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02/12/2021 News & Commentary - National Security

02/12/2021 News & Commentary - National Security

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

 

1. Opinion | I’ve Studied Terrorism for Over 40 Years. Let’s Talk About What Comes Next.

2.  Pentagon Press Secretary and China Task Force Director Update Reporters on Department of Defense Operations

3.  White House urged to disclose virtual "visitors"

4. FDD | Xi Jinping’s Rise Is No Historical Accident

5. America's Spy-Busters Put Secret-Stealing Chinese 'Grad Students' Under the Microscope

6. What Will Be Biden's China Policy?

7. US and its allies should retaliate over China's BBC ban

8.  China Bars BBC Programs After British Ban on Chinese Broadcaster

9. The China model has come to America

10. Biden's Indo-Pacific team largest in National Security Council

11. Chinese Naval Aggression in the South China Sea - National Security Institute

12. Military's COVID vaccine refusal rate still 'a concern' to Secretary Austin

13. How to Think About Chinese-Owned Technology Platforms Operating in the United States

14. Lessons Learned at the Helm of the Department of the Navy

15. AQAP leader cites U.S. Capitol riot as evidence of America's supposed decline

16. Culture, Not Tech, Is Obstacle To JADC2: JAIC

17. The Long Hack: How China Exploited a U.S. Tech Supplier

18. Facebook Helped Government Identify Capitol Rioters From Photos

19. Hybrid and Psychological Geopolitical Warfare - Western Balkans Case Study | SOF News

20. In the South China Sea, it’s ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’

21. COVID Sparks Resurgence Of Islamic State Terrorists

22. Setting aside divisions, Myanmar's ethnic groups unite against coup

23. In Asia, Biden opts for strategic path blazed by Trump

 

1. Opinion | I’ve Studied Terrorism for Over 40 Years. Let’s Talk About What Comes Next.

The New York Times · by Martha Crenshaw · February 10, 2021

This should stir up some discussion and hopefully some critical thought.

 

2. Pentagon Press Secretary and China Task Force Director Update Reporters on Department of Defense Operations

defense.gov – 11 February, 2021

It will be interesting to follow the Chinese propaganda that this report and more importantly, this task force, will generate. 

It is interesting that they use Ely Ratner's think tank affiliation.

 

3. White House urged to disclose virtual "visitors"

Axios · by Lachlan Markay

Very interesting. COVID is really changing the governing environment in many ways.

 

4. FDD | Xi Jinping’s Rise Is No Historical Accident

fdd.org · by Thomas Joscelyn · February 11, 2021

 

5. America's Spy-Busters Put Secret-Stealing Chinese 'Grad Students' Under the Microscope

realclearinvestigations.com · by Richard Bernstein - February 11, 2021

Excerpts:

The prosecutions illustrate growing American alarm about Chinese technology theft, an important part of China’s effort to supplant the United States both as the dominant military power in Asia and as the world's leader in science and technology. Despite the publicity surrounding the American academics' arrests, U.S. officials and analysts say a particular concern is Chinese graduate school researchers with advanced backgrounds.

But this isn’t a simple story of a belligerent power’s intellectual larceny and espionage. It’s a more nuanced problem that the United States largely brought upon itself through its longstanding policy of engagement with China aimed at bringing it into the international fold. One result is a Chinese symbiosis with American universities that includes Chinese financial support for American schools and large subsidies from American taxpayers for both sensitive research and the visiting Chinese nationals who conduct it.

 

6. What Will Be Biden's China Policy?

english.chosun.com – by Victor Cha

Victor Cha provides some interesting insights.

Excerpts:

While it is just the beginning of the Biden presidency and a definitive policy has not yet been announced, I think there are some certainties. First, the era of "responsible stakeholder" is over. That is, the five-decade experiment dating back to Nixon's opening to China to bring it into the liberal international order has been deemed a failure. Two of former President Barack Obama's key Asia advisors Kurt Campbell and Ely Ratner, in fact, were among the first to convert from "engagers" to "strategic competitors." They declared that the policy of engagement failed because China took advantage of the liberal trading order, but never became politically open or contributed substantially to the public goods of the international system. On the contrary, from about 2008, China became more assertive in its foreign policy taking advantage of what it saw to be a weakened United States after the global financial crisis and protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Second, unlike Trump, President Joe Biden's team has much experience dealing with China. Campbell, the senior Asia coordinator at the White House, was author of the Obama "pivot" to Asia. His NSC Asia team includes Edgard Kagan, a foreign service officer with China expertise, and Laura Rosenberger, who had served both at the State Department and NSC working on China. Rosenberger and Kagan also worked on the Six Party talks negotiating team in 2005 so they know that issue well. Rumors are that Dan Krittenbrink a senior China specialist and ambassador to Vietnam will lead the Asia team at the State Department. There is no lack of expertise on China. And the tone of China policy under Biden will not have the sharp edges of Trump. This does not necessarily mean that policy will be softer, but the rhetoric will be less insulting and antagonistic even if the policies are as competitive.

 

7.  US and its allies should retaliate over China's BBC ban

Washington Examiner · by Tom Rogan · February 11, 2021

Excerpts:

Building on his early efforts to consolidate Indo-Pacific partnerships, President Biden should draw a line in the sand.

The U.S. and its closest "Five Eyes" allies must not tolerate this injustice against truth and fairness. After all, it's clear that this might just be the start. The Global Times evinces as much when it quotes pro-regime Professor Li Haidong. Li says that "it is possible that China will take further retaliatory measures, depending on whether the BBC will correct its wrongs, and stop distorting issues such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang. If not, China is likely to expel BBC journalists based in Chinese mainland." Li says that "if journalists fail to report real China, kicking them out is the right thing to do."

 

8. China Bars BBC Programs After British Ban on Chinese Broadcaster

The New York Times · February 11, 2021

 

9.  The China model has come to America

asiatimes.com · by More by Bruce Abramson · February 11, 2021

My belief: China seeks to export its authoritarian political system around the world in order to dominate regions, co-opt or coerce international organizations, create economic conditions favorable to China alone, and displace democratic institutions. 

That said, this essay goes way beyond that. It makes some very provocative assertions. 

 

10.  Biden's Indo-Pacific team largest in National Security Council

asia.nikkei.com – by Ken Moriyasu

Excerpts:

"Kurt Campbell's Indo-Pacific team will be the largest regional NSC directorate, a sign of how this NSC is prioritizing China and broader Indo-Pacific policy issues," NSC spokesperson Emily Horne told Nikkei Asia.

She added that "work on China expands into virtually every NSC directorate," meaning teams in charge of "technology and national security," "global health security and biodefense," "defense," "democracy and human rights," and "international economics" will all be involved in shaping China policy.

...

The Principals Committee, which national security adviser Sullivan chairs, comprises of the secretaries of state, treasury, defense, energy, homeland security, the attorney general, the director of the office of management and budget, the ambassador to the United Nations, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and the president's chief of staff.

The director of national intelligence, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of the CIA will attend in an advisory capacity.

"It's notable that there was no Steve Bannon equivalent like there was at the start of the Trump administration," Hass said, referring to former President Donald Trump's onetime campaign manager and later White House chief strategist, whose attendance at the NSC raised eyebrows among national security experts.

"That's important because in the Trump era, a lot of policy was driven by politics. What these memos are seeking to signal is that policy will be driven by objectives, good policy will lead to good politics rather than the other way around."

  

11. Chinese Naval Aggression in the South China Sea - National Security Institute

The 5 page memo can be downloaded here: https://www.flipsnack.com/nsigmu/south-china-sea-decision-memo-final/download-pdf.html

Chinese Naval Aggression in the South China Sea - National Security Institute

nationalsecurity.gmu.edu

 

12. Military's COVID vaccine refusal rate still 'a concern' to Secretary Austin

Washington Examiner · by Abraham Mahshie · February 11, 2021

I remained surprised at this. What will happen when contact tracing shows the virus was passed by people who refused to get vaccinated? Are they responsible for the decline in personnel readiness due to COVID outbreaks in units?

But this also is concerning vaccine refusal is a result of political beliefs and indoctrination through disinformation.

And as I have said, if the military has excess vaccine doses due to active duty personnel refusing to receive it there are plenty of retirees who would make sure the vaccine does not go to waste.

 

13. How to Think About Chinese-Owned Technology Platforms Operating in the United States

lawfareblog.com – by Gary Corn and Jack Goldsmith

The 16 page report can be downloaded here: https://www.hoover.org/sites/default/files/research/docs/chinesetechplatforms_webreadypdf.pdf

Excerpts:

The new administration will need to respond to China’s growing tech sector, the spread of China-controlled platforms, and the increasing national security threats they entail. The administration will have to decide what to do about TikTok and WeChat. It also will need to establish a broader U.S. strategy for addressing the range of security risks (e.g., economic, national security, cybersecurity) and threats to civil liberties posed by the spread of China-developed and controlled technologies. 

Recognizing the evolving national-security aspects of Chinese technology and the attendant policy challenges, the Technology, Law & Security Program at American University Washington College of Law and the National Security, Technology, and Law Working Group at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University convened the working group mentioned above to produce the attached report. 

  

14. Lessons Learned at the Helm of the Department of the Navy

usni.org – by Thomas B. Modly - February 9, 2021

Hmmm....with a nod to David Letterman.

  

15. AQAP leader cites U.S. Capitol riot as evidence of America's supposed decline

longwarjournal.org · by Thomas Joscelyn · February 10, 2021

Excerpts:

The AQAP man further cites America’s racial and economic divide as evidence for his claims.

