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1/25/2021 News & Commentary - National Security

1/25/2021 News & Commentary - National Security

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



1. China is joining the global push to rein in tech giants



2. China overtakes U.S. as world’s leading destination for foreign direct investment



3. For wars of the future, Pentagon looks to distant past: the B-52



4. Three steps to fight online disinformation and extremism



5. Biden must seek a new balance of equals in Asia to avert a US-China partition



6. Experts predict the future transition of COVID-19 virus to a mild common illness



7. The beautiful stability of U.S. foreign policy



8. Philippines inks $940 million deal with China to link Subic Bay and Clark Air Base by rail



9. Russian hack of US agencies exposed supply chain weaknesses



10. China's foreign policy weapons: technology, coercion, corruption



11. Biden’s Asia policy will be controversial – and that’s a good thing



12. China pushes fringe theories on pandemic origins, virus



13. China’s military ‘prepares for war’ with joint operations, cross-training



14. Tibetan monk dies after beatings, torture in Chinese prison



15. China tests Biden’s resolve on strategic flash point of Taiwan



16. Canada to join Quad joint naval exercise in Pacific Ocean



17. The case for an imperfect solution in Afghanistan



18. The climate crisis is worse than you can imagine. Here’s what happens if you try.



19. The blob is addicted to overseas interventions



20. To learn the Army’s ethic, officers should study the Army’s history



21. Special operations news update - Monday, January 25, 2021



 



1. China is joining the global push to rein in tech giants



· Sam Schechner, Liza Lin, & Chong Koh Ping  · January 24, 2021



My suspicious side wonders if they will work to rein in US and European tech giants so that their state-owned tech companies can eventually dominate. There must be a lawfare angle to this for China.



 



2. China overtakes U.S. as world’s leading destination for foreign direct investment



· Paul Hannon & Eun-Young Jeong  · January 24, 2021



 



3. For wars of the future, Pentagon looks to distant past: the B-52



· Michael R. Gordon · January 24, 2021



I guess the B-52 is the exemplar of the adage: "They don't make them like they used to."



And, yes, they do call it the BUFF (though they provide us the G-rated version of the meaning of the acronym).



 



4. Three Steps to Fight Online Disinformation and Extremism



· Peter W. Singer · January 24, 2021



Some thoughtful analysis from Peter Singer.



The three steps:



Near-term: change the message



Medium-term: sift the data



Long-term: inoculate the system



My recommendations are here:  



I still think some of the best advice on this comes from Nadia Shadlow and HR McMaster, which they wrote in the 2017 National Security Strategy:



"A democracy is only as resilient as its people. An informed and engaged citizenry is the fundamental requirement for a free and resilient nation. For generations, our society has protected free press, free speech, and free thought. Today, actors such as Russia are using information tools in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of democracies. Adversaries target media, political processes, financial networks, and personal data. The American public and private sectors must recognize this and work together to defend our way of life. No external threat can be allowed to shake our shared commitment to our values, undermine our system of government, or divide our Nation."



As an aside—if you try to find the NSS, it is no longer accessible on the White House web site. It is 404 at this .



If you need access to it, you can find it on the Wayback Machine, .



 



5. Biden must seek a new balance of equals in Asia to avert a US-China partition



· Anthony Rowley · January 25, 2021



I do not think China is mirror imaging. In my opinion, 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.



I don't believe that is a mirror image of the US.



 



6. Experts predict the future transition of COVID-19 virus to a mild common illness



· Jordan Eversley · January 24, 2021



We can only hope—and sooner rather than later.



 



7. The beautiful stability of U.S. foreign policy



· James Holmes · January 25, 2021



 



8. Philippines inks $940 million deal with China to link Subic Bay and Clark Air Base by rail



· Seth Robson · January 22, 2021



Even though Clark and Subic are no longer US bases, US forces have a persistence presence in these locations (particularly US naval vessels using the maintenance facilities in Subic).



 



9. Russian hack of US agencies exposed supply chain weaknesses



· Eric Tucker · January 25, 2021



The supply chain is one of the most important strategic capabilities that must be protected. Otherwise our economic instrument of power will wither on the vine.



I hope we can learn and adjust from this.



 



10. China's foreign policy weapons: technology, coercion, corruption



· Hal Brands · January 25, 2021



 



11. Biden’s Asia policy will be controversial – and that’s a good thing



· Van Jackson · January 25, 2021



 



12. China pushes fringe theories on pandemic origins, virus



· Huizhong Wu · January 25, 2021



Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter accusations. And employ copious amounts of disinformation and conspiracy theories.



 



13. China’s military ‘prepares for war’ with joint operations, cross-training



· Liu Zhen · January 24, 2021



I recall being part of a US group entertaining a Chinese delegation in 2010 or 2011 at the National War College. One of their "concerns" was that we had recently disbanded the Joint Forces Command. They wanted to know if the US had given up the concept of Joint Operations. They wanted to know how we could continue to focus on joint operations without a Joint Forces Command. Was this an admission that our concept of joint operations was deemed a failure. This was important to them, because they were, of course, developing their own joint operations concepts (some of which were probably modeled off or inspired by our concepts.)



 



14. Tibetan monk dies after beatings, torture in Chinese prison



· Pema Ngodup, Tenzin Dickyi, & Richard Finney · January 22, 2021



The brutality of the Chinese regime. Again, thank you to RFA for reporting this kind of important information.



 



15. China tests Biden’s resolve on strategic flash point of Taiwan



· Kari Soo Lindberg · January 25, 2021



The question for the Biden administration is how do we demonstrate sufficient strategic reassurance and strategic resolve in the face of Chinese actions against Taiwan?



China is providing the Biden administration with a 100-day honeymoon.



 



16. Canada to join Quad joint naval exercise in Pacific Ocean



· Anirudh Bhattacharyya · January 25, 2021



Good to see. We are going to have to find a new name for the Quad and Quad Plus. We need something more inclusive and that sends the message about the organization and intention of the "organziation."



 



17. The Case for an imperfect solution in Afghanistan



· Sasha Kassam · January 25, 2021



Can division of a country be good? Who is to decide on the division? What about self-determination? Or would this be "great power determination" of what is good for it?



 



18. The climate crisis is worse than you can imagine. Here’s what happens if you try.



· Elizabeth Weil · January 25, 2021



He is a true believer.



 



19. The blob is addicted to overseas interventions



· Doug Bandow · January 25, 2021



BS. "Promiscuous interventionists" – what a new description.



Please point out to me who wants war for the sake of having a war. Advocating overseas presence to protect US national interests does not mean such advocates are seeking war. The sheathed sword can be more effective when combined with other capabilities and actions. But the sword has to be credible, in the right place, and availability for use if and when necessary



 



20. To learn the Army’s ethic, officers should study the Army’s history



· Theo Lipsky · January 25, 2021



 



21.  Special Operations News Update - Monday, January 25, 2021



· January 25, 2021



 



"Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one."



- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



“The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.”



- Aristotle



"Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression...“



-John Stuart Mill, On Liberty



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