This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Multi Warfare : Russia/NATO

"We definitely have to get it right. We have to go to Latvia with a strong defensive posture. First and foremost, we recognize cyber as a domain of warfare ... We are constantly under attack."
"We will educate our troops about vulnerabilities, because Russia is quite adept in the cyber and information warfare domains."
Brig.-Gen.Paul Rutherford, commander, Joint Forces Cyber Component, Canada

"When you see how quickly it happened with the Germans, that shows us what to expect. Are they going to try? Yes they will. We fully expect such actions by the Russians."
"[In Latvia Canada's military sees a different arena than Afghanistan] where we went in with a war mindset. We will communicate facts and the truth."
"We will provide clear and transparent information. If we see inaccurate facts, we will take action."
Lt.Col.Richard Perrault, Canadian military
Canadian and Latvian soldiers in Kadaga, Latvia, during Operation Reassurance in September 2015.
Canadian and Latvian soldiers in Kadaga, Latvia, during Operation Reassurance in September 2015. Photo Cpl. Nathan
rlier this year, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States each committed to lead a multinational battalion in the eastern part of the Alliance. I am proud to announce that many other Allies confirmed contributions to these forces today. Albania, Italy, Poland and Slovenia will contribute to the Canadian-led battalion in Latvia. Belgium, Croatia, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Norway will join the German-led battalion in Lithuania. Denmark and France will contribute to the UK-led battalion in Estonia. And Romania and the United Kingdom will join the U.S.-led battalion in Poland,

Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/1777512-nato-chief-four-robust-battle-groups-to-be-deployed-in-the-baltics-poland.html

Canada's pledged its support of NATO's request of its members to prepare to send in battle groups and equipment to the Baltics to mount an impressive deterrence presence and to help train their military personnel to the level seen to be required to convince Moscow that any plans to harass, cross borders or send in troops to Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland is not a particularly good idea and will not be tolerated. Germany, Britain and the United States have volunteered their services in the NATO campaign.

Just as Canada is preparing to forward its 450 Canadian Forces troops as a warning to Russia to respect national borders, Russia in turn is expected to let loose its efforts to disseminate false information for the purpose of creating a distance of suspicion between Latvia and the Canadian troops in their midst. The Kremlin's well organized "fake news" campaigns and cyber attacks have become commonplace, striking various countries with their signature propaganda through information warfare.

Last month when the German military took up their stations in Lithuania, stories began circulating that German troops were on a rampage, raping Lithuanian women. And this type of campaign is precisely what Canadian troops are being warned to be prepared for, and the reason why Canadian "cyber warriors" are being deployed alongside regular troops; to be able to respond to the anticipated dezinformatsiya set to occur in Latvia; blatant attempts to place a wedge between the host country and its defenders.

The cyber warriors' first line of defence will be forestalling efforts by Russian actors to hack into Canadian and Latvian military computer networks, along with turning aside the "fake news" campaign. Russia is not quite as busy in Syria as it has been for the past year and a half, having succeeded in giving Syria's president Bashar al-Assad a lifeline and restoration of some of his territory. The Kremlin's and Vladimir Putin's attention is expected to turn back once again to east Europe.

Former Soviet satellites were assimilated into the USSR sphere and ethnic Russians were tasked with colonizing those satellites. Now, with their sovereignty restored, those ethnic Russians living for generations in former satellite countries represent the foot in the door for Vladimir Putin who uses their presence as the reason Russia is concerned -- for their welfare and dignified treatment.

Should he and the Kremlin deduce that ethnic Russians are being marginalized, as was claimed in Georgia and Ukraine, Russia claims this reason enough for intervention.

Estonia experienced the trauma of having its Internet network shut down by a Russian cyberattack. And Ukraine's electrical grid in the east was interfered with in an effort through a Russian cyberattack to shut it down. Russian interference through cyberhacking in countries of the West is well enough known. Vladimir Putin does not take slights lightly and looks for vengeance as pay-back for Europe and North America interfering in its near-abroad and Russia's entitlement to harass its neighbours.

The Russian involvement in Syria's conflict with its rebellious Sunni citizens created tens of thousands of additional refugees fleeing the conflict and the aerial bombardments that succeeded in giving Syria breathing room from certain collapse. That Europe is being inundated by refugees eager to escape the violent Syrian oppression of its own citizens pleases Mr. Putin mightily. European budgets can be strained in attempting to cope with the refugee influx, just as the Russian economy has suffered in part as a result of the EU-imposed sanctions resulting from the annexation of Crimea.

Canada is readying itself for attempts at destabilization, courtesy of Moscow. The Russian revelation that the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affair's grandfather was a Ukrainian supporter of the Nazi regime in German-occupied Poland, operating a newspaper out of a confiscated Jewish newspaper press, where anti-Semitic propaganda and pro-Nazi news was disseminated certainly represents some manner of malice aforethought, particularly since the revelation is not "false news" but reality revealed of historical antecedents.

An Estonian soldier wears camouflage makeup during the multinational military exercise 'Iron Sword 16' near Vilnius, Lithuania, in December. Canadian troops will deploy into Latvia, a neighbouring Baltic state, in June as part of NATO's deterrence force.
An Estonian soldier wears camouflage makeup during the multinational military exercise 'Iron Sword 16' near Vilnius, Lithuania, in December. Canadian troops will deploy into Latvia, a neighbouring Baltic state, in June as part of NATO's deterrence force. (Olivier Hoslet/EPA)

The Lithuanian ambassador to the United States has revealed that broadcasts from Russia casting aspersions on NATO had the purpose of turning Lithuanians against the NATO alliance. Russian minorities living in the Baltic states are able to tune in to television stations emanating out of Moscow. Their loyalties appear to lie with Russia, not with the nations in which they are citizens. And the situation that Ukraine faced with ethnic Russian Ukrainians violently seeking secession is a prospect that grips the Baltics as well.

The examples of Russian cyber assaults aiming to shut down banks and media in Estonia, along with its Parliament, and a similar assault more recently in Ukraine, informs and reminds all the near-abroad nations of their own vulnerabilities. Additionally, Moscow's interference in upcoming elections from Norway to Italy, echo what it is claimed to have done in the United States more recently.

"Hybrid warfare, [Cyberspace] opens wide asymmetrical possibilities for reducing the fighting potential of the enemy", wrote Valeri Gerasimov, Russia's top general, four years ago in a published article. As well, an announcement was recently made that a new military unit for the purpose of conducting "information operations" was in the creation stages, according to Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

It is unclear how Moscow and Russian President Vladimir Putin will respond to the deployment of Canadian troops in Latvia. (Reuters)

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