M. Guy Verhofstadt
The man of the
L'homme de l'an
De man van het jaar
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
zaštitnik i borac za pravdu i ljudska prava u svijetu.
Man of the Year 2009
M. Hossein Barak Obama
peace in the world
vrede in de wereld
la paix dans le monde
Garantie des Friedens in der Welt
mieru vo svete
mira u svijetu
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Protest in Tripoli
World Security Network reporting from Washington D.C. in USA
, February 20, 2011
Dear Cavkic Salih,
Stuxnet worm's true origins are
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."
- 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
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
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
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
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
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.”
|"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.”
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
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
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
, suggesting that any digital attack took place long before it was
identified and began to attract global attention.” Long before is an
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
“We’re so far beyond worms,” says Borg. “We’re into big, complicated
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?
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
“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
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
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
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.
Editor Cyber Security
World Security Network reporting from the 47th
Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February
Dear Cavkic Salih,
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron agreed: "We
want the transition."
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.
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
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
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
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
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
With shrinking budgets, NATO members will be less able
to address global challenges like energy security or
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.
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).
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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).
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.
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
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:
Facebook and our own
WSN site in YouTube
Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann
Brig Gen (Ret) Dieter Farwick
Senior Vice President
Vice President WSN TV
WHAT DOES THE EU SAY ABOUT THIS? EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION
DENMARK: WHAT A SHAME This happens in Denmark