Wednesday 5 July 2017
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-hosts: Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, the Great Voice of the Great Lakes; and David Livingston, The Space Show.
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 1, Block A: Michael Auslin, Hoover; The Atlantic; author, The End of the Asian Century; in re: . . . Beijing could try to interject itself between South Korea and the US, saying in effect, that the US will get the RoK into a shooting war whereas China has levers to pull; therefore, the RoK needs to distance itself from the US. The US has no good solution to the matter, and we've maneuvered ourselves into this position for the last twenty-five years. . . . To say that you fold a bad hand at the poker table is not to say that you're leaving the game.
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 1, Block B: Michael Auslin, Hoover; The Atlantic; author, The End of the Asian Century; in re: The South China Sea, where the PRC claims the Paracels and Spratleys. The USS Stethem sailed close by in an entirely legal (Law of the Sea) freedom of navigation operation. China squeals after having illegally claimed the islands and seriously militarized them, to the distress of neighboring countries. China probably will send in its navy and air force to ”throw elbows.” Short-term risk is very high. China will want to intimidate the US and be confrontational. Tokyo has its largest warship in the South China Sea now, has invited other nations’s officers on board, and soon will sail to the Indian Ocean to participate with India in the Malabar naval exercises. China’s and Japan’s dispute over the Senkakus. China feels victorious. Worry: before the Nineteenth Party Congress in the fall, we may see “little green men” trying to invade and take over the islands.
[USS Stethem is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer in the United States Navy. The ship was built in Pascagoula, Mississippi, starting on 11 May 1993. The ship was commissioned on 21 October 1995 and is based out of Yokosuka, Japan.]
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 1, Block C: Jed Babbin, American Spectator, in re: What is a cyberattack that constitutes ware? First, need an identifiable actor (e.g., GPS, or IP address); also, have to prove that injury — physical damage on a significant scale —was done; also, or alternatively, show that the deed prevented one’s country from defending itself (including retaliating). We’ll have to build in capabilities to our aircraft and all operations to function without the internet.
Loose Canons NATO and Cyberwar: Will Britain Invoke Article 5? When is a cyberattack on one member an attack on all them?
On November 19, 1919, Congress rejected the Versailles Treaty ending World War I and with it the charter of the League of Nations which was a key part of it. Principal among the reasons for the treaty’s rejection was a provision that committed the United States, along with the other members of the League, to the mutual defense of any member that was attacked militarily. Because treaties are the supreme law of the land — second only to the Constitution — Congress refused to surrender its power to declare war.
Almost thirty years later, Congress ratified the NATO Treaty despite the fact that Article 5 of that treaty contains the same mutual defense commitment. By ratifying that treaty, Congress declared war pre-emptively against any nation or non-state actor that attacked a NATO member.
With the accession of tiny Montenegro — militarily as capable as the Duchy of Grand Fenwick minus the “Q bomb” — NATO now has 29 member nations the United States is committed to defend.
Since 1949, the only time Article 5 has been invoked was after the 9/11 attacks on America. NATO, or at least most of its members, has joined us in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some NATO troops remain in Afghanistan after nearly sixteen years of warThe threats of war that were recognized in 1949 have evolved as much as war itself. Every NATO member, including the U.S., has ignored the need to adapt the NATO Treaty to the 21st century.
As we celebrate our independence from Britain, we need to remember that they are now one of our most important allies. What they say deserves our attention and thought.
Last week UK Defense Minister Sir Michael Fallon, speaking about the recent cyberattack on the UK Parliament, suggested that his nation might respond to future cyberattacks with airstrikes or other military action. The clear implication is that the UK might invoke Article 5 to obtain NATO support for such military action.
No one considered cyberattacks when the NATO Treaty was signed because computer technology was in its infancy. But that is not to say that Article 5 is inapplicable to cyberattacks. The question boils down to this: When does a cyberattack constitute an act of war? There is no definition of a cyberattack in the NATO Treaty or elsewhere in international law.
Cyber espionage is a commonplace. U.S. defense contractors and government networks, including those of the intelligence agencies, are subjected to thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of cyberespionage attempts each day. Some succeed because every defense to them is penetrable eventually.
But cyberespionage is not cyberwar for one principal reason: it does no physical harm. Espionage only benefits the spy who remains undetected. People aren’t injured or killed, computer networks aren’t destroyed, and neither military nor civilian targets — aircraft, the electricity power grid, and such — are destroyed or damaged. Obviously, the cyberespionage or “hacking” that penetrated the UK Parliament email system wasn’t an act of war.
Everyone who saw the Bruce Willis movie Live Free or Die Hard knows that cyberterrorism is not cyberespionage. The former can take down power grids, disrupt or rob financial networks, and kill people.
But there’s a great deal more that cyberterrorists or nations acting against their adversaries can do. Some of those cyberattacks can — and probably should — be classified as acts of war.
Let’s get organized. Cyberespionage isn’t cyberwar. We do it as much as every other nation (and, I hope, more). It’s the cost of doing business on the internet.
Leakers aren’t the issue. Leakers are traitors and should be caught and punished whenever possible. When CIA Director Mike Pompeo said that WikiLeaks was acting as a hostile intelligence service he was precisely right. But WikiLeaks, and others like them, are only as good as the leakers who feed them documents and data.
