Huawei may have found an ally in Japan, for now


Japan will not bar Chinese kit makers – including Huawei – from supplying telecoms network equipment in the country, it emerged this week.

The US is keen to see other nations follow in its footsteps and block Chinese companies from providing 5G equipment, but Japan is reluctant to join the growing club of governments that have bowed to pressure from Washington, it seems.

Citing a report in Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper, Reuters said that Tokyo will take its own measures in the event of any security concern in 5G, according to anonymous sources. The paper said that Japan will not join any framework designed to exclude a specific country, but would reconsider if there is any change to the US plan.

There are mixed messages as to whether US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi discussed the US’s Clean Network plan – designed to keep Chinese telecom and tech firms out of the US – at a meeting in Tokyo earlier this month, but it seems clear that cybersecurity issues were on the agenda in some form.

And while Japan might not be keen to join the US’s anti-Huawei quest in its current form, it is obviously keen to keep Washington on side. According to Reuters, it is seeking to strengthen its cooperation with the US on cybersecurity.

And furthermore, it is insistent it will take its own steps to reduce supply chain risks when procuring information and communications equipment, the newswire quoted Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato as saying.

Huawei is not out of the woods in Japan yet.

Source: telecoms.com “Huawei may have found an ally in Japan, for now”

Note: This is telecom.com’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


Americans Willing to Take Risks to Defend Allies Against China, Poll Says


Jack Beyrer – OCTOBER 13, 2020 3:45 PM

Americans are overwhelmingly willing to take military risks in defending allies from China, according to a new poll from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

On a scale of 1 to 10—where 10 means one is willing to take significant risk—the American public averages a score of 6.77 when asked if it would be willing to take risks to defend allies and partners against military threats from China. The countries listed in the poll were Japan, Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, and an unspecified South China Sea partner.

Members of the national security community polled by CSIS scored at an even higher average of 8.24 for the same scenarios.

“We’re seeing a more enduring rivalry, and not one which will shift with a shift in administrations here in the United States,” said Jude Blanchette, chair of China studies at CSIS.

Bonnie Glaser, director of CSIS’s China Power Project, added that the poll’s results reflect growing knowledge among Americans about the threats allies face from China. “It is a function of the growing awareness about Taiwan in the United States,” Glaser said. “This is something that is a major shift we have now seen.”

In recent months, collaboration with allies against China has become a major feature of the Trump administration’s foreign policy. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has rallied transatlantic and Asian allies to form security and economic agreements that either isolate or defend against China.

The results are also indicative of a higher-order view of China’s growing security threat. The poll shows that a majority of Americans—54 percent—see China as the country that poses the greatest challenge to the United States.

Americans also score high for their interest in certain policy priorities to counter the growing Chinese threat, showing high favorability toward both shutting the door to Chinese tech giant Huawei and taking on China for its abuses of human rights.

The shift in views on China among Americans corresponds to a sea change in China strategy from the Trump administration. Breaking with a consensus on economic engagement with China going back decades, the current administration has geared the Pentagon, economic policy, and a renewed commitment to human rights toward standing up to China’s desire to rewrite the rules of the current world order.

Source: Washington Free Beacon “Americans Willing to Take Risks to Defend Allies Against China, Poll Says”

Note: This is Washington Free Beacon’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Tape-out based on SMIC’s N+1 technology succeeds despite sanctions


By Zhang Hongpei

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/12 19:43:40

Innosilicon, a Chinese company focusing on one-stop intellectual property (IP) and customized chip design, announced on Monday that it has completed the world’s first chip tape-out and test based on the FinFET N+1 advanced technology of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), the largest Chinese chipmaker.

A tape-out is the final phase of a design life cycle for a chip design before manufacturing starts.

All IP is developed in-house and the functions are tested once, Innosilicon said on its website. The firm invested tens of millions of yuan into optimizing chip design in 2019, when SMIC’s N+1 process was not that mature, according to Innosilicon.

N+1, SMIC’s next-generation foundry node, offers a conspicuous improvement in performance and logic density. Compared with its existing 14-nanometer (nm) process, N+1 manufacturing technology can increase a chip’s performance by 20 percent and cut its power consumption by 57 percent, said Liang Mengsong, co-CEO of SMIC.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of telecom industry association Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times that the successful tape-out indicates the reliability of the advanced technology. The N+1 process can basically be realized at the 8-nm level, while N+2 equals the 7-nm level.

“Issues around technology can be solved step by step, and our current technology can basically meet our demand,” Xiang said.

However, making a technology breakthrough is one thing, but taking it to the point of mass production is another, and the latter is more crucial in the industry, according to Xiang.

In its annual report in April, SMIC said its N+1 process has made steady progress in research and development, and is “now in the customer engagement and product qualification stage.”

On Monday, SMIC’s shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange rose 12.70 percent and its shares on the Hong Kong bourse gained 11.47 percent.

The N+1 tape-out breakthrough came on the heels of SMIC’s falling onto the US’ export sanctions list, as the latter has been relentlessly cracking down on Chinese high-tech firms.

The chipmaker acknowledged earlier this month that some of its suppliers had been restricted by US export controls, and given the uncertainties in US equipment supplies, its business may be affected.

The US sanctions may disrupt SMIC’s next moves, including purchases of manufacturing equipment and raw materials, but the short-term impact would not be much given the Chinese firm’s inventories, said Ma Jihua, a veteran analyst in the high-tech sector.

Despite being years behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s largest semiconductor foundry, SMIC is catching up, based on its reinvention of mature technologies, Ma noted. In comparison, the chip technology used by TSMC has gradually neared its limits.

TSMC is accelerating mass production of the 5-nm process. The higher version of the 5-nm chips will enter mass production in 2021. Its 3-nm process will be in mass production by the second half of 2022.

Source: Global Times “Tape-out based on SMIC’s N+1 technology succeeds despite sanctions”

Note: This is Global Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Trump’s Tech War Hurts China Short-term but US, Its Faithful Allies Long-term


There have been much prediction on China’s difficulties in acquiring semiconductor products due to Trump’s tech war attacks on China’s semiconductor industry and users. For example the Epoch Times article “The End of China’s Semiconductor Chip Dream” on September 29, 2020.

The article says, “(T)he U.S. sanction on SMIC will kill the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ambitious plan to develop the chip industry. Not only will China’s chip technology trail further and further behind the rest of the world, but China will soon find its critical military technology obsolete, putting them at a disadvantage in areas like space war and digital war with the United States.”

US President Donald Trump is regarded by experts as a moron. However, there are lots of morons who supports Trump’s tech war attacks in the US and its faithful allies. The writer and publisher of the article are such morons.

They simply are ignorant of the basic rules of economics.

According the rule of supply and demand, when there is a shortage of supply, the prices of the products will rise to provide higher profits for the industry. According to the rule of free movement of capital and talent in democracies, capital and talent whether foreign or domestic may flow freely from the US and its faithful allies into the industry to produce the products in short suppy in order to earn higher profits.

As the US and most developed countries with high technology are free economies. Trump may restrict the supply of semiconductor products and production equipment but cannot stop the flow of capital and talent to the industry to make higher profits caused by the shortage of supply resulting from Trump’s restriction.

In the Cold War era the Soviet camp was closed to the US and other capitalist countries so that in spite of the shortage of supply, capital and talent could not flow into the Soviet camp to reduce the shortage. As a result, the restrictions may cause real difficulties.

That is not the case now as unlike the Soviet camp during the Cold War, China is now open to the US and other developed countries so that Trump may not hinder the free flow of capital and talent from the US and other developed countries with high technology to China’s semiconductor industry.

As China wants to overcome the difficulties caused by Trump’s restrictions, it will provide preferential treatment and even subsidize the enterprises set up or expanded by the capital and talent flowed into China. As a result, most of capital and talent will flow into China’s instead of other countries’. The rules of economics decide that Trump is doomed to fail in his attempt to kill China’s semiconductor industry.

On the contrary, when capital and talent have flowed into the Chinese semiconductor industry to make higher profit, China’s semiconductor industry will prosper and price will fall due to the increase in supply causing decrease in profit. Due to the keen competition among the large number of semiconductor producers established or expanded by the capital and talent flowed in, all the weaker ones will gradually be eliminated and only the stronger ones will remain.

US and its allies’ semiconductor enterprises will not only lose the vast Chinese semiconductor market but encounter the competition of the remaining stronger semiconductor enterprises set up by the capital and talent that have flowed into China.

Therefore, Trump’s tech war attacks will bring about short-term difficulties to China but long-term difficulties to US and its faithful allies’ semiconductor industry.

Article by Chan Kai Yee.


PLA navy calls U.S. destroyer sailing in South China Sea ‘provocative’


CGTN 23:06, 09-Oct-2020

A People’s Liberation Army (PLA) spokesman on Friday said a U.S. destroyer entered China’s Xisha Islands in the South China Sea without permission, calling the sailing “dangerous” and “provocative.”

The Chinese navy is aware of the U.S. navigation and sent naval and aerial forces to monitor the sailing, Senior Colonel Zhang Nandong, also spokesperson for the Southern Theater Command of the PLA, said in a statement.

The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain entered China’s water without any permission from the Chinese government, and we urge the U.S. to immediately stop such provocative action and restrain its military operation, Zhang said, adding China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea is indisputable, vowing to defend China’s territorial integrity with all necessary measures.

The U.S. has frequently sent warships to the water to flex its muscles and to strengthen its military presence, which severely harms China’s sovereignty and security interests and undermines regional peace and stability, Zhang said.

Source: CGTN “PLA navy calls U.S. destroyer sailing in South China Sea ‘provocative’”

Note: This is CGTN”s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


A National Security Reckoning


How Washington Should Think About Power

By Hillary Clinton

November/December 2020

In a year marked by plague and protest, Americans are reckoning with long-overdue questions about racial justice, economic inequality, and disparities in health care. The current crisis should also prompt a reckoning about the United States’ national security priorities. The country is dangerously unprepared for a range of threats, not just future pandemics but also an escalating climate crisis and multidimensional challenges from China and Russia. Its industrial and technological strength has atrophied, its vital supply chains are vulnerable, its alliances are frayed, and its government is hollowed out. In the past, it sometimes has taken a dramatic shock—Pearl Harbor, Sputnik, 9/11—to wake up the United States to a new threat and prompt a major pivot. The COVID-19 crisis should be a big enough jolt to rouse the country from its sleep, so that it can summon its strength and meet the challenges ahead.

Among the highest priorities must be to modernize the United States’ defense capabilities—in particular, moving away from costly legacy weapons systems built for a world that no longer exists. Another is to renew the domestic foundations of its national power—supporting American innovation and bolstering strategically important industries and supply chains. These twin projects are mutually reinforcing. Modernizing the military would free up billions of dollars that could be invested at home in advanced manufacturing and R & D. That would not only help the United States compete with its rivals and prepare for nontraditional threats such as climate change and future pandemics; it would also blunt some of the economic pain caused by budget cuts at the Pentagon. Integrating foreign and domestic policy in this way would make both more effective. And it would help the United States regain its footing in an uncertain world.

SHORTSIGHTED

For decades, policymakers have thought too narrowly about national security and failed to internalize—or fund—a broader approach that encompasses threats not just from intercontinental ballistic missiles and insurgencies but also from cyberattacks, viruses, carbon emissions, online propaganda, and shifting supply chains. There is no more poignant example than the current administration’s failure to grasp that a tourist carrying home a virus can be as dangerous as a terrorist planting a pathogen. President Barack Obama’s national security staff left a 69-page playbook for responding to pandemics, but President Donald Trump’s team ignored it, focusing instead on the threat of bioterrorism. They dismantled the National Security Council’s pandemic directorate, folding it into the office responsible for weapons of mass destruction, and filled a national medical stockpile with drugs for anthrax and smallpox while neglecting the personal protective equipment needed for a pandemic. The Trump administration also shut down the U.S. Agency for International Development program created during my time as secretary of state to detect viral threats around the world, and it has repeatedly tried to slash funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The costs of this misjudgment have been astronomical.

The Trump administration has taken a similarly misguided approach to other nontraditional threats. It omitted any reference to climate change in its 2017 National Security Strategy and attempted to block Rod Schoonover, a senior intelligence official, from briefing Congress about it. The administration also deprioritized cyber-espionage in its trade negotiations with China and failed to confront Russia over its interference in U.S. elections. Unsurprisingly, both countries are at it again.

The problem runs much deeper than Trump, however. Administrations of both parties have long underappreciated the security implications of economic policies that weakened strategically important industries and sent vital supply chains overseas. The foreign policy community understandably focused on how new trade agreements would cement alliances and extend American influence in developing countries. Democrats should have been more willing to hit the brakes on new trade agreements when Republicans obstructed efforts to support workers, create jobs, and invest in hard-hit communities at home. When Republicans failed to use trade-enforcement tools to protect American workers—such as the safeguards against unfair surges of Chinese imports that my husband, President Bill Clinton, negotiated but the Bush administration refused to invoke even a single time—and blocked domestic investments in basic research, infrastructure, and clean energy, Democrats should have more forcefully called their intransigence what it was: not just bad economic policy but a national security liability.

The COVID-19 crisis should be a big enough jolt to rouse the country from its sleep.

