18 November 2017

Cyber Security in India – Present Status

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Introduction: The Information Technology (IT) Act in India was promulgated as early as 2000. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) was established in 2004 and continues to act. India has undertaken several steps at protection, detection and containment of these potentially disruptive attacks against the nation’s networks. Government initiatives such as ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart City’, and the increasing involvement of the private sector in nation-building endeavours are progressive steps that are also increasing the scope and complexities of cyber security efforts. It is time to review the Indian Cyber Security scene in the present context.

*** International Organizations Are Tools for Powerful Countries

By Jacob L. Shapiro

In the modern world, relations between states operate at two levels. The first is the bilateral level. The U.S. and China, for instance, don’t see eye to eye on issues like Taiwan, the South China Sea, or how to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Their representatives communicate with each other to try to address their disagreements. The second is the multilateral level. For example, the United Nations passes a resolution placing economic sanctions on North Korea. Most of the U.N.’s 193 member states do not themselves have a problem with North Korea, but they go along with the sanctions because the U.N. says so.

Products of Geopolitics

Indian economy has bottomed out, set to show gradual acceleration

By: M Govinda Rao 
The finance minister’s unveiling of the Rs 9 trillion economy-booster plan, involving the Rs 2.11 trillion recapitalisation of public sector banks and the Rs 7 trillion investments in roads and highways, has not come a day sooner. With mounting criticisms over the slowing down of the economy, in part due to the adverse effects of the demonetisation and glitches in the implementation of GST, it was necessary for the government to focus on the ways to rejuvenate the investment climate. 

Arming India’s response to Xi Jinping thought

Narayan Ramachandran

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (NCCPC) held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing came to a conclusion last week. The NCCPC is held every five years in the fourth calendar quarter and is technically the apex body of the single party that has ruled China since the Communist revolution in 1949. In recent years, the NCCPC has lasted about a week each time and it is commonly understood that all important decisions are taken before the meeting convenes. The NCCPC is a giant career-defining body that shifts people upwards, laterally or out. Younger members are inducted every five years and older members are retired. The purpose of the NCCPC, at least in the Deng Xiaoping era, was to prevent the concentration of power and to institutionalize succession at different levels of the party. While members to the congress are elected, those making it up the ranks are elevated in an opaque system that most Sinologists are still attempting to decipher.

Oil caution for Indian economy

By Ajit Ranade

Apart from these three ways, India’s current account deficit also came down sharply, since dollar outgo on oil imports reduced drastically. The lower CAD meant that the rupee gained strength. The stronger rupee and relatively higher interest rates attracted record foreign inflows. India’s stock of foreign exchange stands at $400 billion , the highest ever. Foreign funds into India’s corporate bond market are at record highs of more than 2.5 trillion rupees.

China's Belt and Road Initiative Is Stoking Tensions with India

Mitchell J. Hays

The Chinese Communist Party enshrined President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) into its constitution at the 19th National Congress in October. This move signaled the depth of the Chinese commitment to its massive infrastructure investment plan and ostensibly prompted last week’squadrilateral meeting between senior officials from the United States, Japan, India, and Australia on the future of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” India’s participation in the dialogue is yet another signal that China’s method of implementing the BRI is driving a wedge between these neighbors and creating an opportunity for the United States to strengthen its ties with New Delhi.

Qatar Is at the Center of Today's Arab Tangle

David B. Rivkin JrNawaf Obaid

In early November, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s defense forces intercepted a Burkan-2 ballistic missile targeted at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport. Yemen’s Houthi-controlled defense ministry has taken the credit for the launch—but given the extent of the Iranian sway over the Houthi military, the real responsibility for the attack lies with Tehran. Since the airport is a civilian installation and, as such, under international humanitarian law, cannot be attacked, the Iranian missile strike is also a war crime.

