Sunday, December 11, 2016

Operation Kholstomer - fact or fiction?

A while back a small group of people on the India Defence Review editorial board sat down and carried out a table top gaming exercise. What they learnt from the exercise they wrote into a story of sorts - a fictionalized scenario. Today we know that scenario as OP Topac.  A lot of people think that OP Topac with is tributary operations OP Mushtary and OP Zarb-e-Kamil and OP War Cloud was an actual Pakistan planning staff document from the Zia-ul-Haq era. It wasn't - it was just a table top exercise in reverse analysis by some of the most experienced hands in the Indian national security community. However the outlines of OP Topac were so closely matched by the reality of India's security situation in Kashmir and Punjab in the early 90s, that OP Topac seemed to be indistinguishable from whatever Pakistani plan/s were actually at work.

Today we find ourselves in a similar position in the US. The derivatives market has exploded over the last decade. A "correction" (read crash) is only natural at this point. It will most likely be triggered by a Federal Reserve interest rate hike. What no one can predict is whether this crash will couple to other persistent debt problems like the massive load imposed on the economy by an aging workforce and population. No one knows how badly the coming crash will hit entitlements and if a depression will ensue. The smart ones in the US definitely know that the economy is on the edge of a very deep pit. Naturally at this time, the sensible folks want to see the national leadership kept under "Adult Management". No one wants to see old people left to die without Social Security or Medicare and no one wants to see young children starve do death on the streets because some preening sociopath wants to cut welfare/entitlements. So "Adult Management" is the key.

That does not seem to be where we are headed with the Donald Trump Administration. Key officials appear to have been selected out of the long list of donors, or visible ties to Russian entities. The entire Donald Trump Campaign has been under investigation by the secretive Counter Intelligence side of the FBI.

Against that backdrop you pay actual attention to the pattern of FSB cyber attacks on the US electoral system, you see a pattern emerge. The FSB has clearly interfered with the election and slanted the flow of information to make President Elect Donald Trump more desirable to uneducated voters. The FSB hacked both the RNC and the DNC computers but only made emails from the DNC public. The resulting chaos damaged the HRC campaign and acted effectively as a vote-suppression mechanism. Thought the GOP has traditionally used vote-suppression as a means to securing its electoral prospects, getting Russian help with that sort of thing is treason

Looking past the usual metrics of public honesty which do not seem to apply to President Elect Donald Trump, and staring even briefly into the vast maze of Limited Liability Companies he calls "his business" - one gets the distinct sense that one is looking at a large money laundering complex. Nothing is what it seems there, there are so many holes and bypasses by which debt and revenues can be shuffled between entities, that there is no way for anyone to really tell you whether his "business" is running in the red or the black or running at all. The maze like structure is extensive even by large multinational standards, and when you take into account that he is not a publicly audited entity - you wonder if this is a corporate entity or a hostile intelligence agency provocation.

That brings me to my original question - was Operation Kholstomer entirely a work of fiction? or has reality evolved to a level where it may be considered as an ongoing event?

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