Saturday, June 29, 2013

Department of Dirty Tricks: Why the United States needs to sabotage, undermine, and expose its enemies in the Middle East. BY MAX BOOT, MICHAEL DORAN

Excerpts:
Reinvigorating America's capability to wage political warfare will not cost much -- and can be paid for by redirecting parts of the foreign aid, public diplomacy, and military budgets -- but it will require mobilizing autonomous bureaucracies to act in concert. The normal Balkanization of government will have to be replaced by a cooperative system in which operatives are encouraged to develop crosscutting skill sets; no longer will al Qaeda specialists be able to focus only on al Qaeda, or Iran specialists only on Iran.

What distinguished political warfare from the amorphous and open-ended development and assistance programs that the United States currently runs was its emphasis on winning a global competition against the Soviet Union. In the era of the Marshall plan, for example, the United States did not simply develop, in a general sense, the economy of Europe. It did so with an eye to strengthening specific groups that were dedicated to weakening the enemy of the United States. More often than not, political warfare involves the application of "soft power." But it requires organizing ourselves so as to apply it against specific targets in order to achieve clearly defined goals. Influencing the flow of information was, therefore, a key component of Cold War political warfare.
As an aside if anyone needs a quick easy reference on the history of Poltiical and Special Warfare in the Cold War this is a useful site:

PART ONE: Cold War and Special Warfare
  1. Interest, Intervention, and Containment
  2. Toward a Doctrine of Special Warfare
  3. The Legacy of World War II
  4. Toward a New Counterinsurgency: Philippines, Laos, and Vietnam
  5. Waging Unconventional Warfare: Guatemala, the Congo, and the Cubans
PART TWO: Camelot and Counterinsurgency
  1. The Kennedy Crusade
  2. The Apparatus in the Field
  3. Edward Geary Lansdale and the New Counterinsurgency
  4. The Heart of Doctrine
  5. Counterterror and Counterorganization
  6. Tactical Totalitarianism
  7. The Problem of Ideology
PART THREE: Special Warfare and Low-lntensity Conflict
  1. The Carter Years
  2. Morning in America and the Special Warfare Revival
  3. The Special Forces' Buildup
  4. The Middle East Calls the Shots
  5. Watching the Neighbors: Low-Intensity Conflict in Central America
  6. An Un-American Way of War

V/R
Dave
Why the United States needs to sabotage, undermine, and expose its enemies in the Middle East.
BY MAX BOOT, MICHAEL DORAN | JUNE 28, 2013

"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." So said Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Part III. He was complaining about the impossibility of leaving the mafia behind, but the quote undoubtedly expresses the feelings of President Barack Obama as he contemplates the difficulty of extricating the United States from the Middle East. He is eager to pivot to Asia and sees bringing soldiers home from Iraq and Afghanistan as one of his most important legacies. Like the mafia, however, the Middle East has a way of pulling the United States back in. First in Afghanistan, then in Libya, and now in Syria, events on the ground and pressure from allies convinced a reluctant president to make new military commitments.

But if the United States wants to exert influence over events in this turbulent region, it will have to do more than provide military assistance. Even if the arms the United States will supply to the Syrian rebels were to topple President Bashar al-Assad -- which at the moment seems an unlikely outcome, barring the employment of American air power -- the bloodletting will almost certainly continue. Rival factions will compete for power, and American-backed forces under Gen. Salim Idriss and allied figures could easily lose out to the al-Nusrah Front and other Islamist extremists. Look at what's happened in Libya, where in the aftermath of Qaddafi's ouster, militias and militants exercise more authority than the central government. Or consider Egypt, where the downfall of a dictator has allowed the Muslim Brotherhood, a fundamentalist organization hostile to the United States and Israel, to consolidate authority in an increasingly authoritarian manner.

Clearly, the president needs options between military intervention and complete nonintervention -- ways to influence developments in the Middle East without deploying Reaper drones or sending U.S. ground forces. To give Obama the tools he needs, the U.S. government should reinvigorate its capacity to wage "political warfare," defined in 1948 by George Kennan, then the State Department's director of policy planning, as "the employment of all the means at a nation's command, short of war, to achieve its national objectives." Such measures, Kennan noted, were "both overt and covert" and ranged from "political alliances, economic measures (as ERP -- the Marshall Plan), and 'white' propaganda to such covert operations as clandestine support of 'friendly' foreign elements, 'black' psychological warfare and even encouragement of underground resistance in hostile states."

During the Cold War, the United States waged political warfare through a variety of mechanisms. It covertly funded noncommunist political parties in Europe and Japan; backed intellectual magazines like Encounter, an Anglo-American journal of opinion that flourished in the 1950s, as well as groups such as the Congress of Cultural Freedom, which organized artists and intellectuals against communism; and provided financial and logistical support to anti-Soviet dissidents like Lech Walesa and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. At their worst, such policies propped up strongmen with scant legitimacy -- think Cuban president Fulgencio Batista and the shah of Iran -- and invited anti-American "blowback." But at their best, they enabled the United States to aid freedom fighters behind the Iron Curtain and beyond. They were policies that helped to outflank communism in Europe and Asia, where free societies stood up to help the United States win the Cold War.

What distinguished political warfare from the amorphous and open-ended development and assistance programs that the United States currently runs was its emphasis on winning a global competition against the Soviet Union. In the era of the Marshall plan, for example, the United States did not simply develop, in a general sense, the economy of Europe. It did so with an eye to strengthening specific groups that were dedicated to weakening the enemy of the United States. More often than not, political warfare involves the application of "soft power." But it requires organizing ourselves so as to apply it against specific targets in order to achieve clearly defined goals. Influencing the flow of information was, therefore, a key component of Cold War political warfare.

Thus, during the 1980s, the U.S. government did not limit its involvement in Afghanistan to having the CIA arm the mujahideen. The now-defunct U.S. Information Agency also spread news globally about Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan (most notoriously, the rumored use of exploding toys to maim children). Tales of human-rights violations did much to undermine the Soviet Union's legitimacy and helped speed its collapse. Today, the president has very few tools at his disposal, other than statements from the podium, that allow him to direct the flow of information in a competitive manner. Consider, for example, the intervention by Hezbollah in Syria today. The number of fighters lost in that conflict, the brutality of their activities, and the cost to the treasury of Iran are all pieces of information -- if delivered to the right audiences in the Middle East -- which could help the United States to undermine the morale of rivals. But whose job is it in the United States government to collect such information and place it on a defined target?


With the end of the Cold War, America's tradition of political warfare all but died. Covert action was revived after the 9/11 attacks, but it has been primarily kinetic -- consisting of drone strikes, renditions, and commando raids. In fact, the lack of a complementary political strategy makes it impossible to undermine persistent foes, and forces us to rely more than we should on direct military action, which often does not achieve any lasting effect. A more indirect, politically focused approach is needed to exert American influence in countries like Egypt, where we have no intention of sending Reaper drones to kill Muslim Brotherhood leaders, but nevertheless need to counter the organization's hardline policies.
(Continued at the link below)

Explaining North Korea’s irrationality

I am one (among many) who does not believe that the Kim Family Regime is acting irrationally (see article at this link: http://www.fpri.org/enotes/2012/201201.maxwell.nkorea.html).  Dr. Bruce Bechtol's new book, The Last Days of Kim Jong-il also argues with convincing analysis that through the February 2013 nuclear test, Kim Jong-un is actually executing the script or playbook that Kim Jong-il put in place before he died.  I agree with the author that from our perspective the north appears to be acting irrationally but that it is wrong to explain the north's actions in terms of irrationality. 
V/R
Dave


Explaining North Korea’s irrationality
June 29th, 2013
Author: Ulv Hanssen, Swedish Institute of International Affairs
The recent North Korean bluster following the latest UN sanctions against Pyongyang ranged from the bizarre to the scary.

Perhaps more significantly it again spurred questions about the capability of rational policymaking in the isolated country. After the dust settled, the only significant outcome was the shutdown of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. Not only did this convey a strong symbolic message by deconstructing the last remnant of ‘Sunshine Policy’ era, it shut off North Korea’s best legal source of foreign currency. In the month following the Kaesong shutdown inter-Korean trade was down by 88 per cent, plummeting to pre-Sunshine Policy levels. This unquestionably hurts Pyongyang much more than Seoul, and North Korea watchers were at pains to explain this seemingly irrational decision.

Another ‘irrational’ decision came after the so-called ‘leap day agreement’ on 29 February 2012 between the US and North Korea. In return for a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests, North Korea was set to receive 240,000 metric tons of food aid. For a country in which nearly a third of children under five show signs of stunting due to malnutrition, such a trade-off would seem like a no-brainer. But less than two months later North Korea conducted a highly publicised rocket launch which blew up in spectacular fashion — much like the leap day deal which was subsequently scrapped. This was an outcome North Korean leaders probably did anticipate, but the launch was still carried through. Irrationality has in foreign policy studies been defined as ‘a decision’s incompatibility with policy goals, prevailing consensus, or preferred outcomes’. If North Korea is seen as an undiversified unit with a uniform intention, as tends to be the case, one is often left with few other alternatives than to explain North Korean decision-making as irrational.

The notion of North Korea as an irrational actor is not a new phenomenon. Ever since the Korean War (1950–53), when the North attacked the South and gambled on US non-intervention, North Korean history has been fraught with examples of apparently irrational actions. These contradictions have sometimes been explained as a North Korean adoption of Richard Nixon’s ‘madman theory’ — in other words, North Korea deliberately portrays itself as irrational to asymmetrically intimidate stronger players. This may sometimes be true, but this view shares a common flaw with most interpretations of North Korean behaviour: it treats North Korea as a monolithic unit and disregards internal power struggles.


After Kim Il-sung’s death in 1994 his son, Kim Jong-il, reshuffled the pecking order of the country’s most powerful institutions: the Korean People’s Army (KPA), the Workers’ Party of Korea and the Cabinet. The songun (military first) policy enhanced the Army’s political power at the expense of the Party. As a result, power politics in North Korea became more prone to institutional jousting and the potential for contradictory policies increased. One analyst has characterised North Korea as an ‘institutional pluralist’ state since Kim Il-sung’s death. However, contradictory foreign-policy goals and actions stemming from conflicting institutional interests seem to have existed even before 1994. For example, one of the most promising periods of North–South conciliatory diplomacy coincided with the 1983 Rangoon bombing in which the North Korean military killed four South Korean cabinet ministers and 13 senior officials on Burmese soil.
(Continued at the link below)

Which is the real Korea? Behind the North’s strange behavior and the South’s strange indifference is a still-unsettled war.

I just received a copy of the author's new book on Korea and it is well worth the read. I think it makes a very important contribution to Korean War and contemporary history and should be considered for use in Korean history studies.  But in answer to the rhetorical question of the title perhaps the questions is who are the real Korean people?  As I have recently written there are two Korean Miracles:  The one we all know about: "The Miracle on the Han: which is  the miraculous economic growth and transition to a vibrant democracy in South Korea.  The second is the "Miracle on the Taedong," which is the miracle that the north Korean people have survived their horrendous conditions living under the iron totalitarian rule of the Kim Family Regime.  The connection between the two is that both miracles rest on the traditional Korean culture that allows for survival in the face of extreme hardship as well as the creative, entrepreneurship of the people and the ability of the nation to survive and thrive as a "Shrimp among whales."  I think this theme is worth exploring for use in ROK PSYOP to help prepare the north Korean people for unification.  Although there are vast differences between north and South, the underlying fabric of traditional Korean culture may be useful in helping to bridge those differences and help facilitate the unification process. Credit for the idea of the Miracle on the Taedong goes to retired ROK Navy Admiral and Ambassador to Kuwait who mentioned it to me over lunch this week at a conference in Korea.

As far as the subtitle to this piece it is an important reminder of paragraph 60 of the 1953 Armistice that called for a meeting of ally he powers within 90 days of the signing to resolve the "Korea Question."  Such a meeting never took place but it does illustrate the unfinished war of 1950-1953 and recognized even then that the only solution to the Korea question is unification.
V/R
Dave
Which is the real Korea?
Behind the North’s strange behavior and the South’s strange indifference is a still-unsettled war.
By Sheila Miyoshi Jager |  GLOBE CORRESPONDENT     JUNE 30, 2013

WHAT DOES NORTH KOREA WANT? Internationally isolated, the North Korean regime has a long history of confrontation with the outside world, having threatened to engage South Korea and the United States in another war on numerous occasions. North Korea successfully tested its first nuclear device in 2006; most recently, its provocations have included a third nuclear test in February 2013 and a renewed threat to turn Seoul “into a sea of fire.” Stories from North Korean defectors reveal a life of desperate poverty and unimaginable repression. To Westerners, this belligerence and isolation in the context of such national suffering have often seemed baffling, even shocking. Guessing what motivates the regime, and what its inexperienced leader Kim Jong Un might do next, has become almost a parlor game.

