10 February 2017

*** Backing Into World War III


Think of two significant trend lines in the world today. One is the increasing ambition and activism of the two great revisionist powers, Russia and China. The other is the declining confidence, capacity, and will of the democratic world, and especially of the United States, to maintain the dominant position it has held in the international system since 1945. As those two lines move closer, as the declining will and capacity of the United States and its allies to maintain the present world order meet the increasing desire and capacity of the revisionist powers to change it, we will reach the moment at which the existing order collapses and the world descends into a phase of brutal anarchy, as it has three times in the past two centuries. The cost of that descent, in lives and treasure, in lost freedoms and lost hope, will be staggering.

Where exactly we are in this classic scenario today, how close the trend lines are to that intersection point is, as always, impossible to know. Are we three years away from a global crisis, or 15?

Americans tend to take the fundamental stability of the international order for granted, even while complaining about the burden the United States carries in preserving that stability. History shows that world orders do collapse, however, and when they do it is often unexpected, rapid, and violent. The late 18th century was the high point of the Enlightenment in Europe, before the continent fell suddenly into the abyss of the Napoleonic Wars. In the first decade of the 20th century, the world’s smartest minds predicted an end to great-power conflict as revolutions in communication and transportation knit economies and people closer together. The most devastating war in history came four years later. The apparent calm of the postwar 1920s became the crisis-ridden 1930s and then another world war. Where exactly we are in this classic scenario today, how close the trend lines are to that intersection point is, as always, impossible to know. Are we three years away from a global crisis, or 15? That we are somewhere on that path, however, is unmistakable.

*** A New U.S. Approach to Pakistan: Enforcing Aid Conditions without Cutting Ties

Husain Haqqani & Lisa Curtis 

The new Trump Administration must review its policies toward Pakistan in order to more effectively contain, and eventually eliminate, the terrorist threats that continue to emanate from the country. The activities and operations of diverse terror groups on and from Pakistani soil, and the government’s failure to rein them in, threaten vital U.S. national security interests in the region. These include stabilizing Afghanistan, keeping the country from again turning into a global terrorist safe haven, and preventing the outbreak of an India-Pakistan military conflict that could potentially go nuclear. 

Obama administration officials came into office eight years ago with the idea that they could coax Pakistan into changing key policies by elevating the U.S.-Pakistan partnership. To these ends, Washington instituted a strategic dialogue and increased both economic and military aid levels. 

Unfortunately, Pakistan never changed its policy of supporting certain militant groups that fight Afghan and coalition forces, thus making it impossible for the United States to achieve its objective of keeping Afghanistan from reverting to a safe haven for international terrorism. The U.S. clearly recognizes that Pakistan’s support for the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups is not the sole reason for Afghanistan’s security challenges. However, the other problems become insurmountable when the principal insurgent groups enjoy safe havens in Pakistan. 

*** 13 International Relations Buzzwords That Need to Get Taken to the Woodshed


The renowned Prussian military historian and analyst Carl von Clausewitz is widely held to be the author of the phrase “the fog of war,” although what he actually wrote was: “War is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty.”

There was nothing foggy about Clausewitz’s prose, however, which remains a model of clarity. It is thus ironic that so many who speak and write about similar matters operate in a fog largely of their own making. There is little correlation between length and clarity; fog can permeate a tweet just as easily as a thesis. 

Many of the words and terms common to conversations and debates over foreign policy and international relations actually mean little

Many of the words and terms common to conversations and debates over foreign policy and international relations actually mean little; all too many obscure more than they illuminate. So in the cause of sharper thinking and better policy, here is my baker’s dozen of language we would do better without.

Global citizen: People frequently describe themselves as global citizens or call on others to be just that. Citizenship, however, is a national concept, one tied to sovereignty. There is no such thing as a global citizen, despite what the Davos set might profess or worse yet aspire to. More useful would be calls for people to be better informed about global affairs, something that has the potential to make them better citizens of their own country, which in turn could lead to better policy and might even make the world a better place.