Raytheon: Arab-operated Patriots intercepted over 100 tactical ballistic missiles since 2015

By: Barbara Opall-Rome 
Source Link

Correction: This story has been updated to accuratedly identify the owners of the 100 Patriots. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Patriot batteries owned by Arab partners in the Middle East have intercepted more than 100 tactical ballistic missiles launched from Yemen since the Saudi-led war against Iranian-backed Houthis began in 2015, according to U.S. prime contractor Raytheon. That number, which appears on the Raytheon website, is much larger than publicly available data from think tanks, the Saudi government or the other eight Mideast and African nations fighting in the Saudi-led coalition against Iranian-backed militias loyal to former Yemeni President Al Abdullah Saleh.

Climate Change and Water Woes Drove ISIS Recruiting in Iraq


SAMARRA, IRAQIt was a few weeks after the rains failed in the winter of 2009 that residents of Shirqat first noticed the strange bearded men. Circling like vultures among the stalls of the town’s fertilizer market in Iraq’s northern Salahaddin governorate, they’d arrow in on the most shabbily dressed farmers, and tempt them with promises of easy riches. “Join us, and you’ll never have to worry about feeding your family,” Saleh Mohammed Al-Jabouri, a local tribal sheikh, remembers one recruiter saying.

From Proxy Wars to Direct War Between Iran and Saudi Arabia: America’s Options

by Masoud Kazemzadeh and Penny Watson

The Middle East appears on the precipice of a great war. The fundamentalist rulers of Iran are confident that their goal of establishing a coalition of Shia countries and regions under their control is nearing fruition. Saddam’s invasion of Iran in 1980 was a response to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s policy of overthrowing the ruling regimes in Iraq and much of the Middle East. By 1988, that war ended not by victory of one side over the other, but by the exhaustion of Khomeini’s regime and the recognition that no end was in sight. The 1988 ceasefire has been but a respite in the warmongering policy of the fundamentalists, whereby despite military adventurism, many members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) still express bitterness over the acceptance of the ceasefire.

If America Topples North Korea and Iran, What Happens Next?

George Perkovich

On October 19, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster declared that President Donald Trump was not going to accept the North Korean regime threatening the United States with a nuclear weapon. “He just won’t accept it,” McMaster reported. “There are those who have said, ‘What about accept and deter?’ Well, accept and deter is unacceptable.” McMaster was speaking at a conference organized by the Foundation for the Defense for Democracies—a small but influential Washington think tank. Its leaders advocated the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and now provide intellectual fuel for McMaster, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and others, such as the Wall Street Journal editorial board, which called for “The Regime Change Solution in Korea.”

U.S. government shares technical details on North Korean hacking campaign

by Dustin Volz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Tuesday issued a technical alert about cyber attacks it said are sponsored by the North Korean government that have targeted the aerospace, telecommunications and financial industries since 2016. The alert, from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, said North Korean hackers were using a type of malware known as “FALLCHILL” to gain entry to computer systems and compromise network systems.The FBI and DHS had issued a warning in June that squarely blamed the North Korean government for a raft of cyber attacks stretching back to 2009 targeting media, aerospace and financial sectors, as well as critical infrastructure, in the United States and globally.

Making it in America: Revitalizing US manufacturingBy Sree Ramaswamy

James Manyika, Gary Pinkus, Katy George, Jonathan Law, Tony Gambell, and Andrea Serafino
Source Link


The erosion of US manufacturing isn’t a foregone conclusion. The decade ahead—with increased demand, new technology, and value chain optimization—will give the sector a chance to turn around.

US manufacturing is not what it was a generation ago. Its contraction has been felt by firms, suppliers, workers, and entire communities. In fact, the erosion of manufacturing has contributed two-thirds of the fall in labor’s share of US GDP.

Trump, Brexit and Echoes of World War I

Tobin Harshaw 

Of all the famous things Mark Twain never actually said, perhaps none is repeated more often and with less justification than "history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes." And since the election of Donald Trump as president, history as verse has become a farce: He is Hitler, he is Stalin, he is Mao, he is Caligula, he is Cyrus the Great, he is Pharaoh, he is Joe McCarthy, he is Charles Lindbergh, he is King George III (both the sane and insaneversions), he is Julius Caesar, he is Hamlet, he is the Know-Nothing Party, he is Charles Manson, he is Jimmy Carter, he is Andrew Jackson, he is Herbert Hoover, he is Woodrow Wilson, he is -- wait, what: Woodrow Wilson? Seriously?

Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the N.S.A. to Its Core


By SCOTT SHANE, NICOLE PERLROTH and DAVID E. SANGER

WASHINGTON — Jake Williams awoke last April in an Orlando, Fla., hotel where he was leading a training session. Checking Twitter, Mr. Williams, a cybersecurity expert, was dismayed to discover that he had been thrust into the middle of one of the worst security debacles ever to befall American intelligence.

Mr. Williams had written on his company blog about the Shadow Brokers, a mysterious group that had somehow obtained many of the hacking tools the United States used to spy on other countries. Now the group had replied in an angry screed on Twitter. It identified him — correctly — as a former member of the National Security Agency’s hacking group, Tailored Access Operations, or T.A.O., a job he had not publicly disclosed. Then the Shadow Brokers astonished him by dropping technical details that made clear they knew about highly classified hacking operations that he had conducted.

Building a Defensible Cyberspace

By Merit Janow

Merit Janow is dean and professor of practice at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Greg Rattray is director of global cyber partnerships and government strategy for JPMorgan Chase. Phil Venables is chief operational risk officer at Goldman Sachs. Attackers in cyberspace have for decades held fundamental advantages, due to factors such as an internet that was never designed for security. As a result, cybersecurity practitioners and policymakers often look at their field with a sense of dramatic fatalism: they look for architectural overhauls to change the landscape, or wait on a deus ex machina technology to rewrite the rules of the game. Worse, some fall into the trap that the best defense is a good offense.

U.S. Takes Fight to ISIS on Cyber Battlefield

Levi Maxey

No terrorist group has capitalized on networked technology more than ISIS, both for recruitment messaging and commanding their fighters on the ground. The internet is their response to asymmetric disadvantage. Where they lack in infrastructure and resources of a state, they use the web to plan attacks, solicit money and reach out to potential members. Meanwhile, however, U.S. Cyber Command has mustered an array of cyber capabilities intended to undermine ISIS's operations and messaging on the web. Cyber Command's campaign against ISIS – and groups that will eventually follow –continues to test their capabilities against terrorists turning to digital technology to advance their own agendas.

Hive


Today, 9 November 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the source code and development logs to Hive, a major component of the CIA infrastructure to control its malware. Hive solves a critical problem for the malware operators at the CIA. Even the most sophisticated malware implant on a target computer is useless if there is no way for it to communicate with its operators in a secure manner that does not draw attention. Using Hive even if an implant is discovered on a target computer, attributing it to the CIA is difficult by just looking at the communication of the malware with other servers on the internet. Hive provides a covert communications platform for a whole range of CIA malware to send exfiltrated information to CIA servers and to receive new instructions from operators at the CIA.

Ban on killer robots urgently needed, say scientists


Technology now exists to create autonomous weapons that can select and kill human targets without supervision as UN urged to outlaw them 

The movie portrays a brutal future. A military firm unveils a tiny drone that hunts and kills with ruthless efficiency. But when the technology falls into the wrong hands, no one is safe. Politicians are cut down in broad daylight. The machines descend on a lecture hall and spot activists, who are swiftly dispatched with an explosive to the head.

Weed out bad UN Peace keepers

Richard Gowan

United Nations peacekeepers have a branding problem. The blue helmets, once much-admired symbols of international cooperation, are now routinely associated with venality and incompetence. Regular allegations of sexual abuse have tarnished their reputation, and U.N. forces have struggled to manage surges of violence in trouble spots such as South Sudan. The U.N. has not yet properly come to terms with well-attested claims that Nepali peacekeepers introduced cholera to Haiti, killing thousands. 

17 November 2017

MANEUVER WARFARE, 4GW, HIZBOLLAH AND WILLIAM LIND

MANEUVER WARFARE, 4GW, HIZBOLLAH AND WILLIAM LIND

                                                 -   Maj Gen PK Mallick, VSM (Retd)

In the early 90s when I was undergoing Defence Services Staff College Course Maneuver Warfare was one of the most discussed topics. A hand out was also made and given to every officer undergoing the course. It was a well written document. However, I have not seen any doctrinal publication on Maneuver warfare either from Military Training Directorate in earlier days or from ARTRAC. It was or is, I suppose, discussed in DSSC Wellington and that’s about it. Probably it will have some mention in courses conducted by Armd Corps School or Mech Infantry School at Nagar. In our infantry dominated mindset Maneuver is somehow linked to Mech Forces!

The bible for the Maneuver Warfare was Maneuver Warfare Handbook by William S Lind published in 1985.

The purpose of Maneuver Warfare is to defeat the enemy by disrupting the opponent's ability to react, rather than by physical destruction of forces. This book develops and explains the theory of maneuver warfare and offers specific tactical, operational, and organizational recommendations for improving ground combat forces. The authors translate concepts into concrete doctrine. Although the book uses the Marine Corps as a model, the concepts, tactics, and doctrine discussed apply to any ground combat force.

In 1989 William Lind propagated the theory of Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW). He said, In Fourth Generation war, the state loses its monopoly on war. All over the world, state militaries find themselves fighting non-state opponents such as al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the FARC. Almost everywhere, the state is losing.

Fourth Generation war is also marked by a return to a world of cultures, not merely states, in conflict. We now find ourselves facing the Christian West's oldest and most steadfast opponent, Islam

In 2004 Lind wrote :

If America had some Third Generation ground forces, capable of maneuver warfare, we might be able to fight battles of encirclement. The inability to fight battles of encirclement is what led to the failure of Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan, where al Qaeda stood, fought us, and got away with few casualties. To fight such battles we need some true light infantry, infantry that can move farther and faster on its feet than the enemy, has a full tactical repertoire (not just bumping into the enemy and calling for fire) and can fight with its own weapons instead of depending on supporting arms. We estimate that U.S. Marine infantry today has a sustained march rate of only 10-15 kilometers per day; German World War II line, not light, infantry could sustain 40 kilometers. 

Fourth Generation opponents will not sign up to the Geneva Conventions, but might some day be open to a chivalric code governing how our war with them would be fought? It's worth exploring. 

How U.S. forces conduct themselves after the battle may be as important in 4GW as how they fight the battle. 

What the Marine Corps calls "cultural intelligence" is of vital importance in 4GW, and it must go down to the lowest rank. In Iraq, the Marines seemed to grasp this much better than the U.S. Army. 

What kind of people do we need in Special Operations Forces? Minds were more important than muscles, but it is not clear all U.S. SOF understand this. 

One key to success is integrating our troops as much as possible with the local people. 

Unfortunately, the American doctrine of "force protection" works against integration and generally hurts us badly. 

"There are two ways to deal with the issue of force protection. One way is the way we are currently doing it, which is to separate ourselves from the population and to intimidate them with our firepower. A more viable alternative might be to take the opposite approach and integrate with the community. That way you find out more of what is going on and the population protects you. The British approach of getting the helmets off as soon as possible may actually be saving lives." 

What "wins" at the tactical and physical levels may lose at the operational, strategic, mental and moral levels, where 4GW is decided. Martin van Creveld argues that one reason the British have not lost in Northern Ireland is that the British Army has taken more casualties than it has inflicted. This is something the Second Generation American military has great trouble grasping, because it defines success in terms of comparative attrition rates. 

We must recognize that in 4GW situations, we are the weaker, not the stronger party, despite all our firepower and technology. 

What can the U.S. military learn from cops? Our reserve and National Guard units include lots of cops; are we taking advantage of what they know? 

One key to success in 4GW may be "losing to win." Part of the reason the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not succeeding is that our initial invasion destroyed the state, creating a happy hunting ground for Fourth Generation forces. In a world where the state is in decline, if you destroy a state, it is very difficult to recreate it

While war against another state may be necessary one should seek to preserve that state even as one defeats it. Grant the opposing armies the 'honors of war,' tell them what a fine job they did, make their defeat 'civilized' so they can survive the war institutionally intact and then work for your side. Humiliating the defeated enemy troops, especially in front of their own population, is always a serious mistake but one that Americans are prone to make. 

A faculty member at the National Defense University wrote to Marine Corps General Mattis, commander of I MAR DIV, to ask his views on the importance of reading military history. Mattis responded with an eloquent defense of taking time to read history, one that should go up on the wall at all of our military schools. "Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation," Mattis said. "It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead."

Still, even such a capable and well-read commander as General Mattis seems to miss the point about Fourth Generation warfare. He said in his missive, "Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face NOTHING new under the sun. For all the ‘4th Generation of War’ intellectuals running around today saying that the nature of war has fundamentally changed, the tactics are wholly new, etc., I must respectfully say…’Not really…"

We are not saying that Fourth Generation tactics are new. On the contrary, many of the tactics Fourth Generation opponents use are standard guerilla tactics. Others, including much of what we call "terrorism," are classic Arab light cavalry warfare carried out with modern technology at the operational and strategic, not just tactical, levels.

What will characterize it is not vast changes in how the enemy fights, but rather in who fights and what they fight for. The change in who fights makes it difficult for us to tell friend from foe. A good example is the advent of female suicide bombers; do U.S. troops now start frisking every Moslem woman they encounter? The change in what our enemies fight for makes impossible the political compromises that are necessary to ending any war. We find that when it comes to making peace, we have no one to talk to and nothing to talk about. And the end of a war like that in Iraq becomes inevitable: the local state we attacked vanishes, leaving behind either a stateless region (Somalia) or a façade of a state (Afghanistan) within which more non-state elements rise and fight.

General Mattis is correct that none of this is new. It is only new to state armed forces that were designed to fight other state armed forces. The fact that no state military has recently succeeded in defeating a non-state enemy reminds us that Clio has a sense of humor: history also teaches us that not all problems have solutions.

In November 2014 Lind wrote :

Since the publication of the original article in the Marine Corps Gazette, three things have happened.

First, events have justified the article’s description of the Fourth Generation as war that escapes the state framework. The high-tech alternative, which became known subsequently by a number of buzzwords — the Revolution in Military Affairs, Transformation, Net-Centric Warfare, etc. — is not where war has gone. Most of the high-tech systems we continue to buy have proven irrelevant to fighting non-state forces. 

Second, the theory of 4GW has been expanded and refined, a process that will continue. The most important addition to the theory has been Martin van Creveld’s book, The Transformation of War. Tom Hammes’s book, The Sling and the Stone, has brought confusion to much of the discussion of 4GW because it gets the Fourth Generation wrong. Insurgency is not a dialectically qualitative change in war. It is merely one way in which war has been fought for a long time. As van Creveld puts it, 4GW is not a change in how war is fought (though it brings such changes) but in who fights and what they fight for. That is a dialectically qualitative change, the biggest since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

The third thing that has happened is actually a negative, i.e., something that did not happen. Despite overwhelming evidence that 4GW is the wave of the future (including four defeats of the U.S. armed forces by 4GW opponents: Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan), the U.S. military has not moved to prepare for it. It remains, and apparently will remain until covered by the lid of history’s trashcan, a Second Generation military. That is to say, it reduces war to putting firepower on targets. [https://fabiusmaximus.com/2014/11/21/william-lind-4gw-war-military-strategy-73112/ ]

Lind has started a new column on military affairs, "The View From Olympus," at TraditionalRight.com. He is ultra rightist. Recently he had some interesting observation on Hizbollah. He writes and I quote ;

When we think of ISIS’s enemies, we usually list religions other than Islam, Islamics who reject Sunni puritanism, local states, Western states and so on. But from the perspective of Fourth Generation war theory, ISIS’s most important competition may be with Hezbollah. These two Islamic Fourth Generation entities represent two different models of 4GW. Hezbollah’s model hollows out the state where it is based but leaves it standing. The ISIS model does away with the state and creates a replacement in the form of a caliphate, which is a pre-state type of government. 

