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

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

2. The US Needs a Global Coalition to Defeat COVID

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11. When Companies Wielded the Power of States

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

13. Cyber Command’s measure of success? Outcomes

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

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

16. Perspective | The deadly fallout of disinformation

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

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

I did not expect to read this in print.

2.The US Needs a Global Coalition to Defeat COVID

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

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

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

defenseone.com · by Patrick Tucker

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

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

From an Administration (DOD) official.

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

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

rfa.org – by Drake Long – 10 July 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Washington Post – by Alex Horton – 10 July 2020

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

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

The Hill · by Alicia Cohn · July 10, 2020

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

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

Financial Times · by James Kynge · July 10, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

11. When Companies Wielded the Power of States

WSJ · by Andrew Phillips and J.C. Sharman

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

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

Bloomberg · by James Stavridis · July 10, 2020

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

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

13. Cyber Command’s measure of success? Outcomes

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

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

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

Forbes · by Sebastien Roblin · July 9, 2020

The Balkans beware.

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

theconversation.com · by Herman Wasserman

Yes, culture matters.

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

16.  Perspective | The deadly fallout of disinformation

The Washington Post – by Calder Walton

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

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

– Cal Weyers

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

– General James Mattis

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