Archive for June, 2014


June 30, 2014

During the Cold War the Soviets developed, especially in the 1980s, an important type of politicial warfare called “active measures”. The use of this warfare has been useful to Kremlin today when using what has been called “special war”. It is the amalgam of espionage, subversion, even forms of terrorism to attain political ends without actually going to war in any conventional sense. The Russians have however been good at what is called “maskirovka” – disguised warfare – for centuries.

A recent study by Polish expert Jolanta Darczewska, The Anatomy of Russian Information Warfare – the Crimean Operation, A Case Study (2014) goes a long way analysing Russian geopolitical thinking to explain the present Russian techniques. Moscow claims that the reason for these activities is that there is a Western information war against Russia.

The present Russian geopolitical theories treat information as a dangerous weapon that has an unlimited range. It is easy accessible and permeates all state borders without restriction.

The author of the new Polish study considers representatives of geopolitical thinking in Russia, Alexander Dugin and Igor Panarin, responsible for popularizing geopolitics. They also take part in information warfare as opinion leaders. Their doctrine offers a theoretical base for the argument that Russia defends traditional values and “true liberty”.

Against “Atlantic civilization” stands the “Russian Eurasian civilization”. The Atlanticists seek global hegemony in an attempt to defeat Russia. Ukraine cannot, based on these ideas, be allowed to have closer relations to the West. The occupation of Crimea is presented in the context of this clash of the two civilizations.

The new information strategy of Russia is a policy of strengthening the state and building a power base of research and science, organizations, media, diplomacy etc. It is used for mobilization of society and reconstructing Russian spheres of influence both in Europe and Central Asia. The author concludes that Russia’s information war will intensify on the battlefields of disinformation and subversion. Kremlin is constantly modifying and perfecting its propaganda techniques using new media tools and even introducing innovative techniques in for instance networking services.


June 29, 2014

Radio Free Europe on June 27, 2014, reported that Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova signed key economic and political accords with the European Union in Brussels. Excerpts below:

Ukraine signed an agreement on closer economic ties with the EU, as did Moldova and Georgia, which also signed documents on closer political ties.

The moves represent a big step toward the West and away from Russia for the three countries.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said that “future generations will remember this day.” He said the European Union now stands by the three countries “more than ever before.”

Both Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stressed that the accords were not aimed at harming Russia. Barroso said the EU was not seeking an exclusive partnership with the three countries, and that the agreements were “for something and not against anybody.”

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said becoming a member of the European family was Georgia’s “unwavering will.” He said the June 27 signing ceremony was “the beginning of a great journey.”

Garibashvili said Abkhazia and South Ossetia — Georgian breakaway regions recognized as independent states by Russia — would also see the advantages of closer ties with the EU.

Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca said the accords offered his country “a future.” He said that Moldova had made a “definitive choice,” and that choice is European integration.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the signing of the agreements may be the “most important day” for his country since it became independent from the Soviet Union.

He said, “over the last months, Ukraine has paid the highest possible price to make its European dream come true.”

He also declared that Ukraine’s ultimate goal was to join the EU when it is “fully prepared.”

Former President Viktor Yanukovych’s abrupt refusal to sign the agreements back in November 2013 sparked the Euromaidan revolt that led to his ouster in February.

Before the signing, Poroshenko held up a pen, saying it was the pen Yanukovych was supposed to use to sign the Association Agreement at the EU summit in Vilnius in November.

“Historic events are unavoidable,” Poroshenko said.

In March, the EU and Kyiv signed an Association Agreement after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Brussels had planned to sign the political and trade pacts with Chisinau and Tbilisi later this year but moved up the date amid concerns Moscow may try to obstruct the process.

Russia has threatened to respond with trade barriers as it pushes its own Eurasian Economic Union.


Among other things, the agreements will allow the three countries unfettered access to the EU’s market of 500 million consumers.


June 28, 2014

John Lenczowski in 2011 published an important book on strengthening American public diplomacy efforts, Full Spectrum Diplomacy and Grand Strategy: Reforming the Structure and Culture of U.S. Foreign Policy. Russia’s occupation of Crimea in 2014 has clearly demonstrated the need for reforming US public diplomacy. It is important to counter Russian disinformation in the ongoing war of ideas. The present Russian leader is clearly bent on restoring the Russian empire.

Countries that are under threat, except Ukraine, are for instance Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

Lenczowski in his book offered a solution to one of the greatest weaknesses in US foreign policy that has allowed the increase of an unprecedented anti-Americanism of recent years. The US government’s inability to conduct the “full spectrum” of diplomatic arts and integrate them with the other arts of statecraft at the level of grand strategy has opened a window of opportunity for Russian political warfare.

The analysis presents a critique of how the US Department of State’s focus on traditional, government-to-government diplomacy comes at the expense of public diplomacy. “Public diplomacy” is defined in the broadest sense as including all those arts that involve relations with, and influence over, foreign publics and opinion leaders, including cultural diplomacy, exchanges, information policy, strategic communications, psychological strategy, political action, political warfare, and wars of ideas.

Author John Lenczowski, one of the first modern advocates for the strategic integration of all the instruments of national power, calls for the development of an “influence culture” in US foreign policy, and provides a roadmap for reforming the structure and culture of American diplomacy. While addressing contemporary US foreign policy, this study presented lessons in statecraft and grand strategy that are applicable for all times and places. Full Spectrum Diplomacy and Grand Strategy thus raises issues that are relevant not only to diplomats but also to practitioners of military strategy, and statecraft. Dr Lencowski has recently called for the creation of a US Public Diplomacy Agency and extended American foreign language broadcasts and strengthening of Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and Radio Free Asia.

John Lenczowski is founder and president of The Institute of World Politics, an independent graduate school of national security and international affairs in Washington, D.C.

From 1981 to 1983 Dr. Lenczowski served in the State Department in the Bureau of European Affairs and as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. From 1983 to 1987 he was Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council. In that capacity, he served as principal Soviet affairs adviser to President Reagan.

Dr. Lenczowski received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

He is the author of Soviet Perceptions of U.S. Foreign Policy (1982); The Sources of Soviet Perestroika (1990), Cultural Diplomacy: A Multi-faceted Strategic Asset of Soviet Power (1991 and other writings and addresses on U.S. foreign policy, public diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, counter-propaganda, political warfare, Soviet/Russian affairs, comparative ideologies, strategic deception, and integrated strategy.


June 27, 2014

The Washington Times on June 25, 2014, reported that the Air Force is going to make sure everyone’s favorite bat-winged bomber stays stealth through 2058. The B-2 Spirit will be included in upcoming modernization planning being conducted by the Pentagon. Excerpts below:

Northrop Grumman has a contract with the Pentagon to complete a massive upgrade on the nuclear bomber. Its $9.9 billion contract will include new computer processors, avionics, radar warning receivers and communications gear, the defense website reported.

“We’re re-hosting the flight management control processors, the brains of the airplane, onto a much more capable integrated processing unit,…said Eric Single, chief of the Global Strike division for Air Force acquisition, reported.

America’s fleet of 21 B-2 bombers was first produced in 1989 at a cost of $2.2 billion per plane. Each plane can also carry a payload of 40,000 pounds.

“This is a Cold War machine with 1980s computers. The Cold War was great for aerospace, but the computers are still stuck in the 80s. It is amazing the level of performance you can get by modernizing those systems,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis, Teal Group, a Virginia-based consultancy, reported.


June 26, 2014

Fox News on June 22, 2014, reported that a long-range interceptor blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast, minutes after an intermediate-range ballistic missile was launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, the Missile Defense Agency said in a statement. Excerpts below:

…the interceptor struck the target warhead. Officials said it appears all components of the test performed as designed.

“This is a very important step in our continuing efforts to improve and increase the reliability of our homeland ballistic missile defense system,” said Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring, Missile Defense Agency director.

It was the 65th successful intercept since 2001 for the Ballistic Missile Defense System.

A crew of U.S. Army soldiers from the 100th Missile Defense Brigade based in Colorado’s Schriever Air Force Base remotely launched the interceptor.

Kwajalein is a small atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands where the U.S. maintains a ballistic missile defense site. It’s halfway between Hawaii and Australia.


June 22, 2014

Washington Free Beacon on June 4, 2014, reported that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) escalated its repression of dissent to maintain a firm grip on power 25 years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, but social and economic tensions stoked by the party in recent years could ultimately lead to its demise, experts say. Excerpts below:

Activists say Chinese authorities launched the harshest ever crackdown on dissidents ahead of the anniversary of the pro-democracy protests, with 41 criminal detentions and two confirmed arrests as of Tuesday, according to the group Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD). Authorities have actively worked to purge memories of the events of 1989 from the public consciousness and censor any discussion of the events online.

Chinese troops entered Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, and killed anywhere from several hundred to thousands of citizens, though the government has never released an official death toll.

Ellen Bork, director of democracy and human rights for the Foreign Policy Initiative, said in an email that the continued presence of activism in China despite government repression shows that its citizens still have doubts about the CCP.

“The Party is committed to crushing dissent or the advancement of alternatives to its rule, but I believe Chinese people, like everyone, will make the connection between stability and democracy, and between good government and sustained economic growth,” she said. “It is troubling that the world’s leading democracies are not making this case and not building their China and Tibet policies around it.”

Bork said Jinping’s rhetoric about combating corruption rings hollow after courts sentenced several members of the New Citizens’ Movement to multi-year jail sentences earlier this year. The movement led by prominent rights activist Xu Zhiyong called on party officials to be more transparent and disclose their assets.

“For the Party, formal exposure of the level of corruption would be delegitimizing, so it has lashed out at the New Citizens’ Movement, locking up several of its core leaders,” Bork said. “This suggests that Xi Jinping’s own ostensible ‘anti-corruption’ campaign has other objectives—shoring up the Party’s control and image, and eliminating political rivals.”

Although the CCP has appeared to strengthen its rule, experts say profound social and economic problems linger beneath the surface.

China’s blistering pace of economic growth in the last quarter-century—an accomplishment the party constantly touts in its propaganda—is likely to slow in the coming decades. The country’s aging population and shrinking cohort of working adults will exacerbate the economic pressure.

Nicholas Eberstadt, a political economist and demographer with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said in an interview that China’s troubling demographic trends are largely attributable to its one-child policy. While the party recently eased this policy, practices such as forced late-term abortions continue in some areas—adding to the more than 336 million forced abortions that have been performed under the policy, according to pro-life women’s group All Girls Allowed.

Eberstadt said the party’s policies are creating a “rising generation in Chinese cities with only children begotten by only children,” a phenomenon that is disrupting traditional extended family and business networks. Without the rule of law, families will struggle to conduct business and form social ties—making politics “more unpredictable,” he said.

“Maybe China will become a society under the rule of law … but maybe it won’t happen,” he said. “If it doesn’t happen, atrophy of the Chinese family will still occur. That could turn into one of the biggest social disjunctions that China will face over the next generation.”

Japan is boosting its defensive capabilities in response [to China’s military buildup], and China’s stationing of an oilrig in disputed waters and ramming of Vietnamese vessels has drawn international condemnation.

Activist Chen Guangcheng, the iconic blind lawyer of the dissident movement, spoke at AEI [on the anniversary]. Chen was jailed for four years in 2006 and then placed under house arrest for challenging forced abortions and sterilizations in a rural area in eastern China.

“They tried to silence me, but I will not be silent,” Chen said, the first time he spoke publicly in English.

He urged foreign governments to send Chinese citizens technology that can help them bypass Internet censorship and to stop receiving party officials that were involved in the June 4th crackdown.

‘The whole world must stand firm,” he said. “If we speak loudly and clearly, a free China, a democratic China, a China with a constitutional government, will come to pass. It must. It must.”


June 21, 2014

Washington Free Beacon on June 19, 2014, reported that the United States is opposing a new draft treaty submitted to the United Nations last week by China and Russia that seeks legally binding curbs on weapons in space amid concerns that both states are secretly building space arms. Excerpts below:

The draft treaty—updated from a 2008 version—cannot be verified, according to Frank A. Rose, deputy assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification, and compliance.

“The United States believes that arms control proposals and concepts should only be considered by the international community if they are equitable, effectively verifiable, and enhance the security of all,” Rose told a June 10 session in Geneva of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament.

The Chinese-Russian draft treaty “does not meet the necessary criteria,” Rose said, adding that the U.S. opposition is based on a preliminary assessment that the new draft fails to address “significant flaws” in the 2008 draft.

Rose instead said the United States favors a less formal “code of conduct” for space being promoted by the European Union. The code has come under fire from the Pentagon’s Joint Staff that stated in a 2012 assessment that the code would harm U.S. military space activities.

China is engaged in a major space weapons development program that includes ground-based anti-satellite missiles, lasers and electronic jammers, and small maneuvering satellites that can attack orbiting satellites.

Russia also is developing space warfare weapons.

Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon strategic analyst, said the administration’s opposition to the new space weapons treaty is one of the few times he has agreed with the administration on an arms control issue.

“All U.S. administrations have rejected space control because there are serious definitional problems, such as what is a space weapon,” Schneider said. “And there are serious verification problems associated with it.

