03/31/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: China (Includes Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet)

2. Full text: The Report on Human Rights Violations in the United States in 2020

3. China commits ‘genocide’ against Uighurs: State Department report

4. The Taliban Think They Have Already Won, Peace Deal or Not

5. Top level nominees still missing at DoD, three months after last announcements

6. These 4-Stars Want to Help Commanders Avoid Information Overload in the Next War

7. Congress looks to rein in Biden’s war powers

8. The U.S. Army Goes to School on Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

9. New Edgar Snow is needed to understand real China

10. Soldiers aren’t fighting Marines for a job in the Indo-Pacific, chief says

11. United Kingdom Restructures Special Forces Units

12. Listen to America’s Top Commander in the Indo-Pacific and Fund the Pacific Deterrence Initiative

13. US and allies question integrity of WHO-China report on coronavirus origin

14. China’s rulers have a new and unimproved version of rules-based order

15. Taiwan to buy upgraded PAC3 missiles, to be deployed by 2026

16. We need new alliances to replace failing global institutions

17. U.S. will defend ‘human rights everywhere,’ says Blinken in departure from Trump policies

18. Debt-trap diplomacy? Report finds China can cancel loans if displeased

19. Lessons from the 20th century book war (CIA versus KGB)

20. The dark Prince: A short history of a very modern mercenary

21. The Wuhan Whitewash

22. China’s Social Credit System: Speculation vs. Reality

23. UN chief salutes ‘crucial’ US human rights advocacy as tensions with China rise

24. People are losing their minds over Special Operation Command’s new diversity officer

 

1. 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: China (Includes Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet)

The full report can be accessed here.

 

2. Full text: The Report on Human Rights Violations in the United States in 2020

The 18 page report can be downloaded at this link

China pre-empted the release of our State Department Human Rights report yesterday with the release of this report on March 24. The forward begins with these quotes:

Foreword

 

“I can’t breathe!”

         — George Floyd

 

“The scenes (the U.S. Capitol building violence) we have seen are the result of lies and more lies, of division and contempt for democracy, of hatred and rabble-rousing — even from the very highest levels.”

         — German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier

 

What I think we should keep in mind when reading this report is how it is based on the transparency of the United States to include first and foremost reporting by the free press of the United States. There is nothing in this report that is not reported in the United States and not known by American citizens and the international community because of the reporting by the free press that is allow to operate freely in the US. We cannot say the same about China.

 

3. China commits ‘genocide’ against Uighurs: State Department report

Al Jazeera English

The buried lede: “At a news conference in Washington, DC, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the findings for 2020 demonstrate that in every region of the world, human rights “continue to move in the wrong direction”.

 

4.  The Taliban Think They Have Already Won, Peace Deal or Not

The New York Times · by Adam Nossiter · March 30, 2021

 

5. Top level nominees still missing at DoD, three months after last announcements

Defense News · by Aaron Mehta · March 30, 2021

This is quite a number: “Of the 61 Senate-confirmed roles at the Department of Department — known officially as presidential appointments requiring Senate confirmation jobs, or PAS — only three nominations have been put forth to date.”

 

6. These 4-Stars Want to Help Commanders Avoid Information Overload in the Next War

military.com · by Matthew Cox and Oriana Pawlyk · March 30, 2021

Excerpts:Each U.S. service is conducting experiments to test how artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies can be used to create more efficient command-and-control networks in an effort to develop the Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2.

JADC2 is meant to link the services’ radars and sensors. In the future, a fused, streamlined network could track incoming missiles and other threats and then feed targeting information to the right weapons system to destroy them much faster than today.

 

7. Congress looks to rein in Biden’s war powers

The Hill · by Jordain Carney · March 30, 2021

Excerpt: “The biggest challenge, lawmakers acknowledge, will be how to handle the 2001 authorization. It was approved by Congress just days after Sept. 11, 2001, to go after terrorist groups behind the attack. But it’s since been stretched to cover military operations in 19 countries, including against groups that didn’t even exist on 9/11.”

 

8. The U.S. Army Goes to School on Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Foreign Policy · by Jack Detsch · March 30, 2021

Intelligent people learn from the mistakes and wise people learn from the mistakes (and successes) of others.

 

9. New Edgar Snow is needed to understand real China

globaltimes.cn

A view through a Chinese Communist Party (or Communist Party of China) mouthpiece.

Conclusion: “The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC. The Chinese government has already announced various programs to celebrate it. These programs give an opportunity to rediscover the red genes of the CPC, as well as a historical opportunity for China and the world to understand each other better.

Calling for the appearance of the new Edgar Snow is not just looking forward to the arrival of another great international journalist. It is a chance to trace the origin of CPC’s strength through an international perspective. It can promote the understanding of the ideological changes in the new era both in China and the world.

 

10. Soldiers aren’t fighting Marines for a job in the Indo-Pacific, chief says

armytimes.com · by Kyle Rempfer · March 30, 2021

There is enough work for all soldiers and Marines. We need to focus on using the right forces for the right missions.

 

11. United Kingdom Restructures Special Forces Units

sof.news · by SOF News · March 29, 2021

 

12. Listen to America’s Top Commander in the Indo-Pacific and Fund the Pacific Deterrence Initiative

warontherocks.com · by Mark Montgomery and Bradley Bowman · March 31, 2021

Excerpts: “This means that, absent congressional intervention, the Guam Defense System will probably be “studied” instead of funded for the next year or two. As Washington dithers, Beijing will continue to field new missiles designed to target Guam, a threat Davidson warns will become particularly acute by 2026.

The Guam Defense System provides just one example of the funding challenges facing the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. The joint exercise programs, training and experimentation ranges, surveillance radars, and prepositioning supplies requests in the Pacific Deterrence Initiative could also run into service objections. And without overseas contingency operations funding, top-down leadership, or congressional intervention, they too will be studied and delayed or shrunken as the Chinese threat grows.

The Pacific Deterrence Initiative is a good plan. It recognizes risks, establishes priorities, identifies opportunities, and proposes the allocation of finite resources. It lays out a blueprint whereby $27 billion in targeted Pacific-specific investments over five years can play a potentially decisive role in securing America’s interests. It signals to allies and partners, and to China, that the United States is prioritizing the competition in the Pacific and making the investments necessary for credible deterrence.

Forward-positioned servicemembers closest to the Chinese threat have clearly told Washington what they need to deter aggression.

The only question now is whether the Biden administration, the Pentagon, and Congress will finally listen and act. If they do, America can protect its interests and deter aggression, saving money and lives in the long run. If Washington once again ignores the command’s warnings, Davidson’s predictions may prove tragically prescient.

 

13. US and allies question integrity of WHO-China report on coronavirus origin

Washington Examiner · by Joel Gehrke · March 30, 2021

As they should and must.

 

14. China’s rulers have a new and unimproved version of rules-based order

washingtontimes.com · by Clifford D. May

This is one of he most basic conflicts in great power competition: a fight over the rules based order.

A sobering conclusion: “In the contest for global leadership, China’s rulers enjoy a distinct advantage: They’re hungry for power. By contrast, many Americans, on both the left and the right, have grown tired of shouldering the burdens that attach to being No. 1. They’d like someone else to take a turn. At present, unfortunately, there’s only one viable candidate.

It’s often said that the Cold War ended with the defeat of Communism. In truth, it ended only with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Future generations of Americans will be ill-served if we leave them a world in which the CCP is the international hegemon making rules for a new and distinctly unfree world order.

 

15. Taiwan to buy upgraded PAC3 missiles, to be deployed by 2026

focustaiwan.tw · by Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh

 

16. We need new alliances to replace failing global institutions

The Telegraph · by Jordan Kelly-Linden

A question is can these “failing” institutions be revitalized?

Excerpts: “The EU’s inept handling of the Covid vaccination programme has laid bare the true extent of its bureaucratic incompetence, while the inability of the UN Security Council to agree on any of the world’s major challenges has brought it to the brink of obsolescence. This means Russian mercenaries can slaughter Syrian civilians at will, and China’s communist despots can take whatever territory they like in the South China Sea, as they are currently doing in their efforts to seize control of Whitsun Reef from the Philippines.

Even the Nato alliance appears to be having an existential crisis, as divisions between member states over how to deal with Beijing have prompted the organisation to broaden its horizons in search of new allies in the Asia-Pacific region, like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea.

A key factor in the sorry decline of multilateralism has been the ability of rogue regimes to undermine the credibility of institutions. The UN has shown itself to be particularly susceptible to this form of entryism, with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi managing in 2003 to secure Libya’s election as chair of the Human Rights Commission, a feat that was surpassed in 2017 when Zimbabwe’s former dictator, Robert Mugabe, was appointed a “goodwill ambassador” for the World Health Organisation.

