Sad as the comment might be, this makes sense. Every state should do doing similar planning. The next major collapse is scheduled for 2013-2014. The next step up would be regional (nine nations) planning boards for agriculture, energy, food, and water. This summer may be the last calm period for some time.
CHEYENNE — State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States.
House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.
The task force would look at the feasibility of
Wyoming issuing its own alternative currency, if needed. And House members approved an amendment Friday by state Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, to have the task force also examine conditions under which Wyoming would need to implement its own military draft, raise a standing army, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier.
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, has said he doesn’t anticipate any major crises hitting America anytime soon. But with the national debt exceeding $15 trillion and protest movements growing around the country, Miller said Wyoming — which has a comparatively good economy and sound state finances — needs to make sure it’s protected should any unexpected emergency hit the U.S.
Several House members spoke in favor of the legislation, saying there was no harm in preparing for the worst.
“I don’t think there’s anyone in this room today what would come up here and say that this country is in good shape, that the world is stable and in good shape — because that is clearly not the case,” state Rep. Lorraine Quarberg, R-Thermopolis, said. “To put your head in the sand and think that nothing bad’s going to happen, and that we have no obligation to the citizens of the state of Wyoming to at least have the discussion, is not healthy.”
Wyoming’s Department of Homeland Security already has a statewide crisis management plan, but it doesn’t cover what the state should do in the event of an extreme nationwide political or economic collapse. In recent years, lawmakers in at least six states have introduced legislation to create a state currency, all unsuccessfully.
The task force would include state lawmakers, the director of the Wyoming Department of Homeland Security, the Wyoming attorney general and the Wyoming National Guard’s adjutant general, among others.
The bill must pass two more House votes before it would head to the Senate for consideration. The original bill appropriated $32,000 for the task force, though the Joint Appropriations Committee slashed that number in half earlier this week.
University of Wyoming political science professor Jim King said the potential for a complete unraveling of the U.S. government and economy is “astronomically remote” in the foreseeable future.
But King noted that the federal government set up a Continuity of Government Commission in 2002, of which former U.S. Sen. Al Simpson, R-Wyo., was co-chairman. However, King said he didn’t know of any states that had established a similar board.
I have begun drafting my portion of the new Handbook of Intelligence Studies (Routledge, 2013), it is a chapter early on entitled “The Craft of Intelligence.” I pick up where Allen Dulles and Sherman Kent left off. My graphic on Intelligence Maturity captures the essence of my thinking at the strategic level, but of course there is more to come, including the desperate need to restore integrity to all that we do.
In 1988 I ghost-wrote for the Commandant of the Marine Corps an article that he enhanced and signed, “Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990’s.” At that time my focus was on the difference between the conventional threat and the emerging unconventional threat.
Now my focus is on the purpose and process of intelligence as decision-support. We must — we will — move from secret intelligence for the few to open intelligence for the many; from expensive centralized largely worthless intelligence to free and low-cost distributed intelligence relevant to every person at every level on every issue; from intelligence as window-dressing for channeling $80 billion a year to banks and corporations, to intelligence as an integral element of every aspect of a Smart Nation.
This article is completely out of touch with reality and the authors have not bothered to familiarize themselves with the literatures pertinent to their endeavor. Out of 89 cited sources 12 are non-intelligence-related prior publications of the lead author, 1 is a prior publication of the second author, and 11 are ostensibly about intelligence but truly marginal selections. So 12% sources on the subject, 13% self-citation, and 75% escoteric psycho-babble irrelevant to the actual challenge. As an intelligence professional, I am offended that two ostensibly erudite individuals would dare to publish this trype without even a semblance of understanding of the subject under discussion.
Introductory remarks: This testimony arises from three premises.
First, we cannot analyze global events through reassuring ideological lenses, be they left or right, or we will continue to be mistaken, surprised and bewildered by foreign developments. The rest of the world will neither conform to our prejudices nor behave for our convenience.
Second, focusing obsessively on short-term problems blinds us to the root causes and frequent intractability of today’s conflicts. Because we do not know history, we wave history away. Yet, the only way to understand the new world disorder is to place current developments in the context of generations and even centuries. Otherwise, we will continue to blunder through situations in which we deploy to Afghanistan to end Taliban rule, only to find ourselves, a decade later, impatient to negotiate the Taliban’s return to power.
Third, we must not be afraid to “color outside of the lines.” When it comes to foreign affairs, Washington’s political spectrum is monochromatic: timid, conformist and wrong with breathtaking consistency. We have a Department of State that refuses to think beyond borders codified at Versailles nine decades ago; a Department of Defense that, faced with messianic and ethnic insurgencies, concocted its doctrine from irrelevant case studies of yesteryear’s Marxist guerrillas; and a think-tank community almost Stalinist in its rigid allegiance to twentieth-century models of how the world should work.
If we do not think innovatively, we will continue to fail ignobly.
Very inspiring talk, i listened in silence to him and that doesn’t happen often.
As an ex VN soldier i fully support the generals opinion.
Even after losing his own son in Afghanistan he still firmly believes in his ideals and knows how to express them on a way that is understandable and inspiring to allot of people, i can only say general van Uhm made me proud to be Dutch today, and proud i served in the Dutch armed forces.
This is fascinating at multiple levels. Neither Google nor Facebook have been effective at helping humans “make sense,” now it appears that Twitter–perhaps combined with Hypothes.is–just might be a hair away from creating the skeleton of the World Brain.
Twitter is revamping the service with personal Twitter profile pages, a new timeline that includes rich media and other related informationembedded into tweets, and easier search for information based on @ symbols (usernames) and hash tags.
Talking at Twitter’s unfinished new headquarters building in San Francisco, founder Jack Dorsey and CEO Dick Costolo explained that the changes are meant to make Twitter more accessible to everybody.
Their three goals:
Expose the “universe within every tweet.” Tweets aren’t just 140 characters — there’s also context like retweets and replies, and embedded content like videos, images, and songs. Today, accessing this material still feels like opening a “side drawer,” said Costolo.
Make Twitter less obscure to use. Today, the @ and # symbols are too obscure — people don’t know what they mean. This contributes to a lot of people visiting Twitter but not really participating actively. The redesign surfaces these symbols and makes them the gateway to find out more infrmation about people and topics on the surface.
Share it with everybody. The world has 7 billion people. Most of those people are “not yet on Twitter,” said Costolo. The redesign will roll out to mobile devices simultaneously, and is streamlined to load up to 500% faster.
The trick is doing this without adding too much complexity. As Dorsey put it, “simplification is the key here.”
While much of the world is in crisis and protests are erupting throughout Europe and the United States, Latin American and Caribbean nations are building consensus, advancing social justice and increasing positive cooperation in the region. Social, political and economic transformations have been taking place through democratic processes in countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil throughout the past decade, leading to a massive reduction in poverty and income disparity in the region, and a substantial increase in social services, quality of life and direct participation in political process.
One of the major initiatives of progressive Latin American governments this century has been the creation of new regional organizations that promote integration, cooperation and solidarity amongst neighboring nations. Cuba and Venezuela began this process in 2004 with the founding of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), that now includes Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, St. Vincent’s and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda. ALBA was initially launched in response to the US government’s failed attempt to impose its Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) throughout the region.
Today ALBA is a thriving multilateral organization with member nations that share similar political visions for their countries and for the region, and includes numerous cooperation agreements in economic, social and cultural areas. The fundamental basis of trade amongst ALBA nations is solidarity and mutual benefit. There is no competition, exploitation or attempt to dominate amongst ALBA states. ALBA even counts on its own currency, the SUCRE, which allows for trade between member nations without dependence on the US dollar.
