26 October 2016

India-Pakistan: Fragmenting Ceasefire In J&K – Analysis

By Ajit Kumar Singh*
OCTOBER 25, 2016

On October 23, 2016, the Pakistan Rangers violated the November 2003 cease-fire agreement (CFA), carrying out a sniper attack at an Indian post in the R. S. Pura sector of Jammu District in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), injuring a Border Security Force (BSF) constable. The constable succumbed to his injuries later in the night.

At least seven Pakistan Rangers were reportedly killed in cross border firing by the BSF of India on October 21, 2016, in addition to one terrorist. According to reports, the Pakistan Rangers violating the CFA, carried out a sniper attack at an Indian post in the Hira Nagar area of Kathua District, injuring a BSF constable. A BSF released stated, “In a befitting reply to a sniper attack of Pak Rangers at 9:35 this morning in Hira Nagar Sector of Jammu, BSF launched an offensive. During intermittent firing of small arms and area weapons one terrorist and seven Rangers were shot dead.” The Rangers had violated the CFA to help terrorists infiltrate from the Pakistani side into India, as has been the established practice over years. BSF spokesman Shubhendu Bhardwaj thus disclosed, “There was an infiltration attempt and sniper fire. We retaliated. The bodies are on the other side of the border.” The injured BSF trooper died later, on October 22.

In the intervening night of October 19 and 20, 2016, Indian troopers foiled an infiltration attempt by terrorists in the Hira Nagar area of Kathua District. While one terrorist was killed the rest managed to escape back to Pakistan. Pakistan Rangers provided cover fire to the failed infiltrators.

On October 16, 2016, a soldier of the Indian Army was reportedly shot dead by a sniper from Pakistan. The incident occurred at a forward Indian post along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Naushera Sector of the Rajouri District. The Indian Army responded, though there was no report of any casualties on the other side.

Crackdown Not Enough: Bangladesh Needs to Neutralize Sources Of Militant Support – Analysis

By S. Binodkumar Singh* 
OCTOBER 25, 2016

On October 8, 2016, in a series of anti-militancy crackdowns, 12 Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants were killed in Gazipur, Tangail and Dhaka districts. Seven of them were killed in Harinal area under Gazipur city of Gazipur district in an operation codenamed ‘Operation Spate 8’ conducted jointly by the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and Gazipur police. Police recovered three small arms and locally-made sharp weapons from the site. Two others were killed during an operation by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) at a JMB den in Lebubagan area of Gazipur district. One AK 22 rifle, bomb making materials, one laptop, a locally-made sharp weapon and some bullets were recovered from the den. In another raid carried out by RAB, two other militants were killed in a three-storey building in Mirzamath area of Tangail town in Tangail district. One pistol, one revolver, 11 sharp weapons, 12 bullets, two laptops and BDT 64,362 were recovered from the ground floor of the flat. Separately, in Dhaka district, Nazmul Haque alias Abdur Rahman, the financier of JMB died after he jumped off from his flat in the fourth floor to flee during a raid by RAB in Savar upazila (sub-district). RAB recovered a firearm, ammunition, sharp weapons, a mobile jammer and a huge number of Jihadi books from his flat.

On September 11, 2016, one JMB militant was killed and three others were injured during a police raid at a house in Lalbagh area of capital Dhaka city. During the raid, five Policemen were also injured as the militants attacked them with sharp weapons.

On September 2, 2016, Murad alias Jahangir Alam alias Omar alias Major Shaheb’, the ‘military commander’ of JMB was killed during a raid in Dhaka city’s Mirpur area. Before being shot dead, Murad indiscriminately stabbed three Policemen trying to capture him.

On August 29, 2016, Khaled Hasan alias Badar Mama (30), the ‘military commander’ of the northern region of JMB and Ripon alias Golam Tareque alias Abu Ibrahim (29), the ‘chief of Ansar Rajshahi’, a splinter group of JMB were killed in a gunfight with Police in Bogra district. Two constables Babul Akhtar and Abdul Mottalleb suffered injuries in the incident. A foreign-made pistol, four bullets, two homemade bombs, bomb-making materials and a knife were also recovered from the spot.

China’s Dam Building Spree In Tibet: Strategic Implications And India’s Options – Analysis

By G G Dwivedi* 
OCTOBER 25, 2016

Recent reports have pointed to China blocking the Xiabuqu tributary of the Yarlung Zangpo River (Tibetan name for Brahmaputra) for a dam project. The 195-km long Xiabuqu originates at Bainang and joins the Brahmaputra at Xigaze, close to Sikkim. The construction of the dam as part of the Lalho hydroelectric project at Xigaze reportedly began in June 2014 and is expected to be completed by 2019.

The project has been viewed with concern in India, which is a lower riparian state. The Yarlung Zangpo flows 1625 kms in Tibet before entering Arunachal Pradesh as the Siang. Further down, after confluence with the Dibang and Lohit, it is known as the Brahmaputra. In Bangladesh, it merges with the Ganga and empties into the Bay of Bengal.

China has tried to allay India’s apprehensions by stating that the project is not designed to hold water. It further claims that the Xiabuqu’s mean discharge volume is barely 0.02 per cent of the Brahmaputra’s average annual trans- boundary discharge, which latter is estimated at 142.37 cubic km. Earlier, Beijing had vehemently denied undertaking any dam construction activities on the Brahmaputra in Tibet. It was only in 2010 that the then Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi formally acknowledged the construction of the Zangmu dam.

China’s closed door political system is shrouded in secrecy, leading to trust deficit. In the absence of an effective water sharing mechanism, the construction of the dam on the Xiabuqu could emerge as another irritant between India and China. Beijing’s elaborate plans to harness the waters of the rivers in Tibet have serious strategic and socio-economic implications for India.
China’s Grand Design

The Battles Within The Battle To Re-Take Mosul – OpEd

OCTOBER 25, 2016

The battle to retake Iraq’s second largest city from the ISIS terrorists has entered its second week and may take several more weeks before the anti-ISIS coalition forces can claim decisive victory and gain control of the entire city and its surrounding enclaves. But, the fog of war has not veiled the multiple vested interests that reflect a deeply-divided coalition that is barely glued together over common enmity vis-à-vis ISIS (Daesh) and, in fact, is indicative of three simultaneous battles.

First, the anti-ISIS battle that has brought together the various units of Iraqi army, militias, Kurds, Iranian military advisers, US forces and, increasingly, Turkish involvement irrespective of the loud objections of the Iraqi government: This battle’s stated aim is to restore Baghdad’s authority over Mosul and thus achieve a significant progress in terms of the country’s ruptured sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Second, there is ‘battle within the battle’ involving the major stakeholders in the theater of conflict, vying with each other for zones of influence, including the Kurds, backed by the US, whose interests are hardly congruent with the interests of the central government in Baghdad. The US, for its part, is clearly seeking to emerge from the battle of Mosul with a bigger influence in Iraq (as well as neighboring Syria), which might explain the sudden appearance of US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in Iraq last week, shoring up US’s direct military role in the battle of Mosul and, simultaneously, putting a seal of approval on Turkey’s unwanted (from Baghdad’s point of view) quest to have a growing hand in the battle.

Use Of Water As A Strategic Weapon – Analysis

OCTOBER 25, 2016

While the border dispute between India and China remains unresolved, and political differences widen on bilateral as well as regional issues, water has emerged as yet another issue where differences are widening with the potential of conflict in the future. India is worried about China’s dam projects on the Brahmaputra river and both countries are asserting to defend their national interests and claims in controlling the water as it flows from the Tibetan plateau to the riparian states downstream in India and Bangladesh before joining the Bay of Bengal.

No sooner than China successfully blocked India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group and equating India with Pakistan’s claim for the same, India announced plans to assert its rights within the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan. China retaliated within days of India’s announcement saying that it was building a dam on a tributary of the Brahmaputra (known as Yarlung Zangbo (Tsangpo) in Tibet). It soon transpired that China’s announcement on 1 October of the blockade of Xiabuqu river in Tibet is part of the construction of its “most expensive hydel project”. As a lower riparian state, India will be directly affected.

India sees red in China’s dam building overdrive. India is concerned because there are no bilateral or multilateral treaties on the water. Since Brahmaputra which originates from the Angsi glacier in western Tibet and flows through the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, building a dam on the river could help it assert claim over the state.

Understanding Battle Of Mosul And Impending ‘Demise’ Of Islamic State – Analysis

By Kabir Taneja* 
OCTOBER 24, 2016

More than seven million Indians call the greater Middle East region their home. There are more Indians here in New Delhi to worry about than the population of Finland, and the region is possibly one of the most hostile regions on the planet. Yet, our media discourse on the happenings in the Middle East is minimal, knowledge in public forums superficial at best, no Indian media outlet has a single reporter based in the region despite our affinity and progress towards India’s ‘Think West‘ policy.

Over the past few days, the Iraqi army has been preparing for what it believes could be the final showdown between government forces along with the assorted militias that support them, and the Islamic State (ISIS). The city of Mosul, about 400 km north of the capital Baghdad, and closer to the strongholds of Kurdish regions of the country are being prepared for the final assault to dismantle ISIS. It is believed the outcome of this operation could take anywhere between weeks and months, but as we have seen in the past, specifically in Afghanistan, years is also not an implausible scenario. “ISIS has dug in deep,” people escaping Mosul were quoted as saying. “This will take a long time. These guys are mostly Iraqis and they will not give up. People on this side of the river (Tigris) cannot run away to Anbar. They will have to fight,” said another.

Over the past few months, ISIS has lost large swathes of the territories it so easily took control of during the year of 2014, when it steamrolled through the lands and captured territory and people with gusto. ISIS declared Mosul as the seat of its supposed ‘caliphate’, from where the leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his council run their operations of terror across the region and beyond. Whilst it is true that ISIS has lost a lot of territory over the past few months, many foreign fighters have abandoned its ranks and it is struggling to maintain the enigma it had created around the world, the fact remains that the organisation will probably never be completely dismantled. Like Al Qaeda in the post 9/11 world, ISIS may also disintegrate and seep into the various sectarian cracks of the Middle East as it continues to maintain and promote its vast propaganda machinery, both physically and via the Internet.

Budget Cuts Deepen Information Gulf Between Urban And Rural Russia – OpEd

OCTOBER 25, 2016

Information and Mass Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforob says that budgetary cutbacks mean that the government will close almost all public access Internet points in Russia by the end of this year, a decision that will hit Russians in small towns and villages far harder than those in cities.

That is because most of the public access Internet points now in operation are in villages and small towns where few individuals as yet have their own access to email and the web. Now, even fewer of these people will, and that in turn means that they will be even more dependent on state television and the postal service than they were before (tass.ru/ekonomika/3728315).

Nikiforov says that these points will “stop work almost everywhere,” although he insisted that decisions about which to shut would be taken on a case by case basis. He suggested that such access points would remain “only in the very smallest population points where there are no other means of communication.

The minister suggested that this was not as much a tragedy as many might think because ever more people even in small villages have their own personal access to the Internet. But he acknowledged that the closure of the only way some villagers have to communicate with others outside their home area would have a serious impact on many, including on the post office.

Nikiforov acknowledged as well that this step violates existing law and said that in the coming months, he and his staff would be proposing amendments to bring the law into line with the reality he is creating. He also said that he hoped Rostelkom would invest more, but its spokesman have already indicated that they are not prepared to do so without subsidies.

Can BBIN Work As Antidote To Failures Of SAARC? – Analysis

By Amitava Mukherjee* 
OCTOBER 25, 2016

As Pakistan is now aiming for a greater South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) with China and the Central Asian states in its fold, the importance of the emerging Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) grouping has become more important for not only Indian diplomatic initiatives but for economic progress of landlocked countries like Nepal and Bhutan. It is better to admit that not much thought was given behind the conceptualization of the SAARC in the mid 1980s and sub-regional initiatives like the BBIN may work as an antidote to much of the maladies that afflict South Asia now.

The core tenor of the BBIN is mainly economic in character but for making it a success India, the largest power in the grouping, will have to iron out much of the security and strategic balance related tensions that still exist between it and the three other countries. With Bhutan it has a lingering tension over the Druk kingdom’s continuing boundary negotiations with China. The Madhesi issue and Kathmandu’s growing relations with Beijing have generated enough mistrust between India and Nepal. Finally a new tension is likely to grow in Indo-Bangladesh relations as Hasina Wazed, the prime minister of Bangladesh, has announced during the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Dhaka that Bangladesh would now upgrade her relationship with Beijing to the level of a strategic partnership.

But the BBIN has several tantalizing prospects for all the four nations involved. It has four principal goals: trade, connectivity, transit among the four nations; power generation and investments for water management; mutual trade in energy and power and conversion of national power grids to sub regional power grids; and finally people to people contacts. This sub-region has 190 billion cubic metres(CBM) of natural gas, 900 million tons of coal, hydro electric potential of more than 1,50,000 megawatts, oil reserves of 513 million tons and a 25 percent sub regional forest cover. So mutual cooperation among the nations can lead to substantial social and economic advancement.

Canadian Oil Is Building A Wall And Mexico Is Paying For It – Analysis

By Omar Mawji
OCTOBER 25, 2016

Historically, Canada and Mexico have both brought significant oil supplies to refiners in the U.S. In 2006, Mexico and Canada were both exporting 1.7 million barrels per day of oil to the US.

Mexico and Canada have been waging a silent battle for market share in the US crude oil refining market. Since 2006, crude oil exports from Canada and Mexico to the US’ largest refining complex in the US Gulf Coast (Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts 3 or “PADD 3” or “Gulf Coast”) have changed dramatically.
A Crude History: Canada vs. Mexico

Historically, Canada and Mexico have both brought significant oil supplies to refiners in the U.S. In 2006, Mexico and Canada were both exporting 1.7 million barrels per day of oil to the US; however, the Mexican and Canadian crude oil market share was fairly segregated – Mexico dominated the Gulf Coast and Canada dominated the US Midwest (“PADD 2”).

Russia has transformed state-sponsored hackers known as Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear from internet spies to political tools

James Marson, Sam Schechner, and Alan Cullison
October 21, 2016

Russian Hackers Evolve to Serve the Kremlin

With the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, U.S. officials say Russia has unleashed a strengthened cyberwarfare weapon to sow uncertainty about the U.S. democratic process.

In doing so, Russia has transformed state-sponsored hackers known as Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear from internet spies to political tools with the power to target the country’s adversaries, according to U.S. officials and cybersecurity experts.

The attacks are the harder side of parallel campaigns in the Kremlin’s English-language media, which broadcast negative news about Western institutions and alliances and focus on issues that demonstrate or stoke instability in the West,such as Brexit. Moscow seeks particularly to weaken the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has expanded its defense against Russia.

“The underlying philosophy of a lot of these attacks is about establishing information as a weapon,” said Alexander Klimburg, a cyber expert at the Hague Center for Strategic Studies. “Hacking for them is literally about controlling information.”

President Vladimir Putin denies Russian involvement in the hacking, but in a way that telegraphs glee about the potential chaos being sown in the U.S. democratic process.

NATO And Russia In The Baltic And The North Pole – Analysis

By Giancarlo Elia Valori* 
OCTOBER 24, 2016

NATO’s strategic response to Ukraine’s annexation by the Russian Federation in March 2014 is currently focused on the forward defense of the Baltic countries, which are increasingly important in Western geostrategic planning and which control from Europe the Arctic zone, the area in which Russia can hit the US interest more easily.

Cleary the Alliance believes that the Baltic countries can be Russia’s next “enlargement”, as happened precisely with Ukraine.

More probably, however, Russia wants to weaken and, indeed, “finlandize” NATO’s Baltic region which, as is also well-known to Russia, is a key point even for the Atlantic interests.

Not to mention the North Pole’s wealth of mining and oil resources, which would really be the economic game changer for the whole Russian system.

And it would also be the Russian solution to replace the Middle East OPEC countries, all with oil wells which are depleting to a greater or lesser extent.

The Russian Arctic region is the area in which approximately 80% of the Far North’s oil is extracted, especially in the Russian autonomous region of Khanty-Mansiysk, in addition to 11 offshore extraction sites in the Barents Sea, 182 in the Kara Sea and a large number (185) in the Russian autonomous region of Nenets.

Hence the Arctic would be the area in which Russia can become the global leader of the oil and gas market.

With specific reference to minerals, in the Russian Arctic area there are large – albeit not yet accurately measured – amounts of copper, gold, nickel, uranium, iron, tungsten and diamonds.

Does NSA support of CYBERCOM blur lines?

October 12, 2016 

This is Part III of a four-part series on the underlying issues surrounding the potential split of the NSA and Cyber Command. 

The Title 10 versus Title 50 debate has long surrounded the way intelligence and covert activity is conducted in accordance with the law. A key issue surrounding intelligence and war fighting efforts is the blurring of lines clearly identified in statutes. For example, intelligence organizations are barred from spying domestically on American citizens.

As the discussions of a potential split between the National Security Agency and US Cyber Command continue to swirl, what would an empty-nested NSA, freed from its child organization, CYBERCOM, look like?

Title 10 of the United States Code outlines authorities for the military and war fighting, while Title 50 stipulates the authorities of intelligence community organizations such as the NSA.

In some instances, lines involving military intelligence collection or operations can be easy to blur to the common observer. A former NSA worker told C4ISRNET on condition of anonymity that some NSA personnel became uncomfortable with the militarization of their activity, as the agency is supposed to be independent and equally serve all branches in military and combatant commands. Integrating CYBERCOM distorts this in a way that subverts the mission and doesn’t do favors for CYBERCOM, the source added.

Operation Neptune Spear, the operation to kill Osama bin Laden conducted by members of the now-famed SEAL Team 6, exemplifies the shifting roles within these authorities. While conducted by the military, the operation fell under the command of the CIA and was conducted as a covert operation, allowing plausible deniability by the United States if things went wrong.
What are U.S. officials saying about a pT

his is Part IV of a four-part series on the underlying issues surrounding the potential split of the NSA and Cyber Command. 

A number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill are vehemently opposed to severing the dual-hat position between the director of the National Security Agency and commander of US Cyber Command.

What are the prospects that the NSA and CYBERCOM will split in the final months of President Barack Obama's final term?

“Let me be very clear, I do not believe rushing to separate the dual hat in the final months of an administration is appropriate given the very serious challenges we face in cyberspace and the failure of this administration to develop an effective deterrence policy,” Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain, R-Ariz., said during a hearing in September. “Therefore, if a decision is prematurely made to separate NSA and Cyber Command I will object to the confirmation of any individual nominated by the president to replace the director of the National Security Agency if that person is not also nominated to be the commander of Cyber Command.”

The Washington Post reported that Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Director of National Intelligence are pushing for the split as to reduce the tension regarding use of resources that are currently shared.

Are Other NSA Leakers Still at Large?

Peter Koop
October 20, 2016

With NSA contractor Martin arrested, other leakers may still be at large

Earlier this month we learned the name of a second person who stole top secret documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA). After Edward Snowden admitted doing so publicly in June 2013, the FBI has now arrested the 51-year old Harold T. Martin III at his home in Maryland.

Martin hoarded lots of classified documents, not only from NSA but also from a number of other military and intelligence agencies. The FBI is still comparing them with those from the recent Shadow Brokers leak and a range of other NSA leaks from the past few years, but given what’s known now, it seems likely that at least one other leaker is still at large.

The house of Harold T. Martin III in Glen Burnie, Maryland

The New York Times reported that when the FBI raided Martin’s house on August 27, they found paper documents and many terabytes of highly classified information, even going back the 1990s. At least six documents were from 2014. It was reported that Martin first took the classified documents on paper, later on CDs and more recently on thumb drives.

The reason why Harold Martin brought home and stored such large numbers of top secret documents isn’t yet clarified. One suggestion is that he may have used them for research for his dissertation about “new methods for remote analysis of heterogeneous & cloud computing architectures”, which he was working on at the University of Maryland.

Documents from multiple agencies

It should be noted that not everything Martin stole comes from NSA. In the official charges there are no names of the agencies where the documents come from, they are only described as highly classified, including ones that are marked as Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI).

Trove of Stolen Data Is Said to Include Top-Secret U.S. Hacking Tools

OCT. 19, 2016

Harold T. Martin III and his wife Deborah Shaw in an undated photo. CreditDeborah Shaw

WASHINGTON — Investigators pursuing what they believe to be the largest case of mishandling classified documents in United States history have found that the huge trove of stolen documents in the possession of aNational Security Agency contractor included top-secret N.S.A. hacking tools that two months ago were offered for sale on the internet.

They have been hunting for electronic clues that could link those cybertools — computer code posted online for auction by an anonymous group calling itself the Shadow Brokers — to the home computers of the contractor, Harold T. Martin III, who was arrested in late August on charges of theft of government property and mishandling of classified information.

But so far, the investigators have been frustrated in their attempt to prove that Mr. Martin deliberately leaked or sold the hacking tools to the Shadow Brokers or, alternatively, that someone hacked into his computer or otherwise took them without his knowledge. While they have found some forensic clues that he might be the source, the evidence is not conclusive, according to a dozen officials who have been involved in or have been briefed on the investigation.

All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
An anonymous hacker group, calling itself the Shadow Brokers, announced in August a sale of computer codes stolen from the National Security Agency.

Cyber Support to Corps and Below: Digital Panacea or Pandora’s Box?

October 19, 2016

Michael Klipstein and Michael Senft

The thunder of artillery interrupts the frenzied activity in the Stryker Brigade Tactical Operations Center. Moments before, the video feed from an InstantEye® Unmanned Aerial Vehicle confirmed the presence of a Buk-M3 Target Acquisition Radar (TAR) hidden in a makeshift refugee camp. The courses of action developed during the abbreviated military decision making process to address this threat leaves the Brigade Commander troubled. A direct assault or kinetic strike will result in numerous civilian casualties, but the third option is fraught with uncertainty. The Brigade Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) cell recommends disabling the radar using Offensive Cyber Operations (OCO). A similar scenario was exercised during pre-deployment training; however, the dynamic nature of the current operation leaves doubts if the multi-agency coordination required can be completed in the expedited timeline required.

The unrelenting tempo of combat operations at the Corps and below level in the Army creates unique challenges for the execution of (OCO). U.S Army Cyber Command’s efforts to provide cyber support to Corps and below have already generated significant successes integrating operational cyberspace capabilities at the tactical level during multiple National Training Center rotations. [1] While OCO conducted to support Corps and below operations may provide desired effects at the tactical level of war, there is potential for this OCO support to have significant negative strategic, operational and tactical ramifications. A primary concern surrounding the conduct of OCO at the tactical level focuses on how operations with potentially strategic effects can be executed in the rapid, decentralized manner required by the breakneck operational tempo (OPTEMPO) typified at the tactical level of war. There are also secondary concerns regarding the loss of capabilities and access, and always present risks of digital fratricide and OCO retaliation that must be considered.

People, Preparation, Process: The Three P’s to Integrate Cyber at the Tactical Level

Jan 19, 2016

Integration of cyber and electromagnetic activities (CEMA) at the tactical level requires strategic thinking and planning. Current efforts, like Army Cyber’s Cyber Support to Corps and Below, are moving in the right direction but do not necessarily create the critical mass required for lasting effects. This paper seeks to provide a framework based on the people, the preparation, and the process of CEMA to successfully incorporate for tactical operations. Beginning with the people, this paper applies talent management concepts to put the right people with expertise, experience, and networks in the right job to start the conversation. Second, preparing those people and the staffs with whom they work for the integration furthers integration. Leadership must make sure the correct education supplements the experience of cyber planners combined with increased discussion of CEMA in Command and General Staff College is vital to preparing the force for the new domain. Finally, the only way to ensure complete integration is to change staff planning processes. Introducing METT-C2, with the second “C” for cyber, and emphasizing cyber key terrain in Mission Analysis, ritualizes cyber variables at the start of planning and guarantees integration in tactical staffs.

“It’s not cyber for the sake of cyber, but cyber integrated into other means” said LTG Edward Cardon, Commander of Army Cyber, at the 2015 Association of United States Army annual meeting when discussing the impact of cyberspace in every component of society.[1] As the Army built its Cyber Mission and Cyber Protection teams for the Cyber Mission Force (CMF), maneuver commanders started to signal a demand for cyber support at Corps and Below. This desire led to the launch of a pilot program at Combat Training Centers to incorporate offensive and defensive cyber operations with the support of both the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade and the Cyber Protection Brigade.[2] Supply of cyber at the tactical level, however, struggles to meet demand as the program grows. Finding ways to integrate cyber into tactical forces and create the critical mass for continued cyber effects requires finding the right people, preparing them, and then creating the processes upon which they rely. This paper addresses the three P’s of integration – people, preparation, process – and provides recommendations on increased integration of cyberspace and electromagnetic activities (CEMA) at the tactical level.


Winning the Cyber Gage: Intelligence Dominance in the Digital Information Age

October 18, 2016

Winning the Cyber Gage: Intelligence Dominance in the Digital Information Age

In the age of sail, warships sought tactical advantage in engagements by maneuvering to windward of enemy ships. This “weather gage” allowed ships freedom of movement while the enemy’s relative movement was limited. Similarly, in the digital information age, maritime superiority will be determined by the extent to which a force is able to seize the cyber gage. For naval intelligence to effectively support the Chief of Naval Operation’s new strategy, it must first adapt to the realities of the digital information age.[i] Naval intelligence faces additional challenges posed by an increasingly integrated global maritime transportation system, a rapid rate of technological change, an austere budget climate, and a return to great power competition with China and Russia. This future operating environment will demand seizing the digital initiative, the cyber gage, through better intelligence, delivered faster, across a broader social network.

The Future Environment

Future realities will drive operational requirements. The twin forces of globalization and rapid technological change are creating a world in which a majority of people will soon have access to digital information networks through cyberspace. If the rate of Internet growth continues, we can expect an additional 2.5 billion users by 2030.[ii] Autonomous devices are also increasingly linked to the Internet. Devices ranging from home security systems to refrigerators are forming a menacing new galaxy in cyberspace: the Internet of Things (IOT). By connecting billions of people and things worldwide, cyberspace will drive geometric growth in the number of social networks, their complexity, and the ability of individuals to quickly plan and act independently of traditional human institutions. Despite this growth, there will still be a significant portion of human activity that remains offline. While cyber relationships help broaden an individual’s personal network, non-cyber relationships tend to be stronger and therefore more decisive in terms of predicting future behavior. For this reason, human derived intelligence will be a critical tool in providing overall situational awareness and predictive intelligence to operators. The complexity of cyber-enabled social networks has expanded beyond traditional geographical limitations, holding significant policy implications for businesses, governments, and intelligence agencies alike.

Artificial Intelligence Predicts Outcomes Of Human Rights Trials

OCTOBER 24, 2016

The judicial decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) have been predicted to 79% accuracy using an artificial intelligence (AI) method developed by researchers in UCL, the University of Sheffield and the University of Pennsylvania.

The method is the first to predict the outcomes of a major international court by automatically analysing case text using a machine learning algorithm. The study behind it was published today in PeerJ Computer Science.

“We don’t see AI replacing judges or lawyers, but we think they’d find it useful for rapidly identifying patterns in cases that lead to certain outcomes. It could also be a valuable tool for highlighting which cases are most likely to be violations of the European Convention on Human Rights,” explained Dr Nikolaos Aletras, who led the study at UCL Computer Science.

In developing the method, the team found that judgements by the ECtHR are highly correlated to non-legal facts rather than directly legal arguments, suggesting that judges of the Court are, in the jargon of legal theory, ‘realists’ rather than ‘formalists’. This supports findings from previous studies of the decision-making processes of other high level courts, including the US Supreme Court.

“The study, which is the first of its kind, corroborates the findings of other empirical work on the determinants of reasoning performed by high level courts. It should be further pursued and refined, through the systematic examination of more data,” explained co-author Dr Dimitrios Tsarapatsanis, a Lecturer in Law at the University of Sheffield.


OCTOBER 13, 2016

Historians will remember the Obama administration’s 2009 deliberation over what to do in Afghanistan as one of the fiercest debates over military strategy during this president’s tenure. Although this debate was surely more nuanced than what was reported publicly, accounts paint the administration as divided into two camps. One camp, led by Vice President Joe Biden, favored a light military footprint focused primarily on counter-terrorism. This would keep the U.S. military out of an expensive, prolonged, and uncertain nation-building project. The second camp’s chief advocates were Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, Gen. David Petraeus, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and – eventually – Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. They pushed for a fully resourced, “whole of government” counterinsurgency campaign with a large footprint aimed at delivering decisive blows against the Taliban insurgency while training and expanding the Afghan National Security Forces.

As we all know, President Obama largely came down in support of the second camp, but with a limited timeline for success. As the costs of a large counterinsurgency campaign unfolded – in terms of blood, treasure, and prestige – the idea of these prolonged operations fell out of favor in the White House. As a result, the United States approaches these “internal wars” in failing or failed states very differently.

Israel’s Bogus History Lesson – OpEd

By Jonathan Cook*
OCTOBER 24, 2016

It was presumably intended as an Israeli history lesson to the world. A video posted to social media by Israel’s foreign ministry shows an everyday Jewish couple, Jacob and Rachel, in a home named the “Land of Israel”. A series of knocks on the door brings 3,000 years of interruptions to their happiness. First it’s the Assyrians, followed by the Babylonians, Hellenists, Arabs, Romans, Crusaders, Mamluks, and Ottomans – all straight out of Monty Python central casting.

Jacob and Rachel are forced by the warring factions to relocate to ever smaller parts of their home until finally they have to pitch a tent in the garden. Their fortunes change only with the arrival of a servant of the British Empire, who returns the title deeds. A final knock disturbs their celebrations. On the doorstep are a penniless Palestinian couple, craning their necks to see what goodies await them inside.

The chauvinism in portraying Jacob and Rachel as the only normal folk, stoicly enduring barbarians butchering each other in their living room, is ugly enough. But it is harder still to take seriously an account in which the Palestinians suddenly appear out of nowhere in 1948, as Britain departs.

A mile from my home in Nazareth are the ruins of Saffuriya, a centuries-old Palestinian town until the Israeli army expelled the inhabitants in 1948 and blew up their homes. More than 500 villages were similarly razed.

In places where buildings were left untouched, it is Jews – not Palestinians – who squat in someone else’s home. But the falsification runs deeper.

US Should Not Back European Union Army – Analysis

By By Luke Coffey and Nile Gardiner, Ph.D.* 
OCTOBER 24, 2016

Out of desperation for European allies to do more to improve their military capabilities, many American policymakers are looking to the European Union as a panacea for Europe’s ills. The belief that a stronger EU role in defense matters will encourage European countries to invest more in defense is based on the false premise that the EU will be able to achieve what NATO has not been able to do since the end of the Cold War.

The EU is not the answer to Europe’s military woes. Instead, the U.S. should be pushing for more NATO-centric solutions which will ensure that all advancements in European defense capabilities are done through the NATO alliance or at least on a multilateral basis. This will ensure NATO’s primacy over, and the right of first refusal for, all Europe-related defense matters, and it will guarantee that the U.S. has the amount of influence relevant to the level of resources it has committed to Europe.
The Common Defence and Security Policy Is Duplicative and Discriminatory Toward NATO

European Union member states have slowly been constructing institutions to build an EU defense identity by duplicating NATO institutions. These developments read well on paper but deliver very little in reality. European Union defense initiatives have diverted scarce resources away from NATO. This has led to a growing culture in Europe of “double hatting” national troops, for both EU and NATO commitments, in order to create the illusion of increased military capability.

Proponents of EU defense integration argue that military capabilities developed under the auspices of the Common Defence and Security Policy (CSDP) will always be made available to NATO.[1] For example, an EU Battlegroup could also be on call for NATO operations if and when NATO was ever to request its use. While theoretically appealing, this is unlikely to work in practice.

25 October 2016

*** Indian-Russian Relations: A Dance Out-Of-Step – Analysis

OCTOBER 24, 2016

From the beginning of the Cold War, the USSR and India shared a strong strategic military, economic and diplomatic relationship. At the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Russia automatically inherited this close relationship. This bilateral Indo-Russian relations remained robust even after India decisively opened its doors to the West in the late 1990s. The traditional pillars of Indo-Russian cooperation have remained defence, politics and diplomacy, nuclear energy, space, and anti-terrorism activities. Lately economic cooperation has also been highlighted by mutually setting a target of $ 30 billion in bilateral trade to be achieved by 2025.

Both Indian and Russia are members of important international bodies like the United Nations, BRICS, G-20 and SCO and cooperate with each other in these groups on matters of shared interest. Russia publicly supports India’s bid to be given permanent membership of the UN Security Council. Currently Russia is the only nation, other than for Japan, to have a mechanism of annual ministerial level defence review with India. Further, the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission (IRIGC) is the largest governmental mechanism that India has with any nation. The IRIGC is represented by all Government Departments and meets annually. It acts as a de facto steering committee on Indo-Russian bilateral relations.
Military and Economic Relations

Military relations between the two nations are governed by the annual Defence Ministerial meetings and has a long historical perspective of more than half a century, starting with the erstwhile Indo-Soviet defence agreements. Russia inherited the Soviet role as an automatic substitute on the political collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1997, India and Russia signed a ten-year agreement for further military-technical cooperation.

*** India’s Foreign Policy and the China-Pakistan Axis 2016

By Dr Subhash Kapila
24 Oct , 2016

India’s foreign policy has far too long been vainly straitjacketed by pious hopes that Indian appeasement policies of the 2004-14 era towards China and Pakistan would induce moderation in their adversarial stances against India.

That hangover persisted for the period 2014-16 period till recently after incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi belatedly realised that all his personal diplomacy and political outreaches to China and Pakistan were not finding positive responses in neither Beijing nor in Islamabad.

The strategic reality underscoring the Chinese and Pakistani lack of positive responses being that both singly earlier and now jointly, have a strategic convergence in arresting India’s emergence as a major Power. This further gets enmeshed with both China and Pakistan feeling nervous about India’s growing strategic proximity to the United States.

While the Indian Armed Forces in their strategic thinking and contingency planning have for decades been alive to the possibility of a ‘Dual China-Pakistan Military Threat to India’, the resonance of such a reality did not find adequate echoes in the corridors of power in New Delhi nor reflected in any revised policy formulations on China and Pakistan.

*** For all its IT prowess, cyberspace is one frontier on which India remains seriously vulnerable

India’s cybersecurity grid has serious chinks in its armour. A severe shortage of trained professionals and the inability to produce them could cost India dear.

Recent vandalisation of some Indian websites by hackers from Pakistan has excited public opinion in the aftermath of the surgical strikes carried out by Indian Special Forces across the the Line of Control in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. But the more serious attacks – before and after – have not attracted the attention they deserve.

Consider this. On July 20, a prominent public sector bank in India suddenly witnessed $ 170 million disappear from its accounts. As the cybersecurity team desperately tried to track the outflow of funds, they could see payments being shifted to at least five countries in South Asia. By afternoon, the outflow had been sent to bank accounts in Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

The bank immediately alerted India’s Computer Emergency Response Team. India, and the country’s cybersecurity specialists began to track the transfer. Finally, they zeroed in on some key bank accounts in Hong Kong, which had received a large portion of the funds. Indian diplomats were asked to contact the bank that held the stolen money and asked to stop payouts until further notice. But the banks refused.

“They told us that they could not process the request unless we got a court order from the local courts,” a top cybersecurity official explained. “Over night we had to move papers and people to ensure that a case was filed and a stay order issued.”


OCTOBER 18, 2016

We recently became part of a growing insurgency. And like all good insurgents, we’re looking to spread the word to like-minded defense reformers.

Over Columbus Day weekend, your “Strategic Outpost” columnists traveled to Chicago to attend and speak at the annual conference of DEF, the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. DEF is an eclectic movement of over a thousand rising young leaders with a unique mission: to help solve national security problems from the bottom up. A non-profit that was sparked three years ago by some creative work on disruptive thinking, DEF puts business innovators and social entrepreneurs in the same room with junior military leaders, veterans, and national security civilians, all of whom see themselves as change agents. According to Jim Perkins, an Army captain and DEF’s volunteer executive director, “The goal of DEF is culture change – we are an insurgency against the status quo.”

DEF represents a 21st-century view of the defense world, one common among millennials, but certainly not limited to them: that current Department of Defense processes and problem-solving means are painfully slow and entirely ineffective for a world moving at fiber-optic speed. The group’s members hold an unwavering belief that better solutions to American security problems can come from marrying creative outside thinking with networked “intrapreneurs” seeking change within the defense bureaucracy and community. They are convinced that change can be driven by (mostly) young innovators who may never reach general, admiral, or assistant secretary of defense. DEFers hold periodic major events around the United States and the world to connect members, as well as small monthly local get-togethers (called agoras) that meet in homes or bars. But, as a true grassroots organization, its most important work happens from the bottom up: members who stay connected through social media and self-organize to work on specific ideas and projects, often in response to Defense Department requests for help.

So, what did we learn? Here are our four key takeaways from the conference (which you can watch through its archived live stream).