Archive for November, 2010


November 30, 2010

In Washington Post November 30, 2010, Anne Applebaum asks why Julian Assange, leader of WikiLeaks, is not trying to reveal real secrets – secrets of regimes where there is no free speech and tight control on all information:

How about a leak of Chinese diplomatic documents?

Or Russian military cables?

How about some stuff we don’t actually know, such as Iranian discussion of Iranian nuclear weapons or North Korean plans for invasion of the south?

It seems Assange is not serious about this pursuit of “Internet openness”. He is anti-Western. It is time for WikiLeaks look to China, North Korea, Iran or Russia.


November 30, 2010

Fox News on November 29, 2010, published some questions by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin on the Obama administration’s handling of the WikiLeaks anti-American actvities:

What steps were taken to stop WikiLeaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months?

What, if any, diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on NATO, EU, and other allies to disrupt WikiLeaks’ technical infrastructure?

Did we use all the cyber-tools at our disposal to permanently dismantle WikiLeaks?

Were individuals working for WikiLeaks on these document leaks investigated?

Shouldn’t they at least have had their financial assets frozen just as we do to individuals who provide material support for terrorist organizations?

How was it possible that a 22-year-old Private First Class could get unrestricted access to so much highly sensitive information?

And how was it possible that he could copy and distribute these files without anyone noticing that security was compromised?

Why has Assange been treated as a “journalist when he in reality is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. Lastly and foremost:

Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?

Comment: These are pertinent questions the voters in the United States should consider in the 2012 presidential election. Assange is an enemy of the American state and a rape suspect on the run. How is it possible that he can continue to publish stolen documents on the internet? One can only hope that at this late stage at last there will be some serious efforts from the U.S. government and its allies to stop this enemy of the West.


November 29, 2010

On November 29, 2010, Bill Kristol in The Weekly Standard recommends to the the Obama administration and Congress a policy of no comment about anything in any of the WikiLeaks documents:

No apologies, no complaints, no explanations, no excuses. No present or former government official should deign to discuss anything in these documents. No one in the executive branch should confirm or deny the accuracy of any document. No one should hasten to reassure any foreign leader of anything, or seek to put any cable in context. No one in Congress should cite anything in these documents to make a point about any issue. The entire American government and political class should simply go about its important foreign policy business, and treat these leaks as beneath contempt, and beneath comment.

In a note he explains that the policy of no comment might not be the only policy. There are possibilities of criminal prosecution, covert action and cyber-warfare.


November 29, 2010

AP reported on November 28, 2010, that police were investigating whether any Australian law was broken by the latest leaking of confidential documents by WikiLeaks. There were according to the Attorney General of Australia a number of criminal laws that could potentially have been broken.

A range of options were under consideration by Australian government agencies in response to the latest disclosure of classified U.S. material.
Australia’s Defense Minister Smith said:

We need to take it … step by step, but our starting and endpoint is essentially protecting Australia’s national interest. This is an act which again one has no option but to absolutely condemn it. It potentially puts national security interests and it puts the safety and welfare of individuals at stake.


November 29, 2010

On November 28, 2010, WikiLeaks’ released a large number of classified U.S. diplomatic files. The White House said it endangers U.S. diplomats, intelligence agents and democratic activists who seek America’s help.

The diplomatic documents (cables) contained candid and often incomplete information that didn’t express policy and didn’t influence decisions.

The White House said:

To be clear,…disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government. These documents also may include named individuals who in many cases live and work under oppressive regimes and who are trying to create more open and free societies…We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.

Meanwhile WikiLeak’s leader, Julian Assange, is sought for arrest by Swedish prosecutors in connection with a suspected rape. An intermediate court in Sweden has rejected his appeal against the lower court’s arrest warrant. It is doubtful if Sweden’s Supreme Court will allow an appeal of the second decision. Assange is in hiding and appeared in Jordan via video-link to avoid being arrested.

There are growing demands in the United States for his arrest. Ranking Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security, Peter King of New York, has called for Mr. Assange’s arrest for violating the U.S. Espionage Act.


November 28, 2010

The U.S. Defense Department has decided to test a new experimental super-weapon in 2011. The Falcon HTV-2 (Hypersonic Test Vehicle) is designed to skim the top of the atmosphere just below space. It is a key element of the Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) capability. Non-nuclear it can strike conventionally anywhere in the world in less than an hour.

The HTV-2 is launched on a Minotaur rocket, built from a decommissioned ballistic missile. On the edge of the atmosphere the plane will glide above the Earth at more than 13,000 miles per hour – more than 20 times the speed of sound.

The hypersonic weapons are developed so that the United States can strike quickly at urgent threats. It could be for instance preparations by terrorists or rogue states to use nuclear weapons.

The Falcon is developed jointly by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency with the Air Force. It is a series of projects including Project Arclight and the USAF X-51 using a hypersonic powered flight technology called scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet).

A Congressional Research Service report has stated that the program is designed to develop weapons that can:

strike globally and rapidly with joint conventional forces against high-payoff targets using attacks in a matter of minutes or hours – as opposed to days or weeks needed for planning and execution with existing forces.

Falcon is produced by Lockheed Martin using the technology developed for a precision guided, maneuverable warhead called ER. The cost estimate is around 300 million US dollars.


November 27, 2010

There are signs that Russia might at present undergo some change. Prime minister Vladimir Putin has in the fall of 2010 made moves toward WTO. In a recent opinion article in a Munich newspaper Mr. Putin called for a “harmonious economic community stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok.”

This could, he wrote, be a way out of the recession and trigger what he called “a new wave of industrialization across the European continent.” The reactions from German were cool so it seems the time has not yet come for more unity for the northern part of Eurasia.


November 27, 2010

On November 26, 2010, Christian Whiton, formerly of the U.S. Department of State and now with D.C. International Advisery on Fox News commented on the present Korea crisis. The only possibility, he said, was to end the North Korean regime. It could be done peacefully.

Whiton referred to comments by former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, for a better handling of the present crisis:

“The only way we’re ever really going to deal with that threat is to eliminate the regime in North Korea and reunite the Korean peninsula… I would engage in subversive activities inside North Korea. I think that regime is weak, the people are destitute and I think that when the succession crisis comes, when Kim Jong Il finally passes from the scene—which could be sooner rather than later—while a lot of risks are entailed by that, there are a lot of opportunities as well.”

The only solution seems to work to end the regime. It could be done by helping the North Korean people to free itself. If the regime in Pyongyang is allowed to continue its nuclear program it could result in providing Islamist terrorists with nuclear material.

The United States and its democratic allies have several options to help the subjugated people of North Korea:

Increased broadcasts to North Korea.

Dramatically increasing defector-led radio broadcasting from outside North Korea. The truth is Kim Jong Il’s greatest foe, and dissent movements thrive on factual information that undermine the dictators’ propaganda. Defector broadcasts exist but need increased resources.

Halt all foreign aid to North Korea.

The United States must, among other things, deny any financial organization or central bank that deals with North Korea the ability to clear transactions in U.S. dollars. This would end the regime’s ability to move funds and reward those who keep it in power.

Halting trade trade and seaborne proliferation.

China is will cooperate with Western nations or comply with U.N. resolutions that restrict trade or call for inspections of goods going to North Korea. It should also be possible to impound ships going to and from North Korea.

Wage economic warfare.

The North Korean government is counterfeiting U.S. currency. A counteraction could be to dump North Korea currency just off Korean and Chinese shores. This could truly hurt the economy which is there mainly for the North Korean elite.

Change the military balance. The United States should consult with South Korea and Japan about increasing the forces of our three nations available for a rapid move on Pyongyang should one ever become necessary.

Talks should also be initiated to place U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in the 5-150 kiloton range in the region to counter the growing nuclear threat from North Korea. This would make it clear for China that supporting North Korea would harm its own security. This might make the Chinese regime less willing to aid Pyongyang.

Ending the current North Korean regime peacefully is not easy but far from impossible. Western ability to wage political warfare or subversion against enemies has been highly reduced.

The United States has the National Endowment for Democracy, funded at some $118 million last year by the government, which could be put to better use. It has become tame since the 1980s. Its work can be better funded and increased.

Facilitating self-liberation by the North Korean people is preferable to all other alternatives. It is also the only promising and non-violent path to security on the Korean Peninsula.


November 25, 2010

Christopher A. Ford, a U.S. Hudson Institute fellow and former diplomat, in a recent book (The Mind of Empire: China’s History and Modern Foreign Relations, 2010) is concentrating on what he thinks is the common themes encountered in the Analects of Confucius and the life and work of Hugo Grotius, the 16th-century Dutch legal theorist widely considered the father of international law (Fox News, November 23, 2010).

Although 2000 years apart Grotius and Confucius shared the common interest of senior civil servants in organizing power and authority. Grotius, however, codified the Western definition of statehood, and the coexistence of nation-states in rough equality, while Confucius defined his ideal world in vertical terms, governed by highly centralized (Chinese) power.

Strictly speaking China is currently governed by a hybrid of entrepreneurial capitalism and rigid central control, in other words, the world’s largest fascist state with ruling principles and aspirations grounded in Confucian thought. The Chinese are, as in history, obsessed by the maintenance of internal order.

