Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The all too predictable tale of the failed CSIR Tech initiative.

I am sure you have heard that one of the key personalities in the CSIR Tech saga is in the news again.  Dr. V. A. Shiva is planning to run against Sen. Warren and he is taking on a Trumpesque persona in the hope of achieving a major upset. This is not out of character for Dr. Shiva, he loves being the eye of the storm and a controversial fame.

I want to briefly touch upon the CSIR Tech episode. You can find Dr. Shiva's view of the affair on his website. I just want to put out my take on this as I feel it is relevant to judging the viability of non-establishment candidates.

So lets go back in time to the 2000s, there was a lot of back and forth within the GoI about what was limiting the pace of scientific and technology progress in the country. The economy had just come out the 1990s recession and there was a sense of optimism in the air that long fear problems could be resolved if resources were applied to them.

One persistent cause of concern was the slow pace of innovation. The cycle time associated with taking ideas from bench top to industry was very long. Some of this was due to poor infrastructure development and a great deal was due to the timescales associated with material science and engineering which tend to be in the decades.

The GoI took two approaches to this, the first was to trying lure back exceptional scientists of Indian origin. The other was to reach out to the Israelis.

In the case of CSIR (which contrary to the name is actually a vast enterprise supporting hundreds of labs and thousands of scientists) the idea that gained ground was to create a kind of CSIR - "Lite and Fast" or "Diet" version. This was called CSIR -Tech, and its job was to find ways of quickly taking research out of CSIR labs into industry. To make this happen in 2009 Dr. V. A. Shiva was hired by DG-CSIR Dr. Samir Brahmachari himself.

Right from the outset there were two major problems.

1) The "outsider" who was brought in didn't understand the nuances of CSIR's culture and didn't understand how CSIR was already productive to begin with. The "outsider" came in with a "this place is not working" perspective and proposed radical changes.

2) The "insiders" who had grown up within CSIR became mistrustful of the "outsider" and didn't welcome the idea of these outsiders gating their already painstakingly written research proposals. They also reacted poorly to the outsiders being given extremely high ranks within the government that are usually given only to career bureaucrats or Nobel Laureate quality scientists.

The CSIR leadership quickly found itself in a mire. The gap between the internal view and the external view was so large there was no way to bridge it. Dr. V. A. Shiva became trapped in that mire. Having approached the entire problem of long innovation cycle times with a "revolutionary" outlook, his found his political stock completely depleted and that was the point at which Dr. Samir Brahmacharri DG-CSIR backed out completely. With the main establishment backing away from him, Dr. Shiva felt isolated and lashed out. This made matters worse & he ultimately had to leave. The unpleasantness in that episode was quite high, but Dr. Shiva was not the first or the last person to experience this.

Dr. Shiva went back to M.I.T and CSIR went back to doing things its way and building on relationships with Indian industry that it already had. As India's market matured, a number of transitional entities appeared in key sectors that help incubate new technologies emerging from CSIR labs. The revolution that Dr. Shiva advocated and the change that CSIR craved for came less as a Tsunami but as a gradual erosion of the traditional organizational approaches. As each generation of mid-level managers retired, the positions were filled by more commercially sensitive subordinates. This process continues to this day and Indian commercial science grows like weeds on the GoI's lawn.

Was Dr. V A Shiva wrong in his approach? I feel it is valid to say that. I think his "tear it all down" approach only served to antagonize the establishment. It achieved nothing of substance but created a massive distraction that quite frankly India really didn't need at the time. By playing up the stereotype of the "outsider" mentality, Dr. Shiva alienated powerful groups inside CSIR that would otherwise have supported serious change. Like Daedalus, he flew too close to the sun with predictable consequences.

Was CSIR wrong in its approach? Yes - that can be said too. Institutional expectations were not properly defined and it was not made clear that what was necessary was a careful sorting of existing projects into short (less than 5 years), medium (5-10 yrs), and long (10 or more yrs). Internally CSIR was not ready for this kind of classification system to be put into place. CSIR craved change but didn't realize how much it would cost.

