Mark Collins – China: Top Dragon Now “Core” Leader

Further to these posts,

Xi is Top Dragon to the “Core”

China: Top Dragon Really Unfolding His Ascendant Wings

the Chicom party leader and country’s president sure is feeling his wontons–a tweet:

Engage on, Canada, with this ever more one man leadership corps.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – NATO: “Albania, Italy, Poland and Slovenia will contribute to the Canadian-led battalion in Latvia”

Further to this September post,

455 Canadian Troops to Latvia with NATO Spring 2017–Italians Too?

the Italians are indeed in along with others–company-sized contingents from Canada and the rest plus a Canadian HQ? NATO’s Secretary General makes the announcement:

I am proud to announce that many other Allies confirmed contributions to these forces today [Oct. 26].

Albania, Italy, Poland and Slovenia will contribute to the Canadian-led battalion in Latvia [coherence, effectiveness?].

Belgium, Croatia, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Norway will join the German-led battalion in Lithuania [coherence, effectiveness?].

Denmark and France will contribute to the UK-led battalion in Estonia [looks militarily sound–large British contingent with tanks].

And Romania and the United Kingdom will join the US-led battalion in Poland [pretty decent].

Our forces will be truly multinational. Sending an unmistakable message: NATO stands as one. An attack on any Ally will be considered an attack on us all.

In Warsaw, we said that we expected to deploy the four battalions in early 2017.

I am pleased to confirm that we are on track…

But how militarily effective might such motley crews be? Interesting that most northern and southern look best. And a tweet:

Good luck, tripwires.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – Canada Now Has a “National Fisheries Intelligence Service”

With a staff of 70. From Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s “Report on Plans and Priorities 2015-16“–one wonders how much access to high-grade intelligence the new organization will have:


The National Fisheries Intelligence Service collects and analyzes all-source information and produces intelligence reports to facilitate knowledgeable and informed decision making. This program provides advice about aspects of operations to decision makers. As the Compliance and Enforcement program evolves to an intelligence-led organization, accurate intelligence gathering and an ability to establish priorities and action plans will control, reduce and mitigate threats and risks. Establishing an intelligence model as a core business practice within the Compliance and Enforcement Program [webpage here] will shift its resources from crisis response to strategically focussing on areas of greatest risk and ensure maximum program effectiveness [more here].

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

Planned Spending
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
1,997,909 1,997,909 1,997,909

Human Resources (full-time equivalents)

2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
70.1 70.1 70.1

Performance Measurement

Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Date to be Achieved
Progress in implementing a National Fisheries Intelligence Service that provides intelligence to decision makers in support of compliance and enforcement priority setting.  The threat-risk assessments provided by National Fisheries Intelligence Service allow Conservation and Protection Branch to strengthen our contribution to maritime security and aid in detecting and combatting of organized crime, fraud and collusion in the fishery (domestic and international) and other forms of non-compliance Percentage of Intelligence-driven threat-risk assessments disseminated to enforcement operations for strategic or tactical tasking and coordination Target to be established using 2015-16 data March 2018

Here is a “Privacy Impact Assessment on the National Fisheries Intelligence Service (NFIS)”. One trusts this new DFO unit will come under the purview of the new parliamentary committee that the government is establishing to review security and intelligence activities (assuming its members are aware of the NFIS).

Remember that the Canadian Coast Guard (under the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, scroll down a bit here) provides the vessels, e.g. see last para here, that carry Fishery Officers conducting enforcement operations. Those officers can “Carry and use firearms and other restricted and prohibited weapons “.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – ‘The U.S. did not “invade” Afghanistan’

A letter sent to the NY Times and not published:

Paul Theroux [website here] writes (“Pardon the American Taliban“, Oct. 23) that “after Sept. 11, the United States invaded Afghanistan on a punitive mission.” That is repeating a myth unfortunately but firmly fixed in most people’s minds.

After Sept. 11 the Afghan Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban did receive American air support and assistance from special forces, both U.S. and British; that, however, is no invasion as the term is commonly understood (e.g. the Soviet attack on Hungary in 1956).

It was not until after the fall of Kabul to troops of the Northern Alliance in mid-November 2001, and the subsequent collapse of the Taliban regime, that there was any continuing regular U.S. combat presence in Afghanistan. That began with a force of over 1,000 Marines which arrived near Kandahar in late November with the agreement of the Northern Alliance (which was still the UN-recognized government of the country).

