Modern War Institute: Learning to Fly: How the US Military can fix the Problems Plauging Aviation Advising Missions

Modern War Institute: Learning to Fly: How the US Military can fix the Problems Plauging Aviation Advising Missions

Link: https://mwi.usma.edu/learning-to-fly-how-the-us-military-can-fix-the-problems-plaguing-aviation-advising-missions/

An in depth discussion on the issues facing aviation advising missions from a USAF Combat Aviation Advisor.

 

Ad hoc missions, competition for personnel, selecting ideal advisors, managing contractors, and more. 

 

 

Riley.C.Murray
Thu, 04/01/2021 – 8:06am

03/31/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

03/31/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

03/31/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

2. 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Republic of Korea

3. HRNK Quoted 27 Times in the U.S. Department of State’s Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 2020 Human Rights Report

4. Why South Korea is balking at the Quad

5. “The withdrawal of US troops builds peace on the Korean peninsula”

6. Reprocessing Activity at Yongbyon’s Radiochemistry Laboratory?

7. Steam detected at N. Korea’s plutonium reprocessing plant: U.S. think tank

8. Kim Jong-un’s Sister Launches Fresh Verbal Attacks

9. N. Korea’s trade volume drops to practically zero amid coronavirus pandemic: official

10. N.K. people’s access to information should be expanded without hurting rights of other people: ministry

11. FM Chung expresses hope for early talks with Japanese counterpart

12. South Korean foreign minister going to China for first time in three years

13. Security Council meets on North Korea tests without action

14. N. Korea’s ballistic missile development aimed at ‘regaining upper hand’ over S. Korea: expert

15. Eleven Sunam Market market vendors face punishment after selling smuggled goods

 

1. 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The full report can be downloaded here.

My thoughts on reading this report:

  • North Korean human rights is not only a moral imperative but a national security issue because Kim Jong-un must deny the human rights of the Korean people living in the north in order to ensure he stays in power and the regime survives.
  • Kim Jong-un fears the Korean people more than the US – this report illustrates the lengths to which he must go to protect himself from the people.
  • This is a very thorough report which clearly and comprehensively outlines the abuses and suffering experience by the Korean people at the hands of the most despotic regime in the modern era.
  • The information in this report is important for an information and influence activities campaign in the north.  While focusing on the north Korean nuclear program reinforces regime legitimacy, the exposure of north Korean human rights abuses undermines the legitimacy of Kim Jong-un. It poses an existential threat to the regime.
  • This report illustrates the value of non-governmental organizations (such as HRNK) that provide support to DOS to identify the critical issues and provide data and evidence of the human rights abuses in the north.
  • This report also confirms there has been no significant improvement of human rights in north Korea since the 2014 UN Commission of inquiry which found the regime was committing crimes against humanity on a scale not seen since WWII.

 

2. 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Republic of Korea

The full report can be downloaded here.

I think this is a very objective report. It is hard to write a report like this on an ally but I think the objective analysis strengthens the credibility of all the reports (especially the one on north Korea).. This also provides insights into some of the domestic political challenges in South Korea that do not make the mainstream media outside of Korea.

 

3. HRNK Quoted 27 Times in the U.S. Department of State’s Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 2020 Human Rights Report

HRNK

I am proud of the great work by the Committee for Human RIghts in North Korea).  It is an organization that truly punches well about its weight with a director and staff of four, some great young interns, and a network of expert researchers/scholars/authors.

 

4. Why South Korea is balking at the Quad

eastasiaforum.org · by Kuyoun Chung · March 31, 2021

Excerpts: :”But US allies and partners in the region have been reluctant to join this effort. The uncertain end-state of US–China competition — as well as concern over potential Chinese economic coercion — are impacting their decision. While US–China competition continues to serve as an organising principle for US foreign policy under the Biden administration, the prospect of complete decoupling and disengagement between these two great powers seems remote.

Washington may need to take a more nuanced approach and carefully distinguish like-situated countries, which mostly worry about the risk of great power competition, from like-minded countries, which are more willing to resist the decline of liberal order. Though these two groups are not necessarily exclusive, they prioritise different foreign policy goals according to their primary concern, different threat perception, economic interest and the level of resilience to resist Chinese coercion.

In speaking to some friends from Asia I have heard a few comments: The concept and intent of the “Quad, et al, is uncertain and the US needs to provide a better understanding of the purpose and the way ahead.  It needs a new “branding” effort.  They also tell me there appear to be different descriptions of the Quad among the State, DOD,and the INDOPACOM commander) both the current and incoming as they seem to focus on containment of China and weigh the collective security aspect of the Quad while State and DoD emphasize the economic and political aspect. 

 

5. “The withdrawal of US troops builds peace on the Korean peninsula”

Chosun · by Eui-joon Cho · March 31, 2021

This is a google translation of a Chosun Ilbo article (e.g “Department of Political Surgery”).  It is a very troubling (and dangerous) read.  I am saddened that Kim Joon-hyung, who is the head of the Korean National Diplomatic Academy, would write a book and express such negative views of our alliance.

 

6. Reprocessing Activity at Yongbyon’s Radiochemistry Laboratory?

beyondparallel.csis.org · by Joseph Bermudez · March 30, 2021

Images at the link.  

 

7. Steam detected at N. Korea’s plutonium reprocessing plant: U.S. think tank

en.yna.co.kr · by 김승연 · March 31, 2021

 

8. Kim Jong-un’s Sister Launches Fresh Verbal Attacks

english.chosun.com

The bad cop is on a roll.

 

9. N. Korea’s trade volume drops to practically zero amid coronavirus pandemic: official

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · March 31, 2021

This is why we are seeing reports of a possible opening of the Chinese border next month and a new DPRK ambassador to China with trade expertise.  north Korea must get cross border trade restarted.

 

10.N.K. people’s access to information should be expanded without hurting rights of other people: ministry

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · March 31, 2021

This new law is one issue identified in State’s report on human rights in South Korea.  The excuse for the law that the Korean people living in Paju must be protected from north Korean threats and retaliation is a red herring and poor justification for the law.  How many Koreans i the South have been harmed by north Korean retaliation for information going into north Korea?

 

11. FM Chung expresses hope for early talks with Japanese counterpart

m-en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · March 31, 2021

The buried lede (and a very important statement from the FM):

“Touching on the diplomatic difficulty Seoul faces in the midst of an acrimonious Sino-U.S. rivalry, Chung noted that Washington and Beijing are not a “subject of choice” as both are crucial partners for cooperation.

“The U.S. is our only ally, and the alliance is the foundation of our diplomatic and security policy, while China is our close neighbor, largest trading partner and our strategic partner,” he said.

“Our position is clear and not ambiguous at all. The firm position is that based on the robust South Korea-U.S. alliance, we will strive to harmoniously develop relations with China,” he added.

 

12. South Korean foreign minister going to China for first time in three years

Reuters · by Josh Smith and Yew Lun Tian · March 31, 2021

Another key statement from the FM: “Our basic stance is clear and not at all ambiguous: Based on the solid South Korea-U.S. alliance, the government’s firm position is to harmoniously improve South Korea-China relations,” Chung told a briefing on Wednesday.

The ROK can and should engage China from a position of strength and part of the strength comes from the strong ROK/US alliance.

 

13. Security Council meets on North Korea tests without action

24matins.uk · March 30, 2021

Hardly a surprise given China and Russian positions.

 

14. N. Korea’s ballistic missile development aimed at ‘regaining upper hand’ over S. Korea: expert

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · March 31, 2021

“Regaining” the upper hand? When has it not had the upper hand over the past 3-4 years?

 

15. Eleven Sunam Market market vendors face punishment after selling smuggled goods

dailynk.com · by  Jong So Yong · March 31, 2021

The draconian population and resources control measures continue as the regime tries to make sure it exercises total control over the people and markets.

 

————-

 

“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 – 9:18am

Soufan Center: Fighting in the Shadows: Israel and Iran

Soufan Center: Fighting in the Shadows: Israel and Iran

Link: https://thesoufancenter.org/intelbrief-2021-march-30/

  • Israel and Iran are engaged in an undeclared, low-level war involving attacks on ships, facilities and proxy groups
  • Israeli leaders might be seeking to derail efforts by the Biden administration to rejoin the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear deal. 
  • The conflict could escalate as Iran continues to expand its nuclear activities in violation of the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear agreement the US left. 
  • The U.S. and other powers could potentially be drawn into the conflict as their commercial and national security interests become affected. 

Riley.C.Murray
Tue, 03/30/2021 – 11:33pm

USIP: Guns, Camps and Deradicalization: Violent Extremists in Conflict Zones

USIP: Guns, Camps and Deradicalization: Violent Extremists in Conflict Zones

Link: https://www.usip.org/publications/2021/03/guns-camps-and-deradicalization-violent-extremists-conflict-zones

 

What are the differences between disengagement and rehabilitation programs in stable settings and in conflict zones?

Violent extremists make civil conflicts more complex and less manageable. Whether in the Middle East, Africa or South Asia, one of the many problems presented by conflicts involving violent extremists is how to deal with these combatants and associates when they surrender or are captured. There have been many attempts to disengage, deradicalize, rehabilitate and reintegrate violent extremists around the world, but most research focuses on stable settings such as Western Europe and North America. What, then, do we know about how to do this in the middle of conflict?

It’s one thing to put a terrorist offender in a Western prison through a disengagement and rehabilitation program. But the challenges are far greater in a location such as northeast Syria. The territorial defeat of the Islamic State group (ISIS) left around 10,000 former combatants and thousands of family members in the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and its political wing, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC).

But what is the status of the former combatants? Are they criminals or prisoners of war? Are their families displaced victims, or should they be viewed as suspected perpetrators? How should they be treated, and by whom? The SDF and SDC may have de facto jurisdiction, but they are not recognized as sovereign by any country and are under military and political pressure on all sides. And as several political controversies in recent years have shown, few states seem interested in taking responsibility for even the most vulnerable and most victimized of their own citizens in northeast Syria.

Riley.C.Murray
Tue, 03/30/2021 – 11:28pm

03/30/2021 News & Commentary – National Security Summary

03/30/2021 News & Commentary – National Security Summary

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

1. The Passing of A Diplomatic Legend and a Master of Grand Strategy (Charles Hill)

2. Why Special Operations Oversight Should Matter to Every American

3. New head of diversity and inclusion at US Special Operations Command reassigned as military investigates social media posts

4. The infinite game: How the US Army plans to operate in great power competition

5. The WHO covid report is fatally flawed, and a real investigation has yet to take place

6. FDD | Biden Revives the Truman Doctrine

7. While the world tore its hair out over the Suez, Russia saw an opportunity

8. Taiwan Tripwire: A New Role For The U.S. Army In Deterring Chinese Aggression

9. The China-Iran Axis

10. Haines stresses rebuilding intelligence alliances post-Trump

11. The Future of Sino-U.S. Proxy War

12. The Shape of Things to Come: Why the Pentagon Must Embrace Soft Power to Compete with China

13. SolarWinds Hack: ‘The Truth Is Much More Complicated’

14. Storm Clouds Ahead: Musings About the 2022 Defense Budget

15. The agency that controls U.S. nukes had its Twitter account accessed by a child

16. Identity Politics and Critical Race Theory Have No Place in US Military

17. Race to the Top Brass

18. How a CIA operation in Indonesia turned the Vietnam War

 

1. The Passing of A Diplomatic Legend and a Master of Grand Strategy (Charles Hill)

thedispatch.com · by Eric Edelman

In addition to his excellent book on literature and grand strategy, the biography of him by one his grand strategy students at Yale is excellent and well worth the read not only because it is a great read about a great man’s life but also because it provides some great historical insights to many of the key events of diplomacy and national security that occurred during his service to our nation. I never had the opportunity to meet him but he has been a great influence through his books and his example of service. 

 

2.  Why Special Operations Oversight Should Matter to Every American

Small Wars Journal · by Clay Fuller

This should stir some discussion, I hope.

Excerpt: “Second, we need to admit that if SOF walks, talks, and looks like a separate service—then we should treat it as such. This can be done without making it a separate service but providing the correct service authorities.

 

3.New head of diversity and inclusion at US Special Operations Command reassigned as military investigates social media posts

CNN · by Oren Liebermann and Ellie Kaufman

Uh oh… is this a lesson in cancel culture?

 

4. The infinite game: How the US Army plans to operate in great power competition

Defense News · by Jen Judson · March 29, 2021

Excerpts: “Multinational exercises provide value to allies and partners through mechanisms like officer exchanges in operational-level headquarters, intelligence sharing and logistical support and can tip the scale toward the U.S. if a partner is balancing competing interests between the U.S. and China, for example, the paper outlines.

Exercises of this size also show U.S. strength and capability to the general public and civilian policymakers in the region.

But additionally, the reputation earned from these exercises is more wide-reaching. “For instance, demonstrations of the Joint Force’s ability to integrate all domains at strategic distances shapes perceptions of U.S. strength in Iran, even if the actual exercise is far distant.”

The Army has to strike a balance between being ready for armed conflict and suppressing adversaries in the competition phase.

And the service acknowledges that its contribution to great power competition is to provide the best fighting force in the world, but, “general excellence only goes so far.”

The U.S. “might have an enormous advantage in the battle of narratives yet still be unable to effectively compete with China in the western Pacific or with Russia in the Baltic region, and thus fail to achieve strategic objectives,” the document warns.

 

5. The WHO covid report is fatally flawed, and a real investigation has yet to take place

The Washington Post · by Josh Rogin · March 30, 2021

Excerpts: “The Chinese government and the friends of the Wuhan lab want to dismiss any efforts to call for more investigation into the lab-accident theory as conspiracy theories. But that conspiracy now would have to include the Trump administration, the Biden administration, Redfield and the growing list of scientists who insist that this possibility be explored. Critics often conflate the fact there is “no proof” of the theory with the false assertion there is “no evidence” to suggest it.

“When people talk about ‘no evidence’ [of a lab accident], you could argue there’s ‘no evidence’ on either side,” said Flinders University Professor of Medicine Nikolai Petrovsky, one of more than two dozen scientists who signed an open letter calling for a full and independent investigation into the origins of covid-19. “There’s as much evidence for the potential lab leak hypothesis as there currently is for a natural animal crossover event. I think we have to be fair and say it’s a completely open question.”

The WHO team wants to move on to searching for the virus in packages of frozen food in other countries. Let them do it. Meanwhile, somebody else will have to investigate the lab-accident theory, because the WHO and Beijing have no intention of treating it with the seriousness it deserves. The Biden administration can help by releasing all the information it has on the lab now. That would help us to get closer to the truth — and help to prevent future pandemics.

 

6. FDD | Biden Revives the Truman Doctrine

fdd.org · by David Adesnik · March 29, 2021

Excerpts: “The end of the Cold War rescued Truman’s reputation, although he was long dead. He is now seen as the resolute architect of a successful strategy and historic victory. In 2017, a survey of more than 90 leading historians ranked Truman as the sixth greatest U.S. president, one spot ahead of Thomas Jefferson.

What risks is Biden prepared to take in pursuit of his vision? If he imposes tougher sanctions on North Korea and stations more U.S. troops in the south, leader Kim Jong-un may resume nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches. If Biden redoubles support to Ukraine, Russia may heat up the war in the Donbas and escalate cyberattacks against the West. If Biden confronts Beijing in the South China Sea and continues to sanction it for atrocities in Xinjiang, the intimidation of Taiwan is likely to intensify while the odds of an agreement to limit Chinese carbon emissions will sharply diminish. With regard to Iran, Biden has already made clear that he wants to reverse Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” and return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Yet on multiple fronts, Biden has shown a readiness to clash with authoritarian rivals. Anger pervaded the administration’s first high-level meetings with Chinese officials in Anchorage, Alaska. Days later, the United States, Britain, Canada, and the European Union imposed coordinated sanctions on Chinese officials over atrocities in Xinjiang. After Biden called Putin a “killer,” Blinken said the administration would not waver in its push for new sanctions on firms involved in the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. It would be premature to conclude, however, that Biden’s resolution is as firm as Truman’s was in 1947—even if the parallels between their approaches are aptly clear. So far, the costs of confrontation have been minimal, yet they are unlikely to stay that way. Eventually, when it stops being easy, Biden will have to decide whether he is prepared to lead a global struggle for democracy like Truman.”

 

7. While the world tore its hair out over the Suez, Russia saw an opportunity

The Washington Post · by Robyn Dixon · March 29, 2021

Excerpts: “Russia last year released a sweeping plan to open up the Arctic shipping route, which includes building a fleet of dozens of nuclear icebreakers and other ships, mapping natural resources in the region and developing airports, ports and railways in northern Russia.

As Suez traffic choked to a halt last week, Russian officials were busy promoting the NSR.

Nikolai Korchunov, Russia’s envoy for international cooperation in the Arctic, said Friday that the Suez Canal blockage should press the world to look at the NSR as an alternative.

“The incident in the Suez Canal should make everyone think about diversifying strategic sea routes amid the increasing scope of sea shipping,” he said. Korchunov added that there was “no alternative” to the NSR.

 

8. Taiwan Tripwire: A New Role For The U.S. Army In Deterring Chinese Aggression

Forbes · by Loren Thompson · March 26, 2021

Yes this would be quite provocative. But I wonder how an armored brigade would sustain readiness. Based on my trips to Taiwan it would seem that training areas would be quite limited.  

Excerpt: “A U.S. armored brigade, the heaviest ground formation America’s Army operates, would be a potent fighting force in its own right, but it would be even more potent as a signal to Beijing that Washington has no intention of abandoning Taiwan.

The Army currently has 15 armored brigades (ten active, five reserve), and having one such brigade on the island continuously would greatly assist in preparing for combat with local forces.

Of course, Beijing would protest bitterly at any such “violation” of the status quo, but given the many ways in which Beijing has failed to meet its commitments to Washington across a range of issues, it could hardly claim the moral high ground.

So using the U.S. Army as a tripwire to deter Chinese aggression against Taiwan could be an effective way of averting what otherwise might become a major war during the Biden years.

 

9. The China-Iran Axis

WSJ · by The Editorial Board · March 29, 2021

 

10. Haines stresses rebuilding intelligence alliances post-Trump

The Hill · by Rebecca Beitsch · March 29, 2021

Excerpt:The need to rely and contribute to alliances was echoed by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who has been a vocal critic of Trump.

“My advice to the Biden administration on tone is basically keep doing what you’re doing. I think they have brought down the rhetoric on foreign policy a lot. I think the restoration of alliances is going to be important to show people in the United States the importance of an alliance. We’re very important for NATO; NATO’s also really important for us,” he said.

 

11. The Future of Sino-U.S. Proxy War

Proxy Warfare· by  Dominic Tierney · March 30, 2021

A long read. The full article can be accessed here

 

12. The Shape of Things to Come: Why the Pentagon Must Embrace Soft Power to Compete with China

mwi.usma.edu · by Kyle J. Wolfley · March 30, 2021

Conclusion: “If policymakers harbor any doubts about the importance of military soft power, they should study the decades leading up to World War I—a period with some parallels to today. During this period, shaping played a central role in the formation of what George Kennan labelled the “Fateful Alliance”: the 1894 defense pact between France and Russia that transformed the European balance of power. The Franco-Russian alliance would not have been possible, Kennan argued, without the personal friendship of French General Raoul le Mouton de Boisdeffre and Russian General Nikolai Obruchev—a friendship forged during military exercises between the two countries. The new alliance posed its biggest threat to Germany, which had long considered a Franco-Russian alliance a serious obstacle to its safety. But the Germans failed to stop the alliance from forming, a failure that would help spell Germany’s ultimate defeat in World War I.

American policymakers would be wise to heed the lessons of the past. In 2018, Russia invited three thousand Chinese soldiers to participate in one of its largest military exercises, one indicator of a warming relationship between the two major powers. If American policymakers hope to succeed in an era of great power competition, hard power will not be sufficient. The US military should not forget to wield soft power too.”

 

13. SolarWinds Hack: ‘The Truth Is Much More Complicated’

breakingdefense.com · by Brad D. Williams · March 29, 2021

Excerpts: “Lewis said that, for Russia, it’s all about managing risk. Lewis said he “do[esn’t] worry” about cyberattacks on US critical infrastructure because, “We’ve created a sort of digital Maginot Line” that the Russians would be “very hard pressed” to cross.

He also distinguished between cyberespionage and “coercive” cyberattacks. “Recon[naissance] is not regarded as a coercive attack,” Lewis observed. “So, then, the question would be: When would it be in Russia’s interest to launch some kind of major, old-style attack, and I think the answer is never. Why would they do that? They’re winning now. Why risk having us wake up?”

He added, “The Chinese probably feel the same way.”

“Is [SolarWinds] a brilliant intel operation? Yes,” Lewis observed, but it was no “cyber Pearl Harbor.” “Is it the precursor to some massive attack? No.”

 

14. Storm Clouds Ahead: Musings About the 2022 Defense Budget

warontherocks.com · by Robert Work · March 30, 2021

Excerpt: “The coming update to the defense program promises to be more important than usual. It’s been over three years since the National Defense Strategy established a long-term strategic competition with “revisionist powers” — particularly China — as the primary defense challenge facing the joint force. During this time, the services have all been developing new operational concepts and the platforms and capabilities to support them. It’s time to start seeing concrete changes in the defense program that should follow.”

 

15. The agency that controls U.S. nukes had its Twitter account accessed by a child

Daily Dot · March 29, 2021

Go figure.

Perhaps the buried lede is : STRATCOM has a twitter account?

 

16. Identity Politics and Critical Race Theory Have No Place in US Military

dailysignal.com · by Dakota Wood · March 29, 2021

 

17. Race to the Top Brass

Just Security · by Liam Brennan and Edgar Chen · March 27, 2021

If a picture is worth a thousand words go to the link and view the title photo.

 

No critical race theory here. Just facts and data.

 

18. How a CIA operation in Indonesia turned the Vietnam War

asiatimes.com · by John McBeth · March 27, 2021

Another interesting story from long ago.

 

————

“Instead of claiming that anyone can predict what is going to happen, we argue that everyone, from analysts to decision makers, can see the forces as they are taking shape and not be blindsided when those changes inevitably reshape the global environment. Anticipating strategic surprise gives decision makers the ability to look in the right place for game-changing events and to track them systematically. As these scenarios become more plausible, and ever more imminent, decision makers can then pay attention to the right things when they matter most. This kind of insight leads to better questions rather than better answers, but better questions are very, very important.”   

– Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall

 

“We find comfort among those who agree with us—growth among those who don’t.”

– Frank A. Clark

 

“The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but hold hands.”

