire act for Seoul in balancing ties with US and China

    SCMP · April 7, 2021

    High-wire act for Seoul in balancing ties with US and China

    As with many countries in the region, South Korea is being wooed by both Beijing and Washington and does not need or want to choose sides

     

    18. Toward stronger US security ties with Seoul, Tokyo

    asiatimes.com · by Stephan Haggard · April 7, 2021

    The six areas (but only 5 subheadings in the article) for cooperation:

    Artificial intelligence

    5G technology

    Reducing vulnerability of ‘value targets’

    Competing against BRI

    Space

    Excerpts: “The report considers other areas of cooperation that relate directly to military spending, including anti-submarine-warfare and military-space cooperation, and these also make for interesting reading.

    The report’s list is by no means exhaustive. It is, however, demonstrative of a key point: that strengthening extended deterrence is not the only or even the most logical route to a more robust balancing of China in Northeast Asia. The success of such a strategy ultimately depends on widening the scope of cooperation in ways that increase underlying capabilities and match those in which China’s rise poses risks.

    Not coincidentally, such an approach has the benefit of reminding all three parties of the advantages that come from cooperation, and the costs of allowing outstanding issues – no matter how important – to drive them apart.”

     

    ———–

     

    There are two things that must be rooted out in all human beings – arrogant opinion and mistrust. Arrogant opinion expects that there is nothing further needed, and mistrust assumes that under the torrent of circumstance there can be no happiness.” 

    – Epictetus

     

    “The great part of our happiness depends on our dispositions., and not on circumstances. We carry the seeds with us in our minds wherever we go.” 

    – Martha Washington

     

    “Endure and persist. The pain will do you good.”

    -Ovid

    DanielRiggs
    Wed, 04/07/2021 – 11:21am

    04/07/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

    04/07/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

    1. Biden’s Great-Power Test Begins

    2. Opinion | Anti-China is not anti-Asian

    3. U.S. could consider boycotting 2022 Beijing Olympics with allies

    4. U.S. State Department backs away from the idea of a Beijing Olympics boycott

    5. Letter From Former Senior National Security, Military, and Elected Officials Calling On Congress To Create A Bipartisan 1/6 Commission

    6. Opinion | What an analysis of 377 Americans arrested or charged in the Capitol insurrection tells us

    7. China as a ‘cyber great power’: Beijing’s two voices in telecommunications

    8. CSAF Brown On Deck For Joint Chiefs Chair: RUMINT

    9. They risked their lives to help us. How Biden can fix the troubled “terp” visa program

    10. Official trade activities between North Korea and China unlikely to resume in April

    11. The brave few on the front line for freedom deserve America’s support

    12. Impose Costs on Russia in the Information Environment

    13. First flight test for US Air Force’s hypersonic booster didn’t go as planned

    14. Pulling Levers, Not Triggers: Beyond Direct and Indirect Approaches to Irregular Warfare

    15. A QAnon revelation suggests the truth of Q’s identity was right there all along

    16. US Army’s Not ‘Stupid’ for Wanting Long-Range Fires — But More Analysis Needed, Hyten Says

    17. Putin, Russia test Biden with ‘hybrid warfare’ operations in Ukraine, Arctic

    18. Computer-simulated invasion will kick off Taiwan war games

    19. Bitcoin: ammunition for democracy

    20. US and Japan plan ‘Belt and Road’ alternative for Indo-Pacific

     

    1. Biden’s Great-Power Test Begins

    WSJ · by The Editorial Board

    From the Wall Street Journal editorial board. Will the Philippines be the flashpoint for miscalculation and conflict?

     

    2. Opinion | Anti-China is not anti-Asian

    The Washington Post · by  Tenzin Dorjee · April 6, 2021

    Some would say a “culture of intervention” dominates our foreign policy.

    Excerpt: “To be sure, criticism of the Chinese government by policymakers in Washington has escalated in recent years. But the overwhelming volume of the rhetoric targeting Beijing has been prompted not by abstract geopolitical competition but by tangible grievances, including China’s genocide in Xinjiang, intensifying repression in Tibet, dismantling of democracy in Hong Kong and sweeping crackdown on Chinese civil society. Some of Beijing’s harshest critics are Asian Americans. Uyghur refugees, Hong Kong democrats, Chinese dissidents and Tibetan exiles such as myself, whose communities back home reel under Beijing’s boot, are urging Congress to censure China for its crimes. Asking lawmakers of conscience to hold their tongue on Beijing’s genocide to supposedly prevent racial violence here is to set up a false trade-off between Asian American safety and Uyghur lives, both of which should be treated as nonnegotiable.

    Conclusion: “Instead of allowing one tragedy to silence another, we should pledge never to be silent bystanders, neither to hate crimes in this country nor to crimes against humanity abroad. If we are serious about ending this epidemic of racial violence, we should invest in a culture of intervention rather than a conspiracy of silence.”

     

    3. U.S. could consider boycotting 2022 Beijing Olympics with allies

    Axios · by Jacob Knutson

    This is now apparently being walked back but I wonder if this is either a trial balloon or part of an influence campaign to pressure China.

     

    4. U.S. State Department backs away from the idea of a Beijing Olympics boycott

    CNBC · by Amanda Macias · April 6, 2021

     

    5.  Letter From Former Senior National Security, Military, and Elected Officials Calling On Congress To Create A Bipartisan 1/6 Commission

    Medium · by Former Nat’l Security, Military, & Elected Officials · April 6, 2021

     

    6. Opinion | What an analysis of 377 Americans arrested or charged in the Capitol insurrection tells us

    The Washington Post · by Robert A. Pape · April 6, 2021

    Some fascinating data and analysis. We need to be cautious about the conclusions drawn from this.

     

    7. China as a ‘cyber great power’: Beijing’s two voices in telecommunications

    The Brookings Institution · by Rush Doshi, Emily de La Bruyère, Nathan Picarsic, and John Ferguson · April 5, 2021

    The 32 page report can be downloaded here:

    A 10 page “handout” is available here.  

     

    8. CSAF Brown On Deck For Joint Chiefs Chair: RUMINT

    breakingdefense.com · by Theresa Hitchens

    He is a very impressive leader.

     

    9. They risked their lives to help us. How Biden can fix the troubled “terp” visa program

    militarytimes.com · by Meghann Myers and Janis Shinwari · April 6, 2021

    Our dependence on indigenous interpreters can create a moral hazard.  This is something that really needs to be understood as an inherent part of military operations and diplomacy and it must be understood from day 1 of military operations and we must anticipate what is likely to happen down the road.  I hope we are never again blindsided by the effects we create because of our dependency.

     

    10. Official trade activities between North Korea and China unlikely to resume in April

    dailynk.com · by Seulkee Jang · April 7, 2021

    This is critical to relieving the pressure on the economy and to help lessen the suffering of the Korean people if it is accompanied with relief from the draconian population and resources control measures imposed by the regime in the name of COVID mitigation.

     

    11. The brave few on the front line for freedom deserve America’s support

    washingtontimes.com · by Clifford D. May

    A powerful, important, and sobering conclusion: “Freedom House notes that proponents of authoritarianism — including those within democratic states — “are both cheering the breakdown of democracy and exacerbating it, pitting themselves against the brave groups and individuals who have set out to reverse the damage.”

    “Governments that understand the value of democracy, including the new administration in Washington, have a responsibility to band together to deliver on its benefits, counter its adversaries, and support its defenders,” Freedom House urges. “They must also put their own houses in order to shore up their credibility and fortify their institutions against politicians and other actors who are willing to trample democratic principles in the pursuit of power.”

    I find it difficult to disagree. But I also find it difficult to imagine any of the current crop of elected leaders, including the new administration in Washington, doing what is necessary to shift the “international balance” away from tyranny.

     

    12. Impose Costs on Russia in the Information Environment

    usni.org · by Travis Florio · April 6, 2021

    Excerpts:Another strategy to confront Russian information warfare is public disclosure of the activity and education of U.S. civilians—particularly as it relates to cyber and influence. DoD has used this in the past to expose Russian malign activity, bringing more scrutiny of Russian fake news to reduce the influence of the message. Cyber Command’s hunt-forward operations have also exposed Russian cyber tactics, forcing Russia to react and investigate how its malware was discovered. These countermeasures should continue, with hunt-forward operations conducted robustly overseas in partnership with U.S. allies.

    National deterrence policy and strategy are just as important now as they were in the Cold War, only the weapons have changed. The United States can create multiple dilemmas and impose costs on Moscow by investing in human capital, siphoning Russian cyber talent, using protest potential, and continuing hunt-forward operations in coordination with Eastern European allies—while avoiding engaging in wasteful counterpropaganda efforts. Russia wants to operate in a gray area, and it will chip away at United States democracy and hegemony until met with an equal or greater force.

     

    13. First flight test for US Air Force’s hypersonic booster didn’t go as planned

    Defense News · by Valerie Insinna · April 6, 2021

    But we often learn more from failed tests than successful ones.

     

    14. Pulling Levers, Not Triggers: Beyond Direct and Indirect Approaches to Irregular Warfare

    mwi.usma.edu · by Cole Livieratos · April 7, 2021

    Another important essay that hopefully will drive important discussions.

    Excerpts: “A better way to improve our approaches to irregular warfare would be to abandon the idea of direct and indirect approaches altogether. Though they still have utility in planning for conventional warfare, the simplistic division has limited our creativity and strategy in irregular warfare. Instead of creating a single division between irregular warfare approaches, the military should consider a more nuanced typology of irregular warfare. The typology should primarily focus on forms of power applied, such as coercion, inducement, or persuasion, and the intended effect, such as to enable, assure, compel, deter, or destroy. A more complicated typology could add additional variables, such as the primary and secondary audiences affected by US actions. More complicated typologies sacrifice the ability to describe an approach in simple and abstract terms, but they would force more creativity and place more focus on how to apply power rather than which means should be applied.

    The United States has not learned how to effectively influence populations or affect legitimacy even though it has been waging irregular warfare continuously for the past two decades. The US military underinvests in forces and capabilities built for noncoercive influence, such as information and psychological operations. At the same time, it overapplies coercive force, falsely believing that defeating armed adversaries, either unilaterally or with a partner, is the same as building legitimacy. The US military needs to completely reconceptualize its approaches to irregular warfare by focusing on the type of power employed and its intended effect rather than the means used to apply power. China, Russia, and Iran are destabilizing threats not because they can apply coercive force more successfully than the United States, but because they do not have to in order to advance their agendas. To effectively influence populations and build US legitimacy in competition with these adversaries, the United States military needs to ask which levers should be pulled rather than who should pull the trigger.”

     

    15. A QAnon revelation suggests the truth of Q’s identity was right there all along

    The Washington Post · by Drew Harwell and Craig Timberg · April 5, 2021

    I wonder if QAnon followers will ever learn they have been the victims of the biggest con in the modern internet era.

    A QAnon revelation suggests the truth of Q’s identity was right there all along

    The extremist movement’s leader had purported to be a top-secret government operative. But a possible slip-up in a new documentary about QAnon suggests that Q was actually Ron Watkins, the longtime administrator of the 8kun message board.

     

    16. US Army’s Not ‘Stupid’ for Wanting Long-Range Fires — But More Analysis Needed, Hyten Says

    Science & Tech · by Patrick Tucker · April 6, 2021

    The Vice trying to clean up the battlefield.

     

    17. Putin, Russia test Biden with ‘hybrid warfare’ operations in Ukraine, Arctic

    washingtontimes.com · by Guy Taylor

    Excerpts: “Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday that U.S. military officials are well aware of Russia’s Arctic activities as build-up.

    “Without getting into specific intelligence assessments, obviously we’re monitoring it very closely,” Mr. Kirby said. “[We] obviously recognize that the region is key terrain that’s vital to our own homeland defense and as a potential strategic corridor between the Indo-Pacific, Europe and the homeland — which would make it vulnerable to expanded competition.”

    Mr. Kirby said the administration is “committed to protecting our U.S. national security interests in the Arctic by upholding a rules-based order in the region, particularly through our network of Arctic allies and partners who share the same deep mutual interests that we do.”

    Mr. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, countered Tuesday that Mr. Putin sees the placement of Russian troops in the Arctic as “absolutely necessary.”

    “The Arctic zone is a very important region of the Russian Federation, which applies both to our borders and to our special economic zone,” Mr. Peskov said. “The economic potential is growing from year to year, you know that there are general plans for national development in the Arctic zone, and all this is being consistently implemented.”

     

    18. Computer-simulated invasion will kick off Taiwan war games

    SCMP · April 7, 2021

    Will there be an asymmetric and irregular warfare line of effort?  Will there be a resistance component among the population?

    Computer-simulated invasion will kick off Taiwan war games

    • Exercises will run 24 hours a day in first phase of Taipei’s largest annual military drills which start on April 23
    • All possible scenarios of an invasion on the island will be simulated, according to defence ministry

     

    19. Bitcoin: ammunition for democracy

    Taipei Times · by James Lee · April 5, 2021

     

    20.  US and Japan plan ‘Belt and Road’ alternative for Indo-Pacific

    asia.nikkei.com Rieko Miki

     

     

    ————–

     

    There are two things that must be rooted out in all human beings – arrogant opinion and mistrust. Arrogant opinion expects that there is nothing further needed, and mistrust assumes that under the torrent of circumstance there can be no happiness.” 

    – Epictetus

     

    “The great part of our happiness depends on our dispositions., and not on circumstances. We carry the seeds with us in our minds wherever we go.” 

    – Martha Washington

     

    “Endure and persist. The pain will do you good.”

    -Ovid

     

    DanielRiggs
    Wed, 04/07/2021 – 11:21am