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01/16/2021 News & Commentary - National Security

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and Published by Riley Murray.

 

1. Ensuring a Transparent, Thorough Investigation of COVID-19's Origin - United States Department of State

2. Mike Pompeo reveals intel implicating Wuhan lab in origins of COVID-19

3. American Thinker: Statement on Dominion Defamation

4. Analysis | A pillow salesman apparently has some ideas about declaring martial law

5. Trump's Indo-Pacific policy wasn't all wrong

6. War on Terror Teaches How to Fight Hate Groups

7. Race is on to commercialize fusion energy

8. Judge calls Capitol siege 'violent insurrection,' orders man who wore horns held

9.  From Counterterrorism to Irregular Warfare: What Does That Mean?

10. NSA Appoints Rob Joyce as Cyber Director

11. As Trump Clashes With Big Tech, China's Censored Internet Takes His Side

12. FAA Approves First Fully Automated Commercial Drone Flights

13. Economic and Diplomatic Power is not a Substitute for Military Strength

 

1. Ensuring a Transparent, Thorough Investigation of COVID-19's Origin - United States Department of State

state.gov · by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

 

2. Mike Pompeo reveals intel implicating Wuhan lab in origins of COVID-19

Daily Mail · by Keith Griffith · January 16, 2021

The Daily Mail's analysis of SECSTATE's statement released last evening.

 

3. American Thinker: Statement on Dominion Defamation

americanthinker.com

An act of contrition?

 

4. Analysis | A pillow salesman apparently has some ideas about declaring martial law

The Washington Post · January 15, 2021

Some things you just cannot make up.  The "MyPillow guy?"  Perhaps there is something to this.  I seem to do my best strategic thinking when my head is on the pillow (I just can never recall it when I wake up).  We have the "kitchen cabinet, " Lendell must be a member of the "bedroom cabinet."

 

5. Trump's Indo-Pacific policy wasn't all wrong

asiatimes.com · by Grant Newsham · January 15, 2021

That foreign policy stuff isn't easy. 

Excerpts:

As for criticism that China is still a serious threat as the Trump administration ends, one can hardly blame Trump for the fact that Beijing hasn't apologized and promised to behave better. He at least made the PRC leadership more uncomfortable than had any of his predecessors in the last 40 years.

At the end of the day, no president or administration to date deserves a perfect score when it comes to Indo-Pacific affairs. And they've all done perplexing things.

But a president and his foreign policy staff are the men and women in the ring trying to defend US and partner interests - and indeed the very notion of consensual government, individual liberty, human rights and the so-called rules-based order.

It isn't easy.

Trump and his staff are handing off to Joseph Biden an Indo-Pacific that is better off than it was in 2017 - although by no means out of the woods. Let's hope the new team reads the Indo-Pacific Strategic Framework and uses it as a reference.

Regardless, they will be the ones in the ring, and one hopes they succeed.

 

6. War on Terror Teaches How to Fight Hate Groups

Bloomberg · by James Stavridis · January 15, 2021

I remember the controversy when COIN theory was being applied in Springfield, Mass by policemen who had served in Afghanistan.  (and of course, some of COIN theory was based on the community policing techniques - there is some real yin-yang going on among these theories).  But this proposal will certainly raise concerns and I am sure it will generate some hate mail.  Of course, intelligence sharing and. A mix of hard and soft power (appropriate for the conditions and situations) may also be called fundamental and common sense.

 

7. Race is on to commercialize fusion energy

asiatimes.com · by Jonathan Tennenbaum · January 16, 2021

Will this be a game changer?

 

8. Judge calls Capitol siege 'violent insurrection,' orders man who wore horns held

Reuters · by Brad Heath, Sarah N. Lynch, Jan Wolfe · January 16, 2021

Some good news, perhaps.

 

9. From Counterterrorism to Irregular Warfare: What Does That Mean? 

news.clearancejobs.com · by Jason Criss Howk · January 15, 2021

I have noticed that some CT organizations are being renamed as IW organizations in the Pentagon.  Is a name change sufficient?

Excerpts:

Sir Graeme of the UK Army often told me that the way to overcome an irregular threat, like an insurgency, is to use the principle of mass. While mass is often thought of as pushing thousands of soldiers towards one objective, he meant smart-massing. He meant use every tool at a governments disposal to overwhelm the irregular threat. Irregular threats are not always resilient and seldom robust. They are not often sophisticated enough to withstand an attack from 12 directions at once. By pulling back our focus on CT so we can use all the other tools of irregular warfare, we can mass all our government's power and overwhelm China, Russia, and Iran.

Our great power nation enemies would like nothing more than to see us continue to fight them in a hap-hazard way, while we keep our foot on the gas to chase a few terrorists around the globe. Its time to pump the brakes a bit and take a fresh look at the tools in the shed. We can start using a rake to move leaves, or continue to swing at them with a hammer until we pass out. There is no need to panic about the shift from CT to IW. Many a grandfather has told their grandkids to use the correct tool for the job, and that is the advice we should be focusing on at the moment. Let's enhance our cyber and information operations, security partnership building, and counter-network/threat skills; and use all of the other oft-forgotten organizations to make us safer by empowering other nation's populations to better their own states.

 

10. NSA Appoints Rob Joyce as Cyber Director

darkreading.com

National Security Agency.  Not to be confused with the National Security Advisor.

 

11. As Trump Clashes With Big Tech, China's Censored Internet Takes His Side

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/15/business/trump-china-censorship.html - by Li Yuan

 

12. America's troubles ahead in the Asia-Pacific

lowyinstitute.org · by Hadrien T. Saperstein

"The inability to project power beyond militarised means..."   We should ponder this.

Excerpts:

Consequently, in the coming years, the US government will heedlessly continue the process of militarising its foreign policy in an attempt to mitigate the diplomatic failure to reverse the slow-moving strategic shift that will occur in the Asia-Pacific region.

The inability to project power beyond militarised means, elicited by intermittent domestic crises, will make allies and partners far less confident in the depth and durability of the US commitment to the Asia-Pacific region. The likely result will be that the United States is once again be long on promises, but short on delivery.

 

12. FAA Approves First Fully Automated Commercial Drone Flights

WSJ · by Andy Pasztor and Katy Stech Ferek

American Robotics granted permission to operate drones without hands-on piloting.

 

13. Economic and Diplomatic Power is not a Substitute for Military Strength

realcleardefense.com · by Seth Cropsey and Harry Halem

Conclusion: The Biden administration's emphasis on multilateralism in dealing with China should be welcomed. America must stand but cannot stand alone. Nevertheless, this nation must take care. Today, as in any other era, blood remains the price of power and military force its most valuable currency. America's adversaries understand this fact. Not recognizing it, therefore, is an invitation to violence. Forming a broad-based multilateral coalition to counter Beijing's economic/diplomatic expansion should not curtail the U.S. military's need to equal and surpass China's continuing arms buildup.

 

 

"Truth does not reside in exact recording of every detail.  It never has.  Instead, it resides in myth -- generalizing myths that direct attention to what is common amid diversity by neglecting trivial differences of detail."  

- Historian William McNeill wrote in a NYT op-ed in 1981

 

"It's limited war for Americans, and total war for those fighting Americans. The United States has more power; its foes have more willpower." 

- Dominic Tierney

  

"There's a sociologist who spent a lot of time [in Afghanistan] who asked Americans to define what corruption is. They would say something like, 'when you give your cousin a job.'  Then he went to Afghanistan and asked them to define corruption. They said, 'that's when you have a job to give and you don't give it to your cousin.'"

- David Brooks, May 14, 2013 public lecture at CSIS

Riley.C.Murray Sat, 01/16/2021 - 12:49pm
01/16/2021 News & Commentary - Korea

News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and Published by Riley Murray.

 

1. Opinion | Why North Korea could become one of Biden's biggest challenges

2. North Korean Leader's Sister Retains Power Despite Formal 'Demotion'

3. N.Korea Shows off New Submarine-Launched Missile at Military Parade

4. N. Korea holds military parade, showcases new SLBM

5. Military parade pressures Biden to take North Korea seriously

6. Diplomats of S. Korea, Japan hold video talks amid tensions on wartime sexual slavery ruling

7. S. Korea extends current social distancing level for 2 weeks, eases restrictions on cafes, gyms

8. Shameful political legacy

 

1. Opinion | Why North Korea could become one of Biden's biggest challenges

The Washington Post · by Victor Cha · January 15, 2021

I am going to beat this horse: deterrence, defense, denuclearization, solving the Korea question (unification), using a superior form of political warfare based on a rock-solid ROK/US alliance and realistic assumptions of the nature of the Kim family regime and its strategy and objectives.

I am glad to read Dr. Cha discussing the potential for instability in north Korea.

Again, I offer this from Robert Kaplan who interviewed Robert Collins in 2006 and describes the 7 phases of north Korean collapse.

When North Korea Falls
The furor over Kim Jong Il's missile tests and nuclear brinksmanship obscures the real threat: the prospect of North Korea's catastrophic collapse. How the regime ends could determine the balance of power in Asia for decades. The likely winner? China
ROBERT D. KAPLAN
OCTOBER 2006 ISSUE

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/10/when-north-korea-falls/305228/

Here is a link to my 1996 Monograph following the Arduous March of the great famine of 1994-1996 

"The Catastrophic Collapse of North Korea: Implications for the U.S. Military" 

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a314274.pdf 

My thoughts on supporting Korean unification and resistance in north Korea are here. 

Should the United States Support Korean Unification and If So, How? 

International Journal of Korean Studies ·Vol. XVIII, No. 1  

http://icks.org/n/data/ijks/1482467285_add_file_7.pdf  

Unification Options and Scenarios: Assisting A Resistance 

International Journal of Korean Unification Studies 

Vol. 24, No. 2, 2015, 127-152 

https://www.kinu.or.kr/pyxis-api/1/digital-files/d3f8fb63-4f8c-49c9-a4fa-901d3120bd5a  

But yes, it is not just KJU's nuclear weapons.  Here are my "Big 5"

1. War - must deter, and if attacked defend, fight, and defeat the nKPA.

2. Regime Collapse - must prepare for the real possibility and understand it could lead to war and both war and regime collapse could result in resistance within the north.

3. Human Rights and Crimes Against Humanity - (gulags, external forced labor, etc) must focus on as it is a threat to the Kim Family Regime and undermines domestic legitimacy - it is a moral imperative and a national security issue. KJU denies human rights to remain in power.

4. Asymmetric threats (provocations, proliferation, nuclear program, missiles, cyber, and SOF) subversion of the ROK, and global illicit activities.

5. Unification - the biggest challenge and the solution.

We should never forget that north Korea is master of denial and deception in all that it does from military operations to strategy to diplomatic negotiations.

There are my five strategic questions about north Korea:

1.  What do we want to achieve in Korea?

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

3. Who does Kim fear more: The US or the Korean people in the north? (Note it is the Korean people armed with information knowledge of life in South Korea)

4. 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?

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

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

 

2. North Korean Leader's Sister Retains Power Despite Formal 'Demotion'

rfa.org

Not mentioned is that she appears to still retain her position in the Organization and Guidance Department which is the most important organization directly supporting Kim Jong-un, the regime, and the party.  And of course, trusting her with the propaganda and Agitation Department responsible for glorifying KJU and controlling the regime narrative is also another indicator of her importance and power.

 

3. N.Korea Shows off New Submarine-Launched Missile at Military Parade

english.chosun.com – 16 January 2021

Never tested, not known to be operational, and does it have a capable submarine (and at least three to make one) to make this availability capability?  Right now, I think this is a blackmail diplomacy tool and is more about trying to raise tensions to extract/extort political and economic concessions.  It may be a "bargaining chip" at negotiations.  They are trying to generate fear of the capability so we will provide concessions to stop its fielding.  And the sad irony could be they would give up a "capability" that was nowhere near ready to be fielded and perhaps they never even had any intention of fielding it. They will give up the "new" missile and continue to develop and field the already tested Pukguksong-3.  

That said, never say never.  Maybe they have developed a more advanced missile that is ready to be tested.  We have underestimated the regime and the nKPA before.

 

4. N. Korea holds military parade, showcases new SLBM

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · January 15, 2021

Kim Jong-un is rocking that leather coat of fur hat.

 

5. Military parade pressures Biden to take North Korea seriously

The Korea Times · January 15, 2021

I am pretty confident the Biden administration takes north Korea seriously. That said it does not mean that it will act in the desperate way that KJU desires.  Biden's national security team will ensure there is not an overreaction to KJU 's provocation while at the same time demonstrating strategic reassurance and strategic resolve. 

 

6. Diplomats of S. Korea, Japan hold video talks amid tensions on wartime sexual slavery ruling

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · January 15, 2021

There is no easy answer to this problem except decisive leadership by Moon and Suga (but that will be hard).

 

7. S. Korea extends current social distancing level for 2 weeks, eases restrictions on cafes, gyms

en.yna.co.kr · by 이해아 · January 16, 2021

The pendulum is swinging.

 

8. Shameful political legacy

The Korea Times – by Park Moo-jong - January 14, 2021

A useful survey of the Korean presidents and comparisons to some US presidents.

 

 

"Truth does not reside in exact recording of every detail.  It never has.  Instead, it resides in myth -- generalizing myths that direct attention to what is common amid diversity by neglecting trivial differences of detail."  

- Historian William McNeill wrote in a NYT op-ed in 1981

 

"It's limited war for Americans, and total war for those fighting Americans. The United States has more power; its foes have more willpower." 

- Dominic Tierney

  

"There's a sociologist who spent a lot of time [in Afghanistan] who asked Americans to define what corruption is. They would say something like, 'when you give your cousin a job.'  Then he went to Afghanistan and asked them to define corruption. They said, 'that's when you have a job to give and you don't give it to your cousin.'"

- David Brooks, May 14, 2013 public lecture at CSIS

Riley.C.Murray Sat, 01/16/2021 - 12:38pm
Special FDD Report on DPRK and Transition

FDD | North Korea

fdd.org · by David Maxwell (Senior Fellow) and Mathew Ha (Research Analyst)· January 14, 2021

Here is the assessment on US national security policy toward north Korea and recommendations for the way ahead from Mathew Ha and me.

DanielRiggs Fri, 01/15/2021 - 10:19am
01/15/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. Defend, dominate, deny: Declassified U.S. strategy shows vision for Indo-Pacific

2.What’s in a Name? Reimagining Irregular Warfare Activities for Competition

3. Appeasing China, New Zealand abandons the Five Eyes

4. Trump Orders U.S. Military Reorganization Favored by Pro-Israel Groups

5. America’s Far Right Isn’t Authoritarian. It’s Anti-Statist.

6. No Place in DOD for Extremism, White Supremacy, Officials Say

7. MIT Professor Who Received $19M in Federal Grants Arrested for Concealing Ties to China

8. Millions Flock to Telegram and Signal as Fears Grow Over Big Tech

9. Opinion | Biden Must Retire the Illogical Great Power Competition Paradigm

10. Norquist to serve as acting defense secretary; acting service secretaries named

11. Why the alt-right believes another American Revolution is coming

12. Court orders arrest of Maria Ressa, Rambo Talabong over Benilde thesis story

13. New China defense law could "justify" PLA action against U.S.- think tank

14.  If You Want Peace, Study War

15.  China’s Quiet Play For Latin America

 

1. Defend, dominate, deny: Declassified U.S. strategy shows vision for Indo-Pacific

japantimes.co.jp · by Jesse Johnson · January 13, 2021

A summary of the recently declassified Inod-Pacific strategy.  The question is what part of this strategy will transcend the transition of administrations?

