04/07/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. Biden’s Great-Power Test Begins

2. Opinion | Anti-China is not anti-Asian

3. U.S. could consider boycotting 2022 Beijing Olympics with allies

4. U.S. State Department backs away from the idea of a Beijing Olympics boycott

5. Letter From Former Senior National Security, Military, and Elected Officials Calling On Congress To Create A Bipartisan 1/6 Commission

6. Opinion | What an analysis of 377 Americans arrested or charged in the Capitol insurrection tells us

7. China as a ‘cyber great power’: Beijing’s two voices in telecommunications

8. CSAF Brown On Deck For Joint Chiefs Chair: RUMINT

9. They risked their lives to help us. How Biden can fix the troubled “terp” visa program

10. Official trade activities between North Korea and China unlikely to resume in April

11. The brave few on the front line for freedom deserve America’s support

12. Impose Costs on Russia in the Information Environment

13. First flight test for US Air Force’s hypersonic booster didn’t go as planned

14. Pulling Levers, Not Triggers: Beyond Direct and Indirect Approaches to Irregular Warfare

15. A QAnon revelation suggests the truth of Q’s identity was right there all along

16. US Army’s Not ‘Stupid’ for Wanting Long-Range Fires — But More Analysis Needed, Hyten Says

17. Putin, Russia test Biden with ‘hybrid warfare’ operations in Ukraine, Arctic

18. Computer-simulated invasion will kick off Taiwan war games

19. Bitcoin: ammunition for democracy

20. US and Japan plan ‘Belt and Road’ alternative for Indo-Pacific

 

1. Biden’s Great-Power Test Begins

WSJ · by The Editorial Board

From the Wall Street Journal editorial board. Will the Philippines be the flashpoint for miscalculation and conflict?

 

2. Opinion | Anti-China is not anti-Asian

The Washington Post · by  Tenzin Dorjee · April 6, 2021

Some would say a “culture of intervention” dominates our foreign policy.

Excerpt: “To be sure, criticism of the Chinese government by policymakers in Washington has escalated in recent years. But the overwhelming volume of the rhetoric targeting Beijing has been prompted not by abstract geopolitical competition but by tangible grievances, including China’s genocide in Xinjiang, intensifying repression in Tibet, dismantling of democracy in Hong Kong and sweeping crackdown on Chinese civil society. Some of Beijing’s harshest critics are Asian Americans. Uyghur refugees, Hong Kong democrats, Chinese dissidents and Tibetan exiles such as myself, whose communities back home reel under Beijing’s boot, are urging Congress to censure China for its crimes. Asking lawmakers of conscience to hold their tongue on Beijing’s genocide to supposedly prevent racial violence here is to set up a false trade-off between Asian American safety and Uyghur lives, both of which should be treated as nonnegotiable.

Conclusion: “Instead of allowing one tragedy to silence another, we should pledge never to be silent bystanders, neither to hate crimes in this country nor to crimes against humanity abroad. If we are serious about ending this epidemic of racial violence, we should invest in a culture of intervention rather than a conspiracy of silence.”

 

3. U.S. could consider boycotting 2022 Beijing Olympics with allies

Axios · by Jacob Knutson

This is now apparently being walked back but I wonder if this is either a trial balloon or part of an influence campaign to pressure China.

 

4. U.S. State Department backs away from the idea of a Beijing Olympics boycott

CNBC · by Amanda Macias · April 6, 2021

 

5.  Letter From Former Senior National Security, Military, and Elected Officials Calling On Congress To Create A Bipartisan 1/6 Commission

Medium · by Former Nat’l Security, Military, & Elected Officials · April 6, 2021

 

6. Opinion | What an analysis of 377 Americans arrested or charged in the Capitol insurrection tells us

The Washington Post · by Robert A. Pape · April 6, 2021

Some fascinating data and analysis. We need to be cautious about the conclusions drawn from this.

 

7. China as a ‘cyber great power’: Beijing’s two voices in telecommunications

The Brookings Institution · by Rush Doshi, Emily de La Bruyère, Nathan Picarsic, and John Ferguson · April 5, 2021

The 32 page report can be downloaded here:

A 10 page “handout” is available here.  

 

8. CSAF Brown On Deck For Joint Chiefs Chair: RUMINT

breakingdefense.com · by Theresa Hitchens

He is a very impressive leader.

 

9. They risked their lives to help us. How Biden can fix the troubled “terp” visa program

militarytimes.com · by Meghann Myers and Janis Shinwari · April 6, 2021

Our dependence on indigenous interpreters can create a moral hazard.  This is something that really needs to be understood as an inherent part of military operations and diplomacy and it must be understood from day 1 of military operations and we must anticipate what is likely to happen down the road.  I hope we are never again blindsided by the effects we create because of our dependency.

 

10. Official trade activities between North Korea and China unlikely to resume in April

dailynk.com · by Seulkee Jang · April 7, 2021

This is critical to relieving the pressure on the economy and to help lessen the suffering of the Korean people if it is accompanied with relief from the draconian population and resources control measures imposed by the regime in the name of COVID mitigation.

 

11. The brave few on the front line for freedom deserve America’s support

washingtontimes.com · by Clifford D. May

A powerful, important, and sobering conclusion: “Freedom House notes that proponents of authoritarianism — including those within democratic states — “are both cheering the breakdown of democracy and exacerbating it, pitting themselves against the brave groups and individuals who have set out to reverse the damage.”

“Governments that understand the value of democracy, including the new administration in Washington, have a responsibility to band together to deliver on its benefits, counter its adversaries, and support its defenders,” Freedom House urges. “They must also put their own houses in order to shore up their credibility and fortify their institutions against politicians and other actors who are willing to trample democratic principles in the pursuit of power.”

I find it difficult to disagree. But I also find it difficult to imagine any of the current crop of elected leaders, including the new administration in Washington, doing what is necessary to shift the “international balance” away from tyranny.

 

12. Impose Costs on Russia in the Information Environment

usni.org · by Travis Florio · April 6, 2021

Excerpts:Another strategy to confront Russian information warfare is public disclosure of the activity and education of U.S. civilians—particularly as it relates to cyber and influence. DoD has used this in the past to expose Russian malign activity, bringing more scrutiny of Russian fake news to reduce the influence of the message. Cyber Command’s hunt-forward operations have also exposed Russian cyber tactics, forcing Russia to react and investigate how its malware was discovered. These countermeasures should continue, with hunt-forward operations conducted robustly overseas in partnership with U.S. allies.

National deterrence policy and strategy are just as important now as they were in the Cold War, only the weapons have changed. The United States can create multiple dilemmas and impose costs on Moscow by investing in human capital, siphoning Russian cyber talent, using protest potential, and continuing hunt-forward operations in coordination with Eastern European allies—while avoiding engaging in wasteful counterpropaganda efforts. Russia wants to operate in a gray area, and it will chip away at United States democracy and hegemony until met with an equal or greater force.

 

13. First flight test for US Air Force’s hypersonic booster didn’t go as planned

Defense News · by Valerie Insinna · April 6, 2021

But we often learn more from failed tests than successful ones.

 

14. Pulling Levers, Not Triggers: Beyond Direct and Indirect Approaches to Irregular Warfare

mwi.usma.edu · by Cole Livieratos · April 7, 2021

Another important essay that hopefully will drive important discussions.

Excerpts: “A better way to improve our approaches to irregular warfare would be to abandon the idea of direct and indirect approaches altogether. Though they still have utility in planning for conventional warfare, the simplistic division has limited our creativity and strategy in irregular warfare. Instead of creating a single division between irregular warfare approaches, the military should consider a more nuanced typology of irregular warfare. The typology should primarily focus on forms of power applied, such as coercion, inducement, or persuasion, and the intended effect, such as to enable, assure, compel, deter, or destroy. A more complicated typology could add additional variables, such as the primary and secondary audiences affected by US actions. More complicated typologies sacrifice the ability to describe an approach in simple and abstract terms, but they would force more creativity and place more focus on how to apply power rather than which means should be applied.

