4 May 2018

Beyond Wuhan: India Should Establish A New Framework for Engagement With China

By Aman Thakker

Last week, efforts to “reset” India-China relations culminated in an “informal summit’ between Indian Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan, China. Reports of the summit drew comparisons to earlier such summits between Indian Prime Ministers and Chinese leaders, notably Rajiv Gandhi’s summit with Deng Xiaoping in 1988, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s summit with Hu Jintao in 2003. However, these comparisons, particularly with the 1988 summit, fall short of India’s objective for a reset leading up to and during the summit. Indeed, the 1988 summit was a crucial moment for both countries, leading to the establishment of a broad framework, or modus vivendi, for engagement between India and China where the two countries would “not to allow the border dispute to hold the rest of the relationship back.” The Wuhan summit, by contrast, did not hold the same ambition.

The China - India - Nepal Triangle

By Kamal Dev Bhattarai

While Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali was in China from April 16-21, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi asked India to be a part of new development projects in Nepal. “Whether it’s China or India, our two countries shall be happy to see Nepal’s new development after its political transition,” Wang said. China wants to invest in big connectivity projects in Nepal but prefers to bring its Asian competitor, India, on board. Some Nepali and Chinese scholars see this as an opportunity for trilateral cooperation between Nepal, India, and China, but Indian policymakers and academics have not shown much interest.

Is India ready for cyber war?

Prashant Mali

Cyber warfare involves an attempted or actual cyber attack, but for some in the media it means defacing some websites of important organisations. This is not really the case. In fact, I would term such hackers as ‘novice hackers’ in some corner of the world, looking to earn some brownie points amongst their non-hacker peers by fear mongering. Cyber warfare is something quite different. As a researcher, I would argue that cyber warfare involves actions by a state or non-state actor to attack and attempt to damage another nation’s computers or information networks through, for example, computer viruses, denial-of-service attacks, physical attacks and sabotage. 

India and China's Rapprochement Extends Only Skin Deep

The world's two most populous countries will continue their attempts to reset their diplomatic ties after last year's Doklam standoff, as India's prime minister focuses on upcoming elections and China's president presents a unified Sino-Indian front in the face of U.S. protectionism.

Stakes of ‘Islamic vote bank’ and religious politics in Pakistan


Under the enigmatic political leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan came into being in August 1947, a Muslim majority state but not an Islamic state. During Jinnah’s 13-month governorship, the name of the country remained only “Pakistan.” However, it was labeled as an “Islamic Republic” in 1956. After the demise of its founder, orthodox religious strata and state-supported radicalization emerged with the Objectives Resolution in March 1949, prepared by Liaquat Ali Khan and passed by the first National Assembly of Pakistan. This historic resolution was the first step toward legislation as well as the religious bias of all three constitutions categorizing Pakistani citizens as Muslims and non-Muslims.

ZTE's less-known roots: Chinese tech company falls from grace

TOKYO -- Chinese telecommunication equipment maker ZTE finds itself in a new, and undoubtedly uncomfortable, position: It is one of the most talked-about tech companies in the world following its recent ban by the U.S. government from purchasing American technology. In China, however, where free speech is limited but with almost 800 million internet users, the home-grown company appears to be gaining a wide range of support as most stories and comments from news media and netizens take on nationalistic overtones. Among the comments: "I believe in ZTE" and "Why can't we penalize Apple? Can't we stop Apple from selling in China?"

Space: The next frontier for US-China rivalry

Simon Roughneen

SINGAPORE -- With the U.S. government pledging to resume manned missions to the Moon, and eventually send a mission to Mars, Cold War-style competition over space exploration is re-emerging -- between China and the U.S. this time. China hopes to make its first manned lunar landing within 15 years, around six decades after the last American walked on the moon in 1972.  But China is not as far behind as those dates suggest. It hopes to make the first-ever landing on the dark side of the Moon by the end of 2018. This feat eluded the U.S. and Soviet Union during the heyday of their Space Race from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s.

Israel’s Got Its Own Refugee Dilemma: African ‘Dreamers’

By Thomas L. Friedman

TEL AVIV — It’s been obvious to me for some time that the Israeli-Arab conflict is to wider global geopolitical trends what Off Broadway is to Broadway. If you want a hint of what’s coming to a geopolitical theater near you, study this region. You can see it all here in miniature. That certainly applies to what’s becoming the most destabilizing and morally wrenching geopolitical divide on the planet today — the divide between what I call the “World of Order” and the “World of Disorder.” And Israel is right on the seam — which is why the last major fence Israel built was not to keep West Bank Palestinians from crossing into Israel but to keep more Africans from walking from their homes in Africa, across the Sinai Desert, into Israel.

Geo-Economics as Concept and Practice in International Relations: Surveying the State of the Art

By Sören Scholvin and Mikael Wigell for Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)

Sören Scholvin and Mikael Wigell contend that China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Western sanctions against Iran and Russia, and much more demonstrate a clear trend: states are increasingly practicing power politics by economic means and military means appear to matter less. While this shift is captured by ‘geo-economics’, our authors contend there is no clear definition of the term. To help address this gap, Scholvin and Wigell here provide their conception of what ‘geo-economics’ means as an analytical approach as well as a foreign policy practice.

The Bear and the Eagle, Seen Through the Cyber Lens

By Bruce McConnell

The bilateral relationship between the United States and Russia is at its most dangerous point since the Cuban missile crisis. In some ways it is worse. As a Russian colleague recently observed, the management of Cold War tension was mathematical; today it is emotional. Further cemented by the chemical attack in Syria and by new sanctions, the hard lines both sides have drawn bode poorly for progress in reducing tensions. The immediate task is to keep communication channels open to avoid missteps or miscalculations that could lead to inadvertent or unnecessary escalation of conflict between the two nuclear powers.

5 Reasons Israel’s Army Wins Every War It Fights

Kyle Mizokami

In 1947, Israel’s low population but high level of education meant its citizens could train and organize a national army fairly quickly. Manpower limitations also meant the Israeli Army tended to gravitate towards technologically advanced, high firepower forces, and become more proficient at them than its neighbors. Much like the Israeli Air Force, the Israeli Army came from humble—but more established—beginnings. Israel’s ground forces had their origins in the Haganah, a Zionist paramilitary force created in the early 1920s to protect Jewish interests. The Haganah cooperated with British authorities, but turned hostile in 1944 when the Axis neared defeat and the need for a Jewish state became increasingly clear. In 1947 the Haganah was reorganized into regular army units, and renamed the Israeli Army two weeks after the founding of the State of Israel.

Everything You Need to Know about the Cruise-Missile Strikes in Syria

Dave Majumdar

Russia continues to insist that Syrian forces shot down a majority of the allied cruise missiles launched against the Assad regime by the United States, France and the United Kingdom on April 13, 2018. However, Moscow’s assertions are extremely dubious because low-flying cruise missiles are extremely difficult to intercept, particularly over land. The Pentagon maintains that all of the missiles launched against Syria hit their targets.

The Pentagon Could Get Self-Driving Vehicles First

By  Daniel Flatley

Forget Uber, Waymo and Tesla: the next big name in self-driving vehicles could be the Pentagon. “We’re going to have self-driving vehicles in theater for the Army before we’ll have self-driving cars on the streets,” Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, told lawmakers at a hearing on Capitol Hill this month. “But the core technologies will be the same.” The stakes for the military are high. According to Griffin, 52 percent of casualties in combat zones can been attributed to military personnel delivering food, fuel and other logistics. Removing people from that equation with systems run on artificial intelligence could reduce injuries and deaths significantly, he added.

