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7/14/2020 News & Commentary - Korea

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Duncan Moore.

1. 'S. Korea's prosperity is thanks to heroes like Paik Sun-yup,' U.S. NSC says

2. Gen. Paik Sun-yup of my memories

3. We send food and information into North Korea. Why is Seoul trying to stop us?

4. Rise of Kim Jong-Un's sister marks increase North Korean cyber attacks

5. New COVID cases complicate US military missions in Japan, South Korea

6. NK poised to test submarine-launched ballistic missile: think tank

7.  Kim Jong-Un zigs, Kim Yo-Jong zags, and how North Korea negotiates

8.  Kim Jong-un's sister just put an end to Trump's nuclear talks

9. Trump may play into Pyongyang tactics in possible summit

10. N.K. media hints at optimism about S. Korea's new security lineup

11. North Korea's barbaric indoctrination laid bare as Kim Jong-un dubbed 'literal god'

12. Train destroyed in North Korea fire was carrying food, report says

13. Why does anyone listen to John Bolton on North Korea?

14. One in three South Korean COVID-19 patients improve with remdesivir

15. N. Korea is buying up dogs to supply restaurants in Pyongyang

16. S. Korea seeks to request pre-departure COVID-19 tests for incoming USFK members

17. My Quarantine Experience on Yeongjong Island in South Korea

 

1. 'S. Korea's prosperity is thanks to heroes like Paik Sun-yup,' U.S. NSC says

The Dong-A Ilbo · by lightee@donga.com · July 14, 2020

Excellent statement from our NSC as well as former CINCs.

I think we should initiate an effort to build a statue of General Paik at the Korean War Memorial on the Mall. He is one of the most important and iconic symbols of the ROK/US alliance.

 

2. Gen. Paik Sun-yup of my memories

The Dong-A Ilbo · by Op-Eds · July 14, 2020

I cannot find the name of the author of this piece. It is on the OpEd page of the Donga Ilbo.

 

3. We send food and information into North Korea. Why is Seoul trying to stop us?

The Washington Post · by Park Sang Hak · July 13, 2020

The title asks the right question – the one that the Korean people in the South should be asking of their government and the one that we as a blood alliance partner should be asking of the Moon administration. As Mr. Park says, human rights groups should not be persecuted. I believe they must be protected and supported. Information and influence activities are not only a key element of sustaining maximum pressure on the regime. They contribute to undermining the legitimacy of the regime, they support one of the many human rights abuses noted by the UN Commission of Inquiry in 2014 (e.g. the lack of free and open information available to the Korean people living in the North), they inform and educate Koreans about the human rights protections they deserve, they inform them that their human rights are denied for the purpose of keeping Kim Jong-Un in power, and, lastly, they help prepare the Korean people for unification. It is the right thing to do to get information to the Koreans. Anyone who argues that these activities hinder diplomacy and engagement should be reminded of what Kim is doing to the Korean people living in the North. Even if the North is appeased by giving into this demand, the regime is not going to change its behavior or negotiate or act in good faith but instead will take such appeasement as license to make even more demands to support its long con (to get sanctions relief while keeping nuclear weapons) and conduct its long term political warfare strategy with Juche characteristics, which is to achieve domination of the peninsula under the rule of the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State to ensure the survival of the Kim family regime.

 

4. Rise of Kim Jong-un's sister marks increase North Korean cyberattacks

Washington Times · by Guy Taylor · July 12, 2020

Cyber is in the title and North Korea's hacking and phishing attacks are described. But this is about more than cyber. It is the information and influence activities of Suzanne Scholte, whose work should also be supported. People like Suzanne and others are having an effect on the North, which is why North Korean hackers are targeting them. Their work threatens the regime. And that is a good thing.

I also make a few comments on influence as well. Guy Taylor, the journalist, references our report on a North Korean strategy, a plan B for maximum pressure 2.0. Our 5th section is on information and influence activities and it begins on page 46 here.

 

5. New COVID cases complicate US military missions in Japan, South Korea

Voice of America · by William Gallo · July 13, 2020

I know the military commanders are putting into place strict procedures to prevent any spread of the coronavirus infection throughout the ROK/US CFC and subordinate component headquarters. But these headquarters are petri dishes for the infection due to the large number of people who will be working in close confines in windowless burners with re-circulated air. I fear, come the fall, we may have a serious number of infected senior personnel, which could have a greater impact on readiness than if we did not conduct the exercise. As I note below, we need to train. But we have to do the risk analysis and weigh the potential costs versus the benefits.

 

6. NK poised to test submarine-launched ballistic missile: think tank

American Military News · by Asia News Network - TNS · July 13, 2020

Perhaps this is why we recently deployed additional ISR assets to Kadena.

 

7. Kim Jong-un zigs, Kim Yo-jong zags, and how North Korea negotiates

The Interpreter · by Khang Vu · July 13, 2020

Yes, it does have a purpose: to execute the regime's long con and conduct political warfare with Juche characteristics (apologies for continuing to beat this dead horse even more!). There is nothing new to this 7 decade old pattern. The TTPs may change (sharper zigs and zags perhaps), but the pattern and intent remain the same.

 

8. Kim Jong-un's sister just put an end to Trump's nuclear talks

Slate · by Fred Kaplan · July 13, 2020

Maybe Mr. Kaplan thinks it was a little noticed statement, but I think most of us are tracking what Kim Yo-Jong says. The "dear Sister?" I wonder if that is an authorized moniker like Dear Leader or Great leader or Supreme Leader? Or the Supreme Great and Dear Leader? But, I have been wondering if the "dear Sister" is actually Kim Jong-Un's Christmas or New Year's gift to us. Mr. Kaplan asks the $64,000 question in the conclusion: is Kim about to take a "wild risk?" We need to be ready.

 

9. Trump may play into Pyongyang tactics in possible summit

The Straits Times · by Editorial Notes · July 13, 2020

I think not. We have to outplay Kim's long con with our long game. I seriously doubt Kim will agree to a summit unless we make concessions of guaranteed sanctions relief. I do not think President Trump will do that. He will do a lot of things with his unconventional, experimental, top-down, pen-pal diplomacy, but I do not think he is going to lift sanctions. It is his best current leverage and the fact that Kim has failed to successfully play both Moon and Trump to get sanctions relief is putting Kim Jong-Un under enormous pressure. We need to hold the line until his elite military puts sufficient pressure on him to change his strategy or take some other action.

 

10. N.K. media hints at optimism about S. Korea's new security lineup

Yonhap News Agency · by Yi Wonju · July 14, 2020

Go figure. Maybe they think it will be deja vu all over again? They have won the power ball lottery and expect to receive hundreds of millions of dollars as they did during the Sunshine Policy.

I would be happy about this if these "unification activists" would focus their efforts, leading 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). I fear this is not their vision, but I would like to be proven wrong.

I would also be happy if the Moon administration would exploit the North's optimism while playing its own long game with US support against Kim's long con.

 

11. North Korea's barbaric indoctrination laid bare as Kim Jong-un dubbed 'literal god'

Express · by Joel Day · July 13, 2020

Yes, we must focus on the regime's human rights abuses. Note how the regime reacts against the UK action on sanctions over human rights. It is a threat to the regime. Talk and actions on human rights weakens the regime. Talk on the nuclear weapons program reinforces regime legitimacy. And it is much harder for the North's Propaganda and Agitation department to counter human rights activities by the outside world while they salivate over any and all talk about the North Korean nuclear and missile threat.

 

12. Train destroyed in North Korea fire was carrying food, report says

UPI · by Elizabeth Shim · July 13, 2020

Again: an accident, incompetence, or sabotage?

 

13. Why does anyone listen to John Bolton on North Korea?

The National Interest · by Daniel R. DePetris · July 13, 2020

Well, he was in the room and the author of this piece was not. 

Yes, there are many things on which I disagree with Mr. Bolton - the continued use of the "Libya model' for one (if only to play to Kim's ego, we should understand that the only "model" he will accept is a North Korean model - not a Libya model, nor Vietnam model, nor Chinese style reforms, etc. - everything has to be uniquely North Korea). And deterrence works (or as Sir Lawrence Freedman says, "Deterrence works, until it doesn't.") We can and must deter an attack on South Korea.

But I think Mr. Bolton has this exactly right. He understands Kim's long con and strategy as well as the regime's blackmail diplomacy playbook. And the only thing more dangerous is for authors like Mr. DePetris to not grasp this and to think that appeasing the regime will somehow bring peace and stability.