Myopia about national security also manifests in the simplistic frames applied to complex challenges, such as insisting on seeing competition with China through the lens of the Cold War. In a speech in July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered this pearl of wisdom: “I grew up and served my time in the army during the Cold War. And if there is one thing I learned, Communists almost always lie.” That’s a remarkably unhelpful way of approaching the challenge. Huffing and puffing about Communists may rile up the Fox News audience, but it obscures the fact that China—along with Russia—poses an altogether different threat from the one the Soviet Union did. Today’s competition is not a traditional global military contest of force and firepower. Dusting off the Cold War playbook will do little to prepare the United States for adversaries that use new tools to fight in the gray zone between war and peace, exploit its open Internet and economy to undermine American democracy, and expose the vulnerability of many of its legacy weapons systems. Nor will such an anachronistic approach build the global cooperation needed to take on shared challenges such as climate change and pandemics.

Meanwhile, the United States’ deep domestic fractures have hamstrung its ability to protect itself and its allies. Consider what happened after the Obama administration painstakingly built an international coalition to force Iran to the negotiating table, including winning the reluctant participation of China and Russia, and then secured a historic agreement to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Trump abruptly renounced the agreement. Now, predictably, Iranian centrifuges are spinning, Tehran is exploring a new alliance with Beijing, and the international sanctions regime is shattered. It’s a frustrating, self-inflicted wound and a reminder of the costs of inconstancy.

The problem is not always too much change; in some areas, it’s too little. The overmilitarization of U.S. foreign policy is a bad habit that goes all the way back to the days when President Dwight Eisenhower warned of “the military-industrial complex.” Many generals understand what James Mattis told Congress when he led U.S. Central Command: “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately.” But many politicians are too afraid of being attacked as soft on defense to listen. So they pile mission after mission on the Pentagon and authorize ballooning military budgets while starving civilian agencies. And, it’s important to emphasize, for decades, right-wing ideological resistance has blocked crucial investments in American diplomacy and development abroad and American innovation at home—from foreign aid budgets to domestic infrastructure and R & D spending.

THE OBSTACLES TO MODERNIZATION

Like the broader government, the military itself can be slow to adapt to new threats. After the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, there were fatal delays in getting up-armored Humvees and lifesaving body armor to troops in the field. Now, the Pentagon is again at risk of being caught unprepared for the very different demands of competing with China. I saw how hard it can be to move a bureaucracy as sprawling as the Pentagon when, in 2004, I was asked to be the only U.S. senator on the Joint Forces Command’s Transformation Advisory Group, which was charged with helping the military re-imagine itself for the twenty-first century. The Defense Department had assembled an impressive team of military and civilian experts from a range of disciplines and told them to think as big and boldly as possible, yet our efforts to recommend reforms ran into some of the same obstacles that remain today. Powerful players in the Pentagon, Congress, and the private sector have built careers—and, in some cases, fortunes—doing things a certain way. They have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

To be sure, when lives are on the line, it can be more prudent to rely on proven practices than untested innovations. And decisions about military posture and procurement have profound economic and political implications that should not be overlooked. As a senator, I represented many New York communities dependent on defense jobs, and I did everything I could to keep bases open and factories humming, whether it was funding the production of new howitzer tubes at the Watervliet Arsenal and the development of advanced radar systems on Long Island or bolstering the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. I knew how much the jobs meant for my constituents, and I was convinced that each of the appropriations had national security merit. Yet multiply that dynamic across 50 states and 435 congressional districts, and it becomes clear why it’s so hard to retire aging weapons systems or close bases that have outlived their usefulness.

Today, the poster child for this political reality is the F-35 fighter. Development of the plane ran way behind schedule and over budget, and it is estimated to cost $1 trillion over its lifespan, yet it is considered untouchable. The air force sank so much time and money into the project that turning back became unthinkable, especially since the F-35 is the only fifth-generation aircraft currently being manufactured in the United States. And because the plane directly and indirectly supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across hundreds of congressional districts in nearly every state, it has legions of defenders in Congress.

A SMARTER DEFENSE BUDGET

These obstacles to reforming the military are not new, but they are newly urgent. The Pentagon must adapt to a strategic landscape far different from the one it faced during the Cold War or the war on terrorism. New technologies such as artificial intelligence are rendering old systems obsolete and creating opportunities that no country has yet mastered but many are seeking. Then there are the particularly thorny challenges in East Asia. While the American military was fighting costly land wars in the Middle East, China was investing in relatively cheap anti-access/area-denial weapons, such as antiship ballistic missiles, which pose credible threats to the United States’ expensive aircraft carriers.

No one should make the mistake of believing that the People’s Liberation Army is ten feet tall or that the competition with China is primarily a military contest. China has relied on financial coercion and economic statecraft to gain influence as it builds infrastructure around the world. In recent years, while the Trump administration was gutting the State Department and undermining U.S. alliances in Asia and Europe, China was doubling its diplomacy budget and pouring untold billions into developing countries, now outstripping American aid. China today has more diplomatic posts around the world than the United States does.

That said, the military challenge from China is real. The United States should not be lulled into a false sense of security by its continuing firepower advantage or the fact that its defense budget remains orders of magnitude larger than Beijing’s. China’s advances mean that the United States’ air and sea superiority in the region is no longer ensured. This isn’t competition from a military equal but a new kind of asymmetric threat. Americans learned in the sands of Afghanistan and Iraq that asymmetry can be deadly, and the same is true in the skies and seas of East Asia. To make matters worse, the United States must meet this challenge with a military that has been damaged by Trump’s mismanagement. He has degraded civilian oversight of the Pentagon by leaving scores of key posts vacant. At the same time, he has attempted to turn the military into part of his political machine—pardoning war criminals over the objections of military leaders and deploying National Guard troops in Lafayette Square so that he could stage a photo op.

Modernizing and refocusing the military will take both vision and backbone. A big part of the effort will have to involve overhauling the defense budget. Deep savings—potentially hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade—can and should be found by retiring legacy weapons systems. But choices about where to cut and where to spend must be driven by a clear-eyed analysis of national security needs, not politics. The United States can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the 2013 budget sequestration, when Congress forced the Pentagon to slash budgets indiscriminately, with no overarching strategy. This work is going to require a president and a secretary of defense who are rigorous in their analysis and comfortable consulting with Congress and the military brass but prepared to make difficult decisions about which missions to prioritize and which to de-emphasize or eliminate. To insulate these decisions from political pressure, Congress should agree to take an up-or-down vote on a comprehensive package of defense reforms—a process that has been used in the past for closing military bases—rather than haggling over each adjustment.

Changes to the budget should aim to prepare the United States for asymmetric conflict with technologically advanced adversaries. For example, aircraft carriers still play an important role in U.S. power projection around the world but are vulnerable to Chinese antiship missiles, which cost a fraction of the price. In addition, only a handful of the U.S. Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers are usually operational and at sea at any given time, with onerous maintenance keeping others in port. Instead of continuing to expand the fleet of vulnerable surface ships, the navy should invest in accelerated maintenance and next-generation submarines. Similarly, as anti-access/area-denial weapons force U.S. aircraft carriers and guided-missile cruisers to stay farther away from potential targets, the U.S. Air Force will have to focus less on short-range tactical fighter planes and more on long-range capabilities. That means it won’t need nearly as many F-35s as planned, but it should welcome the arrival of the B-21 Raider, a long-range bomber under development that is designed to thwart advanced air defenses. These capabilities must be accompanied by mechanisms that allow for consultation with China and Russia to reduce the chances that a long-range conventional attack is mistaken for a nuclear strike, which could lead to disastrous escalation.

As the United States leaves behind a period dominated by land wars and looks ahead to potential air, sea, and space conflicts, the army should accept the risks that come with a smaller active-duty ground force. A force with fewer soldiers and heavy tanks would match the strategic moment and cost far less. Maintaining fewer active-component armored brigade combat teams, for example, could save tens of billions of dollars over the next decade. Instead of heavy tanks, the military should be investing in tools that will give troops an edge in the conflicts of the future, including upgraded communications and intelligence systems.

Modernizing and refocusing the military will take both vision and backbone.

Perhaps most important, the United States needs a new approach to nuclear weapons. For starters, it should not be deploying low-yield nuclear warheads on submarines or nuclear-armed cruise missiles, which expand the range of scenarios for the use of nuclear weapons and increase the risk of a misunderstanding escalating quickly into a full-blown nuclear exchange. Nor should the United States spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years on its nuclear arsenal, as is currently planned. Instead, it should significantly reduce its reliance on old intercontinental ballistic missiles, pursue a “newer and fewer” approach to modernization, and revive the arms control diplomacy that the Trump administration scrapped. A top priority should be to extend the New START treaty with Russia, which Ellen Tauscher, the State Department’s top arms control official, and I helped negotiate at the beginning of the Obama administration. It will also be important to persuade China to join nuclear negotiations.

A renewed commitment to diplomacy would strengthen the United States’ military position. U.S. alliances are an asset that neither China nor Russia can match, allowing Washington to project force around the world. When I was secretary of state, for example, we secured an agreement to base 2,500 U.S. marines in northern Australia, near the contested sea-lanes of the South China Sea. Yet Trump treats the U.S. alliance system as nothing more than a protection racket—for example, warning NATO partners that they must “either pay the United States for its great military protection, or protect themselves.” Although it’s appropriate to emphasize the need for burden sharing, it is more constructive to think of a division of labor. As the United States focuses on modernizing its air and sea capabilities, it will make sense for other NATO members to concentrate on strengthening their conventional ground forces so that they can deter incursions in eastern Europe or lead counterterrorism missions in Africa.

REBUILDING SELF-SUFFICIENCY

That is how the United States should modernize its approach to defense—one of the three Ds, along with diplomacy and development, that for more than a decade I have said should be integrated as part of a “smart power” strategy. Now, it’s time to add a fourth D: domestic renewal, the rebuilding of the country’s industrial and technological strength.

The United States’ dwindling industrial capacity and inadequate investment in scientific research leave the country dangerously dependent on China and unprepared for future crises. The problem goes back decades. When the USS Cole was bombed in 2000, I was shocked to learn that there was only one American company left that manufactured the specialized steel needed to repair the ship’s hull. Twenty years later, the pandemic has underscored how much the United States relies on China and other countries for vital imports—not just lifesaving medical supplies but also raw materials such as rare-earth minerals and electronic equipment that powers everything from telecommunications to weapons systems.

The United States should pursue a plan like the one proposed by former Vice President Joe Biden to invest $700 billion in innovation and manufacturing and impose stronger “Buy American” provisions, with the goal of jump-starting domestic production in key sectors—from steel to robotics to biotechnology—reshoring sensitive supply chains, and expanding strategic stockpiles of essential goods. It’s time for ambitious industrial policies. China does whatever it can to gain an advantage, including conducting industrial espionage on a massive scale, pursuing a range of unfair trade practices, and providing virtually unlimited resources to state-owned and state-backed enterprises. The United States doesn’t need to cheat or steal, but it can’t afford to compete with one hand tied behind its back.

The United States can’t afford to compete with one hand tied behind its back.

Although it is a mistake to use national security as a catchall justification for blanket protectionist trade policies, as Trump has done, policymakers should widen the range of industries and resources deemed vital to it. It’s not enough anymore to prioritize materials and technologies used for weapons systems and semiconductors; the United States’ security also depends on the control of pharmaceuticals, clean energy, 5G networks, and artificial intelligence. That’s one reason it’s crucial to reverse the long-term decline in the federal share of spending on R & D. Another reason is that investments in basic science and medical research can yield huge economic gains: economists at MIT have estimated that increasing federal funding for research in the United States by 0.5 percent of GDP, or about $100 billion per year, would create some four million jobs.

Massive new investments in advanced manufacturing and R & D will be expensive, but they are necessary for the United States’ long-term economic and security interests and will pay off for years to come. Critics will no doubt warn that running up the national debt is itself a national security risk. But at a time of historically low real interest rates and historically high unemployment, the country should not shy away from bold investments. There is a growing consensus among economists that Washington need not be paralyzed by fears of debt and that it can afford to spend heavily on critical national investments that bring high returns, especially during a crisis. Indeed, what the United States cannot afford is to defer these investments any longer.

AN INTEGRATED APPROACH

These two agendas—military modernization and domestic renewal—should be integrated. Moving away from outdated weapons systems will cause economic disruption and real hardship. That’s why it should be done in tandem with targeted investments in economically struggling communities, bringing advanced manufacturing and R & D to the places most affected by defense cuts. In fact, as a study by economists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has found, $1 billion spent on clean energy, health care, or education creates, on average, far more jobs than the same amount of military spending.

I’m not suggesting telling laid-off factory workers to reinvent themselves as coders; that’s fanciful and condescending. Previous pledges to support workers who lost their jobs because of defense cuts or trade policies have often fallen abysmally short. But the U.S. government can do more to help displaced workers and those leaving the military transition to the millions of new jobs that could be created through major new domestic investments. In 2008, when the U.S. Air Force retired the F-16s based at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, in Syracuse, New York, I helped secure funding to turn the base into one of the military’s first major drone bases, saving hundreds of jobs. American history is full of examples of factories, communities, and entire industries pivoting when they had to. During World War II, the auto industry shifted gears with incredible speed to make tanks and bombers. At the beginning of the pandemic, it shifted swiftly again, to produce desperately needed ventilators and personal protective equipment. With the right long-term investments, communities can reinvent themselves successfully. Pittsburgh, once a center of steel production, has become a hub for health care, robotics, and research on autonomous vehicles.

Many legacy weapons systems are built or based in communities with skilled workforces that can and should be the backbone of the country’s renewed self-sufficiency. Think of Syracuse, which has long been a center of defense manufacturing, a bright spot in an otherwise difficult economic picture. In 2017, the Brookings Institution ranked Syracuse dead last for economic growth out of 100 U.S. metro areas, so it could ill afford to lose any of the defense jobs keeping the region afloat. Yet a 2019 ranking by a pair of MIT economists put the city as the third most promising technology hub in the country, thanks to its skilled workers and low cost of living. It’s exactly the kind of place where significant public investments in advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and R & D could create good jobs and help the United States outcompete China.

Washington need not be paralyzed by fears of debt.

So is Lima, Ohio. Hundreds of people work at the city’s Abrams tank factory. Even though General Ray Odierno, then chief of staff of the U.S. Army, told legislators in 2012, “We don’t need the tanks,” Congress kept the factory open. It’s true that the plant’s workers and their community have devoted themselves to protecting the United States, and the country absolutely must keep faith with them. It’s also true that the military still doesn’t need the tanks. But if the United States is to get serious about climate change, what it does need are more factories to churn out clean electric vehicles. The Pentagon alone should replace most of its fleet of 200,000 nontactical vehicles with electric. Some of those new vehicles could be built in Lima, which is already home to a large Ford engine factory. And that’s just one possibility. If Washington decides to boost domestic production of next-generation electric batteries, wind turbines, and other strategically significant products, Northwest Ohio is a natural place to do it.

No one should pretend that every defense job can be saved or replaced. Cutting hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending over the next decade will inevitably inflict a painful toll on families and communities across the country. But if the government can pair these cuts with major new investments in affected communities, it can minimize the economic damage and maximize the United States’ ability to compete with China and prepare for future challenges.

All of this requires leadership from the top. Having a commander in chief with no experience—and no empathy or vision—has been a disaster. But it’s hard to imagine a man better suited to lead the work ahead than Biden, a former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who has deep expertise in national security policy, a military father who knows how much the country owes its men and women in uniform and their families, and a champion of working people who fought to save the auto industry when others would have let it go bankrupt.

In the throes of a crisis as dire as any the United States has seen in many decades, it can be difficult to imagine what the world will look like in four months, let alone four years. But the country needs to be thinking now about the threats it will face in a post-pandemic future, as well as the opportunities it must seize. As former Secretary of State Dean Acheson recounted in his memoirs, when George Marshall led the State Department, he urged his team to look ahead, “not into the distant future, but beyond the vision of the operating officers caught in the smoke and crises of current battle; far enough ahead to see the emerging form of things to come.” The United States should endeavor to do the same today. To look beyond the current battle and prepare to lead the post-COVID world, it must broaden its approach to national security and renew the foundations of its national power.

Source: Foreign Affairs “A National Security Reckoning”

Note: This is Foreign Affairs’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


Causes of US Fading Supremacy


According to Asia Times’ article “Fading American dream behind supremacy decline” yesterdamy America declines due to reduction of people’s incentives for vertical social mobility.

The article says:

“The reason the US became the world’s hub of innovations, discoveries, research and advances in cutting-edge technologies is its strong embrace of vertical social mobility with its incentives for individuals. The American dream is to have a better life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

“Education is the main propeller to upward social mobility. American universities are supposed to equip the students for higher income, better roles and status. Many US universities have been considered the best in the world because of their liberal education pedagogy.

“However, these circumstances no longer prevail in the US. I see three fundamental reasons behind the withering of the American dream.

“The first is that US schools, colleges and universities were supposed to provide a level playing field for children of any economic background, but after the mid-1980s economic reforms, this ceased to be the case.

“Another is the rising cost of a university degree. The National Center for Education Statistics suggests that in public, private non-profit, and private for-profit educational institutions, the cost of a degree after adjustment for inflation increased by four to five times in 2017-18 compared with 1985-86.

“Because of these rising costs, only 18% of American students got a bachelor’s degree in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field in 2015-16.

“Second, rising income inequality has been creating a severe hurdle to the new generation’s upward mobility compared with their parents’ generation. The chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Barack Obama administration, Alan Krueger, and his colleagues invented a “Great Gatsby Curve” explaining how income inequality leads US vertical social mobility to stagnate among the lower and middle classes intergenerationally.

“Third, tax policy has played a crucial role in rising inequality in the US. Wealthy Americans have been paying the lowest tax rates in the history of the US. According to Krueger, the average tax rates for the wealthiest 0.1% have declined for five decades. The US tax system is less progressive than in any other OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country. Trump’s tax records tell the gloomy story of a broken tax system.

“Inequality crushes aspirations to climb the social and economic ladder that led to US technological leadership”

Excerpts by Chan Kai Yee of the article, full text of which can be viewed at https://asiatimes.com/2020/10/fading-american-dream-behind-supremacy-decline/


The emerging world of hypersonic weapons technology


May 1st, 2019

The now-cancelled NASA X-43 experimental unmanned hypersonic aircraft was meant to test various aspects of hypersonic flight, as part of the X-plane series and NASA’s Hyper-X program.

The now-cancelled NASA X-43 experimental unmanned hypersonic aircraft was meant to test various aspects of hypersonic flight, as part of the X-plane series and NASA’s Hyper-X program.View Image Gallery

U.S. military leaders find themselves in a global technology race to develop hypersonic weapons able to travel at speeds faster than Mach 5, which requires research breakthroughs in electronics, thermal management, electronics, and command and control.

By J.R. Wilson

For most people, hypersonic weapons and aircraft represent yet another 21st century technology breakthrough in which science fiction becomes science fact. As with the vast majority of such “overnight” miracles, however, hypersonics have a long history, stretching back more than half a century. Just as with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the same time, hypersonics languished in the lab largely due to military indifference.

To begin with, hypersonic refers to aircraft, missiles, rockets, and spacecraft that can reach speeds through the atmosphere faster than Mach 5, which is near 4,000 miles per hour.

“I believe we were well poised to attack this problem in the 1960s, with the X-15, which was a successful hypersonic vehicle,” says William Carter, program manager for the Materials Architectures and Characterization for Hypersonics (MACH) at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va.The X-51 Scramjet Engine Demonstrator, called Waverider, flew four times between 2010 and 2013 to prove the viability of a scramjet-powered vehicle for hypersonic weapons applications.The X-51 Scramjet Engine Demonstrator, called Waverider, flew four times between 2010 and 2013 to prove the viability of a scramjet-powered vehicle for hypersonic weapons applications.

The North American X-15, was a rocket-powered hypersonic aircraft of the 1960s. Three of these research aircraft were built, and one of them set a world speed record 52 years ago that still stands — Mach 6.7, or 4,520 miles per hour, at an altitude of 102,100 feet.

