Showing posts with label Blog Master Recommended Reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blog Master Recommended Reading. Show all posts

12 January 2020

Return of the Hashishin (Assassin) Cult?: Wider Implications of the Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM(Retd)

The attack on Saudi oil installations has large scale implications for the hydrocarbon supply to the world specially for countries like China, India and the Asian giants of Japan and South Korea. The Strait of Hormuz becomes critical for energy imports of these countries.

The Middle East has become the world’s most polarized region. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran exploit the Shiite-Sunni rift to mobilize their respective constituencies. Iran’s military strategy is to keep tensions at a low level and avoid a direct confrontation with the U.S. Even if neither side wants to fight a war it could still happen due to miscalculation and missed signals. A minor clash can lead to a regional conflagration with devastating effects for Iran, the U.S. and the Middle East. India has to remain sensitive to the happenings in the Gulf region. India spent $111.9 billion on oil imports in 2018-19. Saudi Arabia is the second-largest supplier of crude oil and cooking gas to India. Every dollar increase in the price of oil raises the import bill by around Rs10,700 crore annually.

This Monograph tries to provide how the attack took place, its effect on world economy and oil market, effects on various stake holding countries and their reactions, military implications and India’s concerns..

9 January 2020

Return of the Hashishin (Assassin) Cult?: Wider Implications of the Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities

Maj Gen P K Mallick,VSM (Retd)

The attack on Saudi oil installations has large scale implications for the hydrocarbon supply to the world specially for countries like China, India and the Asian giants of Japan and South Korea. The Strait of Hormuz becomes critical for energy imports of these countries.

The Middle East has become the world’s most polarized region. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran exploit the Shiite-Sunni rift to mobilize their respective constituencies. Iran’s military strategy is to keep tensions at a low level and avoid a direct confrontation with the U.S. Even if neither side wants to fight a war it could still happen due to miscalculation and missed signals. A minor clash can lead to a regional conflagration with devastating effects for Iran, the U.S. and the Middle East. India has to remain sensitive to the happenings in the Gulf region. India spent $111.9 billion on oil imports in 2018-19. Saudi Arabia is the second-largest supplier of crude oil and cooking gas to India. Every dollar increase in the price of oil raises the import bill by around Rs10,700 crore annually.

This Monograph tries to provide how the attack took place, its effect on world economy and oil market, effects on various stake holding countries and their reactions, military implications and India’s concerns....

8 January 2020

Return of the Hashishin (Assassin) Cult?: Wider Implications of the Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities

Maj Gen P K Mallick,VSM (Retd)

The attack on Saudi oil installations has large scale implications for the hydrocarbon supply to the world specially for countries like China, India and the Asian giants of Japan and South Korea. The Strait of Hormuz becomes critical for energy imports of these countries.

The Middle East has become the world’s most polarized region. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran exploit the Shiite-Sunni rift to mobilize their respective constituencies. Iran’s military strategy is to keep tensions at a low level and avoid a direct confrontation with the U.S. Even if neither side wants to fight a war it could still happen due to miscalculation and missed signals. A minor clash can lead to a regional conflagration with devastating effects for Iran, the U.S. and the Middle East. India has to remain sensitive to the happenings in the Gulf region. India spent $111.9 billion on oil imports in 2018-19. Saudi Arabia is the second-largest supplier of crude oil and cooking gas to India. Every dollar increase in the price of oil raises the import bill by around Rs10,700 crore annually.

This Monograph tries to provide how the attack took place, its effect on world economy and oil market, effects on various stake holding countries and their reactions, military implications and India’s concerns..

1 January 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020


***Cyber Attack on Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant – A Wake Up Call

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

The media is agog with the report of a cyber attack in India’s largest civil nuclear facility - the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu. Cyberspace provides a new opportunity for determined adversaries to wreak havoc at nuclear facilities possibly without ever setting foot inside the nuclear plant. If the network that runs the machines and software controlling the nuclear reactor are compromised, cyber attacks on nuclear power plants could have physical effects. This can be used to facilitate sabotage, theft of nuclear materials and sensitive information, or at its worst, a reactor meltdown. In a densely populated country like India, any radiation release from a nuclear facility would be a major disaster. Threats may be posed by nation states, terrorists, extremists, criminals including organized groups, outsiders such as suppliers or insiders acting intentionally or negligently. 

