Institutions and Competition

Crowdfunding with the enemy

February 16, 2016
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With western media continuing to blame Russia and its allies for the escalation of violence in Syria and elsewhere, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told participants at the Munich Security Conference-- itself a relic of the Cold War designed to promote defense spending-- that  “all sides in Syria are guilty.”

 

Speaking to the same audience in Munich, Russian prime minister Dmitry Ledbedev said he feels  Western Europe and NATO are conducting relations with Russia, treating Moscow as if everyone was living through a new Cold War.

 

In a recent telephone conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin, US president Barack Obama positioned himself as the moral conscience of the West, asking Russia to stop bombing moderate Syrian rebels who are backed by Washington.

 

As that drama plays out, Washington's NATO ally, Turkey, continues to shell the pro-Assad Kurdish YPG militia operating on the ground in Syria near the Turkish border. 

 

Ankara calls the YPG a “terrorist organization” and links them to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who for decades have been engaged in an armed struggle to obtain a homeland in Turkey along the Syrian frontier.

 

To the consternation of the Erdogan regime, Washington supports the YPG Militia operating in Syria, calling them allies in the fight against Islamic State (Daesh).  

 

Effectively, the shifting alliegance of the militias, which are supported directly or indirectly (financially and logistically) by the myriad alliances, has taken on the characteristics of crowdfunding schemes that change on a daily basis, much like markets that post profits and losses. Welcome to crowdfunding with the enemy.  Here'show it works.

 

Reuters and CNN buzzed up a tenuous agreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia to freeze oil output at current “maximum” production levels( no reduction in production). But this initiative can't move forward without the approval of Iran, who want to increase production and earn hard currency. What the media claimed to be a "done deal" will never become operational because it is just talk, social conversation. Iran will never agree to align with its enemy Saudi Arabia and its ally, the United States. After the hype Brent Crude on February 16th fell 4% in value.

 

You can click this link to find a graphic example of the confusion. 

 

The legacy of John Poindexter's Policy Analysis Market

While working as a consultant for the Defense Advanced Research Project (DARPA) retired former US national security council director John Poindexter developed a controversial model that was a breakthrough in using gamification to predict real world political events events in the Middle East, including terrorism.

 

 

It was called the Policy Analysis Market. Because it rewarded DARPA  particpants for predicting the assassinations of heads of state and acts of terrorism "liberals" in the US Congress objected to the project and were able to eliminate its budget.  No longer protected by his old friend defense secretary Don  Rumsfeld, rear admiral Poindexter retired from DARPA in 2003.  

 

Earlier, Poindexter was convicted of masterminding the guns-for-drugs scam that became known as "Iran Contra." and was subsequently pardoned by president Ronald Reagan.  But the legacy of the Policy Analysis Market lives on today as "world powers" engage in of  "Crowdfunding With The Enemy."

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