** Leaders, Your Facebook Phobia is Holding You Back

Let’s start off by coming to an agreement that your Facebook feed probably looks like most people’s…vacation photos, social quizzes, kitten videos, weddings, parties, and babies. You might post a few thoughts about the latest political buzz, but you’re not writing to change anyone’s opinion or move them in a new direction. Facebook is a window to the social You, not the professional You. Am I right?

Now a question…where is your largest connected network? Is it at your workplace? Your gym? Through your family? Or is it through Facebook?

If you’re not in the business of influence, then this discussion is irrelevant. But if you are a leader, then its worthwhile to consider how you use your most expansive network. If you care about changing people in positive ways, then you need to rethink Facebook.

Soldiers and Families now have another outlet to receive updated information about Fort Drum deployed Soldiers and upcoming events at the “U.S. Army Fort Drum 10th Mountain Division” Facebook page. Photo by Mrs Michelle Kennedy (IMCOM).

** Where companies with a long-term view outperform their peers

By Dominic Barton, James Manyika, Tim Koller, Robert Palter, Jonathan Godsall, and Josh Zoffer

Our new Corporate Horizon Index provides systematic evidence that a long-term approach can lead to superior performance for revenue and earnings, investment, market capitalization, and job creation.

Corporate short-termism has been the subject of ongoing debate among leaders in business, government, and academia for more than 30 years, but hard evidence that short-termism genuinely detracts from company performance and economic growth has remained scarce. To fill this gap and better understand capitalism for the long term, we have created a systematic measurement of long- and short-termism at the company level. Our findings show that companies we classify as “long term” outperform their shorter-term peers on a range of key economic and financial metrics (exhibit).

Faraway Battlefields

Jaideep A Prabhu

The Second World War was not India’s war, though over two-and-a-half million Indians bled and fought in it. Three recently published books shed new and essential light on this. 

The history of the Second World War is the most popular college course in the United States. Each year, thousands of undergraduates pour into classrooms to learn about, in that cloying phrase coined by Studs Terkel, “the last good war”. Young Americans learn how their grandfathers—perhaps great grandfathers—fought and won on the distant battlefields of Europe, North Africa, and the Pacific. The narrative is, not surprisingly, centred around the American war effort; most history, at least at the introductory levels, still focus on forging citizens rather than cosmopolitan elites. No wonder then, that similar courses in Britain would drill the island’s lone and courageous resistance to the Germans, and in Moscow, take credit for the greatest Nazi casualties despite immense losses and suffering.

Battlefield Management System for Indian Army – Where Are We?

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch 

Project Battlefield Management System (BMS) was envisaged by the Indian Army to enable a faster decision process by commanders at all echelons, enable better decision due to reliable operational information provided in real time and have the ability to quickly close the sensor to shooter loop by integrating all surveillance means to facilitate engagement through an automated decision support and command and control system, exploiting technology for mission accomplishment in the Tactical Battle Area (TBA) by rapid acquisition, processing and transfer of information, enhanced situational awareness, capability to react to information, sharpen ability to synchronize and direct fire, plus establish and maintain overwhelming operational tempo.

The Army was late in conceiving this system, in that, planning for NCW capabilities below Brigade HQ level was not originally thought of along with other Operational Information Systems.

The system customized to the specific army requirement, needs to be first integrated and tested in a controlled environment for which a test bed laboratory will need to be established. After testing in the laboratory conditions, validation trials of the system will be carried out in field conditions. After successful validation of the system in field, the process for equipping will begin. The Army was late in conceiving this system, in that, planning for NCW capabilities below Brigade HQ level was not originally thought of along with other Operational Information Systems.

India’s Submarine Choice

As Donald Trump begins his Presidency, leaders in India face the question of whether to sign two long-delayed agreements to facilitate closer security cooperation with Washington. In New Delhi last week U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris offered a useful illustration of why the deals matter. Without them, he noted, India and the U.S. won’t be able to share vital information about China’s intensifying submarine presence in the Indian Ocean.

Chinese submarines have become a regular sight in the ocean in the past...

Pakistani Radicals Want Trump to Ban Them, Too


Sunday morning talk shows in America don’t typically stir the imagination in Pakistan. There are plenty of domestic scandals to deal with, whether it’s the corruption of politicians or the military’s interference in civilian matters.

