Tag Archives: IISS

Oh La L’argent

Reuters is giving us the news yesterday that there is trouble brewing in France. The article titled ‘France’s Macron says defense chief has no choice but to agree with him: JDD‘ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-defence-idUSKBN1A00TE). The best way to trivialise this is by going on the fact that the world’s 6th most spending nation on defence is cutting the defence of France back by almost a billion. Now, for the number one and two spenders in this field, that is a laughable amount. In the national terms it is a little below 2% of that total budget. In light of the UK NHS and other players needing to trim the fat and handover a pound of beef that amount is equally laughably low, yet for France? The article gives us in addition ““If something opposes the military chief of staff and the president, the military chief of staff goes,” Macron, who as president is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, told Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD)“, we can see this as hard talk and a kind warning to any opposition, or we can accept that this former financial advisor is setting up the board. He is placing certain pieces in reflection of the events coming in 2018. I wonder if it is merely about defence spending. Even as we see the other quote “General Pierre de Villiers reportedly told a parliament committee he would not let the government ‘fuck with’ him on spending cuts“, the questions are rising on two fronts, fronts that are not them by the way. You see, when we see another source (at http://www.iiss.org/en/militarybalanceblog/blogsections/2017-edcc/july-c5e6/franco-german-cooperation-1efd), we see ‘Can Franco-German cooperation deliver a new European defence?‘, yet the question is not merely the side that matters, it is the quote “German Chancellor Angela Merkel has committed her government to meeting the symbolic 2% defence-spending threshold” as well as “Germany remains far off the 2% spending mark – it is projected to spend 1.2% of GDP on defence in 2017 – and the Chancellor’s main opponent in this September’s federal election, Martin Schulz, has poured cold water on Germany’s commitment to that goal“, this is where the cookie starts to crumble. Is there a consideration that France is cutting costs, to remain on par with Germany, mainly because that would simplify a European Army where the ‘pound’ of all power is based on France and Germany? It works for President Macron, because at that point he could spend it somewhere else, in some form of local Quantative Easing (read: funding economy projects) as well as highly needed infrastructure overhauls. Although, 1 billion will not get this too far, but overall one or two larger issues could be resolved to a better degree, depending on whether he goes for roads or waterworks as a first priority. In all this there is a second issue, which is the combined design of a new 5th generation fighter jet, which will impact both German and France’s defence spending a lot more than anything else.

So as General Pierre de Villiers is contemplating the impact of 2% less, whilst a new jet is on the design table and 2018 will become the year of whatever EU army is up for initial presentation, the amounting costs of that infrastructure change, the General is confronted not with a president, but with a former investment banker that relies on Excel and predictive analytics to set the possible options of a virtual reality against a person who deals in real time events, idle time strategy impacts and an need towards an affirmation of hierarchy whilst having a complete operational army. In all this there is no telling when France gets attacked next and for that the DGSE will need 5 high powered computers with access to a cloud system. With a new encryption that surpasses the current 1024-bit RSA encryption that is used. So yes, that is also going to cost a bundle.

This is not just ‘all about the money’, you see, the IISS article seems to give rise to the Nuclear planning part, but that is not the actual issue that will play. As in any war and any intelligence operation, it will be about the data and intelligence that is acted on, and whilst there is data going back to 2007, that the growing issues becomes a shifting one. With: “Arjen Lenstra, a cryptology professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, says the distributed computation project, conducted over 11 months, achieved the equivalent in difficulty of cracking a 700-bit RSA encryption key, so it doesn’t mean transactions are at risk — yet“, the growing deadline was set to roughly 5 years, with the growth of Ransomware and other criminal cyber solutions, we have gone passed the deadline of 2012 and as such, the is now a growing need for matters a lot more secure. when we consider the added quote: “the University of Bonn and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in Japan, researchers factored a 307-digit number into two prime numbers“, this might be a breakthrough in some ways, yet it still took 11 months to get to the solution, with other solutions like distributed calculating (example the famous Seti@Home program) and the cloud, as well as the fact that the bulk of PC users leave their computers on and way too unsecured, we are facing a combination that could spell cyber disaster. Just consider all those kids working their DDOS attack games. What happens when the computer is not aware because it is no longer attacking places (that can actually register these events), but just silently mulling over data? The person is asleep or at work, now we get that shared options gives us for example 50,000 calculators, changing an 11 month gig into a mere 10 minute job. Now, there is no precedence for this, yet the amount of people that have an infuriating lack of common cyber sense is still way too high (well over 75% too high), so getting to 50,000 computers silently is not the greatest task. It had been made easier by the Microsoft security flaws all over the place and the users not being adamant in upgrading their system when needed, as well as the need from Microsoft to keep on pushing some version of blue (read: Azure), my speculation is not that far away, moreover, it could actually already slowly being used in one way or another (read: extremely speculative suggestion).

