Earlier this month did some work on economic espionage at the Diplomat:
The 2016 Annual Report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (established by act of the U.S. Congress) includes an unsurprising series of allegations about the course of Chinese military and economic espionage against the United States. Among other items, the report suggested that China had appropriated elements of the F-35 design and incorporated them in the J-20. The United States was not the only target. Individuals and firms in Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, France, Italy, and Norway also came under Chinese scrutiny.
Reminder: Tomorrow at 5:30pm, we’ll be doing an LGM Meetup in Washington DC. Details here; we’re meeting at Fado Irish Pub on 7th St. NW. We should be there until at least 8:30pm. RSVPs (through Facebook)are great, but not strictly necessary. Look for the group of people you’d normally imagine to be LGM regulars…
Last chance to sign up for the LGM Bowl Challenge Group!
Group: Lawyers, Guns and Money
FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have backed a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the presidency, according to U.S. officials.
Comey’s support for the CIA’s conclusion suggests that the leaders of the three agencies are in agreement on Russian intentions, contrary to suggestions by some lawmakers that the FBI disagreed with the CIA.
“Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA Director John O. Brennan said in a message to the agency’s workforce, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message.
I think it’s obvious that no one at this blog holds a high view of the integrity and capabilities of James Comey. At the same time, it’s important to note that whatever discord apparently existed in the IC over the motivations for Russian hacking efforts have now disappeared.
USNS Bowditch. By http://www.msc.navy.mil/inventory/ships.asp?ship=17&type=OceanographicSurveyShip, Public Domain, Link
So this is happening:
While we don’t know much yet, I would be hesitant to ascribe this to a bureaucratic foul up. The PLAN has been relatively careful about these kinds of things over the past few years, and the timing (in the wake of Trump’s Taiwan call) suggests a escalatory intention.
And hey, Trump AIN’T EVEN PRESIDENT YET!
On Monday the 19th at 5:30pm, at least two contributors will be present and in-the-flesh for an LGM Meetup in Washington DC. Details are here; we’ll be meeting at Fado Irish Pub on 7th St. NW. We should be there until at least 8:30pm. RSVPs (through Facebook)are great, but not strictly necessary. Topics of discussion will be closely monitored by the Trump administration.
1959 State Dinner with Khrushchevs and Eisenhowers.
Thought experiment: What would have had to change to enable the USSR to “win” the Cold War?
Could the Soviets have won the Cold War? In retrospect, Soviet defeat seems overdetermined. The USSR suffered from a backwards economy, an unappealing political system, and unfortunate geography. But even into the 1980s, many Cold Warriors in the West worried that Red Victory was imminent.
We can think of Red Victory in two ways; first, if the fundamental rules of the competition between the United States and the USSR had operated differently, and second if Moscow and Washington had made different strategic decisions along the way.
USS Boxer (LHD-4), CTF-151 Flagship
Some thoughts on some recent work on naval cooperation in the Indian Ocean:
What can the success of counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean tell us about military cooperation more generally? Counter-piracy was the quintessential example of what cooperative sea power could accomplish, and the success of operations off Somalia helped drive the thinking of many American sea power theorists. The “Thousand Ship Navy” concept developed just as the U.S. Navy and other forces were beginning to step up counter-piracy operations off Somalia, and hoped to lay the foundation for the creation of similar operations around the world.
The LGM Bowl Mania league has been reactivated for 2016. Do your best to close out the most horrific year in recent history by picking as many losing collegiate football teams as possible!
League: Lawyers, Guns and Money
Prize for the least horrible entry.
By Sarah Ackerman from New York, USA CC BY 2.0, Link
This has been floating around for a bit, but still…
It’s known as one of the most infamous rape scenes in Hollywood history—but Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci admitted in a recently surfaced video that star Maria Schneider never consented to it.
Instead, Bertolucci confessed in the 2013 clip that he and Marlon Brando came up with the idea to shoot the assault scene in which Brando’s character uses a stick of butter to rape Schneider on screen. At the time, Brando was 48. Schneider was just 19.
“The sequence of the butter is an idea that I had with Marlon in the morning before shooting,” Bertulocci said in an event held at La Cinémathèque Française in Paris in 2013. He added that he felt horrible “in a way” for his treatment of Schneider but defended himself, explaining that he “wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress.”
“I wanted her to react humiliated,” he said. “I think she hated me and also Marlon because we didn’t tell her.” Even so, Bertolucci clarified that he didn’t “regret” how he decided to direct the scene.
“To obtain something I think you have to be completely free,” he said. “I didn’t want Maria to act her humiliation her rage, I wanted her to Maria to feel…the rage and humiliation. Then she hated me for all of her life.”
- If you had asked me yesterday to guess one rape scene in the history of cinema that involved an actual rape, this is the one I would have picked. In some horrible, perverse sense, Bertolucci and Brando got exactly what they wanted.
- Imagine Bertolucci saying this: “I didn’t want Marlon to act his painful gunshot death, I wanted him to feel…as if he’d been shot. Then he hated me for all of his very short remaining life.”
- Tragically, I’d bet that some people will view this as a vindication of Roman Polanski: “Everybody was doing it. And sure, maybe he raped a girl, but at least he didn’t film it.”
… good lord, folks; how deeply do we need to quibble about gradations of sexual assault, especially when both the victim and the perpetrator claim it was non-consensual?