15 July 2018

What is China's State Capitalism, Anyway?

by Frank Li

The dramatic rise of China over the past four decades not only has rocketed China's economy to the top of the world (in terms of PPP - purchasing power parity), with no end in sight, but also is ending western dominance over the past 200 years, at least. What does that mean to the world? Everything, from democracy (End of Democracy?) to human rights (Human Rights: Yet Another Big and Fat Western Lie!)! Behind the China miracle is her system called "state capitalism". What, then, is it?

After Trump's new tariff threat, China may either have to blink or widen the trade war

By DON LEE and JIM PUZZANGHERA

President Trump’s latest threat of tariffs against China, on imports totaling roughly $200 billion, substantially raises the stakes for Beijing and could push the two countries’ trade war beyond the tit-for-tat duties seen so far. China’s Commerce Ministry said Wednesday that the nation would act with “necessary counter-measures,” but did not say that the government would retaliate in commensurate fashion, as it has promptly done in the past. The pause in brinkmanship reflects the quandary now facing Beijing. The new U.S. proposed levies would be on top of 25% tariffs that the Trump administration has assessed on $50 billion of Chinese goods, $34 billion of which took effect last Friday. On that day, China fired back with tariffs of the same amount.

Chinese Hackers Target Satellite, Geospatial Imaging, Defense Companies

By Catalin Cimpanu

A cyber-espionage group believed to be operating out of China hacked companies who develop satellite communications, geospatial imaging, and defense contractors from both United States and Southeast Asia.
The hacks were detected by US cyber-security firm Symantec, who said today in a report that intruders showed particular interest in the operational side of the breached companies. Hackers tried to reach and paid close attention to infecting computer systems used for controlling communications satellites or those working with geospatial data collected by world-mapping satellites.

Whither Wahhabism

by James M. Dorsey

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Salman could well dash expectations that he is gunning for a break with Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism rather than a shaving off of the rough edges of Wahhabi ideology that has been woven into the kingdom’s fabric since its founding more than eighty years ago. Prince Mohammed has fueled expectations by fostering Islamic scholars who advocate a revision of Wahhabism as well as by lifting a ban on women’s driving and creating space for entertainment, including music, theatre, film, and, for conservatives, controversial sports events like wrestling.

The Meaning of the Western Alliance

DANIEL FRIED

Even before he left for Europe, Donald Trump had started with the demands and acrimony he brought with him to this week’s nato summit. So right beforehand, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, pushed back. He urged America to appreciate its allies, pointing out that America didn’t have that many. Trump’s tone at the summit indicated he was more interested in hectoring them about military spending. But Tusk’s own biography shows exactly why the alliance is about so much more than defense budgets.

The Mathematics Versus the Politics of Immigration

By David Kampf

The United States is being inundated by asylum seekers. Europe is being flooded by refugees. An exodus from poor countries is overwhelming rich countries -- illegal workers steal jobs, migrants pocket welfare benefits, and foreign criminals endanger society. Migration is often branded as a problem and the root of other troubles. But the truth is that migration can help countries rich and poor. It is not a threat that needs to be contained; it’s an opportunity that should be seized. And perhaps more important, it is impossible to stop. 

THE NIGHTMARE OF THE DARK: THE SECURITY FEARS THAT KEEP EUROPEANS AWAKE AT NIGHT


Introduction

The security of the European Union is being challenged like never before. Central tenets of the international system that Europeans helped build are eroding or even disintegrating one by one. Great power competition is increasingly shaping Europeans’ security environment, while other security threats are also on the rise, from terrorism and cyber attacks to climate change. The EU now faces security threats from its east and south – and an uncertain ally in the West. To the east, a new kind of uneasy neighbourly relationship with Russia is developing – one that appears to involve Europeans accepting Russian meddling in their political affairs, from deliberate interference in elections to cyber attacks on European companies, systems, and political machinery. Further east, China continues to deepen its influence on EU states through trade and investment in the Union and its neighbourhood.

Germany Lines Up with China in Trade War

BY DAVID P. GOLDMAN 

Germany's top manufacturing companies -- Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, BASF and Siemens -- announced tens of billions of dollars of new investments in China as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang posed for a photo op with German Chancellor Merkel in Berlin. Houston, we've got a problem. Forget about Harley-Davidson. Some of the world's most powerful industrial firms have just given China a gigantic vote of confidence. BMW will expand its joint venture with Brilliance Auto to produce 519,000 vehicles a year. It also set up a joint venture to produce an electric version of the Mini together with Great Wall Auto. And it agreed to buy $4.7 billion worth of batteries from Chinese producer CATL, which just announced a new plant in southern Germany. Volkswagen earlier this year announced that it would invest $18 billion in China by 2022 and construct six plants to build electric vehicles. Oh, and BMW will move some of its SUV production out of its South Carolina plant in response to auto tariffs.

World Cup 2018: Croatia’s Conflict Resolution

Ivan Sršen

The summer of 1990, for those who lived in what was then Yugoslavia, was something like the summer of 1939 in Europe: warm and easy-going, spent mostly on the beach with a cold beer in hand, or—if you were far from any sea or lake—in the shade of a tree or a tall building, comfortably cooling your feet in a washbowl. No one expected the sudden break-up of that Balkan country, or at least not me, then an eleven-year-old boy.

How the U.S.-led Trade Wars Imperil the Global Economy


The recent trade skirmishes between the U.S. and China escalated yesterday with the Trump administration levying tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of imports from China. The 10% tariffs will apply from August 30 to a long list of products including seafood, home appliances, industrial components and phone accessories, but excluding mobile phones. In what many are calling an all-out war, the latest action comes on top of the U.S. levying tariffs on $34 billion worth of imports from China earlier this month and the latter immediately responding with eye-for-an-eye tariffs on imports from the U.S. The U.S. had also slapped import levies in January on solar panels and washing machines, and in March on steel and aluminum. They triggered retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports from its NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico, and from the European Union.

What America Gets Out of NATO

By Nicholas Burns

Donald Trump prepared for this week’s NATO summit by doing what no president had done before — making a case that the alliance is a bad deal for the American people. Last week in Great Falls, Mont., he said that he had told Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, “I don’t know how much protection we get by protecting you.” Mr. Trump has been even tougher on the European Union, branding it “as bad as Nafta” and adding, “Sometimes our worst enemies are our so-called friends.”

The Global Economy’s Uncertain Future

By JIM O'NEILL

LONDON – At the start of 2018, most of the world economy was experiencing a synchronized cyclical recovery that seemed to herald a longer period of sustainable growth and an end to the decade-long hangover from the 2008 slump. Despite the shock of Brexit, storm clouds over the Middle East and Korean Peninsula, and US President Donald Trump’s unpredictable behavior, rising investment and wages, alongside falling rates of unemployment, appeared to be in the offing. Yet, as I warned in January, “the global mood [had] shifted from fear about political risks to obliviousness, even though many such risks still loom large.” Moreover, while my preferred global indicators were all looking up, I worried about whether that would continue after the first half of 2018, given foreseeable complications such as monetary-policy tightening across advanced economies, especially in the US.

Information Operations are a Cybersecurity Problem: Toward a New Strategic Paradigm to Combat Disinformation

by Jonathon Morganand Renee DiResta

Disinformation, misinformation, and social media hoaxes have evolved from a nuisance into high-stakes information war. State actors with geopolitical motivations, ideological true believers, non-state violent extremists, and economically-motivated enterprises are able to manipulate narratives on social media with ease, and it’s happening each and every day. Traditional analysis of propaganda and disinformation has focused fairly narrowly on understanding the perpetrators and trying to fact-check the narratives (fight narratives with counter-narratives, fight speech with more speech). Today’s information operations, however, are materially different – they’re computational. They’re driven by algorithms and are conducted with unprecedented scale and efficiency. To push a narrative today, content is quickly assembled, posted to platforms with large standing audiences, targeted at those most likely to be receptive to it, and then the platform’s algorithms are manipulated to make the content go viral (or at least, to make it easily discoverable). These operations are exploiting weakness in our information ecosystem. To combat this evolving threat, we have to address those structural weaknesses…but as platform features change and determined adversaries find new tactics, it often feels like whack-a-mole. It’s time to change our way of thinking about propaganda and disinformation: it’s not a truth-in-narrative issue, it’s an adversarial attack in the information space. Info ops are a cybersecurity issue.

The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News


ROBINSON MEYER

The massive new study analyzes every major contested news story in English across the span of Twitter’s existence—some 126,000 stories, tweeted by 3 million users, over more than 10 years—and finds that the truth simply cannot compete with hoax and rumor. By every common metric, falsehood consistently dominates the truth on Twitter, the study finds: Fake news and false rumors reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network, and spread much faster than accurate stories. “It seems to be pretty clear [from our study] that false information outperforms true information,” said Soroush Vosoughi, a data scientist at MIT who has studied fake news since 2013 and who led this study. “And that is not just because of bots. It might have something to do with human nature.” 

Waging cyber war without a rulebook


By Derek B. Johnson 

For years, security experts have warned of an impending cyber Pearl Harbor: an attack so big and bold that it cripples U.S. infrastructure and demands a military response. However, in interviews with former White House and executive branch officials as well as members of Congress and staffers involved in cyber policy, many expressed more concern about the potential for a Cyber Gulf of Tonkin: a misunderstanding or misattribution around an event that precipitates or is used as a justification for war. "I think we should all be concerned about a [misunderstanding] or something that is made to look like someone else took action," said Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), a co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. "Attribution is very difficult, although we are getting much better at it. There's no doubt there could always be a level of uncertainty."

3-D PRINTING IS THE FUTURE OF FACTORIES (FOR REAL THIS TIME)

JASON PONTIN

Adam Smith, who illuminated their function on the first page of The Wealth of Nations, offered the celebrated example of a pin factory: “I have a seen a small manufactory… where ten men only were employed, and where some of them consequently performed two or three distinct operations. [They] could make among them upwards of forty-eight thousand pins a day… Separately and independently… they certainly could not each of them have made twenty, perhaps not one pin a day.” But the benefits of factories suggest their limitations. They are not reprogrammable: To make different products, a factory must retool with different machines. Thus, the first product shipped is much more expensive than the next million, and innovation is hobbled by need for capital expenditure and is never rapid. More, specialization compels multinational businesses to circle the globe with supply chains and warehouses, because goods must be shipped and stored.

Why America Needs an Independent Space Force

by Francis Grice

President Trump’s recent declaration of a new Space Force was met with ridicule in many quarters. Yet, the reality is that the United States does urgently need a dedicated military space branch that is separate from its Air Force. While the United States has somewhat neglected its space program over the past twenty-five years, China has escalated its efforts in this area, including launching numerous manned space flights, landed a rover on the moon, and deployed multiple unmanned space stations. This has spurred a regional space race with India, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Taiwan, and Iran and more besides. The goal for the most ambitious of these states is not merely to equal American accomplishments, but to push past them, including establishing permanently manned space stations, landing astronauts on the Moon and Mars, and building lunar habitations. If achieved, these feats could knock the United States out of the lead in space for the first time since Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth in 1961.

Hacker Steals Military Docs Because Someone Didn’t Change a Default FTP Password

By Catalin Cimpanu

A hacker is selling sensitive military documents on online hacking forums, a security firm has discovered. Some of the sensitive documents put up for sale include maintenance course books for servicing MQ-9 Reaper drones, various training manuals describing comment deployment tactics for improvised explosive device (IED), an M1 ABRAMS tank operation manual, a crewman training and survival manual, and a document detailing tank platoon tactics. Hacker asking between $150 and $200 for the lot
US-based threat intelligence firm Recorded Future discovered the documents for sale online. They say the hacker was selling the data for a price between $150 and $200, which is a very low asking price for such data.

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.