Partnerships and Soft Power in Space

This article emphasizes the importance in examining the role of allies and international partners in the newly-formed U.S. Space Force and Space Command’s evolving mission.

Excerpt
There are valuable gains to be won by reaching out to these many other nations either lacking in space capabilities or with civilian-led space security-related sectors. For example, in a context of strategic competition and aggressive initiatives such as the Belt and Road Space Information Corridor led by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), a broadening of our partnership aperture might help in alerting partner nations and articulating an alternative avoiding deeper economic dependence on the PRC, and hence, exposure to malign leverage (see e.g., Chase 2019, Bubna 2020). It enables also widened audiences and more effective messaging around a fact-based narrative exposing PRC falsehoods concerning their “development”-focused agenda generating “win-win” outcomes, while concealing controversial aspects of its space programs such as its many intersections with military and intelligence applications.

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Date: 2020/10/22

Is the U.S. Relationship with Australia Detrimental to Strategic Aspirations with Papua New Guinea?

This article discusses the pitfalls of the U.S. – Australia relationship, and how they relate to Papua New Guinea.

Excerpt
The United States partnership with Australia is beyond doubt the most significant in Oceania. As a western nation, Australia holds many of the same values as the U.S. and there are extensive economic, diplomatic and military ties that bind the two countries together. There are, however, three detractors when it comes to adding Papua New Guinea (PNG) to the equation. While they should not affect the quality of the U.S.-Australia relationship, the U.S. should be seen as actively providing remedies to avoid being associated with these pitfalls and if they are serious about their Pacific focus.

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Date: 2020/10/19

Religion in a Values-Based Approach to Strategic Competition

This article asks the question “Can we bring religious faiths and beliefs to bear in our strategic competition with our competitors?”

Excerpt
We speak often of a values-based approach to strategic competition.  In so doing, we usually operate within a mental frame that privileges familiar political and economic values such as those associated with our democratic political systems and practices, and our liberal market-led approaches to economic organization.  Less often do we draw attention to the place of religious faiths and beliefs within our value systems.  In a context of strategic competition, this omission potentially denies us an opportunity to more strongly differentiate and distinguish ourselves from competitor regimes.  More, we may be overlooking potentially productive avenues to strengthen relationships with our security partners.

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Date: 2020/10/14

Why We Believe: Disinformation, Misinformation, and Neuroscience

This article states how disinformation, particularly in social media, may have devastating effects during crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Excerpt
Critically, the algorithms that underlie social media platforms exacerbate the different realities that we each see. Social media sites are designed to track what their users each individually see, click on, and listen to, and then to provide them with more information of a similar nature; this is their core, and the basis on which they create profit.  By the way in which they were designed, these algorithms thus tend to create ‘bubbles’ around people, wherein they see and hear only information similar to that which they earlier viewed or listened to, and to close off opposing viewpoints (cf., confirmation bias, noted above). This perpetuates a vicious circle of individuals receiving ‘news’ from an ever-narrowing, and ever-more-extreme set of sources.

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Date: 2020/10/14

Perceptions of U.S. Posture in Papua New Guinea

This article compares the effects of U.S. posture on the relationship with Papua New Guinea, to that of the People’s Republic of China, along with other influences.

Excerpt
In Papua New Guinea (PNG), activities by the United States were highly visible in World War II, but have steadily declined ever since. This decay in international relations has been more obvious since the early 2000s when it is contrasted with the rise of Chinese-PNG relations on a political level and on a person-to-person level through infrastructure development and overseas education. The 2011-2012 Obama era Pivot and Rebalance to the Pacific produced a small increase in attention, but this soon waned and is already forgotten.

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Date: 2020/10/14

Strategic Competition, National Security and the Need for ‘Competitive Intelligence’

This article illustrates how Competitive intelligence lies at the center of any strategy to maintain political, economic and security posture in the Indo-Pacific region.

Excerpt
We live in an age in which technology is rapidly transforming every aspect of our lives. Since these advances bestow upon nations considerable advantages, they are coveted and sought after with increasing criminally-motivated avarice. This has increased tensions and competition between the great powers, which forces us to analyze how to compete in the present and the coming future. In this age of significant cooperation and competition, we all need a competitive edge to survive and flourish.

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Date: 2020/10/14

Maritime Domain Awareness and Maritime Fusion Centers

This article emphasizes the importance of maritime domain awareness (MDA) and the coordinating efforts of maritime fusion centers (MFC) to support those efforts.

Excerpt
The essential mission of a MFC is to strengthen MDA by gathering and analyzing data from multiple sources, fusing it into meaningful information, and disseminating actionable intelligence to operational commanders to directly improve national security, safety, economy, and environment. Not all maritime centers source data broadly enough to make fusion meaningful, and not all attempt to adequately fuse data to extrapolate new intelligence. Some of these agencies only focus on internal monitoring and have little to do with transnational events.

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Date: 2020/10/01

Achieving Effective Herd Protection with SARS-CoV-2: A strategy to prevent public health and economic collapse

This article discusses strategies to harness the collective utility of proven tools and approaches in achieving effective herd protection with SARS-CoV-2.

Excerpt
The main intention of lockdown, known in the Philippines as Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), is to reduce the reproductive rate of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to a point near virus elimination, as demonstrated in the lockdown in Wuhan, China, and in other relatively successful countries. Beyond the direct public health goal, strict lockdown measures towards total stamping out of the virus ultimately aspires to prevent public health and economic collapse, or prolonged societal devastation, which this pandemic is capable of causing.

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Date: 2020/09/24

Ideological Necrophilia

This paper cites how the refusal of new ideas, evolution or change may be considered to be a form of “ideological” necrophilia, an atypical fixation for dead ideas, and includes several examples.

Excerpt
For those who suffer from ideological necrophilia, it is always easy to find reasons to ridicule, criticize, or reject when something is new and revolutionary.  Ideological necrophilia is a devastating condition that can affect people, organizations, companies and nations. It can manifest symptoms of blindness by success, need to eliminate any prophet, fear of change, and rationalization in order to love, refurbish, and justify the application of dead ideas, dogmas and theories.

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Date: 2020/09/24

Tarrant’s Last Laugh? The Spectre of White Supremacist Penetration of Western Security Forces

This paper brings White supremacist extremism to reality with citations and points to “Western militaries” as organizations already infiltrated with this ideology.

Abstract
White supremacist extremism, also known as “right-wing” and “far right” extremism, is a broad label of convenience that lumps together, amongst others, white nationalist, neo-Nazi, anti-immigrant, anti-gun control, anti-LGBTQ and increasingly even misogynistic grievances. While its key tropes have gestated for decades, an underlying theme that has come to the fore in recent times has been the notion of what the French philosopher Reynaud Camus in 2012 called Le Grand Remplacement (The Great Replacement). This argument holds that white, Christian Europe has been overrun by masses of black and brown Muslim immigrants from North and sub-Saharan Africa. Since the refugee crisis of 2015, in which more than a million asylum seekers fleeing conflict landed on the shores of the European Union, white supremacist-friendly intellectuals, social media, political personalities and movements have sought to mainstream the Great Replacement motif within European societies.

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Date: 2020/09/22
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