14 July 2018

India’s evolving response to China’s ‘stealth threat’

By STEPHEN BRYEN

New Delhi has been alarmed by China’s deployment of J-20 aircraft near India’s sensitive northeastern border. Last January the Chinese Air Force – officially known as the People’s Liberation Army Air Force or PLAAF – conducted extensive military exercises in Tibet with the Chengdu J-20 and other fighters, primarily the Chengdu J-10C and Shenyang J-11. The Chinese planes were using improved Tibetan airfields that China has made all-weather capable. There are now 14 important airfields in Tibet supporting PLAAF operations.

Is India shifting the goalposts in Indo-Pacific debate?

By SWARAN SINGH 

India’s participation in the ongoing Indo-Pacific debate and its decision to join the revived Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the US, Japan, India and Australia) have raised concerns in the corridors of power in Moscow, Beijing and other capitals. Even Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) member states view the two back-to-back “Quad” meetings last month in Singapore with concern, as they fear the informal body could eclipse the bloc’s leading role in regional affairs. Then there are several other extra-regional stakeholders who also remain wary of the role of the Quad in this tectonic shift from the continental “Asia-Pacific” to the maritime “Indo-Pacific” geopolitical paradigm.

China Thinks It Can Defeat America in Battle

by David Axe

The bad news first. The People’s Republic of China now believes it can successfully prevent the United States from intervening in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan or some other military assault by Beijing. Now the good news. China is wrong—and for one major reason. It apparently disregards the decisive power of America’s nuclear-powered submarines. Moreover, for economic and demographic reasons Beijing has a narrow historical window in which to use its military to alter the world’s power structure. If China doesn’t make a major military move in the next couple decades, it probably never will.

CHINA’S RISE AND INDIAN OCEAN AMBITIONS

By Aswani Dravid

Though the Indian Ocean was considered exotic for centuries, it was transformed into a mere colonial sea by the 18th century. The European powers divided the South Asian continent among themselves to a degree that these South Asian countries no longer identified with the larger whole. However, the British retreat from the region and subsequent de-colonization spree around the periphery of the Indian Ocean raised a complex situation of an Indian Ocean vacuum. By the end of the 1940s many of the countries in Africa and Asia became independent from their colonial rulers and many of these newly emerged free countries lived in the littoral of the Indian Ocean. The British announcement in 1968 to withdraw from east of the Suez by the end of 1971 marked the end of over 150 years of British supremacy in the Indian Ocean.

China's Unlikely Weapon: Tourists

Evan Rees

China will increasingly play gatekeeper to the country's growing middle-class market for luxury goods, manufactures and food products. This consumer class will only gain more clout in the coming decades. Flows of Chinese tourists will be an unexpected tool of statecraft, raising the potential for sharp disruptions to the travel and aviation sectors. These risks are particularly high in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, but extend across Southeast Asia and into the islands of the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific.

Daily Memo: A Conversation on NATO, a Bubble in China, Oil in Russia


The politicking ahead of this week’s NATO summit shows what’s at stake. Two of the three Baltic countries are publicly expressing concern about Russia. Estonia’s foreign minister said that Russia is a threat and that anti-Americanism should be curbed, while its prime minister wrote an op-ed in which he made a case for more NATO troops in Eastern Europe. Lithuania’s defense minister took to the airwaves to emphasize the alliance’s commitment to collective defense. Meanwhile, the head of the Ukraine Permanent Mission to NATO said Ukraine and Georgia would both participate in the NATO summit – much to the chagrin of Hungary, which he admitted may block a post-summit communique. NATO is being pulled in several directions, but there is still a strong faction that sees the organization primarily as an anti-Russian military alliance and is shaping the conversation to reflect as much. Will it be enough?

China is quietly conducting electronic warfare tests in the South China Sea

Amanda Macias

China is quietly testing electronic warfare assets recently installed at fortified outposts in the South China Sea, according to sources who have seen U.S. intelligence reports. Intelligence assessments, which were curated less than a month ago, say this is the first known use of the equipment since its deployment earlier this year to outposts in the Spratly Islands, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. A Pentagon spokesperson declined to comment on intelligence matters.