 

2. What’s in a Name? Reimagining Irregular Warfare Activities for Competition

warontherocks.com · by Kevin Bilms · January 15, 2021

An important contribution to the debate on terminology and definitions.  The question is will Kevin's proposals help clean up the proliferation of terms?  Every term has baggage and people who are wedded to those terms (e.g., I would never do away with unconventional warfare)

 

3. Appeasing China, New Zealand abandons the Five Eyes

Washington Examiner · by Tom Rogan · January 11, 2021

Of course, the title caught my eye (one of my two eyes and not my five eyes:-))

But this appears to be hyperbole - the "abandonment" is that New Zealand did not stand with the other four in condemning China over Hong Kong (and Rogan provides other "offenses").  I have not heard of any reporting saying the New ealand has actually left the Five Eyes construct.

Conclusion:

“The bottom line: New Zealand has fed the rising perception in Washington that while its intelligence services remain staffed by talented patriots and allies, its government can no longer be trusted to safeguard the most sensitive American intelligence. The U.S. has also noticed the argument by influential New Zealanders that their government should now act as intermediary between the U.S. and China rather than an ally to the former.

Put simply, New Zealand's silence on Hong Kong is a symptom of a much deeper and more worrisome problem.”

 

4. Trump Orders U.S. Military Reorganization Favored by Pro-Israel Groups

WSJ · by Michael R. Gordon and Gordon Lubold

As General Zinni says this is probably the right time to do this.

 

5. America’s Far Right Isn’t Authoritarian. It’s Anti-Statist.

defenseone.com · by Christine German and Michael A. Hunzeker

An important essay.  This is what I see on my social media feeds from many of my friends who are Trump supporters. Anti-statist is probably the best description. And there is the belief that the existential threat to America comes from the left.  I believe this is what really animates them.

 

6. No Place in DOD for Extremism, White Supremacy, Officials Say

defense.gov · by Jim Garamone

Excerpt:

"We ... are doing everything we can to eliminate extremism in the Department of Defense," Gary Reed, the director for defense intelligence and counterintelligence, law enforcement and security, said. "DOD policy expressly prohibits military personnel from actively advocating supremacist, extremist or criminal gang doctrine, ideology or causes."

 

7. MIT Professor Who Received $19M in Federal Grants Arrested for Concealing Ties to China

National Review Online · by Brittany Bernstein · January 14, 2021

Excerpts:

“Chen allegedly received roughly $29 million in foreign funding since 2013, including the funds from SUSTech.

MIT spokeswoman Kimberly Allen said in a statement to the Daily Caller that the university is “deeply distressed” over Chen’s arrest.

“MIT believes the integrity of research is a fundamental responsibility, and we take seriously concerns about improper influence in U.S. research,” Allen said. “Prof. Chen is a long-serving and highly respected member of the research community, which makes the government’s allegations against him all the more distressing.”

 

8. Millions Flock to Telegram and Signal as Fears Grow Over Big Tech

The New York Times · by Jack Nicas, Mike Isaac and Sheera Frenkel · January 13, 2021

Growing  counterintelligence challenges.

 

9. Opinion | Biden Must Retire the Illogical Great Power Competition Paradigm

commondreams.org · by Sharon Squassoni · January 13, 2021

There is more to great power competition than a nuclear arms race.

Excerpts:

“A big reason to retire the great power competition paradigm is its utter illogic when it comes to nuclear weapons. There is no winning a nuclear arms race and no winning a nuclear war. The use of any nuclear weapon in conflict is a loss for humanity. In the nuclear weapons realm, stability, not dominance, is the name of the game. In that realm, the United States, Russia, and China have a lot more to gain by cooperation than confrontation, and cooperation is all but impossible within a great power competition paradigm.

Take, for example, the conduct of nuclear arms control during the Trump administration. Arms control is the traditional sphere of cooperation when it comes to nuclear weapons. The United States repeatedly insisted that China be part of any deal to extend New START, even though China is not party to the treaty and has a far smaller nuclear arsenal than Russia or the United States. As Fu Cong, China’s director general for arms control, explained for a global audience in November, “Arms control that aims at increasing one’s own security, at the expense of the security of others, is neither acceptable nor sustainable” (Fu 2020). Fu then directly criticized the US for playing a zero-sum game. Predictably, China was not convinced to engage in arms control that only carried costs and no benefits for it.”

 

10. Norquist to serve as acting defense secretary; acting service secretaries named

Defense News · by Aaron Mehta · January 14, 2021

 

11. Why the alt-right believes another American Revolution is coming

theconversation.com · by Clare Corbould

Our Constitution was designed with the checks and balances and separation of powers (both at the federal level as well as among the federal, state, and local governments). The question is has our Constitution failed?  If we support and defend it shouldn't our efforts be focused on making it work through the political system and processes that it established? Can violence, insurrection, and civil war support and defend our constitution? What is the end state for defending the Constitution through  employment of violent ways and means? 
 

I would really like to know the strategy of those who are advocating another revolution.  I know they fear socialism from the radical left and the radical poses an existential threat in their minds.  But don't we have sufficient political processes to protect against those radical ideologies?  How does their strategy play out?  How does violence insurrection and revolution support and defend the Constitution that so many profess to believe in?

 

12. Court orders arrest of Maria Ressa, Rambo Talabong over Benilde thesis story

rappler.com

The current Philippines regime is one the biggest threats to freedom of the press.  Maria Ressa continues to fight the good fight.  She deserves the support of the international community and freedom loving people of the Philippines.

 

13. New China defense law could "justify" PLA action against U.S.- think tank

Newsweek · by John Feng · January 13, 2021

Lawfare.

 

14. If You Want Peace, Study War

persuasion.community · by Margaret MacMillan

I am reminded of Edwin Starr:

“(War, huh) Yeah!

(What is it good for?) Absolutely nothing, uhuh”

Excerpts:

“I would not suggest that student preference should determine what departments offer. But they should at least be listened to. Much more important is what we, as societies, want our future leaders to know. Political history, diplomatic history and the study of war—they all offer critical warnings and instructive analogies to our times. Social and cultural histories, and history from the bottom up, add to our understanding too. But we need balance, and a sense of how the micro- and macro-histories mesh with each other.

Do we really want citizens who have so little knowledge of how war helped to shape our values and societies and our world? Do we ever want another president asking, as Donald Trump did during a visit to the Pearl Harbor memorial: “What’s this all about? What’s this a tour of?”

If we aren’t aware of how wars happen, we may fail to recognize warning signs when the next conflict brews, as it will.”

 

15. China’s Quiet Play For Latin America

noemamag.com · by Margaret Myers

Excerpts:

“However, the Trump administration’s heavy-handed, China-centric approach to regional policy may have unintentionally boosted Beijing’s image in Latin America. The Pew Research Center has noted that views of China in the region shifted from negative to mostly positive following Trump’s election in 2016, and have increased every year thereafter.

Trump’s punitive foreign policy and isolationist trade agenda also alienated critical U.S. allies in the region, including Latin American members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump withdrew from on his first day in office. Other aggressive moves — such as the nomination of Mauricio Claver-Carone, an American, to head the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which violated a long-standing agreement among IDB members that Latin Americans should lead the bank — reinforced the notion of a hegemonic U.S., making China’s claim of “non-interference” that much more appealing.

Now that Trump’s time in office is ending, China’s efforts to shape its image in Latin America will be made more difficult. Assuming Biden employs a more cooperative and moralistic approach to hemispheric affairs, China will be judged, as it often was before Trump, on its own merits rather than in comparison to Trump’s domestic and foreign policy, both of which have largely dismissed existential challenges to hemispheric wellbeing, including in the areas of global health and climate change.”

 

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

 

"In the “strategic equation” of war there are “four factors — combat, economic, political, and psychologic - and that the last of these is coequal with the others.”

- U.S. Army General Staff, April 1918

 

"A well-organized intelligence service ... publishes estimates of the military, economic, political, and psychological status of [active and potential enemies, allies, and neutrals]."

- Alexander E. Powell, The Army Behind the Army, 1919

 

With absolutely no apologies to Leon Trotsky: America may not be interested in irregular, unconventional, and political warfare but they are being practiced around the world by those who are interested in them - namely the revisionist, rogue, and revolutionary powers and violent extremist organizations.

DanielRiggs Fri, 01/15/2021 - 10:12am
01/15/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. N. Korea holds military parade, showcases new SLBM

2. Seoul's top nuke envoy holds phone talks with Biegun after N.K. party congress

3. New virus cases in 500s for 4th day in sign of downturn in infections (South Korea)

4. Kim Jong Un Unveils New Submarine Missile Threat as Trump Exits

5. Chinese Military Expert Claims Taekwondo Is Chinese Because China Invented Korea

6. N.K. signals room for improvement in inter-Korean relations at party congress: ministry

7. North Korea Is the Top Threat for 2021, Finds CFR Survey

8. North Korea No Longer Poses a Threat, So Says Trump Administration

9. South Korea's Moon Lays Out Agenda for the Remainder of His Term

10. North Korea's foreign propaganda set to play a more important role

11.HRW: North Korea used COVID-19 restrictions to step up control

12. Biden's pick for Asia policy likely to seek stronger regional alliances to check China

 

1. N. Korea holds military parade, showcases new SLBM

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · January 15, 2021

The buried lede is Kim Yo-jong is wearing a matching leather coat with her brother (but not a furry hat).

Although we should be skeptical, but showing us the new SLBM may be an indicator that a test is coming to welcome the new Biden Administration. But as I wrote yesterday, because of COVID and the inability to conduct meetings (whether a summit or working level talks), Kim may refrain from raising tensions or conducting a test or a provocation because he will not be able to achieve the desired effects immediately.  Then again ,KJU has conducted shaping operations over a long period of time and he could have already begun his major shaping operation to influence the new Biden administration. We are just in the middle of such an operation.

 

2. Seoul's top nuke envoy holds phone talks with Biegun after N.K. party congress

en.yna.co.kr · by 김승연 · January 15, 2021

The US Korea team keeps on working.  Biden would have done well to ask Mr. Biegun to stay on to continue to work on the Korea problem.

 

3. New virus cases in 500s for 4th day in sign of downturn in infections (South Korea)

en.yna.co.kr · by 주경돈 · January 15, 2021

The numbers are looking a little better.

But South Korea (and Asia writ large) has another upcoming holiday that could cause a rise in cases:

 

4. Kim Jong Un Unveils New Submarine Missile Threat as Trump Exits

Bloomberg · by Jeong-Ho Lee · January 15, 2021

The question is whether these are operational? Surely more testing is required.  Another question is when we will see the tests?

 

5. Chinese Military Expert Claims Taekwondo Is Chinese Because China Invented Korea

koreaboo.com · January 14, 2021

This is another reason why many Koreans do not like China.

 

6. N.K. signals room for improvement in inter-Korean relations at party congress: ministry

en.yna.co.kr · by 김덕현 · January 14, 2021

I am sorry. This seems to be delusional spin.  It really is a leap of logic after listening to all the statements from the 8th Party Congress, Kim Jong-un's speeches and capped off with Kim Yo-jong's remarks to think the north is signaling for improved north-South relations.

That said, the only signal the regime appears to be sending about improved relationships is that they can improve only on the north's terms and that requires complete appeasement by the South.  The north's statements place all the blame on the South and say that change must come from the South. Without the South capitulating to the north there is no room for improvement.  The paradox is that if the South does give in to the north's demands it will not result in an improved relationship. It will result in the regime doubling down on its political warfare strategy, long con, and blackmail diplomacy and will significantly increase the security risk to the South.

 

7. North Korea Is the Top Threat for 2021, Finds CFR Survey

cfr.org · by Matthias Matthijs

Very interesting.  

Key finding:

Likelihood: High; Impact: High

    • North Korea's further development of nuclear weapons or ballistic missile testing, precipitating heightened military tensions on the Korean Peninsula

Here is the link to the results of the survey. 

I disagree with this.  I think a disruptive cyberattack is a greater threat.

 

8. North Korea No Longer Poses a Threat, So Says Trump Administration

The National Interest · by Daniel R. DePetris · January 14, 2021

Yes, I agree there was a paucity of information about north Korea in the just declassified Indo-Pacific strategy. And I agree the articulated end state was insufficient.  However, I don't think that means the administration thinks nK no longer poses a threat.  My guess is there is likely a classified north Korean strategy that has not been declassified that provides a thorough assessment of the full range of the nK threat from nuclear to conventional to cyber to proliferation and all the asymmetric threats the regime poses.

 

9. South Korea's Moon Lays Out Agenda for the Remainder of His Term

thediplomat.com · by Troy Stangarone · January 14, 2021

Conclusion: Moon Jae-in came into office in the shadow of the Park Geun-hye impeachment, promising economic inclusion and better relations with North Korea. When he leaves office in May of 2022 much of his legacy will be shaped by how well his administration is able to manage South Korea's economic recovery from COVID-19 and set the economy up to be globally competitive in the post-pandemic period. While North Korea and economic inclusion haven't left the agenda, the pandemic will remain the priority.

 

10. North Korea's foreign propaganda set to play a more important role

northkoreatech.org · by Martyn Williams · January 14, 2021

Oh the irony.  As the ROK passses a law to limit information and influence activities that upset Kim Yo-jong and her brother in north Korea, the regime's Propaganda and Agitation department is modernizing and growing its propaganda programs.

 

11. HRW: North Korea used COVID-19 restrictions to step up control

upi.com · by Elizabeth Shim · January 14, 2021

Absolutely correct.  We saw this happening a year ago.  As bad as and as dangerous as COVID is, especially if there is an outbreak in north Korea, KJU has exploited it as an opportunity to implement tighter control over the Korean people living in the north. The only thing he fears more than the US and COVID is the Korean people.

 

12. Biden's pick for Asia policy likely to seek stronger regional alliances to check China

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · January 14, 2021

Excerpts:

"The U.S. position has long been that its trilateral cooperation with Seoul and Tokyo has not been optimized due to an unsatisfactory relationship between the allies. The return of Campbell might suggest he would work to bring them closer," he added.

Campbell is known as a key architect of the Obama-era "re-balancing" policy toward the Asia-Pacific, which was aimed at keeping an increasingly assertive China in check by strengthening regional alliances, its military presence and multilateral institutions on security and economic matters.

 

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

 

In the "strategic equation" of war there are "four factors - combat, economic, political, and psychologic - and that the last of these is coequal with the others."

- U.S. Army General Staff, April 1918

 

"A well-organized intelligence service ... publishes estimates of the military, economic, political, and psychological status of [active and potential enemies, allies, and neutrals]."

- Alexander E. Powell, The Army Behind the Army, 1919

 

"With absolutely no apologies to Leon Trotsky: America may not be interested in irregular, unconventional, and political warfare but they are being practiced around the world by those who are interested in them - namely the revisionist, rogue, and revolutionary powers and violent extremist organizations."

 

DanielRiggs Fri, 01/15/2021 - 10:10am
01/14/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

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

1. A lone Black officer faced down a mob at the Capitol. Meet Eugene Goodman.

2. Why Overseas Military Bases Continue to Make Sense for the United States

3. After aborted attempt, sensitive WHO mission to study pandemic origins is on its way to China

4. Now Is a Bad Time to Weaken Civilian Control Over the Military

5. The Death of Critical Thinking in the Military? Here’s How to Fix It.

6. In the wake of the Capitol insurrection, does the US military have a QAnon 5th column in the ranks?

7. Air Force Recommends Space Command Move to Alabama

8. Colorado Politicians Vow To Fight Huntsville Choice For SPACECOM

9. National Guardsmen briefed on IED threat to Capitol

10. Why America's military leaders felt they had to take a stand

11. Pentagon’s $2 Billion Cybersecurity Project Slowed by Flaws

12. Think tank pitch to Biden: Broker a NATO bank to finance new weapons

13. The Pentagon Must Learn to Do More With Less

14. Investigators pursuing signs US Capitol riot was planned

15. Sharpening America’s "Swiss Army Knife": Lessons from the Army National Guard’s COVID-19 Response

16. Upset by veterans who stormed the Capitol, these vets decided to clean up trash the mob left on the streets of D.C.

17. The online far right is moving underground

18. How the Army's 'Robin Sage' puts Special Forces hopefuls to a final, make-or-break test in the forests of North Carolina

 

1. A lone Black officer faced down a mob at the Capitol. Meet Eugene Goodman.

The Washington Post· by Rebecca Tan · January 13, 2021

A great story about a great American.  I hope he is properly recognized.

