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Sky News: "Defence chiefs predict peril..."

Yokel

LE
Whilst I have the podcast downloaded, I am curious as to why I should give a sh1t about Russian information operations; because if we don't look for evidence, there isn't evidence of successful information operations.

Which was apparently HMG policy as recently as last year.

Have you got a link for that? I recall hearing something along those lines, but I have no idea where. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Was it really official policy not to look, even when it was staring them in the face?

Look at the social media posts from a few years ago linking our decision (I think that there was a vote in parliament?) between expanding operations in Iraq to include terrorist targets in Syria, and refugees. Nothing to do with the Russians bombing places not held by Assad's forces and not bothering with precision weapons, of course.

Or the useful idiots in the media gullibly swallowing what "a source in Moscow" said about which NATO capabilities they worried about.
 
Have you got a link for that? I recall hearing something along those lines, but I have no idea where. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Was it really official policy not to look, even when it was staring them in the face?

Look at the social media posts from a few years ago linking our decision (I think that there was a vote in parliament?) between expanding operations in Iraq to include terrorist targets in Syria, and refugees. Nothing to do with the Russians bombing places not held by Assad's forces and not bothering with precision weapons, of course.

Or the useful idiots in the media gullibly swallowing what "a source in Moscow" said about which NATO


capabilities they worried about.

If you have not seen or sought evidence, why do you say you have not seen any evidence?

It is simply nonsence.

Russia Report
snip2.JPG


Government reply
snip 1.JPG

 

Zhopa

War Hero
In addition to what's in the report itself, which is damning enough (as excerpted by @Boumer above) I'd recommend looking again at the presser when it was released, here:



If that's too much (it's not far off an hour and a half) there's a decent summary here: Russia report: Government 'underestimated' threat and 'clearly let us down' | ITV News

I enjoyed it a lot.

I kicked off a thread here.


The press release summarised here


My assessment of the report here.


All to no avail, as it seems zero foxtrot was given by the government who did a Jedi Mind trick wave and said "This is not the issue you're looking for, you don't need any enquiry".

And no-one seems curious why. Which appears to be an issue of the dog barking in the night.
 

Zhopa

War Hero
And no-one seems curious why.

Well - as linked above I think, at least *some* people are taking an interest. Unfortunately just not ones that can do anything to influence the situation.

 
Well - as linked above I think, at least *some* people are taking an interest. Unfortunately just not ones that can do anything to influence the situation.


I am very grateful, I shall enjoy looking into that.

Oh the days when Chatham House is uninfluential. Still, we've had enough of experts.
 

Yokel

LE
These days selling things like underwater equipment to Russia is frowned upon - by which I mean it is subject to export controls. It does not seem that it was always that way.

British deep sea robot seen on Russian GUGI ship passing UK

Yantar is a controversial ship, being used for a range of Seabed Warfare and Ocean Engineering tasks including working on Submarine Communications Cables (SCCs), aka Cable tapping/cutting. Yantar is operated by the Russian Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research (Military Unit 40056).

One interesting detail is that the British supplied Anglo-Swedish Tiger remote operated vehicle (ROV) was lashed to the helipad.
 
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These days selling things like underwater equipment to Russia is frowned upon - by which I mean it is subject to export controls. It does not seem that it was always that way.

British deep sea robot seen on Russian GUGI ship passing UK

Yantar is a controversial ship, being used for a range of Seabed Warfare and Ocean Engineering tasks including working on Submarine Communications Cables (SCCs), aka Cable tapping/cutting. Yantar is operated by the Russian Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research (Military Unit 40056).

One interesting detail is that the British supplied Anglo-Swedish Tiger remote operated vehicle (ROV) was lashed to the helipad.
To stop it defecting perchance? :-D
 

Yokel

LE

The defender’s dilemma: Defining, identifying, and deterring gray-zone aggression


This report, adapted from the forthcoming book The Defender’s Dilemma, discusses the nature of gray-zone aggression and offers policy proposals on how to deter it. Although gray-zone aggression is not new, it is coming into increasing use due to two converging trends: Armed conflict as a tool to settle affairs between countries is declining in the industrialized world, but countries are not managing to coexist peacefully. That means countries use tools in the gray zone between war and peace to weaken their adversaries while strengthening their own positions. These tools can be both legal and illegal.

While liberal democracies are more open than authoritarian ones are and more constrained by laws, rules, ethical standards, and scrutiny by the voting public, they are at a disadvantage vis-à-vis their authoritarian rivals. That leaves liberal democracies dangerously exposed to gray-zone aggression, as demonstrated by incidents in late 2020 such as the Russian SolarWinds cyberattack that engulfed significant parts of the US government and China’s punitive tariffs on Australian wine.

A second report, also adapted from the book, will outline a strategy for defense against, and deterrence of, gray-zone threats. The policy proposals will include

  • Strengthening citizen resilience through voluntary resilience training,
  • Strengthening private-sector resilience through joined armed forces–industry gray-zone defense exercises, and
  • Implementing asymmetric retaliation. Western governments must on occasion retaliate against gray-zone attacks but cannot, and should not, respond to gray-zone attacks eye for an eye. Responding asymmetrically increases their options and the deterrent effect of any retaliation.
The full report is in PDF form - here.
 

Yokel

LE
Talking of the Grey Zone, this caught my eye, via Eaglespeak:

China's latest weapon against Taiwan: the Sand dredger

The ploy is taxing for Taiwan’s civilian-run Coast Guard Administration, which is now conducting round-the-clock patrols in an effort to repel the Chinese vessels. Taiwanese officials and Matsu residents say the dredging forays have had other corrosive impacts - disrupting the local economy, damaging undersea communication cables and intimidating residents and tourists to the islands. Local officials also fear that the dredging is destroying marine life nearby.

---

Sand is just part of the gray-zone campaign. China, which claims democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory, has been using other irregular tactics to wear down the island of 23 million. The most dramatic: In recent months, the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military, has been dispatching warplanes in menacing forays toward the island. Taiwan has been scrambling military aircraft on an almost daily basis to head off the threat, placing an onerous burden on its air force.

Taiwanese military officials and Western analysts say China’s gray-zone tactics are meant to drain the resources and erode the will of the island’s armed forces - and make such harassment so routine that the world grows inured to it. China’s sand dredging, said one Taiwanese security official investigating the matter, is “part of their psychological warfare against Taiwan, similar to what they are doing in Taiwan’s southwestern airspace,” where the Chinese jets are intruding.
 

Yokel

LE
Assessing the Russian Disinformation Campaign During COV!D-19

During the COVID-19 crisis, Russia’s disinformation ecosystem has waged a comprehensive operation against various Western targets.

Both the US State Department’s Global Engagement Center and the EU’s External Action Service have identified a myriad of stories in pro-Kremlin media and social accounts that have sought to discredit the policies and performance of the Western democracies while painting Russian actions in a most positive light. According to the State Department, during the pandemic, “the full Russian ecosystem of official state media, proxy news sites, and social media personas have been pushing multiple disinformation narratives”.[ii] These narratives have aimed to validate the Kremlin’s standard talking points about the alleged fragility of the US-led liberal rules-based international order, the benefits of national autonomy, and the ineffectiveness of democratic regimes and institutions.[iii]

However, Russia’s disinformation campaign during the pandemic has diverged in important respects from that of earlier Kremlin-backed influence operations. Major novelties have included sizeable foreign medical assistance operations; more targeted manipulation of existing social media debates; greater coordination with China’s foreign-influence operation; and an overtly focused effort to secure relief of sanctions on Moscow and its partners. The current information warfare domain is “offence-dominant”—it is easier to create malign content and apps than it is for governments and social media platforms to identify and counter these threats. Nonetheless, the campaign has failed to obscure Russia’s own COVID-related setbacks, induce even Russian aid recipients to relax their economic restrictions, or gain visible high-level official support in Moscow.


Whilst we are talking of the 'grey zone' - this article also made me think.

The 2018 National Defense Strategy, directs conventional U.S. military and special operations forces to organize and prepare to counter near-peer competitors. While the threat is global, strategists recognize that the maritime environment, including global littorals, the “island chains” of the Pacific and Indian Ocean, the South China Sea, the Black Sea, the North Sea, and the Baltic coasts are all areas of expected conflict. Winning in these coastal areas and island chains will require a variety of tactics, methodologies, and specialized equipment. A modern Shetland Bus program would not address every contingency, but it would represent a Swiss Army knife-like tool that may provide flexibility and address several key need

Should we assume that our adversaries will use innocent looking vessels for things such as moving special/deniable forces - liyyle green men, intelligence gathering, and possibly mining? Mines have been covertly laid by a civilian ship before - the Libyan ferry Ghat laid mines in the Red Sea in 1986.
 
This does explain Corbyn....
Should we assume that our adversaries will use innocent looking vessels
 

Zhopa

War Hero
Should we assume that our adversaries will use innocent looking vessels for things such as moving special/deniable forces

Perhaps innocently, I had assumed that we already took that for granted. It's not only Argentina that has a scrap metal market.
 

Yokel

LE
This paper only focuses on Russia -and I have not fully read it, but it might be of interest:

Russian Strategic Intentions

This focusses on the grey zone. It does distinguish between the attitudes of the Putin leadership and that of the Russian public. @Maple is this of any interest to you?
 

Zhopa

War Hero
This paper only focuses on Russia -and I have not fully read it, but it might be of interest:

Russian Strategic Intentions

This focusses on the grey zone. It does distinguish between the attitudes of the Putin leadership and that of the Russian public. @Maple is this of any interest to you?

Dead link, or is it just me?
 
Very true. And they don't have to be a particularly capable or even viable platform to do so. They just have to be there.

View attachment 539169
I thought all wrecks got towed to India to be scrapped, not make their own way under steam?
 
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