24 June 2018

Russia and India Had Big Plans to Build a Stealth Fighter. So What Happened?

Zachary Keck

India backed out of a $9 billion agreement to develop a fifth-generation fighter jet with Russia because it didn’t need Moscow’s help, according to a new report. On June 13, India’s Economic Times reported that Delhi pulled out of the agreement at the direction of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), India’s premier defense technology agency. Citing “sources who were involved in the negotiations and are knowledgeable about the decision,” the Economic Times said the “final nail in the coffin” was DRDO’s insistence that it could develop all the technologies Russia was offering in the the PAK FA project.

The Unconventional Plan for Dealing With China

Hugh Harsono
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Military-to-military relationships continue to play an important role in foreign policy, though these roles have changed throughout time. Previously, these relationships were as simple as several military forces allying themselves to defeat a common enemy. In the present, the dynamics of soft power and hard power have changed the ways military forces interact, adding additional certain nuances to these relationships. Military relationships between the United States and China are particularly important, specifically because both nations are so closely aligned on economic fronts. However, because of differing and occasionally opposing viewpoints on foreign policy, America and China are simply limited when conducting traditional military-to-military techniques. Therefore, what steps can America—specifically America’s military—take to counter Chinese political and military responses? Also, how can U.S. forces influence cooperation with these Chinese counterparts to ensure lasting positive benefits for all?

China's Use of Coercive Economic Measures

By Peter Harrell, Elizabeth Rosenberg and Edoardo Saravalle

China has been a practitioner of economic statecraft throughout its history, and in recent decades since Deng Xiaoping opened the country in the 1970s. Today, one of President Xi Jinping’s central foreign policy initiatives, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is a potentially trillion-dollar testament to Beijing’s commitment to using loans, infrastructure projects, and other economic measures as foreign policy tools. In the past decade, China has expanded its set of such economic instruments to include sticks, not just carrots. China has punished countries that undermine its territorial claims and foreign policy goals with measures such as restricting trade, encouraging popular boycotts, and cutting off tourism. These actions have caused significant economic damage to U.S. partners such as Japan and South Korea. The measures may also have long-term effects in deterring and shaping countries’ foreign policy interests that go well beyond the short-term economic costs.

The security strategies of the US, China, Russia and the EU: Living in different worlds



This report analyzes and compares the security strategies of four major international actors: the United States, China, Russia and the European Union. The rules-based liberal international order is increasingly under strain due to tightening geopolitical competition and the decline of the Western hegemony. In this context, the report explores the conceptions of the four major powers with regard to the world order, the self-defined position of each actor in it, and their possible aspirations to change the existing order. Furthermore, the report analyzes how each strategy defines security threats and risks, as well as ways to address these threats. The report highlights the ongoing rapid change of global structures and instruments of power as a challenge addressed in all four strategies. Increased competition is visible not only in the field of military power, but also in economic relations and at the level of values. While the US strategy defines Russia and China as key adversaries whose increasing influence is to be contained, both Russia and China correspondingly aim at building a counterweight to the US power in a multipolar world. Among the four actors, only the EU maintains a strong commitment to the rules-based order and explicitly rejects a worldview centred around zero-sum rivalry between great powers.

China’s Opening-Up Offers Failed To Impress – Analysis

By Michael Lelyveld

China has offered to scrap foreign investment limits on a long list of sectors in hopes of avoiding U.S. tariffs, but the opportunities would have little impact, analysts say. While the outcome of U.S.-China trade frictions is still unresolved, China has put a series of “opening-up” measures on the table as incentives for a deal to end the bilateral disputes. Last week, China continued to dangle new investment breaks following the U.S. decision to proceed with imposing 25-percent tariffs on U.S. $50 billion (320 billion yuan) of Chinese goods. The penalties on Chinese products containing “industrially significant technologies” will be imposed in light of violations of intellectual property rights (IPR) and “other unfair trade practices,” President Donald Trump said in a statement Friday.

Russia’s Armed Forces Exploit Robotic Technology to Transform Operational Capability

By: Roger McDermott

The development and procurement of high-technology systems have increasingly proven to be important aspects of Russia’s Armed Forces modernization in recent years (see EDM, May 17, June 13). These have been wide-ranging in scope, benefiting command and control as well as boosting an array of network-enabled assets. Such high-technology systems fit more broadly within efforts to adopt “command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” (C4ISR) capabilities as critical elements in Russia’s conventional military. Integral components of this complex process include the ongoing modernization of Electronic Warfare (EW) systems, the enhancement of air defense, and networking the battlespace to provide for stand-off strike options or to conduct network-centric operations (see EDM, April 17, May 1).

Kerch Strait Now a Flashpoint for Russian and Ukrainian Forces

By: Paul Goble
Source Link

The next major battle between Russian aggressors and Ukrainian defenders may take place not in Donbas but on the waters of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, a development that could prove even more dangerous to regional stability than earlier Russian acts of aggression. The situation has been deteriorating since March 26, when Ukraine seized a Russian ship that had violated its territorial waters and threatened further retaliation on other waterways, (see EDM, April 12, May 1). But over the last few days, conditions there have deteriorated sharply, with each country warning that it will use military force to defend its ships. In such a tense environment, an attack on even a merchant vessel could easily become perceived by the other side as an act of war.

The Rise of Russia's Military

Dave Majumdar
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With relations at the lowest point in decades, the United States and Russia have embarked on what appears to be a new Cold War. But this new confrontation is fundamentally different from the original standoff with the Soviet Union that engulfed the world for the better part of five decades after the end of the Second World War. Unlike during the original Cold War, there is no all-encompassing global ideological struggle between Washington and Moscow to dominate a largely bipolar international system. Outside the realm of nuclear weapons, post-Soviet Russia can hardly be considered a peer to the United States by any measure. Russian weakness relative to the United States and its allies might make this new conflict even more dangerous and unstable compared to the original Cold War.

Trump Administration Warns Friends Against Russia Arms Deals

By PAUL MCLEARY
As some Gulf and Asian allies consider big purchases of Russia arms, the Senate is set to uphold a law signed by Trump that would slap sanctions on them for cozying up with Moscow. A Trump administration nominee fired a shot across the bow of any U.S. ally considering buying Russian military equipment, suggesting that even long-term U.S. arms consumers like Saudi Arabia might feel the sting of economic penalties if they contract with Moscow. “I would tell Saudi Arabia not to do it,” nominee to be assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, David Schenker told Senators at his nomination hearing last week.

What Trump’s Space Force Announcement Means

BY MARCUS WEISGERBER, PATRICK TUCKER

Donald Trump said Monday that he had directed the Pentagon to establish a Space Force, describing it as a sixth branch of the U.S. military. It would be the first time the Pentagon has stood up a new service since the Air Force received its independence after World War II. Creating a standalone service for space isn’t something the president can do on his own; he needs congressional authorization. But Monday’s announcement (here’s video, via Reuters), which follow broad endorsements of the concept by the Joint Chiefs’ office and various military branches, means that Senate holdouts who were taking their cues from the Air Force are likely to bow out of the fight.

An Internet of Nuclear Things: Emerging Technology and the Future of Supply Chain Security

Wyatt Hoffman and Tristan Volpe


Emerging technologies enabled by digitization—notably additive manufacturing—are alluring for the nuclear industry as it works to lower financial costs and remedy quality-control concerns with aged production lines. While cyberphysical manufacturing technology could increase the efficiency and visibility of supply-chain operations, the steady trend toward digitization and interconnection could result in unacceptable cyber risks, ranging from the loss of sensitive proprietary information to the spread of compromised components throughout nuclear infrastructure.

Global Peace Index 2018

This twelfth edition of the Global Peace Index ranks the peacefulness of 163 nations according to 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators. In addition to providing the index’s findings and an overall trend analysis, the report also includes an updated assessment of the economic impact of violence as well as trends in Positive Peace: the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies.

Download 

Japan’s Remilitarization: Implications For Regional Security – Analysis

By Iqra Mobeen Akram*

This research paper is divided into five main parts. The first part concerns with defining the variables and problematises the term of ‘remilitarization’ to understand the changes in the security policy of Japan. The second part explains the main assumptions of the theoretical framework employed to answer the main research problem. The third part explains the dynamic of the change in Japan’s policy by underlining the main historical precursors. The fourth part provides the answer to the research question on the causes of the shift from the ‘self-defence to the proactive defence’ policy of Japan. The fifth part elaborates the implication of the Japanese changing defence policy for the regional politics followed by the conclusion.

How The NSA Can Use Blockchain To "Connect The Dots" Securely—With Smart Contracts

Salvatore Babones
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When National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden walked off with 1.5 million classified documents in May 2013, he exposed the weakness of the U.S. government's jerry-rigged security systems. Instead of iron-clad double-key encryption, the NSA relied on home remedies like regular password changes and the prohibition of thumb drives. When your home network has better security than the NSA, something has to change. That change may come from an unlikely source: Bitcoin. No, the NSA is not likely to start making its analysts mine Bitcoins to pay for data access. But the NSA could adopt Bitcoin's underlying database architecture, the encrypted blockchain database management system.

Experts fear the growing threat of connected devices

By: Justin Lynch
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Manufactures of smart devices need to strengthen their security, a panel of experts said Monday, challenging creators of the growing “internet of things” industry to impose minimum standards on their products. A group of leaders from government and industry, speaking at a June 18 event held in the Woodrow Wilson Center, said that recent cyberattacks have revealed that connected products present a stark security risk. The suggestion of a political solution was laughed at.

HOW DRINKING A LITTLE ALCOHOL PROTECTS THE HEART UNCOVERED IN NEW STUDY

BY KASHMIRA GANDER 

Researchers behind a study in mice believe consuming small amounts of alcohol could protect the heart because it activates an enzyme which puts the organ under a healthy level of stress and makes it stronger. According to the team at the Biomedical Science Institute of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Stanford University in the U.S., an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) appears to both help process the toxic byproducts of alcohol digestion, and get rid of a molecule our heart cells create when they undergo major damage such as a heart attack. When heart cells face stress, they create a large amount of a type of compound called an aldehyde which is toxic in excess and can torpedo the structure of cells. ALDH2 clears the aldehydes from the heart, including the form of the compound created by the liver after we drink.

You’ve been breached: Eight steps to take within the next 48 hours (free PDF)

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A slow or mishandled response to a data breach can make a bad situation even worse. As soon as you discover you’ve been hacked, take these steps to help contain the damage. 

From the ebook: 

“A data breach itself is the second worst possible event that can occur in an organization; the mismanagement of the communication about the response is the worst.” This observation comes from Exabeam chief security strategist Steve Moore, who has tracked criminal and nation-state adversaries and led the largest healthcare breach response in history. Moore added that the time spent on a breach, including audit, regulatory, and litigation support, can last not months but years. 

The all-day UAVs that soak up sun and intel

By: Maddy Longwell  
Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are exploring technology that allows unmanned aerial vehicles to fly for more than 12 hours using thermal and solar energy. Solar-soaring technology uses both thermal energy in the atmosphere and solar energy to power UAVs. Dan Edwards, senior aerospace engineer in NRL’s Tactical Electronic Warfare Division, described in a press release how UAVs can use sensing and guidance algorithms to detect a thermal updraft, when air close to the Earth is warmed by the sun and starts to rise, to soar. Solar-soaring technology also uses solar energy to power solar cells that convert light to electricity. New solar cell technologies are now small enough to justify the weight they add to UAVs.

Israeli Ex-Spy Chief Names Main Target in Possible Cyber War With Iran - Reports


During his appearance at a major cyber conference, a former top Israeli intelligence official claimed that the energy sector will witness “the next 9/11 in cyber” if a conflict between Tel Aviv and Tehran breaks out. Ehud Schnerosen, former head of an Israeli signal intelligence corps known as Unit 8200, has announced that in the event of any future conflict between Israel and Iran, cyber-attacks should be aimed at the enemy energy sector, which he described as "a major pillar of the economy, the state's cardio-vascular system," according to The Jerusalem Post. "We should not attack water, food, or healthcare on ethical grounds, and should not attack banks because of the potential butterfly effect," Schnerosen said, adding that "the next 9/11 in cyber will be in the energy sector."

Trump’s Space Force Faces Hurdles in the Pentagon and Congress

BY LARA SELIGMAN
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President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement yesterday that he wants to establish a separate “Space Force” as a sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces may pit him against top military leaders and lawmakers. During a Monday meeting of the National Space Council, Trump declared that he is directing the Department of Defense to immediately begin the process of creating a space force that is “separate but equal” to the Air Force, the service currently responsible for most of the U.S. military assets and operations in space. The president’s directive to create a separate entity dedicated to military space operations appeared to take the Pentagon by surprise, after senior leaders spent the last year quashing a congressional proposal to do just that.

Artificial Intelligence and International Affairs: Disruption Anticipated


This report examines some of the challenges for policymakers that may arise from the advancement and increasing application of AI. It draws together strands of thinking about the impact that AI may have on selected areas of international affairs – from military, human security and economic perspectives – over the next 10–15 years. The report sets out a broad framework to define and distinguish between the types of roles that artificial intelligence might play in policymaking and international affairs: these roles are identified as analytical, predictive and operational.

WP315 | Is Use of Cyber-Based Technology in Humanitarian Operations Leading to the Reduction of Humanitarian Independence?

Martin Searle

Technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) are being tested and adopted at a significant rate in humanitarian emergency response. However, the crossing of physical, biological, and cyber domains that characterises these technologies threatens the independence of humanitarian organisations. This is occurring in an environment in which the value and purpose of independence is already seriously questioned, both in practice, and in principle. This paper argues that the loss of independence stems from two related trends. First, several 4IR technologies are improving the capacity of humanitarian organisations to gather, synthesise, and analyse data, resulting in the production of information of increasingly strategic, political or military value. Second, the cyber component of these technologies simultaneously renders that information more vulnerable to unauthorised access by third parties with relevant political, military or economic agendas. This parallels the “capability/ vulnerability paradox” identified in literature discussing cybersecurity in relation to the military or so-called “smart cities”. In conflict and disaster settings, this paradox increases the likelihood of humanitarian actors functioning as appendages of other organisations. This loss of independence potentially has operational implications relating to access, and material impact on the ongoing debate around the importance of independence in humanitarian work.

Bending the Internet: Iran Brings the National Information Network Online

Wary of the internet's power as a tool for political dissent and even revolution, Iran's conservatives have pushed for more stringent oversight online. Part of the strategy involves banning foreign apps and services, such as Telegram, and offering users closely monitored domestic alternatives. Iran's intranet, the National Information Network, will help authorities in this endeavor by giving them greater control over internet users, internet service providers and online content.

Bending the Internet: How Governments Control the Flow of Information Online


As the internet matures, states will continue to refine their techniques for managing the flow of online information to their citizens. Nearly every national government exerts some level of control over domestic internet use, but the extent of the manipulation, and the tactics used to achieve it, varies widely from state to state. Four countries — Iran, China, Turkey and Russia — merit special attention for their efforts to break Western hegemony on the internet and, by extension, to challenge the free internet model.

HUMAN-MACHINE TEAMING FOR FUTURE GROUND FORCES


By the middle of the 21st century, ground forces will employ tens of thousands of robots, and the decisions of human commanders will be shaped by artificial intelligence; trends in technology and warfare make this a near certainty. The military organizations of the United States and its allies and partners must plan now for this new era of warfare.

23 June 2018

3 new Tibet airports near border pose threat

Claude Arpi

India should not fall back into a “Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai” mood, even if a “reset” of bilateral relations is necessary. On June 9, the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the Tibetan Autonomous Region’s (TAR) government announced that Tibet will soon have three new airports. A communiqué said: “Construction of three airports, all above the altitude of 3,900 metres, should begin in 2019.” Xinhua, the Chinese official news agency, gave the rationale: “Tourist travel will be more convenient and economic development in Tibet’s agricultural and pastoral areas will also be assisted.” The announcement came during a conference on Civil Aviation System Supporting Tibet Airport Construction Development held in Lhasa a day earlier.

Thirsty Days Ahead: Pakistan’s Looming Water Crisis

By Muhammad Mohsin Raza

Pakistan is currently facing an acute water shortage that is likely to wreck havoc in the country in the coming years. Recently, the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) highlighted a grave water shortagein the Indus Basin irrigation system (IBIS), the world’s largest contiguous irrigation system, for the summer cropping season. The timing of the crisis is critical and had delayed the sowing of the country’s main cash crops, including cotton. Experts believe the authorities were aware of the approaching acute water shortage because of shortages during the winter cropping season.

Mapping Taliban Control in Afghanistan

by Bill Roggio & Alexandra Gutowski

Description: For nearly two decades the government of Afghanistan, with the help of U.S. and coalition forces, has been battling for control of the country against the ever-present threat of the Afghan Taliban. FDD’s Long War Journal has been tracking the Taliban’s attempts to gain control of territory since NATO ended its military mission in Afghanistan and switched to an “advise and assist” role in June 2014. Districts have been retaken (by both sides) only to be lost shortly thereafter, largely resulting in the conflict’s current relative stalemate. However, since the U.S. drawdown of peak forces in 2011, the Taliban has unquestionably been resurgent.

