14 November 2015

‘IS lead executioner was serious threat to the world’

November 14, 2015

British Prime Minister Cameron defends decision to target barbaric murderer ‘Jihadi John’, says it was an act of self-defence and the right thing to do

Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain said on Friday that they did not yet know the outcome of an air strike the U.S. military launched on Thursday to kill Mohammed Emwazi, the Islamic State’s most notorious executioner.

The two officials spoke, in separate briefings in Tunis and London, the morning after the Pentagon confirmed that the air strike, near the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, had targeted Emwazi, a British citizen who became known as Jihadi John.

Calling the Islamic State an “evil terrorist death cult,” Mr. Cameron defended the decision to target Emwazi, who was born in Kuwait and is a naturalised British citizen, as “an act of self-defence” and “the right thing to do.”

'British' Islamic State leader ‘Jihadi John’ killed in US drone strike in Syria: Reports

November 13, 2015

“Jihadi John” Mohammed Emwazi participated in the videos showing the murders of a number of hostages including U.S., British and Japanese ones, the Pentagon said.

Islamic State’s masked executioner “Jihadi John” has reportedly been killed in a U.S. drone strike in Syria that British Prime Minister David Cameron described as an act of self-defence but refused to confirm the death of the Briton who has appeared in gruesome propaganda videos.

U.S. sources said that the American military was 99 per cent certain that Mohammed Emwazi known as “Jihadi John” had been killed in a drone strike.

Downing Street and the U.K. Ministry of Defence sources were marginally less certain in their response to the reports of his death than the U.S. sources, but added there was a “high degree of certainty that he has been killed”.

Aftermath of the 1962 War

By Ashok Kapur
13 Nov , 2015

India’s humiliating defeat was a game changer in three significant ways.

1. It revealed the serious flaws in Nehru’s approach to China and defence, and it revealed the institutional defects in decision-making.

2. It revealed that China had acted out its view of its place in Asia and in the Himalayan sphere, and irrespective of the wisdom of her decision to use war to punish India for her ‘provocations’, the 1962 war revealed China’s strategic calculus in relation to India as well as other South Asian states. It forced India to respond because the war created a clear identification in the Indian public mind that China was hostile to India and Nehru’s policy had failed. Although China claimed victory in 1962, India did not admit defeat other than a loss in a battle, and consequently the die for a prolonged strategic interaction between India and China was cast.

An essay in imperial villain-making

A fanatical Muslim despot was resisting the west, there were calls for regime change. We have, of course, been here before 

By the end of the 90s, the hardliners calling for regime change in the east found that they had a powerful ally in government. This new president was not prepared to wait to be attacked: he was a new sort of conservative, aggressive in foreign policy, bitterly anti-French, and intent on turning his country into the unrivalled global power. It was best, he believed, simply to remove any hostile Muslim regime that presumed to resist the west.

There was no doubt who would be the first to be targeted: a Muslim dictator whose family had usurped power in a military coup. According to British sources, this chief of state was an "intolerant bigot", a "furious fanatic" with a "rooted and inveterate hatred of Europeans", who had "perpetually on his tongue the projects of jihad". He was also deemed to be "oppressive and unjust ... [a] sanguinary tyrant, [and a] perfidious negotiator".

The effective implementation of OROP

by Mukul Asher and Azad Singh Bali 
September 19, 2015 

To effectively implement OROP, the MoD needs to depart from its current practices.

The decision by the current government to implement One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) for military personnel is a welcome move as it reduces the long-standing unfairness in pension arrangements between uniformed military personnel and employees of the Union Government. India is one of the few countries where military personnel have lower pension benefits relative to the civil service. While many design details of OROP are not yet fully clear, the OROP decision can only be effectively implemented and its fiscal implications managed if complementary reforms in three broad areas are sustained: Improving Professionalism In Administering OROP, Sustaining Economic Growth, and Creating Fiscal Space.


10 November 2015

Recently, there have been three diplomatic debacles: India’s failed entry into the Missile Technology Control Regimel; an uptick in US-Pakistan ties in Washington, DC; and the swearing-in of an ‘anti-India’ cabinet in Ottawa. In each case, the MEA failed to do its job

This has been a wonderful few months for Indian diplomacy. Within this period, there have been major diplomatic disasters, entirely due to the Ministry of External Affairs’ serial bungling, and these have gone virtually unnoticed in the Press. In fact, between the diplomatic disasters, missteps and clumsiness of the MEA, one could felt that the BJP’s performance in Bihar was a triumph in comparison. Of course, the big loser in this whole game is India.

