The following column is adapted from a speech delivered by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at the National Defense University on December 14, 2016.
I want to start by thanking the National Defense University. This is an extraordinarily important institution. You’ll see why as I go through this. The greatest challenge we face is not money. The greatest challenge we face is thinking. This is one of the places assigned the responsibility for thinking. It was no accident that Admiral Nimitz said after World War II, there was no major problem in the Pacific, that they had not war-gamed at the Naval War College. It’s no accident that Eisenhower graduated first in his class at Leavenworth, and ended up as a senior planner, and then as the Commander of all allied forces in Europe.
These were people who understood that thinking things through really mattered. Curtis Lemay told me the greatest contribution that he made to World War II, was that he had gone to the new Air Corps Command and Staff College in Montgomery, and had learned how to write a five paragraph field order. He got these huge complicated messages from 8th Air Force when he arrived as a Commander of a Wing in England, and he would rewrite them into the appropriate form, send it back and say, is this what you meant to send me? After about six weeks, 8th Air Force began issuing the new model. These things, they seem trivial, but the most successful security systems have constant processes of evolution, which require thought. The hardest is to evolve without defeat.
With weeks to go in his tenure, President Obama on Friday moved to end the controversial “dual-hat” arrangement under which the National Security Agency and the nation’s cyberwarfare command are headed by the same military officer.
NSA Headquarters. Reuters
It is unclear whether President-elect Donald Trump will support such a move. A transition official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the next administration’s plans, said only that “cybersecurity has been and will be a central focus of the transition effort.”
Pressure had grown on Obama to make such a move on the grounds that the two jobs are too large for one person to handle, that the two organizations have fundamentally different missions and that U.S. Cyber Command, or Cybercom, needed its own leader to become a full-fledged fighting force.
This is a very bad idea as the Analysis at the end of this story makes clear
“US Govt Data Shows Russia Used Outdated Ukrainian PHP Malware”,
This entry was posted in General Security, Miscellaneous, Research, WordPress Security on December 30, 2016
The United States government officially accused Russia of interfering with the US elections during the run up to the election season. This report conflated the bogus and totally unproven claim of Russian hacking of the electoral system itself, (considered impossible because of its distributed and mixed systems, both electronic and manual) and the hacking of the Clinton and Podestra e-Mails. On October 7th, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a joint statement that began:
“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.” <https://www.scribd.com/document/335307016/FBI-Russian-Hacking-Report>
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In four respects, UNSCR 2334 undermines the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace and threatens what little regional stability is left. First, it could force Israel to fall back on its powerful legal position as the only existing legal inheritor of the British Mandate. Second, it compounds the error made by Obama’s transition team even before he came to power of ignoring a written commitment of a US president. Third, it has placed Sisi’s government in Egypt – a keystone of regional stability – in an untenable position. Fourth and most painfully, it will make it far more complicated – if not impossible – for the Palestinian leadership, enticed by the prospect of international coercion, to accept a reasonable compromise. The New Zealanders, do-gooders with a very dim understanding of what they have wrought, can be forgiven such folly. The Obama administration has no such excuses.
“Be careful what you wish for; you might get it” says the old adage, and sober elements among the Palestinian leadership may yet rue the day they managed to secure an American abstention leading to the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334. The resolution condemns “settlement activity” anywhere, including East Jerusalem, and calls upon all members to distinguish in practice between Jews who live on one side of the Armistice Line of 1949 and those who live beyond it. It presumes to speak in the name of international law and to create the conditions for further progress towards peace in the interests of both Palestinians and “legitimate” Israelis. In fact, this poorly designed and atrociously timed diplomatic tool seems set to harm, if not entirely destroy, the very purposes it was designed to serve.
In this Christmastime Celebration it may be time to pause and wonder what has happened to all of those Christian Syrian refugees? Compromising more than 10% of the Syrian Iraqi Arab population, why are there no Christians fleeing the wars? Two thousand years ago a similar extensional crisis was upon the Levant, with the threat to all infants under the age of two years, by Herod, who feared reports of a ‘new King’ being born. This threat necessitated the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, to survive amongst the rump Isralite community there, until the threat had dissipated.
That today is the experience of thousands of Syrian and Iraqi Christians. They are either excluded from the normal refugee camps, either through fear – with a long history of massacres of Christians in the region – or through secular and Islamist prejudice. The Barnabas Fund ( a global Christian charity) asked Christian leaders in the Middle East if they knew of any Christians in refugee camps. One told us, “we did once have a couple who tried to live there, we had to get them out in the middle of the night when we heard people were planning to kill them.”
Many Christians fleeing the war in Syria live in half-built buildings or makeshift shelters, not dissimilar from the cold, damp conditions in which Jesus was born. Just as Herod’s slaughter of the innocents in Judea targeted a specific group, i.e. Jewish boys under two, so the Sunni inspired genocide in Syria specifically targets Christians and other non-Sunni Muslim minorities such as Yazidis and Allawite sect Shi’a.