To the south, meanwhile, sits a country where conditions could not be more different, and one where the threats of its neighbor to the north have been met with surprising calm, even indifference. “North Korea threatens to start a nuclear war, while South Korea dances to ‘Gangnam Style’,” observed German journalist Ullrich Fichtner about South Koreans’ reactions to North Korea’s rantings this spring. “War has never been this close, but Koreans in Seoul confront their fears by going about a bizarre version of everyday life, complete with truffle pasta and super-smart phones.” South Koreans even seem indifferent to the plight of the North Korean people themselves. Shin Dong-hyuk, who published a memoir in 2012 with journalist Blaine Harden about his early life spent entirely in a North Korean prison camp, bitterly suggested in a recent interview that “South Korea should be put on trial next to the North Korean regime for turning a blind eye” to North Korean human rights violations.
The strange contrast between the two Koreas—and the dynamic between them, one of total preoccupation from the North and apparent nonchalance from the South—is striking, a vexing clash of worldviews with major implications for the stability of East Asia and beyond. But it may not be as mysterious as it seems. The attitudes of the two nations can be understood as faces of the same coin, one that is a product of a war fought over 60 years ago in which neither side ever actually admitted defeat—and which North Korea continues to fight today.


For decades, the most important struggle for both of the Koreas has been the contest for legitimacy. The people of the South understand that this contest is decisively over, and now worry more about their own prosperity than the blusterings of their neighbor. The North, however, has so far refused to come to terms with its defeat. For us to navigate its continuing threats, we need to realize that the conventional explanations of the regime’s behavior—as recklessly seeking to maintain its hold on power and privilege, or as rationally responding to threats posed by hostile powers like the United States—miss something important. To North Korea, the main security threat is not the United States. It is the prosperity, wealth, and prestige of South Korea.
***
Which would become the legitimate Korea? As surprising as it may sound today, the answer at first appeared to be the North.


THE ORIGINS of the Korean conflict can formally be traced to the end of the Second World War, when the Korean peninsula was liberated from Japan and divided at the 38th parallel by the victorious United States and the Soviet Union. This new occupation—with the Soviets in the northern half and the Americans in the south—reinforced a divide that had already grown in Korea under the stresses of Japanese colonial occupation and created two partisan camps with the support of two rival patrons.
(Continued at the link below)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Park, Xi agree on North Korean denuclearization

I was watching the ROK-PRC summit on Korean TV in Seoul today, and I cannot help but notice what appears to be a very high level of ceremony and respect surrounding the visit.  I doubt that Kim Jong-il received this much apparent respect and recognition and certainly Kim Gye-kwan did not on his last visit (though obviously he is not a head of state).  But the televised events have to be a real slap in the face of the Kim Family Regime let along the stated "common view" on denuclearization that was announced.  I certainly hope the north Korean defector organizations (and hopefully ROK and US PSYOP professionals) are capturing all these images and transmitting them to the people in the north as there is a lot of PSYOP value in the images and words coming out of Beijing today..  It sure does not look like President Park is anybody's "puppet" and this visit even more than the US visit  really illustrates the status of the ROK as superior to that of the DPRK. (I do not mean anything negative about the US visit because President Park received protocol respect above the working level visit but because the PRC is a north Korean ally and it is treating President Park with far more public recognition than of its ally even when they were closer than lips and teeth).  As an aside in comparison with President Parks' self taught language skills, I wonder how much Mandarin Kim Jong-il spoke or Kim Jong-un speaks?

V/R
Dave

Park, Xi agree on North Korean denuclearization

Two presidents reach 'common view' on denuclearization, 'peace and stability' and 'resolving issues through dialogue'

BY SUSAN AHN , JUNE 27, 2013

SEOUL – Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi Jiping share a “common view” that North Korea should denuclearize after a day of bilateral talks that were widely believed to have been heavily focused on the North Korean nuclear issue.

Park is in China for a four-day visit and, after meeting the Chinese President, is expected to meet with Premier Li Keqiang and Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Friday.

“The two leaders shared a common view on denuclearizing North Korea, maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and resolving issues through dialogue and negotiations,” Reuters reported Park Geun-hye’s office as saying.

Beyond the North’s nuclear program, Park’s self-taught Mandarin and interest in Chinese philosophy has dominated Chinese media coverage in anticipation of the summit.

EAST ASIAN DENUCLEARIZATION

Denuclearization should be a “joint-effort”, Park’s senior presidential secretary Ju Chul-ki said in an official statement before the summit

“This visit is an opportunity for our two countries to further cooperation on effective North Korea policies, including the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the peace and stability of the region,” he added.

Free Trade Agreements and other points to “forge a stronger economic partnership” were also discussed by the two presidents, staff from both sides said.

“I believe it is high time for our two countries to seek a new framework of economic cooperation in line with our economic status within the international community,” Park told the China Daily in a printed interview.
XI’AN THE SIGHTS
(Continued at the link below)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Defector Brings News of NK Interior


Some important insights.  This should confirm that the people in the north can be influenced by an effective influence campaign.  As an aside I was at a conference lunch yesterday with a retired ROK Admiral (and former Korean Ambassador to Kuwait) and we were of course discussing north Korea.  He made an off hand comment about the two Korean miracles.  The first of course is the "Miracle on the Han" - the rapid advancement of Democracy and Economic developing in South Korea.  The second miracle which I will now call the Miracle on the Taedong" (the river that runs through Pyongyang as the Han runs through Seoul) which is the fact that despite the failed economy and horrendous suffering by the people north Korea continues to exist after 60+ plus years.  While he meant as sarcasm, it made me think that there could be a useful theme and message to support unification.   Although there are huge differences between north and South (greater than anything between East and West Germany) the similarity is that Korean culture is responsible for the way they are:  The Korean independent hard working spirit is responsible for the Miracle on the Han creating a nation that is able to fight well above its weight in the global community.  The spirit of the Korean people is also responsible for the survival of the north Korean people despite what has happened to them over the past sixty years.  When the unification process begins it will be necessary to try to focus on the similarities between north and South and the "Koreaness" of the Korean people.  The two miracles though obviously 180 degrees out from each other  are both possible because of the Korean culture, history, and tradition – leading  both success and survival.
V/R
Dave


Defector Brings News of NK Interior

By Park Seong Guk
[2013-06-26 21:25 ]  
  


What do North Korean people really think of the sophomore Kim Jong Eun regime? According to one newly arrived defector, the state enterprise of idolizing Kim continues apace, but is proving to be ineffective in comparison with the days of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

Kim Young Hun, who arrived in South Korea in December 2012, explained the latest situation during a new briefing event, “Monthly Insight into North Korea,” co-hosted by NK Intellectuals Solidarity (NKIS) and Daily NK at Seoul Press Center on the 26th. 

