25 September 2016

Declassified: In the Shadow of the Sphinx: A History of Army Counterintelligence

September 21, 2016 

In the Shadow of the Sphinx: A History of Army Counterintelligence 

Excerpt from the Foreword of the book: 

The challenges facing our Nation today in its war against terrorism are reminiscent of the security concerns in the days leading up to World War I. Newspaper headlines told of large explosions in major metropolitan areas, the presence of spy cells inside the country, and the capture of foreign saboteurs crossing our borders. These events would ultimately result in the establishment of a permanent corps of trained counterintelligence specialists within America’s Army. 

During peacetime and war, counterintelligence has served to protect the Army’s most important secrets; its success or failure often spell the difference between victory and defeat on the battlefield. Highlights include the outstanding work performed by Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) detachments in support of our combat forces during World War I and World War II. Later in the Korean War, the Army turned to the CIC to establish and operate a very sophisticated, behind-the-lines network of intelligence collectors. However, counterintelligence’s greatest contribution may have occurred in the occupation period following World War II. In Germany and Austria, counterintelligence agents were responsible for the successful denazification program that gave democracy a chance. In Japan, they served as the ears and eyes of the occupation authorities to monitor the steps being taken towards a representative form of government. Agents of the Counter Intelligence Corps were among the first to define and then confront the emerging threat posed by communism bent on derailing the progress toward free societies, and throughout the Cold War, counterintelligence would remain as the Army’s principal shield against hostile intelligence services. 


SEPTEMBER 23, 2016

In the latest episode of our podcast, editor-in-chief Ryan Evans sat down with Gen. Jim Mattis and Kori Schake of the Hoover Institution to talk about civil-military relations, the subject of their new book Warriors and Citizens: American Views of Our Military. This is the first major study of civil-military relations in years. The conversation also turned to strategy, with Mattis observing that Washington is a “strategy-free environment” and that this is a problem that goes back through two administrations.

Next, Ryan sat down with Richard Fontaine, the president of the Center for a New American Security, to discuss his summer in Australia, where he was an Alliance 21 Fellow at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Fontaine was there to take an up close look at the U.S.-Australian relationship and hard questions related to American strategy in Asia.

Have a listen!

Small Wars: An Innovative Approach to War Gaming

September 22, 2016

War games are considered invaluable in certain parts of Washington—not just for those who make war, but also for those who must deal with other complex and path-dependent contingencies, everything from combat to disaster response to public health emergencies. But not everyone buys into them, nor do senior leaders necessarily have the time it typically takes to participate. As a result, this approach, proven and time-tested in military circles, may not gain the wider following that it deserves, especially among senior policymakers.

So, some champions of war gaming at Brookings, Booz Allen Hamilton and a few government and nongovernmental organizations conducted an experiment earlier this summer, to streamline the process without losing any of the intellectual rigor and insight that come with it. Dubbed Brookings’s first-ever National Security Challenge, it was really more like National Security Improv, and all who played it agreed that it was a success.

Here’s what happened. A current ambassador, a former intelligence agency director and two senior Pentagon policy officials walked into the Brookings Institution to take their places as an expert panel, an eclectic group who willingly came with little warning of what was about to take place, save a brief description and assurances from the event’s organizers. Facing them across the table were three prominent national-security thought leaders—a scientist, a policy strategist and a military theorist—each armed with a “secret” near-future scenario ready to challenge the panel. And, surrounding the opposing groups, approximately fifty other national-security and war gaming experts from across government and academe, all seated in theater-in-the-round style and ready for action.

The scenarios were unconventional and uncomfortable—entirely plausible, but not the typical stuff of a traditional Pentagon war game. Two moderators from Booz Allen were there to help those assembled navigate these challenges, but the conversation, once the “fuse” was lit, was self-propelled. The crowd, composed of experts in their own right, was ready and—according to our rules of engagement—able to jump in to contribute, contest or critique based on their own experiences. Indeed, they would not have stayed if this were a lecture with a five-minute question-and-answer session. Everyone’s time is valuable, and everyone has emails to answer, but all who were present were deeply engaged in the give-and-take. We kept the cadence fast, to cover three topics in one morning, and also to maintain a highly interactive feel to the conversation. Here’s what happened.

Drone Dependency

This Is The Future Of The Air Force Reserve

September 20, 2016

Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller was just named commander of the Air Force Reserve. This is what she wants for its future.

In June, Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller was chosen to serve as the first female commander of the Air Force Reserve — a position that makes her one of the highest ranking women in the military. And over the four years she will spend in the post, she intends to leave her mark by making the Air Force Reserve a diverse component of the armed forces, with an important role for anyone who volunteers to join.

As she entered the New York City Air Force public affairs office conference room with a press officer and her sister, she wore a kind smile. She had piercing blue eyes and a firm handshake, and as she greeted me, she remarked that she was looking forward to visiting the 9/11 Memorial after the interview but was very happy to have had the chance to sit down with Task & Purpose.

Miller’s career spans nearly 35 years. She spent eight years on active duty before choosing to switch to the full-time reserves. A few years after that transition, Miller decided to open a restaurant and really take advantage of the reserve status to try her hand at dual military-civilian life.

“As I was in the reserves [I decided to] quit the full-time reserves piece, and expand even further into the private sector and open a restaurant in a resort community in Delaware,” she said.

Special Forces as Military Observers in Modern Combat

September 21, 2016

An Army Special Forces Officer, having been embedded with a Ukrainian infantry company only days earlier, arrives at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, to give a presentation to a conventional Army brigade preparing for a rotation to Europe. He lectures on the latest anti-tank tactics and counter-drone techniques being used against Russian proxy forces. Across the country, an experienced special operations Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) briefs members of the airborne community at Fort Bragg on the what he observed alongside French paratroopers in Mali, following up on the secure teleconferences that occurred previously while he was still in Africa. These scenarios are hypothetical, but plausible. The situations described are examples of “what could be,” if Special Operations Forces (SOF) were used as military observers in modern combat.

Once a widely practiced tradition, professional soldiers are no longer commonly embedded as official military observers during war. This discontinuation can be attributed to reasons ranging from risk aversion, to feasibility, to military culture. An overview of the insights (and the overlooked, potential indicators) from military observers during the last two centuries indicates that modern militaries may be denying themselves an opportunity for critical insight. By embedding officially sanctioned and uniformed observers with belligerents, countries have the opportunity to be at the cutting edge of conflict without being actively engaged in combat. The networked nature of modern militaries means that reports, pictures and videos can be beamed across the planet in near-real time. Special Operations Forces (SOF) are the best candidates to fulfill this overlooked, but not obsolete, practice.

24 September 2016

*** Target China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

By RSN Singh
23 Sep , 2016

Pakistan began by playing incendiary game in the Valley by contriving Burhan Wani as the spark. India responded by enlarging the geopolitical arena of conflict to PoK and Balochistan. If the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through PoK, do we treat it as fate-accompli? Any government which tacitly acquiesces as such is guilty of betrayal of the resolution of parliament, which in effect is a ‘national resolution’. Such a government will also be guilty of facilitating the transition of ‘two front’ situation in context of Pakistan and China to a new inimical reality of ‘territorial embrace’.

We ought to be clear that the CPEC is essentially a strategic project with military objectives intrinsic to it.

The CPEC yokes PoK and Balochistan to China. It was imperative therefore for the Indian Prime Minister to address our territorial rights with regard to PoK as well as Balochistan, given the illegal strategic link scripted by China and Pakistan. Moreover when such an illegal project plays havoc with human lives and environment in our territory, our inaction and silence would be criminal. We ought to be clear that the CPEC is essentially a strategic project with military objectives intrinsic to it.

Several trips by Raheel Sharif to China with the exclusive agenda of the CPEC under-scores the fact. The exaggerated economic advantages accruing from the project to the two countries is secondary. Nevertheless, it has fired frenzied hope amongst the impoverished people of Pakistan. Both, the people and the military see it as a panacea for accumulated economic woes and insecurities vis-à-vis India. The public hysteria over CPEC in Pakistan is palpable on every conceivable public platform. Any mishap with the project, it seems would drive Pakistan into incurable depression.