Yet, the gist must be clear, the governments, pretty much all over Europe are due a large overhaul of data collectors and data storage systems. Even as we see on how Russia and the US are so called collaborating on quantum computing, those who comprehend the technology will know that whomever has that technology would be able to gain access to any data, it like you using a PC XT, whilst others are all about the Pentium 2, the difference will be that severe.

Yet, this was about France (read: actually it is not). The issue is not just the small disagreement that was going on between two important players within a Western European nation; the fact that it was on a subject and amount that is not that drastic, but Reuters is going with it on the front of its pages. In all this France is also getting the forefront of visibility trying to become the facilitator for the Qatar, which comes with the added danger that France will become more of a target for extremists because of it. Not a given, but it is more likely than not that there is a danger that this will happen.

On the coming year, we see that it will be all about the money, that has always been a given, so it is just telling people that there is water coming out of a water tap, yet it will be growing in the coming year as several nations have overly neglected infrastructures and there is a decent prediction that some part will have to give in, which will require additional budgets. France and Belgium are taking the top ratings on the need to improve their roads and as some roads have been neglected for too long, the road repairs bill could become exceedingly large for those two players. As such, the total debt of France will take a rising hit (one part that France cannot really afford at present) and Belgium would be in a similar predicament. These are the additional elements that President Macron will need to deal with.

Does that not make defence cuts more important?

Well, that is one way to look at it, which is a valid one, yet the rising projects and the growing chance of a European Army start would give rise to either more spending needs in the French defence budget or the French Ministry of Defence could end up having to deal with additional pressure points soon thereafter, in this other nations (including the UK have similar complexities to deal with)

Why the reference to France?

Well, that will become a little more obvious in about a moment, yet it was important to show that the cost cutting on Defence in France is a first mistake (read: blunder) by President Macron.

The article ‘Government offers £2m for scientific research into counter-terrorism‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/17/government-offers-2m-for-scientific-research-into-counter-terrorism), is showing us a first step in regards to solve possible extremist behavioural issues. In my personal view it is a competition that Israel could win hands down as they have been employing certain parts of that with success at Ben Gurion Airport and other places for close to a decade. Yet, doing it in some automated way through data gathering is a new side to that and here is where all the hardware and DGSE comes into play, or in the UK terms, this is where GCHQ could be starting to earn the big bucks (read: £). The quote “The threat from terror does not stand still, so neither will we, which is why we are calling on the best and the brightest from the science and technology sector to come forward with their ideas and proposals to support our ongoing work to keep people safe” is the one that matter, yet overall, even beyond the £2M price, the costs will be decently staggering. You see, this is no longer about intelligence dissemination; it will become the field of real time parsing, gathering and analysing. Yes, the sequence is correct! You see, it requires the analyses of gathered information, parsing new data and overlaying the results, all that in real time. So as I stated earlier by relating this to Paris (and the attacks), it is the applied use of General Pierre de Villiers with the added parsed intelligence in real time. For the non-military trained people. It is like watching a Command and Conquer videogame, yet now seeing the entire map and knowing how the opposition is moving next, whilst in reality you are not seeing the map at all. Look at it as a version of blind chess, Hi-Octane style. Now consider that this is happening in real time at this very moment in London, with all the information of CCTV, facial recognition and back tracking the first attack and then back tracking the faces where it happened, seeing where they came from and seeing how the next event would likely happen and how soon. The computational power would be close to unimaginative large. So when you see ““In light of the horrific attacks in London and Manchester, the government has committed to review its counter-terror strategy,” Wallace will say. “Further to this I am announcing today that we are making up to £2m available to fund research into cutting-edge technology and behavioural science projects designed to keep people safe in crowds.”” we need to consider not just doing that, yet as I stated encryption, it will also require the collected data to remain safe, because the first one to have the manpower and the skill to hit not just in extremist ways with weapons, yet to hit their opponent with a cyber-assault to corrupt the initial data, will not merely have the advantage, it could cripple that forecasting system, implying that crowds will suddenly no longer be safe when an actual attack occurred.