So where does that leave us?

It seems oddly familiar in the DJT context. A person's success in one context does not translate into success in another context even if superficially the two jobs look similar.

To be a successful politician - one needs to be able to bullshit convincingly but one also needs to be able to work with large complex bureaucratic systems. If you are not from the establishment - you have to go the extra distance in earning the trust of the insiders that your intentions are above board. If you are seen as a wannabe dictator - then most likely you will not be able to come up with workable ideas.  Without the ability to come up with workable ideas, you are indistinguishable from a conman.

Our government in the State and Federal in the US is as complicated and as intricate as India's CSIR. Unless you actually put a lifetime into working within it and learning all the nuances that go into making workable policy, you really have no hope in hell of succeeding or meeting any promises you make.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The score so far in the American Cricket Match

DJT now finds that his entire survival rests on a few key GOP persons who are holding back a tide of investigations into his personal finances and Russian links therein. Once these investigations start it will be difficult for him to claim that his election was not the result of Russian interference. As that claim gains currency, an impeachment will be inevitable.

The GOP for its part is trying to determine if association with DJT is a positive outcome for the 2018 election or not. GOP control over gerrymandering and voter suppression laws has delayed the demographic collapse predicted by liberal pundits. That being said if GOP is simultaneously saddled with the toxicity of DJTs ties to RU and the hit job the insurance lobby wants them to do on Obamacare/ACA - they will not be able to secure re-election.

The situation is in an exceedingly fragile state. If any of the Republicans leading key committees are compromised by Democratic Party political operations or by dirty tricks from withing the GOP itself, the entire DJT presidency could end in flash.

DJT realizes this and has resorted to his AI draw Word Room based speeches. His speeches have nothing to do with policy as there is no policy underpinning to what words go in. He seems to be merely stitching together word clouds the AIs operated by Cambridge Analytica are mining out of the accounts of his own "followers". The aim of these speeches is to drum up support among his followers, the GOP is very afraid these people will gun them down if they don't do what is best for DJT's interests.

I say "followers" in quotes because neither he nor Cambridge Analytica know how many of those data points are genuine and not the result of provocation operations by RIS or other forces. At this point if the Democratic Party could infiltrate his word clouds and plant things in those clouds (a relatively easy thing to do given how these are prepared). The load of filtering it would be onerous, and that would make it much harder for DJT to drum up support for his positions. If for example the word "betrayal" were brought into the word cloud, it could resonate with several sentiments in this "base" - they would be reminded both of HRC's alleged betrayal and of the manner in which DJT himself has betrayed their sentiments by moving forward with ACA/O'care repeal.

This reliance on AI's to tell you what to do to is the weakest link in the entire DJT machine. It is at once brilliant and at once fantastically risky. If the AI shits the bed (which it often does in practice) - the consequences would be severe for DJT at this time.

Once the pressure on DJTs relationship with RU ratchets up, he will be left with no choice but to crash the market and cause enough bedlam to draw attention away from himself. I think it is likely that given how much pressure he is under, he will flake out on all promises made especially to other vested folks like HAF, AIPAC, etc...

As regards true believers like Micheal Cohen, dude - you're role in this is completely exposed. If RIS can takeout high ranking ambassadors they can wipe a few low level operators like you anytime. Seriously boss, up your security otherwise I really fear for your life. You may have done terrible things but you are also a valuable witness to the most unbelievable criminal escapade in human history. I hope you can be brought before a court to give evidence against the masterminds.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Attacks on Indians in the Trumpistan

There has been a recent incident that has made the news. It is all very tragic ofcourse but there are some lessons to be learned here.

Firstly the average Trumper can't tell the difference between an Indian and "Middle Eastern" people. I can't do that either. Ever since all those Lakhnawi Shias went and settled in Ctesiphon, quite frankly - we all look alike.

Secondly, Trumpers hate anyone who isn't their particular brand of crazy. A lot of that crazy is just about not looking like an "old white man". It is unfortunate but that is what they are fixated on.