 

2. Why Overseas Military Bases Continue to Make Sense for the United States

warontherocks.com · by Raphael Cohen · January 14, 2021

Some excellent points from Raphael Cohen.  Here is our analysis along the same lines from FDD. https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2020/12/15/defending-forward/

 

Among his many good points, this one caused me to think hard: "Finally, there is a claim that permanent stationing is unnecessarily provocative. There is a thin line, however, between provocation and deterrence. Both involve altering rivals’ perceptions and whether any given military’s actions provoke or deter often is only known in hindsight. And yet, it is hard to see why permanently stationing forces would be that much more provocative than rotating forces through a given location, particularly on a continuous basis, or building a capability for rapid global power projection. If anything the latter may even be more destabilizing, since it reduces adversary warning timelines."

When has our forward basing been "unnecessarily provocative?" What has resulted from our permanently stationed overseas forces?  Who did we provoke and more importantly how did they respond?

 

3. After aborted attempt, sensitive WHO mission to study pandemic origins is on its way to China

Science · by Kai Kupferschmidt · January 13, 2021

Will they get to conduct the research this time?

 

Excerpts: "The WHO panel’s biggest problem will be that the Chinese government carefully chooses what it gets to see, says Alexandra Phelan, a lawyer at Georgetown University who specializes in global health policy. “No matter how hard local and international scientists try,” she says, “the reality is that the Chinese leadership is in an international propaganda battle.” Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, agrees that politics makes it “very challenging to do the work independently, transparently, and thoroughly.” But the transfer of power next week in Washington, D.C., might make things a bit easier, he adds. If President-elect Joe Biden manages to cool down the rhetoric with China, “That could create a more favorable environment for the scientists to do their work.”

 

4. Now Is a Bad Time to Weaken Civilian Control Over the Military

Foreign Policy · by Jim Golby · January 13, 2021

From one of the leading contemporary scholars on civil-military relations.

 

Conclusion: "In this environment, further politicizing the U.S. military is a real danger. Americans - especially military and political officials - must take all steps now to ensure that the uniformed military’s oath remains to the U.S. Constitution, not to a party or a leader. Events have made abundantly clear that Americans cannot take this principle for granted. Trump will leave office on Jan. 20, but broader problems in the military’s relationship to civilian society and the threat of political violence will not go away. Even if Congress ratifies Biden’s historic appointment of Austin, now is the wrong time to follow Trump’s lead by further politicizing the military."

 

5. The Death of Critical Thinking in the Military? Here’s How to Fix It.

realcleardefense.com · by Steve Ferenzi

The closure of the Army's University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies is a big mistake.

 

6. In the wake of the Capitol insurrection, does the US military have a QAnon 5th column in the ranks?

radio.com · by Jack Murphy · January 13, 2021

I hope this is not a widespread problem in the military. It boggles my mind that any sane or critically thinking person could accept these QAnon conspiracy theories.

 

Maybe we do need political officers in the units to root out these corrosive ideologies (note that was an attempt at humor and I in no way advocate such a COA.  That said the only defense against these conspiracy theories is education and the development of critical thinking and knowledge of our Constitution and founding principles.)

 

7. Air Force Recommends Space Command Move to Alabama

defenseone.com · by Marcus Weisgerber

I guess it ain't over til it's over:  "The decision could be reversed by the incoming Biden administration. Huntsville is now the “preferred” site, based on a study conducted by Space Command, according to an Air Force official. Finalization is subject to an environmental impact study, which does not pose a serious obstacle. However, if the in-coming administration were to initiate another study and conclude that political influence tilted the decision, this would set in motion a new round of studies and assessments, causing further delays in Space Command establishing its permanent headquarters, according to the official."

 

8. Colorado Politicians Vow To Fight Huntsville Choice For SPACECOM

breakingdefense.com · by Theresa Hitchens

 

9. National Guardsmen briefed on IED threat to Capitol

Politico· January 13, 2021

This is a serious threat.  It is so difficult to believe these threats are in our capitol.

 

10. Why America's military leaders felt they had to take a stand

CNN · by  Barbara Starr

Excerpts:

“But if an order is illegal, what happens? The lawyers and the Pentagon leadership explain to the president why the order is not legal. If the president still does not back down, then there is no choice. Commanders must resign. The law prohibits them from carrying out illegal orders.

By issuing their statement, the Joint Chiefs have made it both privately and publicly clear what is at stake. But what is unsettling is that nobody knows if the President is listening.”

 

11. Pentagon’s $2 Billion Cybersecurity Project Slowed by Flaws

Bloomberg · by Anthony Capaccio · January 13, 2021

This has to be a top priority.  We have to get this right.

 

12. Think tank pitch to Biden: Broker a NATO bank to finance new weapons

Defense News · by Sebastian Sprenger · January 13, 2021

Excerpt:

“A dedicated NATO bank could also help stabilize defense investments throughout all member states, including dual-use, civilian transportation infrastructure projects, amid the economic downturn of the coronavirus pandemic, the report states.

The authors pitch London as the headquarters for their bank idea. “With tensions between the United Kingdom and other EU NATO members growing from Brexit, and concerns that this could impact the security relationship, placing a NATO bank in London could help reaffirm the United Kingdom’s commitment to NATO and European security,” they argue.”

 

13. The Pentagon Must Learn to Do More With Less

Bloomberg · by Editorial Board · January 14, 2021

The four worst words in national security and defense: "Do more with less."  The fact is we will end up doing less with less.  But let's focus on doing what is right and necessary with whatever resources Congress provides and the CINC directs.

 

14. Investigators pursuing signs US Capitol riot was planned

CNN · by Evan Perez

If there was any complicity among congressmen or other government officials it is going to cause tremendous problems. 

 

15. Sharpening America’s "Swiss Army Knife": Lessons from the Army National Guard’s COVID-19 Response

mwi.usma.edu · by Laura Keenan · January 14, 2021

I imagine LTC Keenan is decisively engaged in DC today since she is a member of the DC National Guard.

 

16.  Upset by veterans who stormed the Capitol, these vets decided to clean up trash the mob left on the streets of D.C.

The Washington Post · by Sydney Page · January 14, 2021

Good for these veterans.  Doing the right thing.

 

17.  The online far right is moving underground

Axios · by Kyle Daly and Sara Fischer

This is going to be a problem.  We should allow them to operate in plain site.

 

18.  How the Army's 'Robin Sage' puts Special Forces hopefuls to a final, make-or-break test in the forests of North Carolina

Business Insider · by Stavros Atlamazoglou

 

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

 

“Everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure.” 

- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

 

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

“The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain.”

-John F. Kennedy

 

"To sit home, read one's favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men's doing."

- Teddy Roosevelt

 

DanielRiggs Thu, 01/14/2021 - 11:07am
01/14/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. FDD | Kim Jong Un Seeks to Bully Biden on the Diplomatic Stage

2. Kim Jong-un Uses Party Congress to Double Down on Nuclear Program

3. Kim Jong-un’s Shot Across Biden’s Bow

4. James Carafano: North Korea could spell trouble for Biden - here’s what he needs to do

5. An Incremental Approach to the DPRK

6, Kim Yo Jong Steals the Spotlight at Big Brother’s Coronation

7. Time to shift focus on arms control with North Korea: experts

8. What to Expect from a Neglected North Korea: Starting Small

9. Top court upholds 20-year prison term for ex-President Park

10. South's missiles are keeping up with North's

11. Kim Yo Jong slams S. Korea with harsh comments

12. Seoul is in a dilemma between inter-Korean relations and OPCON transfer

13. Musan County residents asked to provide their best winter clothes to soldiers (north Korea)

14. At least 30 suspected COVID-19 cases emerge after New Year's performance (north Korea)

15. Kim promotes self, demotes sister in Pyongyang power puzzle

16. Iran spurns South Korea request for release of tanker after meetings

17. South Korea Working on $360,000 Video Room for North Korea Talks

18. North Korea continues to erect disease control stations at local markets, police stations

19. Is North Korea finally getting 4G?

 

1. FDD | Kim Jong Un Seeks to Bully Biden on the Diplomatic Stage

fdd.org · by David Maxwell Senior Fellow · January 13, 2021

The latest analysis from my colleague Mathew Ha and me.

