Posts Tagged ‘cyberattacks’

by Richard Martin

I don’t have enough information to recommend any particular course of action or predict specifics of what could unfold. However, history, geopolitical and strategic analysis can provide some indicators.

At the level of ends

Ultimate goal: Putin is seeking to reconstitute the Russian empire to at least the Cold War extent, possibly even pre-WW1 Romanov Empire.

Intermediate goal: Force reintegration of Ukraine with Russia, either formally, or as a Russian “ally,” like Belarus.

Immediate goal: Destabilize Ukraine with a view to annexing all of Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts, possibly other areas, such as Mariupol, to reunite the entire Donbass.

Other than that, specific objectives and timelines will depend on circumstances and opportunity. In the current instance, I believe Putin is going to push as far as he can go while keeping the US and allies out of Ukraine.

Ukraine has been trying to get into Nato for years, but Russia wants to avoid that at all costs. Once Ukraine is in Nato, then it is linked by mutual defence pact with 30 other nations and comes under the US strategic deterrent, thus making any further Russian moves against Ukraine much riskier, if not impossible.

At the level of ways and means, any combination in whole or in part of kinetic operations, ideological struggle, psychological operations, cyberattacks against government/military communications and C2 networks, intelligence gathering, subversion, clandestine financing, disruption of utilities and banking, destruction of financial and academic networks, disinformation, deception, misdirection, etc.

This war is already on, and we are in the rear area, as far as Russia is concerned. Canada is under attack as we speak. Russia did not cause the truckers’ convoy nor the stupidity of our federal government decrees which are the proximate cause of the revolt, but they have been taking advantage of it. We are seeing massive disinformation on social media and being fed to traditional media, some of it so ham handed that it should be obvious. Unfortunately, so many people are running around with their hair on fire right now that they can’t even see what is happening.

I believe that Canada has been under sustained cyberattack of our governmental, infrastructural, and financial networks for at least 3-4 weeks. There is probably direct funnelling of funds to some of the protesters or groups, most of whom probably don’t even realize who the source is. This is not a bunch of “Trump supporters” in MAGA hats, the World Economic Forum, or far-right neo-Nazis. The disruption is being deliberately orchestrated and conducted by state-level power(s) with tremendous resources. The attack on Canada is aimed at driving a wedge between us and our allies, especially Ukraine. Either it’s because Russia sees us as a conduit to harass other countries, or we really get under their skin. Probably it’s both.

Trudeau proclaimed a public order emergency on 14 Feb under the federal Emergencies Act. The act gives two specific criteria for this type of emergency, one of which pertains to grave threats against our sovereignty, national security, and security of Canadians. We’re not talking about people waving banners. I am no fan of Trudeau but I think he took this action as a means of regaining control of the situation, from a geopolitical standpoint. It may prove in hindsight to be an overreaction. Time will tell. The reasons he is giving for maintaining the emergency appear lame and indefensible.

I have discussed with like-minded friends and colleagues why he doesn’t just come out and say what is happening, but that would be even more speculation than already.

Whatever happens in Ukraine or even Canada, just remember that most of the news is noise.

I hope that helps to understand the situation from a strategic standpoint.

© Richard Martin

Richard Martin is President, Alcera Consulting Inc. He focuses on extracting signals from all the noise.