How Russia Crafted a Three-Dimensional Strategy to Regain Global Influence

Steven Metz 

Near the end of a recent report on the resurgence of both the Islamic State and al-Qaida in Libya was an almost offhand mention of Russian special operations forces active along the country’s border with Egypt, helping provide weapons to Gen. Khalifa Haftar, whose forces dominate eastern Libya. This seemingly minor fact is, in reality, emblematic of important trends in Russia’s revanchist foreign policy. When Moammar Gadhafi controlled Libya from 1969 to 2011, he was an excellent customer for Soviet weaponry and military advice. But in the chaos after his overthrow and death, the Russian Embassy in Tripoli was attacked and all diplomats and their families withdrawn. Moscow seemingly had written Libya off. But it is now re-entering this chaotic political environment in North Africa as part of a three-dimensional global strategy designed to strengthen Russia politically, enrich it economically and allow it to punch above its weight in a rapidly changing security environment. 

Russia acting as buffer between Israel, Iran

Maxim A. Suchkov 

MOSCOW — As the standoff between Iran and Israel threatens to grow out of hand, Russia is apparently seeking a modus vivendi for the two regional enemies. Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi hosted April 25-26 its ninth International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues. The event, organized by Russia’s Security Council, brought together secretaries of security councils, presidential aides and heads of intelligence services from 118 countries. The meeting is becoming increasingly popular among international high-level security officials: The first year it was assembled, 43 nations attended the conference; last year, 95 states sent delegates.

Damn, Busted


Britain’s military should be growing. It’s not.

The Royal Air Force celebrated its 100th birthday last week with a gala program at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington. No one does pomp better than the British, but the presence of the Queen’s Colour Squadron had a larger purpose: to solemnize the reformation of 617 Squadron, the famous Dambusters, now flying the stealthy F-35. Those 16 fighter jets are among the best in the world. Given how few planes the RAF has, they’d better be. As a nation, Brexit Britain is stepping out of the shadow of the EU. But as a military power, it’s stepped into the shade.

House Russia report says major spy law has a cyber problem

By: Mark Pomerleau   

A new report from the House Intelligence Committee recommends Congress update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — a law that dictates procedures for electronic surveillance of persons engaged in espionage on behalf of nation states or terrorist entities ― to cover malicious international cyber actors. The recommendation comes as part of the House Intelligence Committee’s final report on its investigation into alleged Russian meddling efforts in the 2016 presidential election. The House panel’s final report, which is roughly 250 pages and heavily redacted, notes that Congress sought to address cyber concerns as part of this year’s statutory reauthorization of the FISA. Revising the bill is part of a highly contentious process more commonly referred to as Section 702.

Why do Trump’s announced trade policies keep coming up empty?

Geoffrey Gertz

Earlier this month, over the span of less than a week, President Donald Trump opened the door to joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement before promptly slamming it shut again. Many trade pundits and analysts were delighted when Trump announced he had directed his economic advisers to explore re-entering the TPP, only to have their hopes dashed again when the president tweeted out his repeated criticisms of the Asian trade deal. In the grand scheme, this brief flirtation with the TPP is unlikely to be remembered. But it does raise two broader questions: First, why do Trump’s big splashy trade announcements keep going nowhere? And second, why do the rest of us keep on falling for these empty pronouncements?

Federal 'turf war' complicates cybersecurity efforts


The issue took center stage this week, as senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee fretted that they had been unable to pass key cyber legislation requested by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) because of a disagreement with the Senate Intelligence Committee. “The reality of the situation is there is conflict here,” said Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) at a hearing Wednesday. “This threat is too significant to allow turf wars to get in the way of as efficient an operation as possible in terms of dealing with a very complex and serious problem.” 

What Happens When Your Bomb-Defusing Robot Becomes a Weapon


Micah Xavier Johnson spent the last day of his life in a standoff, holed up in a Dallas community-college building. By that point, he had already shot 16 people. Negotiators were called in, but it was 2:30 in the morning and the police chief was tired. He’d lost two officers. Nine others were injured. Three of them would later die. In the early hours of July 7, 2016, the chief asked his swat team to come up with a plan that wouldn’t put anyone else in Johnson’s line of fire. Within 30 minutes, their Remotec Andros Mark 5A-1, a four-wheeled robot made by Northrop Grumman, was on the scene. The Mark 5A-1 had originally been purchased for help with bomb disposal. But that morning, the police attached a pound of C4 explosives to the robot’s extended arm, and sent it down the hallway where Johnson had barricaded himself. The bomb killed him instantly. The machine remained functional.

DARPA wants to arm ethical hackers with AI

By: Brandon Knapp 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to leverage human-artificial intelligence teaming to accelerate the military’s cyber vulnerability detection, according to agency documents. The task of securing the Pentagon’s diverse networks, which support nearly every function of the military’s operations, presents a nightmare for defense officials. The current time-intensive and costly process involves extensively trained hackers using specialized software suites to scour the networks in search of vulnerabilities that could potentially be exploited, but the scarcity of expert hackers makes detecting cyberthreats a challenge for the Defense Department.

Comms down? Don’t give up.

By: Adam Stone   

An artist concept of the distributed battle management system, an emerging solution to enable complex teamwork between manned and unmanned aviation even in comms-deprived environments. (BAE Systems). Adversaries are becoming ever more skilled at denying our communications links. That’s especially bad for pilots who need reliable comms for situational awareness. “Imagine you can’t talk to each other, but you still need to execute on a mission. It’s almost impossible,” said Jarrod Kallberg, distributed battle management technology development manager at BAE Systems. “A lot of times you have to scrub the mission because you are so reliant on the communication that you cannot proceed without that.”

Cyber warfare may be less dangerous than we think

By Benjamin Jensen and David Banks 

This February 2018 warning to the Senate from Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats included a message that “there should be no doubt” that Russia, emboldened by its 2016 cyberattacks and informational warfare campaign, will target the U.S. midterm elections this year. We agree. However, our research suggests that, although states like Russia will continue to engage in cyberattacks against the foundations of democracy (a serious threat indeed), states are less likely to engage in destructive “doomsday” attacks against each other in cyberspace. Using a series of war games and survey experiments, we found that cyber operations may in fact produce a moderating influence on international crises. 

Can the Navy protect this ship from hackers?

By: Amber Corrin   

The Navy’s Expeditionary Fast Transport, or EFP, class of ships may be vulnerable to hackers and isn’t achieving key performance milestones, including some related to the cybersecurity of the ship’s systems, according to a new inspector general’s reportThe aluminum catamaran-style ships, which are designed to quickly move troops and supplies, “lacks capability,” an April 2018 report from the Department of Defense Inspector General found. One of those capabilities is securing control systems aboard the vessels.

Civilians and “By, With, and Through” Key Issues and Questions Related to Civilian Harm and Security Partnership

Working by, with, and through partners in military operations has become a preferred approach in U.S. security policy. Doing so without uniform controls governing conduct and the use of force can result in real consequences for civilians and compromise mission effectiveness. The real and perceived benefits of partnered operations can include limiting the extent of U.S. involvement and minimizing risk to U.S. personnel, tapping into the unique capacities of national and local forces, and burden sharing of costs, personnel, and assets. 
The risks of partnered operations can arise from the diffusion of responsibilities and diversion of shared interests and objectives. They may result in civilian casualties, damage to civilian infrastructure, human rights abuses, erosion of U.S. or partner legitimacy, reduction of U.S. domestic support for operations, and long-term humanitarian, economic, governance, and security consequences for civilians. 

3 May 2018

Testimony of Admiral Michael S. Rogers and Implications for India

By Maj Gen P K Mallick, VSM(Retd)

Admiral Michael S. Rogers is the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and Chief of the Central Security Service (CSS) since April 3, 2014. He is going to be replaced by US Army’s Army Cyber Command Chief Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone. On 27 February 2018 Admiral Michael Rogers testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services. In his prepared speech the Admiral explained the various progress made by the USCYBERCOM. This was his last testimony to the Senate.

