24 April 2019

Critical Shifts in India’s Outer Space Policy

By Namrata Goswami and Peter Garretson

While the world has been focused on China’s impressive space firsts, notably the Chang’e-4 landing on the far side of the moon, and U.S. proposals for a Space Force, India is seeing steady progress on its own comprehensive space program.

A number of important policy changes have been made and are in the works. These changes reflect both a changing international environment where nation states are competing across categories of prestige, military capability, and economics, as well as India’s increasing material wealth and technological capability. A Standard Chartered report forecasted that India will overtake the U.S. economy ($31 trillion) in nominal GPD terms by 2030, to become the world’s second largest economy at $46.3 trillion, only behind China ($64.2 trillion), projected to be the top economy.

Afghanistan: Prospects and Challenges to Regional Connectivity

By Mariam Safi and Bismellah Alizada

Afghanistan’s strategic location has for a long time been touted as a competitive advantage for the country. The National Unity Government (NUG) has emphasized that Afghanistan’s economy will be transformed and economic growth achieved if the country can utilize this advantage and turn itself into a regional hub for trade and transit. To materialize that ambition, however, Afghanistan needs extensive infrastructure development internally and connectivity externally. To that end, Afghanistan can tap into the potential of regional connectivity projects like China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Russia, India, and Iran’s International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that have come onto the scene in recent years.

Nevertheless, the prospect of these initiatives in setting Afghanistan on the path to self-reliance remains unpromising, at least in the short run, as the country continues to face a multitude of interdependent challenges. This was confirmed by the findings of a recent study by the Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies (DROPS), a research think tank based in Kabul.

Doha Talks Postponed After Taliban Objects to Presence of Afghan Officials

By Bill Roggio

A three day conference between the Taliban and a delegation of Afghan that was to be held in Doha, Qatar has been postponed after the Taliban objected to the presence of Afghan government officials. The Taliban has consistently refused to negotiate with the Afghan government and said the composition of the delegation to Doha indicates that it represents the Afghan government.

Afghan officials and Western diplomats told Reuters the Doha conference has been delayed until the composition of the Afghan delegation is reworked to the Taliban’s liking

“The government will have to change the composition of the delegation to make this meeting happen,” an anonymous Western diplomat told the news service.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters that the “presence of some participants was completely against the list of what was agreed upon,” and indicated that the inclusion of Afghan government officials was unacceptable.

Lessons From Vietnam on Leaving Afghanistan

By George C. Herring

The prospect of an end to the conflict in Afghanistan has led many U.S. foreign policy experts to ponder the ignoble conclusion of another war, now a half century past. Vietnam reportedly offers a cautionary tale for some Pentagon officials who worry about reliving the ignominious events of 1975, when the North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front (NLF) marched triumphantly into Saigon and the last Americans, along with some South Vietnamese allies, struggled frantically to escape by helicopter. Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker and others who worry about the humanitarian and geopolitical consequences of withdrawing from Afghanistan warn of a “Vietnam redux” and hear “echoes of America’s retreat from Vietnam.” They seem to fear an Afghanistan syndrome, like the so-called Vietnam syndrome before it, that could cripple the United States’ ability to intervene militarily.

Just how similar was the war in Vietnam to the war in Afghanistan, and how similar are their endings likely to be? What will be the consequences of U.S. withdrawal for Afghans and Americans—and what lessons might the United States take from Vietnam to mitigate them?

GRAVEYARDS OF EMPIRES

The Only Way America Could Beat Russia or China in a War


Victory in combat — as well as a successful transition to an enduring peaceful future — remains possible only with the most lethal, disciplined, physically fit, well-equipped, well-supported, well-led, and well-trained infantry in the world.

The 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy (NDS) suggests our biggest national security threats come from "near-peer" rivals such as China and Russia. In order to adequately prepare the U.S. for a military conflict with one of these major global powers, the recently announced 2020 national budget prioritizes the rapid development of next-generation, high-technology initiatives in the nuclear, cyber, autonomous systems, and outer space arenas.