“North Korean people still don’t know much about Kim Jong Eun,” Kim explained, adding, “[The authorities] are unable to release a detailed record of his revolutionary history.”

“There aren’t really any materials that can prove he is a great man, as there were when they idolized Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Il,” he went on to point out. “So the North Korean people hardly ever talk about Kim Jong Eun. They are frightened of the National Security Agency, too; but really people just don’t know who he is.” 

Kim also described a common approach to politics in the current era: ignore it. He pointed out that there have been so many claims about economic reform down the years, but none of them were worth anything. Therefore, people have stopped listening to the political pronouncements, and just concern themselves with their own lives.

Kim made additional mention of changes to the consciousness of citizens that have been taking place in recent times.

According to his testimony, in the past it was Japanese-Korean returnees and persons working for foreign-currency earning enterprises who were envied in North Korean society. However, he claimed that in the 2000s it is the families of defectors who occupy that social position. Relations with Japan remain tense, he pointed out, while even the conditions for foreign-currency earners have deteriorated somewhat. Conversely, families of defectors continue to receive relatively stable remittance flows from the South.

“People envy households that have people in South Korea,” he declared. “North Korean people increasingly hanker after South Korean society, thinking that ‘In South Korea if you work hard you can live,’ or ‘If a South Korean laborer works for just a year then he can buy a car.’”
(Continued at the link below)

Special Forces Can Rescue the U.S. Pivot: A plan to open elite military training centers in Asia could be a rare bright spot in an era of U.S. defense cuts.

Does the Pivot need rescuing?  But note the controversy:
Congress is an equally daunting impediment to Adm. McRaven's dreams of a global special forces network. The core of his plan is to establish partner-led coordination centers in Latin America and Asia that are similar to NATO's in Europe. Congress, however, has rejected SOCOM's request for $14.7 million to begin building a regional center pilot program, despite interest in Asia and Latin America.
 
I have been somewhat critical of this concept not necessarily because of the concepts itself but because it has apparently been difficult to explain in the media and to Congress (as evidenced by the Congressional action above).  I frankly do not think that Michael Auslin helps here because not only does the sensational headline put people off but this unsupported and un-provable concluding assumption does as well:
A global special forces network will not by itself solve the world's security problems, of course. But Adm. McRaven and his strategists believe, with reason, that such a network can materially improve the quality of allied special operations forces around the globe. That, in turn, will serve to protect the U.S. homeland threatened by interlinked, international webs of terrorist financing and drug running.
The hubris in the title and in the concluding statement are unhelpful to SOF.  In some ways this could undercut the legitimacy of SOF because  I think that there are countries that will be put off with the idea that receiving training from US SOF will "in turn, serve to protect the US homeland."  Yes, every military engagement and operation has to be to support US national security interests and objectives first and foremost and we should never hide that fact.  However, there are those that would rather receive training because it is of mutual benefit and would rather not have it advertised in the media that such training is to support the defense of the US homeland.  Furthermore the emphasis only on terrorist financing and drug running as well as counter-proliferation of WMD as stated elsewhere in the OpEd is too narrow a focus for SOF (though in Michael's defense he could not describe the full range of SOF missions and objectives and the editor probably cut most of them out and only went with sexy missions that support the thesis of the OpEd).

But most importantly.  I also think that if you removed the phrases “Global SOF Network” and “Regional SOF Coordination Centers” and just described in plain language the work that is being done by SOF to train, advise, and assist friends, partners, and allies in support of the Geographic Combatant Commanders' theater campaign plans and Country Teams'  mission strategic plans you would be describing the traditional work of Special Forces which most people (in the GCCs, Country teams and in Congress as well as host nations) should understand and for which there might  be little to no controversy.  The so-called "network" would exist "naturally" as SOF provides bridging capabilities that link the Geographic Combatant Commanders and Chiefs of Mission with various indigenous elements (regular, special, irregular  or paramilitary forces) throughout countries and regions as well as assist in providing situational understanding of various conditions, capabilities, potential conflicts, and actual conflicts through their normal engagement activities that can help adjust, adapt, and shape current and future GCC theater campaign plans and the Chiefs of Mission mission strategic plans.  The GSN and RSCC's are nice attempts to codify traditional SOF work but instead they have become lightening rods for controversy as everyone has their own idea of what they mean and intend to do.
V/R
Dave

Special Forces Can Rescue the U.S. Pivot
An plan to open elite military training centers in Asia could be a rare bright spot in an era of U.S. defense cuts.
The disconnect between U.S. defense cuts and President Obama's strategic pivot toward Asia has raised doubts about whether the policy can live up to its billing. Amid this uncertainty, however, one part of the military is eager to expand its footprint in Asia and make the pivot real, at a relatively low cost – if only Congress would loosen its purse strings.

Admiral William McRaven is the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) here in Tampa, Florida. For the past several years, some of his top officers have been creating a plan to use America's special operations forces to radically transform Asia's security environment. The goal is to help America's elite warriors better train Asian militaries and special forces to counter threats such as narcotrafficking and terrorism. In the process, Adm. McRaven says, such training could bring Asian nations together to reduce the risk of future conflict.

When most people think of U.S. special operations forces, they think of Navy SEALs taking out Osama Bin Laden or the Army Delta Force kicking down doors and rescuing hostages. This is what SOCOM calls "direct action." Yet the bread-and-butter of special operations work is the long-term "indirect action" of training foreign military forces and sharing information. While there will always be a need for special forces' ability to execute high-risk missions, their partnering with foreign militaries often pays a higher dividend over time.

These special forces partnerships are usually planned on a country-by-country basis, with little coordination across missions. The exception—and the model for Adm. McRaven's plans for Asia—is NATO's special operations forces headquarters in Belgium, which began as a coordination center in 2006 and now trains forces from 26 NATO nations. Centralized cooperation there has led to a dramatic increase in the number of European special operations force missions conducted with and without help from U.S. soldiers.