In 2008, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) was formally established as a regional body representing South American states. While ALBA is much more consolidated as a unified political voice, UNASUR represents a diversity of political positions, economic models and visions for the region. But UNASUR members share the common goal of working towards regional unity and guaranteeing the resolution of conflicts through peaceful and diplomatic means. UNASUR has already played a key role in peacefully resolving disputes in Bolivia, particularly during an attempted coup against the government of Evo Morales in 2008, and has also successfully moderated a severe conflict between Colombia and Venezuela, leading to the reestablishment of relations in 2010.
Two hundred years ago, South American Independence hero Simon Bolivar, a native of Venezuela, dreamed of building regional unity and creating a “Patria Grande” (Grand Homeland) in Latin America. After achieving independence for Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia, and fighting colonialists in several Caribbean nations, Bolivar attempted to turn this dream of Latin American unity into reality. His efforts were sabotaged by powerful interests opposing the creation of a solid regional bloc, and eventually, with the aid of the United States, Bolivar was ousted from his rule in Venezuela and died isolated in Colombia several years later. Meanwhile, the US government had proceeded to implement its Monroe Doctrine, a decree first declared by President James Monroe in 1823 to ensure US domination and control over the newly-freed nations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Nearly two hundred years of invasions, interventions, aggressions, coup d’etats and hostilities led by the US government against Latin American nations shadowed the 19th and 20th centuries. By the end of the 20th century, Washington had successfully imposed governments in every Latin American and Caribbean nation that were subordinate to its agenda, with the exception of Cuba. The Monroe Doctrine had been achieved, and the US felt confident in its control over its “backyard”.
The unexpected turn at the beginning of the 21st century in Venezuela, formerly one of Washington’s most stable and subservient partners, came as a shock to the US. Hugo Chavez had been elected President and a Revolution had begun. A coup d’etat attempt in 2002 failed to subvert the advancement of the Bolivarian Revolution and the spread of revolutionary fever throughout the region. Soon Bolivia followed, then Nicaragua and Ecuador. Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay elected socialist presidents, two of them former guerrilla fighters. Major changes began to occur throughout the region as the peoples of this vast, diverse and rich continent assumed power and made their voices heard.
Social transformations in Venezuela that gave voice to people’s power became exemplary for others in the region, as did President Chavez’s defiance of US imperialism. A powerful sentiment of Latin American sovereignty and independence grew stronger, even reaching those with governments aligned with US interests and multinational control.
On December 2-3, 2011, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was born and the overwhelming force of a continent nearly 600 million strong, achieved a 200-year dream of unity. The 33 member nations of CELAC all agree on the unquestionable necessity to build a regional organization that represents their interests, and that excludes the overbearing presence of the US and Canada. While CELAC will take time to consolidate, the exceptional commitment evidenced by the 33 states present at its launching in Caracas, Venezuela, cannot be underestimated.
CELAC will have to overcome attempts to sabotage and neutralize its expansion and endurance, and the threats against it and intents to divide member nations will be numerous and frequent. But the resistance of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean who have resumed this path of unity and independence after nearly two hundred years of imperialist aggression, demonstrates the powerful force that has led this region to become an inspiration for those seeking social justice and true freedom around the world.
Phi Beta Iota: Emphasis added. This is largely a Cuban G-2 puff-piece, but it also represents real potential. A great deal will depend on whether Cuba and Venezuela get serious about creating the M4IS2 capabilities needed to harmonize internal spending while shutting out predatory external influences. We would not be surprised to find CIA Stations shut down across Central and South America in the next few years, as these governments stop tolerating incompetent but active spy units operating from official installations.
The violence at the heart of colonialism is exposed in Richard Gott’s history
Guardian, 7 December 2011
Amazon Page for Reviewer’s Book Nature’s Government
“We insisted on reserving the right to bomb niggers.” So David Lloyd George explained the British government’s demand at the 1932 World Disarmament Conference to keep the right to bomb for “police purposes in outlying places”. Airpower had shown its value in spreading what Winston Churchill, when defending in 1919 the use of poison gas against “uncivilised tribes”, had called “a lively terror”. Richard Gott shows how a hundred years earlier more hands-on means were used to similar ends: the heads of rebel slaves in Demerara in 1823 and Jamaica in 1831 were cut from their bodies and placed on poles beside the roads. The mutilation of the corpses of the defeated never quite goes out of fashion.
Empires have always depended on violence. Killing, torture and the destruction of property are essential to those tasks of destroying resistance, extracting information and collaboration, and demonstrating dominance that underly all conquest. But it is the privilege of conquerors to tell stories that flatter their own past. It is, thus, rare to find the historians of any imperial power describing the ugly business of the frontier as more than unfortunate exceptions to an otherwise honourable enterprise. Britain is no exception: from the Victorians until the 1950s, its historians mainly saw in the British empire a great engine for diffusing liberty and civilisation to the world. If such Whig piety declined in the era after Suez, later scholars, studying particular places and times, never connected all the episodes of massacres, rebellions and atrocities. Popular historians continued profitably to sell happy stories of the empire to the British public – always marketed as daring revisionist accounts.
Gott’s achievement is to show, as no historian has done before, that violence was a central, constant and ubiquitous part of the making and keeping of the British empire.
. . . . . . .
What Gott loses by this focus on resistance, however, is any subtlety in understanding the meanings of collaboration. He repeatedly imposes the lens of 20th-century nationalism, and even anti-fascism, so that those who did not rebel become traitors or “fifth columnists”. He does not examine with care or sympathy the varieties of loyalism, and the motives and experiences of those who chose, however mistakenly, to throw in their lot with the British. Neither does he explore how the economic and technological bases of British power changed between 1750 and 1850. For the revolution that science and industry brought to production, transport, communication and war made Britain able to attract and to extort indigenous collaboration more easily, and changed how the British understood themselves as a nation and their rights in the wider world. The empire was made by more than violence.
You have a clasp when people criticize your new strategy because they don’t know how to execute it.
Yes, a new strategy has to be executable, or it’s merely a wish. No, the logistics behind it don’t have to be tried and true. It’s one job to dream up a strategy and another job to execute it. Whining about how hard the logistics are is just fine, but don’t conflate this with thoughtful feedback about whether your strategy makes sense.
Just about every great new project couples a brilliant strategy with impossible logistics that somehow get handled.
Japan-India: Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony and Japanese Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa agreed to hold their first bilateral naval exercises in 2012, according to Japanese Defense Ministry officials.
Ichikawa said deepening bilateral defense ties between Tokyo and New Delhi will lead to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Antony said India’s relations with Japan remain a priority and New Delhi seeks to strengthen those ties. Both ministers discussed the importance of the international community in protecting sea lanes, specifically discussing the South China Sea.
Comment: For India, this is the next step in its “Look East” policy. Similar ties and exercises with the South Korean Navy also are likely. Eventually, the combined fleets of India, South Korea and Japan, supported by Taiwan and the US, will be arrayed against China in future conflicts. The Asian states do not perceive containment of China as primarily a US leadership task. That is an important lesson and manifests the success of a half century of US policy.
The Chinese, on the other hand, are reaping what they have sowed in the past twenty years by their aggressive assertiveness in northeast Asia, the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. Chinese actions have nurtured an extraordinary and unprecedented regional reaction that is moving towards a new regional military cooperative structure, linking the fleets of the Asian democracies.
The most important features of this interlocking set of bilateral ties are that the Asian members are equals and the Asians are taking responsibility for Asian security affairs, without relying on the US Navy. US Navy connections with all the parties constitute a second tier of linkage that resides in background and gives the Asians depth and strength.
A third feature is that for the first time in a millennium and a half, the Asian navies are defying China and are actually much more capable than the Chinese navy, without relying on the forces of nature.
The worst thing that could happen is for the US to try to take charge or steer the development or do anything except enable it, behind the scenes. US estimates of Asian security threats that do not factor Asian capabilities that the US has nurtured are incomplete.
The NightWatch bias is that Asian nations know best how to solve Asian problems, with some US support as requested. The Asians will find a way.
Phi Beta Iota: The above good sense is in sharp contrast to the on-going US Navy attempt, aided by a defense policy mafia that blends ignorance and corruption to an astonishing degree, to invest dollars and capabilities we do not have in making the Pacific the “main front” for the future. There is nothing intelligent about how the US Navy is planning for the future, in large part because the US Navy, like the US Government generally, lacks integrity at the leadership / gerbil maximus levels.
The ultimate goal of the US is to take the resources of Africa and Middle East under military control to block economic growth in China and Russia, thus taking the whole of Eurasia under control, author and historian William F. Engdahl reveals.
The crisis with the US economy and the dollar system, the conduct of the US foreign policy is all a part of breakdown of the entire superpower structure that was built up after the end of WWII, claims Engdahl.
“Nobody in Washington wants to admit, just as nobody in Britain a hundred years ago wanted to admit that the British Empire was in terminal decline,” claims the author, noting that “All of this is related to the attempt to keep this sole superpower not only intact, but to spread its influence over the rest of the planet.”
William F. Engdahl believes the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa is a plan first announced by George W. Bush at a G8 meeting in 2003 and it was called “The Greater Middle East Project”.
Much has been said about the Occupy movement’s lack of demands and vision. Some say it will have no impact unless it makes demands and organizes to make sure those demands are met.
Others respond that the People should just take charge of their democracy rather than petitioning official powers-that-be to do this and that. Still others say that any list of demands – any effort to focus OWS more narrowly and explicitly – could weaken the movement because Occupy Together is a broadly inclusive initiative that’s about (a)changing whole systems and/or (b)creating microcosms of a better society in the occupation zones and/or (c) stimulating transformational conversations out in society at large and/or (d) passionately building and forcefully demonstrating the Power of the People to resist illegitimate, corrupt authority.
Others note that the disturbing lack of demands spreads OWS’ surprising impact through a “blank slate effect” – OWS becomes a mystery or a mirror into which diverse individuals and groups project their various desires, hopes, frustrations, and agendas. Furthermore, that mystery helps by enhancing the movement’s uncommon anarchic power that makes it so hard for authorities and others to figure out how to control, undermine or use it. Others insist that a shared vision – articulating what the 99% actually want – would be much more powerful than focusing on a laundry list of demands that many 99%ers might well disagree with. Simultaneously, many Occupiers are chronically frustrated with all this talk and want Action!! Their more thoughtful colleagues reply that pulling so many diverse people together in consensus requires taking the time to hear each other and generate collective wisdom.
I fear that everyone is losing the perfect opportunity to demand electoral reform. Here is what I have done on this with zero traction. Based on discussions in NYC I have dropped the Coalition Cabinet for now and am focusing only on Electoral Reform, but if we really are to change this system, an Independent candidate with a Coalition Cabinet has to defeat BOTH Obama AND the Republican challenger. I don’t see that emergent at this point.
My Interpretation of the Emerging Message:
CORRUPTION is the common enemy, both in government and in the private sector.
Phi Beta Iota: This is the first mainstream media article we’ve seen with real intelligence. What is actually happening is that the various groups that have structure to begin with (MoveOn, labor, issue NGOs) are trying desperately to force fit the kind of “demands” or “strategy” that media expects to be spoon-fed; push-back is coming from the original actors, who are reluctant to join anything that reeks of the old structure–and to be perfectly candid, MoveOn, labor, and the NGOs are all accustomed to feeding at the two-party trough and they are frightened out of their wits by a populist uprising they can neither understand nor control. Our best guess is that the groups will generally refuse to engage in policy demands, and go for broke: electoral reform and a constitutional convention, which we rate right now as 55% and 15% probabilities.