Tag Archives: NATO

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).

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics

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. 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Military, Politics

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.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Military, Politics

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.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Military, Politics

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.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Military, Politics, Religion

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Military, Politics

Telstra, NATO and the USA

There are three events happening, three events that made the limelight. Only two seem to have a clear connection, yet that is not true, they all link, although not in the way you might think.

Telstra Calling

The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jun/20/telstra-to-cut-8000-jobs-in-major-restructure) starts with ‘Telstra to cut 8,000 jobs in major restructure‘. Larger players will restructure in one way or another at some point, and it seems that Telstra is going through the same phase my old company went through 20 years ago. The reason is simple and even as it is not stated as such, it boils down to a simple ‘too many captains on one ship‘. So cut the chaff and go on. It also means that Telstra would be able to hire a much stronger customer service and customer support division. Basically, it can cut the overhead and they can proclaim that they worked on the ‘costing’ side of the corporation. It is one way to think. Yet when we see: “It plans to split its infrastructure assets into a new wholly owned business unit in preparation for a potential demerger, or the entry of a strategic investor, in a post-national broadband network rollout world. The new business unit will be called InfraCo“. That is not a reorganisation that is pushing the bad debts and bad mortgages out of the corporation and let it (optionally) collapse. The congestion of the NBN alone warrants such a move, but in reality, the entire NBN mess was delayed for half a decade, whilst relying on technology from the previous generation. With 5G coming closer and closer Telstra needs to make moves and set new goals, it cannot do that without a much better customer service and a decently sized customer support division, from there on the consultants will be highly needed, so the new hiring spree will come at some stage. The ARNnet quote from last month: “Shares of Australia’s largest telco operator Telstra (ASX:TLS) tumbled to their lowest in nearly seven years on 22 May, after the firm was hit by a second major mobile network service outage in the space of a month“, does not come close to the havoc they face, it is not often where one party pisses off the shareholders, the stakeholders and the advertisers in one go, but Telstra pulled it off!

A mere software fault was blamed. This implies that the testing and Q&A stage has issues too, if there is going to be a Telstra 5G, that is not a message you want to broadcast. The problem is that even as some say that Telstra is beginning to roll out 5G now, we am afraid that those people are about to be less happy soon thereafter. You see, Telstra did this before with 4G, which was basically 3.5G, now we see the Business Insider give us ‘Telstra will roll out 2Gbps speeds across Australian CBDs within months‘, but 2Gbps and 10Gbps are not the same, one is merely 20%, so there! Oh, and in case you forgot the previous part. It was news in 2011 when ABC gave us (at http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2011/09/28/3327530.htm) “It’s worth pointing out that that what Telstra is calling 4G isn’t 4G at all. What Telstra has deployed is 1800MHz LTE or 3GPP LTE that at a specification level should cap out at a download speed of 100Mb/s and upload speed of 50Mbps [ed: and the public wonders why we can’t just call it 4G?]. Telstra’s sensibly not even claiming those figures, but a properly-certified solution that can actually lay claim to a 4G label should be capable of downloads at 1 gigabit per second; that’s the official 4G variant known as LTE-A. Telstra’s equipment should be upgradeable to LTE-A at a later date, but for now what it’s actually selling under a ‘4G’ label is more like 3.7-3.8G. “3.7ish G” doesn’t sound anywhere near as impressive on an advertising billboard, though, so Telstra 4G it is“, which reflects the words of Jeremy Irons in Margin Call when he states: “You can be the best, you can be first or you can cheat“. I personally think that Telstra is basically doing what they did as reported in 2011 and they will market it as ‘5G’, giving premise to two of the elements that Jeremy Irons mentioned.

This now gives a different visibility to the SMH article last week (at https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/how-a-huawei-5g-ban-is-about-more-than-espionage-20180614-p4zlhf.html), where we see “The expected ban of controversial Chinese equipment maker Huawei from 5G mobile networks in Australia on fears of espionage reads like a plot point from a John le Carre novel. But the decision will have an impact on Australia’s $40 billion a year telecoms market – potentially hurting Telstra’s rivals“, as well as “The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reported in March that there were serious concerns within the Turnbull government about Huawei’s potential role in 5G – a new wireless standard that could be up to 10 times as powerful as existing mobile services, and used to power internet connections for a range of consumer devices beyond phones“, you see I do not read it like that. From my point of view I see “There are fears within the inner circle of Telstra friends that Huawei who is expected to offer actual 5G capability will hurt Telstra as they are not ready to offer anything near those capabilities. The interconnectivity that 5G offers cannot be done in the currently upgradable Telstra setting of a mere 2bps, which is 20% of what is required. Leaving the Telstra customers outside of the full range of options in the IoT in the near future, which will cost them loads of bonus and income opportunities“. This gives two parts, apart from Optus getting a much larger slice of the cake, the setting is not merely that the consumers and 5G oriented business is missing out, private firms can only move forward to the speed that Telstra dictates. So who elected Telstra as techno rulers? As for the entire Huawei being “accused of spying by lawmakers in the US“, is still unfounded as up to now no actual evidence has been provided by anyone, whilst at the same speed only a week ago, the Guardian gave us ‘Apple to close iPhone security gap police use to collect evidence‘, giving a clear notion that in the US, the police and FBI were in a stage where they were “allowed to obtain personal information from locked iPhones without a password, a change that will thwart law enforcement agencies that have been exploiting the vulnerability to collect evidence in criminal investigations“, which basically states that the US were spying on US citizens and people with an iPhone all along (or at least for the longest of times). It is a smudgy setting of the pot calling the kettle a tea muffler.

The fact that we are faced with this and we prefer to be spied on through a phone 50% cheaper is not the worst idea. In the end, data will be collected, it is merely adhering to the US fears that there is a stronger setting that all the collected data is no longer in the US, but in places where the US no longer has access. That seems to be the setting we are confronted with and it has always been the setting of Malcolm Turnbull to cater to the Americans as much as possible, yet in this case, how exactly does Australia profit? I am not talking about the 37 high and mighty Telstra ‘friends’. I am talking about the 24,132,557 other Australians on this Island, what about their needs? If only to allow them than to merely get by on paying bills and buying food.

Short term and short sighted

This gets us to something only thinly related, when we see the US situation in ‘Nato chief warns over future of transatlantic relationship‘. The news (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/19/transatlantic-relationship-at-risk-says-nato-chief) has actually two sides, the US side and the side of NATO. NATO is worried on being able to function at all. It is levied up to the forehead in debts and if they come to fruition, and it will they all drown and that requires the 27 block nation to drastically reduce defence spending. It is already trying to tailor a European defence force which is a logistical nightmare 6 ways from Sunday and that is before many realise that the communication standards tend to be a taste of ‘very nationally’ standard and not much beyond that point. In that regard the US was clever with some of their ITT solutions in 1978-1983. Their corn flaky phones (a Kellogg joke) worked quite well and they lasted a decent amount of time. In Europe, most nations were bound to the local provider act and as such there were all kinds of issues and they all had their own little issues. So even as we read: “Since the alliance was created almost 70 years ago, the people of Europe and North America have enjoyed an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity. But, at the political level, the ties which bind us are under strain“, yup that sounds nice, but the alliances are under strain by how Wall Street thinks the funding needs to go and Defence is not their first priority, greed is in charge, plain and simple. Now, to be fair, on the US side, their long term commitment to defence spending has been over the top and the decade following September 11 2001 did not help. The spending went from 10% of GDP up to almost 20% of GDP between 2001 and 2010. It is currently at about 12%, yet this number is dangerous as the economy collapsed in 2008, so it basically went from $60 billion to $150 billion, which hampered the infrastructure to no end. In addition we get the splashing towards intelligence consultants (former employees, who got 350% more when they turned private), so that expenditure became also an issue, after that we see a whole range of data gathering solutions from the verbose (and not too user friendly) MIIDS/IDB.