– Alexandra Penney

 

DanielRiggs
Tue, 03/30/2021 – 9:49am

03/30/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

03/30/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Vice-Director of Information and Publicity Department of WPK Central Committee Kim Yo Jong Releases Statement

2. N.K. leader’s sister slams Moon as ‘parrot’ repeating Washington’s ‘gangster-like logic’

3. Cheong Wa Dae calls N. Korea’s criticism of President Moon ‘regrettable’

4. Law banning leaflets into N. Korea to take effect this week

5. Moon’s peace initiative faces more deadlock

6. North Korean leader’s sister slams South Korea’s Moon for criticism of recent missile test

7. US eyes additional UN action on N. Korea after missile tests

8. North Korea likely to escape punishment for rocket launches

9. North Korea Is Not A Serious Negotiator And Biden Will Act Accordingly – Analysis

10. S. Korea capable of intercepting N.K. short-range missiles: defense ministry

11. Biden must confront North Korea via Beijing by John Bolton

12. Reports of North Korea’s Return to a Command Economy Have Been Exaggerated

13. China and North Korea to revive trade in April amid US tension

14. Asia Trip Offers Preview of Biden Administration’s North Korea Policy

15. S. Korea ‘strongly condemns’ Japan’s approval of school texts laying claim to Dokdo

 

1. Vice-Director of Information and Publicity Department of WPK Central Committee Kim Yo Jong Releases Statement

kcnawatch.org

So here is Kim Yo-jong’s statement criticizing President Moon and calling him a parrot of the US.

“Height of effrontery?” Definition: : shameless boldness : INSOLENCE. Synonyms: audaciousness, audacity, brashness, brass, brassiness, brazenness, cheek, cheekiness, chutzpah (also chutzpa or hutzpah or hutzpa), crust, face, gall, nerve, nerviness, pertness, presumption, presumptuousness, sauce, sauciness, temerity

The Propaganda and Agitation Department is making good use of its thesaurus. 

The timing of this statement is interesting as the new anti-leaflet law is about to take effect in South Korea. The new law is in direct response to Kim Yo-jong’s statements last June (as well as her order to destroy the South Korean liaison building) in which she demanded an end to information being disseminated to the north. 

I have just four words: appeasement does not work.

But I wonder what new demand will soon be made of South Korea. Kim Yo-jong is shaping the information environment.

 

2. N.K. leader’s sister slams Moon as ‘parrot’ repeating Washington’s ‘gangster-like logic’

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · March 30, 2021

Remember it is the regime that is gangster like but I guess that it proves the adage, “it takes one to know one.” There is no better example of mirror imaging than this.

 

3. Cheong Wa Dae calls N. Korea’s criticism of President Moon ‘regrettable’

en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · March 30, 2021

I think what Choeng Wa Dae needs to regret is its naive assumptions about the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime that provide the foundation for its peace agenda. I hope this is a wake-up call for the Moon administration and it will re-evaluate its strategic assumptions and its policy and strategy toward north Korea.

 

4. Law banning leaflets into N. Korea to take effect this week

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · March 29, 2021

What will be the next demand from the Kim family regime?

 

5. Moon’s peace initiative faces more deadlock

The Korea Times · by Kang Seung-woo · March 30, 2021

The Moon administration’s peace initiative may become the largest point of friction in the ROK/US alliance. Given the recent series of actions and statement from the regime, the Moon administration needs to view them in total as a wake-up to its flawed assumptions and naive policy and strategy. 

 

6. North Korean leader’s sister slams South Korea’s Moon for criticism of recent missile test

Reuters · by Sangmi Cha · March 30, 2021

 

7. US eyes additional UN action on N. Korea after missile tests

AP · by Matthew Lee · March 29, 2021

Time for a strategic strangulation campaign. (From 5 years ago: “A Strategic Strangulation Campaign for North Korea: Is the International Community Ready for What May Come Next?” (which requires that we think through the second and third order effects and what comes next)

 

8. North Korea likely to escape punishment for rocket launches

m.koreatimes.co.kr · March 26, 2021

Markus Garlauskas gives us the Lenin bayonet strategy – “You probe with bayonets: if you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw.” The Kim family regime probes with missile and rocket launches.

Excerpt: However, claiming that North Korea’s recent launches were part of its leader’s ambitious plans to advance its ballistic missile programs, rather than a cry for attention or economic assistance, Markus Garlauskas, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former U.S. National Intelligence Officer for North Korea, said the international community should take punitive action against North Korea. “If these launches go unchecked by the international community, that is likely to lead to launches of bigger and more capable systems, including those capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads,” Garlauskas said, adding that no response would “reinforce the precedent of such launches being accepted by the international community without any costs to Pyongyang at all.”

 

9. North Korea Is Not A Serious Negotiator And Biden Will Act Accordingly – Analysis

eurasiareview.com · by Arius M Derr · March 30, 2021

Don’t hold back??

Conclusion: :Previous efforts to severely isolate North Korea were kept in check by the need to maintain good relations with China, the North’s benefactor. But with China–US relations in decline, there is less reason to hold back.

This fits Biden’s preference for both multilateralism and greater toughness on North Korea. If North Korea continues apace to build nuclear warheads and missiles, then there will be growing pressure to prevent the outflow of these technologies. This raises the possibility of provocations or even violence, a risk that the United States may be willing to run if there is no other way to halt proliferation. “

 

10.  S. Korea capable of intercepting N.K. short-range missiles: defense ministry

en.yna.co.kr · by 최수향 · March 30, 2021

I certainly hope the spokesman’s confidence is justified. I am heartened to read about a “South Korea-US missile defense system.”

Excerpt: “South Korea has the ability and the posture to fully intercept North Korea’s short-range missiles, including ballistic ones, with the South Korea-U.S. missile defense system,” ministry spokesman Boo Seung-chan said.

 

11. Biden must confront North Korea via Beijing by John Bolton

Washington Examiner · by John Bolton · March 29, 2021

I fear that basing any strategy on requiring Chinese cooperation will be doomed to failure.

Ambassador Bolton recommends we call out China for its complicity in enabling north Korea. I concur. However, I still do not expect that China will take any significant action to try to force the north to change its behavior. And of course even if it does try we have to ask will it have any effect on the regime?

 

12. Reports of North Korea’s Return to a Command Economy Have Been Exaggerated

38north.org · by Eun-ju Choi · March 29, 2021

Hmmm… interesting analysis. If the regime cracks down on the market economy to maintain control it is possible that it will backfire and create resistance. If the regime allows markets to flourish it could generate a desire for political change which would also be an existential threat to the regime.

Conclusion: “In conclusion, it is a mistake to over-interpret Kim Jong Un’s remarks about the need to restore the state’s “unified guidance” over economic work as a return to a Leninist planned economy; it was, instead, an internal economic policy change to crack down on the rent-seeking behavior of the party and the military. Of course, the success of this approach is not guaranteed, but it is clear that Kim’s existing policy—which has increased market expansion and economic unit autonomy—is still alive and well.”

 

13. China and North Korea to revive trade in April amid US tension

asia.nikkei.com · by Shin Watanabe and Tsukasa Hadhano · March 30, 2021

Excerpts: “ China accounts for more than 90% of North Korea’s external trade. Exports and imports between the two tumbled 80.7% in 2020 to $539.05 million from a year ago, reaching the lowest level since 2000 when bilateral trade dropped to $488 million, according to China’s General Administration of Customers.

In 2017, the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on North Korea’s exports of coal, iron ore, seafood, textile and other products. But the country’s ties with China help it to still trade. Until 2019, North Korea manufactured and exported wigs, watches, and other products using materials supplied by China which were not subject to the sanctions.

“These kinds of trade halted due to the border closure,” a trading house official said. As its hard-currency income falls, North Korea is increasingly relying on China’s support.Sino-North Korean cooperation is reviving as U.S.-China relations worsen. The friction between Washington and Beijing over security issues and human rights was laid clear at a recent meeting in Alaska earlier this month.

South Korea’s central bank estimated that North Korea’s gross domestic product increased 0.4% in 2019 from the previous year. But the North Korean economy is likely to have contracted last year. While trade is now expected to resume, it is unclear when both sides will agree to the flow of people.

 

14.  Asia Trip Offers Preview of Biden Administration’s North Korea Policy

dailysignal.com · by Bruce Klingner · March 29, 2021

 

15. S. Korea ‘strongly condemns’ Japan’s approval of school texts laying claim to Dokdo

en.yna.co.kr · by 김승연 · March 30, 2021

Neither Japan nor Korea can help themselves.

 

————-

 

“Instead of claiming that anyone can predict what is going to happen, we argue that everyone, from analysts to decision makers, can see the forces as they are taking shape and not be blindsided when those changes inevitably reshape the global environment. Anticipating strategic surprise gives decision makers the ability to look in the right place for game-changing events and to track them systematically. As these scenarios become more plausible, and ever more imminent, decision makers can then pay attention to the right things when they matter most. This kind of insight leads to better questions rather than better answers, but better questions are very, very important.”   

– Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall

DanielRiggs
Tue, 03/30/2021 – 9:45am

Strategy Bridge: “Why Are We in Africa?”: The Dilemmas of Making American Strategy towards the African Continent

Strategy Bridge: “Why Are We in Africa?”: The Dilemmas of Making American Strategy towards the African Continent

by Sam Wilkins

https://thestrategybridge.org/the-bridge/2021/3/30/why-are-we-in-africa

Riley.C.Murray
Tue, 03/30/2021 – 12:20am

TRADOC Mad Scientist Library: Insights from the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict in 2020 (Part II)

TRADOC Mad Scientist Library: Insights from the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict in 2020 (Part II)

“Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 served as a combat proving ground, facilitating the testing of new operational concepts and weapons systems for the combatants’ respective sponsor states”

 

https://madsciblog.tradoc.army.mil/316-insights-from-the-nagorno-karabakh-conflict-in-2020-part-ii/

Riley.C.Murray
Mon, 03/29/2021 – 11:29pm

Special Operations News Update – Monday, March 29, 2021

Special Operations News Update – Monday, March 29, 2021

A roundup of news stories related to Special Operations from SOF News

Including:
-SOF Senate Testimony
-The Air Campaign again ISIS
-Legal Factors surrounding Russian PMCs

Special Operations News Update – Monday, March 29, 2021

Riley.C.Murray
Mon, 03/29/2021 – 10:34pm

Modern War Institute: Countering Terrorism while Competing with Great Power Rivals: Mutually Reinforcing, Not Mutually Exclusive

Modern War Institute: Countering Terrorism while Competing with Great Power Rivals: Mutually Reinforcing, Not Mutually Exclusive

https://mwi.usma.edu/countering-terrorism-while-competing-with-great-power-rivals-mutually-reinforcing-not-mutually-exclusive/

Riley.C.Murray
Mon, 03/29/2021 – 10:18pm

War on the Rocks: Rescuing the Rescuers: A Guide to Revitalizing an Air Force Community

War on the Rocks: Rescuing the Rescuers: A Guide to Revitalizing an Air Force Community

“Air Force rescue, the community of airmen dedicated to the Air Force’s personnel recovery mission, today finds itself in a crisis of culture, the consequence of a slow erosion of its foundational characteristics.”

 

Rescuing the Rescuers: A Guide to Revitalizing an Air Force Community

Riley.C.Murray
Mon, 03/29/2021 – 10:13pm

03/29/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

03/29/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. AP Exclusive: WHO report says animals likely source of COVID

2.  Disinformation vs. Misinformation

3. Assessing the Application of a Cold War Strategic Framework to Establish Norms in the Cyber Threat Environment

4. ‘Be aware’: The Pentagon’s target list for extremist infiltrators — right and left

5. Iran, China sign landmark 25-year cooperation agreement

6. Opinion | The United States has a major hole in its cyberdefense. Here’s how to fix it.

7. An Alliance of Autocracies? China Wants to Lead a New World Order.

8. Authorities and Legal Considerations for US Cyber and Information Operations in a Contested Environment

9. Biden Team Boosts Effort to Shield U.S. Power Grid From Hackers

10. In the South China Sea, Biden is outdoing Trump in bluff and bluster

11. China’s Belt and Road Effort Demands a Multipart US Response

12. Exclusive: The Secret Global Data Cell Infiltrating Jihadists

13. The puzzle of Joe Biden’s ‘middle class foreign policy’

14. A Clash of Civilizations with Chinese Characteristics

15. The New American Geostrategic Consensus Over China – Analysis

16. Open letter to the troops: Take the damn vaccine, please

17. US Special Operations Command ‘Not Aware’ of Top Hire’s Anti-Trump Posts

18. CIA Super Spy, or Super Con?

19. Remembering Jerry Sage, the Inspiration for “The Great Escape”

20. Special Operations News Update – Monday, March 29, 2021 | SOF News

21. In Great Power Wars, Americans Could Again Become POWs

22. Did China cross a new red line in cyberspace?

 

1. AP Exclusive: WHO report says animals likely source of COVID

AP · by Ken Moritsugu and Jamey Keaten · March 29, 2021

Expose Chinese influence on this report. Such exposure should cause Chinese efforts to prevent accountability to backfire

Excerpt: The report’s release has been repeatedly delayed, raising questions about whether the Chinese side was trying to skew the conclusions to prevent blame for the pandemic falling on China. A World Health Organization official said late last week that he expected it would be ready for release “in the next few days.”

The AP received a copy on Monday from a Geneva-based diplomat from a WHO-member country. It wasn’t clear whether the report might still be changed prior to release, though the diplomat said it was the final version. A second diplomat confirmed getting the report too. Both refused to be identified because they were not authorized to release it ahead of publication.”

 

2. Disinformation vs. Misinformation

carryingthegun.com · by DG · March 29, 2021

A reminder for those who need reminding.

 

3. Assessing the Application of a Cold War Strategic Framework to Establish Norms in the Cyber Threat Environment

divergentoptions.org · by Divergent Options · March 29, 2021

Conclusion: “As cyber capabilities have expanded and matured over time, there has been an apparent failure to achieve consensus on what the red lines of cyber confrontation are. Some actors appear to abide by general rules, while others make it a point of exploring new ways to raise or lower the bar on acceptable actions in cyberspace. Meanwhile, criminals and non-aligned groups are just as aggressive with their operations as many terrorist groups were during the height of the Cold War, and they are similarly frequently used or discarded by nation states depending on the situation and the need. However, nation states on the two sides were useful bulwarks against overzealous actions, as they could exert influence over the actions of groups operating from their territory or abusing their patronage. Espionage in cyberspace will not stop, nor can a framework anticipate every possible scenario that my unfold. Despite these imperfections, in the future an issue like the SolarWinds breach could lead to a series of escalatory actions a la the Cuban Missile Crisis, or the cyber threat environment could be governed by a Strategic Arms Limitation Talk-like treaty which bans cyber intrusions into global supply chains[10]. Applying aspects of the Cold War strategic framework can begin to bring order to the chaos of the cyber threat environment, while also helping highlight areas where this framework falls short and new ways of thinking are needed.”

 

4. ‘Be aware’: The Pentagon’s target list for extremist infiltrators — right and left

Politico · March 27, 2021

There is no place for extremists of the right or left in our military. But we have to do this right or we risk undermining the trust in our military as well as good order and discipline.

Dr. Kurth Cronin describes the real problem we have and we may be violating one of the most important rules of planning – developing a plan without a thorough understanding of the problem we are trying to solve. And the irony is such an action can (and likely will) play into the narrative of extremists that will contribute to enhancing legitimacy of extremist organizations and aid in recruiting.

 

Excerpts: “But the Pentagon says one is too many and the true numbers are not known because adherents who have been recruited by extremist groups or encouraged to enlist often organize and communicate in secret.

“No one truly knows,” Audrey Kurth Cronin, the director of American University’s Center for Security, Innovation and New Technology, told a House panel this week. “No serious plan can be built without defining the scope of the problem.”

The internal training materials focus on extremist behavior and symbolism — of all different stripes — and point out the risk of making false assumptions about people who do not pose any threat. This includes pointing out that religious conservatives are often mistakenly lumped together with white supremacists or other extremists.”

 

5. Iran, China sign landmark 25-year cooperation agreement

Reuters · by Reuters Staff · March 27, 2021

 

6. Opinion | The United States has a major hole in its cyberdefense. Here’s how to fix it.

The Washington Post · by Robert M. Gates · March 28, 2021

Excerpt: “For Cyber Command to be able to respond instantly to attacks, the commander also had to be in charge of the National Security Agency, the only U.S. institution with the capability to defend the country against such attacks and retaliate. Cyberdefense and cyberoffense, I was convinced (and still am), needed to be commanded by one person. The commander of Cyber Command could not be in the position of having to ask for or negotiate NSA support, thus increasing the danger of delays in our response time.”

 

7. An Alliance of Autocracies? China Wants to Lead a New World Order.

The New York Times · by Steven Lee Myers · March 29, 2021

My personal assessment: 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.

 

8. Authorities and Legal Considerations for US Cyber and Information Operations in a Contested Environment

mwi.usma.edu · by Gary Corn · March 29, 2021

Conclusion: “When in doubt, it is easy to fall back on what you know. But when it comes to the complex challenges of conducting military cyber and information operations in the gray zone of great power competition, easy is generally not the right or even the best answer. With respect to both defend-forward operations and true deterrence, there needs to be a more sophisticated approach to targeting strategies, resisting the tendency to revert to armed-conflict targeting paradigms and instead developing and instantiating targeting procedures better aligned to the unique operational environment and the non–armed conflict legal structures that apply.”

 

9. Biden Team Boosts Effort to Shield U.S. Power Grid From Hackers

Yahoo · by Jennifer Jacobs, Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Michael Riley

Excerpts: “A chief concern is deciding the shape of collective defense and response efforts. Administration officials at the March 16 meeting made clear they were seeking to enhance coordination, communication, reporting and response between the industry and government.

The virtual session was the first broad meeting between top Biden administration officials and executives in the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, a group designed to further industry-government coordination on protecting the grid.

The electric power sector values its close working relationship with partners in government, said Scott Aaronson, vice president for security and preparedness at the Edison Electric Institute that represents investor-owned electric companies.

“We appreciate that this administration already is coordinating with grid operators to protect critical energy infrastructure,” Aaronson said in an emailed statement. “Protecting and defending critical infrastructure is a shared responsibility that requires engagement and expertise from asset owners and government partners.”

  

10. In the South China Sea, Biden is outdoing Trump in bluff and bluster

SCMP · by Mark J. Valencia · by March 29, 2021

Excerpts:In 2016, Blinken told the House of Representatives that China “can’t have it both ways”, being a party to UNCLOS but rejecting binding arbitration decisions. Yet the US is trying to do precisely that – pick and choose which provisions it will abide by, in a treaty it has not even ratified. The Quad and the US claim to want a region “unconstrained by coercion”. Yet coercion is exactly what the US is using to enforce its unilateral interpretation of freedom of navigation.

To regain and retain its moral leadership, the US needs to show that its values and system of government are the best for all, and that it can and will maintain a competitive edge with China economically and technologically – not just militarily. So far, the US seems to be failing in that, and relying instead on bluster, bluff and implied use of force.

This is not the hallmark of a great and successful nation. The US should reconsider its militaristic and confrontational approach to China in its near seas.

 

11. China’s Belt and Road Effort Demands a Multipart US Response

defenseone.com · by Jennifer Hullman and David Sacks

Excerpts: “Our independent Task Force report, chaired by Jacob J. Lew and Admiral (retired) Gary Roughead, evaluated the implications of BRI for U.S. interests and put forward a U.S. strategy to respond to it.

When Xi introduced BRI in 2013, he believed it could advance an array of Chinese economic, political, and geopolitical interests while filling a vital need in many countries for reliable sources of power and better infrastructure.

In theory, BRI has the potential to be a net positive in multiple respects, helping to close an infrastructure gap in developing countries while also smoothing transportation and logistics paths, and contributing to regional and global economic growth.

In practice, however, BRI’s risks outweigh its benefits. BRI undermines global macroeconomic stability by lending funds to unsustainable projects, thereby adding to countries’ debt burdens. It locks some countries into carbon-intensive futures by promoting coal-fired power plants, tilts the playing field in major markets toward Chinese companies, promotes exclusive reliance on Chinese technology, and draws countries into tighter economic and political relationships with Beijing.

 

12. Exclusive: The Secret Global Data Cell Infiltrating Jihadists

worldcrunch.com · by Rozena Crossman · March 28, 2021

Who leaks this stuff? Or do we want it leaked? Does it serve a purpose to leak it?

 

13. The puzzle of Joe Biden’s ‘middle class foreign policy’

Financial Times · by Edward Luce · March 28, 2021

Excerpts: “Biden faces two problems in showcasing his diplomacy to Main Street. First, the US’s allies are craving more economic engagement. That means trade and investment deals. Biden could differentiate from past ones by focusing on 21st-century issues such as 5G and green technology, as opposed to Trump’s mania for soyabeans and steel.

But unless the US is ready to deal with its Asian and European partners, China will continue to eat into US market share. That would damage both the American middle class and US global standing. Most of America’s Asian partners do much more trade with China than with the US.

Second, any kind of trade talks are now treated as toxic in US politics, in part because many Americans blame globalisation for squeezed incomes. Jake Sullivan, Biden’s strategic-minded national security adviser — and one of the architects of his middle class foreign policy — has argued that the US has allowed the likes of Goldman Sachs and Big Pharma to dictate the terms of past trade deals. This is indisputable. Business lobby groups have always had far greater clout in Washington than trade unions, environmental groups and other stakeholders. “

 

14. A Clash of Civilizations with Chinese Characteristics

The National Interest · by Wesley Jefferies · March 28, 2021

Conclusion: “These measures should be considered complementary, rather than alternatives, to existing proposals for naval deterrence in the Indo-Pacific. The geopolitical implications for Western civilization from Chinese hegemony over Eurasia should also be accounted for in any U.S. strategy. Any policy that cannot go beyond simply “pivoting” or “decoupling” fails to capture the full threat being posed not just to the United States but to the very future of the West. A world in which the “rest” is pitted against the West, where the United States faces a consolidating Eurasian continent across either shore, and the geopolitical axis of the world shifts to a totalitarian party in Beijing will not be a world where the United States will remain secure or sovereign for long.”

 

15. The New American Geostrategic Consensus Over China – Analysis

eurasiareview.com · by John Hulsman · March 28, 2021

Conclusion: “And, indeed, 20th-century history is littered with the graves of authoritarian regimes who underestimated America: The Kaiser’s Germany, Tojo’s Japan, Hitler’s Reich, and Stalin’s Russia. In each case, America was thought weak, decadent, in decline, and incapable of staying the course. In each case, the authoritarian edifice crumbled before America’s surprisingly enduring domestic and geostrategic consensus.

This is now happening again. As was true for Truman and Eisenhower, once again two US presidents (Donald Trump and Joe Biden) who heartily disapprove of one another are paradoxically forging the domestic political basis to a geopolitical agreement over how to deal with America’s primary superpower rival that seems bound to stand the test of time.”

 

16. Open letter to the troops: Take the damn vaccine, please

taskandpurpose.com · by Jeff Schogol · March 28, 2021

 

17. US Special Operations Command ‘Not Aware’ of Top Hire’s Anti-Trump Posts

theepochtimes.com · by Zachary Stieber · March 27, 2021

Well this appears to be backfiring if this report (note from the Epoch Times) is accurate.

 

18. CIA Super Spy, or Super Con?

spytalk.co · by Jeff Stein

Truth stranger than fiction.

 

19. Remembering Jerry Sage, the Inspiration for “The Great Escape”

sofrep.com · March 27, 2021

 

20. Special Operations News Update – Monday, March 29, 2021 | SOF News

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

 

21. In Great Power Wars, Americans Could Again Become POWs

defenseone.com · by Jan Kallberg and Todd Arnold

SERE at Fort Bragg was the best school I ever attended in my 30 years in the Army.

 

22. Did China cross a new red line in cyberspace?

sundayguardianlive.com · by Mark Montgomery and Trevor Logan· March 27, 2021

 

————-

 

“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.”

– John Stuart Mill

 

“Since Mao’s demise, the Party has refreshed its Leninist roots, gingerly built up the legal system and set about co-opting wealthier more educated members of society. In the same way that some western political parties like to style themselves as big tents, the Party now markets itself as an inclusive organization with uniquely Chinese roots. China can, in theory have it all – democracy, a functioning legal system, a vibrant civil society, disputatious think-tanks, innovative universities and a blossoming private sector – as long as they develop within the boundaries the Party lays down for them.”

-Richard McGregor, The Party

 

“The core political values of our free society are so deeply embedded in our collective consciousness that only a few malcontents, lunatics generally, ever dare to threaten them.”

– John McCain

 

DanielRiggs
Mon, 03/29/2021 – 10:02am

03/29/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

03/29/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. North Korean official says Biden criticism of missile launches reveals ‘deep-seated hostility’ toward country

2. N. Korea threatens U.S. in response to Biden’s warning

3. Minister urges N. Korea to respond to calls for humanitarian cooperation

4. North Korean authorities encourage people to hand over “illegal propaganda material”

5. Loaded language: U.S. denuclearization phrasing puts progress on North Korea in jeopardy

6. North Korea accuses U.N. Security Council of ‘double standard’ over missile tests

7. North Korea threatens US with ‘invincible physical power’

8. North Korea likely to increase provocation level

9. South Korea, US working closely on how to improve THAAD base conditions

10. Human rights and inter-Korean peace process

11. Did North Korea Test a Copy Of a Dangerous New Russian Missile?

 

1. North Korean official says Biden criticism of missile launches reveals ‘deep-seated hostility’ toward country

militarytimes.com · by Kim Tong-Hyung · March 28, 2021

Actually we do not have a deep seated hostility toward north Korea or the Korean people living in the north.  In fact it is our concern for the Korean people in the north, as well as all Koreans, that drives our deep created hostility toward the Kim family regime. As I have written many times: The root of all problems in Korea is the existence of the most evil mafia- like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime that has the objective of dominating the Korean Peninsula under the rule of the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State.

But these statements from north Korea reveal its intent and how it is trying to shape the new Biden administration’s Korea policy.  It would like to make the policy dead on arrival and allow it to progress if the Biden administration makes concessions, e.g., sanctions relief for a promise from the regime to talk.

 

2. N. Korea threatens U.S. in response to Biden’s warning

donga.com · March 29, 2021

The regime is executing its seven decades playbook.  These “threats” are standard actions in support of blackmail diplomacy.

Just take a look at this CSIS database on provocations and you can see the pattern.  

 

I recommend Dr. Bruce Bechtol work “DPRK Provocations: Deterring the Cycle of Violence,” in his book North Korea and Regional Security in the Kim Jong-un Era: A New International Security Dilemma (pp 40-55) 

The best resource for north Korea provocations from 1950-2007 is from the Congressional Research Service.  I wish CRS would update this.

 

3. Minister urges N. Korea to respond to calls for humanitarian cooperation

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · March 29, 2021

Think about this.  We have to beg the Kim family regime to be able to provide humanitarian assistance to the Korean people living  in the north who are suffering horrendously because Kim Jong-un denies their human rights and oppresses them so that he can remain in power.  Think about this.

 

4. North Korean authorities encourage people to hand over “illegal propaganda material”

dailynk.com · by Mun Dong Hui  · March 29, 2021

Don’t do it.  It is a trick.

But on a serious note, information is an existential threat to the survival of the regime and this may be another indication of how desperate the regime is to control information.  It may no longer be able to control and prevent the Korean people from accessing it.

 

5. Loaded language: U.S. denuclearization phrasing puts progress on North Korea in jeopardy

Reuters · by Hyonhee Shin · March 28, 2021

“Denuclearization” is only in “jeopardy” because of the decisions and actions of Kim Jong-un and not because of an argument over words.  But this debate over words is important because it helps us to expose the Kim family regime strategy  and true nature.

 

6. North Korea accuses U.N. Security Council of ‘double standard’ over missile tests

Reuters · by Hyonhee Shin · March 28, 2021

You have to admire the chutzpah of the Kim family regime. No double standard. You either comply with the UN Security Council resolutions or you do not.

 

7. North Korea threatens US with ‘invincible physical power’

Daily Mail · by Valerie Edwards · March 28, 2021

“Invincible power?”  The Propaganda and Agitation department has been watching the Marvel movie franchise.  And the mafia-like crime family cult is calling President Biden “gangster-like.”

North Korea threatens US with ‘invincible physical power’ and says Biden administration used ‘gangster-like logic’ to take its ‘first wrong step’ in criticizing missile tests:

  • North Korea said Saturday that Biden administration had taken a wrong first step and revealed ‘deep-seated hostility’ by criticizing its self-defensive missile test
  • On Friday, North Korea said it launched a new tactical short-range ballistic missile; President Biden said test violated UN Security Council resolutions
  • An official of North Korea said that Washington might face ‘something that is not good’ if it continues to make ‘thoughtless remarks’

 

8. North Korea likely to increase provocation level

The Korea Times · March 29, 2021

I am reminded of Lenin: “You probe with bayonets: if you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw.”

 

9. South Korea, US working closely on how to improve THAAD base conditions

The Korea Times · March 29, 2021

The only way to solve this problem is for the Korean government to deal with the protestors.

 

10. Human rights and inter-Korean peace process

The Korea Times · by Park Jung-won · March 29, 2021

An interesting comparison between Presidents Park Chung Hee and Moon Jae-in.

Conclusion: “When both Park’s dictatorial and Moon’s progressive regimes have been driven by cherishing “peace, national reconciliation and national reunification” agendas, defining human rights in different ways in the South and the North respectively, where do ordinary individuals fit within such grandiosely constructed notions? What will ultimately be the benefit of such an outcome if it disregards human rights in any objective sense? Is this tragic comedy or comical tragedy?”

 

11. Did North Korea Test a Copy Of a Dangerous New Russian Missile?

The National Interest · by Peter Suciu · March 28, 2021

Most all of north Korean weapons technology originates in Russia. The regime does do a great job both reverse engineering it and adapting it to tier requirements.

 

————–

 

“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.”

– John Stuart Mill

 

“Since Mao’s demise, the Party has refreshed its Leninist roots, gingerly built up the legal system and set about co-opting wealthier more educated members of society.  In the same way that some western political parties like to style themselves as big tents, the Party now markets itself as an inclusive organization with uniquely Chinese roots.  China can, in theory have it all – democracy, a functioning legal system, a vibrant civil society, disputatious think-tanks, innovative universities and a blossoming private sector – as long as they develop within the boundaries the Party lays down for them.”

-Richard McGregor, The Party

 

“The core political values of our free society are so deeply embedded in our collective consciousness that only a few malcontents, lunatics generally, ever dare to threaten them.”

– John McCain

DanielRiggs
Mon, 03/29/2021 – 9:53am

03/28/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

03/28/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. The U.S. Doesn’t Know How to Treat Its Allies

2. Why the International Order Is Tilting Toward Autocracy

3. In Suez Canal, Stuck Ship Is a Warning About Excessive Globalization

4. Negotiating [Im]plausible Deniability: Strategic Guidelines for U.S. Engagement in Modern Indirect Warfare

5. U.S. wages psychological war on Moscow – Russian defense adviser

6. Re-Budgeting for a Right-Sized International Counterterrorism Posture

7. Pentagon linguist pleads guilty to exposing U.S. intelligence sources to Hezbollah

8. New conspiracy theory claims US Air Force shot down MH370 in a failed bid to intercept it and seize electronic equipment on its way to China

9. America Needs to Rediscover Strategic MacGyverism

10. ‘Things really are very bad’ — Biden navigates cyber attacks without a cyber czar

11. War is Changing. So Should the Pentagon’s Budget

12. Malign or benign? China–US strategic competition under Biden

13. Prosecutors struggle with consistent story in cases involving Capitol riot

14. Chronicles of an American Diplomat: John Quincy Adams

15. Under Biden, Diplomacy Is an Attractive Career Again

16. Stop asking the US military to fight terrorism and rebuild countries

17. U.S.-China sanctions battle escalating under Biden with focus on Xinjiang abuses

18. US-Taiwan coast guard partner to blunt potential Chinese invasion

 

1. The U.S. Doesn’t Know How to Treat Its Allies

Foreign Affairs · by Alexander Cooley and Daniel H. Nexon · March 26, 2021

Conclusion: Having allies requires sacrifices grounded in common values; it does not mean that other democratic countries must in every case do what the United States wants. The Biden administration should compromise on Nord Stream 2, securing concessions that mollify Central Europe and Ukraine, and then let go of this outdated concern. Far from showing that “America is back,” our uncompromising stance impedes the deepening of allied cooperation for our more important problems.

 

2. Why the International Order Is Tilting Toward Autocracy

Foreign Affairs · by Alexander Cooley and Daniel H. Nexon · March 26, 2021

This is the question I often wonder about: What comes next? What will replace the international rules based order? What will replace liberal democracies? 

Excerpt: “But if the current liberal international order is in trouble, what kind of illiberal order might emerge in its wake? Does an illiberal order necessarily mean competition for naked power among increasingly nationalist great powers, rampant protectionism, and a world hostile to democratic governance?”

Conclusion:The good news is that there are few effective pro-corruption norms. Kleptocrats prefer to convince their citizens that everyone is equally corrupt and weaponize anticorruption measures against political opponents. Thus, opposition to corruption remains politically relevant in illiberal powers such as Russia and China, even as these countries increasingly use corruption strategically to buy off and capture elites, bureaucrats, and regulators overseas.

The success of efforts to develop an illiberal order does not mean that liberal powers lack opportunities to shape norms and institutions. No international order is homogeneous. There is nothing unusual about variations in arrangements and values across different regions or policy domains. Some aspects of contemporary liberal order, however, particularly in the economic domain, require reform lest they continue to undermine the viability of domestic liberal democratic institutions.

Indeed, policymakers interested in resisting challenges to liberalism need to prioritize its political dimensions, both at home and in intergovernmental settings. This means defending political liberalism in word and deed. It also means affirming, rather than undermining, its current normative foundation. Projects, such as former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s attempt to redefine human rights, that require attacking those foundations will only backfire—making the task of authoritarian powers that much easier.”

 

3. In Suez Canal, Stuck Ship Is a Warning About Excessive Globalization

The New York Times · by Peter S. Goodman · March 26, 2021

I think it will be damn hard to be the globalization genie back in the bottle.

Excerpts: “Three-fourths of all container ships traveling from Asia to Europe arrived late in February, according to Sea-Intelligence, a research company in Copenhagen. Even a few days of disruption in the Suez could exacerbate that situation.

If the Suez remains clogged for more than a few days, the stakes would rise drastically. Ships now stuck in the canal will find it difficult to turn around and pursue other routes given the narrowness of the channel.

Those now en route to the Suez may opt to head south and navigate around Africa, adding weeks to their journeys and burning additional fuel — a cost ultimately borne by consumers.

Whenever ships again move through the canal, they are likely to arrive at busy ports all at once, forcing many to wait before they can unload — an additional delay.

“This could make a really bad crisis even worse,” said Alan Murphy, the founder of Sea-Intelligence.

If the Suez blockade lasts for two weeks, as many as one-fourth of the containers that would normally be in European ports could be stalled.

 

4. Negotiating [Im]plausible Deniability: Strategic Guidelines for U.S. Engagement in Modern Indirect Warfare

ndupress.ndu.edu · March 19 2021

Another important contribution to the discourse on irregular warfare, political warfare, gray zone, indirect approach, etc…

Conclusion: “Concerns that the use of indirect attacks might disadvantage liberal democracies and incentivize them to adopt undemocratic and opaque policies to strengthen their position in geopolitical competition are misguided. Our analysis suggests that this mode of competition actually requires strengthening U.S. democratic principles rather than abandoning them. First, U.S. adversaries seek to exploit the deep polarization and mistrust in U.S. politics to advance their agendas, suggesting that efforts to build a more resilient, democratic society would also help undermine meddling by external actors. Second, by giving policymakers the space to respond deliberatively rather than capriciously, indirect attacks present an opportunity for liberal democracies to reduce tensions. Policymakers must seize this space to pursue diplomatic initiatives and to invest in tools for better understanding the systemic and cumulative effect of these indirect attacks in order to hold adversaries accountable, but without leading to escalation. In doing so, indirect attacks may actually reduce the level of conflict in the international system and reinforce the importance of democracy for peace in the world.” 

 

5. U.S. wages psychological war on Moscow – Russian defense adviser

Reuters · by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Andrew Osborn · March 25, 2021

Isn’t this why Gerasmiov wrote about New Generation or Non-Linear Warfare that we have come to know as the Gerasimov? He believed that it was the US fomenting instability around the world (e.g., Arab Spring, Color Revolutions, etc) to justify US military intervention.

See Charles Bartles’ excellent article: “Getting Gerasimov Right” 

Excerpt: “A new type of warfare… is starting to appear. I call it, for the sake of argument, mental war. It’s when the aim of this warfare is the destruction of the enemy’s understanding of civilizational pillars,” Ilnitsky, who advises Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, told the Spas TV channel.

Here are some excerpts from the Latvia Defence Academy summarizing the Gerasimov doctrine/New Generation Warfare. Non-linear Warfare. Little Green Men.

As a result, it follows that the main guidelines for developing Russian military capabilities by 2020 are:

i. From direct destruction to direct influence;

ii. from direct annihilation of the opponent to its inner decay;

iii. from a war with weapons and technology to a culture war;

iv. from a war with conventional forces to specially prepared forces and commercial irregular groupings;

v. from the traditional (3D) battleground to information/psychological warfare and war of perceptions;

vi. from direct clash to contactless war;

vii. from a superficial and compartmented war to a total war, including the enemy’s internal side and base;

viii. from war in the physical environment to a war in the human consciousness and in cyberspace;

ix. from symmetric to asymmetric warfare by a combination of political, economic, information, technological, and ecological campaigns;

x. From war in a defined period of time to a state of permanent war as the natural condition in national life.

Thus, the Russian view of modern warfare is based on the idea that the main battlespace is the mind and, as a result, new-generation wars are to be dominated by information and psychological warfare, in order to achieve superiority in troops and weapons control, morally and psychologically depressing the enemy’s armed forces personnel and civil population. The main objective is to reduce the necessity for deploying hard military power to the minimum necessary, making the opponent’s military and civil population support the attacker to the detriment of their own government and country. It is interesting to note the notion of permanent war, since it denotes a permanent enemy. In the current geopolitical structure, the clear enemy is Western civilization, its values, culture, political system, and ideology.

 

6.  Re-Budgeting for a Right-Sized International Counterterrorism Posture

thecipherbrief.com · by Matthew Levitt · March 18, 2021

Key point – tools cannot direct strategy.

Conclusion: “After twenty years of investing in exquisite and unique counterterrorism tools, America now risks falling behind the times by virtue of allowing tools to direct strategy. Seeking to avoid this classic disconnect between ends and means, policymakers on both sides of the political aisle are pressing for a rationalization of American’s counterterrorism posture around the world. Making this happen will demand that the White House urgently oversee and direct the necessary budgetary review to disentangle counterterrorism intelligence budgets from the kinetic military budgets on which they are currently grafted.”

 

7. Pentagon linguist pleads guilty to exposing U.S. intelligence sources to Hezbollah

CBS News · by Caitlin Yilek

Human beings are hard to figure out. I guess there are people looking for love in all the wrong places. (Johnny Lee): 

 

But this incident would appear to cause great damage.

Excerpts:That changed after Soleimani was killed by the U.S. The man was “very emotional and upset about the U.S. airstrikes, especially the death of [Soleimani], and he started to ask Thompson to provide ‘them’ with information about the human assets that had helped the United States to target” the Iranian commander, the court documents said. “Thompson understood ‘them’ to be Lebanese [Hezbollah].”

Thompson believed that if she did not pass on the classified information that her relationship with the Lebanese national “would come to an end” and he “would not marry her.”

She then began accessing national defense information that she did not have a need to access or know and showing her notes containing the secret information to the man, the documents said. She handed over true names, personal identification data, background information and photos of clandestine human sources, and also passed on details of U.S. targets, court documents said.

 

8. New conspiracy theory claims US Air Force shot down MH370 in a failed bid to intercept it and seize electronic equipment on its way to China

Daily Mail · by Chris Jewers · March 27, 2021

Wow. Now this is a conspiracy theory.

New conspiracy theory claims US Air Force shot down MH370 in a failed bid to intercept it and seize electronic equipment on its way to China

  • Florence de Changy has been reporting and investigating MH370 since 2014
  • The plane went missing on March 8, 2014, with the mystery never solved
  • But the French author argues that the ‘mystery’ itself is the greatest con of all 
  • In the 400-page book, de Changy argues that current theories are off the mark, and that there has been a combined effort to cover the truth of what happened
  • Instead, she suggests the plane could have been downed by the US Air Force in an attempt to intercept the plane and confiscate cargo en-route to Beijing 

 

9. America Needs to Rediscover Strategic MacGyverism

The National Interest · by Michael Beckley and Hal Brands · March 27, 2021

Realism, constructivism, etc, and now “Strategic MacGyverism.”

Excerpts: “Confronted with the fact that America had been missing in action in the world’s most important soft-power fight—the race to deliver coronavirus vaccines to the developing world—the administration turned to the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. Although the Quad’s original purpose was to regulate maritime security, it will now combine U.S. biotechnology, Indian production, Japanese financing, and Australian logistics to provide one billion doses of vaccine to Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, there are rumblings about an initiative to repurpose the Group of 7—a democratic forum focused on macroeconomic issues—as a tech coalition to deal with the pressing challenge of Chinese hegemony in the world’s telecommunications networks. That’s the sort of dexterity the United States needs.

New administrations often take months to methodically review policies and lay out long-term plans. That approach makes sense for a “superpower marathon” that won’t be settled for decades. But the pivotal phase of U.S.-China competition is arriving now. America needs a farsighted strategy to stay ahead of China throughout this century, but first needs to avoid losing crucial battles this decade.

Fortunately, the United States has the power and the historical precedent to turn things around. In the early-1980s, at the climax of the Cold War, Americans relied on a B-list actor to blunt a surge of Soviet aggression and carry the United States to victory. Now as a second cold war heats up, the United States should look to another subpar celebrity for guidance. The MacGyver Doctrine is ugly and uninspiring, the geopolitical equivalent of duct tape. But it is fast, effective, and quintessentially American.”

 

10. ‘Things really are very bad’ — Biden navigates cyber attacks without a cyber czar

Politico · by Natasha Bertrand

Excerpts:Recognizing the massive task at hand in coordinating a national cybersecurity strategy, kicking out hackers and protecting government agencies against future attack, the White House has begun to warm to the creation of the NCD office, people familiar with the deliberations said — particularly because the office will be able to access resources, review budgets, and build a staff of up to 75 people to implement a national strategy in a way the NSC can not.

But deconfliction is still an issue. One option now being explored is to have Neuberger serve in both roles, and be dual-hatted as deputy national security adviser and National Cyber Director, said two people familiar with the discussions.

King said he would be opposed to that structure. “To say you’re going to make someone a NSC senior staff person and the NCD — I don’t think that works. I hope they don’t do that.”

Wherever the White House lands on this, a decision needs to be made soon, experts said.

“The NCD is needed to work the day-to-day deconfliction and institutionalize plans for preventing and, when that fails, responding to the next crisis,” Spaudling said. “And the next crisis could be tomorrow, so time is not on our side.”

 

11. War is Changing. So Should the Pentagon’s Budget

defenseone.com · by Scott Cooper

Excerpts: “Finally, budget planners should shift more manpower spending to fund enterprise digital platforms and applications that automate management, analysis, and auditing of the department’s administrative and financial information, thereby harnessing modern technology to drive effective, data-driven personnel and fiscal decisions.

Software is as important as any hardware. The Russian SolarWinds hack of 2020 is an example of the fact that we have not yet come to terms with the very real vulnerabilities of our computer systems. Chinese military doctrine calls for attacking U.S. command and intelligence systems, satellites, navigation systems, and even the American electrical power grid — such as was done this year in Mumbai. The universal opposition of the Defense Department to the license application of Ligado to build a 5G mobile communications network because it would “cause unacceptable operational impacts to the warfighter and adversely affect the military potential of GPS by negatively impacting GPS receivers” shows how crowded the electromagnetic spectrum is, how vulnerable it is to interference, and that investments must be constantly made to maintain the ability to use the spectrum.

Leaders in the Pentagon and Congress should identify and answer our true operational weaknesses. The United States is a global leader in software, data, and digital tools. It’s time the commander in chief and lawmakers ensure we harness them for national security.”

 

12. Malign or benign? China–US strategic competition under Biden

eastasiaforum.org · by Jia Qingguo · March 28, 2021

A view from an academic in China:

Conclusion: “Although the Biden administration’s approach to strategic competition is quite different from the Trump administration’s, it does not necessarily follow that China–US relations will stabilize and improve. How the Biden administration actually deals with the thorny issues between the two countries is yet to be seen. It will also depend on how China responds to US actions. Given the strong negative pubic sentiments toward each other, and their increasingly divergent domestic political practices, a truly benign strategic competition still remains difficult if not impossible to achieve.”

