04/09/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. China’s Techno-Authoritarianism Has Gone Global

2.  A Tiny Particle’s Wobble Could Upend the Known Laws of Physics

3.  Sens. Menendez, Risch unveil bipartisan bill to counter China

4. Commerce Adds Seven Chinese Supercomputing Entities to Entity List for their Support to China’s Military Modernization, and Other Destabilizing Efforts

5. Capitol Rioters Face the Consequences of Their Selfie Sabotage

6. Cost Imposition: The Key to Making Great Power Competition an Actionable Strategy

7. Office of the Director of National Intelligence – Global Trends

8. China’s Arrogance Is Uniting Its Rivals

9. China accuses US of ‘human rights sins’ to distract from its genocide and other human rights abuses

10. Inside secret Syria talks aimed at freeing American hostages

11. Peter Thiel Calls Bitcoin ‘a Chinese Financial Weapon’ at Virtual Roundtable

12. Fort Hood brigade commander relieved for bullying and poor judgment

13. E Pluribus Unum – A Rallying Cry for National Service

14. Naval Postgraduate School faces big budget cuts and possible reorganization.

15. GAO report sees U.S. military readiness slipping

16. Video – SOCPAC JTF 510 in the Philippines – GSOF | SOF News

17. Analysis: Al Qaeda continues to operate throughout Afghanistan

18. General Orders No. 35 – ARMY SPECIAL FORCES BRANCH

19. Rigorous CFIUS Reviews Will Continue Under Biden: How to Prepare

20. China is right not to cave to US-imposed post-WW2 global order

21. The Cold War Is Being Rebooted and Rebranded

22. Biden admin bristles as China accuses U.S. of ‘intimidation’ tactics, claims ownership of Taiwan

23. ‘Untapped weapon’: Philippine leaders warn China by touting defense treaty with US

24. ‘Untapped weapon’: Philippine leaders warn China by touting defense treaty with US

 

1. China’s Techno-Authoritarianism Has Gone Global

Foreign Affairs · by Maya Wang · April 8, 2021

Conclusion: “The U.S.-Chinese competition over technology could shape the future. If Washington is serious about protecting privacy and promoting human rights, it should seize the initiative from China by upholding these standards for everyone who uses U.S. technology, domestically and around the world.”

 

2. A Tiny Particle’s Wobble Could Upend the Known Laws of Physics

The New York Times · by Dennis Overbye · April 8, 2021

Excerpts: “There was pride that they had managed to perform such a hard measurement, and then joy that the results matched those from Brookhaven.

“This seems to be a confirmation that Brookhaven was not a fluke,” Dr. Carena, the theorist, said. “They have a real chance to break the Standard Model.”

Physicists say the anomaly has given them ideas for how to search for new particles. Among them are particles lightweight enough to be within the grasp of the Large Hadron Collider or its projected successor. Indeed, some might already have been recorded but are so rare that they have not yet emerged from the blizzard of data recorded by the instrument.

Another candidate called the Z-prime could shed light on some puzzles in the Big Bang, according to Gordan Krnjaic, a cosmologist at Fermilab.

The g-2 result, he said in an email, could set the agenda for physics in the next generation.

“If the central value of the observed anomaly stays fixed, the new particles can’t hide forever,” he said. “We will learn a great deal more about fundamental physics going forward.”

 

3. Sens. Menendez, Risch unveil bipartisan bill to counter China

Axios · by Orion Rummler

 

4. Commerce Adds Seven Chinese Supercomputing Entities to Entity List for their Support to China’s Military Modernization, and Other Destabilizing Efforts

Commerce Department · April 8, 2021

 

5.  Capitol Rioters Face the Consequences of Their Selfie Sabotage

The New York Times · by Elizabeth Williamson · April 6, 2021

These organizations will need to re-evaluate their operational security procedures.

 

6.  Cost Imposition: The Key to Making Great Power Competition an Actionable Strategy

mwi.usma.edu · by Doowan Lee · April 8, 2021

Excerpts: “To overcome these shortcomings, I offer a practitioner’s definition to concretize how we can strategize and operationalize the concept:

Great power competition is a state of antagonistic relations indicated by time, space, and material progression toward respective objective achievement between two or more great powers.

In this formulation, I posit that the main yardstick of great power competition is the temporally variable extent of a state’s competitive edge. The key is how to execute foreign policy in such a way as to create a favorable relative ratio of objective achievement over time.

In the end, this article hopes to begin a rigorous and feasible conversation for national security practitioners and planners to concretize the concept of great power competition. I offer three recommendations. First, we need to understand the CCP’s strategic priorities and policies better. Debates about the CCP’s strategic interests are driven by the most conspicuous issues. US policymakers should intimately appreciate the CCP’s grand strategy. More importantly we need to understand potential local and regional friction points to such objectives. Imposing disproportionate costs in short order will require taking advantage of emerging grievances against the CCP outside the mainland. Second, the United States should focus on countries where influence is tightly contested and the CCP is actively expanding its economic and military footprints. We see increasing local resistance to the CCP’s expansionist projects. Third, the United States should develop data-driven analytic processes to observe, measure, and track how different activities are in fact correlated with effective cost imposition in time, space, and material. Without such a system, it would be nearly impossible to optimize how we allocate our resources to outcompete the CCP. It is time that the United States established a means of measuring return of investment on great power competition.

