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Opinion » Columnists

Obama's cyber nuke dream, Petraeus' love child

02.04.2013
 
Pages: 1234

 

by John Stanton

Obama's cyber nuke dream, Petraeus' love child. 49758.jpeg

"Cyber Warfare, Cyber Security and massive Cyber Attacks are alarmist and vastly overrated. Look at what is going on in Cyprus. What could trigger a run on the banks in the United States? Something as simple as shutting down all the ATM's for three days. The resulting panic and long bank lines could irrevocably shake confidence in banks and financial institutions, as Americans find out the significance of all the paperwork they signed when they established their banks accounts, fed by direct deposits. Since many in the country know what the country was like before personal computers and the Internet, they'll do fine. Those people who have exchanged their hearts and brains for computer chips manufactured in Vietnam, and are tethered to Smart Phones and the Cloud, are due for a very rude awakening. You've heard of sleeper agents and moles haven't you? I wonder how many sleeper programs are in the millions of computer chips that are now in every single facet of our lives." Source

"The US Army Secretary [McHugh] states that the program converted to DA Civilian and military positions. That was true up till a year ago but now the program is back to being filled by contractors. Why is that? Likely due to having so many legal problems getting rid of people - good and bad.   If the separate commands want a social science capability they can build their own team like CENTCOM did. They can provide the funding and the oversight. So many less issues that way and quite the savings! Though I agree with the intent of McHugh's letter - to save an HTS type capability, I disagree with the saving the HTS program. McHugh sites 'commanders' assessments' as reason to save the program. I doubt these assessments or at least their true value.

The House Armed Services Committee should have one of their educated staffers send a request to the team's in theater requesting them to send in the products they have provided their current units for the last six months. A review of such products would show that a majority of such are just regurgitation's of other products and lack any real operationally relevant info that was used in the day-to-day business of the units. The reason is very few, if any, HTS members have left their forward operating bases in the last 6-12 months to do what the program was designed to do. And now that US forces are handing over battle space to their Afghan partners, HTS work is for the most part limited to data-mining the internet and creating what the commanders ask for to support their desired course of action." Source

"I can tell you CGI runs around talking about its $250 million contract with the US Army." Source

And they rave about the performances on New York City's Broadway?

The critics of theater should aim their witty minds at the actors and plots on the civil-military stage in Washington, DC. The actors there in the capital of the American nation-political, military, corporate, media and academia/think tanks--are in deadly serious roles but they are all trained as comedians it seems. And not very good ones at that. Two plots and the actors involved make the point.

The first is the never ending story of the US Army's Human Terrain System (HTS), a Big Army intelligence program run out of the US Army's G-2 intelligence function. On 15 March 2013 a letter ostensibly written by US Army Secretary John McHugh to Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA)--in response to two articles by Tom Vanden Brook of USA Today critical of HTS-seems to have been written by an autonomous software program. Instead, it was likely written by pro-HTS staff members in the US Army's G-2 shop under orders to do so.

HTS, alas, is now viewed by those in the know as an assemblage of things: a toy for the general purpose US Big Army; an intelligence support function whose information is used for targeting rebels in insurgent populations, not understanding them; a chunk of funding that should have been given over to US Army Civil Affairs; and as a corporate money-trough and bureaucratic pit to be avoided by the special forces community.  "You can't meddle with the indigenous condition if you do not understand it. We respect the intentions of HTS but when you hand it to corporate America it becomes a pocketbook game or simply putting butts to seats rather than getting and using experienced and qualified individuals in the project...we had success with it is because we respect the boundaries. These [HTS] guys tweak the cultural information gathered to fit policy instead of molding policy to the information. Intelligence types screw it up all the time..." said a veteran member of the special forces community.

Love Child: Never Meant to Be?

A number of sources asked to review McHugh's letter to Hunter indicated that, as one did, "BDE Commanders knew this program was a Petraeus 'Love Child', so of course they aren't going to bad mouth it The team I was on provided nothing beneficial to our command." The General's reach is still in the minds of many in the US Army and his groupies are legion in Washington, DC.

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