The blueprint for action needs to tackle the source of 4GW - examples: Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq

In Thomas Barnett's Blueprint For Action, he started with what the US could have done to saviour the quagmire in Iraq. He suggested a "huge, multinational" SysAdmin force is needed to create "peace" after Saddam was toppled.

Dr Barnett demonstrated great strategic vision and insight. He understood 4GW cannot be dealt with by brute force. I would agree with most of his suggestion and reasoning. However, one important aspect of 4GW, and the corresponding strategy against an opponent waging 4GW, needs to be laid out more explicitly (*).

As Sun Zi stated 2500 years ago, and Clausewitz re-iterated more concisely 200 years ago, "War is merely a continuation of politics". In fact, war is an extension of politics, economics and a lot more. Conversely, to win a war is to achieve a political (and military) objective, and the means should not be restricted to military. It should include all other possible leverages, political, economical, diplomatical, etc.

4GW is no exception. Unfortunately, the majority of the pundits and experts in 4GW do not understand this. They do not understand that there is a single fundamental factor in any 4GW -- the "source" of 4GW.

The "source"

Mao's 16 character doctrine on guerilla warfare is probably quite well known, and is regarded as the foundation of guerilla warfare.
However, the 16 character doctrine is only one way to implement 4GW, in fact a subclass of 4GW called "Mobile Warfare" (运动战), where Mao seeks to find a point with temporal local advantage for the weak (see sun bin's horse-racing), through introducing more variable into the war environment to confuse the enemy, and hope that the strong (the enemy) makes mistake. Of course, it is a lot easier for the strong to make mistake, as I explained in an earlier post.

The "source" of 4GW is not the 16 word doctrine. It is about Mao's concept of "People's War"(人民战争). People's War is often confused by many (especially Westerners) with "Human Sea War" (人海战术) where China used fearless foot soldiers in large number to compensate for the inferior weapon technology during the Korean War (As a matter of fact, a rarely mentioned reason for the high Chinese casualty in the early stage of Korean War was its stubborn belief in People's War and refusal to plunder for food and clothes). What helped Mao to defeat Chiang Kaishek was People's War, not Human-sea War, as Chiang's KMT army outnumbered Mao's by a factor of 3-4. Chiang gave up the populace with its corrupted and incompetent governance.
  • The ignorance (or intentionally ignoring) that people supported the communist guerilla is in part a denial of the failure of the regimes they sucessfully toppled. From Chiang Kai-Shek to Batista we see corrupted and brutal dictatorial oppression. The Cold War ideological prejudice prevented western scholars from admitting the fact that these communist guerilla could only have surivived if they have deep 'strategic' support from the populace. It is essential to understand this if one wants to understand 4GW.
Without the "source", i.e. the support of the populace, which provides shelter/camouflage, food and supplies, and unlimited refill of soldiers, there is no 4GW. Therefore, the ability to wage any 4GW requires strong support from certain sub-group of the populace. Prolonged warfare is impossible without the "source".

Al Qaeda, PLO, Iraqi insurgents, all draw support from its base of populace, both in terms of material supply and committed voluntary soldier enrolment. Hezbollah may only have limited populace support in certain sub-population in Lebanon. Israel's brutal mis-step now seems to have given Hezbollah the whole of Lebanon (see survey via ESWN). This is why I said Israel made some fatal mistake in my previous post.
  • If we look at each historic case of 4GW, every single one of them, if successful or sustained, have the common characteristic of having a very strong source
  • Mao's guerilla warfare had its source from the peasant who were exploited by landlord and corrupted government (so are Maoist guerillas in Nepal and other countries);
  • PLO's source is the Palestinians in refugee camps; Hama's source Palestinians in occupied territories, who are officially Israel citizen (now separated by apartheid fences - though we really cannot blame Israel for the fences/walls)
  • bin Laden's source is the pan-Islamic fundamentalist who believe the West (and infidel) has a conspiracy to exploit them, strengthened by the percieved double-standardness in dealing with Palestine, Iraq in 1980-2000, Iran's Pahlevi, Saudi's dictators, etc.
Without such a support base, the weapon and martyrs will dry out over time. 4GW is prolonged warfare, which could last for decades. Without the source the 4GW will die a natural death, running out of fund or new recruits. Therefore, to win against an opponent who waged 4GW, a neccessary condition is to uproot the "source". Dr Barnett's SysAdmin does not solve the "source" problem, and IMHO, is not a sufficient condition to win a 4GW (But I do believe Dr Barnett is aware of this *).

In view of the situation of Lebanon. I would say Israel's recent action is a total fiasco.
  1. It does not achieve its objective, whatever it is. I now come to believe it never has made one (update - Zenpundit 's discussion on Israel strategy is a must read). It just passively and reactively revenge furiously on Hezbollah and the Lebanese people who it believed supported Hezbollah
  2. If the objective is to turn 2/3 of the Lebanese who have been neutral toward Hezbollah into against Hezbollah. We expect (and is now proved) that killing their people indiscriminately is not a good idea
  3. If the objective is to secure northern Israel/Palestine from the rocket (btw, most of the alleged 12,000 rockets have range less than 20km) attacks, clearing 20km north of the border will do the job, and is easy to accomplish (or has it been made more difficult now?)
  4. If the objective is to uproot Hezbollah (and Syria, and Iran), then let's go back to the "source" problem. And ask our friends in Israel and US, are they ready to kill everybody in Lebanon, Syria and Iran? Do they have a proven model that toppling the governments in a controversal war will do the job, eg, based on the Iraqi experience? (FDNF quoted some sailors pontificating about "the more dead Muslims, the better." Even if we take the ethnics of wild beasts, could you reduce the number of "Muslim" faster than they reproduce?)
(Update Aug2: see also StrategyUnit)
A correct strategy for Israel should be to seek peace with the Lebanese people, and to alienate Hezbollah, to deprive it of its source, by crook (force) or by hook (bribe), or both. (Of course it should also seek peace with the Palestinian, even though it is a non-trivial task) Arrogance based on a strong position just does not help Israel's long term peace. Perhaps it needs to learn its lesson from some major defeat, just as its non-negotiating opponents have learned the hard way .

P.S. For my response to Qana see my response to Haditha. In short, it is the sad result, made inevtiable by prolonged war with ill-conceived (or non-existence of) strategy.

Note (*):
I believe the reason Dr Barnett emphasized SysAdmin, while skipping the "source" is largely due to his target audience in the pentagon. He needs to show the pentaon he is providing a solution where his audience is still playing a major role, even though he might know clearly that the most important action is no longer military, but economic and political.

One reason I do not agree with Dr Barnett that the size of SysAdmin force matter is the comparison between Iraq and Afghanistan. Let's look at 2 sets of figures
  • Afghanistan: population 30M, area 647,500 km2, GDP/cap (PPP) $1310
  • Iraq: population 29M, area 437,100 km2, GDP/cap (PPP) $3500
Based on these figures, Iraq is much more manageable than Afghanistan by any measure. Iraq will require a smaller SysAdmin force, and shorter time to move to the "seam". As we have all seen, the reality is just the opposite. Therefore, a lot more things have gone wrong in Iraq. IMO the mistake did not begin in the WMD scandal. It started when the first re-construction contracts were awarded without bidding to Betchel and Halliburton. The Bush administration behaved like a 3-year-old child by claiming Iraq as its own prize, hence pushing the Iraqi populace who detested Saddam Hussein (and might have welcomed the US invasion) to the insurgence. US forgot its original objective of fighting Saddam and was detracted by the temptattion of a small potential economic bonus upon its short term military success. This is very easier to prove, economically (and mathematically), the cost US paid after Saddam was captured is already many times higher than the economic benefits of all these re-contruction contracts and whatever oil-field interests US Oil multinational could get. But that is besides the point.

Again, I believe Dr Barnett does understand the "source" problem, because when he mentioned that US needs to pulling in the Russian and Chinese into the SysAdmin, he emphasized the need of a story to tell the world and Iraqi people, "that it is the wolrd, not selfishly US". US can afford to send 0.5M soldiers to Iraq for SysAdmin if it really wants to (see Chet Richards). But it won't help to divert the "source" of the insurgence.



Update: Taepodong-2's range, I was right and Vick was right.

I was right that TPD-2 did not go very far away from the launch site. GS's Vick agreed with more in depth analysis. An anonymous commentator confirmed by providing a set of typical rocket trajectory figures.

Now the main stream media followed, after pentagon confirmed with our analysis.

The point here is not that I am better than Japanese intelligence. This is, after all, simple high school physics and maths, although more accurate estimate (1.5km range) requires some data on sophomore rocket science widely available publicly.

The question is, why did the information released by US (and indirectly, Japan) came more than 3 weeks late? I do have a hypothesis: it has to do with certain political agenda. 1) The matter needs to be misled before the UN resolution. 2) See another previous post for more hints. The outright lie and exaggeration (by more than 400 times) needed to stay for a while to save face and generate the impacts. It is very likely that someone (/country) probably delayed the release of the truth on purpose.


Israel hits the Bull's Eye!

With such precision weapon, how come the civilian collateral damage caused by Israel (vs Hezbollah target) was over 50:1? (wiki up to July 25, 1500 civilian casualties in Lebanon, 28 Hezbollah. update July 26, #killed 423:42, or 10:1)

This is pre-meditated terrorism, designed to shock and awe the new democracy in Lebanon, as Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni confessed to Newsweek
  • Do you worry that Israel's military operation will strengthen the political wing of Hizbullah?
    The real message to the Lebanese is that Hizbullah is a burden.
Yes, that is right. It is not to attack Hezbollah. It is a "message" (see the map and you know why it is a "message"). If this is not clear let's hear what Israel Colonel Gal Luft said,
I can only conclude that the 6 hour bombing on a UN Post ignoring UN identification (which resulted in 4 deaths) is a message to the UN is that "Lebanon is a burden".

Regarding democracy, Livni seems to believe any democractically elected government needs to seek her godly approval
  • Democratic elections brought Hamas to power in Gaza and won Hizbullah one third of the Parliament in Lebanon. Does democracy in the region serve Israel's interests?
    I believe in democracy ... not only in terms of elections. I believe that those who participate in elections should be only those who believe in democratic values. Terrorist organizations should be banned.
Where is Dubya Bush standing at this moment? Remember "You are either with us, or you are with the terrorist"... but you are not a terrorist if you kill the Lebanese, the Chinese, the UN, the Russian, the Cuban, the Panaman, or any civilian who does not hold a US or Israeli passport.

P.S. I have great respect for the Israeli people. I just do not think it has the right strategy to achieve its goals in this event, as I commented before. -- will elaborate about my reasoning later.

Here are 2 sides of the argument for your own judgment:
1) Five Myths That Sanction Israel's War Crimes
2) Empty ethical arguments

My geo-stats April 3 to July 25

I began using google analytics on Apr 6 to July 25. The first 7 week stats were posted here.

This is an update for Apr 6 to July 25.
Country/Region/City % visit % pageview
United States 37.0% 37.0%
Hong Kong SAR 14.7% 14.2%
Canada 5.8% 7.1%
United Kingdom 5.5% 5.0%
Singapore 4.6% 3.9%
Australia 4.4% 4.1%
(Taiwan) ROC
3.5% 4.0%
Japan 3.5% 3.3%
India 1.8% 1.8%
Germany 1.7% 2.0%
Malaysia 1.6% 1.4%
Korea, ROK 1.4% 1.7%
Netherlands 1.0% 0.8%
New Zealand 0.8% 0.7%
France 0.8% 0.8%
Philippines 0.7% 0.6%
Italy 0.6% 0.5%
Spain 0.6% 0.9%
Thailand 0.5% 0.4%
Russia 0.5% 0.4%
China (mainland)
0.4% 0.4%

For notes about China see previous post, stats updated below
  • An estimate of mainland China visitors can be done by comparing language system of the operating system. Because virtually only users inside China use simplified Chinese OS.
  • If I use Japan as a reference, simplified Chinese/Japanese=120%. So lower bound of mainland visits is 1.20x3.5%=4.2%.
  • Similar result using other language proxy, I guess the % from China mainland decreased a bit, as happened to many other areas (US) as well
  • Canada overtook UK to become #3, Singapore overtook Australia to be #5, Taiwan(ROC) overtook Japan to be #7, India overtook Germany, Malaysia, and Netherland to be #9
Returning visitors = 24.29% (anyoneone who have visited at least twice since Apr 6 is defined as a returning visitors), small improvement compared with Apr/May's 23.33%, but it turns out that the May figures were already quite stable.

Total number of countries/domains: 124 (see the list below for how this is defined. e.g., Guam, Macau, Taiwan, "satellite ISP", "not set")

Other countries in order:
  • Brazil Sweden ("not set") Switzerland Turkey Austria Indonesia Norway Macau Belgium Poland Denmark Romania UAE Ukraine ("Satellite Provider") Israel Finland Czech South Africa Argentina Greece Egypt Vietnam Mexico Chile Ireland Portugal Saudi Arabia Hungary Iran Peru Colombia Qatar Bulgaria Bangladesh ("Europe") Estonia Luxembourg Myanmar Ecuador Sri Lanka Kazakhstan Uruguay Croatia Latvia Slovakia Bahrain Jordan Venezuela Nigeria Mongolia Puerto Rico Yugoslavia Lebanon
Countries with 3 visits (Red = new country, Purple=promotion):
  • Malta Ghana Palestinian Territory Solomon Islands Lithuania
Countries with 2 visits:
  • Senegal Trinidad & Tobago Macedonia Albania Benin Georgia Costa Rica Burkina Faso Kuwait Kenya Brunei
Countries with 1 visits:
  • Oman Bhutan Syria Paraguay Guam Liechtenstein Dominica Ethiopia Afghanistan Morocco Yemen Cambodia Jamaica Slovenia Cameroon Azerbaijan Kyrgyzstan Tunisia Botswana Cayman Islands Belarus Barbados El Salvador Northern Mariana Is. Tanzania Dominican Rep Honduras Cote D'Ivoire Nepal Monaco Algeria Lao
For some strange reason the lone stats of Iceland, Sudan disappeared.

Finally the map overlay of the 500 visits around July 18 is here



Taipei Math: DPP politicians are 10 times more noble than Ah Bian!


Click the above to listen. She beats the slogan leads in all protests I heard. This is the script of the slogan
  • 民進黨政客不配跟公娼比 公娼比民進黨政客高貴一千倍, DPP political-peddlers do not deserve to be compared with licensed prostitutes, licensed prostitutes are 1000 times more noble than DPP politic-peddlers!
  • 公娼比廢娼的阿扁 高貴一萬倍 (source) licensed prostitutes, when compared with Ah Bian who abolished the licenses, are 10,000 times more noble!
This is the protest from Taipei prostitutes, whose license were revoked by Ah Bian when he was major of Taipei years ago, against a DPP legislator who compared the recent DPP policy of abolishing party factions to abolishing licensed prostitution, both achieves nothing but only pushed the activities underground. You would think that DPP member was criticising his own party. The prostitutes do not agree. For background see Jujuflop.

The public servant pay-scale in China

ESWN translated part of Lian Yue's commentary, about China's planned salary raise for its public servants.
  • "For the sake of national interests and progress, I hope that the public servant wage reform would result in a wage reduction, even if it is only 10 RMB per month. This small sum will inform the public that the public service system is not just a system of special privileges in which wages only go up and never down. It will be worthwhile."
I disagree with Lian Yue. Lian made 2 technical mistakes here.
  1. he failed to show the relationships between "national interests and progress" and his suggestion.
  2. That everybody's wage has only go up but not down, because of economic progress and inflation.
Whether the salary raise is justified is determined by the ability to attract and retain talent, and whether it commensurate with similar jobs in private sector, not by some vague egalitarian moral standards. As Lian pointed out earlier in his blog, "According to recently released statistics released by Xinhua, the average income of Chinese public servants is 15,487 RMB which is slightly lower than the 16,024 RMB of all urban Chinese employees"

In fact, I would argue for more raise for the high level officials. i.e. an income spectrum more closely mirror that of the private sector, i.e. a Gini profile similar to that of the country in total.

Instead of arguing against the raise, I would rather argue for a mechanism of firing incompetent staff, and increased punishment for corruption. Raise will be justified by more accountability. There is less excuse to not perform or be corrupt. With the salary raise, it should also be easier to attract talent to replenish the talent pool.

According to China Daily
  • "A total of 34.7 billion yuan (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) will be spent on salary rises for 120 million people
  • The audit report of 32 central government ministries and national-level public institutions released last September by the National Audit Office showed that some organizations had embezzled public funds to pay special allowances to their employees. For example, a public institution under the General Administration of Civil Aviation had spent more than 48 million yuan (six million U.S. dollars) on special allowances for employees."
There are 2 important issues when one considers pay-scale is suitable.
  1. commensurate with private sector opportunity (to attract talent, and to discourage corruption)
  2. affordability by the state
Here is a simple calculation to benchmark the pay-scale of the leaders of states, trying to answer these 2 issues

Country Salary (US$k) GDP/cap ratio Top/Bot 10% ratio vs TBR GDP (US$b) PPM (%%)
Singapore 1,260.0 26,835 47.0 17.7 2.65 118 10.678
Phillipines 28.0 1,159 24.2 16.5 1.46 98 0.286
Japan 240.0 35,787 6.7 4.5 1.49 4571 0.053
Taiwan(ROC) 175.0 15,120 11.6 9.0 1.29 346 0.506
HK 512.8 25,444 20.2 17.8 1.13 178 2.881
Argentina 180.0 4,802 37.5 39.1 0.96 182 0.989
Thailand 30.0 2,577 11.6 13.4 0.87 169 0.178
US 450.0 42,101 10.7 15.9 0.67 12486 0.036
Russia 25.0 5,369 4.7 7.2 0.65 766 0.033
Malaysia 70.0 5,040 13.9 22.1 0.63 131 0.534
France 178.0 33,734 5.3 9.1 0.58 2106 0.085
UK 171.0 36,599 4.7 13.8 0.34 2201 0.078
Australia 137.0 34,714 3.9 12.5 0.32 708 0.194
Vietnam 1.7 612 2.8 9.4 0.29 51 0.033
Italy 100.8 30,450 3.3 11.6 0.29 1766 0.057
Cambodia 1.2 375 3.2 11.6 0.28 5.4 0.222
China 4.5 1,703 2.6 10.7 0.25 2225 0.002

Source: pay-scale, wiki, and google search, Taiwan's top-bottom 10 percentile ratio estimated by its Gini index of 35.

1) Salary/GDP indicates affordability (PPM=million(th) of GDP). The larger the economy, the bigger the scale and hence more affordable the state (Note however, to determine the pay of the provincial governor and mayor one should use the average size of the economy of these sub-entities)
2) Top-bottom ratio is the ratio of the income of the top 10 percentile vs that of the bottom 10 percentile ("vs TBR" , which is the quotient of the 2 columns to its left). This is compared with the ratio of the Head of State salary vs the average GDP/cap.

As you can see from the table above. China's president got paid the least in such measures. And the country can definitely afford to raise it by a factor of at least 5-10.

Some additional commets and caveats
  • Non-cash perks has not been incorporated. But almost all countries provide perks such as bodyguard, travel and chef, etc. But this should narrow the difference in measure
  • Retirement benefits/perks were not considered, but they are usually proportional to the salary
  • "vs TBR" = 1 means the Head of State makes the average of the top 10% income, or roughly the 5th percentile. Hu Jintao makes 25% of the guy who ranked 5%*1.3bn=65M(th) in China
  • I would suggest the pay-scale for provincial and municipal head follows the similar benchmarking. (For China's rotating appointment across provinces of disparate size and income level, an alternative is to use the average plus a smal regional adjustment, because the regional adjustment has been partly compensated by the perk)
You cannot have a frugal official class who also performs in a capitalistic economy. If you want to reduce the salary of public servants, fine, find a time machine and go back to pre-1976 era. The public servant teams were clean as snow.


The curse on the strong - why 4GW is so hard to fight?

Thomas Barnett is among the few people who recognize the asymmetry of 4GW, and has submitted a proposal on how to deal with it. The best strategy to deal with 4GW, or any war, has been spelled out by clearly Sun Zi, and re-interated in Useless Tree. It is so simple and straightforward, and common sense. It does not take a strategist to understand this. i.e., When you are fighting an asymmetric war, you need to first figure out what is asymmetric and try to change that.

But people continue to err. How could the Jewish people, which has produced so many bright minds for our world and human civilization, and their state Israel, which has won so many wars brilliantly, made such a simple mistake this time?

Because Israel is strong, both physically and diplomatically, with the backing of the hegemon USA. Here is a statistical hypothesis: it is usually the weak who would choose the right strategy and the strong who tends to err.

A few reasons
  1. the strong has larger number of options, and hence more likely to err
  2. the weak does not have the short term option and is forced to consider the long term plan; when there is no other option within the context of war, the weak has to think big picture, and consider war in the bigger picture of politics and economics, and more
  3. straightforward and simple solutions are easy and convenient, they are readily available to the strong, but they are usually the short term choice
  4. the strong is usually arrogant and tends to overlook a number of potentials potholes
  5. as Sun Zi correctly advocated, prudence is gold in war, since the cost for error is enormous. the weak is forced to exercise prudence because resource is limited - not so for the strong
This is why they said "The arrogant always lose" (骄兵必败). This is a curse on the strong. Think about this when you make your choice. It will be less likely for you to discount the correct proposal. It takes patience even if you are strong.

This applies to Iraq as well.

This also applies to GWOT.

Update: Part (ii) on 4GW here.

Mr Jeff Camelbak deserves a huge bonus check and a promotion

The "Jeff" refers to the retail store manager in this story.

Because the company gained
  • Free web-advertising of hits from Tian's blog and mine (and probably others). Mine is less than 1000 hits a day but Tian's is believed to be much larger. I don't know what the typical hit-click conversion rate is, but each click-through worth from $0.1-$5(or more) if you advertise in google, multiply that.
  • Free brand (positive) recognition through word-of-the-mouth and viral promotion, strengthened by testimony from unbiased third-party. (I do not use baakpacks and have not heard of this Camelbak brand until today)
  • At least one happy (and definitly returning) customer
  • Saving the company a few hours of customer service (CSR costs at least $10-15/hour in labor, and there are office costs)
  • Prevented potential damage to brand and unfavorable customer review if there is mistake in handling the situation
The company's cost
  • marignal cost of a backpak which is typically 15-25% of the retail price minus what Tian paid ($10). For a full price of $70, this is estimated to be about $10.5-17.5-$10 = $0.5-7.5
Mr Jeff's bonus check should be at least a fair percentage of the above formula (additional revenue + savings - cost).


Map: Doolittle Raid - raid from Shangri-la

I recently watched an old Japanese movie Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku 連合艦隊司令長官山本五十六, a well made movie, portraying Yamamoto Isoroku (山本五十六) as a strategic visionary who knew that instead of allying with German and Italy and fighting the US, Japan should have focused on its 4-year old war in China alone.

In the movie it was mentioned that one of the triggers for the Battle of Midway was the Doolittle Raid in Tokyo on April 18, 1942 (which was depicted (with some mirrow factual errors) in the much lamer movie Pearl Harbor). Yamamoto decided that the US aircraft carriers should be destroyed to protect Japan from air raids.

Dollittle Raid itself was a total failure as a military campaign. All the 16 B-25 bombers crash landed after running out of fuel (except 1, which was confiscated by the "neutral" USSR at the time), although none was damaged in the raid. Japan lost about 50 people and another 250 wounded (mostly minor injury), plus some 90 factories damaged to different extent. The objective was supposed to boost the morale domestically in US, which has been achieved. Arguably additional (undesired) strategic benefit include forcing repatrication of some of Japan's fighters to defend the cities, and most importantly, Midway.

Midway is, arguably the turning point in the Pacific Theater. Though the destiny of the war has already been determined when US entered. Even if Japan had won Midway, it would only have delayed the US coutner-attach by a few months to a year, since US would have produced more carriers in the long run. War is determined by economy and technology. Furthermore, the schedule of the development of the Atomic Bomb was indifferent to the result of Midway.

In the maps above you could see the flight paths of these 16 bombers. The reason it ran out of fuel was because the aircraft carriers were encountered Japanese warships and had to launch the attack 200 miles (300 km) before the planned launch location, i.e., 1120km from Tokyo.

An animate map of the Doolittle Raid can be found here. A detailed account (in Chinese) here.

The original destinations were supposed to be Quzhou (west of Zhejiang province, 浙江衢州, map below) and Nanchang of Jiangxi province (江西南昌), which were not occupied by the Japanese at the time. Unfortunately the crash landing scattering in an area of 500 sq km around Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.

Among the 75 Americans landed in China
  • 62 were rescued by Chinese civilians and guerilla. One was killed by Japanese during transportation, 2 dies in crash landing. 64 were saved and transferred to US.
  • 2 planes (10 people) were unaccoutned for, 2 died in crash landing, 8 captured by Japanese, of which 3 were subsequently executed, another died of abuse -- 3 Japanese officers who were responsible for the abuse would later be sentenced to 5 years, another 1 to 9 years in Shanghai (were they eligible to enter Yasukuni when they died?)
  • 1 plane (5 crew members) landed in Vladivostok, the plane was confiscated and the crew were sent back via Iran after 13 months
In one village where crashed plane was spotted by the Japanese, all 27 villagers were killed on spot for refusing to tell the whereabout of the Americans.

In the 3 months after the crash landing, Japanese army raided Chinese villages and killed 250,000 civilians in the area. The notorious Unit 731 participated in the action, testing its newly developed biological weapon.

Some other tidbits (see wiki and zh.wiki)
  • In addition to US movies, ROC (Taiwan) made a couple movies depicting the rescue
  • The event was seldomly mentioned (and rarely known) in mainland China until around 1990. (Flying Tigers was more well known)
  • Chinese civilian tried every effort to satisfy the need of the American crew, Zeng Jianpei even managed to get a bottle of beer for the American, an impossinle task in occupied rural China. He was rewarded with 50 bottles in return when he was invited to the 1992 Doolittle Reunion in US
  • President Rooselvolt told the press conference that the planes took off from "Shangri-la"
  • A "bench" player Henry, offered $100 to take a seat to the raid right before took-off. His offer was unanswered
  • Doolittle himself gave up opportunity to bomb a carrier he sighted in Tokyo Bay and proceeded to his targets
  • The instruction was not to attack civilian targets (only military related factories were targeted), and the Emporer's Palace were explicitly avoided


Joke of the day: paradise

A North Korean refugee has settled in Europe.

He visits a Museum with a few friends and see this picture.

The English said, "They are English. Look at the guy, how gentlemanly he is! He lets the lady eat the apple first."

The French said, "They are French. We are romantic people, we are proud to be nude and we are not afraid to eat forbidden apples."

The North Korean said, "You are all wrong. They are my compatriots. I am speaking on my own experiences. We have nothing to wear, nothing to eat, if we take an apple from the tree we will be punished. But we are all convinced that we live in paradise!"


Veto count in UNSC: China only did it 5 times in past 60 years

According to BBC, as of Sep 2003
  • Since 1945, when the United Nations was founded, the Soviet Union and Russia have used their veto at the Security Council 120 times, the United States 76 times, Britain 32, France 18 and China only five.
  • Between 1946 and 1971, the Chinese seat at the Security Council was occupied by the Republic of China (Taiwan), which used its veto once to block Mongolia's application for UN membership.

    China vetoed resolutions twice in 1972: once to block Bangladeshi membership and once, with Russia, on the situation in the Middle East.

    Other vetoes were in 1999 blocking the extension of the mandate of United Nations Preventive Deployment Force in Macedonia and in 1997 blocking the sending of 155 UN observers to Guatemala to verify a ceasefire.

China has not exercised its veto between September 2003 and today.

Here are the reasons for the 5 vetos
  1. 1955, By Republic of China (KMT government) to block Mongolia's application for UN membership, because it believed Mongolia was part of China
  2. 1972, PRC vetoed Bangladesh's application to UN membership on behalf of its ally Pakistan (ally formed after India invaded China in 1962)
  3. 1973, PRC (together with USSR) veto a resolution on the ceasefire in the Yom Kippur War (presumanly the resolution was sponsored by Israel's sponsor US)
  4. 1997, to punish Guatemala for having diplomatic relationship with ROC
  5. 1999, to punish Macedonia for establishing diplomatic relationship with ROC
It is quite obvious that mainland China's top priority is still Taiwan. It is also extremely unlikely that China will exercise its veto right over N Korea this time. (both 1997 and 1999 vetoes were signals against anyone who attempted to sponsor Taiwan's application to the UN)

Quiz: There is another country which effectively holds veto power, and has exercised more times than Uk did, which country is it?
RESOLUTION 1695 (2006)
Demands Suspension of All Related Ballistic Missile Activity;
Urges Country to Return Immediately to Six-Party Talks Without Precondition


Zidane's school of diplomacies is all over NE Asia

1. NK headbutted the middle and the edge a sea
2. Japan headbutted NK, SK and China
3. SK headbutted Japan
4. (Update) Israel is headbutting Lebanon and paving way for headbutting Iran

Perhaps they all had too much of this game (right click to download)?

Or had been to the street of this town?

But of course, we all have our own Rashomon perspective on the same event (click through to see)

serious, some more reasonable comments on headbutting here: IHT/Asahi op-ed, Cato.

Guo Jia (iii) - Three-way statecraft around the Sea of Japan (aks East Sea)

Guo Jia's theory basically tells us if there is some fissure within two parties, applying external pressure will bind them together tighter. OTOH, leaving them alone the fissure will surface sooner or later.

David@jujuflop commented (in Guo Jia (ii))when this theory was applied to the Taiwan political situation today, that the parties at odd could also be PFP and KMT. Yes and no. There is certainly fissure between these 2 parties and the relationship is related to external pressure, as already reflected in the elections of 2000 and 2004. In 2000 there was no external pressure and they were defeated by DPP despite gathering almost 60% of the popular votes. In 2004 external pressure bound them together and they ran up very close to DPP.

However, Guo Jia's point is about strategic choice, that one has a genuine choice of doing something, usually counter-intuitive, to change the alliance status of others. The results can only be credibly attributed to the influence of such strategic choice if the fissure is a hidden one, because once the fissure has already surfaced it is just a matter of time rather than the result of your action/inaction. The Taiwan Civil Society letter quote in "Guo Jia (ii)" is to some extent triggered by Bian's irresponsible (and lame) self-defense in front of the TV (and more so by DPP's complacency toward corruption), which was in turn forced by pan-Blue's recall motion. In addition, the fissure had been well underground. So I do not see the analogy could be applied to PFP/KMT spat, which is already quite open, yet.

Meanwhile, 3000 kilometers to the northeast of the beautiful island, Guo Jia (iii) is being played out.