 

13. Prosecutors struggle with consistent story in cases involving Capitol riot

Stars and Stripes

Excerpt: “Authorities are still combing through a sea of evidence in what they say is likely the most complex investigation ever prosecuted by the Justice Department.

 

14.  Chronicles of an American Diplomat: John Quincy Adams

classicsofstrategy.com · by Patrick J. Garrity

Excerpts: “Boston was roiled between those supporting and those opposing efforts to retaliate by imposing significant economic restrictions on Britain, which in the opinion of the Federalists would likely lead to war. John Quincy reported to his father about these debates in Boston. Adams (father and son) agreed that British depredations were unacceptable, but opposed extreme retaliatory measures, such as the sequestration of British debts, which they deemed both unjust and likely to be ineffective. They believed that diplomacy was the best of bad choices and therefore supported Washington’s decision to appoint a special envoy to Britain, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay, to try to settle outstanding differences.

John Quincy’s views about American foreign policy were widely circulated outside Massachusetts. They found an especially appreciative audience in the presidential residence. Through these writings and personal meetings, President Washington had clearly formed a favorable opinion of the younger Adams. John Adams was careful not to promote his son, but it seemed likely that John Quincy would soon be rewarded with some official duty. He was — but it was an entirely unexpected position, which would determine the whole pattern of his life thereafter.

President Washington appointed John Quincy as Minister Resident to the Dutch Republic, one of America’s few overseas diplomatic posts—and did so during a time of grave national security crisis.”

 

15. Under Biden, Diplomacy Is an Attractive Career Again

The New York Times · by By Pranshu Verma· March 27, 2021

Excerpts: “In an interview, Ms. Spears said that she would not discourage diplomats of color from joining the Foreign Service, but that they should be aware that issues of race in the State Department were hard to change. 

A new president was not likely to solve the issue, she added.

“This isn’t an administration thing,” she said. “A lot of this is systemic, it’s behavioral, and it’s passed down from management.”

Uyen Vong, whose parents immigrated from Vietnam, said that she was applying to become a diplomat, in part because she felt the “new administration brings a lot of hope to people who were marginalized in the past.” She said she believed her family’s immigrant experience would be a powerful display of the country’s values. “I can represent America,” Ms. Vong said, “and I very much represent American values.”

Ms. Vong, who took the February Foreign Service exam, said that she was encouraged by Mr. Biden’s decision to make diversity a priority for the State Department, but acknowledged that there was “still more to be done.”

She said that State Department officials must cultivate diplomats as early as in high school and that more minority candidates must be promoted into higher-profile roles.

“When you see more faces that look like you,” she said, “I think it definitely will bring more people to work in public service.”

Interest in becoming a diplomat has grown, and President Biden’s outreach to other nations is appealing to aspiring diplomats, many of whom felt alienated by Trump policies.

 

16. Stop asking the US military to fight terrorism and rebuild countries

Business Insider · by Charli Carpenter

Excerpts: “The distinctions between civilian and combatant, between battlefield and home front and between unlawful combatant and POW rightly become irrelevant within such an architecture.

This was the world before 9/11; before then-President George W. Bush declared “war” on a band of criminals; before Congress authorized the use of force without due process against anyone, anywhere suspected by the US to be a threat; and before the U.S. military was erroneously tasked with transnational law enforcement, nation building and operational support in the world’s various civil wars.

To be sure, where useful, members of the US military might be deployed under UN auspices to support peacekeeping missions. US special forces could become a useful adjunct for Interpol and/or any country willing to try alleged terrorists under universal jurisdiction.

But the military as an institution is not equipped to orchestrate the building of nations or effectively police transnational crime, nor should it be entrusted with these tasks. The attitude underpinning Pede and Hayden’s article is itself an example of why.”

 

17. U.S.-China sanctions battle escalating under Biden with focus on Xinjiang abuses

washingtontimes.com · by Guy Taylor

 

18. US-Taiwan coast guard partner to blunt potential Chinese invasion

Washington Examiner · by Joel Gehrke · March 28, 2021

 

—————-

“One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests.”

– John Stuart Mill

 

 “What we do stems directly from what we believe.”

– Millicent Fenwick

 

“A belief doesn’t have to be true to be highly motivating, and it is one of the bitterest lessons of history that false or irrational beliefs are often the most powerful of all.” 

-Dr. Mardy Grothe

DanielRiggs
Sun, 03/28/2021 – 4:02pm

03/28/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

03/28/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Biden’s Great North Korea Mistake: Pushing China to ‘Solve the Problem’

2. Analysis | North Korea conducted more missile tests. What happens next?

3. Biden can’t afford to laugh-off Kim Jong Un’s provocations

4. Joe Biden and North Korea: A Crisis Coming Soon?

5. North Korea Doubles Down on Nuclear Weapons Plan After Biden’s Salvo

6. North Korea is installing concrete barriers and high-voltage wires along its border with China

7. North calls Biden criticism of missile test a ‘provocation’

8. Seoul repeatedly says ‘firing being analyzed’ after Pyongyang’s missile firing

9. Biden warns N. Korea, while Moon wants to “talk”

10. N.K. paper stresses local economy as ‘cornerstone’ of national development

11. Sinpho South Naval Shipyard: Drydock Movement Detected

12. Which Korean military unit is the strongest?

 

1. Biden’s Great North Korea Mistake: Pushing China to ‘Solve the Problem’

The National Interest · by Michael Rubin · March 25, 2021

I think the reaffirmation of the “closer than lips and teeth” PRC-DPRK alliance recently is intended to directly counter the line of effort that is likely being considered in the new Korea policy. China will not contribute to solving US and ROK security challenges.

And of course the subtitle is correct: there is not silver bullet in dealing with north Korea.

 

2. Analysis | North Korea conducted more missile tests. What happens next?

The Washington Post · by Patricia M. Kim · March 27, 2021

The three challenges:

  • The U.S. and South Korea don’t fully agree on North Korea policy
  • China and Russia are added complications
  • The U.S. has few credible options left to coerce North Korea
  • A sobering conclusion: “These significant challenges to allied and regional coordination and the implementation of an effective North Korea policy suggest that the Biden administration and its counterparts are in for a difficult ride with Pyongyang — one that, barring a radical diplomatic intervention, will probably lead to a North Korea with greater nuclear and missile capabilities.”

     

    3. Biden can’t afford to laugh-off Kim Jong Un’s provocations

    Business Insider · by Harry Kazianis

    I recommend the administration attack the regime’s strategy. Expose its long con, political warfare, and blackmail diplomacy. I don’t think any substantive negotiations can occur as long as Kim Jong-un thinks his strategies will achieve success (as they have for seven decades). Until we show Kim his strategies do not work he will continue to follow his current and historical regime playbook. If we want to negotiate with Kim we have to force him to recognize that he cannot play his long con with us.

     

    4. Joe Biden and North Korea: A Crisis Coming Soon?

    The National Interest · by Doug Bandow · March 27, 2021

    If there is a crisis it will be the result of Kim Jong-un decision making and not US action.

    But this is quite an accusation against the President:

    “After his press conference, we now know that President Biden is thinking about Korea. Despite his contrary claim, it almost certainly is not his top priority. However, the latest North Korean missile tests require the administration to think seriously about how to engage the DPRK. While denuclearization might remain the president’s top priority, it should not be his only priority. Much good could be done while taking even a lengthy path toward denuclearization that never reaches its official objective.

    ​I do agree that denuclearization should not be the President’s top priority. – The Top priority for the Biden and Moon administrations should be achieving the acceptable durable political arrangement that will serve, protect, and advance ROK/US alliance interests in Northeast Asia. That begins with resolving the “Korea question.”​

     

    5. North Korea Doubles Down on Nuclear Weapons Plan After Biden’s Salvo

    WSJ · by Andrew Jeong

    This is such classic north Korean “diplomacy.” It is deliberately stoking tensions as part of blackmail diplomacy to gain political and economic concessions.  The regime’s actions and intent are so obvious. Why do we not call them out on it? We have to do so to make this strategy fail and force him to adopt a new one – ideally one that would be based on substantive working level negotiations and in accordance with the norms and standards of the international community. The only way north Korea can become a responsible member of the international community is by jettisoning its seven decades old strategy and concepts of operation. 

     

    6. North Korea is installing concrete barriers and high-voltage wires along its border with China

    dailynk.com · by Ha Yoon Ah · March 28, 2021

    Just think this through. There is no doubt the regime fears the Korean people more than the US. Imagine how much electrical power it must take to keep this barrier electrified. Most of north Korea does not have 24 electrical power. Why are the Korean people suffering? Because of Kim Jong-un’s deliberate policy choices.

     

    7. North calls Biden criticism of missile test a ‘provocation’

    koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Sarah Kim

    Again, classic north Korea actions. But why don’t the press and pundits take this to the logical conclusion and expose the regime’s bankrupt strategy and how we are complicit in the success of its strategy by our actions or non-actions? And the most important action is to attack the regime’s strategy.

     

    8. Seoul repeatedly says ‘firing being analyzed’ after Pyongyang’s missile firing

    donga.com · March 26, 2021

    The Korean military and intelligence communities are in a tough position trying to toe the Moon administration’s peace agenda line of effort.

     

    9. Biden warns N. Korea, while Moon wants to “talk”

    donga.com  · March 27, 2021

    Probably the single most difficult friction point in the ROK/US alliance is the different strategic assumptions about the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime (apologies to the horse for beating it so much).

     

    10. N.K. paper stresses local economy as ‘cornerstone’ of national development

    38north.org · by Jack Liu · March 26, 2021

    Yes but….

    The only way for the local economy to work is to allow market activity but the regime is shutting that down.

     

    11. Sinpho South Naval Shipyard: Drydock Movement Detected

    38north.org · by Jack Liu · March 26, 2021

    Hmmm…. a new submarine?

     

    12. Which Korean military unit is the strongest?

    koreaherald.com · by Lim Jang-won · March 24, 2021

    Hmmm… should be entertaining especially for those of us who served with these soldiers and sailors. 

     

    “One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests.”

    – John Stuart Mill

     

     “What we do stems directly from what we believe.”

    – Millicent Fenwick

     

    “A belief doesn’t have to be true to be highly motivating, and it is one of the bitterest lessons of history that false or irrational beliefs are often the most powerful of all.” 

    -Dr. Mardy Grothe

    DanielRiggs
    Sun, 03/28/2021 – 2:09pm

    03/26/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

    03/26/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

    News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Riley Murray.

     

    1. Top general: Afghan forces need US troops to fight Taliban

    2. FDD | Iran must come clean on its nuclear deception

    3. United States Seizes Websites Used by Foreign Terrorist Organization

    4. Opinion | Biden faces the world’s most dangerous problems in North Korea and Taiwan

    5. US Army, Marines, Special Forces Eye Israeli ‘Hero’ Attack Drones

    6. Officials Describe Special Operations Forces (SASC hearing 25 March 2021)

    7. Why there will be no ‘Asian NATO’

    8. SOCOM Shifting To Great Power Competition Strategy, But Needs More ISR Capabilities, Commander Says

    9. How the Defense Department Can Move from Abstraction to Action on Climate Change

    10. It’s National Medal of Honor Day and Alwyn Cashe still doesn’t have his

    11. Rep. Andy Kim On State Department Racism: ‘My Own Government Questioned My Loyalty’

    12. Why Is U.S. National Security Run by a Bunch of Benchwarmers?

    13. House lawmakers voice concern over how to address extremism in the military without clear data

    14. Biden rallies old alliances behind new mission: Challenging China

    15. Lawmakers Investigate State Department Over $1 Billion Ransom Payment to Iran

    16. How an Alleged Russian Spy Ring Used Cold War Tactics

    17. U.S. military launched over 2 dozen cyber operations before 2020 election

    18. Special Operations team in Pacific will confront Chinese information campaigns

    19. Is China About to Deploy Private Military Companies in Central Asia?

     

    1. Top general: Afghan forces need US troops to fight Taliban

    The Hill · by Rebecca Kheel · March 25, 2021

    Excerpt:

    Pressed by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on whether he has presented the Biden administration with options to continue addressing counterterrorism threats in the region if U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan, Clarke demurred.

    “There’s been no decision made for Afghanistan, so I think it would be a hypothetical to know what we’re going to do at this time,” Clarke said. “But we will always provide options for the Department of Defense.”

     

    2. FDD | Iran must come clean on its nuclear deception

    fdd.org · by Richard Goldberg · March 25, 2021

    Excerpts:

    Preventing undeclared nuclear activities is a fundamental nonproliferation principle that is supported by Republicans and Democrats. If the Biden administration returns to the JCPOA without resolving the problem of Iran’s undeclared activities, it would send a dangerous message and green light Tehran to advance a clandestine nuclear weapons program. North Korea will be taking notes given its own unresolved nuclear activities, and countries eying expanded nuclear programs, like Saudi Arabia, may learn the same lesson. A nuclear arms race in the Middle East could follow.

    President Biden should deliver a clear message: There will be no sanctions relief for Iran without a full accounting. There should be no going back to a nuclear deal based on nuclear deception. To delude himself otherwise, Biden would repeat the mistakes of the past and slowly unravel the NPT framework, leading to a more dangerous world with more countries with nuclear weapons.

     

    3. United States Seizes Websites Used by Foreign Terrorist Organization

    justice.gov · March 25, 2021

     

    4. Opinion | Biden faces the world’s most dangerous problems in North Korea and Taiwan

    The Washington Post – by David Ignatius – March 25, 2021

    Excerpt: Since Anchorage, Chinese think tanks have been using a phrase that means “hit, hit, talk, talk” to describe what’s ahead with the United States, according to one top sinologist. The “hit, hit” part of that formula carries significant risks — especially if China continues to believe that a weakened America isn’t ready to fight back.

     

    5. US Army, Marines, Special Forces Eye Israeli ‘Hero’ Attack Drones

    breakingdefense.com · by Arie Egozi

     

    6. Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing – USSOCOM CDR

    defense.gov · by David Vergun

    When the transcript is publicly available I will forward that. The most important point made in this hearing came from General Clarke:

    And then the last thing I’d — I would hit in this area is the specific authority for our forces conduct unconventional warfare in this space. While I can take specific points in a closed session, that authority that allows us to work with — with partner forces to increase both the resistance and resilience, working in the information space is absolutely critical.

    But here are a few of the key excerpts from the hearing (implies a resistance operating concept for Taiwan).

    HAWLEY: Good. Well I look forward to working with — with you on that. General Clarke, let me come to you. The Baltic nations have spent some years honing their ability to conduct irregular warfare in the event that Moscow attempts to — to seize a Baltic territory, so it won’t be able to hold it. It’s become a key part of their deterrence strategy, as you know, in the Baltic region.

    I’m — what I’m wondering — why I’m asking about this is do you wonder, do you — do you think that the Baltic model could be applied in Taiwan? In other woods — words, would helping Taiwan improve its irregular warfare capabilities help it deter potential Chinese aggression?

    CLARKE: Senator, bottom line, yes. We have worked closely with the Baltics. I have met with every Baltic SOC (ph) commander personally, and we have been engaged in the Baltics for a long time. But we also — and I can talk more specifically in closed hearing, we remain close with capabilities for Taiwan.

    HAWLEY: Do you think that it would be helpful to us, and should we be prioritizing helping Taiwan develop its irregular warfare capabilities?

    CLARKE: Yes, Senator, I do think we should help them.

    Key point here. According to the ASD SO/LIC he will continue to directly report to the SECDEF for civilian oversight and administrative control (ADCON) of SOF but the SECDEF is relooking iof the ASD SO/LIC should report to USD(P) on policy issues.

    Mr. Maier, again what’s the status today at the Department’s assets to empower ASD SOLIC and what additional resources or authorities do you believe we need from the Congress?

    MAIER: Thank you, Chairman.

    So the current status is one that is SOLIC as a standalone organization both its policy components and its service secretary like our 922 component outside of OSD (ph) policy. Secretary Austin and Deputy Secretary Hicks are relooking that to see that continues to make sense.

    I think one of the potential options is to determine a way to better integrate the policy components that were removed from SOLIC towards the end of the last administration back more integrated into policy but under no circumstances am I aware of any COAs that are being discussed that would remove the Service Secretary-like responsibility from remaining a principal staff assisting and a direct report up to the Secretary of Defense so I think your legislation has been very clear in that point.

    As to progress to date, we continue to make progress I think on building the capability, in many cases in the form of expertise and people on the components in that administrative chain of command so the SSO or Secretary for Special Operations that was explicitly directed in the ’21 NDAA is something we build to about 40 people at this point, and it includes a cross-section of expert from the budgeting world, the legislative world, the acquisitions world, really the — if you will the nascent or core group of people that will perform that Service Secretary-like function.

    But we are not at the point Chairman, of irreversible momentum at this point and we’re not on the point of having something that is probably sufficient to do the roles that have been described in the — in multiple NDAAs at this point.

    Last thing I will say is, I do think the relationship with Special Operations Command is very strong. One of the things that General Clarke and I benefited from of having worked together on multiple occasions in the past, and I think that leadership connection helps to insure our staffs are proceeding in that direction of collaboration, partnership, and civilian-military relationships.

    General Clarke has somewhat different views on 922. – ASD SO/LIC as an advocate for SOF – he seems to minimize the civilian oversight role

    TUBERVILLE: Thank you.

    General Clarke, Section 922 of the 2017 N.A. — NDAA, which was signed into law by President Obama, made clear that the administrative chain of command for the Special Operations community runs from the president, to the secretary of defense, to ASDSOLIC, and then to you, the SOCOM commander. Prior to conducting congressional engagements, do you obtain approval from ASDSOLIC?

    CLARKE: Mr. Secretary (sic), we work very closely with ASDSOLIC for — to — in the administrative chain of command for oversight, particularly for our budget and our acquisition. Mr. Maier and his predecessors provide that oversight. But it’s also clear that my chain of command — and Secretary Austin made this very clearly to me — that my chain of command as a combatant commander runs to the secretary of defense, to the president.

    TUBERVILLE: Yeah, thank you. And that’s kind of my next question. Do you — do you support the implementation of the law, and specific — specifically, ASDSOLIC’s absolute control over administrative matters such as legislative engagements, budgetary resource decisions, acquisitions, public affairs, personnel, legal accountability and other related authorities held by the traditional military service?

    CLARKE: Senator, what — what I believe is a key role for ASDSOLIC is actually to be an advocate for SOCOM, you know, within the department. And so when decisions are made about services and service budgets and service, you know, personnel decisions, having ASDSOLIC in the room to be able to be that advocate for us to me is the most important aspect that ASDSOLIC can do for SOCOM. You know, that goes back to the old adage: If you’re not — if you’re not — if you’re not at the table, you become the lunch. And having ASDSOLIC in — in and at that table, which — which has occurred, has been very helpful.

    TUBERVILLE: Thank you.

    Mr. Maier, as I noted a moment ago, the law mandates that the administrative chain of command for SOCOM passes from the president, secretary of defense, ASDSOLIC, SOCOM commander. In the light of the clear chain of command, have you met with the secretary on administrative matters related to SOCOM?

    MAIER: Senator, yes, I have, and I participate in the secretary’s regular service secretary meetings. I also participate, or my staff participate in the series of governance meetings that the deputy secretary runs in order to do just as — was already said by General Clarke, to both advocate, but for the administrative chain of command. We are responsible for both setting direction and ensuring execution and implementation consistent with the law.

    TUBERVILLE: How often do you all meet, do you think?

    CLARKE: The service secretaries meet at least twice a month. Obviously new administration, so different series of meetings. But every day, sir, there’s meetings that I’m representing (inaudible) in that service secretary-like hat with the secretary, deputy secretary or their direct reports.

    Excellent to see General Clarke discuss conventional warfare here:​

    BLACKBURN: Thank you — thank you, Mr. Chairman. And General Clarke, thank you for the time and the conversation yesterday. We talked about 40 percent of SOCOM’s forces are aligned to support the great power competition fight. That is a big increase.

    So for the record today, I’d like for you to talk about the resourcing standpoint — what do you need from this committee in terms of authority, advocacy, what do you need to engage in near peer competition from Beijing, and then let’s talk a little bit about the posture that SOCOM has to counter these nefarious activities from the CCP, and where you are positioned there.

    I think you can really do more with a lower dollar amount than the regular force. So love to just get your comments for the record.

    CLARKE: Senator, thank you. You know, as pointed out, with about two percent of the Department of Defense budget, I think we are a very good return on our investment, with about three percent of the force. And the continued resourcing, specifically, you know, for SOCOM, so that we can modernize in the — in this area, where — where we can, you know, provide unique capabilities for our forces is critical. We have to balance both operations, readiness and modernization. The — and — the — the continued support of this committee remains critical.

    As we look at — you — you specifically asked about our employment and our capacity at 40 percent. That is exactly right. We — we have in fact adjusted our forces to a sustainable presence against, you know, the persistent terrorist threats while at the same time rebalancing those forces across the globe.

    As some of our near — you know, some of our competitors are now global threats and not necessarily specific to Europe — Europe or INDOPACOM. And so we continue to look where our forces are located across the globe so they can — so they can counter, you know, those specific threats.

    And then the last thing I’d — I would hit in this area is the specific authority for our forces conduct unconventional warfare in this space. While I can take specific points in a closed session, that authority that allows us to work with — with partner forces to increase both the resistance and resilience, working in the information space is absolutely critical.

     

    7. Why there will be no ‘Asian NATO’

    asiatimes.com · by Ken Moak · March 26, 2021

    We tried NEATO, SEATO, CENTO. The conditions, cultures, politics, are very different in Asia than in Europe. We need a Quad and more importantly a Quad plu. But it cannot be an Asian NATO. And one of the major differences is that the Quad focus should be based on diplomatic, informational. and economic instruments as the main focus (and perhaps the economic instrument as the priority) that rests on a foundation of security cooperation but without an “alliance structure” and certainly without a combined military command structure.

     

    8. SOCOM Shifting To Great Power Competition Strategy, But Needs More ISR Capabilities, Commander Says

    news.usni.org · by John Grady · March 25, 2021

    Great Power Competition in the space between peace and war (gray zone):

    • Competition equals Political Warfare
    • Most likely
    • State on state warfare less likely
    • Most dangerous
    • We must be able to operate in the modern era of the Gray Zone and Political Warfare – Irregular Warfare
    • But we must also support major theater state on state war –     
    • not either/or but both/and

    America may not be interested in irregular, unconventional, and political warfare but IW/UW/PW are being practiced around the world by those who are interested in them

    With no apologies to Trotsky

     

    9. How the Defense Department Can Move from Abstraction to Action on Climate Change

    warontherocks.com · by Samuel Brannen – Sarah Ladislaw – Lachlan Carey· March 26, 2021

    Excerpts:

    While it may seem hard to believe now, in time climate change may be the most formidable and unpredictable adversary the Department of Defense has ever faced. U.S. adversaries typically have motivations that can be scrutinized and resource limitations that can be exploited. Their actions can be deterred. Runaway climate change would be merciless. The planet has no regard for borders or conventions or theaters of war. The changing climate will affect every aspect of life on Earth, and by extension, every facet of America’s strategic operating environment. In some instances, it will amplify existing security risks, while in others it will force the national security apparatus to consider new risks entirely. It will drain resources from military readiness and modernization within Defense Department budgets and as tradeoffs are made to fund other federal priorities in response to climate change.

