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

Monday, October 23, 2017

BBC Panorama - North Korea's Nuclear Trump Card - North Korea Documentary (Video)

Chun In Bum, Bruce Klingner, Kim Kwang Jin, Curtis Melvin, and yours truly begin at about the 21 minute mark. All the big names are in the first portion (i.e., General Wesley Clark, Ambassador Chris Hill, north Korean defector Thae Yong Ho, etc-  Chun In bum  and Bruce Klingner are also in the beginning as they are big names too :-))

You can view the 30 minute video on You Tube at this link.  There is some very good video footage of military training and capabilities on both sides as well as some excellent imagery and graphics (with Curtis Melvin, the best imagery analyst not trained by the US government providing explanation).

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thoughts on Strategy for the Korean Peninsula

My remarks last week at the Institute for Corean-American Studies (ICAS) conference on The Korean Peninsula Issues and United States National Security.

Thoughts on Strategy for the Korean Peninsula

David S.Maxwell
Georgetown University

Let me just begin with a few framing remarks:

We have successfully deterred a resumption of hostilities by the north for 64 years and I believe we have to continue to deter for as long as it takes until we resolve the security problem on the peninsula. We should keep in mind the wise words of Sir Lawrence Freedman who said "Deterrence works, until it doesn't." 

A Strategic Planning and Preparation Paralysis arises from a fear of what comes next - how to navigate through the War/Collapse Paradox.

In 1998, Dr. Kurt Campbell when he was the DASD for East Asia Pacific affairs made the astute remark:
"There are only two ways to approach planning for the collapse of North Korea: to be ill-prepared or to be really ill-prepared." 

Sun Tzu wrote "never assume the enemy will not attack, make yourself invincible." - The Collapse Corollary is: Never assume the KFR will not collapse - prepare now even though we cannot predict if and when. We should realize that collapse will be catastrophic.

Lastly, we suffer from the tyranny of proximity - the range of north Korean artillery threat to the Greater Seoul Metropolitan Area. This restricts our policy options and strategy.

Here is the Problem: There is no US and ROK comprehensive strategy to solve the "Korea Question" and address the full spectrum of threats caused by the existence of the Kim Family Regime (KFR).

We must answer these Key Questions: What do we want to achieve in Korea? What is the acceptable durable political arrangement on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia that will serve and protect ROK and US interests?

For any strategy you must make assumptions when you do not have all the facts but must continue planning. You continue to use the assumptions until they are proven as facts. And if the assumptions prove false or erroneous then you must adapt your plans and strategy based on the new facts. Since Korea is such a hard case I feel it is necessary to list fifteen assumptions that drive my strategic thinking.


(Continued at the link below)


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What Would War With North Korea Look Like?

At the link is a 23 minute BBC radio program called The Inquiry which features Su Mi Terry (Part One), yours truly (Part Two), Bruce Bechtol (Part Three), and Balbina Hwang (Part Four) in which we describe the first Korean War, how the war will resume, how it will be fought, and what will be the aftermath.

What Would War With North Korea Look Like?

Alarm about North Korea has spiked. Earlier this month, the North claimed to have successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit Alaska. Some experts estimate that North Korea is now 18 to 36 months away from launching a missile able to reach Los Angeles.
President Trump has warned that a “major, major conflict” with North Korea is possible. His closest advisers have said that “the era of strategic patience is over”.
So, in this week’s Inquiry, we take a look at the two sides’ war plans and ask: what would war with North Korea look like?
Producer: Sarah Shebbeare
Presenter: Neal Razzell
(image: A combined fire demonstration of the North Korean People’s Army celebrating their 85th anniversary on 26 April 2017. Credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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

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