** Lies and More Lies : Dissecting Pak PM’s Speech at UNGA

By Brig NK Bhatia, SM (Retd)
22 Sep , 2016

Those who saw live coverage of Pakistan Prime Minister’s live speech at the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) would have been shocked and dismayed at the candor, demeanor and a straight jacket face displayed by him while making reference to issues that perpetrate out of its territory and as its stated policy that are the root causes of instability in the region.

Pakistan had probably tasted blood and learnt to effectively use non regulars as instruments of its state policy.

Consider the following statements made from pedestal of the highest international organ; United Nations.


“My country has been the principal victim of terrorism including that supported, sponsored and financed from abroad.” “We will not allow externally sponsored terrorism and threats of destabilization to cause turbulence in Pakistan.”

The statement appears to be satirical in the backdrop of clinching and irrefutable evidence that Pakistan is the fountain head and biggest architect of nurturing outfits that use religious indoctrination, violence and use of terrorism as a tool to achieve their stated objectives.

Historically these can be traced back to day when it came into existence. Use of irregulars for invasion of Kashmir in 1947 was the first instance Pakistan unleashed armed intruders on a helpless Kashmiri population. Timely and resound action by Indian Army forced the retreat of raiders until Prime Minister Nehru declared a ceasefire.

But Pakistan had probably tasted blood and learnt to effectively use non regulars as instruments of its state policy.

* Pakistan Army Chief’s Adventurism 2016 and India’s Options

By Dr Subhash Kapila
23 Sep , 2016

Pakistan Army Chiefs have compulsively resorted to Kashmir-centric military adventurism against India based on flawed and misconceived assessments on Kashmir Valley being ripe for secession from India and a misreading of firmness of resolve of Indian political leaders in responding to their military adventurism.

The Pakistan Army supported and facilitated terrorist attacks against the Indian Army have increased for over a year now during the incumbency of the General Raheel Sharif, the present Pakistan Army Chief due to retire in November 2016. In case of General Raheel Sharif what requires to be noted is that his adventurism is not confined only to military adventurism against India but also extended to political adventurism in Pakistan’s domestic politics. For all practical purposes, he had carried out a ‘soft coup’ against Pakistan’s duly elected PM Nawaz—reflected in one of my papers of that time. Having carved a larger than life domestic political image with his disputable counter-terrorism offensive in frontier regions, General Raheel Sharif seems to be having second thoughts on living upto his January 2016 public announcement that he will not seek extension. What better way to get out of his commitment than to escalate tensions with India and thereby facilitating an extension to be thrust on him. Be as it may, what is of concern to India as to what impelled the Pakistan Army Chief to indulge in conflict-escalation with Kashmir Valley-centric contours?

Once again like in 1965 and thereafter, yet another Pakistan Army Chief has grossly misread that the Kashmir Valley is ripe for secession from India based on the intensity of the Pakistan Army incited unrest. Blame for this misreading has to be shared by the Indian policy establishment in its permissive toleration of Kashmir Valley separatists like the Hurriyat leaders openly declaring their loyalties to Pakistan. Greater share of such blame needs to be apportioned to India’s ‘intellectual terrorists’ of Indian opposition parties, media elites and academics propagating ‘dialogue’ with seditionists. Such Indian manifestations seem to have fed Pakistani Army Chief’s perceptions that India was adopting appeasement policies to Kashmir Valley seditionists out of fear of loss of the Kashmir Valley because the people of Jammu and Ladakh hate Pakistan.

‘Offensive defence’ is not the best strategy

K.C. Singh

India needs to wean Mr Sharif away from his Army and Pakistan away from China, into the arms of which it is being driven more deeply. Good strategy, as they say, can tolerate poor tactics...

America’s President Barack Obama delivered his farewell speech, with the US presidential elections less than two months away, but Russian President Vladimir Putin skipped the UN General Assembly 71st session’s high-level segment September 20-26 in New York on the theme of “Sustainable development goals: A universal push to transform the world”, and the Chinese only sent Premier Li Keqiang. The other Permanent Five leaders were there, but the razzmatazz was clearly missing.