So when we consider “Counter-terror agencies are running 500 investigations involving 3,000 individuals at any one time as they confront an unprecedented threat“, we aren’t being told the entire story. You see, it is not just that, in a crowd event, there would be the need to be able to scan 50,000 people and be able to flag as many and as fast as possible those who are not a threat. To teach a system where to look is one way, where not to look and what to overlook is equally a required skill. To do this in real time, requires loads of data and might not be entirely feasible until quantum computing is a realistic option. When someone tells you that 50,000 people can be easily scanned, we could concur, yet when every person needs to be checked against 200 sources? Consider the lone wolf (or wannabe extremist). Having an initial harmless person in the crowd is one thing, having one that came all the way from Grantham, whilst there is no data that this person has ever attended such an event becomes an issue, now correlate that against the event (like a concert, a humanitarian event or a political rally), how often has this person attended? It might be the first time, which does not make that person a worry, merely a flag that it is out of character. So how many people would have a similar flag setting? Now you get to see the need of exiting gathered data, which gives a rise to knowing those who are merely vested interest people, and optional worries. When you consider that it could require 100 additional flags that give rise to danger, you will now see the need for the computing power required. So how has Israel been successful? Well, they have observers, people who see people walk by, their stance, and their actions, how they look around, levels of nervousness, the way they walk, the luggage they have. The human brain is the most powerful computer there is, the eyes are camera’s that can see more detailed in 3D than nearly any given camera on the market and those persons can read the people walking by. I believe that there is a future where devices can do similar things because they can look different (read: infra-red), not better.

I think that the approach by Ben Wallace, the security minister, is brilliant. He is opening the doors towards out of the box thinking and perhaps set a new stage of technology. There will always be people outside the government who are more brilliant that those within, he is merely inviting them to cast the stone of innovation, I reckon that in light of the technology changes we will see in the next 2 years, the timing is great, time will tell us whether the solutions were real ones too. At least the ball has started to roll and in light of the cut backs by France, the United Kingdom could have a technological advantage that might be a long term solution all others want, which is great too for several reasons of economic growth, which keeps the commercial solution providers interested.

 

 

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And so it begins!

Even though Marine Le Pen still has to deal with her daddy, the one person who seems intent to drown the part his daughter was able to make a reality. His extreme approach was never going to work, now that she has shown this, his intention of making that future a non-possibility. Of course her opponents are happy as can be that Jean-Marie seems to go on tantrums making National Front seem too extreme, but the National Front members know better and soon Europe will know this too. What I predicted well over a year ago is still on course, and now, finally the press seems to take a little bit of notice. The quote in the French RFI is “French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has called for an end to all immigration to France, legal and illegal. In a speech aimed at rallying her Front National (FN) ahead of regional elections, she failed to mention her father’s expulsion from the party but did lay into immigrants, Islamists and President François Hollande” and “They don’t tell you this but the immigration situation in France is totally out of control,” Le Pen said at a meeting to mark the start of France’s new political season. “My aim is clear: to stop immigration both legal and illegal. The FN’s programme officially calls for immigration to be limited to 10,000 people per year but Le Pen went further, declaring, “We need national borders for France”“. Of course there is an issue getting this to move as Hollande is still president, but the clarity is a fact. National Front is now on the move, the data as given shows that the anger after the 21 August failed attack on a high-speed train from Belgium to France, France itself is becoming more and more extremely unaccepting regarding Islam extremists and foreign Islamists. Marine Le Pen called for “all foreigners on file for links with radical Islamist movements to be deported“, adding that ““radical mosques” should be closed and their imams be thrown out of the country if they are foreigners“. The French are realising that they got lucky, according to CNN “The three men — a member of the Air Force, an inactive National Guard member and a civilian” stopped what could have been a massacre. The French have had enough and so they should. This view, partially due to what seems to be President Hollande’s inaction. Whatever actions he undertakes now will only fuel the Le Pen campaign.

