000webhost

Web hosting

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Negotiating With Rebellious Rogues - Part 3

A continuation from: 
http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2013/04/negotiating-with-rebellious-rogues-part.html

Key issues/questions:
- Believe that the current US administration may be too conservative with their approach. As I've previously indicated here, concepts like 'measured response' and 'deterrence' only work if your opponent is sane, believes that you will back down, or that you are utlimately unwilling to escalate further/quickly. Must be willing to 'ratchet up' just as quickly as down...
- Propose a 'measured response' initially but dramatically escalating when/if required (similar to past 'deterrence' policy with regards to nuclear arms during the 'Cold War'). This will ensure that they know if they attack we will respond.
- I've said that we should be more pro-active with regards to handling of 'rogue states' and I'll say it again. We need to be swifter, harder, creative, and more pro-active no matter what actions we may take as they've already hardened their economies against sanctions and other measures we are likely to take. They need to know/understand that for every provocation that they make their will be a reaction, one that is likely to destablise them as much as us. Moreover, OSINT indicates that while the regime may have about 9/10 figures in assets if they are hit hard/quickly enough they will likely collapse.
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/04/15/economics_war_north_korea_kim_jong_un
- I've always believed that diplomacy, intelligence, and defense should work in unison to help reduce the chances of longer term conflict. Number one reason is that it means that if one doesn't work you're not hamstrung in should one one of these fails. Have been thinking about this further in the context in North Korea. If we are more pro-active (and push back) we'll be better able to ascertain just how far we can push. This also means we can begin to formulate a strategy which means that we can make moves which will utlimately force them to make moves. Not enough pressure on them and they'll just stall and/or continue on their merry way. If not enough progress still push but less. Work to a timeline, don't let discussions dangle.
- The reason for the emphasis in speed is that it also gives them less time to adapt. Moreover, it's clear that 'operational security' on the 'Allied side' is often lacking. In fact, fairly recently plans for pre-emptive attacks/responses to North Korean provocations were compromised during a cyberattack (cause was basically down to procedural error). Moreover, the less time something needs to be maintained as a secret the less likely and more effective the plans are going to be.
- Number of different interpretations of answer/s that have been provided in response to calls for possible peace talks. Response indicates that earlier desire for peace was a deception, that they are willing to give up short term stability for longer term gain. May indicate that may be looking for further concessions? a desire to suss out their opponent more? unsure of how to respond? want more time to respond? Also indicates that within their framework they are limited with regards to how to respond. Remember that while the way they deliver their message may have changed ('sliced salami diplomacy' versus 'jackpot diplomacy' was probably the best/enjoyable way of describing Kim Jong Il versus Kim Jong Un) their basic intentions have not. Would like to probe further and see how they respond to actions outside of their normal realm of understanding/framework... (also known as 'Black Box' or 'Fuzz' testing in the Software Engineering world). If want to engage will have to get them to become more succint, concise, push this along...
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/kerry-prepared-to-reach-out-to-north-korea/story-fn3dxix6-1226620387426
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22146598
http://www.smh.com.au/world/north-korea-likely-to-have-nuclear-warhead-for-its-missiles-pentagon-20130412-2hphf.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/never-mind-nuclear-war-says-north-korean-defector-jooil-kim-the-reality-of-famine-is-bad-enough-8572552.html
Think that there should be more room with regards to pre/conditions for talks but need to be more focused with regards to ultimate goals though. We've been meandering around this problem for far too long.
http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/15/on-north-koreas-big-day-kerry-underlines-conditions-for-talks/
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/15/world/asia/koreas-tensions/index.html
- Pre-emptive strikes can not be ruled out but should also be taken under advisement. You'd rather an opponent with less complete/inferior weapons than one that has stretched for more time with more advanced capabilities/responses.
http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2013/04/12/north-korean-missiles-an-inventory/
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/04/15/exclusive-u-s-recovered-north-korean-rocket-head.html 
- North Korea and other states handling the issue of self defense badly (from external perspective but probably sures up support internally). Missile launches, nuclear tests, tearing up armistice agreements, declaring a state of war, and other rhetoric (such as threatening to 'wipe neighbours off the map', or bathing them in 'seas of fire') can only described as confrontational in most parts of the world rather than simply, 'standing up for their rights'.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-14/n-korea-rejects-seouls-offer-of-talks/4628104
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/04/professor-thinks-we-should-bomb-north-korea-now.html
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4885931/north-korea-defector-on-how-state-brainwashes-people.html
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/12/world/asia/north-korea-we-rarely-see/
