Archive for the ‘John Mearsheimer’ Category

Pitching the ‘Forever War’ in Afghanistan – Consortium News

Exclusive: Rather than rethink U.S. policy in the Mideast, particularly the entangling alliances with Israel and Saudi Arabia, Official Washington pushes schemes to perpetuate the forever war in Afghanistan, writes James W Carden.

By James W Carden

In May, the founder of the mercenary-for-hire group Blackwater (now since remained Academi), Erik Prince took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to propose that the Pentagon employ private military units and appoint a viceroy to oversee the war in Afghanistan.

According to Prince, who has been actively lobbying for what he calls an East India Company approach as the solution to Americas longest war (16 years, $117 billion and counting), In Afghanistan, the viceroy approach would reduce rampant fraud by focusing spending on initiatives that further the central strategy, rather than handing cash to every outstretched hand from a U.S. system bereft of institutional memory. (Prince naturally failed to say if his were among those outstretched hands)

On July 10, The New York Times reported that Prince and the owner of the military contractor Dyn Corporation, Stephen Feinberg, have, at the request of Stephen K. Bannon and Jared Kushner, been pushing a plan to, in effect, privatize the war effort in Afghanistan. (In recent weeks both The Nation and The American Conservative have published deep-dive investigative pieces into the behind the scenes machinations of would-be Viceroys Prince and Feinberg).

According to the Times report The strategy has been called the Laos option, after Americas shadowy involvement in Laos during the war in neighboring Vietnam.

If so, then the Laos option is an unfortunate moniker for their strategy given the fact that the during Americas war over Laos (1964-73) the U.S. dropped 2.5 million tons of munitions on that country as part of the failed effort in Vietnam, which finally ended when the U.S. embassy in Saigon was evacuated in 1975.

It is worth mentioning, since we so often overlook the collateral damage caused by our overseas adventures, that in the 40-plus years since the cessation of operations in Laos that 20,000 Laotians have been killed by unexploded ordinance dropped that had been dropped during that illegal nine-year campaign.

And while Prince and Feinberg have (so far anyway) gotten the cold shoulder from National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Pentagon Chief James Mattis, momentum is picking up for once again ramping up American involvement in Afghanistan among some of the (allegedly) more sophisticated members of the foreign policy establishment.

More Armchair Warmongering

On July 11, former Deputy Defense Secretary Michele Flournoy and think tank functionary Richard Fontaine published a piece for the purportedly realist National Interest magazine that attempted to assure readers that The Afghan War Is Not Lost. Why not? Because even though there are roughly 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, More troops can help achieve American objectives in Afghanistan, but only if they are part of a larger and more effective strategy. [Emphasis mine].

The stress on more troops (if not to say, thousands upon thousands of unaccountable mercenaries in the pay of Feinberg and Prince) is deeply concerning because if anyone can be said to be a reliable barometer of prevailing opinion inside the Beltway it is Flournoy.

Readers may recall that Flournoy co-chaired the Obama administrations Afghanistan policy review, which led to the Presidents ill-fated December 2009 decision to send 33,000 American troops (plus a contingent of 7,000 from NATO) to prop up the Karzai regime in Afghanistan. The following year, 2010, would end up as the bloodiest one yet for coalition forces in Afghanistan. Indeed, nearly three-fourth of all American casualties in that war took place in the years following Obamas decision to surge in Afghanistan.

But give Flournoy (who was at the top of Hillary Clintons short list to be Defense Secretary) credit: she persists. Today Flournoy and her frequent co-author Fontaine (both are executives of the hawkish think tank Center for a New American Security) say that American should commit to Afghanistan indefinitely:

The centerpiece of the administrations Afghanistan strategy must therefore be a clear and sustained American commitment to Afghanistan. By forswearing deadlines and making clear that the United States will support the Afghan government and security forces indefinitely and until they are able to hold their own, Washington can telegraph to the Taliban that it will not succeed in retaking the country.

Worryingly, some members of Congress seem to be on board. In early July, a bipartisan delegation including Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Elizabeth Warren toured Pakistan and Afghanistan and called for greater military involvement in the region. Speaking on behalf of the delegation, McCain noted, none of us would say that were on course to a success here in Afghanistan.

The Forever War

Driving the push to send more troops is the fact that, as Flournoy and Fontaine point out, the Taliban today controls more territory than at any time since 9/11. Faced with corruption and exclusionary politics, popular opposition to the government in Kabul is rising, while the Taliban makes inroads in rural areas and, increasingly, near the cities. This is no doubt the case.

And proponents of the forever war in Afghanistan are correct when they say, as they inevitably do, that the Taliban provided sanctuary to Obama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in the lead up to 9/11. But these same proponents usually neglect to note that bin Laden and Al Qaeda were motivated by the U.S.-Israeli special relationship and, according to the 9/11 Report, grievances against the United States that were widely shared in the Muslim world. Bin Laden inveighed against the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia and against other U.S. policies in the Middle East.

But, in the intervening years between 2001 and now, Al Qaedas leadership has been decimated, and according to a Brown University study, the United States has spent or taken on obligations to spend more than $3.6 trillion in current dollars on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria and on the Department of Homeland Security in the years following 9/11.

Meanwhile other alternative strategies (such as the offshore balancing strategy advocated by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt) have never been tried. As I wrote at Consortiumnews in June, therearealternatives (there always are). Its just that these tend not to have the institutional backing of Washingtons policy/think tank community which, because it isdeeply compromisedby its defense industry funders, rarely given them voice or consideration.

If the U.S. is to successfully combat terrorism emanating out of the Middle East a wholesale re-evaluation of U.S. policy is in order, particularly with regard to Israel and Saudi Arabia. To gloss over this is to miss the point.

And proponents of expanding and privatizing the war in Afghanistan miss it entirely.

James W Carden is a contributing writer for The Nation and editor of The American Committee for East-West Accords eastwestaccord.com. He previously served as an advisor on Russia to the Special Representative for Global Inter-governmental Affairs at the US State Department.

Read more:

Pitching the ‘Forever War’ in Afghanistan – Consortium News

Fair Usage Law

July 25, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Russian meddling is Watergate-worthy, but Israeli meddling is hunky-dory – Mondoweiss

The investigation of Russias meddling in our politics dominates the liberal press; and for my part, I believe everything The New York Times and MSNBC are suspicioning about Donald Trump and the Russians. I bet that the Russians have something on Trump personally, possibly involving money or sex; and that the Russians meddled in our election. (Not that the meddling changed the outcome; no, Hillary Clinton did a great job of losing it on her own.)

But as someone who focuses on Israel policy, what stands out to me is that conduct that is Watergate-worthy when it comes to Russia is hunky-dory when it comes to Israel. Just yesterday, for instance, Trump adviser Jared Kushner was on the hot seat in Congress over his contacts with a Russian official last year. But no one has a hearing about the fact that Kushners family, out of devotion to Israel, financed illegal Israeli settlements that have undermined the two-state solution, thereby nullifying longtime U.S. policy. I think thats a real problem. MSNBC doesnt.

Just in the last week there have been two other expressions of Israels active interests in our politics that the liberal media have failed to say boo about.

First, theres the Israel Anti-Boycott Act in the House and Senate. Israel regards the Boycott movement (BDS) as an existential threat; and so the Israel lobby group AIPAC produced legislation that scores of Senators and Congresspeople, including many liberal heroes, signed on to that trashes the First Amendment by making it a possible crime to support boycott of Israel. By the way, AIPAC has a mission to insure that there is no daylight between the Israeli government and the U.S. government. In the 1960s despite the best efforts of Senator Fulbright, AIPAC escaped designation as an agent of a foreign government. That ought to be a scandal, but everyone walks on by.

Then theres Israels unhappiness with the Syrian ceasefire deal that Donald Trump reached with Russia. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says that the deal fails to limit Irans presence in Syria or to prevent weapons getting to Israels enemy, Hezbollah; and Israel supporters in the U.S. duly echoed Netanyahus view.

Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, who launched his dazzling career, in his own words, with the support of the pro-Israel community, wrote:

This is unbelievable! Trump Administration ignored Israels security concerns in making the Syrian deal with Putin.

While Daniel Shapiro, also a former U.S. ambassador to Israel who lately called Israel this miracle, this gift, this jewel wrote that the deal needs to be revised:

Can the deal be restructured to Isrs satisfaction? US-Russia dynamic makes that difficult & worrisome. But effort needs to be made.

Apart from the question of whether Trump will be brought down by his Russia connections, the real issue here is, What is the American peoples interest? In the Syria case, it would appear that Trump is realigning U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis Russia. And that this realignment could be good for the U.S. position in the world: an effort to lessen U.S. military engagement in the Middle East. But meanwhile it is clearly in Israels interest for the U.S. to be up to its hips in the perpetual war of the Middle East, because occupiers love company.

I believe the no-daylight policy has been hugely costly to the United States; and has involved a great deal of meddling by Israel and its friends in our politics. The media are afraid to touch this stuff; but a look back on the special relationship between the countries reveals a number of policy decisions that the U.S. would have made differently if Israel werent putting its thumb on our scale. Lets review:

Israel has put more than 600,000 settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, thereby violating the Geneva Convention and destroying the two-state solution, which was U.S. policy. The United States has suffered enormously for its inability to stop this process. Even the 9/11 attacks were motivated in good measure by the sufferings of Palestinians. The Israel lobby and its American friends played the lead role in nullifying U.S. policy in the settlements witness the undermining of President Obamas efforts to stop settlements in 2011 and 2012 via political pressure. (Even Noam Chomsky has said that in this area the client is influencing the superpower, not the other way round.)

Israel acquired nuclear weapons in violation of clear U.S. policy in the 60s, and likely also by pilfering highly-enriched uranium from the United States through a front operation in Pennsylvania. There has never been a squeak about this from the U.S. government or officials no they all maintain the deception and meantime Israeli nukes have contributed to an arms race around the region, and fostered the U.S. image as lying imperialist hypocrite.

Benjamin Netanyahu pushed for the Iraq war, saying it would transform the region for the better: If you take out Saddam, Saddams regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region. The leading Israel lobby group AIPAC also pushed for this war, while Israels rightwing American friends, the neoconservatives, argued that the war would bring democracy to Arab states and make Israel safer; as did liberals such as Tom Friedman, Israels onetime promoter, who said we should go to war against Iraq because terrorists were blowing up pizza parlors in Tel Aviv. Whether the voice given to Israels interest was determinative or not in our decision to invade Iraq (I say it was), this is an influence that clearly should have been exposed and investigated, beyond the efforts of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby. But the media shut down that conversation, in part through the vociferous efforts of Jeffrey Goldberg, who formerly emigrated to Israel and served in its armed forces.

Several American presidents were for the Palestinian refugees right of return after the creation of Israel. Truman backed down under pressure from the Zionist lobby, John Judis states flatly in his book Genesis. Kennedy and Nixon were also under political pressure to nullify the American position. And indeed: no Palestinian refugees have been allowed to return by Israel, the U.S. has done nothing to seek to reverse that policy; and the issue inflames the conflict to this day.

Israeli leaders and U.S. surrogates led a campaign to try to stop the Iran deal two years ago and very nearly succeeded. At the height of that campaign Obama gave a speech saying that only one country in the world opposed the deal Israel and that it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to heed Israel rather than the American interest. As if that even needed to be said! It can be argued that the four Democratic Senators who opposed their Presidents signature foreign policy achievement Schumer, Menendez, Manchin, and Cardin all did so out of support for Israel or its American friends, who are so influential in our elections. As Stephanie Schriock of the liberal activist group Emilys List says, aspiring Democratic candidates for Congress take their position on Israel from AIPAC because thats the way they can raise money from the Jewish community. And what does it tell you that Schumer despite betraying his president on the Iran deal was rewarded with the leadership of the Senate Democrats?

The only alternative that Israel had to the Iran deal was an attack on Iran, which the American people clearly opposed. Its not a surprise then that one of the leading Republican donors, Sheldon Adelson, whose main cause is Israel and who has said he would rather have served in the Israeli army than the U.S. one, urged Obama to nuke Iran. And before that, Adelson held a fundraiser for Mitt Romney in Jerusalem during the 2012 campaign that Romney attended and Benjamin Netanyahu all but openly endorsed Romney over Obama.

The pressure against the Iran deal was so strong that Hillary Clinton in 2015, readying a run for president, came out with a statement against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as a way of trying to keep Israel and her donors happy in advance of her announcing her support for the Iran deal. At that time, Clintons chief liaison to the Jewish community met with Israels Prime Minister and told Clinton that Netanyahu said that Americans needed to attack, attack, attack BDS. Meantime, one of her biggest donors, the Israeli-American Haim Saban, pressed her to make a statement distancing herself from Obamas policies on Israel; Clinton did so; and her campaign manager endorsed the move: [H]as she made a clear statement on Israel yet? I get this question from donors all the time. Does she need to state her principles on Israel before Iran?

We only know about Hillary Clintons craven gyrations because of the emails stolen from the Clinton campaign and published by Wikileaks. I think we have a right to know about a powerful politicians efforts to please Israel and its American friends. But Democrats and media liberals are much more concerned that the Russians might have had a hand in getting these emails out in the months before the election.

Yes, the Clinton emails may have been an example of Russian meddling in our elections. But those emails documented Israeli meddling in our elections. Which is worse? I know what I think. But lets have the debate.

Thanks to Scott Roth.

See the original post:

Russian meddling is Watergate-worthy, but Israeli meddling is hunky-dory – Mondoweiss

Fair Usage Law

July 25, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

The global consequences of Trump’s incompetence – Chicago Tribune

I returned this past weekend from a European vacation: conferencing in Greece, queuing up at Wimbledon, kayaking in Ireland, and generally doing my own small part to stimulate the EU economy. I’m not Tom Friedman, so I didn’t interview every taxi driver I encountered, but the one I did talk to was pretty down on the 45th president of the United States. I’m sure there are a few Trump supporters in Europe, but recent surveys suggest they are a distinct minority. That seems to be increasingly true here, too, despite the stubborn loyalty of those supporters who would stick with the guy even if he did, in fact, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue.

Since Donald Trump was inaugurated, a vast amount of ink and billions of pixels have been devoted to documenting, dissecting, condemning, or defending his disregard for well-established norms of decency and political restraint. I’m talking about the blatant nepotism, the vast conflicts of interest, the overt misogyny, and what Fox News’s Shepard Smith called the “lie after lie after lie” regarding Trump’s relations with Russia. The presidential pendulum has swung from dignified (Barack Obama) to disgusting (Trump), and it’s tempting to spend all one’s time hyperventilating about his personal comportment rather than his handling of important policy issues.

But the real issue isn’t Trump’s nonstop boorishness; it’s his increasingly obvious lack of competence. When experienced Republicans warned that Trump was unfit for office during the 2016 campaign, most of their concerns revolved around issues of character. But their warnings didn’t prepare us for the parade of buffoonery and ineptitude that has characterized his administration from Day One.

What do I mean by “competence”? The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.” In foreign policy, competence depends on a sufficient knowledge about the state of the world and the key forces that drive world politics so that one can make well-informed and intelligent policy choices. It also means having the organizational skills, discipline, and judgment to pick the right subordinates and get them to combine the different elements of national power in pursuit of well-chosen goals. In other words, foreign-policy competence requires the ability to identify ends that will make the country more secure and/or prosperous and then assemble the means to bring the desired results to fruition.

As in other walks of life, to be competent at foreign policy does not mean being 100 percent right or successful. International politics is a chancy and uncertain realm, and even well-crafted policies sometimes go awry. But, on balance, competent policymakers succeed more than they fail, both because they have a mostly accurate view of how the world works and because they have the necessary skills to implement their choices effectively. As a result, such leaders will retain others’ confidence even when a few individual initiatives do not work out as intended.

For much of the postwar period, the United States benefited greatly from an overarching aura of competence. Victory in World War II, the creation of key postwar institutions like NATO and Bretton Woods, and the (mostly) successful management of the Cold War rivalry with the USSR convinced many observers that U.S. officials knew what they were doing. That aura was reinforced by scientific and technological prowess (e.g., the moon landing), by mostly steady economic growth, and to some extent by the progress made in addressing issues such as race, however imperfect those latter efforts were. That same aura was tarnished by blunders like Vietnam, of course, but other countries still understood that the United States was both very powerful and guided by people who understood the world reasonably well and weren’t bad at getting things done. The George H.W. Bush administration’s successful handling of the collapse of the USSR, the reunification of Germany, and the first Gulf War reinforced the broad sense that U.S. judgment and skill should be taken seriously, even if Washington wasn’t infallible.

Since then, however, things have gone from good to bad to worse to truly awful. The Bill Clinton administration managed the U.S. economy pretty well, but its handling of foreign policy was only so-so, and its policies in the Middle East and elsewhere laid the foundation for much future trouble. The George W. Bush administration was filled with experienced foreign-policy mavens, but a fatal combination of hubris, presidential ignorance, post-9/11 panic, and the baleful influence of a handful of neoconservative ideologues produced costly debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama did somewhat better (one could hardly have done worse), but he never took on the Blob’s commitment to liberal hegemony and made some of the same mistakes that the younger Bush did, albeit on a smaller scale. Even the vaunted American military seems more skilled at blowing things up than at achieving anything resembling victory.

Which brings us to Trump. He has been in office for only six months, but the consequences of his ineptitude are already apparent.

First, when you don’t understand the world very well, and when your team lacks skilled officials to compensate for presidential ignorance, you’re going to make big policy mistakes. Trump’s biggest doozy thus far was dropping the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a decision that undermined the U.S. position in Asia, opened the door toward greater Chinese influence, and won’t benefit the U.S. economy in the slightest. Similar ignorance-fueled errors include walking away from the Paris climate accord (which makes Americans look like a bunch of science-denying, head-in-the-sand ignoramuses) and failing to appreciate that China wasn’t – repeat, wasn’t – going to solve the North Korea problem for us. Not to mention his team’s inability to spell and confusion over which countries they are talking about.

Second, once other countries conclude that U.S. officials are dunderheads, they aren’t going to pay much attention to the advice, guidance, or requests that Washington makes. When people think you know what you’re doing, they will listen carefully to what you have to say and will be more inclined to follow your lead. But if they think you’re an idiot, or they aren’t convinced you can actually deliver whatever you are promising, they may nod politely as you express your views but follow their own instincts instead.

We are already seeing signs of this. Having played to Trump’s vulnerable ego brilliantly during his visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is now blithely ignoring U.S. efforts to resolve the simmering dispute between the Gulf states and Qatar. True to form, Israel doesn’t care what Trump thinks about the Israeli-Palestinian dispute or the situation in Syria either. To be sure, these two countries have a long history of ignoring U.S. advice and interests, but their indifference to Washington’s views seems to have reached new heights. And now South Korea has announced it will begin talks with North Korea, despite the Trump administration’s belief that the time was not right.

Meanwhile, the EU and Japan just reached a large trade deal; TPP-like talks are resuming without the United States; and the leaders of Germany and Canada – two of America’s closest allies – have openly spoken of the need to chart their own course. Even the foreign minister of Australia – another staunch U.S. ally – has taken a dig at Trump for his demeaning remarks to France’s first lady. And who can blame them? I mean: If you were a responsible foreign leader, would you take the advice of the man who had the wisdom to appoint Sebastian Gorka to a White House national security position, wants to cut the State Department budget by 30 percent, and thinks Jared Kushner is a genius who can handle difficult diplomatic assignments?

The United States is still very powerful, of course, so both allies and adversaries will continue to be cautious when dealing with it. That’s why Emmanuel Macron of France and Justin Trudeau of Canada have treated Trump with more respect than he deserves. You’d tread carefully, too, if you found yourself in the same room as a drunk rhinoceros. But you probably wouldn’t ask the rhino for advice or consult it on geopolitical strategy.

Instead of relying on U.S. guidance and (generally) supporting U.S. policy initiatives, states that lose confidence in America’s competence will begin to hedge and make their own arrangements. They’ll do deals with each other and sometimes with countries that the United States regards as adversaries. That is happening already with China and Iran, and you can expect more of the same as long as U.S. foreign policy combines the strategic acumen of Wile E. Coyote, the disciplined teamwork of the Three Stooges, and the well-oiled efficiency of the frat in Animal House.

Paleoconservatives and isolationists might welcome this outcome, because they think the United States has been bearing too large a share of global burdens and that it just screws things up when it tries to run the world. They have a point, but they take it way too far. If the United States were to disengage as far as they would like, the other 95 percent of humanity would proceed to create a world order where U.S. influence would be considerably smaller and where events in a few key regions would almost certainly evolve in ways that the United States would eventually regret. Instead of retreating to “Fortress America,” it makes more sense to adopt the policy of offshore balancing that John Mearsheimer and I outlined a year ago.

But offshore balancing won’t work if other states have little or no confidence in U.S. judgment, skill, and competence. Why? Because the strategy calls for the United States to “hold the balance” in key regions (i.e., Europe, Asia, and perhaps the Middle East) and to stand ready to bring its power to bear in these areas should a potential hegemon emerge there. The countries with which the United States would join forces should that occur have to be sufficiently convinced that Washington can gauge threats properly and intervene with skill and effect when necessary. In short, the credibility of U.S. commitments depends on a minimum reputation for competence, and that is precisely the currency that Trump and Co. have been squandering.

To be clear, I am not saying there are not a lot of competent people serving in the U.S. government or that the United States is incapable of doing anything right these days. Indeed, my hat is off to the dedicated public servants who are trying to do their jobs despite the chaos in the White House and Trump’s deliberate effort to cripple our foreign-policy machinery.

Nor am I saying that Donald Trump is incompetent at everything. He is, by all accounts, a much better than average golfer (even if he may be – now here’s a shocker – prone to cheating), which may explain why he prefers golfing to governing. He has been adept at getting attractive foreign women to marry him, though not especially good at making the marriages last. And he is clearly an absolutely world-class bullshit artist, with a genuinely impressive ability to lie, prevaricate, evade, mislead, stretch the truth, and dissemble. These skills clearly served him well as a real estate developer, but they aren’t helping him very much as president. Because once people decide you’re a bumbler, either they take advantage of your ineptitude or they prefer to deal with those who are more reliable. It gives me no joy to say this, but can you blame them?

Walt is the Robert and Rene Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

Read this article:

The global consequences of Trump’s incompetence – Chicago Tribune

Fair Usage Law

July 19, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Forging a Closer Maritime Alliance: The Case for US-Japan Joint Frigate Development – CIMSEC

Future Surface Combatant Week

ByJason Y. Osuga

Introduction

Our history is clear that nations with strong allies thrive, and those without them wither. My key words are solvency and security to protect the American people. My priorities as SECDEF are strengthening readiness, strengthening alliances, and bring business reform to DOD. General James Mattis (ret.), SECDEF Confirmation Hearing, 1/11/17

At current growth rates, China may become a comparable power to the United States in economic and military terms in the not too distant future. In this future world, China will be less constrained than it is today to attempt to coerce other Asian nations to its will.[1] Chinas economy may be slowing at the moment, with significant concerns over sustainability of high debt and growth.[2] Notwithstanding, China is still set to overtake the United States between 2030 and 2045 based on the global power index, which is calculated by Gross Domestic Product, population size, military spending, and technology, as well as new metrics in health, education, and governance.[3] An unbalanced multipolar structure is most prone to deadly conflict compared to a bipolar or balanced multipolar structure.[4]

The execution of the responsibility as the regional balancer requires political will, military capability, and the right grand strategy.[5] While it is difficult to dictate or gauge the political will in an unknown future situation, the U.S. can hedge by building capability and advocating a forward strategy to support partners in the region. One of the ways in which the U.S. can increase joint warfighting capability is through the co-development of defense platforms with key allies such as Japan. Increasing Japans warfighting capability is in keeping with a grand strategy of forging an effective maritime balance of power to curb growing threats from revisionist powers such as China and Russia. Production of a common frigate platform would enhance bilateral collective defense by increasing joint interoperability. Designing a ship based on bilateral warfighting requirements would enhance interoperability and concepts of operations in joint warfighting.

The joint development of frigates would deepen the U.S.-Japan security alliance and enhance the regional balance of power to offset China. Operationally, co-development of frigates will increase interoperability, reduce seams in existing naval strategy, and increase fleet size and presence. Industrially, a joint venture will reduce costs of shipbuilding through burden-sharing research and development (R&D), maximizing economy of scale production, and exploiting the comparative advantage in the defense sectors to favor both nations. Logistically, developing a shared platform enhances supply and maintenance capability through interchangeable components, streamlined bilateral inventory, and increased capability to conduct expeditionary repairs of battle damage.

Reducing Seams in Naval Strategy and Forward Presence

A major argument for joint development of a frigate is increasing fleet size of the USN and the JMSDF. The Navy has advocated for a fleet size of 355 ships.[6] The Center for Strategic Budget Assessments (CSBA) recommended 340 ships, and MITRE recommended a total force structure of 414 ships to meet fleet requirements.[7]

One of the main rationales behind these recommendations has been the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), which has increased its naval ship construction on a vast scale to push the U.S. Navy and JMSDF out of the first island chain.[8] China continues to produce the JIANGKAI II-class FFG (Type 054A), with 20 ships currently in the fleet and five in various stages of construction.[9] 25 JIANGDAO-class corvettes FFL (Type 056) are in service and China may build more than 60 of this class, along with 60 HOUBEI-class wave-piercing catamaran guided-missile patrol boats PTG (Type 022) built for operations in Chinas near seas.[10] Furthermore, the PLAN continues to emphasize anti-surface warfare as its primary focus by modernizing its advanced ASCMs and associated over-the-horizon targeting systems.[11]According to Rear Admiral Michael McDevitt (ret.), by 2020, China will boast the largest navy in the world measured by the number of combatants, submarines, and combat logistics vessels expected to be in service.[12]According to CNAS, China will be a Blue-Water Naval Power by 2030 approaching 500 ships.[13]

Not only is the PLAN building more frigates and ASCMs, but it also enjoys home field advantage.[14]Therefore, despite the PLAs overall military inferiority vis–vis the U.S. military, the U.S. can execute only a partial commitment of forces to Asia due to its global commitments.[15] China can offset a fraction of the U.S. Navy with the combined might of the PLAN, PLA Air Force, and the PLA Rocket Force with anti-ship missiles, combat aircraft, and missile-capable submarines and patrol craft to deny the U.S. access to waters within the first island chain.[16] Thus, the PLA is quickly becoming a balanced force.[17] A balanced and regionally-concentrated force is creating a growing gap in the ability of the U.S. Navy or JMSDF to gain sea control. The USN and JMSDF require more surface combatants to prosecute an effective sea control strategy. One of the best ways to increase fleet size and sea presence is through building a common frigate.

Operational Advantages and Distributed Warfighting

A new class of frigate would be in line with the Chief of Naval Operations ADM Richardsons vision in The Future Navy, that a 355-ship Navy using current technology is insufficient for maintaining maritime superiority. The Navy must also implement new ways of operating our battle fleet, which will comprise new types of ships.[18] The platform would be an opportunity to solidify the distributed lethality (DL) concept, promulgated by Commander Naval Surface Forces Surface Force Strategy.[19] DL combines more powerful ships with innovative methods of employing them by dispersing lethal capabilities. The more distributed allied combat power becomes, the more enemy targets are held at risk, and the costs of defense to the adversary becomes higher.[20]Furthermore, the more capable platforms the adversary has to account for, the more widely dispersed its surveillance assets will be, and more diluted its attack densities become.[21] If the U.S. and Japan can increase the number of platforms and employ them in a bilateral DL architecture, it would present a tracking and salvo problem for the enemy. The new Surface Force Strategy requires an increased fleet size to amass greater number of ships forward-deployed and dispersed in theater.[22]

Within a hunter-killer surface action group acting under the DL operational construct, Aegis destroyers and cruisers would protect the frigates from air and distant missile threats, allowing the frigates to focus on the SUW/ASW mission sets. The ships self-defense systems can provide point or limited area defense against closer air and missile threats. The main mission of the sea control frigate, however, will be to help deliver payloads integrated into the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) architecture through Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC).[23]Payloads launched by any ship in USN or JMSDF can be terminally guided by nodes in the CEC. The JMSDF is already moving toward integrating a greater portion of its fleet into the U.S. NIFC-CA architecture through combat systems modification to existing ships.[24]

A Frigate for High-Threat Sea Control

The U.S. and Japan should consider a joint venture to develop a common frigate, displacing roughly 4000-5000 tons, whose primary missions are anti-surface warfare (SUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and limited-area air defense/anti-air warfare AD/AAW. In addition to increasing interoperability, a frigate dedicated to these sea control missions would reduce mission shortfalls in the current naval strategy and fleet architecture. Aegis platforms, such as the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (DDG) and Ticonderoga-class cruisers (CG), must perform myriad missions such as theater ballistic missile defense (BMD) and air defense (AD) of the strike groups, in addition to theater ASW and SUW. While half of the CGs undergo modernization and the cruisers long-term replacement is undecided,[25] and where the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) do not yet provide robust SUW and ASW capabilities,[26] the DDGs must shoulder a larger share of the burden of those missions. Thus, the Navy would benefit from a dedicated and capable platform to conduct SUW and ASW for achieving sea control and burden-sharing with Aegis platforms. A new class of frigate would be in line with the Chief of Naval Operations ADM Richardsons vision in The Future Navy, that a 355-ship Navy using current technology is insufficient for maintaining maritime superiority. The Navy must also implement new ways of operating our battle fleet, which will comprise new types of ships.[27]

The frigate could escort ESGs, CSGs, logistics ships, and maritime commerce. A limited AD capability would fill the gap in protecting Aegis ships while the latter performs BMD missions, as well as escorting high-value units such as amphibious ships LHD/LHA, LPDs, and aircraft carriers (CVN). These specializations would benefit the planners ability to achieve sea control by enhancing the expeditionary and carrier strike groups defensive and offensive capabilities. It could also highlight the ability of future JMSDF frigates to integrate into U.S. CSGs, ESGs, and surface action groups (SAG) as practiced by its vessels in exercises such as Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) and ANNUALEX.

In a contingency, it is necessary to protect commercial shipping, logistics ships, and pre-positioned supply ships, which are the Achilles heel of the fleet. These links in fleet logistics chain are critical to sustaining long-duration operations and maintaining the economic well-being of maritime nations such as Japan and the U.S. Therefore, a sufficient number of frigates would be necessary to provide protection to logistics ships. As far as small combatant vessels, the Navy currently operates eight LCS from a peak of 115 frigates during the Cold War in 1987.

Figure 1. Only eight LCS are currently operational from a peak of 115 frigates during Cold War in 1987.[28]A frigate would require a powerful radar to be able to provide an adequate air defense umbrella to protect a strike group or a convoy. There is some potential in making the next-generation frigate with a scalable Aegis radar such as the SPY-1F. The JMSDF Akizuki-class and Asahi-class destroyers are modern multi-mission capable ships, with a non-Aegis phased-array radar that provide limited AAW capability. Similarly, the next-generation frigate could incorporate a scaled down version of the more modern Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) if the trade-offs in budget and technical specifications warrant the extra investment.

As for the ASW mission, the future frigate should be equipped with an active sonar, a towed passive sonar, an MH-60R (ASW-capable), and a long-range anti-submarine rocket (ASROC) system. A modern hull-mounted sonar connected to the future combat system could integrate the data acquired by towed or variable-depth sonars. It should also be built on a modular design with enough rack space set aside for future growth of systems to accommodate future mission modules. Therefore, the future frigate should have a greater length and beam compared to the LCS to accommodate more space for sensors, unmanned platforms, and combat systems. This should not be confused with a modular concept of the LCS where ASW, SUW, or mine warfare modules can be laboriously swapped out in port in a time-consuming process. The future frigate should focus on ASW/SUW superiority with limited area AD capabilities, and not have to change mission modules to complete this task. These frigates also would not replace the LCS. The LCS could continue to play a niche role in the SAGs as a carrier for drones and UAV/USV/UUV. Thus, the protection of the LCS from attacks will be an important factor, which will fall on the DDGs and future frigates to contribute.

Payloads and sensors have as much importance as platforms in the network-centric distributed lethality concept.[29] Effective joint warfighting requires not just cooperation in platform development, but also requires an emphasis on payload and sensor development.[30] The U.S. and Japan should explore joint R&D of the following payloads in the future frigate: Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), Naval Strike Missile, and the surface-to-surface Hellfire missile. Out of these options or a combination thereof, the U.S. and Japan may find the replacement to the U.S. Navys RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile and the JMSDFs Type 90 ship-to-ship missile in service since 1992.[31]

The selection of payloads for the next frigate should be based on bilateral requirements of roles and missions. Furthermore, discussions should also involve offensive and defensive options in non-kinetic electronic warfare (EW) and cyber capabilities for joint development. Effective EW and cyber capabilities will increase the options for commanding officers and task force commanders to achieve the desired effect on the operating environment. A joint development will provide both fleet commanders options to achieve this effect.

Addressing Sufficiency

As far as increasing fleet size with next-generation frigates, how many frigates is enough? Based on global commitments for the U.S. Navy and regional commitments for the JMSDF, 60 frigates for the USN and 20 frigates for the JMSDF would be justified. By building 60 frigates, the U.S. Navy would be able to forward-deploy at least one-third (20 frigates) to the Western Pacific. The frigates should be dispersed and forward-deployed to U.S. naval bases in Japan, Guam, Singapore, and Hawaii as well as those on 7-month deployments from the continental U.S. The JMSDF would also build 20 frigates of the same class. Taken together, there would be a total of 40 frigates of the class in the Western Pacific between the USN and JMSDF. This ratio parity (1:1) would benefit the planners ability to conduct joint task force operational planning as well as factoring in collective self-defense considerations. 40 frigates would create enough mass to establish a distributed and forward sea presence, and when required, gain sea control with Aegis DDGs in hunter-killer SAGs.

Meanwhile, the JMSDF has not built 20 ships of any combatant class. Setting the goal high with 20 vessels of the next frigate would be an important milestone for the JMSDF toward increasing its fleet size in a meaningful way. The JMSDF recently announced that, to speed up vessel production and increase patrol presence in the East China Sea, it would build two frigates per year compared to one destroyer per year.[32] It appears the JMSDF is also realigning its strategy and procurement to cope with the changing security environment in East Asia.

Industrial Advantages of Joint Development

Bilateral development of the next frigate will enjoy industrial advantages in burden-sharing R&D, maximizing economy of scale production, and exploiting the comparative advantage of the U.S. and Japanese defense sectors. Burden-sharing R&D through cooperative development helps to reduce risks. Barry Posen, director of the MIT Security Studies Program, advocates burden-sharing as a central issue of alliance diplomacy.[33] Joint R&D mitigates risk through technology flow between two countries. Any newly developed or discovered technologies can be shared as part of the platforms development. Thus, U.S. and Japan can tailor regulations on technology flow and export control laws to suit the scope of this bilateral development project to ensure seamless integration and manage risk.

Moreover, maximizing economies of scale production would help mitigate the rising costs of producing warships and weapons systems under unilateral R&D. Economy of scale coproduction or co-development program would be consistent with Congress preference for allied cooperation in arms development (Nunn Amendment), by reducing acquisition costs and freeing resources for other burden sharing.[34] A joint development with a close U.S. ally with a similar technology base and history of shared platforms development would make sense to cut costs, share technology, and hedge R&D risk. The U.S. and Japan have begun to move in the direction of cooperative development. In 2014, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, and Japan Foreign Minister, Fumio Kishida, announced that the Defense Ministry and the DOD would hold studies to jointly develop a new high speed vessel under the bilateral Mutual Defense Assistance (MDA) agreement.[35]Although not many details were released to the public on this agreement, the studies may have centered on the LCS as a possible platform to base the bilateral project. A joint frigate project should be designed on a platform that addresses all of the LCS deficiencies and that meets bilateral requirements to achieve sea control via SUW/ASW superiority and distributed lethality.

Leveraging the economy of scale through joint development would also help Japan as its defense systems have also become more expensive to develop unilaterally. Many Japanese firms view international defense business as unstable and unproven in terms of profitability.[36]However, recent JMSDF Chief of Maritime Staff, ADM Takei, saw opportunities for cooperative development as Japanese defense industry has high-end technology, but lacks expertise and experience.[37] ADM Takei believed there is much potential for subsidiaries of major Japanese corporations that specialize in defense production to cooperate with U.S. defense firms to partner in the development or become a supplier of parts for U.S.-made equipment.[38] Thus, by cooperating in shipbuilding, the U.S. and Japan would benefit from reduced costs of production of components and systems by taking advantage of economies of scale.

Joint development will also leverage the comparative advantage of the respective industrial sectors to favor both nations. For example, if the U.S. produces something relatively better or cheaper than Japan such as the weapons, radar, or combat systems, the U.S. could take the lead in developing and building the systems for both countries. Conversely, if Japan produces a section or component of the ship better or cheaper than the U.S. (e.g., auxiliaries, propulsion, or hull), Japan could take the lead in developing it for both countries. However, domestic constituency and laws may prevent efficient production based on comparative advantages in the U.S. and Japan. The Buy American Act of 1933 requires the U.S. government to give preference to products made in the United States.

In light of cultural and historical opposition to buying foreign-made ships in both countries, a practical solution would be if both countries produced its own hulls in their domestic shipyards based on the same design. This would preserve American and Japanese shipbuilding and defense jobs in their home constituencies. Comparative advantage production, though, should be sought in auxiliary/propulsion systems, weapons, and radars to make the venture as joint and cost-effective as possible. Cost savings would not be as great if both countries produced its own ships; however, there is still a net positive effect derived from increased interoperability, joint R&D, and common maintenance practice from a shared platform.[39] This would ultimately translate to increased collective security for both countries and a stronger alliance which cannot be measured solely by monetary savings.

Logistical and Maintenance Advantages

U.S.-Japan joint frigate development offers maintenance and logistical advantages. The USN and JMSDF utilize similar logistics hubs currently in forward-deployed bases in Japan. The U.S. and Japan can find efficiency by leveraging existing logistics chains and maintenance facilities by building a platform based on shared components. Theoretically, a JMSDF frigate could be serviced in a USN repair facility, while a USN frigate could be maintained in a JMSDF repair facility if the platform is essentially built on the same blueprint. This may help reduce maintenance backlogs by making efficient use of USN and JMSDF repair yards. Furthermore, the use of common components would make parts more interchangeable and would also derive efficiency in stockpiling spares usable by both fleets.

Recently, the JMSDF and USN participated in a first of a kind exchange of maintenance parts between USS Stethem (DDG-63) and destroyer JS Ikazuchi (DD-107) during Exercise MultiSail 17 in Guam.[40] It was the first time in which U.S. and Japan used the existing acquisition and cross-servicing agreements (ACSA) to exchange goods between ships. The significance was that ACSA transfers are usually conducted at the fleet depot or combatant command (PACOM) levels, and not at the unit level. As U.S. and Japan devise creative ways to increase interoperability, commonalities in provisions, fuel, transportation, ammunition, and equipment would add to the ease of streamlining the acquisition and exchange process. Ships built on the same blueprint would in theory have all these in common.

Common parts and maintenance would also improve theater operational logistics in the Fifth and Seventh Fleet AORs. For counter-piracy deployments to the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, the JMSDF would be able to utilize U.S. logistics hubs in Djibouti, Bahrain, Diego Garcia, Perth, and Singapore to obtain parts more readily or perform emergency repairs. Guam, Japan, and Hawaii could be hubs in the Pacific to deliver common parts or perform maintenance on the shared frigate platform. The U.S. can expand its parts base and utilize ACSA to accept payment in kind or monetary reimbursement. Most importantly, the benefit to warfighters is that vessels would not be beholden solely to the logistics systems of their own country. Rather, ships can rely on a bilateral inventory and maintenance availability leading to enhanced collective security and a closer alliance.

Damage Repairs in Overseas Ports

Besides regular maintenance, the doctrinal shift to a more offensive strategy of distributed lethality requires that the Navy address the potential for a surge in battle damage.[41] There is a potential for an upsurge in battle damage as ships are more widely dispersed with a greater offensive posture, which may lead to a distributed vulnerability to taking casualties.[42] This prospect requires the Navy to focus on increasing the repair capability of naval platforms in forward ports.[43] Therefore, the need to conduct expeditionary repair, or the ability to swiftly repair naval ships that take on battle damage, becomes more important and challenging.[44] The four repair facilities in the Pacific best positioned to repair ships that receive damage are located in Guam, San Diego, Everett, and Pearl Harbor, as well as at the joint U.S.-Japanese ship repair service in Yokosuka, Japan.[45] A common U.S.-Japan platform that shares the same design and components would be better able to repair battle damage in forward repair facilities in an expeditionary and expeditious manner. Spreading the battle repair capability across the theater reduces risks in the offensively-postured DL concept.

Counterarguments

The U.S. Navy and JMSDF have achieved strong interoperability through years of conducting bilateral exercises. Having both nations producing their own warships and then achieving close interoperability through joint operations remain a convincing argument to maintain the status quo. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) have been useful mechanisms to transfer U.S. technology and reaping the benefit of technology flowback from Japanese R&D. The current system of Japan license-producing U.S. systems has preserved Japans status as an important client of U.S. defense systems.

The Fighter Support Experimental (FS-X) co-development project in the 1980s showed that terms and conditions of technology transfer and flowback must be equitably worked out, or Japan may also balk at pursuing a joint development with the U.S. Japan received U.S. assistance for the first time in the design and development of an advanced fighter.[46] The Japanese saw co-development as a next stage in the process toward indigenous production, as the technical data packages transferred not only manufacturing processes or know-how, but full design process or know-why as well.[47] Prominent politicians, however, such as the former-Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, clamored in op-ed pieces for Japan to step out from Uncle Sams shadow and pursue an independent development vice a joint development.[48] Speaking for many of the Japanese policy elites who shared his sentiments, the FSX would give away [Japans] most advanced defense technology to the United States but pay licensing and patent fees for each piece of technology we use. Washington refuses to give us the know-how we need most, attaches a battery of restrictions to the rest and denies us commercial spinoffs.[49] If the terms of co-development such as technology flowback and terms and conditions of tech transfer are not equitably worked out, Japan may also balk at pursuing a joint development with the U.S.

These arguments have strong logic, but they still have flaws. Japan has followed the license-production model of producing U.S. systems for decades following WWII. To provide a few examples, Japan has produced the F-104 fighter, SH-60 helicopter, P-3C Orion anti-submarine patrol craft, and Patriot missiles under license. In many instances, Japanese engineers made significant improvements and enhancements to U.S. designs.[50] While license-production has advantages in guaranteeing technology flowback, it only works if the platform being license-produced is already a proven effective platform. In the case of frigates, there is no such platform yet. The LCS has too many issues for it to be a viable future frigate that could replace JMSDFs light escort destroyers. With no viable alternative to the future frigate design, the U.S. risks going at it alone on a program that has already consumed precious time and resources on the problematic LCS program. It is unlikely that Japan would want to produce or buy an ineffective and problematic platform.

Finally, the age of Japan license-producing U.S. weapon systems is increasingly an outmoded framework. While there is no ally with whom the U.S. has more commonality in defense hardware than Japan, these programs function in a manner largely detached from any real strategic vision.[51] The transfer of leading edge U.S. systems (coproduction of the F-15 fighter, the sale of Aegis-equipped warships, even the transfer of 767-based AWACS early warning aircraft) was carried out in an episodic and disjointed manner.[52] What is needed is a joint R&D program based on bilateral operational requirements from the outset, which nests with the Surface Force Strategy of the 21st century to ensure joint interoperability. In order for Japan to break the model of U.S. as patron / supplier Japan as client / recipient,[53] Japan must also step up defense R&D and burden-share on a future platform that will mutually benefit the security of the Pacific. The U.S. must also be open to the idea of cooperative partnership in ship development and production that would benefit the U.S. primarily through greater security, and distance itself from the notion that co-development would only benefit Japan.

A Frigate for the 21st Century

Cooperative development of the future frigate would mutually benefit the U.S. and Japan and the security of the Pacific for the greater part of the 21st century. A common platform would enhance interoperability by basing its design on bilateral operational requirements and integrating it into Surface Force Strategys distributed lethality concept. Furthermore, this strategy would reduce seams in the current strategy by burden-sharing sea control responsibilities with existing platforms, principally the Arleigh Burke DDGs, and increase the size of USN and JMSDF fleets by factoring in joint planning and collective self-defense considerations.

In an age of limited resources and persistent cost growth in unilateral defense programs, a joint development program offers solutions by reducing cost through burden-sharing R&D, leveraging economies of scale and comparative advantage to favor both nations. A shared platform would enhance operational logistics and maintenance through the use of same components, streamlining bilateral inventory, and enhancing expeditionary repair capability. Therefore, the joint development of a frigate would improve operational, industrial, and logistical capabilities of the alliance in a concrete manner. Ultimately, this project would enhance the U.S.-Japan collective defense and security to counterbalance Chinas revisionist policy in the maritime sphere.

Joint frigate development is not only a good idea, but it is also an achievable and realistic proposition. If increasing fleet size is a necessity for U.S. and Japan, why not choose the most financially pragmatic and feasible option? Relative declines in defense budgets rule out the ability of any country to be completely autonomous in defense acquisitions.[54] Cooperative development and production have become a necessitynot an indulgence.[55] Thus, a practical strategy that utilizes the resources of more than one country effectively will gain the advantage over adversaries that commit only their own industry. It would behoove the U.S. and Japan to prepare for a future contingency during peacetime by forging a stronger alliance through developing an effective platform that increases fleet size and interoperability, brings defense industries closer, and improves logistics and maintenance.

The U.S. and Japans security relationship has developed into a robust alliance spanning the breadth of all instruments of national policy and interests. In the next phase of the alliance, the U.S. and Japan should undertake a major cooperative shipbuilding project that broadly encompasses the industrial might of these two nations, to safeguard the maritime commons that underwrites the security of the Pacific and the global economy. Let that project be the joint development of the next generation multi-mission frigate that will serve for the majority of the 21st century.

LCDR Jason Yuki Osuga is a graduate of the Advanced Strategist Program at the Naval War College, and is the prospective Naval Attach to Japan.

Endnotes

[1] John Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2014), 363.

[2] Red Ink Rising, The Economist, March 3, 2016. Accessed on April 16, 2017 in http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21693963-china-cannot-escape-economic-reckoning-debt-binge-brings-red-ink-rising

[3] National Intelligence Council, Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, NIC 2012-001, December 2012, 16. Accessed on https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/GlobalTrends_2030.pdf

[4] Mearsheimer, 335.

[5] Robert D. Blackwell and Ashley J. Tellis, Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China,Council on Foreign Relations, Council Special Report No. 72, March 2015, 39.

[6] Secretary of the Navy Announces Need for 355-ship Navy, 2016 Force Structure Assessment (FSA), December 14, 2016. Accessed on April 10, 2017 in http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=98160

[7] Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., Big Wars, Small Ships: CSBAs Alternative Navy Praised by Sen. McCain, Breaking Defense, February 09, 2017.

[8] Office of the Secretary of Defense, Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the Peoples Republic of China, April 26, 2016, 66.

[9] Ibid, 27.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid, 26.

[12] Michael McDevitt, Beijings Dream: Becoming a Maritime Superpower, National Interest, July 1, 2016, cited in Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes, Chinas Rising Sea Power, Foreign Policy Research Institute, November 5, 2016, 95.

[13] Patrick M. Cronin, Mira Rapp-Hooper, Harry Krejsa, Alex Sullivan, Beyond the San Hai: The Challenge of Chinas Blue-Water Navy, Center for a New American Security (CNAS), May 2017, 2.

[14] Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes, Chinas Rising Sea Power,Foreign Policy Research Institute,November 5, 2016, 95.

[15] Yoshihara and Holmes, 95.

[16] Yoshihara and Holmes, 95.

[17] Interview with Professor Toshi Yoshihara, November 06, 2016.

[18] Chief of Naval Operations, ADM John Richardson, The Future Navy, May 17, 2017. Accessed on May 21, 2017 in http://www.navy.mil/navydata/people/cno/Richardson/Resource/TheFutureNavy.pdf

[19] Commander, Naval Surface Force, Surface Force Strategy: Return to Sea Control, January 9, 2017.

[20] VADM Thomas Rowden, RADM Peter Gumataotao, RADM Peter Fanta, Distributed Lethality, Proceedings, 141, no. 1 (2015): 5.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Commander, Naval Surface Force, Surface Force Strategy: Return to Sea Control, January 9, 2017.

[23] Jeffrey McConnell, NavalIntegratedFireControlCounterAir Capability Based System of Systems Engineering, NavalSurfaceWarfareCenter,DahlgrenDivision, November 14, 2013.

[24] Sam LaGrone, Planned Japan[ese] Self Defense Force Aircraft Buys, Destroyer Upgrades Could Tie Into U.S. Navys Networked Battle Force, USNI News, June 10, 2015.

[25] US Navys Cruiser Problem Service Struggles Over Modernization, Replacements, Defense News, July 7, 2014. Accessed April 22, 2017 in http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/archives/2014/07/07/us-navy-s-cruiser-problem-service-struggles-over-modernization-replacements/78531650/

[26] Government Accountability Office, Littoral Combat Ship and Frigate: Congress Faced with Critical Acquisition Decisions, GAO-17-262T, December 1, 2016, 1. Accessed on APR 06, 2017 in http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/681333.pdf

[27] Chief of Naval Operations, ADM John Richardson, The Future Navy, May 17, 2017. Accessed on May 21, 2017 in http://www.navy.mil/navydata/people/cno/Richardson/Resource/TheFutureNavy.pdf

[28] Naval History and Heritage Command, U.S. Ship Force Levels: 1886-present, U.S. Navy, accessed March 4, 2017, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/us-ship-force-levels.html. Graph courtesy of LCDR Benjamin Amdur.

[29] Interview with Professor Toshi Yoshihara, Strategy and Policy Dept., Naval War College, November 06, 2017.

[30] ADM Jonathan Greenert, Payloads over Platforms: Charting a New Course, Proceedings, 138, no. 7 (2012): 16, https://search.proquest.com/docview/1032965033?accountid=322 (accessed January 12, 2017).

[31] Eric Wertheim, The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2007), 374.

[32] Nobuhiro Kubo, Japan to Speed up Frigate Build to Reinforce East China Sea, Reuters, February 17, 2017, accessed on March 4, 2017 in http://in.reuters.com/article/japan-navy-frigates-idINKBN15W150.

[33] Mina Pollman, Discussion on Grand Strategy and International Order with Barry Posen, January 6, 2017, accessed on http://cimsec.org/barry-posen-draft/30281.

[34]Richard J. Samuels,Rich Nation, Strong Army:National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, 1994), 239

[35] J. Michael Cole, US, Japan to Jointly Develop Littoral Combat Ship, The Diplomat, March 7, 2014. Accessed on January 5, 2016, http://thediplomat.com/2014/03/us-japan-to-jointly-develop-littoral-combat-ship/

[36] Gidget Fuentes, Japans Maritime Chief Takei: U.S. Industry, Military Key to Address Western Pacific Security Threats, United States Naval Institute News, February 22, 2016. Accessed on January 5, 2016, https://news.usni.org/2016/02/22/japans-maritime-chief-takei-u-s-industry-military-key-to-address-western-pacific-security-threats.

[37] Fuentes.

[38] Fuentes.

[39] Interview with Professor Toshi Yoshihara, Naval War College, S&P Dept., November 06, 2017.

[40] Megan Eckstein, U.S., Japanese Destroyers Conduct First-Of-Kind Parts Swaps During Interoperability Exercise, USNI News, March 17, 2017. Accessed on March 31, 2017 in https://news.usni.org/2017/03/17/u-s-japanese-destroyers-conduct-first-ever-parts-swaps.

[41] Christopher Cedros, Distributed Lethality and the Importance of Ship Repair, The Strategy Bridge, February 14, 2017.

[42] Cedros.

[43] Cedros.

[44] Cedros.

[45] Cedros.

[46] Samuels, 238.

