03/17/2021 News & Commentary – National Security

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs. 1. Russia, Iran sought to influence 2020 election, but no foreign government tried to change votes, U.S. says

2.  Blinken blasts ‘aggressive’ China; Austin reaffirms U.S. deterrence on Korean peninsula 3.  FDD | Joe Biden Shouldn’t Return to the Iran Deal 4. Opinion | What’s at stake in the first big meeting of top Biden administration and Chinese officials by John R.

Bolton 5. Upgraded Iron Dome Defeats Drones & Rockets In Test 6. Top US Commander Warns ‘Front Line’ With China Now South of Border

7. More Americans than ever view China as greatest US enemy: Gallup 8. ‘Three Warfares’: U.S. pummeled by covert disinformation war waged by Russia, China 9. US should tell China: ‘Legal warfare’ against Taiwan will lead to real war

10. Special Operations Has Been the Easy Button For Far Too Long | SOFREP 11. U.S. Deploys Coast Guard Far From Home to Counter China

12. China’s Useful Elitists: Westerners Exploited for Beijing’s Domestic Image 13. A confident China seeks to insulate itself from the world 14. The Real Guardrails of Democracy Are Its Citizens

15. What Countries Will Fight Over When Green Energy Dominates 16. Guard officials say troops’ march on Republican congresswoman’s office wasn’t a political statement 17. Spc.

Vanessa Guillen case could be Army CID’s ‘Tailhook scandal’ 18. US special operations forces train Mozambique troops to counter ISIS threat 19. Train Small Units For Big Wars: Gen.

McConville 20.  Navy won’t remove ‘anti-American’ books from reading list despite House Republicans’ concerns 21. With Chevy halting production of the Camaro, junior enlisted must find purpose elsewhere

22. Operation Kingpin: 27 Minutes at Son Tay 1. Russia, Iran sought to influence 2020 election, but no foreign government tried to change votes, U.S. says The Washington Post . by Ellen Nakashima  .

March 16, 2021 You can read the entire ODNI 15 page report here Why would China have to conduct election influence operations when Russia and Iran were already doing. And of course China probably looked at the election turbulence and the divisions within the US and decided to adopt the Napoleon position: never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. 

2. Blinken blasts ‘aggressive’ China; Austin reaffirms U.S. deterrence on Korean peninsula Reuters . by Humeyra Pamuk and Hyonhee Shin . March 17, 2021

I am optimistic that we are seeing the best synergy between a SECSTATE and SECDEF than possibly we have ever seen.  There appears to be a new Satte-DOD relationship at least at the highest levels. There have been great relationships in the past but they have been more private and behind the scenes. This is a public demonstration of the importance of the 3D’s – diplomacy, development, and defense. Yes this is the first major Biden cabinet level trip but I am optimistic that it is indicative of how State and DOD are going to work together in a very public and positive manner. 3. FDD | Joe Biden Shouldn’t Return to the Iran Deal fdd.org . by Reuel Marc Gerecht .

March 16, 2021 Conclusion: “President Trump never really tried to effect a containment policy against the Islamic Republic, where Washington doggedly tries to roll back the clerical regime’s influence throughout the Middle East, patiently aggravating the theocracy’s internal weaknesses.

And he unwisely premised his sanctions regime on obtaining a new, more comprehensive, A-bomb-foreclosing agreement — a fantasy while Iran remains the Islamic Republic. But containment would draw redlines. Billions of dollars wouldn’t be transferred for a short, weak, and narrow nuclear deal.

Mass slaughter and terrorism wouldn’t be rewarded. And the president of the United States could reply to the supreme leader: “I don’t need to return to the JCPOA, either.” In the Middle East’s endless hard-power contests, that would be a momentous next step.” 4. Opinion | What’s at stake in the first big meeting of top Biden administration and Chinese officials by John R.

Bolton The Washington Post . by  John R. Bolton .

March 15, 2021 Conclusion:  “This first high-level Washington-Beijing encounter will not resolve any major issues, and no one expects it to. If Blinken and Sullivan emphasize that Biden is developing a coherent strategy to resolutely oppose China’s objectionable behavior, that alone would be a vital difference from the past 12 years.

