20 November 2017

THE RISE, FALL, AND REBIRTH OF THE ‘QUAD’

TANVI MADAN

Ten years ago, an American, an Australian, an Indian, and a Japanese walked into a room in Manila. This was no joke. They were representing their governments at a quadrilateral meeting also known as “the Quad.” The initiative, meant to facilitate conversation and cooperation between the four maritime democracies in the context of the rise of China and India, lasted from mid-2006 to early 2008. Since it fell apart, analysts have perhaps spent more time discussing it than the officials did in implementing it.

How Abe and Modi Can Save the Indo-Pacific

By J. Berkshire Miller

If the United States wants a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has urged and U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed at their recent meeting in Tokyo, no two powers will be as important as India and Japan

The two countries are among the most concerned about security in the region and are also increasingly ready to work with each other on it. The relationship between the two countries—historically strategically distant—has grown increasingly robust under the stewardship of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abe, with regular high-level summitry (Abe traveled to Delhi to visit Modi last month) combined with increasingly frequent and deepening exchanges at the diplomatic, defense, and business levels.

Trump's New Afghanistan Strategy Isn't Really a Strategy

Gerald F. Hyman
Principles guiding a strategy are no substitute for an actual strategy whether developed by Washington or by field commanders.

To much anticipation, on August 21 President Donald Trump announced “our new strategy” for Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it revealed neither a succinct strategy nor even anything new. It was instead a list of a dozen pronouncements defining various U.S. policies tied to Afghanistan. Leaving aside their wisdom, they describe almost perfectly the policy of President George W. Bush and the initial policy of President Barack Obama.

Lethal Autonomous Dragon: China’s approach to artificial intelligence weapons

BEDAVYASA MOHANTY

China does not want to be at the receiving end of a technological asymmetry in what may very well be the conventional approach to war in the future. In part, it is guided by its own ambitions and more importantly confidence in being a step ahead of other countries in the creation of lethal autonomous weapons.

This week, over 80 countries have gathered at the United Nations office in Geneva to discuss emerging technologies in the field of lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS). Following three informal meetings of experts on the issue, this Group of Governmental Experts convened under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). It marks the formal beginning of what is likely to be a long and protracted process of deliberations on regulating and potentially banning these weapons.

Islamic State Distortion Of Hijrah: Emigrating For A Lost Cause – Analysis

By Muhammad Saiful Alam Shah Bin Sudiman

Since 2015 there have been at least a dozen Singaporeans investigated by the Singapore authorities for harbouring intention to travel or emigrate to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). This year four individuals were detained for the same reason. In September, IS issued a propaganda video featuring a Singaporean who is known to have gone to Syria to join IS. In the brief three-and-a-half minute video, Megat Shahdan Bin Abdul Samad calls on Muslims to relocate to IS-controlled territories or locations where the group’s influence is present.

Ali Shihabi explains what the media won’t about Saudi Arabia


Larry Kummer

Summary: This is the best analysis I have seen of the recent events in Saudi Arabia, which will shake the region and perhaps the world. It is by someone with deep knowledge of that nation. It is a perspective seldom seen in the US news media — but which matches the known facts and is consistent with history. However, remember when reading it that there are no neutrals among experts. The bottom line: change was necessary, since Saudi Arabia could not long continue as it was.

This past weekend, Saudi Arabia detained numerous members of the royal family, as well as current and former ministers and prominent businessmen, on charges of corruption. Many argued that the detentions constitute a thinly veiled attempt by the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to consolidate political power. However, this narrative misses the mark; the “purge” is not about removing political rivals who threatened MBS’s position as heir apparent but rather about sending a message to political and economic elites that their entitlement to extreme wealth and privilege, and their impunity, is coming to an end.

Monthly Summary of Russian Military and Security News


Despite being under all sorts of sanctions for bad behavior Russia is backing the Assad government of Syria (subject to even more sanctions and war crimes charges) in its efforts to be considered the legitimate government of Syria and able to invoke international law to order American (and other unwanted UN member) forces out of the country. Even before the 2011 Arab Spring and subsequent rebellion against the Assad government it was generally agreed that the Assad clan were bad people with decades of well-documented misbehavior to prove it. The 2011 rebellion would have won had it not been for regional curse of fanatic factionalism within the Islamic world.

William Lind: China’s fateful decision about North Korea


Larry Kummer

Summary: William Lind gives a brilliant analysis of the situation in East Asia — North Korea’s provocations, China’s fateful choices, and the response of our allies if they choose unwisely. Trump’s visit to Asia provides an opportunity for him to display Bismarck-level geopolitics.

America’s fixation on the threat from North Korea’s missiles and nuclear weapons evinces the usual American dive into the weeds. If we instead stand back a bit and look at the strategic picture, we quickly see that the North Korean threat to China is far greater than its threat to us.

Omar Ali: Islam vs. Western liberalism; only one can win

Larry Kummer

Summary: The clash of Islam and West has just began and none can see its end — or its consequences for us all. Here Omar Ali looks at Islam’s effect on the West, and draws some fascinating conclusions.From a demonstration in Kabul on 25 October 2009. 

“What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such…. That is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”

Can Two Nuclear Powers Fight a Conventional War?

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BY MARCUS WEISGERBER

The Pentagon just wargamed that scenario as part of its effort to determine what it needs for 21st-century deterrence.

As the U.S. military reviews the makeup of its nuclear arsenal, among the questions being asked is: Can two nuclear powers fight a conventional war without going nuclear?

Just last week, this scenario was among the mock battles when U.S. Strategic Command ran its annual Global Thunder nuclear wargame, Army Brig. Gen. Greg Bowen, the command’s deputy director of global operations, said Thursday at the Defense One Summit.

“It gets into a very difficult calculus,” Bowen said. “It’s clearly a place that we don’t want to go.”

Nudging the world

Some economists spend their professional lives in a cloud-cuckoo-land building abstract models of a rational economy that doesn’t exist, never existed, and never will exist. But Richard Thaler, the University of Chicago professor who just won the 2017 Nobel Prize in economics, is that rare academic whose ideas not only address real-world problems but have also been put into effect. In the United Kingdom, for example, a “nudge unit” (actually, the Behavioural Insights Team) inspired by his work aims to develop policies helping citizens make better choices. It got its nickname from the title of the book Thaler wrote with Harvard’s Cass Sunstein, Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, about applying behavioral economics to the functions of government. As Thaler said in a 2011 McKinsey Quarterly interview, “My number-one mantra from Nudge is, ‘Make it easy’”—one of many principles that are no less applicable to business. Read “Nudging the world toward smarter public policy: An interview with Richard Thaler.”

The View From Olympus: The Hezbollah Model Wins



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. (Ironically, the ultra-puritan ISIS proclaimed a caliphate that, under Islamic law, is illegitimate, because the legitimate caliph is still the head of the house of Osman; the Ottoman sultan was also a caliph). 

China overtakes US in TOP500 list of world's fastest supercomputers

By Conner Forrest

China has officially overtaken the US as the country with the largest number of supercomputers to grace the TOP500 list, according to a recent article on TOP500's website. China had 202 systems on the list, compared to the 144 from the US, according to the report.

The 202 systems marks the largest number of supercomputers that China has ever had on the TOP500 list at once. The rankings also point to the US having the lowest number of listed systems it has ever had, since the list was first compiled 25 years ago.

What's interesting, the report noted, is that these rankings weren't the case a mere six months ago. At that point, the US had 169 systems on the list, leading China by 9 ranked systems. Still, the report noted, 144 systems puts the US in second place for the most recent rankings, with Japan in a far third place with 35.

A Fight Is Brewing Between Congress and the Military Over Cyber War

BY PATRICK TUCKER

Should in-theatre commanders be allowed to launch attacks that currently require approval from the national command authority?

U.S. military commanders want more authority to launch cyber operations. But Congress is mulling new restrictions and reporting requirements, setting up a showdown that will shape American defense in the network era.

In one corner, you have commanders like Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone. The head of U.S. Army Cyber Command recently said that his service is producing hackers who are better than their peers in the civilian world by orders of magnitude. “I’ve been in a number of different army units. I’m trying to think: is there a sniper I’ve ever met, or a pilot, or submarine driver, or anyone else in the military who is 50 times better their peer? It’s hard to imagine. but I will tell you that some of the coders that we have are 50 times their peers,” he said, speaking at the Army’s CyCon event earlier in November.