 

14. One in three South Korean COVID-19 patients improve with remdesivir

Reuters · by Sangmi Cha, Miyoung Kim, & Robert Birsel · July 13, 2020

 

15. N. Korea is buying up dogs to supply restaurants in Pyongyang

Daily NK · by Kim Yoo Jin · July 14, 2020

The regime is buying up dogs using IOUs, promising future rice or Chinese cooking oil by October: an indicator of problems on many levels. It must be very upsetting to Kim (excuse my sarcasm). The focus is on feeding the people in Pyongyang and implying those outside of Pyongyang need to lessen his worries by helping to feed the people in Pyongyang. This illustrates the hyperthermia analogy of North Korea: the body must focus on keeping the core temperature warm and it does that by cutting off the circulation to the extremities. Those extremities contribute nothing to keep the core warm so like areas outside of Pyongyang they are "deprioritized." Eventually those areas will get frostbite and then gangrene and have to be cut off. This is what happens to certain sectors and geographic areas in the North. And when the regime has to start making decisions that begin deprioritizing elements of the military, we will soon see the loss of coherency in the military and loss of support for the regime. We need to keep a watchful eye for the indications and warning.

 

16. S. Korea seeks to request pre-departure COVID-19 tests for incoming USFK members

Yonhap News Agency · by Oh Seok-min · July 14, 2020

This should not be unexpected but will hardly reduce the problem if testing result wait times are still days and even more than a week in the US. Theoretically, you would need to take the test and immediately quarantine until the results are negative, then immediately deploy to Korea (and hope you do not get infected while in transit), and then quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Perhaps there will be another stop movement order put in place because travel from the US is too high risk.

 

17. My quarantine experience on Yeongjong Island in South Korea

The National Interest · by Mitchell Blatt · July 13, 2020

First hand experience with the bureaucracy.

 

"Here's the wicked paradox about terrorism. Long-term responses do nothing about short-term dangers. Short-term reactions feed extremism over long term."

- Carmen Medina, former DDI, CIA, 19 NOV 2015

"The freedom to criticize ideas, any ideas - even if they are sincerely held beliefs - is one of the fundamental freedoms of society."

- Rowan Atkinson

"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more - we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward."

- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

dwmiv Tue, 07/14/2020 - 9:16am
7/13/2020 - News & Commentary - National Security

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Duncan Moore.

1. To deter war with China, defend Guam

2. Iran and China angle for broad partnership to offset U.S. pressure

3. Still the one: great power competition and special operations forces

4. The history of America's National Security Strategy

5. China announces sanctions against US lawmakers over Uighur issue (Rubio, Cruz, Smith and Brownback)

6. The Pentagon has a plan to include more women in national security. Here's what that means - and why it matters

7. Congress pulls punches on Russian bounties firestorm

8. Historic retention rates credited by Army, Air Force generals with helping them meet end-strengths

9. The Navy is trolling the Army over Tom Hanks' new WWII film

10. Why reassessing Israel's risky relationship with China matters

11. The military's privileged position above the political fray is at risk

12. Within the Taliban, clashing views of Afghanistan's future

13. As U.S. moves to exit Afghanistan, rivals prepare to swoop in

14. WHO reports record daily increase in global coronavirus cases, up over 230,000

15. Okinawa demands answers from US after 61 marines contract coronavirus

16. Is the Aegis Ashore cancellation a mixed blessing?

17. 1st SFG (A) welcomes new commander

18. COVID-19 and pandemics: the greatest national security threat of 2020 and beyond

19. Latvia wants US troops, and is ready to pay for them

20. Trump praises SOUTHCOM counter-drug ops that seize 264,000 pounds and 1,000 traffickers

21. Assessing African strategic needs to counter undue Chinese influence

 

1. To deter war with China, defend Guam

The National Interest · by Rebeccah Heinrichs · July 11, 2020

Yes Guam is important. But, it is also vulnerable. Can we defend it?

Dynamic Force Employment (DFE)

Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD)

Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS)

 

2. Iran and China angle for broad partnership to offset U.S. pressure

Wall Street Journal · by Sune Engel Rasmussen & Aresu Eqbali · July 12, 2020

I hate to use those three words: "axis of evil." But it is certainly a partnership of revisionist and rogue powers. Other than North Korea, China has never had any allies. Could this be a change?

 

3. Still the one: great power competition and special operations forces

Foreign Policy Research Institute · by Tim Ball · July 10, 2020

The 17 page think piece can be downloaded here.

Bottom line is SOF can do (and does) more than counterterrorism and direct action.

 

4. The history of America's National Security Strategy

The National Interest · by John Garofano · July 12, 2020

A useful historical overview for those with an interest in US strategy.

 

5. China announces sanctions against US lawmakers over Uighur issue

Voice of America · by VOA News · July 13, 2020

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Maybe our sanctions have a greater effect than some people think.

This probably means no CODELs to China for Cruz, Rubio, and Smith.

 

6. The Pentagon has a plan to include more women in national security. Here's what that means - and why it matters

Task & Purpose · by Jeannette Gaudry Haynie & Kyleanne Hunter · July 10, 2020

Yes it matters. We need to effectively employ all the talent of our great nation.

 

7. Congress pulls punches on Russian bounties firestorm

The Hill · by Rebecca Kheel · July 12, 2020

I concur with the Majority Leader here: the Russians are up to no go - and in multiple areas.

 

8. Historic retention rates credited by Army, Air Force generals with helping them meet end-strengths

Army Times · by Kyle Rempfer · July 12, 2020

 

Yes, I would imagine retention is good right now as the military offers a lot of relative stability (e.g., paycheck and health benefits)

 

9. The Navy is trolling the Army over Tom Hanks' new WWII film

Task & Purpose · by Jared Keller · by July 11, 2020

Can we now give Tom Hanks his designation as a Joint Duty Officer? He should now have constructive credit for his experiences despite not having completed JPME II.

 

10. Why reassessing Israel's risky relationship with China matters

ynetnews.com · by Mark Dubowitz & Richard Goldberg · by July 11, 2020

 

11. The military's privileged position above the political fray is at risk

Military Times · by Ian Bryan · by July 12, 2020

I think the use of privilege is misplaced here.  It is the duty and responsibility of the military and the executive branch to ensure the military is non-partisan and above the political fray.

 

12. Within the Taliban, clashing views of Afghanistan's future

The Washington Post · by Susannah George & Aziz Tassal · by July 12, 2020

 

13. As U.S. moves to exit Afghanistan, rivals prepare to swoop in

Gandhara · by Frud Bezhan · by July 13, 2020

 

14. WHO reports record daily increase in global coronavirus cases, up over 230,000

Reuters · by Lisa Shumaker & Daniel Wallis · by July 12, 2020

 

15. Okinawa demands answers from US after 61 marines contract coronavirus

The Guardian · by Press Association · July 12, 2020

 

16. Is the Aegis Ashore cancellation a mixed blessing?

The Japan Times · by Tatsumi Yuki · July 10, 2020

Time will tell.  But this is a very sober assessment.

 

17. 1st SFG (A) welcomes new commander

US Army · by Anthony Bryant · July 9, 2020

 

18. COVID-19 and pandemics: the greatest national security threat of 2020 and beyond

Foreign Policy Research Institute · by Colonel (Retired) Robert E. Hamiliton · July 9, 2020

 

19. Latvia wants US troops, and is ready to pay for them

Breaking Defense · by Paul McLeary · July 9, 2020

 

20. Trump praises SOUTHCOM counter-drug ops that seize 264,000 pounds and 1,000 traffickers

Military Times · by Todd South · July 12, 2020

 

21. Assessing African strategic needs to counter undue Chinese influence

Divergent Options · by Damimola Olawuyi · July 13, 2020

Every geographic combatant commander has a China problem.

 

"Well when events change, I change my mind. What do you do?" 

- Dr. Paul Samuelson, who was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in economics.

"Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid."

- Albert Einstein

"The framers of the Constitution took deliberate steps to ensure that treason trials would not be used as political weapons against opponents. Article 3, Section 3 defines the crime very narrowly: 'Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.' This language is drawn from an English statute from 1351 that was also intended to limit the scope of treason. Speaking against the government, undermining political opponents, supporting harmful policies or even placing the interests of another nation ahead of those of the United States are not acts of treason under the Constitution."

-Carlton F.W. Larson

dwmiv Mon, 07/13/2020 - 9:54am
7/13/2020 News & Commentary - Korea

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Duncan Moore.

