06/02/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

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

1. Official Talks DOD Policy Role in Chinese Pacing Threat, Integrated Deterrence

2. Are Special Envoys All That Special Anymore?

3. US Indo-Pacific commander reaffirms alliance with Japan amid China territorial claims

4. US to hand Bagram base to Afghan forces in 20 days, says official

5. China’s destruction of Uyghur cultural property evidence of ‘genocidal intent’, UK MPs declare

6. US-China blame game revived with new lab-leak probe

7. Cyberattack hits world’s largest meat supplier

8. Oops! Paratroopers raid Bulgarian olive oil factory by mistake

9. Biden’s China obsession could be the undoing of America

10. Japan’s rising-sun uniform sparks controversy

11. US secretary of state warns Pacific leaders about ‘coercion’ in veiled swipe at China

12. Analysis | The pandemic is getting worse, even when it seems like it’s getting better

13. Microwave weapons that could cause Havana Syndrome exist, experts say

14. US Army’s $5.5 wish list to Congress seeks to restore tough cuts made to protect force modernization

15. The Quad in the Indo-Pacific: What to Know

16. Identity Politics With Chinese Characteristics

17. The Declaration of Independence: A ‘New’ Framework for U.S. Foreign Policy?

18. Political Will: The Most Crucial Element in Foreign Affairs

19. The Conspiracy Theory of Society

20. Special Operations News Update – Tuesday, June 1, 2021 | SOF News

 

1. Official Talks DOD Policy Role in Chinese Pacing Threat, Integrated Deterrence

defense.gov · by Jim Garamone

I understand “integrated deterrence” is going to be the new buzz phrase. I hope that it will include the use of SOF in unconventional deterrence based on developing resistance operating concepts in select countries.

Excerpts:Kahl spoke of the importance of integrated deterrence. “As we work on the national defense strategy, this concept of integrated deterrence will be a cornerstone of that approach,” he said.

Austin envisions this as integrating deterrence across domains of competition and conflict. The military already does a good job with this in the more conventional domains of land, sea and air. But integrated deterrence will include space and cyber domains and the informational world as well. “These are areas, frankly, where our peer competitors are pressing us, and we have hard thinking to do,” Kahl said.

Integrated deterrence also must be effective across the spectrum of conflict. He said. Russia and China will often operate in the “grey zone” short of conflict. “How do we deter and operate in that environment?” Kahl asked.

 

2. Are Special Envoys All That Special Anymore?

Foreign Policy · by Robbie Gramer · June 1, 2021

Special is a word used too much. (perhaps starting with special operations and Special Forces!!)

But can we wean ourselves off of them? Can’t most of the work being done by these special envoys and representatives be done by the diplomats who have existing portfolios in these areas? When there was a rumor there might be no special representative for north Korea, the critics saying this shows a lack of focus and priority on north Korea. (it might have even caused north Korea to act out in frustration for not being a priority!). My early thought was that Ambassador Kim appointed acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Pacific so he could oversee and participate in the Korea policy review and development. When there were rumors there might be no special representative appointed, my thought was the President would nominate Ambassador Kim to be the assistant Secretary and he would perform the duties of special representative from that position and thus there would be no need for a separate special representative.

That said in many cases these special representatives and envoys can be important for messaging and signaling priorities and some may be more empowered than those career personnel in existing key positions. And non-US target audiences may give the appointment of special representatives and envoys more legitimacy than career personnel in routine diplomatic positions.

 

3. US Indo-Pacific commander reaffirms alliance with Japan amid China territorial claims

militarytimes.com · by Mari Yamaguchi · June 1, 2021

 

4. US to hand Bagram base to Afghan forces in 20 days, says official

news.yahoo.com

I am sure the professional logisticians have the withdrawal well planned out but without knowing any other details I would think we would want to maintain access to airports of debarkation/embarkation for as long as possible to retain agility and flexibility.

 

5. China’s destruction of Uyghur cultural property evidence of ‘genocidal intent’, UK MPs declare

UPI · by Riah Pryor

 

6. US-China blame game revived with new lab-leak probe

asiatimes.com · by Melissa Conley Tyler · June 2, 2021

We should recall how China has tried to control the narrative. Back in January 2020 China first called the coronavirus the Wuhan virus and Wuhan pneumonia. Within days it changed the narrative despite the long custom naming the virus for the location in which they were discovered.

Was even that part of a possible “cover-up” and did the Chinese know the virus came from the lab?

 

7. Cyberattack hits world’s largest meat supplier

NBC News · by  June 1, 2021

Hitting us where it hurts, in our stomachs.

 

8. Oops! Paratroopers raid Bulgarian olive oil factory by mistake

armytimes.com · by Todd South · June 2, 2021

I guess this is one time the rule of LGOPs backfired.

Rule of LGOPs

After the demise of the best Airborne plan, a most terrifying effect occurs on the battlefield.