The competition between these two approaches to Fourth Generation war is ending, and the verdict is clear: the Hezbollah model wins. This does not come as a great surprise, except possibly to ISIS. By seizing territory and proclaiming a caliphate, ISIS opened itself up to defeat by state militaries. Those state militaries could fight the way they are trained and equipped to, in a war of firepower and attrition where the goal is to seize and hold ground. Whenever 4GW forces take on state armed forces in that kind of fight, they are likely to lose. They are pitting their physical weakness against their opponents’ greatest strength, which lies in the tactical/physical box on the grid. (For the grid, see the Fourth Generation Warfare Handbook.)
In contrast, the Hezbollah model uses a hollowed-out state to shift the conflict away from the tactical/physical box to 4GW entities’ greatest strength, the box marked strategic/moral (Col. John Boyd argued this is the most powerful box, while the tactical/physical box is the weakest in determining the ultimate outcome.) The Lebanese state protects Hezbollah strategically and morally because it is impossible to attack Hezbollah’s base without also attacking the nominally sovereign state of Lebanon. Because the international ruling elite regards attacks on other states, especially weak states that themselves pose no threat, as morally wrong, the attacker quickly finds himself condemned and isolated. This, more than Hezbollah’s tactical strength, is why Our Greatest Ally’s attempts to attack Hezbollah on Lebanese soil have resulted in defeat, although Hezbollah is much better tactically than most other 4GW entities.

ISIS may now attempt to revert to the Hezbollah model, but I think it is unlikely to succeed. That model requires years of patient development and serving rather than oppressing the local population, and I doubt ISIS is capable of either. The fall of its illegitimate caliphate will erode its ability to recruit and to secure funding, and like Al Qaeda it will become a wraith of its former self. 

But just at this point of success the West’s inability to understand Fourth Generation war will set it up again for failure. Western governments fall into the trap of defining their enemies as this or that particular 4GW bogeyman: al Qaeda or ISIS or Hamas or whatever. In doing so, they miss the forest for the trees. 4GW entities, Islamic or otherwise, come and go. Each particular entity matters relatively little. What matters is that they can generate themselves endlessly so long as we miss the real threat, in the form of the ground from which they all spring. That ground is the crisis of legitimacy of the state. As Martin van Creveld said to me many years ago, everyone can see it except the people in the capital cities.

The origin of the crisis of legitimacy, in turn, is the emptying the state of its content, something the Globalist elite demands. This “internationalist” view has been dominant among the global elite since the end of World War I, and you cannot now dissent from it and remain a member of the elite. That is why the elite so fears and loathes President Trump, who represents the return of state sovereignty – and with it a resurgent legitimacy of the state. Such a resurgence is the only thing that can defeat not this or that 4GW entity, but 4GW itself at the decisive strategic/moral level. 

Does this make 4GW and the Globalist elite de facto allies? Draw your own conclusion.

Whether you like or don’t like, agree or disagree, you cannot wish away what William Lind is saying.

May I have your opinion please.

Limits of Non-Violence


Siddharth Singh

BY THE TIME the last cannon and matchlock were removed from the battlefield at Khanwa in March 1527, ancient India and its ideas had been long gone. At Khanwa, key kingly qualities described as essential by political theorist Kamandaka, too, had disappeared. It can be safely said that if Rana Sanga, the last credible Hindu challenger to the Turko-Mongol onslaught, had prowess (pratapa), his lack of energy (utsaha) and, more importantly, constant vigilance unhinged his plans. Kamandaka’s treatise Nitisara mentions these qualities as essential to being a successful king. 

Why Russia Is Back in Afghanistan

By David Lewis

Three decades after a humiliating military defeat in Afghanistan, Russia has returned to the scene. This adds Afghanistan to a long list of hotspots – from Syriaand Libya to Venezuela and Ukraine – where Moscow’s low-cost, high-impact foreign policy is challenging the West. In Afghanistan, the Kremlin is covertly supporting the Taliban and other groups, and hosting regional talks with Pakistan, Iran and China. And whereas Moscow was strongly opposed to the Taliban throughout Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s, it seems a U-turn is underway.

With Chabahar, Afghanistan is no longer dependent on Pakistan: Abdullah


Afghanistan would no longer depend on Pakistan for transit trade with the opening of the strategic Chabahar Port, a top Afghan leader has said. Chabahar Port, located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich Persian Gulf nation’s southern coast, lies outside the Persian Gulf and is easily accessed from India’s western coast, bypassing Pakistan. The port is likely to ramp up trade between India, Afghanistan and Iran in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi for trade with the two countries.

China's Air Force Is Getting Ready to Fight Wars Abroad

Dave Majumdar

China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is starting to make headway in developing an expeditionary capability as Beijing continues its rise as a great power according to a new RAND Corporation study. While initially focusing on “non-war” operations involving airlifters, it is likely that the PLAAF will eventually develop robust expeditionary capabilities for its combat aircraft too. PLAAF fighter aircraft already deploy long-distances domestically and internationally and have trained abroad in Russia, Turkey and Pakistan, but China’s oversea combat aircraft deployments remain small compared to Western air forces.

A Coup Could be in the Works Against Zimbabwe's Mugabe


by John Campbell

The era of coups in Africa is supposed to be over. Nevertheless, one may be underway in Zimbabwe against the regime of nonagenarian Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace. Army Chief General Constantino Chiwenga, along with ninety senior military officers, gave a news conference on Monday in which he said that the army will step in unless the “purging” of the country’s ruling ZANU-PF stops. Though the general did not mention Mugabe by name, the intervention was clearly a response to the president’s firing of his deputy, Emerson Mnangagwa. The move is widely seen as an effort to ensure that Mugabe’s successor will be his wife Grace. On Tuesday, armored vehicles were seen moving toward Harare, the capital, from the military barracks at Inkomo. At the same time, a statement from the ZANU-PF accused General Chiwenga of “treasonable conduct.” 

Saudi Arabia's Strategic Miscalculation in Yemen

by Hilal Khashan

Saudi Arabia seems to have bitten off more than it can chew in Yemen. On March 26, 2015, the kingdom launched Operation Decisive Storm, a broad Arab-Islamic initiative ostensibly aimed at reinstating the government of Yemeni President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi, whom insurgents had forced from the capital, Sanaa, a month earlier. More than two and a half years on, Saudi Arabia is no closer to its goal, embroiled in a war that it can't win.

Who Swallows North Korea after Its Collapse?

Doug Bandow

Mile by mile and person by person, North Korea is the most destabilizing nation on earth. The small, poor and isolated country is building nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles. Americans who once felt invulnerable are worrying about the possibility of nuclear war. While most everyone agrees that something must be done about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, there is no consensus on what to do. Military action could trigger a destructive war, sanctions might do nothing or trigger regime collapse, and negotiations aren’t likely to result in the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization.

Responding to Russia’s Resurgence

By Ivo H. Daalder

Many observers believe that the greatest damage Russia has done to U.S. interests in recent years stems from the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential race. Although there is no question that Moscow’s meddling in American elections is deeply worrying, it is just one aspect of the threat Russia poses. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has embarked on a systematic challenge to the West. The goal is to weaken the bonds between Europe and the United States and among EU members, undermine NATO’s solidarity, and strengthen Russia’s strategic position in its immediate neighborhood and beyond. Putin wants nothing less than to return Russia to the center of global politics by challenging the primacy that the United States has enjoyed since the end of the Cold War. He has undertaken a major military modernization designed to intimidate neighbors and weaken NATO, and he has resorted to the overt use of military force to establish new facts on the ground—not just in what Moscow calls its “sphere of privileged interests,” which encompasses all of the former Soviet republics, but also further afield, including in the Middle East, an area where the U.S. military has long operated with a free hand.

In Russia, a Social Contract Built on Bravado



The understanding of the social contract seems to be shifting around the world. But for Russia, at least, the phenomenon is nothing new. The country has tried any number of variations on the social contract over the more than 1,000 years of its history. Leaders traditionally have resorted to autocratic rule to keep the unwieldy nation together, periodically introducing institutions, such as the secret police forces of Ivan the Terrible and Czar Alexander III, or reforms — like Alexander II's measure to emancipate the serfs — to maintain order. Over the past century, Russia's social contract has endured one experiment after another as the Russian Revolution, the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet system transformed the country. The system has undergone so many permutations that today it is all but obsolete, and no rule is too fundamental to break.

Wrapping Intelligence Around the Open Source Whirlwind


BY LEVI MAXEY 

In the internet age, the digital breadcrumbs humans leave in their wake can be harnessed – the geotag on a tweeted photo, or the time stamps on a YouTube video upload. This open source, publicly available material, once scorned by the secret-stealers of the intelligence community, is rising in value as it is in volume. Open source intelligence (OSINT) is increasingly leveraged by intelligence agencies around the world to quantify, contextualize and even predict international events. 

Russia's Economy Is Growing With Borrowed Money

Leonid Bershidsky 

Without any new ideas from a technocratic government constrained by President Vladimir Putin's apparent indifference, the Russian economy is once again relying on consumers, who are borrowing more to buy real estate and imported products. The growth is real, but it's also meager. And it will be hard to sustain without bigger changes.  On Monday, Rosstat, Russia's official statistics agency, announced that the country's gross domestic product increased 1.8 percent year-over-year in the quarter than ended in September. That's lower than Bloomberg's consensus forecast of 1.9 percent and slower than the 2.5 percent increase in the previous three months. The oil price jumped 20 percent during the quarter, but the economic statistics won't pick up the related growth until the fourth quarter. So far this year, the Russian consumer deserves most of the credit for the growing economy. After suffering through three tough years -- during which time oil tanked and the ruble devalued sharply -- they are buying things again. Unfortunately, most of the things Russians are buying aren't made in Russia.

Richest 1% own half the world's wealth, study finds

Rupert Neate 

The globe’s richest 1% own half the world’s wealth, according to a new report highlighting the growing gap between the super-rich and everyone else. The world’s richest people have seen their share of the globe’s total wealth increase from 42.5% at the height of the 2008 financial crisis to 50.1% in 2017, or $140tn (£106tn), according to Credit Suisse’s global wealth report published on Tuesday.

Infographic Of The Day: The Life Of Albert Einstein


Albert Einstein was one of the most brilliant and influential mathematical physicists in human history. Even 62 years after his passing, he is still widely regarded as the prototypical genius. Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in the German city of Ulm. From an early age, Einstein was fascinated by mathematics, science, and music. While he would eventually go on to reveal the inner workings of the universe, Einstein struggled as a student, failed exams, and had dust-ups with authority figures.

Do Young Humans + Artificial Intelligence = Cybersecurity?


West Point cadets conduct a cyber exercise.

WASHINGTON: The Army is recruiting smart young soldiers to wage cyber war. But human talent is not enough. Ultimately, say experts, cyberspace is so vast, so complex, so constantly changing that only artificial intelligence can keep up. America can’t prevail in cyberspace through superior numbers. We could never match China hacker for hacker. So our best shot might be an elite corps of genius hackers whose impact is multiplied by automation.

More Than 15,000 Scientists Issue a “Warning to Humanity”


More than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries have issued a warning: Mankind must take immediate action to reverse the effects of climate change, deforestation and species extinction before it’s too late. The warning, issued by the Alliance of World Scientists and published in the journal Bioscience, comes on the 25th anniversary of a similar warning from the Union of Concerned Scientists that was titled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity”. The new letter, however, has 10 times as many scientists endorsing it.

Winning In The Future Battlespace

By RAYTHEON
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Raytheon is developing disruptive technologies that are changing warfare, including innovations in such fields as cyber and electronic warfare. Jammers scramble communications. Cyber attackers sow confusion. Waves of hypersonic drones threaten a carrier group on the open sea.
The future battlespace will be wrought with threats unimagined a few short years ago. How to meet them? With an array of innovations designed to maintain ‘overmatch’ – the fighting advantage that keeps the U.S. and its allies ahead of adversaries, now and in conflicts yet to come.

4 priorities for DoD’s cyber defense arm

By: Mark Pomerleau 

Joint Force Headquarters-DoD Information Networks, or JFHQ-DoDIN, acts as Cyber Command’s defensive operational arm, providing global defense, command and control and synchronization of the DoDIN. Rear Adm. Kathleen Creighton, JFHQ-DoDIN’s deputy commander, who assumed the position in August, provided some insights into what her organization is working on during a keynote Nov. 14 in Arlington at the Defense Systems Conference.