France: ‘I will not ask for instructions from Mrs Merkel’ – Le Pen

French presidential candidate for the Front National, Marine Le Pen said she would not ask for “instructions” from “Mrs Merkel” at her electoral rally in Clairvaux-Les-Lacs on Friday evening.

“And well, it is exactly what the presidential candidates also think
what will be the first thing they will do?

They will go and see Mrs Merkel? ‘Mrs Merkel is she right to do this?
Is she right to do that?

Merkel, Junker are the perpetuators of this dominance. You will see that
they will all make the same trip to Brussels to ask for instructions.

But I won’t. I will not ask for instructions from Mrs Merkel, Mr Juncker
nor Mr Draghi.”

Published on Feb 17, 2017

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Watch Live: Rex Tillerson, Mexican Foreign Secretary Hold Press Conference

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Tillerson Meets With Mexico’s Foreign Minister

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N Korea Military Tactics In A War With US

A Strategy Of Massive
Retaliations Against US Attacks

By Han Ho Suk
Director Center for Korean Affairs

North Korea has not only the military power but also the political will to wage total war against the United States.

(An English abstract of a paper)

1. North Korea Can Engage the US in Total War

North Korea is one of the few nations that can engage in a total war with the United States. The US war planners recognize this fact. For example, on March 7, 2000, Gen. Thomas A Schwartz, the US commander in Korea at the time, testified at a US congressional hearing that “North Korea is the country most likely to involve the United States in a large-scale war.” 

U.S. and South Korean military stage dramatic reenactment of 1950 Inchon landing, using 14,000 troops, September 15. (Photo: AP)

North Korea, which can and is willing to face up to the sole military superpower of the world, cannot be called a weak nation. Nevertheless, Western press and analysts distort the truth and depict North Korea as an “impoverished” nation, starving and on the brink of imminent collapse. An impoverished, starving nation cannot face down a military superpower. Today few nations have military assets strong enough to challenge the US military. Russia, though weakened by the collapse of the Soviet Union, has enough assets to face up to the US. China, somewhat weaker than Russia, too, has strong military that can challenge the US. However, both Russia and China lack the political will to face down the US.

In contrast, North Korea has not only the military power but also the political will to wage total war against the United States. North Korea has made it clear that it will strike all US targets with all means, if the US mounted military attacks on North Korea. That North Korea’s threat is no bluff can be seen from the aggressive actions taken by North Korea since the Korean War armistice, most recent of which is North Korea’s attempt to capture an American spy plane. In the morning of March 1, 2003, an American RC-132S spy plane, Cobra Ball, took off from a US airbase in Okinawa, and cruised along the East coast of North Korea collecting electronic signals. The US intelligence suspected that North Korea was about to test a long-range missile and the plane was there to monitor the suspected missile launch.

When the US plane reached a point about 193 km from the coast of North Korea, two MiG-29 and two MiG-21 fighter planes showed up unexpectedly. The North Korean planes approached within 16 m and signaled the US plane to follow them. The US pilot refused to follow the command and left the scene posthaste. The US plane was tailed by the hostiles for about 22 min but let the US spy plane go. There are two key points to be observed here.

North Korean Invasion Traveling Downwards to South Korea.

First, the hostile planes waited for the US plane at the Uhrang airbase, located about 200 km from the point of air encounter. They knew that the US plane was coming. The North Korean planes flew 200 km to intercept the US plane. Did the US plane see them coming? If it did, why no evasive action? After intercepting the US plane, the hostile planes dogged it for 22 min. Why no American planes for the rescue? The US crew must have informed the base of the danger they were in, but no action was taken by the base. If Kim Jong Il had given the command, the MiGs would have shot down the US plane and returned to their base before the US could have scrambled war planes.

Second, North Korea intercepted an American spy plane flying 200 km from its coast. According to the international norm, a nation’s territorial air space extends 19 km from its coast line. The US is the exception and claims air space of 370 km from its coast line; any foreign airplane violating this extended air space is challenged or shot down by the US military.

2. North Korea’s Massive Retaliation Strategy

North Korea’s war plan in case of an US attack is total war, not the ‘low-intensity limited warfare’ or ‘regional conflict’ talked about among the Western analysts. North Korea will mount a total war if attacked by the US. There are three aspects to this war plan.

First, total war is North Korea’s avowed strategy in case of US preemptive attacks. The US war on Iraq shows that the US can and will mount preemptive strikes in clear violation of international laws, and the United Nations is powerless to stop the US. Any nation that is weak militarily may be attacked by the US at will. It is reasonable for North Korea to deter US attacks with threats of total war.

Second, North Korea expects no help from China, Russia, or other nations in case of war with the US. It knows that it will be fighting the superpower alone. Nominally, China and Russia are North Korea’s allies but neither ally is expected to provide any assistance to North Korea in case of war. Neither nation can or is willing to protect North Korea from attacks by the US, and North Korea alone can and will protect itself from US attacks. This principle of self-defense applies to all nations.

Third, North Korea’s total war plan has two components: massive conventional warfare and weapons of mass destruction. If the US mounts a preemptive strike on North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear plants, North Korea will retaliate with weapons of mass destruction: North Korea will mount strategic nuclear attacks on the US targets. The US war planners know this and have drawn up their own nuclear war plan. In a nuclear exchange, there is no front or rear areas, no defensive positions or attack formations as in conventional warfare. Nuclear weapons are offensive weapons and there is no defense against nuclear attacks except retaliatory nuclear attacks. For this reason, North Korea’s war plan is offensive in nature: North Korea’s war plan goes beyond repulsing US attackers and calls for destruction of the United States.

The US war plan ‘5027’ calls for military occupation of North Korea; it goes beyond the elimination of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction. The US military regards North Korea its main enemy and likewise North Korea regards the US its main enemy. South Korea, too, regards North Korea its main enemy but North Korea does not regard South Korea its main enemy because South Korea is a client state of the United States and has no ability or power to act independent of the US. North Korea’s war plan is not for invading South Korea but for destroying the US.

3. North Korea’s Military Capability

All nations keep their military capability secret. North Korea is no exception and it is not easy to assess North Korea’s military power. The US claims that it knows North Korea’s military secrets. The United States collects intelligence on North Korea using a variety of means: American U-2, RC-135, EP-3 and other high-altitude spy planes watch over North Korea 24 hours 7 days a week. The US 5th Air Reconnaissance Squadron has U-2R, U-2S, and other advanced spy planes at the Ohsan airbase in South Korea. In addition, the US has 70 KH-11 spy satellites hovering over North Korea.

In spite of such a massive deployment of intelligence collection assets, the US intelligence on North Korea is faulty at best. Donald Gregg, a former US ambassador to Seoul and a 30-year CIA veteran, has admitted that the US intelligence on North Korea has been the longest lasting story of failure in the annals of US intelligence. Gregg said that even the best spy gadget in the US arsenal cannot read what’s on Kim Jong Il’s mind. US Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said that North Korea uses underground optical fibers for military communication and that it is nearly impossible to plant human agents in North Korea.

Although North Korea’s military secrets are impervious to US spy operations, one can draw some general pictures from information available in the public domain.

a) North Korea makes its own weapons

North Korea has annual production capacity for 200,000 AK automatic guns, 3,000 heavy guns, 200 battle tanks, 400 armored cars and amphibious crafts. North Korea makes its own submarines, landing drafts, high-speed missile-boats, and other types of warships. Home-made weaponry makes it possible for North Korea to maintain a large military force on a shoestring budget. North Korea defense industry is made of three groups: weapon production, production of military supplies, and military-civilian dual-use product manufacturing.

North Korea has 17 plants for guns and artillery, 35 plants for ammunition, 5 plants for tanks and armored cars, 8 plants for airplanes, 5 plants for warships, 3 plants for guided missiles, 5 plants for communication equipment, and 8 plants for biochemical warheads – 134 plants in total. In addition, many plants that make consumer products are designed so that they can be made to produce military items with minimum modification. About 180 of defense related plants are built underground in the rugged mountainous areas of Jagang-do. Several small to medium hydro-power plants serve these plants so that it would be nearly impossible for the US to cut off power to the plants.

b) North Korea has its own war plans

North Korea is mountainous and its coasts are long and jagged. The Korean peninsula is narrow on its waste. North Korea’s weapons and war tactics are germane to Korea’s unique geography. North Korea has developed its own war plans unique to fighting the US in a unique way. North Korea’s military is organized into several independent, totally integrated and self-sufficient fighting units, that are ready for action at any time.

c) North Korean soldiers are well indoctrinated

The US commanders admit that North Korean soldiers are highly motivated and loyal to Kim Jong Il, and that they will fight well in case of war. Karl von Clausewitz said that people’s support for war, military commanders’ ability and power, and the political leadership are the three essentials for winning war. He failed to include the political indoctrination of the soldiers, which is perhaps more important than the other factors cited.

During the Iraq War just ended, the main cause of Iraq’s defeat was the low moral of its soldiers. Iraqi soldiers had no will to stand and fight, and they ran away or surrendered without fight. Iraqi soldiers believed in Allah protecting them and became easy preys to the US military. North Korean soldiers are taught to fight to the bitter end. In September 1996, a North Korean submarine got stranded at Kangrung, South Korea, and its crew abandoned the ship. Eleven of the crew committed suicide and the rest fought to the last man except one who was captured. In June 1998, another submarine got caught in fishing nets at Sokcho and its crew killed themselves. Such is the fighting spirit of North Korean soldiers.

d) North Koreans are combat ready

One cannot fight war without military preparedness. North Korea’s regular army is for offensive actions whereas its militias are homeland defense. North Korea’s regular army consists of 4 corps in the front area, 8 corps in the rear area, one tank corps, 5 armored corps, 2 artillery corps, and 1 corps for the defense of Pyongyang, South Korea has 19 infantry divisions whereas North Korea has 80 divisions and brigades.

A North Korean infantry division has 3 infantry regiments, 1 artillery regiment (3 battalions of 122 mm rocket launchers and 1 battalion of 152 mortars), one tank battalion of 31 tanks, one anti-tank battalion, one anti-aircraft battalion, one engineer battalion, one communication battalion, one light-infantry battalion, one recon battalion, and one chemical warfare battalion.

North Korea’s militias consist of 1.6 million self-defense units, 100,000 people’s guards, 3.9 million workers militia, 900,000 youth guard units. These militias are tasked to defend the homeland. The militias are fully armed and undergo military trainings regularly.

i) Artillery

North Korea has 2 artillery corps and 30 artillery brigades equipped with 120mm self-propelled guns, 152mm self-propelled mortars, 170mm guns with a range of 50 km, 240 mm multiple rocket launchers with a range of 45 km, and other heavy guns. North Korea has about 18,000 heavy guns. North Korea’s 170mm Goksan gun and 240mm multiple-tube rocket launchers are the most powerful guns of the world. These guns can lob shells as far south as Suwon miles beyond Seoul. The big guns are hidden in caves. Many of them are mounted on rails and can fire in all directions. They can rain 500,000 conventional and biochemical shells per hour on US troops near the DMZ. The US army bases at Yijong-bu, Paju, Yon-chun, Munsan, Ding-gu-chun, and Pochun will be obliterated in a matter of hours.

The US army in Korea is equipped with Paladin anti-artillery guns that can trace enemy shells back to the guns and fire shells at the enemy guns with pin-point accuracy. However, it takes for the Paladins about 10 min to locate the enemy guns, during which time the Paladins would be targeted by the enemy guns Gen. Thomas A Schwartz, a former US army commander in Korea, stated that the US army in Korea would be destroyed in less than three hours.

ii). Blitz Klieg

North Korea has tanks, armored cars, and self-propelled artillery for blitz klieg. North Korea has one tank corps and 15 tank brigades. The tank corps has 5 tank regiments, each of which has 4 heavy tank battalions, 1 light-tank battalion, one mechanized infantry battalion, 2 self-propelled artillery battalions.

US tanks are designed to operate in open fields. In 1941, Rommel of Germany defeated British troops in North Africa with tanks. The largest tank battle was fought at Kursk in 1943, in which the Soviets defeated Germans. In 1973, Egypt defeated Israeli tanks with anti-tank missiles. All of these tank battles were fought in open fields. The Gulf War and the recent war in Iraq saw US tanks in open fields. American and Western tank commanders do not know how to fight tank battles in rugged terrains like those of Korea. Tank battles in Korea will be fought on hilly terrains without any close air cover, because North Korean fighters will engage US planes in close dog fights.

North Korea has developed tanks ideally suited for the many rivers and mountains of Korea. These tanks are called “Chun-ma-ho”, which can navigate steep slopes and cross rivers as much as 5.5 m deep. North Korea’s main battle tanks – T-62s – have 155 mm guns and can travel as fast as 60 km per hour. The US main tanks – M1A – have 120 mm guns and cannot travel faster than 55 km per hour. North Korean tanks have skins 700 mm thick and TOW-II is the only anti-tank missile in the US arsenal that can penetrate this armored skin.

North Korea began to make anti-tank missiles in 1975 and has been improving its anti-tank missiles for the past 30 years. North Korea’s anti-tank missiles are rated the best in the world and several foreign nations buy them. The US army in Korea relies on 72 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to kill North Korean tanks. Each Apache has 16 Hell-Fire anti-tank missiles. As shown in the recent Iraq war, Apaches are fragile and can be easily shot down even with rifles. North Korea has about 15,000 shoulder-fired anti-air missiles (“wha-sung”) and Apaches will be easy targets for wha-sung missiles. On December 17, 1994, a wha-sung missile brought down an American OH-58C spy helicopter which strayed north of the DMZ.

North Korea has 4 mechanized corps and 24 mechanized brigades. Each brigade has 1 tank battalion (31 tanks), 1 armored battalion (46 armored cars), 4 infantry battalions, one 122mm battalion (18 guns), one 152 mm battalion (18 guns), one anti-aircraft battalion (18 guns), anti-tank battalion (9 armored cars with anti-tank missiles and 12 anti-tank guns), one armored recon company (3 light armored cars, 7 armored cars, and 8 motor-cycles), one mortar company (6 mortars), one engineer company, one chemical company, and one communication company. The US army has A-10 attack planes to counter North Korea’s mechanized units. In case of war, the skies over Korea will be filled with fighters in close dog-fights and the A-10s would be ineffective.

The bulk of North Korea’s mechanized and tank units are positioned to cross the DMZ at a moment’s notice and run over the US and South Korean defenders. The attackers will be aided by SU-25 attack planes and attack helicopters. In addition, North Korea has 600 high-speed landing crafts, 140 hovercrafts, and 3,000 K-60 and other pontoon bridges for river-crossing. North Korea has 700,000 troops, 8,000 heavy guns, and 2,000 tanks placed in more than 4,000 hardened bunkers within 150 km of the DMZ.

iii. Underground Tunnel Warfare

North Korea is the world most-tunneled nation. North Korea’s expertise in digging tunnels for warfare was demonstrated during the Vietnam War. North Korea sent about 100 tunnel warfare experts to Vietnam to help dig the 250 km tunnels for the North Vietnamese and Viet Gong troops in South Vietnam. The tunnels were instrumental in the Vietnamese victory.

North Korea’s army runs on company-size units. Tunnel warfare is conducted by independent company-size units. Tunnel entrances are built to withstand US chemical and biological attacks. Tunnels run zig-zag and have seals, air-purification units, and safe places for the troops to rest. It is believed that North Korea has built about 20 large tunnels near the DMZ. A large tunnel can transport 15,000 troops per hour across the DMZ and place them behind the US troops.

iv. Special Forces

North Korea has the largest special forces, 120,000 troops, in the world. These troops are grouped into light infantry brigades, attack brigades, air-borne brigades, and sea-born brigades – 25 brigades in total. These troops will be tasked to attack US military installations in Korea, Japan, Okinawa and Guam.

North Korea has the capacity to transport 20,000 special force troops at the same time. North Korea has 130 high-speed landing crafts and 140 hovercrafts. A North Korean hovercraft can carry one platoon of troops at 90 km per hour. Western experts pooh-pooh North Korea’s ancient AN-2 transport planes as 1948 relics, but AN-2 planes can fly low beneath US radars and deliver up to 10 troops at 160 km per hour. North Korea makes AN-2s and has about 300 in place. In addition, North Korea has hang-gliders that can carry 5-20 men each for short hops.

North Korea has developed special bikes for mountain warfare. Special forces use these bikes for fast deployments on mountains. Switzerland is the only other nation that has bike-mounted special forces trained for mountain warfare. The rugged terrains of the Korean Peninsula are ideally suited for special forces operations. North Korea’s special forces will attack US targets in Japan, Okinawa, and Guam as well. Japan’s self defense units are being reorganized to counter this threat.

How good are North Korea’s special forces? In September 1996, a North Korean submarine was stranded near Kang-nung and the crew were forced to abandon the ship and land on South Korea. The sub had two special forces agents who had finished a mission in South Korea and were picked up by the sub before the sub ran into a rock. The two men fought off an army of South Korean troops and remained at large for 50 days, during which they killed 11 of the pursuers.

4. Weapons of Mass Destruction

a. Missile Readiness

North Korea is a nuclear state along with the US, Russia, China, the Great Britain, France, India, Pakistan, and Israel. North Korea has succeeded in weaponizing nuclear devices for missile delivery. North Korea has operational fleets of ICBM and intermediate-range missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. I have written on this subject previously and will not replicate the details here.

It was May of 1994, nine years ago, when the US military planners had first realized that North Korea had the bomb and devised nuclear attack plans under William Perry, the then US Secretary of Defense. Perry had estimated that North Korea would have about 100 nuclear warheads by 2000. Dr. Kim Myong Chul, an expert on Kim Jong Il’s war plans, has recently confirmed that North Korea has more than 100 nukes including hydrogen bombs.

North Korea can produce about 100 missiles a year. It began to make missiles in 1980 and has about 1,000 missiles of various types in place, about 100 of which have nuclear warheads. These missiles are hidden in caves and underground launching pads. At present, the US has no fool-proof defense against North Korean missiles, and in case of war, North Korean missiles can do serious damages: several hundreds of thousands of US troops will die, and scores of US bases and carrier battle groups will be destroyed. The Patriot anti-missile missiles are deployed in South Korea but as shown in the recent Iraq war, the Patriots are not 100% accurate or reliable even under ideal conditions.

b. Biochemical Warfare

North Korea has a large stockpile of biochemical weapons. Each Army corps has a chemical company and each regiment has a chemical platoon. In the May 1994 nuclear crisis, Perry warned North Korea that the US would retaliate with nuclear weapons if North Korea used chemical weapons on US troops.

North Korean troops and citizens are well-prepared for bio-chemical attacks.

5. North Korea’s Defense Against US Attacks

a. Fortification

North Korea began to build fortifications in 1960s. All key military facilities are built underground to withstand American bunker-buster bombs. North Korea has 8,236 underground facilities that are linked by 547 km of tunnels. Beneath Pyongyang are a huge underground stadium and other facilities. About 1.2 million tons of food, 1.46 million tons of fuel, and 1.67 million tons of ammunition are stored in underground storage areas for wartime use.

Most of the underground facilities are drilled into granite rocks and the entrances face north in order to avoid direct hits by American bombs and missiles. The B-61 Mod 11 is the main bunker buster in the US arsenal. A recent test showed that this buster could penetrate only 6 meters of rock. The latest GBU-28 laser-guided bunker-buster can penetrate to 30m. North Korean bunkers have at least 80 m of top-cover of solid rocks. North Korea has many false caves that emit heats that will misdirect unwary GBU-28/37 and BKU-113 bunker-busters.

The US military targets enemy command and control centers based on the doctrine of chopping off “the head of the snake.” With the top commanders eliminated, the rank and file would be demoralized, leaderless and would surrender. North Korea’s extensive underground fortification makes this strategy unworkable. In addition, the underground facilities make US spy planes and satellites impotent.

b. Air Defense

North Korea has a large number of ground-to-air missiles. It has SA-2 and SA-3 missiles against low-flying enemy planes, and SA-5 missiles for high-altitude planes. SA-5 missiles have an effective range of 250 km. SA-5 missiles can hit enemy planes flying over the middle of South Korea.

North Korea has reengineered US shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles captured in Vietnam, and designed its own missile, wha-sung. North Korea began to manufacture wha-sung missiles in 1980. Wha-sung comes in two models: SA-7 that has an effective range of 5 km and SA-16 with 10 km range. North Korea has more than 15,000 wha-sung missiles in place.

In addition to the missiles, North Korea has 12,000 anti-aircraft guns, including 37mm twin-barrel guns, 23 mm automatics, 57mm, 87mm, and 100mm heavy guns. These are mostly manually operated and thus not subject to electronic warfare.

c. Coastal deferens.

North Korea’s coastlines are long and jagged. Coastal guns are placed in fortified tunnels along the coastline. North Korea has six ground-to-ship missile bases. North Korea has anti-ship missiles of 95km range, and of 160km range. The latter are for hitting US carrier battle groups over the horizon. North Korean anti-ship missiles can hit ships anchored at Inchon on the west and Sokcho on the east.

America’s main defense against anti-ship missiles, the Arleigh Burke class Aegis destroyers are ineffective outside 20-50 km from missile launch pads.

d. Sea Battles

North Korea has two fleets – the West Fleet and the East Fleet. The West Fleet has 6 squadrons of 320 ships and the East Fleet has 10 squadron of 460 ships. The navy has a total manpower of 46,000. North Korean ships are sheltered from US attacks in about 20 bunkers of 200-900 m longs and 14-22 m wide. North Korean ships are small and agile, designed for coastal defense. North Korean ships carry 46km range ship-to-ship missiles and 22-channel multiple rocket launchers.

The main enemy of the North Korean navy will be US carrier task forces. The Russian navy has developed a tactic to deal with US carriers task forces: massive simultaneous missile attacks. In addition, Russia has developed the anti-carrier missile, “jun-gal”, that can destroy a carrier. China has developed similar tactics for destroying US carriers. On April 1, 2003, North Korea test-fired a high-speed ground-to-ship missile of 60km range. A US carrier task force of Nimitz class has 6,000 men, 70 planes, and a price tag of 4.5 billion dollars. Destroying even a single career task force will be traumatic.