[47] Samuels, 241.

[48] Shintaro Ishihara, FSX Japans Last Bad Deal, New York Times, January 14, 1990. Accessed on April 20, 2017 in http://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/14/business/forum-fsx-japan-s-last-bad-deal.html

[49] Ishihara.

[50] Samuels, 276.

[51] Gregg A. Rubinstein, Armaments Cooperation in U.S.-Japan Security Relations, in Pacific Forum CSIS (ed.), United States Japan Strategic Dialogue: Beyond the Defense Guidelines, Honolulu, 2001, 90.

Original post:

Forging a Closer Maritime Alliance: The Case for US-Japan Joint Frigate Development – CIMSEC

Fair Usage Law

July 17, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Regional hegemony – Wikipedia

In international relations, regional hegemony is the influence exercised over neighboring countries by an independently powerful nation, the regional hegemon. The relationship between regional hegemons and the other states within their spheres of influence is analogous to the relationship between a global hegemon and the other states in the international system.

The prominent international relations scholar John Mearsheimer writes extensively about the pursuit of regional hegemony in his book, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. According to his theory, known as offensive realism, the anarchic nature of the international system, the desire for survival, and the uncertainty about other states’ intentions ultimately lead states to pursue regional hegemony. According to Mearsheimer, global hegemony is an unattainable goal; instead, a state which has achieved the level of regional hegemon will then work to prevent the development of peer competitors in other regions.

Contemporary examples are often politically sensitive or arguable. Often analysis of regional hegemons are based on a specific context or perspective which renders their identification subjective. The United States is a clear example of a regional hegemon in the Americas.[1]

Other regional hegemons include:

The rest is here:

Regional hegemony – Wikipedia

Fair Usage Law

July 12, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Subjective reporting and characterization threaten global stability – Asia Times

Media reports and pundit opinions about China (or any other country) shape public opinion. The negative view that the majority of people in English-speaking countries (more than 50% according to Pew and Gallup polls) hold about China is based on media reports and the characterization of pundits because most dont understand the country.

In this way, public opinion can be manipulated because the public believes whatever the media and pundits propagate. And public opinion matters because itinfluences public policies and, in the US, presidential elections.

The DailyBrief

Must-reads from across Asia – directly to your inbox

Fake news and narratives mislead the public into supporting questionable conflicts. The Vietnam War, based on false accusations that North Vietnam attacked a US warship, cost the lives of more than 50,000 Americans and an indeterminate number of Vietnamese. More than5,000 Americans and 175,000 Iraqis lost their lives in the Iraq conflict, triggered by false claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. In both conflicts, many more people were wounded.

The US Department of Defense has estimated that the Vietnam War cost US$168 billion much more in todaysdollars. Depending on which study one believes, the cost of the Iraq war ranged from $2.1 trillion (Brown University) to more than$3.5 trillion (Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz).

Inventing information to cultivate public support for a military and/or trade war with China would be far more costly and dangerous. Both countries have enough conventional and nuclear weapons to wipe each other off the face of the planet, taking much of the rest of the globe with them.

Further, China is the USs largest trading partner and the fastest-growing export market, reaching two-way trade value of US$560 billion in 2016. The US-China Business Council estimates that the trade relationship is responsible for more than2.6 million jobs in the US. According to Forbes, Chinese companies invested nearly $54 billion, and Chinese-owned firms have created more than140,000 jobs in the US. Further, the two economies are increasingly intertwined, as the US outsources production to China.

In reporting the 2014 unrest in Hong Kong by Umbrella Movement protesters who claimed the Chinese government has reneged on democracy for the former British colony, Western media and pundits considered only the views of protest leaders. Rare interviews of bystanders complaining about the protests were dismissed as mainland plants because they spoke withwhat the mediathought to be a mainland accent.

This cherry-picking reporting style does not pass the smell test because some of those interviewed did have ulterior motives. But if the media claim to be independent and objective, they have aresponsibility to listen to all sides.

Michael Pillsbury, a former US government official who is now a defense-policy analyst, warns that China is planning to supplant the US as the global hegemon. In his 2015 bookThe 100-Year Marathon, he accuses Chinese leaders of using devious means to trick US leaders into believing that China will become like the US in asking for US help to develop the economy.

Why moving pieces on the chessboard is considered strategy but moving stones on the Go board is deception has never been made clear.

Pillsbury opines that the Chinese are devious because of the way they play the chess-like game Go (Weiqi), which China invented more than 2,500 years ago. Unlike Westerners using strategy to move pieces on a chessboard, the Chinese are said to deploy deception in moving the stones to defeat or surround a Go opponent. Why moving pieces on the chessboard is considered strategy but moving stones on the Go board is deception has never been made clear.

Pillsbury illustrates Chinese deception by suggesting that Mao Tse-tung staged a military clash with the Soviet Union in 1969 to lure US President Richmond Nixon to China for a rapprochement between their two countries. The problem with his theory is that Nixons intention to reach out to China had already been revealed in a 1967 article in the US-based magazine Foreign Affairs. In that piece, Nixonrecognized that China was too big to be shut out and that the country could help the US contain Soviet communism.

Moreover, the China-Soviet conflictwas over border disputes. Lenin is said to have promised the return to China of all land that Czarist Russia had annexed. But the Soviet leadership later renegedon that promise.

Deng Xiaoping opened China to the outside world to modernize the countrys economy. He sent cadres overseas to study, and bought advanced UStechnology primarily to stimulateeconomic growth.

Deng and other Chinese leaders might, in fact, have dismissed the notion thatUS-style ideology could work in China because of differences in history, culture, polity and social values. Indeed, they were horrified at the outcomes incountries that did adopt US-style liberalism, prompting former Chinese President Hu Jintao to conclude that democracy is a dead end in China, years before Pillsbury published his book.

John Mearsheimer, aUniversity of Chicago scholar, has concluded that Chinas rise will not be peaceful. He argues that a rising China would demand a piece of the action, while the US is equally determined to prevent China from attaining its ambitions. Therefore, he opines that the US and China will fall into the Thucydides trap which posits that war is inevitable when one great power threatens to displace another. Mearsheimer also has history on his side, in that mostwars have beenfought over a rising power challenging anexisting one or vice-versa.

However, Mearsheimer left out three important factors that did not exist in earlier wars. One, the Chinese and American economies are increasingly intertwined. Two, both the US and China are nuclear powers with enough bombs to destroy each other. Three, China is not directly challenging US hegemony, unless one interprets forging a different ideological path and defending core interests as a challenge to US dominance.

The manufactured China threat has squandered economic opportunities, incurred huge costs and posed a significant danger to all.

US freedom of navigation and overflight operations in the South China Sea destabilizes the region and wastes taxpayers money. Putting on a show of force and producing weapons costs billions of dollars. Whats more, China is deploying fighter jets, warships and missiles to deter what it considers US provocation. Sooner or later a miscalculation could occur, leading to war.

Further, a trade war between the US and China would trigger an economic earthquake. The world trading order might collapse, bringing down the globalized economy.

It is time the Anglo-American press and pundits stop spreading fake newsabout China.

Ken Moak taught economic theory, public policy and globalization at university level for 33 years. He co-authored a book titled China’s Economic Rise and Its Global Impact (Palgrave McMillan, 2015). His latest book is titled, Developed Nations and the Impact of Globalization and it will be published by Palgrave McMillan Springer in 2017.

continue reading

Originally posted here:

Subjective reporting and characterization threaten global stability – Asia Times

Fair Usage Law

July 12, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Fake News on Russia in the New York Times, 1917-2017 – Dissident Voice

by Edward S. Herman / July 8th, 2017

It has been amusing watching the New York Times (Times) and its fellow mainstream media (MSM) cohort express their dismay over the rise and spread of fake news. They take it as an obvious truth that what they provide is straightforward and unbiased fact-based news. They do offer such news, but they also provide a steady flow of their own varied forms of genuinely fake news, often in disseminating false or misleading information supplied them by the CIA, other branches of government, and sites of corporate power. An important form of MSM fake news is that which is presented while suppressing information that calls the preferred news into question. This was the case with The Lie That Wasnt Shot Down, the title of a January 18, 1988 Times editorial referring to a propaganda claim of five years earlier that the editors had swallowed and never looked into any further. The liethat the Soviets knew that Korean airliner 007, which they shot down on August 31, 1983, was a civilian planewas eventually uncovered by congressman Lee Hamilton, not by the Times.

MSM fake news is especially likely where a party line is quickly formed on a topic, with deviationism therefore immediately looking nave, unpatriotic or simply wrong. In a dramatic illustration, in a book chapter entitled Worthy and Unworthy Victims, Noam Chomsky and I showed that coverage by Time, Newsweek, CBS News and the New York Times of the 1984 murder of the priest Jerzy Popieluzko in communist Poland, a dramatic and politically useful event for the politicized western MSM, exceeded their coverage of the murders of 100 religious figures killed in Latin America by U.S. client states in the post-World War II years taken together. It was cheap and free of any negative feedback to focus heavily on the worthy victim, whereas looking closely at the deaths of the 100 would have required an expensive and sometimes dangerous research effort and would have upset the State Department. But it was a form of fake news to discriminate so heavily with news (and indignation) on a politically useful victim while ignoring large numbers whose murder the political establishments wanted downplayed or completely suppressed.

The Fake News Tradition on Russia in the New York Times

Fake news on Russia is a Times tradition that can be traced back at least as far as the 1917 revolution. In a classic study of the papers coverage of the Russian revolution from February 1917 to March 1920, Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz found that From the point of view of professional journalism the reporting of the Russian Revolution is nothing short of a disaster. On the essential questions the net effect was almost always misleading, and misleading news is worse than none at all.They can fairly be charged with boundless credulity, and an untiring readiness to be gulled, and on many occasions with a downright lack of common sense. Lippmann and Merz found that strong editorial bias clearly fed into news reporting. The editors very much wanted the communists to lose, and serving this end caused the paper to report atrocities that didnt happen and the imminent fall of the Bolshevik regime on a regular basis (at least 91 times). There was a heavy and uncritical acceptance of official handouts and reliance on statements from unidentified high authority. This was standard Times practice.

This fake news performance of 1917-1920 was repeated often in the years that followed. The Soviet Union was an enemy target up to World War II, and Times coverage was consistently hostile. With the end of World War II and the Soviet Union at that point a major military power, and soon a rival nuclear power, the Cold War was on. Anti-communism became a major U.S. religion, and the Soviet Union was quickly found to be trying to conquer the world and needing containment. With this ideology in place and U.S. plans for its own real global expansion of power well established, the communist threat would now help sustain the steady growth of the military-industrial complex and repeated interventions to deal with purported Soviet aggressions.

An Early Great Crime: Guatemala

One of the most flagrant cases in which the Russian threat was used to justify U.S.-organized violence was the overthrow of the social democratic government of Guatemala in 1954 by a small proxy army invading from U.S. ally Somozas Nicaragua. This action was provoked by government reforms that upset U.S. officials, including a 1947 law permitting the formation of labor unions, and government plans to buy back (at tax rate valuations) and distribute to landless peasants some of the unused land owned by United Fruit Company and other large landowners. The U.S., which had been perfectly content with the earlier 14-year- long dictatorship of Jose Ubico, could not tolerate this democratic challenge and the elected government, led by Jacobo Arbenz, was soon charged with assorted villainies, with the main fake news base of an alleged Red capture of the Guatemalan government.

In the pre-invasion propaganda campaign the unified MSM leveled a stream of false charges of extreme repression, threats to its neighbors, and the communist takeover. The Times featured these alleged abuses and threats repeatedly from 1950 onward (my favorite, Sidney Grusons How Communists Won Control of Guatemala, March 1, 1953). Arbenz and his predecessor, Juan Jose Arevalo, had carefully avoided establishing any embassies with Soviet bloc countries, fearing U.S. reactions. But it was to no avail. Following the removal of Arbenz and installation of a right-wing dictatorship, court historian Ronald Schneider, after studying 50,000 documents seized from communist sources in Guatemala, found that not only did the communists never control the country, but that the Soviet Union made no significant or even material investment in the Arbenz regime and was too preoccupied with internal problems to concern itself with Central America.

The coup government quickly attacked and decimated the organized groups that had formed in the democratic era, like peasant, worker and teacher organizations. Arbenz had won 65 percent of the votes in a free election, but the liberator Castillo Armas quickly won a plebiscite with 99.6 percent of the vote. Although this is a result familiar in totalitarian regimes, the MSM had lost interest in Guatemala and barely mentioned this electoral outcome. The Times had claimed back in 1950 that U.S. Guatemala policy is not trying to block social and economic progress but is interested in seeing that Guatemala becomes a liberal democracy. But in the aftermath the editors failed to note that the result of U.S. policy was precisely to block social and economic progress, and via the installation of a regime of terror.

In 2011, more than half a century after 1954, Elizabeh Malkin reported in the Times that Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom had apologized for that great crime [the violent overthrow of the Arbenz government in 1954] an act of aggression to a government starting its democratic spring. (An apology for a Guatemalan Coup, 57 Years Later, October 20, 2011). Malkin mentions that, according to president Colom, the Arbenz family is seeking an apology from the United States for its role in the great Crime. There has never been any apology or even acknowledgement of its role in the Great Crime by the editors of the New York Times.

Another Great Crime: Vietnam

There were many fake news reports in the Times and other mainstream publications during the Vietnam war. The claim that the Times was anti-Vietnam-war is misleading and essentially false. In Without Fear or Favor, former Times reporter Harrison Salisbury acknowledged that in 1962, when U.S. intervention escalated, the Times was deeply and consistently supportive of the war policy. He contends that the paper became steadily more oppositional from 1965, culminating in the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. But Salisbury fails to recognize that from 1954 to the present the paper never abandoned the Cold War framework and language of apologetics, according to which the U.S. was resisting somebody elses aggression and protecting South Vietnam. The paper never applied the word aggression to this country, but used it freely in referring to North Vietnamese actions and those of the National Liberation Front in the southern half of Vietnam.

The various halts in the U.S. bombing war in 1965 and later in the alleged interest of giving peace a chance were also fake news, as the Johnson administration used the halts to quiet antiwar protests, while making it clear to the Vietnamese that U.S. officials demanded full surrender. The Times and its colleagues swallowed this bait without a murmur of dissent.

Furthermore, although from 1965 onward the Times was willing to publish more information that put the war in a less favorable light, it never broke from its heavy dependence on official sources or its reluctance to check out official lies or explore the damage being wrought on Vietnam and its civilian population by the U.S. war machine. In contrast with its eager pursuit of Cambodian refugees from the Khmer Rouge after April 1975, the paper rarely sought out testimony from the millions of Vietnamese refugees fleeing U.S. bombing and chemical warfare. In its opinion columns as well, the new openness was limited to commentators who accepted the premises of the war and would confine their criticisms to its tactical problems and costs;to us. From beginning to end those who criticized the war as aggression and immoral at its root were excluded from the debate by the Times.

The 1981 Papal Assassination Attempt. The Missile Gap, and Humanitarian Intervention in Yugoslavia

Papal Assassination Attempt. A major contribution to Cold War propaganda was provided by fake news on the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in Rome in May 1981. This was a time when the Reagan administration was trying hard to demonize the Soviet Union as an evil empire. The shooting of the Pope by the Turkish fascist Ali Agca was quickly tied to Moscow, helped by Agcas confession, after 17 months imprisonment, interrogations, threats, inducements, and access to the media, that the Bulgarians and Soviet KGB were behind it. There was never any credible evidence of this connection, the claims were implausible, and the corruption in the process was remarkable. (See Manufacturing Consent, chapter 4 and Appendix 2). And Agca also periodically claimed to be Jesus Christ. The case against the Bulgarians (and implicitly the KGB) was lost even in Italys extremely biased and politicized judicial framework. But the Times bought it, and gave it long, intensive and completely uncritical attention, as did most of the U.S. media.

In 1991, in Senate hearings on the qualifications of Robert Gates to head the CIA, former CIA officer Melvin Goodman testified that the CIA knew [from the start that Agcas confessions were false because they had very good penetration of the Bulgarian secret services. The Times omitted this statement by Goodman in reporting on his testimony. In the same year. with Bulgaria now a member of the Free World, conservative analyst Allen Weinstein obtained permission to examine Bulgarian secret service files on the papal assassination attempt. His mission was widely reported when he went, including in the Times, but when he returned without having found anything implicating Bulgaria or the KGB, a number of papers, including the Times, found this not newsworthy.

Missile Gap. There was a great deal of fake news in the missile gap and other gap eras, from roughly 1975 to 1986, with Times reporters passing along official and often false news in a regular stream. An important case occurred in the mid-1970s, at a time when the U.S. war-party was trying to escalate the Cold War and arms race. A 1975 report of CIA professionals found that the Soviets were aiming only for nuclear parity. This was unsatisfactory, so CIA head George H.W. Bush appointed a new team of hardliners, who soon found that the Soviets were achieving nuclear superiority and getting ready to fight a nuclear war. This Team B report was taken at face value in a Times front page article of December 26, 1976 by David Binder, who failed to mention its political bias or purpose and made no attempt by tapping experts with different views to get at the truth. The CIA admitted in 1983 that the Team B estimates were fabrications. But throughout this period, 1975-1986, the Times supported the case for militarization by disseminating lots of fake news. Much of this false information was convincingly refuted by Tom Gervasi in his classic The Myth of Soviet Military Supremacy (New York: Harper & Row, 1986), a book never reviewed in the paper despite the papers frequent attention to its subject matter.

Yugoslavia and Humanitarian Intervention. The 1990s wars of dismantlement of Yugoslavia succeeded in removing an independent government from power and replacing it with a broken Serbian remnant and poor and unstable failed states in Bosnia and Kosovo. It did provide unwarranted support for the new concept of humanitarian intervention, which rested on a mass of fake news. The demonized Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was not an ultra-nationalist seeking a Greater Serbia, but rather a non-aligned leader on the Western hit list who tried to help Serb minorities in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo remain in Yugoslavia as the U.S. and EU supported a legally questionable exodus by several constituent Yugoslav Republics. He supported each of the proposed settlements of these conflicts, sabotaged by Bosnian and U.S. officials who wanted better terms or the outright military defeat of Serbia, the latter of which they achieved. Milosevic had nothing to do with the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre, which involved Bosnian Serbs taking revenge on Bosnian Muslim soldiers who had been ravaging nearby Bosnian Serb villages from their base in Srebrenica under NATO protection. The several thousand Serb civilian deaths were essentially unreported in the MSM, while the numbers of Srebrenica executed victims were correspondingly inflated. The Timess reporting on these events was fake news on a systematic basis.

The Putin Era: A Golden Age of Fake News

The U.S. establishment was shocked and thrilled with the 1989-1991 fall of the Soviet Union, and its members were happy with the policies carried out under President Boris Yeltsin, a virtual U.S. client, under whose rule ordinary Russians suffered a calamity but a small set of oligarchs was able to loot the broken state. Yeltsins election victory in 1996, greatly assisted by U.S. consultants, advice and money, and otherwise seriously corrupt, was, for the editors of the Times, A Victory for Russian Democracy (NYT, ed, July 4, 1996). They were not bothered by either the electoral corruption, the creation of a grand-larceny-based economic oligarchy, or, shortly thereafter, the new rules centralizing power in the office of president.

Yeltsins successor, Vladimir Putin, by gradually abandoning the Yeltsin era subservience was thereby perceived as a steadily increasing menace. His re-election in 2012, although surely less corrupt than Yeltsins in 1996, was treated harshly in the media. The lead Times article on May 5, 2012 featured a slap in the face from OSCE observers, claims of no real competition, and thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in Moscow square to chant Russia without Putin (Ellen Barry and Michael Schwartz, After Election, Putin Faces Challenges to Legitimacy). There had been no challenges to legitimacy reported in the Times after Yeltsins corrupt victory in 1996.

The process of Putin demonization escalated with the Ukraine crisis of 2014 and its sequel of Kiev warfare against Eastern Ukraine, Russian support of the East Ukraine resistance, and the Crimean referendum and absorption of Crimea by Russia. This was all declared aggression by the U.S. and its allies and clients, sanctions were imposed on Russia, and a major U.S.-NATO military buildup was initiated on Russias borders. Tensions mounted further with the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over southeastern Ukraine, effectively, but almost surely falsely, blamed on the pro-Russian rebels and Russia itself.

A further cause of demonization and anti-Russian hostility resulted from the escalated Russian intervention in Syria from 2015 in support of Bashar al-Saddad and against ISIS and al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaeda. The U.S. and its NATO and Middle East allies had been committing aggression against Syria, in de facto alliance with ISIS and al-Nusra, for several years. Russian intervention turned the tide, the U.S. (Saudi, etc.) goal of removing Saddad was upset and the tacit U.S. allies ISIS and al-Nusra were also weakened. Certainly demonic behavior by Putin!

The Times has treated these further developments with unstinting apologeticsfor the February 2014 coup in Kiev, which it never calls a coup, with the U.S. role in the overthrow of the elected government of Victor Yanukovych suppressed, and with anger and horror at the Crimea referendum and Russian absorption, which it never allows to be a defensive response to the Kiev coup. Its call for punishment of the casualty-free Russian aggression in Crimea is in marked contrast with its apologetics for the million-plus-casualtyrich U.S. aggression of choice (not defensive) in Iraq from March 2003 on. The editors and liberal columnist Paul Krugman angrily cite Putins lack of respect for international law, with their internalized double standard exempting their own country from criticism for its repeated violations of that law.

In the Timess reporting and opinion columns Russia is regularly assailed as expansionist and threatening its neighbors, but virtually no mention is made of NATOs expansion up to the Russian borders and first-strike-threat placement of anti-missile weapons in Eastern Europe, the latter earlier claimed to be in response to a missile threat from Iran! Analyses by political scientist John Mearsheimer and Russia authority Stephen F. Cohen that featured this NATO advance could not make it into the opinion pages of the Times. On the other hand, a member of the Russian Pussy Riot band, Maria Alyokhina, was given op-ed space to denounce Putin and Russia, and the punk-rock group was granted a meeting with the Times editorial board. Between January 1 and March 31, 2014 the paper had 23 articles featuring the Pussy Riot group and its alleged significance as a symbol of Russian limits on free speech. Pussy Riot had disrupted a church service in Moscow and only stopped upon police intervention, which was at the request of the church authorities. A two year prison sentence followed. In contrast, in February 2014, 84 year old Sister Megan Rice was sentenced to four years in prison in the U.S. for having entered a nuclear weapons site in July 2012 and carried out a symbolic protest action. The Times gave this news a tiny mention in its National Briefing section under the title Tennessee Nun is Sentenced for Peace Protest. No op-ed columns or meeting with the Times board for Rice. There are worthy and unworthy protesters as well as victims.

As regards Syria, with Russian help the Assad forces were able to dislodge the rebels from Aleppo, to the dismay of Washington and the MSM. It has been enlightening to see how much concern has been expressed over casualties to civilians in Aleppo, with pictures of forsaken children and many stories of civilian distress. The Times focused heavily on those civilians and children, with great indignation at Putin-Assad inhumanity, in sharp contrast with their virtual silence on civilian casualties in Falluja in 2004 and beyond, and recently in rebel-held areas of Syria, and in Mosul (Iraq), under U.S. and allied attack. The differential treatment of worthy and unworthy victims has been in full sway in dealing with Syria, displayed again with the chemical weapons casualties and Trump bombing response in April 2017 (discussed below).

A further and important phase of intensifying Russophobia may be dated from the October 2016 presidential debates, where Hillary Clinton declared that Mr. Trump would be a Putin puppet as president, and her campaign stressed this threat. This emphasis increased after the election, with the help of the media and intelligence services, as the Clinton camp sought to explain the election loss, maintain party control, and possibly get the election result overturned in the courts or electoral college by blaming the Trump victory on Russia.

The Putin connection was given great impetus by the January 6, 2017 release of a report of the Office of Director of National Intelligence (DNI), on Background of Assessing Russian Activities and Intention in Recent US Elections This short document spends more than half of its space describing the Russian-sponsored RT-TV network, which it treats as an illegitimate propaganda source given its sponsorship and sometimes critical reports on U.S. policy and institutions! RT is allegedly part of Russias influence campaign, and the DNI says that We assess the influence campaign aspired to help President-elect Trumps chances of victory when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to the President-elect. There is no semblance of proof that there was a planned campaign rather than an ongoing expression of opinion and news judgments. All the logic and proofs of a Russian influence campaign could be applied with at least equal force to U.S. media and Radio Free Europes treatment of any Russian election, and of course the U.S. intervention in the 1996 Russian election was overt, direct and went far beyond any influence campaign.

As regards the DNIs proof of a more direct Russian intervention in the U.S. election, the authors concede the absence of full supporting evidence, but they provide no supporting evidenceonly assertions, assessments, assumptions and guesses. It states that We assess that Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2015 designed to defeat Mrs. Clinton, and to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, but it provides no evidence whatsoever for any such order. It also provides no evidence that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the e-mails of Clinton and former Clinton campaign manager Podesta, or that it gave hacked information to WikiLeaks. Julian Assange and former British diplomat Craig Murray have repeatedly claimed that these sources were leaked by local insiders, not hacked by anybody. And the veteran intelligence agency experts William Binney and Ray McGovern also contend that the WikiLeaks evidence was surely leaked, not hacked. It is also notable that among the three intelligence agencies who signed the DNI document, only moderate confidence in its findings was expressed by the National Security Agency (NSA), the agency that would most clearly be in possession of proof of Russian hacking and transmission to WikiLeaks as well as any orders from Putin.

But the Times has taken the Russian hacking story as established fact, despite the absence of hard evidence (as with the Reds ruling Guatemala, the missile gaps, etc.). Times reporter David Sanger refers to the reports damning and surprisingly detailed account of Russias efforts to undermine the American electoral system, but he then acknowledges that the published report contains no information about how the agencies had come to their conclusions. The report itself includes the amazing statement that Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. This is a denial of the credibility of its own purported evidence (i.e., assessments). Furthermore, if the report was based on intercepts of conversations as well as hacked computer data, as Sanger and the DNI claim, why has the DNI failed to quote a single conversation showing Putins alleged orders and plans to destabilize the West?

