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Monday, May 22, 2017

Kompromat, Hybrid Warfare & Active Measures .

War is Hell. General Smedley Butler said it was "a racket." Clausewitz said:

"War is the continuation of politics by other means" [Brainy Quotes]

Mao Tse Dong said:

"Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed." [brainyquotes also]

So it is only natural that some international tyrants see politics as a continuation of war by other means. The term "hybrid warfare" is a reformulation of an old truism to adapt to our modern information age. It's not that Vladimir Putin is pursuing a brilliant new strategy. It's that he's systematically pursuing principles of human manipulation, psi-ops and information warfare that are battle tested ones. 'Hybrid warfare' is international politics pursued with the ruthlessness of warfare. It is an effort to return the world to the Pre-World War I "great game" where coalitions were always temporary, often secret, and regularly betrayed for private, separate interest. It recognizes that we live in a world of fragile balances and asymmetrical power. It's not feasible to use atom bombs on our enemies or it would have already been done more than twice. We live downwind of each other.

And the Russians are [still] heavily involved in subverting our system.

Kompromat and the Election

  1. One reason that we lost this last election was that our politics, apparently, was infiltrated by people who are actually controlled opposition from Russia.
  2. The second reason is that one of our political parties is so incredibly ambitious that they would do anything to win election and really weren't concerned about consequences. This election introduced a new term to me, Kompromat, meaning Compromized materials and those compromised by bribery, extortion or simple indoctriation.
  3. There is evidence that the third reason we had such a terrible election outcome is that too many of our leaders were willing to compromise themselves to gain and keep power.

It is not accidental that the Grifter, Oligarch and Privateering party should make willing accomplices and treason with their Russian counterparts. It was our advisors who taught Russian Oligarchs how to do it. As I noted in a previous post, they are just returning the favor. Russian and American Grifters made common cause to bring down the sort of liberal democracy that was getting in the way of Putin's goal of recreating the Soviet Union. Instead of using pure brute force, Putin studied our vulnerabilities. It's payback.

See:
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/03/we-gave-russians-oligarchs-now-they-are.html

Vulnerable to kompromat

Turns out we Americans are vulnerable to kompromat. Because our leaders sometimes engage in little self serving plots, it is easy to mislead us about what is really going on at any time. Or to misdirect us on the strategy to combat such issues. For example there is abundant evidence of Trump being funded, loaned to, supported and in turn, laundering money for, Russian Oligarchs and the Russian Oligarchs. Whether he actively colluded with them in the past election or not, these are documented realities. His relationship with Bayrock. His casino's. His Taj Mahal Casino being convicted of money laundering. All these point to an obvious relationship that he doesn't even deny.

Vulnerable to Propaganda

Various people claim he colluded with the Russians to manipulate the election. But even if he and fellow Republicans didn't collude with them directly, they ran their own schemes for voter suppression, used compromised tabulating and electronic voting machines and only needed to flip key districts to win the race because he lost the popular vote. How much is the Russians and how much GOP operatives is a wild guess at the moment. Companies like Cambridge Analytica, and operations like Project Alamo, may think they hired Russians to do some of the work and that the whole thing was a domestic swindle. But they were fairly boasting about voter suppression before the election.

Targeting people with psi-op propaganda

And targeted advertising was directed based on hacked databases for Democrats, but was part of their electioneering for the GOP. However data got to wikileaks, it was used to influence people. Voter data got to Agents who converted it into targeted advertising (spam). If you cared about the environment the GOP sent messages from friends and trusted news sources that Hillary was anti-environment. If you care about security, as most of us do, the GOP made sure the world "knew" 11 days before the election, that somehow classified information got on Anthony Wiener's computer. These look like Kompromat operations. They are the kinds of things done in Hybrid warfare. If it was the GOP making war on US, well I can believe that too. The Grifters Oligarchs and Pirates, despise an actual free press, despise universal health care and prefer usurping or monopolizing anything that can be used to loot the general public.

Inadequate laws and Frameworks

A Man named JJ Patrick submitted this thesis:

  1. Russia is deliberately interfering in Western democracy through the use of disinformation, cybercrime, psychological manipulation and the collaboration of well-placed of third parties. This hybrid conflict is live.
  2. This interference has decisively impacted upon the democratic process in the United Kingdom and the United States with negative effect, and has attempted to interfere in Swedish and French democratic process. The threat is continuing and extends to additional nations.
  3. There is clear evidence of voter manipulation through the use of psychometric techniques, and evidence indicating data-laundering within and outside of the EMEA data protection area by state and non-state actors.
  4. The current legal frameworks and responses of the UK and the US are inadequate and have contributed to the continuance the live threat.
  5. URL: https://jjpatrickauthor.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/soe-james-patrick-19-05-17-russia-active-hybrid-threat.pdf

What is Hybrid Warfare? Gerasimov

The “Gerasimov Doctrine” using Frank Hoffman’s definition,

“is a tailored mix of conventional weapons, irregular tactics, terrorism, and criminal behavior in the same time and battlespace to obtain [a group’s] political objectives.” [underground news]

This actually is not that new.

Non Linear Warfare, Surkov

Back in may 2014, the Magazine Foreign Policy had an article on Russian "Non-Linear" strategy by PETER POMERANTSEV:

"The Kremlin’s approach might be called “non-linear war,” a term used in a short story written by one of Putin’s closest political advisors, Vladislav Surkov, which was published under his pseudonym, Nathan Dubovitsky, just a few days before the annexation of Crimea. Surkov is credited with inventing the system of “managed democracy” that has dominated Russia in the 21st century, and his new portfolio focuses on foreign policy. This time, he sets his new story in a dystopian future, after the “fifth world war.” [Foreign Policy]

Surkov described Non Linear war as a war where:

"four coalitions collided. Not two against two, or three against one. All against all.” [Foreign Policy]

In a non linear cold war the "great game" as 19th century Europeans called it is one of ever shifting coalitions rather than a single brutal confrontation.

We hoped that with modern communications and interconnectivity in goods and services, warfare would become a thing of he past. But Vladimir Putin and others soon realized that they could "flip the script" on politics and while interconnection might be a:

"check on aggression" .... "this can be flipped: "Interconnection also means that Russia can get away with aggression." [Foreign Policy]

It's basically a case where, if one party is sitting on something valuable then that becomes a means to bully those who need that thing into submission. Putin Probably studied the OPEC Oil embargo of the 70s. But we are now so interconnected that we are back to pre WWI politics, but with different top powers in the hierarchy of actors. And asymmetry

Reinventing the "Great Game"

Basically he's advocating a form of politics where none of the parties has permanent alliances and any will turn on its neighbors at the flip of a coin or with the right propaganda.

"the Kremlin’s “non-linear” sensibility is evident as it manipulates Western media and policy discourse. If in the 20th century the Kremlin could only lobby through Soviet sympathizers on the left, it now uses a contradictory kaleidoscope of messages to build alliances with quite different groups. European right-nationalists such as Hungary’s Jobbik or France’s Front National are seduced by the anti-EU message; the far-left are brought in by tales of fighting U.S. hegemony; U.S. religious conservatives are convinced by the Kremlin’s stance against homosexuality. The result is an array of voices, all working away at Western audiences from different angles, producing a cumulative echo chamber of Kremlin support." [Foreign Policy]

The Russians assembled an array of compromised people. Not just Jill Stein (see Lefties betray the middle) or Michael Flynn. Hybrid Warfare means using organizations like Sputnik News and RT to spread propaganda and instigate internal fights.

This was written in 2014, but it illustrates exactly Trump's 2016 coalition and presages the Bernie or Bust movement.

International Graft and Kompromat

Non Linear warfare can also be seen as an international effort of widespread graft. Back in 2014:

" Ketchum placing pro-Kremlin op-eds in the Huffington Post; anti-Maidan articles by British historian John Laughland in the Spectator that make no mention of how the think tank he was director of was set up in association with Kremlin-allied figures; or media appearances by influential German political consultant Alexander Rahr that fail to note his paid position as an advisor for the German energy company Wintershall, a partner of Gazprom, Moscow’s massive natural gas company (Rahr denies a conflict of interest)." [Foreign Policy]

Manipulation and Kakistocracy

If the left can be manipulated by ideology, the right loves good old fashioned graft. All over the world oligarchs, Kakicrats and kleptocrats find a need to hide income, disguise bribes and extorted payments, and protect their usury and graft. Places like Cyprus, Panama, numerous Islands, Switzerland and similar, all over the Earth, became places where wealthy grifters could park, hide, hoard or "invest" their wealth privately. Which would be fine if that wealth were legitimate. But the act of hiding it and the need to hide it, indicates that the people doing so know the wealth is not completely legitimate. It may beat them fleeing their countries (definition of grifter --> and some still eventually do that) but wealth from privileges granted by the people deserves to be shared with the people who thought they were getting a win/win deal.

Kakicrats subject to Kompromat

And kakicrats are subject to Kompromat. A person who claims to live modestly but is worth multimillions will do almost anything to avoid getting caught out in their lie. Kompromat becomes a tool for asking for favors. Each favor then becomes a cudgel to use to keep the chelovik in line. But the Russians have an entire college for teaching spy-craft and manipulation. They've gotten too disciplined over time to use their power brutally. Besides the person might "turn on them." So "Active Measures" involves convincing the mark or шут that he's acting in his own interest or even that the Russians are working for him. Then he willingly outs agents and shares highly classified intelligence, all the while thinking "I'm not compromised. I really like these guys."

That Three Fingered thing

Edward Lucas, writing from a CEPA conference and an Estonian Point of view notes, quoting Sarah Kendzior:

"We focus too much on what Russia does, and not enough on what they exploit. We need to look more at ourselves.” [CEPA]

That comment didn't imply we need to blame ourselves, entirely. But it does point to the fact that combating Kompromat and subversion of our system requires us to address the vulnerabilities being attacked. Like using Windows Operating System versus LINUX, there are built in vulnerabilities we are dealing with. He points out our need to collect data on what the Russians are selling, what vulnerabilities they and their agents are exploiting, what people's gripes are. We need to gather statistics and information on what the Russians and their allies are up to. Ad more importantly, we need to address those vulnerabilities as we identify them even if the Russians aren't exploiting them because....

Vulnerabilities are a-priori to Foreign Exploitation

"The other big point is that the vulnerabilities in our society will mostly still exist, whether or not Russia is exploiting them. It is true that the Kremlin’s subversion and other dark arts seek to exploit regional, religious, social, political and other tensions. But they do not start from a tabula rasa. [CEPA]

Need Resilience

These issues point to some fundamental reforms we need to secure and protect our Democracy. He notes:

"It is therefore vital to think about how to make our societies more resilient. Even if Russia stops attacking us, someone else will start. [CEPA]

Defeating the Russians or other Grifters Oligarchs and Pirates, requires strengthening our democratic functions at all levels. That means getting precise information on constituent needs for our legislators and execs, and having two way communication so all can keep track of issues. We need to vet and review all our elected representatives before electing them and periodically to hold them accountable for their actions and delivery. Strengthening our communications and two way relations is the first step towards combating grifting, oligarchy and privateering across the country. Not just defeating "evil Ruskies" ---> after all they have similar problems themselves!

So ironically to defend our democracy we need to defend the democracy in our communications systems:

Fight Oligarchy with increased empowerment of local government and communities.
Fight misinformation by supporting a genuinely free press with individual freedom rather than free booting Privateering and Monopoly
That means empowering people doing reporting with the tools, resources and access they need.

We need electronic democracy, better vetting of candidates, better accounting for our officers
We need to make our communications, power and transport systems, much much more robust, decentralized, under local control with appellate capability and even more interconnected and available than they are now. Oligarchy starts with controlling information.
We need more democracy not less, more subsidiarity (local control) not more centralization, and better two way communication.

The USA is founded on "e pluribus unum" -- one out of many. When people are one in heart then their individual strengths are unstoppable.

Further Reading

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/26/kremlin-puppet-masters-leaked-emails-vladislav-surkov-east-ukraine
Putin's "Gray Cardinal"
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/vladislav-surkov-who-vladimir-putins-grey-cardinal-1588913
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/04/active-measures-and-left.html#more
http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/robert-reich-masterfully-turns-ann-coulters-free-speech-gripes-into-smackdown-on-trumps-media-war/
Parallels Post

And it shouldn't be surprising that the Soviets would Target us with Active Measures. Our Business elites got them good in the 80s & 90s and they owe us. See:

http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/03/we-gave-russians-oligarchs-now-they-are.html
http://thehill.com/homenews/news/329608-berkeley-cancels-ann-coulters-speech-over-security-concerns
Claims that Seth Rich provided DNC emails to wikileaks

Note * these are mostly gathered for an unfinished post

http://bigleaguepolitics.com/kim-dotcom-offers-congress-evidence-prove-seth-rich-wikileaks-source/
http://undergroundnewzinc.blogspot.com/2017/05/whats-wrong-with-little-hybrid-warfare.html?spref=tw
http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/05/05/how-putin-is-reinventing-warfare/
https://jjpatrickauthor.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/soe-james-patrick-19-05-17-russia-active-hybrid-threat.pdf
http://cepa.org/EuropesEdge/Russian-hybrid-warfare-The-view-from-Estonia
Who's Who
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruslana_Korshunova
More on Cassandra Fairbanks:
http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a9653830/cassandra-fairbanks-donald-trump-deplorable/
http://bigleaguepolitics.com/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/20/the-seth-rich-conspiracy-shows-how-fake-news-still-works/

Note, the [probable] lie from Hannity that he'd publish "proof" that Seth rich was wikileaks source for its Podesta Emails guided me to focusing this post on a more general discussion. Discussing the deplorables and agents who are waging war using Hannity will have to wait til tomorrow.

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