Now Adm. McRaven wants to establish a "Global Special Operations Forces Network" of similar training centers for allies in Asia and elsewhere. By standardizing and expanding U.S. allies' special operations training, Adm. McRaven says that this network could reduce the number of doors American SEALs have to kick down themselves. Instead, better-prepared Philippine or South Korean forces could pick up the slack.
(Continue at the link below)

Readout of House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Classified Briefing on Benghazi

Jun 26 2013
WASHINGTON--Today, the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations received testimony in a classified briefing from three key figures involved in the response to the attack on Americans in Benghazi. General Carter Ham (ret), former Commander, AFRICOM; Lieutenant Colonel S.E. Gibson, former commander of the site security team at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli; and Rear Admiral Brian Losey, former commander, Special Operations Command Africa, all offered accounts of U.S. force posture and planning ahead of the attack, and actions taken during and after the attack. While the subcommittee will continue to carry out appropriate oversight, today’s witnesses did clarify several matters with respect to the events of September 11 and 12, 2012.

Pre-9/11 Force Posture and Planning: On September 10, 2012 the White House issued a readout of a presidential briefing on 9/11 planning. The readout said the briefing was the culmination of “numerous meetings to review security measures in place” chaired by John Brennan. The readout also reported that the briefing included “steps taken to protect U.S. persons and facilities abroad, as well as force protection.”

When questioned about this process today, General Ham, the combatant commander responsible for one of the most volatile threat environments in the world, stated that neither he or anyone working for him was consulted as part of the Brennan 9/11 planning process.

Response to the Benghazi Attack: In his testimony, LTC Gibson clarified his responsibilities and actions during the attack. Contrary to news reports, Gibson was not ordered to “stand down” by higher command authorities in response to his understandable desire to lead a group of three other Special Forces soldiers to Benghazi. Rather, he was ordered to remain in Tripoli to defend Americans there in anticipation of possible additional attacks, and to assist the survivors as they returned from Benghazi. Gibson acknowledged that had he deployed to Benghazi he would have left Americans in Tripoli undefended. He also stated that in hindsight, he would not have been able to get to Benghazi in time to make a difference, and as it turned out his medic was needed to provide urgent assistance to survivors once they arrived in Tripoli."



Apologies for lack of posts. I am overseas at a conference.

Monday, June 24, 2013

U.S. warns countries against Snowden travel

Sometimes we should talk softly and ….

We should be treating Snowden like the irritating little narcissistic pr***k he is.  We should not be contributing to the narrative that he is some kind of martyr and cult hero (or worse, a patriot).  It pains me to listen to the press tracking this world wide man hunt with the taunts of "catch me if you can."

We should quietly hunt him down.  And I would think if we were quieter about it, we might actually get some cooperation from other countries. 
V/R
Dave


U.S. warns countries against Snowden travel

Sun, Jun 23 2013
HONG KONG/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was seeking asylum in Ecuador on Sunday after Hong Kong allowed his departure for Russia in a slap to Washington's efforts to extradite him on espionage charges.

In a major embarrassment for President Barack Obama, an aircraft thought to have carried Snowden landed in Moscow on Sunday, and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said he was "bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum."

Earlier, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, visiting Vietnam, tweeted: "The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden."

It was a blow to Obama's foreign policy goals of resetting ties with Russia and building a partnership with China. The leaders of both countries were willing to snub the American president in a month when each had held talks with Obama.

The United States continued efforts to prevent Snowden from gaining asylum. It warned Western Hemisphere nations that Snowden "should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the United States," a State Department official said.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer charged that Russian President Vladimir Putin likely knew and approved of Snowden's flight to Russia and predicted "serious consequences" for a U.S.-Russian relationship already strained over Syria and human rights.

"Putin always seems almost eager to stick a finger in the eye of the United States - whether it is Syria, Iran and now of course with Snowden," Schumer, a New York Democrat, told CNN's "State of the Union" program. He also saw "the hand of Beijing" in Hong Kong's decision to let Snowden leave the Chinese territory despite the U.S. extradition request.

ECUADOR ROLE

Ecuador, which has been sheltering WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange at its London embassy for the past year, once again took center stage in an international diplomatic saga over U.S. data secrecy.
Ecuador's ambassador to Russia, Patricio Alberto Chavez Zavala, told reporters at a Moscow airport hotel he would hold talks with Snowden and Sarah Harrison, a WikiLeaks representative.

Hours later, shortly after midnight (2000 GMT Sunday), the ambassador emerged from a business-class lounge near the hotel and refused to say whether he had met Snowden or make any other comment. Shortly before he appeared, a cart with three plates of salmon and a Starbucks bag were rolled into the lounge.

Snowden, who had worked at a U.S. National Security Agency facility in Hawaii, had been hiding in Hong Kong, the former British colony that returned to China in 1997, since leaking details about secret U.S. surveillance programs to news media.

U.S. authorities had said on Saturday they were optimistic Hong Kong would cooperate over Snowden.

U.S. authorities have charged Snowden with theft of federal government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person, with the latter two charges falling under the U.S. Espionage Act.

A source at Russian airline Aeroflot said on Sunday that Snowden was booked on a flight scheduled to depart for Havana on Monday at 2:05 p.m. (1005 GMT) from the same Moscow airport where the flight from Hong Kong arrived, Sheremetyevo.

The chief of Cuba's International Press Center, Gustavo Machin, said he had no such information though pro-government bloggers heaped praise on Snowden and condemned U.S. spying activity.
Venezuela, Cuba and Ecuador are all members of the ALBA bloc, an alliance of leftist governments in Latin America that pride themselves on their "anti-imperialist" credentials.


