Monday, May 20, 2019

The American Military's New Trojan Horse Strategy

A conversation with United States Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein at the Brookings Institute gives us an interesting glimpse into a new concept of warfare that is being developed against both China and Russia.   Under the new strategy, U.S. forces will be able to penetrate enemy territory by land, sea and air at the same time in stealth mode.  Here are some key excerpts from the conversation between Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution and General David Goldfein.

When asked about multi domain operations and how it would affect battle planning, here is General Goldfein's response:

"And so here's where it is for me, and it is Army and Air Force right now primarily that are working on this, but I can tell you that the Marine Corps and the Navy are also discussing. Air Combat Command and TRADOC you know, are the two organizations that are trying to -- that we are working towards taking it from where it is today, which is really I would say described as a ConOps. It's a concept of operations, but it does not have the fidelity that I believe General Milley and I would tell you is ready to be doctrine yet. And that's where we've got to take it, and we're on a timeline to get it there within about a year….You know, we as planners have got to look at every aspect of this and turn it to the point where it's actually joint doctrine going forward.

So here's what it means to me. It's about using our asymmetric advantage as a joint team to be able to bring all of our capabilities to bear on an adversary so that we can overwhelm them and cause so many simultaneous dilemmas for them that they either (a) they would choose not to take us on -- i.e., we have effectively deterred. And if deterrence fails we are able to win because we can bring capabilities to bear that they can't counter.

And so I'll give you a visual to give you an example of what that means to me. If a China or a Russia or another adversary on the globe ever were to see an F-35, for instance, inside their air space I would love to change, you know, all of their -- send them all a message with two words, we're here. Not I'm here, we're here. Because if they ever do see an F-35, which is highly unlikely, it will never be alone. It will be part of a penetrating joint team. And in the we're here message, the message is we're here in space, we've been here for a while, we've been watching you, we know what's going on, and we have already penetrated whatever defenses you think you have. You cannot put a block of wood over your country, you can put a block of Swiss cheese over your country, but like Swiss cheese there are holes there and we know where they are and we can exploit them and we can get in, we can hold targets at risk.We're here. We're here with high altitude penetrating ISR. We've been here for a while and we've been watching you and we know what's going and there's nothing you can do about it. We're here on the ground, we have special forces. They've been on the ground here for a while and we know what's going on, we've been watching you, and there's nothing you can do about it. We're here, but below the surface with tactical submarines, and we're here with -- so the whole idea of this penetrating joint team is that we're here. And what I just laid out for you is not an Air Force joint team, it's this is a penetrating joint team." (my bolds)

Here is a more detailed look at how the system will work and how much it will cost to build this penetrating capability:

"You'll see about $135 billion (misquoted in the original transcript but fixed in the question and answer period following the conversation) in our budget -- I will give you that as an example of investments we're making across the portfolio of penetrating capability. There's only one weapons system that we have designed to be the quarterback of that penetrating joint team that fuses information from all sources, that can call audibles real time inside enemy air space, and that is the F-35. And so if we get multi domain operations right, what I've just described to you in a penetrating joint team will also include a standoff portion of the joint force and we'll be able to attack an enemy's weaknesses as opposed to attacking their strengths.

And so it is a fundamental change for us as much culturally as technically because we have in the business of building platforms, weapons, and sensors, and then once we field them, we then ask after the fact how do we connect them. How does this penetrating joint team you just described actually work? Well, if we built all the trucks and we haven't thought about the highway, that's going to be really hard, because we're going to find that this was built by Boeing and that was built by Lockheed and that was built by Ratiel, and this was -- oh, and by the way, we wrote the contract so that they own the proprietary rights to the data and now it's going to cost us double the amount of time and money to be able to connect them.

And so central to this whole idea of multi domain operations is the C2 (command and control)part of it. And that is how do we build the highway and then the trucks will come, because the trucks of the future that we're going to be talking about are going to be old and new, manned and unmanned, penetrating, standoff, conventional, unconventional, attributable, unattributable. All the elements of the joint team coming together.

And so if we can get that right I believe that's our asymmetric advantage against our peer competitors. And if we can harness that going forward and build that into doctrine called multi domain operations, then we can move this joint team forward." (my bolds)

Let's boil this down.  The new American military strategy will provide for stealthy invention of an enemy nation (i.e. Russia or China) by land, sea and air (i.e. all branches of the U.S. military) with all branches of the U.S. military acting at the same time, quarterbacked by the capabilities of the F-35 fighter.  This will create a scenario of simultaneous dilemmas with enemy forces, overwhelming them and creating a scenario with one of two outcomes:

1.) enemy forces decide not to take on the United States military because they realize that they cannot defend themselves against this overwhelming show of force.

2.) enemy forces will be defeated because U.S. forces have capabilities that they cannot counter.

This new strategy hinges on America's use of space-based surveillance which will give penetrating joint U.S. forces a clear picture of their adversaries' capabilities.  The use of this "Trojan horse" strategy will allow the United States military to gain "asymmetric advantages" over their adversaries.

If you are interested, you can watch the entire conversation here:

Let's close with an excerpt from the recent Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly by President Vladimir Putin:

"I am saying this directly and openly now, so that no one can blame us later, so that it will be clear to everyone in advance what is being said here. Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapons that can be used not only in the areas we are directly threatened from, but also in areas that contain decision-making centres for the missile systems threatening us.

There is some new information. These weapons will fully correspond to the threats directed against Russia in their technical specifications, including flight times to these decision-making centres.

We know how to do this and will implement these plans immediately, as soon as the threats to us become real. I do not think we need any further, irresponsible exacerbation of the current international situation. We do not want this...

They (the Americans) need to stop deluding themselves. Our response will always be efficient and effective."

Given the rapidly modernizing and technologically advanced militaries of both Russia and China, it is not yet clear how this new and improved strategy will give an advantage to the United States military.  Perhaps we will have a clearer picture once the Department of Defense spends  $135 billion on the strategy.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Adult Beverages and Glyphosate - Getting More Than You Paid For

Last year's news that Monsanto/Bayer was successfully sued by a California man over its glyphosate-containing product, Roundup, shook the company badly.  Lawyers for Dewayne Johnson claimed that exposure to glyphosate caused his cancer, a claim that is not unique given that over 800 cancer patients are suing Monsanto over similar claims.  This follows a 2015 report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which found that the organophosphate pesticides glyphosate, malathion and diazinon "may be carcinogenic to humans" as shown here:

Here, for your illumination, is a commercial for Roundup's Extended Control product:

Please notice how the gentleman in the advertisement is not using any form of protection (i.e. gloves or a mask) while applying the product.  While this is sending a concerning message to consumers, it appears to be the least of the problems that Roundup has created for mankind.

According to a 2016 paper by Charles Benbrook, Roundup is now the most widely and heavily applied weed-killer in history.  Here is a summary showing how much Roundup has been used since it was first introduced for commercial use in 1974 from his paper:

"Since 1974 in the U.S., over 1.6 billion kilograms of glyphosate active ingredient have been applied, or 19 % of estimated global use of glyphosate (8.6 billion kilograms). Globally, glyphosate use has risen almost 15-fold since so-called “Roundup Ready,” genetically engineered glyphosate-tolerant crops were introduced in 1996. Two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the U.S. from 1974 to 2014 has been sprayed in just the last 10 years. The corresponding share globally is 72 %. In 2014, farmers sprayed enough glyphosate to apply ~1.0 kg/ha (0.8 pound/acre) on every hectare of U.S.-cultivated cropland and nearly 0.53 kg/ha (0.47 pounds/acre) on all cropland worldwide." (my bold)

Here is a table showing how the use of glyphosate has mushroomed in the United States:

To give you a perspective of the increased use of glyphosate, over the one decade-long period from 2005 to 2014 (one-quarter of the four decades since glyphosate was introduced to the market), 1070 million kilograms of glyphosate was used which amounts to a 66.6 percent share of the total amount used between 1974 and 2014 in the United States.

Here is a map showing glyphosate use across the United States in 2015 from the United States Geological Survey:

Here is a bar graph showing the use of glyphosate by year and by crop:

A study of waterways in 38 states by the United States government found that glyphosate was present in the majority of rivers, streams, ditches and wastewater treatment plants and was present in 70 percent of rainfall samples.
With this background, given the nearly ubiquitous use of glyphosate, it is no surprise that a study by the United States Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) found that glyphosate is present in the beverages that we use to relax and unwind; beer and wine.  USPIRG tested 5 wine and 10 beer products of various brands for glyphosate and found that, of the 20 samples, 19 contained glyphosate and that 3 out of 4 organic beer and wine products contained glyphosate even though the use of glyphosate is not allowed in organic farming.  This suggests that even organic producers are having difficulty avoiding glyphosate contamination in their products.

To help you put the level of glyphosate contamination in wine and beer into context, according to the Environmental Protection Agency which is responsible for setting pesticide residue tolerances, glyphosate residues are allowed on 150 different food and food crops at a level of between 0.2 ppm and 400 ppm (200 to 400,000 ppb).  The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has proposed a "No Significant Risk Level" for glyphosate at 1.1 milligrams per day for an adult with a weight of 154 pounds.  These extremely low levels represent an increased lifetime risk of cancer of one in 100,000 adults. 

Here are the results in parts per billion, keeping in mind that most people drink more than one serving of these beverages in order from highest to lowest glyphosate content:


1.) Sutter Home Merlot - 51.4 ppb

2.) Beringer Estates Moscato - 42.6 ppb

3.) Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon - 36.3 ppb

4.) Inkarri Estates Malbec Certified Organic - 5.3 ppb

5.) Frey Organic Natural White Blend - 4.8 ppb


1.) Coors Light - 31.1 ppb

2.) Tsingtao Beer - 49.7 ppb

3.) Miller Light - 29.8 ppb

4.) Budweiser - 27.0 ppb

5.) Corona Extra - 25.1 ppb

6.) Heineken - 20.9 ppb

7.) Guinness Draught - 20.3 ppb

8.) Stella Artois - 18.7 ppb

9.) Stella Artois Cidre - 9.1 ppb

10.) Ace Perry Hard Cider - 14.5 ppb

11.) New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale - 11.2 ppb

12.) Sam Adams New England IPA - 11.0 ppb

13.) Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - 11.8 ppb

14.) Samuel Smith's Organic Lager - 5.7 ppb

15.) Peak Beer Organic IPA - no detected level

While the levels of glyphosate found in adult beverages by USPIRG are not necessarily dangerous in themselves, what is concerning is that glyphosate is present in many of the other food products that we eat.  Given the nearly universal presence of glyphosate in the environment and in the food chain, consumers that make a choice to avoid consuming this very widely used pesticide will have an increasingly difficult time doing so.  Even those consumers that choose organic products assuming that they are getting a "clean" food may find that they are eating more glyphosate than they thought.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

America's Defense Contractors - Profits, Pay and Killing Humans

As I have done in the past, I would like to take a look at the compensation packages for America's top defense contractors, an issue that should be of importance to all American taxpayers given that it is their tax dollars that are supporting this industry.

According to Defense News, in 2018, when measured in terms of defense revenue, the 20 largest defense contractors in the world were:

You will notice that, of the top 20 defense contractors, 12 were American, 6 were European and 2 were Russian.

Now, let's look at the compensation packages for the top three American defense contractors as found in their annual proxy statements:

1.) Lockheed Martin:  Here is a table showing how the company's sales and profits have grown over the past three years:

In 2018, 70 percent of the company's net sales were sourced from the United States Government.

Here's a table showing the compensation packages for Lockheed Martin's Named Executive Officers for 2018:

2.) Raytheon:  Here is a table showing the company's financial results have shown improvement over the past three years:

Note that in 2018, 68 percent of Raytheon's total net sales were sourced from the United States Government, up from 67 percent in 2016 and 2017. Raytheon's total net sales of $27.058 billion for the full year 2018 were up 6.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Here is a table showing the compensation packages for Raytheon's Named Executive Officers for 2018:

3.) Northrop Grumman: Here is a table showing how the company's sales and profits have grown over the past three years:

In 2018, 82 percent of the company's sales were sourced from the United States Government, down from 85 percent in 2017 and 84 percent in 2016.

Here is a table showing the compensation packages for Northrop Grumman's Named Executive Officers for 2018:

As you can see, in all three cases, sales in 2018 were up by between 6.7 percent and 15.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.  The compensation packages of the Chief Executive Officers of the four companies averaged $22.776 million or 300 times the size of the median family income in the United States ($75,938 in 2017).  It is also quite clear, particularly in the case of Northrop Grumman, that if it were not for the unfettered generosity of America's taxpayers, these three companies would be much, much smaller than they currently are with sales being a fraction of what their current level.  God help the defense industry and its named executive officers if peace should break out!

Monday, May 13, 2019

China's Latest Military Threat - Overwater Bombers

With relatively little fanfare, the Pentagon released its annual report on China's military to Congress.  The report entitled "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2018" is required under Public Law 106-65.  On an annual basis, the Secretary of Defense must submit a report in both classified and unclassified form on the military and security developments in China and address the current and probable courses military and technological developments for the People's Liberation Army for the next 20 years.  There is one key subject matter in this year's report that suggests that, according to the Pentagon, China is seeking to expand its sphere of influence substantially as you will see in this posting.

The report opens by noting that China's leadership is seeking to "leverage China's growing economic, diplomatic and military clout to establish regional preeminence and expand the country's international influence."  While it notes that China is seeking to secure its objectives without jeopardizing the stability of the region that it requires to maintain its dominance economically, it observes that China is also willing to "employ coercive measures - both military and non-military - to advance its interests and mitigate opposition from other countries".  Apparently, China's leadership has learned from Washington's playbook.

One of the key developments that China has undertaken over the past three years could directly threaten the United States, at least in the eyes of the writers of the report.  Let's start by looking at a map which shows the location of China's major air units, focussing on the nation's bomber bases:

As it stands now, China's bomber force consists of variants of the medium-/long-range H-6 Badger that you can see on this video which shows the latest variant, the H-6K:

The H-6K has integrated standoff weapons with the ability to carry 6 land-attack cruise missiles and more efficient turbofan engines which extend its range to Guam.  On top of this latest bomber, the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is seeking to further extend its bombing range with the development of a mid-air refillable bomber and a new stealth strategic bomber, the Xi'an H-20 as shown on this tweet from Global Times:

To be effective, the new long-range bomber must have an operational range of 8000 kilometres and be capable of carrying a weapons load of at least 10 tonnes.  The Pentagon report notes that it is possible that both the H-6K and H-20 would be nuclear capable.

The Pentagon report goes on to note that China is rapidly extending its overwater bombing areas, extending its operations beyond the First Island chain to cover the Second Island Chain which includes Guam and other islands where the United States and other allied nations have military bases.  Here is a map showing the approximate locations of the First and Second Island chains, key parts of China's defensive perimeter:

Here is a map  showing the United States military bases located in the West Pacific:

The Naval Base Guam which is located on U.S. territory supports the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the warfighter base and command support.  It has 12,000 military members and their families.  

The PLAAF and PLAN (Navy) already has the ability to fly beyond the first island chain.  In 2013, and H-6G bomber transited the Bashi Channel located between the Philippines and Taiwan but the H-6G lacked the range to threaten U.S. facilities.  In 2015, the PLAAF began flying the H-6K past the First Island Chain, flying to within striking range of Guam.  In 2016, the PLAAF circumnavigated Taiwan for the first time and significantly increased the number of circumnavigations in 2017.  In 2016, China also began to fly H-6K missions in the South China Sea and into the Sea of Japan.  In August 2017, the PLAAF sent six H-6K bombers through the Miyako Strait, turning to fly east of Okinawa where there are 47,300 United States forces based (2011 data - includes 1,994 civilians and 19,463 dependents) as shown here:

Here is a complete listing of PLAAF and PLAN maritime bomber operations since September 2013:

In addition, according to the South China Morning Post, in May 2018, the PLAAF landed a strategic bomber on one of its island reefs (Woody Island in the Paracel Group?) located in the South China Sea for the first time as shown here:

Here is a map showing China's current overwater bomber range capabilities:

In closing, let's look at China's philosophy on its defense starting with an article appearing on the website of the Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China:

"The Chinese military resolutely opposes and protests Washington adopting the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act into law, Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday.

The act authorizes $717 billion defense spending, the largest in US history, and sets "long-term strategic competition with China" as the United States' "principal priority".

It also includes plans for strengthening Taiwan's self-defense capabilities, prohibiting China from future Rim of the Pacific Naval exercises, and creating public report on China's activities in the South China Sea.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a spokesman for the ministry, said in an online statement that the act interferes with China's internal affairs, stokes Sino-US conflicts, and is full of Cold War mentality.

The act also goes against the one-China policy, damages the development of Sino-US military-to-military relation, and undermines mutual trust and cooperation between the two countries, he added.

Taiwan is part of China, and the Taiwan question is related to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said. It is also the most important and sensitive core issues in Sino-US bilateral relation.

"We resolutely oppose any country having any forms of formal and military exchanges with Taiwan, this stance has been consistent and clear," he said. "We will not allow anyone to split Taiwan from China in any way or at any time."

A man cannot prosper without honesty, the same is true for a country, Wu said. "We urge the US to stick to its promises to China regarding Taiwan question, and uphold the one-China policy and the joint communiques made by both nations," he said.

The US should carefully handle Taiwan question to prevent damaging regional peace and security, as well as Sino-US military and bilateral relations, he added." (my bold)

...and a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China:

"Senior officials from China and Russia vowed on August 15 to jointly safeguard "just and equitable" international order and promote global and regional peace and stability.

Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev made the remarks when co-hosting the 14th round of China-Russia strategic security consultation here.

Yang, who is also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, said both countries should firmly support each other on issues of major concern, increase coordination within multilateral frameworks, and jointly push for the settlement of international hot-spot issues.

He said China-Russia relations are developing at a high level and have entered the best period in history under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yang said Xi and Putin have already met twice this year and reached important consensuses.

Both countries should work to implement those consensuses and continue to cement and enrich their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, the senior official said.

China and Russia should deepen cooperation in various areas so that it can better benefit the two peoples, Yang said.

Patrushev said Russia-China ties are developing at an unprecedentedly high level thanks to the efforts of both presidents.

Russia is ready to continue high-level contacts, strengthen strategic coordination, and work for greater results from practical cooperation, he said.

The two sides also discussed issues concerning the Korean Peninsula, the Middle East and the Iran nuclear deal, and they reached broad consensuses." (my bold)

Given China's growing air capabilities in the South and Western Pacific and the fact that it is seeking a "just and equitable international order" one wonders how long the current unipolar world order will last.  On the upside, America's defense contractors must be rubbing their hands together with glee just thinking about how much U.S. taxpayers are going to spend to defend against China's advancing overwater bomber capabilities.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Mike Pompeo and Washington's Hypocrisy Regarding Human Rights Issues in China

During a recent press conference with Randall G. Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, a report on military and security developments in China and its goals of being a player in a new multipolar world revealed this:

"It's also important to note, as our report does, that last year the Chinese Communist Party's Central Military Commission took sole authority of the People's Armed Police. The People's Armed Police, of course, is the primary force for internal security.  And, of course, our concerns are significant when it comes to the ongoing repression in China.  The Communist Party is using the security forces for mass imprisonment of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps." (my bold)

This comment led to this exchange:

"Question: mentioned the -- the Chinese were using concentration camps.  Could you explain why you used that -- the terminology?

MR. SCHRIVER:  ...the detention camps, given what we understand to be the magnitude of the detention, at least a million but likely closer to 3 million citizens out of a population of about 10 million, so a very significant portion of the population, what's happening there, what the goals are of the Chinese government and their own public comments make that a very, I think, appropriate description." (my bold)

Obviously, the use of the term "concentration camp" is an explosive one given that most people associate the term with the German National Socialist party's use of such camps for its program of ethnic cleansing of Europe.  According to Amnesty International, these camps are located in the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous in China's far west as shown on this map 

Amnesty International believes that up to 1 million Uighurs are being detained in what China terms "re-education" camps as part of its "Regulations on De-extremification" which were adopted in March 2017.  Under these regulations, people in the region are not allowed to openly or privately display religious or cultural affiliation including the following:

"(1) Advocating or spreading extremist thinking;

(2) Interfering with others' freedom of religion by forcing others to participate in religious activities, forcing others to supply properties or labor services to religious activity sites or religious professionals;

(3) Interfering with activities such as others' weddings and funerals or inheritance;

(4) Interfering with others from having communication, exchanges, mixing with, or living together, with persons of other ethnicities or other faiths; or driving persons of other ethnicities or faiths to leave their homes

(5) Interfering with cultural and recreational activities, rejecting or refusing public goods and services such as radio and television.

(6) Generalizing the concept of Halal, to make Halal expand into areas other beyond Halal foods, and using the idea of something being not-halal to reject or interfere with others secular lives;

(7) Wearing, or compelling others to wear, burqas with face coverings, or to bear symbols of extremification;

(8) Spreading religious fanaticism through irregular beards or name selection;

(9) Failing to perform the legal formalities in marrying or divorcing by religious methods;

(10) Not allowing children to receive public education, obstructing the implementation of the national education system;

(11) Intimidating or inducing others to boycott national policies; to intentionally destroy state documents prescribed for by law, such as resident identity cards, household registration books; or to deface currency;

(12) Intentionally damaging or destroying public or private property;

(13) Publishing, printing, distributing, selling, producing, downloading, storing, reproducing, accessing, copying, or possessing articles, publications, audio or video with extremification content;

(14) Deliberately interfering with or undermining the implementation of family planning policies;

(15) Other speech and acts of extremification."

These laws were put into effect as part of China's moves to "...prevent extremist violations, and bring about social stability and lasting peace and order."

With that background, let's take a moment and look at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent appearance on CBS's Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan.  Watch how he tap dances around the number of people in China's and his description of the camps which he absolutely refuses to call "concentration camps", unlike the spokesman for the Department of Defense:

"MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about China. Chinese officials are headed here to Washington for trade talks. We heard from a Pentagon official on Friday, a pretty stark description of what is underway right now in China. He- he said that there are 3 million Muslims being rounded up into concentration camps in China. Why hasn't the administration taken any kind of action or sanction against Beijing for this?

SEC. POMPEO: Oh goodness. The- President Trump has pushed back against China in a way that no previous president had--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Concentration camps--

SEC. POMPEO: --they'd- they'd given- they- they had given the Chinese a free pass in every dimension. President Trump is now pushing back on the enormous trade abuses. You've seen me personally speak out about the same situation that you're describing, this- this number certainly up to a million people held in reeducation campsThe Trump administration is going to hold every nation accountable--

MARGARET BRENNAN: You're okay with that term, reeducation camps, not concentration camps, which the Pentagon used?

SEC. POMPEO: We can- we can use lots of different terms to describe what's taking place. This is an enormous human rights violations. I've spoken about it repeatedly--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Why the difference between--

SEC. POMPEO: --the entire administration has spoken on it repeatedly.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You just said a million minorities.


MARGARET BRENNAN: The Pentagon says 3 million.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Is there a discrepancy within the administration--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --on what to do about this and what's actually happening?

SEC. POMPEO: There- there- there- there's not. Don't- don't don't play ticky tac. There's no discrepancy. This administration this- this--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Concentration camps is a loaded term, sir.

SEC. POMPEO: Ma'am--

MARGARET  BRENNAN: And three million Muslims being rounded up is something that many would expect the United States to raise--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --at the highest levels.

SEC. POMPEO: And- and we've done so.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So- sanctions--

SEC. POMPEO: So it sounds like you're satisfied with that.


SEC. POMPEO: Right, we- we've done so, right? And so- don't- don't- don't- don't- don't make--"

He refuses to discuss his one million number versus the DoD's number of three million and his use of the term "re-education camps" versus the DoD's use of the term "concentration camp" despite the fact that both are extremely important points.  This begs the question: "Why is he tap-dancing around what should be a key issue?".

On the upside, as you can see in this exchange, most importantly, Mr. Pompeo is reassuring Corporate America that their intellectual property rights will be protected and that we can be assured that China's human rights issues will be addressed:

"MARGARET BRENNAN: But why use sanctions? Should we expect that? Be- because the accusation as you know, sir, is that the trade talks are causing the US to choose its own financial interests over its values. Are you saying that's not the case and there will be actions taken?

SEC. POMPEO: Thanks for the clarification of your question, I- I appreciate that. This administration can do more than one thing at a time. We're working to stop the intellectual property theft that has destroyed millions of jobs in the United States. We're working to stop the foreign technology transfer - foreign technology transfers that have taken place. We've got the largest defense budget in history in place, part of which will go to ensuring we counter Chinese military power. We're working on these human rights violations as well. This administration takes a backseat to no one in our efforts and our outcomes in achieving a more rational relationship with China. The previous administration put us in a bad place and we're working to fix it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Were you just saying human rights are going to be included in the trade deal?

SEC. POMPEO: No human- human rights are- are going to be addressed.


SEC. POMPEO: And we've done so. I've raised it in multiple conversations with my counterpart their foreign minister and with others." (my bold)

As has been proven time and time again, Washington really doesn't care about human rights violations, it selectively uses the narrative when it is to its benefit, in this case, during trade negotiations with China.  If Mr. Pompeo really cared about human rights, he would talk to his counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Israel and other American-friendly nations about their breaches of human rights treaties not to mention America's very own concentration camp at Guantanamo and at various CIA black sites around the world as shown on this map:

But, on the upside, that nasty illegal copying of DVDs will come to an end, protecting the billions of dollars that Hollywood has invested in America's entertainment business.