Last Sunday was different. With the world still trying to process last Friday evening’s ban on entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, the Sunday morning talk shows were expected to be the Trump administration’s shot at some degree of redemption. But Pakistan was the only country White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus mentioned by name to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press as likely to be added to the list of banned countries. As soon as he did, the national discourse spun into action: “Pakistan next on Trump’s list,” the television tickers screamed.

In India, a country that longs for Uncle Sam to lay a smackdown on its hated neighbor, the expressions of joy at the news were to be expected. Pakistanis, for their part, turned to the acerbic sense of humor that has helped the country endure an era of terrorist violence that has taken over 60,000 lives since 2007. Novelist Bina Shah tweeted, “Trump hates Muslims because they all have better hair than he does,” while comedian Azhar Usman tweeted, “dearest trump-hating Americans! Now’s your chance to stand up against fascism: CONVERT TO ISLAM to protest trump! (bonus: eternal salvation).” Yet there is nothing funny about a potential ban on Pakistanis’ movements in and out of the United States.

In the 2010 U.S. Census, Pakistanis were the seventh-largest diaspora community in the United States, numbering just under a half million, from grocery store owners and taxi drivers to doctors, software engineers, and bankers. But Pakistan’s American dream began to sour after 9/11. The U.S. government heightened its scrutiny of Pakistani applications for visas — a precursor to Trump’s avowed “extreme vetting” — and introduced efforts to generally make life more difficult for illegal aliens (cracking down in communities known to have high concentrations of Pakistanis, like Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn). 

CIA papers reveal China's nuclear free pass to Pakistan

NEW DELHI: Recently declassified CIA files testify to the depth of the Pakistan China military relationship built over decades and also highlights how Beijing was willing to risk its own nuclear cooperation with US to boost the nuclear ambitions of 'all weather friend' Pakistan.

In the files, the US notes that China did not ask Pakistan to open its nuclear installations to IAEA inspections, after inking a nuclear agreement with the latter. The text of the agreement is pretty anodyne, focusing on nonmilitary nuclear technology, radioisotopes, medical research and civilian power technology. By this, the US notes, China wanted to develop a nuclear export market in Pakistan in "nonsensitive" areas. This would "reassure" countries like US which were apprehensive about Pakistan's nuclear designs.

"We cannot rule out the possibility that China may feel it will be easier to cooperate clandestinely with Pakistan behind the smokescreen of IAEA safe guarded cooperation activity in nonsensitive areas."

By 198384, it had become alarmingly clear to the US that the China Pakistan nuclear cooperation went much deeper. In February 1983, a US congressional committee was informed by the CIA that the US had proof China and Pakistan were talking nuclear weapons manufacture. CIA also stated they knew China had handed over the design of a nuclear bomb tested by China in Lop Nor, which incidentally was its fourth nuclear test and during which, US believed, a "senior Pakistani official" was present.

The US suspected China had handed over enriched uranium to Pakistan as well.

Why Mattis Headed East: Time For China Strategy


Why is newly confirmed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis making his first overseas trip to the Western Pacific to confer with two of America’s key allies, Japan and South Korea?

After all, both Mattis and Gen. Joe Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have declared Russia poses the greatest danger to the United States. But actions, they say, speak louder than words, and for good reason. From a military perspective, the need to make the Western Pacific our top priority is clear. It follows from examining key planning factors that the military uses to help it set priorities. In every case the analysis finds that China, not Russia, poses the principal threat

The first focuses on “military potential,” or a country’s ability to generate military power. Over the past dozen years China’s defense budget has experienced double-digit growth, increasing by nearly 200 percent. It now stands at over three times that of Russia’s and second only to our own. Given China’s continued economic growth and Russia’s stagnation, the spending gap between these two revisionist powers is destined to widen over time.

There is also the matter of geostrategic risk. This refers to the ability of allies and partners to defend themselves. Again, we find the situation far more precarious in the Western Pacific than in Europe. The populations of France, Germany and Great Britain together exceed that of Russia. Each alone has a GDP twice the size of Russia’s, and a more advanced industrial base. Our NATO allies clearly have the ability to offset the Russian threat, should they choose to do so.

China’s OBOR: opportunities and challenges

Is One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative the beckoning call for China to become a global hegemon? Will it be successful in reviving China’s economic and soft power ambition on the world stage? And finally, what are the challenges and problems with OBOR in its current state? Questions like these and many more were discussed at the evening talk titled, ‘Understanding and Securing the Belt and Road: The View from the Ground’, held on 23 January 2017 at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Small-town India is waking up to China, but there's still little understanding of its ways

India’s academic expertise on China is limited to a few think-tanks and few universities.

A professor at the Chhatrapati Shivaji night college in Maharashtra’s Solapur city, where hundreds of part-time workers and farmers study from 5 pm to 10 pm, has a new PhD candidate – a high school teacher who juggles a second job teaching in the night college. They are preparing to tackle a rather unfamiliar topic: China.

Chinese investors and officials are panning across India’s interiors in search of smart-city and infrastructure investments, from Pune and Indore to small town Chakan in Pune, where officials and entrepreneurs may have no first-hand experience in dealing with China until recently and no local experts to advise them. India’s academic expertise on China, its largest trading partner, is limited to an inner circle of small think-tanks in Delhi and certain universities in West Bengal and South India.

“A major investment in China studies is no longer a luxury but a necessity,’’ said Alka Acharya, director of the Delhi-based Institute of Chinese Studies. “We need to train more people beyond the metros who will directly face Chinese presence in job and economic opportunities and social engagement. China is still a black hole as far as our understanding of Chinese society, culture and politics goes.” At its annual China conference in Mumbai last month, the institute, for the first time, included a Marathi session to encourage professors in Maharashtra to look east. Responses came from unexpected places: Amravati, Parbhani, Solapur.



The problem the United States has always had in crafting a Syria strategy is that Washington never possessed sufficient leverage to ameliorate Bashar al-Assad’s behavior. Providing arms to opposition groups provided some leverage (but was always fraught because of the lack of reliability of such groups), as did financial and personal sanctions. But prioritizing the fight against Islamic State, exerting pressure on the Assad regime, and assisting the Iraqi government in re-establishing control across the border has proven a difficult set of tasks to accomplish simultaneously.

Meanwhile, Iran and Russia have (and always have had) much greater leverage in Syria. The Soviet Union was the major arms supplier and adviser of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces, while the number of Shia shrine sites in Syria (in Damascus and Raqqa in particular), and the need for a logistics hub for Hizballah, saw Iranian money and pilgrims enter Syria in large numbers. Iran and Russia have also had much greater commitment to the regime than Washington has been able to muster for the potpourri of rebel groups. It therefore comes as little surprise that announcements over the last few weeks have reinforced the disparity between Iranian and Russian influence in Syria and that of the United States and other Western states.

Russia has had an arrangement with the Syrian government for its naval base at Tartus since 1971 and a bilateral security treaty since 1980 (the agreement with the Soviet Union transferred to Russia in 1992). The agreement the two countries signed in January this year that gave Russia a 49-year lease on Tartus, and allowed for the doubling of its berthing capacity for Russian vessels, (as well as a formal long-term arrangement for the Russian Khmeimim airbase in Latakia) should be seen as an extension of a long-standing close relationship.

The ABCs of Russian Military Power: A Primer for the New Administration

Michael Kofman

What the new Pentagon needs to know.

The current confrontation in U.S.-Russia relations, and increasing antagonism in the relationship, makes it difficult to separate structural changes in the European security environment from politically charged sources of conflict. Yet these changes have been profound, dating back to Russian military reforms launched in late 2008. They have serious implications for the new U.S. administration. The principal factors are Russia’s revival of the military as an instrument of national power, the unsettled war in Ukraine, and NATO’s changing posture to counter a perceived threat from Moscow’s machinations.

Seeking an improved, or perhaps simply more stable, relationship with Russia from a “position of strength” requires understanding the new military balance in Europe, the evolution of Russia’s military capabilities, and its evolving force posture. Independent of whether the proximate causes of hostility in U.S.-Russian relations are resolved, or there is a change in the broader atmospherics of the relationship, the United States must develop a strategy and policy for dealing with Russia, grounded not in optimism but in hard military realities. The previous administration suffered from a severe rhetoric-to-strategy gap, contesting Russia politically but losing strategically.

Russian Information Operations in the Western Balkans

By John Cappello

Moscow’s ability to wage information warfare is becoming alarmingly effective in the Western Balkans. Russian news outlets, fake news portals, and pro-Russian tabloids are increasingly attempting to impact public perceptions through manipulation of local media. 

Following increased tensions between Serb and Kosovar political leaders over rising nationalist rhetoric, pro-Russian outlets circulated news feeds across Serbia, stating Russia will intervene to protect the Serbian people by installing the S-400 air defense system in Serbia in the event of a new military conflict.

The Russians clearly identified an opportunity, having launched Serbian language media from an operations center in Belgrade. Content from sources like Sputnik News Agency and Russia Beyond Headlines are republished on an almost daily basis by mainstream Serbian, Montenegrin, and Bosnian Serb media outlets. The tone is strongly anti-NATO and anti-EU. And the veracity is often questionable, at best.

In Montenegro, tensions between the pro-Western ruling coalition and the pro-Russian opposition continue to rise as NATO prepares to invite the tiny Balkan nation to become its 29th member. Russia has applied pressure to derail both Montenegro’s NATO accession and EU integration. The Security Secretary of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, warned that the West is forcing Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to join NATO although these countries have expressed their interest in becoming a part of the transatlantic security alliance. 

Will Ukraine Build a Wall to Keep Out the Russians?


As rumors mount of a Trump-Putin deal on Ukraine, some in Kiev talk about walling off the Russian-sponsored east. For others, that’s anathema.

KRAMATORSK, Ukraine—The temperature dropped down to minus 12 C (10.4 F) in eastern Ukraine and continued to fall. On Wednesday afternoon over 200 vehicles packed with colorful plastic bags, suitcases, and exhausted passengers waited on the grimy road in the middle of a windy field to pass through Mariinka checkpoint to the part of the Donetsk region that is under the control of rebel militants.

Some of the people in line had been waiting for longer than eight hours but none of them dared to get out and stretch their legs in the surrounding fields, which are sown with land mines. So they stayed among the armored vehicles and the troop transports full of Ukrainian soldiers and security service offices, waiting, and waiting… to pass through the customs control toward the Russia-backed breakaway territory.

Mines are not the only danger. Militants from the pro-Russian side often fire in the direction of Mariinka checkpoint. The Ukrainian army reported three wounded soldiers on Jan. 25, adding to hundreds of military and civilians killed and injured during the most recent months.

In Ukraine, Fears of a U.S. Pivot to Russia

U.S. President Donald Trump had a busy first week in office. Within days of his inauguration, Trump had already begun making good on campaign promises, laying the groundwork to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and temporarily suspending immigration to the United States. Then, during his eighth day in office, Jan. 28, Trump held his first direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During their telephone conversation, the two leaders stressed the importance of "restoring mutually beneficial trade and economic ties" between their countries. They also agreed to work together on foreign policy issues, touching on the Middle East, North Korea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine. This last area of collaboration raised concern among members of the Ukrainian government who fear that warmer ties between the United States and Russia could damage Kiev's strategic position and lead to reduced support from Washington. As the Trump administration re-evaluates U.S. policy toward Russia, Ukraine's leaders are reaching out to other allies in the West while ramping up military efforts in Donbas. Still, these measures may not be enough to shelter Kiev from changing geopolitical winds.


The United States has been an important ally for Ukraine since the Euromaidan uprising in 2014. Once Russia annexed Crimea and began supporting the rebellion in eastern Ukraine, the United States, along with the European Union, imposed economic sanctions on Moscow in rebuke. Washington has also supplied Kiev with economic assistance while bolstering Ukrainian security forces with joint training efforts and non-lethal materiel support.

How America Can Beat Russia in Cyber War, Despite Trump

HACKERS WORKING ON behalf of the Russian government have attacked a wide variety of American citizens and institutions. Targets have included the Democratic National Committee, the Republican National Committee, prominent Democratic and Republican officials, and university and academic research programs. These attacks started years back but have continued after the election. They have hit government sites, like the Pentagon’s email system, as well as private networks, like US banks. And they have widened to target our allies, such as in the run-up to the German election.

This is not the kind of cyber war imagined in the past, with power grids going down in fiery cyber Pearl Harbors. Instead, it is a competition more akin to the Cold War’s pre-digital battles that crossed influence operations with espionage. Now, just as then, there is a need for deterrence, both to defend the nation as well as keep an ongoing conflict from escalating into physical damage and destruction.

While Russian president Vladimir Putin has denied this campaign exists, the US intelligence community, FBI, and allied intelligence agencies have all identified these activities. What’s more, five different well-regarded cybersecurity firms (CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Mandiant, ThreatConnect, and SecureWorks) have reported Russia’s role, which is notable, as such firms are competitors and have an incentive to debunk each other’s work. Russia’s cyber aggression is real, and it is spectacular that anyone would keep denying it.

While there is ongoing debate as to whether Trump has been compromised (or rather kompromat) by Russian compromise operations and investments, what is not debatable is that his position on this effort has been mystifying, to say the least. For months, Trump denied that the hacks had even occurred, then claimed they could have been anyone (such as his infamous “400-pound” hacker), and refused to acknowledge Russia’s efforts. In Trump’s press conference this week, he finally acknowledged Russia’s role, but yet again held back, not criticizing the attacks and not identifying a government response. Instead he blamed one of the victims, the DNC, and shrugged off that attack’s significance. (“As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people,” he said, asserting that the real problem was the DNC’s poor “hacking defense.”)

How Mattis' Plan For Fixing The U.S. Military Would Transform The Army

Loren Thompson

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has issued his initial campaign plan for rebuilding America's military, pursuant to a presidential directive signed January 27. If Congress provides necessary funding, the Mattis plan would reverse a steady erosion of the joint force's warfighting edge that resulted from caps on military spending during the Obama years. In fact, the plan may usher in a surge of spending on new military technology unlike anything seen since the Reagan years.

All four of the military services General Mattis oversees would get a boost, but the biggest beneficiary during President Trump's tenure will be the service that is currently in the direst straits -- the Army. That's because the fixes the Army needs can be implemented more quickly than expanding the Navy's fleet or fielding a new Air Force bomber. In fact, making the Army healthy again could be largely accomplished during Trump's first term -- which is a good thing since it is pivotal to deterring East-West war in Europe.

After two decades of fighting lightly-equipped insurgents in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has fallen behind near-peer adversaries -- most notably Russia -- in a wide array of capabilities including long-range fires (missiles and artillery), air defense, force protection, electronic warfare, and cybersecurity. The Army needed so much money to sustain the force structure and readiness demanded by a global war on terror that there wasn't much left for replacing old equipment -- especially after Congress capped spending in 2011.

The Drone Database

The Center for a New American Security released with the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, The Drone Database, a tool aimed at helping policymakers and the public understand the scope and implications of global drone proliferation. It includes profiles of more than 150 drones from 48 countries. The drones in the database are can be organized according to country of origin and includes technical specifications such as range, payload size, and endurance.

CNAS Technology and National Security Program Director Ben FitzGerald and CNAS Future of Warfare Initiative Director Paul Scharre joined Dan Gettinger, co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Drone, to discuss the new database in a podcast available on the CNAS iTunes and SoundCloud channels. The database is available on the CNAS Drones website: http://drones.cnas.org/drones/.

The database is part of the CNAS Proliferated Drones project, a wide-ranging resource on different aspects of drone proliferation. The Proliferated Drones primer offers an introduction to the different categories of systems that are currently being adopted by state and non-state actors. The project also includes a series of perspectives on drone development and acquisition in countries including Germany, Singapore, and South Korea, among others, as well as a war game report that explored how some state and non-state actors could use drones in various conflicts.

Dunford: Speed of Military Decision-Making Must Exceed Speed of War

Jim Garamone

Military decision-making needs to exceed the speed of events, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote recently in Joint Forces Quarterly.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks with Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman, and senior enlisted leaders from across the Defense Department during the Defense Senior Enlisted Leaders Council at the Pentagon, Dec. 1, 2016. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro

Since Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford became the chairman in September 2015, he has emphasized innovations and changes that speed the military’s ability to respond to rapidly changing situations.

While America’s joint force is the best in the world, he said, it must continue to innovate to stay ahead of potential foes and to adapt to constantly changing strategies.

“As I reflect back on four decades of service in uniform, it is clear that the pace of change has accelerated significantly,” Dunford said.

He noted that when he entered the Marine Corps in the 1970s, he used much the same equipment that his father used during the Korean War. “I used the same cold-weather gear my dad had in Korea 27 years earlier,” he said. “The radios I used as a platoon commander were the same uncovered PRC-25s from Vietnam. The jeeps we drove would have been familiar to veterans of World War II, and to be honest, so would the tactics.” Marine units, he added, fought much the same way their fathers did at Peleliu, Okinawa or the Chosin Reservoir.

Why Net Neutrality Is More Important Than Ever

by Felix Richter

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump appointed Ajit Pai as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Pai is an outspoken critic of the 2015 Open Internet Order which was drafted to protect the open internet and ensure net neutrality. It basically classifies the internet as a public utility, like electricity or water, and prohibits internet service providers from blocking or throttling any (legal) content or prioritizing content from one source over another.

In a speech given in December 2016, the new FCC chairman spoke out against the regulation, saying it was “a solution that wouldn’t work for a problem that didn’t exist".

Considering recent developments involving some of America’s largest broadband providers however, one would be hard-pressed not to see problems arising should net neutrality regulation be overthrown. In fact, the regulation may be more relevant than ever.

As our chart illustrates, major ISPs such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon have recently made (or are planning to make) large investments in content companies. Now consider this example: Assuming that AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner is approved, wouldn’t Comcast have an incentive to throttle your internet connection when watching HBO Now, which belongs to its biggest competitor AT&T and stands in direct competition to some of its own content providers?



A screenshot of the Center for Strategic Global Monitoring.

A few weeks ago, a colleague asked why I was a part of an organization called the Center for Global Strategic Monitoring (also known as the CGS Monitor). Despite working in foreign policy for seventeen years, I had never heard of this organization. Imagine my surprise when I discovered my photograph and biography listed on the CGS Monitor website as one of their “experts.”

I immediately began searching the website for contact information to request that my name be removed. However, it became clear that there was something fishy about this website. Not only was no mailing address given; the only email contact to be found was a ubiquitous “info@” address. My email requesting that my name be removed has never been answered and the website continues to list me as one of their experts.

As a political consultant in Kyiv and a senior non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council, I follow politics in Eastern Europe closely. I also maintain a blog on Ukrainian politics and provide political risk analysis for personal clients. Over the last three years, I have witnessed the massive Russian propaganda campaign against Ukraine, and have seen firsthand the effects of the war in eastern Ukraine. Like everyone else, I have observed the recent “fake news” phenomenon. But the CGS Monitor website takes fake news and introduces a new element: “fake opinion.”

New CIA director inherits an agency that is quickly developing cyber capabilities

The CIA’s Directorate of Digital Innovation is now delivering the kinds of cyber-espionage tools and intelligence-gathering capabilities that the agency was seeking when then-Director John Brennan created it two years ago, says a senior official with the program.

The unit has moved beyond its initial period of integration with the spy agency, said Sean Roche, the DDI’s associate deputy director. It’s now “delivering capabilities that will enable CIA to transform the business of intelligence,” he said, at a time when the CIA is transitioning to new leadership.

“We are creating agile digital environments to enhance our ability to collaborate as an Agency and Intelligence Community,” Roche said. “The vision is to create pathways for persistent clandestine and open-source collection that feed data exploitation and curation.”

The Langley, Virginia-based office’s mission is to streamline and integrate digital and cybersecurity capabilities into the CIA’s espionage, counterintelligence, all-source analysis, open-source intelligence collection and covert action operations.

The DDI’s progress also comes as Donald Trump’s administration evaluates the role, responsibility and mission of nearly every federal organization. On Monday, the Senate confirmed Trump’s pick to replace Brennan, Mike Pompeo.