While these initiatives are important and worthwhile, they underestimate the importance of America's foundational and most critical military capability: the infantry.

Japan’s Self-Defence Forces are beginning to focus on China


On a cold spring day, crowds of Japanese gather to peer at the hulking grey ship moored in the port of Yokosuka, just south of Tokyo. The Izumo, the country’s largest warship, has attracted attention at home and abroad since December, when Japan’s government announced that it would upgrade her. Her deck, and that of her sister ship, the Kaga, will be reinforced to accommodate up to a dozen of the 147 f-35 fighter jets Japan recently ordered from America.

The refitting of the Izumo is one sign of Japan’s shifting defence posture. The changes are small, by necessity. Japan is constrained by its constitution, written by occupying American forces after the second world war. It bars Japan from maintaining armed forces or settling disputes by war. Despite these strictures, Japan has long had an army in all but name: the “Self-Defence Forces”. The sdf has focused, aptly enough, on defence—hunting submarines and warding off warplanes, for example—while relying on American troops based in Japan to go on the offensive, should that be required. Little by little, however, that formula is changing.

5G is a bigger deal and China is a bigger threat than you think, think tank says

By Brooke Crothers 

The effect of 5G technology will be profound – and China could be setting itself up to lead, a conservative think-tank has found.

“Think about going from a garden hose with a weak pump to a fire hose,” former House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-MI) said at discussion recently hosted by the Heritage Foundation, entitled “China, 5G Technology and Global Security.”

The promise of 5G is exponentially higher speeds than 4G. In the U.S., major carriers such as Verizon and AT&T are doing limited rollouts in select big cities but full-bore, widespread 5G won’t arrive until 2020.

For consumers, 5G will bring lots of advancements, including the potential to replace home Wi-Fi networks, smarter artificial intelligence on phones and self-driving cars, among other products.

China’s Belt and Road: The new geopolitics of global infrastructure development

Amar Bhattacharya

The growing strategic rivalry between the United States and China is driven by shifting power dynamics and competing visions of the future of the international order. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a leading indicator of the scale of China’s global ambitions. The intent behind the initiative—either economic or strategic—has raised significant concern in the United States and elsewhere. While Beijing portrays the infrastructure development initiative as a benign investment and development project that is economically beneficial to all parties—and in certain cases clearly has been—there are strategic manifestations that contradict this depiction. Washington is skeptical of the initiative, warning of the risks to recipients and the harm it will cause to America’s strategic interests abroad. But many of America’s partners reject the U.S. interpretation and are forging ahead with Beijing. Ahead of China’s second Belt and Road Summit in late April 2019, Brookings Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Bruce Jones convened seven Brookings scholars—Amar Bhattacharya, David Dollar, Rush Doshi, Ryan Hass, Homi Kharas, Mireya Solís, and Jonathan Stromseth—to interrogate popular perceptions of the initiative, as well as to evaluate the future of BRI and its strategic implications. The edited transcript below reflects their assessment of China’s motivations for launching BRI, its track record to date, regional responses to it, the national security implications of BRI for the United States, as well as potential policy responses. The highlights:

You Need to Study the Opium Wars (They Changed China and Asia's History Forever)

by Sebastien Roblin

Past history does not always determine future actions. Chinese sentiments toward the United Kingdom today are generally positive despite the Opium Wars. The escalating military confrontation over the South China Sea is a reality of our times, but that doesn’t mean China’s leaders will forever be committed to a strategy of expansion and confrontation.

In 1839, England went to war with China because it was upset that Chinese officials had shut down its drug trafficking racket and confiscated its dope.

Stating the historical record so plainly is shocking — but it’s true, and the consequences of that act are still being felt today.

The first ever National League baseball game is played in Philadelphia.

SECRET REPORT REVEALS SAUDI INCOMPETENCE AND WIDESPREAD USE OF U.S. WEAPONS IN YEMEN

Alex Emmons

SINCE THE BRUTAL murder of Saudi dissident and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi last October, Congress has increasingly pressured the Trump administration to stop backing the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen and halt U.S. arms sales to Riyadh. In response, President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that if the U.S. does not sell weapons to the Saudis, they will turn to U.S. adversaries to supply their arsenals.

“I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States,” Trump told reporters in October, referring to a collection of intent letters signed with the Saudis in the early months of his presidency. “You know what they are going to do? They’re going to take that money and spend it in Russia or China or someplace else.”

The Dangerous Dregs of ISIS

By Robin Wright

Afew days before the collapse of the Islamic State’s caliphate, I visited one of the new “pop-up prisons” that had been hastily converted to hold thousands of surrendering isis fighters in Syria. The numbers wildly exceeded all expectations, including estimates by U.S. intelligence. The most striking sight at the prison entrance was a mound of human hair lying on the raw concrete floor. Clumps of it—some brown, some graying, most of it greasy or matted—had been shaved off the heads and faces of fighters before they were taken to group cells. “Lice,” one of the guards told me.

The prison at Dashisha, in eastern Deir Ezzor province, had been an oil-storage facility. In just four days, the compound of modest brick and stucco buildings had been filled with fifteen hundred fighters from countries on four continents, including France, Libya, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq, and the United States, the warden told me. Average-sized rooms had been fitted with metal doors; each cell had a small barred window that I had to stand on my tiptoes to peer through. Each one was crammed, wall to wall, with dozens of men squatting on the floor. The isis fighters wore new T-shirts, in army green, and whatever trousers they had on when they were captured.

What Brexit Is Doing to Europe

JUDY DEMPSEY

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, assuming it will happen, coincides with fundamental geostrategic shifts that will have a profound impact on Europe’s future. Germany’s role will be critical for shaping the bloc’s response to these transformations. It’s not certain, however, that Berlin will provide the leadership needed to cope with such changes.

It’s easy to blame U.S. President Donald Trump for undermining the special security pact that has made Europe strong, democratic, and prosperous since 1945. But even before Trump entered the White House, the Europeans were criticized for not pulling their weight inside NATO. They took America’s security guarantee for granted.

The issue is not just about the need for the European allies to spend more on defense. The issue is about how to come to terms with the end of the post-1945 era. The multilateral institutions that the Americans built—which were also about the West setting global norms and standards—need a radical overhaul. Just consider the paralysis of the UN Security Council or the World Trade Organization. Neither is equipped to deal with the growing role of China or Russia’s disruptive foreign policy in Europe and the Middle East.

In Venezuela, the Tide Is Turning on the Opposition


The continued allegiance of high-ranking military officials remains the main obstacle to opposition efforts to unseat Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.  Encouraging officers to desert Maduro and support opposition leader Juan Guaido will be difficult, given the government's ability to threaten or bribe them into remaining loyal.  To expedite Maduro's exit, the United States will increase sanctions against his government and directly dissuade foreign energy companies from doing business in Venezuela.  Maduro's government has also begun laying the foundation for Guaido's arrest, which would complicate and potentially stall the opposition and U.S. push for regime change.

For the first time since opposition leader Juan Guaido announced his bid to unseat President Nicolas Maduro in January, efforts at regime change in Venezuela face the real risk of failure. Though Guaido is free to move about the country and rally crowds against Maduro, there are still no signs he has the support of the key military commanders needed to initiate a prompt and relatively peaceful political transition, despite the United States and the opposition's best efforts. As long as his military remains loyal, Maduro's government will remain in Caracas — leaving Guaido, as well as other prominent opposition figures in Venezuela, vulnerable to a crackdown that could end his bid for power altogether. 

The Catholic Church’s Biggest Crisis Since the Reformation

By Massimo Faggioli

The Catholic Church is facing its most serious crisis in 500 years. In these last few months, a new wave of clerical sexual abuse revelations left the world in shock. From Australia to Chile to Germany to the United States, horrifying reports revealed thousands of cases of child molestation by members of the clergy. One U.S. grand jury report documented1,000 children abused by 300 priests in the state of Pennsylvania alone over seven decades.

