Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 29, 2011
This disturbing story was forwarded by Liz.
Wired.com reported last week that the U.S. military purchased 59,000 integrated circuits in 2010 that were counterfeits made in China (Fishy Chips: Spies Want to Hack-Proof Circuits). Given that integrated circuits are used in weapons systems, there is obvious reason for alarm. Not only could the frauds present reliability problems, but they could also be purposely programmed by their supplier to make weapons inoperable.
The Chinese have also been caught hacking into U.S. network systems. It is clear that the Chinese are a growing threat to national security.
Posted in National Security | Tagged: Chinese, counterfeits, Hacking, Integrated Circuits, US MIlitary | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 2, 2011
With the 24-hour news showing pictures of the Egyptian chaos continuously, many are focused on the lawlessness in that country. Many are also concerned as to what form of government will emerge Egypt after the chaos subsides. The outcome of these issues will have far-reaching effects on the Middle East and greater world. This will play out in Egypt and the other countries that will be enveloped in similar situations with the Untied States being but a bystander.
The current Egyptian events again bring the forefront the issue of America’s dependence on oil from unstable regimes in the Middle East. While Egypt is not an oil producer, the Suez Canal is important in the supply chain for oil. In addition, the instability with other Middle Eastern countries increases the shipping risk at the chokepoint that is the Straits of Hormuz.
The danger of America’s oil dependence on risky sources should have been addressed years, if not decades ago. However, politicians, mainly on the Left, banded together with radical environmentalists to hinder America’s production in coal, oil and nuclear energy.
Besides the national security argument that clearly shows the insanity of America’s energy policy, there is also a strong economic argument. Below are two charts; one showing crude oil spot prices and the other natural gas spot prices from January 4, 2010 to February 1, 2011. While both commodities serve similar purposes, their pricing history during this period has been quite different. Crude oil prices hit a record high for this period this week and will probably go higher . For the same period, natural gas prices have significantly decreased from its highs. The reason for this discrepancy is simple: we are dependent on shaky governments for crude oil with natural gas coming from within United States.
If the United States was lacking in its own energy resources, our use of foreign oil could be justified. However, given the massive amounts of energy resources in North America, there is no excuse for America to be dependent on foreign sources. Environmentalists and their comrades have come up with all sorts of excuses and legal moves to stop America from developing its energy resources. While some of their concerns are valid, there is no greater threat to the United States, both economically and for national security, than being dependent on energy supplies from countries that have disdain for our culture.
The United States must immediately embark on a strategic program towards real energy independence, a goal that is doable. Unlike previous false efforts, this program must include a plan with mandated dates for achieving predetermined goals, such as amounts of new energy supplies discovered and putting nuclear power plant production on the fast-track. Such a program would be similar in size and scope of President Kennedy’s plan to put a man on the moon within the decade of the 1960s. However, the program would require bold leadership, something our current President has shown little of during his first two years in office. In fact, his tactical approach to energy issues has hamstrung energy development in United States, focusing excessively on green technologies that do little to cut America’s dependence on foreign energy and merely creates large for companies such as General Electric.
During the presidential campaign, Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin used the slogan; “drill, baby, drill”. This should be a national rallying cry for what will should America’s most important program of this generation.
Posted in National Security, Oil | Tagged: Coal, Drill Baby Dril, Egypt, Energy, General Electric, Middle East, Natural Gas, Oil, radical environmentalists, Sarah Palin, Straits of Hormuz, Suez Canal, Turmpil, UNited States | Leave a Comment »