In fact the support given in October and November 2001 to the Northern Alliance is a very close analogy to NATO’s support of the anti-Gaddafi forces in Libya with air power. Yet no one refers to an invasion of Libya–while the myth of the invasion of Afghanistan lives on.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – “Ross Munro Media Award – Call for Nominations”

At the Conference of Defence Associations Institute:

The Conference of Defence Associations and CDA Institute 2016 Ross Munro Media Award
Call for Nominations

The Conference of Defence Associations (CDA) and the CDA Institute invite nominations for the 2016 Ross Munro Media Award (RMMA).

Initiated in 2002 to recognize Canadian journalists who have made a significant and extraordinary contribution to increasing public understanding of security and defence issues of importance to Canada and Canadians, the RMMA commemorates Ross Munro, the celebrated Canadian war correspondent who reported on the Second World War in Europe.

Recipients of the award will have produced outstanding work regarding security and defence and the role of the Canadian Armed Forces at home and abroad. The award consists of a statuette in the likeness of Ross Munro and $2,000. Previous recipients of the award are Stephen Thorne, Garth Pritchard, Sharon Hobson, Bruce Campion-Smith, Christie Blatchford, Matthew Fisher, Alec Castonguay, Brian Stewart, Murray Brewster, Rosie Di Manno, Adam Day, Louie Palu, and Chris MacLean.

The nominees’ body of work must be considered as having had an important role in educating Canadians on matters of national and/or international security and defence and on the role of the Canadian Armed Forces. The work will have been widely acclaimed as significant, be distinguished by its style and clarity, show clear evidence of research, and be considered noteworthy for its objective analysis. The entries may be selected from print and electronic media. Work produced collaboratively may be considered only if the individual who contributed the most to it is identified and merits individual credit and recognition for the work.

Past winners of the Ross Munro Media Award may be nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award, separate from the regular annual award. The nomination process is the same; however, the work and materials cited in the nomination must date from the time period following the previous award.

Only individuals may submit nominations, and can do so in either of Canada’s official languages. All nominations must consist of a clear summary of the reasons for the nomination, at least two letters of support, and examples of the nominee’s work. Electronic submissions are preferred.

Nominations must be received by 12 December 2016, and addressed to:

Ross Munro Media Award Selection Committee
Conference of Defence Associations and CDA Institute
151 Slater Street, Suite 412A
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5H3, Canada


The Award will be presented on 16 February 2017, the first day of the CDA and CDA Institute Ottawa Conference on Security and Defence. Registration for this Conference will be up on the CDA Institute website shortly. One can also register by emailing Robert Legere at

Please direct any questions regarding the Ross Munro Media Award to Cybèle Wilson at

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – China: Top Dragon Really Unfolding His Ascendant Wings

Further to these posts,

Top Dragon is now C-in-C

Top Dragon Now More Powerful than Mao?

President Xi continues his relentless consolidation of power (is our prime minister paying any attention?): two stories:

1) NY Times:

China’s Antigraft Enforcers Take On a New Role: Policing Loyalty

President Xi Jinping of China at the Great Hall of the People in September. The Communist Party’s anticorruption commission has assumed a growing role as political inquisitor, investigating the commitment of cadres to Mr. Xi and his agenda. Credit Jason Lee/Reuters

The investigators descend on government agencies and corporate boardrooms. They interrogate powerful officials and frequently rebuke them for lacking zeal. Most of all, they demand unflinching loyalty to President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party.

They are the inspectors from the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, and the humbling displays they have orchestrated recently in many of China’s most influential government agencies and largest corporations are the most prominent sign of their expanding authority…

2) Washington Post:

China’s plan to organize its society relies on ‘big data’ to rate everyone

BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet |This is part of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.

Imagine a world where an authoritarian government monitors everything you do, amasses huge amounts of data on almost every interaction you make, and awards you a single score that measures how “trustworthy” you are.

In this world, anything from defaulting on a loan to criticizing the ruling party, from running a red light to failing to care for your parents properly, could cause you to lose points.

And in this world, your score becomes the ultimate truth of who you are — determining whether you can borrow money, get your children into the best schools or travel abroad; whether you get a room in a fancy hotel, a seat in a top restaurant — or even just get a date.

This is not the dystopian superstate of Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report,” in which all-knowing police stop crime before it happens. But it could be China by 2020…

Sweet authoritarian–totalitarian?–dreams. On the other hand:

Xi’s China: Grumbling (and Rumbling?) in the PLA

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – Boden wenn nicht Blut: Horrible Heidegger, Nazism and Now

Martin Heidegger (more here) truly was a nasty piece of work–with nasty foretastes for today? At the London Review of Books:

Great Again
Malcolm Bull

Ponderings II-VI: Black Notebooks, 1931-38 by Martin Heidegger, translated by Richard Rojcewicz
Indiana, 388 pp, £50.00, June, ISBN 978 0 253 02067 3 [see here]

…the truly shocking question posed by the Black Notebooks is not: was Heidegger a Nazi? Or: was Heidegger an anti-Semite? But: would Germany’s greatest 20th-century philosopher have endorsed Donald Trump?

The first two questions have, after all, already been answered satisfactorily. Heidegger joined the Nazi Party in 1933, at a time when few other German philosophers had done so, and as rector of the University of Freiburg in 1933-34 actively sought to align the institution with the goals of the new National Socialist government. His initial enthusiasm waned, but he remained a party member until 1945 and after the Second World War was judged to be a Nazi sympathiser and banned from teaching. Although he was partially rehabilitated in 1951, subsequent scholarship has uncovered nothing that puts the basic facts in a more favourable light, and has served chiefly to highlight the evasiveness of Heidegger and his apologists.

As for anti-Semitism, in 1933 Heidegger wrote to Hannah Arendt that he was ‘as much an anti-Semite today as … ten years ago’; nothing personal of course, but given that, as he told Karl Jaspers, there really was ‘a dangerous international band of Jews’, it was obviously necessary to protect the integrity of German universities. Already worried about ‘Jewification’, he implemented Nazi racial policies in the university, and never expressed any concern about the treatment of the country’s Jewish population. After 1945, he barely referred to the Holocaust at all, save to note that the mechanisation of its production methods set a poor example for postwar German agriculture…

By the end of February 1934, Hitler has been chancellor for a year, and Heidegger is beginning to take stock. There is no self-doubt here: ‘For years I have known myself to be on the right path.’ But there is a nagging sense that the Nazis may not have fully appreciated the importance of his thinking…Nazism can be the vehicle of the coming transformation, but only if it accepts that it ‘can never be the principle of a philosophy but must always be placed under philosophy as the principle’. National Socialism is not a philosophy, it is ‘a barbaric principle. That is its essential character and its possible greatness.’..

…Heidegger sees in Nazism the potential to guide Germany ‘to its greatness’, towards the final goal of ‘the historical greatness of the people in the effectuation and configuration of the powers of being’. How can a barbaric principle like Nazism achieve this? Not directly, but the ultimate goal can only be approached by a series of stages. The greatness of the people assumes ‘the coming to themselves of the people … through the state’ [Holy Hegel!]…

Heidegger maintained that Oswald Spengler’s thesis The Decline of the West [see here], was mistaken not because there was any ground for optimism about the future of the West, but because true decline or ‘downgoing’ is the precondition of the other beginning, the experience of the abandonment of being, and the West as a whole lacks the strength for it [my unterganging posts here]. For the Germans, however, it is a possibility: ‘This people, as a historical people, must transpose itself … into the originary realm of the powers of Being,’ because the acceptance of ‘the distant injunction of the beginning awaits them alone.’ The greatness of the other beginning can only be realised by ‘a seizing of, and persevering in, the innermost and outermost mission of what is German’.

Seizing Germanness means becoming indigenous, becoming ‘the one who derives from native soil, is nourished by it, stands on it’…This may sound like the Nazi idyll of blood and soil, but for Heidegger race is a necessary but not a sufficient condition: the Germans may have a historical essence, but they may still ‘abandon it – organise it away’. He is therefore at pains to distance himself from those who preach race and indigenousness, while being themselves conspicuously ill-bred and deracinated. Indigenousness is something that has to be nurtured ‘from its own resources in poetry and thinking’.

Scientific racism proved to be the issue that forced Heidegger to distance himself from the Nazis – not because it was racist, but because it was scientific…he realised that he had misjudged ‘the type and magnitude of the greatness that belonged to it’. Nazism actually represented the culmination of modernity rather than a move beyond it. The technologism of modernity (scientific racism was only one manifestation) which he sometimes referred to as ‘machination’ or ‘gigantism’, was not the way to greatness but rather ‘the genuine antigod of what is great’.

Nazism, with its rigid scientific racism and unbridled appetite for technological development, may have proved a disappointment to Heidegger, but the more modest, ostensibly post-racial nationalisms of the early 21st century would have seemed to him far more promising…

There follows an analysis of Trumpism and globalization and its discontents, then at the end of the article:

…What makes the current moment unique is that the ontological decline of the West has fallen into step with the decline in income differentials, and attachment to place isn’t just a matter of becoming indigenous and making yourself at home in the world, but of stubborn attachment to a particular position in the global economic order. For anyone living in the West who is not in the highest 1 per cent of global income, there is an economic incentive to think in Heideggerian terms; to stand firm on native soil and claim citizenship rent.

When Heidegger realised that the Nazis were going to be less receptive to ‘spiritual National Socialism’ than he had hoped, he gradually retreated from the political fray. But he nevertheless vowed to ‘remain in the invisible front of the secret spiritual Germany’, one of ‘the future ones’ who would stand ‘simply, silently, relentlessly and deeply rooted’, preparing the transition to the other beginning. The future he anticipated is now…

What is to be done? Earlier at the New Yorker:

Is Heidegger Contaminated by Nazism?
By Joshua Rothman, April 28, 2014

…It’s impossible to disavow Heidegger’s thinking: it is too useful, and too influential, to be marginalized. (A few weeks ago, when I pulled “The Essence of Truth” down from my bookshelves, I found it as compelling as I had a decade ago.) But it’s also impossible to set aside Heidegger’s sins—and they cannot help but reduce the ardency with which his readers relate to him. Philosophers like to play it cool, but the truth is that intellectual life depends on passion. You don’t spend years working your way through “Being and Time” because you’re idly interested. You do it because you think that, by reading it, you might learn something precious and indispensable. The black notebooks, however seriously you take them, are a betrayal of that ardency. They make it harder to care about—and, therefore, to really know—Heidegger’s ideas. Even if his philosophy isn’t contaminated by Nazism, our relationship with him is…

Shame we have no magazines in Canada like those.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – RCMP’s Anti-Terrorism Fight Giving Mob Increasingly Free Pass

Further to this 2015 post before the federal election,

Policing Terrorism in Canada: Feds Don’t Match Mouth With Money

the Liberal government is now not stepping up to its job properly to fund core federal responsibilities:

Terrorism investigations tax RCMP’s ability to fight Canada’s organized crime
Colin Freeze [very good Globe and Mail reporter]

The number of RCMP wiretaps on organized-crime groups is plummeting sharply as the force shifts its detectives to the fight against terrorism, according to statistics analyzed by The Globe and Mail.

In its federal policing role, the RCMP essentially has two major business lines – chasing mobsters and chasing terrorists. The priority the Mounties give to each of the two files has always been an issue, but the balance clearly shifted after the attack on Parliament Hill two years ago.

The RCMP has moved hundreds of officers from organized-crime probes to terrorism investigations in a bid to track suspected sympathizers of the Islamic State. This may come at a cost to other important RCMP missions, such as stopping human trafficking, getting guns off the street and curbing trade in illicit drugs such as fentanyl.

– Related: Guilty pleas end risk of revealing RCMP surveillance technology

– Related: Surveillance device used in prison sets off police probe

– Related: RCMP fight to keep lid on high-tech investigation tool

A spokeswoman for the police force does not dispute that a significant shift has taken place.

“The decrease in RCMP wiretap applications for serious and organized-crime investigations in the past year can partially be attributed to the shifting of a number of federal-policing resources to national-security criminal investigations,” Corporal Annie Delisle said in an e-mailed response to Globe questions.

…the focus of police investigations is clearly shifting.

In 2011, police sought wiretaps in hopes of laying charges for 82 Criminal Code offences that explicitly had to do with organized-crime. Only six such charges were contemplated in 2015.

Half of all wiretap applications still involve drug cases, yet the number of drug charges being pursued has plummeted.

In 2011, federal police were seeking wiretap warrants involving only three terrorism charges. In 2014, police were hoping to lay 97 terrorism charges. In 2015, that number was 68.

The Public Safety Canada electronic surveillance report is preliminary and the 2015 numbers may increase because police do not have to disclose data about all their investigations right away [the report is here]. Not every wiretap warrant of leads to an arrest or criminal charge…

Follow Colin Freeze on Twitter: @colinfreeze

Must be a whole lot nicer to be an organized gangster these days in the Great White North.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – Der Untergang des Abendlandes, Putin and “transgender bathroom rights” Section

At the end of an opinion piece at the Wall St. Journal:

The Vladimir Putin Test
The strongman’s appeal reveals a lot about today’s liberal democracies…

Under President Obama, Angela Merkel, François Hollande and the like, the liberal vision really has been reduced to fighting for transgender bathroom rights as the world burns. For Mr. Obama, liberal order really does mean endless multilateralism and diplomatic procedure for their own sake. The European equivalent, pressed by the likes of Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Hollande, is the idea of “more Europe,” more European Union “norms” and bureaucracy, as the solution to every crisis.

Liberal leaders couldn’t afford to look so feeble for so long without making the liberal-democratic model look feeble—and the Putinist alternative decisive and strong [via  @FredLitwin]

Though I think the French are perhaps the least feeble, e.g. here and here. They still believe in raison d’etat, don’t you know. More unterganging.

Now consider the WEIRD perspective.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds