13 January 2018

The role of effects, saliencies and norms in US Cyberwar doctrine

Henry Farrell Charles L. Glaser

The US approach to cybersecurity implicitly rests on an effects-based logic. That is, it presumes that the key question determining how the US and others will respond to attacks is what effects they have. Whether the effects come about as a result of cyber means or kinetic means is largely irrelevant. In this article, we explore this logic further, focusing on the question of when the US should deploy cyber responses and when kinetic. We find that under a simple effects-based logic, kinetic responses will often be more effective than cyber responses, although we explain that cyber attacks that 'leave something to chance’ may be an effective deterrent under some circumstances. We next develop a richer understandings of actors' expectations by employing the concepts of focal points and saliencies. In this framework, kinetic responses may be considered too escalatory, and therefore less attractive under many circumstances. If there are 'focal points' emerging, under which cyber attacks are seen as qualitatively distinct from kinetic attacks, then crossing a saliency may appear escalatory, even if the actual effects of the kinetic and cyber attackes are identifical. Finally, we examine nascent norms around cyber, suggesting that the US may wish to consider promoting a norm against large scale attacks on civilian infrastructure, and evaluating the prospects for a norm against cyber attacks on nuclear command and control systems. 



White House cyber-security coordinator Rob Joyce warned in August that the United States is lacking 300,000 cyber-security experts needed to defend the country. His warning is all the more alarming given ongoing and increasingly sophisticated threats in cyberspace — in addition to resource and talent constraints in the public sector, poor cyber habits and awareness, lack of cooperation between government agencies, and limited coordination frameworks for existing volunteers.

12 January 2018

Two borders, two disputes

Source Link
by Sushant Singh

While India-Pakistan shooting matches continue along the clearly-demarcated Line of Control, the last shot was fired 50 years ago on the far less well-defined Line of Actual Control with China.

The two major disputed borders India has are with China and Pakistan. With Pakistan, the disputed border falls in Jammu and Kashmir, a legacy of the 1948 war. When India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire on January 1, 1949, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire line (CFL). This line was not just marked on a map but was also agreed upon by the two sides on the ground with a joint survey by the two armies. The CFL, with minor variations, was converted into the Line of Control (LoC) during the Simla Agreement, following India’s victory in the 1971 Bangladesh War. Agreed upon both on the ground and on the map, the new nomenclature was meant to show that J&K was a bilateral dispute and some kind of final answer for the Kashmir problem would be found around the LoC.

A Blueprint for Ending India's Naxal Rebellion

By Swaptik Chowdhury

New Delhi should look at the Colombia peace deal as a model for bringing peace to its heartland.

During his May 2017 visit to Naxal (Maoist) hotbed Dantewada in Chhattisgarh, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested that Naxal rebels lay down their weapons and return to the negotiating table. However, he failed to follow up this request with any governmental commitment and the attacks and ambushes by Naxal rebels continued, causing immense loss of lives and property. In two major attacks in April and March of 2017, Naxal rebels ambushed and killed a total of 36 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and injured many more. The attack of April 2017, which occurred at Sukuma in Chhattisgarh, surpassed the casualty count of the deadly attack of 2013, in which 25 leaders, including a state minister, were killed.

India rejects US solar claim at WTO, explores new defence

US had argued that India had failed to abide by a ruling that it had illegally discriminated against foreign suppliers of solar cells and modules.

India said it had changed its rules to conform with the ruling and that a US claim for punitive trade sanctions was groundless.

GENEVA: India hit back on Monday at Washington's latest legal assault on its solar power policies+ at the World Trade Organization, rejecting a US legal claim and exploring possible new protection of India's own solar industry.

Trump May Push, but Pakistan Won't Budge

The new year has brought renewed troubles for the already faltering relationship between the United States and Pakistan. On New Year's Day, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a tweet accusing Pakistan of "lies & deceit" despite receiving $33 billion in U.S. aid for its cooperation in the war in Afghanistan. The next day, the White House announced that it would continue to withhold the $255 million worth of aid that had been earmarked for Pakistan in 2016, citing insufficient action against anti-NATO militants. And on Jan. 4, the White House said it would suspend $900 million in security assistance promised in 2017 and place Pakistan on a list of countries violating religious freedom.

Pakistan Will Try to Make Trump Pay


The country has banked on being treated as too dangerous to fail. But this time could be different. 

Before the news cycle—and the president himself—got consumed with the new White House tell-all last week, Donald Trump made a good foreign policy decision, albeit seemingly in haste. The administration announced it was suspending security assistance to Pakistan, on the grounds that the country is continuing to arm, assist, fund, and provide sanctuary to a wide array of Islamist militant groups that are murdering U.S. troops and their allies in Afghanistan. Well-placed sources involved with calculating the relevant funds have told me that this was not a planned policy and took the other agencies, not to mention the Pakistanis, by complete surprise. Rather it was an ex post facto response to Trump’s January 1, 2018 tweet vituperatively repining that:

Why Did France's Macron Start His China Trip in Xi’an?

By Charlotte Gao

French President Emmanuel Macron is ready to embrace China’s Belt and Road Initiative. French President Emmanuel Macron is currently in China for a state visit. It is also his first visit to China since he took office. Interestingly, rather than Beijing, he chose Xi’an — the capital city of Shaanxi Province in central China — as his first destination.

During an exclusive interview with China.org.cn ahead of his trip, Macron explained the reasons behind this decision. He said : I’m very aware of the mutual fascination that ties China to Europe, woven along the ancient silk routes that connected Xi’an to the eastern Mediterranean. Our relationship is anchored in time, and in my opinion is based on civilization, in the sense that France and China are two countries with very different cultures but which both have a universal calling. They are two countries that have always been eager, across distances, to meet and recognize each other. It’s for all these reasons that I wanted to start my state visit in Xi’an – it’s a way to experience ancient China.

China's Approach to North Korea Sanctions

By Samuel Ramani

China isn’t abandoning North Korea; rather, it wants to reset the relationship on Beijing’s terms.

On January 5, 2018, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced its decision to impose a cap on oil suppliesto North Korea and ban imports of North Korean steel. Many U.S. policymakers praised these measures as proof that China is moving toward full compliance with United Nations sanctions against North Korea and taking steps to abandon its long-standing alliance with Pyongyang.



On Aug. 22, 2007, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke in front of the Indian Parliament and articulated a vision for the Indo-Pacific region. He spoke of a “confluence of the two seas,” seeking to draw a strategic link between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Abe posited that Japan and India had a shared responsibility, as maritime nations located at the opposite edges of the “two seas,” to ensure the maintenance of peace and prosperity anchored by democratic principles.

Saudis watch Iran protests intently

Bruce Riedel 
While Saudi Arabia's economy is suffering due to low oil prices and discontent at home grows, the kingdom is following the protests in Iran with great interest, hoping national issues will distract from Iran's regional advances.

Saudi Arabia is following the unrest in Iran with intense interest, hoping it will force its regional rival to turn inward. The Saudis have little capacity to influence Iranian domestic developments, however, and share many of the same problems as Tehran. The Iranian question is unlikely to help resolve Riyadh’s biggest foreign policy challenge: the expensive quagmire in Yemen that is only getting worse. 

Iraq After ISIS: The Other Half of Victory

By Anthony H. Cordesman

The United States, its allies, and international organizations are just beginning to come to grips with the civil dimensions of "failed state" wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, the Sudans, Syria, and Yemen. In each case, it is clear that the civil dimension of the war will ultimately be as important as the military one.