Need to emphasise that every single move that Allied forces have made has mostly been defensive in nature. Drills in the past have proven to be as much of a problem? they've almost always been the provocateurs in past encounters (attacks on South Korean islands, US servicemen, etc...) Moreover, some of the measures that have been taken can only be described as prudent. Why wouldn't you deploy a missile defense shield battery (a system which is purely defensive in nature if you're aware of how many of them work) if your citizens are risk and you have the ability/resources to do so? Aegis class ships are only there as a support mechanism for the missile defense system, etc...
- 'Allied' nations have clearly made steps to reduce the tension. Believe that it's time for North Korea to return the favour and to return to peace and stability on the Korea peninsula.
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/kerry-seeks-active-role-for-china-in-easing-n-korea-nuclear-crisis-20130413-2hs86.html
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/2013/04/15/04/28/kerry-prepared-to-reach-out-to-north-korea
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/04/14/korea-nuclear-threat-kerry-trip-eternal-leader-anniversary/2081711/
- Looked further at Kim Jong Un. Some reasons for selection are obvious. Younger age, supposedly stronger character, outgoing nature which will help him to work at both the national and international level and so on...
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/north-korea-crisis-kims-former-1830810
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korean-leader-kim-jong-un-offers-many-faces-many-threats/2013/04/13/c8f0aa70-a3ad-11e2-82bc-511538ae90a4_story.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/david-ignatius-kim-jong-uns-dangerous-game/2013/04/11/a618c52a-a2ed-11e2-9c03-6952ff305f35_story.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/04/09/those-photos-of-young-kim-jong-un-performing-in-grease-are-probably-of-his-brother/
http://www.smh.com.au/world/inside-the-mind-of-kim-jongun-20130415-2hunu.html
What's also clear is that for most of his life he's always had whatever he wants? Curious to see how he reacts to provocations and other moves against him? What I'd also like to know curious about is just exactly how much of the rhetoric is actually his and how much of his messages are 'composites answers'. Hard to know without better HUMINT. Curious to know whether he is someone who can be crafted, molded, convinced (believe that most of his character is fairly set now though. However, if all these moves are actually about stablising his status believe that there may be a chance of influencing him at some point down the line)? At the moment it just seems like he does whatever he wants regardless of the consequences?
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/world/asia/kim-jong-un-tests-relations-with-china.html?_r=0
- If he's trying to solidify his grip on power then wondering whether or not this is the perfect time/opportunity to destablise his leadership? Likely response will be brutality as in the past... What happens if you can't extract concessions/consolidate power? What if our responses undermine his and ultimately North Korea's position? Is this information actually true or is it just mis-information?
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/how_to_defeat_north_korea_L34Z2ykzkFlMiZsYyewjVM
- Assumption by many 'rogue states' is interesting. All seem to be making the assumption that if they are able to acquire nuclear weapons and other WMD they are able to hold others to ransom once they have acquired them. Doesn't entirely fit in with their idea that their desire for WMD is to reduce the chances/possibilities of invasion. Interesting how the implications of the North Korea standoff will have on other parts of the world.
http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/does_an_attack_on_iran_mean_an_attack_on_south_korea.html
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2013/04/09/3123881/in-iran-talks-north-korea-parallel-goes-only-so-far
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2013/04/09/fantasyland-foreign-policy-on-north-korea-and-iran/
http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/lessons-from-the-nuclear-brinkmanship-from-north-korea-to-the-gulf-1.1170379
- Obvious offramp for North Korea at the moment would be to simply end the rhetoric, reform, and work with China/Russia. Allows them to help build a better North Korea without many of the risks associated with working with traditional enemies.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/14/us-japan-ready-to-talk-if-north-korea-starts-denuclearizing-north-rejects-south/
http://www.smh.com.au/world/north-korea-likely-to-have-nuclear-warhead-for-its-missiles-pentagon-20130412-2hphf.html
http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/04/14/the-ultimate-north-korean-missile-threat-to-america-a-nuke-power-grid-attack/
http://www.globalresearch.ca/inventing-a-north-korean-threat-attacking-north-korea-or-iran-could-precipitate-a-global-war/5331207
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/04/12/Former-CIA-director-recommends-the-US-threaten-Russia-and-China-for-cooperation/8091365780296/#ixzz2QOvbO14k
http://seekingalpha.com/article/1337751-china-s-relationship-with-north-korea-will-affect-us-investments-in-asia
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2013/0415/North-Korea-s-Kim-Jong-un-celebrates-missile-free-holiday-video
http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/don-t-provoke-north-korea-1.1169966
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2013/apr/11/barack-obama-budget-us-food-aid
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/world/asia/us-and-south-korea-devise-plan-to-counter-north.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324030704578424073391422526.html
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/et-cetera/for-us-and-north-korea-will-crises-ever-end/articleshow/19456183.cms
http://e-ring.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/04/09/why_doesn_t_seoul_have_iron_dome
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rajan-menon/korea-the-proposals-pagea_b_3081424.html
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/04/13/north_korean_restaurant_in_beijing_where_politics_is_on_the_menu.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2308705/Inside-North-Korea-A-rare-dispatch-deep-lunatic-rogue-state-enslaved-Zombie-Sons.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/26/websites-about-north-korea-defectors-are-knocked-o/

