17 February 2019

Modi Vows Terrorists Will Pay as Pakistan Blamed for Attack

Iain Marlow and Bibhudatta Pradhan

The worst terror attack on India since Narendra Modi came to power will put pressure on the prime minister to approve a military response against Pakistan, which it blamed for a deadly assault in Kashmir, as it comes ahead of the country’s general election. Islamabad denied any link.

“India will give a befitting reply to this incident,” Modi said in a speech on Friday. "The security forces have been given full freedom to decide. I want to tell the terror groups and their sponsors that they have committed a grave mistake for which they will now have to pay a very heavy price."

How the India-Pakistan Conflict Leaves Great Powers Powerless


A decade ago, the world watched in disbelief as terrorists from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group ripped through the Indian financial capital of Mumbai. By the time the 10 attackers were stopped four days after the assault began, they had killed 164 people—Americans and other foreign nationals among them—and left over 300 injured. India’s 9/11, as the Indian media dubbed it, had unfolded. India, having long seen the Lashkar-e-Taiba as a direct proxy of the Pakistani intelligence outfit, the Inter-Services Intelligence, blamed the Pakistani state for having directed the attack. A near-war crisis between the two nuclear neighbors ensued in its wake, offering a stark reminder why U.S. President Bill Clinton termed this part of the world “the most dangerous place” on Earth at the turn of the century.

Ten years after the Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008, the Indian-Pakistani rivalry remains as entrenched as ever. While the two countries have avoided major wars, they continue to flirt with crises and have been engaged in low-intensity conflict in the disputed territory of Kashmir. This has unfolded in an environment devoid of any robust crisis management mechanisms aimed at reducing the risk of inadvertent escalation and providing dependable ways of directly negotiating a way out of a crisis. With nuclear weapons in the mix, the consequences of escalation could be catastrophic—and the possibility of such an outcome is greater today than it was on the eve of the Mumbai attacks.

America Shouldn’t Turn Its Back on Afghan Civilians

by Jerrod A. Laber

Washington is right to withdraw forces, but it needs to also let in Afghan refugees.

Light is finally appearing at the end of an eighteen-year-long tunnel, as there are reports that the Afghanistan war, or at least the United States’ involvement in it, could soon come to an end. U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has said that a peace deal has been agreed to in principle between America and the Taliban. In exchange for a full pullout of American troops, the Taliban has pledged to not allow Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorist operators. But any peace process is long and cumbersome and could fall apart for a myriad of reasons. This one is no different.

The United States is insistent that any finalized deal include face-to-face talks between the Taliban and the current Afghan government, which the Taliban has thus far refused to do. If these talks fail, America should still proceed with an exit plan. President Donald Trump is reportedly ordering the Pentagon to move ahead with a 50 percent troop reduction, as the first step of an eventual full withdrawal. This is the right decision—America hasn’t been able to fix Afghanistan in seventeen years, and there’s no reason to believe that will change. But there are significant concerns about an Afghanistan without U.S. support that can’t be swept under the rug: the fate of civilian Afghans, particularly women, under a new era of possible Taliban rule. The answer is to let them come to America.

Without Regional Cooperation, Afghan Peace Will Remain Elusive

By Daud Khattak

Eyes are fixed on the February 25 scheduled meeting between the Qatar-based Taliban leadership and representatives of the U.S. government, led by seasoned diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-American who held the ambassadorial positions in Afghanistan and Iraq during the Bush administration.

Optimists have sound justifications to welcome these numerous rounds of talks and celebrate their prospects. Never before have the Taliban spokesmen talked as softly of peace as they are speaking now; the U.S. administration is expressing an unprecedented hopefulness; Pakistan is coming out with oft-repeated statements of sincere hope to see a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. Even the Afghan government, which may be uneasy, continues to wait and see what will unfold in the days ahead.

Pakistan Based Terrorism And Suicide Bombings Against India Raising Ugly Head Again

By Dr Subhash Kapila

Pakistan-based and Pakistan-reared terrorism and suicide bombings against India targeting Kashmir Valley have again raised their ugly heads in February 2019 which again brings into central focus the despicable permissive roles of Pakistan primarily and China for impeding in United Nations in successive years the designation of JeM chief Masood Azhar as an ‘International Terrorist’.

The above manifested itself in horrific brutality in the dastardly Vehicle Borne IED suicide bombing in Pulwama in South Kashmir Valley against buses ferrying CRPF forces to Srinagar resulting in loss of 44 CRPF soldiers’ lives and many injured in its wake. Pakistan based JEM claimed credit for this dastardly suicide attack on Indian police forces maintaining law and order in Kashmir Valley.

The New NAFTA's Real Target? China

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ — The recent evolution of foreign trade between Mexico and China is particularly relevant today in the context of China's entry into the North American market, the former NAFTA zone now renamed USMCA after a treaty overhaul.

Mexico and China are both emerging economies and important global actors, and trading relations between them are significant, both for their respective economic weights and for Mexico's proximity and close ties to the United States.

Since taking office in January 2017, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has shown hostility both to Mexico and China. It has repeatedly insisted on building a wall or fence on the Mexican border and initially denounced NAFTA as the "worst trade deal ever," threatening to ditch the treaty as it was.

After considerable negotiations, the treaty was eventually reformed — in itself a proof of the need for a deal, given the intensity of ties between the neighbors. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has yet to be ratified by the legislatures of its three signatories.

The Strategy the U.S. Should Pursue in Iraq

By Anthony H. Cordesman

The future security and stability of Iraq is a vital United States national security interest. Iraq is a critical component to any kind of stability in the Gulf and to the secure flow of petroleum to the global economy. It is a key to containing Iranian influence, and enhancing the security of our Arab security partners and Israel. It is a key to countering the image that the United States invaded Iraq for the wrong reasons in 2003 and left it weak, divided, and unstable. And, Iraq is a key to countering the increasing fears on the part of our regional security partners that the U.S. is leaving or reducing its security role in the Gulf.

The U.S. cannot afford to leave a power vacuum in Iraq. It must deal with Iraq's remaining security problems and military weaknesses, and deal with its grave political divisions, problems in governance, and years without effective economic growth and development. At the same time, the U.S. needs to recognize that it faces very real rivals for influence in Iraq, and a nation that has a long and strong history of nationalism and sensitivity to foreign pressure – despite its deep sectarian and ethnic divisions

Syrian Experience Provides New Impetus for Russia’s UAV Strategy (Part One)

By: Sergey Sukhankin

On January 21, Sergey Chemezov (the CEO of the Russian arms producer Rostec) announced that, by mid-2019, Russia’s Armed Forces would receive 200 units of Pishal “radio-electronic guns” and Ratnik multifunctional infantry combat systems—elements specifically designed to deal with enemy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Among the two, special attention would be allocated to the Pishal, a 3.5-kilogram device that, reportedly, had already been tested in combat and demonstrated “outstanding results” in terms of locating the target and suppressing its navigation capabilities in all major radio frequencies (RIA Novosti, January 21). One month earlier, Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu stated that “the development of unmanned combat aerial vehicles [UCAV] operating at an intermediate range has come to a close… [Within] the scope of the state’s procurement campaign, the Armed Forces will receive 300 pieces of various types of UAVs annually… [and] the current number has expanded beyond 2,100 pieces” (TASS, December 18, 2018).

These two statements have highlighted crucial lessons Russia has apparently learned from its Syrian campaign:

WTO as a Reflection of Emerging 'New' World Order

By Valbona Zeneli and Michael R. Czinkota

There is broad historic agreement that the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been one the most successful international institutions; its membership accounts for more than 98 percent of world trade. However, today’s global economic landscape is changing rapidly, coupled with retrenchment and distancing from multilateral agreements. Combined, these factors impact the discernible value and role of the WTO going forward.

Changed Patterns of Trade and Investment

The expansion and development of IT infrastructure, telecommunications, and computing made the global revolution of the last few decades possible. New technologies, nonexistent when the WTO was established in 1995, have become crucial for growth and development in this decade. The outsourcing revolution has affected the developing world in a major way: global manufacturing and new services have dramatically changed supply chains; corporate espionage and intellectual property infringements supported many corporate changes in developing countries; and WTO negotiations and augmented enforcement procedures have not been able to slow that trend.

