News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and Published by Riley Murray.

1. Joe Biden considers retired general Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

2. Acting Defense secretary makes surprise trip to Somalia

3. Opinion | U.S.-made technologies are aiding China’s surveillance of Uighurs. How should Washington respond?

4. Biden’s NATO Amity Sparks Debate Among European Allies

5. Alfred Thayer Mahan: America’s Greatest Public Intellectual

6. Philippines Looking to Reverse Course on Scrapping US Military Pact

7. Debt Will Determine How America Engages With The Rest Of The World

8. China rises as world’s data superpower as internet fractures

9. As China’s power waxes, the West’s study of it is waning

10. Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election ‘farcical’

11. Covid Was Hiding Among Colds and Flus

12. Japan to back Aegis on ships as missile interceptors – Kyodo

13. Is China Seeking A Secretive, Permanent Presence in America’s Computers?

14. The Chinese Communist Party turns 100

15. Asia’s Future Beyond U.S.-China Competition – The Day After

16. The Trump administration is right- on civilian oversight of special operations

17. Trump Gave W.H.O. a List of Demands. Hours Later, He Walked Away.

18. A call for late justice for Col. Larry Franklin | Opinion

19. Building a Red Teamer’s Library – From the Green Notebook

20. 4 Badass Operators You Should Know More About

1. Joe Biden considers retired general Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Axios · by Hans Nichols, Jonathan Swan

I would be very surprised if he chose a former GOFO, especially one who needed a waiver.  Not a good move at this time in my opinion.

2. Acting Defense secretary makes surprise trip to Somalia

The Hill · by Celine Castronuovo · November 27, 2020

3. Opinion | U.S.-made technologies are aiding China’s surveillance of Uighurs. How should Washington respond?

The Washington Post · by Editorial Board · November 26, 2020

Buried Lede? So does this mean that our surveillance technologies are superior to what the Chinese can develop?

We cannot sacrifice our values.  If our technology is being used to deny human rights and oppress people, we must take the appropriate action.

4. Biden’s NATO Amity Sparks Debate Among European Allies

WSJ · by James Marson

There is going to be a “new” NATO as a result of President Trump’s policies and actions. This is an opportunity to move forward and not backward. In fact, I think when all is said and done President Trump’s legacy may be as the great disruptor who provided the catalyst for change and potential advancement in foreign policy and national security. Just like building new muscle – first you have to exercise to failure and break down the muscle to build it back up better.  The question is, will a Biden administration capitalize on it?

5. Alfred Thayer Mahan: America’s Greatest Public Intellectual

realcleardefense.com · by Francis P. Sempa

Food for thought.

Excerpt: Mahan began his career as a public intellectual just as the United States was becoming an overseas power – indeed, Mahan soon became one of our nation’s greatest advocates for overseas expansion. Mahan’s study of history, especially Theodore Mommsen’s multi-volume History of Rome, convinced him that “sea power” in its broadest sense – naval and commercial – was the key to national greatness. He was a great admirer of the British Empire and believed that the United States was destined to supplant Britain as the world’s greatest sea power.

6. Philippines Looking to Reverse Course on Scrapping US Military Pact

voanews.com · by Ralph Jennings – 27 November 2020

Our oldest treaty ally.

7. Debt Will Determine How America Engages With The Rest Of The World

Forbes · by Mike O’Sullivan · November 27, 2020

Which former CJCS said the debt was our biggest national security threat? Adm Mullin? And who said now that we have no more money we will have to start thinking?

8. China rises as world’s data superpower as internet fractures

asia.nikkei.com – by Toru Tsunashima

I have heard this repeated many times by futurists and cyber experts are security conferences: “he who controls the data….”

9. As China’s power waxes, the West’s study of it is waning

The Economist – 28 November 2020

Come on.  Haven’t we all read Sun Tzu enough? “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”  The subtitle asks the key question.

10. Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election ‘farcical’

The Hill · by Morgan Gstalter · November 27, 2020

I do not know why we cannot trust Krebs? (I do).  He must be one of the smartest people on this issue with the most access to information about the entire electoral process from a data/cyber perspective.  Why do we not believe him and his objective, expert assessment?

11. Covid Was Hiding Among Colds and Flus

WSJ · by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

Interesting analysis.

As an aside we have upped our daily intake of Vitamin D, Zinc, and Vitamin C as well as follow the best practices of public health protocols.

But here is the key point.  It is all of our responsibility to deal with this crisis (though there are many who do not believe there is a crisis)

Excerpt: Though Donald Trump and the media enjoy obsessing about each other, a Washington fix was never in the cards beyond mobilizing supplies and expediting a vaccine. The job was always going to fall on the shoulders of 330 million Americans, with guidance from local leaders, to adapt to oscillating waves in their communities.

12.  Japan to back Aegis on ships as missile interceptors – Kyodo

theedgemarkets.com · November 28, 2020

13. Is China Seeking A Secretive, Permanent Presence in America’s Computers?

The National Interest · by Michael G. McLaughlin, William J. Holstein · November 27, 2020

I think we all know the answer to the title question despite what skeptics, apologists, and panda huggers might think.

14. The Chinese Communist Party turns 100

The Economist · by James Miles – 17 November 2020

But the DPRK has existed longer than the PRC. Just saying. 🙂 (by one year)

15. Asia’s Future Beyond U.S.-China Competition – The Day Aft

carnegieendowment.org · by Evan A. Feigenbaum

I think the Asian countries will say there is more to Asia than the PRC and the US.  But one basic question for all us is “rule of law” or “rule by law?”

16. The Trump administration is right- on civilian oversight of special operations

atlanticcouncil.org · November 18, 2020

I missed this one when it was published last week.  It is interesting to note the NDAA 2017 was signed into law by President Obama.  The Trump Administration is finally implementing something that was established in the last administration. I hope the Biden administration will continue to build on the Acting SECDEF’s initiative. There is still a lot of work to be done to get civilian oversight and advocacy rights.

17. Trump Gave W.H.O. a List of Demands. Hours Later, He Walked Away.

The New York Times · by Matt Apuzzo · November 27, 2020

More on our great disruptor.  Some very good demands.  The lesson here is that international organizations are a battlespace in which China wants to dominate. Are we going to effectively compete in this space for cede to China?

18.  A call for late justice for Col. Larry Franklin | Opinion

Newsweek · by Caroline Glick · November 27, 2020

What a tragic story (at least from reading this account – I am sure there are some who think there is another side to the story).  But if this is accurate this is a tragic miscarriage of justice.  That said, I have never ever taken classified documents home to work on at night and I did not know anyone who did in my 30 years in the Army. But I have known some who have mishandled classified material and they have been held accountable.

19.  Building a Red Teamer’s Library – From the Green Notebook

fromthegreennotebook.com · by Joe Byerly · September 26, 2020

I just saw this on social media.  A good list from a good professor. I had the opportunity to work for Mike in his course at Leavenworth.

Unfortunately the Army is doing away with the US Army University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies which includes among other courses the Red Team Leader’ course and the  Special Operations Campaign Artistry Program (SOCAP) course.  You would think given the NDS and the IW annex the Army would want to continue to teach these courses and sustain this program and university.

20.  4 Badass Operators You Should Know More About

coffeeordie.com · by Matt Fratus · November 27, 2020

“A dead soldier who has given his life because of the failure of his leader is a dreadful sight before God.  Like all dead soldiers, he was tired before he died, and undoubtedly dirty, and possibly frightened to his soul and there is on top of all that . . . Never again to see his homeland.  Don’t be the leader who failed to instruct him properly, who failed to lead him well.  Burn the midnight oil, that you may not in later years look at your hands and find his blood still red upon them.’

– James Warner Bellah was a former Army officer who wrote many Western stories and such, to include some of his short stories being turned into movies by John Ford — like  Fort Apache, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande.

 

“A political society does not live to conduct foreign policy; it would be more correct to say that it conducts foreign policy in order to live.”

– George Kennan

 

“Our moral strength is in ourselves, in our patience, in our courage, in our decision and in our resolution.”

– William J. Donovan

Hits: 25

USIP Publication: Libya: Peace Talks Advance, But Will Need Local Support Rheinmetall unveils new ground robot for armed reconnaissance