“Aside from the NASP [National Aerospace Plane], there hasn’t been a strong national need to sustain research in this area,” Carter continues. “There was a lot more trial and error 50 years ago because we didn’t have the computing capabilities we have today.”

The U.S. Air Force played a major role in the NASP program, says James Miller, principal advisor to the High-Speed Systems Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Aerospace Systems Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Although it never was completed, the NASP program advanced many hypersonic technologies, including computational fluid dynamics, air-breathing propulsion, and high-temperature structures and materials.

“Following NASP, the Air Force focused on developing technologies to enable hypersonics for a range of applications, with weapon concepts representing the near-term application,” Miller says. “The Air Force developed a scramjet engine that burned liquid hydrocarbon fuel [JP-7]. This was flight tested on the X-51 Scramjet Engine Demonstrator — Waverider — which flew four times between 2010 and 2013. This proved the viability of a scramjet-powered vehicle for weapon applications. The Air Force has been leading in developing technologies for a High-Speed Strike Weapon (HSSW) to enable a responsive, long-range strike capability via a partnership with DARPA.”

Withstanding high temperatures

Today active research and development is in progress on all aspects of hypersonic flight, from materials to withstand high temperatures generated in the atmosphere, to more efficient propulsion systems, to size, weight and power (SWaP)-constrained enhanced electronics for sensors, guidance, communications, and other harsh-environment applications. Space programs have used many of those for decades to protect spacecraft re-entering the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.

“The community is responding tremendously and the number of young, early-career engineers who have expressed interest in hypersonics is very encouraging,” DARPA’s Carter says. “I hope we will see the emergence of a community very much like what we had back then [the 1960s], but informed by the new computing capabilities and materials science capabilities we have today, fueled by the American entrepreneurial spirit.”Generation Orbit Launch Services Inc. in Atlanta is developing technologies expected to lead to military and commercial hypersonic flight.Generation Orbit Launch Services Inc. in Atlanta is developing technologies expected to lead to military and commercial hypersonic flight.

Advances in technology, especially since the turn of the century, have improved greatly on what was possible half a century ago. The need for such capabilities also has grown substantially.

“There have been significant advances in computational fluid dynamics, air-breathing propulsion, and high-temperature structures and materials. Current efforts are using advanced design and manufacturing techniques. Cost is an important factor that has received significant emphasis in the current generation of programs. And, finally, the need for hypersonic systems is emerging and maturing,” AFRL’s Miller says.

“Hypersonics is one of the game-changer technology areas that provide high-speed options for engaging time-sensitive targets and improving the survivability of our systems,” Miller continues. “Hypersonics amplifies many of the enduring attributes of air power — speed, range, flexibility, and precision. Systems that operate at hypersonic speeds offer the potential for military operations from longer ranges with shorter response times and enhanced effectiveness compared to current military systems. Such systems could provide significant capabilities for future U.S. operations, particularly as adversaries’ capabilities advance.”

The new foothold hypersonic research has gained in military, academic, and industrial labs in recent years has not been limited to the United States, but also has grown significantly in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region — especially China and Russia. Both of those old adversaries, who are challenging America’s technological lead, have boasted of great advances in hypersonics and their intentions to field operational aircraft and weapons in the near future.

Hypersonics technology race

While there is considerable debate over the validity of Russian and Chinese claims, some of America’s top military officers say there is enough evidence to make dismissing them a serious mistake. That is especially true regarding China, which Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says has made hypersonics a Manhattan Project-level operation on which they are willing to spend “up to hundreds of billions to solve the problems of hypersonic flight, hypersonic target designation, and then, ultimately, engagement.”

For example, in March 2018, China’s state media announced construction on an 870-foot wind tunnel capable of simulating conditions from Mach 10 to Mach 25. Scheduled for completion in 2020, it will join existing wind tunnels able to simulate environments from Mach 5 to Mach 9. The U.S., by comparison, has Mach 5 to Mach 9 wind tunnels, but they are smaller than the Chinese tunnels, and capable of tests lasting only a few seconds.This artist’s rendering of the Waverider Scramjet Engine Demonstrator is yielding propulsion technologies that could be used aboard first-generation hypersonic weapons.This artist’s rendering of the Waverider Scramjet Engine Demonstrator is yielding propulsion technologies that could be used aboard first-generation hypersonic weapons.

That same month, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced testing on the Kinzhal missile, which he claims can reach Mach 10 speeds, carrying conventional or nuclear warheads, while impervious to existing or prospective air and missile defenses.

At a Colorado space conference in April 2018, Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, currently head of the U.S. Strategic Command and recently nominated to succeed Selva on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters “you should believe Vladimir Putin about everything he said he’s working on … We listen to what they say very closely and none of what he said surprised me.”

Michael D. Griffin, former NASA Administrator who became the nation’s first undersecretary of defense for research and engineering last year, has said developing and deploying hypersonic technology is his number-one priority — and he is extremely concerned about the progress China has made while the United States, which once had a commanding lead, essentially shuttered its efforts in the mid-2010s. As a result, he said, China has made 20 times as many hypersonic tests as the U.S. in the past five years.

Disruptive technology

Shortly after taking his new post, Griffin told a McAleese/Credit Suisse defense conference that a U.S. hiatus in hypersonic research must change because leaving the Chinese unchallenged in hypersonics could enable them to “hold at risk our carrier battle groups … [and] our entire surface fleet. They hold at risk our forward-deployed forces and land-based forces.”

Without a way to respond in kind or defend against a hypersonic attack, he warned, means “our only response is either to let them have their way — or go nuclear”, which, he added, is “an unacceptable situation for the United States.”

The Pentagon’s budget allocations and requests for hypersonic research demonstrate just how seriously military leaders now take pursuing this technology. Funding for hypersonics seesawed between $50 million and $100 million a year during the two decades following cancellation of NASP, then ballooned to more than $250 million in the 2019 budget. That was dwarfed in the 2020 budget request, however, with $2.6 billion requested for hypersonics.

“As technology matures, it gets easier to fund,” says Richard L. Aboulafia, vice president for analysis at market researcher The Teal Group in Fairfax, Va. “In the ‘60s, it would have been on the scale of the Manhattan Project in terms of cost. The thing to look for is areas where technology gets less costly to develop and mature and relevance remains high. That may be the case with hypersonics. It’s not a technology issue; it’s a money issue, although there may be show stoppers we don’t know about with the horizontal air-breather,” Aboulafia continues. “When it comes to something like this, it’s all about the building blocks. A lot of that comes down to the materials.” This is where DARPA’s MACH project comes in.The Generation Orbit X-60A project seeks to develop an affordable launch and propulsion system that could be applied to future hypersonic munitions and vehicles.The Generation Orbit X-60A project seeks to develop an affordable launch and propulsion system that could be applied to future hypersonic munitions and vehicles.

