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Showing posts from February 1, 2009

Washington Former Intelligence Czar a Prime Recruit for McLarty Associates

Source: John Negroponte, who was the first Director of National Intelligence, has joined the McLarty Associates consultancy headed by Bill Clinton’s former chief-of-staff, Thomas McLarty. Specializing in strategic and geopolitical consultancy for multi-nationals and big equity funds, McLarty Associates is particularly active in Latin America where John Negroponte was U.S. ambassador on two occasions (Mexico and Honduras) before becoming boss of American intelligence. Employing a staff of 30 consultants, the Washington-based company studiously keeps the names of its clients secret (they are mainly multinationals, including France’s nuclear energy group Areva , and financial institutions). The firm has worked hand in glove since 2003 with the law concern Covington & Burling ; two of whose alumnae are the new attorney general Eric Holder and the newly-appointed assistant attorney general for criminal division, Lanny Breuer , who was Bill Clinton ’s lawyer


B.RAMAN Angered by the reluctance of the international community, including the Government of India, to exercise pressure on the Government of Mahinda Rajapaksa to observe a ceasefire to protect the 150,000 Sri Lankan Tamils caught up in the conflict zone in the Wanni area, pro-LTTE web sites have kept up their attacks on the Government of India and the Congress (I). These attacks are in the form of unsigned or pseudonymous articles and letters to the web site editors. 2. The attacks on Mrs.Sonia Gandhi tend to be vicious. The Congress (I) is projected as the "Sonia Congress" and the "Dynasty Congress " and the Government of India as the "Sonia Establishment". She has also been projected as not nationalistic. On February 3,2009, criticisms of Shri M.Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, appeared for the first time. Pro-LTTE elements abroad seem to be unhappy with him for not exercising pressure on the Government of India to stop the fighti


B.RAMAN ( Text of an interview through E-mail given by me to a Russian journal ) (a). Sri Lanka is less developed than India because even though the percentage of literacy in Sri Lanka is high, it does not as yet have educational institutions of excellence like the Institutes of Technology in India. India has better human and material resources than Sri Lanka. The Indian economy is highly diversified. The Sri Lankan economy is still a three-item economy---tea, rubber and tourism. (b).Its economy is dependent on tea, rubber and tourism. The main tea and rubber growing areas are in the South where the Sinhalese are in a majority and not in the North and the East where the Tamils are in a majority. The insurgency has, therefore, not badly affected these three items. Iran, Pakistan and China are funding its arms purchases. Teheran has been supplying oil at concessional prices and giving it cheap credit to enable it to pay for the arms purchases. Pakistan and China sell ar

The Russia-Belarus Military-Technical Cooperation

Strategic Culture Foundation Anatoly TSYGANOK The highlight of February 3rd was the signing by Russia and Belarus of an agreement on setting up a joint air-defence system. According to the chief of the RF Airforce General-Colonel Aleksandr Zelin, the new combat force will include five air squadrons, ten missile batteries, five radar facilities and a radio combat unit. It will be under orders of commander of the united Air and Air Defence Force of either side, appointed by the presidents of both states. So, the not-easy-to-come agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus has been finally signed. It is titled “On the joint defence of the exterior border of the Union State in the air space and the establishment of the Joint regional air defence system of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation.” Russia’s military cooperation with the CIS countries is a model of relations a big country like Russia can have with smaller states (except for Ukraine). In

Russia influences Kyrgyzstan to close key U.S. airbase

By TOM LASSETER AND JONATHAN S. LANDAY McClatchy Newspapers The U.S.-led campaign against the Taliban suffered two logistical blows Tuesday as the president of Kyrgyzstan announced that he'd shut a U.S. airbase in his country and insurgents in Pakistan blew up a bridge, disrupting the main U.S. supply route into Afghanistan. The developments were the latest reminders of the vulnerability of the long and complex transportation system on which the 60,000 U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan depend for fuel, ammunition, construction materials and a great deal more. The announcement by Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev that he will close the Manas Air Base also gave President Barack Obama a first taste of the challenge he faces from Russia, which is trying to restore its clout in countries that were part of the former Soviet Union. Bakiyev made his announcement in Moscow, not in his own capital, shortly after the Russian government

Kyrgyzstan: U.S. to be denied use of Manas Air Base

Source : IntelFusion Mike Eckel has the story for the AP: MOSCOW (AP) — Kyrgyzstan’s president said Tuesday his country is ending U.S. use of an air base key to military operations in Afghanistan— a decision with potentially grave consequences for U.S. efforts to put down surging Taliban and al-Qaida violence. Why is this happening now? Because Kyrgyzstan is in dire financial straits. That’s also the reason why the opposition party is gaining strength and posing a serious challenge to the Bakiyev presidency. To solve his country’s financial problems and retain power, Kurmanbek Bakiyev will pretty much go with whoever writes him the largest check. What is Russia offering : write off $150 million in debt to Moscow make a $2 billion low interest loan Receive $150 million in financial aid Russian President Medyedev has also agreed to build the 1,900 MW Kambaratinsk hydro power plant. What is the U.S. offering ? $63 million in annual rent with the possibility of raising the amo

Where Human Intelligence and Machine Intelligence Meet

Source: IntelFusion Kudos to Kevin Kelly , one of the co-founders of Wired magazine, for finding a way to describe, with elegant simplicity, the future of man and machine. Outstanding work, Kevin. Here’s a snippet from his post at The Technium: One strand of massive connectionism is currently called social media. The goal is to connect everybody to everybody else in as many different arrangements as possible. Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Digg, Delicious, Yahoo Answers – the whole 10,000 strong universe of Web 2.0 sites employ various webs of humans to accomplish new things. In this regime, humans are the nodes. They generate the signals. The other strand of massive connectionism relies on a massive number of machines, CPUs and computer transistors linked together in as many ways as possible to get things done. For example, gigantic server farms, data centers, and telecommunication networks. At the extreme level we’d have to include the mega-network of the One Machine consisting of

CIA National Clandestine Service Ad On YouTube (YouTube via Got Geoint?)

The US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation's surprisingly hip Got Geoint? blog pointed to an interesting recruiting ad from the CIA (see below). The content is about what you would expect but the venue -- YouTube -- seems new. Worth a look (Another thing worth a look is Got Geoint? It is destined to be the Danger Room of the Geoint beat...)

Iran's Stealth Aircraft to Fly Soon

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Air force Commander Brigadier General Hassan Shahsafi Tuesday announced that Iran's home-made radar-evading aircraft will join the country's fleet within the next 8 months. "Military Experts are working on the radar-evading aircraft and God willing its test flight will be done in the first half of the next (Iranian) year (beginning on March 20)," Shahsafi told reporters here in Tehran. He added that the experts have already designed and manufactured the aircraft in a one-seventh scale. "After test flights and equipment testing, the project will be transferred to the defense ministry for the start of mass production," the Iranian air force general reiterated. Stressing that defensive measures set a priority for the air force, he added, "All actions and achievements of the Iranian army solely serve defensive purposes." The commander also reiterated the craftsmanship of Iranian experts, and said that they enjoy the

Iran Sends First Home-Made Satellite to Orbit

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran successfully sent its first domestically made satellite into orbit, ushering the country in an era of independence in its space program. The satellite called Omid (Hope) was launched early on Tuesday after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave the order to proceed. Omid was sent into space by the Iranian-produced satellite carrier Safir 2 (Ambassador-2) rocket, which is an upgraded model of carrier Safir 1. Equipped with two frequency bands and eight antennae, Omid will transmit information to and from earth while orbiting the planet 15 times per day. The lightweight telecommunications satellite is equipped with remote sensing, satellite telemetry and geographic information system technology as well as remote and ground station data processing. Omid is a research satellite that has been designed for gathering information and testing equipment. After orbiting for one to three months, Omid will return to earth. Omid carries experimental satellite

Iraq's trend-setting elections

Feb 2009 Iraq's provincial elections indicate a move away from sectarian- and religious-based politics and a public desire for a strongman, found in Prime Minister al-Maliki, Kamal Nazer Yasin in Iraq reports for ISN Security Watch. By Kamal Nazer Yasin in Basra for ISN Security Watch While not significantly redrawing the political map, Iraq's provincial elections will nonetheless reinforce important political trends underway since the end of the 2005-2007 Iraqi civil war. Held under the watchful eyes of thousands of American and Iraqi military personnel, 14,431 candidates, including 3,912 women, running in 14 of Iraq's 18 states, contested Iraq's trend-setting provincial elections for 444 legislative seats on 31 January. Iraq's second local elections since the US invasion were unusually peaceful by Iraqi standards - only nine people were reported killed - but the overall turnout, at 51 percent, was lower than the last national and local elections, whi

Pakistan: Anatomy of a Crisis, Skeletal Opportunities

This brief discusses the political instability in Pakistan and its implications for Western countries. It states that while an Islamic coup or a breach of nuclear security is not on the cards, stabilizing Pakistan will remain a long and complex task. The author argues that the West must engage with Pakistan militarily and at the civilian level as part of a broader strategic realignment in the region. © 2009 Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich Download: English (PDF · 3 pages · 356 KB) Author: Matthew Hulbert Series: CSS Analyses in Security Policy

Afghan intelligence breaks up Kabul bombing cell

By RAHIM FAIEZ – 20 hours ago KABUL (AP) — The Afghan intelligence service has broken up a cell of suicide bombers allegedly responsible for six attacks in Kabul that killed 20 civilians, a spokesman for the agency said Tuesday. Agents arrested 17 people who were involved in the suicide attacks in the capital over the last two years, said Sayed Ansari, the spokesman for the National Directorate of Security. Three others are still on the run and believed to be in neighboring Pakistan, he said. The breakthrough came following an attack outside a U.S. military base in Kabul on Jan. 17, when a suicide bomber killed four Afghan civilians and a U.S. soldier, Ansari said. Insurgents use suicide bombings against Afghan and foreign troops, but the number of such attacks have decreased in 2008 compared to a year before. The majority of the victims in such attacks have been civilian. Ansari said 124 civilians were also wounded in the six attacks allegedly organized by the group. Those arr

CBI arrests RAW man on bribery charges; remanded to three days

New Delhi (PTI): Country's external intelligence gathering agency -- RAW -- was again in the news for a wrong reason when one of its senior officials was arrested by the CBI for allegedly taking bribe of Rs 1 lakh from a Chennai-based manufacturer. Dr A S Narayan Rao, an official of Director rank working as scientist in the technical division of RAW, was arrested by the CBI from a hotel in Karol Bagh of Central Delhi last night while he was allegedly accepting a bribe amount from the manufacturer, official sources said here on Tuesday. Rao had allegedly demanded Rs 8 lakhs as a bribe for clearing the export licence of the Chennai-based firm and Rs one lakh was the first instalment, the sources said, adding searches were conducted and documents pertaining to the Chennai-based company seized. He was produced before a court here which remanded him to a three-day CBI custody. RAW has been dogged by controversies since 2004 after one of its Joint Secretary Rabinder Singh, was al

China: New defense posture

A new white paper on China's military places sharp focus on the country's international role, signaling a growing confidence in its clout in the world community , writes Adam Wolfe for ISN Security Watch. By Adam Wolfe in New York for ISN Security Watch On the day that Barack Obama was sworn in as US president, China's defense department issued a white paper on the current status and plans of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) - an English-language report aimed primarily at an international audience concerned about China's growing military presence. It is the sixth such white paper since 1998, and the sixth demonstration that the country's attempts at transparency can be maddeningly unclear to western observers. The paper reflects China's growing confidence in its increasingly important role on the world stage, while at the same time downplaying issues that have strained ties with the international community. As with previous reports, China&

What the U.S. Presidency Needs To Know About the Russians

Increase Decrease January 29, 2009 (LPAC)--The following article will appear in the Feb. 6, 2009 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. What the U.S. Presidency Needs To Know About the Russians by Michael Kirsch ---------------------------------- As the Obama Administration assumes the duty of command, what is the state of Russian thinking with regard to the current global crisis, at a time when that Administration must reach out for collaboration on solving the biggest economic collapse since the 14th-Century New Dark Age? No one country is safe from the present crisis; no one country can solve the global crisis within its own borders. Presently, if nations do not unite for a solution, they will be destroyed by the British Empire's intent to destroy them; a British Empire which is presently at the end of its own life span. There is now nothing more urgent for the survival of both the United States and Russia, than for the Obama Administration to open the door for a str