    Protecting the nation’s interests means proactively building a long-term climate action strategy with other branches of government, segments of society, and global partners — a theme ably picked up on by the newly released Interim National Security Strategic Guidance. It means more than hardening assets and bolstering resilience but building strategies to prevail in this new and uncertain future. Like many other entities in both the public and private sectors, the Department of Defense has been thinking about climate change as one item in a long list of global challenges, but not as the dominant global trend that will frame all other issues. The Biden administration’s early charge to make climate change a central priority gives the Department of Defense an opportunity to better understand a future that will create compounding stresses and challenges affecting its future as much if not more than a rising China.

     

    10. It’s National Medal of Honor Day and Alwyn Cashe still doesn’t have his

    taskandpurpose.com · by Haley Britzky · March 25, 2021

    What are we waiting for? We need to get this done and properly honor this American hero.

     

    11. Rep. Andy Kim On State Department Racism: ‘My Own Government Questioned My Loyalty’

    NPR · by Ari Shapiro · March 25, 2021

    Hmmm… While this may be the Congressman’s experience, we have Ambassador Sung Kim as the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Pacific, former Special Envoy for north Korea and US Ambassador to South Korea. We have Dr. Jung Pak as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Pacific. I know many Korean-American Americans working on Korean (and other) national security issues at State, Defense, and other government agencies.

    I do not want to minimize the issue at all. I know it exists and I have heard this. I have also known many Americans who did not have a desire to work on issues of the country of their heritage and would rather not be compartmented into working such issues.

     

    12.  Why Is U.S. National Security Run by a Bunch of Benchwarmers?

    Foreign Policy · by Robbie Gramer, Jack Detsch · March 25, 2021

    Benchwarmers? I would not use that to describe the professionals I know who continue to serve in our government.

    That said, yes we need to get all these positions filled. I just don’t think we need to insult all the professionals to make the point. But it makes for a great clickbait title.

     

    13. House lawmakers voice concern over how to address extremism in the military without clear data

    Stars and Stripes

    We do need to know the extent of the problem in order to solve it.  

     

    14. Biden rallies old alliances behind new mission: Challenging China

    Axios · by Dave Lawler

    Our alliances are a critical source of power and influence.

     

    15. Lawmakers Investigate State Department Over $1 Billion Ransom Payment to Iran

    freebeacon.com · by Adam Kredo · March 25, 2021

    Uh Oh. I had not seen any reporting on this.

     

    16. How an Alleged Russian Spy Ring Used Cold War Tactics

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-an-alleged-russianspyring-used-cold-war-tactics-11616701381?mod=flipboard – by Georgi Kantchev

    How an Alleged Russian Spy Ring Used Cold War Tactics

    Prosecutors say group in Bulgaria was tasked to gather classified information on NATO military alliance, CIA

     

    17.  U.S. military launched over 2 dozen cyber operations before 2020 election

    Axios · by Jacob Knutson

     

    18. Special Operations team in Pacific will confront Chinese information campaigns

    c4isrnet.com · by Mark Pomerleau · March 25, 2021

    Excellent development. I was not aware of this.

    The Joint Task Force Indo-Pacific team will be focused on information and influence operations in the Pacific theater, a part of the world receiving much the military’s attention because of China’s growing capabilities.

    The team is poised to work with like-minded partners in the region, Gen. Richard Clarke, commander of Special Operations Command, said before the Armed Services Committee. “We actually are able to tamp down some of the disinformation that they [China] continuously sow,” he said of the task force’s efforts.

     

    19. Is China About to Deploy Private Military Companies in Central Asia?

    jamestown.org · by Paul Goble · March 25, 2021

    Interesting question and development.

     

    “The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armoury of the moden commander…”

    –  T.E. Lawrence, The Evolution of a Revolt, 1920

     

    “If one wishes to influence American foreign policy, the time to do so is in the formative period, and the level is the middle level of bureaucracy – that of the assistant secretary and his immediate advisers.  That is the highest level in which people can still think.  Above that, the day to day operation of the machine absorbs most of the energy, and the decisions that are made depend very much on internal pressures of the bureaucracy.”

    – Henry Kissinger, Bureaucracy and Policy Making (1968)

     

    “War in the age of technological integration and globalization has eliminated the right of weapons to label war and, with regard to the new starting point, has realigned the relationship of weapons to war, while the appearance of weapons of new concepts, and particularly new concepts of weapons, has gradually blurred the face of war. Does a single “hacker” attack count as a hostile act or not? Can using financial instruments to destroy a country’s economy be seen as a battle? . . .Obviously, proceeding with the traditional definition of war in mind, there is no longer any way to answer the above questions. When we suddenly realize that all these non-war actions may be the new factors constituting future warfare, we have to come up with a new name for this new form of war: Warfare which transcends all boundaries and limits, in short: unrestricted warfare.”

    – Unrestricted Warfare, Beijing, 1999

    Riley.C.Murray
    Fri, 03/26/2021 – 10:31am

    03/26/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

    03/26/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

    News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Riley Murray.

     

    1. Six North Korean Soldiers Cross River Border to Escape to China

    2. It Is Time for a Realistic Bargain With North Korea

    3. North Korean Survey Reveals More than 100 Deaths, 13,000 ‘Suspected’ COVID-19 Cases in One Province

    4. North Korean border guards in Chagang Province seen wearing gas masks

    5. U.S. condemns N. Korea’s missile launch as ‘destabilizing’

    6. Joint task force cracks down on users of illegal cell phones in Hyesan

    7. Moon slams North Korea’s missile test amid efforts for dialogue

    8. Court awards damages from North, Kim Jong-un

    9. North Korea Gives Biden a Missile Test—a Familiar Hello

    10. US labeling mishap of ‘East Sea,’ ‘Sea of Japan’ fuels debate

    11. As North Korea plots revenge over ‘spy’ extradited to US from Malaysia, assassinations and abductions may be next

    12. N Korea confirms missile tests as Biden warns of response

    13. South Korea should join the Quad: Korea Herald writer

    14. Asking China to Solve the North Korea Problem Is Completely Foolish

    15. Kim Jong Un aims his missiles at Biden

    16. U.S. will ‘respond accordingly’ to North’s escalation of tensions: Biden

    17. N.Korean Spy on Trial ‘Was Kim Jong-un’s Liquor Runner’

    18. New KN-23 ballistic missile to boost N. Korea’s tactical nuclear capabilities: experts

    19. ‘Business as Usual’: North Korea Restarts Ballistic Missile Tests

     

    1. Six North Korean Soldiers Cross River Border to Escape to China

    rfa.org

    While everyone is focused on north Korean provocations (reported cruise missile and SRBM launches) I want to flag this incident (and some other recent ones) to make sure we continue to observe the indications and warnings for possible internal instability.

    As we were working on the original planning for north Korean instability and regime collapse in the 1990’s Bob Collins and I tried to determine what were the key conditions that would lead to internal instability and regime collapse. The two were the loss of the ability for the regime/party to govern all of north Korean territory from Pyongyang combined with the loss of coherence of and support by the military.  One of the early indicators of the loss of coherence would be small unit military defections/escapes.  While we have long seen individual soldiers try to escape it is a significant escalation of potential instability when (small) units do so together. There can be many reasons for the escape but the fact that a group of soldiers can conspire and act indicates conditions may be making them desperate to act and the three chains of control and command are breaking down – the first chain is the tradition military chain from general to private, the second chain of control is the political chain, and the third chain of control is the security chain.  When you combine this with other reports of CVOID outbreaks and other instability indicators it is imperative that the military and intelligence communities be alert for indications and warnings of instability along with indications and warnings of provocations and attack.

    I am not predicting imminent collapse or that even the regime will eventually collapse. Kim continues to impose draconian population and resources control measures in the name of COVID mitigation but with the intent to crack down on anti-regime actions and potential resistance.  I will predict that if it does collapse it will be catastrophic. Therefore, we need to be as ready for this contingency as any of the others, most importantly because the conditions that lead to instability and collapse could lead to Kim Jong-un making the decision to execute his campaign plan to unify the peninsula by force under his rule to ensure survival of the regime.  Yes, I can be accused of being a chicken little screaming the sky is falling or the boy who cried wolf.  I will gladly accept all criticism if none of these scenarios play out.  But I am a worst case planner.

     

    2. It Is Time for a Realistic Bargain With North Korea

    Foreign Affairs · by Eric Brewer and Sue Mi Terry · March 25, 2021

    If we embark on arms control negotiations we are agreeing to north Korea as a nuclear power and that it will keep its nuclear weapons.  We need to recognize that we are making a deliberate decision to allow the north to be a nuclear power.  If that is what we are willing to do I would offer that we should answer two key questions:

    What do we want to achieve in Korea?

    What is the acceptable durable political arrangement that will protect, serve, and advance US and ROK/US Alliance interests on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia?

    I would also ask given what we assess to be the nature and objectives of the Kim family regime, would an arms control agreement alter the answers to these two key questions?

    Do we believe that Kim Jong-un has (or will ever) abandoned the seven decades old strategy of subversion, coercion-extortion (blackmail diplomacy), and use of force to achieve unification dominated by the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State in order to ensure the survival of the mafia like crime family cult known as Kim family regime?

    In support of that strategy do we believe that Kim Jong-un has (or will) abandoned the objective to split the ROK/US Alliance and get US forces off the peninsula?  Has KJU given up his divide to conquer strategy – divide the alliance to conquer the ROK?

    All that said, I would not be opposed to arms control negotiation if (and only if) it was a line of effort as part of a superior form of a political warfare strategy that was focused on solving the “Korea question” (para 60 of the Armistice) and achieving the acceptable durable political arrangement that will protect, serve, and advance US and ROK/US Alliance interests.  

    Conclusion:

    An arms control approach might well meet the same fate as other failed U.S. strategies for dealing with North Korea, but the Biden administration should still test whether it can work. Last year was one of North Korea’s toughest since the famine of the 1990s. The measures that Kim took to save his country from COVID-19—including closing the border with China—did more economic damage than sanctions have done. Kim has not been easily swayed by economic pressure in the past, but it is possible he is desperate enough for sanctions relief—and confident enough in his existing nuclear and missile capabilities—that he would trade some limits on his weapons programs for a significant reduction in sanctions.

    Such a strategy would not be risk free, and just because arms control aims for less doesn’t mean it will be any easier to achieve. Unlike the distant objective of total denuclearization, a limited arms control agreement would force tough, near-term tradeoffs with other U.S. policy goals. But given the failure of existing approaches, arms control is at least worth a shot. As long as Biden doesn’t make premature sanctions concessions in return for empty North Korean promises, the worst that can happen is that his administration winds up back where it started with the current containment regime.

     

    3. North Korean Survey Reveals More than 100 Deaths, 13,000 ‘Suspected’ COVID-19 Cases in One Province

    rfa.org

    Of course, this is unvetted and so we must take this with a grain of salt.  We should be grateful to Radio Free Asia for being able to provide this kind of reporting from its contacts within north Korea.  But it is plausible and if true it could have dire consequences for the regime.  Another reason why we need to continue to observe for the full spectrum of indications and warnings from attack to provocation to internal instability.

     

    4. North Korean border guards in Chagang Province seen wearing gas masks

    dailynk.com – by Jang Seul Gi – March 25, 2021

    Another unusual indicator.

    Interesting:

    Soldiers in the border buffer zone in Chunggang-eup, Chagang Province, were recently seen wearing full gas masks instead of medical masks. According to a source in the area, North Korean authorities ordered soldiers stationed on the border to wear gas masks to prevent infection by COVID-19 variants.

    A source in Chagang Province told Daily NK on Mar. 24 that “soldiers started wearing gas masks on Mar. 15,” adding that “[The military] gave the gas mask order because the COVID-19 variant is different from ordinary viruses in that it is a ‘protein poison’ [RNA virus], so regular masks won’t filter it out.”

    A North Korean defector familiar with the situation in North Korea said that “From what I heard, suspected COVID-19 cases have increased so much that [patients] can no longer be quarantined in [existing medical] facilities.” He further said that “It appears that North Korea is overreacting beyond the bounds of common sense because the pandemic has become so difficult to control.”
     

    5. U.S. condemns N. Korea’s missile launch as ‘destabilizing’

    en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · March 26, 2021

    We should not forget this is a violation of UN Security Council resolutions. These are actions that are not taken by responsible members of the international community.

    Excerpt: “The United States condemns the DPRK’s destabilizing ballistic missile launches. These launches violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions and threaten the region and the broader international community,” a department spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency in an email.

     

    6.  Joint task force cracks down on users of illegal cell phones in Hyesan

    dailynk.com – by Ha Yoon Ah – March 26, 2021

    Not surprising.  We estimate there are 6.5 million smartphones in north Korea.  These are key for passing on economic information about market activity but obviously they are used for other things (passing on information, providing “funds” through the electronic transfer of cell phone minutes, and of course viewing K-dramas and other media from outside north Korea as well as smuggling and trafficking).

     

    7. Moon slams North Korea’s missile test amid efforts for dialogue

    koreaherald.com · by Lee Ji-yoon · March 26, 2021

    The question is are these missile launches enough to cause the Moon administration to reevaluate its strategic assumptions about the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime?

     

    8. Court awards damages from North, Kim Jong-un

    koreajoongangdaily.joins.com

    This is good to see.

    The buried lede here is that there are Koreans from the South actively supporting the Kim family regime to include those affiliated with the Moon administration.

    Excerpts:

     

    Following their successful lawsuit, Han and Noh requested that the Foundation of Inter-Korea Cooperation –– which since 2005 has collected royalties from South Korean companies using copyrighted North Korean materials on behalf of the North Korean state television service KCTV –– pay them the damages.   

    The foundation is led by Im Jong-seok, President Moon Jae-in’s former Chief of Staff and current Special Advisor for Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy to UAE.   The accrued royalties, which totaled 1.6 billion won in 2018, are under court administration due to ongoing international sanctions against the North.   

     

    9. North Korea Gives Biden a Missile Test—a Familiar Hello

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/north-korea-gives-biden-a-missile-testa-new-but-familiar-hello-11616682497 – by Timothy W. Martin and Andrew Jeong

    Of course, the tests may only be because they are necessary to advance their capabilities.  And if there are new capabilities, the regime did tell us they were developing new ones.

    But as I have written I think we have to assesses these launches in the context of all statements and actions and in my opinion this is all about making the new Biden Korea policy DOA and to set the conditions for Kim’s demand for sanctions relief if the Biden Administration want to move forward with negotiations of any kind.

    I have previously provided a laundry list of potential responses.  I recall being a crisis action planning on the UNC/CFC/USFK staff back in the 1990 we used to generate responses across the elements of national power (even those outside the purview of the military element – we always tried to offer a holistic approach because reliance on one instrument is always insufficient.). I am sure the panners in Korea have quote a menu of options for recommendation.

     

    10. US labeling mishap of ‘East Sea,’ ‘Sea of Japan’ fuels debate

    koreaherald.com · by Ahn Sung-mi · March 26, 2021

    I recall the time in 1997 or 1998 when we replaced all maps in current with the updated WGS 84 version. I was called on the carpet by a Korean general because it had the Sea of Japan on it as well as the Yalu river (which is the Chinese name for the river – the Korean name is Amnokgang). He demanded I get them replaced with corrected versions.  Of course, I could not meet his demand.

     

    11.  As North Korea plots revenge over ‘spy’ extradited to US from Malaysia, assassinations and abductions may be next

    https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3126937/north-korea-plots-revenge-over-spy-extradited-us-malaysia – by Amy Chew

    Extensive comments from me below (as well as my friend and National War College colleague Zach Abuza).

     

    12. N Korea confirms missile tests as Biden warns of response

    AP · by HYUNG-JIN KIM · March 26, 2021

    A “new” weapon: “KCNA quoted top official Ri Pyong Chol, who supervised the test, as saying that the new weapon’s development “is of great significance in bolstering up the military power of the country and deterring all sorts of military threats existing on the Korean Peninsula.”

     

    13. South Korea should join the Quad: Korea Herald writer

    straitstimes.com · by Robert J. Fouser · March 26, 2021

    Concur.

    Excerpts:

    President Biden has put the Quad at the centre of his efforts to contain China’s rising influence. On March 13, the leaders of the Quad held their first virtual summit and wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post.

    The article focused on cooperation among the four nations on climate change and distributing Covid-19 vaccines.

    Though the article did not mention China, the four leaders rejected the Chinese authoritarian model by stating, “We recommit ourselves, once again, to an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, secure and prosperous.”

    Surely South Korea shares these goals. In the article, the four leaders invited other nations to join them. South Korea should accept the invitation immediately, not just out of national interest, but as an expression of its values as a leading democracy.

     

    14. Asking China to Solve the North Korea Problem Is Completely Foolish

    The National Interest · by Doug Bandow · March 25, 2021

    I do agree with Mr. Bandow. We cannot expect China to solve the national security problems of the ROK and US.

    I think the recent reinforcement of the PRC-DPRK alliance this past week is one indicator that if the new Biden Korea policy relies on Chinese assistance then it is doomed to fail.  I think the renewal of the alliance is one indication the Chinese and the Kim family regime are working in concert to try to make the new policy DOA.

     

    15. Kim Jong Un aims his missiles at Biden

    asiatimes.com · by Andrew Salmon · March 25, 2021

    Blackmail diplomacy: The use of threats, increased tensions, and provocations to gain political and economic concessions.  A line of effort of the regime’s political warfare strategy.

     

    16. U.S. will ‘respond accordingly’ to North’s escalation of tensions: Biden

    koreajoongangdaily.joins.com

    Accordingly. We must demonstrate strategic reassure and strategic resolve.  That must be the foundation upon which the Biden Korea policy will rest.

     

    17. N.Korean Spy on Trial ‘Was Kim Jong-un’s Liquor Runner’

    english.chosun.com

    A liquor runner? Does one put that on his resume?

     

    18. New KN-23 ballistic missile to boost N. Korea’s tactical nuclear capabilities: experts

    en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · March 26, 2021

    We still need to see accurate reporting on what systems were employed on Sunday and Thursday this week.

     

    19. ‘Business as Usual’: North Korea Restarts Ballistic Missile Tests

    csis.org · by Victor Cha · April 1, 2021

    Like the scorpion and the frog.  north Korea is like a scorpion – “it is my nature.”

     

    “The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armoury of the moden commander…”

    –  T.E. Lawrence, The Evolution of a Revolt, 1920

     

    “If one wishes to influence American foreign policy, the time to do so is in the formative period, and the level is the middle level of bureaucracy – that of the assistant secretary and his immediate advisers.  That is the highest level in which people can still think.  Above that, the day to day operation of the machine absorbs most of the energy, and the decisions that are made depend very much on internal pressures of the bureaucracy.”

    – Henry Kissinger, Bureaucracy and Policy Making (1968)

     

    “War in the age of technological integration and globalization has eliminated the right of weapons to label war and, with regard to the new starting point, has realigned the relationship of weapons to war, while the appearance of weapons of new concepts, and particularly new concepts of weapons, has gradually blurred the face of war. Does a single “hacker” attack count as a hostile act or not? Can using financial instruments to destroy a country’s economy be seen as a battle? . . .Obviously, proceeding with the traditional definition of war in mind, there is no longer any way to answer the above questions. When we suddenly realize that all these non-war actions may be the new factors constituting future warfare, we have to come up with a new name for this new form of war: Warfare which transcends all boundaries and limits, in short: unrestricted warfare.”

    – Unrestricted Warfare, Beijing, 1999

    Riley.C.Murray
    Fri, 03/26/2021 – 9:20am

    Irregular Warfare Podcast: How Small Wars Fit into Big Ones: Lessons from the Masters of Irregular Warfare

    Irregular Warfare Podcast: How Small Wars Fit into Big Ones: Lessons from the Masters of Irregular Warfare

    Link: https://mwi.usma.edu/how-small-wars-fit-into-big-ones-lessons-from-the-masters-of-irregular-warfare/

     

    An interview with Dr. John Arquilla and MG John Brennan (1st Special Forces Command CDR)

     

    Dr. John Arquilla is Distinguished Professor of Defense Analysis at the US Naval Postgraduate School. In addition to publishing multiple books and articles on warfare, he has extensive experience advising military practitioners and policymakers, ranging from special operations teams during field problems to senior Department of Defense policymakers in Washington, DC. Today’s conversation is motivated by his book, Insurgents, Raiders, and Bandits: How Masters of Irregular Warfare have Shaped Our World.

    Major General John Brennan is the commander of the US Army’s 1st Special Forces Command. Maj. Gen. Brennan has deployed and commanded units at every echelon between detachment and task force level in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve, and Freedom’s Sentinel over the course of thirty-one years of service. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University, the Air Command and Staff College, and the Army War College fellows program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Riley.C.Murray
    Fri, 03/26/2021 – 8:29am

    ASD SO/LIC and USSOCOM CDR: Statements for the Record SASC Hearing March 25, 2021

    ASD SO/LIC and USSOCOM CDR: Statements for the Record SASC Hearing March 25, 2021

     

    ASD SOL/LIC Statement HERE

    USSOCOM Commander Statement HERE

    United States Special Operations Command and United States Cyber Command

    Date: Thursday, March 25, 2021Time: 09:30 AM Location: Room SD-G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building

    https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/hearings/21-03-25-united-states-special-operations-command-and-united-states-cyber-command

    Dave Maxwell
    Thu, 03/25/2021 – 12:25pm

    03/25/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

    03/25/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

    1. Inside Biden’s private chat with historians about his FDR mentality

    2. Gray is Here to Stay: Principles from the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance on Competing in the Gray Zone

    3.Duped by Duffel Blog, a congressman claims that the VFW and American Legion were labeled hate groups

    4. Big New Interceptor Deal Part Of Biden Missile Defense Push

    5. Iran’s alleged suicide boat plot against Washington DC is far-fetched as hell

    6. Islamic State kills hundreds in massacres across the Sahel

    7. Reaffirming and Reimagining America’s Alliances

    8. The Taiwan Emergency, Explained by a Top Commander

    9. China’s Damaging Influence and Exploitation of U.S. Colleges and Universities

    10. Pentagon says ‘all options on the table’ as lawmakers push to take sexual assault prosecutions out of chain of command

    11. The Coming Demographic Collapse of China

    12. Exercise Chameleon 1-21 (UK Special Forces) | SOF News

    13. A hard time for democracy in Asia

    14. Retired Green Beret, a recent CIA contractor, denied bond after allegedly taking part in Capitol riot

    15. Relentless ops vs. ASG played role in rescue of Indo captives

    16. Filipino troops kill rebel commander, rescue last hostage

     

    1. Inside Biden’s private chat with historians about his FDR mentality

    Axios · by Mike Allen

     

    2. Gray is Here to Stay: Principles from the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance on Competing in the Gray Zone

    mwi.usma.edu · by Kevin Bilms · March 25, 2021

    An important essay today.

    America must embrace its irregular warfare capabilities and be able to compete in Great Power Competition where dominant ‘ ‘fight” is best described as political warfare.  Irregular warfare is the military contribution to political warfare (and by DODD 3000.7 and the IW annex to the NDS consists of CT, FID, UW, COIN< and stability operations).

    Although I am heartened by the author citing some of Bob Jones important work on unconventional deterrence I am disappointed he did not point out one of the most important sentences in the interim guidance: “We will maintain the proficiency of special operations forces to focus on crisis response and priority counterterrorism and unconventional warfare missions.” Unconventional warfare is the foundation of irregular warfare and conventional warfare is at the root of the two SOF trinities: irregular warfare, unconventional warfare, and support to political warfare and the second being the comparative advantages of SOF: influence, governance, and support to indefgeigenous forces and population.

     UW thinking informs everything SF/SOF should do.

    UW is fundamentally problem solving; using unique, non-doctrinal and non-conventional methods, techniques, people, equipment to solve (or assist in solving) un.

    UW is fundamentally about influencing behavior of target audiences (which can include a population, a segment of a population, a political structure, or a military force); therefore, it is an integral action arm of IO/PSYOP.

    I am heartened to see the Biden administration use unconventional warfare when there are so many antibodies out there against it.

    But I also commend Congress for providing the best description of irregular warfare that will never be adopted by the doctrine gatekeepers on the Joint Staff.  In the 2018 NDAA it wrote: Irregular Warfare is conducted “in support of predetermined United States policy and military objectives conducted by, with, and through regular forces, irregular forces, groups, and individuals participating in competition between state and non-state actors short of traditional armed conflict.” 

     

    3. Duped by Duffel Blog, a congressman claims that the VFW and American Legion were labeled hate groups

    taskandpurpose.com · by Jeff Schogol · March 24, 2021

    I wonder if some poor congressional staffer will be fired for providing bad information to a Congressman.

     

    4. Big New Interceptor Deal Part Of Biden Missile Defense Push

    breakingdefense.com · by Paul McLeary

    Excerpts: “While NGI remains in development, “our overall missile defense and defeat posture can be reoriented to regional threats, specifically that of complex and integrated air and missile attack from the likes of China,” Karako said.

    After weeks of defense officials warning that North Korea could re-start its missile testing program after a long hiatus, the country’s reclusive leader, Kin Jong-Un, ordered a test firing of what a Biden administration official called a “short-range” missile system last weekend. The official, speaking with reporters late Tuesday, said the missile type isn’t subject to U.N. Security Council resolutions. Because it falls under the threshold of what concerns the international community, the official said that “it probably gives you an indication of where it falls on the spectrum of concern.”

    The Missile Defense Agency has estimated that testing of the NGI could happen by the mid-2020s, and if all goes well they could begin to be put into silos by 2028.

     

    5. Iran’s alleged suicide boat plot against Washington DC is far-fetched as hell

    taskandpurpose.com · by Jeff Schogol · March 24, 2021

    Sure it seems far-fetched. But that is what analysts thought in 1995 when the Al Qaeda laptop was captured in Manila that described plans to kill the Pope and POTUS, bomb aircraft in flight (which did happen to a Northwest Airlines flight that had to make an emergency landing in Okinawa after a small device exploded), and use commercial aircraft to fly into buildings in the US.

    As Sun Tzu said, “Do not assume the enemy will not attack.  Make yourself invincible.”

     

    6. Islamic State kills hundreds in massacres across the Sahel

    longwarjournal.org · by Caleb Weiss · March 23, 2021

    Are we paying attention?

     

    7. Reaffirming and Reimagining America’s Alliances

    state.gov · by Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

    I strongly believe in our alliance structure. 

     

    8. The Taiwan Emergency, Explained by a Top Commander

    National Review Online · by Jimmy Quinn · March 24, 2021

    Video at the link.

     

    9. China’s Damaging Influence and Exploitation of U.S. Colleges and Universities

    The National Interest · by Chad Wolf · March 21, 2021

    I understand we are down to about 50 Confucius Institutes from about 105. I am not sure if that is correct but I recently saw those numbers discussed.

    We have to strike the right balance between academic freedom, protecting our values, and effectively employing our soft power for influence, and China’s nefarious activities using all means available to do damage to the US way of life.

     

    10. Pentagon says ‘all options on the table’ as lawmakers push to take sexual assault prosecutions out of chain of command

    militarytimes.com · by Meghann Myers · March 24, 2021

    We have not been sufficiently effective in stopping this scourge so we have to do better.

     

    11. The Coming Demographic Collapse of China

    The National Interest · by Gordon G. Chang · March 23, 2021

    Excerpts: “China now has a crisis. “Once it slips below 1.5, a country falls into the trap of low fertility and is unlikely to recover,” said He Yafu to the Communist Party’s Global Times. China is already well below that figure.

    Beijing does not believe China’s population will begin to decline until 2028. Some believe it in fact began contracting in 2018, something evident by falling births.

    In any event, as the official China Daily stated in December, “the trends are irreversible.”

    That’s not good for the People’s Republic of China. As analyst Andy Xie wrote in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post this month, “Population decline could end China’s civilization as we know it.”

     

    12. Exercise Chameleon 1-21 (UK Special Forces) | SOF News

    sof.news · by Pat Carty · March 24, 2021

     

    13. A hard time for democracy in Asia

    eastasiaforum.org · by Larry Diamond · March 23, 2021

    Excerpts: “The United States and its liberal democratic allies, such as Australia, Canada, the European Union and hopefully Japan, must work through diplomacy and aid flows to preserve civil society groups and independent media. These democracies will have more impact if they coordinate their activities and prioritise the diffusion of technologies to help democrats evade digital surveillance and censorship. In some instances — and sadly for Hong Kongers — established liberal democracies may need to provide a temporary or even long-term home for democrats at risk.

    In the near term, the priority may need to be containing the democratic retreat and countering the rise of authoritarian China. In some countries, this means just trying to keep democrats alive. But the growing demands of young people in the region for more open and accountable government offer hope that this authoritarian moment will have an expiration date.”

     

    14. Retired Green Beret, a recent CIA contractor, denied bond after allegedly taking part in Capitol riot

    armytimes.com · by Kyle Rempfer · March 24, 2021

    Hmmm…not a good look for the regiment.

     

    15. Relentless ops vs. ASG played role in rescue of Indo captives

    pna.gov.ph · by Priam Nepomuceno · March 24, 2021

     

    16. Filipino troops kill rebel commander, rescue last hostage

    AP · by Jim Gomez · March 21, 2021

    Excerpt: “The militants have been considerably weakened by years of military offensives, surrenders and battle setbacks but remain a national security threat. They set off a security alarm in the region in recent years after they started venturing away from their jungle encampments in Sulu, a poverty wracked Muslim province in the largely Roman Catholic nation, and staged kidnappings in Malaysian coastal towns and targeted crews of cargo ships.”

     

    ——————-

     

    “Deterrence is still fundamentally about influencing an actor’s decisions. It is about a solid policy foundation. It is about credible capabilities. It is about what the U.S. and our allies as a whole can bring to bear in both a military and a nonmilitary sense.”

    – C. Robert Kehler

     

    “Deterrence works.  Until it doesn’t.” 

    – Sir Lawrence Freedman

     

    “What a society gets in its armed forces is exactly what it asks for, no more and no less. What it asks for tends to be a reflection of what it is. When a country looks at its fighting forces it is looking at a mirror: if the mirror is a true one the face that it sees will be its own.”

     – General Sir John Hackett, The Profession of Arms

     

     

    DanielRiggs
    Thu, 03/25/2021 – 10:30am

    03/25/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

    03/25/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

    1. N. Korea’s missile launch may be timed to precede Biden’s first press briefing: NIS

    2. S. Korea deeply concerned about N. Korea’s projectile launch: NSC

    3. Gov’t Becomes Craven Lackey of N.Korean Dictatorship

    4. Clarity, not ambiguity

    5. How dangerous is North Korea’s military arsenal right now?

    6. U.S. to Deal with N.Korea ‘from Position of Strength’

    7. Russian FM calls for efforts to keep peace on peninsula after N.K. missile launches

    8. How Kim Jong Un keeps advancing his nuclear program

    9. Missiles fly after US nabs North Korea operative

    10. Human Rights Will Continue to Polarize Washington and Seoul on North Korea

    11. North Korea Positioning Itself to Play ‘Nuclear Blackmail’

    12. North Korea lambastes ‘human rights clown show’ after U.N. resolution

    13. Report: Missiles fired by North Korea may have been displayed at parade

    14. US touts renewed military drills after ‘low-end’ North Korean

    15. Concerns over rights issue

    16. U.S. focused on denuclearization of N. Korea: Pentagon spokesman

    17. Biden administration will host Japan and South Korea for North Korea discussions

     

    1. N. Korea’s missile launch may be timed to precede Biden’s first press briefing: NIS

    en.yna.co.kr · by 박보람 · March 25, 2021

    Hmmm….Okay, at least someone is trying to connect the dots. But I do not think the regime’s actions are that tactical.  I think the totality of actions are more strategic and focused on undermining the forthcoming Biden Korea policy as well as the long held effort to drive a wedge in the ROK/US alliance.

    I think Kim will be disappointed that the White House press corps will focus on the wide range of other issues and the missile launches will not be the priority since the most likely response from POTUS will be that we are finalizing our Korea policy and it would be premature to discuss it at this press conference.

     

    2. S. Korea deeply concerned about N. Korea’s projectile launch: NSC

    en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · March 25, 2021

    I hope this contributes to being a wake-up call for the Moon administration and there is an admission of their erroneous strategic assumptions about the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime.

     

    Kim does not share President  Moon’s vision of a Peace agenda.

     

    3. Gov’t Becomes Craven Lackey of N.Korean Dictatorship

    english.chosun.com

    Brutal criticism of the Moon administration (and some about the US for leaking information!).  Again, I hate to beat the dead horse but it is time for the Moon administration to re-evaluate its strategic assumptions about the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime. More sound assumptions would not only prevent this criticism but would prevent the actions that lead to this criticism.

     

    4. Clarity, not ambiguity

    The Korea Times · by Shim Jae-yun · March 24, 2021

    I concur that strategic clarity is needed in Korea. We need absolute clarity about the nature, objectives and strategy of the Kim family regime.  But I disagree with everything else in the author’s essay.  We can gain clarity by answer these key questions:

    Who does Kim fear more: The US or the Korean people in the north? (Note it is the Korean people armed with information knowledge of life in South Korea)

    Do we believe that Kim Jong-un has abandoned the seven decades old strategy of subversion, coercion-extortion (blackmail diplomacy), and use of force to achieve unification dominated by the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State in order to ensure the survival of the mafia like crime family cult known as Kim family regime?

    In support of that strategy do we believe that Kim Jong-un has abandoned the objective to split the ROK/US Alliance and get US forces off the peninsula?  Has KJU given up his divide to conquer strategy – divide the alliance to conquer the ROK?

    The answers to these questions should guide us to the strategy to solve the “Korea question” (para 60 of the Armistice) through a superior form of political warfare and lead to the only acceptable durable political arrangement: A secure, stable, economically vibrant, non-nuclear Korean peninsula unified under a liberal constitutional form of government with respect for individual liberty, the rule of law, and human rights, determined by the Korean people.  In short, a United Republic of Korea (UROK)

    The root of all problems in Korea is the existence of the most evil mafia-like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime that has the objective of dominating the Korean Peninsula under the rule of the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State. 

     

    5. How dangerous is North Korea’s military arsenal right now?

    CNN · by Brad Lendon

    Do not underestimate north Korea.  But Kim Jong-un is not 10 feet tall.  There is no doubt we have the military capability to not only defeat but destroy the nKPA.  However, if we employ a superior form of political warfare we can achieve the acceptable durable political arrangement that will serve, protect, and advance US and ROK/US alliance interests.

     

    6. U.S. to Deal with N.Korea ‘from Position of Strength’

    english.chosun.com

    The only way to deal with north Korea is from a position of strength. That is the only thing that deters north Korea.  However, it is not only military strength that is necessary – we need the strength of all elements of national power to be applied to the problem of the Kim family regime.  The regime will exploit weakness and any hint of appeasement or of providing concessions to the regime will be assessed as successful political warfare and blackmail diplomacy and will cause the regime to double down and make more demands from the ROK, the US, and the international community.

     

    7. Russian FM calls for efforts to keep peace on peninsula after N.K. missile launches

    en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · March 25, 2021

    Beware Russia as a spoiler.

    Some interesting comments: “Touching on the launches, Chung said he expressed “deep concern.”

    “South Korea and Russia agreed to continue close communication and cooperation for progress on the Korean Peninsula peace process,” Chung said.

    “I also asked for Russia to continue to play a constructive role going forward,” he added.

    Also in his press statement, Lavrov stressed that Russia is interested in an “open and inclusive” forum for regional cooperation — in what appears to be a rebuke of the United States’ push to cement the Quad forum involving Australia, Japan and India.

    Noting that Chung has reaffirmed Seoul’s invitation for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit here, Lavrov said that the two sides decided to discuss the matter when the COVID-19 situation stabilizes.”

     

    8. How Kim Jong Un keeps advancing his nuclear program

    Stars and Stripes · by Jon Herskovitz · March 24, 2021

    If something is your number one priority and you are willing to commit all resources to it, to include those that should be to provide for the welfare of the Korean people in the north, of course you are going to be able to advance your nuclear problem.

     

    9. Missiles fly after US nabs North Korea operative

    asiatimes.com · by Andrew Salmon · March 24, 2021

    Again I am glad to see the press and pundits trying to connect the dots.  The Malaysia extradition and eventual trial of Mun Chol Myong will be a significant event since it hits directly at the Kim family regime’s global illicit activities network that feeds the royal court economy. 

    However, I do not think the regime is launching missiles merely to show displeasure with the extradition.  It is part of its larger political warfare strategy.

    But as noted we need to become more aggressive in going after the regime’s global illicit activities and those who operate and support the network.

     

    10. Human Rights Will Continue to Polarize Washington and Seoul on North Korea

    The National Interest · by Jason Bartlett · March 24, 2021

    Very true. This will continue to be an going point of alliance friction until the two allies agree that human rights is not only a moral imperative but is a national security issue because Kim jong-un must deny the human rights of the Korean people in the north in order to survive and remain in power.  Not only is focusing on the suffering of the Korean people the right thing to do, it is a critical line of effort in a combined political warfare strategy (to include information and influence activities)  to solve the “Korea questions.” (Para 60 of the Armistice).

    And this article also illustrates why the ROK and US must sufficiently align their strategic assumptions about the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime.

     

    11. North Korea Positioning Itself to Play ‘Nuclear Blackmail’

    news.usni.org · by John Grady · March 24, 2021

    Yep!

    Excerpts:During the Hudson event before the latest tests, Evans J.R. Revere, retired State Department official and senior director of the Albright Stonebridge Group, said, Kim “was doubling down” on remaining a nuclear state by introducing threats of new weapons during the Congress. “He reminded us the DPRK [Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea] is and will remain a nuclear state.”

    Kim realizes that “China will not do” much to rebuild a North Korean economy ravaged by global economic collapse, major storms and tightening international sanctions, though economic improvement would secure Kim’s hold on power. The North Korean leader also knows the message he sends Beijing about remaining a nuclear power is not in its interest either, Brooks said.

    Kim “was doubling down” on remaining a nuclear state by introducing threats of new weapons, Evans J.R. Revere, a retired State Department official and senior director of the Albright Stonebridge Group, said during the event.

    I take slight exception to General Brooks’ comments about China and north Korea’s economy.  China has tried to get the north Koreans to adopt Chinese style economic reforms for decades but the regime has always pushed back against it because it would lead to the undoing of the regime.  (It also pushes back on ROK engagement as well).  But if it were to adopt Chinese style economic reforms I would bet the Chinese would provide substantial economic aid to rebuild the north Korean economy. (but of course there is also the huge corruption issue inside north Korea that prevents any kind of normal functioning economy).

    And per Evans Revere’s last comment below about arms control negotiations: that will be assessed as a win for Kim Jong-un’s political warfare strategy and blackmail diplomacy.”

     

    12. North Korea lambastes ‘human rights clown show’ after U.N. resolution

    upi.com · by Elizabeth Shim · March 24, 2021

    The regime is deathly afraid of any focus on human rights.  It is an existential threat to the regime. When we focus on its nuclear program we reinforce its legitimacy.  When we focus on human rights we undermine it.

     

    13. Report: Missiles fired by North Korea may have been displayed at parade

    upi.com · by Elizabeth Shim · March 24, 2021

    Of course Kim told us he is developing new systems.  They have to test and train to advance their programs.  

    But again timing is everything.  It may be they simply had to test to advance to the next step.  On the other hand the timing is very useful in trying to undermine the Biden Korea policy and try to establish conditions favorable to the regime through the use of blackmail diplomacy )the use of threats, increased tensions, and provocations to gain political and economic concessions).

     

    14. US touts renewed military drills after ‘low-end’ North Korean

    Washington Examiner · by Joel Gehrke · March 23, 2021

    Yes our alliances are key to national security and consultation is critically important.  But we also have to act in concert against the common threat.

     

    15. Concerns over rights issue

    The Korea Times · March 24, 2021

    Again, in addition to sufficient alignment of strategic assumptions, the alliance must get on the same sheet of music regarding human rights.

     

    16. U.S. focused on denuclearization of N. Korea: Pentagon spokesman

    en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · March 24, 2021

    I think we are going to be arguing about these phrases for some time to come. Which I think is a good thing because the debate helps us to expose Kim Jong-un’s strategy. Sun Tzu said: “Thus, what is of supreme importance is to attack the enemy’s strategy”

    We can (and must) always argue the two key points. – north Korea has not lived up to its promises to denuclearize the entire Korean peninsula (1992 – north-South Agreement on Denuclearization and all subsequent agreements on denuclearization) while the South and he US have.  And second, the north remains in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions on weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles, human rights, proliferation, cyber activities, and global illicit activities.

     

    17. Biden administration will host Japan and South Korea for North Korea discussions

    Axios · by Sarah Mucha

     

    ————-

    “Deterrence is still fundamentally about influencing an actor’s decisions. It is about a solid policy foundation. It is about credible capabilities. It is about what the U.S. and our allies as a whole can bring to bear in both a military and a nonmilitary sense.”

    – C. Robert Kehler

     

    “Deterrence works.  Until it doesn’t.” 

    – Sir Lawrence Freedman

     

    “What a society gets in its armed forces is exactly what it asks for, no more and no less. What it asks for tends to be a reflection of what it is. When a country looks at its fighting forces it is looking at a mirror: if the mirror is a true one the face that it sees will be its own.”

     – General Sir John Hackett, The Profession of Arms

    DanielRiggs
    Thu, 03/25/2021 – 10:16am

    Gray is Here to Stay: Principles from the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance on Competing in the Gray Zone – Modern War Institute

    Gray is Here to Stay: Principles from the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance on Competing in the Gray Zone – Modern War Institute

    Gray is Here to Stay: Principles from the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance on Competing in the Gray Zone – Modern War Institute

    mwi.usma.edu · by Kevin Bilms · March 25, 2021

    An important essay today.America must embrace its irregular warfare capabilities and be able to compete in Great Power Competition where dominant ‘ ‘fight” is best described as political warfare. Irregular warfare is the military contribution to political warfare (and by DODD 3000.7 and the IW annex to the NDS consists of CT, FID, UW, COIN< and stability operations).

    Although I am heartened by the author citing some of Bob Jones important work on unconventional deterrence I am disappointed he did not point out one of the most important sentences in the interim guidance: “We will maintain the proficiency of special operations forces to focus on crisis response and priority counterterrorism and unconventional warfare missions.” Unconventional warfare is the foundation of irregular warfare and conventional warfare is at the root of the two SOF trinities: irregular warfare, unconventional warfare, and support to political warfare and the second being the comparative advantages of SOF: influence, governance, and support to indefgeigenous forces and population.

     UW thinking informs everything SF​/SOF​ should do​.

    UW is fundamentally problem solving; using unique, non-doctrinal and non-conventional methods, techniques, people, equipment to solve (or assist in solving) ​un​.​

    UW is fundamentally about influencing behavior of target audiences (which can include a population, a segment of ​a​ population, a political structure, or a military force); therefore, it is an integral action arm of IO/PSYOP.

    ​I am heartened to ​see the Biden administration use unconventional warfare when there are so many antibodies out there against it.

    ​But I also commend Congress for ​providing the best description of irregular warfare that will never be adopted by the doctrine gatekeepers on the Joint Staff. In the 2018 NDAA it wrote: Irregular Warfare is conducted “in support of predetermined United States policy and military objectives conducted by, with, and through regular forces, irregular forces, groups, and individuals participating in competition between state and non-state actors short of traditional armed conflict.” 

     

    DanielRiggs
    Thu, 03/25/2021 – 9:35am

    03/24/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

    03/24/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

    1. ‘Land Forces Are Hard To Kill’: Army Chief Unveils Pacific Strategy

    2.  Russia, China and the United States: First Shots

    3. Opinion | China Doesn’t Respect Us Anymore — for Good Reason

    4. China exploits US-Philippine strategic weakness

    5. Army revamping how it positions, maneuvers global force as it faces an assertive China

    6. China, Russia, North Korea, Iran build ties as U.N. friends feud with U.S.

    7. US sounds support for Philippines in dispute over loitering Chinese fishing vessels

    8. Blinken and Sullivan stand up to China — will Biden back them up?

    9. Asian American Lives and Livelihoods Don’t Just Deserve Our Qualified Support

    10. More Than a Few Good Women: Improving Hemispheric Security by Advancing Gender Inclusivity in Military and Police

    11. America Is Overtaking China in Vaccine Diplomacy

    12. Strike squad of just 100 Brit Marines smashed 1,500 US troops in war games drill

    13. Veteran Navy SEAL eyes 2022 U.S. Senate run in Georgia

    14. China Lashes Out at U.S. Allies in Bid to Thwart Biden Strategy

    15. How the U.S. Should Respond to China’s Belt and Road

    16. Expand, Consolidate, Centralize: Organizational Reform in the Next National Security Strategy

    17. When It Comes to Strategy, People Are Everything

    18. Introducing the Irregular Warfare Initiative

    19. Prosecutors allege Oath Keepers leader and Proud Boys coordinated before Capitol attack

     

    1. ‘Land Forces Are Hard To Kill’: Army Chief Unveils Pacific Strategy

    breakingdefense.com · by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

    Maybe they will survive but I expect the CSA will receive a lot of incoming fire over this idea that ground forces are survivable in INDOPACOM.