The Times never cites or gives editorial space to William Binney, Ray McGovern or Craig Murray, who are dissident authorities on hacking technology, methodology and the specifics of the DNC hacks. But op-ed space was given to Louise Menschs What to ask about Russian hacking (NYT, March 17, 2017). Mensch is a notorious conspiracy theorist with no technical background in this area and who is described by Nathan Robinson and Alex Nichols as best-known for spending most of her time on Twitter issuing frenzied denunciations of imagined armies of online Putinbots and is one of the least credible people on the internet. But she is published in the Times because, in contrast with the well-informed and credible William Binney and Craig Murray, she follows the party line, taking Russian hacking of the DNC as a premise.

The CIAs brazen intervention in the election process in 2016 and 2017 broke new ground in secret service politicization. Former CIA head Michael Morell had an August 5, 2016 op-ed in the Times entitled I Ran the C.I.A. Now Im Endorsing Hillary Clinton; and former CIA boss Michael Hayden had an op-ed in the Washington Post just days before the election, entitled Former CIA Chief:- Trump is Russias Useful Fool (November 3, 2016). Morell had another op-ed in the Times on January 6, now openly assailing the new president (Trumps Dangerous Anti-CIA Crusade). These attacks were unrelievedly insulting to Trump and laudatory to Clinton, even making Trump a traitor; they also make it clear that Clintons more pugnacious approach to Syria and Russia is much preferred to Trumps leanings toward negotiation and cooperation with Russia.

This was also true of the further scandal with former Trump Defense Intelligence nominee Michael Flynns call from the Russian Ambassador, which possibly included exchanges about future Trump administration policy actions. This was quickly grasped by the outgoing Obama officials, security personnel and MSM, with the FBI interrogating Flynn and with widespread expressions of horror at Flynns action, allegedly possibly setting him up for blackmail. But such pre-inauguration meetings with Russian diplomats have been a common practice according to Jack Matlock, the U.S. ambassador to Russia under Reagan and Bush, and Matlock had personally arranged such a meeting for Jimmy Carter. Obamas own Russia adviser, Michael McFaul, admitted visiting Moscow for talks with officials in 2008 even before the election. Daniel Lazare makes a good case that not only are the illegality and blackmail threat implausible, but that the FBIs interrogation of Flynn also reeks of entrapment. And he asks what is wrong with trying to reduce tensions with Russia? Yet anti-Trump liberals are trying to convince the public that its all worse than Watergate.

So the political point of the Assessment seems to have been, at minimum, to tie the Trump administrations hands in its dealings with Russia. Some non-MSM analysts have argued that we may have been witnessing an incipient spy or palace coup, that fell short but still had the desired effect of weakening the new administration. The Times has not offered a word of criticism of this politicization and intervention in the election process by the intelligence agencies, and in fact the editors have been working with them and the Democratic Party as a loosely-knit team in a distinctly un- and anti-democratic program designed to reverse the results of the 2016 election, while using an alleged foreign electoral intervention as their excuse.

The Times and MSM in general have also barely mentioned the awkward fact that the allegedly Russian-hacked disclosures of the DNC and Clinton and Podesta e-mails described uncontested facts about real electoral manipulations on behalf of the Clinton campaign that the public had a right to know and that might well have affected election results. The focus on the evidence-free claims of a Russian hacking intrusion helped divert attention from the real electoral abuses disclosed by the WikiLeaks material. So here again, official and MSM fake news helped bury real news!

Another arrow in the campaign quiver labeling Trump a knowing or useful fool instrument of Putin was a private intelligence dossier written by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent working for Orbis Business Intelligence, a private firm hired by the DNC to dig up dirt on Trump. Steeles first report, delivered in June 2016, made numerous serious accusations against Trump, most notably that Trump had been caught in a sexual escapade in Moscow, that his political advance had been supported by the Kremlin for at least five years, under the direction of Putin, and with the further aims of sowing discord within the U.S. and disrupting the Western alliance. This document was based on alleged conversations by Steele with distant (Russian) officials; that is, strictly hearsay evidence, whose assertions, where verifiable, are sometimes erroneous. But it said just what the Democrats, MSM and CIA wanted said, so intelligence officials declared the author credible and the media lapped this up, with the Times covering over its own cooperation in this ugly denigration effort by calling the report unverified but nevertheless reporting its claims.

The Steele dossier also became a central part of the investigation and hearings on Russia-gate held by the House Intelligence Committee starting in March 2017, led by Democratic Representative Adam Schiff. While basing his opening statement on the hearsay-laden dossier, Schiff expressed no interest in establishing who funded the Steele effort (he produced 17 individual reports), the identity and exact status of the Russian officials who were the hearsay sources, and how much they were paid. Apparently talking to Russians with a design of influencing a U.S. presidential election is perfectly acceptable if the candidate supported by this Russian intrusion is anti-Russian!

The Times has played a major role in this Russophobia-enhancement process, reminiscent of its 1917-1920 performance in which, as noted back in 1920 boundless credulity, and an untiring readiness to be gulled characterized the news-making process. While quoting the CIAs admission that they were showing no hard evidence, but were relying on circumstantial evidence and capabilities, the Times was happy to spell these capabilities out at great length and imply that they proved something. Editorials and news articles have worked uniformly on the supposition that Russian hacking was proved, which it was not, and that the Russians had given these data to WikiLeaks, also unproven and strenuously denied by Assange and Murray. So these reiterated claims are arguably first class fake news swallowed as palatable facts.

The Times has run neck-and-neck with the Washington Post in stirring up fears of the Russian information war and improper involvement with Trump. The Times now easily conflates fake news with any criticism of established institutions, as in Mark Scott and Melissa Eddys Europe Combats a New Foe of Political Stability: Fake News, February 20, 2017. But what is more extraordinary is the uniformity with which the papers regular columnists accept as a given the CIAs Assessment of the Russian hacking and transmission to WikiLeaks, the possibility or likelihood that Trump is a Putin puppet, and the urgent need of a congressional and non-partisan investigation of these claims. This swallowing of a new war-party line has extended widely in the liberal media (e.g., Bill Moyers, Robert Reich, Ryan Lizza, Joan Walsh, Rachel Maddow, Katha Pollitt, Joshua Holland, the AlterNet web site, etc.).

Both the Times and Washington Post have given tacit support to the idea that this fake news threat needs to be curbed, possibly by some form of voluntary media-organized censorship or government intervention that would at least expose the fakery.

The Times has treated uncritically the Schiff hearings on dealing with Russian propaganda, and its opinion column by Louise Mensch strongly supports government hearings to expose Russian propaganda. Mensch names 26 individuals who should be interrogated about their contacts with Russians, and she supplies questions they should be asked.

The most remarkable media episode in this anti-influence-campaign campaign was the Washington Posts piece by Craig Timberg, Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, experts say (November 24, 2016). The article features a report by an anonymous author or authors, PropOrNot, that claims to have found 200 web sites that wittingly or unwittingly, were routine peddlers of Russian propaganda. While smearing these web sites, the experts refused to identify themselves allegedly out of fear of being targeted by legions of skilled hackers. As Matt Taibbi says, You want to blacklist hundreds of people, but you wont put your name to your claims? Take a hike. But the Post welcomed and featured this McCarthyite effort, which might well be a product of Pentagon or CIA information warfare. (And these entities are themselves well funded and heavily into the propaganda business.)

On December 23, 2016 President Obama signed the Portman-Murphy Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, which will supposedly allow this country to more effectively combat foreign (Russian, Chinese) propaganda and disinformation. It will encourage more government counter-propaganda efforts (which will, by patriotic definition, not be U.S. propaganda) and provide funding to non-government entities that will help in this enterprise. It is clearly a follow-on to the claims of Russian hacking and propaganda, and shares the spirit of the listing of 200 knowing or useful fools of Moscow featured in the Washington Post. Perhaps PropOrNot will qualify for a subsidy and be able to enlarge its list of 200. Liberals have been quiet on this new threat to freedom of speech, undoubtedly influenced by their fears of Russian-based fake news and propaganda. But they may wake up, even if belatedly, when Trump or one of his successors puts it to work on their own notions of fake news and propaganda.

The success of the war partys campaign to contain or overthrow any tendencies of Trump to ease tensions with Russia was dramatically clear in the Trump administrations speedy bombing response to the April 4, 2017 Syrian chemical weapons deaths. The Times and other MSM editors and journalists greeted this aggressive move with almost uniform enthusiasm, and once again did not require evidence of Assads guilt beyond their governments say-so. The action was damaging to Assad and Russia, but served the rebels well. But the MSM never ask cui bono? in cases like this. In 2003 a similar charge against Assad, which brought the U.S. to the brink of a full-scale bombing war in Syria, turned out to be a false flag operation, and some potent authorities believe the current case is equally problematic. But Trump moved quickly (and unlawfully) and any further rapproachement between this country and Russia was set back. The CIA, Pentagon, liberal-Democrats and rest of the war party had won an important skirmish in the struggle for and against permanent war.

Edward S. Herman is an economist and media analyst with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy and the media. Read other articles by Edward.

This article was posted on Saturday, July 8th, 2017 at 7:11pm and is filed under CIA, Disinformation, Espionage/”Intelligence”, Fake News, Guatemala, Media, Propaganda, Russia, Viet Nam.

Read the original post:

Fake News on Russia in the New York Times, 1917-2017 – Dissident Voice

Fair Usage Law

July 9, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Could new economic pressure change North Korea’s ambitions … – PBS NewsHour

JUDY WOODRUFF: There are no easy answers, and few good options, when it comes to dealing now with North Korea.

We look at whether new economic sanctions like those being considered at the United Nations could change the trajectory of the countrys nuclear ambitions with David Cohen, who served as undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department during the Obama administration. He also served as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2015 to 2017.

And John Mearsheimer, a West Point graduate and former Air Force officer, he writes extensively on strategic issues and is a political science professor at the University of Chicago. He also works with the U.S. intelligence community.

And we welcome both of you to the NewsHour.

I want to start with you, David Cohen.

We heard in Nick Schifrins report Ambassador Nikki Haley referring to countries doing business with North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions. What is the picture? Give us a picture of the financial and business dealings other countries do right now with the North.

DAVID COHEN, Former CIA and Treasury Dept. Official: Well, most of it is illicit, with the exception of the trade with China, and that tends to be in coal, in minerals and very few other items.

There are other countries around the world, in Africa in particular, in the Gulf, where you have North Korean laborers working and where you have North Korea selling weapons to these countries. That is in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and in violations of the sanctions.

And those transactions tend to flow through financial institutions in China in a way that is intended to be disguised from the international community, because they are illicit transactions.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, you have written that new sanctions could be written, could be enacted in a way that would put real pressure on the North. What would those look like?

DAVID COHEN: Well, what they would look like are sanctions principally focused on Chinese front companies and Chinese institutions that are facilitating this illicit trade.

If you look at the way that North Korea engages with the world today, there are a few nodes, 20, 40, 100 nodes, but its a limited sets of these companies and these financial institutions in China where the bulk of the financial activity occurs.

We could focus on those nodes, squeeze those nodes, and as a result of that, squeeze North Korea.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, John Mearsheimer, you have taken a look at this. Do you think that could work?

JOHN MEARSHEIMER, University of Chicago: No, I dont think sanctions will work, Judy, and I think there are two reasons for that.

One is that North Korea is not going to give up its nuclear weapons. Indeed, it would be crazy to give up its nuclear weapons. The United States is interested in regime change, and nuclear weapons are the ultimate deterrent.

So, you would have to inflict enormous pain on North Korea to get it to give up those nuclear weapons. I mean, you would really have to put tremendous economic pressure on them. And you cannot do that, in large part because the Chinese will not allow you to do it.

For China, North Korea is a vital strategic asset. For China, its imperative that the North Korean regime remain in place and that the regime not be toppled. Therefore, if we try to put really significant pressure, economic pressure, on Pyongyang, the Chinese will just move in and counter it and make sure that the North Korean regime survives.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me

JOHN MEARSHEIMER: And, again, that regime is determined to keep its nuclear weapons.

JUDY WOODRUFF: David Cohen, what about that?

DAVID COHEN: Well, Johns right that the North Korean regime looks at the nuclear weapons programs as the guarantor of regime survival.

But there is the possibility that there is a wedge that can be driven between the nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong-uns desire to stay in power. And the way to drive that wedge is by putting coercive, diplomatic and economic pressure on the regime in North Korea. We will need China to make this effective. We cannot do it over Chinas objections.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But his point is China wont do it.

DAVID COHEN: Well, I think we have not fully tested that proposition.

And one of the purposes served by the sanctions that were done last week and the sanctions that we can do is to encourage China to take this more seriously and to work with us.

JUDY WOODRUFF: John Mearsheimer, why cant that be why cant that happen?

JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Well, let me respond to Davids point.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Sure.

JOHN MEARSHEIMER: What President Trump wanted to do was, he wanted to get the Chinese to put significant pressure on North Korea to stop these nuclear tests and to reach some sort of modus vivendi with the United States.

But the Chinese could not do that. And the reason the Chinese could not do that and the reason they wont be able to implement Davids suggested policy is because the Chinese have remarkably little leverage over North Korea. And the North Koreans fully understand that. And the North Koreans dont play along with the Chinese when they put pressure on them, because the North Koreans fully understand that the Chinese need North Korea to survive.

And once the North Koreans understand that, it gives them significant room to basically poke the Chinese in the eye.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, David Cohen, what about his point that North Korea that China really does have limited leverage, not as much as I think some people have been thinking?

DAVID COHEN: They actually have quite a lot of leverage, in both the illicit and the illicit sorry the licit and the illicit financial activity that goes in North Korea.

They can squeeze North Korea on the coal sales. They can squeeze North Korea on their illicit financial activity. They will do it to an extent that doesnt cause a destabilizing situation in North Korea, but they can do it in a way that can make North Korea more interested in a potential negotiation.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So youre talking about threading a needle here, John Mearsheimer. It sounds like were talking about something in between doing nothing and doing a lot more.

JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Well, you can do a little bit more, but the point is to make the North Koreans give up their nuclear weapons, you have to put a great deal of pain, a great deal of punishment on them. And the Chinese are not going to play that game, because the Chinese are heavily dependent on maintaining a sovereign North Korea.

And the last thing they want to do is see the West bring North Korea to its knees, and then see North Korea crumble, and run the risk of South Korea incorporating North Korea into a greater Korea. This would be a strategic disaster for the Chinese. And this is why we have so little leverage over North Korea when we try to go through the Chinese.

JUDY WOODRUFF: What about that?

DAVID COHEN: Well, I think that John and I agree that it would require an extraordinary amount of pressure to bring the North Koreans to the table.

My point is that we ought to try. The alternative is to sort of accept a North Korea with a nuclear weapon, with an ICBM. There is the potential that we can use pressure working with the Chinese to thread that needle to bring the North Koreans to the table and to find a way to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, which the Chinese have been very clear about for many years is also their policy preference, is a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And to bring perhaps this would bring them to the table to talk in that way.

DAVID COHEN: Correct.

JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, were not going to resolve

(CROSSTALK)

JUDY WOODRUFF: Go ahead.

I think what we agree John Mearsheimer, quick comment?

JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Yes, just very quickly.

Lets assume that Davids right, and we can put tremendous pressure on the North Koreans. Do we really want to do that? Do we want to back a nuclear-armed state run by Kim Jong-un into a corner? Isnt that the most likely scenario where they might use nuclear weapons, when theyre desperate?

DAVID COHEN: Well, I think the most likely scenario is if we threaten them militarily. And I think its very important we exercise restraint militarily in the short-term.

I think this is a long-term plan that needs to be implemented smartly, but it can be accomplished.

JUDY WOODRUFF: I think what everybody agrees is, there is a lot at stake here.

David Cohen, John Mearsheimer, thank you both.

JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Youre welcome.

See the original post here:

Could new economic pressure change North Korea’s ambitions … – PBS NewsHour

Fair Usage Law

July 7, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Modi’s Israel Visit Shows India Is Eager to Be Seen in a Public Embrace of State Terrorism – The Wire

External Affairs What could the bond between Modi and Netanyahu, who seem to have a degree of unquestioned authority within their countries, be?

PM Narendra Modi (left), Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu. (Credit: Reuters)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is travellingto Israel on July 4 for a three-day visit while avoiding any manner of contact with Palestinian political authorities or civil society. This visit is widely heralded as a key moment in Indias foreign relations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made no secret of his eagerness to host an event to mark a quarter century of diplomatic ties. My friend is how Netanyahu has addressed Modi on Twitter. The Israeli media is in a mood of high expectancy, with one paper priming public opinion for a person described as the most important prime minister in the world.

What could the bond between these two leaders, both of whom seem at this time to have a degree of unquestioned authority within their countries, be?

Perhaps it is their shared susceptibility to myths of national glory. Modi functions in campaign mode at most times, where declamation and exhortation substitutes for seriously engaged or reflective speech. In rare moments of reflection he has allowed himself certain fantasies, as with the legend of Lord Ganesha being evidence that advanced surgical transplants were done in ancient India.

Modi may have spoken in jocular vein, but Netanyahu would surely never seek that alibi. His own references to mythology are underpinned at all times, by dead serious intent.

In damage control mode following the bloody Israeli military raid on a flotilla bringing aid to besieged Gaza in 2010, Netanyahu flew a group of American reporters to Jerusalem. Among the artefacts he proudly displayed was a millennia old signet ring, excavated in Jerusalem and bearing the name Netanyahu, identified in turn, to have belonged to a Jewish official of the time. That for him and his gullible American audience, was sufficient proof of Israels historic claim to the land of Palestine.

The signet ring soon became a part of standard Netanyahu spin. He repeated the same claim in the UN General Assembly in 2011, adding the leavening that his first name Benjamin, or Binyamin son of Jacob was also understood in Biblical scripture as Israel.

American journalist Max Blumenthal explains the truth behind this claim in his 2013 book Goliath, an indispensable guide to the current state of Israeli politics and society: What was Netanyahus connection to the ring, and by extension, to the ancient land of Israel? There was none. Netanyahus grandfather, Nathan Milikovsky, had merely changed his name to Netanyahu after he emigrated from Lithuania to Palestine. Thus Netanyahu had a much closer relation to the former Alaskan governor and vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, whose Lithuanian maternal grandfather was rumoured to be a Jew.

In recent times, Netanyahu has not had a very easy time with his western allies. After years of indulgence for Israels expansionist urges, the West is showing a faint glimmer of awakening to the disastrous denial of Palestinian rights. In circumstances where Israels intent to render Palestinians into a state of permanent displacement are abundantly clear, global civil society has stepped up to shame weak-kneed governments. The boycott, divestment and sanctions(BDS) movement was launched by a broad coalition of Palestinian civil society actors, to hold Israeli entities to account where culpability was proven for the occupation and the daily violations of the human rights of Palestinians. Since the call went out from Palestine in 2005, BDS has gained traction especially in Israels traditionally unquestioning allies in the West.

Israels response has been to deploy the jaded political insult of anti-semitism against the BDS campaign, to rudely rebuff even the friendly advice of western allies, and double down on the moral righteousness of its claim to the entirety of Palestine. It has unleashed a propaganda barrage, dignified as public diplomacy or hasbara, whichNetanyahu has emerged as the principal exponent of, with his slick manner and fluent American-accent.

Didactic lectures in history suffused with claims of Israels Biblical antiquity as a nation, have been a regular part of Netanyahus propaganda effort. This is usually accompanied by dire warnings against conceding any ground to radical Islam. The Palestinian struggle for recognition is wrapped within the global menace of terrorism, which in turn is traced to a number of sources, though more malign than Iran. After the elaborate contrivance of spotting an Iranian hand behind every evil stalking the world, an obsessive warning is sounded that the menace could soon acquire a nuclear dimension.

These anxieties of the Zionist state really sharpened after the US invasion of Iraq produced the partly anticipated outcome of vastly boosting Irans regional clout. Reflecting on how the US in Iraq had transformed relative stability into nightmarish confusion, two respected American political scientists, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, authored a landmark paper titled The Israel Lobby in 2006. With solid and rigorous reference to fact rather than myth, Walt and Mearsheimer argued: The Israeli government and pro-Israel groups in the United States have worked together to shape the (US) administrations policy towards Iraq, Syria and Iran, as well as its grand scheme for reordering the Middle East. Pressure from Israel and the Lobby was not the only factor behind the decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was critical.

The Walt-Mearsheimer critique was banished by a vast and orchestrated campaign attacking it as anti-semitic; and then the authors of the Iraq fiasco went back to the same old playbook: demonising the leaders of a country seen as adversarial, characterising them as irrational beings unamenable to normal diplomatic practices. Netanyahu has in the course of his annual exertions in the cause of hasbara in the UN, described an incumbent Iranian president as a madman and his successor as a wolf in sheeps clothing.

When ISIScut a swathe through the chaos fomented in the Arab world by western military intervention, Netanyahu stuck to his insistence that Iran was the greater threat. As he put it in his 2015 address to the UN: Many in our region know that both Iran and ISIS are our common enemies. And when your enemies fight each other, dont strengthen either one weaken both.

ISIS has no clear parentage, except the chaos that followed the US invasion of Iraq. For reasons unfathomed, Israel has been rather complacent about this army of aroused religious warriors in its near neighbourhood. Part explanation may be available from Efraim Inbar, an Israeli security analyst who for long headed that vacant symbol of reconciliation: the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Affairs (BESA).

In a paper written last October, Inbar argued that the destruction of ISISwould be a serious strategic mistake, since an ISIS that was active in propagating the caliphate would bring discredit to the notion while attracting disgruntled terror-prone individuals from the west to its flag. There were simultaneously with the ideological purpose, a tactical police purpose achieved, of tracking radical elements in the west and preventing their mischief.

The best strategy for Israel then was the further weakening but not the destruction of ISIS. An ISIS reduced but not eliminated would undermine its cause among radical Muslims, while locking up bad actors in fierce internecine warfare, which would leave them little room to target the west. The biggest bonus of the whole strategy of course, was that it would also hamper Irans quest for regional hegemony.

A more recent contribution to the BESA dialogue speaks of the many reasons it is absolutely essential for Israeli interests to keep the Syrian civil war on an indefinite boil. Amid growing apprehensions within Israels strategic establishment that the six-year long conflict may destabilise the entire neighbourhood, Inbar wrote: Common sense tells us that weak enemies are preferable because they can do less damage. Violent conflict is about exacting pain from the other side. States are more dangerous than militias and terrorist groups. A weak Syria can cause less pain than a strong Syria. It made sense to let the chaos continue, since a dysfunctional Syrian state torn by civil war is not a result of Israeli machinations, but a positive strategic development from an Israeli point of view.

Nobody can tell what substantive influence these reflections exerted on Israeli policy. It is sufficient to know that Israels obsessive pursuit of its Biblical fantasies involves fomenting a state of chaos in its near neighbourhood and perhaps even beyond.

Modis visit is a historic event for the Israeli military-security industry complex that lurks behind these partly revealed acts of sabotage against neighbourhood nations and an actual catalogue of atrocities on the Palestinians. It sends out a message to the world, that India is now eager to be seen in public embrace of colonial oppression and state terrorism.

Does the absence of a Palestinian point of contact in this entire three-day visit represent a serious affront? Perhaps not. The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, by all accounts went back quite happy after he was received in Delhi on a short visit that was high on ceremony but vacuous in substance. Since going back, he has green-flagged Israel in the brutal tightening of the siege of Gaza by declining to pay the electricity bill for the narrow strips teeming population of two million from Palestinian Authority resources. The electricity cut as some observers point out, has escalated Gazas humanitarian crisis to possibly apoint of no return.

The broader civil war within the Arab world, eagerly promoted as part of Israeli strategic ambitions, has clearly impinged deeply on the politics of the Palestinian struggle.

The abject and unfortunate Abbas derived little benefit from his betrayal of Gaza. Israel has just announced one of the largest expansions of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, dwarfing all the land-thefts done over a half-century of occupation.

Following an armed encounter between militants and occupying forces in the old city of Jerusalem on June 19, Israel tightened its blockade of the West Bank, immediately revoking permits for Palestinians to travel into Israel to visit relatives during the Ramzan month of prayer and fasting. In a Facebook post, Major General Yoav Mordecai, who bears the title of Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories in the Israel Defence Force (IDF) directly put the blame on Abbass political faction Fatah: Three bastards who undertook this cowardly terror attack received praise from Fatah who falsely claimed they were innocent. This is incitement to terror.

The venomous rhetoric against Palestinians, always part of the mainstream discourse in Israel, has long been recognised as expression of deeply embedded racism. To cite a similar locution from a time when the pretence of a peace process was still being sustained, Lieutenant-General Moshe Yaalon, then the chief of staff of the IDF, spoke in 2003 of the Palestinians as an existential threat to Israel, like a cancer requiring chemotherapy.

The demographic problem is what it is called in Israeli political discourse, an almost obsessive concern since the Zionist state was founded. Israeli strategy was typically framed around the necessity of large-scale population transfers (otherwise known as ethnic cleansing) to firmly establish the Jewish identity of the land. When that proved impractical, unilateral separation was dreamed up. In the spaces between these two, a two-state solution has occasionally been conceded as a possibility, always in a manner to be determined at Israels discretion. An adviser to Netanyahu in 2008 summed it up: Israel would choose what to give the Palestinians. They could call it a state or even fried chicken.

The peace that Israel has to offer Palestine is basically a choice between apartheid regimes of varying severities.

Substantively, Indias relationship with Israel has been conducted under the shroud of national security, immune to public scrutiny and accountability. Credible stories have appeared in the Indian media that India has been shopping for surveillance systems to be deployed along its most sensitive borders, which would link into automatically triggered guns to stop any breaches. This would be similar to the weapon systems deployed by Israel along the apartheid wall that snakes through much of the West Bank, which kill indiscriminately, not sparing children who stray out of the narrow confines in which they are confined by the Israeli occupation.

The real danger of Indias burgeoning relationship with Israel is that Israeli equipment perhaps comes bundled with its doctrines and are designed for use against an occupied people and neighbours whose territorial integrity Israel has repeatedly violated with absolute impunity. These are a world removed from Indias security challenges and could end up compromising its interests.