If not, however, the China question will become an increasingly important focus of America’s domestic political debate, and one where Biden is unlikely to fare well.” 5. Upgraded Iron Dome Defeats Drones & Rockets In Test breakingdefense.com . by Arie Egozi

This could be very helpful and hopefully a game changer. 6. Top US Commander Warns ‘Front Line’ With China Now South of Border voanews.com . by Jamie Dettmer .

March 16, 2021 Excerpts: “U.S. military officials likewise expressed concern about the growing relationship between Chinese operations in Central and South America and transnational crime, described by SOUTHCOM’s Faller as the second biggest threat to the U.S. in the Americas.”

They market in drugs, and people and guns and illegal mining,” Faller said of the various crime organizations that have secured a foothold across the region. “And one of the prime sources that underwrites their efforts is Chinese money laundering.” To counter China, Faller urged lawmakers to help ensure a continued U.S. presence and partnership.”It’s important that we remain engaged in this hemisphere,” he said. “It’s our neighborhood, That proximity matters.” “What I hear from my partners is … ‘We want to partner with you, but when you’re drowning, you need a life ring — you’re going to take the life ring from whoever throws it,” Faller said.

7. More Americans than ever view China as greatest US enemy: Gallup The Hill . by Dominick Mastrangelo . March 16, 2021

8. ‘Three Warfares’: U.S. pummeled by covert disinformation war waged by Russia, China washingtontimes.com . by Bill Gertz This “revelation” about the 1st Special Forces Command is not new (except to those just not paying attention).

I am glad to see the focus on CHina’s three warfares (and unrestricted warfare). “During the hearing, it was revealed that the 1st Special Operations Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, recently created an information warfare center and has plans to create “influence artillery rounds” for its operations. “I think it’s indicative of what we’re trying to do across the force, which is really elevate this issue,” said Christopher Maier, acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict.

“I wouldn’t want to articulate or even speculate on what they mean by an ‘information artillery round,’ but I think it speaks to the idea that information is a part of our war-fighting concept,” he said. Special Operations Command is the main military unit in charge of “military information support operations,” or MISO. The Pentagon‘s Defense Science Board concluded in a recent study that military activities in “gray zone” warfare are disjointed and unsuccessful.

The military needs to build up its soft-power capabilities in areas such as cybersecurity, intelligence and influence operations. The U.S. military “needs to be more aggressive in the Gray Zone and treat every action as a campaign to deter competitors from behavior counter to U.S. objectives,” the board concluded. Mr.

Sullivan said all nations wage information warfare to a certain degree, but none is engaged in the style of warfare employed by Moscow using both information and disinformation. Access the 1st Special Forces Command’s vision statement here  INFORMATION WARFARE CENTER (IWC) The IWC is a CONUS-based, operationally-focused standing task force designed to support GCCs, TSOCs, and JIIM partners to identify, expose, exploit, and disrupt adversary influence campaigns.

The IWC integrates cross functional capabilities from Psychological Operations, Intelligence, Cyber, Information Operations, and other Information-Related Capabilities to mass effects against global competitors in the Information Environment.  I would argue this is a model that should be considered at the national level

9. US should tell China: ‘Legal warfare’ against Taiwan will lead to real war The Hill . by Joseph Bosco . March 16, 2021

Excerpts: “Legal warfare — the ASL and the proposed national unification law — is meant to place the legal imprimatur on the project. One authorizes the use of force; the other mandates it.

They counter Washington’s legal position that the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) obligates the U.S. to help Taiwan defend itself. China’s laws also are intended to preempt the Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act (TIPA), which would formally authorize the president to take military action to defend Taiwan. The bill died in the last Congress without active Trump administration support and, reintroduced, it now languishes in Congress under Biden.

After playing active diplomatic defense in Anchorage against the Wang/Yang tag team, Blinken and Sullivan need to urge the president to go on offense with America’s own legal warfare before his administration finds itself on kinetic defense in the Indo-Pacific.” 10. Special Operations Has Been the Easy Button For Far Too Long | SOFREP sofrep.com .

John Black . March 11, 2021 Ugh…

Take this with a grain of salt. There are some truths but also some misunderstandings. I might use this in my class in “Unconventional Warfare and Special Operations for Policy Makers and Strategists” and have students critique this. 11. U.S. Deploys Coast Guard Far From Home to Counter China

WSJ . by Lucy Craymer and Ben Kesling The fifth (and unsung) service. 12. China’s Useful Elitists: Westerners Exploited for Beijing’s Domestic Image

realclearinvestigations.com . by Richard Bernstein I will just leave this one here for food for thought. 13. A confident China seeks to insulate itself from the world

The Economist . March 13, 2021 Really? Is insulate the right word for self-sufficiency?