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Negotiating With Rebellious Rogues - Part 2

A continuation from, http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2013/04/negotiating-with-rebellious-rogues.html

Has been interesting watching some of the messages being sent out and the way they've been interpreted.

Key problems/issues:
- is it that Kim Jong Un doesn't know how to ratchet down (Offer them a set of choices? Make signal too indirect and they may not understand it? Too direct and they may just ratchet it up again.)? or is he being influenced not to go down? Based on what I've read about him this doesn't seem like his 'natural personality' or his wording/phrasing (if feels like they've learnt from or were taught by the Iranians). Need further information though. Likely need a combination of greater background work by intelligence analysts (keep in mind the notion of 'projection' when doing analysis) and analysis by defectors.
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/04/09/exclusive_us_and_north_korea_held_secret_meeting_in_march
- this is as much about us as about them. For a long while now, North Korea has used provocations and other techniques as a means of gaining concessions. They've been pushing back members of the international community and we've been responding to threats. Shutting down all communications is simply another means of controlling the situation from there side. Become proactive whether it has to do with offers of peace, aid, war, etc...
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/10/us-korea-north-bank-idUSBRE93900L20130410
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/north-korea-and-sanctions/4616300
Basically, engage rather than respond to them. We need to break the cycle provocations/response at some point. Possibly link a stop of threats to a growth in aid over time? a reduction of sanctions? Then link any increase in provocations to the opposite as well?
- present all a wide range of options at next meeting. Figure out whether they are just looking for attention/aid? whether they simply aren't going to except anything? and are simply going to be a nuisance for a short while... if it is the latter would be looking carefully elsewhere.
- if it is the case that we aren't really dealing purely with Kim Jong Un then we should be thinking about those people are all 'pulling the strings'? if my reading of the background of some of the people who may be 'pulling the strings' is correct then we may need to factor in other issues as well. Personal experience indicates that that people who have been under intense stress, wars, famine, etc... often have an extremely tarnished view of the world. Factor this in as well...
- are they ratcheting things up because they are trying to solidify or is this going to be the tone of things to be come? support a possible uprising? chances of success (note difference between Mail and Iraq/Syria. Support was clear in Mali and we intervened early. Highly unlikely this is going to be a 'clean operation')?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-10/my-life-as-a-north-korean-super-spy3a-exclusive/4621358
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-10/spy-says-threats-are-to-prop-up-new-president/4621842
http://www.smh.com.au/world/kim-jongun-struggling-former-north-korean-spy-20130410-2hlwx.html?google_editors_picks=true
http://www.businessinsider.com/north-koreas-army-erupted-in-deadly-clashes-before-kim-jong-un-took-command-2013-4?IR=T
- if the regime is at breaking point? does he simply need a way out of this for himself and other members of the regime?
- if Iran/North Korea are co-operating/distracting international community efforts for arms control then it's likely that messages are going to be 'massaged' as well. Factor this in. Use what we have learnt in past confrontations. Don't just give up, poke, prod, learn, feel...
- if you honestly believe that he is going trying to solidify things (with a chance of piece down the line) suggest you make the offer big and credible but not enough to make us look 'weak'. That will only encourage further provocations.
- look at trying to increase the size of the buffer zone if at all possible. That way we can reduce the chances of misunderstandings/accidents in future. You can't shoot/provoke someone if they aren't within range.
- if you want to ratchet it down, consider ratcheting down a lot... A simple re-schedule is unlikely to be enough. Something that can be seen to be a genuine concession. If they are to de-nuclearize the concessions are probably going to be high/almost unpalatable. This is more than just a regional problem. China, Japan, South Korea, United States, and other neighbours are all vital to the world's interests from both political, military, economic, and other interests. Hope that the if peace can be negotiated the burden of re-building North Korea is going to shared by all.
- reading further and clear that re-unification is unlikely going to be smooth/easy and if it is going to happen it's going to be in the distant future. It will take time. Don't try to do too much at once but don't give up an short/medium term stability. Many barriers are going to have to be broken down. Consider 'PSYOPS' type operations. Broadcast international media into North Korea, drop leaflets, etc... Try to ensure that it's not just propoganda. Try to make sure that there is no threat of invasion unless provoked. If we are to give aid make sure that it's the type of aid which can not be re-used for dual purposes. Make sure that it is the type of aid that can only be used to help the citizens of North Korea and ensure that they know where exactly it's coming from. Be more aware of the implcations of some of sanctions that have been imposed. Try to make it targeted towards the regime rather than the people. Done incorrectly it will just harden their resolve and case against us. Be aware that like Iran they have 'hardened' their economy against sanctions and it's likely that anytime you do ratchet it up their likely to simply take it away from the people. Keep in mind that the UN and international laws have not caught up or are applicable to our circumstances. In this case, we have to consider alternative options...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/08/north-korean-soldiers-joint-drills?cmp=wp-plugin
