Unconventional warfare

We have just returned from a trip to California, visiting our newest grandchild. That trip brought us face to face with $5 gallon gas prices. When we returned, we sorted through three weeks of mail and I found two articles that formed a congruence of startling proportions. These articles, which I will try to summarize within my 700 word limit can be read in their entirety in the April 2012 American Legion magazine and the April 2012 Smithsonian.

The Smithsonian article, “Cassandra Syndrome” summarizes a book by Richard Clarke “Cyber War” wherein Clarke details the emergence and worldwide spread of a ghostly cyberworm STUXNET. This worm is part of the weaponized malware that is part of the arsenals of 21st century protagonists. No country has taken credit for STUXNET’s nativity, but it was responsible for the destruction of Iran’s nuclear computer system. It escaped and then spread throughout the world. It may be lying dormant and waiting for the signal to wreak havoc in the computer I use to write these columns.

If that is not sufficiently scary, this second article may immediately turn your hair gray! The Legion magazine article by Kevin D. Freeman, “The Message No One Wanted To Hear,” was what made me so angry about $5 gasoline; not that the price alone wouldn’t! In 1999, two Chinese military men wrote a book titled “Unrestricted Warfare” published by the Peoples Liberation Army. They saw the futility of trying to win a conventional war with the United states The 1991 Gulf War and the overwhelming superiority of U.S. technology convinced them of that fact.

Obviously this book now has become the operations manual for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

The authors identified five major areas of unconventional warfare wherein we could be defeated.

Financial warfare (manipulation of currencies, banks and the stock market),

Technological warfare (gaining primary control of various technologies),

Resources warfare (manipulating the price of, or access to, key resources),

Network warfare (control of the Internet and real time communication), and

Economic aid warfare (controlling other nations by creating economic dependencies).

These five areas described are operative now. China has been manipulating currency for at least the last 10 years. We have conceded the lead in technology production to China, Taiwan and Korea and a recent report tells us that the Chinese have been selling us counterfeit electronic equipment that is currently installed in jet planes, missiles and other military applications. In this report “counterfeit” was defined as fake parts totally inoperable!

Thus far we have accounted for technology, network, and, most egregiously, the financial warfare constituents.

That leaves only resource and economic aid warfare. I believe economic aid dependency is pretty obvious when China owns most of our deficit spending. The humiliating picture of the Chinese ambassador lecturing our so-called president about controlling our spending clearly illustrates our relative positions.

Now to resources warfare. The article’s author presented an extended treatise on the market and oil futures trading, and I recommend reading his explanation for yourself if you desire more than my simple summary. On Jan. 18, 2007, oil was trading at $49.90 a barrel. On July 11, 2008, $147.50 a barrel. This represented the most abrupt rise in history with no apparent cause. Our current gasoline prices have myriad causes — our complete shutdown of domestic production and the emerging countries demand for energy — but none could cause what we saw in 2008. I confess that I would like to pin the tail on Obama but the facts say otherwise.

Speculation has been linked to the price rise and with the emergence of “dark markets,” untraceable purchasers of futures; the players are difficult to identify. Research by Rice University revealed that in mid-2009 paper oil trades were seven times greater than the actual oil used! A willing accomplice to any enemy of ours is Al Qaeda and the “oil jihadists” who have been calling for an “oil jihad against infidel America and its lackeys.”

The increase in energy costs are debilitating to our economy. It has drained over $1 trillion from western economies and moved it to OPEC nations. To truly understand the new warfare and its impact I suggest you read these two articles. They will make you mad as hell and your hair gray!

Larry Tradlener lives down McElmo Canyon.

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