Having high quality intelligence is very important. Without it political decision-making is very limited and can produce policies that may, among many things, threaten National Security. Due to recently received information, we came to the conclusion that Diplomatic Punitive Measures can not only be futile but also generate unintended results. Below, you will find a couple of examples of what was just said.
Sanctions Against Russians
The previous American administration decided, in 2014, to impose sanctions against Russian businessmen et al; however, to the best of my knowledge, they (and their EU partners) left one vital detail out: what if these Russians had other nationalities and businesses in other countries under those different nationalities? The punitive measure would not have any real effect on the Oligarchic pockets.
Sanctions Against Lebanese/Hezbollah
Hezbollah is blacklisted as a Terrorist Group, both in America and in Europe, however Hezbollah members are mainly settled in African and Latin American countries where corruption is rampant; meaning they can easily get not only a new identity but also a new nationality (in some of these cases the Lebanese elements have multiple nationalities according to their overall needs). If the UN includes Ahmed, Mohammed or Abdullah (and their respective aliases) in its sanctions list; then these will travel under Abdelsalam, Achraf, Adib or even Adnan – if not as Salvatore, Anthony, Adam and Angelo - with Brazilian, Portuguese or French nationalities.
If Abdel, Achraf, Adib and Adnan have businesses, and own homes, in Portugal and France their/Hezbollah's sources of income won't be affected; and the terrorist group will continue to pile wealth to conduct its terror activities. Furthermore, if Amir, Ayman, Hassan and Hussein hire western frontmen who are respectable and legit businessmen doing business on Hezbollah's behalf; the sanctions will result in very little.
Sanctions Against African Citizens
The trend now is to freeze assets from African leaders and their families. But it's not like they will be much affected because they have friends who serve as front-men abroad. For instance, word is that Portugal is now the nest of several African Generals with connections to Hezbollah (inter alia) who hold Portuguese passports and, through Portuguese Caucasians, are behind many successful enterprises in the country, including Telecommunication companies (allegedly used to spy on local politicians) and Banks (allegedly used to follow the banking activities of nationals and Africans alike).
We received word that Portuguese offices have been set up in African countries, allegedly with the blessing of the Portuguese government, to provide visas and residence permits to African dignitaries and their friends (and here lies the danger: who are those friends? And could Portugal be granting visas, residence permits and nationalities to Terror group elements?). Food for thought.
It is vital to keep a close eye on Portugal. As Her Majesty's oldest ally and as a member-state of the European Union, this country may become the new Belgium, Netherlands and France (the hotbeds of terrorism) since these countries are now being heavily monitored. Given that Portugal has now a government composed by elements, and supported by parties, that sympathise with the enemy, the Portuguese business community and banking industry must be monitored. We cannot allow the country to become a Gate of Terror.
(Cristina Giancchini contributed to this piece)
(Image: Hezbollah Militants - Google Images)
[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]