Neal Rauhauser: Cost of Secrecy versus Diplomacy

Budget Comparison Usually when we get information about black programs it’s the result of two or more errors on the part of Congressmen. One will give a budget for a certain area, another will describe black ops as a percentage of that number, and then we get the actual figure. This time thanks to Edward …

Neal Rauhauser: Yemen’s Food & Water Crisis

Yemen’s Food & Water Crisis Yesterday I saw an article that indicated Yemen’s capitol, Sana’a, could be out of water in a decade. There were some shocking statistics in that article and in the ReliefWeb article that provided the above map. 40% of Yemen’s water is used to cultivate qat, which is labeled as a narcotic, …

Neal Rauhauser: Greater Kurdistan and the Syrian Insurgency

Lesser Syria, Greater Kurdistan, Armenia’s Mt. Olympus Here in America it’s somewhat notable to meet up with someone who can identify all fifty of our states if presented with a national map that doesn’t have a legend. European weapons and European diseases made quick work of the native population and there are only a few areas …

Neal Rauhauser: Syrian Conflict Spreads, Kurds Fighting Islamists

Coming back to work topics after a weekend of covering Twitter’s endless nerdwars I am pretty horrified by the news coming out of Syria. Ethnic Kurds are the largest group of stateless people in the world. Their population straddles the meeting point for Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. I read a few weeks ago that …

Neal Rauhauser: US Global Terrorism Database & Sentinel Visualizer

Global Terrorism Database & Sentinel Visualizer Earlier this week I had a go at Visualizing The Global Terror Database using Gephi. Three weeks ago I laid hands on a license for Sentinel Visualizer a law enforcement/intelligence grade link analysis and data visualization tool. Today I had some broken time and in between a stream of phone …

Neal Rauhauser: The Pentagon’s Third Rail

The Pentagon’s Third Rail This came out of the morning Situation Report from @glubold of Foreign Policy magazine. The secret sauce, for those interested, is to read NightWatch for a mix of what might happen and what the news is too clumsy to cover, then check the various FP feeds to see what has actually come …

Neal Rauhauser: Are Syrian and Iraqi Conflicts Merging? Is Iran Gaining a Corridor to the Mediterranean?

UN envoy: Iraq and Syrian conflicts are merging That headline appeared in my inbox earlier and I have been dreading it. The Syrian civil war has spilled over into Lebanon, it’s encroaching on Turkey’s territory, and it’s set off troubles in neighboring Iraq, which are now merging into an end to end regional threat. Let’s …

Neal Rauhauser: Visualizing the Global Terrorism Database

Visualizing the Global Terrorism Database I received a cryptic note from a colleague earlier tonight: “This one has time AND location data.” The email contained a link to the Global Terrorism Database, which is maintained at the University of Maryland at College Park, which is an easy walk from a green line stop on the …

Neal Rauhauser: Steele on NATO, AIPAC Replaces US IC — Steele Comments

Some months ago I had the great pleasure of adding OSINT godfather Robert David Steele as a LinkedIn contact. We’ve progressed from that to occasional phone calls and regular emails, pointing out interesting technology and events to each other. NATO 4.0: Key Challenges AND Solutions was published with this short note, asking for broad consideration …

Neal Rauhauser: Democracy and Islam – Lost in Translation

  A Streetcar Named Democracy Ten years ago Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan famously quipped “Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off.” This was meant to prod Turks into thinking about their form of government, but the quote is applicable, albeit displeasingly so, for other situations in …

Neal Rauhauser: Somalia’s al-Shabaab Has a Coup

Somalia’s al-Shabaab Has A Coup Six months ago I wrote Clearing Somalia Of al-Shabaab. Today I was reading Will Somali Islamist Purge Strengthen al-Shabaab? and I see they have not updated their map of who controls what since then, even though the situation is clearly changing. Read full post with two graphics. Phi Beta Iota:  We …

Neal Rauhauser: Kenya Tweet Force

  @KTF_press : Cyberwarriors Of Kenya I get a lot of strange stuff in my inbox that’s just not appropriate here, but today was an exception. Someone asked a question and part of the answer was “Kenya Tweet Force”, an irregular cybermilitia supporting the Kenyan government against al Shabaab in Somalia. Their Twitter account, @KTF_press, was …

Neal Rauhauser: Caucasus Emirate, Chechnya, 2014 Olympic Threat, and Syria

The Caucasus Emirate Doku Umarov, the most wanted Chechen terrorist in Russia, has made a direct threat against the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which are to be held in Sochi on the Black Sea, an area once known as Circassia. The tribes that lived there were Muslim, but 600,000 were slaughtered and the rest were driven …