For starters, there was India’s much vaunted membership to the Missile Technology Control Regime. Ostensibly membership to this regime would have opened up access to a whole new set of weaponry and technologies that would enable India to strike further and with greater payloads. It would be the first major anti-proliferation arrangement that would legitimise India’s role as a rule-following nation, after the India-US nuclear deal. The supposed benefits were both tangible and reputational, and in the run up to this occasion, one saw a slew of op-eds, in-depth reports and what not, trumpeting India’s entry into the club — all reeking of that acute inferiority complex and proclaiming that India had finally ‘arrived’.

The Promise of a U.S.-India Partnership The Promise of a U.S.-India Partnership

November 12, 2015

As India moves away from nonalignment it has begun a process of “structural realignment” with the United States that could enormously boost the economic and security interests of both sides, says a new CFR Independent Task Force report. Improved bilateral relations between the world’s two largest democracies would also help counter authoritarian trends advanced by Beijing and Moscow, says Joseph S. Nye, co-chair of the task force and professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School. “A growing Indian economy provides benefits for the health of the world economy, as well as the United States through bilateral trade and investment,” says Nye. 

U.S. President Barack Obama and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the UN General Assembly in New York September 28, 2015. (Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters) 

The report argues that U.S. and Indian interests are in a process of “structural realignment.” Why is this important? 

Working With a Rising India

Chairs: Charles R. Kaye, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Warburg Pincus, and Joseph S. Nye Jr., Distinguished Service Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Project Director: Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia

Program Director: Christopher M. Tuttle, Managing Director, Washington and Independent Task Force Programs

PublisherCouncil on Foreign Relations

"A rising India offers one of the most substantial opportunities to advance American national interests over the next two decades," asserts a new Independent Task Force report sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Working With a Rising India: A Joint Venture for the New Century. 

On a road to nowhere: Indian foreign policy seems to have lost its way in the neighbourhood

As the prime minister gets ready for another foreign tour, perhaps it is time for a reminder on relations with China, Pakistan and Nepal.

At a meeting with the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party at his residence in New Delhi on Friday, the functionaries of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in charge of India’s foreign policy have reportedly expressed “grave concern” over the government’s mishandling of the relations with Nepal. They seemed to blame the political leadership for taking the eyes off the ball, so to speak, in the hurly-burly of the Bihar election. The foreign-policy experts of the RSS censured the government for the current India-Nepal standoff, blaming the leadership for causing “an unnecessary escalation of the situation because of a lack of communication between the two governments”.

Pakistan Army Chief: Finish the Job Against the Taliban

By Usman Ansari
November 11, 2015 

ISLAMABAD — Ahead of a trip to Washington, Pakistan's Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif has sounded the alarm over the lack of follow-up by the government to secure hard-won benefits from the military's operation against the Pakistani Taliban (TTP).

Sharif was speaking on Monday during a corps Commanders Conference at Army HQ in Rawalpindi. A statement by the military's Inter Services Public Relations media branch said Sharif "underlined the need for matching/complementary governance initiatives for long-term gains of operation and enduring peace across the country. Progress of National Action Plan’s implementation, finalization of [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] reforms, and concluding all ongoing [joint investigation teams] at priority, were highlighted as issues, which could undermine the effects of operations."

The National Action Plan is a 20-point endeavor put in place by the government in January after the December 2014 TTP attack on a school in Peshawar that saw 145 killed (132 children) and 114 injured.

Understanding Myanmar

Authors: Beina Xu, and Eleanor Albert, Online Writer/Editor
November 6, 2015 


After decades of political and economic isolation, in 2011, Myanmar's military government began to introduce gradual political, economic, and foreign policy reforms. The release of nearly two thousand political prisoners and the National League for Democracy's reengagement with the formal political process led to an easing of international pressure and a thawing relations with the United States, but concerns remain about the government's treatment of ethnic minorities, particularly that of its Rohingya Muslims, and the pace of constitutional reform.

Political History 

Tibet issue gets more complex for China

November 11, 2015 

'Information about the Dalai Lama's heath is normally not shared with the public. Its release on this occasion implicitly underscores the message that the window of opportunity for Beijing to recommence the dialogue with the Dalai Lama -- an advocate of non-violence -- to resolve the contentious Tibetan issue is limited.' says Jayadeva Ranade.

The developments of recent months confirm that the moves centering on the Tibet issue, initiated by the Dalai Lama and his establishment and independently by China's Communist regime in Beijing, continue to maintain their momentum.

The publicity given to reports of the Dalai Lama's ill health is suggestive of this. The public disclosure following a medical check-up while on a tour to the US in late September, that the Dalai Lama had been advised to cut short his programme and return home and that he had cancelled his engagements for October was unusual.

Will the tug-of-war between India and China finally rip apart the Brahmaputra?

New Delhi needs to be a good neighbour instead of outraging over Beijing's dam project on the Brahmaputra river.

Creeping Incrementalism: U.S. Strategy in Iraq and Syria from 2011 to 2015

NOV 9, 2015 

President Obama’s decision to allow up to 50 Special Forces to deploy in northern Syria has triggered an almost inevitable debate over crossing the threshold from train and assist into deploying combat personnel. So far that debate has taken three forms. One has focused on the president’s past statements about not sending “boots on the ground.” The second has focused on the risk this could be the start of a major combat presence and lead to serious U.S. casualties. The third has focused on whether this step—and the other small increments in the U.S. effort announced after General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of staff, visited the region in October 2015—will still fall short of the levels necessary to have meaningful results.

The first form of this debate is political and irrelevant in military terms. It does not judge the merits of the decision and implies that a president should not react to changing conditions – the kind of “gotcha” issue that suits the politics of what have become election years. It is totally dysfunctional in national security terms because it assumes that the president can predict the future and make pledges regardless of how things change and the need to act in ways that serve the national interest.

Is Islam to Blame for Its Extremists?

NOVEMBER 11, 2015

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Manal Omar continue their debate on the Quran, the Islamic State, and how to save the religion.

In the age of al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and Boko Haram, is there a link between the violence these groups perpetrate and the faith they profess? As the past few weeks have seen Russia and the United States escalate their campaigns against jihadists wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq, Foreign Policy’s Peace Channel, a partnership with the United States Institute of Peace, asked Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, and United States Institute of Peace acting Vice President Manal Omar, one of the foremost voices on peace and Islam, to debate what is behind this newest breed of extremism and how can it be defeated.

Earlier this week, we published the first installments. While Ali argued, “Anyone seeking support for armed jihad in the name of Allah will find ample support in the passages in the Quran and Hadith that relate to Mohammed’s Medina period,” Omar asserted, “the complicated truth of the matter is that the extremist violence that has overtaken a majority of Muslim countries, including Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan, is the product of complex political and social circumstances.” (You can read Ali and Omar’s arguments here and here.) Now, we’ve asked the authors to respond.

US airstrike in Syria targets Mohammed Emwazi, or ‘Jihadi John’

The Pentagon was still working on Thursday night to establish whether the British citizen had been killed.

The United States has carried out an airstrike in Syria targeting Islamic State militant Mohammed Emwazi, the British citizen also referred to as “Jihadi John”. He is believed to responsible for multiple beheadings of American, British and Japanese hostages in the group’s propaganda videos. The Pentagon said in a statement it was still working on Thursday night to establish whether Emwazi had been killed.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said, “US forces conducted an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria, on 12 November 2015 targeting Mohamed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John. Emwazi, a British citizen, participated in the videos showing the murders of US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, US aid worker Abdul-Rahman [Peter] Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, and a number of other hostages.”

The Associated Press quoted a US official saying that a drone had targeted a vehicle believed to be carrying Emwazi.

Israel and the Palestinians: The Issues that the Obama-Netanyahu Meeting Failed to Address

NOV 10, 2015 

There is no better way to pick a fight in Washington than to address the most sensitive issues affecting Israeli and Arab relations. Few other subjects begin to be as polarizing, or lead to the same degree of almost instant misinterpretation. The fact is, however, that the meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu may have helped bring Israel and the United States back together, and lay the groundwork for better cooperation in military security, but it did not address what could be far more serious set of issues in terms of Israel’s security, the actions of our Arab allies, and U.S. strategic interests.

There seems to be a consensus that any real progress in a peace settlement is dead for at least the near term, that the “two state” solution must be left in the equivalent of a coma, and that Israel’s growing tensions with the Palestinians can be left to fester because America’s Arab allies are so involved in dealing with Islamic extremism, Iran, and other security challenges that there will be no serious Arab protests – but rather a kind of de facto “alliance” where Israel and Arab governments focus on common enemies.

Britain and the Spectre of Geopolitical Irrelevance

November 10, 2015

LONDON—It is difficult to underestimate the impact of a new James Bond movie on the British psyche. The films, released now at three- or four-year intervals, give the fleeting sense that Britain still matters on the world stage. Yet Bond has long reflected something of a geopolitical fantasy; his enduring appeal based in part on his inverse relationship with British power. In 1962 — the year that saw the release of Dr. No, the first movie in the Bond franchise — former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson declared that Great Britain had lost an empire and not yet found a role. Double O Seven’s derring-do in the 1960s and 1970s deflected from Britain’s intelligence embarrassments, including revelations about the Cambridge Five spy ring, which passed Western intelligence onto the Soviet Union. But the fiction became more untenable with time. The idea that a post-Cold War Britain, with its dwindling diplomatic, military, and broadcast budgets, could avert war on the Korean peninsula (as in Die Another Day) or prevent a water crisis in Bolivia (as in Quantum of Solace) was patently absurd.

Seven Charts That Help Explain American War

Colonel Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the Battle of San Juan, 1898 

Recently, the Washington Post published two interesting articles that offered40 maps and 40 charts that explained the world. This led me to wonder if perhaps America’s wars could be explained in a similar way. Although no series of visualizations could ever hope to capture everything, the following seven charts offer a starting point from which to begin a discussion concerning how and why the U.S. fights the way it does.
How Many Years In Its History Has America Been at War?

The Congressional Research Service report, Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, provides the details of every time Congress has officially declared war or authorized the use of force. The chart below is a visual representation of the data in that report. Based on this strict legal interpretation of the word “war,” three categories emerged:

(1) war officially approved by Congress (e.g., Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, etc.)

(2) congressional authorization for the use of military force (e.g., Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.)

What led the US to the Vietnam War?

By Robert H. Reid
November 10, 2015

America stepped onto the “slippery slope” on a quiet stretch of beach just northwest of the Vietnamese city of Da Nang.

On March 8, 1965, two battalions of about 3,500 Marines waded ashore on Red Beach 2 — becoming the first American combat troops deployed to Vietnam.

Vice President Hubert Humphrey, President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson view the Inaugural Parade from the review stand. (Yoichi Okamoto/LBJ Library)

In the ensuing months they were followed by thousands more combat forces, making 1965 the year the United States transformed the Vietnam conflict into an American war.

For generations of Americans who know Vietnam only through books, movies and legend, it’s difficult to imagine how the United States could have stumbled into such a war in a distant land that many of their parents and grandparents could barely find on a map.

ISAF Exit Strategy: Neither International nor an Exit nor a Strategy

October 15, 2011

The Gentile-Yingling Dialogue: ISAF Exit Strategy - Neither International nor an Exit nor a Strategy

Thanks for your insightful questions, and for your careful reading of "A Failure in Generalship."

If I may, I'd like to challenge the underlying premise of your questions. Your focus on strategy after 2009 presumes that Afghanistan was "winnable" at a politically acceptable cost. I respectfully disagree.

The fiasco in Iraq (2003-2007) and the collapse of the US economy (2008-present) have exhausted the patience of the American people. Regrettably, a rigorous civil-military dialogue did not identify this limitation before the commitment of additional troops.

In Afghanistan, the die is cast. In Pakistan, state failure looms darkly on the horizon. It may be too late to change the former, but now is the time to address the latter.

Science, Technology, and U.S. National Security Strategy

By Raymond F. DuBois, James M. Keagle 
NOV 12, 2015 

Rapid scientific and technological (S&T) advancements have placed a strain on our nation’s warfighters and strategic thinkers in recent years. Developments can take place in a matter of months that shift our national security strategy and leave us racing to address new threats and opportunities. The education of our armed forces’ future leaders needs to keep pace with ever-changing strategic and technological realities. The senior war colleges would be enhanced by developing instruction methods that better prepare our future military minds to grasp the strategic impacts of emerging sciences and advanced technologies. As emphasized in the 2015 National Military Strategy, such enhancements would lead strategists to better understand that the “diffusion of technology is challenging competitive advantages long held by the United States such as early warning and precision strike” and that a grasp of strategic innovation is a critical skill for those who will lead on the battlefield of the future.

Can the Pentagon Ditch the Password and Finally Embrace the ‘Internet of Things’?

NOVEMBER 11, 2015

A new report claims the U.S. Defense Department could save millions using internet-ready devices and sensors. But there's one huge problem before that can happen. 

Mohana Ravindranath covers civilian agency technology and IT policy for Nextgov. She previously covered IT for the Washington Post, and her work has also appeared in Business Insider and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Soldiers primarily use radio systems and voice recorders for communication, accessed through the military Wideband Networking protocol. Civilians, in contrast, use a variety of Web applications on 3G and 4G Internet, digitally-enabled home appliances, wearable devices and mobile phones that, when connected, can suggest ways to improve their routines: tracking their sleep and exercise, remotely monitoring their houses and reporting on their energy use, for instance.

Army Learning How Cyber Support Plays Role In Tactical Operations

Jen Judson, Defense News
November 10, 2015 

WASHINGTON — The Army's cyber branch is using pilot programs and training center rotations to show commanders at a variety of echelons what cyber capabilities can be brought to the table and, at the same time, refine how cyber will be a part of tactical operations both on the defensive and offensive side, cyber leaders said Tuesday at an Association of the US Army forum.

And there's room for improvement in how cyber support teams communicate to commanders what tools and capabilities can be used in operations, they said.

"The Army's dependency on networks is increasing significantly, and it's not going to decrease," Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn, the 25th Infantry Division's commanding general, said at an AUSA cyber forum in Arlington, Virginia.

How terrorists recruit online (and how to stop it)

J.M. Berger
November 9, 2015 

Editors' Note: How does ISIS acquire new recruits online and convince them to take action? J.M. Berger explains, arguing that efforts to counter terrorists' online activity can be more effective if the mechanics are clearly understood. This post originally appeared on VOX-Pol.

The world continues to deal with the offline consequences of how ISIS works online, hunting among the fringes of society for those rare individuals who can be convinced to act on its behalf.

Its success comes in part from volume – social media makes it possible to sift efficientlythrough more potential recruits than ever before. But while the process ISIS employs to achieve its goals contributes to its relative success, it also opens windows for disruption.

In an article for the October issue of the CTC Sentinel, I took a detailed look at how ISIS functions online, breaking it down into a five-part template, which can be implemented in different ways depending on the target’s disposition: 

New 'About Me' pages show exactly what Google knows about you

NOVEMBER 12, 2015

The 'About Me' page lets Google users change or delete personal info, opt out of being shown ads based on collected data, and more.

Most people have dozens of personal accounts scattered across the Web: a few social media profiles, some stored payment information for shopping, accounts on news sites, and more. And while most people are concerned about privacy, hardly anyone has the time to go through every account to make sure that their personal information isn’t being displayed or shared in a way they’re not comfortable with.

Many people don’t know how to protect their personal information online, either: a 2014 Pew Research Center poll found that about half of Americanswho use the Internet regularly don’t know what a privacy policy is or how it relates to data protection.


NOVEMBER 12, 2015

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once said, “try to make original mistakes, rather than needlessly repeating theirs [previous Administrations].” The Department of Defense is on the verge of repeating old mistakes and in the process of committing some original ones, including some in the name of innovation. Over the past year, Secretary Hagel, and now Secretary Carter, have launched several new defense innovation initiatives starting with the Defense Innovation Marketplace and the subordinated Defense Innovation Initiative. This houses the much-lauded Defense Innovation Unit – Experimental (DIUx) as well as the lesser-known Long Range Research & Development Plan. These organizations and initiatives were all created with the intent of expediting the government research & development (R&D) process as well as helping the Department of Defense access the best, most innovative technologies in the non-traditional marketplace. What’s not to like? Quite a bit, actually. We need more than partial solutions. This problem will not be solved by Band-Aids on a sucking chest wound. It’s time we bring together the Pentagon, the industrial base, and the technology sector to develop a comprehensive approach to defense innovation.


NOVEMBER 11, 2015

Precision-guided weapons have revolutionized American airpower, enabling the kind of devastating strikes first seen in the 1991 Gulf War. To date, however, this revolution has largely happened outside the realm of ground combat. Especially for the infantry soldier, combat has changed little since World War II. With a brief introduction to the M4 carbine’s operation and night vision goggles, a D-Day soldier could be ready to fight in today’s infantry squads. Soon, that may no longer be the case. Precision-guided weapons are beginning to filter down to the squad level — a trend that could usher in the most dramatic changes in infantry tactics since the invention of the machine gun. Like the machine gun, this technology is likely to increase lethality on the battlefield dramatically. The United States must begin to prepare for these changes now.


NOVEMBER 11, 2015 

Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work recently announced that the core of the United States’ new “offset strategy” to counter emerging operational and technological threats from Russia and China will be a “centaur” approach of teaming humans with machine intelligence of varying levels of autonomy. The offset strategy, often described as a “competitive strategy,” aims to convince a putative group of future opponents that the cost of opposing the United States is too high by teaming humans and machines. The new offset, Work argues, is necessary to continue to militarily support larger U.S. policy goals imperiled by military-technical developments in competing states such as Russia and China. How do the fundamental components of Work’s efforts — competitive strategy and human-machine teaming — go together? What are the obstacles that Work and his colleagues will need to surmount to make the new offset strategically successful?

Competitive Strategies and Human­–Machine Teaming

Competitive strategy is a concept borrowed from the business theories of Michael Porter and adapted to defense contexts by Andrew Marshall and his disciples. It originates from Marshall’s belief that, if the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a long-term peacetime struggle which could erupt into war at any point in time, the United States should identify key asymmetries, areas of comparative advantage, and weaknesses in both its own long-term defense planning and those of its peacetime competitors. As noted by other contributors in this series, the original offset strategy during the late Cold War was presented as a form of competitive strategy.

America Needs Peacekeeping Missions More Than Ever

NOVEMBER 10, 2015

The more the United States commits to peacekeeping efforts, the more powerfully — and efficiently — its influence will reverberate around the world.

The American adventure in unilateralism since 9/11 has been, to put it mildly, less than successful. Over almost a decade and a half, the United States has been obsessed with large-scale, enemy-centric operations that overlook the root causes of conflict; Washington has preferred to rely on a singular solution, rather than turn to multilateral institutions at a fraction of the cost. With the nightmarish outcomes of military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan still unfolding, the results speak for themselves.

The good news is that the United States has recently reinforced its commitment to multinational peace operations. The bad news is it hasn’t gone nearly far enough.

President Barack Obama’s decision to host this year’s summit on U.N. peace operations, and the accompanying Presidential memo — the first of its kind in over 20 years — directing especially the Departments of State and Defense to increase U.S. support to the U.N. in multiple ways, demonstrate Washington’s newfound recognition of the institution’s strategic value. The United States is starting to learn that it can more effectively pursue its interests, at much lower investment and risk, if it acts in concert with others.

How can Societies be Defended against Hybrid Threats?

By Aapo Cederberg and Pasi Eronen for Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)
6 November 2015

Indeed, how might defense planners come up with better strategies to protect against today’s hybrid threats? Aapo Cederberg’s and Pasi Eronen’s answers point to the patient strengthening of national capabilities, working with one’s allies to overcome capability gaps, etc.
This policy paper was originally published by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) in September 2015.

Hybrid threats, hybrid operations and hybrid warfare have been widely discussed among political decision makers and security policy analysts, particularly during the past couple of years.

The latest round of discussions was sparked by Russia’s integrated use of military and other means in the Crimean peninsula during the early phases of the Ukraine crisis.[1]

While the descriptive and definitive sides of hybrid threats, operations, and warfare have been widely covered, there has been less discussion on what enables countries to engage in hybrid warfare and how to organise robust national defences to cope with hybrid threats.


The Fourth Generation Warfare Handbook, co-authored by Lt. Col. Greg Thiele and myself, is now available on Amazon. At present, it is only an e-book; the real book should be available early next year. The publisher is Castalia House Press.

The Fourth Generation Warfare Handbook is a follow-on to my Maneuver Warfare Handbook, which was published in 1985 and is still in print. The new book’s origins lie in the Fourth Generation Warfare seminar Lt. Col. Thiele and I taught for some years at the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Warfare School. That seminar wrote a number of field manuals for 4GW, published as manuals of the K.u.K. Austro-Hungarian Marine Corps. Greg and I distilled the content of those manuals, added a good bit of material of our own (especially on true light infantry, normally the most effective force against 4GW opponents) and have published it in a form we think will reach more readers than have the field manuals.

The new book presumes the reader is familiar with the framework of the Four Generations of Modern War, although it does offer a summary of the first three generations in an appendix. After a discussion of the theory of 4GW which focuses on the dilemmas it poses to state armed forces, dilemmas which usually lead state militaries to defeat themselves, it turns to the practical problems 4GW presents. This is consistent with its nature as a handbook: its purpose is not academic discussion but providing useful ideas to those serving in state forces.