A lot of Black, Hispanic, Jewish, Indian (so called "diversity") Trump supporters realized this at his campaign rallies last year. Despite their love of Trump - their fellow mono-ethnic compatriots largely seemed to fantasize about murdering their kind.

In the Kansas incident (which neither the WH nor DJT has chosen to tweet about) we are seeing a maturation of that fantasy. And against that backdrop I feel it is important to study the psychology of the attacker.

As so many sociologists in the US have indicated in repeated commentaries public and private, a large section of the US white male population feels disempowered. Having been brought up on a steady diet of violent and toxic masculinity - they are unable to find a legally acceptable outlet for what they have been programmed to do.

Most of the violence latent in this segment of society is applied to the women and children proximate to these people. A smaller fraction falls on ethnic minorities and LGBTQ.

The Trump campaign was able to court these sentiments of neutered masculinity and produce a politically favorable outcome. The result of this is that a new breed of racist lunatic has been born, a StormTrumper - who sees his actions as completely justified and totally supported by his country. The police might go through the motions of arresting him, but his fellow Trumpers on the jury will ensure he gets off.

Some Indians like Shalabh Kumar and the Hindu American organizations have been saying that if Indians in the US side with Trump and his anti-Muslim agendas, then they will be spared from attacks by Trumpers.

But the Kansas incident and others like it appear to indicate that the StormTrumpers are simply too high on racist thoughts to be able to tell the difference between Indians and others they profess to hate.

And why blame the ordinary StormTrumper on the street, he only gets his cues from DJT and Steve Bannon himself. And Steve Bannon has openly stated that he does not like the racial dilution occurring in Silicon Valley and that he feels too many CEOs there are Asiatics. And then there is AG Sessions, he has a long history of racist behavior.

So by collaborating with Donald Trump's anti Muslim agendas - are Hindu Americans merely delaying their inevitable cattle car ride?  Are they simply signing up for a Rumkowski@LodzGhetto type deal?

Perhaps the Pro Trump factions of the Hindus Uber Allez crowd in the US can answer. Jay Kansara, do you have any answers? Shalabh Kumar anything?

And while we are on the subject - how can a leading member of a Hindu Nationalist Party associate with a brand that encourages the murder of Hindus? Any answers Lodha and Co?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

RU switches to Plan B

As I mentioned earlier Yasenevo has gone into clean up mode. Any direct links between RU and DJT are being scrubbed. The only ones left out now are the Bratva ones. These are deniable and quite frankly irrelevant. No onee will take the word of a career criminal over a sitting President.

The main problem bothering the Kremlin is most likely DJT's "unpredictability". Now to be clear we know that he is not really unpredictable in the strictest sense, he is self-destructive and the machinery of the USG will ensure that he doesn't take the country down with him as he binges on tweets or something like that, but net effect of this destructive behavior plus USG's protectiveness is an "unpredictability" about him that is annoying.

By now President Putin knows that the entire Rosneft-> QHG -> Intertrust -> Blackstone Op is blown and there is no way of gently ending the sanctions. That $0.5T bonanza that would have paid for everything is not happening right now. I would go so far as to say that Climate Change fears due to increased gas exploitation are also probably misplaced as soon there will be no one to buy the stupid gas that people will spend billions extracting.

Hard options are only sort of on the table. I say "sort of" because *real* wars cost *real* money and RU doesn't have any.  The RU's foreign wars heretofore have been small scale interventions - division level maneuvers at max with no real attrition losses. The ease with which RU forces prevailed in Georgia, Crimea and Chechnya have created an aura of invincibility around President Putin. He is reluctant to put that aura to the test by going after hard targets like Ukraine, Belarus, Finland, Sweden, Norway or in any way by provoking a confrontation against NATO.

