News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Ahyoung Shin

 

1. US to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany in move that will cost billions and take years

2. China has squandered its first great opportunity

3. The color of diplomacy: A U.S. diplomat on race and the foreign service

4. Trump’s spite-Germany plan

5. Generals Shouldn’t be welcome at these parties: stopping retired flag officer endorsements

6. Guam’s air defense should learn lessons from Japan’s Aegis Ashore

7. Putin’s agents and cronies run amok in Britain

8. ‘Generation Z’ and foreign policy: Building a common vision of restraint in a divided era

9. Special Operations Command – Europe to move to Belgium | SOF News

10. Coronavirus surges in Asia bring warnings over complacency

11. Will Trump ‘wag the dog’ to win reelection?

12. Together, you can redeem the soul of our nation by John Lewis

13. Man who helped ignite George Floyd riots identified as white supremacist: Police

14. Opinion: Pompeo, a dire threat to America and world peace – Xinhua

15. Senate hearing for controversial Pentagon nominee Anthony Tata canceled just before it was set to begin

16. The future’s biggest cybercrime threat may already be here

17. US Army cyber chief outlines ten-year plan for information warfare

18. Deepfakes: A grounded threat assessment

19. The economic costs of national security

20. A viral epidemic splintering into deadly pieces

 

1. US to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany in move that will cost billions and take years

CNN · by Ryan Browne and Zachary Cohen

It will be interesting to understand the strategic rationale and how this will improve our ability to support our national security and defense strategies. And will the improvement be worth the time, effort, and cost – cost in terms of billions as well as political costs?

Excerpt: 

Defense officials said that Secretary of Defense Mark Esper had directed that the repositioning seek to enhance deterrence against Russia, strengthen NATO, and support families of US service members.

I guess the key questions are how do these moves enhance deterrence of Russia? How does it strengthen NATO, and how does it support families?

HQ organizations aside, will the combat forces (if any) be stationed (or deployed for rotational units) in the vicinity of APOEs and SPOEs for rapid deployment?

2. China has squandered its first great opportunity

The Atlantic · by Richard Fontaine · July 30, 2020

But will China learn from this? (and more importantly will we?)

3. The color of diplomacy: A U.S. diplomat on race and the foreign service

warontherocks.com · by Kip Whittington · July 30, 2020

An important message especially the final two paragraphs.

4. Trump’s spite-Germany plan

WSJ · July 29, 2020

Tough talk from the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board.

5. Generals Shouldn’t be welcome at these parties: stopping retired flag officer endorsements

warontherocks.com · by Heidi Urben · July 27, 2020

6. Guam’s air defense should learn lessons from Japan’s Aegis Ashore

Defense News · by Timothy Walton, Bryan Clark · July 29, 2020

I think this is very useful analysis.

7. Putin’s agents and cronies run amok in Britain

washingtontimes.com · by Clifford D. May

If Putin is doing this in the UK we can be sure he is doing this in the US. Cliff may ask the important question – does the arc of history bend toward democracy or does it bend toward strong men as the leaders of revisionist and rogue powers believe?

8. ‘Generation Z’ and foreign policy: Building a common vision of restraint in a divided era

realcleardefense.com · by Jake Mercier

Older war-weary Americans and detached Zoomers. A very idealistic conclusion.

If you build strategy and policy around a “negative” concept such as restraint I fear you are always going to be in a reactionary stance. Rather than a default of restraint I would like us to “do strategy” better and if we did do strategy better we might find ourselves more inclined to be restrained. Strategy is about priorities, assumptions, ways, and means and providing civilian decision makers options. But if the first (and only option) is restraint we will find ourselves unable to protect our interests.

9. Special Operations Command – Europe to move to Belgium | SOF News

sof.news · by SOF News · July 29, 2020

10. Coronavirus surges in Asia bring warnings over complacency

Reuters · by Colin Packham, Alasdair Pal · July 30, 2020

And I think international travel (less to North Korea) has to be contributing to this.

11. Will Trump ‘wag the dog’ to win reelection?

defenseone.com · by Charles A. Stevenson

I am not sending this with any partisan intent. This article provides a historical perspective to debunk the “wag the dog” myth.

Here is the link to the Congressional Research Service Report on Instances of Use of United States Armed

Forces Abroad, 1798-2020 

This 52-page report should be a very useful reference for researchers.

12. Together, you can redeem the soul of our nation by John Lewis

NYTimes

A powerful essay that we should reflect deeply upon.

13. Man who helped ignite George Floyd riots identified as white supremacist: Police

ABCNews.com

We are likely to see more and more subversion actions.

14. Opinion: Pompeo, a dire threat to America and world peace – Xinhua

xinhuanet.com

From a Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece Xinhua. Unsurprising criticism but it is pretty slick propaganda citing Richard Haas and invoking Goebbels. They criticize him for Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea and of course the obvious attacks on China to include the blames of the Wuhan Coronavirus which was the name the Chinese Global Times and Xinhua used to describe it on January 23 until they realized it made them look bad.

15. Senate hearing for controversial Pentagon nominee Anthony Tata canceled just before it was set to begin

The Washington Post · by Dan Lamothe and Seung Min Kim · July 30, 2020

An interesting last minute development.

16. The future’s biggest cybercrime threat may already be here

darkreading.com

The future is here and we are all vulnerable and will be affected by this. The key point: “We are the targets.”

17. US Army cyber chief outlines ten-year plan for information warfare

c4isrnet.com · by Mark Pomerleau · July 28, 2020

A new name for the command?   My question with everything surrounding these organizations and emerging concepts is what is their relationship with the discipline of psychological operations and psychological operations forces?

18. Deepfakes: A grounded threat assessment

cset.georgetown.edu · by Tim Hwang

The entire 50-page report can be downloaded here

19. The economic costs of national security

project-syndicate.org · by Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng · July 29, 2020

The economic instrument of power is key to national security. But based on the reports coming out this morning our economy is not doing so well.

20. A viral epidemic splintering into deadly pieces

The New York Times · by Donald G. McNeil Jr. · July 29, 2020

Very depressing and scary analysis.

 

———–

“We rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.” 

– Judge Learned Hand

 

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts… for support rather than illumination.”  

– Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

 

“It’s part of a writer’s profession, as it’s part of a spy’s profession, to prey on the community to which he’s attached, to take away information – often in secret – and to translate that into intelligence for his masters, whether it’s his readership or his spy masters. And I think that both professions are perhaps rather lonely.”

– John le Carre 

 

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