Category Archives: Security

Russia’s Tank Literally Empty. Reserves Called Up But No Answer

Not long after the Russian dictatorship was mocked and ridiculed for coercing thousands of its own citizens to needless deaths — ill-equipped, unprepared and misled conscripts sent into “action” against Ukraine — news started circulating about its “best tanks” loitering empty and abandoned.

Ukraine Just Captured Russia’s Most Advanced Operational Tank: The T-90M is the latest main battle tank to enter front line Russian service, and one has now been captured by Ukrainian forces.

Perhaps it is easy to see why Russia’s “most advanced” weaponry would be just a sitting duck, empty and silent, for its alleged targets as they approached.

This tank’s crew had been abandoned by Russia long before they climbed out and walked away from their poorly maintained armor in a feckless “action”. I’m sure they were thinking “if this isn’t a war, then why am I being asked to die in this dumb box”.

Russians have a far higher chance of living to see another day when they walk away from the false leadership of team Putin.

The Ukrainian army’s counteroffensive around the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine starting on Sept. 6 destroyed half of the best tank division in the best tank army in the Russian armed forces. A hundred wrecked or captured tanks in a hundred furious hours. That’s how much destruction the Ukrainians inflicted on the Russian 4th Guards Tank Division, part of the elite 1st Guards Tank Army, the Russian army’s best armor formation.

A large amount of the “most advanced” technology by Russia in their “best armor formation” was toast within a few hours.

Illustration of quality of life with Russia’s most advanced engineering within their best formation…

Abandonment in mid September is thus predictable if we believe Russian soldiers in any way were aware of that action let alone initial battle test results five months ago in early May.

Russia’s Best Tank Destroyed Just Days After Rolling into Ukraine […] Kyiv first reported the presence of the T-90M in eastern Ukraine on April 25.

There’s no need to get into the weeds on why this tank is terrible, I mean beyond understanding that Russia delivers sub-par engineering, with unreliable service/support, and non-existent ground leadership (a norm in dictatorships).

From an engineering quality and safety perspective you might say Putin is on par with Musk, driving a Russian tank in Ukraine is about as safe as being in Tesla on public roads.

Actual quality of life with Tesla’s most advanced engineering… Source: vg.no

In other words the “best” technology delivered from a dishonest flip-flopping “strongman” who loves censorship has been proving itself (whether a T90 or Model 3) basically to be…a death-trap.

Or if you prefer history as a comparison instead of “future” cars, Russia appears to be repeating mistakes much like the doomed Nazi crews condemned to serve the hot-headed and disorganized Rommel in WWII.

Nazis abandoned tanks in 1942 like Russia abandons tanks in 2022

A detail about Russian tank engineering is still worth noting here, given the increasingly low morale of Russians who expect to die in them. Instead of latching onto an industrial-age fantasy of “automation” that treats its soldiers as disposables, the American tank platform actually is designed to depend on highly skilled and valued operators.

Difficulties fielding the latest and greatest tank led Russia to pivot from the T-14 and reinvest in older T-80s and T-90As. […] “China and Russia are still operating under a three-man crew mindset and maintaining an auto-loader system,” Sgt. Emmett Fulgham, a tank gunner with 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, told Coffee or Die Magazine last summer. “We have a four-man crew with an actual human loader. Most loaders can do their job in five seconds on a bad day but usually in under four. Russian tanks still take 10 seconds to load, if not longer, so for every round they get off, we can fire two or three times.”

Read that again just to be clear on this point. And especially keep in mind Tesla CEO’s false promises of a future with no need for human interaction with machine.

Over-confidence in full-automation has led both to difficulties in the latest generation of technology achieving readiness. And even if it goes to full production in real-world conditions (battle deployment for T90, public roads for Model 3) it’s not even on par with more-reliable higher-performance human-centered augmentation machinery.

To put it another way Russian leadership doesn’t care about humans much, and certainly doesn’t care about quality or reality. This translates into a ruthless bully mindset that targets defenseless civilians, the most vulnerable, as a quick fix to feel artificially powerful.

Bodies recovered from mass burial site in liberated Ukrainian city ‘show signs of torture’. More than 400 bodies said to be buried at site, including women and children, with Ukrainian president likening discovery to massacre of Bucha.

When any real resistance shows up — military force of trained soldiers and modern weapons — the Russian bully melts into a puddle or runs away.

Russia’s latest response to all this, in light of a very public melt-down, brings us to yet another empty-sounding move.

Putin has said he’s calling his non-active reserves to join his “non-war” with a “non-country“.

Any Russian citizen who is in the reserve can receive a call-up notice. Basically, this can be any man up to the age of 60. “There haven’t been cases like this in peace time, yet by law it is possible. Generally, soldiers and junior officers in reserve are called up. […] “There is no criminal responsibility for refusing the call-up. Just an administrative warning or a fine of up to $10,” Murakhovsky concluded.

Oooops.

Sorry, my bad, that’s actually a story from 2018.

I guess it’s still worth noting from 2018 that Putin is legally allowed to try and get military reserves to fight during peace-time (keeping up the ruse of not being at war with a foreign country while sending soldiers to predictable death in one) and that there’s no penalty for refusing such a suicidal call.

On that point, here’s the actual September 2022 news story about Putin flaunting a call to action.

One-way flight tickets out of Russia began to rapidly begin selling out following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial military mobilisation to call-up 3,00,000 reservists to shore up Russia’s manpower-depleted forces fighting a floundering war in Ukraine…. searches for Aviasales — Russia’s most popular platform for purchasing flight tickets, with a monthly audience exceeding 15 million users — spiked considerably immediately following Putin’s announcement.

The migration data is important. It’s a superb counter-argument to hawkish analysts who try to float things like “at some stage, all the ‘dumb Russians’ will be dead and a few good generals will ultimately become replacements”.

Uhhh, nope. Smart Russians are either leaving, if not already gone, or desperately trying to appear dumb to avoid being seen as a threat to Putin.

Perhaps we can say it’s like the American Civil War where Generals on a rather stupid side of fighting to expand slavery became dumber and dumber (brutal, petty and useless) as time wore on.

Soon headlines should read something like this (puns obviously intended):

Put-in something they don’t want, Rushin’ to get away

The Russian soldiers, despite being under Elon Musk-like censorship and propaganda, clearly saw they should be leaving behind Tesla-like death-trap automation boxes. Russian reservists meant to replace them now also apparently think it’s better to leave behind their military duty.

It all shows how Putin’s attempts to play his best hand instead has repeatedly revealed major weakness of the dictator.

“The whole system is in shock and what makes this situation worse is the absolutely inadequate reaction of Putin personally,” [ex-speechwriter to Putin] Gallyamov told CNN, adding that when Putin “is in shock himself” and “doesn’t know how to act,” the Russian leader “is trying to show that nothing bad is happening.”

Expect passive resistance in Russia to soon turn very hot.

“Having a great time. Does this Russian S400 hiding in Crimea go well with my new vacation bikini?” Source: The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

No clear leadership transition plan in that context begs the obvious next question.

Who can replace Putin? It doesn’t bode well for Russian stability that a smooth transition isn’t in the deck of cards Putin wants Russia to play with.

Dictatorship suggests a very rough road ahead (e.g. see recent news of “suspicious ends met by those who crossed the Kremlin“), unless maybe Putin takes a note from everyone around him (including his infamous friend Snowden) and runs away.

On a related note, how many innocent people must die before Musk leaves Tesla?

Russian Military Desperate: Recruiting Homeless and Prisoners to Fight Putin’s Wars

Two reports together reveal the depravity of Putin’s military footing. The issue stems from a simple fact that nobody in Russia appears willing to fight for Putin (e.g. he’s failed to raise any cause above his personality).

Allegedly there are three main routes (mercenary exploitation, release from incarceration or alternative to desperation) actively used by Russia to recruit soldiers into its “irreversible mistakes“.

Task and Purpose reports first:

The attempt to entice unhoused Russians is the latest sign that the military is getting desperate to meet recruitment goals from the Kremlin. In August, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree for the military to expand from its current 1.9 million person size to 2.04 million. That’s a tough ask for the military. Estimates put Russian casualties in Ukraine at 70,000-80,000, with a third of those being deaths.

Despite having several thousands of soldiers already trained and conscripted, Russia can’t actually field them. Since Putin has insisted on calling the war a “special military operation” and not actually a war, it’s limited his military options. A Russian law prohibits sending conscripts into a war, forcing the Kremlin to rely on its contract soldiers, as well as a slew of mercenaries (oftentimes Russian veterans, but also fighters from Syria and elsewhere). So far Russia has tried to make these contracts more appealing, offering higher pay and bonuses for various “heroic acts.” It appears the government is hoping that can entice unhoused Russians.

And next the BBC reports:

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner group, said those who do not want to send convicts to fight should send their own children instead. Earlier, leaked footage showed him telling inmates they would be freed if they served six months with his group. The Wagner group is believed to have been fighting in Ukraine since 2014. In a statement published on social media after the video went viral, Mr Prigozhin said that if he were in prison he would “dream of” joining the Wagner group to “pay my debt to the Motherland”. He added a message to those who do not want mercenaries or prisoners to fight. “It’s either private military companies and prisoners, or your children – decide for yourself.”

Note that reference to “debt to the Motherland”. Putin never successfully built any loyalty to motherland, so it’s a bit late now to try and pull such an old, tired yarn. It falls flat especially because Putin is known for being dangerously jealous of loyalty to anything other than himself.

If loyalty to nation did work in recruiting military, one would have to wonder how far Putin could let that go before sensing a threat to his own power.

No rational military would have agreed to bumble its tanks into a hostile “non-war” after being told “Ukraine isn’t even a country“. He is known to move the goal-posts so often and serve only himself such that very few could really believe a win could mean anything to the country, only him.

Ultra-processed foods harmful “much like an invading bacteria”

New studies are confirming that ultra-processed foods are harmful, which was expected, but in ways that may have no better solution than better transparency leading to bans.

…researchers have theorized that ultra-processed foods increase inflammation because they are recognized by the body as foreign – much like an invading bacteria. So the body mounts an inflammatory response, which has been dubbed ‘fast food fever’. This increases inflammation throughout the body as a result.

How do they classify a food as ultra-processed?

These foods are also not labelled as such on food packaging. The best way to identify them is by looking at their ingredients. Typically, things such as emulsifiers, thickeners, protein isolates and other industrial-sounding products are a sign it’s an ultra-processed food. But making meals from scratch using natural foods is the best way to avoid the harms of ultra-processed foods.

Processed means not raw or made from raw ingredients — many stages of complicated processing such as the industrial polysaccharide polymer “guar gum” often found in inexpensive dairy products to transform their viscosity (prevent proper crystallization and melt).

While it’s true labels on food packaging don’t say processed, when you see ingredients on food more than six things long… you’re typically getting into processing.

Ice-cream for example should be a short list such as this Strauss label:

That company is yelling at you for a reason. Their label is in fact revealing a huge difference from a list of ultra-processed ingredients like this:

Basically if you see guar gum in ice cream it’s a symptom for you to run, don’t walk, away from its ultra-processed “viscosity” not to mention all its other questionable additives.

That might sound like a new idea but it reminds me of a 1516 “purity law” from the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt, which said beer can only contain barley, hops and water (yeast was later added).

Initially this allow list was only within the Duchy of Bavaria and it gradually expanded across German states becoming a modern German law in 1906. Talk about precedent…

Disinformation 1942: Operation Bertram

Newspapers reported British advances in the south while actual plans for attacks were to come along the north coastline.

The first battle of El Alamein in July 1942 was a clear victory by British forces against over-stretched, exhausted and poorly organized impatient Nazi invaders. Battalions of M3 “Grant” Lend-Lease tanks ripped apart Rommel’s best armored divisions as he predictably advanced from the south below Alam Halfa Ridge. The second battle would be an even bigger victory thanks in part to disinformation tactics.

At the start of the summer the Nazis had been confident they would be rolling into Egypt. General Rommel was so unrealistic about the situation that by the end of June Mussolini himself flew into Libya (under Italian rule) expecting to join a victory parade through Cairo.

Yet General Rommel’s hot-headed and poorly constructed strategy of attacks stalled in a disarray and his propaganda became seen as a laugh. Mussolini in July high-tailed it home as Nazi leaders began to waffle and flail. From this point on the Axis rapidly would be pushed back until entirely out of North Africa.

Rommel’s men show utter disgust with his leadership, while the “unbeatable and unbearable” General Montgomery outsmarts them at El Alamein. Source: “Images of War: The Armour of Rommel’s Afrika Korps” by Ian Baxter.

The man appointed to do it was Britain’s General Montgomery who was set on August 13 to command the Eighth Army. His entrance was something of a shake-up, a move reminiscent of 1917 in WWI when General Lord Edmund Allenby landed as Commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.

Lieutenant General Bernard Montgomery (right), shortly after taking command of the 8th Army, 20th August 1942 and trouncing Rommel. Source: Getty Images.

Deception was a game Allenby had famously adopted in WWI to turn tides and roll through and around the Ottomans (and Germans). He also had written about it after the war, as captured by many books.

Such tactics were back on the table for British planning, as Montgomery decided disinformation would be essential to victory in a second battle of El Alamein. In fact, he would repeat much of the tactical strategy used in WWI — deceive and offset, weaken with artillery, surprise and smash through.

The connection to Allenby’s WWI campaigns was no coincidence for the British in El Alamein. The head of British deception in WWII arguably was Field Marshall Lord Achibald Wavell (British Commander in Chief in the Middle East 1939-1941). He served as a senior officer under Allenby in WWI and thus was well aware of what had worked before and where.

An early WWII test, for example, was the decisive 1940 victory for the British at Sidi Barrani. Successful plans (Operation Compass) were credited to Wavell’s deception expertise. His intelligence operations definitely made a big impression.

Wavell had enabled just 2 divisions (less than 50,000 ready under General O’Connor) to confidently head into battle against over 300,000 Italian soldiers in Egypt. Using an old Allenby WWI tactic, he faked British troop movements and generated bogus radio traffic to suggest they had started relocating out of Egypt and into Greece.

Total surprise was the result. After three months in 1940 just 500 British were killed yet 10 Italian divisions had been destroyed and over 100,000 men taken prisoner.

Fast forward two years, the 6th of October 1942 was the day Montgomery ordered disinformation to be fed to the Germans.

Specific tactical procedures for Operation Bertram were conceived by the brilliant yet controversial Dudley Wrangel Clarke. Deception would be to protect a surprise night offensive near the Mediterranean coast by the British on October 23rd.

Some readers may recall September 25, 1942 was the day an Allied plane had crashed near Spain, which created a certain sense of urgency to deception methods.

There were no survivors; one fatality in particular that worried Allied commanders was a courier who carried sensitive documents about [November 1942] invasion plans for North Africa, called Operation Torch. Allegedly those documents didn’t leak yet it was this incident that inspired Allied intelligence to attempt an intentional leak.

Some readers also may recall that February 1942 was when the British were ignominiously defeated in Singapore due to significant intelligence failures, not least of all reallocation of its own tanks coupled with allegations that the sound of enemy bicycles had been mistaken for approaching tanks.

And on top of all that, “visual deception” had been formalized to confuse and disorient Nazi attacks.

In 1941 the filmmaker Geoffrey Barkas was made Director of Camouflage at General Headquarters (GHQ) Cairo. Among the specially trained Royal Engineers, camouflage officers under his command were artists, zoologists, and theatre and film set designers. Creative improvisation remained key to their success.

Thus in 1942 the British were thinking a lot about shifting from defense to offense and using deception methods to improve chances of success; how to give Rommel the impression of a large slow offensive to come from the south sometime in November, while actually it would come very quickly in the north weeks earlier.

Four elements of disinformation were set in motion for Bertram.

First, the mass of actual British preparations had to be hidden, such as extensive materials in movement around the north.

Second, all the preparations had to appear much slower than reality by a factor of several weeks.

Third, a fiction of British preparations for an attack from the south had to be convincing.

Fourth, during the actual attack along the northern shore there would be sea-borne tactics to distract and disorient the Germans.

The most complicated of these was procedures to conceal actual equipment and men in the north. Mechanized tracks for thousands of tons had to be erased, stacks of supplies had to be minimized. Painted canvas (another Allenby tactic, although dummy horses in WWI) created “dummy trucks”.

Guns and tanks were covered over before sunrise to become invisible by aircraft. Many real trucks also were staged ahead of time so they could be swapped with the canvas ones concealing arrival of more tanks, for example.

Water was of course essential to any bluff in the desert, as Allenby’s WWI disinformation tactics also had demonstrated so well. A fictional assault launch point in the south was set as a target for a fake water pipeline to work towards. It was very openly built using a timeline meant to attract German observation. It was hoped the Nazis would think pipeline status was how they should estimate a attack from the south sometime in November.

The clever efficiency of the fake pipeline was how it reused a small section of props (disused cans) over and over again. A trench was excavated during the day next to materials only to be filled in again at night. This gave the appearance of forward movement to airborne observers. The operation slowly shifted like this indicating progress without any pipe being laid at all.

Another overt procedure by the British was moving tanks during daylight to attract attention. At night these tanks moved forward elsewhere to be concealed, and their last positions filled by dummy tanks coupled with noisy wireless signals to convince Germans of slower progress.

All the emphasis on a southern front and late attack then led to yet another deception tactic when British forces began their actual attack in the north along the coastline. Fast boats fitted with loudspeakers played recordings of battle sounds to give the impression of flanking by an amphibious landing. This also helped serve as disinformation related to November plans in Operation Torch amphibious landings.

Montgomery’s operation worked as intended. The Nazis were unprepared and disorganized, shortly in retreat.

The third phase of the battle, ‘Break-out’, was fought between 1 and 4 November 1942, when Montgomery, judging Rommel’s forces at breaking point, ordered the final blows against them. By 3 November it was obvious that Rommel was preparing to withdraw, and the next morning the 5th Indian Brigade attacked, driving a wedge through Rommel’s front, thus enabling the 1st and 7th Armoured Divisions and the 2nd New Zealand Division to go in pursuit of enemy forces, now in full retreat. In Britain, the church bells were rung for the first time since May 1940 to celebrate the Eighth Army’s success which was, as Winston Churchill described it, ‘a glorious and decisive victory’.

British deception had worked so well it completely convinced Nazi observers they faced no threat at all in the north, right before they were attacked from the north. Montgomery faced difficulty, of course, yet his surprise tactics rolled quickly towards victory with troops in high morale laughing at Rommel.

Despite replaying a (modified) WWI strategy that had been widely discussed by the British themselves over the 20 prior years, Montgomery managed to achieve high shock value. Rommel by comparison was entirely predictable and defeated as such (although more research is needed to determine whether Axis communications, especially Italian, were decrypted at Bletchley Park and their North Africa campaigns had been totally compromised).

Perhaps then, even more to the point of security, the true triumph in deception under Operation Bertram may have been achieving such a level of secrecy that Allied plans were neither compromised nor even guessed.

Map of British victory in second battle of El Alamein under the headline: “8th ARMY IS ADVANCING OVER THE WHOLE FRONT. Rommel’s Tanks Retreat in North.” Source: Evening Standard, 5 Nov 1942

Montgomery on 5 November 1942 poses in front of his personal American-made M3 Grant tank, named by the British after the greatest U.S. general and president in history. Source: IWM photo E18982

Cyberwar and Drugwar: “Metaphors We Live By”, by Lakoff and Johnson

This book published in 1980 was required linguistics reading when I attended college many years ago.

It’s been coming up a lot lately, as people start to realize that disinformation is an area of security thousands of years old.

Here’s a quick explanation of the book’s thesis:

One of the most useful applications of this old book for me has been to explain how a rhetoric of war is overused in information security. It undermines a practice of computer security as a science.

Technology giants and governments pour time and money into loose concepts of “cyber war” yet remain mostly unprepared for even the most banal and predictable integrity issues (e.g. “deep fakes“).

As another example the “war on drugs” has even more documentation of failure. It was a concealed racist metaphor initiated by President Nixon to silence American political speech and incarcerate Blacks on false pretense.

The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.

This has been widely discussed by historians so shouldn’t surprise anyone. Technology giants and government in the 1960s used drugs as a metaphor for Blacks, turning the country backwards into President Wilson’s (KKK) race war platform of the 1910s.

If that fact surprises anyone, they’re probably going to be angry they have been taught lies due to some “Young Turks”.