 

2. Kim Jong-un Uses Party Congress to Double Down on Nuclear Program

The New York Times · by Choe Sang-Hun · January 13, 2021

My comments in the article.

 

3. Kim Jong-un’s Shot Across Biden’s Bow

defenseone.com · by Bruce Klingner

Excerpts:

“In the meantime, Biden should maintain America’s strong alliance with South Korea, explore missile defense options for the U.S. and its allies, and respond firmly to any violations of UN resolutions. The U.S. did not respond to any of North Korea’s missile violations in 2019 and 2020.

Kim Jong-un has signaled that he has no intention of treating the new U.S. president any better than his predecessors. As Pyongyang tries to force its way higher on Biden’s foreign policy agenda, it will continue to augment its ability to threaten the United States, South Korea, and Japan with nuclear weapons. Last year was relatively quiet in U.S.-North Korean relations. That is likely to change.”

 

4. James Carafano: North Korea could spell trouble for Biden - here’s what he needs to do

foxnews.com · by James Jay Carafano | Fox News

Yes, we all assume Kim will test the new Biden administration with some kind of threat, increased tension, or provocation to conduct his blackmail diplomacy In discussing Kim's possible courses of action one thing a good friend pointed out to me recently is that because of COVID Kim may not want to drive negotiations at this time.  He must know that he is certainly not going to have a summit with anyone because of the COVID threat and it is likely that working level negotiations are too dangerous because it could become a spreader event.  Therefore, we have to consider what would be the objective of a provocation?  What would be Kim's objective if not to try to bring the US to the negotiating table to make concessions and provide sanctions relief?  Therefore, because of COVID we may see Kim have a strategic patience stance at least in the near term while COVID is such a threat.

As an aside, since face to face meetings are unlikely perhaps we should offer working level talks via Zoom.  Perhaps we could establish a routine electronic channel among working level negotiators.  Make something useful come from COVID.

 

5. An Incremental Approach to the DPRK

realcleardefense.com · by Matt Abbott

An incremental approach has been the hallmark of almost every agreement and attempted policy from the Agreed Framework to the Perry Policy Proposal to the September 2005 to the Leap Day Agreement and even the Panmunjom Declaration and the Singapore summit agreement.  It is the conventional negotiating process.

However, progress is possible should Biden and his team make incremental, though steady, attempts to further reduce tensions while simultaneously building trust with the North Koreans. The new administration could prove successful in laying the groundwork for a fundamental shift over time in what has been a perennially acrimonious relationship. Unchanged from the analysis offered four decades ago, the direction of movement will matter more than the pace when ultimately resolving this conflict.

That said there will have to be some "incremental steps." One question is whether they will be small steps or "big bites."  Small steps support Kim's political warfare and long con. "Big bites" can force Kim to take substantive actions that actually can support actions that might lead to denuclearization or at least reduce capabilities and threats to some degree.  But we must make the correct assumptions about the nature and strategy of the Kim family regime before we devise and execute a new strategy.

 

6. Kim Yo Jong Steals the Spotlight at Big Brother’s Coronation

The Daily Beast· by Donald Kirk · January 13, 2021

There should be no doubt that she remains powerful and in the good graces of KJU.  She is one of the very, if not only, people whom KJU trusts.

 

7. Time to shift focus on arms control with North Korea: experts

The Korea Times · January 14, 2021

Of course, this is what KJU has long wanted.  In his mind (and in nK propaganda) this will put nK on an "equal footing" with the US.  For those who advocate arms control talks what concessions are we willing to make as part of arms control talks?  How many nuclear weapons are we willing to give up? Are we going to sacrifice extended deterrence and our nuclear umbrella over the ROK and Japan?  Will we be willing to reduce missile defenses in Korea and Japan?  Certainly, these are just some of the demands that KJU will be making as part of arms control talks.

We should assume that arms control talks supports KJU's political warfare strategy and long con.  We should only adopt this approach if we are ready to execute a superior political warfare strategy that focuses on achieving objectives beyond denuclearization: an acceptable durable political arrangement in Northeast Asia that will serve, protect, and advance US and ROK.US alliance interests.

 

 8. What to Expect from a Neglected North Korea: Starting Small

19fortyfive.com · by ByEli Fuhrman · January 13, 2021

Yes, you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

However, I would not count on China to rein in north Korea.

Conclusion: "Even if Kim should feel compelled to action in an effort to refocus U.S. attention on North Korea, it is unlikely that he will do so with a highly-escalatory action such as an ICBM test. Indeed, Kim’s command of the tools at his disposal and his skill in calibrating provocative actions – as well as his understanding of the risks involved with escalating tensions with the United States – means he is far more likely to test and probe the limits of the new administration’s patience rather than jumping right into another saga of fire-and-fury. This will only be reinforced by the importance of North Korea’s relationship with China, which will serve as a brake on any overly escalatory behavior. It will also be important to consider that provocations by North Korea may not be solely motivated by a desire to attract attention from the United States, but may also be the result of Kim’s efforts to shore up domestic support and legitimacy; in such a case, risking war with the United States may not prove necessary. Rather than expecting a major demonstration from the off, policymakers should prepare themselves for a smaller-scale, and gradually escalating, set of North Korean actions."

Since this webpage will not format please go to his link to read the entire essay.  

 

9. Top court upholds 20-year prison term for ex-President Park

en.yna.co.kr · by 우재연 · January 14, 2021

This is a sad and tragic event in Korean history. Many Koreans I know do not believe that the impeachment, charges, and trial were in any way justified. They feel it was a coup engineered by the current ruling party.

 

10. South's missiles are keeping up with North's

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com· by Shim Kyu-Seok

I think the reporter is confused here.  I do not think Hyunmoo 2B is derived form the Russian Isaknder or perhaps I am misreading this excerpt.

Excerpts:

The Hyunmoo-2B, fully deployed in 2015 as a surface-to-surface missile, is a short- to medium-range ballistic missile believed to be derived from the Russian-made Iskander missile.

Its conversion into an SLBM is notable given that a missile tested by North Korea in a series of high-profile launches in 2019 resembled the Iskander. Named KN-23 by the U.S. Department of Defense, the missile is believed to have a similar range to the Hyunmoo-2B at around 450 to 700 meters (1,476 to 2,297 feet).”

 

11. Kim Yo Jong slams S. Korea with harsh comments

donga.com· January 14, 2021

Her bad cop comments are quite entertaining.

Excerpt: 

“If the North refuses to talk and strengthens nuclear power, the only way to respond is strategic patience, which means even stricter sanctions. North Korea should be willing to talk first before the Biden administration has enough. Harsh comments will only make future dialogues more difficult. The North should stop reducing its own window of opportunities.

Strategic patience is not the way ahead. A long-term approach to solving the Korea question is the only way to end the nuclear threat and the human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.”

 

12. Seoul is in a dilemma between inter-Korean relations and OPCON transfer

donga.com· January 14, 2021

We need to get this right.  This has the potential to do significant damage to the alliance if we do not.  First, we need both the ROK and US to recommit to a conditions based approach with a further commitment that we will execute the transition as expeditiously as possible by meeting the conditions.  Second, we need an effective information program to explain the OPCON transition process, why it is so important to the interests of both countries, and sufficient transparency illustrating the progress toward the completion of transition.  Third, we need to get on with business to make this happen.  Fourth, we have to do all this while maintaining the highest state of readiness to deter the north, sustain the ability to defend the South and defeat the nKPA, and to be able to react to any of the contingencies in the north to include internal instability and potential regime collapse.

