Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday Reading Links

There are few as experienced as Maria Ressa with the use of social media to build communities.  I recommend paying attention to her on this.  I wish more people had paid attention to her book from Bin Laden to Facebook as she anticipated the phenomena we are experiencing today.  But her book remains timely and relevant so it is still valuable.

How to fight ISIS on social media

In nearly every language and with startling sophistication, ISIS is reaching out to young kids around the world and enticing them to see the world in new ways

America’s Dangerous Defense Cuts

Threats are rising around the globe, yet the U.S. is poised to cut $1 trillion from the Pentagon over 10 years.

My question is does north Korea, and the Kim Family Regime specifically, really want a peace agreement and what are they willing to do get one?

Although it is easy and convenient to blame the United States for all the hostility let's consider all the agreements and offers that have been made in good faith over the years from the 1991 ARNE to the 1994 Agreed Framework to the 1999 Perry Policy Initiative to the September 2005 agreement to the Leap Day Agreement (and we should also remember the 1997-2007 Sunshine Policy as well).  Why weren't any of these good enough to lead to a peace agreement?  What more does the north want to begin the peace process?  If none of these were efforts were good enough then what makes us think the north is going to come to the table for a peace agreement and then actually live up to it?

The bottom line is can north Korea be trusted to negotiate in good faith and live up to any agreements it makes?

Is it Time for the US to Broker Peace in Korea?

I actually think the DK/NA (or in my interpretation, don't know and don't care) category is most interesting.

But this conclusion is important:

Fox News' dominance puts its frequent complaints about the "mainstream media" into perspective. For millions of Americans, Fox News is the mainstream media.
Fox News is the most trusted national news channel. And it’s not that close.

U.S. envoy to Seoul leaves hospital after attack

U.S. commander says he held talks with China about N. Korea

PowerPoint Doesn’t Make Us Stupid, We Make Ourselves Stupid

For all the condemnations of PowerPoint in military culture, there’s a smart way to use it.

I have sent a similar article previously highlighting the author and her book.  I actually bought this book.  It is a fun read.  I really do admire how the author graphically portrays Sun Tzu's concepts.  Her visualization skills and capabilities could make for some useful power point charts if we were so inclined to use power point ever again (note tongue in cheek).  She can give us some lessons.

The Art of War in 7 Charts

Jessica Hagy


Top U.S. Commando Tells Troops: Get Counseling, I Did


Is Mr. Rozeff a useful idiot or a good propagandist?  Interesting how he can compare the Russian invasion of Ukraine with Hitler's invasion of Poland, north Korea's invasion of South Korea and then the US invasion of Iraq.  It makes for an entertaining read.  But I wonder if Putin's recent statement on the annexation of Crimea undercut the author's argument.

Note that the web site lewrockwell.com for which the author writes has in its banner "anti-state anti-war pro-market"


There is no Russian aggression and there hasn’t been any Russian aggression

An interesting list of signatures of the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

US Intel Vets Oppose Brennan’s CIA Plan

March 9, 2015

Of course it does not mention the unilateral withdrawal of US nuclear weapons in 1991.

But this is a great example of north Korean propaganda. It is quite "impressive" spin.

calendar>>March 9. 2015 Juche 104
U.S. Accused of Turning S. Korea into World's Biggest Nuclear Base


But it is at the strategic level where the effects of this erosion of military ethics may be the most dangerous. To take one important example, Wong and Gerras were frequently told that the readiness assessments of partner forces in Iraq and Afghanistan were an example of ethical deception. These critically important assessments rated the ability of Iraqi and Afghan forces to fight on their own, without U.S. assistance. Yet these ratings usually depended more on the U.S. rotational unit deployment cycle than on the actual capabilities of those partner forces. In other words, partner units received low ratings when a new U.S. unit arrived, better ratings over time, and high ratings right before that unit left – only to plummet once again when a new unit arrived. This rollercoaster annual cycle would almost seem comical were it not for the fact that U.S. strategy in both Iraq and Afghanistan rested heavily on turning over the battlefield to these very same local national forces. This means that senior U.S. military and civilian decision-makers relied on fundamentally flawed data when assessing the progress towards this critical strategic objective. Thus, their decisions about whether the war should continue or end and at what pace U.S. and allied forces should withdraw were deeply distorted.


The main Moro rebel group's involvement in a clash that wrought the government's largest single-day combat loss in recent memory has stalled the peace deal it signed with the Philippine government last year and sparked criticisms against President Benigno Aquino III, who approved the anti-terror commando raid.
Aquino blamed an ousted police commander, Getulio Napenas, for the huge combat loss, saying the latter launched the assault despite potentially fatal setbacks, including a three-hour delay that deprived the commandos of a night cover. Napenas also did not follow his order to coordinate with the military for backup, Aquino said.
"If I knew this is what he'll do from the start, I would have rejected this mission," Aquino said Monday. "What could have been a really successful mission, under the plan he crafted, turned up like mission impossible."

I suppose this excerpt from the Boston Globe in 2013 might explain why the administration might want him as Chairman.

America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change.   http://bit.ly/INi3Vm

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