Any meaningful form of "victory" requires far more than defeating the current extremist threat in military terms, and reaching some temporary compromise between the major factions that divide the country. The current insurgent and other security threats exist largely because of the deep divisions within the state, the past and current failures of the government to deal with such internal divisions, and the chronic failure to meet the economic, security, and social needs of much of the nation's population.

The Myth of the Limited Strike on North Korea

By Abraham M. Denmark

Faced with the rapid advance of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile capabilities, Americans have begun to debate the possibility of a limited, preventive U.S. strike against North Korea—one that could deter the regime from further testing while avoiding a full-blown war. One possibility is a so-called bloody nose strike, which would involve destroying a North Korean missile launch site (bloodying the regime’s nose, as it were) in order to demonstrate the United States’ resolve. Some have gone even further, calling for “air and missile strike[s] against all known DPRK nuclear test facilities and missile launching and support facilities” in the event of a North Korean atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific Ocean.

Who is attacking Russia’s bases in Syria? A new mystery emerges in the war.

By Liz Sly

BEIRUT — A series of mysterious attacks against the main Russian military base in Syria, including one conducted by a swarm of armed miniature drones, has exposed Russia's continued vulnerability in the country despite recent claims of victory by President Vladimir Putin.

The attacks have also spurred a flurry of questions over who may be responsible for what amounts to the biggest military challenge yet to Russia's role in Syria, just when Moscow is seeking to wind its presence down.

Waiting for the Bomb to Drop


There are sounds, for those who can hear them, of the preliminary and muffled drumbeats of war. 

The decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem makes a war in Korea more likely. Not because there is any direct connection between the two, nor because it was a bad idea, recognizing as it did the simple fact that the western part of Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for over 70 years and will most assuredly remain so. The dangerous bit, rather, was when pundits and diplomats wrung their hands and predicted calamity and (far more predictably) nothing happened. The Arab street grumbled, while Cairo, Riyadh, and Abu Dhabi looked the other way, and Donald Trump could be forgiven for thinking that his instincts had been proven entirely correct.

HASC EW Expert Bacon: US ‘Not Prepared’ For Electronic Warfare Vs. Russia, China


WASHINGTON: The US military is “not prepared” to conduct radio and radar jamming against high-end adversaries, a veteran electronic warfare officer now in Congress says. We have made major progress jamming terrorist communications in Afghanistan and Iraq, says Rep. Don Bacon, a retired one-star general who recently visited both countries. But even against such low-tech foes, he told me, we’re hampered by aging equipment — like the EC-130H Compass Call he flew — and outdated doctrine.

If You Thought 2017 Was Bad, Just Wait for 2018


Last year, Trump corroded U.S. foreign policy, but avoided disaster. This year, there are powerful reasons to think that matters will worsen.

Is 2018 the year when President Donald Trump finally pulls it together in the realm of foreign policy, or is it the year when the train goes fully off the rails, with potentially disastrous consequences? As I argue in my new book, American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump, the first year of Trump’s presidency has been plenty corrosive to U.S. power and influence, because Trump has steadily undermined a number of qualities that made American statecraft effective in the past. Trump has often seemed determined to erode longstanding pillars of U.S. diplomacy: America’s reputation for steadiness and reliability, commitment to a positive-sum global order in which all countries that play by the rules can prosper, soft power and identification with the advancement of universal values, and image as a dependable ally and a country committed to solving the world’s toughest problems. Meanwhile, the administration has struggled (to say the least) with systematic policy formulation and execution. The combination of internal disorganization and understaffing, erratic presidential behavior, and very public disputes between Trump and his cabinet secretaries has made 2017 one of the messiest first years ever.

The Brexit options, explained

Douglas A. Rediker

After struggling for most of 2017 to find common ground, Great Britain and the European Union finally agreed last month to the material terms of their “divorce.” Negotiations will now proceed to discuss the terms of their post-Brexit relationship. Together, the EU document and the guidelines issued days later by the remaining 27 EU leaders severely narrow the path forward for the future U.K.-EU relationship. They also highlight the wide gaps between British political expectations and the almost inevitable outcome of the next round of negotiations. 

