Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Fentanyl Crisis is a Reverse Opium War

Just as an aside here is an excerpt from Unrestricted Warfare (page 42 in the original FBIS translation from 1999).  Note the reference to "drug warfare."  So are we experiencing "a reverse opium war?"  I think the subtitle in the article explains why someone would want to create a larger drug crisis in America.

Aside from what we have discussed above, we can point out a number of other means and methods used to fight a non-military war, some of which already exist and some of which may exist in the future. Such means and methods include psychological warfare (spreading rumors to intimidate the enemy and break down his will); smuggling warfare (throwing markets into confusion and attacking economic order); media warfare (manipulating what people see and hear in order to lead public opinion along); drug warfare (obtaining sudden and huge illicit profits by spreading disaster in other countries); network warfare (venturing out in secret and concealing one's identity in a type of warfare that is virtually impossible to guard against); technological warfare (creating monopolies by setting standards independently); fabrication warfare (presenting a counterfeit appearance of real strength before the eyes of the enemy); resources warfare (grabbing riches by plundering stores of resources); economic aid warfare (bestowing favor in the open and contriving to control matters in secret); cultural warfare (leading cultural trends along in order to assimilate those with different views); and international law warfare (seizing the earliest opportunity to set up regulations), etc., etc In addition, there are other types of non-military warfare which are too numerous to mention. In this age, when the plethora of new technologies can in turn give rise to a plethora of new means and methods of fighting war, (not to mention the cross-combining and creative use of these means and methods), it would simply be senseless and a waste of effort to list all of the means and methods one by one. 

And I cannot resist including this excerpt from page 87 which also includes reference to drugs but I think the entire spectrum of "non-military wars" it lists is pretty prescient for 1999:

Perhaps people already have no way of accurately pointing out when it first began that the principal actors starting wars were no longer only those sovereign states, but Japan's Shinrikyo, the Italian Mafia, extremist Muslim terrorist organizations, the Columbian or "Golden New Moon" drug cartel, underground figures with malicious intent, financiers who control large amounts of powerful funds, as well as psychologically unbalanced individuals who are fixed on a certain target, have obstinate personalities, and stubborn characters, all of whom can possibly become the creators of a military or non-military war.

Conclusion from the article:

So while the United States. continues to lose it’s geopolitical focus and wrestles with internal demons, the twenty-first century is tilting everyday away from the high flying Eagle and once more to the reawakened and rising Dragon of the East. To the degree that Fentanyl and opiates in general facilitate this process, it could be viewed as just another rhyme in the longue duree of ever oscillating rising and falling power.

The Fentanyl Crisis is a Reverse Opium War

If America sees its vigor sapped over time through addiction and domestic fractiousness, then it will be a much weaker challenge on the international stage.
The National Interest · by Greg R. Lawson · December 26, 2017
“History does not repeat itself. But it does rhyme,” is a famous quote that is often attributed to Mark Twain. Today, not only is history rhyming, but it is taking a deeply ironic turn while doing so.
One hundred and fifty years ago a two-millennia-old civilization in the East was hooked on opium and watched as its once perceived centrality in world affairs was eradicated by an upstart empire from the West upon which it was claimed that “Sun Never Sets.” Today, the inheritor of that empire’s tradition is being flooded by a synthetic opiate even as the old Eastern empire shakes off it’s century-plus torpor and seeks to unite the Eurasian landmass in a way that would have stunned that great geopolitical thinker, Sir Halford Mackinder.
We are now in a sort of reverse Opium War, except this time, it is the United States, not China, that is the victim.
Recall that at the dawn of the nineteenth century China was still the largest economy in the world. By the end of the century, it’s ruling Qing dynasty was on its last legs after being hooked on opium by the British Empire. It was subsequently defeated in a series of wars with the European powers, forced to open its ports to foreigners, and barely survived one of—if not the most—deadly civil war in human history: the Taiping Rebellion.
Yet, it was the Opium Wars that truly presaged what is now known as the “Century of Humiliation” in China. Not only would the final imperial dynasty soon fall but also a gravely weakened China would spend the first half of the twentieth century consumed by civil war. Then to add insult to even greater injury, China would find itself occupied by their assertive Asian neighbor, Japan. This vast humiliation only began to end when the Japanese were evicted from China at the end of World War II and Mao’s Communists, like the Chinese emperors of yesteryear, reunified China.
Fast forward a single generation and the new quasi emperor of China, Xi Jinping, seeks to ensconce the “China Dream” as the new guiding force for a proud nation while simultaneously and permanently laying the “Century of Humiliation” behind it. Much ink has been spilled on this rise, its implications for Asia, and the potential for the so-called “Thucydides Trap” to ensnare the current global power, America, and China, in a war.
What the foreign-policy cognoscenti have noted less often, however, is the deeply ironic twist of fate that we are witnessing every single day in America. The Opiate Crisis is very real. Every day nearly ninety Americans are dying due to an overdose on opioids. This problem is particularly problematic in the old American “Rust Belt” in the Midwest. Ohio, the state where this author lives, has beenparticularly hard hit with an estimated two hundred thousand Ohioans afflicted with this addiction. This has forced policymakers to scramble to fund lifesaving drugs and treatments for the addicted. Yet, it seems the crisis is overrunning all of these efforts. This is largely due not just to the opiate derived heroin, but also because of the synthetic opioid—Fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50-100 percent more potent than morphine, greatly addicting and far easier to overdose on. And today, the vast majority of Fentanyl coming into the United States comes from China.
While the Chinese government has taken some action to stem this massive flow, time will only be able to tell how successful it will be, and maybe, how successful China even wants it to be. After all, a nation that sees its vigor sapped over time through addiction and domestic fractiousness is a much weaker challenge on the international stage. Such a nation is much easier to be brushed aside by those seeking to claim their perceived rightful place in the global pecking order. Based upon history, China should know better than most.
So while the United States. continues to lose it’s geopolitical focus and wrestles with internal demons, the twenty-first century is tilting everyday away from the high flying Eagle and once more to the reawakened and rising Dragon of the East. To the degree that Fentanyl and opiates in general facilitate this process, it could be viewed as just another rhyme in the longue duree of ever oscillating rising and falling power.
Greg R. Lawson is a Contributing Analyst at Wikistrat, Inc., a geostrategic consulting firm. The views expressed in this article solely reflect those of the author.
Image: Firefighters in hazmat protection remove items from a vehicle in which several drug overdose victims were found, in addition to a powder believed to be fentanyl, in Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S., August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

