22 October 2016   4 comments

A day after US Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter, announced that an agreement had been reached with Turkey on its participation in the battle to regain Mosul, the Iraqi Prime Minister announced that Turkish troops would not be welcome in the battle.   It is not clear what agreement the US and Turkey had reached, but the disagreements among all the participants in the effort to dislodge Daesh (the Islamic State) from Mosul are considerable.  The battle itself has been moving slowly due to the determined resistance of the Daesh fighters.  Daesh set a sulphur mine on fire to slow down the Iraqi advance, and the attacking forces have been forced to wear protective gear from the noxious fumes.

BBC map showing large swathe of northern Iraq centred on Mosul and under the control of so-called Islamic State, with, to the east, three areas under Iraqi armed forces control, and further north, areas under Kurdish control, 21 October 2016

We should never doubt the importance of good government.  Hurricane Matthew passed over both Cuba and Haiti with equal ferocity, but the preparedness of the Cuban government handled the devastation without a single casualty.  Haiti, on the other hand is still reeling from the destruction and conditions continue to deteriorate.  Creating an effective government is not something outsiders can do, but the international community should be offering much greater assistance to the people of Haiti if a greater disaster is to be avoided.

The Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attack on the Internet could be a harbinger of things to come.  Patrick Tucker and Caroline Houck have written a short piece on how the attack was orchestrated and how these attacks have played out in the past.  Attacking the internet is quite different from attacking a site on the internet.   Anyone who wishes to take down the entire internet obviously has objectives that transcend specific political goals.  It is very difficult to imagine how we would conduct our business today without the internet.

Posted October 23, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

4 responses to “22 October 2016

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  1. I was never fond of reflecting on the Internet business, even when I was most involved as a Computer Science researcher myself in 2013. This is because the Internet can be more complexed than a couple of facts obvious in appearance, as its private objectives and public concerns all mashed together during critical times like the one we are facing now. To be honest, I never thought I would talk about the Internet either. But, if I were put to the position to add a comment, I would point out that I had questioned the motivation and dedication of the master attacker who conducted the orchestrated data beforehand, although I only shared this talk with my instructor in my specialty. I would also agree with some notion that many IOTs that were orchestrated in this attack were absolutely innocent, but like in almost all scenario, the unprofessional move by the master would likely to inflict damages on the mass. Luckily a while later, I tried to connect some IOTs with the Internet myself and I sincerely appreciate how IOTs were handled after the attack.


  2. It will be interesting to see if there are follow-up attacks. The attackers are certainly getting much more power.


    • This is the first time I hit the “reply” on your message and it feels like an office hour with you. 🙂 I think the attackers can come from different ends and I didn’t particularly view this attacker as one of those notorious ones who can conduct bigger attacks. Maybe I haven’ve observed important evidences that you did.


  3. I am just speculating like everyone else. We really don’t have any hard evidence about the attackers–a serious problem as we try to figure out a response.


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