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The Man of the Year 2009

Guy Verhofstadt
M. Guy Verhofstadt

The man of the year
L'homme de l'an
De man van het jaar
2009


A proven Democrat, protector and fighter for justice and human rights in de wereld.

Een bewezen Democraat, beschermer en strijder voor rechtvaardigheid en mensenrechten in de Wereld.

Un prouvé démocrate, protecteur et combattant pour la justice et des droits de l'homme dans le Mond.

Eine bewährte Demokrat, Beschützer und Kämpfer für Gerechtigkeit und Menschenrechte weltweit.

Dokazani demokrat,
 zaštitnik i borac za pravdu i ljudska prava u svijetu.




 

The Man of the Year 2009

M. Hossein Barak Obama

Guarantee
peace in the world

Garantie
vrede in de wereld

Garantie
la paix dans le monde

Garantie des Friedens in der Welt

Zabezpečenie
mieru vo svete

Garancija
mira u svijetu
 







 


Dutch

Meerdere Libische steden in handen van oppositie

Militairen in vliegtuig beschieten betogers in Tripoli

De Libische minister van Justitie, Mustafa Mohammed Abud al-Jeleil, heeft zijn ontslag ingediend nadat bij de protesten van vannacht meer dan zestig manifestanten de mond werden gesnoerd. Ondertussen zijn aan de oostkust van het land verscheidene steden in handen gevallen van Kadhafi's tegenstanders. In Tripoli heeft een militair vliegtuig gevuurd op betogers. Groot-Brittannië beschikt over "aanwijzingen" dat de Libische leider Moammar Kadhafi gevlucht is en op weg naar Venezuela is.

Televisiestation Al Jazeera bericht dat een militair vliegtuig betogers in Tripoli heeft beschoten. De zender liet getuigen aan het woord die dat beaamden. Al Jazeera is momenteel wel de enige bron die dit bevestigt.

De Libische leider Moammar Kadhafi zelf zou naar Venezuela onderweg zijn. Dat werd door de Britse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken William Hague gemeld. Venezuela doet die berichten af als onwaar.

Straaljagers op Malta
In Malta komen ondertussen op spectaculaire wijze Libische vluchtelingen aan. Twee straaljagers landden vandaag onverwacht op het vliegveld van de Maltese hoofdstad Valletta. Mogelijk wilden de piloten het onrustige Libië ontvluchten. Dat heeft de lokale krant Times of Malta vrijgegeven.

Eerder op de dag waren al twee burgerhelikopters met in totaal zeven mensen aan boord  in Valletta geland. De helikopters zouden geen toestemming hebben gehad om het Libische luchtruim te verlaten. De identiteit van de inzittenden is nog niet bekend, aldus de Times of Malta.

Ontslag
De Libische krant Quryna liet weten met de minister van Justitie een telefonisch interview te hebben gehad. Zijn ontslag komt er uit protest tegen het geweld dat het regime afgelopen nacht tegen de oppositie heeft gebruikt. Meer dan zestig burgers lieten daarbij het leven.

De onlusten van vannacht braken uit na een toespraak van Saif al-Islam, de zoon van de Libische leider Moammar al-Kadhafi. Duizenden anti-regeringsmanifestanten raakten op het Groene Plein in Tripoli slaags met aanhangers van Kadhafi.

Oppositie beheerst oostkust
Verscheidene Libische steden, waaronder Benghazi en Sirte, zijn in handen gevallen van tegenstanders van het regime van Muammar Kadhafi. Dat heeft de in Parijs gevestigde Internationale Federatie voor de Mensenrechten (IFHR) eerder gemeld.

"Veel steden zijn gevallen, vooral aan de oostkust", aldus het hoofd van de organisatie Souhayr Belhassen. Militairen hebben zich volgens haar bij de opstand aangesloten. Benghazi is een bolwerk van oppositie en Sirte is de geboortestad van Kadhafi, die al ruim veertig jaar aan de macht is.

Chaotische stadstaferelen
Volgens de organisatie zijn sinds het begin van de Libische opstanden al tussen de drie- en vierhonderd doden gevallen. Andere getuigen stelden dat de politie uit de stad al-Zawiya is gevlucht. Getuigen spraken over chaotische stadstaferelen.

"Er zijn de afgelopen twee dagen tussen aanhangers en tegenstanders van Kadhafi gevechten geweest en de politie is gisteren rond het middaguur de stad ontvlucht", zei een Tunesiër die vanuit Libië in de Tunesische grensstad Ben Guerdane arriveerde.

Plunderingen
Sinds gisteren zijn alle winkels in al-Zawiya gesloten. Ook is een woning van Kadhafi in brand gestoken en zijn politieauto's gestolen. Een andere Tunesische getuige sprak over schietpartijen in de stad en drie doden die hij op straat had zien liggen. Openbare gebouwen worden er geplunderd.

De Libische krant Quryna meldde vandaag dat ook in de stad Ras Lanuf protesten zijn uitgebroken. In die stad aan de Middellandse Zee is een groot petrochemisch complex met een olieraffinaderij gevestigd. Volgens de krant hebben arbeiders en bewoners speciale commissies opgezet, die moeten voorkomen dat er schade aan de bedrijven wordt toegebracht.

Belgen
Een tiental Belgische zakenlui dat momenteel in Libië verblijft, wil het land verlaten. Enkele verantwoordelijken van de Belgische ambassade zijn ter plaatse om de reizigers te informeren, meldt een woordvoerder van de federale overheidsdienst Buitenlandse Zaken.
 
"De Belgische gemeenschap in Libië is erg klein. Het gaat om een vijftigtal personen van wie een deel zowel de Belgische als de Libische nationaliteit heeft en Libië niet wil verlaten", luidt het. De woordvoerder herinnert eraan dat alle niet-noodzakelijke reizen naar Libië momenteel worden afgeraden. Het advies zal worden aangepast naargelang de evolutie van de situatie ter plaatse. (afp/belga/adha/sam)
 

Protest in Tripoli © reuters

Protest in Tripoli

 


 

World Security Network reporting from Washington D.C. in USA , February 20, 2011

Dear Cavkic Salih,

 
PJ Wilcox, author of the World Security Network:"The malware worm may have started out as a logistical program, Promis. Then it morphed into an “Enhanced Promis” for intelligence work. It was subsequently altered for specific situations, given different names and sold to perhaps a dozen countries, worming its way around the world. In the process, rather than burrowing, the worm became like a centipede with hundreds of legs regenerating in different sizes and shapes, taking direction from its owners regarding objectives."
Stuxnet worm's true origins are exposed
- Virus intended as "weapon of peace"
- Origins date back over 30 years, not 2009 as estimated
- U.S., KGB, Israel, Canada, Australia and others have all had earlier versions
- Proliferation may continue undetectable with experts only having solved "false flags"
- Changes landscape of modern warfare as we know it


It’s breaking dawn by a beachside command center for Hezbollah. But already, the commander has been up for hours in anticipation of the day’s work – the simultaneous annihilation of revered European cultural sites and the inner border of Israel. The former attack sites have been indiscriminately chosen to garner world attention. The latter would be retribution for, well, for just being. All the commander needs to do now is give the word.

He picks up the receiver of his impenetrable, mega-million-dollar communications system installed to withstand all but a nuclear war. But the receiver is silent, no dial tone. Dead. Impatient but unperturbed, he turns to his cell phone. No service. By now, he is on a rampage, waking up the entire installation with shouts of ineptitude. Others come to his aide, aimed at restoring lines. But they too encounter silence. No phones, no fax, no Internet. Back to the Middle Ages. There will be no war today. No missiles fired. Without communication, there is no relaying of orders. The best laid plans of sabotage gone astray.

An event like this did happen this past fall in the Mid-East, according to two deep, inside sources of mine. Except that there were actually five command centers, and all five went down simultaneously. There was still worse chaos, 40 minutes later, explosions ratcheting the air like a blitzkrieg, underground weapons caches exploding in place. The command centers knew the explosions were close, but with no communications, knew not where – they couldn’t relay offensive orders, deploy defensive actions, or even discern what was going down.

A neighboring nation came to the rescue, their radar detecting enemy jets over Lebanon skies and scrambling its fighter jets. Except in truth, there were no enemy jets to be found, just sunny, cloudless skies. Much like communications at the command center, that neighboring air force’s radar had been manipulated.

Off in a different country, in the land of an enemy combatant, there were wry smiles among those in the know. This had all been a long time coming. Not just years, but decades. Because they knew survival might come down to just such a day. And so they had planned well for their Trojan horse, the smallest, most microscopic of masquerades. The malware worm, Stuxnet.

Nineteen hours later, all communications order was miraculously restored in Beirut and radar resumed working. But there was then another type of silence at command and air control centers because one player in this game of chess had showed that it could start and stop all communications at the drop of a hat, and turn them back on at whim. A message that to others might be subtle is not subtle to a trained eye in war.

As they might say in War College, “We choose the time, the place, and the element.” The element, in this case, was the worm, Stuxnet. And the message was clear: Any time, any place. Our choosing.

To some, the worm is a noble weapon, to the recipient, ignoble.

Some might find a noble weapon an oxymoron. But let me relay comments of Geir Lundestad, Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee at an Oslo presentation attended by an associate of mine. Lundestad said the esteemed Nobel Peace Prize is sometimes awarded not for accomplishments toward peace, but as a deterrent to war. “The prize can actually influence outside events,” he said. Lech Walesa said that he would not have achieved Solidarity’s victory in Poland in 1989, had he not earlier received the Nobel Peace Prize. Likewise, East Timor winners said their prize in 1996 helped that country become independent. Lundestad said the Committee had “adapted the definition of peace. The Nobel Peace Prize is also a protective device.” He said Committee members ask themselves, “What can we actually do for peace?”

