Veteran’s Day 2019 Message

Throughout our nation’s history, brave men and women have always answered the call to protect America and defend our way of life. On Veterans Day, the Lint Center recognizes and wishes to thank all those who have worn the uniform in service to our great nation.

The Lint Center extends its gratitude to all our veteran volunteers and to all of this nation’s veterans for their service, sacrifices, and dedication to safeguarding America.

Captain Maren Culbreth Awarded 2019 Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship

The Lint Center for National Security Studies Awards 2019 Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship to Captain Maren Culbreth

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on supporting the next generation of America’s National Security professionals through scholarships and mentoring opportunities, today announced the winner of the 2019 Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship.

Captain Maren Culbreth was awarded the Lint Center’s Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. scholarship for her continued and demonstrated commitment to advancing national security. The scholarship provides $1,000 to recipients pursuing scholastic study in fields related to alliance building, counterintelligence, cultural understanding, and national security studies.

Captain Culbreth’s scholarship essay dealt with a series of challenges she experienced during her time in the US Army and the personal growth she achieved as a result. She was a helicopter pilot who put in the long hours and late nights only to learn halfway through a deployment that the Army was retiring her airframe, the Kiowa Warrior. Undeterred, she transferred to Civil Affairs until an injury cut short her training. Suddenly she had became a pilot without an aircraft to fly or a mission to complete. Seeing her military career coming to an end, she applied and was accepted to law school.

“I’m glad I worked so hard and left it all on the field,” Captain Maren Culbreth says. “If I’d given anything less than my best, this would have been impossible to survive. This scholarship will help me continue to realize my dream from 2007,  for our country and communities in which we live. Being awarded this scholarship will go far in helping me realize the dream I have to continue serving others long into the future. I want to thank the Lint Center for the tremendous support this scholarship provides.”

“Captain Culbreth was in the Army and learned there are good days and bad. The Army does not always do as we desire, but we have been a free country for 243 years. She will learn and do well in the next chapter of her life,” said Mr. James R. Lint, President and CEO of the Lint Center for National Security Studies. “Many have been in her footsteps and will follow her steps.”

You can read her essay here.

About the Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr., Scholarship:

The Staff Sgt Richard Eaton Jr. Memorial Scholarship is dedicated in honor of Staff Sgt. Richard Eaton, a United States Army Counterintelligence Special Agent and Bronze Star recipient who died in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on August 12, 2003 (Iraq time). The scholarship fund provides $1,000 to recipients pursuing scholastic study in fields related to Alliance Building, Counterintelligence, Cultural Understanding, and National Security studies.

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization awards award merit-based scholarships and mentoring programs for students pursuing careers in national service with a particular focus on counterintelligence, military intelligence, national security and cross-cultural studies. The Center is Veteran and minority operated and managed. It awards scholarships semi-annually in both January and July. For more information, please visit http://www.lintcenter.org/.

This press release was prepared by Lint Center Volunteer, Ben Oatis.

Smoke Grenades Do Not A Target Make

By Anonymous

There were a lot of boring days. For every minute of excitement, there were fifty minutes of mind-numbing boredom. We’d check in with ground forces, sometimes begging for something to do. We took a lot of pictures of potential targets, oddly enough. On the days that no one was getting shot at and there wasn’t much else to do, we threw smoke grenades. The lead aircraft picked the target, which early on was rather large, but over time got smaller and more precise. An airspeed and altitude were chosen, the lead aircraft would go first and trail would follow. Sometimes, we were too close to call.

It wasn’t all fun and games. The smoke-grenade-out-of-the-cockpit-throw was not a technical task we trained as Kiowa pilots. It wasn’t anything I practiced before deploying. Once downrange though, it was clear: accuracy with a smoke grenade could be vitally important. On a particularly heated day supporting a special operations team, my smoke grenade throwing skills came in handy. The guys on the ground and the stack of aircraft above couldn’t agree on a target. I came on the radio, suggesting that our little single engine helicopter could solve the problem. My right seater flew us as fast as we could go, dropped us down over top of this building, and I dropped smoke. Everyone saw the plume billow, agreed it was the right building, and we moved on with more important events of the day.

One of the problems we encountered frequently was as pilots we had a large overlap in the Venn diagram between being a “tactical” and “strategic” asset. Tactically, we were important to anyone in contact with the enemy. Strategically, we carried more weight because our munitions were bigger. We could make bigger mistakes, which always made bigger news.

Sometimes, we were assigned missions purely because of optics. If a very important Afghan official was going somewhere by helicopter, we supported that flight. The threat could be incredibly low, but we went anyway – it just looked better. On election day, we were tasked to fly, but had to be 3,000 feet above the ground. Normally we flew much lower, but no one wanted us in the background of any pictures above polling stations. We had to show the Afghans were in charge of these elections.

One afternoon, we saw something odd. There was a school building we’d seen kids running in and out of before – a building we recognized. However, on that day there were no kids. What we saw instead were a bunch of motorcycles parked outside of the building, and what looked like the Afghan version of rent-a-cops standing outside. This looked, in a word, suspicious. We wanted to get a record of what we saw. We decided to drop a smoke grenade so we could take pictures at a distance, in order to give a good idea of where the building was. This smoke grenade would set off bombs in other areas.

The next morning, my Battalion Commander came by. “We need to talk about the school children you targeted yesterday.” Clearly, this smoke grenade had taken on a life of its own. I explained what actually happened the day before, pulling up the pictures we submitted in our report. He looked everything over and said, “Well, what it looked like to the rest of the world was that you were marking a target, and the target was a school. I know you didn’t shoot anything, I see from your pictures there aren’t any school children around. But let’s just keep the smoke grenades in the cockpit for a while.”

That wouldn’t be the last incident we encountered where optics created a bit of an issue between what was tactically important and what was strategically important. What I learned most in my time slinging smoke grenades about the battlefield is that optics and opinions cannot be discounted when determining the outcome. If we want to better prepare our future leaders in National Security, we must do a better job preparing them to analyze how to use optics and opinions in their favor. We cannot always rely on our public affairs teams to spin the story for us – we have to get better at understanding the story before it happens so we can take steps to win both tactically and strategically. I thought optics were my enemy for a while. I loathed the restrictiveness of them. But in the end, I learned that by creating good optics, by playing within the restrictive bounds of what “looks good,” we could help our brothers on the ground be more successful in their tactical endeavors.

Eventually, the ban on smoke grenades was lifted. We lived to billow another day.

 

Lint Center Announces New CEO and President

New leader to usher in the next phase of growth and mentorship engagement

Dated:  September 20, 2019

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization created to award merit-based scholarships and to provide mentoring programs, today announced that it has named Timothy W. Coleman as its new Chief Executive Officer and President. The appointment comes as the Lint Center is poised to announce a new round of scholarship winners and as it continues to execute on its core mission to empower, enhance, and enable the next generation of intelligence and security professionals.

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, has awarded 57 scholarships and mentoring opportunities to individuals pursuing careers in intelligence, counterintelligence and national security. More than 200 mentors, seasoned practitioners in their field, volunteer through the Lint Center to show the next generation of leaders what they can do in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

“This is an exciting time for the Lint Center and I am thrilled to take on this new role as CEO and President and lead this very talented team,” said Timothy W. Coleman. “Mr. James R. Lint and Dr. Anna Lint founded, nurtured, and developed an all-volunteer organization with an unmatched mission. With purposeful intent Mr. Lint created the Lint Center because he identified a need for mentoring programs and scholarship initiatives in order to seed a talent development pipeline in support of America’s most promising and emerging leaders.”

“James Lint’s leadership and tutelage were the driving factors creating this impactful organization and his tireless efforts made it a reality of consequence. His passion, dedication, and commitment to national service remain our guidepost and we are honored to continue the work he started,” Coleman further observed.

“Having served as CEO of the Lint Center for more than a decade and with nearly 60 scholarship winners during my tenure, I am pleased to be passing the torch to the next generation who will continue to identify, mold, and mentor future leaders in the intelligence and national security arena,” said James R. Lint, Founder and President Emeritus of the Lint Center for National Security Studies. “I am pleased to see that one of our first winners and one of our longest volunteers, Tim, will be assuming the role as CEO. I am supremely confident in his leadership capabilities, having worked side-by-side with him for years, and his dedication to the mission.

“More importantly, I am eternally grateful to the countless volunteers who helped make the Lint Center as successful and impactful as it has been. I look forward to seeing the Lint Center grow and prosper, as its impact will be felt for decades to come.”

Mr. Timothy W. Coleman was one of the first scholarship recipients from the Lint Center for National Security Studies, having been awarded the Aehee Kim Alliance Building Award in 2008. Shortly after his scholarship and an extremely successful Lint Center mentorship, Tim decided it was time to “give back” by volunteering with the Center. Previously, Tim served as Operations Coordinator, Public Information Officer, and worked his way up to Vice President managing day-to-day operations and providing strategic counsel to the Lint Center’s Board of Directors. https://www.lintcenter.org/about-us/leadership-team/

Mr. James R. Lint served in the United States military for over 20 years, in both the U.S. Marine Corps (7 years) and U.S. Army (14 years). He spent four years as a Marine Counterintelligence specialist and nearly 15 years as an Army Counterintelligence Special Agent. Lint has expertise in counterintelligence, cyber security and information assurance, terrorism and counterterrorism, human intelligence collection and prevention, as well as low-intensity asymmetric warfare. He founded the Lint Center for National Security Studies in 2007, and has served as its CEO since inception. He remains Chairman Emeritus of the Lint Center. https://www.lintcenter.org/portfolio-item/james-r-lint/

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization created to award merit-based scholarships and mentoring programs for students pursuing careers in national service with a particular focus on counterintelligence, military intelligence, national security and cross-cultural studies. The Center is Veteran and minority operated and managed IRS-approved charity. It awards scholarships semi-annually in both January and July. For more information, please visit https://www.lintcenter.org/.

***

Fourth of July 2019

Happy Independence Day!

Freedom and independence are words affectionately and passionately associated with the United States of America. On the Fourth of July, the U.S.A. celebrates the bountiful freedom we have fought for. However, as we do prepare to celebrate yet another year of freedom, we must keep in mind its fragility. As easily as it was obtained, it can be cruelly stripped away. Therefore, no matter how you choose to celebrate the nation’s birthday, take a moment to pause. Recall just how hard generations before have worked to secure, maintain, and reinforce our freedoms, and how each of us must remain steadfastly determined to propel our ever-changing nation forward and the underpinning principles that make it so profound. After all, it was not just the freedom we know today that was born on July 4th, but also the country we all proudly call home.

Image Source: Commons.Wikipedia.Org

Memorial Day 2019

“Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.”    – General Douglas MacArthur

Memorial Day is an important day for everyone, in many cases, serving as a day to remember and pay respects to loved ones no longer present. At the same time, it is a time to honor those who have laid down their lives protecting our great country. This day of remembrance centers around those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our ever-growing nation we all know and love. Today, we pay our profound respects to those who have sacrificed in service for the protection of the United States and our fundamental freedoms. It is without question the exceedingly brave and compassionate person who is willing to lay down their own life to protect the lives, freedoms, and prosperity of their fellow citizens. We owe a debt of gratitude to our fallen heroes that we can never repay.

-Saebria M.

Update Andrew Ertl 12/18

UPDATE: December 2018

Andrew Ertl, previous winner of the Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship in 2016, is currently studying at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, where he is pursuing a Master of Public Policy. Andrew said of his current program, “What I can say about Oxford, is that the curriculum here is quite a bit more technically difficult than my last master’s program. Still, I really appreciate the wholistic approach the school takes with regard to policy, and its foundations–I’m learning a lot.”

Andrew, being a History major, has expressed his enjoyment in being surrounded by so many old structures in Europe. He says, “It feels like I’m on a vacation while I’m earning a degree.” He has been able to do a bit of traveling so far, having visited Stonehenge and Bath. Soon enough, he plans to visit Scotland, Ireland, and everywhere in between.

In honor of Veteran’s Day last month and directed towards Mr. James R. Lint, Andrew said, “I just want to say, that I am in awe and inspired by veterans like yourself who gave so much more than myself. You all paved the way for someone like me and not a day goes by that I don’t reflect on that.”

Andrew continues to be proud of his association with the Lint Center for National Security Studies and we look forward to watching his continued success.

U.S. Marine Corps Captain Richard Laszok Awarded 2018 McGaughey Family Scholarship

The Lint Center for National Security Studies Awards 2018 McGaughey Family Scholarship to Captain Richard Laszok

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit organization focused on supporting the next generation of America’s National Security professionals through scholarship and mentoring opportunities, today announced the 2018 McGaughey Family Scholarship award winner.

Captain Richard Laszok was awarded the McGaughey Family Scholarship for his commitment to advancing U.S. national security and intelligence. The McGaughey Family Scholarship provides an annual $1,000 award towards education in national security or intelligence studies.

Captain Laszok’s upbringing in a military family instilled in him a sense of patriotism and service. This led to his enrollment in U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where he studied logistics, intermodal transportation, and navigation. Once on active duty, he served in the Infantry and Reconnaissance communities as a Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, and Company Commander, as well as a Team Leader in an Afghan soldier-training center. Captain Laszok is now studying National Security and Statecraft at The Institute of World Politics. He won the Lint Center’s 2018 McGaughey Family Scholarship in part because of his insightful essay on the risks and rewards of trade with China and his essay on the lessons he learned in the Marines about effective advising.

“I am thankful for receiving the McGaughey Family Scholarship to help with my pursuit of obtaining a Master’s degree in Statecraft and National Security. Applying for the scholarship helped me identify an international issue that I want to focus on throughout my graduate studies. I am very excited to have the opportunity to participate in the mentorship program associated with the scholarship. The knowledge and experiences from these talented professionals will help guide me during my transition from the military to the civilian workforce,” says Captain Laszok.

“We’re excited to work with Captain Laszok,” explains James R. Lint, President and CEO of the Lint Center for National Security Studies. “His record of service is solid, and we are looking forward to see what he will do when we combine his passion for national service, his foundational education and our subject matter expertise-based mentorship.”

About the McGaughey Family Scholarship:

The McGaughey Family Scholarship seeks to identify and recognize outstanding recipients pursuing scholastic study in fields related to Alliance Building, Counterintelligence, Cultural Understanding, and National Security studies. Workers in these fields and their children are encouraged to apply. Additional information about the program and other scholarships can be found at  https://www.lintcenter.org/scholarships/.

 

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization awards award merit-based scholarships and mentoring programs for students pursuing careers in national service with a particular focus on counterintelligence, military intelligence, national security and cross-cultural studies. The Center is Veteran and minority operated and managed. It awards scholarships semi-annually in both January and July. For more information, please visit https://www.lintcenter.org/.

 

This press release was prepared by Lint Center Volunteer, Sarah White.

China’s Challenge to the U.S.

by Richard Laszok
Published with Permission

Competition between China and the U.S. does not have to result in a win-lose situation, but this requires both countries to renegotiate current trade policies.  The current negotiations can provide a win-win deal for both countries.  Factors that contribute to a nations global power are its economic policies, military strength, and technological development.  The U.S. is currently the hegemon because of its strong economy, superior military, support for innovation, and altruistic approach to foreign relations.  China’s rise as a global power will use these factors to challenge the U.S. domination and become the new global leader (Pillsbury, 2018, pp. 143-144).

As China’s economy strengthens it will have the resources to modernize its military to in efforts to protect its natural resources and sea-lanes.  China has a hybrid economic structure where the government subsides private companies that its government has interest in (Pillsbury, 2018, p. 149).  Such subsidies are used for research and development in the industries in which China sees as opportunistic.  Due to these factors, competition between foreign companies becomes largely one sided.  These companies also conduct economic espionage and steal intellectual property, challenging U.S. and foreign companies (Pillsbury, 2018, p. 189).

In the March 2018 address to China by President Xi, he stated that China was not interested in “seeking hegemony or [would] engage in expansion” (Fong, 2018).  This doesn’t necessarily mean China doesn’t aspire to become the global leader eventually.  As Michael Pillsbury outlines in his book “The Hundred-Year Marathon” China’s leaders would avoid using such rhetoric that might alarm the world of their true intentions (Pillsbury, 2016).  China does not want to be perceived as threatening while they build and grow.  An example of this is the slow build up and militarization of islands in the South China Sea.  China is using this as a way to secure the natural resources within the area such as fishing, oil, and minerals.  It also helps secure the sea-lanes surrounding China and provide a military buffer zone for Mainland China (Pillsbury, 2018, p. 143).

Another concern is how the government subsidies Chinese companies.  This practice makes it nearly impossible for foreign companies to compete in those industries.  One example of this is the information and communication company Huawei.  Huawei is becoming a global leader in this industry, but their relationship with the Chinese government raises security concerns to the U.S. and many European countries (Bey, 2018 June 28).  The fear is that the products and services provided by the company could be used to collect information on their customers (Pillsbury, 2016, p. 173).  What is also of great concern is the development of 5G technology and artificial intelligence (Bey, 2018 June 28).  Both have military applications and could rival the U.S. in the near future.  Therefore, as China continues to rise, “the U.S. will continue to expand investment restrictions on Chinese technology companies wishing to enter the U.S.” (Bey, 2018 June 28).

Despite these challenges and the recent threat of a trade war between the two countries, the use of military force or violence is unlikely as the two countries begin to discuss trade reform.  The countries are using and will continue to use the World Trade Organization (WTO) to settle trade disputes.  The U.S. has already “successfully litigated WTO disputes targeting unfair trade practices and upholding our right to enforce U.S. trade laws” (“President Donald J. Trump is Confronting China’s Trade Policies”, 2018).  Leveraging the WTO will ultimately help ensure both countries achieve fair trade deals and compliance with the organizations’ intellectual property and environmental policies.  If China commits to prevent intellectual property theft and encourage U.S. technology companies to compete in the Chinese market, it would benefit its people by allowing them access to more products.  Finally, the U.S. would benefit by having access to the new market.

 

References

  1. Bey, M. (2018, June 28). Huawei’s Success Puts It in Washington’s Sights. Retrieved July 26, 2018, from https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/huaweis-success-puts-it-washingtons-sights-china-technology
  2. Fong, L. (2018, April 15). What would Chinese hegemony look like? A lot like US Leadership. Retrieved July 26, 2018 from https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/2141661/what-would-chinese-hegemony-look-lot-us-leadership
  3. Pillsbury, M. (2016). The hundred-year marathon: Chinas secret strategy to replace America as the global superpower. New York, NY: Griffin.
  4. President Donald J. Trump is Confronting China’s Unfair Trade Policies. (2018, May 29). Retrieved July 27, 2018, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-confronting-chinas-unfair-trade-policies/

American University Graduate Student, Jared Zimmerman, Awarded International Association for Intelligence Education Scholarship

The Lint Center for National Security Studies Awards 2018 International Association for Intelligence Education Scholarship to Jared Zimmerman.

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit dedicated to fostering the educational development of the next generation of America’s Counterintelligence and National Security professionals through scholarship and mentoring opportunities, and the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), the leading international organization for Intelligence Education, today announced the 2018 International Association for Intelligence Education Scholarship award winner.

Mr. Jared Zimmerman was awarded the Lint Center’s IAFIE Scholarship for his commitment to advancing national security and intelligence. The Lint Center’s IAFIE Scholarship provides a $1,500 award towards education in national security or intelligence studies.

Mr. Zimmerman is a first year graduate student at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, D.C. where he is pursuing an MA in International Affairs with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and national security. Prior to enrolling in graduate school, he spent five years working in the software industry. In his scholarship essay, Zimmerman argued that not all terrorists acting alone deserve the “lone wolf” label. Lone wolves, says Zimmerman, are those who act entirely alone and for their own cause. Terrorists that run solo operations in support of or even as part of a larger global jihadist movement should instead be labelled Individual Terrorism Jihadists (ITJ). He then reviewed recent high profile cases of lone wolf attackers, such as the Austin Serial Bomber and the DC Beltway sniper, and parsed the differences.

“I am honored and excited to be this year’s recipient of the International Association for Intelligence Education Scholarship through the Lint Center for National Security Studies,” Mr. Zimmerman said. “Many of my peers have dedicated themselves to similar goals, face similar challenges, and have submitted impressive essays, and so I consider it a great honor to receive this year’s IAFIE Scholarship. I am eager to meet with my mentor and discuss my future as I explore ways forward into the Intelligence Community. I also wish to thank the Lint Center for the tremendous support it provides students like myself. The scholarship and mentorship are such valuable resources to young people who want to serve their country.”

“Jared Zimmerman’s scholarship essay further refining motivators of individual terrorists shows the kind of outside the box thinking that is critical to the Intelligence Community,” said Mr. James R. Lint, President and CEO of the Lint Center for National Security Studies. “Paired with his background in software development and the guiding hand of one of our mentor, I am confident that Mr. Zimmerman will be a powerful asset to any agency and a quality national security worker.”

About the International Association for Intelligence Education Scholarship:

The International Association for Intelligence Education is the leading international organization for Intelligence Education. The Association was formed in June 2004 as a result of a gathering of sixty plus intelligence studies trainers and educators at the Sixth Annual International Colloquium on Intelligence at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania. The mission of the Association is to advance research, knowledge and professional development in intelligence education. For more information, please visit www.iafie.org.

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization awards award merit-based scholarships and mentoring programs for students pursuing careers in national service with a particular focus on counterintelligence, military intelligence, national security and cross-cultural studies. The Center is Veteran and minority operated and managed. It awards scholarships semi-annually in both January and July. For more information, please visit https://www.lintcenter.org/.

 

This press release was prepared by Lint Center Volunteer, Ben Oatis.

Update Julie Slama

UPDATE: October 2018

Julie Slama, winner of the 2016 Lee and Byun International Relations and Cultural Awareness Scholarship, has sent in this update:

I’m currently in my first year of law school at the University of Nebraska, after graduating this spring with a degree in Political Science from Yale University. In the past two years, I’ve had the chance to travel to 31 countries. The LC scholarship program was a big help in ensuring that I had the funds necessary to focus on my studies. Thank you for your continued support.

Dismantling North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program Starts with Understanding Its History

Published with Permission by:
Irajpanah, Katherine, “Dismantling North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program Starts with Understanding Its History”, In Homeland Security, 04 July 2018, Web, https://inhomelandsecurity.com/nuclear-weapons-program-history/

By Katherine Irajpanah
Writer, Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., and Special Contributor, In Homeland Security 

On June 12, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea met in Singapore for a historic summit. During the meeting, the United States and North Korea established the diplomatic foundation for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The Singapore summit followed a year of intensified vitriol between the two countries and decades of unsuccessful attempts at halting North Korea’s quest for nuclear weapons.

The summit and forthcoming diplomatic talks highlight the need to understand the history of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The program, which has developed over the course of approximately six decades, has perplexed the past several presidential administrations. That suggests that the United States must approach the negotiating table cautiously and be prepared for lengthy, technical discussions.

The Beginnings of North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program

North Korea’s nuclear weapons program dates to the 1950s in the aftermath of the Korean War. The war, which pitted South Korea and the United States against North Korea and China, created a great sense of insecurity in the regime of the DPRK’s founder, Kim Il-sung.

DPRK nuclear ambitions largely grew from those insecurities. Weapons of mass destruction, including biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, presented the Kim regime with a potential guarantor of its security as well as a means of deterring the United States from invading North Korea.

Although North Korea’s nuclear program has largely been indigenous, Pyongyang received external technical assistance during its early years. In the 1960s, for example, the Soviet Union helped the North Koreans develop early nuclear reactors, which can provide a source of fissionable material to make a hydrogen bomb. Moreover, in the 1970s, North Korea modeled its short-range missiles on Soviet Scud missiles it had acquired from Egypt.

By the 1980s, North Korea had developed its own nuclear research institutions, uranium mining facilities, a fuel rod fabrication complex and a five-megawatt nuclear reactor. After signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1985, Kim secured further Soviet assistance to develop light water reactors (LWRs). With these facilities and other projects in place, Kim Il-sung successfully developed a nuclear bomb option and the foundation of North Korea’s current nuclear weapons program.

The Rise and Fall of Diplomatic Agreements

North Korea’s nuclear threat reached a flashpoint in 1994, when the United States and North Korea faced the risk of war as a result of the North’s provocations. After the 1994 crisis abated, Washington and Pyongyang held diplomatic talks that led to the 1994 Agreed Framework.

In that agreement, the United States promised security assurances and proliferation-resistant LWRs to North Korea. Also, North Korea promised to freeze and dismantle its nuclear reactors and submit to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Both parties, however, failed to live up to the agreement. As a result, the Agreed Framework fell apart.

North Korea Gradually Builds Nuclear Bomb Program

By late 2003, under Kim’s son, Kim Jong-Il, North Korea likely had acquired a nuclear bomb. To stem the North’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons, the United States convened a new diplomatic channel, the Six-Party Talks. That channel involved North Korea, South Korea, the United States, Japan, Russia and China.

In 2005, the North Koreans announced that they would abandon their nuclear program. Nonetheless, North Korea reneged on its statement and conducted its first nuclear weapons test in 2006. In April 2009, after much back-and-forth communication over proposed arrangements, North Korea withdrew from the Six-Party talks.

Kim Jong-un and the DPRK Nuclear Program

In 2011, Kim Jong-un succeeded his late father, Kim Jong-Il, as “Supreme Leader” and accelerated the nuclear weapons program. To the young leader’s way of thinking, nuclear weapons would ensure the regime’s security and afford him a level of international prestige.

Under Kim Jong-un, North Korea conducted four new nuclear tests. On September 3, 2017, the official North Korean news agency, KCNA, reported the successful testing of a hydrogen bomb.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, North Korea now has an estimated 15 to 20 nuclear weapons, “while U.S. intelligence believes the number to be between thirty and sixty bombs.” Experts also believe that Kim has a functioning intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Some reports suggest that North Korea has the capability to miniaturize its nuclear weapons and mount them on an ICBM, the final element needed to bring about a nuclear holocaust.

International Community’s Response to North Korea’s Behavior

The international community has responded to North Korea’s behavior with intensified economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation. Even China, which has always served as a key economic and political ally of North Korea across the decades, has joined the international efforts to use sanctions to bring Kim to the negotiating table.

As a probable consequence of the mounting economic pressure of these sanctions and the rogue nation’s increasing international isolation, Kim Jong-un has turned away from bombastic rhetoric to diplomatic overtures. At the recent Singapore summit, Kim affirmed “his firm and unwavering commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Beyond the Singapore Summit

The history of North Korea’s nuclear program suggests that the diplomats involved in the forthcoming negotiations must now proceed deliberately and in a clear-eyed manner. To work toward the dismantlement of the North’s nuclear arsenal, the United States will need to consider some form of security reassurance for the Kim regime.

Furthermore, many details about North Korea’s nuclear program remain unknown, and North Korea has reneged on agreements in the past. Any agreement with North Korea will need to emphasize intrusive, on-the-ground verification to both monitor its progress on denuclearization and close the information gap on DPRK nuclear assets.

Finally, the world at large must understand that, as nuclear expert Siegfried S. Hecker estimated, DPRK disarmament could take over a decade to complete due to the technical demands of dismantling its nuclear complex.

Overall, the best path forward in addressing the North Korean nuclear threat is one that emphasizes diplomacy and recognizes the historical challenges associated with Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

About the Author

Katherine Irajpanah is an intern and writer at the Lint Center for National Security Studies. She is currently studying for her bachelor’s degree in international relations at Stanford University and works as a research assistant at the Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Update Andrew Ertl 7/18

UPDATE: July 2018

Andrew Ertl, previous winner of the Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship in 2016, graduated last week with a Master’s of Management Science in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University in Beijing through the prestigious Schwarzman Scholars Program. Along the way, he made sure to take advantage of his location to extensively travel throughout China, meeting Chinese and foreign policy makers, and snapping a picture sitting next to a panda!

Currently he is home relaxing in Green Bay, WI; stopping by at the USO office at the Green Bay airport and Marine Corps recruiting office, and reading to prepare for his next graduate studies at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, where he will pursue a Master’s of Public Policy. Andrew continues to be proud of his association with the Lint Center for National Security Studies and looks forward to when he can contribute more forthrightly to its mission.

North Korea’s June 25 Surprise Attack: An Important Lesson in Battle Preparation

Published with Permission by:
Lint, James R., “North Korea’s June 25 Surprise Attack: An Important Lesson in Battle Preparation”, In Homeland Security, 23 June 2016, Web, https://inhomelandsecurity.com/north-koreas-june-25-surprise-attack-important-lesson-battle-preparation/

By James Lint
Faculty Member, American Public University System

June 25 is a day that all military planners and intelligence professionals should remember as a lesson in proper battle preparation. On that date in 1950, North Korea surprised the U.S. military with an attack that swept U.S. and South Korean forces into the Pusan Perimeter and almost off the Korean peninsula. Defeat appeared quick and sudden.

It was only nine years after the devastation at Pearl Harbor and no one believed that a surprise attack could happen to U.S. forces ever again. But it did.

For the United States, intelligence focus on a former small Japanese-occupied territory was a low priority. The mistake was missing the buildup of Communist support and the large amount of combat equipment in North Korea compared to South Korea, obvious indicators of battle preparation that we can see in hindsight. Because the U.S. overlooked these signs of impending combat, North Korea’s invasion led to a long, bloody civil war.

How Did This Surprise Attack Happen?

There are several reasons why North Korea’s invasion came as a surprise to the U.S. military:

  • The U.S. was a budding world power and had many places to focus. For example, there were Cold War activities in Europe and Africa. The U.S. had a small intelligence force, with the CIA’s founding in September 1947. By 1950, the CIA was still prioritizing areas to watch and spend assets.
  • The U.S. had won World War II, creating a sense of false confidence that no country would have the audacity to attack the U.S. America was the strong victor who had beaten the Germans, Italians and Japanese. But the U.S. did not take into account that other countries saw the massive drawdown and shrinkage of our active military after WWII.
  • Military and government leaders did not rigorously review intelligence collection management or intelligence collection requirements. The Army was otherwise occupied with disarming former WWII foes. Korea ended the war as occupied Japanese territory and later broke up into North and South Korea. Russia gained influence in North Korea after this division.
  • U.S. military and civilian intelligence services were unprepared for an imminent battle. There was a prevailing sense among intelligence leaders that “a new battle cannot happen,” which proved to be wrong. Even during peacetime, it is wise to be aware of potential combat possibilities and probabilities.

Insufficient Military Forces and Logistics Failure Contributed to US Failure to Anticipate Invasion

Military planners should remember that the military manning the Korean peninsula was insufficient to quickly deploy and logistics had degraded. The 1st Marine Division was not fully prepared to deploy from California and newly recruited Marines had to do their training on the ships that conveyed them to the battlefield. Also, combat personnel had inappropriate footwear for the climate; there were stories of people with dress shoes in wintertime combat.

History shows that most drawdowns go too far. Often, enemies see the possibility for them to advance due to a recent drawdown, especially during the early period of a new war.

Constant Vigilance Against Enemies is Always Vital

This invasion was also an important lesson to intelligence professionals, especially in the military. They must always be energetic and alert for the next December 7 or June 25. Being in the military is not an easy profession. No one hears about the minor successes, but everyone knows mistakes can be costly.

South Korean Post-War Economy Recovers with US Support

U.S. troops have been in Korea since 1945, when they accepted the surrender of Japanese troops at the end of WWII. Many people wonder if remaining in Korea is worth it.

Seoul is a noteworthy story of economic recovery and success after a devastating war. It is an economic power and a member of a vibrant, international business community. The American military assisted in that growth by providing military protection and support. Early on, U.S. support fed a starving population in South Korea. Later, the U.S. helped South Korea to create a strong military for defending the country.

American military support, the Peace Corps and foreign aid all built Korea into a strong country that is now a world-recognized economic power. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranks South Korea as the 11th most powerful economy in the world.

The United States took over 200 years to get to our strong economic position. Korea did it in 60 years, going from abject poverty to economic strength with U.S. support.

Strategic Lessons to Be Learned From Korean War

We rarely talk about North Korea’s surprise attack at the start of the Korean War. But it is important to remember our failures and avoid repeating our mistakes. We should remember, that in an attack, the enemy has a vote in the outcome of a battle. Adequate battle preparation can be a decisive factor in combat and can defeat unexpected invasions.

About the Author

James Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded the 40th scholarship for national security students and professionals. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence within the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, contractor, and civil service. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has served in the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis and at the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office. James had an active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and also served 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” and a new book “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea.”

I Want A National Security Job

Commentary by a Former Federal Hiring Manager

By James Lint and Juico Bowley


People often tell me that they want a national security job.

“I want to be as rich and as smart as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet!” Determined young professionals would wishfully exclaim. Quickly, I steer the conversation to get a better idea of what his goals are, and how he plans to achieve them. Everyone should realize that there are opportunities to learn everywhere, in every setting. While graduating with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is a great accomplishment and step in the right direction, there is much more to learn beyond going to college

Spring Breaks

I asked the future national security worker what he did on Spring Break? He said nothing on a recent break, but on an earlier break he went to Cancun, Mexico.

He did nothing during a break from college for a week?  Could his time been better allocated to his goal or did he waste that time?  Did he take a certification exam? Did he go on interviews for an intern program?

During the Spring Break in Cancun, what did he learn?  Was the style or speed of the internet different? Was the keyboard different? (Try using a keyboard in a cyber cafe in Korea or Russia, and you might see some differences.) The cyber cafes’ you visited, did they have antivirus? Or malware defense software? Was the system locked down or wide open, so you could see elements of the network that may indicate a level of security?

There is lots to learn anytime and anywhere.

Summer Breaks

There are many opportunities for internships in the summer.  Many are unpaid internships. You pay for learning in college. Internships are learning expenses, and you may not make money on them, but you will learn about corporate culture, and a different view from college level academics.

Summer is a time for job hunting and internship hunting. It is not about your comfort or having a great party.  How will you answer the question from a hiring manager, “What did you do on your last two summer breaks?”  This will tell the manager if you are focused on the job, or a time waster.  Are you pursuing your goals or hoping to obtain them by luck?

How Was His Job Hunting?

I asked a recent graduate how his job hunting was going? He said he was waiting to find a good job fair.  My question was “Why are you not sending resumes to their Human Resources (HR)?” HR departments like to maintain a large database of people who want a job with them. If you do not send in many applications and resumes to the HR departments, they will never know you are available.

The Importance of The Job Series Number

When a recent graduate and job hunter was asked what job series they wanted to pursue in the federal government, they said Cyber or maybe IT. In federal government hiring, you are not applying for maybe. You apply for a job with a job series number. You should know the four-digit number, or you lose credibility. You need to do research. Below is a sample of some federal cyber defender jobs series.

0080 Security Administration

0132 Intelligence

1811 Criminal Investigation

2210 Information Technology Management

1550 Computer Science

0854 Computer Engineering

Interestingly, the USAJOBS website has a good translator of federal job series to college majors. There are many areas to learn about working in the government. In the end, it can be very rewarding and decision making is unlike many places in business.

Be Mindful of Your Time and Spend it Wisely

How you use your time, and how you focus on your goals will be evaluated by good hiring managers. Use your time wisely and set goals. Both Bill Gates and Warren Buffet obtain their goals because of the great focus of effort they place on each goal..   Goal oriented people achieve …more goals!  Evaluate your efforts to obtain your goal. A question job hunters should ask is, “Am I pursuing my goals, or hoping to obtain them by luck?”  Guess which one will be the most successful?  Learn to document and articulate your goals. What can you do to improve your success?

Sample goals for a weekend may be:

–Discover, research and understand four federal job series.

–Send two applications for jobs at two different HR departments or into USAJOBS

–Learn one new tidbit of knowledge from reading IT/Cyber Defense blogs.

Don’t stop there!  Start a list right now and be sure to include some of your new weekend goals  on our Facebook page or our federal employment focused Facebook page.


About the Authors

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 51st scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. In 2017, he was appointed to the position of Adjutant for The American Legion, China Post 1. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book published in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a book in 2017 Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.”

Juico Bowley is currently a volunteer with the Lint Center. His efforts are dedicated to facilitating the education and promotion of National Security and Counterintelligence.