Stop Blaming the NSA for the Ransomware Attack

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BY PATRICK TUCKER

An inside look at how the intelligence community deals with the exploitable software bugs it finds.

Friday’s global ransomware attack has reignited the debateabout how the U.S. intelligence community conceals or reveals knowledge about critical software bugs. As confirmed by a former NSA official, WannaCry exploited a vulnerability stockpiled by the agency and exposed in last year’s Shadow Brokers dump. But how much blame should the NSA bear for WannaCry’s rampage across 200,000-plus computers in 130 countries?

On the one hand, the intelligence community really does keep a trove of zero-day bugs. Spies need them to intercept communications — and much more, according to Michael Daniel, an Obama-era White House cybersecurity coordinator.

U.S. intelligence warns high-tech firms of flaws in software – and often gets ignored


WASHINGTON - The U.S. government informs software companies of 90 percent of the security flaws the intelligence community finds in their products, but a significant number of vendors ignore the warnings, the federal cyber czar said Wednesday.

Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator, said many high-tech firms act quickly to issue patches when told of vulnerabilities. But some firms balk, leaving consumers exposed.

“We’ve gone to companies and told them, ‘Here’s a flaw. It needs to be fixed in your device.’ And they’ve said, ‘That’s great but we’re telling customers they need to buy our new, shiny, next-generation thing, right?’ So they have no intention of patching,” Joyce said.

Russian Hackers Aren’t NSA’s Biggest Problem


It’s hard to say which is more disturbing: Reports that hackers have obtained some of the National Security Agency’s most classified cybertools and are auctioning them off on the internet – or that, 15 months into its investigation, the agency still doesn’t know if it’s dealing with an outside hack, a leak or both.

In short, the agency is reeling. What the NSA needs most of all – aside from finding out how the hackers, suspected to be a Russian group known as the Shadow Brokers, got the material – is a change in culture. Fortunately, there are precedents for a security agency seeking to restore its reputation and credibility: the actions taken by the FBI and CIA after the moles Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, respectively, were exposed in 2001 and 1994.

The critical human element in the machine age of warfare

Elsa B. Kania

In 1983, Stanislav Petrov helped to prevent the accidental outbreak of nuclear war by recognizing that a false alarm in Soviet early warning systems was not a real report of an imminent US attack. In retrospect, it was a remarkable call made under enormous stress, based on a guess and gut instinct. If another officer had been in his place that night—an officer who simply trusted the early warning system—there could have been a very different outcome: worldwide thermonuclear war.

Regulating Autonomous Weapons

By Sean Welsh

This week, the UN is meeting for a fourth time to discuss how ‘lethal autonomous weapons systems’ (LAWS) should be governed within the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. NGOs such as the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots have continued to press for a ban such weapons. NATO-aligned powers (the UK and Australia) have resisted a ban as premature due to lack of agreed definitions. Many nations have repeated requests for clear definitions as to what exactly they’re being asked to ban.

Given the absence of agreed definitions, the Dutch in their working paper suggested that people propose working definitions. Here are mine. First, I agree with the definition of ‘autonomy’ that George Bekey offers in his book Autonomous robots: ‘Autonomy refers to systems capable of operating in a real-world environment without any form of external control for an extended period of time.’

The New Era of the Proliferated Proxy War

By Andrew Mumford

War in the modern world is changing. Since the end of the Cold War inter-state war has declined globally, whilst even civil wars have become a relative rarity. But war is not becoming an obsolete element of human interaction.[1] Governments and militaries around the world are simply changing the way that their strategic objectives are secured. An approximate 50% reduction in major inter- and intra-state conflicts between 1990 and 2010 belies a significant shift in global attitudes to war.[2] A heightened perception of risk, greater restrictions on military expenditure as a result of the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, and a greater public aversion (in the West at least) to conventional confrontation has led to an accentuated appeal for national security goals and defence priorities being attained by other means. This is the era of indirect war by proxy.

THE COURAGE TO END GENERATIONAL WARS

GREGORY DADDIS

The American public and its policymakers remain enamored with Gen. (ret.) David H. Petraeus. Despite pleading guilty in 2015 to mishandling classified material and suffering the attendant legal consequences, the former U.S. Army officer and CIA director still commands a wide audience in national security and foreign policy circles.

When the Trump administration, for example, considered reinforcing the stalled war in Afghanistan during the summer of 2017, it was Petraeus who came forth to help silence the critics of the campaign he once commanded. Appearing on PBS NewsHour in June, the general defended staying the course in what some have viewed as a Vietnam-esque quagmire. “This is a generational struggle,” Petraeus declared. “This is not something that is going to be won in a few years. We’re not going to take a hill, plant a flag and go home to a victory parade.”

19 November 2017

Win the Battle Lose the War

Win the Battle Lose the War

                                                                      -    Maj Gen P K Mallick,VSM (Retd)

During the later part of Obama Administration Ashton Carter was appointed as Secretary Defence. He had a very impressive track record, his CV spoke for him.

Very quickly he grasped the major issues confronting Dept of Defence. He initiated the Third Offset Strategy. Third Offset Strategy was an attempt to offset shrinking U.S. military force structure and declining technological superiority in an era of great power competition—a challenge that military leaders have not grappled with in at least a generation. The third offset investments fall into six targeted areas: anti-access and area-denial, guided munitions, undersea warfare, cyber and electronic warfare, human-machine teaming, and wargaming and development of new operating concepts. Much of it is weighted toward the Air Force and Navy. Tradeoffs were made among many programs to finance the new emphasis on next-generation breakthroughs that might begin to restore American military technological superiority toward the latter end of the 2020s.

In late 2016, then-Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter outlined a broad strategy to address five “immediate, but distinct, and evolving challenges.

The inherently human nature of war has changed little over many millennia. Influence operations, propaganda, disruptions of order, political subversion, psychological operations, etc., have been part of conflict since time immemorial. Nonetheless, forces are afoot that may affect the character of war (how wars are conducted) and strategic competition in complicated ways across the “continuum of conflict.” They include:

• The pace of technological change

• The “Fourth Industrial Revolution” and the social and societal effects of accelerating, interacting economic developments

• The “diffusion and convergence of technology,” including the democratization of air power and commercial developments in command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) that are extending such capabilities beyond the sole province of governments

• The growing dependency of all advanced societies on cyberspace and the rapidly expanding “attack surface” there

• The volume, velocity, veracity, and value of information (IV4) generated by social media and the 24x7 news cycle

• The effectiveness of multidimensional, hybrid forms of warfare and measures short of armed conflict in coercing adversaries and undermining potential opponents

These are explored in more detail below.

Security Developments Outside DoD Control

The Velocity of Technological Change

Exceptional increases in science and technology capabilities are likely over the next 15 years, and this will have social as well as operational effects. The rate of technological change is important. If a capability, say computing power per unit cost, doubles every 18 months, in five years there will be a 900 percent increase, in ten years 10,000 percent, and in 15 years 100,000 percent. Some predict the rate of growth will slow, which it may. On the other hand, dramatic increases in certain types of capabilities, such as in quantum cryptography, may be introduced. In any case, linear projections based on present conditions cannot work, however comfortable they may be.

Moreover, these changes are occurring in many fields. For example, in biotechnology, the cost of sequencing a human genome dropped a millionfold in about ten years; robotics and autonomous vehicles soon will be ubiquitous; additive manufacturing (such as 3-D printing) grows more sophisticated daily; nanotechnology is entering widespread use, from batteries to medicine to explosives; and the energy that underpins everything is undergoing several different types of transformation. Changes and interactions across all these domains—biotech, robotics, additive manufacturing, information, nano­tech, and energy—need to be considered in national security planning.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Dr. Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, posits that the world is in the midst of a “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring lines among the physical, digital, and biological spheres. The scope of the adjustments and their systems-wide impact will be massively disruptive. Such forces are two-edged, providing important collective benefits to society but also negatively affecting many individuals through social turbulence and the loss of jobs.

The disruption of labor markets is likely to increase inequality within societies.13 This poses severe challenges for advanced economies and potentially even more serious effects in youth bulge areas where the workforce may have only modest skills, as well as in underserved parts of the developed world. Such areas already may be prone to conflict, which further undermines development. By any definition, these can create security problems. In 2015, a million refugees nearly overwhelmed Europe’s political structures. Many times more people are likely to be affected in the future.

