14 September 2016

* Pragmatic Primacy: How America Can Move Forward in a Changing World

September 11, 2016

Editor’s Note: An abridged version of the following article appeared in the September-October 2016 print edition and can be found here.

How will the next president of the United States secure and promote greater security, greater prosperity and greater freedom for the United States, and for our friends and allies around the world? How will he or she use American power and influence to shape the global system, strengthen international institutions and affect state behavior? How will the next president choose to lead? These questions lie at the core of America’s foreign policy and its purpose.

Looking to 2017, the next administration will confront the paradox of American power: unparalleled strength, but a deep disinclination to exercise leadership. It remains true that the next president will benefit from certain enduring advantages. No competing world power threatens our security. The United States remains the undisputed global leader in military, economic and diplomatic terms, and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future. Our influence is enhanced by a set of international institutions, largely of our own creation, that favor the rule of law, the free market and representative democracy, and a network of formal and informal alliances with many of the world’s most powerful countries. Unlike the period of the Cold War, we face no global ideological rival that offers a more appealing alternative to a social contract based on individual freedom, economic opportunity and human dignity.

At the same time, the world today and our place in it are less certain than before. The inward focus of our European allies has weakened our most important alliance. The eruptions throughout the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring have brought new misery across the region. A post–World War II record of 65 million people are refugees or internally displaced persons, with half being children. Three powers, China, Russia and Iran, are trying to revise the order in their regions by subversion and even military force, intimidating our friends and allies and undermining U.S. credibility. A fourth, North Korea, continues to improve its nuclear weapons and ballistic-missile capabilities unabated. The proliferation of terrorists, insurgents and other nonstate actors, some with global reach, has undermined the traditional state monopoly on the use of force. For the past decade or more, there has also been a menu of “new” security issues, led by cyberwarfare, but including climate change, infectious diseases, narcotics and human trafficking, and, increasingly, natural resources, especially water.

Bagha Jatin: The Bengal Tiger Whom The British Feared

September 10, 2016

Exactly 101 years ago, on this day, the nationalist-revolutionary succumbed to severe bullet injuries in Balasore hospital following a gallant battle with the British-controlled police.

Indian history has discounted the significant contributions of Bagha Jatin towards the freedom movement, thanks to the Left-leaning historiographers. This, despite the fact that there is no dearth of well documented historical records available on the vast revolution the great freedom fighter had conceived!

Much before India won its independence in 1947, there was an attempt under the leadership of Jatin in 1915 to pull the country out of slavery by means of armed insurrection. Jatin’s efforts can also be taken as a precursor to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s armed struggle to throw British out of India.

Exactly 101 years ago, on 10 September , the nationalist-revolutionary succumbed to severe bullet injuries in Balasore hospital following a gallant battle with police.

From Kaya in Bangladesh to Chasakhand in Odisha’s Balasore, Jatin lives on in the hearts of millions. He was indeed an inspiration to Bangabandhu Mujibur Rahman in his fight against Pakistani army during the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Born in Kaya village in Kushtia district of the undivided Bengal, part of present day Bangladesh, in 1887, Jatin kindled the flame of revolution against the colonial British rule in the Indian subcontinent. Jatin envisioned a modern India – politically free, economically prosperous and spiritually progressive. His vision was far ahead of his times.

Will Modi’s Approach Bring Peace To Kashmir? – OpEd

SEPTEMBER 11, 2016

For the last seventy years, Kashmir has been seeing agitations and unrest by a section of people who have failed to distinguish between religion and state. Such agitations could only cause fritters, with agitators not succeeding in their efforts to separate Kashmir from India or merge Kashmir with Pakistan. Obviously, this scenario highlights the ground reality that the vast majority of people in Kashmir are not participants in such agitations but remain as silent and helpless majority.

Past governments of India have been trying to handle the turbulent conditions in Kashmir with stick and carrot approach but have not been successful in effectively silencing the separatists and isolating them.

Similar to the incidents in the past few days, Kashmir has witnessed prolonged agitations for many days several times in the past ,which ultimately ended on it’s own after exhausting the steam. In the same way, the present unrest conditions will also quieten down sooner or later and perhaps, sooner than later.

Obviously, the separatists in Kashmir get support and encouragement from across the border and from other sources to sustain their agitations and such external forces who are motivated by the thinking that Kashmir should be a muslim country since it has majority of Muslims in Kashmir population. The recent jihadi threats and activities of ISIS extremists across the world seem to be giving fresh hopes to the separatists in Kashmir and their friends abroad.
What could be Mr. Modi’s strategy?

Can Modi Eventually Rescript India’s Pakistan Policy?

By Rana Banerji 

India and Pakistan have pursued mutually exclusive and self-sufficient narratives on why talks between them end in mutual recrimination instead of mutual understanding on how to move the process forward.After the Ufa stalemate, one option proffered was that neither country should invest in dialogue at the moment,and should instead seek to contain bilateral tensions by refraining from provocative actions that could lead to dangerous confrontations. 

IAS reforms: Cleaning rust from the frame

Big data can provide metrics on officers’ performance in the field to inform promotion and retention decisions

We cannot march through the 21st century with the administrative systems of the 19th century,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in a recent speech delivered at the government think-tank Niti Aayog. The quip served as a welcome acknowledgment that the essential bureaucratic organs of the Indian state are badly out of sync with today’s demands.

The state of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the country’s elite civil service cadre, confirms this fact. Of the 3.3 million individuals employed by the public sector, the IAS constitutes a tiny fraction—totaling fewer than 5,000 officers. Yet, because it occupies the very nerve centre of the Indian state, no single bureaucratic entity receives as much scrutiny. While a competent, functional IAS may not be a sufficient condition for improving governance outcomes, it is likely a necessary one.

The charges levied against the bureaucracy, and the IAS more specifically, run the gamut; it is hamstrung by political meddling, governed by outmoded personnel procedures, crippled by a lack of domain expertise, and marked by a mixed record on policy implementation. It is no surprise then that there are opinion columns penned on a daily basis calling for everything from the complete dismantling of the IAS to modest tweaks of its promotion regulations.

Although there is no shortage of opinions related to the IAS, there has been a surprising paucity of hard data on its operations and performance until now. A new body of research, combining unprecedented access to the profiles of IAS officers with granular data on local development outcomes and electoral dynamics, sheds new light on their career trajectories, their impact on development outcomes, and their relationship to politics.

The race for leadership in supercomputers – does India stand a chance?

September 07, 2016

In June 2016, a significant and unusual event occurred in the world of supercomputing – the sector that specializes in very high speed computers that are used for applications such as weather forecasting and advanced weapons design. It was announced that the fastest supercomputer in the world was now the Sunway TaihuLight, a Chinese machine, which had performed at a speed of 93 petaflops – three times faster than the previous leader.1

Chinese supercomputers have been leading the field since 2011, but until now had depended to a large extent on key hardware components from American companies. What made the June 2016 event unusual was the announcement that, in a first for the industry, the Sunway TaihuLight was powered entirely by Chinese-designed and Chinese-manufactured processor chips. In other words, the new machine was evidence that China had mastered the entire computer engineering cycle, from conceptualization to detailed design and manufacture of individual semiconductor components. For the first time in the history of computing, the leadership at the cutting edge of a strategic technology – supercomputers – had passed from the United States to China.
Brief History of Supercomputing

To understand how this happened, and why countries like Japan, India, and many in the European Union have been overtaken by China, it is useful to understand the history of supercomputing, or High Performance Computing (HPC) as it is also referred to. The idea of HPC – specialized machines designed to operate at ever faster speeds to solve the most complex of real world problems – is universally credited to Seymour Cray, the legendary American computer designer. In 1964, the world’s first supercomputer, the Control Data Corporation CDC 6600, was designed and manufactured under Cray’s supervision and leadership. For almost the next 50 years, with a few exceptions, it was always a US-built supercomputer that set the trend.

** White Lies of Pakistan Regarding 1965 War

By BD Sharma
12 Sep , 2016

Pakistan is notorious for projecting wrong facts about its history. She has been telling a blatant lie that all the four wars fought with its neighbour India were thrust upon her by India. Reality, on the other hand remains that all the wars were started by Pakistan and India had no option but to fight them back in order to defend itself. Immediately after independence Pakistan, despite its Stand still agreement with the State of J&K, invaded the State by inducting tribals under the active support and guidance of Pak army.

In 1965 Pakistan started the war by pushing its army personnel as guerrillas in J&K state under the operation Gibraltar and then a full-fledged attack, Grand Slam was launched in Chhamb sector. In 1971 Pakistan started with skirmishes in the eastern sector while dealing with the Mukti Bahini, the freedom fighters of Bangladesh and then it initiated the war by attacking a number of Air Force Stations in northern India. In 1999 Pakistan pushed a large number of its Army men in the guise of Kashmiri militants to occupy the mountain posts in Kargil sector from where the Indian Army would normally withdraw during winter months and India had no option but to retaliate.