Additionally, “Russia is certain to cheat on any space treaty,” Schneider said. “They have announced that they are developing ASAT weapons. Moreover, they may be developing space offensive weapons.”

The Soviet Union in the 1960s deployed a nuclear space weapon system called the fractional orbital bombardment system. It used an orbiting strategic missile in low earth orbit that was designed to de-orbit and attack the United States by transiting southward from the South Pole to avoid radar detection.

Russian military writings have indicated recently that Moscow may revive the orbiting southern polar missile attack system. Analysts have said that in addition to providing Moscow with a first-strike space nuclear weapon, the system could also be used in a devastating electro-magnetic pulse attack over U.S. territory that would destroy all electronics over a large area.

Former State Department China specialist John Tkacik said the draft treaty appears to be a ploy by Beijing and Moscow.

“The Chinese and Russians have no interest in actually abiding by any international treaty that limits the militarization of space, but they are keen to get the United States to tie itself in knots over one,” Tkacik said.

The Obama administration’s critiera for a space treaty—that it be verifiable and contain precise definitions—is also faulty, Tkacik said.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that countries with a tradition of respect for the rule of law abide by such treaties, while countries with no respect for law—like Russia and China, to name but a few—see treaties as subterfuges with which to confound the gullible,” he said.

The draft treaty is formally called the Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and of the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects. It was presented to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on June 10.

Observers say the Russian and Chinese push for a legally binding space arms treaty are part of unconventional legal warfare, or lawfare, efforts designed to achieve the objective of limiting their adversaries military capabilities covertly.

A Pentagon-sponsored report on China’s use of lawfare predicted China’s use of the UN conference to limit U.S. military space capabilities.

“In the future, Chinese legal warfare could provide advantages in areas such as treaties regulating or abolishing the emplacement of weapons in space, or the fielding of anti-satellite systems,” according to the May 2013 report “China: The Three Warfares.”

The report said the current 1967 Outer Space Treaty prohibits only the placing of weapons of mass destruction in space, with limits against harmful contamination of space.

The Obama administration’s 2010 National Space Policy does not rule out the use of space weapons in support of U.S. defense and national security objectives.

“The United States will employ a variety of measures to help assure the use of space for all responsible parties, and, consistent with the inherent right of self-defense, deter others from interference and attack, defend our space systems and contribute to the defense of allied space systems, and, if deterrence fails, defeat efforts to attack them,” the policy, dated June 28, 2010, states.

A year later the Pentagon and Office of the Director of National Intelligence published the National Security Space Strategy that calls for promoting the peaceful use of space, but retaining the right to defeat space threats—an indication that space weapons could be developed and fielded in the future.


June 20, 2014

FoxNews on May 22, 2014, published a report that the Pentagon’s research arm unveiled a new drone built with secure software that prevents the control and navigation of the aircraft from being hacked. Excerpts below:

The program, called High Assurance Cyber Military Systems, or HACMS, uses software designed to thwart cyber attacks. It has been underway with the Defense Advance Research Project Agency for several years after originating at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Washington, said Kathleen Fischer, HACMS program manager for DARPA.

“The software is designed to make sure a hacker cannot take over control of a UAS. The software is mathematically proven to be invulnerable to large classes of attack,” Fisher said.

The mini drone is engineered with mathematically assured software making it invulnerable to cyber attack.

“We started out with the observation that many vehicles are easy for malicious hackers to tamper with the software and take control remotely. We’ve replaced all the software with our high assurance software that was developed using the tools and techniques that were invented in the program,” Fisher said.

The drone prototype was among more than 100 projects and 29 advanced research programs on display in the Pentagon’s courtyard Wednesday in what was billed as DARPA Demo Day.

Vulnerabilities or security issues can arise when drones or other military aircraft are “networked” to one another such that they can share information in real time. Security risks can emerge through network protocols, software bugs or unintended interactions between otherwise correct components, DARPA officials explained.

The software tools used for the HACMS program can be adjusted to larger platforms. In fact, DARPA plans to transition the secure software to Boeing’s Unmanned Little Bird helicopter, DARPA officials said.


June 18, 2014

Aftenposten, Oslo, rapporterade den 16 juni att den norske justitieministern Anders Anundsen kommer att be CIA om att få tillgång till uppgifter om östtyska Stasiagenter i Norge under det kalla kriget. Sveriges justitieminister fortsätter att mörka frågan om uppgifter om namnen på Stasiagenter som opererade i Sverige. Utdrag nedan:

– Det er både riktig og viktig å rette henvendelse til CIA. Vi er allerede i gang med undersøkelser i departementet, sa statsråden i Stortinget i dag. Anundsen svarte på en interpellasjon fra Anders B. Werp (H) i Stortinget, der han ba justisministeren ta et slikt initiativ for å få kartlagt den østtyske sikkerhetstjenesten Stasis virksomhet i Norge.