“Hacking” is a term that has lost its meaning because of its ubiquity. For the purposes of this discussion, let’s exclude the innocent (or criminal) acts of individuals, governments, and terrorists gaining access to others’ emails and browser histories. As bad as they may be, they’re not acts of war.
But there is precedent for a definition of cyber acts of war.
In April 2007, the government of Estonia was . . . https://spectator.org/nato-and-cyberwar-will-britain-invoke-article-5/
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 1, Block D: Lev Golinkin, author, A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir, in re: the frozen conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Note that anti-Jewishness lays a large part. Roman Shukhevych, dead since 1950, had his birthday celebrated in a three-day festival in Kiev. In 1946 he entered Lviv with Nazi troops, killed tens of thousands of Jews in a massive pogrom. In the last several years, Shukhevych has been transformed from a mass-murderer into a national hero of Ukraine by the Kiev government. Most Ukrainians do not support this; it’s been imposed by Western Ukrainian [rightist] ultra-nationalists. The only [force ] that Kiev is likely to listen to is Washington; Washington has stayed silent, as has the EU. The US sends Billions of dollars to Kiev. Far-right cult battalions that worship Nazis; concomitant vandalism of Jewish cemeteries; recent Molotov cocktail at synagogue.
[See Wikipedia: His political formation was influenced by Yevhen Konovalets, the commander of the Ukrainian Military Organization, . . . Shukhevych did his military service in the Polish army. As a tertiary student, he was automatically sent for officer training. However, he was deemed unreliable, and instead completed his military service as a private in the artillery in Volhynia.]
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 2, Block A: Andrew C McCarthy, National Review; former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; in re: Collusion/Russiagate. Adam Schiff, Pathfinder, in Congress: [much edited for brevity] “. . . a foreign power, adversary, intervened in our Democratic process; Russia helped Donald Trump become president. We don't know if Trump or his associates helped Russia. . . .
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 2, Block B: Andrew C McCarthy, National Review; former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; in re: The Hunt for Hillary’s Hacker. Mr Smith, now deceased, a Republican who tried to find the hacker. . . . Less and less possibility of evidence that Trump worked for Putin
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 2, Block C: Hotel Mars, episode n. David Grinspoon, author, Earth in Human Hands; and Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute at University of Colorado, & former NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology; in re: Asteroid Day, 30 June 2017, when an asteroid was to have hit Earth and destroyed human civilization. Sooner or later, one of these objects will strike Earth, as some have done before. . . . A decade is perhaps enough time to bld a fancy piece of hardware to deflect the asteroid; one year is probably too little; somewhere between the two adds to the chances of success. Asteroid Redirect Mission is is part of NASA’s mandate. Intention to start now with a smallish asteroid to see if we can get it to respond as expected; a sort of baby step to see if we’re capable of pushing asteroids around. Hit it with a fast-moving projectile, the spacecraft, itself. Gravity tractors.
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 2, Block D: Hotel Mars, episode n. David Grinspoon, author, Earth in Human Hands; and Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute at University of Colorado, & former NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology; in re: Enceladus. Methanol discovered in an ice cloud around Enceladus: suggests organic matter and an underground ocean of some ilk. Also, previous methane signature found by Mars Orbiter Express. One thing that produces methane on Earth is certain kinds of bacteria. Underground water oases hosting bacteria on Mars? Planet Nine Exists Day: Kuyper Belt. Hints of large, undiscovered planets ‘way outside, in Kuyper Belt.
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 3, Block A: Claudia Rosett, Independent Women’s Forum, in re: Iran options. A rising axis of powers: China’s nuclear proliferation (to Pakistan, North Korea, the Middle East, South America). Could rein in North Korea swiftly, but has profited from North Korea’s threats to the US and other democratic countries. This cheers China. Imagine actually achieving a deal: China cheat, North Korea cheats. Then what? As long as the Pyongyang regime continues, this truly dangerous situation will obtain, the question is how to get rid of the regime, Sect Mattis said that a hot war with DPRK would be a large-scale disaster. Possible modes include cyber.
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 3, Block B: Josh Rogin, Washington Post, in re: DPRK diplomacy. Back toward the Six-Party talks – again? A bribe session? Trump prefers bilateral, holding that multiple participants just water down our leverage. . . . We always wind up paying them; what's the price now? Kim wants US endorsement of what it has now; also will want money, food, security assurances — you name it. Xi regime has been North Korea’s defense attorney; they want the status quo. They see DPRK as a child who misbehaves. The [dance is] that the US beats its chest and nothing gets done. Yesterday’s DPRK ICBM changes the calculus a bit, but we still have only: squeeze, or go to table, or combination. Horrendously dangerous and time is on their side.
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 3, Block C: Robert L. O'Connell, Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman (1 of 2)
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 3, Block D: Robert L. O'Connell, Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman (2 of 2)
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 4, Block A: Jack Hurst, Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest-—Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga (1 of 4)
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 4, Block B: Jack Hurst, Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest-—Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga (2 of 4)
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 4, Block C: Jack Hurst, Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest-—Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga (3 of 4)
Wednesday 5 July 2017 / Hour 4, Block D: Jack Hurst, Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest-—Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga (4 of 4)