Showing posts with label geopolitics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label geopolitics. Show all posts

January 29, 2022

Goading The Bull In Ukraine

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called "Goading The Bull In Ukraine."

A few years ago, Israel’s former Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman (Soviet-born) cautioned about Israel’s indecision on handling the existential Iranian nuclear threat:
We need decisiveness, determination, not whining…no agreement will stop them. If you want to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.

These days, there is a similar situation with Russia and the U.S.’s threats over Ukraine: too much senseless political bantering and ultimatums that is only ratcheting up tension in the world. The result is that Russia’s ominous military machine including 100,000 troops have surrounded Ukraine (the 2nd largest country in Europe) on three sides and are poised to attack, yet there is a ridiculous song and dance being played out on the world stage In the end, the question is whose strategy will prove to be the winning one: Russia’s daunting finger on the trigger or even an actual devastating invasion of resource-rich Ukraine to try and safeguard their flank on Eastern Europe or the U.S. gambling that Russia will get mired in a no-win Afghan-like military foray that will bankrupt them financially and morally. As we await the answer to this, the world is learning to disregard and disrespect those that talk bull and goad the bull rather than decisively confronting the threat. We can’t afford the consequences to world peace and stability.

(Source Photo:

May 10, 2014

The *S*p*y* Named Snowden

So was Edward Snowden a whistleblower (some even call him a patriot) or one of the most ruthless spies this country has ever known?

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal by Edward Jay Epstein makes a strong case that Snowden was a spy galore, and the whistleblowing was his cover.
  1. What he stole? - 1.7 million documents from the NSA with "only a minute fraction of them have anything to do with civil liberties or whistleblowing." Instead, the vast majority "were related to our military capabilities, operations, tactics, techniques, and procedures"--otherwise known as the "keys to the kingdom." Moreover, it seems clear that a "top priority was lists of the computers of U.S. adversaries abroad that the NSA has succeeded in penetrating."
  2. When he stole them? - Snowden took the Booz Allen Hamilton job as a contractor for NSA in March 2013--this was at the "tail end of his operation." Moreover, the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA) court order for Verizon to provide metadata on U.S. phone calls for 90 days had only been issued in April 2013. And Snowden told reporter James Rosen in October 2013, that his last job at NSA gave him access to every active operation against the Chinese and "that is why I accepted the position."
  3. Where did Snowden end up? - First in Hong Kong and then under the protection of the FSB (aka the old KGB) in Russia, which "effectively compromises all the sources and methods" and ties all too nicely with what he stole. A former cabinet official has indicated that the Snowden heist was either Russian espionage, Chinese espionage, or a joint operation. 
If Snowden really was a spy as indicated, then the Whistleblowing of domestic surveillance in the U.S. was a most brilliant ploy by his operators to distract our nation from the true nature of the exfiltration and the harm done to our national security. In a way, it falls right in line with Russia's creative storyline/coverup in taking Crimea in saying that they were only protecting ethnic Russians. Score 2 for Russia!

Are we so easily lied to and public opinion really just jello in the hands of the global spymasters.  

We've got to be smart enough (i.e. critical thinkers) to interpret the noise in the intelligence signals, political speeches, and news stories to unveil the truth of what is really going on. In advertising, when exposing the truth of products and companies, this is sometimes referred to as culture jamming. Can we apply this to the complicated intrigue of global politics and get past the storyline that is fed to us to expose truth?  

It's high time to outmaneuver those that may seek to manipulate the public (whether from outside or even sometimes from within) with some brilliance of our own--in not believing every snippet that is fed to us and instead looking at the bigger picture of political theater, special interests, and national security to see who is now zinging whom and why. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


October 2, 2007

The Situation in Myanmar and Enterprise Architecture

The Wall Street Journal, 28 September 2007 reports that “as Myanmar’s regime cracks down on a growing protest movement, ‘citizen journalists’ are are breaking the news to the world.”

Cellphone cameras, text messaging, blogging, and even satellite phones are enabling democracy movements to subvert oppressive governments from restricting communications into and out of their regimes and sanitizing media coverage of their repressive, cruel rule.

While soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of pro-democracy demonstrators, Burmese citizens were sending photos and text messages to news agencies around the world. And the world responded with warnings and sanctions against the Myanmar government, keeping the death toll to only nine people so far.

“Even in countries like Myanmar, the spread of the Internet and mobile phones has meant the footage will always continue to get through and the story will be told, one way or another.”

If only this technology existed when the Nazis where herding the Jews unto cattle cars and taking them to the myriad of concentration (i.e. extermination) camps—perhaps, the shocking, real-time information and brutal photos would’ve moved the world to action sooner.

In fact, even the last time there was a large scale protest in Myanmar in 1988, the technology was not widely available and the result was a military massacre of more than 3000 civilians!

“Technology has changed everything…now in a split second, you have the story.”

From a User-centric EA perspective, we apply technology solutions to meet information requirements of the end-users in the enterprise. The business of EA is information and technology—those things that are opening up democracy in Myanmar. In EA, the results are improved mission execution and results of operation. That’s in a business or government setting. But how does information flow and technology affect geopolitics?

The answer is greatly, as we can see from the events in Myanmar:

Information technology is not only important to business and consumers, governments and citizens, but it is critical to the world’s progress—IT has geopolitical implications, including:

  1. Spreading freedom and human rights
  2. Feeding the world’s hungry
  3. Healing of the world’s sick
  4. Imposing peace and order

“Information is power” and this is enabled and magnified by the application of technology and modern communications. If we use the information technology wisely, we can make the world a better place for everyone!