But unaffected by that, Pakistan’s PM Nawaz Sharif, after some notional references to the theme, launched a tendentious attack on India. Pakistan wants peace but no preconditions were acceptable for talks as the talks are “not a favour to Pakistan”. Jammu and Kashmir was the core of the dispute. The unrest in Kashmir Valley is an “indigenous uprising”. He alleged human rights abuses too, about which he was submitting a dossier to the UN Secretary-General. Finally he reiterated the Pakistani litany about India ignoring the 1948 UNSC resolutions mandating a plebiscite to determine the will of the people.

The shroud of a word

Aakash Joshi

Describing soldiers who died in Uri as martyrs does them a disservice

Flying officer Nirmal Jit Sekhon single-handedly defended the Srinagar air base against an attack by the Pakistan air force during the 1971 war. He is the only member of the IAF to have received the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). Havildar Abdul Hamid also received the PVC for his service during the 1965 war. He took out three Pakistani army Patton tanks, with his gun mounted on a jeep, before he was killed by a fourth. Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla (PVC) went down with his ship, the INS Khukri, in the 1971 war, saving the lives of many of his crew in the process. All three men were honoured for their bravery and their sacrifice. Officially, the armed forces refer to their deceased as battle casualties, “killed in action” and in more sombre moments as simply “the fallen”. Nirmal Jit Sekhon, Abdul Hamid and Mahendra Nath Mulla did not die for their religion. They died doing their duty for their country

Martyr is not the traditional or official term for professional soldiers killed in uniform or civilian victims of terrorist attacks. Yet recently, most notably after the Uri attack, the media, government and even ordinary people have increasingly begun to use the locution for deceased soldiers and, at times, even civilian victims of terror. The misuse of a word as powerful as that is not merely a semantic error — it is also a kind of moral sleight-of-hand that allows the powers that be to obfuscate the complexity of the world we live in and their own negligence in the tragedy of innocent lives lost.

If India is serious about making Pakistan pay, it can't go back to business as usual

A clear and extraordinary focus on addressing the enduring deficits and demands of the defence and security sectors is the need of the hour.

The inevitable cycle that follows each exceptional terrorist attack – the explosion of tired bombast about "dastardly deeds" (the new and improved version is "despicable attack"), promises that they will not go unpunished, sweeping accusations of security failures, with insidious claims about "specific intelligence" having been abundantly provided in advance, and, of course, the noise and violence of media debates – have now almost subsided in the wake of the Uri attack. Soon, it will be business as usual.

This is how it has been in numberless cases of Pakistan-backed terrorist excesses in the past; this is how it will be now. The limited riposte the Army will deliver, at a time of its own choosing, along the International Border or the Line of Control, is also part of this predictable cycle.

How can India break out of this fruitless pattern? Bomb Pakistan? Surgical strikes? Limited war? Diplomatic offensives? The armed forces’ leadership has, by now, already informed the government that the military option is limited, its outcomes uncertain. The government has suitably turned down its belligerent rhetoric. As for diplomatic offensives, they are quite worthless, though they may make some of our diplomats feel even more important than they already do.

For decades, the world did not heed India’s evidence of Pakistani malfeasance. A skeptical West (that really is the "world", in terms of the equations of power) was quite unable to distinguish between terrorists and freedom fighters. Now, since Caucasians, among others, are dying in terrorist attacks across Europe and America, the West has no problem with such distinctions, and is immediately able to recognise terrorists on sight, and is aware that there is a Pakistani footprint to almost every attack on their sacred lands (including the latest serial bombings in New York and New Jersey).

Op Ed : The Uri Fiasco

By Shiv Kunal Verma
21 September 2016

The Uri Brigade, along with the one located at Poonch, are perhaps two of our most vulnerable formations simply because both these Brigade HQs are directly under observation from Pakistani positions. Uri is where the Jhelum River and the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Highway leave Indian territory and enter POK. 

The Uri bowl is dominated by features that are in the region of 1500 to 2000 mtrs and is clearly visible from Haji Pir (yes, the same Haji Pir that was handed 'back' to Pakistan in Tashkent in 1965) - if I'm not mistaken the distance between Uri town and the pass is barely 6 km as the crow flies. This does away with even the need for HUMINT, for the planners of any attack can literally see everything 'real time'. From the Indian perspective, the overall landscape is a defenders nightmare for the terrain along the LOC is such that there are many mountain streams in the region along which infiltration usually takes place. The noise of the water makes it impossible for ambush parties to detect movement. 

Over the years, the Indian side has spent tons of money deploying specialized equipment like HHTI (Hand Held Thermal Imagers) and a variety of sophisticated equipment including ground sensors. The technology has helped in many ways, for the days when large parties of 100 to 120 men would infiltrate in the early 1990s is now history. However, new equipment means new equations in the changing dynamics of the LOC – for Pakistan then began to send in smaller parties of 10-12 men. This too soon became too large a group and today, the norm is to send in even smaller parties of 3 to 4 men along the traditional routes around Ghikote, Sahora Hathlanla and Gulmarg, which is further towards the north. The north bank of the Jhelum over the years has seen a large number of encounters in the areas of Lachchipura and Maiyan Baihak on the Kazi Nag Dar ridge. It is a well-known fact that Kamalkote, a village situated bang on the LOC, has been a smuggling village. This is also not the first time that the Brigade in Uri has been targeted… 

Uri attack: Both India and Pakistan have nuclear bombs, why is only India anxious?

Sep 22, 2016 

The Indian mind, living in its opulence of spirituality and self-belief in all things good, refuses to see the harshness of the truth inherent in the order of the nation states. Every Indian is a yoga guru. Every yoga guru, including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, believes that he can engineer the rise of India as a great power without suffering a wound. But the international society of nation-states is a hostile place. This hostility was on display again on 18 September, when eighteen Indian soldiers were killed and dozens wounded in an attack on the Indian Army camp at Uri, planned, sponsored and executed by Pakistan. This is a known enemy. Every Indian is an anti-Chanakya.

The known enemy attacks us in known ways and in known places. We are taught that Mahmud Ghazni launched 17 attacks on Indian cities during 1000–1027 CE, through known means, through known routes, seizing the Somnath temple in Gujarat in the final invasion. But we are not taught that each time we waited for him to do so, we did not go beyond our borders to prevent him, to tame him, to fight him, to eliminate him. In history, you wouldn't find instances when a known enemy torments an entire people so many times and they don't respond. Much like Mahmud Ghazni, Pakistan, the known enemy, torments us in Jammu & Kashmir. Each time, we have prior intelligence input. Each time, we wait. Each time, we do not engineer a response.

The army camp in Uri where the attack happened. PTI

The 18 September attack at Uri is perhaps the worst Pakistani attack since the Kaluchak attack of 14 May, 2002 when three soldiers, 18 relatives of Indian soldiers and ten civilians were killed. On 2 January this year, the enemy stormed the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot, killing seven soldiers. It succeeded because Indian policemen in Punjab were hand-in-glove with the enemies to earn money via illicit drugs routes. Similar attacks have taken place in Jammu & Kashmir regularly. Even after the enemy invaded Kargil in 1999, the largest jihadist war in modern times executed by Pakistan, we chose to serve biryani to General Pervez Musharraf, our tormentor in chief. Both India and Pakistan have nuclear bombs. It is only the Indian mind that feels threatened.

Wikileaks Expose: The whole story of UPA selling Siachin to Pakistan and how Indian Army saved it.

Year 2006-20012

Deputy National Security Advisor Leela Ponappa and Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran) T.C.A. Raghavan, in separate meetings with visiting Ambassador Patterson, indicated that the GOI is seized from top to bottom with the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, but is confident that it has the structures in place to address the situation. The Pakistani infrastructure facilitating infiltration and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir remains intact. Extremist groups active in Jammu and Kashmir are becoming indistinguishable from those operating in the northwest of Pakistan and pose a regional threat. The GOI is ready to continue dialogue with the GOP but the Kabul embassy bombing and Pakistan’s support for cross border terrorism is making it difficult for India to sustain its commitment to normalization of relations. In private meetings, the GOP has acknowledged the gravity of the Kabul attack and promised a report. The political drama in Pakistan is drawing attention from the Line of Control. Raghavan and Ponappa said that people-to-people contact between the countries is thriving but there are zero military-to-military exchanges. Raghavan reported little progress on the Siachen dispute.

GOI wanted peace in the valley. And for that it has deployed its team. Programs like ‘Aman Ki Aasha’ were the normal routine those days. Normalizing the situation and bettering the relations with Pakistan was the main priority. Nobody knows that “Aman Ki Aasha” was to woo the minority voters or to better the relations with the neighbors.

Dealing with the next Uri — or Mumbai

SEP 21 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

These are early days yet, but it is still difficult to overcome the impression that the Indian system was not fully prepared to meet the Uri contingency. This is unfortunate and surprising. Considering that Prime Minister Modi has been a strong critic of India’s lack of firm response to Pakistan’s attacks on previous occasion, one would have thought that the Indian system would have deliberated and decided on India’s options under various contingencies, including such a predictable terrorist outrage. But even if India is unable to respond to the Uri attack, there is still time for the Modi government to recover. Pakistan, after all, is not about to stop terror attacks against India. Immediate preparation will allow the government to be ready to respond to a future attack.

It is possible that India’s civilian leaders, including Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, assumed that the military had such plans and they would be made available to the civilian leaders whenever they were needed. This appears to have been the general approach of previous governments, as we know from the high-level deliberations after the Mumbai attack. If so, hopefully the current crisis will disabuse them of such assumptions and demonstrate that they need to take a much more active role in planning for potential military contingencies.

India After Nonalignment Why Modi Skipped the Summit

By Sumit Ganguly
September 19, 2016
Source Link

Throughout the past several decades, it would have been heresy to suggest that India’s foreign policy was based on anything other than nonalignment. The doctrine, which had its origins in the early Cold War and was based on the idea that its adherents could steer a course between the two superpowers and establish a more just and peaceable world order, had an almost talismanic quality for India’s foreign policy establishment. Perhaps the most dramatic example of this sentiment was the publication of Nonalignment 2.0in 2014 by several highly regarded former Indian policymakers and noted analysts, who sought to give the doctrine new life. Even now, the Nonaligned Movement is known for passing hoary resolutions calling for Security Council reform and for a more equitable global economic order.

That is why Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to skip the Non-Aligned Summit in Margarita, Venezuela, last week has elicited a fair share of commentary in New Delhi. The summit, which India has attended annually, is ostensibly meant to address a range of common concerns among the membership. In reality, it is best known for overblown rhetoric and little or no substance.

Most commentators have lamented Modi’s decision. Writing in the widely read online Indian newspaper The Wire, one commentator, Arun Mohan Sukumar, stated that, “the fact is that the Nonaligned Movement is a multilateral institution that still holds promise for Indian diplomacy.” Those who disagree with Modi’s move have sought to attribute it to one or two possible motives. One argument holds that Modi is self-consciously attempting to distance himself from the foreign policy legacy of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the principal architect of independent India’s foreign policy. According to this line of thinking, Modi is charting a different course because he is personally skeptical of Nehru’s legacy, which he sees as much too idealistic and lacking an understanding of the role of material power in international politics, but also believes that the movement is anachronistic.

Why containment of Pakistan is better than war

September 20, 2016
Source Link

'Terrorism is merely a symptom of a deeper disease in Pakistan's body politic,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).

The Uri base attack by suicide attackers on September 18 ought not to have come as a surprise to us or the world. A few days before this attack, a similar attempt on the Poonch garrison was foiled by our troops.

That said, no country can afford to continue to turn the other cheek when repeatedly slapped, Gandhian philosophy notwithstanding. For that is to undermine national morale and further encourage terror attacks.

Having been on the ground in Uri several times, one has to appreciate the basic fact that preventing suicide attacks every time on a base close to border is a statistical impossibility. Even a super-efficient State like Israel has been unable to do so.

When the Japanese launched Kamikaze attacks on American ships towards the end of World War II, the Americans had no real answer to it.

The only counter to a suicide attack is to intercept the attackers before they reach the target.

In India, the problem is further compounded by the media and judiciary who label collateral damage as human rights violations. We want to apply provisions of the Indian Penal Code to a proxy war situation where the rules of war prevail.

We have failed to appreciate that the soldier is simultaneously facing an insurgency as well as a proxy war.

China’s Belt and Road initiative: can Europe expect trade gains?

The Belt and Road aims to ease bottlenecks for cross-border trade in Asia, Europe and Africa. This paper measures empirically whether the reduction in transportation costs will have a positive impact on trade flows for Belt and Road countries and for EU countries. The authors also explore the possibility that the Belt and Road may eventually go beyond its current objectives towards the creation of a free trade area.

The Belt and Road initiative, recently embarked on by China, aims to improve cross-border infrastructure in order to reduce transportation costs across a massive geographical area between China and Europe.

The authors estimate how much trade might be created among Belt and Road countries as a consequence of the reduction in transportation costs (both railway and maritime) and find that European Union countries, especially landlocked countries, should benefit considerably. This is also true for eastern Europe and Central Asia and, to a lesser extent, south-east Asia.

In contrast, if China were to seek to establish a free trade area within the Belt and Road region, EU member states would benefit less, while Asia would benefit more. Xi Jinping’s current vision for the Belt and Road, centred on improving transport infrastructure, is very good news for Europe as far as trade creation is concerned.

How to Counter China’s Global Propaganda Offensive

SEPT. 21, 2016

BERLIN — It has been a difficult year for many Western democracies — and China is rubbing it in. As Donald J. Trump rose in the Republican primaries, the state-run Xinhua news agency gleefully described the United States presidential election as “an entertaining drama that illustrates the malfunction of the self-claimed world standard of democracy.” AnotherXinhua article exploited the leak of Democratic Party emails to reassert that “money politics has become an incurable disease of the American electoral system.”

America’s democracy is not the only target. China’s state media also came out swinging after the British vote to leave the European Union. An articlein Global Times put it bluntly: “Brexit lays bare Western democracy’s facade.”

At a time when the West is struggling with the shortcomings of the democratic process, China is seizing the opportunity to promote its own system. Much more so than his immediate predecessors, President Xi Jinping views his country in an ideological competition with the West. No longer content with stopping the influence of democratic ideas at China’s borders, Chinese propaganda experts have decided they need to focus on making China’s political system attractive abroad if the Communist Party wants to stay in power.

Backed by an estimated annual budget of $10 billion, Chinese media organizations are expanding their global presence, heeding Mr. Xi’s call to media organizations to “tell China’s story well.” This means casting the Chinese political system, the so-called China model, as meritocratic, efficiency-oriented rule by well-trained technocrat visionaries that is superior to Western democracy.

Balancing Act: The China-India-U.S. Triangle

Addressing a security conference in India in March 2016, Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, noted “with admiration India’s peaceful resolution of disputes with neighbors in the waters of the Indian Ocean,” while criticizing China for seeking “to bully smaller nations through intimidation and coercion.” It was more than a straw in the wind. Harris also called on India to join the United States, Japan, and Australia to deal with common security challenges in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region via the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (or Quad). Although each values its economic ties with China, Washington, Tokyo, Canberra, and New Delhi, all share a common interest in ensuring that the Indo-Pacific region is not dominated by China and the overall balance of power remains favorable to the liberal democracies.

Many believe that Beijing would have been far less aggressive in its “island building” and the other challenges to the status quo in the Pacific norms if the Quad had already been in place. But Harris called for the new initiative in the spirit of better late than never. With media reporting the first-ever trilateral naval exercise planned by the U.S., Indian, and Japanese navies in the South China Sea, the Admiral hoped that in the not too distant future, American and Indian navy vessels steaming together will become “a common and welcome sight” throughout Indo-Asia-Pacific waters. Not surprisingly, China reacted fast and furiously to the prospect of a more robust Indo-U.S. entente, warning both to stand back.

The Origins of the Triangle