Thursday, December 14, 2017

100 Years Ago: General Edmund Allenby Enters Jerusalem

100 Years ago tomorrow, Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby entered Jerusalem as its conqueror.  General Allenby was 56 years old when he took command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) in June 1917. Little of his work on the Western Front would suggest he would prove a master of desert warfare. Within days of arriving in Palestine, the new commander of the EEF would dispel any misgivings regarding his capacity for independent command. As Australian Sir Henry George Chauvel, commander of the Desert Mounted Corps (DMC), described the EEF's change in command climate: "Allenby went through the hot, dusty camps of his army like a strong, fresh, reviving wind." He saw his mission as one of clearing Palestine of any Ottoman forces. After organizing his forces, he was ready to mount offensive operations in the fall. 

The Third Battle of Gaza (31 Oct–7 Nov) exhibited Allenby's talent for orchestrating a combined arms operation while concurrently managing the problems of transport, supply, and deception. The battle had not been without lessons. Chauvel's Desert Mounted Corps suffered a number of casualties from German aircraft, revealing the vulnerability of exposed troops in a desert environment. The rough terrain east of Gaza proved difficult for both the mounted units and their supporting logistical assets. Allenby gave little pause and pursued the Turks northward as they retreated toward Junction Station (See map below.) Commanding the skies and bombing and strafing retreating columns almost at will, aircraft from the RFC made the pursuit a harrowing experience for the enemy. By 14 November, Allenby occupied Junction Station and effectively split the Turkish forces in half. 

Map of the Sector
The first step in clearing Palestine was dislodging the Ottoman forces from their Gaza defenses. The stronghold had thus far proved impregnable to British assault and had cost his predecessor, General Archibald Murray, his job. Allenby's plan called for an infantry demonstration in front of Gaza, to include heavy artillery bombardments and naval gun support. Meanwhile, elements from two corps would secretly concentrate opposite the Turkish left at Beersheba, assault the garrison, and capture the water supplies. Once complete, the striking force of some 40,000 troops would roll up the Turkish left flank and intercept any retreating forces from Gaza. 

The Third Battle of Gaza exhibited Allenby's talent for orchestrating a combined arms operation while concurrently managing the problems of transport, supply, and deception. By 5 November, the evacuation of Gaza began in earnest. Allenby gave little pause and pursued the Turks northward as they retreated toward Junction Station. Commanding the skies and bombing and strafing retreating columns almost at will, aircraft from the RFC made the pursuit a harrowing experience for the enemy. By 14 November, Allenby occupied Junction Station and effectively split the Turkish forces in half.

Jerusalem Welcoming Its Conqueror at the Jaffa Gate

(This Depiction Is Grander Than the Actual Event)

With the Turkish Seventh and Eighth Armies isolated from one another, Allenby next set his sights on Jerusalem, which Lloyd George had ordered taken by Christmas. Moving as rapidly as supply lines would allow, the EEF made good progress against a stiffening Turkish defense. Counterattacks increased in number and intensity. As one commentator noted, "The Turkish troops fought with a remarkable gallantry and succeeded at some points in gaining a footing in the outer line of the British defenses." By 8 December the Ottoman lines began to crack and, on the next day, they withdrew northward. On 11 December 1917, Allenby made his formal entry into the city—the first Christian leader to do so since 1187. He was ordered not to make a spectacle of his arrival as the Kaiser had in 1898, but it was a dramatic moment, nevertheless.

German military advisor General Kress von Kressenstein later wrote: "From a purely military point of view, the loss of Jerusalem was of no importance, but the moral effect of its capture, after having been in Turkish hands for 700 years...was a severe blow to the prestige of the Caliphate and of Turkey." Events on the Western Front, however, would slow down Allenby's advance in the spring of 1918. The German offensives on the Western Front would draw off a number of his best units. It would not be until later in the year that he could restart his drive to defeat the Turks, which he would do so brilliantly. 

Sources: Over the Top, July & August 2010

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Doughboy Basics: What Are the Lasting Contributions of the Doughboy Generation to America?

Maybe, in the broadest sense, the great contribution of the Doughboys is what all of America's warriors have given their nation over the centuries—their sacrifices made our America of today possible and successful and the generation of today a standard to live up to.

Some specifics of their experiences are also worth noting, though:

The AEF had a large component of recent immigrants who were assimilated into the mainstream of the nation almost instantly due to their service.

They gave us Armistice Day, which expanded to Veterans Day as the nation fought more wars.

The Doughboys were the principal champions of the WWII Veterans Bill of Rights legislation  that helped future service members (including your editor) gain a better education and first home.

The military experience in World War I prepared the nation to fight and win the Second World War and the Cold War that followed.

The Doughboys, even before the Armistice, decided they wanted to play an active role in postwar America. This played out later in the founding of the American Legion and the sad Veterans March on Washington in the 1930s. Professor Jennifer Keene, discussed this in her 2001 work, Doughboys, the Great War, and the Remaking of America:

Why is World War I important in American history? Quite simply, the Great War generation played a critical role in constructing the modern U.S. Army, turning World War II soldiers into the most privileged veteran generation in American history and determining what mass military service would mean for millions of American men throughout the twentieth century.

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Remembering a Veteran: Nurse & Volunteer in Two World Wars, Ethel Carow Roosevelt Derby

by Keith Muchowski
Ethel and Her Mother Edith at the Turn of the Century

Ethel Derby died 40 years ago tomorrow. If one is unfamiliar with the name, one is not alone; Mrs. Derby shunned the limelight just as tenaciously as her older half-sister Alice Roosevelt Longworth courted it. Ethel Carow Roosevelt Derby had four brothers and was the only girl born to Theodore Roosevelt and his second wife Edith. Ethel was born at Sagamore Hill, her parents' Oyster Bay Long Island home, on 13 August 1891. Her father at the time was a Civil Service commissioner in the Benjamin Harrison administration. She turned ten one month prior to her father's becoming president in the wake of the assassination of William McKinley in September 1901. Throughout his presidency there was great public interest in the Roosevelt clan and Ethel came of age as a quartet of prominent young Roosevelt women that included half-sister Alice and cousins Corinne Douglas Robinson and Eleanor Roosevelt. In Washington, Ethel attended the National Cathedral School for Girls, from which she graduated in 1906. She had her coming out in a large but understated White House function, which included a midnight formal dinner in late December 1908, a few months before the end of her father's term.

Ethel had grown up hearty and something of a tomboy with striking, handsome features. She lived the strenuous life very much like her father and enjoyed climbing trees, playing with the family pets, and horseback riding at Sagamore Hill with her four brothers. Ethel spent the years immediately after her father's presidency living at Sagamore Hill and visited New York City frequently. Young Ethel met Dr. Richard Derby in late 1912. The two announced their engagement on Valentine's Day 1913 and married at Oyster Bay's Christ Episcopal Church on 4 April 1913 in a simple but well-attended ceremony of 500 guests, at least 200 of these brought in by train from Manhattan that morning. The couple honeymooned in Europe and 11 months after the wedding a son, Richard Derby, Jr., was born. Baby Richard was Theodore Roosevelt's first grandson.

Wedding Announcement

When war broke out in Europe that summer all of the Roosevelts watched with great concern. Ethel was the first from the clan to serve overseas in the Great War. Dr. and Mrs. Derby left for France in September 1914 and worked through the end of the year at the American Ambulance Hospital, he as a surgeon and she as a nurse. The days were long, the work physically demanding and emotionally taxing, and the living conditions spartan. They were so earnest in their desire to help the wounded that they left their infant son in the care of his grandparents at Sagamore Hill. Most of their patients were injured British troops, and Ethel sometimes took the cases she saw to heart. She once solicited $200 (over $4200 in today's dollars) to secure a prosthetic leg for a young Tommy who had lost a limb fighting the Germans.

Ethel before the Great War

When the two returned in December they kept up in their war efforts. In April 1915 Mrs. Derby became chair of the Committee of American Hostels for Refugees in Paris, an organization whose mission was to assist French and Belgians displaced by the fighting. Dr. Derby was active in the civilian Plattsburg Preparedness Movement with his Roosevelt brothers-in-law. When the United State entered the war in April 1917 Derby joined what became the American Expeditionary Forces. He trained with the Medical Corps at Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia. Shortly after giving birth to the couple's second child, Ethel joined Major Derby down south. The two rented a house in Chattanooga about ten miles from the base across the state line in Georgia. Ethel was popular and active in the community, working hard, making herself useful, and goodnaturedly putting to use such skills as milking cows, much to the amusement of the locals. The citizenry had good reason to take kindly to Ethel Derby; her grandmother Martha Bulloch Roosevelt had been a Southern belle from Georgia before marrying and moving to New York City in the 1850s. Major Richard Derby soon left for France. This time, however, Ethel did not accompany him. The stress must have been excruciating. Ethel's husband and four brothers were all fighting in the Great War. Older brother Ted was gassed at Cantigny and later seriously wounded in the knee; baby brother Quentin was an aviator, shot down and killed on Bastille Day 1918. Six months later, heartbroken with the loss of his youngest child, Theodore Roosevelt died in early January 1919. Derby was a surgeon in the Second Infantry Division for over a year, gaining promotion to lieutenant colonel, and earning the Croix de Guerre, French Legion of Honor, and Distinguished Service Medal. He returned to Long Island in 1919 a few weeks after his father-in-law's death.

Ethel in Her WWII Red Cross Uniform

In the 1920s Ethel and Richard Derby settled into life in Long Island with their growing family. Things could still be difficult. Richard Jr., just eight years old, died of septicemia in October 1922. His father suffered from depression thereafter and never fully recovered. Dr. Derby worked at a local hospital and Ethel grew increasingly active in community service. In 1923 she worked on behalf of Russian refugees exiled in Paris during the Russian Civil War. For well over half a century she volunteered with the American Red Cross, determined to streamline the organization and end the frustrating waste and red tape she had seen in Paris in 1914. She was also a board member of the American Museum of Natural History, which her grandfather had help found and her father had done so much to foster and promote. After her mother's death in 1948 she helped turn her parents' Sagamore Hill home into a national historic site. Richard Derby died in 1963. His widow lived another fourteen years. Ethel Roosevelt Derby lived a long and full life of activity and public service in the spirit of her father, Theodore Roosevelt. Born during the presidency of Benjamin Harrison, Mrs. Derby lived to 86 and died on December 10, 1977 during the Jimmy Carter Administration. After her death a family friend told the New York Times for the obituary that Ethel Derby "was T.R.—but completely feminine."

Keith Muchowski, a librarian and professor at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) in Brooklyn NY, writes occasionally for Roads to the Great War. He blogs at

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Canister believed to be from a US helicopter lands on a nursery school in Ginowan

Canister believed to be from a US helicopter lands on a nursery school in Ginowan

The plastic canister on the roof of the nursery school. December 7, 2017 (Photograph by Hajime Kanai)

December 8, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

A plastic canister landed on the metal roof of the Futenma Baptist Church's Midorigaoka Nursery School in Nodake, Ginowan, around 10:20 a.m. on December 7.

No people were injured. Right around the time of the dropped tube, a U.S. military CH-53 heavy-lift transport helicopter was flying overhead, and investigators have indicated that, "the characteristics of the dropped object as well as the circumstances suggest a high probability that it came from a U.S. military vehicle."

The Ginowan Police department are continuing to investigate the cause of the dropped object.

When asked for comment, a representative for the U.S. Marines responded, "We are carefully investigating the matter."

According to a witness, at around 10:15 a.m. a CH-53 was seen taking off from MCAS Futenma in the direction of Nodake.

The plastic canister dropped from a U.S. helicopter

Nursery School Principal Takeshi Kamiya said that there were around 60 children in the school around the time of the drop.

The children were playing outside, having just finished practicing for the Christmas play when the canister landed on the metal roof of the one-year-old's class.

Had the canister landed a few feet from where it did, it would have been right in the playground.

According to Ginowan Police, the canister is around 9.5 cm long, a diameter of around 7.5 cm, 8 mm thick, weighing around 213 grams. The message "Remove before flight" is written on the front in English.

According to the U.S. military's website, the canister is very likely a cover for an instrument that detects abnormalities in the motion of the propeller.

In the afternoon December 7, Okinawa Defense Bureau head Koichiro Nakajima visited Ginowan Mayor Atsushi Sakima and reported, "I went to visit the site as soon as I heard the news. We are currently investigating and reaching out to the U.S. military for inquiry."

Mayor Atsushi pretested, "Can't we definitively say that this belongs to the U.S. military? Something dropping onto a nursery school is about as serious as a situation can be."

The Ginowan City Assembly reached out to the Special Committee on Bases for help with the response.

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, in an indication that the prefectural government had determined a high likelihood that the part came from a CH-53 said, "Since single misstep can lead to a dangerous incident, this is a very serious matter."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga commented, "The people of Okinawa have no choice but to feel uneasy about this, not to mention the fact that it involved a nursery school."

(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)

Go to Japanese

Previous Article:The number of tourists coming to Okinawa exceeds that of visitors to Hawaii between January and September

Next Article:JICA volunteer Lima Tokumori teaches peace lesson about Okinawa to La Unión students in Peru

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Photos: USS John S McCain Arrives in Yokosuka for Repair

  • USS John S. McCain is lowered into the water from the heavy lift transport ship MV Treasure prior to being towed into port. The ship will undergo repairs at Ship Repair Facility - Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen)
  • USS John S. McCain is lowered into the water from the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by William McCann)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed to a pier at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by William McCann)
  • USS John S. McCain is lowered into the water by the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by William McCann)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed to a pier at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by Leonard Adams Jr.)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed from the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed to a pier at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by Leonard Adams Jr.)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed from the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed by the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen)

  • USS John S. McCain is lowered into the water from the heavy lift transport ship MV Treasure prior to being towed into port. The ship will undergo repairs at Ship Repair Facility - Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen) USS John S. McCain is lowered into the water from the heavy lift transport ship MV Treasure prior to being towed into port. The ship will undergo repairs at Ship Repair Facility - Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen)
  • USS John S. McCain is lowered into the water from the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by William McCann) USS John S. McCain is lowered into the water from the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by William McCann)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed to a pier at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by William McCann) USS John S. McCain is towed to a pier at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by William McCann)
  • USS John S. McCain is lowered into the water by the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by William McCann) USS John S. McCain is lowered into the water by the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by William McCann)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed to a pier at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by Leonard Adams Jr.) USS John S. McCain is towed to a pier at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by Leonard Adams Jr.)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed from the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen) USS John S. McCain is towed from the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed to a pier at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by Leonard Adams Jr.) USS John S. McCain is towed to a pier at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka. (U. S. Navy photo by Leonard Adams Jr.)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed from the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen) USS John S. McCain is towed from the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen)
  • USS John S. McCain is towed by the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen) USS John S. McCain is towed by the heavy lift transport MV Treasure. (U. S. Navy photo by Joshua B. Mortensen)

U.S. warship USS John S. McCain, which was involved in a collision with a cargo ship east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore in August, has arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka for repair.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer DDG 56 arrived in Tokyo Bay aboard heavy lift transport vessel MV Treasure on December 5, and arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka on December 13 following several days of preparations.

The vessel will be repaired by U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka before returning to service in U.S. 7th Fleet.

"SRF is making preparations to begin remediation and repair efforts immediately once the ship is dockside," said Lt. Cmdr. Sandra Wyman assigned to SRF-JRMC. "The project will be one of the largest SRF has undertaken."

After being involved in a fatal collision with merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore August 21, USS John S. McCain pulled into Changi Naval Base, Singapore where damaged sections of the hull were patched in preparation for the journey back to Japan. 
The ship left Singapore for Yokosuka on October 5, but was diverted to Subic Bay, Philippines on October 22, due to poor weather conditions and to repair cracks in the ship's hull discovered while in transit. 

While at anchor in Subic Bay, technicians inspected the cracks and determined the ship needed additional blocks under it to support and distribute its weight on the heavy lift vessel.

McCain left Subic Bay for Japan on November 28.

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My public comment on the proposed MCM changes implementing the Military Justice Act of 2016

Our #1 Military Justice Story of 2016 was the Military Justice Act of 2016. The Act makes the most significant changes to the UCMJ since the Military Justice Act of 1983. The changes won't take effect until a date established by President Trump (but no later than January 1, 2019). The anticipated effective date of the changes is January 1, 2019.

The Act also requires promulgation of implementing regulations within one year of the date of enactment; so by December 23, 2017. In advance of that deadline the Joint Service Committee published a large number of proposed changes to the Manual for Courts-Martial (noted here), held a public hearing (noted here), and invited public comment.

I attended the hearing and made comments. I also submitted written comments. You can download my written submission from the site here.

My written comments addressed six of the proposed changes, and recommended five additional changes. They were:

Public comment on proposed changes to the Manual for Courts-Martial:

a. Do not eliminate appellate counsel's right to review the complete record of trial.

b. Do not radically alter the existing plea agreement system.

c. The sentence limitation portion of a plea agreement is not binding upon members.

d. Adopt a modified version of Proposal #2 for impaneling members and alternate members.

e. Ensure consistency in prosecutions under Clause 1 and Clause 2 of Article 134.

f. The proposed change to Mil. R. Evid. 412 is long overdue.

Suggested additional changes to the Manual for Courts-Martial:

a. Clarify that Government counsel ordinarily represents either the prosecution or the appellate government division, and not the Government at large.

b. Increase procedural protections for a person accused of contempt.

c. Limit the use of personal identifiers in court-martial documents.

d. Require production of a privilege log when any entity that is represented by counsel asserts an evidentiary privilege.

e. Restrict the Government to the privileges contained in Military Rules of Evidence 505, 506, and 507.

Here's some detail on my comments about the proposed changes.

a. Do not eliminate appellate counsel's right to review the complete record of trial.

The JSC proposes to change Rule for Courts-Martial (R.C.M.) 1103A to eliminate the existing right of appellate counsel to review sealed matters not disclosed to the trial participants. This isn't new; the JSC first proposed this change last November (discussed here), and I submitted a comment opposing it in January (discussed here). My recent comments are similar to my prior comments, with the addition of a discussion of Mil. R. Evid. 513 and the assertion that once the disclosure provisions of the Mil. R. Evid. are satisfied, a patient's privacy rights are subordinate to the rights of the parties.

b. Do not radically alter the existing plea agreement system.

Section 5237 of the Military Justice Act of 2016 adds a new Article 53a to explicitly authorize plea agreements at courts-martial (current practice relies on the convening authority's clemency power, functionally trading clemency for a guilty plea). The JSC proposes to apply the new Article 53a with proposed Rules for Courts-Martial 705 and 910, establishing a new system for plea agreements. The proposed rules include:

• Proposed R.C.M. 705(d)(1)(B) and 705(d)(1)(C) would allow a convening authority to impose a limit on the minimum punishment that a court-martial may adjudge.

• Proposed R.C.M. 910(f)(3) requires disclosure of the entire plea agreement before it may be accepted by the military judge.

• Proposed R.C.M. 910(f)(5) requires the court-martial – whether composed of a military judge alone or of members – to "sentence the accused in accordance with the agreement."

These proposed rules will radically alter the existing process for plea agreements in courts-martial, upsetting a functional system and giving a convening authority too much unchecked power to punish an accused. In particular, allowing a convening authority to dictate a minimum punishment, and disclosing that minimum to the military judge (who typically adjudges the sentence), gives the convening authority too much power over an accused (who already suffers under command authority).

My comment recommended that the JSC not upset the current plea-agreement process. Alternatively, I made three suggestions:

1. Do not allow a convening authority to impose a minimum or specific sentence, but disclose the maximum agreed-upon sentence to the sentencing authority.

2. Allow a convening authority to impose a minimum or specific sentence, but give the military judge the power to reduce it, or to reject any minimum entirely, if the military judge believes the minimum to be unjust. Such reduction or rejection may be subject to a Government sentence appeal under the new Article 56(d).

3. Allow a convening authority to impose a minimum or specific sentence, but do not disclose any sentence limitation to the sentencing authority. If the adjudged sentence is lower than the agreed-upon minimum sentence, it will then be automatically increased to the agreed-upon minimum.

c. The sentence limitation portion of a plea agreement is not binding upon members.

The new Article 53a(d) makes a plea agreement binding on a military judge but not members. My comment highlights this discrepancy, but I've since learned that it is one of a handful of drafting errors that will probably be corrected in this year's NDAA.

d. Adopt a modified version of Proposal #2 for impaneling members and alternate members.

Section 5161 of the Military Justice Act of 2016 modifies Article 16 to set the number of members for a non-capital general court-martial at 8, and for a special court-martial at 4. But the Act did not mandate a process to select that fixed number of members from the (typically larger) number detailed to the court-martial by the convening authority.

The JSC invited comment on four proposed systems for removing excess panel members (proposed R.C.M. 912A). Those proposals were: reducing the number randomly (Proposal #1), reducing the number by alternating additional peremptory challenges by the defense and the prosecution (Proposal #2), reducing the number based on instructions from the convening authority (Proposal #3), and reducing the number based on rules to be prescribed by the Secretary of each service (Proposal #4).

My comment recommended that the JSC adopt a modified version of proposal #2: Give all additional peremptory challenges to the defense, allowing it to remove any and all excess members.

Allowing the defense to remove any and all excess members is the right choice for at least two reasons.

First, removing excess members by giving additional peremptory challenges only to the defense would eliminate the vast majority of appellate issues involving denied challenges for cause by generally providing the defense with the opportunity to remove members who were not removed by the military judge when challenged.

Second, removing excess members by giving additional peremptory challenges only to the defense would counter-balance the fact that the convening authority both personally selects the members and personally decides that the case should go to trial. This creates at least the appearance of bias in member selection, and allowing the defense to remove any and all excess members cures this in all but the most extraordinary case.

e. Ensure consistency in prosecutions under Clause 1 and Clause 2 of Article 134.

The Manual for Courts-Martial defines the terms to the prejudice of good order and discipline as including only:

acts directly prejudicial to good order and discipline and not to acts which are prejudicial only in a remote or indirect sense. Almost any irregular or improper act on the part of a member of the military service could be regarded as prejudicial in some indirect or remote sense; however, this article does not include these distant effects. It is confined to cases in which the prejudice is reasonably direct and palpable.

MCM Part IV, ¶ 60.c.(2)(a) (proposed ¶ 91.c.(2)(a)). Similar language is omitted from the definition of the term conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces in the proposed ¶ 91.c.(3) / current ¶ 60.c.(3).

My comment suggested making the definitions consistent.

f. The proposed change to Mil. R. Evid. 412 is long overdue.

"[Mil. R. Evid.] 412 cannot limit the introduction of evidence required by the Constitution." United States v. Gaddis, 70 M.J. 248, 256 (C.A.A.F. 2011). Nevertheless, the existing Mil. R. Evid. 412(c)(3) contains a balancing test that suggests that an alleged victim's privacy may be used to exclude evidence required to be admitted to protect the Constitutional rights of an accused.

That's wrong, and the JSC proposes to change the rule to eliminate the erroneous test. This is a long overdue change, and should be adopted.

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HST Sailor Earns Prestigious Zumwalt Award

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Surface Navy Association (SNA) Executive Committee selected Master Chief Electronics Technician (Nuclear) Victor Harris, assigned to USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), to receive the 2017 Admiral Zumwalt Award for Visionary Leadership. The award recognizes Sailors who demonstrated dynamic leadership, operational excellence and unselfish dedication to duty, visionary zeal and exemplary care for personnel under their direction. "Adm. [Elmo] Zumwalt was a guy that made a lot of change when necessary; we called him a lightning rod for change," said Cmdr. Todd Zenner, Truman's reactor officer. "That's what I call [Master Chief] Harris. He's the guy that will go out and fight for his Sailors when he needs to, and the guy who will tell them when they are wrong and hold them accountable. But he does it with complete and total passion and zeal." The SNA committee selects two active-duty Sailors each year, one E-3 to E-6 and one E-7 to O4, who best exemplify the ideals of Zumwalt - who was the youngest man to serve as the Chief of Naval Operations. "It's pretty humbling to win an award that you were nominated for by one of your subordinates," said Harris. "I feel like it was my Sailors that won the award, not me. I have an awesome group of Sailors in the reactor department who put in a lot of effort to get things done. They are the unsung heroes of the ship. They come in early and they stay late. . . On many levels it's my Sailors [who] won it, and it's just unfortunate it's not awarded to them, vice me." As the reactor department leading chief petty officer, Harris leads nearly 440 Sailors in the safe and effective operation of Truman's two nuclear reactors and the associated propulsion plants. "He is very hands-on with things," said Electricians Mate 1st Class Jason Craig. "He doesn't solely focus on the big picture, but people on an individual level. What really makes him a great master chief is the fact that he works harder than anyone else and does what he thinks is best for everyone." Truman is currently underway conducting Carrier Qualifications in preparation for future operations. For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit

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Okinawa boy injured after window falls off Marine chopper

A boy was injured in Okinawa, Japan, Wednesday after a metal window frame plummeted from a U.S. military helicopter known as a Super Stallion, local officials said — the second such incident in the past week on the southern island.

Officials from the city of Ginowan said the window fell from a CH-53 transport helicopter and landed on a school playground, leaving a boy with minor arm injuries.

About 50 children were outside the school, which is next to the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, at the time.

The Marines said the window was an emergency exit on the aircraft.

It's the second time in a week an object has fallen on a school. Last week, a part of another U.S. military helicopter fell on a nearby kindergarten roof, but nobody was hurt.

Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga, holds a picture of a metal window frame fallen from U.S. military aircraft CH-53 outside an elementary school in Ginowan, Okinawa Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Japanese officials say a boy was injured in Okinawa when the metal window frame fell from a U.S. military helicopter, escalating anti-American sentiments on the southern island. (Kazuki Sawada/Kyodo News via AP)

Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga holding a picture of the fallen metal window frame.  (Kazuki Sawada/Kyodo News via AP)

A Marine Corps CH-53 helicopter made an emergency landing on a farm and burned in October. Another helicopter belonging to the Futenma base crashed into a nearby university in 2004, injuring three U.S. crewmembers.

In a statement to Fox News, the Marine Corps said the Wednesday incident was regrettable and apologized for any anxiety the accident caused.

"At 10:09 a.m. today, a CH-53E window fell onto the sports field of Daini Futenma Elementary School outside of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The aircraft immediately returned to MCAS Futenma and reported the incident. We take this report extremely seriously and are investigating the cause of this incident in close coordination with local authorities," III Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement to Fox News. "Updates will be provided as information is made available. For safety purposes and to preserve the site for an investigation, we ask the community remain clear from the object's landing site. This is a regrettable incident and we apologize for any anxiety it has caused the community."

The CH-53 is the largest helicopter in the U.S. military, but the Marine Corps has very few working.

The head of Marine Corps aviation, Lt. Gen. Steven R. Rudder, told Congress last month he is roughly 60 helicopters short. Of those in the inventory, only 37 percent can fly.

This Oct. 2017 photo shows U.S. Forces' CH53E helicopter in Ginowan, Okinawa. A metal window frame has fallen from a U.S. military aircraft in flight and landed on a school playground on Okinawa, leaving a boy with minor injury from small gravels stirred up from the ground and escalating anti-American base sentiment on the southern island. (Ryosuke Uematsu/Kyodo News via AP)

This Oct. 2017 photo shows U.S. Forces' CH53E helicopter in Ginowan, Okinawa.  (Ryosuke Uematsu/Kyodo News via AP)

The shortage is causing the Marine Corps to fly the fewest hours each month in decades. The Army and Navy also have voiced similar concern over the shortage of available aircraft causing harm to the training of its pilots.

Many Japanese have protested the presence of Marines on Okinawa.

The base in a crowded residential area in central Okinawa is a source of anti-U.S. military sentiment and safety concerns. Its planned relocation, pushed by the Japanese and U.S. governments, has been delayed for more than 20 years because many residents want it entirely off of Okinawa.

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Scott Air Force Base official under sexual misconduct probe

Scott Air Force Base officials say a commander who was ousted from his job this week is being investigated for sexual misconduct.

A news release from the Illinois base says details about the investigation of Colonel John Howard won't be released while it's happening "to ensure the integrity of the process." The Air Force Office of Special Investigations will head the investigation.

Howard was relieved of command Monday by a general who said he'd lost faith in his leadership. The next day, officials announced his transfer the United States Transportation Command.

But 18th Air Force spokesman Capt. Ryan DeCamp told The (Belleville) News-Democrat Wednesday that the transfer was rescinded and Howard's status hasn't yet been determined.

Howard declined comment to the newspaper. Scott is about 25 miles east (40 kilometers) of St. Louis.


Information from: Belleville News-Democrat,

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Rex Tillerson’s offer of talks hinges on support from North Korea and Trump

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's surprising diplomatic offer of unconditional talks with North Korea hinges on two big X factors: Does the North even want talks, and is President Donald Trump fully behind his top diplomat?

North Korea has yet to respond, and the White House distanced itself from Tillerson's overture, which came two weeks after North Korea tested a missile that could potentially carry a nuclear warhead to the U.S. Eastern Seaboard — a capability the North has strove for decades to master. Trump has vowed to stop it from reaching its goal, using military force if necessary.

His administration has pursued a policy of "maximum pressure and engagement" — with the overwhelming emphasis on pressuring Kim Jong Un's authoritarian government through economic restrictions and diplomatic isolation to compel it to negotiate away its nukes. Tillerson, who will address a U.N. Security Council meeting on North Korea on Friday, has carried the torch for engagement, and as fears of confrontation have risen, has progressively eased the threshold under which he says the U.S. could hold direct discussions with the reclusive nation.

In March, he said North Korea first had to give up its nuclear weapons. A month later he demanded "concrete steps" reducing its threat. Tillerson said this summer talks could happen after the North stopped missile tests. And on Tuesday, for the first time, he explicitly dropped the condition that North Korea at least agree that the goal of any conversations be the elimination of its nuclear arsenal.

"We are ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk. And we are ready to have the first meeting without preconditions," Tillerson said at the Atlantic Council think tank, adding that the North would need to pause its weapons testing. It has conducted more than 20 ballistic missile launches and one nuclear test explosion this year.

He called it "unrealistic" to expect it to enter talks ready to relinquish a WMD program it invested so much in developing, although that remained the ultimate goal.

"Let's just meet and we can talk about the weather if you want to. We can talk about whether it's a square table or a round table if that's what you are excited about," Tillerson said. "But can we at least sit down and see each other face to face and then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map, of what we might be willing to work towards?"

China, which has urged dialogue, and U.S. ally South Korea, which fears disruption to the Winter Olympics it hosts in February, both welcomed Tillerson's proposal.

The White House sounded less supportive, although Tillerson said Tuesday Trump endorses his position. Two hours after Tillerson's speech, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "The president's views on North Korea have not changed. North Korea is acting in an unsafe way not only toward Japan, China and South Korea, but the entire world."

There's ample precedent for a public disconnect between Tillerson and Trump on vital issues of foreign policy. In October, Trump appeared to undercut Tillerson by saying the top diplomat was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea. Trump's tweet followed Tillerson's talk about Washington maintaining back-channel communications with Pyongyang.

And doubts about Trump's broader confidence in Tillerson have persisted since White House officials revealed a plan last month to replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Without White House support, Tillerson's call for unconditional talks would fall flat, said Mark Fitzpatrick at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. "A skeptic might say that at least he wants to show the U.S. is trying diplomacy, so as to make any future military action more justifiable," Fitzpatrick said.

Patrick Cronin, an Asia expert at the Center for a New American Security think tank, said the Trump administration "has played hardball in trying to convert pressure into diplomatic opportunity." But so far, North Korea hasn't been willing to engage. He said it's unclear if the North will want to negotiate as it nears deployment of a nuclear missile that could strike America.

Last week, U.N. political chief Jeffrey Feltman made a rare visit to North Korea and met the foreign minister — a member of the powerful Politburo. Feltman, a former U.S. diplomat, said senior North Korean officials told him "it was important to prevent war." He said he urged them to "start talking about talks," a commitment he didn't get.

After a closed briefing by Feltman on Tuesday, Sweden's deputy U.N. ambassador, Carl Skau, was supportive but skeptical about chances for an opening. "There's nothing that was said that left us less worried than we were before," Skau said.

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DNA test kits: Consider the privacy implications

Companies are advertising at-home DNA test kits that promise intriguing insights into your past (“Where did my forebears come from?”) – and your future (“Do I have the genetic markers for certain medical conditions?”). If you’re thinking about buying a kit for yourself or a family member, the FTC has advice about protecting the privacy of the sensitive information that DNA tests reveal.

Although most tests require just a swab of the cheek, that tiny sample can disclose the biological building blocks of what makes you you. The data can be very enlightening personally, but a major concern for consumers should be who else could have access to information about your heritage and your health. If you’re thinking about buying an at-home DNA test kit, you owe it to yourself – and to family members who could be affected – to investigate the options thoroughly.

Comparison shop about privacy. A number of companies offer similar services, but price and performance are only two of the comparisons you should draw before making a purchase. The other key comparison is privacy. Scrutinize each company’s website for details about what they do with your personal data. Rather than just clicking “I accept,” take the time to understand how your health, genetic, and other sensitive information will be used and shared. Hold off on buying a kit until you have a clear picture of the company’s practices.

Choose your account options carefully. Most testing companies offer an array of options about how public – or how protected – users want to keep their personal information. Will your profile be available to others online? Can users send you personal messages? A company’s out-of-the-box defaults often aren’t the most private options, so it’s unwise simply to accept a site’s automatic settings. A more prudent approach to consider is to select more protective options initially and revisit your choices once you’ve become familiar with how the site operates.

Recognize the risks. Hacks happen. Before deciding to use a DNA test kit, reflect on your personal approach to the risk of unauthorized access that accompanies the use of any online service (or, for that matter, any brick-and-mortar business) that maintains sensitive information about you.

Report your concerns. If you think a genetic testing company isn’t living up to its promises, let the FTC know. We’ve brought dozens of cases challenging deceptive or unfair practices related to consumer privacy and data security – including a settlement with a business that sold products based on at-home genetic testing, but allegedly failed to provide reasonable security for consumers’ personal information.

Giving a test kit as a gift? Print this post for the recipient and share other consumer information from FTC about DNA test kits.

Tagged with: dataprivacy

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Medicare Part D – CMS’ Proposed Rule To Help Seniors Save Money | RetireSafe

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Engaging North Korea II: Evidence from the Clinton Administration

Washington, D.C., December 8, 2017 – The Clinton administration made plans for war against North Korea during the 1994 nuclear crisis.  While U.S. officials believed they could “undoubtedly win,” however, they also understood “war involves many casualties,” according to documents posted today by the George Washington University-based National Security Archive.

President Bill Clinton’s negotiators took a tough stance in meetings with North Korean leaders, including warning of “serious, negative consequences” if Pyongyang  continued to pursue its “unacceptable” missile program.  At the same time, the administration decided flexibility was critical given the unpredictability of events, including the prospect that a “starving North Korea” might create a “dangerously chaotic situation.”

Today’s posting features declassified cables, background papers, and reports of meetings involving former Defense Secretary William Perry, other senior Americans, and North and South Korean officials.  Together, the documents describe key moments and thinking during the course of the complex negotiations of the 1990s.  Perry and others had hopes the incoming Bush team would carry the effort forward (as Colin Powell indicated they would), but President Bush quickly informed President Kim he would be terminating all talks with the North.

Engaging North Korea II: The Clinton Administration's Experience

By Robert A. Wampler, Ph.D.

The current deepening crisis driven by North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs makes understanding prior efforts to resolve this long-standing security threat on the peninsula all the more urgent. An earlier National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book posted documents that dealt with efforts of the George H. W. Bush administration to engage Pyongyang in talks that could lead to a Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons. As that posting discussed, the early hopes engendered by this U.S. initiative were eventually dashed as suspicion grew that North Korea did not intend to abide by its commitments to open its nuclear facilities to international inspection.

The documents posted here take up the story as it unfolded during the second Clinton administration (1997-2000), which witnessed another period of promises unmet.  Among the important points made by these documents:

  1. William Perry, Clinton’s special envoy for North Korea and former secretary of defense told South Korean President Kim Dae Jung that during the 1994 nuclear crisis the U.S had planned for war.  “Of course, with the combined forces of the ROK and U.S., we can undoubtedly win the war,” Perry added. “But war involves many casualties in the process.” [Document 7]
  2. In Pyongyang in 1999, Perry told North Korean leaders their missile program, whose longer-range missiles could already reach U.S. territory and threatened South Korea and Japan, posed an “unacceptable” threat, and that if continued would bring “serious, negative consequences” for U.S.-DPRK relations. [Documents 9 and 10]
  3. Pyongyang’s economic situation raised worries in Washington that a “starving North Korea” could become unstable and create a “dangerously chaotic situation,” according to a 1997 State Department document. The U.S. approach to the Four-Party Talks therefore had to be “flexible enough to encompass a wide range of options,” from “a collapse of the North” to “meaningful reforms which would give the DPRK regime renewed vitality.” [Documents 1and 3]
  4. The State Department advised that the U.S. and its negotiating partners “be prepared for the long haul and keep expectations low” in talks with the North Koreans, whose style was described as “being obstreperous, applying pressure, and then relenting in the end.” [Documents 1 and 2]
  5. The U.S. warned Seoul that “If Pyongyang senses we will betray our commitments to them, they will look for a reason to betray their commitments to us.” This risked “fueling hard-line arguments in Pyongyang that the DPRK was deceived by the U.S., and that the nuclear program should be restarted.” [Documents 2 and 5]
  6. A number of documents address the need to engage China fully in the Four Party Talks and other discussions, given Beijing’s presumed influence with North Korea and China’s national interest in resolving the security dilemmas on the Korean peninsula. [Documents 5, 9, and 13]
  7. Kim Jong Il’s relatively positive debut on the world stage in the summer of 1999 persuaded many South Koreans, at least temporarily, that he might not be “the dissipated, degenerate ‘playboy madman’” depicted “deliciously and maliciously” for many years by South Korean media.  Conservatives, however, continued to see Kim as “the devil incarnate,” according to a State Department cable. [Document 16]

These and other points made by the documents need to be viewed in light of current events. North Korea continues to be a crucial security concern for the U.S., with recent developments underscoring the stakes. North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on November 28th that experts say demonstrated the range to reach Washington, D.C. and other parts of the U.S. eastern seaboard (though many expressed doubt the missile would have this range carrying a nuclear warhead). Following the launch, North Korean officials told CNN that Pyongyang was not interested in diplomacy until after it had “fully demonstrated its nuclear deterrent.” With President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un trading personal attacks, and reports that Trump plans to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whose effort to engage North Korea in talks was torpedoed by a tweet from President Trump, there seems to be little chance diplomacy can resolve this deepening crisis on the Korean peninsula.[1]Instead, the U.S. has sought new sanctions against North Korea, warned China to cut off oil exports to North Korea or the U.S. will take matters into its own hands, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned at an emergency UN National Security Council meeting that while the U.S. did not desire war, “if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed." [2]

These documents show how the Clinton administration, like the earlier Bush White House, harbored no unrealistic hopes about a quick and easy resolution of the Korean security challenge.  The vital stakes were clearly recognized, with the U.S. underscoring for North Korea that its nuclear and missile programs presented an “unacceptable threat,” and that the U.S. goal was a mechanism that would provide the U.S. and its allies “complete and verifiable assurances that North Korea had no nuclear weapons program.”

The range of outcomes for the Four Party talks that began in December 1997 ranged from the collapse of North Korea due to economic failures to the possible, though unlikely, adoption of reforms that would give the DPRK new vitality. The U.S. held modest expectations for the talks, knowing they would be “tedious and subject to constant tensions,” exhibiting the usual North Korean modus operandi: “being obstreperous, applying pressure, and then relenting in the end.”  There was also appreciation of the risk that, if North Korea felt the U.S. and its allies were failing to carry out their commitments to Pyongyang under the 1994 Framework Agreement, they may seize on this as an excuse to resume their nuclear weapons program. Throughout, the U.S. gave high priority to consultations and coordination with South Korea and Japan, and to engaging China to bring its influence to bear on North Korea.  

Finally, though U.S. policy included sanctions as both carrot and stick, there is little discussion of military options. Possibly this is the result of the Clinton administration’s examination of such options against North Korea during the 1994 nuclear crisis.  As former Secretary of Defense William Perry told Kim Dae Jung, while its war planning showed that the U.S. and South Korea would prevail in a war, there would be many casualties.

A brief sketch of the historical backdrop to the documents posted today can provide the necessary context.[3] The mounting concerns at the end of the Bush administration about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program reached a head during the first Clinton administration, leading to the 1994 crisis during which the U.S. gave serious consideration to military action to take out Pyongyang’s nuclear facilities, only to reach agreement with North Korea on the 1994 Framework Agreement. Under this agreement, North Korea agreed to halt its nuclear weapons program and open its nuclear facilities to inspection, while the U.S. and other nations agreed to supply North Korea with heavy fuel oil to meet near-term needs, and international financing would be provided, under the aegis of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), for construction of light-water reactors.[4]

Seeking to build on this progress, President Clinton and South Korean president Kim Young Sam at their meeting in April 1996 proposed Four Power talks (the U.S., South Korea, North Korea and China) to negotiate a peace treaty to replace the armistice that ended the Korean War.[5] These talks would be complemented by bilateral discussions between the U.S. and North Korea on nuclear weapons and missiles, and by the ongoing North-South dialogue that sought to make progress on issues such as economic cooperation and reuniting families divided by the Korean War. A key concern of the U.S. and South Korea was that their North Korea policies should be coordinated so that these inter-related negotiations could have a synergistic effect, with success in one venue serving to build momentum and confidence in the others.   

  Movement on all these fronts was hindered by several factors. Following the death of North Korean leader Kim Il Sung in July 1994, it took time for his son and successor, Kim Jong Il, to consolidate his control of the regime. North Korean provocations such as the infiltration of commandos into South Korea via submarine (they were either killed or captured) in September 1996, and the seizure of a DPRK submarine in South Korean waters in June 1998, tested South Korean resolve to engage with Pyongyang. Bilateral U.S.-DPRK talks aimed at stopping the latter’s missile program, which saw five rounds between 1996 and 2000, made little headway. North Korea continued to develop and deploy long-range missiles capable of striking South Korea and Japan, and furthermore engaged in the sale of Scud missiles to Iran and Syria, actions which brought new U.S. sanctions against the DPRK. It was not until late 1997 that China agreed to take part in the Four Party Talks.

Other obstacles arose along the way.  Direct talks between the two Koreas, prompted in part by North Korea’s need for chemical fertilizers from South Korea to address its food shortages, collapsed quickly when North Korea rejected Seoul’s desire to use the talks to arrange for the reunion of families divided by the partition of the country. Intelligence reports in 1998 indicated that North Korea might have built an underground complex to secretly resume its nuclear weapons program. Finally, the economic crisis that hit Asia in 1997 put in doubt South Korea’s ability to meet its commitments to provide financing for the construction of light-water reactors in North Korea, a critical component of the 1994 Framework Agreement.

Engagement with North Korea received a new impetus in 1998. First, newly-elected South Korean president Kim Dae Jung, a political reformer and former political prisoner, looked to reengage with North Korea through his “Sunshine Policy,” as part of which he called on the U.S. and other countries to ease sanctions against North Korea and show greater flexibility in pursuing political and economic engagement with the regime. In the U.S., President Clinton named former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry to serve as North Korea policy coordinator in November 1998 (a position established by Congress) and to prepare a study setting forth recommendations for U.S. policy toward the DPRK.[6] As Perry carried out his review, one obstacle to progress was removed when North Korea agreed in late 1998 to U.S. inspection of the suspected nuclear site at Kumghang-ri; these inspections in 1999 discovered no covert nuclear facility. Then Perry, following consultations with South Korea and Japan (who joined with the U.S. in creating the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group, or TCOG, to coordinate their policies regarding North Korea, went to Pyongyang in May 1999 to present his ideas on improving U.S.-DPRK relations to high level North Korean officials. As Perry told the North Koreans and elaborated in his report, submitted to President Clinton in September 1999, the U.S. was prepared to accelerate diplomatic and economic relations with North Korea in exchange for DPRK steps to curb its nuclear weapons and missile programs, but also stood ready to adopt more coercive measures, i.e., sanctions, if North Korea proved unwilling to take the steps required to assure the U.S. and its allies.

President Clinton moved quickly to act on Perry’s recommendation, ordering a broad easing of economic sanctions against the DPRK as a first step in a long-term plan to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile programs. Then, in March 2000, Kim Dae Jung gave a speech in Berlin in which he called for bilateral official talks between the two Koreas.  This led to the historic summit meeting between Kim Dae Jung and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang in June 2000.  The summit raised new hopes for reconciliation on the peninsula, as cordial and productive meetings resulted in a joint declaration in which the two leaders agreed to work together to resolve reunification issues, address humanitarian issues such as exchange visits by divided families, and cooperation on economic initiatives. This in turn led to the further easing of sanctions by the U.S. The U.S. also moved to reenergize bilateral talks. In July 2000, Secretary of State Albright met with North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun in Bangkok for talks that were more symbolic and substantive. This was followed by U.S.-DPRK talks in Washington, D.C. in September on nuclear issues, missiles and terrorism, which led to Pyongyang sending Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok to Washington as a special envoy to meet with Clinton and Albright. These meetings in turn laid the basis for Secretary Albright’s visit to Pyongyang in October, where she met with Kim Jong Ill and discussed U.S. proposals to curb North Korea’s missile program, in return for which the U.S. would provide financial assistance and arrange a visit by Clinton to North Korea.[7]

 In late December, President Clinton announced he would not be able to visit North Korea, a decision probably made in light of perceived opposition from the incoming George W. Bush administration. Still, there was hope that the outgoing administration would hand off North Korean relations in much better shape than when Clinton entered office. Perry recalled that he briefed incoming Secretary of State Colin Powell on the Clinton administration’s negotiations with North Korea, and Powell told Perry that he planned to follow up on these talks and work to bring them to a successful end. Powell also gave similar reassurance to Kim Dae Jung when he visited Washington soon after President Bush’s inauguration. However, when Kim met with Bush that same day, the president told him that he was ending all talks with North Korea, a step that Perry deeply regretted.[8] 

So, once again, a period of cautious hope in U.S.-Korean affairs would fail to live up to its promise.  It would be several years before the U.S. sought to reengage with North Korea, time which the communist regime used to press ahead with its nuclear and missile programs. The reasons for North Korea’s decision to break its commitments are still subject to debate, and this history colors all current efforts to address the regime’s security threat to the peninsula and the region.



Document 01
Memorandum, The Four Party Talks on Korea: Background Paper, ca. July 1997 (Secret)
Though highly redacted, this background paper provides a detailed overview of the course of efforts, dating back to the Bush I administration, to engage North Korea in productive talks geared towards reducing Pyongyang's military threat and establishing a new political settlement on the Korean peninsula, including the subject of the paper, the Four Power Talks on Korea. As the paper recounts, and the documents posted in an earlier National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book illustrated, the Bush I administration saw a flurry of actions that created hope for a resolution of tensions on the peninsula. These included the North-South talks leading to the Agreement on Reconciliation, Nonaggression and Exchanges and Cooperation between the South and the North, and the Joint Declaration for a Non-Nuclear Korean Peninsula. The latter sought to build on President Bush's September 27, 1991, decision to withdraw tactical nuclear weapons from the field. Both developments occurred in December 1991 and took effect in early 1992.

But the promise of these agreements was not met, and by the end of 1992 "the process had run its course" amid growing recriminations. The DPRK's nuclear weapons program had led to a crisis in 1993-1994 which raised the specter of war on the peninsula. That crisis was resolved by the 1994 Framework Agreement between the U.S. and North Korea to halt the latter's nuclear program in exchange for shipments of heavy fuel oil and construction of light water reactors to provide power. North-South relations grew more strained after Kim Il Sung died in 1994, with North Korea intent on keeping Seoul out of the nuclear Framework Agreement and continuing to focus on developing bilateral relations with Washington, both of which unnerved Seoul. Still, Pyongyang also continued to reference the 1992 accords as the basis for renewed engagement with South Korea as part of a wider peace settlement. Against this background, in April 1996 Presidents Clinton and Kim Dae Jung proposed Four Party talks between the U.S., South and North Korea, and China. This led to preliminary discussions in the first half of 1997, which laid the basis for a preparatory meeting involving all four sides in New York in August 1997.

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