06/06/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. France marks 77-years since D-Day landings in Normandy

2. Biden’s diplomacy first approach put to the test

3. U.S. will not let Taiwan stand alone: visiting senator

4. Afghan forces will be gutted without U.S. contractors to fix planes

5. Unity Will Be ‘Key Message’ in Biden’s First International Trip

6. America remains indispensable

7. China to build 435km railroad across Tibet as a ‘gift’ on Communist Party’s 100th birthday

8. 2022 Defense Budget: The Future of the U.S. Military Is Now Clear

9. Trump Criticizes Biden Policies, Calls for Reparations From China for Covid-19

10. Strategic Training Advantage: How US Foreign Training Programs Enhance National Defense

11. Harsh weather conditions force China to rotate 90% troops deployed against India

12. Culture war on the military

13. Did the Army hire an astrologer?

14. A Leader’s Guide to Navigating Social Media in the Military

15. Facebook teams up with Asia Foundation to combat online hate

16.  Opinion | Joe Biden: My trip to Europe is about America rallying the world’s democracies

17. Communism is evolving. But the new version isn’t any less toxic than the old

 

1. France marks 77-years since D-Day landings in Normandy

euronews.com · June 6, 2021

Halt, take a knee, face out, and drink some water. And remember what those who came before us did on this day. Think about the enormity of this operation and the death and destruction it wrought and the sacrifices and great men and women to bring freedom to the world.

 

2. Biden’s diplomacy first approach put to the test

Axios · by Hans Nichols

The headline makes me think about what if a diplomacy first approach fails the test? Do we revert back to a military first approach?  

The bottom line: Practicing diplomacy is much harder than talking about diplomacy.

​It makes me think about this famous quote (from the “Friends of Edde Coyle”): “Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid​.​”

Foreign affairs is tough but it is even tougher without diplomacy first.​ When would we not want diplomacy first? And even if it appears to “fail” in some instances (or even in the instance in the article below) it should not mean that we abandon it for something else. For “military first politics?” 

 

3. U.S. will not let Taiwan stand alone: visiting senator

focustaiwan.tw · by Matt Yu, Sophia Yeh and Chiang Yi-ching

This senate delegation is making a lot of foreign policy during this Asia trip.

 

4. Afghan forces will be gutted without U.S. contractors to fix planes

NBC News · by Dan De Luce · June 6, 2021

How will contractors be secured if they remain following the US troop withdrawal?

Excerpts: “We’re talking about the more or less grounding of the Afghan Air Force,” said Bradley Bowman, senior director of the center on military and political power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank.

Air power is arguably the Afghan government’s main competitive edge in its fight with the Taliban, said Bowman, a former Army officer and Black Hawk helicopter pilot who served in Afghanistan. “If we don’t help them maintain those aircraft, then the Afghan security forces will be deprived of that advantage and that could have a decisive impact on the battlefield and ultimately on the state of the Afghan government.”

Under the U.S.-Taliban deal signed last year during the Trump administration, the U.S. pledged to withdraw all American and allied troops as well as all non-diplomatic staff including “trainers, advisers, and supporting services personnel.”

When President Barack Obama withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, defense contractors remained in the country.

Pentagon officials and senior military officers have told lawmakers at congressional hearings that the administration is looking at “options” for supporting the Afghan security forces from afar, possibly by repairing equipment outside the country or by providing assistance remotely. But the clock is ticking on the U.S. exit, with the withdrawal at nearly the halfway point as American troops hand over bases across the country, and Afghan officials are scrambling to find an alternative solution.

Afghan officials have yet to announce any new arrangements with outside firms to maintain U.S.-supplied aircraft and military equipment.

 

5. Unity Will Be ‘Key Message’ in Biden’s First International Trip

defenseone.com · by Jacqueline Feldscher

Excerpts: “Sloat predicted that the joint statement made to press at the end of the NATO summit will note a lot of progress on efforts ranging from cybersecurity to Russia to climate, all priorities that the president will also discuss with NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg when the latter visits the White House on Monday.

“If I told you everything we were pushing and working on now, then we wouldn’t have anything interesting to announce next week,” Sloat said. “I think we’re going to have a very robust communique that is coming out of this summit.”

For the Putin meeting, Biden will seek common ground with Moscow where it’s in America’s best interest, said Eric Green, the senior Russia director and central Asia on the National Security Council. Green said the president would bring up strategic stability and nuclear weapons, while also condemning Moscow for holding American citizens captive, restricting diplomacy, and invading parts of Ukraine.

“Our goal is to restore predictability and stability in the relationship. We believe there’s no substitute for leader-to-leader engagement, particularly in an engagement that is as complex as this,” he said.

 

6. America remains indispensable

The Korea Times by Joschka Fischer · June 6, 2021

A view from Germany.

Conclusion: “That leaves only the U.S. Despite its past foreign-policy blunders, it is the only country with both the necessary political mindset and the technological, economic, and military power to exert a moderating influence in the region. The worst outcome for the international order would be a continuing U.S. inclination toward self-isolation. Trump’s presidency already proved how dangerous that can be.”

 

7. China to build 435km railroad across Tibet as a ‘gift’ on Communist Party’s 100th birthday

republicworld.com · by Ananya Varma · June 6, 2021

Be wary of gifts.

 

8. 2022 Defense Budget: The Future of the U.S. Military Is Now Clear

The National Interest · by Sebastien Roblin · June 6, 2021

Excerpts:Setting aside about $38 billion allocated to the defense-related programs in the Department of Energy and other agencies, the proposed budget dedicates $715 billion dollars to the Department of Defense, a 1.6 percent increase over the $703.7 billion 2020 budget, in line with inflation. That means it’s essentially a flat budget, to the dismay of left- and right-wing lawmakers for opposite reasons. The new budget, incidentally, also includes a 2.7 percent pay raise for personnel.

Republicans favored increased defense spending for military competition with a rising China. More left-leaning Democrats wanted spending cuts, arguing that U.S. spending dwarfed that of adversaries, encouraged military adventurism, and detracted from providing for the welfare of American citizens. The flat budget is thus a predictable outcome of Biden’s centrist inclinations.

 

9. Trump Criticizes Biden Policies, Calls for Reparations From China for Covid-19

WSJ · by Alex Leary

Reparations? Snowball. Chance. Hell.

 

10.  Strategic Training Advantage: How US Foreign Training Programs Enhance National Defense

The National Interest · by Christopher P. Mulder · June 3, 2021

One of the important comparative advantages over the revisionist and rogue powers.

Conclusion​: “It is imperative the U.S. takes advantage of existing foreign training programs, opportunities, and exercises by strengthening and even expanding them. New opportunities are bound to arise as allies and partners are courted by the U.S. to mitigate China and Russia’s nefarious activity. Let’s seize the advantage to “lead with diplomacy” by training alongside our allies and partners in traditional and non-traditional methods. COVID interrupted foreign training partnerships and generally strained relationships. As the world emerges from the COVID slumber, the U.S. should harness the strategic training advantage by codifying it in the next NDS. Embracing a robust foreign training program mindset, as exemplified in North Texas at ENJJPT, will widen and strengthen the strategic training advantage the US, along with its allies and partners, has over our great competitors.

We should all look for emerging opportunities to strengthen relationships, partnerships, capability, capacity, and technological interoperability; foreign training programs are a great place to star

 

11.  Harsh weather conditions force China to rotate 90% troops deployed against India

indiatoday.in · by Manjeet Negi · June 6, 2021

 

12. Culture war on the military

Washington Examiner · by Mackubin Owens · June 4, 2021

Excerpts:The suggestion that white supremacy and extremism are rampant in the military undermines the military ethos. Both political officials and senior officers owe it to the country in general and the military forces to define extremism, identify actual cases, and provide data supporting their claim that a real problem does, in fact, exist — or stop tarring the service (or allowing it to be tarred).

These sorts of issues demonstrate that contrary to Ms. Schake’s claim in her tweet to Sen. Cruz, the U.S. military is already engaged in the culture wars and, indeed, is fighting for its very survival. The military ethos is under assault both from within and without. Can the military remain a trusted and respected institution if it becomes a figure of fun, mocked as another example of wokeness?

I believe the answer is no. The U.S. military claims to be a “profession.” But instead of defending its professional ethos, the Pentagon is revealing itself to be just another failed government bureaucracy pursuing its budgetary self-interest.

The ethos of the United States military has served the republic well. The burden of proof is on those who would undermine it in the name of the prevailing concept of diversity. Responsible political leaders and military officers themselves, both active and retired, are obligated to require those who would change it to prove that those changes will not further undermine the very purpose of the military: victory on the battlefield. The battlefield mocks diversity. It will be of little consolation to us if a defeated U.S. military was diverse enough to meet the demands of progressives.

 

13.  Did the Army hire an astrologer?

armytimes.com · by Sarah Sicard · June 4, 2021

:-). Did some unauthorized person get ahold of the Army’s Instagram account? Or did an authorized person make unauthorized posts? Perhaps only the stars know.

 

14. A Leader’s Guide to Navigating Social Media in the Military

fromthegreennotebook.com · by Connor Collins · June 5, 2021

 

15.  Facebook teams up with Asia Foundation to combat online hate

easterneye.biz  · by Shilpa Sharma  ·  June 5, 2021

Excerpts: “The website is currently available in English and will be launched in Bengali, Thai and Urdu in the coming weeks. It will be made available in more languages in the future, the statement said.

“At Facebook, we aim to identify and remove harmful content from our platforms as quickly as possible — and we’ve made good progress in this area. But this is just one part of the solution. It’s equally important to enable constructive dialogue and encourage counter speech in order to promote social cohesion and counter offline harm,” the blog said.

In the second half of the year, ‘The Resiliency Initiative’ will work with civil society organisations in Asia Pacific to develop their social resilience campaigns to combat hate online. It will also help in expanding the reach of the programme to new communities in the region.

 

16. Opinion | Joe Biden: My trip to Europe is about America rallying the world’s democracies

The Washington Post · by Joe Biden · June 5, 2021  

I would also ask who opposes democracy?

Excerpts: “In my phone calls with President Putin, I have been clear and direct. The United States does not seek conflict. We want a stable and predictable relationship where we can work with Russia on issues like strategic stability and arms control. That’s why I acted immediately to extend the New START treaty for five years and bolster the security of the American people and the world.

At the same time, I have also imposed meaningful consequences for behaviors that violate U.S. sovereignty, including interference in our democratic elections. And President Putin knows that I will not hesitate to respond to future harmful activities. When we meet, I will again underscore the commitment of the United States, Europe and like-minded democracies to stand up for human rights and dignity.

This is a defining question of our time: Can democracies come together to deliver real results for our people in a rapidly changing world? Will the democratic alliances and institutions that shaped so much of the last century prove their capacity against modern-day threats and adversaries? I believe the answer is yes. And this week in Europe, we have the chance to prove it.

 

17.  Communism is evolving. But the new version isn’t any less toxic than the old

The Telegraph · by India McTaggart

I cast my vote for democracies. 🙂 

Communism is evolving. But the new version isn’t any less toxic than the old

If identity politics takes over from traditional Marxism, it will be every bit as repressive and intolerant as its predecessor.

 

—————

 

“Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely … I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

– General Dwight Eisenhower, in a message to troops before Normandy

 

​“All that remained on the beach was some sniping and artillery fire, and the occasional startling blast of a mine geysering brown sand into the air … That plus the bodies of soldiers lying in rows covered with blankets, the toes of their shoes sticking up in a line as though on drill. And other bodies, uncollected, still sprawling grotesquely in the sand or half hidden by the high grass beyond the beach. That plus an intense, grim determination of work-weary men to get this chaotic beach organised and get all the vital supplies and the reinforcements moving more rapidly over it from the stacked-up ships standing in droves out to sea. Now that it is over it seems to me a pure miracle that we ever took the beach at all.”

– Ernie Pyle, D-Day column, excerpts from ‘Ernie’s War: The Best of Ernie Pyle’s World War II Dispatches’

 

To the Resistance:

“London calling with Frenchmen speaking to their countrymen… London calling with messages for our friends…” 

“Wound My Heart With Monotonous Languor” 

“John Has A Long Mustache” 

“The Chair Is Against The Wall”

“Molasses tomorrow will bring forth cognac.”

 

DanielRiggs
Sun, 06/06/2021 – 12:57pm

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