Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Video: The Tip of the Spear: From Virginia Hall to Gina Haspel

This 15 minute video is from the OSS Society Donovan Award Dinner on October 20th.  CIA Director Gina Haspel was awarded the Donovan Award.  This video is a tribute to her and the women of the OSS and the intelligence community.  I do hope the CIA will approve release of her speech as it was excellent and should be read and heard by the public.  She and the women of the OSS and intelligence community should be an inspiration to us all.

For all my SF Brothers:  Note the connection of Gina Haspel to 10th SFG.  How many MOS librarians and Language Lab managers did you recruit for the CIA's clandestine service? 

The Tip of the Spear: From Virginia Hall to Gina Haspel

Saturday, September 15, 2018

VOA - Washington Talk - current Korean situation

A link to a 20 minute talk show by Voice of America in which Frank Jannuzi and I discuss the current situation with north Korea. 

Note: "VOA Korean reaches elites in North Korea, who represent 10–15 percent of the population, via radio and the internet with uncensored news and information that is unavailable to North Koreans through state-controlled North Korean media. VOA Korean provides highly relevant news and information about the U.S. and the world." 

Although the text at the site is in Korea the broadcast is in english with Korean subtitles. This was filmed on Thursday morning.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The United Nations Command and the Sending States (Korea)

COL Creamer has done a great service for all who study Korea.  This is the best modern treatment of the United Nations Command, its history and evolution.  This will be a much cited article by Korean scholars who write on the military and security situation on the Korean peninsula.

The PDF of the full paper can be downloaded here: 

This is an excellent companion to COL Creamer's previous work describing the entire Korean Theater command structure which is arguably the most authoritative description of command relations in Korea.  That essay can be downloaded at this link: http://icks.org/n/data/ijks/1498534150_add_file_3.pdf

The United Nations Command and the Sending States 

Colonel Shawn P. Creamer, U.S. Army 

Abstract The United Nations Command is the oldest and most distinguished of the four theater-level commands in the Republic of Korea. Authorized by the nascent United Nations Security Council, established by the United States Government, and initially commanded by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, the United Nations Command had over 930,000 servicemen and women at the time the Armistice Agreement was signed. Sixteen UN member states sent combat forces and five provided humanitarian assistance to support the Republic of Korea in repelling North Korea’s attack. Over time, other commands and organizations assumed responsibilities from the United Nations Command, to include the defense of the Republic of Korea. The North Korean government has frequently demanded the command’s dissolution, and many within the United Nations question whether the command is a relic of the Cold War. This paper examines the United Nations Command, reviewing the establishment of the command and its subordinate organizations. The next section describes the changes that occurred as a result of the establishment of the Combined Forces Command in 1978, as well as the implications of removing South Korean troops from the United Nations Command’s operational control in 1994. The paper concludes with an overview of recent efforts to revitalize the United Nations Command, with a focus on the command’s relationship with the Sending States. 

Keywords: United States, Republic of Korea, United Nations, Security Council, Sending States, United Nations Command, Military Armistice Commission, United Nations Command-Rear, U.S. Forces Korea, Combined Forces Command, Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff, Canadian Forces Initiative, revitalization

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Slow and Unsteady Progress with North Korea Helps Kim Jong Un

Please go to this link to read the entire article at he Cipher Brief web pagehttps://www.thecipherbrief.com/column_article/slow-and-unsteady-progress-with-north-korea-helps-kim-jong-un?utm

Slow and Unsteady Progress with North Korea Helps Kim Jong Un


Col David Maxwell Senior Fellow specializing in North Korea and East Asia Affairs, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Progress in nuclear dismantlement following the April Panmunjom Declarationand the June Singapore Summit is frustratingly slow for the Trump administration, though appropriately deliberate for the North Korean regime. The unconventional and experimental top-down diplomacy being practiced by President Trump and Chairman Kim continues apace, as seen in their recent communications via letters and tweet. But the two leaders are likely to fail if they don’t soon rely more on their professional diplomatic and security teams.
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim is leading the working level talks, but the problem is that Kim Jong Un has now met with President Trump directly, and that is who he wants to deal with. The Trump Administration would greatly benefit from a designated lead negotiator, who does not have other duties and can focus on getting the North Koreans to move more quickly to what they have seemingly agreed.
This is not to say that there is a complete lack of progress. Fifty-five possible remains of U.S. soldiers have been returned, North Korea’s Sohae launch facilityhas been partially dismantled, and Kim Jong Un says he is committed to working toward complete denuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula. Meanwhile, North and South Korean general officer military talks are under way, and the South is pushing for a declaration of the end of the war by year’s end. To encourage this progress, the ROK and U.S. suspended the “war games” this month – a concession that is not permanent, but certainly could help establish some good will.
Yet, there are still signs that Kim Jong Un is getting the better of Trump. From Kim’s perspective, his charm offensive is achieving success particularly among the South Korean people and he has boosted his legitimacy by meeting with Presidents Moon, Trump, and Xi. Moreover, he has not reduced his conventional military threats to the South, and there has been no real movement toward dismantlement of the North’s nuclear program. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently testified that fissile material continues to be produced, while recent intelligence reports indicate continued liquid fuel missile production at the facility outside Pyongyang.
For Kim, the biggest sticking point appears to be “denuclearization” of the entire Korean peninsula. Although President George H. W. Bush removed U.S. nuclear weapons from South Korea in 1991, Kim Jong Un views the South as “nuclearized” because of the presence of U.S. forces and their access to nuclear to weapons. Indeed, as far as Kim is concerned, American strategic air and naval assets are nuclear capabilities. Because of this perceived threat from the South and the alliance, Kim Jong Un is likely unwilling to yield.
With the U.S. similarly unwilling to budge, Kim appears to have a three-pronged strategy to ensure security of North Korea and his regime.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

An American Way of Political Warfare A Proposal

The PDF of this report can be downloaded at this link: https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/perspectives/PE300/PE304/RAND_PE304.pdf

American combat experiences since 2001 have revealed stunning military capabilities and repeated tactical successes. Yet the United States has failed to achieve acceptable and durable political arrangements that serve and protect its interests, suggesting that there are fundamental flaws in its approach to modern warfare. This approach has emphasized conventional models and tools, making little accommodation for a changing adversary and its evolution toward nonconventional means, and the United States has proven unprepared for what the National Security Strategy has recognized as "fundamentally political contests" combining political, economic, cyber, and military means.
The authors propose the establishment of an American political warfare capability to orchestrate all relevant elements of U.S. national power in response to these nonconventional threats, both in war and in peace. This capability must be jointly funded and supported by both the Department of Defense and the Department of State, because of the requirement to operate in contests with and without armed conflict, with vital roles for the Intelligence Community and the United States Agency for International Development. Given political warfare's deliberate whole-of-government nature, the establishment of this capability would require support from both the President and Congress.
Critical to the success of this capability is the establishment, alongside the requirement for the capability itself, of a national political warfare center for studying, understanding, and developing whole-of-government concepts of action (policy, strategy, and campaigns) for responding to nonconventional threats. This center would provide the United States a needed venue to study and prepare for warfare in this space between peace and war.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Aspen Security Forum: Peace on the Korean Peninsula?

An hour and 20 minute video on the Korean Peninsula with the first part featuring a discussion between GEN Brooks in Seoul via video and Gordon Chang followed by a panel discussion with some critical commentary.

GEN Brooks' remarks are an example of a general officer who knows how to speak to the media.  They should show this video at the Capstone course for new general officers.  He faced one of the most complex problems to discuss in public and I think he was masterful.

3:30 – 4:50 PM MDT
Peace on the Peninsula?
Is peace at hand on the Korean Peninsula? Denuclearization and reunification, miraculously, now seem possible. Is this prospect real or a mirage?
Vincent Brooks, Commander, United States Forces Korea; Commander, United Nations
Command; Commander, ROK-US Combined Forces Command
Suzanne DiMaggio, Senior Fellow and US-Iran Initiative Director, New America Foundation
Woongsoon Lim, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of South Korea to the United States
Michael McCaul, Chairman, House Committee on Homeland Security
Sue Mi Terry, Senior Fellow and Korea Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Moderator: Gordon Chang, Columnist, The Daily Beast

Monday, July 16, 2018

Eight Points of Special Warfare

Eight Points of Special Warfare:
Special Warfare is the execution of activities that involve a combination of lethal and nonlethal actions taken by a specially trained and educated force that has a deep understanding of cultures and foreign language, proficiency in small-unit tactics, and the ability to build and fight alongside indigenous combat formations in a permissive, uncertain, or hostile environment.
If there is an indigenous solution or an indigenous contribution to the solution for a complex political military problem conduct special warfare – the essence of which is “through, with, and by” as developed by Mark Boyatt

The American Way of Irregular Warfare - what is it?

1.  Must determine the acceptable, durable, political arrangement that can achieved. (per LTG Jim Dubik) Without this clearly articulated and understood there is no way to achieve unity of effort or to judge mission success. I think Congress must demand this from the Administration.
 2. Eliot Cohen & John Gooch: Military Misfortune:  All military failures are a result of a failure learn, failure to adapt, and failure to anticipate. Look at Mali and Yemen.  Did we anticipate the Turegs and the Houthis?  I would submit that SOF on the ground reported on the growing threats to Mali and Yemen yet our myopic focus on CT blinded us at the strategic level.
3. Larry Cable (the discredited COIN theorist who wrote Conflict of Myths) The three P’s: Presence, Patience, Persistence.  You have to be present to make a difference.  You have to be patient because it takes a long time to influence indigenous forces and develop indigenous capabilities. It takes persistence because mistakes will be made, every operation will include discovery learning and we will have to learn and adapt.
 4. Assessment - must conduct continuous assessment to gain understanding - tactical, operational, and strategic.  Assessments are key to developing strategy and campaign plans and anticipating potential conflict.  Assessments allow you to challenge assumptions and determine if a rebalance of ends, ways, and means is required.
 Understand the indigenous way of war and adapt to it.   Do not force the US way of war upon indigenous forces if is counter to their history, customs, traditions, and abilities.
5.  Assure US and indigenous interests are sufficiently aligned.  If indigenous and US interests are not sufficiently aligned the mission will fail.  If the US has stronger interest than the indigenous forces we can create an “assistance paradox” - if the indigenous forces believe the US mission is "no fail” then the US forces will not allow them to fail and therefore they do not need to try too hard.  They may very well benefit from long term US aid and support.
 6. Employ the right forces for the right mission. US SOF, conventional, civilian agency, indigenous forces.  Always based on assessment and thorough understanding of the problem and available resources and capabilities.  Cannot over rely on one force to do everything.  
7.  Learn how to operate without being in charge.  If we usurp the mission indigenous forces will never be successful on their own.  You cannot pay lip service to advising and assisting.  This is why operations in Colombia and the Philippines achieve some level of success.
 This is not “leading from behind.”  This is the appropriate understanding of the relationship between USSF/SOF and indigenous forces in a sovereign nation or indigenous forces seeking self determination of government.
 8. Campaigning  - we have to develop the campaign plan based on Design thinking to determine the resources and authorities - and then execute the campaign - we have to get good at campaigning and it has to be more than a military campaign.  While disrupting terrorist attacks and attacking terrorist networks, finances and auxiliaries are important they are not a strategy. They can be part of a strategy and campaign but they are not sufficient.  We have to campaign beyond counter-terrorism with a campaign focused on attacking the enemy’s strategy.  This requires deep understanding to include especially understanding the enemy’s political objectives.  Once we understand the enemy ways and means can be employed to counter the enemy’s strategy and his political objectives.  Campaigning is important because it will orchestrate all the activities to achieve the strategic objectives or the acceptable, durable political arrangement we seek.   Campaigns identify the resources necessary (forces, bases, funding).  Campaigns identify the authorities necessary.  Although many in the military and government desire blanket authorities that is not the right way to operate.  However, establishing programs and funding lines such as 1206, 1207, 1208, and 1209 are not effective either.  Authorities need to be specifically applied to each campaign. And with an approved campaign plan Congress can more effectively provide oversight rather than managing funding programs.  Focusing on effective campaigning can discipline the application of the military instrument of power.  Of course it would useful for other elements of national power to be able to “campaign” as well.  (As an aside, we perhaps need to take another look at the 1997 PDD 56 which was for the management of complex contingency operations in the interagency – a disciplined process to orchestrate US government agencies and harmonize the instruments of power.)
·      A Principle of Special Warfare: "Go early, go small, go local, go long”  LTG(R) Charles T. Cleveland remarks at NDU November 30, 2015
·      Understanding indigenous forces:  ”Potential allies always start as at least unproven.  It is hard work that starts with assessments and making the best of who you have, seeking to improve your position (and your partners’) over time.”  LTG (R) Charles T. Cleveland, email January 18, 2016  (Note:  This can apply to resistance in nK)

·      Frank Hoffman's Principle of Understanding. I am a supporter of Dr. Frank Hoffman’s idea that we need a new principle of war called understanding.  Although that seems like a no-brainer – as far back as Sun Tzu we have be told that we must know our enemies and know ourselves to be victorious.   We all know we need to understand war and warfare, the conditions that give rise to conflict, and the politics that lead to and end conflict.  Yet even though the need for understanding is so obvious that we think we do not need to even mention it, it is surprising how so many of our failures can be traced to our lack of understanding.  SOF, through its various assessment capabilities and engagement with indigenous populations can make a key contribution to understanding.

Video: The Tip of the Spear: From Virginia Hall to Gina Haspel

This 15 minute video is from the OSS Society Donovan Award Dinner on October 20th.  CIA Director Gina Haspel was awarded the Donovan Award....