Advanced electronics cooling

“The purpose is to develop new leading-edge technologies for the front of the vehicle, which meets the atmosphere first, enabling it to go faster or go deeper into the atmosphere,” DARPA’s Carter explains. “Looking at it from a thermal management perspective, the design of the vehicle is dominated by heating at hypersonic speeds. These are topics that recently the electronics and program management world has started to address. A common holy grail in electronics is one kilowatt per square centimeter of heating, which is very similar to what is required for the leading edge of hypersonics.

“We’re trying to advance the technology very quickly and develop a leading edge component that future designers can use in the vehicle,” Carter continues. “The approaches you see there are things like heat pipes, which are used extensively in high-performance electronics.”

Moving heat from hot components like microprocessors and leading-edge aeronautic structures also is a big issue. This is how trees keep cool through leaves and was applied to some of the earliest hypersonic platforms back in the 1950s. In addition, film cooling, which is used in turbine engine blades today, enables materials to survive in environments where they ordinarily would melt.

Carter says he hopes MACH will lead to development of a disruptive technology “that will get us on a new design curve that will transcend materials we use today, such as carbon/carbon composites. In a way, it’s history coming back to us. Carbon/carbon was one reason we stopped working on thermal issues.”

All the U.S. military services, academia, and corporate research organizations, are working on hypersonics and sharing information. Still, Pentagon leaders have expressed a strong aversion to creating a joint program such as the F-35 jet fighter. Instead of trying to create one system that can be all things to all users, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) experts say they want several programs to solve technological challenges common to many service requirements, without adversely affecting individual programs. Dealing with a submarine-launched hypersonic missile, for example, could slow development of a missile designed for launch from a tracked vehicle.

Dispersing efforts across all military and non-military labs, could encourage a wide range of out-of-the-box thinking, experts say. This approach also allows more inquiry into different approaches, such as a boost/glide system that launches a weapon or sensor payload like a ballistic missile to hypersonic speed, then glides down to its target.The U.S. Air Force and NASA X-15 achieved hypersonic flight more than 50 years ago in attempts to set new aircraft speed and altitude records through the atmosphere.The U.S. Air Force and NASA X-15 achieved hypersonic flight more than 50 years ago in attempts to set new aircraft speed and altitude records through the atmosphere.

Launch challenges

Another candidate is horizontally launched payload from an aircraft or missile, but with its own engines to maintain hypersonic flight and target changes. Military experts also are interested in a manned or unmanned system that takes off like an airplane, flies at hypersonic speed to a standoff position, launches hypersonic missiles, then returns to base for reload and another flight.

Recent and future advances several technologies are necessary to field true hypersonic systems. Those include high-temperature structures and materials; power and thermal management; solid rocket motors with high-energy propellants; advanced electronic guidance, navigation, and control systems; and advanced design and manufacturing techniques to build systems quickly and affordably.

“There are some efforts in space launch that may have applicability to hypersonics that could be useful for the military,” AFRL’s Miller notes. “The Hadley liquid rocket engine was developed by Ursa Major and will be used on the X-60A. The X-60A will provide flight research allowing affordable, routine and flexible access to hypersonic flight conditions. Like the X-15, the X-60A will provide a ‘flying facility’ to test and advance hypersonic technologies quickly, affordably and at relevant hypersonic flight conditions.”

The Teal Group’s Aboulafia says he expects China and the U.S. — and possibly Russia — to deploy boost/glide hypersonic systems in the next five to ten years, although that approach still will have all the problems of launching a ballistic missile, such as targeting and stabilization. This technology also is easier to defend against. The U.S., he says, is ahead in horizontal air-breathing technology, but deployment of that capability is further out, possibly the late 2020s or early 2030s.

“The Russians are talking a good game about doing something air-breathing, but they don’t have the same resources as the U.S.,” he says. “Air-breathing is all about the propulsion system. Some people think we’re close to a supersonic combustion ramjet [scramjet], but others think that’s still far away.”

“Hypersonics are fundamentally offensive and strategic,” Aboulafia continues. “You won’t use them for anything less than the highest-value targets. One school of thought says it is destabilizing because you don’t have any reaction time. It’s perfect for a unipolar world, which we don’t have anymore and, technologically, the genie has a way of getting out of the bottle. The boost/glide approach involves a ballistic missile launch, which, alone, is a little disconcerting. But the full-up air-breathing, horizontal launch capability is the most destabilizing of all because it can appear just offshore of a capital city and you have less than a minute to decide what to do.”The DARPA Falcon Project seeks to develop a reusable, rapid-strike hypersonic cruise missile, as well as a launch system to accelerate the weapon to hypersonic cruise speeds.The DARPA Falcon Project seeks to develop a reusable, rapid-strike hypersonic cruise missile, as well as a launch system to accelerate the weapon to hypersonic cruise speeds.

Defining research

The next five to ten years will be critical to the development of new and advanced technologies required for hypersonics, such as MACH.

“If we are successful, we can see dramatic improvements in the capability of these platforms in velocity, range, the atmospheric conditions we can fly in,” Carter says. “We’re also thinking about manufacturability, so I expect to see an industrial base to produce these structures. And we’ll see American ingenuity come to the fore in other areas of hypersonics. One is how we model those, which is a cornerstone of how we develop systems. I expect to see dramatic advances not only in modeling materials but in modeling vehicles; model-driven design is being done today, but it’s not as connected and powerful as we would like.”

“You cannot recreate the conditions a hypersonic vehicle will experience in flight in the lab; there’s always some kind of gap, but I believe we will close that gap. We have new tools in the toolbox, not only advances on the computational side, but in meeting the longstanding challenge of scaling. Nobody in the world can do this today, but I believe we will crack it. That will enable us to do small frames much more quickly and develop flight vehicles scaled up using the computational capabilities we’re developing. For the first couple of iterations, we’ll follow the discipline we have used for more than a century — crawl, walk, run — but we will be shortening that walking step very quickly.”

At the same time, hypersonics requires greater care than other programs when it comes to making changes, both external and internal.

“Hypersonics is a very interconnected design process. Every change you make has to be connected to every other component, unlike building an airplane. With MACH, we’re talking about a leading-edge technology that will improve the capability of the vehicle with very little redesign required,” he says. “It’s one thing to have an aeroshell on the leading edge, but you also have to have all the communications and other stuff on the inside protected from the heat of hypersonic flight. Just swapping out one component could leave you vulnerable to a thermal shift.”

“Cooling is interesting because you are trying to get heat off a very hot vehicle. SWaP is important because these are very constrained platforms. Based on the aerodynamic principles involved and launch capabilities, you have a highly SWaP-constrained platform. So, advances in electronics, fuel and materials in general will be very important.”