A carrier is protected by a shield of 6 Aegis destroyers and nuclear attack submarines. An Aegis destroyer has an AN/SPY-1 high-capacity radar system that can track more than 100 targets at the same time. An Aegis can fire about 20 anti-missile missiles at the same time. Thus, a career force can track a total of 600 targets at a time and fire 120 anti-missile missiles at the same time. The anti-missile missiles have about 50% success under ideal conditions. In actual battle situations, the hit rate will be much lower and the best estimate is that the Aegis shield can intercept at most 55 incoming missiles. Therefore, a volley of about 60 missiles and rockets will penetrate the Aegis shield and hit the career.

North Korea acquired OSA and KOMAR high-speed missile boats in 1968, and began to build its own missile boats in 1981. It has more than 50 missile boats, each equipped with 4 missiles of 46km range and multiple rocket launchers. In addition, North Korea has about 300 speed boats, 200 torpedo boats and 170 other gunboats. In case of war, North Korea’s small crafts and submarines will swarm around US career task forces and destroy them.

North Korea has 35 submarines and 65 submersibles. These crafts are equipped with torpedoes and will be used to attack US careers. They will also lay mines and block enemy harbors. North Korea has a large supply of mines. North Korean submarines are small but they are equipped with 8km rocket launchers and 70km anti-ship missiles, and they could do some serious damage to US careers..

e. Air Combats

North Korea has three air commands. Each command has a fighter regiment, a bomber regiment, an AN-2 regiment, an attack helicopter regiment, a missile regiment, and a radar regiment. Each command can operate independently. North Korea has 70 airbases, which are fortified against US attacks. Underground hangars protect the planes and have multiple exits for the planes to take off on different runways. North Korea has several fake airfields and fake planes to confuse US attackers.

It is said that North Korea’s planes are obsolete and no match for US planes. North Korea has 770 fighters, 80 bombers, 700 transports, 290 helicopters, and 84,000 men. In case of war, North Korean planes will fly low hugging the rugged terrains and attack enemy targets. US planes are parked above ground at bases in Korea, Japan, Okinawa and Guam, and make easy targets for missile, rocket and air attacks. When war breaks out, North Korean missiles, rockets and heavy guns will destroy the 8 US airbases in South Korea, and any plane in the air would have no place to land.

North Korea’s fighter planes are ill-equipped for air-to-air combats at long distances. but they can hold their own in close-quarter air combats. MiG-21 fighters from Bongchun and US F-15 from Ohsan would meet in less than 5 min, assuming they took off at about the same time. In about 5 min, hundreds of MiG21s and F-15s would be swirling in the skies over Korea. Ground-to-air missiles and air-to-air missiles would have hard time telling friends from foes. F-15Es are equipped with a radar system that lock on at 180 km for large objects and 90 km for small objects. Sidewinder missiles have an effective range of 16km, AMRAAM missiles of 50km, and Sparrow of 55km.

Korea is 100 km wide and 125 km long, and so US air-to-air missiles would be of limited use and effectiveness, because North Korean MiGs would approach the US planes in close proximity and commingle with US planes, and air-to-air missiles will become useless and machines guns will have to be used. MiG19s have 30mm guns, MiG21s have 23mm guns, and F-14s have 20mm Valkans. North Korean pilots are trained to hug the enemy planes so that air-to-air missiles cannot be used. In contrast, US pilots are trained to lock on the enemy at long distance with radar and fire missiles. US planes are heavily armed with electronics and less agile than the light, lean MiGs that can climb and turn faster than the US planes.

F-14s are about 3.3 times heavier than MiG21s, and F-150Es are about 3.6 times heavier. MiG21s are 16.6 m long whereas F-14s are 19.1 m and F-15Es 19.43 m long. MiG21s cab climb to 18km, whereas F-1A can climb to 15.8 km and F-16 to 15.2 km. MiGs get upper hands in close-range dogfights in which agility matters. In Vietnam, US planes were forced to jettison auxiliary gas tanks and bombs in order to engage MiGs. F-150 E planes will carry BLU-113 bunker busters that weigh 2,250 kg each in the next war in Korea. Loaded with such a heavy bomb, F-15s will become easy targets for North Korea’s MiGs. US fighter-bombers will be protected by F-15C fighter escorts.

MiG21s are North Korea’s main workhorse. The MiG21 debuted in 1965 in Vietnam and proved itself as an effective attack fighter. In 1999, North Korea bought 40 MiG21s from Kazakhstan. During the Vietnam War, MiG17s shot down dozens of American planes. North Korea sent more than 200 pilots to fight in the Vietnam War. They were tasked to defend Hanoi and shot down scores of US planes. North Korea sent 25 pilots to Syria during the 3rd Arab-Israeli war of 1966, and 30 pilots to Egypt and Syria during the 4th Arab-Israeli war of 1973. In 1976, North Korea sent more than 40 pilots to Syria.

f. Electronic Warfare

The United States excels in electronic warfare and no nation comes anywhere near the US capability. North Korea began developing its own electronic warfare methods in 1970. It is believed that North Korea has advanced electronic warfare ability. It has numerous counter measures for US electronic warfare. During the recent war in Iraq, the US dropped e-bombs that disabled the Iraqi electronic devices. North Korea relies heavily on non-electronic command and control means, and hence US e-bombs will have limited impacts in North Korea.

North Korea trains about 100 hackers a year and has computer virus battalions in place. These hackers are capable of interrupting US communication networks. In a war game conducted in 1991 by US war planners, North Korea came out the victor with and without nuclear weapons. Kim Jong Il has no doubt that his army can beat the US army.

6. US Military Defeats in the Past

Military power dictates the outcome of war. In assessing the next war in Korea, the military power of the opponents must be examined objectively. Until now, North Korea’s military power has not been properly studied. In general, Western experts tend to underestimate North Korea’s military strength. Politicians in America and South Korea play down North Korean threats for political reasons.

It has been said that North Korean army is large in numbers but their equipment are obsolete, and hence it is a weak army. The US war planners assess North Korean army using computer simulations of war in Korea. US war plan for the recent Iraq war was refined using more than 40 computer-simulated wars in Iraq. The computer simulation models use weapon system features among other factors to determine the outcome.

It is true that the advanced weapons were instrumental in the US victory in the Gulf War, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. On the other hand, the US army was defeated by ill-equipped foes in Korea and Vietnam. The latter two wars show that superior weapons do not always lead to a victory. North Korean and Chinese forces in Korea and the Vietnamese forces fought with superior tactics and stronger fighting fighting spirits.

In the next war in Korea, the US army will face an enemy much more determined and better equipped than the army in the Korean War of 1950-53.


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Was There a Recent Coup Attempt in China? | World Affairs Journal

China Defence Today Forum

According to a report, around New Year’s day officers in two Chinese air force units were arrested on suspicion of plotting a coup. At the same time, a nuclear submarine on patrol was ordered back to port because some on board were thought to have links with the plotters. This report, circulated on Sunday on a China-watching listserv, remains unconfirmed. This rumor could be linked in some fashion to the detention last month of Colonel Tan Linshu, of the Chinese navy, for subversion.

A coup at first glance seems inconceivable, but there has been an evident erosion in civilian control of the Chinese military in recent years. The most important manifestation of this breakdown is that colonels and flag officers have begun openly criticizing civilian leaders and are now speaking out on matters once considered the exclusive province of diplomats.

What’s happening? From all indications, senior officers have gained influence in top Communist Party circles as civilian leaders have, since the early part of last decade, looked to them to settle power struggles in Beijing. Today, that trend is continuing as generals and admirals are involving themselves in a major leadership transition set to formally begin at the end of this year at the 18th Party Congress.

Moreover, civilians have increasingly relied on troops of the People’s Liberation Army and the semi-military People’s Armed Police to maintain order in an increasingly volatile society. Finally, China’s current civilian leaders are turning to nationalism to bolster failing political legitimacy, and it is the military that carries the flag of the People’s Republic beyond China’s borders and into space. In view of all these factors, we are witnessing the partial remilitarization of politics and policy.

At one time, the Communist Party and the PLA were almost one. The first two leaders of the People’s Republic, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, were army officers. Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, the next two, are civilians, and this has led to the “bifurcation of civil and military elites.”

Jiang’s elevation to the top spot marked the beginning of a period of rapid decline of military influence. His tenure, for instance, witnessed progressively fewer generals and admirals holding posts in top Communist Party organs. No military officer has served on the Politburo Standing Committee, the apex of political power in China, since 1997.

The decline is now being reversed as the PLA has been gaining influence during the tenure of Hu Jintao, the current supremo. In January 2011, then Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke of the “disconnect” between China’s civilian and military leaders. As he suggested, the regime is divided with constituent elements often carrying out their own policies with little evident coordination.

As the center continues to fracture during this time of Chinese political transition—something especially evident during Gates’s troubled last visit to Beijing—the one-party system is inevitably splintering, something that has not happened to this degree since the Beijing Spring of 1989 or maybe even since Mao’s death in 1976. As Arthur Waldron of the University of Pennsylvania points out, Chinese history is marked by periods where civilian and military leaders drift apart, and now China is entering one of those eras.

It is, however, one thing to have a strong military and another to have a coup. At one time, the People’s Republic was rife with coup rumors, especially when Lin Biao appeared to lead an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Mao Zedong in 1971. Since then, generals and admirals have given virtually no indication that they possessed grand political ambitions.

Now, things look like they are changing. There have been too many reminders in the Chinese state media that “the Party controls the gun”—that the PLA reports to civilians—to think that this has not become an issue.

So was there a coup attempt in China in the last two weeks? Even if there was not, talk of a military takeover indicates someone is trying to destabilize the regime, and that cannot be a good thing for the country’s increasingly shaky civilian leaders.

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Management lessons to learn from ‘Star Wars’

A case study in how not to run a Galactic Empire, or your team for that matter

20Th Century Fox

Darth Vader’s impatience with subordinates’ mistakes led to a culture inside the Galactic Empire that hurt team building. Oh, and killed Admiral Ozzel too.

By Alex Knapp

updated 2/22/2012 12:47:23 PM ET2012-02-22T17:47:23

My colleague Dorothy Pomerantz notes that this weekend, the re-issued 3-D version of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” pulled down about $23 million at the box office. This got my mind to pondering the mistakes that people make, ranging from making the “Star Wars” prequels to reissuing them in 3-D to actually going to relive the misery that was “The Phantom Menace” all over again.

But mistakes are learning opportunities. And in thinking about “Star Wars,” let’s leave the prequels behind and focus on the original trilogy. It occurs to me that the “Star Wars” films have a lot to teach us about leadership styles.

In particular, the Galactic Empire strikes me as a quintessential example of how not to effectively run an organization. Let’s take a look at five of the Empire’s biggest mistakes and see how you can avoid them in your own organization. The most outrageous job interview mistakes

Mistake I: Building an organization around particular people, rather than institutions
Perhaps the biggest mistake the Galactic Empire made is its singular focus on the preservation of power for the Emperor and a few of his chosen lackeys. There is a constant we see starting with “A New Hope” and running through to the end of “Return of the Jedi” of the Emperor consolidating more and more power into his own hands and that of his right-hand man, Darth Vader. In “A New Hope,” the Galactic Senate is disbanded in favor of regional governors hand-selected by the Emperor. By the time “Return of the Jedi” rolls around, the Emperor’s only advisor is Darth Vader, and his distrust in his organization is so complete that his only plan for succession is a desperate attempt to poach Luke Skywalker from the Rebel Alliance and get him to join his organization. Anytime your future plans depend on getting a rising star from a rival organization to join your team, you know that you have some serious institutional issues.

As the events of the movie make clear, the deaths of the Emperor and Darth Vader pretty much eliminated any opportunity for succession. A galaxy-wide organization was defeated simply by taking out two key individuals. Despite his decades of scheming, Palpatine’s organization barely lasted a day after he was gone.

Key Takeaway: Your organization needs to be structured so that talent is being developed on all levels of the organization, in order to ensure smooth functioning and ensure that it’s easy for people to rise in the organization in the event that key individuals leave. Responsibility should be distributed on several fronts, so that chaos doesn’t ensue if one person can’t be reached. Realistic succession plans are vital to developing an enduring organization. How to stay creative at any age

Mistake II: Depriving people of the chance to have a stake in the organization
By consolidating his power, the Emperor didn’t just ensure that his organization wouldn’t survive his death. He also deprived both his employees and the public-at-large a key motivation: a feeling of having a stake in the success of the organization. The Emperor disbanded the Galactic Senate, removing the idea of any democratic stake in the government. He wiped out all references to the Force, so there was no longer any guiding ideology. His sole idea for maintaining control of the Empire was building the Death Star, on the theory that, in the words of Grand Moff Tarkin, “Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.” Similarly, while in the first “Star Wars” film, there was a scene showing officers in the Imperial Navy discussing strategy, by “Return of the Jedi,” it was clear that no feedback was being solicited anymore. The Emperor or Vader gave orders and that was it. No further discussion.

But as was ably demonstrated in this exchange in the movie “Office Space,” this is the worst possible way to get the best work out of your employees. Fear, combined with a sense of powerlessness, only inspires the bare minimum amount of work:

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Peter Gibbons: You see, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.
Bob Porter: Don’t … don’t care?
Peter Gibbons: It’s a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don’t see another dime, so where’s the motivation? And here’s another thing, I have eight different bosses right now.
Bob Porter: Eight?
Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that, and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

Key Takeaway: In order to get the best work out of people in your organization, you need to solicit their feedback, engage them in the decision-making process, and ensure that they have a stake in the success of the organization 5 steps to turn wasteful meetings into drivers of success

Mistake III: Having no tolerance for failure
In an early part of the “Empire Strikes Back,” the Empire attempted to wipe out the Rebel Alliance once and for all in the Battle of Hoth. However, because Admiral Ozzel took the Imperial Fleet out of lightspeed too close to the Hoth system, the Rebel Alliance was able to detect the Imperial approach and quickly begin its defense. Enraged by this error, Darth Vader used the Force to choke Admiral Ozzel to death. Captain Piett, Ozzel’s second-in-command, was then promoted to Admiral and given command of the Imperial Fleet.

This swift, decisive punishment of failure is a huge error of management. First of all, mistakes are inevitable — especially in times where quick decisions are needed to be made on incomplete information. Rather than simply kill Admiral Ozzel, Vader should have attempted to direct him to a course of action that corrected his error. Instead, he threw the Imperial Fleet into organizational disarray as countless numbers of officers were suddenly thrust into new roles and responsibilities without the opportunity to learn them. This organizational chaos was undoubtedly key to the Rebels ability to escape in mass numbers, even as they flew perilously close to the Imperial Fleet.

Even beyond this one mistake, by adopting a management style of “failure leads to Force choking,” Vader developed an organizational culture that was destined to be weak. People would be afraid to offer feedback or suggestions, choosing instead to follow orders to the letter. This ensures that decisions are made at a very high level, and anyone under those levels will lack initiative or the ability to act on their local knowledge. What’s more, by punishing failure so harshly, the Empire provides an incentive for people within the organization to actually lead their superiors to failure. After all, the quickest way to promotion in the Empire is for your boss to make a mistake, so it’s in your own best interests to ensure that he does. When everything is urgent, nothing really is

Key Takeaway: It’s essential to remember that failure is the engine of success. Mistakes are inevitable, but the key to making them is learning from them. It’s also vital to ensure that organizations are flexible, capable of quickly adapting to changing conditions and allowing for initiative and quick action at all levels, even if that leads to some mistakes.

Mistake IV: Focusing all of the organization’s efforts into a single goal and failing to consider alternatives
When it came to the success of the Galactic Empire, the Emperor had one single idea that he was absolutely obsessed with: building the Death Star. The completion of the Death Star, with its ability to destroy entire planets, was the singleminded obsession of the Emperor. At no point do we ever see any alternatives broached. No scenes between Darth Vader and the Emperor debating the wisdom of building a second Death Star so soon after the first one was destroyed. Nobody suggests to the Emperor that it might be wiser to develop more flexible ways for the Empire to destroy planets, such as combining the firepower of several Star Destroyers at once.

The only other goal we ever see the Emperor pursue, apart from the destruction of the Rebels, is to get Luke Skywalker to turn to the Dark Side and succeed Darth Vader and possibly the Emperor himself. As discussed above, having only one succession plan, based entirely around getting a key player from a rival organization to change his mind, showed remarkable lack of foresight. This singleminded obsession with one way to succeed is something that undermined not only the Galactic Empire, but also many other organizations throughout history. Kodak focused on film even after developing digital technology. Borders focused on brick and mortar years after it was clear that a strong Internet presence was key to the book business. The comeback billionaire: Sheldon Adelson’s $25B bet

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Key Takeaway: It’s vital to be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. You should always consider alternatives to your course of action and develop multiple plans for achieving particular goals in case one or more plans don’t pan out.

Mistake V: Failing to learn from mistakes
The Galactic Empire devoted years, an enormous amount of money, and an enormous amount of manpower to building the Death Star. After it was built, the Death Star only successfully completed one mission before it was destroyed by the Rebels. And the Empire’s response? Build a bigger, newer Death Star to serve as a target for the Rebel Alliance. In the second case, the Death Star wasn’t even completed before the Rebels managed to destroy it again.

Despite the failure of Force choking Admiral Ozzel to improve performance by the Imperial Fleet, Vader Force choked Captain Needa after his failure to capture the Millennium Falcon shortly thereafter.

Both the Emperor and Vader were obsessed with turning Skywalker to the Dark Side of the Force, even after Skywalker made it clear that he’d rather die than abandon the Rebel Alliance or join the Dark Side. Why Apple should buy Yahoo

You may see a pattern emerging here. Perhaps the Emperor and Vader were blinded by their success taking control of a millennia-old Republic and turning it into an Empire, but it’s clear that they became very overconfident in their own abilities. Despite making the same mistakes over, and over again, they still moved stubbornly, blindly forward without ever changing course. And then kept on moving forward without changing their paths until the Empire was destroyed.

Key takeaway: While it’s admirable to not let setbacks hold you back from pursuing your goals, its vital to learn from every failure in order to correct your course of action. Failing to learn from your mistakes and repeating them will inevitably lead to the destruction of your organization.

The bottom line: Ultimately, the Galactic Empire failed as an enduring organization because of incredibly flawed leadership at the very top. By building an organizational culture based on fear, lack of independence, and an unwillingness to adapt to changing circumstances, the Emperor set the stage for his own inevitable failure.

The Clicker: How much would the Death Star cost?

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Day One – The War With Iran

Day One –
The War With Iran

By Douglas Herman
A Exclusive

The war began as planned. The Israeli pilots took off well before dawn and streaked across Lebanon and northern Iraq, high above Kirkuk. Flying US-made F-15 and F-16s, the Israelis separated over the mountains of western Iran, the pilots gesturing a last minute show of confidence in their mission, maintaining radio silence.

Just before the sun rose over Tehran, moments before the Muslim call to prayer, the missiles struck their targets. While US Air Force AWACS planes circled overhead–listening, watching, recording–heavy US bombers followed minutes later. Bunker-busters and mini-nukes fell on dozens of targets while Iranian anti-aircraft missiles sped skyward. 

The ironically named Bushehr nuclear power plant crumbled to dust. Russian technicians and foreign nationals scurried for safety. Most did not make it.

Targets in Saghand and Yazd, all of them carefully chosen many months before by Pentagon planners, were destroyed. The uranium enrichment facility in Natanz; a heavy water plant and radioisotope facility in Arak; the Ardekan Nuclear Fuel Unit; the Uranium Conversion Facility and Nuclear Technology Center in Isfahan; were struck simultaneously by USAF and Israeli bomber groups.

The Tehran Nuclear Research Center, the Tehran Molybdenum, Iodine and Xenon Radioisotope Production Facility, the Tehran Jabr Ibn Hayan Multipurpose Laboratories, the Kalaye Electric Company in the Tehran suburbs were destroyed.

Iranian fighter jets rose in scattered groups. At least those Iranian fighter planes that had not been destroyed on the ground by swift and systematic air strikes from US and Israeli missiles. A few Iranian fighters even launched missiles, downing the occasional attacker, but American top guns quickly prevailed in the ensuing dogfights.

The Iranian air force, like the Iranian navy, never really knew what hit them. Like the slumbering US sailors at Pearl Harbor, the pre-dawn, pre-emptive attack wiped out fully half the Iranian defense forces in a matter of hours.

By mid-morning, the second and third wave of US/Israeli raiders screamed over the secondary targets. The only problem now, the surprising effectiveness of the Iranian missile defenses. The element of surprise lost, US and Israeli warplanes began to fall from the skies in considerable numbers to anti-aircraft fire.

At 7:35 AM, Tehran time, the first Iranian anti-ship missile destroyed a Panamanian oil tanker, departing from Kuwait and bound for Houston. Launched from an Iranian fighter plane, the Exocet split the ship in half and set the ship ablaze in the Strait of Hormuz. A second and third tanker followed, black smoke billowing from the broken ships before they blew up and sank. By 8:15 AM, all ship traffic on the Persian Gulf had ceased.

US Navy ships, ordered earlier into the relative safety of the Indian Ocean, south of their base in Bahrain, launched counter strikes. Waves of US fighter planes circled the burning wrecks in the bottleneck of Hormuz but the Iranian fighters had fled.

At 9 AM, Eastern Standard Time, many hours into the war, CNN reported a squadron of suicide Iranian fighter jets attacking the US Navy fleet south of Bahrain. Embedded reporters aboard the ships–sending live feeds directly to a rapt audience of Americans just awakening–reported all of the Iranian jets destroyed, but not before the enemy planes launched dozens of Exocet and Sunburn anti-ship missiles. A US aircraft carrier, cruiser and two destroyers suffered direct hits. The cruiser blew up and sank, killing 600 men. The aircraft carrier sank an hour later.

By mid-morning, every military base in Iran was partially or wholly destroyed. Sirens blared and fires blazed from hundreds of fires. Explosions rocked Tehran and the electrical power failed. The Al Jazeerah news station in Tehran took a direct hit from a satellite bomb, leveling the entire block.

At 9:15 AM, Baghdad time, the first Iranian missile struck the Green Zone. For the next thirty minutes a torrent of missiles landed on GPS coordinates carefully selected by Shiite militiamen with cell phones positioned outside the Green Zone and other permanent US bases. Although US and Israeli bomber pilots had destroyed 90% of the Iranian missiles, enough Shahabs remained to fully destroy the Green Zone, the Baghdad airport, and a US Marine base. Thousands of unsuspecting US soldiers died in the early morning barrage. Not surprisingly, CNN and Fox withheld the great number of casualties from American viewers.

By 9:30 AM, gas stations on the US east coast began to raise their prices. Slowly at first and then altogether in a panic, the prices rose. $4 a gallon, and then $5 and then $6, the prices skyrocketed. Worried motorists, rushing from work, roared into the nearest gas station, radios blaring the latest reports of the pre-emptive attack on Iran. While fistfights broke out in gas stations everywhere, the third Middle Eastern war had begun.

In Washington DC, the spin began minutes after the first missile struck its intended target. The punitive strike–not really a war said the harried White House spokesman–would further democracy and peace in the Middle East. Media pundits mostly followed the party line. By ridding Iran of weapons of mass destruction, Donald Rumsfeld declared confidently on CNN, Iran might follow in the footsteps of Iraq, and enjoy the hard won fruits of freedom.

The president scheduled a speech at 2 PM. Gas prices rose another two dollars before then. China and Japan threatened to dump US dollars. Gold rose $120 an ounce. The dollar plummeted against the Euro.

CNN reported violent, anti-American protests in Paris, London, Rome, Berlin and Dublin. Fast food franchises throughout Europe, carrying American corporate logos, were firebombed.

A violent coup toppled the pro-American Pakistan president. On the New York Stock Exchange, prices fell in a frenzy of trading–except for the major petroleum producers. A single, Iranian Shahab missile struck Tel Aviv, destroying an entire city block. Israel vowed revenge, and threatened a nuclear strike on Tehran, before a hastily called UN General Assembly in New York City eased tensions.

An orange alert in New York City suddenly reddened to a full-scale terror alarm when a package detonated on a Manhattan subway. Mayor Bloomberg declared martial law. Governor Pataki ordered the New York National Guard fully mobilized, mobilizing what few national guardsmen remained in the state.

President Bush looked shaken at 2 PM. The scroll below the TV screen reported Persian Gulf nations halting production of oil until the conflict could be resolved peacefully. Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, announced a freeze in oil deliveries to the US would begin immediately. Tony Blair offered to mediate peace negotiations, between the US and Israel and Iran, but was resoundingly rejected.

By 6 PM, Eastern Standard Time, gas prices had stabilized at just below $10 a gallon. A Citgo station in Texas, near Fort Sam Houston Army base, was firebombed. No one claimed responsibility. Terrorism was not ruled out.

At sunset, the call to prayer–in Tehran, Baghdad, Islamabad, Ankara, Jerusalem, Jakarta, Riyadh–sounded uncannily like the buzzing of enraged bees.


USAF veteran, Douglas Herman correctly predicted the aftermath of the attack on Iraq in his column: Shock & Awe Followed by Block-To-Block. A Rense contributer, he is the author of The Guns of Dallas, available at Contact him at

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Anonymous bills Booz Allen $310 for ‘Security Audit’


Hackers target Booz Allen, post confidential data

Joseph Menn and Maija Palmer

San Francisco / AND London— The Financial Times

Published Tuesday, Jul. 12, 2011 2:08PM EDT

Last updated Tuesday, Jul. 12, 2011 2:11PM EDT


The U.S. defence department is investigating a cyber attack on a government contractor in which hackers claimed to have obtained 90,000 e-mail addresses and encrypted passwords of military personnel.

A Pentagon official said on Tuesday that it was looking into the breach at consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton but lacked “concrete information”.

“We don’t have all the details”, the official told the Financial Times on condition of anonymity. “That said, there may be some information that we can’t share once we do.”

The cyber-activist group called Anonymous took credit for the breach and posted the data on the Pirate Bay file-sharing site. It said that data had been taken from a poorly-protected server on the Booz Allen network and that it was “surprised” at how easy it had been to hack into a company working for the U.S. military.

Booz Allen did not return a call seeking comment. The breach is an embarrassment for the company, which has a former U.S. director of national intelligence as its head of national-security contracting.

“We don’t have all the details”, the official told the Financial Times on condition of anonymity. “That said, there may be some information that we can’t share once we do.”

The cyber-activist group called Anonymous took credit for the breach and posted the data on the Pirate Bay file-sharing site. It said that data had been taken from a poorly-protected server on the Booz Allen network and that it was “surprised” at how easy it had been to hack into a company working for the U.S. military.

Booz Allen did not return a call seeking comment. The breach is an embarrassment for the company, which has a former U.S. director of national intelligence as its head of national-security contracting.

Experts said the type of encryption used for the passwords could be broken, with the difficulty of that task determined by factors including whether numbers and special characters were required. “If they are smart, [the military] will reset the passwords”, said Jerry Dixon, former director of the cyber security division of the US homeland security department.

Otherwise, hackers in control of accounts could send e-mails tricking still more defence employees into installing malicious software on their machines.

“At this stage it will be important to focus on suspicious traffic leaving the network and making sure the problems are contained while forcing the password resets”, Mr. Dixon said. “This is why two-factor authentication is so important.” But even two-factor techniques, such as requiring tokens with fast-changing numeric codes, are no guarantee of security.

In May, Lockheed Martin, the largest defence contractor said it had been subject to a significant attack on its IT system that included a compromise of tokens provided by RSA.

The Lockheed attack appears to have been a targeted attempt to steal intellectual property or defence secrets, while Anonymous says it hacks companies in order to publicize their security flaws. In a tongue-in-cheek move, the hackers posted an invoice for $310 to Booz Allen Hamilton on the Pirate Bay site for their “audit” of the security system.


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Workplace Privacy Issues begin to recede as the ‘Open Workspace’ revolution dawns.

Today’s modern work force is submitted to an unending barrage of activities that test the limits of personal privacy in exchange for the privilege of working for in an employer. Employees struggle with the limits they can reasonably expect privacy in the workplace (Privacy Information, 2011). Some of these activities include the monitoring of company control of e-mail, instant messaging services, phone call monitoring, closed-circuit video monitoring and drug testing. And since many of these activities are guided by a variety of state laws and federal statutes not every worker in every state is protected with the guarantee of due process of review in every activity. Employees have to navigate a maze of legal codes and employment law applicable to their state of residence and/or industry. The United States Constitution does not guarantee the express right to privacy, rather, privacy is determined by a mix of federal and state laws conceived by common law courts (Halburt, Igulli 2010, p.74)(Privacy Torts, 2011).

It is common knowledge is that an individual has the right to protect his basic dignity and worth as a human being and therefore need to maintain social environment that safeguards one’s individuality (Halburt, Igulli 2010, p.74). In everyone’s life there is a zone which contains closely guarded personal secrets that can be readily shared with close relations with persons of trust. In today’s electronic communications world, there is the risk that a stranger could violate persons and closely held intimate personal zone. In an ideal world, everyone should be to say exactly what they feel at any given time, but due to the fact that everyone operates at a different emotional level any given time, such spurious comments could result in damage to reputations and feelings (Halburt, Igulli 2010, p. 77) . The results have been that specific limits to information sharing have been enacted to regulate the amount and type of information that we share with one another, or with the company for whom we work.

Employees can be expected to have their company e-mails monitored at work because SOX 404 regulations require that companies archive all e-mails in case they come under scrutiny or investigated. Also, disgruntled employees may transmit damaging e-mails over company networks could cause irreparable damage to the company’s name products reputation. (Halburt, Igulli 2010, p. 71)

In a recent Supreme Court case, NASA vs. Nelson (2010) the court argued that government invasive background checks violated constitution and that these inquiries represent a “privacy interest of constitutional significance.” Justice Scalia opined that reasonable requests for information will be protected under the privacy act (EPIC: Workplace Privacy para. 1, 2).

At the state level, the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled in favor of employee privacy which ruled that Marina Stengart was entitled to privacy with regard to exchanged e-mails using her Yahoo account and receiving them on a company-owned lap top. This decision protects web-based e-mail accounts from company intrusion (Epic: Workplace Privacy, 2010, para. 7).

Michael’s life vs. Pillsbury, United States district court, 1996 supp.97

Pillsbury Company maintained an e-mail communication system to promote internal communications between its employees. October 1994 printed Michael Smyth received e-mails from supervisor on his home computer (Halburt, Igulli 2010, p. 73). The plaintiff responded by exchanging e-mails with supervisor. These e-mails were not held with confidentiality and contrary to assurances made to defendant by the plaintiffs company. January 17, 1995 the plaintiff notified. He was terminated for transmitting inappropriate and unprofessional comments over the defendant’s e-mail system. The plaintiff charged the company for an invasion of privacy (Halburt, Igulli 2010, p. 73).

Finding: We do not have a reasonable expectation of private e-mail communication’s made between inventory and supervisor over company e-mail systems whether or not assurances of confidentiality given. The defendant’s tort, which alleged a violation of privacy, was thrown out of court (Halburt, Igulli 2010, p. 73).

The case of Pillsbury vs. US highlights conditions under which a person’s invasion of solitude is considered highly offensive, yet judged against the plaintiff on the grounds that such communications were injurious to the company. Other offensive invasions of privacy include unauthorized access into a into personal bank account landlord bugging a tenant (Epic, 2010). The 1968 Federal Wiretap Law, and the amended Electronic Indications Privacy Act 1986, ECPA, make it illegal to intercept, disclose or exchange messages without authorization. This is why employers require you to sign a consent form to be monitored on company networks. Some types of activities would be exempt from this law would be those that are, readily accessible to the general public, such as public chat rooms and blogging. In these cases the law does not require the person to give consent to monitoring.

In a recent industry survey, 92% of employers conduct electronic monitoring of employees via videotaping, monitoring IM chats and blogging as well as the GPS satellite tracking cars and cell phones (Halburt, Igulli 2010, p. 73). On average, 26% of companies have terminated employees for misuse of the Internet. Approximately another 25% of workers are reprimanded for the misuse of e-mail. Some companies carry out electronic monitoring randomly, on a spot check basis, using such electronic software monitoring programs which are s increasingly sophisticated (Halburt, Igulli 2010, p. 77). Software can monitors keystrokes and retrieve documents. A program called can monitor workplace telephone conversations. The super scout program can monitor the length of e-mail messages and XV mail searches the actual content e-mail message (Halburt, Igulli 2010, p. 77).

Businesses’ claim that it is a type of quality control in order to correct and improve their company performance and measure and encourage efficiency. It can aid in personal evaluations and uncover employee disloyalty which takes the form of stealing product supplies or trade secrets (Halburt, Igulli 2010, p. 77). The trend of privacy issues has begun to lean towards being more open, when it comes to business communication; while at the same time private personal information which falls under HIPAA remains tightly controlled.

The Japanese have typically used open office workspaces in their administrative areas for many years. In Western culture, business persons look to have their own office. But if they cannot have their own office, then they look to have their own private cubicle space. Unaware that the confines of the cubicle are mentally delimiting their ability to communicate openly.

“They provide pseudo-privacy at best, and are terrible for spontaneous communication,” says Franklin Becker, director of the International Workplace Studies Program at Cornell University. “Cubicles are acoustic sieves that intrude on your thoughts and conversations,” agrees Michael Brill, president of BOSTI Associates, a workplace planning and design consultant in Buffalo, N.Y., and founder of the School of Architecture at the University of Buffalo (Grossman, 2002).

With the ever-increasing trend of social networking activities being posted to publicly accessible websites, the concept of privacy as an electronic format increasingly is called into question. Say for example, you are talking publicly while shopping in an open air shopping mall conversing with her friend. You mentioned the sale of some rather extraordinary outfit and are overheard by a stranger passing by you. They seem to be in the same inclination to take advantage of that sale and they use the information, with which you have discussed with your friend, to go to that shop and purchase that outfit. It was a publicly open conversation overheard by someone in the public, and acted upon someone in the public. Social networking whether for business or pleasure becomes the same privacy environment as one walking through a busy mall, regardless of whether you were sitting in the privacy of your own home, or in a cubicle at an office.

Today’s work environment is changing in the fact that the cubicle environment is beginning to give way to the open office environment (Baker, 2011). This is an environment that simulates walking through an open mall with no enclosed spaces, the mobility to move around and the ability to see far beyond the confines of an isolated cubicle space. It is akin to working outdoors, which many self-employed do already. In future, the modern workspace will look more like an open lounge and mall, with Internet access via wireless throughout the building, open chairs and lounges, trees and sculptures, providing a scenic background and encouraging team interaction minus the confines of cubicle walls (Baker, 2011).

For instance, as Business 2.0 magazine recently reported, Cisco Systems structured its working environment so that workers can set up areas wherever they are needed in the building, after discovering that their heavy use of mobile technology resulted in cubicles that were vacant 35 percent of the time (Cubicles Today, 2011, para. 6).

Cubicle walls in and of themselves put up barriers between people and tend to stifle communication. With this new open communication, issues of privacy, once a concern in days past, will become a nonissue, because people will be speaking to one another as they were meant to, in person face-to-face without barriers negating the need to create their own personalized private space.

    Now that we have glimpsed open environment of the future, where cubicles or thing of the past and the workforce wanders in a lounge like mall setting, let us return to the mundane present. It is here that Herman, the car salesman manager, is monitoring the conversations of his salespersons on the open floor in order to provide some quality control for the sales pitch of his salesman. The salesman on the open floor, thinks nothing of being ‘advised’ or mildly reprimanded by the sales manager, because he is used to working in an open environment, where one-on-one conversations are the norm and acting and reacting to them is the normal course of business on the sales floor. However, when the female officemate who works in an enclosed area discovers that the sales manager has been monitoring electronically the floor salesman’s conversation, she is taken aback, and shocked that employees of the car dealership, are being subjected to close scrutiny by the manager’s electronic listening device. It is too much for her, so she says her piece and leaves the work place permanently. In hindsight, had the floor manager been on the floor beside the salesman when the conversation was taking place and then corrected him on the content of his pitch, undoubtedly no one would’ve thought the worse, because it would’ve seemed as a natural extension of an ongoing on conversation. This is what the open environment office will do, breakdown the barriers and resistance toward sharing information that is pertinent to the workplace and improves customer delivery and satisfaction. In the end, the overall result of an open workplace is that they will be little or no third-party surveillance, because people will interact openly on a one-to-one, face-to-face basis. Third-party surveillance is the slag, or unwanted fallout, resulting from the need for open communications in a world where people are still tied to a false sense of security of private spaces and private places.


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of is always open and shut decision, b-net, the CBS interactive business network. Retrieved from (n.d.)

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environment: 2010 custom edition (6th ed.). (pp. 70-108). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

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The Challenge of Ethical Behavior in Organizations

Journal of Business Ethics



Jul 1992

The imperatives of day-to-day organizational performance are so compelling that there is little time or inclination to divert attention to the moral content of organizational decision-making. Morality appears to be so esoteric and qualitative in nature that it lacks substantive relation to objective and quantitative performance. An effective organizational culture should encourage ethical behavior and discourage unethical behavior. Admittedly, ethical behavior may cost the organization. Even though ethical problems in organizations continue to greatly concern society, organizations and individuals, the potential impact that organizational culture can have on ethical behavior has not really been explored. What is needed in today’s complicated times is for more organizations to step forward and operate with more positive and ethical cultures.

Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers Group Jul 1992

It has often been said that the only constant in life is change, and nowhere is this more true than in the workplace. As one recent survey concluded, “Over the past decade, the U.S. corporation has been battered by foreign competition, its own out-of-date technology and out-of-touch management and, more recently a flood of mergers and acquisitions. The result has been widespread streamlining of the white-collar ranks and recognition that the old way of doing business is no longer possible or desirable” (U.S. News & World Report, 1989, p. 42).

As the twenty-first century approaches, companies face a variety of changes and challenges that will have a profound impact on organizational dynamics and performance. In many ways, these changes will decide who will survive and prosper into the next century and who will not. Among these challenges are the following:

(1) The challenge of international competition.

(2) The challenge of new technologies.

(3) The challenge of increased quality.

(4) The challenge of employee motivation and commitment.

(5) The challenge of managing a diverse workforce.

(6) The challenge of ethical behavior.

While these challenges must all be met by organizations and managers concerned about survival and competitiveness in the future, this paper will focus on the challenge of ethical behavior. More specifically, this paper will (1) discuss some reasons’ unethical behavior occurs in organizations, (2) highlight the importance of organizational culture in establishing an ethical climate within the organization, and finally, (3) present some suggestions for creating and maintaining an ethically-oriented culture.


The imperatives of day-to-day organizational performance are so compelling that there is little time or inclination to divert attention to the moral content of organizational decision-making. Morality appears to be so esoteric and qualitative in nature that it lacks substantive relation to objective and quantitative performance. Besides, understanding the meaning of ethics and morality requires the distasteful reworking of long-forgotten classroom studies. What could Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle teach us about the world that confronts organizations approaching the twenty-first century? Possibly a gap in philosophical knowledge exists between organizational executives and administrators of different generations. Yet, like it or not, there has and will continue to be a surge of interest in ethics.

The word “ethics” is often in the news these days. Ethics is a philosophical term derived from the Greek word “ethos” meaning character or custom. This definition is germane to effective leadership in organizations in that it connotes an organization code conveying moral integrity and consistent values in service to the public. Certain organizations will commit themselves to a philosophy in a formal pronouncement of a Code of Ethics or Standards of Conduct. Having done so, the recorded idealism is distributed or shelved, and all too often that is that. Other organizations, however, will be concerned with aspects of ethics of greater specificity, usefulness, and consistency.

Formally defined, ethical behavior is that which is morally accepted as “good” and “right” as opposed to “bad” or “wrong” in a particular setting. Is it ethical, for example, to pay a bribe to obtain a business contract in a foreign country? Is it ethical to allow your company to withhold information that might discourage a job candidate from joining your organization? Is it ethical to ask someone to take a job you know will not be good for their career progress? Is it ethical to do personal business on company time?

The list of examples could go on and on. Despite one’s initial inclinations in response to these questions, the major point of it all is to remind organizations that the public-at-large is demanding that government officials, managers, workers in general, and the organizations they represent all act according to high ethical and moral standards. The future will bring a renewed concern with maintaining high standards of ethical behavior in organizational transactions and in the workplace.

Many executives, administrators, and social scientists see unethical behavior as a cancer working on the fabric of society in too many of today’s organizations and beyond. Many are concerned that we face a crisis of ethics in the West that is undermining our competitive strength. This crisis involves business-people, government officials, customers, and employees. Especially worrisome is unethical behavior among employees at all levels of the organization. For example, a recent study found that employees accounted for a higher percentage of retail thefts than did customers (Silverstein, 1989). The study estimated that one in every fifteen employees steals from his or her employer.

In addition, we hear about illegal and unethical behavior on Wall Street, pension scandals in which disreputable executives gamble on risky business ventures with employees’ retirement funds, companies that expose their workers to hazardous working conditions, and blatant favoritism in hiring and promotion practices. Although such practices occur throughout the world, their presence nonetheless serves to remind us of the challenge facing organizations.

This challenge is especially difficult because standards for what constitutes ethical behavior lie in a “grey zone” where clear-cut right-versus wrong answers may not always exist. As a result, sometimes unethical behavior is forced on organizations by the environment in which it exists and laws such as the Foreign Corruption Practices Act. For example, if you were a sales representative for an American company abroad and your foreign competitors used bribes to get business, what would you do? In the United States such behavior is illegal, yet it is perfectly acceptable in other countries. What is ethical here? Similarly, in many countries women are systematically discriminated against in the workplace; it is felt that their place is in the home. In the United States, again, this practice is illegal. If you ran an American company in one of these countries, would you hire women in important positions? If you did, your company might be isolated in the larger business community, and you might lose business. If you did not, you might be violating what most Americans believe to be fair business practices.

The effective management of ethical issues requires that organizations ensure that their managers and employees know how to deal with ethical issues in their everyday work lives. Therefore, organizational members must first understand some of the underlying reasons for the occurrence of unethical practices.


The potential for individuals and organizations to behave unethically is limitless. Unfortunately, this potential is too frequently realized. Consider, for example, how greed overtook concerns about human welfare when the Manville Corporation suppressed evidence that asbestos inhalation was killing its employees, or when Ford failed to correct a known defect that made its Pinto vulnerable to gas tank explosions following low speed rear-end collisions (Bucholz, I 989). Companies that dump dangerous medical waste materials into our rivers and oceans also appear to favor their own interests over public safety and welfare. Although these examples are better known than many others, they do not appear to be unusual. In fact, the story they tell may be far more typical than we would like, as one expert estimates that about two-thirds of the 500 largest American corporations have been involved in one form of illegal behavior or another (Gellerman, 1986).

Unfortunately, unethical organizational practices are embarrassingly commonplace. It is easy to define such practices as dumping polluted chemical wastes into rivers, insider trading on Wall Street, overcharging the government for Medicaid services, and institutions like Stanford University inappropriately using taxpayer money to buy a yacht or to enlarge their President’s bed in his home as morally wrong. Yet these and many other unethical practices go on almost routinely in many organizations. Why is this so? In other words, what accounts for the unethical actions of people in organizations, more specifically, why do people commit those unethical actions in which individuals knew or should have known that the organization was committing an unethical act? An example recently provided by Baucus and Near (1991) helps to illustrate this distinction.

Recently, a federal court judge found Allegheny Bottling, a Pepsi-Cola bottling franchise, guilty of price fixing. The firm had ended years of cola wars by setting prices with its major competitor, Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling (New York Times, 1988). Since evidence showed most executives in the firm knew of the illegal price-fixing scheme, the court not only fined Allegheny $1 million but also sentenced it to three years in prison–a sentence that was suspended since a firm cannot be imprisoned. However, the unusual penalty allowed the judge to place the firm on probation and significantly restrict its operations.

In another case, Harris Corporation pleaded no contest to charges that it participated in a kickback scheme involving a defense department loan to the Philippines (Wall Street Journal, 1989). Although this plea cost the firm $500,000 in fines and civil claims, Harris’s chief executive said the firm and its employees were not guilty of criminal conduct; he maintained that top managers pleaded no contest because the costs associated with litigation would have been greater than the fines, and litigation would have diverted management attention from firm operations.

Although both cases appear to be instances of illegal corporate behavior, there is an important distinction between them. In the first case, Allegheny’s executives knew or should have known the firm’s activities were illegal; price fixing is a clear violation of antitrust law. Further, the courts ruled that evidence indicated the firm had engaged in the illegal act. In contrast, it is not clear that Harris Corporations’ managers committed an illegal act. Some areas of the law are very ambiguous, including the area relevant to this case, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and managers may not at times know what it legal or illegal; thus, a firm may inadvertently engage in behavior that is later defined as illegal or unethical (Baucus and Near, 1991).

One answer to the question of why individuals knowingly commit unethical actions is based on the idea that organizations often reward behaviors that violate ethical standards. Consider, for example, how many business executives are expected to deal in bribes and payoffs, despite the negative publicity and ambiguity of some laws, and how good corporate citizens who blow the whistle on organizational wrongdoing may fear being punished for their actions. Jansen and Von Glinow (1985) explain that organizations tend to develop counternorms, accepted organizational practices that are contrary to prevailing ethical standards. Some of these are summarized in Figure 1. (Figure 1 omitted)

The top of Figure 1 identifies being open and honest as a prevailing ethical norm. Indeed, governmental regulations requiring full disclosure and freedom of information reinforce society’s values toward openness and honesty. Within organizations, however, it is often considered not only acceptable, but desirable, to be much more secretive and deceitful. The practice of stonewalling, willingly hiding relevant information, is quite common. One reason for this is that organizations may actually punish those who are too open and honest. Look at the negative treatment experienced by many employees who are willing to blow the whistle on unethical behavior in their organizations. Also, consider for example, the disclosure that B. F. Goodrich rewarded employees who falsified data on quality aircraft brakes in order to win certification (Vandevier, 1978). Similarly, it has been reported that executives at Metropolitan Edison encouraged employees to withhold information from the press about the Three Mile Island nuclear accident (Gray and Rosen, 1982). Both incidents represent cases in which the counternorms of secrecy and deceitfulness were accepted and supported by the organization.

Figure 1 shows that there are many other organizational counternorms that promote morally and ethically questionable practices. Because these practices are commonly rewarded and accepted suggests that organizations may be operating within a world that dictates its own set of accepted rules. This reasoning suggests a second answer to the question of why organizations knowingly act unethically namely, because managerial values exist that undermine integrity. In a recent analysis of executive integrity, Wolfe explains that managers have developed some ways of thinking (of which they may be quite unaware) that foster unethical behavior (Wolfe, 1988).

One culprit is referred to as the bottom-line-mentality. This line of thinking supports financial success as the only value to be considered. It promotes short-term solutions that are immediately financially sound, despite the fact that they cause problems for others within the organization or the organization as a whole. It promotes an unrealistic belief that everything boils down to a monetary game. As such, rules of morality are merely obstacles, impediments along the way to bottom-line financial success.

A similar bottom-line mentality, the “political bottom line,” is also quite evident in the public sector. For example, when it comes to spending money, the U.S. Congress has no equal. Although much of this expenditure is for purposes of national concern, a sizable portion is devoted to pork-barreling. Pork-barreling refers to the practice whereby a senator or representative forces Congress to allocate monies to special projects that take place in his or her home district. In many cases, the projects have little value and represent a drain on the taxpayers. They do, however, create jobs–and political support–in the home district. This practice is common, because many members of Congress believe it will help them get votes in the next election.

In some more extreme–and definitely ethically questionable–situations, such actions are designed to reward some large-scale campaign contributors in the home district. A case in point is the Maxi Cube cargo handling system. Funds for testing the Maxi Cube cargo handling system were written into the fiscal 1989 defense budget during the final Senate-House Appropriations conference at the request of Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania. The $10 million item was specifically targeted for a Philadelphia businessman (and contributor to Murtha’s campaign) who was to manufacture the truck in Murtha’s home district. The only problem was that the U.S. Army had clearly said that it had “no known requirement” for the handler. In response, Murtha was reported to be “mad as hell” at the “nitpicking” by the army. He pushed ahead anyway and used his position on the Appropriations committee to freeze a series of military budgeting requests until he got his pet project approved.

And Murtha is not alone. Rep. Les Aspin of Wisconsin got the Defense Appropriations committee to include $249 million to continue making a certain ten-ton truck (in Wisconsin, naturally) that the army was trying to phase out. It, too, was unneeded, but Aspin wanted the project for his home district. Is this legal? Yes? Is it ethical? That depends upon your point of view (Morgan, 1989). Clearly, Murtha and Aspin thought it was appropriate, given the realities of today’s private and public organizations.

Wolfe also notes that managers tend to rely on an exploitative mentality–a view that encourages “using” people in a way that promotes stereotypes and undermines empathy and compassion. This is a highly selfish perspective, one that sacrifices concerns for others in favor of benefits to one’s own immediate interests. In addition, there is a Madison Avenue mentality–a perspective suggesting that anything is right if the public can be convinced that it’s right. The idea is that executives may be more concerned about their actions appearing ethical than by their legitimate morality–a public relations–guided morality. It is this kind of thinking that leads some companies to hide their unethical actions (by dumping their toxic wastes under cover of night, for instance) or otherwise justify them by attempting to explain them as completely acceptable.

It is not too difficult to recognize how individuals can knowingly engage in unethical practices with such mentalities. The overemphasis on short-term monetary gain and getting votes in the next election may lead to decisions and rationalizations that not only hurt individuals in the long run, but threaten the very existence of organizations themselves. Some common rationalizations used to justify unethical behavior are easily derived from Gellerman (1986):

** Pretending the behavior is not really unethical or illegal.

** Excusing the behavior by saying it’s really in the organization’s or your best interest.

** Assuming the behavior is okay because no one else would ever be expected to find out about it.

** Expecting your superiors to support and protect you if anything should go wrong.

Within the literature on corporate illegality, the predominant view is that pressure and need force organizational members to behave unethically and develop corresponding rationalizations; however, according to recent research this explanation only accounts for illegal acts in some cases (Baucus and Near, 1991). In their data, poor performance and low organizational slack (the excess that remains once a firm has paid its various internal and external constituencies to maintain cooperation) were not associated with illegal behavior, and wrongdoing frequently occurred in munificent environments.

According to the model developed from Baucus and Near’s research (see Figure 2), illegal behavior occurs under certain conditions. (Figure 2 omitted) For example, results from their research showed that (1) large firms are more likely to commit illegal acts than small firms; (2) although the probability of such wrongdoing increases when resources are scarce, it is greatest when resources are plentiful; (3) illegal behavior is prevalent in fairly stable environments but is more probable in dynamic environments; (4) membership in certain industries and a history of repeated wrongdoing are also associated with illegal acts; and, (5) the type of illegal activity chosen may vary according to the particular combination of environmental and internal conditions under which a firm is operating (Baucus and Near, 1991).

Baucus and Near also suggest that conditions of opportunity and predisposition are antecedents of illegal behavior. That is, rather than tightening conditions creating pressure for illegal acts, it may be that loosening ambiguous conditions create opportunities to behave illegally. In terms of the model presented in Figure 2, large firm size provided more opportunity to engage in illegal activities than small size; the former condition may make it easy to hide illegal activities. Rules, procedures, and other control mechanisms often lag behind growth of a firm, providing organizational members with an opportunity to behave illegally because no internal rules prescribe such behavior.

Predisposition indicates a tendency or inclination to select certain activities–illegal ones–over activities because of socialization or other organizational processes. Baucus and Near (1991) avoid the assumption that a firm’s managers or agents subscribe to a different set of ethical standards than the rest of society. Instead, they recognize that organizations, and industries, can exert a powerful influence on their members, even those who initially have fairly strong ethical standards.

As noted above, organizations operating in certain industries tend to behave unethically. Certain industry cultures may predispose organizations to develop cultures that encourage their members to select unethical acts. If an organization’s major competitors in an industry are performing well, in part as a result of unethical activities, it becomes difficult for organizational members to choose only unethical actions, and they may regard unethical actions as a standard of industry practice. Such a scenario results in an organizational culture that serves as a strong precipitant to unethical actions. The next section looks at the organizational culture-ethical behavior relationship.


“Do organizations vary in the ‘ethical climates‘ they establish for their members? The answer to the question is yes, and it is increasingly clear that the ethical tone or climate of organizations is set at the top. What top managers do, and the culture they establish and reinforce, makes a big difference in the way lower-level employees act and in the way the organization as a whole acts when ethical dilemmas are faced. For example, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind at Johnson & Johnson what to do when the infamous Tylenol poisoning took place. Company executives immediately pulled their product from the marketplace they knew that “the J & J way” was to do the right thing regardless of its cost. What they were implicitly saying was that the ethical framework of the company required that they act in good faith in this fashion.

The ethical climate of an organization is the shared set of understandings about what is correct behavior and how ethical issues will be handled. This climate sets the tone for decision making at all levels and in all circumstances. Some of the factors that may be emphasized in different ethical climates of organizations are (Hunt, 1991; Schneider and Rentsch, 1991):

* Personal self-interest

* Company profit

* Operating efficiency

* Individual friendships

* Team interests

* Social responsibility

* Personal morality

* Rules and standard procedures

* Laws and professional codes

As suggested by the prior list, the ethical climate of different organizations can emphasize different things. In the Johnson & Johnson example just cited, the ethical climate supported doing the right thing due to social responsibility–regardless of the cost. In other organizations–perhaps too many–concerns for operating efficiency may outweigh social considerations when similarly difficult decisions are faced.

When the ethical climate is not clear and positive, ethical dilemmas will often result in unethical behavior. In such instances, an organization’s culture also can predispose its members to behave unethically. For example, recent research has found a relationship between organizations with a history of violating the law and continued illegal behavior (Baucus and Near, 1991). Thus, some organizations have a culture that reinforces illegal activity. In addition, some firms are known to selectively recruit and promote employees who have personal values consistent with illegal behavior; firms also may socialize employees to engage in illegal acts as a part of their normal job duties (Conklin, 1977; Geis, 1977). For instance, in his account of cases concerning price fixing for heavy electrical equipment, Geis noted that General Electric removed a manager who refused to discuss prices with a competitor from his job and offered his successor the position with the understanding that management believed he would behave as expected and engage in price-fixing activities (Geis, 1977, p. 124; Baucus and Near, 1991).

Pressure, opportunity, and predisposition can all lead to unethical activities; however, organizations must still take a proactive stance to promote an ethical climate. The final section provides some useful suggestions available to organizations for creating a more ethical climate.


