News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. Revealed: US Air Force Has Secretly Built and Flown a New Fighter Jet

2. Chinese database details 2.4 million influential people, their kids, addresses, and how to press their buttons

3. Ameresco and Duke to Build Floating Solar Microgrid at Fort Bragg

4. How a disastrous mission in Iran 40 years ago changed the way US special operators fight

5. (The Other) Red Storm Rising: INDO-PACOM China Military Projection

6. Rear Adm. H. W. Howard III relieved Rear Adm. Collin P. Green as Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) during a change of command ceremony.

7. Opinion | The military is providing an unexpected and powerful line of defense against Russian interference

8. Judd Apatow Calls Out Hollywood Censorship on Human Rights

9. Gen Z is eroding the power of misinformation

10. Moving Beyond Fears of the ‘Russian Playbook’

11. The 5 best non-US special-operations forces from around the world

12. Trump says he wanted to assassinate Bashar al-Assad but Mattis was opposed to it

13. Virologist Dr. Li-Meng says COVID-19 Made in Wuhan lab, controlled by Chinese government

14. US Secretary of State says ‘tide has turned’ and the world increasingly regards China as a threat

15. Trump, Ike and the Myth of the Military-Industrial Complex

16. China says military drills near Taiwan were a ‘necessary action’

17. China’s Communist Party demands private sector’s loyalty as external risks rise

18. More Cyberattacks in the First Half of 2020 Than in All of 2019

19. Failing to change Japan’s constitution will be Abe’s greatest regret

 

1. Revealed: US Air Force Has Secretly Built and Flown a New Fighter Jet

defenseone.com · by Marcus Weisgerber ·15 September 2020

The new digital tools that designed the full-scale flight demonstrator could herald a sea change in weapons acquisition.

 

2. Chinese database details 2.4 million influential people, their kids, addresses, and how to press their buttons

theregister.com · by Simon Sharwood

Amazing:

“Security researcher Robert Potter and Balding co-authored a paper [PDF] claiming the trove is known as the “Overseas Key Information Database” (OKIDB) and that while most of it could have been scraped from social media or other publicly-accessible sources, 10 to 20 per cent of it appears not to have come from any public source of information. The co-authors do not rule out hacking as the source of that data, but also say they can find no evidence of such activity.

“A fundamental purpose appears to be information warfare,” the pair stated.

Chinese database details 2.4 million influential people, their kids, addresses, and how to press their buttons”

 

3. Ameresco and Duke to Build Floating Solar Microgrid at Fort Bragg

microgridknowledge.com · by Elisa Wood · September 14, 2020

Actually at Camp Mackall.  And to think that Camp Mackall used to consist of tar paper shacks (see photo) for training Special Forces.  Now it is an advanced modern facility.

But I thought Fort Hood was a larger base than Fort Bragg (the article says Fort Bragg is the largest military base in the world but perhaps the 50,000 troop number is higher than Fort Hood’s)

It looks like this will impact the fishing at Big Muddy Lake.

 

4. How a disastrous mission in Iran 40 years ago changed the way US special operators fight

Business Insider · by Stavros Atlamazoglou

 

5. (The Other) Red Storm Rising: INDO-PACOM China Military Projection

fas.org· by Hans M. Kristensen

An article criticizing a recent INDOPACOM briefing.  If the graphics do not come through in the message please view them at this link.

I think the critique is in line with the editorial views of the Federation of American Scientists where this piece was published.

Excerpts: 

“Unfortunately, the maps are highly misleading. They show all of China’s forces but only a fraction of U.S. forces operating or assigned missions in the Pacific.

Unfortunately, the INDO-PACOM briefing does a poor job in comparing Chinese and U.S. forces and suffers from the same flaw as the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review by cherry-picking and mischaracterizing force levels. It is tempting to think that this was done with the intent to play up the Chinese threat while downplaying U.S. capabilities to assist public messaging and defense funding. But the Chinese military modernization is important – as is finding the right response. Neither the public nor the Congress are served by twisted comparisons.”

 

6. Rear Adm. H. W. Howard III relieved Rear Adm. Collin P. Green as Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) during a change of command ceremony.

dvidshub.net

As a former Army guy I cringe when I read a commander has been relieved as it basically means a commander has been fired for cause.  But my joint education informs me that the use of relief is used in the Navy to describe a routine change of command and there is nothing negative about it.