The Syrian intervention is literally testing Putin's aura of invincibility as it drags on day by day. A part of the problem of course are the Turks. No one really knows whose side Istanbul is on - some people think that Istanbul might not even be on its own side as the recent failed coup attempt evidenced.  Despite all the RU claims of having defeated ISIS, fact remains that ISIS still operates and the only ones gaining any ground are US backed Iraqis. Assad's guys are quite obviously content to sit around let others do all the work. The RuAF bombs stuff from time to time, but it mostly focuses on killing Assad's enemies, and that makes Basher even more secure and even less inclined to actually get off his ass and fight ISIS. Apart form a place to showcase the immense civilian killing power of the RU's missile arsenal, the entire Syrian theater doesn't really seem to be producing anything valuable for President Putin's survival. I mean it is great that RuNAV can base nuclear subs in Latakia,  but seriously who is going to pay for that deployment? and what can those subs do there that they can't do from Severomorsk?

That is why I feel the RU has shifted into plan B.

As historically demonstrated, the Moscow Principality will cut supply of fuel and food to the periphery citing austerity measures. The result will be a gradual but palpable decline in living standards along the periphery. Without food to eat or fuel to the keep them warm, the people of the periphery will be drawn towards Moscow in the hope that it throws them a piece of bread or a lump of coal. This will reduce internal dissonance and prolong the life of the Putin regime. That should stave off the public revolt. And oh people like Kadyrov have a finite lifetime over which they are actually useful - beyond that timescale - the Kremlin deals with them in the usual way.

Feeding the wolves in Moscow itself - that is a different matter. To do that Putin and his cohorts to make a quick buck. Their best bet now is to pump and dump the entire US stock market. Among several Trumpstruck investors (i.e. the rich but stupid crowd) there is a euphoric sense about the market. By strategically driving up prices of random stocks, RIS could create a space where they selectively pump and dump across several segments. This would be extremely hard to detect, and the net effect will be a completely inexplicable stock rally. The main indexes would all rise despite very few other economic signals aligning with the trend.

The rally will end as the Fed raises interest rates and cuts the flow of credit. This will ensure that people or AIs making margin calls have to shoulder much higher risks if they are to repay the money they have loaned. All it will take will be one fluctuation, one badly organized deal, one fund whose accounts are slightly off or even one major firm that suffers a terrible cyber attack. That will send the market into a speculative plunge where fear of losing money leads people lose even more money.

A spread of companies will then sluice of real money from the declining US stock market and funnel them into accounts under the control of the RU leadership. When the market has bottomed out the RU investors will buy large chunks with available cash. This will complete the short. The market will recover decades later but by then as RU foreign minister Lavrov indicates, we will be living in a "Post Western" world. There was an old scenario that had turned up in CIA related fiction - it was called Kholstomer. It had the basic functional elements of such a scheme described.

As can expected President Donald Trump will not do anything to stop the RU from executing Plan B. His first instinct honed over decades of "business" would be to feed on the dying carcass of the US economy. He and the GOP would find ways of monetizing the collapse of the US economy just like he found ways of turning his failed casinos into a way to bilk the US taxpayer.

I don't even know if there is something he can do - as in if there was something that could be done, would he be able to do it? or would his self destructive incompetence get in the way?

The exact response of the USG to the RU attack on its financial system will depend sensitively on the balance between President Trump's legendary self-destructiveness and the USG's own internal accountability mechanisms which will counter act.

In that light I feel all attempts to dilute accountability inside the NSC and the USG in general are basically RIS provocations aimed at weakening the USG's ability to protect the American economy.

Friday, February 17, 2017

What is the "Deep State"?

A lot of RIS and Steve Bannon inspired propaganda seeks to paint out the Flynn departure as some kind of scheme by  the "Deep State" to undermine President Trump.

Some of you are probably wondering what is a "Deep State"?

I have had a ring side view of some of this "Deep State" stuff in another context but I think it works similarly in many places so I can offer my readers some of what I have learned.

My knowledge is by no means complete - but it is enough for you to understand the issue. For brevity I leave out irrelevant details about how and where I came upon such knowledge.

Now to the most obvious facts -

Firstly - It exists - it is not a figment of some conspiracy theorist's imagination. Denying it is a waste of time.

Secondly - everything you think you know about it is probably wrong. Specifically in movies and TV, the Deep State is personified as key character - a "Cigarette Smoking Man" (X-Files) or a "Alan Fitch" (Blacklist) or some such sinister eminence. Those cartoon-ish people do exist but the reality is much more sober and frankly infinitely more terrifying.

Thirdly - every "Deep State" has a similar structure and serves a very similar function. They all operate in a similar fashion.They all seeks to self-perpetuate and preserve and there can easily be more than one at play in a given time.

So now lets get down to some important details

The Deep State is an information repository

Deep States evolved out of the need to preserve institutional memory of government actions. As nation states grew in size and complexity, it became much harder to keep a list of the "lessons learned". This is where the Deep State come into its own. It became a way to preserve knowledge. In that sense the Deep state is very similar to the Brahminical cabals of my ancestors. It offers a way to teach the next generation of bureaucrats and decision makers how to responsibly use power.

As it is a natural consequence of the evolution of a nation state, it exists everywhere in every nation and in various stages of development. The established ones tend to be more secure than nascent ones but it really depends what is going on inside the state than outside it.

The Deep state is a mindset 

As membership of the Deep State is by invitation only, it is not made to people who don't share a mindset. The core aspects of this mindset are that the levers and knobs of power should only be accessible to the select few. The mindset creates an aura of exclusivity around the mechanisms of power, it also protects the knob turners from accountability for events that are outside the scope of their actions. The essential desire here is to preserve the purity of power and to filter accountability in a way that shields the basic mechanisms of the Deep State.

The Deep State is groups of groups of groups .... of people

While anyone may make policy - only a select few can implement it. Those that implement it form an automatically sealed social group distinct from all others in the way it executes the specific agendas assigned to it. Each group seeks expedient ways of managing its load so it creates a local reserve of money and human resources to act on its core mission. This is a process of self assembly once initiated it proceeds at a pace dictated solely by the availability of resources (financial and human).

Given that the equilibrium between issues is often naturally obtained by open competition for resources, it is also natural for factions to develop inside the Deep States and there is little to prevent friction from such clashes.

So what should I be afraid off?

The choices I see are

1) Should you be afraid of an amorphous ill-defined bureaucratic cult that sits inside all the major elements of the USIC ? or

2) Should you be afraid of the Strategic Interests Group that Steve Bannon has set up which acts as a parallel national security council? or

3) Should you be afraid of a war between such factions which wastes scarce national security resources and grinds the nation into oblivion?

IMHO - one should be afraid of 2 and 3 the most. I believe 3 is a corollary of 2. The SIG created by Steve Bannon is being led by people with little or no experience of real government. These people have questionable motivations and they have no history of proven or workable ideas. They will execute on their agendas at a great cost in resources, and this will deplete the watering hole for everyone else. These idiotic EOs we are seeing pushed out via the current WH are a good example of this inefficiency.

The role of small special groups must not be ignored. Sometimes they can lead to a revolution in intelligence affairs.  For example, Edwin H Land was able to lay the foundations of TECHINT with his emphasis on advanced science and novel imaging. Edwin H Land was a runaway business success who employed hundreds of thousands of people. Edwin H Land's efforts and access to President Eisenhower actually saved millions of lives by encouraging an honest appraisal of Soviet nuclear forces via IMINT.

Bannon is the polar opposite of Edwin Land. Edwin Land brought real productivity - Steve Bannon lusts after destruction . It is far more likely the Steve Bannon's efforts will ultimately lead to an MKULTRA/MKNAOMI/Gottleib style toxic mess that we will spend generations sorting out.

Diverging American views on NATO

As seen in the progressive verbal dissonance between SecDef Mattis and President Trump, there are two different views on NATO in the US. This is not terribly new, historically the US has always seen Europe alternatively as a bulwark and as a burden.

While it is obvious that RIS would attempted to feed its own agendas in EU by manipulating the American debate on the relevance of the EU in American security, I feel it is important to pay attention to the details of the argument to see what is really going on.