http://www.news.com.au/world-news/north-korea-propoganda-sees-population-in-a-permanent-war/story-fndir2ev-1226618447623
- if there is an issue of pride/face at stake consider sending aid via China. History seems to play a more important role in Asia then in some of the cultures that I have most often been exposed to.
http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/10/missiles-marathons-memorial-stones-figuring-out-north-korea-and-china/
http://www.independent.ie/incoming/china-and-russia-urge-north-korea-to-step-back-from-missile-launch-29187829.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/10/korea-focus-china-versus-japan-oil
- believe that more work needs to be done into exactly why Kim Jong Un was chosen to be North Korea's new leader. Don't think that this is as simple as it first appears.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea
- history indicates that no countries that possess nuclear weapons have been invaded. Need to see how they view the rest of the world. Work back from there...
http://www.globalresearch.ca/does-north-korea-need-nuclear-weapons/5323227
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/10/the-real-reason-america-used-nuclear-weapons-against-japan-to-contain-russian-ambitions.html
- delivery of message is poor in some cases. If someone like me is analysing your responses it can be guaranteed that there will be an army of staff on their side analysing the way you deliver your messages. Nuance/inflections points are important in guaging the mood of someone and their conviction behind the message being conveyed.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/04/10/china_losing_patience_with_north_korean_antics.html
- if considering change of regime think about Libya/Syria. Not going to be smooth. Believe that the following quotes are relevant, "it was once said of Prussia that it wasn't a country that had an army, but an army that had a country. And North Korea is a garrison state, a society organized for war", and "the conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2001/01/hitchens-200101
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/opinion/global/will-syria-bleed-hezbollah-dry.html
- China and other countries need to understand that while territory does play an important role in defense it is pointless unless you have some relative control over it. It is in China's best interests that they bring North Korea under control during peacetime than during war. Moreover, with some of the weapons in circulation and under development now, North Korea could be (depends on the level of risk you're willing to take) rendered fairly useless in the early part of any campaign. The strength, survival, growth, and stability of North Korea is important for both itself as well as that of it's neighbours so don't look at this whole situation like it's not your problem. Allies (or even 'attack dogs') who can not be brought to heal are just as dangerous for their owners as well as strangers/enemies. Moreover, while China plays an important cog in the world economy they should realise that they aren't indispensable. Others can and are likely willing to take their place. Continued military provocations can only serve to hinder relations and future trade between them and the rest of the world. Peace is in everyones best interests.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22104024
http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/german-foreign-minister-warns-north-korea-playing-with-fire_841155.html
http://www.news.com.au/world-news/united-states-and-south-korean-armed-forces-placed-at-vital-alert-watchcon-2/story-fndir2ev-1226617936354
http://www.afr.com/p/world/us_will_target_north_korea_missile_ZVV7wlJX9YD1SdpTv3ZqUN
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/admiral-north-korea-direct-threat-us-18913130
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/10/us-korea-usa-china-idUSBRE93903U20130410
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/09/world/north-korea-us-intel/?hpt=hp_t2
http://www.informationweek.com/security/attacks/north-korea-behind-bank-malware-south-ko/240152644
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/north-korean-nuke-test-may-keep-lid-on-crisis-20130410-2hlmg.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/world/asia/north-korea-tensions.html?_r=0
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/04/02/nobody_home_at_the_state_department
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/04/09/how_to_detect_a_nuclear_test_on_your_iphone
http://world.time.com/2013/04/09/chinas-long-fruitless-history-of-irritation-with-north-korea/
http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/04/09/making-sense-of-north-koreas-peculiar-madness
http://e-ring.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/04/09/why_doesn_t_seoul_have_iron_dome
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2013/0409/Top-admiral-worries-North-Korea-crisis-could-escalate-pretty-quickly
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-norkor-missile-20130410,0,1321213.story
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/north-korea-shifts-missiles-in-attempt-to-outwit-intelligence/story-e6frg6so-1226618332121

Monday, April 8, 2013

Anti-Weapons Technology

Have obviously been looking at the Korean and other hotspot situations around the globe of late. When negotiations have broken down in the past other ways that have been tried include:
- sanctions/export controls
- pre-emptive strikes (risk of 'dimplomatic incident')
- sabotage of infrastructure experimental/testing sites (various methods but security is often incredibly high now. Sites often have isolated power/environmental system. Key scientists are are placed sometimes placed under permanent guard now depending on environment)
- covert operations (not as simple as it sounds depending on the environment)
- and so on...

