Cyber Intelligence War 2000 to Present

Starting from Titan Rain to present Nation State Actors conducting Cyber Espionage

One of the best articles about Titan Rain was from Time Magazine.

The lesson of Titan Rain: Articulate the dangers of cyber attack to upper management. article by Homeland Security News Wire.

(2003). Intelligence in Support of Strategic Signal Units – starts page 40 by James R. Lint

Please send your information, story or pictures for this time in history. http://lc-vans.lintcenter.org/submit-your-story/

Titan Rain

Titan Rain: Chinese Cyberespionage? – TIME  Inside the Chinese Hack Attack 25 Aug 2005

The Invasion of the Chinese Cyberspies – TIME  29 Aug 2005

A look at how the hackers called TITAN RAIN are stealing U.S. secrets.

 Attack Via Chinese Web Sites – The Washington Post 25 Aug 2005

North Korea’s June 25 Surprise Attack: An Important Lesson in Battle Preparation

Published with Permission by:
Lint, James R., “North Korea’s June 25 Surprise Attack: An Important Lesson in Battle Preparation”, In Homeland Security, 23 June 2016, Web, https://inhomelandsecurity.com/north-koreas-june-25-surprise-attack-important-lesson-battle-preparation/

By James Lint
Faculty Member, American Public University System

June 25 is a day that all military planners and intelligence professionals should remember as a lesson in proper battle preparation. On that date in 1950, North Korea surprised the U.S. military with an attack that swept U.S. and South Korean forces into the Pusan Perimeter and almost off the Korean peninsula. Defeat appeared quick and sudden.

It was only nine years after the devastation at Pearl Harbor and no one believed that a surprise attack could happen to U.S. forces ever again. But it did.

For the United States, intelligence focus on a former small Japanese-occupied territory was a low priority. The mistake was missing the buildup of Communist support and the large amount of combat equipment in North Korea compared to South Korea, obvious indicators of battle preparation that we can see in hindsight. Because the U.S. overlooked these signs of impending combat, North Korea’s invasion led to a long, bloody civil war.

How Did This Surprise Attack Happen?

There are several reasons why North Korea’s invasion came as a surprise to the U.S. military:

  • The U.S. was a budding world power and had many places to focus. For example, there were Cold War activities in Europe and Africa. The U.S. had a small intelligence force, with the CIA’s founding in September 1947. By 1950, the CIA was still prioritizing areas to watch and spend assets.
  • The U.S. had won World War II, creating a sense of false confidence that no country would have the audacity to attack the U.S. America was the strong victor who had beaten the Germans, Italians and Japanese. But the U.S. did not take into account that other countries saw the massive drawdown and shrinkage of our active military after WWII.
  • Military and government leaders did not rigorously review intelligence collection management or intelligence collection requirements. The Army was otherwise occupied with disarming former WWII foes. Korea ended the war as occupied Japanese territory and later broke up into North and South Korea. Russia gained influence in North Korea after this division.
  • U.S. military and civilian intelligence services were unprepared for an imminent battle. There was a prevailing sense among intelligence leaders that “a new battle cannot happen,” which proved to be wrong. Even during peacetime, it is wise to be aware of potential combat possibilities and probabilities.

Insufficient Military Forces and Logistics Failure Contributed to US Failure to Anticipate Invasion

Military planners should remember that the military manning the Korean peninsula was insufficient to quickly deploy and logistics had degraded. The 1st Marine Division was not fully prepared to deploy from California and newly recruited Marines had to do their training on the ships that conveyed them to the battlefield. Also, combat personnel had inappropriate footwear for the climate; there were stories of people with dress shoes in wintertime combat.

History shows that most drawdowns go too far. Often, enemies see the possibility for them to advance due to a recent drawdown, especially during the early period of a new war.

Constant Vigilance Against Enemies is Always Vital

This invasion was also an important lesson to intelligence professionals, especially in the military. They must always be energetic and alert for the next December 7 or June 25. Being in the military is not an easy profession. No one hears about the minor successes, but everyone knows mistakes can be costly.

South Korean Post-War Economy Recovers with US Support

U.S. troops have been in Korea since 1945, when they accepted the surrender of Japanese troops at the end of WWII. Many people wonder if remaining in Korea is worth it.

Seoul is a noteworthy story of economic recovery and success after a devastating war. It is an economic power and a member of a vibrant, international business community. The American military assisted in that growth by providing military protection and support. Early on, U.S. support fed a starving population in South Korea. Later, the U.S. helped South Korea to create a strong military for defending the country.

American military support, the Peace Corps and foreign aid all built Korea into a strong country that is now a world-recognized economic power. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranks South Korea as the 11th most powerful economy in the world.

The United States took over 200 years to get to our strong economic position. Korea did it in 60 years, going from abject poverty to economic strength with U.S. support.

Strategic Lessons to Be Learned From Korean War

We rarely talk about North Korea’s surprise attack at the start of the Korean War. But it is important to remember our failures and avoid repeating our mistakes. We should remember, that in an attack, the enemy has a vote in the outcome of a battle. Adequate battle preparation can be a decisive factor in combat and can defeat unexpected invasions.

About the Author

James Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded the 40th scholarship for national security students and professionals. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence within the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, contractor, and civil service. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has served in the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis and at the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office. James had an active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and also served 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” and a new book “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea.”

Combined Action Platoons: A Blueprint for Counterinsurgency

by Jared Zimmerman
Printed with Permission

Summary

Combined Action Platoons (CAPs), a Marine Corps civic action program in Vietnam aimed at pacification and counterinsurgency (COIN), experienced significant success, but has not been widely considered as a COIN option for the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are some risks associated with using CAPs as a COIN strategy, while there are also several ways that CAPs can be improved.

Background

CAPs in Vietnam: The United States Army and Marine Corps approached the war in Vietnam with a different set of experiences. The Army was accustomed to large-unit operations on the division or corps level conducted against conventional enemy forces. The Marines, while no stranger to large-unit action, were also accustomed as an organization to unconventional guerrilla wars fought against irregular forces[1]. Prior to both world wars and the war in Korea, the Marine Corps had been the United State’s primary ground troops in the Banana Wars, a series of conflicts fought in Panama, Honduras, Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and elsewhere between 1898 and 1934[2]. The experience gained in these conflicts and others prompted the Corps to publish a book, The Strategy and Tactics of Small Wars, in 1921. The book, renamed The Small Wars Manual (SWM) in 1940, continues to be read within the Corps to this day[3]. In short, at the outset of Vietnam, large-unit conventional wars were the exception to the Marines, while small-unit guerrilla wars were the exception to the Army[4].

Given this difference in backgrounds, it is no surprise that as early as 1965, Marine units in Vietnam: 1) realized that winning the war would require supplanting the Viet Cong (VC) as the main provider of security and aid to the average Vietnamese, and 2) began pursuing strategies by which to do this[5]. Through a series of iterations, Marines in the Da Nang region developed what became known as Combined Action Platoons. Each CAP consisted of roughly thirteen Marine volunteers, a Navy Corpsman and fifteen-to-thirty indigenous Popular Forces (PF) militia members—local Vietnamese “who were either too young or too old to be drafted into the Army of the Republic of VietNam (ARVN) or the Regional Forces (Dia Phuong Quan)[6]”—who were tasked with living in and protecting a single village.

The CAP initiative had a number of advantages compared to the strategy the Army was implementing in their zones of responsibility at the same time. While the Army and ARVN conducted massive and expensive search-and-destroy sweeps that possibly created more enemies than they killed, the Marines found that CAPs were less expensive and allowed them to secure larger areas with fewer Marines. PF forces on their own were generally undisciplined and ill-equipped, but when paired with Marine volunteers, “each element of the team strengthened the other[7].” While, “the Marines contributed firepower, training, and access to American medical evacuation, artillery and air support[8],” the PF members contributed knowledge of the terrain, language and where the VC were hiding[9]. The Marines helped build schools and roads, dug wells, taught English and brought in Navy doctors and dentists to provide medical care to the villagers. The Marines would also start learning basic Vietnamese. In response, the villagers often began to trust the Marines when they saw that they were providing relatively permanent security and aid. They would start to turn on the VC who had previously provided security while extorting food and supplies[10]. The VC living in the hills outside the villages would no longer receive the food they needed from the villages and were forced to attack for supplies. When they did attack, they would be cut down by Marine firepower. This led to the CAP program having a high kill ratio, in some cases killing more VC than units of larger size elsewhere[11].

Despite this success, CAPs did have some drawbacks. For one, building trust through CAPs was slow. While CAPs were winning so-called “hearts and minds,” the Army and ARVN’s large search-and-destroy missions were losing them at a faster rate. Vietnamese government and ARVN leaders were also often corrupt and brutal and lost support for the American cause faster than CAPs could build this support. CAPs also spread Marines across a wide area where they essentially “de-escalated” the war. They conducted small patrols around their villages gathering intelligence and capturing VC. CAP tactics were guerrilla vs guerrilla and sniper vs counter-sniper. This made CAPs illprepared to fend off a feared massive conventional attack by North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces in the event that they attacked across the demilitarized zone (DMZ). Further, Americans served in Vietnam in twelve-month tours, so CAP Marines often rotated home just as they were becoming proficient in Vietnamese and adapting to village life[12]. Finally, CAP duty was dangerous. For example, Bing West—a CAP Marine veteran, RAND analyst, author and former Assistant Secretary of Defense—has written of how his seventeen-man CAP suffered thirteen casualties: four wounded and nine killed[13]. My own grandfather, Maj. Elmer Holthus USMC (Ret.), was wounded by what we would now call an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while visiting a CAP in a remote village.

CAPs in the War on Terror: Since Vietnam, CAPs have been used in the war in Afghanistan, though perhaps not a widely as might be expected giving the strategy’s apparent success in Vietnam. In 2010, soldiers started living with Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) personnel in the Khost-Gardez pass area in Afghanistan’s Paktika province to conduct combined action operations[14][15], while Marines began living and working alongside Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers in Helmand Province to form a Combined Action Company (CAC) to do the same[16].

CAPs in the Future

Risks of CAPs: There are two main risks associated with using CAPs.

  1. American forces integrated into CAPs become used to low-intensity conflicts and are not prepared for a large-scale conventional war. This was a serious concern in Vietnam as the NVA did possess large conventional forces. It should have been of less concern in the war in Afghanistan as Al-Qaeda and the Taliban do not possess large conventional forces.
  2. Villages with CAPs risk becoming overly reliant on Americans for security. This is especially dangerous in the absence of a well-defined exit strategy. A clear exit strategy should outline goals for CAPs. Americans should make up a smaller portion of each CAP each year as violence is reduced, while allowing individual CAPs to request to delay this “drawdown” on a case-by-case basis.

Ways to Improve CAPs: There are four main ways to improve the use of CAPs.

  1. The length of deployments and how units rotate in and out of the area of operations should be designed around the needs of the CAPs and the needs of the soldiers and Marines in them. Two or three units should be responsible for supplying the American contribution to the CAPs in a given area. While one unit is in country supplying soldiers or Marines for these CAPs, the other one or two units should be learning the local language and training in simulated villages. When the unit in country rotates home, it is replaced by one of the units that has been training to takeover its role providing soldiers or Marines for the CAPs. The unit that has just returned home should continue learning the language and training in the simulated villages. Every effort should be made so that when this unit deploys again, it deploys to the same group of villages it was supporting previously. This way villagers can get used to seeing, if not the same faces, then the same unit patches while also establishing a certain continuity of protection and aid.
  2. There should be as little “mixing” of strategies as possible. Units in one area should not be supplying soldiers and Marines to CAPs while units in a neighboring area are conducting large-scale search-and-destroy operations. Search-and-destroy operations of the sort conducted in Vietnam can lose the support and trust of a populace faster than CAPs can build it.
  3. Indigenous forces and leaders need to be trustworthy and just for this same reason. Corrupt and brutal local officials or military leaders who have the support of the United States will lose “hearts and minds” faster than CAPs can win them.
  4. CAP programs should have greater integration with and support from USAID, the Peace Corps, the World Health Organization, the UN and other international aid and peacekeeping organizations from the very beginning. When American soldiers and Marines arrive in a village, interpreters, teachers, medical supplies and food and water should arrive with them.

Endnotes

[1] Williams, J. H. (n.d.). The Real War: Marine Pacification in Vietnam. The Retired Officer, 1983 (August), 16-21.
[2] Banana Wars. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_Wars
[3] Small Wars Manual. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Wars_Manual
[4] Williams, J. H. (n.d.). The Real War: Marine Pacification in Vietnam. The Retired Officer, 1983 (August), 16-21.
[5] Williams, J. H. (n.d.). The Real War: Marine Pacification in Vietnam. The Retired Officer, 1983 (August), 16-21.
[6] Combined Action Program. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_Action_Program
[7] Combined Action Program. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_Action_Program
[8] Combined Action Program. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_Action_Program
[9] Williams, J. H. (n.d.). The Real War: Marine Pacification in Vietnam. The Retired Officer, 1983 (August), 16-21.
[10] Williams, J. H. (n.d.). The Real War: Marine Pacification in Vietnam. The Retired Officer, 1983 (August), 16-21.
[11] Combined Action Program. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_Action_Program
[12] Williams, J. H. (n.d.). The Real War: Marine Pacification in Vietnam. The Retired Officer, 1983 (August), 16-21.
[13] West, B. (2017, December 15). The Kindergarten Marines. The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/15/opinion/thekindergarten-marines.html
[14] Today’s Focus at Stand-to! – Combined Action Operations. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2018, from http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/todays-focus-at-stand-tocombined-action-operations
[15] Combined Action in Afghanistan. (n.d.). Army Magazine, 2010(August), 69-72. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from
https://www.usma.edu/caldol/SiteAssets/ArmyMagazine/docs/2010/CC_ARMY_10-08 (Aug10) CAP-in-AFG.pdf
[16] Bodrog, M., & LeBron, D. (2015, November). 2d Platoon: Call Sign “Hades” and the Combined Action Company. Leatherneck, 98(11). Retrieved March 31, 2018, from
https://www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck/2015/11/2d-platoon-call-sign-hadesand-combined-action-company

A Military Brat & 9/11

by Francis Smiley
Printed with Permission

Prior to September 11th, 2001 my life was as normal as your normal can be for a military kid, after that dreadful day my life would be forever changed.

My family and I had moved from England to Japan in early 2001, and by September 2001 I had just turned 11 years old living life every two to three years at a time. The center of my world throughout my stay in Japan revolved around two locations: Camp Zama, where U.S. Army Headquarters Japan was located and Sagamihara Housing Area (SHA) where many military families lived, including ours. Camp Zama was the central hub the PX, food court, and a movie theater were there and for any 11 year old these were the locations we always wanted to be.

When the attacks occurred I had just started my 6th grade year at SHA’s own John O Arnn Elementary School. My memories of living overseas are filled with spotty events all riddled with hazy recollections, however 9/11 and the months that followed are still very clear in my mind.

That day would not only change my family’s lives, but would continually transform my own life for the years to come. I remember waking up early and watching my mother glued to the television. I don’t remember if I was comprehending what I was watching at the time, though now I understand it was the constant reruns of the planes crashing into both Twin Towers, and there eventual collapse. I had no idea what New York City or Washington D.C. was, what the towers were, or what effect of what I was watching would have on me. The memories I have of that day are not of the actual day or any specific one day, but the weeks and months that followed.

First, was the dramatic change of my everyday environment. Both SHA and Camp Zama were on full lock down, both installations had increased armed guards and extremely strict curfews that seemed to last forever. At some point after the attacks I remember being at school, and a small contingent of military police were on the campus. These men were armed, and I remember all of us kids were excited to see their weapons, this mixture of infatuation and fear continued for some time. I can’t recall how long this new change occurred, though it has always been significant in my mind with the date of 9/11/01.

My most significant memory associated with 9/11 is when my father sat my two brothers and myself down and explained he was going away. I don’t remember the full conversation but I do remember that once we had it, he was gone a few months later and gone for a while once he left. At this point the realization of what 9/11 actually was and why my father was going away sank in. This realization would never truly fade away, and in later years that day would continually shape my future.

Many kids raised within the military community follow their parent(s) into any one of the respective military branches. Many who were children during 9/11, and saw their parents deploy, have now shaped their own lives mirroring that of what they have experienced. Some have enlisted, some have joined an officers program, and many others have joined in federal service for our nation.

For me, I have dedicated my young adult life towards academics in the fields of international security and history, so I can too at some point make my contribution towards the safety and security of our nation. Throughout my academic career I have made many transitions, reflections, and observations for how best I can contribute to our nation’s defense. One certainty I have always had is my perspective of 9/11 as a military kid overseas.

The significance of that day fifteen years ago has always stuck with me, and like so many others it has made the drive for a more effective security environment for our nation’s defense a target goal in life.