Tag Archives: NATO

The thin ice

We have all been there, whether it was in early years when you were trying to cross ice that was not deemed safe, or perhaps later in life when you relied on a stage where you could not be certain, we all have been there, and so was I, not merely was, I am doing it again today.

There was no doubt that the AUKUS stage was set, it was set and prepared for, the French never had a chance and we need to realise that. We need to realise two main parts here (well actually a few more, but let’s start with two).

The first is the Guardian (not the only one) who gives us (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/17/france-recalls-ambassadors-to-us-and-australia-after-aukus-pact) ‘France recalls ambassadors to US and Australia after Aukus pact’, some newspapers, not all give us “That deal became bogged down in cost over-runs, delays and design changes”, which is fair enough. Yet the US with the Zumwalt and F-35 fiasco’s will have to button down the hatches very clearly to avoid the same disaster projects. The second one is less clear, it is about a united front towards China. I never stated that China was an innocent bystander, they were not. We might not be in a war or a seemingly hostile environment, but there is an issue and the US who has no hope to counter this alone found a way to add two horses, the UK and Australia to pull that carriage towards the China sea. France was left behind and that will have repercussions down the line, yet in all this, consider the media, who are they serving? Which stakeholder are they servicing? Consider the new Collins class submarines, in all the news (from all sides) who have been giving exposure to “That deal became bogged down in cost over-runs, delays and design changes”? That list is not that big and why is that? It was the Weekend Australian of all places that give us “According to informed sources, the costings for Core Workstate 2 submitted by Naval Group were at least 50 per cent higher than the Defence estimate of $2.5-$3bn. This total included completion of the submarine construction yard being built at Osborne North by government-owned Australian Naval Infrastructure to the functional requirements of Naval Group. Naval Group has declined to answer questions on the funding issue — or indeed on virtually anything else — but is understood to have submitted, without success, a much-reduced figure to Canberra.” They did so on the 22nd of May 2021 (at https://www.theaustralian.com.au/special-reports/funding-threat-hangs-over-future-submarine-program/news-story/827aef23757bef95adc822d7acd696ec), Australia and Submarine give us 74 million hits and we needed to get to page 16 of that search to get this information. Whilst a lot are ‘hiding’ behind “cost over-runs, delays and design changes” it was the Australian that gives us the “at least 50 per cent higher” that is not parts of a glass of wine, that is the entire barrel when you considered that the meek estimate of an annual $3bn was offered. I feel certain that political income trimming will not produce the missing one billion and short change. So what gives?

I do understand that I need to be careful, mostly because this is not my field of expertise. Most of my Submarine knowledge comes from Operation Petticoat (Cary Grant, Toni Curtis), The hunt for Red October (Sean Connery) and Silent Hunter (EA Games). They are not the same, and I do fully realise that. We could hope for the involvement of Paul McCartney and if he gets involved we can paint those 12 beasts yellow, but still, not a real solution, is it?

Oh, and for the reality of it all China has at present 74 submarines, so our chances are not great, they also allegedly have a much better fifth generation fighter (Chengdu J-20), so are we out to rumble or show our teeth? In this we are about to order a set of teeth for the price of $75,000,000,000 so we better get it right, being in a nation with 25,000,000 people, it is not an invoice we should be happy about, I get it, it might be an essential one, but that does not mean we need to be happy. 

The thin ice is a dangerous place, it is more than ice that is seemingly missing layers of stability, there is dangerous waters below and even if it is not deep, the hypothermia can be equally deadly as is the deepest ocean. This thin ice we face also hides stuff. It hides stakeholders who decide what we can hear and what we should not be allowed to hear and the media is at fault. Hiding too much for too many, the stakeholders are the media uncontrolled and unregistered set of lobbyists who shape the story we are allowed to see and if fake media wasn’t dangerous enough, filtered information bringers (like breakfast shows) add to the danger, add to keeping us uninformed. I agree with campsite leaders (Mike Burgess, Richard Moore, and William J. Burns) we do not need to know all, I have no problems with that, but they do not respond to stakeholders, the stakeholders are in it for corporate executives and boards of directors, they do not get to dictate us anything. What these people get away with is close to unacceptable and when they dictate our budgets and defence to us, I shiver and I do get worried and a little scared. And the media is helping them!

So we have a few issues, apart from the US Military construction follies, we have a new stage where we become a buffer opposing Chinese acts. I think that the utter lack of working actions by the UN against the Uygurs is part of this, the blatantly evidentially unsupported actions against a firm like Huawei is another. I see in part the accusation against Huawei and the entire NATO collection of jesters have NEVER given clear evidence on how they are a threat. You think it does not matter, but it does. A market where lazy people want to make claims so that they can get some coins whilst they slept through the motion is an invalid act and that needs to be said. It is a clear setting. Corporate executives used (as I personally see it) stupid politicians so that they could steal work orders and sales. A market that they are still likely to lose comes from sitting on your hands. This taints the China setting, and these stakeholders know this. 

If we were to investigate the US national 5G environment, we would learn that 5G at 4G LTE speed is not really 5G. Canada, South Korea and Saudi Arabia have a much better handle on that. 

So let’s make sure that OUR National defence is properly set up. Are nuclear submarines the wrong choice? I do not know, I believe that nuclear powered systems have a space and when you see what needs to be done to keep a diesel submarine fed over 3-4 years, a decent case for Nuclear submarines can be made. And let’s make sure the people understand that a nuclear submarine does not mean its weapons are nuclear. I get the distinct feeling that too many people do not realise that. A nuclear submarine means a nuclear powered submarine and we need to see the difference. If that takes away coins from Saudi Arabia, then so be it. We are not here to pay for the existence of Aramco (or Saudi Aramco as it is often referred to). 

Yet underneath it all, I recognise that I am on thin ice. I am not an expert on submarines, or an expert on far east tactics. I do however feel that we all have been watching disjointed parts of information because that is what the bosses of stakeholders seemingly want, We merely need to find out who the stakeholders are and who they report to. If you doubt me, consider the actual news sources, the actual news given and the complete news and wonder what was missing from a lot of them (not all) and also realise that a news article cannot give EVERYTHING, but some parts should not have been missed. Should you doubt that, consider a look into Litecoin and how we are now seeing more and more “the Litecoin creator also said that not much can be done by the Litecoin Foundation about bad actors spreading fake news”, as well as “According to the fake press release on Monday (September 13, 2021)”, a pump and dump action involving BILLIONS implies orchestration, so why is the FBI not all over that? Why is the news smothering events there too? This was not some prank, this got past EVERY filter and check of Canadian Global News until it was way too late. So what happens when it is not merely a multi billion hustle, but what happens when it impacts the national security of more than one nation? Consider that when you walk the thin ice too, the thin ice is dangerous because the weaknesses are below the ice and  below that is water, and often you do not know how cold or how much water there is.

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Where the grass is greener

It is a question that comes from an expression, which also has the answer. And we will look into that later. It seems that the US is taking larger steps in ending the friendship with Saudi Arabia. Politico reported yesterday ‘U.S. pulls missile defences in Saudi Arabia amid Yemen attacks’ (at https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/11/missile-defense-saudi-arabia-511320), now we can understand that some are not willing to sell arms, but a defence system that stops terrorists sending drones and missiles on civilian targets? It seems that the actions are a prelude for the US to get into bed with Iran (highly speculative) and that is a concept worthy of laughter, but I am not laughing. 

The setting that is given is “the perception is very clear that the U.S. is not as committed to the Gulf as it used to be in the views of many people in decision-making authority in the region” we get this from Kristian Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. I think there is more to that, but it lacks evidence. I for one have believed for years that the US (NATO allies too) were playing a one step destabilisation game in the middle east. A game where destabilisation is a mere one step away and that is no longer the case. Until thee is a direct blow between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the larger stage is not maintained and the US is getting out of there. For China it is good news, now that they are looking at another customer for the HQ-9 and a few other options. Yes, we see the western press all shouting on ending arms deals, but in the end Saudi Arabia should be allowed to defend itself and the need to defend against Houthi terrorist attacks is a prime concern for a lot of people there. So is there an alternative? Well, there is the Russian alternative, but they are shipping that to Iran, so to buy those as well is a bit of an issue on a few levels, but those objections work for China. Consider that China now has a direct setting to sell well over $17,000,000,000 in hardware to Saudi Arabia, the same will now be lost to the US in an age where they are absolutely broke. It never made sense to me, it is all nice to have high morals, but in an age where you cannot afford to buy bread and healthcare high morals just leads to more hunger in a day and age where most cannot afford such luxuries. And let’s be clear, this is not some banana republic, this is a well established monarchy. And whilst we see “From the Saudi point of view, they now see Obama, Trump and Biden — three successive presidents — taking decisions that signify to some extent an abandonment.” We merely see more and more options for China and that is merely the beginning, once the stage is set the US will lose more ground and that also leads to a stage where they are completely dependent on Israel to give them intelligence.  A stage that could have been prevented from the start and no matter how they see it and I am accepting that it is their policy, it also comes with the new policy that the OPEC nations might have a new consideration, oil to China and not to the US or Europe (mostly reduced amounts of oil to Europe) And it will not aid Strasbourg to start crying foul here, it is the consequence of closing settings and in all this I personally prefer China and not Russia to get these options, it is a personal matter (NATO related). The larger stage will also hit Egypt, should Saudi Arabia continue with Huawei to set 5G connections in Egypt, the economic footprint of Saudi Arabia will change, all whilst the US ends up with a reduced footprint and that is a stage that is now escalating over the next 12-18 months. 

Will I be right?
That is open to interpretation and it is open to a few factors that are not given, untested and lacking evidence, but there is a larger stage that this could play out and that is really bad news for anyone not relying on Huawei hardware, with the US pulling out of areas that stage will also lose a few more settings, so as Chinese hardware comes in, US consultants will lose more and more traction in larger areas and that is the stage some players (seemingly) overlooked. So when Analysys Mason and Boston Consulting Group start missing deals and getting less appointments you know it will be too late for a few options. There are a few more players there, but they have a much larger stage with more nations and more options, they might end up with a few projects that are China based. 

So why would Saudi Arabia move to Egypt?

It is a fair question and it sets a much larger stage where Neom city will be all 5G and to stretch out towards Egypt makes perfect sense, one large network that stretches from Cairo to Jeddah, to Mecca and via Riyadh to Dammam, a network that also includes Neom, one of the biggest 5G networks in the world and it would be all Saudi, now consider the lack of credibility that the west has in a place like Egypt and now a fellow Islamic nation offers to include Egypt, what do you think Egypt will do? And lets not forget with all the band and embargo’s and collateral damage the US has in its name, Egypt is ready to seek a telecom alliance with Saudi Arabia and their numbers look really good compared to the US, it is partially speculation yet in this the Huawei announcements in 2019 give validity to my train of thought, Now add to that the media rollover I discussed a week or two ago and you see a much larger stage and the promise that Saudi Arabia made on having more than oil as a form of income is now coming to pass with a rollout that could be ready long before that deadline hits in 2030, there is a stage that should see a larger readiness in 2025, long before the US has anywhere near that level of 5G completion. In May of this year we were given “All of the major U.S. wireless carriers say they have nationwide 5G service, but industry analysts say that service is largely indistinguishable from 4G LTE service.” This implies that the Statista numbers we saw last year remains accurate for at least two more years, implying that the Saudi 5G is well over 700% faster than anything the US has and that is just embarrassing. So when we see Telecom and defence falling away from the west, how much more losses do we need to see before someone realises that we are cutting ourselves. Morality is nice but the hungry need food and they do not care how they get it. A stage where the middle east becomes the tech centre is weird, completely unexpected and whilst we see stories on Silicon Valley, I wonder if they have anything left? When the middle east is driving tech innovation the west becomes a mere iterator trying to keep up. I personally see it as the result of concept selling, it is all good and nice but the customer wants a product, it needs to get working and as we see hype after hype on AI all whilst it is merely machine learning and deeper learning, we need to consider how long this can continue until the stage implodes on itself? 

So where is the grass greener? On the other fellows yard! (Billy Jones, 1924)

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Speculative reasoning

It is a stage we all entertain, OK, entertaining not the greatest word here, yet the stage is smitten with ‘What if’, ‘How could’ and ‘Who is’, it is an approach to critical thinking, postulating and no matter how academic we tend to make it, it remains speculation. So as CNBC gives us (at https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/30/weapons-proliferation-risk-in-afghanistan-very-worrying-saudi-prince-turki.html) the article ‘Saudi Arabia’s former intel chief calls weapons proliferation risk in Afghanistan very worrying as terror threat grows’ the engine starts rolling. The first thing I did was take another look at the map. No matter how that corridor runs, it takes Iran to make it work. Yes, there is a one party of Pakistan, yet Pakistan fear to be taken out of nearly every international equation and siding with the Taliban sets them up to that stage. They’ll possibly still help in other ways, but Pakistan needs Saudi Arabia a lot more than the Taliban and the Taliban does not have any financial means to make it work. So we are speculatively set to the stage of Iran. So even as we accept “sparking fear in Saudi Arabia about the enduring threat of ISIS and Al Qaeda and where and with whom the equipment might end up”, ISIS and Al Qaeda still need a stage to operate on and the fear is not wrong, but it does require a path to Saudi Arabian borders and I see this as as a setting that requires Iran. 

We might take ‘solace’ from “The President also vowed to issue another retaliatory strike against the terrorists responsible for Thursday’s suicide bombing that killed 13 U.S. service members and more than 110 Afghans.” Yet in this the larger element is missed. You see the Taliban took over Afghanistan in less than 10 days, they got billions in hardware against an army that was well over 500% larger. In all this Al Qaeda could not operate unseen and there is a larger stage where someone is feeding Al Qaeda information and my speculative view is that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are in bed together, to what degree remains to be seen, but there is no way that Al Qaeda can avoid all parties by themselves. 

The larger problem is “NATO has been clear that it expected the Taliban to keep its “commitment” that it will not allow Afghanistan to become a haven for terrorists, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNBC in a recent interview, but it’s still unclear if the Taliban is capable of managing the possible contagion, or if the most recent attack in Kabul could embolden individuals or terror groups around the wider region” This implies that NATO is either dumb or clueless, optionally both. The Taliban will only keep commitments that serves them and that gives both ISIS and Al Qaeda a lot of manoeuvring space. And the leeway we see with ‘it’s still unclear if the Taliban is capable of managing the possible contagion’ I do not believe that is the right approach. The Taliban had a little over 10 years to set up their own network and I personally believe that it is in place and they now have an arms division that makes it more powerful than several middle easters nations, they could overrun Bahrain in a day and Oman within 4 days and that is a larger problem. Yes, I suddenly made an ‘error’ and mentioned the Taliban and not Al Qaeda, but I wonder how far they are in bed together, more importantly India Today told us yesterday ‘A pledge binds al-Qaeda to Taliban. Why is it a worry for Pakistan?’ I believe it to be more than a pledge. It is a personal view, but I think that the Taliban made long term arrangements and that is a problem, it is time for NATO and the media to wake up.

It speculatively puts the pressure in Saudi Arabia in too large a stage and that suits Iran just fine. So as I see it Iran is happy to help whomever goes for Saudi Arabia and that is the danger we all face, because if this escalates oil goes back to $120 a barrel, oil deliveries from the middle east will trickle down to a mere 7% and that is merely the starter in all this and all NATO players know this to be true. 

There is one part I disagree with. We see “Nevertheless, while global confidence in American leadership may have been shaken, Al-Faisal said the episode didn’t necessarily mean the end of American supremacy globally: “I think it’s still too early to judge whether America is in a watershed moment””, we all know that American supremacy is past the end, Afghanistan and how the US army tucked tail and ran is merely a symptom. Their failure in diversity, polarisation of its population, greed driven players that take chunks out of the US economy and the list goes on, one element could be fought, they face at least half a dozen of them and a few of them at the same time. Their weapon sales, even those to legitimate governments are stopped and pretty much handed to China (some to Russia as well), a stage that diminishes their revenue and they are not replacing it, they are merely handing it over. So for the most I share the fears that Prince Turki Al-Faisal is voicing here and the fact that other players are not anywhere near this is funny on a few levels. As I personally (and speculatively) see it, whomever (read: stakeholders) is mulling the view that Saudi Arabia is under attack, they are doing an excellent job, but the fallout will hit us all and then we need to ask the media, each of them, who stopped a story of a direct attack on Saudi Arabia (Houthi attacks) that included civilian targets. For TV the excuse of ‘no time’ can hold water, on the internet where the space is, where there is an abundance of space. Time and people, there it does not hold water. I think that there is one side that Prince Turki Al-Faisal was not contemplating (or he is and he isn’t talking about it). Saudi Arabia has a lot more enemies than they are aware of and they are all enabling Iran which is a concern, especially if any evidence is found that Iran is enabling a larger scenario that includes Al Qaeda. So even if you do not care about Saudi Arabia, which is understandable when you do not live there. Where do you think Al Qaeda goes next? You are all so against fossil fuels, which is fine, but when it falls away and the cost of living goes up by 75%, how will you feel then? Did you think that far ahead?

I accept and understand that my thinking is speculative, things could evolve differently but in chess we see moves ahead, we might not be able to set the string of moves made, but in the end one of the pieces will move exactly as predicted and the more moves are correctly seen the better the strategy. In all this it is time to stop beating about the bush and as the expression goes, call a spade a spade. Oh and if that is not possible (which might be true) it shows that the US is failing in yet another stage and in that one they are dragging NATO down with them.