On and off for a while now, I've been thinking of something different. It's roughly based on concepts from various different fields such as:
- missle defense
- crumple zones
- force fields
but essentially offers a diferent option for defense.

Modern weapons (there is work on chemical, directed energy, microwave, laser and other weapons but details of these programs are mostly classified) mostly work on the premise of a 'controlled explosion' in the context of direction, range, and magnitude of the subsequent impact.

If we look at current missile defense technology (Typically they work with with a combination of other systems comprised of tracking, interception, and control. Needless to say, they aren't cheap, require extensive training/skill to setup/operate, and with the exception of a few systems aren't all that efficient for the purpose for which they developed.) they basically work by activating missle warheads which are most likely triggered through one or several of the following means:
- Contact
- Proximity
- Remote
- Timed
- Altitude
- Combined

Obviously, success has been limited particularly with longer range projectile interception (high speed, range, multiple warheads, decoys, and so on...). The biggest problem has basically been associated with the so called 'bullet-on-bullet' problem. Namely, trying to hit a projectiles moving at extreme speed with another projectile that are both relatively small.

Previously, I thought about this problem in my 'Convergence' report. Basically a 'colloidal' like solution (can be gas, liquid, or solid)(conceptually it would be similar in principle to using using 'shrapel' or multiple interceptors in the fashion that the Israeli have done in the Tamir interceptor using in the Iron Dome system)  that can/will work based on physical, chemical, or other principles... but let's think about this further. Without range/accuracy/controlled explosions weapons are pointless.

If you flood a known area with highly volatile substances you basically have the same effect as missile interception. Namely, energy dispersal at an area that does not harm valuable targets or people.
The added bonus is that it forms the basis for 'deterrence' without the madness associated with, 'Mutually Assurred Destruction'. Obvious problem is dispersal and control of it particularly in the case of secure installations/bunkers:
- gaseus solution and you run of the risk of having it basically go anywhere especially in the context of outdoor environments (though mid-flight missile defense is significantly easier if there is a cloud of gas which disables incoming weapons than having to deal with 'bullet-on-bullet' type missle defense)
- liquid based and you have the same problem unless there are natural canals/tunnels that you can use
- solid and you have to deal with the problem of camouflage and existing security staff picking it up easily

Other obvious problems include:
- safety in research, development and deployment of such defensive systems as well
- if not deployed correctly is that you run the risk of making the explosion even bigger than it would have been had just the original weapon being deployed (particularly worrying if you have a localised 'shield'). More research required...
- the other problem with this technology is whether or not to disclose your use/development of it (battle between intelligence/defense)?
In the context of control of WMD think about it in the following fashion. If we can find substances that we can secrete into areas that will react with WMD to either render them inert or cause them to explode in an uncontrolled fashion then we finally have the basis for true arms control without the needs for 'inspections'. Not easy though...

At this point we digress to 'force field' technology (not as outlandish as you may think. The British military have been done some succcessful testing of similar concepts to protect some of their vehicles.). Typically they work at the point (or close to) of impact but in principle to what was outlined in the previous section. The more energy is dispersed away (think about 'crumple zones' in cars) and distant from the target the less target will be directed against the original target.

The key problem has always been how to control the shape of 'shields' though. Electromagnetic based/wireless waves are used basically everywhere now. As a child I remember learning about the shape of magnetic fields by playing around with magnetics and ferro-magnetic/iron particles. Take these concepts further. If the field is strong enough we can begin playing around with synthetic/semi-synthetic substances (hopefully small/light enough to 'float' along with/in the field) which can:
- cause the propulsion system (almost always chemically based nowadays though that is beginning to change) of incoming projectices to shut down
- cause an explosion out/away from the target
- otherwise render incoming projectiles inert
Clear problems that we face:
- how much power is required to deploy such a system? Is this level of power realistic or do we need to find/develop more efficient means of energy development? If others aware of possession of such technology do we require increased surveillance or less?
- are there any available substances that fit our parameters?
- if successful we face a 'class break' problem. We might have to completely change our all of our own weapons/propulsion systemns to continue to remain capable of offensive operations. Alternatively, 'tuning' of the technology would have to be required to allow for a 'one way' shield (allows outward but not inwards)...
- if countries are able to find a way of making AWT style technologies 'one way' then others suffer a significant disadvantage and would basically be unable to defend themselves in times of conflict

Clearly, developing AWT is easier said then done. Moreover (like conventional weapons), AWT style technologies have to be deployed/demonstrated to work in the field a number of times for it to have any longer term impact. Conceptually similar to booby trapped ammunition except the impact is far more significant. We basically use the strength of their own weapons/explosives/aggression against the agressor. The other thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the concept of pre-emption and deterrance only works with people of sane mind.
http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4121

Such AWT style technologies obviously have significant applications:
- especially in the context of conflicts that where the results of intervention are neither guaranteed or the results of intervention are unlikely to be predictable
- conflicts where both a political solution is desired but cessation of fighting can not be guaranteed
- useful for nations that want a defense/deterrent but don't want to pursue WMD style weapons technology
- could form the basis for shields that could be used for yourself, your personal belongings, or even inter-stellar/gallactic travel vehicles
- may be possible to create shields at regional levels or potentially globally to defend against 'rogue states'

Like I said, I'm not going to pretend that any of this is going to be simple. Nonetheless, we seem to have the components there to make this work... Moreover, I believe that while Nuclear and other Weapons of Mass Destruction were a necessity during certain periods of human history they clearly represent an indictment upon us. It would be nice to finally have a means of defending ourselves against them.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Negotiating With Rebellious Rogues

I don't think that anyone would disagree that the situation between North Korea and it's neighbours is undesireable. It's been decades and it seems as though little if no progress has been made towards a genuine, long lasting peace. Recent events indicate that things may have changed for the worse though...

Part of the problem is that even in recent past history indicates several so called 'rogue states' (including North Korea) have:
- shared information, research, and (they've even flown scientists around the world to participate in joint research) expertise regarding weapons (WMD in particular) technology with one another
http://rt.com/op-edge/north-korea-us-danger-279/
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323419104578378434011235810.html
- probably not recognised the difference between standing up for their interests and crossing the line into belligerance (cultural differences do not help)
- have often ignored communications with other states (particular with respect with nuclear dis-armament)
- possibly co-operated with regards to timing in during senstive times to possible  distract others from other 'illicit activity'
- have agreed to measures towards nuclear disarmament and increasing stability only to go back on their promises. Do some basic research/background and you'll see that the line between criminal and state activity sometimes blurs to become indistinguishable
- not (perhaps they have?) recognised have sent all sorts of strange and sometimes conflicting signals
So what are the options?
- wait, watch, and see. Basically, what has been done so far. Be aware of the situation, increase surveillance, do drills, take measures to guard yourselves against any possible manouvres. Problem is you're always reacting to what they do
http://killerapps.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/04/05/retro_friday_forget_thaad_check_out_this_1945_article_on_missile_defense
- be proactive. Tighten restrictions/sanctions/aid even further. Shutdown EVERYTHING (including co-operation at Kaesong). Do not rule out pre-emptive attacks/covert action especially if there are imminent signs of a launch/attack
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/world/asia/us-sees-china-as-lever-to-press-north-korea.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
- ignore. Not a good option particularly in light of past 'incidents'
- he may simply be trying to tighten control/hold on power. In which case, we should just play along and hope that one day North Korea and it's neighbours can come to a peaceful arrangement. Obviously, this is a dangerous option and if we don't judge things correctly we may be worse off in future than we are currently 
http://www.news.com.au/world-news/north-korean-leader-kim-jong-un-paints-a-confused-contradictory-picture-of-his-true-character/story-fndir2ev-1226613251895
- this may simply be probing/poking us to see what the response will be in case of a real conflict. Likely that responses gathered from this particular situation will be used in subsequent situations. Wide range of responses possible here... job of defense, foreigns affairs, and intelligence analysts/strategists
- if they refuse to give up nuclear weapons technology offer their neighbours nuclear and/or ofther arms (offensive as well as defensive) technology. Possibly even if it is under foreign/allied control. Make them realise that it is in neither sides interests to pursue this tack. Obvious problem is how other countries would react to such an offer and the precedent it would set worldwide. There's also the issue of operational security. In the past, Japanese rocketry research was successfully penetrated, research into American nuclear weapons was breached, and it's been clear that South Korean cyber security needs some work
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/north-korea-in-state-of-war-as-fresh-cyberattack-claims-emerge/article10586425/
- offer a peace agreement (are they genuinely interested in peace though?). However, make it known that if we do go down this route North Korea has to know that it's neighbours have to be able to ensure their safety as well. Concessions will likely have to be made on both North Korea's part as well as that of it's neighbours. Recommend gradual, phased standing down of military forces, expansion of buffer zone, and inspections from both sides that they are they are complying with the terms of the deal. Similar in nature to nuclear weapons inspections but these will occur primarily between neighbours. International intervention a choice if desired- go to war. Choice up/down scale between 'measured response', 'escalation', and 'all out attack'. Long range bombardment to hit all known launch sites and sites of danger. They may back down at this point or act even more irrationally (based on conventional wisdom). Obvious risk is that not all dangerous assets are hit and they have may nuclear assets still in possession. Moreover, not sure how others in the region are likely to react. China may seem them as a strategic nuisance/buffer zone (reminds me of Iranian policy with regards to Syria actually) but it's also clear that North Korea is becoming more difficult for both allies and enemies alike. Would China join in (pictures of border indicate build up of Chinese forces)? A proxy war ensues similar to Syria? Another major issue is if the regime falls who takes over (UN forces until transition takes place or would someone else?)?  How could it get worse though? Major humanitarian, economic, stability, and other problems at stake...
http://www.news.com.au/world-news/what-will-china-do-if-north-korea-strikes-against-south-korea-and-the-usa/story-fndir2ev-1226613169835
- mount a phony war? Exfiltrate regime, bomb regime headquarters/all relevant sites, and then basically start from scratch? Practicality (suspect that even basic things like secure communications would be problematic)?
http://freebeacon.com/risky-business/
- Chinese strategic concept of buffer zone needs to factor in ability to control situation though. Perhaps they need to tighten grip on North Korea? Stop thinking about North Korean regime disappearing but make the Chinese realise that they will be the ones who have to support North Korea from now on. No more international support...
- pursue nuclear research in parallel (as opposed to nuclear arms inspections) if it really is their intention to pursue nuclear power rather than nuclear weapons?

Key questions:
- perhaps the regime actually is in trouble (based on what I've seen they've always been able to manage in spite of sanctions)? Is this is just a means of solidifying power? Is this just a campaign of mis-information?
- is this just internal stuff that we're unlikely to understand unless we are North Korean? Defectors to help interpret some of these messages? I remember reading reports/accounts from defectors in the past and a lot of what they said just seemed bizarre when viewed from a Western perspective (as an aside, I once remember taking a personality test of how I perceive myself and how I thought others perceived me. Not only were they unusual but there was somewhat of a disconnect between what I thought and what others thought as well. Suspect this may be happening (limited impact though) here)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_Dong-hyuk_%28human_rights_activist%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korean_defectors 
- obvious question but one that should be asked. Are they reacting to us or are we reacting to them? If we do 'play along' do we keep our message muted or go out of our way to praise their state?
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0406/North-Korea-Fidel-Castro-warns-Kim-Jong-un-against-war
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/04/politics/koreas-u-s-/index.html
- should we negotiate with the knowledge that they will almost definitely go back on their word?
- would temporarily stopping excercises/scaling back help?

Either way, I believe that we need to be more clear/firm in our communications. Clear that there is some room for interpretation at the moment. Many people can talk but there must only be one or a limited number of responses and it must be firm with no room for mis-interpretation.

Keep in mind standard tenets of nuclear warfare/strategy. Richard A. Clarke's Cyber War is slight alarmist but actually does  a good job of outlining some of the strategies that have been used to avoid nuclear catastrophe in the past.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/04/01/is-north-korea-being-more-restrained-than-we-think/
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/16/world/asia/north-korea-us-nuclear/?hpt=hp_t3
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/north-korea-is-a-joke-thats-why-its-so-dangerous-20130401-2h2ih.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/9963902/North-Korea-sharpens-nuclear-threat.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/north-koreas-kim-orders-rockets-on-standby-after-us-sends-b-2s-to-skorea-for-military-drills/2013/03/28/c99254b0-9804-11e2-b5b4-b63027b499de_story.html
http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-south-korea-threats-north-20130404,0,7030734.story
http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/16568134/north-korea-lacks-means-for-nuclear-strike-on-u-s-experts/
http://www.news.com.au/world-news/intercepted-north-korean-military-communications-reveal-plan-to-launch-missile/story-fndir2ev-1226612936097 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Random Thoughts and Bugs

Perhaps you've heard of developer Bob's mis-adventures? A fun re-interpretation...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9811275/You-never-catch-me-outsource-work-to-China.html

The things spies will do...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/9022827/Russian-spy-rock-was-genuine-former-chief-of-staff-admits.html
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-israel-s-syria-spy-cameras-tracked-russian-navy-1.512798
http://io9.com/the-cias-secret-experiments-to-turn-cats-into-spies-453478752