There is no such thing as a perfectly secure system. Systems are going to be breached - even one that may be disconnected from the Internet. Those looking to attack critical infrastructure can wait for years for a single mistake to be made. This is cyber warfare and vulnerabilities are going to be found. There have been over 20 known cyber incidents at nuclear facilities since 1990 all over the world which shows that the nuclear sector is not immune to cyber related threats. As the digitalization of nuclear reactor instrumentation and control systems increases, potential for malicious and accidental cyber incidents also increases. Authorities responsible for cyber security of nuclear installations have to be constantly on the vigil.The media is agog with the report of a cyber attack in India’s largest civil nuclear facility - the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu. Cyberspace provides a new opportunity for determined adversaries to wreak havoc at nuclear facilities possibly without ever setting foot inside the nuclear plant. If the network that runs the machines and software controlling the nuclear reactor are compromised, cyber attacks on nuclear power plants could have physical effects. 

** Rise of China, History, Technology, Policies: Implications for India


Since opening up to foreign trade and investment and implementing free market reforms in 1979, China has become the world’s fastest-growing economy. China has transformed itself from a predominantly agricultural economy into a manufacturing powerhouse. China has taken a leading role in several critical emerging technologies. ‘Made in China 2025’, laid out how and why China would need to move up the technology ladder and close the gap with developed countries.

China's $ 11 trillion economy is almost five times that of India. China is way ahead of India in terms of technology. The US-China trade war helped Indian exports to China. India has been taking notable steps forward in innovation, supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reform agenda.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership can derail India’s ‘Make in India’ programme. India has major concerns. India has to do some very tight rope walking. India manufacturing industry has no option but to be globally competitive to survive in today’s globalized world.

Despite the border tensions India has to engage China economically to reduce the trade deficit between the two countries, take advantage of the ongoing US China trade war, get FDI from China and collaborate in emerging technologies to take Indian economy forward.

Lt Gen SRR Aiyengar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Social Media – A Study of Social Media and Its Impact on Contemporary War/Conflicts, Uday Publishing House, 2019, PP. 152, ISBN: 978-93-85991-85-1, INR- 699/-


Development of Social Media (SM) is a relatively new phenomenon. Between 2004 and 2014, all 22 of the world’s biggest Social Media (SM) networks were developed and launched. The Facebook was the first to be started on February 4, 2004. Rapid global increase in mobile telephone usage helped the growth of SM. SM can be fun, exciting, entertaining and useful for maintaining relationships. For marketing, managing their public image, connect with customers and solicit ideas and feedback people can use social media websites for professional reasons. SM can be used to issue warnings for cyclones, floods or other disasters. Home bound people who are ill, stay-at-home parents, or retired use social media to stay connected.

SM can also be used for political polarization and radicalization. SM is being used by both state and non state actors to further their own interests.SM has been utilized to recruit terrorists, organize revolutions and riots, encourage attacks, collect funds, glorify gangs and spread violence. Terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State exploit the social media to radicalize, recruit and deploy young people in service of their terrorist causes. The 2011 Arab Spring and 2011 London riots have shown how social media can impact matters of national security. A recent Oxford University study found evidence of disinformation campaigns run by state actors in more than 70 countries around the world. Most of these countries are authoritarian regimes that use SM to threaten activists and journalists with hate and violence, spread pro-government propaganda and drown out opposing voices.

20 December 2019

Lt Gen SRR Aiyengar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Social Media – A Study of Social Media and Its Impact on Contemporary War/Conflicts, Uday Publishing House, 2019, PP. 152, ISBN: 978-93-85991-85-1, INR- 699/-


Development of Social Media (SM) is a relatively new phenomenon. Between 2004 and 2014, all 22 of the world’s biggest Social Media (SM) networks were developed and launched. The Facebook was the first to be started on February 4, 2004. Rapid global increase in mobile telephone usage helped the growth of SM. SM can be fun, exciting, entertaining and useful for maintaining relationships. For marketing, managing their public image, connect with customers and solicit ideas and feedback people can use social media websites for professional reasons. SM can be used to issue warnings for cyclones, floods or other disasters. Home bound people who are ill, stay-at-home parents, or retired use social media to stay connected.

SM can also be used for political polarization and radicalization. SM is being used by both state and non state actors to further their own interests.SM has been utilized to recruit terrorists, organize revolutions and riots, encourage attacks, collect funds, glorify gangs and spread violence. Terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State exploit the social media to radicalize, recruit and deploy young people in service of their terrorist causes. The 2011 Arab Spring and 2011 London riots have shown how social media can impact matters of national security. A recent Oxford University study found evidence of disinformation campaigns run by state actors in more than 70 countries around the world. Most of these countries are authoritarian regimes that use SM to threaten activists and journalists with hate and violence, spread pro-government propaganda and drown out opposing voices.

***Cyber Attack on Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant – A Wake Up Call

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

The media is agog with the report of a cyber attack in India’s largest civil nuclear facility - the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu. Cyberspace provides a new opportunity for determined adversaries to wreak havoc at nuclear facilities possibly without ever setting foot inside the nuclear plant. If the network that runs the machines and software controlling the nuclear reactor are compromised, cyber attacks on nuclear power plants could have physical effects. This can be used to facilitate sabotage, theft of nuclear materials and sensitive information, or at its worst, a reactor meltdown. In a densely populated country like India, any radiation release from a nuclear facility would be a major disaster. Threats may be posed by nation states, terrorists, extremists, criminals including organized groups, outsiders such as suppliers or insiders acting intentionally or negligently. 

There is no such thing as a perfectly secure system. Systems are going to be breached - even one that may be disconnected from the Internet. Those looking to attack critical infrastructure can wait for years for a single mistake to be made. This is cyber warfare and vulnerabilities are going to be found. There have been over 20 known cyber incidents at nuclear facilities since 1990 all over the world which shows that the nuclear sector is not immune to cyber related threats. As the digitalization of nuclear reactor instrumentation and control systems increases, potential for malicious and accidental cyber incidents also increases. Authorities responsible for cyber security of nuclear installations have to be constantly on the vigil.The media is agog with the report of a cyber attack in India’s largest civil nuclear facility - the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu. Cyberspace provides a new opportunity for determined adversaries to wreak havoc at nuclear facilities possibly without ever setting foot inside the nuclear plant. If the network that runs the machines and software controlling the nuclear reactor are compromised, cyber attacks on nuclear power plants could have physical effects. 

19 December 2019

***Cyber Attack on Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant – A Wake Up Call

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

The media is agog with the report of a cyber attack in India’s largest civil nuclear facility - the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu. Cyberspace provides a new opportunity for determined adversaries to wreak havoc at nuclear facilities possibly without ever setting foot inside the nuclear plant. If the network that runs the machines and software controlling the nuclear reactor are compromised, cyber attacks on nuclear power plants could have physical effects. This can be used to facilitate sabotage, theft of nuclear materials and sensitive information, or at its worst, a reactor meltdown. In a densely populated country like India, any radiation release from a nuclear facility would be a major disaster. Threats may be posed by nation states, terrorists, extremists, criminals including organized groups, outsiders such as suppliers or insiders acting intentionally or negligently. 

There is no such thing as a perfectly secure system. Systems are going to be breached - even one that may be disconnected from the Internet. Those looking to attack critical infrastructure can wait for years for a single mistake to be made. This is cyber warfare and vulnerabilities are going to be found. There have been over 20 known cyber incidents at nuclear facilities since 1990 all over the world which shows that the nuclear sector is not immune to cyber related threats. As the digitalization of nuclear reactor instrumentation and control systems increases, potential for malicious and accidental cyber incidents also increases. Authorities responsible for cyber security of nuclear installations have to be constantly on the vigil.The media is agog with the report of a cyber attack in India’s largest civil nuclear facility - the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu. Cyberspace provides a new opportunity for determined adversaries to wreak havoc at nuclear facilities possibly without ever setting foot inside the nuclear plant. If the network that runs the machines and software controlling the nuclear reactor are compromised, cyber attacks on nuclear power plants could have physical effects. 

9 December 2019

Experts dwell on use of artificial intelligence in war


With artificial intelligence set to dictate the nature of future battlefields, experts discussed its importance and implications in the Indian context at a seminar on ‘War in the Artificial Intelligence Age’ here today.

Experts said artificial intelligence was an emerging technology affecting military and civilian domains alike across the globe. They say some strides have been made to harness the power of artificial intelligence to boost the armed forces’ combat capabilities, a concerted and holistic effort is required to exploit its potential and meet the challenges thrown up by other countries in the field.

Former governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lt Gen AK Singh (retd), author and educationist, Maj Gen Raj Mehta (retd), Consultant at the Vivekananda Internation Foundation, Maj Gen PK Mallick (retd) and former MP Col Manvendra Singh (retd) spoke on the occasion.

The event was organised by the Indian Ex-servicemen Movement, Panchkula, to commemorate Remembrance Day, which is observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the World War I to pay homage to soldiers who died in the line of duty.

A large number of retired defence officers as well as residents attended the seminar.

28 October 2019

Rise of China, History, Technology, Policies: Implications for India

Since opening up to foreign trade and investment and implementing free market reforms in 1979, China has become the world’s fastest-growing economy. China has transformed itself from a predominantly agricultural economy into a manufacturing powerhouse. China has taken a leading role in several critical emerging technologies. ‘Made in China 2025’, laid out how and why China would need to move up the technology ladder and close the gap with developed countries.

China's $ 11 trillion economy is almost five times that of India. China is way ahead of India in terms of technology. The US-China trade war helped Indian exports to China. India has been taking notable steps forward in innovation, supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reform agenda.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership can derail India’s ‘Make in India’ programme. India has major concerns. India has to do some very tight rope walking. India manufacturing industry has no option but to be globally competitive to survive in today’s globalized world.

Despite the border tensions India has to engage China economically to reduce the trade deficit between the two countries, take advantage of the ongoing US China trade war, get FDI from China and collaborate in emerging technologies to take Indian economy forward.

18 October 2019

Rise of China, History, Technology, Policies: Implications for India


Since opening up to foreign trade and investment and implementing free market reforms in 1979, China has become the world’s fastest-growing economy. China has transformed itself from a predominantly agricultural economy into a manufacturing powerhouse. China has taken a leading role in several critical emerging technologies. ‘Made in China 2025’, laid out how and why China would need to move up the technology ladder and close the gap with developed countries.

China's $ 11 trillion economy is almost five times that of India. China is way ahead of India in terms of technology. The US-China trade war helped Indian exports to China. India has been taking notable steps forward in innovation, supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reform agenda.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership can derail India’s ‘Make in India’ programme. India has major concerns. India has to do some very tight rope walking. India manufacturing industry has no option but to be globally competitive to survive in today’s globalized world.

Despite the border tensions India has to engage China economically to reduce the trade deficit between the two countries, take advantage of the ongoing US China trade war, get FDI from China and collaborate in emerging technologies to take Indian economy forward.

9 September 2019

US OPEN MEN’S FINALS

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Tonight is the US Open Men’s Finals. By all account Rafa is overwhelming favourite to lift the trophy and win his 19th grand slam tournament. The three time US Open champion Spaniard will play his sixth final at Flushing Meadows. Nadal lost one set in five encounters to advance into the 28th Grand Slam final.

Will it be a repeat of womens finals? Not likely. Though there is a lot of similarity. Rafa is not Serena. Coming to this tournament his preparation is impeccable.

Against Nadal across the net will be Daniil Medvedev, a 6 ft 6 inches tall and gaunt twenty three year old Russian, with a patchy mustache under his long, sharp nose and a scrappy goatee on his chin. His light brown hair is retreating at the temples. He has high cheekbones and hooded eyes, and sometimes wears a faint smirk, although he is capable of appearing angelic. He likes to play video games and chess. He looks more like a professor than like a professional athlete. He acts more like a professional wrestler than like a tennis star.

Daniil Medvedev will be a tired man. He has played more singles tennis matches in the month than anyone on the tour. Medvedev reached three consecutive finals since the start of August, at tournaments in Washington, Toronto and Cincinnati.

BIANCA ANDREESCU WINS US OPEN

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu has upset Serena Williams 6-3, 7-5 in the US Open final to claim her first Grand Slam title. The 19-year-old Andreescu is the first woman to win the trophy at Flushing Meadows in her tournament debut in the Open era. When Serena won her first grand slam in US Open 20 years back Andreescu was not even born. She got a check of $3.85 million. Much more will follow in endorsements.

Was the result an upset? After all she was playing unarguably the GOAT of women’s tennis, holder of 23 grand slam trophies in front of a stadium full of screaming fans of Serena. Serena had been annihilating her opponents this year in US Open with her power play.I don’t think it was an upset.

One has to look at CV this year of teenager Bianca Andreescu. Just to remind everybody of her mental toughness, She has won 12 consecutive 3 set matches, her record in 44 – 4 win lose this season is the best. If you take out the injury withdrawal in two tournaments she has hardly been beaten this year. She had made her presence felt by storming to the Indian Wells title in March and after a knee injury forced her to pull out of the Miami and Rome tournaments earlier this year after just one match. She won the Rogers Cup in Toronto last month. In the finals she was leading Serena 3-1 when Serena withdrew due to injury. The way the teenager reacted there after Serena threw in the towels won praise from Serena who is not known for praising others.

6 September 2019

Research and Development in Cyber Domain and Indian Perspective

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

… India has to develop its own technologies, an electronic manufacturing base, R&D infrastructure and a highly skilled human resource… talented professionals available in the cyber eco system have to be brought in for research on indigenization of cyber technologies… Though a little late, but given the required priority, funding and impetus India has the capability to develop indigenous technology in cyber domain …

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5 September 2019

US Open Tennis

Maj Gen P K mallick, VSM (Retd)

We are now at the business end of US Open tennis championship. Today the second set of QFs will be played to determine the semifinals line up in the bottom half of the draw. 

Baby Fed Grigor Dimitrov has beaten the GOAT Roger Federer in 5 sets. 

Before the tournament started nobody in his wildest dream would have put money on Dimitrov to reach semis in current form. The 78th ranked Bulgarian lost 7 of his last 8 first round matches in first round. The other one he lost was in second round! 

He is called baby Fed because of his similar style of play like Roger Federer. His serve, volley, slices, forehand, one handed backhand, speed on court are remarkably similar. He was touted as next big thing when he won the year ending 2017 Nitto ATP finals. Then inexplicably he came under tough weather. He has been No 3 in the world. He had reached two grand slam semifinals in 2014 and 2017. He has won two junior grand slams. He has the pedigree to reach the top. 

This year he had hired Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek as Coach. Both were missing from his box today. When asked in post match talk he was evasive, meant you have to ask them for an answer. 

28 August 2019

China’s Defence White Paper – An Analysis

Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM (Retd)

… Beijing’s latest Defence White Paper reads more as a report card on the status of PLA reforms than a strategic policy document. This White Paper identifies the United States as the single most precarious threat to China’s national security and strikes an increasingly assertive tone towards Taiwan…


25 June 2019

Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think

Source Link
ARTHUR C. BROOKS

"It’s not true that no one needs you anymore.”

These words came from an elderly woman sitting behind me on a late-night flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. The plane was dark and quiet. A man I assumed to be her husband murmured almost inaudibly in response, something to the effect of “I wish I was dead.”

Again, the woman: “Oh, stop saying that.”

I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but couldn’t help it. I listened with morbid fascination, forming an image of the man in my head as they talked. I imagined someone who had worked hard all his life in relative obscurity, someone with unfulfilled dreams—perhaps of the degree he never attained, the career he never pursued, the company he never started.

At the end of the flight, as the lights switched on, I finally got a look at the desolate man. I was shocked. I recognized him—he was, and still is, world-famous. Then in his mid‑80s, he was beloved as a hero for his courage, patriotism, and accomplishments many decades ago.

10 June 2019

Tennis : French Open Finals

In the French Open finals it was business as usual. Nadal grinding down Thiem with his relentless game. Rafa easily won the first set at 3.

Second set was going with serve. But Thiem could take only one yes only one point in Nadal's first five service games. Serving at 5 - 6 Rafa played an exquisite drop volley on his back hand side. In fact all through the match Rafa's volleying was out of the world. Out of nowhere unforced error from Rafa and winner from Thiem brought a break and set point which Thiem duly converted. Set all, game on.

Rafa came out like a raging bull, pulverized Thiem to win the third set at 1.

In the fourth set Rafa was leading three love. In a now or never scene Thiem down at love 30, played some big booming serve and outstanding ground shots managed to hold serve.

But he is just delaying the inevitability. Rafa is leading 4-1 in fourth set. It is matter of time before Rafa gets his 12th title. King of clay has won the fourth set at 1 and the French Open title.

Problem is there is no new balls. Only players who can give trouble to Rafa, not necessarily winning are those 30 plus warhorses Novac, Stan or Roger.

Old balls are holding on. All 30 plus. The GOAT at 37 plus.
Njoy till they hang up.Except possibly Tsitsipas there is nobody who can hold a candle to these Mohicans.

We all want new guns. Sadly they cannot match the dedication discipline and work ethics of these galectos.

People like me can take heart from these aging superstars, but what about youngstars.

There lies the problem. Throne will not be vacated, has to be won!


=====================================================================

I am now bored to see the same three faces winning all the grand slams. Stan the Man and Andy Murray got three each in between but both of them are out with injuries. Stan is on his way to come back.

If Thiem wins it will be such a change. He has all the credentials to do that. He has beaten Rafa in clay like last year.

But Rafa is the greatest clay court player the planet has ever seen. He has won 11 titles here. He owns this piece of land at Ronald Garros.

This year Rafa was beaten in clay by the merculian Italian, the Greek Tsitsipas and Thiem. But will anybody bet against Rafa for the French Open title. I doubt.

Remember. Last year finals. Rafa just ate up Thiem. The way Nadal is devouring his opponents, I am afraid we are going to see another one sided finals.

My heart is with Thiem but my brain is with Rafa.

Unless some miracle happens. Look at the ladies half. All new faces coming up to the top. Men's tennis requires young guns. New balls please. Except Tsitsipas nobody is in the horizon to challenge the three aging superstars. Old balls still reign supreme.

That is why winning by Thiem is so important.

Alas, if that could happen!