Weekly Briefing – May 31-June 7, 2014

By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Saturday, June 7th, 2014 @ 3:34AM

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From ACD

Cyberspace Time Security Rachel Ehrenfeld – Speaking at the Shangri-LaDialogue security summit, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel again warned the Chinese to stop their cyber spying activities, suggesting they should renew the dialog to reduce “the risk of miscalculation and escalation in cyberspace.” In response, the director of the Center for China-America Defense Relations, Maj. Gen. Yao Yunzhu, explained: “Human beings by nature would like to apply military operations in any newly found space where human activities become important,” and the damage that cyberwar could cause “might exceed our imagination.” This threat, he suggested, may “help us to build a consensus on the banning of war in cyberspace altogether, but personally, I’m not optimistic about it,” he concluded. The indictment of five Chinese military hackers in early May, led to break-up of the dialog Hagel was referring to, but it will do nothing to stop Beijing from continuing to cause untold billions of dollars in damages to the U.S. economy.…more

Europe ­ Energy Security for Climate ChangeRachel Ehrenfeld – The agenda of the G7 leaders’ meeting in Brussels does not include energy security as an independent topic. Instead the leaders will discuss energy in the context of climate change. Two paragraphs, under “Energy and Climate Change,” talk about the need to secure energy sources. However,  five paragraphs are dedicated to … global warming: “On climate change, leaders are expected to reaffirm their commitment to limit effectively the increase in global temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and express their strong determination to adopt in 2015 a global agreement, ahead of the Climate Summit of the United Nations General Assembly in September and the upcoming COP2015 in Paris.” Instead of exploring ALL alternatives to Russian oil and gas supplies, the European leaders will discuss more funding “on concrete climate actions in developing countries,” where the citizens will continue to bake in the sun, while many Europeans are likely to freeze. See Gal Luft and Anne Korin’s – What Europe Gets Wrong About Energy Security ­ European reliance on Russian natural gas is in large part a self-inflicted wound.…more

Islam and Security in Bosnia-Herzegovina – Rachel Ehrenfeld – Eighteen years after the Dayton Agreement we hear little, if anything, about Bosnia…. It was the U.S.-led NATO military mission that drove the level of violence down.…The Dayton Agreement created what has become crime-ridden Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska…See Leslie S. Lebl…more

Foreign Policy 101Sol W. Sanders – In a revolutionary world environment, foreign policy of a great power — and especially the lone superpower — is bound to be full of inconsistencies. Interests are far-flung and constantly demanding new priorities. But one does not have to refer to Machiavelli to recognize rules of the road which, when violated, are costly and in the case of the U.S., destabilizing for the entire world. Again, those guidelines are often internally contradictory in the nature of generalizations. But a knowledge of and adherence to them is essential to pursue a foreign policy, and, in this instance, of the superpower, the United States, and world peace and stability. That we living through revolutionary times does not have to be extensively argued. Suffice it to say that the digital revolution alone has made it harder than ever to distinguish between reality and perception by exaggerating — to quote Sec. Donald Rumsfeld — unknown unknowns. A recent former CIA operative hired by a Swiss bank to prevent fraud put it to me succinctly: the ability to reproduce almost any document (or signature) has led to almost unlimited financial hoax.…more

News & Commentary

The ghastly transaction that freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Michael Mukasey

Moscow Punishing Lithuania for Its Support of Ukraine Paul Goble

Why Germans Are Smitten with PutinAlexander Motyl

America embraces Hamas terroristsBenny Avni

News Flash: American Taxpayers Now Paying the Salaries of PalestinianTerrorists. What a unity government bringing together Hamas with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party means Lee Smith

 

Once-classified report shows hackers hitting utilities

 

Charlie M.
Editor at Inside Washington Publishers
Classified 2008 directive: Hackers and insiders hit utilities on… bit.ly
Utilities on at least three continents have been “penetrated or shut down” by hackers and insiders, according to a formerly classified 2008 presidential directive on cybersecurity that was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and…

1,001 nights on the TigrisBartle Bull

A Persistent Threat: The Evolution of al Qa’ida and Other Salafi Jihadists – Seth G. Jones, RAND

Death of a Terrorist: Hezbollah Operative Recently Killed in Syria  – Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center – On May 26, 2014, Hezbollah announced the death of Hajj Fawzi Mustafa Muhammad Ayoub (Hajj Abu Abbas)….a Lebanese national with Canadian citizenship…detained by.. Israeli security forces… released in the Tannenbaum exchange deal. In 2009 the FBI put him on its most wanted terrorist list.”

Congressional Hearings

Energy Needs in Asia: The U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas OptionHouse of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs: Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, May 29, 2014

CRS, GAO, White House Reports

Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by TopicRita Tehan, May 22, 2014

Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad: Background and Policy Issues – Alex Tiersky, Susan B. Epstein 

Maritime Critical Infrastructure Protection – DHS Needs to Better Address Port Cybersecurity, GAO, June 2014

White House Fact Sheet on European Reassurance Initiative, June 2014

Since 2001, the American Center for Democracy has exposed and monitored threats to our right to speak freely and our political and economic freedoms. The ACD does more than identify individual, isolated threats; it also analyzes their synergistic effects on the economic security of the nation. The ACD’s projects and publications focus on early warning systems that alert the public and policy makers to prevent and mitigate threats.

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