How Much Does OPEC Disagree On Oil Prices?

by Martin Armstrong

After bottoming out at around 40 dollars in June 2017, the price of the Brent barrel has almost doubled since then. The main exporters of crude will be meeting tomorrow in Vienna to discuss their upcoming strategies and price targets, but their starting positions are quite different. Based on analysis by Bloomberg, this infographic reveals that there is a large gap between the barrel prices that each country would find satisfactory for their domestic budgetary needs. Meanwhile, those with more solid extractive industries such as Russia or Kazakhstan would like to increase drilling. Countries where production has been affected by political instabilities such as Libya or Venezuela would prefer to keep export quotas as they are for now.

Can Energy Close America’s Trade Deficit?


Energy has long played a major role in America’s trade deficits. Today, energy is seen differently: as a commodity to be exported, one that can help narrow trade deficits. Yet the hope that energy alone can solve this macroeconomic headache is misplaced. For one, over the last decade the non-energy trade deficit in goods has widened sharply even as the energy trade deficit has disappeared; energy can only do so much without the rest of the economy following. More importantly, the forecasted shifts in the energy trade balance are small compared to what has already happened; if energy has not shrunk the deficit over the last 10 years, it is unlikely to do so in the future. Energy will still matter, of course, but do not expect it to solve this big, non-energy issue.

The Energy and Trade Deficits Delink

July 3, 1863: The Birth of a Nation

By Jacob L. Shapiro

Editor’s note: The following analysis was originally published in 2017. We republish it this year in honor of U.S. Independence Day. To our American readers, we wish you a happy holiday. To our other readers, we hope this piece makes your workday just a little bit better.
The United States declared its independence on July 4, 1776, but that didn’t make it a nation. Sheets of paper, even ones on which well-intended men pledge their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” to abandon one government for a new government, don’t create nations. Nations cannot be simply declared to exist. They emerge slowly from the shared experiences, good and bad, of generations.

In Search of a Third German Economic Miracle

By Jacob L. Shapiro
Source Link

Germany’s economy is in trouble. According to the Ifo Institute, a top German think tank based in Munich, “storm clouds are gathering over the German economy.” And like a storm, the problems have appeared suddenly. It was only a year ago that Handelsblatt, a German business newspaper based in Dusseldorf, said that 2017 was to be a record year for the German economy and that prospects looked good for the future. It was only six months ago that the International Monetary Fund marked up its forecasts for German economic growth in 2018, and just five months ago that the German government revised its own growth forecasts up to 2.4 percent from 1.9 percent. And it was only four months ago that the EU patted itself on the back for its largest growth rates in a decade, credited largely to Germany’s economic revival.

Germany Imports Gas From Russia. But Is It a ‘Captive’?

By Palko Karasz

LONDON — President Trump ripped into Germany, a NATO ally, even before this year’s summit meeting started in Brussels on Wednesday, using a longstanding disagreement on commercial and strategic relations with Russia. Departing from diplomatic protocol, Mr. Trump attacked Germany’s relations with Russia over breakfast with NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg. “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia because it’s getting so much of its energy from Russia,” he said. “So we’re supposed to protect Germany but they’re getting their energy from Russia.” In a polite but firm response, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany “can make our own policies and make our own decisions.”

How Trump’s Trade War Went From 18 Products to 10,000

By KEITH COLLINS and JASMINE C. LEE 

Jan. 22 The war began when the United States imposed tariffs on solar panels and washing machines. Each circle above represents a product on which a tariff has been placed and is sized according to how much was imported last year. March 8 The United States then put tariffs on steel and aluminum, arguing that unfair trade practices threatened American manufacturers — and thus national security. The European Union, Canada and Mexico were initially exempted. April 2 A focus of the tariffs was China, which has been accused of flooding the world with cheap metal. China retaliated with duties on about $3 billion in American products.

The NATO Summit Spotlights Its Defense Spending Standard


The United States will pressure its NATO allies during the military bloc's July 11-12 summit in Brussels to spend more on their own defense. Although it is NATO's most powerful member state, the United States still derives great benefits from the alliance. The commitment from each NATO member to spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense does not adequately account for the different security priorities of the alliance's disparate states. Fed up with what it perceives as an unequal burden sharing, the United States is preparing to put considerable pressure on its NATO allies during a summit in Brussels on July 11 and 12. U.S. President Donald Trump already has foreshadowed this pressure, which could include threats to withdraw U.S. forces from Europe or to cancel major NATO exercises, by sending strongly worded letters to the leaders of several NATO allies, including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada. While the United States has a case to make that the alliance's member states are not living up to their commitment to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their own defense, NATO remains a critical component of the United States' global dominance.

