Updated March 31, 2013... Analysis and a frightening history lesson.
Background: October 6, 1973 1400 hours. Egyptians and Syrians launch simultaneous attacks against Israel along the Suez Canal and Golan Heights. The fighting is continuing on October 24th. The Soviet Union threatens to send troops to support the Egyptians. The U.S. puts its nuclear forces on alert (DEFCON III) October 28th- a cease-fire is implemented. November 5, 1973- OPEC announce a 25% cut in total oil production and an additional cut of 5% a month until Israel withdraws from territory captured in the 1967 war. By mid-November 1973, POWs are exchanged and the crisis cools.
From recently declassified documents and the Nixon Presidential Library...
October 4th Intelligence Community memorandum: "We continue to believe that an outbreak of major Arab-Israeli hostilities remains unlikely for the immediate future... For Egypt, a military initiative makes little sense at this critical juncture... For...the Syrian President, a military adventure would be suicidal."
The "rational actor" fallacy. Western analysts tended to conclude (though not dismiss entirely) that neither Sadat nor Asad would initiate a war he expected to lose. A "rational actor" model can fail because what seems rational to the analyst- or generally rational in the analyst's culture- may not be rational to the actor in question. To Sadat and Asad, it may have been irrational to attack Israel on a purely military basis, but it may have been rational to do so to restore Arab prestige or to force other countries to intervene and press for a settlement more favorable to the Arab side than if there had been no attack.
My concerns on North Korea today:
In 1973, Egypt and Syria wanted concessions that were not coming. They took action, in spite of the consequences. Current North Korean analysis suggests that North Korea will continue to act in a belligerent fashion until it receives concessions, further aid, etc. The international community, including North Korean backer China, is becoming tired of this game. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's prestige and honor in North Korea along with substantial aid which helps political stability all depend on this policy.
North Korea has already sunk a South Korean warship in 2010, (http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2013/03/26/south-korea-remembers-cheonan-sinking/?mod=WSJ_korearealtimeRealTime) and recently was likely the cause of a cyber attack against South Korea. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/technology/corporate-cyberattackers-possibly-state-backed-now-seek-to-destroy-data.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 )
North Korea has already dismissed the cease-fire ending the Korean war. http://kdvr.com/2013/03/30/north-korea-threatens-u-s-state-of-war-exists-with-south-korea/
The 60th Anniversary of the cease-fire is this July. North Korea seems to focus on anniversaries. Let us hope our news media and Washington leaders are working behind the scenes with other nations to keep something catastrophic from happening.
November 29, 2009
Politically Correct Speech... a good thing?
If you read/study military and intelligence material, you will sometimes come across the phases Blue Team and Red Team. The Red Team is typically a group who comes up with opposing points of view, alternate strategies, or is the enemy in war games. More than a year ago, the United States Central Command released a Red Team report on Jihad speech. Here is it in pdf format... interesting stuff.
August 10, 2009
Interested in science, satellites, and secret space shuttle missions?
Here is an interesting article from the Smithsonian...
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May 13, 2009
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