Gingrich: Defining Trump-ism ( US War College Dec 2016)

The following column is adapted from a speech delivered by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at the National Defense University on December 14, 2016.
I want to start by thanking the National Defense University. This is an extraordinarily important institution. You’ll see why as I go through this. The greatest challenge we face is not money. The greatest challenge we face is thinking. This is one of the places assigned the responsibility for thinking. It was no accident that Admiral Nimitz said after World War II, there was no major problem in the Pacific, that they had not war-gamed at the Naval War College. It’s no accident that Eisenhower graduated first in his class at Leavenworth, and ended up as a senior planner, and then as the Commander of all allied forces in Europe.

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These were people who understood that thinking things through really mattered. Curtis Lemay told me the greatest contribution that he made to World War II, was that he had gone to the new Air Corps Command and Staff College in Montgomery, and had learned how to write a five paragraph field order. He got these huge complicated messages from 8th Air Force when he arrived as a Commander of a Wing in England, and he would rewrite them into the appropriate form, send it back and say, is this what you meant to send me? After about six weeks, 8th Air Force began issuing the new model. These things, they seem trivial, but the most successful security systems have constant processes of evolution, which require thought. The hardest is to evolve without defeat.

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Analysis: Obama moves to split cyberwarfare command from the NSA

With weeks to go in his tenure, President Obama on Friday moved to end the controversial “dual-hat” arrangement under which the National Security Agency and the nation’s cyberwarfare command are headed by the same military officer.

2016-10-05t164154z_01_tor908_rtridsp_3_usa-cybersecurity-arrest-0563NSA Headquarters.   Reuters

It is unclear whether President-elect Donald Trump will support such a move. A transition official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the next administration’s plans, said only that “cybersecurity has been and will be a central focus of the transition effort.”

Pressure had grown on Obama to make such a move on the grounds that the two jobs are too large for one person to handle, that the two organizations have fundamentally different missions and that U.S. Cyber Command, or Cybercom, needed its own leader to become a full-fledged fighting force.

This is a very bad idea as the Analysis at the end of this story makes clear

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GRIZZLY STEPPE: The lack of evidence behind the US claims of Russian hacking

“US Govt Data Shows Russia Used Outdated Ukrainian PHP Malware”,
This entry was posted in General Security, Miscellaneous, Research, WordPress Security on December 30, 2016 
The United States government officially accused Russia of interfering with the US elections during the run up to the election season. This report conflated the bogus and totally unproven claim of Russian hacking of the electoral system itself, (considered impossible because of its distributed and mixed systems, both electronic and manual) and the hacking of the Clinton and Podestra e-Mails. On October 7th, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a joint statement that began:

“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”  <https://www.scribd.com/document/335307016/FBI-Russian-Hacking-Report>

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UNSCR 2334: A Disservice to the Cause of Peace

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In four respects, UNSCR 2334 undermines the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace and threatens what little regional stability is left. First, it could force Israel to fall back on its powerful legal position as the only existing legal inheritor of the British Mandate. Second, it compounds the error made by Obama’s transition team even before he came to power of ignoring a written commitment of a US president. Third, it has placed Sisi’s government in Egypt – a keystone of regional stability – in an untenable position. Fourth and most painfully, it will make it far more complicated – if not impossible – for the Palestinian leadership, enticed by the prospect of international coercion, to accept a reasonable compromise. The New Zealanders, do-gooders with a very dim understanding of what they have wrought, can be forgiven such folly. The Obama administration has no such excuses.

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“Be careful what you wish for; you might get it” says the old adage, and sober elements among the Palestinian leadership may yet rue the day they managed to secure an American abstention leading to the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334. The resolution condemns “settlement activity” anywhere, including East Jerusalem, and calls upon all members to distinguish in practice between Jews who live on one side of the Armistice Line of 1949 and those who live beyond it. It presumes to speak in the name of international law and to create the conditions for further progress towards peace in the interests of both Palestinians and “legitimate” Israelis. In fact, this poorly designed and atrociously timed diplomatic tool seems set to harm, if not entirely destroy, the very purposes it was designed to serve.

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The Rise of the Trump Doctrine

Trump sees it as his mission to repair the social contract with the American public. He is focused domestically but events will nonetheless require Trump to look beyond the borders of the US. He is establishing a ‘professional’ Cabinet to facilitate that global engagement. Trump prizes business acumen, professionalism  and a “killer” instinct in managing affairs.

The US Establishment has been quick to dismiss President Elect Donald Trump’s emerging Foreign Policy. The dearth of policy wonks, establishment bureaucrats, think tanks and foreign affairs pundits, reflects an emerging Trump Doctrine that is at variance with the norm. It is unsettling the establishment, and in particular the neo-con rump that has for two decades dominated the post Soviet foreign policy agenda of both the Democrat and Republican parties. Gone will be the overly academic  U.S. foreign policy  guidelines that  have become too predictable and overwrought with diplomatic formality. If you wish to lift the edge of Trump’s developing Foreign Policy doctrine to peek beneath, then look no further than his key Cabinet choices and  especially the musings of Trump’s key advisor Steve Bannon. Highbrow intellectualism can often be a handicap in this exercise. Trump is hiring pragmatic ‘doers’ not ‘dreamers & talkers’. With a  Trump Cabinet, boasting people like Flynn and Mathis, the days of Obama’s ‘red lines’ and hollow threats will be a thing of the past.

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The Washington establishment have been quick to dismiss President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy, with predictable knee-jerk increduality. The emerging Trump Doctrine however merits deeper exploration than knee-jerk displays of stricken disbelief.  Contrary to popular consensus one of Trump’s greatest virtues is his unpredictability.  He is fortunate that the United States’ strong geopolitical foundation gives it a wealth of Foreign Policy options.

Occasionally in Foreign Affairs we stumble upon a truly Machiavellian moment. I believe that we may be about to experience one such moment in 2017. Aloofness in international affairs is a geopolitical luxury, but the US has options not available to other Nation States. Trump does not fear nationalism but holds Progressive globalism as an anathema. Trump’s ‘real politik’ is steeped in nationalism.

 

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