The new wave of revelations in 2018 was disturbing not only because it exposed the persistence of abuse but also because it implicated high level church officials in the abuse and its cover-up. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, resigned from the College of Cardinals in July when credible accusations came to light that he had sexually abused a minor and harassed seminarians he supervised. The McCarrick revelations were particularly troubling because the former archbishop had played a leadership role in the Catholic Church’s response to the last U.S. clerical sexual abuse scandal in 2002. In late August, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a former papal diplomat, published a letter accusing Pope Francis of knowing about McCarrick’s sexual abuses for years and helping to cover them up. Viganò concluded by calling on the pope to resign.

Former White House economist: U.S. 'shooting ourselves in the foot' in trade war

Aarthi Swaminathan

A former White House official believes that President Donald Trump’s art of the deal is akin to “shooting ourselves in the foot” when it comes to the U.S. economy

As the U.S.-China trade negotiations drag on without a firm end date, “the Trump administration's gotten themselves into a bit of a fix where the options don't look terribly good,” Chicago Council on Global Affairs senior fellow Phil Levy told Yahoo Finance’s On The Move (video above). “This all has to do with their desire to keep their options open to strike at the Chinese whenever they want, or whenever they think the Chinese have done something wrong.”

Levy, who was formerly a senior economist for trade on former President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, said that the administration’s strategy in trying to solve the various issues America has with China — which range bilateral trade deficits to unfair trade practices — had already been talked about by “at least two administrations.”

Make America Strategic Again

by David V. Gioe

PRESIDENT DONALD Trump’s recent decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria (and a dramatic reduction from Afghanistan as well) may signal a 2019 that sees a contraction of the American empire, but it may equally enable and communicate a redistribution of the U.S. military to focus on European security. As political science professor Zachary Selden has argued, “rather than weakening, the U.S. military commitment to Europe has actually increased during Trump’s presidency...” For instance, Polish president Andrzej Duda reportedly offered to name an American base in Poland after President Trump during his visit this past September. Given Poland’s fraught history of being caught between hammer and anvil, it is understandable that Duda would seek hard and permanent American combat power on his territory. Duda stated he was “convinced that such a decision lies in the Polish interest and in the interest of the United States.” This may make sound strategic sense from Warsaw, but is it in America’s interest?

We need a reskilling revolution. Here's how to make it happen

Børge Brende

Valuing human capital not only serves to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to respond to systemic shifts, it also empowers them to take part in creating a more equal, inclusive and sustainable world.

Education is and will remain critical for promoting inclusive economic growth and providing a future of opportunity for all. But as the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution create new pressures on labour markets, education reform, lifelong learning and reskilling initiatives will be key to ensuring both that individuals have access to economic opportunity by remaining competitive in the new world of work, and that businesses have access to the talent they need for the jobs of the future.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is causing a large-scale decline in some roles as they become redundant or automated. According to the 2018 Future of Jobs Report, 75 million jobs are expected to be displaced by 2022 in 20 major economies. At the same time, technological advances and new ways of working could also create 133 million new roles, driven by large-scale growth in new products and services that would allow people to work with machines and algorithms to meet the demands of demographic shifts and economic changes.

Hybrid Threats: A Strategic Communications Perspective


Aim 
This report is the product of a research project undertaken by the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (NATO StratCom COE), at the request of the governments of Lithuania and Estonia. The project was designed to deepen our understanding of the wide range of measures which come under the umbrella of ‘hybrid threats’. Such measures aim to influence the political decision-making of a targeted nation in a way which hurts their national security interests, predominantly conducted in the ‘grey zone’ between peace, crisis and war. 

Scope 
The project broadens the framing of current debates on hybrid threats beyond the most common empirical reference points, which tend to relate to the Russian Federation. A standardised framework is used to analyse case studies which are assessed to offer examples of hybrid threats. Analysis has been conducted from the perspective of ‘Strategic Communications’, which is articulated for this report not simply as a suite of capabilities disseminating messages to explain actions or intentions in support of strategy but as a basic function of statecraft. Strategic Communications is therefore considered both as an overarching philosophy to be inculcated into organisational culture and as a cross-government process, central to integrating the instruments of national power. The research focuses on the national level, where the primary responsibility lies for understanding, identifying and responding to hybrid threats. In this main volume, summaries of 30 cases are provided, of which a representative selection of 10 cases are analysed in detail in a separate annex. In order to limit the scope of the project, this phase of research focuses solely on state actors. 

Breaking Down The Wipro Breach -- And What It Means For Supply Chain Security

Kate O'Flaherty

Supply chain security is certainly a hot topic. The Target breach and more recently, the British Airways hack were both caused by weaknesses in the supply chain.

Yesterday, it emerged that Indian outsourcing consulting giant Wipro is investigating reports that its own internal IT systems have been hacked. Sources told Krebs On Security that adversaries are using Wipro’s systems to launch attacks against “at least a dozen” of the firm’s customers.

It came after two sources told Krebs that an assumed nation state actor had been inside the system for multiple months, looking for opportunities to target Wipro’s customers.

Then another two sources came forward. The first, familiar with the forensic investigation at a Wipro customer, told Krebs they thought at least 11 other firms had been attacked after viewing file folders on the adversaries’ back end infrastructure containing client names.

Wipro conducting forensic investigation into cyberattack, says COO


IT outsourcing giant Wipro is conducting a forensic investigation into the motive and modus operandi of the phishing attacks on some of its employees' accounts.

The company's Chief Operating Officer Bhanumurthy BM said: “We came to know of a potentially abnormal activity from our network, which was related to very few employee accounts. These employee accounts were subjected to very advanced phishing activity.” Bhanumurthy BM was addressing the media after the company's fourth-quarter results.

“We have contained the attack. We are conducting forensics, what is the motive and modus operandi and all of that takes time. That is an ongoing activity,” he added

On April 16, when Wipro was set to announce its financial results, reports of a cyberattack on some of its employee accounts were exposed on cybersecurity blog KrebsOnSecurity. The website stated that the intrusion is from a state-sponsored attacker and targeting at least a dozen Wipro customer systems.

Using Security to Enable, Rather Than Block, Business

By Scott Stewart

Avoiding all risk is the best way to stay safe, but a risk avoidance model of corporate security can be at odds with a company's business goals. Instead, they must develop security programs that help employees understand, anticipate and mitigate risks. 
This type of program enables businesses to operate despite risks and remain resilient in the face of adversity.  I recently received a call from a friend who had some security questions about Mexico. As a company security director, he wanted to know if it was safe for employees in his charge to travel on a particular stretch of highway. The Stratfor Threat Lens team frequently fields queries like this, and we duly discussed the cartel dynamics in the area and some ways employees could mitigate the threats along that route.

But then my friend made a comment that really resonated with me: "You know, if we strictly followed the U.S. government's travel advice, we'd never be able to operate in Mexico." He's right, and he's not alone.

The Big Picture

Qualcomm Ends Its Fight With Apple, but an Antitrust Threat Still Looms


Apple and Qualcomm have resolved their litany of global legal disputes, which will likely allow Apple to introduce a 5G iPhone by 2020 and without having to partner with a rival to do so. But other legal challenges to Qualcomm's business model and preeminence in telecommunications remain, including a pending antitrust lawsuit from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  Behind Qualcomm, China's Huawei and South Korea's Samsung are the next most influential leaders in the telecommunications space.  Should the FTC ruling result in the breakup of Qualcomm's monopoly, it risks damaging the United States' dominance of the tech sector by opening the door for China to set standards for the future development of telecommunications technologies. 

After years of litigation involving a number of countries and myriad disputes, Qualcomm and Apple agreed to put aside their differences and settle. As part of their accord, the two U.S. tech giants have also agreed to a new six-year supply agreement for Apple to buy Qualcomm chips, including its 5G modems. However, while the agreement may have freed Apple to develop 5G-capable iPhones using Qualcomm's chips, Qualcomm is still fending off other legal challenges from global regulators that could place the United States' current tech dominance in peril. 

IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO: THE JOURNALIST’S ROLE IN A HEALTHY MILITARY-MEDIA RELATIONSHIP

Chase Spears

Media outlets have lately begun reporting on a reduction of press briefings at the Pentagon. The stories note that it has been over three hundred days since the Defense Department last held a formal press briefing. These reports acknowledge that military leaders and public affairs officials continue to work with reporters to inform the public, but take issue with the lack of formalized press conferences this year. Theories for the change in routine vary from matters of security to matters of politics. What these reports fail to consider is the culpability that some journalists share in creating legitimate concerns about going on camera in a period of increasingly divisive politics. That divisiveness has contributed to a blurring of the lines between professional journalism and punditry, putting at jeopardy the journalistic ethics to which the national-level press corps has traditionally abided.

French Army eyes robots, change in force size as it prepares for future wars

By: Christina Mackenzie  

PARIS — Innovation and a sufficiently populated Army that can fulfill the service’s strategic needs are key factors in whether France will be prepared for a high-intensity conflict, the military’s strategic thinkers said at a forum held April 16 in Paris.

“Mass,” or the capacity to generate and maintain an ample number of soldiers, is one of eight factors of operational superiority identified by the French Army, according to a speaker at a seminar on how the service will fight in future high-intensity wars. The event was held under Chatham House rules, which means the speaker can not be identified for this story.

A smaller ground force of 77,000 — compared to 220,000 or so in 1996 when conscription was mandatory — could be supported by robots, but French officials insist there will always be a man in the loop.

MY CURIOUS MONTH

Nick Alexander

At Grounded Curiosity we’re passionate about sharing the work of, and linking with, the broader professional military education (PME) network within Australia and overseas.

To this end, you may have already seen our Track II PME network Prezi. This curated collection of international PME resources – regularly reviewed and updated – puts the minds of some of the world’s best military thinkers right at your fingertips. This PME network has grown exponentially since we first started collating these resources – we’re here to help if you’re finding it tricky to know where to start.

This is the first of a new monthly serial titled ‘My Curious Month’, where we will explore common themes that pop up across the PME network, summarise them and signpost resources if you’d like to explore the topic further.

23 April 2019

Honours bestowed upon Modi by countries signal success of his foreign policy initiatives

by Vijay Chauthaiwale 

The writer, a molecular biologist, is in-charge of the foreign affairs department of the BJP.

When Modi took over as PM, everyone expected that he would strengthen relations with Israel but no one thought that he will take relations with Islamic countries to new heights.

There are several “firsts” in the foreign policy initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It began with an invitation to all SAARC country leaders for the NDA government’s swearing-in ceremony. There are at least seven countries which no Indian head of government or state ever visited before 2014.

Modi also addressed the British Parliament and World Economic Forum. His multilateral initiatives like the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit in Jaipur, India-Africa Forum Summit-III (IAFS-III, where participation by African countries was increased from 17 to 54), participation of all the 10 ASEANcountries in India’s Republic Day celebrations, the first India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm deserve special mention. There were more than 20 countries where no high-level visit from India had taken place for more than a decade; the gap was bridged by the Modi government.

The India opportunity for Taiwan

Tanvi Madan

A few months ago, a Taiwanese business weekly’s cover story was all about the India opportunity. It included an anecdote about one businessman telling another that India might initially be a tougher place to do business than China, but it was nonetheless worthwhile and, crucially, would not be fatal over time. The idea of the India opportunity (and option) is also present in Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy (NSP), which seeks to expand links with countries across South and Southeast Asia.[1] There have been previous Taiwanese efforts to look beyond this region. However, this time, there’s an emphasis on building economic and people-to-people ties, as well as a greater focus on India.

As Taipei looks to the south, there is opportunity for broader and deeper engagement, especially as India “acts east”—an approach that includes economic, technological, and cultural engagement with Taiwan (as well as quieter security cooperation). But any interactions will have to take place in the context of India’s relations with China. That country looms even larger for Delhi than it has in the past. India’s China relationship has elements of cooperation, competition, and, potentially, conflict, and, like many countries, India has attempted to engage, as well as compete with Beijing. It has stressed the need for the two countries to respect each other’s sensitivities. In India’s case, this has meant taking cognizance of Beijing’s Taiwan sensitivities, while declining for the last decade to reaffirm its earlier support for a One China policy explicitly—implicitly and occasionally explicitly linking it to a Chinese affirmation of a One India Policy, which is unlikely to be forthcoming.[2] This delicate dance was evident in state-owned Air India’s decision to switch to using “Chinese Taipei,” but not go as far as Beijing’s demand to use “Taiwan, China.” Overall, though, India’s relationship with China imposes certain constraints on the way India-Taiwan relations can develop (particularly officially).[3]

India And Pakistan: Making the Stability/Instability Paradox Go One Way

By Kevin R. James

Exploiting Kashmiri disaffection and the transnational jihadist movement, Pakistan is waging a deadly guerrilla war against India in Kashmir. Usually, of course, sponsoring an insurgency in a more powerful neighbouring country would provoke a very costly response (eliminating the incentive to sponsor the insurgency in the first place).

In the case of Kashmir, however, Pakistan has cleverly combined its conventional and nuclear capabilities in a way that makes it impossible for India to impose such a penalty at a price that India is willing to pay. That’s because Pakistan’s conventional strength is sufficient to eliminate India’s ability to impose significant costs with a low-intensity conventional response, and Pakistan has drawn its nuclear use red lines such that any high-intensity conventional response will lead to the risk of a nuclear war. In short, Pakistan has found a way to make the stability/instability paradox go one way.

Pakistan’s Kashmir strategy leaves India with two unpalatable options: live with the insurgency and terrorism that Pakistan promotes; or retaliate in a manner that crosses Pakistan’s nuclear red lines (as currently defined). Given the state of India’s military forces, India now has no choice but to live with the insurgency. But it’s no surprise to find that India is making a considerable effort to develop the counterforce and anti-ballistic-missile capabilitiesrequired to put option 2 on the table. It follows that the next crisis could play out very differently from the current one.

Doha Talks Postponed After Taliban Objects to Presence of Afghan Officials

By Bill Roggio

A three day conference between the Taliban and a delegation of Afghan that was to be held in Doha, Qatar has been postponed after the Taliban objected to the presence of Afghan government officials. The Taliban has consistently refused to negotiate with the Afghan government and said the composition of the delegation to Doha indicates that it represents the Afghan government.

Afghan officials and Western diplomats told Reuters the Doha conference has been delayed until the composition of the Afghan delegation is reworked to the Taliban’s liking

“The government will have to change the composition of the delegation to make this meeting happen,” an anonymous Western diplomat told the news service.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters that the “presence of some participants was completely against the list of what was agreed upon,” and indicated that the inclusion of Afghan government officials was unacceptable.

In an official statement on its website, Voice of Jihad, the Taliban signaled that the presence of government officials in the Afghan delegation was unacceptable, and that the size of the delegation was also unwieldy.

The U.S. Should Base Its China Strategy on Competitive Cooperation, Not Containment

Judah Grunstein

U.S. foreign policy has often been likened to an oil tanker. It can shift course, but major changes in direction happen slowly, if ever. This is understandable, after all. America’s global partnerships have in most cases developed over generations, representing institutional investments and deep-rooted national interests.

One prominent exception to this rule, however, is now taking place before our very eyes: the U.S. foreign policy consensus on China, which has shifted rapidly over the course of the past few years and continues to move. This change reflects the degree to which the assumptions that long guided Washington’s approach to China were both overly pessimistic and overly optimistic in ways that now seem obvious, especially since President Xi Jinping came to power in Beijing. Overly pessimistic, because China’s restrictions on speech and dissent have neither stifled innovation nor constrained the aspirations of an expanded middle class. Overly optimistic, because instead of China’s integration with the global economy leading to liberalization at home and moderation abroad, China under Xi has grown more repressive and assertive. .

How China weaponizes overseas arms sale

By RICHARD A. BITZINGER

China has long been perceived as a “problem arms exporter,” meaning that it has historically supplied weapons to countrieess that are on the United Nation’s “naughty” list. These include such pariah or rogue states as North Korea and Iran. In particular, it sold weapons to both sides in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, and it continued to do business with Pakistan after it was sanctioned by the UN for carrying out nuclear weapons tests. It has also provided arms to such unsavory actors as Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela.

Now, as a paper I co-authored with Michael Raska (a colleague at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore) points out, Chinese arms exports are increasingly being employed as an explicit tool of international relations. In particular, overseas arms sales are being weaponized in the growing strategic competition with the United States.
Arms export motivations

Strength in Numbers

by Wendy Cutler

Tensions in U.S.-China economic and trade relations have steadily increased over the past year, leading to the imposition of tariffs and counter-tariffs impacting nearly USD $400 billion in two-way trade. At the heart of the conflict are challenges posed by China’s state-led economic model, including excessive and under-reported industrial subsidies, operation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), forced technology transfer, and state-driven strategic guidance as embodied in the “Made in China 2025” initiative.

While the U.S. has been at the forefront of calling out many of China’s problematic trade practices, these policies also impact many of China’s other trading partners, and the U.S. has not been alone in voicing its concerns. The Trump administration, however, has mostly relied on unilateral measures and bilateral negotiations to address them. While there have been some efforts recently to work with other countries, much more could be done to coordinate with like-minded countries to more effectively address the broader structural issues posed by state-led economic policies.

The World China Wants

BY FREDERICK KEMPE

European Union leaders sat down this week in Brussels for a summit with a China it recently branded a “systemic rival,” and the United States is nearing the end game of trade talks with a China that national security documents refer to as a “strategic adversary.”

So, it’s surprising that transatlantic leaders are neither working at common cause nor asking the most crucial geopolitical questions of our age.

What sort of world does China want to create? 

With what means would it achieve its aims? 

And, what should the United States and Europe do to influence the outcome? 

The US Is Pushing Back Against China. What Happens If We Succeed?

By Chi Wang

This October will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. This is an anniversary many Western observers doubted the PRC would ever reach – or, at least not in its present form with unchallenged authoritarian one-party rule.

It was the hope of American policymakers that by engaging with China and encouraging China to participate in the international system, the country would not just open up economically but would also liberalize and, eventually, democratize. There was also a belief among some scholars that economic growth and prosperity was not sustainable under China’s current political system and that China would ultimately be forced to change or face collapse.

China’s collapse, while often predicted, did not come to fruition. The Chinese Communist Party retained control and now arguably one of its strongest individual leaders has come to power – Xi Jinping.

A Risk Analysis of Huawei 5G

By Nicholas Weaver 

Telecommunications networks are special—they are designed to enable wiretapping. Mandates such as the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) in the U.S. and similar requirements elsewhere effectively require that the network operator use equipment that contains surveillance hooks to answer government requests. The Greek government personally experienced the drawbacks inherent in this design when unknown parties compromised the Athens cellular network to spy on government officials.

Because of this, telecommunications companies and countries that upgrade their networks must consider the risk of wiretapping when deploying new cellular equipment. Right now, this calculation is playing out in the debate around whether the U.S. and others should use Huawei 5G equipment. There are effectively three options: use Huawei equipment, ban Huawei equipment or simply not upgrade to 5G.

Recently, the U.K.’s Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre Oversight Board released a new report—its fifth—which makes clear that it is impossible to mitigate these risks technically. According to the board, the code that Huawei uses, like so much of the rest of the code running the world, is simply a nightmare: It is complex, written in an “unsafe” manner, using “unsafe” languages. The scale and complexity make it impossible to analyze the code to look for new bugs, let alone efforts at sabotage. Sabotage can be particularly sneaky and very hard to detect even when one does have source code, and even if discovered it can also be almost indistinguishable from a “mistake.”