Now we have a problem, one that hits many others. If France remains on this course, England have no other option but to invoke Brexit. It needs to do so before Frexit becomes a reality. My reasoning is that whomever goes first will have the best options, not the worst options, after that the curve goes down fast. It is for that reason that I oppose the view from François Heisbourg in the Financial Times (at http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/20eb52bc-4cb1-11e5-9b5d-89a026fda5c9.html) the quote “It has a xenophobic and illiberal force all too keen to take advantage of popular fears about the impact of migration in the shape of the National Front (FN), Europe’s largest extreme right wing party, with a base representing some 25 per cent of the electorate. But, until now, Paris has not indicated that it has any clue how to cope“. You see, some might call it ‘xenophobic‘, yet this is the second attack within France and this one was almost successful. We should regard the circumstances a miracle, most will downplay the events into ‘the public can protect us‘ but in all, the governments failed and an open Europe is a dangerous situation, not all nations have the benefit of a tunnel and 5 ferries. Many other places are leaky as a sieve. France has entry points from many overly liberal nations, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Italy. Belgium also gives access for the Netherlands and the boats are pouring into Italy. France no longer feels secure and yes, it is clear that National Front is pressing that issue as the Financial Times states, but is that fear incorrect or inaccurate? In addition the quote “Europe’s leaders need to live up to our responsibilities as humans and as neighbours, assume part of the burden, and talk straight to the electorate. Continued European and French fecklessness will only improve the far-right’s prospects of success, and will deepen what is already an unprecedented crisis“. This sounds very logical and ‘civil’, but Mr Heisbourg forgets that as the Chairman of the IISS and of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy he lives a nice sheltered life in the areas of far higher income then most others have. I will immediately agree that the bulk (let’s say 99%) are true refugees hoping for a better life, it is the 1% that is a problem, moreover, if we should learn anything it is the fact that most European nations do not have any level of infrastructure to take care of these refugees. That is the part many are ignoring. It is a direct consequence of bad budgeting. France and Italy are direct examples of evidence here. The UK and Greece are also in a place where funds are lacking. Together we are looking at close to 7 trillion in debt, in all that those governments are seeing an influx of thousands of refugees trying to find a future whilst support is no longer a financial option. Interesting how so many players ignore that part in all this. Yet the people of the UK, France, Italy and Greece see the immigrants for what they perceive them to be: “a direct threat to liveable income” any refugee who is sincere in his travel is also sincere in finding a job, a way to support their family. One in 10 in Europe does not have a job, any job given to them will be another job not going to their own citizens. This is a warped number as these people are often not equipped to do most of the jobs but the low schooled ones, bring a wave of fear to those in lowly paid jobs, fuelling places like UKIP and FN, which is why the French issue is escalating. What is not clearly shown is the effect that 270,000 refugees in Greece and Italy alone have on the EEC. I understand that people like François Heisbourg have an idealistic view. For the most people like him truly believe in that vision, but as governments cannot maintain their budgets, as large corporations are paying less and less taxation and as they fuel their own board of directors, governments at large no longer have any proper means to support such an influx. Whatever these people tell you, whatever fairy-tale you get told, realise that 270,000 people will cost us between 270 and 500 million each month. So this takes up to 6 billion a year and that is just from the present group, now add the 2014 group and in addition the people that will come in until December. Now explain to me how these nations who are already missing out on billions a year will add that to their invoice?