Enjoy the weekend and consider that some time soon when fuel goes from $3.181 to $5.566 how will you afford any kind of lifestyle? And that is before the heating bill arrives and mst to the US (Canada and the UK too) will move into Winter, so consider that part too.

Have a great weekend.

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Blaming the wrong party

Yup, we’ve all done that. The blame game is notorious in two aspects. The first is the party blamed, the second is the reason for blaming. So it is not just on how blame is designed, it is the intended and actual party of blaming the comes to mind. We tend to get both wrong when it is an emotional setting. There is one elements that we tend to forget, detachment is the drive that tends to set the matters of the mind straight. So I went through all the stages of the blame game when I saw ‘World’s richest urged to do more to keep millions from starving’ in Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/world-richest-millions-starving-wfp-200918090724645.html). In this:

  1. Why is that up to the world’s richest?
  2. When millions are starving, why are individuals called upon, why are governments flaccid?
  3. Who created this situation in the first place?

These three elements are important. Because the article gives us “He cited the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where violence has increased and instability has already forced 15.5 million people near starvation. He also said a lack of funding has forced cutbacks in assistance to feed people in war-ravaged Yemen”, with the additional quote ““Worldwide, there are over 2,000 billionaires with a net worth of $8 trillion,” the former South Carolina governor said, noting reports that some of the wealthiest Americans have made “billions upon billions” during the pandemic

So here is where the blame game comes into effect. As I personally see it, David Beasley has his heart in the right place, but not his brain. In the first, governments have been playing credit card jockey for well over a decade, this is the result. In the second, places like Yemen are in a stage of committed non-action by both NATO and commonwealth forces. They simply didn’t care and for close to 5 years nothing happened and this is the result. In the third, it was essential for tax laws to be overhauled for well over a decade in the US, Japan and EU nations, none of that happened. I offered an optional solution in 1998, yet is was thrown out, remarks like ‘too complex’ and ‘hindrance of free trading’, well these things come at a price. In the setting of “some of the wealthiest Americans have made “billions upon billions” during the pandemic” we see a cheap shot at Jeff Bezos and a few others. Now, I have no real interest in Jeff, but he (his company) made that revenue fair and square. If the blame game parties had acted over the last 10 years, the situation might not be as dire as it is now. We seem to forget that part.

In case of Jeff, there might be plenty to blame him for, but this is not one of these things, this is not the station to make a reference to Jeff Bezos and his Amazon, but to the governments and their greed driven short sightedness.

This is the price of capitalism, this is the consequence of free trading. Everything has a price and now that you are seeing the consequences, you do not get to be the blamer, you all went along with the setting for far too long and most governments set the station of revenue and the lack of options for well over the next decade is the consequence of choices made between 1998 and 2020. And in all this, it might blow over, you see, the media gives us again and again “a potential “hunger pandemic”” the media has been giving us ‘potential’ in Yemen, so when will it actually happen? 

Fair question is it not?

We need to set the record straight, we need to demand that our governments ACT, that they adjust tax laws the way they should have been from the start, but every time dome politicians will oppose, as such set these opposes in the limelight, let them explain it. Let’s not blame the people who merely used the system handed to them.  The system that we all voted into the place it is and we need to ac sept that we are all to blame by letting the elected people continue the way they did.

That is all before we get to Mark Lowcock some UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, who gives us “who have a particular responsibility, which they have discharged in recent years – have so far given nothing”, on one side he is not completely wrong, yet n the other side, the acts and hindrances by Houthi forces as well as the support given to the Houthi forces by Iran are left out of the equation, are they not? So while we are given “Continuing to hold back money from the humanitarian response now will be a death sentence for many families”, all whilst he remains silent on the acts of the Houthi forces intervening is just a big no-no. The blame game is taking a serous turn towards the people who might be partially blamed, whilst the parties who need to be fully blamed are left out of the equation. So is this how we are given the truth? Partial truths baked in larger non-truths and all whilst we see the pictures of those in need, but not the pictures of those who were actually responsible for the mess we are given nowadays. It is so nice to blame a person like Jeff Bezos, all whilst his company was able to provide to a little over 800 million in lockdown for months. Yup, it got him a few thousand million extra, but is that his fault? He merely supplied towards an outstanding demand, that is how capitalism works and he got to keep a lot of it because the laws of taxation allowed him to do that. 

There is of course the station where some very rich people are not as innocent, but are they guilty? Guilty of what? They became rich as they had the clever accountants who used the laws of taxation to the maximum, is that the fault of the wealthy, the accountant, or is this mess the fault of governments not overhauling the laws of taxation? An overhaul that had creamy be needed in 2 decades. And the lack of humanitarian acts, is that because that there is no-one to hand out humanitarian aid, or is that because the governments who did that are so deep in debt that they no longer have the ability to do that, which gets us to the laws of taxation again.

Well over a dozen governments have painted themselves into corners and we end up blaming the paint for not being dry, how does that make any kind of sense? We can blame all we like, but in the end we merely did this ourselves by elating the people who set the stage by doing almost nothing, that is the stage we need to look at and in this we need to realise that this is not a nanny state verdict, this is the stage of non-accountability and that is the part we forgot about. 

 

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Weapons on special

If there is one place where the Status Quo would be ensured, it would be the arms industry. It is as polarised as anything and some long term ‘friendships’ go back decades. So when I see that Egypt is making waves towards the SU-35 (instead of the F-35), the first two will arrive shortly, ahead of about 2 dozen planes compromising of $2 billion in revenue. When we add Turkey who already had moved towards the S-400 missile solution, whilst at the same time pushing for the Russian SU-35 as well. So as Russian hardware is moving towards Turkey, Egypt and India, we see a much larger shift in the military hardware department. 

Then there is the UAE where the planes are not merely bought, the UAE is now vying for a building contract, and with that in mind, there is every chance that Saudi Arabia will also get a push into the Rusian hardware environment. Algeria is stated to be on that ship already, yet the issue now is not that the Russian fleet is finding new considerations, it is that as Russia makes headway all over the Middle East, America is taken off the field as consideration, so when people clap themselves on the back on how arms were taken away from middle eastern players, a toxic non option, we see that business partners switch out and US congress might pat themselves on the back on how they prevented weapons to be gained in the middle east, whilst in principle the US was taken out of the Middle Eastern consideration.

In an age where the US cannot afford any opposition as they need to deal with $23 trillion in debt, they merely ended up losing $15 billion in revenue, that has to bite and that is only at this point, if there is a  larger contingency towards alternatives there is every chance that Russian hardware will gain middle eastern footing to a much larger degree. 

When did the world sign up for that?

Well it did when it started to paint the issues through the media ‘UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia unlawful, court of appeal declares’, or perhaps all that Campaign Against Arms Trade ideology in an age where if one does not supply, the other side will, you did think that through, did you?

It was like watching two teachers and two nana’s holding up a sign, making the statement that Saudi Arabia was naughty and we should not deal with them, well do not worry, for every arms dealer in the UK there are close to a dozen not connected to UK revenue. So the term  #StopArmingSaudi was a good way to advertise towards places like Russia that they could get these customers if they were interested, and they were. As I see it, there was a gap of £4.7 billion in hardware needs that Russia could satisfy, as well as any other needs, because when they become the trusted deliverer of hardware they also get all kinds of other deals, deals that the UK needed and the UK dies not get to cry foul at that point, they merely get to point at the CAAT and state “This is what you got us“, and so far so good for Rusia, is it not? 

Even as we see places like Defense News give us ‘Russia’s S-400: An offer US partners should refuse‘, we need to see behind the deals and see the change of weaponry to a much larger degree. so as we are told ‘the Trump administration wisely decided July 17 to remove Turkey from the F-35 fighter program‘, the truth of the matter is that the entire F-35 program was oversold and Russia is countering it all by also offering the SU-35 and in some cases the SU-57 stealth fighter. so whilst some rely on “If Riyadh adds insult to injury and procures the S-400, it could represent a tipping point in the relationship with Washington — especially on Capitol Hill“, the truth is that the Hill as well as a few other players have injured themselves in billions, the oldest issue was always a given, Saudi has no intentions to attack Nato grounds, we knew that and we now have the same situation but without the friendship and without the revenue, it was not that simple, was it?

So whilst the White House notices “the F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities” we see another matter, we see Egypt, Algeria, UAE, India, Saudi Arabia and Turkey all selecting a Russian solution to national defense. that is only 6, there are currently 4 other players all ready to select Russian hardware. All whilst the media gives us ‘The Pentagon is battling the clock to fix serious, unreported F-35 problems‘, ‘Supersonic speeds could cause big problems for the F-35′s stealth coating‘ and those are merely in June, the F-35 has a few additional problems, even as the plane has been on the designer table since 2006 whilst there was a sample flying, it seems that there are setback upon setback and that merely stokes Russian fires. In all this Politico gave it in 2015 “By 2014, the program was “$163 billion over budget [and] seven years behind schedule”“, yet that is something to be proud off. 

It is in this environment that we find weapons on special, well perhaps ‘special’ is the wrong phrase to use, they are up for grass from other delivery agents and payment is often a larger debatable issue, especially if a new hardware solution provider gets to make an entrance into other places, places he was not greeted into but that is another matter, it seems that the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant will optionally send a Fortnum & Mason Christmas basket to the manager of CAAT, it’s the least that they can do (and I just want to see those CAAT faces when they get one).

 

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NATO @ 70

Yes, there have been a few issues in the last few weeks and if we try to highlight to pieces we would go crazy, mainly because one element truly is less likely to be one. Too many issues cross contaminate and give rise to other elements, as much as we do not like it, so is the issue of NATO. even from the first image we see (Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan get close at the summit in Watford), we get the issue of treason to deal with (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/04/how-does-nato-look-at-the-age-of-70-its-complicated). We seemingly forget that Turkey was the one nation stopping US assistance until all debts were forgiven, you remember those two buildings in New York? They were no longer there and hours later and it started a larger war, but Turkey stated that even as a NATO party it was supposed to be on our side, it merely was on its own side. We then seemingly forget the issues that plagued Turkey, we did not ask for any support on the hundreds of journalists it put in prison, we seemingly forgot to give any level of documentation from  Turkey, and even now, we treat it like it is an ally as it has given a larger concern to Russian hardware. NATO did nothing in light of all this, you see any corporatocracy is about the revenue of the whole and limiting that is a larger concern to those in control in Strasbourg, we could even argue that Turkey played the game brilliantly. Yet the people @ NATO are not given any requirements for evidence and for accountability.

Consider the quote we see: “Nato’s focus continues to spread. The summit is the first time its leaders have considered the rise of China, which has never been a focus for the organisation; they also confirmed that it was time for Nato to have a military presence in space, and they worried about cyberwarfare and Russian disinformation“, the two elements in play are 

  1. Rise of China tech (Huawei in 5G)
  2. Russian data bindings.

The two elements are given in different stages in the statement and off course they are given in a different light, yet the larger given setting has ben visible to a much larger issue. it is about economic advantage and NATO has none to play, merely the use of fear mongering that goes without saying, even as the UK PM adds to the fire with ‘Boris Johnson suggests Huawei role in 5G might harm UK security‘ the truth of the matter is that both the UK and the US still have not shown ANY LEVEL OF EVIDENCE that this is (going to be) the case, they are the tools of a corporatocracy trying to hold onto the next iteration of economy, a place they cannot be because they relied on flaccid technologists to create IP instead of relying on the status quo to continue, both elements fell short and the advantage of the far east came into play. This is the direct result of short sightedness and to be honest, my IP going to Huawei will be just fabulous, it would for me be the difference between a value of $2 billion and optionally $4 billion and I get 35% of either that amount (I’d be happy with either setting). 

In the second the entire consideration of Russian data bindings. As they get to syphon off the entire social media they get an advanced edition of data, the advantage that the US banked on is lost to them, or better stated they are not the only ones with access and for corporatocracy that is a larger failing, data shared is data lost meaning that larger bulks of data will go towards Russian entrepreneurs and they are hungry for a slice of the revenue cake that is in circulation, it is an amalgamation of revenues that are overlapping and larger pieces of it are starting to be lost to places like NATO, making their position smaller and more scrutinised than ever before, that is the consideration that one faces when one is nothing more than a stepping stone for any corporatocracy. It does not end there, because of the fiasco’s that the US introduced to NATO security, the first was the USS Zumwalt class, a ship that had to be almost completely redone AFTER LAUNCH, so far it is a $21.5 Billion fiasco and when we see corporatocracy setting the sun on fiascos this large, it tends to undermine places like NATO to some extent, the second fiasco is that matter is F-22, a raptor that looks awesome but is like a drained cobra, which looks nice, but in the end until it refocusses its poison is merely deadly looking and it was supposed to be deadly. Then there is the flaws that the F-35 has, in the end it all comes down to an exercise in tapping the vein at $2.7 Trillion dollars. No matter who in NATO signed up for all of it, the defense forces have close to a $3 trillion dollar fiasco and there is no substitute. All whilst Russian and Chinese engineering is making headway in several directions.

In all these events we merely see that NATO has lost traction and has lost a futuristic setting of that hat comes, it can no longer predict and whatever it predicts is based on data that all people players now have, it lost whatever advantage it had. 

All whilst those connected to whichever corporatocratic setting of checks and balances are now without any kind of accountability and as such corporations get to fill their pockets on a stage of $3 trillion that has nothing to show for it and we ask why this is not countered? Well actually the gravy trains are making sure that the question is not offered out loud, or at least not at the intensity and volume required. The Hill produced and article a little over a year ago with the headline ‘The long NATO gravy-train may soon be over for Europe’ (at https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/412837-the-long-nato-gravy-train-may-soon-be-over-for-europe) yet the current statement as we see NATO @ 70 gives light (read: indication) that this is still very much on the mindset of too many people, as such the gravy train is still gobbling up resources on a global scale. Even as we saw “Both Trump and Obama even accused NATO members of relying far too much on American citizens and free-riding of the U.S. security umbrella” we are left in the dark that the needs of NATO are to a larger extend Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and BAE systems and all three have issues. So whilst we seemingly adhere to “While all 28 NATO members agreed in 2014 to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense, only the U.S., Greece, Estonia, United Kingdom, Latvia, and Poland are meeting the minimum guideline” we all forget that this 2% is more than merely a number, three projects are shown to be huge cash drains whilst not offering the value they supposedly have, so as such there is a larger failing. in addition we need to see the value of whatever GDP Estonia has and seek it next to the Dutch and Belgium, that number is laughingly short and Estonia would optionally have made the numbers if it bought two trucks and replaced part of its military uniforms. That is before we see what the Dutch had created towards its goalkeeper signature weapon for the navy. 

There is a much larger failing going in and NATO @ 70 is not giving us the goods, merely that it is under the mandate of a gravy train whilst reporting to corporations on what is required. Corporations that are not connected to the needs of the people, they are not elected officials and merely giving their needs to elected officials who need long train rides to figure out how to spin what is required, in all this after 70 years whilst we see Recep Tayyip Erdoğan getting close at the summit in Watford to others, yet it all makes perfect sense, and especially whilst Turkey has selected the S-400 defense system. Yet that is definitely one NATO partner we want to keep close (or that is how any corporatocracy will voice it).

Yes, I believe that the value of NATO is gone, not because of what it was supposed to do, but because the people involved created new adversarial players, players that NATO was never ready to face, it was never trained to do so and some of these players are part of the problem, they were never part of the solution.

We were always going to face new adversaries, but we never knew when they would come and for the most we never considered that it was an internal review of whatever drives us that would be our adversary, all driven by greed. 

 

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Desert for breakfast

There are moments where you see the road unwind in front of you, I am not meaning in some imaginary way, but in the real sense. Consider Highway 40 from Riyadh to Dammam, and you are on the road getting there, for whatever reason. Now as a driver you see the road ahead of you, yet at some point you do not merely see a mile or two miles ahead, your focus increases and suddenly you see 10-15 miles ahead, you sense all that is coming your way and whatever is driving in front of you. Ask anyone who drives a lot; it happens to all of us. A similar stage is unfolding now and in a different way. The first article in the Arab News gives us: ‘King Salman calls Aramco attacks a ‘cowardly act’ aimed at destabilizing Saudi Arabia‘, it is an important piece in all this, because in very unexpected ways, I believe that his royal highness was incorrect, specifically the part of ‘destabilizing Saudi Arabia‘, as it seems Iran pushed the wrong buttons and achieved the opposite.

We see this in the second part (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1558581/middle-east), where we see ‘Aramco attacks solidify Iran’s ‘enemy’ status among young Arabs‘, it is not only there, we see that as the media is showing us more on the evil that Iran is doing, we see a movement where consideration towards Iran is waning and the politicians trying to broker selfish deals are now in a stage where their careers are now in question whenever they are talking about finding some political deal. The voices are changing the clearest in France, Britain and Germany, and this implies that not only is the nuclear deal coming to a clear end, there is the additional impact that the Saudi opposition we have seen over the last 6 months are waning as well. I believe that the quote “According to the Arab Youth Survey, which was published in May by the PR consultancy ASDA’A BCW, 67 percent of the region’s youth saw Iran as an enemy, as opposed to 32 percent who saw it as an ally” will shift within the next two weeks, as the Saudi Arabian population is getting more and more of the acts that Iran has been involved in, especially abroad, gives rise that the group seeing Iran as an optional ally will degrade to a mere 25% (or even lower) soon enough, as Saudi International students give rise to the acts of Iran will also give rise to contemplation to other local students wherever they are.