Thermal-management materials

A greater understanding of material composition and applications in just the past five or so years has set the stage for a new century of development that could take hypersonic technology into areas never before considered.

“Our ability to model materials at the atomic scale is really emerging as a way to not only understand materials but to be predictive tools. When you marry that up with AI [artificial intelligence], we have a truly new way to approach materials development,” DARPA’s Carter says. “These new capabilities are very inspiring and I’m anticipating the next century will be just as exciting as the last in materials science as we integrate all that into multidisciplinary design, looking at how the mission may drive fundamental development. We’ve tried to model MACH on that new future, not only making new materials, but what is driving that development so sensible engineers will want to use them.

One area is new materials that involve compositionally complex alloys (CCAs). “For the past two centuries, we have looked at the periodic table and added small amounts of other materials,” Carter says. “CCAs bring together at least five or more elements in an attempt to confuse nature that actually works. They have some interesting properties — high temp, anti-corrosion, fatigue, and toughness you don’t see in traditional alloys. The story of composites really has yet to be written. Some of those have properties that could be very useful in building other aspects of the vehicle.”

Other thermal-management design approaches, such as insulating and highly conductive materials to manage heat pathways inside of hypersonic vehicles also are of considerable concern. “In the world of thermal management, we are still making substantial inroads in ultra-high heat,” Carter says. “The headroom to go to even higher heat flux and temperatures still has a long way to go.”

Hypersonics Manhattan project?

The development of hypersonics has been likened to developing the atomic bomb, yet some say there are significant differences that may limit the number of nations attaining hypersonic capability even further.

“The market probably would be close to the nuclear level, but without the cultural taboo. So, a country like Japan could have hypersonics where they wouldn’t have nukes,” says Teal’s Aboulafia. “But the cost factor and technology base will keep the number of nations using hypersonics limited, maybe just to the U.S., China and Russia. It’s hard to do something efficiently with a hypersonic, where nukes can be delivered by oxcart, as the saying goes. So, while Iran is working on nukes, it’s hard to see what they would do with hypersonics.”

There is another reason countries may opt not to develop hypersonic weapons — to avoid becoming preemptive targets. A nation with nuclear weapons, even if it does not have intercontinental ballistic missiles, forces potential adversaries to think twice about an attack. But hypersonic weapons without the added threat of nukes could encourage its enemies to attack first.

“It’s basically an invitation for retaliation, sort of a less intimidating form of nukes,” Teal’s Aboulafia says.

Source: militaryaerospace.com “The emerging world of hypersonic weapons technology”

Note: This is militaryaerospace.com’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


China Intensifies Propaganda to Include Simulated Strike on American Soil


People’s Liberation Army soldiers / Getty Images

Jack Beyrer – OCTOBER 5, 2020 7:55 PM

China has intensified its propaganda to feature militarist displays, including footage of a simulated airstrike on American territory, the New York Times reported Monday.

Propaganda from Chinese Communist Party-affiliated outlets has increasingly showcased Chinese military strength, featuring footage manipulated from Hollywood movies like The Rock and The Hurt Locker.

“If war breaks out,” one video of Chinese soldiers charging through a forest said, “this is my answer.”

Another video featured a Chinese aircraft attacking Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. That video was soon removed from Chinese social media without explanation after quickly going viral. China’s latest propaganda videos have been viewed millions of times.

In recent months, the growing relationship between the United States and Taiwan, which China views as its sovereign territory, has led to unprecedented Chinese propaganda efforts and military showmanship aimed at both countries. In September, China flew more than a dozen fighter jets near Taiwanese airspace during Taiwan’s reception of Undersecretary of State Keith Krach.

Chinese newspapers take on a similar warlike tone. Washington is “playing with fire” by supporting Taiwan, the Global Times, China’s most hawkish state-backed outlet, recently claimed. The same editorial also said Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen would be “wiped out” if she challenged China.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration has made brushing back Chinese aggression a key priority. In recent months, the White House has sanctioned Chinese human-rights abusers, sought new partnerships with allies in the Indo-Pacific, and strengthened ties with historic partners in Europe to meet the China challenge.

As recently as last week, Chinese media targeted the Trump administration by echoing talking points from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Last year, Biden said China was “not competition” for the United States.

Source: Washington Free Beacon “China Intensifies Propaganda to Include Simulated Strike on American Soil”

Note: This is Washington Free Beacon’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Goodwill message from Xi to Trump shows major country attitude despite rivalry


By GT staff reporters Source: Global Times

Published: 2020/10/3 18:06:52 Last Updated: 2020/10/3 21:06:52

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on Saturday sent a message of sympathy, wishing an early recovery for US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania from the COVID-19.

Analysts said the message, out of humanitarianism, “shows the decency of a major country,” and it is hoped that it could also serve to kick-start positive interactions between leaders of China and US, allowing a buffer to bilateral confrontations.

Xi said in the message that “my wife Peng Liyuan and I express sympathy, and hope you get better soon.”

After the Trump couple confirmed their infection on Friday, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai and Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying also expressed good wishes on Twitter.

Analysts said the message is humanitarian regards to the couple who suffered from the virus. Kind wishes to the patients are not affected by political frictions or Trump’s hostility.

Chinese netizens said that Xi and the diplomats’ messages show the decency of a major country. “With the goodwill to Trumps, and pledges of making vaccine a public good, China is doing what we should do in the international community,” a net user said on Sina Weibo.

This was the first message between the two leaders in months, amid the continuous spreading of the coronavirus and the US whole-of-government approach against China. Before the message, Xi and Trump’s most recent reported communication was in late March on the phone, after which the US ordered the closure of a Chinese consulate and accelerated oppression of Chinese tech companies on top of its continuous smears on the coronavirus, Hong Kong and Xinjiang affairs. He also attacked China over the pandemic at the UN general assembly in September.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that Xi expressing sympathy and regards to Trump is in line with international norms. “No matter what situation the two governments are in, disease is tragic.”

President Xi said at the general debate of the UN 75th assembly, “major countries should act like major ones.” Lü said sending the message of sympathy is what a leader of a major country should do.

Xi had sent many messages to leaders who fought the pandemic with their people, but a message of sympathy in a personal tone is rare.

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that the message, more in a personal tone, also carries deeper meaning. “It shows goodwill from China’s top leader, and expectations for positive person-to-person interaction with the leader of the US, despite the difficulties between the two countries.”

It is hoped that such goodwill from a leader, if it develops into positive interactions, will smoothen diplomatic relations and allow a buffer as bilateral relations face challenges, Li said.

Li noted that the ball is in Trump’s court, but he is not optimistic about American reactions. It is more likely the Trump administration will continue its hostility, smears and attacks despite Chinese goodwill.

Source: Global Times “Goodwill message from Xi to Trump shows major country attitude despite rivalry”

Note: This is Global Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.