This effect is known as the Rule of LGOPs. This is, in its purest Normandy_1944 form, small groups of 19- year old American Paratroopers. They are well-trained, armed-to-the-teeth and lack serious adult supervision. They collectively remember the Commander’s intent as “March to the sound of the guns and kill anyone who is not dressed like you…” …or something like that. Happily they go about the day’s work…

The Rule of LGOPs is instructive:

– They shared a common vision

– The vision was simple, easy to understand, and unambiguous

– They were trained to improvise and take the initiative

– They need to be told what to do; not how to do it

The Rule of LGOPs is, of course, a metaphor for resilience. All Armies, by the way, believe their soldiers are the best, the bravest, the most noble. But not all are the most resilient or adaptable. To be sure, I am not denigrating planning. Whether that structured thought effort is military, homeland security, or risk assessment, which I include as a type of planning. But anticipation must go hand in glove with adaptability.  Life is full of surprises.

 

9. Biden’s China obsession could be the undoing of America

asiatimes.com · by George Koo · June 2, 2021

Obsession? How about a healthy respect for the competition and threat and a commitment to protecting US interests?

 

10. Japan’s rising-sun uniform sparks controversy

DONGA · by Heon-Jae Lee

Of course this would be criticized by Korea.

It has been pointed out that the uniform of the Japanese national golf team participating in the Tokyo Olympics features design reminiscent of the Rising Sun Flag.

The Japan Golf Association held a press conference to unveil the national golf team uniform on Monday. But the uniform of the Japanese women’s national golf team unveiled on the website of the association featured stripes at angle of 45 degrees that was reminiscent of the Rising Sun Flag. Michiko Hatori, Japanese women’s national golf team coach, explained that the uniform basically represents rising sun in Japan with the slanting stripes. The Rising Sun Flag is considered a symbol of Japanese militarism but Japan has been insisting that it is a traditional design that is meant to bring luck.

 

11. US secretary of state warns Pacific leaders about ‘coercion’ in veiled swipe at China

The Guardian · by Kate Lyons · June 2, 2021

I hate to beat a dead horse but here are my thoughts: China seeks to export its authoritarian political system around the world in order to dominate regions, co-opt or coerce international organizations, create economic conditions favorable to China alone, and displace democratic institutions.

 

12. Analysis | The pandemic is getting worse, even when it seems like it’s getting better

The Washington Post · by Ishaan Tharoor · June 2, 2021

Oh no!

Excerpts: “Covid-19 won’t end with a bang or a parade,” wrote Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh. “Throughout history, pandemics have ended when the disease ceases to dominate daily life and retreats into the background like other health challenges.”

But the pandemic is hardly in retreat elsewhere. The emergence of more virulent variants of the virus in countries like Brazil and India and the slowness of vaccination efforts in many places outside the West have contributed to deadly new waves. Coronavirus case counts worldwide are already higher in 2021 than they were in 2020. The death toll almost certainly will be.

Now, time is of the essence, as more transmissible variants appear to be burning rapidly through societies without much immunological protection. “It is, of course, understandable that every nation wants to vaccinate its own first, but a country with high levels of vaccination, especially among its more vulnerable populations, can hold things off, especially if they also had big outbreaks before,” wrote Zeynep Tufekci in the New York Times, arguing that wealthier nations like the United States should be actively prioritizing providing for other countries over its own population. “In addition, excess stockpiles can go where they are needed without even slowing down existing vaccination programs.”

Anthony S. Fauci, the leading infectious-disease expert in the United States, appeared to recognize the broader threat. “As long as there is some degree of activity throughout the world, there’s always a danger of variants emerging and diminishing somewhat the effectiveness of our vaccines,” he told the Guardian.

 

13. Microwave weapons that could cause Havana Syndrome exist, experts say

The Guardian · by Julian Borger · June 2, 2021

I met with a US diplomat who had to leave Cuba before her tour was up because of the effects she suffered prior to the pandemic. Her story seemed very credible to me. There was no doubt she was suffering debilitating effects that could not be explained by other causes.

 

14. US Army’s $5.5 wish list to Congress seeks to restore tough cuts made to protect force modernization

Defense News · by Jen Judson · June 1, 2021

Ah yes, the old UFR list.

 

15.  The Quad in the Indo-Pacific: What to Know

cfr.org · by Sheila A. Smith

A short tutorial.

 

16. Identity Politics With Chinese Characteristics

Foreign Affairs · by Odd Arne Westad · June 1, 2021

Key points:At the same time, however, most Chinese today believe that the international order is rigged against China. For more than 500 years, this thinking goes, Europeans have taken possession of the world. They have wiped out native peoples and enslaved others, colonized vast swaths of the globe, and taken control of natural resources. The so-called liberal order that these Europeans and their descendants have constructed is thus blatantly unfair—not just because it was built on wealth and power gained through genocide, colonialism, and slavery but also because by the time China became a global power, the institutions and norms of the Western-dominated order were already firmly in place. China and the Chinese, in this view, will always be second-rate in such a world.