Recent literature has suggested several strategies for promoting ethical behavior in organizations (Adler and Bird, 1988; Burns, 1987; Harrington, 1991; Raelin, 1987; Stead etal., 1990). First, chief executives should encourage ethical consciousness in their organizations from the top down showing the support and care about ethical practices. Second, formal processes should be used to support and reinforce ethical behavior. For example, internal regulation may involve the use of codes of corporate ethics, and the availability of appeals processes. Finally, it is recommended that the philosophies of top managers as well as immediate supervisors focus on the institutionalization of ethical norms and practices that are incorporated into all organizational levels.

The philosophies of top managers as well as immediate supervisors represent a critical organizational factor influencing the ethical behavior of employees (Stead etal., 1990). Research over a period of more than twenty-five years clearly support the conclusion that the ethical philosophies of management have a major impact on the ethical behavior of their followers employees (Arlow and Ulrich, 1980; Baumhart, 1961; Brenner and Molander, 1977; Carroll, 1978; Hegarty and Sims, 1978, 1979; Posner and Schmidt, 1984; Touche Ross, 1988; Vitell and Festervand, 1987; Worrell etal., 1985).

Nielsen (1989) has stressed the importance of managerial behavior in contributing to ethical or unethical behavior. According to Nielsen, managers behaving unethically contrary to their ethical philosophies represents a serious limit to ethical reasoning in the firm. Much of the research cited in the above paragraph implicitly and explicitly states that ethical philosophies will have little impact on employees’ ethical behavior unless they are supported by managerial behaviors that are consistent with these philosophies. Managers represent significant others in the organizational lives of employees and as such often have their behavior modeled by employees.

One of the most basic of management principles states that if you desire a certain behavior, reinforce it. No doubt, how ethical behavior is perceived by individuals and reinforced by an organization determines the kind of ethical behavior exhibited by employees. As a result, if business leaders want to promote ethical behavior they must accept more responsibility for establishing their organization’s reinforcement system. Research in ethical behavior strongly supports the conclusion that if ethical behavior is desired, the performance measurement, appraisal and reward systems must be modified to account for ethical behavior (Hegarty and Sims, 1978, 1979; Trevino, 1986; Worrell et al., 1985). According to Nielsen (1988, p. 730):

In many cases, mangers choose to do, go along with or ignore the unethical…because they want to avoid the possibility of punishments (or) to gain rewards.

Organizations and their managers must understand that the above recommendations are key components in the development and maintenance of an ethically-oriented organizational culture. Organizations can also enhance an ethically-oriented culture by paying particular attention to principled organizational dissent. Principled organizational dissent is an important concept linking organizational culture to ethical behavior. Principled organizational dissent is the effort by individuals in the organization to protest the status quo because of their objection on ethical grounds, to some practice or policy (Graham, 1986). Organizations committed to promoting an ethical climate should encourage principled organizational dissent instead of punishing such behavior.

Organizations should also provide more ethics training to strengthen their employees’ personal ethical framework. That is, organizations must devote more resources to ethics training programs to help its members clarify their ethical frameworks and practice self-discipline when making ethical decisions in difficult circumstances. What follows is a useful seven-step checklist that organizations should use to help their employees in dealing with an ethical dilemma (Schermerhorn, 1989; Otten, 1986):

(1) Recognize and clarify the dilemma.

(2) Get all the possible facts.

(3) List your options–all of them.

(4) Test each option by asking: “Is it legal? Is it right? Is it beneficial?”

(5) Make your decision.

(6) Double check your decision by asking: “How would I feel if my family found out about this? How would I feel if my decision was printed in the local newspaper?”

(7) Take action.

An effective organizational culture should encourage ethical behavior and discourage unethical behavior. Admittedly, ethical behavior may “cost” the organization. An example might be the loss of sales when a multinational firm refuses to pay a bribe to secure business in a particular country. Certainly, individuals might be reinforced for behaving unethically (particularly if they do not get caught). In a similar fashion, an organization might seem to gain from unethical actions. For example, a purchasing agent for a large corporation might be bribed to purchase all needed office supplies from a particular supplier. However, such gains are often short-term rather than long-term in nature. In the long run, an organization cannot operate if its prevailing culture and values are not congruent with those of society. This is just as true as the observation that, in the long run, an organization cannot survive unless it produces goods and services that society wants and needs. Thus an organizational culture that promotes ethical behavior is not only more compatible with prevailing cultural values, but, in fact, makes good sense.

Although much remains to be learned about why ethical behavior occurs in organizations and creating and maintaining organizational cultures that encourage ethical behavior, organizations can benefit from the following suggestions:

** Be realistic in setting values and goals regarding employment relationships. Do not promise what the organization cannot deliver.

** Encourage input throughout the organization regarding appropriate values and practices for implementing the cultures. Choose values that represent the views of employees at all levels of the organization.

** Do not automatically opt for a “strong” culture. Explore methods to provide for diversity and dissent, such as grievance or complaint mechanisms or other internal review procedures.

** Insure that a whistle-blowing and/or ethical concerns procedure is established for internal problem-solving (Harrington, 1991).

** Provide ethics training programs for all employees. These programs should explain the underlying ethical and legal (Drake and Drake, 1988) principles and present practical aspects of carrying our procedural guidelines. Understand that not all ethical situations are clear-cut. Like many basic business situations, the organization should recognize that there are ambiguous, grey areas where ethical tradeoffs may be necessary. More importantly, some situations have no simple solution (Cooke, 1991).

** Integrate ethical decision-making into the performance appraisal process.

In conclusion, even though ethical problems in organizations continue to greatly concern society, organizations, and individuals, the potential impact that organizational culture can have on ethical behavior has not really been explored (Hellreigel et al., 1989). The challenge of ethical behavior must be met by organizations if they are truly concerned about survival and competitiveness. What is needed in today’s complicated times is for more organizations to step forward and operate with strong, positive, and ethical cultures. Organizations have to ensure that their employees know how to deal with ethical issues in their everyday work lives. As a result, when the ethical climate is clear and positive, everyone will know what is expected of them when inevitable ethical dilemmas occur. This can give employees the confidence to be on the lookout for unethical behavior and act with the understanding that what they are doing is considered correct and will be supported by top management and the entire organization.


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Arlow, R. and Ulrich, T. A.: 1980, ‘Auditing Your Organization’s Ethics’, Internal Auditor 39(4), pp. 26-31.

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Baucus, M. S. and Near, J. P.: 1991, ‘Can Illegal Corporate Behavior Be Predicated? An Event History Analysis’, Academy of Management Journal 34(1), pp. 9-36.

Brenner, S. and Molander, E.: 1977, ‘Is the Ethics of Business Changing?’, Harvard Business Review 55(1), pp. 55-71. Bucholz, R. A.: 1989, Fundamental Concepts and Problems in Business Ethics (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ).

Burns, S.: 1987, ‘Good Corporate Citizenship Can Pay Dividends’, Dallas Morning News (April 15), p. C1 Carroll, A. B.: 1978, ‘Linking Business Ethics to Behavior in Organizations’, Advanced Management journal 43(3), pp. 4-11.

Cooke, R. A.: 1991, ‘Danger Signs of Unethical Behavior: How to Determine If Your Firm Is at Ethical Risk’, Journal of Business Ethics 10, pp. 249-253. Conklin, J.: 1977, Illegal But Not Criminal (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ).

Drake, B. H., and Drake, E.: 1988, ‘Ethical and Legal Aspects of Managing Corporate Cultures’, Calfornia Management Review (Winter), pp. 120-121.

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Gellerman, S. W.: 1986, ‘Why “good” Managers Make Bad Ethical Choices’, Harvard Business Review (July August), pp. 85-90.

Graham, J. W.: 1986, ‘Principled Organizational Dissent: A Theoretical Essay’, in B. M. Staw and L. L. Cummings, eds., Research in Organizational Behavior, Vol. 8 (JAI Press, Greenwich, Conn.).

Gray, M. and Rosen, I.: 1982, The Warning (Norton, New York).

Harrington, S. J.: 1991, ‘What Corporate America is Teaching About Ethics’, Academy of Management Executive 5(1), pp. 21-30.

Hegarty, W. and Sims, H., Jr.: 1978, ‘Some Determinants of Unethical Decision Behavior: An Experiment’, Journal of Applied Psychology 63(4), pp. 451-457.

Hellreigel, D., Slocum, J. W., Jr., and Woodman, R. W.: 1989, Organizational Behavior (West Publishing, St. Paul, MN).

Hunt, J. G.: 1991, Toward A Leadership Paradigm Change (Sage, Newbury Park, CA).

Jansen, E. and Glinow, M. A: 1985, ‘Ethical Ambivalence and Organizational Reward Systems’, Academy of Management Review 10(4), pp. 814-822.

Morgan, D.: 1989, ‘Truck Army Does Not Want to Be Tied Up in House Turf Battle’, Washington Post (August 12), p. A2.

New York Times: 1988, ‘Corporate Prison Term for Allegheny Bottling’ (September 1), p. D2.

Nielsen, R. P.: 1988, ‘Limitations of Ethical Reasoning as an Action (Praxis) Strategy, journal of Business Ethics 7, pp. 725-733.

Nielsen, R. P.: 1989, ‘Changing Unethical Organizational Behavior’, Academy of Management Executive 3(2), pp. 123-130.

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Schermerhorn, J. R.: 1989, Management Jar Productivity (John Wiley, New York).

Schneider, J. B. and Reitsch, J.: 1991, ‘Managing Climates and Cultures: A Futures Perspective’, in J. Hage, ed., Future of Organizations (Lexington Books, Lexington, MA).

Silverstein, S.: 1989, ‘One in 15 Employees in Study Caught Stealing’, Los Angeles Times (December 2), p. D-1.

Stead, W. E., Worrell, D. L., and Stead, J. G.: ‘An Integrative Model for Understanding and Managing Ethical Behavior in Business Organizations’, Journal of Business Ethics 9, pp. 233-24.

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Trevino, L. K.: 1986, ‘Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: A Person-Situation Interactionist Model’, Academy of Management Review 11(3), pp. 601-617.

U.S. News & World Report: 1989 (January 16), p. 42.

Vandevier, K.: 1978, ‘The Aircraft Brake Scandal: A Cautionary Tale in Which the Moral is Unpleasant’, in A. G. Athos and J. J. Babarro, eds., Interpersonal Behavior: Communication and Understanding Relationships (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ)’ pp. 529-540.

Vitell, S. and Festervand, T.: 1987, ‘Business Ethics: Conflicts, Practices and Beliefs of industrial Executives’, Journal of Business Ethics 6, pp. 111-122.

Wall Street journal: 1989, ‘Harris Corp. Is Convicted in Kickback Plan’, (June 5), p. A7.

Wolfe, D.: 1988, ‘Is There Integrity in the Bottomline: Managing Obstacles to Executive Integrity’, in S. Srivastva, ed., Executive Integrity: The Search For High Human Values in Organization Life (Jossey-Bass, San Francisco), pp. 140-171.

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Ronald R. Simms is Associate Professor in the School of Business Administration at the College of William and Mary. His research interests include ethical behavior, experiential learning, employee and management training and development, and organizational transitions. His articles have appeared in a variety of scholarly and practitioner-oriented journals.

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