1. [Exclusive Interview - John Bolton] "No direct (phone) line between Trump and Kim"

2. North Korea's worst nightmare has come true: stealth F-35s have arrived next door

3.  Kim Jong-un cruelty: shocking details of punishment for families of defectors leaked

4. Altar for war hero set up in Gwanghwamun

5. Korea's top communist killer passes at 99

6. U.S. sends surveillance plane to air base in Japan: aviation tracker

7. SpaceX test-fires rocket for South Korean military satellite launch this week

8. N.K. paper warns against following 'bourgeois culture'

9. Kim Yo Jong becomes full member of N. Korea's politburo

10. USFK commander pays tribute to late war hero Paik

11. Pro-N.K. paper says Washington's WHO withdrawal decision indicates deepening isolation

12. Korean War hero Paik Sun-yup deserves proper treatment

13. 'Cancellation of joint drills may hamper denuclearization' (Korea)

14. It's up to North Korea

15. Bilateralism in inter-Korea relations

 

1. [Exclusive Interview - John Bolton]"No direct (phone) line between Trump and Kim"

The Dong-A Ilbo · by Jungahn Kim · July 13, 2020

A relatively long interview with John Bolton. Some interesting tidbits that I will still take with a grain of salt. But he also gets some critical things right especially about our presence in South Korea and why we have an alliance (e.g., it is about mutual defense and mutual interests and not simply about defending South Korea).

 

2. North Korea's worst nightmare has come true: stealth F-35s have arrived next door

The National Interest · by Mark Episkopos · July 12, 2020

Yes, Kim Jong-un should be afraid, very afraid of the F-35.

 

3. Kim Jong-un cruelty: shocking details of punishment for families of defectors leaked

Express · by Simon Osborne · July 11, 2020

The truly evil nature of Kim Jong-Un and the Kim family regime.

 

4. Altar for war hero set up in Gwanghwamun

The Chosun Ilbo · by Ariang News · July 13, 2020

From what I have been told, this is being funded by private funds while the Mayor of Seoul's is being funded by taxpayer money.

 

5. Korea's top communist killer passes at 99

Asia Times · by Andrew Salmon · July 12, 2020

Quite the click bait headline. I thought it was going to be in reference to Operation RatKilller, which General Paik led to root out the North Korean guerrillas in the Jiri Mountains of South Korea in December 1951 - February 1952 and which killed or captured some 10,000 North Korean guerrillas who were harassing the UN rear and supply lines. But it does not cover that. This is actually a useful summary of General Paik's history and the current controversy over his funeral and honors.

 

6. U.S. sends surveillance plane to air base in Japan: aviation tracker

Yonhap News Agency · by scaaet@yna.co.kr · July 13, 2020

We can never have too much ISR in theater.

 

7. SpaceX test-fires rocket for South Korean military satellite launch this week

Space.com · by Tariq Malik · July 12, 2020

This is very important for ROK military command and control.

 

8. N.K. paper warns against following 'bourgeois culture'

Yonhap News Agency · by julesyi@yna.co.kr · July 13, 2020

Blame the bourgeois culture and prepare for the severe hardship that is coming and will likely last for some time.

 

9. Kim Yo Jong becomes full member of N. Korea's politburo

Daily NK · by Ha Yoon Ah · July 13, 2020

If this is accurate, then it is further indication of the trust Kim Jong-Un has in her, that she is being given even more power and stature, and that she is possibly being groomed for succession. Maybe Kim has been reading his Ranger Handbook and is adopting the 5 point contingency in case something happens to him and for use while he has been hiding out from the coronavirus in Wonsan and leaving Kim Yo-Jong in charge in Pyongyang.

(8) Contingency Plans. The leader leaves his unit for many reasons throughout the planning, coordination, preparation, and execution of his patrol mission. Each time the leader departs the patrol main body, he must issue a five-point contingency plan to the leader left in charge of the unit. The contingency plan is described by the acronym GOTWA, and includes:

* G: Where the leader is GOING.

* O: OTHERS he is taking with him.

* T: TIME he plans to be gone.

* W: WHAT to do if the leader does not return in time.

* A: The unit's and the leader's ACTIONS on chance contact while the leader is gone

 

10. USFK commander pays tribute to late war hero Paik

Yonhap News Agency · by scaaet@yna.co.kr · July 13, 2020

That is the ROK Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the ROK/US Combined Forces Commander. I wish the press would refer to General Abrams (and his eventual ROK successor) by the title, which is most important to the Alliance. The ROK/US Combined Forces Command is charged with deterring North Korea and, if necessary, defending South Korea by defeating a North Korean attack. The Korean press should always refer to the ROK/US Combined Forces Command and not USFK, which is not a warfighting command, is only a sub-unified command of INDOPACOM, and is a force provider to the ROK/US Combined Forces Command.

This act is a symbol of the strength of the alliance and General Paik was one of the best living symbols of the alliance. He will be missed, but I hope his legacy will continue to serve as a reminder of what our two nations did together and can and will do together.

 

11. Pro-N.K. paper says Washington's WHO withdrawal decision indicates deepening isolation

Yonhap News Agency · by kokobj@yna.co.kr · July 13, 2020

Well, there is the pot calling the kettle... No country is more isolated in this world than North Korea. But, it is interesting to assess how the North's Propaganda and Agitation Department will try to exploit our actions with the WHO and others to try to undermine US legitimacy. Note its defense of its only ally, China.

 

12. Korean War hero Paik Sun-yup deserves proper treatment

The Dong-A Ilbo · by Editorial · July 13, 2020

Yes he does. Enough said.

One thing I would like to see happen is the erection of a statue in General Paik's honor at the Korean War Memorial in DC. That would be a fitting tribute to his contribution to the Alliance.

 

13. 'Cancellation of joint drills may hamper denuclearization' (Korea)

The Korea Times · by Kang Seung-woo · July 13, 2020

I cannot emphasize this article’s sentiment enough: there is no evidence of reciprocity. What we have learned over the past two years is that canceling, postponing, or scaling back exercises (or establishing a Comprehensive Military Agreement) has resulted in no reciprocity from the North and has not reduced either tension or the threat of the North. The North remains postured for offensive operations along the DMZ with 70% of the 4th largest army in the world between the DMZ and Pyongyang. None of our actions to demonstrate the reduction of what the North describes as a hostile policy will ever satisfy the regime. The regime's definition of an end to the US hostile policy is an end to the ROK/US alliance, the removal of US troops from the peninsula, and an end to extended deterrence and the nuclear umbrella over the ROK and Japan. We must move forward with a thorough understanding of the regime's strategy, objectives, and tactics, techniques, and procedures.

 

14. It's up to North Korea

The Korea Times · by Tong Kim · July 13, 2020

I agree with Tong that Kim is taking the long view beyond this administration (and even the next), which is why I call it a "long con." But I am not as optimistic as Tong in his conclusion (though I agree that the regime is very rational from the North Korean point of view).

 

15. Bilateralism in inter-Korea relations

The Korea Times · by Sandip Kumar Mishra · July 13, 2020

Intra-Korean relations. We should not forget that Korea should be unified and one day will be.

There are two points. First is that there is no success versus North Korea unless there is the foundation of a rock solid ROK/US Alliance. However, this is a double-edged sword because the North correctly perceives this as two against one. This is of course necessary, because without the US half of the alliance and the US presence on the peninsula, the regime will eventually resort to the use of force to accomplish its objectives after exhausting its subversion and coercion/extortion lines of effort. This is why we (the ROK/US Alliance) should focus our efforts on resolving the "Korea question."

 

"Well when events change, I change my mind. What do you do?" 

- Dr. Paul Samuelson, who was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in economics.

"Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid."

- Albert Einstein

"The framers of the Constitution took deliberate steps to ensure that treason trials would not be used as political weapons against opponents. Article 3, Section 3 defines the crime very narrowly: 'Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.' This language is drawn from an English statute from 1351 that was also intended to limit the scope of treason. Speaking against the government, undermining political opponents, supporting harmful policies or even placing the interests of another nation ahead of those of the United States are not acts of treason under the Constitution."

-Carlton F.W. Larson

dwmiv Mon, 07/13/2020 - 9:03am
07/12/2020 News & Commentary - National Security

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

 

1. How a Great Power Falls Apart: Decline Is Invisible From the Inside

2. Opinion | Failing to renew VOA foreign staffers' visas would devastate one of its core functions

3. USAGM Reviewing Foreign Journalist Visas

4. Visa Delays Could Hamper VOA News Coverage, Journalists Say

5. John Hopkins University Sues to Defend International Students Against Trump Administration Decision

6. Private Donations and National Defense

7. The Next Experiments in Elitism

8. Green Beret, 34, dies by suicide in front of his wife

9. Get Ready for a New Type of Israeli War

10. Should the U.S. designate racial violence as terrorism?

11. China's Troubling Vision for the Future of Public Health

12. U.S. warns citizens of heightened detention risks in China

13. We're losing the war on the coronavirus

14. Inside the Volunteer Supercomputer Team That's Hunting for COVID Clues

15. Army opens investigation into Fort Hood following death of Vanessa Guillen

16. 'I thought this was a hoax' | 30-year-old patient dies in local hospital after attending 'COVID Party'

17. The National Emergency at Your Doorstep: The disappearance of local news is a slow-moving disaster. (book review)

18. Opinion | Trump's bullying of Lt. Col. Vindman will be studied by military cadets for years

19. The Far-Right Revolution Was Waiting for an Opportunity. Now, It's Here.

20. In Latin America, the Pandemic Threatens Equality Like Never Before

21. Gurkhas: The World's Most Famous Mercenaries (Known As a Savage Soldiers)

 

1.  How a Great Power Falls Apart: Decline Is Invisible From the Inside

Foreign Affairs · by Charles King · July 10, 2020

An interesting review of the history of fall of the Soviet Union.  I was of course familiar with the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago but not with the writing of Andrei Amalrik.  But the concluding two paragraphs is something to really ponder.  I have read them three or four times and it is really powerful.

