Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cyber-Industrial Complex Redefines Military-Industrial Complex

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Sometimes humor is the best escape.

The article which follows was originally published in the Get Global Edge Blog which appears in the Global Edge Technologies Group LLC website. It brings to mind a kind of return, within a few years at most, to something akin to medieval times (except with the amazing power of the internet and the inevitable use of robotic drones as a tool of push-button death both abroad, and eventually within the United States. As Delilah said to Samson after he awoke to find himself with a prison guard haircut and the useless locks strewn on the floor about him, "How could you have told me something that would give me so much power and then have expected me not to use it."

History, like a bad lunch, has a way of repeating itself -- Samson of the Old Testament pulled down the twin twin towers with the last of his strength, and died amidst the rubble. Two of the towers of the World Trade Center literally pancaked down to the ground on 9/11, during an incredible act of terrorism. In fact, one of the towers (I believe it was Tower Number 4, a third tower which seemed to be minding its own business) simply collapsed despite the fact that no plane had hit it. Sort of like 'terrorism meets the tale of The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf.'

I discovered a wonderfully telling article in the BigThink Daily IdeaFeed, a wonderful source of information, commentary and prognostication regarding major thought-provoking events and possible disruptors of the perceived status quo.

BigThink publications have either provided me with inspiration or have given me precious supporting information for articles which I have written for The Global Futurist Blog, and The Internationalist Page Blog.

In the late 1950's and going into the early 1970s, the talk amongst the cognoscenti in the United States was the prospect of the country falling under the thral of , and the citizenry becoming slaves to the Military-Industrial Complex -- a potent pairing of corporations and the military. First, there was the issue of corporations getting huge, lucrative contracts from the military; second was the threat posed by a large private sector contractor to the military if it decided to delay an order or to trade the national security for some seditious and traitorous acts of selling to foreign powers; thirdly, and most inevitably, was the slow but steady merger of the two forces such that the military would be more readily responsive (as would be a private army of hired mercenaries) to the needs of the companies which would have entrenched high-level management largely comprised of retired but influential military decision makers, than to the country and its safety and security interests.

Nobody wanted to say "private militaries or paramilitaries, financed and loyal to multinational corporations would have loyalty to their multinational masters instead of to any sovereign state," but an increasing number of major corporations were entering into transnational and international contracting agreements and business combinations such as mergers, acquisitions and co-ventures, and symbolic patriotism increasingly took a back seat to the prospect of actually arming either the highest bidder at a weapons auction, or arming both sides in a bloody conflict and profiting from a drawn-out war. War and the ensuing reconstruction, from the 1980s to today, is seen as being one of the most profitable businesses in existence.

Now the principal means of designing, developing, transmitting and storing crucial military ordnance product (weapons systems and countermeasures) and tactical information is via Internet and by physically accessible hosting servers, such that the nerve center and the core vulnerability of any significantly industrialized nation is a network of computers, wires and electrons.

Companies and the military are both increasingly obsessed (and understandably so) with cybersecurity and with the threat posed by hackers and hacker groups. Whomsoever controls the storage and transmittal of data has the power, in theory, to rule large portions of the international landscape. Combine this, for better or for worse, with an unarmed citizenry, and you have the recipe for a corporate-military takeover of the governments and of the enslavement of the unfortunate residents.

Cyberstorage (storing data) and cybercommunications (transmitting data from station to station) are the two greatest strategic vulnerabilities in any private sector or public sector entity.  The trained special forces experts and snipers are no longer the most dangerous Humans -- the most dangerous Humans are skillful hackers who are protected by these tactical field operatives. And these field operatives and proficient killers and infiltrators are increasingly private contractors, "rented" by governments from large corporations in the "security" business.

Hence the newer term for the Military-Industrial Complex, with it "war for profit" credo: let us give a warm greeting to the Cyber-Industrial Complex, its refined, more lethal offspring. 

The NSA and the Rise of the Cyber-Industrial Complex Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who went public with the NSA's clandestine data mining operation, forms part of an increasing crossover between government and private cybersecurity organizations.

The future belongs to the best hackers and their hypnotic handlers or "controls" as they like to call these amoral and effective results-oriented operatives in the cinema.

Douglas E. Castle for Global Edge Technologies Group, LLC, a Member of The CFI Group Of Companies

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