HONG KONG VIEW
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U.S. should consider striking North Korea – former CIA Chief

I was a discussant on a panel recently when Ambassador Woolsey was speaking and he actually invoked the OpEd written a few years ago by former SECDEF William Perry and current DEPSECDEEF Ashton Carter (written prior to his current position) calling for a pre-emptive strike on north Korea.  My response was twofold.  One I am not smart enough to judge the efficacy of a north Korean EMP strike on the US but (with only slight tongue in cheek) if it gets people concerned and thinking about the "Korean question" then the discussion could be useful.  My real point about a pre-emptive strike was that for us to consider such an action prior to initiation we should ensure that ROK and US military forces on the highest alert, we should initiate a non-combatant evacuation order for US personnel in South Korea, and we must begin deployment of reinforcing US forces to the Peninsula as well as ROK military mobilization because we must be prepared for war in response to the pre-emptive attack.  A pre-emptive attack in north Korea is not a simple operation.  It is not Libya in 1986 nor will it be Kosovo and the Balkans.  There will be much more at stake. It would require suppression of enemy air defenses that could be perceived as not only an attack on the north's nuclear/missile capabilities but as the initiation of a broader ROK/US attack.  Furthermore, an attack on what the north considers vital to its survival would be a direct threat to its survival and the north would likely have but one option: to execute its campaign plan to unify the peninsula.  So if we are going to consider a pre-emptive attack we must prepare for war.
V/R
Dave

U.S. should consider striking North Korea – former CIA Chief

Preemptive strike plans “ought to be on the agenda for very serious consideration”

BY CHAD O’CARROLL , JUNE 24, 2013


LONDON – The U.S. should “seriously consider” a surgical strike to prevent North Korea from further developing its long-range missiles and mounting an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack on America, former CIA director James Woolsey said Sunday.

Talking on a WABC radio show, Woolsey said that policies laid out by former Secretary of Defense William Perry and now-Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter recommending preemptive counter-strikes against North Korean ballistic missile assets “ought to be on the agenda for very serious consideration.”

“Once you can launch a satellite into orbit, any country would be capable, if it had a nuclear weapon, of detonating the nuclear weapon while on the satellite, while the satellite is in orbit and unfortunately that is a rather easy way to create an electromagnetic pulse,” Woolsey said according to a transcription published by WND Politics.

It was not the first time the former CIA director warned of the threat of a potential North Korean EMP attack. In May, Woolsey argued in the Wall Street Journal that Obama should consider preemptive strikes against North Korean missile assets to help avert “catastrophic” EMP attacks.

But although Woolsey argues the risk of a crippling North Korean EMP attack is increasing, other experts disagree that North Korea poses much of a threat in this area.

“Yes, a North Korea nuclear weapon that detonated in space would create an EMP.  But North Korea is far away from being  able to do that,” Mark Fitzpatrick, Director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told NK News.
“To posit this as a reason to launch a pre-emptive war against North Korea is balmy.”

“The small satellite that North Korea put into space in December – and failed to stabilize – does not mean that North Korea could put a nuclear weapon into orbit. A much more powerful launcher would be needed, and much, much better electronics. North Korea may be able to do it someday, but there is plenty of time to pursue other options for halting the missile program,” Fitzpatrick added.


While Woolsely warned that an EMP attack could “take out a huge share of the United States’ electricity grid,” others dispute whether or not an EMP attack would ever be able to disrupt electricity grids in the way he suggests.
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Game Set Match: 'US loses as Snowden slips from their hands

The 5 minute You Tube video from Russian TV at the link below and the title of it in the subject line makes me think that  we really need to consider taking a different path than we are currently following.  This is not a game nor the US is not going to lose.  If I were able to make a recommendation for strategic communications and a strategy for dealing with Edward Snowden it would be along these lines.

First I think we should recognize that beyond Snowden being a narcissist (and I do not mean that as an ad hominem but an objective assessment of his actions that leads to a judgment of his character) he and the people with whom he is working (e.g., Wikileaks and perhaps Foreign Intelligence Services) are trying to do the maximum damage to the United States and our intelligence Community (IC).  He is trying not only to expose the methods of the IC but also to discredit and embarrass it by attempting to show that he can be one step ahead of the US government both in terms of his movements as well as in terms of strategic communications.  Based on that understanding I would consider the following both as a strategic communications message as well as a transparent explanation of the US government strategy for the way ahead in this ongoing situation. 
Statement/strategy:  The US has again suffered a compromise of classified information that damages national security.  There is a long history of incidents such as this and while damage does occur in every case the United States suffers no long term damage and counterintuitively is often strengthened by such incidents because they reinforce the strength of our democratic institutions.  
Edward Snowden has broken United States law and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.   
However, the US government has assessed the information that Snowden has leaked.  It has also assessed the information that he illegally obtained and is known to be in his possession with an intent to release it publicly at some time in the future.  Again, while the release of any classified information is illegal and will be damaging on a number of levels, the US government has mitigated the damage that has and will occur and there is no need to further discuss this information.  In fact from the US government perspective any future release of information will be a non-news event.  There will be no need for US government personnel to respond to the release.  It is understood that the release of this information is merely an attempt to call attention to Edward Snowden and the US government will have nothing to comment on regarding him or has actions until after he is apprehended and given a fair trial.  
On the other hand the US government welcomes public debate on the best way to support and defend the Constitution of the United States all enemies foreign and domestic.  United States government personnel to include those professionals in the Intelligence Community remain committed to its defense.  The information that Edward Snowden released concerned the legal actions of the Intelligence Community as authorized by the elected representatives of the American people.  The officials of the US government’s three branches look forward to the robust policy debates that this event may inspire and if the electorate demands changes, changes will be made.  But rest assured that the Patriots who serve in government are committed to the defense of our nation.  That is the nature of democracy in our great Republic.   
However, Edward Snowden, by his illegal actions and by fleeing his country has marginalized himself and forfeited his place in the debate and the US government will no longer respond to his accusations, actions, or the public release of information in his possession and will simply get on with the business of protecting our nation and its people from national security threats. 
The bottom line is that we have to not play the game that Snowden and Wikileaks are playing. We have to attack his strategy and his strategy rests upon him being a public figure who is made into a hero and a martyr.  He is not a patriot or a whistleblower and US actions and statements should not support the development of that narrative.  We need to undercut his legitimacy and the best way to do that is to discuss the facts and not discuss him or his actions.  We need to quietly pursue him and allow law enforcement, intelligence,  and diplomatic personnel to do their jobs while not making Snowden a news event.  The members of the press that continue to do so may in fact marginalize themselves and expose themselves to accusations of sensationalizing the news.  The journalists who focus on the issues and the healthy debate surrounding the pros and cons of US policy will have their credibility enhanced.
V/R
Dave


Game Set Match: 'US loses as Snowden slips from their hands'
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Published on Jun 23, 2013

N. Korea denuclearization talks gain speed among six-party member countries: sources

While I am all for "jaw jaw rather than war war" (and we could exploit such talks is we are shrewd) but we should keep in mind if or when the 6 party talks resume the Kim Family Regime will believe that its blackmail diplomacy will have again succeeded and in its analysis the return to the 6 party talks will be the result of its nuclear and missile threat as well as its diplomatic overtures and it will again be billed as a victory by the world's most powerful socialist workers' paradise against 5 world powers.  And of course China will be complicit in this "victory" even as it is one of the 5 parties that the north stand up to.
V/R
Dave


2013/06/23 12:12 KST


N. Korea denuclearization talks gain speed among six-party member countries: sources
SEOUL, June 23 (Yonhap) -- International efforts to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons are gaining speed as countries committed to the denuclearization process in the past get ready for fresh rounds of negotiations following Pyongyang's latest talks overtures, diplomatic sources said Sunday.

