Events in Ukraine Make China Feel Cocky
- Maj. Gen Zhu Chenghu, from China’s National Defense University, while talking about the US power projection abilities, doubled down on the sort of brazen declarations that are increasingly fashionable among Chinese officials:
“we can see from the situation in Ukraine this kind of ED” – which he explained in Chinese was a military abbreviation for something that may have meant ‘extended deployment’ – “has become the male type of ED problem – erectile dysfunction.”
- Chenghu also said: “If you take China as an enemy, China will absolutely become the enemy of the U.S.”
- US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and the Chinese generals he talked with during last week’s Shangri La summit agreed on at least one thing: thanking each other for their candor. It’s diplospeak for “I really don’t like what you just said.”
Meanwhile in Europe
- Poland is to speed up many key defense procurement programs in response to the Ukraine crisis.
- Germany’s Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel recently told a German tabloid that export arms control should be more stringent, especially on small weapons that are commonly used in civil wars. That will register with his electoral base in the left-wing SPD party, but the conservative Chancellor Merkel tends to prioritize economic interests above making statements of moral principle. Bild am Sonntag [in German] | Defense News.
- According to the Jerusalem Post “evidence is emerging of an increasing, though still modest, Israeli involvement in events beyond the separation of forces line with Syria on the Golan Heights.”
- The CSIS think tank updated its outlook on Iraq, which in a nutshell is still very much in crisis [PDF].
Collecting People, Places
- The NSA is reportedly collecting millions of faces on websites that can be run through facial recognition software.
- Google’s self-driving cars rely on massive data collection to improve their awareness of their surroundings.
- “Privacy versus government surveillance: where network effects meet public choice” explains [PDF] that information economics also applies in the public and international relations sectors. Just one consequence: it’s much more profitable to share intel with the largest tech spy network. But the implications of infonomics for international security are wide-ranging.
Lessons from the Past
- Today’s video from the UK’s Royal Air Force talks about the way air reconnaissance had to be done during WWII from Southern France all the way up to Denmark in order not to tip the Germans about the actual location of the forthcoming D Day: