BP to continue to import Venezuela oil despite US sanctions. Says Forbes Magazine‘s Kalev Leetaru:
“In the case of Venezuela, the idea of a government like the United States remotely interfering with its power grid is actually quite realistic. Remote cyber operations rarely require a significant ground presence, making them the ideal deniable influence operation.”
“Widespread power and connectivity outages like the one Venezuela experienced last week are also straight from the modern cyber playbook. Cutting power at rush hour, ensuring maximal impact on civilian society and plenty of mediagenic post-apocalyptic imagery, fits squarely into the mold of a traditional influence operation,” he continues.
For those of us who have spent years covering US irregular warfare in the Middle East, infrastructure targets are part and parcel of these wars?—?sometimes via direct strikes, other times via proxies and sabotage operations.
I’m not just talking about cyberattacks like the US/Israeli-made Stuxnet virus that destroyed hundreds of centrifuges at Iranian nuclear facilities.
In Syria, for instance, the US military specifically targeted major economic infrastructure under the guise of ‘fighting ISIS.’ These include but are not limited to oilfields, wells and facilities, electrical transformer stations, gas plants, bridges, canals, a number of vital dams and reservoirs in the country’s northern agricultural belt?—?and power generation facilities.
And US-backed proxies? —? part of the Pentagon and CIA’s ‘irregular army’ in Syria? —?targeted bread factories, wheat silos and flour mills to deprive a population of basic food staples.
As opposed to conventional wars, US irregular warfare seeks to covertly use influence ops to turn the largest part of a country’s population, the “uncommitted middle,” into supporting regime-change. Destroying infrastructure, creating shortages, unleashing political violence, propaganda dissemination?—?these are all steps outlined in the US military’s Special Forces Unconventional Warfare manual to create a disgruntled population that will turn on its government.
And cyber warfare is the newest theater of engagement for the Pentagon, which is now openly ramping up its investment in “lethal cyber weapons,” regardless of the civilian casualties these attacks will leave in their wake.
So far in Venezuela around 20 people are reported dead due to the blackouts, though I’ve seen some opposition sources place that number north of 70