   Sources in Seoul said that members of the six-party talks, who halted all formal meetings following the North's failed attempt to launch a long-range rocket in April 2012, are moving forward to lay the foundation for possible negotiations down the line. The talks that began in 2003 after the North bolted from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty include the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia as its members. The last round of meetings was held in 2009.

   The predictions come after the North, having made near-daily war threats against South Korea and the United States, earlier in the year have changed course and offered to hold talks that can touch on its nuclear program.

   Last month, Pyongyang sent a special envoy to Beijing to discuss outstanding issues and held talks with a representative from Japan. The isolationist country, moreover, accepted calls by Seoul to hold working-level government talks to resolve such issues as the normalization of the Kaesong Industrial Complex that has been halted since April 9, when the North ordered all of its 53,000 laborers not to report to work because of South Korean provocations.

   The North also proposed high-level talks with the United States after a similar meeting with South Korea fell through at the last minute. It is expected to engage Russia in talks to explain its views on the nuclear standoff.

   The North's proposal for talks with the U.S. has made no headway since Washington doubts the sincerity that the North is willing to give up its nuclear program, although South Korea, the United States and Japan held separate talks that outlined their demands toward North Korea on the denuclearization issue.


   Representatives from the three countries said the North must adhere to the Feb. 29 agreement reached last year that called for a nuclear and long-range rocket moratorium and for the country to agree to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections.
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

North Korea embarking on a two-pronged diplomatic attack

I would be willing to bet that as soon as the UN Command is disestablished and US forces are withdrawn from Korea the north would attacked with months if not weeks.  It would be a Dean Acheson moment.
V/R
Dave

North Korea embarking on a two-pronged diplomatic attack
Posted on : Jun.22,2013 12:41 KST
Modified on : Jun.22,2013 12:46 KST


Senior North Korean diplomats at the UN and in China making claims about dialogue and denuclearization
By Park Hyun, Washington correspondent and Seong Yeon-cheol, Beijing correspondent


North Korean first vice minister of the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye-kwan, who is currently on a trip to China, reiterated North Korea’s recent appeals for dialogue on June 21, saying that Pyongyang “welcomes dialogue of any form, including the six-party talks.” But shortly after this, Sin Son-ho, North Korean ambassador to the UN, made comments of a rather different tenor in New York.


“North Korea has already proposed high-level talks to the US,” Sin said. “It is our sincere intention to hold talks. At these talks, we can talk about a wide variety of agenda items, including ways to make a world that is free of nuclear weapons as the US itself has often advocated. We are waiting for the American decision about our proposal for talks.”


“Denuclearization is our final objective,” the ambassador continued. “We are not opposed to denuclearization. However, it must not be unilateral. Not only North Korea, but also South Korea, must be included.” The North’s argument is that the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula that was agreed upon in the September 19 Joint Statement of 2005 must represent denuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula, including Washington’s nuclear policy there.


Sin also called for the UN military command to be dissolved and for sanctions against the North to be suspended. “Dismantling the UN military command is a critical requirement for relieving tensions on the Korean peninsula and in the Asia-Pacific region and for guaranteeing peace and safety,” he said.


Earlier on the same day, Kim Kye-gwan met with Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi, in Beijing. “Denuclearization of the Korean peninsula was the dying wish of former North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il,” Kim said. “North Korea desires an improvement in the situation on the Korean peninsula and wants to take part in dialogue of any format, including the six-party talks.”



“China holds to its position that the issues of bringing about denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and achieving peace and stability on the Korean peninsula must be brought about through dialogue and negotiation,” Yang said, according to a report by Chinese wire service Xinhua News. “Currently, the situation on the Korean peninsula is moving in the right direction, but it is still complicated and sensitive. Every party involved must continue to work actively to resume the six-party talks in a prompt manner through dialogue and contact.”
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Why The World Should Be Rallying For The 'Yuan-ization' Of North Korea

I am not smart enough to judge the economic arguments the author makes, but I do now that when a country loses control of its currency control of the country can be threatened.  I would think that the "Yuan-ization" of north Korea could hasten regime collapse. But I doubt the regime will allow any more use of the foreign currency than it already does and certainly would not officially adopt a foreign currency.  I would think that would unacceptably undercut the legitimacy of the the Juche ideology and the regime.  We should recall what Juche means to the regime and to north Korea:

Juche's basic concept is this: “Man rules all things; man decides all things.” “The Kim Il Song Juche ideology is based on these precepts: In ideology Juche (autonomy); in politics, self-reliance; in economics, independence; and in National Security: self-defense.”  
V/R
Dave

Why The World Should Be Rallying For The 'Yuan-ization' Of North Korea
STEVE H. HANKEJOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY JUN. 22, 2013, 10:15 AM 640 


Steve H. Hanke is a Professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins University and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institue in Washington, D.C.
Recent Posts
For years, North Korea has been crushed by a communist command economy producing little besides mass starvation. More recently, the plight of North Korea’s economy has been exacerbated by harsh, foreign economic sanctions – which only seem to have driven the regime to double down on its nuclear ambitions. 

Following North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-il’s death in December 2011, many around the world had high hopes that his successor (and son), Kim Jong-un, would launch economic and political reforms. Unfortunately, in the year and a half since he assumed power, the new supreme leader has not delivered on his advertised economic reforms, and misery continues to grip all but those in North Korea’s communist upper class. 

During the past few months, North Korea has been the subject of outsized news coverage. The recent peacocking by the Supreme Leader – from domestic martial law policies to tests of the country’s nuclear weapons capabilities – has successfully distracted the media from North Korea’s economic woes.

Indeed, behind the saber-rattling, the missile tests, and the basketball games with Dennis Rodman, is an economic story – one with important geopolitical implications, not only for North Korea, but also for China.

North Korea’s Hyperinflation 

For years, North Korea’s currency, the won, has been officially pegged to the U.S. dollar. That said, exchange controls and a plethora of associated regulations and harsh penalties have rendered the won inconvertible. This, of course, has given rise to a healthy black market for foreign currency. North Korea’s monetary dysfunction has been accompanied by severe inflation problems. 

In 2009, the North Korean government attempted to address these problems by implementing a phony currency “reform” program, which it promptly bungled. The so-called reform was actually just a currency redenomination program, which arbitrarily lopped two zeros off every won note. North Koreans were given less than two weeks to exchange all of their won for new notes. And, the government set limits on the quantity of old won a family could exchange for new won. For those North Koreans who had saved a few too many won, the redenomination program was effectively a wealth tax program, too. 

It should come as little surprise that Pyongyang’s bungled currency reform sparked a panic in North Korea’s primitive, underground markets for goods and services. These markets, which developed out of necessity during the famine of the 1990s, primarily exist to counteract shortages that result from state control of agriculture. Indeed, the United Nations has estimated that 50% of the calories consumed by North Koreans come from food purchased in these underground markets. The price of rice, for example, promptly skyrocketed during this period (see the accompanying chart). 

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Anonymous: We Have Stolen North Korean Military Documents

Here is a link to the Anonymous You Tube press release.   It is worth the 2 minutes to watch.


I like the message they are transmitting to the Kim Family regime (the worthless tyrant of Kim Jong-un) and the north Korean people; e.g.,  Ideas are stronger than missiles, etc.  It is a call for rebellion by the people and for Kim Jong-un to step down.  
V/R
Dave



By  Zachary Keck
June 22, 2013

Individuals claiming to be from the collective hacker group, Anonymous, claim to have hacked into North Korea’s intra-net and stolen secret military documents, which they say will be released on June 25.

In a press release posted on the website Pastebin, the hackers said: To the tyrants of the North Korean Government… a notice…. Previously we said we would penetrate the intranet and private networks of North Korea. And we were successful.”

The message continued: “Your major missile documentation and residents, military documents show down is already in progress. Your attempt to cover this has been uncovered. We are partially sharing this information with the world” in a “memorandum of June 25.”

The group is labeling the operation #OpNorthKorea and the press release said the documents uncovered will be released at midnight Korea time on June 25. The date is significant in that it marks the anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

#OpNorthKorea began in March during the Korean Peninsula crisis when individuals claiming to represent Anonymous orchestrated distributed denial of service (DDoS)  attacks on many North Korean websites, which brought the sites down for days. Then, in April, the group announced that it had hacked into a North Korean propaganda website and stole 15,000 secret documents which it threatened to release unless the regime in Pyongyang stopped making nuclear weapons and threatening to use them, Kim Jong-Un resigned, a direct democracy was established inside North Korea and North Koreans were given free, uncensored access to the internet.

In announcing that attack, the group had promised another attack would occur on June 25.

Still another, smaller attack occurred last month but this one merely slowed access to sites on North Korea. Once again, however, the group announced on Twitter that a large attack would be occurring on June 25.
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Friday, June 21, 2013

The New Triad (SOF, UAS, Cyber)

For all SSP Students:  There are probably more thesis research topics in this short article than you will find on any topic list.

V/R
Dave


It's time to found a U.S. Cyber Force.

BY JAMES STAVRIDIS | JUNE 20, 2013

Throughout the long decades of my military career, the backbone of U.S. national security was the "strategic triad" of delivery systems for nuclear weapons: ballistic-missile submarines and their associated nuclear-tipped missiles, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles operated from silos deep in the earth, and long-range manned bombers, which could deliver nuclear bombs and eventually nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

America's reliance on this Cold War triad continues through the present day, though the systems have changed somewhat as a result of both advances in technology and changes in treaty limits, most recently reflected in the New START treaty.

As we sail more deeply into the turbulent 21st century, however, there is another triad that bears considering that will be a critical part of U.S. security in the decades to come. This new triad will be far less abstract and hidden-away than the Cold War strategic triad and much more frequently employed -- often in kinetic ways.

This "New Triad" consists of special operations forces, unmanned vehicles, and cybercapabilities. Each has an important individual role to play, but taken together, the sum of their impacts will be far greater than that of each of the parts when used alone.

First, consider special operations forces, or SOF. They have become a tool of choice in a wide variety of actions in today's world, from the spectacular mission that finally killed Osama bin Laden to training African partners to thwart the brutal Lord's Resistance Army in Africa, and from helping Colombian forces fight the FARC insurgency in Latin America to providing security for disaster relief operations in Pakistan.

Today's SOF are capable of operating across the entire spectrum of operations, from soft power and training to the ultimate "red dots on foreheads" missions epitomized by the killing of bin Laden and popularized by film and television.

Because they are trained in languages, cultural mores, high-tech communications, medicine, concealment, and many other discrete skills, they can operate in the widest imaginable variety of geographical settings. They are also small in number, highly motivated, and relatively cost-effective. They are generally precision-guided in their approach, can limit collateral damage, and blend in when needed.

The second capability in the New Triad is unmanned vehicles and sensors.
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Anonymous says ready to release N.K. missile data

I could make a crude remark about while the NSA is collecting metadata on US cell phones and computers Anonymous is attacking our enemies.  But I won't go there.

It will be interesting to see how effective Anonymous is in getting into the north Korean system and then to see what will be the regime's response.
V/R
Dave

Anonymous says ready to release N.K. missile data


Published : 2013-06-20 20:34
Updated : 2013-06-20 20:34
An international hacking group has said it has gained access to North Korea’s IT networks and will soon reveal information on its military and weapons programs.

The hackers said they would “indicate our strength” Tuesday, which marks the 63rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. 

Anonymous claimed that it had successfully penetrated the intranet and private networks of the communist state.

“We were successful,” the activist group said in a statement released on YouTube, adding that it obtained “major missile documentation and residents, military documents.”

“We are partially sharing this information with the world,” it warned confirming its previous promise to launch a major online attack on the “tyrants” of the North on June 25. 

The statement was posted on Monday by a group claiming to be Anonymous Operation North Korea. 


In early April, the hacktivists carried out hacking attacks against several North Korean websites including main propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri. 
(Continued at the link below)

Giving in 2017

Dear Friends,  I do not normally do this (except I did this last year too) and I certainly do not mean to use my news service for solicitat...