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Considerations on the current strategy of the French government

Giancarlo Elia Valori

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1)France effectively cooperated with the Bashar el Assad’ Syria and the Russian Aerospace Forces in the war against Daesh/Isis. President Hollande sent the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. This happened while France was also operating in the US-led operation Inherent Resolve.

2) Following this French strategic position, the US pressure was so strong that President Hollande slowly and silently (but the pro-Russian statement had been public) abandoned the alliance with the Russian forces stationed in Syria.

3)Despite the flaws and shortcomings recorded in recent times, from the Bataclan attack to the Nice tragedy, the French intelligence services do mistakes especially because they are subjected to opposing political tensions: an all-out fight against the jihad urged by the public and a softer approach followed by the government aiming at “inclusion” and at a reduction of propaganda relating to the jihad danger. This second course of action is the one favoured by the United States, which have discovered the EU destabilization potential inherent in the jihad.

4)There is another factor to be taken into account, namely the Gaullist-style French opposition to the TTIP. Hence there is the real danger that, ranging from Saudi Arabia, which is a US ally, to Jordan and Turkey before the very recent coup-countercoup, there are Arab countries funding the jihad in France, also with a view to geopolitically “softening” the French government.

5)With specific reference to Turkey, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the network of Fathiullah Gulen – who is accused by President Erdogan of being the instigator of the very recent coup – is behind most of the network funding Hillary Clinton. Gokhan Ozkok was the vice-President of PAC, the organization raising funds for Clinton’s candidates. Some US sources maintain that Ozkok and others belonging to Gulen’s movement, enrolled the Podesta Group to lobby the Congress.

6)The Kemalists still operating in Turkey and abroad, strengthened by the recent evaluation of the National Security Council, think that Gulen is a fake liberal Islamist who wants to turn Turkey into a Sunni theocracy. On the other hand, since its creation in 2001, the AKP has always had problems with its Saudi, radical Islamist and totalitarian wing – and this happened when Erdogan and Gulen got on well together and founded the Party which is currently in power in Turkey.

7) France is also a jihad target because it is the second concussive force after the United States in the operation Inherent Resolve in Syria against ISIS. In sub-Saharan Africa, France has 3,000 troops serving in the Operation Barkhane, which is designed to fight against Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the other jihadist groups. Furthermore France hosts the largest Islamic community in Europe, as well as the largest Islamic community of second-generation French citizens. As many as 600 French citizens have reached the ISIS territories and the same holds true for the French-speaking Tunisians and Moroccans.

8) It is also worth recalling that the French government has only one obsession, namely the next presidential election scheduled for 2017. With the rating of current President François Hollande plummeting in the polls and the danger of a Front National victory, the jihad operating in France can have two unintentional cover factors: the inner race within the State administration for political repositioning and the future likely victory of Marine Le Pen in the next election. In this no man’s land a “window of opportunity” for the jihad emerges. It is also worth noting that the French intelligence services have recently been “purged” of the old and experienced analysts and operatives so as to make way for large groups of intellectuels, who have no intelligence experience but, on the other hand, have the same integrationist ideology, which leads directly to “submission” – just to use the title of the successful novel by Michel Houellebecq. It is the first time that leftist analysts guide and direct the French global strategy.

9) Al Qaeda’s magazine Inspire has thoroughly analyzed the heinous attack perpetrated in Nice. This analysis is important to understand the jihad current logic. The issue lies in “instilling fear throughout France” and, by extension, across Europe. Fear blocks any reaction and places the hit country into a state of inferiority – and this is precisely the role played by the “lone wolves” (Inghimaasi in Arabic) in the jihad, that “must be creative in inventing means to intimidate the West without using the traditional jihad means”, which can be traced by the police forces and the intelligence services. As stated by the magazine, these traditional means will be used at a later stage, once the lone wolves’ jihad has sufficiently intimidated the European countries and radicalized the local Islamic communities.

10)Bouhlel, the terrorist driving the truck in the Nice attack (referred to in the magazine as Al Huwaji) did what he had to do: he fully exploited the surprise attack effect and chose a target maximizing the number of French victims. He used an improper weapon, namely a truck, which was irrelevant to the Nice police and security forces. The global strategy of the jihadist terrorism has three objectives, currently in France but also in the European Union in the future: to hegemonize not the more or less “democratic” Imams chosen by the moderate Arab countries, but the immigrant or second- generation masses. The jihad will use these communities as bases for an Islamic State in France or in some other European countries and will later fight against the rest of the people manu militari – as now happens in Syria and Iraq – but not with the jihad, which is a strategy for preparing and opening hostilities, but with a conventional war, albeit ferocious. The issue that the global jihad is studying aims at knowing when the Muslim masses will be so large and radicalized to start the second phase, the one following the “lone wolves” phase.

11)The European framework is optimal for Islam. Countries which understand nothing about this phenomenon – except for some sort of propaganda – are obsessed with pacifism and the integration myth, a panacea for all ills, and are then subjected to the evident pressure of investors similar to Croesus (who, in fact, came from the Middle East) that also fund the jihad.

12)Qatar invested 100 million euro for the rehabilitation of the banlieues and it is easy to imagine what kind of political indoctrination will follow this “gift.” Obviously, with their stupid naivety, politicians hope this will favour the integration and rehabilitation of these peripheral areas, to which the French government only pays lip service. Qatar also bought shareholdings in companies such as Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), Total and the media group Lagardère. Through the investment in LVMH, Qatar has a direct stake and interest in the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), which manufactures the Airbus.

13) Furthermore Qatar wants to get its hands on the 7.5% EADS shareholding owned by the German car manufacturer Daimler. Outside of France, Qatar has a small stake in the Royal Dutch Shell, in the London department store Harrod’s and in the other British “global chain store” Sainsbury. Since 2010 Qatar has owned Miramax, the US film production company. Hence, on the one hand, there is the Islamic financial command and control over Europe and much of the United States and, on the other, there is the preparation of the next mass guerrilla warfare.

Advisory Board Co-chair Honoris Causa Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori is an eminent Italian economist and businessman. He holds prestigious academic distinctions and national orders. Mr. Valori has lectured on international affairs and economics at the world’s leading universities such as Peking University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Yeshiva University in New York. He currently chairs “International World Group”, he is also the honorary president of Huawei Italy, economic adviser to the Chinese giant HNA Group. In 1992 he was appointed Officier de la Légion d’Honneur de la République Francaise, with this motivation: “A man who can see across borders to understand the world” and in 2002 he received the title “Honorable” of the Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France. “

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Iran: New details of shooting Global Hawk disclosed

Newsroom

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Deputy of Operations of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization Amir Khoshghalb, in an interview with Mehr news agency, released the details of downing US Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk spy drone by IRGC.

“We were precisely observing the US drone’s activity even from the beginning moments of its flight,” he said, “We knew its route and it was under full supervision of Iran Defense Organization.”

“The drone was moving towards Iran, breaching international regulations i.e. taking that route it was making a threat to Iran,” the Iranian official said. 

“It had even turned off its identification system,” he added.

“We needed to take a tactical measure, accordingly,” he said.

“Our tactical measure has various aspects; first we issued a radio warning,” Khshghalb described, “In some cases, the warning is stronger and will lead into a strong tactical measure such as shooting.”

“On its route, which was longer than three hours, the drone, which was under our full surveillance, was seeking something,” he reiterated.

“May be we could take initial measures much earlier but we let the drone do its job and end its route,” he said, “We repeatedly issued warnings when the drone was on its way moving towards us asking it to act upon international regulations but it ignored all of them.”

On June 20, In June, Iran’s IRGC downed a US Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk spy drone after it had violated Iranian airspace. Despite the US claims that the drone had been flying over international waters, Iran said it had retrieved sections of the drone in its own territorial waters where it was shot down.

The intruding drone was shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.

US President Donald Trump said afterward that he aborted a military strike to retaliate against Iran’s downing of the US drone because it could have killed 150 people, and signaled he was open to talks with Tehran.

Chief of General Staff of Iranian Armed Force, Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, said on Wednesday that the US was on the verge of attacking Iran but called off the plans after Iran downed the intruding drone.

“The US was to take a practical measure [military strike] against us but in the name of a high number of probable victims, it overturned the decision,” he said, adding, “The main reason, however, was Iran’s deterrence power.”

These are the result of the Iranian thought and the commands of the Revolution Leader, he said, noting that despite all problems, Iran enjoys great capabilities in the defense sector and the Iranian nation will not let eruption of another war.

From our partner MNA

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Rethinking Cyber warfare: Strategic Implications for United States and China

Zaeem Hassan Mehmood

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“Every age had its own kind of war, its own limiting conditions, and its own peculiar preconceptions.”Carl von Clausewitz

Internet has transformed the front lines of war. Modern conflicts are now waged online in cyberspace. World Wide Web (WWW) has eradicated all physical borders and defences, without which weak and powerful states are all prone to attacks. Concurring to this pretext, a number of countries have formally recognized cyber as the new domain of warfare in their strategy papers and documents. United States and China are the master players in this realm having military units active, with sophisticated state of art capabilities dedicated to cyber strikes. The consequences are dire, for the sole superpower, and for the rising economic giant which is projected to take over the former by 2025.

The dynamic nature of cyber warfare has caused frustration in the inner circles of Washington and Beijing. Both the public and the private sector have been targeted. The former to get hands on state secrets and latter for intellectual property rights. According to an estimate by US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), it has cost the American economy $338 billion, an amount closer to the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Pakistan. China on the other hand leads the Asia-Pacific region in cyber losses which incurs the country an annual estimated loss of $60 billion.

Next Generation Warfare

There is a surge seen in cyber attacks against the US. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and National Security Agency (NSA) at multiple times have came under attack. This is followed by Silicon Valley tech giants, such as Netflix, Twitter and Spotify who on numerous occasions have been taken down by cyber attackers. It is very difficult to trace the identity and origin of the attack, as various techniques like changing Internet Protocol (IP) cannot only hide identity of attacker but misattribute it to other nations. Cyber security analysts working in their private capacity have collected evidence that seems indicate China as the alleged perpetrator of recent waves of cyber-attacks.

However, cyber pundits have openly stated that they cannot guarantee with a hundred percent accuracy that the evidence collected in wake of cyber-attacks is authentic and not planted by perpetrators to seem to look genuine. In cyberspace. An attack could be from anywhere around the globe. It could be from friends and foes alike, anyone can attack and make it look like an attack came from China or other adversary. In the past, cyberattackers from France bypassed into secured servers stealing classified information relating to American products and designs. Added to that, it is an expensive and difficult task to analyze these attacks. To know that you have been attacked or infiltrated is itself a big achievement. Considering that, it take days or even months to find that your security has been compromised. It took seven months for security analyst to find the Stuxnet virus that was hiding itself into a legitimate Siemens software responsible for controlling centrifuges at nuclear power plants around the world. According to an estimate starting rates for analyzing and identifying cyber attacks start from $650 dollars per hour, which often end up towards an uncertain conclusions.

Philippe Goldstein author of Babel Zero argues that attacking against a wrong adversary would be catastrophic. A troublesome scenario, where attacks in cyberspace can be met with conventional and even nuclear culminating a “Cyber Armageddon”. It is this reason that states have taken cyber warfare seriously and synonymous to national security. China has incorporated cyber command structure within its armed forces, under the“Three Warfare strategy.”

Cybersecurity analysts have called minuet “cyber bullets” as ‘Cyber weapons of Mass Destruction.’ All one needs is ‘bad timings, bad decision making and some bad luck!’ and you can end up having a World War III which was 24/7 nightmare of Cold War veterans. The world is not immune from such attacks. Anyone having an access to any computing device, from iPods to digital smart watches, having right technical skills can cause a national security crisis. This is well depicted in John Badham’s film, WarGames where a young hacker unknowingly sets a US military supercomputer to launch nuclear weapons on the former Soviet Union. Few years back, an attack on FBI’s website resulted in leaking of classified data caused alarm bells in Washington. Later it was found out the perpetrator was a 15 year old school boy from Glasgow, Scotland.

The way forward for states remains cumbersome in the absence of legal framework from the United Nations (UN). Further complications arise when the attack is orchestrated by a non-state actor or private individual from a particular state. Recent debates among the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members have arisen in the wake of alleged Russian sponsored cyber activities against Europe and America whether the collective defence measures under Article 5 would apply to a cyber-attack.

Cyber security is a relatively new introduction in war studies. The US Department of Defence (DOD) recognized cyber warfare, as the fifth domain of warfare following land, sea, air and outer space. There are around 30 countries that have dedicated cyber military units, whereas more than 140 countries have or are in developing stages to acquire cyber weapons. Cyber is the means by which countries irrespective of their financial standing can acquire to further states objectives. US and China are considered advanced states in cyber realm, having cyber military technology and capabilities that are rarely matched by other contenders. Therefore, studying their way of cyber dealings, strategies and policy making would allow other countries such as Pakistan to better able to understand the dynamics and nature of this new type of warfare. India has tasked the Defence Cyber Agency (DCA), presently headed by a two-star Admiral which reports directly to Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CCSC). DCA is presently undertaking to prepare a Cyber warfare doctrine for India. The repercussions of the developments are critical for Pakistan, which require a comprehensive safety and information guideline to be prepared for the masses. 

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Protest: The King is dead, long live the king

Dr. James M. Dorsey

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Protest is back on the front burner.

Protesters occupy streets in cities ranging from Hong Kong and Moscow to Khartoum and Algiers. They would likely do so in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, were it not for unprecedented pre-emptive security measures.

When protest is not on the streets, it is embedded in culture wars wracking countries like the United States, Germany and India that stem from the struggle between liberals and mainstream conservatives on one side of the divide and civilisationalists, populists, extreme nationalists and far-right wingers on the other.

A clamour for transparent, accountable rule that delivers public goods and services is at the core of the protests even if some are framed as battles for environmental and economic issues and against corruption rather than democracy or in terms of nationalism, civilisationalism, racism and opposition to migration.

The sparks of the protests differ from country to country. So does the political environment. And the stakes at various stages of the game vary.

In Algeria and Sudan, it’s about an end to corrupt autocracy and more inclusive rule. In Kashmir, the rub is imposition of direct Indian rule and failure to ensure that the region benefits equitably from economic growth.

In Russia, deteriorating standards of living and environmental degradation are drivers while a younger generation in Hong Kong rejects Chinese encroachment in advance of incorporation into a totalitarian system.

The different drivers notwithstanding, the protests and the rise of civilisationalism, populism, and racial and religious supremacism, aided by fearmongering by ideologues and opportunistic politicians, are two sides of the same coin: a global collapse of confidence in incumbent systems and leadership that initially manifested itself in 2011 with the Arab revolts and Occupy Wall Street.

The Arab Spring was a warning bell; the fact that it was bloodily crushed does not mean it will not come back in another form,” said former Italian and United Nations diplomat Marco Carnelos.

It already has with the fall of Sudanese autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who is currently standing trial on corruption charges, and Algerian strongman Abdulaziz Bouteflika, whose associates face corruption proceedings.

Developments in the two African nations notwithstanding, protesters have so far won major battles but have yet to win the war.

Perhaps their most important victory has been the ability not only in Africa but also elsewhere like in Hong Kong to sustain their protests over substantial periods of time.

In maintaining their resilience, protesters were aided in Africa and Hong Kong by governments’ realization, despite the occasional use of force in Khartoum and Hong Kong, that brutal repression would at best provide a short-term, costly solution.

Even Russia, despite more frequent use of police violence, has not attempted to squash protests completely and on several occasions caved into protester demands.

The various experiences suggest that the political struggles underlying the protests are long rather than short-term battles involving lessons learnt from this decade’s earlier protests. The protests go through stages that at each turn of the road determine the next phase.

The struggles in Sudan and Algeria have developed into battles for dominance of the transition following the toppling of an autocrat.

In Sudan, the struggle has shifted from the street to the board rooms of power shared between the military and political forces with external forces like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates seeking to shape the outcome in the background.

A Bellingcat investigation suggested that weapons used by Sudan’s Rapid Support Force (RSF), the successor organization to the Janjaweed that has been accused of war crimes in Sudan, were bought by Saudi Arabia in Serbia.

The RSF is believed to be responsible for the deaths in June of some 120 protesters.

Algeria is one step behind Sudan with the military and protesters still seeking to agree on a mutually acceptable transition process.

In Hong Kong, China has sought to avoid direct intervention. However, its use of proxies,  bullying of corporates and the business community, pressure on the Hong Kong government to resolve the issue without major concessions and attempts to play protesters on the basis of divide and rule has so far failed to produce results.

In contrast to Sudan, Algeria and Hong Kong, Russia has equally unsuccessfully sought to stifle protests with violence and repression.

“There is the desire to show strength in Moscow, but this will not stop the protest movement unless they start imprisoning people for 15 years. This will continue in a certain form, but whether it will change the country, no, not yet. It will keep the flame alive,” said political analyst Konstantin von Eggert.

Mr. Von Eggert’s analysis is equally valid for centres of protest elsewhere. The 2011 Arab revolts or Arab Spring and what analysts have called the Arab Winter were neither.

They were early phases of a messy process in which grievances are reflected as much in street protests as they are in support for civilizational, nationalist and populist leaders who have either failed to produce alternative workable solutions or are likely to do so.

Ultimately, the solution lies in policies that are politically, economically and socially inclusive. So far, that kind of an approach is the exception to the rule, which means that protest is likely to remain on the front burner and a fixture of the times.

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