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

1. How China Is Taking Over International Organizations, One Vote at a Time

2. Defense Experts Throw Warning Flags As Congress Mulls Tighter Buy-American Rules

3. Out: ‘information warfare.’ In: ‘information advantage’

4. How the US Army Fits into America’s Indo-Pacific Strategy

5. McMaster: Strategic competitors probably view the US as ‘weak’

6. Deepfake Putin is here to warn Americans about their self-inflicted doom

7. Opinion | China’s Xi is doubling down on genocide

8. Thinking Strategically About Sino-American Crisis Management Mechanisms

9. ‘Deepfake’ Political Ads Banned At Last Minute By Local Fox, CNN and MSNBC Affiliates

10. Vaccine Chaos Is Looming

11. Chinese Communist party asserts greater control over private enterprise

12. A Potentially Deadly Blow to NATO

13. How new network tools can help find paratroopers faster and improve situational awareness

14. QAnon, Blood Libel, and the Satanic Panic

15. The Façade of Chinese Foreign Policy Coherence

16. The Navy has updated the SEAL ethos with gender-neutral language

17. New book recreates harrowing siege of Green Beret camp in 1965 Vietnam

18. Air Force to Reduce Tuition Assistance for Troops

19. The Dumbass Chronicles: Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Idiocy

20. Why Men Love the Story of the Great Escape

 

1. How China Is Taking Over International Organizations, One Vote at a Time

WSJ · by Yaroslav Trofimov, Drew Hinshaw and Kate O’Keeffe· September 29, 2020

The international organization space is a domain of Chinese political warfare.  It is key terrain for its strategy.   My assessment of Chinese political warfare strategy: 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.

 

2. Defense Experts Throw Warning Flags As Congress Mulls Tighter Buy-American Rules

defenseone.com · by Marcus Weisgerber

 

3. Out: ‘information warfare.’ In: ‘information advantage’

c4isrnet.com · by Mark Pomerleau · September 29, 2020

More definition and terminology paralysis?  Rearranging the deckchairs?  One thing we are very good at is coming up with new names.

My thoughts: Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian philosopher of war so often cited here at War on the Rocks, wisely counseled that before you embark on war you must first understand it. In American military circles, we have flipped that on its head and instead first rush to brand it with an acronym-friendly term to fight it before we truly grasp the characteristics of the conflict. The great strategic thinker, Colin Gray once wrote “The American defense community is especially prone to capture by the latest catchphrase, the new-sounding spin on an ancient idea which as jargon separates those who are truly expert from the lesser breeds without the jargon.” 

 

4. How the US Army Fits into America’s Indo-Pacific Strategy

thediplomat.com· by Francis P Sempa · September 29, 2020

Excerpt: “Finkelstein’s article should dispel the commonplace notion that American power and credibility in the Indo-Pacific wrests exclusively on U.S. naval and air power. The geography of the Indo-Pacific certainly requires a strong U.S. naval and air presence to project power and protect its security interests in the region. The series of island chains and marginal seas running along Asia’s east coast from Siberia to Indochina highlight the geopolitical importance of sea and air power. But Finkelstein contends that future deployments to the region should adhere closely to the “multi-domain operations concept.”

 

5. McMaster: Strategic competitors probably view the US as ‘weak’

militarytimes.com · by Diana Stancy Correll · September 29, 2020

We should reflect on LTG McMaster’s thoughts here.

 

6. Deepfake Putin is here to warn Americans about their self-inflicted doom

Technology Review · by Karen Hao

Video at the link

 

7. Opinion | China’s Xi is doubling down on genocide

The Washington Post · by Editorial Board · September 29, 2020

The true nature of the CCP in China.

 

8. Thinking Strategically About Sino-American Crisis Management Mechanisms

warontherocks.com · by Jacob Stokes and Zach Cooper · September 30, 2020

Key point: “We agree with the need for better communications between the United States and China. The question that remains unclear, however, is which types of mechanisms would actually decrease the likelihood of conflict and avoid inadvertent escalation. Answering this question requires assessing what mechanisms already exist, explaining where they fall short, and asking whether new mechanisms would work better. This article starts to address these issues, providing some recommendations for improving crisis management along with a healthy dose of practical caution about what it will take for these efforts to succeed in their overarching goal of preventing conflict.”

 

9. ‘Deepfake’ Political Ads Banned At Last Minute By Local Fox, CNN and MSNBC Affiliates

mediapost.com · by Larissa Faw· September 29, 2020

Interesting. The videos are fascinating and well done.