As the stage unfolds towards perceiving Iran as an enemy and a threat to stability in the Middle East, we see a larger group of people advocating harder acts against Iran. I personally believe that the US putting boots on the ground will also help the Saudi population towards the understanding that there is much larger unity against Iran, even as I noted and reported in the last two months that Saudi Arabia had been deserted too often when they were attacked, the last attack had international repercussions and it seems that more and more eyes are looking at what Iran is doing to others, giving a much better view of Saudi Arabia after all the targeted bad events view that the media in the west had been giving Saudi Arabia since 2018 (well, it was since before that, but it became a lot more negative since 2018).

There is an additional reason for a larger unification. As we look at the news, we see CNN report 5 hours ago that “Iran’s foreign minister has raised the prospect of a new agreement with the United States that would see permanent sanctions relief exchanged for Tehran’s permanent denuclearization“, whilst Reuters gives us an hour ago “Iran ruled out the possibility of negotiating a new deal with major powers“, in this we see Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as the two faced monster, merely seeking the limelight at every opportunity he gets. All whilst the Washington Post reports 9 hours ago ‘Iran’s foreign minister says diplomacy with the U.S. is over‘ with the leading quote “any prospect of direct interaction between U.S. and Iranian officials is now officially eliminated“, I personally believe that the people have had enough of the banter by this petulant toddler named Iran, in addition we see that the Media is taking a less positive stance towards Iran, all these elements are seemingly polarising at the same time. Not only is there stronger unison within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there is also a larger awareness that stronger ties with Saudi Arabia could also result a much larger play towards actual Middle Eastern stability.

Yet the battle is not over, only 25 minutes ago, the Financial Times reports (at https://www.ft.com/content/1e818d2e-de30-11e9-9743-db5a370481bc) that ‘France and Germany add backing to call for new Iran nuclear deal‘. Clearly there are mutters in the ranks all over Europe and making sure that everyone knows what games are played becomes essential in stopping Iran. The becomes a larger issue when we see “If it was a bad deal — and I’m willing to accept that, it had many, many defects — then let’s do a better deal,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. The problem with that statement is that the EU will have to give in towards Iran to some degree and when we consider that Iran has violated conditions of the nuclear pact 4 times already, we see a larger failing. Even as we accept the larger view that the Financial Times gives with: “The time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear programme as well as on issues related to regional security, including its missiles programme and other means of delivery” (a part I do not deny or oppose) the issue is not the media, when you consider the timeline.

Mixing the message

It was interesting to see that the Arab News was on my side 3 weeks before I got here. Arab News (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1548681) gives us in the article ‘Iran’s mixed messages on negotiations with US‘ several issues and is goes beyond the US, Iran is doing a similar tactic with the EU, the media in the last 24 hours ago are a decent indicator of that.

In the article Dr. Mohammed al-Sulami gives us: “It asserted that Zarif’s attendance provided further proof that it is actually the US president who is suffering diplomatic isolation, as it had previously claimed. Rouhani also announced that he too would not mind meeting with any foreign official, so long as this meeting would bring benefits to Iran and serve its national interests“, as well as “However, the supreme leader has found a possible way out of the current impasse by launching a new slogan, “heroic flexibility,” under the pretext that any negotiations that take place with the “Great Satan” within the framework of aiding Iran’s nuclear program could be allowed if they meet certain objectives“. These parts come to blow when we consider the final quote: “Arab countries should learn the lessons of the recent past and seek to play an effective role in any future negotiations to maintain their own interests, given the fact they are the ones most directly affected by the Iranian regime’s behavior in the region” there is a larger play and even as the limelight is on a nuclear deal and an optional deal with the US, the game that is unfolding is mixed messages that are on the second level aimed at the neighbours of Saudi Arabia.

How did I get there?

There are a few parts in this, first it is the speech by President Rouhani which is the given in the headline ‘Iran asks West to leave Persian Gulf amid heightened tensions‘ with added text “Rouhani separately promised to unveil a regional peace plan at this week’s upcoming high-level meetings at the United Nations“, with all due respect, asking a proxy war player like Iran to handle a peace plan is like asking Mr. Fox whether he could watch your chickens whilst you go out to have lunch, Mr Fox ends up getting a much better meal in the process. I believe that part of this scenario involves Bahrain and the UK Royal Navy base at Salman Port. With the British SAS now upping security, the IRGC would not be able to carry out any actions against targets, they are no match for the British SAS, it would not be a war or a skirmish, and it would merely end up being an exercise in IRGC troop extermination. It is merely one of a few handles that the mixed messages from Iran open. The mixed messages also increase pressures and stress levels in Qatar and the UAE, not to mention Oman.

How wrong am I?

That is up for debate, the entire matter is still moving along and in the end it depends on the moves and actual tactical moves that Iran will make, more important, they will not make a move until the final moment. In all this, as the Arab News reported less than an hour ago (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1558801/business-economy) where King Hamad of Bahrain denounced the “serious escalation targeting the security and stability of the region”, I believe that this is still true, not in regards to the stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, yet it is my personal view that the mixed messages is about creating inactions against Iran. It is an intelligent move, with the number of opponents that Iran faces; it wants to keep Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE out of the mix for the longest of times, whilst using the non-aggression pact of Oman to keep waters as traversable as possible. All the indicators I see is that Iran is very much ready for hit and run attacks where it can and when they do take this journey they want local waters (Oman, UAE and Qatar) to be a hindrance for the non-Middle Eastern nations participating in the actions against Iran. It is my personal view and optionally in incorrect one, but I do remember my maritime training and when we take a look at the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS, Part III), we get to see in Article 41 we see that ships in transit to respect applicable sea lanes and traffic separation schemes. Such a scheme does exist in the Strait of Hormuz, adopted by the International Maritime Organization, which directs westbound traffic within the strait through Iranian territorial waters. It’s not clear where in relation to the outer limit of Iran’s territorial sea the Stena Impero was when the Iranian action took place, but Iran is not alleging the ship had no right to be where it was, and now we see that when article 41 is applied any military vessel obeying that would become a juicy target for Iran, if the bordering nations demand that sea lanes are respected and no transgressions in their local waters will be tolerated, that situation becomes very real; the NATO fleet and US fleet could optionally get stuck in the Gulf of Oman, as such, my view on trying to keep Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE on the fence would be a larger tactical problem soon enough and whilst Iran plays their mixed messages game and there is no state of war in play, Iran gets to have (for a limited time) a tactical advantage in the Sea of Dammam (aka Persian Gulf).

Basically we would all like desert for breakfast so that the day seems more sweet, however if it was up to Iran, porridge would be the only acceptable dish, salted porridge, served in the Gulf of Oman.

 

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It was foretold

So as I went into a howling rage of laughter when Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif told the world that ‘it will destroy any aggressor‘, I almost called +98 2139931 to ask Mahmoud Alavi whether it was allowed for the Foreign Minister to pronounce National governmental acts of suicide. In all this Iran had been the greatest aggressor of all.

His response was due to the events we see in the BC article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-49781350), ‘Iran warns it will ‘Destroy aggressors’ after US troop announcement‘. Even Maj-Gen Hossein Salami said Iran was “ready for any scenario“, yet he too is mistaken, the issue is not merely the attacks on Saudi Oil (which finally has woken up the west to a larger degree), the idea that both the State of Israel as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is ready to take the battle to Tehran is not something Iran has foreseen, it would be a challenge to deal with either, dealing with both and optional support by American troops is something they have not seen coming. It is seen in other ways as well. Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has changed his tune, it is now all about “if Saudi and UAE stop their war on Yemen, they will not be in need of squandering more money to fund it and buying the costly defense systems against the drone attacks which, in turn, will inflict heavy losses upon both of them“, this person (read: tool) conveniently left out the part where Hezbollah members were part of the atrocities in Yemen themselves and we have not forgotten that, the forces will be overlooking whatever the state of Israel is about to give Hezbollah and its supporters, they can come cry and hide behind the UN skirt, but in the end, they created this mess themselves and now that Iran is pulling support more and more Hezbollah is suddenly in a place without the support they had 2 years ago, so Hezbollah is soon the crying child awaiting ammunition and whilst they await arrival crying for international help and offering talks, a game they have played for too long. I personally expect to see another flag for talks going up before the end of October, the sincerity of these talks are basically towards the timeline for fresh supplies and optionally until Iran backs them again with more. Yet the truth of the matter is that Iran is now engaging in a three pronged strategy that they cannot afford. Hezbollah, Houthi and Iranian attacks on Saudi interests is now striking back in almost every way, the Aramco hit made that possible. The spike was the rude wakeup call and even as the price has so far subsided by 1%, the engines of defence will require a lot of oil products soon enough, which could be another marker for increased fuel prices soon enough.

Yet it is the issue that we did not see that matters, it is the view on the precision of the attack that has intelligence analysts baffled to some degree. No matter how we slice the data, the numbers actually favour Iranian abilities, even as Iran remains in denial, the fact that this attack was more than merely successful leaves 5 players who could have done this: America, NATO, China, Russia and Iran.

It is perhaps the first time that Iran gets mentioned next to these other four on this scale. Iran cannot admit as this would be admitting to an act of war, yet this is centre stage in all this. I personally still believe that someone painted the targets, but beyond that, if that was not the case, it implies that an orchestrated drone missile attack is something that Iran has mastered to the degree that the other four have not shown ever. That is the baffling part, yet we know that the other 4 can do the same, yet that puts the Iranian drones on the same level as the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, which is a stretch on a few levels I might add, in addition, the drone operators that the US has are not to be underestimated, the fact that the attack was this successful grades Iranian pilots a scale higher than I ever have before. Let’s not forget, Iran is proud of its air force, and the fact that they delivered last week is rather unsettling. the truth is that there is no way that Houthi forces have anywhere near the skill, the materials and the setup to do this, that is what shows the Iranian forces to be the guilty ones and now they are calling the bluff of others to try and attack. I myself am all in favour to call out to them and merely ‘borrow’ a reaper to install free air-conditioning in that building using a GBU-12 Paveway II. Did you know that the GBU-12 Paveway II is awesome for immediate installation of air shafts and holes in buildings to facilitate for air conditioning? #JustSaying

A light situation?

Some people might think that I am making light of the situation, well, yes, but that has been the media for months, until Aramco was hit, over half a dozen attacks on Saudi Arabia, Saudi locations and its citizens was left unreported by the western media, only now, only when oil spikes, do we see action from those ignoring Iranian transgressions and acts of aggression, so in that, I am in full view of righteous when I laugh at the Iranian sentiment of ‘it will destroy any aggressor‘, as they have been the aggressor all along.

I agree with the BBC point of view giving us: “What seems clear is that this remains a game of brinkmanship, with all sides still hoping to be able to pull back from a direct military confrontation“, however on a personal note, I believe that it is too late for that, I believe that Iran will keep on playing this game for as long as they can wave the ‘nuclear deal’ carrot in front of the EU, delaying matters for as long as they can. I personally believe that it is a stage most overdue that a direct action against the Iranian military forces has become essential, they need to see direct and material damage in Iran (Tehran would be best) to show them that there is no more leeway for Iran. On other departments, I would happily offer my design to sink the Iranian fleet to SAMI, see if we can get it working, there is nothing like watching a minister of defence praising their new Sahand whilst it is appreciating the Horizon of Iran from the bottom of the Sea of Dammam (a reference to an earlier article), and to be honest, I want this design to work just so I can nose thumb DARPA, as stated before, I do have a sense of humour.

There is however another side, Iran is losing its ability to get things done soon enough (sooner would be better), even as their economic picture shifts, the Financial Tribune offered less than a day ago ‘Iran-EU Trade Tumbles 75%‘, whilst the quote “Iran exported €452.65 million worth of commodities to the European Union, indicating a 93.67% fall, and imported €2.55 billion in return to register a 52.13% year-on-year decline“, offers that Iran will have other setbacks in several fields, however the largest issue is not Iran, these numbers give out that Iran needs to focus all resources on Iran in a few fields, leaving nothing to Hezbollah and whatever they get now will be short term and would optionally deny them long term help. That is unless Iran finds a replacement supplier, it will have larger national resource problems soon enough.

There was more in the Arab News a few hours ago. As they give us ‘Only a united front will thwart Iran’s war games‘ (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1557771), where we see: “Israeli sources continue to make it clear that they regard Iran’s proliferation of advanced missile technology to their allies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq as a red line“, as well as “I largely believe Zarif when he says Iran doesn’t want war, but with one small addition — “on someone else’s terms.” If war comes, Iran would be happy to fight in a way that plays to its own strengths; asymmetrical, grey zone, widely dispersed, damaging to global energy flows, seeking to spread conflict uncontrollably and in particular dragging in Israel” and there we see the crux of the entire matter: ‘on someone else’s terms‘, when we take that away and make a direct statement against buildings and refineries, the hit and run tactics will no longer work and whilst Iran sets up for a massive defence the winds of support will be removed from the Houthi and Hezbollah sails to the largest degree, possibly completely removed for the long term. That was the largest need in Yemen for three years and now that this stage has arrived, actual progress will be possible in Yemen. The part here I do not agree with the writer Sir John Jenkins is the part where he gives us “We don’t have to play that game. But to impose our own, we need strategic patience, an enhanced defensive capacity against Iranian provocations, a much better communications strategy and, if necessary, a willingness to respond ourselves“, he makes a really good point and he does not shy away from ‘a willingness to respond‘. The problem I see is that the operative word is ‘willingness‘ and actual response is an essential part at present.

We cannot afford to let Iran keep on playing their hit and run guerrilla games whilst letting others take the credit/blame. this has worked for them as others need to set the stage of expenses, when a direct attack comes they lose the initiative and accept open war if needed, at that point Tehran will lose a lot more, infrastructure gone, essential needs cannot be met and international help would be their only option, allowing for the people to take a different position against their army and clergy control. there is the added need that their clergy has not seen actual losses for the longest of times and that keeps them in the delusional state that nothing bad can happen to Iran, that delusion needs to be popped like a balloon, and soon.

The issue is not merely Iran and Saudi Arabia, at some point someone (most likely Iran) will do something really stupid and get the UAE involved because of that, at that point there will be less chance of talks and less options for short term actions with a diplomatic solution at the end, it would turn into a long term event with no diplomatic options for the foreseeable future, that is a stage no one really wants, yet it would be an unavoidable danger for as long as Iran is playing the game it currently is.

Their guilt was foretold through evidence, their denial was a given by media inaction for the longest of times, now that the two meet, we see several options, but until any direct action is undertaken, I fear that the long and harsh theatre of war is the one we are in danger of staring at for now and that is a path we need to avoid, or as the American often state: ‘the best defence is a good offense‘, I would speculate that this is exactly what we need to do in this case, if only to wake Iran up to the notion that ‘on someone else’s terms‘ is no longer an acceptable strategy.

 

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When they are merely numbers

What if lives are not set in souls, but in numbers, simple numbers? That is the setting we see ourselves in today. A special shout out to Karl Stefanovic who rightfully backed the police and launched a scathing attack on their “timid” critics. Although I would rephrase from ‘timid critics‘ and merely categorise them as ‘fear mongering scaredy cats with a lack of knowledge‘, yet that would be merely my personal choice in the freedom of classification.

Karl is correct in a few ways, yet to see that. We need to look at the other side. My training comes from NATO and I mastered several weapons, to give you a specific setting here, which with the Remington Model 700 is really simple. The drift on 300 meters is optionally no more than 1.1936″ in a nominal setting, so if I aim for the head the brain is gone, if I aim for the chest the damage is worse as that person will not be instantly dead, but they will feel the pinch of a .308 slug and at that point, most Kevlar is useless. You see at 300 Yds the bullet impacts with 1950 lbs on roughly a square inch, in an oversimplified example a 1000 Kg hammer hits a square inch of your chest at a speed of 671 metres per second, good luck getting past that feeling! The Kevlar might slow it down but the impact will be enough to turn ribs to shrapnel and cleave its way through your chest, if the bullet gets through, it will still be mostly slim and nail shaped, leaving the recipient with plenty of optionally fatal damage. A Kevlar vest (if the person has one) might stop a pistol 9mm, even a .357, but with a .308 or .338 rifle, nope, that person becomes a write off. This is how a soldier thinks, it is them/him or me/us, we do not want to die for our country we merely make the other one die for their country/cause.

The police is a different slice of cake. They are trying to protect people from harm of self and/or protect them from harm by others. The police are there as protection for civilians, innocent or not. They have a duty to arrest and Karl is right in backing the police. The News from News.com.au is giving us “They do it sometimes with the public hating them. But they’re the first you call when you need them and they were the first to respond. I salute them this morning“, he is correct! The news also gives us: “The call comes in response to a deadly attack in Melbourne’s Bourke Street on Friday by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali — a Muslim refugee from Somalia. Ali crashed his car full of gas cylinders before stabbing three people, killing prominent Italian restaurateur Sisto Malaspina“, and at this point, the question from me is ‘At what stage was the police to assume that this was a terrorist?‘ You see ‘his car full of gas cylinders‘ was after the fact, yet when did the police know exactly what was going on? The police had a direct need to incapacitate to a degree, not to kill. It is that plain and simple! Their job is to evangelise and support the law, not enforce it through violence, even as that will be essential at that point. So the call ‘Shoot him, shoot him’ might come from outsiders, yet to shoot is not an easy task for them. Let’s not forget that the public has been willing to lynch a policeman using his firearm in the past, so the police is utterly willing to leave shooting as a final resort (and so for the most they should), or until there is a clear and present danger to others and even then it will be shoot to incapacitate, which with a Glock is a little harder then you think.

When we see Nine News (at https://www.9news.com.au/2018/11/11/19/18/bourke-street-terror-attack-family-say-hassan-khalif-shire-ali-was-mentally-ill), we see: “The family of the man responsible for Friday’s attack on Bourke Street insist he was not a terrorist but a mentally ill man “crying for help”“. This is optionally true and it also gives rise to the police and the caution used. They might have noticed symptoms that clearly called for caution and refrain from lethal force. Let’s not forget that the entire Martin Place event was a clear case of mental illness, so there is a precedent in all this. It merely makes the entire event sadder on more than one level. It will undoubtedly give false feelings of guilt to the police officer who discharged the lethal shot, it will give feelings of guilt to all the police and carers on the sidelines, and they should not feel guilt in any way. This man, no matter how we slice it has taken three lives, it comes with consequences.

We might even overreact when we see: “Islamic State claimed the attack but today Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there was no confirmed link to the terror group.” Yet the truth is that until people like ASIO give clear evidence that this was the case, we are merely getting an emotional push from a terrorist organisation seeking the limelight in any way they can, it will merely complicate matters in the short term and leave us with a bitter feeling in the long run. Yet we also see that Nine News is optionally wrong. As we see: “The terrorist has been named as 30-year-old Somali-born Hassan Khalif Shire Ali“, this is optionally wrong if any clear evidence of mental health is shown to be true. There is a call in the News.com.au article (at https://www.news.com.au/news/national/security-expert-says-were-feeding-the-beasts-of-terror-with-shoottokill-policy/news-story/59f2162b3427c2e2f5d0a3e6fe1babd1) with ‘Australia is “feeding the beasts” of terror and failing to prevent future attacks‘, in this Dr Allan Orr could be correct. there is no issue labeling the right person a lone wolf, or a terrorist, yet how was it done, what was planned and what was set in an emotional stage. It is order versus chaos. In addition is the man merely a terrorist because he is Muslim? Is he not merely a murderer at this point? These what I would call intentional misclassifications are also a larger problem, the media loves it to use the terrorist tag in all the wrong places and even as it is too soon to clearly determine this, we see that a police officer was used deadly force against an alleged murderer, alleged because intent needs to be shown in court, were these three people intended victims, or where they there and the man would be clearly guilty of manslaughter. In any case the police officer would be absolved of any guilt, especially if he/she had tried to resolve the issue in a non-lethal way.

There will be a political debate that is already raging on, yet the stage is larger than merely “I’ve been very open about the cancellation of visas, the numbers have ramped up, because there are some people who should not go on to become Australian citizens,” the setting of this might not be incorrect, yet when we know that ‘Permanent residency may be revoked at the discretion of the responsible Minister, for example in cases of criminal misconduct‘, if that is correct, then why would there be a political debate? It would be merely enforcing what is stated in policy, is it not?

It gets to be even more complicated when we see: “Ali was known to federal police and had his passport cancelled in 2015 amid fears the Somali-born man would travel to Syria“, the question becomes who was he going to support? Assad, Assad opposition, perhaps the direction does not matter, yet the direction does incline towards extremism, as such it cannot be ignored. It is an issue as we see that there are more sides to all this. The fact that no action was taken (apart from removing the passport) might have sufficed to some degree, his active interest to go to Syria was never explained (needed or not), if there would have been an assessment, even a mere interview and conversation on the consequence of doing that as a non-citizen might have optionally resolved the issue to some degree (highly speculative on my side). Even a limited monitoring on media and activities might have dampened the danger (or not). If these are all acts of a mental health issue, then the entire terrorist issue falls in the water and other activities might not have helped, but the knowledge of where this person was might have optionally aided the police in a few ways, and is that not important too? To give the members of the police every inch that they can use to resolve without being force to employ deadly force? It might not have been an option here, but the lack of indicators (as presently known) seems a little too staggering at present giving us the handle that not only was Karl Stefanovic correct, the officers subjected to this ordeal might be due a commendation or two (or three).

The last part is also the biggest issue. when we see both “Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he backs religious freedoms but has also called on Islamic leaders to call out the attack“, and “Those remarks that have in turn been labelled divisive by Muslim groups who say their community is not to blame for the actions of an individual and fear it could stoke Islamophobia“. It is the partial failure of Prime Minister Scott Morrison that his call, outside if the mental health scope was plain wrong. He can make that assessment after we know enough that mental health was not the stage here, and that part is still largely in question. You see, to require any religious group to lash out at mental health issues is the larger wrong and that is not seen here. Should I be wrong and the mental health part fails, then we have another issue, yet at present there has been no clear evidence to set that and whilst we accept: “Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there was no confirmed link to the terror group“, yet this is very specific, was there any other data making any extremist link likely? I get the impression that this is not the case, giving us a much larger overreaction, just like the Martin Place incident of 2014.

From my point of view, we have become Muslim polarised to a much too large extent. Consider that every religion has its mental health cases. Consider (the Times, Oct 2017) ‘Mental patient murdered neighbour hours after hospital discharged him‘, also we have ‘How 18 psychiatric patients freed by one NHS Trust ALL went on to kill‘ (Daily Mail, Jan 2018), 19 people said to have killed someone, but not terrorists as they were allegedly not Muslim. Two filters of classification in a group of people that would have been a dangerous stage in any foundation, so we need to be extra careful who gets the ‘terrorist label’ as the impact is a lot larger and the negation that actual terrorists are could also endanger a lot more lives in the future.

The victims and perpetrators might merely be numbers, yet when the numbers are wrongly stacked, the people who are forced to act might wrongly do so making matters worse for everyone around and that needs to be clearly stated, as well as the fact that Karl Stefanovic made the right call in this case and that should be recognised on a national level as well.

 

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It’s a bulletpoint

We all have these days. We have moments where we are confronted with superiors (or bosses) who seem to be able to do anything based on a one page memo that is drenched in bullet-points. It was an almost Neanderthal moment in management when those (getting tertiary education) were all brought up with the belief system that a memo is one page (which I can partially agree with), yet that memo should merely consist bullet-points that bring the goods.

I always thought of that part as an absolute load of bollocks. I can agree that sometimes luck works in our favour and that is exactly what happens, they are however rare. You see, the bullet-point might be correct to some extent, but you can only see part of the view with bullet-points. An actual tactical or strategic business setting is properly set in a SWOT analyses. If it is a serious action, that is what you need, because the boss requires the opportunity, yet he must also know the threat and the weakness. Some decisions are merely based on the balance of merits; do the strengths and opportunity outweigh the weakness and threat? That is the game we face in most business ventures and as they move forward. The Netflix balance, the ‘Nine+Fairfax=NEC’ setting, the setting that we saw in Natixis, Ubisoft and Verizon. The last one is apparently not focussing on big Mergers, that is, until we get the allegedly implied news in upcoming October, when in the black out period of Verizon Hans Vestberg will make an interesting announcement. This is not merely about the ‘fast-growing global market‘, this will be about the upper hand and those with the data will have the upper hand, plain and simple.

So when we go back to 2018, where the state of the union treated us to ‘President Trump claiming the military defeat of ISIS‘, yes, also I have a bridge to sell you, nice view of the Tower of London, going cheap! In that same setting we see the New Yorker giving us: “Trump was holding a press conference, a few blocks away, with the Presidents of the three Baltic states. He was visibly angry when asked about Syria. “I want to get out,” he said, his voice rising. “I want to bring our troops back home. I want to start rebuilding our nation. We will have, as of three months ago, spent seven trillion dollars in the Middle East over the last seventeen years. We get nothing—nothing out of it, nothing.” He called it “a horrible thing.”“, here I have to say that he was not entirely incorrect. There is no return on investment. In a war against terrorists, unless you are willing to become, or unleash the monsters, any fight against monsters is a cost, and will remain a cost; there will be no return on investment.