The United States has not learned how to effectively influence populations or affect legitimacy even though it has been waging irregular warfare continuously for the past two decades. The US military underinvests in forces and capabilities built for noncoercive influence, such as information and psychological operations. At the same time, it overapplies coercive force, falsely believing that defeating armed adversaries, either unilaterally or with a partner, is the same as building legitimacy. The US military needs to completely reconceptualize its approaches to irregular warfare by focusing on the type of power employed and its intended effect rather than the means used to apply power. China, Russia, and Iran are destabilizing threats not because they can apply coercive force more successfully than the United States, but because they do not have to in order to advance their agendas. To effectively influence populations and build US legitimacy in competition with these adversaries, the United States military needs to ask which levers should be pulled rather than who should pull the trigger.”

 

15. A QAnon revelation suggests the truth of Q’s identity was right there all along

The Washington Post · by Drew Harwell and Craig Timberg · April 5, 2021

I wonder if QAnon followers will ever learn they have been the victims of the biggest con in the modern internet era.

A QAnon revelation suggests the truth of Q’s identity was right there all along

The extremist movement’s leader had purported to be a top-secret government operative. But a possible slip-up in a new documentary about QAnon suggests that Q was actually Ron Watkins, the longtime administrator of the 8kun message board.

 

16. US Army’s Not ‘Stupid’ for Wanting Long-Range Fires — But More Analysis Needed, Hyten Says

Science & Tech · by Patrick Tucker · April 6, 2021

The Vice trying to clean up the battlefield.

 

17. Putin, Russia test Biden with ‘hybrid warfare’ operations in Ukraine, Arctic

washingtontimes.com · by Guy Taylor

Excerpts: “Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday that U.S. military officials are well aware of Russia’s Arctic activities as build-up.

“Without getting into specific intelligence assessments, obviously we’re monitoring it very closely,” Mr. Kirby said. “[We] obviously recognize that the region is key terrain that’s vital to our own homeland defense and as a potential strategic corridor between the Indo-Pacific, Europe and the homeland — which would make it vulnerable to expanded competition.”

Mr. Kirby said the administration is “committed to protecting our U.S. national security interests in the Arctic by upholding a rules-based order in the region, particularly through our network of Arctic allies and partners who share the same deep mutual interests that we do.”

Mr. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, countered Tuesday that Mr. Putin sees the placement of Russian troops in the Arctic as “absolutely necessary.”

“The Arctic zone is a very important region of the Russian Federation, which applies both to our borders and to our special economic zone,” Mr. Peskov said. “The economic potential is growing from year to year, you know that there are general plans for national development in the Arctic zone, and all this is being consistently implemented.”

 

18. Computer-simulated invasion will kick off Taiwan war games

SCMP · April 7, 2021

Will there be an asymmetric and irregular warfare line of effort?  Will there be a resistance component among the population?

Computer-simulated invasion will kick off Taiwan war games

  • Exercises will run 24 hours a day in first phase of Taipei’s largest annual military drills which start on April 23
  • All possible scenarios of an invasion on the island will be simulated, according to defence ministry

 

19. Bitcoin: ammunition for democracy

Taipei Times · by James Lee · April 5, 2021

 

20.  US and Japan plan ‘Belt and Road’ alternative for Indo-Pacific

asia.nikkei.com Rieko Miki

 

 

————–

 

There are two things that must be rooted out in all human beings – arrogant opinion and mistrust. Arrogant opinion expects that there is nothing further needed, and mistrust assumes that under the torrent of circumstance there can be no happiness.” 

– Epictetus

 

“The great part of our happiness depends on our dispositions., and not on circumstances. We carry the seeds with us in our minds wherever we go.” 

– Martha Washington

 

“Endure and persist. The pain will do you good.”

-Ovid

 

DanielRiggs
Wed, 04/07/2021 – 11:21am

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