23 February 2018

Bengalis Need To Know That Language Does Not Bridge Religious Divide

by Jaideep Mazumdar

It is religion, and not language, that is primary in Bangladesh, as it is in all Muslim-majority countries in the world.

To deny this and claim that Bangladesh’s primary identity is that of a Bengali nation would be living in a fool’s paradise.

Today (February 21) is International Mother Language Day, and Bengalis like to call it ‘Bhasha Divas’ or ‘Shahid Divas’. This day holds a special place in the hearts of all Bengalis; it was on 21 February 1952, that many students of Dhaka University laid down their lives to protest the imposition of Urdu and denial of official language status to Bengali by the ruling Punjabi elite of Pakistan. To commemorate this and promote all mother languages, the The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared 21 February as International Mother Language Day in 1999.

An Urgent To-Do List: What India Needs To Do In The World Of Digital Products


by Rajeev Srinivasan

To succeed in the world of digital products, Team India will need to do several things on a war footing. Here are some suggestions, and we better start moving fast. 

Let me acknowledge upfront that the information technology (IT) industry has accomplished a great deal. It largely put India on the map as a global leader in technology, although the reality is a little different. The IT industry also made a number of people and several companies quite wealthy, and earns revenues of some $150 billion. It employs perhaps three million people directly, and some 8.9 million indirectly. It accounted for about 7 per cent of India’s GDP in 2016.

The Benefits Of Aadhaar Far Outweigh Its Challenges


by Sanjay Swamy

Nobody has access to the biometric data— whether during enrolment or during authentication. This data is only visible to UIDAI; users need not worry.

It’s time for the country to rally behind the programme and make Aadhaar a success. It’s our responsibility to set aside our differences. 

Aadhaar has been built on the principle that the residents of India are honest, law-abiding and want fairness. 

A universally accepted national ID isn’t an option; it’s a must-have for all countries and its residents. Aadhaar has been designed to make life convenient and safe for residents of India. It is built on the principle that these residents are honest, law-abiding and in search of fairness.

The Indian government must let go of state-owned banks—but it just won’t


Sriram Iyer

The Indian government should cut its stake below 50% in state-owned banks.

That was the advice from the country’s chief economic advisor, Arvind Subramanian, as well as the industry lobby Assocham over the weekend. It was what the country’s central bank said in August 2016, and was repeated by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in December 2016. Of course, scores of editorials and expert opinions have been saying it for years.

Now, the alleged $1.77 billion fraud perpetrated by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi at Punjab National Bank (PNB) may be a wake up call.

Renewed Commitment

S. Binodkumar Singh

On February 15, 2018, 20 Islamic State (IS, formerly, Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, also Daesh) terrorisms were killed in air and ground attacks conducted by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in Pacheragam, Kot, Heska Mina and Rawodat Districts of Nangarhar Province.

On February 13, 2018, 43 Taliban terrorists were killed and another 20 were injured in clashes with ANDSF in the Nish District of Kandahar Province.

On February 12, 2018, 20 IS terrorists were killed in air and ground attacks conducted by ANDSF in Rodat, Hasaka Mina and Achin Districts of Nangarhar Province.

How Did Japan Lose Its Air Superiority Advantage?

By Abraham Ait

Japan received its first F-15J fighters in 1980, and alongside Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia was one of only four countries permitted by the United States to purchase its advanced fourth generation air superiority fighter at the time. The F-15 far surpassed the capabilities of all those fielded by Japan’s neighbors, with the exception of the Soviet Union’s MiG-31 interceptors and, from 1985, its Su-27 fighters as well.

With 200 F-15 fighters in service among its other potent assets, Japan became the world’s third most capable air force and held this title throughout the 1980s — with only the United States and the USSR fielding similarly capable platforms in comparable numbers. With the United States and USSR maintaining an effective monopoly on the production of fourth generation air superiority fighters, and the former restricting their export where the latter banned them entirely, very few countries possessed such high end capabilities.

China’s Not the Only Target If US Imposes Steep Tariffs

By Jacob L. Shapiro

Last April, U.S. President Donald Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at his resort in Florida. It was an auspicious meeting. During the summit, Trump agreed the U.S. would take it easy on China when it came to trade relations in return for help solving the North Korean crisis. Trump also excused himself at one point to authorize punitive missile strikes on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, returning to the dinner table to tell Xi what had just happened, as if to disabuse any Chinese notion that Trump should be considered a paper tiger. And, he noted, they shared “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen.”

Aerial photos ‘point to new Chinese signals hub’ in the heart of the South China Sea

Laura Zhou

The CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said the northeastern corner of Fiery Cross Reef was now equipped with a communications or sensor array bigger than those found on other artificial islands in the Spratlys.

It based the finding on a comparison of its own satellite images and aerial photos released by the Philippine Daily Inquirer earlier this month.

“[It suggests that] Fiery Cross might be serving as a signals intelligence or communications hub for Chinese forces in the area,” the think tank said in a report on Friday.


China Aims for the Moon – and Beyond

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By Nayef Al-Rodhan

China’s space program dates back to the 1950s, when China first started developing its own missiles, modeled on those of the USSR, but some would argue that the space age was actually born in China, citing its use of “fire arrows” in the 13th century as the first example of rockets. Mao Zedong himself was impressed by the launch of Sputnik in 1957 and wanted China to move forward quickly in the development of satellites. But these plans were postponed and it was not until 1970 that China launched its first small satellite, long after the United States and Russia.

What Could the United States Have Done – If Anything – To Prevent China's Rise?

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By Robert Farley

The United States did not undertake the difficult and expensive steps necessary to prevent the economic and military rise of China.

Much has been written about the key questions of the 21st century; first, can the liberal international order survive the rise of China, and second, how will the rise of China revise the extant international order? This is the first of a multi-part series designed to establish a frame for how to think about these questions; how we got here, and how to proceed in light of undeniable structural realities.

Breaking the Chinese whispers

Mini Kapoor

Shivshankar Menon says India should take China’s rise as a given and work its strategy against that backdrop

India should take China’s rise as a given and work its strategy against that backdrop, instead of looking at the relationship in binaries, Shivshankar Menon, former National Security Adviser and old China hand, said.

“The problem is that we treat India-China relations as a Twenty20 match,” he added.

In a discussion on “Asian century: does it have to be India versus China?” moderated by Narayan Lakshman, Associate Editor, The Hindu, Mr. Menon was joined by Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan Ambassador to the U.S., who is now with a think tank in Washington, and Andrew Small, an expert on China’s foreign policy with the German Marshall Fund in the U.S.

A New Kingdom of Saud?

Adel Abdel Ghafar

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is undergoing a process of change in its social, economic, and political structures unseen since its founding in 1932. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and a group of close advisors, aided by an army of multinational consultants and investment bankers, have been driving this transformation.

Korea After the Olympics

By George Friedman

The Pyeongchang Olympics are nearly over, which means the focus will soon return to the North Korean nuclear program. Somewhere along the way, the nuclear program went from being a crisis, likely to precipitate war at any moment, to being an issue of concern. There are thousands of issues around the world that governments are unhappy or uneasy about, but few rise to the level of garnering anything beyond public statements. Plenty of statements about the North’s nukes are still to come, but the sense now is that the core issue is settled and all that’s left is to define how the new reality works.

After ISIS, the US Faces Its Next Battle: Syria’s Erupting Fault Lines

BY MONA YACOUBIAN

Without leadership, Washington’s options are limited in the chaos of the civil war's end game. 

The Syrian civil war may have entered its endgame, but its final stages will be messy and protracted as key stakeholders attempt to shape Syria’s end state in their interests. The winding down of the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS has re-exposed all of the latent fault lines in Syria, provoking new conflicts. Recent hostilities between Israel and Syria and Iran are only the latest and most dangerous manifestation of this perilous phase, while U.S. relations with Turkey over Syria’s fracture future are now at a “crisis point,” according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week.

'It's not a war. It's a massacre': scores killed in Syrian enclave

Kareem Shaheen 

Pro-regime forces continued to bombard the opposition-controlled enclave of eastern Ghouta in Syria on Tuesday, leaving dozens dead, after more than 100 people were killed and hundreds wounded on a day of “hysterical” violence on Monday.

The surge in the killing came amid reports of an impending regime incursion into the area outside Damascus, which is home to 400,000 civilians. More than 700 people have been killed in three months, according to local counts, not including the deaths in the last week.

Revisiting the EU´s Security Partnerships

By Thierry Tardy 

Thierry Tardy contends that the EU may recognize the importance of expanding security cooperation with third party states to help it boost its own security. However, he also believes that the Union’s partner policies which deal with security lack coherence and strategic direction. So how can the EU improve its strategic approach towards partner countries? And what key issues must the EU grapple with in order to achieve this goal? In this article, Tardy responds to these questions and more.

Restoring equilibrium: U.S. policy options for countering and engaging Russia


Lenin was famously, perhaps apocryphally, asked how to advance a political cause. He’s reported to have answered, “Probe with a bayonet; if you meet steel, stop! If you meet mush, then push.” To date, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political advances into Europe and military advances into the Middle East have encountered largely mush. In January 2018, Bruce Jones, director of the Brookings Foreign Policy Program, convened eight Brookings experts—Sergey Aleksashenko, Pavel Baev, Michael O’Hanlon, Steven Pifer, Alina Polyakova, Angela Stent, Strobe Talbott, and Thomas Wright—to discuss an effective U.S. strategy for countering Russian aggression and deterring future offenses. The edited transcript below reflects the group’s judgments on Russian foreign policy, U.S. and NATO strategy toward Russia, Russia’s economic and political future, and recommendations for addressing the war in Ukraine as well as Russia’s interference in U.S. and European elections.

Don’t Waste the New US Water-Security Strategy

BY DAVID REED

President Trump should order the inclusion of water issues — a major driver of security problems — in the national defense and security strategies. 

In his State of the Union address, the President once again called for stronger responses to global security crises and significant new investments in security along our southern border. And yet, one of the drivers behind both of these issues – namely, water security – has received little attention to date.

Will the U.S. Go to War With China Over Taiwan?

By TED GALEN CARPENTER

It's time to rethink our defense commitments. Risking a catastrophic conflict is too great a price for Taiwanese independence.

While America’s attention has been focused on the North Korea crisis, diverted occasionally to developments in the South China Sea, another volatile East Asia confrontation has reemerged. China is adopting a growing number of measures to intimidate Taiwan, including emphasizing that any hopes the Taiwanese people and government have to perpetuate the island’s de facto independence are unrealistic and unacceptable. Hostile actions include a renewed effort to cajole and bribe the small number of nations that still maintain diplomatic relations with Taipei to switch ties to Beijing, extremely explicit warnings that China will use force if necessary to prevent any “separatist” moves by Taiwan, and a sharp increase in the number and scope of military exercises in the Taiwan Strait and other nearby areas.

12 technologies that will disrupt business in 2018

By Paul Heltzel

From artificial intelligence to augmented reality, these dozen disruptive technologies and trends will begin driving how business gets done at forward-thinking organizations this year.
  
In 2018, disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and computer vision are maturing, going from game-changing ideas to foundational tools for business. This year, we’ll see these and other technologies drive how business gets done and what new products will launch in the near future.

How to Inoculate the Public Against Fake News

BY PATRICK TUCKER

When people were given a toolbox of deceptive techniques and told to “play Russian troll,” they learned to reject disinformation. 

Friday’s indictment of 13 Russians on charges of attempting to defraud the public and influence the U.S. presidential election shows that that the United States remains vulnerable to what the indictment calls “information warfare” but what others call simply fake news. A new research paper released Monday from two Cambridge University researchers shows how to counteract it.

Lessons From A Kidnapping Gone Wrong


Fred Burton's recent interview with the author Philip Jettinspired me. Their discussion of Jett's recent book, The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty, compelled me to read it for myself. Meticulously chronicling the crime, and the preparation the perpetrator conducted in advance, the book makes for a fascinating read. And although the incident it details - Adolph Coors III's tragic death during a botched kidnapping - happened more than 50 years ago, the story offers valuable lessons for personal security that ring true still today.

Smartphones Drive New Global Tech Cycle, But Is Demand Peaking?


Over a decade of spectacular growth, demand for smartphones has created a new global tech cycle that last year produced a new smartphone for every fifth person on earth.

This has created a complex and evolving supply chain across Asia, changing the export and growth performance of several countries. While our recent analysis of Chinese smartphone exports suggests that the global market may be saturated, demand for other electronics continues to support rising semiconductor production in Asia.

Noose Tightens On Bitcoin

by James Rickards

With everything that’s been happening with the stock market lately, people have forgotten about last year’s biggest investment story:

After briefly topping off near $20,000 in December, today it’s trading around $10,000.

A lot of bad news has come to the bitcoin ecosphere. China, for example, recently ordered its banks to stop providing financial services for any cryptocurrency-related transactions.

The Air Force requested $30M to develop a ‘cyber carrier’

By: Mark Pomerleau 

Much like traditional military capabilities have platforms from which to launch attacks, Cyber Command and the services’ cyber components need a comparable platform.

This effort underway is called the unified platform, which some have equated to a “cyber carrier,” and the Department of Defense’s budget request for fiscal 2019 describes a plan to develop such a program.

22 February 2018

As China concerns grow, India looks to build military presence in Seychelles

By Steve George and Manveena Suri

New Delhi (CNN)The Seychelles is not typically associated with geopolitics. But beyond the white sandy beaches and tropical jungles, the tiny archipelago nation is emerging as a key player in India's battle to counter growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean.

Late last month, India and the Seychelles signed a revised agreement granting India permission to construct a military base on the Seychelles' Assumption Island, roughly 1,650 kilometers (1,025 miles) east of mainland East Africa.

Jammu terror attack: Does India have a game plan to counter Pakistan's misadventures?

Raj Chengappa 

Pakistan is like the bounceback toys sold in subcontinental markets. Hit them hard enough and they appear to topple, only to rebound and, if you are not watchful, whack you. As he nears the end of his fourth year as prime minister, Narendra Modi must be both exasperated and frustrated with the way his efforts to deal with Pakistan have turned out. Whatever he has thrown at Pakistan to bring it around, it never seems to learn, and keeps coming back for more punishment.

Indian investors offered dinner with Donald Trump Jr

Michael Safi

Prospective investors in a Trump Tower project near Delhi are being offered a conversation and dinner with Donald Trump Jras part of a marketing campaign that has drawn criticism from corruption watchdogs.

Full-page advertisements reading “Trump is here. Are you invited?”featured on the front page of three Indian national newspapers at the weekend ahead of a visit by the US president’s son to India this week.

From Make In India To Making In India: Q And A With Baba Kalyani

by Anupama Airy

Babasaheb Neelkanth Kalyani, chairman and managing director of the Kalyani group, speaks with Swarajya on indigenous defence production, Make in India, the guns and and engines developed by his group, and much more, in this interview.

When most top Indian defence companies were seen vying for orders under the government’s new “Make In India” initiative, this company seemed in no rush, and continued to invest and innovate. Today, the Kalyani Group — flagship company, the Rs 4,000-crore Bharat Forge Ltd — boasts of having developed a highly sophisticated indigenous gun to enable our artillery force to fight Indian wars with Indian solutions. The gun has successfully completed trials in deserts and is now under trial in hilly terrain.

The Risks of the China-Saudi Arabia Partnership

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By Samuel Ramani

Geopolitical factors, as well as Saudi Arabia’s own domestic landscape, could limit the relationship’s potential.

On January 18, Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Li Huaxin praised Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 project and called for tighter integration between Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification efforts and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Li also expressed enthusiastic support for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s anti-corruption campaign, claiming that his efforts to strengthen the rule of law in Saudi Arabia would increase the country’s attractiveness as an investment destination for Chinese businesses.

China’s Alleged ‘Stealth Fighter’ Beset by Host of Technical Problems


Although China declared that its J-20 stealth fighter had officially entered service in September 2017 production of the J-20 appears stalled. The manufacturer had planned to build three a month initially but since mid-2017 production appears to have been zero. There are several potential problems with the J-20 but the main ones have to do with stealth (the delicate materials on the airframe that make radar detection less effective) and engines. The most obvious problem is the engines. The WS-10s currently installed are a stopgap and not efficient enough to support supercruise (go supersonic without using the afterburner and becoming easier to spit). China has had persistent problems developing high-performance jet engines. China has been developing the more powerful (and supercruise ready) WS-15 engine since the 1990s for a larger aircraft like the J-20 but has not been able to get the engine to work. Officials also confirmed rumors that a WS-15 exploded during a 2015 static (on the ground) test. That failure had been a secret but when an engine this big fails by blowing up the incident is difficult to hide.

Information Wants to Be Chinese

BY MOIRA WEIGEL

In November, while Donald Trump was on his first state visit to Beijing, Republican Senator John Cornyn and Democrat Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill that would dramatically expand the government’s ability to block foreign investment in U.S. technology companies. The bill was directed at the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, an interagency panel that scrutinizes purchases by “potential adversaries” that go against “national interests.” It was clear which adversary most concerned them: China had received more CFIUS reviews than any other country, according to the most recent data.

Exposed: Why China Would Lose a War against America

Harry J. Kazianis

When it comes to a war with the U.S. how well would Beijing be able to use all that stuff? The real question seems pretty simple: yes, China is certainly developing all the military and technology goodies to field a potent force. However, how well can it operate all that equipment in the pressure filled situation of a war? Sure, Beijing is certainly developing a world-class military, but can its soldiers operate all that equipment competently? Just how well trained are they? You can have the best military in the world but if you don’t know how to use it, well, you get the idea.

Xi Jinping May Turn to Top Ally to Handle US Pressure

By Don Tse and Larry Ong

Wang Qishan (right) receives a fire helmet in recognition of his "fire brigade chief" nickname during a 2011 meeting with then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner .

Wang Qishan, Xi’s right-hand man, may reemerge as vice president after stepping down from his CCP position. 

Under President Donald Trump, the United States has adopted a hawkish stance on China. The Trump administration’s new national security and defense strategies identify China as a strategic competitor, and a threat to domestic security and the global order. More importantly, the Trump administration plans to contest China’s “unfair trading practices,” cyber intrusions, and expansionism in the Indo-Pacific.

Threat Assessment #Fail: Al-Qaida Quietly Growing, By Design


The annual accounting to Congress of global threats to the United States made it sound like al-Qaida’s separate branches were managing to thrive independently of one another, said Bruce Hoffman, Cipher Brief expert and Council on Foreign Relations visiting senior fellow, in comments to The Cipher Brief. But Hoffman believes the Worldwide Threat Assessment presented to Congress Tuesday failed to acknowledge that al-Qaida is following a very careful and deliberate strategy to establish its separate branches as pillars on which to build future growth.

WHAT SYRIA REVEALS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF WAR


So this is what the Syrian war suggests about future conflicts: They will be intricately complex; they will involve conflict-specific configurations of participants; there will be no humanitarian intervention to stop them; and the United Nations will be a nonfactor. But that isn’t all. It gets even worse. Next week’s column will explain how.

NORTH KOREA IS NOT AN INTELLIGENCE FAILURE


Last month, David Sanger and William Broad’s article in the New York Times, “How U.S. Intelligence Agencies Underestimated North Korea,” ranked the failure to predict the recent breakout pace of North Korea’s nuclear program as “among America’s most significant intelligence failures.”

As two career military intelligence officers we appreciate Sanger and Broad’s tough critique on US intelligence agencies—especially considering one of us is a former student of Sanger’s. However, the tone and tenor that Sanger and Broad use is exaggerated and counterproductive to informing the public on the roles and capabilities of intelligence. More fundamentally, calling US intelligence on North Korea an “intelligence failure” is simply wrong.

North Korean Cyber-Attacks and Collateral Damage


WannaCry was incredibly destructive. The attackers made about $150,000 – but the total damage caused by WannaCry has been estimated in the billions of dollars.

There is strong evidence linking WannaCry to a group of hackers known as ‘Lazarus’, reportedly operating out of the DPRK (North Korea). Whilst WannaCry is perhaps the most famous attack by Lazarus, it isn’t the only ‘collateral damage’ caused by the DPRK’s cyber actions.

U.S. Revives Concerns About European Defense Plans, Rattling NATO Allies

By Steven Erlanger

MUNICH — After years of encouraging European nations to work together to provide more of their own defense, the United States is having second thoughts, driven by concerns about NATO and possible protectionism in defense industries.

The new American skepticism has been the big surprise of the high-level security conference held this past week in Munich. And it has puzzled and disconcerted NATO officials, who have welcomed the European Union’s new commitment, after the Russian annexation of Crimea, to do more for its own defense.

Russia's shadowy world of military contractors: independent mercenaries, or working for the Kremlin?

By SABRA AYRES

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Syrian President Bashar Assad in December watch the troops marching at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria. Putin's government denies Russian mercenaries killed in Syria worked on behalf of Russia. 

Stanislav Matveev left his home in the Ural Mountains in September to join a Russian private military company. Five months later, Matveev was dead, killed in a U.S. airstrike on Feb. 7 in eastern Syria.

Europe Held Leading Positions in Terms of Real Defense Spending in 2017 - Report

LONDON (Sputnik) - Europe became a global leader in terms of growth in real defense spending — spending adjusted for inflation — in 2017, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said Wednesday in its annual report that assesses the military capabilities of countries.

"Europe was fastest-growing region for real-terms defense spending in 2017. While this could be the result of US pressure, it also reflects changing threat perceptions," the report was quoted as saying on the IISS Twitter page.

US wasting billions on nuclear bombs that serve no purpose and are security liability – experts

Julian Borger

A B61-12 model at the Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee. Photograph: National Nuclear Security Administration/Nevada Site Office

The US is to spend billions of dollars upgrading 150 nuclear bombs positioned in Europe, although the weapons may be useless as a deterrent and a potentially catastrophic security liability, according to a new report by arms experts.

These Chinese military innovations threaten U.S. superiority, experts say

by ERIC BACULINAO

BEIJING — The Chinese New Year began with the traditional lighting of firecrackers on Friday, but the country's military has been working on incendiaries on an entirely different scale.

Over the past year, the nation that invented gunpowder has been rolling out an array of high-tech weapons that some experts say could threaten the global superiority of the United States.

Waiting for Depression to Lift

By Effy Redman

It’s late morning on a balmy September day. I try to summon the will to run from the bench where I’m sitting on Broadway and dive under the massive wheels of one of the trucks roaring past. Which section of my body, I wonder, should I hurl beneath the tires. Where would hurt the least, and soonest erase my suffering. I clutch my cellphone, hating its potential for rescue signals.

After nine or 10 trucks pass me by, an unkempt man in his mid-50s sits on the bench beside me, plastic cup of lager in one hand, half-smoked self-rolled cigarette in the other. He looks me up and down and grins. Go away, jerk, I think to myself, shooting him an icy glance. Leave me be.

Russia by Cyber, North Korea by Nuke: A New Batch of Grim Warnings from US Intel


Questioning on Russian election interference and how the Trump White House handles staff clearances dominated the worldwide threat hearing Tuesday, as the Senate intelligence committee grilled leaders of the FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, DIA and NGA over the contents of the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

CYBER-WAR NIGHTMARES: HOW CAN IRAN, HEZBOLLAH USE CYBER TO FIGHT ISRAEL?

BY YONAH JEREMY BOB

With this weekend’s events shifting the country’s attention to envisioning the next potential war risks, the cyber-war playing field may once again come front and center.

Unfortunately, in estimating the cyber dangers potentially posed by Israeli adversaries, the danger list may be so long, that it might be easier to assume they can do almost anything and only mention the few things they cannot do.

The U.S. Invented the Internet. The Russians Weaponized It and Used It Against America to Help Donald J. Trump Get Elected

Nancy Scola 

The indictment released Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller makes plain how prosecutors believe Russia pursued its multiyear scheme to undermine the 2016 presidential election — by wielding the social media-driven internet that the United States itself did so much to create. 

They had help, digital experts say, from decades of accepted U.S. policy about how to help the internet thrive: The U.S. government has taken a largely hands-off approach, while the anonymity that protects people’s privacy and liberty online also allowed Russian trolls to deceive overly trusting Americans. And the same freedom to innovate that has made Silicon Valley wealthy and powerful meant that there were few eyes on the ball as Russian actors began figuring out how to manipulate the internet’s few dominant platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and the Google-owned YouTube. 

Russia and China Racing to Get Satellite Jammers, Report Finds


A painting of a Defense Support Program satellite from the Air Force Art collection. DSP provides a variety of national security capabilities. Its flagship mission of launch detection was made famous during the Cold War. 

Weapons capable of jamming or destroying U.S. military and commercial satellites will reach initial operational capability in the next few years, according to a new intelligence report.

Winning the Digital Transformation Cyberwar


The vast majority of cybercrime we deal with is opportunistic and automated. It is the domain of criminals trolling for the unaware and vulnerable. They target unpatched systems and vulnerable applications, exploit gullible end users, break through inadequate security systems, and infect people wandering around the web in places they probably shouldn’t go.

For decades, fighting these cyber threats has been the primary job of cybersecurity professionals. Establishing controls, setting up a perimeter, hardening edge devices, inspecting traffic, regular patching and replacing protocols, and controlling access points are all security fundamentals that every security team practices, and that most traditional security devices are designed to support. Unfortunately, that didn’t always happen and we often resorted to buying the latest and greatest tools when a new threat emerged, reverted back to hard-wiring the integration of these new technologies, and then hoping it all worked together seamlessly to detect and mitigate threats. Cyber threats were real but manageable – and usually more disruptive than destructive.

No Easy Answers, Just More Questions in Major Encryption Report

By Joseph Marks

Anyone looking for a quick fix to the years-long debate over encryption systems that protect people’s personal information but frustrate law enforcement tracking criminals and terrorists won’t find it in a long-awaited study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released Thursday.

The consensus report, produced by a panel of tech industry, law enforcement and academic experts, spends roughly 100 pages laying out the problems posed by warrant-proof encryption systems and by law enforcement’s efforts to access them.