And so now we have the worm opening undetectable doors not visible to the naked eye. But like the Nobel Peace Prize, the doors opened are with the ultimate goal being to deter war and maintain peace. The goal is to fight and win a war with no bloodshed, with few if any human casualties.

The worm, Stuxnet, is a Trojan horse said to have disabled Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The New York Times said late last year, "Meanwhile, the search for other clues in the Stuxnet program continues — and so do the theories about its origins."

The Times updated their take on January 15, 2011 calling Stuxnet, “the most sophisticated cyberweapon ever deployed…experts who have picked apart the computer worm describe it as far more complex — and ingenious — than anything they had imagined when it began circulating around the world, unexplained, in mid-2009.”

Other major news outlets report it as an attack that was the perfect storm leaving no fingerprints, or that it should have won “Person of the Year” for its impact on world events. Still others at first tried to decipher cryptic language within the worm, supposedly tied to this or that chapter of the bible. In other words, no one has much clue as to the true Stuxnet origin. That’s because no one has been looking back far enough. As Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”

No one is looking back to a time in the mid-70s, when an obscure program called Promis first reared its head. Promis, according to sources, is at the root of Stuxnet. Promis was a computer program that promised to help US prosecutors track criminals and legal maneuverings through the system, “Prosecutor's Management Information System.” The people-tracking software was later marketed by a firm named Inslaw, under the auspices of William Hamilton, a former NSA officer who still markets a version of the product today.

The Department of Justice became intrigued by Promis, seeing its potential for exorbitant legal case-management and provided funding for improvements. As Promis morphed, its capabilities refined, its natural alternative applications became self-evident: the worlds of intelligence, terrorists and targets.

Rafi Eitan, head of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Lekem in the early 1980s, a clandestine, scientific and technological intelligence unit, attended a presentation of Promis under an assumed name. He was so impressed with it that he obtained a copy – how, and whether legally, is another story. Suffice it to say that he especially saw its potential for tracking the spidery web of PLO installations around the world, at the time under Yasser Arafat, as well as tracking the leader himself. Eitan, however, wanted a “trapdoor”, a built-in chip so that if Promis was later sold to other organizations, Israeli intelligence could track the information for which those entities might search. Big brother tracking little brother, or intelligence tracking of intelligence.

Boldly, Eitan then arranged for Arafat himself to buy the Promis program for his security needs, this according to author Gordon Thomas. But the trapdoor instead allowed Israeli intelligence to follow Arafat’s aliases on the lam. You can run, but you can’t hide from Promis. And here’s where it gets really interesting.

By the late 1980s, Promis programs had been sold to Britain, Australia, South Korea and Canada. Allies harmless enough, right?

But then up next was the KGB. There are multiple claims as to who sold Promis to the Russians. Several, including a source of mine, said it was newspaper mogul Robert Maxwell in assistance to Israel. Another acquaintance, former double agent David Dastych (Polish intell working for the CIA during the Cold War) said that an American intelligence officer admitted to him, “Yes, we gave Promis to the Russians and Chinese to back door their intel. Worked like a charm.” Both claims may overlap.

In fact, the KGB is said to have used Promis for over 15 years. At first, there was nothing to suspect since malicious malware had not really been coined. Few back then understood the power of the computer, and so the Trojan horse entered the realms of international espionage, the microscopic spy.

As former US Attorney General Elliot Richardson later said on Australia’s TV show, A Current Affair, in 1990 regarding Promis, “The US Government had through clandestine means planted software on foreign intelligence agencies so the US would be better able, the phrase goes, to read their mail.”

The only problem was the “blowback”, David Dastych reported. “As we gave it to our enemies in order to back door them through the trap door in Promis, we left 64 federal agencies open in the US Government who also used Promis.”

That’s a big, “Whooops.” An intelligence contact I know recently noted, “We opened all the cans of worms rather than just the right can of worms.”

 

"This is a big worry for the future,” warns Scott Borg, Director and Chief Economist of U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, an independent, non-profit research institute. “We are entering a completely new defense era. If you have the tools like Stuxnet, why would you bother with missiles? Why bother invading with an army? The whole relationship between the military and society is going to have to be re-thought.”
At least according to Dastych about that not-slight mishap, the information obtained far outweighed the damage done.The importance of the program’s role was also pointed out in a WIRED expose in the ‘90s. It quoted an ex-Israeli spy, Ari Ben Menashe, as saying “PROMIS was a very big thing for us guys, a very, very big thing….The whole form of intelligence collection changed.”

So you ask, what does all of this twisted espionage in the 1980s have to do with today’s malware worm called Stuxnet? It is said of some nations and their causes that they do not plan for this generation or the next, but for hundreds of years, especially true if they are fighting for existentialism. Stuxnet is just such a case.

The malware worm may have started out as a logistical program, Promis. Then it morphed into an “Enhanced Promis” for intelligence work. It was subsequently altered for specific situations, given different names and sold to perhaps a dozen countries, worming its way around the world. In the process, rather than burrowing, the worm became like a centipede with hundreds of legs regenerating in different sizes and shapes, taking direction from its owners regarding objectives.

At issue, however, is who that current “owner” might be. Most fingers point to nations intent on halting Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities, the US and Israel. But there is no dearth of suspects given the program’s piracy over the years.

Both Russia and China have sold high-tech systems and weapons to Iran for years, and could have unwittingly been modern-day Typhoid Mary’s carrying the worm to their recipients. In a game of highly sophisticated Clue, for example, Israel might have sold Promis to the KGB; the KGB or its successors later sold critical systems to Iran; and then Iran built operations with a Trojan horse in place. Likewise, Chinese scientists tapped by Iran could have brought that country Promis, the gift that keeps giving.

It’s a scintillating game of Clue with no sure culpability, no one to shoot, a war with no casualties. Nobel Peace Prize potential. Half of the world’s computer security experts are still scratching their heads opining on this new worm, not realizing that Stuxnet is not “new” at all.

Said one publication, it was “like the arrival of an F-35 into a World War I battlefield.” Another, “The timing is intriguing because a time stamp found in the Stuxnet program says it was created in January [2010], suggesting that any digital attack took place long before it was identified and began to attract global attention.” Long before is an understatement.

One man who spends his days worrying about such worms is Scott Borg, Director and Chief Economist of U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, an independent, non-profit research institute that assesses cyber attacks and counter-measures. He says that the phrase “worms” is grossly outdated.

“We’re so far beyond worms,” says Borg. “We’re into big, complicated creatures.”

He likens Stuxnet to the Velociraptor dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, intelligent, cunning, capable of hunting in groups till they find their prey. “Modern malware -- like Stuxnet -- will use any channel available to spread and search out its prey. If the target system isn't connected to the internet, the malware will migrate from device to device until it reaches the system it is looking for.”

Once planted, the Stuxnet bosses never have to talk to it again; it operates totally on its own. Somewhere, someone just watches and waits. And, in the case of Iran, Stuxnet’s target was very precise -- automation control facilities. Not just any control systems, but nuclear. So Stuxnet wormed its way around the world until as Borg says, “When it finds the system it meant to destroy, it will destroy it.”

Some think Stuxnet was spread by international contractors moving between facilities. But they don’t know about Promis.

What’s odd to Borg, for example, is that Stuxnet included some features to help it avoid being detected, but not others. Stuxnet was designed to erase itself after each copy made four additional copies on different devices. In effect, Stuxnet was designed to have a limited number of children and to kill itself after its quota of kids. This would eliminate copies that had reproduced, but hadn't reached their target so that Stuxnet’s trail would be minimized. But there was no limit on later descendants, so Stuxnet would eventually spread and almost certainly be detected. Why didn't its creators make Stuxnet eventually die, so it could covertly be used again in a different situation?

Borg offers some theories: the “attacker” was fairly desperate to reach the intended target; could not release Stuxnet very close to its intended target, hence the extra children produced; had resources to burn; and, didn't care if Stuxnet were detected and received a great deal of attention.

“Sometimes we know who carried out an attack,” adds Borg, “but it’s usually from other intelligence.”

One highly placed intelligence source I know, says we’ve hardly seen the last of Stuxnet, i.e. Promis. Sure, computer security experts found its vulnerabilities and have supposedly closed those exposures. But posed this source, “How do you know Stuxnet didn’t show those vulnerabilities on purpose, a ‘false flag’, so everyone would go ‘solve’ those problems while Stuxnet moved on?” That source winked, Gotcha. Maybe in fact, Stuxnet’s grandchildren are roaming the streets of the information superhighway as I write, ready to pounce on their next prey.

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, a former CIA officer, now President of EMPACT America, a non-profit focused on electromagnetic pulse threats (EMPs) which have the potential to down power grids, thinks cyber threats are overblown at the risk of more probable, and more damaging, EMPs. Simply put, EMPs create a radio-frequency shockwave that zaps electronic fields of energy, burning out electrical systems such as computers, power grids, weaponry and communications. There’s been some tug-of-war going on in Washington as to which threat is worse, EMPs or “cybergeddon”.

Russia, for one, addressed significant cyber-risk by throwing out Promis with the bath water, choosing to re-construct their computer systems from scratch a decade or so ago, I’m told, rather than worry about generous gifts that keep giving.

But Stuxnet has also shown the civilized world the dangers of copycats. With the attention now drawn to the “good” that can be done by the likes of a Stuxnet, come the possibilities of future versions that might harm. The enormous physical power harnessed by some industrial facilities, for example, if unleashed in the wrong way by a worm could be astounding. Think of the dangers of opening a dam that should have been shut, or an oil pipeline backwashed into the sea. Nuclear reactors are just the half of it.

“There’s no reason to keep the secret from the American people, or our own allies, because the bad guys are on to it. This is a big worry for the future,” warns Borg. “We are entering a completely new defense era. If you have the tools like Stuxnet, why would you bother with missiles? Why bother invading with an army? The whole relationship between the military and society is going to have to be re-thought.”

Without a doubt, it is a new day of warfare. And cybergeddon aside, Stuxnet remains at the forefront, one of the most amazingly sophisticated pieces of malware ever publicly recognized; it always did have promise.

So do we have to worry about world powers attacking each other’s power grids with Stuxnet tools any time soon? Hardly, says Borg. “The last thing China or Russia wants is for our economy to take another dive. No one wants destabilization. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t planted malware programs for possible use at a future date.”

And that’s exactly what was done several decades ago with a promising new people-tracking program intended to stave off war, not start it. That brings us back to this weapon of peace, ever the more important as the Mid-East cracks at the seams. It also brings us back full circle to Beirut last October. Promis aka Stuxnet was at the core of the communications shutdown at command centers in Lebanon that day. This, confirmed by two extremely reliable, unrelated sources.

But Stuxnet only cleared the way in Beirut. The blasting of underground weapons caches that followed were achieved through electromagnetic pulses. The radar that went on the blink? Also electromagnetic pulses. So Stuxnet’s purpose was like clearing obstructive land mines before doing battle.

A Tehran journal a decade ago put it this way, “…today when you disable a country’s military high command through disruption of communications you will, in effect, disrupt all the affairs of that country.” Sounds like wording for a Stuxnet how-to-manual.

Regardless, Stuxnet and EMPs make it exceedingly clear that in any future major war, there may be no images of Patton charging across Europe in tanks, no massive armies forging rivers. The war will be fought below the radar, both literally and figuratively, with a new era of weapons.

As for Stuxnet, the “newest" weapon in that arsenal -- or oldest depending how much you know – right now it could be on its way to a target near you. Jeffrey Carr, author of Inside Cyber Warfare acquiesces that possibility. “No one has a product that would have stopped the Stuxnet worm.”

On that, Carr is undoubtedly correct. Because in one of the greatest whodunits in modern history, I know all the sleuths are looking in the wrong places. Rather than looking at where Stuxnet visited, they should be looking at where it came from, Promis. I just hope that the people that have Stuxnet are reasonable, either that, or they’re our friends.


PJ Wilcox
Editor Cyber Security


 


 

 


World Security Network reporting from the 47th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 11, 2011



Dear Cavkic Salih,
 
U.S. State Secretary, Hillary Clinton, with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, signing the new START agreement: The most important real reductions in their nuclear arsenals, a true "reset" of US-Russian relations and a positive step in the foreign affairs of former enemies that offers hope for a safer world.
A special team of the World Security Network Foundation participated in the most important Munich Security Conference yet. Hot-spots like Egypt, Afghanistan, Cyber Warfare and the implications of the financial crisis for defense were discussed by more than 300 experts:

1. One milestone was the New START Agreement which was enforced in Munich by the signatures of U.S. Secretary of State Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. This is the most important real reduction in their nuclear arsenals, and a true "reset" of US-Russian relations. See our WSN TV video below. This was a positive step in the foreign affairs of former enemies that offers hope for a safer world.

2. On Egypt, the high society of global security was insecure, mostly vague, and stuck to buzzwords that unfortunately showed neither impressive leadership nor effective planning. At least there was clear support for the forces of freedom and a change of the old regimes. The EU was weakly represented, with no global leadership by the Europeans as neighbors across the Mediterranean.

3. President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan again shocked his coalition partners. The U.S. alone have spent USD 345 bn in Afghanistan. Karzai attacked ISAF’s important Provincial Reconstruction Teams and the 60,000 private security personnel as "shadow powers" who discredit Kabul. As the new ‘King of Kabul’, he wants all this money and power in his own hands. Yet the Kabulbank just spent USD 160 m of its funds on villas in Dubai.The lack of trust and loss of touch with reality are growing. Karzai’s plans with the West for negotiations with insurgents remain too vague and misty. Afghanistan has shown mismanagement and poor planning, and a lack of imagination, vision and leadership for years. Now better NATO planning and moderate optimism prevail.

4. The Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, presented a topic of great interest and importance: the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on global security and stability. He illustrated his concern with the defense cuts in most European countries, and asked for a smart defense policy that pooled resources.

5. Cyber Security was another thought-provoking topic. It brings a new dimension to internal and external security affairs. The most spectacular events were the cyber attack on Estonia in 2006, cyber attacks against Georgia’s command and control system in 2008, and the Stuxnet attack against nuclear installations in Iran. These spectacular attacks are accompanied by thousands of attacks daily against governments, military installations, economy and industry, energy supply, banking systems – recently against Nasdaq for example.


