Friday, January 28, 2011

US Army or Covert Ops?

I've never really been one to say, "I told you so", unless it would save someone's life, or in the speaking of those words, it would save someone else grief. Yes, I can revel in the words, but I don't much like saying them for ego's sake. But this is one I've been saying for a long, long time, and when you have a public forum where you talk about things like I do here, you really need to say it, whether you enjoy it or not. In this case, I admit, I enjoy saying it.

Michale Hastings, is a Contributing Editor to the Rolling Stone magazine. Okay, its not like he's a senator, congressman, or security council member or top edge of one of our intelligence agencies, but hey, he's a guy that has been around and all over the Middle East and has seen, as he puts it:

"Having been witness to both Iraq and Afghanistan, saw some of the devastation we've wrought in both those countries, to fulfill the sort of need in the American psyche, to meddle in other people's business, it would be better to do just do covet operations".

Considering that Tunisia rose up against their government, and perhaps rightly so, and considering the
"Stuxnet worm" that hit Iran nuclear plant staff computers back in September of 2010, according to BBC Middle East Desk reports, Sian John, Symantec: "It's very sophisticated. A complex computer worm has infected the personal computers of staff at Iran's first nuclear power station, the official IRNA news agency reported.However, the operating system at the Bushehr plant - due to go online in a few weeks - has not been harmed, project manager Mahmoud Jafari said. The Stuxnet worm is capable of seizing control of industrial plants. Some Western experts say its complexity suggests it could only have been created by a "nation state". Israel? The U.S.?

My point in all this, is that had we kept intelligence ops going in Iraq when we were propping Saddam Insane up years ago, we wouldn't have had much of the problems going on now that we have. Had we depended more heavily upon smaller, "surgical" teams, rather than massive military ops, we could very possibly have decreased or eliminated the immense damage to the Iraq infrastructure that we have brought to bear upon its people. When you yell at someone you're going to attack, then do, they tend to step back, hide, take countermeasures; but if you simply do it, quietly, there is no protection.

The US Intelligence oversight committees and Congress have for decades whined and cried about the cost of covet and intelligence gathering. But what was the cost of what we did do instead? Lives, literally Trillions of dollars? Paying so much attention to war we allowed our economy and the world's economy to falter, trip and land perfectly hard on its face?

I've watched too many military ops over the last decade or few decades even, and wondered why in the world they didn't just send in a specialized team, or build one in place to do specific damage that would in the end, topple a top heavy blunt instrument like for instance, Saddam Hussein. But it would have taken intelligent thought, knowledge we have been so badly needing, and calculated risk operations. And what was our alternative actions? Blunt force weapons. Do you like being known as the country that doesn't think but puts their head down and takes out a wall with your helmeted head?

Why won't our leaders listen to those who know these countries and act accordingly? Are they really that stupid (defined as being given the chance at knowledge and turning it down in the face of necessity)? I've heard time and again how our Nation's leaders have gone against the sage advice of those who know, forsaking that for the good feel of sending in a battle group, rather than thinking and using intelligent thought to manipulate, finesse situations to our desired conclusions. Why don't we do that? Because we must be so bad at it. Why are we so bad at it? Because we don't do it, practice makes perfect after all.

Now, finally, that war has become so overly burdensome and expensive, we are starting to, we are being forced to, look at "alternative" forms of fighting back. What is that? Using our brains it would seem. Thank God for the economic crisis. Because, much good is coming from it. Finally.

I have always said, where a small team can be used, skip the battalion group. Why use a battleship, or aircraft carrier when a small team or one man (or woman, but hey, its the middle east right?) can accomplish the same thing, cleaner, cheaper, and with less bad feelings from the local citizenry.

Think and act smart. That's all I'm asking.

More on the Stuxnet Worm:

"It is believed to be the first-known worm designed to target major infrastructure facilities. "An electronic war has been launched against Iran", Mahmoud Liayi, head of the information technology council at the ministry of industries, told the state-run Iran Daily newspaper.A working group of experts met last week to discuss ways of fighting the worm, which Mr Liayi said has now infected about 30,000 IP addresses in Iran." - BBC

"Unlike most malware, Stuxnet does little harm to computers and networks that do not meet specific configuration requirements; "The attackers took great care to make sure that only their designated targets were hit...It was a marksman’s job."[24] The attack requires in-depth knowledge of industrial processes and an interest in attacking industrial infrastructure.[3][7] The worm contains, among other things, code for a man-in-the-middle attack that fakes industrial process control sensor signals so an infected system does not shut down due to abnormal behavior.[24] These capabilities would have required a team of people to program, as well as check that the malware would not crash the PLCs. Eric Byres, who has years of experience maintaining and troubleshooting Siemens systems, told Wired that writing the code would have taken many man-months, if not years.

"There has also been speculation on the involvement of NATO, the United States and other Western nations.[55] It has been reported that the United States, under one of its most secret programs, initiated by the Bush administration and accelerated by the Obama administration, has sought to destroy Iran's nuclear program by novel methods such as undermining Iranian computer systems. A diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks showed how the United States was advised to target Iran's nuclear capabilities through 'covert sabotage'." - Wikipedia

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