Helping Europe Help Itself: The Marshall Plan


On the eve of its 70th anniversary, the Marshall Plan remains one of the most successful foreign policy initiatives in U.S. history and a model of effective diplomacy. From left to right, President Harry S Truman, General George Marshall, Paul Hoffman and Averell Harriman in the Oval Office discussing the Marshall Plan, Nov. 29, 1948.The European Recovery Program, better known as the Marshall Plan, is often cited as one of the most effective U.S. foreign policies of modern times. When there is a natural disaster, a humanitarian crisis or a national struggle with a social or economic challenge that demands immediate attention, American politicians and opinion-makers often call for “another Marshall Plan.”

Cybersecurity Showdown: Why the Military Is Preparing for a New Kind of War

Benjamin Dynkin, Barry Dynkin
Source Link

Congress wants to ensure that cybersecurity becomes a “baked-in” concept throughout the Department of Defense.

The drafting, negotiation, and passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is an annual event that sets the annual budget for the Department of Defense. During this time Congress is able to exert control over the priorities, guiding principles, and issues that will be addressed by the department in the coming year. The 2018 incarnation of the NDAA, which has just been signed into law by the president, includes, nested in Title XVI, Subtitle C, provisions, a requirement that the White House and the DOD meaningfully investigate, consider, and establish national standards and guidance in the cybersecurity and cyber-warfare space. They must explore the development of a national posture for these issues.

Losing the Information War and How to Win

by Michael Anderson

We are losing the information war. We face an enemy ideology that crafted and shaped an enduring, effective message, near perfecting dissemination and application to relevant target audiences- the disaffected around the globe- while we remain, at best, reactive and, at worst, counter-productive in our own messaging. The extremist ideological message of groups across the Islamic spectrum from Sunni to Shia, Al-Qaeda and affiliates, or ISIL, and other splinter group across the Levant, Maghreb, and the world, are even drawing adherence from developed nations. To secure the proliferation of Western ideals and values of freedom and free-thinking, there must be increased focus on the information war, reshaping the approach to messaging, bringing it on equal or superior footing to the physical efforts across the globe combating the enduring tide of extremist thought infecting the world’s disaffected.

How the (Likely) Next NSA/CyberCom Chief Wants to Enlist AI


A look at Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone’s public statements about artificial intelligence, offense, and defense. 

The Army general likely to be tapped to head U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA has some big plans for deploying cyber forces and using artificial intelligence in information attacks.

Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, who currently leads U.S. Army Cyber Command, is expected to nominated in the next few months to replace Adm. Michael Rogers, as first reported by The Cipher Brief (and confirmed by the Washington Post and a Pentagon source of our own). But caution is in order: the rumor mill says several other contenders are in the running, including Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville. Neither Cyber Command nor the Pentagon would comment about the potential nomination.

The botnet solution everybody already knows about

By: Jessie Bur 

Government and industry could help prevent dangerous botnet attacks simply by using tools that already exist, according to a draft report headed to the White House.

Instead, IT officials often ignore those tools because they’re too expensive, too difficult or for other reasons, a recent report from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said.

“The tools, processes and practices required to significantly enhance the resilience of the internet and communications ecosystem are widely available, if imperfect, and are routinely applied in selected market sectors,” the report said.

Marines Inserting New Technology into Forces

By Yasmin Tadjdeh

The Marine Corps is looking at ways to insert new technology into its forces earlier in order to prepare for future battles.

Key to this effort is experimentation, said Lt. Col. Dan Schmitt, head of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory field testing branch.

Last year, the service introduced a new operating concept called, “How an Expeditionary Force Operates in the 21st Century.” The document — which focused on how Marines will fight in 2025 — put an emphasis on the need for the service to return to its seafaring roots, conduct maneuver warfare and fight as a combined arms force.

The US Military Needs a Teacher Corps to Train Its Partners


As we speak, U.S. troops are training Afghan armed forces. U.S.forces were also training them last year, and the year before that. In fact, American troops have been training them ever since the Taliban were toppled in 2001, to the tune of $4 billion per year. Other NATO countries have been training Afghan forces, too. But despite these enormous teaching efforts, the Afghans are nowhere near ready to fight on their own. What we need — and not just in Afghanistan — are dedicated Teacher Corps of didactically talented, well-trained troops.

The Only Force That Can Beat Climate Change Is the U.S. Army


The precise extent of human-induced climate change is unclear, but the basic science is unequivocal, as is the danger it poses to the United States. This threat comes from the direct impact of climate change on agricultural production and sea levels but equally importantly from the huge waves of migration that climate change is likely to cause, on a scale that even the world’s richest states and societies will be unable either to prevent or accommodate.

Is the Air Force changing its mind on long-endurance drones?

By: Valerie Insinna 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has been resistant to buy ultrahigh-endurance drones, but a recent $48 million investment in the technology could signify that the service is changing its mind about its requirements, the head of Aurora Flight Sciences said.

On Wednesday, Aurora Flight Sciences announced that the Air Force had awarded it a $48 million contract to create a certified version of its Orion medium altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial system.

Mobile Devices

To find out which types of devices were most in demand this past holiday season, Flurry Analytics has analyzed new device activations during the week leading up to Christmas.

According to their findings, Apple was the big winner this holiday season. iPhones and iPads accounted for 44 percent of all new device activations between December 19 and 25, with Samsung coming in second at 26 percent of newly activated devices.

Once again, large-screen smartphones, so-called phablets, proved particularly popular under the Christmas tree. They accounted for 53 percent of new device activations this holiday season, up from 37 percent last year and just 27 percent in 2015. Once derided as clunky niche devices, larger phones such as Samsung's Galaxy Note or Apple's iPhone 8 Plus have apparently become the new norm. Let's see if evolution will give us bigger hands to deal with the added screen sizes.

11 January 2018

'US may help India in war against terror'

'If the US-Pakistan relationship continues to suffer, Pakistan may feel it has less to lose and decide that it need not keep a leash on LeT in order to appease America.' 'A tougher US policy toward Pakistan could lead to an emboldened and strengthened LeT and JeM, resulting in more terrorist attacks in India.' Is the United States serious about withholding military aid worth over $1 billion to Pakistan? Or is this mere sabre-rattling by the Donald J Trump administration, before business returns to usual in the weeks to come?

India’s jobless growth is not a myth

Mahesh Vyas

India’s jobless growth is a myth, stated R. Gopalan and M.C. Singhi in an opinion piece in Mint on 19 December. They used data published by the Labour Bureau from their employment-unemployment surveys between 2009-10 and 2015-16. These were the first and last surveys conducted by the Labour Bureau on the subject. The Labour Bureau’s surveys had a higher frequency than those by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) and therefore were very useful to understand the changing employment-unemployment scenario in a rapidly changing world. Unfortunately, these surveys have stopped.

Will Pakistan Close NATO’s Supply Routes into Afghanistan?

Source Link

‘I’m not concerned,’ the defense secretary tells reporters after the White House announced an intention to suspend military aid to Islamabad. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis played down the prospect that Pakistan might close NATO’s supply routes into Afghanistan after the Trump administration said it would suspend military aid to Islamabad. Alliance forces rely on Pakistani roads to haul supplies to landlocked Afghanistan. Pakistan closed them once before, after a 2011 U.S. airstrike killed two dozen of its soldiers. “No, I’m not concerned,” Mattis told reporters on Friday at the Pentagon when asked about the prospect of Pakistan shutting down what the military calls Ground Lines of Communication, or GLOCs.

Pakistan Will Try to Make Trump Pay

Source Link

Before the news cycle—and the president himself—got consumed with the new White House tell-all last week, Donald Trump made a good foreign policy decision, albeit seemingly in haste. The administration announced it was suspending security assistance to Pakistan, on the grounds that the country is continuing to arm, assist, fund, and provide sanctuary to a wide array of Islamist militant groups that are murdering U.S. troops and their allies in Afghanistan. Well-placed sources involved with calculating the relevant funds have told me that this was not a planned policy and took the other agencies, not to mention the Pakistanis, by complete surprise. Rather it was an ex post facto response to Trump’s January 1, 2018 tweet vituperatively repining that:

Why Pakistan and America Can't Stand Each Other—But Can't Step Away

Mohammed Ayoob

There was a time in the 1960s when Pakistan was referred to as America’s “most allied ally” because of its membership in several multilateral defense organizations, such as SEATO and CENTO, led by the United States. Washington still technically considers it a “major non-NATO ally.” This was an honor conferred in 2004, largely in response to President Pervez Musharraf’s support for the American invasion of Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of 2001. But one would not guess that fact from hearing or reading President Trump’s recent diatribes against Pakistan.

China may build second foreign naval base in Pakistan amid Trump’s row with Islamabad

China may build second foreign naval base in Pakistan amid Trump’s row with Islamabad China is reportedly planning to boost its military presence overseas with its second foreign naval base in Pakistan. The news comes amid a row between the US and Pakistan, with Washington freezing security funding for Islamabad. After setting up its first foreign naval facility in Djibouti in August of last year, right next to the Pentagon’s base, Beijing may now seek to gain a foothold in Pakistan. China plans to build a second overseas base near Gwadar – a strategically important Pakistani port on the Arabian Sea, according to sources close to the Chinese Army, as cited by the South China Morning Post.

Roads to Nowhere: Asia’s Risky Obsession With Infrastructure

By Ravi Prasad

There aren’t many words that sum up today’s economic growth paradigm in developing countries better than “infrastructure.” Roads, railways, airports, telecommunications grids, and power stations are being prioritized by governments all around the developing world. From Urumqi to Ulaanbaatar, Bangkok to Baku and beyond, policymakers in developing countries are forming a consensus that infrastructure is the critical ingredient for economic development.

Myanmar's Unhappy Rebels

By Neil Thompson

With the latest Union Peace Conference (which is held every six months as part of Myanmar’s peace process) coming in late January, Myanmar’s government faces the serious problem that the event would be vulnerable to an offensive by those ethnic armed groups who reject the government’s controversialNational Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) as the basis for a viable national peace agreement.

Could China spring a nice surprise in 2018?

After Chinese President Xi Jinping gained near-total political supremacy at the 19th Chinese Communist Party congress in late October, the most pressing question on the minds of China watchers was what he would do with his enormous power. Conventional wisdom now appears to lean toward pessimism. Most analysts think that Beijing will most likely maintain its current course under a powerful leader who has centralized decision-making authority. On the domestic front, Xi is expected to continue to support investment-driven growth while delaying painful financial deleveraging and major structural reforms.

Has Xi Fully Consolidated His Power Over the Military?

By Charlotte Gao

Recently, multiple signs have shown that Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also holds the positions of chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) — the highest body that controls China’s military — and general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee, has further consolidated his power over Chinese military. On December 27, 2017, the CCP Central Committee announced that the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force (PAP), which had been overseen by both the State Council and the CMC since 1982, would be put under the command of the CMC alone from January 1, 2018.

Cyber Vigilantes & Hacktivists: Double-Edged Sword Against ISIS


Bottom Line: Cyber vigilantes and “hacktivists” increasingly fill the void left by governments in combating terrorist activity online. While such politically motivated non-state hackers are relatively effective at removing the presence of terrorist content, their continued operations could damage overall counterterrorism efforts by undermining intelligence operations – say by taking down a website that the CIA or NSA is monitoring. By letting these groups run loose – if even for a noble cause – the U.S. risks undermining international norms of cyber operations among states by legitimizing the phenomenon of “patriotic hackers” used as proxies by governments engaging in deniable operations.

A Spending Spree as a Means of Fulfilling the Saudi Vision

Saudi Arabia's 2018 budget calls for spending a record amount of money, and based on precedent, actual spending will likely eclipse that figure. About 20 percent of the budget is devoted to military spending, but it also includes a substantial increase in spending on programs benefiting the populace. The careful introduction of new tax measures and a levy on expatriate workers are part of the government's unprecedented push to expand non-oil revenue.

Ukraine on the brink of kleptocracy

On January 3rd former Georgian President Michael Saakashvili’s plea for asylum in Ukraine was turned down, removing a key obstacle to deport him to Georgia. If deported, he will likely be show-trialled without a fair chance of defence. Since Saakashvili broke his alliance with President Poroshenko, the Ukrainian authorities have been working overtime to get rid of their new political opponent. The Soviet-style harassment campaign started with stripping him of his Ukrainian citizenship (a decision judged illegal by most independent experts), denying him entry into Ukraine, and arbitrary arrests of his aides. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko tried to bring about his own political show trial of Saakashvili, which he had to abandon on November 13th, formally due to weak evidence, but in effect due to pressure from the EU and the US.

Russian Analytical Digest No 212: Information Warfare

By Jolanta Darczewska, Piotr Zochowski, Robert W. Orttung, Marlene Laruelle and Gemma Pörzgen for Center for Security Studies (CSS)

The four articles in this edition of the RAD look at 1) how Russia’s contemporary ‘activities’ directed against the West reflect Cold War-ear KGB disinformation operations known as ‘active measures’; 2) the nature of Russia’s intervention in the 2016 US presidential election as well as the impact of Moscow’s on US politics; 3) Russia’s influence in France, particularly when it comes to culture, politics, economics and the media; and 4) the effect of Russian disinformation efforts on Germany’s 2017 federal elections.

The Wolfowitz Doctrine

Written by Dan Steinbock

Despite continued nuclear threats, all US postwar presidents have failed to reset relations with Russia. Why? The “New Cold War" between the US and Russia began a decade ago. The elevated tensions in the Korean Peninsula are only a part of the collateral damage around the world. But what led to the new friction? The simple response is the Wolfowitz Doctrine.

How to Break Up Europe’s Axis of Illiberalism


Western observers tend to conflate Europe’s two leading proponents of right-wing populism: Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, and the chairman of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Kaczynski has long promised the advent of “Budapest in Warsaw,” an allusion to Orban’s model of “illiberal democracy” that the Hungarian leader unapologetically touted in a 2014 speech. And in 2016, both leaders proudly announced a “cultural counterrevolution” within the European Union.

Russia 'simulated full-scale war' against Nato, says military commander

Samuel Osborne

Russian war games held last September “simulated a large-scale military attack against Nato“, the commander of the Estonian Defence Forces has claimed. Riho Terras confirmed Nato’s fears that the Zapad (or “West”) exercises were used to simulate a conflict with the US-led alliance and show off Russia’s ability to amass large numbers of troops at extremely short notice in the event of a conflict. The drills – which were held in Belarus, the Baltic Sea, western Russia and its Kaliningrad outpost between 14 and 20 September last year – depicted a fictional scenario concerned with attacks by militants, according to Russia’s defence ministry. 

An Australian Perspective on Identity, Social Media, and Ideology as Drivers for Violent Extremism

By Kate McNair

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is a leading initiative by many western sovereigns to reduce home-grown terrorism and extremism. Social media, ideology, and identity are just some of the issues that fuel violent extremism for various individuals and groups and are thus areas that CVE must be prepared to address. Text: On March 7, 2015, two brothers aged 16 and 17 were arrested after they were suspected of leaving Australia through Sydney Airport to fight for the Islamic State[1]. The young boys fouled their parents and forged school letters. Then they presented themselves to Australian Immigration and Border Protection shortly after purchasing tickets to an unknown middle eastern country with a small amount of funds and claimed to be on their way to visit family for three months. Later, they were arrested for admitting to intending to become foreign fighters for the Islamic State. October 2, 2015, Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar, 15 years old, approached Parramatta police station in Sydney’s West, and shot civilian police accountant Curtis Cheng in the back[2]. Later it was discovered that Jabar was inspired and influenced by two older men aged 18 and 22, who manipulated him into becoming a lone wolf attacker, and supplied him the gun he used to kill the civilian worker.

Infographic Of The Day: The Year In News 2017 According To 2.8 Billion Tweets

According to Echelon Insights, Trump was mentioned 901.8 million times on Twitter in the United States over the duration of the year. Here’s how that compares to some other notable politicians:Trump was mentioned about 30x more often than his VP, and 7x more often than his one-time election opponent, Hillary Clinton. And incredibly, Trump was the number one topic of daily conversation for 95% of the year, above every other issue and topic:

Expanding the Menu: The Case for CYBERSOC

by Benjamin Brown


The United States military should develop cyber special operations capabilities to expand the menu of policy options for addressing threats to U.S. interests and national security. As the roles of the cyber domain in modern conflict expands, new possibilities emerge for special operations to accomplish strategic objectives by employing cyber functions. The creation of Cyber Special Operations Forces (Cyber SOF) within the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) would empower the U.S. military to exploit cyber-enabled special operations. Cyber SOF will best enhance U.S. special operations capabilities by taking shape as a sub-unified command within SOCOM. This Cyber Special Operations Command (CYBERSOC) would position Cyber SOF to play supporting or leading roles as a key component of integrated special operations campaigns.

Cross-Domain Network Engagement: Geopolitical Competitors, Cross-domain Considerations and Multi-Domain Battle

by Victor R. Morris

The character of war, strategy development and operational dilemmas change over time, therefore operational approaches must do the same. Joint Countering Threat Networks (JP 3-25) includes versatile lines of effort to identify, neutralize, disrupt or destroy threat networks. These efforts enable engagement of friendly, neutral or unknown actors and mission objectives. To successfully engage networks, more advanced human-machine networks need to be understood and analyzed. For example, battle networks are technologically enhanced Anti-Access Area Denial (A2/AD) and human-machine systems that will influence current and future conflict. This assessment outlines a revised US Army Network Engagement construct to achieve cross-domain effects involving a variety of actors and competitors in a convergent operational environment.

Drone swarm tactics get tryout for infantry to use in urban battlespace

By: Todd South  

The Department of Defense successfully tested a drone swarm in 2016. Officials want to put drone swarms in the hands of light infantry. The science fiction-sounding goal: Put an autonomous robot swarm of 250 or more drones under the control of light infantry soldiers or Marines to do complex tasks on the urban battlefield. Competitors are now tackling that goal in a multi-stage event announced late last year by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Events called Sprinters are intended to develop “offensive swarm-enabled tactics” for these emerging technologies. Swarm drone technology already exists. In 2016, the Defense Department successfully tested micro-drone swarms at China Lake, California. They dropped 103 Perdix drones from three F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighters.

Next-gen sensors could fit on, and bend like, a Band-Aid

By: Adam Stone  

Traditionally, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors have been hulking antennae and big boxes that often need to be bolted into place. But researchers from Harvard and the Air Force want to shrink those sensors down to the size of a Band-Aid, creating a new world of possibilities and sensor applications. For example, imagine a sensor whose electronic components have been digitally printed into a thin, bendable, stretchable sheet of elastic material. “If you can write those electronics right onto that material, you get the ISR capability without adding any new weight,” said Mike Durstock, Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) branch chief for the soft matters materials branch.