 

13. Musan County residents asked to provide their best winter clothes to soldiers (north Korea)

dailynk.com· by Lee Chae Un · January 14, 2021

Yes, this is an indicator of the poor state of the nKPA as well as the demands made on the Korean people in the north that certainly undermines the legitimacy of the regime and could lead to low-level resistance that could spread once the suppression mechanisms are sufficiently weakened.  And if the military loses coherency and support for the regime all bets are off.

 

14. At least 30 suspected COVID-19 cases emerge after New Year's performance (north Korea)

dailynk.com · by Ha Yoon Ah · January 14, 2021

Will this prove to have been a super spreader event? In addition, not to beat the horse too dead -are we ready to see a significant outbreak in the north that could impact the military as well as the elite and general population?

 

15. Kim promotes self, demotes sister in Pyongyang power puzzle

asiatimes.com · by Andrew Salmon · January 13, 2021

I do not think Kim Yo-jong has been really "demoted."

But I do agree this buried lede is important:

Experts suggest that a less visible and more important reshuffle was the removal of economic czar Pak Bong Ju from the party’s Executive Committee.

Given that Pak was the key individual behind North Korea’s marketization over the last decade, and given the heavy verbiage paid in the Congress toward “self-sufficiency” – essentially, a pivot away from Chinese imports – this suggests Pyongyang is turning the economic clock backward to a more centrally controlled model.

Market activities are a threat to the regime. In addition, we are unlikely to see any kind of "Chinese-style economic reforms" that people have longed for as the solution to the regime's economic failures.

 

16. Iran spurns South Korea request for release of tanker after meetings

upi.com· by Elizabeth Shim · January 13, 2021

 

17.  South Korea Working on $360,000 Video Room for North Korea Talks

The National Interest · by Stephen Silver · January 13, 2021

Perhaps this could be used for working level talks between north and South as well.

 

18. North Korea continues to erect disease control stations at local markets, police stations

dailynk.com· by Lee Chae Un · January 13, 2021

Another indicator of possible COVID outbreaks in north Korea.

 

19. Is North Korea finally getting 4G?

northkoreatech.org · by Martyn Williams · January 13, 2021

Can we exploit this for a number of purposes to include for information and influence activities?

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

 

“Everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure.” 

- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

 

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

“The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain.”

-John F. Kennedy

 

"To sit home, read one's favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men's doing."

- Teddy Roosevelt

 

DanielRiggs Thu, 01/14/2021 - 10:03am
12 January 2021 Message to the Joint Force from the Joint Chiefs of Staff
" "

 

 

Riley.C.Murray Tue, 01/12/2021 - 7:38pm
1/12/2021 News & Commentary - National Security

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

1. Previously secret details of Trump administration's Indo-Pacific strategy revealed

2. Pompeo reportedly plans to disclose intel showing Iranian support for al-Qaeda

3. State capitals face threat of armed protests, FBI warns

4. WHO warns coronavirus herd immunity unlikely this year

5. Top spies praise Biden choice of Amb. William Burns to head CIA

6. Why China fears US withdrawal from Afghanistan

7. Letting US Asian allies get nukes is a bad idea

8. Exclusive: Pentagon presses ahead with Afghanistan troop drawdown despite law barring it

9. US Capitol attack a wake-up call for the integration of physical & IT security

10. America, get your s**t together

11. McCarthy: "undisputedly" no evidence Antifa participated in deadly Capitol siege

12. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine expected to provide immunity for up to 1 year

13. How a suburban housewife became a pioneer of military intelligence

14. Army moves to oust officer who made jokes on TikTok about Nazi concentration camps

15. ‘Ashley’s War’ and the story of the women of special operations is coming to the big screen

16. DoD drone strategy focuses on low-end threats - not nation-states

17. CNO: divest Aegis Ashore sites to ground forces

18. Yes, it was a coup. Here’s why.

19. The revolution behind the attempted revolution

20. Enabling strategic success: how MARSOC can help overcome “simple-minded” militarism

 

1. Previously secret details of Trump administration's Indo-Pacific strategy revealed

ABC News · Laura Tingle · January 12, 2021

Interesting that this document is supposedly going to be declassified.

This is a very interesting assessment.

 

2. Pompeo reportedly plans to disclose intel showing Iranian support for al-Qaeda

Times of Israel · January 12, 2021

 

3. State capitals face threat of armed protests, FBI warns

Washington Post · Tim Craig, Holly Bailey, & Matt Zapotosky · January 12, 2021

 

4. WHO warns coronavirus herd immunity unlikely this year

Korea Times · AFP · January 12, 2021

 

5. Top spies praise Biden choice of Amb. William Burns to head CIA

NBC News · Ken Dilanian & Andrea Mitchell · January 11, 2021

I have heard positive comments from retired CIA intelligence officers as well.

 

6. Why China fears US withdrawal from Afghanistan

Asia Times · FM Shakil · January 12, 2021

 

7. Letting US Asian allies get nukes is a bad idea

Asia Times · Mark Valencia · January 12, 2021

We do not want nuclear weapons to proliferate among both our adversaries and our friends, partners, and allies.

 

8. Exclusive: Pentagon presses ahead with Afghanistan troop drawdown despite law barring it

Reuters · Jonathan Landay & Idrees Ali · January 11, 2021

I imagine General Austin will be questioned on this in his confirmation hearing - "what do you do now, Lieutenant?"

 

9. US Capitol attack a wake-up call for the integration of physical & IT security

Dark Reading · Seth Rosenblatt · January 11, 2021

 

10. America, get your s**t together

Angry Staff Officer · January 12, 2021

The Angry Staff Officer tells it like it is and pulls no punches.

 

11. McCarthy: "undisputedly" no evidence Antifa participated in deadly Capitol siege

Axios · Alayna Treena · January 12, 2021

And he apparently told POTUS this as well.

 

12. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine expected to provide immunity for up to 1 year

Axios · Shawna Chen · January 12, 2021

So, will we have to get vaccinated annually? What good news for Big Pharma!

 

13. How a suburban housewife became a pioneer of military intelligence

Military.com · James Barber · January 11, 2021

Some interesting history. I look forward to watching this.

 

14. Army moves to oust officer who made jokes on TikTok about Nazi concentration camps

Washington Post · Dan Lamothe · January 11, 2021

There is no place for someone who makes these kinds of jokes. If he has this attitude toward the camps, he is disgusting. And if he does not have such an attitude and was just "joking," his demonstration of poor judgment and lack of common sense and decency warrants his termination of service.

 

15. ‘Ashley’s War’ and the story of the women of special operations is coming to the big screen

Military Times · J.D. Simkins · January 11, 2021

 

16. DoD drone strategy focuses on low-end threats - not nation-states

Breaking Defense · Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. · January 11, 2021

 

17. CNO: divest Aegis Ashore sites to ground forces

Sea Power · Richard R. Burgess · January 11, 2021

 

18. Yes, it was a coup. Here’s why.

Politico · Fiona Hill · January 11, 2021

I am not sure this was a coup, but I do think an insurrection is the right description. But this is some interesting analysis from Fiona Hill.

 

19. The revolution behind the attempted revolution

Small Wars Journal · Frank Sobchak · January 11, 2021

 

20. Enabling strategic success: How MARSOC can help overcome “simple-minded” militarism

Small Wars Journal · Paul Bailey · January 11, 2021

 

"The men who lose their heads most easily, and who generally show themselves weakest on days of revolution are the military; accustomed as they are to have organized force facing them and an obedient force in their hands, they readily become confused before the tumultuous uproar of a crowd and in the presence of hesitation and occasional connivance of their own men."

- Alexis de Tocqueville

"He who fights against his own country is a child who would kill his mother."

- Napoleon

"The central task and the highest form of a revolution is to seize political power by armed force, to settle problems by war."