Inching For A Trade War: Worst Is Yet To Come – Analysis

By Kaewkamol Pitakdumrongkit*

Although the prospect of a trade war between US and other economies looms large, the actual confrontation could still be evaded. But even if a trade war does not occur, the world is not off the hook as the US is having another tool in the pipeline which may in the future be wielded against friends and foes alike. Few other things are making headlines as much as a potential trade war after President Donald Trump declared that the United States would impose tariffs on steel and aluminium from Canada, Mexico, the European Union (EU) and China. Such a move unsurprisingly has created uproar around the world.

China is building its new Silk Road in space, too

Echo Huang

Half a century ago, China launched its first satellite, the very first objectto be sent into space by the Communist party-ruled country. Now, satellites have become a central part in China’s ambitious globe-spanning infrastructure push. The Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI), a pet project of China’s leader Xi Jinping, aims to build trillions of dollars of infrastructure from Asia to Africa to Europe, and along sea routes too. Involving roughly 70 countries so far, it entails massive spending (and lending) by China on railroads, ports and energy projects, highways—and, increasingly, satellite launches. China has been exporting satellites for over a decade, but it’s become easier to think of them as “infrastructure” in recent years as capabilities increased without costs going up, according to Blaine Curcio, founder of Orbital Gateway Consulting, a Hong Kong-based satellite market research firm. Apart from providing critical time-keeping and weather forecasts, satellite internet service has become much more viable.

China-North Korea Relations After the Trump-Kim Summit

By Xie Tao

One way to describe the historic Trump-Kim summit is to twist the famous line of Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon. The unprecedented meeting represents “one giant leap for both Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, one small step for peace on the Korean Peninsula.” It is one giant leap for the two leaders, because merely half a year ago they were exchanging a barrage of nuclear threats and personal insults. It would have been dismissed as a wild fantasy if anybody had suggested back then that the two antagonists would meet in person, with handshakes and smiling faces under the global spotlight.

Putin on the Ritz in China

By Nicholas Trickett

Over the last few years it’s become commonplace for Russia watchers and political scientists to compare Vladimir Putin to Leonid Brezhnev. Both leaders held power over the course of an entire generation and, now for Putin, share the misfortune of having overseen deepening economic and social stagnation. After Putin issued decrees naming his new presidential administration, Carnegie Moscow fellow Alexander Gabuev quipped on Twitter that since 80 percent of the team wasn’t changing, “it’s brezhnevization, but with more advanced medical services for the top leadership.”

China Data Indicates Broad Slowing Of Economy


Unlike events that happen in Las Vegas that has prompted the slogan, “anything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, things that happen in China do not stay in China. This is obvious from the huge amount of wealth fleeing the country over the last few years. Chinese money and wealth flowing across porous borders can be seen in soaring house prices in Vancouver and most of Australia; however, the subject we want to focus on at this time has to do with recent data from China indicating a broad slowdown in activity. Data recently released points to the slowest investment growth in over 22 years which is a clear indication that regulatory crackdowns in the banking sector are starting to filter through to the broader economy.

Growth In China Is Expected To Slow 

Are Countries Prepared for the Increasing Threat of Engineered Bioweapons?

Ranu S. Dhillon Devabhaktuni Srikrishna David Beier

Amid current outbreaks of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nipah virus in India, an even scarier threat looms. Last year, researchers recreated an extinct smallpox-like virus with DNA bought online for just $100,000 and published how they did it. Their feat heightens concerns that rogue regimes and terrorists could similarly modify or engineer pathogens and use them as weapons. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter warned that such biological artillery might come to rival the destructive power of nuclear arms. If a highly contagious agent were released in a major city, it could spread far and wide and kill thousands before it is even clear what is happening. Responding effectively to such threats will require a paradigm shift towards approaches that are faster and more agile and decentralized than what exists now.

Is Europe Prepared for a New Wave of Migrants?

The European migrant crisis that erupted in 2015 caught the Continent completely off guard.
It divided the EU into two camps: those that willingly took in migrants and agreed to Brussels' quota system, and those that did not. The former includes Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel continues to champion an open-door policy to European migration. The latter includes countries such as Hungary and Italy. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban campaigned on the threat that refugees would overrun his country if he were not elected, and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has denounced illegal migrants living in Italy as a “social time bomb.” Anti-immigration politicians have been able to expand their power bases by tapping into the concern that migrants are exploiting Europe’s generous social programs.

Trump Doesn't Need a Grand Strategy

By Ionut Popescu

Of all the criticisms raised against the foreign policy of U.S. President Donald Trump, the most predictable is to deplore his lack of a grand strategy. For instance, Rebecca Friedman Lissner and Micah Zenko have criticized Trump’s “anti-strategic” foreign policy and inability to “develop and execute a purposive course of action over time.” Others concede that although Trump does indeed have a grand strategy, it is ill conceived and insufficient. Colin Kahl and Hal Brands write that Trump’s “America first” platform, though recognizably strategic, is “plagued by internal tensions and dilemmas that will make it difficult to achieve the president’s stated objectives.” 

Limiting Foreign Investment to Protect U.S. Economic Security: Business Implications

By John Taishu Pitt

On May 23, 2018, legislation to reform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) was passed in the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee. There has been broad bipartisan support for the proposed legislation which would reform CFIUS to expand its jurisdiction. While many support the reform to fill the gap in oversight pertaining to foreign direct investment (FDI) into important U.S. sectors, others have raised the broader concern that the increased restrictions may send the world a message that the U.S. is closed for business — especially in light of the Trump administration’s increased unilateral protectionism.

Why Moderates Support Extreme Groups It's Not About Ideology

By Barbara F. Walter

One of the big surprises since the end of the Cold War has been the growth of radical Islamist groups, especially those that adhere to Salafi jihadism, an ultraconservative reform movement that seeks to establish a transnational caliphate based on sharia law. These organizations reject democracy and believe violence and terrorism are justified in pursuit of their goals. Before 1990, there was only a handful of active Salafi jihadist groups. By 2013, there were 49.

Belarus and Russia Have Become Frenemies

by Yuri Tsarik

On 4 June, Russian veterinary and food inspectors announced a temporary ban on imports of Belarusian milk and dairy products in retail containers larger than 2.5 litres, effective 6 June. This initiated yet another dispute in Belarusian-Russian relations, which have been deteriorating following Belarus’s refusal to participate in the Kremlin’s foreign policy adventurism. Moscow is reviewing its policy towards Belarus, while Minsk is trying to work out an adequate response to the new Russian strategy.

In Moscow’s arms

Blockchain beyond the hype: What is the strategic business value?

By Brant Carson, Giulio Romanelli, Patricia Walsh, and Askhat Zhumaev

Companies can determine whether they should invest in blockchain by focusing on specific use cases and their market position. Speculation on the value of blockchain is rife, with Bitcoin—the first and most infamous application of blockchain—grabbing headlines for its rocketing price and volatility. That the focus of blockchain is wrapped up with Bitcoin is not surprising given that its market value surged from less than $20 billion to more than $200 billion over the course of 2017.1Yet Bitcoin is only the first application of blockchain technology that has captured the attention of government and industry.

It’s time to rein in the data barons

by Martin Giles

When Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress earlier this year to discuss how the now-defunct political-data company Cambridge Analytica acquired data of up to 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent, one of the few pointed questions came from Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator from South Carolina. “Who’s your biggest competitor?” Graham demanded. After Zuckerberg replied that Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft all had some overlap with various Facebook products, Graham chafed at the answer.

Keeping America first in quantum computing means avoiding these five big mistakes

by Martin Giles

Two separate pieces of legislation being floated in Congress would boost federal spending on quantum research and encourage more public-private partnerships in the field. A big focus of the legislative proposals is on quantum computing, which could eventually produce machines that make today’s most powerful supercomputer seem like an abacus. Unlike conventional machines, which process data in bits that represent either 0 or 1, quantum computers harness quantum bits, or qubits, which can represent both values simultaneously. While adding a few extra bits to a classical computer makes a modest difference in its capability, adding a few qubits increases a quantum machine’s computational power exponentially.

Trump's 'Space Force' Motivated By Russian, Chinese Threats To Critical U.S. Orbital System

Loren Thompson 

If you thought President Trump was just musing when he publicly broached the subject of a U.S. "space force" in recent months, guess again. On Monday, he disclosed at a meeting of the National Space Council in Washington, D.C. that he is directing the establishment of a sixth military branch to address operations in space. And he didn't mince words about what he had in mind: "We are going to have a Space Force. An Air Force and a Space Force. Separate, but equal."

An Assessment of Information Warfare as a Cybersecurity Issue

By Justin Sherman, Anastasios Arampatzis, Paul Cobaugh

Justin Sherman is a sophomore at Duke University double-majoring in Computer Science and Political Science, focused on cybersecurity, cyberwarfare, and cyber governance. Justin conducts technical security research through Duke’s Computer Science Department; he conducts technology policy research through Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy; and he’s a Cyber Researcher at a Department of Defense-backed, industry-intelligence-academia group at North Carolina State University focused on cyber and national security – through which he works with the U.S. defense and intelligence communities on issues of cybersecurity, cyber policy, and national cyber strategy. Justin is also a regular contributor to numerous industry blogs and policy journals.

Cyber Security in the Cloud: One or Multiple Cloud Service Providers?

By William Schneider Jr.

The inconsistent security protocols across the federal government's decentralized IT architecture have made its entire information system a particularly inviting target for attacks by adversary states and rogue insiders. There are compelling reasons for federal departments and agencies to move from a decentralized, ad hoc IT architecture to a cloud-based architecture. Decentralized systems are especially prone to computer-hygiene gremlins, such as when users' fail to apply software security updates consistently and practice poor password discipline. Such lapses present a low bar for hackers trying to propagate cyber malware or steal data. This hygiene problem is largely absent from centrally administered cloud-based architectures. Enforced uniformity of security practices among all users of the cloud creates a preferable outcome from a security perspective. 

Former NATO Commander Envisions New Cyber Branch of Military

By Adam Janofsky

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis said Tuesday that there should be a new branch of the military that focuses exclusively on defending the public and private sectors against cyberthreats. Cyberattacks carried out by nation states such as Russia and North Korea increasingly are sophisticated and brash, said Mr. Stavridis, the current dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. A dedicated cybersecurity unit would help critical infrastructure operators, for example, prevent and respond to attacks that could cause widespread destruction, he said, speaking at the Gartner Security and Risk Management Conference here.

Why Hackers Aren’t Afraid of Us

By David E. Sanger

WASHINGTON — Ask finance ministers and central bankers around the world about their worst nightmare and the answer is almost always the same: Sometime soon the North Koreans or the Russians will improve on the two huge cyberattacks they pulled off last year. One temporarily crippled the British health care system and the other devastated Ukraine before rippling across the world, disrupting shipping and shutting factories — a billion-dollar cyberattack the White House called “the most destructive and costly in history.” The fact that no intelligence agency saw either attack coming — and that countries were so fumbling in their responses — led a group of finance ministers to simulate a similar attack that shut down financial markets and froze global transactions. By several accounts, it quickly spun into farce: No one wanted to admit how much damage could be done or how helpless they would be to deter it.

Training Cyberspace Maneuver

Andrew Schoka

The principle of maneuver in military operations has dominated strategic military thinking for over two thousand years. Foundational to the understanding of maneuver theory is the concept of warfighting domains, the fundamental environments in which military forces engage in warfare. As the development of ships heralded the introduction of the ocean as a warfighting domain, maneuver theory evolved to incorporate the employment of naval forces. Likewise, the development of aviation necessitated the inclusion of the atmosphere as a warfighting domain and brought about the consideration of aerial assets into maneuver thinking. Space followed, presenting a highly technical domain to be considered within the context of military operations. Maneuver theory has now evolved to consider the first man-and-machine-made domain, in which cyberspace, as an artificial information domain, overlaps, intersects, and engages with the four other warfighting domains. The unique nature of the cyberspace warfighting domain presents a host of distinct challenges and considerations to maneuver thinking, requiring a change to the approach of training maneuver warfare principles for military cyberspace leaders.

In Germany, Politics Recollects History

By George Friedman

Throughout her 13 years in Germany’s highest office, Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the linchpin of German politics. Given Germany’s pre-eminence in the European Union, she is arguably the linchpin of European politics, too, having shepherded her country through crisis after crisis. From the 2008 financial crisis came an economic crisis, which in turn led to a social crisis and then, finally, a political crisis. The European Union, once a beacon of cooperation and progress, is rife with political parties that oppose many of the things the EU embodies – transnationalism, technocratic elite, etc.

The U.S. Army Culture is French!

Donald E. Vandergriff

When taken in its entirety, the American Army had a simple and extremely consistent intellectual framework for war and the battlefield from its inception in 1814 through its replacement in 1940-1941. This intellectual framework provided the Army with a consensus on the nature of war, of organization, and of technology, so that for over a century the American Army had a distinctive way of war. This way of war was, at its heart, based on the elements and intellectual framework of the French Combat Method.[i]