“Today, America takes the lion’s share of [the coronavirus] epidemic and comes at the top of the list of the perished, which has reached more than 400,000,” Batarfi says. “And whoever thinks that these disasters and adversities have nothing to do with the practices of America, certainly has no knowledge of the way of Allah on the oppressors and how Allah [punishes] them and then seizes them with a severe punishment.”

The video concludes with a clip of Osama bin Laden threatening America as footage of the 9/11 hijackings is shown on screen. This is followed by footage of operations by the “mujahideen in Afghanistan,” Shabaab in Somalia, jihadists in Syria and the Islamic Maghreb, as well as an image of Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani (Al-Shamrani). The clips shown are undoubtedly intended to underscore the idea that al Qaeda maintains a cohesive global network, despite the setbacks it has suffered. 

 

16. Culture, Not Tech, Is Obstacle To JADC2: JAIC

breakingdefense.com · by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

Excerpts:

This education-first approach is part of what’s called “JAIC 2.0,” an evolution of the AI Center from its original focus on building its own AI to enabling other defense organizations to build them. Over the past two-and-a-half years, Tame said, “we’ve learned what the department actually needs is enabling services” most of all.

Under the JAIC 2.0 approach, the center plans to offer a set of technical tools, called the Joint Common Foundation, that will let defense organizations build their own AIso, JAIC will offer streamlined contracting mechanisms so defense organizations can hire companies to clean up their data and then test & evaluate their code.

That may sound basic. But, Tame said, “frankly, after two-and-a-half years of assessment of our department’s AI readiness, [we realized] these critical building blocks — that will enable us to get to the point of implementation of AI across the force in a really cohesive way — are not there yet.”

 

17. The Long Hack: How China Exploited a U.S. Tech Supplier

Bloomberg · by Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley

A very detailed report and over the head of lay people like me. But I am sure the cyber experts will study this report.

 

18. Facebook Helped Government Identify Capitol Rioters From Photos

Bloomberg · by Sarah Frier · February 11, 2021

Can we expect a mass exodus from Facebook based on this report?

 

19.  Hybrid and Psychological Geopolitical Warfare - Western Balkans Case Study | SOF News

sof.news · by Faruk Hadzic · February 11, 2021

Conclusion: Balkan nationalist and separatist ideas, which resurfaced with the former Yugoslavia’s break-up, should be reticent and transform within the EU borders. Montenegro and, in particular, B&H is vulnerable to destabilizing Russian influences, using a complicated social, political, and economic environment, a lack of strategic orientation, and divisions over NATO integration. As for China, Arab countries, and Israel, their influence in the Balkans remains limited, primarily – but not exclusively – to economic projects. However, these impacts will continue to grow unless more severe and concrete US and EU replace them. Further weakening or eventual disappearance of the EU perspective in the Balkans could lead to new attempts to establish “Greater Albania,” “Greater Croatia,” “Greater Serbia,” or even “Greater Ottoman Turkey” through violent border changes, which would unquestionably lead to new violence in the region. Thus, instead of democratizing, the 21st century has brought fragility to the Balkans. 

 

20.  An ‘Economic Article 5’ to Counter China

WSJ · by Jonas Parello-Plesner

And an "economic article 5" would have been useful to come to the defense of South Korea when China conducted economic warfare against it for the deployment of THAAD.

The Quad and Quad Plus should prioritize economic security because there will never be a NATO like combined military organization in Asia.

  

20. In the South China Sea, it’s ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’

Defense News · by David Larter · February 11, 2021

Excerpts:

But to date, national security-minded conservatives have welcomed the Biden team’s embrace of many of the Trump administration’s hardline China positions.

In his confirmation hearing, Blinken drew some distinctions between his views on the China relationship and the Trump administrations’ but largely said he agreed with many of the steps the previous White House took, including the recent declaration that China was engaged in genocide against the Uighur population in Xinjiang. The response seemed to catch Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, off guard.

“You do agree?” a seemingly surprised Graham asked, adding haltingly that “we’re on a good start here. So, this … Really, I … I just very much appreciate that.”

 

21. COVID Sparks Resurgence Of Islamic State Terrorists

eurasiareview.com · by UN News · February 11, 2021

 

22. Setting aside divisions, Myanmar's ethnic groups unite against coup

Reuters · by Reuters staff · February 11, 2021

 

23. In Asia, Biden opts for strategic path blazed by Trump

washingtontimes.com · by Guy Taylor

Maybe we should consider the Trump administration as the fullback and lead blocker pushing US policy in Asia forward- it cleared the way for the quarterback and a new backfield to conduct some open field running in the Asian secondary as they move the ball with finesse toward the goal line of serving, protecting, and advancing US interests in the region and around the world.

 

 

“He who controls the past, controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” 

-George Orwell

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." 

- Mark Twain

 

 "If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought." 

- Dennis Roth

Riley.C.Murray Fri, 02/12/2021 - 10:41am




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