New National Security Strategy Summary (and link to the new NSS)

Below is the summary of the NSS and full 68 page NSS can be downloaded at this link:

My favorite excerpt from page 14 is on resiliency.  Say what you want about POTUS, regardless of on which end of the political spectrum you reside, if we would all just take this paragraph and 106 words to heart our nation would be better off.

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.

President Donald J. Trump Announces a National Security Strategy to Advance America's Interests | The White House · by President Donald J. Trump

A NEW NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY FOR A NEW ERA: Less than a year after taking office, President Donald J. Trump is unveiling a new National Security Strategy that sets a positive strategic direction for the United States that will restore America’s advantages in the world and build upon our country’s great strengths.
  • The 2017 National Security Strategy (Strategy) builds on the 11 months of Presidential action to restore respect for the United States abroad and renew American confidence at home.
  • Strategic confidence enables the United States to protect its vital national interests. The Strategy identifies four vital national interests, or “four pillars” as:
    I. Protect the homeland, the American people, and American way of life;
    II. Promote American prosperity;
    III. Preserve peace through strength;
    IV. Advance American influence.
  • The Strategy addresses key challenges and trends that affect our standing in the world, including:
    o Revisionist powers, such as China and Russia, that use technology, propaganda, and coercion to shape a world antithetical to our interests and values;
    • Regional dictators that spread terror, threaten their neighbors, and pursue weapons of mass destruction;
    • Jihadist terrorists that foment hatred to incite violence against innocents in the name of a wicked ideology, and transnational criminal organizations that spill drugs and violence into our communities.
  • The Strategy articulates and advances the President’s concept of principled realism.
    • It is realist because it acknowledges the central role of power in international politics, affirms that strong and sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines our national interests.
    • It is principled because it is grounded in advancing American principles, which spreads peace and prosperity around the globe.
I. PROTECT THE HOMELAND: President Trump’s fundamental responsibility is to protect the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life.
  • We will strengthen control of our borders and reform our immigration system to protect the homeland and restore our sovereignty.
  • The greatest transnational threats to the homeland are:
    • Jihadist terrorists, using barbaric cruelty to commit murder, repression, and slavery, and virtual networks to exploit vulnerable populations and inspire and direct plots.
    • Transnational criminal organizations, tearing apart our communities with drugs and violence and weakening our allies and partners by corrupting democratic institutions.
  • America will target threats at their source: we will confront threats before they ever reach our borders or cause harm to our people.
  • We will redouble our efforts to protect our critical infrastructure and digital networks, because new technology and new adversaries create new vulnerabilities.
  • We are deploying a layered missile defense system to defend America against missile attacks.
II. PROMOTE AMERICAN PROSPERITY: A strong economy protects the American people, supports our way of life, and sustains American power.
  • We will rejuvenate the American economy for the benefit of American workers and companies, which is necessary to restore our national power.
  • America will no longer tolerate chronic trade abuses and will pursue free, fair, and reciprocal economic relationships.
  • To succeed in this 21st century geopolitical competition, America must lead in research, technology, and innovation. We will protect our national security innovation base from those who steal our intellectual property and unfairly exploit the innovation of free societies.
  • America will use its energy dominance to ensure international markets remain open, and that the benefits of diversification and energy access promote economic and national security.
III. PRESERVE PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH: An America strengthened, renewed, and rejuvenated will ensure peace and deter hostility.
  • We will rebuild America’s military strength to ensure it remains second to none.
  • America will use all of the tools of statecraft in a new era of strategic competition—diplomatic, information, military, and economic—to protect our interests.
  • America will strengthen its capabilities across numerous domains — including space and cyber — and revitalize capabilities that have been neglected.
  • America’s allies and partners magnify our power and protect our shared interests. We expect them to take greater responsibility for addressing common threats.
  • We will ensure the balance of power remains in America’s favor in key regions of the world: the Indo-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East.
IV. ADVANCE AMERICAN INFLUENCE: As a force for good throughout its history, America will use its influence to advance our interests and benefit humanity.
  • We must continue to enhance our influence overseas to protect the American people and promote our prosperity.
  • America’s diplomatic and development efforts will compete to achieve better outcomes in all arenas—bilateral, multilateral, and in the information realm—to protect our interests, find new economic opportunities for Americans, and challenge our competitors.
  • America will seek partnerships with like-minded states to promote free market economies, private sector growth, political stability, and peace.
  • We champion our values – including the rule of law and individual rights – that promote strong, stable, prosperous, and sovereign states.
  • Our America First foreign policy celebrates America’s influence in the world as a positive force that can help set the conditions for peace, prosperity, and the development of successful societies.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