Sukumar Muralidharan is a senior journalist and currently teaches journalism at O.P. Jindal Global University.

Categories: External Affairs, Featured, Indian Diplomacy, World

Tagged as: Benjamin Netanyahu, India Israel, Israel, Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel-Palestine, Modi in Israel, Modi Netanyahu, Narendra Modi

Originally posted here:

Modi’s Israel Visit Shows India Is Eager to Be Seen in a Public Embrace of State Terrorism – The Wire

Fair Usage Law

July 4, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Pitching the ‘Forever War’ in Afghanistan – Consortium News

Exclusive: Rather than rethink U.S. policy in the Mideast, particularly the entangling alliances with Israel and Saudi Arabia, Official Washington pushes schemes to perpetuate the forever war in Afghanistan, writes James W Carden. By James W Carden In May, the founder of the mercenary-for-hire group Blackwater (now since remained Academi), Erik Prince took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to propose that the Pentagon employ private military units and appoint a viceroy to oversee the war in Afghanistan. According to Prince, who has been actively lobbying for what he calls an East India Company approach as the solution to Americas longest war (16 years, $117 billion and counting), In Afghanistan, the viceroy approach would reduce rampant fraud by focusing spending on initiatives that further the central strategy, rather than handing cash to every outstretched hand from a U.S. system bereft of institutional memory. (Prince naturally failed to say if his were among those outstretched hands) On July 10, The New York Times reported that Prince and the owner of the military contractor Dyn Corporation, Stephen Feinberg, have, at the request of Stephen K. Bannon and Jared Kushner, been pushing a plan to, in effect, privatize the war effort in Afghanistan. (In recent weeks both The Nation and The American Conservative have published deep-dive investigative pieces into the behind the scenes machinations of would-be Viceroys Prince and Feinberg). According to the Times report The strategy has been called the Laos option, after Americas shadowy involvement in Laos during the war in neighboring Vietnam. If so, then the Laos option is an unfortunate moniker for their strategy given the fact that the during Americas war over Laos (1964-73) the U.S. dropped 2.5 million tons of munitions on that country as part of the failed effort in Vietnam, which finally ended when the U.S. embassy in Saigon was evacuated in 1975. It is worth mentioning, since we so often overlook the collateral damage caused by our overseas adventures, that in the 40-plus years since the cessation of operations in Laos that 20,000 Laotians have been killed by unexploded ordinance dropped that had been dropped during that illegal nine-year campaign. And while Prince and Feinberg have (so far anyway) gotten the cold shoulder from National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Pentagon Chief James Mattis, momentum is picking up for once again ramping up American involvement in Afghanistan among some of the (allegedly) more sophisticated members of the foreign policy establishment. More Armchair Warmongering On July 11, former Deputy Defense Secretary Michele Flournoy and think tank functionary Richard Fontaine published a piece for the purportedly realist National Interest magazine that attempted to assure readers that The Afghan War Is Not Lost. Why not? Because even though there are roughly 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, More troops can help achieve American objectives in Afghanistan, but only if they are part of a larger and more effective strategy. [Emphasis mine]. The stress on more troops (if not to say, thousands upon thousands of unaccountable mercenaries in the pay of Feinberg and Prince) is deeply concerning because if anyone can be said to be a reliable barometer of prevailing opinion inside the Beltway it is Flournoy. Readers may recall that Flournoy co-chaired the Obama administrations Afghanistan policy review, which led to the Presidents ill-fated December 2009 decision to send 33,000 American troops (plus a contingent of 7,000 from NATO) to prop up the Karzai regime in Afghanistan. The following year, 2010, would end up as the bloodiest one yet for coalition forces in Afghanistan. Indeed, nearly three-fourth of all American casualties in that war took place in the years following Obamas decision to surge in Afghanistan. But give Flournoy (who was at the top of Hillary Clintons short list to be Defense Secretary) credit: she persists. Today Flournoy and her frequent co-author Fontaine (both are executives of the hawkish think tank Center for a New American Security) say that American should commit to Afghanistan indefinitely: The centerpiece of the administrations Afghanistan strategy must therefore be a clear and sustained American commitment to Afghanistan. By forswearing deadlines and making clear that the United States will support the Afghan government and security forces indefinitely and until they are able to hold their own, Washington can telegraph to the Taliban that it will not succeed in retaking the country. Worryingly, some members of Congress seem to be on board. In early July, a bipartisan delegation including Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Elizabeth Warren toured Pakistan and Afghanistan and called for greater military involvement in the region. Speaking on behalf of the delegation, McCain noted, none of us would say that were on course to a success here in Afghanistan. The Forever War Driving the push to send more troops is the fact that, as Flournoy and Fontaine point out, the Taliban today controls more territory than at any time since 9/11. Faced with corruption and exclusionary politics, popular opposition to the government in Kabul is rising, while the Taliban makes inroads in rural areas and, increasingly, near the cities. This is no doubt the case. And proponents of the forever war in Afghanistan are correct when they say, as they inevitably do, that the Taliban provided sanctuary to Obama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in the lead up to 9/11. But these same proponents usually neglect to note that bin Laden and Al Qaeda were motivated by the U.S.-Israeli special relationship and, according to the 9/11 Report, grievances against the United States that were widely shared in the Muslim world. Bin Laden inveighed against the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia and against other U.S. policies in the Middle East. But, in the intervening years between 2001 and now, Al Qaedas leadership has been decimated, and according to a Brown University study, the United States has spent or taken on obligations to spend more than $3.6 trillion in current dollars on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria and on the Department of Homeland Security in the years following 9/11. Meanwhile other alternative strategies (such as the offshore balancing strategy advocated by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt) have never been tried. As I wrote at Consortiumnews in June, therearealternatives (there always are). Its just that these tend not to have the institutional backing of Washingtons policy/think tank community which, because it isdeeply compromisedby its defense industry funders, rarely given them voice or consideration. If the U.S. is to successfully combat terrorism emanating out of the Middle East a wholesale re-evaluation of U.S. policy is in order, particularly with regard to Israel and Saudi Arabia. To gloss over this is to miss the point. And proponents of expanding and privatizing the war in Afghanistan miss it entirely. James W Carden is a contributing writer for The Nation and editor of The American Committee for East-West Accords eastwestaccord.com. He previously served as an advisor on Russia to the Special Representative for Global Inter-governmental Affairs at the US State Department.

Fair Usage Law

July 25, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Russian meddling is Watergate-worthy, but Israeli meddling is hunky-dory – Mondoweiss

The investigation of Russias meddling in our politics dominates the liberal press; and for my part, I believe everything The New York Times and MSNBC are suspicioning about Donald Trump and the Russians. I bet that the Russians have something on Trump personally, possibly involving money or sex; and that the Russians meddled in our election. (Not that the meddling changed the outcome; no, Hillary Clinton did a great job of losing it on her own.) But as someone who focuses on Israel policy, what stands out to me is that conduct that is Watergate-worthy when it comes to Russia is hunky-dory when it comes to Israel. Just yesterday, for instance, Trump adviser Jared Kushner was on the hot seat in Congress over his contacts with a Russian official last year. But no one has a hearing about the fact that Kushners family, out of devotion to Israel, financed illegal Israeli settlements that have undermined the two-state solution, thereby nullifying longtime U.S. policy. I think thats a real problem. MSNBC doesnt. Just in the last week there have been two other expressions of Israels active interests in our politics that the liberal media have failed to say boo about. First, theres the Israel Anti-Boycott Act in the House and Senate. Israel regards the Boycott movement (BDS) as an existential threat; and so the Israel lobby group AIPAC produced legislation that scores of Senators and Congresspeople, including many liberal heroes, signed on to that trashes the First Amendment by making it a possible crime to support boycott of Israel. By the way, AIPAC has a mission to insure that there is no daylight between the Israeli government and the U.S. government. In the 1960s despite the best efforts of Senator Fulbright, AIPAC escaped designation as an agent of a foreign government. That ought to be a scandal, but everyone walks on by. Then theres Israels unhappiness with the Syrian ceasefire deal that Donald Trump reached with Russia. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says that the deal fails to limit Irans presence in Syria or to prevent weapons getting to Israels enemy, Hezbollah; and Israel supporters in the U.S. duly echoed Netanyahus view. Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, who launched his dazzling career, in his own words, with the support of the pro-Israel community, wrote: This is unbelievable! Trump Administration ignored Israels security concerns in making the Syrian deal with Putin. While Daniel Shapiro, also a former U.S. ambassador to Israel who lately called Israel this miracle, this gift, this jewel wrote that the deal needs to be revised: Can the deal be restructured to Isrs satisfaction? US-Russia dynamic makes that difficult & worrisome. But effort needs to be made. Apart from the question of whether Trump will be brought down by his Russia connections, the real issue here is, What is the American peoples interest? In the Syria case, it would appear that Trump is realigning U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis Russia. And that this realignment could be good for the U.S. position in the world: an effort to lessen U.S. military engagement in the Middle East. But meanwhile it is clearly in Israels interest for the U.S. to be up to its hips in the perpetual war of the Middle East, because occupiers love company. I believe the no-daylight policy has been hugely costly to the United States; and has involved a great deal of meddling by Israel and its friends in our politics. The media are afraid to touch this stuff; but a look back on the special relationship between the countries reveals a number of policy decisions that the U.S. would have made differently if Israel werent putting its thumb on our scale. Lets review: Israel has put more than 600,000 settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, thereby violating the Geneva Convention and destroying the two-state solution, which was U.S. policy. The United States has suffered enormously for its inability to stop this process. Even the 9/11 attacks were motivated in good measure by the sufferings of Palestinians. The Israel lobby and its American friends played the lead role in nullifying U.S. policy in the settlements witness the undermining of President Obamas efforts to stop settlements in 2011 and 2012 via political pressure. (Even Noam Chomsky has said that in this area the client is influencing the superpower, not the other way round.) Israel acquired nuclear weapons in violation of clear U.S. policy in the 60s, and likely also by pilfering highly-enriched uranium from the United States through a front operation in Pennsylvania. There has never been a squeak about this from the U.S. government or officials no they all maintain the deception and meantime Israeli nukes have contributed to an arms race around the region, and fostered the U.S. image as lying imperialist hypocrite. Benjamin Netanyahu pushed for the Iraq war, saying it would transform the region for the better: If you take out Saddam, Saddams regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region. The leading Israel lobby group AIPAC also pushed for this war, while Israels rightwing American friends, the neoconservatives, argued that the war would bring democracy to Arab states and make Israel safer; as did liberals such as Tom Friedman, Israels onetime promoter, who said we should go to war against Iraq because terrorists were blowing up pizza parlors in Tel Aviv. Whether the voice given to Israels interest was determinative or not in our decision to invade Iraq (I say it was), this is an influence that clearly should have been exposed and investigated, beyond the efforts of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby. But the media shut down that conversation, in part through the vociferous efforts of Jeffrey Goldberg, who formerly emigrated to Israel and served in its armed forces. Several American presidents were for the Palestinian refugees right of return after the creation of Israel. Truman backed down under pressure from the Zionist lobby, John Judis states flatly in his book Genesis. Kennedy and Nixon were also under political pressure to nullify the American position. And indeed: no Palestinian refugees have been allowed to return by Israel, the U.S. has done nothing to seek to reverse that policy; and the issue inflames the conflict to this day. Israeli leaders and U.S. surrogates led a campaign to try to stop the Iran deal two years ago and very nearly succeeded. At the height of that campaign Obama gave a speech saying that only one country in the world opposed the deal Israel and that it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to heed Israel rather than the American interest. As if that even needed to be said! It can be argued that the four Democratic Senators who opposed their Presidents signature foreign policy achievement Schumer, Menendez, Manchin, and Cardin all did so out of support for Israel or its American friends, who are so influential in our elections. As Stephanie Schriock of the liberal activist group Emilys List says, aspiring Democratic candidates for Congress take their position on Israel from AIPAC because thats the way they can raise money from the Jewish community. And what does it tell you that Schumer despite betraying his president on the Iran deal was rewarded with the leadership of the Senate Democrats? The only alternative that Israel had to the Iran deal was an attack on Iran, which the American people clearly opposed. Its not a surprise then that one of the leading Republican donors, Sheldon Adelson, whose main cause is Israel and who has said he would rather have served in the Israeli army than the U.S. one, urged Obama to nuke Iran. And before that, Adelson held a fundraiser for Mitt Romney in Jerusalem during the 2012 campaign that Romney attended and Benjamin Netanyahu all but openly endorsed Romney over Obama. The pressure against the Iran deal was so strong that Hillary Clinton in 2015, readying a run for president, came out with a statement against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as a way of trying to keep Israel and her donors happy in advance of her announcing her support for the Iran deal. At that time, Clintons chief liaison to the Jewish community met with Israels Prime Minister and told Clinton that Netanyahu said that Americans needed to attack, attack, attack BDS. Meantime, one of her biggest donors, the Israeli-American Haim Saban, pressed her to make a statement distancing herself from Obamas policies on Israel; Clinton did so; and her campaign manager endorsed the move: [H]as she made a clear statement on Israel yet? I get this question from donors all the time. Does she need to state her principles on Israel before Iran? We only know about Hillary Clintons craven gyrations because of the emails stolen from the Clinton campaign and published by Wikileaks. I think we have a right to know about a powerful politicians efforts to please Israel and its American friends. But Democrats and media liberals are much more concerned that the Russians might have had a hand in getting these emails out in the months before the election. Yes, the Clinton emails may have been an example of Russian meddling in our elections. But those emails documented Israeli meddling in our elections. Which is worse? I know what I think. But lets have the debate. Thanks to Scott Roth.

Fair Usage Law

July 25, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

The global consequences of Trump’s incompetence – Chicago Tribune

I returned this past weekend from a European vacation: conferencing in Greece, queuing up at Wimbledon, kayaking in Ireland, and generally doing my own small part to stimulate the EU economy. I’m not Tom Friedman, so I didn’t interview every taxi driver I encountered, but the one I did talk to was pretty down on the 45th president of the United States. I’m sure there are a few Trump supporters in Europe, but recent surveys suggest they are a distinct minority. That seems to be increasingly true here, too, despite the stubborn loyalty of those supporters who would stick with the guy even if he did, in fact, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue. Since Donald Trump was inaugurated, a vast amount of ink and billions of pixels have been devoted to documenting, dissecting, condemning, or defending his disregard for well-established norms of decency and political restraint. I’m talking about the blatant nepotism, the vast conflicts of interest, the overt misogyny, and what Fox News’s Shepard Smith called the “lie after lie after lie” regarding Trump’s relations with Russia. The presidential pendulum has swung from dignified (Barack Obama) to disgusting (Trump), and it’s tempting to spend all one’s time hyperventilating about his personal comportment rather than his handling of important policy issues. But the real issue isn’t Trump’s nonstop boorishness; it’s his increasingly obvious lack of competence. When experienced Republicans warned that Trump was unfit for office during the 2016 campaign, most of their concerns revolved around issues of character. But their warnings didn’t prepare us for the parade of buffoonery and ineptitude that has characterized his administration from Day One. What do I mean by “competence”? The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.” In foreign policy, competence depends on a sufficient knowledge about the state of the world and the key forces that drive world politics so that one can make well-informed and intelligent policy choices. It also means having the organizational skills, discipline, and judgment to pick the right subordinates and get them to combine the different elements of national power in pursuit of well-chosen goals. In other words, foreign-policy competence requires the ability to identify ends that will make the country more secure and/or prosperous and then assemble the means to bring the desired results to fruition. As in other walks of life, to be competent at foreign policy does not mean being 100 percent right or successful. International politics is a chancy and uncertain realm, and even well-crafted policies sometimes go awry. But, on balance, competent policymakers succeed more than they fail, both because they have a mostly accurate view of how the world works and because they have the necessary skills to implement their choices effectively. As a result, such leaders will retain others’ confidence even when a few individual initiatives do not work out as intended. For much of the postwar period, the United States benefited greatly from an overarching aura of competence. Victory in World War II, the creation of key postwar institutions like NATO and Bretton Woods, and the (mostly) successful management of the Cold War rivalry with the USSR convinced many observers that U.S. officials knew what they were doing. That aura was reinforced by scientific and technological prowess (e.g., the moon landing), by mostly steady economic growth, and to some extent by the progress made in addressing issues such as race, however imperfect those latter efforts were. That same aura was tarnished by blunders like Vietnam, of course, but other countries still understood that the United States was both very powerful and guided by people who understood the world reasonably well and weren’t bad at getting things done. The George H.W. Bush administration’s successful handling of the collapse of the USSR, the reunification of Germany, and the first Gulf War reinforced the broad sense that U.S. judgment and skill should be taken seriously, even if Washington wasn’t infallible. Since then, however, things have gone from good to bad to worse to truly awful. The Bill Clinton administration managed the U.S. economy pretty well, but its handling of foreign policy was only so-so, and its policies in the Middle East and elsewhere laid the foundation for much future trouble. The George W. Bush administration was filled with experienced foreign-policy mavens, but a fatal combination of hubris, presidential ignorance, post-9/11 panic, and the baleful influence of a handful of neoconservative ideologues produced costly debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama did somewhat better (one could hardly have done worse), but he never took on the Blob’s commitment to liberal hegemony and made some of the same mistakes that the younger Bush did, albeit on a smaller scale. Even the vaunted American military seems more skilled at blowing things up than at achieving anything resembling victory. Which brings us to Trump. He has been in office for only six months, but the consequences of his ineptitude are already apparent. First, when you don’t understand the world very well, and when your team lacks skilled officials to compensate for presidential ignorance, you’re going to make big policy mistakes. Trump’s biggest doozy thus far was dropping the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a decision that undermined the U.S. position in Asia, opened the door toward greater Chinese influence, and won’t benefit the U.S. economy in the slightest. Similar ignorance-fueled errors include walking away from the Paris climate accord (which makes Americans look like a bunch of science-denying, head-in-the-sand ignoramuses) and failing to appreciate that China wasn’t – repeat, wasn’t – going to solve the North Korea problem for us. Not to mention his team’s inability to spell and confusion over which countries they are talking about. Second, once other countries conclude that U.S. officials are dunderheads, they aren’t going to pay much attention to the advice, guidance, or requests that Washington makes. When people think you know what you’re doing, they will listen carefully to what you have to say and will be more inclined to follow your lead. But if they think you’re an idiot, or they aren’t convinced you can actually deliver whatever you are promising, they may nod politely as you express your views but follow their own instincts instead. We are already seeing signs of this. Having played to Trump’s vulnerable ego brilliantly during his visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is now blithely ignoring U.S. efforts to resolve the simmering dispute between the Gulf states and Qatar. True to form, Israel doesn’t care what Trump thinks about the Israeli-Palestinian dispute or the situation in Syria either. To be sure, these two countries have a long history of ignoring U.S. advice and interests, but their indifference to Washington’s views seems to have reached new heights. And now South Korea has announced it will begin talks with North Korea, despite the Trump administration’s belief that the time was not right. Meanwhile, the EU and Japan just reached a large trade deal; TPP-like talks are resuming without the United States; and the leaders of Germany and Canada – two of America’s closest allies – have openly spoken of the need to chart their own course. Even the foreign minister of Australia – another staunch U.S. ally – has taken a dig at Trump for his demeaning remarks to France’s first lady. And who can blame them? I mean: If you were a responsible foreign leader, would you take the advice of the man who had the wisdom to appoint Sebastian Gorka to a White House national security position, wants to cut the State Department budget by 30 percent, and thinks Jared Kushner is a genius who can handle difficult diplomatic assignments? The United States is still very powerful, of course, so both allies and adversaries will continue to be cautious when dealing with it. That’s why Emmanuel Macron of France and Justin Trudeau of Canada have treated Trump with more respect than he deserves. You’d tread carefully, too, if you found yourself in the same room as a drunk rhinoceros. But you probably wouldn’t ask the rhino for advice or consult it on geopolitical strategy. Instead of relying on U.S. guidance and (generally) supporting U.S. policy initiatives, states that lose confidence in America’s competence will begin to hedge and make their own arrangements. They’ll do deals with each other and sometimes with countries that the United States regards as adversaries. That is happening already with China and Iran, and you can expect more of the same as long as U.S. foreign policy combines the strategic acumen of Wile E. Coyote, the disciplined teamwork of the Three Stooges, and the well-oiled efficiency of the frat in Animal House. Paleoconservatives and isolationists might welcome this outcome, because they think the United States has been bearing too large a share of global burdens and that it just screws things up when it tries to run the world. They have a point, but they take it way too far. If the United States were to disengage as far as they would like, the other 95 percent of humanity would proceed to create a world order where U.S. influence would be considerably smaller and where events in a few key regions would almost certainly evolve in ways that the United States would eventually regret. Instead of retreating to “Fortress America,” it makes more sense to adopt the policy of offshore balancing that John Mearsheimer and I outlined a year ago. But offshore balancing won’t work if other states have little or no confidence in U.S. judgment, skill, and competence. Why? Because the strategy calls for the United States to “hold the balance” in key regions (i.e., Europe, Asia, and perhaps the Middle East) and to stand ready to bring its power to bear in these areas should a potential hegemon emerge there. The countries with which the United States would join forces should that occur have to be sufficiently convinced that Washington can gauge threats properly and intervene with skill and effect when necessary. In short, the credibility of U.S. commitments depends on a minimum reputation for competence, and that is precisely the currency that Trump and Co. have been squandering. To be clear, I am not saying there are not a lot of competent people serving in the U.S. government or that the United States is incapable of doing anything right these days. Indeed, my hat is off to the dedicated public servants who are trying to do their jobs despite the chaos in the White House and Trump’s deliberate effort to cripple our foreign-policy machinery. Nor am I saying that Donald Trump is incompetent at everything. He is, by all accounts, a much better than average golfer (even if he may be – now here’s a shocker – prone to cheating), which may explain why he prefers golfing to governing. He has been adept at getting attractive foreign women to marry him, though not especially good at making the marriages last. And he is clearly an absolutely world-class bullshit artist, with a genuinely impressive ability to lie, prevaricate, evade, mislead, stretch the truth, and dissemble. These skills clearly served him well as a real estate developer, but they aren’t helping him very much as president. Because once people decide you’re a bumbler, either they take advantage of your ineptitude or they prefer to deal with those who are more reliable. It gives me no joy to say this, but can you blame them? — Walt is the Robert and Rene Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

Fair Usage Law

July 19, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Forging a Closer Maritime Alliance: The Case for US-Japan Joint Frigate Development – CIMSEC

Future Surface Combatant Week ByJason Y. Osuga Introduction Our history is clear that nations with strong allies thrive, and those without them wither. My key words are solvency and security to protect the American people. My priorities as SECDEF are strengthening readiness, strengthening alliances, and bring business reform to DOD. General James Mattis (ret.), SECDEF Confirmation Hearing, 1/11/17 At current growth rates, China may become a comparable power to the United States in economic and military terms in the not too distant future. In this future world, China will be less constrained than it is today to attempt to coerce other Asian nations to its will.[1] Chinas economy may be slowing at the moment, with significant concerns over sustainability of high debt and growth.[2] Notwithstanding, China is still set to overtake the United States between 2030 and 2045 based on the global power index, which is calculated by Gross Domestic Product, population size, military spending, and technology, as well as new metrics in health, education, and governance.[3] An unbalanced multipolar structure is most prone to deadly conflict compared to a bipolar or balanced multipolar structure.[4] The execution of the responsibility as the regional balancer requires political will, military capability, and the right grand strategy.[5] While it is difficult to dictate or gauge the political will in an unknown future situation, the U.S. can hedge by building capability and advocating a forward strategy to support partners in the region. One of the ways in which the U.S. can increase joint warfighting capability is through the co-development of defense platforms with key allies such as Japan. Increasing Japans warfighting capability is in keeping with a grand strategy of forging an effective maritime balance of power to curb growing threats from revisionist powers such as China and Russia. Production of a common frigate platform would enhance bilateral collective defense by increasing joint interoperability. Designing a ship based on bilateral warfighting requirements would enhance interoperability and concepts of operations in joint warfighting. The joint development of frigates would deepen the U.S.-Japan security alliance and enhance the regional balance of power to offset China. Operationally, co-development of frigates will increase interoperability, reduce seams in existing naval strategy, and increase fleet size and presence. Industrially, a joint venture will reduce costs of shipbuilding through burden-sharing research and development (R&D), maximizing economy of scale production, and exploiting the comparative advantage in the defense sectors to favor both nations. Logistically, developing a shared platform enhances supply and maintenance capability through interchangeable components, streamlined bilateral inventory, and increased capability to conduct expeditionary repairs of battle damage. Reducing Seams in Naval Strategy and Forward Presence A major argument for joint development of a frigate is increasing fleet size of the USN and the JMSDF. The Navy has advocated for a fleet size of 355 ships.[6] The Center for Strategic Budget Assessments (CSBA) recommended 340 ships, and MITRE recommended a total force structure of 414 ships to meet fleet requirements.[7] One of the main rationales behind these recommendations has been the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), which has increased its naval ship construction on a vast scale to push the U.S. Navy and JMSDF out of the first island chain.[8] China continues to produce the JIANGKAI II-class FFG (Type 054A), with 20 ships currently in the fleet and five in various stages of construction.[9] 25 JIANGDAO-class corvettes FFL (Type 056) are in service and China may build more than 60 of this class, along with 60 HOUBEI-class wave-piercing catamaran guided-missile patrol boats PTG (Type 022) built for operations in Chinas near seas.[10] Furthermore, the PLAN continues to emphasize anti-surface warfare as its primary focus by modernizing its advanced ASCMs and associated over-the-horizon targeting systems.[11]According to Rear Admiral Michael McDevitt (ret.), by 2020, China will boast the largest navy in the world measured by the number of combatants, submarines, and combat logistics vessels expected to be in service.[12]According to CNAS, China will be a Blue-Water Naval Power by 2030 approaching 500 ships.[13] Not only is the PLAN building more frigates and ASCMs, but it also enjoys home field advantage.[14]Therefore, despite the PLAs overall military inferiority vis–vis the U.S. military, the U.S. can execute only a partial commitment of forces to Asia due to its global commitments.[15] China can offset a fraction of the U.S. Navy with the combined might of the PLAN, PLA Air Force, and the PLA Rocket Force with anti-ship missiles, combat aircraft, and missile-capable submarines and patrol craft to deny the U.S. access to waters within the first island chain.[16] Thus, the PLA is quickly becoming a balanced force.[17] A balanced and regionally-concentrated force is creating a growing gap in the ability of the U.S. Navy or JMSDF to gain sea control. The USN and JMSDF require more surface combatants to prosecute an effective sea control strategy. One of the best ways to increase fleet size and sea presence is through building a common frigate. Operational Advantages and Distributed Warfighting A new class of frigate would be in line with the Chief of Naval Operations ADM Richardsons vision in The Future Navy, that a 355-ship Navy using current technology is insufficient for maintaining maritime superiority. The Navy must also implement new ways of operating our battle fleet, which will comprise new types of ships.[18] The platform would be an opportunity to solidify the distributed lethality (DL) concept, promulgated by Commander Naval Surface Forces Surface Force Strategy.[19] DL combines more powerful ships with innovative methods of employing them by dispersing lethal capabilities. The more distributed allied combat power becomes, the more enemy targets are held at risk, and the costs of defense to the adversary becomes higher.[20]Furthermore, the more capable platforms the adversary has to account for, the more widely dispersed its surveillance assets will be, and more diluted its attack densities become.[21] If the U.S. and Japan can increase the number of platforms and employ them in a bilateral DL architecture, it would present a tracking and salvo problem for the enemy. The new Surface Force Strategy requires an increased fleet size to amass greater number of ships forward-deployed and dispersed in theater.[22] Within a hunter-killer surface action group acting under the DL operational construct, Aegis destroyers and cruisers would protect the frigates from air and distant missile threats, allowing the frigates to focus on the SUW/ASW mission sets. The ships self-defense systems can provide point or limited area defense against closer air and missile threats. The main mission of the sea control frigate, however, will be to help deliver payloads integrated into the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) architecture through Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC).[23]Payloads launched by any ship in USN or JMSDF can be terminally guided by nodes in the CEC. The JMSDF is already moving toward integrating a greater portion of its fleet into the U.S. NIFC-CA architecture through combat systems modification to existing ships.[24] A Frigate for High-Threat Sea Control The U.S. and Japan should consider a joint venture to develop a common frigate, displacing roughly 4000-5000 tons, whose primary missions are anti-surface warfare (SUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and limited-area air defense/anti-air warfare AD/AAW. In addition to increasing interoperability, a frigate dedicated to these sea control missions would reduce mission shortfalls in the current naval strategy and fleet architecture. Aegis platforms, such as the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (DDG) and Ticonderoga-class cruisers (CG), must perform myriad missions such as theater ballistic missile defense (BMD) and air defense (AD) of the strike groups, in addition to theater ASW and SUW. While half of the CGs undergo modernization and the cruisers long-term replacement is undecided,[25] and where the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) do not yet provide robust SUW and ASW capabilities,[26] the DDGs must shoulder a larger share of the burden of those missions. Thus, the Navy would benefit from a dedicated and capable platform to conduct SUW and ASW for achieving sea control and burden-sharing with Aegis platforms. A new class of frigate would be in line with the Chief of Naval Operations ADM Richardsons vision in The Future Navy, that a 355-ship Navy using current technology is insufficient for maintaining maritime superiority. The Navy must also implement new ways of operating our battle fleet, which will comprise new types of ships.[27] The frigate could escort ESGs, CSGs, logistics ships, and maritime commerce. A limited AD capability would fill the gap in protecting Aegis ships while the latter performs BMD missions, as well as escorting high-value units such as amphibious ships LHD/LHA, LPDs, and aircraft carriers (CVN). These specializations would benefit the planners ability to achieve sea control by enhancing the expeditionary and carrier strike groups defensive and offensive capabilities. It could also highlight the ability of future JMSDF frigates to integrate into U.S. CSGs, ESGs, and surface action groups (SAG) as practiced by its vessels in exercises such as Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) and ANNUALEX. In a contingency, it is necessary to protect commercial shipping, logistics ships, and pre-positioned supply ships, which are the Achilles heel of the fleet. These links in fleet logistics chain are critical to sustaining long-duration operations and maintaining the economic well-being of maritime nations such as Japan and the U.S. Therefore, a sufficient number of frigates would be necessary to provide protection to logistics ships. As far as small combatant vessels, the Navy currently operates eight LCS from a peak of 115 frigates during the Cold War in 1987. Figure 1. Only eight LCS are currently operational from a peak of 115 frigates during Cold War in 1987.[28]A frigate would require a powerful radar to be able to provide an adequate air defense umbrella to protect a strike group or a convoy. There is some potential in making the next-generation frigate with a scalable Aegis radar such as the SPY-1F. The JMSDF Akizuki-class and Asahi-class destroyers are modern multi-mission capable ships, with a non-Aegis phased-array radar that provide limited AAW capability. Similarly, the next-generation frigate could incorporate a scaled down version of the more modern Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) if the trade-offs in budget and technical specifications warrant the extra investment. As for the ASW mission, the future frigate should be equipped with an active sonar, a towed passive sonar, an MH-60R (ASW-capable), and a long-range anti-submarine rocket (ASROC) system. A modern hull-mounted sonar connected to the future combat system could integrate the data acquired by towed or variable-depth sonars. It should also be built on a modular design with enough rack space set aside for future growth of systems to accommodate future mission modules. Therefore, the future frigate should have a greater length and beam compared to the LCS to accommodate more space for sensors, unmanned platforms, and combat systems. This should not be confused with a modular concept of the LCS where ASW, SUW, or mine warfare modules can be laboriously swapped out in port in a time-consuming process. The future frigate should focus on ASW/SUW superiority with limited area AD capabilities, and not have to change mission modules to complete this task. These frigates also would not replace the LCS. The LCS could continue to play a niche role in the SAGs as a carrier for drones and UAV/USV/UUV. Thus, the protection of the LCS from attacks will be an important factor, which will fall on the DDGs and future frigates to contribute. Payloads and sensors have as much importance as platforms in the network-centric distributed lethality concept.[29] Effective joint warfighting requires not just cooperation in platform development, but also requires an emphasis on payload and sensor development.[30] The U.S. and Japan should explore joint R&D of the following payloads in the future frigate: Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), Naval Strike Missile, and the surface-to-surface Hellfire missile. Out of these options or a combination thereof, the U.S. and Japan may find the replacement to the U.S. Navys RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile and the JMSDFs Type 90 ship-to-ship missile in service since 1992.[31] The selection of payloads for the next frigate should be based on bilateral requirements of roles and missions. Furthermore, discussions should also involve offensive and defensive options in non-kinetic electronic warfare (EW) and cyber capabilities for joint development. Effective EW and cyber capabilities will increase the options for commanding officers and task force commanders to achieve the desired effect on the operating environment. A joint development will provide both fleet commanders options to achieve this effect. Addressing Sufficiency As far as increasing fleet size with next-generation frigates, how many frigates is enough? Based on global commitments for the U.S. Navy and regional commitments for the JMSDF, 60 frigates for the USN and 20 frigates for the JMSDF would be justified. By building 60 frigates, the U.S. Navy would be able to forward-deploy at least one-third (20 frigates) to the Western Pacific. The frigates should be dispersed and forward-deployed to U.S. naval bases in Japan, Guam, Singapore, and Hawaii as well as those on 7-month deployments from the continental U.S. The JMSDF would also build 20 frigates of the same class. Taken together, there would be a total of 40 frigates of the class in the Western Pacific between the USN and JMSDF. This ratio parity (1:1) would benefit the planners ability to conduct joint task force operational planning as well as factoring in collective self-defense considerations. 40 frigates would create enough mass to establish a distributed and forward sea presence, and when required, gain sea control with Aegis DDGs in hunter-killer SAGs. Meanwhile, the JMSDF has not built 20 ships of any combatant class. Setting the goal high with 20 vessels of the next frigate would be an important milestone for the JMSDF toward increasing its fleet size in a meaningful way. The JMSDF recently announced that, to speed up vessel production and increase patrol presence in the East China Sea, it would build two frigates per year compared to one destroyer per year.[32] It appears the JMSDF is also realigning its strategy and procurement to cope with the changing security environment in East Asia. Industrial Advantages of Joint Development Bilateral development of the next frigate will enjoy industrial advantages in burden-sharing R&D, maximizing economy of scale production, and exploiting the comparative advantage of the U.S. and Japanese defense sectors. Burden-sharing R&D through cooperative development helps to reduce risks. Barry Posen, director of the MIT Security Studies Program, advocates burden-sharing as a central issue of alliance diplomacy.[33] Joint R&D mitigates risk through technology flow between two countries. Any newly developed or discovered technologies can be shared as part of the platforms development. Thus, U.S. and Japan can tailor regulations on technology flow and export control laws to suit the scope of this bilateral development project to ensure seamless integration and manage risk. Moreover, maximizing economies of scale production would help mitigate the rising costs of producing warships and weapons systems under unilateral R&D. Economy of scale coproduction or co-development program would be consistent with Congress preference for allied cooperation in arms development (Nunn Amendment), by reducing acquisition costs and freeing resources for other burden sharing.[34] A joint development with a close U.S. ally with a similar technology base and history of shared platforms development would make sense to cut costs, share technology, and hedge R&D risk. The U.S. and Japan have begun to move in the direction of cooperative development. In 2014, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, and Japan Foreign Minister, Fumio Kishida, announced that the Defense Ministry and the DOD would hold studies to jointly develop a new high speed vessel under the bilateral Mutual Defense Assistance (MDA) agreement.[35]Although not many details were released to the public on this agreement, the studies may have centered on the LCS as a possible platform to base the bilateral project. A joint frigate project should be designed on a platform that addresses all of the LCS deficiencies and that meets bilateral requirements to achieve sea control via SUW/ASW superiority and distributed lethality. Leveraging the economy of scale through joint development would also help Japan as its defense systems have also become more expensive to develop unilaterally. Many Japanese firms view international defense business as unstable and unproven in terms of profitability.[36]However, recent JMSDF Chief of Maritime Staff, ADM Takei, saw opportunities for cooperative development as Japanese defense industry has high-end technology, but lacks expertise and experience.[37] ADM Takei believed there is much potential for subsidiaries of major Japanese corporations that specialize in defense production to cooperate with U.S. defense firms to partner in the development or become a supplier of parts for U.S.-made equipment.[38] Thus, by cooperating in shipbuilding, the U.S. and Japan would benefit from reduced costs of production of components and systems by taking advantage of economies of scale. Joint development will also leverage the comparative advantage of the respective industrial sectors to favor both nations. For example, if the U.S. produces something relatively better or cheaper than Japan such as the weapons, radar, or combat systems, the U.S. could take the lead in developing and building the systems for both countries. Conversely, if Japan produces a section or component of the ship better or cheaper than the U.S. (e.g., auxiliaries, propulsion, or hull), Japan could take the lead in developing it for both countries. However, domestic constituency and laws may prevent efficient production based on comparative advantages in the U.S. and Japan. The Buy American Act of 1933 requires the U.S. government to give preference to products made in the United States. In light of cultural and historical opposition to buying foreign-made ships in both countries, a practical solution would be if both countries produced its own hulls in their domestic shipyards based on the same design. This would preserve American and Japanese shipbuilding and defense jobs in their home constituencies. Comparative advantage production, though, should be sought in auxiliary/propulsion systems, weapons, and radars to make the venture as joint and cost-effective as possible. Cost savings would not be as great if both countries produced its own ships; however, there is still a net positive effect derived from increased interoperability, joint R&D, and common maintenance practice from a shared platform.[39] This would ultimately translate to increased collective security for both countries and a stronger alliance which cannot be measured solely by monetary savings. Logistical and Maintenance Advantages U.S.-Japan joint frigate development offers maintenance and logistical advantages. The USN and JMSDF utilize similar logistics hubs currently in forward-deployed bases in Japan. The U.S. and Japan can find efficiency by leveraging existing logistics chains and maintenance facilities by building a platform based on shared components. Theoretically, a JMSDF frigate could be serviced in a USN repair facility, while a USN frigate could be maintained in a JMSDF repair facility if the platform is essentially built on the same blueprint. This may help reduce maintenance backlogs by making efficient use of USN and JMSDF repair yards. Furthermore, the use of common components would make parts more interchangeable and would also derive efficiency in stockpiling spares usable by both fleets. Recently, the JMSDF and USN participated in a first of a kind exchange of maintenance parts between USS Stethem (DDG-63) and destroyer JS Ikazuchi (DD-107) during Exercise MultiSail 17 in Guam.[40] It was the first time in which U.S. and Japan used the existing acquisition and cross-servicing agreements (ACSA) to exchange goods between ships. The significance was that ACSA transfers are usually conducted at the fleet depot or combatant command (PACOM) levels, and not at the unit level. As U.S. and Japan devise creative ways to increase interoperability, commonalities in provisions, fuel, transportation, ammunition, and equipment would add to the ease of streamlining the acquisition and exchange process. Ships built on the same blueprint would in theory have all these in common. Common parts and maintenance would also improve theater operational logistics in the Fifth and Seventh Fleet AORs. For counter-piracy deployments to the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, the JMSDF would be able to utilize U.S. logistics hubs in Djibouti, Bahrain, Diego Garcia, Perth, and Singapore to obtain parts more readily or perform emergency repairs. Guam, Japan, and Hawaii could be hubs in the Pacific to deliver common parts or perform maintenance on the shared frigate platform. The U.S. can expand its parts base and utilize ACSA to accept payment in kind or monetary reimbursement. Most importantly, the benefit to warfighters is that vessels would not be beholden solely to the logistics systems of their own country. Rather, ships can rely on a bilateral inventory and maintenance availability leading to enhanced collective security and a closer alliance. Damage Repairs in Overseas Ports Besides regular maintenance, the doctrinal shift to a more offensive strategy of distributed lethality requires that the Navy address the potential for a surge in battle damage.[41] There is a potential for an upsurge in battle damage as ships are more widely dispersed with a greater offensive posture, which may lead to a distributed vulnerability to taking casualties.[42] This prospect requires the Navy to focus on increasing the repair capability of naval platforms in forward ports.[43] Therefore, the need to conduct expeditionary repair, or the ability to swiftly repair naval ships that take on battle damage, becomes more important and challenging.[44] The four repair facilities in the Pacific best positioned to repair ships that receive damage are located in Guam, San Diego, Everett, and Pearl Harbor, as well as at the joint U.S.-Japanese ship repair service in Yokosuka, Japan.[45] A common U.S.-Japan platform that shares the same design and components would be better able to repair battle damage in forward repair facilities in an expeditionary and expeditious manner. Spreading the battle repair capability across the theater reduces risks in the offensively-postured DL concept. Counterarguments The U.S. Navy and JMSDF have achieved strong interoperability through years of conducting bilateral exercises. Having both nations producing their own warships and then achieving close interoperability through joint operations remain a convincing argument to maintain the status quo. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) have been useful mechanisms to transfer U.S. technology and reaping the benefit of technology flowback from Japanese R&D. The current system of Japan license-producing U.S. systems has preserved Japans status as an important client of U.S. defense systems. The Fighter Support Experimental (FS-X) co-development project in the 1980s showed that terms and conditions of technology transfer and flowback must be equitably worked out, or Japan may also balk at pursuing a joint development with the U.S. Japan received U.S. assistance for the first time in the design and development of an advanced fighter.[46] The Japanese saw co-development as a next stage in the process toward indigenous production, as the technical data packages transferred not only manufacturing processes or know-how, but full design process or know-why as well.[47] Prominent politicians, however, such as the former-Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, clamored in op-ed pieces for Japan to step out from Uncle Sams shadow and pursue an independent development vice a joint development.[48] Speaking for many of the Japanese policy elites who shared his sentiments, the FSX would give away [Japans] most advanced defense technology to the United States but pay licensing and patent fees for each piece of technology we use. Washington refuses to give us the know-how we need most, attaches a battery of restrictions to the rest and denies us commercial spinoffs.[49] If the terms of co-development such as technology flowback and terms and conditions of tech transfer are not equitably worked out, Japan may also balk at pursuing a joint development with the U.S. These arguments have strong logic, but they still have flaws. Japan has followed the license-production model of producing U.S. systems for decades following WWII. To provide a few examples, Japan has produced the F-104 fighter, SH-60 helicopter, P-3C Orion anti-submarine patrol craft, and Patriot missiles under license. In many instances, Japanese engineers made significant improvements and enhancements to U.S. designs.[50] While license-production has advantages in guaranteeing technology flowback, it only works if the platform being license-produced is already a proven effective platform. In the case of frigates, there is no such platform yet. The LCS has too many issues for it to be a viable future frigate that could replace JMSDFs light escort destroyers. With no viable alternative to the future frigate design, the U.S. risks going at it alone on a program that has already consumed precious time and resources on the problematic LCS program. It is unlikely that Japan would want to produce or buy an ineffective and problematic platform. Finally, the age of Japan license-producing U.S. weapon systems is increasingly an outmoded framework. While there is no ally with whom the U.S. has more commonality in defense hardware than Japan, these programs function in a manner largely detached from any real strategic vision.[51] The transfer of leading edge U.S. systems (coproduction of the F-15 fighter, the sale of Aegis-equipped warships, even the transfer of 767-based AWACS early warning aircraft) was carried out in an episodic and disjointed manner.[52] What is needed is a joint R&D program based on bilateral operational requirements from the outset, which nests with the Surface Force Strategy of the 21st century to ensure joint interoperability. In order for Japan to break the model of U.S. as patron / supplier Japan as client / recipient,[53] Japan must also step up defense R&D and burden-share on a future platform that will mutually benefit the security of the Pacific. The U.S. must also be open to the idea of cooperative partnership in ship development and production that would benefit the U.S. primarily through greater security, and distance itself from the notion that co-development would only benefit Japan. A Frigate for the 21st Century Cooperative development of the future frigate would mutually benefit the U.S. and Japan and the security of the Pacific for the greater part of the 21st century. A common platform would enhance interoperability by basing its design on bilateral operational requirements and integrating it into Surface Force Strategys distributed lethality concept. Furthermore, this strategy would reduce seams in the current strategy by burden-sharing sea control responsibilities with existing platforms, principally the Arleigh Burke DDGs, and increase the size of USN and JMSDF fleets by factoring in joint planning and collective self-defense considerations. In an age of limited resources and persistent cost growth in unilateral defense programs, a joint development program offers solutions by reducing cost through burden-sharing R&D, leveraging economies of scale and comparative advantage to favor both nations. A shared platform would enhance operational logistics and maintenance through the use of same components, streamlining bilateral inventory, and enhancing expeditionary repair capability. Therefore, the joint development of a frigate would improve operational, industrial, and logistical capabilities of the alliance in a concrete manner. Ultimately, this project would enhance the U.S.-Japan collective defense and security to counterbalance Chinas revisionist policy in the maritime sphere. Joint frigate development is not only a good idea, but it is also an achievable and realistic proposition. If increasing fleet size is a necessity for U.S. and Japan, why not choose the most financially pragmatic and feasible option? Relative declines in defense budgets rule out the ability of any country to be completely autonomous in defense acquisitions.[54] Cooperative development and production have become a necessitynot an indulgence.[55] Thus, a practical strategy that utilizes the resources of more than one country effectively will gain the advantage over adversaries that commit only their own industry. It would behoove the U.S. and Japan to prepare for a future contingency during peacetime by forging a stronger alliance through developing an effective platform that increases fleet size and interoperability, brings defense industries closer, and improves logistics and maintenance. The U.S. and Japans security relationship has developed into a robust alliance spanning the breadth of all instruments of national policy and interests. In the next phase of the alliance, the U.S. and Japan should undertake a major cooperative shipbuilding project that broadly encompasses the industrial might of these two nations, to safeguard the maritime commons that underwrites the security of the Pacific and the global economy. Let that project be the joint development of the next generation multi-mission frigate that will serve for the majority of the 21st century. LCDR Jason Yuki Osuga is a graduate of the Advanced Strategist Program at the Naval War College, and is the prospective Naval Attach to Japan. Endnotes [1] John Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2014), 363. [2] Red Ink Rising, The Economist, March 3, 2016. Accessed on April 16, 2017 in http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21693963-china-cannot-escape-economic-reckoning-debt-binge-brings-red-ink-rising [3] National Intelligence Council, Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, NIC 2012-001, December 2012, 16. Accessed on https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/GlobalTrends_2030.pdf [4] Mearsheimer, 335. [5] Robert D. Blackwell and Ashley J. Tellis, Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China,Council on Foreign Relations, Council Special Report No. 72, March 2015, 39. [6] Secretary of the Navy Announces Need for 355-ship Navy, 2016 Force Structure Assessment (FSA), December 14, 2016. Accessed on April 10, 2017 in http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=98160 [7] Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., Big Wars, Small Ships: CSBAs Alternative Navy Praised by Sen. McCain, Breaking Defense, February 09, 2017. [8] Office of the Secretary of Defense, Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the Peoples Republic of China, April 26, 2016, 66. [9] Ibid, 27. [10] Ibid. [11] Ibid, 26. [12] Michael McDevitt, Beijings Dream: Becoming a Maritime Superpower, National Interest, July 1, 2016, cited in Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes, Chinas Rising Sea Power, Foreign Policy Research Institute, November 5, 2016, 95. [13] Patrick M. Cronin, Mira Rapp-Hooper, Harry Krejsa, Alex Sullivan, Beyond the San Hai: The Challenge of Chinas Blue-Water Navy, Center for a New American Security (CNAS), May 2017, 2. [14] Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes, Chinas Rising Sea Power,Foreign Policy Research Institute,November 5, 2016, 95. [15] Yoshihara and Holmes, 95. [16] Yoshihara and Holmes, 95. [17] Interview with Professor Toshi Yoshihara, November 06, 2016. [18] Chief of Naval Operations, ADM John Richardson, The Future Navy, May 17, 2017. Accessed on May 21, 2017 in http://www.navy.mil/navydata/people/cno/Richardson/Resource/TheFutureNavy.pdf [19] Commander, Naval Surface Force, Surface Force Strategy: Return to Sea Control, January 9, 2017. [20] VADM Thomas Rowden, RADM Peter Gumataotao, RADM Peter Fanta, Distributed Lethality, Proceedings, 141, no. 1 (2015): 5. [21] Ibid. [22] Commander, Naval Surface Force, Surface Force Strategy: Return to Sea Control, January 9, 2017. [23] Jeffrey McConnell, NavalIntegratedFireControlCounterAir Capability Based System of Systems Engineering, NavalSurfaceWarfareCenter,DahlgrenDivision, November 14, 2013. [24] Sam LaGrone, Planned Japan[ese] Self Defense Force Aircraft Buys, Destroyer Upgrades Could Tie Into U.S. Navys Networked Battle Force, USNI News, June 10, 2015. [25] US Navys Cruiser Problem Service Struggles Over Modernization, Replacements, Defense News, July 7, 2014. Accessed April 22, 2017 in http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/archives/2014/07/07/us-navy-s-cruiser-problem-service-struggles-over-modernization-replacements/78531650/ [26] Government Accountability Office, Littoral Combat Ship and Frigate: Congress Faced with Critical Acquisition Decisions, GAO-17-262T, December 1, 2016, 1. Accessed on APR 06, 2017 in http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/681333.pdf [27] Chief of Naval Operations, ADM John Richardson, The Future Navy, May 17, 2017. Accessed on May 21, 2017 in http://www.navy.mil/navydata/people/cno/Richardson/Resource/TheFutureNavy.pdf [28] Naval History and Heritage Command, U.S. Ship Force Levels: 1886-present, U.S. Navy, accessed March 4, 2017, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/us-ship-force-levels.html. Graph courtesy of LCDR Benjamin Amdur. [29] Interview with Professor Toshi Yoshihara, Strategy and Policy Dept., Naval War College, November 06, 2017. [30] ADM Jonathan Greenert, Payloads over Platforms: Charting a New Course, Proceedings, 138, no. 7 (2012): 16, https://search.proquest.com/docview/1032965033?accountid=322 (accessed January 12, 2017). [31] Eric Wertheim, The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2007), 374. [32] Nobuhiro Kubo, Japan to Speed up Frigate Build to Reinforce East China Sea, Reuters, February 17, 2017, accessed on March 4, 2017 in http://in.reuters.com/article/japan-navy-frigates-idINKBN15W150. [33] Mina Pollman, Discussion on Grand Strategy and International Order with Barry Posen, January 6, 2017, accessed on http://cimsec.org/barry-posen-draft/30281. [34]Richard J. Samuels,Rich Nation, Strong Army:National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, 1994), 239 [35] J. Michael Cole, US, Japan to Jointly Develop Littoral Combat Ship, The Diplomat, March 7, 2014. Accessed on January 5, 2016, http://thediplomat.com/2014/03/us-japan-to-jointly-develop-littoral-combat-ship/ [36] Gidget Fuentes, Japans Maritime Chief Takei: U.S. Industry, Military Key to Address Western Pacific Security Threats, United States Naval Institute News, February 22, 2016. Accessed on January 5, 2016, https://news.usni.org/2016/02/22/japans-maritime-chief-takei-u-s-industry-military-key-to-address-western-pacific-security-threats. [37] Fuentes. [38] Fuentes. [39] Interview with Professor Toshi Yoshihara, Naval War College, S&P Dept., November 06, 2017. [40] Megan Eckstein, U.S., Japanese Destroyers Conduct First-Of-Kind Parts Swaps During Interoperability Exercise, USNI News, March 17, 2017. Accessed on March 31, 2017 in https://news.usni.org/2017/03/17/u-s-japanese-destroyers-conduct-first-ever-parts-swaps. [41] Christopher Cedros, Distributed Lethality and the Importance of Ship Repair, The Strategy Bridge, February 14, 2017. [42] Cedros. [43] Cedros. [44] Cedros. [45] Cedros. [46] Samuels, 238. [47] Samuels, 241. [48] Shintaro Ishihara, FSX Japans Last Bad Deal, New York Times, January 14, 1990. Accessed on April 20, 2017 in http://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/14/business/forum-fsx-japan-s-last-bad-deal.html [49] Ishihara. [50] Samuels, 276. [51] Gregg A. Rubinstein, Armaments Cooperation in U.S.-Japan Security Relations, in Pacific Forum CSIS (ed.), United States Japan Strategic Dialogue: Beyond the Defense Guidelines, Honolulu, 2001, 90.