Conclusion: “State media hail five-year plans as evidence that China has far-sighted leaders, who bravely chart new paths for the future. But the documents really summarise where the country is already heading. The pursuit of self-sufficiency is well under way, however costly it may prove.”

14. The Real Guardrails of Democracy Are Its Citizens Foreign Affairs . by Jonathan Schlefer . March 15, 2021

Damn elites. Conclusion:  “Strengthening democracy and countering destructive elite power struggles requires letting the people shape policy proposals, not just choose between prepackaged partisan offerings. When politicians in predominately Catholic Ireland failed to resolve the toxic issue of abortion, they resorted to convoking an assembly of 99 randomly selected citizens to discuss the issue and propose a solution.

One who participated told The Guardian, “The Citizens’ Assembly took the debate out of this realm of fearful self-interested calculation and into a forum where evidence and experience could take centre stage.” The assembly recommended revoking the constitutional prohibition on abortion and proposed a law to replace it. In a referendum, voters approved the change by 66.6 percent. Such assemblies are now a mainstay of Irish political life; and the name of the organization that started it all?

We the Citizens.” 15. What Countries Will Fight Over When Green Energy Dominates Bloomberg . by Marc Champion .

March 16, 2021 Conclusion: As renewables expand, jobs and revenues in the U.S. and other hybrid nations will become increasingly dependent on decisions that other countries make about whether to go on importing their fossil fuels, according to Rand’s Preston. That’s unlikely to fast-track a more peaceful renewable future.

The trick, he says, will be to “enable safe landings for all the countries that have this kind of dependency on existing fossil fuels, but without shutting down the transition altogether.” 16. Guard officials say troops’ march on Republican congresswoman’s office wasn’t a political statement militarytimes.com . by Leo Shane III .

March 16, 2021 Civil-military relations. Lets get it right. 17. Spc.

Vanessa Guillen case could be Army CID’s ‘Tailhook scandal’ armytimes.com . by Kyle Rempfer . March 16, 2021

We have to do better. 18.  US special operations forces train Mozambique troops to counter ISIS threat Stars and Stripes. by John Vandiver . by March 16, 2021

19. Train Small Units For Big Wars: Gen. McConville breakingdefense.com . by Sydney J.

Freedberg Jr. I recall preparing for our battalion ARTEPS in Korea. Our battalion commander (then LTC Micthell Zais) was not pleased with our preparations and decided to scrap the training plan and focus only on squad and platoon training rather than collective company and battalion training. We spent a month just working on shoot, move, and communicate skills at the squad and platoon levels. With no training above platoon level we took the ARTEP and passed with flying colors. The commander’s rational was if our squads and platoons perform to standard we will be successful.

Small units are key. 20. Navy won’t remove ‘anti-American’ books from reading list despite House Republicans’ concerns militarytimes.com . by J.D.

Simkins . March 16, 2021 We have to stop this censorship, cancel culture, culture wars, false patriotism, etc. I side with the CNO.

21. With Chevy halting production of the Camaro, junior enlisted must find purpose elsewhere militarytimes.com . by J.D. Simkins .

March 16, 2021 Oh no. At least Ford will still have the Mustang (which I understand will have an all electric version!) 22. Operation Kingpin: 27 Minutes at Son Tay

operationkingpin.com Great initiative. I was sorry to learn we just lost CSM Jack Joplin (my first Bn CSM when I was a young SF team leader). We need to honor these great Americans.

Go to the link to see the renderings and to donate to the cause —————— “I don’t mind a good fight.

For reasons known only to God, I’ve had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way: In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.”

-John McCain “I have sacrificed not only my favorite scheme of life, but the softer affections of the heart, and my prospects of domestic happiness, and I am ready to sacrifice my life also, with cheerfulness, if that forfeiture could restore peace and good will among mankind.” – John Paul Jones

“Leadership means firmness, not harshness or bullying; understanding, not weakness; justice, not irresponsible freedom; humaneness, not intolerance; generosity, not selfishness; pride, not egotism”

– Omar N.

Bradley

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