17 October 2017

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Image result for FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONIn his seminal paper, Computing Machinery and Intelligence, Professor Alan Turing

began by posing a deceptively simple question: “Can machines think?” In concluding his paper, he hoped that “that machines [would] eventually compete with men in all purely intellectual fields”, perhaps beginning with “the playing of chess”

During the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, observed:
Previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. This fourth industrial revolution is, however, fundamentally different. It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.

The first industrial revolution started in England towards the end of the 18th century with the use of steam power and revamping of the textile industry through mechanisation. The second revolution began a century later and culminated in early 20th century; it was driven by electricity and a cluster of inventions including the internal combustion engine, the aeroplane and moving pictures The third industrial revolution, which was started in early 1970s, was basically digital in nature—it involved application of electronics and information technology to enhance production, and centred around concepts such as mass customisation and additive manufacturing (for instance, 3D printing) whose applications are yet to be explored fully. The fourth industrial revolution is seen as an upgrade on the third one and is noted for a mix of technologies across biological, physical and digital worlds.

Twelve Key Emerging Technologies
3D Printing. Advances in additive manufacturing, using a widening range of materials and methods; innovations include 3D bioprinting of organic tissues.

Advanced materials and nanomaterials. Creation of new materials and nanostructures for the development of beneficial material properties, such as thermoelectric efficiency, shape retention and new functionality.

Artificial intelligence and robotics. Development of machines that can substitute for humans, increasingly in tasks associated with thinking, multitasking and fine motor skills.

Biotechnologies. Innovations in genetic engineering, sequencing and therapeutics, as well as biological computational interfaces and synthetic biology.

Energy capture, storage and transmission. Breakthroughs in battery and fuel cell efficiency; renewable energy through solar, wind, and tidal technologies; energy distribution through smart grid systems, wireless energy transfer and more.

Blockchain and distributed ledger. Distributed ledger technology based on cryptographic systems that manage, verify and publicly record transaction data; the basis of "cryptocurrencies" such as bitcoin.

Geoengineering. Technological intervention in planetary systems, typically to mitigate effects of climate change by removing carbon dioxide or managing solar radiation.

Ubiquitous linked sensors. Also known as the "Internet of Things". The use of networked sensors to remotely connect, track and manage products, systems, and grids.

Neurotechnologies. Innovations such as smart drugs, neuroimaging, and bioelectronic interfaces that allow for reading,communicating and influencing human brain activity.

New computing technologies. New architectures for computing hardware, such as quantum computing, biological computing or neural network processing, as well as innovative expansion of current computing technologies.

Space technologies. Developments allowing for greater access to and exploration of space, including microsatellites, advanced telescopes, reusable rockets and integrated rocket-jet engines.

Virtual and augmented realities. Next-step interfaces between humans and computers, involving immersive environments, holographic readouts and digitally produced overlays for mixed-reality experiences.

[ Source: The 12 emerging technologies listed here are drawn from World Economic Forum Handbook on the Fourth Industrial Revolution ]

Understanding the Technology Risks Landscape

The seeds of the fourth industrial revolution have already been sowed. They are seen by major transformations across spheres of human activities; scientific breakthroughs and discoveries in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, big data, the web of things, and biogenetics. These developments bring science fiction to life.

The fourth industrial revolution provides opportunities and threats to our way of life. The benefits are potentially numerous, and in many cases unknown since they will be the result of forthcoming advances in science and technology. However, the changes will not necessarily be linear , the pace of change is even harder to predict, 

The emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will  transform the world in many ways – some that are desirable and others that are not. The extent to which the benefits are maximized and the risks mitigated will depend on the quality of governance – the rules, norms, standards, incentives, institutions, and other mechanisms that shape the development and deployment of each particular technology.

The fourth industrial revolution is upon us. These developments hold great promise to make life better for everyone and to generate new wealth. However, they also bring along major concerns about transformations in human activity. Given that this industrial revolution would generate profound political, economic and social changes. Many of these are imminent. Some of the concerns are :

How are governments to prepare, manage, and respond to the developments associated with the fourth industrial revolution? 

What will the government of the future look like, how will it fulfill its core functions – broadly defined as, to act for the public good

What will be its role in forging pathways into the next era? 

In the public sector, what sort of impact will these developments have upon the way it is organized and how it functions? 

What will all of these changes mean for government, governance and the concept of democracy?

There is also the possibility, that the new technologies are going to be used, abused, and adapted by political fanatics, terrorists, or criminal organizations. Additionally, the possibility also exists that government itself will use these new technologies towards impinging on the natural right of citizens. There is little doubt that governments are soon going to have to 
grapple with some very serious challenges.

Government Challenges: The Economy and the Labour Force

The development of automation enabled by technologies including robotics and artificial 
intelligence brings the promise of higher productivity (and with productivity, economic 
growth), increased efficiencies, safety and convenience. But these technologies also raise 
difficult questions about the broader impact of automation on jobs, skills, wages and the 
nature of work itself. Many activities that workers carry out today have the potential to be automated. Unemployment and underemployment are high around the world. 

According to MIT Sloan School of Management economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, the revolution is likely to increase inequality in the world as the spread of machines increases unemployment and disrupts labour markets. According to Schwab, "in the future, talent, more than capital, will represent the critical factor of production, giving rise to a job market increasingly segregated into low-skill/low-pay and high-skill/high-pay segments, which in turn will lead to an increase in social tensions".

Even while technologies replace some jobs, they are creating new work in industries that 
most of us cannot even imagine, and new ways to generate income. One-third of new jobs 
created in the United States in the past 25 years were types that did not exist, or barely 
existed, in areas including IT development, hardware manufacturing, app creation, and 
IT systems management. Digital technology also can enable new forms of entrepreneurial activity. Workers in small businesses and self-employed occupations can benefit from higher income earning opportunities. A new category of knowledge-enabled jobs will become possible as machines embed intelligence and knowledge that less-skilled workers can access with a little training. 

John Chambers, Chairman CISCO said that about 40% of companies that exist today will cease to be relevant. Replacing humans with robots in manufacturing is a trend that we can’t stop or avoid, but we can be better prepared by being open to learning new skills. Amazon had 30,000 robots working for it. To put that in context, Amazon only has 90,000 humans working in its warehouses. As of today, one in every four full‐time Amazon warehouse workers... is a robot. The creation of new jobsare mainly in more specialised areas such as computing, maths, architecture and engineering There certainly would be an increase in demand for high‐skill jobs. Driverless cars, for instance, will obviate the need for drivers but require a lot of smart coders who can make such cars ply the roads in different parts of the world safely. India would need to look at this issue from both a policy perspective as well as a social perspective keeping in mind to balance both the improvements brought about by the fourth industrial revolution as well as the wants and needs of its own citizens.

More than half the world’s population is still offline, limiting the potential to benefit from digital Rapid technology adoption can unlock huge economic value, even as it implies major 
need for retraining and redeployment of labor. In India, for example, digital technologies provide the foundation for many innovations that could contribute $550 billion to $1 trillion of economic impact per year in 2025. However, the value of digitization that is captured depends on how many people and businesses have access to it. More than four billion people, or over half of the world’s population, is still offline. About 75 percent of this offline population is concentrated in 20 countries, including Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Tanzania, and is disproportionately rural, low income, elderly, illiterate, and female. The value of connecting these people is significant, and as they enter the global digital economy, the world of work will transform in fundamental ways and at an unprecedented pace. Access to the technology alone is not enough; even in countries where a large majority of the population has access, the literacy and skills needed to capture digital gains are sometimes limited.

How to positively affect the future of work

The disruptions to the world of work that digital technologies are likely to bring about 
could pose significant challenges to policy makers and business leaders, as well as 
workers. There are several solution spaces to consider:

Evolve education systems and learning for a changed workplace. 

Determine how the private sector can drive training. 

Create incentives for private-sector investment to treat human capital like other capital. 

Explore public-private partnerships to stimulate investment in enabling infrastructure. 

Rethink incomes. 

Rethink transition support and safety nets for workers affected. 

Embrace technology-enabled solutions. 

Focus on job creation. 

Innovate how humans work alongside machines

Capture the productivity benefits of technology. 

With rapid developments in technology, it is clear that there will be significant impacts on the economy, on the labour force, and on the ways people work within various sectors of activities. The concept of the demographic time bomb, which has now been debated for years, suggests that as the population ages, there is not going to be enough workers to sustain high economic growth. Countries may even experience labour shortages because of ageing demographics of developed countries. At the same time there is an explosion of young population in countries like India, African continent and some other countries. Technological breakthroughs in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics will potentially lead to firms requiring less human labour. The result of this economic transformation will mean higher levels of unemployment and a larger pool of unused or under used labour. Widespread 3D printing is like to dramatically restructure manufacturing. At its 2016 meeting, the World Economic Forum estimated that five million jobs across 15 major economies would be lost before 2020 because of the fourth industrial revolution The fourth industrial revolution could represent major economic upheavals, with many social consequences unseen by society in decades, if ever. Such consideration warrants further attention, public debate, and possibly eventual action by government.

Other related issues to consider would include education and post-secondary education, labour market training, etc. The fourth industrial revolution raises multiple policy questions, most notably in areas relating to the economy, economic development and the labour force.

The fourth industrial revolution could lead to a more effective, a leaner and cheaper government. Governments may be able toprovide more and better services for less. The fourth industrial revolution could, thus, lead to improved policymaking and policy, increased effectiveness and efficiency and better programs and services for citizens.

There are many risks that challenge this optimistic scenario :

Could put governments and public services under strain

Government services will be needed more, especially to address rising wealth inequalities.

The welfare state will be under heavy pressure due to existing trends such as population ageing and new possible realities such as high unemployment and increased welfare needs. 

Governments will still be relied upon to deliver key services such as healthcare, education and welfare.

The demand for government services will be high, but public authorities may not have the financial capacity to deliver the goods due to slow growth.

What are the likely impacts of the fourth industrial revolution on our institutions, and democratic practices? The fourth industrial revolution, if not managed, has the potential to generate serious political, economic and social upheavals. The fourth industrial revolution could benefit developing countries via technology transfers, but it could also exacerbate many of the political, economic and social tensions that these countries face.

We face a pressing governance challenge if we are to construct the rules, norms, standards, incentives, institutions and other mechanisms that are needed to shape the development 
and deployment of these technologies. How to govern fast-developing technologies is a complex question: regulating too heavily too quickly can hold back progress, but a lack of governance can exacerbate risks as well as creating unhelpful uncertainty for potential investors and innovators. Currently, the governance of emerging technologies is patchy: some are regulated heavily, others hardly at all because they do not fit under the remit 
of any existing regulatory body.

The role of the state will actually become more important even as the center of gravity shifts to the corporate sector. In a world deeply dependent on technology, those who hold a tight grip on it will invariably wield a tremendous amount of power.It is foreseeable that in the era of the fourth industrial revolution, the state’s influence will progressively be eclipsed by those companies A significantly weakened state coupled with a greatly empowered corporate sector can create a serious problem. This is because the corporate sector is accountable only to shareholders and driven foremost by profits. So when technological unemployment hits, it is not incentivized to employ those workers made redundant by new technology. Only the state – through its exclusive use of monetary and fiscal policies – will be able to step in to stimulate demand and generate employment. Even if the state were unable to create jobs, it can at least help the poor and weak through its social programs. While the corporate sector does help the needy at times, only the state retains the policy tools and strategic planning that can prevent the emergence of a persistent underclass.

Apart from that, the state will also be needed to provide security. The fourth industrial revolution has the potential to destabilize societies and unsettle established institutions. Digital vulnerabilities can also lead to a spike in cyber-attacks. Whether it is fending off terrorists or hackers, the state’s role in keeping us safe will actually become more important. While private enterprises do perform a number of ancillary security functions, public safety and national defense still rest principally with the state. There are good reasons why these national priorities are public goods and it is important to bear them in mind as we enter the era of the fourth industrial revolution.


With a population of more than 1.3 billion predicted to become the world’s youngest population by 2022. We have to position ourselves advantageously for new things to come. Historically, in 1600, India contributed more than 22% of the world’s GDP, which plummeted to about 4% in 1990 before economic reforms bought it up to 6.8%. At the time of the first industrial revolution, with the British Empire’s mechanisation of the textile industry, India a British colony, paid a stiff price, as millions of weavers were replaced by machines. India has remained behind the curve on the second revolutions as well. We did much better with the third revolution and should do even better on the fourth. Currently the fourth industrial revolution may be the last thing on the minds of most Indians. India has other issues which it is grappling with ‐ bridging the infrastructure gap, enabling electricity and sanitation in our villages, bridging the digital divide and improving the last mile connectivity across rural areas. We are also working to harness human capital through skill development of the one million youth joining the workforce every month. The Government over the past two years has been on a mission mode with the launch of ambitious initiatives like Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, Smart Cities and Start up India. While such initiatives get under way, and begin to solve some of the big challenges for us namely health, education and skilling, housing and basic amenities like electricity; it is wise to keep a sharp eye on future technologies and adopt those that could significantly accelerate impact.