In CONUS (or as you might understand more clearly the contiguous United 48 States; without Alaska and Hawaii), the US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) Automated Intelligence Support Activity (FAISA) at Fort Bragg, NC, has access to the MIIDS and IDB by tactical users of the ASAS, and they maintain a complete copy of DIA’s MIIDS and IDB and update file transactions in order to support the tactical user. So there are two systems (actually there are more) and when we realise that the initial ASAS Block I software does not allow for direct access from ASAS to the FAISA System. So, to accomplish file transfer of MIIDS and IDB files, we are introduced to a whole range of resources to get to the data, the unit will need an intermediate host(s) on the LAN that will do the job. In most cases, support personnel will accomplish all the file transfers for the unit requesting that intel. Now consider 27 national defence forces, one European one and none of them has a clue how to get one to the other. I am willing to wager $50 that it will take less than 10 updates for data to mismatch and turn the FAISA system into a FAUDA (Arabic for chaos) storage system, with every update taking more and more time until the update surpasses the operational timeframe. That is ample and to the point as there is a growing concern to have better ties with both Israel and Saudi Arabia, what a lovely nightmare for the NSA as it receives (optionally on a daily basis) 9 updates all containing partially the same data (Army-Navy, Army-Air force, Army-Marines, Navy-Air force, Navy-Marines, Air force-Marines, DIA, DHS and Faisa HQ). Yes, that is one way to keep loads of people employed, the cleaning and vetting of data could require an additional 350 hours a day in people to get the vetting done between updates and packages. In all this we might see how it is about needing each other, yet the clarity for the US is mostly “Of the 29 Nato members, only eight, including the US and the UK, spend more than 2% of their GDP on defence, a threshold that the alliance agreed should be met by all the countries by 2024. Germany spent €37bn (£32.5bn), or 1.2% of GDP, on defence last year“, it amounts to the US dumping billions in an area where 28 members seem to have lost the ability to agree to standards and talk straight to one another (a France vs Germany pun). In all this there is a larger issue, but we will now see that in part three

Sometimes a cigar is an opportunity

you see, some saw the “‘Commie cadet’ who wore Che Guevara T-shirt kicked out of US army” as an issue instead of an opportunity. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/19/west-point-commie-cadet-us-army-socialist-views-red-flags) gives light to some sides, but not to the option that the US basically threw out of the window. You see the Bill of rights, a mere piece of parchment that got doodled in 1789 offering things like ‘freedom to join a political party‘, as we see the setting at present. The issue as I see it is the overwhelming hatred of Russia that is in play. Instead of sacking the man, the US had an opportunity to use him to see if a dialogue with Cuba could grow into something stronger and better over time. It might work, it might not, but at least there is one person who had the option to be the messenger between Cuba and the US and that went out of the window in a heartbeat. So when we see: “Spenser Rapone said an investigation found he went online to advocate for a socialist revolution and disparage high-ranking officers and US officials. The army said in a statement only that it conducted a full investigation and “appropriate action was taken”“. Was there a full investigation? To set this in a proper light, we need to look at NBC (at https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sexual-assault-reports-u-s-military-reach-record-high-pentagon-n753566), where we see: “Service members reported 6,172 cases of sexual assault in 2016 compared to 6,082 last year, an annual military report showed. This was a sharp jump from 2012 when 3,604 cases were reported“, we all should realise that the US defence forces have issues, a few a hell of a lot bigger than a person with a Che Guevara T-Shirt. So when we ask for the full investigations reports of 6172 cases, how many have been really investigated, or prosecuted on? NBC reported that “58 percent of victims experienced reprisals or retaliation for reporting sexual assault“, so how exactly were issues resolved?

Here we see the three events come together. There is a flawed mindset at work, it is flawed through what some might call deceptive conduct. We seem to labels and when it backfires we tend to see messages like ‘there were miscommunications hampering the issues at hand‘, standards that cannot be agreed on, or after there was an agreement the individual players decide to upgrade their national documents and hinder progress. How is that ever going to resolve issues? In all this greed and political needs seem to hinder other avenues though players that should not even be allowed to have a choice in the matter. It is the setting where for close to decades the politicians have painted themselves into a corner and are no longer able to function until a complete overhaul is made and that is the problem, a solution like that costs a serious amount of funds, funds that are not available, not in the US and not in Europe. The defence spending that cannot happen, the technology that is not what is specified and marketing will merely label it into something that it is not, because it is easier to sell that way. A failing on more than one level and by the time we are all up to speed, the others (read: Huawei) passed us by because they remained on the ball towards the required goal.