    The 39 page CSA paper on Army Multi-Domain Transformation: Ready to Win in Competition and Conflict can be downloaded here.

    What strikes me from the graphic below showing the 2 star Multi Domain Task Force is that there are no ground maneuver forces (e.g., infantry or armor).

     

    2. Russia, China and the United States: First Shots

    geopoliticalfutures.com · By George Friedman · March 23, 2021

    Excerpts: “Could a Russo-Chinese alliance launch a naval assault in the east and a ground attack in the west simultaneously? Perhaps. But doing so, while politically shocking, would not weaken either front because it would be engaging naval forces not needed in the west and ground forces not needed in the east. It may also fail. If it succeeded, it would trigger existential (nuclear) choices or create unshakeable anti-Russia and anti-China alliances.

    The more logical and less risky move is for China to reach a political and economic agreement with the United States, and for Russia to do the same, at least with Europe. But to do this, each must be convinced that the U.S. is not interested in a settlement. Showing a lack of interest is the foundation of any bargaining position. The best read is that the U.S. knows that bargaining is coming and is therefore posing as hostile to it. The Chinese have called the Americans’ bet. The Russians shortly will. At any rate now is the time for insults and threats, before we get down to business that may fail regardless of all this.”

     

    3. Opinion | China Doesn’t Respect Us Anymore — for Good Reason

    The New York Times · by Thomas L. Friedman · March 23, 2021

    Excerpt:  “Whenever I point this out, critics on the far right or far left ridiculously respond, “Oh, so you love China.” Actually, I am not interested in China. I care about America. My goal is to frighten us out of our complacency by getting more Americans to understand that China can be really evil AND really focused on educating its people and building its infrastructure and adopting best practices in business and science and promoting government bureaucrats on merit — all at the same time. Condemning China for the former will have zero impact if we’re not its equal in all of the latter.”

     

    4. China exploits US-Philippine strategic weakness

    asiatimes.com · by Richard Javad Heydarian · March 24, 2021

    Which should not be a surprise. But is it only because the interim strategic guidance did not mention the Philippines as an ally?

     

    5.  Army revamping how it positions, maneuvers global force as it faces an assertive China

    Stars and Stripes · by Wyatt Olsen · March 24, 2021

     

    6. China, Russia, North Korea, Iran build ties as U.N. friends feud with U.S.

    Newsweek · by Tom O’Connor · March 23, 2021

    The teams are lining up on each side of the playing field getting ready for the big game.

    Excerpt: “Among the primary tenets of the group are the “non-interference in the internal affairs of States, peaceful settlement of disputes, and to refrain from the use or threat of use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, as enshrined in the UN Charter.”

    The Biden administration, for its part, has also been busy shoring up its alliances and partnerships. Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin conducted an Asia tour ahead of the Alaska talks with China, and both have also spoken out in support of the Cold War-era NATO military coalition, comprised today of 30 countries.

    Blinken met Tuesday with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and, among other major issues, discussed “concern over Russia and China’s malign activity and disinformation efforts.”

    “We will stand resolutely against Russian aggression and other actions that try to undermine our Alliance, and I think that that approach is exactly where NATO is as well,” Blinken said. “And similarly, we have to and we will, I believe, make sure that NATO is also focused on some of the challenges that China poses to the rules-based international order, that is part of the 2030 vision as well.”

     

    7. US sounds support for Philippines in dispute over loitering Chinese fishing vessels

    Stars and Stripes · by Seth Robson · March 24, 2021

     

    8. Blinken and Sullivan stand up to China — will Biden back them up?

    The Hill · by Joseph Bosco · March 23, 2021

    I am pretty sure they were doing so with the President’s backing already.

     

    9. Asian American Lives and Livelihoods Don’t Just Deserve Our Qualified Support

    rand.org · by Douglas Yeung, Peter Nguyen, and Regina A. Shih

    Excerpts:Many who would stand with the Asian American community, including President Biden, have spoken up to offer their support. But too often this amounts to just words, particularly when they invoke a separate justification for that support. Transactional arguments reinforce the notion that Asian Americans are not independently worthy of support absent some self-interested motive. Truly meaningful support would affirm our inherent value and humanity, freeing us from playing a part in someone else’s movie.

    If Asian Americans are to be truly seen as a diverse community rather than a monolith, as both a long-standing and constantly-refreshed part of the American story, support for our lives and livelihoods must be unconditional. This requires taking action that is specifically meant to benefit Asian Americans—no matter our population size, not just along the way of benefiting someone else.”

     

    10. More Than a Few Good Women: Improving Hemispheric Security by Advancing Gender Inclusivity in Military and Police

    cfr.org · by Paul J. Angelo

    Conclusion: “Building lasting solutions to these challenges begins by acknowledging the unique and consequential contributions of women to the provision of security. In the United States, following President Joe Biden’s announcement of General Richardson’s nomination, a conservative television commentator derided the supposed feminization of the U.S. military. His comments inspired quick and far-ranging rebuke, including from the Pentagon’s most senior leaders who unanimously extolled the importance and necessity of women in uniform. The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean would be wise to follow this example as they endeavor to get a handle on the scourge of violent crime that has beset the region. Women’s security is human security, and it is well past time that women have full and equal participation in protecting their communities and countries.”

     

    11. America Is Overtaking China in Vaccine Diplomacy

    Bloomberg · by Hal Brands · March 23, 2021

    Excerpts:Let’s not take this line of argument too far. A country that has suffered 540,000 deaths (and counting) from Covid-19 can hardly crow about brilliant performance. The pandemic has laid bare some deeply disturbing things about American polarization and political dysfunction. But it also reminds us that U.S., whether in global wars or a global pandemic, has traditionally been a second-half team: It starts slowly and then pours it on through a mix of ingenuity and sheer resources.

    The pandemic demonstrates that the combination of private-sector innovation and occasionally enlightened government policy can still produce amazing results. Not least, it shows that first impressions are often misleading: Histories of World War II written in February 1942 wouldn’t have been very favorable to the U.S.

    Covid-19 still has some nasty surprises, perhaps in the form of deadly mutations, in store for America and the world. But from here on out, it’s less likely to reveal crippling U.S. weaknesses than to advertise the country’s still-imposing strengths.”

     

    12. Strike squad of just 100 Brit Marines smashed 1,500 US troops in war games drill

    The Sun · by Jerome Starkey · March 19, 2021

    Hmmm,…

    Excerpts:

    “The £400million drill in California had to be cut short because the British victory was so swift and unexpected.

    Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, told The Sun yesterday: “This has overturned the principles of war. Mass is no longer the asset it once was — it is all about effect. If you concentrate your force, you are vulnerable.

    “On the modern battlefield you want maximum dispersion to give your opponent maximum doubt.

     

    13. Veteran Navy SEAL eyes 2022 U.S. Senate run in Georgia

    ajc.com · by Greg Bluestein

     

    14.  China Lashes Out at U.S. Allies in Bid to Thwart Biden Strategy

    Bloomberg · by Bloomberg News · March 23, 2021

    This should be an indicator that we are on the right track with our focus on allies. It is a threat to the PRC.

     

    15. How the U.S. Should Respond to China’s Belt and Road

    cfr.org  by Jacob J. Lew, Gary Roughead, Jennifer Hillmanm and David Sacks

    The 190 page report can be downloaded here.

     

    16. Expand, Consolidate, Centralize: Organizational Reform in the Next National Security Strategy

    thestrategybridge.org · March 24, 2021

    Can an NSS do all of this? Pretty ambitious.

    Conclusion: “Still, U.S. officials can do more, and they should propose more reforms in the next National Security Strategy. They should solidify the initial steps taken by the Biden administration and make these new members statutory for all future administrations. The U.S. should look at ways to deepen coordination and cooperation with non-governmental organizations and businesses. The administration should further centralize national security planning wherever possible, regardless if such changes require either an expansion of power, personnel, or resources at the National Security Council. History shows that organizational reform remains critical to the strategic success of a country in the face of unprecedented challenges. The architects of the next National Security Strategy should learn this now, rather than later.”

     

    17. When It Comes to Strategy, People Are Everything

    warontherocks.com · by Morgan Plummer · March 24, 2021

    Personnel is policy and strategy too!

    Conclusion: “If the United States doesn’t “get there first,” how will it react and adapt to that new reality? If the United States can’t “buy not build” everything that it needs, how will it fill the capability gaps that will, inevitably, remain? Will there ever be a system of business processes that allows the United States to “get there fast” enough in an age of digital revolution? Although each technology-based theory currently employed is necessary, they do not assure future victory because they largely ignore the precious commodity most underutilized by the Department of Defense: human capital. A human capital-focused strategy for defense modernization is not just additive — it serves as a hedge against the strategic uncertainty innate to all the others. All other theories assume the strategic flexibility of a talent pool that the Defense Department has named, the National Security Innovation Base, but is still failing to meaningfully access. Sacrificing vital investments in people, the fountainhead of American innovation and creativity, for improved processes or to exclusively fund technological wonders that will be outdated almost immediately after development, is a critical error. In the past, the United States employed technology as the mantric answer to all questions related to maintaining superiority in an increasingly multi-polar world. In an age where ideas and technologies go global at the press of a button, the department’s old incantations are insufficient. At best, technology, by itself, is an outdated and incomplete answer to a barely understood question. A national defense strategy focused on people, both inside and outside the Department of Defense, doesn’t just complete the answer to our great national questions. It is the answer.”

     

    18. Introducing the Irregular Warfare Initiative

    mwi.usma.edu · by Jacob N. Shapiro · March 24, 2021

    Outstanding initiative.

     

    19. Prosecutors allege Oath Keepers leader and Proud Boys coordinated before Capitol attack

    CNN · by Katelyn Polantz

    Sigh….

     

    ————

     

    “The fundamental reason for human rights being trampled in North Korea lies in the ‘Dear Leader Absolutism’ dictatorship.  There can be no human rights for the people in North Korea where the greatest morality and absolute law is giving one’s mind and body to the Dear Leader; and living as a slave who obeys completely and unconditionally the Dear Leader – it is the only life permitted the North Korean People.”

    – Hwang Jang Yop (father of north Korean Juche ideology), 2 DEC 99

     

    “We will maintain the proficiency of special operations forces to focus on crisis response and priority counterterrorism and unconventional warfare missions.”

    -2021 Interim National Security Strategic Guidance 

     

    “Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose–a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”

    – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, in “Frankenstein” (1818)

    DanielRiggs
    Wed, 03/24/2021 – 9:37am

    03/24/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

    03/24/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

    1. North Korea conducts first weapons test of Biden’s presidency

    2. North Korea fires short-range missiles in challenge to Biden administration

    3.  Pyongyang missile test a ‘mild’ challenge to Biden

    4. S.Korea Keeps Hands off N.Korea Rights Resolution

    5. N. Korea fired two cruise missiles off west coast Sunday: JCS

    6. Pro-N.K. paper says verbal message between leader Kim, China’s Xi signals stronger relations

    7. Overseas traders express disappointment at North Korea’s failure to “protect” Mun Chol Myong

    8. Two Storm Corps soldiers suffer major injuries after stepping on landmine

    9. North Korea denounces ‘psychotic’ EU for rights sanctions

    10. Defense ministry opens new war remains identification center

    11. U.N. adopts resolution on N.K. human rights for 19th consecutive year

    12. After Landmark Extradition, North Korean in US Court on Money Laundering Charges

    13. Petulant Pyongyang Ticks Off Putrajaya

    14. Fact check: Did Kim Jong Un call Joe Biden a thug during a speech?

    15. The North Korean-Syrian Partnership: Bright Prospects Ahead

     

    1. North Korea conducts first weapons test of Biden’s presidency

    CNN · by Zachary Cohen, Oren Liebermann, Barbara Starr and Kevin Liptak · March 23, 2021

    Here is the buried lede for Korea watchers: 

    “Senior administration officials said Tuesday that the policy review is in its “final stages” and that Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, would host his Japanese and South Korean counterparts next week in Washington to discuss the matter in depth.”

    As I have written I hope when the announcement of the new policy is made it includes the nominations of the new Special Representative for north Korea, the new Special Envoy for north Korean human rights, the new US Ambassador to the ROK, and the new US military commander in Korea (UNC/ROK/US CFC/USFK).  Personnel is policy.

    But it is this humorous comment that is troubling and if this kind of thinking prevails and influences the Biden team we will continue to be outplayed by Kim and his long con, his political warfare strategy, and his blackmail diplomacy.

    “Jeffrey Lewis, a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, which specializes in open-source intelligence, told CNN on Tuesday that North Korea appears to have tested a coastal defense cruise missile, which he said would be “fairly routine and, all things considered, a very mild response to the US-South Korea military drill.”

    “On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile and 1 is Kim farting in our general direction, this is a 2,” he added.

    The problem I have is when pundits and policy makers look at each incident in a vacuum or isolation and they fail to connect the dots and choose not to recognize and address the north Korean strategy.  Sure we can downplay this and say the door remains open to engagement and claim this was not a ballistic missile test that did violate UN Security Council resolutions.  However, our mistake is to not look at the totality of recent events and statements.  It is clear to me that this seemingly minor test is part of an effort to ensure the new Biden Korea policy is dead on arrival and the continued effort to drive a wedge in the ROK/US alliance. Read the statements from Kim Yo-jong and Choe Son-hui.  The recent renewal of the closer than lips and teeth PRC-DPRK alliance is a signal that the China line of effort as part of the Biden Korean policy to press it to influence north Korea is not feasible – China is siding with north Korea.

    And in the end Kim is trying to shape the environment and provide Biden only one option to pursue his new policy of principled diplomacy.  Since Kim likely assesses Biden wants to implement an effective and successful foreign policy (e.g., Biden “wants it” more than Kim) any negotiation will first require a lifting of sanctions to some degree. This will be required for Kim to just agree to participate in talks.  And in addition, these recent actions and statements have the added benefit of supporting the divide to conquer line of effort of Kim’s political warfare strategy – divide the alliance to conquer the ROK.

    To counter this the Biden administration should expose Kim’s strategy.  This is the only way to inoculate the new Korea policy and ensure it is not dead on arrival.   The Korean and American publics as well as the international community need to understand what Kim is doing.  Neither the ROK nor the US should be minimizing the north’s actions and even if this seems like a minor provocation it is imperative we look at the situation holistically.  Our new approach to north Korea must include effective information and influence activities (in coordination with the ROK) and a superior political warfare strategy to be able to outplay Kim Jong-un.

     

    2. North Korea fires short-range missiles in challenge to Biden administration

    The Washington Post · by John Hudson and Ellen Nakashima · March 23, 2021

    The Washington Post gets credit for breaking this news.

     

    3. Pyongyang missile test a ‘mild’ challenge to Biden

    asiatimes.com · by Paul Handley · March 23, 2021

    Again, it seems like every pundit and the press want to minimize this.  Yes it was a minor test, and yes neither the South nor the US reacted.  But we are not taking a holistic approach to the totality of north Korean actions and statements and we are trying to understand Kim Jong-un’s political warfare strategy.

     

    4. S.Korea Keeps Hands off N.Korea Rights Resolution

    english.chosun.com · March 24, 2021

    This is a (continued) mistake. The ROK needs to take a human rights stand against the suffering  of the Korean people in the north.  

     

    5. N. Korea fired two cruise missiles off west coast Sunday: JCS

    en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · March 24, 2021

    Excerpt: “He refused to disclose other details, including their exact type, flight range and apogee, only saying that South Korean and U.S. authorities have been analyzing details and closely monitoring related moves.”

     

    6. Pro-N.K. paper says verbal message between leader Kim, China’s Xi signals stronger relations

    en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · March 24, 2021

    The only alliance partners these two countries have.  Closer than lips and teeth.

     

    7. Overseas traders express disappointment at North Korea’s failure to “protect” Mun Chol Myong

    dailynk.com · by Jang Seul Gi · March 24, 2021

    Excellent. Morale is down at the Office. Office 39 that is. The second and third order effects on the regime could be devastating.  I would argue that a focus on either generating defections or possible “turning” members of the Office could achieve some success with possible big dividends in the future.

     

    8. Two Storm Corps soldiers suffer major injuries after stepping on landmine

    dailynk.com · by Kim Yoo Jin · March 24, 2021

    Excerpt: “The military will also hold the soldiers’ company commander and political guidance officers responsible for the incident, the source said. The military leadership claims that there were problems not only with the soldiers’ careless behavior but also with the senior officials who failed to manage the situation properly.”

     

    9. North Korea denounces ‘psychotic’ EU for rights sanctions

    straitstimes.com · March 24, 2021

    Kim Jong-un is personally threatened when the international community focuses on north Koran human rights.

     

    10. Defense ministry opens new war remains identification center

    en.yna.co.kr · by 최수향 · March 24, 2021

    Shared values.  How many other countries have facilities solely focused on identifying their war dead?

    Excerpt: “With the completion of building the new identification center, the agency is expected to become the world’s only organization with an integrated system that covers the whole procedure from recovery to identification,” the ministry said in a release.

     

    11. U.N. adopts resolution on N.K. human rights for 19th consecutive year

    en.yna.co.kr · by 김승연 · March 24, 2021

    At least the UN is consistent on this issue.

     

    12. After Landmark Extradition, North Korean in US Court on Money Laundering Charges

    rfa.org · by Erin Ji · March 23, 2021

    My comments in the article.

     

    13. Petulant Pyongyang Ticks Off Putrajaya

    rfa.org

    This is why north Korea’s diplomatic outposts are so important to the regime.  Can we build on our legal action and focus on others from Office 39 who are conducting illicit activities around the world.  If we ever want to be able to conduct a strategic strangulation campaign against Kim Jong-un we must focus on this network.

    Excerpts:It was a self-defeating move by North Korea, which has few friends. The communist state, which is led today by Kim Jong Un, has formal diplomatic ties with more than 160 countries but mostly on paper.

    Only 24 countries have embassies in Pyongyang, while North Korea has a few dozen diplomatic missions abroad. Beyond serving basic functions of diplomacy, Pyongyang’s embassies have an essential function of procuring hard currency, evading sanctions, and procuring technology and luxury goods for the regime, as well documented by reports.

    They are essential sources of funding – largely illicit – for the cash-strapped and constantly sanctioned government in Pyongyang. They have functioned as vehicles for the laundering of Pyongyang’s famed “super notes,” high-quality forgeries of U.S. $100 bills, as well as illegal narcotics.

    The embassy in Malaysia was no exception. It was long suspected for both illicit business activity and money laundering. The embassy assisted in the marketing of North Korean military communications equipment, among other activities. But most important, the embassy was tied to the procurement of communications and computer equipment for Pyongyang.”

     

    14. Fact check: Did Kim Jong Un call Joe Biden a thug during a speech?

    Newsweek · by Soo Kim · March 23, 2021

     

    15. The North Korean-Syrian Partnership: Bright Prospects Ahead

    38 North · Samuel Ramani · March 23, 2021

    There is still a pretty large axis of evil.

     

    ————

     

    “The fundamental reason for human rights being trampled in North Korea lies in the ‘Dear Leader Absolutism’ dictatorship.  There can be no human rights for the people in North Korea where the greatest morality and absolute law is giving one’s mind and body to the Dear Leader; and living as a slave who obeys completely and unconditionally the Dear Leader – it is the only life permitted the North Korean People.”

    – Hwang Jang Yop (father of north Korean Juche ideology), 2 DEC 99

     

    “We will maintain the proficiency of special operations forces to focus on crisis response and priority counterterrorism and unconventional warfare missions.”

    -2021 Interim National Security Strategic Guidance 

     

    “Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose–a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”

    – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, in “Frankenstein” (1818)

    DanielRiggs
    Wed, 03/24/2021 – 9:20am

    Oryx: Tracking Arms Transfers By The UAE, Russia, Jordan And Egypt To The Libyan National Army Since 2014

    Oryx: Tracking Arms Transfers By The UAE, Russia, Jordan And Egypt To The Libyan National Army Since 2014

    An open source intelligence analysis on the influx of foreign weapons and aid into Libya’s ongoing civil war and another excellent demonstration of OSINT capabilities and tradecraft. 

     

    Link: https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2020/06/types-of-arms-and-equipment-supplied-to.html

     

     

     

     

    Riley.C.Murray
    Wed, 03/24/2021 – 8:42am

    Irregular Warfare Initiative: Introducing the Irregular Warfare Initiative

    Irregular Warfare Initiative: Introducing the Irregular Warfare Initiative

    A joint effort from the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project at Princeton University and the Modern War Institute at West Point and a continuation of the great work that’s already been done on the Irregular Warfare Podcast

    https://mwi.usma.edu/introducing-the-irregular-warfare-initiative/

    “IWI is designed to support the community of irregular warfare professionals, to include military and interagency practitioners, scholarly researchers, and policymakers, by providing a space for accessible, practically grounded discussions of irregular warfare policy and strategy.”

    “IWI’s goal is to serve as a focal point for bringing together IW professionals from across the diplomatic, informational, military, and economic elements of the national security community with policy-focused academic researchers. It will provide a forum for debate and discussion so that the community can appropriately archive and apply the hard-fought lessons of the past two decades of IW in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world, while also engaging with innovative ideas for applying these and emerging IW competencies in the competition and conflict realms the United States expects to see in the future. We can all hope this skill set will not be in great demand, but if history is any guide, we should prepare as if the new era of great power competition will indeed require it.”

    “IWI will support three pillars of engagement. The first pillar will be IW-focused content, which will include both the Irregular Warfare Podcast and written content from contributors across the community of IW practitioners and researchers. The second pillar will take the form of interactive engagements, to include an annual conference focused on interdisciplinary collaboration. The final pillar will include an annual fellows program, providing the opportunity for a select number of professionals to engage in substantive examination of some of the most pressing IW challenges of the day. Through these vehicles, IWI intends to facilitate dialogue, provide access to new ideas, and support innovative approaches to addressing the contemporary strategic security environment.”