In all this, the people all over Europe see their cost of living rise, their past income is not coming back and the financial troubles for Europe are only just beginning. The Chinese market is a mess and it will influence the American market too. To what extent? I cannot tell, I actually do not know, but what I do know is that any change in the EEC will have a massive influence on the American bubble and the American way of life. Most of these facts have been ignored by many players of the media, there was always a whiff of ‘prosperous foresight‘, followed soon thereafter by ‘managed bad news’. Now as more and more people feel the pinch of non-sustainable cost of living, their Samaritan tolerance went straight out of the window.

With the Chinese market in turmoil, Germany, France, the US and the UK are now feeling the dangers that a collapsed Chinese market brings. The 0.7% growth in the UK could soon become a negative number, fuelling fears for the people who are not even close to move out of the valley of debt. With that fear in the UK, the fear in France will grow even faster and Germany will soon fill the ranks. We are so willing to be Samaritan when our lives are decently secure, but that is no longer the case and François Heisbourg should know this. Yes, they are correct that some places like Calais are incidental, but overall 270,000 people are not incidental and that number is only a small part of the entire collection.

These ignored facts and half-truths all moved under some rug is part of all the events that allow for groups like National Front to grow the way it does. This all falls into nothingness when we realise the millions, yes millions of refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. If you think the price from Europe is high, then what is the price that falls in those two nations? Even if we do not completely ridicule the statement in the Sydney Morning Herald, where we see “Alarmists overstate risk of deluge in West from refugee ‘flood’“, we see a flood of ’emotional’ statements like “Australia could relieve some of the pressure on Europe by taking in several thousand genuine refugees to resettle here” and “Everyone has the right to seek asylum, the hysteria over the tiny minority around the world who do so by sea is bewildering when we consider people have been sailing around the world for centuries” (at http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-letters/alarmists-overstate-risk-of-deluge-in-west-from-refugee-flood-20150828-gj9urp.html), all nicely ignoring the fact that this planet is not at 5.7 billion as it was in 1995. No, 20 years later when it is 7.3 billion. Nearly all the nations are deep in debt and their infrastructures can for the most not even contain its own population. If the people truly, really truly wants to be humanitarian, then get a majority to agree to a 10% rise in taxation. No, that will not do either, that money will have to come from the rich. 4,000-10,000 will have to pay for billions they do not have. A social structure that failed from the get go, because those so into support of that, have been unable to cull business by properly taxing them. Labour giving billions in subsidies, draining the treasury coffers. They did this in Australia, the UK, the Labour way and now as there is no money they all cry foul. Is that not weird?

The initial issue of budget, no one seems to be able to do it and now, as there is no money left, they all wonder where our humanity remains. Well, that went to the car factories so that they got to make a car $1900 cheaper and now they moved to Asia. The UK has the Flagship £1bn youth unemployment scheme, as well as the issue that Prime Minister David Cameron has failed to curb welfare spending. That is not an attack or a bad thing. It is a mere consequence of the economy in the UK that only appears to be growing but it is nowhere near where it was and the people in the UK are for the most down in their finances and will remain to be so for at least a decade. As such, the infrastructure suffers as loads of money basically go down a drain. In all this we hear about the need for humanitarian aid, but none of the treasuries has the funds to allow for this. It is the most basic of failings, perpetrated by governments on both sides of the isle for the better part of 2 decades. It is not about blame, it is about the reality that the bulk of people are ignoring. In the end most lives depend on what a spreadsheet allows and none of them have allowed for any substantial space for ‘the budgeting of refugees’ a massive failing. I wonder if the power players hoping for an Arabian spring had any idea the massive backlash their actions would have. Now well over 200,000 killed and millions displaced, with no end in sight. When the millions of refugees start dying of starvation, or disease, where will the humanity of our soul be budgeted?

 

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