In the USA the top officials of the Government are madae to undergo hearings before taking over, during the tenure and while handing over the responsibilities. They are grilled by the Senators and often asked very searching and sometime uncomfortable questions. The top official has to answer on his own without any support from his staff.

China-India border dispute

Keegan Elmer
Source Link

China will be keen to woo India away from a US alliance against Beijing when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Chinese President Xi Jinping for informal talks in Wuhan this week, diplomatic observers said. The two days of talks starting on Friday come as China faces threats of US trade action and India seeks to put its economic development on track ahead of an election next year. It also comes nearly a year after military personnel from both countries faced off for 73 days over a contested border in the Doklam Plateau in the Himalayas.

America has been afflicted by an ideology that doesn’t work, says Joseph Stiglitz

Ajith Vijay Kumar

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, in an exclusive interview with timesnownews.com, talks about what is wrong with current American capitalism, rise of a new kind of politics emerging from dissent towards government and more. Here are some excerpts from the interview: Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, in an exclusive interview with timesnownews.com, talks about what is wrong with current American capitalism, rise of a new kind of politics emerging from dissent towards government and more. Here are some excerpts from the interview: Interviewer: Professor Stiglitz, it is such a pleasure to have you with us for this Thinker’s interaction. I would like to start with your view as to how the world is changing today, there seems to be so much of turmoil that we are seeing and especially the rise of certain kind of leaders which I would call as the leaders that define the coalition of restoration. How would you really react to that?

China Is Not Alone in Adding to the Indian Ocean Woes

Atul Bhardwaj

The navalists of the world are ­smiling. The maritime domain is back in the reckoning. A new era of great power competition at sea has arrived. Existing, emerging, erstwhile, and aspiring empires are engaged in ocean-romance in the Asia–Pacific theatre. American carrier battle groups are making frequent forays into the region and struggling to fulfil the promise of “pivot to Asia.” China recently held its biggest naval combat drill in the South China Sea. The rise of the Chinese navy is manna for the American navalists who are constantly in search of a ­raison d’être to justify their massive budget of roughly $145 billion.

RIP: Russia and India Had Big Plans to Build a Deadly Stealth Fighter. What Happened?

Sebastien Roblin
Source Link

In April 2018, India’s Defense Secretary Sanjay Mitra met with a Russian delegation to announce that India was withdrawing from its joint development of the FGFA stealth fighter. This rupture was years in the making, and does not constitute a surprise—but finally clears the air for the Indian military to explore a different path to acquiring stealth aircraft. Back in 2007, India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) entered into a partnership agreement with Russian aviation manufacturer Sukhoi to jointly invest in the fifth-generation fighter then known as the PAK-FA T-50. However, the Indian Air Force wanted a more sophisticated two-seat variant of the PAK-FA called the FGFA, with improved stealth characteristics, a more powerful 360-degree AESA radar and supercruise-capable engines. (Supercruise is the ability to sustainably fly over the speed of sound without using fuel-gulping afterburners.) New Delhi promised $6 billion for R&D—$295 million of which was directly transferred in 2010—and was originally supposed spend an additional $30 billion for over 144 production stealth fighters.

Why CPEC could be the end of China-Pakistan relationship

Source Link

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is best described by the Trumpian expression "covfefe": everyone has some idea of what it is, but no one is quite sure what it is. No surprise then that while some people in Pakistan are excited over what they think CPEC means, others are apprehensive. In December 2015, the governor of State Bank of Pakistan admitted that he had no idea about how much of the money that the Chinese were committing on CPEC was debt, how much was equity and how much was in kind. More than two years later, it now transpires that even the government of Pakistan is not clear about the composition of funding for CPEC projects. A couple of weeks ago, the federal cabinet was informed that “the amount of money, whether in the form of loan or grant, coming through CPEC is not known”. Clearly, if even the government of Pakistan is clueless about the structure and composition of CPEC funding, the sums they have worked out to sell CPEC as the greatest thing to happen to Pakistan are quite flaky.