It is difficult for foreigners to disabuse Chinese of this notion. Many Chinese find it laughable when Westerners concede that their societies were deeply illiberal for centuries but then insist that they are wholly different today. Meanwhile, Western governments feed the darker undercurrents of Chinese nationalism by frequently disregarding the very norms, values, and institutions they claim to defend.

It is hard, however, to see where such a dim view of the status quo will take China, except toward a form of international nihilism. The CCP seems to understand this as well, as the party struggles to suppress unlicensed ultranationalist groups within China. After all, extreme, chauvinistic nationalism could be easily turned against the party and its rule, as happened when Russia abolished the Soviet Union. For that reason, despite Hayton’s bleak account of the origins of the CCP’s identity politics, there is some reason to hope that pure self-preservation may eventually lead the party toward a less strident form of nationalism. No one, however, should expect that to happen anytime soon.

 

17. The Declaration of Independence: A ‘New’ Framework for U.S. Foreign Policy?

19fortyfive.com · by Andrew Bibb · June 1, 2021

Excerpts: “The first step in identifying a cohesive philosophy for international engagement is to understand the character of our own nation. Foreign policy expert Angelo Codevilla teaches that “the arts of diplomacy, economic suasion, influence, and war are means by which to move other countries. They are logically subordinate to decisions about the ends proper to one’s own country and prudent in its circumstances.” Lieutenant General (Retired) Charles T. Cleveland, former commanding general of US Army Special Operations Command, agrees that even the way we wage war should “reflect who we are as a people, our diversity, our moral code, and our undying belief in freedom and liberty.”

Respecting the tension that exists between universal human equality and duty to one’s own countrymen, the Declaration’s authors emphasize that they reached their decision to take up arms only after exhausting every diplomatic avenue available. It was not until their “repeated Petitions” had been answered by “repeated injury” that war became necessary. The American way is not one of conquest, but of assertiveness when necessary and peace when possible. For us might does not make right. Strength is only proper when subordinated to goodness and truth. It was not enough for the Declaration’s signers to affirm what circumstances “are,” detached from any moral considerations. They found their justification in recognizing what “ought to be.”

The closing lines of the Declaration do not qualify any of the preceding statements or build in any room for excuses for the potential failure of its enterprise. Its signers assume full responsibility for their actions and any consequences that follow. With “a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,” they commit in no uncertain terms to see the mission through or perish in the process.

This only scratches the surface of the vast cohesive and magnanimous philosophy to be gleaned from the Declaration by foreign policy professionals who seek to guide their strategic assumptions by foundational presuppositions. Strategic assumptions in support of cohesive foreign policy may only be made within the context of sound philosophy as a framework for action. Most importantly, if our oath to the Constitution means anything it means taking the Declaration’s philosophy seriously, for it is the very purpose of the Constitution we swear to support and defend.

 

18. Political Will: The Most Crucial Element in Foreign Affairs

19fortyfive.com · by Jason Hyland · June 1, 2021

Excerpts:Americans are no longer the lone Atlas astride the globe. They have real competition. Despite having fearsome military capabilities, the Soviet Union never even competed with the United States economically, and lacked the soft power of Hollywood. America is still the greatest Superpower but its relative power has changed dramatically – no longer is half of the world’s GDP from the United States, now it is less than one-quarter. America still faster than the other athletes on the field, but can no longer assume it will always prevail if it puts substantial resources into the test. Political will can prove a tough nut to crack. A hard-nosed calculation of political has become even more important – the United States – and all nations — should conserve its power for those contests in which national security is most affected, and where they have the likelihood of prevailing. Americans can continue to use up their energy on promoting those values where there is strong resistance, if we accept the cost to us – at least our public should know that cost – and to the people we are seeking to help.

In this tough post- post-Cold War world, the United States faces a very different strategic environment, and sometimes people shrug at this Atlas. A keen appreciation for political will be essential so the United States can decide where to put its resources, where to place its bets, how it can best share those values with the world, how to be successful in the long run.

 

19.  The Conspiracy Theory of Society

realclearscience.com · by Ross Pomeroy

I still find it incredible that 15% of Americans actually believe these QAnon conspiracy theories.

 

20. Special Operations News Update – Tuesday, June 1, 2021 | SOF News

sof.news · by SOF News · June 1, 2021

 

————

 

“Your first task as a strategist is to widen your concept of the enemy, to include in that group those who are working against you, thwarting you, even in subtle ways.”

– Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies Of War

 

“Anyone who has ever studied the history of American diplomacy, especially military diplomacy, knows that you might start in a war with certain things on your mind as a purpose of what you are doing, but in the end, you found yourself fighting for entirely different things that you had never thought of before … In other words, war has a momentum of its own and it carries you away from all thoughtful intentions when you get into it. Today, if we went into Iraq, like the president would like us to do, you know where you begin. You never know where you are going to end.”

– George F. Kennan

 

“If you hate a person, then you’re defeated by them.“ 

– Confucius

DanielRiggs
Wed, 06/02/2021 – 12:58pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *