MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS | 2016 EDITION | VOLUME 61
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This is the 5th Part of a series. Quick access to Part 1-5 via Twitter.
If hacking is the new espionage, diplomacy is the new Trojan horse in an already imploding America. And it has enablers in high academic places. Including among the West's naïve InfoSec and Privacy community. Specifically, those loud on Crypto yet mum on strategic U.S.-Russia or China security.
Moreover, the seemingly never-ending saga of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election doesn't, I predict, end well for this 45th President as a former MI6 agent's investigative work on Russian claims of having dirt on Donald Trump come to light. And I fear Americans may one day learn HOW adversaries think. But like Poland, only when it's too late.
Which is why the frustrating thought that struck me as I listened to the feature audio (playing) was: Poor Garry Kasparov.
The legendary Chess Grandmaster unanimously considered the best ever — who being a Russian dissident with incontestable hard experience such as the one I introduce in the next iteration of this article vis-à-vis China; who gets strategy like no other — drowned out by professorial nonsense by way of NYU's Stephen Cohen, a known Putin apologist, who couldn't stop himself from repeatedly invoking the cyinical 'MSM' refrain associated with conspiracy theorists. And increasingly, this disturbing trend is on the uptick.
No one hooked on the MSM (“mainstream news”) broad brush as Cohen repeatedly shows he is in feature Show playing deserves to be taken seriously.
Whatever its faults, the media is not a monolithic group. Not all are greedily chasing ratings. Reuters, the BBC, and NPR to name a few, have a reputation to lose, and high journalistic standards to uphold. And while it is one thing for the supposedly apolitical James Comey's now discredited FBI to be overrun by 'Trumpland' types, the CIA (see previous blog) is a different, better disciplined and internationally and culturally wired organization.
Which is why it's no surprise, Donald Trump characteristically finds himself now attacking U.S. Intelligence. Making up his own reality like the rest of his fans whenever news isn't favorable to his impulsive narcissism.
Yet sadly, Social Media narcissism with Facebook Fake News as its HQ; powered by wilful American electoral ignorance and Donald Trump's multi-layered deceptions in the run up to the 2016 Election, had the nation too stupefied to take Kasparov seriously. As apparent in how Trump supporter calls diluting an otherwise great opportunity for Kasparov to teach Americans some international perspective, got wasted by Cohen. Indeed Kasparov wasn't the only one frustrated by such American strategic political and security naïveté.
America — if the 2016 Presidential Election results are to believed, and I've thoroughly addressed that here — just gave a nod to the most incoherent foreign policy and national security thinking I've seen in a presidential campaign and a President-Elect. And no amount of retired military generals in a Cabinet may change the simple wisdom to be drawn from the fact that the U.S. has peaceful relations with its neighbors from Mexico, Canada and under Obama, Cuba and others. Something that can't be said about Russia's. Yet the Trump herd insist on poking China while remaining Putin apologists. To say American ignorance is frustrating is an understatement.
We know how badly Vladimir Putin's Russia is doing. Economically and otherwise. I don't see all the Cyber crime Russia's is known for, significantly growing the Russian economy. And even if China has benefited from years of “great brain robbery” one could learn much more from China's economic, national and overall success and stability than they could Putin's Russia.
No matter what he tells journalists and the Russian people, Vladimir Putin seeks no 'friendship' with the United States. And hurtful though it is for my Russian friends to concede, Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Linas Linkevičius described Putin's Russia best: “Russia is not a superpower. It is a super problem.” Intelligence Chief Dr. Hans-Georg Maaßen meanwhile has piled on in a press release accusing Russia of trying to “destabilize” his country, Germany.
In U.S. Cyber Deterrence 1.0 PREVIEW — the absolute prerequisite of this article — I predicted that IF a U.S. cyber retaliation to unprecedented aggressive Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election came, one could expect it shortly after Election Day.
The much anticipated “cyber strike” — at least at the time of writing — never came. But this update (and the previous iteration, click white dove below) illuminate my Demystifying Digital Forensics blog (another essential strategic security read). In addition to the initial installment, U.S. Cyber Deterrence 1.0 PREVIEW.
We've already established who America's arch adversaries are, saying competent career intelligence or strategic security officers, scholars and experts easily put China, the DPRK (North Korea), Iran, Russia, and radicalized Terror groups such as Al Qaeda & ISIS atop any list. And I have conceded that despite much Cyber Pearl Harbor fluff out there with fatalistic views about the state of security, Cyber Deterrence, for career intelligence officers and Presidents alike, remains a conundrum.
It can also stymie fresh, bold solutions and necessary realignments as policymakers are held hostage by the same fears held by academics and think tanks. As expatiated in the next two iterations. Which is why I continue to invoke Jimmy Bertrand's wisdom (in explanatory hyperlinked image) below:Disproportionately influenced by academia, diplomacy has become the Trojan horse now leveraged by Russia, China, Iran, the DPRK, and terrorists alike as Social Media is aggressively weaponized, via slick Fake News to misinform an already dumb electorate.
So while Americans dangerously wallow(ed) in rancorous fake news scandals and innuendos — which I consider both a national security threat and within a U.S. election context, treasonous — as well as toxic, stupid, self-destructive partisan sabotage and obstruction of the kind that stymied execution of the Obama Administration's broader vision for “making America” greater (a feat easier in nations like China where national unity is the de facto law of the land), American adversaries have pulled ahead, hacking away at will as they exploit multi-layered landmines, and American's own self-manufactured U.S. distractions.
Moreoever, with Russia aggressively migrating malicious, Influence Operations and Cyber Warfare tactics previously used with impunity against weaker nations, toward the U.S, America's left with no choice but to overtly send Russia and persistent adversaries, such as China, a cogent and credible message.
And yet disturbingly, American strategic intensity has been steadily losing ground to a cacophony of academic arguments that justify the careers of China and Russia apologists like Johns Hopkins' David Lampton and NYU's Stephen Cohen, more than they constructively and creatively address America's increasingly outfoxed foreign policy.
And in that sense both China and Russia had good reasons to fear Hillary Clinton's more hawkish approach, even as they exploit America using a word think tanks, academics and the uninitiated in Russian and Chinese deception love: cooperation and diplomacy.
Experts who have lived — not vacationed or privileged as Snowden has in Russia — under such regimes like Kasparov in Russia's case and China, in mine, understand as Hillary Clinton learned in her infamous “reset” attempt and countless Obama snubs in Asia how naive it is to talk deterrence or national security while getting counterintelligence wrong and ignoring ingrained subterfuge by adversaries. Some of whose culture depend on just that.
Next, I tackle China and The Roots of U.S. Foreign Policy Naïveté
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