06/06/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/06/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. America remains indispensable

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

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

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

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

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

12. Culture war on the military

13. Did the Army hire an astrologer?

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

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

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

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

 

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

euronews.com · June 6, 2021

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

 

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

Axios · by Hans Nichols

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

defenseone.com · by Jacqueline Feldscher

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

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

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

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

 

6. America remains indispensable

The Korea Times by Joschka Fischer · June 6, 2021

A view from Germany.

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

 

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

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

Be wary of gifts.

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

WSJ · by Alex Leary

Reparations? Snowball. Chance. Hell.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

12. Culture war on the military

Washington Examiner · by Mackubin Owens · June 4, 2021

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

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

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

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

 

13.  Did the Army hire an astrologer?

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

I would also ask who opposes democracy?

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

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

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

 

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

The Telegraph · by India McTaggart

I cast my vote for democracies. 🙂 

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

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

 

—————

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

To the Resistance:

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

“Wound My Heart With Monotonous Languor” 

“John Has A Long Mustache” 

“The Chair Is Against The Wall”

“Molasses tomorrow will bring forth cognac.”

 

DanielRiggs
Sun, 06/06/2021 – 12:57pm

06/06/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/06/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Putin calls for guaranteeing N. Korea’s security to resolve nuclear quandary

2. Unification minister calls for ‘maximum flexibility’ on joint military exercises with U.S.

3. Calls intensify for Biden administration to help save former Marine’s life

4. N. Korea accuses Israel of turning Gaza into ‘human slaughterhouse’

5. Ex-N.K. admiral responsible for Yeonpyeong naval skirmishes dies

6. President Moon’s quiet, effective leadership

7. South Korea to Accelerate Space Program, Expand U.S. Cooperation

8. Moon vows to reform military, rid it of ‘backward culture’

9. Investigation into deadly helicopter crash ends without indictment (South Korea)

10. Pound-foolish procurement robs super soldiers of superpower (South Korea)

11. BTS moment for Korea-US alliance and tasks ahead

 

1. Putin calls for guaranteeing N. Korea’s security to resolve nuclear quandary

en.yna.co.kr · by 김승연 · June 5, 2021

Nice thoughts Vlad, but…

But the Koreans are shrewd students of world affairs. The Kim family regime recalls the Ukraine example when, in return for giving up its nuclear weapons, Russia and the US guaranteed its security. It looks at what happened in 2014 in Crimea/Ukraine. Russian and the US both reneged on their “security guarantee” – Russia by invading/annexing Crimea and the US by not coming to the aid of Ukraine to ensure its security. This example likely made a stronger imprint on the Kim family regime mind than the “Libya model,” though that example is used more often.

We should keep in mind what is a security guarantee for the Kim family regime. First and foremost it is about the security of the regime, not the security of the Korean people living in the north.

“Only by ensuring the security of its people, and with patience and a careful approach, should we be able to resolve this problem,” he said.

Second, it is not about written or verbal guarantees or promises or even an end of war declaration or peace treaty. It requires physical action for the regime to trust in such a security guarantee. Unfortunately for the ROK/US alliance that physical action means an end of the ROK/US alliance, removal of US troops from Korea, and the. end to extended deterrence and the nuclear umbrella over the ROK and Japan. 

This kind of security guarantee is also required for proof the US has ended its hostile policy toward the regime. But what we really need to understand if the nature, objectives, and strategy of the regime. It is using an end of war declaration, a peace agreement, an end of the US hostile policy as part of its political warfare strategy and supported by blackmail diplomacy to create the conditions to ultimately unify the Korean peninsula under the rule of the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State.  

We should not be duped by the recent announcement about the new Workers Party of Korea rules that omit that the regime no longer seeks unification through revolution.

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?

Show me the evidence to answer the above questions in the affirmative.

The answers to these questions should guide us to the strategy to solve the “Korea question” (para 60 of the Armistice) 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. 

But I digress. Putin’s proposal is simply in support of the regime’s political warfare strategy and not a serious path to denuclearization. 

 

2. Unification minister calls for ‘maximum flexibility’ on joint military exercises with U.S.

en.yna.co.kr · by 장재순 · June 6, 2021

The Unification Minister does not understand deterrence and defense and the absolute necessity to maintain sufficient readiness to ensure the security of the ROK and protect US interests.

I have to through the BS flag on this statement:

“But one obvious thing is that combined exercises should never work in a way that causes or further escalates tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” he said. “Our government should carry out a policy coordination process with maximum flexibility, and I also hope North Korea will show flexibility.”

North Korea has long denounced joint military drills between the U.S. and the South as a rehearsal for invasion. In recent years, Seoul and Washington have called off or scaled back some of the drills due in part to the pandemic and also as part of efforts to give diplomacy more of a chance.

It is not the combined exercises that further escalates tensions. It is the actions and rhetoric of the Kim family regime. The Unification Minister’s line of thinking is dangerous for the alliance. The Moon administration really needs to muzzle him because he is going to undo all the good that was achieved at the Biden-Moon summit.

Note the second part of the above excerpt: we have called off or scaled back exercises in the past 3 years and there has been no reciprocity from the north. In fact, during that period the north conduct more than 20 missile and rocket tests, a number of which are only intended to support the north Korea offensive by attacking what the regime calls the “fat target” of Camp Humphreys, Osan Air Base, and Cheongju Air Base (where the ROK F-35s are based). The north continues to develop offensive warfighting capabilities to support its campaign plan to unify the peninsula by force.  Failing to train the ROK/US combined military force puts the security of the ROK and US strategic interests at great risk.

 

3. Calls intensify for Biden administration to help save former Marine’s life

foxnews.com · by Eric Shawn

I do not know why Trump did not take care of this while he was president. Couldn’t this have been covered by some kind of “pardon” that would prevent his extradition?

We should be under no illusion that if he is extradited to Spain and is tried and convicted he will be vulnerable to assassination by the north in public or in prison. And perhaps, even worse, he might be further extradited to north Korea by Spain.  

But this is the key point for our Korea team at State and the NSC:

“Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Lulejian argued that the Warmbier’s plea should have no bearing on the extradition proceedings.

“While the United States empathizes with the Warmbiers and the tragic loss of their son, it must object to any attempt to expand these court proceedings – to which North Korea is not a party — beyond their statutorily prescribed scope,” he wrote in response.

He said it is up to the State Department to deny the extradition and argued that it should not be “denied on humanitarian grounds.” Lulejian disputed the claims that Ahn would be in danger in Spain, and cited treaty obligations as the reason to uphold the extradition request.

Are we going to take the right humanitarian action or are there voices trying to influence this decision by arguing that by allowing him to be extradited it will somehow contribute to denuclearization negotiations. I know no one on our Korea team believes that but I am sure there are some who would like to keep this out of the news. My recommendation is to just rip the bandage off the wound right now. It will make some headlines. The regime will spew its usual rhetoric and then it will blow over. It can actually help reinforce that we are concerned with human rights and that we will not be a victim of blackmail diplomacy. The we allow this hanging chad to persist the more the north believes that its political warfare strategy and blackmail diplomacy is working. We need to explain to our Spanish allies that going through with our extradition and their trial will only embolden the regime and make it believe it has power and influence internationally. The regime will double down on its blackmail diplomacy because it will assess nations are afraid of the regime.

 

4.  N. Korea accuses Israel of turning Gaza into ‘human slaughterhouse’

Israel Hayom · by Neta Bar and ILH Staff · June 6, 2021

The Kim family regime thinks it can be an international player. But this is a fascinating reaction to the regime’s statement. Everyone recognizes the hypocrisy of the Kim family regime.

Reactions to the post were diverse, with one user in Ramallah tweeting: “North Korea is not an ally Palestine wants or needs. I’m so confused. I don’t know whether to thank North Korea for condemning Israel or feel sick by their hypocrisy in writing such a thing when they themselves are perpetrating crimes.”

 

5.  Ex-N.K. admiral responsible for Yeonpyeong naval skirmishes dies

en.yna.co.kr · by 장재순 · June 6, 2021

RIP. (not!)

 

6. President Moon’s quiet, effective leadership

The Korea Times · by Arthur I. Cyr · June 6, 2021

Hmmm…. Did Professor Cyr write this using South Korean press releases and talking points?

I mean, come on. This?

“As a youth, Moon was imprisoned for political activism. Later, he became a human rights lawyer. He also served in the Republic of Korea army special forces, and saw action in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the 38th Parallel.”

He might explain that as a “human rights lawyer” he has never taken any action regarding human rights for Koreans in the north. The only human rights he has focused on are connected to the democracy movement of the 1980s and shaping the narrative of that period. And saw “action” in the DMZ?  He was a support soldier in the Special Warfare Command, not an actual operator. 

But what the professor overlooks the real issue. President Moon’s peace agenda and his vision that Kim Jong-un actually supports peace and reconciliation is dangerous and wrong. He is willing to give concessions to the regime which will weaken the security of the ROK and further embolden Kim Jong-un to conduct political warfare and blackmail diplomacy while developing the military capabilities to unify the peninsula by force when the conditions to do so are sufficient.

 

7. South Korea to Accelerate Space Program, Expand U.S. Cooperation

Bloomberg · by Jeong-Ho Lee · June 6, 2021

 

8. Moon vows to reform military, rid it of ‘backward culture’

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Esther Chung · June 6, 2021

 

9. Investigation into deadly helicopter crash ends without indictment

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Michael Lee · June 6, 2021

 

10. Pound-foolish procurement robs super soldiers of superpower

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Park Yong-Han and Michael Lee · June 6, 2021

I wonder about the similarities between the Korean and US programs in this area. Is there any collaboration?

 

11. BTS moment for Korea-US alliance and tasks ahead

The Korea Times · by Kim Won-soo · June 6, 2021

A very interesting interpretation of the summit and the future of the alliance.

Here are the three reasons why I think it was a diplomatic BTS moment.

The first, B, stands for “bold.” 

The second, T, stands for “tough.”

The third, S, stands for “surprising.”

 

—————

 

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

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

 

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

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

DanielRiggs
Sun, 06/06/2021 – 12:45pm

Irregular Warfare Podcast: The Daughters of Kobani – How a Group of Women brought the fight to the Islamic State

Irregular Warfare Podcast: The Daughters of Kobani – How a Group of Women brought the fight to the Islamic State

An interview with the author, Gayle Lemmon, and General (Ret.) Joseph Votel, former CENTCOM and SOCOM commander
 

LINK: https://mwi.usma.edu/the-daughters-of-kobani-how-a-group-of-women-brought-the-fight-to-the-islamic-state/

 

Episode 28 of the Irregular Warfare Podcast explores the story of the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units through the lens of the New York Times best-selling book The Daughters of Kobani. Our guests discuss the impetus for US intervention in Syria, the nature of the US relationship with the Syrian Kurds, and the efficacy of an approach that capitalized on US airpower in support of local ground forces. Both of our guests draw upon extensive professional experience in Syria to contextualize the rise and fall of the Islamic State by introducing us to the YPJ, an all female militia integrated into the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, which were integral to contributing to the fall of ISIS.

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is the award-winning author of several New York Times best sellers, to include The Daughters of Kobani:  A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice, on which this discussion is based. She is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a frequent speaker, author, and contributor to discussion forums, media outlets, and national security organizations on policy-related to security, women, and technology.

Retired General Joseph Votel served for thirty-nine years in the United States Army, last serving as the commander of US Central Command. He preceded that assignment with service as the commander of US Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command. Gen. Votel is currently president and CEO of Business Executives for National Security and is on the executive board of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Riley.C.Murray
Sat, 06/05/2021 – 3:23pm

06/05/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/05/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. U.S. UFO Report Doesn’t Explain Mystery Sightings but Finds No Sign of Aliens

2. America’s allies and enemies will take note of Biden’s low-priority defense budget

3. Pentagon to keep ban on Pride, most other flags from being flown on military installations

4. FDD | Al-Qaeda Is Still in Afghanistan, and It’s Fighting for Victory

5. Rome Could Be Washington’s Ideal Partner on China

6. Nations in Southeast Asia want peace and trade, not war

7. Mr. Xi, policies are more important than narratives

8. Countering China’s Intimidation of Taiwan

9. Gen. Charles Flynn, brother of former national security adviser, takes reins of US Army Pacific

10. Force Structure for the Future – Key Issues for the Army

11. Xi Jinping’s Tiananmen Vision for Us All

12. Taiwan’s foreign minister plays down threat of war even as tensions soar

13. China: Two Key Questions

14. Rare awards show Nigerien valor in 2017 ambush of Army Green Berets

15. Iran’s Proxies in Iraq Threaten U.S. With More Sophisticated Weapons

16. **CORRECTED** Episode 0008: Guest Tamara Cofman Wittes / Human Rights & National Security (The Smell of Victory Podcast by Divergent Options)

17. Biden seeks State Department budget boost, but ambassador nominations lag

18. Can Rockets Deliver Supplies to War Zones? Space Force, Air Force Aim to Find Out

19. The Army’s Legendary Little Bird Might Be Flying Away for Good

20. Afghan allies need immediate evacuation to avoid danger, lawmakers warn

21.  Tiananmen Square embodies Chinese people’s confidence, pride: Global Times editorial

22. Why the Wuhan lab theory inquiry will help Biden heal a divided America

 

1. U.S. UFO Report Doesn’t Explain Mystery Sightings but Finds No Sign of Aliens

WSJ · by Gordon Lubold and Nancy A. Youssef

One of the best quotes I heard on a news show from an expert is that if it looks like something a human being would imagine and construct it was probably built by a human being and not an alien.  

 

2. America’s allies and enemies will take note of Biden’s low-priority defense budget

The Hill · by Dov S. Zakheim · June 4, 2021

This is a strong critique: “America’s allies and friends will be watching carefully as Congress responds to a defense budget that, for the first time in many years, is not a top administration priority; so too, and far more ominously, will America’s enemies.”

 

3. Pentagon to keep ban on Pride, most other flags from being flown on military installations

The Hill · by Ellen Mitchell · June 4, 2021

Policies must be consistent and enforced.

As an aside, and I do not mean this as a partisan comment, this administration is not totally rejecting everything implemented by the past administration. I recently spoke to some government officials who noted there is quite a bit of policy continuity in a number of areas (though obviously we have seen rejection of some of the more controversial and high visibility policies). While there may be new names to policies many of the policies are very much along the lines of the previous administration’s.  Our career professional government officials can see the continuity.

 

4. FDD | Al-Qaeda Is Still in Afghanistan, and It’s Fighting for Victory

fdd.org · by Thomas Joscelyn · June 4, 2021

A sober (or somber) assessment.

Conclusion: “America’s military presence in Afghanistan is coming to an end. Nothing written here will change that. And there’s much to criticize with respect to how this war was prosecuted. But the U.S. should understand what it is leaving behind.”

 

5. Rome Could Be Washington’s Ideal Partner on China

realclearworld.com · by James Jay Carafano and Stefano Graziosi

Excerpts: “What the United States needs is more European partners to build toward a stronger consensus. Under a new government, Italy might help tip the balance.

For starters, Rome’s relations with Beijing are frostier these days. And there are more factors at play.

 

6. Nations in Southeast Asia want peace and trade, not war

SCMP · by Alex Lo · June 4, 2021

I would hope so. Who wants war?

Excerpts: ““They do not want to see a heightened US-Chinese rivalry in Southeast Asia,” he wrote. “Asean countries do not want to be polarised … and see [their] cohesion undermined. [They] are hoping that the Biden administration will lower the temperature, tone, and tension … and keep the rivalry manageable.

“It is in the national interest of Asean countries to maintain good relations with both the United States and China. They all want to extract benefits from both powers.”

They understand they will be living next to China for a long, long time.

 

7. Mr. Xi, policies are more important than narratives

japantimes.co.jp · by Kuni Miyake · June 3, 2021

Or actions speak louder than words. 

Excerpts:I sincerely hope Beijing is currently wiser than Tokyo was then. History may not always repeat itself, but it does rhyme sometimes. Will you continue to let your “Wolf Warriors” bark at international institutions, further discrediting your excellency’s People’s Republic of China?

Or can you bravely modify your policies and start pursuing an exit from this fruitless advancement of hollow narratives? If you start making deals with the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, his professional men and women will surely understand and not let China lose face.

As I told you three years ago, “The lesson Tokyo learned in 1945 is that you cannot always win by fighting, but you can win by avoiding a fight.” Ultimately, it is your choice.

 

8. Countering China’s Intimidation of Taiwan

afsa.org by Robert S. Wang

From the Foreign Service Journal.  

Key point: “There are risks to maintaining the strategy of ambiguity as Chinese military power builds up in the coming years. First, this strategy will not reduce Beijing’s increasing assertiveness toward Taiwan and the region. From my own involvement in many years of negotiations with Chinese officials, it is my view that Beijing will see a U.S. effort to hang on to this strategy simply as a sign of weakness and fear, not clever diplomacy, and will seek to exploit this weakness by increasing the pressure and pushing for concessions from both Taiwan and the United States. I believe we are seeing this play out today. In time, the lack of a clear U.S. commitment will allow Beijing to succeed in sowing doubts about U.S. credibility—not only among the people of Taiwan, but in the region and the world as a whole.

Beijing will continue to escalate its military pressure as it senses uncertainty and weakness on the part of the United States.

 

9. Gen. Charles Flynn, brother of former national security adviser, takes reins of US Army Pacific

Stars and Stripes · by Wyatt Olson · June 5, 2021

I wonder when the change of command will take place in Korea.

I feel bad for General Fynn. Every article about him will have a comment or tie in to his brother.

Excerpt:Flynn — the younger brother of Michael Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser under former President Donald Trump — took the reins from Gen. Paul LaCamera, who will move on to command U.S. Forces Korea.

 

10. Force Structure for the Future – Key Issues for the Army

realcleardefense.com · by Travis Wright

A focus on the Army National Guard.

 

11. Xi Jinping’s Tiananmen Vision for Us All

pjmedia.com · by Claudia Rosett · June 4, 2021

Few are as critical of China as Cluadia Rosett in such blunt writing (except perhaps Gordon Chang). She pulls no punches.

Excerpts: “But you can’t have both in Xi Jinping’s China, where in order for the Communist Party to keep control, wealth and power must be constantly segregated from any “misled” impulses toward freedom, democratic choice and individual dignity. These are affronts and threats to the party, whether they arise at home or as inspiring examples abroad.

 

Thus did China’s communists transform Tiananmen from a place of democratic hopes in the spring of 1989, to a heavily guarded showplace where the China’s communist can entertain dignitaries and parade the tanks and missiles with which plan to shore up plans for sharing their system with the world, like it or not.

 

Thus do we see China’s transformation of Hong Kong’s Victoria Park, on June 4, 2021, from a place for people to honor freedom and those who died for it, to an empty reflection of the nihilist core of Xi’s grand China dream: a vacant park, walled off by police, overlooked by state security, off limits to the humanity all that massive “national security” is officially supposed to serve. Next on the list is quite likely Taiwan, though Xi has made clear it’s not just East Asia, but a global order he aspires to lead along this path of “remarkable progress.” Unless we stop it, that’s the CCP’s China Dream, coming for us all.

 

12. Taiwan’s foreign minister plays down threat of war even as tensions soar

americanmilitarynews.com · by Jesse Johnson  · June 5, 2021

Excerpts:However, the top Taiwanese diplomat attempted to make clear that Taipei was first and foremost “absolutely committed” to its own self-defense, while also vowing to continue to re-examine with partners any security shortcomings.

“We need to engage with the United States in security discussions … to see what is the blind side of Taiwan that we need to improve upon,” Wu said. “So far, the discussions … have been going very well.”

Still, he emphasized that Taiwan views its defense as its own responsibility.

 

13. China: Two Key Questions

democracyjournal.org  · Sheena Chestnut Greitens · June 1, 2021

Analysis of the Biden Administration’s interim National Security Strategic Guidance (NSSG) regarding China.

Excerpts: “There two key questions that this strategy will have to address in the coming months: one about how regional allies and partners will respond to this strategy, and one about how China itself is likely to respond.

Democracy commonly plays a major role in American national security strategy, and under the Biden Administration, early national security strategy documents have framed democracy both as a core value and institution to be defended, and a strategic asset to be deployed. In Asia, that has meant a considerable focus on the challenges posed by China, and behavior by the Chinese party-state that has grown increasingly repressive at home and assertive or combative abroad. The key questions facing the Biden Administration in articulating such a strategy are how it will navigate collaboration with security and economic partners who are either undemocratic or do not equally prioritize democracy as a shaping force in foreign policy, and how to address the way that this framing will interact with a national security concept on the Chinese side that sees ideological security as an important objective and assertion of democracy and human rights as a potential offensive threat to that ideological security. In the years ahead, these two questions will do much to shape the outcomes of the strategy that the Biden Administration has proposed.

 

14. Rare awards show Nigerien valor in 2017 ambush of Army Green Berets

armytimes.com · by Kyle Rempfer · June 4, 2021

 

15. Iran’s Proxies in Iraq Threaten U.S. With More Sophisticated Weapons

The New York Times · by Jane Araf Eric Schmitt · June 4, 2021

Not so highly secretive.

Excerpts: “At least three times in the past two months, those militias have used small, explosive-laden drones that divebomb and crash into their targets in late-night attacks on Iraqi bases — including those used by the C.I.A. and U.S. Special Operations units, according to American officials.

 

Three days later, another drone struck just after midnight at an airfield in Harir, north of Erbil, that is used by the military’s highly secretive Joint Special Operations Command. The explosive-laden drone crashed, causing no injuries or damage, coalition officials said, but fueled the growing worries.

 

16. **CORRECTED** Episode 0008: Guest Tamara Cofman Wittes / Human Rights & National Security (The Smell of Victory Podcast by Divergent Options)

Divergent Options

A very interesting podcast. But I especially like the accompanying graphic on human rights. If it does not come through in the message please go to this link to view it.  

 

17. Biden seeks State Department budget boost, but ambassador nominations lag

americanmilitarynews.com · by Jacqueline Feldscher · June 4, 2021

Excerpt: “One area where Biden is getting it right is consistently messaging that his top diplomats have his full trust and speak for him, said Bradley Bowman, senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“The trust that [the president]…demonstrates in his secretary of state is important. When Secretary Blinken shows up in this or that country, the first question that his interlocutors are going to ask is does this person have the trust and authority of the U.S. president,” Bowman said. “That matters, because that helps people decide whether they should take what Blinken says as serious and substantive.”

Still, Bowman, who spent nine years on Capitol Hill, worried about the proposed cuts to the defense budget, saying that diplomacy is at its best when it’s backed up by a strong military deterrent, especially against aggressive threats such as China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran.

“You can have the most eloquent communiques and press releases from Foggy Bottom, but if we’re learned anything over the years, it’s that Putin’s not impressed with diplomatic communiques. It takes hard power,” he said.

 

18. Can Rockets Deliver Supplies to War Zones? Space Force, Air Force Aim to Find Out

defenseone.com · by Tara Copp

Now this is a logistics concept we need to get behind. Game changer would not be a strong enough description.

Excerpt: “AFRL will look at whether reusable commercial rockets that can carry up to 100 tons of cargo could be used to deliver gear to a conflict in an hour or less. The Air Force is also considering the cargo for humanitarian missions and disaster relief.”

 

19. The Army’s Legendary Little Bird Might Be Flying Away for Good

Popular Mechanics · by Kyle Mizokami · June 4, 2021

Oh no! What a great little helicopter. Can it really be replaced by something better?

 

20. Afghan allies need immediate evacuation to avoid danger, lawmakers warn

militarytimes.com · by Leo Shane III · June 4, 2021

A bipartisan issue (at least among Congressmen who are veterans).

 

21. Tiananmen Square embodies Chinese people’s confidence, pride: Global Times editorial

globaltimes.cn  · June 4, 2021

Fascinating and bold propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party.

I wonder who is the target audience for this?

Unbelievable statements here: “If the incident 32 years ago has any positive effect, that is, it has inoculated the Chinese people with a political vaccine, helping us acquire immunity from being seriously misled. China underwent a “color revolution,” but wasn’t brought down by it. The leadership of the Communist Party of China has saved the fate of the nation at a critical juncture.

 

The Chinese people have the most say about this country and to define what the Tiananmen Square means. The Square nowadays is packed with visitors throughout the year. The flag-raising ceremony held here every day undoubtedly is the one that has attracted the most audiences in the world. The ceremony on October 1, the National Day, is particularly grand, and often attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators.

 

Tiananmen Square embodies the Chinese people’s confidence and pride in the politics of the country, and it is a symbol of China’s unity as well as the country’s independence and increasing prosperity. The Chinese public’s understanding of the incident 32 years ago has undergone a fundamental change. We laugh at those posturing “commemorative” activities and political stunts orchestrated by outside forces.

 

22. Why the Wuhan lab theory inquiry will help Biden heal a divided America

The Telegraph · by Leslie Vinjamuri

Excerpts:Public attitudes don’t determine China policy, but they restrict the space in which policymakers operate. Negative public attitudes towards China could make it harder for the US to achieve its purported goal to compete but also cooperate with China. A widely shared anti-China bias also means that careful stewardship is critical in securing a fact-based investigation.

The stakes couldn’t be higher, since China holds the key to tackling climate change and preventing future pandemics and US businesses remain keen to work in China.

There are other reasons to be sceptical of the significance of the US investigation. International agreement on the origins of Covid-19 will be harder to achieve on the basis of a national investigation alone, even one that UK intelligence officials are actively contributing to. The failure of the US Congress to agree to a Commission to review the Jan 6 attack on the US Capitol will not inspire international confidence in America’s commitment to independent investigation.

But the significance of a serious national investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, one that has been mired in partisan politics, is still a step forward for science and for democracy in the US.

 

————-

 

“Democracy alone, of all forms of government, enlists the full force of men’s enlightened will.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

“Democracy, like liberty, justice and other social and political rights, is not “given”, it is earned through courage, resolution and sacrifice.”

– Aung San Suu Kyi

 

“Conflicts may be the sources of defeat, lost life and a limitation of our potentiality but they may also lead to greater depth of living and the birth of more far-reaching unities, which flourish in the tensions that engender them.”

– Karl Jaspers

DanielRiggs
Sat, 06/05/2021 – 1:21pm

06/05/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/05/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. N.K. leader presides over politburo meeting in first public appearance in a month

2. NKorean leader calls for meeting to review battered economy

3. Ruling party chief to push to visit U.S. to find way for resumption of Kaesong complex

4. Upcoming joint exercise with South Korea, Japan is frequently held drill: Pentagon spokesman

5. Lifting missile curbs on S. Korea ‘complementary’ to U.S. regional deterrence efforts: senator

6. Scholar: North Korea is working to normalize its government

7. Korean Workers’ Party Changed Its Goals? No, It’s Terminology Confusion Tactics

8. Is North Korea Facing a Food Shortage?

9. A New Skyline Emerges in Sinuiju

10. Hwangtho Island: No More Target Practice

11. South Korea on stage

 

1. N.K. leader presides over politburo meeting in first public appearance in a month

en.yna.co.kr · by 황장진 · June 5, 2021

He’s back! He remains on the pandemic work regimen: Work one day, take a month in isolation. (note attempt at humor).

 

2. NKorean leader calls for meeting to review battered economy

AP News · by Kim Tong-Hyung

How many times have we heard that Kim Jong un- (or Kim Jong-il or Kim Ils-sung) is going to reform the economy? Probably as many times as the regime has said it would denuclearize.

 

3. Ruling party chief to push to visit U.S. to find way for resumption of Kaesong complex

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · June 5, 2021

To Mr. Song Young-gil. Please recall that our two presidents have agreed to full implementation of all relevant UN Security council Resolutions. If Kaesong is in violation of UN sanctions (or US law) you are unlikely to get support for resumption of activities at Kaesong (or in reality support for the direct transfer of funds to the Kim family regime royal court economy which is what occurs through the Kaesong Industrial Complex.) 

On the other hand, we are starting to see come Congressmen in the US embrace a number of north Korean positions from end of war declaration and end of US hostile policy to sanctions relief as they have come under the influence of some NGOs who have ties (directly and indirectly) to the United Front Department of the north.

 

4. Upcoming joint exercise with South Korea, Japan is frequently held drill: Pentagon spokesman

The Korea Times · June 5, 2021

This is one of the few times “no comment” is useful – though even though he says he is not going to comment – his words provide important commentary about north Korean rhetoric. We should not allow ourselves to be influenced by the north’s rhetoric and we should not take action to try to avoid north Korean rhetoric. Let the blow hard Propaganda and Agitation Department sound off about our exercises and expose their rhetoric and hypocrisy 

Excerpts: “I’m not going to comment on the reaction by North Korean officials. I would simply add that this is an exercise that we conduct very frequently,” the spokesman said in a press briefing.

 

His remarks came one day after a North Korean propaganda outlet denounced Seoul’s decision to take part in the annual multinational air force Red Flag exercise to be held in Alaska.

Kirby highlighted the importance of the upcoming joint military drills as it will involve both South Korea and Japan for the first time in more than two years.

“You have heard the secretary talk about the importance of trilateral cooperation when he visited Japan and South Korea not too long ago, so this is an example of that,” said the spokesman, referring to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visits to Seoul and Tokyo in March.

 

5. Lifting missile curbs on S. Korea ‘complementary’ to U.S. regional deterrence efforts: senator

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · June 5, 2021

Excerpts:“I think that just because we lift the cap doesn’t mean that South Korea should immediately go out and throw a lot of money into developing these new long range missiles,” Duckworth said.

“I think it’s complementary to the work that we’re doing here and I think it shows the maturity of the partnership and of the security alliance,” she added.

After last month’s summit between President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Joe Biden, Moon announced the lifting of the guidelines barring South Korea from developing or possessing ballistic missiles with a maximum range greater than 800 kilometers.

Speculation has since persisted that Seoul’s ability to field longer-range missiles could enhance U.S. security interests in the context of an intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry, though Seoul framed it as a restoration of “missile sovereignty.”

 

6. Scholar: North Korea is working to normalize its government

UPI  · Thomas Maresca

Normalize its “government?” I am sure the Professor must understand the north is ruled and run by the party and not the government or the state.

But it is this kind of response from people like Professor Moon that the north is trying to engender. This is what they want us to believe. They are trying to create the conditions where we will give concessions in return got a promise to negotiate. We want to believe the north is “reforming.”

Remember, the new Biden administration policy is to provide Kim the opportunity to act as a responsible member of the international community. But the key word is “act.” It must take substantive actions to show its sincerity. Words are insufficient. Continued political warfare and blackmail diplomacy must end but the recent announced changes to the party rules are really an example of the regime’s political warfare. There is no substance behind those words.

If the regime was ending its revolution unification strategy it would need to change its constitution. And more importantly it would have to end not only its indoctrination of the Korean people living in the north, it would have to admit to the people that its objectives and strategy for the last 7 decades were wrong. When the regime does that I will consider taking the announcement of the change in party rules seriously. Until then it is simply a continuation of the regime’s political warfare with juche characteristics. And we should not be duped by it.

 

7. Korean Workers’ Party Changed Its Goals? No, It’s Terminology Confusion Tactics

East Asia Research · June 4, 2021

Important analysis of the regime’s changes to the party rules from Dr. Tara O.

Conclusion: “In states with a communist party, and KWP is a communist party in North Korea, the party is above the state. Thus, what the Party does or says is carefully watched. The Party may make some minor adjustments, but its fundamental goals do not change. If it appears to be, consider the tactics often employed—the Terminology Confusion Tactics.”

 

8. Is North Korea Facing a Food Shortage?

19fortyfive.com · by Eli Fuhrman · June 4, 2021

If so it is because of the deliberate policy decision of Kim Jong-un. He is responsible.

 

9. A New Skyline Emerges in Sinuiju

38 North · by Martlyn Williams · June 4, 2021

Where does the regime get the resources for this work? How does this help the Korean people in the north?

 

10. Hwangtho Island: No More Target Practice

38 North · by Martlyn Williams and Peter Makowsky · June 4, 2021

Perhaps they are constructing target facilities for more advanced direct action SOF training.

 

11. South Korea on stage

ellsworthamerican.com  · by Marvin Ott · June 4, 2021

Professor Ott’s analysis of the Biden-Moon summit and the future of the alliance.

Conclusion: “It all adds up to an interesting and complex dynamic between Washington and Seoul. As the U.S. shifts its strategic focus and priorities to Asia, the Republic of Korea (ROK) seems certain to occupy a growing role in American thinking and policy.”

 

——————

 

“Democracy alone, of all forms of government, enlists the full force of men’s enlightened will.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

“Democracy, like liberty, justice and other social and political rights, is not “given”, it is earned through courage, resolution and sacrifice.”

– Aung San Suu Kyi

 

“Conflicts may be the sources of defeat, lost life and a limitation of our potentiality but they may also lead to greater depth of living and the birth of more far-reaching unities, which flourish in the tensions that engender them.”

– Karl Jaspers

DanielRiggs
Sat, 06/05/2021 – 1:03pm

06/04/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/04/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. FDD Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Late May

2. The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins

3. White House warns companies to step up cybersecurity

4. Terrorists will move to where they can’t be moderated

5.  The Taiwan Temptation: Why Beijing Might Resort to Force

6. A.I. Drone May Have Acted On Its Own in Attacking Fighters, U.N. Says

7. Drone Dilemma: The Risks of Washington’s Favorite Counterterrorism Tool Often Outweigh the Rewards

8. The Origin of COVID-19 and Preventing the Next Pandemic

9. Exclusive: U.S. to give ransomware hacks similar priority as terrorism

10. China Rips Off U.S. Multi-Domain Warfare Tactics

11. White House Warns Companies to Act Now on Ransomware Defenses

12. Censoring Hong Kong’s Exiles

13. Biden administration expands Trump-era order by banning U.S. investment in Chinese companies linked to the military or surveillance technology

14. Tiananmen: Hong Kong vigil organiser arrested on 32nd anniversary

15. Opinion | To compete with China, Washington must fix its own dysfunction

16.  Southeast Asian countries edging closer to the US

17. At Least 11 Junta Troops Killed as Ethnic Alliance Attacks in Northern Shan

18. Welcome To The Jungle: Myanmar Rebels Teach Coup Protesters To Make War

19. ‘I thought I was going to lose my life’: Capitol Police officers share their harrowing January 6 stories for the first time

20. The pitfalls of modern battleship diplomacy

21. Clarity in Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the CIA

22. Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s search for ‘woke military’ complaints draws ridicule — and war movie quotes

23. Special forces and their role in the history of warfare

 

1. FDD Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Late May

FDD · June 3, 2021

Access the tracker at the link.

 

2. The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins

Vanity Fair · by Katherine Eban

Excerpts: “Will we ever know the truth? Dr. David Relman of Stanford University School of Medicine has been advocating for an investigation like the 9/11 Commission to examine COVID-19’s origins. But 9/11 took place in one day, he said, whereas “this has so many different manifestations, consequences, responses across nations. All of that makes it a hundred-dimensional problem.”

The bigger problem is that so much time has gone by. “With every passing day and week, the kinds of information that might prove helpful will have a tendency to dissipate and disappear,” he said. “The world ages and things get moved, and biological signals degrade.”

China obviously bears responsibility for stonewalling investigators. Whether it did so out of sheer authoritarian habit or because it had a lab leak to hide is, and may always be, unknown.

The United States deserves a healthy share of blame as well. Thanks to their unprecedented track record of mendacity and race-baiting, Trump and his allies had less than zero credibility. And the practice of funding risky research via cutouts like EcoHealth Alliance enmeshed leading virologists in conflicts of interest at the exact moment their expertise was most desperately needed.

Now, at least, there appears to be the prospect of a level inquiry—the kind Gilles Demaneuf and Jamie Metzl had wanted from the start. “We needed to create a space where all of the hypotheses could be considered,” Metzl said.

If the lab-leak explanation proves accurate, history may credit Demaneuf and his fellow doubters for breaking the dam—not that they have any intention of stopping. They are now knee-deep in examining the WIV’s construction orders, sewage output, and cell phone traffic. The thought driving Paris Group cofounder Virginie Courtier forward is simple: “There are unanswered questions,” she says, “and a few human beings know the answers.”

 

3. White House warns companies to step up cybersecurity

Reuters · by Doina Chiacu

 

4.  Terrorists will move to where they can’t be moderated

Wired · by Adam Hadley

Excerpts: “These problems will pose awkward regulatory questions, which doesn’t bode well for governments resigned to fixing the internet with the bluntest of instruments, or not at all. Why is it that designated terrorist organisations are currently able to register their own domain names? Why are so few far-right extremist groups recognised as terrorists? Why does law enforcement have such limited funding and resources to investigate online hate speech and incitement to violence?

It’s easy to ask the tech sector to “do more”, but in practice, this is an admission of government dereliction of duty. Governments are all too prepared to blame the internet for society’s ills without putting in the groundwork to improve online governance. If individuals commit crimes online by inciting violence then they should be investigated, prosecuted and, if found guilty, sentenced: short-circuiting this judicial process will not make society safer.

Decentralised social media and file storage will likely become the norm within the next ten years. The question will become: how do we devise a decentralised content moderation mechanism that is based on consensus and prevents criminal use?

 

5. The Taiwan Temptation: Why Beijing Might Resort to Force

Foreign Affairs · by Oriana Skylar Mastro · June 3, 2021

Excerpts: “Unless the United States or Taiwan moves first to alter the status quo, Xi will likely consider initiating armed unification only if he is confident that his military can successfully gain control of the island. Can it?

The answer is a matter of debate, and it depends on what it would take to compel Taiwan’s capitulation. Beijing is preparing for four main campaigns that its military planners believe could be necessary to take control of the island. The first consists of joint PLA missile and airstrikes to disarm Taiwanese targets—initially military and government, then civilian—and thereby force Taipei’s submission to Chinese demands. The second is a blockade operation in which China would attempt to cut the island off from the outside world with everything from naval raids to cyberattacks. The third involves missile and airstrikes against U.S. forces deployed nearby, with the aim of making it difficult for the United States to come to Taiwan’s aid in the initial stages of the conflict. The fourth and final campaign is an island landing effort in which China would launch an amphibious assault on Taiwan—perhaps taking its offshore islands first as part of a phased invasion or carpet bombing them as the navy, the army, and the air force focused on Taiwan proper.

The most effective way to deter Chinese leaders from attacking Taiwan is also the most difficult: to convince them that armed unification would cost China its rejuvenation. And the United States cannot do this alone. Washington would need to persuade a large coalition of allies to commit to a coordinated economic, political, and military response to any Chinese aggression. And that, unfortunately, remains a remote possibility, since many countries are unwilling to risk their economic prospects, let alone a major-power war, in order to defend a small democratic island.

Ultimately, then, there is no quick and easy fix to the escalating tensions across the strait. The only way the United States can ensure Taiwan’s security is to make an invasion impossible for Beijing or to convince Chinese leaders that using force will cause them to be pariahs. For the last 25 years, however, Beijing has sought to prevent Washington from doing either. Unfortunately for Taiwan, only now is the United States waking up to the new reality.

 

6.  A.I. Drone May Have Acted On Its Own in Attacking Fighters, U.N. Says

The New York Times · by Maria Cramer · June 3, 2021

Hmmmm.. See bad guy. Kill bad guy.  

 

7. Drone Dilemma: The Risks of Washington’s Favorite Counterterrorism Tool Often Outweigh the Rewards

Foreign Affairs · by Anouk S. Rigterink · June 3, 2021

Conclusion: Any review of U.S. drone policy must grapple with this complex record. Drones have been touted as a low-cost, low-risk tool of counterterrorism. The evidence suggests that image is at best incomplete and at worst fundamentally wrong.

 

8.  The Origin of COVID-19 and Preventing the Next Pandemic

warontherocks.com · by Amanda Moodie · June 4, 2021

Excerpts:While it’s important to discover the origins of the pandemic, there’s a danger in taking these efforts too far. Some have argued that conclusively demonstrating the pandemic’s origins in a lab release might help nations seeking to encourage China to pay financial reparations for the global economic cost of the virus to make their case. This could be a problematic approach. Not only is there no legal precedent under international law to hold a country liable for a pandemic, but in the long run this might be an unwise road for the United States, given its own history of laboratory accidents and safety lapses. Insisting that China bears responsibility for the pandemic and should be expected to pay compensation to other countries or the families of coronavirus victims could backfire in the future if the United States finds itself attempting to mitigate the consequences from a laboratory accident. Furthermore, legal efforts to blame China could fuel additional xenophobia against Asian-Americans, or even undermine U.S. foreign policy interests.

Meanwhile, the focus on where the virus came from should not divert attention from what’s even more important — preparing for the next pandemic. Political finger-pointing might make it far more difficult for researchers to collaborate internationally on pandemic preparedness efforts. Experts are already noting the possible implications for the National Institutes of Health and other research institutions of the growing tension between the United States and China, exacerbated by the allegations and skepticism around the virus’s origins. This pandemic is far from over, despite the rollout of vaccines in the United States, and new potential pandemic diseases are already testing global health efforts elsewhere in the world. American experts therefore need to keep a laser-like focus on the real enemy: the causative agents of disease.

There will be far more blame to share if the international community becomes so fixated on the circumstances surrounding this unique case that it’s unable to see the big picture and predict or prepare for the next pandemic. There’s work we can do in that respect while maintaining agnosticism about the origins of COVID-19. Regardless of the source, we need to be better prepared to respond to the next virus.

 

9. Exclusive: U.S. to give ransomware hacks similar priority as terrorism

Reuters · by Christopher Bing

Excerpts: “Internal guidance sent on Thursday to U.S. attorney’s offices across the country said information about ransomware investigations in the field should be centrally coordinated with a recently created task force in Washington.

“It’s a specialized process to ensure we track all ransomware cases regardless of where it may be referred in this country, so you can make the connections between actors and work your way up to disrupt the whole chain,” said John Carlin, principle associate deputy attorney general at the Justice Department.

 

10. China Rips Off U.S. Multi-Domain Warfare Tactics

warriormaven.com · by Kris Osborn

Chinese R&D: Steal to leap ahead. I recall a Chinese delegation coming to NDU when I was on the faculty there in 2010-2011. Their most pressing “concern” was to learn if we have abandon “jointness” in the US military because we had eliminated the Joint Forces Command. They thought that by eliminating it that we no longer considered jointness a priority. This was because they were working so hard to implement jointness in the Chinese military,

 

11. White House Warns Companies to Act Now on Ransomware Defenses

The New York Times · by David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth · June 3, 2021

Excerpts: “In the White House memo, titled “What We Urge You to Do Now,” Ms. Neuberger asked businesses to focus on the basics. One step is multifactor authentication, a process that forces employees to enter a second, one-time password from their phone, or a security token, when they log in from an unrecognized device.

 

It encouraged them to regularly back up data, and segregate those backup systems from the rest of their networks so that cybercriminals cannot easily find them. It urged companies to hire firms to conduct “penetration testing,’’ essentially dry runs in which an attack on a company’s systems is simulated, to find vulnerabilities. And Ms. Neuberger asked them to think ahead about how they would react should their networks and held hostage with ransomware.

 

Recorded Future, a security firm that tracks ransomware attacks, estimated that there were 65,000 successful ransomware attacks last year, or one every eight minutes. But as businesses automate their core operations, the risk of more consequential ransomware attacks only grows.

 

On Thursday, just as the White House was releasing its memo, new ransomware attacks surfaced, this time on Cox Media Group, which owns 57 radio and television stations across 20 American markets. Late Wednesday, the government of Mobile County, Ala., said its systems had been held hostage with ransomware.

 

“Ransomware attacks are only going to get worse and more pervasive into people’s lives, and they’re not disappearing anytime soon,” said Allan Liska, an intelligence analyst at Recorded Future. “There’s a line of cybercriminals waiting to conduct these ransomware attacks. Anytime one goes down, you just see another group pop up.”

 

12. Censoring Hong Kong’s Exiles

WSJ · by The Editorial Board

One aspect of the nature of the Chinese Communist Party exposed.

Excerpts:The incident is part of a broader trend. Last year, after a request from Chinese authorities, Zoom temporarily suspended two U.S.-based accounts of activists attempting to discuss the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The Wix episode is a reminder that Beijing intends to censor speech worldwide if it can get away with it. The U.S. and its allies will have to push back against these threats rather than let China dictate what free people around the world can say about Communist Party rule.

 

13. Biden administration expands Trump-era order by banning U.S. investment in Chinese companies linked to the military or surveillance technology

The Washington Post · by Jeanne Whalen and Ellen Nakashima · June 3, 2021

Excerpts: “The Biden administration officials said they expect to place additional companies on the list.

One former U.S. official said “wresting authority” from the Pentagon and moving it to Treasury amounts to a “sidelining of the Pentagon” and will undermine the effort to curb Chinese abuses.

“The Treasury Department, which has been under enormous pressure by Wall Street on the issue, at the end of the day is focused on the liquidity and depth of the capital markets and is much less inclined to sanction Chinese companies,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.

 

14. Tiananmen: Hong Kong vigil organiser arrested on 32nd anniversary

BBC

A gutsy woman. I hope she makes it through this.

 

15. Opinion | To compete with China, Washington must fix its own dysfunction

The Washington Post · by Josh Rogin · June 3, 2021

Excerpts: “In a statement, Meeks defended his bill and said he remains hopeful he can strike an agreement with Republicans. “From the outset of this process, I’ve made clear that I want to address China in a bipartisan manner,” he said. “With negotiations still ongoing, that door remains wide open.”

Even if they do find a compromise, the path forward is unclear. When will the House take up the legislation? Will there be a conference negotiation between the two chambers? Nobody knows. The Biden White House is somewhat involved but not spending its own political capital to take a public leadership role. If the Democratic leadership in Congress has a legislative strategy that extends beyond next week, they are hiding it amazingly well.

There’s growing fear around Capitol Hill that this entire project could go belly up. It’s easy to imagine a scenario in which each chamber ends up passing separate bills that never become law, each patting itself on the back and blaming the other for the overall failure. That would be a clear sign that Washington is too broken to come together, even when there’s broad consensus on an urgent national security and economic issue.

The good news is that it’s not too late for our leaders to get their act together and do what everyone agrees is necessary: Put our country in a position to win the strategic competition with China. But the clock is ticking.

 

16. Southeast Asian countries edging closer to the US

asiatimes.com · by Richard Javad Heydarian · June 3, 2021

Lots of indicators of blowback against China. And is China’s wolf diplomacy committing “own goals” or self inflicted wounds? Can we exploit Chinese mistakes?

 

17. At Least 11 Junta Troops Killed as Ethnic Alliance Attacks in Northern Shan

irrawaddy.com · by The Irrawaddy · May 31, 2021

 

18. Welcome To The Jungle: Myanmar Rebels Teach Coup Protesters To Make War

Barron’s · by AFP – Agence France Presse

I wonder how many private American citizens are directly or indirectly supporting this effort. We know there are many of our friends working in various capacities in Burma support the tribes and humanitarian and other efforts.

 

19. ‘I thought I was going to lose my life’: Capitol Police officers share their harrowing January 6 stories for the first time

CNN · by Whitney Wild and Jeremy Herb

This is so sad and troubling. And even more so that there are those who deny this.

 

20. The pitfalls of modern battleship diplomacy

Financial Times · by the editorial board · June 1, 2021

Excerpts: “The risk is that Beijing may conclude the real lesson to be drawn from such carefully calibrated deployments is that the UK and other European powers would actually stand aside — if China were ever to attempt a blockade of Taiwan.

In reality, neither Washington, Beijing, Taipei or London could be sure how such an unprecedented international crisis would unfold. It would be wise if all parties ensure that we never find out.

 

21. Clarity in Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the CIA

thecipherbrief.com · by Marc Polymeropoulos

Clarity in Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the CIA

 

22. Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s search for ‘woke military’ complaints draws ridicule — and war movie quotes

The Washington Post · by Alex Horton · June 3, 2021

Sigh…

 

23. Special forces and their role in the history of warfare

special-ops.org · by Eric Sof

Ugh. How could an article like this not even mention the OSS?

 

————-

 

“Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”

– Alexander Solzhenitsyn

 

“To live is to war with trolls.”

– Henrik Ibsen

 

“Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.”

– Max Lucade

DanielRiggs
Fri, 06/04/2021 – 9:50am

06/04/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/04/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. FDD Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Late May KOREA

2. The North Korea Threat Is Growing. U.S.-South Korea Military Training Must Press Forward.

3. HRNK Letter to Her Excellency Ms Siobhán Mullally (north Korean Human Rights)

4. Could More Powerful South Korean Ballistic Missiles Actually Help North Korea?

5. N. Korea expert says WPK turned into “Kim Jong-un party” with amendment in party rules

6. South Korea’s Military Is Shrinking and Some Say Women Must Answer the Call of Duty

7. FM meets U.S. senators, discusses alliance issues

8. Moon visits S. Korea’s spy agency for briefing on its reform steps

9. Kim Jong-un’s disappearance from public view stokes speculation

10. UN may probe possible sanctions violations by South Korean firms involving oil tanker transfer to North Korea

11. North Korea places Yanggang Province village under seven-day lockdown in late May

12. North Korea’s Ninth Corps lets soldiers go home on “grain leave”

13. Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un’s sister, likely being formally elevated in secretive N.K. regime

14. South Korea’s cultural spats with China are growing more intense

15.  An Economic Blueprint for North Korea

16. Guessing game: Will Kim’s sister become his No 2?

17. Why North Korea is facing a major food shortage that could lead to the death of millions

18. North Korea Restricts Local Markets, Pushing Sales in State-Owned Stores

 

1. FDD Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Late May KOREA

FDD · by David Maxwell and Mathew Ha

 

2.  The North Korea Threat Is Growing. U.S.-South Korea Military Training Must Press Forward.

19fortyfive.com · by David Maxwell · June 3, 2021

My latest essay. It focuses on combined training, the post summit statements from South Korea on cancelling or scaling back training, and the statements from north Korea that it no longer seeks unification by revolution. Needless to say, I take both Moon and Kim to task.

 

3. HRNK Letter to Her Excellency Ms Siobhán Mullally (north Korean Human Rights) 

HRNK  · by Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Mortwedt Oh, Rick Herssevoort, and Damian Reddy
 

4. Could More Powerful South Korean Ballistic Missiles Actually Help North Korea?

thediplomat.com · by A. B. Abrams · June 3, 2021

Interesting analysis.  I think the author is slightly overreaching or overthinking on alliance issues.

Excerpts:While an unrestricted South Korean ballistic missile program may initially appear to threaten the North, with which Seoul and Washington have been technically at war for over 70 years, assessing the full implications of a less restricted South Korea missile program indicates it may in fact strengthen Pyongyang’s position for multiple reasons.

First, the existing range restrictions for South Korean missiles already allow it to field munitions that can strike anywhere on the Korean Peninsula with warheads of any size – with its latest missiles deploying exceptionally large two ton warheads. This means a lifting of restrictions may not actually have any notable impact on the South’s ability to strike the North, in contrast to the previous loosening of restrictions in 2012 and 2017.

The lifting of missile restrictions notably comes as part of a growing trend toward greater autonomy for South Korea’s armed forces, with Seoul expected to gain wartime operational command over its military in 2022, when a decades-long arrangement that placed its assets under U.S. wartime command comes to an end. This trend could well lead to a reduced dependence on Washington for protection, and in turn provide Seoul with greater room to conduct policy independently. This has particularly significant implications for its relations with China and North Korea.

While Pyongyang will protest the possibility of an expanded South Korean ballistic missile deterrent, and will seek to use Washington’s green light to an expansion of Seoul’s arsenal and capabilities to highlight the double standards under which its own arsenal has been condemned, in the medium term North Korea’s position is likely to only be strengthened. The extent to which Seoul may seek to increasingly assert its independence from Washington as the country takes greater responsibility for its own defense, as trade with China becomes increasingly central to its economic interests, and as the economic benefits of potential rapprochement with Pyongyang remain alluring, is yet to be seen.

