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

1. A lone Black officer faced down a mob at the Capitol. Meet Eugene Goodman.

2. Why Overseas Military Bases Continue to Make Sense for the United States

3. After aborted attempt, sensitive WHO mission to study pandemic origins is on its way to China

4. Now Is a Bad Time to Weaken Civilian Control Over the Military

5. The Death of Critical Thinking in the Military? Here’s How to Fix It.

6. In the wake of the Capitol insurrection, does the US military have a QAnon 5th column in the ranks?

7. Air Force Recommends Space Command Move to Alabama

8. Colorado Politicians Vow To Fight Huntsville Choice For SPACECOM

9. National Guardsmen briefed on IED threat to Capitol

10. Why America’s military leaders felt they had to take a stand

11. Pentagon’s $2 Billion Cybersecurity Project Slowed by Flaws

12. Think tank pitch to Biden: Broker a NATO bank to finance new weapons

13. The Pentagon Must Learn to Do More With Less

14. Investigators pursuing signs US Capitol riot was planned

15. Sharpening America’s “Swiss Army Knife”: Lessons from the Army National Guard’s COVID-19 Response

16. Upset by veterans who stormed the Capitol, these vets decided to clean up trash the mob left on the streets of D.C.

17. The online far right is moving underground

18. How the Army’s ‘Robin Sage’ puts Special Forces hopefuls to a final, make-or-break test in the forests of North Carolina

 

1. A lone Black officer faced down a mob at the Capitol. Meet Eugene Goodman.

The Washington Post· by Rebecca Tan · January 13, 2021

A great story about a great American.  I hope he is properly recognized.

 

2. Why Overseas Military Bases Continue to Make Sense for the United States

warontherocks.com · by Raphael Cohen · January 14, 2021

Some excellent points from Raphael Cohen.  Here is our analysis along the same lines from FDD. https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2020/12/15/defending-forward/

 

Among his many good points, this one caused me to think hard: “Finally, there is a claim that permanent stationing is unnecessarily provocative. There is a thin line, however, between provocation and deterrence. Both involve altering rivals’ perceptions and whether any given military’s actions provoke or deter often is only known in hindsight. And yet, it is hard to see why permanently stationing forces would be that much more provocative than rotating forces through a given location, particularly on a continuous basis, or building a capability for rapid global power projection. If anything the latter may even be more destabilizing, since it reduces adversary warning timelines.”

When has our forward basing been “unnecessarily provocative?” What has resulted from our permanently stationed overseas forces?  Who did we provoke and more importantly how did they respond?

 

3. After aborted attempt, sensitive WHO mission to study pandemic origins is on its way to China

Science · by Kai Kupferschmidt · January 13, 2021

Will they get to conduct the research this time?

 

Excerpts: “The WHO panel’s biggest problem will be that the Chinese government carefully chooses what it gets to see, says Alexandra Phelan, a lawyer at Georgetown University who specializes in global health policy. “No matter how hard local and international scientists try,” she says, “the reality is that the Chinese leadership is in an international propaganda battle.” Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, agrees that politics makes it “very challenging to do the work independently, transparently, and thoroughly.” But the transfer of power next week in Washington, D.C., might make things a bit easier, he adds. If President-elect Joe Biden manages to cool down the rhetoric with China, “That could create a more favorable environment for the scientists to do their work.”

 

4. Now Is a Bad Time to Weaken Civilian Control Over the Military

Foreign Policy · by Jim Golby · January 13, 2021

From one of the leading contemporary scholars on civil-military relations.

 

Conclusion: “In this environment, further politicizing the U.S. military is a real danger. Americans – especially military and political officials – must take all steps now to ensure that the uniformed military’s oath remains to the U.S. Constitution, not to a party or a leader. Events have made abundantly clear that Americans cannot take this principle for granted. Trump will leave office on Jan. 20, but broader problems in the military’s relationship to civilian society and the threat of political violence will not go away. Even if Congress ratifies Biden’s historic appointment of Austin, now is the wrong time to follow Trump’s lead by further politicizing the military.”

 

5. The Death of Critical Thinking in the Military? Here’s How to Fix It.

realcleardefense.com · by Steve Ferenzi

The closure of the Army’s University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies is a big mistake.

 

6. In the wake of the Capitol insurrection, does the US military have a QAnon 5th column in the ranks?

radio.com · by Jack Murphy · January 13, 2021

I hope this is not a widespread problem in the military. It boggles my mind that any sane or critically thinking person could accept these QAnon conspiracy theories.

 

Maybe we do need political officers in the units to root out these corrosive ideologies (note that was an attempt at humor and I in no way advocate such a COA.  That said the only defense against these conspiracy theories is education and the development of critical thinking and knowledge of our Constitution and founding principles.)

 

7. Air Force Recommends Space Command Move to Alabama

defenseone.com · by Marcus Weisgerber

I guess it ain’t over til it’s over:  “The decision could be reversed by the incoming Biden administration. Huntsville is now the “preferred” site, based on a study conducted by Space Command, according to an Air Force official. Finalization is subject to an environmental impact study, which does not pose a serious obstacle. However, if the in-coming administration were to initiate another study and conclude that political influence tilted the decision, this would set in motion a new round of studies and assessments, causing further delays in Space Command establishing its permanent headquarters, according to the official.”

 

8. Colorado Politicians Vow To Fight Huntsville Choice For SPACECOM

breakingdefense.com · by Theresa Hitchens

 

9. National Guardsmen briefed on IED threat to Capitol

Politico· January 13, 2021

This is a serious threat.  It is so difficult to believe these threats are in our capitol.

 

10. Why America’s military leaders felt they had to take a stand

CNN · by  Barbara Starr

Excerpts:

“But if an order is illegal, what happens? The lawyers and the Pentagon leadership explain to the president why the order is not legal. If the president still does not back down, then there is no choice. Commanders must resign. The law prohibits them from carrying out illegal orders.

By issuing their statement, the Joint Chiefs have made it both privately and publicly clear what is at stake. But what is unsettling is that nobody knows if the President is listening.”

 

11. Pentagon’s $2 Billion Cybersecurity Project Slowed by Flaws

Bloomberg · by Anthony Capaccio · January 13, 2021

This has to be a top priority.  We have to get this right.

 

12. Think tank pitch to Biden: Broker a NATO bank to finance new weapons

Defense News · by Sebastian Sprenger · January 13, 2021

Excerpt:

“A dedicated NATO bank could also help stabilize defense investments throughout all member states, including dual-use, civilian transportation infrastructure projects, amid the economic downturn of the coronavirus pandemic, the report states.

The authors pitch London as the headquarters for their bank idea. “With tensions between the United Kingdom and other EU NATO members growing from Brexit, and concerns that this could impact the security relationship, placing a NATO bank in London could help reaffirm the United Kingdom’s commitment to NATO and European security,” they argue.”

 

13. The Pentagon Must Learn to Do More With Less

Bloomberg · by Editorial Board · January 14, 2021

The four worst words in national security and defense: “Do more with less.”  The fact is we will end up doing less with less.  But let’s focus on doing what is right and necessary with whatever resources Congress provides and the CINC directs.

 

14. Investigators pursuing signs US Capitol riot was planned

CNN · by Evan Perez

If there was any complicity among congressmen or other government officials it is going to cause tremendous problems. 

 

15. Sharpening America’s “Swiss Army Knife”: Lessons from the Army National Guard’s COVID-19 Response

mwi.usma.edu · by Laura Keenan · January 14, 2021

I imagine LTC Keenan is decisively engaged in DC today since she is a member of the DC National Guard.

 

16.  Upset by veterans who stormed the Capitol, these vets decided to clean up trash the mob left on the streets of D.C.

The Washington Post · by Sydney Page · January 14, 2021

Good for these veterans.  Doing the right thing.

 

17.  The online far right is moving underground

Axios · by Kyle Daly and Sara Fischer

This is going to be a problem.  We should allow them to operate in plain site.

 

18.  How the Army’s ‘Robin Sage’ puts Special Forces hopefuls to a final, make-or-break test in the forests of North Carolina

Business Insider · by Stavros Atlamazoglou

 

————–

 

“Everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure.” 

– Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

 

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

“The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain.”

-John F. Kennedy

 

“To sit home, read one’s favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men’s doing.”

– Teddy Roosevelt

 

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01/14/2021 News & Commentary – Korea US Navy’s No. 2 civilian claims leadership shouldn’t be blamed for old failures. Some disagree.