Governments can influence these trends but not control them. The boundaries are blurring between war and peace, civil and military, combatant and noncombatant, domestic and foreign, public and private, and physical, digital, and biological. Long-established state monopolies and well-defined professional spheres no longer ensure stability and security. In a world of distributed power, the responsibility for defending citizens is shifting from state to private hands. Changes under way can challenge the social compact of large parts of societies and affect “why, how, and whom do we fight, and who will pay?” The potential for domestic unrest, scapegoating, radical nationalism, and protectionism is high unless governments and the private sector are skillful in managing these transitions. The track record is not encouraging.

The Diffusion and Convergence of Technology

Many important capabilities are being developed outside government control. For example, T. X. Hammes notes that the emergence of “small, smart, and many” capabilities in the hands of small states, or nonstate actors, can significantly raise the costs of intervention by advanced militaries, even as deglobalization may reduce the incentives for intervening in the first place. Open-source sensors, such as commercial space imaging, autonomous systems, mobile phones, wearable devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT), plus data analysis and decision-support capabilities, are proliferating relentlessly, which means many sophisticated C4ISR capabilities no longer are the sole province of governments. This will challenge anyone’s ability to move and mass forces undetected in the not-so-distant future.

Dependence on Cyberspace

All societies, especially advanced ones, are becoming more dependent on cyberspace. The cyber “attack surface” also is expanding. Increasingly sophisticated hacks, denial-of-service attacks, misinformation, etc., reinforce that there is no room for complacency about cybersecurity. The exceptionally fast deployment of insecure IoT components particularly challenges the ability to protect “smart” critical infrastructures. Moreover, within the OODA (observe, orient, decide, act) loop, the “observe” and “orient” phases increasingly are derived from electromagnetic sensors and processed information, while the “decide” and “act” phases are supported by information processing. This means cyber can dominate the OODA loop in any domain (land, sea, air, and space).

The Volume, Velocity, Veracity, and Value of Information

British journalist Nik Gowing pointed out as early as 2009 that few organizations, military or civilian, public or private, can deal effectively with the volume and velocity of information generated by social media and the 24x7 news cycle. These pressures have only accelerated in the years since and now are compounded by “fake news” and other disinformation campaigns that add doubts about the content’s veracity and value. A result is to amplify widespread feelings of social and financial insecurity, concerns that nearly anyone can be affected by cyber attack or cyber crime, and perceptions that there are no safe havens.

Hybrid Forms of Warfare and Gray Zone Conflicts

There are several different definitions of hybrid warfare within a continuum of conflict. Some focus on the “integration of military means and non-military tools, including propaganda and cyber activity.” Others emphasize “the fusion of advanced capabilities with irregular forces and tactics.” Related to hybrid warfare are gray zone conflicts, where actors employ “sequences of gradual steps to secure strategic leverage. These efforts remain below thresholds that would generate a powerful U.S. or international response, but forceful and deliberate, calculated to gain measurable traction over time.” Russian efforts in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine and China’s in the South China Sea are examples. Such integrated, long-term, multidimensional campaigns cross the boundaries of policy, technology, sociology, and economics and greatly complicate decision making and effective response.

The “center of gravity” in future conflicts may be shifting from combat forces and key military nodes to the living rooms and mobile devices of the citizens of the engaged states. Traditional combat power certainly will be needed, but national security establishments also must consider how to help sustain their citizens’ resilience to diverse and persistent hybrid warfare attacks and measures short of armed conflict.

Countering—and conducting—such campaigns needs to be a core part of the national security portfolio, and planning needs to extend beyond DOD to national levels.

Prepared for War?

The United States must maintain effective combat capabilities in land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace, but are these capabilities sufficient for the sorts of future conflicts we may face? Consider a notional campaign against USA with the following components, each of which is feasible today:

• For a few thousand dollars, some drones are printed, along with explosively formed penetrators for each. The drones are fitted with smart phones and told to fly to waypoints until they reach an airport, and then to look for the intersection of wing roots and fuselages on large transport aircraft, set down, and detonate. In an afternoon, U.S. strategic airlift in Afghanistan could be destroyed at Bagram or global air traffic could be disrupted, if not halted. Congress and the public rightly will demand to know why we were not prepared.

