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

1. It’s time for a third special operations revolution

2. Treasury sanctions Chinese entity and officials pursuant to global Magnitsky human

rights executive order

3. U.S. imposes sanctions on Chinese company over abuse of Uighurs

4. U.S. sanctions China’s paramilitary in Xinjiang

5. Muslim countries must take a stand for China’s Uighur community

6. Why America is afraid of TikTok

7. Three people are charged in Twitter hack

8. Poland wraps deal for permanent US troops, drones, special ops

9. As Pentagon reduces numbers in Europe, Army turns focus to new missions in Pacific

10. Russia commends US decision to pull thousands of troops from Germany

11. The disinfomercial: How Larry King got duped into starring in Chinese propaganda

12. People win wars: the PLA enlisted force, and other related matters

13.  Countering China’s influence activities: lessons from Australia

14. The QAnon conspiracy theory: a security threat in the making?

15. After spiking through June and July, military COVID-19 cases level off

16. The US is a ‘cheap date’ in cyberspace. A commission has ideas to change that.

17. ‘The jet doesn’t care:’ 1st female F-35 demo pilot says she’s focused on excellence

18. The panopticon is already here (China and AI)

19. Why it’s so hard to discern between conspiracies and intentional disinformation

20. The hooligan Navy of WWII

21. Federal agents don’t need Army fatigues

 

1. It’s time for a third special operations revolution

Military Times · by David Maxwell · August 01, 2020

I thought it was time for some provocation.

 

2. Treasury sanctions Chinese entity and officials pursuant to global Magnitsky human rights executive order

US Department of the Treasury · July 31, 2020

I think this has been a long time coming.

 

3. U.S. imposes sanctions on Chinese company over abuse of Uighurs

Reuters · by Steve Holland & Daphne Psaledakis · July 31, 2020

 

4. U.S. sanctions China’s paramilitary in Xinjiang

Axios · by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian · July 31, 2020

 

5. Muslim countries must take a stand for China’s Uighur community

Real Clear World · by Katrina Lantos Swett & Irshad Manji · July 31, 2020

I have wondered why they have not. Is this the result of the power and influence of the Chinese Communist Party and how it has co-opted and covered these countries?

 

6. Why America is afraid of TikTok

Defense One · by Michael Schuman · July 31, 2020

A long read. And we should wonder why Microsoft wants to buy it. The author really seems to downplay the threats. The author provides some excellent background on the development of TikTok and its head -Mr. Zhang. But he seems a bit too sympathetic toward it and seems to put more emphasis on blaming China hawks.

 

7. Three people are charged in Twitter hack

Wall Street Journal · by Robert McMillan · July 31, 2020

And we worry about TikTok.

 

8. Poland wraps deal for permanent US troops, drones, special ops

Breaking Defense · by Paul McLeary · July 31, 2020

This is not easy and does not happen overnight.

 

9. As Pentagon reduces numbers in Europe, Army turns focus to new missions in Pacific

Washington Times · by Mike Glenn · July 31, 2020

We have tried the “Asia Pivot” before.

 

10. Russia commends US decision to pull thousands of troops from Germany

Washington Examiner · by Haley Victory Smith · July 30, 2020

But does he like more troops farther to the east?

 

11. The disinfomercial: how Larry King got duped into starring in Chinese propaganda

ProPublica · by Renee Dudley & Jeff Kao · July 30, 2020

Another long but fascinating and troubling read.

 

12. People win wars: the PLA enlisted force, and other related matters

War On the Rocks · by Marcus Clay & Dennis J. Blasko · July 31, 2020

Very interesting. My limited experience with the PLA is that as long as you have a political officer system you will never develop an NCO corps. I spent a day at the Kunming Military Academy with the Political Officer. Since I was the second ranking officer (we were accompanying War College students and our commandant, a Rear Admiral) he thought I must be the Political Officer. The fact that he thought the US military had political officers was a shock to me (and this officer was a one star). But, when he asked me if we did not have a political officer who looks after the ideological purity and welfare of the soldiers, I thought then they could never have a professional NCO corps. He did not like my response that we do not concern ourselves with ideological purity and that we have an NCO corps with a Command Sergeant Major who is at the right hand of the commander to advise him on all issues concerning our soldiers.

He did not seem to know or understand this.

 

13. Countering China’s influence activities: lessons from Australia

CSIS · by Amy Searight · July 2020

 

14. The QAnon conspiracy theory: a security threat in the making?

Combating Terrorism Center · by Amarnath Amarasingam & Marc-Andre Argentino · July 2020

It is hard for me to fathom how rational people could fall for these conspiracies.

 

15. After spiking through June and July, military COVID-19 cases level off

Military Times · by Meghann Myers · July 31, 2020

Some good news here.

 

16. The US is a ‘cheap date’ in cyberspace. A commission has ideas to change that.

Defense News · by Mark Pomerleau · July 31, 2020

I think the Cyber Solarium Commission is necessary to push us along. And I think Senator King is exactly right: we have not done a good job in imposing costs on those responsible for cyber attacks.

 

17. ‘The jet doesn’t care:’ 1st female F-35 demo pilot says she’s focused on excellence

Military.com · by Oriana Pawlyk · July 30, 2020

Another great American.

 

18. The panopticon is already here (China and AI)

The Atlantic · by Ross Andersen · September, 2020

Another long but very worthwhile read on China and AI. This is more confirmation for me of my thesis: 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.

 

19. Why it’s so hard to discern between conspiracies and intentional disinformation

Fast Company · by Kate Starbird · July 27, 2020

The author notes that history tells us the blending of activism and active measures is nothing new.  In my opinion, we all have to be critical (and skeptical) thinkers and have to understand our own biases (and we need to be most critical and skeptical regarding our biases).

 

20. The hooligan Navy of WWII

The History Reader · by P. T. Deutermann · July 16, 2020

Some interesting history for the weekend.

 

21. Federal agents don’t need Army fatigues

New York Times · by the Editorial Board · July 31, 2020

Correct. Police should wear police uniforms. Federal authorities should wear uniforms unique to their organizations (and stop trying to be something they are not). The military should wear military uniforms.  There is no need to wear multi-cam in Portland or in any other city.

 

“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

“Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.”

– Douglas MacArthur

“Being in the special forces has really broken a lot of the limitations I thought I had. Thoughts like ‘We’ve done this much, so we should take a break now’ were ones that I had to ignore and overcome in my training. They taught me how to keep going, no matter how difficult a situation can get.”

– Lee Seung-gi

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It's time for a third special operations revolution 8/1/2020 News & Commentary - Korea