State Urges Taliban yet Again to 'Run for Office'

By Bill Roggio

Just hours after the Taliban announced the launch of this year’s spring offensive, named the “Al Khandaq Jihadi operations,” the U.S. Department of State issued a statement urging the Taliban to lay down its arms, conduct negotiations, and join Afghanistan’s election process. State’s repetitive call for the Taliban to make peace demonstrates an unthinkable fundamental misunderstanding of the Taliban and its goals some 16 years after the U.S. first entered Afghanistan. The Taliban has no intention of joining a political process and as it has stated numerous times, its goals are the expulsion of U.S. and foreign forces, the overthrow of the Afghan government, the re-establishment of the of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the name of the Taliban’s government) and the imposition of its harsh brand of Sharia, or Islamic law. Yet, U.S. officials across three administrations have either failed to recognize those intentions or are low on options with their incessant push for the Taliban to negotiate.

The Quad Needs Wind in its Sails

'Chinese dominance reduces India's influence in South and Southeast Asia and erodes its status globally.' 'For a country striving to create a multipolar Asia, it would be a serious setback,' says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).

The Chinese game currently in the South China Sea is one of outright belligerence. The Chinese strategy in the Indian Ocean region is more attuned to creating assets that could provide a strategic advantage at a later date. The Chinese are trapping the littorals in partnerships that would lead to an umbelical connect of their economies to China. In the process, we are already witnessing a gradual gravitation of some littorals of the South China Sea and Indian Ocean States towards China. Among the major regional powers dependent on sea lanes through the Indo-Pacific region are India, Japan, Australia, and China.

Xi Doubles Down on China’s Cyber Goals and Semiconductor Plans

By Jesse Heatley

Days after the United States announced a seven-year restriction on American companies doing business with the Chinese telecom giant ZTE, Chinese President Xi Jinping responded in defiance by laying out a broad vision to build China as a cyber and technology superpower. At a recent national Chinese conference on cyberspace, Xi declared that China will press ahead with plans to dominate cyberspace and emerging internet technologies. As a trade war with the United States escalates through tit-for-tat announcements, the speech reflected China’s yearning to end its reliance on foreign technologies. China still lags behind in key technology sectors and Xi urged officials to “keenly seize this historic opportunity” to master new internet technologies in the face of foreign pressures and growing technology demands.

The role of BRI in developing trade corridors

The improvement of trade corridors for Chinese and foreign companies is a key component of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The improvement of trade corridors for Chinese and foreign companies is a key component of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as the world’s second-largest economy seeks to make the transition from a low-value manufacturing economy to one driven by consumption and higher value-added manufacturing services. Six international economic cooperation corridors – The New Eurasia Land Bridge and routes between China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia, China-Indochina, China-Pakistan and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar – are set to jump-start trade between China and its neighbours near and far.

China tries to enlist European allies in Trump's trade war

While Beijing is courting the European Union for support in a trade war, European officials are sounding the alarm on China's ambitions in their countries. Why it matters: If the U.S. starts closing off its market to the Chinese, Beijing needs the EU to remain neutral and stay open to business with China, but the Europeans are increasingly frustrated with China's behavior and wary of its ever-growing influence.

China is going green. Here’s how

Sha Song

The factories and power plants that have driven its economic growth have also polluted its air, water and soil, to the point where environmental hazards could lead to a significant risk to China’s society and economy, if not corrected in a timely manner. In a bid to tackle these challenges, China’s government has declared a “war on pollution” and introduced a number of green initiatives.

China Has a Plan to Turn Old Planes into Stealth Fighters

Eugene K. Chow
Source Link

Chinese researchers are hard at work on an “invisibility cloak” that could turn older jets into stealth planes. The “cloak” consists of a coating of metamaterial, which is made up of microscopic structures that can bend light or electromagnetic radiation to help planes evade radar. According to the South China Morning Post, a research team from the Southeast University State Key Laboratory of Millimeter Waves is currently testing the metamaterial on aircraft at a military production facility in Shenyang, Liaoning province.

How Long Can the ‘Chinese Miracle’ Last?

What goes up must come down, as the saying goes. This could well be true of China, which has seen a massive expansion of its economy in recent years, driven by rampant construction and wild indebtedness. Journalist Dinny McMahon, who covers China’s financial sector for The Wall Street Journal, has written a book that offers a wide perspective on the country’s economy. China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracleexplains the danger of the debt-fueled growth bubble and what could happen in the near future. McMahon discussed how China’s actions have ripple effects at home and globally on the Knowledge@Wharton show, which airs on SiriusXM channel 111. (Listen to the full podcast using the player at the top of this page.)

How the UAE’s Chinese-Made Drone Is Changing the War in Yemen

Source Link

An airstrike that killed a senior Houthi leader shows that the Emirates is growing more assertive in its military operations.
Saleh al-Samad, the president of the Houthis’ Supreme Political Council, sits behind bulletproof glass at a rally in Sanaa, Yemen, on Aug. 20, 2016.On Monday evening, video began circulating online of a black-and-white drone feed monitoring a two-car convoy driving north along Road 45, east of Hodeidah, Yemen. In the video, the drone’s target — a blue Toyota Land Cruiser — turns onto a side street. Seconds later, it is struck by a Chinese-made Blue Arrow 7 missile.

Germany Is Pitching For A Seat On The UN Security Council - Here's Why

by Dennis R. Schmidt, Durham University

The debate about the myth and withering of the liberal international order is in full flow. To the surprise of many, not because non-Western emerging powers such as China and India are succeeding in overturning it, but because its founders - the US and the UK - are retreating from the global stage (at least temporarily). One country that seems to be stepping up to fill their shoes is Germany. While its administrations have long shied away from taking on a leading global role, Berlin is finally realising that the shift in the global order requires a more assertive foreign policy. But given Germany’s history and culture, its ability and willingness to lead through military power is limited. It’s therefore looking for greater influence in the UN as an alternative.

Can North Korea Really Give Up Its Nukes?

Ahead of the landmark inter-Korean summit, North Korea has offered to shutter its nuclear test site, suspend intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, and ultimately denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Although it was framed in ambiguous terms, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's announcement serves to set up both the impending meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae In and the subsequent proposed sit-down with U.S. President Donald Trump. A year ago, it appeared as if nothing would get North Korea to budge on its nuclear weapons program and its insistence on being recognized as a nuclear state. Now, it is making numerous public "concessions" even before it sits down with South Korean and U.S. leaders. It is little surprise, then, that there is quite a bit of confusion over just what North Korea wants, what it is willing to do, and whether the North Korean leadership can be trusted to stick to any deals that may be struck.

North Korea’s Secret Weapon: A Huge Electromagnetic Storm

The diplomatic circuit is awash in optimism as the proposed summitbetween North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump draws near. Indeed, Trump is right to go to the table with the North Koreans and negotiate for full denuclearization. Still, given the long history of North Korea’s double-dealing, outright lying, and surreptitious construction of weapons of mass destruction, the likelihood of Kim actually surrendering his nuclear weapons is extremely low, no matter what he says publicly.


By James Rogers 

Russia’s reported development of a formidable nuclear-powered torpedo or underwater drone is fueling concern about the potential devastation if the weapon were ever unleashed against U.S. cities. While there has been speculation that the purported ‘doomsday’ device could be fake, Russia has offered up some recent hints about the shadowy system. During an address to the country’s Federal Assembly on March 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the development of unmanned submersible vehicles that can move at great depths much faster than submarines. “It is really fantastic. They are quiet, highly maneuverable and have hardly any vulnerabilities for the enemy to exploit. There is simply nothing in the world capable of withstanding them,” he said.

It’s Not Really About the Nukes – Crisis Negotiation in North Korea

By Alex Rohlwing
Source Link

The United States may soon have a shot at talking directly to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Given this unique opportunity, what foreign policy tactics should US negotiators use in the effort to denuclearize the Korean peninsula? It may seem strange, but negotiators might consider taking a lesson from the FBI and the field of Crisis Negotiation to show us a better path to de-escalation. Over several decades and half a dozen administrations, many have weighed in on how to deal with North Korea’s aggression towards the region and its pursuit of nuclear technologies. Solutions from sanctions by the international community (which only really work when China is serious about them) to ways to game potential meetings with the Kim regime all have two things in common: they are tightly focused on North Korea’s nuclear program, and they are pretty solidly ineffective.

Geo-Economics as Concept and Practice in International Relations: Surveying the State of the Art

By Sören Scholvin and Mikael Wigell for Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)

Sören Scholvin and Mikael Wigell contend that China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Western sanctions against Iran and Russia, and much more demonstrate a clear trend: states are increasingly practicing power politics by economic means and military means appear to matter less. While this shift is captured by ‘geo-economics’, our authors contend there is no clear definition of the term. To help address this gap, Scholvin and Wigell here provide their conception of what ‘geo-economics’ means as an analytical approach as well as a foreign policy practice.

AI and Machine Learning in Cyber Security

Zen monks have been using a tool called a ‘koan’ for hundreds of years to assist them in reaching enlightenment. These koans are like riddles or stories that can only be solved by letting go of ones narrowing believes and stories about how things should be. Zen students sit in silent meditation and observe how the koan is working on them, slowly transforming their way of looking at the world and revealing a tiny piece of the path to nirvana, that place of no suffering.

No laptops in the lecture hall

The typical classroom experience used in high school and college is fundamentally broken, but there’s a simple solution. In a recent NY Times op-ed, Susan Dynarski, a professor of education, public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, describes why she has forbidden students from using laptops in her lectures. There’s now plenty of data that shows that in a lecture setting, students with laptops don’t do as well or learn as much as students without one. The reasons make sense, and I applaud her standards and her guts.

Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match


MEDAMAHANUWARA, Sri Lanka — Past the end of a remote mountain road, down a rutted dirt track, in a concrete house that lacked running water but bristled with smartphones, 13 members of an extended family were glued to Facebook. And they were furious. A family member, a truck driver, had died after a beating the month before. It was a traffic dispute that had turned violent, the authorities said. But on Facebook, rumors swirled that his assailants were part of a Muslim plot to wipe out the country’s Buddhist majority. “We don’t want to look at it because it’s so painful,” H.M. Lal, a cousin of the victim, said as family members nodded. “But in our hearts there is a desire for revenge that has built.”

Why we should bulldoze the business school

By Martin Parker

Visit the average university campus and it is likely that the newest and most ostentatious building will be occupied by the business school. The business school has the best building because it makes the biggest profits (or, euphemistically, “contribution” or “surplus”) – as you might expect, from a form of knowledge that teaches people how to make profits.  Business schools have huge influence, yet they are also widely regarded to be intellectually fraudulent places, fostering a culture of short-termism and greed. (There is a whole genre of jokes about what MBA – Master of Business Administration – really stands for: “Mediocre But Arrogant”, “Management by Accident”, “More Bad Advice”, “Master Bullshit Artist” and so on.) Critics of business schools come in many shapes and sizes: employers complain that graduates lack practical skills, conservative voices scorn the arriviste MBA, Europeans moan about Americanisation, radicals wail about the concentration of power in the hands of the running dogs of capital. Since 2008, many commentators have also suggested that business schools were complicit in producing the crash.

What Makes a Good Grand Strategist?

James Jay Carafano
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On Grand Strategy, by the distinguished historian John Lewis Gaddis, includes remarkably little on grand strategy. Just as well. Writings on strategy has become as weighted down as the cement-sneakered former associates of Tony Soprano. Gaddis strips strategy down to the essential element that allows leaders to move nations. Arguably, there is not much more that great masters and commanders need to know about how to win their wars than what Gaddis has to say.