16 August 2017

India fully equipped to face any challenge: MoS PMO Jitendra Singh on Dokalam standoff

By Abhijit Iyer-Mitra

For some strange reason people in India seem to think that India is somehow on the backfoot in its latest showdown with Chinaover the Dokalam trijunction. Some feel that should the situation continue or deteriorate, ‘strategic defiance’ may be the only option. This, however, is not the impression in Beijing. In private, the Chinese feel that they, rather than India, are caught in a bind, unable to resort to the use of force for fear of destroying the myth of nuclear deterrence, but still supremely confident that strategic defiance by India, on the other hand, will be economically and diplomatically disastrous for India.

As a dear friend in Beijing summed it up rather rudely, “India is a dog. Whatever we do to you, you will first bark and snarl, but then accept and come back wagging your tail. The problem now is what we can do to you is also very limited.” This raises the question as to why India feels it is losing control of the situation. And second, if this idea that India will somehow finally turn on China is based on reality or plain wishful thinking.

Let us be clear about one thing — far from losing control, this has, in fact, been one of the best managed crises by India’s ministry of external affairs. India’s tone has been persistently calm, not threatening action, but sticking to its guns. And for the first time in decades, it is standing up to Chinese bullying and staring it down. The ‘losing control’ and ‘escalating crisis’ narratives seem to be emerging only from a set of strategic commentators whose window seems to be limited to Xinhua and Global Times, and completely devoid of primary research.

US ready to help India modernise its military: US top commander


Harris refrained from giving any answer on India and the United States starting to share information about Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean region. "I don't want to answer the question, because I don't want to imply that I'm sharing intelligence, or anything like that."

The US is ready to help India modernise its military and jointly they can improve India’s military capabilities in “significant and meaningful” ways, a top American commander has said.

Over the past decade, the defence trade between the US and India has touched nearly USD 15 billion and is expected to gallop in the next few years, as India is looking at the US for some of the latest military hardware including fighter jets, latest unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft carriers.

“I believe that the US is ready to help India modernise its military. India has been designated a major defence partner of the US. This is a strategic declaration that’s unique to India and the US. It places India on the same level that we have many of our treaty allies,” Commander of the US Pacific Command or PACOM Admiral Harry Harris told PTI.

“This is important, and I believe that together we will be able to improve India’s military capabilities in significant and meaningful ways,” said Harris, who has been personally pushing for a strong India-US defence relationship. The Admiral said he is fairly happy with the level of defence cooperation that exists today between the two sides.

India’s Disappointing Marut Jet Fighter Proved Itself in Combat

Sebastien Roblin

Fifty years ago, India brought into service its first domestically built jet fighter, the HF-24 Marut—indeed, the first operational jet fighter designed and produced by an Asian country besides Russia. Unfortunately, the HF-24 project was hampered by over ambitious goals, poor government oversight and underpowered jet engines, producing a disappointing subsonic light attack plane—foreshadowing some of the difficulties that would plague today’s Tejas fighter. And yet, the Marut went onto win a major victory for India during its brief combat career.

By the 1950s, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had developed a few propeller planes and had experience license-building British Vampire jets. In 1956, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru authorized the domestic development of a Mach 2 multirole jet fighter with a range of five hundred miles, with the expansion of the Indian aeronautics sector a major objective.

This represented an enormously ambitious project for HAL. New Delhi recruited top talent in the form of Kurt Tank, designer of the legendary Focke-Wulf 190—the best German single-engine fighter of World War II. Even with Tank onboard, HAL had to massively ramp up its design staff (twelvefold!) and expand its facilities to accommodate a project of this scale.

By 1959 Kurt had already produced a full-scale X-241 glider mockup of the plane, and a flying prototype followed in 1961. However, his swept-wing twin-engine design counted upon an uprated Bristol BOr.12 Orpheus afterburning turbojet that could produce 8,150 pounds of thrust. Unfortunately, New Delhi was unwilling to invest 13 million pounds for Bristol to develop the engine, so the HAL team spent years fruitlessly shopping for an alternative in the Soviet Union, Europe and the United States, only for shifting political winds to nix the deal at every turn.

The Hidden History Behind the Doklam Standoff: Superhighways of Tibetan Trade

By Aadil Brar

How does a controversy over a trading post in Chumbi Valley in the 1950s inform the current China-India stand-off?

As China and India enter the seventh week of their military stand-off in Doklam, both countries are putting forward facts and treaties to make their case. But neither has acknowledged the mutually shared histories of trade and commerce across their borderlands, routes that used to connect Leh to Lhasa and Lhasa to Kalimpong. The Radhu family’s story is one of the forgotten aspects of Himalayan trade; the semantics of the current stand-off do everything to preclude claims by the diverse ethnic communities that once traded between historical Tibet and India.

Abdul Wahid Radhu was the last of the generation who could freely traverse the borderlands from Ladakh to Lhasa and from Lhasa to Kalimpong in India. Radhu was a scion of a wealthy Tibetan Muslim trading family based in Ladakh and Lhasa. In a recent reprint of Radhu’s memoir, the world of Himalayan trade comes to life; a world that had existed up until the occupation of Tibet by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the 1960s. This is a history of cross-cultural exchange carried out by Tibetan, Ladakhi, Sikkimese, Bhutanese, Uyghur, Nepali, Indian, and Chinese traders across the vast sways of Inner Asia.

Indian, Chinese Navies To Participate in Search-and-Rescue Naval Drill

By Ankit Panda

The exercise will be held in November under the auspices of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium.

The Indian Navy will join the Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) for an inaugural maritime search and rescue exercise chaired by the Bangladesh Navy in the Indian Ocean later this year.

The exercise will occur under the aegis of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and will involve other participating navies. It is scheduled for November 2017. The PLAN is not a member of IONS, but participates in activities as an observer.

“Bangladesh, the current Chair, is scheduling a maiden International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) in November in the Bay of Bengal to be attended by ships and aircraft of the members and observers of the IONS,” one source told The Hindu.

The Indian Navy’s decision to participate in the exercise comes as tensions between India and China are high amid a Himalayan standoff at the Dolam plateau, a territory disputed between China and Bhutan.

IONS is among a handful of regional organizations focusing on the Indian Ocean; it incorporates littoral states on the Indian Ocean.

Indian Ocean littoral states are represented by the heads of their navies and the organization aims to foster military-to-military cooperation.

In bid to beat back the Taliban, Afghanistan starts expanding its commando units

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff

CAMP MOREHEAD, Afghanistan — The Afghan military will begin expanding its elite commando units in the coming weeks, Afghan officials and military officers said, in a bid to capitalize on a force that has been one of the few success stories in the nearly 16-year-old war.

Starting in September, the training academy here — an old Russian paratrooper base tucked into a valley south of Kabul — will add an 800-man, 14-week-long commando course atop its current curriculum. Afghan officials are optimistic that in the coming years the 12,000-strong force will be able to almost double, to 22,000 troops.

As the number of commandos grows, the Ministry of Interior’s elite police unit and the Afghan Air Force’s Special Mission Wing will also expand, to 9,000 and 1,000 troops, respectively.

The Afghan military’s decision to invest in its commando forces comes with strong U.S. backing and is a key component of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s recent military reform plan.

The commandos, with their track record of reliability, have become a favorite of U.S. military officials. They see the elite force as key to pushing back the Taliban militants who have taken over broad swaths of the country since NATO forces ended their combat mission in 2014. A recent report from the Pentagon’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan said the commandos and other special units were responsible for 80 percent of all Afghan offensive operations as of early 2017, but warned that they have been overused.

Will Pakistan Find Stability Following Its Latest Political Shake-up?

Marvin G. Weinbaum, Touqir Hussain
A decision by Pakistan's justices to leave Nawaz Sharif in office could have set the stage for widespread violent agitation.

Pakistan’s supreme court’s unanimous—if disputably reasoned—decision to remove Nawaz Sharif as prime minister, together with the Pakistan Muslim League’s easy management of leadership transition, has likely averted months of political turmoil. A decision by the justices to leave Nawaz in office could have evoked bitter condemnation by a united front of opposition parties and set the stage for widespread, possibly violent agitation spearheaded by Imran Khan and his Tehreek-e-Insaf movement. If sustained, the military would probably have felt compelled to intervene.

An abrupt end to the Sharif dynasty and possible fracturing of the league over leadership succession, once thought possible by his opponents, was avoided with the designation of party loyalist Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as prime minister. Possessing an overwhelming majority in the national assembly, he should be able to serve through to the scheduled national and provincial elections next summer. The dynasty that has lasted nearly thirty years seems firm for the time being. Nawaz’s younger brother, Shehbaz Sharif, remains in command of the party’s election machinery in its heartland, Punjab Province, and Nawaz has a strong presence behind the scenes.

PAKISTAN’S SEARCH FOR ITS PLACE IN SOUTHERN ASIA’S EVOLVING ORDER

SANNIA ABDULLAH

Southern Asia’s evolving geopolitics are leading to the intensification of the China-Pakistan nexus, a development that has been greeted in Pakistan with exuberance. Although the China-Pakistan “all-weather” friendship goes back decades, there appears to be in recent years a greater willingness in Islamabad to air frustrations with the United States while embracing China as the “cornerstone” of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Much of this is in response to the deeply entrenched perception in Islamabad that Washington is tilting inexorably toward New Delhi. The Trump administration’s recent condemnation of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan and its potential designation of Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism are lending credence to the notion that Washington is once again on the verge of abandoning a longtime partner. The shifting allegiances on the subcontinent have pushed Pakistan into the arms of China, even as it questions the value of its relationship with the United States.

Since India and the United States signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement in 2005, Pakistan’s response to perceived American slights has been to cry foul. While there may be some merits to Pakistan’s position, its responses to these exogenous shocks have been dictated by emotion and incredulity. If Pakistan is to navigate the evolving strategic environment in South Asia and compete for its interests effectively, it must adopt a more calculated, clear-eyed approach. This process must start with honest assessments of Pakistan’s strategic environment, what it might stand to gain or lose from spurning other powers (including the United States), and how to avoid provoking its neighbors into aligning with India. Pakistan needs to re-evaluate its tendency to antagonize the United States, avoid reflexive escalation vis-à-vis India, and be more honest with itself about the limitations of its Chinese partnership.

To ‘Win’ in Afghanistan, Devise a Strategy and Do Not Quit

By Robert Cassidy

Pakistan’s sponsorship of the Taliban is the main reason for the continued stalemate in Afghanistan after almost 16 years. To be sure, there are other ancillary factors that help explain the instability, but Pakistan is the key reason. 

The war in Afghanistan will not end, or it will end badly unless the U.S.-led Coalition and its Afghan partners compel Pakistan to cease its malign conduct. 

What a win looks like.

A ‘win’ in Afghanistan would not resemble the win in World War II where the Allies thoroughly defeated and then received the unconditional surrenders of Germany and Japan. The end will be negotiated and conditional.

A ‘win’ would see the Afghan government and its security forces have sufficient capacity to secure Afghanistan’s future.

A ‘win’ would see a durable Afghan state, with the government, the security forces and the population aligned against a marginalized Taliban.

A ‘win’ is an Afghanistan that does not fragment and endures as a state that is inhospitable to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K) and other Islamists groups.

The bar is not high, and the aim is not to remake Afghanistan into Arizona. There will still be violence, poverty, and underdevelopment, but relative stability, absent an existential threat, is a win.

In South Asia, be the Un-China

Suhasini Haidar

As the stand-off between the Indian and Chinese militaries enters its third month at Doklam, it is not just Bhutan that is keenly anticipating the potential fallout. The entire neighbourhood is watching. There is obvious interest in how the situation plays out and the consequent change in the balance of power between India and China in South Asia. India’s other neighbours are likely to take away their own lessons about dealing with their respective “tri-junctions” both real and imagined, on land and in the sea. A Chinese defence official was hoping to press that nerve with India’s neighbours when he told a visiting delegation of Indian journalists this week that China could well “enter Kalapani” — an area near Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand that lies along an undefined India-Nepal boundary and a tri-junction with China — or “even Kashmir” with a notional India-China-Pakistan trijunction.

Buzzword is equidistance

Perhaps, it is for this reason that governments in the region have refused to show their hand in the Doklam conflict. “Nepal will not get dragged into this or that side in the border dispute,” Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara said ahead of a meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who had travelled to Kathmandu for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) regional summit. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang will be in Kathmandu next week, and Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in Delhi the week after. Making a similar point while speaking at a conference on public relations this week, a Sri Lankan Minister in Colombo contended that India and China are “both important” to Sri Lanka. Bhutan’s Foreign Ministry has stuck to its line, blaming China for violating agreements at Doklam, but not mentioning India. Columnists in the country too are increasingly advocating that Bhutan distance itself from both Indian and Chinese positions.

Waiting for China’s Data Protection Law

Source Link
By George G. Chen and Tiffany G. Wong

Fourteen years ago, the Chinese government started to draft a bill to protect citizens’ information across the country. Earlier this year, China’s legislators were still striving to get China’s legislature to review this bill. In the wake of growing social concerns over large-scale misuse of citizens’ data, Yang Zhen, a delegate to the National People’s Congress (NPC), has continued to advocate the adoption of a specific bill on data protection over the past three years. Although some delegates espoused this proposal, it might take another “three to five years” to pass the law, said Yang.

Concomitant with their struggle was the “General Provisions of the Civil Law” passed on the final day of this year’s NPC in March. As the opening chapter of China’s first Civil Code, this law bans “illegal” sales or publication of personal information. Yet any clear liability for government bodies is missing, as is the case with the Cybersecurity Law enacted this June. Without further legal restraints on the inordinate power of the government to manage data, effective data protection will prove to be very difficult.

The protection of personal data is a core issue of China’s digital transformation. As life gets increasingly tied to computers and mobile devices, personal information is becoming more and more vulnerable to hackers and other third parties with malicious intent. Foreign companies, researchers, and also the Chinese government have suggested that Chinese citizens do not care about the protection of their personal data. The mobile habits of tech-savvy Chinese youths suggest as much. Online payment apps allow them to hook their bank and credit card information to their mobile phones, while cab-hailing apps such as Didi Chuxing require constant disclosure of their GPS locations. Convenience seems to trump privacy concerns.