The historic highlight of the 47th Munich Security Conference, in the famous Hotel Bayerischer Hof (see www.securityconference.de for details and speeches), was the signing ceremony of the new START Treaty by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

This treaty limits the number of strategic weapons in the U.S. and Russia, and allows mutual inspections after a multi-year break. This treaty symbolizes the new-found mutual trust and confidence between both countries and a 'reset' accomplished by former enemies. It bodes well for further advances in arms control, although they may be even more difficult to achieve.

The area of non-strategic nuclear weapons is even more complex. More than two thousand tactical and non-strategic nuclear weapons in Russia pose a serious risk for Europe. The 200 tactical and non-strategic weapons in European NATO countries do not offer a second strike capability.

In this context, missile defense systems are important. To find a balance between offensive and defensive weapons comes close to squaring the circle. But both countries seem to be ready to tackle the issue. For Russia, Chinese nuclear potential is of great concern, as is Iran’s continued development of nuclear weapons and strategic missiles.

In addition, this START treaty is a signal about non-proliferation to other nuclear and non-nuclear powers. It should underline the willingness of the two main nuclear powers to cut the numbers of their nuclear weapons.

Another pressing topic was the development in Egypt and the Maghreb.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle argued that we see now a 'Globalization of the Enlightenment' and the 'Globalization of Values' following globalization of economies and finance (see his speech here). The West wants local democrats to formulate their own ideas.

Thanks to the flexible program, there was time to address the Egyptian situation from various angles. Unsurprisingly, there were controversial assessments of the current situation and its future development. Some argued for to ousting Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak in order to achieve early elections, while others advocated allowing Egypt more time to deal with the crisis.

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton told the conference that political reforms in the Middle East are needed, alongside a positive vision for its people. All states must reform. The majority there is under 30 years old and has no work. The status quo is not sustainable, she said, and there exists a gap between people and their governments. A fair system of government is needed. (see her speech here).

Clinton sees the risks involved in a transition process, and prefers to have it 'managed', as did many others in the room, to avoid it being hijacked by new autocrats and extremists. Respect, tolerance, compromise and good governance are needed, along with free and fair elections as the 'soil in which democracy grows'; free people govern themselves best.

 
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, with British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who gave a very different speech about the roots of Islamic extremism. He described them as “a perverse version of Islamic ideology” which must be separated from peaceful Islam. Many terrorists are middle class, even academics, with an identity problem looking for something they can believe in. Therefore we must ban preachers of hate and promote active tolerance and the promoting of values with immigrants speaking the langue of the host country and being proud of it. This analysis is in line with The Human Codes of Tolerance and Respect project of the World Security Network.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron agreed: "We want the transition."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a frank speech covering her personal background in East Germany, saying that there can be no compromise on the UN Human Rights Declaration. This must be the ‘red line'. (See her speech here). She said that we cannot transfer our Westminster model of democracy all over the world, and any transition process has to be managed; the Germans in 1989/90 had no patience and looked for rapid change. No large conflict can be solved alone by NATO alone, not in the Middle East, Afghanistan nor Korea nor terrorism.

It was very informative to listen to the U.S. Ambassador Frank Wisner, the special envoy of U.S. President Barack Obama to Egypt. In Cairo, he talked to President Mubarak, Vice President Omar Suleiman, and to members of opposition parties. His information and assessments led to a broad consensus among the participants of the conference with the following essentials: if President Mubarak left his office and perhaps the country, early elections in the subsequent chaos would run the risk that a non-democratic movement might win and keep Egypt a non-democratic country with negative implications for the Middle East and beyond.

On the other hand, elections should be scheduled in due course, perhaps in the Fall. That would allow a controlled transition, including a new or at least interim constitution.

Most speakers agreed that any solution has to have an Egyptian face. The Egyptians themselves have to find the path to a better future. In this phase of transition President Mubarak could play an historic role. In contrast to Tunisia, Egypt still has a functioning government, reliable armed forces, and an economy which could recover quickly from the current chaos.

Egyptian stakeholders should be very keen to ensure a smooth transition that offers the people, especially the young, hope for a better future (See Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann: Implosion in Egypt: What to now?)


The third topic of great interest and importance was presented by the Secretary of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. He raised serious concerns about the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on global security and stability (see his speech here).

He said frankly and openly that defense spending in the last two years had dropped in Europe but increased in the U.S..Europe believes more in soft power and the U.S. in hard power. There is a danger of being naive about how the West can preserve the current world order with less military, so Europe must re-vitalize its defenses with smart power, less money and more flexibility including a pooling of capabilities and a reduction of bureaucracy.

Rasmussen illustrated his concerns with the defense budget cuts in most European countries, who have spent 48 billion USD less over the last two years. That is equivalent to the present German defense budget. The U.S. share of the NATO budget has risen from 50 to 75 percent over this period.

These financial cuts go hand-in-hand with reductions in troop strength and the modernization process for arms and equipment. Even the interoperability between allies and partners may come under threat, not to mention the sustainability of commitments in Afghanistan.

As a glimmer of hope the SecGen stressed the chance for “smart defense”, a closer coordination and co-operation between NATO members. France and United Kingdom have started a closer co-operation in the nuclear field already.

This plea for better coordination and co-operation is not new for NATO. ”Burden sharing”, ”division of labor” and “role specialization” are well known catchphrases in this context. There is some improvement, but the overall record is very modest – even with the European Defense Agency. In a time of financial crisis, individual countries will try to enhance their own situation and protect their work force especially. It will remain a dream that NATO countries will give up their air force, navy and army, or even production of their tanks, ships and aircraft.

With shrinking budgets, NATO members will be less able to address global challenges like energy security or cyber security.


Cyber Security was another thought-provoking topic.

It brings a new dimension into internal and external security affairs. The most spectacular events were the cyber attack on Estonia in 2006, cyber attacks against Georgia’s command and control system in 2008, and the Stuxnet attack against nuclear installations in Iran. There are also thousands of attacks daily against governments, military installations, economy and industry, energy supply, banking systems – recently against Nasdaq, for example.

All attacks have one common element: there is no clear originator; there is no smoking gun. How to identify the aggressor and react against the attacks? With massive attacks you can bring a country to a standstill, like Estonia. What about NATO members? Is such an attack a declaration of war? Does Article 5 of the NATO treaty, collective defense, apply?

Prof. Joseph S. Nye, a renowned expert on Cyber Security from the Kennedy School in Harvard, defines four areas of concern: Cyber crime, Cyber espionage, Cyber terror and Cyber war.

The German Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière, called Cyber Security a “critical infrastructure”. NATO and its constituent countries realize the destructive threat to their infrastructure and have started to implement modest counter measures.

There is an urgent need for cooperation between states and the big companies like Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom to enhance defenses against cyber attacks and to find out where those attacks come from. Today, there are more questions than answers.

Afghanistan has been a hot topic at the Munich conference for three years. In 2011 this topic was almost overshadowed by events in Tunisia and Egypt. The active role played by Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai stopped this from happening however.

Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, with German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle (left), and the chairman, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger (right). It was remarkable in Munich that the prospects of a better future for Afghanistan were regarded more optimistically, and the planning was felt to be on track too. Karzai gave the strong impression of a harassed leader with little energy left, especially resentful now of his Western kingmaker allies. He argued strongly against any "parallel systems" (meaning ISAF's Provincial Reconstruction Teams and the 60,000 private security guards) and felt that his Kabul-centered government knows how to run everything everywhere in this large country. His Western masters have not convinced him that even in the U.S., much if not most political power lies with the thousands of local city councils and counties and the 50 states, and not with the White House alone; and that in a diverse country, central government will fail – this is why Kabul has failed for 10 years. The Afghan President seems to be on the wrong track, moving against the regionalization approach that the World Security Network Foundation has preached for the last seven years; an approach that Western powers now understand and start to implement.
Karzai appeared very confident that Afghanistan could take over full responsibility for itself in 2014. This deadline matches the political goals and objectives of the NATO-led coalition (see his speech here). 

But there is one caveat: security and stability must be strong enough to enable such a shift of responsibility and power. In the discussion about Afghanistan’s future it became obvious that there is a need for an regional approach, with China, India, Pakistan, Central Asia, Russia and Turkey as stakeholders of a stable Afghanistan. This year representatives of some of these countries were missing in Munich, including Iran and China.

It was remarkable in Munich that the prospects of a better future for Afghanistan were regarded more optimistically, and the planning was felt to be on track too.

Hamid Karzai gave the strong impression of a harassed leader with little energy left, especially resentful now of his Western kingmaker allies. He argued strongly against any "parallel systems" (meaning ISAF's Provincial Reconstruction Teams and the 60,000 private security guards) and felt that his Kabul-centered government knows how to run everything everywhere in this large country.

His Western masters have not convinced him that even in the U.S., much if not most political power lies with the thousands of local city councils and counties and the 50 states, and not with the White House alone; and that in a diverse country, central government will fail – this is why Kabul has failed for 10 years. The Afghan President seems to be on the wrong track, moving against the regionalization approach that the World Security Network Foundation has preached for the last seven years; an approach that Western powers now understand and start to implement.

Karzai thinks now like the ‘King of Kabul’, and exhibits clear authoritarian behavior, demanding 100 percent of all authority by 2014. But outside his palace, many of his countrymen mock him as 'the Mayor of Kabul'.

He is in line with WSN proposals to reconcile with the Taliban as soon as possible and not wait for a military victory, so as to separate them from hard-core al-Queda elements.

A new Bonn Conference at the end of this year should for the first time decide what the Afghans want and include all surrounding countries like Iran and Pakistan. His team in Kabul promotes a better relationship with Pakistan, which is key for peace, but again and again stresses indirectly that 'other forces' (ie Pakistan's ISI) works with the Taliban and that between the lines Pakistan is playing a double-game of influence.

Dr. Guido Westerwelle, the German Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, emphasized in a good presentation that Germany would continue its commitment in Afghanistan after any withdrawal of German troops (view his speech here).

On Afghanistan, he argued that a vacuum could lead to another takeover by extremists. In 2014 all combat soldiers should be withdrawn if security allows, and the Afghans take over responsibility with “no victory from both sides" but a political solution.

German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg spoke of a “way full of stones with patience needed”, where NATO is involved as a community of values (see his speech here).

Most speakers stressed that Afghanistan needs the support of the international community after 2014, but not with large troops. This should be a signal to the Taliban that they cannot take over the whole country, and should strengthen the pro-Western forces in Afghanistan and neighboring countries. It remains unclear what this means in reality.

David Cameron gave a very different speech about the roots of Islamic extremism, in which the British Prime Minister described them as “a perverse version of Islamic ideology” which must be separated from peaceful Islam [see speech].

Many terrorists are middle class, even academics, with an identity problem looking for something they can believe in. Therefore we must ban preachers of hate and promote active tolerance and the promoting of values with immigrants speaking the langue of the host country and being proud of it. This analysis is in line with The Human Codes of Tolerance and Respect project of the World Security Network. (see www.codesoftolerance.com)

Grey tones for peacemaking dominated the Munich conference, which started purely trans-Atlantic and military in nature 47 years ago, but is now a balanced military-political-civilian and global forum under the good leadership of Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger.

Whereas in the past the military dominated the talks, now the people of soft power prevail. Like even Juergen Trittin, the head of German Green party in the Bundestag, who asked where now and in the past a combination of soft and hard factors had been planned and implemented.

Until now, neither NATO nor the U.S. or other nations have planned the needed double strategies for peacemaking in conflicts like Afghanistan or in Africa or the Middle East. Diplomacy and other soft tools remain too separate from the military. But we urgently need smart double strategies like the very successful Harmel Report of NATO from 1967 or the genius NATO Two Track Decision on Euro missiles in 1979 for all conflicts. Such strategies have to combine recourses, means, timing and so on into one large peace-making motor with all the wheels of peace-making meshing at speed.
Grey tones for peacemaking dominated the Munich conference. One of the promoters of soft power in peace-making is UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon, who delivered an excellent speech about how to make peace and avoid costly military actions. It showed the importance of the UN as a truly international organization for peace, supported and accepted by the U.S. administration. Until now, neither NATO nor the U.S. or other nations have planned the needed double strategies for peacemaking in conflicts like Afghanistan or in Africa or the Middle East. Diplomacy and other soft tools remain too separate from the military. But we urgently need smart double strategies like the very successful Harmel Report of NATO from 1967 or the genius NATO Two Track Decision on Euro missiles in 1979 for all conflicts. Such strategies have to combine recourses, means, timing and so on into one large peace-making motor with all the wheels of peace-making meshing at speed.
One of the promoters of soft power in peace-making is UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon, who delivered an excellent speech about how to make peace and avoid costly military actions. It showed the importance of the UN as a truly international organization for peace, supported and accepted now even by the new U.S. administration and more and more Americans (watch his speech here).


A fresh debate about areas all areas and aspects of foreign policy is needed.

As always, most politicians stay vague and have no plan (a software analogy has them as the famous Microsoft Windows 1.0 or World 1.0).

But smart, cost-efficient, and forceful peace making needs better strategies (let's call them World 2.0).

Precise international action plans with price tags and flexible control, as in large global companies must be executed (World 3.0).

There is still too much ignorance, too much arrogance of power, and too much belief that speeches of important functionaries and politicians really matter on the ground. This is a myth. See Cairo. See Afghanistan.

A new effective and low-cost design of security policies is needed.

But the West clings ever more to illusions, show speeches and pure crisis management stuck in endless bureaucracy. This is outdated, it will not work, and it will never be cheap.

We need a new approach in the age of globalization.

We all have to learn from Albert Einstein: "Imagination is more important than knowledge" and from Pentagon strategist Dr. Fritz Kraemer: "We have to shape reality rather than adapt to reality." (see Fritz Kraemer on Excellence)

The long term planning of global business players can help us form a new smart foreign policy which works and which we can afford.

We know how to plan, promote and sell McDonalds, Apple or BMW from Munich, but not the best concept in the world: free, prosperous, and peaceful societies with jobs and human rights.

The WSN TV team, under the leadership of Dr. Michael Küppers, was able to interview several experts on hot topics of international security as listed below. You can watch all the interviews on WSN TV here: www.worldsecuritynetwork.com, Facebook and our own WSN site in YouTube

Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann
President

Brig Gen (Ret) Dieter Farwick
Senior Vice President

Dr.Michael Kueppers
Vice President WSN TV

Philipp Hauenstein
Editor

 

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