Anundsen er optimistisk med tanke på svar fra amerikanske myndigheter, men vet ikke om det vil bli stilt betingelser. Departementet har allerede begynt sonderingene hos CIA.

– Materialet bør være tilgjengelig for forskere, og jeg mener også at det har stor almen interesse. Jo mer vi vet og kan, desto bedre forståelse får vi for vår nære historie, sier justisministeren.

Norge kan dermed bli det første landet utenom Tyskland som har full oversikt over Stasis virksomhet i eget land.

I tillegg til å be CIA om informasjon knyttet til norske borgeres virksomhet, vil han også be om informasjon om DDR-borgere som flyttet til Norge før 1989.

Anundsen sier til Aftenposten at det er vanskelig å vite hvor lang tid det kommer til å ta å få materialet til Norge. – Men vi skal ha en nær og tett dialog med CIA, sier han.

Internasjonalt har historikere har i flere år kjempet for å få tilgang til denne informasjonen. I 2011 undertegnet 50 forskere fra flere land det såkalte Gotland-manifestet der man ba nordiske regjeringer om hjelp. Nå roses Norge som et foregangsland av initiativtagerne til oppropet – Helmut Müller-Enbergs og Thomas Wegener Friis.

Helmut Müller-Enbergs mener gamle Stasi-agenter fortsatt utgjør en risiko.

Han understreker at dette også er viktig for Norge: – Norge kan benytte muligheten til å finne ut hvordan motkrefter får fotfeste i landet. Det er viktig for å forsvare fred og demokrati.

Også Thomas Wegener Friis ved Syddanske universitet er svært fornøyd…Norge kan bli det første landet med fullstendig oversikt.

– Vi fikk utlevert en del på nittitallet. Men vi fikk ikke hele pakken, den gang handlet det mer om juss enn om historie. Man så det med juridiske briller, og har derfor ikke systematisk hentet informasjon om hele nettverket. Det er det potensialet som ligger i Rosenholz-filene fra CIA, at man kan få et komplett bilde som så langt ikke finnes i noe nordisk land, sier en entusiastisk Friis.

Friis håper at danske myndigheter nå vil følge på.

– Hvorfor har dette tatt så lang tid?

– Det er det flere grunner til. I første omfang handlet det om at man ikke så informasjonen med historiske briller, men med juridiske.

Han forteller også at de siste par årene ser interessen for kald krigs-historie ut til å ha steget. – 25 år etter at den kalde krigen var forbi, etableres stadig nye nettverk og initiativer, sier han.


June 15, 2014

FoxNews on June 14, 2014, reported that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered the carrier to be moved from the North Arabian Sea to the Arabian Gulf and are expected to arrive sometime in the evening. Excerpts below:

The Pentagon said Saturday that the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush will be repositioned to provide President Obama “additional flexibility” in Iraq.

An Al Qaeda splinter group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, has been on the move. The group has been conducting an offensive in the western region of the country and threatens stability in Baghdad.

Obama said earlier that his administration would not send U.S. troops into combat. He made clear that any U.S. involvement likely would be limited, pressing the embattled Iraqi government to develop a “political plan” and make a “sincere effort” to resolve sectarian divisions.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered the carrier to be moved from the North Arabian Sea to the Arabian Gulf. The ship is expected to arrive in the area on the evening of June 14. The aircraft carrier will be accompanied by a guided-missile cruiser and a guided-missile destroyer, said Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon press secretary. The Nimitz-class carrier has been in the region since February.

The ships carry Tomahawk missiles, which could reach Iraq. The Bush is carrying fighter jets that could also easily get to Iraq, where the fast-moving Islamic insurgency is gaining territory.

Meanwhile, hundreds of young Iraqi men poured into volunteer centers across Baghdad, answering a call by the country’s top Shiite cleric to join the fight against Sunni militants advancing in the north.

Dozens climbed into the back of army trucks, chanting Shiite slogans and hoisting assault rifles, pledging to battle the ISIS, which has launched a lightning advance across the country.

The massive response to the call by the Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued via his representative on June 13, comes as sectarian tensions are threatening to push the country back toward civil war in the worst crisis since U.S. forces withdrew at the end of 2011.