AI Arms Race: Future of Warfare

April 2, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - The truth about artificial intelligence (AI) and the process of machine learning (algorithms which learn on their own rather than perform tasks based on human programming) is somewhat less spectacular than depicted in Hollywood movies. Yet the impact of advanced information technology on modern warfare will be significant nonetheless.

Already, machine learning is allowing automation including self-driving cars and analysis by computers that by far surpass average human abilities. It is development that is already having a significant impact on national and global economics. If we translate this process to various aspects of modern warfare, it becomes clear that whomever does so first and most effectively, will have an immense advantage over their adversaries.

This may explain why there is an AI "arms race" so to speak. The US, Russia and China are all racing to develop not only applications in AI and machine learning, but also investing in the human resources and building the infrastructure to continue to do so at accelerated rates.

China already has the second largest number of researchers involved in AI, second only to the United States. Both it and other states are continuing to invest in AI and its various sub-disciplines, fully aware of the impact this technology is increasingly having on economics as well as national security.

The OODA Loop 

US Air Force Colonel John Boyd developed what is now known as the OODA Loop. OODA represents the process of observing, orienting, deciding and acting. This process is not only one still employed by the US military (all branches) but also a process adopted by many businesses.

It requires first and foremost the ability to not only accumulate immense amounts of information during the "observe" process, but also requires the ability to make sense of that information. Human analysts are limited by the amount of information they can sift through, and even then they are limited by various human flaws that may prevent the successful interpretation of information they do sift through.

AI on the other hand, is able to sift through immense amounts of information, at incredible rates and with accuracy repeatedly proven to be superior to human analysts.

To get a grip on the scale we're discussing, consider the fact that Facebook has AI algorithms that sift through, identify the faces and objects within and accurately tag a monumental 350 million photographs... daily.

In a 2017 talk at the US Naval War College, Admiral John Richardson would impress upon the audience two key points.

First, today with information technology and sensors (including satellites, ground sensors and information available across the Internet), a massive amount of information is now available strategically and tactically for military commanders. Second, whichever nation is able to accumulate and make sense of this information the fastest will have an edge over its adversaries.

The "observe" and "orient" processes of the OODA loop currently and in the future depend on the ability to acquire and make sense of this information, providing commanders with the most crucial information from among the vast amount of info available in order to "decide" and "act."

An AI algorithm able to process images, text and other forms of information by the hundreds of millions within a single day and accurately categorize and prioritize it is clearly a tool that will be essential for future warfare.

The United States, both across public and private institutions and enterprises, is investing deeply in developing the ability to do this and to do it better than other nations.

After the Lockdown: A Global Coronavirus Vaccination Program…

Can we trust the World Health Organization (WHO) and the powerful economic interest groups behind it. The answer is obvious.

March 28, 2020
(Prof Michel Chossudovsky - Global Research) - The tendency is towards a Worldwide lockdown spearheaded by fear and media disinformation. Currently, hundreds of millions of people Worldwide are under lockdown. 

What is the next step in the evolution of the COV-19 Crisis?
A coronavirus vaccine program was announced at Davos at the World Economic Forum (21-24 January) barely 2 weeks after the cornonavirus was identified by the Chinese authorities on January 7.  
The lead entity for the novel coronavirus vaccine initiative is the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) an organization sponsored and financed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 
Note the chronology: The development of the 2019 nCoV vaccine was announced at the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) a week prior to the official launching by the WHO of  a Worldwide Public Health Emergency (January 30) at a time when the number of “confirmed cases” Worldwide (outside China) was 150 (including 6 in the US). 
CEPI is seeking a “monopoly” role in the vaccination business the objective of which is a “global vaccine project”, in partnership with a large number of “candidates”. It announced funding for its existing partnership with Inovio and The University of Queensland (Australia). In addition, CEPI confirmed (January 23) its contract with Moderna, Inc. and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been instrumental in waging the fear and panic campaign across America: “Ten Times Worse than Seasonal Flu”.

According to a report of the WHO pertaining to China’s epidemic (which has currently been resolved):
The most commonly reported symptoms [of COVID-19] included fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and most patients (80%) experienced mild illness. Approximately 14% experienced severe disease and 5% were critically ill. Early reports suggest that illness severity is associated with age (>60 years old) and co-morbid disease. (largely basing on WHO’s assessment of COVID-19 in China)
Screenshot The Hill, March 19, 2020
The Central Role of CEPI
CEPI is dealing simultaneously with several pharmaceutical companies. The Moderna- NIAID in all likelihood is slated to implement the COV-19 vaccine in the US.
On January 31st, the day following the WHO’s official launching of the global public health emergency and Trump’s decision to curtail air travel with China, CEPI announced its partnership with CureVac AG, a German-based  biopharmaceutical company. A few days later, in early February, CEPI “announced that major vaccine manufacturer GSK would allow its proprietary adjuvants— compounds that boost the effectiveness of vaccines — to be used in the response”. (The pandemic was officially launched on March 11)

Covid-19 Hysteria Vs. Your Actual (Very Low) Chance of Dying

March 28, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - How likely are you to die from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)? Based on the hysteria spreading across the globe, it would seem like the chances are fairly high.

But would report on the actual projected death rate of those who contract Covid-19 based on US Center for Disease Control (CDC) data, noting:
...the death rate in Covid-19 patients ages 80 and over was 10.4%, compared to 5.35% in 70-somethings, 1.51% in patients 60 to 69, 0.37% in 50-somethings. Even lower rates were seen in younger people, dropping to zero in those 29 and younger.
The article also noted that the worst cases involved not only people who were much older, but involved people who were also already unhealthy and vulnerable.

Others have noted that many will likely get Covid-19, think they have an ordinary cold, get better and never even be tested, thus never making it into the statistics meaning the actual death rates are likely even lower than being reported.

In other words, Covid-19 may be slightly more dangerous than the common flu, but not by much. Those who fall into a vulnerable category should obviously be more careful, but the hysteria being spread by governments and ordinary people alike is posing a bigger threat to human wellbeing than the actual virus itself.

Hysteria Will Cause More Harm Than the Virus Itself 

The economic damage alone this hysteria is creating will negatively impact the lives of many more ordinary people than the virus ever could and for a much longer period of time than Covid-19 takes to run its course within the typical human body or across various populations.

For nations like the US who are already in terminal economic, social and political decline, replicating its crumbling economy, society and political system in other nations, even if temporarily by spreading Covid-19 hysteria, may seem like a viable option when all other options, from soft-power to overt military force, have failed to keep the planet in line and within Washington's unipolar "international order."

Nations that have been reluctant to take extreme measures are being pressured to do so by a spreading wave of hysteria, deliberate or not, forcing them to close borders, shut businesses and disrupt the lives of millions, the vast majority of which are in no danger at all from the virus.

A similar trend was seen during the opening years of the US-led so-called "War on Terror" which other nations were forced into backing, including nations like Russia who knew full well the US itself was the chief state sponsor of the very terrorists Washington was supposedly fighting, but were reluctant to take issue with it in the face of perceived public fear over extremism following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Considering just how badly the US exploited and abused that fear, it is hardly a surprise that people today are skeptical of handing large amounts of power over to the same sort of people in the face of another supposed threat.

Governments probably should take certain measures during such outbreaks, but ensuring the line between commonsense steps and the abuse of power is not crossed should be a primary public concern.

Regarding Covid-19, common sense should still be exercised. Avoiding large crowds, staying healthy, eating well, exercising and overall taking care of your body so that your body's immune system can take care of you is the best measure and means of staving of Covid-19 or any other infectious disease, during a pandemic or not.

If you are part of a vulnerable demographic, obviously exercise more caution.

Two Hundred and Thirty Years of Rights and Liberties Shredded: Why I Oppose The Lockdown

Brandon Turbeville aptly compares the creation and leveraging of the so-called "War on Terror" in 2001 with the current Covid-19-mania sweeping the US. 

March 27, 2020 (Brandon Turbeville) - Although it was nearly twenty years ago, I can remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. I remember the shock of hearing about the planes crashing into towers, at first believing it was a tragic accident and quickly learning it to be otherwise. I remember being told that 19 hijackers, part of a fundamentalist plot to destroy America, were behind the attacks and that the mastermind was a man in a cave in Afghanistan named Osama bin Laden.