- Mao Tse-tung

dwmiv Tue, 01/12/2021 - 12:38pm
1/12/2021 News & Commentary - Korea

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

1. NK’s congress nears end with signs of military parade

2. Moon administration tells Biden to consider Singapore model

3. First vaccinated Koreans are on U.S. Army base

4. Pyongyang implies possible preemptive or retaliatory nuclear strikes

5. N. Korea invites guests to celebrations of party congress, possibly including military parade

6. N. Korean officials work on resolution to implement leader's guidance

7. N. Korean officials seen wearing masks at party congress after days of no-mask sessions

8. New virus cases in 500s on tougher curbs, alert high over potential upticks

9. North Korea sets up big security headache for Biden

10. North Koreans cynical about ‘self-reliance’ messaging during party congress

11. North Korea set for collision course with US as Kim Jong-Un solidifies one-man rule

12. Kim Jong Un gets a promotion, gives his sister a demotion

13. Why North Korea is going full-steam ahead on its nuclear weapons program

14. 'Your move, Mr President': North Korea sets the stage for Biden

15. Kim Yo Jong, sister of leader, missing from North Korea politburo list

16. S. Korea's Moon will press on to engage North

17. How North Korea and Japan could open dialogue

 

1. NK’s congress nears end with signs of military parade

Korea Herald · Ahn Sung-mi · January 12, 2021

The end is near and those NKPA soldiers are freezing their a**** off waiting for the parade to be done with.

 

2. Moon administration tells Biden to consider Singapore model

Korea Joong Ang Daily · Kang Tae-Hwa & Shim Kyu-Seok · January 12, 2021

The problem with the Singapore "model" is the different interpretations of each side. 

Kim believes the agreement means to 1) change the relationship, 2) build trust, 3) then negotiate to denuclearize (the entire Korean peninsula).

The US side believes 1) negotiate to denuclearize the North, 2) build trust, 3) change the relationship.

The North wants to change the relationship and build trust by the US and international community ending sanctions and the US ending the "hostile policy" toward the north.

The North also wants to denuclearize the entire Korean peninsula.

Together (ending the hostile policy and denuclearizing the entire peninsula) this means: end the ROK/US alliance, remove US troops, and end extended deterrence and the nuclear umbrella over the ROK and Japan.

So, while the four points are logical and sound if properly interpreted, we have to understand how Kim views those four points of the Singapore agreement and how he thinks they should be implemented.

 

3. First vaccinated Koreans are on U.S. Army base

Korea Joong Ang Daily · Kim Youn-Ho & Esther Chung · January 12, 2021

Again, I strongly recommend that the vaccine be administered to all members, Koreans and Americans, of the ROK/US Combined Forces Command Headquarters. This is necessary to ensure the exercise in February/March is safely executed  and readiness is sustained, and progress on OPCON transition can be made. This should be a priority for the ROK/US alliance.

 

4. Pyongyang implies possible preemptive or retaliatory nuclear strikes

Dong-A Ilbo · January 12, 2021

Kim is trying to not only establish deterrence but to conduct blackmail diplomacy (use tension, threats, and provocations to extort political and economic concessions) and to set the conditions for arms control negotiations with the US from a relatively "equal" relationship and a position of perceived strength.

 

5. N. Korea invites guests to celebrations of party congress, possibly including military parade

Yonhap News Agency · 최수향 · January 12, 2021

What will Kim show us in the military parade?

 

6. N. Korean officials work on resolution to implement leader’s guidance

Yonhap News Agency · 최수향 · January 12, 2021

How to implement the regime's rhetoric that will again fail? Is continued "self-reliance" a feasible course of action (I ask that rhetorically)?  I would hate to be on any of the committees responsible for implementation. I would end up in a gulag for either recommending different courses of action or being part of another failed execution of policy and strategy. At the next party congress, my fellow officials and I would certainly be suffering from being blamed (if we made it until the next congress).

 

7. N. Korean officials seen wearing masks at party congress after days of no-mask sessions

Yonhap News Agency · 이원주 · January 12, 2021

What if the 8th Party Congress is a super spreader event for COVID and the regime elite is decimated by a COVID outbreak? What if COVID brought down the regime? Of course, this may seem far-fetched and a long shot, but I have to ask - are we ready for North Korean internal instability and potential regime collapse and the implosive and explosive effects this could cause? I am not making a prediction that the regime will collapse. But I will make the prediction that if the regime does collapse, it will be catastrophic.

It is interesting that the participants are now wearing masks. Are they responding to comments in international media about their lack of masks?

 

8. New virus cases in 500s on tougher curbs, alert high over potential upticks

Yonhap News Agency · 김한주 · January 12, 2021

Is the curve possibly flattening because of reduced testing?

 

9. North Korea sets up big security headache for Biden

9News · Richard Wood · January 12, 2021

Kim appears to say no to denuclearization. This should be no surprise. However, this does not mean that he is saying no to denuclearization negotiations. I think he wants to negotiate from an arms control standpoint that might cap nuclear weapons but importantly would not force him to give up nuclear weapons. And what we should understand is that if Kim does negotiate it is to support his long con and political warfare strategy which is designed to ultimately allow the regime to dominate the entire Korean peninsula. We need to execute a superior form of political warfare.

 

10. North Koreans cynical about ‘self-reliance’ messaging during party congress

Radio Free Asia · Jieun Kim et al · January 12, 2021

After seven decades of self-reliance, it is only natural to be cynical. What has Juche really done for the Korean people living in the North?

For seven decades tough times have always been ahead for the country.

 

11. North Korea set for collision course with US as Kim Jong-un solidifies one-man rule

Guardian · Justin McCurry · January 12, 2021

"Solidifies" one man-rule? When was it ever not solidified? Of course, the "fresh strategy" they want the US to adopt is one in which the US provides concessions and appeases the regime.

 

12. Kim Jong Un gets a promotion, gives his sister a demotion

Wall Street Journal · Timothy W. Martin & Andrew Jeong · January 11, 2021

I think we are making too much of this so-called demotion. I think she continues to wield power through her positions in the United Front Department, the Propaganda and Agitation department, and, most importantly, the most powerful organization in North Korea in direct support of Kim Jong-Un and the regime, the Organization and Guidance Department (OGD). I think these are more powerful than party titles, though of course these are all party organizations.

And, of course, the only decision-making body is the body of Kim Jong-Un. 

 

13. Why North Korea is going full steam ahead on its nuclear weapons program

National Interest · Robert E. Kelly · January 11, 2021

Professor Kelly makes some good points in his analysis. But I would offer that the North's focus on strategic nuclear weapons is for deterrence and blackmail diplomacy. The focus on tactical nuclear weapons is about winning the war on the Korean peninsula. And this also supports other levels of blackmail diplomacy against South Korea, but we must take from this the understanding that the North has plans for and intends to someday win the war on the peninsula to force unification on its terms as the only way it believes can guarantee the long-term survival of the regime.

And, yes, there are other very valid concerns as Professor Kelly notes - to include the proliferation of tactical nuclear weapons.

 

14. 'Your move, Mr President': North Korea sets the stage for Biden

BBC · Laura Bicker · January 11, 2021

The chess game begins anew. Unfortunately, the chess pieces are nuclear weapons and real military capabilities.

 

15. Kim Yo Jong, sister of leader, missing from North Korea politburo list

UPI · Elizabeth Shim · January 11, 2021

But, again, her real power may be exercised through the OGD and, of course, she remains likely the only person Kim Jong-Un really trusts. We should not overthink this.

 

16. S. Korea's Moon will press on to engage North

Straits Times · January 12, 2021

Again, I urge the Moon administration to reassess its strategic assumptions about the nature and objectives of the Kim family regime. Doubling done on the failed engagement strategy (and it is a failure because of Kim Jong-un) is not going to bring about different results or improve the security of the South. In the long run, it will likely pose a great danger to the ROK.

 

17. How North Korea and Japan could open dialogue

National Interest · Doug Bandow · January 11, 2021

Interesting analysis and a look at some history that is not often discussed.

 

"The men who lose their heads most easily, and who generally show themselves weakest on days of revolution are the military; accustomed as they are to have organized force facing them and an obedient force in their hands, they readily become confused before the tumultuous uproar of a crowd and in the presence of hesitation and occasional connivance of their own men."

- Alexis de Tocqueville

"He who fights against his own country is a child who would kill his mother."

- Napoleon

"The central task and the highest form of a revolution is to seize political power by armed force, to settle problems by war."

- Mao Tse-tung

dwmiv Tue, 01/12/2021 - 11:33am