 

10. Vaccine Chaos Is Looming

defenseone.com · by Sarah Zhang

A sober warning: “The good news is that more deployable vaccines are moving fast through the pipeline too. The race to a vaccine has dominated hopes for an end to the pandemic. But the first COVID-19 vaccine may not ultimately be the most important COVID-19 vaccine.”

 

11. Chinese Communist party asserts greater control over private enterprise

Financial Times · by Tom Mitchell · September 28, 2020

One key point: “Under the new guidelines, party committees that previously wielded little power at private companies are supposed to play a role in personnel appointments and other important decisions.”

 

12. A Potentially Deadly Blow to NATO

defenseone.com · by R.D. Hooker, Jr.

 

13.  How new network tools can help find paratroopers faster and improve situational awareness

c4isrnet.com · by Andrew Eversden · September 29, 2020

Find paratroopers?  Technology is great but we should never forget the rule of LGOP – Little Groups of Paratroopers

Use the technology but do not forget these rules and do not lose this spirit.

This effect is known as the Rule of LGOPs. This is, in its purest form, small groups of 19- year old American Paratroopers. They are well-trained, armed-to-the-teeth and lack serious adult supervision. 

They collectively remember the Commander’s intent as “March to the sound of the guns and kill anyone who is not dressed like you…” …or something like that. Happily they go about the day’s work…

The Rule of LGOPs is instructive:

– They shared a common vision

– The vision was simple, easy to understand, and unambiguous

– They were trained to improvise and take the initiative

– They need to be told what to do; not how to do it

 

14. QAnon, Blood Libel, and the Satanic Panic

New Republic · by Talia Lavin · September 29, 2020

More on this sick conspiracy.

 

15. The Façade of Chinese Foreign Policy Coherence

thestrategybridge.org · September 29, 2020

Recommendation:

To be more effective, U.S. foreign policy responses to China’s rise need to recognize the fragmentation of and sometimes contradictory actions of Chinese foreign policy entities. Antagonistic zero-sum competition with China only serves to limit its options, pushing it to act in the aggressive manner of the belligerent rising power American policymakers fear it already is.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative projects may increase some states’ dependency on Beijing, but they are not designed to create long-lasting, deep ties between Chinese actors and their counterparts. Conversely, many Indo-Pacific states are seeking greater balancing cooperation in response to recent aggression from Beijing. Recognizing the problems with its current blinders, the U.S. should begin developing a new strategy focused on enhanced regional engagement to dampen China’s latent hegemonic capacities in Asia, without the overt confrontation that would force Beijing to play the role of a hostile rising power its grand strategy narrative of strength and power demands.

 

16. The Navy has updated the SEAL ethos with gender-neutral language

Business Insider · by Paul Szoldra

 

17. New book recreates harrowing siege of Green Beret camp in 1965 Vietnam

taskandpurpose.com · by Matt Soergel

 

18. Air Force to Reduce Tuition Assistance for Troops

airforcemag.com · by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory · September 29, 2020

This is probably a tweet away from being overruled and fixed.

 

19. The Dumbass Chronicles: Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Idiocy

soflete.com · by September 29, 2020

Some humble self criticism.  We should all be self-reflective.

 

20. Why Men Love the Story of the Great Escape

The Art of Manliness · by Brett and Kate McKay · September 24, 2020

Now I understand why I loved the great Escape. From my childhood there are four movies that influenced me.  My father took me to each of them:

Lawrence of Arabia

Von Ryan’s Express

The Great Escape

The Green Berets

 

—————

 

“Unconventional Warfare (UW) … remains uniquely Special Forces’. It is the soul of Special Forces: the willingness to accept its isolation and hardships defines the Special Forces Soldier. Its training is both the keystone and standard of Special Forces Training: it has long been an article of faith, confirmed in over forty years of worldwide operations, that “If you can do the UW missions, you can do all others.” The objective of UW and Special Forces’ dedication to it is expressed in Special Forces’ motto: De Oppresso Liber (to free the oppressed)”

– Robert M. Gates, Remarks at dedication
of OSS Memorial, 12 June 1992

 

“And where is the Prince who can afford to so cover his country with troops for its defense, as that ten thousand men descending from the clouds, might not in many places do an infinite deal of mischief, before a force could be brought together to repel them?”
– Benjamin Franklin

 

“We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together and if we are to live together we have to talk.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

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