Dimitar Zayakov's Posts (9)

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The spontaneous revolutions in the Arab countries resulted in the deposing of the despotic regimes in some of them, while in others /Jordan, Syria, Libya/ they grow in scale through armed clashes and mass  peaceful protests aiming the final removal of the discredited rulers. This wave of discontent can possibly incite certain forces in some of these countries to redraw the borders in the region as they were determined with the participation of the European powers in 1916-1922. These borders were later shifted during the Iraq war /some ethnic enclaves arose/ and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. There HAMAS took control after parliamentary elections. With the signing of the Camp David Peace Accords between Israel and Egypt /March 1979/ the period of expectations of achieving a final lasting peace in the Middle East set in. Since then until the present moment the parties in the conflict /Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Autonomy (PA)/ participate with varying persistency in negotiations recognizing that the eventual successful conclusion of the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue is the key for solving the problems.  Currently, however, under the impact of the wind of changes preconditions for revising the foreign policy targets of the negotiating countries arise and the outline of additional difficulties emerges resulting from government changes.

The upheavals in the area were unexpected and they took the political strategists in Israel by surprise. The government missed its chance to respond in due time and in accordance with the changing environment. The prognostics assessment and the intentions for interactions in the new political reality were delayed for a long period of time. No matter what steps will be taken from now on it is important to realize that the region becomes subordinate to new political rules. This state of affairs requires new strategic thought and  preemptive decision making and not merely following the events.  

The peoples’ aspirations for reforms and democratic changes in the countries affected by the revolutions come into conflict with the popularly constructed notion that these people are undeserving and immature and they are inapt to achieve their purpose. Obviously the mass disturbances vented certain amount of the accumulated  pressure but unfortunately they can still not nominate stable political leaderships. Two possible scenarios for getting the processes under control are emerging in Egypt  affected by the Revolution of 25 January- with the military or with the ascend of the radical Islamists of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to power. By the first one the parting with the military is imminent  as they are identified with the previous status quo and they are not anticipated to justify the expectation for reforms. In view of this  the people’s attention logically turns to the second possibility – the representatives of MB /HAMAS in the Palestinian Autonomy, Hezbollah in Lebanon etc./. HAMAS is a vivid example of political metamorphosis by which the admittedly terrorist and supported by Iran Shiite organization was transformed into a political force. Judging by the dynamics of the developing processes it can be ascertained that is a matter of tactical evaluation by the radical Islamic movements /Egypt and Tunisia/ when the time for assuming power to set in. And what is more Israel especially has to live with the notion that the Islamic regime which will eventually come to power in Egypt will try to receive an international recognition.  On account of this it can be expected that the new government will not denounce the peace treaty with Israel but will rather take action for its subversion. The analyses and assessments show that the troubles for the countries participating in the negotiations will begin with the replacement of the secular regimes by the rule of the radical Islamic movements. Despite of the Islamic diversity the individual subjects are united by the common ideas that the religious law (the Sharia) must be adopted in the countries and that the “infidels” must be fought.

One of the topics of the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue is the creation of an independent state Palestine with capital East Jerusalem. It can be expected that  its decision can be abandoned for a very long time by eventual similar political development  in the neighbouring Hashemite Kingdom. It has to be taken into consideration that Israel has its longest border with Jordan in close proximity to which many Jews live. The  eventual downfall of the King’s regime  will affect the dialogue worse than Hosni Mubarak’s fall from power.

As a whole the Palestinians will feel more and more the support of Egypt including for averting the attacks on the Gaza strip. For the first time since many years a genuine satisfaction was felt at the official statement of the new Egyptian government on the last Israeli air attacks on the Gaza strip.  It is caused mainly by the resolute tone of the new Foreign Minister of Egypt Mr. Nabil El-Arabi, despite that Egypt is currently occupied with its internal problems and has temporarily abandoned its relations with Israel. Simultaneously eventual military operations in Gaza will provoke reaction and protests in Cairo which will have to be addressed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The problem is that the rule is no longer in the hands of  the convenient Hosni Mubarak and Omar Suleyman.

It can be anticipated that the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue faces new difficulties analyzing the current processes in the Middle East and the prospects for their development. Israel lost its moderate partners-mediators with the Palestinians in the persons of the former President Hosni Mubarak and the present Vice President Gen. Omar Suleyman.

The probability the power in Egypt to pass in the hands of the radical Islamists after the parliamentary elections in September this year is high. It is expected that this will result in a tougher policy towards Israel and in provoking either suitable real steps towards the solution of the controversial issues in the dialogue / the return of the Palestinian refugees, the creation of Palestinian state, releasing the Palestinian prisoners/ or in discontinuing the negotiations for an indefinite period of time.      

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Security risks in Abidjan


The situation in Ivory Coast and mainly in the economic capital Abidjan since last year’s presidential elections remains unstable. The newly elected head of state Alassane Ouattara was also recognized by the international community too. In spite of this his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo refuses until now to step down /under the pretext that the elections have been manipulated/ and organizes an armed resistance against the legally elected President. The clashes currently have reached  a decisive phase. The city of Abidjan  held by the incumbent president’s forces remains the  main enclave of the opposition  after Alassane Ouattara established control over most of the country. It is estimated that ca. 10000 supporters of Laurent Gbagbo,  armed with tanks and light weapons are in town. A preparation for decisive offensive is being made after the French contingent of  Licorne,s military base  /ca. 1400 men/ and the UN forces /numbering about 900 soldiers who since 2003 enforce the truce between the battling tribal groups/ established control over “Felix Houphouet Boigny””  international airport.

 

The military conflict causes fear, chaos and panic among the population /the number of killed during the last three days exceeds 1000/ and is the main cause for the unfolding humanitarian crisis. Some estimate that more than 1 million people have fled their homes, some of them finding shelter in catholic missions. The population is horrified and panic stricken by the incumbent president through killings and terror and his supporters attack the homes of Alassane Ouattare’s followers and put entire families to death.

 

The security risks for the foreign citizens who happened to be around and who are threatened by  looting, kidnappings and racket  dramatically increased. Nearly 1700 foreigners /including ca. 800 French citizens/ have been sheltered at  Licorne’s military base. The restoration of the civil flights and the evacuation of the foreign subjects are under preparation. Despite of the efforts four foreign citizens – two French /the director of hotel Novotel and the chairman of the board of Ivorian agro-industrial group Sifca, one Beninese and one Malaysian/ have been kidnapped from Novotel Abidjan /Abidjan/.

 

The commercial vessels in the Abidjan port  and their crews /18 Bulgarian and 3 Ukrainian sailors are on one of the vessels/ are also under threat. They can not leave the area, the borders have been closed. They are isolated from any information about the events in town and the port administration is also closed. The civil servants can not reach their homes because the streets are blocked and there is  a risk for their lives.

 

The situation in Ivory Coast and mainly in one of the biggest and important cities Abidjan can be assessed as extremely tense. There is a danger of a wave of refugee  and a humanitarian crisis is looming. The population is subjected to an unprecedented terror and mortal fear. The situation analysis shows that Laurent Gbagbo’s forces will be driven out from town which will mark the beginning of the end of their resistance.

 

The security risks for the foreign citizens dramatically rise. Measures on the part of the international community are urgently needed for mediating in establishing contacts between the ship owners and the vessel crews with the task to guarantee the security and the normal conditions for the sailors stranded in the closed port.

 

 To get the full analysis, please contact office@risksolution.org

 

 

 

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Deception--Proof Fraud

Usually deception and fraud are assumed to be, if not synonymous, at least in a relationship of implying each other. This is a well justified view since deception is misrepresentation, distortion of truth, and hiding the truth while fraud is gaining something one is not entitled of or preventing illegally and/or immorally other persons to make a gain and causing them suffer a loss as a consequence of deception. To put it in brief, deception is the first step (a preparatory stage) and fraud is the second one—the fulfillment (No doubt, temporally both steps could coincide, but logically they are distinguishable).

 

There is, however, a vast area of emerging fraud aerobatics where deception cannot be identified but fraud, nevertheless, is present. This possibility is due to the connection between deception and truth and, on the other hand, between fraud and unauthorized gain/loss. It is perfectly possible that truth is not to be distorted (no evidence for deception) but fraud is still committed. In most cases, a statement is perceived to be false when it does not correspond to the matter of fact. This allows envisaging a situation where reality is defined and constructed way of statements expressing vested interests to correspond to it. The goal of such correspondence would be to ensure an unauthorized gain or cause an unjustified loss to another party, that is, fraud. This could be exemplified by mass privatization in a volatile situation. In such a case, there is no guarantee that the privatization companies, which have collected the privatization stocks, will be in a position of paying any dividends and even of existing on the market in foreseeable future. Therefore, no deception can be claimed where they stop (or even do not start) paying dividends or disappear from the stock markets. Which means that the losses of hundreds of thousand or even millions participants in a mass privatization are fraud free. The same holds true about situations of hyper inflation.

 

Another way to view truth would be to compare a statement to a set of initial principles. If the given statement corresponds to that principle set, it is true and if not, it is false. In this case too, the principles could be manipulated in such a manner as to secure the correspondence of the needed statements and to avoid any hint of deception. For instance, an industry can be suggested being in bridge of the principles of doing a sustainable business. No surprise, this industry will be under the constant threat of eminent bankruptcy and no deception could be argued of when the bankruptcy really happens. Neither the losses of industry’s shareholders nor the gain of those who profited from the bankruptcy could be considered as fraudulent.

 

Finally, truth could be described as what is beneficial for a community or for the society as a whole. Any assertion and action which does not contradict this definition would be true. The money acquired from some activities could be spent highly beneficially on a certain community (but be disastrous for the rest of society) and in this sense not constituting deception; for this reason the above money producing activities will not be classified as a fraud neither the subsequent fund investment as a money laundering.

 

In all above cases, there is no deception. Nevertheless, fraud is present. What is the criterion for a fraudulent activity? Being illegal? But any statement and following action that is deception-free and does not rely on violence will comply with the letter of the law. To extend the scope of the law a judiciary is needed ready to identify something as a fraud on the ground of acquiring unjust gain and/or causing unjust harm no matter whether any deception is detected or not.

By Assoc. Prof. Alexander Gungov,Ph.D.,Senior Consultant

 

To get the full analysis, please contact office@risksolution.org
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Consumerism seems to be the main characteristic of all developed societies over at least the last four decades. Developing societies are encouraged to proceed towards the same predominance of consumerist values over all other kinds of values. The prevailing assumption is that the more consumerist a country is the more developed it proves to be. Counter all expectations, this tendency does not apply in full scale to the new democracies and new markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Strangely enough, this is due not to their under developed character but just the opposite: these societies have outrun the mature consumerist countries in Old Europe as well as those in the other parts of the World. Abundant evidence shows that the less consumerist attitude of New Europe is not a sign of lagging behind the examples of prosperity but a firm mark of being in advance of them in a state that can be reasonably defined as post-consumerism. By the same quirk of fate, the just emerging democracies in the Middle East are being accepted in the bosom of post-consumerist situation skipping, like their fellows in the Eastern and Central Europe, the properly consumerist phase.

 

The above observations could not only be of theoretical significance, but can acquire a very tangible impact on investors, lenders, donors, etc. intending to deal with these parts of the World. Moreover, the interpretation of investment policies in the developed countries cannot avoid being affected by the notion of post-consumerist society. The difference between these two types of society can be perceived by the basic indicators determining each of them. While in making sense of a consumerist society of prime importance would be purchasing power index, GDP level, and availability of skilled labor; in understanding a post-consumerist society, another type of indicators appears in the foreground. Among them can be identified the average life expectance, density of the population, general mortality and morbidity, vaccination and infectious disease prevention culture, alcohol and drug abuse patterns, GP and nurses per capita and so on. The importance of the illiteracy rate increases tremendously while the percentage of the high school and college graduates turns out to be relatively insignificant.

 

Apparently, neither production nor consumption have disappeared in the current epoch but their status is transformed into byproducts or side effects of post-consumerist life. The withdrawal of consumerist values does not result in highlighting moral, religious, intellectual or aesthetic ones. Rather, the delusion that consumption determines the sense of life is still dominant but for the functioning of a given society the role of consumption is negligible. That is why an adequate analysis of the newest tendencies in any society around the globe can safely ignore consumerism indicators and concentrate on post-consumerist components.

By Alexander L. Gungov, Ph.D. Senior Consultant

To get the full analysis, please contact office@risksolution.org
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Among the Egyptian society are growing the doubts concerning the correctness of the Higher Council of the Armed Forces’ (HCAF) activity after the 25th of January revolution. The assessment of the events after Hosni Mubarak’s fall shows that both the stepping down of the former President and the unprecedented transfer of the country rule into the hands of the army has followed a pre-agreed scenario. It can be assumed that several goals have been pursued. The main one is to subdue the rage of the revolution and to blur the guilt by distracting the public attention away from the real culprits for the crisis in Egypt and through a loyal to the regime government HCAF. Simultaneously it is intended during the interim period of power transfer from the HCAF into the hands of the civil society to create favorable conditions for the exoneration of the compromised rulers and their return on the political scene with a new image.

The Egypt military traditionally enjoy high social trust and support. The facts that they do not participate in internal political scuffles, they have no repression functions against the population etc. contribute to this public attitude. All presidents of the country have risen from the circles of the senior officers during the last almost 60 years. At the same time during the years the supreme military staff appointed, promoted, decorated and demoted personally by the President used to form an oligarchic society loyal to the ruler. For these their merits and after retiring the senior officers used to be appointed for life and still holding the offices of governors, general managers, company managers continuing to serve the rulers. There are well founded suspicions that a part of the generals including the Minister of Defense Field Marshall Tantawi and other members of the HCAF are corrupt and enriched through embezzlement and profiteering. Consequently it is reasonable that the military continue to delay the beginning of the investigation against Mubarak, his family as well as others from the oligarchic military circles. The prevailing conclusion is that the role of the HCAF is not to assist the democratic processes but rather to delay them as long as possible. No doubt those different legal tools will be applied with the help of which obstacles for the organizational structuring and grow of the newly emerged /with a considerable democratic potential/ parties will be created. Probably it will be attempted under the shadow of the suspended Constitution although certain amendments were passed, to speed up the Parliamentary and Presidential elections and to deny the democratic forces the possibility to regroup.

There are other signs of the HCAF role hindering the democratic development, the analysis of the events shows. As high ranking sympathizers /army is depoliticized/ of the National Democratic Party /NDP/ the military will most probably back the initiated tacit campaign for the hoisting of the “Muslim Brotherhood” into power /NDP voted for the constitutional reforms/. This is a well calculated move aimed at scaring and manipulating the public and by which the path for the coming back of the NDP at a later stage will be cleared. The activity of the HCAF can be assessed as aimed at accomplishing precisely the above scenario. By approving the law criminalizing strikes and protests the public is being deprived of its fundamental right to defend its rights. The law offenders may be subject to a fine of up to half a million pounds /ca. USD 100 000/. The law was enforced on 23 March dispersing striking students from the Faculty of Mass Communications at Cairo University. The students’ demands for suspending the Faculty dean and the university lecturers associated with the MB and conducting political activity on the university campus, were drowned by the military police. Notwithstanding the legal bans of entry into university halls of residence this was done. Professors, lecturers and students against whom physical force was applied were detained. Nowadays the crimes and personal assaults including rape are becoming more frequent in Egypt and especially in the capital Cairo. It is logical to consider that it is more pressing that the HCAF had focused its attention on combating crime instead of approving the law against the strikes and protests.

The analysis of the HCAF activity indicates that the Council demonstrates partiality towards the remnants of the former regime and that it will try to hinder the democratic transformations. It is possible that its support for the clandestine resistance of the deposed regime increases in the future. This support will materialize in passing legal acts and in misuse of the danger of the striving for power “Muslim Brotherhood” but secretly backing it. Apparently it is essential to sooner execute the transfer of power from the HCAF.

 

To get the full analysis, please contact office@risksolution.org
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The situation in Magreb and the strike against the despotic regime of Gaddafi by the Western coalition, sharpen the stand of long ignored and discriminated minorities in wider European context. This specifically refers to one of the most oppressed and numerous the Roma minority. The present analysis discusses rising trisks, emerging out of economic inequalities, but also deeper cultural discrepancies among Roma people in South Eastern Europe. Demographic, educational, employment, qualification disproportions, as well as rising criminality etc. leads to qualitative changes in national identities as result of systematically neglected integration of minorities (Roma in particular) for the last 20 years, e.g. and ineffective policies of EC towards so called “shifting identities” are of specific concern. The analysis offers pragmatic ideas and measures for intervention policies preventing probable implosions and social protest (in chain like patterns) of Roma communities in Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and oth. These may have a negative impact on the security of Europe and the Balkans with wide outreaching effect. Latest data and prognostic scenarios of leading centres for risk assessment in Germany, UK, USA, as well as own system monitoring of these process are used. The analysis may support NGO and state institutions engaged in complex risks reduction in modern societies and mutually interweaved global world.

 

By Prof. Dr. sc. Plamen K.Georgiev, Senior Consultant

To get the full analysis, please contact office@risksolution.org
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Who won the Egypt referendum

The referendum (19 March) on the constitutional reforms in Egypt was held in compliance with the state laws. Certain violations at a number of polling stations were reported but they were insignificant and could not affect the final outcome.

The referendum (19 March) on the constitutional reforms in Egypt was held in compliance with the state laws. Certain violations at a number of polling stations were reported but they were insignificant and could not affect the final outcome. Nearly 18.5 million voters (41.1% of those eligible 45 million Egyptians) turned out. Of these 77.2% (14.2 million) voted in favour of the reforms and with ca. 23% (4 million)- opposed. These results can be considered as a successful test for what the sentiments of the Egyptian society before and during the parliamentary elections (most probably in September this year) will be like.

 

Some preliminary estimates of the shares of the participating parties, movements and individual politicians in the votes were confirmed. The constitutional reforms were backed by the biggest opposition power “The Muslim brotherhood” /MB/ and its coalition partners the “Salafist, movement, “Al Jama’a Al-Islamiya”, the newly established moderate Islamic party “Al-Wasat” close to MB and others. The conservative National Democratic Party /NDP/ of the stepped-down President Hosni Mubarak also voted in favour of the reforms. Obviously the reasons for backing the reforms are different for the biggest political players although they have one common reason too – both political powers win by shortening the period until the elections by evading the cardinal problems or stated in other words by delaying the cardinal constitutional reforms. This actually leads to postponing of the essential constitutional changes.

 

MB retains its well built organizational structure in the country as well as its followers. It remains the only major oppositional force in the political sphere. The organization prefers the elections to be held sooner which will prevent the remainder of the opposition and the remnants of the previously ruling NDP from regrouping. Otherwise it is possible that an alternative player shows up which can cause a serious competition in the elections. There is some talk already about the planned formation of the political party “Freedom and Justice” with the purpose to broaden the support by the population for MB and for its entering the political life in Egypt. A prerequisite for the speedier legal formation of the party is the present constitution to remain in force rather than suspended.

NDP benefits from the approval of the constitutional reforms too. Giving its vote it relies on retaining its dwindling number of supporters and on rallying the party before the parliamentary elections. The enactment of an amended Constitution preserves the status quo to e certain extent thus extending time to the party for reorganizing itself, for expelling the discredited party members, for reinforcing its structures in the country and for the endorsing its image of a reformed party. Failing to convince the public in its new inception NDP can most probably share the destiny of many failed parties – to be officially dissolved and voices to this effect can already be heard in the political spheres.

 

The parties, movements and the politicians (the liberal “Al Wafd” party, the left “Al Tagammo” party, the 8.5 million Copts and the two main Presidential candidates – the Secretary General of the Arab League Mr. Amr Moussa and the former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and opposition leader Mr. ElBaradei demand substantial constitutional and democratic reforms and not barely political cosmetics, voted “against”. The necessary extended time for the drafting of a new Constitution gives a chance to these parties and movements to have longer time to prepare for the elections, to complete its party structures and to receive their public endorsement in the Egypt political sphere.

The referendum clearly demonstrated that MB is the new political force in Egypt. Most probably it will dominate the newly elected Parliament and dictate further political changes in the country. The formation of the “Freedom and Justice” party within days can be expected. With the declared open doors for party members from the whole social spectrum in the country it will further expand the MB influence. The future foreign policy orientation of Egypt will depend on what the future behavior of the movement and of its concomitant party will be.

 

 

To get the full analysis, please contact office@risksolution.org
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Call For Papers

Information & Security: An International Journal

Special issue on

Countering Maritime Piracy

Editor: Prof. Alexander Yankov
Judge, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

 

{Keywords: piracy, situational awareness, maritime sovereignty, maritime safety, security or maritime transport, emerging security challenges, transport infrastructure, harbor protection, risk analysis, terrorism, counterterrorism, threats, risks, vulnerability, risk assessment, risk mitigation, risk management, Critical Infrastructure Protection, interdependency, strategy, organization, civil security, homeland security, societal security, multinational maritime information services }

 

Surprisingly to many, in the beginning of the Twenty First Century maritime piracy is on the surge. Notwithstanding the developments of sensor, information and communications technologies, commercial maritime traffic remains vulnerable to pirate attacks. Pirates utilize relatively simple technologies, but still manage to exploit vulnerabilities in legal, organizational, and operational arrangements.

 

To address the challenge of maritime piracy, the I&S Editorial Board, jointly with the Transport Policy network, is announcing this Call for Papers to address legal, organizational, procedural and technological aspects of maritime piracy, as well as its root causes.

 

We will welcome also contributions on methods and tools for:

q  Identification of vulnerabilities

q  Increased situational awareness

q  Enhanced command and control

q  Novel concepts of operation

q  Capabilities to prevent, deter, defend against, respond to, and manage the consequences of acts of piracy.

 

Interested authors may submit their papers, as well as related book reviews, Web sites and other related initiatives to the I&S Managing Editor.

 

Important Dates:

q  Deadline for submission of full text papers: 30 April 2011

q  Expected publication: October 2011

 

For instructions for preparation of articles and additional information: http://infosec.procon.bg

 

Back to I&S homepage

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Transport Policy

New vision of the website www.transportpolicy.org is active. All colleagues involved or interested in the problems of transport security could visit it and do their registration for free. We will appreciate all information for events, news, expert assessments and discussions shared there. We kindly invite all of you to share your proposals and critical remarks on the structure and consistence of the website which will allow us to develop this platform.
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