The Myths and Realities of European Security in a Post-INF World

Dominik P. Jankowski

On Feb. 2, the United States formally declared its intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty. The official declaration, which had been signaled by the Trump administration well in advance, set the clock ticking: Unless Russia unexpectedly returns to full and verifiable compliance with the treaty through the destruction of all its INF-violating missile systems, the U.S. withdrawal will become effective in early August. The formal termination of the treaty will have wide-ranging implications for European security, the U.S. military force posture in Europe, NATO deterrence and defense policy, and arms control.

For over 30 years, the INF treaty has been an enduring symbol of the Cold War’s denouement. When the Soviet Union and the U.S. signed the treaty in 1987, it effectively ended a buildup of ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with short to intermediate ranges, defined as 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Since then, around 2,700 missiles, most of which would have been deployed on the European continent, have been eliminated, making the INF a foundational arms control agreement.

The Importance of Elsewhere

By Kwame Anthony Appiah

In October 2016, British Prime Minister Theresa May made her first speech to a Conservative conference as party leader. Evidently seeking to capture the populist spirit of the Brexit vote that brought down her predecessor, she spoke of “a sense—deep, profound, and, let’s face it, often justified—that many people have today that the world works well for a privileged few, but not for them.” What was needed to challenge this, May argued, was a “spirit of citizenship” lacking among the business elites that made up one strand of her party’s base. Citizenship, she said, “means a commitment to the men and women who live around you, who work for you, who buy the goods and services you sell.” She continued:

Today, too many people in positions of power behave as though they have more in common with international elites than with the people down the road, the people they employ, the people they pass on the street. But if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what citizenship means.

Managing risk: Nuclear weapons in the new geopolitics

Madelyn R. Creedon, Robert Einhorn, Kate Hewitt, Bonnie Jenkins, Bruce Jones, Suzanne Maloney, Michael E. O’Hanlon, Jung H. Pak, Frank A. Rose, and Strobe Talbott

On February 15-17, foreign officials and security leaders from around the globe will meet in Munich to discuss the world’s most pressing security challenges. Some of these top concerns include issues of nuclear arms control, non-proliferation, and strategic stability related to Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Brookings scholars discuss what you need to know in this edition of the Brookings Foreign Policy Interview series.

Since the end of the Cold War, more attention has been given to nuclear non-proliferation issues at large than to traditional issues of deterrence, strategic stability, and arms control. Given the state of current events and the re-emergence of great power competition, we are now starting to see a rebalance, with a renewed focus on questions of stability and arms control. In August 2017, Brookings Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Bruce Jones convened eight Brookings scholars and affiliates—Madelyn Creedon, Robert Einhorn, Bonnie Jenkins, Suzanne Maloney, Michael O’Hanlon, Jung Pak, Frank Rose, and Strobe Talbott—to discuss the shifting balance and prioritization of strategic stability and non-proliferation. The edited transcript below reflects their assessments of the new nuclear world order; the current state of arms control with Russia and China; the impacts of emerging technologies; the status of the non-proliferation regime, including a look at North Korea and Iran; and U.S. nuclear policy moving forward. The Appendix explains key agreements and treaties that have shaped the arms control and non-proliferation regime to date.

The discussion found that:

Whither Nuclear Command, Control & Communications?


CAPITOL HILL: Most of the system that allows the president to launch nuclear weapons and to know what the enemy is doing with theirs is ancient. Everyone agrees the Nuclear Command, Control and Communications system (NC3) must be replaced. No one yet agrees what it must replaced with.

And, of course, no one knows how much it will cost, although late last month the Congressional Budget Office issued an estimate of $77 billion. Bill LaPlante, former head of Air Force acquisition and now head of the MITRE Corp’s defense and intelligence sector, said today he thinks that’s too high, but did not offer his own figure.

LaPLante was speaking at a Mitchell Institute and MITRE event on the Hill unveiling a new report they produced, Modernizing US Nuclear Command, Control and Communications. Regardless of whether it will $77 billion or more or less, there was general agreement at the event that if America is to build and maintain a credible nuclear deterrent then NC3 modernization is absolutely required and Congress must fund it.

The end of an era? The INF Treaty, New START, and the future of strategic stability

Frank A. Rose

On February 1, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States was suspending its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and notified Russia and the other treaty parties that the United States would be withdrawing from the treaty in six months, pursuant to Article XV of the treaty. Pompeo said: “Russia remains in material breach of its treaty obligations not to produce, possess, or flight-test a ground-launched intermediate-range cruise missile system with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.” The following day in response to the U.S. announcement, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia was also suspending its obligations under the treaty. Unless something dramatic occurs, it appears that the INF Treaty, signed in 1987 by President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev, will likely come to an end this summer.

Global Poverty Over the Long-Term: Legitimate Issues

By Branko Milanovic

I became somewhat peripherally involved in the debate on long-term trends in global poverty that is raging these days in the WebSphere, prompted first by some very strong claims by Steven Pinker and Bill Gates, and then by an equally strong rebuttal by Jason Hickel.

Max Roser, whose work is to be strongly commended, became somewhat of a lateral casualty in this debate because it was his graph (based essentially on the work of Martin Ravallion and the World Bank) that Pinker and Gates quoted, and that Hickel disagreed with. Joe Hassel and Max Roser have now written a detailed explanation of the data they used to create the graph and how others (and themselves) have calculated global poverty over the long-term. So, to be clear, I find Martin’s and Max’s work absolutely crucial and indispensable for the understanding of long-term trends in this and a number of other dimensions. But I disagree with the excessively political and strident tone in which this work has been promoted by Steven Pinker (and more recently by Bill Gates) and their disregard of many caveats which come with some of these numbers.

The Fundamentals of the Quad

Since 2013, the Heritage Foundation, together with ASPI and think tanks in India (Vivikananda International Foundation) and Japan (first the Tokyo Foundation, and now the Japan Institute of International Affairs), has hosted a discussion called the ‘Quad-Plus Dialogue’. The 2019 iteration starts next week in Sydney.

The idea of a quadrilateral dialogue, of course, was not the brainchild of the Heritage Foundation or our partners. In fact, anyone familiar with it knows that it originated in Japan, during Shinzo Abe’s first stint as prime minister.

What Heritage and its partners did do was revive the idea and keep the conversation going until our governments signed back up. Throughout that effort, those of us from Heritage (I can’t speak for the other organisations) were guided by several key principles. Now that the Quad has been revived at an official level, it bears laying those out to help give shape to the way forward.

What is the Monroe Doctrine?

LAST MONTH Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s national assembly, proclaimed himself the country’s acting president. He has been recognised as such by the governments of the United States, and most of western Europe and Latin America. The incumbent president, Nicolás Maduro, whose second term started in early January after a fraudulent election last year, has described the upheaval as a US-backed coup. On the day of Mr Guaidó’s declaration, Mr Maduro cautioned his supporters not to “trust the gringos”. “They don’t have friends or loyalties,” he said. “They only have interests, guts and the ambition to take Venezuela’s oil, gas and gold.” His warning echoes earlier Latin American responses to America’s history of regional intervention. Such interventions were often justified with reference to the Monroe Doctrine, a declaration made by President James Monroe in 1823. What does it say?

Japan Drafts a Delicate Approach to U.S. Trade Talks

When Washington begins trade talks with Tokyo in the upcoming months, its primary aim will be to pry open access to the Japanese market. 

Japan is likely to offer the United States the same access for some goods that Tokyo granted to the European Union and CPTPP countries in recent trade deals.

Tokyo could also agree to address currency manipulation and accept a provision requiring prior consultation before its signs any trade deal with China, since a concession on that front would not be too onerous.

But even if Japan is cooperative, it is unlikely to secure solid guarantees that protect it from U.S. automotive tariffs — although it could gain exemptions. 

Editor's Note: This assessment is part of a series of analyses supporting Stratfor's upcoming 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast. These assessments are designed to provide more context and in-depth analysis on key developments over the next quarter.

No, the Pentagon Is Not Working on Killer Robots—Yet

By Lara Seligman

The U.S. Department of Defense on Feb. 12 released its roadmap for artificial intelligence, and the most interesting thing about it might be what’s missing from the report: The military is nowhere close to building a lethal weapon capable of thinking and acting on its own.

As it turns out, the military applications of artificial intelligence today and in the foreseeable future are much more mundane. The Defense Department has several pilot projects in the works that focus on using AI to solve everyday problems such as floods, fires, and maintenance, said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, who heads up the Pentagon’s new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

“We are nowhere close to the full autonomy question that most people seem to leap to a conclusion on when they think about DoD and AI,” Shanahan said during a briefing Tuesday.

New world orders? Nein Danke.

Adrian M.

“When the balance of power shifts, how does one engineer a peaceful adjustment of international order?” This is the question historian Adam Tooze, author of Crashed, poses in an interesting post (replying to this by David Adler and Yanis Varoufakis).

This question is often framed as an appeal for “a new Bretton Woods,” aka 1944’s @UNMonetary and Financial Conference. Tooze doesn’t like this historical analogy and spends some time dismissing it.

Instead he points to the founding of the World Trade Organization in 1995 as representing the idealised historical moment for those wishing to remake the international order. But he doesn’t develop this, saying simply that it represented a moment of unipolar geo-political power by US, and the defeat of organized labour.

There’s a Big Obstacle to the Pentagon’s New Strategy to Speed AIto Troops


Defense officials want to accelerate the delivery of artificial-intelligence tools from the lab to the field. But it's hard to obtain the massive data streams that make AI work.

The Pentagon’s new artificial-intelligence strategy, released on Tuesday, aims to get AI out of research labs and into the hands of troops and employees across the Defense Department. But truly transforming the Defense Department into an “AI First”institution will require help from tech companies — and the military to rethink its approach to the massive data streams that AI needs to work.

In a conversation with reporters on Tuesday, Dana Deasy, chief information officer of the Defense Department, and Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, who runs its new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, said the JAIC will develop AI tools and programs to assist with everything the Pentagon does. That will eventually include combat operations, although both said the military won’t deviate from its core doctrine that dictates how humans are to have authority over autonomous systems.

How Cyber Command’s plan to ‘frustrate’ hackers is working

By: Mark Pomerleau 

Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of U.S. Cyber Command, used prepared testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee Feb. 14 to describe an organization that has been more active in recent months and one that is conducting cyber operations in multiple places throughout the world.

The new activity comes as the result of several changes: a new approach to cyberspace — one aimed at more effectively competing against adversaries that have taken advantage of the asymmetries cyberspace offers, a full workforce and additional authorities.

Nakasone noted that malicious cyber actors weaponize personal information, steal intellectual property and mount influence campaigns, all of which have had strategic effects on the nation and allies. To combat these threats, the United States must act in cyberspace, Nakasone wrote. In a recent interview with Joint Force Quarterly, Nakasone said that, unlike in the nuclear domain, where the strategic advantage came from possessing a capability or large stockpile, in cyberspace the use of cyber capabilities is strategically consequential.

Chinese State Media Warns of Impending ‘High-Tech Cold War’ Fueled by A.I. Competition

By Bill Cook

U.S President Donald Trump’s executive order instructing the American government this week to prioritize the development of artificial intelligence (AI) could trigger a “new high-technology Cold War” between the United States and China, the Beijing-run Global Times cautioned on Tuesday.
Beijing’s warning comes on the same day that Adm. Philip Davidson, the top American top in the Indo-Pacific region, told lawmakers that China’s “massive effort to grow and modernize” its military, including endeavors to manufacture “artificial intelligence-equipped weapons,” is “eroding” America’s “relative competitive military advantage” in Asia.

In its latest move to maintain leadership in the high-tech sector, the US on Monday rolled out a plan to give artificial intelligence (AI) more priority and resources, a move that Chinese observers warned may represent the formal launch of a new high-technology Cold War.

Atlantic Council Urges 5G National Strategy, Cites National Security

The Atlantic Council recommends accelerating a whole-of-government approach to developing a long-term national spectrum strategy which will include creating an inter-spectrum for 5G that will allow for Federal, state, and local policy synchronization of policies and procedures to rapidly and cost-effectively implement 5G.

The memo, released yesterday, listed various recommendations for the United States to trump China as the world leader in 5G technology. Subsidies from the Chinese Communist Party allow Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE to undercut competition with lower pricing. The Atlantic Council states that allowing China to be the world leader in 5G would become a threat to national security.

Quantum science breakthroughs could change face of national security

By Klon Kitchen

Quantum science builds on the governing hypothesis of how nature works at atomic and subatomic levels. However, quantum science accounts for two important phenomena that differentiate it from classical physics. The first is particle superposition. The second is entanglement.

Classic physics says two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time or be wholly present in more than one place at a time. Quantum physics, however, says that the world is held together by objects that exist in two distinct states simultaneously — a condition called superposition.

For example, a molecule consists of two atoms “glued” together by an electron. This electron could be associated with either atom, but quantum theory holds that the electron must be associated with each atom at the same time for them to be properly joined. This is how we understand everything from photosynthesis to lasers.

Angela Merkel Quits Facebook -- And Raises Concerns

By Melanie Amann, Roman Höfner and Martin Knobbe

Angela Merkel's decision to take her Facebook account, with its 2.5 million followers, offline has baffled some members of the German government and raised questions about whether her decision will obscure an important part of the historical record.

But Angela Merkel isn't. On Monday at 11 a.m., the fan page of Germany's chancellor, a woman who has led the country for over 13 years and until recently had 2.5 million followers, disappeared from public view. Now, if you search Merkel's name on Facebook, you'll only find Angie in Michigan and pages like, "Angela Merkel Resign Now."

Merkel's Facebook page, the most successful of any German politician's, could have been turned into many different things. Her team at the national headquarters of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party had put together a memo listing possible ideas, but Merkel ignored them and decided to simply end it.


Michael Feldman

Moore’s Law has underwritten a remarkable period of growth and stability for the computer industry. The doubling of transistor density at a predictable cadence has fueled not only five decades of increased processor performance, but also the rise of the general-purpose computing model. However, according to a pair of researchers at MIT and Aachen University, that’s all coming to an end.

Neil Thompson Research Scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and A.I. Lab and a Visiting Professor at Harvard, and Svenja Spanuth, a graduate student from RWTH Aachen University, contend what we have been covering here at The Next Platform all along; that the disintegration of Moore’s Law, along with new applications like deep learning and cryptocurrency mining, are driving the industry away from general-purpose microprocessors and toward a model that favors specialized microprocessor. “The rise of general-purpose computer chips has been remarkable. So, too, could be their fall,” they argue.

Trump signs order to set U.S. spectrum strategy as 5G race looms

David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a presidential memorandum directing the Commerce Department to develop a long-term comprehensive national spectrum strategy to prepare for the introduction of next-generation 5G wireless networks.

Trump is also creating a White House Spectrum Strategy Task Force and wants federal agencies to report on government spectrum needs and review how spectrum can be shared with private sector users.

The memorandum requires a series of reports over the next nine months and looking at ways and existing efforts on increasing spectrum and sharing existing spectrum. A long-term strategy is due by July.

The goal is to ensure there is enough spectrum to handle the growing amount of internet and wireless traffic and that future faster 5G networks have adequate spectrum.

The President’s National Spectrum Strategy Will Give America a Boost in 5G

The demand for more spectrum capacity is intense, and its wise allocation is a top priority as our nation builds out fifth generation (5G) wireless networks. By 2021, Cisco projects that global mobile data traffic will increase sevenfold, with 5G generating 4.7 times more traffic than 4G.

5G promises new capabilities and possibilities for our Nation’s innovators. Americans, ever the pioneers, are pushing forth a renaissance in space exploration and development, with our commercial satellite industry continuing to flourish and creating thousands of new jobs.

Meanwhile, federal agencies require access to spectrum to support 21st century missions that protect our nation, make transportation safer, and pave the way for vital scientific research.

To put it mildly, we have our work cut out for us as we address all these diverse and important needs.

Poland’s Short-Sighted Military Dependence on the United States


It’s time to get real. The United States is not pulling any of its troops out of foreign entanglements in Afghanistan or Syria so that it can put them in a big, fat “Fort Trump” in eastern Poland.

At the very least, when President Donald Trump tweeted it’s time to bring “our boys” home, the lightbulb should have gone on in Warsaw. America is disengaging from overseas commitments and focusing on growing rivalry with China. The U.S. army doesn’t have a spare combat brigade, let alone an armored division, to tie down in Central Europe waiting for the Russians to come.

For a Polish government to bet the store on securing a permanent U.S. army base to guard against Russian aggression is bound to lead to disappointment. All the more so if the quest is coupled with confrontation with the European Union over the rule of law; souring relations with the main Western European powers, Germany and France; a weakening of its armed forces and security services through repeated purges; and memory politics that upsets neighbors and allies.

16 February 2019

Here are Pakistan’s new strategies behind the Pulwama terror attack


On 14 February, Adil Ahmad Dar—a 20-year-old from Gundibagh village in Pulwama and former sawmill worker—mounted a vehicle-borne suicide attack on a CRPF convoy killing at least 38 jawans. Broadly speaking, Pakistan perpetrates these attacks in Kashmir and elsewhere in India because they help demonstrate that Islamabad has not been coerced into accepting the status quo.

However, this general expectation of Pakistani behaviour does not explain the particularly unique features of this attack. What are Pakistan’s strategic aims with this attack?

Calibrate the violence

The Pulwama attack reflects an interesting calibration of violence. There are three ways that Pakistan can escalate violence and the salience thereof. The first is the choice of geography. The least provocative venue is within Kashmir while the most provocative locations are the high-value urban targets like Delhi and Mumbai. In between are middle-tier cities beyond Kashmir such as Gurdaspur.

India Proposes Chinese-Style Internet Censorship

By Vindu Goel

NEW DELHI — India’s government has proposed giving itself vast new powers to suppress internet content, igniting a heated battle with global technology giants and prompting comparisons to censorship in China.

Under the proposed rules, Indian officials could demand that Facebook, Google, Twitter, TikTok and others remove posts or videos that they deem libelous, invasive of privacy, hateful or deceptive. Internet companies would also have to build automated screening tools to block Indians from seeing “unlawful information or content.” Another provision would weaken the privacy protections of messaging services like WhatsApp so that the authorities could trace messages back to their original senders.

The new rules could be imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government anytime after the public comment period ends on Thursday night. The administration has been eager to get them in place before the date is set for this spring’s national elections, which will prompt special pre-election rules limiting new policies.

Did the USA sucker China and India into the 1962 War?


It is now well known that in 1971 as Indian forces were scything through Bangladesh, the Henry Kissinger met a high ranking Chinese official (believed to be Huang Hua) to urge the PRC to open a front with India to pressurize India from backing off. The Chinese did not bite. But in 1962 the USA might have conned the Chinese into taking action against India by its airdropping of Tibetan Khampa guerillas and making the Chinese believe it was India.

In his book on this, “JFK’s Forgotten crisis. Tibet. The Cia. And the Sino-India War.”, Bruce Riedel strips the mask of what happened prior to the 1962 War. Bruce Reidel has been a top CIA official and its in house expert on South Asia. He is now a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Director of the Brookings Intelligence Project.

Reidel writes with immense knowledge and access to hitherto top secret documents, but with eloquent brevity. He tells all and says all without using up many lines of wordage. He has an eye that can focus with hawk like precision on the relevant detail and keep looking at the big picture also. This is how we learn how the Chinese wrongly credited US’s Tibet policy of covert war to India.

Ending The War And Losing The Peace In Afghanistan – OpEd

By Tamim Asey*

The United States is actively exploring options to end its engagement in Afghanistan and withdraw its troops from the country and at best keep a residual counter terrorism force. To this end, it has engaged with the its seventeen year adversary, the Taliban movement, to explore a peace deal – often termed by historians and experts as a troop withdrawal plan – in the absence of its partner and ally, the Afghan Government, undermining its legitimacy and further polarizing the Afghan polity. This may very well pave the way for ending the American war but igniting a frozen Afghan conflict which has the potential to escalate to a full fledged civil war with spillover effects that could seriously undermine regional stability and global security.

Although Washington should not sacrifice Taiwan to placate Beijing, it must also refrain from using it as a stick for beating China.

by Eric Heginbotham Rajan Menon

With the U.S.-China relationship descending rapidly into acrimony and indeed frequently characterized as a new Cold War, Taiwan remains a particularly dangerous flashpoint. Although maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait has never been easy, it has now become even more challenging for several reasons. Taiwan’s economic prosperity and dynamic democracy have endowed it with increased confidence and an increasingly separate identity. The leadership in Beijing, for its part, has acquired an unprecedented measure of self-assurance, thanks to China’s growing economic and military power. The United States and China have come to view each other as “strategic competitors,” and the Sino-American trade war shows few signs of fading. To complicate matters, the U.S. Congress, reflecting a broader bid for foreign policy leadership, has inserted itself squarely into the Taiwan issue.

China's Limited Role in the Indian Ocean

By David Brewster

Among the many questions raised by the massive modernisation and expansion of China’s Navy in the last few years is its future role in the Indian Ocean. China has gone from essentially zero presence in the Indian Ocean around a decade ago to a fairly sizeable fleet averaging perhaps four to five surface vessels (plus submarine deployments), although this number fluctuates during crossovers between transiting vessels. China now operates a naval base in Djibouti and no doubt has plans for additional bases in the region.

The geographical fact of (a potentially hostile) India, sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean would make this an extraordinary challenge for China.

This expansion, together with the growth of China’s economic and political influence in the region, has led many to assume that China intends to displace the U.S. Navy as the predominant navy in the Indian Ocean.

China’s Digital Silk Road

Matthew P. Goodman: Good morning, everyone. My name is Matthew Goodman. I hold the Simon Chair in political economy here at CSIS. Delighted to welcome you here to our humble abode for this event on the Digital Silk Road. We’re delighted to have you. We’re also delighted to have, as always, our big online audience. Nice to have you with us as well. Hope this isn’t getting distorted because it’s loud.

Matthew P. Goodman: So we are here to talk about the Digital Silk Road. And I’ll introduce that in a second, and our – and our initial speakers, but let me just first do some administrative things. First, as usual, please turn off your phones, or at least mute them so they don’t disturb the discussion. If we have any kind of security event, I’m your warden, or just follow me basically – obviously we can go down front, if that’s appropriate, or there are emergency exits at either end here. There’s an alley in the back. And the rally point is by National Geographic down on M Street. Unlikely, we’ve never had such a thing, so.

Matthew P. Goodman: And finally, let me thank our sponsors, JETRO, the Japan External Trade Organization, which has been a supporter of us for a long time, and really appreciate their support that enables us to do this kind of programming. And we really appreciate it.

High-Tech Domination and the US-China Trade War: AI Is Cheapening Authoritarian Governance

By Stephen Nagy

China is pursing AI hegemony at the domestic and regional level. It will have consequential impacts for the consolidation of CPP and President’s Xi Jinping’s power. In particular, successfully deploying a nationwide AI-based technology will promote social stability in China. It will also facilitate the leapfrogging of China’s economic development. Simultaneously, pervasive AI-based monitoring significantly lowers the cost of authoritarian governance resulting in the consolidation of the CCP’s position as the central and enduring politic unit in China.

The long-term objective of AI’s nationwide deployment is to allow the CCP leadership to achieve its twin goals of realizing “socialist modernization” by 2035, and to “build a modern socialist country that is strong, prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious” by 2049.

Where Is China’s Foreign Policy Headed?

Zha Daojiong

In testimony last week before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats asserted that “China’s actions reflect a long-term strategy to achieve global superiority.” With China’s global influence and tensions between Washington and Beijing growing apace, what is the best way to understand how China envisions itself in the world? Some contend China’s leaders seek global preeminence; others, that they are principally focused on restoring China’s dominant position within the Asia-Pacific; and yet others, that the country’s engagement abroad is still primarily rooted in fulfilling domestic imperatives. Which conclusion is correct? Which documents, statements, and actions should observers pay attention to in rendering their judgments? —The Editors

What can China’s long-term foreign policy objectives be? An honest answer ought to be: “only time can tell.” But, for reasons practical and political, that can hardly suffice.

Russia and China Can Cripple Critical Infrastructure in United States

Nicole Lindsey

According to the new U.S. Worldwide Threat Assessment, a 42-page report prepared by top security and intelligence agencies in the United States, both Russia and China are capable of launching cyber attacks against critical infrastructure targets in the U.S. Moreover, say top U.S. intelligence officials, both Russia and China appear to be aligning their operations in cyberspace, primarily as a way to challenge U.S. geostrategic dominance in regions such as the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Threats to critical infrastructure from Russia and China