Fighting Someone Who Doesn’t Care

Fighting Someone Who Doesn't Care

Today, an editorial by Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal said it outright about Putin’s land grab of Crimea and his view of others’ reactions to it, “He doesn’t care what they think.”

This comes to the point of the whole matter, which is how do you fight an adversary that just doesn’t give a [you know what]?

If one side is arguing what’s right based on international laws, mores, and the ethics of human rights and freedom, how does that stack up with an adversary that disseminates misinformation [oh, are those our troops on the ground?] and thumbs their nose at the world to get what they want?

Maybe fighting fair is wonderful from a legal standpoint, but it sure looks challenging on the ground.

Putin is daring anyone to do anything…heck, he’s got thermonuclear ICBMs and a veto at the U.N. Security Council.

BTW, if a security council member is the one doing something wrong, why in those matters, do they still get a veto???

Anyway, this is a very dangerous game of cat and mouse, and if everyone fought this way, the doomsday clock would be ticking very close to midnight, indeed.

Many times in history, a Goliath has swung a big ugly sword, but even a David–and we are not a David, but a world superpower–came to the fight with a sligshot and still won.

Notice though, David still came to the fight!

We can win by doing the right thing, but we cannot run away, because as Hitler showed us–appeasement does not work!

Give a finger and next goes the hand, arm, and torso.

Now already are reports that Putin is threatening to derail the P5+1 negotiations with Iran as well.

Yesterday, I read in Businessweek about overspending, that it’s better to get a haircut now, than have a beheading later.

Perhaps, this applies to national security matters as well?

We can’t be the policeman/woman of the world, but Snowden is snug in “Mother Russia” and now so is Crimea.

(Source Photo: here)

We’re Dead And We Don’t Even Know It

We're Dead And We Don't Even Know It

We all know the frightening threat of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) heading over the ice caps–from Russia, China, and even North Korea someday) and landing in our “backyards” destroying life as we know it.

But what The Washington Beacon reports about the arms race to new ultra-high speed missiles means we are probably dead already and don’t even know it.

These new missiles being developed by China, Russia, India, and the U.S. are designed to be so fast, so small, go so low (“ground-hugging), and be so maneuverable with precision guided systems that they may completely evade all our missile defenses (long-range interceptors, medium-range sea and land-based interceptors, and short-range, near target interceptors).

China tested one of these on Jan. 9–it would sit atop an ICBM and “then glide and maneuver at speeds of up to 10 times the speed of sound from near space en route to its target.”

It “takes off towards its target from near space, or less than 62 miles from earth.”

Traveling at Mach 10 or 7,680 miles per hour, the warhead would hit accordingly to my calculation in under 30 seconds!

These hypersonic weapons can be loaded on the last stages of ICBMS, submarine missiles, aboard strategic bombers, on cruise missiles, and even on surveillance drones.

This is the “hypersonic arms race” and the winner has asymmetric warfare advantage and can take out their opponent before the other guy even knows what hit them.

The good news is that the U.S. is testing the Lockheed HTV-2, Hypersonic Technology Vehicle, capable of Mach 20 (13,000 mph), and within the next 10-15 years we expect “rapid kill” to be able to “attack any location on earth within an hour.”

Note: the diameter of the earth is only 7,926 miles so if we can achieve Mach 20, it will actually only take us about 36 minutes!

So conventional missile defense is a bust, which leaves kinetic weapons and lasers (high-speed hit-to-kill capabilities) as our last defensive hope, as Ian Easton of the Project 2049 Institute said, “If there is a great power war in this century, it will not begin with the sound of explosions on the ground and in the sky, but rather with the bursting of kinetic energy and the flashing of laser light in the silence of outer space.”

What follows though is anything that gets through these defenses rings will destroy everything down here before you would even have enough time to read this post.

In a sense, we’re all dead already, and this is a very small foreshadowing testament.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Jonathan McIntosh)

With The Courage Of The Maccabees

This is a phenomenal speech by Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu to the United Nations on October 1 2013.

Some highlights from the speech:

– Iran is building underground uranium and plutonium enrichment facilities, using advanced centrifuges, conducting enrichments to near dangerous levels, and developing the ICBMs to deliver the nuclear weapons.

– Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map and chants death to Israel and America.

– Iran is smiling and negotiating, while positioning themselves for a dash over the nuclear finish line.

– Iran is seeking to provide meaningless concessions and empty promises in return for sanctions relief.

– Nuclear weapons in the hands of the rogue regime of Iran makes nuclear terrorism a clear and present danger.

– Israel will never acquiesce to nuclear weapons in the hands of a rogue regime that threatens to wipe them off the map.

– If Israel is forced to act alone, it will and in so doing be safeguarding many other nations as well.

– A bludgeoned Jewish people left for dead [after the Holocaust] will defend themselves with the courage of the Maccabees and not compromise on security.

If you get a chance, it is worth watching the whole thing.

Blackout Nation

Blackout Nation

We are reaching an exciting but dangerous phase of technology adoption where our dependence is virtually complete.

From mobile to social computing, from telecommunications to transportation, from industrial systems to electronic health records, from banking to eCommerce, from homeland security to national defense–we are dependent on technology.

But while technology proliferates everywhere, so do the risks.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (16 May 2003) in an article called “The City That Runs On Sensors” talks about how initiatives like IBM’s smart-cities is bringing sensors and technology to everything running our towns–“Smart [city] innovation is improving our economic fabric and the quality of our life.”

The flip side is an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal by former CIA director James Woolsey and Peter Pry who served on the congressional EMP commission warning how “A single nuke exploded above America could cause a national blackout for months” or years (stated later in article)

They write that “detonating a nuclear weapon high above any part of the U.S. mainland would generate a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse” (EMP)–and that this “would collapse the electric grid and other infrastructure that depends on it.”

This would be a national blackout of epic proportions that would impact all areas for 21st century sustainment of 311 million lives. Think for yourself–what would you be able to do and not do without the computers and telecommunications that you use every day?

Woolsey and Pry call for a preemptive surgical strike, for example, to prevent North Korean development of an ICMB capable of inflicting a nuclear EMP strike, but you can imagine other nations that pose a similar threat.

While be beef up our Cyber Corps and attempt to strengthen our tools, methods, and configurations, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to securing cyberspace.

Cybersecurity is more than just protecting us from malware infiltration and exfiltration–because the whole IT system that our society is built on can be wiped out not by cyber attack alone, but rather by collapsing the very electronic infrastructure that we rely on with a pulse of electromagnetic radiation that will fry the very circuits that run our devices.

While we build firewalls and put up intrusion detection and prevention guards and establish a court system of antivirus and spamware to put away violators and so on, how shall we prepare for a pulse attack that can incapacitate the electronics underpinnings–security and all?

“Star Wars” missile defense, preemptive action, and hardening of critical infrastructure are all security options–it costs money to keep the IT lights on, but better to pay now, then pay catastrophically bigger later. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Planning For The Next Big One

I saw the movie Olympus Has Fallen, where the North Koreans attack the White House and take the President and the National Security Council hostage.

While the acting was a “B” at best, the creativity of the attack and the action was an “A”.

The attack begins with a stolen Air Force modified AC-130 with side-mounted Gatling guns unleashing hell on the streets of Washington, D.C. and the White House, followed by suicide bombers creating a breach in the gates, RPG’s blowing up the security towers, 40 commandos storming though, and more Gatling guns hidden in the sides of two garbage trucks taking out our finest, the Secret Service agents that protect it.

There is plenty of subterfuge as the North Koreans posing as the security detail for the South Korean leader visiting at the White House make their way into the Presidential bunker, and there’s even a countdown to a potential nuclear holocaust by detonation of our own Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) in their silos by the terrorists.

It was so upsetting to see the Secret Service agents overwhelmed by the North Korean’s vicious attack–being literally mowed down trying to protect the President and White House. It was also wrenching to see them throw the American Flag from off the White House, as well as terrorize and nearly kill the President, Vice President, and Secretary of Defense in order to get the codes to access our nuclear missiles to shut them down and then blow them up.

There is a saying that “Generals are always trying to fight the last war,” and this is the feeling you get when you see this brazen dastardly attack on the central pillar of our political power base–where we are taken by surprise and the White House and President are held in foreign hands on our own soil.

These types of movies are great action, but also a wake-up call to our security professionals to think out of the box—yes, even like Hollywood–about what such a creative attack could look like.

I remember after 9/11, when everybody seemed to be saying that no one could’ve ever imagined something like this happening to us with airplanes being used as weapons, yet the movie “Executive Decision” with Kurt Russell in 1996 posed just such a scenario with an airplane loaded with a bomb and poison gas hurtling towards the east coast.

Years ago, as robotics and drones started to take anchor, I wondered out loud how prepared we were for armored robot(s) or commandos in robotic exoskeletons making just such a brazen attack.

Science fiction today is real threats of tomorrow. We may not be there just yet, but how creative are we in really thinking and planning for the next big ugly surprise.

I say get out your most outrageous thinking caps and let your mind run wild with the worst scenarios you can imagine, and then figure out what you will do about it–rather than waiting for the bad guys to figure it out for you! 😉