 

17. U.S. will defend ‘human rights everywhere,’ says Blinken in departure from Trump policies

upi.com · March 30, 2021

This will be a foundational tenet of our foreign policy during this administration. As I have said, in addition to a moral imperative it is a national security issue. Authoritarian regimes (such as in north Korea) have to deny the human rights of people in order to remain in power.

 

18. Debt-trap diplomacy? Report finds China can cancel loans if displeased

SCMP · by Kinling Lo · March 31, 2021

The 85 page report can be downloaded at the link

Debt-trap diplomacy? Report finds China can cancel loans if displeased

  • China’s contracts give lenders broad scope to cancel loans or accelerate repayments 
  • if debtors’ policies are deemed contrary to Chinese interests, researchers find
  • Loans have become more secretive and usually prevent borrowers restructuring, 
  • according to ‘How China Lends’ report

 

19. Lessons from the 20th century book war (CIA versus KGB)

strifeblog.org · by Joseph Bodnar · March 31, 2021

An interesting bit of history.

 

20. The dark Prince: A short history of a very modern mercenary

spectator.us· by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos · March 27, 2021

Conclusion: “It was the American government, as part of its global effort to eradicate terror, that invented a new way of war in which nation states outsource conflict and security. Like medieval free companies or privateers with letters of marque, private military services allow governments to wage war away from the glare of the media. And isn’t that so much easier? Mercenaries break rules. They can popup and then vanish quietly. Unlike soldiers who serve their flags in uniform, private forces can fly under the public radar. That means no political price has to be paid for putting boots on the ground and volunteers in harm’s way. ‘But here’s what most people, including four-stars, don’t get about mercenaries. When you privatize war, it changes warfare,’ says Sean McFate. ‘For example, you can bribe the enemy’s mercenaries to defect. [Mercenaries] can also start and elongate wars for profit, and engage in banditry in between contracts. A world with more mercenaries is one with more war and suffering.’ It’s a world Erik Prince has helped to create, and a world in which he can carry on profiting with impunity.”

 

21.  The Wuhan Whitewash

WSJ · by The Editorial Board

 

22. China’s Social Credit System: Speculation vs. Reality

thediplomat.com · by Jessica Reilly · March 30, 2021

Conclusion: “Over the next five years, and likely well beyond, social credit is set to be used as a tool to improve the government’s economic governance capacity and domestic market conditions, as a means of promoting fair competition, strengthening market supervision, and encouraging law-adherence. In the long term, it is clear that social credit fits into the CCP’s grand designs for “data-driven governance” covering all spheres of society. What remains unclear is how integrated, far-reaching, and effective this system will be in practice and if, or how soon, we can expect ambitious social credit policy goals to turn into a reality.”

I would be very wary of the Chinese Big Brother. Power corrupts and ultimate power…. This kind of data could provide support to ultimate power…

 

23. UN chief salutes ‘crucial’ US human rights advocacy as tensions with China rise

Washington Examiner · by Joel Gehrke · March 29, 2021

Excerpts: “Beijing’s attempts to intimidate and silence those speaking out for human rights and fundamental freedoms only contribute to the growing international scrutiny of the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang,” Blinken replied Saturday evening.

Blinken’s Chinese counterpart insisted that the true outrage lies in the prospect of Western nations or corporations refusing to invest in the industries implicated in the Uyghur Muslim repression at the expense of Chinese economic growth.

“If certain Western countries insist on using human rights as a pretext to contain and suppress developing countries and attempt to deprive nonWestern countries of their right to development, this will be the greatest injustice in the history of humanity,” the foreign minister said.

 

24. People are losing their minds over Special Operation Command’s new diversity officer

taskandpurpose.com · by Jeff Schogol · March 30, 2021

 

————-

 

“Diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments.” 

– Prussian King Frederick the Great

 

“The essential thing is action. Action has three stages: the decision born of thought, the order or preparation for execution, and the execution itself. All three stages are governed by the will. The will is rooted in character, and for the man of action character is of more critical importance than intellect. Intellect without will is worthless, will without intellect is dangerous.”

– Hans von Seeckt.

 

 

“In this sad world of ours sorrow comes to all and it often comes with bitter agony. Perfect relief is not possible except with time. You cannot now believe that you will ever feel better. But this is not true. You are sure to be happy again. Knowing this, truly believing it will make you less miserable now. I have had enough experience to make this statement.”

– Abraham Lincoln

DanielRiggs
Wed, 03/31/2021 – 9:41am

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