06/19/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/19/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. U.S. Military to Withdraw Hundreds of Troops, Aircraft, Antimissile Batteries From Middle East

2. “Cyber disruption,” ransomware, and critical infrastructure: A new US understanding of “attack”?

3. Chinese Nuke Modernization Prompts Shift In DoD Strategy

4. The Navy Needs Deep Readers, Not Reading Lists

5. Army Signals The Abrams Tank Is Here To Stay

6. Foreign Disinformation Feeds US Domestic Terrorism, Official Warns

7. Air Force Special Operations Job Transformation Takes Big Step Forward

8. The secret to NATO’s survival: Get political

9. U.S. Says ‘Contingency’ Aid Ready If Russia Attacks Ukraine

10.  White House freezes Ukraine military package that includes lethal weapons

11. Large Scale Combat Operations Book Set

12. Army investigating death of colonel found unresponsive at Fort Leavenworth

13.  The Fulbright Paradox

14. China Can’t Invade Taiwan Just Yet Says U.S. General

15. A niche Chinese Gen Z meme is ringing alarm bells for Beijing

16. Putin’s Performance At Geneva Summit Seen As A Master Class In ‘Whataboutism’

17. How a Conservative Activist Invented the Conflict Over Critical Race Theory

18. 11 Things to Know: Afghanistan on the Eve of Withdrawal

 

1. U.S. Military to Withdraw Hundreds of Troops, Aircraft, Antimissile Batteries From Middle East

WSJ · by Gordon Lubold, Nancy A. Youssef and Michael R. Gordon

Excerpts: “The move marks the second time this year the U.S. has removed Patriot antimissile batteries from the Middle East. This spring, the U.S. military removed at least three Patriot missiles from the Saudi Arabia and had considered taking out a Thaad.

Officials said the withdrawal could be seen by Russia and China, who are expanding their military and economic influence in the Middle East, as an opportunity to increase their aims.

But defense officials point to a mosaic of U.S. involvement in the region, including foreign military sales, security cooperation, joint military exercises and maintaining U.S. ground troops.

“Yes, Russia and China are going to attempt to utilize adjustments in posture to message that the United States cannot be relied upon,” a defense official said. “The reality is that none of them are going to replace the United States and what we provide.”

 

2. “Cyber disruption,” ransomware, and critical infrastructure: A new US understanding of “attack”?

sites.duke.edu · by Charlie Dunlap, J.D. · June 19, 2021

Excerpts: “To reiterate, it appears that the U.S. is now taking the position that a cyber-operation against US-defined “critical infrastructure” that causes a significant “disruption” amounts to an “attack.” Apparently, a ransomware incident – though lacking direct loss of life or physical destruction – is sufficient to constitute such an attack, at least when targeted against critical infrastructure.

In most ransomware incidents the data is not damaged or destroyed, but just encrypted and denied to its owner until a ransom is paid. It is somewhat akin to a distributed denial of service (DDOS) incidents where access is denied. Most nations do not consider DDOS incidents to be “armed attacks” that would trigger an Article 51 right to self-defense.

Importantly, the U.S. has long had a lower threshold than most nations for the kinds of incidents that would permit acts in self-defense under international law. Specifically, Article 2(4) UN Charter prohibits the threat or use of “force,” but, as noted above, Article 51 of the Charter permits individual and collective self-defense when a state has been a victim of an “armed attack.”

Here’s the tricky part: most nations consider the kind of “force” referenced in Article 2(4) as not necessarily being the same as that constituting an “armed attack” as used in Article 51. In other words, an activity amounting to “force” which violates Article 2(4) might not be of sufficient violence, intensity, and scope to constitute an “armed attack” to legitimately trigger self-defense authority within the meaning of Article 51.

 

3. Chinese Nuke Modernization Prompts Shift In DoD Strategy

breakingdefense.com · by Colin Clark · June 18, 2021

Excerpt: “Dean Cheng, one of the West’s top experts on the Chinese military, goes further, saying that: “China is now pushing modernization of its nuclear forces, and this calls into question some basic assumptions, including how much fissile material they have. The broad expanse of Chinese nuclear modernization programs, including an air-breathing portion, is very different from what had been seen before.”

 

4. The Navy Needs Deep Readers, Not Reading Lists

cimsec.org · by Guest Author · June 18, 2021

Not just the Navy but all services and all national security practitioners.

Some excellent advice in this essay.

Excerpt:In August of 1988, three months after I was commissioned, then-Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Carlisle A. H. Trost spoke at the Superintendent of the Naval Academy’s change-of-command and said this on the subject of technical education:

“To compete in the world, to serve as a naval officer, today you must have a technical background. If you become an inveterate reader, if an idle moment never finds you without a book in your hand, the broad knowledge will come to you. But without a background in deep technical knowledge, and without the resulting confidence that moves you to unravel technical complexities wherever you find them, you will always be a wallflower in the ballroom of progress, and your success in our profession will suffer accordingly.”1

I agree with much of this. But what always troubled me was Admiral Trost’s nod to inveterate readers that always have a book in their hands. It begs the most important question: which books? Do the type and genre matter? Just history and books on current events? Or was he relying on technically educated officers to cultivate a habit of reading the best literature and philosophy as well? I cannot tell, but in perusing the many CNO reading lists over the years I can speculate that he was not.

And the controversial conclusion (to some, perhaps, but with which I agree – anyone who wants to ban books, ideas, thought, and critical thinking is not upholding our Constitution or American values): “Admiral Gilday was right to defend the books on his list against ridiculous partisan political attacks. Military leaders should be open to reading Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist and other books that challenge conventional thinking. Military leaders are responsible for the lives of Americans of all backgrounds and viewpoints. They should read widely and never be afraid to read an author with whom they might disagree. That is how one nurtures a genuine curiosity—and learns. But don’t read Kendi’s book, or any book, just because it is on a reading list, as if completing a chore. Read good books to be a deep reader. And become a deep reader to become a better leader.

 

5. Army Signals The Abrams Tank Is Here To Stay

Forbes · by Loren Thompson · June 18, 2021

Greatest tank ever developed and will probably remain so for decades to come. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it (though modernization updates are welcomed).

 

6. Foreign Disinformation Feeds US Domestic Terrorism, Official Warns

voanews.com ·  Jeff Seldin · June 17, 2021

Excerpts:Current and former officials, as well as analysts, have also warned Russia is actively cultivating a new generation of influence peddlers focused on building followers among the far right and far left.

As part of the new domestic terrorism strategy, officials have pledged to find ways to “counter the polarization often fueled by disinformation, misinformation and dangerous conspiracy theories online, supporting an information environment that fosters healthy democratic discourse,” according to a White House handout.

Officials also note that Washington has joined the Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online — an initiative named after the New Zealand city where a far-right gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in 2019.

But countering the threat from disinformation in particular will be difficult, according to Homeland Security officials, who point to the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, for which almost 500 people have been arrested.

 

7. Air Force Special Operations Job Transformation Takes Big Step Forward

military.com · by Stephen Losey · June 17, 2021

Air Forces Special reconnaissance. I recall going to Hurlburt Field in the late 1980’s and seeing the AFSOC combat weatherman (the special operations weather team). The amount of high speed kit they had back then put the SF A team kit to shame. 🙂 We were jealous.

Excerpts: And in future conflicts, these special reconnaissance airmen could deploy alongside teams of Green Berets or other special operators, and fly small quadcopter drones or use other recon tactics to collect vital intelligence on air or other threats needed in the field.

“The core tenet of reconnaissance is gathering information,” Reed said. “So let’s make sure we’re postured to gather the information that we want to be able to gather — keeping in mind that future conflicts are going to look probably pretty different than the conflicts for the past 20 years in the Middle East.”

The old special operations weather team, or SOWT, career field, which specialized in analyzing weather in the field, was “a pretty niche career field,” Reed said.

 

8. The secret to NATO’s survival: Get political

atlanticcouncil.org · June 17, 2021

Conclusion:  “Developing the Alliance as a political actor via these six action points will not be easy, but if there is an administration that could do it, it is Joe Biden’s. Biden is the first US president since George H.W. Bush with an inherent tendency toward Atlanticism. Since 2000, the transatlantic space has endured reproach, apathy, and most recently hostility and neglect from the White House, all of which have been highly detrimental to transatlantic relations and greatly contributed to the decline of NATO as a political actor. But Biden is a natural trans-Atlanticist and is the last president of a generation that looked instinctively to Europe. One of his chief legacies could be setting a foundation for younger Americans to see Europeans, in a world full of competition for attention, as the allies they turn to first.

1. A coherent political-military strategy toward China

2. A renewed focus on arms control, both nuclear and conventional

3. A more operational EU-NATO relationship

4. A more capable Europe

5. Stabilization without intervention

6. Tackling tech challenges

I guess irregular, unconventional, political​, and hybrid warfare are not important to NATO. It does not seem to me that although the authors are talking about political-military actions they are not addressing the real threats posed by Russia and China which are best described as political warfare.

 

9. U.S. Says ‘Contingency’ Aid Ready If Russia Attacks Ukraine

rferl.org 

I do have to say that the plan of providing contingency aid after an attack is not a recipe for success.

 

10. White House freezes Ukraine military package that includes lethal weapons

Politico

The White House has pushed back on this with this statement: “The idea that we have held back security assistance to Ukraine is nonsense. Just last week—in the run-up to the U.S.-Russia Summit—we provided a $150 million package of security assistance, including lethal assistance. We have now provided the entire amount appropriated by Congress through the Ukraine security assistance initiative. Two days before the Summit, President Biden stood on the stage before the entire world at NATO and said that we would keep putting Ukraine “in the position to be able to continue to resist Russian physical aggression.” We have also prepared contingency funds in the event of a further Russian incursion into Ukraine. As President Biden told President Putin directly, we will stand unwavering in support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

I am reminded of a SOF Truth: You cannot create competent special operations forces after a crisis occurs. A variation might be you cannot provide adequate defense after an attack occurs.

And of course Sun Tzu said, never assume the enemy will not attack. Make yourself invincible. It seems to me we would want to try to make Ukraine invincible before a Russian attack.

However, a friend who is an expert in this area provides this explanation/clarification: “I will try to clear up what is being said and not being said. The Politico piece, which follows up on a WaPo piece from earlier in the week, alleges that an assistance package developed when the Russians were engaged in a coercive military show of force has been held up, for the time being . This assistance package is separate from and not related to the two military assistance packages provided through appropriated Title 10 funding known as the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). The second USAI tranche at $150M was indeed announced earlier this week.

The WH statement mainly focuses on USAI and only briefly mentions the existence of this separate assistance package connected to the Russian show of force operation. By the way, a sizable number of those troops are still in Crimea and along Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia according to open source reporting.”

 

11. Large Scale Combat Operations Book Set

armyupress.army.mil

An important and useful reference set.

Is there an irregular warfare, unconventional warfare, political warfare, and hybrid warfare book set?

 

12. Army investigating death of colonel found unresponsive at Fort Leavenworth

Stars and Stripes · by Scott Green

Another tragic loss. We are all vulnerable regardless of rank.

 

13. The Fulbright Paradox

Foreign Affairs · by Charles King · June 18, 2021

I will be following this up with an essay from Matt Armstrong who challenges and clarifies some of the history and analysis in this essay.

Excerpts:Fulbright’s life, like most people’s, was mottled. He acquiesced to awfulness yet led in areas that required political and moral courage. His failings were his country’s, and especially his region’s. His achievements were his alone. He was brave and weak, persuasive and exasperating, prescient and shortsighted, a futurist in thrall to the past. If the United States had followed the domestic path he supported in the 1950s and 1960s, it would have committed a massive act of injustice and self-betrayal. If it had followed the foreign policies he advocated in the 1960s and 1970s, the era would likely have claimed fewer lives.

In 1982, Fulbright’s alma mater (and my own), the University of Arkansas, held a ceremony renaming its College of Arts and Sciences after him, with an oration by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith. The former senator himself beamed from the dais. Nearly four decades later, in August 2020, the university established a special committee to make recommendations about the future of the college’s name and a prominent statue of Fulbright on campus. By that time, Woodrow Wilson’s name had been dropped from Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. Monuments to old secessionists and segregationists had fallen across the country. Congress would soon pass legislation stripping the surnames of Confederate generals from U.S. military bases. This past April, the committee recommended that the Fulbright name and statue be removed.

The reexamination of Fulbright is part of the broader transformation in how Americans talk about themselves in the past tense. Monuments, like nations, are situated in history. As societies change, so do the things they erect to instruct children in the preferred way of recounting it. The meaning of tributes to the dead is no more than what the living do with them. As any visitor to Washington, D.C., can confirm, the Victims of Communism Memorial—unveiled by President George W. Bush in 2007 and now a gathering place for clients from a nearby homeless shelter—has ironically become a monument to the victims of capitalism. The usefulness of statues resides in whether they enable human achievement or inhibit it in the here and now. If the latter is the case, it is best to let them go. Ghosts do not care either way.

This legacy is a remarkable monument not to a man but to an idea, one lived out imperfectly in a single life and betrayed repeatedly by the country that professed it. Fulbright’s own biography is evidence that the best of what the United States produced in the last century was inseparable from the worst—a complicated, grownup fact that ought to inform how Americans approach everything from education in international affairs to foreign-policy making. And to generations of people in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, Fulbright’s most enduring contribution is something that the United States now has an opportunity to bring back home: the astonishing, liberating idea that governments have a duty to help people lose their fear of difference.

 

14.  China Can’t Invade Taiwan Just Yet Says U.S. General

19fortyfive.com · by Peter Suciu · June 18, 2021

Sun Tzu: never assume your enemy will not attack. (maybe he added “just yet.:)

 

15. A niche Chinese Gen Z meme is ringing alarm bells for Beijing

Quartz · by Jane Li

“Lying down” or “lying flat.” I want to assess this in terms of Gene Sharp’s concepts of non-violent resistance.

Excerpts: “The concept advocates an almost monastic outlook, including not getting married, not having children, not having a job, not owning property, and consuming as little as possible. For many, this is almost the only way in an authoritarian country to fight against the growing pressures from long work hours, skyrocketing housing prices, and the ever higher cost of raising children. Lifestyle philosophies based on rejecting ambition, and being a cog in China’s capitalist machine have been spreading in recent years, and “lying flat” is the latest culmination of such trends, explained Wu Qiang, an independent political analyst in Beijing.

“Chinese youngsters, or in general the working population, have experienced huge societal and political changes in the past nine years, [leading them to realize] that there is neither the possibility for initiating a revolution nor the freedom of expression. Under such a condition, lying down has become the only option,” Wu told Quartz.

In a sign of the Party’s concern over the idea’s popularity, Chinese social media platform Douban has censored a discussion group of nearly 10,000 members about lying flat, while some state-owned media have urged young people to ditch the idea. “The new generation is not a generation that chooses to lie flat, but one that chooses to work hard!” the Xinhua news agency said in an article in May, citing examples of young medical professionals fighting hard against the pandemic.

“You can’t stand up, but you don’t want to kneel down. Then you can only lie flat,” one Weibo user recently put it.

 

16. Putin’s Performance At Geneva Summit Seen As A Master Class In ‘Whataboutism’

rferl.org · by Matthew Luxmoore · June 17, 2021

Master class is right. It is hard to believe people can take him seriously. Although I could only listen to the translation it sounded like he was making his arguments so smoothly and matter of factl. He seemed so natural in his “whataboutism.”

 

17. How a Conservative Activist Invented the Conflict Over Critical Race Theory

The New Yorker · by Benjamin Wallace-Wells · June 18, 2021

A fascinating read. I do not intend this as a political statement on this issue. However, I will say again that I think banning ideas, theories, thoughts, criticism, etc. goes against our Constitution and American values, no matter how distasteful we might find them. Anyone who argues for banning must be unable to present sufficiently sound competing ideas which is how we should address ideas we disagree with or do not like.

 

18. 11 Things to Know: Afghanistan on the Eve of Withdrawal

usip.org · by  Andrew Wilder and Scott Worden · June 18, 2021

 

—————

 

“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” 

– Fannie Lou Hamer

 

“Liberty is slow fruit. It is never cheap; it is made difficult because freedom is the accomplishment and perfectness of man.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

OTD 1952, U.S. Special Forces was created: “Only one organization was the predecessor to Special Forces and that was OSS.”

-Col. Aaron Bank

DanielRiggs
Sat, 06/19/2021 – 12:28pm

06/19/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/19/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. U.S. brigade combat team arrives in S. Korea for rotational deployment

2. New U.S. nuke envoy arrives in Seoul

3. Kim Jong Un sends first official message to Biden

4. Kim Jong Un’s message for change of situations

5. N.K. leader vows to overcome difficulties as he concludes key party meeting: state media

6. North Korea attempted to hack South Korea’s nuclear think tank, lawmaker says

7. Bad News: North Korea Is Suffering from Rapidly Rising Food Prices

8. Korean War hero advanced on path to sainthood

9. N.Korea’s Kim tightens ruling party discipline, appoints new politburo members

10. Kim Jong-un readies North Korea for negotiations with US as food shortages bite

11. Step aside Gangnam, time for the older areas to shine

12. Here’s why I want to open a North Korean restaurant in Seoul

13. South Korean man arrested after attempting to defect to North Korea

14. Jeju emerging as Asia’s coolest island getaway

15. Will Pyongyang return to negotiating table?

 

1.  U.S. brigade combat team arrives in S. Korea for rotational deployment

en.yna.co.kr · by 김승연 · June 19, 2021

Let’s wait and see the north Korean response.

 

2. New U.S. nuke envoy arrives in Seoul

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · June 19, 2021

This should be a very important and productive trip. This is likely to set the course for the combined approach of the new US policy toward north Korea. I just hope the US and Korean side can find agreement on the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime. It is those differences that are going to hinder policy execution.

But a common approach for the ROK and US should be to provide Kim Jong-un the opportunity to act as a responsible member of the international community. This means not requiring concessions (or appeasement) in order to commit to negotiations.  If he takes advantage of the opportunity we can negotiate. If he does not we need to ensure we continue “stern deterrence” as President Biden has described it.

 

3. Kim Jong Un sends first official message to Biden

donga.com · June 19, 2021

Ah… “official message” to President Biden????  Something must be lost in translation, at least for the headline editor. While the statement issued by the Propaganda and Agitation Department through KCNA can be considered an official statement it certainly was not a traditional diplomatic communique from one head of state to another. Official response, perhaps. Official message to the US? I think not. 

I do wonder how confidential the timing of this message is with Ambassador Kim’s trip to Korea this week. It really seems to me that this “message” will reinforce the factions within the Moon administration who think we should provide concessions (or appeasement) in the form of cancelling our exercises. It will make Ambassador Kim’s job more difficult in trying to synchronize execution of a coherent alliance approach to north Korea as there are those within the Moon administration who believe in the fantasy that Kim will negotiate if we just cancel the exercises. And they are willing to risk the security of the ROK by doing so.

 

4. Kim Jong Un’s message for change of situations

donga.com · June 19, 2021

The Donga Ilbo editorial writers are saying in effect that the Kim family regime’s political warfare strategy continues and the ROK/US alliance needs to conduct a superior form of political warfare.

Excerpts:Being pushed into a corner, Kim may pretend to be receptive to Washington’s appeasing gestures and make external appearances for the time being. However, chances are it may later focus on resolving imminent issues such as food shortages and COVID-19 vaccine supplies while gaining time by playing hard to get at the negotiating table for denuclearization. Behind the scenes, it may play a tug-of-war by threatening to carry out large-scale provocations while utilizing volatility in international politics in its interest.

Nevertheless, Pyongyang is not allowed anymore to use the tactic of “dialogue for dialogue” merely to overcome internal crises and extend the regime’s lifespan. The Biden administration already took a close look at the U.S.-North Korea dialogue that ended up three years ago in showy confrontation, dramatic transitions and disillusionment. Kim’s clichéd tactic of hopping from provocation to negotiation and vice versa will not work out again.

 

5. N.K. leader vows to overcome difficulties as he concludes key party meeting: state media

en.yna.co.kr · by 이해아 · June 19, 2021

How many times have we heard this over the decades???

Excerpt:As he wrapped up the meeting on Friday, Kim “solemnly swore on behalf of the WPK Central Committee that the Party will surely break through head-on the difficulties lying in the way of the revolution” and remain loyal to the revolutionary idea to the end regardless of the “severer difficulties it may be confronted with in the future,” the Korean Central News Agency said.

 

6. North Korea attempted to hack South Korea’s nuclear think tank, lawmaker says

ABCNews.com · by ABC News

We must not ignore Kim’s “all purpose sword.” He is wielding it on a daily basis.

 

7. Bad News: North Korea Is Suffering from Rapidly Rising Food Prices

The National Interest · by Stephen Silver · June 18, 2021

Sensational prices as we have seen in various reports but I doubt the rank and file population is phased by this as they must cope through other means.

 

8.  Korean War hero advanced on path to sainthood

aleteia.org · June 18, 2021

I am not a Catholic and I do not know how this works but I hope he is granted Sainthood. He is an inspiration to all of us regardless of religion. Even if you do not believe in miracles this story is still miraculous.

 

9. N.Korea’s Kim tightens ruling party discipline, appoints new politburo members

nationalpost.com · by Hyonhee Shin · June 18, 2021

Standard operating procedure for the Kim family regime and the Workers Party of Korea.

 

10.  Kim Jong-un readies North Korea for negotiations with US as food shortages bite

Stuff.co.nz · by Julian Ryall · June 19, 2021

Video at the link.

One thing I have learned from watching these videos over the years is that in north Korea you had better be a damn good note taker -or be able to look like you are one!

I caution all those who think the scorpion has changed his nature. Perhaps he has and I hope it is true but I am not optimistic that he has jettisoned his political warfare strategy. If he has changed then he will need to show us that he can act as a responsible member of the international community.

While he wants sanctions relief we should keep in mind the suffering is because he has chosen to prioritize nuclear and missile development, the military, and the elite. He raises sufficient funds from his global illicit activities to feed the Korean people suffering in the north. He has made the deliberate policy decision to, in effect, starve them.

 

11. Step aside Gangnam, time for the older areas to shine

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Lee So-Ah, Yoo Ji-Yeon, and Bae Jung-won

For those traveling to Korea and looking for something new.

 

12. Here’s why I want to open a North Korean restaurant in Seoul

The Korea Times · by Sharon Jang · June 19, 2021

I have to admit that I have never acquired the taste for north Korean cold noodles.

Here’s why I want to open a North Korean restaurant in Seoul

 

13. South Korean man arrested after attempting to defect to North Korea

UPI · by Elizabeth Shim· June 18, 2021

He probably needs a psychological evaluation.

 

14. Jeju emerging as Asia’s coolest island getaway

asiatimes.com · by Andrew Salmon · June 19, 2021

My wife and I spent our honeymoon here in 1987. We look forward to being able to return some day.

On a more important note the article discusses the effects of Chinese economic warfare due to the THAAD deployment.

 

15.  Will Pyongyang return to negotiating table?

The Korea Times · June 18, 2021

It could happen. Never say never. I am not holding my breath and it might occur later rather than sooner unless Kim thinks he has achieved conditions that will provide him an advantage. If he assesses his political warfare strategy and blackmail diplomacy are working he may decide to come to the table. Concessions and appeasement will cause him to judge his strategy a success and then he will double down.

 

—————

 

“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” 

– Fannie Lou Hamer

 

“Liberty is slow fruit. It is never cheap; it is made difficult because freedom is the accomplishment and perfectness of man.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

OTD 1952, U.S. Special Forces was created: “Only one organization was the predecessor to Special Forces and that was OSS.” 

-Col. Aaron Bank

DanielRiggs
Sat, 06/19/2021 – 12:10pm

06/18/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/18/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. High-level Chinese Defection Rumored

2. Has a top Chinese official defected to the US?

3. Can Biden Reverse Trump’s Damage to the State Department?

4. Elite Afghan Forces Suffer Horrific Casualties as Taliban Advance

5. Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces Teaming for Great Power Competition

6. Pentagon Works to Sharpen Definition of ‘Extremism’

7. G-7 leaders back Taiwan for first time

8. Juneteenth and General Order Number Three

9. American Decline: Losing the Campaign for Influence

10. FDD | New ICC Prosecutor Provides Opportunity for Closing Investigations of U.S. and Israel

11. How Xi’s China came to resemble Tsarist Russia

12. Putin Suddenly Looks Very Small

13. SOCOM’s controversial head of diversity and inclusion is back in his job

14. CYBERCOM Seeks ‘Hunt Forward’ Funding Boost

15. FDD | FAQ: Issues Ahead on Iran’s Nuclear Program

16. FDD | Ali Larijani, Iran’s Rejected Hardliner

17. Biden Is Wrong: Europeans Should Focus on Europe, Not Asia

18. ‘Hopelessly divided’ Supreme Court defies narrative with another unanimous opinion

19. Iran’s Leading Presidential Candidate Has Committed Crimes Against Humanity

20. Mapped: The countries where China’s influence has surpassed the U.S.

 

1. High-level Chinese Defection Rumored

spytalk.co · by Matthew Brazil and Jeff Stein

RUMINT.

 

2. Has a top Chinese official defected to the US?

Daily Mail · by Harriet Alexander and Ross Ibbetson · June 18, 2021

More on this alleged defection.

 

3. Can Biden Reverse Trump’s Damage to the State Department?

The New Yorker · by Ronan Farrow · June 17, 2021

A troubling assessment of our State Department. If we want to be successful in great power competition and across the national security spectrum we need a strong State department that is dominant in foreign affairs and developing US foreign policy and national security strategy.

 

4. Elite Afghan Forces Suffer Horrific Casualties as Taliban Advance

The New York Times · by Najim Rahim · June 17, 2021

The best trained force in Afghanistan with fearless fighters who were created in the image of US SOF.

 

5. Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces Teaming for Great Power Competition

Small Wars Journal · by Michael F. Masters Jr.

Conclusion: “To optimize the USMC’s FD2030 concept for GPC, a strategy for USMC-SOF teaming is required. Specifically, USMC-SOF Integration, Interdependence, Interoperability, and Deconfliction, must be addressed to ensure future operational success; particularly in the INDOPACOM AOR. The future operating environment and the USMC’s EABO concept will likely demand a closer USMC-SOF I3D during execution. The value in realizing similar mission sets and potential capability gaps and requirements before hostilities enables mutually beneficial training opportunities, identification of reliable partners, and potential for future cost savings in the procurement of the service’s next generation of equipment that is required to communicate in a highly joint and multi-domain operating environment.

 

6. Pentagon Works to Sharpen Definition of ‘Extremism’

defenseone.com · by Jacqueline Feldscher

Again, we have to get this right. We have to root out extremism but we have to be careful not to play into the extremist narrative.

Good order and discipline is destroyed by extremism. But poor or incorrectly applied methods to root out extremism will also destroy good order and discipline.

 

7. G-7 leaders back Taiwan for first time

washingtontimes.com · by Bill Gertz

Excerpts: “It was the first time the Group of Seven voiced support for Taiwan, the island-state 100 miles off the southern Chinese coast that Beijing regards as a breakaway province.

A day later, at a NATO summit in Belgium, the alliance’s communique also issued a rebuke, stating China poses “systemic challenges” to international order.

“We are concerned by those coercive policies which stand in contrast to the fundamental values enshrined in the Washington Treaty,” said the NATO communique, referring to the alliance’s founding document.

China is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal with more warheads and a larger number of sophisticated delivery systems to establish a nuclear triad,” the communique said. “It is opaque in implementing its military modernization and its publicly declared military-civil fusion strategy.”

 

8. Juneteenth and General Order Number Three

warontherocks.com · by WOTR Staff · June 18, 2021 

Important history to re-read on this historic day.

There is no better kind of holiday than one that celebrates freedom.

I wonder if Maj Gen Granger’s Civil Affairs officers had a role in drafting his order? 🙂 

 

9. American Decline: Losing the Campaign for Influence

mwi.usma.edu · by Andrew Milburn · June 18, 2021

42 minutes well spent listening to this podcast at this link.

Bottom line: The two discuss how controlling the information environment has supplanted armed conflict as the means by which nations and other actors achieve their objectives. They explain why the ability to project influence is an all-important component of strategic power and how the United States has fallen far behind its adversaries in this competition.

 

10. FDD | New ICC Prosecutor Provides Opportunity for Closing Investigations of U.S. and Israel

fdd.org · by Orde Kittrie · June 17, 2021

Conclusion: Karim Khan’s inauguration as the new ICC prosecutor enables a reset of the U.S.-ICC relationship. The Biden administration should work with U.S. allies to encourage Khan to refocus the ICC on its core mission, including by closing his predecessor’s cases against the United States and Israel and by remedying the ICC’s serious management problems.

 

11. How Xi’s China came to resemble Tsarist Russia

Financial Times · by Jamil Anderlini · June 16, 2021

I will be curious to read the comments of China hands on this.

Excerpts:Xi Jinping is the first Chinese leader since the death of Mao in 1976 who was not handpicked by Deng and he has consciously set out to define a fourth era in party rule. This involves a dramatic expansion of China’s military, a far more assertive stance globally and total suppression of dissent. Economically, he has laid out a state-dominated vision of self-reliance that one former World Bank official describes as a “wartime” economic plan.

The most accurate political comparison is probably with Russia in the 19th century, under Tsar Nicholas I or Alexander III. “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” was inserted into the constitution in 2017 and has been endlessly lionised ever since. Although party officials struggle to clearly define this new ideology, it describes a deeply conservative policy that closely resembles the “orthodoxy, autocracy and nationality” — also known as “faith, tsar and fatherland” — dogma of Nicholas I.

Instead of the Russian Orthodox Church, Xi emphasises a pseudo-religious mix of Sinicized Marxism, Confucianism and Maoism. The other two pillars of CCP rule today — autocracy and ethno-nationalism — are virtually identical to those of Nicholas I, although the mass incarceration and re-education of Muslim Uyghurs and other minorities is more ambitious than anything the tsars ever attempted in peacetime.

 

12. Putin Suddenly Looks Very Small

defenseone.com · by Kevin Baron

I know this is not the author’s intent but I thought he looked and acted like a thug as well as a disinformation generating machine.

 

13. SOCOM’s controversial head of diversity and inclusion is back in his job

militarytimes.com · by Meghann Myers · June 17, 2021

 

14. CYBERCOM Seeks ‘Hunt Forward’ Funding Boost

breakingdefense.com · by Brad D. Williams · June 16, 2021

I like “hunt forward” better than “defend forward.”

 

15. FDD | FAQ: Issues Ahead on Iran’s Nuclear Program

fdd.org · by Mark Dubowitz · June 17, 2021

 

16. FDD | Ali Larijani, Iran’s Rejected Hardliner

fdd.org · by Tzvi Kahn · June 17, 2021

Excerpts: “Yet Larijani’s history of loyalty to the revolution proved insufficient for the Guardian Council to approve his bid for the presidency in 2021. While the reason for the council’s decision remains unclear, it may be that Larijani’s record of enforcing submission to the regime lags behind that of another candidate, Ebrahim Raisi, the first choice and confidant of Khamenei. As a prosecutor, as attorney general, and later as head of Iran’s judiciary, Raisi oversaw the imprisonment, torture, and execution of countless prisoners of conscience, including the 1988 massacre of thousands of political dissidents.

Khamenei likely wishes to see an overwhelming victory for Raisi, who now faces three other opponents, none with Raisi’s prominence. At the same time, as the regime faces increasing challenges to its legitimacy by a disaffected public angered by a cratering economy and Tehran’s repression, turnout will likely be low, thereby weakening the victor’s ability to claim a mandate. One recent poll projected a turnout of only 41 percent.

Still, Larijani opted to serve a regime whose institutions all must bend to the will of the supreme leader. He should not be surprised when Khamenei spurns the people who served him most sedulously.

 

17.  Biden Is Wrong: Europeans Should Focus on Europe, Not Asia

spectator.org · by Doug Bandow · June 18, 2021

Excerpts: “In Brussels, NATO’s members declared, “We face multifaceted threats, systemic competition from assertive and authoritarian powers, as well as growing security challenges to our countries and our citizens from all strategic directions. Russia’s aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security; terrorism in all its forms and manifestations remains a persistent threat to us all. State and non-state actors challenge the rules-based international order and seek to undermine democracy across the globe. Instability beyond our borders is also contributing to irregular migration and human trafficking.” The Europeans have plenty to do without faking readiness to confront China.

Ultimately, cooperation among Western and other democratic states will be important in dealing with the increasing challenge posed by Beijing. But the president and others in Washington shouldn’t fool themselves into expecting military assistance from Europe. They certainly shouldn’t allow this alluring chimera to divert them from the more pressing issue of shifting the primary burden of managing Russia from America to Europe.

 

18. ‘Hopelessly divided’ Supreme Court defies narrative with another unanimous opinion

USA Today · by Jonathan Turley

Perhaps the Supreme Court is doing what it is supposed to and judging the law and not playing politics. I noted in the majority opinion and Justice Alito’s dissent in the ACA case it seemed to me that they were judging the law and not the politics and the same seems to be for the religious freedom case. This is what the Supreme Court is supposed to do, put the Constitution and the law above politics.

 

19. Iran’s Leading Presidential Candidate Has Committed Crimes Against Humanity

realclearworld.com · by Tzvi Kahn

Excerpts: “In 2019, the Trump administration sanctioned Raisi, citing his conduct in the 1988 massacre and the 2009 protests. Now, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has indicated that the Biden administration may lift some non-nuclear sanctions on Iran in order to persuade Tehran to reenter the 2015 nuclear deal. The regime, for its part, has pressed America’s negotiators to lift all nuclear and non-nuclear sanctions, which would include a removal of Raisi from the blacklist.

The Biden administration should resist such pressure. Regardless of the fate of the nuclear accord, perpetrators of crimes against humanity should not receive pardons.

 

20. Mapped: The countries where China’s influence has surpassed the U.S.

Axios · by Dave Lawler

Graphic at the link

 

—————-

 

“You must never, ever give out. We must keep the faith because we are one people. We are brothers and sisters. We all live in the same house: The American house.” 

– John Lewis

 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” 

– Martin Luther King

 

“Every year we must remind successive generations that this event triggered a series of events that one by one defines the challenges and responsibilities of successive generations. That’s why we need this holiday.” 

– Al Edwards

 

 

DanielRiggs
Fri, 06/18/2021 – 12:20pm

06/18/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/18/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Kim says N. Korea should be ready for both dialogue, confrontation with U.S.

2. Kim Jong Un equally ready to talk or fight with Biden

3.  North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Opens Door for Dialogue With Biden

4. Third-Day Sitting of 3rd Plenary Meeting of 8th Central Committee of Workers’ Party of Korea Held

5. North Korea encourages cell phone users to install new “cooking app”

6. Pres. Moon says map of Joseon Dynasty shows Dokdo as part of Korean territory

7. North Korea Hackers Target S.Korea Nuclear Think Tank – Lawmaker

8. Households Start Paying for Moon’s Irrational Nuclear Phaseout

9. In North Korea a packet of coffee costs $100, and that’s a problem for Kim Jong Un

10.  <Breaking News Inside N. Korea> Soaring Food Prices Cause Market Confusion. 2.4 times the price of corn: “The market is screaming in pain.”

11. Taliban Frees All South Korean Hostages

12. Seoul courts risk after ‘no shackles’ missile development deal

 

1. Kim says N. Korea should be ready for both dialogue, confrontation with U.S.

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · June 18, 2021

Perhaps this is Kim’s response to President Biden’s principled, practical diplomacy and stern deterrence. Except that President Biden’s offer is the opportunity for Kim to act as a responsible member of the international community. Does he have it in him to do so? I am afraid he is a scorpion who cannot change his nature.

And an important question we have to ask and answer is when will Kim be capable of navigating his domestic problems and re-engaging internationally? Will he be able to do both? Or will he try to “externalize” his domestic problems (in an attempt to cover them up) by reverting to his political warfare strategy and blackmail diplomacy and resume threats, increased tensions, and provocations to create the perception external threats against the regime to justify the continued sacrifices of the Korean people living in the north? 

 

2. Kim Jong Un equally ready to talk or fight with Biden

asiatimes.com · by Andrew Salmon · June 18, 2021

I am reminded of the communist adage (North Vietnamese and Chinese, but also can describe the Korean War Armistice negotiations): “fight, fight, talk, talk.”

 

3. North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Opens Door for Dialogue With Biden

Bloomberg · by Jon Herskovitz · June 18, 2021

While we should not get overly optimistic about these reports about the regime statements.

I wonder if the timing of this is just a coincidence with Ambassador Sung Kim’s upcoming trip to Seoul. The timing seems like perfectly executed political warfare that will support the South Korean desire to cancel exercises as the concession (appeasement) the Moon administration believes is necessary to restart US-nK negotiations and north-South engagement. I hope we are not duped by the regime again. Queue music of The Who – “won’t get fooled again.”

 

4. Third-Day Sitting of 3rd Plenary Meeting of 8th Central Committee of Workers’ Party of Korea Held

kcnawatch.org

Here is the KCNA official statement from north Korea (and the “respected general.”)

Key points: “The respected General Secretary reviewed and assessed major changes taking place recently in the international political arena and the external environment of our revolution.

Especially he made detailed analysis of the policy tendency of the new U.S. administration toward our Republic and clarified appropriate strategic and tactical counteraction and direction of activities to be maintained in the relations with the U.S. in the days ahead.

The General Secretary stressed the need to get prepared for both dialogue and confrontation, especially to get more fully prepared for confrontation in order to protect the dignity of our state and its interests for independent development and to reliably guarantee the peaceful environment and the security of our state.

 

5. North Korea encourages cell phone users to install new “cooking app”

dailynk.com · by Kim Yoo Jin · June 18, 2021

If you cannot beat them, join them. Is the regime exploiting apps to obtain foreign currency? It is a learning organization.

 

6. Pres. Moon says map of Joseon Dynasty shows Dokdo as part of Korean territory

donga.com · June 18, 2021

Something else to poke in the eye of Japan. We have maps at the Library of Congress in the US in the Korea section that show the same thing.

 

7. North Korea Hackers Target S.Korea Nuclear Think Tank – Lawmaker

US News and World Reports · by Hyonhee Shin

 

8. Households Start Paying for Moon’s Irrational Nuclear Phaseout

english.chosun.com

A major strategic mistake by the Moon administration.

 

9. In North Korea a packet of coffee costs $100, and that’s a problem for Kim Jong Un

CNN · by Joshua Berlinger and Paula Hancocks

I wonder how much a Latte costs at Starbucks in Pyongyang? Oh that is right there are no Starbucks in north Korea.

 

10. <Breaking News Inside N. Korea> Soaring Food Prices Cause Market Confusion. 2.4 times the price of corn: “The market is screaming in pain.”

asiapress.org

Key point: “I feel a threat to our lives. In fact, elderly people who live alone and don’t have money to buy food are dying everywhere,” one of the reporting partners concluded.

We must be observing for the indicators of internal instability and the effects on the regime and its decision making and survival.

 

11. Taliban Frees All South Korean Hostages

CBS News

I do not think we often appreciate or even know how engaged Koreans are around the world.

 

12. Seoul courts risk after ‘no shackles’ missile development deal

Al Jazeera English · by Frank Smith

 

————

 

“You must never, ever give out. We must keep the faith because we are one people. We are brothers and sisters. We all live in the same house: The American house.” 

– John Lewis

 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” 

– Martin Luther King

 

“Every year we must remind successive generations that this event triggered a series of events that one by one defines the challenges and responsibilities of successive generations. That’s why we need this holiday.” 

– Al Edwards

DanielRiggs
Fri, 06/18/2021 – 11:49am

06/17/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/17/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

 

1. CIA Names David Marlowe to Run Espionage Operations

2. Does Biden Have the Right Naval Strategy to Take on Russia and China? History Has An Answer.

3. Biden’s cyber budget good, but still insufficient to meet the threats

4. In the Iran nuclear crisis, the IAEA stands alone

5. Russia, US Will Launch Arms Control Talks To Avoid ‘Accidental War’

6. A Better Way to Measure Returns on U.S. Security Cooperation Investments

7. Rank-and-file soldiers begin Special Forces-style security missions across Indo-Pacific

8. U.S. Needs ‘Combat-Credible’ Forces to Deter China, Nominee Says

9. SecDef OKs Joint Warfighting Concept; Joint Requirements Due Soon

10. Robust, credible and layered missile defense is the foundation of deterrence

11. FDD | Schemes and Subversion: How Bad Actors and Foreign Governments Undermine and Evade Sanctions Regimes

12. FDD | Tehran’s nuclear secrets have been exposed

13. NATO Targets the ‘3 C’s’: China, Cyberattacks and Climate Change

14. Growth of nuclear arsenals ‘a worrisome sign’

15. DroneGun Tactical the ultimate UAV killer

16. FDD | Biden Should Not Lift Sanctions Against Iranian Presidential Candidate Ebrahim Raisi

17. Suspend Syria and Russia from the WHO

18. Lost at Sea: How Two Iranian Warships Are Testing American Mettle

19. NSA cyber director discusses US response, approach to apparent espionage operation

20. Strengthening U.S. Engagement in International Standards Bodies

 

1. CIA Names David Marlowe to Run Espionage Operations

WSJ · by Warren P. Strobel

Excerpts: “Little more is known publicly about Mr. Marlowe’s career. The CIA normally does not publicly disclose its employees’ foreign assignments. CIA officials described him as an Arabic speaker who has spent 20 of his 30 years at the agency in field assignments overseas. His most recent job, they said, was assistant director of the CIA’s Near East Mission Center, which combines operations officers, intelligence analysts and other specialists to focus on the Middle East.

“One of the big challenges today [for] operational tradecraft is ubiquitous technical surveillance, the capacity of a number of our adversaries to make it much more complicated to conduct traditional tradecraft,” he said.

 

2. Does Biden Have the Right Naval Strategy to Take on Russia and China? History Has An Answer.

19fortyfive.com · by James Holmes · June 16, 2021

Conclusion: “Take it from William Pitt: a well-armed peace is cheaper and less hazardous than war.

The British shipbuilding maxim of which Mahan writes implies that the United States must maintain sea forces able to contend with the combined sea power of China and Russia. These two opponents have formed an armed entente and thus constitute latter-day counterparts to France and Spain in the days of Pitt and George III. It’s prudent to set a two-power standard—much as Britain did in its imperial heyday—and measure the U.S. against Sino-Russian maritime might. If U.S. sea forces aren’t up to that standard, America and its allies are standing into danger.

Let’s not suffer a British fate.

 

3. Biden’s cyber budget good, but still insufficient to meet the threats

The Hill · by Mark Montgomery· June 15, 2021

Excerpts:In past years, moderate cybersecurity budget increases left the United States treading water amid a rising tide of ransomware attackscyber espionage incidents, and critical infrastructure vulnerabilities. The Biden administration is headed in the right direction but is too narrowly focused on what it calls “investments tailored to respond to lessons learned from the SolarWinds incident.”

America needs proactive, forward-looking investment that both mitigates the past year’s problems and prevents next year’s.

In the world of policymaking, real priorities do not come from pronouncements; they come from budgets. Even as the White House’s budget moves in the right direction, Congress will need to make additions to firmly establish national cybersecurity as a strategic priority.

 

4. In the Iran nuclear crisis, the IAEA stands alone

The Hill · by Andrea Stricker and Behnam Ben Taleblu· June 14, 2021

Excerpts: “Director-General Grossi has declared that he views outstanding safeguards issues as a present, and not a past matter, but the IAEA board, the 35-member elected body assigned to hold states accountable to their NPT safeguards obligations, may not help.

The board, under pressure from the U.S. and Europe not to disrupt JCPOA negotiations, yet again withheld a resolution — formal admonishment against Iran’s non-cooperation — at the June IAEA board meeting. As principal leaders in shoring up the non-proliferation regime, the U.S. and E3 (France, Britain, and Germany) must lead on resolutions for them to have any chance of success.

In a greater twist of irony, should world powers re-establish the JCPOA, they will effectively block the IAEA board (and themselves) from holding Iran accountable to its non-proliferation obligations. The board’s main recourse is to refer a non-compliant state to the UN Security Council (UNSC) for sanctions. The JCPOA obstructs UNSC sanctions against Iran because under the terms of its implementing resolution, 2231, all UN sanctions against Iran are lifted. To penalize the Islamic Republic, the UNSC would first need to bring down 2231.

As a result, the current nuclear crisis is likely to repeat itself in a handful of years as JCPOA restrictions sunset, if a military conflict or regional proliferation cascade do not take place first. To prevent all three, the Biden administration should resist the siren song of JCPOA resurrection and first empower the IAEA to do its job. If no baseline for Iran’s past and present nuclear activities can be established, there is no foundation for a deal.

 

5. Russia, US Will Launch Arms Control Talks To Avoid ‘Accidental War’

defenseone.com · by Jacqueline Feldscher

And this:At the summit, Biden and Putin also discussed how to protect national assets from cyberattacks. Biden said he gave the Russian president a list of 16 critical infrastructure items, including the power grid and water system, that should be “off the table” for any cyberattack.

When Biden was asked about what consequences he threatened if Putin went after any of those protected areas, he said, “I pointed out to him that we have significant cyber capabilities and he knows it….If in fact they violate these basic norms, we will respond.”

 

6. A Better Way to Measure Returns on U.S. Security Cooperation Investments

defenseone.com · by Zack Gold, Ralph Espach, Douglas Jackson, and Nicholas Bradford

One way we might achieve better effects is if we were to align all security cooperation activities and related activities. We need to have a nested strategy for security cooperation orchestrating the actions and activities and campaign plans for supporting security assistance, foreign assistance, foreign military sales. international military education and training, foreign internal defense, security sector reform, defense institution building, etc.

Excerpts: We agree that monitoring the outputs and outcomes of security cooperation activities and reporting them clearly and concisely is necessary, but we find the return-on-investment approach to be the wrong tool for the job. A better solution is a mixed-methods approach that combines quantitative and qualitative data. Because security cooperation outcomes are not financial gains, we view the “returns” on security cooperation investment as outcomes in alignment with strategic objectives. To measure the effects of these activities properly, we propose a framework that focuses on strategic objectives, alignment, and outcomes.

A framework focused on these elements allows military commands to compare findings from individual security cooperation engagements or to compare subsequent iterations of an annual engagement. Our framework includes a quantitative component and a qualitative one. First, we compute a quantitative alignment score, which is a combination of partner participation and strategic objectives addressed by a security cooperation activity. The objective alignment score is as simple as tallying the number of command strategic objectives addressed by the security cooperation activity. The combination of the partner participation score and the objective alignment score produces a numeric value of alignment with strategic objectives.

Our framework’s qualitative outcomes assessment ascertains the success of the security cooperation activity in increasing capacity or changing partner behaviors to meet objectives. This process includes defining the desired outcomes of strategic objectives, collecting periodic data on indicators of those outcomes, and concisely summarizing findings. Partner militaries, U.S. embassies, and military commands already collect much of the required data—though not systematically. Using this framework, the command could assign personnel to pull this information, or task an external organization to conduct the data collection.

By combining these quantitative and qualitative components into a single tool, our assessment framework generates a display of security cooperation activities’ strategic objectives alignment, progress toward achieving objectives, and overall assessment. Though not as simple as return on investment, it displays far more—and more relevant—data for security cooperation in an easily readable table that a command can share with key stakeholders at regular intervals.

 

7.  Rank-and-file soldiers begin Special Forces-style security missions across Indo-Pacific

Stars and Stripes · by Seth Robson · June 17, 2021

No one can tell me there is not a conspiracy to replace US Special Forces. I am going to go all QAnon on this (note sarcasm!)

But this is a real problem and a misunderstanding of the mission and value of US Special Forces:

It’s a task that has, in the past, been the preserve of the Green Berets, said Chief Warrant Officer Jason Sosnicki, a maintainer and member of the 5th SFAB who deployed to Papua New Guinea in May for a six-week mission.

“Green Berets work with [partner nations’] special forces,” he said by phone Wednesday from Port Moresby. “We partner with normal infantry, engineers, artillery and logistics elements.”

Special Forces’ elite nature means they can deploy for only a short time, limiting the number of foreign troops that can work with, he said.

US Special Forces do not just train “people that look like them” ( as one general officer once said in a briefing in DC – meaning SF only trains other elite units).  I spent a lot of time training, advising, and assisting units other than special operations and that is true for most SF soldiers.

I am not discounting the importance of the SFABs. There is an important role for them. But we need to use the right forces for the right missions and it is not simply a conventional force – SOF divide.  

 

8. U.S. Needs ‘Combat-Credible’ Forces to Deter China, Nominee Says

Bloomberg · by Peter Martin · June 16, 2021

Excerpts: “Until last week, Ratner led a China task force at the Pentagon aimed at reorienting America’s military to better compete with Beijing. Based on the task force’s recommendations, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive “designed to focus departmental processes and procedures and better help department leaders contribute to whole-of-government efforts to address the challenge from China.”

Ratner served as deputy national security advisor to then-Vice President Biden from 2015 to 2017. He also held positions at the State Department, the Senate and the Center for a New American Security.

 

9. SecDef OKs Joint Warfighting Concept; Joint Requirements Due Soon

breakingdefense.com · by Theresa Hitchens · June 16, 2021

We are a platform centric military.

 

10. Robust, credible and layered missile defense is the foundation of deterrence

Defense News · by Punch Moulton and Francis Mahon · June 16, 2021

Excerpt: “Today, our defense rests on the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, or GMD, and its 44 interceptors. But that alone is not going to be adequate to deal with the threats of 2027. Defending our homeland is vital. Looking to the next decade, we need to stay ahead of our threats. Our concerns are four-fold: technology, numbers, layers and sensors.”

 

11. FDD | Schemes and Subversion: How Bad Actors and Foreign Governments Undermine and Evade Sanctions Regimes

fdd.org · by Eric B. Lorber · June 16, 2021

The 18 page statement can be downloaded here.

The video of the testimony can be viewed a this link

 

12. FDD | Tehran’s nuclear secrets have been exposed

fdd.org · by Clifford D. May · June 16, 2021

Excerpts: “At a minimum, Iran has a coordinated set of activities related to building a nuclear weapon,” Mr. Albright writes. “At worst, the weaponization team has already conducted a cold test, fulfilled its post-Amad goal of building an industrial prototype, and is regularly practicing and improving their nuclear weaponization craft under various covers or in clandestine locations.”

Which leads to this conclusion: “A reinstated JCPOA combined with less than vigorous IAEA verification of Iran’s military sites, of the type that existed from 2015 until 2018, appears particularly unstable and dangerous.”

 

13. NATO Targets the ‘3 C’s’: China, Cyberattacks and Climate Change

Bloomberg · by James Stavridis · June 16, 2021

Excerpts:Given that the nations collectively spend more than $1 trillion on their defense establishments; operate 28,000 military aircraft and 800 capital warships; and have seven million troops (active and reserve) under command, this will be significant.

The summit also hit some lingering issues as well, with plenty of discussion about Russian aggression, particularly against NATO non-member partners Ukraine and Georgia; Afghanistan, where the withdrawal from that 20-year mission will require more financial and diplomatic support; and effective missile defenses on both sides of the Atlantic.

But the real thrust of the 2021 summit could be summarized as the three C’s: China, cybersecurity and climate. The times are changing, and NATO is changing with them.

 

14. Growth of nuclear arsenals ‘a worrisome sign’

asiatimes.com · by Dave Makichuk · June 16, 2021

 

15.  DroneGun Tactical the ultimate UAV killer

asiatimes.com · by Dave Makichuk · June 16, 2021

 

16.  FDD | Biden Should Not Lift Sanctions Against Iranian Presidential Candidate Ebrahim Raisi

fdd.org · by Matthew Zweig · June 16, 2021

Excerpt: “Since Executive Order 13876 targets malign Iranian actors and activities both abroad and at home, its application to Raisi and to other senior Iranian officials is a legitimate use of non-nuclear sanctions. To combat the continued misconduct of the regime – both externally and internally – the Biden administration should refrain from lifting any non-nuclear sanctions on Iran, especially on Raisi.”

 

17. Suspend Syria and Russia from the WHO

The National Interest · by David Adesnik · June 15, 2021

We must get tough with these international organizations and root out the malign influence of these authoritarian countries that seek to undermine the international order.

Conclusion: “The bipartisan path forward should proceed from the premise that engagement is essential precisely because the WHO and other multilateral organizations are strategic grounds in the struggle against U.S. adversaries. Biden’s interim national security strategy hints as much but shies away from saying it openly. The document warns of an “authoritarian agenda” for manipulating the UN system, then adds, “In a world of deepening rivalry, we will not cede this vital terrain.”

A push to suspend Syria and Russia from the WHO will require substantial effort, but the administration should not see it as a burden. Rather, it is part and parcel of a necessary campaign to shape the multilateral playing field by targeting the real opponents of reform.

 

18. Lost at Sea: How Two Iranian Warships Are Testing American Mettle

thedispatch.com · by Emanuele Ottolenghi

Excerpts:Events following the Iran deal offer a clear insight into why Iran feels it can dispatch warships to America’s backyard with impunity. The ink was not even dry yet on the JCPOA when Iran began to use its national airline, Iran Air, to move thousands of militia fighters to Syria at the height of its civil war. This was the same airline that, as a major beneficiary of the JCPOA, was about to buy hundreds of Western-made aircraft. Why would Iran jeopardize the nuclear deal and its economic benefits? Because it could. Because it correctly gamed the scenario and anticipated President Obama would not jeopardize what he viewed as a historic diplomatic achievement by acting against the delinquent airline. Tehran knew the U.S. would not push back.

Which brings us back to the two warships. Iran sent them to signal its strength and defiance. It is a challenge to the Biden administration because Tehran, so far correctly, has calculated that the U.S. will do nothing if it thinks it can jeopardize nuclear talks.

Washington should not fall into this trap. The regime in Tehran is not going to walk away from talks that could restore its economic clout—an essential tool in its pursuit of broader global influence. Besides, what is Iran going to do? The U.S. killed Qassem Suleimani, their top general, in January 2020, yet Tehran did little in response.

Tehran needs to know Washington will exact a pound of flesh for its reckless behavior. So far, the Biden administration has given them no reason to think there are any risks involved in provoking Washington. Maybe the two ships will give President Biden an opportunity to reassess his erstwhile inclination to give Tehran a pass.

 

19.  NSA cyber director discusses US response, approach to apparent espionage operation

cyberscoop.com · by Shannon Vavra · June 16, 2021

 

20. Strengthening U.S. Engagement in International Standards Bodies

dayoneproject.org · June 15, 2021

The 28 page report can be download here.

 

—————–

 

“The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.”

– Soren Kierkegaard

 

“If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment … all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.”

– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. “

– Plato

DanielRiggs
Thu, 06/17/2021 – 9:33am

06/17/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/17/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

 

1.  ‘Goodwill’ gestures, suspension of joint military drills needed to bring N. Korea to dialogue: experts

2.  New U.S. special envoy for N.K. to visit S. Korea later this week: official

3.  LaCamera to take office as new USFK commander next month

4. North Korea Might Have Up to 50 Nuclear Weapons: Report

5. Note to President Biden: Talk to Kim Jong Un

6. Moon’s Last Chance on North Korea

7. A growing number of South Pyongan Province households are suffering from food shortages

8. Debates arise over call to cancel joint military drills

9. Korea’s nuke envoy to hold bilateral, trilateral talks with US, Japanese counterparts

10. N.K. holds key party meeting for second day with focus on economy

11. U.N. discloses thousands of files related to North Korea human rights abuses

12. ‘The way to survive’: North Korea ramps up recycling amid sanctions and pandemic

13. North Korea Isn’t Planning Any Nuclear Weapons Tests Anytime Soon

14. South Korea citizenship law change proposal sparks anti-China backlash

15. North Korea Cracks Down on Illegal Phone Calls to China and South Korea

 

1. ‘Goodwill’ gestures, suspension of joint military drills needed to bring N. Korea to dialogue: experts

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 17, 2021

Appeasement.  Moon Chung-in and other such experts are providing dangerous advice. 

And oh by the way, we will not be conducting  Ulchi Freedom Guardian in August.  We have not conducted it for a couple of years now.  We will conduct a Combined Command Post Training event called Dong Maeng 21-2.

If we suspend this training then we may as well start withdrawing US forces because if we cannot train the ROK/US CFC and the subordinate component HQ then we cannot sustain a military alliance.  We have been degrading our training exercises since President Trump unilaterally cancelled Ulchi Freedom Guardian in 2018.  Why haven’t the previous cancellations, postponements, and scaling back of training over the past 3 years resulted in any change in regime behavior?  Because Kim does not really care about exercises except that they can be exploited as part of his political warfare strategy and blackmail diplomacy.   He wants combined training halted for specific reasons: weaken the combined military force responsible for deterrence and defense and to drive a wedge in the ROK/US alliance.  

My thoughts on the importance of combined training:

The U.S. Military And South Korea Must Train To Deter North Korea

The North Korea Threat Is Growing. U.S.-South Korea Military Training Must Press Forward.
 

2. New U.S. special envoy for N.K. to visit S. Korea later this week: official

en.yna.co.kr · by 김승연 · June 16, 2021

A 7 hour flight from Jakarta is better than the 14 hour one from DC and the time zone change is minimal!  🙂 

I think Ambassador Kim has been to Panmunjom enough times over the years so I am not sure why the press or Korean officials mention that he is not expected to visit there. I do not see how a visit to Panmunjom will advance the denuclearization issue.

 

3. LaCamera to take office as new USFK commander next month

en.yna.co.kr · by 최수향 · June 17, 2021

July 2d.

I note in General LaCamera’s bio that he was the battalion S3 for 1-506th Infantry at Camp Greaves.  A good unit! 🙂 

 

4. North Korea Might Have Up to 50 Nuclear Weapons: Report

19fortyfive.com · by Eli Fuhrman · June 16, 2021

According to SIPRI’s new annual report.

 

5. Note to President Biden: Talk to Kim Jong Un

38north.org · by Kenneth B. Dekleva · June 15, 2021

Note the author’s bio in the article. 

Very interesting analysis and perspective. Given the author’s knowledge and experience we need to pay attention to him.

Here are some of his past writings (and a briefing) on Kim Jong-un;

The Past, Present and Future of Leadership Analysis: Xi, Kim and Putin

The Psychology of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un: The Measure of a Man: Insight from Kenneth Dekleva.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: THE LEADERSHIP STYLES OF KIM IL – SUNG, KIM JONG – I L , AND KIM JONG – U N

Excerpts: …why can’t he do the same with Chairman Kim, in the search for a durable peace on the Korean Peninsula? Surely President Biden can utilize the 2018 Singapore joint statement and former Special Representative Steve Biegun’s January 2019 speech at Stanford as useful starting points. But this requires that Biden see the world through Chairman Kim’s eyes and psyche. And given his vast foreign policy experience, Biden knows that in negotiations, personal relationships, rapport and empathy truly matter. This requires his meeting with Kim, and taking his measure, and vice-versa.

President Biden’s age—perceived by some as a hindrance, or even a risk—may also offer an opportunity for novel diplomacy. But time is not on his side, as other diplomatic and US domestic political pressures will likely intercede as the year wears on. But by taking a first step, President Biden can earn—as did President Trump during the 2018 Singapore Summit and 2019 visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)—Kim’s respect. And respect matters! It can lead to bolder initiatives and the hope of a lasting, durable peace on the Korean Peninsula. This is a key moment for President Biden, and our Asian allies, as well as adversaries such as Russia and China. All are watching closely, and the time to act boldly is now.

 

6. Moon’s Last Chance on North Korea

thediplomat.com · by Mitch Shin · June 15, 2021

It will be this impatience of the Moon administration that will cause significant friction in the ROK/US alliance.  And unfortunately, Kim Jong-un’s political warfare strategy will attempt to exploit this impatience and the alliance friction it will cause.

 

7. A growing number of South Pyongan Province households are suffering from food shortages

dailynk.com  · by Seulkee Jang · June 17, 2021

Indicators that bear watching.  There is potential for instability, though as long as the military and security services remain coherent and function and support Kim Jong-un they will be able to suppress any resistance.

 

8. Debates arise over call to cancel joint military drills

The Korea Times  · by Jung Da-min · June 17, 2021

This is getting out of hand.  This is a danger not only to combined military readiness and deterrence but to the alliance writ large. We need voices stronger than Moon Chung-in to counter his dangerous advice.  All past appeasement has not worked. What evidence is there that continued consolation, postponing, and scaling back exercises will change north Korean behavior?

 

9. Korea’s nuke envoy to hold bilateral, trilateral talks with US, Japanese counterparts

The Korea Times · June 17, 2021

I hope they can resolve the exercise issue.  The insanity of Moon chiung-in’s advice must be shut down.

 

10. N.K. holds key party meeting for second day with focus on economy

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · June 17, 2021

It is like deja vu all over again.  How many times have we read that party meetings in north Korea are focused on the economy?  How many times has the regime and the party solved its economic problems?

 

11. U.N. discloses thousands of files related to North Korea human rights abuses

UPI · by Elizabeth Shim · June 16, 2021

This should be helpful to researchers and eventually for the necessary truth and reconciliation commission that will be established during the unification process.

 

12. ‘The way to survive’: North Korea ramps up recycling amid sanctions and pandemic

Reuters · by Minwoo Park

The Korean people in the north do not waste anything.  They are probably the most efficient recyclers in the world at the personal or family level.  But will a national level recycling campaign have any effect? Or is  this simply cosmetic?

Excerpt: “Residents are complaining about the government trying to control everything, even rubbish: ‘How can we recycle waste, when we don’t even have waste?'”

 

13. North Korea Isn’t Planning Any Nuclear Weapons Tests Anytime Soon

The National Interest · by Eli Fuhrman · June 16, 2021

Absence of evidence – ?

north Korea is masterful at denial and deception.

What if they are planning an atmospheric test, say over the Pacific Ocean?

 

14.  South Korea citizenship law change proposal sparks anti-China backlash

CNN

The Chinese know how to conduct subversion and this would provide the Chinese an easy pathway to subvert Korean society in the coming decades.

 

15. North Korea Cracks Down on Illegal Phone Calls to China and South Korea

rfa.org · by Myungchul Lee and Jeong Yon Park

Again, this illustrates that Kim Jong-un is afraid, he is very afraid.  And of course cell phones are not only useful for transmitting information they are an excellent conduit for funds.

 

————-

 

“The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.”

– Soren Kierkegaard

 

“If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment … all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.”

– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. “

– Plato

DanielRiggs
Thu, 06/17/2021 – 9:16am

06/16/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/16/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1.  Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on the National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism

2.  FACT SHEET: National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism

3. Biden administration unveils new strategy to counter domestic terrorism

4. Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense on 2020 Unified Command Plan

5. FOLLOW-UP Comments Fixing Oversight of Special Operations Forces

6. How I learned to stop worrying and to love the Afghanistan withdrawal plan | Opinion

7. Biden nominates 9 to high-profile ambassador postings

8. Part 1: What the budget reveals — and leaves unclear — about the cost of JADC2

9. Part 2: Congress dealt ABMS a blow, but experts see progress

10. Part 3: Proposed modernization increases show Army sees joint operations as ‘top priority’

11. Part 4: Classified Navy JADC2 budget plan has a few spending hints

12. Biden’s Hair Should Be ‘On Fire’ Over Afghan Translators Being Left Behind, Senator Says

13. Pentagon considering permanent naval task force to counter China in the Pacific

14. Next National Defense Strategy Should Return to Two-War Force Construct

15. US military’s elite commando forces look to expand diversity

16. An alliance of democracies is essential

17. US signals flexibility and pragmatism to China

18. The real B3W-NATO agenda

19. How Biden Should Deal With Putin

20. China Repackages Its History in Support of Xi’s National Vision

21. Clausewitz and Centres of Gravity: Turning the Esoteric into Practical Outcomes

22. Developing a Combatant Command Campaign Plan: Lessons Learned at US Central Command

 

1. Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on the National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism

White House · June 15, 2021

Excerpt: “This is a project that should unite all Americans.”

Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on the National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism

 

2. FACT SHEET: National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism

White House · June 15, 2021

The 32 page strategy document can be downloaded here

The four pillars:

PILLAR 1: UNDERSTAND AND SHARE DOMESTIC TERRORISM-RELATED INFORMATION

PILLAR 2: PREVENT DOMESTIC TERRORISM RECRUITMENT AND MOBILIZATION TO VIOLENCE

PILLAR 3: DISRUPT AND DETER DOMESTIC TERRORISM ACTIVITY

PILLAR 4: CONFRONT LONG-TERM CONTRIBUTORS TO DOMESTIC TERRORISM

The 5th pillar should be: Do so without violating civil rights, the US Constitution, and American values.​

From the strategy: “while safeguarding bedrock American civil rights and civil liberties – values that​ ​make us who we are as a nation.​”​​

 

3. Biden administration unveils new strategy to counter domestic terrorism

NBC News · by Ken Dilanian · June 15, 2021

 

4. Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense on 2020 Unified Command Plan

White House · June 04, 2021

I missed this two weeks ago. Does this mean the Pentagon’s global force posture review is complete and is it now time to update the UCP?  

I have received a number of comments to this article. They are all over the map.

First, my follow-up comment:

“Actually the more I think about this the more I think the article was a good idea. Note I said the article was a good idea. Changes to SOF will only come through Congressional action. Congress will not be at all happy with the proposal in the article as it will undo too much SOF goodness that has been developed since 1987, it will not fix the SOF issues, and will only create more. Therefore, perhaps this article will spur Congress to take another bold step forward (where are the 21st Century Nunn and Cohen?) and actually implement substantive SOF improvements beyond what they tried in Sec 922. Again, we do not need SOF as a separate service because there is a lot of goodness with the connections SOF elements have with their parent service and that was one of the smart aspects of Nunn-Cohen. But SOF needs the requisite service authorities and resources to properly manage and oversee SOF. This is what Congress must follow through with. They provided their intent with Sec 922 but only offered half measures and f steps to solve the problems. It is time for bold congressional action. Will it happen?

 

Comments received and observed:

1.

Barno makes a strong argument but history tells us that his suggested arrangement will diminish SO and SOF. His example of the Navy-Marine relationship is interesting but it is very different from a potential Army-SOF relationship. History!

I also find the fixation on SOF problems curious considering the very serious issues with conventional forces and their leaders. SOF certainly does need to clean up its messes. 

We also should not lose sight of the fact that our military, under predominantly conventional leaders, has proven to be incapable of winning wars against 4th rate opponents (I am categorizing Rangers as other direct action leaders in the conventionally, attrition-minded category). This includes the article’s author.

Contrary to Mulholland’s view, a separate service with global operational responsibilities is necessary. 

2. 

 

Tiring. You will note it is about the domains. The DA side of SOF is indeed more closely related to the Land. Special Warfare is a Human domain martial activity. 

3.

Well, how about them apples. 

Just maybe the discussion is getting down to the fundamentals of our strategic national security deficiency. Go under the Army’s civilian leadership (Navy -Marine) or acknowledge the emergence of a human domain and structure accordingly.

The millstone around our SOF neck is the inclusion of elite infantry into the community. We hue to our Army root out of nostalgia and romance. The Army then mandates subservience and corrupts in the process who we are and perverts in its control what we are meant to do.

4.

Dave,

You are exactly right. Placing SOF under the Army will particularly undo the SOF RD&A authority and the speed with which it is accomplished. Back to layers of slow moving oversight, unnecessary and ill informed and probably prejudiced challenges and denials. I served in USSOCOM from 1988-1994 in the early days and the ability to finally get things done for SOF by SOF which was extremely rewarding and satisfying. 

Placing SOF under the Army is a solution looking for a problem.  

5.

I think this a half measure. The Sec Army has a great deal on his plate and limited bandwidth with staff, time and resources. SOCOM and its forces are essentially the Marine Corps of SOF. Its forces are greatly dependent upon the respective Services largesse and it has a limited seat at the table. There is also the issue of Not Invented Here in regard to an Army Sec dictating to USAF, USN and USMC forces.

I think it best to do what Congress actually intended and give the ASD SOLIC near-Secretarial authority and an expanded staff to manage. He/She can focus exclusively on SOF and insure its interests are spoken for with equality/authority at the table. Most importantly, the position would direct resources without competition eg Do we support procurement of an exclusive Army item or fund a SOF initiative? etc.

 

Gen Barno’s suggestion reduces the bureaucratic battle to keep SOF at bay, but it does not fix the inherant problem-The Services do not want SOF to have an equal voice or authorities regarding rice bowl issues.

My experience indicates that only a forced Congressional statute will resolve the issue. The Services will hate it but, in time, it will demonstrate the value as did Nunn-Cohen, Goldwater-Nichols and MFP 11.   

6.

the Army is barely able to direct the behavior and provide oversight of special operations forces wearing army uniforms. The idea the army secretary is going to provide oversight of units from other services is…let’s just say the idea is underdeveloped in this thin article. 

Sorta reads like Jake Blues wrote it to stop the mystery woman from killing him

7.

I hate to be the contrarian, but what Dave Barno and Nora Bensahel are proposing would be a creative and effective solution, particularly in the short run. One could even take it a step further and consider breaking up the ASD SOLIC and putting its various directorates under other ASDs within OUSD (P). At a minimum, DoD should fund a study to determine how effective it has been in terms of providing civilian oversight throughout its own history. With a constantly revolving door of political appointees it’s tough to make an argument that they can oversee their own organization, let alone a Combatant Command. I’m not convinced throwing more money at the problem will solve their problems either. Last, if one assumes a status quo budget for the foreseeable future (best case), where are these additional funds going to come from? Thoughts, ctrarguments?

8.

I think there are several deep seated issues that mitigate against a half measure on this issue:

The Office of Sec Army is overwhelmed by just Army issues, asking them to supervise/manage SOF-especially other services will never work

The Services and the DOD bureaucracy absolutely hate the idea of SOF having a major voice at the table or authorities that detract from their own rice bowls. They will do everything in their power-civil service bureaucrats to political appointees to contain the authorities with every tool at their disposal-Recall all the Service Chiefs telling Congress post Grenada that everything was fine and only minor tweaking was necessary.

This proposal is an attempt to stall the direction of a strong ASD SO/LIC and hope the Hill buys it.

As with most reform/change within DOD, it takes legislative statutes to fix issues.

9.

Much like Trey Goudy said that the Squad is best preserved as a means to insure a GOP majority in the future…………..

10.

What about putting them back under their respective services? Yes, there could be some standards for interoperability, but let them focus on Service missions.

We treat SOF as a strategic asset but that is only true in some very limited contexts. And it has contributed to where we are today. A lot of folks who grew up in SOF think only SOF can do certain things and restricted conventional forces as a consequence. This is particularly galling when those supposedly SOF capabilities are little more than basic combat tasks done by specialized troops. And SOF does not seize and hold terrain. At least not for very long.

 

11. FOLLOW-UP Comments Fixing Oversight of Special Operations Forces

warontherocks.com · by David Barno · June 15, 2021

So let’s place oversight for SOF with the service secretary facing the greatest challenge in articulating its role (and justifying its budgetary requirements) in the foreseeable future?

Seems like a high likelihood of a conflict of priorities, if not interests.

 

———- Forwarded message ———

From: David Maxwell

Date: Tue, Jun 15, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Subject: Fixing Oversight of Special Operations Forces

To:

The authors have said the quiet part out loud.  There are many senior officials who likely support this and this will put us right back in 1986. The answer is not to give SOF oversight to the Army but it is to provide SOF with service authorities along with responsibilities (and the resources to execute them) as Congress intends. Rather than go back to the future and undo Nunn-Cohen of Goldwater-Nichols, SOF needs to continue to evolve to improve (to reach an enlightened state).

 

6. How I learned to stop worrying and to love the Afghanistan withdrawal plan | Opinion

Newsweek · by Frank Sobchak· June 11, 2021

Excerpts: “When thinking of our vital interests, the U.S. should focus on areas that matter to us strategically and the enemies that can threaten those interests. While we squandered our finances in Afghanistan, the forces of authoritarianism have been on the march. Russia and China present complicated global threats to the existing liberal order that the U.S spent decades building and maintaining. Iran, a nation that has pledged the destruction of both Israel and the United States, presents a regional threat to that order and is on the cusp of becoming a nuclear power—a grave danger that could ignite an arms race and further destabilize a crucial region. Afghanistan is a costly distraction from those much bigger threats.

Even if a vestige of the terrorist threat does rise again in Afghanistan, it is unlikely to be significant enough to require another large-scale, prolonged intervention. The vast majority of the current fighters are domestic combatants engaged in the struggle for Afghanistan’s future. There are some al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants in Afghanistan, but those organizations spread across the world long ago in order to survive. It would require a willful suspension of reality to pretend the senior leaders of those organizations would return to set up terrorist training camps or operate overtly in Afghanistan, as this would put them in the crosshairs of American and coalition aircraft. If anything, it is the continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan that provides fodder for recruitment of the global jihadist network. Ending our involvement in the Afghan conflict will hurt the terrorists’ recruitment efforts.

As John Quincy Adams once noted, we should not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. The world is full of monsters who wish us ill. If we continuously go hunting for all of them, as we have for the last two decades, we will find ourselves financially insolvent and collectively exhausted. It is time for us to rest up and prepare, so that we will be ready when the big monsters do come for us.

 

7. Biden nominates 9 to high-profile ambassador postings

AP · by Aamer Madhani · June 15, 2021

 

8. Part 1: What the budget reveals — and leaves unclear — about the cost of JADC2

c4isrnet.com · by Nathan Strout · June 15, 2021

A four part series on JADC2 – Joint All-Domain Command and Control.

 

10. Part 3: Proposed modernization increases show Army sees joint operations as ‘top priority’

c4isrnet.com · by Andrew Eversden · June 15, 2021

 

11. Part 4: Classified Navy JADC2 budget plan has a few spending hints

c4isrnet.com · by Mark Pomerleau · June 15, 2021

 

12. Biden’s Hair Should Be ‘On Fire’ Over Afghan Translators Being Left Behind, Senator Says

defenseone.com · by Jacqueline Feldscher

 

13. Pentagon considering permanent naval task force to counter China in the Pacific

Politico

Excerpts: “It’s not yet clear whether the task force would involve only U.S. ships, or include other nations’ militaries as well, the people said.

Officials working on China policy at the Pentagon are also considering establishing a named military operation for the Pacific, which would create a formal planning process for the defense secretary and provide additional budget authority and resources for the effort, the people said.

The Pentagon has not yet briefed Capitol Hill on the plans, one of the people said.

Based on the work of Ratner’s task force, Austin issued a directive last week initiating several department-wide efforts to better address the security challenges posed by China as the United States’ “number one pacing challenge.” But officials declined to provide any details, saying that many of the initiatives are classified.

 

14. Next National Defense Strategy Should Return to Two-War Force Construct

airforcemag.com · by John A. Tirpak · June 15, 2021

There are only so many concepts: 2 Major Regional Contingencies and 2 lesser regional contingencies, Win-Hold-Win. We have probably seen them all since the ended of the Cold War.

The 60 page report can be downloaded here

 

15. US military’s elite commando forces look to expand diversity

militarytimes.com · by Lolita Baldor · June 15, 2021

Excerpts: “The effort comes as the military — and the nation — struggles with racism, extremism and hate crimes. Leaders see greater diversity as a way to combat extremism in the ranks, even as they increase other training and education programs.

Commando forces — particularly the officers — tend to be far less diverse than the military as a whole. While only a small percentage of those who try out eventually pass the grueling, years-long training for special operations, leaders hope that bringing in a wider array of recruits will lead to a more diverse force.

As of March 2021, a full 95% of all SEAL and combatant-craft crew (SWCC) officers were white and just 2% were Black, according to Naval Special Warfare statistics provided to the AP. The officers corps of Army Special Forces is 87% white, and also 2% Black.

The enlisted ranks are only slightly more diverse. About 84% of the Navy SEAL and SWCC enlisted troops are white, and 2% are Black. The greater diversity comes in the number of American Indian, Alaskan Native and those who say they are “multiple” races. The Army’s enlisted special forces are also 84% white, but the percentage of Blacks goes up to 4.

When all members of Naval Special Warfare and Army Special Operations Command are included — which would add combat support, civil affairs and psychological operations personnel — the diversity grows slightly. But it still doesn’t match the overall Army and Navy statistics. For example, 40% of the Navy’s enlisted force and 24% of it’s officers are non-white.

 

16. An alliance of democracies is essential

lowyinstitute.org · by Michael J Green

Excerpts:For years surveys have shown that thought-leaders across the Indo-Pacific greatly prefer democracy to authoritarianism. While the world’s leading democracies have rightly imposed sanctions in the cases of Xinjiang or Myanmar, the main theme of the recent Cornwall G7 Summit was about making the investments needed to demonstrate that democracy works. Thus, rather than pressuring countries to reject China’s Belt and Road projects, the United States, Australia and Japan (now joined by the other G7 countries) are offering high quality infrastructure financing alternatives.

But for that strategy to work, recipient countries will need to make borrowing decisions based on accountability, transparency and anti-corruption. A game of geopolitical influence absent efforts to strengthen democratic governance – even one backed by more lending – would end in failure as Beijing bribes its way across the region. It is only logical that the leading democracies should be coordinating strategies on this front. American and Australian taxpayers should demand no less.

Finally, solidarity among democracies matters to deterrence and regional stability. If Beijing or Moscow think that US alliances in Europe and Asia can be divided against each other, then the cost of aggression goes down. It does not require an explicit security guarantee for like-minded democracies to signal that there will be global consequences for coercion or aggression against vulnerable states even outside their own regions – the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad”, is one such example. In that regard the Cornwall G7 summit’s first ever mention of Taiwan also had real significance.

 

17. US signals flexibility and pragmatism to China

asiatimes.com · by MK Bhadrakumar · June 16, 2021

Huh? We were really trying to get the G7 to “slander” China?

Excerpts:Evidently, while a collective tone against China was possible at the G7, Washington failed to get the group to slander China. In sum, the final communiqué turned out to be a product dominated by the US with compromise by all.

All empirical evidence is stacked against a Western coordinated move, leave alone unified hostile action against China. The bottom line is that while European countries may have “systemic” differences with Beijing, their economic relations with China are competitive but they also have strategic needs for cooperation.

Interestingly, according to China Central Television, Blinken too acknowledged during his phone call with Yang on Friday on the eve of the Cornwall summit that the series of contacts between the US and China in the most recent weeks are beneficial to bilateral relations and the US is looking forward to increasing contact and exchanges with China at all levels.

Blinken reportedly said that the US adheres to the one-China principle and abides by the three China-US joint communiqués and hopes to maintain communication and coordination with China on major international and regional issues.

The G7 communiqué’s formulation on the Taiwan question confirms that the US wants to maintain flexibility in its handling of the China-US relationship. That is a very important indicator.

 

18. The real B3W-NATO agenda

asiatimes.com · by Pepe Escobar · June 16, 2021

Escobar provides quite an interpretation of B3W, the G7 and NATO summits,

Excerpts: The initial “catalytic investments” for BW3 were estimated at $100 billion. No one knows how these funds will be coming from the “development institutions.”

Seasoned Global South observers already bet they will be essentially provided by IMF/World Bank “green” loans tied to private sector investment in selected emerging markets, with an eye on profit.

The White House is adamant that “B3W will be global in scope, from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa and the Indo-Pacific.” Note the blatant attempt to match Belt and Road’s reach.

All these “green” resources and new logistic chains, financed by what will be a variant of central banks showering helicopter money, would ultimately benefit G7 members – certainly not China.

And the “protector” of these new “green” geostrategic corridors will be – who else? – NATO. That’s the natural consequence of the “global reach” emphasized on the NATO 2030 agenda.

 

19. How Biden Should Deal With Putin

Foreign Affairs · by Michael McFaul · June 14, 2021

Conclusion:Biden is right to test whether Putin might embrace a more stable, predictable relationship with the United States. Should the Russian president opt instead to continue invading countries, mounting hacking and disinformation campaigns, and arresting innocent Russians and Americans, it will be clear that he, not Biden, is responsible for confrontation with the United States. Biden is also right to try to work with the Kremlin on a limited agenda of mutual interest, particularly on arms control. Even during tense moments of the Cold War, U.S. presidents saw the wisdom in cooperating with their Soviet counterparts to reduce the risk of nuclear war.

At the same time, the Biden administration must swiftly develop the other dimensions of its strategy for containing and deterring Putin’s belligerent behavior while also supporting democratic forces in Russia,

 

20. China Repackages Its History in Support of Xi’s National Vision

WSJ · by Chun Han Wong and Keith Zhai

It is easy to be reminded of George Orwell here:“Orwell believed that the status of history itself had been radically challenged by totalitarianism. In his essay Looking Back on the Spanish War, written in 1942, he recalled telling Arthur Koestler that: “History stopped in 1936.” By this he meant that the Spanish Civil War, as the first conflict of the totalitarian era, was the first time that rival propaganda machines made an accurate account of events impossible. “I know it is the fashion to say that most of recorded history is lies anyway,” he wrote. “I am willing to believe that history is for the most part inaccurate and biased, but what is peculiar to our own age is the abandonment of the idea that history could be truthfully written.”

Excerpts:​The history academy’s revisionism hasn’t always gone over well with the public. In December, its Weibo account drew wide criticism for an essay, since taken down, that challenged popular condemnation of Mao’s “Down to the Countryside Movement,” which forced millions of urban young people to live and work in rural villages.

The essay described the movement as “a great achievement that advanced the development of society,” according to copies that have been republished online. In that respect, it echoed official portrayals of the seven years Mr. Xi spent as a “rusticated youth” in the countryside as a transformative experience that taught him to serve the people.

Some Chinese historians say the academy is twisting history to serve politics. “They aren’t following an academic path,” said a prominent history professor in Beijing, who said he declined the academy’s invitation to collaborate on a project. “These people are doing this to suck up and win promotion.”

In April, Mr. Xi visited a memorial to a 1934 battle that took place during the “Long March,” a military retreat over thousands of miles by Communist Party troops that was later celebrated as a strategic triumph that helped Mao secure power. Mr. Xi urged his compatriots to emulate the undying faith and self-sacrifice shown by the Red Army.

When confronting challenges, domestic and foreign, in pursuit of China’s rejuvenation, he said, “We must have such conviction in our inevitable victory.”

 

21. Clausewitz and Centres of Gravity: Turning the Esoteric into Practical Outcomes

groundedcuriosity.com · by Michael G Krause · June 12, 2021

An admonishment that we must read Books Six and Eight of On War to begin to think about center of gravity. 

Conclusion: “I admire and am at the same time frustrated by Clausewitz: I like the genius he applies to a most difficult topic and yet am frustrated how difficult he is to penetrate sometimes. It is not a case of sorting the wheat from the chaff – his writing is so dense that every word has to be studied and thought about. It takes hard work; whole pages swim before my eyes sometimes. His work is poetry and seductively out of reach at times. If only he had lived long enough for one more read-through and tidy-up. Damn that cholera.

While many have not gone past the First Book in On War to discuss Clausewitz’s theories on war, strategy and states, the military professional interested in his work on Centre of Gravity has to wade through to Book Six and Book Eight before the ideas are mentioned. They form, however, a central idea to understand how forces generate strength. By understanding how forces generate strength one can understand the seeds of defeat in an enemy and protect one’s own. Planning is about understanding and understanding starts with the realm of the practical and the possible. By combining theory with practical understanding and the desire for practical outcomes, Clausewitz provides a useful and timeless start point for the modern military professional. Of course, he requires interpretation and judgement in application, but he makes one think and realise how much there is always still to learn.

 

22. Developing a Combatant Command Campaign Plan: Lessons Learned at US Central Command

mwi.usma.edu · by Chad Pillai · June 16, 2021

Theory does not always equal practice.

Some excellent advice in this piece including this conclusion: “Additionally, no matter how involved you are in the project, you should never take the product you worked on personally. If you do, you will face a lot of difficulty trying to defend everything you put into the CCP. I lived by the rule of thumb that I will be satisfied with the final product as long as the key concepts or ideas remain. Finally, while developing a CCP is a complex undertaking, gaining an appreciation for how the process works beyond what is taught will help future planners better navigate managing OPTs and develop products that are both useful and executable.

 

————

 

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” 

– Maya Angelou

 

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” 

– Roger Staubach

 

 “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” 

– Rosa Parks

DanielRiggs
Wed, 06/16/2021 – 9:00am

06/16/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/16/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Both sanctions and diplomacy critical to denuclearizing N. Korea: Kritenbrink

2. N.K. leader opens key party meeting to discuss how to cope with ‘current international situation’

3. North Korea Has Been Importing Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines Since Early May

4. A reunified Korea could be a formidable power in East Asia – Responsible Statecraft

5. Why is hunger getting worse in June? This is the worst in the Kim Jong-un era.

6.  <Breaking News Inside N. Korea> Soaring Food Prices Cause Market Confusion. 2.4 times the price of corn: “The market is screaming in pain.”

7. North Korea Has Been Importing Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines Since Early May

8. U.S. supports provision of COVID-19 vaccine to N. Korea

9. Police deployed at South Korea THAAD base as U.S. seeks upgrades

10. Kim warns of ‘tense’ food situation, longer COVID lockdown

11. Kritenbrink pledges efforts to strengthen alliance, denuclearize Korean Peninsula

12. Vice FM stresses human rights-based approach to new digital technologies

13. JCS chairman visits military units on western border island

14. NATO calls for ‘complete, verifiable, irreversible’ denuclearization of N. Korea

15. Ruling party chief proposes small modular reactors as energy aid to North Korea

16. North Korea’s economic desperation

17. Korea’s ‘innotech’ economy maddens analog Japan

18. List of assets owned by Japan in Korea is ordered

19. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un isn’t a K-pop fan anymore

20. Ministry of State Security continues to conduct random arrests of illegal cell phone users near border

21. New research center formed to develop “personal security equipment” to protect Kim Jong Un during on-the-spot inspections

 

1. Both sanctions and diplomacy critical to denuclearizing N. Korea: Kritenbrink

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 16, 2021

Ambassador Kritenbrink has effectively outlined some of the key elements the Administration’s Korean policy:

  • Denuclearization in accordance with all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions
  • Practical diplomacy and deterrence ( or as President Biden said “stern deterrence”)
  • Enforcement of sanctions
  • An alliance approach

 

2. N.K. leader opens key party meeting to discuss how to cope with ‘current international situation’

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · June 16, 2021

Again, does the “current international situation” mean that Kim is laying the groundwork and preparing the narrative to support Kim’s “externalization” of his domestic problems? Are we going to see increased tensions, threats, and possible provocations?

 

3. North Korea Has Been Importing Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines Since Early May

rfa.org · by Hyemin Son, Jeongeun Ji and Myungchul Lee

An interesting development.

 

4. A reunified Korea could be a formidable power in East Asia – Responsible Statecraft

responsiblestatecraft.org · by Christopher Mott · June 15, 2021

The author does not share with us the paths to unification. What is the path” Reconciliation and merging to systems? A new nK leadership that seeks unification? War? Regime instability and collapse?

Frankly, the author does not seem to present an understanding of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime and embarks magical mystery tour to get to unification.

While I agree unification will make Korea formidable it has to be a United Republic of Korea (UROK) The solution to all the problems on the Korean peninsula is to achieve the only acceptable durable political arrangement: A secure, stable, economically vibrant, non-nuclear Korean peninsula unified under a liberal constitutional form of government with respect for individual liberty, the rule of law, and human rights, determined by the Korean people. In short, a United Republic of Korea (UROK).

But I think the essence or the basic intent of this article is to provide supporting fires to the position that there should be an end of war declaration. He wants to make it seem that if there is an end of war and denuclearzation we can then proceed down the path of unification that will result in a Switzerland like unification Korea (perhaps with a small amount of nuclear weapons).

Not only is this fantasy it requires appeasement of the Kim family regime and we should know where that will take us.

 

5. Why is hunger getting worse in June? This is the worst in the Kim Jong-un era.

asiapress.org

Reporting from inside north Korea. More indicators that we must pay attention to observe for potential instability.

 

6. <Breaking News Inside N. Korea> Soaring Food Prices Cause Market Confusion. 2.4 times the price of corn: “The market is screaming in pain.”

asiapress.org

More reporting and indicators from north Korea.

 

7. North Korea Has Been Importing Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines Since Early May

rfa.org · by Hyemin Son, Jeongeun Ji and Myungchul Lee

An interesting development.

 

8. U.S. supports provision of COVID-19 vaccine to N. Korea

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 15, 2021

 

9.  Police deployed at South Korea THAAD base as U.S. seeks upgrades

UPI · by Elizabeth Shim · June 16, 2021

The ROK government has been unable to separate the professional agitators from the local population.

This problem will persist as long as these professional agitators are allowed to conduct their subversive activities (which consists of duping the local population).

 

10. Kim warns of ‘tense’ food situation, longer COVID lockdown

AP News · by Kim Tong-Hyung · June 16, 2021

And to continue to beat the dead horse: the suffering is caused by Ki Jong-un’s deliberate policy decisions to prioritize nuclear and missile development, military modernization, and support to the elite over the welfare of the Korean people living in the north.

We can expect the regime to exploit the suffering as rationale for demands for sanctions relief. Paradoxically Kim knows we are more concerned with the welfare of the Korean people living in the north than he is. He will try to play on our humanitarian nature as part of his political warfare strategy.

 

11. Kritenbrink pledges efforts to strengthen alliance, denuclearize Korean Peninsula

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 15, 2021

There should be no doubt that the Biden administration prioritizes alliance as a main effort in our foreign policy.

 

12. Vice FM stresses human rights-based approach to new digital technologies

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · June 16, 2021

No mention of north Korea? Why not? Think of what digital technologies would do for the Korean people in the north. South Korea should be leading the change to make the regime open up north Korea ‘digitally.” To follow the Vice FM’s arguments the Korean people in the north have a right to digital access.

 

13. JCS chairman visits military units on western border island

en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · June 16, 2021

This is the traditional period for the “crab wars” of north-South confrontation in the West Sea.

 

14. NATO calls for ‘complete, verifiable, irreversible’ denuclearization of N. Korea

donga.com · June 15, 2021

I cannot recall any past NATO statements that include north Korea. The Biden administration has done a good job marshalling the international community to address Korean security issues.

 

15.  Ruling party chief proposes small modular reactors as energy aid to North Korea

The Korea Times · June 16, 2021

Is this a new variation on the 1994 Agreed Framework? Do we think this will entice Kim Jong-un?

 

16. North Korea’s economic desperation

The Korea Times · by Sandip Kumar Mishra  · June 16, 2021

The responsibility for all suffering lies on Kim’s shoulders.

Key point: “It is important to underscore that the economic performance of North Korea will have significant bearings on its strategic choices. The new U.S. administration of President Joe Biden has been in the process of unveiling its North Korea policy, and the moribund North Korean economy will restrict Kim Jong-un’s negotiating positions.

 

17. Korea’s ‘innotech’ economy maddens analog Japan

asiatimes.com · by William Pesek · June 16, 2021

Excerpts: “Winnie Tang at the University of Hong Kong notes that the pivotal role of Pangyo Techno Valley, Korea’s answer to Silicon Valley, in morphing the nation into an “innotech” hub – a combination of innovation and technology development – deserves more attention.

First, she argues, Korea rebounded from the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis faster than its peers. Over the next two decades, Tang argues, GDP per capita doubled, K-Pop and Korea’s innotech “gained global renown,” while sectors from cosmetics to home appliances to mobile phones to food to clothing to automobiles made the nation a top player in global trade.

Now, though, things are going full circle, as innovative energy spreads far and wide afield of Pangyo Techno Valley sitting 21 kilometers from Seoul. Japan, by comparison, spent most of the last eight years obsessing over hosting the Tokyo Olympics, not relocating and reviving the economic mojo on display in 1964.

The worst news for Japan in the World Bank’s latest Ease of Doing Business index is not that Tokyo came in 24 places behind Seoul. It’s that at 29th Japan lags Russia, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Mauritius. In 2013, by the way, Japan was 24th. Since then, Korea has only enhanced its reputation as an economy on the move as Japan walks in place and falls further behind.

 

18. List of assets owned by Japan in Korea is ordered

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com· by Sarah Kim · June 16, 2021

I imagine this will upset Japan.

 

19. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un isn’t a K-pop fan anymore

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com· by Sarah Kim and Jeong Yong-Soo · June 16, 2021

Who does Kim fear more: the US or the Korean people? This is another indicator that he fears the Korean people more.

Excerpts:  “The war against K-pop has spread since the collapse of a second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February 2019

 Last December, North Korea enacted a new law that called for up to 15 years in labor camps for people who watch or possess South Korean entertainment, according to Seoul lawmakers briefed by government intelligence officials.

 “The phenomenon of capitalist culture spreading among North Korean youth has been around for a long time,” said Jeon Young-sun, a unification studies professor at Konkuk University. “North Korea’s leadership is aware of it, but when there is a difficult external environment, there are more efforts to crack down on it in order to strengthen internal solidarity.”

 

20. Ministry of State Security continues to conduct random arrests of illegal cell phone users near border

dailynk.com · by Ha Yoon Ah · June 16, 2021

External information is an existential threat to the regime.

 

21. New research center formed to develop “personal security equipment” to protect Kim Jong Un during on-the-spot inspections

dailynk.com · June 16, 2021

Kim is afraid of the Korean people.

 

———–

 

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” 

– Maya Angelou

 

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” 

– Roger Staubach

 

 “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” 

– Rosa Parks

DanielRiggs
Wed, 06/16/2021 – 8:32am

Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela / Súper red de corrupción en Venezuela

Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela / Súper red de corrupción en Venezuela

Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela: Kleptocracy, Nepotism and Human Rights Violation / Súper red de corrupción en Venezuela: Cleptocracia, nepotismo y violación de derechos humanos

Small Wars Journal-El Centro Fellows Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán and Luis Jorge Garay-Salamanca recently released a comprehensive Vortex Foundation (Fundación Vortex) study of corruption in Venezuela.  The study relies on social network analysis (SNA) derived from official and media open source materials. The study compares and contrasts Venezuela’s corruption networks with the Brazilian Lava Jato (Car Wash) case.

The English version is: Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán and Luis Jorge Garay-Salamanca, Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela: Kleptocracy, Nepotism and Human Rights Violation. Tampa: Scientific Vortex LLC and Fundación Vortex, 2021. [ISBN: 979-8739921147. Paper, 135 pages]

The Spanish version is: Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán and Luis Jorge Garay-Salamanca,  Súper red de corrupción en Venezuela: Cleptocracia, nepotismo y violación de derechos humanosBogotá: Fundación Vortex, 2021.

SWJ-El Centro Associate Daniel Weisz looked at the English version, Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela in a long-form review and commentary: “SWJ El Centro Review Essay – Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela: Kleptocracy, Nepotism and Human Rights Violation.”  SWJ

ZFTWARNING
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 8:58pm

06/15/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/15/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Early June

2. Leaving Afghan Allies Behind: Abandoning translators to the Taliban is a moral and strategic mistake.

3. Taiwan says will be ‘force for good’ after unprecedented G7 support

4. Win or Lose, U.S. War Against China or Russia Won’t Be Short

5. Top military officer says U.S. capable of defending Taiwan

6. Fixing Oversight of Special Operations Forces

7. An Alternative to the Afghan Pullout By James Inhofe

8. We Ignore the Human Domain at Our Own Peril

9. Sending in the Troops: The Kerner Report, Civil Unrest, and the US Military

10. The Anti-Quad, The PRIC and The Clash of Values

11. Opinion | We Cannot Afford to Turn Our Backs on Afghanistan

12. F-35 pilot: Forget drones, the skies still belong to fighter pilots

13. G7 more divided than united on countering China

14. Shifting Focus, NATO Views China as a Global Security Challenge

15. Disagreements flare among NATO allies despite relief at Biden’s arrival

16. The enduring triumph of Chimerica

17. Air Force would contribute bulk of new cyber mission force teams

18. FBI warns lawmakers that QAnon ‘digital soldiers’ may become more violent

19. Biden’s Kinder, Gentler Trumpism

20. China hits back at ‘slanderous’ Nato claim it poses threat to west

21. Saving America From the Counterrevolution

22. Is China Backtracking On Its Wolf Warrior Diplomatic Style?

 

1. Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Early June

June 14, 2021 | FDD Tracker: June 4 – 14, 2021

FDD Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Early June

David Adesnik

Welcome back to the Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker, where FDD’s experts and scholars assess the administration’s foreign policy every two weeks. As always, they provide trendlines of very positive, positive, neutral, negative, or very negative for the areas they study. With President Joe Biden on his first overseas trip, foreign policy has taken center stage. At the G7 summit in the United Kingdom, Biden announced the United States will purchase and donate half a billion doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to low-income nations, “with no strings attached.” Today the president is in Brussels for his first NATO summit, while the Taliban surges across Afghanistan. On the gathering’s sidelines, Biden will have his first in-person meeting with his Turkish counterpart, whose conduct consistently undermines the transatlantic alliance. The sternest test for Biden will come on Wednesday when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Will Putin dial back his provocations after the summit, or will he only emerge emboldened? Check back in two weeks to see if Biden capitalized on these opportunities.

 

2. Leaving Afghan Allies Behind: Abandoning translators to the Taliban is a moral and strategic mistake.

WSJ · by the Editorial Board · June 14, 2021

Excerpts: “Even a functioning visa program is insufficient at this point. President Biden can save lives by doing more, such as the evacuation of applicants to a temporary third country as the process plays out. Or he could provide them with humanitarian parole, which grants temporary permission to enter the U.S.

The Afghan translators risked their lives helping the U.S.—following the rules and earning a chance at the American dream. Abandoning them now is unconscionable.

 

3. Taiwan says will be ‘force for good’ after unprecedented G7 support

Reuters 

Excerpts: “Taiwan will continue to deepen its partnership with G7 states and other like-minded countries and strive for greater support from the international community, he said.

Taiwan will also “firmly contribute the greatest force for good” for peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, Chang added.

China has stepped up its pressure against democratically-run Taiwan in recent months, with regular military drills near the island as it tries to assert Beijing’s sovereignty.

While most countries, including G7 members, have no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the grouping along with other Western allies have been bolstering their backing for the island.

That includes calling for Taiwan to be given proper access to the World Health Organization during the coronavirus pandemic. Taiwan is not a member due to Chinese objections, which considers it merely one of its provinces with no right to the trappings of a state.

 

4. Win or Lose, U.S. War Against China or Russia Won’t Be Short

Bloomberg · by Hal Brands · June 14, 2021

Nor would one be short with north Korea, Iran, or Russia. And the subtitle is an important question: what comes next? 

Conclusion: It doesn’t take much skill or foresight to start a big war. It may take a lot of endurance and creativity to end a great-power conflict somewhere short of disaster.

 

5. Top military officer says U.S. capable of defending Taiwan

Focus Taiwan ·  by David Barno · June 12, 2021

I have not seen this in the US press but I am not surprised that the Taiwan media noticed his testimony. 

 

6. Fixing Oversight of Special Operations Forces

warontherocks.com · by David Barno · June 15, 2021

The authors have said the quiet part out loud.  There are many senior officials who likely support this and this will put us right back in 1986. The answer is not to give SOF oversight to the Army but it is to provide SOF with service authorities along with responsibilities (and the resources to execute them) as Congress intends. Rather than go back to the future and undo Nunn-Cohen of Goldwater-Nichols, SOF needs to continue to evolve to improve (to reach an enlightened state).

 

7. An Alternative to the Afghan Pullout By James Inhofe

WSJ · by James Inhofe · June 13, 2021

Excerpts: “Preventing terrorist attacks from coming to American shores is why we have troops in Syria, Iraq and Somalia. Maintaining peace and preventing aggression is why we’ve had troops in Kosovo for more than two decades, on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt for almost five decades and in South Korea for more than seven decades. It is also why our troops are standing sentry in Europe and the Indo-Pacific today.

Two years ago, a bipartisan majority of the Senate warned President Trump against removing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan without establishing the proper conditions on the ground. Mr. Trump listened. Mr. Biden didn’t. Reconsidering pivotal decisions is a sign of wisdom, not weakness, and I urge Mr. Biden to reconsider his choice on Afghanistan.

 

8. We Ignore the Human Domain at Our Own Peril

mwi.usma.edu · by Austin Branch · June 14, 2021

It is good to see LTG Cleveland credited with the human domain which I think has long been overlooked or forgotten.

Excerpts:Below are a series of recommended actions to improve the US government’s human domain capabilities and prowess in the context of great power competition.

Leadership and Accountability

Better Integration of Social and Behavioral Sciences Across the Defense Enterprise

Human Feedback Loops are Essential

Change the Way We Train and Exercise for the Human Domain

Learn to Leverage the Space

Take a Hard Look at Authorities

Build a Nimble and Proactive Force

The human domain problem is more than academic—the domain is where great power competition is playing out, and in ways that seem both familiar and unprecedented. Indeed, most engagements are now won or lost in the competition phase—before conflict, much less kinetic activity, are even in play. Importantly, the defense enterprise is unprepared for persistent engagement in the human domain. Moreover, since the current competition space does not include a large-scale kinetic conflict, conventional capabilities are not an effective deterrent or response to adversary operations in the information environment. To secure our democracy against authoritarian adversaries who currently operate freely within the human domain, the United States must embrace the new information paradigm and begin to orient capabilities toward developing agile processes and tactics to effectively operate in a contested and uncertain environment. Ultimately, we need to remember that the secret to getting ahead is to get started.

 

9. Sending in the Troops: The Kerner Report, Civil Unrest, and the US Military

mwi.usma.edu · by Laura Keenan · June 15, 2021

Conclusion: “The precedent of how the National Guard handled previous unrest is not a prescription for the future but offers essential reference points. The National Guard can add to or minimize the chaos, and the level at which the National Guard prepares in advance likely determines the role it plays. The lessons on inequality and police brutality learned from the Kerner Report are still timely, and understanding the root cause of unrest can accelerate the National Guard’s response. The National Guard’s role in civil unrest missions is vital to national security. The National Guard’s readiness for civil unrest reduces the potential strain for the active-duty military. It also sends a clear national security message to adversaries that even in moments of domestic crisis, the National Guard is prepared to provide a ready and resilient force to secure the homeland.“

 

10. The Anti-Quad, The PRIC and The Clash of Values

boloji.com

Yes this new acronym for authoritarian regimes should really catch on (note sarcasm). Pakistan, Russia, Iran, China. Form the acronym and say it out loud. I guess the author had to substitute Pakistan for north Korea since it might form a useful acronym.

Conclusion: “Since the acronym BRIC was coined conceptually by the Goldman Sachs global economist James O’Neil in 2001, BRIC actually emerged in real in 2009 followed by the BRICS in 2011. There are internal contradictions in the BRICS grouping but it is still relevant. The fact of the matter is that the economic grouping emerged eight years after the acronym was coined and conceptualized. We see a parallel here. An Anti-Quad grouping is taking shape and form in a strategic counter-reaction to the reincarnation of Quad 3.0 as an alliance of democracies. This Anti-Quad is an alliance of authoritarians and its raison d’etre is the Quad 3.0. We witness a serious clash of values, democratic versus authoritarian, between the Quad and the Anti-Quad. Whether this grouping will actually take a concrete shape in the form of an alliance is yet to be seen. The four countries that constitute this Anti-Quad are Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran. In the now famous tradition of BRIC, for conceptual clarity, we coin a new acronym PRIC that denotes the four authoritarian nations. The PRIC is an acronym for Pakistan, Russia, Iran and China depicting a de facto emerging strategic alliance of authoritarian regimes as a counter reaction to the Quad 3.0. There is a visible clash of values, democracy versus autocracy! The PRIC represents the autocrats of the world who are resisting democratic values world-wide.

 

11. Opinion | We Cannot Afford to Turn Our Backs on Afghanistan

The New York Times · by Robert M. Gates · June 13, 2021

Conclusion: The outcome in Afghanistan still matters in terms of American interests. We turned our backs on Afghanistan after Soviet troops withdrew in 1989; we must not do so again after the last of our troops depart. We must assure the Afghans of our continuing support — and sustain that support — through every means available short of ground troops. The consequences of another Taliban takeover in Kabul would not be limited to the people of Afghanistan.

 

12. F-35 pilot: Forget drones, the skies still belong to fighter pilots

sandboxx.us · by Hasard Lee · June 14, 2021

Excerpt: “As a fighter pilot, my job is to not fall in love with the aircraft I fly, but to use it as a tool to accomplish a mission. We are constantly looking for ways to optimize our lethality while minimizing risk. If there is a better way to accomplish a mission, then it is our duty to use it. While I agree with Elon Musk that the future is drone warfare, I think we’re a lifetime away from seeing a fully autonomous Air Force.”

 

13. G7 more divided than united on countering China

asiatimes.com · by Andrew Salmon · June 14, 2021

I am not so sure. Every joint statement or communique is a compromise document. It may seem weak to some but I think it was a pretty strong statement because the community of democracies was able to compromise to reach it. There had been questions prior to the summit whether they would address China at all so this would seem to have been beyond expectations.

 

14. Shifting Focus, NATO Views China as a Global Security Challenge

The New York Times · by Steven Erlanger and Michael D. Shear · June 14, 2021

Excerpts:Some NATO members, especially those nearest to Russia in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic nations, are anxious that the shift in focus to China does not divert resources and attention from the Russian threat.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia with Chinese and Russian military officials during joint military exercises in Siberia in 2018.Credit…Pool photo by Alexei Nikolsky

Mr. Biden made a point of meeting the leaders of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in Brussels before his meeting with Mr. Putin. NATO troops are deployed in all four countries.

But even Britain, probably Washington’s closest ally, expressed some wariness about confrontation with China. Asked at the NATO meeting about China, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned against a “new Cold War,” while acknowledging that China’s rise was a “gigantic fact in our lives.”

Similarly, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said after the meeting: “If you look at the cyberthreats and the hybrid threats, if you look at the cooperation between Russia and China, you cannot simply ignore China.’’ But she also said: “One must not overrate it, either — we need to find the right balance.”

 

15. Disagreements flare among NATO allies despite relief at Biden’s arrival

The Washington Post · June 14, 2021

Excerpts: ““China is increasing its expansion, its influence around the world, and it’s increasingly running up against NATO,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday at a forum organized by the German Marshall Fund that ran alongside the summit. “We need to make sure that as an alliance, even though we’re much more Atlantic than Pacific, we are aware of the global influences the Chinese have.”

But not every NATO country is on board with confronting China more forcefully. Some such as Hungary have friendly relations with China and seek investments from Beijing. Others such as Germany and other big European powers fall in the middle, believing there is a balance between the need to work with Beijing to fight climate change and the need to rein in its global ambitions.

At the G-7 summit, too, the question of how vigorously to call out China remained a point of division, with Germany, Italy and Japan expressing some reluctance to go as far as the Biden administration hoped.

And NATO’s front-line countries, the ones that border Russia, have been concerned in the past that focusing elsewhere could distract from what they see as the alliance’s central mission of defending against Russia, although many are increasingly coming around to the necessity of responding to both.

 

16. The enduring triumph of Chimerica

asiatimes.com · by David P. Goldman · June 14, 2021

Excerpts: “I would be surprised to learn that the US Treasury and the PBOC have worked this out in some kind of tacit policy agreement. The current is so strong that the US is being caught up in a Sinocentric vortex of trade and capital flows whether it likes it or not.

Eventually, US-China policy will adjust to the misery of America’s present circumstances.

 

17.  Air Force would contribute bulk of new cyber mission force teams

Defense News · by Mark Pomerleau · June 14, 2021

 

18. FBI warns lawmakers that QAnon ‘digital soldiers’ may become more violent

CNN · by Zachary Cohen and Whitney Wild

 

19. Biden’s Kinder, Gentler Trumpism

Bloomberg · by Karl W. Smith · June 14, 2021

Excerpts: “No issue was more fundamental to Trump’s break with the past than his view of China as a rival rather than a partner. Not only were there the constant rhetorical attacks, but there was an often overlooked admission in a 2019 speech that he had always intended to spend the economic dividends from his tax cut on a trade war with China, but that it was worth the price.

Biden has been more restrained. But his advisers have made it clear there will be no return to the Obama-era paradigm of engagement, some of which those same advisers had worked to foster.

Crucially, the Biden administration has coupled this objective with the goal of broadly shared prosperity and declining inequality. This is the keystone that Trump, with his base in the Republican Party, simply could not set in place.

Ideologically, Trump’s policies of tax cuts for multinational corporations and “Buy American” provisions weren’t very compatible. With his supply-chain initiative, however, Biden is taking a crucial step forward in defining an economic paradigm that puts neoliberalism in the rear-view mirror. Whether the shift is wise is doubtful. But there can be little doubt that it is upon us.

 

20. China hits back at ‘slanderous’ Nato claim it poses threat to west

The Guardian · by Helen Davidson · June 15, 2021

Excerpts: “China’s embassy in London said it was resolutely opposed to mentions of Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which it said distorted the facts and exposed the “sinister intentions of a few countries such as the United States”.

China is under increasing pressure over its human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and other regions, a draconian intervention in Hong Kong’s semi-autonomy, and threats towards Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province to be reclaimed, by force if necessary.

The G7 had called on China to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law”. It also underscored “the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”, and said it encouraged “the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues”.

 

21. Saving America From the Counterrevolution

aier.org · by Ethan Yang · June 14, 2021

Some interesting food for thought.

Excerpts: “The founder of the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), Colonel Edward C. Harwood, wrote a little-known manifesto titled The Counterrevolution, which recounts this lesson not just for America but for the entirety of Western Civilization and its allies. The book may have been written in 1951, but it is just as relevant today, if not more so given where we are. During Harwood’s time, he saw a world greatly coming undone. Communism and Fascism were on the rise in Europe. Here at home, he observed a much milder but still highly troubling embrace of authoritarianism and reckless economics. It was obvious after reading Harwood’s book that he founded AIER to be the vanguard of not only sound economics and good government but ultimately a free and open society.

The socialists are very much still around today and their influence is growing. There is also the far-right and the new-right that seem to have abandoned the traditional Conservative commitment to the Constitution as well as free markets. On the left, you have the aforementioned socialists but also the emergence of intersectionality and critical race theory that combine economic ignorance with an utter disregard for individual dignity. Harwood explains that counterrevolutionary ideologies are based on legitimate complaints about society but have terrible solutions.

The best way to deal with them is to eliminate the problems that give them strength, whether it be providing economic opportunities for the marginalized or ensuring communities that were left behind can modernize. This, of course, requires more economic and civil freedom, not less. Harwood would recommend beating back the regulatory state, restoring the constitutional order, continuing to foster inclusive values pertaining to individuality, and reinvigorating our faith in private enterprise. They helped Western Civilization get this far; embracing these ideas again will certainly take it farther.

Defenders of the great revolution of enlightenment values and modernity have our work cut out for us. Harwood’s book is just as relevant today as it was in 1951 and at less than 100 pages, it is a manifesto for those who are up to the task of standing watch over the well-being of our society. Those who wish to dismantle the institutions of liberty that have made the West and its affiliates the richest and most advanced in human history pose a real threat. Abroad they must be held back with bayonets and sound foreign policy. Domestically they must be defeated in the realm of ideas and thoroughly discredited by addressing our shortcomings that give them credibility. Ultimately, this all requires restoring confidence in our civilization. That is because long before any rival power declares victory over the West, the West will have already given up on itself.

 

22. Is China Backtracking On Its Wolf Warrior Diplomatic Style?

eurasiareview.com · by Harsh V. Pant · June 15, 2021

Excerpt: “But beyond the style, what is key is action. And here it is highly unlikely that CCP will give up its regional and global aspirations, which have resulted in an aggressive foreign policy posture. Even if Chinese diplomats tone down their rhetoric, Beijing’s expansive foreign policy ambitions will continue to bring it into confrontation with its neighbours and other major powers.

Reflecting on his engagement with China, Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, wrote that “Beijing’s diplomacy was so subtle and indirect that it largely went over our heads in Washington.” None of that subtlety exists today as China redefines its global role and agenda. While the Chinese leadership may now be realising that its diplomatic style needs a revamp, there is no indication that there is a rethink on Chinese policies. Stylistic shift without a substantive rethink won’t lead to a significant change in perceptions. But what recent developments underscore is that the costs are rising for China when it comes to its bullying tactics and for all the talk, there is hardly any plan to deal with it.

 

—————-

 

“Grand strategy is about marrying ends to means, about doing what you can, consistent with the nation’s capabilities and resources.”

– Robert D. Kaplan, Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America’s Role in the World

 

“Every revolution has its counterrevolution that is a sign the revolution is for real. And every revolution must defend itself against this counterrevolution, or the revolution will fail.”

– C. Wright Mills,  Listen Yankee (1960), pp. 54.

 

“A boxer derives the greatest advantage from his sparring partner – and my accuser is my sparring partner. He trains me in patience, civility and even temper.”

– Marcus Aurelius 

DanielRiggs
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 9:49am

06/15/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/15/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Early June (Korea)

2. Remarks by President Moon Jae-in Leaving Cornwall after G7 Summit

3. North Korean defector says ‘even North Korea was not this nuts’ after attending Ivy League school

4. Unification minister puts U.S. trip on hold amid uncertainty over inter-Korean relations

5. Minister vows efforts to resume stalled talks with N. Korea on summit anniv.

6. How can Korea make the best of the G7 summit?

7. Border to get robot cameras, AI monitoring (Korea)

8. Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak

9. Why Does the Gov’t Disregard Veterans? (South Korea)

10. Japan nixed meeting between Suga, Moon at G7

11. South Korea-Japan ties sour amid fresh military drills near disputed islands

12. North Korea: Why the Kingdom of Kim Jong Un Can Never Be Normal

 

1. Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Early June (Korea)

FDD  · Korea: David Maxwell and Mathew Ha

Previous Trend: Positive

The positive effects of the summit between President Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are still being felt. The two leaders’ mutual commitment to protecting the rules-based international order led China to warn South Korea about siding with the United States. With the conclusion of its Korea policy review, the Biden administration has made it known it is ready to conduct diplomacy with the North, but that the ball is in North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s court. There are reports of “significant communication” between North and South Korea beginning around the time of the summit, leading to speculation about possible North-South engagement activities, but no details have emerged. Pyongyang will exploit such engagement, so the Moon administration should reconsider its support. Despite this communication, the ROK Ministry of Defense now assesses the Kim regime is focused on internal affairs. The North continues to struggle with its failed economy, COVID-19 mitigation measures, the effects of natural disasters, and sanctions. Pro-engagement Korea watchers interpreted a reported change to the Workers’ Party of Korea’s rules as an indication Pyongyang would no longer seek to unify Korea through revolution, even though the North’s constitution insists on it. Their hopes were quickly dashed when Pyongyang’s Propaganda and Agitation Department issued a clarification saying unification via revolution remains the objective.

 

2.  Remarks by President Moon Jae-in Leaving Cornwall after G7 Summit

english1.president.go.kr · June 13, 2021

I wonder if there had been at least a “pull-aside “discussion between President Moon and Prime Minister Suga if these remarks would have been edited differently.  But these two historical events are very much worth remembering and considering when the international community is faced with complex problems, especially among those who value and respect sovereignty and self determination.

Excerpts:My first face-to-face encounter with Prime Minister Suga of Japan was a precious moment that could have marked a new beginning in bilateral relations, but I regret that it did not lead to an official meeting.

While participating in the G7 Summit, two historical events lingered in my mind. One was the International Peace Conference held in The Hague in 1907. The patriotic martyr Yi Jun, a secret emissary of our Emperor, arrived there via the Trans-Siberian Railway to call attention to imperial Japan’s deprivation of Korea’s diplomatic rights, but he couldn’t even enter the conference room. The other was the Potsdam Conference, through which the Korean Peninsula’s division was decided. We were not even able to speak up as our fate was determined by the major powers of the day.

Today, the Republic of Korea has become one of the world’s 10 largest economies and a country where people – with unrivaled civic awareness – act in unison for democracy, epidemic prevention and control and carbon neutrality. Now, we have become a nation that can determine our own destiny and engage in mutual support and cooperation with other countries.

 

3. North Korean defector says ‘even North Korea was not this nuts’ after attending Ivy League school

foxnews.com · by Teny Sahakian

Yeonmi Park pulls no punches.  There is a 7 minute video at this link.

 

4. Unification minister puts U.S. trip on hold amid uncertainty over inter-Korean relations

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · June 15, 2021

Does this  indicate north-South communications and that something may be brewing.

We should also note, the Unification Minister has no counterpart in the US.

 

5. Minister vows efforts to resume stalled talks with N. Korea on summit anniv.

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · June 15, 2021

Again, can we read between the lines here and assess that there are ongoing communications between north and South?  Is something in the offing?

 

6. How can Korea make the best of the G7 summit?

The Korea Times · by Ahn Ho-young · June 15, 2021

Important guidance and recommendations from Ambassador Ahn.

Excerpts:Now, almost 10 years later, Korea has again attended a G7 summit. My hope is that it will prove to be more than a one-time event and serve as another opportunity for Korea to enhance its stature on global issues.

There are several points we have to reflect on for that to happen. First of all, we must understand the changes the G7 went through over the years. The intervening years saw many important changes in the strategic, economic, technological, environmental and even health conditions around the world, such that we often talk about today being a time of global uncertainty.

As for how to make the best of this opportunity, Korea must not be timid in declaring its intention to join other democracies, to play a role commensurate with its capabilities, and to shed itself of the perception that Korea is becoming increasingly backward and inward-looking. In the wake of the May 14 Korea-U.S. Summit and its joint statement, I wrote in this column of my pleasant surprise, and the importance of implementing it. Let us hope that Korea’s participation at the Cornwall Summit will serve as another timely juncture for Korea to move in that direction.

 

7. Border to get robot cameras, AI monitoring (Korea)

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Michael Lee  · June 15, 2021

Border (DMZ) operations require manpower.  Technology can be a force multiplier but it cannot replace boots on the ground patrolling.  This is I have long advocated returning US forces to patrolling the DMZ.  However, rather than a US sector as we had in the past , US infantry battalions should rotate in with the ROK Divisions throughout the DM. Doing this would improve the amount of boots on the ground, supplement the ROK forces, demonstrate US commitment, improve US small unit training, and provide a morale boost to US rotational forces.  But I do not think there is any will for this on the ROK or US side.

 

8. Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak

dailynk.com · by Kim Yoo Jin · June 15, 2021

Does “paratyphoid” outbreak provide a cover for a COVID outbreak?  This bears watching.

 

9. Why Does the Gov’t Disregard Veterans? (South Korea)

english.chosun.com

A sad commentary: “All countries reward veterans and the families of the fallen. But this populist government thinks that veterans’ affairs are somehow a rightwing concern and must be spat on. The families of the Cheonan victims are weeping, and Korean War veterans do not have enough money to buy medicine. This is a travesty.”

 

10. Japan nixed meeting between Suga, Moon at G7

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Sarah Kim  · June 15, 2021

 

11. South Korea-Japan ties sour amid fresh military drills near disputed islands

The Guardian · by Justin McCurry · June 15, 2021

And I would also expect China and/or Russia to penetrate the Korean ADIZ in the area in the near future in order to cause a ROK and Japanese reaction and create more ROK/Japan friction.

 

12. North Korea: Why the Kingdom of Kim Jong Un Can Never Be Normal

The National Interest · by Doug Bandow · June 14, 2021

Dangerous recommendations.  Embarking on an arms control process would make Kim believe his political warfare strategy and blackmail diplomacy is success and rather than negotiate in good faith he will double down.  To Kim, arms control negotiations mean he will keep hi nuclear weapons.

In regards to isolation, that is Kim’s choice. He has had plenty of opportunities to open his country to economic development.  But he has made the deliberate policy decision to keep his country isolated.

And lastly there is no mention of human rights in north Korea.  Do we really want to provide economic development  for the north in the hopes that the regime will change?  We tried that for 10 years from 1997 through 2007 and Kim Jong-il exploited all of that aid to develop and test his first nuclear device in 2006.

Excerpts: Most realistic would be a focus on arms control, with the hope of developing a relationship that might lead to denuclearization. Even such a more limited objective would be advanced by developing a broader and more normal relationship. Meaning diplomatic ties—officials contacts are especially important with potentially dangerous adversaries—cultural exchanges, and economic ties.

The question ultimately is, what makes for a safer Northeast Asia? An isolated, sanctioned, and impoverished North Korea, depending on a hostile PRC and possessing a swelling nuclear arsenal? Or a more prosperous, engaged, and connected DPRK, with economic and political ties well beyond Beijing, which might prove willing to negotiate away at least part of its potential arsenal?

The skeptics might be right, that Kim wants nukes for ill-use, such as a new war to unify the peninsula. However, isolation is the counsel of despair. That future would rapidly grow ever darker as the North increased its nuclear and missile arsenals.

Moreover, so far Kim has behaved differently than his predecessors in significant ways. Although no liberal, he appears to harbor no illusions about the difficulties facing his nation and therefore likely realizes the disastrous outcome of any conflict. Thus, Washington should test him by moving away from what North Korea calls today’s “hostile” policy.

 

——————-

 

 

“Grand strategy is about marrying ends to means, about doing what you can, consistent with the nation’s capabilities and resources.”

– Robert D. Kaplan, Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America’s Role in the World

 

“Every revolution has its counterrevolution that is a sign the revolution is for real. And every revolution must defend itself against this counterrevolution, or the revolution will fail.”

– C. Wright Mills,  Listen Yankee (1960), pp. 54.

 

“A boxer derives the greatest advantage from his sparring partner – and my accuser is my sparring partner. He trains me in patience, civility and even temper.”

– Marcus Aurelius 

DanielRiggs
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 9:31am

Behind the Black Bloc: An Overview of Militant Anarchism and Anti-Fascism

Behind the Black Bloc: An Overview of Militant Anarchism and Anti-Fascism

The 40 page monograph can be downloaded HERE.  

 

I have pasted the introduction, conclusion, and recommendations below.

 

This monograph must be read along with its companion monograph: Skinheads, Saints, and (National) Socialists An Overview of the Transnational White Supremacist Extremist Movement (Access HERE) .

 

While each is outstanding on their own, the simultaneous publication of both is just brilliant.  These will become seminal works for Congress, policymakers, the IC, FBI, Homeland Security, and researchers.  These are so balanced and objective with very sound recommendations the most important in both being “resist the temptation to pick sides.”

 

June 14, 2021 | Monograph

Behind the Black Bloc

An Overview of Militant Anarchism and Anti-Fascism

 

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Senior Advisor on Asymmetric Warfare

 

Samuel Hodgson

Valens Global

Austin Blair

Valens Global

 

   

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2021/06/14/behind-the-black-bloc/

 

Introduction

In 2020–2021, the United States saw a discernible rise in armed politics and violent activism. Multiple factions and movements resorted to violence or the threat of violence to pursue their objectives, and the United States witnessed scenes it had not experienced for decades, such as armed citizens patrolling the streets in Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and elsewhere.1 Militant anarchists and anti-fascists often took to the streets during this period. On August 29, 2020, Michael Reinoehl became the first anti-fascist responsible for a killing in the United States in 25 years when he shot Aaron Danielson, a member of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, at a rally in Portland, Oregon.2

In 2020, Antifa became a household word and a contested topic in presidential debates. However, it is clearly difficult for many observers to differentiate anti-fascist and anarchist efforts from a broader set of protest activities. Militant anarchists and anti-fascists see themselves as responding to an oppressive state and the rise of fascist organizing. While militant anti-fascists and anarchists view themselves as the protectors of marginalized communities, other militant actors see anarchist and anti-fascist groups as the aggressors to whom they are responding.

This report analyzes militant anti-fascism and anarchism within the broader domestic tapestry of armed politics and also explores transnational movements connected to anarchism and anti-fascism. Ideologically, anarchism and anti-fascism are similar but not identical. Anarchism is resolute in its opposition to the state, whereas anti-fascists focus on opposing institutions, groups, and individuals they perceive as fascist. However, the two ideologies influence one another, and the two movements have notable commonalities. While neither is inherently violent, both ideologies have adherents who embrace the use of violence to achieve their goals. This report examines why and how these groups carry out violence, and how they interact with partners.

Anti-fascism and anarchism are not new ideologies. There is a rich history of global anti-fascist and anarchist organizing. Militant anarchists and anti-fascists are active in Europe, Latin America, and beyond, participating in acts of street violence similar to those recently seen in the United States. In some countries – particularly in Chile, Greece, Italy, and Mexico – militant anarchists also perpetrate violence outside of protest situations, including arson, bombings, assassinations, and assaults. Fortunately, militant anarchist and anti-fascist movements in the United States have conducted such attacks less frequently.

Experts view militant anarchist and anti-fascist activity as largely decentralized. Many of these militant groups exist solely at the local level, in small units called affinity groups. Members largely focus on limited violence during protests and other mass actions rather than carrying out targeted attacks. Militant anarchist and anti-fascist groups worldwide emphasize indirect communication with one another. Public blogs and news sites function as clearinghouses to issue communiqués, claim attacks, and publicize violence. Select conflict regions – particularly Rojava in Syria and the Donbas region in Ukraine – and major protests present opportunities for in-person exchanges.

Though militant anti-fascists and anarchists engage in violent activity, both movements embrace some elements of pacifism or nonviolence. Militant anarchists, for example, typically prefer attacking property and infrastructure over people. For attacks employing bombs, for example, they often strike at times when fewer people are expected to be at the attack location. However, anarchist groups in Latin America and Europe have intentionally engaged in lethal violence.

In the United States, the First Amendment protects advocacy of anarchist or anti-fascist goals and ideologies decoupled from the use of violence. Individual members of a single group may vary in their willingness to deploy violence to achieve shared goals. Groups and individuals who engage in violent activity may mingle with those who do not but espouse similar rhetoric or beliefs.

There may be a shift in militant anarchist and anti-fascist activities under the Biden administration. The activity of these groups tends to be cyclical, dependent upon the degree to which “fascists” are thought to be gaining power. These groups saw former President Donald Trump as fitting into this category. As a result, under his administration, the United States saw a significant increase in activity by anarchist and anti-fascist groups, reaching heights not seen in decades. Now that the apparent peak of civil unrest has passed and Trump has left office, militant anarchist and anti-fascist activities may decline. That said, militant anarchists and anti-fascists are motivated by a wide range of goals, many of which are unlikely to change under the new administration. Numerous groups that fall under this umbrella vociferously disagree with many of the Biden administration’s policies, which they believe do not go far enough to the left. Regardless, if militant anarchist and anti-fascist groups try to maintain a similar operational tempo under the Biden administration, they may attract less support. The biggest countervailing factor that may enable continued large-scale mobilizations is the information environment, which makes such mobilizations easier than ever before.

Conclusion and Policy Recommendations

Militant anarchists and anti-fascists present a challenging issue set. Countering the growing propensity for a variety of militant groups to dictate the American political conversation raises challenging questions in a democratic society. While militant groups may imperil public safety, much of their activity – including their advocacy of extreme ideas and engagement in aggressive protest activity – is constitutionally protected. To address the growing set of domestic challenges, this section outlines concrete steps that the U.S. government and society more broadly can take to curb the pull of violent extremism and the threat that it poses.

LEGALLY ADDRESS DOXXING TACTICS DESIGNED TO THREATEN VIOLENCE

Doxxing is a gray-area tactic employed by militant anarchists, anti-fascists, and extremists of other ideological persuasions. The difficulty in prosecuting doxxing lies with proving intent. In many cases, the legality of doxing can hinge on the presence of malicious intent, which, if not proven, can leave the victim with no recourse.170 Doxxing can be employed to intimidate and to threaten violence – for example, by exposing personal information (such as home addresses) of individuals targeted by these campaigns. The U.S. government must better protect against harmful doxxing. While there are complex speech-related issues at play, doxxing increasingly stifles speech. Tech companies can also play a role in countering doxxing by rapidly responding on their platforms.171

WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS TO DISRUPT TRANSNATIONAL COLLABORATION

Compared to other spheres of extremism, militant anti-fascists and anarchists are seemingly less internationalized. Nevertheless, the transnational elements of these movements deserve attention. The U.S. government should collaborate with international partners to study transnational activity among both groups and individuals. A number of militant anarchist groups have cells or affinity groups in multiple countries, while individual anti-fascists and anarchists have traveled to combat zones. The highest levels of anarchist violence are currently in Europe and Latin America, and the United States could see an uptick in violence if these foreign groups increasingly penetrate U.S.-based activism.

The U.S. government should study relevant trends to prepare for potential new avenues for the internationalization of militant activity and possible transnational collaboration by these groups, with an eye toward disrupting such efforts. Such awareness would empower U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to respond more effectively to future acts of anarchist and anti-fascist violence.

RESIST DEPLATFORMING UNDER THREAT OF FORCE

Deplatforming, or physically denying platforms to individuals with whom one disagrees, is a tactic used by anarchist and anti-fascist extremists, sometimes violently. To prevent this tactic from being normalized, efforts must be mounted to resist it. While the initial effect of physical deplatforming may be to deny speech to a single individual, deplatforming has broader impacts. First Amendment-protected speech is denied under threats of violence, due to the perspective of the speaker.

A whole-of-society approach is needed to protect speech and resist deplatforming. The tactic can also be a driver of reciprocal radicalization. Denying speech and operating space, sometimes by force, serves only to further radicalize and galvanize those who have been deplatformed or support the denied perspective. The potential for such activities to spark violence should be apparent. It is important that institutions, be they universities, government offices, or other entities, protect people’s right to free speech, including those who are controversial.

UNDERSTAND THE INFLUENCE OF RECIPROCAL RADICALIZATION AND FRINGE FLUIDITY

As noted, fringe fluidity and reciprocal radicalization deserve attention. In the current age of extremism and armed politics, fringe fluidity may become an increasingly powerful force. Likewise, evidence of reciprocal radicalization among extremist groups demands attention. In today’s political climate, extremists of one political persuasion have no shortage of opposing actors and events to radicalize them. Washington should devote resources to studying these phenomena. Doing so would afford an understanding of how extremist organizations and ideologies can overlap and interact with each other, and could open new avenues for reducing the size of extremist ecosystems.

RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO PICK SIDES BETWEEN EXTREMIST GROUPS

In recent years, U.S. government officials have spoken ambiguously and unclearly about extremist violence. This is highly problematic. Political leaders must recognize the role they play in furthering extremist narratives. Reacting to violent extremism by choosing a side to make a political point serves to prioritize goals and enemies as the extremists would. As political factions and movements in the United States resort to the use or threat of violence, politicians must be unified and precise in their messaging: Political violence is intolerable in a democratic society. Such language would deny political legitimacy to extremist groups and individuals seeking to use violence to advance political goals.

Dave Maxwell
Mon, 06/14/2021 – 9:13pm

Skinheads, Saints, and (National) Socialists

Skinheads, Saints, and (National) Socialists

Skinheads, Saints, and (National) Socialists: An Overview of the Transnational White Supremacist Extremist Movement · by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Samuel Hodgson · June 14, 2021

The 40 page monograph can be downloaded here.

The introduction, conclusion, and recommendations are below.

This monograph must be read along with its companion monographBehind the Black Bloc An Overview of Militant Anarchism and Anti-Fascism​, which I am forwarding in a separate identically formatted message.​

While each is outstanding on their own, the simultaneous publication of both is just brilliant. These will become seminal works for Congress, policymakers, the IC, FBI, Homeland Security, and researchers. These are so balanced and objective with very sound recommendations the most important in both being “resist the temptation to pick sides.”

Introduction

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s October 2020 Homeland Threat Assessment states that among domestic violent extremists, “racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists—specifically white supremacist extremists (WSEs)—will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland.”1 The threat has been made clear through multiple lethal acts perpetrated by WSEs. The deadliest and most prominent recent attack was an August 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that claimed 22 lives. It was the third-deadliest domestic extremist attack in 50 years.2 Beyond lone acts of terrorism, organized networks such as Atomwaffen Division (AWD) and The Base – both of which have been significantly disrupted, as this report details – have plotted terrorist attacks in recent years to advance their goal of overthrowing the U.S. government and triggering a race war.

The January 6, 2021, insurrection on Capitol Hill cast a spotlight on the WSE movement, as some people associated with WSE groups took part and displayed white power symbols, including a now-infamous “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt.3 Though the events of January 6 should not be over-interpreted as driven by WSEs – multiple types of rioters, grievances, and belief systems were involved – the insurrection underscored how WSEs can exploit our fractured political environment. In 2020–2021, the United States lurched discernibly toward armed politics and violent activism; multiple factions and movements resorted to the use or threat of violence to pursue their objectives. The country witnessed scenes not glimpsed in decades, such as armed citizens patrolling the streets in Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.4 The involvement of WSEs in the Capitol Hill attack and other events during this tumultuous period points to their ability to exploit societal fractures and the general rise in extremism.

At the same time, WSE activity has taken on an increasingly transnational dimension. WSEs are developing cross-border connections with like-minded individuals and groups, sha­­­­ring ideologies and practical knowledge with their foreign counterparts, both in person and online. The growing transnationalism of the movement has inspired further attacks across the globe and fueled extremist recruitment.

This report is designed to provide an overview of white supremacist extremism, both domestic and international. It addresses key WSE ideologies, major domestic and foreign WSE groups, the nature of the WSE threat in the United States, and transnational WSE activity. The report is not comprehensive: The universe of WSE actors is large, regionally varied, and constantly in flux as political conditions and the actions of law enforcement shape its development. Nonetheless, this report should provide a solid foundation for understanding the threat today and an indication of how the WSE movement may continue to evolve.

 

Conclusion and Policy Recommendations

In the United States and internationally, the WSE threat continues to grow, and attacks have occurred even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The WSE movement thrives in the current political environment, which is increasingly prone to various extremist ideologies. There are concrete policies that can be leveraged to reduce this threat. In countering domestic threats of violence, however, the U.S. government must ensure that it protects relevant civil liberties and maintains political neutrality.

 

CONSIDER DESIGNATING WSE GROUPS AS TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS

Designating extremist groups as terrorist organizations is a step that the departments of State and the Treasury do not take lightly. The 2020 designation of RIM as an SDGT was a significant step in countering WSE groups. It is worth considering further designations of violent WSE groups and actors that meet the criteria to be listed as SDGTs or Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).126

 

CONSIDER A DOMESTIC DESIGNATION STATUTE

A statute that allows for designation of domestic violent extremist organizations should be considered. Rather than advocating for or against it, this section describes the benefits and costs of such an approach.

The creation and even-handed employment of such a statute may be the most direct way to address and interdict funding for domestic violent extremist organizations. Such designation would potentially criminalize the financing of these organizations and enable authorities to freeze assets the organizations may already hold.

However, such a domestic statute would raise civil liberties concerns. One major concern would be ensuring that this statute is ideologically neutral in conception and application. Designations should correspond to the threats that groups pose, not the ideas they espouse. A domestic designation statute that targets groups espousing only certain ideologies may heighten the risk of violence. The perception of designation bias may become a rallying cry, drawing more members to violent extremism. As such, this statute must be clear about the predicate acts that trigger designation. Vague or imprecise language would render the statute vulnerable to legal challenges to both its adoption and its enforcement. The threshold for designation should be high: For a group to be designated, it must pose a legitimate threat to the lives of others. Finally, the statute must include a redress mechanism. The consequences of designation are severe and demand an opportunity for appeal.

 

MAP WSE GROUPS AND THEIR FINANCES

A dearth of knowledge about how WSE organizations are funded and structured hampers efforts to counter their financing. Accordingly, it is important to deepen our understanding of the organizational structures and funding mechanisms common to domestic violent extremist organizations.

The consensus among experts studying domestic violent extremism is that these groups are relatively fluid and devoid of organizational structure. This may be so. However, these groups may have a hidden hierarchy or organizational structure. Moreover, in the digital age, fluid organizational structures can quickly harden into more concrete ones. This increases the need to unearth concealed organizational structures. Such understanding can help authorities proactively disrupt sources of funding and mitigate the potential for harm. Further research in this area is needed.

 

CONDUCT MESSAGING CAMPAIGNS AIMED AT DISCREDITING WSE GROUPS

The United States has a history of devoting resources to messaging efforts designed to discredit extremist groups. While Washington’s record of discrediting jihadist groups can most charitably be described as mixed, it would be foolish to cede the territory of messaging to WSE groups. Propaganda and messaging constitute an inherent part of any significant conflict. One approach to countering WSE messaging might include de-bureaucratized teams – or “startups within government” – with flexibility in the messaging sphere. In the present case, this could be accomplished by a nimble unit of communications professionals and intelligence officers monitoring WSE propaganda and generating real-time counter-messaging content that exposes falsehoods in WSEs’ messaging and provides facts that discredit the movement. Such a model would inhibit WSE ability to enter new communication spaces unchallenged.127

The benefit of a “startups-within-government” approach is that government messaging efforts tend to be overly risk-averse. Most startups in the commercial sphere fail within their first three years of existence, and that is a good thing: Those that survive the Darwinian process confronting new businesses often go on to become highly profitable and accomplished. A startups-within-government model would accept the near certainty of failed experiments, with the understanding that de-bureaucratized cells that do not fail in a competitive environment are more likely to achieve an outsized impact.

 

WORK WITH TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES AND SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

Extremists use social media and technology platforms to disseminate materials and recruit. In the past, WSE attackers have posted manifestos online prior to carrying out attacks. There may be better ways to identify danger signs and alert authorities if danger appears likely or imminent. And platforms where WSEs may attempt to spread violent ideologies and recruit should be monitored. Indeed, one increasingly important space for WSE recruitment appears to be videogames. Partnerships between large and small technology companies may help create a more comprehensive effort, including by providing smaller companies access to resources.

Collaboration between the U.S. government and technology companies has often been hampered by technology companies’ mistrust of government intelligence-gathering, as well as concerns about user privacy. The U.S. government should address WSE activity in a manner consistent with these concerns. Continuing dialogue about content takedowns – regardless of the ideology of the content – is crucial. The success of the dialogue will depend on the ability of participants to approach extremism with the appropriate level of context and expertise and without bias. To this end, one critical recommendation is to include people with a diversity of perspectives in these discussions, including those skeptical of content takedowns due to concerns related to protecting speech and expression.

 

WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS

Since the WSE movement is global, Washington must collaborate with international partners to study groups and individuals with connections to WSE militancy. WSE groups seek to establish cross-border links with foreign counterparts, and some even establish overseas chapters or operate in multiple countries. They can inspire and motivate others across the globe to carry out attacks. The U.S. government should study and prepare for potential new avenues of internationalization and transnational collaboration in the WSE sphere. Such understanding and awareness would better prepare U.S. law enforcement and intelligence to halt or respond to acts of WSE violence.

 

STUDY RECIPROCAL RADICALIZATION AND FRINGE FLUIDITY

In the current polarized climate, opposite extremes tend to radicalize both sides and provide average people a reason to drift toward extremes. Theories of reciprocal radicalization and fringe fluidity are therefore highly instructive. Reciprocal radicalization suggests that growing power and success of groups aligned with one extremist ideology will fuel recruitment and encourage activity by groups of ostensibly opposing ideologies. Interactions between groups locked into reciprocal radicalization often result in “a bizarre mixture of cooperation, competition, and overt fighting between different groups.”128 Another relevant dynamic is fringe fluidity.129 This is a radicalization pathway in which individuals transition from one form of extremism to another. Fringe fluidity demonstrates how extremists prioritize common grievances, goals, and enemies even when their overarching ideologies conflict.130 Brenton Tarrant, the March 2019 Christchurch mosque killer, is one recent example. Tarrant shifted between several extremist ideologies, ultimately declaring himself an ecofascist at the time of his attack.131

In an era of political polarization, extremists may seize the opportunity to draw recruits and mobilize from a growing menu of overlapping and sometimes conflicting militant ideologies, making fringe fluidity an increasingly powerful force. Likewise, evidence of reciprocal radicalization among extremist groups demands attention, as extremists of one persuasion have no shortage of opposing forces to radicalize them. The U.S. government should devote resources to studying these phenomena.

 

RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO PICK SIDES

In recent years, politicians have too often spoken on issues of extremist violence with ambiguity because of partisan considerations. Political leaders must recognize the role they may play in furthering extremist narratives. Choosing a side serves to prioritize goals and enemies as the extremists would. As political factions and movements in the United States resort to violence or the threat of violence to pursue objectives, the government must be unified and precise in its messaging: Political violence is completely intolerable in a democratic society.

 

CREATE ARCHITECTURE FOR THE AGE OF MASS ATTACKS

WSEs have in the past conducted mass attacks in public spaces, some of which have left significant numbers dead. Unfortunately, violent extremists of various ideological stripes, as well as non-ideological mass attackers, are certain to strike again. In too many attacks, man-made structures have aided attackers and worked against those trying to escape. Victims have been trapped by limited exits or prevented from securing rooms because doors do not lock from the inside. One solution is crisis architecture, an architectural paradigm that offers integrated tactical, psychological, and technological security measures while preserving function and aesthetics.132

DanielRiggs
Mon, 06/14/2021 – 1:45pm

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Early June

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Early June

Access the FDD Foreign Policy Tracker HERE.

June 14, 2021 | FDD Tracker: June 4 – 14, 2021

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Early June

Trend Overview

Edited by David Adesnik

Welcome back to the Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker, where FDD’s experts and scholars assess the administration’s foreign policy every two weeks. As always, they provide trendlines of very positive, positive, neutral, negative, or very negative for the areas they study. With President Joe Biden on his first overseas trip, foreign policy has taken center stage. At the G7 summit in the United Kingdom, Biden announced the United States will purchase and donate half a billion doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to low-income nations, “with no strings attached.” Today the president is in Brussels for his first NATO summit, while the Taliban surges across Afghanistan. On the gathering’s sidelines, Biden will have his first in-person meeting with his Turkish counterpart, whose conduct consistently undermines the transatlantic alliance. The sternest test for Biden will come on Wednesday when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Will Putin dial back his provocations after the summit, or will he only emerge emboldened? Check back in two weeks to see if Biden capitalized on these opportunities.

Dave Maxwell
Mon, 06/14/2021 – 12:45pm

06/14/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/14/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

 

Happy Birthday U.S. Army.

 

1. This was one of the worst weeks for China on the world stage in a while

2. Exclusive: US assessing reported leak at Chinese nuclear power facility

3. U.S. Fight Against Chinese 5G Efforts Shifts From Threats to Incentives

4. Heads of G7 agree to invest on B3W infrastructure

5. How Congress can fight Hamas’s use of human shields

6. The personal impact of an American general on an Afghan officer

7.  FDD | Biden Lifts Sanctions on Firms Linked to Key Assad Backer

8. FDD | What to Expect From the Biden-Putin Summit

9. Beijing Protests a Lab Leak Too Much

10. How States Can Respond If Biden Lifts Iran Sanctions

11. North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China

12. NATO allies seek clarity on maintaining secure facilities in Afghanistan following troop withdrawal

13. G7 ballyhoos challenge to China’s Belt and Road

14. Imperfect competition between US and China: Statesman

15. Ransomware’s suspected Russian roots point to a long detente between the Kremlin and hackers

16. The West is uniting to confront China. How worried should Beijing be?

17. NATO to look eastward and inward at summit

18. Biden’s B3W proposal no serious threat to China’s BRI

19. Biden meets with foreign leaders as ambassadorships sit vacant

20. The Party Is Not Forever | by Minxin Pei

21. US father and son admit helping Ghosn flee Japan

22. Why We Can’t Move On From Jan. 6

23. Analysis: Mystery of 1999 US stealth jet shootdown returns with twist

 

1. This was one of the worst weeks for China on the world stage in a while

news.yahoo.com · by Linette Lopez

Excerpts: “Legendary American diplomat George Kennan – known for outlining the US policy of containing the USSR during the Cold War – used to say that the US people are always about 10 years behind its diplomats when it comes to seeing danger from abroad. Lecturing back in 1950 he compared democracies to a giant prehistoric monster “with a body as long as this room and a brain the size of a pin” that needs to be directly confronted with a problem before it awakens from the “comfortable primeval mud.” But when a challenge does gain our attention, Kennan said, the country lashes out with “such blind determination that he not only destroys his adversary but largely wrecks his native habitat.”

Perhaps the US has learned something from Kennan. Consider the Senate’s passage of a 2,400 page bill aimed at shoring up the US as an economic and technological superpower. The size and scope of the bill shows that our leaders are trying to meet a challenge before it’s an emergency.

 

2. Exclusive: US assessing reported leak at Chinese nuclear power facility

CNN · by Zachary Cohen

For those who remember – Three Mile Island or Chernobyl?

Excerpts: “While US officials have deemed the situation does not currently pose a severe safety threat to workers at the plant or Chinese public, it is unusual that a foreign company would unilaterally reach out to the American government for help when its Chinese state-owned partner is yet to acknowledge a problem exists. The scenario could put the US in a complicated situation should the leak continue or become more severe without being fixed.

However, concern was significant enough that the National Security Council held multiple meetings last week as they monitored the situation, including two at the deputy level and another gathering at the assistant secretary level on Friday, which was led by NSC Senior Director for China Laura Rosenberger and Senior Director for Arms Control Mallory Stewart, according to US officials.

Still, Rofer, the retired nuclear scientist, warns that a gas leak could indicate bigger problems.

“If they do have a gas leak, that indicates some of their containment is broken,” Rofer said. “It also argues that maybe some of the fuel elements could be broken, which would be a more serious problem.”

“That would be a reason for shutting down the reactor and would then require the reactor to be refueled,” Rofer told CNN, adding that removing the fuel elements must be done carefully.

For now, US officials do not think the leak is at “crisis level,” but acknowledge it is increasing and bears monitoring, the source familiar with the situation told CNN.

While there is a chance the situation could become a disaster, US officials currently believe it is more likely that it will not become one, the source added.

 

3. U.S. Fight Against Chinese 5G Efforts Shifts From Threats to Incentives

WSJ · by Stu Woo and Drew Hinshaw

Excerpts: “Ms. Kaptur said such countries still have weak economies and should be offered alternatives to Beijing-backed infrastructure projects. “They are countries at risk,” she said.

Many Central and Eastern European countries, including Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states, have been broadly receptive to American arguments against Huawei. Many also view strong military relations with the U.S. as vital after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

Many have been skeptical of China, too. In 2019, Poland jailed a Huawei executive on espionage charges, while Baltic and Romanian governments have taken steps to limit their countries’ use of Huawei. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has demanded China replace its current ambassador to his country, after a series of public spats largely about the role of Huawei in the country.

Yet the Chinese government has found partners in the region, particularly in Hungary, whose capital Budapest is hosting a new Huawei research center. Huawei opened a similar center in Serbia last year. Several countries have also signed up for Beijing’s Belt and Road program, in which Chinese government-backed institutions largely finance and build highways, ports and other infrastructure.

 

4. Heads of G7 agree to invest on B3W infrastructure

donga.com · June 14, 2021

The Korean press is picking up on the B3W narrative.

Excerpt:According to the White House, heads of G7 countries including U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to invest on the global infrastructure at the G7 summit held in Cornwall, the U.K. on Saturday (local time). The project is called “B3W (Build Back Better World),” which was named after Biden’s presidential campaign “Build Back Better.” It is garnering attention as it is the first alternative of advanced countries against China’s project.

 

5. How Congress can fight Hamas’s use of human shields

The Hill · by Orde F. Kittrie and Matthew Zweig · June 11, 2021

Conclusion: ”Finally, Congress should request that the administration pursue a legally binding UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) focused on countering human shields use by terrorists. It would not have to address a particular situation, armed conflict, or illicit armed group, and may not draw a veto from China or from Russia (which itself has repeatedly complained of human shields use against it).The resolution could require all member states to take steps to hinder, and impose consequences for, human shields use. This includes adopting national legislation criminalizing human shields use. Similar resolutions have already required national legislation and other measures to counter terrorism, the recruitment of foreign fighters, and the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Congress has led the way before in combating the use of human shields; it should lead again.

 

6. The personal impact of an American general on an Afghan officer

militarytimes.com · by Col. Abdul Rahman Rahmani · June 11, 2021

 

7. FDD | Biden Lifts Sanctions on Firms Linked to Key Assad Backer

fdd.org · by David Adesnik · June 11, 2021

Excerpts:The appearance of hesitation to hold the Assad regime accountable comes at an inopportune moment as Biden prepares for his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A major issue of contention there will be Putin’s readiness to employ starvation as a weapon against Syrian civilians who remain in areas outside the Assad regime’s control. Specifically, Putin may employ Russia’s veto to block the UN Security Council’s reauthorization of aid deliveries into northwest Syria directly from Turkey, a route that bypasses Damascus, thereby preventing Assad from blocking or diverting the shipments.

If the administration did lift sanctions on ASM and Silver Pine as an indicator of goodwill toward Assad, Moscow, or Tehran, that would be a mistake, since they have no record of reciprocating. Within the past week, Syrian shelling and Russian air raids killed even more civilians. Concessions at this point would likely communicate a lack of resolve on Washington’s part.

The administration should quickly clarify why it chose to delist two of Foz’s companies. If it alleges their conduct has changed, it should present evidence of that change, since Foz and his other companies remain leading contributors to the Assad regime’s finances. More broadly, the administration should clarify its still-undefined policy toward Syria and appoint a special envoy of a stature comparable to those who served under the previous administration.

 

8. FDD | What to Expect From the Biden-Putin Summit

fdd.org · by Thomas Joscelyn · June 11, 2021

Excerpt: “The summary above is just a cursory look at the points of tension between the U.S. and Russia. The Biden administration has repeatedly stated it does not think that relations between the U.S. and Russia “need to continue on a negative trajectory.”

 

9. Beijing Protests a Lab Leak Too Much

WSJ · by Perry Link

China as a Shakespearean tragedy?

Excerpt:The Chinese Communist Party’s official account of the virus is that it “jumped” from bats to humans at a wet market not far from the Wuhan lab. The city government was quick to close down that market, seal it off and provide the world with photos showing that the sealing had been done. Why were the authorities so swift and conspicuous? Because they suspected the wet market or because they wanted the world to? If they were certain that Mother Nature was the culprit, why silence their scientists and seal laboratory records? And why begin a vicious cyberstruggle against someone who records daily life as she sees it?

 

10. How States Can Respond If Biden Lifts Iran Sanctions

National Review Online · by Richard Goldberg · June 11, 2021

Excerpts:Governors could get even more creative. Willie Sutton infamously said he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.” The same is true for effective sanctions policy — target the banks and financial transactions.

The State of Florida passed an Iran banking law in 2012 that required all chartered banks to certify that they did not engage in transactions with the Central Bank of Iran or other dirty Iranian banks. The hiccup: The list of those companies would be based on the U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions list, which isn’t much help as the Biden administration prepares to lift most Iran sanctions.

There may be an easy fix for Florida and other interested governors. As it happens, foreign banks must apply to state regulators to open offices and establish representation. States could add a simple certification requirement for existing and future applicants: With an exception for trade in food and medicine, the bank must pledge it will not facilitate transactions with or for any entity in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

11. North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China

dailynk.com · Ha Yoon Ah · June 14, 2021

As Frost wrote: “good fences make good neighbors.”

 

12. NATO allies seek clarity on maintaining secure facilities in Afghanistan following troop withdrawal

The Washington Post · by Karen DeYoung · June 13, 2021

A lot of details:”Asked about the airport and medical facility in Kabul, McKenzie said “our plans are very far advanced on what our posture is going to look like after we complete the withdrawal” of U.S. forces “and of course our NATO and other partners there.”

But while “I recognize it’s a subject of abiding interest to many people,” he said, making such information public could give tactical advantage “to those who would attack us.”

Health-care standards in Kabul are so poor that most embassies would be forced to shut down if the medical facility adjacent to the international airport, equipped to provide care to diplomats and NATO personnel, although without an intensive care capability, was not able to remain operational and in a secure environment.

 

13. G7 ballyhoos challenge to China’s Belt and Road

asiatimes.com · by Richard Javad Heydarian · June 14, 2021

The acronym B3W may be catching on.

Excerpts: “US President Joe Biden, who has placed China at the heart of his global strategy, has been the driving force behind the mega-initiatives in tandem with key allies. The stated aim is not to compete with China on a dollar-to-dollar or vaccine-to-vaccine basis per se, but instead provide the rules of the road for a transparent and democratic global order.

It marks a major departure from the days of the Trump administration, which alienated G7 allies with its bellicose and “America First” protectionist rhetoric, while constantly criticizing China without providing any concrete alternatives.

In a statement, the White House described the B3W as an indispensable initiative to “help narrow the $40+ trillion infrastructure need in the developing world, which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“The driving animating purpose of this G7 summit is to show that democracy can deliver against the biggest challenges we’re facing in the world,” a senior Biden administration official told the media, underscoring the ideological element of the grouping as a club of like-minded democracies.

 

14. Imperfect competition between US and China: Statesman

straitstimes.com · June 14, 2021

A view from India.

 

15. Ransomware’s suspected Russian roots point to a long detente between the Kremlin and hackers

The Washington Post · by Isabelle Khurshudyan and Loveday Morris · June 12, 2021

Detente?” This is more like Hybrid Warfare (from Frank Hoffman):

“A hybrid threat transcends a blend of regular and irregular tactics. More than a decade ago, it was defined as an adversary that “simultaneously and adaptively employs a fused mix of conventional weapons, irregular tactics, catastrophic terrorism, and criminal behavior in the battlespace to obtain desired political objectives.”54 The criminal, or more broadly “socially disruptive behavior,” and mass terrorism aspects should not be overlooked, but the fusion of advanced military capabilities with irregular forces and tactics is key, and has appeared repeatedly during the past decade from Hezbollah to the Russian campaigns in Georgia and Ukraine.55 Hezbollah’s method of fighting Israel as is described by its leader Hassan Nasrallah, is an organic response to its security dilemma and “not a conventional army and not a guerrilla force, it is something in between.”56 As lethal as Hezbollah has been in the past decade, we should be concerned about the lessons it is learning in Syria from the Russians.57

Hybrid threats can also be created by a state actor using a proxy force. A proxy force sponsored by a major power can generate hybrid threats readily using advanced military capabilities provided by the sponsor. Proxy wars, appealing to some as “warfare on the cheap” are historically ubiquitous but chronically understudied.58

 

16. The West is uniting to confront China. How worried should Beijing be?

CNN · by Nectar Gan, Jill Disis and Ben Westcott

 

17. NATO to look eastward and inward at summit

Defense News · by Sebastian Sprenger · June 13, 2021

Excerpts: “The summit is also expected to formally order the production of a new NATO strategic concept, to conclude within a year. That work amounts to a wholesale revision of alliance guidance, to which member nations align their national defense plans. The most recent concept hails from 2010, predating Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine that changed the strategic calculus for European governments.

“The new strategic concept would be a milestone, as so many issues regarding threats and deterrence flow from it,” said German lawmaker Tobias Lindner, the Green Party’s point man for defense issues in the Bundestag.

The topic of deterrence — nuclear, that is — is expected to make a reprise in Germany following the federal election in late September, where the Greens have a shot at joining the next governing coalition, according to recent polls.

Whenever major defense questions come up in the country, Germany’s continued participation in NATO’s nuclear-sharing arrangement — meaning German Tornado aircraft carrying U.S. atomic bombs into a hypothetical war – ends up on the table.

 

18.  Biden’s B3W proposal no serious threat to China’s BRI

asiatimes.com · by  Dnyanesh Kamat · June 14, 2021

I expect to see a lot of this criticism. I had expected to read more already but perhaps it is just too soon.

As I understand it, funding from BRI does have strings attached. The biggest being if you default on the loans.

But here is the author’s view in conclusion:The world would rather sign up to BRI projects, based on hard-nosed realpolitik, than America’s B3W, based on woolly feel-good values that the US is very obviously only paying lip service to.

B3W found a vague single-line mention in the communiqué issued at the end of the recent Group of Seven summit. This is perhaps a sign that the rest of the G7 members recognized it for what it was – verbal gimmickry aimed at a domestic audience by a newly elected president desperate for a foreign-policy victory.

 

19.  Biden meets with foreign leaders as ambassadorships sit vacant

The Hill · by Brett Samuels · June 13, 2021

 

20.  The Party Is Not Forever | by Minxin Pei

project-syndicate.org · by Minxin Pei · June 11, 2021

I had not heard this thesis before. Xi is adopting the north Korean model??

Excerpts: “That is perhaps why the Singapore model has lost its luster in the Xi era, whereas the North Korean model – totalitarian political repression, a cult of the supreme leader, and juche (economic self-reliance) – has grown more appealing. True, China has not yet become a giant North Korea, but a number of trends over the last eight years have moved the country in that direction.

Politically, the rule of fear has returned, not only for ordinary people, but also for the CPC’s elites, as Xi has reinstated purges under the guise of a perpetual anti-corruption campaign. Censorship is at its highest level in the post-Mao era, and Xi’s regime has all but eliminated space for civil society, including NGOs. The authorities have even reined in China’s freewheeling private entrepreneurs with regulatory crackdowns, criminal prosecution, and confiscation of wealth.

And Xi has assiduously nurtured a personality cult. These days, the front page of the People’s Daily newspaper is filled with coverage of Xi’s activities and personal edicts. The abridged history of the CPC, recently released to mark the party’s centennial, devotes a quarter of its content to Xi’s eight years in power, while giving only half as much space to Deng Xiaoping, the CPC’s true savior.

Economically, China has yet to embrace juche fully. But the CPC’s new Five-Year Plan projects a vision of technological self-sufficiency and economic security centered on domestic growth. Although the party has a reasonable excuse – America’s strategy of economic and technological decoupling leaves it no alternative – few Western democracies will want to remain economically coupled with a country that sees North Korea as its future political model.

When China’s leaders toast the CPC’s centennial, they should ask whether the party is on the right track. If it is not, the CPC’s upcoming milestone may be its last.

 

21. US father and son admit helping Ghosn flee Japan

asiatimes.com · by Hiroshi Hiyama · June 14, 2021

Japan has an extremely high conviction rate because they do not go to trial until defendants effectively confess or plead guilty.

 

22. Why We Can’t Move On From Jan. 6

WSJ · by Peggy Noonan

 

23. Analysis: Mystery of 1999 US stealth jet shootdown returns with twist

asia.nikkei.com

Some fascinating “analysis.”

 

—————-

 

“I am a Soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.”

– George S. Patton

 

 “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” 

– Richard Grenier while discussing the works of George Orwell

 

“American soldiers in battle don’t fight for what some president says on T.V., they don’t fight for mom, apple pie, the American flag…they fight for one another.”

-Hal Moore

DanielRiggs
Mon, 06/14/2021 – 9:42am

06/14/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/14/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

 

Happy Birthday U.S. Army.

 

1. G-7 calls for ‘complete’ denuclearization of Korean Peninsula, welcomes Washington’s readiness towards Pyongyang diplomacy

2. Moon signs on to Biden’s statement on freedoms

3. Ordinary Pyongyang residents have not received government rations since mid-April 

4. N.K. leader sends birthday gift to miner to emphasize ‘self-reliance’

5. Moon says S. Korea will push for COVID-19 vaccine supplies if North Korea agrees

6. South Korean shipbuilders unveil competing carrier designs

7. North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China

8. Korea to conduct Dokdo defense drill this week

9. Japan-South Korea Spat at G-7 Shows Biden’s Challenge With China

10. Soured ties between Korea, Japan exposed at G7

11. Korea’s Balancing Act Is Getting More Precarious

12. “S. Korean agents are painting Chinese banknotes with coronavirus and sending them.” Kim Jong-un gives direct orders to clean up money transfer brokers.

13. Worker’s Party of Korea Central Committee Plenary Session: No Details Yet

 

1. G-7 calls for ‘complete’ denuclearization of Korean Peninsula, welcomes Washington’s readiness towards Pyongyang diplomacy

en.yna.co.kr · by 장동우 · June 14, 2021

It seems the ROK and US have gotten every major organization (Quad, G7, UN) and major countries to support denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Everybody but north Korea!

 

2. Moon signs on to Biden’s statement on freedoms

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Ser Myo-Ja  · June 14, 2021

human rights and democratic rule of law

We have to wait and see what kind of blowback there is for South Korea from China.

 

3. Ordinary Pyongyang residents have not received government rations since mid-April 

dailynk.com · by Seulkee Jang · June 14, 2021

Not a good sign. When the public distribution throughout the north collapse during the arduous march of 94-96 the people developed markets to survive. But with the crackdowns due to COVID and the closure of the Chinese border, the citizens of Pyongyang have no relief valve. What happens when we begin to see unrest in Pyongyang? (I am sure that there will be an immediate crackdown and anyone found resisting will be sent to the gulags (with three generations) if they are not executed).

 

4. N.K. leader sends birthday gift to miner to emphasize ‘self-reliance’

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · June 14, 2021

An interesting development.

Excerpts:The KCNA praised Ko and his team members as “heroes” for contributing to increased mineral production and for reaching their goals ahead of schedule for the first year of the five-year economic plan unveiled at a party congress in January.

It is rare for Kim to deliver such a gift to an ordinary miner on his 60th birthday. Such a gift has usually been granted to independence fighters and those aged 100 or older.

The North appears to be stressing the achievements of miners from the Komdok region that have helped build a more self-reliant economy during the 1970s by exporting minerals.

 

5. Moon says S. Korea will push for COVID-19 vaccine supplies if North Korea agrees

en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · June 14, 2021

IF north Korea agrees. That is a big “if.”

When would north Korea be ready to ask for help? How bad will it have to get inside north Korea?

Excerpt: “We are not aware of whether North Korea has taken any position with regard to that and there is relevant data (on its coronavirus situation),” he said. “In case of any signal from North Korea (for requesting help), we will of course help.”

 

6. South Korean shipbuilders unveil competing carrier designs

Defense News · by Brian Kim · June 12, 2021

Excerpts:The shipyard displayed a 1-to-400 scale model of its proposed carrier, which would be 270 meters long and 60 meters wide. The carrier, with its twin island superstructures, would have a displacement of 30,000-35,000 tons and a full-load displacement of 450,000-500,000 tons, according to an HHI spokesman.

“This new design suggests a flight deck 30 percent larger than the former design and an optional ski jump ramp over the bow with a view to improve operational capabilities of fighter jets onboard,” the spokesman told Defense News on June 11. “The modular ski jump could be removed and the flight deck could be modified to accept a catapult.”

The carrier would be able to carry up to 16 short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft on its flight deck and a further eight in its hanger, he said. The ski jump-styled takeoff ramp would permit jets without the STOVL capability to more easily launch from the ship. In addition, some 24 helicopters could be flown with the CVX.

The proposed model has an auxiliary deck at the stern for operating small rotary-wing drones and an adapted well deck from which to deploy unmanned surface vehicles or unmanned underwater vehicles.

The spokesman revealed his company has a contract with U.K.-based Babcock International for consultancy services related to the basic design of the CVX. Babcock is a member of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, which built both the Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth carriers.

 

7. North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China

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

As Frost wrote: “good fences make good neighbors.”

 

8. Korea to conduct Dokdo defense drill this week

Bloomberg · by Jon Herskovitz · June 14, 2021

This will not help Korea-Japan relations.

 

9. Japan-South Korea Spat at G-7 Shows Biden’s Challenge With China

Bloomberg · by Jon Herskovitz · June 14, 2021

Not a good sign:

“The two sides couldn’t even agree on why the meeting didn’t take place. The Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency on Monday quoted an unnamed South Korean Foreign Ministry official as saying Japan broke a tentative agreement for the two leaders to have a longer meeting. But when the South Korean side tried to follow up, they received no response from Japanese officials, the report said.

That official told Yonhap that Japan didn’t want to talk because of Seoul’s plans to hold military drills this week on and around islets that Koreans call Dokdo, which are claimed by both countries but occupied by South Korea. Previous drills around the islands that Japan calls Takeshima have been met with protests from Tokyo and caused strains in ties.

Katsunobu Kato, the Japanese government’s top spokesman, denied there was any tentative agreement for a meeting, adding at a news briefing Monday such a report was “extremely regrettable.” He also said Tokyo has called on Seoul to cancel the military exercises.

Whatever the situation may actually be, it’s a problem that isn’t going away for Biden.

 

10. Soured ties between Korea, Japan exposed at G7

The Korea Times · by · June 14, 2021

I think we all thought (or at least hoped) some kind of meeting would take place despite all sides appearing to manage expectations before the G7.

Excerpts:Claiming that Korea was worsening the situation, Suga also demanded that Moon resolve the issues involving wartime forced labor and sex slavery, over which the two countries have ongoing disputes.

Meanwhile, according to Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper, the Japanese government told U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson that it did not want to expand the G7. Korea, along with Australia, India and South Africa, were invited to the G7 Summit as guest countries.

Japan’s opposition to the expansion is seen as an effort to remain Asia’s lone G7 member country.

When former U.S. President Donald Trump mentioned a possible G7 expansion to include Korea, last year, the Japanese government made clear its opposition to Korea participating in the group of advanced economies.

In fact, the expansion of the G7 was not discussed during the summit at all, although it is not known whether Japan’s voice was an influencing factor.

 

11. Korea’s Balancing Act Is Getting More Precarious

english.chosun.com

I expect we will see some Chinese retaliation against South Korea in some form of political and economic warfare.

 

12. “S. Korean agents are painting Chinese banknotes with coronavirus and sending them.” Kim Jong-un gives direct orders to clean up money transfer brokers.

asiapress.org

QAnon does not have a lock on conspiracy theories.

 

13. Worker’s Party of Korea Central Committee Plenary Session: No Details Yet

The National Interest · by Eli Fuhrman · June 13, 2021

But we have to observe for indicators that the regime may try to “externalize” its domestic problem.

 

—————-

 

“I am a Soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.”

– George S. Patton

 

 “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” 

– Richard Grenier while discussing the works of George Orwell

 

“American soldiers in battle don’t fight for what some president says on T.V., they don’t fight for mom, apple pie, the American flag…they fight for one another.”

-Hal Moore

DanielRiggs
Mon, 06/14/2021 – 9:19am

Special Operations News Update – Monday, June 14, 2021

Special Operations News Update – Monday, June 14, 2021

You can access SOF News HERE

Curated news, analysis, and commentary about special operations, national security, and conflicts around the world. Topics include RSM Cdr, women and AFSOC, SF in the Arctic, Marine Raider trial, critical race theory, armed overwatch program, UK’s E Squadron, SOF history, OTH CT operations, border crisis, and more.

Dave Maxwell
Mon, 06/14/2021 – 6:12am

06/13/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/13/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. House tees up war authorization repeal while Senate waits on White House

2. Opinion | Don’t cede the Asia-Pacific to China. The U.S. must learn from its TPP mistake.

3. Rare earth metals at the heart of China’s rivalry with US, Europe

4. G7 set to agree ‘green belt and road’ plan to tackle China’s influence

5. U.S. contractor to pay $5.28 million to Abu Ghraib prisoners

6. ‘Be ready’: Australia warned about China’s ‘grey zone’ war

7. FACT SHEET: President Biden and G7 Leaders Launch Build Back Better World (B3W) Partnership

8. ‘Build Back Better World’: G7 leaders back developing world spending plan to rival China 

9. UN rights commissioner warns of escalating violence in Myanmar

10. FBI Using NSA to Conduct Unconstitutional ‘Warrantless’ Searches for ‘Extremists’

11. China cautions G7: ‘small’ groups don’t rule the world

12. 2021 G7 Leaders’ communiqué: Our shared agenda for global action to build back better

13. ‘Xi Jinping is my spiritual leader’: China’s education drive in Tibet

14. The US military is tearing itself apart over ‘wokeness’ and it’s only helping America’s enemies

15. Biden’s Blue Dot seeks to derail China’s Belt and Road

16. My Mother Eleni: The Search for her Executioners (published in 1983 about the Greek Civil War)

 

1. House tees up war authorization repeal while Senate waits on White House

Defense News · by Joe Gould · June 13, 2021

This could be a very interesting debate. How this turns out may very well indicate the direction of US foreign policy and national security for years to come.

Excerpt: “A National Security Council spokesman confirmed the White House is working with Kaine and others, and that Biden wants to ensure the existing authorizations for the use of military force “are replaced with a narrow and specific framework that will ensure we can protect Americans from terrorist threats while ending the forever wars.”

The NSC is “committed to working with Congress as they move this legislation forward,” he added.

 

2. Opinion | Don’t cede the Asia-Pacific to China. The U.S. must learn from its TPP mistake.

The Washington Post · by Tom Carper and John Cornyn · June 13, 2021

Pulling out of TPP was arguably one of the biggest strategic mistakes of the previous administration. Think of where we could potentially in terms of the economic strength of the TPP versus malign economic behavior of authoritarian regimes.

 

3. Rare earth metals at the heart of China’s rivalry with US, Europe

RFI · June 13, 2021

Excerpts: “China is expected to remain dominant for some time to come, but Schafer said that if recycling is scaled up, “20 to 30 percent of Europe’s rare earth magnet needs by 2030 could be sourced domestically in the EU from literally zero today.”

The desire to accelerate rare earth production comes amid a shortage of semiconductors, which are essential for the computing and automotive industries and mostly manufactured in Asia.

The scarcity “has caused global manufacturers to think about their supply chain in a new way, and think about vulnerabilities,” a spokesman for MP Materials said, adding that several European automotive and wind power firms are already in contact with the company.

 

4.G7 set to agree ‘green belt and road’ plan to tackle China’s influence

Financial Times · by Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe · June 12, 2021

Excerpts: “Johnson wants to focus on supporting green initiatives and has been wary of presenting the initiative as an “anti-China” move. British officials say they want the G7 to “show what we are for, not who we are against”.

But the White House favours a wider package of infrastructure support and is explicit about wanting to provide a new counterweight to China’s influence.

“We have a slightly narrower focus,” said one British official.

On Saturday G7 leaders held talks to co-ordinate China strategy. “There was broad agreement that we should co-operate with Beijing on things like fighting climate change, compete in areas like global supply chains and contest on issues like human rights,” said one official briefed on the talks.

 

5.  U.S. contractor to pay $5.28 million to Abu Ghraib prisoners

CBS News · June 12, 2021

Excerpts: “In the case against CACI, four Iraqis who say they were tortured are seeking compensation from the company, which provided interrogators to the U.S. military during the war. CACI has chosen to continue its fight against the lawsuit. Azmy said a trial is expected this summer.

In its defense four years ago against the lawsuit, L-3 said the fact that the claims in the case “cannot be brought against the government means that they also cannot be brought against L-3.”

“No court in the United States has allowed aliens — detained on the battlefield or in the course of postwar occupation and military operations by the U.S. military — to seek damages for their detention,” the company told the federal court four years ago. “Yet these plaintiffs bring claims seeking money damages for their detention and treatment while in the custody of the U.S. military in the midst of a belligerent occupation in Iraq.”

Allowing the case to proceed “would require a wholly unprecedented injection of the judiciary into wartime military operations and occupation conduct against the local population, in particular the conditions of confinement and interrogation for intelligence gathering,” L-3 added.

 

6. ‘Be ready’: Australia warned about China’s ‘grey zone’ war

au.news.yahoo.com

A very strong statement from Foriegn Minister Yu:Dr Joseph Wu spoke to The Weekend Australian and said China was preparing for war and “we all need to be ready for that”.

“The new phenomenon we are seeing is part of what I would describe as China’s ‘grey zone’ operations, where it sends in its maritime militia – large fishing boats armed, operated and following the orders of China’s navy – to harass and intimidate their perceived enemies,” he said.

“This is something Australia hasn’t experienced yet – but it is coming.”

 

7. FACT SHEET: President Biden and G7 Leaders Launch Build Back Better World (B3W) Partnership

White House Briefings

President Biden used B3W (said we are calling it B3W) in his remarks at his press conference today from the UK. As I asked in another message, have we developed the information and influence campaign to dominate the narrative? And will our G7 and D10 partners embrace this and begin to support the narrative? We will have to goggle B3W every day to see how effective the new plan and the names are growing in usage. Is the GEC at State taking the lead?

 

8.  ‘Build Back Better World’: G7 leaders back developing world spending plan to rival China 

Euro News

The media is beginning to describe the B3W plan (and this is from yesterday). Perhaps after POTUS’ press conference today and his use of the term it will begin to grow legs.

9. UN rights commissioner warns of escalating violence in Myanmar

bdnews24.com 

This is one of those predictions that unfortunately is likely to come true.

 

10. FBI Using NSA to Conduct Unconstitutional ‘Warrantless’ Searches for ‘Extremists’

americandefensenews.com · by Paul Crespo

Excerpts: “In the newly released FISA report, a judge said the FBI’s Fourth Amendment violations were still “apparently widespread.”

The Daily Mail also noted that it is unclear from the FISA report whether the FBI uncovered any criminal ‘extremist’ behavior or made any arrests resulting from the searches. Also unknown is what the Bureau did with seized data that was harmless or irrelevant to its search.

What is also unclear is just how many law abiding Americans had their personal data viewed by the FBI in its search for “racially motivated” extremists.

A senior FBI official told the Daily Mail that the FBI had taken ‘numerous steps’ to comply with the FISA court guidance over the past 18 months.

 

11. China cautions G7: ‘small’ groups don’t rule the world

Reuters

Is China feeling pressure?

 

12. 2021 G7 Leaders’ communiqué: Our shared agenda for global action to build back better

Consilum · June 13, 2021

The 25 page communique is at this link.

Per my previous comments about the information and influence campaign and the narrative: “Build back Better” is in the very title of the communique. It looks like some good work has been done by the diplomats and actions officers working on this.

The question is can B3W take on a major role in the narrative. B3W versus BRI? 

 

13. ‘Xi Jinping is my spiritual leader’: China’s education drive in Tibet

Reuters · by Martin Pollard

Incredible indoctrination attempts.

Excerpts:Civilians and religious figures who the government arranged to be interviewed on the five-day trip pledged loyalty to the Communist Party and Xi.

Asked who his spiritual leader was, a monk at Lhasa’s historic Jokhang temple named Xi.

“I’m not drunk … I speak freely to you,” said the monk named Lhakpa, speaking from a courtyard overlooked by security cameras and government observers.

The portraits of Xi were visible at almost all sites visited by Reuters during the trip to Tibet, where journalists are banned from entering outside of such tours. It was not clear when the posters and flags were put up.

“The posters coincide with a massive political education programme which is called ‘feeling gratitude to the party’ education,” said Robert Barnett, a Tibetan studies veteran scholar at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

 

14. The US military is tearing itself apart over ‘wokeness’ and it’s only helping America’s enemies

taskandpurpose.com · by Jeff Schogol · June 12, 2021

 

15.  Biden’s Blue Dot seeks to derail China’s Belt and Road

asiatimes.com · by Richard Javad Heydarian · June 9, 2021

B3W appears to be derived from BDN (Blue Dot Network). Can we keep track of the acronyms (and we thought the. US military overused acronyms)

 

16. My Mother Eleni: The Search for her Executioners (published in 1983 about the Greek Civil War)

The New York Times · by Nicholas Gage · April 3, 1983

One of the great things about social media for me is when friends post interesting information and articles that I have missed or not come across. And we should be grateful to the NY Times archives. A friend posted this on Facebook and I think this is an interesting Sunday read about the tragedy of revolutions and resistance (in this case the Greek Civil War following WWII). This is the human domain of war and its long-term effects.

 

—————-

 

“It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak.”

– Eric Hoffer

 

“Second we find in our prerevolutionary society definite and indeed very bitter class antagonisms, though these antagonisms seem rather more complicated than the cruder Marxists will allow.”

– Crane Brinton

 

“First, I continue to think that people, with all their diverse identities, desires, and beliefs, should be central to our analyses of conflict. This means that individuals should be the prism through which to examine the effects of social structures, beliefs, and the possibilities for mobilization and political action. Is “relative deprivation” the best concept for doing so? In my own later writings I have used the words grievances and sense of injustice to capture the essence of the state of mind that motivates people to political action. Whichever phrase is used, the essential first step in any analysis is to understand what people’s grievances are and where they come from.”

-Ted Gurr

DanielRiggs
Sun, 06/13/2021 – 12:32pm

06/13/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/13/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. reaffirm peninsula denuke goal, cooperation on vaccines, Myanmar

2.  As the Dust Settles, How Healthy is the ROK-US Alliance?

3. G7’s rivalry with China complicates Korea’s balancing act

4. Moon joins G-7 summit, vows financial support for global vaccine supply

5. Moon calls for global unity to strengthen open societies at G-7 summit

6.  Moon meets Suga at G-7, but bilateral session not in the cards

7. ‘Assassins,’ about death of N. Korea’s Kim Jong-nam, denied art film status

8. G-7 calls for ‘complete’ denuclearization of N. Korea, welcomes Washington’s diplomacy towards Pyongyang: communique

9. North Korean Missiles Continue to Pose a Big Threat

10. Kim Jong-un health panic: North Korea regime could collapse – US intelligence on alert

 

1. Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. reaffirm peninsula denuke goal, cooperation on vaccines, Myanmar

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · June 13, 2021

It does appear the ROK and US are working to operationalize and execute many of the agreements and initiatives announced in the summit. This is a positive trend.

 

2. As the Dust Settles, How Healthy is the ROK-US Alliance?

38north.org · by Sukjoon Yoon · June 11, 2021

A cautionary analysis. I am optimistic about the alliance but I think the problems with the north Korea agenda lie with Kim Jong-un though we have to recognize the difference in views between the ROK and US toward north Korea.

Conclusion: “For the present, the ROK-US alliance remains intact, but there is considerable uncertainty about its future. “There is an expanded vision for the Indo-Pacific Strategy, in which South Korea plays a bigger regional and global role, both in security terms and more generally.” But it is unclear whether, beyond rhetoric, any real-world changes will result. The summit also provided very little information on what the US and South Korea are actually going to do about North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats. Indeed, there are significant differences between Moon and Biden on how to deal with North Korea, with Moon still hoping to make short-term progress on the inter-Korean peace initiative and the US still putting the issue of denuclearization first. Despite the positive tone of the summit and Moon’s endorsement of the Biden administration’s new negotiating strategy, there were no indications of how to get the North Koreans back to the table.

While the summit joint statement will be presented as a win for both presidents, Moon has been obliged to tilt the South toward the United States’ policy on China, and to that extent, the Biden

 

3. G7’s rivalry with China complicates Korea’s balancing act

The Korea Times · by Kwon Mee-yoo · June 13, 2021

I know it gets old to read about the “shrimp among whales” analogy but this is just another example of how it aptly describes Korea’s situation.

I wonder if B3W is going to catch on as an acronym. If it does then the G7 narrative will be competitive with the Chinese BRI or OBOR. I hope the supporting information and influence campaign from the GEC at State and NSC for the White House is in place and coordinated with the other members of the G7 and D10. If this is an important initiative and one the G7 and D10 plan to sincerely get behind we need to get the narrative right and dominate the information and influence space.

Excerpts: “Earlier on Saturday, the White House also announced the launch of the “Build Back Better World” (B3W) project, a global infrastructure plan aimed to provide infrastructure support to developing and emerging countries.

The White House said that the B3W project will mobilize private-sector capital in a “transparent infrastructure partnership” to provide support in four areas ― climate, health, digital technology and gender equity and equality ― for developing countries hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“B3W will be global in scope, from Latin America and the Caribbean, to Africa, to the Indo-Pacific. Different G7 partners will have different geographic orientations, but the sum of the initiative will cover low- and middle-income countries across the world,” the White House said in a statement.

 

4. Moon joins G-7 summit, vows financial support for global vaccine supply

en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · June 13, 2021

South Korea has the opportunity to take the stage as a great middle power.

 

5. Moon calls for global unity to strengthen open societies at G-7 summit

en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · June 13, 2021

This can be viewed as a statement contrary to Chinese interests and could be interpreted that the ROK comes down on the side closer to the Quad and G7 than to China.

Excerpts:Moon briefed them on South Korea’s experience in democratization and efforts to strengthen open societies, according to his office Cheong Wa Dae.

He emphasized the need for enhancing international collaboration to counter racialism, extremism and other threats to open societies as well as expanding free and fair trade and fostering an open economy.

He is scheduled to join another G-7 forum on “climate and nature” later in the day just before he wraps up his three-day stay in Cornwall, Britain. He is flying to Austria for a state visit, the second leg of his three-nation Europe tour that will also take him to Spain.”

 

6. Moon meets Suga at G-7, but bilateral session not in the cards

koreaherald.com · by Ahn Sung-mi · June 13, 2021

Interesting positioning of the world leaders in this photo.

 

7. ‘Assassins,’ about death of N. Korea’s Kim Jong-nam, denied art film status

m.koreaherald.com · by Kim Hae-yeon · June 10, 2021

Is this an attempt to appease north Korea?

 

8. G-7 calls for ‘complete’ denuclearization of N. Korea, welcomes Washington’s diplomacy towards Pyongyang: communique

en.yna.co.kr · by 장동우 · June 13, 2021

It is good to see the G7 acknowledge this.

 

9. North Korean Missiles Continue to Pose a Big Threat

The National Interest · by Eli Fuhrman · June 11, 2021

Excerpt: “With its development of more capable ballistic missile systems, some have pointed to the possibility that North Korea is actively working to develop the ability to defeat U.S. ballistic missile defenses. Recently developed North Korean SRBMs have shown themselves to potentially be capable of evading such systems, while the possible development of a reliable SLBM could allow North Korea to circumvent some defenses. North Korea’s large recently unveiled ICBM, meanwhile, could eventually support multiple re-entry vehicles, which could pose a challenge to U.S. missile defenses.”

 

10. Kim Jong-un health panic: North Korea regime could collapse – US intelligence on alert

Express · by Brian McGleenon · June 13, 2021

There is probably no one in the CFC C2 and the USFK J2 that recalls that most of the indicators of north Korean instability and regime collapse they are using are derived from Robert Collins, and his seminal work, Patterns of Collapse or the Seven Phases of north Korean regime collapse. The analysts (and the C2 and J2) would do well to pay attention to his work. There is no one who has studied this possible phenomena or knows more about how instability and regime collapse might emerge and unfold than Robert Collins. Many have written about this over the years at various times but all (me included) base their work on Robert Collins’ research directly or if they do not directly they are drawing their writing on secondary sources that are based on his work that may or may not be acknowledged (I recall a briefing Bob gave to a defense official in the 1990s and a year later when the defense official left government he wrote about collapse. His work contained critical analysis produced by Bob and presented in that briefing and there was no acknowledgement). So the chances are that many so-called “experts” on instability and collapse have based much of their research on Bob’s work, whether they know it or not.

 

—————-

 

“It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak.”

– Eric Hoffer

 

“Second we find in our prerevolutionary society definite and indeed very bitter class antagonisms, though these antagonisms seem rather more complicated than the cruder Marxists will allow.”

– Crane Brinton

 

“First, I continue to think that people, with all their diverse identities, desires, and beliefs, should be central to our analyses of conflict. This means that individuals should be the prism through which to examine the effects of social structures, beliefs, and the possibilities for mobilization and political action. Is “relative deprivation” the best concept for doing so? In my own later writings I have used the words grievances and sense of injustice to capture the essence of the state of mind that motivates people to political action. Whichever phrase is used, the essential first step in any analysis is to understand what people’s grievances are and where they come from.”

-Ted Gurr

DanielRiggs
Sun, 06/13/2021 – 12:14pm

06/09/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/09/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. How America Fractured Into Four Parts

2. FDD | China’s Potemkin Peacekeeping

3. Top US general warns of Iran, China and Russia in Middle East

4. W(h)ither R: a marquee failure of leadership in foreign policy

5. For Now, ‘Over the Horizon’ Protection for Afghanistan Will Fly From Existing Hubs, Acting Air Force Secretary Says

6. Fight Digital Authoritarianism by Giving People the Tools to Counter It

7. Global police sting ensnares scores of alleged criminals duped by FBI app

8. FBI built fake phone company in global wiretapping operation of historic proportions

9. The never-ending, ever-frustrating hunt for the ‘Biden doctrine’

10. Ransomware attack hits House members’ web tool to communicate with voters

11. A Just Response to Beijing’s COVID-19 Abuses

12. How an informant and a messaging app led to huge global crime sting

13. Beijing accuses US of ‘paranoid delusion’ after innovation Bill passed

14. Biden’s Asia Czar Says China Is to Blame for Its Diplomatic Woes

15. Army nixes soldier roles for native Arabic, Pashto and Dari speakers

16. Pacific Commanders Want More Money for Biden’s Asia Pivot

17. New body armor carrier, plates and female-focused designs headed to soldiers

18. How does America intensify disinformation war? – Xinhua

19. Book excerpt: ‘The Other Face of Battle: America’s Forgotten Wars and the Experience of Combat’

20. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has a baller home worth nearly $3 million

 

1.  How America Fractured Into Four Parts

The Atlantic · by George Packer · June 8, 2021

This requires some deep reflection. Ask yourself which of the four parts do you belong to? I think there are some hybrid categories and most of us do not fall neatly into one.

 

2. FDD | China’s Potemkin Peacekeeping

fdd.org · by Bradley Bowman Morgan Lorraine · June 8, 2021

Excerpts: “There has certainly been a genuine need for such oversight of PLA peacekeepers in South Sudan. During fighting in Juba in 2016, Chinese peacekeepers reportedly “abandoned their posts entirely.” Rather than courageously protecting vulnerable civilians seeking refuge, the PLA peacekeepers fled, “leaving weapons and ammunition behind.”

If Washington takes these steps, it can help promote peace and security in Africa and prevent the CCP from advancing authoritarian and mercantilist objectives under the guise of UN peacekeeping.

In an apparently apocryphal tale, 18th-century Russian military leader and statesman Grigory Potemkin created pretentious building facades to conceal from Empress Catherine the Great the shabby and impoverished reality of her subjects.

Today, in Africa, China suggests it supports U.N. peacekeeping to “defend world peace, contribute to global development and safeguard international order.” Observers would be wise to look behind the façade of these Potemkin peacekeeping missions.

 

3. Top US general warns of Iran, China and Russia in Middle East

Jerusalem Post

I often wonder why these senior leaders omit north Korea from the equation. It proliferates weapons, technology, and training to Iran and its proxies (Hezbollah and Houthis) as well as other countries in North Africa. I think sometimes we need to look at all the revisionist and rogue powers and their activities that may or may not be coordinated or mutual supporting (either deliberately or by coincidence) 

 

4. W(h)ither R: a marquee failure of leadership in foreign policy

Mountain Runner  by Matt Armstrong· June 8, 2021

Fascinating, useful, and important analysis from Matt Armstrong who is one of our nation’s experts on public diplomacy and all things related to influence (propaganda, psychological warfare, and psychological operations, and public affairs).

Please go to the link to view the graphics.

 

5. For Now, ‘Over the Horizon’ Protection for Afghanistan Will Fly From Existing Hubs, Acting Air Force Secretary Says

defenseone.com · by Tara Copp · June 8, 2021

Excerpts: “Pentagon leaders have been mum on where they will move the approximately 3,500 troops being withdrawn from Afghanistan, and how they will deliver air strikes, air cover, or other assistance to suppress terrorist groups and protect the limited number of U.S. government civilians who will remain in the country.

At a Center for a New American Security event Tuesday, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said that the United States would also provide “over the horizon” support to the Afghan security forces, but that the final shape for all of that support was still being planned.

“We are working through all of that right now,” Hicks said. “We have to take into account regional aspects and allied approaches. We will have, over the course of this summer, proposals to give to the president in terms of what that over-the-horizon capability should be.”

“It’s for counterterrorism. It’s not an over-the-horizon capability to do all things, to operate, as the United States was operating in Afghanistan.”

 

6. Fight Digital Authoritarianism by Giving People the Tools to Counter It

Defense One · by Joshua Baron· June 8, 2021

Excerpt:  “Digital authoritarianism is the use of digital information technology by authoritarian regimes to surveil, repress, and manipulate domestic and foreign populations. Such tools track and censor internet activities, but they can also be used to restrict physical interactions—think of facial recognition and other technologies used to crack down on protests. Most broadly, technologies such as China’s social credit system can serve as a population-scale coercive mechanism. ”

Key point: “Defense leaders should not wait for the rest of the government to act. In response to this gap, they should prioritize countering digital authoritarianism by refocusing research and development and posturing to engage in the fight against this threat. They should aim to create new levers to persistently and directly engage its adversaries and strengthen its advantages on the digital battlefield. To this end, they should also begin to establish working relationships with other government and non-government organizations that are working to counter digital authoritarianism. These include the U.S. State Department, U.S. Agency for Global Media (specifically the Open Technology Fund), USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, and digital rights non-governmental organizations. None of these organizations currently performs long-term, much less high-risk, research, so the DOD could help foster the kinds of revolutionary technical capabilities that they are not able to develop or obtain on their own. At the same time, building these ties must proceed with care so that these organizations preserve their independence from the DOD. Finally, defense leaders should also build a new strategy to address this critical shortfall in DOD capability, including bringing efforts that are currently siloed into a larger strategic framework. “

I would argue this is what Dr. Baron is describing is a key component of modern unconventional warfare and support to resistance. (e.g., activities to support an insurgency or resistance movement to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government of occupying power).  Dr. Baron is describing the need to provide capabilities to indigenous resistance capabilities with emphasis on coercing or disrupting authoritarian governments (not necessarily overthrowing them – too many people focus on UW as only the overthrow of a government and that is just old thinking – still important when it is necessary to support US interests but in the modern era UW should not be so narrowly applied).

And I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the application of the two SOF trinities: irregular warfare, unconventional warfare, and support to political warfare (and it is UW that is the foundational capability for the other two). The second is the comparative advantage of SOF (but of course not exclusively SOF) influence, governance, and support to indigenous forces and populations. I am not saying that SOF should have a lead role in this effort, but it may have a supporting one. But the organizations outlined above might benefit from some UW type thinking.

 

7. Global police sting ensnares scores of alleged criminals duped by FBI app

The Washington Post · by Rachel Pannett and Michael Birnbaum · June 8, 2021

I supposed we released this information because we intend for it to serve as a deterrent.

 

8. FBI built fake phone company in global wiretapping operation of historic proportions

intelnews.org · by Joseph Fitsanakis · June 8, 2021

Another look at this FBI operation.

 

9. The never-ending, ever-frustrating hunt for the ‘Biden doctrine’

Politico

Excerpts: “It seems fair to ask, then: Why is it necessary to define a president’s foreign policy “doctrine” at all? Isn’t dealing with some 200 countries, not to mention transnational threats like climate change and terrorism, complicated enough to defy easy summarization? Why do pundits try so hard to impose order on the messy reality of governing?

“I don’t know, honestly,” said Michael Singh, a Middle East specialist who served in former President George W. Bush’s National Security Council. “Maybe we’re trying to make sense of the chaotic world around us? Maybe there’s an existential need for this?”

Maybe. Doctrine-hunting amounts to a full-time employment program for the community of foreign policy watchers in and around Washington. Analysts and historians have long sought to divine and distill presidents’ guiding principles of foreign policy into their pithy, memorable essence.

Credit for the doctrine craze usually goes to former President James Monroe, who declared in 1823 that Europe should stop trying to colonize countries in the Western Hemisphere — leaving them more open for U.S. influence and trade. Many years later, former President Harry S. Truman’s doctrine proclaimed that the U.S. would devote resources to fending off communism and other authoritarian forces around the globe.

 

10. Ransomware attack hits House members’ web tool to communicate with voters

washingtontimes.com · by Ryan Lovelace

Excerpts: “The federal government is stepping up its efforts to respond to the increasing pace and fury of ransomware attacks. Justice Department officials said Monday that they recovered $2.3 million of the ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline. The company acknowledged that it paid the $4.4 million ransom. An FBI affidavit filed in federal court Monday revealed the steps that law enforcement took to recover a portion of the ransom payment.

The national security community also has had a role in targeting ransomware attackers since the Biden administration elevated the cybersecurity threat from a criminal challenge to a terrorism matter. A Justice Department memo distributed last week directed U.S. attorneys offices to treat ransomware investigations with the same priority as terrorism investigations.

The White House said President Biden was pursuing an “action plan” to handle ransomware attacks alongside U.S. allies when he attends meetings of the Group of Seven leading industrial countries in the United Kingdom this week.

 

11. A Just Response to Beijing’s COVID-19 Abuses

hudson.org · by David Asher, Miles Yu, David Feith, Matthew Zweig & Thomas DiNanno

Conclusion: There is an opportunity for a bipartisan, bicameral initiative to establish a 21st-century framework for defending the United States and international partners against the prospect of another devastating pandemic. We cannot afford further impunity by Beijing and passivity from Washington as we enter what may be a century of synthetic biological adventurism and potential biowarfare.

 

12. How an informant and a messaging app led to huge global crime sting

Reuters · by Tom Allard

 

13. Beijing accuses US of ‘paranoid delusion’ after innovation Bill passed

Strait Times

 

14. Biden’s Asia Czar Says China Is to Blame for Its Diplomatic Woes

Bloomberg · by Peter Martin · June 8, 2021

An important question from Dr. Campbell:

Campbell said the Chinese foreign policy establishment understands that the country’s policies, which include militarizing artificial islands and outcroppings in the South China Sea and a more assertive approach to global diplomacy, have helped to cause a global backlash against Beijing.

“But is that getting through to the most inner-circle in the Chinese leadership? I think that’s a question we can’t answer,” Campbell said.

 

15. Army nixes soldier roles for native Arabic, Pashto and Dari speakers

armytimes.com · by Todd South · June 8, 2021

Because we are never going back to the Middle East, Central Asia, or North Africa. (Apologies for the sarcasm). But of course, if we are pulling out we cannot just maintain an organization of translators that will not be gainfully employed. This is the end of the 09L program only. However, we are not eliminating the language training for non-native speakers to develop such personnel as intelligence collectors and Foreign Area Officers and others.

 

16. Pacific Commanders Want More Money for Biden’s Asia Pivot

Foreign Policy · by Jack Detsch · June 8, 2021

Excerpts: “In a statement provided to Foreign Policy on Monday in response to questions about the PDI, Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood insisted that the Department of Defense’s ongoing review of the U.S. military’s global footprint would include many of the requests that Davidson, the former Indopacom chief, made to Congress earlier this year.

But the brewing crisis over Taiwan has put renewed urgency on bringing more military might to bear for Biden’s Asia pivot, aides and officials said, as the administration has ramped up unofficial contacts with the island. China has sent fighter jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on a daily basis for over a year in an effort to exhaust opposing pilots and aircraft, and the United States is carefully watching Chinese military drills get more coordinated and complex, such as by bringing in more naval and rocket forces.

“This is, at some level, rehearsing tactical strikes in and around Taiwan,” a senior defense official said.

 

17. New body armor carrier, plates and female-focused designs headed to soldiers

armytimes.com · by Todd South · June 8, 2021

It is sad that it has taken this long to develop and implement these changes.

Excerpts:A good fit is about more than comfort. It can mean the difference when firing a weapon accurately, preventing repetitive use injuries and shielding soldiers from shrapnel.

Designers have also reconfigured helmet retention straps in the Integrated Head Protection system to better fit female soldiers whose hairstyles might have previously prevented a good-fitting helmet. That’s because a bad fit could cut down on their peripheral vision.

 

18. How does America intensify disinformation war? – Xinhua

xinhuanet.com

Admit nothing, deny everything. Make counter accusations. This is the Chinese Communist Party making counter accusations.

 

19. Book excerpt: ‘The Other Face of Battle: America’s Forgotten Wars and the Experience of Combat’

militarytimes.com · by Wayne E. Lee, David L. Preston, Anthony E. Carlson, and David Silbey · June 8, 2021

Another book for the “to read” pile.

 

20. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has a baller home worth nearly $3 million

taskandpurpose.com · by Paul Szoldra · June 7, 2021

I am not sure if the author is using the “gimmick” of the focus on the SECDEF’s home to call attention to the snake blood drinking and PETA protests or using the snakes and PETA as a gimmick to highlight the SECDEF’s home.

 

—————

 

“Let us immediately establish the point. Our enemies know full well that news is an important weapon in modern warfare and they are unceasingly applying their knowledge as they wages total war. How they do so directly affects every one of us.”

– Matthew Gordon, News is a Weapon

 

“Cyber warfare is as much about psychological strategy as technical prowess.”

– James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology

 

A meme (rhymes with dream) is a unit of information (a catchphrase, a concept, a tune, a notion of fashion, philosophy or politics) that leaps from brain to brain. Memes compete with one another for replication, and are passed down through a population much the same way genes pass through a species. Potent memes can change minds, alter behavior, catalyze collective mindshifts and transform cultures. Which is why meme warfare has become the geopolitical battle of our information age. Whoever has the memes has the power.

– Kalle Lasn

 

DanielRiggs
Wed, 06/09/2021 – 8:57am

06/09/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/09/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. N. Korea appears focused on internal affairs: defense minister

2.  From mediator to negotiator (South Korea)

3. Kim Jong-un: apparent weight loss prompts speculation over North Korean leader’s health

4. Kim said to unveil ‘tangible change’ plan for North Korea economy

5. Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaders

6. US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again

7. North Korea urges citizens to ‘put national interest first’ in latest economic push

8. S. Korea continues attempts to call N.K. every day through Panmunjom hotline to no avail: official

9. N.K. paper calls for scientific development conducive to actual growth, production

10. S. Korea open to anything but three-way summit with U.S., Japan not planned: diplomat

11. U.S. lowers travel advisory for S. Korea to lowest Level 1

12. [ANALYSIS] In 6G, U.S. wants Korea as teammate against China

13. Missile Sovereignty: Another Reason for America to Reduce its Footprint in Korea

14. We Condemn Abolishing the National Security Act, which Guarantees Continuous North Korean Espionage Activities Harmful to the Free Republic of Korea

 

1. N. Korea appears focused on internal affairs: defense minister

en.yna.co.kr · by 최수향 · June 9, 2021

I think the Defense Minister is probably correct. It is what the indicators appear to show. However, I would offer two notes of caution.

One if the focus is internal we need to observe for the indicators of international instability: first of the governing functions, the regime/party’s ability to maintain governance over the entire territory of the north. This is combined with the coherency and support of the military for the regime. We have. seen reports of the measures being taken to try to get the military vaccinated. If the military suffers from a loss of coherency (a break down of the three chains of control (military, political, and security) then we may see signs of instability (and worse). The second caution is that when faced with internal threat the regime may choose to “externalize” them and create external threats to distract from the internal ones.  

These two charts that Bob Collins and I developed in the 1990s to try to illustrate the complex problems in north Korea. I think they may still be useful in trying to understand the situation and what could happen in 2021 and beyond (but I am not making a prediction on timing but I will predict if any of these scenarios emerge it will be catastrophic for the ROK/US alliance and the region and it will have global effects).

 

2. From mediator to negotiator (South Korea)

The Korea Times · by Park Jung-won · June 8, 2021

I hope we have figured out that there is no mediator role for the Korea problem, certainly not for South Korea. It needs to be a negotiator. Trying to take on the mediator role has been a boon for the regime’s political warfare strategy.

Important advice for South Korea from Dr. Park: “The raison detre of any democratic state lies in the protection of lives, freedom and property for its people, the absence of which delegitimizes its existence. The Moon administration should resist any temptation to create another political stunt with North Korea in the name of “peace.” Given its tough neighborhood, it is understandable that South Korea has been tiptoeing around the two superpowers, the U.S. and China. South Korea’s troubled modern history has made “international politics” a subject that its citizens follow compulsively.

However, an excessively submissive posture toward Kim’s North Korean regime which plays down South Korea’s identity, as symbolized by liberal democracy, human rights and the rule of law, will no longer be convincing in the eyes of the proud South Korean people. To advance his country’s interests, it is time for Moon to shed the delusion of playing the role of mediator and adopt that of a negotiator.

 

3. Kim Jong-un: apparent weight loss prompts speculation over North Korean leader’s health

The Guardian · by Justin McCurry · June 9, 2021

Perhaps he went on a Korean people’s diet. 

Of course he may have just obtained a larger watch band. Or someone in the Propaganda and Agitation Department discovered photoshop and they are learning how to use it.

 

4. Kim said to unveil ‘tangible change’ plan for North Korea economy

Al Jazeera English

Will there be tangible (and positive) results?

Excerpts: “Kim’s plans were not specified but were described as intending to bring “tangible change” to stabilising the economy and people’s living conditions.

The North Korean economy has been crippled by decades of mismanagement, United States-led sanctions over Kim’s nuclear weapons programme and the pandemic. South Korean officials say there are no signs North Korea is easing the border controls it imposed at the start of the pandemic or importing more industrial and agricultural materials to boost production.

The Workers’ Party last held a plenary meeting of Central Committee members in February, when Kim ripped into state economic agencies for their “passive and self-protecting tendencies” in setting their annual goals.

 

5. Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaders

dailynk.com · by Seulkee Jang · June 9, 2021

This is why authoritarian leaders cannot obtain creative ideas from their bureaucracies. You are at risk if your idea is not deemed worthy.

 

6. US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again

dailynk.com · June 9, 2021

But I think those who have dollars and RMB (and euros) do not want to convert them to north Korean won. They want to use foreign currency in place of north Korean currency.

 

7. North Korea urges citizens to ‘put national interest first’ in latest economic push

UPI · by Elizabeth Shim

Ideology solves all north Korean problems (sure!)

 

8. S. Korea continues attempts to call N.K. every day through Panmunjom hotline to no avail: official

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · June 9, 2021

nK pays hard to get to South’s unrequited love.

Seriously though, the north’s failure to answer the phone is not new. They have gone for long periods of time over the years without answering the phone.

 

9. N.K. paper calls for scientific development conducive to actual growth, production

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · June 9, 2021

Unfortunately, science in north Korea is built on a foundation of juche and juche trumps all “facts.”

 

10.  S. Korea open to anything but three-way summit with U.S., Japan not planned: diplomat

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 9, 2021

But you do not want to appear as a third wheel.

Excerpts: “Sullivan, however, noted a possibility “for virtually anything,” citing what he called small spaces of the venue for the G7 summit in Britain’s Cornwall.

“I understand we are not currently pushing for one (three-way summit),” Choi said when asked.

“However, I believe there can be many possibilities since the venue for the upcoming G7 summit is said to be not greater than previous G7 meetings or other multilateral forums in terms of space,” he added.

South Korea is not a G7 member, but has been invited to this year’s meeting as a guest, along with Australia, India and South Africa.

 

11. U.S. lowers travel advisory for S. Korea to lowest Level 1

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 9, 2021

Good news.

Today’s “normal precaution” includes personal defensive measures against COVID.

 

12. [ANALYSIS] In 6G, U.S. wants Korea as teammate against China

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com  · by Kim Kyung-Min and Park Eun-Jee · June 8, 2021

 

13. Missile Sovereignty: Another Reason for America to Reduce its Footprint in Korea

19fortyfive.com · by Willis Krumholz · June 8, 2021

I certainly hope the administration did not have this in mind when terminating the missile guidelines. This is a dangerous proposal and one that is based on a lack of understanding of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime and what actually deters the north

 

14. We Condemn Abolishing the National Security Act, which Guarantees Continuous North Korean Espionage Activities Harmful to the Free Republic of Korea

East Asia Research · June 3, 2021

We must never forget the north’s subversion strategy and its capabilities for executing it. Of course the question is how effective is the National Security Act at countering their activities.

North Korean Agencies

Responsible for Subversion (UW, SO and CI/Security)

 North Korean intelligence and security services collect political, military, economic, and technical information through open sources, human intelligence, cyber intrusions, and signals intelligence capabilities. North Korea’s primary intelligence collection targets remain the ROK, the United States, and Japan. They likely operate anywhere North Korea has a diplomatic or sizable economic overseas presence.

 

  • The Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) is North Korea’s primary foreign intelligence service, responsible for collection and clandestine operations. The RGB comprises six bureaus with compartmented functions, including operations, reconnaissance, technology and cyber capabilities, overseas intelligence, inter-Korean talks, and service support.

 

  • The Ministry of State Security (MSS) is North Korea’s primary counterintelligence service and is an autonomous agency of the North Korean Government reporting directly to Kim Jong Un. The MSS is responsible for operating North Korean prison camps, investigating cases of domestic espionage, repatriating defectors, and conducting overseas counterespionage activities in North Korea’s foreign missions.

 

  • The United Front Department (UFD) overtly attempts to establish pro-North Korean groups in the ROK, such as the Korean Asia-Pacific Committee and the Ethnic Reconciliation Council. The UFD is also the primary department involved in managing inter-Korean dialogue and North Korea’s policy toward the ROK.

 

  • The 225th Bureau is responsible for training agents to infiltrate the ROK and establish underground political parties focused on fomenting unrest and revolution.

 

—————

 

“Let us immediately establish the point. Our enemies know full well that news is an important weapon in modern warfare and they are unceasingly applying their knowledge as they wages total war. How they do so directly affects every one of us.”

– Matthew Gordon, News is a Weapon

 

“Cyber warfare is as much about psychological strategy as technical prowess.”

– James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology

 

A meme (rhymes with dream) is a unit of information (a catchphrase, a concept, a tune, a notion of fashion, philosophy or politics) that leaps from brain to brain. Memes compete with one another for replication, and are passed down through a population much the same way genes pass through a species. Potent memes can change minds, alter behavior, catalyze collective mindshifts and transform cultures. Which is why meme warfare has become the geopolitical battle of our information age. Whoever has the memes has the power.

– Kalle Lasn

DanielRiggs
Wed, 06/09/2021 – 8:44am

06/12/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/12/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. “Prepare for War,” China military warns in new propaganda poster for Taiwan

2. Was Taiwan Ever Really a Part of China?

3. Ex-Mossad director dismisses China threat, criticizing hardline U.S policy

4. China, US diplomats clash over human rights, pandemic origin

5.  China’s Censorship Widens to Hong Kong’s Vaunted Film Industry, With Global Implications

6. Why the China – Russia Relationship Should Worry You – Part One

7. Why the China – Russia Relationship Should Worry You – Part Two

8. ‘Tear Down This Wall’: The Power of Reagan’s 1987 Speech Endures

9. US Attache Disappointed at Curb on Navy Base Visit (Cambodia)

10. The Biden administration’s investigation into COVID-19’s origins misses half of the problem

11.  Myanmar’s Coming Revolution: What Will Emerge From Collapse?

12. DOD Leaders Share Their Intelligence Threat Assessments

13. U.S. Presses China on New Covid-19 Study as Beijing Resists

14.  Top China Envoy Urges U.S. to Restore Normal Bilateral Ties

15. The US is scrambling to deal with cyberattacks, and that may mean new roles and missions for special-ops units

16. Racism didn’t exist in the military before Biden, US Senator says with straight face

17. Military Diversity: A Key American Strategic Asset

18. We Have Come a Long Ways … We Have a Ways to Go (Diversity in the Military)

19. What Do Conservatives Fear About Critical Race Theory?

 

1. “Prepare for War,” China military warns in new propaganda poster for Taiwan

Newsweek · by John Feng · June 10, 2021

China’s three warfares: psychological warfare, legal warfare, media warfare.

Is anyone advising Taiwan on its own psychological operations campaign and designing themes and messages? E.g.,  Taiwan will be a black hole for the PLA, One forces come ashore they will never leave and are never heard from again as they are absorbed by the terrain and resistance (hopefully the people of Taiwan will never be pacified).

 

2. Was Taiwan Ever Really a Part of China?

thediplomat.com · by Evan Dawley · June 10, 2021

Excerpts:All of these markers of separation were evident before 1947, when the divergence between Taiwanese and Chinese came into high relief during the 2-28 Uprising and its brutal suppression by Nationalist Chinese military forces, and the White Terror that began soon thereafter. Political opposition to the Nationalist Party and pro-independence sentiment went underground or overseas, but Taiwanese identities intensified. Although sharp divisions continued to exist between indigenous and non-indigenous populations, by the 1990s many defined “Taiwanese” to include both groups. Decades of single-party rule under martial law by Chiang Kai-shek’s regime did not effectively instill most of Taiwan’s residents with a new sense of Chinese national identity. Indeed, most of the roughly 1 million people who left China for Taiwan, and their descendants, came to identify themselves with Taiwan, not China.

The ROC nevertheless successfully continued Taiwan’s condition of political separation from China, a fact that has been in existence now for almost all of the past 126 years, and it has maintained full sovereignty for about seven decades. Chinese insistence on the idea of Taiwan as a part of China has failed to convince the roughly 23 million Taiwanese.

As Cena’s apology shows, Chinese views have been much more effective in shaping international opinion, but they do not change Taiwan’s modern history or the reality that Taiwan is a country. Individuals, countries, and companies can make their own choices about how to interact with China and its citizens, but they should do so with an accurate understanding of the underlying history.

 

3. Ex-Mossad director dismisses China threat, criticizing hardline U.S policy

Axios · by Barak Ravid

We should not over-hype threats but we should not “over”-downplay them either.

But this is an important critique:

“If there is anybody here who knows what the U.S. wants from China, I would be happy to hear. I am not sure we fully understand if there is a coherent U.S. policy on China.”

— Yossi Cohen

I would ask, what is the acceptable, durable political arrangement we would like to see in Asia that will protect, sustain, and advance US interests?

 

4. China, US diplomats clash over human rights, pandemic origin

AP

Excerpts:Relations between them have deteriorated to their lowest level in decades, with the Biden administration showing no signs of deviating from the established U.S. hardline against China over trade, technology, human rights and China’s claim to the South China Sea.

Beijing, meanwhile, has fought back doggedly against what it sees as attempts to smear its reputation and restrain its development.

On Thursday, its ceremonial legislature passed a law to retaliate against sanctions imposed on Chinese politicians and organizations, threatening to deny entry to and freeze the Chinese assets of anyone who formulates or implements such measures, potentially placing new pressure on foreign companies operating in the country.

 

5.  China’s Censorship Widens to Hong Kong’s Vaunted Film Industry, With Global Implications

The New York Times · by Raymond Zhong · June 11, 2021

Three warfares… combination of legal warfare and media warfare?

Excerpts:The new guidelines, which apply to both domestically produced and foreign films, come as a sharp slap to the artistic spirit of Hong Kong, where government-protected freedoms of expression and an irreverent local culture had imbued the city with a cultural vibrancy that set it apart from mainland megacities.

They also represent a broadening of the Chinese government’s hold on the global film industry. China’s booming box office has been irresistible to Hollywood studios. Big-budget productions go to great lengths to avoid offending Chinese audiences and Communist Party censors, while others discover the expensive way what happens when they do not.

Censorship worries have loomed large over Hong Kong’s creative industries ever since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997. But concerns that once felt theoretical have become frighteningly real since Beijing enacted a national security law last year to quash the antigovernment protests that shook the city in 2019.

So while few in the local movie industry said they felt caught totally off guard by the new censorship guidelines issued Friday, they still expressed concern that the sweeping scope of the rules would affect not just which movies are screened in Hong Kong, but also how they get produced and whether they get made at all.

China has become more important to Hollywood in recent years because it is one of the few countries where moviegoing is growing. Ticket sales in the United States and Canada, which make up the world’s No. 1 movie market, were flat between 2016 and 2019, at $11.4 billion, according to the Motion Picture Association. Over that period, ticket sales in China increased 41 percent, to $9.3 billion.

As a result, American studios have stepped up their efforts to work within China’s censorship system.

Last year, PEN America, the free-speech advocacy group, excoriated Hollywood executives for voluntarily censoring films to placate China, with “content, casting, plot, dialogue and settings” tailored “to avoid antagonizing Chinese officials.” In some instances, PEN said, studios have been “directly inviting Chinese government censors onto their film sets to advise them on how to avoid tripping the censors’ wires.”

 

6. Why the China – Russia Relationship Should Worry You – Part One

thecipherbrief.com · by Mark Kelton · June 8, 2021

Conclusion: “Both Beijing and Moscow seem to have come to the realization that there is little the West can do using traditional means to dissuade them from their espionage activities. It is now apparent that declaring intelligence officers persona non-grata, issuing arrest warrants for those involved in espionage and imposing sanctions against governments or persons responsible for those operations appreciably alter neither Russian nor Chinese behavior. There is, therefore, no easy or formulaic riposte to the espionage threats this duo pose. We can, and should, step up our counterintelligence programs; intensify efforts to clandestinely penetrate their intelligence and decision-making circles; and harden our cyber defenses (to include increased information sharing on threats between government and industry). We should not, however, expect that such steps alone will deter this pair’s spying. This is particularly true of Chinese espionage given the impunity with which the PRC is waging economic war against us. Yet, we must to do all we can to protect American industrial know-how and supply chains from Beijing’s depredations. To that end, we need to consider more aggressive use of sanctions against our real Chinese adversary – the CCP, its officials and organizations – as well as other PRC institutions and companies directing, facilitating, or benefiting competitively from such spying. And we should do so even at the risk of PRC retaliation against US companies and officials. Some will argue that this will hasten the economic decoupling of the US from China. So be it. The policy of engagement as a means of altering Beijing’s behavior has long since been proven a chimera. And with Xi himself arguing against decoupling, it is probably wise to try to do just that where feasible in order to protect our crucial industries and supply chains.”

 

7. Why the China – Russia Relationship Should Worry You – Part Two

Cipher Brief · by Mark Kelton · June 9, 2021

Conclusion: “This is a profoundly dangerous moment for our country.  Any perception of US weakness can translate into peril as the two autocrats consider their next move. President Biden has identified competition with China as his administration’s greatest foreign policy challenge, pledging to maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the Indo-Pacific and to boost U.S. technological development. Whether the US will win what President Biden termed “a battle between the utility of democracies in the 21st century and autocracies” will not, however, only be decided economic power and military force. Victory in that conflict will also be determined by the ability of the US to unify around, and demonstrate national will in defending, its founding principles in the face of those embodying their antitheses. “I think”, Churchill wrote to Lloyd George just before the 1938 Munich Conference, “we shall have to choose in the next few weeks between war and shame, and I have little doubt what that decision will be.”[2] Churchill was sadly proven correct as a lack of sufficient resolve in confronting the aggressors of his day propelled the world further along the road to global cataclysm. American failure to stand athwart the designs of today’s infernal twins – even at the risk of war – will garner similar ignominy and likewise may well end in a war that might have been avoided or limited had we acted with greater resolution earlier.”

 

8.  ‘Tear Down This Wall’: The Power of Reagan’s 1987 Speech Endures

National Review Online · by H. R. McMaster · June 12, 2021

Excerpts:Reagan used the physical wall to illuminate the stark contrast between two systems, leaving little room for moral equivalence. He described the wall and the border complex that comprised the Iron Curtain as an “instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state” and observed that the “news photo and the television screen have imprinted this brutal division of a continent upon the mind of the world.” He made that barrier and the oppression it represented important to all people. “Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar.” Sadly, after Berliners tore down the wall in November 1989, man-made barriers that divide free and oppressed peoples persisted, such as the fences, minefields, and guard towers that run along the 38th parallel and separate South Korea’s thriving democracy from the Kim family’s destitute dictatorship.

But it is the 180-kilometer-long strait that connects the East China Sea and the South China Sea that marks the most consequential political obstacle between peoples who share a common culture — much as the Berlin Wall did during the Cold War. Taiwanese appear as today’s West Berliners because Taiwan’s successful democracy exposes the CCP’s lie that the Chinese people are culturally predisposed toward not wanting a say in how they are governed. Reagan expressed respect for Berliners in 1987, noting “the feeling of history in this city, more than 500 years older than our own nation.” Leaders across the free world today might show respect for the Taiwanese and all Chinese people by acknowledging that China’s recent history — from the Republican Revolution of 1911 to the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 to the Hong Kong protests of 2020 — reveals the CCP’s Leninist system as unnatural and sustainable only through oppression. Like West Berlin during the Cold War, Taiwan’s vibrancy and openness can provide hope to those who, from Xinjiang to Hong Kong to Tibet to Beijing, might otherwise despair. The Taiwanese people need, as West Berliners did during the Cold War, the support of the free world to counter the CCP’s aggression and deter conflict at a dangerous flashpoint that could lead to a devastating war.

Reagan delivered a confident, positive message. It has been largely forgotten that many in the West extolled the relative strengths of Soviet communism up to the moment that the system collapsed. Reagan, however, saw the competitive advantages of America and the free world. He declared that “there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.” Across the world’s democracies, in today’s season of self-doubt brought on by the aforementioned traumas, Reagan’s speech provides a reminder that self-respect is foundational to the competition with the CCP. The free world has a competitive advantage in unalienable rights: freedom of expression, of assembly, and of the press; freedom of religion and freedom from persecution based on religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation; the freedom to prosper in our free-market economic system; rule of law and the protections it affords to life and liberty; and democratic governance that recognizes that government serves the people rather than the other way around. While the free world’s democratic governments and free-market economic systems are imperfect and require constant nurturing, those who extol the relative strengths of China’s system and argue that the best that democracies can do is to manage their relative decline may one day find themselves as surprised as Soviet advocates and apologists were in 1989.

The Berlin speech and other Reagan speeches that addressed the Cold War competition with the Soviet Union, such as the Westminster Address of June 1982 and the “Evil Empire” speech given at the annual convention of the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Fla., in March 1983, explained what was at stake, for the United States and humanity, in the competition with the Soviet Union. In the latter speech, he lamented the “historical reluctance to see totalitarian powers for what they are.” That reluctance abides, as some argue that, in the competition with the Chinese Communist Party, the United States faces a binary choice between accommodation and a disastrous war. Others prioritize profits over principles as they surrender to the Party’s coercive power. Some rationalize their silence over heinous human-rights abuses with tortured arguments of moral equivalence. President Ronald Reagan’s Berlin speech demonstrated that direct language is itself an essential element of effective competition. The speech retains its importance because it demonstrates the need for an unambiguous understanding of the nature of today’s competition with the CCP, reveals how that understanding can help restore confidence in and gratitude for democratic governance, and encourages a renewed international commitment to the unalienable rights to which all peoples are entitled.

 

9. US Attache Disappointed at Curb on Navy Base Visit (Cambodia)

cambodianess.com · by Phoung Vantha· June 12, 2021

Chinese influence?

 

10. The Biden administration’s investigation into COVID-19’s origins misses half of the problem

Washington Examiner · by Anthony Ruggiero · June 11, 2021

Excerpts: “Now that the WHO meeting has finished, Biden or Becerra should publicly detail what the next steps are. China is not cooperating with the investigation; what is the Biden administration’s plan? Will it study the issue for 90 days while Beijing’s obstruction continues?

A better approach is for Biden to assemble a public-private investigation with like-minded countries that reviews available information and provides a judgment on the likely scenarios.

China’s cover-up cost the lives of nearly 600,000 people in America, and over 33 million have been infected. The country deserves concrete answers immediately. It’s time for the Biden administration to switch from rhetoric to action.

 

11. Myanmar’s Coming Revolution: What Will Emerge From Collapse?

Foreign Affairs · June 11, 2021

I hope we are in close contact with the handful of Americans who have built long term relationships in Burma and are advising and assisting indigenous forces. They certainly have information, insights, and intelligence that can be crucial to effective policy making and strategic planning. And of course some are prepared to serve as pilot teams should there be a decision to act on some scale (most likely directly or through proxies).

Excerpts:These new guerilla movements can certainly keep the junta off balance. But the insurrectionists will not be able to build a new army to challenge the existing one without significant help from a neighboring country, which seems next to impossible. And nothing in the history of Myanmar’s army suggests that a sizable chunk of its forces would break away and join a rebellion. That leaves the ethnic minority armies as the only other possible agents of a broader uprising. The Kachin Independence Army and the Karen National Liberation Army, in the far north and southeast of the country, respectively, have already mounted new attacks on army positions. Other groups, too, may move from statements of political support to armed action. But even the combined might of the ethnic armed organizations—numbering perhaps 75,000 fighters in total—would be no match for a military that has far superior artillery and a monopoly on airpower. Moreover, the most powerful ethnic armed organization, the United Wa State Army, with 30,000 troops, has deep links to China, having emerged from the old communist insurgency. It will heed the advice of Beijing, which has no love for the Myanmar army but does not want to see an all-out civil war.

Second, outside powers must support and encourage all those working not only for democracy in Myanmar but also for the broad transformation of Myanmar politics and society. That includes serious efforts, possibly through an expanded UN civilian presence in Myanmar, to monitor human rights abuses and negotiate the release of political prisoners. It is critical, however, not to raise false hopes by offering people in Myanmar the chimera of international salvation; that would only steer energy away from building the necessary and broadest possible coalitions at home.

Third, outside help needs to be based on an appreciation of Myanmar’s unique history, one in which past army regimes have withstood the strictest international isolation, and the unique psychology of the generals themselves, molded by decades of unrelenting violence. The international community’s usual carrots and sticks won’t work.

Fourth, foreign governments should assist poor and vulnerable populations as much as possible, perhaps focusing initially on providing COVID-19 vaccinations. But such assistance must be handled with tremendous political skill and designed in collaboration with health-care workers themselves, so as not to inadvertently entrench the grip of the junta. Many of the junta’s opponents have wanted to crash the economy to help trigger revolution, but as weeks stretch into months and years, it will be necessary to protect the civilian economy as much as possible, to prevent a worsening humanitarian disaster. Responsible global firms that do not do business with the army should be encouraged to stay in the country. A population that is healthy and well fed is one that will be better able to push for political change.

Governments must try different initiatives with as much flexibility and international coordination as possible. There is no magic bullet, no single set of policies that will solve the crisis in Myanmar. That’s because the crisis isn’t just the result of the February coup; it is the outcome of decades of failed state building and nation building and an economy and a society that have been so unjust for so long to so many. The outside world has long tended to see Myanmar as a fairy tale, shorn of its complexities, in which an agreeable ending is just around the corner. The fairy tale must now end and be replaced with serious diplomacy and well-informed, practical strategies. With this, there is every chance that over a few years—not magically overnight—Myanmar can become the peaceful democracy so clearly desired by its people.

 

12. DOD Leaders Share Their Intelligence Threat Assessments

defense.gov · by David Vergun

Excerpts: “The expansion of the competitive space beyond traditional military domains and geographic boundaries increases and complicates demands for defense intelligence, collection, analysis and planning, he said.

Challenges from strategic competitors such as Russia and China, rogue states such as Iran and North Korean, and violent extremists require that the defense intelligence enterprise invest in the ability to seamlessly share and fuse information, synchronize capabilities and expand partnerships with other government agencies, the private sector, academia and partner nations, he said.

The department is taking a whole-of-government approach, which includes reviewing classification processes, pursuing wider dissemination of classified information through alliances and partnerships, and the thoughtful release to the public of certain unclassified information to support U.S. interests, Moultrie said.

The department is focused on countering insider threats through better vetting procedures and protecting its vital supply chain, he said.

 

13.  U.S. Presses China on New Covid-19 Study as Beijing Resists

Bloomberg · June 11, 2021

 

14. Top China Envoy Urges U.S. to Restore Normal Bilateral Ties

Bloomberg  · Charlie Zhu

Excerpts: “Beijing officials have repeatedly denied that the virus leaked from the lab, and pointed to a WHO report earlier this year that said the most likely origin was natural.

Yang also urged the U.S. not to use human rights issues to interfere with internal politics in other countries. Top diplomats from the G-7 called last month for China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, condemning Beijing’s treatment of its Uyghur minority over forced labor and compelled sterilization. Beijing rejects accusations that human rights abuses are being committed in Xinjiang.

 

15. The US is scrambling to deal with cyberattacks, and that may mean new roles and missions for special-ops units

Business Insider · by Stavros Atlamazoglou

Excerpts:The Pentagon and the Intelligence Community have differing aims for cyber operations, and inside the military there are varying capabilities and goals — mainly those of US Cyber Command and US Special Operations Command — in that domain.

Those divides underline the absence of a broader cyber strategy.

The US special-operations community has been paying more attention to the cyber domain, which offers the community an opportunity to understand an adversary, find its weaknesses, and use them against it.

American commandos have already used these capabilities to fight ISIS. In the age of great-power competition with more sophisticated adversaries, like China and Russia, US commandos deployed to study Chinese capabilities or to track Russian influence operations can also take advantage of those capabilities.

“Not only does SOF have an interest in more cyber, but they have made it known they plan on significantly increasing their investment in cyber- and electronic-warfare capabilities,” Herm Hasken, a partner and senior operations consultant at MarkPoint Technologies, told Insider.

For Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command, that investment is reflected in the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual bill that funds defense and national-security programs.

In addition to offensive operations, the US special-operations community is flexible and can use cyber to gain an advantage against adversaries in more traditional missions.

For example, Special Operations Command’s Army Special Forces, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations units can use cyber operations to better understand the local populations they work with and to influence their views of the US. Information gathered through cyber operations can also be used to improve US training of foreign partner forces.

Conversely, Cyber Command is more interested in knowing where an adversary’s communications networks are and how to take them out. In the absence of a broader US cyber strategy, such a capability is wasted, as it’s reserved for combat operations.

As people give more devices more access to their daily lives — whether through online banking or internet-enabled appliances — cybersecurity takes on more importance for ordinary citizens, and demand for private-sector cybersecurity services is growing is growing.

Companies like SMU — which is led by former special-operations and intelligence professionals who specialize in individual online privacy and cybersecurity — are becoming the go-to choice.

“There’s no longer a need to wait for the NSA or FBI or DHS to put out a bulletin warning individual citizens of the risks of cybercrime,” an expert at the Signature Management Unit, one of those firms, told Insider.

The increasing potential for cyber operations by a nation-state or a criminal group to affect the public has raised the stakes for those families and businesses, according to the SMU expert, who has joint special operations and intelligence experience and spoke anonymously to discuss the firm’s projects.

“While we invest a lot in national cyber and the cybersecurity infrastructure protection, this is not a replacement for individual responsibility,” the SMU expert said.

 

16.  Racism didn’t exist in the military before Biden, US Senator says with straight face

taskandpurpose.com · by Jeff Schogol · June 11, 2021

Senator Cotton and Rep. Crenshaw undermine their own legitimacy with their statements. And the treatment of Secretary Austin for political theater is unbecoming.

And those who call for the ban against ideas and theories ought to rethink their understanding of the Constitution and American ideals and values. If you have to ban an idea or theory it must mean you cannot present an equal better alternative and allow people to think for themselves and determine what they choose to believe and accept. Do they really think they can legislate their way to ensure people think the way they do and accept their version of political correctness?

 

17. Military Diversity: A Key American Strategic Asset

armyupress.army.mil

Worth reading from one of our four star generals. Compare this to the article on our “woke military” published under the pseudonym Robert Berg here:  I take General Garrett’s side even as I acknowledge Mr. Berg’s right to hold and express his ideas.

Excerpts: “A diverse and inclusive force helps young Americans, families, and veterans trust and relate to the U.S. Army. Outside of recruiting and talent management, the Army is also a symbol of our Nation’s values—a source of pride for the American conscience and our partners. A recent Reagan Foundation survey found that Americans’ trust in the U.S. military has declined since 2018, though it is still above the public’s trust in six other public institutions.25 In the wake of a divisive 2020 marked by racial tension and conflict, the military can and should be a source of national unity.

A diverse and inclusive force represents American values abroad. In 1997, a Bolivian army corporal named Rodrigo Mendoza trained alongside soldiers from 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) during a training exchange in his own country.26 Inspired by this experience, Mendoza completed his mandatory national military service, moved to Puerto Rico, enlisted in the 82nd Airborne Division, gained U.S. citizenship, and eventually earned a Special Forces green beret of his own. Every day, diverse and cohesive teams of soldiers across the world represent the democratic values that make America strong. And while these exchanges are meant to build partner capacity, not recruit foreign citizens, Mendoza’s story demonstrates the reach and impact of American values. Without this reach, we would not only lose influence abroad but also present adversaries with opportunities to undermine our Nation’s credibility.

As an organization that has declared “People First!,” we have an obligation to follow through on this promise by ensuring respect and decency across our formations.27 And ultimately, a diverse Army will attract the best of America’s next generation when they see themselves in the chain of command and know they have equal opportunities to lead and advance.

Leaders who look at the Army’s top priority, “People First!,” in a strategic context are well-prepared to balance “people” and “readiness” in their units. Specifically, diversity and inclusion within the military are vital strategic assets that keep our force strong and set our Nation apart on the global stage. However—beyond strategy—diversity, inclusion, tolerance, respect, and fair opportunities are essential rights for all people. Leaders who disagree with the idea that diversity is a strategic asset have no less responsibility to ensure inclusion at their level. It is their legal and ethical responsibility.

This article’s strategic context is a new way for leaders to think about diversity, but at the end of the day, these justifications are not the reason the U.S. Army takes care of its people. We take care of our people because it is right, because we care, and because they deserve it.

The Army is fortunate to have leaders who have the heart to take care of people today and the perspective to understand the long-term impacts of unit culture on military readiness.

 

18. We Have Come a Long Ways … We Have a Ways to Go (Diversity in the Military)

armyupress.army.mil

Perhaps someone could ensure Senator Cotton and Representative Cresnhaw could receive a copy of this article. Maybe someone in the Army OCLL can deliver a copy to them. It might help them be better informed on issues of race and diversity and to understand it existed in our Army before January 20, 2021.

This sums up the discussions I often observe: “After answering this question, the follow-on conversation typically is reflective of the person’s race. Black friends and associates spend more time trying to convince me that “we have a very long way to go” as they focus on the glass that is half empty: personal encounters with racism or bias, discrimination, or statistics tied to selection rates for battalion and brigade command or senior service college. My White coworkers or lifetime friends reflect on legal and cultural changes since the 1960s and believe that the Army “has come a very long way” in embracing Black Americans. Can both voices be right?

 

19. What Do Conservatives Fear About Critical Race Theory?

The New Yorker · by Benjamin Wallace-Wells · June 10, 2021

The use of legislation to ban ideas with which you disagree is anathema to American values. And the very act of trying to do so is an admission that you cannot intellectually compete with the ideas with which you disagree.

That said this conclusion really gets to one important aspect of this entire issue and something both sides of this issue should reflect upon:That is reason to think that the conflict over critical race theory might endure, even when the attention of Fox News inevitably drifts. The question of what children are held responsible for cuts deep, and the answer isn’t always determined by a person’s ideology or partisan identity. When I spoke with Terry Stoops, a conservative education-policy expert at the John Locke Foundation who had been appointed to a task force on “indoctrination” in public schools by the conservative lieutenant governor of North Carolina, he told me that he wasn’t sure how long the outrage of some grassroots conservatives would ultimately last. But he did think their anger had been misunderstood. “I’ve seen so much discussion about the fact that conservatives are advancing these critical-race-theory bills because they don’t want the truth of slavery or racism to be taught, and I haven’t seen that at all. I think parents want their children to learn about the mistakes of the past in order to create a better future,” Stoops said. “They don’t want their children to be told that they are responsible for the mistakes of their ancestors, and that unless they repent for those mistakes then they will remain complicit.” The debate isn’t about history, exactly. It is about the possibility of blamelessness.

 

—————-

 

“If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.” 

– Marcus Aurelius

 

“That’s why the philosophers warn us not to be satisfied with mere learning, but to add practice and then training. For as time passes we forget what we learned and end up doing the opposite, and hold opinions the opposite of what we should.” 

– Epictetus

 

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.” 

– Viktor Frankl

DanielRiggs
Sat, 06/12/2021 – 2:40pm

06/12/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/12/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. N.K. leader presides over Central Military Commission meeting, calls for ‘high alert posture’

2. In tense phone call, Chinese Foreign Minister warns Seoul not to take U.S. side

3. South Korea Can Now Build Missiles Able to Reach Beijing, With U.S. Blessing

4. N.Korea’s Kim calls for boosting military power

5. DPRK leader chairs military meeting to enhance army’s fighting efficiency

6. Kim Jong Un’s weight loss sparks debate among North Korea watchers about leader’s grip on power

7. South Korean conservatives overtake ruling party amid major political shifts

8. Across the North Korean Border in China, an Economic Winter That Never Ends

9. Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department store

10. Seoul should stay unaffected by Beijing to gain ‘D10 membership’

11. Blinken stresses need to work together on N. Korea in call with Chinese counterpart

12. U.S. to redirect nearly US$70 mln to USFK from border wall project

13. Moon meets AstraZeneca’s CEO to discuss vaccine cooperation

14. North Korea Preaches Self-Reliance to Struggling Citizens

 

1.  N.K. leader presides over Central Military Commission meeting, calls for ‘high alert posture’

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · June 12, 2021

Is this just rhetoric or for internal message purposes? Does it also indicate what Bob Collins would call an externalization of its internal problems meaning it is preparing for some kind of external action to raise tensions or conduct a provocation that will remind the Korean people in the north that the regime faces external existential threats and therefore the people will have to continue to sacrifice for the defense of the regime and the protection of Kim Jong-un. Kim is setting the conditions for some kind of potential action in the near future.

Think about this graphic from Bob from the 1990s (with a light update from “il” to “un.”) It remains relevant. 

2. In tense phone call, Chinese Foreign Minister warns Seoul not to take U.S. side

onekoreanetwork.com · June 11, 2021

Hopefully Chinese wolf diplomacy will have blowback for the Chinese leadership. South Korea should not accept being threatened.

 

3. South Korea Can Now Build Missiles Able to Reach Beijing, With U.S. Blessing

WSJ · by Andrew Jeong

Of course this upsets Beijing. And we should remember geographically Beijing is closer to Seoul than Seoul is to Tokyo.

 

4. N.Korea’s Kim calls for boosting military power

Reuters 

Is Kim telegraphing an increase in tension and possible provocation? Is he preparing the population for something? Without a doubt it is to ensure that external factors can be blamed for his incompetence in policy making and leadership.

 

5. DPRK leader chairs military meeting to enhance army’s fighting efficiency

xinhuanet.com

A Chinese view of Kim’s “military meeting.”

 

6. Kim Jong Un’s weight loss sparks debate among North Korea watchers about leader’s grip on power

ABC.net.au · June 11, 2021

I think there will be a bit of speculation in the coming weeks and months about Kim’s health and future.

 

7. South Korean conservatives overtake ruling party amid major political shifts

onekoreanetwork.com · June 11, 2021

It seems like presidential election politics is getting an early start. Probably the unfortunate influence of US politics. 

 

8. Across the North Korean Border in China, an Economic Winter That Never Ends

Foreign Policy · by Tang Yuan · June 11, 2021

This is a result of Kim Jong-un’s deliberate policy decisions.

Excerpts:For over 20 years, the plant has spewed clouds of thick, white dust over the surrounding countryside, residents of the nearby Xiajiefang village say. The emissions from the riverside plant—which they nickname “Goryeo Dust” after the name of an old Korean kingdom—will often travel across the Yalu and cover their clothes and crops. “It chokes you,” said Xia Yunfang, 59. “Almost like it is snowing,” added Xia’s husband, Xu Chuanzhong. The couple grows grapes, a local specialty, but complain that when they’re plastered in cement dust they cannot be sold at a good price.

A cross-border trader from Jian, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of his business dealings, thought he had a solution. In 2016, he signed a contract with Manpho to upgrade the cement factory so it would be both more efficient and less polluting. In return, the trader would be paid back in timber, minerals, and cement. But when the U.N. sanctions came into effect in 2018 and disrupted shipments of equipment, the project was only halfway done. The project was suspended ahead of completion, with the trader only compensated for about 3 million yuan ($470,000) of his initial 9 million yuan ($1.4 million) outlay, money he said might be wasted.

In mid-May, the chimneys across the river were still discharging heavy fumes—although they can’t compare with the smoke captured in videos from earlier years that villagers had uploaded to social media. Locals say that, though the project is unfinished, it seems to have helped lower pollution levels. But there’s no way to know for sure. Perhaps the wind just hasn’t been blowing in their direction, they say. The trader, meanwhile, thinks prospects for completing the refurbishments are dim, as the North Korean officials he had established relations with have since changed posts.

Despite increasing signs of a border reopening, the trader is wary of putting too much stock in them, pointing to recent COVID-19 cases in Liaoning province. “They open the door a bit wider if the outside is safe, and if it is not, they will immediately close the door again,” he said. “We’ll wait.”

 

9. Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department store

dailynk.com · Lee Sang Yang · June 11, 2021

Corruption permeates every aspect of north Korean society.

 

10. Seoul should stay unaffected by Beijing to gain ‘D10 membership’

donga.com · June 12, 2021

The territory on the “Go” (or paduk) board is being arranged.

