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Old 12-30-2007   #21
carl
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www.economist.com (Aug 30, 2007 Article ... you will need a subscription)[/QUOTE]

the article is posted free here:

http://www.europeanvoice.com/archive...e.asp?id=28753
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Old 12-30-2007   #22
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Brian Krebs on Computer Security at the Washington Post has gone even further into this subject. A quick read with some excellent links and graphics.

Mapping the Russian Business Network


Quote:
...McQuaid, who helps run the American Red Cross's IT networks, said the people behind RBN have taken notice that some network providers have chosen to block traffic originating from the St. Petersburg provider. ...he's recently seen attackers on RBN hiding the source and destination of their traffic by routing it through compromised home computers in the United States and in Europe as a way to evade blocking filters...

"What we're seeing now is RBN and some Chinese hacker groups are taking over machines in the U.S. and hosting malware or launching attacks from those machines, mainly because they realize their IP space is increasingly being blocked by the rest of the world,"
SWC Council Member JeffC also has some great insight into the RBN
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Old 12-30-2007   #23
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Default Google and the Wisdom of Clouds

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One simple question. That's all it took for Christophe Bisciglia to bewilder confident job applicants at Google (GOOG). Bisciglia, an angular 27-year-old senior software engineer with long wavy hair, wanted to see if these undergrads were ready to think like Googlers. "Tell me," he'd say, "what would you do if you had 1,000 times more data?"
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...tm?chan=search

Stan,

Thanks for the link. RBN and some it's ramifications are interesting stuff. Estonia seems to be an interesting place and I wonder if the cyberattack on it impacted you in any way that you would be interested in sharing? I found Praque to be a fun place but that's as far east as I have gone in Europe.

I spent a little time yesterday looking at salt, hash functions, SHA-1, usenet, and of course wondering about the strength of my sooper dooper virus protection. The geek engineer in me loves this stuff but my soldiering side knows the power of a man on the scene with a gun.

Jeff - C,

This is one of the points where I have been hopping off the side of the pool into the water (brrgghh) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Business_Network do you have any other suggestions?

Steve
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Old 12-30-2007   #24
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Default The OpenNet Initiative is a collaborative partnership of four leading academic instit

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The CIS region is experiencing a general trend toward greater regulation and control of the national information space, which includes the Internet. Although most CIS countries do not practice the substantive or pervasive filtering—Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan excepted—Internet content control through regulation or intimidation is growing throughout the region. In most cases, the legislative and judicial framework for filtering (or other restrictions) is ambiguous and open to interpretation. Moreover the laws are often unevenly applied, with “flexible” implementation often paired with other more subtle (but effective) measures designed to promote self-restraint (or self–censorship) of both ISP providers as well as content producers. Information control—in particular the protection of national informational space—is clearly an issue of concern throughout the CIS, and has encouraged more stringent attention to telecommunications surveillance (as has been happening in other parts of the world, most notably the United States). In addition, measures to protect regimes in power and stifle opposition are often couched in the language of “national security,” and have resulted in the development of new measures and techniques aimed at temporally "shaping" access to information at strategic moments, such as “event-based filtering.” Another innovation that merits further investigation is “upstream filtering.” Although these new measures are not present in all CIS countries, they are indicative of a new seriousness with which strategies for information control are being developed.

In 2007 a number of critical elections will take place in Russia and several other CIS countries. In the Russian case, exiled billionaire Boris Berezovsky has expressed his intent to overturn the existing regime. The Internet and other forms of communications technologies are expected to play an important role in the electoral process, and as such they will no doubt be the object of many actors’ attention.

Last, the re-emergence of stronger states in the region following more than a decade of transition, and general unhappiness concerning U.S. policies in the region (which have, over the past ten years, promoted media freedom and an active if foreign-funded civil society), is also sparking a degree of “blow-back” and renewed competition between East and West. For example, ONI research found that many “.mil” sites are not reachable in the CIS, suggesting that these may be subject to “supply-side” filtering by U.S. authorities.19 Between greater assertiveness on the part of CIS states and the stimulus of renewed interstate competition, the CIS is a region to watch as a global actor shaping norms that will govern the Internet into the future.
http://opennet.net/research/regions/cis
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Old 12-30-2007   #25
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Default Russian Security Strategy under Vladimir Putin: Russian and American Perspectives

Quote:
The “great game” for access to Caspian resources
has led to a healthy diversification of export arteries for
which there is an objective need. It has helped the new
independent states of the region find traction in their
dealings with the great powers who have become rivals
for regional influence. The rivalry is still underway
nonetheless. In the Caspian region, in the words of
Régis Genté, oil and natural gas “also represent the
means by which a struggle to control the center of
the Eurasian continent is waged.”29
http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute....cfm?pubID=829
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Old 12-30-2007   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...tm?chan=search

Jeff - C,

This is one of the points where I have been hopping off the side of the pool into the water (brrgghh) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Business_Network do you have any other suggestions?

Steve
Hi Steve -

A French security expert named David Bizeul wrote the best study I've ever read on the RBN. I covered it here, along with a link to the .pdf.

However, another important group to watch is Rock Phish.

And don't miss the CloudMark study on the Economics of Phishing by Chris Abad. A link to that study is in my Rock Phish post above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan View Post
SWC Council Member JeffC also has some great insight into the RBN
Thanks for the hat tip, Stan. I added my two cents worth below.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 01-10-2008 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 12-31-2007   #27
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Hey Steve !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post

Stan,

Thanks for the link. RBN and some it's ramifications are interesting stuff. Estonia seems to be an interesting place and I wonder if the cyberattack on it impacted you in any way that you would be interested in sharing? I found Praque to be a fun place but that's as far east as I have gone in Europe.

Steve
Although some believe that the RBN financially supported the riots here, no one has yet to point the finger at them for the cyber attacks. The attacks affected nearly every government server, including ours at the MOI and emergency services. Kaur and I have kept up with this since it started. Check here and scroll down to #56 dated 05/04/07 (where Kaur first realizes his access was lost).

Regards, Stan
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Old 01-04-2008   #28
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Default Internet use in Russia

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The number of sites on the Russian Internet grew by 66 percent in 2007, and the total number of such sites is on track to top two million by the end of 2008, the study said. But only one in five of the dot RU domains is located outside of the Russian capital, and their number is growing slightly more slowly than that in Moscow.
Approximately 57 percent of Muscovites now go online regularly, the study concluded, while only 40 percent of those in other Russian cities of more than 100,000 currently do so. And in small cities and rural areas, the figure is still below 20 percent, although that number is growing.
http://windowoneurasia.blogspot.com/...se-varies.html
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Old 01-10-2008   #29
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IHT, 10 Jan 08: Putin Chooses Nationalist Politician as Russia's Ambassador to NATO
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President Vladimir Putin on Thursday named a prominent nationalist politician as Russia's ambassador to NATO at a time of severely strained ties between Moscow and the Western alliance.

Dmitry Rogozin, a former parliament member who headed a nationalist party, replaces Gen. Konstantin Totsky.

The appointment of an outspoken nationalist is the latest reflection of Putin's assertive stance toward the West, which he accuses of meddling in Russia's affairs. But it did not appear to signal a shift in Russian policy toward its former Cold War foe.....
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Old 01-12-2008   #30
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Default Russian nationalist politician Dmitri Rogosin has been appointed

...as the country's ambassador to NATO.

The Kremlin's gambit in NATO:

Quote:
Estonia's Daily Postimees is angry over Rogosin's appointment as Russia's new Ambassador to NATO.

"Let's not forget that it was Rogosin who threatened NATO member Estonia with war last April, in order to protect a Soviet bronze statue. Rogosin says Russia has to resurrect its role as world power.

This does not suggest that the Kremlin wants normal relations with NATO. How will the Estonian envoy look upon a joint NATO conference with Russia ?

Estonia must have a say in the alliance."
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Old 01-16-2008   #31
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ARAG, 15 Jan 08: Russia and the West: A Reassessment
Quote:
Key Points

- A powerful Russia is once again a fact of life, and Russians know it. They are no longer seeking our approval. They have recovered pride in their own traditions and are determined to advance their own interests. The post-Cold War partnership, founded at a time of Russian disorientation and weakness, is history.

- Russia is not reviving the Cold War, but classical Realpolitik with a strong geo-economic emphasis. Although Russia is not a global threat, it seeks to be both enabler and spoiler. It will exploit our difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan and leverage its influence in Iran to diminish Western influence in the former USSR, where it will use both hard and soft power to resurrect its dominance.

- At a regional level, Russia fears further NATO enlargement and seeks to erode the significance of NATO and EU membership. It has not abandoned ambitions to be a determinant actor in the Balkans and Central Europe. It seeks geo-political partnership with Turkey, a commanding role in the Black Sea region and a de facto veto on matters of European security. Whilst the post-Cold War status quo is not reversible, we should not assume that it cannot be undermined or revised.

- Energy, defined by Russia's official energy strategy as a significant determinant of "geo-political influence", will remain the crucible of difficulty and a source of Western weakness until we formulate an energy strategy that makes Russia respect the realities of interdependence and the rules that go with it.

- The political system, which discourages moderation, and the succession struggle, which is proving to be ugly and prolonged, is making life difficult for those in Russia who see the merit of cooperation.

- But cooperation will be possible over the longer term if the West can shift Russia's focus to its own demographic, social and resource related vulnerabilities. Until we regain the ability to speak with one voice on matters of collective importance, this will not happen. Russia is underestimating its own shortcomings and our potential leverage. We should not.
Complete 47 page paper at the link.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 01-17-2008 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Added "succession" link.
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Old 01-20-2008   #32
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Default Russia ready to use nuclear weapons if threatened

...Russia's top military commander said on Saturday that the country is prepared to use its nuclear weapons to defend itself and allies in the event of a severe external threat.

Quote:
The Chief of the Russian General Staff, Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, told a conference at the Academy of Military Sciences in Moscow: "We do not intend to attack anyone, but consider it necessary that all our partners clearly understand, and that no one has any doubts, that the Armed Forces will be used to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia and its allies, including preventative action, and including the use of nuclear weapons."

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, and on December 12, 2007 imposed a unilateral moratorium on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty...
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Old 01-21-2008   #33
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I'm trying to figure out what countries are on the list of Russia's allies whose security problems can be solved with nuclear weapons. I can find zero
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Old 01-21-2008   #34
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Default Russia's Friends, Allies and Partners

I ran across this Russian Defense Forum trying to figure out just who is/are considered allies

Scroll down to Russia's Allies thread.

EDIT: Baluyevsky added
Quote:
...that Russia would use nuclear weapons and carry out preventive strikes only "in cases specified by the doctrinal documents of the Russian Federation."

Retired General Vladimir Dvorkin, formerly a top arms control expert with the Defense Ministry, said he saw "nothing new" in Baluyevsky's statement. "He was restating the doctrine in his own words," Dvorkin said.

Moscow-based military analyst Alexander Golts said that when Russia broke with stated Soviet-era policy in the 2000 doctrine and declared it could use nuclear weapons first against an aggressor, it reflected the decline of Russia's conventional forces in the decade following the 1991 Soviet collapse.

"Baluyevsky's statement means that, as before, we cannot count on our conventional forces to counter aggression," Golts said on Ekho Moskvy radio. "It means that, as before, the main factor in containing aggression against Russia is nuclear weapons."
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Last edited by Stan; 01-21-2008 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 01-24-2008   #35
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Default Russia concerned over NATO military buildup around its borders

MOSCOW, January 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is concerned over NATO's expansion, which is aimed at building up its military potential around Russian borders rather than strengthening European security...

Quote:
..."it is clear that NATO is building up its military potential around our borders and its new members continue to increase their defense budgets".

"This policy cannot resolve any security problems..."

NATO has signaled its backing for the recent bids by Russia's former Soviet allies, Georgia and Ukraine, to join the alliance, a move that has infuriated Moscow.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that the country would have to take "appropriate measures" if Ukraine were to join NATO.
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Old 01-24-2008   #36
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Question Perhaps

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MOSCOW, January 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is concerned over NATO's expansion, which is aimed at building up its military potential around Russian borders rather than strengthening European security...
this shows my ignorance of the overarching circumstances, but just what exactly would they expect these nations to be doing considering their historic let alone more recent action, and statements?

Is this just bluster from a particular segment of their politik or is this a large scale issue within their society. The opportunities for mutually beneficial interaction within the international community are numerous. Where does the seeming need to have some sort of machismo prominence take precedence over reality of circumstance.

The only thing we continually hear from the governance is they must be respected, they must be regarded as important in this or that context.

Doesn't the same rule that applies to every person on earth apply to them.

In order to be respected one must show respect, in order to be a leader one must first be led.
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Old 01-24-2008   #37
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I think it's paramount to first consider Russian perceptions and how their history still dictates current thinking -- the threat of domination from western powers.

Where are these ‘allies’ that they boast are now under their first strike nuclear umbrella? Serbia or better yet the break away Kosovo? NATO is probably being viewed as taking land that Russia had for years and now their (strong arm tactics) influence in the region is dwindling. Even if Serbia was a self-declared Russian ally, how would Russia otherwise support them with NATO nations between the two?

Georgia and The Ukraine threaten Russia’s southern flank with NATO membership and even further isolation. The Baltic States are literally a thorn in their side, and the USA wants to plant missile defense batteries in Poland (to defend exactly who?). We'll need a rocket scientist for that one

Following General Yury Baluyevsky's comments about the use of nuclear weapons are two significant comments from:

Quote:
Retired General Vladimir Dvorkin, formerly a top arms control expert with the Defense Ministry, said he saw "nothing new" in Baluyevsky's statement. "He was restating the doctrine in his own words…"

Moscow-based military analyst Alexander Golts said that when Russia broke with stated Soviet-era policy in the 2000 doctrine and declared it could use nuclear weapons first against an aggressor, it reflected the decline of Russia's conventional forces in the decade following the 1991 Soviet collapse.

"Baluyevsky's statement means that, as before, we cannot count on our conventional forces to counter aggression," Golts said on Ekho Moskvy radio. "It means that, as before, the main factor in containing aggression against Russia is nuclear weapons."
Obviously the Russians don’t understand…whom, given the choice of the current regime or NATO wouldn’t go west?

We’ve been smokin' along (and over them) since the early 90’s and, IMO they agreed because they had no other choice. Well, those days (for now) are gone.
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Old 01-26-2008   #38
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Default Russia reiterates concern over Ukraine's desire to join NATO

MOSCOW, January 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is concerned over Ukraine's drive to join NATO, which may seriously harm Russian-Ukrainian relations, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Quote:
"The desire to accelerate [Ukraine's] accession to this military-political bloc, expressed by the Ukrainian leadership, will entail serious consequences for the development of Russian-Ukrainian relations and will harm European security in general...

Last week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko handed over a request for Ukraine to join NATO's Membership Action Plan to the alliance's secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. The Action Plan is a necessary step on the path to eventual full membership of the organization.

Meanwhile, members of the Party of Regions and the Communist Party of Ukraine have urged the country's leadership to recall the request for NATO membership, claiming that such a step was only possible after a referendum.

On Friday, Russian lawmakers terminated an agreement with Ukraine on early warning and space monitoring systems, citing Ukraine's failure to provide adequate technical support to radar facilities located on its territory.
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Old 01-26-2008   #39
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Default A country has the right to send either a traitor or a patriot

Rogozin Says Set to Work With NATO
By Nikolaus von Twickel

Quote:
Russia's new representative to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, offered a trademark nationalist farewell Thursday before heading to Brussels -- but stressed that he was prepared to work constructively with the alliance.

...Rogozin told a news conference when asked about taking his jingoist reputation to the Western military alliance he has accused of carrying out the "aggressive interests of the United States."

Rogozin accused Washington of violating NATO solidarity by offering a missile-defense shield to former Warsaw Pact members Poland and the Czech Republic.

Elements of the missile shield located in the two countries could make them targets for "hypothetical missile attacks," he said.

Rogozin complained that while NATO claimed a threat from the south, the alliance had expanded eastward. "Maybe their compass is out of whack," he said.

Russia can help with directional difficulties, Rogozin said, "We have our own [compass]."
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Old 01-26-2008   #40
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hypothetical missiles and wacky compasses...this should be fun.
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