Real Cyberwar: Mannes & Hendler in the Washington Times

This morning, The Washington Times ran an op-ed on cyberwar I co-wrote with my friend (and former boss) Jim Hendler. Much has been written about cyber-war, but very little of it is grounded in reality. Many over-hype the issue while others discount it completely. Much of the misinformation about cyberwar revolves around denial of services […]

Kashmir Peace: Another Mumbai Casualty?

“It is too early to say.” Zhou Enlai’s response when asked for his assessment of the 1789 French Revolution In the last week’s issue of the New Yorker Steve Coll reported that in 2007 India and Pakistan where, through diplomatic back-channels, engaged in talks “so advanced that we’d come to semi-colons” on a deal over […]

Islamabad Bombing I: Brute Force Tactics

In the span of week, there were two attacks against hard targets, the September 17 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, and Saturday’s strike on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. Al-Qaeda and its affiliates still face difficulties launching attacks in Western countries, due to the difficulty of transporting the necessary experienced operatives to the […]

Madrassas Extending into Pakistani Heartlands

This short analysis from the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute is well worth a read. It discusses the controversy Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader, Asif Zardari set off when, while delivering the keynote address at the 23rd Internationalist Socialist Congress, he described madrassas as propagating Islamist extremism. Unsurprisingly, Pakistan’s religious leaders condemned him. But […]

If Musharraf Goes: Assessments and Opportunities

There are reports that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will be stepping down in the next few days in order to avoid impeachment. Musharraf has denied these reports, but the prominence of the rumors indicates strongly that the political balance of power has shifting against Musharraf – he will almost certainly be reduced to a figurehead. […]

Pakistani Intelligence Sponsoring Terror

This morning, The New York Times has a front page story stating that U.S. intelligence has determined that Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, aided the July 7, 2008 attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul. The conclusion was “based on intercepted communications between Pakistani intelligence officers and militants who carried out the attack…” This is […]

DEA as Counter-Terror Agency

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has, quietly, become a very effective counter-terror agency. The arrest of international arms dealers Victor Bout and Monzar al-Kasser (in operations worthy of movie scripts) were only one example. The agency had at least a peripheral role in the Betancourt rescue – a DEA operation inserted bugged satellite phones into […]

Force vs. FARC: Israel’s Contribution

On being rescued, Ingrid Betancourt stated: “This is a miracle, a miracle. We have an amazing military. I think only the Israelis can possibly pull off something like this.” Her comment set off immediate speculation that there had been an Israeli hand in the dramatic operation. It is high praise for Israeli special forces that […]

Questions About the Rescue in Colombia

The dramatic rescue of the FARC hostages raises a host of important questions, here are a few, with short answers following and lengthy answers below: Was the rescue the cover for an arrangement with the FARC?Probably not. What effect will this have on future hostage releases?It will probably lead to more units dissolving and possibly […]

FARC is FARC’d: Assessing the Hostage Rescue

The first reports about the Colombian military’s rescue of the 15 hostages held by FARC (in Spanish) indicate an impressive intelligence operation. The hostages were held in three separate locations. Colombian intelligence had infiltrated one of the FARC fronts holding the hostages as well as the FARC Secretariat. They told the front commander “Cesar” that […]