With the Chinese economy likely to overtake that of the United States in the next seven years, the United States does not have a lot of time to learn how to practice great power competition effectively. The only way to sustain or expand American global leadership is to incorporate disproportionate cost imposition in every aspect of US foreign policy execution.”

 

7. Office of the Director of National Intelligence – Global Trends

dni.gov · by ODNI – NIC

You can access each section of the report at this link at the table of contents on the left side of the page.

Some new terminology and concepts to learn.

Five trends:

  • major demographic shifts
  • Human development
  • environment
  • several global economic trends
  • Technology will offer the potential to mitigate problem
  • Five themes appear throughout this report and underpin this overall thesis:

  • shared global challenges
  • increasing fragmentation within communities
  • disequilibrium
  • greater contestation within communities, states, and the international community
  • adaptation will be both an imperative and a key source of advantage for all actors in this world
  •  

    8. China’s Arrogance Is Uniting Its Rivals

    Bloomberg · by Hal Brands · April 8, 2021

    In any other time Xi’s views and assessment of America might create some unity against an external threat but in the current tribal divide in the US I fear we will continue our damaging and dangerous infighting.

    Excerpts: ”Xi doesn’t think much of America right now. In speeches, he has said that “the world is going through changes seen once in a century” as China rises and the U.S. falters. In a meeting with Joe Biden administration officials in Alaska last month, his diplomats ridiculed the idea that a divided, distracted America could speak to Beijing from a “position of strength.”

    A country that has suffered more than 550,000 deaths from Covid-19, that saw its capitol sacked by its own citizens, and that spent four years under President Donald Trump lashing out at the international system, is in deep trouble, Chinese propaganda organs argue. Why shouldn’t Beijing push for advantage in the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait and many other fronts at once?

    Conclusion: “Paradoxically, that’s not entirely good news for the U.S.: This realization could simply lead Xi to act more aggressively to reap the international gains he seeks — starting, perhaps, with forcible reunification with Taiwan.

    This, unfortunately, is also a historical pattern. As Michael Beckley and I have written, revisionist powers become most aggressive when their growth slows, their strategic enmities multiply, and they discover that they have only a short period of time to achieve their goals. Imperial Germany fell into this trap before World War I, Imperial Japan did likewise before World War II, and China may be following the same trajectory today.

    The scary reality of U.S.-China relations is that we may soon enter a period of even higher tensions. Overconfident autocrats who think the world is moving in their direction can be very dangerous. Desperate autocrats who suddenly realize that their window is closing can be more dangerous still.

     

    9. China accuses US of ‘human rights sins’ to distract from its genocide and other human rights abuses

    americanmilitarynews.com · by Ryan Morgan · April 8, 2021

    Note our five “sins:”

    Sin No.1:#Colonialism.

    Sin No.2:#Racism.

    Sin No.3: Exporting turmoil.

    Sin No.4:Interventionism.

    Sin No.5: Double standards.

     

    10. Inside secret Syria talks aimed at freeing American hostages

    spectrumlocalnews.com · by Associated Press Washington, D.C.

    Excerpt: “My assumption is he’s alive and he’s waiting for me to come and get him,” said Roger Carstens, a former Army Special Forces officer who attended the meeting with Patel in his capacity as U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs under Trump. He was kept in the position by Biden.

    “My job,” he added, “is to get Austin Tice back.”

     

    11. Peter Thiel Calls Bitcoin ‘a Chinese Financial Weapon’ at Virtual Roundtable

    Excerpts: “Thiel, the venture capitalist and conservative political donor, urged the U.S. government to consider tighter regulations on cryptocurrencies in an appearance on Tuesday. The statements seemed to represent a change of heart for Thiel, who is a major investor in virtual currency ventures as well as in cryptocurriences themselves.

    “I do wonder whether at this point, Bitcoin should also be thought [of] in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.,” Thiel said during an appearance at a virtual event held for members of the Richard Nixon Foundation. “It threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the U.S. dollar.” He added: “[If] China’s long Bitcoin, perhaps from a geopolitical perspective, the U.S. should be asking some tougher questions about exactly how that works.”

     

    12.  Fort Hood brigade commander relieved for bullying and poor judgment

    armytimes.com · by Kyle Rempfer · April 8, 2021

    I cannot recall a relief that specifically uses the term bullying before (although I am sure many have been relieved for bullying though it is usually couched in loss of trust and confidence or due to poor command climate).

     

    13. E Pluribus Unum – A Rallying Cry for National Service

    realcleardefense.com · by Steve Blank

    Steve Blank definitely is provoking from thought. Hacking for defense is a very good program. I saw it in action at Georgetown under the guidance of Chris Taylor who brought it from Stanford.