In spite of the trouble he created you have to admire his sense of humour, creativity, zeal, and skill.
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-02/12/japanese-cat-hacker-caught
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/11/japan_online_threat_arrest/
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-01/07/japan-cat-collar-hacker-clue
http://www.news.com.au/technology/clue-found-on-cat-collar-in-unsolved-japanese-hacking-case/story-e6frfro0-1226549207641

Warned about this previously in the context of intelligence/law enforcement systems previously on this blog. Interesting to see how much information can be 'extracted' (both explicity and implicitly) just by using social media platforms.
http://www.itwire.com/your-it-news/home-it/59021-facebook-likes-can-profile-your-personality

Covered this in 'Convergence' report. Basically, new/popular platforms are most likely to be targeted and easiest to find bugs in.
http://www.informationweek.com/mobility/security/malware-writers-prefer-android/240150256

Have to admire his tenacity...
http://www.smh.com.au/world/not-worth-it--russian-oil-pipeline-thief-20130328-2gvi2.html

Even dictatorships need hard cash! Opening a chain of restaurants is something I'd never thought they'd do though.
http://thediplomat.com/2010/09/06/kim-jong-il%E2%80%99s-slush-fund-woe/
http://freekorea.us/category/sanctions/money-laundering/
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/01/09/dont_engage_kim_jong_un_bankrupt_him

Thought about this in 'Convergence' report. Can have notion of 'Super-Portals' but must be customisable. Suspect that it will be based client side if it does actually work.
http://www.itwire.com/your-it-news/mobility/59023-android-is-so-in-in-asia

If you like your Easter eggs 'hot' here's an early Christmas present.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-21981063

The HP Mini 210 is nice looking machine but it isn't without it's problems. Overheating seems to be one of them. Not playing games seems to be a suggestion for avoiding it?
http://supportforhp.iyogi.com/mini-210/overheating-2.html
Pity it seems to still have the keyboard/trackpad bug that I found out about on the DM1 though.
http://www.ifixit.com/Wiki/HP_Mini_210-2070NR_Troubleshooting
Like the DM1 great/neat internal setup and easy access though.
http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/review/back_to_school/hp/mini_210_nb-210-1017tu_01/338723
Hilarious system specific bug...
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c02784074&jumpid=em_alerts_us-us_Apr11_xbu_all_all_1221350_78559_laptops/tablets/netbooks_critical_006_0http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptop/hp-mini-210.aspx

Repairing laptop cords.
http://www.fonerbooks.com/laptop_7.htm
Solder heatshrink looks very interesting if you've ever had to repair any wiring before.
http://www.calcentron.com/Pages/fusion_solder_heat_shrink/fusion_solder_heat_shrink.html

Some interesting gun control and NRA background articles
http://www.salon.com/2013/01/14/the_nra_once_supported_gun_control/
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-14/why-gun-makers-fear-the-nra#r=rss
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/us/politics/obama-to-ask-congress-to-toughen-gun-laws.html
http://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2013/01/16/what-obamas-gun-control-laws-mean-for-32b-firearm-industry/
http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/a-right-of-insurrection/
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323968304578245720749827656.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/in-aftermath-of-swiss-shooting-echoes-of-us-gun-control-debate/2013/02/07/38457624-6e1d-11e2-ac36-3d8d9dcaa2e2_story.html
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/01/16/does_the_nra_want_to_turn_america_into_afghanistan
http://theweek.com/bullpen/column/238719/washingtons-gun-debate-whats-next
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/17/obama-gun-control-miss-target
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/biden-takes-gun-control-message-to-nra-country/article7887824/
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/barack-obamas-rocky-path-on-gun-control-starts-with-his-own-politicians/story-fnay3ubk-1226556149128
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20130117_Local_pro-_and_anti-_gun_control_advocates_echo_the_national_debate.html

In case I/you need to reset a USB port every once in a while.
http://askubuntu.com/questions/645/how-do-you-reset-a-usb-device-from-the-command-line

Bugs of the Week

Un-named Technology Retailer Website (company/more details undisclosed for reasons of reputation and security)

Recently a local technology retailer had a competition. Basically, they would have pictures of iTunes vouchers randomly distributed throughout their website. This sounds likes a neat way of gaining extra marketing. Pity they allowed for directory listing through various image directories though. Combine this with a download manager which can download the contents of entire directories without user intervention and thumbnail previews (image filenames were helpful as well!) in many file managers now and you basically have enough iTunes credit to last a while.

No Dependency Debian Packages, Random Stuff, and More

- come across issues with packages on Debian from time to time. Came up with a following script which basically strips dependency checking ...