The Chinese idea of a logical moral order is the advancement of Chinese power. China is demonstrating and democracies alike.
With the present policies of China the short-term challenge for the West would in Mr. Ford’s view be to recognize the sources of Chinese thinking about the world, and design policies for dealing with Beijing that comprehend China’s unique worldview.

Comment: When studying the impact of Confucius in Chinese political thinking it is important to also study Sun Tzu.

Several Western experts have in recent years pointed out that European nineteenth century strategist Carl von Clausewitz is outdated. Ralph Peters in Armed Forces Journal (2006) headlined his article “Why Clausewitz had it backward”. In the West Sun Tzu is incorrectly often regarded as a pacifist, who want to win war without bloodshed. This is profoundly wrong. In the passage concerning this method Sun Tzu’s primary emphasis is not on avoiding battle.

In his lengthy article in Hoover Institution’s Policy Review in 2003 also Tony Corn (“Clausewitz in Wonderland”) regarded von Clausewitz as outdated. Already in 1999 the reasons for not using Clausewitz should have become apparent even to Clausewitzians. The revolution today is not in conventional warfare but in irregular warfare (of which one part is so called netwar or cyberwar). The German nineteenth century strategist saw irregular warfare as merely a “support activity” of conventional warfare. Thus Sun Tzu has much more to say on strategy in irregular warfare, the dominant form of warfare in the twentyfirst century, than Clausewitz.

In 2005 Major General Zu Chenghu threatened to nuke “hundreds” of American cities if the United States dared to interfere with a Chinese attempt to conquer the Republic of China (Taiwan). In 1998 an official People’s Liberation Army publishing house brought out a book on “unrestricted warfare” by two Chinese colonels. They argued in the work that it would be impossible to defeat the West with conventional warfare. Instead financial warfare, drug warfare, psychological and media warfare, international law warfare, resource warfare and ecological warfare should be used.

To understand China it is not enough to study Confucius. It is necessary also to study Sun Tzu.


November 24, 2010

Ukrainians worldwide are this week commemorating the 78th anniversary of the Great Famine of 1932-33, known as the Holodomor (Death by Hunger).

2005-2009, when Viktor Yushchenko was president of Ukraine, several archival collections on the Famine-Holodomor of 1932-33 were made available to researchers, which supplemented earlier information gathered mainly from eyewitness reports. Perhaps the most important of these were reports from the Soviet secret police files (then called the OGPU, from 1934, the NKVD).

With the new administration there has been a U-turn on the Famine question. The new president Viktor Yanukovych has denied that the Famine was an act of Genocide. The new president seems to think that famines were a general phenomenon across the Soviet grain growing regions in 1932, including the Volga region, Ukraine, the North Caucasus, and even Belarus.

The OGPU documents show that the brutal year of 1933 were unique to Ukraine and the North Caucasus, particularly the Kuban region, which was composed of about 60% Ukrainians.

The great upheaval of collectivization and the removal of richer (“kulak”) families had a devastating impact on Soviet farms. Grain quotas by Stalin’s regime was to ensure that deliveries were transported to the towns or the Far East before the families could feed themselves.

A widespread drought in 1931 exacerbated the situation, but it did not lead directly to Famine.

Stalin, together with his associates [Vyacheslav] Molotov and [Lazar] Kaganovich, railed against Ukrainian party and government leaders (Stanislav Kosior and Vlas Chubar) for their weakness and failure to take more ruthless measures. Though Ukraine’s grain quota was twice reduced, it was still well beyond farmers’ capacity to meet. Therefore the Soviet leadership took several measures calculated to transform a severe situation into a catastrophe.

Things went from bad to worse when Stalin sent a personal emissary, Pavel Postyshev with full authority in Ukraine as well as Vsevolod Balytsky, who took over the Ukrainian Secret Police. While Postyshev used the army and local activists to take “hidden” supplies from the villages, cordoning off and starving villages that failed to meet quotas, Balytsky instituted mass repressions from early 1933 onward on the grounds that a mass uprising of Ukrainian nationalists had been planned for the spring of 1933 with the aid of outside forces from Poland.

Almost 500 “terrorist acts” in Ukraine were reoported. Around 38, 000 arrests were made and so called “counterrevolutionary groups” were uncovered. OGPU later set up “shock-operational groups” in 200 districts in Ukraine. The Secret Police claimed that there was a plan for an uprising in Ukraine in 1933 to set up an “independent capitalist Ukrainian state”. There is no evidence of such a planned uprising.

The harsh repression led to a flight from the countryside. By February 1933 around 85,000 peasants had fled.

Reports from the Secret Police confirm mass starvation of at least 210,000 people. The Italian Consul in Kyiv reported that around 50 percent of the peasants had died and estimated the death toll at 9 million. A final figure of deaths is not known. Nobody counted the victims, who were dumped in mass graves. The Famine has until now been concealed from the public and the outside world.