The other untruth being perpetrated by Pakistan is that the Pak army exhibited rare acts of valour and subdued the Indian Forces in all fronts to attain victory in this war. This contention of Pakistanis merely a cock and bull story and is not based on facts. But Pakistan was able to perpetuate this fals it amongst its people through its controlled media and through biased writing of its history. In a country where a merest suggestion of criticism of the military performance is a taboo, such a story is easy to sell. Consequently large scale celebrations are organised throughout Pakistan on 6th and 7th of September every year.

Hot Military Pursuit by Means of a “Cold Start”: India’s Response to Pakistan’s Policy of Sponsoring and Supporting Terrorism

By Lt Gen Philip Campos 

India’s proactive military doctrine against its adversarial western neighbour is a sub-set of the as yet unwritten national security doctrine. The promulgation of the doctrine came about in 2004 due to a realisation that dawned on India’s security planners that a merely and solely defensive doctrine is inadequate to deal with a perfidious neighbour, which decided right at the outset, when it was carved out of India, that the very basis of its existence thereafter would find strength in nurturing enmity and hatred towards India. 

Escalation Control and the Case of Pakistan’s TNWs for Battlefield Use: Futility of Thinking and Judgement

By Balraj Nagal 

When conflict escalates on the conventional plane, the strategic consequences are not weighed by the commanders who will eventually employ TNWs– making the probability of strategic escalation greater, and most certain. 

Deciphering Pakistan’s Kashmir Lexicon

September 08, 2016

Kashmir has been claimed by Pakistani leaders as central to their foreign policy. But a closer look shows that it has been more of a political convenience for Pakistan since 1947, both as a smokescreen to cover up endemic deficiencies and as a convoluted foreign policy mechanism to use state sponsored terrorism in the quest for “strategic depth” – a concept which is increasingly viewed as illusory.
Exploiting the Kashmir Protests

A cursory glance at Pakistan’s current lexicon on Kashmir demonstrates both these above aspects. After the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani on July 8 in Kokernag, Anantnag district, barbed references have been made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his cabinet members eulogising Wani as a martyr and emphasising anti-Indian, anti-Hindu, sentiments in the Valley. Much of this was in fact underwritten by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The Pakistani cabinet, not so subtly, declared July 21 as Kashmir Black Day, to coincide with elections in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The result was the ruling PML-N winning a landslide victory with 31 of the 41 seats. Nawaz Sharif, who was under a cloud due to his family connections with shell front companies allegedly involved in money laundering which had been disclosed in the Panama papers, and also under threat from a section of the armed forces and public obliquely supporting Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, seized the opportunity to proclaim his political relevance and resilience. The leitmotif of his victory speech at Muzaffarabad was “Kashmir banega Pakistan”, which was repeated in his Independence Day address on August 14. Pakistan’s President, Mamnoon Hussain, reiterated the message in his address to the nation. As did Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, who emphasised Islamabad’s unswerving commitment to the Kashmir cause, testing the already strained relations with India.

These Independence Day speeches reflected the current reality in Pakistan, where the emphasis was primarily on terrorism; paeans of praise for the success of Operation Zarb-e Azb, criticism of terrorist attacks from Afghanistan, and of course the Kashmir issue. There was no talk about economic growth, job creation, or any serious development agenda. The rhetoric on the Kashmir issue is now serving as an effective smokescreen for the flailing economy and fractured politics of the country.
Pakistan’s Diplomatic Campaign

Riverine Neighbourhood: Hydro-politics in South Asia

Rivers are the most visible form of fresh water. Rivers are ancient and older than civilizations a ‘mini cosmos’ spawning history, tales, spirituality, and technological incursions. Flowing rivers are the largest renewable water resource as well as a crucible for both humans and aquatic ecosystem. Rivers also have a habit of moving on and on from their source from where they gush with gay abandon to their mouth where they quietly disappear into the surroundings. That journey is now being interrupted. Since the age of industrialization, humans have increasingly exerted a pervasive influence on water resources. Rivers in particular have drawn humans to monumental engineering interventions such as dams and barrages often as chest-thumping dominance and seldom as an enduring bond between man and nature.

‘Hydro-politics’ or water politics is not a popular expression among water practitioners. In using hydro-politics, the book does not in any way negate hydro-cooperation rather the chapters argue that cooperation is hydro-politics. Since no water dispute, as history tells, has almost ever led to war, states have to ensure that sensible hydro-politics prevails so that the possibilities of water wars are unlikely in the future.

Transboundary rivers link its riparians in a complex network of environmental, economic and security interdependencies. Cooperation among South Asian riparians is undoubtedly high but that does not mean the absence of competing claims for water. Thus water will remain deeply political. Often water agreements are not always about water. History and hegemony play an important role in understanding the strategic interaction among riparian states and in the contextual framework under what circumstances politics interfere with cooperation or whether sharing of water acts as a neutralising factor in difficult political situations.


China’s Mythification As Superpower By United States Fades – Analysis

By Dr Subhash Kapila
SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

Perceptionaly, United States mythification of China as a potential Superpower seems to have lasted as long as China confined itself to use of ‘Soft Power’ strategies to gain influence in Asia Pacific. The switch to ‘Hard Power’ under President Xi Jinping from 2012 signalled the end of America’s ‘China Dream’.

United States ‘China Dream’ focussed on co-opting China as a responsible stakeholder in Asia Pacific stability and this American dream pushed the United States at times to trample over the strategic sensitivities of Japan and India, the two Asian Powers on which in 2016 the United States relies heavily to emerge as strategic counterweights to China. Regrettably, like all dreams which stand divorced from reality, the ‘China Dream’ of the United States seems to have faded away as China under its current President started baring its fangs arising from its massive and threatening military build-up.

In the run-up to 2016, many in the American strategic community in their writings started drawing parallels and compared China’s not so benign military rise to rise of Nazi Germany under Hitler in the mid-1930s onwards and which emboldened Nazi Germany to challenge the existing international order leading to the Second World War.

China’s Non-Peaceful Rise Already In Play? – Analysis

By Harry J. Kazianis* 
SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

China may view a divisive US election as an opportunity to control contested features in the South China Sea.

The People’s Republic of China is headed on a tragic trajectory that should be familiar to anyone with even cursory exposure to history. Due to a complex composition of factors – a century of torment at the hands of western powers and Japan as well as a toxic brew of nationalism – the PRC is not content with its place as the world’s second largest economy, or even largest when using purchasing-parity power, or PPP, as the benchmark. Nor is China happy with its standing as the planet’s second largest military armed with advanced weapons like “carrier-killer” missiles, a budding hypersonic weapons program and other top-tier offensive platforms. Beijing doesn’t even seem to regard its undertaking of major initiatives like the “One Belt, One Road” project and the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank as signs of its rise to global superpower stature.

No, Beijing wants more, and could soon seek to transform the status-quo in Asia, especially in the South China Sea, in its favor. Indeed, recent reports suggest that Beijing’s surge for hegemony might be around the corner, as its leaders take advantage of a window of opportunity during the final weeks of the US presidential election as America’s gaze turns inward.

Many Asia specialists argued that China would boldly push forward in some aggressive manner after losing in the Hague to the Philippines over Manila’s challenge of Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea. However, China has bided its time, despite some reckless statements, provocative photo-ops including “bomber selfies” over the area and a Global Times July editorial that called Australia a “paper cat,” threatening “If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike.”

China’s Big Debt Worries George Soros. Should It Worry You?

SEPT. 7, 2016

The Jiading district of Shanghai. China’s growing debt load has been compared with that of the United States before the 2008 financial crisis. CreditQilai Shen/Bloomberg

BEIJING — The global economy is full of risks right now. Growth is sluggish, and central banks seem powerless to fix it. Europe faces persistent challenges and division. In America, the election looms.

But some say the biggest danger of all may be on the other side of the world, in China.

China is in the midst of one of the biggest borrowing binges in recent history. Its debt load reached $26.6 trillion in 2015 — about five times what it was a decade ago, and more than two and a half times the size of the country’s entire economy. That huge increase has prompted some economists and even the prominent investor George Soros to compare China to the United States before the 2008 financial crisis.

How big a danger does China’s fast-growing debt load present to the country, or the world?

The traditional view is that rapidly rising debt eventually leads to an economic crisis. That can happen in several ways. In Greece, the culprit was the government, which built up more debt than it could handle. In the United States, the risks lurked in the finances of banks and households.

Stratfor: Is the West Being Overrun by Migrants?

By Ian Morris 
7 September 2016.

Summary: People often compare today’s waves of immigration with those that played a large role in the destruction of the Roman Empire. Here Stanford Professor Ian Morris describes, the similarities, the differences, and the lessons this history holds for us. Morris focuses on the danger of migrants as organized military forces; he gives little attention to their disruptive domestic effects.

Is the West Being Overrun by Migrants?

Are the barbarians at the gates? Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front party, has no doubt that they are. “Without any action,” she told a rally at Amiens last year, “the migratory influx will be like the barbarian invasion of the fourth century, and the consequences will be the same.” That would be bad. According to St. Orientus of Auch, who lived through the original event, “Throughout villages and farms, throughout the countryside and crossroads, and through all districts, on all highways leading from this place or that, there was death, sorrow, ruin, fires, mourning.”

The Parisian political establishment turned up its collective nose at Le Pen’s analogy (being France, the newspapers concentrated on correcting her chronology: The invasions came mostly in the fifth century, not the fourth). And despite all his talk of building a wall to keep invaders out, Donald Trump has so far resisted likening himself to Emperor Hadrian. Not since Pat Buchanan, in fact, has an American presidential hopeful called Mexicans barbarians.


SEPTEMBER 11, 2016

The United States spent trillions of dollars on counterterrorism, homeland security, security partnerships, and counterinsurgency campaigns over the past decade and a half. Yet jihadists still control large swaths of Iraq and Syria, regained the initiative in Afghanistan, opened new franchises in Libya and India, and launched successful attacks inParis, Brussels, Orlando and Nice. Relatively successful homeland security measures in the United States have made it easy for Americans to overlook that there are more jihadist groups launching more attacks over a larger portion of the world than ever before. Fifteen years after the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, we do not have an answer to the question: How will jihadism end?

As early as 2005, Steve Biddle identified the basic options available to the United States in its fight against jihadist violence: containment or rollback. Containment is a less risky, less ambitious strategy to manage the problem by defending the homeland and preventing the spread of terrorism while forgoing any attempt to redress its underlying conditions. Rollback is the more ambitious and costlier effort not only to attack jihadist groups, but also to eliminate the social, political, and cultural conditions that give rise to them in the first place. These options have been well-known and understood for over a decade. In Afghanistan, for example, the Obama administration debated whether to pursue a leaner “counterterrorism-only” strategy narrowly targeted against al-Qaeda, or a more ambitious counterinsurgency effort to defeat the Taliban, as well.

Russia’s Strategy In Aleppo: Military Or Political? – Analysis

By Afifeh Abedi* 
SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

Americans and Russians keep saying that they are close to a new agreement on the situation in Syria, particularly with regard to the Syrian city of Aleppo. Many analysts believe that the battle for Aleppo is so important that it can determine the fate of the entire Syrian crisis, but it would be a very complicated battle too. On the one hand, all involved groups will certainly try to make the battle end in their benefit at a time that Syria and its allies have made a serious decision to end this battle in their own favor. On the other hand, the US-led coalition and Syria’s opposition groups are trying to prevent further advances by the Syrian army and its allied forces and improve their positions. In the meantime, the United States and Russia make no effort to hide consultations they have had behind the scenes and openly talk about a possible agreement on Syria, especially with regard to operations in Aleppo.

The important point is that Moscow’s negotiations with Washington on Aleppo come at a time that many observers believe that Russia has a determining power in Aleppo. Therefore, the question is why Russia avoids taking a decisive action in this city to achieve victory and instead, prefers to reach an agreement with the United States over joint operations?
Why Russia avoids unilateral engagement in Aleppo?

What Our Children Should Learn About 9/11/2001 – OpEd

By Adam Garfinkle* 
SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

(FPRI) — Around noon on September 11, 2001, my son Gabriel, away at college, called our house just outside of Washington and left this message on the answering machine: “Mom, Dad, Hannah, Nate: Is anybody there!? Is everyone OK? Dad, tell me, please: What the hell is going on?!” When I heard the message a few hours later, it made a lasting impression. My handsome, brash and outwardly confident 19-year old’s voice was quavering, just shy of crying. I had never heard this voice before, but I knew what it meant, for I remembered my plaint to my father on November 22, 1963. I listened that evening, too, to the voices of my 16-year old daughter and 13-year old son— and, of course, the listening has been ongoing. It is from this personal engagement that I approach the question of what our children should learn about 9/11.

Before suggesting any answers, however, we should understand properly the question. What our children— in America, in a democracy— should learn about 9/11 of course includes elements of the political and the civic, lessons that depend on facts and can be put into words. But what we experienced late last summer shows that our identities as citizens can never be entirely separated from our existence as human beings, and that as we approach extreme, defining events the two tend to merge. Wars throughout history have not just reshaped maps, they have transformed souls. There is, then, as my own children’s voices show me, knowledge of a more general sort to be learned not about, but from, 9/11 as well. This is a domain in which facts are elusive and words do not suffice. Consider these four suggestions for teachers, then, with this in mind.
1. Our Children Should Know the Facts.

Islamic State Hopes To Conquer Crimea And Western Ukraine By 2025 – OpEd

SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

ISIS has designated Crimea and Western Ukraine as territories it considers part of its sphere of influence and as ones that it intends to conquer before 2025, Aleksandr Korenkov says. But the difficulties ISIS now faces in Syria and Ukraine’s low profile among its fighters suggest that Ukraine is at least not yet a priority of Islamic State militants.

Korenkov, an expert of the Kyiv Center for the Study of Rebel Movements, tells the Apostrophe portal that for the moment, Ukraine is “not among the priorities of ISIS activists because [Ukrainians] are not fighting in Syria.” But officials should not lessen their efforts to combat the arrival of ISIS operatives (apostrophe.ua/article/society/2016-09-10/do-2025-goda-igil-hochet-zavoevat-kryim-i-zapadnuyu-ukrainu/7218).

Ukrainian security services have identified ISIS fighters in Kharkhiv, Kyiv and other cities, the specialist says; but their task is made difficult by the fact that typically at least in European countries, ISIS adherents do not identify themselves as such until after they carry out a terrorist attack.

Korenkov says there is no agreement as to how many Ukrainians have gone to fight for ISIS; but that may matter less than the fact that since 2014, Ukraine has been a member of the global coalition for the fight against ISIS and is known to be such.

Asked about reports that ISIS is “a project of Russia and of Putin personally,” the Ukrainian expert says that “there is no direct evidence for this,” although there are a large number of Russian citizens in the ranks of ISIS. He says there may be as many as 2500 of them, making Russia one of the top three contributors to its ranks.


11 September 2016

India got relatively little play in the international media during the G-20 summit held in Hangzhou, China, earlier this week. This is hardly surprising. With a miffed China and an equally irascible Russia trying to assert their clout against a perceived gang-up by the western democracies, it was hardly likely that the mundane issues confronting a relatively stable India would get much play. Even from the tabloid point of view, the absence of a red carpet for United States President Obama and the war of words between overbearing American officials and their prickly Chinese hosts warranted more attention.

However, the G-20 summit received a fair measure of attention in Europe for all the wrong reasons. It coincided with results of an election in the German province of Mecklenberg-Vorpommern, the home state of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The outcome was a grave personal setback to the Chancellor who has earned a reputation as a safe pair of hands. Her Christian Democratic Union was pushed from second to third place. The big gainer was the relatively new Alternative for Deutschland, a pro-national sovereignty and anti-immigration party that won 20.8 per cent of the popular vote. It was widely agreed that the vote was directly linked to the backlash against Germany’s magnanimous but highly controversial decision to admit nearly one million refugees from Iraq and Syria. A decision lauded in liberal circles last year received a resounding thumbs down from German voters.

The second issue was the statement by the new British Prime Minister Theresa May that she wasn’t terribly enthused by the suggestion, mooted by the likes of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and other pro-Brexit stalwarts, to introduce an Australian-style points based immigration policy for the United Kingdom. Instead, suggested May, even after the UK left the European Union, it would continue to give preferential rights to potential immigrants from the EU.

The New Face of Terrorism — From the Grand to the Mundane

Author: Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
September 7, 2016 

TIME FLIES, AND so, unfortunately, do terrorists. This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11, the day when 19 young men armed with box cutters took control of four crowded commercial aircraft, flying two into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and a third into the Pentagon. A fourth aircraft never reached its destination, as the alerted passengers took matters into their own hands, overpowering the terrorists and forcing a crash landing in an open field in Pennsylvania. 

Sept. 11, 2001, was unique in the sense of its scale; otherwise it was anything but. Terrorism has become commonplace. Over the last decade, there have been, on average, more than 10,000 terrorist attacks per year, causing an average of more than 15,000 deaths per year. Most of these have been in the Greater Middle East, both the biggest source and the most common venue of terrorism. 

Relatively little of this terrorism has involved Americans. Over this same decade, there have been fewer than 15 terrorist attacks a year in the United States. An average of five Americans per year have died on US soil and approximately 20 per year have lost their lives worldwide. 

Guest Article: US Position is Untenable

The US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has newly released a projection of Federal debt 2016-2046.

The CBO analysis shows that Federal debt is on path to increase from 75% of GDP to 146% of GDP in 2046. These figures exclude state & local government debt of approimately 16% of GDP (source: Fed.Reserve Z1,D1 and BEA.gov), meaning that the total public debt in the USA is on track to increase from 90%+ to 160%+ of GDP.

A public debt of 100%-200% of GDP is possible in Japan and Italy, where nearly all public debt is owned nationally—in Japan, by (often state-promoted) enormous private entities. However, for the USA, such high public debt figures are bound to lead to a fundamental crisis of non-confidence in the US dollar. 

Falling dollar rates and rising interest rates will incur still higher deficits to pay the interests on the public debt. 

Limiting Armed Drone Proliferation

Authors: Micah Zenko, Senior Fellow, and Sarah E. Kreps

The Obama administration should pursue a strategy that places clear limits on its own sale and use of armed drones lest these weapons proliferate and their use becomes widespread. These are the central findings of a new report by CFR Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko and Stanton Nuclear Security FellowSarah Kreps, published by the Center for Preventive Action (CPA).

Although only five countries have developed armed drones—the United States, Britain, Israel, China, and Iran—several other countries have announced their own programs. "India reports that it will soon equip its drones with precision-guided munitions and hopes to mass-produce combat drones to conduct targeted strikes in cross-border attacks on suspected terrorists.Rebuffed by requests to procure U.S. armed drones, Pakistan said it will develop them indigenously or with China's help to target the Taliban in its tribal areas." The report also notes that "Turkey has about twenty-four types of drones in use or development, four of which have been identified as combat drones," while Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Sweden "have collaborated on the Neuron, a stealth armed drone that made its first demonstration flight in December 2012."

Zenko and Kreps lay out several reasons why armed drones are unique in their ability to destabilize relations and intensify conflict. Unmanned aircraft reduce the threshold for authorizing military action by eliminating pilot casualty, potentially increasing the frequency of force deployment. Because there is no onboard pilot, drones are less responsive to warnings that could defuse or prevent a clash. Furthermore, countries may fire on a manned fighter plane, mistaking it for an armed drone, which could increase the likelihood of conflict.

The new face of terrorism — from the grand to the mundane

By Richard Haass 
SEPTEMBER 07, 2016

A vendor sold 9/11 merchandise near One World Trade Center in lower Manhattan on Aug. 17. 

TIME FLIES, AND so, unfortunately, do terrorists. This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11, the day when 19 young men armed with box cutters took control of four crowded commercial aircraft, flying two into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and a third into the Pentagon. A fourth aircraft never reached its destination, as the alerted passengers took matters into their own hands, overpowering the terrorists and forcing a crash landing in an open field in Pennsylvania.

Sept. 11, 2001, was unique in the sense of its scale; otherwise it was anything but. Terrorism has become commonplace. Over the last decade, there have been, on average, more than 10,000 terrorist attacks per year, causing an average of more than 15,000 deaths per year. Most of these have been in the Greater Middle East, both the biggest source and the most common venue of terrorism.

Relatively little of this terrorism has involved Americans. Over this same decade, there have been fewer than 15 terrorist attacks a year in the United States. An average of five Americans per year have died on US soil and approximately 20 per year have lost their lives worldwide.

3 Nuclear-Weapons Programs President Obama Should Kill

September 11, 2016

The United States is set to spend over $1 trillion on its nuclear weapons over the next thirty years. That is no trivial sum. To place it in context, that amounts to 77 percent of the national student debt, which hovers around $1.3 trillion.

Part of the reason for this massive spending spree stems from necessity. Our current nuclear weapons systems are ageing and becoming obsolete. But rather than tailoring the next generation of nuclear deterrence to geopolitical realities, the United States is replacing its massive nuclear arsenal on a one-for-one basis as if the Cold War never ended.

These plans are excessive, destabilizing and threaten the national security of the United States. And all of them will be locked in and set in motion before the next president has been elected or has had any time to consider what the best strategy is under a new administration. Any economist will tell you that this in no way to plan ahead.

Luckily the nuclear piggy bank is overstuffed and ripe for a withdrawal.

Before he leaves office, President Obama should place an immediate spending freeze on the most redundant and excessive nuclear modernization programs already underway. These include the new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), the Long-Range Standoff weapon (LRSO) and the B61-12 gravity bomb. Doing so would give the next president the flexibility to make common-sense reductions that would save billions of dollars while presenting a leaner and more efficient fighting force.

The Bomb That Costs More Than Its Weight in Gold

What Must Be Done

Some of those who read my recent book, Pussycats, have asked me to say a little more about what could and should be done to restore the West’s waning fighting power. Given the differences between various Western countries, obviously there cannot be a single solution: still the following should apply, more or less, to most.

To start at the beginning, the all-pervasive system whereby many young people are doomed to remain crybabies and forcibly prevented from growing up should be terminated. Provide them with opportunities to be among themselves and play with as little, if any, supervision as possible. Give them freedom to experiment—or else how are they going to learn? Instead of drugging them, demand performance from them and encourage them. Put an end to what one writer called “the war against boys,” under which boys keep being told how bad, how wicked, how oppressive, they and their male friends and relatives are and punished whenever they make a “gun” out of schnitzel and shout “pow-pow” or even look at a girl. Terminate the situation whereby boys over six, or eight, or ten, or fourteen, are taught mainly by women. Have more male teachers in elementary school. If necessary re-segregate the education system so as to allow boys to be boys and save them the humiliation of having to compete with girls.

Second, recognize that training, unless it incorporates some risk, will turn into a childish game and re-organize it accordingly. Bring down the average age of the troops while at the same time ceasing to treat them as if they were infants. Stop subjecting them to all kinds of petty restrictions and trying to turn them into eunuchs. Those sent by their country to kill and be killed should also have some latitude to drink and wench as troops have always done and, if they are worth their salt, will continue to do until doomsday comes. And stop denouncing “militarism.” Instead, recognize the fact that troops are unlikely to fight well if, in a word gone berserk with political correctness, they are not permitted to express their pride and joy in their chosen profession. Including, yes, the joy of fighting enemies and killing them.

September 11, 2016 – Remembering 9/11: Are We Any Safer Today? – Analysis

By Tan Teck Boon and Kumar Ramakrishna* 
SEPTEMBER 11, 2016

The world remains vulnerable to major terror attacks because intelligence agencies continue to withhold information from legitimate users. Why is this is so and what can be done to promote informational exchanges?

Is the world safer from terrorism on the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington DC? If the intelligence lapses that led to 9/11 remain in place, then the world at present cannot be safer from major terror attacks than it was 15 years ago. Today, it is a matter of public record that clues pointing to 9/11 were in the possession of select US intelligence agencies. However, they were withheld from other relevant agencies.

In late December 1999, while monitoring an al-Qaeda phone number in Sana’a, Yemen, the National Security Agency (NSA) – America’s leading signals intelligence agency – intercepted a phone conversation instructing two 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, to travel to Kuala Lumpur for a meeting with other known terror suspects. That meeting, we now know, set in motion plans for the 9/11 attacks.
Hazy Road to 9/11

Acting on the NSA’s tip off, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – America’s foreign intelligence agency – placed al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar under surveillance as the two travelled to Malaysia. During al-Mihdhar’s stopover in Dubai, the CIA managed to make a photocopy of al-Mihdhar’s passport and when CIA officers examined it, they were stunned that al-Mihdhar held a valid multiple-entry visa to the United States. Still, the CIA did not alert the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – the US agency responsible for protecting the US homeland from terror attacks.

Securing Cyberspace: International and Asian Perspectives

Price: Rs. 1295 [Download E-copy]

This edited volume contains the papers presented at the 18th Asian Security Conference at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses held in February 2016. The authors, drawn from government, law enforcement, diplomacy, private sector, armed forces and academia, examine a range of issues central to cybersecurity. The chapters in this volume not only provide an outline of the journey so far, but more importantly, give indicators of future trends in cybersecurity from the vantage point of the respective experts.

Contributions from Asia are particularly highlighted to promote and provoke greater discussion on perspective from within the region on cybersecurity issues.
List of Abbreviations
Securing Cyberspace: A National Security Perspective
Arvind Gupta 
Middle Powers and Cyber-Enabled War: The Imperative of Collective Security
Greg Austin 
The Triad Theory for Strategic Cyberwarfare
Amit Sharma 
Working out the Rules of Global Cyberspace Governance
Alexandra Kulikova 
Defence, Deterrence, and Diplomacy: Foreign Policy Instruments to Increase Future Cybersecurity
Sico van der Meer 

Is America Being Crushed by the Weight of the World?

September 11, 2016

Since the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union we have been living in the era of American primacy. Primacy, of course, is just a euphemism for empire. The early 1990s ostensibly inaugurated a “new American Century,” with the United States bestriding the planet like a colossus. On both the left and right, policy elites fretted that absent American leadership the world would devolve into a Yeatsian “Second Coming” of anarchy, chaos, bloodshed and destruction.

If Americans took on the mantle of global leadership, many convinced themselves, all would be well. Underlying these expectations was the conviction that the exercise of global leadership by the United States is by definition enlightened, altruistic and effective. To charge Washington with traditional imperialism is a mistake. What the self-proclaimed “indispensable nation” offers is not the blood and iron of the nineteenth century but the noble and selfless stewardship of the global commons of the twentieth century by its leading citizen, the first among equals.

Some observers called the result Pax Americana. But the phrase doesn’t quite fit because, despite our unprecedented power and strident (if inconsistent) commitment to lofty ideals like democracy and human rights, the world has been anything but peaceful. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been almost constantly at war (always undeclared). During the forty-four years of the Cold War, U.S. forces fought at a rate of about once every seven years; since the end of the Cold War, war at more than double this rate has become the new normal, with global disorder stemming in considerable part from precisely our hyperpuissance.