• Components of critical national infrastructures are disrupted or destroyed by unattributed cyberattacks on a recurring basis. Connections between industrial control systems and the burgeoning IoT (like smart power meters) make it almost impossible to stop these attacks. Utilities such as power and water become unreliable. Smart cities will be especially vulnerable.

• Nationwide ransomware attacks disrupt medical facilities and transportation organizations and distract public and private decision makers at key moments.

• Unattributed paramilitary operations, conducted by well-armed soldiers or sailors with no national markings, undermine security at borders or maritime boundaries.

• Disinformation operations, amplified by social media and compounded by diverse “nothing is true, anything is possible” themes, weaken national resolve and undermine the confidence of target populations in the correctness of many of their long-held beliefs.

Left uncountered, such campaigns could, over time, undercut the credibility of governments, the resolve of nations, the norms of international behavior, the core of the international security structure, and the foundational tenets of Western democracy itself.

How do we counter an adversary whose compunctions about using disinformation, lethal autonomy, and biological weapons are less severe than our own? How can our multi-hundred-billion-dollar defense establishment protect us from such challenges? How do we keep our populations and institutions, and those of our allies, from being worn down by such long-term, multifaceted disruptions? These are key questions for nations, not just militaries.

There are signs the nation is beginning to pay more attention to the challenge of gray zone conflict. In the past few years, a great deal more thinking and writing has been devoted to the hybrid warfare/gray zone topic. President Barack Obama signed the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” into law in December 2016. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have released their report on Russian malicious cyber activity. But a much more sophisticated and nuanced approach will be necessary.

Members of the Sea Services can contribute in many ways. The sine qua non is to maintain effective combat power that addresses the full spectrum of the threat, not just “the wars for which we are most prepared or most inclined.” Few things would undermine the public’s confidence faster than an event that showed the nation’s very large defense budgets had not bought adequate capability. Every service member needs to understand that hybrid warfare/gray zone conflicts are part of his or her fight, so the CNO’s challenge to achieve high-velocity learning at every level is essential. Admiral James Stavridis’s recommendations to build intellectual capital, work with coalition partners, and leverage knowledgeable players are valuable in any environment.

Dr. Schwab lays out a daunting but essential challenge from the Fourth Industrial Revolution perspective: “We must develop a comprehensive and globally shared view of how technology is affecting our lives and reshaping our economic, social, cultural and human environments.” Decision makers need to break free of traditional linear thinking and “think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping the future.” A strategic perspective is needed, but it must be well articulated and broadly supported. The challenges we face transcend our traditional concepts of defense. Citizens will not be persuaded by the pronouncements of national security experts alone. A national strategy needs to be built through whole-of-society approaches that engage different groups with messages that will resonate with them (as Singapore did in countering the SARS epidemic in 2005). We also will need to work through the legal parameters within which the nation can operate in today’s information space. We have done this before, when information assets were integral elements of national power during the Cold War. Appropriate capabilities need to be developed again, recognizing that they must be tailored to the rapidly evolving environment and may be very different from those of yesteryear.

Without such a strategic framework we are likely to find ourselves in a conflict we are not prepared to win. 

[https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/11/16/prepared_for_the_battle_but_not_for_the_war_112642.html ]

** Has Not Backed Down on Its Guam Threat


Is North Korea really "backing down" on its plan of action for a missile test in the direction of Guam? The country's military briefed President Kim Jong Un on Aug. 14 on the drafted plan during his visit to the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army, according to a report in the official Korean Central News Agency. The North Korean president then urged Washington to stop its aggressive posturing or Pyongyang "will make an important decision as it already declared."

The new geopolitics of trade in Asia

Mireya Solís

The APEC Leaders’ summit meeting, which took place last week in Danang, Vietnam, crystallized the new geopolitics of trade in Asia. The leaders of the three largest economies in the world—the United States, China, and Japan—each redefined the roles their nation will play in sustaining, torpedoing, or adjusting the postwar trading order. Little is assured on how free trade and multilateral undertakings will fare as the three giants reposition themselves in their leadership bid. The only certainty ahead for us is that it will be a bumpy ride.

“AMERICA FIRST” FLOUNDERS

These 5 Things Could Challenge China's Rise

Jonathan WardReed Simmons

During his presidency, George W. Bush famously asked Hu Jintao, then president of China, what kept him up at night. Hu replied that it was job creation: how would he be sure that he could provide employment for the twenty-five million people entering the workforce every year? Hu’s China was a different era. The “peaceful rise of China” has given way to the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” and, at the 19th Party Congress last month, Xi Jinping unequivocally stated that China will now be “moving closer to center stage.”

BALANCING CHINA: HOW THE UNITED STATES AND ITS PARTNERS CAN CHECK CHINESE NAVAL EXPANSION

MICHAEL BECKLEY

For 70 years, the U.S. military has dominated the seas and skies of East Asia, enjoying almost total freedom of movement and the ability to deny such freedom to enemies. Now, however, China has acquired advanced missiles and launch platforms that may be able to destroy U.S. ships, aircraft, and bases within 500 miles of China’s territory and disrupt the satellite and computer networks that underpin U.S. military power throughout East Asia. Many U.S. analysts fear that China could use these anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities to hold the U.S. military at bay while enforcing its expansive territorial claims, which include most of the East and South China Seas. Left unchecked, some fear, China will eventually become the hegemon of East Asia and start projecting military power into other regions, including the Western Hemisphere.

German Help for Raqqa

Moritz Koch

Germany is contributing €10 million to clear mines in the ruined Syrian city of Raqqa, a former Islamic State group stronghold. But the US wants Berlin to do much more. The exodus from Raqqa began early on the morning of October 12. The northern Syrian city had been under the control of the extremist group known as the Islamic State for several years and now, faced with certain defeat, fighters belonging to the brutal group were leaving. Emerging from the ruins of what was once the Caliphate’s capital, camouflaged men boarded buses and trucks heading out of the city, bringing their families and weapons with them.

Trump - The Merchant of Weapons



President Trump has turned into a merchant of weapons, coaxing nations to buy American weapons and warfare systems. Inevitably, modern U.S. presidents are obligated to support the manufacturers of warfare systems. The Republican presidents do it openly whereas the Democratic presidents do it through deceptive quietude. Trump has been most assertive in his rambunctious ways to push the sale of lethal weapons. (Recall how Trump, the realtor, boasts fooling Libya’s Gadhafi by overcharging him for pitching a tent on Trump’s New York City estate.) The U.S. warfare establishment sees war as a necessary evil that must always remain the prime factor in foreign policy.

Warfare Establishment

TRUMP’S ‘INDO-PACIFIC DREAM’ STUMBLES – BUT CHINA ALONE WON’T FILL THE VOID

RUSH DOSHI

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump returned to Washington after a marathon tour of Asia. His trip spanned two multilateral summits, five countries, and set an important record: It was the longest Asia trip undertaken by any U.S. president in 25 years. Trump’s trip was a remarkable opportunity to restore to Asia the rare leader-level time and attention so often trained on the Middle East and Europe. And yet, although time was for once abundant, strategy was absent, and the trip was largely a missed opportunity.

World War 3: North Korea to make CYBER-WARFARE its weapon of mass DESTRUCTION

By REBECCA PINNINGTON
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Cyber-warfare could become the hermit dictatorship’s new weapon of mass destruction as they threaten the US.The US Department of Homeland Security said Kim Jong-un’s regime has already targeted the aerospace industry, financial services and critical infrastructure in the US and globally. A statement from DHS and the FBI said: “The North Korean government malicious cyber activity noted in these alerts is part of a long-term campaign of cyber-enabled operations that impact the U.S. Government and its citizens.

Russia 'tried to hack' Britain's national grid and tried to penetrate telecoms companies

By Katie French and Larisa Brown

Russia 'tried to hack' Britain's national grid and tried to penetrate telecoms companies including BT, it has been claimed. National Cyber Security Centre chief Ciaran Martin will confirm in a speech today the a major assault on British major power companies ordered by the Kremlin. The bombshell reveals how Russia has successfully targeted media organisations and at times, has even brought down websites. The expert's comments come as the new defence secretary Gavin Williamson warns Russia has increased its number of submarine patrols in the UK waters. 

Hypersonic Missile Nonproliferation

by Richard H. Speier, George Nacouzi, Carrie Lee, Richard M. Moore

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Army Chief of Staff says cyber warriors need to adapt to new threat environment

BY ADIN DOBKIN

The Army Chief of staff and its Commander of Cyber Forces believe that increased adaptability will help fortify cybersecurity tactics as more IT specialists and cyber warriors enter the force and address new threats. However, the two also acknowledged the difficulties the Army continues to face in developing the structures within the service to recruit and recognize cyber and IT talent. “We’re not going to get it right...what’s important is we get it less wrong than our enemies,” Gen. Mark Milley said when discussing how the Army would need to continue adapting to face technological change in cyber warfare in remarks given at the Army’s International Conference on Cyber Conflict.

NASSCOM–DSCI Annual Information Security Summit [AISS 2017]


The 12th edition of NASSCOM – DSCI Annual Information Security Summit [AISS] is scheduled on 13th, 14th, and 15th December 2017. With digital advancements all over the world, cyber security is the need of the hour and AISS serves as the perfect platform for the amalgamation of ideas and convergence of leaders where India Meets for Security. AISS provides a unique platform to engage, deliberate and extend the cyber security paradigm to greater heights. It’s a confluence of security thought leaders and rich content insights to emancipate the possibilities and opportunities of this cyber world. This year the agenda leaps beyond technology know-hows to inspire actions and change the way people approach security.

The rich know how to sidestep responsibilities

Rajrishi Singhal
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The Paradise Papers show how the wealthy and powerful use tax havens—some do it legitimately, others for re-routing illegal wealth—to avoid or evade tax liabilities Industrialized nations are historically responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. They have a moral obligation to help poor countries tackle climate change. Photo: Getty Images Three developments over the past few weeks provide pointers to how the rich, whether individuals or nations, behave when it comes to meeting obligations.

FBI hacking ops could lead to strained relationships with foreign countries

By: Armin Haracic

The operation in question was the 2015 FBI Operation Pacifier investigating the child pornography site Playpen. The site was situated in the dark web, and used the software Tor to mask the physical location of servers and site visitors. Playpen’s administrator’s were found to be operating in the U.S, though when the FBI gained access to the site’s server, the bureau kept it operational. The idea was to utilize a network investigative technique, an exploit and malware in order to grab the identifying information of Playpen users from their computers and use that to subpoena internet service providers in revealing Playpen visitor identities.

Muslim Hacktivists Declare All-Out Cyber-War on ISIS

Tara Seals

The hacktivist group known as Di5s3nSi0N said that it will attempt to “wipe them off the internet” on November 17, which is Friday, by attacking all ISIS-related websites and servers in an offensive that it’s calling #SilenceTheSwords. Di5s3nSi0N has already exposed an ISIS mailing list after carrying out cyberattacks against ISIS’s Amaq news agency’s website. The list has 2,000 email subscribers listed, and is no doubt of great interest to Western intelligence agencies.

Why AI Is the ‘New Electricity’


Just as electricity transformed the way industries functioned in the past century, artificial intelligence — the science of programming cognitive abilities into machines — has the power to substantially change society in the next 100 years. AI is being harnessed to enable such things as home robots, robo-taxis and mental health chatbots to make you feel better. A startup is developing robots with AI that brings them closer to human level intelligence. Already, AI has been embedding itself in daily life — such as powering the brains of digital assistants Siri and Alexa. It lets consumers shop and search online more accurately and efficiently, among other tasks that people take for granted.

Hacking Secrets: WikiLeaks Drips Out ‘Gift That Keeps on Giving’



The intelligence community has been taking body blows lately – with Friday’s WikiLeaks dump of CIA hacking tools and a report in The New York Times discusses just how damaging the August 2016 Shadow Brokers thefts from NSA have turned out to be. While there has been no acknowledgment by law enforcement officials on who was directly responsible for the 2016 attack – the perpetrator possibly being Russia, an NSA insider, or both – the tools revealed by the Shadow Brokers have since been used by a number of hostile actors, including possibly North Korea and Russia.

Cyberwar's battlefield: The commercial secto

By: Tidal McCoy

Cyberwar is an unprecedented threat to our national security, our economic security our personal lives, fortunes and sacred democracy. How did it come to be this way? We developed open systems and networks including the internet with the idea that a benign world would use it for their betterment, but as with all technology advances we found that the technology that makes lives easier, more efficient, and better can be turned against us. Today, much as the arena of cyberspace has morphed into this same Heaven-Hell configuration.