    Riley.C.Murray
    Wed, 03/24/2021 – 8:34am

    Combating Terrorism Center at West Point: CTC Sentinel – March 2021

    Combating Terrorism Center at West Point: CTC Sentinel – March 2021

    https://ctc.usma.edu/march-2021/

     

     

    Articles:

    Securing the Least Bad Outcome: The Options Facing Biden on Afghanistan

    By Brian Michael Jenkins

     

    Have the Taliban Changed?

    By Thomas Ruttig

     

    Lessons Learned from U.K. Efforts to Deradicalize Terror Offenders

    By Douglas Weeks

    Riley.C.Murray
    Wed, 03/24/2021 – 8:22am

    03/23/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

    03/23/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

    News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell.  Edited and Published by Daniel Riggs.

    1. Intersectional imperialism: A wholesome menace

    2. H.R. McMaster: Afghanistan is America’s longest war – it’s time for the delusion about it to end

    3. Here’s what to expect in Taiwan’s new defense review

    4. A historic exercise shows how Navy SEALs will keep aircraft carriers in a high-end fight

    5. Who are the winners and losers in Britain’s new defense review?

    6. 9/11 Was a Wake-Up Call. America Is Still Snoozing After the Capitol Assault.

    7. Eric Greitens announces he’s running for US Senate in Missouri

    8. Top U.S. General In Afghanistan Is Carrying A Heavily-Modified Glock With A Compensator Attached

    9. Top Armed Services Republican backs National Guard quick reaction force for DC

    10. FDD | What’s Behind China’s Dangerous Incursion into the East China Sea

    11. Covert Action, Espionage, and the Intelligence Contest in Cyberspace

    12. $88 billion and 20 years later, the Afghan security forces are still no match for the Taliban

    13. Shared Burden Of A New Vision For The Asia Pacific – Analysis

    14. Meet the Russian ‘Information Warrior’ Seeking To Discredit COVID-19 Vaccines

    15. Hard power or soft power? Quad opts for ‘smart’ power

    16. Ethnic armies rescue Myanmar’s democratic forces

    17. Time for US, Japan to muscle up their alliance

    18. Niall Ferguson – A Taiwan Crisis May Mark the End of the American Empire

    19. Biden Cabinet near complete but hundreds of jobs still open

     

    1. Intersectional imperialism: A wholesome menace

    realalexrubi.substack.com · by Alex Rubinstein · March 22, 2021

    This is most excellent propaganda from Russia Today. (note snark). It has a little bit of everything wrapped into this.

    Please go to the link for better formatting and to view the graphics.  

    Note the 2008 excerpt from the US Army manual on unconventional warfare (in the section on “finance feminism”).

    But the target of this propaganda is so obvious I am sure we will see its themes and messages repeated among certain segments of the political spectrum.

    Just consider the section headings alone:

    The Noble Anti-Triggering Organization (NATO)

    The State Department Becomes an HR Department

    The DoD Seeks ‘Force Multipliers’

    The Central Idpol Agency

    Finance Feminism

    Wokeism Goes Global

     

    2. H.R. McMaster: Afghanistan is America’s longest war – it’s time for the delusion about it to end

    foxnews.com · by H. R. McMaster

    Note the “four realities” in which strategy should be grounded.

    Conclusion:If the Biden administration abandons the weak agreement that the Taliban have already broken, it is possible to reverse a self-defeating strategy and sustain a long-term effort at a cost acceptable to the American people.

    Because war remains a contest of wills, achieving peace in Afghanistan will require the Afghan government and security forces to convince reconcilable elements of the Taliban that they cannot prevail through the use of force.

    Sustainable, long-term military and diplomatic support for the Afghan government and security forces is essential to achieving that outcome.

    It would be almost two decades late, but it is past time to end America’s self-delusion in Afghanistan.”

     

    3. Here’s what to expect in Taiwan’s new defense review

    Defense News · by Mike Yeo · March 22, 2021

    Key point: “Taiwan plans to shift its focus from being able to destroy enemy forces landing on its beaches, and instead adopt an asymmetric force structure that can annihilate an enemy at sea prior to making landfall.”

    I would argue Taiwan also needs an internal civilian based and SOF supported “resistance operating concept” to contribute to non conventional deterrence first and if an invasion does occur to provide defense in depth if the asymmetric approach to annihilating an enemy at sea prior to making landfall fails or less than completely effective.”

     

    4. A historic exercise shows how Navy SEALs will keep aircraft carriers in a high-end fight

    Business Insider · by Stavros Atlamazoglou

    Hmmm….

    A historic exercise shows how Navy SEALs will keep aircraft carriers in a high-end fight

     

    5. Who are the winners and losers in Britain’s new defense review?

    Defense News · by Andrew Chuter · March 22, 2021

    Note my chuckle here. A new ranger regiment modeled on the “US Army’s Green Beret Forces.” Oh the heresy of mixing “rangers and Green Berets!” But it will be really confusing when we have Brit Rangers operating side by side Green Berets.

    One area that could strengthen ties between the U.S. and U.K., he noted, is the creation of a new British Army ranger regiment, one modeled on the U.S. Army’s Green Beret forces.

    The review plans for £120 million in investments over the next four years to equip that force, the start of which Heappey said should be “up and running” by Christmas.

    The new unit “doesn’t just do training and advising of partner nations forces, but actually goes and trains, advises, assists and then accompanies them into non-permissive environments, which is exactly what the Green Berets are,” Heappey said. “It’s pretty likely that we’ll find Green Berets and Rangers working alongside each other in the same environments. Sub-Saharan Africa feels like the growing market. But actually there’s still plenty to be done in places like Iraq and Afghanistan as well.”

    ​There is some real irony here. We designed our national mission force (Delta) on the British SAS to include using similar terminology and naming conventions as well as organizational and employment concepts. Now the UK has recognized the need for a force more suited for advising and assisting and supporting indigenous forces ​so they are borrowing from our examples.

    ​What this confirms for me is the Brits recognize the importance of the SOF trinities:

  • Irregular Warfare
  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Support to Political Warfare
  • The Comparative advantage of SOF:

  • Influence
  • Governance
  • Support to indigenous forces and populations
  • With exquisite capabilities for the no fail CT and CP national missions

    6. 9/11 Was a Wake-Up Call. America Is Still Snoozing After the Capitol Assault.

    Foreign Policy · by Elise Labott · March 22, 2021

    Excerpts: “Ultimately, a long-term approach to reducing homegrown extremism must go beyond law enforcement to unpack just how and why many people find these ideologies appealing—and how they can be deradicalized. For a time, many believed that Trump-style nationalist populism was about economic anxiety—which, if true, would be something the government could address through new industrial and trade policies to buoy those left behind by globalization.

    But the melange of extremist factions from across the country uniting under a rubric of hatred suggests that their anger stems from something else, such as fear of losing their identity in a country whose demographics are inexorably changing—not something the government can fix with a few tariffs.

    The Capitol riot laid bare the dangers of ignoring the growing domestic extremist threat, now emanating from a tangled web of individuals, groups, and ideologies. But it was not an isolated event. FBI Director Wray said the bureau is currently working on upward of 2,000 domestic terrorism investigations. Without a national reckoning about what is happening in the country—and a genuinely bipartisan effort to counter the challenge, like the one seen after 9/11—Jan. 6 may go down in history as the point of no return.

     

    7. Eric Greitens announces he’s running for US Senate in Missouri

    kmbc.com · by KMBC 9 News Staff · March 23, 2021

     

    8. Top U.S. General In Afghanistan Is Carrying A Heavily-Modified Glock With A Compensator Attached

    thedrive.com · by Tyler Rogoway · March 22, 2021

    Ah yes…the important things to report on – the General’s sidearm.

     

    9. Top Armed Services Republican backs National Guard quick reaction force for DC

    The Hill · by Rebecca Kheel · March 22, 2021

    But what would be the chain of command? Who would have the employment decision making authority?

     

    10. FDD | What’s Behind China’s Dangerous Incursion into the East China Sea

    fdd.org · by Thomas Joscelyn · March 19, 2021

    Excerpts:

    “China’s position on issues relating to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, the South China Sea and the Diaoyu Island is consistent and clear,” Zhao said. (Diaoyu is the Chinese name for the Senkaku Islands.) “Our resolution and will to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests is rock solid,” he added.

    In no uncertain terms, Zhao claimed that “China’s sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters, the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands is indisputable.”

    In other words, the CCP isn’t backing down from its claim over the Senkaku Islands anytime soon.

     

    11. Covert Action, Espionage, and the Intelligence Contest in Cyberspace

    warontherocks.com · by Michael Poznansky · March 23, 2021

    Conclusion: “Cyberspace may be an intelligence contest among rivals, but all intelligence operations are not created equal. While cyber-enabled espionage and covert cyber operations both qualify as intelligence activities given their reliance on secrecy, and are therefore distinct from conventional warfare or diplomacy, they are also distinct in key ways from one another. Failing to appreciate these differences impedes our ability to understand the richness of cyber operations, underlying motivations, the prospect for signaling, and metrics of success.

    Going forward, appreciating this nuance will be important for several reasons. First, as U.S. Cyber Command enters its second decade of existence, having a clear sense of how to think about the variety of operations in cyberspace is critical. In many cases, cyber activity approximates an intelligence contest in which states jockey for information and influence. While it is not always easy to tell which is which, it is imperative to try. Second, assessing the wisdom of the previous administration’s decision to give Cyber Command more latitude in conducting operations — which the Biden administration has purportedly left in place — requires clear metrics of what has worked and what has not. Covert cyber operations may provide a more useful benchmark than espionage operations.

     

    12. $88 billion and 20 years later, the Afghan security forces are still no match for the Taliban

    taskandpurpose.com · by Jeff Schogol · March 22, 2021

    John Sopko has been providing the most thorough and critical analysis of the Afghan War.

    This is the key excerpt:

    “Task & Purpose asked Sopko why the Afghan security forces are still so reliant on the United States and NATO nearly 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    There isn’t a simple or easy answer, he said.

    “Based on all the work we’ve done, it seems obvious that the biggest mistake we’ve made was to try to build an Afghan Army in our own image and likeness,” Sopko said. “In other words, an Army that uses the systems and the equipment and the weapons that our army does. And yet, this is a country where a huge portion of the population are illiterate, where there’s very little electricity, and very little internet.”

    This is why I focus on this fourth point in my Eight Points of Irregular Warfare:

     4. Assessment – must conduct continuous assessment to gain understanding – tactical, operational, and strategic.  Assessments are key to developing strategy and campaign plans and anticipating potential conflict. Assessments allow you to challenge assumptions and determine if a rebalance of, ways and means with the acceptable, durable, political arrangement  is required. Understand the indigenous way of war and adapt to it.   Do not force the US way of war upon indigenous forces if is counter to their history, customs, traditions, and abilities. 

     

    13. Shared Burden Of A New Vision For The Asia Pacific – Analysis

    eurasiareview.com · by Nick Bisley Forum · March 23, 2021

    Conclusion: “Strategic competition with China over Asia’s order will be the dominant feature of the coming years. While that competition is likely to be better managed under Biden, a region dominated by competing great powers is a dangerous one indeed.”

     

    14. Meet the Russian ‘Information Warrior’ Seeking To Discredit COVID-19 Vaccines

    TIME 

    Who needs the Russians? We have Americans who are trying to discredit the vaccines.

     

    15. Hard power or soft power? Quad opts for ‘smart’ power

    asiatimes.com · by  Danil Bochkov · March 23, 2021

    Conclusion:

    “By juggling soft- and hard-power instruments, Biden seems to be pursuing what Joseph Nye once called “smart power” – an adroit combination of a strong military while investing heavily in alliances, partnerships and institutions.

    The long list of initiatives following the March 12 meeting signifies that this strategy might be successful. That will become clearer by the time the next summit takes place.”

     

    16. Ethnic armies rescue Myanmar’s democratic forces

    asiatimes.com · by David Scott Mathieson · March 22, 2021

    Maps/graphics at the link. We have a number of Americans and American organizations supporting these ethnic armies. Pilot teams are in place in case any national leaders decide we need to come to support those who seek to remain free.

     

    17. Time for US, Japan to muscle up their alliance

    asiatimes.com · by Grant Newsham · March 22, 2021

    Conclusion:

    “Japan and the Americans either must take some risks or the Chinese will swamp them. And at that point you either hand over the Senkakus or else fight for them. Neither option is a good one.

    The Japan-United States 2+2 said all the right things – once again. But it will take more than that to deter the PRC.

    Secretary of State Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan – both excellent debaters – should well understand this after the verbal hiding China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, gave them in Anchorage the other day.

    Beijing seems ready to match actions to words. Is the same true for Washington and Tokyo?”

     

    18. Niall Ferguson – A Taiwan Crisis May Mark the End of the American Empire

    english.aawsat.com

    The fox and the hedgehog.

    Conclusion: “The fox has had a good run. But the danger of foxy foreign policy is that you care about so many issues you risk losing focus. The hedgehog, by contrast, knows one big thing. That big thing may be that he who rules Taiwan rules the world.”

     

    19. Biden Cabinet near complete but hundreds of jobs still open

    AP · by Alexandra Jaffe · March 23, 2021

     

    ——————-

     

    “Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance.  Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth.  Let us seek it together as something which is known to neither of us.  For only then may we seek the truth, lovingly and tranquilly, if there be no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed.”

    – Saint Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 AD

     

    Unconventional warfare needs to remain the heart and soul of U.S. Special Operations Command and component commands.

    – Brandon Webb

     

    If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

    – Albert Einstein

     

    DanielRiggs
    Tue, 03/23/2021 – 9:27am

    03/23/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

    03/23/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

    1. Xi, Kim share messages reaffirming China-N. Korea alliance

    2. Cost-sharing deal to bolster alliance

    3. ‘Seoul’s nuclear pursuit would harden NK’s atomic ambitions’

    4. Quad not on table for Korea-India defense ministerial talks: Seoul

    5. Is US pressure on China, North Korea leading to new cold war?

    6. S. Korea, U.S. closely watching N. Korea amid signs rocket launchers being deployed to border islet

    7. Spotlight on us (South Korea, human rights, and corruption)

    8. Lavrov raps U.S.’ Indo-Pacific strategy, ‘bloc’ building, ahead of Seoul visit

    9. S. Korea not to co-sponsor this year’s U.N. resolution on N.K. human rights

    10. North Korea’s Missiles and Nuclear Weapons: Everything You Need to Know

    11. Unification ministry reviewing ways to send food, fertilizer assistance to N. Korea

    12. Harvard institute calls on journal to address ‘comfort women’ paper issues

    13. EU Sanctions N.Korean Officials over Human Rights Abuses

    14. For the first time, the Justice Department extradites a North Korean to stand trial in the U.S.

    15. CSIS Commission on the Korean Peninsula: Recommendations for the U.S.-Korea Alliance

    16. The South Korea-US 2+2 Talks: Who Came Out Ahead?

     

    1. Xi, Kim share messages reaffirming China-N. Korea alliance

    AP · by Kim Tong-Hyung · March 23, 2021

    And they remain closer than lips and teeth.  And they have a common objective – both want unification of their countries! (the irony is north Korea prevented Chinese unification in 1950 when it first attempted to unify the Korean peninsula).
    This is the only alliance these two countries have.

     

    2. Cost-sharing deal to bolster alliance
    The Korea Times · by Alex Soohoon Lee · March 23, 2021

    Excerpts: “All in all, the 11th SMA, whether it is considered a success or a half-measure in terms of negotiations, is expected to restore the damaged alliance, putting it back on the right track. The two allies show one caveat after smoothly closing the SMA. The Biden administration may ask its allies, including South Korea, to join the U.S.’ efforts to maintain peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

    There have been growing calls for Korea to join the informal Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, an anti-China coalition better known as the Quad comprising the U.S., Japan, Australia and India. However, Korea is reluctant to accept such calls.

    At this critical juncture, Seoul and Washington will have to work together closely to iron out their differences to find a way forward.”

     

    3. ‘Seoul’s nuclear pursuit would harden NK’s atomic ambitions’

    koreaherald.com · by Choi Si-young · March 23, 2021

    Of course it would.  But the purpose of Seoul acquiring nuclear weapons would not be with the intent to denuclearize. It would be because the regime has no intention of denuclearizing.  That said I still believe as long as we sustain the alliance the ROK should not attempt to acquire nuclear weapons.  I think it

     

    4. Quad not on table for Korea-India defense ministerial talks: Seoul

    The Korea Times · March 23, 2021

    That answers my question from yesterday about the Quad on the agenda at the ROK-India defense meeting.

     

    5. Is US pressure on China, North Korea leading to new cold war?

    The Korea Times · by Kang Seung-woo · March 23, 2021

    Why are we always to blame?  What about the actions of China and north Korea (and Russia) leading to a new “cold war?”

     

    6. S. Korea, U.S. closely watching N. Korea amid signs rocket launchers being deployed to border islet

    en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · March 23, 2021

    Again we have to ask if the masters of deception are showing something they want us to see?  What are we not seeing?  What are they trying to hide from us?

     

    7. Spotlight on us (South Korea, human rights, and corruption)

    koreajoongangdaily.joins.com

    An Oped responding to the US State Department’s report on human rights.

    Conclusion: “Corruption and human rights restrictions in our society are more serious than thought. The recent inside-information real estate scandal shows the level of corruption among our civil servants — even as the country is led by a human rights-lawyer-turned-president. The government’s arrogance and self-satisfaction have played a big part in the degradation of the country. We hope the government turns the country into an advanced one in human rights.”

     

    8. Lavrov raps U.S.’ Indo-Pacific strategy, ‘bloc’ building, ahead of Seoul visit

    en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · March 23, 2021

    Neither Russia nor China like our Indo-Pacific strategy.  And both would like to drive a wedge in the ROK/US alliance (and others).

     

    9. S. Korea not to co-sponsor this year’s U.N. resolution on N.K. human rights

    en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · March 23, 2021

    Not a good look President Moon.  You must stand up for the human rights of the Korean people in the north (and then South).

     

    10. North Korea’s Missiles and Nuclear Weapons: Everything You Need to Know

    WSJ · by Timothy W. Martin

    Well, maybe not everything.  But this is a useful summary.

    But not to worry. Many pundits say Kim has no intention of using them against the United States.  

    Excerpt:What is President Biden’s stance on North Korea?

    Mr. Biden has advocated mixing pressure with what he calls principled diplomacy. He has declared an end to holding summits without preconditions, which he said amounts to embracing a thug. Mr. Biden said he would sit down with Mr. Kim only if Pyongyang were sincere and pledged to reduce its nuclear arsenal.

    In January, Mr. Kim called the U.S. his country’s biggest enemy. North Korean state media last mentioned Mr. Biden by name in 2019, when it called him a “fool of low I.Q.” and compared him to a rabid dog that “must be beaten to death.”

     

    11. Unification ministry reviewing ways to send food, fertilizer assistance to N. Korea

    en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · March 23, 2021

    north Korea should want to receive assistance more than the South wants to provide it.  Why is it so hard for the South to provide it?  Because the north is not receptive.  Think about that.  Why have the rejected offers to help the Korean people in the north?  The South may end up having to “bribe” the regime for it to accept aid.  Think about the irony of that but that is of course part of Kim’s long con and political warfare strategy. 

    Excerpt:

    “The North has repeatedly rejected offers for help from South Korea to ease its food shortage amid chilled inter-Korean relations. Leader Kim Jong-un has also urged his officials not to receive outside aid, citing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus into the country.

    Unification Minister Lee has told lawmakers that the North appears to be faced with a food shortage of about 1.2 million to 1.3 million tons this year mainly due to damage from last year’s heavy downpours. South Korea has been exploring various ways to provide food and fertilizer to North Korea, according to his ministry.”

     

    12. Harvard institute calls on journal to address ‘comfort women’ paper issues

    koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Michael Lee

    I think it is difficult for Harvard to dig itself out of this hole.

     

    13. EU Sanctions N.Korean Officials over Human Rights Abuses

    english.chosun.com

    There is more international support for human rights in north Korea than there is within the Moon administration.

     

    14. For the first time, the Justice Department extradites a North Korean to stand trial in the U.S.

    freekorea.us · by Joshua Stanton · March 23, 2021

    Key point form Josh Stanton:  “Mun undoubtedly knows many things about where Pyongyang hides his money, and his intelligence value could be inestimable. But the real impact of his extradition was to persuade Kim Jong-un that Malaysia was no longer a safe place for his agents, and to panic him into pulling his people out and cutting diplomatic relations. That will be a significant shock to Kim’s finances, because Malaysia was one of the largest hubs of North Korea’s money laundering operations.”

     

    15. CSIS Commission on the Korean Peninsula: Recommendations for the U.S.-Korea Alliance

    csis.org · by John J. Hamre, Victor Cha, and Joseph Nye · March 22, 2021

    The 31 page report can be downloaded here.

     

    16. The South Korea-US 2+2 Talks: Who Came Out Ahead?

    thediplomat.com · by Sukjoon Yoon · March 22, 2021

    Alliance partners should not be “coming out ahead.”

    Excerpt:

    “To summarize the outcome of these 2+2 talks, the United States sought to repair the strained alliance with South Korea after a similar, successful visit to Tokyo, but Seoul proved a much greater challenge. There were positive results for Washington: a less active pursuit of OPCON transfer by the Moon administration, the agreement on increased payments under the new SMA, and the prospect of buying more weapons and equipment from U.S. companies to operate the new ROK carrier. But there were negatives for the U.S. as well: South Korea declined to join the Quad Plus and signaled that military cooperation with Japan will not be harmonized anytime soon. Meanwhile, U.S.-ROK alliance is still centered on North Korea, rather than the much broader agenda that the United States desires.”

    Spoiler alert:  In conclusion, South Korea came out ahead at these talks, for the moment, anyway, with the United States largely unsatisfied. Even though the U.S. brought its big guns, Seoul held out for strategic autonomy, or at least strategic ambiguity, in dealing with North Korea and China. There may be no public disagreement revealed between the U.S. and the ROK, but the cracks will likely grow wider and deeper. The United States will surely be looking forward to the next ROK administration in 2022, and will be hoping for a conservative party victory.

     

    ————

     

    “Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance.  Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth.  Let us seek it together as something which is known to neither of us.  For only then may we seek the truth, lovingly and tranquilly, if there be no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed.”

    – Saint Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 AD

     

    Unconventional warfare needs to remain the heart and soul of U.S. Special Operations Command and component commands.

    – Brandon Webb

     

    If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

    – Albert Einstein

     

    DanielRiggs
    Tue, 03/23/2021 – 9:05am