So as we are treated to: “A parliamentary hearing in Sydney got an extra touch of spice yesterday, after the chief executive of NBN Co appeared to finger one group of users supposedly responsible for congestion on NBN’s fixed wireless network: gamers“, whilst the direct setting given is “Online gaming requires hardly any bandwidth ~10+ megabytes per hour. A 720p video file requires ~ 500+ megabytes per hour. One user watching a YouTube video occupies the same bandwidth as ~50 video gamers“, we can argue who is correct, yet we forgot about option 3. As was stated last week we see that the largest two users of online games were Counterstrike (250MB/hour) add Destiny 2 (300 MB/hour), whilst the smallest TV watcher ABC iView used the same as Destiny 2, the rest a multitude of that, with Netflix 4K using up to 1000% of what gamers used (in addition to the fact that there are now well over 7.5 million Netflix users, whilst the usage implies that to be on par, we need 75 million gamers, three times the Australian population). Perhaps it is not the gamers, but a system that was badly designed from the start. Political interference in technology has been a detrimental setting in the US, Europe and Australia as well, the fact that politicians decide on ‘what is safe‘ is a larger issue when you put the issues next to one another. If we openly demand that the US reveal the security danger that Huawei is according to them, will they remain silent and let a ‘prominent friend‘ of Telstra speak?

When we look one tier deeper into NATO, they themselves become the source (at https://www.nato-pa.int/document/2018-defence-innovation-capitalising-natos-science-and-technology-base-draft-report) with: ‘Capitalising on Nato’s Science and Technology Base‘. Here we see on page 5: “In an Alliance of sovereign states, the primary responsibility to maintain a robust defence S&T base and to discover, develop and adopt cutting-edge defence technologies lies with NATO member states themselves. Part of the answer lies in sufficient defence S&T and R&D budgets“. It is the part where we see: ‘adopt cutting-edge defence technologies lies with NATO member states themselves‘ as well as ‘sufficient defence S&T and R&D budgets‘. You introduce me to a person that shows a clear partnership between the needs of Philips (Netherlands) and Siemens (Germany) and I will introduce you to a person who is knowingly miscommunicating the hell out of the issue. You only need to see the 2016 financial assessment: “After divesting most of its former businesses, Philips today has a unique portfolio around healthy lifestyle and hospital solutions. Unlike competitors like GE Healthcare and Siemens Healthineers, the company covers the entire health continuum” and that is merely one field.

Rubber Duck closing in on small Destroyer.

In that consider a military equivalent. The 5th best registered CIWS solution called MK15 Phalanx (US), the 3rd position is for the Dutch Goalkeeper (Thales Netherlands) and the 2nd best CIWS solution comes from the US with the Raytheon SeaRAM. Now we would expect every nationality would have its own solution, yet we see the SeaRAM was only adopted by Germany, why is it not found in the French, Italian, Spanish and Canadian navy? Belgium has the valid excuse that the system is too large for their RIB and Dinghy fleet, but they are alone there. If there is to be true connectivity and shared values, why is this not a much better and better set partnership? Now, I get that the Dutch are a proud of their solution, yet in that entire top list of CIWS systems, a larger group of NATO members have nothing to that degree at all. So is capitalising in the title of the NATO paper actually set to ‘gain advantage from‘, or is it ‘provide (someone) with capital‘? Both are options and the outcome as well as the viability of the situation depending on which path you take. So are the Australians losing advantage from Telstra over Huawei, or are some people gaining huge lifestyle upgrades as Huawei is directed to no longer be an option?

I will let you decide, but the settings are pushing all boundaries and overall the people tend to not benefit, unless you work for the right part of Palantir inc, at which point your income could double between now and 2021.

 

2018 – DEFENCE INNOVATION – ALLESLEV DRAFT REPORT – 078 STC 18 E

2 Comments

Filed under Finance, Gaming, IT, Media, Military, Politics, Science