 

5. N. Korea expert says WPK turned into “Kim Jong-un party” with amendment in party rules

Hani · by Lee Je-hun,

This is playing right into the regime’s political warfare strategy.  All the pundits are coming out with their analysis that the scorpion of the Kim family regime has been able to change its nature.  This can contribute to splitting the ROK/US alliance and will also be used as ammunition by those who believe we should appease north Korea.

Words have meaning. Omitted words may have no meaning.  No one should be duped by this or take it as gospel unless there are substantive actions to back the words (or the omissions).  The only way for me to believe this would have any credibility would be for the regime to come out and tell the Korean people in the north that it has been wrong for 70+ years and that pursuit of unification by revolution was only a pipe dream.  The regime would have to undo 70 years of indoctrination (and again admit it was wrong).  If it does not try to do that, this recent announcement about the change in party rules is not credible and is only part of its political warfare strategy and its intent is trying to generate responses such as the one below.

 

6. South Korea’s Military Is Shrinking and Some Say Women Must Answer the Call of Duty

WSJ

I have observed many extremely competent women in the Korean Special Warfare Command.

Video here and here.

But this article covers more than just the theoretical.  It discusses very real problems that currently exist in the ROK military.

 

7. FM meets U.S. senators, discusses alliance issues

en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · June 4, 2021

The ROK peace agenda.  Yes, we should all want peace (I certainly do). But we should not seek it at the expense of the security of the ROK and the protection of US strategic interests.  We need to always consider the nature, objectives, and the strategy of the Kim family regime.  And we should remember the importance of deterrence and peace through strength.  

Excerpts: “He asked for the continued congressional support for Seoul’s peace efforts with North Korea.

Later in the day, Defense Minister Suh Wook also met with the senators and discussed ways to cooperate for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a permanent peace, according to the defense ministry.

Suh said the Korea-U.S.alliance and the combined defense posture are stronger than ever before, and expressed gratitude for the congressional support and the senators vowed continued backing for peninsula peace and the alliance, the ministry said.

 

8. Moon visits S. Korea’s spy agency for briefing on its reform steps

en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · June 4, 2021

Excerpts: The president replied that the NIS is now back as an intelligence agency for the state and the people, and called on it to become a “future-oriented” body faithful to its duty.

“The NIS will not go back to the past,” Moon was quoted as saying by Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Park Kyung-mee.

The reform measures represent the “precious fruit” of NIS officials’ dedicated efforts and the government’s strong will, which would serve as a brilliant milestone in its history, he added.

He recalled his previous visit to the NIS in July 2018, during which he pledged to guarantee its “political neutrality” without using it for political purposes. He said he has kept that promise.

The president expected the agency to help advance South Korea’s emergence as a “pacesetting” nation via intelligence activities in the cyber and aerospace sectors.

 

9. Kim Jong-un’s disappearance from public view stokes speculation

koreaherald.com · by Ahn Sung-mi · June 4, 2021

I would not get too worked up about this.  We go through this periodically.  Yes we need to be observing for indicators and be ready for any contingency. However, based on past history we will see him again sooner or later.

 

10. UN may probe possible sanctions violations by South Korean firms involving oil tanker transfer to North Korea

The Korea Times  · by Nam Hyun-woo · June 4, 2021

Excerpts: “The allegations were raised in a June 1 report released by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), an arm of the Center for Strategic & International Studies, a U.S.-based think tank. The report said that Pyongyang had added two new vessels to its fleet for smuggling oil from China, which were previously owned by South Korean companies.

 

Of those tankers, the report said the Shin Pyong 5 was owned by Young Sung Global, a small shipper based in Busan, South Korea, before it was transferred to North Korea. The Shin Pyong 5, which is a 1,579 ton tanker, had been renamed Woojeong in 2019 when its last communication transmission was logged.

The AMTI report noted that the tankers made their way to the North via South Korean brokers to China, although the brokers “were reticent to give further information on the sales.” It added that the U.N. resolutions prohibit both the “direct and indirect” transfer of sanctioned materials and assets to the North, and whether or not the South Korean brokers breached resolutions may rest on what due diligence they conducted into the China-based buyers.

 

11. North Korea places Yanggang Province village under seven-day lockdown in late May

dailynk.com · June 4, 2021

The Anti-Epidemic Command.

Excerpts:What the village’s lockdown shows is that North Korea is mobilizing all possible means at its disposal to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the source, animals crossing into the Sino-North Korean border’s buffer zone are typically killed and the region is locked down. “People’s lives will only get worse if these kinds of measures continue,” he added.

On Thursday, Rodong Sinmun called for efforts to secure the “perfection” of the country’s COVID-19 quarantine efforts. On Wednesday, the paper called for “thorough” organizational and political efforts to prevent even the “slightest crack” in quarantine efforts.

 

12. North Korea’s Ninth Corps lets soldiers go home on “grain leave”

dailynk.com · by Jeong Tae Joo · June 4, 2021

Again, this is not a new edict. 

Indicators that bear watching to determine loss of coherency within the military and potential instability.

Excerpts: “In early May, an order handed down by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pointed out that “soldiers are in a perilous state of nutrition” and directed military units to ensure that “soldiers be given at least one bean-based meal a day [such as pureed soybeans or soy milk].”

This was essentially a warning from the country’s supreme leader that “commanders who fail to feed [soldiers] beans will be punished without mercy.” Naturally, this lit a fire under military corps commanders with woefully insufficient stores of beans.

 

13. Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un’s sister, likely being formally elevated in secretive N.K. regime

washingtontimes.com · by Guy Taylor

We are still speculating on the implications of the announcements and what is really happening inside north Korea.  It will likely be some time before we can make a definitive assessment.

 

14. South Korea’s cultural spats with China are growing more intense

The Economist · June 3, 2021

China should be wary of upsetting the Korean people over such things as Kimchi.

Excerpts: “Young people take a particularly dim view of China, especially when compared with other neighbours and America. “I know that eating mala soup or going to shops run by Chinese-Koreans will benefit the Chinese Communist Party eventually,” says Kim Woo-jin, a 25-year-old from Seoul. Ms Kim, the polling analyst, is not surprised. Young people “don’t know as much about China as about, say, America, so they make fewer distinctions between the country, the people and the government,” she says.

The discontent is, for now, limited to the low-stakes cultural realms of food and television. Popular views of China have little bearing on the South Korean government’s carefully calibrated diplomacy, casting China as an important strategic partner while stressing the centrality of the security alliance with America. Even Chinese officials have made the occasional conciliatory noise about the origins of kimchi. Chinese shop-owners and restaurateurs in Seoul report no signs of a boycott like the one that hit Japanese brands and noodle joints during a spat two years ago.

 

15. An Economic Blueprint for North Korea

The National Interest · by Krishna B. Kumar · June 3, 2021

Reform is not a word in the north Korean (or more specifically, the Kim family regime) vocabulary.  Look to the history of China trying to influence the regime to implement Chinese style economic reforms.  They have had no success in doing so.

But I think we (and specifically South Korea) would be better served by planning for the economic integration during the unification process.  As long as the Kim family regime remains in power there is probably a less than zero chance of any real reform.

Excerpts: “Highlighting the mutual benefits that could accrue to a government in power and its people could even make it consider reforms unilaterally. The RAND study recommends the formalization of jangmadang, informal markets that have proliferated across North Korea since the failure of its public distribution system after the famine of the 1990s. The communist regime tolerates the existence of these market institutions out of necessity, and owners often bribe officials to ensure continued operation. Formalization could empower the shop owners while creating tax revenues for the government. The rise of the donju class of traders and businessmen willing to invest in larger enterprises makes less far-fetched the possibility of market reforms in North Korea.

Likewise, firming up dispute resolution mechanisms in special economic zones, in which much of existing foreign investment and industrial activity occurs in North Korea, easing restrictions, and protecting investment, has the potential to create much-needed jobs for North Korean workers, revenues for the government, and returns to foreign investors.

It would be simplistic to think that developing detailed blueprints for economic development could on its own cut through decades of conflict and mistrust, triggering political and economic reform. But by expanding the terms of the debate and highlighting the mutual benefits that could accrue to the various parties it might move the needle on peace by just a bit. Imagine that.

 

16. Guessing game: Will Kim’s sister become his No 2?

asiatimes.com · by Bradley K. Martin · June 3, 2021

Kim Yo-jong is probably the only one who could survive being “No.s 2” for any significant amount of time.  I would not want to be a “No. 2” in north Korea.

 

17. Why North Korea is facing a major food shortage that could lead to the death of millions

The Telegraph · by Julian Ryall

The short answer: Kim Jong-un’s deliberate policy decisions to prioritize his nuclear program, the military, and support to the elite over the welfare of the Korean people living in the north.

Will China bail out the regime?

Excerpts: “Analysts say that to avoid a repeat of that tragedy, the North now has little choice but to appeal to China, its sole major ally, for food assistance, although there are no indications that Pyongyang is ready to reopen its border yet.

“The border with China must be opened and the existing controls must be relaxed to ensure that sufficient food can enter the country,” the South Korean report said.

“North Korea must also request large-scale food assistance from the international community, which must be forthcoming, even in these difficult times.”

 

18. North Korea Restricts Local Markets, Pushing Sales in State-Owned Stores

rfa.org  Jeong Yon Park

The regime cannot tolerate any aspect of freedom and that includes economic freedom. We have seen for the past year the regime use COVID as an excuse to further oppress the Korean people living in the north.

This is why some of us believe that if these conditions persist the people could suffer on a scale much worse than the Arduous March of the famine or 1994-1996.

 

————-

 

“Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”

– Alexander Solzhenitsyn

 

“To live is to war with trolls.”

– Henrik Ibsen

 

“Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.”

– Max Lucade

DanielRiggs
Fri, 06/04/2021 – 9:38am

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Late May

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Late May

Read the tracker HERE.

June 3, 2021 | FDD Tracker: May 19 – June 3, 2021

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Late May

Jonathan Schanzer

Senior Vice President for Research

Welcome back to the Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker, where FDD’s experts and scholars assess the administration’s foreign policy every two weeks. As always, they provide trendlines of very positive, positive, neutral, negative, or very negative for the areas they study. With the Gaza war now over, the administration is once again looking to focus its efforts on reviving the flawed 2015 nuclear deal, prompting deep concern among our analysts tracking nonproliferation and Iran. A return to the deal could also impact Israel, Lebanon, the Gulf, and other files. The trendlines continue to change in several portfolios – a clear sign that the White House continues to move at a frenetic pace. In a potentially positive development, the White House’s China policy is finally coming into focus. Check back in two weeks to monitor implementation of this and other files.

Dave Maxwell
Thu, 06/03/2021 – 2:18pm

06/03/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/03/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. America’s largest beer company will buy the country a round if it hits Biden’s July 4 vaccination goal

2. Why Everyone Hates Think Tanks

3. The Case Against Restraint

4. Stop Me If You’ve Heard This one Before: Why are U.S. spies, generals and national security officials surprised so often?

5. Budapest names streets at planned Chinese university after Uyghurs, Hong Kong

6. Austin Asks Top General For ‘Options’ to Evacuate Afghans

7. Afghan pilot once denied refuge arrives in America after months in hiding

8. PRC Researcher on President Biden’s China Experts 中国通

9. America Still Needs Counterinsurgency

10. SECDEF nearing decision about taking sexual assault cases out of chain of command

11. Ransomware Scourge Continues as Essential Services Are Hit

12.  Russian Cybercriminal Group Was Behind Meat Plant Attack, F.B.I. Says

13. The Political Economy of Ransomware

14. Exclusive: How amateur sleuths broke the Wuhan Lab story and embarrassed the media

15. Analysis | Xi’s call for a ‘lovable’ China may not tame the wolf warriors

16. Covid reorders the world’s strategic landscape – but not as China expected

17. How Biden came around to the Wuhan lab-leak theory

18. China Has No Place in RIMPAC

19. Wait, How Did a Russian Spy Ship Tip Off a U.S. Missile Test?

20. The U.S. Must Honor Our Promises and Protect Afghan Partners

21. Draft Us Too, America

22. China Is Stealing Our Technology and Intellectual Property. Congress Must Stop It

 

1. America’s largest beer company will buy the country a round if it hits Biden’s July 4 vaccination goal

The Washington Post · by Paulina Firozi · June 2, 2021

Kinda, sorta a national security issue. But seriously, imagine the logistics of this? I bet there will be a run on counterfeiting vaccination cards. While we might reach the 70% goal there will be a 100% claim on the beer! I will present my vaccination card at the Class VI store, the ABC store, the 7-11, my favorite bar, and the local Giant/Safeway/Kroger, etc.

 

2. Why Everyone Hates Think Tanks

Foreign Policy · by Matthew Rojansky, Jeremy Shapiro · May 28, 2021

It is an honor to belong to a think tank that takes no foreign funding and one that is nonpartisan whose only mission is to support US national security and foreign policy.

Excerpts: “In short, our families love us, but they hate our jobs. The worst part is that we see their point. After all, if think tank experts have such great insight into policy, why are the outcomes so terrible so much of the time? Even if it has escaped notice in Washington, most everyone around the family dinner table knows intuitively that the think tank industrial complex is failing to deliver for the country. A recent poll by the U.K.-based firm Cast From Clay concluded that only 20 percent of Americans trust think tanks, and our families, we can attest, are not among them.

Do any of these ideas have a chance of being embraced by think tanks or policymakers? Perhaps. Some at least will favor reforms like these because they will see opportunity in a rating and regulatory system that reinforces the controls they already have in place through board oversight and regular audits. A rating system will help these virtuous think tanks prove their bona fides to funders, the government, and the broader public. Others will balk at the notion and might either survive by migrating to the gray space in between for-profit lobbying and tax-exempt research or run afoul of the new rules and suffer reputational consequences, even potentially going bust. Market forces and individual preferences will decide.

Regardless, our relatives will understand better what think tanks are about, and we might start to get a little more respect when the dinner conversation turns to policy. Our families might never learn to love our jobs, but at least they won’t be the conversation killers they are now.

 

3. The Case Against Restraint

World Politics Review

At the link is an interesting podcast, described below. 

Note also the guest, Thomas Wright, co-authored a forthcoming book with Colin Kahl, the USD(P), that will be published in August.

Wright asked the key question about restrainers: “What is the problem they are trying to solve?”

The USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups sail together in formation, in the South China Sea, July 6, 2020 (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Tarleton for U.S. Navy via AP Images).

 

4. Stop Me If You’ve Heard This one Before: Why are U.S. spies, generals and national security officials surprised so often?

spytalk.co · by Jeff Stein

An interesting thought piece from a provocative title.

Excerpts: “But there’s a global, big-power guerrilla war of sorts going on as well with China. Its challenge is of an entirely different order, not one we can so easily sweep away. In so many of the battlegrounds of Asia and Africa, America’s promise has been tattered by decades of acquiescence, if not outright support, for brutal, corrupt strongmen. (Read: Al-Sisi, and so many more.) “The American brand is still strong,” an idealistic young U.S. foreign service officer told me a few years ago, slightly amazed, when Trump was blocking Muslim immigrants and bashing the “shit holes” of the world. What’s the brand? Security and freedom. A chance to strike it rich. Big Macs and big cars. Sex.

China’s long game is to show nations in play that applying the brand at home is forever beyond their reach, that the U.S. can’t or won’t protect them, and that Beijing’s armies of engineers can do a better job of delivering prosperity to them now than the capitalists will ever deliver the future.

That’s where the real fight is, not in the South China Sea. Aircraft carriers are just targets now. The hardcore struggle for military domination is in cyberspace.

As our troops straggle out of Kabul, it feels already like an inter-war period—like Vietnam in the early days, before the illusions cracked from their own weight. Like Iraq, before our astounding miscalculations turned the country into a slaughterhouse. Like Afghanistan, where we rid the country of the repressive mullahs only to put new bad guys on their backs.

 

5. Budapest names streets at planned Chinese university after Uyghurs, Hong Kong

Reuters

Good job Budapest!

 

6. Austin Asks Top General For ‘Options’ to Evacuate Afghans

defenseone.com · by Tara Copp and Jacqueline Feldscher · June 2, 2021

Excerpts:If a similar request is made of the Pentagon by the White House, the military will be ready, Kirby said.

“We are a planning organization, we plan for all manner of contingencies, some of those contingencies are non-combatant evacuations around the world, that would include Afghanistan. So we certainly have, we have put some planning resources to this, no question.”

 

7. Afghan pilot once denied refuge arrives in America after months in hiding

Stars and Stripes · by J.P. Lawrence · June 2, 2021

 

8. PRC Researcher on President Biden’s China Experts 中国通

gaodawei.wordpress.com · by David Cowhig · May 30, 2021

Fascinating analysis from China of our “young” China experts in the Biden administration. I feel pretty old when compared with the ages of these young whipper snappers!

 

9. America Still Needs Counterinsurgency

Foreign Affairs · by Max Boot · June 2, 2021

We need to sustain (joint and interagency) expertise in COIN to be able to advise and assist our friends, partners, and allies in the their internal defense and development programs so they can defend themselves against lawless, subversion, insurgency, terrorism, and civil war. We have to get out of the business of conducting COIN for others.

 

10. SECDEF nearing decision about taking sexual assault cases out of chain of command

militarytimes.com · by Meghann Myers · June 2, 2021

This will be huge.

 

11. Ransomware Scourge Continues as Essential Services Are Hit

WSJ · by Robert McMillan, Joseph De Avila and Jacob Bunge

Excerpts: “Emboldened by recent successes, hackers have shifted their focus away from data-rich companies such as retailers, financial institutions and insurance companies to providers of key public needs such as hospitals, transportation and food. The trend is part of a global criminal pivot from stealing data to hobbling operations via ransomware, where companies are hit with demands for million-dollar payments to regain control of their operating systems.

 

12. Russian Cybercriminal Group Was Behind Meat Plant Attack, F.B.I. Says

The New York Times · by Julie Creswell, Nicole Perlroth, and Noam Scheiber· June 2, 2021

I am reminded of Frank Hoffman’s description of hybrid threats, conflict, and war:

“A hybrid threat transcends a blend of regular and irregular tactics. More than a decade ago, it was defined as an adversary that “simultaneously and adaptively employs a fused mix of conventional weapons, irregular tactics, catastrophic terrorism, and criminal behavior in the battlespace to obtain desired political objectives.”54 The criminal, or more broadly “socially disruptive behavior,” and mass terrorism aspects should not be overlooked, but the fusion of advanced military capabilities with irregular forces and tactics is key, and has appeared repeatedly during the past decade from Hezbollah to the Russian campaigns in Georgia and Ukraine.55 Hezbollah’s method of fighting Israel as is described by its leader Hassan Nasrallah, is an organic response to its security dilemma and “not a conventional army and not a guerrilla force, it is something in between.”56 As lethal as Hezbollah has been in the past decade, we should be concerned about the lessons it is learning in Syria from the Russians.57

Hybrid threats can also be created by a state actor using a proxy force. A proxy force sponsored by a major power can generate hybrid threats readily using advanced military capabilities provided by the sponsor. Proxy wars, appealing to some as “warfare on the cheap” are historically ubiquitous but chronically understudied.58

The hybrid threat concept captures the ongoing implications of globalization, the diffusion of military-related technologies, and the information revolution. Hybrid threats are qualitatively different from less complex irregular or militia forces. They, by and large, cannot be defeated simply by Western counterterrorism tactics or protracted counterinsurgency techniques. Hybrid threats are more lethal than irregular forces conducting simple ambushes using crude improvised explosive devices, but they are not unfamiliar to Western forces and can be defeated with sufficient combat power.59

 

13. The Political Economy of Ransomware

warontherocks.com · by Jenny Jun · June 2, 2021

Excerpts: “In short, it’s hard to find fundamental differences between state and nonstate actors in ways that undermine the strategic logic of encryption.

In order to avoid strategic surprise, U.S. policymakers ought to reexamine the claim that adversaries will primarily use cyber means for espionage and covert action, but not for coercion. States have proven time and time again to be creative in how they leverage cyberspace, identifying overlooked areas and exploiting it for strategic gain. States like North Korea are already operating at the intersection of criminal and strategic activity in cyberspace, including the deployment of ransomware. It is only a matter of time before they connect the rest of the dots.

The question is not whether encryption will ever be used for geopolitical gain instead of bitcoins, but when and how. In the short term, the newly formed Ransomware Task Force — a partnership between the U.S. government and private-sector players — should continue to coordinate policy solutions to ransomware. For example, more cyber insurance providers should stop covering ransom payments and should instead actively incentivize victims to choose not to pay by covering the cost of system recovery without decryption. Where possible, real-time or offline backups should be subsidized or incorporated in insurance underwriting. In the longer term, policymakers should foster research collaboration between practitioners and academics to identify scenarios in which adversaries could use encryption coercively, which systems would be most vulnerable to such an attempt, and how such scenarios would impact America’s strategic position.

 

14. Exclusive: How amateur sleuths broke the Wuhan Lab story and embarrassed the media

Newsweek · by Pedro L. Gonzalez · June 2, 2021

We met with a risk analysis expert from Taiwan in January 2020 just as the pandemic was emerging. He did/does extensive work in China. He described the Wuhan lab and its proximity to the wet market and the rumors that were already being spread about the possibility of a link to the lab.

 

15. Analysis | Xi’s call for a ‘lovable’ China may not tame the wolf warriors

The Washington Post · by Adam Taylor · June 3, 2021

Excerpts:The wolf warriors didn’t stop their attacks during the pandemic. Zhao spread baseless theories that the U.S. military could have been behind the coronavirus pandemic that first emerged in Wuhan, China — a notion so bold that some other Chinese diplomats seemed to distance themselves from it.

But increasing international pressure for an investigation into the coronavirus′s origins in China, following Biden’s call for a new assessment of intelligence into the once-discounted lab-leak theory, shows one downside to hyperdefensive diplomacy: It makes it look like you have something to hide.

Moreover, China is entangled in a variety of ugly disputes with countries it once got along with politely. Relations with the European Union broke down amid disputes over Xinjiang, effectively ending plans for a trade and investment treaty. Relations with Australia and India have broken down, with the latter in a small-scale but very real border conflict with China last year.

Taiwan, meanwhile, with its softer diplomatic style of “cat diplomacy,” seemed to be gaining where China was failing.

 

16. Covid reorders the world’s strategic landscape – but not as China expected

The Telegraph · by Ben Woods

Excerpts: “One result of Xi’s overreach was a Pew Survey of fourteen countries last October showing that negative views of China had surged to record levels, even in Korea. Another result is the strengthening of the Quad alliance of India, Japan, Australia, and the US, with Europe crabbing sideways into the same camp.

President Xi has told his diplomats to mind their language and strive to make China “loveable” but there is no going back once the mask has slipped.

The risk for China is that the investigation of the Wuhan lab theory by the US intelligence agencies validates what has until now been deemed a conspiracy theory. If the Chinese state created this virus, covered up the leak, and then allowed airline passengers to seed it around the world, the consequences will be catastrophic. The year that China claimed ascendancy may prove to be its annus horribilis.

 

17. How Biden came around to the Wuhan lab-leak theory

Financial Times · by Demetri Sevastopulo · May 31, 2021

Excerpts:One person familiar with the situation said the National Intelligence Council, which collates information from the entire intelligence community, produced two reports last year assessing US intelligence on the origins of Covid. The director for national intelligence declined to comment.

Those efforts, coupled with a third “scrub” of the intelligence this year, led to Biden saying last week that two of the 18 branches of the intelligence community leaned towards the natural origin scenario, while a third was more inclined towards the lab-leak theory.

Biden said the three had only “low or moderate confidence” in their conclusions while the other branches did not have enough evidence. That has sparked concern that 90 days is not sufficient for intelligence officials to reach any solid determination.

“The community as a whole is far away from reaching anything that we could call even a halfway firm conclusion,” said Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA official. “The fact that many of the agencies involved have not reached a consensus even for a ‘low confidence’ judgment tells you they’re a long way away from anything conclusive.”

 

18. China Has No Place in RIMPAC

realcleardefense.com · by Scott Franklin

Excerpt: “There was a time when the free world stood in defiance of totalitarian regimes that engaged in genocide, human rights abuses, and reckless aggression. Sadly, much of the international community continues to allow China’s behavior to go on unabated due to financial interest, a lack of willpower, or fear of reprisal. The U.S. has historically played an important role by taking a principled stance against aggressive totalitarian regimes. Millions of Americans across our country still see America as the defender of freedom and liberty. Millions of people across the world are also watching to see if America will take a stand and demonstrate leadership against the PRC’s revolting practices. The U.S. must find ways to push back against Chinese aggression at every given opportunity. Including a requirement to end PRC human rights abuses as an additional condition of participating in RIMPAC will send an important message to the PRC that its attempts to remake the world order in its totalitarian image are unacceptable.

 

19. Wait, How Did a Russian Spy Ship Tip Off a U.S. Missile Test?

Popular Mechanics · by Kyle Mizokami · June 2, 2021

Wait, How Did a Russian Spy Ship Tip Off a U.S. Missile Test?

 

20. The U.S. Must Honor Our Promises and Protect Afghan Partners

realcleardefense.com · by Jason Crow, Mike Waltz, Brad Wenstrup & Seth Moulton

Excerpt: “As members of Congress from both parties, we are coming together to ensure that America honors its promise to those who have stood by us for the last 20 years.

We will debate the merits of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for decades to come. But what isn’t up for debate is our obligation to stand by those who stood by us. It’s too late for Mohammad and many others like him. But it’s not too late for the thousands of others waiting in line that we can help. There is honor for us in doing the right thing for our friends and partners while we close this chapter on America’s longest war.

 

21. Draft Us Too, America

usni.org   · by  Sydney Frankenberg and Hallie Lucas· June 2, 2021

Excerpt: “As two young women in a country faced by myriad threats, we constantly consider the service yet to come, what was asked of citizens in World War II, and what may one day be asked of U.S. citizens again. When sacrifice is required, the burden should be shared among all citizens, not just the nation’s sons, brothers, and fathers, but its daughters, sisters, and mothers, too. For both the foundations and protection of our democracy, it is past time women are included in the Selective Service. Draft us too, America.

 

22. China Is Stealing Our Technology and Intellectual Property. Congress Must Stop It

National Review Online · by Dan Blumenthal and Linda Zhang · June 2, 2021

Conclusion: “The CCP’s commitment to technological progress at U.S. expense is at the center of its grand strategy. Legislation to advance the U.S. research enterprise may be necessary to spur investment in areas of scientific and technological research that will not be covered by private enterprise. But Congress can be sure that the CCP is tracking the legislation closely and will set loose its tech thieves on new U.S. programs. The bill must prohibit funding of researchers, universities, and enterprises that are complicit in technology theft. Researchers tied to Chinese talents programs and military–civil fusion enterprises need particular attention from U.S. counterintelligence and other officials. The USICA must be used to finally address the full extent of the CCP’s massive foreign-technology-acquisition programs, enabling the sanctioning of China’s worst IP thieves, expanding intelligence and law-enforcement tools to punish offenders, and strengthening controls against all CCP organizations and businesses operating in the U.S. to steal technology.

 

—————–

 

“Debate is never finished; it can’t be, lest democracy be no longer democratic and society be stripped of or forfeit its autonomy. Democracy means that the citizen’s task is never complete. Democracy exists through persevering and unyielding citizens’ concern. Once that concern is put to sleep, democracy expires.”

-Zygmunt Bauman

 

“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule — and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

– H.L. Mencken

 

“The best cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy.”

-Edward Abbey

DanielRiggs
Thu, 06/03/2021 – 12:50pm

06/03/2020 News & Commentary – Korea

06/03/2020 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Negotiating With North Korea: An interview with former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun

2. What Kim Jong Un’s regime shake-up says about his leadership

3. FM Chung holds breakfast talks with new U.S. Indo-Pacific commander

4. U.S. assumes ‘ready’ position for talks with North: Sherman

5. Cyberattacks by North Korea Pose Threat to US

6. Ahn cleared of robbery charge in Madrid embassy raid case

7. N.K. propaganda outlet slams S. Korea for decision to take part in upcoming air drills with U.S., Japan

8. North evades sanctions and gets 3 new tankers: CSIS report

9. U.S. Wants Higher-Profile Summit with Korea and Japan

10. Moon’s last, best chance after Biden summit

11. South Korea Erupts in Outrage Over Tokyo Olympics Map

12. New party rules show North Korean leader breaking away from predecessors

13. North Hamgyong Province moves to replace older generation of officials at historical sites

14. Two young children in Yanggang Province abducted for ransoms in May

15. Memorializing Vietnam, Korean wars

16. SKorea’s Hanwha pitches K9 howitzer for British mobile fires program

17. South Korea to repair pedestrian bridge in Panmunjom

18. Go beyond alliance (ROK/US)

 

1. Negotiating With North Korea: An interview with former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun

Arms Control

I think this is Steve’s first interview since stepping down as the Special Representative. He provides some important insights and this is worth reading.

Key excerpt: “I actually don’t think security is the driver of the North Korean nuclear weapons program. It’s national mobilization around the ideology of the regime. Also, I think the North Koreans know well, it’s an attention getter. They used their weapons of mass destruction program to attract concessions from the outside world in the past. What we tried to do is show them is there is a better way through diplomacy.”

The idea of “testing a proposition” is important and though unstated in the public discussions of the Biden Korea policy I think it is a key component of principled and practical diplomacy. But the question is can there be working level negotiations with the north or will continue to prevent his negotiators from being empowered as described below? 

 

Excerpts: “For all the controversy and debate that his foreign policies generated, I can say as a negotiator that it was incredibly empowering to be able to test a proposition like that. For many of the president’s critics, their concern was that somehow he was going to give away the store, that he was going to accept the one-sided deal. I think what the summit in Hanoi showed was that it was going to take two to tango. 

 

We had high hopes going into the summit. I and our negotiating team were there a week before the summit. We’d been to Pyongyang a few weeks before that, and we met in Washington a few weeks before that. We had laid out to each other in detail what our views were, what our objectives were. They didn’t align entirely, but each side knew what the other side was looking for out of this. When we got to Hanoi, our North Korean counterparts had absolutely no authority to discuss denuclearization issues, which is just absurd. It was one of the core points of agreement between the two leaders in Singapore.

 

Sanctions: “ACT: North Korea has become highly adept at sidestepping U.S. and UN sanctions and has been unwilling to make concessions in response to those sanctions. No doubt, some partners, namely China, could do more to enforce international sanctions now in place. Have we effectively reached the limits of using sanctions to coerce better behavior on nuclear matters from North Korea? 

Biegun: Sanctions rarely if ever produce, in and of themselves, a policy shift. The sanctions are a necessary component of diplomacy that affects the choices or the timetable that the other party may have in terms of whatever it is you’re seeking to address. So, sanctions are a tool, not the policy itself. 

No amount of sanctions evasion is able to overcome the severe downward turn of the North Korean economy because the sanctions are draconian, but if you wanted to make them more severe, that decision really lies in Beijing. I’m not sure at this point that more could be accomplished by more sanctions. I think it’s kind of a reflexive statement that policymakers make when put on the spot. The key here is to find a way to appropriately use the pressure of sanctions to produce a better outcome in diplomacy and to get on with what needs to be done on the Korean peninsula to end this ridiculous 65 years of hostility, long after a war between two systems that no longer even exist today, at one of their first showdowns after World War II.

 

2. What Kim Jong Un’s regime shake-up says about his leadership

Vox · by Alex Ward · June 2, 2021

We are going to be analyzing this and speculating about what it means for some time to come.

While many are looking at this from the internal perspective (te.g., to better run the “state.”) I view this through the political warfare lens and how this supports Kim’s political warfare strategy. This could be a major influence operation.

Excerpts: “As of now, it’s unclear who will assume the first secretary position. Most experts think it will be a confidante of Kim’s and someone who serves on the five-member presidium, a committee made up of top members of the ruling party. Reports suggest Jo Yong Won, who is close to Kim and believed to be in his mid-60s, could get the job or may have it already.

Put together, all of this means two key things: Kim seems to have the future of his nation in mind, and

 

3.  FM Chung holds breakfast talks with new U.S. Indo-Pacific commander

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · June 3, 2021

Tending to our alliances continues.

Diplomacy is at the heart of our foreign policy and alliances are the centerpiece of diplomacy.

 

4. U.S. assumes ‘ready’ position for talks with North: Sherman

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Sarah Kim · June 3, 2021

We are providing the opportunity to Kim Jong-un to act as a responsible member of the international community and conduct diplomacy. The ball is in KJU’s court.

But the title makes me think of the movie Animal House –  Assume the (ready) position and say: “Please sir, may I have another” which may describe the last nearly 4 decades of negotiations with north Korea. (apologies for the attempt at humor).

 

5. Cyberattacks by North Korea Pose Threat to US

dailysignal.com · by Bruce Klingner · June 2, 2021

Yes. And to nations around the world. north Korea is a global threat in cyberspace.

 

6. Ahn cleared of robbery charge in Madrid embassy raid case

koreanjoongangdaily.joins.com · by Michael Lee · June 3, 2021

Some good news. Small victories. Hopefully the other charges will be dropped.

 

7. N.K. propaganda outlet slams S. Korea for decision to take part in upcoming air drills with U.S., Japan

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · June 3, 2021

Surely not a surprise.

But the buried lede: We learn from north Korea that the ROK has participated in 153 joint training exercises over the last year.

Excerpts: “The reality is that the South Korean military is going through fire and water for the U.S., obsessed with following its scheme to invade Korea and realize the Indo-Pacific strategy,” Meari, a North Korean propaganda website, said.

“As the world’s largest combat training exercises, the drills are already well known for its belligerent and invasive nature,” it added.

The website also slammed South Korea for participating in a total of 153 joint exercises last year amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

 

8. North evades sanctions and gets 3 new tankers: CSIS report

koreanjoongangdaily.joins.com · by Sarah Kim · June 3, 2021

The reference CSIS article is here

 

9. U.S. Wants Higher-Profile Summit with Korea and Japan

english.chosun.com

A significant development. We are really putting our alliance first and willing to spend diplomatic capital to improve trilateral cooperation with our linchpin and cornerstone alliances in Northeast Asia:

 

“U.S. President Joe Biden hopes to hold the trilateral summit in Washington as soon as possible,” a diplomatic source said Wednesday. “The message has been delivered to Seoul and Tokyo, where diplomats are fine-tuning options.”

It appears Washington wants to make the meeting more visible than it would be on the sidelines of the G7 summit in order to impress China with a show of unity.

 

10. Moon’s last, best chance after Biden summit

lowyinstitute.org · by Soo Kim

President Moon’s presidency is on short final and there is not much time to secure his legacy regarding north Korea policy.

Excerpt: “On engagement with North Korea, the Moon government faced equally challenging currents. With prospects for a nuclear deal on the wane, Pyongyang had not only closed the door to talks, it had also expressed displeasure with the Moon government through harshly worded rhetoric – even going so far last year as to threaten to blow up the inter-Korean liaison office and promptly delivering on this promise hours later. And with less than a year remaining in Moon’s term, the pressure has intensified even more over an issue widely considered his goal for a presidential legacy.

 

11. South Korea Erupts in Outrage Over Tokyo Olympics Map

thediplomat.com · by Mitch Shin · June 2, 2021

Perhaps when President Biden meets with Moon and Suga he should have an unnamed photo on the wall in the background of Dokdo/Takeshima/Liancourt Rocks to kickstart a discussion. (Not!)

 

12. New party rules show North Korean leader breaking away from predecessors

The Korea Times · June 3, 2021

We need to take all this breathless analysis with a grain of salt. Yes words have meaning and we should thoroughly study these announcements. But actions speak louder than words. We must take the time to observe for the indicators to show us whether or not these words foreshadow a significant change in the regime’s behavior. I remain skeptical and my assessment is this is all part of a political warfare strategy with Juche characteristics.

 

13. North Hamgyong Province moves to replace older generation of officials at historical sites

dailynk.com  · by Kim Yoo Jin · June 3, 2021

This is an action that bears watching. Will there be a purge of the old guard? Is this the canary in the coal mine for a nation level change (purge?).

Excerpt: “The provincial party felt the need for a generational change while examining the state of historical activities in the province, finding that cadres and instructors at local historical sites were older and sicker than those at sites in other provinces. The committee immediately ordered the reshuffle, instructing that it be completed within a month, said the source.”

 

14. Two young children in Yanggang Province abducted for ransoms in May

dailynk.com · by Lee Chae Un · June 3, 2021

north Korea is not immune from these terrible crimes against children and families.

 

15.  Memorializing Vietnam, Korean wars

The Korea Times  · by Donald Kirk · June 3, 2021

Don Kirk shows us the forgotten Korean War is not so forgotten these days.

 

16. SKorea’s Hanwha pitches K9 howitzer for British mobile fires program

Defense News · by Brian Kim and Andrew Chuter · June 2, 2021

The South Korean defense industry is becoming a global player.

 

17. South Korea to repair pedestrian bridge in Panmunjom

donga.com · June 3, 2021

 

18. Go beyond alliance (ROK/US)

The Korea Times · June 2, 2021

An OpEd that does not bode well for the alliance. As I will note in an essay soon to be published the Moon Administrations comments about cancelling the August Dong Meang training appears to be backsliding on a key alliance commitment – maintaining military readiness to deter and defend.

Excerpts: “After the better-than-expected Moon-Biden summit, Seoul must be finding it far more difficult to play a balancing act between Washington and Beijing. South Korea will likely face greater pressure to take part in the Quad, comprised of the U.S., Japan, India and Australia. The country will also face a stronger backlash from China for its closer alliance with the U.S.

In this context, the Moon administration needs to prepare for the worst-case scenario under which Korea is forced to choose sides amid the escalating superpower confrontation. We have to make efforts to avoid any retaliation from Beijing as seen in the dispute over Seoul’s decision to allow Washington to deploy a missile defense system, known as THAAD, on our soil in 2017.

Now, policymakers and politicians should overhaul the country’s long-held policy of relying on the U.S. for security and depending on China for economic growth. Excessive dependence on a single country for whatever reason is highly dangerous.

More than anything else, Korea desperately needs “creative diplomacy” and a new survival strategy that can go beyond alliances and great power competition. It is time to hammer out comprehensive measures to prevent our country being caught in the crossfire of the ever-fiercer Sino-U.S. conflict.

 

———–

 

“Debate is never finished; it can’t be, lest democracy be no longer democratic and society be stripped of or forfeit its autonomy. Democracy means that the citizen’s task is never complete. Democracy exists through persevering and unyielding citizens’ concern. Once that concern is put to sleep, democracy expires.”

-Zygmunt Bauman

 

“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule — and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

– H.L. Mencken

 

“The best cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy.”

-Edward Abbey

DanielRiggs
Thu, 06/03/2021 – 12:33pm

USE OF IEDs AND VBIEDs IN MEXICAN CRIME WARS

USE OF IEDs AND VBIEDs IN MEXICAN CRIME WARS

USE OF IEDs AND VBIEDs IN MEXICAN CRIME WARS

Small Wars Journal-El Centro Senior Fellows Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan along with analyst David A. Kuhn, and SWJ-El Centro Associate Alma Kehavarz look at the evolving use of explosives in Mexico’s criminal insurgencies and crime wars in a new article at Counter-IED Report

The article, “Use of IEDs and VBIEDs in Mexican Crime Wars,” reviews the current situation involving the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs) in Mexico’s crime wars. The evolution of the threat is illustrated through discussion of four recent cases in 2019-2020.

Source: Robert J. Bunker, John P. Sullivan, David A. Kuhn, and Alma Keshavarz, “Use of IEDs and VBIEDs in Mexican Crime Wars.” Counter IED-Report. Spring-Summer 2021. pp. 63-73.

ZFTWARNING
Wed, 06/02/2021 – 4:06pm

06/02/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/02/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

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

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

2. Are Special Envoys All That Special Anymore?

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

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

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

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

7. Cyberattack hits world’s largest meat supplier

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

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

10. Japan’s rising-sun uniform sparks controversy

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

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

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

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

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

16. Identity Politics With Chinese Characteristics

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

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

19. The Conspiracy Theory of Society

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

 

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

defense.gov · by Jim Garamone

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

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

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

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

 

2. Are Special Envoys All That Special Anymore?

Foreign Policy · by Robbie Gramer · June 1, 2021

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

news.yahoo.com

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

 

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

UPI · by Riah Pryor

 

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

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

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

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

 

7. Cyberattack hits world’s largest meat supplier

NBC News · by  June 1, 2021

Hitting us where it hurts, in our stomachs.

 

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

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

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

Rule of LGOPs

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

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

The Rule of LGOPs is instructive:

– They shared a common vision

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

– They were trained to improvise and take the initiative

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

10. Japan’s rising-sun uniform sparks controversy

DONGA · by Heon-Jae Lee

Of course this would be criticized by Korea.

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

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

 

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

The Guardian · by Kate Lyons · June 2, 2021

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

 

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

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

Oh no!

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Guardian · by Julian Borger · June 2, 2021

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

 

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

Defense News · by Jen Judson · June 1, 2021

Ah yes, the old UFR list.

 

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

cfr.org · by Sheila A. Smith

A short tutorial.

 

16. Identity Politics With Chinese Characteristics

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

19.  The Conspiracy Theory of Society

realclearscience.com · by Ross Pomeroy

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

 

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

sof.news · by SOF News · June 1, 2021

 

————

 

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

– Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies Of War

 

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

– George F. Kennan

 

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

– Confucius

DanielRiggs
Wed, 06/02/2021 – 12:58pm

06/02/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/02/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. N. Korea no longer pursues unification through revolution in S. Korea

2. Kim Jong Un gets new second-in-command in major changes to North Korea’s ruling party

3. N.K. leader’s powerful sister likely to fill new ‘first secretary’ post in case of emergency: expert

4. Appointment of U.S. point man on N. Korea signals readiness for dialogue with Pyongyang: Sherman

5. Student activists again burn Japanese flag in Seoul over Dokdo

6. Meet the new No. 2 in North Korea

7. Ex-USFK chief Brooks hasn’t been offered ambassador post in S. Korea: aide

8. North Korea acquired two new oil tankers last year, report says

9. Lifting of missile guidelines leads to no change in U.S. defense commitment: Pentagon

10. Korea’s role in infrastructure investment for stronger Indo-Pacific

11. S. Korea unveils homegrown space rocket for first time

12. The Real North Korea Foreign Policy Joe Biden Needs to Implement

13. Long Overdue Compensation for Korean War Veterans

14. Foreign Ministry summons senior Japanese ambassador to protest ‘Dokdo provocations’

15. Korea’s business leaders call on Moon to free jailed Samsung boss Lee

16. Summit – step toward strategic clarity?

 

1. N. Korea no longer pursues unification through revolution in S. Korea

Hani

Perfect. Political Warfare with Juche characteristics. So much to unpack here.

This is already having the regime’s desired effect on Twitter and among Korea watchers. It is almost as if the regime is reading our writings and our. criticism of the regime’s nature, objectives, and strategy and i deliberately trying to undermine our legitimacy! Already the comments are that the north has changed its spots. It is no longer a scorpion and has in fact changed its nature!  

This plays right into Moon’s vision for his peace agenda and is designed to drive a wedge in the alliance by supporting the Moon administration’s naive view that Kim Jong-un supports his vision of peace and reconciliation against the Biden administration’s realistic view of the existential threat the regime poses to South Korea and the global threat the regime poses from its nuclear weapons and missiles, to it cyber capabilities, to its global illicit activities. 

This may be designed to make the Biden administration policy dead on arrival but trying to take away ROK support for the new policy by giving the appearance the regime has given up its revolutionary unification objective and strategy.

The omission of these concepts and the shift from military first politics to a so-called focus on the people is excellent political warfare. It is creating a perception of a change in the behavior and outlook of the regime (a regime change! :-)) that supports the (naive) belief that the regime seeks to negotiate in good faith and act as a responsible member of the international community.

Before I accept the regime is no longer the scorpion and has been able to change its nature, I would like to see the nK Constitution changed to reflect the north is no longer a revolutionary state that seeks to complete the revolution by unifying the peninsula and ridding it of foreign influence. And if the regime is really jettisoning these concepts I want to see them purged from the 80 years worth of documents, books, memoirs, speeches, etc. This is tantamount to an admission that everything the regime has pursued for the last 80 years was wrong. Hard to believe the regime would ever admit it was wrong.

The bottom line is we should not be duped by the regime’s political warfare. I have to admit that this is an excellent psychological operation and is designed to appeal to specific target audiences who will (and already are) swallow this hook, line, and sinker. I can already hear the personal attacks of “I told you so.” “See north Korea is good afterall.” “It is just US policy that has been the problem.” 

 

2. Kim Jong Un gets new second-in-command in major changes to North Korea’s ruling party

CNN · by Yoonjung Seo and Joshua Berlinger

CNN is focusing on the new “2IC” but does mention the change to the party rules and the omission of revolution and the shift to a “people-first” policy (or politics? – We should know that despite the words Songun or Military First Politics will never be abandoned.

 

3. N.K. leader’s powerful sister likely to fill new ‘first secretary’ post in case of emergency: expert

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · June 2, 2021

It has been about a year since we have talked about succession in north Korea (recall all the rumors of KJU’s demise during the front end of the COVID pandemic when he was out of sight for some time). Notice the comment on the “Paektu bloodline” below.

But there are other reports (to include from Yonhap)that this position has been filled. Bradley Martin profiles Jo Yong Won (with the caveat if reports get it right). 

Excerpt: “Jo Yong-won, a close aide to Kim who was speculated to have been elected to the post, is unlikely to take up the position because he is not part of the Kim family or the “Paekdu bloodline,” according to Lee.

“We cannot completely rule out the possibility of Jo, but the deputy post appears to be aimed more at securing regime stability for the successor,” he said.

 

4. Appointment of U.S. point man on N. Korea signals readiness for dialogue with Pyongyang: Sherman

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · June 2, 2021

Personnel is policy. And in this case the Ambassador was most likely at the center of the policy review and surely had a large hand in crafting the policy. He has the experience, the credibility and the reputation and he has engaged with north Korea to include in preparation for and during the Singapore summit. He is probably the only one in the current administration who was part of the Singapore summit. (and note he participated in the coordination for the summit – to include travel to Pyongyang – while he was the Ambassador to the Philippines. So he should not have any issue multi-tasking in his current roles. And we should also know he is backed up by a strong Korea team of professionals.) 

But the key point is the Biden administration is ready to talk. It is up to KJU.

 

5. Student activists again burn Japanese flag in Seoul over Dokdo

en.yna.co.kr · by 유청모 · June 2, 2021

The challenge continues. History and emotion trumps national security and national prosperity for some.

 

6.  Meet the new No. 2 in North Korea

asiatimes.com · by Bradley K. Martin · June 1, 2021

A useful profile from Bradley Martin. Note his caveat – “if reports are correct.” What is the shelf-life for a No. 2 in north Korea? Not a job I would want to have.

 

7. Ex-USFK chief Brooks hasn’t been offered ambassador post in S. Korea: aide

koreaherald.com · by The Korea Herald · June 2, 2021

In normal times I would say General Brooks would be an excellent choice. He not only has the knowledge, he has first hand experience, and he is very well respected in Korea.

But given the friction in civil-military relations and the current administration’s views on military personnel in civilian positions (SECDEF is the exception to the administration’s possibly unspoken policy of not putting too many former military personnel in political appointee positions). I don’t think we will see a former military leader tapped for an ambassador job.

I also think that appointing a former general would send a message the Biden administration would not want to send. it might be (mis)interpreted by some as a “militarization” of our Korea policy.

But if I were asked for a recommendation, and if we were not going to appoint a career Foreign Service Officer as ambassador, I would offer General Tilelli for the Ambassador to the ROK based on his decades of experience and the high esteem in which Koreans hold him.

 

8. North Korea acquired two new oil tankers last year, report says

UPI · by Thomas Maresca · June 2, 2021

Excerpts: “North Korea uses a variety of methods to receive illicit supplies, including ship-to-ship transfers and disguising the identities of its vessels through swapped profiles or manipulation of automatic identification system transmissions, the U.N. Panel said.

Two of the three new tankers were previously owned by South Korean companies, according to the CSIS report. The ships, called the Sin Phyong 5 and Kwang Chon 2, made their way from South Korean brokers to individuals or companies in China, the report said.

The third, the Wol Bong San, had previously been sailing under a Sierra Leone flag and was transferred via Hong Kong-based Baili Shipping and Trading. The company has been tied to North Korea’s illicit weapons trade as well as its coal and oil smuggling networks.

 

9. Lifting of missile guidelines leads to no change in U.S. defense commitment: Pentagon

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 2, 2021

I concur with the headline in that the termination of the missile guidelines will in no way lessen the US commitment to the defense of Korea.

But this article is based on an unusual or confusing exchange in yesterday’s press conference. Based on the wording in the question I assume the journalist was from the Korean media. I think the law he or she must have been referring to is likely the NDAA which established a floor of 28,500 US troops stationed in Korea.

Q: Thank you, John. I have a question about the United States defensive law for the South Korea. How will you do the end of missile lines on the South Korea fact that the U.S. defense law for the South Korea? Will there be any change to the U.S. law (inaudible)?

MR. KIRBY: I’m not aware of any changes. The – nothing about this changes the alliance between South Korea and the United States or our commitments to that alliance, which as you know, is a defensive alliance.

Q: But any — you have any schedule to reduce the defense role for the South Korea because of you lifted missile guidelines and taken –

MR. KIRBY: I know of no such changes in the offing.

 

10.  Korea’s role in infrastructure investment for stronger Indo-Pacific

The Korea Times · Song Kyung-jin · June 1, 2021

Indications of alignment of the US INDOPACIFIC Strategy and the ROK New Southern Policy. 

Note the comments on the AIIB. I will leave it to the economic, financial, and development experts to comment.

Excerpts: “Korea is a democracy with a fairly recent development success story, and it respects the rules-based international order. It thus can relate with the developing Indo-Pacific better than its western counterparts.

Also, it was Korea that brought development into the multilateral G20 agenda in 2010 with nine pillars including infrastructure and governance, and so on. So, it was dubbed a “Korea initiative” or the “Seoul Development Initiative” then. While the objectives of NPS built on the Seoul initiative are laudable, it failed to succeed multilateralism enshrined in it. Going bilateral with limited resources is difficult to sustain; therefore, it should diversify into pluri-lateral and multilateral programs with like-minded partners. The same is true of Korea’s other ASEAN initiatives.

ASEAN has become critically important on Korea’s economic and diplomatic fronts in its endeavor to reduce its dependence on China. As a consequence, ASEAN now is Korea’s second largest trading partner with a trading volume of $153.4 billion as of 2019, only next to China. It is Korea’s third largest investment destination next to the US and EU, with $9.54 billion in 2019. It is also Korea’s largest overseas construction market, growing to $8 billion in total orders in 2019.

Pension funds with deep pockets can set a good example as a long-term investor.

 There is a lack of long-term investors, public or private, in the region due to various reasons, such as the regional savings invested elsewhere including in the US Treasuries and the regulatory constraints. Korea’s National Pension Fund, world’s third largest, can and should make more and bolder investments in infrastructure bilaterally and multilaterally. Multilateral development banks such as the ADB, the World Bank and even the AIIB are good partners to work with. Alarmists may instantly flash a yellow card to the idea of inviting the AIIB. But they should not forget that the region needs to pool resources available as far as possible and that the AIIB is not China-owned but a multilateral organization run by experts of diverse nationalities.

 

11. S. Korea unveils homegrown space rocket for first time

en.yna.co.kr · by 채윤환 · June 1, 2021

Can the South Korea put communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit over the peninsula to support military command and control? 

 

12. The Real North Korea Foreign Policy Joe Biden Needs to Implement

The National Interest · by Doug Bandow · June 1, 2021

I do not think the Biden administration treats diplomatic relations as a reward.  

For the Biden administration diplomacy is at the heart of foreign policy and alliances are at the heart of diplomacy.

I think the Biden administration would support diplomatic relations with the north (and I would too for myriad reasons to include potential increased access and influence). But I seriously doubt the regime is ready for diplomatic relations or even establishing liaison offices in Pyongyang and Washington. It would bring too much access to outside information that would be a threat to the regime. But by all means put it on the agenda and see how KJU reacts.

I also think the Biden administration is willing to provide humanitarian assistance to the neediest Koreans in the north. But we should be under no illusion that such assistance is a carrot for the regime. At best it removes some burden from the regime to divert resources to the lower classes of north Korean society. At worst the regime is able to divert and exploit international aid for uses other than caring for the people. Kim is not really concerned with the welfare of the Korean people in the north expect to the point where it may help thwart resistance to the regime.

As an aside, one thing Mr. Bandow does not mention is north Korean human rights. I think the Biden administration is going to have a central focus on human rights (not only in north Korea but globally). So any discussion of diplomatic relations must include a focus on human rights. And of course that is a threat to the regime. But we cannot neglect human rights based on the fantasy that doing so will bring about negotiations toward denuclearization.

 

13. Long Overdue Compensation for Korean War Veterans

keia.org · May 21, 2021

This is for all those who study special operations in Korea. This report is discussing Korean partisans who fought under the UN flag and were never compensated for their service.

 

14. Foreign Ministry summons senior Japanese ambassador to protest ‘Dokdo provocations’

donga.com · June 1, 2021

Unless President Moon (and his successor) and Prime Minister Suga (and his successor) decide to prioritize national security and national prosperity while pledging to manage the historic issues in good faith we are never going to see effective trilateral corporation and relations.

 

15. Korea’s business leaders call on Moon to free jailed Samsung boss Lee

nationalpost.com

 

16. Summit – step toward strategic clarity?

The Korea Times · by Ahn Ho-young  · June 1, 2021

Important analysis from our good friend Ambassador Ahn.

He provides a note of caution here:

“The ministers were totally silent on Korea’s commitment to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, which made quite a few commentators wonder out loud if the Korean government had already started to water down the importance of the commitment it made in Washington, D.C. just a short while ago.

I hope this is not the case. Trust is a much appreciated commodity in any relationship, especially between security partners. I have long argued that the so-called strategic ambiguity, meaning frequently shifting position depending upon issues and the calculation of short-term interests, is not sustainable, because it will only deepen the impression that Korea is the weakest link in the Asia-Pacific and make Korea lose credibility with both the U.S. and China.

Whatever the motivation may have been, the recent Moon-Biden joint statement shows that the government made the right choice in clarifying its position on the Korea-U.S. alliance. Receding from the choice is not an option.”

 

————–

 

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

– Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies Of War

 

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

– George F. Kennan

 

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

– Confucius

DanielRiggs
Wed, 06/02/2021 – 12:58pm

06/01/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

06/01/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. Remarks by President Biden at the 153rd National Memorial Day Observance

2.  A Siege, a Supply Run and a Descent Into a Decade-Old Battle

3. Public swarms Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day for the first time since the pandemic

4. US special forces to train Taiwan soldiers after annual war-games

5. The U.S. Air Force Wants to Mothball Over 200 Aircraft. We Have the List.

6. QAnon conspiracy theories infect American churches

7. Former Trump advisor Michael Flynn said the US should have a coup like Myanmar, where the military overthrew the democratically elected government

8. The Future of Afghanistan Hinges on American Dollars, Not Troops

9. The Necessary Art of Talking to Other Nations By Max Hastings

10. Three Big Questions Biden’s National Security Strategy Has to Answer

11. Time for a ‘Semi-Quad’ Alliance

12. Biden’s US foreign policy commitment to democracy called into question

13. Facebook says U.S. is the top target of disinformation campaigns

14. Huawei ex-exec on trial, accused of spying for China

15. #Reviewing Exercise of Power (Book by Robert Gates, Review by Daniel Scheeringa)

16.  USSOCOM contracts Palantir for enterprise data management software

17. Sibling Rivalry: Military Services in High-Stakes Tussle Over Long-Range Fires

18. Kamala Harris’ Navy

 

1. Remarks by President Biden at the 153rd National Memorial Day Observance

Office of the President · May 31, 2021

Powerful remarks on democracy by the President.  

 

2. A Siege, a Supply Run and a Descent Into a Decade-Old Battle

The New York Times · by Thomas Gibbons-Neff · May 31, 2021

More powerful reporting form TM Gibbons-Neff.

 

3. Public swarms Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day for the first time since the pandemic

The Washington Post · by Tara Bahrampour and Annie Linskey · May 31, 2021

 

4. US special forces to train Taiwan soldiers after annual war-games

19fortyfive.com · by Ryan Pickrell · May 31, 2021

We should observe for the CCP propaganda (or other) response, if any.

 

6. QAnon conspiracy theories infect American churches

Axios · by Mike Allen

This is an unbelievable statistic. It is incredible that 15% of Americans agree with this QAnon belief. The revisionist and rogue powers cannot believe the effects of propaganda on such a large number of Americans. This simply emboldens them to even more aggressively execute influence operations.

That stunning window into the country’s congregations followed a major poll, out last week: 15% of Americans, the poll found, agree with the QAnon contention that “the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.”

 

7. Former Trump advisor Michael Flynn said the US should have a coup like Myanmar, where the military overthrew the democratically elected government

Business Insider · by Kelsey Vlamis

I have no words.

Former Trump advisor Michael Flynn said the US should have a coup like Myanmar, where the military overthrew the democratically elected government

 

8. The Future of Afghanistan Hinges on American Dollars, Not Troops

warontherocks.com · by Dominic Tierney · June 1, 2021

All about the benjamins?

Conclusion: “A U.S. aid program to Afghanistan of around $4–5 billion per year is affordable — even indefinitely so. The figure equates to less than one percent of the U.S. defense budget. Indeed, to put the number in perspective, Washington spends over $300 million every year just on military bands. The aid program is also much cheaper than deploying U.S. troops. Washington can pay for around 50 to 100 Afghan soldiers for the same cost as stationing a single American soldier there (about $1 million per year). The aid program is only a tiny fraction of the expenditure in Afghanistan a decade ago.

Continuing aid to Afghanistan does not guarantee success, but curtailing aid guarantees failure. $4 billion is a lot of money. But it buys Washington a reasonable chance at creating military deadlock in Afghanistan, forcing the Taliban to make peace, and avoiding a repeat of Saigon 1975, with all the associated trauma and recrimination.

 

9. The Necessary Art of Talking to Other Nations By Max Hastings

Bloomberg · by Max Hastings · May 30, 2021

Excerpts: “A huge problem for big-power diplomacy is that, for it to work, the main actors must accept a stated dispensation as legitimate. Instead, in today’s Middle East, Iran seeks to achieve a regional hegemony which the U.S. and other Western nations find unacceptable. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is bent on forging a Greater Israel at the expense of the Palestinians, which only the U.S., among major powers, has (until this month, at least) appeared content to indulge. Meanwhile, China seeks to assert a supremacy in the Indo-Pacific to which few of its neighbors, never mind Washington, are prepared to acquiesce.

But the talking must happen, the attempts be made to find common ground even on lesser issues if the big ones are intractable. I once met a diplomat who spent much of the 1960s representing Britain at international arms-control talks in Geneva. He argued that, while superficially the interminable meetings were futile, with the Soviets churning out position papers that never seemed to change, the very fact of the meetings helped to avert war.

I think he was right — the isolationists who seek simply to build walls and hide behind them put at risk any advance or even stability in human affairs. Fear has been the dominant motive in foreign affairs since the beginning of time. Dialogue — diplomacy — has a critical role to play in managing and dispelling it.

 

10. Three Big Questions Biden’s National Security Strategy Has to Answer

The National Interest · by James Jay Carafano · May 29, 2021

The three questions:

How to Handle Economic Relations with China?

How to Do Battle in the Gray Zones?

How to Balance Hard- and Soft Power?

 

11. Time for a ‘Semi-Quad’ Alliance

thediplomat.com · by Che-Jen Wang · May 28, 2021

“Semi-Quad”? Hope that is not the equivalent of “semi-pro” in international relations. (apologies for the attempt at humor).

Excerpts: “Therefore, it is clear that the U.S. government alone cannot stop China from advancing its semiconductor industry. Given the small portion of semiconductors made in the United States, the current U.S. policy neither limits China from the acquisition of high-sensitive chips and technology, nor outweighs Xi Jinping’s call for technology autonomy in semiconductor production. The governments of the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea must coordinate efforts to respond to aggressive tactics from China.

Given that different semiconductor technologies are scattered among the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, and the degree of technology protection among manufacturers may differ, it is difficult to fully prevent advanced semiconductor technology from entering China. If the Biden administration wants to fully contain the high-speed progress of semiconductor technology in China, further containment policies and multi-country coordination are needed. Unless the U.S. can form a “semi-Quad” alliance, a mechanism like Quad or Five Eyes, and coordinate policies with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, fair competition and resilient trade in semiconductors will be difficult to realize.

 

12. Biden’s US foreign policy commitment to democracy called into question

Financial Times · by Katrina Manson · May 30, 2021

This was published before his Memorial Day address.

 

13. Facebook says U.S. is the top target of disinformation campaigns

Axios · by Sara Fischer

No surprise. The US must be the easiest targets in the world for disinformation campaigns.

Graphic at the link

 

14. Huawei ex-exec on trial, accused of spying for China

AP · by Monica Scislowska     

Excerpts: “The Pole is suspected of helping him establish contacts and providing him with documents. Some observers say the documents were public and not classified.

The trial is expected to take months and there is no date yet for the final verdict.

Huawei declined to comment because the case was ongoing. It has repeatedly denied the U.S. allegations but since the pair’s arrest, Huawei’s fortunes in Europe have tumbled because of the U.S. campaign. Countries such as Britain, Sweden and Bulgaria h ave banned Huawei equipment from their networks and others such as France say they favor homegrown rivals like Ericsson and Nokia for security reasons.

Huawei gear, which has been effectively blocked by the U.S. since 2012, has also been shunned by Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

 

15. #Reviewing Exercise of Power (Book by Robert Gates, Review by Daniel Scheeringa)

thestrategybridge.org · by Daniel Scheeringa · June 1, 2021

Another book for the “to read pile.”

Conclusion: Gates does an excellent job of examining the ways America can exercise power around the world, some coercive, most non-coercive. That examination forms the basis of Gates’ desire to see America compete with China and Russia through non-coercive means such as strategic communications and economic development aid. It is a common lament that America lacks a grand strategy, or even the capacity to form such a strategy. However, any strategy, no matter how brilliant, is only as effective as the means used to implement it. Whatever ends America chooses to pursue in the future, its leaders and strategists will be well served by reading Gates’ book.

 

16. USSOCOM contracts Palantir for enterprise data management software

army-technology.com

Excerpts: “Our partnership with USSOCOM was one of our first in the US military, and we are honoured to keep providing technology that gets the job done while we partner on the future of what is possible.”

The company’s technology enables real-time collaboration across USSOCOM and its allies.

It gives commanders a global scale situational awareness, bringing AI technology to the battlefield operations.

The technology also enhances the ability to respond to ‘near-peer threats’.

Palantir’s software is used from planning phase, to review coordination and approval stage, and runs through battle tracking of the execution of the actual mission.

Last November, the US Army chose Palantir Technologies to provide one of two prototype contracts for the Common Data Fabric and Data Security solution.

 

17. Sibling Rivalry: Military Services in High-Stakes Tussle Over Long-Range Fires

nationaldefensemagazine.org · by Jon Harper

If multiple services are developing long range precision fires it would seem we need a joint warfighting concept sooner rather than later. There would appear to be so many questions to ask about targeting, de-confliction, ISR capabilities for targeting – should various components and task forces or services have independent capabilities or should long range precision fires be under the control of a single operational HQ and authority (e.g., the JFACC/CFACC)? In my view long range precision fires will probably be among the most important concepts in conventional warfighting for the foreseeable future.

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten said it would be premature to conduct a review now.

“We’ll have the fruition of the Joint Warfighting Concept in the next decade. And then once we know how to do that and we’ve demonstrated that, we may not be organized correctly, we may not have the right roles and responsibilities,” he said in February during an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “But why the heck would you stop and try to figure that out when you actually don’t know the answer?”

 

18. Kamala Harris’ Navy

Washington Examiner · by Byron York · May 31, 2021

Strong criticism. I think most of the media focused on the joke that did not land in her speech rather than the substance.

Excerpts: “But Harris paid particular attention to “a very real threat to our national security” — climate change. “You are ocean engineers who will help navigate ships through thinning ice,” Harris said in her only acknowledgment that the Navy has any sort of relationship with the world’s oceans. “You are mechanical engineers who will help reinforce sinking bases. You are electrical engineers who will soon help convert solar and wind energy into power, convert solar and wind energy into combat power. And just ask any Marine today, would she rather carry 20 pounds of batteries or a rolled-up solar panel? And I am positive she will tell you a solar panel, and so would he.”

Left almost entirely undiscussed was the more basic mission of the Navy and the Marines. They fight wars. Heavily armed, they protect U.S. interests and shipping and project America’s power at sea and around the world. They have done it, with great valor and sometimes at enormous personal sacrifice for sailors and Marines, for more than 200 years. Harris mostly left the war-fighting core of the Navy and Marine mission out of her speech.

And so on. Biden and Pence framed their speeches differently, but each showed a deep appreciation for what the Navy and Marines do. Harris described a much different Navy and Marines, with missions in which fighting is done mostly in a figurative sense, against a threat like climate change. “Ms. Harris’ visit was meant to signal that the current White House’s relationship with the military had changed since the Trump era,” the New York Times reported after the vice president’s speech. Indeed it has.

 

—————–

 

“And on this Memorial Day, we honor their legacy and their sacrifice. Duty, honor, country — they lived for it, they died for it. And we, as a nation, are eternally grateful. You know, America has been forged in the battle and the fires of war. Our freedom and the freedom of innumerable others has been secured by young men and women who answered the call of history and gave everything in the service of an idea: the idea of America. It’s the greatest idea in the long history of humankind. An idea that we’re all created equal in the image of Almighty God. That we’re all entitled to dignity, as my father would say, and respect, decency, and honor. Love of neighbor. They’re not empty words, but the vital, beating heart of our nation. And that democracy must be defended at all costs, for democracy makes all this possible. Democracy — that’s the soul of America, and I believe it’s a soul worth fighting for, and so do you; a soul worth dying for. Heroes who lie in eternal peace in this beautiful place, this sacred place, they believed that too. The soul of America is animated by the perennial battle between our worst instincts — which we’ve seen of late — and our better angels. Between “Me first” and “We the People.” Between greed and generosity, cruelty and kindness, captivity and freedom.”

-President Joseph Biden, Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Day 2021

 

“By and large, strategy comes into play where there is actual or potential conflict, when interests collide and forms of resolution are required. This is why a strategy is much more than a plan. A plan supposes a sequence of events that allows one to move with confidence from one state of affairs to another. Strategy is required when one might frustrate those plans.”

– Lawrence Freedman, Strategy: A History

 

“Without a word this uniform also whispers of freezing troops, injured bodies, and Americans left forever in foreign fields. It documents every serviceman’s courage, who by accepting this uniform, promises the one gift he truly has to give: his life. I wear my uniform for the heritage of sacrifice it represents and more. I wear my uniform with pride, for it represents the greatest nation of free people in the world.”

– Captain Karen Dorman Kimmel

 

DanielRiggs
Tue, 06/01/2021 – 9:31am

06/01/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

06/01/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. U.S. aware of N. Korean criticism, remains committed to diplomacy: State Dept.

2. South Korea Under Moon Jae In Rejects Value-oriented Diplomacy

3. Unification minister reiterates ‘unwavering commitment’ to Mount Kumgang tourism project

4. Moon Is Emptying Korea’s Coffers Like There’s No Tomorrow

5. Tizzard Translates Thae: The Arrival of the “Pleasure Squad” (기쁨조)

6. N. Korea creates ‘first secretary’ post in revised party rules

7. N. Korea slams countries for piling up excessive supply of vaccines amid shortage

8. S. Korea’s intelligence chief to return home after weeklong trip to U.S.: sources

9. Tracking changes at North Korea’s Camp 14 through satellite imagery

10. Seventh General Bureau official publicly executed for engaging in “corrupt construction practices”

11. Korean firms ramp up spending on lobbying in US

12. Using and buying consumer electronics in North Korea

13. South Korea says vaccine shipment to North Korea from Covax delayed again

14. Biden’s North Korea Policy: Has ‘Strategic Patience’ Returned? – Analysis

15. Kim Jong Un’s Plan to Make North Korea Great Again

16. South Korea’s New Aircraft Carrier Is Joining the Asian Naval Race

17. Air Force weather squadron supporting Army in South Korea adds ‘combat’ to its name

 

1. U.S. aware of N. Korean criticism, remains committed to diplomacy: State Dept.

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · June 1, 2021

Normal behavior for the Kim family regime so our State department is not surprised.  And the essence of our practical and principled diplomacy is to provide Kim Jong-un the opportunity to act as a responsible member of the international community. 

Excerpt: “Our policy toward the DPRK calls for a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy with the DPRK to make practical progress that increases the security of the United States, our allies, and our deployed forces,” the State Department spokesman said.

 

2. South Korea Under Moon Jae In Rejects Value-oriented Diplomacy

japan-forward.com · by Tsutomu Nishioka · May 30, 2021

A view from Japan.

While the author’s thesis is plausible I do not think it can be backed up by the Biden-Moon summit and the joint statement.  Maybe the joint statement was not sufficiently well translated into Japanese.

The summit, joint statement, and fact sheet all seem to focus on democratic values.   This statement from the fact sheet seems to indicate a values based diplomacy approach.

“The unbreakable U.S.-ROK alliance is grounded in our shared democratic values, is comprehensive in nature, and poised to tackle the most urgent issues of the 21st Century.  We pledge to continue to work together to create a free, safe, prosperous, and dynamic Indo-Pacific region and reinforce the ASEAN-led regional architecture through cooperation between the ROK’s New Southern Policy and the United States’ priorities in the region.  The United States and the ROK commit to expanding our partnership in cybersecurity, development assistance, human rights and democracy promotion, health, and climate change.  People-to-people ties between our two countries are a central pillar of the enduring friendship of our people, which has spanned generations and will continue for generations to come. 

And regarding “missing” human rights (which were mentioned four times in the joint statement and four times in the fact sheet) the author must not have read the fact sheet to accompany the joint statement which has this:

“Announce the U.S.-ROK Democracy and Governance Consultations (DGC), which will serve as a mechanism for coordination on human rights and democracy promotion efforts at home and abroad.  The DGC will be an opportunity for both sides to share best practices and cooperate to promote and strengthen democratic resilience, good governance, and democratic institutions.”

 

3. Unification minister reiterates ‘unwavering commitment’ to Mount Kumgang tourism project

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · June 1, 2021

Another way the headline can be read – Unification Minister’s unwavering commitment to transferring funds to KJU’s royal court economy.  Tourism and these proposed projects solely benefit the Kim family regime.

 

4. Moon Is Emptying Korea’s Coffers Like There’s No Tomorrow

english.chosun.com

The populist movement.

Conclusion: According to the Board of Audit and Inspection, 27 out of 61 public funds have suffered annual deficits over the last five years, and five more are apparently at risk of bleeding money by 2024. The national health insurance fund, which used to post a surplus each year, ended up in a deficit since 2018 as a result of Moon’s expanded coverage of medical expenses. State-run companies suffered a record W545-trillion deficit in 2020, while the wages of their staff grew by W8 trillion. The public is reeling under the wanton spending practices of a populist president.

 

5. Tizzard Translates Thae: The Arrival of the “Pleasure Squad” (기쁨조)

tizzardtranslatesthae.wordpress.com · by David Tizzard · May 31, 2021

Although the headline may be considered clickbait, this translated excerpt from Thae Yong-ho’s book provides more insight than just the “pleasure squad.”  This short excerpt actually covers a lot of ground about the post-Cold War situation, relations with western countries, the nuclear issue in the early 1990s and how the north Korean economy and industry works or is controlled (particularly gold production).

Thanks to David Tizzard for translating and sharing this excerpt.  I hope Thae’s entire book will soon be translated into English.

 

6. N. Korea creates ‘first secretary’ post in revised party rules

 en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · June 1, 2021

The most dangerous title to be given in north Korea is to be named “number 2.”

We should also be very careful about interpreting (“positively”) the removal of Songun (which is actually military first “politics” and we should be under no illusion about the continued influence and power of the military) and about the fight to “speed up the unification of the fatherland.”  We should understand these possible changes in terms of the regime’s political warfare strategy and supporting influence operations.  Note these have only been removed from the preamble.  We need to assess the remainder of the document.  Also I have seen no reports that these concepts have been removed from the Constitution or other party documents.  But perhaps the regime is responding to our constant harping on understanding the regime’s nature, objectives, and strategy,  Maybe this is an attempt to play down its soingun nature, its unification objectives, and its political warfare strategy.  Again I would see this as simply a continuation of the political warfare strategy and a supporting attempted influence operation.  We should not be duped.

Excerpts: “Previously, only five standing members of the party’s politburo, including Kim, were entitled to preside over party meetings. Given that the title carries the word “first,” the position appears to carry the No. 2 status in the North.

Jo Yong-won, a close aide to Kim and current standing member of the politburo, appears to have been elected to the post, sources said.

Meanwhile, North Korea dropped the word “songun,” or military-first policy, in the preamble of the revised party rules, the sources said. Songun was the main policy that was pursued by Kim Jong-il, the late father of current leader Kim.

The North also deleted the expression that the party members “must actively fight to speed up the unification of the fatherland” as it elaborated on their duties.

Some see the change as suggesting that North Korea has given up its long-held push for the unification of the two Koreas and is now pursuing co-existence of two different states on the Korean Peninsula.

 

7. N. Korea slams countries for piling up excessive supply of vaccines amid shortage

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · June 1, 2021

But north Korea has done so well in preventing any COVID outbreak in the north according to their reporting.

Excerpts: “North Korea also criticized countries for engaging in “national egoism with the vaccine and making bottleneck for the mass production of it by seeking only for the profit.”

It then called on WHO to make an effort “for a thorough consideration in the moral and ethical phase of the health work to save the human life and for a removal of the global inequality.”

North Korea was initially expected to receive around 1.7 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 by May through the COVAX Facility program.

COVAX Facility, however, earlier announced a delay in providing the North with 1.704 million vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca.

 

8. S. Korea’s intelligence chief to return home after weeklong trip to U.S.: sources

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · June 1, 2021

I hope it was a productive visit.  Hopefully the sharing of intelligence has resulted in a common understanding of the Kim Family regime’s nature, objectives, and strategy.  Intelligence is crucial to inform policy and strategy.  It is also crucial to making sound strategy assumptions.  Will this trip help the ROK and US to gain sufficient alignment in the strategic assumptions about the north.  To me the contradictory views (strategic assumptions) about north Korea by the ROK and US are the single most critical point of disagreement and friction within the alliance.

 

9. Tracking changes at North Korea’s Camp 14 through satellite imagery

dailynk.com · June 1, 2021

Imagery at the link.

 

10. Seventh General Bureau official publicly executed for engaging in “corrupt construction practices”

dailynk.com · by Ha Yoon Ah · June 1, 2021

Excerpts:According to the source, the Discipline Inspection Department said the “satisfaction of self-interest” by a construction official “at the lead of the Supreme Leader’s politics of love” through abuse of his power “with no sense of duty or self-consciousness” represented a problem in his ideology. Accordingly, the department publicly tried and executed Ryu to make an example of him.

 

11. Korean firms ramp up spending on lobbying in US

The Korea Times  · by Baek Byung-yeul · June 1, 2021

Excerpts: “An industry official here gave a comment on Korean firms spending more to further their influence and expanding their presence the U.S.

“To do business in the U.S., there will be lobbying to the extent permitted by law. As the size of the business grows, it will naturally increase. When considering the size of the U.S. market, it is a natural thing that Korean firms are increasing spending on lobbying,” the official said. “Companies can also help develop local communities through lobbying activities.”

 

12. Using and buying consumer electronics in North Korea

The Korea Times · by Jon Dunbar · June 1, 2021

Good tradecraft by the author regarding his personal electronics (and even pocket litter!)

Some interesting insights on north Korean electronics.

 

13. South Korea says vaccine shipment to North Korea from Covax delayed again

Strait Times

 

14. Biden’s North Korea Policy: Has ‘Strategic Patience’ Returned? – Analysis

eurasiareview.com · by IPCS · June 1, 2021

 

15.  Kim Jong Un’s Plan to Make North Korea Great Again

19fortyfive.com · by ByEli Fuhrman · May 31, 2021

Party and ideology: The answer to every problem in north Korea.

Excerpts: “Such a spirit is necessary, according to Kim, if the country is to overcome the many challenges facing it at present.

Recently, Kim Jong Un has referred to those challenges, which spring from the combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as international sanctions, as necessitating the waging of another Arduous March, a reference to the deadly famine that ravaged the country during the 1990s.

In his letter, Kim also called on the GFTUK to increase the frequency of party-related activities and the intensity of ideological instruction and study sessions in order to avoid what he described as “politico-ideological degeneration” among its membership. Kim Jong Un has recently emphasized the need to eliminate “non-socialist” behaviors and activities, including in another letter written to attendees of the Tenth Congress of the country’s Youth League.

Kim has also placed a major emphasis on preventing the spread of foreign media into the country. Late last year, North Korea passed a law spelling out harsher penalties for those caught in possession of or distributing foreign content. The advent of new technologies, such as cell phone networks, have allowed for the development of new networks and means of sharing materials among North Koreans, even as the regime has attempted to coopt those networks for its own uses.

Kim Jong Un also appears intent on strengthening the role of the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK) and its control over the North Korea populace. Propaganda signs in various parts of the country have been altered to emphasize the party as opposed to Kim himself. During the WPK’s eighth party congress held earlier this year, the role of the party was strengthened further though a requirement that such congresses now be held every five years and a revision of party rules that, among other things, strengthened the role of the party’s Politburo in policy and personnel decisions.

 

16. South Korea’s New Aircraft Carrier Is Joining the Asian Naval Race

The National Interest · by Peter Suciu · June 1, 2021

I would rather see this funded than the pursuit of a nuclear powered submarine.

Excerpts:The light carrier could carry as many as twenty combat aircraft and eight maritime helicopters. South Korea has already expressed interest in the Lockheed Martin F-35B, the VSTOL variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, which would be ideally suited to such a new warship.

At issue however remains the cost. In addition to the investments in building the warship, which could exceed $1.8 billion, it has been reported that maintenance and operation of the fleet could cost around $180 million annually. However, the force projection and the ability to counter threats from North Korea are certainly worth every penny.

 

17.  Air Force weather squadron supporting Army in South Korea adds ‘combat’ to its name

Stars and Stripes · by David Choi · June 1, 2021

I could see some themes, messages, and memes that could come of this: e.g., The US wants to employ the weather for combat operations. The US is harnessing weather and climate change for military operations.  The north Korean Propaganda and Agitation Department could exploit this. 🙂 (if they do it will be entertaining!)

And then the commander’s name is Bourne – is he a relative of Jason?

All attempts at humor aside, I have worked with a lot of weather detachments and their forecasting has always been critical in support of operations.  I have great respect for the combat weather teams (and the special operations weather teams).

 

 

—————-

 

 

“And on this Memorial Day, we honor their legacy and their sacrifice. Duty, honor, country — they lived for it, they died for it. And we, as a nation, are eternally grateful. You know, America has been forged in the battle and the fires of war. Our freedom and the freedom of innumerable others has been secured by young men and women who answered the call of history and gave everything in the service of an idea: the idea of America. It’s the greatest idea in the long history of humankind. An idea that we’re all created equal in the image of Almighty God. That we’re all entitled to dignity, as my father would say, and respect, decency, and honor. Love of neighbor. They’re not empty words, but the vital, beating heart of our nation. And that democracy must be defended at all costs, for democracy makes all this possible. Democracy — that’s the soul of America, and I believe it’s a soul worth fighting for, and so do you; a soul worth dying for. Heroes who lie in eternal peace in this beautiful place, this sacred place, they believed that too. The soul of America is animated by the perennial battle between our worst instincts — which we’ve seen of late — and our better angels. Between “Me first” and “We the People.” Between greed and generosity, cruelty and kindness, captivity and freedom.”

-President Joseph Biden, Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Day 2021

 

“By and large, strategy comes into play where there is actual or potential conflict, when interests collide and forms of resolution are required. This is why a strategy is much more than a plan. A plan supposes a sequence of events that allows one to move with confidence from one state of affairs to another. Strategy is required when one might frustrate those plans.”

– Lawrence Freedman, Strategy: A History

 

“Without a word this uniform also whispers of freezing troops, injured bodies, and Americans left forever in foreign fields. It documents every serviceman’s courage, who by accepting this uniform, promises the one gift he truly has to give: his life. I wear my uniform for the heritage of sacrifice it represents and more. I wear my uniform with pride, for it represents the greatest nation of free people in the world.”

– Captain Karen Dorman Kimmel

DanielRiggs
Tue, 06/01/2021 – 9:13am

Special Operations News Update – Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Special Operations News Update – Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Access SOF News Update HERE

Curated news, analysis, and commentary about special operations, national security, and conflicts around the world. SOF’s armed overwatch program, CA teams and RAA, Palantir contract, JADC2, MARSOC’s backpack SIGINT system, ST airman remembered, The Fat Ladies Arms, NK’s commandos, joining UK’s SAS, OSS influence on SF, ST Idaho – missing in Laos, Russians in Africa, upcoming SOF events, books, videos, and podcasts.

Dave Maxwell
Tue, 06/01/2021 – 7:05am

Infographic: The Narco Hybrid-Threat – An Analysis of Case Studies

Infographic: The Narco Hybrid-Threat – An Analysis of Case Studies

Infographic: The Narco Hybrid-Threat – An Analysis of Case Studies

This infographic expands upon the discussion of hybrid threats found in Paulina Rios Maya’s paper “The Narco Hybrid-Threat” at Small Wars Journal. That paper posited that the rapid development of tactics used by Mexican narco-cartels has allowed these organisations to build a solid structure of influence. Those  entities have amplified their efforts to coerce the state while increasing their capacity to dislocate social life and erode state institutions. Her paper concluded that criminal cartel’s posed hybrid threats. 

The infographic can be viewed at Paulina Rios Maya and Laurence Raine. “Infographic: The Narco Hybrid-Threat – An Analysis of Case Studies” at Academia.edu.  The original source is Paulina Rios Maya, “The Narco Hybrid-Threat.” Small Wars Journal. 18 March 2021.

 

ZFTWARNING
Sat, 05/29/2021 – 11:42pm

Irregular Warfare Podcast: Irregular Warfare in the Next World War

Irregular Warfare Podcast: Irregular Warfare in the Next World War

Mon, 05/24/2021 – 8:54pm

An interview with Admiral (Retired) James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman

“What would a conflict with China look like? How will irregular warfare fit into a conflict before and during large-scale combat operations? Retired Admiral James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman join this episode of the Irregular Warfare Podcast to discuss the theme of escalation to large-scale conflict, which they explore in their New York Times best seller 2034: A Novel of the Next World War. In answering those questions, they emphasize the nature of human behavior in conflict and how escalation can get out of control.

The novel follows the escalation of the next world war, beginning in the South China Sea. In the episode, the authors explain several key contributions that special operations forces would make in the type of conflict their novel imagines. They argue that a crucial advantage the United States has is its close relationships with partners and allies in the region—relationships that special operations forces foster before conflict—and that these forces’ direct-action capabilities will be invaluable during conflict. While both guests make clear that the book is a work of fiction, it is a cautionary tale for policymakers on how escalation could lead to a nuclear conflict.”

https://mwi.usma.edu/irregular-warfare-in-the-next-world-war/

Special Operations News Update – Monday, May 24, 2021

Special Operations News Update – Monday, May 24, 2021

Access SOF News HERE.

Curated news, analysis, and commentary about special operations, national security, and conflicts around the world. Future of SOF, new training parachute, UK Ranger Regiment to Somalia, SOCNorth, Israeli SOF, NATO to train Afghan SOF, Navy’s Sealion, Army’s ‘woke’ recruiting video, and more.

Dave Maxwell
Mon, 05/24/2021 – 8:19am

President Biden Awards the Medal of Honor to Army Colonel Ralph Puckett

President Biden Awards the Medal of Honor to Army Colonel Ralph Puckett

Access the video of the ceremony HERE.

 

It as a very moving ceremony.  What an American hero.  And this was especially poignant and unique with the President of the Republic of Korea especially because South Korea is known for honoring and recognizing to this day all those who fought for its freedom.

I was so worried Colonel Puckett was going to lose his balance during the reading of the citation as it was so long.  But notice how he pushed away the walker from the military aide and continued to “stand tall and look good!”

The ceremony does not begin until the 42 minute mark on the video so scroll ahead.

 

Dave Maxwell
Sat, 05/22/2021 – 1:04pm

Call for Book Chapters: Human Trafficking in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: A Comparative and Historical Analysis

Call for Book Chapters: Human Trafficking in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: A Comparative and Historical Analysis

Call for Book Chapters

Human Trafficking in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: A Comparative and Historical Analysis

Editors: Michael R. Hall, José de Arimatéia da Cruz, and Sabella O. Abidde

The purpose of this project is to provide a comparative and historical assessment of Human Trafficking in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Although there is media coverage and academic literature on the subject, none provide a multiregional perspective or understanding of this global problem. Human trafficking is not a new phenomenon—a phenomenon that includes many types of forced movements and imprisonment across national and international borders for prostitution, perverse sexual activities, forced labor, domestic servitude, child soldiers, and the harvesting of body organs. Significantly, most victims of human trafficking have been women and children.

According to the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report (2019): “Each instance of human trafficking takes a common toll; each crime is an affront to the basic ideas of human dignity, inflicting grievous harm on individuals, as well as on their families and communities.” The global community, individually, and under the tutelage of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has for several years been combating Human Trafficking. According to its Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (2018): “There remain significant knowledge gaps related to the patterns and flows of trafficking in persons,” and that many countries of the world “still lack sufficient capacity to record and share data on trafficking in persons.” This is so because, for the most part, the activities of human traffickers are shrouded in secrecy and many victims are ashamed to speak up publicly for fear of retribution or retribution against their family and friends.

In addition, many people do not have a clear understanding of this dangerous and alarming atrocity—an atrocity the UN asserts is at a “record high.” No part of the world is exempt from these illicit and reprehensible activities being perpetrated by a diverse population that includes criminal organizations, labor agents, organ harvesters, family members, and a web of formal and informal groups and individuals often motivated by financial inducements. This comparative study examines Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean—a region with shared experiences and similar economic and political aspirations—to make a systematic comparison of human trafficking in terms of its perpetrators, targets, and impact.

We invite academic scholars, members of civil society; and activists to submit chapters that aid in our understanding of human trafficking within and across the three regions. We have listed a few potential chapters but interested contributors may suggest topics in their field of expertise that are not so listed but which fall within the scope of the book. We anticipate a vast array of case studies based on individual areas of research and scholarship examining individual countries or regions.

POTENTIAL CHAPTER TOPICS

I. Human Trafficking Theory

  • Theorizing human trafficking
  • The roots human trafficking in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean
  • Overview of contemporary human trafficking
  • The human cost of human trafficking     
  • The economic cost of human trafficking
  • Globalization and human trafficking

II. Case Studies of Human Trafficking

  • Sex trafficking in Mexican cantinas
  • Child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo/Africa
  • Sex tourism in the Dominican Republic or the Caribbean in general
  • Organ harvesting in Guatemala or Latin America in general
  • Debt bondage in Ghana or a region of Africa
  • Arranged child marriages in Niger or a region of Africa  
  • Ukuthwala in South Africa

III. Transnational Responses to Human Trafficking

  • The OAS and Human Trafficking
  • The African Union and Human Trafficking
  • Human trafficking and the United Nations
  • International law and human trafficking
  • Social media and human trafficking
  • Human rights groups and human trafficking

FORMATTING/CITATION/DUE DATES

  • Submit a 300 to 350 word abstract and a 150 to 200-word bio (about the author) by 1 August 2021. You will be notified of acceptance or rejection of your abstract on 15 August 2021.     
  • The completed chapter—9,000 to 9,500 words—is due 30 January 2022.
  • For formatting/citation, please adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style (no in text citations, use endnotes and provide bibliography).
  • Send the abstract, author biography, and general inquiries to jdacruz@georgiasouthern.edu and please cc the co-editors mrhall@georgiasouthern.edu and sabidde@gmail.com.

ABOUT THE EDITORS

Michael R. Hall is a professor of history in the department of history at Georgia Southern University. He holds an M.A. in International Studies and a PhD in History from Ohio University. He is the author of Sugar and Power in the Dominican Republic: Eisenhower, Kennedy and the Trujillos (2000); “Ethnic Conflict in Mexico: The Zapatista Army of National Liberation” in Santosh C. Saha, Ed., Perspectives on Contemporary Ethnic Conflict: Primal Violence or the Politics of Conviction (2006); Historical Dictionary of Haiti (2012); and “Castro and Cabral: Cuban Assistance in the Struggle for Independence in Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde” in Sabella Abidde and Charity Manyeruke, Eds. Fidel Castro and Africa’s Liberation Struggle (2020). He is the Book Review Editor of the Journal of Global South Studies.

José de Arimatéia da Cruz is a professor of international relations and international studies in the department of political science & international studies at Georgia Southern University, Georgia. He holds a PhD in political science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Dr. Cruz is a former Research Professor at the US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute; and a Research Fellow at the Brazil Research Unit Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA). Visiting Professor at the Department of International and Diplomatic Studies Prague School of Economics and Business. He is the co-author of “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 10: Military Takes Control of Policing in Rio de Janeiro,” Small Wars Journal, 23 February 2018; and “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 9: Concerns About Potential Gang Influence on Upcoming Brazilian Elections,” Small Wars Journal, 25 January 2018. He is a Small Wars Journal-El Centro Fellow.

Sabella O. Abidde is a professor of political science at Alabama State University. He holds an M.A. in political science from Minnesota State University Mankato, and a PhD in African Studies, World Affairs, Public Policy and Development Studies from Howard University. His edited volumes on Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean include The Challenges of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (2021); Fidel Castro and Africa’s Liberation Struggle (2020); and Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: The Case for Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation (2018). He is a member of the Association of Global South Studies (AGSS); the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA); the Latin American Studies Association (LASA); and the African Studies/Research Forum (ASRF).

ZFTWARNING
Thu, 05/20/2021 – 12:01am

Call for Book Chapters: Terrorism in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis

Call for Book Chapters: Terrorism in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis

Call for Book Chapters

Terrorism in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis

Editors: José de Arimatéia da Cruz, Michael Hall, and Sabella O. Abidde

In the 1970s and 1980s, while terrorism was common in Europe, the US was largely isolated from these attacks—except perhaps against its national interests, buildings, and citizens within the US. But within a decade, there was the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York; the extrajudicial act that maimed dozens of people during the 1996 Summer Olympics; and the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh. However, it was the September 11, 2001, heinous acts that focused the US on the insidiousness of terrorism. The African continent was like that in the sense that except for low-intensity conflicts, ethnic and religious conflicts, resource conflicts, and national wars, the continent was, for the most part, unmindful to classical terrorism.

But all that changed in the post-9/11 environment when terrorist groups based in the Middle East exported their ideologies, angst, and aspiration to the continent. These groups—Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Al-Shabaab—operates within the continent’s political, religious, cultural, and social space. Boko Haram, operating primarily within Nigerian, was a fringe anti-western and anti-globalization sect that morphed into a bloodletting and terror machine. We have in Latin America groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC); the National Liberation Army (ELN); and the Shining Path (SL). While some groups are moribund, others have disbanded. The Caribbean Island nations, on the other hand, is not known for big-name terrorist organizations even if it had suffered terrorism in the past. What is more common in the region, however, are political violence and cybersecurity incidences.

While all terrorist activities are criminal; not all criminal activities are terrorism. Relatedly, there is the belief that the actions of a state—in pursuit of its national security objectives—cannot be considered terrorism. This is a fallacy because, states, in the pursuit of certain objectives, do indeed cause death and destructions. A heinous as it may be terrorism serves several goals—including economic, religious, social, and political. At other times, it is a tool for the weak, the oppressed, and the exploited to maintain or retain their humanity. Increasingly, however—especially since the post-9/11 world—terrorism is seen as cruel criminal, and untenable. It is also one of those phenomena that, for the most part, has been challenging in terms of an exact definition. Nonetheless, since 2003, there have been no fewer than a dozen conventions and protocols related to states’ obligations in combating and curtailing terrorism.

The purpose of this book, therefore, is to offer a comparative assessment of terrorism in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. We require that scholars engage in a cross-regional analysis of terrorism. The three regions have many proximities in terms of their history of slavery and colonialism, underdevelopment, and shared experiences in terms of their role and place within the Global South. A concerted and systemic effort at understanding terrorism in the three spheres will aid in our understanding of national security, national interest, foreign policy, governance and institutions, and the role and place of these emerging regions within the international system. And while we have listed some topics, scholars who are interested in the project may suggest topics so long as their area of interest falls within the overall theme of this project.

Suggested topics are: 

POTENTIAL CHAPTER TOPICS:

I. CONCEPTUALIZING TERRORISM

1. What is Terrorism?

2. An Overview of Terrorist Groups

3. The Modern Origins of Terrorism

4. Terrorism in a Post-9/11 Environment

5. The Human, Economic, and Environmental Cost of Terrorism

6. The Media and Terrorism

II. DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

7. Terrorists and their Global Networks

8. Criminal Syndicates and Terrorists

9. Domestics Laws and International Conventions

III. NON-TRADITIONAL SOURCES OF TERRORISM

10. Drugs, Weapons, and Terrorists

11. Terrorists and Telecommunications

12. Sympathizers and Sponsors of Terrorism

13. Women, Children, and Terrorism

FORMATTING/CITATION/DUE DATES:

  • Submit a 300 to 350 word abstract and a 150 to 200-word bio (about the author) by 1 August 2021. You will be notified of acceptance or rejection of your abstract on 15 August 2021.
  • The completed chapter—9,000 to 9,500 words—is due 30 January 2022.
  • For formatting/citation, please adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style (no in-text citations, use endnotes and provide bibliography).
  • Send the abstract, author biography, and general inquiries to jdacruz@georgiasouthern.edu and please cc the co-editors mrhall@georgiasouthern.edu and sabidde@gmail.com.

ABOUT THE EDITORS

José de Arimatéia da Cruz is a professor of international relations and international studies in the department of political science & international studies at Georgia Southern University, Georgia. He holds a PhD in political science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Dr. Cruz is a former Research Professor at the US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute; and a Research Fellow at the Brazil Research Unit Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA). Visiting Professor at the Department of International and Diplomatic Studies Prague School of Economics and Business. He is the co-author of “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 10: Military Takes Control of Policing in Rio de Janeiro,” Small Wars Journal, 23 February 2018; and “Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 9: Concerns About Potential Gang Influence on Upcoming Brazilian Elections,” Small Wars Journal, 25 January 2018. He is a Small Wars Journal-El Centro Fellow. 

Michael Hall is a professor of history in the department of history at Georgia Southern University, Savannah, GA. He holds a B.A. in History – Gettysburg College; M.A. in International Studies – Ohio University; and a PhD in History, Ohio University. He is the author of “Ethnic Conflict in Mexico: The Zapatista Army of National Liberation” in Santosh C. Saha, Ed. Perspectives on Contemporary Ethnic Conflict: Primal Violence or the Politics of Conviction (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006); Historical Dictionary of Haiti (Scarecrow Press, 2012); and “Castro and Cabral: Cuban Assistance in the Struggle for Independence in Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde” in Sabella Abidde and Charity Manyeruke, Eds. Fidel Castro and Africa’s Liberation Struggle (Lexington Books, 2020). Dr. Hall is the Book Review Editor, Journal of Global South Studies.

Sabella O. Abidde is a professor of political science at Alabama State University. He holds an MA in political science from Minnesota State University Mankato, and a PhD in African Studies, World Affairs, Public Policy and Development Studies from Howard University. His edited volumes on Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean include The Challenges of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Springer, 2021); Fidel Castro and Africa’s Liberation Struggle (Lexington, 2020); and Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean: The Case for Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation (Lexington Books, 2018). He is a member of the Association of Global South Studies (AGSS); the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA); the Latin American Studies Association (LASA); and the African Studies/Research Forum (ASRF).

ZFTWARNING
Wed, 05/19/2021 – 10:52pm

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Early May

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Early May

Access the tracker HERE

May 18, 2021 | FDD Tracker: May 1–May 18, 2021

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: Early May

Jonathan Schanzer

Senior Vice President for Research

Welcome back to FDD’s Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker, where our experts and scholars assess the administration’s foreign policy every two weeks. We task them to determine trendlines of very positive, positive, neutral, negative, or very negative for the areas they study. Dominating the headlines right now is the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The White House appears to be giving Israel a free hand to deal with Hamas – a generally positive development. Our analysts see some other bright spots as well. But it is not all good news. The administration’s performance has been downgraded in a number of areas, such as China, Cyber, the Gulf, and more. Keep reading below for our latest assessment.

Dave Maxwell
Tue, 05/18/2021 – 1:57pm

Special Operations News Update – Monday, May 17, 2021

Special Operations News Update – Monday, May 17, 2021

Access SOF News HERE.

Special Operations News Update – Monday, May 17, 2021

Curated news, analysis, and commentary about special operations, national security, and conflicts around the world. Drones for SOF, Arctic and special operations, Navy’s SOF helicopter unit, Green Beret gets 15 years for spying, R-SOCC reaches IOC, international SOF, some SOF history, ‘Armed Overwatch’ program, signature reduction for clandestine ops, Chris Miller (former SECDEF) on Jan 6th, IO, IW, and more.

Dave Maxwell
Mon, 05/17/2021 – 1:05pm

05/17/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

05/17/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. Poll: Biden Gets High Marks for Foreign Policy

2. Toward a New Naval Statecraft (INDOPACIFIC)

3. DOD Lifts Mask Mandate for Fully Vaccinated Personnel

4. MQ-9 Reaper: The only option for SOCOM’s ‘armed overwatch’ role

5. Off the rails: Trump’s failed 11th-hour military withdrawal campaign

6. America’s return to ‘Clash of Civilizations’

7. Will the cyber mission force soon receive more personnel?

8. Taiwan at the Nexus of Technology and Geopolitics

9. Population-Centric Cybersecurity: Lessons from Counterinsurgency

10. Urgent: Replacing the Inherited US National Defence ‘Strategy’

11. America’s Maoist Maritime Strategy To Beat China in a War

12. ‘No More Fruit’ In Army’s Budget Tree: McConville

13. SOFWERX Exploring New Arctic Tech for Commandos

14.  The Pentagon Inches Toward Letting AI Control Weapons

15. FDD | What We’re Learning About China’s Use of Social Media for Propaganda

16. China’s Land Grab in Bhutan Is the New Face of War

17. JBLM unit’s new night-vision equipment generating buzz online for otherworldly images

18. Dirty Little Wars – America’s Long History of Fighting Asymmetrical Conflicts

19. Why the suspicion on China’s Wuhan lab virus is growing. Read these new analyses

20. ‘Quad should morph into economic NATO to counter China coercion’

21. How Much Do Navy SEALs and Other Special Ops Make?

22. ‘The Indispensables’ Review: Washington’s Marbleheaders

 

1. Poll: Biden Gets High Marks for Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy · May 14, 2021

While this sounds good note the disparity between IR scholars and the public.  This makes those scholars and the academy suspect and appear biased in the minds of many in the public.  We should keep in mind that one of the talking points of the administration is a foreign policy for the people – “a middle class foreign policy.”

Excerpts:After nearly four months in office, U.S. President Joe Biden already enjoys strong public approval ratings for his handling of foreign policy. So far, international relations (IR) experts agree: In fact, the president’s approval remains higher among scholars than among the larger U.S. public.

Taken together, these results suggest that IR experts are optimistic that Biden can be a consequential foreign-policy president if he is able to build on his early initiatives. In his first 100 days, he has focused on issues in which he has unilateral authority, but he has begun work on a number of foreign-policy initiatives that may need cooperation from Congress. The larger partisan divides among the public remind us that polarization will likely constrain Biden’s ability to deliver on these efforts and build to a durable foreign-policy legacy.

Poll: Biden Gets High Marks for Foreign Policy

A survey of academics shows early and overwhelming support for the U.S. president, but he will be tested by China, Russia, and national security issues.

 

2. Toward a New Naval Statecraft (INDOPACIFIC)

defenseone.com · by Brent D. Sadler

Conclusion: “All said, the dangers in maritime Asia are no longer a distant concern; they are here today, and very real. Both the outgoing and current Indo-Pacific commanders, Admirals Davidson and Aquilino, recently testified as much, commenting on the likelihood of China triggering a conflict in the next six years.

To deter the growing Chinese armada arrayed against us requires more than matching numbers in arsenals and fleets. We must grow our fleet while also rethinking naval operations in a wider diplomatic and economic context. We need a new naval statecraft: one that leverages and enables naval presence while demonstrating the economic benefits for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

 

3.  DOD Lifts Mask Mandate for Fully Vaccinated Personnel

defenseone.com · by Elizabeth Howe

 

4. MQ-9 Reaper: The only option for SOCOM’s ‘armed overwatch’ role

militarytimes.com · by Dr. Michael Vickers · May 15, 2021

Excerpts:The MQ-9 Reaper — a name that strikes fear into the hearts of America’s enemies because it is always there, always watching, and always ready — has been the armed overwatch platform of choice in every challenge it has faced: Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria, Libya, and other areas of armed conflict. Commanders using MQ-9s in Libya reported that 70 percent of Reaper strikes were “danger-close” CAS missions requiring precise targeting and limited collateral damage for shots as close as 25 meters to friendly forces.

The MQ-9 is tailor-made for SOCOM’s Armed Overwatch role. With nearly 7 million hours in operation, most of them in combat supporting U.S. and allied forces around the world, the aircraft proved themselves long ago. Their utility and reliability grows with each new upgrade and modification, ensuring they’ll continue to be lethal and relevant for many years more.

The MQ-9 is a well-established, existing line of aircraft. That means no need for a costly, complex new program aimed at developing a separate, less capable Armed Overwatch aircraft that must rely on aerial refueling and a bit of luck to guarantee success.

 

5. Off the rails: Trump’s failed 11th-hour military withdrawal campaign

Axios · by Jonathan Swan,Zachary Basu

An incredible story.  I wonder if this is accurate.

 

6. America’s return to ‘Clash of Civilizations’

militarytimes.com · by Ryan Ashley and Alex Barker · May 15, 2021

I remember being in CGSC in 1994-1995 and the two articles I think all students had to read were Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” and Kaplan’s “Coming Anarchy.”  We debated the theses of both articles often in various classes.

Excerpts: “Professional Military Education (PME) must play a role in developing more nuanced, diverse perspectives on China among senior staff. We are receptive to arguments that PME must do more than teach military history, and believe that officers should be exposed to the culture and politics of our adversaries on forums other than cable news. Our experiences show us that while teaching culture, avoiding generalized statements by using imperfect but rigorous models like Geert Hofstede’s Six Dimensions of Culture improves both dialogue and student outcomes.

Whether in the 1980s towards Japan or today towards China, culturally essentialist commentary has the dual distinction of being both stereotypical and unhelpful. Those who study China should seek out holistic perspectives on China, including those on Chinese culture. However, the resurgence of Orientalism masquerading as informed analysis has dangerous repercussions. It is no accident that a rise in racism directed at Asian Americans over the past year has come at the same time as anti-Asian rhetoric in American politics. Racist violence towards Americans is tragic, morally repugnant, and a stain on America’s reputation at a critical geopolitical moment. For reasons of morality, accuracy, and effectiveness, commentators must do better than reheat old racist stereotypes when analyzing China.

 

7. Will the cyber mission force soon receive more personnel?

c4isrnet.com · by Mark Pomerleau · May 14, 2021

Will more personnel improve our cyber capabilities?  Interesting comments about the Space Force and Cyber.

Excerpts: “The creation of the Space Force and Space Command adds more ground for Cyber Command to cover. The way the cyber force is staffed within the DoD is that each of the services are responsible for providing a set number of teams — offensive, defensive and intelligence/support teams — to the joint cyber mission force.

In turn, these teams are led by a Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber, which are headed by each of the service cyber component commanders, who them plan, synchronize and conduct operations for the combatant commands to which they’re assigned. The 16th Air Force and its Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber component takes responsibility for Space Command, which is in the process of creating its own Joint Cyber Center to create a tighter linkage with Cyber Command.

While all the services provide an allotted number of forces to Cyber Command through the cyber mission force, officials to date have said there are no plans for Space Force to provide cyber mission force contributions. Instead, officials have noted that they need specialized, serviced-retained cyber personnel to defend their critical assets, such as ground stations, from cyberattacks.

Adversaries are now using cyberspace in ways that weren’t necessarily imagined when the force was initially conceived. Namely, they’ve discovered they can conduct operations below the threshold of war to undermine U.S. national security and not draw a significant response.

“We have to have that balance of not only, what we are going to support our fellow combatant commands if conflict was to break out, but also if our adversaries are operating below the level of armed conflict every single day, what type of force do we need to be able to ensure that we can counteract that,” Nakasone said.

 

8. Taiwan at the Nexus of Technology and Geopolitics

thediplomat.com · by Ian Bremmer · May 14, 2021

Excerpts:China has certainly been willing to incur widespread diplomatic opprobrium in the defense of its declared national interests; witness its mass internment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang and its suppression of pro-democracy activism in Hong Kong. An attack on Taiwan would risk vastly more, including massive military damage and punishing economic sanctions – not to mention significant technological setbacks, as a U.S.-China armed conflict would imperil TSMC’s operations.

The tightening nexus of geopolitics and geotechnology will constrain Taiwan’s freedom of maneuver and make U.S.-China competition increasingly fraught. But Taipei’s core challenge is not a near-term crisis. Its central imperative instead lies in resisting a conclusion that China would prefer to impress upon it without a fight: namely, that its de facto reabsorption into Beijing is merely a matter of time.

 

9. Population-Centric Cybersecurity: Lessons from Counterinsurgency

mwi.usma.edu · by Emma Schroeder · May 17, 2021

The title has antibodies and will cause many to not read this.  It harkens to a time when insurgency was everything and the misguided belief among some that COIN was the answer to every security problem.

But set that aside and read this thought provoking essay.

Conclusion: “However, the United States can succeed in the cyber domain. To do so, it should accept the operational dynamics of the domain and engage to compete more effectively with adversaries. Emphasis should be placed on finding ways to encourage cooperation and codify relationships between the private and public sectors. Research and development efforts should focus on continuous innovation and rapid deployment of tactical countermeasures to shift the cyber landscape in favor of the defense, denying adversaries the ability to operate on their own terms. Organizations should rethink how they prioritize protecting their assets by first identifying and securing the assets of highest value to the adversary and then focusing resources on defending assets of internal value to the organization. And when a breach does, inevitably, occur, organizations should be quick to detect, remediate, and adapt systems to prevent similar security failures in the future. Failure is inevitable and obvious when it happens, but success in the cyber domain is incremental and less visible. To succeed, the United States should embrace failure as a growth concept and fully accept that defenses are not ubiquitous. Failing enables organizations to adapt their mitigation efforts to better manage risk by focusing on vulnerable points of strategic value to the adversary. Developing a cyber strategy that is more informed by the theoretical tenets of counterinsurgency is a step toward an operationally sound and adaptive approach to cybersecurity.

 

10. Urgent: Replacing the Inherited US National Defence ‘Strategy’

rusi.org · May 13, 2021

Quite a critique of the 2018 NDS.  

A very thought provoking essay, especially the discussion of the character and nature of war and “perpetual” great power competition as zero sum.  Note the author’s positive treatment of alliances in the NDS.

A serious question: Have any NSS or NDS in the past three to four decades ever really by a strategy in the truest sense – e.g. with assumptions, ends, ways, and means, prioritization of resources, and risk assessment.  Almost all have been more like aspirational “vision” documents.

 

11. America’s Maoist Maritime Strategy To Beat China in a War

19fortyfive.com · by James Holmes · May 15, 2021

A very interesting essay from Professor Holmes.

Excerpts: “There is a wrinkle here, though. What happens when you pit Maoists against Maoists—when, in other words, both combatants join the fray assuming they’re outmatched? This is a real possibility, and one Mao Zedong says little if anything about. Considering its statement of fealty in China’s Military Strategy, the PLA will probably remain true to its Maoist active-defense strategy. The allies will do the same if they heed the counsel compiled here. A cumulative-on-cumulative struggle would probably place a premium on guile, deception, and maneuver as each force sought to arrange local actions in which it held the tactical advantage. A mêlée of some sort would convulse the China seas and Western Pacific.

That might seem to imply that the competitors will pursue symmetrical campaigns against each other, but that need not be the case. There are many varieties of cumulative operations. Plus, maritime warfare is a three-dimensional, intensely joint, multidomain endeavor nowadays. Dueling Maoists might concentrate their cumulative efforts in areas where they hold an competitive advantage, in hopes their efforts will yield outsized impact on the foe. At a guess the allies would put the accent on undersea and irregular combat along the first island chain, where plugging up straits and blocking east-west movement between Chinese home waters and the high seas would assume top priority. The PLA might well reply mainly in the aerospace domain, using shore-based missiles and aircraft to pummel allied surface forces and ground troops.

In short, a Maoist-on-Maoist war might be a asymmetric affair involving asymmetrical methods, platforms, and weaponry. One imagines wargamers in military and civilian think tanks would profit from probing the likely dynamics of such a conflict.

 

12.‘No More Fruit’ In Army’s Budget Tree: McConville

breakingdefense.com · by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

Excerpts: “Those top two categories – about 65 programs, 11 percent of the Army total — get half the equipping budget, Pasquarette said. The enduring and legacy programs – over 500 of them – have to split the other 50 percent.

“Those are sometimes called the ‘unloved,’” he said. (In the 2022 budget, he said, the split is more like 47% vs. 53%, but it shifts to exactly 50:50 over time). “[They’re] in a very precarious position…. We’ve taken schwacks at them three years in a row in some instances, and they are not sexy, they’re not a hypersonic missile that flies thousands of kilometers.”

 

13. SOFWERX Exploring New Arctic Tech for Commandos

nationaldefensemagazine.org · by Jon Harper · May 17, 2021

The right equipment is critical in cold weather environments.

 

14. The Pentagon Inches Toward Letting AI Control Weapons

Wired · by Will Knight

This will certainly cause controversy.

 

15. FDD | What We’re Learning About China’s Use of Social Media for Propaganda

fdd.org · by Thomas Joscelyn · May 14, 2021

Excerpts:The CCP’s diplomatic assault on Twitter is relatively new. Most of the diplomats’ accounts were registered in the past two years. This development is part of the CCP’s aggressive “wolf warrior” diplomacy, which seeks to harass and intimidate Beijing’s opponents. The CCP is likely experimenting with Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms to see what it can accomplish without serious repercussions. For example, the Oxford Internet Institute produced a separate case study on China’s experimentation with accounts targeting the UK.

And a separate study published by ProPublica last year documented how the CCP has created an army of fake accounts, some of which were hacked and hijacked from real users, to spread propaganda online. The messaging dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, protests in Hong Kong and other topics Beijing finds to be politically sensitive.

We are still in the early stages of understanding how disinformation and propaganda are spread in the era of social media. So, this is one of those topics that will require careful, ongoing analysis. We know this: The CCP is analyzing and experimenting with social media in the West, looking for ways to influence opinions.

 

16. China’s Land Grab in Bhutan Is the New Face of War

Bloomberg · by Hal Brands · May 16, 2021

Excerpts: “And make no mistake: Russia and China do not like being hemmed in by American alliances and military power. That’s why they’ve been developing capabilities that might give them a good shot at defeating the U.S. military in the Baltic region, the Black Sea or the Taiwan Strait.

What keeps the world relatively orderly is not the absence of malign intentions but fear of the consequences that aggressive action will bring. The increase of gray-zone expansion by China and Russia indicates that this fear is slowly ebbing.

Land grabs in Ukraine, the South China Sea or even the Himalayas are troubling in their own right. They are more worrying still for what they reveal about an international order that is fraying at the edges.

 

17. JBLM unit’s new night-vision equipment generating buzz online for otherworldly images

News Tribune · Abbie Shull

A fascinating video at the link.

 

18.  Dirty Little Wars – America’s Long History of Fighting Asymmetrical Conflicts

militaryhistorynow.com · May 17, 2021

I think we need to be reminded of this from time to time.

 

19.  Why the suspicion on China’s Wuhan lab virus is growing. Read these new analyses

theprint.in · May 17, 2021

I previously forwarded the Bulletin with the referenced article.

 

20. ‘Quad should morph into economic NATO to counter China coercion’

in.news.yahoo.com  · May 16, 2021

Everyone wants a “NATO.”  But such a security organization is highly unlikely in Asia. I agree the focus needs to be on the economic instrument of power among the like minded nations and protecting the rules-based international order.

 

21. How Much Do Navy SEALs and Other Special Ops Make?

In.finance.yahoo.com · by Nicole Spector

Somehow I do not think these guys do it for the money.

 

22. ‘The Indispensables’ Review: Washington’s Marbleheaders

WSJ · by Mark G. Spencer

A new book from my fellow OSS Society board member.  He is a prolific author who writes some great American history.

 

23. Op-Ed: ‘Grand strategy’ has a bad rep. To fix it, get beyond hard power and traditional statecraft

Los Angeles Times  · Christopher McKnight Nichols and David Greenberg · May 16, 2021

And competitive statecraft.

 

————–

 

“As authority increases, however, so does self-consciousness. With more people watching, practice becomes performance. Reputations now matter, narrowing the freedom to be flexible. Leaders who’ve reached the top…can become prisoners of their own preeminence: they lock themselves into roles from which they can’t escape.” 

– John Lewis Gaddis, On Grand Strategy

 

“Understand: your mind is weaker than your emotions. But you become aware of this weakness only in moments of adversity–precisely the time when you need strength. What best equips you to cope with tthe heat of battle is neither more knowledge nor more intellect. What makes your mind stronger, and more able to control your emotions, is internal discipline and toughness.No one can teach you this skill; you cannot learn it by reading about it. Like any discipline, it can come only through practice, experience, even a little suffering. The first step in building up presence of mind is to see the need for ii — to want it badly enough to be willing to work for it.”

– Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies of War

 

For whoever habitually suppresses the truth in the interests of tact will produce a deformity from the womb of his thought.

-Sir Basil H. Liddel-Hart (Strategy, 1954)

DanielRiggs
Mon, 05/17/2021 – 10:01am

05/17/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

05/17/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. North Korean document reveals that Kim never aimed to denuclearize

2.  Leaked Document on North Korea’s Nuclear Policy

3. South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in’s successes on the North issue

4. Moon says COVID-19 vaccine issue to be addressed in his upcoming U.S. visit

5. USFK offers to provide COVID-19 vaccines to S. Korea: sources

6. N. Korea’s food situation isn’t as bad as it appears: expert

7. N. Korean authorities emphasize “reporting of illegal behavior” to prevent spread of external information

8. North Korea moves forward with two-phased construction plan for border fences, barriers

9. Foreign ministry revs up preparations to launch S. Korea-China cooperation panel

10. Foreign ministry denies report linking S. Korea-Japan ties to U.S. policy on N.K.

11. Hyundai to Make Electric Cars in U.S.

12. Moon has $35 billion investment package for Biden

13. With Biden’s help, Korea and Japan make nicer

14. Gyeonggi to crack down on flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets

15. Expectations grow on Korea-US summit

16. Seoul wants Washington to reaffirm Singapore agreement during summit

17. US-China row pressing Korean firms on investment

 

1.  North Korean document reveals that Kim never aimed to denuclearize

onekoreanetwork.com · May 16, 2021

Although this is not the first report of this document, this is the first English translation of the document and it was translated by an escapee who is a good friend and whom I trust, Hyun Seong Lee. See the document here (and I will send via separate message as well).

Excerpt: “The Voice of America earlier reported on some parts of the document in June 2019, and this attracted media attention in both the United States and South Korea. At that time, a State Department spokesperson told VOA that “President Trump remains committed to the goals the two leaders set out at the Singapore summit of transformed U.S.-North Korea relations, building lasting peace, and complete denuclearization.” The spokesperson continued, “As President Trump has said, he believes Chairman Kim will fulfill his commitment to denuclearize.”

 

It is not without controversy and there are skeptics. 

In South Korea, there were slightly different reactions to the report at that time. South Korea’s Unification Ministry said it was aware of the report but that its authenticity needed to be verified. Kim Yeon-chul, South Korean Unification Minister in 2019, said that “the government is reviewing how much we can trust the purpose of the document, but this process is not easy.”

Cheong Seong-chang, a North Korea expert at the Sejong Institute in Seoul, argued that the document was missing key elements and that the format of the date is also “non-standard.” He said some similar lecture documents he obtained had “internal only” printed on the first page, but that the document reported by the VOA was missing this wording.

He also argued that the People’s Army Publishing Company is the one that typically publishes such lecture documents, instead of the Korean Workers’ Party Publishing Company. “Considering how North Korea behaved in the denuclearization negotiation ahead of the Hanoi summit, the contents of the document could be true,” he said. “However, there were many fake lecture documents reported by the media, so the authenticity needs to be verified carefully.”

Lee Hyun-seung, regional director of the One Korea Network, who closely examined the document prior to the VOA’s first report in 2019, said that debating its authenticity is meaningless, if not ridiculous. “Internal documents used during lectures are collected by senior party officials or are incinerated afterward,” he said. In this case, it is certain that “(o)ne of the people who participated in the lecture at that time copied photos of the document and took them with him outside.”

Lee defected from North Korea in 2014 and now lives in the United States. He had previously worked in a trading business owned by the North Korean government and lived for a time in Dalian, China. His father is Ri Jong-ho, who worked for North Korea’s Office 39, the Workers’ Party operation known for raising money for Kim through illicit activities. Ri said he attended training lectures similar to the ones mentioned in the document, and that the fact that the document was published by the Korean Workers’ Party means that it directly reflects Kim Jong-un’s thoughts and the ideology of the party.

“It makes no sense that someone would try to make some 10 page long [fake] document,” Lee Hyun-seung said. “I have seen many other propaganda materials, including North Korea’s internal documents talking about becoming a nuclear state and striking a final deal.”

 

2. Leaked Document on North Korea’s Nuclear Policy

onekoreanetwork.com · May 16, 2021

Here is the translated document.

 

3. South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in’s successes on the North issue

The Strait Times

A positive summary.  

But I would argue this “success” is also one of Kim Jong-un’s strategic errors and it is really an inflection point in north-South relations.

– Becoming the first-ever South Korean leader to address a North Korean audience of 150,000 in a packed stadium in Pyongyang in September 2018. He called for a complete end to 70 years of hostility, permanent removal of nuclear weapons, and reunification.

“Moon’s speech was well received by the 150,000 Koreans in the north. This speech may have done the most damage to north-South engagement. This is because the people who heard Moon resak realized the real man was nothing like the caricature manufactured by the. Propaganda and Agitation Department. He appeared smart, a sophisticated man with integrity and passion about Korea and reconciliation. The Korean people in the north realized he could be trusted and believed that KJU could deal with him and improve the lives of the Korean people and solve the security and economic issues. But this was not KJU’s intention at all. As we can see since September 2018 in Pyongyang north-South relations steadily declined and Kim Jong-un and his sister Kim Yo-jong have treated President Moon with great disrespect. President Moon has never been able to put north-South engagement back on track because Kim Jong-un does not want to reconcile. His sole objective is to dominate the peninsula under his rule. Unfortunately this does not fit in with the Moon administration narrative and the legacy President Moon is trying to leave behind. South Korea must understand and accept the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime and deal with it as it really is and not as it would wish it to be.”

 

4. Moon says COVID-19 vaccine issue to be addressed in his upcoming U.S. visit

en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · May 17, 2021

This is probably the most important agenda item for President Moon. He must return from the summit with some kind of substantive agreement on COVID vaccines with the US.

 

5. USFK offers to provide COVID-19 vaccines to S. Korea: sources

en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · May 17, 2021

A positive initiative ahead of the summit.

 

6. N. Korea’s food situation isn’t as bad as it appears: expert

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · May 17, 2021

Conflicting reporting and analysis. The real point is just how difficult it is to know what is really going on inside north Korea.

 

7. N. Korean authorities emphasize “reporting of illegal behavior” to prevent spread of external information

dailynk.com · by Mun Dong Hui · May 17, 2021

The priority is always control of the population. The regime is deathly afraid of the Korean people living in the north.

 

8. North Korea moves forward with two-phased construction plan for border fences, barriers

dailynk.com · by Ha Yoon Ah · May 17, 2021

“Tear down this wall.” The USSR (and unlike the US border “wall”) this is designed to keep people in as much as it is to keep people out. 

 

9. Foreign ministry revs up preparations to launch S. Korea-China cooperation panel

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · May 17, 2021

Will this prevent China from executing economic warfare against South Korea if the ROK decides to join the Quad?

 

10. Foreign ministry denies report linking S. Korea-Japan ties to U.S. policy on N.K.

en.yna.co.kr · by 김승연 · May 17, 2021

Are there those who think the Singapore agreement is really the foundation for an agreement that can be reached with north Korea? It is an agreement that provides a path forward for the regime’s political warfare strategy. 

 

11. Hyundai to Make Electric Cars in U.S.

english.chosun.com

Good timing for this announcement ahead of the summit.

 

12. Moon has $35 billion investment package for Biden

Koreanjoongangdaily.joins.com · by Jin Eun-soo and Park Eun-Jee · May 17, 2021

 

13. With Biden’s help, Korea and Japan make nicer

Koreanjoongangdaily.joins.com · by Lee Young-hee, Park Hyun-Ju, and Sarah Kim · May 17, 2021

We need strong trilateral coordination for our mutual security interests in Northeast Asia and throughout the INDOPACIFIC.

 

14. Gyeonggi to crack down on flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets

Koreanjoongangdaily.joins.com · by Michael Lee · May 17, 2021

A sad development.  The Moon administration must get this law rescinded.

 

15.  Expectations grow on Korea-US summit

The Korea Times · by Ahn Ho-young  · May 17, 2021

Articles from Ambassador Ahn Ho-young: “Combined deterrence needed to tackle NK nuclear threats” and presidential advisor Moon Chung-in: “Allies can find new breakthrough to stalled peace process.”

I will stand with Ambassador Ahn. He is a strong proponent for the alliance and has a realistic understanding of the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime. Moon Chung-un is no friend of the alliance and he has an unrealistic but dangerous view of the Kim family regime.

 

16. Seoul wants Washington to reaffirm Singapore agreement during summit

The Korea Times · by Nam Hyun-woo · May 17, 2021

If we do use the Singapore summit we need to make some adjustments and ensure there is an understanding of the step by step and/or simultaneous action requirements. We must understand how Kim Jong-un has interpreted the Singapore summit agreement and how he uses it to support his political warfare strategy. We need to execute a superior form of political warfare. Beware the effects of the end of war declaration. If we do enter into some kind of agreement there must be a commitment to reducing the north Korea threat to protect the security of the ROK (e.g., the tyranny of proximity and the offensive posture of north Korean forces).

 

17. US-China row pressing Korean firms on investment

The Korea Times · by Yi Whan-woo · May 17, 2021

 

————–

 

“As authority increases, however, so does self-consciousness. With more people watching, practice becomes performance. Reputations now matter, narrowing the freedom to be flexible. Leaders who’ve reached the top…can become prisoners of their own preeminence: they lock themselves into roles from which they can’t escape.” 

– John Lewis Gaddis, On Grand Strategy

 

“Understand: your mind is weaker than your emotions. But you become aware of this weakness only in moments of adversity–precisely the time when you need strength. What best equips you to cope with the heat of battle is neither more knowledge nor more intellect. What makes your mind stronger, and more able to control your emotions, is internal discipline and toughness.No one can teach you this skill; you cannot learn it by reading about it. Like any discipline, it can come only through practice, experience, even a little suffering. The first step in building up presence of mind is to see the need for ii — to want it badly enough to be willing to work for it.”

– Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies of War

 

For whoever habitually suppresses the truth in the interests of tact will produce a deformity from the womb of his thought.

-Sir Basil H. Liddel-Hart (Strategy, 1954)

DanielRiggs
Mon, 05/17/2021 – 9:41am

05/16/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

05/16/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. Spy Agencies Seek New Afghan Allies as U.S. Withdraws

2. Space Force CO Who Got Holiday Call from Trump Fired Over Comments Decrying Marxism in the Military

3. New report from the FBI and DHS says deaths from domestic extremists motivated by race are on the rise

4. Is Taiwan really the world’s most dangerous place?

5. If Taiwan is on borrowed time, why do Taiwanese keep calm and carry on?

6. Finding the Right Words: Ending the Confusion on What “Information Operations” Actually Means

7. Special Operations Forces Bracing for Arctic Missions

8. New memorial dedicated to soldiers who died on secret mission to Vietnam

9. Opinion | How Many ‘Special Envoys’ Does Joe Biden Need?

10. Congress eyes hack reporting law after pipeline disruption

11. Before Jihadi John, There Was George Blake

12. He went from NYC to Vietnam to deliver beer during a war — now his story is coming to the big screen

13. #NextWar: A Fictional Cautionary Tale

 

1. Spy Agencies Seek New Afghan Allies as U.S. Withdraws

The New York Times · by Julian E. Barnes · May 14, 2021

More excellent reporting from Thomas Gibbons-Neff. Again, he is writing the first draft of our last chapter leaving Afghanistan.

Excerpts: “The appeal of building ties with Mr. Massoud and other regional power brokers is obvious: Western governments distrust the Taliban’s lukewarm commitments to keep terrorist groups out of the country in the years ahead and fear that the Afghan government might fracture if no peace settlement is reached. The Second Resistance, as Mr. Massoud now calls his armed uprising force, is a network that is opposed to the Taliban, Al Qaeda or any extremist group that rises in their shadow.

Top C.I.A. officials, including William J. Burns, the agency’s director, have acknowledged that they are looking for new ways to collect information in Afghanistan once American forces are withdrawn, and their ability to gather information on terrorist activity is diminished.

But Mr. Massoud’s organization is in its infancy, desperate for support, and legitimacy. It is backed by a dozen or so militia commanders who fought the Taliban and the Soviets in the past, and a few thousand fighters located in the north. Mr. Massoud says his ranks are filled by those slighted by the government and, much like the Taliban, he thinks that Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, has overstayed his welcome.

 

2. Space Force CO Who Got Holiday Call from Trump Fired Over Comments Decrying Marxism in the Military

military.com · by Oriana Pawlyk · May 15, 2021

Just another illustration of the two extremes of the tribes in our country – one side says the other wants to bring Marxist/communist ideology through critical race theory and diversity and inclusion, etc. and the other side says their opponents want to ensure a white majority remains in control of America. What if both sides are wrong about the other?

On the other hand why did this fighter pilot go from flying F-15s to the Space Force to detect ballistic missile launches? What made him want to do that especially when we face a shortage of fighter pilots?

 

3. New report from the FBI and DHS says deaths from domestic extremists motivated by race are on the rise

insider.com · by Kelsey Vlamis

Data is data. The 40 page report can be downloaded here. 

 

4. Is Taiwan really the world’s most dangerous place?

The Hill · by Harlan Ullman · May 15, 2021

Excerpts: “China has many other, non-forceful options vis-a-vis Taiwan, including economic and political intimidation and working from within Taiwan to install a regime that would accept unification. And the PLA is well aware that Operation Causeway to retake Formosa from the Japanese in 1944, never implemented, called for a force of 4,000 ships and 400,000 soldiers and marines (larger than the Normandy invasion that same year) and a capability China never will attain.

Since the end of World War II, the U.S often overly militarized responses to perceived threats. Vietnam and non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction are the two most disastrous examples. China may become the world’s largest economy and perhaps field an even more powerful military.

But, as Ike assembled Project Solarium in 1953 to conduct a deep analysis of America’s strategic options vis-a-vis the Soviet Union, the same needs to be done before we rush to ill-informed conclusions about China.

 

5. If Taiwan is on borrowed time, why do Taiwanese keep calm and carry on?

SCMP · by William Han · May 17, 2021

 

6. Finding the Right Words: Ending the Confusion on What “Information Operations” Actually Means

Small Wars Journal · by Daniel Dewitt and Salil Puri

Conclusion: “The reigning confusion within the Defense Department over the meaning of “information operations” is setting the United States up for failure as it prepares for an era of burgeoning great power competition. Far from a semantic matter of definitions between services, this issue directly affects the ability of the armed forces to effectively counter hostile influence efforts and shape the global operating environment in ways favorable to the United States. Achieving a doctrinal change of the magnitude that this article calls for is not a small endeavor, but without a clear understanding of the varied ways that the military engages with information functions, commanders in the field will struggle to adequately employ each set of capabilities in its proper context. Clearly, an overemphasis on preparation for large-scale combat operations will hinder effective action in the competition for influence below the threshold of war. By the same token, an excessive focus on shaping the battlespace via influence operations will leave U.S. forces unprepared should deterrence fail and major combat operations become necessary. Clarifying joint doctrine so as to distinguish between these two fields, and then integrating the change into joint exercises, is a necessary step to force commanders to engage with the full range of operations, from influencing foreign perceptions to command-and-control warfare.

 

7. Special Operations Forces Bracing for Arctic Missions

nationaldefensemagazine.org · by Jon Harper

Heat is uncomfortable. Cold is painful.

 

8. New memorial dedicated to soldiers who died on secret mission to Vietnam

q13fox.com · by Megan Ziegler

But still a mystery. Not only what happened to these Americans but what was their mission?

 

9. Opinion | How Many ‘Special Envoys’ Does Joe Biden Need?

Politico · by Brett Bruen and Adam Ereli

Perhaps this is why we may not see a Special Representative for north Korea. However, Congress requires a Special Envoy for north Korean human rights.

 

10. Congress eyes hack reporting law after pipeline disruption

Politico

Excerpts:Lawmakers have tried before to impose cybersecurity rules on critical U.S. companies. In 2012, Collins co-sponsored such a bill with former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposed the bill, calling it overly burdensome on the private sector, and Republicans lined up against it, sinking its chances.

Congress passed a modest law in 2015 that encouraged voluntary reporting in exchange for limited immunity. However, lawmakers of both parties now concede the measure hasn’t worked as intended and didn’t go far enough.

Collins said increased congressional and public awareness about cyber threats and the panic of the past week could be what is needed to get it done this time.

The pipeline attack, with its quick impact on gas supplies and prices, “really brings it home to the American people,” she said in an interview.

Congress is running out of time to prepare the nation for a truly catastrophic cyberattack, according to Wales.

“My sense,” he said, “is that the likelihood is increasing almost every day.”

 

11. Before Jihadi John, There Was George Blake

Foreign Policy · by Simon Kuper · May 16, 2021

Some interesting Sunday history.

 

12. He went from NYC to Vietnam to deliver beer during a war — now his story is coming to the big screen

militarytimes.com · by J.D. Simkins · May 6, 2021

This should be quite a movie and will probably inspire future “beer runs” to try to top it.

 

13. #NextWar: A Fictional Cautionary Tale

angrystaffofficer.com · by David Dixon · May 16, 2021

As the title says. Some fictional thinking about future war. A fascinating read. Probably more accurate about the future on so many levels than any of the future operating environments authored by the military or think tanks. This should resonate.

 

—————-

 

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.” 

– British economist John Maynard Keynes

 

 “…the [constitutional] power to wage war is the power to wage war successfully.”

– Charles Evans Hughes

“What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.”

– Lord Melbourne (1779-1848),

 

DanielRiggs
Sun, 05/16/2021 – 11:04am

05/16/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

05/16/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. N.K. propaganda outlet slams S. Korea’s biennial integrated defense drill

2.Vaccine, chips, North Korea on agenda for Seoul-Washington summit

3. Seoul, Tokyo likely to form consultative body on Fukushima wastewater release

4. N. Korea’s Zoom-type app Rakwon gains traction

5. (South Korea) 1st hearing held on election meddling; Suspicions cannot be buried for good

6. New U.S. policy toward North Korea builds partly on 2018 agreement

7. South Korea is pushing America for new talks with the North

8. Aussie cyber experts fight back against North Korea

9. N. Korea deployed anti-aircraft guns in apparent protest to anti-Pyongyang leaflets, S. Korean government detected

10. (South Korea) Lifting of military ban on mobiles leads to surge in tip-offs about poor conditions

11. The Blue House Releases An Official Statement About The Petition To Cancel Upcoming K-Drama “Snowdrop”

 

1. N.K. propaganda outlet slams S. Korea’s biennial integrated defense drill

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · May 16, 2021

Do we issue protests over the north Korea Winter and Summer  Training Cycles?

But this kind of propaganda works on certain factions in the ROK and the US who construct the “logical” argument that all we have to do is end training in South Korea and north Korea will come to the negotiating table, participate in north-South engagement and denuclearize.  But such logic could not be more wrong given the nature, objectives, and strategy of the Kim family regime.

Excerpts: “(South Korea’s) move for military buildup and drills are strictly based on its plan to preemptively strike our Republic and is a factor that further aggravates the already critical tension on the Korean Peninsula,” Tongil Voice said.

It also blamed South Korea for being “the very country that destroys peace and stability” and warned that it will result in “stabbing itself in the eyes with its bare hands” by confronting the North.

 

2. Vaccine, chips, North Korea on agenda for Seoul-Washington summit

The Korea Times · May 16, 2021

Also the Quad +, China, and trilateral ROK, Japan, and  US cooperation. Will the US raise north Korean human rights and the South’s anti-leaflet law?

 

3. Seoul, Tokyo likely to form consultative body on Fukushima wastewater release

koreaherald.com · by Ahn Sung-mi  · May 16, 2021

Hopefully a positive step forward.

 

4. N. Korea’s Zoom-type app Rakwon gains traction

koreaherald.com · by Ko Jun-tae · May 16, 2021

Maybe we can eventually conduct “Zoom diplomacy” with the regime.

 

5. (South Korea) 1st hearing held on election meddling; Suspicions cannot be buried for good

koreaherald.com · by The Korea Herald · May 12, 2021

Korean domestic politics and election integrity.

 

6. New U.S. policy toward North Korea builds partly on 2018 agreement

english.kyodonews.net ·

Consider the regime’s views:

north Korea Negotiating Strategy

(post Panmunjom, Singapore, Pyongyang Summits)

Key “agreement:” denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

Change relationship – Declaration of the end of the war  (end of hostile US policy – i.e., Peace regime)
Sanctions relief (permanent removal)
Denuclearization of the South (end of alliance, removal of troops, end of nuclear umbrella over ROK and Japan)
Then negotiate dismantlement of the north’s and ICBM programs
In Short:
nK: change relationship, build trust , denuclearize
US: denuclearize, build trust, change relationship

 

Some thoughts on the end of war declaration and a peace ‘regime.”

 

Peace Declaration – Peace Treaty History, Issues, and Perspective

 

– We should consider the history and who are/were the belligerents in the Korean Civil War – with emphasis on civil war between north and South.  a review of the UN Security Council resolutions of 1950 (82-85) shows that the United Nations clearly identified the north as the hostile aggressor who attacked South Korea.  The UN called on member nations to come to the defense of South Korea.  It established the UN Command and designated the United States as executive agent for the UN Command which included designating the commander.

 

– The United States did not declare war on the north.  It intervened under UN authority and fought under the UN command.  President Rhee placed the remnants of the Korean forces under the command of the UNC.  The Chinese did not officially intervene in the war.  It sent “volunteers”- The Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV) to defend the north. The 1953 Armistice was signed by military representatives the UN Command and the north Korean People’s Army (nKPA)and then later by the Chinese People’s Volunteers and the Commander in Chief of the nKPA.

 

– The logical end to the Korean Civil War and adoption of a peace treaty must be brokered between the two designated belligerents (the north and South). The US and PRC could provide security guarantees but they should not be parties to the peace treaty and the US should not try to have a separate peace treaty with the north (which is exactly what the north has demanded for years and what also worries Koreans in the South who fear a separate peace that would abandon the South).

 

– The only correct way for the US to change the relationship with north Korea is to normalize relations and establish diplomatic relations.  

 

– The other problem with a peace treaty between north and South is their current constitutions.  Both countries do not recognize the existence of the other and in fact both claim sovereignty over the entire Korean peninsula and Korean population.  A peace treaty would undermine both constitutions because signing a peace treaty would mean recognizing the existence of two Koreas

 

Thoughts on the way ahead:

 

Bottom Line

The only way we are going to see an end to the nuclear program and threats as well as the human rights abuses and crimes against humanity being committed against the Korean people living in the north by the mafia-like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime is through achievement of unification and the establishment of a United Republic of Korea that is secure and stable, non-nuclear, economically vibrant, and unified under a liberal constitutional form of government based on individual liberty, rule of law, and human rights as determined by the Korean people.  In short, a United Republic of Korea (UROK).

 

A New Durable Acceptable Political Arrangement (“end state”) for consideration:

            “A stable, secure, peaceful, economically vibrant, non-nuclear peninsula, reunified under a liberal constitutional form of government determined by the Korean people. ”

United Republic of Korea (UROK)

 

  • Number one priority: Development and execution of information/psychological preparation of the environment – a sophisticated and aggressive information and influence activities campaign
  • Development of an overt policy and strategy that states peaceful unification and not external regime change is the desired end.
  • Development of a classified policy and strategy.
  • Coping, Containment, and Management. 
    • Planning is the hardest and most complex
    • All peaceful planning will have application in all scenarios
    • Peaceful unification planning is the practical and morally right course
  • War – fastest way – blood and treasure – deter
  • Regime collapse – conflict, mother of all humanitarian disasters, could lead to war
  • Internal resistance – emerging new leadership
  •  

    7. South Korea is pushing America for new talks with the North

    The Economist · May 15, 2021

    My recommendation is that President Biden should never met with KimJong-un until working level negotiations hammer out substantive agreement they can bring to the two leaders to sign.

    On the other hand I doubt that Kim Jng-un can afford to meet with President Biden unless he first has as a minimum guarantees that sanctions will be lifted before the regime takes any substantive action.

     

    8. Aussie cyber experts fight back against North Korea

    afr.com · May 14, 2021

    Kim Jong-un’s all purpose sword is a global threat.

     

    9. N. Korea deployed anti-aircraft guns in apparent protest to anti-Pyongyang leaflets, S. Korean government detected

    Hani · by Kim Ji-eun · May 14, 2021

    This is the partial justification for the South’s anti-leaflet law. It is about preventing a north Korean response to the leaflets that could cause a threat to Koreans in the South.  We should keep in mind that no Korean in the South have ever been harmed by a north Korean response to balloon launches.

    The leftist/progressive Hankyoreh of course supports the anti-leaflet law.  I have not seen a similar report in the South Korean conservative or more mainstream media.

    On the other hand if this report is accurate it is another indication the regime feels information is an existential threat.  We should consider that as we hopefully are devising a new comprehensive and sophisticated information and influence activities campaign.

     

    10.  Lifting of military ban on mobiles leads to surge in tip-offs about poor conditions

    koreanjoongangdaily.joins.com · by Michael Lee · May 16, 2021

     

    11.  The Blue House Releases An Official Statement About The Petition To Cancel Upcoming K-Drama “Snowdrop”

    koreaboo.com · May 15, 2021

    Does the Blue House doth protest too much?  Does this mean “Snowdrop” will romanticize the Democratic movement and disparage spies?

    Excerpt: “It is not a drama that disparages the Democratic Movement or romanticizes spies. 

    The Blue House Releases An Official Statement About The Petition To Cancel Upcoming K-Drama “Snowdrop”

     

    —————-

     

    “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.” 

    – British economist John Maynard Keynes

     

     “…the [constitutional] power to wage war is the power to wage war successfully.”

    – Charles Evans Hughes

    “What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.”

    – Lord Melbourne (1779-1848),

    DanielRiggs
    Sun, 05/16/2021 – 10:52am

    05/14/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

    05/14/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

    1. A City Under Siege: What the War Looks Like on Afghanistan’s Front Line

    2. Activists and Ex-Spy Said to Have Plotted to Discredit Trump ‘Enemies’ in Government

    3. Pentagon Surveilling Americans Without a Warrant, Senator Reveals

    4. The 2018 Strategy Is Unworkable. We Need a Fundamental Defense Rethink

    5.  We Should Not Underestimate China’s Military Ambitions

    6.  FDD | The United States Has a Data Broker Problem

    7. Israel’s Iron Dome Advantage

    8. Opinion | The United Nations doesn’t practice the democracy it preaches

    9. One soldier’s missing pay could be sticking point for Army secretary nomination

    10. The Military Revolt Against Joe Biden

    11. Military Officers Should Stay Out of Politics

    12. Big Cyberattacks Should Be Handled by Nations, Not Lawyers

    13. Pandemic untamed in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan

    14. Tokyo-based Ospreys with guns visible draw more complaints from anti-base group

    15. As US pulls out of Afghanistan, China sees opportunities — and potential for chaos

    16. Senator ‘baffled’ by DoD testimony on sexual assault incident visibility at unit level

    17. Army’s Cybersecurity ‘Greatly Concerns’ Wormuth After Pipeline Attack

    18. How Should the US Respond to Provocations in the Grey Zone?

    19. In this Army vs. Navy contest, the Army risks being sidelined by the Marines

    20. Former CISA chief says Biden order on cybersecurity is “dramatic game change”

    21. China tries online activists who saved censored coronavirus posts on Github

    22. China Vows Retaliation Against Journalists Unless U.S. Relents

    23.  The Reality Behind the Dream of Total Freedom

     

    1. A City Under Siege: What the War Looks Like on Afghanistan’s Front Line

    The New York Times · by Thomas Gibbons-Neff · May 13, 2021

    Great reporting from Thomas Gibbons-Neff. He is giving us a front row seat while he chronicles the events of our withdrawal from Afghanistan and the effects on our Afghan allies. He is writing the first draft of our last chapter in Afghanistan. Pay attention to his reporting.

     

    2. Activists and Ex-Spy Said to Have Plotted to Discredit Trump ‘Enemies’ in Government

    The New York Times · by Mark Mazzetti · May 13, 2021

    Another truth is stranger than fiction story. If someone presented this as a proposal for a screenplay or novel it would get rejected as too farfetched.

     

    3. Pentagon Surveilling Americans Without a Warrant, Senator Reveals

    Vice · by Joseph Cox

    We are really seeing some interesting and unusual reporting of late.  

     

    4. The 2018 Strategy Is Unworkable. We Need a Fundamental Defense Rethink

    defenseone.com · by Dave Oliver and Anand Toprani

    What is missing from this discussion is the irregular warfare aspect of our National Defense Strategy. I would ask the authors if they think we need to keep, jettison, or change the irregular warfare elements of the NDS?

     

    5.  We Should Not Underestimate China’s Military Ambitions

    thedispatch.com · by Bradley Bowman

    Sun Tzu: “Never assume the enemy will not attack. Make yourself invincible.”

    Excerpts: “Some may dismiss such warnings, arguing that serious and systemic domestic political and economic challenges would dissuade the CCP from seeking military conflict with the United States. There are at least two major problems with such reasoning. First, history is riddled with examples in which nations stumble into conflicts they did not want. Second, the very domestic challenges some say reduce the relative power of Beijing and make the CCP less likely to seek military conflict with the United States may actually have the opposite effect. The CCP does not enjoy the credibility that comes from free and fair elections and instead relies significantly on a growing economy to retain the support of the Chinese people. A serious economic downturn in China, for example, might encourage the CCP to manufacture a military conflict with the United States to consolidate domestic power and shift the attention of the Chinese people away from the regime’s failings.

    This analysis is not a call for “self-doubt,” and it does not seek to portray the Chinese military as 10 feet tall. Americans, indeed, should be confident in our ability to compete as free people against authoritarian adversaries—if we are willing to be honest about the nature and severity of the threat from China, assemble a bipartisan strategy to respond, and then muster sufficient defense resources.

    That mixture of confidence, candor, and urgent action represents the best hope of protecting American interests and avoiding military conflict with China.

     

    6. FDD | The United States Has a Data Broker Problem

    fdd.org · by Trevor Logan · May 13, 2021

    Conclusion: For too long, there has been a mismatch between the amount of data that U.S. citizens generate and the amount of effort the U.S. government and companies put into governing and securing that data. Congress and the Biden administration must act to prevent the transfer of data to U.S. adversaries.

     

    7. Israel’s Iron Dome Advantage

    WSJ · by The Editorial Board

    Excerpts: “Iron Dome saves Israeli lives and property, but it also changes the propaganda calculus for Israel’s adversaries. The high rate of missile interceptions gives Israel’s leaders more flexibility in how they respond to the attacks.

    Fewer Israeli casualties means there’s less political pressure for a full-scale invasion of Gaza or for indiscriminate air attacks that could kill civilians. Palestinian casualties are a propaganda coup for terrorists, and Israeli restraint saves lives and extends the window for its defense forces to act before they come under opportunistic condemnation from abroad.

     

    8. Opinion | The United Nations doesn’t practice the democracy it preaches

    The Washington Post · by  Josh Rogin · May 13, 2021

    Tough and important critique from Josh Rogin: “Even if Arora’s candidacy were unlikely to succeed, the least the U.N. could do is allow more candidates to participate, especially those from underrepresented groups. But as of now, the organization that’s supposed to represent the entire world in a democratic and equitable way is not even close to doing so inside its own house.

    By rubber-stamping a second term for Guterres, the United Nations would be bypassing a free and fair democratic process and undermining its own supposed commitment to promote gender equality and youth inclusiveness. The depressing message this would send is that U.N. politics will remain with the old guard and that the U.N. will drift further away from the modernization and reforms it so badly needs.

     

    9. One soldier’s missing pay could be sticking point for Army secretary nomination

    armytimes.com · by Davis Winkie · May 13, 2021

    Sounds like a TDY processing problem. I wonder if this is DTS issue. Imagine if every service member goes to their congressman for their DTS issues. Maybe DTS would be improved.

    Excerpts: “We can’t have situations where we’re not paying our soldiers the money that they earn for ten months,” said Wormuth. “From my understanding…there isn’t a good reason why this happened.”

    Cramer set a June 1 deadline for the soldier to receive his backpay, which Wormuth thinks the Army is on track to meet.

    Cramer, though, won’t be convinced until the money is in the affected soldier’s bank account.

    “That’s the answer that I’m looking for, and I trust you with it, but I don’t yet trust the Army. I might have eight months ago,” said the senator.

     

    10. The Military Revolt Against Joe Biden

    Foreign Policy · by Peter Feaver · May 12, 2021

    It will be interesting to see how much influence these 120 GOFOs have. Certainly there are some factions within the partisan tribes and even within the active and retired military who will be emboldened by their letter. 

     

    11. Military Officers Should Stay Out of Politics

    thebulwark.com · by Jim Golby · May 13, 2021

    The subtitle says it all, Persuade with facts and logic, not rank.

     

    12.  Big Cyberattacks Should Be Handled by Nations, Not Lawyers

    Bloomberg · by Noah Feldman · May 13, 2021

    I have wondered if we should declare the internet and the cyber domain critical as a kind of national security infrastructure? It is now critical to every aspect of national security, commerce, and individual life. Should it be protected by some kind of national strategy?

     

    13. Pandemic untamed in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan

    asiatimes.com · by Andrew Salmon · May 14, 2021

    Complacency kills?

    … All three are lagging behind the norm for developing nations in terms of vaccination programs.

    While the situation in the three countries is nowhere near as dire as in carnage-wracked India, matters are increasingly worrying for Japan – and the world – as it prepares to host the Olympics despite the ongoing failure of pandemic containment efforts.

     

    14. Tokyo-based Ospreys with guns visible draw more complaints from anti-base group

    Stars and Stripes

    One of the challenges of basing in Japan.

     

    15. As US pulls out of Afghanistan, China sees opportunities — and potential for chaos

    CNN · by James Griffiths and Nectar Gan

    The question is can China exploit any of these opportunities?

     

    16.  Senator ‘baffled’ by DoD testimony on sexual assault incident visibility at unit level

    militarytimes.com · by Karen Jowers · May 13, 2021

    A self-inflicted wound by Ms Van Winkle?

    Van Winkle said Pentagon officials haven’t had a clear picture of what’s going on within units in terms of how sexual assault and harassment are being addressed.

    “We’re looking at all aspects of these issues to shed light where we previously didn’t have visibility,” said Van Winkle, executive director of DoD’s Office of Force Resiliency, in her testimony before the subcommittee. If officials don’t have that visibility at the unit and installation level, Van Winkle said, “then we simply don’t have a good sense of whether our initiatives are getting to where they need to be.”

    Gillibrand said she was “exasperated” by that statement, noting that commanders have had this authority at the unit level. “So for you to state there’s no visibility there, is an absurd statement. You have visibility because you have unit commanders,” she said.

    “You’ve had testimony from survivors in the last eight years I’ve been working on this that when they are sexually harassed, 66 percent of the time it comes from their unit commander. So you’ve had plenty of visibility onto this issue. …

    Gillibrand said the military has more data about these incidents than any district attorney’s office has, because the services conduct annual surveys, and have reporting requirements. “This is supposed to be something the command has taken seriously, with zero tolerance for the last decade,” she said.

    “It’s not lack of visibility. It’s not lack of information,” she said.

    “It’s lack of will.”

    Gillibrand asked Van Winkle to “rework your testimony. What you’ve said here is unbelievable.”

     

    17.  Army’s Cybersecurity ‘Greatly Concerns’ Wormuth After Pipeline Attack

    defenseone.com · by Caitlin M. Kenney

    It is not just the Army that we must be concerned about.

    Excerpts:Wormuth told senators Thursday she agrees with the Army’s assessment that long-range precision fires are still the service’s top priority, not only because of their importance in the Indo-Pacific theater, but in Europe as well.

    “It’s the highest priority in my view because of the need to address the anti-access area denial challenges that we face in both Europe and Indo-Pacific. And given the quite sophisticated integrated air defenses that we’ll likely be facing, I think it behooves us to develop capabilities that allow us to strike targets from very long distances,” she said.

    Air Force Gen. Timothy Ray, the leader of Air Force Global Strike Command, recently called the Army’s pursuit of this long-range weapon capability a “stupid idea,” expensive, and redundant, since the Air Force already has that capability.

    However, Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in response that the Pentagon’s new joint warfighting concept emphasizes that every military service will need to be able to defeat an enemy’s long-range missiles.

    “This means you want each service to bring those long-range fires; so, the joint warfighting concept succeeds if all of the force can apply fires wherever they happen to be, wherever the target is, whatever the lines of conflict, that is the joint warfighting concept,” Hyten told Defense One in April.

    Research and analysis are still needed to determine whether the Army’s long-range fires will be economically feasible once the concept becomes reality, Hyten said.

     

    18. How Should the US Respond to Provocations in the Grey Zone?

    military.com · by Joseph V. Micallef · May 13, 2021

    Wisely and decisively and in accordance with American values.

    Excerpts: “The topic has garnered considerable attention and has been extensively discussed among military strategists.

    Valery Vasilyevich Gerasimov, the current chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia and first deputy defense minister, has written extensively on the utility of combining military, technological, informational, diplomatic, economic, cultural and other tactics for the purpose of achieving strategic goals. His comments were termed “The Gerasimov Doctrine,” although whether this is actually an operational strategy of the Russian government remains hotly debated.

    The Chinese version of hybrid warfare was outlined in a seminal book, published in 1999, by Cols. Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui called “Unrestricted Warfare: Two Air Force Senior Colonels on Scenarios for War and the Operational Art in an Era of Globalization.” The book examines how China can overcome a technologically superior adversary by avoiding direct military confrontation and relying instead on a combination of legal means, termed “lawfare,” as well as using economic, political, diplomatic and mass media tools to obtain leverage over an opponent and eliminate the need for direct military confrontation.

    Closer to home, military theorist David Kilcullen, in his book “Dragons and Snakes: How The Rest learned to Fight the West,” points out that Western dominance over a very particular, narrowly defined form of warfare forces adversaries to adapt in ways that present serious new challenges to America and its allies.

    Kilcullen notes that state and non-state threats have increasingly come to resemble each other, with states adopting non-state techniques and non-state actors now able to access levels of precision and lethal weapon systems once available only to governments.

     

    19. In this Army vs. Navy contest, the Army risks being sidelined by the Marines

    Washington Examiner · by Jamie McIntyre · May 14, 2021

    :-). The Marines are doing some great and innovative things but the Marine Corps is not the Army.

     

    20. Former CISA chief says Biden order on cybersecurity is “dramatic game change”

    CBS News · by Grace Segers

    Professional national security practitioners such as Christopher Krebs can offer critical critiques and positive evaluations without partisan influence.

     

    21. China tries online activists who saved censored coronavirus posts on Github

    americanmilitarynews.com · by Radio Free Asia · May 14, 2021

    The nature of the CCP.

     

    22. China Vows Retaliation Against Journalists Unless U.S. Relents

    Bloomberg · by Bloomberg News · May 14, 2021

    I think we are making a mistake. We should allow Chinese journalists to report as journalists like all journalists in the US. We should not be afraid of their reporting. We should hold the moral high ground to allow freedom of the press even if it is abused by our adversaries. We can overcome their propaganda with superior messaging and by exposing their propaganda. But now we are in a position for us to do the right thing for our democratic principles we will appear to be giving in to the CCP’s blackmail diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

     

    23. The Reality Behind the Dream of Total Freedom

    WSJ · by Sebastian Junger

    A thought provoking essay from Sebastian Junger.

    Excerpts: “For most of human history, freedom had to be at least suffered for, if not died for, and that raised its value to something almost sacred. In modern democracies, however, an ethos of public sacrifice is rarely needed because freedom and survival are more or less guaranteed. That is a great blessing of the modern era, but it also allows people to believe that any sacrifice at all—rationing water during a drought, for example—is a form of government tyranny. That’s no worse a form of tyranny than rationing water on a lifeboat. The idea that we can enjoy the benefits of society while owing nothing in return, not even a minor sacrifice, is literally infantile. Only children owe nothing.

    To be fair, it’s hard to feel loyalty to a society that is so huge it hardly even knows we’re here and yet makes sure we are completely dependent on it. That’s not a strong bargaining position to be in. Wealth is supposed to liberate us from the dangers of dependency but quickly becomes a dependency in its own right. The wealthier we are, the higher our standard of living and the more we depend on society for our safety and comfort.

     

    —————-

     

    “Democracy not only requires equality but also an unshakable conviction in the value of each person, who is then equal”

    -Jeane Kirkpatrick

     

    “A society without the means to detect lies and theft soon squanders its liberty and freedom.”

    – Chris Hedges

     

    “Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression…”

    – John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    DanielRiggs
    Fri, 05/14/2021 – 10:11am