How India’s Failure to Deter Pakistan Could Spark Nuclear Conflict

Recommend this analytical article to you as it does a nice job in summarizing the dangers associated with the long standing hostility between Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India. The article’s focus is on the nuclear capabilities of each but the article, and other past articles referred to in its text, paint a complete picture of their shared history, from a united India under British Imperial rule thru the years that have followed. If you have any interest and are having difficulty accessing any of the referred articles please let me know and I will get them for you.

How India's Failure to Deter Pakistan Could Spark Nuclear Conflict

NY Times Article on Russian Expulsions of US Diplomats

We have all been exposed over the last several weeks to numerous articles on the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, UK. Recent reports indicate that former GRU intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, has not improved, but that his daughter Yulia is conscious now and talking to investigators. Most everyone believes, except for Russian leaders, that their intelligence services are behind this “wet operation.” What I think is as interesting as contemplating the reasons behind this incredibly bold attack by Putin’s intelligence services, is the historically predictable responses of the UK, the US, and our Western allies to these types of provocations and the equally predictable Soviet/Russian responses. This is not the first time that the West has expelled significant numbers of Soviet/Russian diplomats who were also intelligence officers from  embassies and consulates in the West. And each time in the past, as they have now, the Soviets/Russians have responded with vociferous denials and identical expulsions of Western diplomats/intelligence officers from Russia. Who is hurt the most by these expulsions is debatable. However, from my perspective, and the experience many of you have working intelligence and counterintelligence over the years, the Soviets/Russian intelligence collection operations in the West are damaged more severely because so much of their economic success is and has been dependent upon stealing technology from the West. Also, few in the general public know that all of our Western allies join us in the “PNG club,” having agreed to refuse to accept as a diplomat to their country a Russian who had been expelled by any of the other allied countries in the “club.” When a mass expulsion of Soviet diplomats/intelligence officers happened during the Reagan administration the Soviets were left with almost no experienced intelligence officers in the United States to run the agents that were then operational and had been collecting for them. My former colleague and retired FBI Special Agent David Major wrote and excellent, and extremely detailed article titled “Operation Famish” which occurred during the Reagan Administration from his insider position as the Director of Counterintelligence Programs on the National Security Council. In part his article says:

“From March 1986 through October 21, 1986, the Reagan Administration implemented a series of national security policy decisions             designed to reduce the threat of espionage in the United States from the Soviet Union. These decisions resulted in the first mass expulsion     of foreign intelligence officers in US history. Eighty Soviet national (KGB) and military (GRU) intelligence officers, assigned under diplomatic     cover in New York, San Francisco and Washington, were ordered to leave the United States between September and October 1986. These         expulsions had a devastating impact on the Soviet espionage capabilities in the US, and may have been the single most important set of             national security decisions made to decrease the intelligence threat…”

In 1986 the motivation for the Reagan expulsions was the arrest on September 2, 1986, by the Soviets in Moscow of a U.S. News & World Report journalist, Nicholas Daniloff. The detention of Daniloff was prompted by the FBI arrest on August 30, 1986, of a Soviet employee at the United Nations in New York, Gennadiy Fedorovich Zakharov, who was caught by the FBI in the act of violating US espionage statutes. Because Zakharov, who was a GRU officer, was an “illegal” intelligence officer and did not have diplomatic immunity, the Soviets were forced to scramble to put together an operation to get him released before he was tried, convicted and sentenced to federal prison. That operation was the arrest of the American reporter, Nick Daniloff. President Reagan was very angry with Soviet actions, and while he agreed to the trade, Zakharov for Daniloff, once Daniloff was released he ordered the massive explosions of Soviet diplomats/intelligence officers which became known as “Operation Famish.”

If you have an interest in how the National Security Council works you can read Dave Major’s entire paper on “Operation Famish” in the Student Resource Tab on this website along with other articles I have collected on this current series of diplomatic expulsions as well as others in the past.

Best regards,
Rusty

 

NY Times Article on Russian Expulsions of US Diplomats

SVR Attempted Assassination in Salisbury, England

Attached are several articles that contain details know a present and analysis on the recent assassination attempt on a former Russian GRU colonel/intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in Salisbury, England.

Skirpal had been recruited by the British in the 1990s and run as an agent by  British intelligence until he was arrested in 2004. He came to the United Kingdom in 2010 as part of a high-profile spy swap involving 10 Russian illegals arrested in the U.S. and several agents of Western intelligence services who were then in Russian custody.

This is an extremely aggressive move by the Russians (particular considering the nerve agent used and the collateral damage/danger it posed to first responders) and all the more interesting because of the rumored connection between Skirpal and former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, who compiled a highly controversial dossier alleging cooperation between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Kremlin (at this point the Steele dossier has been generally found to be inaccurate).

It will be interesting to observe the British political response to this attack and what if any support the Trump Administration will provide.

Best,

Rusty

 

SVR Attempted Assassination in Salisbury, England