The U.S. carried out a missile strike against a Syrian air base Thursday night. The raid was in retaliation for the sarin gas attack ordered by the regime of Bashar al-Assad that killed about 80 civilians including many children.
For its part, the media will spend many days discussing the pros and cons of the U.S. action. But was the raid the only international event to occur within the past 48 hours?
Military and government officials and intelligence analysts receive far more information, including well-vetted classified reports, than civilians.
Media: Domestic News Versus International News
U.S. media is often singularly focused on domestic news. Often the evening news will devote fewer than three minutes to international news. Gone are the days of network correspondents located throughout the world.
But if you are a CEO preparing to expand your outlets, manufacturing sites or businesses abroad, what do you know about the political situation in that country or area? The corporate world is not generally privy to classified government information. Corporate intelligence must be more alert and have better situational awareness to thrive in this world economy.
Here are some examples of recent world news items that many Americans did not learn about from the media. This is critical knowledge for any company wanting to do business in that region:
- Venezuelan demonstrations against the government after the Supreme Court dissolved the Venezuela Congress were brutally crushed.
- A China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is being built with Pakistan providing the security and China providing the advice and funds. They say the CPEC is not a pact against nuclear power India, which has a population of 1.3 billion people close to the 1.5 billion in China. According to multiple recent NightWatch reports, on March 29, 2017, the Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain said, “The foremost responsibility of scientists and engineers shall be to strengthen their grip on science and technology with the help of which they may address the anticipated challenges to business, industries and new technology that will be introduced after the completion of the CPEC.”
- There is a new president in Gambia and many of the government officials are being replaced.
- South Korea’s first woman President, Park Geun-hye, was impeached. She was the first president to be impeached in South Korea.
- North Korea regularly closes areas of the South China Sea for military missile tests, which affects international shipping and businesses.
- China seeks to control the sea lanes of communications in the South China and East China Seas, which would affect shipping and trade.
- Russia and Ukraine continue to have “incidents” along the border area. Each accuses the other of wanting to provoke a conflict. Ukraine denies that its agents or service members are responsible; Russia does the same.
- Turkey is changing its constitution to give the president more power and reduce the power of the parliament.
- The India-Jammu and Kashmir State have been the scene of increased terrorist incidents. Kashmiri terrorists conducted four attacks in three days in March.
Many times, our media focus on just one or two trouble spots per broadcast. But corporate intelligence professionals, like their government counterparts, know they cannot be like a moth solely focused on the light.
We live in a much bigger world in which actions in one area can have a direct effect on many lives and businesses in other areas.
About the Author
James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.
Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 45th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a new book in 2017 “Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.”
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