In India, for example, Google is rolling out the Internet Saathi (Friends of the Internet) program in which rural women are trained to use the Internet, and then become local agents who provide services in their villages through Internet-enabled devices. The services include working as local distributors for telecom products (phones, SIM cards, and data packs), field data collectors for research agencies, financial-services agents, and paratechnicians who help local people access government schemes and benefits through an Internet-based device. Loss of low-end jobs is where India, which is known for a very large low skilled or unskilled youth population, is likely to face severe challenges.

In India, where more than 60 per cent of population still don't have access to basic amenities, lack potable water and toilets, live in one-room huts with no electricity and is exposed to all sorts of pollution, FIR can further unsettle the social fabric, with the rich getting even more richer and the poor becoming more doomed. The country, which still relies a lot on the agricultural sector for a major chunk of its GDP, already faces several crises in farming that include lack of labour, low prices of produce, shortage of water and poor soil. After having seen the immerse perils of being left behind in the first three industrial revolutions, India cannot afford to be a laggard as FIR unravels. However, how to ensure parity among the rich and the poor when it comes to income creation will continue to be a tough nut to crack.

India, like many other Asian states, is struggling to manage cryptocurrencies.

By Aswin Mannepalli

As more consumers and businesses turn to Bitcoin, the Indian government is still studying the issue and has not provided clear regulatory guidance on the payment technology to date.

The internal debate over Bitcoin highlights two competing impulses within the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While officials want to foster innovation in the banking sector, they are wary that such technologies could facilitate cybercrime, bribery, tax avoidance, and money laundering.

Pakistan’s Tactical Nukes: Relevance and Options for India

by Arka Biswas

Pakistan’s introduction of tactical nuclear weapons has raised questions about two elements of India’s nuclear doctrine. While the issue of no-first-use has gathered much of the public attention, that debate is misplaced. It is not India’s NFU policy, but its massive retaliation posture that fails to credibly deter or counter Pakistan’s introduction of tactical nuclear weapons.

India’s Ballistic Missile Defense: Implications for South Asian Deterrence Stability

by Zafar Khan
Source Link

Two high-altitude interceptor tests earlier this year and an ongoing debate about Indian nuclear doctrine raise questions about the rationale for India’s pursuit of a ballistic missile defense shield, potential countermeasures Pakistan could develop, and the strategic implications for South Asian deterrence stability.

The Risks of Pakistan's Sea-Based Nuclear Weapons

Nine days into 2017, Pakistan carried out the first-ever flight test of the Babur-3, it’s new nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM). A variant of the Babur-3 ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM), this SLCM will see Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent head to sea—probably initially aboard its Agosta 90B and Agosta 70 submarines, but eventually, perhaps even on board new Type 041 Yuan-class submarines Pakistan is expected to procure from China.

Safer at Sea? Pakistan’s SeaBased Deterrent and Nuclear Weapons Security

On January 9, 2017, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced that the country had successfully carried out the first-ever flight test of a nuclear-capable, submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM)—the Babur-3, a variant of the Babur-2 ground-launched cruise missile.1 With the introduction of the Babur-3, Pakistan seems headed toward adding a sea leg in the coming decade to complement a nuclear force structure that previously relied solely on land-based missiles and aircraft-delivered weapons.

Russia's Hand Is Visible Everywhere in the Middle East

By Nikolas Gvosdev

Four years ago, my colleagues Tom Nichols and John Schindler warned that U.S. fecklessness in the Middle East was creating conditions where Russia would be able to emerge as the key player in regional security. In responding to critics of their original article, they penned a follow-up days later that laid out the Russian strategy: to present Moscow as a “viable alternative partner” for the states of the region. At the time, they were roundly criticized for their apparent pessimistic assessment that a collapsing “regional power” would be able to diminish the influence of the world’s sole remaining superpower in the Middle East or even that Moscow would have anything it could offer to compete with Washington’s largesse.

The Chinese Dream in Peril: Xi Jinping and the Korean Crisis

With tensions escalating rapidly again on the Korean peninsula, the attention of the world invariably has returned to the question of whether or not the solution to the crisis lies in Beijing. After months of continuing missile tests by North Korea despite sanctions and global condemnation, Kim Jong-un’s regime claims to have tested a hydrogen bomb and once again launched an intercontinental ballistic missile over Japan. North Korea’s march toward wielding a nuclear arsenal against its neighbors and far off enemies.

The Middle Eastern Roots of Nuclear Alarmism Over North Korea

By Rebecca Friedman Lissner
Source Link

Nuclear alarmism is reaching a fever pitch in Washington. President Donald Trump has responded to North Korea’s push toward a nuclear-capable ICBM with paroxysms of bluster: He warned that North Korean threats to the United States would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” proclaimed Kim Jong Un a “Rocket Man” (and now “Little Rocket Man”) on a “suicide mission,” and averred the North Korean regime “won’t be around for much longer.” Other members of the administration have echoed the president’s rhetoric: National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster suggested that Kim is undeterrable. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley trumpeted “plenty of military options.” The White House has engaged in open discussion of preventive war.



His first volume, The Gathering Storm, recounted many instances of failure among the leading figures of the 1930s to appreciate the growing danger of Hitler’s rise to power. Churchill’s history highlighted how the good intentions and virtuous character of Britain, France, and the United States hindered them from taking actions that could very well have prevented a war that claimed the lives of some 60 million people. He marveled at

Military Stalemate: How North Korea Could Win a War With the US

By Franz-Stefan Gady

North Korea’s defeat in a war with South Korea and the United States is inevitable. At least that’s the consensus among most military experts. The war would be “nasty, brutish, and short” and could cost the lives of up to 20,000 per day even before the use of nuclear weapons. Yet the outcome would never be in doubt: the defeat of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (DPRK). This conclusion is drawn based on analyzing the relative military capabilities of North Korea, primarily seen as a function of its military hardware and munitions stockpile, versus the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States.

Minuteman III Replacement: Key to Nuclear Deterrence

In order to deter nuclear aggression against its homeland and vital interests, the U.S. must demonstrate that its strategic arsenal is capable of surviving an attack and then retaliating with devastating force against the aggressor. In other words, the losses an attacker would suffer must demonstrably exceed any potential gains. Thus, the paradox of nuclear strategy is that when weapons are postured effectively, they will never be used. We buy and maintain nuclear weapons in the hope they will remain in their submarines and silos forever.

Infographic Of The Day: The Future Of Artificial Intelligence, According To Pop Culture

It's a science fiction writer's dream: if AI becomes smart enough to create more advanced versions of itself, pretty much every outcome is on the table. Machines could empower humanity to become enlightened and virtuous. On the less optimistic side? Machines could instead ruthlessly enslave all of humankind to tickle their own warped sense of satisfaction.

Strategy, Civil–Military Relations, and the Political Nature of War: #Reviewing Scales on War

For a much shorter version of what follows, one need look no further than a recent tweet by Tom Ricks and response by Jill Sargent Russell. “If light infantry is so vulnerable on the battlefield,” Ricks wondered, “why is [it] that we are unable to decisively defeat adversaries who only have that?” Russell, quoting Ricks, replied, “Because war is political, not tactical.”[1]

Britain’s Defence Planners Face Hard Questions

By James Goldrick

In the last few days, the British press and social media have been rife with reports that the Royal Marines are to be reduced by 1000 from their present establishment of 6500. In addition, the amphibious fleet may be similarly reduced with the decommissioning of the landing platform dock (LPD) that is the core of the British ready capability and the possible disposal of both that ship and a sister unit held in reserve. This scheme is one option being considered as part of a ‘mini defence review’ underway in the UK.

Machine Intelligence: We Need a National Strategy

On Thursday, July 20, China’s State Council released the New Generation of Artificial Intelligence Development Plan. Numbering nearly 40 pages, the plan lays out China’s aspirations in impressive detail. It introduces massive investment that aims to position China at the forefront of technological achievement by cultivating the governmental, economic, and academic ecosystems to drive breakthroughs in machine intelligence. To achieve these goals, the council aims to harness the data produced by the Internet-connected devices of more than a billion Chinese citizens, a vast web of “intelligent things.”

Is The NSA At A Tipping Point? Should Its Entire Network Enterprise Be Scrapped? One Has To Assume Putin’s Spies & Beijing’s Collector’s Have Taken Full Advantage Of NSA’s Breaches & Miscues

As you are probably aware by now, there has been yet another breach of NSA’s security, as another contractor supporting the agency’s mission to primarily steal communications secrets of foreign targets — apparently unwittingly revealed our highly sensitive sources, methods, tools, techniques and procedures. One wonders if there is anything left worth stealing from NSA’s classified network. And,one would have to assume at this point that all these leaks has enabled Russia to embed some well-placed implants in NSA’s network enterprise. One has to assume that Putin’s spies took advantage of these miscues. And, the employment of the contracting community by NSA has, for whatever reason, become its Achilles heel.

Integration in Warfare

By Nathan Finney
Source Link

With the announcement of the new iPhone X—at a price only a princess royal could afford—I recalled a metaphor that some peers and I tried to employ to describe the importance of integration to future warfare. With the recognition by most defence thinkers and senior military leaders that potential future adversaries have created and employed capabilities that will negate U.S. and ally advantages, different approaches to contemporary warfare will be required. Enter ‘multi-domain battle’, a concept designed to address the diminishing ability of commanders to wage a joint fight effectively on the future battlefield.

Britain’s Defence Planners Face Hard Questions

By James Goldrick

In the last few days, the British press and social media have been rife with reports that the Royal Marines are to be reduced by 1000 from their present establishment of 6500. In addition, the amphibious fleet may be similarly reduced with the decommissioning of the landing platform dock (LPD) that is the core of the British ready capability and the possible disposal of both that ship and a sister unit held in reserve. This scheme is one option being considered as part of a ‘mini defence review’ underway in the UK.


ML Cavanaugh

Yes, you read that right. The West’s roaring lion, the British Bulldog, he of “blood, toil, tears, and sweat”—Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill—“customarily wore underwear made of pale pink silk.” We’ll come back to that later.

I was recently asked to speak at a Defense Entrepreneurs Forum panel at the US Air Force Academy, which got me to thinking about what that actually means. Some hold the term, “defense entrepreneur,” in contempt: Why isn’t this just innovation? Why do we have to go and create a new word for the same thing?

10 Ways to Start a Conversation About Leadership

Vince Lombardi wisely quipped, “The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” Success does not happen by accident…and neither does becoming a leader. The road to meaningful influence is marked by deliberate steps to acquire knowledge, gain experience, and engage in ways that specifically relate to leadership. Followers can do this on their own, but leaders have a tacit responsibility to grow other leaders and must find ways to further the leadership development of those around them.

16 October 2017

Deepening India-Israel Ties: Changing Landscape of the Indian Defence Sector

By Ketan Salhotra

Israel has become a prominent defence partner for India in recent times. A string of defence deals between the two countries have benefitted Indian companies seeking advanced manufacturing technologies and Israeli companies looking at new defence markets. Israel has also been able to provide the Indian armed forces with weapons which it could not directly buy from its usual defence partners – Russia and US.

Pak heading for military rule

By Maj Gen Harsha Kakar

The recent statement, post the meeting between the Pak foreign minister, Khawaja Asif and the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, included a comment indicating concerns about the future of Pakistan’s government. This announcement was made after inputs began flowing of a growing rift between the polity and the army, which holds sway over the country. The statement aimed to support the civil establishment and was possibly signalling a warning to the army to stay away.

'The Taliban Can't Win,' Says Commander Of U.S. Forces In Afghanistan


Gen. John W. "Mick" Nicholson settles into his wood-paneled office inside the American-led military headquarters in Kabul. It's lined with plaques, pictures and ceremonial swords.

He has spent more time in Afghanistan, in various jobs, than any other senior American officer — a total of 5 1/2 years. The commander of NATO's Resolute Support mission and U.S. forces in Afghanistan since March 2016, Nicholson is a genial West Point graduate with salt-and-pepper hair — and a renewed confidence.



The escalating tensions over North Korea have brought the United States closer to war on the Korean peninsula than at any other time in decades. Yet Washington is just as likely as Pyongyang, if not more likely, to initiate the first strike — and would almost certainly use nuclear weapons to do so. Such a strike may be the only way to decisively end the North Korean nuclear program, but its incalculable effects would extend far beyond the devastation and destruction in Korea. 

Kaspersky in focus as US-Russia cyber-tensions rise

The security software firm Kaspersky has become the focal point in an escalating conflict in cyberspace between the United States and Russia.

The Russian-based company has been accused of being a vehicle for hackers to steal security secrets from the US National Security Agency, and was banned by all American government agencies last month.

North Korea: Where China Can Beat the US

By Jacob L. Shapiro

Of all the parties involved in the Korean missile crisis, the most difficult to read is China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s almost daily platitudes about the need for a peaceful resolution do little to reveal what China’s real interests and objectives are – and what they are is multiple and conflicting. At one level, China is concerned with the balance of power on the Korean Peninsula. China doesn’t want Pyongyang to have nuclear weapons, and it doesn’t want the peninsula to unify. But at the same time, what happens on the Korean Peninsula also affects China’s relationship with the U.S., and despite the deep economic ties between the two countries, from Beijing’s perspective that is a relationship defined ultimately by fear and mistrust.

The Long Game In North Korea – Analysis

By Robert C. Thomas

North Korea is once again vying to hold the top spot among the most pressing and nerve-wracking global security crises of the moment. Although it is entirely reasonable to be concerned about how to respond to an aggressive and erratic state developing ever more powerful nuclear weapons and longer-range missile delivery technology, it is actually extremely dangerous to confine policymaking on North Korea to the immediate nuclear crisis. 

When the Commander in Chief Disrespects His Commanders

James Stavridis

Recently, at President Trump's first of these dinners, it was surprising to see him use those senior officers and their spouses as a backdrop for a cryptic comment to the press: "You guys know what this represents? Maybe it's the calm before the storm." When asked what the "storm" was, he responded equally oddly: "You'll find out." Speculation ran wild. Was it a military strike on North Korea? Iran? Venezuela? The White House refused to clarify, citing a desire to keep the enemy guessing. 

After-action analysis from last month’s massive drill

By: Barbara Opall-Rome

After-action analysis from last month’s massive drill at Israel’s northern border has validated, with very few exceptions, more than a decade worth of development, deployment and operational procedures associated with the military’s cyber-secure, C4I-operational network, the military’s chief signal officer said.

“Our concept of fighting in the cyber domain was validated in the latest drill,” Brig. Gen. Netanel Cohen, the Israel Defense Forces‘ chief signal officer, told Defense News. “We took all the digital transformation of the past decade, and … bottom line: It worked.”

How artificial intelligence is becoming a key weapon in the cyber security war

Michael Sentonas

In the last 12 months, 60% of Australian organisations experienced a ransomware attack. This is according to Telstra’s Cyber Security Report 2017, which also found that ransomware was the number one type of malware downloaded in the Asia Pacific region during 2017. 

The future in the war against cybercrime — machine learning and AI

Christian Stevenson

Antivirus programs just aren't cutting it any more, with developers finding it impossible to keep up with the rapidly changing threats. But there is a white knight on the horizon, says tech expert Dr Christian Stevenson, who explains how machine learning and artificial intelligence will drive cyber-security in the near future.

Army Pledges To Fix Networks; Skeptics Abound


“The urgency of now is upon us,” Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford told reporters and aides to explain why the Army would act and get things fixed. That was the message from the generals and civilians leading the Army’s network efforts who appeared in an unwieldy panel yesterday. (The Army loves to put these panels on. They seem to be a reflection of the service’s approach to acquisition: throw good people at it from multiple parts of the bureaucracy and hope they can all make sense of it.) It was a message similar to the one they delivered to a very skeptical Congress late last month. And it was a message was greeted with skepticism from myself and other media who have heard the Army make similar claims for at least five years.

“A Way” To Develop a Toxic Leader: How We as Leaders Create Our Own Monsters

Toxic leaders don’t just appear on the scene, they develop over time- and we are the ones that create them. Yep! It’s partly our fault as leaders because we fail to properly counsel them as they move up the ladder.

There you have it: “A way” to create a toxic leader.

So, I think it’s important for all of us to learn how not to build our own Frankensteins.

Optimism has made wars likelier and bloodier

THIS is not really a book about the future of warfare, with all that might imply in terms of exotic technologies that will transform not only the character of war, but, some believe, even its very nature. Lawrence Freedman does indeed discuss the impact of cyber-attacks, artificial intelligence and machine learning on the conflicts of the future. But that is not his main purpose. The clue is in the title. The author, arguably Britain’s leading academic strategist, examines how ideas about how future wars could be fought have shaped the reality, with usually baleful results.

How Technological Advancements Will Shape the Future of the Battlefield


Dr. Robert H. Latiff retired from the U.S. Air Force as a major general, is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Notre Dame, and is the director of Intelligence Community Programs at George Mason University’s School of Engineering. His book, Future War, looks at how future technology will change virtually every aspect of war as we know it and how we can respond to the serious national security challenges ahead.

15 October 2017


Recently I attended CyFy organized by ORF.

Dr Gulshan Rai, the Indian National Cyber Security Co ordinator, the Cyber Czar of India, gave the keynote address. Some of the issues highlighted by Dr Gulshan Rai are given below.

As per the latest WEF report on an average daily e-transaction per day worldwide is 12 billion. In India daily e-transaction is about 2.2 billion. Number of online  threat/day is 0.6 billion. As the transitions going up so does the online threat. Out of these threats 6% are serious in nature and merits immediate attention. 50% of them need attention. In the next 7/8 years things world become much more complex.

Emerging trends

Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning will have mind boggling expansion.
Proliferation of offensive cyber tools in the net.
There will be repressive order on online media whether one likes or not.
Existing business models would come under extreme pressure, will undergo further transformation.
Big data and analytics will be used more effectively.
Growth of Public Private Partnership. Citizen will demand more and more control.
Heterogenity of state posture will also increase.
Militarization of Cyber Space. Tools used will be much more complex. States will indulge in Cyber Warfare issues.
Attacks like Wanacry, Petracry and their different versions will increase. We are still not clear about and their originatiors.


We are in the process of drafting our Data Protection Act. There is a serious issues of privacy. Will have to be reinterpreted.
International Laws will become predominant. There has to be worldwide consensus on International Law’s. UN Group of Govt Experts (UNGGE) are working.
Jurisdiction in an important issue in light of expansion of digital space. There are issues of technology, cross border, date residing in different parts of the world.

Cloud Computing. There are issues of encryption, legal and technical aspects.

Encryption Policy. Draft encryption policy was put on public domain. Due to various reasons this was withdrawn and could not be proceeded. Many other countries also have the same view as we have in India in Govt circle.

Cyber Diplomacy. Taking Importance.

Cyber Norms. After recent cases of Wanacry there is an impetus on voluntary or enforcement of internationally agreed cyber norms. There is a need to debate/agree on cyber norms.

Right to self definer/counter measures/use of force. Critical issue. We need to debate. Many countries have the same view as India.

Internet governance:- After intense debate we have adopted multi stake holder model. Whether it needs any modification or amendment , whether we should follow ideal multi stake holder model or have some role of Govt needs to be debated in a transparent manner. India has taken up a case of route server in our country with ICANN. Due to lack of transparency and changing of rules this has been blocked at ICANN. The culture of a country or a region has to be considered. UNGGE did not succede this year. We have to find ways and means to come to a consensus.

Q&A Session.

Q1. In India 50% hand held devices are Chinese manufactured. There is  legitimate Cyber Security concerns. There is a demand to ban Chinese brands in India. How do you respond?

Ans1. Today every device is collecting information, updating. Location is updated, date is transferred. This is true everywhere in the world. Issues of privacy and data protection are important but complex, India is bound by International agreement. This issues have to be sorted out at International level. Specific issues are raised in bilateral/multilateral talks.

Q2. How do you secure our critical infrastructure when there are foreign manufactured machinery in them?

Ans. There is nothing 100% secure. We cannot ensure that. Most of our critical infrastructure is imported. Maintenance has to be done by the companies who have supplied these equipments. We have valid contracts between parties. We ensure that resilience in very high. We are vigilant round the clock. We take help of all stake holders as well as other countries. We invite manufacturers to share information in advance. We take a Multi Stake holder approach.

Dams on Myanmar’s Irrawaddy river could fuel more conflicts in the country

Julian Kirchherr

Myanmar makes many headlines these days. While most of the focus has been on the Rohingya issue, the country is also heading towards an important economic and livelihood crisis. Myanmar was once called “Asia’s rice bowl”, and that label stuck for much of the 20th century. While the country is keen to reclaim this title, it’s doubtful this ambition will be realised soon.

China targets American technology in drive to become innovation leader

Bill Gertz

China has stepped up efforts to work with American businesses in a bid to acquire advanced technology, part of a drive to become a leading technology-innovation power.

China is pushing to further deepen technology collaboration with U.S. business and academic institutions as part of a national effort to transform its economy, including by putting China at the leading edge of global technological innovation,” said a U.S. intelligence official who provided a recent assessment of China.