3 June 2019

Information Warfare: Vendetta


In March 2019 a hacker group calling itself Lab Dookhtegan (“sealed lips” in Farsi, the Iranian language) began releasing details of an Iranian APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) hacker group called OilRig. The details not only included the source code for the tools OilRig used but also details of who they attacked and, worst of all, personal details about members of OilRig. The Lab Dookhtegan never revealed details about who they were although there were indications that Lab Dookhtegan personnel were themselves hackers who may have worked for OilRig. Whatever the case, the OilRig disclosures did not cause OilRig to cease operations and even if efforts continue to track down OilRig personnel and shut down their current operations, OilRig will survive and possibly take a new name and carry on. This has happened before with veteran APTs. OilRig is also known as APT34.

What If cyberwar is unwinnable? | Opinion

By Dr. James Norrie

Recent disclosures by Symantec and the New York Times suggest a recent Chinese cybersecurity hack against U.S. interests involved re-purposing and then attacking us with a cyberweapon using previously deployed, NSA-manufactured hacking code. They had intercepted after it was used against them.

The age of unwinnable cyberwar is upon us.

Think of this situation as analogous to neighbors throwing rocks at each other. Obviously, the first thrown rock is easily retrieved and re-launched at the opposing side. And subsequently so. This can go on forever until one side either gains strength in additional attackers, or escalates by deploying a new weapon.

At that point, one side prevails, “winning” the war. For nations, the advantages of war have always been justified as securing a strategic, economic or cultural/religious gain. We typically fight wars to support ambitions of dominance.

PwC focuses on cyber attacks


PwC is seeing an escalation in the sophistication and impact of cyber attacks across the globe. This, coupled with the fact that organisations need to protect themselves against a plethora of attacks while attackers only require a single vulnerability in an organisation's defences to be successful, is a scary prospect for business leaders charged with the security and sustainability of large organisations.

In PwC's 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey, released in January 2019, cyber threats were identified as the fifth largest threat to global growth, following over-regulation, policy uncertainty, the availability of skills and trade conflicts.1 As companies increasingly embrace digitisation, automation and artificial intelligence, the risk of cyber crime continues to grow.2

The sixth South African edition of PwC's Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey3, released in 2018, highlighted that 26% of South African organisations expect cyber crime to be the most disruptive type of economic crime over the next two years.

Look Beyond Quotas for Equality

BY PRANAY KOTASTHANE AND NITIN PAI

Affirmative action aimed at ending discrimination has a long and complex history in India. A new chapter was added to this story on May 10 when the Supreme Court upheld a Karnataka law, saying quotas for promotion of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe candidates in public employment was constitutional and did not require demonstrating ‘backwardness’ of the community.

In January, the Union cabinet approved a Constitution Amendment Bill to provide 10% reservation to economically backward sections. And a month later, the Karnataka government amended rules to give priority to Kannadigas in C&D group jobs in private companies.

In short, even groups opposed to quotas want the same benefit extended to them. For long, this has been the only solution to address inequity in India. So these recent developments provide a good opportunity to reflect on the question: can we imagine better ways to achieve social equity goals?

The World Economic Forum wants to develop global rules for AI

by Will Knight

This week, AI experts, politicians, and CEOs will gather to ask an important question: Can the United States, China, or anyone else agree on how artificial intelligence should be used and controlled?

The World Economic Forum, the international organization that brings together the world’s rich and powerful to discuss global issues at Davos each year, will host the event in San Francisco.

The WEF will also announce the creation of an “AI Council” designed to find common ground on policy between nations that increasingly seem at odds over the power and the potential of AI and other emerging technologies (see “Trump’s feud with Huawei and China could lead to the Balkanization of tech”).

The issue is of paramount importance given the current geopolitical winds. AI is widely viewed as critical to national competitiveness and geopolitical advantage. The effort to find common ground is also important considering the way technology is driving a wedge between countries, especially the United States and its big economic rival, China.

Cyber Is the Perfect Weapon

By Julianne Simpson

Cyber is fundamentally changing the national security landscape. David Sanger, national security correspondent for The New York Times and author of The Perfect Weapon, used his keynote address on day two of the AFCEA-GMU C4I and Cyber Center Symposium not to explain what is happening, but why this is happening.

To illustrate the new age of weaponizing information, Sanger described the differences between Watergate and the hack of the DNC in December 2016. The Russians didn’t have to do anything the Watergate hackers did.

“They didn’t have to break into the building, jimmy the lock or tape the door. In fact they never left Red Square,” said Sanger. “We know this because Dutch intelligence had cameras on them. This technology has enabled a kind-of long distance approach into the U.S. that we are only starting to get our heads around,” Sanger stressed. 

Document of the Week: How JFK Tried to Stop Nuclear Proliferation

BY COLUM LYNCH 

For U.S. President Donald Trump, nuclear weapons are the future.

The president is seeking to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal, pressing for the development of tactical nuclear weapons that can be used in a conventional war. The White House has announced plans to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, citing Russia’s violation of the Cold War pact. In anticipation, Trump has requested almost $100 million in fiscal 2020 to produce three new missile systems that would have been prohibited. The United States has also reversed decades of nuclear nonproliferation policy in the Middle East by developing plans to support a nuclear energy program in Saudi Arabia.

2 June 2019

AI AND ITS FUTURE IN INDIA


Even though it’s been around in some form or other for over sixty years, the last decade has seen the rapid growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) globally thanks to massive technological advancements in the field. The result is that AI – which refers to computer systems that are able to perform tasks which normally require human intelligence – has become part and parcel of everyday life. 

But as personal digital assistants like Siri and Bixby become the norm for consumers, technological revolutions are brewing across the world with companies and economies looking to leverage AI-related advancements to boost growth. In India, businesses like Swiggy and Zomato, which have invested heavily in AI over the past couple of years, have witnessed the power of technology to both sustain and increase growth -- and this has steered the discussion towards AI’s potential. 

According to a recent Accenture study, AI can add US$957 billion (15% of current gross value added) to India’s economy by 2035. It’s no surprise then, that the government has introduced bold, multi-pronged initiatives to augment labor productivity and innovation with an eye to driving growth.

Will Balochistan Blow Up China’s Belt and Road?

BY MUHAMMAD AKBAR NOTEZAI 

In 2015, when Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plane entered Pakistani airspace, eight Pakistan Air Force jets scrambled to escort it. The country’s leadership warmly welcomed the Chinese leader—and his money. On his two-day state visit, he announced a multibillion-dollar project called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which would form part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and would revolve around the development of a huge port in the city of Gwadar.

Gwadar, a formerly isolated city in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, boomed. As soon as the CPEC was announced, tourists, including journalists, started visiting Gwadar. The Pearl Continental, the only five-star hotel in the area, had been on the brink of closure. Now guests thronged. But not everyone was happy about that. Baloch nationalists and underground organizations opposed the CPEC from the beginning, on the grounds that it would turn the Baloch people into a minority in their own province. They threatened attacks on any CPEC project anywhere in Balochistan.

Now or Never: America Is on the Clock to Remove Troops from Afghanistan

JARRETT BLANC

Afghanistan has entered a period of intense political uncertainty. In December, President Donald Trump reportedly ordered the Pentagon to draw up plans for drawdown options including a complete troop withdrawal from the country. By March, bilateral talks between the United States, led by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban had “agreed in draft” on counterterrorism assurances the Taliban will provide to the United States and on U.S. troop withdrawal, addressing Washington’s key objectives. Kabul is not at the table, and its needs (an intra-Afghan dialogue and comprehensive ceasefire) were much more loosely “agreed in principle.” An informal intra-Afghan dialogue planned for Doha in April was canceled, and a Loya Jirga to demonstrate non-Taliban unity in Kabul instead laid bare deep divisions, with most opposition leaders refusing to attend.

With Afghanistan’s bedrock security relationship with the U.S. apparently in flux, now they must manage a set of constitutional political transitions with institutions that have never managed previous transitions without severe crises. Afghan parliamentary electionsoriginally due in 2016 finally took place in October 2018. Results were only finalized in May for large parts of the country, including Kabul, amid claims of fraud and mismanagement. Presidential elections have already been postponed from April until September, meaning that President Ashraf Ghani’s term will end in May without a successor in place.

Beware The Decline of U.S. Influence in South Asia

by Minaam Shah

South Asia, for the most part of Donald Trump's presidency, had been quiet up until earlier this year when the region's two main protagonists, India and Pakistan, nearly entered a nuclear face-off. A suicide attack on a paramilitary convoy in Indian controlled Kashmir triggered an aerial dogfight culminating in the capture of an Indian pilot who was later released by Pakistan. The episode marked a major shift in how India responds to terrorist attacks sponsored from across the border: It was the first instance since the Indo-Pak war in 1971 that Indian warplanes had crossed the border and bombed the Pakistani mainland. Naturally, it was expected that the United States, the region's traditional arbitrator, would help diffuse tensions. But for the first time since the early '90s, the United States did not play a significant role in stemming the crisis.

The 5G Fight Is Bigger Than Huawei

BY ELSA B. KANIA 

The latest salvos in the Trump administration’s campaign against Huawei may prove, at best, to be a Pyrrhic victory—or, at worst, directly undermine U.S. interests and objectives. At the moment, it remains unclear how the recent executive order, which creates sweeping authorities to bar and exclude companies or technologies linked to a “foreign adversary” from the United States, and the additionof Huawei to the government blacklist known as the Entity List will be implemented in practice.

It is not too late for U.S. President Donald Trump to recalibrate toward the smarter approach needed for such a complex challenge. In the process, the U.S. government should also pursue more proactive policies that concentrate on ensuring future American competitiveness in 5G, the fifth generation of mobile networks.

The U.S. government is justified in a forceful response to mitigate real, urgent threats to U.S. critical infrastructure, and it is reasonable to constrain high-risk vendors and carriers from U.S. critical infrastructure. However, the framing of this measure in terms of “foreign adversaries” also represents a missed opportunity for the U.S. government to present stronger arguments that reflect the systemic concerns involved, which go far beyond Huawei.

Did China Break the World Economic Order?

YUKON HUANG

Last Friday, the White House raised the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports up to 25 percent. On Monday, China retaliated with tariffs of its own. The trade war is now full-on — except that it’s not really about trade.

China does account for the largest share of America’s trade deficit. But many experts don’t seem to think that bilateral trade deficits are a problem in themselves — they’re just a symptom of other issues (if even that). “The overall United States global trade imbalance is the result of economic conditions in the United States — the excess of investment over savings,” Martin Feldstein, a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, has argued, adding that if America’s trade imbalance with China were eliminated, it would simply shift to other countries.

Whether President Trump is misguided in doggedly pursuing tariffs or playing coy and using them as leverage with the Chinese government, America’s continued drive to levy penalties is less about fixing a trade problem than about changing China’s investment rules. In particular, the Trump administration perceives those rules as forcing the transfer of foreign technology to Chinese companies, unfairly helping them.

China Raises Threat of Rare-Earths Cutoff to U.S.

BY KEITH JOHNSON, ELIAS GROLL 

With a simple visit to an obscure factory on Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping has raised the specter that China could potentially cut off supplies of critical materials needed by huge swaths of the U.S. economy, underscoring growing concerns that large-scale economic integration is boomeranging and becoming a geopolitical weapon.

With the U.S.-China trade war intensifying, Chinese state media last week began floating the idea of banning exports of rare-earth elements to the United States, one of several possible Chinese responses to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to jack up tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods and blacklist telecoms maker Huawei.

U.S. oil refiners rely on rare-earth imports as catalysts to turn crude oil into gasoline and jet fuel. Permanent magnets, which use four different rare-earth elements to differing degrees, pop up in everything including ear buds, wind turbines, and electric cars. And China dominates their production.

Low prices keep Huawei in the 5G game despite US concerns

By Matt Field

Citing national security risks, the US government effectively shut the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei out of the domestic market last week, a shot at China that the Trump administration happened to be taking amid an escalating trade war with Beijing. But Washington is also working to convince its allies to block Huawei from building out their next generation communications networks—an argument that is proving difficult to make, because Huawei offers such consistently low prices.

Sure, countries and big telecommunications companies have their concerns about Huawei. European cellular giant Vodafone Group Plc, for instance, acknowledged last month that even after asking Huawei to remove software backdoors that would allow it to gain access to Vodafone systems in Italy, the problem persisted. Nevertheless, London-based Vodafone will still use Huawei equipment in its future networks. That’s a receptive attitude toward Huawei that Vodafone shares with the UK government. The United Kingdom decided not to ban Huawei from its 5G network outright, but instead to limit the company to building peripheral components.

The Huawei Sanction Might Just Pop the Tech Bubble

Owen Williams

Last week, Chinese tech giant Huawei was officially sanctioned by the United States. That effectively means U.S.-based companies are banned from doing any sort of business with the mobile phone giant moving forward. And this is just the beginning.

After the U.S. sanctions were announced, Google revoked Huawei’s Android license, which could leave millions of smartphone owners stranded without updates. The process has since been temporarily suspended with the Department of Commerce granting Huawei a surprise 90-day permit to support existing customers — but the reprieve only covers existing products, and the window seems unlikely to be extended.

Shortly after Google’s move, computer chipset maker Intel said it couldn’t sell laptop CPUs to Huawei, and a few days later, chip designer ARM announced it couldn’t sell the company smartphone CPUs — even though ARM is based in the U.K., which is technically beyond the reach of the embargo.

The Huawei Disaster Reveals Google’s Iron Grip on Android

Eric Ravenscraft

Google’s Android is pitched as the open, free-for-everyone alternative to the iPhone. However, to comply with a recent order from the U.S. government, Google pulled the Chinese tech company and smartphone manufacturer Huawei’s license to use the proprietary Google software that sits on top of Android. In doing so, Google quietly exposed the powerful control it has over its supposedly open phone ecosystem.

Most Android manufacturers — including Huawei — are what’s known as Google hardware partners. This relationship lets them build their phones around a collection of Google products, from apps like Google Maps and Assistant, to under-the-hood tools like location services or push notifications. While Google gives off the impression that Android is open and available to everyone, these services represent a quiet control that the company doesn’t often enforce over its hardware partners — though, as it has now proven, it certainly can.

Huawei Shows the Chinese Internet will Win

Michael K. Spencer

In late May, 2019 something interesting is occurring. Google has suspended business activity with Huawei, activity that involves the transfer of hardware, software and key technical services. 

Huawei is being locked out of Android

However, Huawei has created its own operating system just for a case like this. This is essentially the bifurcation we are witnessing, where China’s version of the internet has begun to out-innovate the American version.

The trade war is a battle over the future of the internet. Make no mistake about this. America’s Commerce Department, which had effectively halted Huawei’s ability to buy American-made parts and components, is considering issuing a temporary general license to “prevent the interruption of existing network operations and equipment”.
Google confirms that its app store will continue to function for existing Huawei device users.
As Huawei evolves it won’t just beat Apple globally but out-smart Google.

If China cuts rare earth supplies, what can the US do?

By STEPHEN BRYEN

China has once again hinted strongly that it may retaliate against the United States in the latest trade war round by cutting off US supplies of rare earth products. 

While President Donald Trump has raised tariffs on many Chinese exports to the United States, no tariffs were put on rare earth materials. As matters now stand, the US and its top Asian allies are totally dependent on China for rare earth metals and products, a dangerous situation impacting both national security and competitiveness, even halting the emerging battery-powered car market that depends on rare earth materials.

What can the US do?

Why the fears of a U.S.-China tech cold war are overblown

James Pethokoukis

Maybe President Trump's trade ban of telecommunications equipment giant Huawei signals the start of a long-term technological "cold war" between the United States and China. Anti-China hawks in Washington sure hope it does. As they see it, the tech leader of the 21st century will also be its leading economic and military superpower. And perhaps the most important way to make sure the world gets a second American Century is to completely disentangle America's tech sector — including manufacturing, investment capital, research, and workers — from China's. Step one: Kill Huawei, arguably that nation's most import tech firm.

This extreme vision is more grandiose than grand, however, and lacks even the basic elements to transform it beyond a catchphrase. Think about the Cold War in the second half of the last century. Tensions between America and Russia were first given that label in 1947 by financier Bernard Baruch, an economic adviser to President Wilson during World War I and President Roosevelt during World War II. President Kennedy characterized the conflict in his 1961 inaugural address as a "long twilight struggle" to defend freedom around the globe. And President Reagan said it would end with the consignment of Soviet communism "to the ash heap of history," which happened in 1991.

How ISIS Still Threatens Iraq

BY PESHA MAGID 

ABU TEBAN, Iraq—Each day, villagers in the hamlet of Abu Teban fear the arrival of darkness.

“At night, they attack us,” said Dakhyl Ibrahim Ramayed, a local leader, referring to the return of the Islamic State to this desert region of Anbar province. He pointed to the arid land bordering the small clump of homes that make up the village and a nearby blown-up house. “Daesh”—the Arabic pejorative for the Islamic State—can spring out of nowhere, said Ramayed, who was imprisoned eight times under the militant group and knows its brutality first hand.

“We put cameras on the house, guards on the roofs, and our people guard us until the morning because we need to sleep and there are no security forces,” he said.

Will Iran Adopt A “Massive Retaliation” Doctrine?

by Abdolrasool Divsallar

On May 15, Iran announced that it would stop implementing some of its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) as a first response against U.S. sanctions. Additionally, the growing military threat against Iran is strengthening the military aspect of the Iranian government’s response. Beyond the current escalating tension between Iran and the U.S. that has grabbed so much media attention, Tehran is also considering longer-term military measures in response to U.S. pressure. Tehran believes that the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign could deepen the existing military expenditures disparity between Iran and its rivals and disrupt the regional military balance. It obscures Tehran’s military investments and increases the costs of implementing regional aspects of Iran’s deterrence capabilities. Trump sees “maximum pressure” as a way to restrain Iran’s power projection capacity to that of a “normal country“. However, Tehran fears that any future military imbalance could ignite a Saudi- or Israeli-led war even if that is not Trump’s intent. This is convincing Iranian leaders to adopt a new military doctrine.

Making Sense of the European Parliament Election Results

ERIK BRATTBERG

Many observers predicted that the 2019 European Parliament elections would be a referendum on what lies ahead for the European Union (EU). Both far-right populists such as Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and pro-European centrists such as French President Emmanuel Macron fed this narrative, campaigning under the respective banners of “less” versus “more” European integration.

But the early results offer no definitive verdict on Europe’s future direction over the next five years. Anti-European populists are here to stay, but they will not be able to bring the European project down. Yet rising fragmentation and political divisions threaten to sap much of the EU’s unity, vitality, and focus at a crucial juncture. Or it could be an opportunity for the EU to hit the restart button. As other external powers like Russia and China seek to divide Europe, ensuring that the EU does not become ungovernable will be a crucial challenge.

Turkey and Russia are Bitter Frenemies

BY GALIP DALAY

As Turkey and the United States bicker over Turkey’s purchase of an S-400 air defense system from Russia and its cooperation with Moscow in Syria, it is fair to ask whether Turkey and the West are heading for a real separation. It is true that Turkey is drifting away from the West. But it is still too early to say that it is ready to join forces with Russia, particularly in the Middle East.

Turkey is recalibrating its foreign and regional policy at a time when the Middle East is undergoing a major transformation. Russia appears to be doing the same. As both look for more influence in the region, their relationship will be at times cooperative and at times competitive.

For example, Moscow and Ankara were on the brink of military confrontation late in 2015 after Turkey shot down a Russian jet. Less than a year later, they had mended ties and decided to cooperate on Syria and a range of other issues, including defense and nuclear energy. As the relationship between Turkey and Russia shifts, the West should keep in mind that the two countries’ geopolitical aspirations are largely incompatible, and that cooperation today does not imply cooperation tomorrow.

National Security Today Through 2028: Women Leading the Next Decade

Hillary Dickinson and Alexandra Trent

William & Mary Whole of Government Center of Excellence

A dearth of near-peer competitors in the post-Cold War era and the September 11th terrorist attacks incentivized more recent American decision-makers to treat non-state actors as the foremost danger to our national security. But in the years since the commencement of the global war on terror, our security environment has changed: near-peer competition from Russia and China; North Korean and Iranian nuclear capabilities; and threats in non-traditional domains like space and cyberspace all threaten American safety.

Such complex challenges cannot be solved in isolation by individual agencies; rather, they require cohesive strategies that involve all stakeholders, public and private. As William & Mary (W&M) commemorates 100 years of coeducation and the inauguration of President Katherine A. Rowe, our Whole of Government Center of Excellenceheld its Second Annual National Security Conference, “National Security Today Through 2028: Women Leading the Next Decade,” on Thursday, April 4, 2019 to discuss the future national security environment with some of the nation's top leaders.

Improvised Explosive Devices, a Near Perfect Asymmetric Weapon System of Necessity Rather than a Weapon of Choice

Paul Amoroso and Michael Solis

Introduction

The articulation of Counter-IED technical methodology has been reduced to unclear and obscure phrases and concepts that undermine the overall discussion. Specifically, efforts to counter and prevent IED use require precise language; otherwise, the inherent complexity of the problem and associated solutions will be reduced to oversimplified terms and concepts that impair clarity and obscure clear understanding of the problem. The lack of understanding will adversely affect the discussion and the generation of sound and viable solutions. Abstract terms, phrases, and undying allegiances to previously used and often unrealistic solutions undermine our ability to think clearly about the viability of suggested solutions. The reckless regurgitation of words and phrases without thoughtful, clear evaluation perpetuates myths, imprecision, and ignorance. Marc Tranchemontagne broached this subject in his article The Enduring IED Problem, Why We Need Doctrine. He argues that the term weapon of choiceis an uninspired kluge whose meaning is too ambiguous to help us understand the IED problem, and that the expression ought to be retired, especially in policy, doctrine, and other thoughtful writing.[i] Authors Paul Amoroso and Michael Solis seek to dispel this commonly used expression embedded in nearly every brief, paper, or discussion related to the use of IEDs, and that the IED is the weapon of choice among aggressors. They argue, instead, that the IED is a “near perfect asymmetric weapon system of necessity.” For clarity, the terms terrorist, insurgent, and extremist are often used interchangeably depending on the source of information or context from which the information comes. The term IED aggressor[ii] pacifies the sensitive political context and encompasses all perpetrators of IED employment.

Background

Views from the Capitals: European elections


Though the biggest headlines of election night may have been of the Le Pen and Salvini victories, the story across Europe is that voters have mobilised in favour of change. A high turn-out in the European Parliament elections has resulted in a surge for smaller parties, notably greens and liberals, which has effectively countered the rise of far-right parties – preventing them from the kind of sweeping successes in the European elections that were predicted earlier this year. 

Below are the views from our capitals, along with several additional guest contributions, exploring the results from their national perspectives.

The German centre is in a continued decline. The governing parties in Berlin lost massively; CDU (with the Bavarian CSU) lost 7 percent, while the SPD hemorrhaged 11 percent. Tensions are likely to increase between the two “Grand Coalition” parties, now that they do not even represent half of the electorate. 

Game of EU Thrones

HAROLD JAMES


The European Parliament election was a long and complex story with a surprising and, for many, unsatisfactory outcome. Yet notwithstanding the muddled conclusion, a new European political order seems to be emerging – one that is likely to leave traditional parties of both the left and the right behind.

PRINCETON – The European Parliament elections that concluded on May 26 turned out to be a Game of Thrones replay – a long and complex story with a surprising and, for many, unsatisfactory outcome. As with Game of Thrones, some fans are calling for a different ending. They would like to sack the authors and rewrite the script.

For the past 40 years, the United States and other advanced economies have been pursuing a free-market agenda of low taxes, deregulation, and cuts to social programs. There can no longer be any doubt that this approach has failed spectacularly; the only question is what will – and should – come next.9Add to Bookmarks

Former NSA Officer Talks Dangers Of Information Ops

Alarice Rajagopal

Former National Security Agency (NSA) Tailored Access Operations (TAO) Officer, and the Chief of Outreach at the Army Cyber Institute at West Point, Dr. Michael Klipstein appeared on Episode #85 of Task Force 7 Radio this week, with host George Rettas, president and CEO of Task Force 7 Radio and Task Force 7 Technologies. The topic of discussion was information operations including why they are so easy to conduct by Nation States, and how they have become so dangerous to the National Security of the United States.

Rettas and Dr. Klipstein discussed why cyber security has become one of the top national security issues that most western countries face, how the United States has taken a stand of "Defending Forward" and what that means in terms of U.S. Cyber policy. Dr. Klipstein also talked about how the Russian Government has excelled at information operations, what lessons they have taken from China's long term strategy; how hostilities via the Internet are creating new "norms" across the globe; how SouthCom is approaching cyber security operations; and how the United States and its allies should be sharing intelligence information.

When Did Cyber Security Become Such A Big Problem?

Inside the Controversial Company Helping China Control the Future of the Internet

BY CHARLIE CAMPBELL

Dennis Honrud’s family has been farming wheat in eastern Montana for three generations. Unashamedly old school, Honrud sows only half his 6,000 acres, leaving the rest fallow to avoid soil depletion. “There’s not many of us left,” he laments. Like many workers in the global economy, the 68-year-old needs to stay connected, in his case to monitor crop prices and weather updates from his green John Deere tractor. So he asked a telecom provider to put a cell tower in his backyard.

The Honrud property in Glasgow, Mont., is so remote that it wasn’t well covered by any of the big four American carriers–Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. So Honrud turned to the local provider, Nemont Wireless, to install the tower. Today, cell service is pretty good. When the occasional car accident happens on the stretch of highway next to the Honrud farm, highway patrol officers no longer need to drive a mile to get a signal. Now they can place a call from the scene. If that hasn’t saved a life yet, “at some point in time it will,” Honrud says.

Wargames as experiments: The Project on Nuclear Gaming’s SIGNAL framework

By Bethany L. Goldblum, Andrew W. Reddie, Jason C. Reinhardt

What can we learn from the Peloponnesian War that will help us deal with the intersection of cyber and nuclear conflict? What does World War I teach us about the role of nuclear-capable hypersonic weapons in warfare? The short answer to both questions is—probably not much. While extensive scholarship on nuclear warfare and strategy exists, empirical data on the impact of emerging technologies such as cyber weaponry, advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tools, and precision-guided munitions are lacking. Given the importance of policy-relevant research to equip decision-makers with tools to understand nuclear deterrence and reduce the likelihood of nuclear war, the scarcity of data available to analysts remains a critical gap.

Already, scholars are looking to non-traditional data sources to address this challenge. To further that cause, the Project on Nuclear Gaming (PoNG) has embarked on experimental wargaming as a scalable, data-generating process to explore human decision-making during conflict escalation in a controlled environment.

To Win The Cyber War, A Great Defense Is The Best Offense

Edward Wood

In their recent 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment, the United States Intelligence Community (IC) predicted expanded and diversified threats to U.S. national security, driven in large part by China and Russia. This same report revealed that cyberattacks are one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States, and they are increasing in size, sophistication and cost. One could say the U.S. is fighting wars at home and abroad, having to address vulnerabilities on diverse fronts.

For example, Marriott is estimated to have exposed 500 million user accounts. The Yahoo breach affected three billion user accounts (up from an earlier estimate of one billion). And the Equifax breach in 2017 affected nearly 150 million users.

These incidents -- alongside the WannaCry and NotPetya cyberattacks, which occurred in 2017 -- were far larger in scale and more complex than previous attacks. This begs the question: Are foreign adversaries supporting these attacks on many of the U.S.'s largest corporations as part of a new way to wage war?

Should State-Sponsored Cyber-Attacks Compel a Military Response?

Julio Rivera

A few weeks ago, members of the terrorist organization Hamas attempted to execute a cyberattack on Israeli targets. Israel responded by tracing the cyber attack back to a building in the Gaza strip and bombing it to kingdom come. That turn of events brings an interesting question regarding military retaliation when it comes to cyber attacks or espionage to the forefront. Nowadays, cyber-attacks targeting a state are not only used by terrorist organizations like ISIS or Hamas, but by legitimate governments too. Is military force a valid countermeasure when state actors are involved?

Israel's response to Hamas' hacking attempt is not the first time that military action has been taken in response to cyber threats. In 2015, the US launched an airstrike that killed Junaid Hussain, a top-ranking member of ISIS in charge of recruitment using social media.

A Whole-of-Government Approach to Gray Zone Warfare

Ms. Elizabeth G. Troeder

This monograph provides an assessment of gray zone tactics used by the most active U.S. adversaries and builds the case for requiring U.S. Federal agencies to request that the Deputy National Security Advisor convene a National Security Council/Deputies Committee (NSC/DC) meeting whenever any Federal agency deems a gray zone approach to an international issue is appropriate. It also recommends that the United States should pursue the development of a standing National Security Council/Policy Coordination Committee (NSC/PCC) for gray zone solutions, with sub-NSC/PCCs for each component of the 4+1 (Russia, China, Iraq, North Korea, and violent extremist organizations) so that experts can be quickly assembled in times of crisis.

THE ARMY INNOVATES BETTER THAN YOU THINK: A GUIDE TO THINKING ABOUT MULTI-DOMAIN OPERATIONS AND FIGHTING FUTURE WARS

Peter Campbell

Recently, the US Army has been developing a new vision of the future battlefield and how its forces will succeed there. Called Multi-Domain Operations (MDO), this new concept of warfare will enable the force to deal with future fights that span the land, air, maritime, space, and cyber domains. In many ways, MDO is a reaction to a decade of counterinsurgency (COIN) and its effects on the force. The contention is that the Army’s effectiveness at adapting to the threat of insurgency has dulled the skills required to face down a peer or near-peer competitor, like a rising China or Russia. In short, MDO advocates argue that there is a dangerous change underway in the threat environment for which the Army is unprepared. MDO represents the Army’s doctrinal response. For this response to be effective, and avoid previous doctrinal pitfalls, the Army and its civilian leaders must first appreciate the history of and motivations behind previous innovations in the Army. Multi-Domain Operations does not represent the first time the Army has turned against COIN. We are in many ways walking a well-worn doctrinal path, though one often only partially understood by scholars and historians. In the past, the Army engaged in surprising innovations that were based on changes in the threat environment and the availability of resources to address those changes. A number of these innovations confound cultural and bureaucratic perspectives on military innovation. As I discovered while researching and writing a new book, Military Realism: The Logic and Limits of Force and Innovation in the US Army, an analysis of the origins of doctrinal innovation and continuity in the Army from JFK to today offers an important perspective on military innovation. Those lessons from the Army’s own history should inform the way the service thinks about future war, including the move to Multi-Domain Operations.

Why Venezuela’s Regime Hasn’t Collapsed Guaidó and What Army?

By Laura Gamboa Gutiérrez

At dawn on April 30, Venezuelan opposition leaders Juan Guaidó and Leopoldo López appeared at a military base in Caracas and called on citizens and the military to begin the “final phase” of ousting President Nicolás Maduro. Opposition leaders had called on citizens to rise against the government before, but their decision to appeal directly to the military was seen as a game-changer. By sunset that same day, however, López and his family had sought refuge in the Spanish embassy and Guaidó had gone silent for several hours. It was all but certain that the attempted uprising had failed. 

What happened? Some have suggested that Guaidó, who has mounted a direct challenge to Maduro’s presidency since January, did not manage to project enough of a sense of confidence and inevitability for the uprising to gather momentum. Others have claimed that, forced by rumors that the government was going to issue an arrest warrant, Guaidó had jumped the gun and acted a day earlier than he and several military leaders had agreed on, spooking his allies in the armed forces. The truth, however, is more complex.

Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities


Provides a foundation for understanding urban operations and sustaining urban warfare research. This Small Wars Journal (SWJ) Anthology documents over a decade of writings on urban conflict. In addition to essays originally published at SWJ it adds new content including an introduction by the editors, a preface on “Blood and Concrete” by David Kilcullen, a foreword "Urban Warfare Studies" by John Spencer, a postscript “Cities in the Crossfire: The Rise of Urban Violence” by Margarita Konaev, and an afterword “Urban Operations: Meeting Challenges, Seizing Opportunities, Improving the Approach” by Russell W. Glenn. These essays frame the discussion found in the collection’s remaining 49 chapters. Blood and Concrete continues the legacy of Small Was Journal's coverage of urban operations, conflict and combat. - Dave Dilegge, Robert J. Bunker, John P. Sullivan, and Alma Keshavarz, Editors.

1 June 2019

An Unnatural Partnership? The Future of U.S.-India Strategic Cooperation

Dr Samit Ganguly, Dr M Chris Mason

As global competition with an increasingly assertive Chinese Government expands, the strategic relationship between India and the United States is assuming ever-greater importance. From a superficial perspective, a strategic partnership seems to make a great deal of sense for both countries. Yet, enormous political, cultural, and structural obstacles remain between them, which continue to slow the progress in security cooperation to a crawl, relative to China’s economic and military advances. The authors explore these impediments frankly and suggest practical ways to build trust and establish confidence.