At a most basic level the US is bankrupt. Economically its debt is at an unsustainable level. The balance of trade with partners has to shift at least until the debt issues become manageable. The EU is one of America's major trading partners and quite naturally it will need to help the US in its hour of need. The American economic bankruptcy is mirrored by a political and intellectual bankruptcy too. This is presented by the flamboyant fabulist that parades as our President. He is very high on hype and very low on substance. His behavior mirrors the fact that most of us have no f**king idea what to do about our situation even though we all acknowledge the fact that this is unsustainable.

A majority of European immigrants whose descendants call themselves "native" Americans today carried very negative memories of the old country. This fed a deep desire to stay out of European affairs for many. Others felt a desperate need to connect to connect with their cultural homelands and never quite accepted assimilation in the American melting pot. These nostalgic groups were drawn towards Eurocentric associations. Such processes tore the European immigrant communities apart. Two great examples of this are the Swiss-German immigrants of Kentucky & Ohio and the English cultural loyalists of the North East. Both suffered greatly from the shearing process that is natural to the melting pot.

NATO was born in the ashes of the WWII. As the prospect of Stalin becoming a Hitler 2,0 grew in the minds of national security strategists, the idea of an alliance against Stalinism in Europe grew. This alliance served primarily to to protect the Marshall Plan loans that the US gave the European states that were emerging from rubble of WWII. As the Cold War progressed, Europe became the bulwark against Soviet aggression. After the USSR fell, some argued that NATO should be closed down but instead it became a way to secure loans given to newly liberated Warsaw Pact states and its footprint actually expanded.

This widening NATO footprint became a cause for concern in the RU. It was seen in Moscow as a new Mongol army that was slowly eroding the defensive boundaries of Mother Russia. Something was a creeping threat to the security of the Moscow Principality and its strategic reserves around the Tatar lands. RIS responded to this threat as best they could. Today the situation can best be described as "Militarily Stable with a few important caveats".

So leaving aside old ideas about Europe and its place in culture, we are faced with a choice between two very real issues

a) the internal collapse of the US system of debt and
b) the fragility of the "military stability" in Europe.

From a NATO perspective - it must protect against a combination of physical, electronic and psychological aggression from a bellicose Russia that seeks to protect its boundaries. And NATO must do that while watching its financial situation become more and more precarious.

If NATO fails to do its job - there will be no Europe to lust after. There will be no one to buy oil and natural gas from Russia or Saudi Arabia or Qatar. No one to buy cheap Chinese products or Indian software, or American weapons.

So we have an exceedingly difficult task at hand, one has to protect the chicken that lays golden eggs and protect it without killing it even by accident.

NATO it is the absolute core of American national security. This subtle fact gets lost in the idiot driven public discourse popular on our TV channels.

Can a highly competent American national security state accomplish this goal with the person who gave that press conference yesterday at its head? Can all this be managed by someone who fantasizes about making deals with the Russians - especially on issues where he clearly has no comprehension of the details?

I think not.

A system that was set up by people of the caliber of Gen. Eisenhower and George H W Bush can only be maintained and repaired by people of similar ability and that is where its all going terribly wrong. We are woefully short on that account today.

In the language of the Deep State dwellers - there is a terrible phrase - once uttered it cannot be unsaid and it forms a final and binding contract with its outcome.

"Something must be done". 

I have said this now but I am not a member of the American Deep State. I am an ordinary outsider.

If some American Deep State citizen repeats it in any fora. You should not be surprised by the outcome.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Yasenevo will likely go to clean up mode

Two things have come out in the last week.

1) A paper trail linking Rosneft's sale, QHG Holdings in the Caymans, Walker's Fiduciary Management, Intertrust, and the Blackstone group has for the first time directly linked President Trump with a 19% share in Rosneft. The Rosneft sales has already triggered questions on account of its mention in the Steele documents and the bizarre manner in which the Russian Central Bank has effectively transferred money to Rosneft prior to the deal. The general perception is that a stake in Rosneft was offered to President Trump as a baksheesh for removing sanctions on RU.