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 solicitation so please forgive me.   I was asked for recommendations on organizations to support so I thought I would share with you the organizations to whom I give.  I support four main causes: The Green Beret Foundation, The Small Wars Journal,  The Committee for Human Rights North Korea, and Spirit of America (and I do contribute to WAMU so I can get my daily does of NPR as well).  As we near the end of the year and people are making decisions to give to worthy causes I thought I would share this with you.   Please give to your favorite organizations this year and if you need a suggestion for giving please consider Spirit of America, The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, The Green Beret Foundation and Small Wars Journal.

Spirit of America:

The Committee For Human Rights in North Korea:

Green Beret Foundation:

Small Wars Journal:

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Beyond Nuclear Diplomacy: A Regime Insider's Look at North Korea (Video of talk by Thae, Yong-ho)

I attended this event today.  Thae Yong-ho makes some very good points.  I am about to go participate in a dinner with him this evening so I hope to dive deeper into some of his ideas on information and influence activities in the north.

Beyond Nuclear Diplomacy: A Regime Insider's Look 

at North Korea

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Strategy and the North Korea crisis (podcast)

I participated in this one hour loop cast discussion on Friday.  You can access the podcast at the link below.

Strategy and the North Korea crisis

October 29th, 2017

David Maxwell discusses strategy and the North Korea crisis. His blog can be found here, and his latest articles on North Korea can be found here: "Why We Are Where We Are With North Korea - And Where Do We Go From Here?" and "15 assumptions about the behavior of North Korea’s Kim Family Regime (KFR)."

The interview today was conducted by Chelsea Daymon, and the show is produced by Chelsea Daymon and Sina Kashefipour.
If you have enjoyed listening to The Loopcast please consider making a donation to the show through our Patreon. We greatly appreciate it.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Presentation "Security Situation on the Korean Peninsula and the Way Ahead"

On October 16-17 I visited the US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, also known and the US Army Special Operations Center of Excellence to discuss Korean security issues.  I gave a 90 minute talk (half Q&A) and conducted an a 25 minute interview.  Both videos are at the Project Gray Web Site as well as at the You Tube links below.  

Project Gray:

DLS COL (Ret) Maxwell

Uploaded on Oct 25, 2017
Security Situation on the Korean Peninsula and the Way Ahead Full Presentation - October 17, 2017
You can access the slides to the above presentation here:

DLS Maxwell Interview

1 view
Uploaded on Oct 25, 2017
COL (Ret) Maxwell Interview

Is the OSS Contribution to Special Forces a Result of Disinformation?

Is the OSS Contribution to Special Forces a Result of Disinformation? David Maxwell jrnl/art/oss-contrib...