That’s the Point

Six months after it went into force, China’s tough new cybersecurity law is still troubling US technology executives who fear that it will put the intellectual property of their companies and the data they collect in jeopardy.

And

…while the law went into effect June 1, the Chinese government is still drafting specific implementation rules.

And

Company and trade-group representatives are also concerned that the network-equipment security reviews could expose proprietary source code, jeopardizing their trade secrets[.]

Naïve

It’s hard to believe that this level of naivete can exist in grown human beings, especially American journalists who hold themselves out as so smart and experienced.  But here it is.  Regarding northern Korea’s just-fired ICBM, the AP’s Foster Klug had this sort of thing:

Pyongyang may simply continue its torrid testing pace of its weapons, which, despite internal and global hype, are not yet a match for those of any of the established nuclear powers.

Showcase Potential

Brussels is worried, and we should be, too, but for different reasons.  The People’s Republic of China is gaining influence in eastern Europe, and it’s doing it with one of my favorite tactics: international trade as a national policy tool.

In Hungary it is hailed as the “Eastward Opening.” Serbian authorities see it as the glue in a “reliable friendship”, while the Polish government describes it as a “tremendous opportunity.” Yet the 16+1, a grouping of 16 central and eastern European countries led by China, receives more caustic reviews in leading EU capitals, with diplomats fearing it could be exploited by Beijing to undermine union rules and take advantage of growing east-west tensions in the pact itself.

The VA Still Fails

The Veterans Administration is still creating waitlists and secret waitlists, even after all this time of reporting on and calling the VA out for its dishonesty and its disservice to our veterans.  Now a Colorado VA facility is—still—doing secret waitlists.

Investigators with the VA Office of Inspector General confirmed whistleblower and former VA employee Brian Smother’s claim that staff kept unauthorized lists instead of using the department’s official wait list system.

That made it impossible to know if veterans who needed referrals for group therapy and other mental health care were getting timely assistance, according to the report. The internal investigation also criticized record-keeping in PTSD cases at the VA’s facility in Colorado Springs.

Training

The Wall Street Journal is justifiably dismayed with the implications of the Navy report on the collisions of two of our combat ships with civilian ships in peacetime and in peaceful waters.  However, the op-ed’s Editorial Board give short shrift to the question of training for our sailors and officers.

…Congress needs to allocate enough money to adequately train sailors so they can fulfill their missions.

Shortsighted

President Donald Trump is, IMNSHO, misunderstanding the role of diplomacy in a shooting conflict. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said,

He’s (Trump) not seeking to go to war.  He has made it clear to me to continue my diplomatic efforts…until the first bomb drops.

Of course, war should be a last resort, not a never resort, and Trump understands that.  But to say that diplomacy ends when the shooting starts, is mistaken.  Diplomacy doesn’t only shape the coming battlefield during a prior period of peace and during the runup to the fight.  It also shapes the battlefield during the fight: both directly with its (however minimal) impact on the enemy belligerents, but also on the periphery and the far field surrounding the battlefield through its impact on our allies, our enemy’s allies, and on neutrals.

The PRC and Northern Korea

The People’s Republic of China says it has ordered businesses doing business with northern Korean entities or individuals must shut down within 120 days.

This would be cool, if it happens.  The PRC has said it would enforce other sanctions, also, and then only paid lip service to enforcement while engaging in business largely as usual with the north.

Believe it when you see it actually happen.  If it does happen, believe the durability of PRC enforcement when it actually lasts.

A Clear Statement of Intent

Ri Yong Ho, northern Korea’s Foreign Minister and spokesman for Baby Kim, appears to have let the cat out of the bag.  Responding to President Donald Trump’s series of remarks about northern Korea and Baby Kim during the week, Ri said

He [Trump] committed an irreversible mistake of making our rockets’ visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more[.]

Notice that.  Ri isn’t only responding to Trump’s current position.  All the more is the key phrase here.  Northern Korea’s intent all along, its motivation for developing nuclear weapons and delivery systems, has been to attack us; otherwise, there is nothing than which to be all the more.

Hacking

Germany has been struck by a wave of hackers from the People’s Republic of China as the PRC moves to steal from cutting-edge manufacturers.

The German government

is now moving to shield companies from state-backed hackers and criminal gangs, offering to pay to harden the defenses of Germany’s most vulnerable firms.

This is a start, but it’s insufficient.

Hacks like this, originating as they do from a fundamentally autocratic nation, can only be taken as state-sanctioned, if not outright -directed, as such they are overt acts of aggression, and so they require commensurately serious responses.

Loss of Power

And of communications, air conditioning in hot and humid environs (and of heating in cold environs), food and water distribution, fuel supplies, and so on.

Block by block and city by city, utilities face one of the largest power restoration challenges in US history as they bring back electricity to more than 15 million people affected by Hurricane Irma.

Almost 60,000 utility workers from the US and Canada are descending on Florida and other states hard hit by the storm, with more line crews and contractors expected soon….