Conclusion: “It is highly likely that U.S. President Joe Biden will make a sophisticated effort to build a front against China during the meeting where he makes an official multilateral diplomatic debut. China may come under condemnation for suppressing human rights, abusing diplomatic influence and engaging in unfair trade. The gist of the U.S.-led Summit for Democracy in the second half of this year and the Britain-proposed D10 Initiative is to solidify international coalition to safeguard democracy and human rights. If South Korea keeps standing on the sidelines without adding a voice to their chants and steps back being intimidated by China’s warning it not to be swept by a biased force, it may not be able to secure any seat in the international community.”

 

11. Blinken stresses need to work together on N. Korea in call with Chinese counterpart

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 12, 2021

Yes, we must try to have some kind of cooperation with China on north Korea. But we should be under no illusion that China will ever sincerely help us solve our security problems and both China and the DPRK can be expected to exploit the situation as spoilers at the time it makes sense to them to do so.

 

12.  U.S. to redirect nearly US$70 mln to USFK from border wall project

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 12, 2021

 

13.  Moon meets AstraZeneca’s CEO to discuss vaccine cooperation

en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · June 12, 2021

 

14. North Korea Preaches Self-Reliance to Struggling Citizens

rfa.org  by Jeong Yon Park

You cannot eat ideology or self reliance. There is no nutritional value in Juche.

The paradox of north Korea is that the most self-reliant among the population are those who operate and use the markets but the regime policies are hindering market activity in an effort to oppress the people to maintain control over them to ensure regime survival.

 

—————-

 

“If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.” 

– Marcus Aurelius

 

“That’s why the philosophers warn us not to be satisfied with mere learning, but to add practice and then training. For as time passes we forget what we learned and end up doing the opposite, and hold opinions the opposite of what we should.” 

– Epictetus

 

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.” 

– Viktor Frankl

DanielRiggs
Sat, 06/12/2021 – 2:19pm

06/11/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/11/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. America Is Not Ready for a War With China

2. US begins shifting Afghan combat operations outside country

3. Op-eds in a Chinese state tabloid slammed U.S. policy. The author works at the Pentagon.

4. If China Is the No. 1 Threat, Why Doesn’t the 2022 Budget Reflect It?

5. Australia should steer the US off a values-based Indo-Pacific strategy

6. Japan to protect Australian naval ships under new security setup

7. Joe Biden Worries That China Might Win

8. Senate passes bill to compensate ‘Havana Syndrome’ victims who suffered brain injuries

9. Alarm Over China Spying, Hacking

10. US Army developing world’s most powerful laser weapon for a ‘future battlefield’

11. China’s Uyghurs living in a ‘dystopian hellscape’, says Amnesty report

12. Charting a Way Ahead in the High North: What We Learned from the Polar Special Operations Essay Contest

13. What Biden and Johnson really want from the new Atlantic Charter

14. A Most Adaptable Party (Chinese Communist)

15. Out of Sight Should Not Mean Out of Reach: Deterrence and the Proliferation of Hard and Deeply Buried Targets

16. Austin, Milley defend weapons cuts in Biden’s defense budget

17. ‘Hack The Army’ Uncovers 238 Cyber Vulnerabilities

 

1. America Is Not Ready for a War With China

Foreign Affairs · by Michael Beckley · June 10, 2021

Excerpts:It has become conventional wisdom that this gathering storm represents the inevitable result of Beijing’s rise and Washington’s decline. In fact, it is nothing of the sort. The United States has vast resources and a viable strategy to counter China’s military expansion. Yet the U.S. defense establishment has been slow to adopt this strategy and instead wastes resources on obsolete forces and nonvital missions. Washington’s current defense posture doesn’t make military sense, but it does make political sense—and it could very well endure. Historically, the United States has revamped its military only after enemies have exposed its weaknesses on the battlefield. The country may once again be headed for such a disaster.

To change course, the Biden administration must explicitly and repeatedly order the military to focus on deterring China and downsize its other missions. These orders need to be fleshed out and codified in the administration’s defense budget requests and in its National Defense Strategy. In addition, the administration should support the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, a program that would plug holes in the U.S. defense perimeter in Asia. If the United States does not seize this chance to secure its military advantage over China, it may not get another.

Meanwhile, anti-China sentiment, both within the United States and around the world, has surged to its highest level since the Chinese government carried out the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. Getting tough with China is one of the few bipartisan initiatives in the United States, and China seems to be doing everything it can to fan these flames with “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy.

 

2. US begins shifting Afghan combat operations outside country

militarytimes.com · by Lolita Baldor · June 10, 2021

Excerpts: “The number of American troops needed for the overall security missions inside Afghanistan will depend on a variety of requirements, and could range from roughly a couple hundred to a bit less than 1,000, officials said. When the pullout officially began on May 1, the number of U.S. troops was between 2,500 and 3,500.

McKenzie is expected to provide options on the amount of aerial surveillance and drones needed to keep an eye on any potential resurgence of al-Qaida, the Islamic State or other militant groups. Those options will involve U.S. aircraft from ships at sea and air bases in the Gulf region, such as Al Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates. And they could range from persistent U.S. overwatch to a more minimal presence. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss planning details.

 

3. Op-eds in a Chinese state tabloid slammed U.S. policy. The author works at the Pentagon.

The Washington Post · by Michael E. Miller· June 11, 2021

Wow!

Here is the link to the April OpEd in Global Times: “Why US will lose a war with China over Taiwan island.”  

 

4. If China Is the No. 1 Threat, Why Doesn’t the 2022 Budget Reflect It?

Defense One · by Bill Clark

Excerpts: “ If the Pentagon maintains its current footprint in the Middle East, to counter Iran, to support the Afghan government and to continue its operations in Iraq, will it be able to fully execute its refocus on China? That depends on whether the current presence is going to taper off, or if the over-the-horizon support turns into a persistent presence of airpower, said Stacie Pettyjohn, a former director of strategy and doctrine for the Air Force who is now the director of the defense program at the Center for a New American Security. 

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported the Pentagon was sending its sole Pacific theater aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, to the Gulf to provide CENTCOM additional airpower support. That transit has not occurred and the carrier is still in the Pacific, the Navy said Thursday. The Navy would not discuss whether the carrier would eventually be sent to CENTCOM. 

“There is a zero-sum element to it, because we have a finite amount of force structure,” Pettyjohn said. “A lot of the assets you really need for any sort of operations or preparing for a high-end fight in the Indo-Pacific are similar, at least from the air and naval side.” 

“So you do end up sometimes taking from one area or another,” Pettyjohn said. “If you are really trying to be present and compete day to day in all of these places, that’s a lot of demand on the services to supply those forces.”

 

5. Australia should steer the US off a values-based Indo-Pacific strategy

lowyinstitute.org · by Susannah Patton

I disagree. We can protect interests without compromising our values. We need to rally like-minded democracies. But the author makes some good points that are worth pondering.

Excerpts: “Defining strategic competition in ideological terms is likely to create distance between the world’s democracies and the regional countries that Washington wants to assist.

It’s a refashioning of the strategic playbook that underpinned 20th century competition with the Soviet Union. And it entails a similarly sweeping goal “to reinforce, renovate and buttress a world order that favours freedom”.

But it’s the wrong approach for the Indo-Pacific today.

Despite the intuitive appeal of rallying the world’s democracies to check China’s power, this agenda can only unite a narrow coalition in the region. Unlike Western Europe in the 1950s, Indo-Pacific political systems are diverse, with few liberal democracies in the mix. Indeed, many of the US and Australia’s most important regional partners when it comes to competing with China – such as the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and even India – fall outside the liberal democratic club.

Most of the region is sceptical about endorsing Biden’s values-based strategy, even as they share deep concerns about the nature and purpose of Chinese power. They are largely agnostic to the language of human rights and democracy promotion, and allergic to Cold War allusions that forebode the emergence of permanent ideological or economic divisions between blocs.

Explicitly defining strategic competition in ideological terms is likely to create distance between the world’s democracies and the regional countries that Washington wants to assist.

​Conclusion: “The most effective message that the Biden administration can send is that it remains committed to the security of the Indo-Pacific, and that it will cooperate with all countries – including China and other non-democracies – in pursuit of this goal. Four years after withdrawing from what was then known as the “Trans-Pacific Partnership”, the US must also signal that it plans to contribute to and benefit from the region’s economic growth.

This would not preclude the US from cooperating with liberal democracies or advocating human rights principles. But it would enable regional countries to support discrete aspects of the US agenda, for example on maritime security or infrastructure standards, even if they remain unwilling to wholly align themselves with Washington’s regional priorities.

Australian security depends on the sustainability of America’s presence in the Indo-Pacific. Rather than echoing Washington’s thinking, Morrison should urge Biden to adopt a strategy for regional influence that can succeed.​”

 

6. Japan to protect Australian naval ships under new security setup

asahi.com · by Naoki Matsuyama

I did not see this coming. A positive development.

Excerpts:Controversial national security legislation that took effect in 2016 included revisions to the SDF Law that allow SDF members to protect U.S. naval ships. From the outset of Diet deliberations, Australia was considered a likely future candidate if the need arises.

Japan and Australia have strengthened cooperative efforts in recent years in part to deal with maritime advances by China in the East China and South China seas. The offer of protection to Australian naval ships reflects the two countries’ position that they increasingly regard each other as quasi-allies.

Once a request for protection is received from Australia, the National Security Council will decide whether to give it. The law does not require the government to report to the Diet about any expansion of the protection duties.

The two sides also agreed during the June 9 video conference to accelerate discussions to make it easier to visit each other during joint training exercises between Japan and Australia.

The two sides issued a joint statement after the meeting that for the first time named China as a nation of concern due to its activities in the South China Sea.

 

7. Joe Biden Worries That China Might Win

The Atlantic · by Thomas Wright · June 9, 2021 

A fascinating perspective. I saw a tweet that said the author has close ties to the administration that provide him with very accurate insights.

Excerpts:To implement his doctrine, Biden will have to be politically agile. Progressives have been vocal in criticizing his China policy, accusing the president of starting a cold war that could stoke anti-Asian sentiment. But this is a peculiar charge. After all, it was Bernie Sanders who made a foreign-policy speech in Fulton, Missouri, decrying authoritarianism, in an echo of Winston Churchill’s 1946 Iron Curtain address. And it was Elizabeth Warren who made the struggle against kleptocratic authoritarianism the centerpiece of her foreign policy as a presidential candidate. If anything, Biden is following in their footsteps. He should seek to enlist both senators in his efforts. Moreover, Biden should remind progressives that if the competition with China is not about values and democracy, then all that is left is to focus on China itself, which is truly a recipe for nationalism.

On the other side, conservatives will never agree with Biden wholeheartedly on foreign policy, but some are working with him on legislation pertaining to China. Many Republican senators are committed to U.S. alliances and emphasizing democracy and human rights in U.S. strategy, even if Trump and his supporters disagree with that stance. Some have even indicated that they would support multilateral organizations if they were necessary to compete effectively with China. Biden could take advantage of this gap between Republican senators and Trump to secure bipartisan support for key parts of his foreign policy.

Some presidents never find a doctrine. Biden has one. In his view, the United States is in a competition of governance systems with China. His response is not about spreading democracy at gunpoint or even democracy promotion per se, but about showing that democracy can deliver—at home and abroad. The question now is whether Biden can bring his administration, the country, and America’s allies along to embed this doctrine in U.S. foreign policy.

 

8. Senate passes bill to compensate ‘Havana Syndrome’ victims who suffered brain injuries

americanmilitarynews.com · by Alex Daugherty ·  June 10, 2021

Some good news. At least Congress is acting in a relatively quick manner, unlike how veterans suffered when faced with unknown maladies (e.g., Gulf War Syndrome, Agent Orange, burn pits, etc). 

 

9. Alarm Over China Spying, Hacking

spytalk.co · by Jeff Stein

 

10. US Army developing world’s most powerful laser weapon for a ‘future battlefield’

americanmilitarynews.com · by Liz George · June 10, 2021

Excerpts: ““Twenty-three months ago, this was just an idea,” Army Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Joseph Martin, told Stars and Stripes. “It’s very promising. It’s very powerful. There are many things we’ve got to do in terms of testing, and it’s about to go through a shootout to see how it does.”

The laser can detect and destroy enemy drones within five miles, the report stated.

“We’ve got a target acquisition system that can sense and lock-on and then strike a moving mortar round, a moving cruise missile, an unmanned aerial system, and other aircraft… It will penetrate and disrupt that particular munition or platform’s ability to accomplish its mission,” Martin said. “That’s an incredible power to have. That is the kind of capability we have to have, and it demonstrates our ability to respond to the world around us with technology.”

 

11. China’s Uyghurs living in a ‘dystopian hellscape’, says Amnesty report

The Guardian · by Sarah Johnson · June 10, 2021

The 160 page Amnesty International Report can be downloaded here.

Excerpts:Amnesty is calling for all camps housing Muslim and ethnic minorities across Xinjiang province to be closed and for the UN to investigate and bring those suspected of crimes under international law to account.

China has consistently denied all accusations of wrongdoing in Xinjiang and said the camps were designed to offer Chinese language lessons and job support, as well as to combat religious extremism.

It runs a campaign to discredit accusers, deny allegations and findings, and promote Xinjiang as a “wonderful land”. It refuses journalists and human rights groups free access to the area and dismisses investigative findings as lies.

The report adds mounting pressure on Chinese authorities and comes after British MPs passed a motion in April that declared China is committing genocide against the Uyghur people and other minorities in Xinjiang.

 

12. Charting a Way Ahead in the High North: What We Learned from the Polar Special Operations Essay Contest

mwi.usma.edu · by Zachary Griffiths · June 11, 2021

I have to commend 10th SFG for participating in this effort. I expect this from Modern War Institute but I am pleased to see an organization like 10th SFG engaged in the intellectual effort to prepare for the future and in this case in the Arctic. There is a huge pool of critical thinkers and intellectual giants in our operational units (SF, SOF, and conventional units) and their ability to contribute to the debates should not be overlooked and in fact should be encouraged. I hope to see more of this. And kudos to Modern War Institute for partnering and providing the forum.

 

13. What Biden and Johnson really want from the new Atlantic Charter

Washington Examiner · by Tom Rogan · June 10, 2021

Conclusion: So, yes, the new charter might appear to be a simple reassertion of deep historical bonds. Beyond its paper text, however, both Johnson and Biden have their own interests in mind.

 

14. A Most Adaptable Party (Chinese Communist)

The New York Review of Books · by Ian Johnson

Four books reviewed.

 

15. Out of Sight Should Not Mean Out of Reach: Deterrence and the Proliferation of Hard and Deeply Buried Targets

realcleardefense.com · by Michaela Dodge

Conclusion: When the United States stopped developing and testing new nuclear weapons in the early 1990s, the world was a different place than it is today. Serious Great Power nuclear threats and conflicts of interest have reappeared in international relations. The U.S. nuclear arsenal must evolve to provide capabilities suited to best deter adversaries, including nuclear-armed states that have developed and deployed their nuclear weapon capabilities after the end of the Cold War and that protect what they value in hard and deeply buried bunkers. Congress should ensure that the United States has the HDBT capabilities now needed for deterrence.

 

16. Austin, Milley defend weapons cuts in Biden’s defense budget

Defense News · by Joe Gould · June 10, 2021

Excerpts:In the face of the criticism, Austin acknowledged at the hearing that the $5.1 billion PDI request had missed the mark. His staff is working with the committee to “clarify and adjust any perceived misalignments,” he said.

“A great deal of the department’s budget is invested in capabilities and activities that concentrate on deterring China,” he said, “and I’m committed to making sure that we work with the committee to get it right and answer the needs of the [INDOPACOM] commander.”

 

17. ‘Hack The Army’ Uncovers 238 Cyber Vulnerabilities

breakingdefense.com · by Brad D. Williams · June 11, 2021

 

—————–

 

“The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”

– Solzhenitsyn

 

And he reiterated his disdain for the hearts and minds approach, as exemplified in the village resettlement programs. “I do not believe the Americans can bring pacification to Vietnam,” Dayan wrote in his last dispatch from the war zone. “The Americanization of the war can, from the military point of view, succeed, but the Americanization of the peace, of daily life, can only serve the Viet Cong with terrorist objectives and propagandist arguments against ‘American hegemony in Vietnam.’”

Or as Dayan put it in his book, Vietnam Diary, which was published in Israel in 1977, “the Americans are winning everything—except the war.”

 

“… insurgency and counterinsurgency… have enjoyed a level of military, academic, and journalistic notice unseen since the mid-1960s. Scholars and practitioners have recently reexamined 19th- and 20th-century counterinsurgency campaigns waged by the United States and the European colonial powers, much as their predecessors during the Kennedy administration mined the past relentlessly in the hope of uncovering the secrets of revolutionary guerrilla warfare. The professional military literature is awash with articles on how the armed services should prepare for what the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) refers to as “irregular warfare,” and scholars, after a long hiatus, have sought to deepen our understanding of the roles that insurgency, terrorism, and related forms of political violence play in the international security environment.”

– William Rosenau, “Subversion and Terrorism: Understanding and Countering the Threat”

DanielRiggs
Fri, 06/11/2021 – 3:23pm

06/11/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/11/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Kim Jong-un Calls K-Pop a ‘Vicious Cancer’ in the New Culture War

2. Kim Jong-un’s Weight Loss Prompts Health Speculation

3.  Inside Room 39, The Shadowy North Korean Cabal That Allows The Country’s Leaders To Live In Luxury

4. North Korea Diverts Electricity From Provinces To Keep Pyongyang Powered

5. Report: FBI warned of ‘credible North Korea threat’ to Christopher Ahn

6. Kim Jong Un appears to have lost some weight — and that could have geopolitical consequences

7. South Korea Opposition Picks Harvard Graduate to Lead Push to Power

8. Lee Jun-seok wins surprise victory to head main opposition as youngest-ever leader

9. N. Korea stays mum on key party meeting set to be held early this month

10. Behold, North Korea has Asia’s hottest currency

11. N. Korean missiles pose increasing threat to U.S., allies: Secretary Austin

12. Kim Jong Un recasts party rulebook to forge own identity

13. Gov’t refrains from commenting on Kim Jong-un’s apparent weight loss

14. Recent inter-Korean ‘significant communication’ leads to rampant speculation

15. US will lead with diplomacy to mitigate NK behavior: US defense chief

16. Koreans begin to get Janssen vaccine amid rising hope of normal life

17. How North Korea is doing propaganda with universities in Berlin

18. McDonald’s Hit by Data Breach

 

1. Kim Jong-un Calls K-Pop a ‘Vicious Cancer’ in the New Culture War

The New York Times · by Choe Sang-Hun · June 10, 2021

Yes, we continue to read these stories. But they are useful for trying to understand the nature of the Kim family regime.

And I think this excerpt captures an important aspect of that nature:

But it may be too late to patch the cracks left behind during the 1990s. Mr. Jung, 58, remembers watching “Jealousy,” a K-drama about young love, when he was still in North Korea and feeling a culture shock. “On North Korean TV, it was all about the party and the leader,” he said. “You never saw such a natural display of human emotions like a man and woman kissing.”

 

2. Kim Jong-un’s Weight Loss Prompts Health Speculation

english.chosun.com · June 10, 2021

We are going to be speculating about this for some time to come. It will be interesting to see how he looks after his next prolonged absence. (I expect he will be out of sight for another more or so). Perhaps he has a nice spa and personal trainer.

 

3. Inside Room 39, The Shadowy North Korean Cabal That Allows The Country’s Leaders To Live In Luxury

allthatsinteresting.com · by Morgan Dunn · June 10, 2021

Room, Office, Department, Bureau.

Influencing, dealing with, countering, and exploiting this organization must be a priority line of effort in our strategy.

 

4. North Korea Diverts Electricity From Provinces To Keep Pyongyang Powered

eurasiareview.com · by Yong Gun Shin and Jeong Yon Park  · June 10, 2021

Just another indicator of the nature of the Kim family regime and its corrupt and incompetent methods for running the country. It also should provide us with some optimism and we must respect the Korean people living in the north for their resilience and ability to adapt and overcome the hardships in order to survive.

Excerpts: “The residents of Chunggang sacrificed much to build the power plant, according to the resident.

“It took 20 years of labor. We carried cement on our backs and blocked off the streams, but the plant only worked for the first few years before it stopped generating power,” the resident said.

“At the time the power plant was completed, they lifted restrictions on electricity use and every household in the town of Chunggang received a gift of an electric rice cooker from the Highest Dignity,” said the resident, using an honorific to refer to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The opening of the power plant and the gifts were touted as an example of Kim’s benevolence and love for the people, according to the resident.

“But it was the start of our suffering. It was already bad that corrupt officials submitted a false report to exaggerate their own achievements, but it was worse that the guy at the top is so ignorant of how we at the bottom are living, and he is only concerned about taking credit for everything,” said the resident.

As electricity is often unavailable in the people’s homes, the people have begun finding creative ways to access reliable power.

I will never forget talking to a retired South Korean Admiral who said there are two miracles in Korea, one on the Han and one on the Taedong.

Differences Between north and South

Survive and Thrive

  • -Two Miracles in Korea
  • – Miracle on the Han – development of Korea
  • – Only nation to go from major aid recipient to a major donor nation
  • – Grew out of the ashes of the Korean Civil War – political, economic, cultural development- Great Middle Power – 8-11th largest economy in the world
  • – Miracle on the Taedong
  • – After 7 decades the Korean people in the north continue to survive despite living in conditions of the worst human rights atrocities and crimes against humanity since WWII.
  • – Commonality among Korean people in the north and South
  • – When faced with hardship they will survive
  • – Neither north nor South had a history of democracy or free market economy
  • – When given an opportunity they will thrive – note the nearly 500 markets thriving in the north

This bodes well for eventual unification.

5. Report: FBI warned of ‘credible North Korea threat’ to Christopher Ahn

UPI · by Elizabeth Shim · June 10, 2021

I do think Christopher Ahn and Adrian Hong are both at risk of violent retaliation from north Korea. 

The regime has proven that its security services have the ability to conduct covert operations overseas such as the assassination of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia. 

The regime is likely upset for three reasons. The group Free Jeoson is considered a threat to the regime. Second Ahn and Hong were involved in protecting Kim Jong-nam’s family. And lastly the Madrid incident is an embarrassment to the regime. 

Anyone who does not believe that Ahn is at risk does not understand the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime. 

 

Professor Lee​ from the Fletcher School tweeted below. Perhaps the Judge will make the right ruling.

Sung-Yoon Lee

@SungYoonLee1

Guess who said the following at the Christopher Ahn extradition hearing, LA District Court, May 25, 2021: “[B]ack in the day we prosecuted people for being members of underground railroads and then, you know, a hundred years later we were giving them medals.” #FreeJoseon

 

6. Kim Jong Un appears to have lost some weight — and that could have geopolitical consequences

The Washington Post · by Michael E. Miller · June 10, 2021

Whatever happens on the Korean peninsula will have global implications: whether war, instability, or regime collapse. Unfortunately, KJU is the center of gravity for all bad things that can happen.

 

7. South Korea Opposition Picks Harvard Graduate to Lead Push to Power

Bloomberg · by Jeong-Ho Lee · June 11, 2021

The rising star in the South.

 

8. Lee Jun-seok wins surprise victory to head main opposition as youngest-ever leader

en.yna.co.kr · by 박보람 · June 11, 2021

 

9. N. Korea stays mum on key party meeting set to be held early this month

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · June 11, 2021

Keeping us guessing.

 

10. Behold, North Korea has Asia’s hottest currency

asiatimes.com · by Bradley K. Martin · June 11, 2021

Interesting.

 

11. N. Korean missiles pose increasing threat to U.S., allies: Secretary Austin

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 11, 2021

The regime’s great force multiplied in war and in support of blackmail diplomacy and political warfare.

 

12. Kim Jong Un recasts party rulebook to forge own identity

asia.nikkei.com · June 10, 2021

I do not think we should overreact to the reports on party rule changes.

 

13. Gov’t refrains from commenting on Kim Jong-un’s apparent weight loss

The Korea Times · by Yoon Ja-young · June 11, 2021

I am sure there are some who fear upsetting KJU.

 

14. Recent inter-Korean ‘significant communication’ leads to rampant speculation

The Korea Times · by Kang Seung-woo · June 11, 2021

I am sure the discussions are being shared among allies. It would be interesting to get an assessment of these communications but of course they will be classified.

 

15. US will lead with diplomacy to mitigate NK behavior: US defense chief

koreaherald.com · by Kim So-hyun · June 11, 2021

And diplomacy must rest on the foundation of a strong ROK/US alliance and the military capability to deter, defend, and defeat.

 

16. Koreans begin to get Janssen vaccine amid rising hope of normal life

en.yna.co.kr · by 유청모 · June 10, 2021

 

17. How North Korea is doing propaganda with universities in Berlin

DW

My response to a journalist regarding this situation:

“Clearly this is north Korean propaganda to try to enhance the reputation of north Korea and the Kim family regime. It should be no surprise to us.

It is also no surprise that the universities that complain have received no answer from their “sister” universities and I doubt they will. They would need approval at the highest levels to remove the partner relationship and they are unlikely to seek such approval for fear of direct retaliation against them from the regime. I think all requests will continue to be ignored.

I think it is important for the foreign universities to inoculate themselves from this by calling attention to the situation and making sure the public, their governments, and the UN know that they are not sister universities. This will expose north Korean propaganda actions and help undermine the legitimacy of the Kim family regime, and hopefully protect the universities from allegations of scientific exchanges that are prohibited by sanctions.”

 

18. McDonald’s Hit by Data Breach

WSJ · by Heather Haddon

Now this is a real threat – don’t threaten McDonald’s. 🙂

 

—————

 

“The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”

– Solzhenitsyn

 

And he reiterated his disdain for the hearts and minds approach, as exemplified in the village resettlement programs. “I do not believe the Americans can bring pacification to Vietnam,” Dayan wrote in his last dispatch from the war zone. “The Americanization of the war can, from the military point of view, succeed, but the Americanization of the peace, of daily life, can only serve the Viet Cong with terrorist objectives and propagandist arguments against ‘American hegemony in Vietnam.’”

Or as Dayan put it in his book, Vietnam Diary, which was published in Israel in 1977, “the Americans are winning everything—except the war.”

 

“… insurgency and counterinsurgency… have enjoyed a level of military, academic, and journalistic notice unseen since the mid-1960s. Scholars and practitioners have recently reexamined 19th- and 20th-century counterinsurgency campaigns waged by the United States and the European colonial powers, much as their predecessors during the Kennedy administration mined the past relentlessly in the hope of uncovering the secrets of revolutionary guerrilla warfare. The professional military literature is awash with articles on how the armed services should prepare for what the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) refers to as “irregular warfare,” and scholars, after a long hiatus, have sought to deepen our understanding of the roles that insurgency, terrorism, and related forms of political violence play in the international security environment.”

– William Rosenau, “Subversion and Terrorism: Understanding and Countering the Threat”

DanielRiggs
Fri, 06/11/2021 – 3:04pm

06/08/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/08/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. How A New Team Of Feds Hacked The Hackers And Got Colonial Pipeline’s Bitcoin Back

2. Retired Army major general reduced to second lieutenant for sex crime conviction

3. Bitcoin Tumbles 9% on Fears that US Law Enforcement “Hacked” the Network

4. Our Digital Vulnerability Laid Bare: The Opening Gambit of the Next War

5. US recovers most of ransom paid after Colonial Pipeline hack

6. He spent years at war in Afghanistan. Now he commands the U.S. withdrawal.

7.  No, China will not invade Taiwan

8. The G7 is the west’s last chance to lead

9. Can Afghan forces hold off the Taliban after American troops leave?

10. Coronavirus Origins: What Happens When We Have the Answer?

11. Pentagon Faces Tense Fight Over Pacific Pivot

12. China Is Not Outspending US On Defense; ’22 Budget Is Enough

13. India’s suspect ‘Quad’ credentials

14. Report: Capitol Police were warned Trump backers would breach Capitol

15. Analysis: On Biden’s trip, a foreign policy for domestic consumption

16. Pipeline exec to face Congress as US recovers most of ransom

17. Pentagon creates world’s largest clandestine force for “nefarious” operations: Newsweek – Xinhua

18. In Major Promotion Shift, All Soldiers Will Serve as a Corporal Before Moving to Sergeant

19.  MC-130J Commando II Simulated Launching A Pallet Of Cruise Missiles During A Mock Strike Mission

20. Marines out of new infantry school are ‘more competent’ ― but more tests await

21. Major websites experience outages, including the New York Times, CNN and Amazon Web Services

22. Indo-Pacific Powerhouse: The Quad is Shaping Up

23. Phones and fitness devices that make it easier to track US troops are a new headache for special operators overseas

24. #Reviewing How to Prevent Coups d’Etat

25. At the Dawn of Special Operations – Lucien Stervinou | SOF News

 

1. How A New Team Of Feds Hacked The Hackers And Got Colonial Pipeline’s Bitcoin Back

NPR · by Vanessa Romo · June 8, 2021

Great work. Whether it is true or not this is great IO. If we can (or they believe we can) reach out and hack the hackers and take their money maybe that will have a deterrent effect.

 

2. Retired Army major general reduced to second lieutenant for sex crime conviction

armytimes.com · by Todd South · June 7, 2021

Wow. Who says a retired officer cannot be disciplined?

 

3. Bitcoin Tumbles 9% on Fears that US Law Enforcement “Hacked” the Network

decrypt.co · by Liam J. Kelly · June 8, 2021

2d and 3d order effects. Let us gain and maintain the initiative and achieve effects that will secure the cyber domain for the US.

 

4. Our Digital Vulnerability Laid Bare: The Opening Gambit of the Next War

mwi.usma.edu · by Thomas G. Pledger · June 7, 2021

Time to get serious about cyber!

Conclusion: As former national security advisor H.R. McMaster noted, “There are two ways to fight the United States military: asymmetrically and stupid.” It is most likely that an adversary will create confusion, turmoil, and strategic and operational dilemmas before conducting aggressive actions—similar to Russia’s actions in Georgia in 2008. Recognizing, reducing, and building resilient physical and digital systems will not prevent all vulnerabilities, but will increase the cost of asymmetric operations—increasing safety, security, and stability for the United States and its population.

 

5. US recovers most of ransom paid after Colonial Pipeline hack

AP · by Eric Tucker

Again, great work. We need more of this.

 

6. He spent years at war in Afghanistan. Now he commands the U.S. withdrawal.

The Washington Post · by Dan Lamothe · June 7, 2021

A good man with a tough and thankless job. He will be forever tied to the events of 2021 in Afghanistan but he should be a study in leadership when the entire history is written.

Excerpts: “Michèle Flournoy, a senior defense official during the Obama administration, said military literature suggests that “one of the most dangerous moments in any campaign is during a retrograde or a withdrawal under fire.”

“We don’t know if they’ll be under fire, but it’s possible given the way the Taliban is behaving,” said Flournoy, who has known Miller for years. “I think that has got to be the focus right now, is how to do this in a way that reduces risk to our forces that are pulling out.”

Miller, who will have spent a total of about seven years in Afghanistan by the completion of the withdrawal, said the military has the means to protect itself if attacked.

“To date — and it’s to date — we have not seen that. But that’s only as good as until somebody decides to attack coalition forces,” Miller said. “We do think it’s very dangerous, and we take it seriously and it’s something we talk about every single day.”

 

7. No, China will not invade Taiwan

supchina.com · by Stephen J. Hartnett · June 7, 2021

But we would be wise to heed Sun Tzu’s advice: Never assume your enemy will not attack. Make yourself invincible. 

Excerpts with an incredible conclusion.  So that is how he describes America:

“…just another power-hungry and ethics-free monster, grabbing what it wants by crushing the rights and lives of others.”

My argument hinges on an assumption about how the PRC views itself, and how it wishes to be seen by others. At the root of this national identity lies a sense of China as a post-colonial entity that successfully threw off the shackles of the “century of humiliation” to begin its rise back to greatness. For Mao and the revolutionary generation, China was not only anti-colonial but pro-independence. These principles were expressed in the 1972 Shanghai Communique: “All nations, big or small,” the Communiqué pledged, “should be equal. Big nations should not bully the small and strong nations should not bully the weak.” Chinese nationalism was rooted to a sense of anti-colonial activism; China was not just an emerging power but an advocate of justice.

Invading Taiwan would mark the end of that sense of the nation as a force for good. China would henceforth be just another imperial power crushing a smaller neighbor. No one in the Indo-Pacific would feel safe. The feel-good “win-win” propaganda surrounding the One Belt, One Road initiative, a project Eyck Freyman dismisses as a trillion-dollar branding effort, would evaporate in a cloud of bombs.

Invading Taiwan would show that China has become — like Britain, France, America, Japan, and Russia before it — just another power-hungry and ethics-free monster, grabbing what it wants by crushing the rights and lives of others. This would mark the evolution of China from being a post-colonial nation into an imperial one. Losing its sense of self is much too steep a price just to appease the ultranationalists within its ranks.

No, China will not invade Taiwan – SupChina

In mainland China, fear of Taiwanese independence feeds the fever of traumatized nationalism, unites domestic rivals around a shared national dream, and serves as a never-ending threat that justifies enormous military expenditures — but not for war.

 

8. The G7 is the west’s last chance to lead

Financial Times · by Gideon Rachman · June 7, 2021

Last chance?

Excerpts:The G7 summit will also send an indirect message to China. The propaganda line pumped out from Beijing is that the west is in inexorable decline. A successful G7 summit could reinvigorate the idea that the west can provide global leadership in alliance with fellow democracies in Asia and around the world.

It is the G7’s identity as a club of democracies that gives it renewed significance in an era of rising tension between China and the west. The core seven countries — the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada — first met in the 1970s. At the end of the cold war, Russia was invited to join the group, turning the club into the G8. But the Russian Federation was booted out again after its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The great challenge to the relevance of the G7 is the declining share of the world economy represented by those seven core nations. As Renata Dwan of Chatham House, a UK think-tank, points out, in the 1970s the G7 nations accounted for some 80 per cent of world gross domestic product. That is now down to about 40 per cent.

 

9. Can Afghan forces hold off the Taliban after American troops leave?

The Economist  · June 6, 2021

Interesting subtitle.

Excerpts: “American generals say they are keen not to repeat Russia’s mistake by cutting funding prematurely. Yet exactly what support they will provide once they have left is unclear. The Pentagon said on June 2nd only that its backing would be largely financial—to help pay the salaries of security forces—with some aircraft maintenance thrown in.

After the Soviet Union departed, Najibullah’s unexpected longevity was not only thanks to his army and their money. He also proved a surprisingly flexible and astute politician, who was given a largely free hand by Russia to do what was necessary to survive, says Mr Schroden. Here Mr Ghani may be in a more precarious position. He must unite the opportunistic and bickering factions of the Afghan state, all the while under pressure from the Americans to cut a deal with the Taliban. His chief task in the next few months will be to keep Afghanistan whole and prevent it from fracturing into competing fiefs.

With the Taliban buoyant and forecasts from Washington looking sombre, military morale may be key. “It is mainly psychological now. If we can get through the pressure of this summer, then we will be fine,” reckons one Afghan diplomat. Mr Amarkhel agrees: “If our forces can last for two months, they can survive.”

 

10. Coronavirus Origins: What Happens When We Have the Answer?

19fortyfive.com · by Wallace Gregson · June 6, 2021

Wise words from LtGen Gregson: “The death and illness toll in the U.S. and around the world was tragic. We must ensure that the post-mortem analysis contributes more to the healing of the world than to the further souring of relations.”

 

11. Pentagon Faces Tense Fight Over Pacific Pivot

Foreign Policy · by Jack Detsch · June 7, 2021

Excerpts:The Pacific Deterrence Initiative was created by the Republican staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee last year to prod U.S. military services that usually eye big-ticket assets with their budget dollars to begin rotating forces to Asia, the former Senate aide said. Since the Pentagon’s base budget is subject to caps enacted during the Obama years, the measure would put pressure on services to cut elsewhere and move forces to Asia.

In the last days of the Trump administration, top officials in the policy shop had hoped to split the difference, keeping a mix of military weight on both sides of the international date line. But the administration remained distracted by threats from Iran and elsewhere. And with the Defense Department ordering the USS Ronald Reagan—the only American carrier strike group in Asia—to sail out of Japan to cover the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, some fear that the pivot is once again pausing.

“You want to be inside so that you have forces there if and when the fight starts, as opposed to trying to fight your way back in,” said Heino Klinck, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia until January. “On the other hand, you want to have forces outside of the [Chinese military] strike envelope. That’s the dilemma.”

 

12. China Is Not Outspending US On Defense; ’22 Budget Is Enough

breakingdefense.com · by Lawrence Korb

Excerpts:While the US, as Greenwalt points out, spends 16 times as much on its military recruits as China, are not our troops much better than their Chinese counterparts, who receive an average of $30,000 a year, which is less than half of what our troops get? Moreover, even with our smaller budget, the US has 20 times the number of nuclear warheads as China, three times the number of modern fighter jets, twice the tonnage of warships at sea, three times as many modern fighter jets, 800 overseas bases compared to China’s 3, and spends twice as much of GDP on defense as China.

Even if one accepts Greenwalt’s argument that the claim that the US spends more then the next 13 countries in the world combined is a trope, the fact of the matter is that most of those other countries on the list are US allies or friendly countries.

A much better comparison for determining whether we need to increase or decrease defense spending is to compare, in real terms, what we spent during the Reagan buildup or the peaks of the Korea and Vietnam Wars to our current level. Doing so shows that $753 billion, which is the proposed budget of the Biden administration for 2022, is substantially higher. While there is no doubt that Chinese military power is increasing, it is still nowhere close to that of the former Soviet Union, and somehow we won the Cold War even though the Soviets theoretically outspent us.

Moreover, the Reagan defense buildup was needed because of the severe cuts in defense spending in the 1970s, primarily by the Nixon administration. Biden is inheriting a defense budget that Trump increased by $100 billion over his four years in office. The Pentagon’s problems are not the amount of money it receives but how it spends it.

 

13. India’s suspect ‘Quad’ credentials

japantimes.co.jp · by Ramesh Thakur · June 5, 2021

Excerpts: “COVID-19 has brutally exposed the hollowness of India’s pretensions to power, status and influence and boasts of being a vaccine superpower and pharmacy to the world.

March’s virtual Quad summit already seems a distant dream. Echoing its birth amidst the humanitarian crisis of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, the four leaders agreed to partner in the production and distribution of “safe, accessible and effective vaccines” in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

India committed to accelerate and expand production of U.S. vaccines; Japan vowed to help with finance; the U.S. promised to put its scientific-technological shoulder to the collective effort and Australia said it would assist logistically with the distribution in Southeast Asia.

After seven years of unchecked exercises in power, the Modi government cannot credibly blame predecessors or foreign mischief-makers for the sorry state of affairs. Sadly, the biggest indictment of India is the absence of a viable national alternative to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Congress Party is the one other national opposition group, but the only glue holding it together is the Gandhi family. Far from inspiring the people and infusing them with hope for the future, this sad reality fills them with despair. Nor can Congress match the BJP’s fundraising, organizational and public communications skills.

Still, if by some miracle the exogenous COVID-19 shock breaks the government’s hubris and arrogance, encourages it to undertake urgently needed economic and governance reforms, shifts it to a more accommodative and pluralistic policy posture at home and a greater openness to free trade, its attractiveness as a Quad partner will grow. Just don’t hold your breath for this triumph of hope over experience.

 

14. Report: Capitol Police were warned Trump backers would breach Capitol

NBC News · by Ken Dilanian and Frank Thorp V · June 8, 2021

Some damning information:The Capitol Police’s possession of the specific intelligence had been previously flagged by the department’s inspector general in a report that has not made public, NBC News and other news organizations have reported. But the Senate document sheds new light on it. The failure to distribute the information widely, the report says, left rank-and-file Capitol Police officers unprepared to defend themselves from the armed mob.

“The objects thrown at us varied in size, shape and consistency,” an officer said. “Some were frozen cans and bottles, rebar from the construction, bricks, liquids, pepper spray, bear spray, sticks of various widths, pipes, bats.”Another officer told Senate investigators: “We were ill prepared. We were NOT informed with intelligence. We were betrayed.”

The 100-page Senate report, the results so far of a joint investigation by the Homeland Security and Rules committees, offers new details about what Capitol Police leaders knew and when they knew it. It recommends an overhaul of what it calls the “opaque” structure of the board overseeing the Capitol’s security apparatus, with a specific provision to allow the Capitol Police chief to request National Guard assistance immediately, after it found that Washington, D.C., National Guardsmen didn’t arrive at the Capitol for nearly three hours after they were first requested.

 

15. Analysis: On Biden’s trip, a foreign policy for domestic consumption

NBC News · by Mike Memoli and Carol E. Lee · June 8, 2021

Our foreign policy must make sense to middle America and Americans in general.

 

16.  Pipeline exec to face Congress as US recovers most of ransom

AP · by Eric Tucker and Ben Fox

I would not want to be on his hot seat.

 

17. Pentagon creates world’s largest clandestine force for “nefarious” operations: Newsweek – Xinhua

xinhuanet.com

A short summary from a Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece of the recent Newsweek article about the Pentagon’s “secret army.” It uses Newsweek’s words to criticize the US.

 

18. In Major Promotion Shift, All Soldiers Will Serve as a Corporal Before Moving to Sergeant

military.com · by Steve Beynon · June 7, 2021

An interesting development.

Excerpts: “Because corporals and specialists earn the same pay, corporal is a relatively rare rank in the Army. Both ranks can hold junior leadership positions, typically as a team leader responsible for three to six soldiers. Previously, specialists were promoted straight to sergeant in most cases, skipping the corporal rank.

“This is a change in culture,” Sgt. Maj. Kenyatta Gaskins, directorate of Military Personnel Management sergeant major, said in a statement. “This is not something we’re used to. … It’s a visual reminder that the soldiers have transitioned from junior ranks to become a member of the NCO Corps.”

The Army also announced that troops must be recommended by a promotion board before attending BLC. That goes into effect June 1, 2022, for active-duty and full-time Guard and Reserve soldiers, and Oct. 1, 2022, for part-time soldiers.

 

19.  MC-130J Commando II Simulated Launching A Pallet Of Cruise Missiles During A Mock Strike Mission

thedrive.com · by Joseph Trevithick · June 7, 2021

Innovative and creative solutions to complex military problems?

 

20. Marines out of new infantry school are ‘more competent’ ― but more tests await

marinecorpstimes.com · by Philip Athey · June 7, 2021

 

21.  Major websites experience outages, including the New York Times, CNN and Amazon Web Services

The Washington Post · June 8, 2021

 

22. Indo-Pacific Powerhouse: The Quad is Shaping Up

The National Interest · by James Holmes · June 8, 2021

Excerpts: “As a strategy—in particular a military and naval strategy—containment is a fitting metaphor. This is clearest in East Asia, where the U.S. armed forces are reconfiguring themselves to fight among the islands, denying China’s navy and air force control of sea and sky. This approach comes straight out of the Cold War playbook, from the days when Secretary of State Dean Acheson called for making the first island chain America’s “defensive perimeter of the Pacific.”

The approach applies in the Indian Ocean as well, albeit in a fashion that is more scattered and not so visually striking when plotted on the map. Curbing Beijing’s effort to gain military access to Indian Ocean seaports is itself a way to contain China’s martial reach—and one well worth pursuing.

Quad members may shy away from the containment metaphor, and that is understandable. They mainly need to be precise when explaining their purposes and how they intend to put power to work attaining them. That means being circumspect about the terms they use to describe China policy. But they should own it on the military side.

Let’s dust off the Cold War playbook—and be candid about it. Lord Ismay would smile.

 

23. Phones and fitness devices that make it easier to track US troops are a new headache for special operators overseas

Business Insider · by Stavros Atlamazoglou

 

24. #Reviewing How to Prevent Coups d’Etat

thestrategybridge.org · June 7, 2021

Excerpt: “To those with a background in coup studies or civilian-military relations, How to Prevent Coups d’état draws parallels to Naunihal Singh’s Seizing Power, particularly as an extension of coordination games applied to the field of coup studies. I found it interesting that this work applied coordination problems and commitment problems, two often-discussed game theoretic explanations for conflict, but other game theoretic explanations of conflict, such as issue indivisibility and incomplete information, or incentives to misrepresent, are not fully fleshed out, even as analytic narratives. In an event with such a profound impact on the professional and even personal lives of counterweight force members, rapport and unwillingness to compromise might play a large role, be it rapport with other branches of the armed forces, rapport with the leader, or rapport with the other civilians potentially impacted by regime change or lack thereof. Likewise, transparency issues seem to abound in the narratives given in each of the case studies, ultimately suggesting that these could play a role, but they are not a central emphasis of this work. This book is a great addition to the literature as it paves the way for further exploring rationalist explanations of both coup-proofing and coup success, implementing what we know from bargaining models of war to other sorts of political conflict and civilian-military relations.

 

25. At the Dawn of Special Operations – Lucien Stervinou | SOF News

sof.news · by SOF News · June 6, 2019

Still so much to learn from our history. And the OSS was an organization that punched well above its weight both while it was in existence and later as continued contributions by its former members.

 

—————–

 

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves ; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

– Thomas Jefferson

 

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

– Abraham Lincoln

 

“The greatest threat to our Constitution is our own ignorance of it.”

– Jacob F. Roecker

DanielRiggs
Tue, 06/08/2021 – 9:23am

06/08/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/08/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Biden will appoint special envoy for N. Korean human rights as required: Blinken

2. Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible?

3. North Korea is “scrambling” to secure large amounts of COVID-19 vaccine for its military

4. Pro-North Korea newspaper in Japan denies changes in unification policy

5. U.N. nuclear watchdog sees indications of plutonium work in North Korea

6. S. Korea not considering boycott of Tokyo Olympics amid Dokdo spat: ministry

7. North Korea faces serious humanitarian crisis: report

8. State media: Kim has plans to stabilize N. Korean economy

9. Ask a North Korean: Can Joe Biden reach a breakthrough with North Korea?

10. Kim Jong Un is waging a culture war, and North Korea is cracking down on foreign movies, slang, and even clothes and hairstyles

11. Is Joe Biden Serious about Negotiating with North Korea?

12. Korean-Americans eager for reunions with kin in North

13. China’s Confucius Institutes facing calls to leave Korea

14. North Korea Taps Workers in Russia to Fund Pyongyang Construction

 

1. Biden will appoint special envoy for N. Korean human rights as required: Blinken

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 8, 2021

My recommendation is my good friend Greg Scarlatoiu who is the executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (hrnk.org).  A fluent Korean speaker, a great American with decades of Korea experience and someone who survived another despotic regime with parallels and close ties to north Korea until the revolution in Romania.   There are few who understand the north Korean human rights situation to the depth that Greg does.

 

2. Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible?

dailynk.com · by Bennett Ramberg · June 7, 2021

Do this and we can expect Kim to double down on his political warfare strategy and blackmail diplomacy.

Excerpt: North Korea’s economy – by Kim’s own admission – in desperate need of repair. For America, which currently lacks effective ballistic-missile defenses, the prospect of being in North Korea’s nuclear crosshairs is unacceptable. Could this point to a possible trade-off, namely the lifting of sanctions in exchange for the elimination of rockets?

My bottom line: The only way we are going to see an end to the nuclear program and threats as well as the human rights abuses and crimes against humanity being committed against the Korean people living in the north by the mafia-like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime is through achievement of unification and the establishment of a United Republic of Korea that is secure and stable, non-nuclear, economically vibrant, and unified under a liberal constitutional form of government based on individual liberty, rule of law, and human rights as determined by the Korean people.  In short, a United Republic of Korea (UROK).

 

3. North Korea is “scrambling” to secure large amounts of COVID-19 vaccine for its military

dailynk.com · by Seulkee Jang · June 8, 2021

This could be a significant indicator.  Is the military in trouble because of COVID? We know how important the military is to the survival of the Kim family regime.

The regime will collapse when the regime/party can no longer govern across the north from Pyongyang combined with the breakdown of the military (and its three chains of control – military, political, and security) so that the military can no longer support the regime.  This leads to uncertainty and complexity about what can happen next.
 
Let me reprise this article in which Bob Collins and I discuss north Korean contingencies to include regime collapse (and Bob lays out the 7 phases of regime collapse). 
 
“When North Korea Falls.” Robert Kaplan 
The furor over Kim Jong Il’s missile tests and nuclear brinksmanship obscures the real threat: the prospect of North Korea’s catastrophic collapse. How the regime ends could determine the balance of power in Asia for decades. The likely winner? China” 
 
Here is a link to
my 1996 Monograph following the Arduous March of the great famine of 1994-1996 
 “The Catastrophic Collapse of North Korea: Implications for the U.S. Military” 

Beyond the Nuclear Crisis:   A Strategy for the Korean Peninsula
National Defense University
 

4. Pro-North Korea newspaper in Japan denies changes in unification policy

UPI · by Elizabeth Shim

Just in case anyone missed this.  We should have no doubt the regime is conducting political warfare.

 Political Warfare: 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), p. 3. 

 

5. U.N. nuclear watchdog sees indications of plutonium work in North Korea

Reuters · by Francois Murphy

Excerpts: “The steam plant that serves the Radiochemical Laboratory has continued to operate since my last Statement to the Board in March,” he said in the text of a speech.

“The duration of this operation is consistent with the time required for a reprocessing campaign at the Radiochemical Laboratory. It is not, however, possible to confirm that reprocessing is taking place,” he added.

There was no indication in the past three months of operations at North Korea’s main, 5-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon that is widely believed to have produced plutonium for weapons. The IAEA has previously said it has probably been shut down since December 2018.

 

6. S. Korea not considering boycott of Tokyo Olympics amid Dokdo spat: ministry

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · June 8, 2021

Some good news I suppose.

 

7. North Korea faces serious humanitarian crisis: report

The Korea Times · June 8, 2021

The responsibility for the suffering of the Korean people living in the north lies squarely on the shoulders of Kim Jong-un and his deliberate policy decisions to prioritize his nuclear program, the military, and support to the regime elite over the welfare of the Korean people.  He has also made the decision to use the excuse of COVID mitigation and defense to implement draconian population and resources control measures to further oppress the people to protect the survival of the regime.

 

8. State media: Kim has plans to stabilize N. Korean economy

AP · Kim Tong-Hyung

What are the plans?  Will they try another currency action like 2010?

 

9. Ask a North Korean: Can Joe Biden reach a breakthrough with North Korea?

nknews.org · by Hyun-Seung Lee · June 1, 2021

An important perspective from our good friend Hyun-seung Lee.

One excerpt:

“Do you think that sanctions are bad for human rights?”

“Some argue that it’s ordinary people who end up having to suffer the most. I do not think this is true. Sanctions hurt everybody, including the elites that are losing money. A positive outcome is that the government has less control over the people because the people are less reliant on it to provide for them. Therefore sanctions give more freedom to people, even if it does reduce the overall amount of money and goods flowing into North Korea.

 

10. Kim Jong Un is waging a culture war, and North Korea is cracking down on foreign movies, slang, and even clothes and hairstyles

Business Insider · by Ryan Pickrell

Follow-up reporting based on the recent Daily NK and BBC articles.

 

11. Is Joe Biden Serious about Negotiating with North Korea?

The National Interest · by Doug Bandow · June 7, 2021

Sigh…  Why does no one ask this question of Kim Jong-un?  Is Kim ever going to be serious about negotiating with the US?

But give me a break. Ambassador Kim is the most competent professional in our government to be the special representative.  In addition, he has a strong Korea team doing the day to day work.

He likely has spent the past four months as the acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Pacific leading the Korea policy review and crafting the new policy.  There is probably no one more knowledgeable of the policy than Ambassador Kim.

We are giving Kim Jong-un the opportunity to act as a responsible member of the international community and negotiate.  I am sure if Kim Jong-un decides to come to the table it will have Ambassador Kim’s full attention.

 

12. Korean-Americans eager for reunions with kin in North

koreanjoongangdaily.joins.com· by Sarah Kim

A good humanitarian initiative. But I doubt Kim Jong-un will allow this to happen.  But we have to have “the guts to try” as a great Air Force general once wrote though in different context.

Just as an aside, I am reminded of President Biden’s words from last fall:

“This appears to be in line with President Biden’s initial statement when he provided his first look at the new policy on October 30th when he published a special contribution to Yonhap News.  This was his only piece in a foreign paper prior to the election and is an indication of the priority he places on the Korean situation.  This paragraph provided early guidance for the review:

 

“Words matter — and a president’s words matter even more. As President, I’ll stand with South Korea, strengthening our alliance to safeguard peace in East Asia and beyond, rather than extorting Seoul with reckless threats to remove our troops. I’ll engage in principled diplomacy and keep pressing toward a denuclearized North Korea and a unified Korean Peninsula, while working to reunite Korean Americans separated from loved ones in North Korea for decades.”

 

13. China’s Confucius Institutes facing calls to leave Korea

The Korea Times  · by Kang Hyun-kyung· June 8, 2021

The Korean people are becoming increasingly disenchanted with China.

 

14. North Korea Taps Workers in Russia to Fund Pyongyang Construction

rfa.org · by Jeong Yon Park

north Korean “slaves” in Russia are being “taxed.”  Yes that is some hyperbole but think about these workers and the hardships they suffer in hope they can make some money for their families back in north Korea.

Excerpts: “Last week, I ran into a North Korean who works in Vladivostok who told me that he was very upset because the North Korean authorities ordered him to pay additional loyalty funds,” a Russian citizen of Korean descent living in the Russian Far Eastern city told RFA’s Korean Service on June 1.

“The order came at the end of April, and it says each person must pay an additional U.S. $100 per month,” said the source, who requested anonymity to speak freely. “We know that the extra loyalty funds will go to housing construction in Pyongyang.”

The ambitious building project is the brainchild of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, who promised at the ruling Korean Workers’ Party congress in January to alleviate the capital’s housing shortage with 50,000 new homes by the end of 2025, including 10,000 in 2021.

 

—————–

 

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves ; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

– Thomas Jefferson

 

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

– Abraham Lincoln

 

“The greatest threat to our Constitution is our own ignorance of it.”

– Jacob F. Roecker

DanielRiggs
Tue, 06/08/2021 – 9:06am

06/07/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/07/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. C.I.A. Scrambles for New Approach in Afghanistan

2. The Psychic Toll of Killing With Drones

3. Are We Waiting for Everyone to Get Hacked?

4. Biden and the Afghan Translators

5. Let’s educate service members on professional ethos, not just extremism

6. Supreme Court asked to review men-only draft registration law

7. The Science Suggests a Wuhan Lab Leak

8. Putin questions U.S. prosecution of Capitol rioters, saying mob carried only ‘political requests’

9. Taliban demand ‘remorse’ from fearful Afghan interpreters

10. Philippine Navy Plans Use of Hanjin Subic Shipyard

11. US senators took a military aircraft to Taiwan to announce vaccine donation. To Beijing, that is a major provocation

12. Biden says he will ‘rally the world’s democracies’ this week in reset for US foreign policies

13. How Beijing shot itself in the foot with its trade war with Australia

14. EXCLUSIVE: Biden not seeking to add countries to Quad to counter China

15. ‘Do We Need to Be in Hong Kong?’ Global Companies Are Eying the Exits

16. US asks Taiwan to fill void as Confucius Institutes close

17. Opinion | Something appears to be ‘simply, simply wrong’ at the Biden Justice Department

18. Assessing U.S. Army Diversity Efforts in the Context of Great Power Competition

19. The Cost of Being an ‘Interchangeable Asian’

20.  Once a Bastion of Free Speech, the A.C.L.U. Faces an Identity Crisis

21. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – Global SOF Foundation Imperatives

22. How the I Ching informs China’s harmonious pursuit of geopolitical strategy

23. Special Operations News Update – Monday, June 7, 2021 | SOF News

 

1. C.I.A. Scrambles for New Approach in Afghanistan

The New York Times · by Mark Mazzetti and Julian E. Barnes · June 6, 2021

Excerpts: “Recent C.I.A. and military intelligence reports on Afghanistan have been increasingly pessimistic. They have highlighted gains by the Taliban and other militant groups in the south and east, and warned that Kabul could fall to the Taliban within years and return to becoming a safe haven for militants bent on striking the West, according to several people familiar with the assessments.

As a result, U.S. officials see the need for a long-term intelligence-gathering presence — in addition to military and C.I.A. counterterrorism operations — in Afghanistan long after the deadline that Mr. Biden has set for troops to leave the country. But the scramble for bases illustrates how U.S. officials still lack a long-term plan to address security in a country where they have spent trillions of dollars and lost more than 2,400 troops over nearly two decades.

Some American officials said that negotiations with Pakistan had reached an impasse for now. Others have said the option remains on the table and a deal is possible.

 

2. The Psychic Toll of Killing With Drones

WSJ · by Wayne Phelps

Excerpt: “If the target is a high-value individual, it’s a certainty that he isn’t a boy scout. Brett Velicovich was an intelligence analyst for the Army Special Forces who used RPAs to help hunt HVIs throughout Iraq, including some top-tier targets. He wrote the book “Drone Warrior” to describe his operations. In an interview with Vox he described how it felt to watch bad people do normal things:

“You’re watching these guys and they’re totally normal. You see them dropping their kids off at school. You see them having tea or coffee at a local market. You see them doing normal things. It’s almost like People magazine or something. You always have these ‘the stars are just like us’ type of feelings. You see terrorists doing stuff that anyone else would do. It’s what they’re doing in the shadows that we’re trying to find. When you find that, then you know you’ve got him.”

 

3. Are We Waiting for Everyone to Get Hacked?

The New York Times · by Nicole Perlroth · June 5, 2021

Excerpts: “So, what is it going to take to keep Americans safe? It’s a big question.

The answers, though, can be small. The kindling for these digital infernos is buggy and out-of-date software nobody bothers to patch. It’s companies that don’t back up their data or have a security plan for ransomware attacks, despite their ubiquity. It’s the failure to use different passwords and turn on two-factor authentication. The hackers who tried to contaminate Florida’s drinking water exploited the fact that employees shared the same password and ran a decade-old version of Windows software. At the pipeline, it came down to the lack of multi-factor authentication on an old employee account.

It’s “cyberhygiene,” the accumulation of day in, day out investments and inconveniences by government, businesses and individuals that make hackers’ jobs harder. And some are very low tech.

Among the few high-profile organizations that was not actually hacked last year was the Democratic National Committee. Going into 2020, Bob Lord, the D.N.C.’s first chief information security officer, employed a novel approach to help ensure that hackers stayed out of D.N.C. emails this time. He posted signs over the urinals in the men’s room and on the wall in the women’s room reminding everyone to run their phone updates, use the encrypted app Signal for sensitive communications and not click on links.

Mr. Panetta, watching from afar, has his own simple solution for staying safe — and specifically making sure his internet-connected Lexus isn’t hacked. A few years ago, he fixed up his dad’s old 1951 Chevy truck, and that is what he uses to get around.

When he does drive the Lexus, he has careful instructions for his passenger: “I tell my wife, ‘Now be careful what you say.’”

 

4. Biden and the Afghan Translators

WSJ · by The Editorial Board

A difference between Vietnam and Afghanistan is Afghans will not have the opportunity to take to boats to escape.

Excerpts:Congress has a role to play. It likely will include legislation for more visas for the SIV program in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. But President Biden as Commander in Chief can press Congress to simplify the visa rules or order an evacuation.

 

“The United States has no obligation to evacuate one, or 100,001, South Vietnamese,” then-Sen. Biden said in 1975 as the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam. The result was the exodus of the “boat people,” many of whom died in the open ocean, that was a stain on America. Mr. Biden has an opportunity—make that an obligation—to do better by thousands of Afghans.

 

5. Let’s educate service members on professional ethos, not just extremism

The Hill · by Kelly E. Atkinson and Marybeth P. Ulrich· June 6, 2021

You cannot go wrong with a focus on the professional ethos.  

Excerpts:Civilian and military leaders alike must increase the emphasis and energy devoted to educating and training service members on the expectations of a professional ethos, in line with the oath. Cadets at the Air Force Academy have spearheaded such an effort with the founding of The Oath Project this spring, through which a dozen cadets created a comprehensive program to reinvigorate education on the oath of office. This program is a model for other military educational institutions and units to emulate.

The Department of Defense must clarify guidance and reaffirm expectations that any and all acts of extremism that threaten the constitutional order are in direct violation of our professional military ethos. We must understand the lifelong obligations that the oath asks of us: to protect and defend the Constitution; uphold democratic processes and the constitutional rights of our fellow citizens to participate in them; and refrain from partisan political activities in alignment with existing civil-military norms. If we fail to delineate, educate and train military members on clear expectations for this professional military ethos, our military institutions risk internal fracturing that may threaten the democracy they are sworn to defend.

 

6. Supreme Court asked to review men-only draft registration law

militarytimes.com · by Jessica Gresko· June 6, 2021

Excerpts: If the court agrees to take the case, arguments wouldn’t happen until the fall at the earliest, after the court’s summer break. The court already has high-profile cases awaiting it then. They include a major challenge to abortion rights and an appeal to expand gun rights.”

 

7. The Science Suggests a Wuhan Lab Leak

WSJ · by Steven Quay and Richard Muller

Conclusion: The presence of the double CGG sequence is strong evidence of gene splicing, and the absence of diversity in the public outbreak suggests gain-of-function acceleration. The scientific evidence points to the conclusion that the virus was developed in a laboratory.

 

8. Putin questions U.S. prosecution of Capitol rioters, saying mob carried only ‘political requests’

The Washington Post · by Isabelle Khurshudyan · June 4, 2021

The insurrectionists have Putin’s support. Go figure.

 

9. Taliban demand ‘remorse’ from fearful Afghan interpreters

24matins.uk · June 7, 2021

I fear remorse is code for confession prior to execution.

 

10. Philippine Navy Plans Use of Hanjin Subic Shipyard

Bloomberg · by Cecilia Yap · June 7, 2021

The US was forced to give up Subic. A Korean firm builds modern facilities. Now the Philippine Navy will lease part of the facility.

 

11. US senators took a military aircraft to Taiwan to announce vaccine donation. To Beijing, that is a major provocation

CNN · by Nectar Gan and Ben Westcott

Excerpts:When delivering his welcoming remarks to the US visitors on Sunday, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu again criticized Beijing. “While we are doing our best to import vaccines, we must overcome obstacles to ensure that these lifesaving medicines are delivered free of trouble from Beijing. Taiwan is no stranger to this kind of obstruction,” he said.

But the biggest poke in the eye to Beijing is perhaps not Wu’s comments or the vaccine donation deal itself, but the US military aircraft parked on the runway.

The American delegation arrived at Taiwan’s Songshan Airport on a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III freighter — a primary strategic lift aircraft for the US military.

Previously, US officials and politicians had flown to Taiwan on the C-40, a military version of the Boeing 737 commercial airliner, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

 

12. Biden says he will ‘rally the world’s democracies’ this week in reset for US foreign policies

The Hill · by Mychael Schnell · June 6, 2021

 

13. How Beijing shot itself in the foot with its trade war with Australia

ABC.net.au · June 6, 2021

As Bonaparte said: never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

 

14. EXCLUSIVE: Biden not seeking to add countries to Quad to counter China

washingtontimes.com · by Guy Taylor

We should not be pushing countries to join the Quad. The Quad+ will be stronger if countries determine it is in their best interests for national prosperity and national security to align with it.

 

15. ‘Do We Need to Be in Hong Kong?’ Global Companies Are Eying the Exits

WSJ · by John Lyons and Frances Yoon

I am not nor ever have been a businessman. But I do not see how any business could afford to remain in such a politically troubled country (or city such as Hong Kong).

While Singapore would appear to be a good alternative, is Shanghai? Seems to be by going to Shanghai the CCP will benefit from its actions in Hong Kong.

 

16. US asks Taiwan to fill void as Confucius Institutes close

asia.nikkei.com · by Nick Aspinwall

 

17. Opinion | Something appears to be ‘simply, simply wrong’ at the Biden Justice Department

The Washington Post · by Fred Ryan · June 6, 2021

This is why we need separation of powers and checks and balances as well as a fourth estate to hold the government accountable.

Excerpt: “Unfortunately, new revelations suggest that the Biden Justice Department not only allowed these disturbing intrusions to continue — it intensified the government‘s attack on First Amendment rights before finally backing down in the face of reporting about its conduct.”

Conclusion: “The inconsistency between presidential words and Justice Department deeds dictates the need for full accountability and transparency regarding the actions taken by the exiting Trump Justice Department and those of the incoming Biden administration. A full accounting should be produced and released for the American public to see.”

 

18.  Assessing U.S. Army Diversity Efforts in the Context of Great Power Competition

divergentoptions.org · by Louis Melancon · June 7, 2021

The author argues the Army needs a deliberate effort to shape heuristics to keep up with diversity initiatives.

Conclusion: “The U.S. Army has not been as effective in breaking and replacing old heuristics in conjunction with the active steps to increase diversity. Anecdotal evidence is emerging that new heuristics are naturally emerging within the force that will slow down the efforts to improve diversity; this is a result of not deliberately seeking to replace heuristics at pace with new diversity initiatives. As an example, rather than focus on matching skills needed for a position with a candidate, some units are seeking out personnel whose career trajectory closely matches previous concepts of a successful soldier. Preferring a concept of what makes a good soldier over recognized skills needed for mission success goes against what the U.S. Army desires with talent management. There is no maliciousness here, humans rely on heuristics and so older, flawed concepts are tweaked on the margins if nothing is provided to replace them. The units are seeking to do the right thing, but are limited by what the individuals within them know. Without a deliberate effort to shape heuristics that support new policies, the ones which emerge in the force will inevitably and inadvertently buttress the old biases.

Senator Cruz provided a teachable moment. His constituents will decide with the ballot if he will have to pay a price for having outdated and flawed heuristics. Were the U.S. Army to share Senator Cruz’s outlook, the price paid in both competition and conflict with peer competitors will be much higher for soldiers if the issue of heuristics is not addressed now.

 

19.  The Cost of Being an ‘Interchangeable Asian’

The New York Times · by Brian X. Chen · June 6, 2021

Excerpt:But as a first step, what many Asian American professionals need is simple. They want their colleagues to bother to learn their names.

Yes, it’s probably happened to all of us, no matter our identity: An acquaintance or colleague mistakes you for another person with the same hairdo or a similar name. But for people of Asian descent, it happens without question when there are a few other Asians in the office, even when they look and sound nothing alike.

In nearly two dozen conversations with professionals of Asian descent in recent weeks, and in 15 years of my own experience in the workplace, the consensus was clear: It happens again and again, from one job to the next. While the problem is prevalent in the United States, the mix-ups also frequently happen in other countries where people with Asian heritage make up a minority, like Canada. There’s even a term for it: the interchangeable Asian.

 

20. Once a Bastion of Free Speech, the A.C.L.U. Faces an Identity Crisis

The New York Times · by Michael Powell · June 6, 2021

Please focus on freedom of speech (press, religion, etc) . It is an American issue, not a progressive issue.

 

21. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – Global SOF Foundation Imperatives

gsofimperatives.org

 

22.  How the I Ching informs China’s harmonious pursuit of geopolitical strategy

SCMP · by Lub Bun Chong · June 7, 2021

Harmony (as defined by the CCP I am sure).

How the I Ching informs China’s harmonious pursuit of geopolitical strategy

  • The Chinese dream, belt and road, Taiwan policy and vaccine diplomacy all seek to preserve harmony, a key notion in the I Ching
  • The US would do well to realise that China’s growing clout necessitates an accommodating shift, not a breakdown, in the global balance

 

23. Special Operations News Update – Monday, June 7, 2021 | SOF News

sof.news · by SOF News · June 7, 2021

 

———————

 

“A man who has the knowledge but lacks the power clearly to express it is no better off than if he never had any ideas at all.”

 – Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War

 

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”

– Voltaire

 

” …there was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, ‘and this will always be the man in the street.’ Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology…Hatred and contempt must be directed at particular individuals.   

– H. Trevor-Roper (ed), The Goebbels Diaries

 

 

DanielRiggs
Mon, 06/07/2021 – 9:37am

06/07/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/07/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1.  Pro-N. Korea paper says Pyongyang continues to pursue unification of Korean Peninsula

2. Is South Korea ready to throw in its lot with Washington?

3. NorthKorea’s Capabilities for Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack

4. ‘Farmland of peace’ project will promote inter-Korean cooperation: unification ministry

5. Seoul court rejects slave labor claim against Japanese firms

6. Why Kim Jong-un is waging war on slang, jeans and foreign films

7. Vice FM Choi to visit U.S. this week for talks with counterpart Sherman

8. Moon orders complete overhaul of military culture

9. US Marine Corps F-35Bs to visit South Korea

10. G7 to test Korea’s balancing act between US, China

11. Seoul pushes for reviving inter-Korean tour programs

12. Moon’s visit to spy headquarters brings with it pro-North symbol

13. Nuclear energy stocks surge again after Korea-US summit

14. Vaccines for Korean Soldiers Arrive from U.S.

15. S Korea under mega cyber attacks in pandemic-driven online era

 

1. Pro-N. Korea paper says Pyongyang continues to pursue unification of Korean Peninsula

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · June 7, 2021

Thank you to the Propaganda and Agitation Department and the Choson Sinbo for confirming the answers to my questions:

“Do we believe that Kim Jong-un has abandoned the seven decades old strategy of subversion, coercion-extortion (blackmail diplomacy), and use of force to achieve unification dominated by the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State in order to ensure the survival of the mafia like crime family cult known as Kim family regime?

In support of that strategy do we believe that Kim Jong-un has abandoned the objective to split the ROK/US Alliance and get US forces off the peninsula? Has KJU given up his divide to conquer strategy – divide the alliance to conquer the ROK?

Then again, perhaps the Choson Sinbo did not get the memo and is speaking out of school.

 

2. Is South Korea ready to throw in its lot with Washington?

asia.nikkei.com · by Soo Kim · June 6, 2021

Excerpts: “The U.S.-South Korea summit reaffirmed the countries’ shared history and common security interests and primed atmospherics to facilitate future-oriented expanded cooperation beyond matters concerning the immediate edge of the Korean Peninsula. This, if implemented thoroughly and across overlapping issues and initiatives — the Quad, for instance — may not only enhance Washington’s position in the region but strengthen Seoul’s own fortitude when it comes to standing up to China’s aggression and occasional pressures, as well.

 

South Korea’s ambivalence and hesitation when it comes to articulating a clear position either way remains a significant sticking point in the allies’ ability to stick together and move forward on current and emerging challenges of common concern.

 

Such equivocation may breed tensions in the alliance and encourage Beijing to pressure Seoul even more. In the interests of shared democratic values and protecting the international rules-based order, Seoul may wish to consider whether to make an unequivocal strategic decision regarding its bilateral relations with both Washington and Beijing.

 

3. NorthKorea’s Capabilities for Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack

EMP Task Force  · by Peter Vincent Pry · June 6, 2021

The 14 page report can be downloaded at this link.

Yes this is a potential real threat. However, I am much more concerned about the north’s cyber capabilities. I think there may be ways to inflict tremendous damage on our infrastructure through cyber than going through all the effort to deliver EMP effects to the US. And if the four revisionist and rogue powers ever synchronized their efforts we could be in real trouble.

 

4. ‘Farmland of peace’ project will promote inter-Korean cooperation: unification ministry

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · June 7, 2021

A project I could get behind would be for farmers in the South to directly engage with farmers in the north to provide best practices along with fertilizer, seeds, and modern equipment. It would be ideal if this could be done on a people to people basis but I know it is a naive pipe dream as the regime would never allow it.

 

5. Seoul court rejects slave labor claim against Japanese firms

AP · by Kim Tong-Hyung

An interesting development. I do not know enough about South Korea law to assess whether the court is objectively judging the case or if there is political influence. However, I doubt this will be enough to change the relationship because I worry about the blowback in the South.

 

6. Why Kim Jong-un is waging war on slang, jeans and foreign films

BBC · by Laura Bicker

Yes we have seen this information reported quite a bit in recent weeks. Laura Bicker of the BBC provides some useful context and analysis.

Weed to execute a comprehensive and sophisticated information and influence activities campaign. Kim Jong-un is denying the human rights of the Korean people living in the north for one simple reason: to ensure he remains in power.

 

7. Vice FM Choi to visit U.S. this week for talks with counterpart Sherman

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · June 7, 2021

Execution of the joint statement and information in the fact sheet from the summit is going to be very important.  I am optimistic about the sustained high level engagement while at the same time I am critical of the comments from the Moon administration regarding combined military training and sanctions relief/concessions.

 

8. Moon orders complete overhaul of military culture

koreaherald.com · by Lee Ji-yoon · June 7, 2021

Changing culture? Could be as hard as denuclearizing north Korea or changing the nature of war.. And I do not mean to be sarcastic or flippant. Changing military culture is not something that can be changed with the establishment of a task force.

That said the kind of misconduct described can and must be targeted and the military must do everything it can to protect military members and deal with misconduct correctly.

 

9. US Marine Corps F-35Bs to visit South Korea

The Korea Times ·by Kang Seung-woo · June 6, 2021

Message to Kim? The regime fears the F-35s and the US Marines so this is a double threat to the regime!

 

10. G7 to test Korea’s balancing act between US, China

The Korea Times · by Nam Hyun-woo · June 7, 2021

Excerpts: “The South has been exercising a balancing act between the U.S. and China amid the two super powers’ rivalry, although during the summit between President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, Seoul showed signs of titling toward Washington. Against this backdrop, the upcoming leaders’ meeting in Cornwall, the United Kingdom, will be another opportunity for Seoul to join the Washington-led initiative against Beijing, the experts said.

 

Recent overseas reports ― citing sources familiar with the matter ― said the G7 countries ― Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. ― plan to launch a green alternative to the BRI.

 

The initiative, thought to be called the “Clean Green Initiative,” was initially raised by the U.S., as an alternative to the BRI. In a March phone conversation between Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the former suggested democratic countries should create an infrastructure plan to rival the BRI, and the initiative will likely see a framework suggested during the G7 summit.

 

11. Seoul pushes for reviving inter-Korean tour programs

The Korea Times · by Kang Seung-woo · June 7, 2021

We must remember that tourism directly benefits Kim Jong-un and his royal court economy. The royal court economy funds the nuclear program and takes care of the regime and the elite.

 

12. Moon’s visit to spy headquarters brings with it pro-North symbol

onekoreanetwork.com · June 4, 2021

Excerpts: “The key purpose of the reform is to transform the NIS to become more like the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which takes care of overseas operations and intelligence matters, while creating a new Korean version of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that oversees domestic matters.

The main opposition People Power Party has been against the reform, particularly the clause that will ban the NIS from investigating pro-North Korean activities in South Korea. “The National Assembly is trying to pass a law that would only be beneficial to North Korea, which constantly tries to make South Korea Communist,” said Rep. Lee Chul-gyu of the PPP during the filibuster session in December. “It is so South Korea will not be involved in activities that North Koreans feel burdened by and dislike, and is weakening our country’s capability [to deal with North Korea].”

The controversy:

During President Moon’s latest visit to the NIS, a ceremony was held that unveiled a stone with the agency’s new motto celebrating its 60th founding anniversary next week. It reads, “Serving Our Nation and People with Unwavering Loyalty and Devotion.” The problem with the stone is that it used a font called “Arms around each other’s shoulders” created by the late professor Shin Young-bok.

Shin is considered a liberal intellectual among South Koreans on the left, but conservatives emphasize that he was a criminal who was involved in the so-called Unification Revolutionary Party (Tonghyuk-dang) incident in 1968. The case refers to the biggest spy scandal in South Korean history.

Central to the scandal, South Korean revolutionary leftist Kim Jong-tae illegally visited North Korea four times and received funding from North Korea to form the People’s Revolutionary Party. The five main criminals involved in the plot, including Kim Jong-tae, were apprehended in South Korea and sentenced to death, and 158 others were arrested. Shin Young-bok was one of the key academic and cultural figures who were recruited by Kim Jong-tae, who planned an armed uprising and overthrow of the government.

Shin was sentenced to life in prison for violating the National Security Act. He was released in 1988 after 20 years in prison after writing a letter that declared he had undergone an ideological conversion. However, he later changed his words and said “I never changed my ideology or betrayed my comrades.”

Forest’ spirit that he emphasized is becoming a reality at next year’s anniversary event.”

 

13. Nuclear energy stocks surge again after Korea-US summit

The Korea Times · by Yi Whan-woo · June 6, 2021

Excerpts: “During their summit in Washington, D.C., President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Joe Biden said in their joint statement that the two allies are committed to “develop cooperation in overseas nuclear markets, including joint participation in nuclear power plant projects, while ensuring the highest standards of international nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation are maintained.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a KEPCO official said the Korea-U.S. nuclear cooperation will be beneficial for KEPCO E&C, which is responsible for designing, engineering, and constructing nuclear and fossil-fuel power plants.

The official added that KEPCO E&C has been participating in bids for nuclear power plant construction projects in the Czech Republic, Poland and Saudi Arabia, among others.

The firm is also developing a small modular reactor (SMR), which Gates’ company, TerraPower, and Buffett’s power company, PacifiCorp, seek to build in Wyoming.

The project, called “Natrium,” will be built on the site of an old coal plant, with a goal of producing 500 megawatts of power during peak demand.

SMRs are considered to be more eco-friendly than traditional nuclear reactors, because they are carbon-free power sources, which President Moon has sought to put in place policy to foster their development as next-generation growth engines.

 

14. Vaccines for Korean Soldiers Arrive from U.S.                                              

english.chosun.com · June 7, 2021

And we have seen erroneous tweets on twitter about this saying that it is sanctions that prevent vaccines going to the north and the US is “weaponizing vaccines” such as this one:

 

Nodutdol | 노둣돌

@nodutdol

US troops were the 1st in South Korea to get vaccinated

 

US sanctions are keeping vaccines from North Korea.

 

Now the US sends 1 million Syringe—for South Korean troops. The US is weaponizing vaccines as part of the unfinished Korean War

 

———————

 

 

“A man who has the knowledge but lacks the power clearly to express it is no better off than if he never had any ideas at all.”

 – Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War

 

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”

– Voltaire

 

” …there was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, ‘and this will always be the man in the street.’ Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology…Hatred and contempt must be directed at particular individuals.   

– H. Trevor-Roper (ed), The Goebbels Diaries

DanielRiggs
Mon, 06/07/2021 – 9:22am

Special Operations News Update – Monday, June 7, 2021

Special Operations News Update – Monday, June 7, 2021

Access SOF News HERE.

Special Operations News Update – Monday, June 7, 2021

Curated news, analysis, and commentary about special operations, national security, and conflicts around the world. Topics include ‘Little Bird’ replacement, SOF’s Bronco II, Eddie Gallagher in the news, Russia’s Spetsnaz, French SOF in Sahel, SOF and D-Day, diversity in SOF, IO, Afghanistan, videos, and podcasts.

Dave Maxwell
Mon, 06/07/2021 – 6:50am