 

2. Opinion | Failing to renew VOA foreign staffers' visas would devastate one of its core functions

The Washington Post · by Editorial Board

I fear that USAGM is being used to further the idiotic immigration policies and at the same time take down VOA, RFA, RFE, RL, MEB, etc.

We should be overly concerned.  We need these native speakers to effectively accomplish the mission. 

I hope to be proven wrong.

 

3. USAGM Reviewing Foreign Journalist Visas

voanews.com · by VOA News

Here is reporting on the Visa issue straight from VOA.  We can discount the NPR reporting, but it is hard to dispute reports that come from the actual agencies affected.

 

 

4. Visa Delays Could Hamper VOA News Coverage, Journalists Say

voanews.com · by Jessica Jerreat – 11 July 2020

Here is a concrete and personal example of the impact of the Visa issue. I hope there is no retribution against this journalist for telling her story for the VOA journalist.  It the USAGM response is to make some kind of allegations of wrongdoing it will be a sign of not only retribution but the real intent.  Again, I fear this is a concerted effort to implement the White House's anti-immigration policies and to gut our VOA, etc. capabilities.  We are going to shoot ourselves in the foot with these actions. Or worse.

I am trying hard to give the new leadership the benefit of the doubt, but this kind of reporting does not give me confidence. It is unfortunate that there is no constituency in the US to support the work of VOA, et al because few really know what the mission is or the important contributions these journalists make to the US and our foreign policy. 

 

5. John Hopkins University Sues to Defend International Students Against Trump Administration Decision

TIME · by time.com editors

Another decision not in the best interests of the United States. I hope the court rules correctly for our universities and American interests.  There seems to be a pattern with immigration.

 

6. Private Donations and National Defense

philanthropyroundtable.org · by Karl Zinsmeister

I previously sent out the original article from Philanthropy Magazine.  Spirit of America makes contributions to our foreign affairs and national security like no other NGO.  It is one of a kind.  I hope people will support it.

Truth in advertising, I am a member of the Board of Advisors.

 

7. The Next Experiments in Elitism

https://breakingsmart.substack.com/ - by Venkatesh Rao – 10 July 2020

A 60 paragraph discussion on elitism (and no we are not taking about "elite" military forces)

You can listen to this at the link below.

The Next Experiments in Elitism

 

8. Green Beret, 34, dies by suicide in front of his wife

Daily Mail · by Frances Mulraney · July 11, 2020

Another terrible tragedy in our Regiment and the US military.

 

9. Get Ready for a New Type of Israeli War

The National Interest · by Jacob Nagel · July 11, 2020

A very interesting discussion of precision guided munitions. 

 

10. Should the U.S. designate racial violence as terrorism?

PBS · by Simon Ostrovsky · July 11, 2020

I think not. My gut says racial violence should remain criminal activity. However, I do think the opposite argument can made. Of course, one of the problems we have with classifying acts as terrorism is there is no commonly accepted definition of terrorism. I still think one of the best definitions is from my old boss Bruce Hoffman in his book Inside Terrorism.  The question is does racial violence fit within this definition?  

"We may therefore now attempt to define terrorism as the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence or the threat of violence in the pursuit of political change. All terrorist acts involve violence or the threat of violence. Terrorism is specifically designed to have far-reaching psychological effects beyond the immediate victim(s) or object of the terrorist attack. It is meant to instill fear within, and thereby intimidate, a wider `target audience' that might include a rival ethnic or religious group, an entire country, a national government or political party, or public opinion in general. Terrorism is designed to create power where there is none or to consolidate power where there is very little. Through the publicity generated by their violence, terrorists seek to obtain the leverage, influence and power they otherwise lack to effect political change on either a local or an international scale."

 

11. China's Troubling Vision for the Future of Public Health

Foreign Affairs · by Sheena Chestnut Greitens and Julian Gewirtz · July 10, 2020

I think the authors are correct. I am surprised they did not discuss China's influence over the WHO which is one of the reasons why we should not be withdrawing from it.

 

12. U.S. warns citizens of heightened detention risks in China

Reuters · by Reporting by Lusha Zhang and Yew Lun Tian; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Toby Chopra · July 11, 2020

I would certainly not travel to the PRC at this time.  I have probably violated the law by writing negative things about the CCP.  A cursory search of social media would reveal my views of the CCP.

 

13. We're losing the war on the coronavirus

Axios · by Sam Baker

Not good news.  And will not be accepted by many.

 

14. Inside the Volunteer Supercomputer Team That's Hunting for COVID Clues

defenseone.com · by Brandi Vincent

I hope all this computing power can find us the answers we need.  The article is a real "who's who" of the technical world.

 

15. Army opens investigation into Fort Hood following death of Vanessa Guillen

Axios · by Ursula Perano

Based on the reporting it seems we have a significant problem there (and likely other places as well despite all the efforts that have been made to stop sexual harassment/assault, etc.). 

 

16. 'I thought this was a hoax' | 30-year-old patient dies in local hospital after attending 'COVID Party'

wzzm13.com

What did Forrest Gump say?  "Stupid is as stupid does?"  Perhaps this is one way of reducing the gene pool of idiots.

 

17. The National Emergency at Your Doorstep: The disappearance of local news is a slow-moving disaster. (book review)

The Atlantic · by Megan Garber · July 11, 2020

My wife has been pushing hard for us to watch and read local news.  I think she is right.  We need to support our local papers and media.

The author wants us to "recalibrate our vision" of the local news and think of it as "instead as an intimately local proposition."

As an aside one of the longest jobs I ever held was delivering the local newspaper I delivered it every day for 7 years from the time I was 7 until I went to high school at 14.  I bet few kids get to do that today.

 

18. Opinion | Trump's bullying of Lt. Col. Vindman will be studied by military cadets for years

NBC News – by Jeff McCausland - July 11, 2020

This will be panned by those with partisan political views especially because of the clickbait title as that is all many will read. But I think Jeff McCausland's analysis here is important I know he is correct that this will be studied at PME institutions for years to come.  Regardless of partisan views this incident requires study and reflection on a number of levels.

 

19.  The Far-Right Revolution Was Waiting for an Opportunity. Now, It's Here.

The Intercept · by Murtaza Hussain · July 11, 2020

From the Intercept.  And this will be panned by all those who view antifa and BLM as terrorist organizations or insurgencies.  We should all agree that radicalism and radical actions on both extremes of the political spectrum is not good for our country.  Unfortunately, the radical extremes have the loudest voices or take the most aggressive actions.

 

20.  In Latin America, the Pandemic Threatens Equality Like Never Before

The New York Times · by Julie Turkewitz and Sofía Villamil · July 12, 2020

 

21. Gurkhas: The World's Most Famous Mercenaries (Known As a Savage Soldiers)

The National Interest · by Peter Suciu · July 11, 2020

The Ghurkas have to be one of the finest tactical fighting forces in the world.  And they are truly as hard as woodpecker lips as the solder's saying goes.  When I was a young company commander in Korea back in the 1980's a platoon of Gurkhas was deployed for training.  Since we were in the field conducting a major training exercise they were assigned to my company.  The First Sergeant and I drove back to the assembly area with two deuce and a half trucks to bring the platoon to our training location.  The. Brit platoon leader said no thank you and that he and his Gurkha corporal would lead them to our training location on foot at the double time.  We were located about 6 miles from the assembly area and about an hour and a half later they arrived at our location.  The First Sergeant had hot chow waiting for them and provided a bivouac area but again the UK platoon leader said no thank you as they had their own rations and they would gladly occupy a portion of the perimeter and contribute to the defense.  In the best Ranger tradition, they faded into the wood line and occupied tactical positions.  Never once in the week they were with us did they ever do anything that was not tactically sound.  They were "switched on" as they say 24/7.  

 

"Everybody wants to defend speech they agree with., only the truly principled will defend the speech of someone to say something they disagree with and hate to listen or read." - Cal Weyers

 

"Any fool can know. The point is to understand."

- Albert Einstein

 

Victor Hugo was a master of figurative language, including the use of oxymoronic and paradoxical phrasing, chiastic constructions, and, of course, vivid metaphorical images. Here are ten of his best:

"Toleration is the best religion."

"Thought is the labor of the intellect."

"The malicious have a dark happiness."

"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad."

"To rise from error to truth is rare and beautiful."

"A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil."

""Laughter is the sun which drives winter from the human face."

"One can resist the invasion of armies;

one cannot resist the invasion of ideas."

"It is the essence of truth that it is never excessive . . .

We must not resort to the flame where only light is required."

"There are thoughts which are prayers.

There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body,

the soul is on its knees."

Riley.C.Murray Sun, 07/12/2020 - 11:29am
07/12/2020 News & Commentary - Korea

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

 

1. Paik Sun-yup, South Korea's First Four-Star General, Dies at 99

2. How the dramatic death of Seoul's mayor left a country divided

3. Fire Visible From China Destroys Train and Warehouse at North Korean Station

4.  North Korea chaos: Kim Jong-un humiliated as major disaster visible from China

5. North Korea Sends 30 Pyongyang Families of Missing Overseas Workers Into Internal Exile

6.  North Korea denounces UK for sanctions on organizations accused of links to prison camps

7. North Korea Says U.K. Will 'Pay' for Sanctions Against It

8. The Korean Grind Duo That Raged Against Two Corrupt Machines

9. S. Korea, US could suspend again joint drills: sources

10. Korea to require foreigners arriving from high-risk nations to submit proof of negative virus test

11. Political controversy erupts over mourning Seoul mayor's passing

12. New virus cases rebound; imported cases, cluster infections on steady rise

13. Commentary: Another Trump-Kim summit will achieve little yet again

 

1. Paik Sun-yup, South Korea's First Four-Star General, Dies at 99

The New York Times · by Choe Sang-Hun · July 11, 2020

Note the discussion of his service in the Japanese military.  He was born 15 years after Japan occupied Korea (10 years after the official date of 1910).  He was 17 when Japan invaded China.  Yes, he attended a Japanese military school and served in the Japanese army. He likely did not have a choice.  His family, like many others, were trying to survive the Japanese occupation. And it is obvious he put his military training to good use in 1950 and beyond.  

Most who want to treat him as a collaborator are also north Korean apologists.  I think when people are making accusations against General Paik they should remember how much he has done for Korea, unlike Kim Il-sung. Kim was a soldier in the Soviet Red Army who called himself a guerrilla leader.  He commanded the 88th special independent sniper brigade and conducted one known and very minor operation during all of World War II.  He spent the war mostly hiding out because he was not a capable military leader.  Most importantly he did liberate Korea.  All he was good at was  political  manipulation, creating the myths of north  Korea  and developing the most oppressive ruling regime in the modern era and of course he has the blood of more than 1 million Koreans on his hands because he alone started the Korean War.  If it were not for Paik Sun-yup and Koreans like him there would be no free and prosperous Republic of Korea today.

Korean independence fighters in the South also deserve to be honored.  It is not a contradiction to honor them both.  But Kim Il-sung was not one of those freedom fighters.  He and his guerrilla band had no intention of developing a free and prosperous Korea only establishing a brutal that would oppress the Korean people while he held all the power.

I hope South Korea will do the right thing and honor his decades of selfless service for the good of Korea.  He has certainly given more and sacrificed more than anyone in the Moon administration has or ever will do.  I hope he is given the respect he deserves.

 

2. How the dramatic death of Seoul's mayor left a country divided

CNN · by Yoonjung Seo and Julia Hollingsworth, CNN

Korea seems to be focusing on this man's death rather than on honoring General Paik's life.

 

3. Fire Visible From China Destroys Train and Warehouse at North Korean Station

rfa.org – Reported by Joonho Kim for RFA's Korean Service. Translated by Leejin Jun. Written in English by Eugene Whong -10 July 2020

This is an example of the important reporting RFA and VOA does to get this kind of news to the Korean people living in the north.  You know this is not likely being report by north Korean media or it is it will be spun appropriately for protect the reputation of the regime.

Of course, this begs the questions: Was this an accident?  Was it due to party/government incompetence?  Was is deliberate sabotage?  Is this an indication? 

 

4. North Korea chaos: Kim Jong-un humiliated as major disaster visible from China

Express · by Paul Withers · July 11, 2020

This is an interesting spin on the RFA report of this incident.  RFA reports the facts.  Others take the facts and add "interesting" interpretations.

 

5. North Korea Sends 30 Pyongyang Families of Missing Overseas Workers Into Internal Exile

rfa.org - Reported by Sewon Kim for RFA's Korean Service. Translated by Leejin Jun. Written in English by Eugene Whong – 10 July 2020

Again, this is the important kind of reporting by RFA and VOA.  This news is not being reported to the Korean people living in the north by the north Korean media.  The people do not know how the human rights of these families are being abused.  RFA and VOA provide reporting that no other media can do.

 

6. North Korea denounces UK for sanctions on organizations accused of links to prison camps

Reuters · by Joyce Lee · July 11, 2020

This is another important example of why we need to spend more time talking about human rights and less time talking about nuclear weapons.  Human rights undermine the legitimacy of the regime and is a direct threat to Kim Jong-un.  Talking about nuclear weapons enhances regime legitimacy.

The UK is making an important contribution to maximum pressure here.

 

7. North Korea Says U.K. Will 'Pay' for Sanctions Against It

Bloomberg · by Jeong-Ho Lee · July 11, 2020

Again, the UK focus on human rights is a threat to Kim Jong-un.

 

8. The Korean Grind Duo That Raged Against Two Corrupt Machines

Vice · by Junhyup Kwon

A view of a part of Korea and Korea politics and culture that we really read about in mainstream of Korean English media.  I will be interested in responses from my friends in Korea.

 

9. S. Korea, US could suspend again joint drills: sources

koreaherald.com · by The Korea Herald · July 12, 2020

Note the controversy over readiness for the defense of South Korea versus the full operational capability assessment for OPCON Transition.  This why what OPCON transition must be conditions based on not timeline based.  Readiness must take precedence.  However, both may very well be trumped by the coronavirus threat to the health of the ROK/US Combined Forces Command.  I would rather forgo the exercise and maintain the health of the members of the command because the longer-term impact of a potential massive outbreak of the coronavirus within the command could be quite significant.  Commanders are going to have to find other ways to train to ensure everyone knows the defense plans without consolidating the headquarters in a single bunker and risk exposure of a large number of key leaders and staff.

 

10. Korea to require foreigners arriving from high-risk nations to submit proof of negative virus test

koreaherald.com · by The Korea Herald · July 12, 2020

Yes, Korea is experiencing a rise in infections with arriving foreigners.  The problem with this is that proof of a negative test only proves you were negative at the time the test was administered.  A person can become infected after the test and be asymptomatic but still spread the virus.  But this will have some impact as it will likely deter some travelers especially those who do have access to test or who can get test results in a timely manner (such as in the US which is obviously one of the high risk nations based on the data).

 

11. Political controversy erupts over mourning Seoul mayor's passing

en.yna.co.kr · by 김덕현 · July 12, 2020

This overshadows the passing of General Paik.

 

12. New virus cases rebound; imported cases, cluster infections on steady rise

en.yna.co.kr · by 김덕현 · July 12, 2020

It is going to take sustained vigilance by the government and the people to deal with this virus.  As long as there is no vaccine and no likelihood of developing herd immunity it is going to take the hard work of public health processes to manage this crisis.  And I think it is going to have to shift from crisis management to living in a "new normal."  Things may never be the same again - or as the Talking Heads say it will never be "the same as it ever was." (Once in a Lifetime)

 

13. Commentary: Another Trump-Kim summit will achieve little yet again

channelnewsasia.com – by Robert E. Kelly – 12 July 2020

North Korea is justified?  A summit will achieve little if there are no substantive working level talks to produce an agreement to take to the two leaders.  But he is right as to whether a summit would achieve anything. It would not and if we had to make concessions such as lifting sanctions just to have a meeting (which is the required condition just for Kim to show up) we would do more harm than good.

I really tire of the blame the US for not making concessions (to be fair he says both sides have not made concessions - but I would expect the Professor to recall the history of making concessions with north Korea and how masterful the regime is at getting something for nothing).  The reason for failure lies on the shoulders of Kim Jong-un alone.  He is the one who refuses to negotiate (and I would not characterize the recent history as the past 2 years of negotiations - there have been no substantive negotiations - review the reporting on the two sessions in Sweden in January and October of 2019. - Review the reporting on the "negotiations" in the run-up to Hanoi - review the history of the South trying to act as a go-between mediator).  There have not been 2 years of negotiations.  There have been some talks and meetings, but the north has refused to do the hard work of substantive negotiations to reach a real agreement.

But for all those who want to lift sanctions, I ask again what behavior by Kim Jong-un do you want to condone?  Continued nuclear weapons and missile testing, production, deployment, and proliferation?  Continued illicit activities around the world? Continue cyber-attacks around the world? Continued proliferation of conventional weapons and training and advisory services to conflict areas and to America's adversaries? Continued employment of slave labor around the world? And most importantly, continued human rights abuses and crimes against humanity being committed against the Korean people living in the north?  Should Kim get a pass on the gulags and the Songbun system of political and cultural oppression?

 

"Everybody wants to defend speech they agree with., only the truly principled will defend the speech of someone to say something they disagree with and hate to listen or read." - Cal Weyers

 

"Any fool can know. The point is to understand."

- Albert Einstein

 

Victor Hugo was a master of figurative language, including the use of oxymoronic and paradoxical phrasing, chiastic constructions, and, of course, vivid metaphorical images. Here are ten of his best:

"Toleration is the best religion."

"Thought is the labor of the intellect."

"The malicious have a dark happiness."

"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad."

"To rise  from error to truth is rare and beautiful."

"A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil."

""Laughter is the sun which drives winter from the human face."

"One can resist the invasion of armies;

one cannot resist the invasion of ideas."

"It is the essence of truth that it is never excessive . . .

We must not resort to the flame where only light is required."

"There are thoughts which are prayers.

There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body,

the soul is on its knees."

Riley.C.Murray Sun, 07/12/2020 - 10:42am
07/11/2020 News & Commentary - National Security

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

 

1. Trump confirms, in an interview, a U.S. cyberattack on Russia

2. The US Needs a Global Coalition to Defeat COVID

3. The Defense Bill Could Rewrite How the US Does Cyber Defense

4. China is rewriting the rules for its own ends - the world cannot sit idly by

5. Risk of Great Power Conflict in South China Sea is Rising, Experts Say

6. USAGM Is Reviewing Journalist Visas For Compliance With U.S. Law; Countered NPR Report

7. A racial reckoning arrived at West Point, where being black is a 'beautifully painful experience'

8. Navy's first known Black female fighter pilot graduates

9. China, Hong Kong and the world: is Xi Jinping overplaying his hand?

10. COVID-19: America, China and the Conspiracy War

11. When Companies Wielded the Power of States

12. Six Ways the U.S. Isn't Ready for Wars of the Future

13. Cyber Command's measure of success? Outcomes

14. Missile-Armed Chinese Drones Arrive In Europe As Serbia Seeks Airpower Edge

15. Cultural factors are behind disinformation pandemic: why this matters

16. Perspective | The deadly fallout of disinformation

 

1. Trump confirms, in an interview, a U.S. cyberattack on Russia

The Washington Post – by Marc A. Thiessen – 10 July 2020

I did not expect to read this in print.

 

2.The US Needs a Global Coalition to Defeat COVID

defenseone.com – by Joseph Votel, Samuel J. Locklear III

I concur. With all due respect I think this is a no-brainer.  Given the method of transmission of the virus, the global economy, and global travel (just like interstate travel in the US) the defense against the virus does require a global coalition. The world is not going to contain this effort without international cooperation. Isolated national efforts are not going to be successful as we are currently experiencing.

 

3. The Defense Bill Could Rewrite How the US Does Cyber Defense

defenseone.com · by Patrick Tucker

Office of Joint Cyber Planning (OJCP). I wonder how "joe" will figure out how to pronounce that acronym.

 

4. China is rewriting the rules for its own ends - the world cannot sit idly by

From an Administration (DOD) official.

https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3092490/china-rewriting-rules-its-own-ends-world-cannot-sit-idly - by David F. Helvey – 11 July 2020

 

5. Risk of Great Power Conflict in South China Sea is Rising, Experts Say

rfa.org – by Drake Long – 10 July 2020

What comes next?  What happens when there is a conflict and it escalates?  Are we prepared?

 

6. USAGM Is Reviewing Journalist Visas For Compliance With U.S. Law; Countered NPR Report

bbgwatch.com · by Tim Shamble · July 9, 2020

A response to the NPR report about canceling J1 visas of our foreign correspondents at VOA, RFA, etc.  

You cannot argue with doing due diligence to ensure there are no violations of the law.  There apparently will not be a wholesale cancellation of visas for our great foreign journalists.

However, this can and likely will still be interpreted as a veiled threat that might be intended to influence reporting (whether intentional or not it likely will be interpreted that way).

 

7. A racial reckoning arrived at West Point, where being black is a 'beautifully painful experience'

The Washington Post – by Alex Horton – 10 July 2020

I still think too many people are in denial about this very real problem.   It is obvious by the actions and statements of senior military leaders this week that they recognize the problem but there seem to be so many who still do not and who use anecdotes and statistics to rationalize the problem.

 

8. Navy's first known Black female fighter pilot graduates

The Hill · by Alicia Cohn · July 10, 2020

Wow.  I would have thought this milestone had been reached long ago.

 

9. China, Hong Kong and the world: is Xi Jinping overplaying his hand?

Financial Times · by James Kynge · July 10, 2020

I certainly hope so.  If so, what can we do about it? How do we exploit it?

Or do we simply follow Napoleon and never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake (yes that is one of my favorite dictums). 

 

10. COVID-19: America, China, and the Conspiracy War

thecairoreview.com · by Amanda Tapp · July 5, 2020

I just do not see US-Chinese cooperation on much of anything in the future but of all issues and problems it should have been to cooperate on the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus or as the Chinese Global Times and Xinhua called it in January until the Chinese Communist Party made them change the name: the Wuhan Virus and the Wuhan Pneumonia. (just saying).   We see a crisis that must be addressed. I fear the CCP sees opportunity in crisis.

 

11. When Companies Wielded the Power of States

WSJ · by Andrew Phillips and J.C. Sharman

An interesting history in the Wall Street Journal.  And yes, this should be a cautionary tale: "But history should make us cautious. Whenever corporations have straddled the public-private divide, they have ruthlessly exploited the confusion to dodge accountability, undermine sovereignty, worsen international tensions and fleece governments and investors." 

 

12. Six Ways the U.S. Isn't Ready for Wars of the Future

Bloomberg · by James Stavridis · July 10, 2020

A sober warning from the former SACEUR and former SOUTHCOM Commander.  The ABC's of combat is an interesting perspective.

And because of my personal bias note his comments on Special Forces (though i am sure he means special operations forces, though the largest formation of operators in SOF is Special Forces).  His emphasis is currently on the human domain and though he does not explicitly say it on the two SOF trinities of irregular warfare, unconventional warfare, and support to political warfare with the comparative advantages of SOF capabilities of influence, governance, and support to indigenous forces and populations.

 

13. Cyber Command's measure of success? Outcomes

c4isrnet.com · by Mark Pomerleau · July 10, 2020

Yes, outcomes.  Too often measures of "effectiveness" are actually measures of performance. (e.g, money spent, projects conducted, targets "serviced," attacks conducted, attacks stopped (which is always an important thing!) or my favorite: number of troops committed or number of troops in theater or a specific country.)

 

14. Missile-Armed Chinese Drones Arrive In Europe As Serbia Seeks Airpower Edge

Forbes · by Sebastien Roblin · July 9, 2020

The Balkans beware.

 

15. Cultural factors are behind disinformation pandemic: why this matters

theconversation.com · by Herman Wasserman

Yes, culture matters.

I am reminded of this from Keegan: "War embraces much more than politics: it is always an expression of culture, often a determinant of cultural forms, in some societies the culture itself." -John Keegan in A History of Warfare

 

16.  Perspective | The deadly fallout of disinformation

The Washington Post – by Calder Walton

Another useful historical perspective as food for thought. Of course some will take issues with some of the criticisms of the current administration but this statement is something we should all understand: "Today's social media landscape makes it quicker, easier and cheaper to spread disinformation than the KGB ever could." 

 

"Everybody wants to defend speech they agree with., only the truly principled will defend the speech of someone to say something they disagree with and hate to listen or read."

- Cal Weyers

"The things you're looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book."
- Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
"Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn't give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead."

- General James Mattis

Riley.C.Murray Sat, 07/11/2020 - 11:54am
07/11/2020 News & Commentary - Korea

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

 

1. S. Korea, U.S. may cancel summertime combined exercise due to COVID-19: sources

2. Otto Warmbier's Parents Chase North Korean Assets in Eastern Europe

3.  WORDS OF WARNING Kim Jong-un's powerful sister makes chilling threat to Donald Trump saying 'North Korea will never stop building nukes'

4. Kim Jong Un Is Taking a Hard Pass on a Third Summit With Trump

5. US envoy, after Seoul visit, reassures Japan of alliance

6. 'Virus Free' North Korea Fires Health Officials for Quarantine Failures

7.  North Korea asks for 'sacrifices' as coronavirus concerns rise

8. N.K.'s newspaper says anti-virus efforts more important than economic achievements

9. North Korea gearing up for hard times

10. North Korea's Chemical and Coal Liquefaction Industries: The Difficult Path Ahead to Self-Reliance

11. Rich Phone Brokers Caught in North Korean Crackdown Escape Harsh Sentences

12. Over 500 Coronavirus Deaths Suspected in N.Korea

13. Inside Korea's Weird New Infowar

14. S. Korea reports 35 new virus cases, number down for 4th straight day

15. Four lessons New York learned from COVID-19 crisis (A South Korean Assessment)

16. Mayor's case shows scale of South Korea sexism: activists

 

1. S. Korea, U.S. may cancel summertime combined exercise due to COVID-19: sources

en.yna.co.kr · by 오석민 · July 11, 2020

We should not be surprised.  The commanders are going to have to weigh the benefits and the risk to the force.  Yes, we need to train.  However, if there is an outbreak among the entire ROK/US Combined Forces Command staff it will have a debilitating effect on more than readiness.  We do not need the combined headquarters to be combat ineffective.

Despite quarantining those coming from off the peninsula to augment the exercises with staff, observers, and controllers, etc., all it would take is one person already on the peninsula to carry the coronavirus into the command post and infect the thousand or so people that will be working there at close quarters for two weeks.

I would not be surprised is the exercise was postponed (if possible as it is a logistical, scheduling, and financial nightmare to do) if the commanders deem the risk of infection of the combined headquarters to be too high.  We would be more ready if everyone did a staff review of all the defense plans without being able to conduct an exercise than we would if a significant number of the of the commanders and staff became infected and a percentage of them suffer from debilitating effects over time.

 

2. Otto Warmbier's Parents Chase North Korean Assets in Eastern Europe

voanews.com – by Kim Young-gyo, Eunjung Cho – 10 July 2020

Despite the horrible tragedy the Warmbiers have suffered they are doing important work.  And they are not doing this really for personal gain. They are doing it to try to punish the evil Kim family regime and Kim Jong-un.  As Greg Scarlatoiu notes the Warmbiers are going after the two things Kim Jong-un cares about: the pocketbook and international legitimacy. If the parents of a murdered child can do this and achieve some success imagine what a concerted effort by a coalition of like-minded governments could do around the world to target the regime's illicit activities. 

 

3. WORDS OF WARNING Kim Jong-un's powerful sister makes chilling threat to Donald Trump saying 'North Korea will never stop building nukes'

The Sun · by Tariq Tahir · July 10, 2020

It is interesting to read reports of the same events and statements from different news sources and they interpret the same statements and focus on such different aspects, some more sensational and others that might support certain agendas. Of course, sometimes it is just the different headline editors and what they chose to focus on and emphasize.

 

4. Kim Jong Un Is Taking a Hard Pass on a Third Summit With Trump

Vice · by Greg Walters

The understanding everyone needs to take from these various interpretations of Kim Yo-jong's and regime statements is that it is Kim Jong-un who refuses to allow negotiations.  The US has never said no to negotiations and has always been ready and will be ready should the regime decide to conduct substantive working level negotiations.  Of course, summits are a different story.  Kim cannot have a summit unless he is guaranteed to receive sanctions relief - he cannot afford another failed summit.  And I do not think any US president should ever meet with a Kim until there have been working level negotiations that conclude an agreement for the leaders' approval.

 

5. US envoy, after Seoul visit, reassures Japan of alliance

The Washington Post · by Mari Yamaguchi | AP

Korea is the linchpin and Japan is the cornerstone to our alliance system in Northeast Asia.  But the focus of this article on Kim Yo-jong's Friday statement.

 

6. 'Virus Free' North Korea Fires Health Officials for Quarantine Failures

rfa.org – by Hyemin Son - 9 July 2020

Another indication that the virus may be in the north.  But I hope these are not the Anthony Fauci equivalents.

 

7. North Korea asks for 'sacrifices' as coronavirus concerns rise

upi.com – by Elizabeth Shim – 10 July 2020

Another indicator.  And I am sure the regime is very concerned.

 

8. N.K.'s newspaper says anti-virus efforts more important than economic achievements

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · July 10, 2020

I really wonder what the assessments of the intelligence communities in the ROK and US are.  I have to believe there is an outbreak in the north.

 

9. North Korea gearing up for hard times

nkeconwatch.com – by Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein -

Hard times coming.  We have had our own hard time (See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1yE932Vngw_ ) but as tough as they were for us  I think they are exponentially worse in the north.

The north went through hard times in 1994-1996.  I fear it could be worse this time because of how the Korean people evolved and developing coping mechanisms and resilience when the party could no longer provide for them.  And of course the regime was helped immensely during the the Sunshine and Peace and Prosperity Policy period when hundreds of millions of dollars were transferred to the regime (that ended up helping to fund the nuclear weapons program).  But the people survived because when the Public Distribution System (PDS) broke down and failed to provide they turned to the balck market and developed a market economy with more than 400 markets today.  These markets are dependent on cross border trade, smuggling, foreign currency, and communications (cell phones) and transportation (the serv-cha).  See this article about Yonho KIm's research here https://www.rfa.org/english/news/korea/hrnk-kim-yonho-03192019174215.html

The problem now is that because of the coronavirus the regime has closed off the borders to most legal trade and smuggling.  It is cracking down on foriegn currency. It is cracking down on information flow. It is preventing the movement of people and goods. All of the market characteristics and functions that have helped the people cope and survive are being halted by the regime as part of its draconian population and resources control measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  It is also using the excuse of the coronavirus to crack down to further control the population.   In addition because of existing sanctions South Korea is constrained from executing a sunshine Policy 2.0.

The combination of these conditions means, like the title says, hard times are coming.

 

10. North Korea's Chemical and Coal Liquefaction Industries: The Difficult Path Ahead to Self-Reliance

HTTPS://WWW.38NORTH.ORG/2020/07/BKATZEFFSILBERSTEIN070920/ - by Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein – 9 July 2020

As the previous article said and Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein wrote, hard times are coming.

 

11. Rich Phone Brokers Caught in North Korean Crackdown Escape Harsh Sentences

rfa.org – by Jieun Kim

Obviously, the corruption aspect of this is important.

But what is more important is how important the cell phone network is and recognition by the regime that it is a real vulnerability to its control.  This is why we should be devising plans to exploit the internal cell phone network and the 6.5 million smart phones in the north.  It could be an achilles heel of the regime.

 

12. Over 500 Coronavirus Deaths Suspected in N.Korea

english.chosun.com – 10 July 2020

This is still unconfirmed, but I think it is very plausible.  And if this spreads to the military we could see very tough times ahead in terms of instability.

 

13. Inside Korea's Weird New Infowar

https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-koreas-weird-new-infowar?ref=scroll – by Donald Kirk – 10 July 2020

A good defense of our escapees who are doing important work trying to get information back in to the north and inform the Korean people in the north about the world and their situation.

Despite all the criticism (and north Korean bellicose rhetoric) it is not their work that hinders north-South relations or will prevent another Kim-Trump summit.  They are the only ones who are really engaged in doing something substantive to help the Korean people living in the north (yes there are NGOs who try their best to provide humanitarian aid but it is information that is key to the people's future and especially in preparation for eventual unification - and yes VOA and RFA are doing critically important work as well).

And yes, there is criticism of the Moon administration in this. as well. It is interesting how Mr. Park characterizes the administration as having the Stockholm syndrome with "the affection that those who are abused may feel for those abusing them."  The Kim family regime is most certainly the abuser in this relationship.  We should never forget that Kim Jong-un is an abusive partner who will not and cannot change.

 

14. S. Korea reports 35 new virus cases, number down for 4th straight day

en.yna.co.kr · by 김광태 · July 11, 2020

Some good news.  South Korea's efforts to contain this must be studied and learned from.

 

15. Four lessons New York learned from COVID-19 crisis (A South Korean Assessment)

donga.com – by Yong Park – 11 July 2020

 

16. Mayor's case shows scale of South Korea sexism: activists

sg.news.yahoo.com · July 10, 2020

But it will be sad to see the Mayor's situation and funeral overshadow the death of General Paik.

 

"Everybody wants to defend speech they agree with., only the truly principled will defend the speech of someone to say something they disagree with, and hate to listen or read."

- Cal Weyers

"The things you're looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book."
- Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
"Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn't give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead."

- General James Mattis

Riley.C.Murray Sat, 07/11/2020 - 11:13am

Women, Peace, and Security

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 3:58pm

Practicing What We Preach: Committing to the Women, Peace, and Security Strategy Here at Home

realcleardefense.com · by Mackenzie Eaglen

Rep. Mike Waltz is stepping up.  

Mackenzie Eaglen makes a key point here: "But in order to increase policymaker engagement, there must first be awarenessDespite its history, the Women, Peace and Security agenda is hardly an issue that the American public engages with frequently or passionately."  I was made aware of these efforts some years ago by my good friend Robert Egnell from Sweden who is one of the few men to work on these issues. He now heads the Swedish National Defense University (he is the rector).

The Political Logic of China's Strategic Mistakes

 The Political Logic of China's Strategic Mistakes

project-syndicate.org · by Minxin Pei · July 8, 2020

I certainly hope China keeps making mistakes.  But this is quite an assessment.  Yes, Minxin Pei says the problems stem from over-concentration of power in Xi's hands but adds this: "a more important reason for the Chinese government's self-destructive policies: the mindset of the Communist Party of China (CPC)."  He goes on to provide a description

 

 

DanielRiggs Thu, 07/09/2020 - 3:53pm
7/9/2020 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. FBI Opens a China-Related Counterintelligence Investigation Every 10 Hours

2. The Political Logic of China's Strategic Mistakes

3. China's Confucius Institutes Attempt to Rebrand Following Backlash

4. China challenges U.S. to cut nuclear arsenal to matching level

5. Seven Candidates Battling for WTO Leadership

6. Opinion | How Trump is losing Asia

7. Election Experts Warn of November Disaster

8. Practicing What We Preach: Committing to the Women, Peace, and Security Strategy Here at Home

9. Diversity is America's Untapped Competitive Edge

10. Is free speech under threat from 'cancel culture'? Four writers respond

11. A global strategy for shaping the post-COVID-19 world

12. Army Was Reviewing More Than Confederate Base Names, Officials Reveal

13. Want Better Strategists? Start With a Better Definition of Strategy

14. History Shows That Sustained, Disruptive Protests Work

15. Trump Pushed CIA to Give Intelligence to Kremlin, While Taking No Action Against Russia Arming Taliban

16. Is Taiwan the Next Hong Kong?

17. The Limits of Intuition: Army Intelligence Should Embrace Analytic Tradecraft Standards

18. The U.S. Is Trying to Turn China Into the Next Iran

 

1. FBI Opens a China-Related Counterintelligence Investigation Every 10 Hours

defenseone.com · by Frank R. Konkel· July 8, 2020

That is a jarring statistic to me.  When does the FBI have any time to investigate the cases?  We have seen the reports of China pressing hard to obtain information from our universities and research institutions to help with the pandemic.

 

2. The Political Logic of China's Strategic Mistakes

project-syndicate.org · by Minxin Pei · July 8, 2020

I certainly hope China keeps making mistakes.  But this is quite an assessment.  Yes Minxin Pei says the problems stem from over-concentration of power in Xi's hands but adds this: "a more important reason for the Chinese government's self-destructive policies: the mindset of the Communist Party of China (CPC)."  He goes on to provide a description of the CPC (CCP) world view and what it means.

 

3. China's Confucius Institutes Attempt to Rebrand Following Backlash

National Review Online · by Zachary Evans · July 8, 2020

No amount of rebranding should be able to remove the subversion and propaganda stick of the Chinese Communist Party.

 

4. China challenges U.S. to cut nuclear arsenal to matching level

Reuters · by Yew Lun Tian · July 8, 2020

I suppose 300 or so nuclear weapons is still enough to destroy the world.  But all this means is that China has no intention of participating because they know the US is not going to agree to the kind of demand or condition for negotiation. 

 

5. Seven Candidates Battling for WTO Leadership

english.chosun.com  · July 9, 2020

 

6. Opinion | How Trump is losing Asia

The Washington Post · by  Robert D. Kaplan

This is one of the strongest critiques of our policies and actions in Asia.  He provides these two critical conclusions: " What is now tethering the United States' Asian allies to Washington is less confidence in the United States than outright fear of China" and "It is all about geography: China's very size and proximity make a sturdy and unquestioning U.S. regional order essential for the power balance in Asia."  We need our alliance system.  We need the right trade agreements.  We need forward presence.  We need engagement with our friends, partners, and allies.  We need to demonstrate strategic reassurance and strategic resolve.

 

7. Election Experts Warn of November Disaster

defenseone.com · by Matt Vasilogamrbos

We should learn from the primary experiences this year.

The federal, state, and local governments, along with every election official and both the Republican and Democratic parties must do everything within their power, expend all necessary resources, and implement all the correct safeguards to ensure the absolute legitimacy of our election process.  to do anything less is the height of irresponsibility.  Our election process is under attack from outside and from within and it will take an integrated national, state, and local effort to defend against those threats.  To do anything less than our best is to undermine our federal democratic republic and our democratic processes.


8. Practicing What We Preach: Committing to the Women, Peace, and Security Strategy Here at Home

realcleardefense.com · by Mackenzie Eaglen

Rep. Mike Waltz is stepping up.  

Mackenzie Eaglen makes a key point here: "But in order to increase policymaker engagement, there must first be awarenessDespite its history, the Women, Peace and Security agenda is hardly an issue that the American public engages with frequently or passionately."  I was made aware of these efforts some years ago by my good friend Robert Egnell from Sweden who is one of the few men to work on these issues. He now heads the Swedish National Defense University (he is the rector).

 

9. Diversity is America's Untapped Competitive Edge

inkstickmedia.com · by Laicie Heeley · July 8, 2020

Perhaps we should think of diversity as joint-ness.  Joint-ness does not equal sameness.  We bring the incredible capabilities of the joint force together to fight and win.  We need to bring together the diverse capabilities of Americans to support our national security.

This article also critiques our broker human capital system and the security clearance process.  And this author concludes with this important statement: "This isn't a partisan issue - it is a national security imperative. Not only because it's right or fair, but because diverse teams are smarter, faster, and more innovative - in other words, better."

 

10. Is free speech under threat from 'cancel culture'? Four writers respond

The Guardian · by Nesrine Malik · July 8, 2020

The Harper's letter did have a lot of interesting signatories. The letter can be accessed here: https://harpers.org/a-letter-on-justice-and-open-debate/. It has stirred up quite a bit of controversy.

 Below is some critical food for thought in response to the letter.

 

11. A global strategy for shaping the post-COVID-19 world

atlanticcouncil.org · July 7, 2020

The graphic at the end asks and answers the question of why save a rules based order? 

 

12. Army Was Reviewing More Than Confederate Base Names, Officials Reveal

defenseone.com · by Kate Bo Williams

Was the Army thwarted from doing the right thing by a tweet?

 

13. Want Better Strategists? Start With a Better Definition of Strategy

realcleardefense.com · by Jeffrey Meiser and Patrick Quirk

I am surprised the authors do not reference the late Terry Deibel of the National War College and his seminal work on strategy. (see chapter one of his book Foreign Affairs Strategy, Chapter 1 Introduction - Defining Strategy:  )

But they are right that there is not a commonly accepted definition of strategy

 

14. History Shows That Sustained, Disruptive Protests Work

YES! Magazine · by Kevin A. Young

We are at an inflection point in US history. We just had the largest civil protests in our history.  Can those protests be turned into positive change?

Some interesting analysis below to which I am sure many will take exception.  But it is important to understand the author's thesis in today's context when there are some reports of polling that shows a majority of Americans actually support many of the goals of the protests (though some of those goals cause hard push back from some of the partisan tribes in the US).

 

15. Trump Pushed CIA to Give Intelligence to Kremlin, While Taking No Action Against Russia Arming Taliban

justsecurity.org · by Ryan Goodman · July 8, 2020

 

16.  Is Taiwan the Next Hong Kong?

Foreign Affairs · by Michael Green and Evan Medeiros · July 8, 2020

I certainly hope not. I think it could cause conflict.  This situation should be different in that despite its ejection from the UN and the One China Policy, Taiwan is de facto a sovereign state or at least it is more sovereign than Hong Kong ever was.  But as the authors note China seems to be more willing to take risks.

 

17. The Limits of Intuition: Army Intelligence Should Embrace Analytic Tradecraft Standards

warontherocks.com · by James Kwoun · July 8, 2020

I would add Clausewitz' concept of coup d'oeil (and the inward looking eye!) which is based on education and experience that allow commanders to make decisions in the fog and friction of war with less than perfect information.  As he said: "When all is said and done, it really is the commander's coup d'œil, his ability to see things simply, to identify the whole business of war completely with himself, that is the essence of good generalship." 

 

18. The U.S. Is Trying to Turn China Into the Next Iran

Bloomberg · by Eli Lake · July 9, 2020

The title is clickbait. But I think the subtitle sums it up. 

 

-----------------

 

"I've spent the last 25 years studying genocide. I've learned that the belief that human society is perfectible through the zealous application of ideology tends not to end well."

- Alex Bellamy

 

"When proven wrong, the wise man will correct himself and the ignorant will keep arguing."

- Ali ibn Abi Talib

 

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, conn a ship, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve an equation, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." 

- Robert Heinlein

 

DanielRiggs Thu, 07/09/2020 - 9:50am