Technology Transfer to the Enemy

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago

The U.S. is engaging in three categories of technology transfer to the enemy: (1) It is bad but almost impossible to stop, (2) It is extremely bad and we should do a much better job of stopping it, and (3) It is extremely bad and we are intentionally doing it.

It is bad but almost impossible to stop

At Chronicles of War, John Little is covering the issue of the Technical Mujahid.  CENTCOM has published an update to “What Extremists are Saying” that outlines the basics of a new computer hardware, software and file management protocol for jihadists.

The first issue of what is indicated to be a period magazine, “Technical Mujahid? [Al-Mujahid al-Teqany], published by al-Fajr Information Center, was electronically distributed to password-protected jihadist forums Tuesday, November 28, 2006.

This edition, 64-pages in length, contains articles that primarily deal with computer and Internet security, in addition to other pieces explaining Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and video types, editing, and encoding into different formats. The editors of the publication state that it was written to heed the directives of the Emir of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, and his call for technical support. Material such as this, regarding anonymity on the Internet, concealing of personal files locally on a computer, and utilizing all schemes of encryption, is to serve as electronic jihad, and a virtual means of supporting the Mujahideen.

Jihad, as a philosophy, religion and world view, is utterly incapable of sustaining technological development.  If it were possible to stop all technological development in the U.S., it is likely that jihadist technology would stay static, or freeze in place.  But because software and information technology is so readily available (consider the staggering amount of source code available over the web for free), jihadists will make ready use of this technology.  The strategy here might be to stay several steps ahead of the enemy by waging a better technology war than they do.

It is extremely bad and we should do a much better job of stopping it

The Strategy Page has this concerning technology espionage of our air defense program:

American federal prosecutors revealed that they are trying an Indian born American citizen, Noshir S. Gowadia, on charges of spying for China. Gowadia is alleged to have sold China details of the B-2 bombers engine exhaust system. This technology makes it more difficult for heat sensors (like heat seeking missiles) to detect the exhaust of the B-2 engines. Gowadia is also alleged to have helped Chinese engineers apply this technology to the design of a stealthy cruise missile. The secrets Gowadia sold would also make it easier for the Chinese to detect a B-2 bomber. Gowadia is supposed to have helped China with other matters relating to stealth technology.

Gowadia has apparently been running a Hawaii based spy ring since 1999, and made six clandestine trips to China. Gowadia worked on the B-2 project from 1968 to 1986, as one of the designers. Gowadia was arrested a year ago, and his trial will begin next Summer. He could get life in prison if convicted.

China is interested in upgrading the quality of its weapons systems, and will take every opportunity to steal military and technological secrets.  Similar to the Wen Ho Lee incident (concerning the miniturization of nuclear weapons), when the secrets are of so much importance and the loss of them so damaging, the level of security must be commensurate with this risk.  This sort of thing just cannot happen if the U.S. is to stay secure from its enemies.

It is extremely bad and we are intentionally doing it

In Our Dirty Little Secret: Technology Proliferation, I have covered the issue of higher education, and how U.S. universities are training the next generation of  PhDs in sensitive areas such as nuclear engineering, bacteriology, biochemistry, biotechnology research, microbiology and neuroscience, and atomic, chemical, molecular and nuclear physics.  Approximately 10% of the degrees awarded in these areas were awarded to students from 26 countries that are on the State Department “watch? list as being state sponsors of terrorism, including Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, Egypt and Jordan.

American universities are doing this with full knowledge that they are training students who do not have U.S. citizenship, will not stay in the U.S., and could potentially use the knowledge against the U.S.  And it continues unabated … while the citizens of America trust the government to keep them safe.


You are currently reading "Technology Transfer to the Enemy", entry #406 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Technology and was published November 29th, 2006 by Herschel Smith.

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