Unless you are willing to properly strike back, this fight will go on and on. The events in the New Yorker were in April 2018, three months after the so proclaimed not really existing victory. The New Yorker brought the news one day after Haaretz gave us: ‘Trump’s White House Says Military Mission to Eradicate ISIS in Syria ‘Coming to Rapid End’‘, a rapid end and not in a good way. Haaretz also emphasises on “Trump said Tuesday that he expects to decide “very quickly” whether to remove U.S. troops from war-torn Syria, saying their primary mission was to defeat the Islamic State group and “we’ve almost completed that task.” Trump’s national security team is advising against a hasty withdrawal even as he makes his preference clear: “I want to get out.”“. that was the setting in April, now a mere 84 days later we are treated (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/25/dozens-dead-suicide-attack-syria-sweida-isis) to ‘Surprise Isis attacks leave more than 200 dead in south-west Syria‘, several credit cards will not charge interest the first 90 days, not ISIS, the interest was served quick, to the point and basically deadly precise. The by-line giving us ‘Suicide bombers strike targets in Sweida city and launch simultaneous raids on nearby villages‘. That is the setting less than 24 hours ago and the directness of the attacks imply that we will see more over the next 4 days. This is not a quick hit and run, this is a message to President Trump that his Trumpet is false and full of lies.

As we are confronted with “The militants are also believed to have kidnapped dozens of people and taken them back to their hideouts. Local sources said the attacks began almost simultaneously in the early hours of Wednesday, between 3.50am and 4.30am“, we see a setting of coordination, creativity and direct action. Not merely proving that the State of the Union setting was wrong, it is a setting that implies that a lot more resources are required. In addition, it also proves that we need to shift gears and reactivate the monsters that can take care of business. This is not the theater of Chicago windy city makers; this is the battleground of people like Academi and the Wagner group. Yes, there is a case where it might be better that the actual governmental military organisations do the work, but it seems that America did not have the stomach for it, the Europeans and NATO are locked in everlasting debates and Israel is eager to stop it all, but that means a direct was with Syria, which it prefers not to be in. So there are not too many options at present. Even as the media at large is setting the stage on a Putin-Trump option, we see in equal measure on how Assad won and Trump is fine with that. We get loads of writing, but none of it reflects a solution and with all the papers all printing the same photo, all claiming a death count that is somewhere between 200-220 we are told that the count is high, yet they do not give us that this happened 35 Km from Jordan, 90 Km from Damascus and 90 Km from Israel. I think that the message from ISIS is clear. There is an issue; ISIS is still a player in the region and yes, from all we can tell ISIS with this one act melvined President Trump pretty much on the spot.

Yet everyone’s question will be how to counter this and deal with ISIS. From my point of view we see a setting that cannot be resolved the way it has been, it requires a different scope of activities and a very different level of investigation and intelligence analyses. That evidence is seen in the way the surprise attack went through and pretty much every part of it was a success (form the ISIS point of view), giving is to wonder how incomplete the current level of intelligence data is to begin with. We were aware that there is too much intelligence ego in Syria (or Iraq for that matter). Even now, in the last few months as sources go out and admit (or proclaim) intelligence failures in Israel, the US, NATO et al. Even as the Syrian nuclear reactor is the most visible one, the quality of the workers gathering the data, often in am allegedly precarious double agent setting tend to be not the greatest sources of intelligence. A less reliable source is seen in open source intelligence where we can get a taste of some things happening, but for the most the reliability is too low to be of operational use, even after the facts deeper digging tends to show issues that after the fact seemingly it could only have contributed towards failure, not towards success.

Iran is the second setting where some go from the balance of probability in a algorithm setting that dictates the tactical push forward, yet the people involved tend to forget the oldest IT setting in any data analytical collective where the protocols of GIGO are in effect, a given law that dates back to 1982 when I was in the Middle East for my own adventure. I always see (or better stated I have seen too often) that the officer’s response of GIGO would be: ‘some of it can be used‘, yet the setting Garbage In Garbage Out is merely the setting that as Garbage was accepted, all data involved becomes tainted, or is tainted. Those who bring you ‘some of it can be used‘, tend to rely on the creation of truths by aggregating false flags. So the setting where: ‘he never relies on computers’, we get ‘must create notes on their intelligence’. The one setting where he does not use computers because the person was dyslexic was overlooked. Aggregated data can be useful against the singular observation in a timeline, it gives the unit against the volume, but if one false flag was false, the others lose value and the column setting is no longer reliable. GIGO is devastatingly simple and pretty much always a given truth (or is that a confirmed non-false?), yes, I am at times that funny.

this now takes us to a setting almost three weeks ago in the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/07/09/russia-and-the-u-s-have-common-interests-in-syria-but-it-may-not-matter), where we see: “Last week, national security adviser John Bolton said that the meeting could offer a “larger negotiation on helping to get Iranian forces out of Syria” and that an agreement could be “a significant step forward” for U.S. interests in the Middle East“, it is a statement that I cannot agree with. You see, even as Iran in Syria is an issue for Russia, it is not the same where Iran is an American problem, pure and simple. Russia has a setting where it wants to waste as much of the resources that NATO and America have, plain and simple. There is plenty of data proving that. I have nothing against John Bolton, I do not know the man, but I know he has been out of ‘circulation’ for almost 12 years. He is however not that devious. He sails a straight course (a commendable setting), in this he was always against the Iranian deal, he has been advocating regime change for both Iran and North Korea. It does not matter whether he is neoconservative, pro-American, or a nationalist. The settings that are clearly out and visible is that he has placed his country before his personal interests again and again and that is always a good thing (a lesson Democrats should learn at some point), yet when we look at Politico (at https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/25/bolton-cabinet-meetings-mattis-pompeo-trump-740429), he is also doing something dangerous. It is seen in part with: ‘Cabinet chiefs feel shut out of Bolton’s ‘efficient’ policy process‘, followed by “Defense Secretary James Mattis has gone so far as to draft a letter requesting the national security adviser hold more gatherings of agency and department chiefs“, this is followed by ““He doesn’t want to ‘meeting’ an issue to death,” said one White House official. “He wants to make the bureaucratic process more efficient so that decisions can be made at the principals level.” But across the U.S. national security establishment, there’s a growing sense of a breakdown in the policy process since Bolton took over the National Security Council on April 9“. From where I am sitting, it creates a different friction. The different stations always had their own way of registering intelligence and it is in the misinterpretation of each of the used Thesaurus, that is where the data gap is starting to form, an international data point is not seen the same by the NSA, DIA and CIA. This gets me to my party favourite, what is another word for ‘Thesaurus‘? It is funny when you think of it, because as there is no synchronicity between Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA Gina Cheri Haspel and National Security Advisor John Bolton, they only think there is synchronised thinking (they nearly always do). So now we have the hats of the big cheeses in a similar direction, but not in the same direction, it gives us the issue that there are losses, losses in intelligence, losses in data and losses in translations, and lets not forget an overall loss of quality. That tends to be a much larger problem, and that problem will hit the desk of Director of the FBI Christopher Wray a little sooner than he bargained for. It also sets a very dangerous precedent. You see, it is mishaps like this that caused the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. I see it as a setting where people that need to act are getting more than one version because of the lacking intelligence cohesion, which was never great to begin with is now in a setting of decay. I get where John Bolton is at, but the red tape has one setting which is intelligence quality, that is now too in a stage where the Dodo went. You see, the politico quote ‘cutting unnecessary bureaucratic red tape, pushing the nitty-gritty discussions to lower levels‘ shows the foundation of a good thing, but pushing certain issues to a lower level also means that the accountability and responsibility is brought down, whilst at the same stage, the essential lack of security clearance at that level also stops optional security leaks and as such some information will not be available at lower levels. So if ISIS decides to become surprisingly creative again and we see in a future news setting that they decided to visit Al-Umawyeen St, Amman, Jordan, We will see an entirely new escalation, one that President Trump cannot walk away from, in equal measure, if the changes by John Bolton enabled that scenario, we will see another setting where a National Security Advisor will immediately go into retirement and focus on his family life (the present assigned young-ling is 69 after all, so that excuse will be readily accepted).

So the shorting of the memo’s relying on bullet points, whilst setting the strategic placement of people to be placed at the point of a bullet is not so far-fetched, is it? Even as we will soon see that this gets paraded as a once off event, a rare option where ISIS got lucky. Remember that this was not merely an explosion. It was that, in addition the abduction of people and activities in other places as well that it all went down at the SAME TIME. It was not merely coordination; it required funds, facilitation of events and goods that were available at the right time. Should you consider my folly (never a bad thing to do), consider the one setting that we did not get to see in the news. The distance from the Zaatari Refugee camp to Al-Umawyeen St, Amman, Jordan is a mere 60,224 metres; I have actually walked that distance, so when we consider the dangers in place and we accept that there are ISIS sympathisers in Zaatari (we do not know how many), the one issue that the US cannot allow for is any more miscommunication between intelligence operations. On the plus side, if it does happen, Hollywood can do another movie, John Krasinsky was awesome in the Benghazi story, and he could prepare his Jordanian language skills if he reprises his role at: The Markaz, Arts Center for the Greater Middle East 1626 N. Wilcox Ave, Suite 702 Los Angeles, CA 90028.

You see there is something in this setting for everyone, whilst me successfully avoiding bullet points until the very end, how crazy was that?

#BulletPointsAreAlwaysInaccurate

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