Trump, Putin and a Contentious State of Affairs on the Continent

By Reva Goujon

U.S. President Donald Trump's return to the NATO summit will bring with it a repeat of a set of familiar negotiating tactics, which are more likely to deepen the chasm between the White House and some security allies. While U.S. relations with the Western European powers will remain strained, Eastern European allies will try to deepen their energy and security ties with Washington in hopes of muddying a potential U.S.-Russia rapprochement. While negotiations with Moscow on a host of issues could serve a strategic purpose, that strategy would be greatly undermined if the White House inadvertently plays to the Kremlin on dividing the West.

NATO Must Revamp Wartime Command Structure

By LUCJA SWIATKOWSKI CANNON

Our Paul McLeary is traveling with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to the NATO Summit in Brussels this week so we’ll be providing in-depth alliance coverage leading up to RIAT and Farnborough and during President Trump’s European visit. Tomorrow, we’re publishing another NATO piece by Michael Matlaga of CSIS. In keeping with all that, we offer this intriguing call for changes to NATO’s command and control system. Sen. John McCain identified this as a key effort for the summit in a statement Tuesday. He also reminded us of what really matters in the current atmosphere: “I hope that during the upcoming summit we will continue to see progress on command structure reforms, new initiatives aimed at countering terrorism and enhancing readiness, and renewed support for the Open Door policy through accession talks with Macedonia. These developments will send a stronger message of NATO’s commitment to collective defense than any tweet.” Read on to relish author Lucja Swiatkowski Cannon’s arguments on NATO C2. The Editor.

A Strategic Reset for NATO

by Zalmay Khalilzad

At the NATO summit this week, President Donald Trump will undoubtedly criticize allies for not spending enough on defense and for pursuing their own economic wellbeing, in part at the expense of the United States. The president has been lambasted for criticizing U.S. allies and indeed, our alliances are important and represent some of the greatest achievements of U.S. foreign policy. However, Trump’s criticisms are justified. NATO must reform; it is not sustainable in its present form. The alliance is ill-structured, ill-equipped and ill-financed to deal with the European region’s two major security problems—an aggressive Russia and the spillover of instability and terrorism from the Middle East and North Africa—leaving aside emerging global security challenges. Worse, at times some members can even be said to have enabled the threat. One example being the massive German purchase of Russian gas, which provides Putin with ongoing financing. To deal effectively with these challenges on an equitable and sustained basis among allies, the terms of the partnership must be renegotiated and its common ground redefined. This is in Europe’s best interest too.

Thailand cave rescue: how did the boys get out?

Seán Clarke, Paul Torpey, Paul Scruton, Michael Safi, Daniel Levitt, Pablo Gutiérrez and Chris Watson

All of the 12 Thai boys who became stranded inside a flooded cave network have been rescued, along with their coach. The perilous operation to extract them took place as rainy weather moved in  The Moo Pa (Wild Boars) academy team, whose ages range from 11 to 16, became trapped with their 25-year-old coach, Ekaphol Chantawong, inside the six-mile Tham Luang cave in the Doi Nang Non mountain range on 23 June.




NATO Has A Good Story To Tell, But Is Its Audience Of One Listening?

By PAUL MCLEARY
Source Link

BRUSSELS: Despite the headlines predicting disaster in Brussels, there is some good news for NATO allies to promote during their annual summit that kicks off here on Wednesday. But how much of that story will filter out of the gleaming new NATO headquarters after President Donald Trump airs his grievances over the alliance’s defense spending? That’s the question that officials are grappling with in the final hours before the summit kicks off.

AI, automation, and the future of work: Ten things to solve for

By James Manyika and Kevin Sneader

As machines increasingly complement human labor in the workplace, we will all need to adjust to reap the benefits. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming businesses and will contribute to economic growth via contributions to productivity. They will also help address “moonshot” societal challenges in areas from health to climate change. At the same time, these technologies will transform the nature of work and the workplace itself. Machines will be able to carry out more of the tasks done by humans, complement the work that humans do, and even perform some tasks that go beyond what humans can do. As a result, some occupations will decline, others will grow, and many more will change. 

Blockchain beyond the hype: What is the strategic business value?

By Brant Carson, Giulio Romanelli, Patricia Walsh, and Askhat Zhumaev

Speculation on the value of blockchain is rife, with Bitcoin—the first and most infamous application of blockchain—grabbing headlines for its rocketing price and volatility. That the focus of blockchain is wrapped up with Bitcoin is not surprising given that its market value surged from less than $20 billion to more than $200 billion over the course of 2017.1Yet Bitcoin is only the first application of blockchain technology that has captured the attention of government and industry. 

National Security Concerns Over Hackers Commandeering Satellites

By Candice Lanier

The number of satellites transmitting GPS locations, cellphone signals and other sensitive information has been rapidly increasing, which has resulted in the creation of favorable circumstances for hackers. Even with all the advances in satellite technology, much of the US military’s satellite technology remains vulnerable. Earlier in the month, Bleeping Computer reported on a cyber-espionage group believed to be operating out of China who hacked companies who develop satellite communications and geospatial imaging. They also targeted defense contractors from the US and Southeast Asia:

Tomorrow’s Quantum Computers Are Already Threatening Today’s Data

BY JOHN BREEDEN II

It may seem like the plot of a new Terminator movie, but quantum computers from the future are threatening government data today. But before you accuse me of wearing my tinfoil hat a little too tightly, consider the fact that the future we are talking about may not be that far off. IBM perfected a 50-qbit quantum computer last year and recently opened up its older 20-qbit model for anyone to play with on the web. They estimate that large-scale quantum computers are a mere five years, or less, away.

Summary: The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Strategy

By Hayley Evans 

With an anticipated 20 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020, cybersecurity has become a core component of homeland security. Complicating the threat picture, nation-states have begun to use proxies, and malicious actors with apparent criminal and nation-state affiliations now engage in online criminal activity. In 2015, an intrusion into a federal agency resulted in the compromise of over 4 million federal employees’ personnel records, affecting nearly 22 million people. The proliferation of internet-of-things devices increases the chances that cyberactivity and ransomware incidents—such as WannaCry and NotPetya—will have serious kinetic consequences.

HARNESSING TECH INNOVATION FROM BLOCKCHAIN TO KILL CHAIN

By Jimmy Drennan

With all of the hype surrounding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it can be difficult to sort through the noise and it might seem trendy to ask the question “How can this technology benefit my organization?” After all, a cryptocurrency started as a joke in honor of dog memes recently achieved a $2B valuation. Still, the underlying technological innovation behind Bitcoin, the blockchain, has real, concrete advantages that can impact numerous industries, from banking to logistics.

13 July 2018

The staggering rise of India’s super-rich

By James Crabtree

On 3 May, at around 4.45pm, a short, trim Indian man walked quickly down London’s Old Compton Street, his head bowed as if trying not to be seen. From his seat by the window of a nearby noodle bar, Anuvab Pal recognised him instantly. “He is tiny, and his face had been all over every newspaper in India,” Pal recalled. “I knew it was him.” Few in Britain would have given the passing figure a second look. And that, in a way, was the point. The man pacing through Soho on that Wednesday night was Nirav Modi: Indian jeweller, billionaire and international fugitive.

India's new 'Modi doctrine' straddles the US-China divide


The game plan has changed.

Military watchers were surprised earlier this month when the Chinese People's Liberation Army sent a 10-member, high-level delegation to New Delhi. The officials went for talks "to promote strategic trust and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two militaries," according to Luo Zhaohui, China's ambassador to India. Only a year ago, the neighbors appeared to come closer to war than at any point in the last half-century. Chinese and Indian soldiers stood eyeball to eyeball for two and a half months in the border area of Doklam, where the two countries and Bhutan intersect.

India Will Lose "All Other Privileges" If It Cuts Oil Imports, Warns Iran


Iran on Tuesday criticised India for not fulfilling its promise of making investments in expansion of the strategically located Chabahar port and said New Delhi will stand to lose "special privileges" if it cuts import of Iranian oil. Iran's Deputy Ambassador and Charge d'Affaires Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi said Iran will end the privileges being provided to India if it tries to source oil from countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, the US and others to offset cuts in Iranian oil. "It is unfortunate that Indian investment promises for expansion of Chabahar port and its connectivity projects have not been accomplished so far. It is expected that India takes immediate necessary measures in this regard if its cooperation and engagement in Chabahar port is of strategic nature," he said.

Too little, too late: The mainstreaming of Pakistan’s tribal regions

KRITI M. SHAH

Situated in the northwest part of Pakistan, along the Afghanistan border, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas or FATA is one of the most dangerous places in the world and has been the home-base for jihad and terrorism in South Asia. Governed by colonial era laws, and damaged by militancy and military operations, FATA residents remain second-class citizens, treated differently from the rest of Pakistan. This paper looks at the government's recent push to mainstream FATA and what it will mean for militancy in the region.

CHINA IS QUIETLY CONDUCTING ELECTRONIC WARFARE TESTS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA


China is quietly conducting electronic warfare tests in the South China Sea

· China is quietly testing electronic warfare assets recently installed at fortified outposts in the South China Sea, sources tell CNBC.

· Electronic warfare assets are designed to confuse or disable communications and radar systems.

· A Pentagon spokesperson declined to comment on intelligence matters.

Public cloud in China: Big challenges, big upside

By Hari Kannan and Christopher Thomas

Ask any business in the United States or other major market about cloud usage, and many will claim that it’s already standard. But that’s not the case in China, where most companies still rely on local computing in their own data centers. For Chinese business leaders, the hesitation to adopt cloud technologies isn’t just an IT issue—it’s at the root of a much larger problem. Although China is technologically advanced in many respects, with the world’s largest e-commerce market and a thriving mobile-payments landscape, businesses have been slow to invest in IT initiatives that improve operational efficiencies or provide a competitive advantage, including those related to automation or advanced analytics.1China’s delay in moving to the enterprise cloud is one major factor behind the low digitization rates.

China's Unlikely Weapon: Tourists

By Evan Rees

China will increasingly play gatekeeper to the country's growing middle-class market for luxury goods, manufactures and food products. This consumer class will only gain more clout in the coming decades. Flows of Chinese tourists will be an unexpected tool of statecraft, raising the potential for sharp disruptions to the travel and aviation sectors.
These risks are particularly high in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, but extend across Southeast Asia and into the islands of the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific. Decades of explosive economic growth has handed China numerous tools it can use to exert its influence abroad. Massive defense outlays, foreign direct investment and the sprawling Belt and Road Initiative are the most visible expressions of China's economic might. But amid these earthshaking projects, the Chinese consumer has slowly gained clout. And as mounting trade tensions with the United States have shown, China can and will regulate access to its growing market.

The China-US Confrontation: A Russian View

By Emil Avdaliani
Source Link

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: China and the US have different geopolitical imperatives, so tensions are bound to increase between the two powers. Russia’s position in the nascent confrontation will be important to watch, as it is simultaneously under pressure from the West and in the shadow of Chinese economic strength. Russia will likely see US-China competition as providing an opportunity to improve its own geopolitical position. China, which is poised to become a powerful player in international politics thanks to its economic rise and concurrent military development, has strategic imperatives that clash with those of the US. Beijing needs to secure its procurement of oil and gas resources, which are currently most available through the Malakka Strait. In an age of US naval dominance, the Chinese imperative is to redirect its economy’s dependence – as well as its supply routes – elsewhere.

Dealing With China in the South China Sea: Duterte Changing Course


In 2013 the Philip­pines brought a case before the Per­manent Court of Arbi­tration (PCA) against China over ter­ritorial sove­reignty and mari­time rights in the South China Sea. Ad­mitted­ly, they were suc­ces­sful before the court, but in the after­math the ten­sions bet­ween both parties iten­si­fied drama­ti­cally - and no con­flict re­so­lution was in sight. Philip­pine President Duterte, in­au­gu­rated in 2016, as­sumed a new stance. He offered to ignore the court ruling for the time being, in­ten­si­fied eco­nomic re­lations and re-es­tab­lished bi­lateral com­muni­cation chan­nels.

Shaking Up Algeria's Government, One Small Reform at a Time


Algeria's economy is struggling, and its citizens are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the stubborn ruling parties that have held a tight grip on power for two decades. The economic woes have galvanized members of the feeble political opposition, who are demanding reforms such as economic diversification and the loosening of restrictive foreign investment regulations. Dramatic economic reforms are unlikely under the current Algerian leadership, but even small changes, especially adjustments to foreign investment laws, are big in the context of the country's long-stagnant political system.

The Trump Doctrine


A doctrine is how a president is forced to operate foreign policy in the reality in which he finds himself. Sometimes, presidents proclaim their own foreign policy doctrines. Other times, observers see a coherent pattern in a president’s foreign policy and outline the doctrine for him. In both cases, doctrines ought to be seen not as strokes of genius or decisions made at the will of the president but as actions imposed on him and dictated by reality.

The Trump-Putin Summit’s Potential Nuclear Fallout

BY JON WOLFSTHAL
Source Link

The July 16 summit in Helsinki between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin presents a unique opportunity to reverse the dangerous nuclear competition between the United States and Russia and should be welcomed, despite its inherent risks. The opportunity to stabilize U.S.-Russian nuclear relations by extending New START, a key nuclear treaty that is set to expire in 2021, is paramount and worth the issues that come with any meeting between Trump and Putin.

TRUMP WILL BE HIS OWN WORST ENEMY IN BRUSSELS

BY JOHN R. DENI 
By most accounts, there’s great trepidation within Europe over this week’s summit meeting between President Trump and the leaders of America’s closest allies. Ostensibly, the 2018 NATO summit—the first formal summit in two years—will focus on a new initiative to promote military readiness, the streamlining of alliance decision-making during crises, and the creation of additional alliance command structures. 
But leaders across Europe know the American president is likely to focus on a single issue in public and private—defense spending. The problem is, history shows that berating U.S. allies to contribute more to the common defense has rarely worked. Moreover, the president has inadvertently undermined the most effective means for achieving the fair burden-sharing that the U.S. government seeks.

Stuck Between the U.S. and the EU, Poland Explores Its Options


Friction between the United States and the European Union will force Poland to find a balance between its main security ally and its main economic partners. Poland will seek to preserve its alliance with the United States on issues varying from energy to security. While Poland will remain skeptical of European integration, it will not do anything to jeopardize its membership in the Continental union. These are turbulent times for U.S.-EU relations. In recent weeks, the White House and the European Union have clashed over various issues, including the Iran nuclear deal, defense and trade, and have produced friction that could disrupt the political, economic and security institutions that the United States and Europe created after World War II. The developments give most European countries cause for concern, but the issues represent a particularly significant challenge for Poland, because its main security ally — the United States — is at odds with its main economic partner — the European Union. The disputes threaten Poland's interests, but this period of difficulty also presents Warsaw with a variety of options and opportunities.

TRUMP'S TWO SUMMITS: CAN NATO NAVIGATE THE DANGERS?


Donald Trump attacked his allies at the G7 summit, then embraced North Korea’s Kim. Will summits with NATO and Vladimir Putin follow the same pattern? NATO leaders are worried about what US President Donald Trump may say at the NATO summit in Brussels this month, and what he might agree to in his first proper summit meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin a few days later (the two have so far only held a short bilateral meeting, in the margins of the G20 Hamburg summit in July 2017). A bad tempered NATO summit followed by an ill-considered rapprochement with Russia would further divide the West.

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) is conducting a bipartisan investigation into a wide range of Russian activities relating to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While elements of the investigation are ongoing, the Committee is releasing initial, unclassified findings on a rolling basis as distinct pieces of the investigation conclude. The Committee has concluded an in-depth review of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) produced by CIA, NSA, and FBI in January of 2017 on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election (Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections; declassified version released January 6, 2017) and have initial findings to share with the American people.

DIGITAL ENGINEERING STRATEGY

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) requires robust engineering practices to develop the weapon systems the Nation needs to maintain superiority against threats from adversaries worldwide. Traditionally, the Department has relied on a linear process to develop complex systems that serve a range of missions and users. Often the acquisition engineering processes are documentintensive and stove-piped, leading to extended cycle times with systems that are cumbersome to change and sustain. The DoD faces the challenge of balancing design, delivery, and sustainment of complex systems with rapidly changing operational and threat environments, tight budgets, and aggressive schedules.

Global Freshwater Availability Trends


Key Points

The NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission tracked trends in global freshwater supplies from 2002 to 2016. An analysis of the satellite data identified 19 hotspots where there were dramatic increases in water stress. Some of that stress could be alleviated by the application of green solutions, such as wastewater recycling, to reduce the reliance on grey infrastructure, such as reservoirs. Countries need to develop multilateral, co-operative management practices and initiatives for shared water resources, including the fostering of transboundary water sharing agreements.

Want satellite imagery but not satellites? This company can help.

By: Maddy Longwell  

An Argentine satellite company has launched a subscription-based service that will allow customers, including government agencies or non-governmental organizations, to purchase satellite images over a specified area of interest. Satellogic satellites collect both high-resolution images, with 1-meter resolution, and hyperspectral images, which can show more detailed information about objects, such as their chemical composition. The company’s new venture, known as the Dedicated Earth Observation Satellite Program, offers access to customized images and data.

Easing the regulatory burden on the Internet of Things

Rahul Matthan
They say that by 2020, there will be 50 billion connected things on the planet. This already includes your refrigerator, weighing scale, coffee machine, household lighting systems and intelligent assistants, and will very soon (if not already) extend to the cars you use to commute, the restaurants and pubs you visit and even the locomotives and aeroplanes in which you travel. As good as they are on their own, it is only when smart devices connect to each other that their utility undergoes a phase transformation. Smart cars that speak to our home automation systems can provide our smart homes with advance information of our exact location on our commute back from work, initiating a series of workflows that will ensure that the lights come on and the air conditioning has cooled the house to the correct temperature so that our home welcomes us properly when we arrive. This is the power of the Internet of Things (IoT). And as much as we might marvel at all it has to offer us, the true promise of the connected world is still ahead of us.

Amit Yoran Interview: Cyberattacks Targeting Critical Infrastructure Must Be Addressed

BY DAN LOHRMANN 
Current Tenable Chairman and CEO Amit Yoran’s career is beyond impressive. Yoran is a cybersecurity rock star. In this exclusive interview, we provide a glimpse into his security past, Tenable’s current technology priorities and future cybertrends. His immediate focus: Critical infrastructures are facing daily cyberattacks and our cyberexposure to system vulnerabilities must be an urgent priority. Back on June 25, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation aimed at securing technology used to power critical infrastructure from cyberattacks. According to TheHill.com: “The bill offered by Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) would codify work the Department of Homeland Security is currently doing to identify cyber threats to industrial control systems and mitigate them. Industrial control systems are used to run critical services in the United States, including the electric grid, water systems, and manufacturing plants.”

Defining offensive cyber capabilities


Introduction

States are developing and exercising offensive cyber capabilities. The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia have declared that they have used offensive cyber operations against Islamic State,1 but some smaller nations, such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Greece, are also relatively transparent about the fact that they have offensive cyber capabilities.2 North Korea, Russia and Iran have also launched destructive offensive cyber operations, some of which have caused widespread damage.3 The US intelligence community reported that as of late 2016 more than 30 states were developing offensive cyber capabilities.4

No middle ground: Moving on from the crypto wars

Stefan Soesanto 

Accepting a middle ground or finding a balanced solution on the issue of encryption is neither feasible nor, in fact, desirable. Privacy advocates and security researchers are destined to win the fight on stronger encryption and against key escrow, but they will lose the war on security – and most likely fragment along those fault lines in the not-so-distant future. In Europe, no single vision on how to tackle the challenges created by the rise of encryption currently exists on the political level. 

As Trump pushes Space Force, support quietly builds for 'Space Guard'

By BRYAN BENDER

Trump wants a stand-alone branch of the military — co-equal with the Army, Navy and Air Force — to ensure “dominance in space” and deter nations such as Russia and China from threatening America’s reliance on space technologies for defense and commerce. But civilian and military strategists are also pondering the idea of a U.S. Space Guard to meet a variety of other needs in and beyond orbit. Those include enforcing laws and regulations to manage a burgeoning civilian space economy, ranging from asteroid mining to moon bases, private space stations and tourism — all functions that the military would be ill-suited to handle. The Coast Guard, a military service within the Department of Homeland Security, serves a similar law enforcement and regulatory role in the maritime domain. And in a recent paper, one military officer argued that a Space Guard could “extend this role naturally to the next frontier.”

After Strava, Polar is Revealing the Homes of Soldiers and Spies

Polar, a fitness app, is revealing the homes and lives of people exercising in secretive locations, such as intelligence agencies, military bases and airfields, nuclear weapons storage sites, and embassies around the world, a joint investigation of Bellingcat and Dutch journalism platform De Correspondent reveals. In January Nathan Ruser discovered that the fitness app Strava revealed sensitive locations throughout the world as it tracked and published the exercises of individuals, including soldiers at secret (or, “secret”) military outposts. The discovery of those military sites made headlines globally, but Polar, which can feed into the Strava app, is revealing even more.