- The Washington Times - Friday, January 7, 2000

Friend of China

We reported in this space several weeks ago how the White House National Security Council staff secretly placed a pro-Beijing operative inside the Pentagon.

The appointment of David Shambaugh as a Pentagon consultant was a rear-guard covert political action aimed at eventually replacing Kurt Campbell, the deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia. Mr. Campbell had planned to return to the private sector this month.

After our item appeared, however, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen stepped in and urged Mr. Campbell to stay on as his top China policy-maker. Mr. Shambaugh's consultancy was restricted.

White House spokesmen and Mr. Shambaugh were quick to deny there was ever any plot to wrest control of Pentagon policy-making, or that Mr. Shambaugh and the NSC's China-meister, Kenneth Lieberthal, are pro-Beijing.

Mr. Lieberthal's tilt toward China was revealed in an article he wrote several years ago for the New York Times that called for the lifting all U.S. sanctions against China that were imposed after the brutal 1989 military crackdown on democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Now word of Mr. Shambaugh's pro-Beijing credentials is confirmed from an unlikely source. The official Chinese military newspaper, the Liberation Army Daily, reported Nov. 11 that Mr. Shambaugh, an academic who holds a secret-level security clearance, was a tremendous helper for a visiting Chinese colonel who spent several months in Washington.

The Chinese colonel, Chen Bojiang, credited Mr. Shambaugh with giving him the names and contact information for a group of U.S. specialists on China's military, including Army Col. John Corbitt, currently Mr. Cohen's desk officer in charge of contacts with the People's Liberation Army.

"Professor David Shambaugh not only gave me a detailed briefing on the backgrounds and fields of study of each of the experts, but also strongly recommended that I interview each one," Col. Chen wrote in the newspaper article. "He finally told me that he was very familiar with them all, and that he would write to each of them introducing me, asking them to let me interview them."

The Chinese article outraged several Pentagon officials, including one who said Mr. Shambaugh's actions came close to assisting Chinese intelligence gathering, since that is exactly how Chinese spies "vacuum clean" U.S. experts for intelligence and information.

Mr. Shambaugh did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Bad command

A new Air Force report describes the results of an investigation into how a $45 million unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed in the California desert.

The new Global Hawk reconnaissance drone was being flight tested over the China Lake Naval Weapons Center. The drones are the military's latest high-technology reconnaissance aircraft that are piloted from the ground electronically. Many traditionalist Navy and Air Force aviators view them with disdain as a bad sign for the future of aviation.

The Global Hawk flight March 29 was a practice mission of the drone's formidable aerial picture-taking capabilities.

Across the state line at nearby Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., military technicians were testing out their control transmitters for Global Hawk. One of them pressed the "termination" command … and whoops, the signal was picked up by the China Lake Hawk.

"This caused Global Hawk to go into a termination maneuver involving a pre-programmed, rolling, vertical descent from an altitude of 41,000 feet," the Air Force said in a statement. "When it crashed there was no fire, and China Lake personnel secured the site."

The UAV also erased all the data in its computers in preparation for the nose dive to self-destruction.

To avoid a repeat of the costly failure, the Air Force has now "modified" its destruct features for the drone.

Army COOing

We've had a bunch of queries about COO, the Army's sensitivity training program, ever since this column told of the service's top intelligence officer speaking to a group of hardened senior sergeants. Instead of focusing on future intelligence needs, the general lectured them on COO (Consideration of Others), much to the dismay of some of those present.

What is COO?

We procured a document on the subject distributed by the Army's Military District of Washington. COO's goal, the guidance states, is "increasing sensitivity in a diverse environment."


"On an annual basis, the Consideration of Others program for all military and civilian personnel will include eight hours of small group discussion with 15-25 attendees as the ideal method to maximize training effectiveness. These sessions must be guided by a trained facilitator. Equal opportunity advisers and equal employment specialists, … along with trained facilitators, have the requisite expertise to develop programs of instruction and train facilitators for small group sessions."

"Consideration of others is not just a concept to address sexual, racial or religious harassment it covers the broad perspective of civility and encompasses harassment, discrimination, prejudice, insensitivity, offensive behavior, verbal abuse and basic thoughtlessness.

"Consideration of others is more than policy, it is a basic philosophy, it is a value, not limited to race, religion or gender. It encompasses any type of harassment or discrimination to include age, height, weight or disability and applies to all categories of people and offensive behavior. It is integral to the fundamental characteristics we require of our Army leaders and is based on common courtesy, decency and sensitivity to the feelings and needs of others."

The Army document goes on quote the commander in chief.

"The actions of soldiers for whom Consideration of Others is a bedrock value can be quite extraordinary. President Clinton reminded the nation of that value and its consequences when he presented the Congressional Medal of Honor to the widows [of two Army sergeants killed in Somalia]. In his remarks, the president said, 'They risked their lives without hesitation. Their actions were clearly above and beyond the call of duty.' "

Short takes

* Look for Republican leaders in Congress to finish marking up the 13 annual appropriations bills including defense spending by Memorial Day. Republicans, weary of the snail's pace money-allotting process, have been discussing the accelerated schedule during the holiday recess.

Even some Democratic leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, are warming to the idea. The endgame: send the bills to conference committees by Memorial Day and have floor votes on the finished products before the August recess. This would leave both parties more time to campaign in the pivotal 2000 elections.

* Navy officers are privately conceding that the twin-engine F-18E/F Super Hornet the service's future carrier bomber is underpowered. Sources say the engines, selected under tight cost constraints, simply don't provide the needed the get-up-and-go. But Navy officials don't dare concede to the shortfall publicly for fear Pentagon civilians will kill procurement or order a redesign. The Navy plans to buy 548 Super Hornets.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide