For those of you that have been following, as I have, the nerve agent attack on the former GRU officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, below are 2 updates from the UK newspaper, The Guardian.
The two article indicate that both Skirpal and Yulia are recovering from the attack. This is positive news as earlier reports indicated that both were not expected to recover.
The first article in today’s Cipher Brief (“Another Russian Dossier, aka What Moscow Has Always Done”) is longer than their usual offering but provides an in-depth, historical overview of US vs. Russia intelligence and active measures operations. The author also provides his take on what we should about current Russian/Putin actions, attacks and operations. For those of us that lived and operated during the Cold War this is a good review. It is also an excellent study guide for those who have come of age after the demise of the KGB and the Soviet Union. I will be using it in the class I’m currently teaching at Radford University on American Intelligence and Federal Law Enforcement.The Cipher Daily Brief 2018_04_06
These are 2 excellent, detailed, NY Times articles, published today, on thousands of internal documents that help explain how the Islamic State stayed in power so long using extreme brutality by their fighters and detailed record-keeping by their bureaucrats. They conquered significant territory in Syria and Iraq, established governmental structures, collected taxes, ran their own courts, fed their people and captured the attention and fear of the world. They achieved success that Osama bin Laden only dreamed about.
And I fear we are about to make the same mistake we have twice made in that part of the world in the last 30 years, pull out. STRATFOR, in an article I forwarded to you today laid out some of the advantages and disadvantages they see in our pulling out. I can only see disadvantages, not the mention the abandonment of the Kurds to the mercies of Turkey. Those same Kurds, who have been our most able and loyal allies in destroying ISIS strongholds, will not be able to resist Turkish military might. And once again it seems we are unable to understand that loyalty is a two way street and our reputation in the world will be again diminished.