 

7. Opinion | The military is providing an unexpected and powerful line of defense against Russian interference

The Washington Post · by David Ignatius · September 15, 2020

It is interesting to consider the role of the US military in defending against threats and securing our election process.  It gives a new perspective on “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

But there’s a backstop: The U.S. Cyber Command is quietly pushing ahead with the effort it began two years ago to “defend forward” against Russian influence operations — which means getting inside Russian cybernetworks to detect and disrupt attacks.

When it comes to the Russian election threat, Washington is a tale of two cities. Military commanders are doing their jobs independently and professionally. Political appointees in civilian agencies appear to be more susceptible to White House pressure. For a vivid illustration of the difference, compare two documents that emerged over the past month.

 

8. Judd Apatow Calls Out Hollywood Censorship on Human Rights

mediaite.com · by Josh Feldman · September 14, 2020

 

9. Gen Z is eroding the power of misinformation

Axios · by Stef W. Kight

Very interesting. The first paragraph says it all.  Maybe we should be paying more attention to the smart young people in Gen Z.

 

10. Moving Beyond Fears of the ‘Russian Playbook’

lawfareblog.com · September 15, 2020

I guess using the “Russian playbook” is intellectually lazy.

Excerpt: “The focus on the “Russian playbook” may have been helpful in previous years, when people were still struggling to understand the nature of political interference online by foreign actors. But in 2020, the idea of a single playbook used by a single actor is no longer accurate or helpful. Tackling disinformation requires constant humility about what remains unknown, calm in the face of a threat that gets worse if it’s inflated, and attention to both details and individual stories as this landscape evolves and becomes more complex.”

 

11. The 5 best non-US special-operations forces from around the world

Business Insider · by Stavros Atlamazoglou

I am proud to see the Armed Forces of the Philippines Light Reaction Regiment on this list.  They have come a long way since the 1st Special Forces Group organized, trained, and equipped the first Light Reaction Company nearly 20 years ago.

 

12. Trump says he wanted to assassinate Bashar al-Assad but Mattis was opposed to it

Axios · by Fadel Allassan

What about Executive Order 12333:

2.11 Prohibition on Assassination. No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in or conspire to engage in assassination.

 

13. Virologist Dr. Li-Meng says COVID-19 Made in Wuhan lab, controlled by Chinese government

in.news.yahoo.com · September 14, 2020

Of course we have read reports from scientists who claim this virus is natural and not man made.

 

14. US Secretary of State says ‘tide has turned’ and the world increasingly regards China as a threat

scmp.com· by Mark Magnier 

If that is the case (and I believe it is) now is the time to really focus on harnessing all our great alliances and working toward a common purpose (as well as creating some new structures (e,g., QUAD Plus).  If there is ever a time when alliances are important and critical to US national security, this might be it.

 

15. Trump, Ike and the Myth of the Military-Industrial Complex

Bloomberg · by Hal Brands · September 11, 2020

The president’s claim that America’s generals want war to keep contractors happy isn’t borne out by the facts.

Its more complex.  

16. China says military drills near Taiwan were a ‘necessary action’

uk.reuters.com · by Ben Blanchard

Note: “In an apparent reference to the United States, Taiwan’s main arms supplier and strongest international supporter, Ma said the drills were also aimed at “the interference of foreign forces” and Taiwan independence activities, not Taiwan’s people.”

 

17. China’s Communist Party demands private sector’s loyalty as external risks rise

Reuters · by Roxanne Liu, Gabriel Crossley and Kevin Yao · September 16, 2020

Loyalty to the CCP is paramount – you can make profits as long as you demonstrate loyalty to the party.

 

18. More Cyberattacks in the First Half of 2020 Than in All of 2019

darkreading.com· by Jai Vijayan

And attacks will only grow and get worse.

 

19. Failing to change Japan’s constitution will be Abe’s greatest regret

The Telegraph · by Julian Ryall

 

————–

 

“Remind me to write an article on the compulsive reading of news. The theme will be that most neuroses can be traced to the unhealthy habit of wallowing in the troubles of five billion strangers.”

-Robert A. Heinlein

 

“May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please,

but as the opportunity to do what is right.”

– Peter Marshall, the Chaplain of the U.S. Senate after WWII

 

“Curiously enough, it is often the people who refuse to assume any responsibility who are apt to be the sharpest critics of those who do.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

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