2) The resignation of LTG(r) Mike Flynn as NSA. There was documentary evidence of him communicating with the RU Amb in Washington DC. The exact contents of this call were apparently recorded by various intelligence agencies and former acting AG Sally Yates had warned the Trump White House about the national security risks these conversations posed. This brings up the tally of officials fired to three (Page, Manafort, Flynn).

Taken together - these two events have blown the lid of the largest known RIS operation in US history. Prior to this the only infiltration of this scale was that managed by KGBs scientific intelligence service of the Manhattan project. Most of those spies were arrested and put to death or sentenced to extremely long prison terms.

We do not know how big the RIS operation is. We do not know how many more penetrations there are in the USG. I never thought I would be drawn to the kind of thinking espoused by James Jesus Angleton or Peter Wright - but I guess that part of my mind was just dormant.

If you believe rumors, President Donald Trump himself is severely compromised by RIS. I don't know what to believe or disbelieve anymore. I am completely shocked by his conduct with during the North Korean missile launch crisis at the Mar-a-Lago. I feel people have been shot for far far less. Hillary was pilloried for hosting emails on a private server, I don't see how Donald Trump will get far by opening national security briefings in full view of dinner guests at his restaurant.

I didn't think high level security of the United States could be compromised this severely. I didn't actually believe that Donald Trump was skipping his PDBs until I saw that tweet about Nordstrom and his daughter's stupid clothing products was timed exactly in the middle of his PDB.  He was clearly not paying attention to anything being said in the PDB. I don't even know WTF he was doing with his stupid phone in the same room as the PDB. That phone is probably filled with compromised apps and having it in the same room as the PDB risks compromising the PDB itself. I am sorry but this behavior is fucking insane. 

I can understand putting up the shameless promotion of his daughter's company through his office but I can't understand how one can put up with this level of compromised security. I fear the NSCS will become defunct and mission critical national security processes will become orphaned. I already worry this misguided nonsense coming out people like Bannon and Miller has put several hundred deep cover operatives in violent groups at risk. These spies are the foundations of our national security and I am completely disgusted that their lives have been put at risk in this fashion.

It cannot continue like this.

From Yasenevo's perspective - it should be obvious that this operation is completely blown. The historical protocol has been to contain the mess. I imagine the process in Yasenevo to render the situation safe has already begun.

I don't know how they will do it - but they are going start cleaning up.

I wish to reiterate my original sentiment - "this is what life in Kabul probably felt like when Taraki took power!".

Friday, February 10, 2017

RU tanks in Donbass - Or the tale of two Husky puppies- Or Why I love the internet .

In response to the question " Where did the "Separatist" Tanks in Donbass come from?" - Comrade Peskov replied "Not from Russia".

But unfortunately for Comrade Peskov, the internet had already been hard at work.

Some people had identified the tanks and the specific unit from open sources [1]

Some others had already identified two cute husky puppies (no they don't all look alike) [2]. Please read the article and then read the comments on how to identify tanks.

Now none of this will make any real difference to the situation on the ground, but since the situation on the ground is actually completely meaningless unless RU can assert a position in the media space that is favorable, these reports and analysis will create a massive barrier to RU finding accommodation in the media.

RU at present - does not have the resource to dominate all media sources.

It might get access to some of them via allies and proxies in the Trump Administration, but the extent of dominance is unlikely to be sufficient to erase all doubt about the veracity of RU claims.

What emerges from this however is less that RU is obviously trying to deny invading Ukraine, but that the entire intervention in Ukraine was not well thought out. It is not impossible to create a deniable military intervention, but when you f-ck up simple stuff like not painting tanks, sanitizing VK profiles, not keeping movement security of armor formations - it says your head is not in the game.

I wonder why people in RU are being so careless, it is almost as if the middle of the RU national security machinery doesn't give a damn whether Putin survives this crisis.

It is one thing for the average RU soldier or operator to not give a shit (what does he lose/gain from Putin's survival? - a painful death awaits either way) - but for the middle of the national security machinery (which usually keeps track of pesky details like markings on tank regiments) etc... to drop the ball like this? That is wrong.

It says to me that their heart is not in it. And that is a problem for anyone in Moscow who wants to ride out a major economic contraction.