27 July 2016

*** The day cars drove themselves into walls and the hospitals froze

byR. Kikuo Johnson

The day cars drovethemselves into wallsand the hospitals frozeA scenario that could happen based on what already has.

On December 4, 2017, at a little before nine in the morning, an executive at Goldman Sachs was swiping through the day’s market report in the backseat of a hired SUV heading south on the West Side Highway when his car suddenly swerved to the left, throwing him against the window and pinning a sedan and its driver against the concrete median. A taxi ran into the SUV’s rear fender and spun into the next lane, forcing a school-bus driver to slam on his brakes. Within minutes, nothing was moving from the Intrepid to the Whitney. When the Goldman exec came to, his driver swore that the crash hadn’t been his fault: The car had done it.1

Moments later, on the George Washington Bridge, an SUV veered in front of an 18-wheeler, causing it to jackknife across all four lanes and block traffic heading into the city. The crashes were not a coincidence. Within minutes, there were pileups on 51st Street, the southbound BQE, as far north as the Merritt Parkway, and inside the Midtown Tunnel. By nine, Canal Street was paralyzed, as was the corner of 23rd and Broadway, and every tentacle of what used to be called the Triborough Bridge. At the center of each accident was an SUV of the same make and model, but as the calls came in to the city’s 911 centers in the Bronx and Brooklyn, the operators simply chalked them up to Monday-morning road rage. No one had yet realized that New York City had just been hit by a cyberattack — or that, with the city’s water system, mass transportation, banks, emergency services, and pretty much everything else now wired together in the name of technological progress, the worst was yet to come.2


*** Impact of Lower Oil Export Revenues

July 11, 2016

The rapid drop—or “crash” in petroleum export revenues has become a key factor affecting the economy and stability of each of the oil exporting states. It is having a major impact on the stability of the Middle East and North Africa—particularly in the Gulf region. It also is having a major impact on the oil exporting states of Africa and Latin America, where Venezuela has plunged into a massive national crisis.

A revised and greatly expanded working report by the CSIS Burke Chair attempts to quantify the impact of the “oil crash” on the economy and stability of oil exporting states by using OPEC as a case study. It then draws upon prior work by the IMF, World Bank, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the CIA to make a separate risk assessment of each OPEC member.

This study shows that the “crash” in oil prices and oil revenues will have a major impact, but it also shows that the majority of OPEC members had become grossly over-dependent on petroleum export revenues long before the crash, and had used them as a substitute for adequate economic development, governance, and efforts to maintain stability and security.

Like the earlier “Dutch disease,” the majority of OPEC members now suffer from an “OPEC disease” which is much more damaging in the case of developing nations and economics, and greatly increases the impact of any sustained “crash” in their oil petroleum export revenues.

The Arab Gulf monarchies are a partial exception, but even they will need major reforms and diversification efforts. A recovery in oil prices alone cannot cure the “OPEC disease” and might actually lead many states to use the money to sustain their existing policies and make their problems worse.

*** Let us stand by our soldiers in Kashmir

Capt Amarinder Singh
Jul 22, 2016

The Army must be allowed to bring militancy under control to a point where those professing it realise that the time has come to talk. Yes, people will die in the ensuing action, then so be it. Kashmir is Indian territory. If those owing allegiance to Pakistan’s ISI continue to create instability, then they must face the music.

The situation in J&K is such that the Army is damned if it acts and damned if it does not. It needs the government’s backing. AFP A few days ago, a picture was posted on Facebook showing a young CRPF jawan lying on the ground being kicked by gloating hooligans who believe they have the right to treat our security forces as such, and are the answer to Kashmir’s problems. That was for me a case of “enough is enough”.

These hooligans seem to believe that India will succumb to their macho instincts. By now they should have realised that Kashmir is a part of India, as Maharaja Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession on August 18, 1947, long before they were born. That was then the condition laid down for all Indian princely states, and that signature made Kashmir an integral part of India, notwithstanding the regular hiccups from Pakistan or from their sympathisers in the Valley.

Recently, a mobile patrol of 14 RR near Bandipura was attacked. Tomorrow it may be some other military establishment. The headquarters of 5 Corps at Srinagar was attacked in the past. The pattern is consistent, when military activity is curtailed or subdued, militancy rises. History has on so many occasions shown us that unless the writ of the government is firmly established, negotiations are futile.

** THE HUNTER He Was a Hacker for the NSA and He Was Willing to Talk. I Was Willing to Listen.

June 28 2016

The sender was a hacker who had written a series of provocative memos at the National Security Agency. His secret memos had explained — with an earthy use of slang and emojis that was unusual for an operative of the largest eavesdropping organization in the world — how the NSA breaks into the digital accounts of people who manage computer networks, and how it tries to unmask people who use Tor to browse the web anonymously. Outlining some of the NSA’s most sensitive activities, the memos were leaked by Edward Snowden, and I had written about a few of them for The Intercept.

There is no Miss Manners for exchanging pleasantries with a man the government has trained to be the digital equivalent of a Navy SEAL. Though I had initiated the contact, I was wary of how he might respond. The hacker had publicly expressed a visceral dislike for Snowden and had accused The Intercept of jeopardizing lives by publishing classified information. One of his memos outlined the ways the NSA reroutes (or “shapes”) the internet traffic of entire countries, and another memo was titled “I Hunt Sysadmins.” I felt sure he could hack anyone’s computer, including mine.

Good evening sir!


** In Kashmir, the Battle of Stones and Rubber Pellets is Politics by Other Means


For those who would like to replace the killings in Kashmir, the violent and disruptive demonstrations, and the equally violent reactions by the state, with a negotiation process; understand: this is the negotiation process. 

CRPF jawans stand guard during curfew in Srinagar. Credit: PTI Photo by S. Irfan 

The situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and particularly in the Kashmir Valley, has been a rolling crisis and tragedy for over two and a half decades now, and this is the backdrop against which the disorders of the state and Valley must be assessed, and not within an imagined context of ‘normalcy’ or ‘peace’ restored. 

Unfortunately, each cycle of transient and local escalation meets with hysterical assessments suggesting that this is the beginning of a new and catastrophic end. But we have been here before, though few remember the far greater disturbances of 2010 or 2008 – or, indeed, the near complete collapse of order in the early 1990s – with any measure of clarity. 

Indian Armed Forces UAV Technology Requirements

Security Risks Monitor
Jul 25, 2016 
Source Link

Indian Armed Forces UAV Technology Requirements

Given the projected requirement coupled with recently issued tenders for acquisition of various types of UAVs, Directorate General of Artillery, Indian Army and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized an Interaction on Incubation of UAV Technology in India on 5 July 2016 at Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi.

Modern day conflicts will be fought in a complex land/air environment based on cutting edge technology. UAVs due to their versatility, ability to fly long ranges, long endurance and multi-payload capability would play a major role in achieving success in such operations. It also helps to minimizing the human loss.

India needs to develop, maintain and continuously fine-tune it’s surveillance and reconnaissance assets. There is a dire requirement of UAVs at the tactical level which needs to be provided as force multiplier at the ground level for undertaking missions with accurate intelligence. India’s present strength of UAVs is meager and there is an urgent need for greater quantities to meet battlefield requirements for the future and border surveillance. Acknowledging it’s force multiplier role, UAVs will play a big role in the present and emerging Network Centric Warfare scenario other internal security threats. Considering Indian Army will invest heavily in procurement of UAVs, it offers a huge opportunity to the Indian Industry.

There is an urgent need to acquire / develop the State of Art technology in following areas.

Why ZIRP - Zero Interest Rates Policy - Isn’t Working For Japan And EU

July 25, 2016

The logic of ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) pursued by most major western central banks is simple: make credit so cheap that more money is borrowed and invested, thus reviving growth. 

But barring the US and UK, this policy has not delivered – in Europe or Japan. 

One of the big failures of global monetary policy has been the post-2008 trend towards near-zero interest rates, and now, even negative interest rates. They have delivered little in terms of growth.

The logic of ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) pursued by most major western central banks is simple: make credit so cheap that more money is borrowed and invested, thus reviving growth. But barring the US and UK, this policy has not delivered – in Europe or Japan. Now, with Brexit, Britain’s impending exit from the European Union, both Britain and the US too may delay raising interest rates. So ZIRP rules, more or less,

The question is: why has eight years of ZIRP yielded a mouse?

The answer may partly lie in demographics. Most of the countries where ZIRP is failing have a population age structure that is skewed towards the old. When the proportion of the old grows in a population, savings and consumption trends change radically.

Ask yourself: if you are a retired person, and you depend on earnings on investment to meet your expenses, will you save more or spend more if returns on investment turn negative? If your nest-egg is going to earn zilch, it means you have to eat into your capital to spend. So logically you will spend less.

How The History Of India’s Freedom Struggle Has Been Distorted By Marxist Historians

July 23, 2016

Part One of Sudhir Bisht’s interview with Dr Anirban Ganguly talks about the contributions of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, and others who have been subjected to “minimisation”, to Indian history.

It also explores the motivation for Leftist historians to write uneven and lopsided historical narrations of India.

Dr Anirban Ganguly is a scholar of Indian civilisation-history-culture. He is also a Director of the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation.

In the first part of his interview to Sudhir Bisht, Dr. Ganguly talks about the contributions of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, and others who have been subjected to “minimisation”, to Indian history.

SB: Dr Ganguly, your foundation recently organised at Nehru Memorial Museum, so is it not ironic that Nehru Memorial is organising an exhibition for Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, given the history of bitterness between the two?

Dr Ganguly: See, one thing is that in Nehru Memorial Museum over the years, there had been such exhibitions which had been held, commemorative exhibitions, on various other personalities apart from Nehru. In fact, the exhibition just before Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee was on the life of Abdul Gaffar Khan. Last year, there was one on Lala Lajpat Rai. It so happens that after this government has come to power, they have consciously deiced Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. It is actually a symbol of those who fought for India’s independence as well as those who shaped India post- independence. It is the symbol of their legacy, kind of. It is a repository of all their papers, their documents, their private papers and all that. Therefore, they decided that there should be commemorations of such personalities; personalities who have been forgotten; Rani Gaidinliu, for example. There was an exhibition on her life last year and there was a programme also in commemoration on that. So, that’s why it is out of the way that they have done.

How must India respond to Geo-Political Challenges?

By Sanjeev Nayyar 

The people of Kashmir Valley refuse to accept responsibility for their plight but blame the Central Government for their woes. They will not accept that Valley Muslims dominate and rule the State, hold maximum number of government jobs, are responsible for widespread corruption, terrorism drives away tourists and employment generating industry, contribute negligible revenue to State by way of taxes, be sensitive to the needs of people of Ladakh and Jammu regions. An apology for killing of Pandits and driving them out of their ancestral homes is out of question! 

In Pakistani eyes India cannot be seen as succeeding because it would mean question the reason for Pakistan’s birth as a nation. This means as long as Pakistan exists, India has to be opposed.

Kashmir on the boil again. According to a July 8 report, “The Jammu and Kashmir police have initiated the process of withdrawing cases against 634 stone-throwers, out of the several thousand who have been charged with the crime during the past eight years, following the state’s government amnesty order. The state government had earlier this week approved amnesty to 634 persons facing charges of stone-throwing following the Home Department’s approval to withdraw 104 cases dating from 2008 to 2009.[1]” Look what happened thereafter!

Every time there is violence in the Valley commonly heard phrases are – situation returning to the 1990′s, youth unemployed, human right violations by security forces, dialogue is the only way to resolve the Kashmir dispute, separatists leaders reiterate their importance, outpour of sympathy for the innocent injured or dead. This is followed by high level meetings held in Delhi/Srinagar. With time the situation appears peaceful on the surface, so tourists visit the Valley, only to erupt again.

Let the army do its job, please

July 25, 2016 

The military leadership, soldiers and indeed all security forces continue to battle difficult circumstances in Kashmir. Let’s not add to their woes by spreading half-baked stories, factually incorrect posts and inaccurate articles, says Nitin A Gokhale.

Last week, Captain Amarinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala, soldier and now politician, wrote a heartfelt piece batting for the Indian soldier deployed in Kashmir (external link) and berated the political as well as military leadership. The burden of his lament was: The Indian Army in Kashmir has been de-fanged and is fast becoming an “army of girl guides.” The article immediately gained currency and wide circulation, especially among retired faujis, already angry with the government for various alleged sins of commission and omission on One Rank One Pension and the Seventh Pay Commission issues.

Captain Amarinder had some valid points in his piece, written more as a soldier that he was. However, the politician in him could not resist the temptation of taking pot shots at the current leadership. “The government of India must allow freedom of action to the army. The directive must be just one: ‘Bring a situation in the state where the writ of India runs and not that of the Inter-Services Intelligence,’ he wrote, hinting that the current government at the Centre which has an alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir was going soft on militancy in Kashmir. He was being economical with the truth.

But more of the status of counter-insurgency a little later.

The Importance of Engaging with Pakistan

JULY 24, 2016 

I served as an undercover officer in the CIA in South Asia’s three largest countries: India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. While in Pakistan, I had the opportunity to drive along the road leading to the top of the Khyber Pass—that fabled mountain pass that serves as the gate to Afghanistan from Pakistan. I couldn’t help but consider the number of great civilizations throughout history who failed at their military objectives inside Afghanistan: the Greeks under Alexander the Great, the Mongols under Genghis Khan, Great Britain (twice), and the Soviet Union. Today, the road to Afghanistan through Pakistan is more than geographical and just as treacherous.

Former Pakistani President General Muhammad Zia ul Haq once stated in reference to Afghanistan, “The pot should be kept boiling, but should not boil over.” This mentality about maintaining a weak centralized government in Afghanistan endures inside Pakistan to this day. The Taliban are making the most inroads inside Afghanistan since the U.S. invasion in 2001, and they are doing it with the support of Pakistan.

It is a matter of national security for the U.S. to clearly demonstrate that we will not tolerate Pakistan’s continued support for terrorist groups like the Taliban. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Shareef need to realize that continuing such behavior is detrimental to their own self-interest. Eventually the pot will boil over. The U.S. can speed up this process through engagement because, if we fail to engage Islamabad, we will not succeed in Kabul. 


By Jasminder Singh and Muhammad Haziq Bin Jani
July 21, 2016 

No. 186/2016 dated 20 July 2016


The spectre of Islamist terror groups has resurfaced in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) adjoining the southern Philippines. The supposed Islamic State (IS) is the latest iteration of the threat in an area of competing territorial claims, regional politicking and complacent security.


THE SELF-PROCLAIMED Islamic State’s (IS) designation of a wilayah (province) in southern Philippines is a strategic move by the terrorist organisation to establish its presence in the region. IS has proven that the hoisting of a radical utopian symbolism is enough, both as a rallying call and a mode of terror.

IS welcomed Southeast Asian terrorists into its fold, forming a Southeast Asian brigade known as Katibah Nusantara (KN). It accepted the bai’aat (pledges of allegiance) of distant supporters and promised to announce a new wilayah in the Philippines once conditions were favourable. It selected an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader Isnilon Hapilon as its emir in the Philippines., In a video Al-Bunyan Al-Marsus (The Solid Structure), Southeast Asian fighters in Raqqa, Syria called for their countrymen to migrate to Al-Filibin, IS’ latest province. IS provides regular coverage of the soldiers of the Islamic State in the Philippines in updates by A’maaq News Agency (ANA) and the An-Naba’ newspaper.

New Brigade: Katibah Al-Muhajir (KaM)

China's Big South China Sea Dilemma

July 23, 2016 

China’s reaction to the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s relatively harsh ruling against it on the South China Sea has been angry. The court upheld nearly all of the 15 points on which the Philippines approached the Court in 2013.China boycotted the proceedings, questioning the Court’s jurisdiction and publicly claiming historic rights to the South China Sea and its resources. The Court rejected this claim, concluding “there was no legal basis for China to claim historical rights to resources.”

In the absence of China exercising its right of defence, the Court was left with little alternative than to give an ex-partè ruling based on United Nations Convention of the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), to which both China and the Philippines, but not the US, are signatories.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in a defiant statement said “the award is invalid and has no binding force. China does not accept or recognise it.” Later the Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister reiterated China’s proclaimed right to declare an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea. Whether or not China will implement an ADIZ, he said, depends upon the level of threat China faces.

Washington called upon countries bordering the South China Sea to avoid “provocative statements or actions.” In the Philippines, the change of presidency seems to have brought a new approach towards resolving the country’s differences with China. The Foreign Secretary welcomed the Court’s decision, urging “restraint and sobriety” among all concerned. Earlier, he had indicated that the Philippines would be ready to enter into bilateral negotiations with China after the judgment over joint exploration of resources in the South China Sea. Yet the Philippines still expects China to respect the ruling. And the ruling’s strong wording puts limits on how far the Philippines can roll back its claims without inviting a domestic backlash.

China's plans: Time for India to wake up

July 25, 2016 

Nearly two decades ago, then defence minister George Fernandes said: 'China has built roads up to the border, while there has been negligence on India's part.'
Since Fernandes uttered these brave words, what has been done on the Indian side?
The Modi Sarkar is apparently trying, but little has been achieved so far, says Claude Arpi.

One of the most important strategic developments in recent decades has been the arrival of the train on the Tibetan plateau in July 2006. Ten years later, the event has been largely ignored by the Indian media.

The train has not brought radical changes for the Tibetans alone, but for India's defence preparedness too.

For Beijing, it has been a historic date.

An article on the China Tibet Online remarks: 'Foreigners only know that the Great Wall is the seventh wonder of the world, actually, modern Chinese construction is even more amazing.'

'For example, there are the 130,000 railroad workers working in the "forbidden zone of life" on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, with no past references, they have solved many technical problems such as building a railway through frozen soil, and achieved a miracle in human railway construction, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.'

The train is termed the 'pride of the Chinese people.'

Ten years ago, Beijing hoped to solve several issues with the train's arrival on the plateau. It partially succeeded.

ISIS goes on the defensive in cyber

July 22, 2016

ISIS has adapted its approach in the digital space to resist efforts aimed at disrupting and restricting its use of the internet, some experts say. A new report, made public today, details the items in ISIS's digital toolbox that the group uses to resist these disruptive attempts.

The report, titled “Tech for Jihad: Dissecting Jihadists’ Digital Toolbox” and released by Flashpoint, an intelligence firm, notes that while “most communication platforms lack the sophistication necessary to ensure sufficient security … today’s jihadists constantly seek alternative ways to advance their agendas and communicate securely.” The report explains 36 of the most noteworthy tools and technologies leveraged by groups such as ISIS conducted by examining primary sources from the Deep and Dark Web. Most of the technologies, the report notes, have been used long before ISIS developed a public presence.

Jihadist organizations, according to the report, utilize encryption to protect their communications on a variety of platforms and services that include web browsers, email services, mobile devices and mobile applications. While many use traditional browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari, these services are not secure. “Jihadists enact stringent online security measures starting with the World Wide Web’s most fundamental portal: browsers,” the report said. “[T]ech-savvy jihadists are increasingly turning to highly-secure, alternative browsers such as Tor Browser and Opera Browser, so they can operate online more clandestinely without easily divulging their IP address and risking third-party surveillance.” They also use VPNs and DNS tools to obfuscate their location and IP address.

Unlike ISIS, Al-Qaeda Says It Cares about 'Social Justice' in America

by Raymond Ibrahim
July 23, 2016

Originally published on July 13 under the title "Once Again, Al-Qaeda Brands Itself as Social Justice Warriors."

The "social justice" Al-Qaeda has in store for the world's aggrieved would be a mixed bag.

After the Orlando massacre, when an armed Muslim murdered 49 people in a gay nightclub, al-Qaeda published a guide urging more such "lone wolf" attacks – with the added caveat that jihadists should exclusively target mainstream white Americans.

According to the jihadi group's online publication "Inspire guide: Orlando operation," killing homosexuals is "the most binding duty."

However, would-be jihadis are advised to "avoid targeting places and crowds where minorities are generally found in America," and instead to target "areas where the Anglo-Saxon community is generally concentrated."

In response, several pundits warned that al-Qaeda is shifting gears, somehow trying to portray itself as a "social justice warrior."

In fact, al-Qaeda has long presented itself to the West in this manner.

Al-Qaeda has long presented itself as seeking social justice for Western minorities.

These latest instructions are hardly new. Further, they help explain the real differences between al-Qaeda and ISIS, and which stage of jihad they see themselves in.


JULY 25, 2016

Recent news that President Obama may be considering changes in nuclear deterrence policy has caused a storm of speculation as to whether the time is right for the U.S. government to declare a no first-use policy. In short, this refers to a policy by a state that possesses nuclear weapons not to use them as a means of warfare unless first attacked by an adversary with nuclear weapons. The United States has never had a no first-use policy, preferring the concept of strategic or calculated ambiguity to suggest that it could respond to a crisis with nuclear weapons, if appropriate, or with the massive use of conventional weapons. Thomas Schelling, who called deterrence “the diplomacy of violence,” reminds us that latent violence may influence a state’s choice and that the threat of more damage to come can make a state yield or comply. One of the rationales for retaining nuclear weapons is to deter an adversarial nation from initiating a conventional war and using its nuclear weapons as a latent threat against U.S. military actions. As a matter of extended deterrence, allies such as Japan and South Korea would like to be assured that the United States will not hesitate to use all means to protect them, given that they have committed to not developing nuclear weapons (per theNuclear Nonproliferation Treaty).

Writing at War on the Rocks, Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association believes it is time for the United States to take the pledge of no first-use of nuclear weapons, calling a first-use policy part of “dangerous, Cold War-era nuclear thinking” that could lead to early use of nuclear weapons by adversaries such as Russia or China. He decries the possible scenario of “launch under attack” – e.g., a massive U.S. nuclear weapons launch in response to early satellite warnings of an adversarial missile launch – as something that increases the risk of catastrophic accidents or miscalculation between states. However, the United States has not had a “launch under attack” policy since at least 1997. The president always has the option to not order an attack upon receiving confirmation that another nuclear power is attacking the United States with strategic nuclear forces. U.S. nuclear forces are not on “hair triggers” — evoking an image of Colt pistols set for release at the slightest pressure — that would lead to an accidental launch during an international crisis.

The Hague, the Netherlands

20 July 2016

In 2015, 151 people died and over 360 were injured as a result of terrorist attacks in the EU. Six EU Member States[1] faced 211 failed, foiled and completed terrorist attacks. 1 077 individuals were arrested in the EU for terrorism-related offences, of which 424 in France only. 94% of the individuals trialled for jihadist terrorism were found guilty and prosecuted[2] .

Figure 1: Number of failed, foiled or completed attacks; number of arrested suspects 2013 to 2015

In addition, Europol releases a brief assessment of recent terrorist incidents that highlights the operational difficulties in the detection and disruption of lone actor attacks. In the TE-SAT 2016, Europol stresses that such attacks remained a favoured tactic by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and both groups have repeatedly called on Muslims living in Western countries to perpetrate lone actor attacks in their countries of residence.

Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol: “In 2015 the European Union experienced a massive number of casualties caused by terrorist attacks. In this context, Europol made use of its unique capabilities to focus on supporting operational investigations to prevent terrorist attacks and identify and disrupt terrorists. The increased cooperation resulted in a much richer strategic intelligence picture, strengthening the 2016 TE-SAT report and Europol’s ability to advise political leaders and legislators and inform national authorities in the setting of threat levels.”

Nicolas Laos: Byzantine Failures — Russia, NATO, and the Attempted Coup Against Erdogan in Turkey

Leveraging Byzantine Europe as a Positive Construct

Russia seeks revenge for the fact that, in February 2014, the US and the EU assisted in the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych’s government in Ukraine and attempted to isolate Russia from Ukraine, even though Kiev is the historical cradle of the Russian Empire and the Russian Orthodox Church, and even though Russia is significantly dependent on and has made significant investments in Ukrainian industries.

Greece and Turkey, each for different reasons, are culturally alien (if not opposite) to the Carolingian Europe, and, therefore, the domination of Carolingian elites in NATO (especially regarding NATO’s policy in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, and especially from the 1990s onward) contributes decisively to the gradual alienation of Greece and Turkey from NATO. Thus, both Greece and Turkey, namely, the pillars of NATO’s Southeastern flank, are naturally the weak links in NATO’s geopolitical chain.

Russia, seeking revenge for the aforementioned (and other) reasons and, more broadly, competing geostrategically with NATO, realized that it can take advantage of Greece’s and Turkey’s peculiarities and discontentment within NATO in order, in line with the broader strategic plans of the BRICS, to destabilize NATO’s Southeastern flank and, generally, to decisively contain and weaken NATO’s power. However, Putin’s Russia has not articulated a neo-Byzantine strategic policy capable of reclaiming Romanity and luring Balkan states, including Greece, into a neo-Byzantine geopolitical arc.

Weekly Chart: Turkey’s Exports to Russia

This chart shows that Turkish exports to Russia started declining in 2013. This downward trajectory continued through the first half of 2016. Exports dropped 4 percent during this time due largely to Russian sanctions against Turkey that took effect on Jan. 1, 2016. The sanctions were a response to the November 2015 downing of a Russian fighter plane in Turkish airspace and primarily affected Turkish agricultural exports. Agricultural goods account for about 26 percent of Turkey’s exports to Russia. Total Turkish exports to Russia are worth $3.6 billion. Although Russia ranks only 11th among Turkey’s export destinations and accounts for only 2.5 percent of Turkey’s total exports, both countries are very significant to each other.

Ten years after last Lebanon war, Israel warns next one will be far worse

July 23 
Youths walk in Khiam, Lebanon, past Hezbollah's mock rockets at the former Israeli-run prison that was destroyed in the 2006 war. (Mahmoud Zayyat/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

MISGAV AM, Israel — When Israeli army commanders describe how the next war against Hezbollah could unfold, they often search for words not used in military manuals. The future conflict, they warn, will be “ferocious” and “terrible.” 

For both sides, the Israelis fear. 

Yet far worse for Hezbollah and the civilians of Lebanon, they promise. 

Ten years after Israel and Hezbollah fought a bloody but inconclusive 34-day war that left more than 1,000 soldiers and civilians dead in July and August of 2006, the Lebanese Shiite militant group has been transformed. 

Hezbollah is now a regional military power, a cross-border strike force, with thousands of soldiers hardened by four years of fighting on Syrian battlefields on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad. There are 7,000 Hezbollah fighters in Syria, Israeli commanders say. 

Journal of Defence Studies, Vol. 10, No. 3, July-September 2016

This issue includes research articles on the Chinese maritime militia; India’s growing importance in Japan’s geo-strategic outlook; and observations on UN peace keeping with a focus on UNIFIL. It also features a perspective on Golden Bird, a counter-insurgency operation conducted by the Army in 1995, along with four book reviews.


Rumel Dahiya

Michael D. Armour

Titli Basu

A.K. Bardalai
Book Reviews

Cyberweapons Aren’t Like Nuclear Weapons

Officials around the world like to compare the two—but the metaphor is incorrect, and dangerous. 

On the surface the analogy is compelling, but dive a little deeper and it becomes decidedly less convincing.

“If Internet security cannot be controlled, it’s not an exaggeration to say the effects could be no less than a nuclear bomb,” said Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of general staff of the People’s Liberation Army of China, in April 2013. Fang is not alone in drawing comparisons between nuclear weapons and cyberweapons during the past few years. Secretary of State John Kerry responded to a cybersecurity question during his confirmation hearings in January 2013 by saying, “I guess I would call it the 21stcentury nuclear weapons equivalent.” That same year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin praised cyberweapons for their “first strike” capability. Since 2013, a number of leaders in the U.S. national security establishment—including former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft in January 2015, Adm. Michael Rogers of Cyber Command in March 2015, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapperin February of this year—have stated that the threat posed by cyberweapons is comparable to, or greater than, that of nuclear weapons. The list of high-ranking officials who have made an analogy between the fundamentally different nuclear and cyberweapons systems, and are using this flawed analogy as a basis for policy, is a long one.

On the surface, the analogy is compelling. Like nuclear weapons, the most powerful cyberweapons—malware capable of permanently damaging critical infrastructure and other key assets of society—are potentially catastrophically destructive, have short delivery times across vast distances, and are nearly impossible to defend against. Moreover, only the most technically competent of states appear capable of wielding cyberweapons to strategic effect right now, creating the temporary illusion of an exclusive cyber club. To some leaders who matured during the nuclear age, these tempting similarities and the pressing nature of the strategic cyberthreat provide firm justification to use nuclear deterrence strategies in cyberspace. Indeed, Cold War–style cyberdeterrence is one of the foundational cornerstones of the 2015 U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Strategy.

"Government's Role in Vulnerability Disclosure: Creating a Permanent and Accountable Vulnerability Equities Process"

Authors: Ari SchwartzRob Knake
June 2016


When government agencies discover or purchase zero day vulnerabilities, they confront a dilemma: should the government disclose such vulnerabilities, and thus allow them to be fixed, or should the government retain them for national security purposes? This is a difficult question because the government is simultaneously charged with protecting the nation in cyberspace and with intelligence, law enforcement, and military missions that may require the use of such vulnerabilities. A decision by the government to retain a zero day vulnerability likely undercuts general cybersecurity, while disclosing information about a zero day vulnerability so vendors can patch it could undercut the ability of law enforcement to investigate crimes, intelligence agencies to gather intelligence, and the military to carry out offensive cyber operations.

The debate over this issue is complex. Some commentators take the position that the government should immediately release all zero day vulnerabilities, irrespective of their intelligence or national security value. At the same time, there are circumstances where retention of a zero day vulnerability by the government for law enforcement or national security purposes is justified, as long as there are clear limits on and adequate oversight of the decision to retain and use such a vulnerability. For example, if a law enforcement agency has an ongoing investigation on a suspect and the only information is coming through communications legally intercepted through a previously unknown vulnerability, the balance may very well be for the agency to keep the vulnerability, at least until the end of the investigation.

Inside “Eligible Receiver”

The NSA’s disturbingly successful hack of the American military. 

During its most sensitive drills, the Red Team worked out of a chamber called the Pit, which was so secret that few people at NSA knew it ex­isted.

Excerpted from Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Fred Kaplan. Out now from Simon & Schuster. On Wednesday, March 9, Kaplan will discuss his book in New York; for more information and to RSVP, visit the New America website.

On June 9, 1997, 25 officials of the National Security Agency—members of a security squad known as the “Red Team”—hacked into the computer networks of the Department of Defense, using only commercially available equipment and soft­ware. It was the first high-level exercise testing whether the U.S. military’s leaders, facilities, and global combatant commands were prepared for a cyber attack. And the outcome was alarming.

Cyber threats prompt Estonia to set up UK data centre

by: Sam Jones, Defence and Security Editor
JULY 22, 2016

Data ranging from birth records to government files stored in secure location 

Fearful of Russian cyber attack or invasion, the Baltic state of Estonia is planning to make a virtual copy of itself — in Britain.

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Army's cyber warriors battle Pakistani, Chinese hacker groups

July 21, 2016

India is increasingly facing a threat from an army of hostile hackers operating from countries like China and Pakistan.

1India is facing a threat from hostile hackers operating from China and Pakistan. 

2Indian Army has created two units under Military Intelligence to tackle this. 

3The staffers of these units will be youngsters with an aptitude for tech. 

Amid all the bullets and bloodshed on the borders, there is a silent war on in 'Cyberia'. 

India is increasingly facing a threat from an army of hostile hackers operating from countries like China and Pakistan. To counter this cyber offensive, the Indian Army has created two separate units under Military Intelligence whose job is to tackle this hi-tech warfare. 

Here's all you need to know about how India is waging a two-pronged cyber war:

Several attempts have been made to steal classified information from military installations by Chinese and Pakistani hacker groups. 

3D printing: helping the US blow stuff up

JULY 23, 2016

Nick is a freelance journalist who has covered the cut and thrust of Formula One and the technical side of the supercar industry for the likes of The Sunday Times, Automobile and Penthouse on the ... [Read More]

3D printing: helping the US blow stuff up

It isn’t just planes, trains and automobiles that work more effectively when they’re lighter, stronger and 3D printed. Now the US Missile Defense Agency has turned to ExOne to create silicon carbide components.

The three-year deal is worth more than 1.5 million and the end result should be lighter, faster and more efficient missiles that can travel further on a set fuel load. ExOne uses a binder jetting technique that is perfect for this job.

What is binder jetting?

The New White House Drone Report

July 5, 2016 

The Need for Realistic Analysis of UAVs, Airpower, and Cumulative Civilian Casualties 

On July 1, 2016, the White House issued a factsheet summarizing its new report on civilian casualties from drones or unmanned aerial combat vehicles (UACVs). Evidently, this is a summary taken from a much longer report that has not been publically released. The release of the factsheet has triggered virtually the same debate over the accuracy of the data, the effectiveness, and the humanitarian impact of such strikes. This is the same debate that has taken place ever since the first Gulf War, narrowly focused on drone strikes and casualties without any meaningful military or strategic context. 

Civilian casualties and collateral damage do matter, killing key terrorist or insurgent figures is a valid issue, and the reaction of the nearby population to such strikes may also matter. To this end, the United States should make every practical effort to limit civilian casualties, to limit collateral damage, and to ensure that the targets of its strikes are valid hostile targets. 

But these goals are only part of the impact of using drone/UACV strikes in war. The problem with both the public portions of the White House summary, and with the following media and think tank debates over its contents, is that their focus is so narrow that they say virtually nothing about the real issues involved. In fact, they become something close to a debate over the need for some form of strike-by-strike “perfect war.” 
The Limited Coverage and Key Conclusions of the Report 

More Proof That America’s Drone War Doesn’t Work

July 21, 2016

A recent study by Emily Manna about drone strikes and terrorism in Pakistan warrants attention as a useful contribution to discussion of the effectiveness of such strikes as a counterterrorism tool.

The issue of just how useful the firings of missiles from unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones, are in killing suspected terrorists on the ground, has multiple dimensions. Larger legal and moral questions arise with this form of remote-control violence being inflicted in disparate places ranging across many international boundaries-especially in the absence of any well-defined and up-to-date congressional authorization for the overseas use of force.

A narrower question of effectiveness concerns how much the killing of individual members, including even leading members, leads to the weakening or demise of any existing terrorist group. The tactic is only one of several approaches toward trying to eliminate a terrorist group, and not necessarily one of the more effective ones. Groups with a well-developed internal structure, which also tend to be the more formidable and sophisticated groups, are adept at filling vacancies. Sometimes the replacement turns out to be more able than the leader who was bumped off. This was true when Israel’s killing of Hezbollah secretary general Abbas Musawi led to the succession of the more capable Hassan Nasrallah. It also was true when the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, cleared the way for the more adept Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to take over and to expand the group into what we now know as ISIS.