     

    14. Naval Postgraduate School faces big budget cuts and possible reorganization.

    montereycountyweekly.com · by Pam Marino

    Sure – let’s cut education in times of budget austerity.

    Do not forget General Schoomaker’s adage – “train for certainty, educate for uncertainty.”

    As an aside since the retirement and then passing of Ike Skelton there is no congressional champion for professional military education.

     

    15. GAO report sees U.S. military readiness slipping

    washingtontimes.com · by Mike Glenn

    Excerpts: “Every warfighting domain … is now contested as potential adversaries, most notably China and Russia, have developed and enhanced their own capabilities,” according to the report. “The GAO found that reported domain readiness did not meet readiness recovery goals identified by the military services.”

    The Pentagon defines “readiness” as the ability of U.S. military forces to fight and meet the demands of assigned missions. The GAO investigators reviewed readiness recovery plans from the Pentagon and the individual military services for fighting on land, sea, in the air, in outer space and even in cyberspace. A global mission and lengthy deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have taken their toll, the GAO reported.

    “We found that the military services had reported persistently low readiness levels, which they attributed to emerging and continued demands on their forces, reduced force structure and increased frequency and length of deployment,” the authors wrote.

     

    16. Video – SOCPAC JTF 510 in the Philippines – GSOF | SOF News

    sof.news · by SOF News · April 9, 2021

    A very interesting video with Lt Gen Wurster and LTG Fridovich discussing our operations in the Philippines.

     

    17. Analysis: Al Qaeda continues to operate throughout Afghanistan

    longwarjournal.org · by Bill Roggio · April 8, 2021

    Excerpt: :FDD’s Long War Journal has tracked al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan for well over a decade, using press releases and public statements from the US military, NATO’s command in Afghanistan, and Afghan security services, as well as the jihadist groups’ own martyrdom statements. The data clearly shows that al Qaeda and allied terrorist groups have been operating on Afghan soil for the past two decades with the approval of the Taliban. These terrorist organizations often operate in areas controlled by the Taliban – and the jihadists killed in coalition or Afghan raids often die alongside members of the Afghan Taliban. Between 2007 and 2019, NATO, US, and Afghan forces, have launched at least 373 operations against these foreign terror groups in 27 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Many of the raids against Al Qaeda and its allies have gone unreported.”

     

    18. General Orders No. 35 – ARMY SPECIAL FORCES BRANCH

    history.army.mil

    34 years ago today Special Forces was established as an official branch of the US Army.

     

    19. Rigorous CFIUS Reviews Will Continue Under Biden: How to Prepare

    news.bloomberglaw.com · by Donald F. McGahn II, Schuyler J. Schouten, and Chad R. Mizelle

     

    20. China is right not to cave to US-imposed post-WW2 global order

    asiatimes.com · by Ken Moak · April 9, 2021

    Wow. I have no words for this argument.

    Excerpts: “The proceeds raised via QE were spent on bailing out businesses and banks deemed too big to fail, allowing them to continue operating. In this sense, the US was not practicing what it preached, strengthening the argument that it had set up “debt traps” as a way to prevent developing economies from developing.

    A case in point is the US banning its technology firms from selling advanced chips to China, citing national-security reasons. The real motive, however, was to slow down if not kill Chinese technological progress. No country had ever complained about Chinese products posing a national-security threat until Trump decided to make it one, solely based on unproven or speculative evidence.

    All said and done, China is right not to follow the US-imposed postwar world order. Indeed, it could even be argued that the communist country became what it is today because China defied US-style rules and values. For this reason, China will likely continue adhering to “socialism with Chinese characteristics” as its economic development and ideological architecture.

     

    21. The Cold War Is Being Rebooted and Rebranded

    The Nation · by William Astore · April 9, 2021

     

    22. US Navy Conducts Patrol In Indian EEZ Without Consent, Announces It Publicly

    thewire.in · by The Wire Staff

    I hope there is a rest of the story to this.

     

    23. Biden admin bristles as China accuses U.S. of ‘intimidation’ tactics, claims ownership of Taiwan

    washingtontimes.com · by Guy Taylor

     

    24. ‘Untapped weapon’: Philippine leaders warn China by touting defense treaty with US

    Washington Examiner · by Joel Gehrke · April 8, 2021

    I am reminded of the little boy taunting the bully because he has a big brother he believes will come to his rescue.

    Again, is this a place for miscalculation?

     

    ———–

     

    “Too many people learn about war with no inconvenience to themselves.”

    – Guy Sajer

     

    The plan on paper was that the indirect actions were primary, and that direct action was only meant to buy space and time. But in practice, direct action came to rule the day.

     -Admiral Eric Olson, former commander of US Special Operations Command, October 8, 2020

     

    “The only way to fight the plague is with decency.”

    – Camus, The Plague

     

     

    DanielRiggs
    Fri, 04/09/2021 – 8:57am

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