5 Russian Super Weapons That Never Made it to the Battlefield

Robert Farley

Designed to hit Mach 3, with a service ceiling of around 70,000’, the T-4 resembled the B-70 visually, and in capability. However, because the organization of airpower in the Soviet Union differed from that of the United States, T-4s were also considered for tactical missions, such as reconnaissance and the delivery of anti-ship missiles. The idea of a T-4 carrying Kh-22 anti-ship missiles is very scary indeed. 

For nearly seven decades, the defense-industrial complex of the Soviet Union went toe-to-toe with the best firms that the West had to offer. In some cases, it surprised the West with cheap, innovative, effective systems. In others, it could barely manage to put together aircraft that could remain in the air, and ships that could stay at sea.

No single weapon could have saved the Soviet Union, but several might have shifted the contours of its collapse. The relationship between technology and the “human” elements of war, including doctrine and organization, is complex. Decisions about isolated systems can have far reaching implications for how a nation defends itself.

As with last week’s list, weapons are often cancelled for good reason. Events intercede in ways that focus a nation’s attention on its true interests and needs, rather than on the pursuit of glory and prestige. In the Soviet case, many of the “wonder weapons” remained safely in the realm of imagination, both for the enemies of the USSR, and the USSR itself. 

The Costs of Ignoring Russia

Dimitri K. Simes

Improving the dangerously unstable U.S.-Russia relationship will be very difficult, but it is important for U.S. national security. Current mutual hostility threatens an explosive confrontation that could destroy American (and Russian) civilization as we know it. Short of that, Russia can do much more than it is today to damage U.S. interests and values without taking extreme risks. Accordingly, the United States should explore normalizing its interaction with Russia. Washington should do so without illusions, and from a position of strength.

Today, America and Russia are adversaries with different approaches to key international issues, different systems of government and, in many respects, different values. Each confronts domestic obstacles to efforts to establish better relations. These obstacles are particularly challenging in the United States, where Congress, the mainstream media and much of the American public view Vladimir Putin’s Russia as a vicious enemy akin to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, if not Hitler’s Germany. Unlike China, Russia has only limited economic interaction with America—and therefore few Americans see a practical positive side to contacts with Russia.

President Putin has much greater latitude in shaping his country’s foreign policy, including exploring a new beginning with Washington. Yet in a period of economic difficulty before Russia’s 2018 presidential election, Putin is loath to appear weak under foreign pressure.

At the same time, Washington and Moscow continually calculate how their relationship affects their close partners. Thus, for example, Russia cannot disregard how China and Iran might react if they perceive Russia as accommodating the United States on North Korea, Syria or other issues—especially if Moscow’s flexibility compromises their interests.

WHEN SHOULD THE PRESIDENT USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS?

REBECCA HERSMAN

In the United States, we do not just elect a president. We elect a commander-in-chief, and the Constitution grants that person tremendous power to protect and defend the nation. In doing so, the founding fathers entrusted an awesome responsibility to our electorate. No burden on the American president is greater than the authority to use nuclear weapons in defense of the nation. The U.S. nuclear arsenal, as well as the command and control system that surrounds and supports it, is designed to protect the United States and its allies from the most severe and catastrophic threats that are unresolvable through any other measure.

For this reason, the president is granted extraordinary authorities regarding the use of these weapons. But these authorities are not boundless, nor should they be. These authorities depend on context and are constrained by law and policy. Only the president can authorize the use of nuclear weapons, and a rigorous process and protocol exist to ensure that he or she can do so appropriately. These well-practiced procedures and mechanisms are designed to ensure that the president has all necessary information and the best advice from legal experts, military commanders, and civilian leaders, when these extraordinary circumstances arise.

Trump Preparing to End Iran Nuke Deal

By Jack Thompson

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of 2015, which would have been impossible without close transatlantic cooperation, brought Iran back into compliance with the Nuclear Non-Prolifera­tion Treaty (NPT)

US President Trump and some of his political advisors are preparing to end participation in the JCPOA, possibly as early as October 2017. Iran is gaining ever more influence in the Middle East, they contend, which is why sanctions need to be reinforced, not lifted

If the US were to withdraw from the JCPOA, it would deal another blow to US-European ties and could weaken the NPT

Hence, European governments need to talk to Trump’s most influential advisers and convince them that withdrawal from the JCPOA would leave the US isolated

One of the most successful examples of transatlantic cooperation in recent years was the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was finalized in July 2015. The deal imposes strict constraints on Iran’s nuclear program, and provides for enhanced transparency, in return for relief from international sanctions.

Not Every Civil War Is a Guerilla War

Patrick Burke

Civil wars have been given fairly blunt analysis for years. Security analysts have painted all civil wars as “guerrilla wars.” It’s also common for civil wars to be depicted as featuring near-constant fighting until one side either gives up or is defeated. Very few analysts account for the fluctuating relationships between governments and insurgents.

But guerrilla warfare refers to a specific type of fighting that is not always a feature of civil wars. And the relationship between insurgents and governments is often quite complicated.

Guerilla wars are characterized by a weak combatant fighting a powerful foe through deception. Guerrillas use roadside bombs, sniper attacks, occasional ambushes and sabotage of supply lines to wear down the stronger side’s willingness to continue fighting.

Heavy weaponry such as tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery or aircraft are all absent from the guerrilla’s arsenal.

Guerrillas don’t have the military capability to take over territory from the stronger side, and rarely try to do so. They may be able to control some peripheral rural areas, but guerrilla warfare doesn’t usually feature front lines. Instead, guerrillas hide among civilians in areas under the “control” of the stronger side.

Sustainable UN Peacekeeping Offensive Operations: UXOs, ERW and IEDs

By Antonio Garcia 

This essay explores the themes of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping offensive operations and Unexploded Ordinance (UXOs), Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). As the character of conflict changes, there is an increased international focus on IEDs. The traditional threat of ERW has been further complicated by the preponderance of IEDs in war-affected countries. The UN is thus adapting its conventional approach in dealing with mines and UXOs to the complexities of asymmetric warfare where IEDs have increasingly become the weapon of choice for non-state actors. Earlier this year, United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) celebrated its 20th year anniversary as the lead UN agency addressing the scourge of mines, and UXOs. The Security Council and UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has also taken novel approaches in combating spoilers with the deployment of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) as the first strategically mandated offensive peacekeeping force. This essay discusses the interrelation between UN peacekeeping offensive action and the creation of UXOs and its potential effect on local populations and existing humanitarian crises and adds tactical and strategic analysis.

The evolution of modern United Nations (UN) peacekeeping has resulted in a variety of complex operational situations with differing intensities of conflict. The use of force or the threat thereof to counter rebel groups and spoilers remains a fundamental part of peacekeeping, peace enforcement and prevention. The UN has adapted to changes in the operational environment with a number of innovations of which the deployment of the first offensively mandated force, the FIB, indicated a firm strategic resolve from the Security Council. The robust stance of the UN peacekeeping missions in Mali and the Central African Republic are also indicative of such approaches as well as the support role, which the UN has taken in the African Union mission in Somalia. This piece links the effect of tactical offensive operations to the further creation of ERW which may increasingly contribute to humanitarian crises.

Professional Military Education Proven in Combat during the Mexican War

Capt. Patrick Naughton, U.S. Army Reserve


Battle of Cerro Gordo (1847), hand-colored lithograph, E. B. and E. C. Kellogg, New York and Hartford. The engagement was a key battle in a campaign that aimed at capturing Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. Many junior officers of the U.S. force participating in the battle would later gain prominence as senior commanders in the U.S. Civil War; among these, Capt. Robert E. Lee. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Professional military education (PME) is a critically important part of building effective military leaders. This fact is sometimes overlooked due to the misguided belief that experience and field service alone will make the best leader. While these items are significant, when combined with PME, they make a more potent recipe for a truly well-rounded military leader. Ultimately, the decisive test of the success of PME is its relevance and application in combat situations.

The Mexican War (1846–1848) occurred in an often-neglected period in America’s history. It is mainly remembered and studied by historians for the insight it gives into the early military careers of many famous American Civil War officers on both sides of the conflict. What is not as readily realized is that it served as the validation and true starting point for the further development and implementation of PME for America’s armed forces.
History of Early American Professional Military Education

No program of formal military education was established by America upon its independence from Great Britain. Officers were generally selected from the higher echelons of society, and they received their commissions through family connections or purchase.1

A Professional Military Education for Congress

By Jules Hurst & Sam Stowers

The U.S. military loves formal education. Commissioned officers attend professional military education at every stage of their careers from pre-commissioning to executive-level ranks. Initially, training focuses on teaching the basic skills required of all airmen, sailors, soldiers, and marines, job specific-training, and small-unit leadership. Then, at roughly the ten-year mark, officers partake in intermediate-level and senior-level coursework that emphasizes a congressionally mandated curriculum in national military strategy, joint planning, joint doctrine, joint command and control, force requirements development and operational contracting. This standardized coursework aims to produce “strategically minded joint leaders who possess an intuitive approach to joint warfighting built on individual service competencies,” and it relies on an officer’s previous ten plus years of military experience to provide the context that makes it effective.

The U.S. government fails to provide the same quality of professional education to a more influential group—the 535 Senators, Representatives, and their staff who craft the nation’s $600 billion-dollar defense budget, exercise oversight of U.S. armed forces, and though they rarely exercise it, hold power to declare war.

US ready to help India modernise its military, says top American navy commander


A top American commander has offered the US help to India to modernise its military, saying that together they can improve India’s military capabilities in significant and meaningful ways.

Over the past decade, the defence trade between the US and India has touched nearly $15 billion and is expected to gallop in the next few years, as India is looking at the US for some of the latest military hardware including fighter jets, latest unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft carriers.

“I believe that the US is ready to help India modernise its military. India has been designated a major defence partner of the US. This is a strategic declaration that’s unique to India and the US. It places India on the same level that we have many of our treaty allies,” commander of the US Pacific Command or PACOM Admiral Harry Harris told PTI.

“This is important, and I believe that together we will be able to improve India’s military capabilities in significant and meaningful ways,” said Harris, who has been personally pushing for a strong India-US defence relationship.

The admiral said he is fairly happy with the level of defence cooperation that exists today between the two sides.

“We have been partners with India in the Malabar exercise series, the maritime exercise, for a number of years. I participated in one of the very first... one of the early Malabars, in 1995,” he recollected, reflecting on the decades old association with India.

What’s missing in leadership development?

By Claudio Feser, Nicolai Nielsen, and Michael Rennie

Only a few actions matter, and they require the CEO’s attention.

Organizations have always needed leaders who are good at recognizing emerging challenges and inspiring organizational responses. That need is intensifying today as leaders confront, among other things, digitization, the surging power of data as a competitive weapon, and the ability of artificial intelligence to automate the workplace and enhance business performance. These technology-driven shifts create an imperative for most organizations to change, which in turn demands more and better leaders up and down the line.

Unfortunately, there is overwhelming evidence that the plethora of services, books, articles, seminars, conferences, and TED-like talks purporting to have the answers—a global industry estimated to be worth more than $50 billion—are delivering disappointing results. According to a recent Fortune survey, only 7 percent of CEOs believe their companies are building effective global leaders, and just 10 percent said that their leadership-development initiatives have a clear business impact. Our latest research has a similar message: only 11 percent of more than 500 executives we polled around the globe strongly agreed with the statement that their leadership-development interventions achieve and sustain the desired results.

How can creative industries benefit from blockchain?

By Ryo Takahashi

Five forces of blockchain technology could affect the creative economy. Here are some of the risks and challenges to overcome.

Many readers will be familiar with blockchain as the underlying enabling technology developed for Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, provides this summary in his book on the Fourth Industrial Revolution: “In essence, the blockchain is a shared, programmable, cryptographically secure and therefore trusted ledger which no single user controls and which can be inspected by anyone.”

Blockchain has the potential to become a powerful disruptive force. A survey of 800 executives, featured in the same book, suggests 58 percent believe that up to 10 percent of global GDP will be stored using blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology may provide several important features that could be leveraged for use in the creative economy:

Transactions are verified and approved by consensus among participants in the network, making fraud more difficult.

The full chronology of events (for example, transactions) that take place are tracked, allowing anyone to trace or audit prior transactions.

Sensor overload is overloading the network

By: Mark Pomerleau

Analysts are drowning in the amount of data provided by Army sensors and those of the military writ large. And often unsaid is the burden that this overload places on the network.

“Over time, regardless of what is happening in CENTCOM or AFRICOM or in EUCOM, the demand for the aerial sensors has always increased,” Mark Kitz, director of the System of Systems Engineering team at Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, said Aug. 9 during a panel discussion at TechNet Augusta in August, Georgia.

“Our footprint forward has decreased significantly. The intelligence community has put a lot of investment and a lot of time and a lot of capability in putting sensors forward [and] having soldiers here in [the continental United States] processing those sensors.”

While acknowledging this is a great capability, Kitz said it places a significant burden on the network. This problem will only get worse in the next 10 years with the increase in boxes and sensors, he added.

“So the challenge that our PEO is relaying to industry … is: How do we get more information, how do we still deliver that accurate and timely information whether that’s intelligence, whether that’s video for integrated base defense, whether that’s situational awareness on our survivability platforms?” he said. “How do we get all of that capability that we need without burdening the network anymore? Don’t assume that network is going to get thicker and broader and [be] there for us.”

Cyber Flag exclusive: What Cyber Command learns from the annual exercise

By: Mark Pomerleau 

U.S. Cyber Command is still a relatively young organization. It was stood up in 2009, and while the organization reached full operational capability in 2010, its workforce isn't slated to hit this mark until September 2018.

As such, the command is learning lessons from training exercises and operations pertaining to its structure, the structure of its teams, how to deploy teams and how to conduct operations.

During an exclusive walk-through of CYBERCOM's annual Cyber Flag exercise, the simulation's leaders told Fifth Domain that they identified specific, applicable lessons at last year's Cyber Flag pertaining to the way defensive teams are deployed to problem sets.

Top leaders from CYBERCOM have recently indicated they've discovered it's not always necessary to deploy the entirety of a cyber protection team, or CPT.

"One of the things we found with practical experience is we can actually deploy in smaller sub elements, use reach-back capability, the power of data analytics; we don't necessarily have to deploy everyone," Adm. Michael Rogers, the commander of CYBERCOM, told the House Armed Services Committee in May. "We can actually work in a much more tailored, focus[ed] way optimized for the particular network challenge that we're working. We're actually working through some things using this on the Pacific at the moment."

Joint Force Quarterly 85 (2nd Quarter, April 2017) Operational Graphics for Cyberspace


April 1, 2017 — NOTE: A font was created to accompany this article. The Operational Graphics that appear in the article's table can be downloaded as a font, by clicking the download button below. 

The growth of any discipline depends on the ability to communicate and develop ideas, and this in turn relies on a language that is sufficiently detailed and flexible.

—Simon Singh, Fermat’s Enigma

To promote interoperability at the information level within the area of joint military symbology, it is necessary to define a standard set of rules for symbol construction and generation to be implemented in C2 [command and control]systems.

—Joint Military Symbology

A sergeant looks at an arrow marked in grease pencil on a laminated map and knows that a machine gun position lies ahead. The large projection screen showing a map with a blue rectangle encompassing an oval gives the joint task force commander assurance that a tank battalion defends key terrain. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Complex subjects—mathematics, chemistry, physics, even highway driving—have specialized sets of symbols that convey information and understanding more quickly than text alone can do. Symbols have been part of military tactics, operations, and strategy since armies became too large for personal observation on the battlefield. In joint military operations, it is crucial to have a set of common symbols familiar to all users. They are especially useful to establish a common understanding across a user population with widely varying knowledge, experience, and Service backgrounds. The Department of Defense (DOD) established the newest warfighting domain via doctrinal guidance 8 years ago, yet cyber warriors still lack a coherent set of symbols that allow them to convey the intricacies of cyber warfare to the joint warfighting community. The inability of cyber warriors to easily express operational concepts inhibits the identification of cyber key terrain, development of tactics and strategies, and execution of command and control.

15 August 2017

My India Has Changed

by Kapil Sibal

India at 70 has changed radically. It is not as if communal conflagrations did not happen in the past. Communal frenzy has, however, never been expressed with such violence at the level of the individual. Belief in Hindutva is the centrepiece of the establishment’s credo. Hindutva involves intolerance towards any form of dissent, regimenting people and threatening those who do not adhere to its norms with violence. The “instant justice” of the cow vigilantes instil fear among people.

The cow has become the symbol of Hindutva ideology. For the Hindutva brigade, however, protecting the cow is per se not important. What is important is their message: The cow can be protected by striking the fear of violence amongst minorities.

Acronyms associated with schemes borrowed from the Congress Party, statements unrelated to reality and sound-bytes which belong to the post-truth world are the new weapons of persuasion. Unfulfilled agreements worth billions of dollars with China and Japan, smart cities wallowing in pestilence, the Ganga’s polluted waters and the mirage of a digital economy are today’s reality.

All of this from a PM who says more than what he means and does less than what he says. His sojourns abroad provide lessons in event management. A red carpet welcome accorded to the PM is shown as a unique event — as if such courtesies were not extended to previous PMs. MoUs are publicly acclaimed as milestones. Yet what we get eventually is next to nothing. Instead of getting us something to cheer about from the US, the PM got us a deal on 22 Guardian Drones.

*** How North Korea Would Retaliate

Source Link

North Korea is powerless to prevent a U.S. strike on its nuclear program, but retaliation is well within its means. The significant military capability that North Korea has built up against South Korea is not advanced by Western standards, but there are practical ways Pyongyang could respond to aggression.

The North Korean military's most powerful tool is artillery. It cannot level Seoul as some reports have claimed, but it could do significant damage. Pyongyang risks deteriorating its forces by exposing them to return fire, however, which significantly restricts their use. Less conventional methods of retaliation, such as sabotage or cyber warfare, are less risky but also limit the shock that North Korea would desire.

After a strike, North Korea's most immediate and expected method of retaliation would center around conventional artillery. Many of the North's indirect fire systems are already located on or near the border with South Korea. By virtue of proximity and simplicity, these systems have a lower preparatory and response times than air assets, larger ballistic missiles or naval assets. Nevertheless, there are several critical limitations to their effectiveness.

Tube and Rocket Artillery

The biggest anticipated cost of a North Korean artillery barrage in response to an attack would be the at least partial destruction of Seoul. But the volume of fire that the North can direct against the South Korean capital is limited by some important factors. Of the vast artillery force deployed by the North along the border, only a small portion — Koksan 170-mm self-propelled guns, as well as 240-mm and 300-mm multiple launch rocket systems — are capable of actually reaching Seoul. Broadly speaking, the bulk of Pyongyang's artillery can reach only into the northern border area of South Korea or the northern outskirts of Seoul.

Is India on the Verge of Building a Super Jet Fighter?

Sebastien Roblin

In 2016 the Indian Navy rejected the domestically built Tejas jet fighter—or Light Combat Aircraft—after a troubled thirty-three years of development in which the maritime fighting branch had invested significantly. However, the Indian Navy argued that the Tejas weighed too much, and produced insufficient thrust for takeoff from the ski-jump ramp of its forthcoming aircraft carrier.

But the Indian Navy hasn’t given up entirely on the Tejas; it is considering a Mark 2 variant under development, which will be powered by the same F414 turbofan engines as the U.S. Navy’s Super Hornet fighter.

The Tejas was developed out of the Light Combat Aircraft program, which sought a replacement for the hundreds of MiG-21 fighters nearing the end of their service lives in the Indian Air Force. The single-engine Tejas has a tailless delta-wing configuration and supposedly costs only $25 million per airplane. However, it took decades for the LCA to come together, and it continued to rely heavily on foreign components, including an Israeli Doppler radar and General Electric F404 turbofan engines.

With a top speed of Mach 1.6 to 1.8, a maximum external load of 7,700 pounds and a service ceiling of fifty-two thousand feet, the Tejas remains unexceptional compared to top-performing fourth-generation light fighters such as the F-16. The Indian Air Force has only ordered 123 Tejas jets so far to equip six squadrons by 2024. HAL, however, is having difficulty ramping up production from eight aircraft a year to the desired sixteen.

India at 70. How did we do?

MOHAN GURUSWAMY:

The Indian economy is now the fifth largest in the world measured by nominal GDP and the third largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). Its GDP in 1950 was $30.6 billion. In 2017 India’s GDP was $2.54 trillion or $ 9.69 trillion (PPP). Its industrial sector accounts for 29.02% of its GDP and India now is rightly classified as a newly industrialized country. 

When India gained independence in 1947 its population numbered about 340 million. The literacy level then was 12% or about 41 million people. In 2017 India’s population scaled 1.34 billion and literacy level reached 74% or about one billion. That is a huge shift in numbers, and a hugely impressive achievement. Never before in history have so many people moved from one to the other. True our numbers are staggering and hence only one other country can provide a benchmark. 

In 1949 China’s population was 540 million and its literacy level was estimated at 20% or 104 million. In 2017 China also has a population of about 1.34 billion and literacy of 85% or 1.14 billion. Both India and China lifted almost a billion people each from ignorance of the word to modest knowledge. China employed a highly mobilized system of government with no restraints on coercion to achieve this, while India did it under a system of voluntary compliance. That is to my mind the biggest achievement of our seventy years of independence

Chinese dream, Indian slumber

by Deepender Hooda

The increasingly aggressive Chinese foreign policy is primarily driven by two factors: A build-up of nationalistic fervour in domestic politics and the Chinese economy’s hunger for new markets.

The stand-off with China in Doklam is not about who blinks first, it is about a much broader game India has always been a part of. We need to understand what is motivating China in initiating these flare-ups and how we can protect Indian interest. The increasingly aggressive Chinese foreign policy is primarily driven by two factors: A build-up of nationalistic fervour in domestic politics and the Chinese economy’s hunger for new markets. Soon after taking over as the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, in 2012, Xi Jinping spoke of the “Chinese dream,” a term that, among other things, referred to national glory. Soon after he took over as the Chinese president in 2013, Xi undertook efforts to expand the Chinese footprint worldwide.

These “nationalistic” efforts have also resulted in sparking conflicts with inconvenient neighbours. Since 2014, we have seen a pattern: From the PRC’s escalating tensions with the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea to increasing conflict with Japan over Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, from the downturn in relations with South Korea over Seoul’s deployment of US THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Air Defence) to the tensions over Doklam. Interestingly, each time a conflict arises, the state-run Chinese media drums up patriotic war-rhetoric. A strong nationalist sentiment helps Xi consolidate and look beyond just the next term, which looks certain now. With five of the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee set to retire at this year’s Congress, President Xi is looking to consolidate his hold by getting loyalists like Wang Huning into the PB.

The Doklam test

Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd)

THERE appears to be no early solution to the ongoing standoff on the Doklam plateau. China's unilateral action to alter the location of the tri-junction between India, Bhutan and China is unexceptionable and violates the 2012 agreement. 

There is a deeper move in this attempt to build a road on this plateau. It not only aims at posing a serious threat to the Siliguri corridor by crossing the Torsa Nala and occupying the Jhamperi Ridge, but also wean away the only country left in India's neighbourhood, where it exercises influence and comes in the way of China's attempt at complete encirclement of India. 

China has been assiduously working to encircle India both on land and sea, with the eventual aim of capturing markets and relegating India to a secondary position. Such a move is reminiscent of the gun-boat diplomacy of the seventeen-eighteen centuries by European countries. Building OROB (One Road one Belt) and CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) is in line with the gun-boat diplomacy of that period, though, through a different format, the sole purpose being to capture markets, in the region and beyond. 

China has succeeded in gaining influence and foothold in almost all of India's immediate neighbourhood, sans Bhutan. This Doklam effort is to draw Bhutan too out of India's sphere of influence. India's inability to counter these moves by China bears on our foreign policy and diplomatic skills.