Gerald Ford became President of the United States after he rose to prominence in a right-wing group called “Young Turks” and Nixon chose him as VP. Donald Rumsfeld also was a “Young Turk”.

The “war” on drugs was initiated and waged by a radical Republican faction known as “Young Turks“. Although it now frequently is declared “lost”, as drugs are more widely sold and used in America than ever I don’t know anyone who brings the loss back to those who came up with the metaphor.

In 1960 he was mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential running mate for Richard Nixon. In 1963 a group of younger, more progressive House Republicans—the “Young Turks”—rebelled against their party’s leadership, and Mr. FORD defeated Charles Hoeven of Iowa for chairman of the House Republican Conference, the number three leadership position in the party. In 1963 following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, President Johnson appointed GERALD FORD to the Warren Commission that investigated the crime. […] In the wake of Goldwater’s lopsided defeat at the hands of Lyndon Johnson, GERALD FORD was chosen by the Young Turks to challenge Charles Halleck for the position of minority leader of the House. With the help of then- Congressmen Donald Rumsfeld and Bob Dole, Mr. FORD narrowly upset Halleck.

Despite all the “Young Turk” leadership driving over-militarized U.S. interventions to incarcerate or assassinate non-whites and silence political opposition, they instead turned military bases into a “symbol of our definitive loss“.

Get-tough measures on part of police and prosecutors have done nothing to reduce the demand for narcotics, and demand will always beget supply. The 50-year history of the failed War on Drugs has taught nothing if not that. Perhaps there is no greater symbol of our definitive loss in that interminable war than Fort Bragg itself. From this flagship base, the beating heart of the U.S. special-operations complex, the military apparatus behind the global War on Drugs deploys to the far corners of the world. Green Berets train security forces in countries like Colombia, El Salvador, and Honduras. Delta Force reportedly took part in the anti-cartel operations that killed Pablo Escobar and captured El Chapo Guzmán. Yet drive down Bragg Boulevard into the Bonnie Doone neighborhood of Fayetteville, and in between the storage facilities, mobile-home dealerships, and tattoo parlors, you will find roach motels full of addicts, indigent veterans camped out beneath bridges, and strung-out junkies hanging around boarded-up trap houses. The dismal tide of synthetic opioids and amphetamines has penetrated Fort Bragg’s high-security gates, permeated through to the lowliest privates’ barracks, and caused at least a dozen overdose deaths in just the last year. These dead soldiers, who far outnumber combat casualties, are clearer proof of the United States’ unequivocal defeat in its longest-running international military campaign than a white flag run up over the main parade field. As the old saying goes: The War on Drugs is over — drugs won.

See the problem with the metaphor?

A “war” to criminalize an “antiwar left” and Black Americans never really intended to stop drugs. Assassinating non-white leaders considered “too left” did basically nothing to end a drug crisis because that’s obviously not how anyone would go about reducing production and use of drugs, especially since white leaders are heavily involved in the drug crisis too yet escape justice.

Unfortunately it still gets talked about in terms of drugs instead of politics and race because the metaphor became so ingrained.

How many white Americans hate non-white immigrants? Far more today than if there had not been a “war” trying to convince them non-whites are drug users.

Thus returning to the early 1900s race war (e.g. Red Summer) by another name is what really came from the metaphor — turning Americans into a mindless militant crusade against other Americans — and so you still see today a rhetoric from the Republican extremists about drug this and that when they really mean non-whites.

In that sense Nixon, Ford, Rumsfeld, Reagan… were all really a sad repeat of Prohibition-era racism, which also worked too well. The KKK had a policy of assassination and incarceration of Blacks hidden inside an anti-alcohol platform.

The KKK’s war on alcohol as much as the “war” on drugs has failed, in other words they succeeded in both cases seriously destroying political power and American prosperity of other Americans (non-whites). America did not completely stop alcohol production or consumption (mostly shutting down non-white distilleries, breweries and taverns while giving exception licenses to whites), and instead used its government for excessive violence against Blacks. Today we know whites and conservatives sell and make heavy use of drugs yet the Nixon (and later Reagan) concept of this “war” never intended to target them.

Cyber and drugs are just two examples of how “war” has become the unfortunate metaphor that Americans still live by.

Or, to put it like a recent book about Pentagon growth, “Everything became war and the military became everything”.