Fair Usage Law

July 17, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Regional hegemony – Wikipedia

In international relations, regional hegemony is the influence exercised over neighboring countries by an independently powerful nation, the regional hegemon. The relationship between regional hegemons and the other states within their spheres of influence is analogous to the relationship between a global hegemon and the other states in the international system. The prominent international relations scholar John Mearsheimer writes extensively about the pursuit of regional hegemony in his book, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. According to his theory, known as offensive realism, the anarchic nature of the international system, the desire for survival, and the uncertainty about other states’ intentions ultimately lead states to pursue regional hegemony. According to Mearsheimer, global hegemony is an unattainable goal; instead, a state which has achieved the level of regional hegemon will then work to prevent the development of peer competitors in other regions. Contemporary examples are often politically sensitive or arguable. Often analysis of regional hegemons are based on a specific context or perspective which renders their identification subjective. The United States is a clear example of a regional hegemon in the Americas.[1] Other regional hegemons include:

Fair Usage Law

July 12, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Subjective reporting and characterization threaten global stability – Asia Times

Media reports and pundit opinions about China (or any other country) shape public opinion. The negative view that the majority of people in English-speaking countries (more than 50% according to Pew and Gallup polls) hold about China is based on media reports and the characterization of pundits because most dont understand the country. In this way, public opinion can be manipulated because the public believes whatever the media and pundits propagate. And public opinion matters because itinfluences public policies and, in the US, presidential elections. The DailyBrief Must-reads from across Asia – directly to your inbox Fake news and narratives mislead the public into supporting questionable conflicts. The Vietnam War, based on false accusations that North Vietnam attacked a US warship, cost the lives of more than 50,000 Americans and an indeterminate number of Vietnamese. More than5,000 Americans and 175,000 Iraqis lost their lives in the Iraq conflict, triggered by false claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. In both conflicts, many more people were wounded. The US Department of Defense has estimated that the Vietnam War cost US$168 billion much more in todaysdollars. Depending on which study one believes, the cost of the Iraq war ranged from $2.1 trillion (Brown University) to more than$3.5 trillion (Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz). Inventing information to cultivate public support for a military and/or trade war with China would be far more costly and dangerous. Both countries have enough conventional and nuclear weapons to wipe each other off the face of the planet, taking much of the rest of the globe with them. Further, China is the USs largest trading partner and the fastest-growing export market, reaching two-way trade value of US$560 billion in 2016. The US-China Business Council estimates that the trade relationship is responsible for more than2.6 million jobs in the US. According to Forbes, Chinese companies invested nearly $54 billion, and Chinese-owned firms have created more than140,000 jobs in the US. Further, the two economies are increasingly intertwined, as the US outsources production to China. In reporting the 2014 unrest in Hong Kong by Umbrella Movement protesters who claimed the Chinese government has reneged on democracy for the former British colony, Western media and pundits considered only the views of protest leaders. Rare interviews of bystanders complaining about the protests were dismissed as mainland plants because they spoke withwhat the mediathought to be a mainland accent. This cherry-picking reporting style does not pass the smell test because some of those interviewed did have ulterior motives. But if the media claim to be independent and objective, they have aresponsibility to listen to all sides. Michael Pillsbury, a former US government official who is now a defense-policy analyst, warns that China is planning to supplant the US as the global hegemon. In his 2015 bookThe 100-Year Marathon, he accuses Chinese leaders of using devious means to trick US leaders into believing that China will become like the US in asking for US help to develop the economy. Why moving pieces on the chessboard is considered strategy but moving stones on the Go board is deception has never been made clear. Pillsbury opines that the Chinese are devious because of the way they play the chess-like game Go (Weiqi), which China invented more than 2,500 years ago. Unlike Westerners using strategy to move pieces on a chessboard, the Chinese are said to deploy deception in moving the stones to defeat or surround a Go opponent. Why moving pieces on the chessboard is considered strategy but moving stones on the Go board is deception has never been made clear. Pillsbury illustrates Chinese deception by suggesting that Mao Tse-tung staged a military clash with the Soviet Union in 1969 to lure US President Richmond Nixon to China for a rapprochement between their two countries. The problem with his theory is that Nixons intention to reach out to China had already been revealed in a 1967 article in the US-based magazine Foreign Affairs. In that piece, Nixonrecognized that China was too big to be shut out and that the country could help the US contain Soviet communism. Moreover, the China-Soviet conflictwas over border disputes. Lenin is said to have promised the return to China of all land that Czarist Russia had annexed. But the Soviet leadership later renegedon that promise. Deng Xiaoping opened China to the outside world to modernize the countrys economy. He sent cadres overseas to study, and bought advanced UStechnology primarily to stimulateeconomic growth. Deng and other Chinese leaders might, in fact, have dismissed the notion thatUS-style ideology could work in China because of differences in history, culture, polity and social values. Indeed, they were horrified at the outcomes incountries that did adopt US-style liberalism, prompting former Chinese President Hu Jintao to conclude that democracy is a dead end in China, years before Pillsbury published his book. John Mearsheimer, aUniversity of Chicago scholar, has concluded that Chinas rise will not be peaceful. He argues that a rising China would demand a piece of the action, while the US is equally determined to prevent China from attaining its ambitions. Therefore, he opines that the US and China will fall into the Thucydides trap which posits that war is inevitable when one great power threatens to displace another. Mearsheimer also has history on his side, in that mostwars have beenfought over a rising power challenging anexisting one or vice-versa. However, Mearsheimer left out three important factors that did not exist in earlier wars. One, the Chinese and American economies are increasingly intertwined. Two, both the US and China are nuclear powers with enough bombs to destroy each other. Three, China is not directly challenging US hegemony, unless one interprets forging a different ideological path and defending core interests as a challenge to US dominance. The manufactured China threat has squandered economic opportunities, incurred huge costs and posed a significant danger to all. US freedom of navigation and overflight operations in the South China Sea destabilizes the region and wastes taxpayers money. Putting on a show of force and producing weapons costs billions of dollars. Whats more, China is deploying fighter jets, warships and missiles to deter what it considers US provocation. Sooner or later a miscalculation could occur, leading to war. Further, a trade war between the US and China would trigger an economic earthquake. The world trading order might collapse, bringing down the globalized economy. It is time the Anglo-American press and pundits stop spreading fake newsabout China. Ken Moak taught economic theory, public policy and globalization at university level for 33 years. He co-authored a book titled China’s Economic Rise and Its Global Impact (Palgrave McMillan, 2015). His latest book is titled, Developed Nations and the Impact of Globalization and it will be published by Palgrave McMillan Springer in 2017. continue reading

Fair Usage Law

July 12, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Fake News on Russia in the New York Times, 1917-2017 – Dissident Voice

by Edward S. Herman / July 8th, 2017 It has been amusing watching the New York Times (Times) and its fellow mainstream media (MSM) cohort express their dismay over the rise and spread of fake news. They take it as an obvious truth that what they provide is straightforward and unbiased fact-based news. They do offer such news, but they also provide a steady flow of their own varied forms of genuinely fake news, often in disseminating false or misleading information supplied them by the CIA, other branches of government, and sites of corporate power. An important form of MSM fake news is that which is presented while suppressing information that calls the preferred news into question. This was the case with The Lie That Wasnt Shot Down, the title of a January 18, 1988 Times editorial referring to a propaganda claim of five years earlier that the editors had swallowed and never looked into any further. The liethat the Soviets knew that Korean airliner 007, which they shot down on August 31, 1983, was a civilian planewas eventually uncovered by congressman Lee Hamilton, not by the Times. MSM fake news is especially likely where a party line is quickly formed on a topic, with deviationism therefore immediately looking nave, unpatriotic or simply wrong. In a dramatic illustration, in a book chapter entitled Worthy and Unworthy Victims, Noam Chomsky and I showed that coverage by Time, Newsweek, CBS News and the New York Times of the 1984 murder of the priest Jerzy Popieluzko in communist Poland, a dramatic and politically useful event for the politicized western MSM, exceeded their coverage of the murders of 100 religious figures killed in Latin America by U.S. client states in the post-World War II years taken together. It was cheap and free of any negative feedback to focus heavily on the worthy victim, whereas looking closely at the deaths of the 100 would have required an expensive and sometimes dangerous research effort and would have upset the State Department. But it was a form of fake news to discriminate so heavily with news (and indignation) on a politically useful victim while ignoring large numbers whose murder the political establishments wanted downplayed or completely suppressed. The Fake News Tradition on Russia in the New York Times Fake news on Russia is a Times tradition that can be traced back at least as far as the 1917 revolution. In a classic study of the papers coverage of the Russian revolution from February 1917 to March 1920, Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz found that From the point of view of professional journalism the reporting of the Russian Revolution is nothing short of a disaster. On the essential questions the net effect was almost always misleading, and misleading news is worse than none at all.They can fairly be charged with boundless credulity, and an untiring readiness to be gulled, and on many occasions with a downright lack of common sense. Lippmann and Merz found that strong editorial bias clearly fed into news reporting. The editors very much wanted the communists to lose, and serving this end caused the paper to report atrocities that didnt happen and the imminent fall of the Bolshevik regime on a regular basis (at least 91 times). There was a heavy and uncritical acceptance of official handouts and reliance on statements from unidentified high authority. This was standard Times practice. This fake news performance of 1917-1920 was repeated often in the years that followed. The Soviet Union was an enemy target up to World War II, and Times coverage was consistently hostile. With the end of World War II and the Soviet Union at that point a major military power, and soon a rival nuclear power, the Cold War was on. Anti-communism became a major U.S. religion, and the Soviet Union was quickly found to be trying to conquer the world and needing containment. With this ideology in place and U.S. plans for its own real global expansion of power well established, the communist threat would now help sustain the steady growth of the military-industrial complex and repeated interventions to deal with purported Soviet aggressions. An Early Great Crime: Guatemala One of the most flagrant cases in which the Russian threat was used to justify U.S.-organized violence was the overthrow of the social democratic government of Guatemala in 1954 by a small proxy army invading from U.S. ally Somozas Nicaragua. This action was provoked by government reforms that upset U.S. officials, including a 1947 law permitting the formation of labor unions, and government plans to buy back (at tax rate valuations) and distribute to landless peasants some of the unused land owned by United Fruit Company and other large landowners. The U.S., which had been perfectly content with the earlier 14-year- long dictatorship of Jose Ubico, could not tolerate this democratic challenge and the elected government, led by Jacobo Arbenz, was soon charged with assorted villainies, with the main fake news base of an alleged Red capture of the Guatemalan government. In the pre-invasion propaganda campaign the unified MSM leveled a stream of false charges of extreme repression, threats to its neighbors, and the communist takeover. The Times featured these alleged abuses and threats repeatedly from 1950 onward (my favorite, Sidney Grusons How Communists Won Control of Guatemala, March 1, 1953). Arbenz and his predecessor, Juan Jose Arevalo, had carefully avoided establishing any embassies with Soviet bloc countries, fearing U.S. reactions. But it was to no avail. Following the removal of Arbenz and installation of a right-wing dictatorship, court historian Ronald Schneider, after studying 50,000 documents seized from communist sources in Guatemala, found that not only did the communists never control the country, but that the Soviet Union made no significant or even material investment in the Arbenz regime and was too preoccupied with internal problems to concern itself with Central America. The coup government quickly attacked and decimated the organized groups that had formed in the democratic era, like peasant, worker and teacher organizations. Arbenz had won 65 percent of the votes in a free election, but the liberator Castillo Armas quickly won a plebiscite with 99.6 percent of the vote. Although this is a result familiar in totalitarian regimes, the MSM had lost interest in Guatemala and barely mentioned this electoral outcome. The Times had claimed back in 1950 that U.S. Guatemala policy is not trying to block social and economic progress but is interested in seeing that Guatemala becomes a liberal democracy. But in the aftermath the editors failed to note that the result of U.S. policy was precisely to block social and economic progress, and via the installation of a regime of terror. In 2011, more than half a century after 1954, Elizabeh Malkin reported in the Times that Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom had apologized for that great crime [the violent overthrow of the Arbenz government in 1954] an act of aggression to a government starting its democratic spring. (An apology for a Guatemalan Coup, 57 Years Later, October 20, 2011). Malkin mentions that, according to president Colom, the Arbenz family is seeking an apology from the United States for its role in the great Crime. There has never been any apology or even acknowledgement of its role in the Great Crime by the editors of the New York Times. Another Great Crime: Vietnam There were many fake news reports in the Times and other mainstream publications during the Vietnam war. The claim that the Times was anti-Vietnam-war is misleading and essentially false. In Without Fear or Favor, former Times reporter Harrison Salisbury acknowledged that in 1962, when U.S. intervention escalated, the Times was deeply and consistently supportive of the war policy. He contends that the paper became steadily more oppositional from 1965, culminating in the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. But Salisbury fails to recognize that from 1954 to the present the paper never abandoned the Cold War framework and language of apologetics, according to which the U.S. was resisting somebody elses aggression and protecting South Vietnam. The paper never applied the word aggression to this country, but used it freely in referring to North Vietnamese actions and those of the National Liberation Front in the southern half of Vietnam. The various halts in the U.S. bombing war in 1965 and later in the alleged interest of giving peace a chance were also fake news, as the Johnson administration used the halts to quiet antiwar protests, while making it clear to the Vietnamese that U.S. officials demanded full surrender. The Times and its colleagues swallowed this bait without a murmur of dissent. Furthermore, although from 1965 onward the Times was willing to publish more information that put the war in a less favorable light, it never broke from its heavy dependence on official sources or its reluctance to check out official lies or explore the damage being wrought on Vietnam and its civilian population by the U.S. war machine. In contrast with its eager pursuit of Cambodian refugees from the Khmer Rouge after April 1975, the paper rarely sought out testimony from the millions of Vietnamese refugees fleeing U.S. bombing and chemical warfare. In its opinion columns as well, the new openness was limited to commentators who accepted the premises of the war and would confine their criticisms to its tactical problems and costs;to us. From beginning to end those who criticized the war as aggression and immoral at its root were excluded from the debate by the Times. The 1981 Papal Assassination Attempt. The Missile Gap, and Humanitarian Intervention in Yugoslavia Papal Assassination Attempt. A major contribution to Cold War propaganda was provided by fake news on the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in Rome in May 1981. This was a time when the Reagan administration was trying hard to demonize the Soviet Union as an evil empire. The shooting of the Pope by the Turkish fascist Ali Agca was quickly tied to Moscow, helped by Agcas confession, after 17 months imprisonment, interrogations, threats, inducements, and access to the media, that the Bulgarians and Soviet KGB were behind it. There was never any credible evidence of this connection, the claims were implausible, and the corruption in the process was remarkable. (See Manufacturing Consent, chapter 4 and Appendix 2). And Agca also periodically claimed to be Jesus Christ. The case against the Bulgarians (and implicitly the KGB) was lost even in Italys extremely biased and politicized judicial framework. But the Times bought it, and gave it long, intensive and completely uncritical attention, as did most of the U.S. media. In 1991, in Senate hearings on the qualifications of Robert Gates to head the CIA, former CIA officer Melvin Goodman testified that the CIA knew [from the start that Agcas confessions were false because they had very good penetration of the Bulgarian secret services. The Times omitted this statement by Goodman in reporting on his testimony. In the same year. with Bulgaria now a member of the Free World, conservative analyst Allen Weinstein obtained permission to examine Bulgarian secret service files on the papal assassination attempt. His mission was widely reported when he went, including in the Times, but when he returned without having found anything implicating Bulgaria or the KGB, a number of papers, including the Times, found this not newsworthy. Missile Gap. There was a great deal of fake news in the missile gap and other gap eras, from roughly 1975 to 1986, with Times reporters passing along official and often false news in a regular stream. An important case occurred in the mid-1970s, at a time when the U.S. war-party was trying to escalate the Cold War and arms race. A 1975 report of CIA professionals found that the Soviets were aiming only for nuclear parity. This was unsatisfactory, so CIA head George H.W. Bush appointed a new team of hardliners, who soon found that the Soviets were achieving nuclear superiority and getting ready to fight a nuclear war. This Team B report was taken at face value in a Times front page article of December 26, 1976 by David Binder, who failed to mention its political bias or purpose and made no attempt by tapping experts with different views to get at the truth. The CIA admitted in 1983 that the Team B estimates were fabrications. But throughout this period, 1975-1986, the Times supported the case for militarization by disseminating lots of fake news. Much of this false information was convincingly refuted by Tom Gervasi in his classic The Myth of Soviet Military Supremacy (New York: Harper & Row, 1986), a book never reviewed in the paper despite the papers frequent attention to its subject matter. Yugoslavia and Humanitarian Intervention. The 1990s wars of dismantlement of Yugoslavia succeeded in removing an independent government from power and replacing it with a broken Serbian remnant and poor and unstable failed states in Bosnia and Kosovo. It did provide unwarranted support for the new concept of humanitarian intervention, which rested on a mass of fake news. The demonized Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was not an ultra-nationalist seeking a Greater Serbia, but rather a non-aligned leader on the Western hit list who tried to help Serb minorities in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo remain in Yugoslavia as the U.S. and EU supported a legally questionable exodus by several constituent Yugoslav Republics. He supported each of the proposed settlements of these conflicts, sabotaged by Bosnian and U.S. officials who wanted better terms or the outright military defeat of Serbia, the latter of which they achieved. Milosevic had nothing to do with the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre, which involved Bosnian Serbs taking revenge on Bosnian Muslim soldiers who had been ravaging nearby Bosnian Serb villages from their base in Srebrenica under NATO protection. The several thousand Serb civilian deaths were essentially unreported in the MSM, while the numbers of Srebrenica executed victims were correspondingly inflated. The Timess reporting on these events was fake news on a systematic basis. The Putin Era: A Golden Age of Fake News The U.S. establishment was shocked and thrilled with the 1989-1991 fall of the Soviet Union, and its members were happy with the policies carried out under President Boris Yeltsin, a virtual U.S. client, under whose rule ordinary Russians suffered a calamity but a small set of oligarchs was able to loot the broken state. Yeltsins election victory in 1996, greatly assisted by U.S. consultants, advice and money, and otherwise seriously corrupt, was, for the editors of the Times, A Victory for Russian Democracy (NYT, ed, July 4, 1996). They were not bothered by either the electoral corruption, the creation of a grand-larceny-based economic oligarchy, or, shortly thereafter, the new rules centralizing power in the office of president. Yeltsins successor, Vladimir Putin, by gradually abandoning the Yeltsin era subservience was thereby perceived as a steadily increasing menace. His re-election in 2012, although surely less corrupt than Yeltsins in 1996, was treated harshly in the media. The lead Times article on May 5, 2012 featured a slap in the face from OSCE observers, claims of no real competition, and thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in Moscow square to chant Russia without Putin (Ellen Barry and Michael Schwartz, After Election, Putin Faces Challenges to Legitimacy). There had been no challenges to legitimacy reported in the Times after Yeltsins corrupt victory in 1996. The process of Putin demonization escalated with the Ukraine crisis of 2014 and its sequel of Kiev warfare against Eastern Ukraine, Russian support of the East Ukraine resistance, and the Crimean referendum and absorption of Crimea by Russia. This was all declared aggression by the U.S. and its allies and clients, sanctions were imposed on Russia, and a major U.S.-NATO military buildup was initiated on Russias borders. Tensions mounted further with the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over southeastern Ukraine, effectively, but almost surely falsely, blamed on the pro-Russian rebels and Russia itself. A further cause of demonization and anti-Russian hostility resulted from the escalated Russian intervention in Syria from 2015 in support of Bashar al-Saddad and against ISIS and al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaeda. The U.S. and its NATO and Middle East allies had been committing aggression against Syria, in de facto alliance with ISIS and al-Nusra, for several years. Russian intervention turned the tide, the U.S. (Saudi, etc.) goal of removing Saddad was upset and the tacit U.S. allies ISIS and al-Nusra were also weakened. Certainly demonic behavior by Putin! The Times has treated these further developments with unstinting apologeticsfor the February 2014 coup in Kiev, which it never calls a coup, with the U.S. role in the overthrow of the elected government of Victor Yanukovych suppressed, and with anger and horror at the Crimea referendum and Russian absorption, which it never allows to be a defensive response to the Kiev coup. Its call for punishment of the casualty-free Russian aggression in Crimea is in marked contrast with its apologetics for the million-plus-casualtyrich U.S. aggression of choice (not defensive) in Iraq from March 2003 on. The editors and liberal columnist Paul Krugman angrily cite Putins lack of respect for international law, with their internalized double standard exempting their own country from criticism for its repeated violations of that law. In the Timess reporting and opinion columns Russia is regularly assailed as expansionist and threatening its neighbors, but virtually no mention is made of NATOs expansion up to the Russian borders and first-strike-threat placement of anti-missile weapons in Eastern Europe, the latter earlier claimed to be in response to a missile threat from Iran! Analyses by political scientist John Mearsheimer and Russia authority Stephen F. Cohen that featured this NATO advance could not make it into the opinion pages of the Times. On the other hand, a member of the Russian Pussy Riot band, Maria Alyokhina, was given op-ed space to denounce Putin and Russia, and the punk-rock group was granted a meeting with the Times editorial board. Between January 1 and March 31, 2014 the paper had 23 articles featuring the Pussy Riot group and its alleged significance as a symbol of Russian limits on free speech. Pussy Riot had disrupted a church service in Moscow and only stopped upon police intervention, which was at the request of the church authorities. A two year prison sentence followed. In contrast, in February 2014, 84 year old Sister Megan Rice was sentenced to four years in prison in the U.S. for having entered a nuclear weapons site in July 2012 and carried out a symbolic protest action. The Times gave this news a tiny mention in its National Briefing section under the title Tennessee Nun is Sentenced for Peace Protest. No op-ed columns or meeting with the Times board for Rice. There are worthy and unworthy protesters as well as victims. As regards Syria, with Russian help the Assad forces were able to dislodge the rebels from Aleppo, to the dismay of Washington and the MSM. It has been enlightening to see how much concern has been expressed over casualties to civilians in Aleppo, with pictures of forsaken children and many stories of civilian distress. The Times focused heavily on those civilians and children, with great indignation at Putin-Assad inhumanity, in sharp contrast with their virtual silence on civilian casualties in Falluja in 2004 and beyond, and recently in rebel-held areas of Syria, and in Mosul (Iraq), under U.S. and allied attack. The differential treatment of worthy and unworthy victims has been in full sway in dealing with Syria, displayed again with the chemical weapons casualties and Trump bombing response in April 2017 (discussed below). A further and important phase of intensifying Russophobia may be dated from the October 2016 presidential debates, where Hillary Clinton declared that Mr. Trump would be a Putin puppet as president, and her campaign stressed this threat. This emphasis increased after the election, with the help of the media and intelligence services, as the Clinton camp sought to explain the election loss, maintain party control, and possibly get the election result overturned in the courts or electoral college by blaming the Trump victory on Russia. The Putin connection was given great impetus by the January 6, 2017 release of a report of the Office of Director of National Intelligence (DNI), on Background of Assessing Russian Activities and Intention in Recent US Elections This short document spends more than half of its space describing the Russian-sponsored RT-TV network, which it treats as an illegitimate propaganda source given its sponsorship and sometimes critical reports on U.S. policy and institutions! RT is allegedly part of Russias influence campaign, and the DNI says that We assess the influence campaign aspired to help President-elect Trumps chances of victory when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to the President-elect. There is no semblance of proof that there was a planned campaign rather than an ongoing expression of opinion and news judgments. All the logic and proofs of a Russian influence campaign could be applied with at least equal force to U.S. media and Radio Free Europes treatment of any Russian election, and of course the U.S. intervention in the 1996 Russian election was overt, direct and went far beyond any influence campaign. As regards the DNIs proof of a more direct Russian intervention in the U.S. election, the authors concede the absence of full supporting evidence, but they provide no supporting evidenceonly assertions, assessments, assumptions and guesses. It states that We assess that Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2015 designed to defeat Mrs. Clinton, and to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, but it provides no evidence whatsoever for any such order. It also provides no evidence that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the e-mails of Clinton and former Clinton campaign manager Podesta, or that it gave hacked information to WikiLeaks. Julian Assange and former British diplomat Craig Murray have repeatedly claimed that these sources were leaked by local insiders, not hacked by anybody. And the veteran intelligence agency experts William Binney and Ray McGovern also contend that the WikiLeaks evidence was surely leaked, not hacked. It is also notable that among the three intelligence agencies who signed the DNI document, only moderate confidence in its findings was expressed by the National Security Agency (NSA), the agency that would most clearly be in possession of proof of Russian hacking and transmission to WikiLeaks as well as any orders from Putin. But the Times has taken the Russian hacking story as established fact, despite the absence of hard evidence (as with the Reds ruling Guatemala, the missile gaps, etc.). Times reporter David Sanger refers to the reports damning and surprisingly detailed account of Russias efforts to undermine the American electoral system, but he then acknowledges that the published report contains no information about how the agencies had come to their conclusions. The report itself includes the amazing statement that Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. This is a denial of the credibility of its own purported evidence (i.e., assessments). Furthermore, if the report was based on intercepts of conversations as well as hacked computer data, as Sanger and the DNI claim, why has the DNI failed to quote a single conversation showing Putins alleged orders and plans to destabilize the West? The Times never cites or gives editorial space to William Binney, Ray McGovern or Craig Murray, who are dissident authorities on hacking technology, methodology and the specifics of the DNC hacks. But op-ed space was given to Louise Menschs What to ask about Russian hacking (NYT, March 17, 2017). Mensch is a notorious conspiracy theorist with no technical background in this area and who is described by Nathan Robinson and Alex Nichols as best-known for spending most of her time on Twitter issuing frenzied denunciations of imagined armies of online Putinbots and is one of the least credible people on the internet. But she is published in the Times because, in contrast with the well-informed and credible William Binney and Craig Murray, she follows the party line, taking Russian hacking of the DNC as a premise. The CIAs brazen intervention in the election process in 2016 and 2017 broke new ground in secret service politicization. Former CIA head Michael Morell had an August 5, 2016 op-ed in the Times entitled I Ran the C.I.A. Now Im Endorsing Hillary Clinton; and former CIA boss Michael Hayden had an op-ed in the Washington Post just days before the election, entitled Former CIA Chief:- Trump is Russias Useful Fool (November 3, 2016). Morell had another op-ed in the Times on January 6, now openly assailing the new president (Trumps Dangerous Anti-CIA Crusade). These attacks were unrelievedly insulting to Trump and laudatory to Clinton, even making Trump a traitor; they also make it clear that Clintons more pugnacious approach to Syria and Russia is much preferred to Trumps leanings toward negotiation and cooperation with Russia. This was also true of the further scandal with former Trump Defense Intelligence nominee Michael Flynns call from the Russian Ambassador, which possibly included exchanges about future Trump administration policy actions. This was quickly grasped by the outgoing Obama officials, security personnel and MSM, with the FBI interrogating Flynn and with widespread expressions of horror at Flynns action, allegedly possibly setting him up for blackmail. But such pre-inauguration meetings with Russian diplomats have been a common practice according to Jack Matlock, the U.S. ambassador to Russia under Reagan and Bush, and Matlock had personally arranged such a meeting for Jimmy Carter. Obamas own Russia adviser, Michael McFaul, admitted visiting Moscow for talks with officials in 2008 even before the election. Daniel Lazare makes a good case that not only are the illegality and blackmail threat implausible, but that the FBIs interrogation of Flynn also reeks of entrapment. And he asks what is wrong with trying to reduce tensions with Russia? Yet anti-Trump liberals are trying to convince the public that its all worse than Watergate. So the political point of the Assessment seems to have been, at minimum, to tie the Trump administrations hands in its dealings with Russia. Some non-MSM analysts have argued that we may have been witnessing an incipient spy or palace coup, that fell short but still had the desired effect of weakening the new administration. The Times has not offered a word of criticism of this politicization and intervention in the election process by the intelligence agencies, and in fact the editors have been working with them and the Democratic Party as a loosely-knit team in a distinctly un- and anti-democratic program designed to reverse the results of the 2016 election, while using an alleged foreign electoral intervention as their excuse. The Times and MSM in general have also barely mentioned the awkward fact that the allegedly Russian-hacked disclosures of the DNC and Clinton and Podesta e-mails described uncontested facts about real electoral manipulations on behalf of the Clinton campaign that the public had a right to know and that might well have affected election results. The focus on the evidence-free claims of a Russian hacking intrusion helped divert attention from the real electoral abuses disclosed by the WikiLeaks material. So here again, official and MSM fake news helped bury real news! Another arrow in the campaign quiver labeling Trump a knowing or useful fool instrument of Putin was a private intelligence dossier written by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent working for Orbis Business Intelligence, a private firm hired by the DNC to dig up dirt on Trump. Steeles first report, delivered in June 2016, made numerous serious accusations against Trump, most notably that Trump had been caught in a sexual escapade in Moscow, that his political advance had been supported by the Kremlin for at least five years, under the direction of Putin, and with the further aims of sowing discord within the U.S. and disrupting the Western alliance. This document was based on alleged conversations by Steele with distant (Russian) officials; that is, strictly hearsay evidence, whose assertions, where verifiable, are sometimes erroneous. But it said just what the Democrats, MSM and CIA wanted said, so intelligence officials declared the author credible and the media lapped this up, with the Times covering over its own cooperation in this ugly denigration effort by calling the report unverified but nevertheless reporting its claims. The Steele dossier also became a central part of the investigation and hearings on Russia-gate held by the House Intelligence Committee starting in March 2017, led by Democratic Representative Adam Schiff. While basing his opening statement on the hearsay-laden dossier, Schiff expressed no interest in establishing who funded the Steele effort (he produced 17 individual reports), the identity and exact status of the Russian officials who were the hearsay sources, and how much they were paid. Apparently talking to Russians with a design of influencing a U.S. presidential election is perfectly acceptable if the candidate supported by this Russian intrusion is anti-Russian! The Times has played a major role in this Russophobia-enhancement process, reminiscent of its 1917-1920 performance in which, as noted back in 1920 boundless credulity, and an untiring readiness to be gulled characterized the news-making process. While quoting the CIAs admission that they were showing no hard evidence, but were relying on circumstantial evidence and capabilities, the Times was happy to spell these capabilities out at great length and imply that they proved something. Editorials and news articles have worked uniformly on the supposition that Russian hacking was proved, which it was not, and that the Russians had given these data to WikiLeaks, also unproven and strenuously denied by Assange and Murray. So these reiterated claims are arguably first class fake news swallowed as palatable facts. The Times has run neck-and-neck with the Washington Post in stirring up fears of the Russian information war and improper involvement with Trump. The Times now easily conflates fake news with any criticism of established institutions, as in Mark Scott and Melissa Eddys Europe Combats a New Foe of Political Stability: Fake News, February 20, 2017. But what is more extraordinary is the uniformity with which the papers regular columnists accept as a given the CIAs Assessment of the Russian hacking and transmission to WikiLeaks, the possibility or likelihood that Trump is a Putin puppet, and the urgent need of a congressional and non-partisan investigation of these claims. This swallowing of a new war-party line has extended widely in the liberal media (e.g., Bill Moyers, Robert Reich, Ryan Lizza, Joan Walsh, Rachel Maddow, Katha Pollitt, Joshua Holland, the AlterNet web site, etc.). Both the Times and Washington Post have given tacit support to the idea that this fake news threat needs to be curbed, possibly by some form of voluntary media-organized censorship or government intervention that would at least expose the fakery. The Times has treated uncritically the Schiff hearings on dealing with Russian propaganda, and its opinion column by Louise Mensch strongly supports government hearings to expose Russian propaganda. Mensch names 26 individuals who should be interrogated about their contacts with Russians, and she supplies questions they should be asked. The most remarkable media episode in this anti-influence-campaign campaign was the Washington Posts piece by Craig Timberg, Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, experts say (November 24, 2016). The article features a report by an anonymous author or authors, PropOrNot, that claims to have found 200 web sites that wittingly or unwittingly, were routine peddlers of Russian propaganda. While smearing these web sites, the experts refused to identify themselves allegedly out of fear of being targeted by legions of skilled hackers. As Matt Taibbi says, You want to blacklist hundreds of people, but you wont put your name to your claims? Take a hike. But the Post welcomed and featured this McCarthyite effort, which might well be a product of Pentagon or CIA information warfare. (And these entities are themselves well funded and heavily into the propaganda business.) On December 23, 2016 President Obama signed the Portman-Murphy Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, which will supposedly allow this country to more effectively combat foreign (Russian, Chinese) propaganda and disinformation. It will encourage more government counter-propaganda efforts (which will, by patriotic definition, not be U.S. propaganda) and provide funding to non-government entities that will help in this enterprise. It is clearly a follow-on to the claims of Russian hacking and propaganda, and shares the spirit of the listing of 200 knowing or useful fools of Moscow featured in the Washington Post. Perhaps PropOrNot will qualify for a subsidy and be able to enlarge its list of 200. Liberals have been quiet on this new threat to freedom of speech, undoubtedly influenced by their fears of Russian-based fake news and propaganda. But they may wake up, even if belatedly, when Trump or one of his successors puts it to work on their own notions of fake news and propaganda. The success of the war partys campaign to contain or overthrow any tendencies of Trump to ease tensions with Russia was dramatically clear in the Trump administrations speedy bombing response to the April 4, 2017 Syrian chemical weapons deaths. The Times and other MSM editors and journalists greeted this aggressive move with almost uniform enthusiasm, and once again did not require evidence of Assads guilt beyond their governments say-so. The action was damaging to Assad and Russia, but served the rebels well. But the MSM never ask cui bono? in cases like this. In 2003 a similar charge against Assad, which brought the U.S. to the brink of a full-scale bombing war in Syria, turned out to be a false flag operation, and some potent authorities believe the current case is equally problematic. But Trump moved quickly (and unlawfully) and any further rapproachement between this country and Russia was set back. The CIA, Pentagon, liberal-Democrats and rest of the war party had won an important skirmish in the struggle for and against permanent war. Edward S. Herman is an economist and media analyst with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy and the media. Read other articles by Edward. This article was posted on Saturday, July 8th, 2017 at 7:11pm and is filed under CIA, Disinformation, Espionage/”Intelligence”, Fake News, Guatemala, Media, Propaganda, Russia, Viet Nam.

Fair Usage Law

July 9, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Could new economic pressure change North Korea’s ambitions … – PBS NewsHour

JUDY WOODRUFF: There are no easy answers, and few good options, when it comes to dealing now with North Korea. We look at whether new economic sanctions like those being considered at the United Nations could change the trajectory of the countrys nuclear ambitions with David Cohen, who served as undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department during the Obama administration. He also served as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2015 to 2017. And John Mearsheimer, a West Point graduate and former Air Force officer, he writes extensively on strategic issues and is a political science professor at the University of Chicago. He also works with the U.S. intelligence community. And we welcome both of you to the NewsHour. I want to start with you, David Cohen. We heard in Nick Schifrins report Ambassador Nikki Haley referring to countries doing business with North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions. What is the picture? Give us a picture of the financial and business dealings other countries do right now with the North. DAVID COHEN, Former CIA and Treasury Dept. Official: Well, most of it is illicit, with the exception of the trade with China, and that tends to be in coal, in minerals and very few other items. There are other countries around the world, in Africa in particular, in the Gulf, where you have North Korean laborers working and where you have North Korea selling weapons to these countries. That is in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and in violations of the sanctions. And those transactions tend to flow through financial institutions in China in a way that is intended to be disguised from the international community, because they are illicit transactions. JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, you have written that new sanctions could be written, could be enacted in a way that would put real pressure on the North. What would those look like? DAVID COHEN: Well, what they would look like are sanctions principally focused on Chinese front companies and Chinese institutions that are facilitating this illicit trade. If you look at the way that North Korea engages with the world today, there are a few nodes, 20, 40, 100 nodes, but its a limited sets of these companies and these financial institutions in China where the bulk of the financial activity occurs. We could focus on those nodes, squeeze those nodes, and as a result of that, squeeze North Korea. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, John Mearsheimer, you have taken a look at this. Do you think that could work? JOHN MEARSHEIMER, University of Chicago: No, I dont think sanctions will work, Judy, and I think there are two reasons for that. One is that North Korea is not going to give up its nuclear weapons. Indeed, it would be crazy to give up its nuclear weapons. The United States is interested in regime change, and nuclear weapons are the ultimate deterrent. So, you would have to inflict enormous pain on North Korea to get it to give up those nuclear weapons. I mean, you would really have to put tremendous economic pressure on them. And you cannot do that, in large part because the Chinese will not allow you to do it. For China, North Korea is a vital strategic asset. For China, its imperative that the North Korean regime remain in place and that the regime not be toppled. Therefore, if we try to put really significant pressure, economic pressure, on Pyongyang, the Chinese will just move in and counter it and make sure that the North Korean regime survives. JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me JOHN MEARSHEIMER: And, again, that regime is determined to keep its nuclear weapons. JUDY WOODRUFF: David Cohen, what about that? DAVID COHEN: Well, Johns right that the North Korean regime looks at the nuclear weapons programs as the guarantor of regime survival. But there is the possibility that there is a wedge that can be driven between the nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong-uns desire to stay in power. And the way to drive that wedge is by putting coercive, diplomatic and economic pressure on the regime in North Korea. We will need China to make this effective. We cannot do it over Chinas objections. JUDY WOODRUFF: But his point is China wont do it. DAVID COHEN: Well, I think we have not fully tested that proposition. And one of the purposes served by the sanctions that were done last week and the sanctions that we can do is to encourage China to take this more seriously and to work with us. JUDY WOODRUFF: John Mearsheimer, why cant that be why cant that happen? JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Well, let me respond to Davids point. JUDY WOODRUFF: Sure. JOHN MEARSHEIMER: What President Trump wanted to do was, he wanted to get the Chinese to put significant pressure on North Korea to stop these nuclear tests and to reach some sort of modus vivendi with the United States. But the Chinese could not do that. And the reason the Chinese could not do that and the reason they wont be able to implement Davids suggested policy is because the Chinese have remarkably little leverage over North Korea. And the North Koreans fully understand that. And the North Koreans dont play along with the Chinese when they put pressure on them, because the North Koreans fully understand that the Chinese need North Korea to survive. And once the North Koreans understand that, it gives them significant room to basically poke the Chinese in the eye. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, David Cohen, what about his point that North Korea that China really does have limited leverage, not as much as I think some people have been thinking? DAVID COHEN: They actually have quite a lot of leverage, in both the illicit and the illicit sorry the licit and the illicit financial activity that goes in North Korea. They can squeeze North Korea on the coal sales. They can squeeze North Korea on their illicit financial activity. They will do it to an extent that doesnt cause a destabilizing situation in North Korea, but they can do it in a way that can make North Korea more interested in a potential negotiation. JUDY WOODRUFF: So youre talking about threading a needle here, John Mearsheimer. It sounds like were talking about something in between doing nothing and doing a lot more. JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Well, you can do a little bit more, but the point is to make the North Koreans give up their nuclear weapons, you have to put a great deal of pain, a great deal of punishment on them. And the Chinese are not going to play that game, because the Chinese are heavily dependent on maintaining a sovereign North Korea. And the last thing they want to do is see the West bring North Korea to its knees, and then see North Korea crumble, and run the risk of South Korea incorporating North Korea into a greater Korea. This would be a strategic disaster for the Chinese. And this is why we have so little leverage over North Korea when we try to go through the Chinese. JUDY WOODRUFF: What about that? DAVID COHEN: Well, I think that John and I agree that it would require an extraordinary amount of pressure to bring the North Koreans to the table. My point is that we ought to try. The alternative is to sort of accept a North Korea with a nuclear weapon, with an ICBM. There is the potential that we can use pressure working with the Chinese to thread that needle to bring the North Koreans to the table and to find a way to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, which the Chinese have been very clear about for many years is also their policy preference, is a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. JUDY WOODRUFF: And to bring perhaps this would bring them to the table to talk in that way. DAVID COHEN: Correct. JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, were not going to resolve (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Go ahead. I think what we agree John Mearsheimer, quick comment? JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Yes, just very quickly. Lets assume that Davids right, and we can put tremendous pressure on the North Koreans. Do we really want to do that? Do we want to back a nuclear-armed state run by Kim Jong-un into a corner? Isnt that the most likely scenario where they might use nuclear weapons, when theyre desperate? DAVID COHEN: Well, I think the most likely scenario is if we threaten them militarily. And I think its very important we exercise restraint militarily in the short-term. I think this is a long-term plan that needs to be implemented smartly, but it can be accomplished. JUDY WOODRUFF: I think what everybody agrees is, there is a lot at stake here. David Cohen, John Mearsheimer, thank you both. JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Youre welcome.

Fair Usage Law

July 7, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed

Modi’s Israel Visit Shows India Is Eager to Be Seen in a Public Embrace of State Terrorism – The Wire

External Affairs What could the bond between Modi and Netanyahu, who seem to have a degree of unquestioned authority within their countries, be? PM Narendra Modi (left), Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu. (Credit: Reuters) Prime Minister Narendra Modi is travellingto Israel on July 4 for a three-day visit while avoiding any manner of contact with Palestinian political authorities or civil society. This visit is widely heralded as a key moment in Indias foreign relations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made no secret of his eagerness to host an event to mark a quarter century of diplomatic ties. My friend is how Netanyahu has addressed Modi on Twitter. The Israeli media is in a mood of high expectancy, with one paper priming public opinion for a person described as the most important prime minister in the world. What could the bond between these two leaders, both of whom seem at this time to have a degree of unquestioned authority within their countries, be? Perhaps it is their shared susceptibility to myths of national glory. Modi functions in campaign mode at most times, where declamation and exhortation substitutes for seriously engaged or reflective speech. In rare moments of reflection he has allowed himself certain fantasies, as with the legend of Lord Ganesha being evidence that advanced surgical transplants were done in ancient India. Modi may have spoken in jocular vein, but Netanyahu would surely never seek that alibi. His own references to mythology are underpinned at all times, by dead serious intent. In damage control mode following the bloody Israeli military raid on a flotilla bringing aid to besieged Gaza in 2010, Netanyahu flew a group of American reporters to Jerusalem. Among the artefacts he proudly displayed was a millennia old signet ring, excavated in Jerusalem and bearing the name Netanyahu, identified in turn, to have belonged to a Jewish official of the time. That for him and his gullible American audience, was sufficient proof of Israels historic claim to the land of Palestine. The signet ring soon became a part of standard Netanyahu spin. He repeated the same claim in the UN General Assembly in 2011, adding the leavening that his first name Benjamin, or Binyamin son of Jacob was also understood in Biblical scripture as Israel. American journalist Max Blumenthal explains the truth behind this claim in his 2013 book Goliath, an indispensable guide to the current state of Israeli politics and society: What was Netanyahus connection to the ring, and by extension, to the ancient land of Israel? There was none. Netanyahus grandfather, Nathan Milikovsky, had merely changed his name to Netanyahu after he emigrated from Lithuania to Palestine. Thus Netanyahu had a much closer relation to the former Alaskan governor and vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, whose Lithuanian maternal grandfather was rumoured to be a Jew. In recent times, Netanyahu has not had a very easy time with his western allies. After years of indulgence for Israels expansionist urges, the West is showing a faint glimmer of awakening to the disastrous denial of Palestinian rights. In circumstances where Israels intent to render Palestinians into a state of permanent displacement are abundantly clear, global civil society has stepped up to shame weak-kneed governments. The boycott, divestment and sanctions(BDS) movement was launched by a broad coalition of Palestinian civil society actors, to hold Israeli entities to account where culpability was proven for the occupation and the daily violations of the human rights of Palestinians. Since the call went out from Palestine in 2005, BDS has gained traction especially in Israels traditionally unquestioning allies in the West. Israels response has been to deploy the jaded political insult of anti-semitism against the BDS campaign, to rudely rebuff even the friendly advice of western allies, and double down on the moral righteousness of its claim to the entirety of Palestine. It has unleashed a propaganda barrage, dignified as public diplomacy or hasbara, whichNetanyahu has emerged as the principal exponent of, with his slick manner and fluent American-accent. Didactic lectures in history suffused with claims of Israels Biblical antiquity as a nation, have been a regular part of Netanyahus propaganda effort. This is usually accompanied by dire warnings against conceding any ground to radical Islam. The Palestinian struggle for recognition is wrapped within the global menace of terrorism, which in turn is traced to a number of sources, though more malign than Iran. After the elaborate contrivance of spotting an Iranian hand behind every evil stalking the world, an obsessive warning is sounded that the menace could soon acquire a nuclear dimension. These anxieties of the Zionist state really sharpened after the US invasion of Iraq produced the partly anticipated outcome of vastly boosting Irans regional clout. Reflecting on how the US in Iraq had transformed relative stability into nightmarish confusion, two respected American political scientists, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, authored a landmark paper titled The Israel Lobby in 2006. With solid and rigorous reference to fact rather than myth, Walt and Mearsheimer argued: The Israeli government and pro-Israel groups in the United States have worked together to shape the (US) administrations policy towards Iraq, Syria and Iran, as well as its grand scheme for reordering the Middle East. Pressure from Israel and the Lobby was not the only factor behind the decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was critical. The Walt-Mearsheimer critique was banished by a vast and orchestrated campaign attacking it as anti-semitic; and then the authors of the Iraq fiasco went back to the same old playbook: demonising the leaders of a country seen as adversarial, characterising them as irrational beings unamenable to normal diplomatic practices. Netanyahu has in the course of his annual exertions in the cause of hasbara in the UN, described an incumbent Iranian president as a madman and his successor as a wolf in sheeps clothing. When ISIScut a swathe through the chaos fomented in the Arab world by western military intervention, Netanyahu stuck to his insistence that Iran was the greater threat. As he put it in his 2015 address to the UN: Many in our region know that both Iran and ISIS are our common enemies. And when your enemies fight each other, dont strengthen either one weaken both. ISIS has no clear parentage, except the chaos that followed the US invasion of Iraq. For reasons unfathomed, Israel has been rather complacent about this army of aroused religious warriors in its near neighbourhood. Part explanation may be available from Efraim Inbar, an Israeli security analyst who for long headed that vacant symbol of reconciliation: the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Affairs (BESA). In a paper written last October, Inbar argued that the destruction of ISISwould be a serious strategic mistake, since an ISIS that was active in propagating the caliphate would bring discredit to the notion while attracting disgruntled terror-prone individuals from the west to its flag. There were simultaneously with the ideological purpose, a tactical police purpose achieved, of tracking radical elements in the west and preventing their mischief. The best strategy for Israel then was the further weakening but not the destruction of ISIS. An ISIS reduced but not eliminated would undermine its cause among radical Muslims, while locking up bad actors in fierce internecine warfare, which would leave them little room to target the west. The biggest bonus of the whole strategy of course, was that it would also hamper Irans quest for regional hegemony. A more recent contribution to the BESA dialogue speaks of the many reasons it is absolutely essential for Israeli interests to keep the Syrian civil war on an indefinite boil. Amid growing apprehensions within Israels strategic establishment that the six-year long conflict may destabilise the entire neighbourhood, Inbar wrote: Common sense tells us that weak enemies are preferable because they can do less damage. Violent conflict is about exacting pain from the other side. States are more dangerous than militias and terrorist groups. A weak Syria can cause less pain than a strong Syria. It made sense to let the chaos continue, since a dysfunctional Syrian state torn by civil war is not a result of Israeli machinations, but a positive strategic development from an Israeli point of view. Nobody can tell what substantive influence these reflections exerted on Israeli policy. It is sufficient to know that Israels obsessive pursuit of its Biblical fantasies involves fomenting a state of chaos in its near neighbourhood and perhaps even beyond. Modis visit is a historic event for the Israeli military-security industry complex that lurks behind these partly revealed acts of sabotage against neighbourhood nations and an actual catalogue of atrocities on the Palestinians. It sends out a message to the world, that India is now eager to be seen in public embrace of colonial oppression and state terrorism. Does the absence of a Palestinian point of contact in this entire three-day visit represent a serious affront? Perhaps not. The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, by all accounts went back quite happy after he was received in Delhi on a short visit that was high on ceremony but vacuous in substance. Since going back, he has green-flagged Israel in the brutal tightening of the siege of Gaza by declining to pay the electricity bill for the narrow strips teeming population of two million from Palestinian Authority resources. The electricity cut as some observers point out, has escalated Gazas humanitarian crisis to possibly apoint of no return. The broader civil war within the Arab world, eagerly promoted as part of Israeli strategic ambitions, has clearly impinged deeply on the politics of the Palestinian struggle. The abject and unfortunate Abbas derived little benefit from his betrayal of Gaza. Israel has just announced one of the largest expansions of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, dwarfing all the land-thefts done over a half-century of occupation. Following an armed encounter between militants and occupying forces in the old city of Jerusalem on June 19, Israel tightened its blockade of the West Bank, immediately revoking permits for Palestinians to travel into Israel to visit relatives during the Ramzan month of prayer and fasting. In a Facebook post, Major General Yoav Mordecai, who bears the title of Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories in the Israel Defence Force (IDF) directly put the blame on Abbass political faction Fatah: Three bastards who undertook this cowardly terror attack received praise from Fatah who falsely claimed they were innocent. This is incitement to terror. The venomous rhetoric against Palestinians, always part of the mainstream discourse in Israel, has long been recognised as expression of deeply embedded racism. To cite a similar locution from a time when the pretence of a peace process was still being sustained, Lieutenant-General Moshe Yaalon, then the chief of staff of the IDF, spoke in 2003 of the Palestinians as an existential threat to Israel, like a cancer requiring chemotherapy. The demographic problem is what it is called in Israeli political discourse, an almost obsessive concern since the Zionist state was founded. Israeli strategy was typically framed around the necessity of large-scale population transfers (otherwise known as ethnic cleansing) to firmly establish the Jewish identity of the land. When that proved impractical, unilateral separation was dreamed up. In the spaces between these two, a two-state solution has occasionally been conceded as a possibility, always in a manner to be determined at Israels discretion. An adviser to Netanyahu in 2008 summed it up: Israel would choose what to give the Palestinians. They could call it a state or even fried chicken. The peace that Israel has to offer Palestine is basically a choice between apartheid regimes of varying severities. Substantively, Indias relationship with Israel has been conducted under the shroud of national security, immune to public scrutiny and accountability. Credible stories have appeared in the Indian media that India has been shopping for surveillance systems to be deployed along its most sensitive borders, which would link into automatically triggered guns to stop any breaches. This would be similar to the weapon systems deployed by Israel along the apartheid wall that snakes through much of the West Bank, which kill indiscriminately, not sparing children who stray out of the narrow confines in which they are confined by the Israeli occupation. The real danger of Indias burgeoning relationship with Israel is that Israeli equipment perhaps comes bundled with its doctrines and are designed for use against an occupied people and neighbours whose territorial integrity Israel has repeatedly violated with absolute impunity. These are a world removed from Indias security challenges and could end up compromising its interests. Sukumar Muralidharan is a senior journalist and currently teaches journalism at O.P. Jindal Global University. Categories: External Affairs, Featured, Indian Diplomacy, World Tagged as: Benjamin Netanyahu, India Israel, Israel, Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel-Palestine, Modi in Israel, Modi Netanyahu, Narendra Modi

Fair Usage Law

July 4, 2017   Posted in: John Mearsheimer  Comments Closed


Fair Use Disclaimer

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Under the 'fair use' rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights.

Fair use as described at 17 U.S.C. Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for or nonprofit educational purposes,
  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."