As all of America was glued to their television screens, many rushed out to give blood in an effort to at least do something to help one another. George W. Bush's answer for Americans was to go to work and then go out and shop. Americans dutifully complied. But the government's answer, in tandem with mainstream media, was also to be afraid. Very afraid. Americans also complied with this request, perhaps more than any other.

In the days and weeks after the initial shock, a college professor informed me about a bill called the PATRIOT ACT that would essentially eviscerate much of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. After class, I questioned him further about the bill, which he explained, and suggested that if I really wanted to understand what was happening, I should read 1984 by George Orwell. I went home and did just that and was surprised to learn that not only was he right, but that I was watching what I was reading happen in front of me in real life.

I watched as the fear of speaking your mind and saying certain words became known as freedom. I watched as Americans came to assume that their communications were listened to, frightened of what they said, but justifying it as they praised their country for being unlike the totalitarian governments of the past. Peace became war. Any suggestion that invading Afghanistan was wrong was unpatriotic. In fact, any criticism of the government was considered unpatriotic and anyone who valued freedom over temporary security was borderline a traitor.

I watched as the United States became The Homeland and I watched as my friends had their window busted out of their car because they did not have one of those ridiculous window flags.

Still, shortly after the event itself, I began speaking out against the erosion of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I questioned the official story of 9/11 and fought against the passage of the PATRIOT ACT. In those days, anyone who did either of these things was considered either woefully ignorant and naive or a traitor who was giving morale support to the enemy.

I spoke out after 9/11 and was largely alone with a few notable exceptions. I was forced to watch the majority of my fellow Americans give away the most precious thing they had, the things which no other country could lay claim to, and the thing that they claimed they were supporting war to protect. America gave away a huge chunk of its rights in the wake of 9/11 and, though they were promised the measures were only temporary, twenty years on we have never received them back.

US Media Defends Al Qaeda in Syria

March 26, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - When is a terrorist group not a terrorist group? Apparently when US foreign policy requires it not to be. This is precisely the case regarding Al Qaeda's Syrian branch - Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS) - the most recent rebrand of Jabhat Al Nusra - which currently occupies the northern Syrian governorate of Idlib. 

The US corporate media has recently attempted to generate public sympathy for HTS - as well as animosity toward Syrian, Russian, and Iranian forces seeking to liberate the supposedly one million people trapped under the terrorist organization's rule. 

Another factor behind US media support for HTS is the necessity to explain why NATO member Turkey is providing direct military and material support for a US-designated terrorist organization, and why the US itself is in turn providing Turkey support to do so. 

Articles have appeared in Newsweek - for example - framing Russian opposition to negotiations with HTS as negative - and echoing US State Department efforts to support the terrorist organization despite it appearing on Washington's official Foreign Terrorist Organization designation list. 

The article titled, "Russia Warns Against Any U.S. Talks with Militant Group It's Bombing in Syria," is actually referring to Al Qaeda's HTS front when it refers to the "militant group" Russia is bombing in Syria. 

Newsweek places Russian statements regarding the US designation of HTS as a terrorist organization in quotes as if to question the veracity of the claim. 

However, a visit to the US State Department's own website reveals a 2018 statement titled, "Amendments to the Terrorist Designations of al-Nusrah Front," which openly admits:
The Department of State has amended the designation of al-Nusrah Front – an al-Qa’ida affiliate in Syria – to include Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other aliases. These aliases have been added to al-Nusrah Front’s designations as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224.

In January 2017, al-Nusrah Front launched the creation of HTS as a vehicle to advance its position in the Syrian uprising and to further its own goals as an al-Qa’ida affiliate. Since January 2017, the group has continued to operate through HTS in pursuit of these objectives.
Thus - according to all sides of the Syrian conflict including Washington - HTS is without doubt - unequivocally a terrorist organization.  

And eventually - 5 paragraphs in - Newsweek also admits HTS is a US-designated terrorist organization - and even includes quotes from US military leaders admitting that Idlib is overrun by extremists. Yet the US-based publication still attempts to frame Syrian and Russian efforts to liberate Idlib from these extremists negatively.   

Newsweek is just one example of the US corporate media obliquely defending terrorism. The New York Times would provide a much more robust defense.