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US Cyber and AI at ‘Kindergarten’ Level According to Former Pentagon Official

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For the US military and intelligence communities, the ongoing cyber war has become a focus of their everyday efforts. 2021 has been a banner year for cyber-attacks, and there doesn’t seem to be any letting up on the horizon.

Most of the damage has come at the hands of Russia and China, and despite the Biden administration’s attempts at mitigation, the constant wave of attacks persist.

For those looking for a silver lining in this time of grey clouds, the past few days certainly has not provided any, as this week uncovered the revelation that according to a former Pentagon official, America’s “AI capabilities and cyber defenses of some government departments were at kindergarten level.” 

Nicolas Chaillan, who recently resigned from his post at the Department of Defense’s headquarters, told the Financial Times this week that “We have no competing fighting chance against China in fifteen to twenty years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion,” 

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Chaillan also expressed his frustration with the lack of priority that the current administration is putting on cybersecurity in a LinkedIn post announcing his resignation from the Pentagon, writing that he was “just tired of continuously chasing support and money to do my job. My office still has no billet and no funding, this year and the next,”

Chaillan’s resignation letter is yet another example of the Biden administration’s almost laughable incompetence and failure. In far less than a year, everything from the Southern Border, to energy, the economy and Afghanistan, have all blown up on the executive branch. The result has been a major decline in America’s reputation as the world’s leading superpower. 

And because of this new loss of respect, China has now been emboldened to begin terrorizing Taiwanese airspace over the past 2 months, while using its state-controlled media to criticize America. 

Further illustrating the drop in standing for the US internationally is the fact that this increased Chinese aggression began ramping up in the wake of seemingly empty threats of economic sanctions against the Red Dragon from the United States and Europe as a result of the Microsoft Exchange hack that affected more than 60,000 public and private entities in the United States. The attack was credited to the Chinese Advanced Persistent Threat group Hafnium. Hafnium is known to obfuscate their location and identity using a web of virtual private servers (VPS) that are located in America and then targeting political groups including US defense contractors, think tanks, and researchers.

President Trump was easily far better at keeping the Chinese threat in check, as last summer, after the initiation of the Phase One Trade Deal and during the COVID pandemic, major Chinese companies Huawei Technologies Co. and Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. were added to the Pentagon’s list of “Communist Chinese military companies operating in the United States,” opening them up to potential sanctions. 

But under Biden, China is effectively operating with impunity while the “Kindergarten Cops” in the administration have failed to muster any meaningful response to an increasingly brazen China.

And we also mustn’t forget the fact that American safety was threatened when vital personal protective equipment was withheld by Red China just last year.

Will these developments lead to stronger calls for retaliation? Possibly, but if so, can Americans trust the Biden administration to lead us through a conflict with China?


Julio Rivera is a business and political strategist, the Editorial Director for Reactionary Times, and a political commentator and columnist. His writing, which is focused on cybersecurity and politics, has been published by websites including Newsmax, Townhall, American Thinker and BizPacReview.

 

 

 

Opinion

Military Readiness

A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021

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A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021

See more A.F. Branco cartoons on his website Comically Incorrect.

 

 

A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021 See more A.F. Branco cartoons on his website Comically Incorrect.    

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Southwest Caves to Pressure from Anti-Vaccine Employees

But there’s one heck of a catch.

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Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees.

The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue.

Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters.

By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down.

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Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees.

“The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber.

And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement.

The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported.

It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees. The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue. Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters. By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down. Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees. “The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber. And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement. The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported. It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

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